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To have had the courage to add yet another " FRENCH READER” to the number already existing deserves a word, if not of excuse, yet of explanation.
I found that among my pupils but few had any idea of Etymology; a fact perhaps not to be wondered at, if one takes into consideration how greatly the study has been neglected even in France, how little even the best educated of teachers have occupied themselves with it, and how faulty the larger French Dictionaries, especially Bescherelle, are in this respect.
This want, and such I conceive it to be, I have endeavoured to satisfy; beyond the merest elements, the space allotted to the notes did not permit me to go. The Celtic derivations I have treated but scantily, as they are more or less out of the pale of the necessary notes, and I have only here and there given striking instances of the connection of modern French and Gaelic and Welsh.
Two or three passages from older writers have been retained, more with a view to point out to the intelligent pupil the changes which the language has undergone even from a comparatively recent date.
For the accuracy of the “READER” itself I am indebted to Mons. E. Clavequin, B.A., of Cheltenham College, and to Cormell Price, Esq. of Haileybury College, for many valuable suggestions and actual help.
E. A. OPPEN.