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A COMPANION BOOK TO THE HADLEY-ALLEN GREEK
GRAMMAR; AN INTRODUCTION TO EITHER
ANABASIS OF XENOPHON
EDWARD G. COY, M. A.
PROFESSOR OF GREEK IN PHILLIPS ACADEMY
NEW YORK ::: CINCINNATI ::: CHICAGO
FROM THE PRESS OF
NARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
GIFT OF THE
COPYRIGHT, 1890, BY
“ GREEK FOR BEGINNERS" is the title of a book prepared by Prof. Joseph B. Mayor, and published in London in 1869. An American edition of that book-considerably altered in form, however-was published in 1880 as “Coy's Mayor's Greek Lessons."
The book now issued is, in one sense, at least, a revised edition of “Coy's Mayor”; but so numerous and extensive have been the changes introduced, that it has seemed proper for me, in justice to both Prof. Mayor and myself, to assume the entire responsibility for the same. I have, therefore, dropped Prof. Mayor's name from the title-page, although most cheerfully acknowledging my indebtedness to the book which he has published.
The distinctive features of “GREEK FOR BEGINNERS” consist (1) in its“ building up a boy's knowledge of Greek upon the foundation of his knowledge of English and Latin”; (2) in the fact that “ .no Greek words have been used in the earlier part of the book except such as have connections either in English or Latin.” Thus it is hoped that something may have been done to lessen the feeling of strange
ness, more or less, with which a boy must always begin the study of a new language. However, to quote more fully from Prof. Mayor :
Do what we will, it is impossible to make the learning of Greek an easy thing, it is impossible to dispense with large calls upon the memory. What I have attempted to do is, to provide hooks and eyes for the memory, to appeal as far as possible to the understanding, and to give the learner some glimpse from the first of the rewards which he may expect at the end of his labor. Of course it is true that, the memory being earlier developed than the other faculties, and probably more active in childhood than in later life, it is desirable for children to learn many things before they can fully understand them; but, on the other hand, the continued unreasoning exercise of memory is, I believe, the cause of much of that want of interest, and even contemptuous disbelief, in all knowledge, which we so often meet with in grown men and women. Children as a general rule overflow with curiosity; they can not understand all things, they must be content to take a great deal on trust; but it does not follow from this that they should not be helped and encouraged to understand wherever their faculties admit of it. The rapid growth of memory is given to them that under its shelter the finer powers of the mind, imagination and reason, may find room and opportunity for gradual develop
ment. If these are not called into exercise, the exercise of the memory itself soon becomes irksome, the mind is stunted, and all intellectual interest dies away.
What has been just said will to a certain extent hold good against those who want no grammars, but would have a boy pick up his classics from his master at school, as he might pick up his modern languages from a Swiss “bonne" at home. The only meaning of this can be, that there is to be no systematic teaching of classics ; which is equivalent to saying that a multitude of isolated facts are more easily received and retained in the memory than the same facts classified and arranged. Thus we have again “the unreasoning exercise of the memory," attended with the further disadvantage, that there is no call upon the learner to brace up his mind for strenuous effort. It may, however, be said that under the direction of his teachers he is to be gradually trained to classify the facts for himself, and thus gain a valuable lesson in observation and induction. If such is the view taken, it seems to me to fall into the opposite error of demanding too great an exercise of the reasoning powers. A boy may fairly be expected to recognize instances of laws which he has been already taught, but hardly to discover the law for himself. If, on the other hand, the master first states and explains the law to him, and then points out instances or asks him to point them out, this is just the old grammar over again ;