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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit :
District Clerk's Office.
“ Publius Virgilius Maro. Bucolica, Georgica, et Æneis. Accedunt Clavis Met-
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for
JNO. W. DAVIS,
1866, Apr. 24.
Mah. Eliza Hentrich Karen
Por kumanth, n. 6.
Stereotyped at the
If 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 were possible to banish 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 Educution, Sect. IX.