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With regard, in the first place, to the province of the classical languages, every one who knows the present state, both of general and comparative philology, will acknowledge that it is an urgent duty to render the results of these inquiries available in the instruction of youth. When our forefathers thought ** Greek* nearly identical with unintelligible jargon, they little suspected that the Greek and English languages were branches of one and the same tree, and that a third part of our English vocabulary was allied by the closest affinity with the vocables of ancient Greece. The relation between the English and the Latin tongues is still closer and more comprehensive ; for, in addition to the common Asiatic origin of Latin and Celtic, a new ground of affinity between Latin and English has been established through the medium of NormanFrench.
Now, when we consider the grand organism of human speech, originating in remote ante-historical times amidst the table-lands of Asia, and pervading, with a strong vitality, almost all the languages of Europe to the present time ; in other words, when we take into account the development, the structure, and the affinities of the Indo-European tongues, among which the classic languages form so essential a part, the usual grammatical schoolbooks of Latin and Greek seem to be too one-sided and scanty to satisfy the demands of
// ' / The knowledge of classical antiquity, in reference
to its history, its public and private life, i science, }
art, etc. as well as to the grammatical cture ` : its languages, has lately advanced, in respect boni, of ... depth and extent, far beyond the degree which
have been deemed attainable at the end of the last
prize poems may still indicate a eertain degree of classical acquirement, but they will never be accepted as the culminating point of classical education. During more than thirty years I have made it my special, and almost sole task, to enlarge and enrich my Κnowledge in the different provinces of Greek and Romam antiquity ; and for by far the larger portion of that time I have endeavoured, by careful study and experiment, to adapt the classical education of the young to the demands and necessities of the age. Ey these means the desire has been awakened in me to secure for myself, according to the measure of my faculties, and the limitations of my sphere, a place, however humble, in that circle of my contemporaries who have devoted all their mental powers and reSources to the enlargement and extension of national instruction. This * Series of Latin amd Greek Classics* forms one section of the works which I have prepared for the purposes of classical training; and it is my hope that my system, which is in some respects new, may also be found practical, and suited to the times. It is my purpose to lend the student all those aids by which he may be enabled to comprehend and appreciate the classical authors thoroughly, as the pillars and representatives of the Past; so that, when, Cicero speaks, he may imagine himself to be standing before the Rostra in the Roman Forum ; or, when Horace
sings, that he may transport himself, in thought, to the shades of Sabinum, or to the cascades of Tibur ; that he may himself live over again with Livy through the dark era of legends, as well as that which was brightened by the mighty deeds of real heroes;—in a word, that the various authors may not only themselves become to the student living witnesses of ancient times, but may even set the Past before him with such vivid reality that he may, for the time, suppose himself also to be a personal observer of the scenes or events described or recorded by the old annalists and poets. With the view of exhibiting a livelier representation of the subject-matter, the Lives of the Authors, Arguments or Summaries of their successive writings, Excursus, illustrative of Antiquities, History, and Geography, and Engravings of classical objects, have been carefully prepared for this Series, and the best authorities consulted—such as W. A. Becker, Marquardt, Bernhardy, Boeckh, Grote, Hermann, O. Müller, Niebuhr, Welcker, etc. With such appliances as these the student can have no difficulty in bringing the author personally before his intellectual eye, and will soon find himself at home in any district of antiquity to which his attention may be invited. I intended, at first, to detach my own illustrative commentaries from the texts, and to publish them in separate volumes; but judicious friends of my undertaking have dissuaded me from this plan. Accordingly, all future works in the Series will, like the present, combine their respective texts and commentaries in the Same volume.