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Most of the things thus far mentioned will be familiar to the student before he leaves his introductory book and begins Caesar. At this point, he takes up sentences more complex, and yet in the main containing no new principles. His teacher can now do him a great service by reading aloud both familiar and new sentences, in such a way as to throw the parts into masses; and by teaching the student to do the same in what he has already read. E.g., in B.G. 1.8, the words “ea legione quam secum habebat” form one idea and should be given without separation; the words “militibusque qui ex provincia convenerant” form another, connected, after a slight pause, with the former group; the sentence qui fines Sequanorum ab Helvetiis dividit should be delivered as a single mass, and in such a manner as to show that it is a piece of parenthetical explanation. In this way, the teacher can make his hearers feel that this longish sentence of five lines, with its verb held up to the last place, is really entirely simple. He should also call attention to the very common pointings-forward to an explanatory sentence, which are effected by pronouns and pronominal adverbs, as, e.g., in id in 1.31.2 (non minus se id contendere) which, as the meaning of contendere tells us, must be explained to us later in a substantive purpose clause; as in hoc in 1.32.4 (respondit hoc esse miseriorem et graviorem fortunam), which must be explained later either by a quo in a sentence containing another comparative, or by a quod-sentence containing a statement of fact; as in haec in 1.40.11(haec sibi esse curae)”, which must be explained by a substantive final clause, or by an infinitive; as in an ita, looking forward to an ut- or si-clause, or an infinitive; etc., etc.

The teacher will all the while know very well what things his class is familiar with, and what it is not familiar with, and will accordingly drop questions upon the former and continue them upon the latter. But up to the very end, there should be stated exercises in translation at hearing, say once a week, with careful questions upon points critical for the apprehension of the meaning; the passages themselves to be committed to memory later. This is the most effective engine of the method, — the surest way of developing and keeping up the habits of watchfulness and of willingness to wait.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.31
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.32
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.40
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.8
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