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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50

University of New Zealand — French. — Paper a. — Grammar, Translation, and Composition

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University of New Zealand


Paper a.

Grammar, Translation, and Composition.

A. Grammar.

(N.B. Candidates must answer four questions only, and they may select any four in the following list.)

1. Give, and account for, the gender of the following substantives:—aimant, antre, biscuit, cœur, cour, cours, feuille, myrte, pomme, foi, foie, fois, couleur, honneur, image, ouvrage.

2. Correct, and turn into English:—
(a)Les haut montagnes sont couvert de neiges éternel.
(b)Les étoffes bleu sont sujet à pâlir à l'air.
(c)La soie naturel est toujours blanc ou jaune.
(d)Que nos mœurs privé et public soient toujours pur et doux.
(e)Jésus pardonna à deux femmes pécheur et repentant.
(f)Les pyramides égyptien sont des monuments colossal.
(g)J'ai fait une bon récolte; le tien est mauvais.

3. Expound the rules concerning tout (adjective and adverb), and illustrate them by translating

(a)into English:—"nous sommes tous prêts à sortir"—"nous sommes tout prêts à sortir"—"de toute autre manière"—"d'une tout autre manière";
(b)into French:—"your sister was quite frightened"—"the little girl was quite ashamed"—"this lady is quite beautiful and quite affable."
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(a)Conjugate the Indicative pluperfect and Imperative of—acquérir—se rappeler—se souvenir—s'en aller.
(b)Explain the discrepancy between the English verb "to attend" and the French "attendre"; and translate:—(a) attend to me; (b) the Emperor was attended by a brilliant staff; (c) we attend lectures on chemistry; (d) nurses attend the sick in the hospitals; (e) attend to your business.
5. How do you render into French the English auxiliary verbs to have, to be, to get, to do, ought, must, will, should, would in the following sentences:—
(a)Hud you worked better, you would have succeeded.
(b)Had it not been for you, I should have been drowned.
(c)We are to start at noon.
(d)We are to do what we are told.
(e)Get your boots cleaned.
(f)You ought to do your translation.
(g)I must finish my exercise before eleven o'clock.
(h)If you will succeed, you must work.
(i)Do you understand what I mean? I do.
(J)Should my friend come, tell him to wait for me.
(k)You should obey the orders you have received.
6. In how many ways is the English passive construction avoided in French? Translate, as examples:—
(a)We have been told by a friend of yours that you were ill.
(b)We have been forbidden to go out.
(c)This book is sold at all booksellers'.
(d)How is this word pronounced?
(e)It has been reported that the general was killed.
(f)You have been misinformed.
(g)I am nut pleased with this pupil.

B. Translation.

Translate into English:—

Toute ville au moyen âge, et, jusqu'il Louis XII, toute ville de France avait ses lieux d'asile. Ces lieux d'asile, au milieu du déluge de lois pénales et de juridictions barbares qui inondaient la cité, étaient des espèces d'îles qui s'élevaient au-dessus du niveau de la justice humaine. Tout criminel qui y abordait était sauvé. Il y avait dans une banlieue presque autant de lieux d'asile que de lieux patibulaires. C'était l'abus de l'impunité à côté de l'abus des supplices, page 3 deux choses mauvaises qui tâchaient de se corriger l'une par l'autre. Les palais du roi, les hôtels des princes, les églises surtout, avaient droit d'asile. Quelquefois d'une ville tout entière qu'on avait besoin de repeupler on faisait temporairement un lieu de refuge. Louis XI fit Paris asile en 1467.

Une fois le pied dans l'asile, le criminel était sacré; mais il fallait qu'il se gardât d'en sortir: un pas hors du sanctuaire, il retombait dans le flot. La roue, le gibet, l'estrapade faisaient bonne garde à l'entour du lieu de refuge, et guettaient sans cesse leur proie comme les requins autour du vaisseau. On a vu des condamnés qui blanchissaient ainsi dans un cloître, sur l'escalier d'un palais, dans la culture d'une abbaye, sous un porche d'église; de cette façon, l'asile était une prison comme une autre.

Victor Hugo.

C. Composition.

Translate into French:—

.... The great peculiarity of Victor Hugo is that his poetry always transports. No one who cares for poetry at all, and who has mastered the preliminary necessity of acquaintance with the French language and French prosody, can read any of his better works without gradually rising to a condition of enthusiasm in which the possible defects of the matter are altogether lost sight of in the unsurpassed and dazzling excellencc of the manner. This is the special test of poetry, and there is none other. The technical means by which Victor Hugo produces these effects consist in a mastery of varied versification, in an extraordinary command of pictorial language, dealing at once with physical and mental phenomena, and, above all, in a certain irresistible habit of never allowing the iron to grow cold. Stroke follows stroke in the exciting and transporting process in a manner not easily paralleled in other writers.

Other poets are often best exhibited by very short extracts, by jewels five words long. This is not so with Victor Hugo. He has such jewels, but they are not his chief titles to admiration. The ardour and flow, as of molten metal, which characterise him are felt only in the mass, and must be sought there. . . . His unequalled versification is a weapon which he cannot exchange for the less pointed tool of prose without losing much of his power. His defects emerge as his merits subside. But taking him altogether, it may be asserted, without the least fear of contradiction, that Victor Hugo will hold to all posterity the position of the greatest poet and of one of the greatest prose writers of France.

George Saintsbury.