« 이전계속 »
In the following treatise, we have adopted a plan of arrangement entirely different from that of preceding grammarians; and we trust that, to all judicious teachers, this innovation will appear an improvement. We commence by calling the attention of the student to the purposes served by language, the facts which render grammatical contrivances necessary in language, to the formation of propositions to convey our thoughts;-all subjects useful and important, independent of the design with which we introduce them. Our statements in reference to these points can be readily comprehended by every student, of average capacity and average application. Having thus established a mutual understanding with the student, as regards the nature of our subject and the purposes which we have in view, we endeavor to maintain this common understanding, and a rational acquiescence in the correctness of our deductions unimpaired through the whole treatise, by carefully guarding against taking any step in advance which he cannot readily follow. We thus hope to secure through the whole course, a clear perception of the practical utility of what is already explained, and adequate preparation (if not awakened desire) for the further prosecution of the inquiry. By pursuing this method, the student will feel conscious at every step that he has made sensible progress in the acquisition of a knowledge
of the structure of language, and that even if he were to suspend his studies at this step, his labor in attempting to learn grammar would not be entirely lost. We need not advert to the manifest defects of the old methods of grammatical instruction in these respects.
We shall not dwell in this place on the other peculiarities which distinguish the following treatise. These peculiarities cannot be advantageously described or defended in a preface. They can be best seen and best appreciated in the regular perusal of the work. We may possibly, hereafter, find an opportunity of examining the defects of the old systems of grammatical instruction, and of explaining and defending our own views, more fully than we have been able to do in the notes interspersed through this volume. Manifest proofs are exhibited, in the complaints of teachers and grammarians, that the friends of education are sensible of the defects of our old systems, and ardently desire a reformation. And, in this connection, we feel pleasure in acknowledging that much has been done by the efforts of our immediate predecessors to introduce, and to prepare the way for the reception of an improved method of grammatical instruction.
The importance of a thorough reformation of the method of teaching grammar to the general intellectual progress of the age, can scarcely be over-estimated. We may form some notion of this importance, if we reflect that this science not only lays (or, at least, should lay) the foundation of all sound logic and all true eloquence-has the closest connection with correct thinking, as well as with the correct transmission of the products of thought from mind to mind-but serves as a natural and indispensable introduction to our courses of intellectual training, and the first step in a philosophical education. (How much may the future success of the young student depend, on the manner in which this first step is taken?) Besides this, a thorough knowledge of grammar is the great preparation for the easy and correct acquisition of
ancient and modern languages, enabling us with greatly diminished labor to comprehend clearly the laws of their structure, and fix these laws indelibly in our memory for ready recollection.
After what we have already said, we need not assure the intelligent reader, who may do us the favor of perusing our treatise regularly from the commencement, that he can find no difficulty in following our steps. But, looking to the nature of the subject, and to the method of treating it which we have adopted, and to some necessary innovation (we have studiously avoided all unnecessary innovation) in the use of terms, &c., we deprecate all attempts to take up our treatise in the middle, or to pronounce judgment on a part without a complete knowledge of our whole system.
We have expended much labor in adapting this book to the purpose of giving instruction to classes. With this end in view, we have prepared a course of questions, placed for the greater convenience of the teacher and student at the foot of the page; and we have secured an reference, by numbers, to the part of the text in which the answers are found. For the same purpose a series of exercises is prescribed, consisting chiefly of written examples (to be furnished by the student) of the forms of construction treated in each section. We think this kind of exercise better suited than any other to secure the rapid progress of pupils in acquiring a knowledge of the principles of grammar, and at the same time (what is one of the most valuable literary accomplishments) experience in the correct construction of sentences. We trust that the pains taken to accommodate the book to the practical purposes of instruction will be appreciated by intelligent teachers.
It will be observed that the arrangement is such that, by omitting the parts included in brackets, and generally indicated by smaller type, a first course in the most essential (and, at the same time, most easily comprehended) principles
of grammar can be given in a rapid manner. We recommend a first course of this kind, exhibiting a general outline of the Structure of the English Language, in all cases where the student is not already familiar with the subject of grammar. When in such a course the student comes to the chapter on Compound Propositions, he may return to the beginning, and in a second course be required to answer all the questions. Satisfactory answers to these will generally include all that the young student is expected to learn. The notes are designed chiefly for the satisfaction of teachers and inquisitive adepts in the science of grammar.
If the method of teaching grammar here proposed should be received with a share of public approbation, we shall soon furnish an abridgment suited for the use of those who are only commencing their grammatical studies. The book now presented might, we think, be profitably employed, in the manner above recommended, with the youngest classes in grammar. But the details necessary to explain and justify our method, and our views, when they differ from those commonly received, have swelled the book to a degree which may seem to render it unfit, both as to size and price, for the use of beginners. These details will be interesting and serviceable to more advanced students, who may wish to perfect their knowledge of grammar,-the class for whose special use we design the present treatise. We hope that the work in its present shape will also prove acceptable to teachers of youth, and to such gentlemen as take interest in the progress of education, and in this class of literary subjects.