« PreviousContinue »
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit:
District Clerk's Office.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-seventh day of March, A. D. 1829, and in the fifty-third year of the Independence of the United States of America, William Hilliard, of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words foliowing, to wit:
"Publius Virgilius Maro. Bucolica, Georgica, et Æneis. Accedunt Clavis Metrica, Notule Anglicæ, et Quæstiones. Cura B. A. Gould. In Usum Scholæ Bostoniensis."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;" and also to an act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned i and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints "
JNO. W DAVIS,
Clerk of the District of Massachusettą.
Ir any one cause has operated more than every other to prevent young men from acquiring a free and easy manner of reading the Latin poets, it unquestionably is the habit of using an order of construction, or an interpretation. The use of these
pernicious helps not only prevents those who rely on them from ever acquiring the power of reading with ease and pleasure without them, but it is utterly subversive of one of the principal objects of studying the language, that mental discipline which is acquired by the practice of critical and exact analysis. This salutary influence, the use of an order or of an interpretation effectually counteracts.
The student will hardly take the pains of disentangling an intricate sentence when the work is done to his hand; nor will the test of grammatical construction or of prosody be applied, when a glance at the interpretation will remove all doubts. The habit of thus referring to the judgment of others soon becomes settled; while that of analysing is never formed, nor the discipline of mind acquired, which it is suited to effect. Besides this, the habit of using these unnecessary aids prevents that feeling of self-reliance which successful efforts alone can secure.
To this cause we must attribute the fact, that so few among our educated men read the Latin poets with ease or pleasure. But if the habit of reading independently of foreign assistance be once formed, the want of such assistance is not felt. It is found by experience that boys, who have been taught in this way, read Horace and Juvenal as readily as they do Cicero and Tacitus; and even with more confidence; since in poetry they are furnished by prosody with an unerring test for resolving many doubts, while in prose they have no such aid.
These are not new views. Books furnished with these auxiliaries are going out of use in the best schools in foreign countries. Thirty years ago the learned and practical Vicesimus Knox expressed his disapprobation of them.*
"Together with translations," says he, "I wish it were possible to banishi those editions in which the order of construction is given on the same page with the text. It tends to enervate the mind by rendering exertion unnecessary. The little superficial learning of him who has been used to these facilitating inventions may be compared to a temporary edifice built for a day; while the hard-earned knowledge of the other resembles a building, whose foundations are deep and strong, and equally admired for dignity and duration." Knox's Liberal Education, Sect. IX,
These were among the first considerations in publishing this edition of Virgil. It was believed, also, that a more correct text than any in common use might be put into the hands of learners, by publishing in a popular form that which is the result of the combined labours of Heyne, Heinsius, Burmann, Wakefield, and others. Such is the text now offered to the youthful student of Virgil. It is substantially Heyne's, which is undoubtedly the most perfect text extant, but with such slight variations as a careful collation of the abovementioned authorities seemed to recommend. It is printed from Didot's stereotype edition. And it is confidently believed, should any instructers examine the work, who have hitherto been confined to the use of the Delphin text, that they will in this find many perplexities and stumbling blocks removed.
In preparing the Notes, free use has been made of all the materials within the editor's reach. In all cases where it could consistently be done, the authority has been given, except where the notes of Mr. Valpy's edition have been adopted. These, as his own remarks are frequently blended with other authorities, have not been particularly designated. The notes of the learned I. H. Voss were first made English for that edition, to which notes this is likewise indebted. The notes are explanatory of the text, and not designed to supersede the use of the Classical Dictionary; which should never be out of the student's reach. In the vast variety of materials presented, it has been found difficult to be sufficiently concise. For it is easy to say much upon Virgil, but difficult to say a little to the point. Boys will not voluntarily read long notes, even in their vernacular tongue; much less in a foreign language. But, when embarrassed, they will seek relief from notes, if they are short.
As no boy should be permitted to read Virgil without being able to scan every verse before he reads it, it was thought advisable to subjoin a list of the most difficult verses with the method of scanning each; as this will save the teacher from frequent interruptions while the student is preparing for recitation. The authority of Dr. Carey has been followed in the Metrical Key. A few questions have also been added, at the suggestion of some of our most respectable instructers, which may expedite the labour of the teacher in ascertaining whether the pupil has consulted his notes and his Classical Dictionary, and lead to a more connected and definite view of the subject than the pupil would otherwise obtain.
Boston, May, 1826.
TITYRE, tu, patulæ recubans sub tegmine fagi,
O Melibœe, deus nobis hæc otia fecit:
Non equidem invideo; miror magis, undique totis
Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Meliboe, putavi
Nôram; sic parvis componere magna solebam.
Et quæ tanta fuit Romam tibi causa videndi?
Libertas: quæ, sera, tamen respexit inertem,
Mirabar, quid moesta deos, Amarylli, vocares;
Quid facerem? neque servitio me exire licebat,
Fortunate senex! ergo tua rura manebunt!