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Few of the ways that conduct to virtue are more full of pleasantness and peace than that which leads us to warm our hearts by putting them in close contact with noble natures. “I am not the rose,” says the Eastern apologue; “but I live with the rose, and so I have become sweet.” It was a strong conviction of the truth of this apophthegm that induced the Editor to spend many of the leisure hours of a busy life in bringing together the beautiful thoughts of ancient writers; and he now presents them to the public in the hope that many,
who have little time to devote to the study of the classics, will be glad to renew their acquaintance with the finer emanations of the Roman masters. worthy of selection doubtless may be found to be excluded, and others admitted which may appear to be of inferior merit. In such a compilation, however, allowance must be made for differences of taste; and the Editor ventures to express a hope that, on the whole, the work will be found useful both to the scholar and to the general reader. He would also suggest that, as the heads of our public schools pursue the very pro
Some passages per course of causing their pupils to commit to memory passages from ancient authors, and are obliged to do so without much selection, the present work may be found useful for that purpose.
The minds of the
young would have presented to them those scattered sparks of truth and of knowledge, which might hereafter in many cases kindle into a bright flame; and, while improving their memory by exercise, they may be laying up a store of thoughts capable of being turned in future years to good account. From the various authors whose sentiments are embodied in this work, the Editor has selected a large mass of sentential lore on every subject which has occupied the mind of man. Here will be found original seeds, from which may still spring a rich harvest of new thoughts, that may be further cultivated, beautified, and enlarged. Here the reader will find illustrations of Divine wisdom, of the feelings of benevolence, of political and personal prudence, and of many of those questions which still continue to be subjects of contention among mankind.
The Editor is not acquainted with any works on a similar plan. The Dictionaries of Latin Quotations, of which several have been published, consist merely of Latin phrases in alphabetical order, with no precise reference to the original authors; in absence of which the scholar, desirous of discovering whence any particular quotation may have been taken, in order to verify its accuracy or to examine the context, would frequently have to sacrifice hours in tedious and sometimes vain
research. Besides, such Dictionaries are encumbered with Law phrases and Dog Latin.
The characteristics of the present work may be shortly stated as the following :
1. It quotes only from certain specified well-known
classical authors. 2. Each passage quoted has a distinct reference to
the work of the author, the book, ode, play, and, where it was practicable, the line, so that the passage may be found immediately and without difficulty. It is conceived that this will supply a great desideratum in works of a similar
class that have been hitherto published. 3. To each passage, with few exceptions, there is
appended an English translation by some wellknown author; and when a poet is quoted, there is a poetical translation. The heading to each
passage briefly indicates the subject. 4. There is a copious Latin Index; and the Editor
has attempted to surmount a difficulty which occurs in searching for a passage, the first word of which may not be known, but merely the general idea. The first words of each quotation are given in alphabetical order, but the same passage is also given under what he considers to
be the key-word. 5. The Editor has laboured to give a complete and
elaborate English Index, and this, he hopes, will be found to be a popular feature of the work.
While it gives the subject of each passage, it in-
trating. It will also be of great assistance, although in a less degree, to a man who has enjoyed a classical education, but who, in the hurry and bustle of life, has not had time or inclination to keep up his acquaintance with the classics, which were the delight and companions of his youth. It will recall to his recollection the scenes of bygone days; and, as he saunters through this garden of choicest flowers, he can scarcely fail to gather a bouquet of those “thoughts that breathe and words that burn.”