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FRENCH GR A M M A R,

FOR THE USE OF

ENGLISH STUDENTS

DESIROUS

OF RAPIDLY ACQUIRING THE MEANS

OF SPEAKING

THE FRENCH LANGU A GE

WITH FLUENCY AND PURITY,

UPON AN ENTIRELY NEW PLAN.

By J. V. DOUVILLE,
Professor of the French Language.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

London:
PUBLISHED BY BOOSEY AND SONS, BROAD-STREET, EXCHANGE;
MARTIN BOSSANGE ÅND CO, GREAT MARLBOROUGH-STREET
AND 124, REGENT-STREET ; AND BY THE AUTHOR,

2, LAWRENCE-LANE, CHEAPSIDE.

1824.

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL.

MARCHANT, PRINTER, INGRAM-COURT, FENCHURCH-STREET.

INTRODUCTION.

The peculiar adaptation of the French language for the communication of our ideas, in familiar intercourse, has given it such intrinsic value in the estimation of all other European nations, that to the statesman, the merchant, and the frequenter of fashionable society, as well as to the traveller, and the student of polite literature, it has long been a language of indispensable necessity. As such, the exposition of its elementary principles has engaged more extensive and general investigation than, perhaps, any other language, either ancient or modern. But whether the writers upon this subject, who have devoted their labours to the proficiency of the English student, have failed in perceiving the direct course to their more immediate object, the speaking of the language, or whether they have purposely directed their attention to the more easy portion of their task, by applying themselves rather to make an Englishman well acquainted with the critical niceties of French authors, than to enable him to enter into conversation, and maintain a correspondence with French persons, is a question which I shall not here discuss; though it is from a conviction of such being the case, that the present work has been undertaken: I shall rather proceed to point out, as briefly as possible, the several divisions of this publication, and the object which my efforts have chiefly aimed at accomplishing.

The first part of the work is appropriated to the Orthography of the language, which is in strict accordance with the latest decisions of the French Academy, and the present practice of the most eminent Grammarians. The pronunciation is, also, in conformity with the same critical standard,—the true, correct sound of each word being clearly defined, both in regard to reading and speaking in public, while the modern practice of the fashionable circles in Paris, with respect to some variations and niceties of expression which occasionally occur in polite conversation, is most accurately pointed out.

The department of Etymology being necessarily the foundation of that perfect acquaintance with the language which every well educated person ought to possess, the learner's attention is most particularly directed to the acquisition of that department, in all its branches. To promote this desirable object, nothing has been left undone. The various modifications of each class of words are presented to the student's view, while their formation into simple sentences is exhibited in a manner so perspicuous and attractive as to indelibly impress them on his memory. Much must, however, be left to the good sense of the pupil, guided by the skill of his master, to form such combinations as are in consonance with his own ideas for the expression of his wants, emotions, or passions; but in doing this he will derive much benefit from my arrangement of the Verbs. His further progress in French conversation will be greatly facilitated, if the teacher question him after the following manner on sentences of familiar discourse, such sentences being partly formed by introducing any one of the Pronouns in conjunction with a Verb, which the pupil is to translate into French, at first literally, or nearly so, until he has acquired a sufficient fluency, and then into accurate French: for instance, supposing the Verb under consideration to be parler, the sentences may be :-I have had the pleasure to speak to your sister, j'ai eu le plaisir de parler à votre spur. Have you spoken to her? (1st. literally,) avez-vous parlé à elle ? (2. correctly,) lui avez-vous parlé? Has not Mr. D*** spoken to her? (Ist. literally,) Mr. D*** n'a-t-il point parlé à elle? (2. correctly,) Mr. D*** ne lui a-t-il point parlé? No, he has not spoken to her; (1st. literally,) non, il n'a pas parlé à elle ; (2. correctly,) non, il ne lui a pas parlé ; and so on through all the Simple and Compound Tenses, taking care to introduce, by degrees, the use of the Subjunctive Mood, and varying the sentences from the Affirmative to the Negative and Interrogative forms of the Verb. Without this practice, the utmost proficiency in conjugating the Verbs will scarcely be of any avail for speaking French; but, by adopting it, and a similar drilling upon the other parts of speech, due attention being paid by the teacher to a correct pronunciation, a pupil may acquire the language with as much facility, purity, and elegance of expression, as if he studied it even in Paris. It may be further observed on this subject, that the student should begin to learn the Verbs from the very commencement of his writing exercises, as he will thus be gradually initiated into an acquaintance with the French idioms, thereby acquiring a surprising readiness in that great desideratum,-conversation in the French language.

The second part of this work, forming the second volume, comprises the French Syntax, according to the rules of the French Academy, and the opinions of the best and most recent French Grammarians. It may, also, be noticed, as peculiar to this work, that in the arrangement of these materials every thing belonging to the same head has been collected under one article, by which

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