« PreviousContinue »
detail; but the careful reader will easily follow the arrangement. Thus under the Historical (or Narrative) section are grouped together, 1. Sieges; 2. Battles by Land; 3. Battles by Sea ; 4. Single Combats, &c.; and a similar arrangement has been carried out in the other sections. This plan will be found, as the authors believe, very convenient to the teacher, who will thus be enabled to turn more readily to the kind of piece which he wishes to set his pupil.
3. The references throughout have been carefully revised, and great numbers of additional references have been added. In spite of the care which has been taken to ensure correctness and uniformity in the references, it is possible that some inaccuracies may remain undetected. Again, many parallelisms and appropriate citations have doubtless escaped the notice of the authors, who will be grateful to readers for any corrections or hints which may increase still further the usefulness of the book.
4. An entirely new feature, and one which the authors venture to hope will be found very useful, is the Table of General References, prefixed to the selections. This Table, like the Materials which follow, is divided into sections. It is designed, in the first place, to add to the variety of passages which may be advantageously consulted by those who use this book. But the authors believe that in this Table of References they have furnished the teacher and pupil with an instrument which will be of great service in translating any well-chosen passage whatever. Thus, if a battle-piece has been chosen, the student may turn to the General Table, and he will find there a list of typical passages with which he may compare the English. He will make his selection from these according as he wishes to study the manner, e.g., of. Livy or of Tacitus.
In fact the addition of these Tables of General Reference makes the scheme of the book capable of almost
indefinite extension ; since by furnishing references to what classical Latin authors have said on a given subject, they can be used to equal advantage in the writing of themes and original composition in Latin prose, a practice, it may be remarked, at present too much neglected.
Moreover, the subject of every Latin passage cited in the General Tables has been stated in order to help the student in his choice of references. With the view of making this part of the work as complete as possible, great attention has been given to the detailed arrangement of the Philosophical section. And under the Oratorical section will be found a short Analysis of most of the separate speeches in Livy, arranged under heads, according to subjects, with a statement of their comparative length.
5. In the body of the book reference to subjects has been further made easy, by the prefix of a heading to every English passage, describing its topic.
Such are the main alterations and improvements which have been introduced into this new Edition of “ Materials and Models."
The scheme of the work was thus described in the Preface to
the first edition of 1870:
“ The present work differs from preceding collections of the kind, in two respects. First, the passages are arranged according to style and subject matter, for convenience of reference. Secondly, to each English piece references are appended to analogous or similar passages in classical authors of approved merit, with the object of furnishing a model to the student in his attempt to render them into Greek or Latin. As the selections are mainly taken from standard English authors, and are not translations, the student must not expect to find the thoughts occurring in the
sequence, similarly expressed, in the passages to which he is referred ;
but in all cases there will be found some analogy, by comparison or contrast in the subject, circumstances, or spirit of the parallel passages, sufficient to furnish hints for the treatment of the piece to be turned, and to suggest the style to be adopted in turning it.
“All composition in a dead language must be by imitation of forms already, as it were, stereotyped ; but that is the best which insensibly recalls the tone of a classical author, without either travestying his peculiarities or borrowing his phrases.
“It is thought that the following exercises, on the plan of analogous passages, will be an aid towards forming a good style in Greek and Latin prose, both by directing the student to the best models, and by guarding against the waste of labour experienced in working indiscriminately on ill-assorted or intractable materials."
In the present edition, as in the former, the kind and degree of parallelism varies.
Some few passages are paraphrased more or less closely from Latin originals. These have been sparingly introduced, forming, as they do, a link between simple re-translation and the imitation of classic diction. In other pieces there is much resemblance of detail from the nature of the subject. Thus Hannibal's Crossing of the Alps, described by Livy, presents some striking similarities to General Macdonald's March over the Splugen, described by Alison (p. 31). And the main incident in Robertson's Account of the taking of Dumbarton Castle, p. 1, is identical with that in the Chapter of Sallust, cited on p. 2.
In another class of passages the treatment of the subject is similar, leading naturally to a certain similarity of style. Thus no one can doubt that much of Cowley's grand description of the Funeral of Oliver Cromwell (p. 70) was suggested by the description in Tacitus of the Obsequies of Augustus and of Germanicus, while Tacitus himself had Virgil's Funeral of Pallas in his mind when he wrote the latter scene. In other cases references have been added, (a) where the spirit and tone of the passages are similar ; (6) where the style is similar ; (@) where the subject is similar, but not necessarily the tone or language ; (d) where single thoughts or phrases recur ; () where there is a similar arrangement of topics. Lastly, some passages have been compared together, the language or sentiments of which are in striking contrast.
The student should in all cases ascertain for himself the nature and meaning of the references at the foot of each piece, and he will be further aided by referring to the General Tables.
As a large proportion of the passages admitted are taken from University and College Examination Papers, the standard of difficulty is that required for Classical Scholarships, Honours, and Prizes, at Oxford and Cambridge. There are still included (mostly at the end of the Epistolary section) a few passages of greater difficulty, because more unclassical in tone, than the rest. These pieces are mainly examples of florid English, and a few references to pieces of florid Latin will be found at the foot of each passage, or in the General Table. Scholars who are familiar with the Latin poets can enlarge the list for themselves. Seldom, except in poetry, does the usage of the Latin language approximate to the ornate and metaphorical diction, consciously appealing to the sentiment of the reader, which is common in the best English prose of modern days.
It does not fall in with the scheme of this work to add any hints on composition, notes on idioms, or receipts for the conversion of the English into the Latin sentence. An acquaintance with the elementary rules of Latin syntax is taken for granted. Beyond this, nothing but the careful reading of Latin authors, and
the learning by heart of suitable portions of their text, can aid the student to master the niceties of a language which now exists only in written literature. Of course the skilled teacher can guide his pupil to the knowledge of much which inexperienced observation would otherwise overlook. But this is the peculiar province of oral instruction.
Passages may be selected to illustrate various points of syntax and idiom, and various peculiarities of language and style. But the discussion and explanation of these difficulties is best understood and remembered when conveyed viva voce, that is, when the rules are taught with a view to their immediate application, and when a principle of composition can be enforced by an example on the spot. Oral rules, and cautions in the use of his tools, are indispensable to the young artist, and the fittest place for such instruction is the workshop. Collections of empirical formule, without oral interpretation, are generally useless, and often misleading. But the reading of Latin is always useful to the most accomplished master of composition, no less than to the beginner. He who wishes to write Latin must, above all things, read Latin. That his attention should be drawn to the Latin most suitable for his special purpose is the main object of this book.