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We are now come to the “Gramática Inglesa,” which will enable the English student to acquire a thorough knowledge of the syntax of the English language. This work was compiled from the best works for the use of Spaniards wishing to learn English, while Siret, Cobbett, and other eminent grammarians supplied us with valuable remarks, to which we added such as our experience in teaching, and knowledge of the English language suggested.
This volume concludes with the English Reader, a collection of pieces particularly calculated to give the last polish to the acquirement of the English language. In speaking of the manner of using this work, we will show that these two parts, which seem exclusively destined to the English student, will be eminently serviceable to the Spanish student.
It remains to speak of the second volume of this work, which is divided into four parts.
The first part contains an analysis of the various kinds of words of which language is composed. The subject is introduced in the familiar form of conversation, which renders it more lively and intelligible, and relieves the scholar from an incessant series of long and prolix reasoning. In this part the pupil is informed on many points, essential and peculiar to the Spanish language, and gets thus prepared for the Spanish syntax.
The conjugation of verbs will, we trust, be found sufficiently exemplified. We shall not here attempt to expatiate on the system of the celebrated Beauzée and Sicard, concerning the tenses of verbs : we have adopted the same; and have, we hope, in treating on the verb, fully demonstrated its truth and simplicity; but, what will recommend it more than all the arguments that can be advanced in its favour is, the facility of retaining it, and its easy application, not only to the mother tongue, but to every other language which the learner may wish to acquire. However, in order to comply with the wishes of many respectable teachers, we have given the terms of the old nomenclature, along with those of the new.
The second part is altogether grammatical and critical, and contains the most extensive system of Spanish syntax, ever offered to the public.
The third part will give the student a thorough knowledge of mercantile correspondence, of the most approved form of bills of exchange, promissory notes, bills of lading, invoices, &c., in the Spanish and English languages, for the benefit of the Spanish, American, and British merchant.
This system of mercantile correspondence is entirely new, and has the peculiar advantage of embracing every circumstance of interest or moment, which may occur in mercantile affairs.
The fourth and last part, which concludes this volume, consists of Elegant Extracts in prose and verse, from the most eminent Spanish authors and translators: it may be said to form a garland of the most beautiful and flagrant flowers.
Having now given, we trust, a sufficient account of the objects embraced by this work, the method of using it comes next to be considered.
Of those who wish to be acquainted with it, we have now to request that they will peruse page 1, volume 1, of our book, and then observe the following exemplification.
The Spanish master, or any person who pronounces Spanish well, should read slowly to the learner the first phrase, syllable by syllable.
Cómprème vmd, un pan de tres libras. The learner must syllabically repeat after his instructor, until his pronunciation is correct.
The same method is followed in other phrases of the same page.
The master ought to proceed to pages 138, 213, 269, where a few phrases are to be successively pronounced in the same manner as those in page 1.
In the analysis of the parts of speech, the learner is to be taught to pronounce one or two tenses of the verb haber.
The master should then proceed to pages 2 and 4, of the same work, and instruct nis pupil in the pronunciation of the vowels and consonants.
The various phrases read to the scholar, with the tenses of the verb haber, he must commit to memory*, as well as all the letters which enter into the composition of every word, never losing sight of this fundamental principle, that the practice of a language, or the
* It is, perhaps, unnecessary to inform the instructor, that the lessons ought to be short at first, that trial may be made of the strength of the learner's memoty.
faculty of speaking it, is solely founded on that retentive faculty of the soul, which grammar can never impart. It will, I believe, be conceded to us, that language and grammar are two different objects, and consequently no way analogous; the former being physical, the latter, metaphysical".
We shall now proceed to recitation, which is here exemplified for the sake of perspicuity.
Master (reads slowly but aloud, vol. i, p. 1). Cómpreme vmd. un fan de tres libras.
Scholar (reciting the English and Spanish phrases successively), says,
Buy me a three pound loaf.
Cómpreme vmd. un fan de tres libras.
Masculine. The other lessons, pages 138, 213, 269, are to be successively recited in the same manner.
As to the verb haber, vol. ii, the scholar is thus to recite it, without the master's help.
Isabido, had, habido. and so on through the other tensest.
Grammarians have continually confounded grammar with language, and vice versa. This strange perversion of ideas has been the cause of their ill success all over the world. Instead of Hoasting of teaching language by grammar (which was, in fact, placing the cart before the horse), they should have said, they taught grammar by language.
† Some may, perhaps, think it unaccountable, that the marginal words are to be recited after the phrases; but if they reflect that it is Nature's process (for a demonstration of this see the Introduction to the third edition of Nature Displayed applied to the French, page xx), and undoubtedly the best, since it teaches the learner to abstract from the phrases such words as he may want to use in combinations of his own, they will ultimately approve the scheme.
By this mode of using this work, it is evident, as the Spanish master has BO occasion either for pronouncing or speaking English, that he may carry on
As the saving of time is highly important to the master, he will, as soon as a lesson is recited, make the pupil pronounce the following one, before he proceeds to the second lesson for recitation, &c.; but, previously to the new lesson of each part being read, he must repeat, in an audible voice, each English phrase, of the lesson just recited, and the pupil write down the Spanish phrase, which he should read as soon as written, to inform the master that he may proceed to read the next English phrase.
The reason why the English is to be read by the master instead of the Spanish is, that spelling is learned by the eye, and not by the ear; and by this mode he obliges his pupil to recollect the letters which he has seen in the composition of the words. Should the master, on the contrary, read the Spanish phrase instead of the English, the pupil, relying on his ear, which is not the proper organ on this occasion, will necessarily commit blunders.
Should the Spanish teacher be unacquainted with the English language, as in the case stated in the note, he would be under the necessity of reading the Spanish phrase.
When the scholar has well furnished his memory with a considerable stock of words and phrases, the auxiliary verbs haber and ser, and a few others that serve as a model in the Spanish conjugation, and has acquired a complete knowledge of the irregular verbs, together with the essential particulars explained in the analysis of the parts of speech, and which must keep pace with the scholar committing phrases to memory, he will absolutely understand Spanish when spoken to him, and be able to express his ideas in that lan
It will then be proper to introduce the learner to the selection of pieces contained in the Spanish Reader, which will be readily understood from the vast quantity of words and modes of expression stored in his memory*, and give him, at the same time, a
the process of instruction without understanding that language: a very extraordinary advantage, peculiar to this method. (See the Introduction just cited, page xxii).
* There is no necessity for beginnning to read authors very early; for, by learning the vocabularies, &c. in the manner we have proposed, we learn the three things which constitute the knowledge of a language, to understand, new lesson in that part of the work entitled “ Syntax made Easy," the rule of which, with the exemplifications, should also be acquired by the memory.
We shall observe concerning this syntax, that many of the rules which Mr. Dufief gives in his “ Nature Displayed applied to the French” have been of service to us, as the French and Spanish syntax agree in many respects. We acknowledge. it with so much the more pleasure, as several of those rules being original, and explained with great perspicuity, it cannot fail to stamp a value on our volume.
We earnestly recommend the learner to peruse (and he will be qualified for doing it from his progress in the Spanish language) “La Gramática Inglesa,” to the rules of which he should pay much attention, and, by comparing together the Spanish and English examples which exemplify them, he will be enabled to observe how the two languages differ, a discovery which cannot fail to initiate him into the peculiarities of the Spanish. This comparative mode of learning syntax, supported by the reading of the best authors, appears to us to be both philosophical and effectual, as it is calculated to make a very lasting impression on the mind.
We have but a few words to say to those who, having gone through the course of the Spanish which we have laid before the reader, and which we deem sufficient for every social purpose whatever, feel ambitious of excelling in that language, and rivalling the most enlightened natives in the knowledge thereof. To such we point out the necessity of studying the graces of style, and the best models of composition, as the works of Calderon, Lopez de Vega, Cervantes, Garcilaso, Yriarte, Feijoo, Mariana, Solis, Don Juan de Ulloa, Don Jorge Juan, Muños de Castizo, Melendez Valdes, d'Iglesias, Noroña, Gaspard de Jovellanos, Antonio Moratin, Diego de Mendoza, Martin de Roa, Antonio de Fuentemayor, &c., which embrace every department of literature; whence they will speedily acquire a purity of style wholly free from Anglicisme.
speak, and read or write it Application to books suited to the taste of a pupil will divide his attention (which should be wholly devoted to committing to memory the practical part), and, from the trouble of learning the phrases, especially in the beginning, will create a distaste to them,