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VOCABULARY, NOTES, AND MEMOIR.
BY WILLIAM M'DOWALL,
AUTHOR OF "CESAR WITH VOCABULARY, ETC."
OLIVER AND BOYD, TWEEDDALE COURT.
LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, AND CO.
RETIRED from a pretty long course of practice as a public teacher of classics, the Compiler acceded with pleasure to the wish of the Publishers that he should furnish a School Edition of Virgil on a plan similar to that of the School Edition of Cæsar printed for the use of his own classes many years ago. The design has in it no pretension beyond that of giving such choice portion of any Classic as it is found practicable to read in elementary schools, with a full Vocabulary, Notes, &c., specially adapted for the illustration of the text. In the present instance the choice of this has been made not without the concurrence of practical teachers of high standing. It consists of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Eclogues, and of the First, Second, Fifth, and Sixth Books, of the Æneid.
It was desirable that this might be read along with other school copies of Virgil: it is to be observed, however, that such forms as volt, divom, &c., are rejected as being recognised neither by dictionaries nor grammars, and therefore quite out of place in an elementary book; that relligio, repperi, &c., seemed inadmissible for the
same reason, in such words the inseparable preposiposition re being lengthened; and that partes is distinguished from the equivocal partis, umbrâ from umbra, deûm from deum, domûs from domus, currûm from currum, meliùs from melius, egêre from egere, hic adv. from hic pron., &c.,-experience showing that where the construction is difficult, these aids often facilitate the task of the learner quite as much as judicious punctuation.
To some the foot-notes may appear too numerous and too suggestive; but it is to be noted that the book is intended for young classes, and that of translations of any kind we provide a very sparing supply.
The points of information on which a word-compartment specially applicable to the text ought to equal or exceed in serviceableness any general lexicon are-1. Interpretation; 2. Declension; 3. Conjugation; 4. Quantity; 5. Derivation; and, in a certain class of words, 6. Mythology; 7. Ancient customs; 8. Geography; 9. History.
On the first head, it is to be observed that the secondary meanings given apply, first of all, to loca in the text, and that, where space abounds, not a few synonymes have been dropped in, with a view to extend the pupil's choice of expression on the second, that such words as rabies, em, e, are not assigned to any particular declension: on the third head, it may be premised that we endeavour to reduce contraction in conjugating verbs to strict method, suitable to the different classes of forms, and insert their conjugation as it stands and has long stood in grammar lists and lexicons, not choosing, in a great inflected language, to mutilate the verb on the ground that such or such a word
is not used by writers of the classical period; for in presence of the past participle of a verb passive, for instance, we deem ourselves bound to own the existence of a supine, whether, in the annals of accident, during a given period, the supine ever happened to be used or no: on the fourth head, that in words of three or more syllables in uo, we mark the quantity of u, having observed in young classes generally a vicious tendency to pronounce it long on the fifth, that any word here given as a root either has its meaning placed in juxtaposition, or is itself inserted in the Vocabulary, and that, to prevent repetition, many roots not found in the text, or themselves even obsolete, --such as lacio, specio, perior, pleo,—were at once placed on the list of notices: and on the four remaining heads, it is trusted that the information, necessarily confined in compass, may be found sufficient for the requirements of elementary classes.
It is but just to add, finally, that for any fault discoverable in the execution, the Compiler is alone to blame, the Publishers implicitly relying on his judgment both as to the plan and its details.