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FRENCH PROSE COMPOSITION.
A DERVIS, travelling through Tartary, being arrived at the town of Balck, went into the king's palace by mistake, thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. Having looked about 3 for some time, he entered into 4 a long gallery, where he laid down his wallet and spread his carpet, in order to repose himself upon it, after the manner of the Eastern nations. He had not been long in this position, before he was 6 discovered by some of the guards, who asked him what was his business" in that place. The dervis told them he 8 intended to take up his night's lodgingo in that caravansary. The guards let him know, 10 in a very angry manner, 11 that the house he was in 12 was not a caravansary, but the king's palace. It happened 13 that the king himself passed through the gallery during this debate, and, smiling at 14 the mistake of the dervis, asked him how he could possibly be so dull as not 15 to distinguish
1 qui voyageait. The use of a of the preterite fut. The preterite, participle twice in this way, with- in French, implies a beginning and out any conjunction, is inelegant. an end of the fact; the imperfect
2 entra par mégarde dans . . &c., does not. See, besides, p. 38, n.7 qu'il prit pour. This turn, think?
? ce qu'il venait faire. ing it to be,' would not be French; 8 This ellipsis of the conjunction but we might say, correctly enough, that' is not allowed in French. pensant que c'était.
se loger pour la nuit. 3 about,' here, autour de lui. 10 lui firent savoir.
4 il enfila; to avoid an awkward 11 d'un air très en colère. repetition of entra.
12 The ellipsis of the relative proupon it; simply, dessus.- noun is not permitted in French; 'after ;' d.
nor is the preposition to be thus 6 Il n'y avait pas longtemps qu'il placed after the verb. était ... &c., lorsqu'il fut; or, Il 13 Le hasard voulut(with the next n'était pas depuis longtemps .. &c., verb in the subjunct.); or, Le hasard qu'il fut. (Que, in the latter phrase, fit (with the indicat.).— The use of is used elliptically, and rather ele- arriver, here, would not so expligantly, for lorsque.)-The student citly indicate chance. will observe here a difference in the comment il pouvait être assez sot use of the imperfect tense était, and pour ne pas.
a palace from a caravansary. “Sire, give me leave to ask your majesty a question or two. Who were the persons that lodged ? in this house when it was first built ? ” 3 The king replied, “ My ancestors." “ And who,” says the dervis, was the last person who lodged here ?”4 The king replied, "My father.” “And who is it,” says the dervis, “ that lodges here at present ?”. The king told hin that it was he himself.5 “And who,” says the dervis, “ will be here after you?”. The king answered, “ The young prince, my son. Ah, Sire,” said the dervis, house that changes its inhabitants so often, and receives such a perpetual succession? of guests, is not a palace, but a caravansary."—(Addison, Spectator.)
A 8 TURKISH TALE.
We are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars abroad and his tyranny at home, 10 had filled his dominions with 11 ruin and desolation, and half unpeopled the Persian empire. The vizier to 12 this great sultan (whether a humorist or an enthusiast, we are not informed) 14 pretended to have learnt of a certain dervis to understand the language of birds, 15 so that there was not a bird that could open his mouth but 16 the vizier knew what it was he said. 17 As he was one evening with the sultan, on permettez moi de faire d Votre
10 abroad, in this sense, au Majesté,
dehors, or à l'extérieur, or à l'é* Qui (or, Qui est-ce qui) logea. tranger ; 'at home, likewise, au 3 dans les premiers temps ; or, dedans, or à l'intérieur. quand elle était neuve.
11 de; and see page 8, note 1; 4 Et qui ... y a logé en dernier and page 49, note 8. 12 de. lieu ?
13 était-ce un plaisant. que c'était lui-même (p. 86, n. ?). 14 on ne nous le dit point.
qui change si (or, aussi) souvent 15 des oiseaux. The well-known d'habitants. Notice this use of the rule on this must be borne in mind. preposition de, after the verb chan. 16 si bien que pas un d'entre eux ger, with reference to objects of the ne pouvait ouvrir le bec sans que same kind,
(followed by the subjunct.).- We ? et reçoit ainsi une suite per- say la bouche d'un homme (of a pétuelle.
man); la gueule d'un chien, &c. (of 8 See p. 183, n. 1
a dog, &c.); and le bec d'un oiseau 9 On (or L'histoire) nous ap- (of a bird). prend.
17 ce qu'il disait.
their return from hunting, they saw a couple of owls ? upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. “I would fain know,” 2 says the sultan, “wbat those two owls are saying to one another ; 3 listen to their discourse, and give me an account of it.” 4 The vizier approached the tree, pretending 5 to be very attentive to the two owls.6 Upon his return to the sultan : “Sir," 8
says he, “ I have heard part 9 of their conversation, but dare not you what it is.” 11
The sultan would not be satisfied with 12 such an answer, but forced him to repeat, word for word, everything the owls had said. 13 “You must know 14 then," said the vizier, “ that one of these owls has a son and the other a daughter, between whom they are now upon a treaty of marriage.15 The father of the son said 16 to the father of the daughter, in my hearing, 17 ‘Brother, I consent to this marriage, provided you will settle upon your daughter fifty ruined villages for her portion.' 18" To which the father of the daughter replied, 19 • Instead of fifty, I will give her 20 five hundred, if you please. 21
un couple de hiboux. The monsieur corresponds to 'sir,' the French substantive couple is femi- common term of civility. nine when it simply means two of 9 Translate, "a part. the same species, or kind, and near 10 See p. 31, n. ?; and p. 48, n. 12. in place, or considered together ; 11 de quoi il s'agit. but it is masculine when it refers 12 ne voulut pas se contenter de. either to two individuals, male and 13 See p. 1, n. 12, and above, n. 3. female, or to any two beings united 14 Vous saurez (future of savoir). by a common will or sentiment, or 15 et ils sont maintenant en pourany other cause which fits them to parler sur les conditions d'un act in concert. Thus, une couple mariage entre ces derniers. de pommes, d'oeufs (' a couple of 16 Translate, has said.? [disse. apples, of eggs'); and un couple de assez haut pour que je l'entenfripons (ʻa
couple of rogues'). pourvu que vous constituiez en Je voudrais bien savoir.
dot (or, assigniez pour-en-dot) à ce que se disent ces deux hiboux, votre fille cinquante, &c. Always In subordinate sentences, like the observe, as a rule, in French, the present, it is often more elegant to closest connexion of ideas: thur, put the nominative (ces deux hi- constituiez cinquante, &c. en dot d boux) after the verb (se disent). votre fille, would not be a good
4 rends-m'en compte. - listen ;' French construction. use the second person singular. 19 Translate, ‘has replied.'
5 en feignant de ; or, en faisant 20 See page 158, note 10. semblant (or, mine) de.
21 si cela vous fait (or, peut vous 6 Translate, to the words (page faire) plaisir; or, si vous le voulez, 28, note 3) of the two owls.' -S'il vous plaît would correspond
7 Simply, Revenu près du. to 'if you please,' if used as a com8 Sire (speaking to a sovereign); mon term of civil request.
God grant a long life to Sultan 1 Mahmoud; whilst he reigns over us we shall never want? ruined villages.'
The story says, the sultan was so touched with the fable that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been destroyed, and from that time forward consulted the good of his people.—(ADDISON, Spectator.)
TIT FOR TAT.4 A FRIEND of Dean 5 Swift one day sent him a turbot, as a present, 6 by a servant who had frequently been on similar errands, but who had never received the most trifling mark of the dean's generosity. Having gained admission, he opened the door of the study, and, abruptly putting down' the fish, cried very rudely, “ Master has sent you a turbot.” “ Young man,” said the dean, rising from his easy chair, 11 “is that the way you deliver your message ? 12 Let me teach
13 sit down in my chair, we will change situations, 14 and I will show you to behave in future.” The boy sat down; and the dean, going to the door, came up to 16 the table with a respectful pace, and making a low 17 bow, said, “Sir, my master presents his kind compliments, 18 hopes you are well,19 and requests your acceptance of 20 a small present."
“ Does -he?" 21 replied the boy ; “return him my best thanks,22 au sultan. Nouns of title or, : ..
que tu fais ta commission)? (such as 'Sultan,' King,''Queen,' 13 Laisse-moi te donner une leçon
Doctor,'' Dean,', 'Colonel,' Cap- de politesse (or, de savoir-vivre). tain,' &c.), used before proper 14 situations ;' use rôle (singunames, are preceded, in French, lar), and see page 2, note 6; and by the definite article.
page 132, note 18. nous ne manquerons jamais de. 15 comment il faut. 3 On dit; and see p. 1, n. 8.
s'avança vers.—' with ;'de. 4 A bon chat, bon rat.
profond. 15 See above, note l.
vous présente (or, vous fait) ses O as a present; en présent (or, compliments affectueux. en cadeau-familiar).
que vous vous portez bien; or, 7 fait de semblables commissions. more politely, que vous êtes en bonne 8 Après qu'on l'eut fait entrer. santé.
déposant ; and see p. 19, n. 5. 20 et vous prie d'accepter (or, more 10 Monsieur (or, Mon maître) vous politely still, de vouloir bien acenvoie.
son fauteuil cepter . 'your kind acceptance 12 est-ce ainsi que tu t'acquittes de of').
21 Vraiment ! ton message (or, de la commission- 22 remercie-le bien de ma part.
16 17 18
and there's half-a-crown for yourself.”I The dean, thus drawn into 2 an act of generosity, laughed heartily, and gave the boy a crown for his wit.—(* * *)
RABELAIS A TRAITOR.3
This celebrated wit 4 was once at a great distance from Paris, and without money to bear his expenses 5 thither. The ingenious author being thus sharp set,o got together? a convenient quantity of brickdust, and having disposed of it into several papers,8 wrote upon one, Poison for Monsieur; 9 upon a second, Poison for the Dauphin ; 10 and on a third, Poison for the King. Having made this provision for 11 the royal family of France, he laid his papers so that the landlord, who was an inquisitive man and a good 12 subject, might get a sight of them.13 The plot succeeded · as he desired ; 14 the host gave immediate intelligence to 15
i et voilà une demi-couronne which was afterwards transferred pour toi. The adjective demi is to the eldest son of every French invariable when placed before the king, from the time of the annexasubstantive, but agrees with it in tion of that province to the crown gender when after, as une couronne until the first Revolution, in 1789. et demie ('a crown and a half'). 11 Après avoir ainsi pourvu à la 2 entraîné à.
fidèle. 3 coupable de haute trahison. 13 pât les voir. The subjunctive
4 Rabelais, si célèbre par son (the mood which expresses doubt, esprit. See p. 90, end of note 6. among other things) is here used, ‘5 Translate,
to pay his ex- instead of the indicative (pât inpenses.'—'thither,' jusque-là. stead of put), because an intention
en étant donc aux expédients; only—implying a doubt as to the or, étant donc réduit à sa dernière result-and not a positive fact, is ressource; or, étant donc presque à stated. bout de ressources (or, à bout de voie); 14 comme il le désirait/The proor, ne sachant donc plus de quel bois noun le (“it'), which is used in faire flèche.-In the more usual French in such cases as this, carsense of, 'to be famished, “to be ries back the mind to the fact mensbarp set' is, avoir les dents longues. tioned before, namely, here, that 7 ramassa.
it' (the plot) should succeed. It en plusieurs petits paquets dans also corresponds to 'so,' or to any du papier.—'wrote,' see p. 23, n.6. other resuming expression, either
9 Monsieur, used absolutely, was expressed or understood, in Engsaid of the eldest of the brothers of lish.--Yet this pronoun may be the king of France.
left out after the adverbs of com10 Dauphin was the title origin- parison plus, moins, comme, and ally
borne by princes of the province after si, &c. of France called Dauphiné, and 15 avertit immédiatement.