Fabre d'Eglantine.


No. XVII. Scène du Philinte de Molière

Aus Oberon
XVIII. Le Deux Pinsons

Aus Hermann und Dorothea
XIX. Discours sur la Modération

Die Entführung
XX. Continuation

XXI. Continuation

XXII. Conclusion

XXIII. Les Animaux Malades de la Peste

Der Bauer und sein Son
XXIV. Du Poëme des Jardins

Der Abend
XXV. Scène des Femmes Savantes

Die seltsamen Menschen
XXVI. Madame aura marché

An die Freunde

La Fontaine.


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The study of modern languages is no longer confined to the cloistered student, or to the frequenters of the fashionable world. In these our practical times the industrious classes of the community, merchants and their clerks, artists and their assistants, mechanics and their journeymen, are alike desirous of being occasionally able to hold a profitable intercourse with neighbouring countries, the distance of which has been shortened, as it were, by the speedy, regular, and safe conveyance of steam-boats. From the Kent shore we are wafted over to France in less than three hours, and a trip to Rotterdam, the nearest gate to Germany, is accomplished in a single day.

It is this rapidity of communication that confers upon the two principal languages of the neighbouring continent an interest which they hardly ever possessed before ; and parents, alive to the advantages which may accrue from their knowledge, are now generally anxious to have their children instructed in French and German. But the little that is imperfectly learnt at school, is soon forgotten, if it be not kept up by a continued application to study.

To direct this study, and to facilitate the knowledge of these two languages, even to those who never studied them before, is the aim and object of The Linguist, which will be regularly publisbed every Saturday.

Our own success in private teaching does most certainly not incline us to undervalue the advantages of oral instruo


tion. Far from it! The assistance of an intelligent master is of incalculable service in the learning of languages. His presence checks idleness and enforces attention ; his voice is a sure guide to right pronunciation ; and his corrections of the written tasks of bis pupil are attended with explanations and examples adapted to bis individual capacity, and suited to the particular purpose for which he is studying. But masters are expensive; they can attend only at stated hours; and the industrious youths for whom we write have neither money nor time to spare. Our weekly instructions, on the contrary, are cheap; they may be studied early in the morning and late at night, at the desk and behind the counter, at the fireside of a comfortable home and in the shady walk. They are chiefly addressed to those who, under the guidance of proper teachers, have already acquired at school a tolerably correct pronunciation of the languages, in which they are desirous of improving themselves, now that they begin to perceive that such accomplishments may be of use. But a diligent study of our pages will likewise enable those who nerer learnt the pronunciation, or the first principles of either French or German, to acquire those languages without the assistance of a master. London offers abundant opportunities to accustom their ears to the sounds which they may be anxious to catch. There are several French and German Protestant churches in the capital which may be profitably attended for that pur. pose, particularly as the slow and solemn delivery of the prayers and sermon strikes the ear in the most impressive manner. Besides, the number of French and German merchants, artists, mechanics, and others, settled in every part of this huge city, is so considerable, that it probably is in the power of any well-disposed person to get acquainted with some respectable family of foreign origin, where a little information may bow and then be modestly picked up, as far, at least, as regards the correct utterance of the sounds most unusual to Englishmen.

We flatter ourselves that our pages will also prove acceptable to the heads of families and schools, and to private governesses, who cannot possibly be supposed to possess that extent of classical attainments which the correct teaching of

languages requires. Neither are we without hopes that even accomplished youths of the higher ranks will condescend to look at our paper. They may occasionally derive some little advantage from the perusal of The LINGUIST, as they will find their attention frequently directed to those idiomatic niceties wbich, defying a literal translation, are seldom noticed in Dictionaries.

Our instructions are purposely confined for the present to the French and German, because these two languages are generally taught to children in the middle classes of society, and to young gentlemen destined for the army. Many gallant officers will, no doubt, be delighted with an opportunity of reviving what they learnt at the Military College, and of improving themselves in what may at some time or other be of essential service in their profession, and turn to the good of that excellent country which it is their noble ambition to defend.

But, before we enter upon the study of the two languages which we profess to 'teach, we beg those of our readers who never learnt the pronunciation of either, steadily to recollect that in both the French and German, the vowel a is sounded like the English a in alderman ; the vowel e unaccented at the end of words is like the English e in pride, made, trade; and the vowel i like the English double ee, or as i in mirror, pistol. It will be sufficient for the reader carefully to remember these three sounds first; the others will be successively stated.

And now, to begin with the French, we recommend the following short fable of the inimitable LA FONTAINE to be learnt by heart. It differs in nothing from prose but in the metrical arrangement of the words, which greatly assists the memory.

“ Un jour un Coq détourna

Un perle qu'il donna
Au beau premier Lapidaire.
Je la crois fine, dit-il,
Mais le moindre grain de mil
Seroit bien mieux mon affaire.

Un ignorant hérita
D'un manuscrit qu'il porta
Chez son voisin le libraire.
Je crois, dit-il, qu'il est bon,
Mais le moindre ducaton
Seroit bien mieux mon affaire."

THE COCK AND THE PEARL. One day a Cock secreted a pearl, which he gave to the very first Lapidary (he met with). I think it (is) fine, said he, but the smallest millet seed would suit me much better. An ignorant (man) inherited a manuscript, which he carried to (the house of) bis neighbour the bookseller :- I suppose, said he, that it is good; but the smallest gold coin would suit me much better.

The title of this Fable offers at once the greatest difficulty which Englishmen have to overcome in learning French. The English definitive article the varies in the French language, according to the gender of the noun to which it is prefixed; it is le for the masculine, and la for the feminine. There are some few rules by which the gender of words may be known; LE COQ, for instance, is of the masculine, because it denotes a male; but these rules are insufficient. No reason can be assigned why "a pearl” should be feminine. Yet it is so, and you must say la perle. The end syllable is sometimes of assistance, but not always. There are only two words in erle; un merle, a blackbird, and une perle, a pearl ; one is masculine, and the other feminine. We therefore intreat our readers never to cominit a French noun to memory without its proper article. The same word frequently differs in signification according to its gender. LE Page, is the page of a king; LA PAGE, the page of a book; un livre, a book; une livre, a pound.

one day a cock.” Thus the same word un is the English numeral adjective one and the article indefinite A. In the feminine it is une. The connexion alone shows the true meaning. “ One cock a day," would be Un coq par jour, just as you say une bouteille de vin par jour.

Détourna is the third person singular of the preterperfect definite of the indicative of the verb détourner, to turn off, to secret; which is a derivative of the regular verb tourner,

Un jour un coq,

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