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WITH ENGLISH NOTES.
THE REV. J. EDWARDS, M.A.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE ;
CLASSICAL EXAMINERS AT CHRIST'S HOSPITA LONDON.
Of all the extant writings of Cicero, none are perhaps so valuable to the Student as his Letters. They contain a vast fund of information, on a great variety of subjects; and they are written in a style of the most elegant Latinity. The following Selection has been made with reference to both these points. The elucidation of historical events, the illustration of public customs, laws and domestic manners, and the developement of character, have, in each instance, been the guides of the Editor in the choice of these Letters; and he feels quite sure that he is greatly serving the cause of sound education, by pressing upon the constant attention of the student the most diligent perusal of this part of Cicero's works, as a model for Latin prose composition. He is no mean proficient in elegant scholarship, who is able, readily and at once, to express his thoughts in Latin prose. To attain this power, there is no safer way than by gaining a close familiarity with Cicero's Letters.
Though they do not display that freedom of style, nor contain the stirring record, which is found in Cicero, yet there is much in Pliny's Letters to recommend them to the best attention of the student. The same principle, which directed the selection of the first, operated in that of these last Letters; and in the accounts of Pliny the Naturalist, of the writer's country-seats, and in most other instances, there will be found much to instruct and improve the mind, couched in the appropriate and graceful language of an honest and virtuous man.
The Notes will be found, it is believed, useful in themselves, and especially in their tendency to direct the youthful scholar in the kind of inquiries he ought to pursue in his classical reading: and it will be particularly observed, that in Pliny's Letters this principle is borne out to a greater extent;a principle which it is the Editor's intention (should his life and health be spared) to carry into educational works, from the lowest and earliest, to the higher and later course of instruction.
London, June 1836.