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Full text of "An American dictionary of the English language: intended to exhibit, I. The origin, affinities and primary signification of English words, as far as they have been ascertained. II. The genuine orthography and pronunciation of words, according to general usage, or to just principles of analogy. III. Accurate and discriminating definitions, with numerous authorities and illustrations. To which are prefixed, an introductory dissertation on the origin, history and connection of the languages of Western Asia and of Europe, and a concise grammar of the English language"

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OF THE * ^ * 



I. The origin, affinities and primary signification of English words, as far as they have been ascertained. 
11. The genuine orthography and pronunciation of words, according to general usage, or to just principles of ANAL80V. 
III. Accurate and discriminating definitions, with numerous authorities and illustrations. 









VOL. 1. 

He that wishes to be counted among the benefactors of posterity, must add, by his own toil, to the acquisitioDs of his ancestors Rambler. 




I" ^ Beit remembered, That on the fourteenth day of April, in the fifty-second year of tlie Independence of the United States of America, 
Mu» (S» Noah Webster, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words 

following, to wit : 
** An American Dictionary of the English Language ; intended to exhibit, I. The origin, affinities, and primary signification of English words, as far 
as they have been ascertained. II. The genuine orthography and pronunciation of words, according to general usage, or to just principles of analogy. 
III. Accurate and discriminating definitions, with numerous authorities and illustrations. To which are prefixed, an inti'oductory dissertation on the ori- 
gin, history and connection of the languages of Western Asia and of Europe, and a concise grammar of the English language. By Noah Webster, LL. D. 
In two volumes." 

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts 
and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." — And also to the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to 
an act, entitled ' An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies 
during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints." 

CHAS. A. INGERSOLL, Clerk of the District of Connecticut. 
A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me, 

CHAS. A. INGERSOLL, Clerk of the District of Connecticut. 
April 14th, 1828. 



In the year 1783, just at the close of the revolution, I published an elementary book for facilitating the acquisition 
of our vernacular tongue, and for correcting a vicious pronunciation, which prevailed extensively among the common 
people of this country. Soon after the publication of that work, I believe in the following year, that learned and 
respectable scholar, the Rev. Dr. Goodrich of Durham, one of the trustees of Yale College, suggested to me, the 
propriety and expediency of my compiling a dictionary, which should complete a system for the instruction of the 
citizens of this country in the language. At that time, I could not indulge the thought, much less the hope, of 
undertaking such a work ; as I was neither qualified by research, nor had I the means of support, during the execution 
of the work, had I been disposed to undertake it. For many years therefore, though I considered such a work as 
very desirable, yet it appeared to me impracticable ; as I was under the necessity of devoting my time to other 
occupations for obtaining subsistence. 

About twenty seven years ago, I began to think of attempting the compilation of a Dictionary. I was induced to 
this undertaking, not more by the suggestion of friends, than by my own experience of the want of such a work, while 
reading modern books of science. In this pursuit, I found almost insuperable difficulties, from the want of a 
dictionary, for explaining many new words, which recent discoveries in the physical sciences had introduced into use. 
To remedy this defect in part, I published my Compendious Dictionary in 1806; and soon after made preparations 
for undertaking a larger work. 

My original design did not extend to an investigation of the origin and progress of our language ; much less of 
other languages. I limited my views to the correcting of certain errors in the best English Dictionaries, and to the 
supplying of words in which they are deficient. But after writing through two letters of the alphabet, I determined 
to change my plan. I found myself embarrassed, at every step, for want of a knowledge of the origin of words, 
which Johnson, Bailey, .Tnnius, Skinner and some other authors do not afford the means of obtaining. Then laying 
aside my manuscripts, and all books treating of language, except lexicons and dictionaries, I endeavored, by a diligent 
comparison of words, having the same or cognate radical letters, in about twenty languages, to obtain a more correct 
knowledge of the primary sense of original words, of the affinities between the English and many other languages, 
and thus to enable myself to trace words to their source. 

I had not pursued this course more than three or four years, before I discovered that I had to unlearn a great deal 
that I had spent years in learning, and that it was necessary for me to go back to the first rudiments of a branch of 
erudition, which I had before cultivated, as I had supposed, with success. 

I spent ten years in this comparison of radical words, and in forming a synopsis of the principal words in twenty 
languages, arranged in classes, under their primary elements or letters. The result has been to open what are to 
me new views of language, and to unfold what appear to be the genuine principles on which these languages are 

After completing this synopsis, I proceeded to correct what 1 had written of the Dictionary, and to complete the 
remaining part of the work. But before I had finished it, I determined on a voyage to Europe, with the view of 
obtaining some books and some assistance which I wanted ; of learning the real state of the pronunciation of our 
language in England, as well as the general state of philology in that country ; and of attempting to bring about some 
agreement or coincidence of opinions, in regard to unsettled points in pronunciation and grammatical construction. 
In some of these objects I failed ; in others, my designs were answered. 

It is not only important, but, in a degree necessary, that the people of this country, should have an American 
Dictionary of the English Language ; for, although the body of the language is the same as in England, and it is 
desirable to perpetuate that sameness, yet some differences must exist. Language is the expression of ideas ; and if 
the people of one country cannot preserve an identity of ideas, they cannot retain an identity of language. Now an 


identity of ideas depends materially updn a sameness of things or objects witii which the people of the two count) ies 
are conversant. But in no two portions of the earth, remote from each other, can such identity be found. Even 
physical objects must be different. But the principal differences between the people of this country and of all others, 
arise from different forms of government, different laws, institutions and customs. Thus the practice of hawking and 
hunting, the institution of heraldry, and the feudal system of England originated terms which formed, and some of 
which now form, a necessary part of the language of that country ; but, in the United States, many of these terms are 
no part of our present language, — and they cannot be, for the things which they express do not exist in this country. 
They can be known to us only as obsolete or as foreign words. On the other hand, the institutions in this country 
which are new and peculiar, give rise to new terms or to new applications of old terms, unknown to the people of 
England ; which cannot be explained by them and which will not be inserted in their dictionaries, unless copied from 
ours. Thus the terms, laiid-office; land-warrant; locution of land; consociation of churches ; regent of a university; 
intendant of a city ; plantation, selectmen, senate, congress, court, assembly, escheat, &c. are either words not 
belonging to the language of England, or they are applied to things in this country which do not exist in that. No 
person in this country will be satisfied with the English definitions of the words congress, senate and assembly, court, 
&c. for although these are words used in England, yet they are applied in this country to express ideas which they 
do not express in that country. With our present constitutions of government, escheat can never have its feudal 
sense in the United States. 

But this is not all. In many cases, the nature of our governments, and of our civil institutions, requires an 
appropriate language in the definition of words, even when the words express the same thing, as in England. Thus 
the English Dictionaries inform us that a Justice is one deputed by the King to do right by way of judgment — he is a 
Lord by his office — Justices of the peace are appointed by the King's commission — language which is inaccurate in 
respect to this officer in the United States. So constitutionally is defined by Todd or Chalmers, legally, but in this 
country the distinction between constitution and law requires a different definition. In the United States, a plantation 
is a very different thing from what it is in England. The word marshal, in this country, has one important application 
unknown in England or in Europe. 

A great number of words in our language require to be defined in a phraseology accommodated to the condition 
and institutions of the people in these states, and the people of England must look to an American Dictionary for a 
correct understanding of such terms. 

The necessity therefore of a Dictionary suited to the people of the United States is obvious ; and I should suppose 
that this fact being admitted, there could be no difference of opinion as to the time, when such a work ought to be 
substituted for English Dictionaries. 

There are many other considerations of a public nature, which serve to justify this attempt to furnish an Americani 
Work which shall be a guide to the youth of the United States. Most of these are too obvious to require illustration. 

One consideration however which is dictated by my own feelings, but which I tiust will meet with approbation in 
correspondent feelings in my fellow citizens, ought not to be passed in silence. It is this. " The chief glory of a 
nation," says Dr. Johnson, " arises from its authors." With this opmion deeply impressed on my mind, I have the 
same ambition which actuated that great man when he expressed a wish to give celebrity to Bacon, to Hooker, to 
Milton and to Boyle. 

I do not indeed expect to add celebrity to the names of Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jay, Madison, Marshall, 
Ramsay, Dwight, Smith, Trumbull, Hamilton, Belknap, Ames, Mason, Kent, Hare, SilUman, Cleaveland, Walsh, 
Irving, and many other Americans distinguished by their writings or by their science ; but it is with pride and 
satisfaction, that I can place them, as authorities, on the same page with those of Boyle, Hooker, Milton, Dryden, 
iddison, Ray, Milner, Cowpcr, Davy, Thomson and Jameson. 

A life devoted to reading and to an investigation of the origin and principles of our vernacular language, and 
especially a particular examination of the best English writers, with a view to a comparison of their style and 
phraseology, with those of the best American writers, and with our colloquial usage, enables me to affirm with 
confidence, that the genuine English idiom is as well preserved by the unmixed English of this country, as it is by 
the best English writers. Examples to prove this fact will be found in the Introduction to this work. It is true, that 
many of our writers have neglected to cultivate taste, and the embellishments of style ; but even these have written 
the language in its genuine idiom. In this respect, Franklin and Washington, whose language is their hereditary 
mother tongue, unsophisticated by modern grammar, present as pure models of genuine English, as Addison or 


Swift. But I may go farther, and affirm, with truth, that our country lias produced some of the best models of 
composition. The style of President Smith ; of the authors of the Federalist ; of Mr. Ames; of Dr. Mason ; of Mr. 
Harper; of Chancellor Kent; [ihe prose] of Mr. Barlow; of the legal decisions of the Supreme Court of the United 
States ; of the reports of legal decisions in some of the particular states ; and many other writings ; in purity, in 
elegance and in technical precision, is equaled only by that of the best British authors, and surpassed by that of no 
English compositions of a similar kind. 

The United States commenced their existence under circumstances wholly novel and unexampled in the history of 
nations. They commenced with civilization, with learning, with science, with constitutions of free government, and 
with that best gift of God to man, the christian religion. Their population is now equal to that of England; in arts 
and sciences, our citizens are very little behind the most enlightened people on earth ; in some respects, they have no 
superiors ; and our language, within two centuries, will be spoken by more people in this country, than any other 
language on eartii, except the Chinese, in Asia, and even that may not be an exception. 

It has been my aim in this work, now offered to my fellow citizens, to ascertain the true principles of the language, 
in its orthography and structure ; to piuify it from some palpable errors, and reduce the number of its anomalies, thus 
giving it more regularity and consistency in its forms, both of words and sentences ; and in this manner, to fuftiish a 
standard of our vernacular tongue, which we shall not be ashamed to bequeath to three hiindrccl miUions of people, 
who are destined to occupy, and I hope, to adorn the vast territory within our jurisdiction. 

If the language can be improved in regularity, so as to be more easily acquired by our own citizens, and by foreigners, 
and thus be rendered a more useful instrument for the propagation of science, arts, civilization and Christianity ; if it 
can be rescued from the mischievous influence of sciolists and that dabbling spirit of innovation which is perpetually 
disturbing its settled usages and filling it with anomalies ; if, in short, our vernacular language can be redeemed from 
corruptions, and our philology and literature from degradation ; it would be a source of great satisfaction to me to 
be one among the instruments of promoting these valuable objects. If this object cannot be effected, and my wishes 
and hopes are to be frustrated, my labor will be lost, and this work must sink into oblivion. 

This Dictionary, like all others of the kind, must be left, in some degree, imperfect ; for what individual is competent 
to trace to their source, and define in all their various applications, popular, scientific and technical, sixty or seventy 
thousand words ! It satisfies my mind that I have done all that my health, my talents and my pecuniary means would 
enable me to accomplish. I present it to my fellow citizens, not with frigid indifference, but with my ardent wishes 
for their improvement and their happiness ; and for the continued increase of the wealth, the learning, the moral and 
religious elevation of character, and the glory of my country. 

To that great and benevolent Being, who, during the preparation of this work, has sustained a feeble constitution, 
amidst obstacles and toils, disappointments, infirmities and depression; who has twice borne me and my manuscripts 
in safety across the Atlantic, and given me strength and resolution to bring the work to a close, I would present the 
tribute of my most grateful acknowledgments. And if the talent which he entrusted to my care, has not been put to 
the most profitable use in his service, I hope it has not been " kept laid up in a napkin," and that any misapplication 
of it may be graciously forgiven. 

New Haven, n2Z. - N.WEBSTER. 



Language or Speech is the utterance of jrticulate sounds or 

(leied signitic 
According I 


for tlie expression and communication of 

this definition, language belongs exchisively to intellectual 
and intelligent beings, and among terrestrial beings, to man only ; for no 
animal on earth, except man, can pronounce words. Thci word /angua^e 
is sometimes usic I in ,i luon icmjiihi hiii-i\c ^in-,-, .m.l .i|.|)li. il in ili.- sounds 
by which ;Miiin.)N rvpir^- iL. n i. clin^. u, ,iii,riini,^, ,1^ (o the 

neighing of tin- Ihm ^r. Ihr !..» iri^; III til,- .i\ , llir I. ,11 klliu C.I llir ih.u, .Hid to 

the cackling and rlriiiMui; lil i.iw I . , Im ih.- s,,un.l- nil. i. .1 \'\ iln -. ;iiiinials 
are perfectly understood by the respective species, So also language is 
figuratively applied to the signs by which deaf and dumb persons manifest 
their ideas ; for these are instruments of communicating thoughts. 

But language, in its proper sense, as the medium of intercourse between 
men, or rational beings, endowed with the faculty of uttering articulate 
sounds, is the subject now to be considered. 

Written language is the representation of signiticant sounds by letters, 
or characters, single or combined in words, arranged in due order, accord- 
ing to usage. 


We read, in the Scriptures, that God, when he had created man, "Bles- 
sed them and said to them. Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth 
and subdue it ; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, &c." God after- 
wards planted a garden, and placed in it the man he had made, with a com- 
mand to keep it, and to dress it ; and he gave him a rule of moral conduct, 
in permitting him to eat the fruit of every tree in the garden, except one, 
the eating of which was prohibited. We further read, that God brought 
Adam the fowls and beasts he had made, and that Adam gave them names; 
and that when his female companion was made, he gave her a name. Af- 
ter the eating of the forbidden fruit, it is stated that God addressed Adam 
and Eve, reproving them for their disobedience, and pronouncing the penal 
ties, which they had incurred. In the account of these transactions, it i 
further related that Adam and Eve both replied to their Maker, and excused 
their disobedience. 

If we admit what is the literal and obvious interpretation of this narrative, 
that vocal sounds or words were used in these communications betiveen God 
and the progenitors of the human race, it results that Adam was not only 
dowed with intellect for understanding his Maker, or the signification of 
words, but was furnished both with the faculty of speech, and with speech 
itself, or the knowledge and use of words, as signs of ideas, and this hefor< 
the formation of the woman. Hence we may infer that language was be 
stowed on Adam, in the same manner as all his other faculties and knowl 
edge, by supernatural power; or in other words, was of divine origin ; for 
supposing Adam to have had all the intellectual powers of any adult individ 
ual of the species, who has since lived, wc cannot admit as probable, or evei 
possible, that he should have invented and constructed even a barren Ian 
guage, as soon as he was created, without supernatural aid. It may even 
be doubted, whether without such aid, men would ever have learnt the 
of the organs of speech, so far as to form a language. At any rate, the 
vention of words, and the- construction of a language must have been by a 
slow process, and niu^t have required a much longer time, than that which 
passed betK'een the creation of Adam and of Eve. It is therefore probable 
that language as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of 
God. We are not however to suppose tl>e language of our first parents 
paradise to have been copious, like most modern languages; or the identical 
language they used, to be now in existence. Many of the primitive radical 
words may and probably do exist in various languages ; but observation 
teaches that languages must improve and undergo great changes as knowl- 

and be subject to continual alterations, from other causes^- 
aeni lo men m society. 

A brief account of the origin and progress of the principal languages, 
ancient and modern, that have been spoken by nations between the Ganges 
and the Atlantic ocean. 

We learn from the Scriptures that Noah, who, with his family, was pre- 
served from destruction by the deluge, for the purpose of re-peopling 
the earth, had three .sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. This fact, a little ob- 
scured by tradition, was retained by our rude German ancestors, to the age 
of Tacitus.* 

Japheth was the eldestson ; but Shem, the ancestor of the Israehtcs, and 

the writers of the Scriptures, is named first in order. 

The descendants of Shem and Hani peopled all the great plain, situated 

north and west of the Persian Gull, between that Gulf and the Indian ocean 

1 the east and the Arabic Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea on the west, 

ith the northern coast of Africa ; comprehending Assyria, Babylonia or 
Chaldea, Syria, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt, and Lybia. The principal lan- 
guages or dialects used by these descendants, are known to us under the 
names of Chaldee, or Chaldaic, which is called also Aramean, Syriac, He- 
brew, Arabic, Ethiopic, Samaritan and Coptic. Of these, the Chaldee, and 
Hebrew are no longer living languages, but they have come down to us in 
books ; the Samaritan is probably extinct or lost in the modern languages of 
the country, but the language survives in a copy of the Pentateuch ; the 
Coptic is nearly or quite extinct, and little of it remains ; the Syriac, Arabic 
and Ethiopic are yet living languages, but they have suffered and are con- 
tinually suffering alterations, from which no living language is exempt. 

These languages, except the Coptic, being used by the descendants of 
Shem, I call Shemitie, or Assyrian, in distinction from the Japhetic. As 
the descendants of Japheth peopled Asia Minor, the northern parts of Asia, 
about the Euxine and Caspian, and all Europe, their languages, have, in the 
long period that has elapsed since their dispersion, become very numerous. 

All languages having sprung from one source, the original words from 
which they have been formed, must have been of equal antiquity. That 
the Celtic and Teutonic languages in Europe are, in this sense, as old as the 
Chaldee and Hebrew, is a fact not only warranted by history and the com- 
mon origin of Japheth and Shem, but susceptible of proof from the identity 
of many words yet existing, in both stocks. But there is a marked differ- 
ence between the Shemitie and Japhetic languages ; for even when the ra- 
dical words are unquestionably the same, the modifications, or inilections 
nd combinations which form the compounds are, for the most part, different. 

As it has been made a question which of the Shemitie languages is the 
most ancient, and much has been written to prove it to be the Hebrew, I 
will state briefly my opinion on what appears to me to be one of the plainest 
questions in the history of nations. We have for our certain guides, in de- 
termining this question — 1st. The historical narrative of facts in the book of 
Genesis, and 2d. The known and uniform progress of languages, within the 
iod of authentic profane history. 

.. The Scripture informs us that, before the dispersion, the whole earth 
s of one language and of one oi- the same speech ; and that the descend- 
ants of Noah journeyed from the east, and settled on the plain of Shinar, 
Chahlea. The language used at that time, by the inhabitants of that 

* Celebrant, carminibus antiquis, Tuistonem deum terr4 editum, et filium 
Mannum,originem gentis conditoresque. Manno tres filios assignant. — De 
Mor. Germ. 2. 

In ancient songs they celebrate Tuisto, a god sprung from the earth, and 
his son Mannus [Man], the origin and founders of their nation. To Man- 
nus they assign three sons. 

Noah is here called Man. 


iisf-qucnce of tlie impious attempts 
\\ liose top might reach to heaven, 
.ind prevent their dispersion, God 
- 1 that they could not understand 
icy were dispersed '■ from thence 

plain, must then have been the oldsst or tl 
This must have been tlie original CI 

2. The Scriptxire inform- ns ilm 
of the people to build ;i i ^ 
with a view to make tin i, . > 
interposed and confoundc 'I i!.. r (■■lu 
each other; in .,1 \v li 
over the vace of a'l tin; an.tli." 

3. If the confusion of languages at Babel originated the differences which 
gave rise to the various languages of the families which separated at the 
dispersion, then those several languages are all of equal antiquity. Of these 
the Hebrew, as a distinct language, was not one; for the Hebrew nation 
was of posterior origin. 

4. All the words of the several great races of men, both in Asia and Eu- 
rope, which are vernacular in their several languages, and unequivocally 
the same, are of equal antiquity, as they must have been derived from the 
common Chaldee stock which existed before the dispersion. The words 
common to the Syrians and Hebrews, could not have been borrowed from 
the Hebrew, for the Hebrews originated from Heber and Abram, several 
centuries after Syria and Egypt were populous countries. This fact is at- 
tested by the Scripture history, which declares that when Abram migrated 
from Chaldea, and came into Canaan or Palestine, "The Canaanite 
then in the land ;" and when he returned from Egypt, " the Perizzite dwelt 
in the land." These declarations, and the history of Abimelceh, and of thi 
war of four kings or chieftains with five ; as also of the cities of Sodom and 
Gomorrah, prove Syria to have been, at that time, well-peopled. The Ian 
guage of the inhabitants then must have been coeval with the nation, and 
long anterior to the Hebrew as a distinct dialect. It may be added that in 
the early periods of the woi-ld, when no books existed, nations, living 
mote or distinct, never borrowed words from each other. One nation, living 
in the midst of another, as the Hebrews did among the Egyptians, may adopt 
a single word, or a few words; but a family of words thus adopted is 
occurrence rarely or never known. The borrowing of words, in modern 
times, is almost wholly from the use of books. 

5. It is probable that some dift'erenccs of language were produced by the 
confusion; but neither that event nor any supernatural event is necessary 
to account for the differences of dialect or of languages, now existing. The 
different modern languages of the Gothic or Teutonic stock, all originated 
in the natural course of events; and the differences are as great between 
them as they are between the languages of the Shemitic stock 

6. Soon after two races of men of a common stock have separated and 
placed themselves in distant countries, the language of each begins to di 
Terge from that of the other, by various means. — 1. One tribe or nation 
will suffer one word to become obsolete and be forgotten ; another, will suffe 
the loss of another ; sometimes a whole family of words will be lost ; at other 
times, a part only ; at other times, a single word only of a numerous family 
will be retained by one nation, while another nation will retain the whole 
2. The same word will be differently applied by two distant races of men 
and the difterence will be so great as to obscure the original afiBnity. 3 
Words will be compounded by two nations in a different manner, the same 
radical words taking a different prefix or suffix, in different languages. Th 
wisdom in English is in German weisheit, [wisehead, wisehood] from wit 
wets. In EngMsh misi ead is in Banish fbrleder, (mm lead, leder. 4. The 
pronunciation and orthography of words will often be so much changed, 
that the same word in two languages, cannot without difficulty, be recogniz 
ed as identical. No person, without a considerable attention to the changes 
which letters have suffered, would at once suspect or believe the English 
let and the French laisser to be the same word. 

7. As Abram migrated from Chaldea, he must have spoken the Chaldee 
language, and probably, at that time, the Syriac, Arabic and Egyptian, had 
not become so different, as to render it impracticable for him to converse with 
the inhabitants of Palestine and Egypt. But the language of Abram's 
scendants, and that of the land of Stiinar or the Chaldee must, in the natural 
course of things, have begun to diverge, soon after the separation ; and th 
changes in each language being different, would, in the course of a few 
centuries, form somewhat different languages. So in the days of Hezekiah 
the Syriac and Hebrew had become, in a degree, distinct languagei 
Kings xviii. In which of these languages, the greatest number of alterations 
were produced, we do not know ; but from the general observations I have 
made, in my researches, it appears that the Chaldee dialect, in the use of 
dental letters instead of sibilants, is much the most general in the Celtic and 
Teutonic languages of Europe. Thus the German only has a sibilant in 
wasser, when the other Teutonic languages have a dental, water. I think 
also that there are far more words in the European languages which accord 
with the Chaldee or Arabic, than there are words which accord with the He- 
brew. If this observation is well-founded, the Hebrew must have suffered 
the loss of more primitive words than the other languages of the Shemitic 
family. This however is tiue, that all of them have lost some words, and 
in some cases, the Hebrew retains what the others have lost, 

8. The Hebrew Scriptures are, by many centuries, the most ancient 
writings extant. Hence probably the strange inference, that the Hebrew 
is the oldest language; as if the inhabitants of Chaldea and Syria had had 
no language, for ages before the progenitor of the Hebrews was bor 

9. The vernacular words in the Celtic and Teutonic languages of modern 
Europe, which are evidently the same words as still exist in the Shemitic 
languages, are of the same antiquity ; being a part of the common language 
which was used on the plain of Shinar, before the dispersion. 
The descendants of Japheth peopled the northern part of Asia, and all Eu- 
pe ; or if some colonies from Egypt planted themselves in Greece, at an ear- 
ly period, they or their descendants must have been merged in the mass of 
Japhetic population. Certain it is that the Greek language is chieHy form- 
ed on the same radical words, as the Celtic and Teutonic languages. 

The Japhetic tribes of men, whose descendants peopled the south and 
west of Europe, were first established in the country now called Persia, or 
by the natives themselves, Iran. Of this fact, the evidence now existing is 
decisive. The numerous words found in the Greek, Latin, Gaelic, English 
and the kindred tongues, which are still used in Persia, prove, beyond all 
question, that Persia must have been the residence of the people whose de- 
scendants introduced into Europe the languages from which the modern 
languages are derived. The fact proves further that a great body of the 
original Persians remained in their own country, and their descendants con- 
stitute the mass of the population at this day. 

In the early stages of society, men dwelt or migrated in families, tribes or 
clans. The family of Abraham and Jacob in Asia, and the clans of the Gaels 
Scotland, exhibit to us the manner in which societies and nations were 
originally formed. The descendants of a man settled around him, and form- 
ed a elan, or tribe, of which the government was patriarchal. Such families 
often migrated in a body, and often the personal characteristics of the pro- 
genitor might be distinctly traced in his descendants for- many generations. 
In process of time, some of these families became nations ; more generally, 
by means of wars and migrations, different tribes became blended, and the 
distinction of families was lost. 

In rude ages, the families or tribes of men are named from some character- 
tic of the people ; or more generally, from the place of their residence. 
The Greeks gave the name of Seythia to the north of Europe and Asia, but 
the primitive inhabitants of the west of Europe, they called KtXroi, Kelts, 
Celts, a word signifying woods men* These were descendants from the 
same ancestors as the Greeks and Romans themselves, but they had pushed 
their migrations into Gaul, Spain .ind Britain. The first settlers or occupi- 
ers of these countries were driven forward by successive hords, until they 
were checked by the ocean ; there they made their stand, and there we 
find their descendants at this day. These may be considered as the de- 
scendants of the earliest settlers, or first inhabitants of the countries where 
they are found. Among these are the inhabitants of France, south of the 
Garonne, and those of me north of Spain, called by the Romans Aquitani 
and Cantabri, in more modern times Gascoigns, Basques, and Cantabrians, 
who still retain their native language ; and in Great Britain, the Gaels in 
Scotland, and the natives of the north and west of Ireland, who also retain 
their primitive language.! 

The first inhabitants of the north and west of Europe, known to the Greeks 
and Romans, to whom we are indebted for our earliest accounts of that re- 
gion, were the Cimbri, who inhabited the peninsula of Denmark, now called 
Jutland, and the tribes which belonged to the Teutonic and Gothic races, 
which were established in Germany and on both sides of the Baltic. Wheth- 
er tribes of Celtic origin had overspread the latter countries, before the arri- 
val of the Gothic and" Teutonic races, and all Europe had been inhabited by 

* Welsh celt, a cover, or shelter, a Celt; celtiad, an inhabitant of the co- 
ert or wood ; celu, to conceal, Lat. eelo. In Gaelic the word is coilt or 
eeilt. The Celts were originally a tribe or nation inhabiting the north of 
Italy, or the still more northern territory. 

t I purposely omit all consideration of the different families, tribes or na- 
tions which first peopled Greece and Italy. In Greece, we read of the 
rpawc. or rpoi*o(, the Hellenes, the Acha;ans, the Dorians, the ./Eolians, 
the lonians, the Pelasgi, &c. In Italy, of the Illyrians, the Liburni, the 
SicuU, the Veneti or Heneti, the Iberi, Ligures, Sicani, Etrusci, Insubres, 
Sabini, Latini, Samnites, and many others. "But as these nations or their de- 
scendants gave the name of Celts to the Umbri, or nations that dwelt in 
the north, in the less cutivated parts of Europe, and to the inhabitants of 
Gaul ; and as all the tiibes, under whatever denomination they were known, 
branches of the great Japhetic stock, I shall call them by that gene- 
ral name, Celts ; and under the general name of Goths or Teutons, shall 
comprehend the various tribes that inhabited the north of Germany, and the 
country north of the Baltic or Scandinavia. 

A late writer seems to consider the Teutonic races, as the only ancestors 
of the Greeks and Romans. But from Celtic words, still found in the Greek 
and Latin ; words not belonging to any of the Gothic or Teutonic languages ; 
demonstrably certain that the primitive settlers in Greece and Italy, 
belonged to the Celtic races. Thus the Greek iifxixtav, Lat. Irachium, the 
arm, is formed on the Gaelic braigh, raigh, W. brau;, a word not found 
among the Teutonic nations. So the Welsh mociaw, to mock, is found in the 
Greek fiaxiM, and French moquer, to mock, and Ir. mogadh, a mocking ; but 
not in any of the Gothic or Teutonic languages. Many similar facts prove 
that the Celtic races were among the earliest inhabitants of Greece. 


the Celts, even to the horders of Savmalia, has been a question much disputed 
by historians and antiquaries. The German and French writers generally 
contend that the Celts inhabited all the north of Europe, as far at least as 
Sarmalia; but some respectable English writers are ot a different opinion. 
Now it is agreed that the Welsh are descendants of the Cimbri, inhabitants 
of Jutland, and their language bears a strong affinity to the Celtic languages, 
which still exist; a fact that countenances the opinion of the German and 
Trench writers. But the dispute is of little moment ; the Celtic, Teutonic 
and Gothic races being all of the Japhetic stock, migrating from Asia 
through Asia Minor at different times, and pursuing different courses west- 
ward. The first tribes probably .sought the warm climates along the north 
coast of the Mediterranean, and established themselves in Greece and Italy. 
Others followed the course of the Danube and its subsidiary streams, till 
they fell upon the rivers that conducted them to the Baltic. The first in- 
habitants of Greece and Italy were probably of the Celtic race ; but if they 
were, it is very evident that tribes of the teutonic or Gothic races invaded 
those countries before they were civilized, and intermingled witli the ori- 
ginal inhabitants. The Pelasgi may have been among the number. This 
is an inference which I draw from the affinities of the Greek and Latin Ian 
guages, with those of Teutonic origin. The Teutonic and Gothic races im- 
pressed their language upon all the continent of Europe west of the Vistula 
and from that river to the Rhine, or rather to the Seine, anterior to the con- 
quest of Gaul by Julius Cesar. The same races invading and conquering 
the south of Europe, in the fourth and fifth century, on the downfall of the 
Uoman eriipiri-, iiilu-iml a portion of their language into the Italian and Span 
ish, ,s ,,11,1, -„,.4-„ishal)le. 

Tin- Mir . ,,, ■- I . .1 ,. including Poland and Russiia, was probably peo- 
pled m in "I nicn who passed into Europe by the country north 
of till- i:,,\ ,1 I J 1, (iiiginal residence was along the rivers Kur and 
Araxes. oi- on llie mountains between the Euxine and Caspian. The name 
of the Rtiss or Russians is clearly recognized in the Roxolani of Pliny and 
Ptolemy, and possibly the ancestors of this race may have entered Europe by 
Asia Minor. That the Teutonic races, originally from Persia, inhabited Asia 
Minor, and migrated westward by that course, is evident from the names 
which they impressed on mountains, rivers and places — Such are the Cra- 
friis of Pliny, the Welsh and English crag ;* Perga in Pamphylia, now 
hurg or bergen ; Thymbreck, the name of a small stream, near the site of 
Troy ; a word in which we recognize the English brook. It was contract 
ed by the Greeks into ThymbriusA 

It is admitted by all gentlemen, acquainted with oriental literature, that 
the Sanscrit, or ancient language of India, the parent of all the dialects of 
that great peninsula, is radically the same language or from the same stock 
as the Greek and Latin ; the affinities between them being remarkably 
clear and decisive. If so, the inhabitants of India and the descendants of the 
Celtic and Teutonic nations are all of one family, and must have all migrated 
from one country, after the separation of the nations of the Shemitic stock 
from those of the Japhetic race.t 

Whether that country was Persia, or Cashmir, or a country farther east, 
is a point not easily determined. One important inference results from this 
fact, that the white men of Europe and the black or tawny men of India, are 
direct descendants from a common ancestor. 

Of the languages of Europe, the Greek was first improved and refined 
and next to that the Latin. The affinity between these languages, and 
those of the west and north of Europe is very striking, and demonstrates thei 
common origin. It is probable however that there are some words in th( 
Greek derived from Africa, if Egyptian colonies were established in Greece, 
as historians inform us. 

The modern Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese, are composed chief- 
ly of Latin words, much altered however both in orthography and inflec- 
tions. Perhaps nine tenths of all the words now found in those languages 
are of Latin origin ; being introduced by the Romans, who held Gau" 
subjection, five or six centuries, and Spain much longer ; or being born 
cd from Latin authors, since the revival of letters. All these iaiigu;i 
however retain many words of Celtic origin ; the primitive language not 1, 
ing been entirely extirpated. In some instances, the same word has b 
transmitted through both channels, the Celtic and the Latin, and is yet 
tajncd. Thus in French cider, and in Italian Cfdere, is directly from the 
Latin cedo ,- while the French, congedier, and Italian, congedare, are com- 
posed of the same word, with a prefix, derived from the Celtic, and retained 
in the Welsh gadaw, to quit, to leave. [L. concedo.] And this same verb 
probably appeal's also in quit, a word common to the Teutonic and to the Cel- 
tic languages. See Conge, in the Dictionary. 

It must be observed further, that the Spanish language contains some 
words of African origin, introduced by the Carthaginians, before the Roman 
conquest of Spain, or afterwards by the Moors, who, for several centuries, 

were masters of thatcounlry. It contains also some words of Gothic oiigiii. 
introduced by the Goths who conquered that country, at the downfall of the 
Roman Empire. The French also contains some words of Teutonic origin, 
either from the Belgic tribes wlio occupied the country to the Seine, at the 
time of Cesar's invasion, or from the Franks who estabUshed the dynasty of 
the Merovingian Kings in the fifth century, or from the Normans who ob- 
tained possession of the northern part of that kingdom in the tenth century, 
or from all these sources. 

The German, Dutch or Belgic, Anglo-Saxon, Danish and Swedish lan- 
guages are of Teutonic or Gothic origin.* They are all closely allied ; a 
great part of the words in them all being the same or from the same roots, 
with different prefixes or affixes. There is however a greater difference 
between the Danish and Swedish, which are of the Gothic stock, and the 
German and Dutch, which are of Teutonic origin, than between two lan- 
guages of the same stock, as between the Danish and Swedish. The Nor- 
wegian, Icelandic, and some of the languages or dialects of Switzerland, be- 
long to the same stock ; but of these I have no particular knowledge. 

The Basque or Cantabrian in Spain ; the Gaelic in the north of Scotland, 
and the Hiberno-Celtic, or native language of Ireland, arc the purest re- 
mains of the ancient Celtic. From a comparison of a vocabulary of the Gae- 
lic and Hiberno-Celtic, I find little or no difterence between them ; and from 
a long and attentive examination of this language, and of the languages *f 
Teutonic origin, I find less difference between them, than most autliors Iiave 
supposed to exist. 

The Armoric or language of Brittany in the northwest angle of France, 
and the Cornish, in the southwest of England, are also of Celtic origin. The 
Cornish is now extinct ; but the Armoric is a living language. 

The English as now spoken, is a language composed of words from 
several others. The basis of the language is Anglo-Saxon, or, as I 
shall, for the sake of brevity, call it, Saxon, by which it is closely allied to 
the languages of Teutonic and Gothic origin on the continent. But it re- 
tains a great number of words from the ancient languages of Britain, the 
Belgic, or Lloegrian, and the Cymraeg, or Welsh ; particularly from tlie lat- 
ter, and some from the Cornish. Cesar informs us, that before he invaded 
Britain, Belgic colonics had occupied the southern coast of England ; and 
the inhabitants of the interior, northern and western parts, were the ances- 
tors of the present Welsh, who call themselves Cymry, and their country 
Cymru, a name which indicates their origin from the <?imbri, inhabitants of 
the modern Denmark, or Cimbric Chersonese, now Jutland. 

The modern Welsh contains many Latin words introduced by the Romans, 
who had possession of Britain for five hundred years. But the body of the 
language is probably their vemaculai- tongue. It is more nearly allied to 
the languages of Celtic origin, than to those of the Teutonic and Gothic 
stock ; and of this British language, the Cornish and Armoric are dialects. 

It has been commonly supposed that the Britons were nearly extermina- 
ted by the Saxons, and that the few that survived, escaped into the west of 
England, now Wales. It is true that many took refuge in Wales, which 
their descendants still retain ; but it cannot be true that the other parts of 
England were entirely depopulated. On the other hand, great numbers 
must have escaped slaughter, and been intermixed with their Saxon con- 
querors. The Welsh words, which now form no unimportant part of the 
English language, aflbrd decisive evidence of this fact. It is probable how- 
ever that these words were for a long time used only by the common peo- 
ple, for few of them appear in the early Saxon writers. 

The English contains also many words, introduced by the Danes, who 
were, for some time, masters of England ; which words are not found in the 
Saxon. These words prevail most in the northern counties of England ; but 
many of them are incorporated into the body of the language, and are used in 
the United States. 

After the conquest, the Norman Kings endeavored to extirpate the Eng- 
lish language, and substitute the Norman. For this purpose, it was ordain- 
(ed that all law proceedings and records should be in the Norman language ; 
and hence the early records and reports of law cases came to be written in 
j Norman. But neither royal authority, nor the influence of courts, could 
change the vernacular language. After an experiment of three hundred 
years, the law was repealed; and .since that period, the English has been, 
;for the most part, the official, as well as the common language of the nation. 
A few Norman words however remain in the English ; most of them in law 

Since the conquest, the English has not suffered any shock from the in- 
termixture of conquerors with the natives of England ; but the language has 
undergone great alterations, by the disuse of a large portion of Saxon words, 
and tlie introduction of words from the Latin and Greek languages, with 
some French, Italian, and Spanish words. These words have, in some in- 
stances, been borrowed by authors, directly from the Latin and Greek ; but 
most of the Latin words have been received through the medium of the 
— ^ jiFrench and Italian. For terms in the sciences, authors have generally re- 
am- ivT II I -1- B o.., c^ , I .t - ^ • i- .u 1 .1. r> 1 sorted to the Greek ; and from this source, as discoveries in science demand 
^,I^^X-I^^;^:L^r:;^.1^^^^ ^^ vocabulary of the English language is receiving continual 

eighth year. Hence perhaps the name from deal, and»ia</( or madh, coun- 


t Clarke's Travels. I * In strictness, the Swedish and Danish are of Gothic origin, and the Gei- 

J See the word chuk in the Dictionary. liman and Saxon, of Teutonic origin. 

Vol. I. B. 


auglnentation. We have also a few words from the German and Swedish, 
mostly terms in mineralogy, and commerce has introduced new commodi- 
ties of foreign growth or manufacture, with their foreign names, which now 
make a part of our language. — Such are camphor, amber, arsenic, and many 

The English then is composed of, 

1st, Sason and Danish words of Teutonic and Gothic origin. 

2d, British or Welsh, Cornish and Armoric, which may be considered as 
of Celtic origin. 

3d, Norman, a mixture of French and Gothic. 

4th, Latin, a language formed on the Celtic and Teutonic. 

5th, French, chiefly Latin corrupted, but with a mixture of Celtic. 

6th, Greek, formed on the Celtic and Teutonic, with some Coptic. 

7th, A few words directly from the Italian, Spanish, German, and other 
languages of the continent. 

8th, A few foreign words, introduced by commerce, or by political an 

Of these, the Saxon words constitute our mother tongue ; being wordi 
which our ancestors brought with them from Asia. The Danish and Welsh 
also are primitive words, and may be considered as a part of our vernacular 
language. They are of equal antiquity with the Chaldee and Syriac 


On comparing the structure of the different languages of the Shemitic and 
Japhetic stocks, we cannot but be struck with the fact, that although a great 
number of words, consisting of the same or of cognate letters, and convey- 
ing the same ideas, are found in them all ; yet in the inflections, and in the 
manner of forming compounds and derivatives, there are remarkable differ- 
ences between the two great families. In the modifications of the verb, for 
expressing person, time, and mode, very little resemblance is observable be 
tween the'm. If we could prove that the personal terminations of the verb, 
in the Japhetic languages, were originally pronouns, expressive of the pe 
sons, we should prove an affinity between the words of the two races, in 
most important particular. Some attempts of this kind have been made ; but 
not with very satisfactory results.* 

In the formation of nouns, we recognize a resemblance between 
the English termination th, in birth, truth, drouth, [Saxon drugothe] 
warmth, &c., and the Shemitic terminations n' and ni; and the 
plural termination en, retained in oxen, and the Welsh plural ending 
coincide nearly with the Arabic termination of the dual number /, ) 

and the regular masculine plural termination ^^ ^ as well as with the 
Chaldee, Hebrew, and Syriac p . And it is justly remarked by Mitford, that 
in the variety of plural terminations of nouns, there is a striking resemblance 
between the Arabic and the Welsh. There is one instance, in the modem 
languages of Teutonic origin, in which we find the Arabic nunnation : — this 
is the German and Dutch binnen, the Saxon binnan or binnon, signifying 

within, Hebrew and Chaldee pa, Ar. ,,-aj without the mark of nunna- 
tion, when it signifies within ; but when it signifies separation, space, inter- 
val, the original sense, it is written ... a j > and pronounced, with the nun- 
nation, like the Teutonic word. 

One mode of forming nouns from verbs in the Shemitic languages is by 
prefixing m. I know of no instance of this manner of formation, in the Ja- 
phetic languages, except in some names which are of oriental origin. Mars 

is said to be fro 

I afrii, 

but if ; 

the word 

1 undoubtedly formed in the 

cast. So we find Morpheus, the god of sleep, to be probably formed with 
the prefix m, from the Ethiopic ^04<J^ '" ''®''' '" '^" asleep; whence we 
infer that Morpheus is sleep deified. t 

But as many words in all the languages of Europe and Asia, are formed 
with prepositions, perhaps it may be found on examination, that some of 
these prefixes may be common to the families of both stocks, the Japhetic 
and the Shemitic. We find in German, gemnth, in Dutch, gemoed, from 
muth,moed, mind, mood. We find mad in Saxon is gemaad; polish, the 
h^tin polio, is in Welsh caboli; mail in Italian is both maglia and camag- 
lia; belief in Saxon is geleaf, and in German, glaube. We find that in the 
Shemitic languages nbo signifies to fill or be full, and we find in the Arabic 
y^T has the same signification. In Syriac Jl vN, signifies to remove ; 

• According to Dr. Edwards, there is a remarkable resemblance between 
the bhemitjc languages, and the Muhhekaneew, or Mohegan, one of the na- 
tive languages of New England, in the use of the pronouns as prefixes and 
affixes to verbs.— Observations, Sfc.p. 13. 

f Ludolf, Col. 446, 447. 

and ^^o signifies to wander in mind, to be delirious. In Chaldee and 
Syriac, im is to wonder, precisely the Latin demiror, which is a compound 
of de and miror. 

We find also that nations differ in the orthography of some initial sounds, 
where the words are the same. Thus the Spanish has llnmar, llorar, for 
the Latin clamo, ploro, and the Welsh has llawr, for the English floor, 
llabi, a tall, lank person, coinciding with /aftft?/, llac for slack, and the like. 
As the prepositions and prefixes, in all languages, constitute an important 
class of words, being used in composition to vary the sense of other parts of 
speech, to an almost unUmited extent, it may be useful to give them a par- 
ticular consideration. 

The simple prepositions are, for the most part, verbs or participles, or de- 
rived from them ; when verbs, they are the radical or primary word, some- 
times varied in orthography by the addition or alteration of a single vowel, 
or perhaps, in some cases, by the loss of the initial consonant, or aspirate. 
Such are the Greek ?tapa, ?t£pt, xata ; the Latin con and per ; the English 
for, which retain their original consonants. The following, of, by, in, on, 
un; the Latin ab, ad, pro, pr<B, re; the Greek ano, trtt, rtpo, may have 
lost the initial or final consonants; of [or hof; in (or hin; ab for hab ; pro 
for prod. In some words, this loss can only be conjectured ; in others, it 
s known or obvious. Thus the English by and be was originally big, as it is 
n the Saxon ; and the Latin re, is written also red, evidently a derivative of 
an Arabic verb still existing ; the Latin sub and super are foi med probably 
from the Greek ii?fo, vrttp, by the change of an aspirate into s, or the 
Greek words have lost that letter. The English but in the phrase " They 
are all here but one," is a participle ; the Sax. butah, or buton ,- Dutch 
buiten, from buiten, to rove. Among is the Saxon gemang, the verb, or the 
participle of gemengan, to mingle. 

In general, the primary sense of the preposition is moving, or moved. 
Thus to in English and ad in Latin, primarily denote advancmg towards a 
place or object; as in the sentence, " We are going to town." From, of, 
' It. ab, Gr. a?ro, denote motion from a place or object. The French prts, 
from the Italian ^resso, and tiiis is the Latin participle pressus, pressed; 
hence it denotes near, close. 

In some instances prepositions are compounds, as the English before ; that 
be or by fore, by the front, and the Fr. aupres, at or at near. 
Prepositions, from their frequent use, and from the ease with which their 
primary signification is modified to express differences of position, motion or 
lation, as occasions demand, have, in many instances, a great variety of 
applications ; not indeed as many as lexicogi apheis sometimes assign to 
them, butseveral different, and sometimes opposite significations ; as for ex- 
amples, the Enghsh /or, with ; tiie Latin con, and the Greek rtopa. For, 
which is from the root of Saxon faran, Gr. 7topfuO|Uat, to pass, denotes to- 
wards, as in the phrase " A ship bound /or Jamaica ;" or it denotes in /a»or 
of, as " This measure is/or the public benefit ;" or " The present is /or a 
But it denotes also opposition or negation, as \n forbear, forgive, 

With is a verb, but has rather the sense of a participle. It is found in the 
Gothic with a prefix, ga-withan, to join or unite. Its primary sense then is 
joined, close ; hence, in company ; as in the sentences — " go with him," 
" come with me." It has the sense also of from, against, contrariety, op- 
position, as in withdraw, withstand, without. In Saxon it had also the 
sense of towards, as "with eorthan," towards the earth; also of for, de- 
noting substitution or equivalent in exchange, as " sylan with dieges 
weorce," to give for a day's work ; also of opposite, over against, as 
'* with tha s£e," opposite the sea. 

Con in Latin generally signifies with, towards or to, denoting closeness 
or union, approach, joint operation and the like, as in concurro, conjungo, 
congredior ; but it has also the sense of against or opposition, as in con- 

The Greek rrapa, is doubtless from the root of the English fare, Saxon 
faran, to go, to pass. It signifies from, that is, departure — also at, to, Lat. 
ad ; near, with, beyond, and against. 

To understand the cause of the different and apparentiy contrary signifi- 
cations, we are to attend to the primary sense. The effect of passing to a 
place is nearness, at, presso, pres, and this may be expressed by the parti- 
ciple, or in a contracted form, by the verb. The act of passing or moving 
towards a place readily gives the sense of such prepositions as to, and the 
Latin ad, and this advance may be in favor or for tiie benefit of a person or 
thing, the primary sense of which may perhaps be best expressed by to- 
wards ; " a presentor a measure is towards him," — But when the advance of 
one thing towards another, is in enmity or opposition, we express the sense by 
against, and this sense is especially expressed when the motion or approach 
is in front of a person, or intended to meet or counteract another motion. 
Hence the same word is often used to express both senses ; the context de- 
termining which signification is intended. Thus/or in English, in the sen- 
tence, " He that is not /or us is against us," denotes in favor of. But in the 
phrase "for all that," it denotes opposition. " It rains, but/or all that, we 
will take a ride,"that is, in opposition to that, or notwithstanding the rain, 
we will ride. 

The Greek irapa, among other senses, signifies beyond, that is, past, and 
otier, Hebrew 13j\ 


The prepositions wliicli are used, as distinct words, are called separable 
prepositions, or more generally prepositiom : — those which are used only 
in composition are called inseparable prepositions. Kor the sake of brevity, 
I give to all words or single letters, prefixed to other words in composition, 
the general name of prf^xfs. 

One of the best mo<lcs of ascertaining the true sense of a preposiUon, is, to 
examine its various uses in composition, and discover what effect it has in 
modifying the signitication of the word to which it is prefixed. 

Prepositions, useil in compounds, often suffer the loss or change of a let- 
ter, for the sake of euphony, or the ease of pronunciation. Thus ad in Latin 
becomes/ in affero ; con becomes col in colligo ; the Gr. jtapo loses a letter 
in Ttapniit,, as does am, in many words. 

The following sketch of the principal prepositions and prefixes in several 
limguages of Europe will exhibit some of the affinities of these languages, 
and in a degree, illustrate the uses of this class of words. 


^nd. Sax. and Goth, signifies agaitist, opposite. This is the Gr. a»Ti. 
and Latin ante, not borrowed from the Greek or Latin, but a native word 
Examples, andstandan, to stand against, to resist. Andswarian, answari- 
an, to answer ; that is, to speak again, against or in return. 

Amb, emb, ym*, usually emb, Saxon, signifying about, around; coincid 
ing with the Latin ainb, and Gr. a/i^i.. Example, emb-faran, to go around, 
to walk about; emiutan, about; em6, about, and 6utnn, without. See But 
Jlmbeht, cmbeht, ymbeht, office, duty, whence we have embassador. Thii 
in Gothic is andbahtei, and a bailiif, minister or servant is andbahts. The 
Germans have the word contracted in amt, charge, office, Dutch ampt 
Dan. ambt. The Gothic ortliography gives rise to the question whether 
amb, emb, aniavti, Sax. and Goth, ojid, are not radically the same word; 
and it is very certain that the Gothic and Saxon and, is radically the same 
word as the Latin in, Dan. ind. So in Gothic, " and wigans," in the ways, 
into the highways. Luke, xiv. 23. " and haimos" per vicos, through the 
towns. Luke, ix. 6. 

This preposition, amb, is in Dutch om ; in German urn ; in Swedish and 
Danish om. 

At, is a Gothic preposition and prefix, comciding with Eng. at, Lat. ad 

Be, in Saxon, as a preposition and prefix, is always written be, or big, an- 
swering to the English by, a preposition, and be in beset. In Gothic, it is 
written 6i, by and be, being contractions of big. The primary and principal 
signification is near, close ; as " stand or sit 6^ me." So in the word by- 
stander. It is a prefix of extensive use in the Saxon, German, Dutch 
Danish and Swedish. Its use in denoting instrumentality, may be from the 
sense of nearness, but more probably it is from passing, like per, through 
or it denotes proceedin^from, like of, as salvation is of the Lord. 

For, in Saxon, as in English, is a preposition and prefix of extensive use 
In Saxon /or signifies a going, from /aran, to go, to fare. It is radically thi 
same word as /ore, in the sense of in front, before. Its primary sense i: 
advancing ; hence moving towards ; hence the sense of in favor of, and 
that of oppo.sition, or negation. See the preceding remarks. 

This word in German is/«r, but, with this orthography, the word is little 
used in composition. Yet the German has/urfti'He, intercession or praying 
for; fllrwort, intercession, recommendation, and a pronoun [for-word;] 
andfur-wahr, forsooth. 

In the sense of fore, the German has vor, a word of extensive 
prefix. Thus in Saxon /oreseoi, to foresee, is in German vorsehen. The 
identity of tliese words will not be questioned. But in German as in Dutch 
the preposition ver, which is the English far, and Saxon fyr, is used in 
composition, in words in which the Saxon and English have/or. Thus for- 
gifan,toforgive, is in German, vergeben, and in Dutch, vergeeven — Saxon, 
forgitan, to forget; German vergessen; Dutch vergectejt. Hence we see 
that the Saxon for, fore, fyr, the English for, fore, far, and tlie German 
fur, vor and ver, are from Uie same radix. 

In Dutch, /or and fore are represented by voor, and ver represents /or 

The Danish also unites/or and fore, as does the Swedish. 

The French has this word in pour, and the Spanish and Portuguese in 
por. The latter signifies not only /or, but through, as in Portuguese, " Eu 
passarei por Fran(;a." " I will pass through France. Here we see the 
sense of moving. In Spanish and Portuguese this word is written also para, 
as if from the Greek. It is evidently the same word, probably received 
through a different channel from that of poi: Now through is the exact 
sense of the Latin per ; and per is the Italian preposition answering to for 
and pm: But what is more to the purpose, the Spanish, Italian and Portu- 

fuese word, equivalent to the English /or^ire, is in Spanish perdonar ; in 
talian, perdon<ire, and in Portuguese, periioar ; and the French is ^ardon- 
Jier. Here tlien we have strong, if not conclusive evidence, that /or, pour, 
por, per, par, and para, in different languages, are all from one stock, the 
word being varied in dialect, or by the different families ; just as we have 
far, farther, as well as the Saxon^r, and the English /or(A, further, from 
the same primitive word. We have the same word in. pursue and pur- 
chase, from the French ^o«r. 

The Greek has rtcpai; and jtopo, probably from the same root, as well a- 
rtOfifvofiai, ;fopo^ 

Ga, in Gothic, and ge in Saxon, is a prefix of very extensive use. In 
Saxon, it is prefixe<l to a large portion of all tlie verbs in the language. 
According to Lye, it has sometimes tlie sense of the Latin cum ; but ui most 
words I cannot discern any effect of tliis prefix on the signification of the 
pie verb. It is retained in the Danish and in some German and Dutch 
words, especially in the participles of verbs, and in nouns formed from them. 
But it is remarkable that although the Saxon isourmottier tongue, we have 
not remaining in the language a single instance of this prefix, with the ori- 
ginal orthography. The only remains of it are in the contraction, a, as in 
looAre, adrift, ashamed, iic. from gewacan, aweecan ; gedrifan, adrif- 
an; gesceamian, ascamian. The letter y prefixed to verbs and participles 
used by Chaucer, as yberied, yblent, ybore, ydight, and a few others, is the 
remnant of the ge. The words yclad, and ycleped, are the last English 
words used, in wliich this letter appears. 

It is possible that the first syllable oi govern, from Lat. gubemo, Gr. 
xvSi(iva.a, may be the same prefix ; or it may be the Welsh prefix go, 
which occurs in goberu, to work, which the Romans wrote operor. But I 
know not whether the first syllable of govern is a prefix or not. 

There is another word which retains this prefix corrupted, or its equiva-' 
lent ; this is common, which we have received from the Latin communis. 
This word in the Teutonic dialects is. Sax. getnane; Ger. gemein ; Dutch, 
gemeen ; Dan. gemeen ; Sw. gemen. Now if this is the Latin communis, 
and of the identity of the last component part of the word, there can, I think, 
be no doubt ; then the first part of the word is the Teutonic ge altered to 
com, or what is more probable, com is tlie equivalent oi ge, or ge may be a 
contracted and corrupted form oi cum, com. In either case, we arrive at 
the conclusion that the Teutonic ge, and the Latin cum, are equivalent in 

In, is used in the Saxon and Gothic, as in modern English. It is in Ger- 
man ein, Dutch and Swedish in, Danish ind, Greek iv, Lat. in, Fr. en. 
This is radically the same word as on and un, the German an, Dutch aan, 
and Welsh an. In its original sense, it implies moving, advancing towards, 
and hence its use as a particle of negation or contrariety. " Eunt in urbem," 
they are going to the city. " Hebc audio in te dici," I hear these thing.'! 
said against you. In mcilern military usage, on is used in the same sense of 
advancing. " The army is marching on Liege." 

Mid, in Saxon, signifies with. It is the Gothic mith, German mil, 
Dutch mede or met, and tlie Gr. jutro; but not retained in English. It 
seems to have the same origin as mid, middle, amidst. In the Gothic it is 
used as a prefix. 

Mis, a prefix, is the verb miss, to deviate. It is used in Saxon, German, 
Dutch, Swedish and Danish, in nearly the same sense, as in EngUsh. Its 
radical sense is to depart or wander. 

Of, is a preposition and prefix of extensive use in the Saxon, as in English. 
It denotes primarily issuing, or proceeding from; hence separation, departure, 
and distance ; in the latter sense, it is written off. It is the Latin ab, writ- 
ten by the early Romans af; the Greek orto, the German ab, the Dutch af; 
Dan. and Sw. of. The Saxons often prefixed this word, in cases where we 
use it after the verb as a modifier ; as of-drifan, to drive off; as it is still used 
by the Germans, Dutch, Swedes and Danes. We retain it as a prefix, in 
ffset and offspring. Sax. of-spring. As it denotes proceeding from, it is 
the proper sign of the genitive case ; the case expressing production. 

qfer, Eng. over, Goth, ufar, G. ttber, D. ot-er, Dan. over, Sw. ofver, is 
a preposition and prefix, in all the Teutonic and Gothic languages, which I 
have examined ; and in the same or similar senses. This seems to be the 
Greek urttp, from which the Latins formed super, by converting the aspirate 
of the Greek vowel into s. This is probably the Heb. Ch. Syr. Ar. 13;r, to 
ss, a passing, beyond. 

On, is a Saxon preposition and prefix of very extensive use. It is obvi- 
ously a different orthography of in, and it is used for in, in the Saxon, as " on 
onginn," in the beginning. It has also the sense we now give to on and 
upon, with other modifications of signification. 

In composition, it signifies into, or towards, as on-blawan, to blow in ; 
onclifian, to adhere, to cleave to; and it is also a particle of negation, like 
un, as onbindan, to unbind. This on is only a different spelling of un, in 
Dutch 071, German un, used as a word of negation. The Gothic has un and 
«»d, in the like sense, as the Danish has un ; the D. ont. In this sense, 
un answers precisely to the Greek avti, and as this is sometimes written 
und in Gothic, as in is written ind, in Danish, there can be little doubt, 
that in, on, un, avti, are all from one stock. The original word may have 
been han, bin, or hon ; such loss of the first letter is very common ; and 
inn, from the Ch. and Heb. rUD, presents us with an example. See in and 

The German has an, and the Dutch aan, in the sense of in and on. 
0th, is a Saxon preposition and prefix, sometimes written ath and erf, and 
answering nearly to the Latin ad and re; as in oth-witan, to twit, to throw 
in the teeth. It has also the sense of from, or away, or against, as in oth- 
swerian, to abjure. This preposition is obsolete, but we have the remains 
of it in tunt, and perhaps in a few other words. 
Sam, samod, a prefix. See the Danish and Swedish infra. 


To, is a preposition and prefix of extensive use in our mother tongue. It 
occurs as a prefix, in such words as, to-brtBCan, to break ; to-beran, to bring 
or bear, [ad-ferre.^ We retain it in together. Sax. togcedere; and in to- 
wards. Sax. toward, towardes ; and in to-morrow, to-day, to-night. The 
Dutch write it toe, and the Germans zu, and both nations use it extensively 
as a prefix. In Gothic it is written du, as in du-gimtan, to gin, that is, 
begin. It would be gratifying to learn whether the Ethiopic 'f' , which is 
prefixed to many verbs, is not the remains of the same preposition. 

f/ra, isa Saxon prefix of extensive use, as a privative or particle of nega- 
tion. See on and m. 

Under, is a Saxon preposition and prefix of considerable use, in the pres- 
ent English sense. The Germans write it unter, and the Dutch onder, and 
use it in like manner. The Danes and Swedes write it under, and use i 
in the same sense. 

Up, ujipe, is a Saxon preposition and prefix of considerable use, in the pre 
sent English sense. The Gothic has uf, in the sense of the Latin sub. The 
Germans write it ajtfand the Dutch op, the Danes op and tlie Swedes up 
and all use it as a prefix. 

Us, in Gothic, is a preposition and prefix. This is the German aus, anc 
equivalent to the Latin ex. It is the Saxon ut, the English out, Dutch tiit 
Swedish ut, and Danish ud, dialectically varied. To this answers the Welsh 
ys, used in composition, but ys seems rather to be a change of the Latin ex 
tor the Latin expello is written in Welsh yspeliaw, and extendo is estyn. 

Wither, in Saxon, from the root of with, denotes against, or opposition. 
It is a prefix in Saxon, written in German wider, in Dutch, weder ; Dan. and 
Swedish veder. It is obsolete, but retained in the old law term withernam, 
a counter-taking or distress. 

In the German language, there are some prepositions and prefixes not 
found in the Saxon ; as, 

Ent, denoting from, out, away. 

Er, without, out or to. Dan. er. 

JVach, properly nigh, as in nachbar, neighbor ; but its n 
.signification in composition is after; as ia nachgehen, to go after. Thi 
sense is easily deducible from its primary sense, which is close, near, from 
urging, pressing, or following. In Dutch, this word is contracted to »a, 
in nabuur, neighbor ; nagaan, to follow. The Russ has no also, a prefix of 
extensive use, and probably the same word. This fact suggests the question, 
whether the ancestors of these great families of men had not their residence 
in the same or an adjoining territory. It deserves also to be considered wheth- 
er this no, is not the Shemitic i, occurring as a prefix to verbs. 

Weg, is a prefix used in the German and Dutch. It is the Saxon, Ger- 
man, and Dutch weg, way ; in tlie sense of away, or passing from, from the 

verb, in Saxon, wtegan, wegan, to carry, to weigh, Eng. to wag, the sense 
f which is to move or pass ; as Ger. t ' " " ■• - 

Zer, in German, denotes separation 

5 Ger. wegf alien, to fall offer away. 

In the Gothic dialects, Danish and Swedish, /»a is used as a prefix. This 
is the Scottish/ra, Eng. frorti, of which it may be a contraction. 

Fram in Swedish, and frem in Danish, is also a prefix. The primary 
sense is to go, or proceed, and hence it denotes moving to or towards, forth, 
&c., as in Danish /rem/aj-er, to bring forth ; fremkalder, to call for. But in 
Danish, /rcmjned is strange, foreign, and it is probable that the English /j-om 
is from the same root, with a dilferent application. It may be from the same 
stock as the Gothic frum, origin, beginning, Latin primus, signifying to 
shoot forth, to extend, to pass along. 

Oien, igien, in Danish, and igen, in Swedish, is the English gain in again, 
against. This is a prefix in both these Gothic languages. It has the sense 
of the Latin re, as inigienkommer, to come back, to return; o{ against, as 
migienkalder, to countermand, or recall ; of again, as gienbinder, to bind 
again. This may be the Latin con. 

Mod, in Danish, and mot, emot, in Swedish, is a preposition, signifying to, 
towards, against, contrary, for, by, upon, out, &c. ; as " mod staden," to- 
wards the city ; modstrider, to resist ; modgift, an antidote ; modbor, a con- 
trary wind ; modmnd, the same. This is the Enghsh meet, in the Gothic 
orthography, moiyan, to meet, whence to moot. 

O, in Swedish, is a negative or privative prefix, as in o/idig, immature, in 
English, not tidy. It is probably a contracted word. 

Paa, in Danish, p& in Swedish, is a preposition and prefix, signifying on, 
in, upon. Whether this is allied to be, by, and the Russ. po, I shall not un- 
dertake to determine, with confidence ; but it probably is the same, or from 
the same source. 

Samman, signifying together, and from the root of assemble, is a prefix of 
considerable use in both languages. It answers to the Saxon sam, samod, 
equivalent to the Latin con or cum. It seems to be allied to same and the La- 

Ti/, both in Danish and Swedish, is a prefix, and in Danish, of very ex- 
tensive use. It is equivalent to the EngUsh to or towards, and signifies also 
at, in, on, by, and about, and in composition often has the sense of back or 
re, as in tilbage, backwards, that is, to back ; but generally it retains the 
sense of to or onward ; as in tilbyder, to offer, that is, to speak or order to ; 
tildriver, to drive on ; tilgiver, ito allow, to pardon, that is, to give to, and 
hence to give back, to remit. This is the English till, which we use in the 
same sense as the Danes, but in English it always refers to time, whereas in 
Danish and Swedish, it refers to place. Thus we cannot say, " We are going 

till town :" but we say, " wait till I come, fill ray arrival ;" literally, " wait 
to I come," to my arrival ; that is, to the time of arrival. The difference is not 
in the sense of the preposition, but in its application. 

The Scotch retain the Danish and Swedish use of this word ; no slight evi- 
dence of their origin. 

U, in Danish, the Swedish O, is a prefix, equivalent to in, and is used as a 
privative or negative ; as in uaar, an unseasonable year ; uartig, uncivil. 



may possibly be from the : 

: root i 

account of, by reason of, after, as in za- 
viju, to see, Lat. video ; zadirayu, from 

fo or ve, signifies ir 
the Eng. be, by. But t 

Za, is a prefix signifying/oj 
viduyu, to envy, from md, visaj^ 

deru, to tear ; zamirayu, to be astonished or stupified, from the root of Lat. 
miror, and Russ. mir, peace ; miryu, to pacify, to reconcile ; mirnie, pacif- 
ic; zamirenie, peace, pacification; zaniirioi/M, to make peace; Arm. mi- 
ret, to hold, to stop ; the radical sense of wonder, astonishment, and of 

Ko, a preposition signifying to, towards, for. 

J\ra, a preposition and prefix, signifying on, upon, at, for, to, seems to be 
the Germ, nach, Dutch na, as in nagrada, reconjpense ; na, and the root of 
Lat. gratia ; nasidayu, to sit down, &c. 

JVad, a preposition, signifying above or upon. 

O, a preposition, signifying of or from, and /or. 

Ob, a preposition and prefix, signifying to, on, against, about, as obne- 
mayu, to surround, to embrace ; ob and Sax. neman, to take. 

Ot, is a preposition, signifying /rom, and it may be the Eng. out. 

Po, is a preposition and prefix of extensive use, signifying in, by, after, 
from, &c. as podayu, to give to ; polagayu, to lay, to expend, employ, lay 
out ; to tax or assess ; to establish or fix ; to believe or suppose ; po and lay. 
This corresponds with Eng. by, and the Latin has it in possideo, and a few 
other words. [Sax. besittan.] Pomen, remembrzince, po And mens, mind. 

Rad, a preposition signifying/or, or for the love of. 

So, a preposition and prefixof extensive use, signifying tcirt, o/,/ro?»; 
and as a mark of comparison, it answers nearly to the Eng. so or as. 

V, with the sound of m, is a preposition and prefix of extensive use. It sig- 
nifies near, by, at, with, as uberayu, to put in order, to adjust, to cut, to 
reap, to mow, to dress, Fr. parer, Lat. paro ; ugoda, satisfaction ; vgodnd, 
good, useful, Eng. good; udol, a dale, from dol. 


The prefixes in the Welsh Language are numerous. The following are 
the principal. 

Am, about, encompassing, Sax. amb, Gr. a/ift. 

An. See Sax. in. 

Cy, cyd, cyv, cym, implying union, and answering to cum, con and co in 
Latin. Indeed cym, written also cyv, seems to be the Latin cum, and cy 
may be a contraction of it, like co in Latin. Ca seems also to be a prefix, 
as in caboli, to polish, Lat. polio. 

Cyn, cynt, former, first, as if allied to begin. 

Di, negative and privative. 

Di^, negative and precise. 

Dy, iterarive. 

E and ec, adversative. 

Ed and eit, denoting repetition, Uke re. Sax, ed, oth. 

Es, separating, like Lat. ex. See ys. 

Go, extenuating, inchoative, approaching, going, denotes diminution or a 
less degree, like the Latin sub ; as in gobrid, somewhat dear. This seems 
to be from the root of English go. 

Han, expressive of origination. 

Lied, partly, half. 

Oil, all. 

Rhag, before. 

Rhy, over, excessive. 

Tra, over, beyond. Lat. trans. 

Try, through. 

Vm, mutual, reflective. 

Ys, denoting from, out of, separation, proceeding from, answering to the 
Latin ex; as yspeliaw, to expel. So es, Welsh estyn, to extend. 

Most of these prepositions, when used as prefixes, are so distinct as to be 
known to be prefixes. 

But in some instances, the original preposition is so obscured by a loss or 
change of letters, as not to be obvious, nor indeed discoverable, without re- 
sorting to an ancient orthography. Thus without the aid of the Saxon or- 
thography, we should probably not be able to detect the component parts of 
the English twit. But in Saxon it is written edwitan and otkwitan ; the prep- 
osition or prefix oth, with witan, to disallow, reproach or cast in the teeth. 

It has been above suggested to be possible, that in the Shemitic langua- 
ges, the J in triliteral roots, may be the same prefix as the Russian na, the 
Dutch na, and German nach. Let the reader attend to the following words. 


video ; 

Heb. B3J To look, to behold, to reganl. The primary sense of look, is, 
(i) reach, extend or throw. 
Ch. To look ; also to bud or sprout. 

Ar. tix J To spring, or issue as water ; to flow out ; to devise or strike 

°"lf the first letter is a prefix, the Hebrew word would accord with Lat. 
ideo ■ the Chaldee, willi video and with butl, Sp. botar, Fr. bouton, boiiter, 
>ptU, and Eng. iopout, and Fr. bout, end, from shooting, extending. 

Ar. Ckxi To J»rf ,• to germinate. See Ch. supra. 

Heb. S3J To fall; to sink down; to wither; to fall off, as leaves and 
flowers; to act foolishly; to disgrace. Derivative, foolish; a fool ; SiJJ 
Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. to Jail. 

Ch. h2i To make foul; to defile ; that is, to throw or put on. 

Ar. V A J '^° shoot, as an arrow ; to drive as camels ; to excel ; also to 

die, that is prot)^'''y ">/""• . , „ ^ . , , . 

Can there be any question, that fall, foul and fool are this very word 
without the first consonant ? The Arabic without the first consonant agrees 
with Gr. eaTOM, and the sense of falling then, is to throw one's self down. 

Heb. IQJ To keep, guard, preserve, retain, observe. 

Ch. To observe ; to keep ; to lay up. 

Syr. and Sam. id. 

Eth. h(r\i To shine. 

Ar. lai To keep ; to see ; to look ; to attend. 

Remove the first letter, and this coincides with the Greek f jjpjw. 

No person will doubt whether hoi to circumcise, is formed on*?!?;. 

Ch. ^D3 to cut; tos 

Syr. id. 

Lat. scrra, serrc 

Ar. j^ij To fade, to vanish, to perish, to be empty, to fail. 

Heb. nSJ to blow, to breathe. Ch. Syr. Eth. Ar. id. from HB , to blow , 

If the Shemitic J in these and similar words is a prefix or the remains of 
a preposition, it coincides very closely with the Russ. and Dutch na, and the 
latter we know to be a contraction of the German nach. Now the German 
nach is the English nigh ; for no person can doubt the identity of the Ger- 
man nachbar and the English neighbor. 

In the course of my investigations, I very early began to suspect that b,J, 
J), c, g and k before I and r, are either casual letters, introduced by peculiar 
modes ofpronunciation, or the remains of prepositions ; mostprobably the lat- 
ter. I had advanced far in my dictionary, with increasing evidence of the 
truth of this conjecture, before I had received Owen's Dictionary of the 
Welsh language. An examination of this work has confirmed my suspi- 
cions, or rather changed them into certainty. 

If we attend to the manner of articulating the letters, and the ease with 
which bl, br,fl,fr, pl,pr, cl, cr, gl, gr are pronounced, without an interven- 
ing vowel, even without a slieva, we .shall not be surprised that a preposi 
lion or prefix, like fie, i>e, pa, po, or ge should, in a rapid pronunciation, lose 
its vowel, and the consonant coalesce closely with the first letter of the prin- 
cipal word. Thus blank, prank, might naturally be formed from belank, 
perank. That these words are thus formed, I do not know ; but there is 
nothing in the composition of the words to render it improbable. Certain it 
is, that a vast number of words are formed with these prefixes, on othe- 
words, or the first consonant is a mere adventitious addition ; for they an 
used with or without the first consonant. Take the following examples. 

Hiberno-Celtic, or Irish, brae or brach, the arm, is written also raigh, 
Welsh fiiaif, whence ^pa;^iur, brachium. Braigh, the neck, Sax. hraca, 
Eng. rack, Gr. po;t'5- Praoch, heath, ling, brake, L. erica. 

Welsh, llawr, Basque, lurra, Eng. floor. 

haUfloccus, Eng. flock or lock. 

Sax. hraccan, Eng. to reach, in vomiting.* 

Sax. hracod, Eng. ragged. 

Ger. rock, Eng. frock. 

Dutch, geluk, Ger. ghtck, Eng. luck. 

Greek, Folic Dialect, (Spoioi/, for poSor, a rose. 

Latin, clunis, Eng. loin, G. lende, W. dun, from Hun. 

Eng. cream, Ger. rahm, Dutch, room. 

Sax. hlaf, Polish chlieb, G. leib, Eng. loaf. 

Sax. hladan, Eng. to lade or load, Russ. kladu, to lay. 

Greek. xAtru, Lat. clino. Sax. hlinian, hleonan, Russ. klonyu, Eng 
to lean. 

Greek, Xoyjji/of, Lat. Za,^ena, Eng. ^ngon. 

Sax. hrysan, Eng. to rush. 

Trench, frapper, Eng. to rop. 

Sax. gercBdian, to make ready ; in Chaucer, grcilh, to make ready. Sas. 
hr(Bd, quick ; hradian, to hasten ; hradties, Eng. leadiiuss. 

Spanish, frisar, to curl or frizzle ; rizar, the same. 

Sax. gerefa, Eng. reeve, G. graf D. graaf. 

Lat. glycyrrhiza, from the Greek ; Eng. liquorice. 

But in no language, have we such decisive evidence of the formation of 
words, by prefixes, as in the Welsh. 

Take the following instances, from a much greater number that might be 
produced, from Owen's Welsh Dictionary. 

Blanc, a colt, from llanc. 

Blith, milk, from lith. 

Bliant, fine linen, from lliant. 

Plad, a flat piece or plate, from Uad. 

Pled, a principle of extension, from lied. 

Pledren, a bladder, from pledyr, that distends, from lied. 

Pleth, a braid, from lleth, Eng. plait. 

Plicciaw, to pluck, from llig. 

Ploc, a block, from Hoc ; plociaw, to block, to plug. 

Plwng, a plunge, from llwng, our vulgar lunge. 

Glwth, a glutton, from llwth. ' 

Glas, a blue color, verdancy, a green plat, whence Eng. glass, from lla$. 

Glyd, gluten, glue, from llyd. 

Claer, clear, from llaer. 

Clav, sick, from llav. 

Clwpa, a club, a knob, from llwb. 

Clwt, apiece, a clout, {romllwd, llwt. 

Clamp, a mass, a lump. 

Clawd, a thin board, from llawd. 

Cledyr, a board or shingle, whence cledrwy, lattice, from Ued. 

Bran, Eng. bran, from rhan ; rhanu, to rend. 

Brid, a breaking out, from rhid. 

Bro^, noise, tumult, a brock; from rhoi;. 

Bror, froth, foam, anger, brofi, to chafe or fret, from brwc, a boiling or 
ferment, from rhwc, something rough, a grunt, Gr. (Jpvj;u. 

Bryd, what moves, impulse, mind, thought, from rhyd. 

Brys, quickness, brisiaw, to hasten, to shoot along, from rhys, Eng. to 
rush, and crysiaw, to hasten, from rhys, to rush. [Here is the same word 
rhys, with tlifferent prefixes, forming brysiaw and crysiaw. Hence W. 
brysg, Eng. brisk.] 

Giaz, [pronounced grath^ a step, a degree, from rhnz, Lat. gradus, 

Greg, a cackling, from rheg. 

Grem, a crashing, gnash, a murmur, gremiaw, to crash or gnash, from 
rhem. Hence Lat. fremo, Gr. /3pf^u.* 

We have some instances of similar words in our own language ; such flag 
and lag ; flap and lap ; clump and lump. 

There is another class of words which are probably formed with a prefix 
of a different kind. I refer to words in which s precedes another consonant, 
calp, skull, slip, slide, sluggish, smoke, smooth, speed, spire, spin, 
stage, steep, stem, swell, spout. We find that tego, to cover, in Latin, is in 
Greek ftyu ; the Latin fallo, is in Greek c^aM.a. We find ftopa^Joj 

* I do not follow Owen to the last step of his analysis, as I am of opinion 
that, in making monosyllabic words to he compound, he often errs. For 
example, he supposes 6109 a tumult, to be from rlioi;, a broken or rough ut- 
terance ; a grunt or groan ; and this, to be a compound of rhy, excess, what 
is over or beyond, and of, a forcible utterance, a groan. I believe rAof to be 
primitive uncompounded word, coinciding with the English rough. 

Owen supposes plad, a flat thing, a plate, to be from Had, with py. Llad 
he explains, what is given, a gift, good tilings, and py, what is inward or 
involved. I have no doubt that the first letter is a prefix in plad, but beyond 
all question, llad is from the same root as lied, breadth, coinciding with Lat. 
lotus ; both from a common root signifying to extend. But I do not believe 
llad or lied to be compound words. 

Dug, a duke, Owen supposes to be formed on ug, over ; which cannot be 
true, unless the Latin dux, duco, are compounds. Dur, steel, he derives 
from ur, extreme, over, but doubtless it is from the root of the Latin durus. 

So par, signifying what is contiguous, a state of readiness or preparation, 
Apair, fellow, or match, Owen makes a compound oi py, and ar ; py, as 
above explained, and ar, a word of various significations, 911, upon, surface, 
&c. But there can be no doubt that^ja)- is from the root of the Latin paro, 
to prepare, being the Latin par, equal ; the root of a numerous family of 
words not only in the Japhetic languages of Europe, but in the Shemitic lan- 
guages of Asia. It certainly is not a Welsh compound, nor is there the 
least evidence to induce a belief that it is not an uncompounded word. Had 
the learned author of the Welsh Dictionary extended his researches to a va- 
riety of other languages, and compared the monosyllabic roots in them with 
each otlier, I think he would have formed a very different opinion as to their 
origin. I am very well convinced that many of the n ords which he sup- 
poses to be primitive or radical, are contractions, such as rhy, lie, lly, the 
last consonant being lost. 


is written also ff/iopaySof ; ami it may be inquireJ whether the English 
s^j>in, is not from the same root as «>;>'>?, web or woof, rtrtviov, a spindle 
rtijufu, to spin. Sprout in English is in Spanish brota. 

We find the Welsh ysbrig, the EngUsh sprig, is a compound of ys, i 
prefix denoting issuing or proceeding from, like the Lat. ex, and ir/g, top, 

Ysgar, a separate part, a share ; ysgar, ysgarii, to divide ; ysganaw, to 
separate, is composed of ys and car, according to Owen ; but the real root 
appears distinctly in the Gr. x£tpo. This is the English shear, shire. 

Vsgegiaw, to shake by laying hold of the throat, to shake roughly, is 
compound o(ys and cegiaw, to choke, from ceg, the mouth, an entrance, 
choking. This may be the English shake ; Sax. sceacan. 

Ysgin, a robe made of skin; ys and cin, a spread or covering. 

Vsgodi, to shade; ysgawd, a'shade ; ys and caied. 

Ysgrab, what is drawn up or puckered, a scrip ; ys and crab, what 
shrinks. See Eng. crab, crabbed. 

Vygravu, to scrape ; ys and crav, claws, from rhav. 

Ysgreg, a scream, a shriek, ysgre^iaw, to shriek, from crei;, a shriek 
ere(;ian, to shriek, from creg, cryg, hoarse, rough, from rhyg, vye, that ii 
rough ; the grain so named from its roughness. This is the English rough 
Lat. raucus. Here we have the whole process of formation, from the root 
of rough. We retain the Welsh cre(;ia.n, to shriek, in our common word, 
to creak, and with a formative prefix, we have shriek, and our vulgar screak 
The Latin ruga, a wrinkle, Eng. rug, shrug, are probably from the same 

Ysgrivenu, to write, Lat. scriho, from ysgriv, a writing, from criv, a mark 
cut, a row of notches ; criviaw, to cut, to grave ; from rhiv, something that 
divides. Hence scrivener. 

Ysgub, a sheaf or besom, ysgubaw, to sweep, Lat. scojxe, from cub. 
collection, a heap, a cube. 

Ysgud, something that whirls ; ysgudaw, to whisk or scud 
Xerity, Right; ysguth,ysguthaw, the same. 

Ysgwth, a push ; ysgwthiaw, to push or thrust ; from gwth, gwthiaw, 
the same ; probably allied to Eng. shoot. The Welsh has ysgythu, to jet 
or spout, from the same root. , , „ • 

Yslac, slack, loose ; yslaciatv, to slacken ; from llac, loose, slack, Uaciaw, 
to slacken, from Uag, slack, sluggish ; allied to Eng. lag and slow 

Yslapiaw, to slap, to flap, from yslab, what is lengthened or distended, 
from «o6,a flag, a strip, a stroke. Llabi, a tall, lank person, a striphng - 
looby, a lubber, is from the same root ; llabiaw, to slap. 

Ysled, a sled, from (fed, says Owen, which denotes breadth, but it is pro- 
bably from the root of slide, a word probably from the same root as lied, thai 
is, to extend, to stretch along. 

Ysmot, a patch, a spot; ysmotiaw, to spot, to dapple, from mod, Eng 

Ysmwciaw, ysmygtt, to dim with smoke, from mwg, smoke. So smooth 
from Welsh mwyth 

denial ; gwadu, to deny, or disown. If this deduction is correct, the seHse 
of denial is a throwing or thrusting back, a repelling. It is so in other 

Yswitiaw, to chirp, twitter, from yswid, that makes a quick turn. Qu, 

In some of the foregoing words, it appears evident that the Welsh prefix, 
I alteration of the Latin ex, and the words, in which this is the case. 

vere probably borrowed from the Latin, while the Roman ; 

i had pos- 

fiom cud, ce 

Yspail, spoil, from pail, farina, says Owen. I should say from the root of 
alea, straw, refuse, that is, from the root of peel, to strip. Yspeilwta, to be 

I ball, says Owen : but this is the Latin ex 

=f, foremost. The 


Yspeliaw, to expel, from pel. 
pello, from pello. Ball may be from the same root. 

Yspig, a spike, a spine ; yspigaw, to spike ; frompig, a sharp point, zpike. 
Hence Eng. spigot. 

Yspin, a spine, from pin, pen. 

Ysgynu, to ascend, Lat. ascendo, fiom cyn, first, chi( 
radical sense is to shoot up. 

Yslw?, a slough, from llwc, a collection of water, a lake 
Yspar, a spear, from pdr, a cause or principle of producing, the germ or 
seed of a thing, a spear. This consists of the same elements as ber, a spit, 
and Eng.-*a»-, and in Italian bar is sbarra. The primary sense is to shoot 
thrust, drive. . ^ i 

Yspinc, a finch, frompinc, gay, fine brisk ; a sprig, A finch. 
Ysplan, clear, bright ; ysplana, to explain ; ftomplan, that is parted off, 
ray, a shoot, a planting, a plane; -whence plant , a child; Eng 
planu, to shoot, as a plant. Hence splendor, W. ysplander. 

Ysporthi, to support, from porth, a bearing, a port, passage, 
j^orta, porta. 

Ystac, a stack, a heap ; ysl 
stuffed or clogged. . .^ rru 

Ystad, a state ; ystadu, to stay ; from tad, that spreads, a continuity. J he 
primary sense is to set. 

Fston, that is spread; a stain; tin, 'Lat. stannum; ystaeniaw, to spread 
over, to stain ; ystaenu, to tin, or cover with tin ; from taen, a spread, a laye 
Qu. is tin from spreading ? 

Ystawl, a stool, from tawl, a cast or throw. The sense is to set, to throw 
down. TaiBl is the root of deal. 

Ystor, a store, that forms a bulk, from tor, a swell, a prominence. 
Ystorm, a storm, from torm, that is stretched, but the sense is a rushing. 
Ystrym, a stream, from trym, compact, trim, that is, stretched, straight, 
from extending. 

Ystwmp, a stump, from twmp, a round mass, a tump. 

ysmafiOM', to s?uat, from jswarf, a throw, or falling down, from gtvad, a 

session of England. But there is a vast number of words, with this prefix, 
which are not of Latin origin ; and whether ys is a native prefix in the 
Welsh, may be a question. One thing is certain, that s before another con- 
sonant, and coalescing with it, is, in a great number of words, a prefix. 

The modern Italian affords abundant proof of the extensive use of s, as 
the remains or representative of ex ; as sballare, to unpack, itnbale ; sbar- 
6ato, beardless ; sfta^iere, to abate ; sftrancare, to pluck off branches; scar- 
icare, to discharge ; scommodare, to inconmiode ; sconcordia, discord ; scor- 
breakthe horns; scrostare, to pull off the crust; and a great num- 
ber of others. 

Now if the same manner of forming words with this prefix has actually 
prevailed among the northern nations of Europe, we may rationally suppose 
that many English words, and perhaps all of this class, are thus formed. 
Thus scatter may be formed from a root in Cd; shape, from C'b, Cf or 
Cp; skill, from the root of Lat. calleo ; slip, from the root of Lat. labor ; 
smart, from the root of Lat. amarus, bitter, Heb. ">n ; smite, from the root 
of Latin mitto ; span, from the root of pan, to stretch ; spar, from the root 
of bar ; speak, from the root of Lat. voco : speed, from a root in Pd, perhaps 
Lat. peto ; steal, from the root of Lat. tollo ; steep, from the root of deep ; 
stretch, from the root of reach ; sweep, from the root of wipe ; swan, from 
wan, white ; swell, from the root of to well. Sax. wellan, to boil, &c. That 
many English and other Teutonic and Gothic words are thus formed, appears 
to be certain. 

These facts being admitted, let us examine a little further. In Russ. 
svadiba is a wedding. Is not this formed on the root of wed, with s for a 
prefix ? Svara is a quarrel. Is not this formed on the root of vary, variance, 
oTofspar? Sverlo is a horer; qu. bore anti veru ; svertivayu, toroU; qu. 
Lat. verto ; skora, furs, peltry ; qu. Fr. cuir ; skot, a beast ; qu. cattle; 
skupayu, to purchase in gross ; qu. cheap, Dan. kioben, and its root ; slabei, 
weak; qu. Lat. labor, lapsus ; slagaytt, to foW; qu. lay, and plico; slivayu, 
to pour out liquors ; qu. Lat. libo ; slvpayu, to peel off bark or skin ; qu. 
Lat. liber ; snimayu, to take away ; qu. Sax. neman, to take ; snova, new ; 
qu. Lat. novus ; snig, sneig, snow, Fr. neige. The Lat. nivis is from this 
root, with g opened to v. Russ. spletayu, to plait, &c. 

The Russ. prefix so occurs in a great number of words ; sobirayu, to col- 
lector assemble, precisely the Heb. and Ch. 13X. 

It now becomes an interesting question, to determine how far any analogy 
exists, between the languages of the Japhetic and Shemitic families, in regard 
to prefixes. For example, in the Shemitic languages, 3 is a prefix of exten- 
sive use, corresponding almost exactly with the English and Dlitch by, the 
Saxon be, and German bei. This preposition and prefix has several senses 
in the Saxon which are now obsolete ; but its present prevaiUng sense oc- 
curs in all the Shemitic languages. r\iy Dnj5 nn3, by a strong east wind. 
Ex. xiv. 21. Compare the following definitions of this preposition ; the Sax. 
from Lye. and the Shemitic from Castle. 

Sax. de, e, ex, in, secus, ad, juxta, secundum, pro, per, super, propter, 
circa. , , , 

Heb. Ch. Syr. in, e, ex, cum, propter, usque ad, adeo ut, ad, super, per, 
contra, ante. 

1. in, per, pro, propter, cum, secundum, apud. 
in, cum, propter, per, ad, erga. 
... Numbers, xiv. 34, it signifies according to, or after ; D'DTI 13003, ac- 
cording to the number of days. This signification is now perhaps obsolete in 
English, but was common in the Saxon ; as, " be his majgnum," -"""--ii"" '" 

plant , 

standard ; from tag, a state of being 

' be tham mEstan ;" 

ccording to 
y the most, is now 

his strength ; pro viribis suis, 

expressed by, at the most. ,„..., 

Now it is remarkable that this word in Hebrew, Arabic and Persic, is the 
preposition used in oaths, precisely as it is in English. Gen. xxii. 16, '3, By 

myself have I sworn. Arabic, ballah or by Allah; Persic, <Jv-ij be- 
choda, or begoda, by God, the very words now used in English. The evi- 
dence then Is decisive that the Shemitic prefix a is the Teutonic be, by, bei 
contracted, and this Teutonic word is certainly a contraction of big, which 
is used in the Saxon, especially in compound words, as in bigspell, [by-spell] 
a fable ; bigstandan, to stand by. This prefix then was in universal use by 
the original stock of mankind, before the dispersion; and this word alone is 
demonstrative proof of the common origin of the Sheraiuc and Teutonic lan- 
guages. Now it is equally certain that this is the prefix b, and probably p, 
before I and r, in block, braigh, and a multitude of words m all the modern 
languages; and probably, the same letter is a prefix in many Shemitic 

"" We'know that be in the Saxon bedalan, and Dutch bedeelen, is a prefix, 
as the simple verb is found in all the Teutonic and Gothic languages. The 
Hebrew and Chaldee '713 corresponds exactly in elements and m sigmtica- 


lion, with the Saxon ;inil Dutch. Whether the fust letter is a prefix in the 
latter languages, let the reader judge. See the word deal, which when 
ced, terminates in t)ie Welsh tawl, a cast off, a throw ; separation; tawlu, 
to cast or throw off, to separate. 

In Chaldee, y}2 signifies to scatter, to disperse. The word has the s 
signification in the Syriac and Samaritan. 

In Ethiopic, the word with ^ prefixed, signifies to wish, love, desire, 
and with "t" prefixed, to strive, to endeavor, and without a prefix, strife, 
course, race. Both these significations are from stretching, straining. 

In Arabic j^j signifies generally to hasten, to run to; but , J^j 
signifies to disperse, to sow or scatter seed. 

This verb is written in Hebrew IfJ with precisely the .same signification. 
The Arabic also hajs the verb with this orthography, signifying to sow, and 
also to beat or strike with a stick. 

Now in Syriac ; , dar, signifies to strive, or struggle. Here we have 
the simple verb, withotit the prefix, with the sense of the Ethiopic, with 
a prefix. Supra. 

We find also the Arabic , i tharra, the simple verb, signifies to sprinkle 
We find in Chaldee Nm, mT and n\the simple verb, signifies todis 

perse ; in Syriac, the same. In Arabic ) , ^ signifies to sow, like the 
foregoing verb, and hence to procreate. Both this and the former verb sig- 
nify also to whiten, a^ the hair of the head, as we say, to sprinkle wjth gray 

hairs. The Arabic ^ ^ signifies to drive, to impel, to repel, to contend, 
to strive ; to shine, to sparkle. And here we have the literal signification 
of this whole class of verbs; to drive, urge, throw, send; hence to scat 
ter, to strive, to shoot as rays of Ught, procreate, &.c. 

The Hebrew corresponding verb is mt or J?ll to scatter, to sow ; and 
the word witli tlie like orthography occurs in Ch. Syr. and Ar. This is 
the Latin sero. And who can doubt that 3 is a prefix in tlie verb ir\2 
above mentioned .' 

In Welsh, goberu signifies to work, to operate; gober, work, operation ; 
formed by the prefix go and per ; go denoting progress towards, approach, 
and per rendered by Owen, that pervades, a fruit, a pear ; but tlie real 
eense is to strain, to bring forth, to drive, thrust, urge, &c. 

This word, in the Arnioric dialect, is written either gofter or ober 
Latin operor, whence Eng. operate. The same word is in the Ethiopic, 
I'Oi gaber, to make, to do. l\1(\i agabar, to cause to be made ; 
•^J^ "] Q 4 tagabar, to work, operate, negotiate ; 1 Q ^ gabar, a make 

This is the Heb. and Ch. laj to be strong, to prevail, to establish, and as 

a noun, a man; Ar. »*.:? jabara, to make strong, to heal, as a broken 
bone ; to strengthen. 

That this Shemitic word and the Welsh and Ethiopic are all radically one, 
there cannot be a question ; and the Welsh proves indisputably that go is a 
prefix. This then is a word formed on 13 or N-13. The Heb. T3N, 
strong, that is, strained, and T3N, a wing, that is, a shoot, are from the same 

root, and in Arabic j. j ? abara, signifies to prick, to sting, and its deriv 

pike, a 
pear, and per, a 

lance, a spit, a spear, Lat. verii ; in Welsh also 
spit, ai-e all doubtless of the same origin. 

In Syriac, ^o. ,tsabar, signifies to make, to work or operate. Is tliis 
the same root with a different prefix ? 

The same word in Arabic »aa» signifies to be patient, to bear, to sus- 

W e observe, that in the Teutonic and Gothic languages, the same word 
is used with different prefixes. Thus in our mother tongue, begin is writ- 
ten gynnan, tlie simple radical word, and aginnan, beginnan, and ongyn- 
nan ; and in the Gothic, duginnan, which, in English, would be, login. 

Should it appear upon investigation, that verbs in the Assyrian languages 
have the same prefixes which occur in the European languages, the fact 
will evidence more affinity between the languages of these two stocks than 
has yet been known to exist. 

Let us now attend to the natural causes which may be supposed to have 
obscured or desUoyed the identity or resemblance of languages which had 
a common origin. 

The afhnity of words, in two or more different languages, is known by 
identity of letters and identity of significaUon ; or by letters of the same 
organ, and a signification obviously deducible from the same sense. Letters 
of the same organ, as for example, b, /,;) and j) are so easily converted, the 

one into the other, and the change is so frequent, tliat this circumstance 
seldom occasions much obscurity. The changes of signification occasion 
more difficulty, not so much by necessity, as because this branch of philolo- 
gy is less understood. 


The articulations, letters which represent the junctions or joinings of the 
organs, usually called consonants, are the stamina of words. All these are 
convertible and frequently converted into their cognates. The English word 
bear represents the Latin fero and pario, and fero is the Greek fifu. 
The Latin vcntus is wind in English ; and habeo is hare. The Latin dens, 
in Dutch, Danish and Swedish is land; and darue in English is in German 

These changes are too familiar to require a multiplication of examples. 
But there are others less common and obvious, which are yet equally cer- 
tain. Thus in the Gaelic or Hiberno-Celtic,™ and mb are convertible with 
V ; and in Welsh m and v are changed, even in different cases of the same 
word. Thus in Irish the name of the hand in written either ZaniA or lav, 
and in Welsh maen, a stone, is written also vaen. The Greek is always^ 
pronounced as the English v, as PouXonai, Lat. volo, EngUsh will, German* 
wollen ; and the sound of b tlic Greeks express by m(3. 

In the Chaldee and Hebrew, one remarkable distinction is the use of a 
dental letter in tlie former, where the latter has a sibilant. As ni3 cuth 
in Chaldee is tyij cush in Hebrew ; 3rn, gold, in Chaldaic, is 3ni in He- 
brew. The like change appears in the modern languages ; for water which, 
in most of the northern languages, is written with a dental, is, in German, 
written wasser, and the Latin dens, W. dant, Dutch tand, Swedish and 
Danish tand, is, in German, zahn. The like change is frequent in the 
Greek and Latin. "PpaTiu, in one dialect, is (ppaircrw, in another; and the 
Latins often changed t of the indicative present, or infinitive, into a in the 
preterit and participle, as initio, mittcre, i/tisi, missus. 

L and R, though not considered as letters of the same organ, are really 
such and changed the one into the other. Thus the Spaniards write blandir 
for brandish, and escolta for escort. The Portuguese write brando for bland, 
and branquear, to whiten, for blanch. The Greek has tffayiWm for the 
Latin flagellum. In Europe however this change seems to be limited 
chiefly to two or three nations on the coast of the Mediterranean. L is 
sometimes commutable with D. 

We have a few instances of the change of g- or gh into/. Thus rough is 
pronounced j«/,and trough, traiif. 

The Russians often change the d of a noun into the sound of j, or the 
compound g, in the verb formed from that noun ; as lad, accord, harmony, 
laju, to accord, or agree ; bred, damage, loss ; breju, to injure. 

The Italians and French have also changed a dental into a palatal letter. 


any words ; as Italian raggio, a ray, from Lat. radius ; 
reason, from ratio ; Fr. manger, to eat, from Lat. mando, or manduco. 

In the south of Europe, the Greek % has been changed, in some instan- 
ces, into the Italian or Spanish z, and then by the French into s. It seems 
that the Spanish z has, at some former period, been pronounced as a guttu- 
ral. Thus the Gr. pf axcMi, Lat. brachium, the arm, is in Spanish brazo, 
and the Spaniards have the word from the Latin, or from the same source 
as the Latin and Greek, the Celtic braic. This word, brazo, the French 
changed into bras, and from that we have brace and embrace. A similar 
change occurs in Dnrazzo, from Dyrrachium, and in the Spanish luz, light. 

The Teutonic nations often used ft to express the power of the Greek «, 
and the Latin c, as heart for xapSia, horn for comu. Hence we find that 
the Saxon hlinian, hleonian or hlynian, to lean, is the Greek kAho), Latin 
clino. The letter h is now dropped and we wiite the word lean. 

In like manner, the Saxon hlid, which we no 
root as tlie Latin claudo, cludo, Ihp liirfk .'■■ 
hAhm. And in this word we may ■ ■! 

not only to shut, but to praise oi 
Latin plaudo, are the same, with 
that the primary sense is to strai. 

write lid, is from the same 
•. wliich is contracted into 
' t, that the word signifies 
1^ that this word and tlio 
, the same as laudo, and 
.uii appears in hlud, loud. 

Latin, /and h have been converted, as hordeum for fordeum ; and the 
Spaniards now write A for/, as Aacer for the Latin facere ; hilo for Jilum ; 
herir {orferire, Uc. 


The change of vowels is so common, as to occasion no difficulty in deter- 
mining the sameness of words ; indeed little or no regard is to be had to 
them, in ascertaining the origin and affinity of languages. In this opinion I 
accord with almost a^l writers on this subject ; but! have to combat the opin- 
ion of that elegant scholar, Sir William Jones, who protests against the licen- 
tiousness of etymologists, not only in transposing letters, but in totally disre- 
garding the voicels, and seems to admit the common origin of words only 
"'hen written with the same letters, and used in a sense precisely the same.* 

* Asiatic Researches, vol. 3, p. 4S9. 


I am not at all surprised at the common prejuJice existing against etymol- 
ogy. As the subject has been treated, it is justly liable to all the olyeclions 
urged against it. But it is obvious that Sir W. Jones had given very little 
attention to the subject, and that some of its most common and obvious prin- 
ciples had escaped his obseiTation. His opinion with regard to both articu- 
lations and vowels is unequivocally erroneous, as will appear from the fol- 
lowing list of words, taken from modern languages, and respecting the 
identity of which, that gentleman himself, if living, could not have the 
slightest doubt. 

English. Saxon. Dutch. German. Swedish. Latin. 
draw, I Jiagau, trekken, tragen, draga, tralio. 

give, gifan, geeven, geben, gifva, 

feet, j 

fot, fet, voet, 
hook, hoc, haak, 

day, dag, dajg, daag, 

have, habban, hebben, 

[Fr. avoir, ai, as 
leap, hleapan, loopen. 




tag, dag, 

haben, hafva, 

, avons, avez, ont.] 
laufen, lopa. 

hranden, brennen, 
willcn, woUen, 

, vclle. 

jord, Dan. iord. 

burn, byr 

will, willan, 

stone, Stan, 

broad, bred, 

earth, eorth, 

who, hwa, wie, ho, Dan. hvo. 

seek, secan, zoeken, suchen, s5kia, sequor. 

bean, bean, boon, bohne, bona, Dan. bonne. 

Here are scarcely two words written with the same letters in two lan- 
guages; and yet no man ever called in question their identity, on account 
of the difference of orthography. The diversity is equally great in almost 
all other words of the same original. So in the same words we often find 
the vowel changed, as in the Lat. facio, feci ; ago, egi ; sto, steti ; vello, 
vulsi. Nothing is more certain than that the Welsh gwyz, and the English 
wood, are the same word, although there is one letter only common to them 
both. It is pronounced gooyth, that is, g, and wyth ; as guard for ward. 


There are some words, which, in certain languages, have suffered a 
change of a radical letter ; while in others it is wholly lost. For example, 
word, in Danish and Swedish is ord; wort, a plant, is urt ; the Saxon gear, 
orger, English year, in Danish is aar, in Swedish is &r, in Dutch jaar, and 
in German jaAr. 

In the word, yoke, and its affinities, we have a clear and decisive example 
of changes in orthography. Yoke, the Latin jugvm, is from the Chaldee, 
Syriac, and Arabic JU. zug, 'o join, to couple ; a word not found in the He- 
brew. The Greeks retained the original letters in {u7o!, ?u7ou ; the Latins 
changed the first letter to J m jugum, and inserted a casual n in j'ungo. 
From the Latin, the Italians formed giogo, a yoke, and giugnere, to join ; 
the Spaniards, yugo, a yoke, and junior, to join ; the French, ^'oMg, a yoke, 
and ^omdre, to join. In Saxon, yoke is geoc or ioc ; in Dutch, juk; G. 
joch; Sw. ok. 

One of the most general chaqges that words have undergone is the entire 
loss of the palatal letter g, when it is radical and final in verbs; or the open- 
ing of that articulation to a vowel or diphthong. We have examples in the 
English bow, from Saxon bugan, to bend ; buy, from bycgan; brow, from 
Ircg ; lay, I'rom IcBgan, or lecgan ; say, from siegan ;fair, from fceger ; flail, 
from the' German /eg-c/, Lat. flagellum; French nier, from Lat. nego, ne- 

The same or similar changes have taken place in all the modern langua- 
ges of which I have any knowledge. 

The loss and changes of radical letters in many Greek verbs deserve par- 
ticular notice. We find in the Lexicons, irpayiia, 7rpa7o!, Trpaxuxoi, are refer- 
red to Trpao-cru, wpatTO, as the theme or root ; Toyua, to laaau ; purup, to pra ; and 
cpfaytia, to (ppcio-o-o). This reference, so far as it operates as a direction to the 
student where to find the verb to which the word belongs, and its explana- 
tion, is useful and necessary. But if the student supposes that these words 
are formed from the theme, so called, or the first person of the indicative 
mode, present tense, he is deceived. I am confident no example can be 
found, in any language, of the palatals 7 and «, formed from the dentals and 
sibilants, 1 and a, nor is piittop,or any similar word formed by the addition of 
the dental to a verb ending in a vowel. The truth is, the last radical in pro 
is lost, in the indicative mode, and inirpaaaiji, nptmu, it is changed. The ra- 
dical lost in pro is 5 or 9 ; the original word was ptSu or piSoi, and the deriva- 
tives pnTup, pniopiKn, were formed before the radical letter was dropped in the 
verb. No sooner is the verb restored to its primitive form, than we recog- 
nize its connection with the Irish raidham, to speak ; Saxon rad, speech ; 
7tedan, to read ; German rath, Dutch raad. Sac. 

The original root of irpao-trm, was irpa7M, irpaxu, or irpctKU, and from this were 
formed irpa7iia, irpaHTixot, before the last radical was changed. No sooner is 
the original orthography restored, than we see this to be the Teutonic verb. 

German brauclien, Dutch gebruiken, Danish hruger, Sw. briilia. Sax. bru- 
can, to use, io practice, and hence the English broka: 

The same remarks are api)licable to ia7na and rao-o-oj ; (ppa7Mo and (ppao-o-to ; 
alkay-n and aUac-uu ; xapcuTnp and xafaccra, and many other words of like for- 
mation. In all these cases, the last radical letter is to be sought in the deri- 
vatives of the verb, and in one of the past tenses, particularly in an aorist. 
This fact affords no feeble evidence that in Greek, as in the Shemitic langua- 
ges, the preterit tense or an aorist, was the radix of the verb.* 

But it is not in the Greek language only that we are to seek for the primi- 
tive radical letters, not in what is now called the root of the verb, but in the 
derivatives. The fact is the same in the Latin, and in the English. The 
Latin fluctus and fluxi, cannot be deduced (rom fluo ; but the orthography 
of these words proves demonstrably that the original root wasflugo, or fluco. 
So in English sight cannot be deduced from see, for no example can be found 
of the letter g introduced to form the participles of verbs. Sight, in Saxon 
gesicht, D. zigt, G. sicht, Dan. sigt, Sw. sickt, is a participle ; but the 
verb in the infinitive, in Saxon is seon, geseon, Ger. sehen, D. zicn, Dan. 
seer, Sw. se ; in which no palatal letter is found, from which g or ch can be 
deduced. The truth then is that the original verb was segan, or in Dutch 
zegen ; the g being lost as it is in the French nier, from the Lat. nego. 

In the change ol letters in the Greek verbs before mentioned, the process 
seems to have been from 7 or » to J, and then to o- and t ; Trfaym, jrpnju, nfac- 
aa, FpciTTW. This is certainly a process which is natural and common. The 
Latin brachiuni thus became in Spanish brazo, and then in French bras : 
and thus in the ItaUan, Alexandria has become Alessandria. 

When the last radical of a Greek verb is a dental, it may not be certain 
whether the original letter was d, or th or t. ' We find the Greek verb oTraK, 
to draw, forms its derivatives with <r, airaaiia, araais ■ and this is probably the 
Armoric spaza, from which we have spay. So <ppa{u, tpfaun, and (ppaln, are 
evidently of the same family. It is not improbable that the original letter 
might have a compound sound, or it might correspond neaily to the Arabic 
I3 or (^ J or the English dh or th, or ds, so as easily to pass into d oi 

It is equally clear that many Greek words have lost an initial consonant. 
The letter most generally lost is probably the oriental n, but obviously the 
palatals, 7 and «, have, in many instances, been dropped. There seems to 
be no question that the Greek o\oi is the English whole and perhaps all. 
This in Welsh is oil or holl, in Saxon al or geall ; and this is undoubtedly 
the Shemitic '73. So the Gr. o>,Auni is the Welsh colli, to lose ; and £iAro may 
be the EngUsh coi7, Fr. cueillir. 

In like manner, the Greek has, in many words, lost a labial initial, answer- 
ing to the English 6,/or v. The Greek ii5w is undoubtedly the Latin video ; 
ifyot is from the same root as work ; lim is from the root olvid, in the Latin 

divide, and individuus, that is, separate, and from the Arabic, Jv j badda, 
to separate. 

In many instances, the Latin retained or restored the lost letter ; thus ha- 
maxa, for ojiaja ; harpago for a^ira.-y-n ; harmonia for opuona ; video for £i5w. 

If the marks of breathing, called spiritus asper and spiritus lenis, now pre- 
fixed to Greek words, were intended to represent the letters lost, or to stand 
in the place of them, they answer this purpose very imperfectly. The spir- 
itus asper may stand for a palatal or guttural letter, but it does not designate 
which letter, the n, or the 3 ; much less does this or the other spiritus just- 
ly represent the labials, 6,/, d or «). Whenever the Latins wrote A in the 
place of the Greek spiritus, we may conclude that the original letter was n or 
a cognate letter ; and we may conclude also that the » in video, and in diiyido, 
viduus, individuus, stands for the original labial lost in iidu, and iJus. But 
there are many words, I apprehend, in which the lost letter is unknown, and 
in which the loss cannot be recovered, by any marks prefixed to the words. 
We may well suppose that hymnus exhibits the correct written form of 
uuio! ; but what is there in the Greek uipi, to lead us to consider this word as 
the English woof, and ucpau, to be the same as weave ? Both the Greek 
words have the spiritus asper. 

What proportion of Greek words have been contracted by the loss of an in- 
itial or final consonant, cannot, I apprehend, be determined with any pre- 
cision ; at least, not in the present state of philological knowledge. It is pro- 
bable the number of contracted words amounts to one fourth of all the verbs, 
and it may be more. 

Similar contractions have taken place in all other languages ; a circum- 
stance that embarrasses the philologist and lexicographer at every step of his 
researches; and which has led to innumerable mistakes in Etymology. We 
know that the Swedish &r, and Danish aar, a year, have lost the articulation 

g, and that the English y in year, is the representative of g, asj 

" * ' ' " jahr : for the g is found in our mother lougue 

and in a multitude of words, one language will supply the means of deter 

Dutch jaar, and German 

* KptUfu, in Greek, is to cry like a crow or rook ; but the last radical is 
changed fiom 7, as in the second aorist, it forms «pa7iii. Now in Danish, crow 
is krage, in Ger. krahe, in D. kraai, in Sw. kr&ka; a fact that demonstrates 
the last radical letter to be a palatal, which in English is opened too, in crow. 


mining the real origin or true orthography which cnnn.i I ■ i. 1 1 iruHl by 
anotlier. But doubtless many changes have taken pi i i I ' i. ■ evi- 

dence is uncertain ; the chain which might conduct \ I ^ ' ii . I.iithog- 
raphy being broken, andno meansnow remaining ol II I n 11 _ ■'■. 

In no language, has the rejection or change of consonants s n ft 

ually to obscure the original words as in the French. So t-M ■ I 

been the changes of orthography in that language, that hii<l n 
lexicographers indicated the loss of letters by a mark, it would I ir i : , 1 1 » i I 
now to discover the original orthography, or to trace tlic connection oi w .1 
with other languages, in a large portion of them. And it is with r.'in 
we observe the influence of the French practice of suppressing consoii n; 
extending itself to other countries. It is owing to the most servile obsicin, 
ousness of nations, that Basil or Basilea, the elegant name of a town m 
Switzerland, has been corrupted to Basle, and pronounced most barbarously 
bale. The Germans are pursuing a like course in suppressing the palatal 
letters; a most unfortunate circumstance for the strength of the language. 

The Italians also have a disposition to reject letters when they interfere 
with their habits ofpronunciation, and hence we see, in their language, ^ia- 
no, written (or piano ; fiore (or flore ; fiocco (or flocco; a change that has 
removed a radical consonant, and thus obscured or ratlier destroyed the affin- 
ity between the Italian and the Latin words. 

Another dilTerence of writing and pronouncing, has been produced by the 
change of a sibilant letter into an aspirate : or e converso, by the change of 
an a.spirate into a sibilant. No person doubts whether the Latin super is 
the Greek uirip ; or o|ia\M is similh ; or a\! is sal, salt. The latter in 
Welsh is halen, hal. So helyg, a willow, in Welsh, is in Latin salix. Thq 
(Jreek ma is the Latin septem, English seven. This in Persic is C>.x& 
heft or haft, which approaches the Greek itna. It has been commonly sup- 
posed, that in this case, the aspirate in Greek has been converted into an s. 
There are however strong reasons for believing that the change has been 
the reverse, and that s has been dropped, and its place supplied by an 

aspirate. The word seven is, beyond a question, the Sheniitic ^ j^^ 
i,'2e>, whence nat?, Eng. sabbath ; and the Gaelic sean, old, whence Latin 

senex, in Welsh hen, seems clearly to be the Ar. ^ sanna, to be old. 

It is then clear that in these words .s is radical. It is probable however 
that the aspirate, in some cases, has been changed into s. 

It deserves to be noticed that the radix of a word is sometimes obscured, 
in Greek and Latin, by the loss or change of a radical letter in the nomina- 
tive case. We find in Latin nepos, in the nominative, is nepotis in the gen- 
itive ; honos, honoris, &.c. In these changes, I suppose the letter restored 
in the oblique cases to be the true radical letter. Thus adamant has been 
deduced by our etymologists from the Greek a negative and ianau, to sub- 
due, on the supposition that the stone was named from its hardness. This 
is a good example of a great part of all etymological deductions ; they arc 
mere conjectures. It did not occur to the inquirer that adamas, in the 
nommative, becomes in the gentive adamantis ; that n is radical, and that 
this word cannot be regularly deduced from the Greek verb. Any person^ 
by looking into a Welsh dictionary, may see the original word. 

In some words it is not easy to determine whether n before d is casual or 
radical. In such words as the Latin fundo, to pour, and tundo, to beat 
there is rea.son to think the n is casual, for the preterit is formed without it, 
fudt, tutuJt. But ni other words n before d seems to be radical, and the 
d casual ; as in fundo, fundare, to found. For this word coincides with the 
Irish bun, foundation, and with the Shemitic nj3, banah, to build. So the 
English yt«(Z is in Swedish ^inna, and in is in Danish ind. 

Another fact of considerable consequence, is, the casual sound of n .-ivcn 
tog, which produced the elTect of doubling the 7 in Gi-cek, an. I ..I .1, , 7 , u 

mg the insertion of n before g in the Latin, as also in the ' 

Gothic languages. Thus we see the 7 is doubled in the Greik 
we know, m this case, how the change originated; for the oii.Mi> ,1 v. \,' 1 
m the Gaelic and Irish, agalla. So 7 is prefixed to another palatal or -ut- 
tural letter in wyx'-', 07x01, £771^10. 

A similar nasal sound of g probably introduced the n before s in lin-'o. to 
hck ,• hnquo, to leave. 

We may be confident, in all cases, that n is not radical, when it is dropped 
in the supine and participle, as in Kctvm, Hctus, from linguo. When n is 
retained in supine and participle, there may be more reason for doubt; 
but m this case, the question may often be determined by the coriespondin<r 
word m aiKither language, or by some other word evidently of the sami 
lick are the 



little doubt that lingo and the English 
"* the Lat. lingua and ligula arc of 

This casua insertion of n in words of this class must be carefully noticed 
by the etymologist, or he will overlook the affinity of words, which are evi- 
dent y the same. We have many words in English which are written with 
n belore a g or a k, when the ancient words in the Gothic and Teutonic lan- 
guages and some of them in the modern Danish and Swedish, are written 
without n. Thus sink, in Gothic is sigcwan; to think, is thagkyan. It is 
not improbable that the (Jothic word was pronounced with the sound of n 

Vol. I. C 

■ ng- as in English. So i 

- ^stances, we find the Sw . 

jways, as tlinka, ttenker and tycka, tykker, to thinks But in general the Ger- 

ans, Danes, Swedes and Dutch write words of this sort with ng. 

To show how important it is to know the true original orthography, I will 
iition one instance. In our mother tongue, the word to dye, or color, is 

nw-ndeagan; the elements or radical letters are dg. To determine 
il'.cr Ibis and the Latin tingo arc the same words, we must first know 
il]r ■ 11 in tingo is radical or casual. This we cannot know with cer- 
. ! ■ t'li- form of the word itself, for the n is carried through all the 
' I iiMiiis of the verb. But by looking into the Greek, we find the 

-, i vM,,Hii with 7, Tiv'/y; and this clearly proves the alliance of the 

tiiil «iiii deagan. .'^rr- /(i,r in tin Hirtionary. 
j We have many Enjili ' lib a rf ha? been inserted before ;?, 

3.% ia badge, budge, Iml'. , -,. In all words, I believe, of this 

class, the dis casual, tn,.i . .; , > ,„ ,„^ is the radical letter, as pledge from 
the French pleige ; UK^t 1 1 um tin- .s^xon wecg. The practice of inserUng 
d in words of this sort seems to have originated in the necessity of some 
mode of preserving the English sound of g, which might otherwise be 
sounded as the French g before e. And it is for this reason we still retain, 
and ought to retain d in alledge, abridge. In like manner the Teutonic c 
has been changed into the sound of ch, as Sax. wacian, wacian, to wake, 
to watch; Sax. thac, thatch. 

There are some nations which, in many words, pronounce and write g 
before u or w ; as in the French guerre, for war; guede, for woad ; guet- 
ter. for wait : in Welsh, gwal, for wall; gwain, for wain ; gwared, for 
guard, which in EngHsh is ward, Sp. guarda. In some instances, the u 
or u) is dropped in modern writing, as in the French garcniu, a warren : 
garde, for guard. ThisditTerence of orthography makes it difficult, in some 
cases, to ascertain the true radical letters. 


Another cause of obscurity in the affinity of languages, and one thai 
seems to have been mostly overlooked, is, the change of the primary sense 
of the radical verb. In most cases, this change consists in a slight deflec- 
tion, or difference of application, which has obtained among diflerent fam- 
ilies of the same stock. In some cases, the literal sense is lost or obscured 
and the figurative only is retained. The first object, in such cases, is to 
find the primary or literal sense, from which the various particular applica- 
tions may be easily deduced. Thus, we find in Latin, libeo, libet, or lubeo, 
lubet, IS rendered, to please, to like ; lubens, willing, glad, cheerful, pleas- 
ed; hbenter, lubenter, willingly, gladly, readily. What is the primary 
sense, the visible or physical action, from which the iie&ot willing is taken? 
I find, either by knowing the radical sense of willing, ready, in other 
cases, or by the predominant sense of the elements lb, as in Lat. labor, to 
slide, liber, free, &c. that the primary sense is to move, incline or advance 
towards an object, and hence the sense of willing, ready, prompt. Now 
this Latin word is the English love, German lieben, Hebe. " Lubet me ire." 
I love to go ; I am inclined to go ; I go with cheerfulness ; but the affinity 
between love and lubeo has been obscured by a slight ditTerence of applica- 
tion, among the Romans and the Teutonic nations. 

Perhaps no person has suspected that the English words heat, hate and 
hest, in behest, are all radically the same word. But this is the fact. Sax. 
hattan, to heat, or be hot, and to hate ; haitan, to heat and to call ; hatan, 
to call, to order, to command ; ge-haitan or gehatan, to grow warm, to 
promise, to vow ; Gothic, gahaitan, to call, to promise ; Dutch, heeten, to 
heat, to name, to call, bid or command ; German, heitzen. to heat ; heissen, 
to call; hitzen, to heat, to hoist; Swedish, hetsa, to inflame, to provoke : 
Dt.viivl, hnlrr. Inlie;ii, to be culled. Behest, we have from the German or 
~>''''| >| I'i'I'i Hull loiiuides with the Latin astus torhtnstus, which 
' ' I'l' ". ' '" III' <.irnian. //a<e coincides with the Latin otZi, 

■' • • > :>'• I' '"1 h.'di. luimti, and as the Teutonic h often represents the 
Ljiiti J, ,u m Ian a, cuuui, tlic Danish orthography heder, coincides with the 
Latin cito, to call. Now what is the radical sense .' Most obviously to stir, 
agitate, rouse, raise, implying a driving or impulse ; and hence in Latin 
iBstuo, to be hot, and to rage or storm ; hence to excite, and hence the sense 
of the Latin cito, quickly, from stirring, rousing to action. In this case hatred, 
as well as heat, is violent excitement. We find also in the Saxon and 
Gothic the sense of vowing, that is, of driving out the voice, uttering, de- 
claring, a sense allied to calling and commanding, and to this is allied the 
sense of the Latin recito, to recite. 

In English befall signifies to fall on, to happen to ; in German the same 
word, befallen, has the like signification. But in Saxon gefeallan signifies 
to fall, to rush on, while in German gefallen signifies to please, that is, to 
suit, to come to one's mind, to be agreeable. The Danish gefalder has the 
same signification as the German. 

We find by the Saxon, that tlie English reck, to care, and reckon, and 
the Latin rego, to rule, are all the same word, varied in orthography and appU- 
cation. To hnd the primary sense of reck, to care, we are then to examine the 
various derivative senses. And we need go no farther than to the Latin rec- 
tus and English right, the sense of which is straight, for tliis sense is de- 
rived from straining, stretching. Care then is a straining of the mind. 


a sUetcliing towards an object, coinciding with the primary sense of atten- 
tion. The primary sense of reckon is to strain out sounds, to speak, tell, 
relate ; a sense now disused. 

The Saxon care, care, ctcrcian, to care, to cark, is connected in origin 
with the Latin career, a prison ; Ijoth from the sense of straining, whence 
holding or restraint. 

To prove how the jirimary general sense of a word may ramify into differ- 
ent senses, by special appropriation of the word among separate families of 
men proceeding from the same stock, let us observe the different senses in 
wliich leap is used by the English, and by the nations on the continent. In 
English, to leap is simply to spring; as, to leap a yard ; to leap over a fence. 
But on the continent it signifies to run. Now it will be seen that this 
word as used by the Germans cannot always be translated by itself, that is, 
by the same word, into English. Take for illustration the following pas- 
.sage from Luther's Version of the Scriptures. 1. Sam. xvii. 17. " Nimm 
fUr deine bruder diese epha sangen, und diese zehen brod, und lai^'ms heer 
zu deinen brudern." " Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched 
corn, and these ten loaves, and leap to the camp to thy brethren." Leap, 
instead of run, is good German, but bad English.* There are two other 
words in this passage, of which a like remark may be made. The German 
brod, loaves, is our bread, which admits of no plural ; and sangan is our 
singed, which we cannot apply to parched corn. 

So in some of the Teutonic languages, to warp kittens or puppies, to ivarp 
eggs, is correct language, though to our cars very odd ; but this is only 
a particular application of the primary sense, to throw. We say to lay eggs, 
but to lay is to throtv down. 

By this comparison of the different uses and applications of a word, we 
are able, in most cases, to detect its original signification. And it is by this 
means, I apprehend, that we may arrive at a satisfactory explanation of the 
manner in which the same word came to have different and even opposite 

It is well known, for example, that the Hebrew word p3, is rendered, in 
our version of the Scriptures, both to bless and to curse. The propriety of 
the latter rendering is controverted by Parkhurst, who labors to prove, that 
in Kings and in Job, where it is rendered, to curse, it ought to be rendered, 
to bless; and he cites, as authorities, the ancient versions. It is true that 
in 1 Kings xxi. 10. 13 ; and in Job i. 11, and ii. 5, the seventy have rendered 
the word by euAo^iu), to bless ; and other ancient versions agree with the 
Septuagint. But let the word be rendered by bless in the following passa- 
ges. " Put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone, and his flesh, and he 
will Wess thee to thy face." " J5tos God and die." How very absurd does 
such a translation appear. It shows the immense importance of understand- 
ing the true theory of language, and the primary sense of radical words. 
Let us then endeavor to discover, if possible, the source of the difficulty in 
the case here mentioned. To be enabled to arrive at the primary sense, let 
us examine the word in the several languages, first, of the Shemitic, and 
then of the Japhetic stock. 

Heb. "jia To bless ; to salute, or wish a blessing to. 

2. To curse ; to blaspheme. 

3. To couch or bend the knee, to kneel. 
Deriv. A blessing, and the knee. 
Chaldee, ■]"13 To bless ; to salute at meeting, and to bid farewell at 


2. To bend the knee. 

3. To dig ; to plow ; to set si 


'.e ; a blei 
To fall 

V. 27. 

2. To issue or proceed from. Math. 

3. To bless. 

plant for propagation. 

Talm. and Rabbin. 
a cion ; the young of fowls. 
fall or bow down. Judg, 

Samaritan, ii'\Si To bless. 

Ethiopic, fl/!tl To bless. Deriv. the knee. 

Arabic, ,^j.j To bend the knee ; to fall on the breast, as a camel. 

2. To be firm,' or fixed. 

3. To rain violently ; to pour forth r;iin, as the clouds. Gr. Ppix". 

4. To detract from ; to traduce ; to reproach or pursue with reproaches 
to revile. 

5. To bless; to pray for a blessing on ; to prosper; to be blessed. 

6. To hasten ; to rush, as on an enemy ; to assail. 

Deriv. The breast ; the bason of a fountain ; a fish pond, or receptacle of 
water, as in Heb. and Ch, : also increase ; abundance ; constancy ; splendor; 
a flash of light. 

In the latter sense, usually from Oj. j Heb. and Ch. pi3. 
The Arabic word supplies us with thecertain means of determining th^ 
radical sense ; for among other significations, it has the sense of pouring 

forth rain ; and this is precisely the Greek ppix". The primary sense then 
send, throw, or drive, in a transitive sense ; or in an intransitive sense, 
to rush, to break forth. 

To bless and to curse have the same radical sense, which is, to send or 
pour out words, to drive or to strain out the voice, precisely a< in the Latin 
ippello, from pello, whence peal, as of thunder or of a bell. The two penses 
pring from the appropriation of loud words to express pa: iiciilar acts. This 
depends on usage, like all other particular applications of one general .^iini- 
fication. The sense in Scripture is to utter words cithir in a good or bad 
sense ; to bless, to salute, or to rail, to scold, to rrproaeh ; and this very 
1 is probably the root of repj-oacA, as it certainly iinftlie LM'mprecor, 
used, like the Shemitic word, in both senses, pnnjinfr ;iTni cursing, or de- 

ecating." It is also the same word as the Enj;li-,li ;))<n/, II. pregare, L. 
precor, the same aspreach, D.preeken, W. pregethv. To the same family be- 
long the Gr. Ppax^^, PpiTCM, Ppuxaojiai, to bray, to roaj-, to low, Lat. rugio. 
Here we see that bray is the same word, applied to the voice of the ass and 
to breaking in a mortar, and both are radically the same word as break. 

The of kneeling, if radical, is to throw, and if from the noun, the 
sense of the noun is a throwing, a bending. 

The Chaldee sense of digging, if radical, is from thrusting in an instrument, 

breaking the ground ; but perhaps it is a sense derived from the name of 

ihoot or cion, and in reality, to set a shoot, to plant. 

The Syriac use of this word in Matthew xv. 19, is intransitive, to issue, 

shoot or break forth. So in Arabic, to rush on, to assault. The sense of 
firmness in Arabic is from setting, throwing down, as in kneeling ; and 
hence the sense of breast, the fixed, firm part. 

That this word has the sense both of blessing and of cursing or reproach- 
ing, we have demonstrative evidence in the Welsh language. Hheg, in 
Welsh, is "[13, without the prefix. It signifies a sending out; utterance; 
a gift or present ; a consigning ; a ban, a curse or imprecation. Rhegu, to 
give ; to consign ; to curse. From rhtg is formed preg, a greeting, or salu- 
tation, [the very Hebrew and Chaldee word,] pregeth, a sermon, and pre- 
gethu, to preach. Here we have not only the origin oi preach, but another 
important fact, that preg, and of course y^l, is a compound word, composed 
of a prefix, p or b, and rheg. But this is not all ; the Welsh greg, a cack- 
ling, gregar, to cackle, is formed with the prefix g on this same rheg. [Dan. 
krage, a crow.] 

In Welsh, bregu signifies to break ; breg, a breach, a rupture. This 
Owen deduces from bar, but no doubt erroneously. It is from rhegu, and 
there is some reason to think that break is from p3, rather than from pnS, 
but probably both are from one radix, with different prefixes. 

We observe one prominent sense of the Arabic i»J\j baraka, is to rain 
violently ; to pour forth water, as clouds. This is precisely the Greek (3pixM ; 
word found in all the Teutonic and Gothic languages, but written cither 
with or without its prefix. 

Saxon, riBgn or regn, rain ; regnan, to rain. 

Dutch, regen, rain ; regenen, beregenen, to rain upon. 

German, regen, rain ; regnen, to rain ; beregnen, to rain on. 

Swedish, regna, to rain. 

Danish, regn, rain ; regner, to rain. 

Saxon, racu, rain ; Cimbric, riekia, id. 

Here we find that the English rain, is from the same root as the Welsh 
rhig, rhegu, and the Shemitic "jlj. 

Pursuing the inquiry further, we find that the Saxon recan, or reccan, 
[W. rhegu,'] signifies to speak, to tell, to relate, to reckon, the primary sense 
of which last is to speak or tell ; also, to rule, which shows this to be the La- 
tin rego ; also to care, which is the English reck. That this is the same 
word as rain, we know fiom the Danish, in which language, regner signi- 
fies both to rain and to reckon, to tell, to count or compute. In the German, 
the words are written a little differently ; rechnen, to reckon, and regnen, to 
rain. So in Dutch, reekenen and regenen; but this is a fact by no means 

Here we find that the English reckon and reck, and the Latin rego, arc 
the same word. The pi imary sense is to strain, to reach, to stretch. Care 
is a stretching of the mind, like attention, from the Latin tendo, and re- 
straint is the radical sense of governing. Hence rectus, right, that is, 
straight, stretched. 

Hence we find that rain and the Latin regnum, reign, are radically the 
same word. 

Now in Saxon racan, or racan, is the English reach, to stretch or extend, 
from the same root, and probably reek, Saxon recan, reocan, to fume or 
smoke ; for this is, to send off. 

I might have mentioned before, that the Chaldee n0">3, a cion or branch, 
is precisely the Celtic word for arm; Irish icoic, or raio:/) ; AVelsh Araif ; 
whence the Greek (3?axi"i, the Latin brachium, whence the Spanish braio, 
whence the French bras, whence the English brace. The arm is a shoot, 
a branch, and branch is from this root oi- one of the family, n being casual ; 
branch for brach. 

He walks, he leaps, he i 

In^robusurget iratis precibus." — Horace. 


On this word, let it be further obser\-cd, or on p-a or p-i3, if radically 
different, are formed, with the prefix s, the German sprechen, to speak, 
spracAe, speech ; Dutch spreeken, spraak ; Swedish spr&ka, syroA; Da- 
nish sprog, speech ; and Swedish spricka, to break; Danish sprekker. The 
same word with n casual is seen in spring, the breaking or opening of the 
winter; and here we see the origin of the marine phrase, to spring a mast, 
Danish springer, to burst, crack or spring. This in Swedish is written 
without n, spricka, to break, burst, split ; but a noun of this family has n, 
fpringa, a crack, and spring, a spring, a running. 

Now let us attend to other Shemitic words consisting of cognate elements. 

Chaldee, -tlil To rub or scrape ; to rub out or tread out, as grain from the 
car or sheaf; Latin/rico,/rio. 

2. To collect and bind, as sheaves; perhaps English, lo rake. 

3. To break or break down. 

4. To question; to doubt. In Saxon and Gothic fragnan, fragan, signi- 
fies to ask. 

Deriv. Froward ; perverse. Prov. ii. 12. So in English refractory. 

This verb is not in the Hebrew; but there are two derivatives, one signi- 
fying tlie inner vail of the temple ;'so called probably from its use in break- 
i'ng^Wvit is, interrupting access, or separation, like diaphragm in 
The other derivative is rendered rigor, or cruelty ; that which strains, op- 
presses, breaks down, or rakes, harasses. 

With this verb coincides the Irish bracaim, to break, to harrow, that is, to 

Syr. 3;.3 To rub, so rendered, Lukevi. 1. Lat. /;ico. A d( 
sijnities to comminute. 
'Deriv. Distortion ; winding ; twisting. Let this be noted. 

Ar. ^j.3 To rub, Lat. /ric«. 

2. To hate, as a husband or wife ; to be languid, or relaxed. 

Deriv. Laxity ; franeibility ; friability. 

Heb. p-13 To 6reafr,burst, or rend; to break off; to separate. 

Deri\! A breaking or parting of a road. 

Ch. p13 To break. 

2. Tb redeem, that is, to free, separate or deliver. 

3. To explain, a-s a doubtful question. 
Deriv. One who ransoms or delivers ; a rupture ; the neck or 

breaking connected in tliis 

joint of a reed ; a chapter, 
pni)> a rupture, coinciding 

ture ; a joint of the fingers, &c. ; the ankle 
or section of a book ; explanation ; expositic 
with the English broke. 

Syr. ,0\.S> To redeem. 

2. To depart ; to remove ; to separate. 

Deriv. A recess, or withdrawing ; separaUon ; liberation ; redemption ; 
safely ; vertebra. 

Sam. The same as tlie Syriac verb. 

Ar. o.i to separate ; to divide; to withdraw; to disperse, [qu. Lat 
spargo\] to lay open; to disclose ; to cast out ; to immerse. 

Deriv. Separation ; distinction ; distance ; inter\'al ; dispersion ; aurora, 
as we say, the break of day; also, a garment reaching to the middle of the 
thigh, qu. frock; also bre'ech. 

I have placed these two words together, because I am convinced they are 
both of one family, or formed on the same radical word. The latter coincides 
exactly with the Latin frango,fregi,fractum, for n in frango, is undoubt- 
edly casual. Now in Welsh bregu, to break, would seem to be directly con- 
nected with "113, yet doubtless bregii is the English break, the German 
brechen, the Dutch breeken, &c. In truth, the three words -p^, pg and 
pi3 are probably all from one primitive root, formed with different prefixes, 
or rather with the same prefix differently written ; the different words 
bearing appropriate senses, among different tribes of men. 

We observe in the Chaldee word the sense of questioning. Perhaps this 
may be the Gothic /roo^an, to ask, and if so, it coincides with the Latin rogo. 
the latter without the prefix. In tlie sense of break, we find, in the Greek, 
pT\7vuM, without a prefix. j 

Most of the significations of these verbs are too obvious to need illustra 
tion. But we find in the Syriac the sense of distortion, a sense which a 
first appears to be remote from that of breaking or bursting asunder. Bu 
this is probably the primary sense, to strain, to stretch, a sense we retain in 
the phrase, to break upon the wheel, and by dropping the prefix, we have 
the precise word in the verb, to racfr. 

Now if this is the genuine sense, we find it gives the English wreck and 
wrack, the Danish vrag, Sw. vrak, a wreck. In Saxon, wracan, wrecan 
is the English wreak, that is, to drive, or throw on ; wrace, is an exile, a 
uretch. In vrnger signifies to reject; Sw.vraka, to throw away; 
all implying a driving force, and that wreck is connected with breakis prob- 
able for another reason, that the Latin fractus, frango, forms a constituent 
part of naufiagium, the English shipwreck, which in Danish is simply wag-. 

Now if straining, distortion, is one of the senses of this root, the English 
wring, tcTong, Danish crang, Sw. vr&ng, may be deduced from it, for un- 
doubtedly n is not radical in these words. The Dutch have wringen, but 
the German drops the first letter and has ringen, both to twist or wind and 

to ring or sound ; the l.itlcr sense from stiainiiig or throwing, as in other 
cases. Without n, wring would be wrig, and wrong, wrog ; wrung, vorag, 
Dan. vrag. 

In Greek, p<i7oi is a blanket or coverlet, and connected with pnyiuiii; that 
is, a spread, from stretching, or throwing over. 

We find also among the Chaldee derivatives the sense of a neck, and a 
joint. Now we find this word in Irish, braigh, the neck ; in Greek, with- 
out the prefix, faxn, the spine of the back, Saxon, hraeca, English, the 
rack, and from the Greek, the rickets, from distortion. 

Coinciding with the Greek priyiuw, to break, we find in Welsh rhwgaw, to 
rend, and coinciding with paxm, a rock, a crag, Welsh, eraig, and connect- 
ed with these, the Saxon hracod, English ragged, that is, broken ; evidently 
the participle of a verb of this family. 

Hence we find the senses of distortion and 
root, in a great variety of instances. 

The Shemitic p^3, to lighten, to shine or flash, is one of this family. The 

sense is to shoot' or dart, to throw, as in all like cases. And under this 

;, the Arabic has the sense, to adorn, as a female ; to make bright or 

shining ; which gives the English prank and prink, D. pragt, 0. pracht. 

Prance is of the same family, from leaping, starting, darting up. 

In Greek Ppayu:, short, stands in the Lexicons as a primary word or root. 
But this is from the root of break, which is lost in Greek, unless in fnym, 
without the prefix. From ppax"!, or the root of this word, the French lan- 
guage has abreger, to abridge, and what is less obvious, but equally certain, 
that from the same root the Latin has brevis, by sinking the palatal let- 
ter, as we do in bow, from bugan, and in lay, from lecgan ; so thai abridge 
and abbremate, brief, are from one root. 

It should have been before mentioned that the Latin refragor, signifies 
to resist, to strive against, to deny, whence refractory ; a sense that demon- 
strates the primary sense to be to strain, urge, press ; and refraction, in 
optics, is a breaking of the direct course of rays of light by turning them ; 

sense coinciding witli that of distortion. 

We see then that one predominant sense of break, is, to strain, to distort. 
Let us now examine some of the bilitcrai roots in rg and rk, wliich, if b 

a prefix, must be the primary elements of all the words above mentioned. 

Ch. in To desire, to long for. This is the Greek op<7w, and English to 
reach; for desire is expressed by reaching forward, stretcliing the mind to- 

ards the object. So in Latin appeto, and expeto, from peto, to move to- 

ards. This coincides nearly with the Latin rogo, to ask, and the Goth. 
fragnan. Sax. frcegnan. 

Syr.^ ; To desire ; and with olaph prefixed,.,^ ] to desire, or long ; also 
to wet or moisten; also J^ to moisten — Latin rigo, irrigo, to irrigate. 

Deriv. Tender, soft, fresh, from moisture or greenness. Qu. Lat recent, 


Here desire and irrigation are both from one root; desire is a reaching 
forward, and irrigation is a spreading of water. 

This root, in Hebrew JIN, signifies to weave, or connect as in texture and 
net work ; but tlie primary sense js to stretch or strain. 

In Arabic, the same verb _ , \ signifies to emit an agreeable smell; to 

breathe fragrance ; radically to throw or send out ; to eject ; a mere modifica- 
tion of the same sense. This is the Latin fragro, whence fragrant, with a 
prefix; but according exactly with the English reek. 

"IIN in Ch. Heb. Syr. and Sam., signifies to prolong, to extend. In .\r. as 
in Heb. in Hiph. to delay, or retard; that is, to draw out in time. 

JH'y in Heb. has been differently interpreted; indeed, it has been rendered 
by words of directly contrary signification. The more modern interpre- 
ters, says Castle, render it, to sptit, divide, separate, or break; the ancient 
interpreters rendered it, to stiffen, to make rigid or rough, to wrinkle or . 
corrugate. Castle and Parkhurst, however, agree in rendering it, in some 
passages, to quiet, still, allay. Jer. xlvii. 6. 1.34. In Job vii. 6. our trans- 
lators have rendered it broken, my skin is broken, [rough, or rigid.] In 
Job. xxvi. 12. it is rendered by divide. " He divideth the sea by his power." 
In Vanderhooght's Bible it is in this place rendered by commovet — He agit- 
ates the sea. The Seventy render it by varrrauo-i, he stilled; and this is tho 
sense which Parkhurst gives it. 

In Isaiah li. 15, and Jer. xxxi. 35, it is rendered in our version hy divide. 
" But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared." 

In Vanderhooght's Bible it is rendered in Isaiah Ii. 15, " I am Jehovah 
thy God, qui commovens mare, ut perstrepant fluctus ejus." In Jer. xxxi. 
35, commovens mare, ut tumultuenter fluctus — agitating or moving the sea, 
that the waves roar, or may roar. The passage in Isaiah is rendered by the 
seventy, on a 0;ci a:'Vf c tapacrtrwi rtiv 6a\acT(7aVy xai nxwv Ta yviiaia avi-ns, agita- 
ting the sea and causing its waves to roar and resound. In the French trans- 
lation, the passage in Isai:ih is " qui fend la mer, et ses flots bruient." [I] 
who divide the sea and the waves roar. In Jeremiah the passage is " qui 
agite la mer et les flots en bruient." Who agitates the sea and therefore 
the waves roar. In ItaUan, the passage in Isaiah is rendered " che muovo 
il mare, e le sue onde romoreggiano." In Jeremiah, " che commuove il 
mare, onde le sue onde romoreggiano." WTio moveth the sea, wherefore 
its waves roar, or become tumultuous. 


These dilleient rejideiings show the importance of understanding the lit-] 
cral or primary sense of words ; for whatever may be the real sense m the 
passages above mentioned, it cannot be to divide I we are give to vau in 
the following word, its usual sense of and, it is diflicult to make sense of the 
word rJI, by translating it, he stUleth: hestilleth the sea audits waves are 
tumultuous, or he stiUeth the sea that the waves may roar or be agitated ! 
This will not answer. The more rational version would be, he roughens 
the sea, and its waters roar, or he drives, impels it into agitaUon. In Lthi- 
opic the same word signifies to coagulate, to freeze, to become rigid ; and 
this is undoubtedly the Latin riseo, and with a prefix, /ngeo, and this sig- 
nification is perhaps allied to Lat. rugo, lo wrinkle ; for as a general rule, 
the radical sense of wrinkle is to draw, as in contract, cmitraho, and thu 
seems to be the sense of rigeo. Both these words are allied to rough 
which is from breaking or wrinkling. This sense would perhaps well suii 
the context in these two passages, as it would also that in Job vu. 5 . My 
skin is rough. 

Now in Arabic, the general signification of ;?JT is to return, to repeat, 
to withdraw, which may be from drawing back ; a dififerent application ol 
the original sense, to strain, stretch, or extend. 

The root pn in Chaldee signifies to spit, and this is probably the Latin j 

ructo, somewhat varied in application. The 
signifies to diive off, to reject, to shoot or grov 
rify or make clear as wine ; precisely the English to rack ; also 
1 to pour out. Hebrew p^, to empty, to draw 

ame verb in Arabic 
long as teeth, to stra 

a, spittle ; Syriac, to spit, to di 

attenuate or make 

out, to attenuate ; Sa- 

Ethiopic, to be fine, slender, 

Pi. j^3, the verb differently pointed, to hew, to out down. Josh. xvii. 
.5. IS. 

2. To cut down with the sword ; to kill. Ez. xxiii. 47. 

3. To make fat. 1 Sam. ii. 29. 
Thus far the Hebrew. 

Chal. Sia To create. Gen. i. \. 

2. To cut off. Is. xl. 20. 

3. To make fat ; to grow sound or strong. Talm. 

Deriv. Fat ; whole ; sound ; strong. Castle. 

Syr. ] "^O To create. Gen. i. 1. JVIark xiii. 19. 

2. To remove to a distance, and Deriv. distance, distant Castle. 

Sam. /fSa To create. Gen. i. 22. Deut. iv. 32. Castle 

Ar. ^j.j To create. Job xxxviii. 7. [qu. 4 and 6.] 

2. To be' free, or guiltless, not obnoxious to punishment. Num. v. 28. 
31, and xxxii. 22. Rom. vii. 6. 

3. To free ; to absolve, from i 
Ex. XX. 7. Num. xiv. 18. 

4. To escape ; to forsake. 

5. To recover from disease ; to be healed ; to restore to health. Lev. xii 
18. Josh. v. 8. Math. iv. 23. 

6. To cleanse ; to free from impurities 

7. To abstain from. 

Deriv. Creator ; free ; unobnoxious ; clean ; empty. 

to liberate; to dismiss; to justify. 

thin, and i 

maritan, to pour out, to draw out, to extend , 

or thin ; Arabic, to be soft, tender, thin. The verb p has a like signifi' 

tion, and is perhaps from the same original root. yTTt Hebrew, to spread 

stretch, extend. But, says CasUe, all the ancient' interpreters rcnderec 

the word, to ordain, establish, make firm ; to strike, to beat, as plates ot 

metal. But tlie sense is to stretch, to spread, and the beating is only the 

means of extending. Hence y^rrs the firmament, which agrees well with 

Lat. regio, an extent ; in Hebrew, properly an expanse. And to reconcile 

the ancient and modern interpretations of this word, let it be remembered 

HiZi strength znA firmness are usually or always from stretching, tension. 

Now let us hear Ainsworth on the word regio. " Regio a rego quod 
priusquam provincise fierent, regiones sub regibus erant atque ab his re 
•rebantur." How much more natural is it to deduce regio from the prima 
ry sense ofrego, which is to stretch, to strain, to extend ! Regio is an ex 
tent, a word of indefinite signification. 

In Chaldee and Arabic this verb signifies to mend, to repair, to make 
whole, from extending spreading over or making strong. See the root 
"70 infra. . 

We observe that JJT and j;rri agree in original signification, with th' 
English reach, on the root of which or some of its derivatives was formed 
stretch. That "pZ, p3 and piS were formed on any of the foregoing bilite 
ral roots we may not be able to affirm ; but it is certain from the Welsh that 
the first consonant of the triliteral root is a prefix, and it is certain from the 
Shemitic languages that the primary sense is the same in the biliteral and 
triliteral roots, or that all the applications or particular significations may 
readily be deduced from one general signification 

, to separate, to free, to i 

To illustrate this subject more full; 
: Other Shemitic words oi 

attend to the various applic 

produce into being. 

2. To form, by accretion or concretion of matter. Gen. i 

3. In Hiph. To make fat ; to fatte 


Heb. t03 To create. This, by most lexicographers, is given as the first 
signification, in all the Shemitic languages. Parkhurst says, to create ; 
Droduce into being. Gen. i. 1. 

batten. 1 Sam. ii 
To do' or perform something wonderful. Num. xvi. 30. 
5. In Niph. To be renewed. In Ka!, to renew, in a spiritual sense 
Ps. Ii. 12. 
Castle says, 

1. To create from nothing, or to produce something new or excellent 
from another thing. Gen. i. Is. xlii. 5. 

2. In Niph. To be renewed or re-created. Is. xlviii. 7. Ps. cii. 19. 

3. To cut off; to take away ; to bear away, or remove ; also to select ; to 
prepare. Josh. xvii. 15. 18. Ezek. xxiii. 47. 

Gesenius says, 

1. Strictly, to hew, to hew out. [Ar. to cut, to cut out, to plane.] 

2. To form; to make ; to produce. Ar. lj.j The order of significa- 
tions is, as in the Ar. uii.^^ galaka, to be smooth, to make smooth. 2. 
To plane. 3. To form, make. Gen. i. 1. 21. 27. 

1. Niph. passive of Kal. No. 2. Gen. ii. 4. 
8. To be born. Ezek. xxi. 30. Ps cii. 18. 

Ar. \j.j To create. 

2. To cut off; to hew or pare. 

3. To separate ; to distinguish. 

4. To make thin. 

5. To oppose ; to strive ; to resist. 

6. To provoke; to boast, or make a parade. 

7. To distribute ; to disperse. Castle. 
According to Gesenius, the primary sense of this verb is to hew, to cut out, 

and thus to make smooth, and thus to create ; and he deduces these senses 
in the same order, as he does those of the Arabic verb, which gives the word 
like. But there is no ground for this opinion ; and doubtless the verb ori- 
ginated before the use of edge tools. 

The predominant senses of this word, ; 

we see by the Arabic and Syriac. 

Now hewing is indeed separating, and we have the English word pare 
from this root ; but we must seek for a signification which is more general 
than that o{ paring, or we shall not be able to account for the sense of mak- 
ing fat, sound, entire, and strong, nor for that of being born. 

The truth undoubtedly is, this word is of the same family with the Eng- 
lish bear, the Latin pario, and the radical sense is to throw, to thrust, to 
send, to drive, to extend ; hence to throw out, to produce, as applied to the 

th of children or of the world. To throw or drive, is the primary sense of 
separation and division, that is, to drive off. The English word deal, when 
traced to its root, presents the same fact. See Deal. To create, is to pro- 
duce or bring forth, the same sense as that o( birth, applied lo a different 
object. The sense of hewing and paring is from driving off, separation. In 
Syriac, we observe the general application, in removal, or departure to a 
distance. The sense of fattening is derivative, and allied to that of healing 
making whole, sound, strong, in the Arabic, that is, preparing, bringing 
1 good state, or from tension, the usual primary sense of strength and 

To obtain a more full and satisfactory view of this subject, let us attend to 
the same word in the modern languages of Europe. 


Paro, to prepare, make ready, procure, design, &c. The radical sense of 
paro is probably the same as in the Shemitic languages ; to produce, to bring 
Ibrward. So also ready implies an advancing, and so docsprompt/iess. But 
the various ways of preparing a thing for use naturally give to the word, in 
process of time, a variety of particular significations ; each of which results 
in bringing the thing to the state desired. The compounds oiparo, are ap- 
pnro, to prepare, to furnish, accouler or set out ; comparo, to prepare or 
procure, to make equal, to compare, to join, to dress or make ready ; 
prceparo, to prep-ire; reparo, to repair, to create anew, to regain, to com- 
pensate ; separo, to separate. Let the Latin uses of this word be compared 

th the same Hebrew word in Joshua xvii. 15, where it is rendered cut 

down. "Ascend to the wood country and cut down for thyself;" Septua- 

gint, iHxaea? I (TiauM, clear for thyself This is one mode of preparation for 

In Ezek. xxi. 19, it is rendered choose. Septuagint, iittiajiii, ap- 

Parare, to prepare ; to garnish ; to adorn ; to propose an occasion ; 
parry, or ward off, as a blow ; to defend; to cover from or shelter ; to repo 


(o leach a horse to stop, and in horsemanship, lo stop ; parata, a wanling off, 
a garnishing ; parato, prepared, ready, prompt, warded ofl or parried, shield- 
ed, defended. 

Apparare, to learn ; apparato, learned, prepared ; apparato, preparation, 

Parecchio, a preparation; also equal, even, [L. par;] parecchiare, to 
prepare ; pareggiare, to make equal, to compare ; apparecchiare, to pre 
pare, to ornament or garnish, to set in order ; appareggiare, to put in com- 
petition, to match, to equal. 

Comparare, to compare. 

Disparate, to forget; disparare, sparare, to unfurnish, to disgarnish 
to make unready, to disbowel, to separate, di'-join, unpair; to discbarge, ai 

/m;)arare, to learn. 

Riparare, to repair, to restore to the first state ; to repair, or resort to, or 
have access to ; to parry, or ward otf ; riparo, reparation, a fort, a bank, 
fence, mound, remedy, shelter. 


Parar, to prepare ; to stop, detain, prevent ; to end ; to treat or use ill ; to 
stoke at cards ; to point out the game, as pointers. 

Parada, a halt or stopping, end, pause ; a fold for cattle ; a relay, as 
horses ; a dam or bank ; a stake or bet ; a parade, or a place where troops 
are assembled to exercise ; parado, remiss, careless, unemployed. 

Par, a pair; a peer ; after-birth ; the handle of a bell. 

Apnrar, to stretch out the hands or skirts of a garment for receiving any 
thing ; to dig and heap earth round plants ; to close the upper and hind quar- 
ter of a shoe to the sole ; to couple male and female animals ; to dub as a ship. 

AparadoT, a sideboard, a dresser in a kitchen, a workshop, a wardrobe; 
aparato, preparation, pomp, show. 

Aparear, to match ; to suit one thing to another, [pair.] 

Aparejo, preparation, harness, sizing of a piece of linen or board on which 
something is to be painted, tackle, rigging employed on board of a ship. 
[Apparel, parrel.] 

Comparar, to compare. 

Vesparejar, to make unequal. 

Disparar, to dischaige, as tire arms. 

Amparar, to shelter'; lo protect. [Aragon, to sequester, as goods.] 

JEmparedar, to confine or shut up. 

Reparar, to repair ; to observe carefully, to consider ; to mend or correct : 
to suspend or detain ; to guard, defend, protect ; to regain strength or recov- 
er from sickness ; to right tlie helm. 

Separar, to separate. 


Parar, v. i. to stop, to cease to go forward ; to confine upou, to meet ai 
the end, to touch, to be bounded ; to end, to drive at something, to aim at 
to come to; to imply, involve, or comprise : " Nao posso parar com feme,' 
I cannot bear hunger. " Ninguem pode aqui parar," nobody can live oi 
stay here. [Kng. bear.] 

Parar, v. t. to stop, to hinder from proceeding ; to parry or ward off; to 
turn or change with regard to inclination or morals ; to lay or stake as a wa- 
ger. Parada, a stopping or place of stopping ; a bet or wager. 

Amparar, to protect, shelter, defend, abet. 

Comparar, to compare ; comprar, to buy, to procure. 

Aparar, to pare, as an apple ; to mend or make a pen ; to parry a blow. 

Aparelhar, to prepare, to tit, to cut out or rough hew ; aparelho, tackle ir 
a ship for hoisting things, Eng. a parrel. 

Disparar, to shoot, to discharge, as fire-arms. 

J?f/)arar, to repair ; to;jarry in fencing; to advert; to observe ; to mak( 
amends; to retrieve; to recover ; to recruit; to shelter; reparo, in fortiti 
cation, defense. 


Pnrtr, to deck, adorn, trim, set off, embellish ; to parry or ward off. " Pa 
rer de j cuirs," to dress lether ; "TJarerlepiodd'uncheval," to pare ahorse'i 

Parer, v. i. to stop ; paresse, idleness. 

Pari, a lay, bet or wager ; parier, to bet or lay a wager. 

Appareil, preparation, furniture, train, retinue, [Eng. apparel.] Appa 
raux, tackle, sails and rigging, [Eng. parrel.] 

Pair, a peer, an equal ; pdire, a pair ; apparier, to pair, to match. 

S'emparer, to seize, to invade. 

Repnrer, to repair. 

Sqiarer, to separate. 


Uberayu, to put in order, to adjust, to mow or reap, 
air. This word has the common prefix u. 

poridan, to cut off. 

: to dress as the 

Para, to dress, to trim, to stop, to parry, lo prepare 


Par, .something contiguous, or that is in continuity; a state of readiness 
or preparedness ; a pair or couple ; a fellow, match. 

/•or, a cause ; the essence, germ or seed of a thing; n spear. 

Para, to continue, to endure, to persevere. 

Parad, a causing ; parai, that causes to be. 

Parawd, prepared, ready ; parodi, to prepare. 

That all the foregoing words in the present European languages, [and sev-« 
eral others might have been added,] are formed from one stock or radix, co- 
inciding with the l.,atin paro, is a fact that admits of no question. The only 
doubt respecting the correctness of the wliolc preceding statement, is, wheth- 
er the Latin paro is radically the same as the oriental ^Oa ; and with regard 
to this point, 1 should suppose the evidence to be convincing. Indeed there 
is good reason to believe that the oriental verbs ^n3, 113, 1311, anil 13;r, 
are all formed from one primitive radix. Certain it is that the English bear 
comprehends both the Latin/ero and /)orio, and the latter corresponds nearly 
with ma and Eth. <^l^ to bear. 

But admitting only rhat is certain, that all the foregoing European words 
are from one radix, we are then to seek for a primary meaning from which 
may be deduced the following significations ; Lat. to prepare ; Ital. to adorn, 
toparry, to stop, to defend, to repair, to learn ; Span, to prepare, to stop, to 
lay or stake as a wager, a pair or couple ; Port, to stop, to confine upon or 
be contiguous, to drive or aim at, to parry, to pare ; Fr. to deck, toparry, to 
stop, to pare ; Arm. to dress, to prepare, to parry ; Russ. to adjust, to dress, 
to mow or reap ; Welsh, preparedness, contiguity, a pair, a cause, to con- 
tinue or endure; and several other significations. 

The various significations result from throwing, sending, driving. To 
separate or remove is to drive or force apart ; hence to parry, and hence to 
defend. Separation implies extension, a drawing out in length or time ; 
hence the Portuguese senses of confining upon, reaching to the limit. This 
gives the sense of par, equal, that is, of the same extent, and hence coming 
to, and suiting, as in Latin convenio. 

Here let it be observed that admitting the word par, equal, to belong to 
this family, as in the Welsh, we have strong reason to believe that the Shcm- 
itic T3n, to join, or fit together, to associate, whence as a noun, an associate, 
is formed from the same root, or }n3 ; for in the Saxon, we find not only 
/era, but gefera, a companion, fellow ov peer; gefera, answering precisely 
to the oriental word. 

The sense of betting is from throwing down, as we say, to lay a wager. 
The sense of stopping is from setting, fixing, or from parrying. The sense 
of adorning is from putting on, which is from sending, or from extension, en- 
largement, as we say, to set off, and hence it is allied to the sense of show, 
display, parade. Preparation is from producing, bringing forward, or ad- 
justing, making right ; and often implies advancing, like ready, prompt, and 
the latter word, prompt, from promo, to bring forth, affords a good illustra- 
tion of the words derived from paro. 

The senses of cutting oft', paring, and the like, require no explanation. 

The Italian, disparare, and the Spanish and Portuguese, disparar, todis. 
charge fire arms, present the original sense of the root, to send or drive. This 
sense gives that of the Welsh pdr, a spear, as well as a cause, or that which 
impels. A spear is a shoot, from the sense of thrusting ; and our word .ipear 
is probably formed from the rootof Jar and Welsh *«, a spit, a pike, a lance, 
a spear, Lat. verti. Now in Chaldee, a bar is jn31' from 13;;, to pass, a verb 
which is probably of the same family with t03. It is further to be observ- 
ed that in Italian, bar is written both baira and sbarra. 

It is observed above that N13 is the English ftearand the Latin pario ; but 
pario would seem to be the Hebrew mS. parah, to be fruitful, to bear fruit, 
applied to plants and animals. But this word seems to denote producing in 
general, rather than the production of children. However this may be, it is 
certain that bear in English, as well as in Saxon, expresses the sense of both 
pario and /(TO in Latin. The Latin fero, and the Greek ipipw, signify both 
to carry and to produce, as young or fruit. Pario, does not. So in the Go- 
jthic, bairan is to carry, gabairan is to carry and to produce young. In 
German, fiihren is to carry, and gebaren, to bring fortli, to bear a child. In 
Dutch, beuren is to lift ; voeren, to carry ; and baaren, to bring forth, as 
children, to bear, to beget, to cause. Danish, barer, to carry, to support, 
and to yield or produce. Sw. biira, to carry ; 6arn, a son. Irish, beirim, to 
bear or bring forth, and to tell or relate, like the Latin /cro, whence Fr. par- 
ier, to speak. 


Ft appears llicn (hat the English bear and the Saxon from which we have 
leceivcd it. and the Gothic and the Danish corresponding words unite, in the 
same orthography, the senses of t>vo words of different ortliography in other 
languages. I have found other examples of a similar kind. There is there- 
fore solid ground to believe that all those words arc from one primitive root ; 
the different modes of writing the word, and the several appropriations hav- 
ing originated in different families of the great races of men, before langua- 
ges were reduced to writing ; and when they come to be written, each word 
was written according to its usual pronunciation, and defined according to 
its use in each family. And by the intermixture of tribes, two or three 
derivatives of the same stock might have become a part of the same na- 
tional language. Unquestionably the Greek cptpto, and tpopico, are branches 
of the same stock. 

We have, in the modern languages, decisive evidence that different verbs 
may have, and in fact have a common radix. Thus in English list and lust. 

Teutonic dialects, 

found in almost every language which I have examined. 

The Latin pareo, to appear, to come to light, if not a compound word, may 
be of this family. Paries, a wall, if primarily a partition wall, is of tlie same 
stock. Per, belongs to this family, as its signification is passing. The Sax. 
faran, to fare, Gr. Tropiuo^^', seems to be from one branch of this stock, proba- 
bly ^^iT. Seethe wordyiass in the Dictionary, in the derivative senses of 
which there are some resemblances to those of S13. 


This verb, says Lowth, means to cover, to cover sin, and so to expiate ; 
and it is never used in the sense of breaking or dissolving a covenant, 
though that notion occurs so often in the Scriptures ; nor can it be forced into 
this sense, but by a great deal of far fetched reasoning. See Isaiah xxviii 
18. Lowth on Isaiah. Prelim. Diss. 

133, says Castle, "texuit, operuit, Anglice, to couer; per metathesin, «pijTr- 
Tco, xfujm, pecuUariter bitumine, sive glulinosa aliqua materia ohduxit; pica- 
vit." Gen. vi. 14. 

Parkhurst gives to this verb the sense of covering or overspreading, as 
primary ; and deduces from it the Greek «pu?rTO, and English cover and coffer. 
He however admits that in Isaiah xxviii. 18, it signifies, to annul, as a cov- 
enant. He also considers the sense of atonement or expiation to be radical- 
ly that of cova'ing. 

Gesenius agrees with the English Lexicographers, in assigning to this verb 
the primary sense oi covering or overlaying, as in Gen. vi. 14. He admits 
that this word has the sense, in Isaiah xxviii. 18, oiblotting out, obliterating 
But he gives to it the sense of forgiving, in some passages, in which oui 
version has that of purging away. Ps. Ixv. 3, and Ixxix. 9. In these pas- 
sages, Castle renders the word, to be merciful or propitious. 

In all these authors, there is, I conceive, a radical mistake, in supposing 
the primary sense to be to cover, and in the opinion that this Hebrew word 
is the English verb to cover. A still greater mistake is in the supposition of 
Castle and Parkhurst, that this, by a metathesis, gives the Greek npuirrw. 

The English word cover comes to us through the French couvrir, from 
the Italian coprire, a contiaction of the Latin co-operio, whence co-opcrtus, 
ItaUan coperto, covered, Eng. covert.* The Latin aperio, is to open, and 
operio, is to cover, both from pario, or one of the roots in Br, which has just 
been explained. The root in these words is per or par, and the sense is vari- 
ed by prefixes ; perhaps ad-pario or ab-pario and ob-pario. Now cover 
can have no connection with 133, unless this latter word is a compound, 
with 3 for a prefix. This may be the fact, but the connection, even in that 
case, is very remote. 

Let us see if we can gain any light upon the subject of the primary sense 
of 133 from the cognate languages. 

CftaMee, 133 To deny, to reject. Prov. xxx.9. 

2. To wipe ; " She eateth and wipeth her mouth." Prov. xxx. 20. 

3. To wash or cleanse. Matt, xxvii. 24. Castle. 
Syriac, ^2iO To deny. Gen. xviii. 1.5. Luke xii. 9. 

2." To wipe, to wipe away, to disannul, to aboHsh. Prov. xxx. 20. I.-;, xxviii. 
18. Castle. 

.Arabic, . i <:=-, To deny; to disbelieve ; to be an infidel ; to be impious; 
to blaspheme. Acts iii. 13, 14. 2Pet. ii. 1-5. Jude 1.5. 

2. To cover ; to conceal. 

3. To expiate ; to make expiation for one, and free him from crime. 


Now the senses of the Chaldee, Syriac and Arabic, to deny, to reject, to 
disannul, to wipe, wash , or to cleanse by these acts, cannot be deduced from 

In Hebrew, the word has the sense of covering, as the ark, with bitumen 
or pitch, in Gen. vi. 14; that is, to smear, or pay over, as our seamen now 

* In tliis deduction of cotici- from the Latin, I am supported by Lunier, the 
ablest French etymologist, whose works I have seen. 

express it. But it should be considered that the sense of covering is rareiy 
or never;)rimory ,• it is usually, from the sense of putting on, which is from 
the sense of throwing or pressing, or it is from overspreading, which is a 
spreading, stretching or throwing aver; hence the derivative senses of 
covering and hiding. These latter senses are sometimes derived from others ; 
but these are the most general. And in this passage of Genesis, the literal 
sense is probably to put on, or to rub or spread over, a sense which coin- 
cides with that of tlie Chaldee and Syriac, Prov. xxx. 20, though different- 
ly applied. 

The real original sense of this Shemitic verb is to remove, to separate, by 
thrusting away or driving off. Hence its application, in the Chaldee, Syr- 
iac and Arabic, to denial, the rejection of God or truth. To deny or reject, 
is to thrust away. Hence from the Arabic, caffer, an infidel, oiie who de- 
nies and rejects the Mohammedan religion; hence Caffraria, the southern 
part of Africa, the country of infidels ; so called by the'followers of Moham- 
med, just as the christians gave the name of pagans, to the inhabitants of 
villages, [pagus,^ who rejected the christian religion. 

This signification explains the Hebrew uses of this word. Its literal sense 
is applied to the cleansing or purification of sacred things, a^i the altar. Lev. 
xvi. 18. In a spiritual sense, to the purification of the soul, a typo of the pu- 
rification by the blood of Christ; hence it is rendered atnnennitl. oi expia- 
tion. Hence probably the sense of appeasing, Gen. xxxii. 21. Prov. xvi. 
14, though this may be from removing, or smoothing. 

The sense of forgiveness is from thrusting away or giving back, pre- 
cisely as in the modern languages ; Lat. remitto, to send back or away ; for- 
give, to give back or away: pardon, in French, Spanish, and Italian, has a 
like sense, which is more clearly exbitiited by the Dutch vergeeven, Ger- 
man vergeben; ver being the English /ar, to give fur, to give away, hence, 
to reject, and remember no more. The sense of give and of the French dmi- 
ner, is nearly the same as that of 133. To give, is to send, to cause to pass ; 
and so of donner. 

Now it is a question of some moment whether the opinion that 133 is the 
same as the English cover, has not inclined lexicographers and commenta- 
tors to render it by this word, in several passages^ where the true sense is 
to forgive, or to purify by cleansing from sin. 

However this may be, the interpretation given above will fully disprove 
Lowth's assertion, that this word is never used in the sense of breaking or 
disannulling a covenant. So confident is the learned Bishop on this point 
that he ventures to call in question the reading, Isaiah xxviii. 18 ; and to 
suppose the true word to be 13n from 113 to break. With respect to the 
reading I shall offer no opinion ; but if the present reading is correct, I am 
confident that no word in the Hebrew language is better fitted to express 
the sense. Your covenant with death shall be wiped away, abolished, or 
as in the version, disannulled. And so is the rendering in the Syriac. 

If 133 is a compound word and the first letter a prefix, it may be from the 

same root as the Arabic j-*-^ gafara, whose signification is to cover. 
But the primary sense is to throw or put on. It signifies also to forgive, 
but to forgive is to send back or away, remitto, and not to cover. And I 
apprehend that for want of knowing the primary sense of such verbs, the 
word cover has been often substituted for forgive, in the translating of this 


No. 1. Heb ^13, S3 To hold, to contain ; Sw. ftSHa. '73S3 To hold, 
to sustain, to maintain, to comprehend. 

Ch. So To measure, that is, to ascertain the contents, or to stretch, and 
comprehend the whole. 

Pah. To feed, to nourish. See '53S. 

Deriv. A measure ; also, custom, rite, manner, probably from holding or 
continued practice. 

Syr. In Aph. To measure. Deriv. A measure. 

Eth. In (DA To follow; to go behind; Gr. a»,^\oo8(w; that is, to hold 
to, or to press after. 

Deriv. The hinder part; the poop of a ship ; behind. French, cui. 

No. 2. Heb. 773 To finish ; to complete ; to make perfect. Gr. Haioi. 

S3 all ; the whole ; Gr. o^os, Eng. all, by the loss of the first letter ; 
but in Welsh, holl, or oil ; and in Saxon al, eel and geall. 

Ch. SS3 To crown ; to adorn 

Pih. To perfect; to complete ; to comprehend ; to embrace. 

Deriv. Comprehending ; universality ; a general rule, &c. 

Syr. ^Xa To crown. Deriv. a crown ; all ; every one. 

Sam. IZa As the Chaldee. 

Eth. Tl A A The same ; also, to cover. 

Ar. y. ^ To be weary or dull ; to be languid ; to tire : also, to crown ; 
to shine. 

Deriv. All ; dullness ; heaviness. 

No. 3. Heb. nS3 To hold ; to restrain ; to shut or confine ; to cheek ; 

Gr. «M\i-aj ; Sw. hl^dla. 


,'.ro ; Lat. calo \ Vi' 

) deny. 

Ucriv. A place of confinement ; Lat. cmda. 

Ch. nSd, nSo, ''73 To hold; lo restrain ; also, to trust ; 
rely on ; to hope. (See No. 6.) Also, to finish ; to perfd 
sumc ; to cause (0 fail. 

In Aph. To call ; to cry out ; to thunder 
gnhc; call ; Lat. gullus, from crowing. 

Syr. ^>, 3 To hold ; to restrain ; to forbid ; 

Deriv. all ; a cork, bar or bolt. 

Sam. /f Z ii To hold, or restrain. 

Kth. tlAA To hold, restrain, or prohibit. 

Deriv. Lat. alius ; a fellow, or companion. 

Ar. ik.^> To keep; to preserve; to turn the face toward.s a thing 
and look repeatedly. So in English, to behold. Also, to come to the end, as 
of life; also, to feed, to devour food ; also, to abound in pasture ; also, to 
hinder, or detain ; also, to look attentively; also, to sprout ; also, to take up- 
on a pledge, or upon trust ; supra, Chaldee. (See No. 6.) 

No. 4. Heb. th^ To finish; to consume ; to bring to naught; to waste ; 
to fail. (See No. 8.) 

No. 5. Ch. Sas To eat ; to consume ; also, to take ; to hold ; to con- 
tain. In Aph. to fcerl; to give food ; also, to cull; lo thunder; to roar, or 
bellow; also, to piibli-li ; lo accuse ; to delame. 

Heb. to eat; lo consume. 

Sam. tHA- To eat. 

Syr. ^O I To publish ; to divulge, as a crime ; to accuse. 

Eth. A In A To sufTice, as we say, it is well, Lat. valeo ; also, to be 
or exist ; that is, to be hclil, or to be fixed or permanent 

Ar. to eat ; to devour ; to corrode ; Lat. hclluu. 

or distinguish; also to 



edge, wisdom, ignorance. These different significations may result from 
the different effects of the prefi.x on the original verb. 

In Syr. ^3x0 t)>e same word, signifies to be foolish, or mad ; to cause 
lo know, or to give understanding ; to obsei-ve ; to search or know tho- 
roughly ; to ask or seek to undci-stand ; to disccr 
err, to sin, to be foolish, or perverse. 

In Sam. the same word signifies to look, and to be accustomed. Sec 
Ca.stelh col. 2.523. 

That 73E' is formed on the same root with a different prefix, is obvious 
and certain, from the correspondence of significations. This word in He- 
brew signifies to understand, or know ; to cause to understand ; to be wise, 
or to act wisely ; corresponding with the Ch. SjO above ; and being a mere 
dialectical orthography of the word. It signifies also to deprive, strip, be- 
reave ; and lo waste, scatter and destroy ; also, to cast, as fruit or offspring ; 
also, lo prosper. 

Ch. to understand^ and Ch. 773!y to com])lcte, to finish ; also, lo found, 
to lay the foundation. This isS'?^ with V prefixed. 

Syr. to found, to finish, to adorn. 

Ar. y^^ iii shakala, to bind under the belly; to gird; to bind the* 
feet ; to fetter ; lo shackle ; to form, or fashion ; to be dubious, obscure, 
and intricate; to agree, suit or answer to ; to be like ; to have a beautiful 
tbiin ; to know, perceive, or comprehend ; lo hesitate ; lo be ignorant. De- 
rivative, a shackle. See Caslell. Col. 3750. 

To this root Castle refers the English skill ; and it is certain the words 
correspond both in elements and in sense. Now in the Gothic and Teu- 
tonic languages, the verbs corresponding to these Shemitic verbs, signify in 
Saxon, scylan, to separate, to distinguish ; Icelandic and Swedish, skilid, 
lo divide, separate, sever; whence shield, that which separates, and 
hence defends ; D. scheelen, to differ; schillen, lo peel, or pare ; whence 
scale and shell. To this root our lexicographers refer skill. The prefix in 
this word would seem to have the force of a negative, Uke L. ex. Now is 
it possible to suppose that these words can be formed from a common root ? 
The sense of sin and folly is probably from wandering, deviating, as in 
delirium ; and this is only a modification of the primary sense of hj, to 
stieleh or extend ; that is, departure, separation. Or the t? has, in these 
senses, the force of a negative. 

The sense of knowing, understanding, is usually or always from taking, 
holding, or extending to; as we say, I take your meaning. In this appli- 
cation these words would seem to be directly from the Eth. and Ch. 'jDJ 
lo be able ; the Latin calico, lo be haid, and lo know or be well skilled. 
That this word SfU is from the same root as h'tJ, nhz, vhs, we know by 
the Samaritan 2, 3 iJ wliich signifies all, and which is a mere dialectical 
spelling of the Heb. and Ch. hZ- 

The sense of depriving and wasting, in the Hebrew, is from separation, 
the sense of the Gothic and Teutonic words ; but it is to be noticed that 
this sense seems to imply throwing, as one mode of parting, and this is also 
the direct act of founding, lajing the foundation. 

When we turn our attention to the Arabic, new affinities are disclosed. 
The first definition is to bind, to gird, to shackle, and hence the English 
word. The radical sense of bind is to sUain, the sense of hold. And here 
we arrive at the origin and primary sense of shall, should ; Saxon 
scealan, to be obliged ; that is, to be bound or constrained. Hence we see 
why the words scale, shell and shall are all written alike in Saxon, sceal ; for 
scale and shell are from peeling, or covering, binding. 

From this verb the Saxon has scyld, a crime, or guilt, Lat scelus, and 
scyld, a sliield. The German has the same word in scliuld, guilt, culpabili- 
ty, debt ; Dutch, schuld ; Danish skulde, should, and scyld, a debt, a 
ifault, a crime ; Sw. skuld, the same. This word sculd, skuld, and schuld, 
is tlie English should, the preterit of the verb <hall; and it is the word 
used in the Saxon, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, 
ilcelandic, and Swiss Lord's prayer, to express what is rendered in English 
\debts ; forgive us our debts. Here we see the primary sense of the word 
is lo be held, or bound ; hence, liable. The EngUsh word guilt may be 
from the same root, without a prefix ; but whether it is or not, we observe 
|the word expresses more than the English word debt, trespass or offense ; 
it comprehends the sense of /au/f, or sin, with that of being held, or liable 
Ito answer or lo punishment. Debt, in the modern use of the word, impliee 
|the latter, but not the former; trespass and offense imply the sin, but not 
Heuce'the sense of' publishing, accusing and defam-!|the Uability to answer. We have no English word that includes both sen- 
|ses, except guilt, and this seems to be hardly adequate to express the full 
- he sense of sprouting, in the Arabic, is a shooting or pushing out, as inijsense of scyld. 
other cases ; Lat. caidis. To account for the various significations of the same word, in different 

The sense of ability, power, strength, in No. 7, is from straining, stretch- ^languages, and often in the same language, it is necessary lo find the ptima- 
ing, or holding, as in other words of the hke sense. Hence Lat. calleo, to 'ry action expressed by the root; and in compound words it is necessary to 
be skilled, and lo be hard, callus. lobserve or ascertain the different effects produced on the original word by 

On this rootSj is probably formed ^30, a word differently pointed in the the prefixes. Thus the verb inculpo in Low LaUn signifies lo excuse ; but 
Hebrew and Chaldee. This word signifies in Hebrew to pervert, to err, some modern writers use inculpate m a directly different sense ; that is, to 
to be foolish or infatuated, to act foolishly. I' Stone. .... 

In Chaldee, to understand, know, or consider: to look or behold; to cause'; In like manner im7)art!6ie has two different significations; that may be 
to understand; Rabbinic, to be ignorant ; whence its derivatives, knowI-''tm/)arterf,- and in law, not i)ar<!6/e, or divisible. Such is the fact also with 

hat is held 
hole that is compre- 

No. 6. Ar. y^S} To trust ; 
(See No. 3.) 

Eth. ® n A with a prefix ; to trust, as above. 

No. 7. Heb. hy To be able ; to prevail ; Lat. calico ; W. gallu ; Eng. 

No. 8.;' To digest ; to consume. (No. .5.) 

Ar. J. Ji c To collect ; to tie ; to bind ; to unite ; also, to divide, im- 
pel, or compel. This is the primary sense of the word, or rather of this 
root; topless; to strain ; to urge, or impel ; also, to extend. These verbs 
are different modifications of one radix ; and hence the English hold, call, 
hollow, heal, hale ; the Latin calo, caulis, calleo, callus ; Greek, KKKa, 
KnX s or tiak>.os ; and a multitude of words in all the modern languages of 

The sense of holding, restraining, forbidding, hindering, and keeping, are 
too obvious to need any explanation. They arc from 
sense is nearly allied the sense of measuring, or ascertaining 
or contained. That which is contained is all, thi 
hended, from the sense of extension. 

The signification of finishing or perfecting, seems, in a good sense, to be 
from that of soundness ; a sense which is from stretching or strength. Or 
it maybe from coming lo the end, UVe finish and achieve, or from shutting, 
closing. And the sense of consuming, wasting, failing, may be from bring- 
ing to an end. In Latin, to consume is to take all ; and possibly this may 
be the sense of this verb. But the Arabic sense of failure would seem rath- 
er lo be from holding, slopping, or coming to an end. 

The sense of eating may be from consuming, or taking apart, but from 
some of the derivatives of No. 5, I am inclined to tliink the primary sense 
is to feed, to crowd, lo stuff; tlie primary sense of the root applied to this 
particular act ; for under Ihe Chaldee root we find words which signify the 
nutof aspeciesof oak, the Gr. axuA.01, anda collection or crowd of people, 
[Gr. oxXo!,] both of wliicli aje from collecting or pressing together. 

The sense ot s. , ,1- umI l.,>>l,ing is (toiu reaching or casting and stri- 
king, orfrom !:■''' . . .ii.- eyes on. 

The sense 01/ l-o to be that of holding to or resting on. 

The English ii.H^i m .,'(/,/ 1 imiu this root. 

The sense of calling, >.,iiriiig, and thunder, is from impelling the voice 
or sound ; a pressing, driving, or straining, applied to sound ; like the Latin 
appello, from pelli 


impassionate. I am persuaded a vast number of instances of similar diver- 
sities in the application of prefixes may be found in the Shemitic languages ; 
and this will account for differences which otherwise seem utterly irre- 

We find in our mother tongue, that the same word signifies to heal, and 
to conceal, Lat. celo ; Saxon IkbI, health ; htslan, helan, to heal, to con- 
ceal ; ge-hailan and ge-helan, to heal and to conceal ; Old English hele. 
Hence we see that the English heal and the Latin celo are the same word 
differently applied, but from a common signification, which is to make 
strong or fast, or to hold, from the sense of pressing. Or perhaps the Latin 
ceh may have this sense of holding, restraining ; and heal may rather be 
from making perfect. No. 2. Supra. 

We may now also see the radical sense of holy ,• Saxon hal and ge-hal, 
whole, sound, safe ; halig, holy ; halgian, to hallow. If this word contains 
the sense of separation, or driving off, like Latin sacer, as it may, it is from 
shutting, confining, or restraining intercourse. But I am inclined to be- 
lieve the primary sense of holy is sound, entire, coinciding with the radical 
sense of heal. 

Clod, Laudo, Claudo. 

In Welsh clod is praise, from llod, a forcible utterance. This is the Eng- 
lish lottd, and Lat. laudo, which with a prefix becomes plaudo. In Welsh, 
llodi signifies to reach out, to crave, from the radical sense of llod, to thrust 
out or extend ; but according to Owen, llodi is from llawd, which signi- 
fies a shooting out, or a going onward, pi-oductiveness, a lad, and as an 
^idjective, tending forward, craving, lewd; llodig, craving, brimming; 
llodineb, lewdness. Now, beyond all question, these words are tlie Chal. 
dee, Syriac, Hebrew, and Samaritan nV to beget; to bring forth ; to cause 
to be be born ; and as a noun, a child of either sex, a lad. The Arabians 
and Ethiopians use vau or waw, where the Hebrews use yod. The Arabic 

corresponding word is »>,!• the Ethiopic ®A,? to beget, to bring 

But this is not all. In Greek, the verb hAmu, a conti-action of Auiaa, 
signifies to praise, to celebrate. Here we have precisely the Welsh llod, 
above, corresponding with the Latin laudo and plaudo. But the same 
Greek word xAhio, nKtioa, signifies to shut or make fast. This is the Latin 
cludo, claudo. The Saxons used h for the Greek x and the Latin c ; and 
with these words accords the Saxon hlid, a cover ; English a lid ; that 
which shuts or makes fast. That these words are all from one root, is 
a fact, apparent beyond any reasonable doubt ; nor is there the least diffi- 
culty in ascertaining the atfinity, for the radical sense, to reach forward, to 
thrust, to strain, solves the whole mystery. To thrust, gives the sense of 
begetting and producing ; to strain or throw out the voice, gives the sense 
of praise ; and to thrust or press together, gives tlie sense of closing and 
making fast. In this manner, words, which, at first view, appear to have 
no connection, will, when pursued through different languages, assimilate 
and unite, not only without forced analogies, but in defiance of all precon- 
ceived opinions ; and the reluctant mind is at last compelled to admit their 

There is another set of words whose derivation from the same root is very 
certain, though perhaps less obvious. These are the Danish slutter, to 
shut, close, conclude, finish, determine ; slutter, a key-keeper, a jailor ; 
Swedish, sluta, ctaudere,obserare,to shut, or shut up, or end; sZo», a castle ; 
D. sleutel, a key ; slot, a lock, a castle, a conclusion ; sluiten, to shut, lock, 
close, stop, conclude ; G. schloss, a lock ; schliessen, to close, conclude, fin- 
ish, fetter, shackle; schleuse, a sluice; D. sluis, id. Eug. sluice, that is, 
which shuts or fastens ; Low Latin, exclusa. See Spelman's Glossary. 
These words are unequivocally formed from the root of claudo, clausi, by 
the prefix s, just as the Welsh yslac, slack, loose, is formed on llac, and 
yspeiliaw, on yspail, spoil, and this on the root olpeel. We observe all the 
Teutonic dialects use the dental t, as the final radical, except the German 
The Latins use both the dental and a sibilant, claudo, clausi, clausus. 

If the Danish lyd, sound, Sw. lyda, to sound, is the same word as Eng- 
lish loud, these words belong to this family. 

Another example. The English word cradle, Saxon cradel, is in Welsh 
cryd, a rocking, a shaking, a cradle. In Welsh, the verbs crydu, cry 
diaw, crydian, signify to shake, to tremble. These correspond to the Irish 
creatham, to shake ; Greek xpaSow, to shake, to swing. The Welsh verb: 
are by Owen, deduced from rhyd, which signifies a moving. Now TJ?T in 
Hebrew, Chaldee, and Ethiopic, signifies to shake or tremble. The same 

word in Arabic ^Cj signifies to thunder ; to impress terror ; to trem- 
ble ; to shake. This coincides with the Latin rudo, to roar, to bray ; and 
we know from the voice of the ass, that roughness or shaking is an ingre- 
dient in the sense of this word. We know it also from rudis, one of the af- 
finities of rudo. There is also in Arabic i Sj which is rendered to 
run hither and thither ; to move one way and the other ; to tremble ; to 
shake. In Hebrew fyn signifies to tremble or shake, and to palpitate 
Syriac and Eth. to rub or scrape. This connects the word directly with 

cradle, through the Hebrew ; and through the Syriac, with the Latin rado. 
Here again we find the sense of roughness or yvstintr. Then turning tcf 

the Welsh, we find grydiau 
hout, hoop or scream ; grydwst. 

"r hoop, and 

this from »%(£, the word above mentioned ; so 1 1 : 
crarfZe, is from the same root as gn/'i/ni''. '<« -' i!r ;, ;iie Italian 

gridare; Sp. and Port. gi-iZar ; Sa-con .;. r.-'r,, , , -riitir, I). m. grader ; 
Dutch kryten ; German greiten. i I - iicb is contracted, by 

the omission of the last radical, into <■. ' . .. lance, probably, we 

have cry, W. cri. Hence we find ih : • : < . i rry is to utter a rough 
sound ; and this is connected with the braying of the ass, with shaking, 
trembling, and with roaring, murmuring, and thunder. The connection in 
this example, is so marked as to preclude all hesitation as to the identity of 
the words. 

The Shemitic roots mj, Oin, mn, and Tip, all, in some of the languages 
of that stock, coincide in sense and elements with the English grate, French 
grafter; and if the first letter is a prefix, they would seem to unite with 
the Latin rado. But this is a point I would not undertake to determine. 

One fact more. The Welsh cri, above mentioned, signifies a cry ; and 

an adjective, rough, raw. Now this coincides with the Latin criidiis, in 
sense ; and crudus with the WeL^h cryd, above mentioned. 

The Dan. brygger, English to hrew, are probably connected with break, 
with freckle, and with rough. So under this root, the Welsh grediatv, sig- 
nifies to hciit, scorch, parch, whence grcidyll, ;i prriddle. from graid, thai 
shoots in lays, heat, ardency, from gra, that shoots, or lises, as the nap or 
frieze of cloth. The latter is probably a contracted word, of the same fam- 
ly, but not the root, as Owen supposes. But the radical sense implies a 
shaking, agitation and roughness. 

Meet, mete, measure. 

Saxon. — W{etan,to put, to place; Fr. meitre. It. mettere, Sp. Port, me- 
ter, Lat. mitto. 

Mtstan, metan, to find, to meet, or meet with ; to paint ; to dream ; to 
measure, to mete, Lat. metior, metor, Gr. nEipiw, (nrpov, Lat. mensus, with a 
casual n, that is, mesas. Ft. mesure. 

Ametan, gemetan, to meet, to find, to measure. 

Gemeting, gemetung, a meeting. 

Gemet, gemete, fit, suitable, Eng. meet ; also, painted or portrayed 

Gemetegan, gemetian, to moderate; gemetlic, moderate, modest. 

Mete, measure, mode, Lat. modius, modus. 

Meter, measure in verse, meter. [Not metre.] 

Metere, an inventor, a painter. 

Mcete, middling, [mediocris,] modest, moderate. 

Mot, gemot, a meeting, a council. 

Witena-gemot, a council of wise men. 

Motian, to meet, especially for debate. Eng. to moot. 

Gothic. — Motyan, gamotyan,to meet, to find. 

Mota, a place for the receipt of toll or customs. 

Dutch. — Ontmoeten, to m^et, to encounler. 

Meet en, and ioemeeten, to measure. 

Meeter, a measurer. 

Gemoeten, to meet; gemoet, a meeting. 

German. — Mass, measure, meter ; masse, moderation. 

Messen, vermessen, to measure ; messer, a measurer. 

Gemass, measure ; also conformable, suitable ; Eng. meet, suitable ; Ger- 
man gemassigt, temperate, moderate. 

Swedish. — M'ota, to meet, to fall on, to come to, to happen. [This is 
the sense oi finding.'] 

Mote, a meeting. 

Mot, and emot, towards, against; as in motsfS, to stand against, to 

Mata, to measure ; mhtt, measure, meter, mode. 

Matielig, moderate, middling, frugal, temperate. 

Malta, to be sufficient, to satisfy, to cloy. 

Vanish.— Mader,tomeet, to convene; made or mode, a meeting ; mod, 
contrary, opposite, against, to, towards, for, on, by, aside, abreast, as in 
modsetter, to set against, to oppose ; modsiger, to say against, to contradict ; 
mod-vind, a contrary wind. 

Moed, moden, ripe, mellow, mature. [Qu. Lat. mitis.] 

Mode, manner, fashion. [Probably from the Latin.] 

Maade, measure, form, style of writing, way, mode, manner, fashion. 
[This is the native Danish word corresponding to the Lat. modu^.] 

Maadelig, moderate, temperate. 

MiBt, enough, sufficient ; mietter, to satisfy, or sate, to glut. 

From the same root are the G. mit, D. 7net, mede, Sw. and Dan. med, Gr. 

iiiTa, signifying imtti. 

By the first significa 
word, which is the En 

word, which is the English meet, is also the French mettre and Lat. mitto, 
tlie sense of which is to throw or send, to put, to lay. Meet is only a modi- 
jfication of the same sense, to come to, to fall, to reach, hence to find ; as we 
say, to /a;/ on. 

The sense of painting or portraying is peculiar to the Saxon. I am not 
[confident that this sense" is from finding ; but we observe that metere is reii- 


The sense oi paint then may I 

1 find 

dered an inventor anil a pa 
out, to devise or contrive. 

The sense of dreamins; is also peculiar to the Saxon. The sense may he 
todevise or imagine, or it may be to roue, as in some other words of like sig- 
nification. If so, this sense will accord with the .Syriac infra. 

The other si2;nifications present no difliculty. To meet, is to come to, to 
reach in proreeiling or in extending; hence to find. The primary seni-e of 
measure is to (-xteml, to stietch to the full length or size of a thing. 

Meet, fit, suitable, Wke par, peer, pair, is from extending or reaching to. 
So suit is from the Latin sejuor, through the French, to follow, to press or 
reach toward. See par, under X13. supra. 

The English meet and mete appear to be from the Saxon dialect, but moot 
from the Gothic. 

Let it be remarked that in the Saxon, meet and mete, are united in the 
same orthography ; and in the Dutch the orthography is not very different ; 
ontmoeten,gemoeten, to meet, and mecten, to measure. Not so in the other 

In German, mafis is measure, and tnessen, to measure ; but the of 
meet, does not occur. Yet that mass is the same word as meet, fit, varied 
only in dialect, appears from this, that gemass, with a prefix, is suitable, an- 
swering to the English meet. 

The Swedish and Danish words follow the Gothic orthography ; Swedish 
mita, to meet, to fall on, to come to, to happen. These significations give 
the sense of finding, and are closely allied to the senses of the Arabic verb 

.\^ infra. 

The Danish verb is mader, to meet, but in both tlie Swedish and Danish, 
the sense of measure is expressed by a different orthography. Sw. 7nhta, 
to measure ; matt, measure ; Dan. maadc, measure, mode. In these two 
languages we find also the sense of sufficiency, and to satisfy. See infra, the 

Ar. J^ ^ and Heb. and Ch. XYa. 

But in these Gothic dialects, there is one application o( meeting, which 
deserves more particular notice. In Swedish, mot and emot is a preposition of 
the same signification as the English against. It is rendered toward, 
against. So in Danish, mod is contrary, opposite, against, to, toward, by, 
aside, abreast. This preposition is the simple verb, without any addition of 
letters, prefix or suffix. We hence learn that the sense of such prepositions 
is a meeting or coming to, which gives the sense of to or toward ; but when 
one meets another in Front, it gives the sense of opposition, or contrary direc- 
tion. This coming to or meeting, may be for a friendly purpose, and hence 
in one's favor, like /or in English. Thus in Danish, " Guds godhed mod os," 
God's goodness or mercy towards us. In other cases, mod signifies against 
and implies counteraction or opposition ; as modgift, an antidote ; modgang, 
adversity. So for in English signifies towards, or in favor of; and also op- 
position and negation, as m forbid. 

In the Danish we find moed, moden, ripe, mature. We shall see this 
sense in the Chaldee NOD. The sense is to reach, extend, or come to. 

The Latin modus is from this root, and by its orthography, it seems to 
have been received from the Gothic race. The sense is measure, limit, from 
extending, or comprel)ending. This then becomes the radix of many words 
which express limitation or restraint, as moderate, modest , modify ; a sense 
directly contiary to that of the radical verb. 

This leads us a step further. In Saxon, Gothic, and other northern lan- 
guages, mod, moed, signifies mind, courage, spirit, anger, whence English 
moody. The primary sense is an advancing or rushing forward, which 
expresses mind or intention, that is, a setting or stretching forward, and 
also spirit, animation, heat, and lastly, anger. So the Latin animus, 

fives rise to animosity ; and the Greek iiivoi, mind, signifies also, strength, 
irce, vehemence, and anger. Mania is from the same radical sense. 

Let us now connect this root or these roots, with the Shemitic languages. 

In Hebrew and Chaldee, HID signifies to measure ; no, a measure. 
This coincides with the Latin metior, and Gr. (iirpii:, as well as with the 
Saxon, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish, which all write the word with a den- 
tal, but the German is mass. 

In Syriac ^io signifies to escape, to get free, that is, to depart, a modifi- 
cation of the sense of extending in the Arabic. A derivative in Syriac sig- 
nifies a dutj-, toll or tribute ; and we have seen in the Gothic, that mota is a 
toll-house. It may be from measuring, that is, a portion, or perhaps income. 

This word in Arabic A^ madda, signifies, 

1. To stretch or extend, to draw out, to make or be long, to delay or give 
time, to forbear, to bring forth. To extend is the radical sense of measure. 

2. To separate, or throw offer out; to secern, secrete or discharge. Hence 
to become matter or sanies, to produce pus, to maturate. Here we have 
the origin of the word matter, in the sense of pi;,'!. It is an excretion, from 
throwing out, separating, freeing, discharging. Here we have the sense of 
the Latin mitto, emitto. 

3. To assist, to supply. This sense is probably from coming to, that is, to 
approach or visit. " I was sick and ye visited me. I was in prison and ye 
came tome." Math. xxv. 

You I. D. 

This application coincides witJi the English meet, but particularly with 
the Swedish and Danish sense of the word. 

4. To make thin, to attenuate ; probably from stretching. 

Among the Arabic nouns formed under this root, we hnd a measure, or 
modius, showing that this verb is the same as the Chaldee and Hebrew ; we 
find also matter or pus, and lenity. Qu. Lat. mitis. 

In Chaldee, NBD or DBB; signifies to come to, to happen, to reach, [to 
meet,] to be ripe or mature, to cause to come, to bring or produce. The 
first sense gives that of finding, and tlie latter gives that of maturing, and 

we observe tliat matter, or pus, is from the Arabic Jv^ madda, and the 
sense oi mature from the Chaldee WJD mita. Yet in the use o( maturate 
from the Latin maturo, we connect the words, for to maturate, is to ripen, 
and to generate matter. 

In Syriac, this verb signifies the same as the Chaldee, to come to; and 
also to be strong, to prevail, that is, to strain or stretch, the rtidical sense of 

In Hebrew, NXD has the sense of the foregoing verb in the Chaldee, to 
find, to come to, to happen. . 

In Chaldee, this verb signifies to find, and to be strong, to prevail ; hencr 
both in Hebrew and Chaldee, to be sufficient. Here we see the Danish 
and Swedish, matter, and mhtta, to be sufficient. This is also meet, dialec- 
fically varied. 

In Syriac also this verb signifies to be strong or powerful ; also in Pah. to 
bring or press out, to defecate, which sense unites this word with the Heb. 
nSD, to press, to squeeze. In Ethiopic, this verb signifies to come, to hap- 
!ause to come, to bring in, to bring fortli. Now it is evident that 
NSO, and the Chaldee NBD, are dialectical forms of the same word ; tiie 
former coinciding with the German mass, in orthography, but with the 
oUier languages, in signification. 

In Chaldee, ySD signifies the middle, and as a verb, to set in tlie middle, 
to pass the middle, in Syriac, to be divided in the middle. Qu. Is not this a 
branch of the family of meet? 

The Chaldee nox, amad, to measure, is evidently frtmi "TO, with a pre- 
fix or formative X. This word, in Syriac, signifies like the simple verb, to 
escape, to be liberated. In Pael, to liberate. 
- t 

In Arabic, this verb y,^\ amida, signifies, to be tcriiiinated, to end. 

whence the noun, an end, limit, termination, Latin niefa, which, Ainsworth 
informs us, signifies, in a nietaphorical sense, a limit. The fact is the re- 
verse ; tliis is its primary and literal sense, and that of a pillar and goal are 
particular appropriations of that sense. 

In Hebrew, HOJ signifies a cubit, a measure of length. 

The same in the Rabbinic, from no, with a prefix. 

In Chaldee, this verb signifies to be contracted, to shrink. 

Is not this sense from 10, measure, modus, a limit, or a drawing. 

That the Shemitic wortls, nno, twn, NXD and nOK, are words of tin- 
same stock with meet, mete, Lat. metior, there can be no doubt, but it is 
not easy to understand why the different significations of meeting and meas- 
uring, should be uruted in one word, in the Saxon language, when they arc 
expressed by very different words in the Shemitic, and in most of the Teu- 
tonic languages. We know indeed that in German a sibilant letter is often 
used, in words which are written with a dental in all the other kindred langua- 
ges. But in this case the German mass, measure, coincide with itj, as 
must the Swedish mhta, and Dan. maade, and the Saxon metan, Dutch g€- 
moeten, Goth, motyan, Sw. mbta, Dan. mlder, with the Chaldee XOD, but 
not with the word SVD. 

It may not be impossible nor improbable that all these words are fi-omone 
stock or radix, and that the different orthographies and applications are dia- 
lectical changes of that root, introduced among different families or races of 
men. before languages were reduced to writing. 

In th.> I.iitin /»<iis»s. from metior. the n is probably casual, the original 
bcliiij /.i-:(s, .,. Ill 111,. French nifxiire. I have reason to think there are 
niaii\ I 1,1- iiiscilion of )i I'cfore rf and s. 

1,, :., ,,1 ,, I, ,,11 of words .inil tlicir significations, we may fairly in- 
fer tin Luiiiiiun ' ii;;iii otlb'^ following words. Lat. mitto. French mettre, 
English mtci, to come to, meet, fit, and niftc, to measure, Lat metior, metor, 
Gr. nnpci,iuTf'm, Lat. mensvra, Fr. mesure, Eng. measure, Lat. modus, mode. 
Sax. and Goth, mod, mind, anger, whence moody, Eng. moot, Lat. maturus, 
mature, and Eng. tnatter. 

In Welsh, niarfu signifies, to cause to proceed; to send, [Lat mitto;] to 
suffer to go off; to render productive ; to become beneficial ; and mad sig- 
nifies, what proceeds or goes forward, hence what is good; and mad, the 
adjective, signifies, proceeding, advancing, progressive, good or beneficial. 
This word then affords a clear proof of the radical sense of good. We have 
like evidence in the English better, best, and in prosperity, which is from 
the Greek irp.'(7?ip", to advance. 

In Welsh also we find madrez, matter, pus ; madru, to dissolve, to putre- 
fy, to become pus. That these words are from the same root as the Arabic 


Jv^ supra, I think to be very obvious; and here we observe that the 
Welsh have one important sense derived from the root, that of good, which 
occurs in none of the other languages. But the primary sense is the same as 
that of the other significations, to go forward, to advance; hence to pro 
mote interest or happiness. Here we have undeniable evidence that thi 
sense of good, Welsh mad, and the sense of matter, pus, proceed from the 

same radix. 


The Greek Aiyu is rendered, to speak or say ; to tell, count, or number 
to gather, collect, or choose ; to discourse ; and to lie down. This last defi 
nition shows that this word is the English lie and lay ; and from this appli 
cation, doubtless, the Latins had their lectus, a bed, that is, a spread, a lay 

The Latin lego, the same verb, is rendered, to gather ; to choose ; to 
read ; to steal, or collect by stealing ; and the phrase, legere oram, signifies 
to coast, to sail along a coast ; legere vela, is to furl the sails ; legere hali- 
turn, to take breath C legere littus, to sail close to the shore ; legere mililes. 
to enlist or muster soldiers; legere pugno, to strike, perhaps to lay on with 
the fist. 

It would seem, at first view, that such various significations cannot pro 
ceed from one radix. But the fact that they do is indubitable. The prima- 
ry sense of the root must be to throw, stiain or extend, which in this, as ii 
almost all cases, gives the sense of speaking. The sense of collecting, 
choosing, gathering, is from throwing, or drawing out, or separating by 
some such act ; or from throwing together. The sense of lying down is, 
probably, from throwing one's self down. The sense of reading, in Latin, 
is the same as that of speaking in the Greek, unless it may be from collect- 
ing , that is, separating the letters, and uniting them in syllables and 
words ; for in the primitive mode of writing, diacritical points were not used 
But probably the sense of reading is the same as in speaking. 

The phrases legere ora?n, legere littus, in Latin, may coincide with that of 
our seamen, to .stretch or lay along the shore or coast, or to hug the land ; 
especially if this word lay in Sanscrit signifies to cling, as I have seen it 
stated in some author, but for which I cannot vouch. If this sense is at- 
tached to the word, it proves it closely allied to the L. ligo, to bind. 

That the sense of throwing, or driving, is contained in this word, is cer- 
tain from its derivatives. Thus, in Greek, cnoUytj signifies to select, to collect ; 
and also to reject, to repudiate, and to forbid ; which imply throwing, 
thrusting away. 

Now, if throwing, sending, or driving, is the primary sense, then the Lat- 
in lego, to read, and lego, legare, to send, are radically the same word ; the 
inflections of the verb being varied, arbitrarily, to designate the distinct ap- 
plications, just as iopello, appello, appellere, to drive, and appello, appel- 
lare, to call. 

And here it may be worth a moment's consideration, whether several 

that of light. So the river Aar, in Europe, is doubtless iVonj 
the same source as the Orienntal niN, to shine, whence air. And nriJ. 
which, in Hebrew, signifies to flow as water, as well as to shine, chiefly signi- 
fies in Chaldee and Syiiac, to shine. 

To show the great importance, or rather the absolute necessity, of ascer- 
taining the primary sense of words, in order to obtain clear ideas of the 
sense of ancient authors, more particularly of difficult passages in dead 
languages, let the reader attend to the following remarks. 

In commenting on certain parts of Isaiah xxviii, Lowth observes in his 
Preliminary Dissertation, the difficulty of determining the meaning of niH, 
in verse loth. In our version, as in others, it is rendered agreement ; but, 
says Lowth, " the word means no such thing in any pait of the Bible, ex- 
cept in the -ISth verse following ; nor can the lexicographers give any satis- 
factory account of the word in this sense." Yet he agrees with Vitringa, 
that in these passages it must have this signification. The difficulty, it 
seems, has arisen from not understanding the primary sense of seeing, for 
the verb generally signifies to see ; and as a noun the word signifies sight, 
vision ; and so it is rendered in the Latin version annexed to Vanderhooght's 
Bible. The seventy render it by <rvt,iw,, a covenant or league ; and they are 
followed by the moderns. " Nous avons intelligence avec le sepulchre." 
French. " Noi habbiam fatta lega col sepulcro." Italian of Diodati. 

Parkhurst understands the word to signify, to fasten, to settle, and he cites 
2 Sam. XX, 9, inn, " Joab took Amasa by the beard." Here the sense is 
obvious ; and from this and other passages, we may infer with certainty, 
that the radical sense is to reach to, or to seize, hold, or fix. If the sense is 
to reach to, then it accords with covenant, conveniens, coming to ; if the 
sense is to fix, or fasten, then it agrees with league, Lat. ligo, and with pact, 
pactum, from pango, to make fast; all from the sense of extension, stretch- 
ing, straining. Hence the meaning of niH, the breast; that is, the firm, 
fixed, strong part. And if the English gaze is the same word, which is not 
improbable, this determines the appropriate sense of seeing in this word, to 
be to fix, or to look or reach with the eye fixed. 

But we have other and decisive evidence of the primary signification of 
this word in the obvious, undisputed meaning of triN, the same word with 
a prefix, which signifies to catch, or lay hold on ; to seize ; hence, behind, 
following, as if attached to ; and hence drawing out in time, to delay. 

Now it is not improbable that the Arabic jL=» hauz, may be a word 
of the same stock ; and this signifies among other senses, to collect, contract 
or draw together, to accumulate, to have intercourse or commerce with 
another. The latter sense would give nearly the signification of the He- 
brew word. 

Lexicographers are often embarrassed to account for the different signifi- 
cation of words that are evidently derived fioni the same root. Thus, 
in Hebrew, "W is rendered to sing ; to look, behold, or observe ; and to 
|ru!e ; and its derivatives, a ruler, a wall, the navel-string, a chain or 

words with prefixes, such as slay, flog, and the Latin pz/co, W. plygu, are iSfl'*'^' ^\ """' '='° " """'t ^T%u ■■"''' ?°^ u T^' """^ '° '""''u' 
not formed on the ro^t of la„. ihlt. In. or Ink Th/LL .f^/^f, 'sfv !|N<"h'n.g "n be more easy or natural. The sense is m both cases to stretch 

not formed on the root of lay, that is, lag or lak. The 

of slay. Sax 

imen ; and to ! 
In Latin sei 

ach. To sing is to strain the voice ; to rule is to restrain 
gon heora wedd," they slew their league, or contract ; that is, they struckl;™''" ' '■"'" '° ^"^ '' '° '?^'=''' '"' "> ''""'' '" ''''"'• 

a bargain. It signifies also to throw, as to slag one into prison ; also toll '" ^'''"^ *"""' sigmfies to sow, to plant, to beget, to spread ; consero, 
fall ; to set or lay. The sense of killing is derivative from that of stiiking,!!'" *°"'' ^"<' '" "^'"'^ or join ; desero, to leave off, to desert ; assero, to plant 
a striking down. jiby or near, and to assert, affirm, and pronounce; dissero, to discourse ; 

Flog, Lat. fligo, signifies prim-irWy to rush, drive, strike, Eng. to «cft /li*"*^™' '° '"**'''• '"'"P'""' 5 resero, to unlock, to open, to disclose. Desero, 
and if formed on the root of lay. is precisely the popular phrase, to lay on. |l*° desert, Amsworth says, is a compound of de and sero, '• ut sit desertum 

If plico is formed with a prefix on lay or its root, it must have been ori-i|l"°'* "°" seritur nee colitur." And dissero he supposes must be a meta- 
ginally pelico, that is, belico. belay. Then to fold, would be to lay on orlP'^'"'''^*' ^^^ °f ** ^*°''''- ^o""' "" *« principles I have unfolded, nothing 
dosf; to lay one part to another. Now this word is the Welsh pfygu,!'"**^^'^'' *""'"' ^"P'^"*''"'"''^ *'^'*^ ^*'"'''^'- Thesenseofi 

fold, which Owen makes to be a compound of nu and ««. The'^iatterii'"*™'* 5 ''*'''''™' • -- ., . 

word must be a contraction of %g. ' thrust or drive together; desero is to throw from ; assero is to throw, in 

We know that the word reply is from the French repliquer, the Latin """"ds> or to 'lirow out, as in appeMo ; rfmero is to throw words or arguments, 

replico. Now, to reply, is not to fold back, but to send back to throw i^'* •'''^ '*"^^ of spreading, expatiating; f«.sero is to throw orthrustin; 

back, as words, or an answer ; and this gives the precise sense of %, tojj''««"''''*'o throw or drive from, hence to unlock or open. 

throw, to send, which must be the sense of the radical word. It is by resorting to the primary idea of words that we are able to ex- 

It is no inconsiderable evidence of the truth of my conjecture, that wel|plain applications, apparently, or in fact, diverse and even contrary. A ve- 

constantly use the phrase to lay on, or lay to, as synonymous with ply, ajiry common example of this contiaiiety occurs in words which signify to 

word belonging to this family. To pledge, another of this family, is to ioyj,guard or defend. For instance, the Latin mceo signifies to drive ofT, and to pro- 

In Welsh, llugiaw signifies to throw, fling, east, or dart ; to pelt ; to drift ; 
from llui;, a darting, a flash, glance, or sudden throw ; hence llu(;ed, light- 
ning. Llug signifies also, that breaks, or begins to open, a gleam, a break- 
ing out in blotches ; the plague. Llwg signifies also, that' is apt to break 
out, that is bright, a tumor, eruption. These words coincide with Eng- 
lish light, Lat. luceo ; the primary sense of which is to throw, shoot, or dart ; 
and these words all contain the elements of ^o.? and fling. 

In Welsh, lly(;u signifies to fall flat, to lie extended, or to squat. This 
is evidently allied to lay and lie. 

These senses agree also with that of luck, to fall, or come suddenly ; that 
js, to rush or drive along. 

In Russ. vlagayu is to lay, or put in ; equivalent to the German einlegen. 

The Latin ^uo is contracted from flugo; and the radical sense of flotv is 

tect, secure, hold, restrain, or keep from dep 

5ore.scapm^; twos 

rectly opposite. This is extremely natural ; fororceo signifies to thrust ofT, 
repel, drive back ; and this act defends the person or object attacked. Or if 
we suppose the sense of straining to be anterior to that of repulsion, which 
is not improbable, then the act of straining or holding produces both effects; 
to repel or stop what advances to assault, and protect what is inclosed or as- 
saulted. The woi df guard and warren present a similar application of the 
primary idea; and all languages which I have examined, furnish a multi- 
tude of similar examples. 

These examples illustrate the utility of extensive researches in language ; 
as all cognate languages throw light on each other ; one language often re- 
taining tlie radical meaning of a word which the others have lost. Who, 
for instance, thai is ac(|uainted only with the English use of the verb to 
have, would suspect thai (his woid and happen arc radically one, and that 
the primary scn-e is to fall or rush, hence to fall on and seize ? Yet nothing 


is more certain. In the Spanisli lanp;uage the senses of both verbs are re- 
tained in /laier,- and the VieUh hap iaw gives us the true original signifi- 

In Uke manner the primary sense of venio in Latin, cannot be certainly 
determined without resorting to other words, and to kindred languages. In 
Latin, the word signifies to come or arrive; but in Spanish, venida,(rom 
venir, the Latin venio, signifies not only a coming or arrival, but an attack 
in fencing. Venio coincides in origin with the English /ind ; Saxon find- 
an ; German and Dutch finden, to find, to fall or light on ; Danish/nder ; 
Swedish finna, to find, to discover, to meet, to strike against [ofTendere.j 
The primary sense of tienio then is not merely to come or arrive, but to rush or 
move with a driving force ; and this is applicable to coming or goin^. 

That the primary sense is to fall or rush, we have evidence in the Latin 
ventus, and English wind, both from the root of this verb. We have still 
further evidence in the word venom, which in Welsh is gwcnwyn ; gwen, 
white, and gwyn, rage, smart, whence gtoynt, wind. Venom is that 
which frets or excites a raging pain. Hence we may infer that L. venor, to 
hunt, to chase, is of the same family : and »n i^ rniia, leave, or leave to de- 
part, or a departure, a leaving, coinriilini; in >iL'ii'rhMtion with/ea»e. 

The latter word,«e7ita, proves aiiuih. i l..< i, ih t ihe primary sense of tie- 
nio is, in general, to move in any ilijt < tion. nil 1I1..1 Ihe Latin sense, to come, 
is a particular appropriation of that sense. 

In ascertaining the primary sense of word*, it is often useful or necessa- 
ry to recur to the derivatives. Thus the Latin Icedo is rendered to hurt ; 
but, by adverting to allido, elido, and collido, we find that the original sig- 
nification is to strike, hit, or dash against. Hurt then is the secondary 
sense ; the effect of the primary action expressed by the verb. 

So the Latin rapio, to seize, does not give the sense of rapidus, rapid, 
but the sense of the latter proves the primary .sense of rapio to be to rush, 
and in its application, to rush on and seize. 

These examples will be sufficient to show how little the affinities of 
language have been understood. Men have been generally satisfied with 
a knowledge of the appropriate sense of words, without examining from 
what visible or physical action, or ^jnmai!/ sense, that particular application 
has been derived. Hence the obscurity that still rests on the theory of lan- 
guage. It has been supposed that each word, particularly each verb, has 
an original specific sense, or application, distinct from every other verb. 
We find, however, on a close examination and comparison of the same 
word in different language;;, that the fact is directly the reverse ; that a 
verb expressing some action, in a general sense, gives rise to various ap- 
propriate senses, or particular applications. And in the course of my re- 
searches, I have been struck with the similarity of manner in which differ- 
ent nations have appropriated derivative and figurative senses. For exam- 
ple, all nations, as far as my researches extend, agree in expressing the 
sense o( justice and right, by straightness, and sin, iniquity, wrong, by a 
deviation from a 5traight line or course. Equally remarkable is the simpli- 
city of the analogies in language, and the small number of radical signifi- 
cations ; so small indeed, that 1 am persuaded the primary sense of all the 
verbs in any languas;e, may be expressed by thirty or forty words. 

We cannot, at tliis period of the world, determine, in all cases, which 
words are primitive, and which are derivative ; nor whether the verb or 
the noun is the original word. Mon. Gebelin, in his Monde Primitif, 
maintains that the noun is the root of all other words. Never was a great- 
er mistake. That some nouns may have been formed before the verbs 
with which they are connected, is possible ; but as languages are now con- 
structed, it is demonstrably certain, that the verb is the radix or stock fron 
which have sprung most of the nouns, adjectives, and other parts of speed 
belonging to each family. This is the result of all my researches into th< 
origin of languages. We find, indeed, that many modem verbs are form- 
ed on nouns ; as to practice from practice; but the noun is derived from i 
Greek verb. So we use wrong as a verb from the adjective wrong , 
but the latter is primarily a participle of the verb to wring. Indeed 
a large part of all nouns were originally participles or adjectives, and 
the things which they denote were named from their qualities. So pard, 
pardus, is from T13 barad, hail ; and the animal so named from his spots 
as if sprinkled with hail, or rather from the sense of separation. Crape, 
the Fr. cr^pe, is from crSper, to crisp. Sight signifies, primarily, seen ; it 
being the participle of seon contracted from sigan. Draught is the parti- 
ciple of draw, that which is drawn, or the act of drawing ; thought is the 
participle of think. 

As the verb is the principal radix of other words, and as the proper pro- 
vince of this part of speech is to express action, ahnost all the modifica- 
tions of tlie primary sense of the verb may be comprehended in one word, 
to move. 

The principal varieties of motion or action may be expressed by the fol- 
lowing verbs. 

1. To drive, throw, thrust, send, urge, press. 

2. To set, fix, lay. Buttheseareusually from thrusting, or throwingdown. 

3. To strain, stretch, draw, whence holding, binding, strength, power, and 
often health. 

4. To turn, wind, roll, wander. 

5. To flow, to blow, to rush. 

6. To open, part, spht, separate, remove, scatter. See No. 16. 

7. To swell, distend, expand, spread. 

8. To stir, shake, agitate, rouse, excil 

agitate, rouse, excite. 
To shoot as a plant; to grow ; allied to No. 1. 

10. To break, or burst; allied sometimes to No. 3. 

11. To lift, raise, elevate ; allied to No. 9. 

12. To flee, withdraw, escape ; to fly; often allied to No. 1. 

13. To rage ; to burn ; allied to No. 7 and 8. 
11. To fall ; to fail ; whence fading, dying, &c. 

15. To approach, come, arrive, extend, reach. This is usually the sense 
of gaining. No. 34. 

16. To go, walk, pass, advance ; allied to No. 6. 

17. To seize, take, hold; sometimes alUed to No. 31. 

18. To strike; to beat; alhed to No. 1. 

19. To swing ; to vibrate. No. 29. 

20. To lean; to incline ; allied to the sense of wandering, or departing. 

21. To rub, scratch, scrape; often connected with driving, and with 

22. To swim ; to float. 

23. To stop, cease, rest; sometimes at least from straining, holding, fas- 
tening. * 

24. To creep ; to crawl ; sometimes connected with scraping. 
215. To peel, to strip, whence spoiling. 

26. To leap, to spring; allied to No. 9 and 1. 

27. To bring, bear, carry; in some instances connected with producing, 
throwing out. 

28. To sweep. 

29. To hang. No. 19. 

30. To shrink, or contract; that is, to draw. See No. 3. 

31. To run ; to rush forward ; allied to No. 1. 

32. To put on or together; to unite ; allied to No. 1 and 3. 

33. To knit, to weave. 

34. To gain, to win, to get. See No. 15. 

These and a few more verbs express the literal sense of all the primary 
roots. But it must be remarked that all the foregoing significations are not 
distinct. So far from it, that the whole may be brought under the significa- 
tion of a very few words. The Enghsh words to seiid, throw, thrust, strain, 
stretch, draw, drive, urge, press, embrace the primary sense of a great part 
of all the verbs in every language which I have examined. Indeed it must 
be so, for the verb is certainly the root of most words ; and the verb expres- 

3 moJion, which always imphes the application of force. 

Even the verbs which signify to hold or stop, in most instances at least, if 

tin all, denote primarily to strain or restrain by exertion offeree ; and to 
lie is primarily to throw down, to lay one's self down. So that intransitive 
verbs are rarely exceptions to the general remark above made, that all 
verbs primarily express motion or exertion of force. The substantive verb 
has more claims to be an exception, than any other ; for this usually denotes, 
I think, permanence or continued being ; but the primary sense of this verb 
may perhaps be to set or fix ; and verbs having this sense often express ex- 
tension in time or duration. So mvu in Greek is to stretch, but the same 
word teneo in Latin, is to hold ; hence continuance. 

Let us now attend to the radical sense of some of the most common verbs. 

Speaking, calling, crying, praying, utterance of sounds, is usually from 
the sense of driving or straining. Thus in Latin, appello and compello, 
though of a different conjugation from pello, depello, impello, are from the 
same root ; and although the Latin repello does not signify to recall, yet the 
corresponding word in Italian rappellare, and the French rappeler, signify 
to recall, and hence the English repeal. Hence also peal, either of a bell 
or of thunder. This is the Greek i3aUw, and probably TraUu is from the 
same root. The sense oi striking is found in the Greek verb, and so it is in 
the Lat. loquor, Eng. clock. But in general, speaking, in all its modifica- 
tions, is the straining, driving, or impulse of sounds. Sometimes the sense 
coincides more exactly with tiidAoi breaking or tmrsting. 

Singing is a driving or straining of the voice ; and we apply strain to a 
passage of music, and to a course of speaking. 

■ I am not confident that I can refer the sensation ot hearing to any visible 
action. Possibly it may sometimes be from striking, hitting, touching. But 
we observe that hear is connected in origin with ear, as the Latin audio is 
with the Greek on, "roi, the ear ; whence it appears probable that the verb 
to hear, is formed from the name of the ear, and the ear is from some verb 
which signifies to shoot or extend, for it signifies a limb. 

The primary sense of seeing, is commonly to extend to, to reach ; as it 
were, to reach with the eye. Hence the use of behold, for the radical sense 
of hold is to strain ; and hence its signification in beholden, held, bound, ob- 
ligated. See the verb See in the Dictionary. 

The sense of look may be somewhat different from that of see. It appear* 
in some instances to have for its primary signification to setid, throw, cast ; 
that is, to send or cast the eye or sight. 

Wonder and astonishment are usually expressed by some word that sig- 
nifies to stop or hold. Hence the Latin miror, to wonder, is the Armoric 
tniret, to stop, hold, hinder ; coinciding with the EngUsh moor, and Spanish 
amarrar, to moor, as a ship. 


3 primarily to fall or rush 
1 in Latin tento. See As- 
sually ex- 

To begin is to come, or fall on ; to thrust on. We have a familiar exam 
pie in the Latin incipio, in and capio ; for Capio 
on and seize. See Begin in the Dictionary. 

Attempt is expressed by straining, stretching, ; 
say and Essay. 

/"oi/jer, sfrengtA, and the corresponding verb, 
pressed by straining, stretching, and this is the radical sense ol ruling or 
governing. Of this the Latin rego is an example, which gives rectus, right 
that is, stretched, straight. 

Care, as has been stated, is usually from straining, Aat is, a tension of 
the mind. . , . ■ 

Thinking is expressed by setting. To think is to set or fix or hold in thi 
mind. It approaches to the sense of suppose, Lat. suppono. 

And under this word, let us consider the various applications of the Latin 
puto. The simple verb puto is rendered to prune, lop or dress, as vines, 
that is, according to Ainsworth, putum, i. e. purum reddo, purgo, by vphicli 
I understand him to mean, thatputum is either a change of purum, or used 
for it ; a most improbable supposition, for the radical letters t and r are 
coramutable. Puto is rendered also, to make even, clear, adjust, or cast up 
accounts ; ;Jso to think or consider; to suppose ; to debate. Its compounds 
are amputo, to cut off, prune, amputate, to remove ; computo, to compute 
to reckon, to think or deem ; disputo, to make clear, to adjust or settle, tc 
dispute or debate, to reason ; imputo, to impute, to ascribe or lay to, tc 
place to account ; reputo, to consider, to revolve, to reckon up, to impute 
The Latin deputo signifies to think, judge or esteem, to account or reckon 
and to prune ; but the Italian deputare, Spanish diputar, and French depu- 
ter, from the Latin word, all signify, to send. How can the sense of think 
and that of lop or prune, be deduced from a common root or radical sense : 
We find the solution of this question in the verb to depute. The primary 
sense is to throw, thrust or send, or to set or lay, which is from throwing, 
driving. To prune is to separate, remove, or drive oiT; to force off; to 
think is a setting in the mind ; to compute is to throw or put together, either 

the mind or in numbers; to dispute is to throw against ' '•''" ■^' 

bate, to beat from; to impute, is to throw or put to or on; and 
to think or throw in the mind, repeatedly. To amputate 

apart, like de 

I repute, is 

to separate by 
probably, as the 
also the Dutch 

cutting round. Puto then in Latin is from the same 
English put, or the same word ditferently applied ; 
pooten, to plant ; pool, a paw, a twig or shoot, Gr. (furov, sic. 

In attempting to discover the primary sense of words, we are to carry 
reflections back to the primitive state of mankind, and consider how rude 
men would effect their purposes, before the invention or use of the instru- 
ments which the moderns employ. The English verb to cut, signifies or- 
dinarily to separate with an edged tool ; and we are apt to consider tins ai 
the chief and original sense. But if so, how can cut, the stroke of a whip 
which is a legitimate sense of the word, be deduced from the act of severing 
by an edged tool ? We have, in this popular use of the word, a clew to guide 
us to the primary sense, which is, to drive, urge, press, and applied to the 
arm, to strike. But we have better evidence. In the popular practice of 
speaking in New England, it is not uncommon to hear one person call to ar 
other when running, and say, cut on, cut on ; that is, hurry, run faste 
drive, press on ; probably from striking a beast which one rides on. This is 
the original sense of the word. Hence we see, that this verb is the Latin 
cado, to strike, to cut down, somewhat differently applied, and cado, to fall 
is only a modified sense of the same root, and the compounds incido, to cut 
and incido, to fall on, are of one family. To cut, is therefore primarily to 
strike, or drive, and to cut off, if applied to the severing of bodies, before 
edged tools were used, was to force off, or to strike off; hence the 
separating in the phrase to cut off 2. retreat or communication. 

So the Latin carpo is the English ca/rve, originally to separate by plucking, 
pulling, seizing and tearing, afterwards, by cutting. 

Asking is usually expressed by the sense of pressing, urging. We have 
a clear proof of this in the Latin pete and its compounds. This verb signi- 
fies primarily to rush, to drive at, to assault, and this sense, in Dictionaries, 
ought to stand first in the order of definitions. We have the force of the ori- 
ginal in the words impetus and impetuous. So the Latin rogo, coincides 
in elements with reach. 

The act of understanding is expressed by reaching or taking, holding, 
sustaining ; the sense of comprehend, and of understand. We have a pop- 
ular phrase which well expresses this sense, " I take your meaning or your 
idea." So in German, begreifen, to begripe, to apprehend. 

.Knowing seems to have the same radical sense as understanding. 

Pain, grief, distress, and the like affections, are usually expressed by 
pressure or straining. Affliction is from striking. 

Joy, mirth, and the like affections, are from the sense of rousing, excit- 
ing, lively action. 

Covering, and the like actions aie from spreading over or cutting off, in- 

Hiding, is from covering or from withdrawing, departure ; or concealment 
may be from withholding, restraining, suppressing, or making fast --=-"-- 
Latin celo. 

Heat usually implies excitement; but as the effect of heat as well as of 
cfdd is sometimes to contract, I think both are sometimes from the same ra- 
4ix. Thusco^d and the Lat. caleo, to be warm, and calhts and catleo, to be 

hard, have all the same elementary letters, and I suppose them all to be 
from one root, the sense of which is, to draw, strain, shrink, contract. I am 
the more inclined to this opinion, for these words coincide with callta, to be 
strong or able, to know ; a sense that imples straining and holding. 

Hope is probably from reaching forward. We express strong desire by 
longing, reaching towards. 

Earnestness, boldness, daring, peril, promptness, readiness, willingness, 
love and favor, are expressed by advancing or inclining. 

Light is often expressed by opening, or the shooting of rays, radiation ; 
and probably in many cases, the original word was applied to the dawn of 
day in the morning. fVhiteness is often connected in origin with light. 
We have an instance of this in the Latin caneo, to shine and to be white. 

And that the primary sense of this word, is to shoot, to radiate, that is, to 
throw out or off, we have evidence in the verb cano, to sing, whence canto, 
the sense of which is retained in our popular use of cant ; to cant a stone ; 
to cant over a cask ; give the thing a cant ; for all these words are from one 

The Latin virtus, the English worth, is from the root of vireo, to grow, 
that is, to stretch forward, to shoot; hence the original sense is strength, a 
sense we retain in its application to the qualities of plants. Hence the La- 
tin sense of virtus, is bravery, coinciding with the sense of boldness, a pro- 
jecting forward. 

Pride is from swelling or elevation, the primary sense of some other words 
nearly allied to it. 

Fear is usually from shrinking or from shaking, trembling; or some- 
les perhaps from striking, a being struck, as with surprise. 
Holiness and sacredness are sometimes expressed by separation, as from 
common things. The Teutonic word holy however seems to be from the 
nse of soundness, entireness. 

Faith and belief seem to imply a resting on, or a leaving. It is certain 
that the English belief is a compound of the prefix be and leaf, leave, per- 
mission. To believe one then is to leave with him, to rest or suffer to rest 
ith him, and hence not to dispute, contend or deny. 

Color may by from spreading over or putiing on ; but in some instances, 
the primary sense is to dip. See Dye and Tinge. 

Spots are from the sense of separating or from sprinkling, dispersion. 
The radical sense of making is to press, drive, or force. We use make in 
i true literal sense, in the phrases, make your horse draw, mafce your ser- 
vant do what you wish. 

Feeding is from the sense of pressing, crowding, stuffing, that is, from 
driving or thrusting. Eating seems to have a somewhat different sense. 

Drinking is from drawing, or from wetting, plunging. Drench and 
drink are radically one word. 

Anger, and the like violent passions imply excitement, or violent action. 
Hence their connection with burning or inflamnuttion, the usual sense of 
hich is raging or violent commotion. 

Agreement, harmony, are usually from meeting, or union, or from ex- 
tending, reaching to. 

Dwelling, abiding, are from the sense of throwing or setting down, or 

from stretching; as we see by the Latin continuo, from teneo, 


Guarding and defending, are fiom roots that signify to stop, or to cut off; 

or more generally, from the sense of driving off, a repelling or striking 

back. In some cases perhaps from holding. 

Opposition is usually expressed by meeting, and hence the prepositions 
wliich express opposition. Thus the Danish preposition mod, Swedish mot 
or emot, against, contrary, is the English word to m^et. 

Words which express spirit denote primarily breath, air, wind, the radi- 
cal sense of which is to flow, move or rush. Hence the connection between 
spirit and courage, animus, animosus ; henc^ pa.ssion, animosity. So in 
Greek ippiviTii, frenzy, is from ippiv, the mind, or rather from its primary sense, 
a moving or rushing. 

So in our mother-tongue, mod is mind or spirit ; whence mood, in Eng- 
Ush, and Sax. modig, moody, angry. Hence mind in the sense ofjampose, 
its primary signification, is a setting forward, as intention is from intendo, 
to stretch, to strain, the sense that ought to stand first in a Dictionary. 

Reproach, chiding, rebuke, are from the sense of scolding, or throwing 
out words with violence. 

Sin, is generally from the sense of deviating, wandering, as is the prac- 
tice of lewdness. 

Right, justice, equity, are from the sense of stretching, making straight, 
from laying, making smooth. 


Falsehood is from falling, failing, or from deviation, wandering, draw- 
ing aside. 

The primary sense of strange foreign, is distant, and from some verb 
signifying to depart. Wild and fierce are from a like sense. 

Vain, vanity, wane, and kindred words, are from exhamtmg, drawing 
out, or from departing, withdrawing, falling away. 

Paleness is usually from failure, a departure of color. 

Glory is from opening, expanding, display, or making clear. 

Binding, making fast or close, is from pressure, or straining. 

Writing is from scratching, engraving, the sense of all primitive words 
which express this act. 


A aowd, a mass, a wood, Sic, are from collecting or pressing, or soj 
allied signification. 

Vapor, steam, smoke, are visually from verbs which signify to exhale 
throw off. 

Stepping seems to be from opening, expanding, stretching. Thus passus 
in Latin is from pando, to open, -but this agrees in origin with pateo, and 
with tlic Greek irartw. Gradus in Latin coincides witli the Welsh rhawd, 
a way, andthi*, when traced to its root, terminates in the oriental T1, TXT), 
Chaldee, to open, stretch or expand: in Syriac (»j radah, to go, to pass. 
Walking may be sometimes from a like source ; but the word walk signifies 
primarily to roll, pre.'*.'?, work and full, as a hat, whence walker signifies a 

Softness and weakness are usually named from yielding, bending, with- 
drawing, as is relaxation. Softness however is sometimes connected with 
smoothness, and perhaps with moisture. 

Sweetness seems to have for its primary sense, either softness or smooth- 

Roughness is from sharp points, wrinkling or breaking ; and acidity is from 
sharpness or pungency, and nearly allied to roughness. 

Death is expressed by falling or departure ; life by fixedness or continu- 
ance, or from animation, excitement. 

Selling is primarily, a passing or transfer. Sellan, in Saxon, signifies to 
give as well as to sell. 

A coast or border, is usually the extreme point, from extending. 

Law is from setting, establishing. 

The primary sense of son, daughter, offspring, is usually a shoot, or as we 
say, issue. Hence in Hebrew :3 ben, signifies both a son, a cion, a branch, 
and the youn» of other animals. A son, says Parkhurst, is from nJ3 banah, 
to,build, and hence he infers that a son is so called, because he builds up or 
continues his father's house or family. But if so, how does the word apply 
to a branch, or an arrow .' What do these build up .' The mistake of this 
author, and of others, proceeds from their not understanding the origiM;il 
meaning of the verb, which is not to erect, or elevate, but to" throw, to set, 
to found; and this verb is probably ictainnl in niir word found. .\ son is 
that which is thrown or .shot out, a cion nv l.rnuli h llie same, an offset, one 
an offset of the human body, the olliir ni , |,l,ini, jn.l .in arrow is that which 
is shot or thrown. Hence probably iln HiIm i u J3vS' oben or even, a stone, 
W. maen, or vaen, that which is set, so uaiued liuin its compactness or hard- 

Qess. And in Arabic j t abana, signifies to think, Lat. opinor, that is, 
to set in the mind. 

Few and small are senses often expressed by the same word. Thus, al- 
though/eM> in English expresses merely a small number, yet the same word 
in French, peu, and in the Italian, poco, signifies little in quantity, as well as 
few in number. 

Cause is from the sense of urging, pressing, impelling. Hence it well 
expresses that which produces an effect ; and hence it is peculiarly expres- 
sive of that by which a man seeks to obtain a claim in law. A cause ii: 
court is properly a pressing for right, like action from ago ; and prosecu- 
tion from the Latin seqiurr, which is our word seek. Hence the Latin ac- 
cuso, to accuse, to throw ui)on, to press or load with a charge. The Saxon 
saca, contention, suit in law, is synonymous with cause, and from the root 
of seek, sequor. It is the English sake. 

The word thingis nearly synonymous with cause and sake. See Thing 
in the Dictionary. 

The primary sense of time, heck, chance, fortune, is to fall, to ^„...,., „ 
arrive, to happen. Tide, time and season, have a like original sense. Tide 
in Saxon is time, not a flow of the sea, the latter being a secondary and mod 
em application of the word. This primary signification of time will unfold 
to us what I formerly could not understand, and what I could find no pei-soi 
to explain, that is, why the Latin tempora should signify times and the tern 
pies. It seems that tempora are the falls of the head. Hence also we un 
derstand why tempest is naturally deducible from tempus, as the primary 
sense is to fiill, to rush. Hence te7tipestivus, seasonable, that c 
good time. Season has a like sense. 

Hence also we are ted to understand, what has seemed inexpUcable, how 
the French heureux, lucky, happy, can be regularly deduced from heure, an 
hour. W e hnd that in Greek and Latin, the primary sense of hour is time. 
anil time is a coming, a falling, a happening, like the English luck, and 
hence the sense of lucky ; hence fortunate and happy. The word fortunate 
IS precisely of the same character. 

The primary sense of the Shemitic 13n davar, or thavar, corresponds al- 
most precisely with that of cause and thing in EngUsh, that is, to stiain, 
urge, drive, fall or rusli. Hence it signifies, to .speak, and in Ch. and Syr. 
to lead, to direct, to go\ern. As a noun, it signifies a word, that which is 
uttered ; a thing, cause or matter, that is, that which happens or falls, like 
event from evenio ; also a plague, or great calamity, that is, that which 
tails, or comes on manor beast, like plague, a stroke or affliction, from 
striking. And it may be observed, that if the first letter is a prefix answer- 
ing to the Gothic du, Saxon and English to, in the Saxon to-drifan, to drive, 
then the iw. 13 coincides exactly with the Welsh peri, to command, which 
(s retained lu composiUon in Uie Lat. impero. Indeed if the first syUable of 

Igufteriio is a prefix, the root of this word may be the same. The object 
however for which this word is here mentioned, is chiefly to show the uni- 
formity which men have observed in expressing their ideas ; making use of 
the same visible physical action to represent the operations of the mind and 
moral ideas. 

Silence, deafness, dumbness, are from stopping, holding, or making 

War is from the sense of striving, driving, struggling. 

Good is generally from enlarging, or advancing, like prosperotts. 

Evil is from wandering, departing, or sometimes from softness, weakness, 
ni,from the Welsh 

flowing or fluxibility, as is tlie case with the L, 

The primary sense of the names of natural and material objects cannot 
always be ascertained. The reasons are obvious. Some of these names are 
detached branches of a family of words, which no longer form a part of our 
language, the verb and all the derivatives, except a single name, being ex- 
tinct or found only in some remote country. Others of these names tiave 
suffered such changes of orthography, that it is dilBcult or impossible to as- 
certain the primary or radical letters, and of course the family to which they 
belong. Numerous examples of such words occur in EngUsh, as in every 
'other language. « 

I But from such facts as have occurred to me, in my researches, I may ven- 
ture to affirm with confulcnce, that most names of natural objects are taken 
from some obvious (ju.iiityor action, or some supposed quality of the thing; 
]or from the particular action or operation by which it is produced. Thus tu~ 
\mors are named from jiushing, or swelling ; and redness, or red, seems, in 
some instances at least, to be named from eruptions on the body. The human 
body is named from shaping, that is, setting, fixing, or extending, and hence 
.sometimes, the general name of the human race. The arm is a shoot, a 
push, as is the branch of a tree. A board, a table, a floor, is from spreading, 
or expanding, extending. Skin, and hark are from peeling, stripping, &c. 
The names of particular animals and plants cannot always be traced to 
Ibiir source ; but as far as I have been able to discover their origin, I find 
animals to be generally named from some striking characteristic of external 
appearance, from the voice, from habits of life, or from their office. There 
is reason for believing that the Greek spouSoj and Latin slruthio, or ostrich, is 
from the same root as the English strut, the strutter ; the primary sense of 
which root is, to stretch, wliich explains all the senses of the Greek and 
Latin words of this family. It is certain that the crow is named from its cry, 
] and the leopard from his spots. 

I Thus planLs were named from their qualities: some from their form, oth- 
ers from their color, others from their effects, others from the place of their 
I growth. The English root, Lat. radix, is only a particular application of rod 
jand ray, radius; that is, a shoot. Spurge is undoubtedly from the root of 
I the Latin pur go. 

j There is reason to think that many names of plants were originally adjec- 
tives, expressing their qualities, or the name was a compound used for the 
same purpose, one part of which has been dropped, and the other remaining 
as the name of the plant. Thus pine, pinus, is from pin, pinna, penna ; tor 
in Welsh pin is a pin and a pen or style for writing, and pinbren is a pine- 
tree. The tree then was named from its leaf. 
Pir has a similar origin and signification. 

It is probable or rather certain that some natural objects, as plants and 
minerals, received their names from their supposed qualities; as in ages of 
ignorance End superstition, men might ascribe effects to them, by mistake. 
The whole history of magic and enchantment leads us to this conclusion. 

Minerals are, in many instances, named from their obvious qualities, as 
\gold from its yellowness, and iron from its hardness. The names can, in 
[some cases, be traced to their original, as that of gold and of the Latin /«■- 
\ru.m ; but many of them, are not easily ascertained. Indeed tlie greatest 
part of the specific names of animals, plants and minerals appear to be ob- 
scure. Some of them appear to have no connection with any family of words 
in our language, and many of them are derived to us from Asia, and from 
roots which can be found only, if found at all, in the Asiatic languages. 

These observations and explanations will be sufficient to show the impor- 
jtance of developing, as far as possible, tlie origin of words, and of comparing 
tlie different uses of the same word in different languages, in order to under- 
stand either the philosophy of speech, or the real force and signification of 
words in their practical application. 

If it should be found to be true, that many of the Shemitic verbs are form- 
ed with prefixes, Uke those of the European languages, this may lead to new 
illustrations of the original languages of the scriptures. In order to deter- 
mine this fact, it will be useful to examine whether the Chaldee and Hebrew 
3 is not often a prefix answering to ic in tlie Teutonic languages ; whether 
J and 3 are not prefixes answering to the ga and ge of the Gothic and Teu- 
tonic ; whether T, and n, and I, a dialectical form of £3, do not coincide 
with the Gothic du, the Saxon <o, the Dutch <oe, and the German zu; 
whether J does not answer to the Russ. and Dutch na, tlie German nach; 
and whether D and \t/ do not answer to s, sh, and sch in tlie modern English 
and German. 

If many of the Shemitic triliteral verbs are compound, it follows that the 

imary radix has not been detected. At any rate, I have no hesitation in 

atfirming that the primary sense of many of the roots in the Shemitic Ian- 


guages, that sense which is almost indispensable to an understanding of 
many obscure passages in the scriptures, has been hitherto overlooked or 
mistaken. In order fully to comprehend many uses of the words, it will be 
necessary to compare them with the uses of the words of the same family 
in the modern languages, and this comparison must be far more extensive 
than any hitherto made, and conducted on principles which have not been 
before duly appreciated and applied. 

I have introduced the foregoing comparative view of the several signifi- 
cations of the same word indifferent languages, not merely to illustrate the 
general principles of language, but with a special reference to an explana- 
tion of the etymologies which occur in this work. Should my synopsis ever 
he pubUsbed, the learned enquirer might pursue the subject at his pleasure. 

The results of the foregoing remarks and illustrations may be thus reca- 

1. The nations which now constitute the distinct families or races of Ja- 
phet and Shem, are descendants of the common family which inhabited the 
plain of Shinar, before the dispersion. 

2. The families at the dispersion retained a large proportion of the words 
which were in common use, before that event, and the same were conveyed 
to their posterity. In the course of time, some of these words were drop- 
ped by one family or tribe, and some by another, till very few of them are 
retained in their original form and signification by all the nations which 
have sprung from the main stock. A few of them however are still found 
in all or nearly all the languages which I have examined, bearing nearly the 
same signiiication and easily recognized as identical. 

3. Although few of the primitive words can now be recognized, as exist- 
ing in all the languages, yet as we better understand the changes which 
have been made in the orthography and signitication of the same radical 
words, the more affinities are discovered ; and particularly, when we un- 
derstand the primary sense, we find this to unite words whose appropriate 
or customary significations appear to have no connection. 

4. A great number of the primitive radical words are found in compounds, 
formed in different languages, with different affixes and prefixes, which ob- 
scure the affinity. Thus Veritas in Latin is wahrheit in German ; the first 
syllable in each is the same word, the last, different. In other instances, 
both difference of orthography, of formation and of application concur to ob- 
scure the affinity of words. Thus, the English word strong is in Danish 
streng, signifying stern, severe, rigid, strict; and strenghed [stronghood] is 
severity, rigor, strictness. Now, n in these words is not radical ; remove 
this letter and we have strog, streg, which coincide with the Latin stringo, 
stricttis ; and these words are found to be from the same radix, which signi- 
fies to draw, to strain, to stretch. 

5. It appears that 6, p and/ are often prefixes, either the remains of pre- 
positions, or casual additions to words, introduced by peculiar modes of pro- 
nunciation, which prefixes now precede consonants with which they readily 
coalesce in pronunciation, as I and r, forming triliteral words on biliteral 
roots ; as in block from Hoc, or lock; play, Saxon jj/egara, from leg or lek, 
Swedish /efta, Dan. leger ; flow, Lat. fluo, bom lug, or luc, which appears 
in light, lux, luceo, and in lug, a river, retained in Lugdunum. 

6. It appears also that c or k and g, are often prefixes before the same 
consonants, I and )•, as in Lat. clunis, Eng. loin ; W. clod, praise, from Hod. 
Latin, laus, laudo ; German gluck, English luck ; Lat. gratia, W. rhad. 

7. It appears also that s is a prefix in a vast number of words, as in speed, 
spoil, swell, sweep ; and it is very evident that st are prefixed to many words 
whose original, radical, initial consonant was r, as in straight, strict, strong, 
stretch, from the root of right, rectus, reach, and in stride, from the root of 
the Latin gtadior, W.rhaz. 

If these inferences are just, as I am persuaded they are, it follows tha 
there is a more near resemblance and a much closer affinity between thi 
languages of Europe and of Western Asia, than has hitherto been supposed 
to exist. It follows also that some of the most important principles or rudi 
ments of language have hitherto escaped observation, and that pliilology i: 
yet in its infancy. Should this prove, on further examination, to be the stat( 
of philology, it is reserved for future investigators to examine the original 
languages of the scriptures on new principles, which may sei-ve to illustrate 
some obscure and difficult passages, not hitherto explained to the general 
satisfaction of critics and commentators. 

If any persons should be disposed to doubt or contradict these facts, let 
them first consider that my conclusions are not hasty opinions, formed on 
isolated facts ; but that they have been forced upon me, in opposition to all 
my former habits of thinking, by a series of successive proofs and ace 
lating evidence, during a long course of investigation, in which I have 
pared most of the radical words, in more than twenty languages, twice and 
some of them three times. 

No part of my researches has given me more trouble or solicitude, than 
that of arriving at tlie precise radical sigrufication of moral ideas ; such for 
example, as hope, love,favor, faith. Nor has it been with much less labor 
that I have obtained a clear knowledge of some of our physical actions. _. 
is literally true that I have sometimes had a word under consideration for 
two or three years, before I could satisfy my own mind, as to the primary 
signification. That I have succeeded at last, in every instance, can hardly 
-yet, in most cases, I am perfectly satisfied with the results of 

Progress and Changes of the English Language. 

lias been already observed that the mother tongue of the EngUsh i» 
the Anglo-Saxon. The following are specimens of that language as it was 
spoken or written in England before the Norman conquest. The first is 
from the Sa.xon Chronicle. The original is in one column, and the literal 
translation in the other. The English words in italics are Saxon words. 
The number of these will show how large a proportion of the words is re- 
tained in the present English. 

An. DCCCXCI. Her for se here 
east, and Earnulf cyning gefeaht with 
thKm raede-here asr tha scipu co- 
mon, mid East-Francum, and Seaxum, 
and Bfcgerum, and hine geflymde. 
And thry Scottas cwomon to iElfrede 
cyninge on anum bate, butan aelcum 
gerethum, of Hibernia; and thonon 
hi hi bestaelon, forthon the hi woldon 
forGodes lufan on eltheodinesse bion, 
by ne rohton hwar. 

Se bat wss geworht of thriddan 
healfre hyde, the hie on foron, and hi 
namon mid him that hie hsefdon to 
seofon nihtum mete, and tha comon 
hie ymb seofon niht, to londe on 
Corawealum, and foran tha sona to 
filfrede cyninge. 

rray east and Earnulf, the king, 
fought with the cavalry [ride army] 
ere the ships come, with the East- 
Francs, and Saxons and Bavarian*, 
anrf put them to flight. Jliul thru 
Scots come to Alfred, the kli'^. in n 
[an] boat, without any rower.-., liom 
Hibernia, and thence they privately 
withdrew [bestole] because that the\ 
would, for God's love be [or livej 
where they should not be anxious — 
[reck, care.] 

The boat teas wrought of ttfo 
hides and a half [third half hide,] in 
which they fared [came] and they 
took with them that they had for sr- 
ven nights meat, and they come 
about the seventh night, to land in 
Cornwall, and fared [went] soon to 
iElfred, the king. 

The following specimen is from the Anglo-Saxon version of Orosius, suppo- 
' ■ be made by King Alfred. 

Ohthere sasdc his hiaforde, M\- 
frede kyninge, tha-t he ealra North- 
manna north mest bude. He cwaeth 
that he bude on thsm lande northe- 
weardum with tha west ss. He 
sa!de theah thaet that land sy 
swythe north thanon ; ac hit is eall 
west buton on feawum stowum sticce 
jm wiciath Fionas, on huntathe 
■intra, and on sumera on fiscothe 
be there sae. He saede tha;t he a;t 
sumum cyrre wolde fandiam hu 
lange thst land north right tege. 

Octhere told [said] his lord, king 
Alfred, that he lived north most ol 
all the north men. He quoth that 
he dwelt in the [them] land north- 
ward, opposite [with] the west sea. 
He said though, that that land is due 
north from thence, and that it is all 
waste except [but] in a few places 
[stows] where the Fijifis for the most 
part dwell, for hunting in winter, 
and in summer (or fishing iu that sea, 
[by the sea.] He said that he, at 
some time, would find how long that 
land lay right north. 

Laws of King iEthelbert. 

Gif Cyning his Icode to him geha- 
;h, and heom mon thsr yfel gedo, 
II bote and cyning L. scillinga. 

Gif in Cyninges tune man mannan I 
fsleah, L. scill. gebete. 

Gif on Eorles tune man 
ofsleath, XII Scil. gebete. 

Gif man 
scil. gebete 

: man ofslsehth, XX | 

Gif thuman (of astehth) XX scil. 
Gif "thuman nsgl of wcordeth III 
scil. gebete. Gif man scytefinger (of 
a slahth,) VIII scil. gebete. Gif man 
middle finger (of a slaehth,) IV. scil. 
gebete. Gif man gold-finger (of a 
slaehth,) VI scil. gebete. Gif man 
then litlan finger (of a sloehth) XI 
scil. gebete. 

If the King shall call [cite] his 
people to him, and any one [man] 
shall there do evil, let double com- 
pensation be made, and Mty shillings 
to the King. 

If in the King's town a man slay 
la man, let him compensate [boot] 
I with fifty shillings. 

j If in an Earl's town one man 
slayeth another tnan, let him pay 
[ twelve shilli7igs for reparation. 

I If man, [any one] slayelh any 
man, let him compensate with twen- 
I ly shillings. 

If the thumb shall be cutoff, twen- 
ty shillings. If the thumb naii shall 
be cut off, three shillings shall be the 
compensation. If any one [off slay- 
eth, striketh off,] cutteth off the fore 
finger [shoot finger,] let him com- 
pensate with eight shillings. If one 
cutteth off the middle finger, let him 
pay four shillings. If any one cut- 
teth off the gold finger [ring finger,] 
let him pay six shillings. If any 
one cutteth off the little finger, let 
pay eleven shiHings. 


Laws of king Eadgar. 

We lasrath that a;lc cristen man 
Ms licarn to cristendome geornlUe 
wffinige and him pater noster and 
ciedon taece. 

We order or instruct that each 
christian iium earnestly accustom 
[wean] his children to Christianity 
[Christendom] and teach him the 
Pater Noster and Creed. 

We larath that preost ne beo hun- 1 We direct that a priest be not : 
ta ne hafecere ne tsflere ; ac plegge hunter, nor hawker, nor a gamester 
on his bocum swa his hade gebirath. but that he apply to his books, as i 
I becomes his order. 

We observe by these extracts that rather more than half the Saxon words 
have been lost, and now form no part of our language. 

This language, with some words iulroduced by the Danes, continued 
be used by the English, till the Norman confjuest. After that event, great 
numbers of Saxon words went into disuse, not suddenly, but gradually, and 
French and Latin words, were continually added to the language, till it be- 
gan to assume its present form, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
Vet the writings of Gower and Chaucer cannot now be fully understood 
without a glossary. 

But it was not in the loss of nati\e Saxon words and the accession of French 
and Latin words alone that the change of our language consisted. Most 
portant alterations were made in the sounds of the vowels. It is probable, 
if not certain, that our first vowel a had usually or always the broad sound 
as we now pronounce it in fall, or in some words perhaps the Italian sound 
as it is now called, and as we pronounce it in ask. The sound of e was pro- 
bably nearly the same as it is in French and Italian, and in the northern 
languages on the continent ol Kmnpo ; which is nearly that of a in favor. 
The Saxon sound of t wi- pMluii- dr ^;iine as it is still on the continent 

the sound of ee or long I. II > l i " was that of our present oo, French 

ou, the sound it still li,i>- n.] u m most countries on the Europeai 
continent. It is probable lli.ii the ihaii-c of the sound of u happened in con 
sequence of the prevalence of the French pronunciation after the conquest 
for the present sound of u may be considered as intermediate, between the 
full sound of 00, or French ou, and the French sound of 

These changes, and the various sounds given to the same character, now 
serve to perplex foreigners, when learning English ; and tend, in no small 
degree, to retard or limit the extension of our language. This is an unfor- 
tunate circumstance, not only in obstructing the progress of science, but of 

The principal changes in the articulations are the use of A for c, as in look 
for locian ,• the loss of A before I, as in loaf from hlaf, lot (or hlot, lean for 
hlinian ; and the entire loss of the prefix ee or ga. as in deal for ge-dalan, 
deem for ge-deman; and of <o as ;i piftr\, ii^ in tn-hiJjmv. In help ; to-dai- 
/on, *odeal. In no instance do we I.. I tihih -,.n-ilil\ ihr ili.di^r of sounds 
in the vowels, than in that of i, w Iim li m i i. n. Ii. S|i.iiu-li .mm I Ii.iImei, is e 
long; for in consequence of this. priMJii,, « hu ,iu ruii jc ;|u.,i]iiril vmiIi these 
foreign languages, mispronounct, tuth u ur^l^ ,i^ wu/uiu, .1/i3inn(, iima, 
giving to i its English sound, when in fact the words arc to be pronounced 
mareeno, Messeena, Leema. 

In grammatical structure, the language hassufifered considerable altera- 
tions. !n our mother tongue, nouns were varied to form ca-ses, somewhat 
as in Latin. This declension of nouns has entirely ceased, except in the 
possessive or genitive case, in which an apostrophe before s has been sub- 
stituted for the regular Saxon termination es. Some of our pronouns retain 
their declensions, somewhat varied. The plural termination in en has been 
dropped, in a number of words, and the regular plural termination been sub- 
stituted, as houses for housen. 

In most cases, the Saxon termination of the infinitive mode of verbs, has 
been dropped, and for gifan, we now write, to give. The variations of the 
verb, in the several persons, have been materially changed. Thus for the 


Ic lufige, 
Thu lufast. 
He lufath. 

I love, 

We lufiath, 
Ge lufiath. 
Hi lufiath. 

Ye love,' 
They love. 

Thou lovest. 

He loveth or 


In the Saxon plural however we see the origin of the vulgar practi 
still retained in some parts of England and of this country. We loves, they 
loves, which aie contractions of lufiath. 

In the substantive verb, our common people universally, and most persons 
of better education, unless they have rejected their traditionary language 
retain the Gothic dialect, in the past tense. 

I was, I We was. 

Thou wast, Ye was. 

He was. J They was. 

However people may be ridiculed for this language, it isof genuine origin, 
38 old as the Saxon word were. In Gothic, tlie past tense runs thus — 

Ik was, I Weis wesum, 

Thu wast, Yus wesuth. 

Is was. I Eis wesun.' 

n the present tense of the substantive verb, our common people use d'7it 

as in this phrase : " he a'n< present." This is evidently a contraction of the 

Swedish and Danish, fir, er, present, indicative, singular, of the substantive 

verb, vara or veerer, to be, which we retain in are and were. 

In Swedish, ban hr, and in Danish, han er, he is. Hence he er not or ar 
not, contracted into he a'nt or e'nt. 

These facts serve to show how far the Gothic dialect has been infused into 
the English language. 

It would be tedious and to most readers uninteresting, to recite all the 
changes in the forms of words or the structure of sentences which have ta- 
ken place, since the Norman conquest. Since the invention of printing, 
changes in the language have been less rapid, than before ; but no art nor 
effort can completely arrest alterations in a living language. The distin- 
guished writers in the age of Queen EUzabeth, improved the language, but 
could not give it stability. Many words then in common use arc now obso- 
lete or have suffered a change of signification. In the period between 
Queen Elizabeth, and the beginning of the eighteenth century, the lan- 
guage was improved in grammar, orthography, and style. The writers in 
gnof Queen Ann and of George I, brought the language nearly to 
perfection; and if any improvement has since been made, it is in the style 
or diction, by a better selection of words, and the use of terms in science 
and philosophy with more precision. 

In regard to grammatical construction, the language, for half a century 
last, has, in my apprehension, been suffering deterioration, at least as far as 
egards its written form. This change may be attributed chiefly to the in- 
luence of the learned Bishop Lowth, whose grammar made its appearance 
nearly sixty years ago. I refer particularly to his form of the verb, which 
was a'djusted to the practice of writers in the age of Queen Elizabeth, instead 
of the practice of authors in the age of WiUiam and Mary, Queen Ann, and 
George I. Hence he gives for the form of the verb in the subjunctive 
mode, after the words which express a condition, if, though, &.C. I love, 
thou love, he love, observing in a note, that in the subjunctive mode, the 
event being spoken of under a condition or supposition, or in the form of a 
wish, and therefore doubtful and contingent, the verb itself in the present, 
and the auxiliary both of the present and past imperfect times, often carry 
with them somewhat of a future sense ; as " if he come to-morrow, I may 
speak to him" — " If he should come, I should speak to him." This is true ; 
but for that very reason, tliis form of the verb belongs to the future tense, or 
should be arranged as such in Grammars. If he come, would be in Latin 
si venerit, in the subjunctive future. 

But the learned author has entirely overlooked the important distinction 
between an event or fact, of uncertain existence in the yreaent time, and 
which is mentioned under the condition of present existence, and a future 
contingent event. " If the mail that has arrived contains a letter for me, I 
shall soon receive it," is a phrase that refers to the present time, and ex- 
presses an uncertainty in my mind, respecting the fact. ** If the mail con- 
tain a letter for me," refers to a future time, that is, " if the mail of to-mor- 
row contain [shall or should contain] a letter for me." The first event, 
conditional or hypothetical, should be expressed by the indicative mode, and 
the latter by the subjunctive future. The Saxon form of the verb, if he 
ly, if he go, is evidently a contingent future, and is so used in the laws. 
This distinction, one of the most important in the language, has been so 
totally overlooked, that no provision has been made for it in British Gram- 
mars; nor is the distinction expressed by the form of the verb, as used by a 
at part of the best writers. On the other hand, they continually use one 
n of the verb to express both senses. The fact is the same in the com- 
mon version of the scriptures. Jfhe go, if he speak, sometimes express a 
present conditional tense, and sometimes a contingent future. In general 
this subjunctive form of the verb in scripture, expresses future time. " If 
he thus say, I have no delight in thee," expresses a future contingent 
event. 2 Sam. xv. 26. " If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away," ex- 
presses a fact, under a condition, in the present time. Job xi. 14. 

In many iastances, the translators have deviated from the original, in us- 
ing the subjunctive form of the Enghsh verb to express what in Greek, is 
expressed in the indicative. Thus Matthew iv. 6. Ei tito; ti rov ©tot, if 
thou be [art] the son of God. 

Ch. V. 29 and 30. Et it o 04)80X^05 aov «f?io5 sxaviaXiifi ae ; if thy 
right eye offend, [offendeth] thee ; ti >; if|io am j;£ip axaiia^i^ii Bty if thy 

right hand offend, [offendeth] thee. 
So also in Chapter xviii. 8 and 9. 

* This is probably the Latin esse. The Latins dropped the first articula- 
tion V, which answers to our w. 

The present tense indicative mode of the Latin verb, with the V restored, 
would lie written thus. 

Ego vesum, I nos vesumus, [was,] 
tu ves, vos vestis, [was,] 

ille vest. I illi vesunt, [was.] 


C'h. xii. 26. El o fforai'o; foe eatavav (xSaXKii, if Satan cast [casteth] out 

Ch. xix. 10. Et ouftdj fftr fj atfta tov avSpuTtOfv fiita tri^ yvvaixo^, if the 
case of the man be [is] so with his wife. 

Ch. xxii. 45. Et mv AofSiS xoXtt a-vtov Kvpior, if David then caH [calleth] 
him Lord. 

2 Coi-. iv. 16. Ec (|u s^fiuf avBfiaHoi Sia^^ufitai, though our outward 
man perish, [perishes or is perishing.] 

In all these passages, the Enghsh verb, in the subjunctive, properly ex- 
presses a conditional, contingent or hypothetical future tense, contrary to 
the sense of the original, except in the last passage cited, where the apostle 
evidently speaks of the perishing of the outward man as a fact admitted, 
which renders the translation still more improper. 

Let us now attend to the following passages. 

Matthew vii. 9. H m i;i,v i% v/tap ai'SfUTio;, ov £cw atfijSJj o vioj cwfov 
aptoti, or what man is there of you, whom if his eon ask [shall ask] bread, 
will he give him a stone. 

Koi cav ixSw aifTjeti, if he ask [shall ask] a fish, will he give him a ser- 

Here the original tense is varied to express a future or hypothetical 
event, yet the verb in English is in the same tense as in the first class of ex- 
amples ; and what renders the version more objectionable, is, that the verb 
in the first clause, does not correspond with that in the second clause. 
There is no possible way of making good English of the translation, but by 
supposing the verb in the first clause ask, to be in the future tense. So it 
would be in Latin, and so it is, " si petierit." If thy son shall ask (or should 
ask) a fish, will he give, (or would he give) him a serpent? 

This fault runs through the whole English version of the scriptures, and 
a distinction of tenses clearly marked in the original languages, is generally 
neglected in the translation. 

Now the most unlettered man in this country, would express the sense in 
English, with the same marked distinction of tenses, which appears in the 
Greek. If thou ajf the son of God; if thy right eye offends thfee ; if the 
case of the man is such ; if David calls him Lord ; or if the sense is under- 
stood to be future and contingent, if thy son shall ask bread, or if he should 
ask bread, would be the uniform language of any of the common people of 
our country. There would not probably be a single exception, unless in 
the use of the substantive verb, which is often used in the subjunctive form. 
And the most unlettered man would use the corresponding verbs in the two 
clauses, if he shall ask, will he give; or if he should ask, would he give. 
The use of the verb in all similar phrases, is perfectly well settled in this 
country, and perfectly uniform among the higher and lower classes of men ; 
unless when the practice has been varied by the influence of Grammars, in 
which the conjugation of the verb is according to the antiquated practice 
«f the age of Elizabeth. 

1 Tim. v. 4. E( St ti,; XVP"' i'""'" V ixyova txn, if any widow, have [has] 
children or nephews. 

Verse 8. Et fit rtj ruv tStwr xat fxa'Kt^a t'wi' otXftcoi- ov rtpwoft, if any 
provide [provideth] not for his own, and especially for those of his own 

This subjunctive form of the verb, if he be ; if he have ; if he go ; if he 
say ; if thmi write ; whether thou see ; though he fall, which was gene- 
rally used by the writers of the sixteenth century, was, in a great measure, 
discarded before the time of Addison. Whether this change was in conse- 
quence of the prevalence of colloquial usage over grammar rules, or be- 
cause discerning men perceived the impropriety and inconsistency of the 
language of books, I pretend not to determine. Certain it is, that Locke, 
Watts, Addison, Pope, and other authors of the first disUnction, who adorn- 
ed the close of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century, 
generally used the indicative mode to express condition, uncertainty, and 
hypothesis in the present and past tenses. Thus Locke writes — " If these 
two propositions are by nature imprinted." " If principles are innate." 
" If any person hath never examined this notion." " Whether that sub- 
stance thinks or no." " If the soul doth think in sleep." " If one con- 
siders well these men's way of speaking." " If he does not reflect." 
" Unless that notion produces a constant train of successive ideas." " If 
your Lordship means." Such is the language of Locke. 

Now what is remarkable, the learned Dr. Lowth, the very author who 
has, by his grammar, done much to sanction the subjunctive form of the 
verb, in such cases, often uses the indicative in his own writings. " If he 
does not carefully attend to this— if this pleasure aiises from the shape of 
the composition — if this is not firmly and well established." These verbs are 
in contradiction of his own principles. On Isaiah. Prelim. Diss. 

Addison. " If the reader has a mind to see a father of the same stamp." 
" If exercise throws off all superfluities — if it clears the vessels — if it dis- 
sipates a growing distemper." Such is the language of Addison, the most 
elegant writer of the genuine English idiom in the nation. 

" If the thief is poor — if it obliges me to be conversant with scenes of 
wretchedness." Wilberforcc. 

" If America is not to be conquered. Lord Chatham. 

" If we are to be satisfied with assertions." " If it gives blind confi- 
dence to any executive government." " If such an opinion /las gone forth." 
" If our conduct has been marked with vigor and wisdom." Fox. 

" If my bodily strength is equal to the task." •• A negro, if he works 
for himself and not a for master, will do double the work." " If there i* 
any aggravation of our guilt." If their conduct displays no true wisdom." 
" The honorable gentleman may, if he chooses, have the journals read 
again." " Whether this is a sufficient tie to unite them." " If this meas- 
ure comes recommended." " If there exists a country which contaiai! the 
means of protection." Pitt. 

" If the prudence of reserve and decorum dictates silence." " If an as- 
sembly ).s viciously or feebly composed." If any persons are to make good 
deficiences." " If the King of the French has really deserved these mur- 
derous attempts." " If this representation of M. Neckar was false." 
" Whether the system, if it deserves the name." " The politician looks 
for a power that our workmen call a purchase, and if he finds the power." 
" If he feels as men commonly feel." Burke. 

" If climate ftos such an effect on mankind." " If the effects of climate 

ore casual. 

" If he finds his coUeclic 
sufficiently enlightened." 

I too small.' 

Whether it leads to 

Coxe's Ru^s. 
If he thinks his judgment not 

others against his own failings." This is generally the language of John- 

In regard to this distinguished author, I would observe that, except the 
substantive verb, there is in his Rambler but a single instance of the sub- 
junctive form of the verb in conditional sentences. In all other cases the 
use of the indicative is uniform. 

Such also is the language of the most distinguished men in the United 
States, particularly of those who wrote their native language as they recei- 
ved it from tradition, and before grammars had made any impression on its 
genuine construction. 

"The prince that acquires new territory, if he finds it vacant." "If 
we are industrious we shall never starve." " If one has more corn than 
he can consume, and another has less." Such is the languag-e of Franklin. 

" If any persons thus qualified are to be found." " If it is thought pro- 
per." " If the congress does not choose to point out the particular regi- 
ment." " If I am rightly informed." " If the army has not removed." 
" If a proposition has not been made." Such is the language of Wash- 

" If any phWosopher pretends." " If he has food for the present day." 
" If a revelation is not impossible." " If the Christian system contains a 
real communication to mankind." " If the former of these facts opposes 
our reception of the miraculous history of the gospel." "If the preceding 
reflections are just." Such is the language of the late President Smith.* 

" ij^any government deems the introduction of foreigners or their mer- 
chandize injurious." " Unless he violates the law of nations." " If a per- 
son has a settlement in a hostile country." " If he resides in a belligerent 
country." " If a foreign Consul carries on trade as a merchant." Such 
is the language of the ex-Chancellor Kent. 

But neither the authors here mentioned, nor most others, even the most 
distinguished for erudition, are uniform and consistent with themselves in 
the use of the tenses. In one sentence we find the indicative used, " If it is 
to be discovered only by the experiment." "If other indications are to be 
found." In the next sentence, " If to miscarry in an attempt he a proof 
of having mistaken the direction of genius." Johnson. 

'■ If the former be refined — if those virtues are accompanied with equal 
abilities." Gibbon. 

" If love rewardhim, or if vengeance strike." Cowper. 

" Or if it does not brand him to the last." Cowper. 

" If he is a pagan — if endeavors are used — if the person hath a liberal 
education — if man be subject to these miseries. Milner. 

The following expressions occur in Pope's Preface to Homer's Iliad, in 
the compass of thirteen lines. 

" If heAas given a regular catalogue of an army." 

" If he hcts funeral games for Patroclus." 

" If UlyssesjJiSJ* the shades." 

" If he be detained from his return." 

" If Achilles be absent." 

" If he gives his hero a suit of celestial armor." 

I recollect one English author only, who has been careful to avoid this in- 
consistency ; this is Gregory, who, in his Economy of JVature, has uni- 
formly used the indicative form of the verb in conditional sentences of this 

The like inconsistency occurs in almost .ill American writings. " If 
moral disposition lie here." " If preference necessarily involves the 
knowledge of obligation." " If the proposition is true." " If the propo- 
sition be confirmed." " If he refutes any thing." 

In a pamphlet now before me, there are no less ^an fifty of these incon- 
sistencies in the compass of ninety pages ; and three of them in one sen- 

*The substantive verb is often used in the subjunctive form by writers 
who never use that form in any other verb. The reason doubtless is that 
be is primarily the indicative as well as the subjunctive mode of that verb. 
/ be, we be, as used in Scripture. So in German Ich bin. 


Mow, In this case, is a foreigner to understand the author ? and how can 
such sentences be translated into another language without a deviation from 
(he original .' 

The propriety of using the indicative form of the verb to express a pre 
sent or past event conditionally, does not rest solely on usage ; it is most 
correct upon principle. It is well known, that most of the words which 
are used to introduce a condition or hypothesis, and called most improperly 
conjunctions, arc verbs, having not the least affinity to the class of wordi 
»ised to connect sentences. If is the Saxon gif, give, having lost its first 
letter ; if for the ancient gif. Though is also a verb now obsolete, except in 
the iniiieralive mode. Now let us analyze this conditional tense of tlie 
verb. " If the man knows his true interest, he will avoid a quarrel." 
Here is an omission of the word that after if. The true original phrase 
was " //■ that the man knows his true interest, he will avoid a quarrel" — 
that is, give that [admit the fact which is expressed in the following clause] 
the man knows his true interest, then the consequence follows, he will 
avoid a quarrel. That in this sentence is a relative or demonstrative sub- 
stitute lor the following clause. This will more plainly appear by transpo- 
sing the clauses. " The man knows his true interest ; give that [admit 
that ;] lie will then avoid a quarrel. Now let the subjunctive form be used 
" The man knowhis true interest ; give that; he will avoid a quarrel." 

Here the impropriety of this form of the verb appears in a strong light. 
It will appear more clearly by the use of other words of equivalent signifi 
cation. Grant the man know his true interest, he will avoid a quarrel 
Allow the man know his true interest. Suppose the man know his true 
interest. We never use the subjunctive form after the three last" verbi- 
which introduce the condition. Though is sometimes followed by the in- 
<Iicative ; sometimes by tlie subjunctive ; but it ought always to be follow- 
ed by the indicative, for it supposes the fact to be given ; and so does admit, 
when used in hypothetical sentences. Admit that the man knows his in- 
terest. We have then decisive proof that the use of the indicative form of 
the verb after if when it expresses a conditional event in present time, is 
most correct ; indeed it is the only correct form. This remark is equally 
applicable to the past tense, conditional. 

The language of Addison, Johnson, and other distinguished writers of the 
last century, in the use of the indicative, is therefore, more correct than 
the language of the writers in the age of Elizabeth ; and their practice is 
principally the common usage of our country at this day. 

I have, therefore, constructed a grammar on this usage; bringing down 
the standard of writing a century and a half later than 'Bishop Lowth. I 
have done this,_^rs<,onthe authority of strict analogical principles, as above 
stated ; secondly, on the authority of the best usage of that cluster of dis- 
tinguished writers who adorned the beginning of the last century ; and 
thirdly, on the authority of universal colloquial practice, which I consider 
as the real and only genuine language. I repeat this remark, that general 
and respectable usage in speaking is the genuine or legitimate language 
of a country to which the written language ought to be conformed. Lan- 
guage is that which is uttered by the tongue, and if men do not write the 
language as it is spoken by the great body of respectable people, they do 
not write the real language. Now, in colloquial usage, the subjunctive 
form of the verb, in conditional sentences, is rarely used, and perhaps ne- 
ver, except when the substantive verb is employed. Our students are 
taught in school the subjunctive form, if thou have, if he come, &c. and 
some of them continue, in after life, to write in that manner ; but in the 
<ourse of more than forty years, I have not known three men who have 
ventured to use that form of the verb in conversation. We toil in school 
to learn a language which we dare not introduce into conversation, but 
which the force of custom compels us to abandon. In this respect, the 
present study of grammar is worse than useless. 

This colloquial custom accords with other languages. The French 
say and write s' il est, if he is. The Latins often used the same form, 
■' si quid est in me ingenii, judices ;" but the use of the Latin subjunctive 
depends on certain other words which precede ; as " cum sit civis," as he is 
a citizen, or, since he is a citizen ; and the present tense is often used to ex- 
press what we express by an auxiliary. That the Greeks used the indica- 
tive to express a conditional present tense, we have seen by citations above. 

By this arrangement of the verb, the indicative form after ]/ and other 
verbs inhoducing a condition or hypothesis, may be used uniformly to ex- 
press a fact or event under a condition or supposition, either in the present 
or past tenses ; the speaker being uncertain respecting tlie fact, or represent- 
ing it as doubtful. 

If the man is honest, he will return what he has borrowed. If the ship 
A a« arrived, we shall be informed of it tomorrow. If the bill was present- 
ed, it was doubtless paid. If the law has been passed, we are precluded 
from further opposition. 

On the other hand, when it is intended to speak of a future contingent 
event, 1 would always use the auxiliaries that are proper for the purpose. 
" If it shall or should rain tomorrow, we shall not ride to town." I would 
never use the subjunctive form if it rain in prose ; and in poetry, only from 
necessity, as an abridged phrase for if it shall or should rain. In thi" 
ijer, the distinction between the tenses, 
founded, may be preserved and made obv 

vhich are now constantly con- 
s, both to natives and foreigners, 

tended by the ] 

lily of Murr.i'^-'s giaiij 

cstablisli a form of the verb in writing, 
guage ; to fill our books with a conluV; 
language unsettled. Nothing can be m 
every where to meet with disci epancics 
There is another erroneous manner i 
thors in the language, which seems t 

ins been to introduce, or 
I 'rii- in colloquial lan- 
11' I thus to keep the 
I : iij the student than 
111' ,ind practice, 
common to the best au- 
aped notice. This is, to 

connect a verb in the past tense with a preceding one in the same tense, 
when the latter verb is intended to express a very different time from the ^/^ 
former. Thus, " Then Manasseh knew that the Lord, he was God." 2 
Chron. xxxiii. 13. 

The Latins, in this case, would probably have used the infinitive ; Ma- 
nasseh novit Jehovam deum esse. In we ought to write and say, 
" Manasseh knew Jehovah to be God," or, Manasseh A)i«o that Jehovah 
he is God. In most similar cases, the use of the infinitive in English is as 
elegant as in Latin. But there are many cases where the infinitive cannot 
be used. We cannot use it after say ; " he said him to be a good man," is 
not English ; though he declared, or affirmed, or believed him to be a good 
man, is elegant. 

In order to understand the impropriety of the common mode of using the 
latter verb, as in the example above cited, it may be remarked, that the pres- 
ent tense is that which is used to express what exists at all times. Thus we 
say, God is or exists, whenever we speak of his permanent existence ; we 
say, gold is yellow or ductile ; iron is a most valuable metal ; it is not <*n- 
vertible into silver ; plants and animals are very distinct living beings. We 
do not say, gold was yellow ; iron was a valuable metal ; for we mean ta 
express permanent qualities. Hence, in the passage cited from Chronicles, 
the first verb Imeio, referring to a fact past, is correct ; but the last, which 
is intended to express the permanent being or character of God, should be 
in the infinitive or the indicative present tense. The following are examples 
of correct language : " His master had taught him that happiness consists 
in virtue." Anacharsis, ii. 120. 

" Sabellius, who openly taught that there is but one person in the God- 
head." Encyclopedia. 

" Our Savior taught that eternal death is the proper punishment of sin." 


But very different is the following : " Having believed for many years, 
that water was [is] an elastic fluid." The following would be still better •: 
" Having believed water to be an elastic fluid." 

So the following : " We know not the use of the epidermis of shells. 
Some authors have supposed that it secured [secures] the shells from being 
covered with vermes." Edin. Encyc. 

It was jnstyemarked, that marine fossils did not [do not] comprise ve- 
getable remains." lb. 
If my readers will turn their thoughts back on their old friends, they 
will find it diflicult to call a single man to remembrance who appeared to 
know that life was short [is short,] till he was about to lose it." 

jRambler, jVo. 71. 

" They considered the body as a hydraulic machine, and the fluids as pass- 

g through a series of chimical changes ; forgetting that imimation was 
[is] its essential characteristic." Darwin. 

It was declared by Pompey, lliat if the Commonwealth was [should be] 
violated, he could stamp with his foot and raise an arniy out of the ground." 

Rambler, JVo. 10. 
the foregoing sentence, the past tense is used for the future contingent. 
It was affirmed in the last discourse, that much of the honorable practice 
of the world rested [rests] on the substratum of selfishness ; that society 
was [is] held together, in the exercise of its relative virtues, mainly by 
the tie of reciprocal advantage ; that a man's own interest bound [binds] 
him to all those average equities which obtained [obtain] in the neighbor- 
hood around him ; and in which if he proved [should prove] himself glaringly 
deficient, he would be abandoned by the respect, and the confidence, and 
the good will of the people with whom he had [might have, or should have] 
to do." Chalmer's Com. Dis. 4. 

In the last discourse, I observed that love constituted [constitutes] the 
whole moral character of God," Dwight's Tlieology. 

' And he said, nay, father Abraham ; but if one u-ent [shall or should go] 

to them from the dead, they will repent. And he said to him, if they hear 

not Moses and the prophets, neither will tliey be persuaded though one 

[shall or should rise] from the dead." Luke, xvi. 30, 31. 

Independent of parties in the national legislature itself, as often as the 

period of discussion arrived, the state legislatures, who will always be not 

* Lindley Murray, in the introduction to his grammar, "acknowledges, in 
general terras, that the authors to whom the grammatical part of this com- 
pilation is principally indebted for its materials are, Harris, Johnson, 
Lowfh, Priestley, Beatiie, Sheridan, Walker, and Coote." But on examina- 
tion, it appears that the greatest portion of the grammatical part is from 
Lowth, whose principles form the main structure of Murray's compilation. 
Some valuable notes and remarks are taken from Pritstley's grammar. I 

The effect of the study of Lowth's principles, which has been greatly ex- and, in citing authorities, deem it proper to cite the original! 
A'^OL. I. E. 


only vigilant, but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citi- 
zens, against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly 
have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be 
ready enough, if any thing improper appears, to sound the alarm to the 

Let any man attempt to resolve the foregoing sentence, if he can, or ren- 
der it into another language. 

"Cicero vindicated the truth, and inculcated the value of the precept, 
that nothing was [is] truly useful which ivas [is] not honest." 

" He undertook to show that justice was [is] of perpetual obligation." 

" The author concedes much of his argument, and admits that the sea was 
[is] susceptible of dominion." [Better still ; he admits the sea to be suscept- 
ible of dominion.] 

"A nation would be condemned by the impartial voice of mankind, if it 
voluntarily U'en* [should go] to war, on a claim of which it doubted [should 
doubt] the legality." 

" The Supreme Court observed that they were not at liberty to depart from 
the rule, whatever doubt might have been entertained, if the case was [had 
been] entirely new." 

'■ He held that the law of nations prohibited [prohibits] the use of pois- 

" He iusisted that the laws of war gave [give] no other power over a cap- 
tive ihan to keep him safely." 

" The general principle on the subject is, that, if a commander makes a 
compact with the enemy, and it be of such a nature that the power to make 
it could be reasonably imphed from the nature of the trust, it would be valid 
and iiincliiig, though he abused his trust." Let any man translate this sen- 
tence into another language, if he can, without reducing the verbs to some 

•• Congress have declared by law, that the United States were [are] enti- 
tled to priority of payment over private creditors, in cases of insolvency." 

"The Supreme Court decided, that the acts of Congress, giving that gen- 
eral priority to the United Siates, were [are] constitutional. 

" It was admitted that the government of the United States was [is] one 
of enumerated powers." 

" From his p,ist ilesigns and administrations we could never argue at all to 
those which were future." [This is an odd combination of words.] 

" Jesus knowing that the father had given all things into his hands, and that 
he was come from God and went to God." John xiii. 3. 

" Alexander dispatched Eumenes with three hundred horse to two free 
cities — with assurance that if they submitted and received him, [should or 
would submit and receive,] as a friend, no evil should befall them." 

" The apostle knew that the present season was [is] the only time allowed 
for this preparation." 

" What would be the real effect of that overpowering evidence, which 
our adversaries required, [should require,] in a revelation, it is difficult to 

" It could not otherwise have been known that the word had [has] this 

I told him if he went [should go] to-morrow, I would go with him. 

This fault occurs in our hearing every hour in the day. 

A like fault prevails in other languages; indeed the English may have 
been led into it by reading foreign authors. " Mais on a remarque avec rai- 
son, que I'espace conchoidal etait infini." Lunier. It has been remarked 
with reason that the conchoidal space was [is] infinite. 

But whatever may be the practice of other nations, there would be no dif- 
ficulty in correcting such improprieties in our own language, if as much at- 
tention were given to the study of its true principles, as is given to other 
subjects of literature and science. But if in this particular, there is a Brit- 
ish or American author who writes his vernacular language correctly, his 
writings have not fallen under my inspection. 

There is another fault very common among English writers, though it is 
less frequent in the United States ; this is the conversion of an intransitive 
verb into a passive one. It is surprising that an error of this kind should 
have gained such an established use, in some foreign languages, as to be incu- 
rable. Barbarous nations may indeed form languages ; but it should be the 
business of civilized men to purify their language from barbarisms. 

In the transitive verb, there is an agent that performs some action on an 
object, or in some way affects it. When this verb becomes passive, the 
.igent and the object change places in the sentence. Thus, John loves Peter, 
is transitive, but Peter is loved by John, is passive. In the intransitive verb, 
Ihe case is different; for the action is limited to the agent; and when it is 
stated that a thing is done, there is no agent by which it is done. I perish 
is intransitive ; I am perished is the passive form ; but the latter neither ex 
presses nor implies an agent by which I perish. 

This fault occurs frequently in the common version of the Scriptures. 

" Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old 
age was [had] perished." Job xxx. 2. 

" Their memorial is [has] perished with them." Ps. ix. 6. 

" The heathen are [have] perished out of this land." Ps. x. 16- 

^' Israel is [has] fled before the Phihstines." 1 Sam. iv. 17. 

■' David is [has] fled." 2 Sam. xix. 9. 

" The days ivere [had] not expired." 1 Sam. xviii. 26. 

" And when the year was [had] expired." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 10. 

" I only am [have] escaped alone to tell thee." Job i. 15. 

" And it came to pass, when he was [had] returned." Luke xix. 15. 

Return is sometimes a transitive verb, and sometimes intransitive. When 
a sum of borrowed money is returned, the phrase is correct, for this is the 
passive form of a transitive verb. But when a man is returned, we may 
ask, who has returned him .' In this case, the man returns by his own act, 
and he cannot be said to be returned. 

" He found the Empress was [had] departed." Coxe. 

" They were [had] arrived within three days journey of the spice country." 
Gibbon, Ch. i. Note. 

" Neither Charles nor Diocletian were [liad] arrived at a very advanced 
period of life." lb. Ch. xiii. 

" The posterity of so many gods and heroes was [had] fallen into the 
most abject state." lb. Ch. ii. 

" Silver was [had] grown more common." lb. 

" He was [had] risen from the dead, and was [had] just ascended to 
heaven." Milner, i. 20. 

" Hearing that they ti'erf [had] nmccd." /J. 211. 

" Claudius — vexed because his wife was [had] become a christian." lb, 

" Does not the reader see how much we are [have] already departed 
from christian simplicity ?" lb. 299. 

" My age is [has] departed." Isaiah xxxviii. 12. 

" The man out of whom the demons were [had] departed." Luke viii. 

" Workmen were [had] arrived to assist them." Milford. 

" A body of Athenian horse was [had] just arrived." lb. 

This fault is common in Mitford's History of Greece. In the writings of 
Roscoe, which are more elegant, it occurs, but less frequently. 

" The time limited for the reception of the cardinal was expired." Ros- 
coe, Leo. X. 

" He inquired whether the report was true, that a legate was arrived.'^ 
lb. L. Med. 

"Tho nation being [having] once more got into a course of borrowing." 

Price on Liberty. 

" When he was [had] retired to his tent." Coxe's Russ. 

" He was [had] not yet arrived."* lb. 

The intransitive verb grow is constantly used by the English as a transi- 
tive verb, as to grow wheat. This is never used in the northern states, un- 
less by persons who have adopted it recently from the English. 

It seems almost incredible that such errors should continue, to this time, 
to disfigure the language of the most distinguished writers, and that they 
should escape animadversion. The practice has evidently been borrowed 
from the French or Italian ; but surely no lover of correctness can excuse 

such violation of the best established principles in our language. 

This fault occurs in a few instances, in the writings of the best American 
authors, as in the writings of Ames and Hamilton. It is however very rare, 
either in books or in colloquial usage. Even our common people are re- 
markably accurate in using the auxiliary have with the participles of intran- 
sitive verbs. They always, I believe, say, a ship has ariived, a plant has 
perished, the enemy had fled, the price had fallen, the corn has or had 
grown, the time has expired, the man has returned, the vessel had depart- 
ed. Such also is the language of our most eminent writers. 

" The Generals Gates and Sullivan have both arrived." 

Washington's Letters. 

" The Indians of the village had fled." B. Trumbull. 

" Our Tom has grown a sturdy boy." Progress of Dullness. 

" Our patriots have fallen." Discourse of D. Webster, Aug. 182C. 

"Our commissary had not arrived." Ellicott, 

The exceptions to this correct practice are chiefly in the use of the parti- 
ciples of come and go. It is very common to hear the expressions he is 
come or is gone, in which case, the participle seems to take the character of 
an adjective ; although in most instances, the regular form of expression, he 
has come or has gone, is to be preferred. So dead, originally a participle, 
is used only as an adjective ; and deceased and departed are often used in 
the like manner. We say, a deceased, or departed friend ; but it should be 
remarked that the original expression was, our fiiend has deceased, or has 
departed this life ; and this phraseology, by an easy but heedless transition, 
became is deceased or is departed. In general, however, the conversion of 
an intransitive verb or form of expression into the passive form, is very rare 
among the people of New England. 

There is a grammatical error running through the writings of so respecta- 
ble a writer as Mitford, which ought not to be passed unnoticed ; as it seems 
to be borrowed from the French language, whose idioms are different from 
the English, but which the English are too apt to follow. This fault is, in 
using the preterit or perfect tense, instead of the past tense indefinite, usu- 

* On this use of intransitive verbs, as the ship was departed, it may I 
who departed it ? The mail is arrived, who has arrived it .' Th 

be asked, 
departed it ? The mail is arrived, who has arrived it ! The tree if 
perished, who has perished it ? The enemy was fled, who fled them ? Th^ 
time iras erpired, who expired it .' 


ally called raosl improperly, the imperfect. Take the following sentences forj 
examples. " The conduct of Pelopidas towards Arcadia and its minister a 
the Persian court — has scarcely been the result of mere caprice or resent 
ment." The verb here ought to be was. 

" The oration [of Isocrates] has been [was] a favorite of Dionysius o 

This form of expressing the time would be good in French, but is very 
bad in English. And it may be here remarked, that the tense he was, he ar- 
rived, he ii'rote, is not properly named imperfect. These verbs, and all 
verbs of tliis form denote actions finished or perfect, as "in six days God 
created the he,i\ en and the earth." Imperfect or unfinished action i: 
pressed in English in this manner, he was reading, they were writing. The 
error of calling the former tense imperfect has probably proceeded from a 
servile adoption of the Latin names of the tenses, without considering the 
difTerence of application. 

There are some errors in all the English Grammars, that have been de 
rived to us from antiquity. Such is the arrangement of that among the con 
junctioas, like the Greek on, and the Latin ut. Kai ^xopia rj rtiffuBoao 
OT't £5'at t'fXf twfftj rot5 ^^aT^Tjfievot^ avtij rtapa Kuptou. And blessed is she 
w ho believed tliat there shall be a performance of the things which 
told her from the Lord. Luke i. 45. In our version, or, is rendered /or, but 
most erroneously. The true meaning and character of 071 will best appear, 
by a transposition of the clauses of the verse. " There shall be a perfor- 
mance of the things told her from the Lord ; blessed or happy is she who be- 
lieved that." Here oti, that, appears to be what it really is, a relative 01 
substitute for the whole clause in Greek .succeeiiing it. So in Luke xxii. 18, 
Afyo yap v^uv on. ov fir) Hiu, &c. I say to you that I will not drink. I will 
not drink, I say to you that. It is the same in Latin, " Dico enim vobis 
quod non bibam." (itwd is here a relative governed by dico, and referring 
to the following clause of the sentence. 

So also Matthew ix. 28. JXi^tvirt oft hwafjuu rouro jtoMjuai ; Do ye be 
lieve that I am able to do this ? [I am able to do this, do ye believe that?] 

This error runs through all Grammars, Greek, Latin, French, English, i 
But how such an obvious fact, that the word that and its correspond! 
words in other languages, refer to the clause of a sentence, should escape 
observation, age after age, it is not easy to explain. How could it be suppos- 
ed that a word is a conjunction which does not join words or sentences 
That is used, in the passages cited, not to unite two sentences, but to con- 
tinue the .fome semoiice, by an additional clause. 

The relative, when referring to a sentence or the clause of a sentence, is 
not varied, for a variation of case is not wanted. 

So notwithstanding imd provided in English, and poui-pjt que in French, are 
called conjunctions : but most improperly ; as they are participles, and when 
called conjunolions, they always form, with a word, clause or sentence, tht 
rase absolute or independent. Thus, " it rains, but notwithstanding that 
[it rains,] I must go to town." That fact, (it rains,) not opposing or pre- 
venting me, that is, in opposition to that, I must go to town ; hoc non ob- 



■ill ride. 

" I will ride, provided you will accompany me 
the fact, you will accompany me, being provided. 

Such is !he structure of these sentences. See my Philosophical and 
PracUcal Grammar. It is the same in French, pourvu que, that being 
vided, que referring to the following clause. 

There are other points in grammar equally faulty. Not only in English 
grammar, but in the grammars of other languages, men stumble at the thresh- 
old, and teach their children to stumble. In no language whatever can 
there be a part of speech properly called an article. There is no word or 
class of words that falls within the signification of article, a joint, or that can 
otherwise than arbitrarily be brought under that denomination. The defin- 
itive words called articles, are all adjectives or pronouns. When they are 
used with nouns, they are adjectives, modifying the signification of the 
nouns, like other adjectives ; for this is their proper olfice. When they 
stand alone, they are pronouns, or substitutes for nouns. Thus hie, ille, 
ipse in Latin, when used with nouns expressed, are adjectives; hie homo, 
this man; ille homo, that man: When they stand alone, hie, ille, they 

*'"•?!! '"r P '"'""^- '^^^ ^^'^^ '* *^ ^^"^ '" ""•fi"" languages. 

The Enghsh the is an adjective, which, for distinction, I call a df. 

adjective, and for brevity, a definitivf. as it dofinps tho ,,0,.=^^ r,,. .1 


which it refers, or rathe 

three, four, and every other number in tlie language. Take the followin» 
examples. ° 

Bring me an orange from the basket ; that is, any one of the number. 

Bring me two oranges from the ba.sket; that is, any two of the number. 

Bring me three oranges fiom the basket ; that is, any three of the num- 
ber ; and so on to any number ad infinitum. 

VVhen thus used, an, two, three, are all indefinite ; that is, they are used 
with nouns which are indefinite, or expressing things not particularly desig- 
nated. But this is not owing to the essential character of the adjectives, an, 
one, two, three; for any of them may be used with definite nouns ; and an 
IS continually thus used. 

" I will be an adversary to thine adversaries." 

" The angel stood for an adversary against Balaam." 

" Make this fellow return, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us." 

" Rezon — was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon." 

" And he spake a parable to them to this end." 

" And there was a widow in that city." 

" And seeing the multitude, he went up into a mountain." 

" I will be a God to thee and thy seed after thee." 

"Thou art a God ready to pardon." 

Now let any of these phrases be tested by the common definition of on op 
a, " that It IS used in a vague sense, to point out one single thing of the kind ; 
in other respects indeterminate." Lowth. 

" I will be an adversary to tliine adversaries;" that is, " I will be any ad- 
versary, one of the kind, but vague or indeterminate." 

" Rezon was an adversary to Israel ;" that is, in a vague sense any adversa- 
ry, indeterminate. 

"And he spake a parable to them ;" that is, any parable, indeterminate. 

"Thou art a God, ready to pardon;" that is, any God, one of the kind, in a 
ague sense, indeterminate ! 

If it should be said, the noun is rendered determinate, by other words in 
the sentence, and not by an or a, this may be and generally is tnle ; but 
this .shows that an does not give to the noun its character of definiteness or 
indefiniteness ; it always retains its proper signification, which is one, and 
nothing more ; and it is used indifferently before nouns definite or indefi- 

This mistake of the character of an is found in other languages; but I 
was gratified to find a French Grammar in Paris, recommended by the In- 
stitute, the author of which had discarded the indefinite article. 

In English, an or a is, for the most part, entirely useless. Used with a 
nouii in the singular number, it serves no purpose, except that which the 
form of the word, in the singular number, is intended to answer. It expres- 
ses unity only, and this is the province of the singular number. Were it 
not for habit, " give me orange," would express the sense of " give me an 
orange," with precision and certainty. In this respect the Latin language 
has the advantage over the English. But the use of such a short word is 
not very inconvenient, and the usage cannot be changed. Other languages 
are subject to the same inconvenience ; even the definite articles, or defini- 
tives, in Greek and in French, are very often useless, and were it not for 
usage, would be improper. 

which It refers, or rather designates a particular person or thing. But why 
this should be selected as the only definitive in our language, is very 
strange ; when obviously this and that are more exactly definitive, desig- 
nating more precisely a particular person or thing than the. These words 
answer to the Latin hie and ille, which were always used by the Ro- 
mans, when they had occasion to specify definite persons or things. 

As to the English an or a, which is called in grammars, the indefinite ar-\ 
ttcle, there are two great mistakes. ^ being considered as the original' 
word. It IS said to become an before a vowel. The fact is directly the re-j 
verse, ^n is the original word, and this is contracted to a by droppins the 
n before a consonant. j fi o 

But an is merely the Saxon orthography o( one, un, unus, an adjective 
found m nearly all the languages of Europe, and expressing a single person!, 
or thing. It is merely a word of number, and no more an article than twoji 


From the period of the first Saxon writings, our language has been suffer- 
ng changes in orthography. The first writers, having no guide but the ear, 
followed each his own judgment or fancy; and hence a great portion of 
Saxon words are written with different letters, by different authors ; most of 
them are written two or three different ways, and some of them, fifteen or 
twenty. To this day, the orthography of some classes of words is not en- 
tirely settled ; and in others, it is settied in a manner to confound the learner 
and mislead him into a false pronunciation. Nothing can be more disrepu- 
table to the literary characterof a nation, than the history of English orthog- 
raphy, unless it is that of orthoepy. 

1. The Saxon dipthong «, which probably had a specific and uniform 
sound or combination of sounds, has been discardeii and ea generally substi- 
tuted in its place, as brieth, breath. Now ea thus united have not a uni- 
form sound, and of course diey are no certain guide to pronunciation. In 
some instances, where tiie Saxon spelling was not uniform, the modern or- 
Uiography follows the most anomalous and difficult, instead of that which is 
regular. Thus the Saxons wrote f<ether and fether, more generally the lat- 
ter, and the moderns w site feather. 

2. The letter g in Saxon words, has, in many English words, been sunk 
..1 pronunciation, and eitiier wholly lost, or it is now represented by y or w 
Thus dffl^, or dag, has become day ,- gear is year, bugan is bow, and 
fteger is/air. 

3. The Saxons who adopted the Roman alphabet, with a few alterations 
used c with its hard sound Uke that of ft. Thus lie, like ; locian, to look. 
But after the Norman conquest, c before e, i, and y, took the sound of s ■ 
hence arose the necessity of changing this letter in words and syllables', 
where it was necessary to retain the sound of ft before these vowels. Thus 
the Saxon licean, pronounced originally likean, becomes, with our present 
sound of c before e, lisean; and locian becomes losian. To remedy this 


pvii, our ancestors iutioduced k from the Greek, writing it generally after e, 
:H in lick, stick, though in some instances, omitting c, as in like and look. 
Hence in all monosyllables in which a syllable beginning with e or i is ad- 
ded to the word, as in the past time and participles of verbs, we use k in 
the place of the Saxon c, as in licked, licking. 

Our early writers attempted to extend this addition to words introduced 
from the Latin and Greek, in which no such reason exists for the use of k 
Thus they wrote publick, timsick, rhetorick. In these and similar words 
the Latins used c for the Greek «, as musicus, for noutriHot, and the early En 
glish writers took both letters, the Roman c and Greek «. This was absurd 
enough ; but they never proceeded so far as to carry the absurdity Uirough 
the derivatives ; never writing publickation, musickal, rhetorickal. After 
long struggle with the force of authority, good sense has nearly banished 
this pedantic orthography from use; and all words of this kind now appear 
in most of oar public acts and elegant writings, in their proper sunplicity ; 
public, publication, music, musical. 

In many words, formerly ending in ie, these letters have been discarded 
from the singular number, and y substituted. Thus remedie, memorie, are 
now written remedy, memory. But what is very singular, the plural of 
these words retains the in, with the addition of s, as in remedies. This anom 
aly however creates no great inconvenience, except that it has been ex 

words ending m ey, as m attomies 

.J, y ^.„j,^ . .J „.„„e the plural by simply 

attorneys. The same rule applies to verbs when an s is added, as in conveys. 

1 surveys. 

; inserted in 
, chlorine, chloride, oxyde,Si.c. with- 

tended by negligent 

words ending in ey properly make the plural by simply taking 
e same rule applies to verbs when an s is addei 
t number of words, the vowel e has been discarded as useless ; 
as in eggs for egges ; certain for certaine ; empress for empresse ; goodnes. 
lor goodnesse. This is an improvement, as the e has no sound in modern 
pronunciation. But here again we meet with a surprising inconsistency 
for the same reason which justifies this omission, would justify and require 
the omission of e final in motive, jiensive, juvenile, genuine, sanguine, do 
trine, examine, determine, and a multitude of others. The introduction of 
in most words of these classes, was at first wrong, as it could not plead any 
authority in the originals ; but tlie retaining of it is unjustifiable, as the let- 
ter is not merely useless, but, in very numerous classes of words, it leads to 
a false pronunciation. Many of the most respectable English authors, a 
century ago or more, omitted e in such words as examin, determin, famin, 
ductil, fertil, definit, &c. but these improvements were afterwards rejected 
to the great injury of orthography. In like manner, a final e ' 
words of modern coinage, as in alumine, 
out the least necessity or propriety. 

6. A similar fate has attended the attempt to anglicize the orthography of| 
another class of words, which we have received from the French. At a 
very early period, the words chambre, desastre, desordre, chartre, monstre, 
tendre, tigre, entre,fievre, diametre, arbitre, nombre, and others were redu- 
ced to the English form of spelling ; chamber, disaster, disorder, charter, 
monster, tender, tiger, enter, fever, diameter, arbiter, number. At a later 
period. Sir Isaac Newton, Camden, Selden, Milton, Whitaker, Prideaux, 
Hook, Whiston, Bryant, and other authors of the first character, attempted 
to carry through this reformation, writing scepter, center, sepulcher. But 
this improvement was arrested, and a few words of this class retain their 
French orthography; such are metre, mitre, nitre, spectre, sceptre, theatre, 
sepulchre, and sometimes centre. It is remarkable that a nation distinguish- 
ed for erudition, should thus reject improvements, and retain anomalies, in 
opposition to all the convenience of uniformity. I am glad that so respecta- 
ble a writer as Mitford has discarded this innovation, and uniformly written 
center, scepter, theater, sepulcher. In the present instance, want of uni- 
formity is not the only evil. The present orthography has introduced an 
awkward mode of writing the derivatives, for example, centred, sceptred, 
sepulchred ; whereas Milton and Pope wrote these words as regular deriva- 
tions of fe«<er, scepter, sepulcher: thus, " Sceptered King." SoCoxe, in 
his travels, " The principal wealth of the church is centered in the 
teries." This is correct. 

7. Soon after the revival of letters in Europe, English writers began to 
borrow words from the French and Italian ; and usually with some little al- 
teration of the orthography. Thus they wrote authour, embassadour, pre- 
decessour, ancestour, successour ; using our for the Latin termination or 
and the French eur, and writing similar words, in like manner, though not 
of Latin or French original. What motive could induce them to write 
these words, and errour, honour, favour, inferiour, &c. in this manner, 
following neither the Latin nor tlie French, I cannot conceive. But this 
orthography continued down to the seventeenth century, when the u began 
lo be rejected from certain words of this class, and at the beginning of the 
last century, many of these words were written, ancestor, author, error, 
Ike. as they are now written. But favor, honor, labor, candor, ardor, ter- 
ror, vigor, inferior, superior, and a few others, were written with «, and 
.Fohnson introduced this orthography into his dictionary. Nothing in lan- 
guage is more mischievous than the mistakes of a great man. It is not 
easy to understand why a man, whose professed object was to reduce the 
language to some regularity, should write author without u and errour and 
honour with it ! That he should write labour with u and laborious with- 
out it! Vigour, with u, and vigorous, invigorate, without it! Inferiour, 
superiour, with u, but inferiority, and superiority, without it ! Strange as 
it is, this inconsistency runs through his work, and his authority has been 
the means of continuing it, among his admirers, to this 

In this country, many of our best writers have rejected the u from all 
words of this class, and reduced the whole to uniformity.' This is a desirable 
event; every rejection of an anomaly being a valuable improvement, 
which sound judgment approves, and the love of regularity will vindicate 
and maintain. I have therefore followed the orthography of General Wash- 
ington, and the Congress of the United States, of Ash in his Dictionary, of 
Mitford in his History of Greece, &c. 

S. There is another class of words the orthography of which is not uni- 
form, nor fully settled, such as take the termination able to form an adjec- 
tive. Thus Johnson writes proveable with e, but approvable and reprova- 
ble, without it. So moveable, but immovable and removable ; tameable, 
but blamable, censurable, desirable, excusable; saleable, but ratable. 
With like inconsistency Walker and Todd write daub with « and bedawb 
th 10, deviating in this instance, from Johnson. Todd writes abridge- 
ment and judgement with e, but acknowledgment without it. Walker 
writes these words without e, but adds it to lodgement. I have reduced all 
words of this kind to uniformity. 

Johnson writes octoedrical ; Todd octoedral ; Sheridan, Walker and 
Jones follow Johnson ; but Jones has octahedron, which is not in the other 
Dictionaries. The Greek, in words of this kind, is inconsistent, for oxiui is 
changed, in compound words, to oktci. I have followed the Greek com- 
pounds, and have inserted h which I consider as almost indispensable in the 
English orthography, as octahedron. 

10. Johnson introduced instructer, in the place of instructor, in opposi- 
n to every authority which he has himself adduced to exemplify his defi- 
ions; Denham, Milton, Roscommon, Locke, Addison, Rogers, and the 
common version of the Scriptures. But what is more singular, this orthog- 
raphy, instructer, is contrary to his own practice ; at least, in four editions 
of his Rambler which I have examined, the word is uniformly written in- 
structor. The fact is the same with visitor. 

This is a point of little importance in itself; but when instructor had 
been from time immemorial, the established orthography, why unsettle the 
practice ? I have in this word and in visitor adhered to the old orthography. 
There is not a particle of reason for altering instructor and visitor, which 
would not apply to collector, cultivator, objector, projector, and a hundred 
other %vords of similar termination. 

H. Most of these and some other inconsistencies have been of long con- 
tinuance. But there are others of more recent date, which admit of no 
apology, as they are changes from right to wrong. Such Is the change of 
the old and correct orthography of defense, expense, offense, pretense, and 
recompense, by substituting c for s as in defence. This change was probably 
made or encouraged by printers, for the sake of avoiding the use of the old 
long s ; but since this has been discarded, that reason no longer exists. The 
old orthography, defense, &.c. is justified, not only by the Latin originals, 
but by the rule of uniformity ; for the derivatives are always written with 
defensive, extensive, offensive, pretension, recompensing. 

12. No less improper was the change of sceptic into skeptic. In favor 
of this innovation, it is alledged that the word is from the Greek owtikos. 
True ; but is not scene derived from the Greek ctkiivti, and scepter from 
o-xTiTTTpov, and ascetic from oo-htitiiio!, and ocean from msaioi ! Are not all 
these words in exact analogy with each other, in their original orthography ? 
Were they not formerly analogous in the English orthography > Why vio- 
late this analogy ? Why intioduce an anomaly .' Such innovations, by divid- 
ing opinions and introducing discrepancies in practice, in classes of words of 
like formation, have a mischievous effect, by keeping the language in per- 
petual fluctuation. 

13. In like manner, dispatch, which had, from time immemorial, been 
written with i, was changed into despatch, on the wonderful discovery, that 
the word is derived from the French depecher. But why change one vowel 

not the other ? If we must follow the French, why not write despech, 
or depech ? And why was this innovation limited to a single word ? Why 
not carry the change through this whole class of words, and give us the 
benefit of uniformity ? Is not disaster from the French desastre ? Is not 
discharge from decharger ? Is not disarm from desarmer ? Is not disobey 
from desobeir ? Is not disoblige from desohliger ? Is not disorder from des- 
ordre? The prefix dis is more properly EngUsh than de, though both are 
used with propriety. But dispatch was the established orthography ; why 
then disturb the practice ? Why select a single word from the whole class, 
and introduce a change which creates uncertainty where none had existed 
" ages, without the smallest benefit to indemnify us for the perplexity and 
discordance occasioned by the innovation ? 

It is gratifying to observe the stern good sense of the English nation, pre- 
senting a firm resistance to such innovations. Blackstone, Paley, Coxe, 
Milner, Scott and Mitford, uniformly use the old and genuine orthography 
of instructor, visitor, sceptic and dispatch. 

14. The omission of one I in befall, imtall, installment, recall, enthrall, 
&c., is by no means to be vindicated; as by custom, the two letters //, 
serve as a guide to the true pronunciation, that of broad a or aw. Accord- 
ing to the established rules of English pronunciation, the letter a in instal- 

* The reformation commenced or received ifc 
authority at the revolution. See Washington' f 
8vo, 179.5. 

most decided support and 
Letters, in two volumes, 


ment would have the souiul it h:is in balance ; it is therefore expedient to 
retain both letters in all words of this chiss. 

15. It is an established rule, in the English language, that monosyllabic 
verbs, ending in a single consonant, not preceded by a long vowel, and 
other verbs ending ill a siiiKlc acrcnted consonant, and of course not pre- 
ceded by a loii'j; v"V, .■] (! MiM, il,r III, ■! roi--..n.iiif, in :,M '!h> .<, : ii ili. r -, 

which arc for ' ' •. * ■ 1 1 , ' ■ . _■■:■'".'■■ . < 1 i ,,,■.■'' ■ 

bar, when tlic\ ' •' ■ ■ i ■ , .n. :.- ' ■ '' n ■ . : '"i ■- -, " •' - 

teth,fiiting; il .! :■!■!'. :n -'. //-,., ;,m,./, :^,,:< . , i, / 

compel, form tlic iikc iierivatives; iibcliul, (ibtlhlh. .linlun^ , r.,iii)<i iiril 
fonipelleth, compelling. The reason of this rule is, tli.ii \iiilinut ihis .lupli- 
cation of the !.>.st consonant, the vowel of the priinilivr word wmiM, in the 
derivative, be naturally pronounced wrong, that is, with ils i.iii'4 >m\\v\ ; fil- 
ed, bloting, bared, compeled. Hence we see the reason w hy verbs, hav- 
ing the long sound of a vowel, do not double the last consonant, as feared, 
repealed, repeated. 

The converse of this rule is, that verbs, ending in a single consonant, but 
having the accent on the first syllable, or on a syllable preceding the last, 
o\ight not to double the final consonant in the derivatives. Thus limit, la- 
bor, charter, clatter, pardon, deliver, hinder, have for their derivatives, 
limited, laboreth, chartered, pardoning, delivering, hinderest. But 
strange as it may seem, the rule is wholly neglected and violated, in most 
of the words of this class in the language. Thus we observe, in all authors, 
ballotting, beoelling, levelled, travelled, cancelled, revelling, rivalling, wor- 
shipped, worshipper, uiipartlhil, inihoircUid, //icWmg, and many others, 

;i , iii^ii to one of the oldest and 
'lis Dictionary, lays down 
I ' III all cases, to observe it. 
. I \ Ml- to aregularand uniform 
.•■■I Mom such verbs are written 
Ur, worshiper, for the purpose of 
re may be no exception. What 
"iidittor, alterrer, barterrer, ban- 
■ I reason can be assigned why the 
lit'se words as well as in jeweller, 
ll.ible to be added is the usual ter- 

vhich the last consoii.iii( i- -' ■ 
best established rules in r 
the rule for guidance, Im; ' i 
I have endeavored to ri'ili 
orthography. In like m i i 
with a single consonant, 
establishing a general i i;l' 
should we say to a man ^^ i 
terrer, gardenner, lahui , 
final consonant .should \i I ' 
traveller, enameller. Tin i 
minalion er or or, and noilnn- nn n 

Not less remarkable is the |)rac!ice oi <loubling the last consonant in equal- 
led, equalling, but not in the verb equalize. And to add to the inconsisten- 
cy, the last consonant is sometimes doubled in tranquillize, a word in exact 
analogy with equalize. 

With regard to words which recent discoveries have introduced into the 
sciences, there may be some apology for differences of orthography, as 
writers have not established usage for a guide. Hence we find oxyd is writ- 
ten also oxide and oxyde ; oxygen and hydrogen, are written also oxigene. 
oxygene and hydrogene. Sulphate, nitrate, &.C., are written also sulphat, 

In this case, what course is the Lexicographer to pursue .' Shall he 
adopt tlie method by which Walker attempts to settle pronunciation, and 
cite authorities in favor of each mode of spelling i' Then the result is, so 
many names appear on one side, and so many on the other. But who, it 
may be asked, will undertake to graduate the scale by which the weight of 
authorities is to be determined .' Numbers will not always decide questions 
of this sort to the satisfaction of the public. 

In this case, I have determined to conform the orthography to established 
English analogies ; the only authority from which there can be no legitimate 
appeal. Now, no rule in orthography is better established, than that which 
we have adopted from the Latin language, of representing the fireek ^lpsi- 
lojiby the letter y. In the orthography of o,ri/gen and hydrogen, from ojti 
and uiuf, this rule has been observed; and why should oxyd he an excep- 
tion ? 

With regard to sulphate, nitrate, and other names of that class of com- 
pounds, I consider the final e as essential to the words, to prevent a false 
pronunciation ; the vowel a having its first sound as in/ate, though slightly 

The word chimistry has undergone two or three changes, according to 
fancy or to conjectural etymology. Men have blundered about the plainest 
thing imaginable ; lor to detcrniine its true orthography, nothing was neces- 
sary but to open an Arabic Lexicon. The inhabitants of the South of Eu- 
rope, who introduced the word, doubtless knew its origin, and wrote it cor- 
rectly with i, not with y or e ; and had the English been contented to take 
it as they found it, the orthography would have been correct and uniform. 

In introducing words from other languages, it is desirable that the orthog- 
raphy should be conformed, as nearly as maybe, to established English anal- 
ogies. For this reason I must approve of tlie practice of Darwin who drops 
the Latin termination of pyrites, wvitin^ pyrite, witli the accent on the first 
syllable. Botanic Garden, Canto 2. 350. 

Stalactite has in like manner, been anglicized ; and barytes, it is hoped, 
may suffer the like change. In this manner, the words, in the English 
form, become susceptible of a regular plural ; barytes and pyrites in two 
syllables, and stalactites in three : and further they admit of regularlv form-, 
ed adjectives, pjrific, 6an/(tc, stalactitic, which cannot be regularly form- 
ed from the Greek terminations. 

he wnnl tnlr is nlso ill-fiinricd. The original word on the continent of 

i|i i /,('/, ni 'I,'- . Ill I liii , i, II,:;,- of k into c is not merely needless, 
V. : t : , i I - 'i ' - ■ II , : ilui regular adjective, talcy. Hence 
' ■ i' 1,1,1, 1,1 .iwkward compound of a Teutonic 

I . ii : ,111, 1, I III, , I I, ) MI- uiird should be written fa/Ar or fa/cfc, 
will, ii '■ ,11 linii n ■;iii ir ,!.iiv;iiivcs. /a/cfey, (a/ffci?iess. In like manner, 
:■• u :iii,',. u,iii!.l ,,,liuit the regular adjective zinky, as written 

i I ;> . IS (111- siMiil -vstem of the celebrated Swedish naturalist i.s 

iiuw ifciiiiiily received, it seems proper to make the new terms, by which 
the cliisses and orders of plants are designated, a part of our language. Hith- 
erto these names have not been anglicized ; but from the technical terms, 
English and American writers have begun to form adjectives which are at 
variance with the analo<;i, - of ,iin InniiMgr. \Vi- -, c in books such words 
as hexandrous, monos'ii'"'!!-^- i"'!tii:iuiiuii-<. ,,iii| .:/iil:, ,i, sinus. The writ- 
ers who use these word-. -, . m ni,i i,i I,.- ,,\s 1 ih. ni!|iort.mce of pursu- 
ing settled rules in the cniniiii; nl wnni-, ;i^ iniu,)i nnty ..uls both in learning 
and in recollecting new names. The regular mode ot forming adjectives 
from nouns ending in a or ia, is to add n to the noun, not ous. So we form 
Italian from Italia ; .American from America. In some cases, the termin- 
ation ic is used, but rarely or never ous ; or if it is, it is an anomaly. 

To arrest, if possible, the progress of these irregularities, and at the same 
time, to make the more important botanical terms really English, by giving ^ 
them appropriate English terminations, and further to abridge the language 
of description, I have ventured to anglicize the names of all the classes anil 
orders, and insert them in this work. 

Thus from monandria, the name of the class containing plants with flow- 
ers having one stamen, I form monander, the name of an individual plant of 
that character. From monogynia, the name of the order containing plants 
with flowers which have one pistil, I form monogyn, [pronounced monojyn] 
to express an individual plant of that order. The adjectives are formed from 
the nouns with regular English terminations ; monandrian, monogynian, 
syngetiesian, diecian, monecian,&Lc. 

In describing a plant technically, according to this nomenclature, instead 
of saying, it is of the class monondria and order monogynia, the botanist will 
call it a monogynian monander, a digynian pentanaer, a trigynian octan- 
der, a pentandrian diadelph. These terms designate the class and order, 
as perfectly as the use of the Latin technical names : and in this manner we 
unite, in our botanical language, technical precision, with brevity, correct- 
ness and elegance. 

It is with no small regret, that I see new terms formed, without a due re- 
gard to regular English analogies. New terms are often necessary, or at 
least very useful ; but they ought to be coined according to the settled prin- 
ciples of the language. A neglect of these principles is observable in the 
word systematize, which, not being borrowed from the Greek, ought to fol- 
low the general rule of English formation, in agreement with legalize, mod- 
ernize, civilize, animalize, and others, and be written systemize. This is 
the more important, as the derivatives systemizing, systemization, are of 
more easy utterance, than those of systematize, and particularly the noun 

I obser\'e in modern works on Natural History, the words crustaceology, 
and testaceology ; terms that are intended to designate the science of differ- 
ent kinds of shells, from Crustacea, testacea. But who can countenance the 
use of such words? Where do we find another instance of similar terms 

formed from adjectives .> Why should we violate an established principle 
in coining words of this family ? Besides, who can endure the derivatives, 
ci-ustaceological, testaceological, and much less tlie adverbs, if they should 
ever be wanted ? I have not admitted these anomalous words into this vo- 
cabulary ; but have inserted the proper words, austalogy, testalogy, which 
are regularly formed, like mineralogy. 

On this head I would subjoin a remark or two on the mode of writing In- 
dian names of rivers, mountains and places in America, which we have 

The French were the first Europeans who explored the country between 
the great lakes and the gulf of Mexico, and of course, the first to commit to 
writing the Indian names which occurred to them in their travels. In do- 
ing this, they attempte<l to express the sounds in letters, according to the 
French manner of pronunciation. Hence it happened that they wrote ch, 
where we should have written sh, had we first reduced those names to 
writing. Thus we have Chenango, Michigan and Michillimackinac,* 
in the French orthography. And as the French have no ir in their lan- 
guage, they could not express the proper sound of the first syllable of Wa- 
bash, Wisconsin, Wachita, otherwise than by writing them Ouabache, 
Ouisconsin, Ouachita, and Missoori in French is Missouri. All this is 
very proper for Frenchmen, for the letters used express the true sounds of 
the words. But in English, the letters used lead to a false pronunciation, 
and for this reason, should not be used in English compositions. It is to be 
deeply regretted that our language is thus doomed to be a heterogeneous 
medley of English and foreign languages ; as the same letters representing 

' This word is, I believe, customarily pronounced Mackinaw, and the 
riginal may well be sutiered to fall into disuse. 


<5ift'erent sounds, in dillerent languages, sGi\e to cmLanass the reader who 
understands only his own. 

The irregularities in the English orthography have always been a subject 
of deep regret, and several attempts have been made to banish them from 
the language. The first attempt of this kind was made by Sir Thomas Smith, 
Secretary of State, to Queen Elizabeth ; another was made by Dr. Gill, a 
celebrated master of St. Paul's School in London; another by Charles But- 
ler ; several attempts were made in the reign of Charles I. ; an attempt was 
made by Elphinstone, in the last century; and lastly, another effort was 
made by Dr. Franklin. The latter gentleman compiled a dictionary on his 
scheme of reform, and procured types to be east, which he offered to me, 
with a view to engage me to prosecute his design. This offer I declined to 
accept ; for I was then, and am still convinced, that the scheme of introdu- 
cing new characters into the language, is neither practicable nor expedient. 
Any attempt of this kind must certainly fail of success. 

But that some scheme for expressing the distinct sounds of our letters by 
visible marks, ought to be adopted, is a point about which there ought to be, 
and I trust there can be, but one opinion. That such a scheme is practica- 
ble as well as expedient, I should presume to be equally evident. Such is 
tlie state of our written language, that our own citizens never become mas- 
ters of orthography, without great dilBculty and labor; and a great part of 
them never learn to spell words with correctness. In addition to this, the 
present orthography of some classes of words leads to a false pronunciation. 

In regard to the acquisition of our language by foreigners, the evil of our 
irregular orthography is extensive, beyond what is generally known or con- 
ceived. While the French and Italians have had the wisdom and the policy 
to refine and improve their respective languages, and render them almost 
the common languages of all well-bred people in Europe ; the English Ian 
guage, clothed in a barbarous orthography, is never learned by a foreignei 
but from necessity ; and the most copious language in Europe, embodying 
an uncommon mass of science and erudition, is thus very limited in its 
fulness. And to complete the mischief, the progress of arts, science and 
Christianity among the heathen, and other rude or unevangelized nations, 
is most sensibly retarded by the difficulties of mastering an irregular or- 

The mode of ascertaining the proper pronunciation of words by marks, 
points and trifling alterations of the present characters, seems to be the only 
one which can be reduced to practice. This mode resembling the use of 
points in the Hebrew, has been adopted by some of the nations on th 
tinent ; and I have pursued it, to a certain extent, in designating distinctions 
in the sounds of letters, in this work. The scheme I have invented is not 
considered as perfect ; Ijut it will accomplish some important purposes, by 
removing the most numerous classes of anomalies. With this scheme, the 
visible characters of the language will present to the eye of a reader the true 
sounds of words ; and the scheme itself is so simple, that it may be learned 
in a few moments. To complete a scheme of this kind, a few other altera 
tions would be necessary, but such as would not materially change the or 
thography, or occasion the least difficulty to the learner or reader. 

After these alterations, there would remain a few words whose anomaliei 
may be considered as incorrigible, such as know, gnaw, rough, &c., which 
may be collected into tables and easily learned, and all the other irregul 
ties may be so classed under general rules, as to be learned with very little 

The adoption of this or any other scheme for removing the obstacles 
which the English orthography presents to learners of the language, must 
depend on public opinion. The plan I have adopted for representing the 
sounds of letters by marks and points, in this work, is intended to answer two 
purposes. First, to supersede the necessity of writing and printing the 
words a second time in an orthography adapted to express their pronuncia- 
tion. The latter method pursued by the English orthoepists, as applicable t( 
most words, is I think not only unnecessary but very inexpedient. The se. 
cond purpose is, to exhibit to my fellow citizens the outline of a scheme for 
removing the difficulties of our irregular orthography, without the use of 
new characters ; a scheme simple, easy of acquisition, and sufficient to an 
swer all the more important purposes of a regular orthography. 


As our language has been derived from various sources, and little or n( 
systematic elibrt has been made to reduce the orthography to any regularity 
tjie pronunciation of the language is subject to numerous anomalies. Each 
of our vowels has several different sounds; and some of the consonants re- 
present very different articulations of the organs. That part of the lan- 
guage which we have received from the Latin, is easily subjected to a few 
general rules of pronunciation. The same is tlie fact with most of the de 
rivatives from the Greek. Many words of French origin retain their French 
orthography, which leads to a very erroneous pronunciation in English; and 
a large portion of our monosyllabic words of Saxon origin are extremely ir 
regular both in orthography and pronunciation. 

If we can judge, with tolerable certainty, from the versification of Chau 
cer, the pronunciation of words must have been, in many respects, dilferent 
. in his age, from that of the present day: particubirly in making a distinct 

syllable of e final, and of the termination ed. But no efibrt was probablj 
ever made to settle the pronunciation of words, till the last century. Ii. 
England, which was settled by various nations, there are numerous dialect.- 

diversities of language, still retained by the great mass of the population. 

The first settlers of New England, were almost all of English origin, and 

ming from different parts of England, they brought with them sonje di- 
versities of language. But in the infancy of the settlements, the people 
lived in towns adjacent or near to each other, for mutual aid and protectiou. 
from the natives : and the male inhabitants of the first generation frequently 
assembled for the purpose of worship or for government. By the influence 
of these and other causes, particularly by that of common schools, the differ- 
ences of language among our citizens have been gradually lost ; so that in 
this part of the United States, there can hardly be said to exist a difference 
of dialect. 

It is to be remarked further, that the first ministers of the gospel, who 
migrated to this country, had been educated at the English universities, and 
brought with them all the learning usually acquired in those institutions, 
and the English language as it was then spoken. The influence of these 
men, who were greatly venerated, probably had no small effect in extin- 
guishing differences of speech. 

Hence it has happened that the traditional pronunciation of the language 
of well-educated people has been nearly the same in both countries, to this 
day. Among the common people, whose pronunciation in all countries is 
more or less corrupt, the diversities in this country are far less numerous 
than in England. 

About fifty or sixty years ago, Thomas Sheridan, an Irish gentleman, who 
had been the pupil of an intimate friend of Dean Swift, attempted to reduce 
the pronunciation of English words to some system, and to introduce it into 
popular use. His analysis of the English vowels is very critical, and in this 
respect, there has been little improvement by later writers, though I 
think none of them are perfectly correct. But in the application of his prin- 
ciples, he failed of his object. Either he was not well acquainted with the 
best English pronunciation, or he had a disposition to introduce into use some 
peculiarities, which the English did not relish. The principal objection 
made to his scheme is that he gives to s the sound oi sh, in sudorific, superb, 
and other words where .1 is followed by u long. These he pronounces 
shooderific, shonperb, shooperjluity, &c. This pronunciation of s corres- 
ponding to the Shcmitic W, he probably learnt in Ireland, for in the Irish 
branch of the Celtic, s has often the sound of sh. Thus sean, old, is pro- 
nounced shean. This pronunciation was no sooner published, than con- 
demned and rejected by the English. 

Another most extraordinary innovation of Sheridan was, his rejection of 
the ItaUan sound of a, as in father, calm, ask, from every word in the lan- 
uage. Thus his notation gives to a in bar, the same sound as in barren, 
arrel, bat ; to a in father, pass, mass, pant, the same sound as in/of, pas- 
sion, massacre, pan, fancy. Such a gross deviation from established Eng- 
lish usage was of course condemned and rejected. 

In his pronunciation of ti and ci, before a vowel, as in partiality, omni- 
science, Sheridan is more correct than Walker, as he is in some other words; 
uch for example as bench, tench, book, took, and others of the same classes. 

Sheridan also contributed very much to propagate the change of tu into 
chu, or tshu ; as in natshur, cultshur, virtshue. This innovation was vin- 
dicated on the supposed fact, that the letter u has the sound of yu; and 
natyur, cultyur, virtyue, in a rapid enunciation, become natshur, &c. And 
to this day, this error respecting the sound of u is received in England as 
truth. But the fact is otherwise, and if not, it does not justify the practice ; 
for in usage, u is short in nature, culture, as in tun; so that on the princi- 
"es of Sheridan himself, this letter can have no effect on the preceding 

This innovation however has prevailed to a considerable extent, although 
Sheridan subjected the change of tu to no rules. He is consistent in apply- 
ing this change equally to tu, whether the accent follows the t or not. If 
fu is to be changed to (s7ju, in /«(u;'e, and perpetual, it ought to undergo 
the same change in futurity, and perpetuity ; and Sheridan, in pronoun- 
cing tutor, tutelage, tumult, as if written txhootor, tshootelage, tshoomult, 
is certainly consistent, though wrong in fact. In other words, however, 
Sheridan is inconsistent with himself; for he pronounces multitshood, recti- 
tshood, servitshood, while habitude, beatitude, certitude, decrepitude, 
gratitude, Stc. retain the proper sound of (. 

Walker's rule for changing tti to chu, only when the accent precedes, is 
entirely arbitrary, and evidently made by him to suit his own practice. It 
has however the good effect of reducing the chus, and removing the outra- 
geous anomalies of tshootor, tshoomult, &c. 

There are many other words which Sheridan has marked for a pronuncia- 
tion, which is not according to good usage, and which the later orthoepists 
have corrected. In general, however, it may be asserted that his notation 
does not warrant a tenth part as many deviations, from the present respectable 
usage in England, as Walker's ; yet as his Dictionary was republished in this 
country, it had no small effect in corrupting the pronunciation of some class- 
es of words, and the effects of its influence are not yet extinct. What the 
precise effect of Sheridan's scheme of pronunciation was in England, I am 
not able to determine. But I have had information from the late venerable 
Dr. Johnson of Stratford, and from the late Dr. Hubbard of New Haven, 


ulio were in Eno-Ianil between the year 17G5 and the revolution, that about 1 classes of words, he entirely rejects. He condemns, as a slovenly enuncia- 
that period, the change of ( into cliii had not taken place, to anv cMont. It tion, the sound given to d, which, before t and u. Walker directs, in certain 
began to prevail on the stage and among the younger inv ,,,1 in, m- [words, to be pronounced like j. He rejects also his notation of ch, or tsh, 
bers^of parliament, before Dr. Johnson left England, 
Ame'rica, and Sheridan's Dictionary, published soon 

tributed to extend the i 
the acquisition of a lanj 
dable and perplexing, 
immense inconvcnicnc. 

and the i m. m-', . i 

d.^nirc pi. 

(h lin congratulation, flatulent, natural, and all similar words. He rejects 
I also the affected pronunciation of Sheridan and Walker, in such words as 
Sttidi. mil l.iiul. Most of the other errors of Walker, he copies, as he does 

or changes the 
<iit, does an injury u 
ty men of the same 

n a few years after the publication of Sheridan's Dictionary, appeared 
Walker's, the author of which introduces the work to the public, with the 
following remarks, on the labors of his predecessciis. 

" Among those writers who deserve the In^i n .1 - .1. il ,^ -iihject, isMr. 
Elphinstone; who, in his principles of the 1 I 1 _. has reduced 

the chaos to a system, and laid the foundation : " j u I, ir pronunci- 

ation. But this ■.ciTitleni:m. liv treating his sul.; 1 v i:ii n /llreted obscuri- 
ty, and by absni.iU . n: :. " ii: : in niter the w'holc orttiogruphy of the lan- 
guage, has unlui'i I credit with the public, for the part of his 
labors which ciri 1 m : , ■ iiuhest praise." 

"After him Lh. 1- nuck rLutiibuted a portion of improvement, by his 
Rhetorical Uictionaiy, but he has rendered his Dictionary extremely im- 
perfect, by entirely omitting a great number of words of doubtful and diffi- 
cult pronunciation ; those very words for which a Dictionary of this kind 
would naturally be consulted." [Let it be noted, that tlie same objection 
lies in full force against Sheridan, Walker, and .lones.] 

" To him succeeded Mr. Sheridan, who not only divided the words into 
syllables, and placed figures over the vowels, as Dr. Kenrick had done, but 
by spelling these syllables os they are pronounced, seemed to complete the 
idea of a Pronouneinu DiitiDu^iry. and to leave but little expectation of im- 
provement. It iiiiivi he ( -^ed that his Dictionary is generally superior 
to every thing lli;it pn < .1 li, nid his method of conveying the sound of 
of words bv ■ip.llin lb, II] 1. lb, V are pronounced, is highly rational and use 

ful. lint ill 1 1 - 1 in . - lie to stop. The numerous instances I have 

given nt I I. r \ . and want of acquaintance with the anal 

ogies oi il ! 11, . - II 1\ show how imperfect I think his Dictiona- 

ry is, upuii iliL i\ liule, .Mii; u liji ample room was left for attempting another 
that might better answer the purpose of a guide to pronunciation." 

" The last writer on this subject is Mr. Nares, who, in his elements of or- 
thoepy , has shown a clearness of method, and an extent of observation, which 
deserve the highest encomiums. But he seems, on many occasions,* to' 
have mistaken the best usage, and to have paid too little attention to the first 
principles of pronunciation." 

Soon after the publication of Walker's Dictionary, appeared the Dictiona- 
ry of Stephen Jones, w^ho undertakes to correct the errors of Sheridan and 
Walker. This author objects to Sheridan, that he has not introduced the 
Italian .sound of a, [as in fath'er,'] in asingle instance, and that Walker has 
been too sparing in the use of it. He objects that Sheridan has not, by any 
peculiar marks, pointed out the sound of oi or oy, as in noise and cloy; and 
that Walker has given distinctive marks of pronunciation to the diphthong 
mi, which are terrific to the learner, and not well calculated to express the 
exact soimd. He considers it as no trivial error in Walker's system, that he 
uses the long e in place of the short y, which gives to asperity, for example, 
the ludicrous sound of aspereetee. He notices also as a fault in W^alker's 
scheme, that he makes no difference in the sound of 00 in tool, tooth, and in 
look, took. 

In all these particulars, except that of oi and oy, I think every man who 
understands genuine English, will accord with Jones. From careful obser- 
vation, while in England, I know that Jones's notation is far more correct 
than that of Sheridan or Walker, and except in two or three classes of words, 
his pronunciation is exactly that which I uniformly heard in England, and 
nearly the same as that of well-educated gentlemen in New England. 

A few years after the appearance of Jones's Dictionary, William Perry 
published a pronouncing dictionary, in which an attempt is made to indicate 
the sounds of the letters by certain arbitrary marks. In this work, the au- 
thor has rejected most of the pecuharities of Sheridan, Walker and Jones, 
and given the language nearly as it was spoken, before those authors under- 
took to regulate the pronunciation. This author's manner of designating 
the soimds of the letters is too complex for convenience, but his pronuncia- 
tion is nearer to the actual usage in England, than that of either of his pre- 
decessors before mentioned. His orthography also is more correct, accord- 
ing to present usage, than that of his predecessoi-s. 

During the year past, appeared the dictionary of R. S. Jameson, of Lin- 
coln's Inn, intended to combine the merits of the most popular dictionaries, 
and to correct the false pronunciation of Walker, whose notation in some 

' In many instances, I suppose the writer means. 

Ill- /,i;i.'r I ,1 ..I ib.i-i,,|iliy. 

1m ; : ii |ii-ts have analyzed, and in general, have well defined 

- 1^ and appropriate uses of the letters of the alphabet. 
--Ill hi III - III !\ ■ v. bich appeared a few years before Walker's, is for the 
most part, correct ; but in describing the sounds of what may be called the 
diphthongal vowel i, I think he has erred, in making it to consist of the broad 
ate and e. He admits indeed that the voice does not rest on the sound 
but he contends that the mouth is opened to the same degree of aperture, 
is in the same position, as if it were going to sound aw; hut before the 
voice can get a passage to the lips, the under jaw is drawn up to the position, 
for sounding e. On this it is justly remarked by Walker, that atv and e are 
precisely the component elements of the diphthong oi and oy. If the aw is 
pronounced, I would add, then t and oy must he pronounced exactly alike ; 
and if aw is not pronounced, then it is not a component part of the diph- 
thongal vowal i. 

Walker contends that this diphthong i, is composed of the sound of the 
Italian a, as hi fathtr, and the sound ol e. If so, he must have given to a, a 
very different sound from that which we are accustomed to give it. But* 
this is a mistake; that sound of a is no more heard in t, than the sound of 
aw. The sound of i in fight, mind, time, idle, i^ not faweght, mawend, 
tawem, awedle ; nor is it fdeght, maend, them, aedle. Let any man utter 
the aw or the Italian a before the e, and he will instantly perceive the 
error, and reject both definitions, as leading to a false pronunciation. The 
truth is, the mouth, in uttering i, is not opened so wide as in uttering aw or 
a; the initial sound is not that of ajo or a ; nor is it possible, by any char- 
acters we possess, to express the true sound on paper. The initial sound is 
not formed so deep in the throat as aw or o ; the position of the organs is 
nearlj', yet not exactly the same. The true sound can be learned only by 
the ear. 

Equally inaccurate is the definition of the diphthongal «, or long u; 
which these writers alledge to consist of the sounds of e and 00 or yu. It 
has this sound indeed in certain words, as in unite, union, and others ; but 
this is a departure from the proper sound of this character, as heard in cube, 
abuse, durable, human, jury. These words are not pronounced, keoob, 
abeoose, deoorable, heooman,jeoory. The effort to introduce this affected 
pronunciation is of most mischievous tendency. The sound of e is not 
heard in the proper enunciation of the English u, and for that reason, it 
should not be so stated on paper, nor named yu ; as the error naturally leads 
to a corrupt pronunciation. Dr. Kenrick remarks that we might as well 
prefix y to the other vowels, as to «, and pronounce them ya, ye, yi, yo. 

But this is not the whole evil ; this analysis of u has led orthoepists to give 
to our first or long «, two distinct sounds, or rather to make a diphthong and 
a vowel of this single letter. Thus they make it a diphthong in almost all 
situations, except after r, where they make it a vowel equivalent to 00 or 
the French ou. They represent u as being equivalent to ew, that is, e and 
00, in cube, tube, duty, confusion, endure, pronounced, kewbe, tewbe, dewty, 
confewsion, endewre, but in brute, fruit, rude, intrude, ruby, they make u 
equivalent to 00 ; thus, broote,froot, roode, introode, rooby. 

I know not where this affectation originated; it first appeared in Sheri- 
dan's Dictionary, but it is a most unfounded distinction, and a most mischiev- 
ous error. No such distinction was known to Dr. Johnson ; he gives the 
long u but one sound, as in confusion; and no such distinction is observed 
among good speakers generally, either in this country or in England. I was 
particularly attentive to the public speakers in England, in regard to this 
point, and was happy to find, that very few of them made the distinction 
here mentioned. In that country as in this, the long u has a uniform sound 
after all the consonants. 

The source of the error in this as in another case to be mentioned here- 
after, may be an inattention to the manner in which the articulations affect 
the vowels which follow them. To understand this, it will be necessary or 
useful to examine the anatomical formation of articulate sounds. 

" An articulate sound," says Lowth, " is the sound of the human voice, 
formed by the organs of speech. A vowel is a simple articulate sound." 

These definitions seem not to be sufficiently accurate. Articulation, in 
human speech, is the jointing, juncture or closing of the organs, which pre- 
cedes and follows the vowels or open sounds, and which partially or totally 
intercepts the voice. A vowel or vocal sound is formed simply by opening 
the mouth. Thus in sounding a or 0, the mouth is opened in a particular 
manner, but without any articulation or closing of the organs. In strictness 
therefore, a simple vowel is not an articulate sound, as Lowth supposes ; 
and it is certain that many irrational animals, without the power of articula- 
tion, do utter vowel sounds with great distinctness. 

An articulate sound then is properly a sound preceded or followed or both, 
by an articulation or junction of the organs. 'Thus ba, ab, and bad, are ar- 
ticulate sounds ; the vowel being begun or closed, with a junction of the 
lips, interrupting the voice, in ba and ab ; and in bad the vocal sound being 
preceded by one articulation and followed by another. The power of arti- 


(•Illation constilutcs Ihc great difference between men and brute? ; the latter 
being unable to articulate, can utter only vocal sounds. The imperfect ar- 
ticulations of the parrot and some other animals form no exception that de- 
serves notice. 

I give the name articulation, to the act of joining the organs, and to the 
character or letter which represents the junction. In the latter sense, the 
word is equivalent to consonant ; and articulation may be considered the 
preferable term, as it expresses the fact of closing the organs. 

Human speech then consists of vocal sounds separated and modified by 
articulations of the organs. We open the moutli, in a particular manner, to 
utter a vowel ; we then close the organs, interrupt that sound, and open the 
organs to utter a second vowel, and continue this opening and closing, to the 
end of the word. This process is carried on with surprising rapidity. 

Now in passing from an articulation or close position, to an open position 
for uttering a vowel, it happens often that a very slight sound of e is uttered 
so as to be perceptible to the ear, eitlier before or after the utterance of the 
proper vowel. This is remarkably the case with the long vowels preceding 
r, for such is the nature of that letter, that bare, mire, more, parent, appar- 
ent, &c., cannot well be pronounced without a slight sound of e, between 
the long vowel and the consonant. Thus the words above named are pro- 
nounced nearly baer ,mier ,moer , paerent,appaerent, and bare, mire, really 
form two syllables, though they are considered to be monosyllables. 

A like case, though less obvious, occurs in uttering u, particularly after 
the labial and palatal articulations. In passing from the articulations, eb, 
eg, em, ep, or pe, to the sound of le, as in nnite anApure, we are apt insen- 
sibly to utter a slight sound of e ; and this utterance, which proceeds from 
the particular situation of the organs, has been mistaken for the first compo- 
nent sound of the diphthongal «. The same cause has given rise to the 
pronunciation of e before the vowel in such words as guide, guard, kind, 
guise. This is precisely similar to the vulgar pronunciation of cow, gown, 
county, town, &c., that is, keow, geown, keounty, teoum ; a pronunciation 
formerly common in New England, and not yet wholly extinct. This vi- 
cious pronunciation, in all words of this kind, whether countenanced by men 
of low life or of fashionable life, ought to be carefully avoided ; as the slen- 
der sound of e, in such cases, gives a feebleness to the words utterly incon- 
sistent with that full, open and manly enunciation which is essential to elo- 

The genuine sound of u long, detached from the influence of consonants, 
is the same in all the words above specified ; and the reason why it has been 
made a distinct vowel after r, as in rude [rood,] is, that the organs are open, 
before the sound commences; whereas when it follows most of our conson- 
ants, the sound is commenced immediately after an articulation, or close posi- 
tion of the organs, as in mutable and infusion. For this reason, u has more 
distinctly its diphthongal sound after labials and palatals, than after r; but 
this accidental circumstance should not be the ground of radical distinctions, 
equivalent to the sounds of different letters. 

There is, in Walker's analysis of the alphabet, an error peculiar to himself- 
This is, in making a distinction between the short i when it is followed by a 
consonant, and when it is not ; as in ability. In this case, he calls the first 
(, in abil, short ; but the second he calls open, and equivalent to e in equal. 
See principles 107, 544. He also makes the unaccented y at the end of a syl- 
lable precisely like the first sound of e, in me, meter. Ability then written 
according to his principles would be abileetee. Never was a grosser mis- 
take. The sound of i and y in unaccented syllables, whether followed by 
an articulation or not, is always the short sound of e long, that is, e shorten- 
ed ; the same sound in quality or kind, but not in quantity. To prove this 
fact, nothing is necessary but an attention to the manner in which the words 
little and tiny, are pronounced, when they are made emphatical by utter- 
ance. They are then pronounced leetle, teeny — and this we hear every 
day, not only among children, but often among adults. In this change of 
pronunciation, there is nothing more than a prolongation of the sound of i, 
which, in the syllables, lit, tin, is short, in leetle, teeny, is long. 

In consequence of this mistake. Walker has uniformly made a different 
notation of i when accented, and followed by a consonant in the same sylla- 
ble, and when it stands alone in the syllable and unaccented. Thus to the 
first i in ability he assigns a different sound from that of the second ; and in 
article, he gives to i the sound of e long, arteecle ; but in articular, articu- 
late, he gives it the short sound, tik. It is in consequence of this mistake, 
that he has throughout his Dictionary assigned to i and y unaccented and to 
y unaccented terminating words, the sound of e long ; an error, which it is 
ascertained by actual enumeration, extends to more than eleven thousand 
vowels or syllables ; an error, which, if carried to the full extent of his prin- 
ciples, would subvert all the rules of English versification. Jones and Perry 
have corrected this error in their notations, throughout the language. 

If it should be said, that Walker did not intend to direct y in this case, to 
be pronounced as e long, but that his notation is intended only to mark the 
quality of the sound ; it may be replied, he either intended the sound to be 
that of c long, according to his express direction, or he did not. If he did 
his notation is not according to any good practice, either in England or the 
U. States, and by changing a short vowel into a long one, his notation would 
subvert the rules of metrical composition. If he did not, his notation is 
adapted to mislead the learner, and it does mislead learners, wherever his 

book is strictly followed. In truth, this notaliun is generally condemned ij 
England, and universally rejected in practice.'' 

In the notation of sounds, there is a mistake and inconsistency in all the or- 
thoepists, which deserves notice, not on account of its practical importance 
o much, as to expose an error in syllabication or the division of words into 
yllables, which has been maintained by all writers in Great Britain, fron: 
time immemorial. The rule is that " a single consonant between two vow- 
must be joined to the latter syllable." According to this rule, habit, 
baron, tenet, are to be divided thus, ha-bit, ba-rou, te-net. 

This rule is wholly arbitrary, and has for ages, retarded and rendered dif- 
ficult, the acquisition of the language by children. How is it possible that 
of discernment should support a rule that, in thousands of words, 
makes it necessary, to break a syllable, detaching one of the letters essen- 
tial to it, and giving it a place in the next .' In the words above mentioned^ 

" , bar, ten, are distinct syllables, which cannot be divided without vio- 
lence. In many words, as in these, this syllable is the radix of the word ; 
the other syllable being formative or adventitious. But where this is not the 
case, convenience requires that syllables should, if possible, be kept entire ; 
and in all cases, the division of syllables should, as far- as possible, be SHch 

to lead the learner to a just pronunciation. 

As in our language the long and short vowels are not distinguished by 
differences of character, when we see a single consonant bet^veen vowels, 
we cannot determine, from the preceding vowel character, whether the 
sound is long or short. A stranger to the language knows not whether to 
pronounce habit, ha-bit or hab-it, Ull he is instructed in the customary pro- 
•iation. It was probably to avoid this inconvenience that our ancestors 
wrote two consonants instead of one in a great number of words, as in ban- 
ner, dinner. In this respect however there is no uniformity in English ; as 
we have generally retained the orthography of the languages from which 
we have received the words, as in tutor, rigor, silent, and the like. 

Now it should be observed that although we often see the consonant 
doubled, as in banner, yet no more than one articulation in these cases is 
ever used in speaking. We close the organs but once between the first and 
second syllable, nor is it possible to use both the letters n, without pronoun- 
cing ban, then intermitting the voice entirely, opening the organs and clos- 
ng them a second time. Hence in all cases, when the same consonant is 
written twice between vowels, as in banner, dinner, better, one of them only 
is represented by an articulation of the organs, the other is useless, except 
that it prevents any mistake, as to the sound of the preceding vowel. 

In the notation of all the orthoepists, there is inconsistency, at least, if not 

ror. If they intend to express the true pronunciation by using the precise 
letters necessary for the purpose, they all err. For instance, they write 
bar'run for bar'on, when one articulation only is, or possibly can be, used ; 

also ballance, biggot, biggamy, mellon, mettaphor, mellody. This is 
not only useless, for the use of the accent after the consonant, as bar'on, 
bal'ance, big'ot, mel'on, &c. completely answers the purpose of determining 
the pronunciation ; but it is contradictory to their own practice in a vast 
ber of cases. Thus they write one consonant only in civil, civic, rivet ; 
and Walker writes kullonade, doubling /, but kalony, kolonise, with a single 
This want of system is observable in all the books which are offered to 
to the pubHc as standards of orthoepy. 

A still greater fault, because it may lead to innumerable practical errors, 
consists in the notation of unaccented syllables. In this particular, there is 
■ and discrepancy in the schemes of the orthoepists, which shows the 
utter impossibility of carrying them into effect. The final y unaccented. 
Walker makes to be e long, as I have before observed ; while Sheridan, 
Jones, and Perry, make it equivalent to short i, or at least, give it a short 
sound, according to universal practice. Walker pronounces the last vowel 
in natural and national, as a short ; Sheridan, as e short, naturel ; Jones, 
as u short, naturul. Sheridan's notation may be a mistake, for he gives 
to al in national, the sound of ul. In the adjective deliberate. Walker and 
Jones give a in the last syllable its proper long sound ; and Sheridan, the 
sound of e short, deliberet. Dignitary is pronounced by Sheridan dignite- 
ry, and Walker and Jones give to a its short sound, as in at. The termina- 
ting syllable ness is pronounced by Walker and Jones nes, by Sheridan nis, 

blessednes, blessednis. The same difference exists in their notation of 
less ; Sheridan, pronouncing it lis, as in blatnelis, and Walker and Jones, 

* From the fact, which Walker relates of himself, Prin. 246, that he made 
a distinction between the sound of ee in flee and in meet, until he had con- 
sulted good speakers and particularly Mr. Garrick, who could find no differ- 
ence in the sound, it might be inferred that his ear was not very accurate. 
But his mistake evidently arose from not attending to the effect of the artic- 
ulation in the latter word, which stops the sound suddenly, but does not vary 
it. It is the same mistake which he made in the sound of i in the second 
syllable of ability, which he calls short, while the sound of the second i and 
of y is that of long e. The celebrity of Walker as a teacher of elocution, 
and his key to tlie pronunciation of ancient names, which, with a few excep- 
tions, is a good standard work, have led many persons to put more confidence 
in his English Orthoepy than a close examination of its principles' will 


giving e its proper sound. These differences, and many others, run through 
their worlcs, and appear in a large portion of all the words in tlie language. 

Now it is prohahle that all these gentlemen pronounced these words alike, 
or so nearly alike that no difference would be noticed by a bystander. The 
mischief of these notations is, that attempts are made to express minute 
distinctions or shades of sounds, so to speak, which cannot be represented 
to the eye by characters. A great part of the notations must, necessarily, 
be inaccurate, and for this reason, the notation of the vowels in unaccented 
syllables should not be attempted. From a careful attention to this subject, 
1 am persuaded that all such notations are useless, and many of them 
mischievous, as they lead to a wrong pronunciation. In no case can the 
true pronunciation of words in a language be accurately and completely ex- 
pressed on paper ; it can be caught only by the ear, and by practice. No 
attempt has ever been made to mark the pronunciation of all the vowels, in 
any other language ; and in our language it is worse than useless. 

As Walker's pronunciation has been represented to the people of this 
country as the standard, I sliall confine my remarks chiefly to his work, 
with a view to ascertain its merits, and correct any erroneous impressions 
which have been received from such representations. 

1. The first class of words which I shall mention, is that in which a has 
what is called, its Italian sound, as we pronounce it io father, psalm, calm. 
From a hasty enumeration of words of this class, I find there are two or 
three hundred in number, in which Walker gives to a its short sound, a 

fat, bat, fancy, when, in fact, the most respectable usage in England 
well as in the United States, gives that letter its Italian sound. This error 
Jones and Perry have corrected. To he correct in this class of words, we 
have only to retain the customary pronunciation of the northern States. 

2. The notation of the sound of oo by Walker is wrong in most or al 
the words in which oo arc followed by k, and in some others. Notwith 
standing the distinction between the long and short sound of oo is clear and 
well established in a great number of words, yet he assigns the short sound 
to eight words only, viz. wool, wood, good, hood, foot, stood, under- 
stood, and withstood. Principles 307. It seems inconceivable that a man, 
bred or i-csident in London, should assign to oo in book, cook, took, and oth 
erlike words, the same sound as in cool, boom, boot, food. Jones and Per 
ry have corrected this notation, and given the pronunciation according to 
good usage, and just according to our customary pronunciation. While in 
England, I did not hear a single word of this class pronounced according to 
Walker's notation. 

3. To the letters ch in bench, bttnch, clinch, drench, inch, tench, wrench, 
and many other words. Walker gives the French sound, that is, the sound 
of sh, instead of ch, as bensh, insh, &c. It would seem by this and other 
examples of wrong notation, that the author had been accustomed to some 1 
cal peculiarities, either inLondon where all kinds of dialects are heard, or 
some other place. In this instance, he gives to these words a pronunciation 
different from that of other orthoepists, and one which I have never heard 
either in England or in this country. His notation is palpably wrong. 
our customary pronunciation is universally correct. 

4. It has been already remarked, that Walker's notation of the sound of 
; and y short, in unaccented syllables, which he directs to he pronounced 

every other orthoepist, except Jameson. W'alker admits i to be short when 
followed by a consonant in the same syllable. Thus the first i in ability is 
short, but the second i and the y are long e, abileetee. Now observe the 
consequence. In the plural, abilities, according to his rule, must be pro- 
nounced abileeteez ; but tlie word is never thus pronounced ; universally 
it is pronounced abilitiz ; the last vowel sound is in practice immediately 
followed by a consonant, and by his own rule must be short. Then the re- 
sult is, y in ability is long e, but ie in the pluralis short i. And for this 
change of sound no provision is made in Walker's scheme, nor in any other 
that I have ever seen. 

5. In the analysis of the sounds of our letters. Walker alledges the diphthong 
mi; ow, to consist of the broad a, or aw, and the Italian sound of u. Ac 
cording to his scheme, about, abound, round, now, vow, are to be pronoun 
red, abawut, abuwund, rawund, nawu, vawu. But whoever heard this 
pronunciation ? The fact is not so ; the broad sound of a is not the initial 
sound of this diphthong ; it is not commenced as deep in the throat, or with 
the same aperture as aw ; it is a sound that can be learned only by the ear: 
The pronunciation of tliis diphthong is uniform in both countries. 

6. In noting the sound of the unaccented vowels, and those which have 
tlie secondary accent, there are mistakes without number, in all the schemes 
which I have seen, and one continued series of differences between the 
ortlioepists. The following is a specimen 




























Vol. I. 








I take no notice of the different letters by wliich these writers express the 
same sound, one using e where another uses y, hut of the different sounds 
which they give to the vowels in the secondj third, or last syUable. Now, 
I appeal to any person who has a tolerably correct ear, whether it is the 
sound of a that is uttered by good speakers, or any speakers in deliverance 
and dignitary ? Is it tlie sound of a that we hear in the last syllabic of 
penance, penetrant, and assemblage ? Do we hear in the last syllable of 
profligate, the short a, as in fat > So far fiom it, that a public speaker, who 
should utter the sound of a so that it should be distinctly recognized in any 
polite audience, would expose himself to ridicule. The sound of the last 
vowel approaches to tliat of e or u, and the notation of Sheridan is nearest 
the truth. But any notation is worse than useless ; for without it, there 
would be no difference in customary pronunciation. 

To show the utter impracticability of expressing the unaccented vowels, 
in all cases, with precision, let the reader observe Walker's notation of a, 
in the word moderate and its derivatives. In the adjective and verb, the 
a is long, as in/a<e ,• in moderately and moderateness, it is short, as in fat. 
This is certainly incorrect notation ; no good speaker ever pronounces these 
words moderally, moderatness. In addition to this, the a in the verb to 
moderate is more distinctly pronounced than it is in the adjective, in which 
it has rather the sound of e short, moderet ; at least the sound is more near- 
ly that of ethan of a. And this distinction of sound, between letters in the 
same word, when an adjective, and when a verb, occurs in a multitude of 
cases; a distinction for which no provision is made in any system of orthoe- 
py that I have seen, and one which must be left to the cognizance of the ear 

There is another class of vowel sounds that comprises too many inaccu- 
racies to be overlooked. This is the class in which the first syllable has 
an unaccented e, as in debate. In all words of this kind, Walker directs 
the letter e to have its long sound, as in me, mete. Then, become, bedeck, 
begin, debate, debar, declare, elect, legitimate, mechanic, medicinal, me- 
morial, necessity, peculiar, petition, rebuke, recant, relate, secure, select, 
velocity, &.c. are to be pronounced beecomc, beedeck, beegin, deebate, 
deebar, deeclare, eelect, leegitimate, meechanic, meedicinal, meemorial, 
neecessity, peeculiar, peetition, reebuke, reecant, reelate, seecure, seelect, 
veelocity, &c. 

According to this notation, the first vowel e in evil, even, and in event, is 
to have the same sound, being all marked with the same figure. Now, let 
me ask, where a speaker can be found who pronounces these words in this 
manner .' Who ever heard of such a pronunciation ? This notation is er- 
roneous and mischievous, as it is inconsistent with the regular accent, which 
carries the stress of voice forward to the next syllable, and must, necessa- 
rily, leave the first vowel with the feeble sound of short i or y. 'This short 
sound is that which we always hear in such words. 

The like error occurs in Walker's notation of i in direct, diminish, and 
many other words. Walker himself, under despatch, calls the sound of e 
the short i, but under rule 107, says this sound of t cannot be properly said 
to be short, as it is not closed by a consonant ; yet it has half its diphthongal 
■ ■ ~" ■ " ■ the 

sound, Oie sound of e .' .' This reason that i or t 

not short, because I 

sound is not closed by a consonant, is entirely groundless, and contradicted 
by the universal pronunciation of thousands of English words. To direct 
such words to be pronounced decreet, deeminish, is inexcusable. This er- 
ror corresponds with that specified under No. 4, supra. 

Thus, there is neither uniformity nor consistency among the orthoepists 
in the notation of the unaccented vowels ; and it is hardly possible there 
should be, for many of the sounds are so slight, in ordinary pronunciation, 
that it is almost impossible for the ear to recognize the distinctions, and ab- 
solutely impossible to express them on paper. In truth, as Dr. Ash remarks, 
in a dissertation prefixed to his Dictionary, the sounds of the five vowels, 
in unaccented, short, and insignificant syllables, arc nearly coincident ; and 
it must be a nice ear that can distinguish the difference of sound in the con- 
cluding syllable of altar, alter, manor, murmur, .latyr. It is for this reason 
that the notation of such vowels at all savors of hypercritical fastidiousness, 
and by aiming at too much nicely and exactness, tends only to generate 
doubts and multiply differences of opinion. If the accent is laid on the prop- 
er syllable, and the vowel of that syllable correctly pronounced, the true 
pronunciation of the word will follow of course ; at least, the pronunciation 
is more likely to be right than wrong, and no mistake will occur, which shall 
be an object of notice. 

Nor can I approve the practice of writing all words, in different charac- 
ters, to express their pronunciation, as if their proper letters were so many 


liieroglyphics, requiring interpretation. A great part of English words have 
an orthography suliiciently regular, and so well adapted to express the true 
pronunciation, that a few general rules only are wanted as a guide to the 

7. Another error of notation, in most of the English hooks, is that of the 
vowel in the first syllable of circle, circumstance, and many other words, 
the tii'st syllable of which Sheridan first and afterwards Walker and Jones 
directed to be pronounced ser. This pronunciation 1 liavc never heard ei- 
ther in England or in this country. Perry's notation makes the syllable sur, 
according to all the usage with which I am acquainted. 

8. Another objection to the books offered as standards of pronunciation, 
particularly to the dictionaries of Sheridan and Walker, is that the rules are 
inconsistent, or the execution of the work is inconsistent with the rules. 
Thus Walker lays it down as a rule. No. 357, that c after the accent and fol- 
lowed by ea, ia, ie, io, or eous, takes the sound of sh, as in ocean, social, 
Phocion, saponaceous, which are pronounced as if written oshean, sosheal, 
Phosheon, saponaslieous. But in the Dictionary, the author departs from 
the rule, and directs these words to be pronounced as if written oshun, so- 
shnl, saponashus. So also in gracious, ancient, especial, provincial, tena- 
cious, rapacious, and I know not how many others, the author depaits from 
his own rule ; so that either his rule or his practice must be wrong. 

And here it may be proper to notice a mistake of the author which has led 
to an erroneous notation in a great number of words. The mistake is, that 
he assigns to c and t before the vowels ea, ia, ie, eo, and io, the sound of sA 
Thus in ocean, he considers c as pronounced like sh ; and in partial he con- 
siders the sound of sh as proceeding from t only. Now the ti-uth is, that the 
sound of sft in these and in all similar cases, results from the combination of 
e, t, or s with the following vowel ; that is, from the rapid enunciation and 
blending of the two letters. Then the sound of the first vowel being blend- 
ed with c or t, it ought not to be repeated and form a distinct syllable. To 
make three syllables of ocean, is to use the vowel e twice. In most cases 
all the orthoepists agree in pronouncing these combinations correctly in dis- 
syllables, and primitive words; as oshun, grashus, tenashus, parshal, sub- 
stanshal, nashun, relashun, preshus, and the Uke. But in a number of 
words that are primitive in our language. Walker and Jones depart from this 
rule ; for although they pronounce conscience in two syllables, conshense, 
yet they pronounce nescience ani prescience, in three, neshyense, preshy- 
ense. So also when they make tial one syllable in the primitive word, they 
make two syllables of these letters in the derivatives ; partial is parshal, 
but partiality is parsheality. Thus one error has led to another, and a large 
part of all words of this kind are mispronounced. Sheridan and Perry, in 
this respect, are consistent and correct ; making one syllable only of cia, cie, 
f 10, tia, tio, both in primitives and derivatives, throughout the language. A 
single line of poetry ought to settle this point forever. 

Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man. Pope. 

9. A remarkable instance of inconsistency occurs in the following words. 
Armature, aperture, breviature, feature, &c., Walker pronounces arina- 
ishure, apertshure, breviatshure, overtshure; hut forfeeture is forfeetyure, 
zni Judicature, ligature, literature, miniature, nunciature, portraiture, 
preficture, quadrature, signature, are pronounced as here written. Car 
any reason be possibly assigned for such inconsistency .' 

10. Obedience and its family of words, Walker pronounces obejeence, obe- 
jeent, obejeently, but disobedience, disobedient, as here written. Expedi- 
ent is either as here written, or expejeent ; but expedience without the alter- 
native. Why this inconsistency ? 

11. Obdurate, obduracy, are marked to be pronounced obdurate or obju- 
rate, obduracy or objuracy ; but objurately, objurateness, without an alter- 
native. In these last words occurs another error, the a in the third syllable 
is made short, as if pronounced rat ; a deviation from all good usage. 

This notation of obdurate is inconsistent also with that of indurate, and 
with that of obdvre ; an inconsistency which appears to have no plausible 

The conversion of d intoj before )', is rejected, I believe, in all words, by 
Jones, Perry and Jameson, and before u is rejected by Perry and Jameson, 
and in many words by Jones. It is a departure from orthography wholly in- 

12. Walker, Principles No. 92, lays it down as a rule, that when a is pre 
reded by the gutturals hard g or c, [he should have said palatals,] it is, in 
polite pronunciation, softened by the intervention of a sound like e, so that 
card, cart, guard, regard, are pronounced like heard, heart, gheard, re 
gheard. Now it is remarkable that in the vocabulary or dictionary, the au 

guard, DOT in a multitude of other words which fall within the rule, has he 

thor has departed from his rule, for in not one of the foregoing words, except 
guard, DOT in a multitude of other words which fall within the rule, has he 
directed this sound of e before the following vowel. Had he conformed to 
his own rule, he must have perverted the pronunciation of car, carbuncle 
care, carcass, cardinal, cargo, garden, garter, discard, and a long list of 
other words, too long to be here enumerated. The English orthoepists now 
confine this prepositive sound of e to guard, guaranty, guardian, guil 
kind, and a few others. The probable origin of this fault, has been already 
assigned, in treating of the letter k. It is an affected pronunciation, which 
Nares calls " a monster, pecuUar to the stage." Indeed this slender sound 
of e before another vowel, is wholly incompatible with that manly enuncia 
Pion which is peculiarly suited to the genius of the language. Perry and 
,l<imeson have rejected i( 

13. In the first edition of Walker's Dictionary, the author, under the word 
tripod, observes, that " all words of two syllables, with the accent on the 
first, and having one consonant between two vowels, ought to have the vow- 
"' in the first syllable long." But this was too rash, for such words as cem'- 
ent,des'ert,prej'ace,pres'ent,profit,reb'el,trop'ic,andaniuhitudc of others, 

tand, in the author's book, in direct opposition to his own rule. In a sub- 
sequent edition, the author, or some otiier person, has qualified the rule by 
an exception in favor of settled usage. This exception destroys the ^ alue 
of the rule ; and indeed there is, and there can be no rule applicable to 
ords of this class. The pronunciation of the first vowel can be known 
only by the usage. 

14. The derivatives of nation and ratio. Walker and Jones pronounce 
nash'onal, rash'onal. If this should be defended on the ground of the shor- 
tening power of the antepenultimate accent, then let me ask why we have 

' nosh'onal from notion, deuosh'onal from devotion, probash'oner from 
probation, stash'onary from station ? Why make rules and not apply 
them ? Why indulge such palpable inconsistences and multiply anomalies ? 

15. Possess is, by the English orthoepists, pronounced ^ozzess; but why 
not then pronounce assess, assist, assassin, conscssion, obsession, with the 
sound of z? Can any good reason be assigned for makingyossess an excep- 
tion to the pronunciation of this class of words .' This utterance of sounds 
through the nose is always disagreeable to the ear, and should be restricted 
to words in which usage is established. Good taste should rather induce a 
limitation, than an extension of this piactice. This remark applies also to 
some words beginning with dis, in which Walker goes beyond other orthoe- 
pists in giving to s this nasal sound. 

16. Walker lays it down as a fact, that u has the sound of e and oo or yu- ' 
This is true in many words, as in union, unite, unanimity, &c. Hence 
according to his principle, u in these words is to be pronounced yunion, 
yunite, without the letter y prefixed. Yet he writes these and similar 

ords with y, yunion, whicli upon his principles, would prefix yu to the 
sound ofyu, and the pronunciation would be yuyunite, '" " 

his notation of this sound of u is not uniform ; for i 
unite without y, though it must be as proper in the compound as in the 
Ie word. The same inconsistency occurs between use, written yuse, 
yuze, and disuse, disuze. 

17. There is a fault in Walker's notation of o, when it has the sound of oo, 
the French ou. In the Key, he marks o when it has this sound with the 
figure 2, and gives niove as an example. Then according to his Key, o 
alone when thus marked, sounds as oo- But in the vocabulary, he thus 

IS both vowels in booh, look, boot, and all similar words. Then accor- 
ding to his notation, each of the vowels has the sound of oo, and book, look, 
are to be pronounced boo-ooh, loo-ook. He certainly did not intend this ; 
but such is precisely his direction, or the result of his notation ; and a for- 

gner, without counter-direction, must be led into this pronunciation. 

The same fault occurs in his notation of ee, as in meet and seek. 

18. Volume, Walker and Jones pronounce volyiwie ; why not then change 
column into colyum ? Will it be said that in volume the u is long ! This is 
not the fact; at least I never heard it thus pronounced either in England or 
America ; it is always short in common usage, and so marked by Perry. 

19. Ink, uncle, concord, concourse, concubine, are pronounced by Wal- 
ker, ingk, ungkl, kongkord, honghorse, kongkubine ; and these odious 
vulgarisms are offered for our adoption. There can be no apology for such 
attempts to corrupt our language. 

20. The words bravery, finery, knavery, nicety, scenery, slavery, are, 
by Walker and the other orthoepists, pronounced in tliree syllables, and im- 
agery, in four ; the final e of the primitive word being detached from it, and 
uttered with »■ as a distinct syllable. Why savagery has escaped the same 
fate, I do not know. It is obvious that in negligent practice, these words 
have often been thus pronounced. But the most correct pronunciation re- 
tains the original word entire in the derivative, the slight sound of e before r 
no more constituting a syllable, than it does in /noce and mire. Take the 
following examples. 

Of marble stone was cut 
An altar carv'd with cunning imagery. Spenser. 

When in those oratories might you see 
Rich carvings, portraitures, and imagery. Dryden. 

Your gift shall two large goblets be 
Of silver, wrought with curious imagery. Dryden. 

What can thy imagery of sorrow mean ; Prior. 

Pronounced in four syllables, imagery, in these lines, makes a syllable too 
much, and injures the measure, and in the last example, utterly destroys it. 
The true pronunciation of Spenser, Dryden and Prior is the same as it al- 
ways has been in my elementary books. 

21. Formerly, the viotis puissance , puissant , had the accent on the sec- 
ond syllable ; although the poets seem, in some instances, to have blended 
the four first letters'into one syllable. But the modern change of the ac- 
cent to the first syllable is not in accordance with English analogies, and it 
impairs the measure of many lines of poetry in which these words occur. 
In the adverb puissantly it has a very bad effect. 

The foregoing observations extend to whole classes of words, in which the 
genuine pronunciation has been changed, unsettled and perverted. It 
would be inconsistent with the limited nature of this Introduction, to enter 
into an examination of every particular word of disputable pronunciation. It 


seems to be inexpedient and useless to bestow, as Walker has d 
page or a page, on a single word, in attempting to settle some tn 
or, in many cases, to settle a point tiiat, in tliis country, has 

2, half a 

To give a brief statement of the errors, diversities and contradictions of 1 the orthography 

I The following lists are not complete, but they comprehend the greatest 
j number of words in their respective classes. The dates at the head of the 
columns designate the year when the dictionaries in my possession were 
Ipublished, indicating nearly, but not exactly, the origin of each scheme. In 

the principal schemes of orthoepy, which have been oliered to the publi 

within the last half century, two classes of words only will be sufficient, as]lfollowed the common orthograph 


e given the letters used by each author, in the sylla- 
the difference of pronunciation ; in the others, I have 

Actuate, &c. 













































Duteous or Dutsheous, 











































































































Compos ture, 



































































































Jameson , 














































































































































Meteor or Metsheor, 


























































































































































































































































































This table of words may perhaps be thought a burlesque on English or- 
thoepy. It certainly presents a phenomenon altogether novel in the history 
of language. 

Of these live authorities, the notation of Perry, with the exception of a 
few words ending in ure, is most nearly accordant to the present usage in 
England, as far as my observations, while in that country, extended. That 
of Walker is by far the most remote from that usage. From an actual enu- 
meration of the syllables In certain classes of words in which the vowel 
is erroneously pronounced. In Walker's scheme, 1 have ascertained that the 
number amounts to more than twelve thousand, without Including several 
classes of unaccented syllables, which would swell the number by some 
thousands. Of this whole number, I did not, while in England, hear one 
vowel pronounced according to Walker's notation. The zeal manifested In 
this country, to make his pronunciation a standard, is absolute infatuation, 
as if adopted in its full extent, it would introduce many differences In the 
pronunciation of words in the two countries, where sameness now exists ; 
and even the attempt, should it not be successful, must multiply discordan- 
cies and distract opinions, and thus place the desired uniformity at a greater 
distance than ever. Fortunately, Walker's pronunciation has never been 
generally received in England, and where it has been received, we see, by 
Jameson's Dictionary, that It Is becoming unpopular and obsolete. 

We observe in the following list, that the three first of these orthoepists 
have no rule by which their pronunciation Is regulated. Hence the want 
of uniformity in words of like orthography. See bounteous, courteous, du- 
teous and plenteous. Why should plenteous be reduced to two syllables, 
when bounteous is pronounced in three ? And what reason can be assigned 
for the different notation of capitulate and recapitulate? 

A remarkable instance of inconsistency In Walker's notation 

words of more syllables than two, ending i 
verted into chure [tshure] i 

Thus we find ture con- 



























ut in the following 

words the terminating syllable 

remains unaltered 
















In this class of words, Sheridan and Jones are also inconsistent with them- 
selves, though not to the same extent as Walker. Perry and Jameson re- 
tain, in all these words, the true orthrography and pronunciation. In these 
words also. Walker gives to u, in the last syllable, its first or long sound ; but 
this is an inaccurate notation ; the sound, in actual usage, is that of short u, 
at least so far as my observation extends, either in England or the United States. 

In the following classes of words, as pronounced by Walker, there is either 
error or inconsistency, or both. 

Commodious or commojcus 
Dividual or dividjual, 
Fastidious or fastidjeous. 
Gradient or grajeent. 
Gradual or gradjual. 
Guardian or guarjean, 
HIdeus or hidjeus. 
Immediacy or immejeasy, 
Incendiary or incenjeary. 


Mediocrity or mejeocrity. 
Medium or mejeum. 
Melodious or melojeus. 
Meridian or merldjean. 
Modulate or modjulate, 

Radiate or rajeate. 
Radiant or rajeant, 
Radius or rajeus, 
Sardius or sarjeus. 
Sedulous or sedjiilous, 
Studious or stujeus. 
Tedious or tejeus. 


Noctidyal or noctidjeal, 



Obduracy or objuracy, 

Obdurate or objurate, 


Odium or ojeum, 

Ojus or ojeus. 

Ordeal or orjeal, 



Predial or prejeal. 

It would seem that, in a large part of these words, we may take our choice, 
either to retain the proper sound of d, or to convert it into that of j. This 
choice certainly makes an odd kind of standard. But why mediate should 
retain the sound of d, while itntnediacy and medium suffer a change ; or 
why radiate should be given in the alternative, radiate or rajeate, while 
irradiate and irradiance are not subjected to any change ; or why obedi- 
ence should be changed into obejeence, and diiobedience remain unchanged, 
I am not able to conjecture. 

These classes of words exhibit a specimen of the modern orthoepv, so 
called, of our language ; it is indeed a brief and imperfect specimen, for I 
have ascertained by actual enumeration, that a catalogue of all the differen- 
ces of notation in these authors, would comprehend about one <Ai>dof all the 

Is in their vocabularies. Amidst this mass of errors and contradictions, 
our consolation is that the good sense of the English nation, a learned and re- 
spectable people, is triumphing over the follies and caprices of fashion, and 
frowning on this most mischievous spirit of innovation. 

In proportion as the importance of settled usages and of preserving invio- 
late the proper sounds of letters, as the true and only safe landmarks of pro- 
nunciation, shall be appreciated by an enlightened people, just in that pro- 
portion will all attempts of affected speakers to innovate upon such estab- 
lished usages be reprobated and resisted. 

The Intentions of the men who have undertaken to give a standard of pro- 
nunciation, have unquestionably been upright and sincere ; but facts have 
proved that instead of g"ood they have, on the wliole,done harm; for instead 
of reducing the pronunciation of words to uniformity, they have, to a consid- 
erable extent, unsettled It, and multiplied differences. The whole process 
of these attempts, from Sheridan's first publication, is within my memory, 
and I am confident, that whatever has been the effect of these attempts in 
Great Britain, the result of them in the United States, has been to multiply 
greatly the diversities of pronunciation. And such is the present state of the 
authorities, offered as standards, that it is impossible from books to gain a 
correct knowledge of what Is the general usage. If I had no other means of 
knowing this general usage, than the English books, I should be utterly un- 
able to ascertain it and should give up the attempt as hopeless.* 

Some of the differences of notation. In the several books, may be rather ap- 
parent thitn real ; but with all due allowance for this imperfection of the 
schemes, I am persuaded that there are ten dllTerences among these orthoe- 
pists, where there is one in the actual pronunciation of respectable people in 
England and the United States ; and In most of them, the notation, if strictly 
followoil. u ill I.- Ill t.i /<;i differences of pronunciation, where one only now 
exists 111 ilii Mill;] 1. 1. unice of the two countries. 

Tlii- . II, t oi iiuiliiplying doubts and diversities, has resulted from very 

1. The limited acquaintance of orthoepists with the general usage, and 

* The multiplicity of books for Instructing us in our vernacular language 
is an evil of no small magnitude. Every man has some peculiar notions 
which he wishes to propagate, and there is scarcely any peculiarity or ab- 
surdity for which some authority may not be found. The facility of book- 
making favors this disposition, and while a chief qualification for authorship 
Is a dextrous use of an inverted pen, and a pair of scissors, we are not to ex- 
pect relief from the evil. 


tlieii- taking tlie pronunciation of Lomlon, ( 

t city, for the best usage. Tlie propagation of such a dialectical or pec 

! dialect or local practice in 

liar practice would of course disturb the uniformity of any other practice, in 
other parts of England or in tliis country. 

2. The difficulty or rather impracticability of representing sounds, and 
nice distinctions of sound, on paper; especially in unaccented syllables. 

3. The partiality of authors for the practice of particular speakers, either 
stage players or others, which would lead them to denominate that the best 
practice, which had been adopted by their favorites. 

4. A spirit of fastidious hypercriticism, which has led writers to make mi- 
nute distinctions, that are liable to be disputed, and which tend only to per- 
plex the inquirer, and generate uncertainty or diversity, where no essential 
difference had previously existed in practice. This spirit is continually pro- 
ducing new books and new schemes of orthoepy, and every additional book 
serves only to increase the difficulty of uniting opinions and establishing 

This view of the subject is probably the most favorable that can be pre- 
sented. The real fact seems to be this; these men have taken for the stand- 
ard, what they were pleased to call the best usage, which , in many cases, is a 
local usage or some favorite peculiarity of particular speakers, at least if they 
have had any authority at all ; or they have given the pronunciation which 
happened to please their fancy, though not authorised by usage. In this 
manner, they have attempted to bend the common usage to their particular 

It has been in this manner, by presenting to the public local or particular 
practice, or mere innovation, for a standard, instead of general or national 
usage, that the authors above mentioned have unsettled the pronunciation of 
many words and multiplied diversities of practice. These attempts to ob- 
trude local usage on the public, and bend to it the general or national usage, 
are the boldest assumptions of authority in language that the history of lite- 
rature has ever exhibited. In England however these pretensions to direct 
the pronunciation of the nation have less effect than they have in the United 
States, for this obvious reason, that in England pronunciation is regulated 
almost exclusively by the practice of the higher classes of society, and not 
by books; hence if books do not exhibit the customary pronunciation, the 
falsity of notation is easily detected, and the work which offers it is neglected. 
But in this country, where the people resort chiefly to books for rules of pro- 
nunciation, a false notation of sounds operates as a deception and misleads the 
inquirer. How long the citizens of this country will submit to these imposi- 
tions, time only can determine. 

The Englisli language, when pronounced according to the genuine com- 
position of its words, is a nervous, masculine language, well adapted to popu- 
lar eloquence; and it is not improbable that there may be some connection 
between this manly character of the language and the freedom of the British 
and American constitutions. They may perhaps act and react upon each 
other mutually, as cause and effect, and each contribute to the preservation 
of the other. At the same time, the language is, by no means, incapable of 
poetical sweetness and melody. The attempts to refine upon the pronuncia- 
tion, within the last half century, have, in my opinion, added nothing to its 
smoothness and sweetness, but have very much impaired its strength of ex- 
pression as well as its regularity. The attempts to banish the Italian sound 
of a and to introduce the sound of e before i and «, as in kind, guard, duty, 
&c. ought to be resisted, as injurious to the manly chaiacter of the genuine 
English pronunciation.* 

In order to produce and preserve a tolerable degree of uniformity, and the 
genuine purity of our language, two things appear to be indispensable, viz. 

1. To reject the practice of noting the sounds of the vowels in the unac- 
cented syllables. Let any man, in genteel society or in public, pronounce 
the distinct sound of a in the last syllable of important, or the distinct sound 
of e in the terminations less and ness, as in hopeless, happiness, and he would 
pass for a most inelegant speaker. Indeed so different is the slight sound of a 
great part of the unaccented vowels, in elegant pronunciation, from that 
which is directed in books of orthoepy, that no man can possibly acquire the 
nicer distinction of sounds, by means of books ; distinctions which no charac- 
ters yet invented can express. Elegant pronunciation can be learned only 
by the ear. The French and Italians, whose languages are so popular in 
Europe, have never attempted to teach the sounds of their letters by a system 
of notation, embracing the finer sounds of the vowels. 

2. To preserve purity and uniformity in pronunciation, it is necessary to 
banish from use all books which change the orthography of words to adapt 
the pronunciation to the fashion of the day. The scheme now pursued is 

rendered easy in utterance, has become so feeble in sound as to be unfit for 
bold, impressive eloquence. From the specimens which I witnessed in the 
Chamber of Deputies in Paris, I should suppose the orator must depend al- 
most entirely on his own animation and action for success in popular speak- 
ing, with little or no aid from the strength and beauty of language. The lan- 
guage of popular eloquence should be neither the mouthing cantof the stage, 
nor the mincing affectation of dandies, nor the baby talk of the nursery. 
Such was not the language of Demosthenes nor of Cicero; and such may 
never be the language of the British Chatham, and of the .\merican .\ines. 

the most mischievous project for corrupting the language, that humau iii'ii 
nuity ever devised. By removing the landmarks of language, all the feulc 
which can secure the purity and regularity of the language from unlicensin 
depredations without end are demolished, the chief use and value of alphii- 
writing are destroyed, and every thing is given to chance and ti 

In determining the pronunciation of words in this work, I have availed 
myself of the most respectable English authorities, as well as of my owu 
personal observations in both countries, and of the observations of Americin 
gentlemen of erudition who have visited England. In selecting from .. 
mass of contradictory authorities, I may not, in all cases, have adopted the 
best pronunciation ; but I have spared no pains to execute this part of th. 
work with fidelity. 

In general, the rules I have prescribed to myself are these. 1. Th. 
usage of respectable people in England and the United States, when idem 
ical in the two countries, settled and undisputed. This rule comprehend- 
most of the words in the language. 2. When usage is unsettled or uncer 
tain, I have adjusted the pronunciation to the regular, established analogie^ 
of the language, as for as these can be definitely ascertained ; having how- 
ever, in accentuation, some regard to euphony, or the prosaic melody which 
proceeds from a due succession of accented and unaccented syllables. 

There are some words, differently pronounced by respectable people, in 
which no decisive reasons appear for preferring one mode of pronouncing 
them to another; either might be adopted, without any injury to melody or 
analogy. I see no particular reason, why pat'ent should have its first vowel 
short, and ma'tron, pa'tron, and pa'triot, the first vowel long. Much less 
do- 1 approve the reasons assigned for making the a short in mat'ronal, and 
not in ma'tronly, or short in pat'ronal, and not in pa'troness. The reasons 
assigned by Walker appear to me to be absolute trifling. The rule of uni- 
formity is paramount to every other, excepting that of general undisputed 
custom ; and when the practice is unsettled, it seems to be tiie duty of the 
lexicographer to be guided by that rule, for his authority may lead to the 
uniformity desired. 

In a few instances, the common usage of a great and respectable portion 
of the people of this country accords with the analogies of the language, but 
not with the modern notation of English orthoepists. In such cases, it 
seems expedient and proper, to retain our own usage. To renounce a prac- 
tice confessedly regular for one confessedly anomalous, out of respect to for- 
eign usage, would hardly be consistent with the dignity of lexicography. ■ 
When we have principle on our side, let us adhere to it. The tinifi cannot 
be distant, when the population of this vast country will throw off their 
leading strings, and walk in their own strength ; and the more we can raise 
|the credit and authority of principle over the caprices of fashion and innova- 
tion, the nearer we approach to uniformity and stability in practice. 

It is difficult, if not impracticable, to reconcile the opinions of a nation, in 
regard to every point, either of orthography or pronunciation. Every at- 
tempt that has yet been made, in regard to the English language, has served 
only to increase the difficulty ; and as a gentleman remarked to me in Lon- 
don, a convention of learned men could not effect the object, for no two men 
would think alike on the subject. 

The language of a nation is the common property of the people, and no 
individual has a right to make inroads upon its principles. As it is the me- 
dium of communication between men, it is important that the same written 
words and the same oral sounds to express the same ideas, should be used 
by the whole nation. When any man therefore attempts to change the es- 
tablished orthography or pronunciation, except to correct palpable errors 
and produce uniformity, by recalling wanderers into the pale of regular 
analogies, he offers an indignity to the nation. No local practice, however 
respectable, will justify the attempt. There is great dignity, as well as pro- 
priety, in respecting the universal and long established usages of a nation. 

With these views of the subject, I feel myself bound to reject all modern 
innovations, which violate the established principles and analogies of the 
language, and destroy or impair the value of alphabetical writing. 1 have 
therefore endeavored to present to my fellow citizens the English language, 
in its genuine purity, as we have received the inheritance from our ances- 
tors, without removing a landmark. If the language is fatally destined to 
be corrupted, I will not be an instrument of the mischief. 


Irregular as is the orthography of the En^li n 1 .,,;,. .Jiid unsettled 
or corrupt as is the pronunciation, there is i, - i _ . , , h i:nglish or iu 
any other language of which I have any kn;.\-. ,• 
kingly the low state of philology as the etyin . 
or the history of their origin, affinities and prima 
the young inquirer to estimate the erudition, correctness, or negligence of 
writers on this subject, and to awaken more attention to this branch of learn- 
ing, I will state briefly the results of my reseaiches and the opinions which 
I have been compelled to form on the merits of the principal treatises on this 
subject. And if these opinions or this statement should be charged to ego- 
tism, or my over-weening confidence in the success of my own investiga- 
tions, my apology is, that I have suffered so much myself by a misplaced 
confidence in the erudition of writers ; I have so often embraced errors 


which it has cost me more labor to unlearn than to learn; that if I can pre- 
vent my fellow-citizens, wlio li^ve a taste for this study, from being subject- 
ed to the same evils, J shall think the advantage obtained more than a bal- 
ance for any unmerited imputation. 

The lirst example of etymology which I-shall mention, is that of Josephus, 
the historian of the Jews, who informs his readers, that the first man " was 
called Adam, which in the Hebrew tongue signifies one that is red, because' 
he was formed out of red earth compounded together ; for of that kind is 
virgin and true earth." Here is a mistake proceeding from a mere resem- 
blance of words ; it being certain that Adam no more signifies red earth, 
than it does red cedar, this mistake is connected with another, that Adam 
was the proper name of the first man, an individual ; whereas the word is 
tlie generic name of the human species, and like man in English, signifies 
form, shape, image, expressing distinctively the characteristic eminence or 
distinction of form of the human race. This fact explains the use of the 
plural pronoun, in the account of the creation of the species. " And Godi 
said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ; and let them havei 
dominion over the fish of the seaj &c." Gen. i. 26. It is evident also that 
the words used in relation to the species, the image, the likeness of God,j 
have reference, not only to their intellectual and n\oral faculties, but also to: 
their external form; and so the Apostle interprets the words, 1 Cor. xi. 7.! 
Not that God has any bodily shape of which man can be the image, but that 
man has a superior or super-excellent form, corresponding to his inn II, mi ,1 
powers, and distinguishing him from all other animals. Now ih. i 
Josephus has infected the christian world for eighteen hundn il v 
tlie mistake, with erroneous inferences from it, enters into the m -i i, , , ills 
published systems of theology. i 

Among the most celebrated authors of antiquity, who have written on the 
subject of language, is Varro, who has left a treatise De Lingua Latina.\ 
On this author's learning, Cicero, Quinctilian and Aii(riistii\p have bestowcil 
the most unbounded praises. He ispronounri-.l i.. I. \i Im.h nr i u'f ^m^ ■ 
eruditissimus Romanorum; peritiasimus lin^n i I n, .: m m- . : i; i, 
tatis, sine uUa dubitatione, doctissimus." 11. \\ . ...n :,— i m n . i nii 
common erudition for the age in which he livcil ; .m-i I,:- 1 1\ :iijlu;;ir,il ul.i- 
tise may be consulted with advantage by per^uns who have knowledge 
enough of this subject to separate the certain or probable from the improb- 
able and conjectural. But it is certain from wliut remains of his treatise, 
that his knowledge of the origin of words did not extend beyond the most 
obvious facts and principles. Thus he deduces iniViMm from irteo; exitus 
from exeo ; victoria from vinco. All this is well ; and we have reason to 
think him correct, in deducing vellus, fleece, from vellere, to pluck, a.sdoubt-| 
less fleeces were plucked from sheep, before the use of shears. And wej 
have reason to believe him when he informs us that imber was originally 
written kimber ; that hircus was written by the Sabines fircus, and tuedus, 

Very different must be our opinion of the following et\ molosrie':. 

Pater, says Varro, is from patefacio; ager cultus is -o . illi.l lu < ;mse in 
it seeds coalesce or unite with the earth; referrin.; f^n |m ; li jp, t.i the 
root of 0|:g-ej-, or the Greek a7£ipro. Campus, he says, w ,is -o n.iiiiL.I be- 
cause fruits were first gathered from the open field, dcduLiiij; iliu uoiJ liom 
capio. Next to this, were the hills, colles, so named colendo, from cola, 
because these were cultivated next to the open plain. That land or field 
which appeared to be ihe foundation of cattle and money was called fundus, 
or it was so called because it pours forth [fundat] niwn ii r,,,n< II,. de- 
duces cogitare from cogendo; concilium from ro- liom 
burning cor, the heart; volo from voluntas, and a vri >ii>e 
the mind flies instantly whither it will. Howlowmu-i; n of 
philology, when such improbable conjectures as these l„i.. . ,.;..,_; ..i.: en- 
comiums before mentioned from Cicero and Quinctilian I 

The reader will find many things in Isidore and Priscian, worthy of his 
attention, though much of what their woiks contain is now so familiar to 
scholars of moderate attainments, as scarcely to repay the labor of perusil 
But he who learns that Isidore makes orotic, a compound of oris ratio , « . 
men, a contraction of nota7nen ; and that he derives rerbum, from verbi r ' < 
acre, will hardly think it worth his labor to pursue his researches into ili 
author's works. Nor will he be disposed to relish Priscian's deduction u. 
lilera from legilitera, because a letter aftbrds the means of reading, or from, 
liluro, to obliterate, because the ancients used to write on wax tables, and! 
afterwards to oblitci ate what they had written. 

Vossius wrote a folio on the etymology of Latin words ; but from repeat- 
ed examinations of his book, I am persuaded that most of his deductions are 
far-fetched, conjectural and fanciful; many of them are certainly erroneous. 

Menage and Minshuw I have not consulted ; chiefly because from such 
extracts as 1 have seen, from their writings, I am certain that little reliance 
can be placed on their opinions, except in cases too plain to be mistaken 

Junius and Skinner, the authorities for most of the etymologies of Bailey 
and Johnson, are sulficiently correct in referring English words to the Ian 

guage from which they are immediately derived, especially when the or- 
thography is too plain to be mistaken. They inform us that father is from 
the Saxon feeder, that drop is from Sax. droppan, that picket is from the 
French piquet, and the like. So Johnson informs us that accent is from the 
Latin accentus, and accept from the French accepter, Latin accipio. All 
this is well, but it can hardly be called etymology, or the deduction of words 
from their originals. 

Whiter, in his Etvmologicoiv Magnum, the first volume only of 
which I have perused, began his work on a good plan, that of bringing to- 
gether words of the same or of cognate radical letters, and in pursuance of 
his plan, he has collected many real affinities. But he has destroyed the 
value of his work by mistaking the radical sense of many words, and by 
confounding words of different elements. 

Jamieson, in his Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, has 
collected the affinities of words in that language, particularly words of 
Gothic and Teutonic origin, with industry and probably with judgment and a 
good degree of accuracy. In some instances, I think he has departed from 
correct principles of etymology, and mistaken lads, nrid he, as well as Whi- 
ter, falls very short of truth in a most ii]i|M,i',ii,i [,,iii,i, I. ir. :i clear under- 
standing of the primary sense of words. I I* !!,,iiary however 
contaius a valuable addition to our stock ot , i,)ials." 

To Home Tooke are we indebted for tin- li i , \i 1 , :, n of certain inde- 
, words, called conjunctions and propo^iiioiis; and for this let him 
! \ -■ ,dl merited praise. But his researches were very limited, and he hag 

I ri into most material errors, particularly in his second volume. 1 have 
, ill no use of his writings, in this work. 

* Of the full value of these ( 
Varro's writings have perished, and some of t 
a mutilated forin. But tlie greater his enidilii 
pear his ignorance of this subject. 

1 hardly judge, as most of 
ie which survive appear in 
the more striking will ap- 

* Thus far had I written, before I had seen this author's Hermes Scvth- 
icus. By this work I find the author agrees with me in regard to the 
lie niity and common origin of many of the Gothic and Greek prepositions, 
i 1 1, k cd I had supposed that proof of such an obvious fact could hardly be ne- 
, '-JI y, in the present state of philological knowledge. Some of these pre- 
1 ,-i:ioii3 he has illustrated wilha good degree of accuracy ; although should 
Ibis H ork ever fall into liis hands, 1 think he will be convinced that in one or 
two important points, his explanations are defective. In regard to other 
prepositions, I am satisfied the author has ventured upon unsafe ground, at 
least his opiiiiotis appear to me not to be well supported. 

In respect to his explanations of the names of the mythological deities, it 
appears to me the author, like all other authors whose works I have seen, 
wanders in darkness. From all my researches into the origin of words, I 
have drawn this conclusion, that the pagan deities are mostly the powers or 
supposed powers of nature, or imaginary beings supposed to preside over the 
various parts of creation, or the qualities of men, deified, that is, exalted and 
celebrated as supernatural agents. There are few of the namesof these de- 
ities which I piftoiul to uiiiloi>laiid: Ijiit there are a few of them that seem 
to be too obvioii i,. !,, m: t,,,;, \ , prrson, I think, can doubt that the 
DiT/ads are 11,111 •'-■■>-. Hence I infer that this name 

was appUed to , , I : ! ' _;i , ,,- niliabiting the forests. 

Nopersouci: ,!,,ii'i, ili i ,\,,,".. 1 1 1, deity of the sea, and the nereids, 

nymphs of the sea, are named from the oriental inj, J- ^ ■' a river, from 
the corresponding verb, to flow. No person doubts that Flora, the goddess of 
flowers, is merely a flower deified. 

Hence I infer that the true method of discovering the origin of the pagan 
deities, is to find the meaning of their names. 

Now Diana is Ihc goddess of hunting. Wiat (|ualily then is most neces- 
sary I'll ,1 liuil, 1 ■ \\ hat quality would ni ',■ m, ;i, I, -fiinli- of the weapon.s 
wli'ioli >, 1 -, I -I value as useful ill, il, ; I , ;' , .nro? Doubtless 

coui;i;:, ui .;!; Thus we have sill, ^i Ii i - iir Iielieving that 

Dim,"'. ,',, i . 1;. ,l<i, I it\- diaii. wliirli -I :i ,'i - I ,i.'. -I long, vehement, 
in:;,,'!!,.. .'! I,, ',! /»,>,/,,,',./"',,-■/. ,,i,ii ,,:!., : ,', iiiifs 01 large rivers. 

; I ,•, , , I, I ,','•■ ' I mid that the first syllable 

, , , 1 :, I, '.nnd; and the last constit- 

II, !,; P II ,1 II,,- w ,1,: r,,i I. .|„iii .- s> i :i •.'.nil, i.t-rman arbeit, D. arbeid, 
l.itior, v.ork. ine List consonant beins iosi. W oil. what are the characteristics 
of Minerva ; Why, she is the goddess of wisdom and of the arts. The sense 
of-wivos, would give one of her characteristics, and thatof;;iamts and arbeit, 
the other; but which is the tnif word, I do not know. 

Tlif iv. ,, rii , iiiii-;,in, ,'- \\I:I, Ii ili^-flv ,Ii-tir!,;-;isli Hercules are his labors 
and li: ' ''', , ,1 I, , ,:ll ', ' , i ,- ih these accompaniments. 

Now II , I, I '. i , , ' I, - I I ,, loot of the Greek *P7ov, 

tp-/ci,,, I;, I I- . ,'i,, , w 1,1, li ni,iii I _i , , '0, -, i;~r of work, labor. Whether 
the last coiisui'iLiu ol ilie name isx\fi-i or Iroiii root, I shall not pretend to 
affirm. Indeed, 1 offer tliese explanations rather asprobable, than as clearly 
proved ; but they do appear to be probably well founded. Hercules then 
was a name given to any bold, heroic leader of a tribe of rude men, who was 
distinguished for his achievements as a warrior ; and this name must have 
originated in very early ages, when clubs were the principal weapons of war, 
and instruments of defense. And hence probably the origin of the scepter, 
as a badge of royalty. Now it is worthy of remark that the war club of rude 
nations, at this day, especially of the savage nations of the south sea isles, is of 
the same shape as tlic ancient scepter. 


The Hermes of Harris, according to Dr. Lowth, "is the most beautiful 
and perfect example of analysis, that has been exhibited since the days of 
Aristotle." This, in my opinion, is not the character of the work, which, 
for tlie most part, consists of passages from the works of Aristotle, Ammonius, 
Apollonius, Priscian, and other grammarians. It is little more than a col- 
lection of the opinions of the ancient writers on philology, whose meta- 
physical subtilties rather obscure than illustrate the subject. To show how 
easily men may be misled liy metaphysics, when applied to the plainest sub- 
ject imaginable, take the following example from the Hermes. 

"Jt respects our primary perception, and denotes individuals as un- 
known ; the respects our secondary perception, and denotes individuals as 
known." [This is nearly a literal translation of a passage in Priscian, Lib. 17.] 

To illustrate the truth of this observation, the author gives the following 
example. "There goes a beggar with a long beard" — indicating that the 
man had not been seen before ; and therefore a denotes the primary percep- 
tion. A week after the man returns and I say, " There goes the beggar 
with the long beard ;" the article the here indicating the secondary percep- 
tion, that is, that the man had been seen before. All this is very well. 
But let us try the rule by other examples, and see whether it is universal, 
or whether it is the peculiar and proper office of an or a to denote primary 

" The ai tide a, says Harris, leaves the individual unascertained:' Let 
us examine this position. 

" But Peter took him, saying, stand up; I myself also am a man." Now, 
according to Harris, a here denotes the primary perception, and the individ- 
ual is unascertained. That is, this man is one, I have never seen before. 

" He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a reward - 
er of them that diligently seek him." Whether a, in this sentence, denotes 
first perception, I cannot determine ; but sure I am the individual is not left 

A B says to me, " I have lately dismissed an old servant, who has lived 
with me for thirty years." Here an may present a primary perception to 
the hearer, but not so to the speaker. To both, the individual must be well 

It appears then that this definition of an or a is incorrect, and the pains of 
these metaphysical writers who form such perfect analyses of language, is 
little better than learned trifling. On testing the real character of an or a 
by usage and facts, we find it is merely the adjective one, in its Saxon or- 
thography, and that its sole use is to denote one, whether the individual is 
known or unknown, definite or indefinite. 

Again Harris translates, and adopts the definition which Aristotle has 
given of a conjunction. " An articulate sound or part of speech devoid of 
signification by itself, but so formed as to help signification, by making two 
or more significant sentences to be one significant sentence." 

This is so far from being true, that some of the conjunctions are verbs, 
equivalent to join, unite or add, in the imperative mode. In like manner, 
the prepositions called inseparable, and used as prefixes, are all si 
per se, although by custom, they sometimes lose their appropriate use. For 
example, re, which denotes repetition, has lost its use in recommend, which 
is equivalent to commend, without the sense of repetition. But still it has 
ordinarily an appropriate sense, which is perfectly understood, even when 
first prefixed to a word. Let any person prefix this word to pronounce for 
the first time, and direct a boy of fourteen years old to repronounce his ora- 
tion, and he would perfectly well understand the direction. 

Bryant, the author of " An Analysis of Ancient Mythology," whose works 
I should love to read, if I could have confidence in his opinions, has giver 
to the public a history of the Cuthites or descendants of Ham, a race oi bold 
adventurers, who, as he supposes, made expeditions by sea and land, intro- 
ducing arts, founding cities, and corrupting reUgion by the propagation of 
Sabianism. For proof of his opinions, he relies very much on etymology 
and the signification of names. Two or three examples of his deductions 
will be sufficient to show his manner of proof Ham or Cham, signifying 
heat and the sun, he deduces from DDH to be hot, to heat. So far he may 
be correct. But he goes on to deduce from this root, also, as Castle had 
done before him, the Greek xauna, heat, not considering that this is from 
naiu, to burn, in which m is not radical, but probably s is (he radical conso- 
nant, as this occurs in the derivafives. Kavfia has no connection with Ham 
From Cam or Cham he then deduces the Latin Camera, Gr. xouapa, an 
arched roof or vault, whence our chamber, though it is not easy to discovei 
the connection between this word and heat, and from the same root, he de 
duces Camillus, Camilla, and many other words, without any support foi 
his opinions, but a mere similarity of orthography in the first syllable. Ir 
all this, he is certainly wrong. 

The Greek ©los, God, he supposes most unwarrantably to be formed from 
the Egyptian Theuth or Thoth, Mercury. 

The sun he supposes to have been styled El-uc ; El [nXips] and uc or 
oc/i, a title of honor among the Babylonians. This word, says Bryant, tlie 
Greeks changed into Xonoi', [a wolf,'] and hence the Latin iitx, luceo 
strange conjecture this, not to call it by a harsher name. Now if Bryant 
had examined the Teutonic dialects, and the Welsh, he would have seen hii 
mistake; for the Saxon leoht, liht, Dutch and German licht, are from 
the common root of the Welsh Hug, a shooting or gleaming, lluciaw, to 

throw, llM, a darting or flashing, the root of luceo ; a simple root, that can 
have no connection with El-uc. 

Excepting Faber's work on the Cabiri, I have seen scarcely a book in 
any language, which exhibits so little etymological knowledge, with such 
a series of erroneous or fanciful deductions, as Bryant's Analysis. Drum- 
mond's Origines abounds with etymological deductions of a similar char- 

Gebelin, a French writer, in his Monde Primitif, has bestowed much la- 
bor in developing the origin and signification of words ; but a large part of 
his labor has produced no valuable effect. His whole system is tounded on 
a mistake, that the noun is the root of all other words. 

Of all the writers on etymology, whose works 1 have read or consulted, 
Spelman and Lluyd are almost the only ones, in whose deductions much con- 
fidence can be placed. I do not name Camden, Hicks, Selden and Gibson, 
as their etymological inquiries, though generally judiciously conducted, 
were very limited. This is true also in some degree of Spelman and Lluyd ; 
but the researches of Spelman into the origin of law terms, and words of the 
middle ages, have generally produced very satisfactory results. From the 
limited nature of the designs of Spelman and Lluyd, errors may have occa- 
sionally escaped them ; but they are few, and very pardonable. 

I know of no work in any language in which words have been generally 
traced to their original signification, with even tolerable correctness. In a 
few instances, this signification is too obvious to be mistaken, but in most in- 
stances, the ablest etymologist is liable to be misled by first appearances, 
and the want of extensive investigation. I have been often misled myself, 
by these means, and have been obliged to change my opinions, as I have 
advanced in my inquiries. Hence the tendency of my researches has been 
very much to increase my caution in referring words to their originals ; and 
such, I am persuaded, will be the lesult of all critical and judicious investi- 
gations into the history and affinities of language. 

A principal source of mistakes on this subject, is a disregard of the identi- 
ty of the radical consonants, and a licentious blending and confounding of 
words, whose elementary letters are not commutable. Another source of 
error is an unwarrantable license in prefixing or inserting letters, for the 
purpose of producing an identity or resemblance of orthography ; a fault 
very justly opposed by Sir William Jones. 

The learned Dr. Good, in his Book of J^ature, Lecture IX, of the se- 
cond series, suggests it to be probable that both papa and father, issued 
from the Hebrew source 2N, N3N, n3N. He then fearlessly ventures to 
affirm, that there is scarcely a language or dialect in the world, polished or 
barbarous, in which the same idea is not expressed by the radical of one or 
the other of these terms. True ; the letter S is found in most words of this 
signification ; although our knowledge of languages is too limited to war- 
rant such a broad assertion. But the attempt to deduce all words signifying 
father from the Hebrew must certainly fail ; for we know from history that 
a great part of Asia and of Europe was inhabited before the existence of the 
Hebrew nation. Besides, a large portion of the European population have 
no word (or father which can be rationally deduced from 3X. The Welsh 
tdd, whence our daddy, the Gothic atta, Irish aithair, Basque aita, and 
Laponnic atki, cannot be formed from the Hebrew word, the letter D and 
T not being commutable with B. One would suppose that a leained physi- 
ologist could not fail to assign the true cause of the similarity of words, bear- 
ing the sense oi father and mother, among the nations of the earth. The 
truth is, the sound of a is very easy and probably the easiest for children, 
being formed by simply opening the mouth, without any exertion of the or- 
gans to modulate the sound. So also the articulations b, m, and d or t, be- 
■ ig natural and easy, will generally enter into the first words formed by 
children. The labials are formed by simply closing the lips, and the den- 
tals, by placing the tongue against the root of the upper teeth ; the position 
which it naturally occupies in a healthy child. From these circumstances, 
we may fairly infer, a priori, that such words as ab, aba, papa, tad, mam- 
ma, must be the first words uttered by children. Indeed, were the whole 
human race to lose their present names (or father, mother, and nurse, sim- 
ilar names would be formed by a great portion of mankind, without any 
communication between different nations. 

The author further observes, that the generic terms for the Deity are 
chiefly the three following, Al or Allah, Theus or Deus, and God. " Be- 
sides these, there is scarcely a term of any kind, by which the Deity is de- 
signated, in any part of the world, whether among civilized or savage man. 
Yet these proceed from the same common quarter of the globe." True : 
men, and of course words, all came from a common quarter of the globe. 
But it so happens, that these three terms must have originated among dif- 
ferent families, or from different sources, for they are all formed with differ- 
ent radicals, and can have had no connection with a common radix. But it 
happens also, that not one of these terms, as far as I can learn, exists among 
the Slavonic nations, who compose a large portion of all the population of 
Europe, and whose name of God is Bog, a word radically distinct from all 
which the author has mentioned. 

The author proceeds to say, " that the more common etymon for death. 
among all nations, is mor, mart or mut." But if either of these terms for 
death, is a native woid among the great GoUiic, Teutonic, and Slavonic fam- 
ilies, which constitute the half or two thirds of all the inhabitants of Europe, 



1 have not been able to find it. Besides, wioi- and rrnit are words 
distinct, and thus originated in different families. 

" Sir," says the author, " is, in our lanffuage, the common title of respect ; 
and the same term is employed in the name sense throughout every quarter 
of the globe. In the Sanscrit and Persian, it means the organ of the head 
itself." He finds the word in Arabia, Turkey, in Greek, among the Peru- 
vians in South America, in Germany, Holland, and the contiguous coi 
tries. In some of the languages of these countries, I have found no su 
word; but if it exists, the author's inference, that the name of the head 
gave r'fe i" llii- !■ im nf respect, (for this is what! understand him to mean,) 

is totailv i",! I. lid equally fanciful and unfounded is his supposition, 

that. li\ , , Mil sAei, the pronoun her, and the German herr, lord, 

are lo I" i.i i i i sir. In all this, it is demonstrably certain there is 
no trulli u. 1. i L ji .-.( iiiiil.ince of reality. 

Man, the author deduces from the Hebiew rUO to discern or discrimi- 
nate, [a sense I do not find in the Lexicons,] and hence he infers that the rad- 
ical idea of man is that of a thinking or reasonable being. With this word 
he connects Menu, .Menes, Minos, and )ii»o', mens, mind ; a sweeping in- 
ference made at random from a similarity of orthography, without a distant 
conception of the true primai-y meaning of either of these words. But what 
is worse, he appears, if I do not mistake his meaning, to connect with these 
words, the tane, tanato, or tangi, of the Sandwich isles ; words, which are 
formed with a radical initial consonant not convertible with m, and most 
certainly unconnected with man. See the words father, r, 
the Dictionary. 

The author offers some other etymologies and affinities equally remote 
from truth, and even from probability. 

The governing principles of etymology arc, first, the identity of radical 
letters, or a coincidence of cognates, in difterent languages ; no affinity be- 
ing admissible, except among words whose primary consonants are articu- 
lations of the same organs, as B, F, M, P, V and W ; or as D, T, Th and S ; 
or as G, C hard, K and Q ; R, L and D. Some exceptions to this rule must 
be admitted, but not without collateral evidence of the change, or some evi- 
dence that is too clear to be reasonably rejected. 

Second. Words in diflerent languages are not to be considered as proceed- 
ing from the same radix, unless they have the same signification, or one 
closely allied to it, or naturally deducible from it. And on this point, much 
knowledge of the primary sense of words, and of the manner in which col 
lateral senses have sprung from one radical idea, is necessary to secure the 
inquirer from mistakes. A competent knowledge of this branch of etymolo- 
gy cannot be obtained from any one, or from two or three languages. It is 
almost literally true, that in examining more than twenty languages, I have 
found each language to throw some light on every other. 

That the reader may have more clear and distinct ideas of what is intend- 
ed by commutabte letters, and the principles by which etymological deduc- 
tions are to be regulated, it may be remarked that commutabte or inter- 
changeable letters are letters of the same organs ; that is, letters or articu- 
lations formed by the same parts of the mouth. Thus 6, m and p, are form- 
ed immediately by the lips, the position of which is slightly varied to make 
the distinction between these letters. F and v are formed by the lips, but 
with the aid of the upper teeth. Now the difference of the jointings of the 
organs to utter these letters is so small, that it is easy for men in utterance 
to shde from one form into another. 

The following examples will illustrate this subject. 

Labial letters commuted for other labials. 
English bear, Lat.fero,pario, G. ipipu, (popeu, D. voeren, G.fuhren. 
Here is the same word written in different languages, with five differ- 
ent initial letters. 

German wahr, true, L. verus. 

Celtic lamh, lav, the hand, Goth. lofa. 

L. guberno, Fr. gouverner, Eng. govern. 

Dental letters commuted for other dentals. 
Eng. deu\ G. thau. 
Eng. good, G. gut. 
Eng. dare, Gr. eappsw. 
Eng. day, G. tag. 
Eng. thank, D. danken. 
Eng. brother, D. broeder. 

Palatal letters commuted for other palatals. 
Eng. call, W . galw, Gr. »o\iw. 
Eng. get. It. cattare. 
Greek \iina, L. hiems, winter. 

Dentals converted into sibilants. 
Eng. water, G. wa^ser. 
Lat. dens, a tooth, G. zahn. 
Eng. let, Fr. laisser. 
Ch. nD, Heb. »13. 
Sax. tid, time, G. zeit. 

Vol. I. G. 

Change of Unguals. 
Eng. escort, Sp. Port, escolta. 
Fr. blanc, white. Port, branco. 

Letters formed by different organs are not oommutable ; hence we are not 
to admit a radical word beginning or ending with 4, /or v, to be the same as 
a word beginning or ending with g, d, t, ror s; nor a word whose radical 
letters are m, n, to be the same as one whose elements are r, d, or s, t. If 
such words are in any case the same, they must have suffered some anom- 
alous changes ; changes which are very unusual and which are never to 
be admitted without the clearest evidence. 

When this work was in the press, I first obtained a .sight of a " History of 
the European Languages," by the late Dr. Alexander Murray, Professor of 
Oriental languages in the University of Edinburgh. 

From a hasty perusal of the first volume, I find this learned professor stud- 
ied the European languages with much attention and profit. He has gone 
further into the origin and formation of languages, than any author whose 
works I have read; and his writings unfold many valuable principles and 
facte. But he formed a theory which he attempted to support, in my opin- 
ion with little success : at least, on his principles, all the usual rules of ety- 
mology are transgressed, and all distinction between words of different radi- 
cal letters is abandoned. According to his theory, nine words are the foun- 
dations of language, viz. ag, wag, hwag, bag or bwag, [of which/ag and 
pag are softer varieties,] dwag, thwag or twag, gwag or cwag, lag and 
Mag, mag, nag, and hnag, rag and hrag, swag. " By the help of these 
nine words and their compounds all the European languages have been 
formed." These are the author's words. 

To make out his scheme, he joins ag, having, to wag, move, and forms a 
diminutive, wagag, to move a little or often. With ba, bear or bring, and 
la, hold, wagaba signifies literally move-bearing, and wagla is move-having. 
Then wagaba contracted into wabba, to wave, to weave, and wagla into 
wala, to turn. From dag, to wet, bedew, comes damp ; from ceag, to 
chew, comes champ ; fal, joined, wrought together, fiom fag, to work, to 
join; hwal and hal, to hold, and turn, from hwag ; bat from bagd or bagt ; 
bigt, abite, from bigt; bladder from blag; modera, mother, the producer, 
from magd, produced ; bottom from bogd, a stump, root or foundation ; field 
(vomfagd, -dearth from airtha,acertha, from acer, aker, ager ; field, an un- 
cultivated plain, from fag, to make to fall. 

It seems that in order to maintain his theory, it was necessary to make it 
appear that g formed a part of all original words, and that this letter has, in 
modern words, been dropped. The author then introduces this letter into 
words where it never had any place, such as field, earth, bat, &c. The au- 
thor's work presents one of the most singular medleys of truth and error, of 
sound observation and visionary opinions, that has ever fallen under my 

On the same principles, he must have inserted the letter g in bear, fero. 
pario, 803 ; in bend, found, tame, Saiiau, domo ; in dream, wander, turn , 
&c. ; and supposed them to have been originally beager,fegro, pagrio, JOJ2. 
bcgnd, fougnd, tagme, idniiam, dogma, dreagm,wagnder, tugrn, &,c. 

Now on such a principle as this we might deduce any word in the lan- 
guage from any other word, or from any root that could be imagined. In 
short, all such theories are the produce of wild conjecture, and they serve no 
purpose but to confound the student and bring the study of etymology into 


Ac c ENT is the more forcible utterance of a particular syllable of a word, 
by which it is distinguished from the others. The accented syllable of a 
word serves therefore as a kind of resting place or support of the voice, 
which passes over the unaccented syllables with more rapidity and a less 
distinct utterance. 

Accent is of two kinds, or rather of two degrees of force, primary and 
secondary. Words of one syllable can have no accent. Words of two syl- 
lables have the primary accent only. Words of three and four syllables may 
have the primary and secondary accent; but many of them have nosecond- 
ary accent that deserves notice ; such are dignity, enemy, annuity, fidelity. 
In words of four, five or more syllables, a secondary accent is often essential 
to a clear distinct articulation of the several syllables. Thus heterogeneous 
cannot be well uttered without two accented syllables ; the fourth syllable 
receiving the principal stress of the voice, and the first clearly distinguished 
by more forcible utterance, than the second, third, fifth, and sixth. 

The accent of most English words has been long established ; and evi- 
dently, it has been determined by the natural ease of speaking, without the 
aid of rules or instruction. If any man should ask, why we lay the accent 
of such words aa elocution, meditation, relation, congratulation, on the last 
syllable, except one ; the answer is, tliat such accentuation renders the pro- 
nunciation more easy to the organs of .speech and more agreeable to the ear, 
than the accentuation of any other syllable. The ease of speaking, and a 
kind of prosaic melody, resulting from a due proportion of accented and un- 
accented syllable^, which enables the speaker to bound with ease from one 
accented syllable to another, without omitting those which are unaccented, 
are the two great principles by which the accentuation of words has been 


regulated. And it is to be extremely regretted that these principles should, 
in any instances, be neglected, or forced to yield to arbitrary reasons of deri- 
vation, or to a pedantic affectation of foreign pronunciation. When we know 
that the great mass of a nation naturally lall into a particular manner of pro- 
nouncing a word, without any rule or instruction, we may rely upon this 
tendency as a pretty certain indication that their accentuation is according to 
the analogies of the language, by which their habits of speaking have been 
formed ; and this tendency cannot be opposed without doing violence to those 
analogies and to national habits. 

Thus formerly, the word horizon was universally accented on the first 
syllable, and this accentuation was according to the settled analogy of the 
language. But the early poets had a fancy for conlbrniing the English to 
the Greek pronunciation, and accented the second syllable ; the orthoepists 
followed them ; and now we have this forced, unnatural pronunciation of the 
learned in colUsion with the regular, analogous popular pronunciation. By 
this affectation of the Greek accent, the flowing smoothness of the word is 
entirely lost. 

In like manner, an imitation of the French pronunciation of confesseur, 
■jnd sticcessetir, led the early poets to accent the English words on the first 
syllable, in violation of analogy and euphony; and some orthoepists affect to 
follow them; but public usage frowns on this affectation, and rejects their 

There are many words in the English language, indeed a large part of the 
whole number, which cannot be reduced under any general rule of accentu- 
ation, as the exceptions to any rule formed will be nearly as numerous as the 
words which the rule embraces. And in most instances, we shall find, in the 
structure of the words, satisfactory reasons for the difference of pronunciation. 


No general rule can be given for the accentuation of words of two sylb 
bles. It is however, worth observing that when the same word is both 
noun or an adjective and a verb, it happens, in many instances, that the noun 
or adjective has the accent on the first syllable, and the verb on the last 
Instances of which we have in ab'sent, to absent' ; con'cert, to concert' . 
cx'port, to expdrt. The reason is, the preterit and participles of the verbs 
require to have the same syllable accented, as the verb; but if the first syl- 
lable of the preterit and participles were to be accented, it would be difficult 
(o pronounce the words, as may be perceived by attempting to pronounce 
ub'scnting, con'certed, con'ducted, with the accent on the first syllable. 

In a few instances, the word has a different accent when a noun, from that 
which it has when an adjective ; as Au'gust, august' ; gallant', gaVlant. 


Words of three syllables, derived from dissyllables, usually retain the ac- 
cent of their primitives. Thus 

Pdet, pdetess; pleas'ant, pleas' antly ; gra'cious, gr&ciously; reldte, re- 
lated; poU'te,poli'test. 

In Uke manner, words of four syllables, formed from dissyllables, gene- 
rally retain the accent of the primitives ; as in collect'ible from collect', ser'- 
I'iceable from ser'vice. 

In all cases, the preterit and participles of verbs retain the accent of the 

Words ending in tion, sion, tian, cious, tious, cial, cian, tial, tiate, tient, 
cient, have the accent on the syllable preceding that termination ; as motion, 
christian, precious, erudition, patient, &c. 

Words of more than two syllables, ending in ly, have, for the most part, the 
.iccent on the antepenult; as gratuity, propriety, prosperity, insensibility. 
Trissyllables ending in mcnt, for the most part have the accent on the f^rst 
syllable, as compliment, detriment; but to this rule there are many excep- 
tions, and particularly nouns formed from verbs, as amendment, command- 

Words with the following terminations have th 
ble except two, or antepenult. 

fluous, as super'fluous, mellifluous. 

ferous, as bacciferous, argentifero, 

-fluent, as circum'fluent. 

cracy, as democracy, theoc'racy. 

gonal, as diag'onal, sexag'onal. 

gony, as cosmog'ony, theog'ony. 

chy, as logom'achy, theom'aci 

: accent on the last sylla- 

'.ogom'actiy, tlieom'achy. 
-loquy, as ob'loquy, ventril'oquy. 
-mathy, as polym'athy. 
-meter, as barom'eter, hygrom'eter. 
-nomy, as econ'omy, astron'omy. 
-pathy, as ap'athy, antip'athy. 
-phony, as eu'phony, sym'phony. 
—parous, as ovip'arous, vivip'arous. 
-scopy, as deuteros'copy, aeros'copy. 
-strophe, as apos'trophe, catas'trophe 
--: igniv'omous. 

voroiis, as carnivorous, graminivorous. 

tomy, as anat'omy, lithot'omy. 

raphy, as geog'raphy, orthog'raphy. 

Compound words, as book-case, ink-stand, pen-knife, note-book, usually 
have asUght accent, that is, one syllable is distinguished by some stress of 
voice ; but as the other syllable is significant by itself, it is uttered with 
more distinctness than the syllables of other words which are wholly unac- 
cented. And in some words, there are two accents, one on each component 
part of the word, which are barely distinguishable. Thus in legislative, le- 
gislator, legislature, the accent on the first syllable can hardly be distin- 
guished from that on the third ; and if a .speaker were to lay the primary 
accent on the third syllable, his pronunciation would hardly be noticed as a 
singularity. Indeed there are some compound words, in which there is so 
little distinction of accent, that it is deemed unnecessary to mark either syl- 
lable or part of the word as accented. 

As to a great part of English words, their accent must be learned from 
dictionaries, elementary books, or practice. There is no method of classifi- 
cation, by which they can be brought under a few simple general rules, to 
be easily retained by the memory ; and attempts to effect this object must 
only burden the memory, and perplex the learner. 

The differences in the accentuation of words, either in books or in usage, 
are not very numerous. In this respect, the language is tolerably well set- 
tled, except in a few words. Among these are acceptable, commendable, 
confessor, successor, receptacle, recepiory, deceptory, refragable, dyspepsy, 
which the orthoepists incline to accent on the first syllable. But with re- 
gard to most of these words, their accentuation is contrary to common usage, 
and with regard to all of them, it ought to be rejected. The ease of pronun- 
ciation requires the accent to be on the second syllable, and no effort to re- 
move it can ever succeed. 

The words accessory, desultory, exemplary and peremptory would all 
have the accent on the second syllable, were it not very difficult, with this 
accent, to articulate the three last syllables of the derivatives, aceessorily, 
desultorily, exemplarily, peremptorily. It is for this reason, that the pri- 
mary accent is laid on the first syllable, and then a secondary accent on the 
third enables the speaker to articulate distinctly and with tolerable ease the 
last syllables. If the primary accent is laid on the second syllable, there can 
be no secondary accent. Yet the natural accent of the primitives being on 
the second syllable of the three first, and the derivatives little used, we find 
good speakers often lay the accent on the second syllable ; nor is it easy to 
change the practice. 

This circumstance of regarding the pronunciation of derivative words, in 
settUng the accent, has been either wholly overlooked, or not sufficiently 
jobserved in practice. Hence the orthoepists accent the second syllable of 
khe verbs alternate, demonstrate, contemplate, compensate, extirpate, con- 
\fiscate, expurgate. Notwithstanding all authorities however, such is the 
j tendency to consult ease and melody in utterance, that many respectable 
speakers lay the accent of these and similar words on the first syllable. The 
reason of this is obvious, although perhaps it never occurs to the speakers 
themselves. It is, that when the accent is laid on the second syllable, the 
two last syllables of the participles, altern'ating, demon'strating, compen'- 
sated, &c. are either pronunced with difficulty, being wholly unaccented, 
or they are disgustingly feeble. How very difficult it is to utter distinctly 
the words alternating, demonstrating, &c. with the accent on the second 
syllable ; the organs being compelled to change their position and form three, 
four, five, or six articulations in an instant, to utter the two last syllables! 
But place the primary accent on the first syllable, and a secondary one on the 
Ithird, and the voice resting on these, the speaker is enabled to bound with 
.ease from syllable to syllable and utter the whole word distinctly without 
I effort, al'ternating, dem'onstruting. 

In extirpate, compensate and confiscate, the accent on the second sylla- 
ble leaves the last syllables of the participle most miserably weak. What a 
feeble line is this of Pope : 

Each seeming ill compen'sated of course. 

This evil is remedied by placing the primary accent on the first syllable, 
and a secondary one on the third ; com'pensated ; com'pensating ; ex'tirpa- 
ting; ex'tirpated; confiscating; con'fiscated; the full sound of a giving 
due strength to the last syllables. 

It is further to be observed that there are some words which, in poetry 
and prose, must be differently accented, as the accent has been transferred 
by usage from one syllable to another within the two last centuries. Nares 
enumerates more than a hundred words, whose accent has been thus chang- 
ed since the age of Shakspeare. Of this class of words are aspect, process, 
sojourn, convex, contest, retinue, converse, the noun horizon, which Mil- 
ton accents on the second syllable, and acceptable, which he accents on the 
first, as he does attribute and contribute. But the accent of all these 
words has been changed ; the seven first have the accent indisputably on the 
first syllable ; the two last, on the second syllable ; and although some differ- 
ence of opinion may exist, as to the accentuation oi horizon and acceptable, 
yet the common popular practice of accenting horizon on the first and ac- 
ceptable on the second, is according to regular analogies and cannot well be 
altered. Nor ought it to be; the poetic accent, in both, is harsh and un- 
natural. This difference of accent is a slight inconvenience ; but custom is 
the arbiter in language; and when well settled and general, there is no ap» 
peal from its decisions, the inconvenience admits of no remedy. 


in which the following work 

Dr. Johnson was one of the greatest men that the English nation has ever 
produced ; and when the exhibition of truth depended on his own gigantic 
powers of intellect, he seldom erred. But in the compilation of his diction- 
ary, he manifested a great defect of research, by means of which he often 
(ell into mistakes ; and no errors are so dangerous as those of great men. 
The authority created by the general excellence of their works gives a 
sanction to their very mistakes, and represses that spirit of inquiry which 
would investigate the truth, and subvert the errors of inferior men. It 
seems to be owing to this cause chiefly that the most obvious mistakes of 
Johnson's Dictionary have remained to this day uncorrected, and still con 
tinue to disfigure the improved editions of the work recently published. 

In like manner, the opinions of this author, when wrong, have a weight of 
authority that renders them extremely mischievous. The sentiment con- 
tained in this single line 

Quid te excmptajuvat spinis de pluribus una? 

is of this kind; that we are to make no corrections, because we cannot com- 
plete the reformation; a sentiment that sets itself in direct opposition to all 
improvement in science, literature and morals; a sentiment, which, if it had 
been always an efficacious principle of human conduct, would have condem- 
ned not only our language, but our manners and our knowledge to everlast- 
ing rudeness. And hence whenever a proposition is made to correct the 
orthography of our language, it is instantly repelled with the opinion and 
ipse dixit of Johnson. Thus while the nations on the European continent 
have purified their languages and reduced the orthography to a good de- 
gree of regularity, our enemies of reform contend most strenuously for re- 
taining the anomalies of the language, even to the very rags and tatters of 
barbarism. But what is more extraordinary, the very persons who thus 
struggle against the smallest improvement of the orthography are the most 
ready to innovate in the pronunciation, and will, at any time, adopt a 
change that fashion may introduce, though it may infringe the regularity of 
the language, multiply anomalies, and increase the difficulty of learning it. 
Nay, they will not only innovate themselves, but will use their influence to 
propagate the change, by deriding those who resist it, and who strive to re- 
tain the resemblance between the written and spoken language. 

A considerable part of Johnson's Dictionary is however well executed ; 
and when his definitions are correct and his arrangement judicious, it seems 
to be expedient to follow him. It would be mere affectation or folly to alter 
what cannot be improved. 

The principal faults in Johnson's Dictionary are 

1. The want of a great number of well authorized words belonging to the 
language. This delect has been in part suppUed by Mason and Todd; but 
their supplemental Ust is still imperfect even in common words, and still 
more defective from the omission of terms of science. 

2. Another great fault, that remains uncorrected, is the manner of noting 
the accented syllable ; the accent being laid uniformly on the vowel, wheth- 
er it closes the syllable or not. Thus the accent is laid on e in te'nant as 
well as in te'acher, and the inquirer cannot know from the accent whether 
the vowel is long or short. It is surprising that such a notation should still 
be retained in that work. 

3. It is considered as a material fault, that in some classesof words, John- 
son's orthography is either not correct upon principle or not uniform in the 
class. Thus he writes heedlessly, with ss, but carelesly, with one s ; de- 
fence, with c, but defensible, defensive, with s; rigour, inferiour, with u, 
but rigorous, inferiority, without it; publick, authentick with k, but pub- 
Hcation, authenticate, without it; and so of many other words of the same 

4. The omission of the participles or most of them, is no small defect, as 
many of them by use have become proper adjectives, and require distinct 
definitions. The additions of this kind in this work are very numerous. It 
is also useful both to natives and foreigners, to be able, by opening a diction- 
ary, to know when the final consonant of a verb is doubled in the participle. 

5. The want of due discrimination in the definitions of words that arp 
nearly synonymous, or sometimes really synonymous, at other times not, is 
a fault in all the dictionaries of our language, which I have seen. Permeate, 
says Johnson, signifies, to pass through, and permeable, such as matj be 
passed through. But we pass through a door or gate; although we do not 
permeate it, or say that it is permeable. Obedience, says Johnson, is obse- 
quiousness, but this is rarely the present sense of the word ; so far from it 
that obedience is always honorable, and obsequiousness usually implies 
meanness. \Peculation, says Johnson, is robbery of the public, thefl of 
pubUc money. But as robbery and theft are now understood, it is neither. 
Inaccuracies of this kind are very numerous. 

6. There are in Johnson's Dictionary, some palpable mistakes in orthog- 
raphy, such as comptroller, bridegroom, redoubt, and some others, there 
being no such legitimate words in the language. In other instances, the 
author mistook the true origin of words, andhas c; 

> erred in the orthography, a 

7. The mistakes in etymology are numerous; and the whole scheme of 
deducing words from their original is extremely imperfect. 

8. The manner of defining words in Johnson, as in all other dictionaries, 
is susceptible of improvement. In a great part of the more important words, 
.and particularly verbs, lexicographers, either from negligence or want of 
knowledge, have inverted the true order, or have disregarded all order in 
the definitions. There is a primary sense of every word, from which all the 
other have proceeded; and whenever this can be discovered, this sense 
should stand first in order. Thus the primary sense of make is to force or 
conijiel; but this in Johnson's Dictionary is the fifteenth definition; and 
this sense ot facto in Ainsworth, the nineteenth. 

9. One of the most objectionable parts of Johnson's Dictionary, in my opin- 
ion, is the great number of passages cited from authors, to exemplify his 
definitions. Most English words are so familiarly and perfectly understood, 
and the sense of them so little liable to be called in question, that they may 
be safely left to rest on the authority of the lexicographer, without exam- 
ples. Who needs extracts from three authors, KnoUes, Milton and Berkeley, 

rove or illustiate the literal meaning of hand ? Who needs extracts from 
Shakspearc, Bacon, South and Dryden, to prove hammer to be a legitimate 
English word, and to signify an instrument for driving nails? So under 
household, we find seven passages and nearly thirty lines employed to ex- 

plify the plain interpretation, a family living together, 
n. most cases, one example is sufficient to illustrate the meaning of a 
word ; and this is not absolutely necessary, except in cases where the sig- 
nification is a deviation from the plain literal sense, a particular application 
f the term ; or in a case, where the sense of the word may be doubtful, 
and of questionable authority. Numerous citations serve to swell the size 
Dictionary, without any adequate advantage. But this is not the only 
objection to Johnson's exemplifications. Many of the passages are taken 
from authors now little read, or not at all ; whose style is now antiquated, 
and by no means furnishing proper models for students of the present age. 

In the execution of this work, I have pursued a course somewhat difl'er- 

t; not however without fortifying my own opinion with that of other gen- 
tlemen, in whose judgment I have confidence. In many cases, where the 
sense of a word is plam and indisputable, I have omitted to cite any authori- 
ty. I have done the same in many instances, where the sense of a word is 
wholly ob%)lete, and the definition useful only to the antiquary. In some 
nstances, definitions are given without authority, merely because I hail 
neglected to note the author, or had lost the reference. In such cases, I 
must stand responsible for the correctness of the definition. In all such 
cases, however, I have endeavored to be faithful to the duly of a lexico- 
grapher ; and if in any instance, a mistake has escaped me, I .shall be happy 
to have it suggested, that it may be corrected. 

In general, I have illustrated the significations of words, and proved them 
to be legitimate, by a short passage from some respectable author, often 
abridged from the whole passage cited by Johnson. In many cases, I have 
given brief sentences of my own; using the phrases or sentences in which 
the word most frequently occurs, and often presenting some important 
maxim or sentiment in religion, morality, law or civil policy. Under words 
which occur in the scriptures, I have often cited passages from our common 
version, not only to illustrate the scriptural or theological sense, but even 
the ordinary significations of the words. These passages are short, plain, 
appropriate, and familiar to most readers. In a few cases, where the sense 
of a word is disputed, I have departed from the general plan, and cited a 
number of autliorities. 

In the admission of words of recent origin, into a Dictionary, a lexico- 
grapher has to encounter many difficulties; as it is not easy, in all cases, to 
determine whether a word is so far authorized as to be considered legitimate. 
Some writers indulge a licentiousness in coining words, which good sense 
would wish to repress. At the same time, it would not be judicious to re- 
ject all new terras ; as these are often necessary to express new ideas ; and 
the progress of improvement in arts and science would be retarded, by de- 
nying a place in dictionaries, to terms given to things newly discovered. 
But the lexicographer is not answerable for the bad use of the privilege of 
coining new words. It seems to be his duty to insert and explain all words 

hich are used by respectable writers or speakers, whether the words are 
destined to be received into general and permanent use or not. The future 
use must depend on public taste or the utility of the words; circumstances 

hich are not within the lexicographer's control. 

Lexicographers are sometimes censured for inserting in their vocabularies, 
vulgar words, and terms of art known only to particular artisans. That this 
practice may be carried too far, is admitted ; but it is to be remarked that, in 
general, vulgar words are the oldest and best authorized words in language; 
and their use ij as necessary to the classes of people who use them, as ele- 
gant words are to the statesman and the poet. It may be added that such 
words are often particularly useful to the lexicographer, in furnishing him 

th the primary sense, which is no where to be found, but in popular use. 
In this work, I have not gone quite so far as John.son and Todd have done, in 
admitting vulgar words. Some of them are too low to deserve notice. 

The catalogue of obsolete words in Johnson has been considerably aug- 
mented by Mason and Todd. I have, though somewhat reluctantly, insert- 
' nearly the whole catalogue, which, I presume, amounts to seven or eight. 


and perhaps, to ten thousand words. Most of these may be useful to the 
antiquary ; but to the great mass of readers, they are useless.* 

I have also inserted many words which are local in England ; being re- 
tained from the diftercnt languages that have been spoken in that country, 
but which are no more a part of our present language in the United States, 
than so many Lapland words. These however occur in books which treat of 
agriculture and the arts ; books which are occasionally read in this country. 

Law-terms, which are no part of the proper language of the U. States, 
and never can be, as the things they express do not exist in this country, are 
however retained, as it is necessary that the gentlemen of the bar should 
understand them ; and it will be time to dismiss them from books, when 
they are obsolete in practice. 

As to Americanisms, so called, I have not been able to find many words, 
in respectable use, which can be so denominated. These I have admitted 
and noted as peculiar to this country. I have fully ascertained that most of the 
new words charged to the coinage of this country, were first used in England. 

In exhibiting the origin and affinities of English words, I have usually 
placed first in order the corresponding word, in the language from or 
through which we have received it ; then the corresponding words in the 
languages of the same family or race ; then the corresponding word in the 
languages of other families. Thus, for example, the word break we have 
from our Saxon ancestors ; I therefore give the Saxon word first ; then the 
same word in the other Teutonic and Gothic languages ; then the Celtic 
words ; then the Latin ; and lastly the Hebrew, Chaldaic and Arabic. This 
order is not followed in every instance, even of vernacular words, but it is 
the more general course I have pursued. When there can be no rational 
doubt respecting the radical identity of words, I have inserted them without 
any expression of uncertainty. When there appears to be any reason to 
question that identity, I have mentioned the probability only of an affinity 
or inserted a query, to invite further investigation. Yet I am aware that 
many things, which, in my view, arc not doubtful, will appear so to per 
not versedin this subject, and who do not at once see the chain of evidence 
which has led me to my inferences. For tliis there is no remedy but fur- 
ther investigation. 

In regard to words, which have been introduced into the language in 
modern days, I have generally referred them to the language, from which 
the English immediately received them. A great part of these are from the 
Latin through the French; sometimes probably through the Italian or Span- 
ish. In some instances however the order is reversed ; indeed it cannot al- 
ways be known from which language the words have been received, nor is 
it a matter of any consequence. 

One circumstance however deserves to be particularly noticed; that when 
1 refer a vernacular word to the corresponding word in one of the Shemitic 
languages, 1 would not have it understood that the English word was rfi 
ed or borrowed from that oriental word. For example, I have giver 
Shemitic TnS as the verb corresponding with the English break, that is, the 
same word in those languages; not intending by this that our ancestors bor 
rowed or received that word from the Chaldeans, Hebrews or other Shemi 
tic nation. This is not the fact. It would be just as correct for the com 
piler of a Chaldee or Hebrew lexicon to derive pIB from the English break] 
or German brechen. So when I deduce coin, through the French, Spanish 

or Italian, from the Arabic ^LS , I do not consider the word as borrowed 
from the Arabic but as proceeding from a common radix. With regard to 
vernacular words, in any European language, such deduction is always in- 
correct. Yet errors of this kind abound in every book I have seen, which 
treats of this subject. The truth is, all vernacular words in the languages 
of Europe, are as old as the same words in Asia ; and when the same words 
are found in the Shemitic and Japhetic languages, it is almost demonstiably 
certain that these words were in use before the dispersion; the nations of 
both families have them from the common stock, and the words, like the fami 
lies of men, which use them, are to be considered as of the same antiquity 

When therefore I state the words of another language as corresponding 
with vernacular words in the English, they are offered as affinities, or the 
same word, varied dialectically perhaps, in orthography or signification, but 
words from the same root as the EngUsh. Thus under the word bright, I 
state the Saxon word, and then the corresponding word in the Ethiopic, the 
participle of a verb ; not that our ancestors borrowed the word from the 
Ethiopians, but that the verb, from which bright was derived, though lost 
in the Saxon, is still retained in the Ethiopic. This fact proves that the an- 
cestors of the Saxons once used the verb, but suffered it to go into disuse, 
aubstituling shine, scinan, in its place. 

It is much to be regretted that British authors and travelers admit into 
Iheir writings foreign "words without conforming them, in orthography, to 
regular English analogies. It is owing to this disregard of the purity and 

■gular form of orthography in English, that we are perplexed with such 
ords as burlesque, soup, group, tour, corps, depot, suite, pacha, ennui, and 
many others. In this respect, modern writers manifest less taste than the 
writers of former centuries, who, when they borrowed foreign words, wrote 
them in conformity to English analogies. This practice of blending with the 
EngUsh many words of an orthography, which in our language is anomalous, 
is very embarrassing to readers who know only their vernacular tongue, and 
often introduces an odious difference between the pronunciation of different 
classes of people ; an evil more sensibly felt in this country, than in Great 
Britain, where differences of rank exist : in short, it multiplies the irregu- 
larities of a language, already so deformed by them as to render it nearly 
impracticable for our own citizens ever to overcome the difficulties of its 
orthography ; irregularities which foreigners deem a reproach to the taste 
of a literary nation. 

Where is the good sense which should dictate a manly firmness in pre- 
serving the regular analogies and purity of the language ? Where is there a 
due attachment to uniformity which constitutes the principal beauty and 
excellence of a language, and beyond all other means facilitates its acquisi- 
tion ? I would not refuse to admit foreign words into the language, if neces- 
sary or useful ; but I would treat them as our laws treat aliens ; I would 
compel them to submit to the formalities of naturalization, before they should 
be admitted to the rights of citizenship ; I would convert them into English 
words, or reject them. Nor would I permit the same word to be written 
and pronounced in two different ways, one English, the other French. The 
French suite in English is suit, whether it signifies a set of clothes, or of 
apartments, or of armor, or of attendants. 

In the orthography of certain classes of words, I have aimed at uniform- 
ity ; but I have not proceeded so far in this desirable reformation of the com- 
mon spelling, as my own wishes, and strict propriety might dictate. Thus 
if vicious, from the Latin vitiuni, is written with c, the verb vitiate should 
regularly be written with the same letter, and we have precedents in the 
words appreciate and depreciate, from the Latin pretium. In like manner, 
expatiate should be conformed to the orthography o( spacious ; exceed, pro- 
ceed, and succeed, should follow the analogy of concede, intercede, and re- 
cede. These are points of minor importance, but far from being unimportant. 

In writing the termination of such verbs as civilize, legalize, modernize, 
there is a diversity which may be corrected without inconvenience. We 
indeed have some of the verbs of this class from the French in which lan- 

* There is, among some poets of the present day, an affectation of reviv- 
ing the use of obsolete words. Some of these may perhaps be revived to 
advantage ; but when this practice proceeds so far as to make a glossary ne- 
cessary to the understanding of a poem, it seems to be a violation of good 
taste. How different is the'simple elegance of nrvdcn, Pope, Gray, Gold- 
smith and Cowper ! 


1 ; but most of them we have borrowed directly 

from the Latin or Greek, or perhaps from the Spanish or Italian, or they i 
of our own coinage. As the termination ize is conformable to the Greek 
original, and as it expresses the true pronunciation in English, it seems expe- 
dient to reduce the whole class to a uniformity of orthography. 

Enterprise, devise, comprise, revise, compromise, and surprise, belong to 
a different class and retain the orthography of their originals. 

There is a fact respecting the pronunciation o{ gn, in cognizance, and re- 
cognizance, which seems to have escaped observation ; this is, that g was 
introduced to express a nasal sound, as in the French gn, or Spanish n, but 
not for the purpose of being pronounced as g. It is probable that the Latins 
changed con before nosco into co^ for this reason; and it may be inferred 
from the modern pronunciation ot these words, that the Greeks omitted or 
softened the sound of 7 in yi^vwo-xcj and yiyv^iiai. However this may be, the 
old pronunciation of the words was undoubtedly conusance, or conizance, 
reconizance, and hence in the old writers on law, the letter g was omitted. 
Indeed there is a harshness in the pronunciation of g in these words, that 
offends the organs both of the speaker and hearer, and which well justifies 
the pronunciation of the old lawyers; a pronunciation which we frequently 
hear, at this day, among gentlemen of the bar. 

Whether the Latins pronounced the letter g in such words as benignus, 
condignus, malignus, it is of no moment for us to determine. In our mode 
of writing benign, condign, malign, the sound of g must be dropped ; but it 
is resumed in the derivatives benignity, condignity, malignity : so in de- 
sign, designate ; resign, resignation* 

In noting the obsolete words which amount to some thousands, I may have 
committed mistakes ; for words obsolete in one part of the dominions, 
or in some part of the United Stales, may be words in common use, in some 
other part of such dominions, not within my knowledge. The rule I have 
generally observed has been to note as obsolete such words as I have not 
heard in colloquial practice, and which I have not found in any writer of the 
last century. The notation of such words as are disused may be of use to 
our own youth, and still more to foreigners, who learn our language. 

Under the head of etymology, in hooks, the reader will observe referen- 
ces to another work, for a more full explanation or view of the affinities of 
the words under which these references occur. These are references to a 
Synopsis of the principal uncompounded words in twenty languages ; a work 
that is not published, and it is uncertain whether it will ever be published. 
But if It should be, these references will be useful to the philologist, and I 
thought it expedient to insert them. 

* The Spanish puno is the Latin pugnus ; and our word pawn, the Tl.pand, 
is the Latin pignus. So we pronounce impune, for impugn, French im- 
pugner, from the Latin pugno, pugna. How far these facts tend to show 
the Latin pronunciation, let the reader judge. 




In the year 1803, I received a Letter from Lindley Murray, with a copy of his Grammar. The following is a copy 
of the Letter. 

" I take the liberty of requesting that the author of ' Dissertations on the Enghsh Language,' will do me the favor 
to accept a copy of the new edition of my grammar, as a small testimony of my respect for his talents and character. 
At the same time, I hope he will permit me to thank him for the pleasure and improvement, wliich I have derived 
from perusing his ingenious and sensible writings. 

" If, on looking over the Grammar, any thing should occur to him, by which he thinks the work may be further im- 
proved, I will take\he communication of it, as a particular favor ; and will give it an attentive and respectful con- 
sideration. Should he prepare any remarks, he will be so good as to send his letter to my brother John Murray, jun., 
Pearl Street, New York, who will carefully forward them to me. I am very respectfully, &c. 


Holdgate, near York, 1803." 

Twenty years before the date of this letter, 1 had prepared and published a Grammar, on the model of Lowth's, with 
some variations, and on the same principles, as Murray has constructed his. This work passed through many edi- 
tions, before Murray's book appeared in this country. But before this period, my researches into the structure of 
language had convinced me that some of Lowth's principles are erroneous, and that my own Grammar wanted ma- 
terial corrections. In consequence of this conviction, believing it to be immoral to publish what appeared to be false 
rules and principles,' I determined to suppress my Grammar, and actually did so; although the public continued to 
call for it, and my bookseller urged for permission to continue the publication of it. As I had the same objections to 
Murray's Grammar, as I had to my own, I determined on the publication of anew work, which was executed in 1807 ; 
and with a view to answer Lindley Murray's request, but in a different manner, I sent him a polite letter^ with a copy 
of my Grammar. I have understood from his friends in New York, that these never reached him ; but he received a 
copy of my Grammar from his friends, and soon afterward prepared for publication a new edition of his own Gram- 
mar, in the octavo form. In the preface to this edition, dated in 1808, he informs his readers, that, " in preparing for 
the octavo edition, the author examined the most respectable publications on the subject of grammar, that had re- 
ceiithj appeared; and he has, in consequence, been the better enabled to extend and improve his work." On care- 
fully comparing this work with my own Grammar, I found most of his improvements were selected from my book. 


In the first edition of this work, the compiler gave me credit for one passage only, (being nearly three pages of my 
Grammar,) which he acknowledged to be chiefly taken from my work. In the later editions, he says, this is in part 
taken from my book, and he further acknowledges that Tifew positions and illustrations, among the syntactical notes 
and observations, were selected from my Grammar. Now the fact is, the passages borrowed amount to tliirti/ or more, 
and they are so incorporated into his work, that no person except myself would detect tlie plagiarisms, without a 
particular view to this object. It may be further observed that these passages are original remarks, some of them 
illustrating principles overlooked by all British writers on the subject. 

This octavo edition of Murray's Grammar, has been repeatedly published in this country, and constantly used in 
our higher seminaries of learning; while the student probably has no suspicion that he is learning my principles in 
Murray's Grammar. 

For the injustice done to me, by this publication, in violation of the spirit, if not of the letter of the law, for secur- 
ing to authors the copy-right of their works, I have sought no redress ; but while I submit to the injury, it seems to be 
my duty to bear testimony against this species of immorality. A man's reputation, and character, and writings, are 
as much his property, as his land, and it is to be hoped that correct morality will, in due time, place the protection of 
the former on as high ground as that of the latter. 

Being perfectly satisfied that some principles of Lowth's Grammar, which constitutes the body of Murray's, are 
entirely erroneous, I have prefixed a brief Grammar to this Dictionary ; which is committed to my fellow citizens, as 
the mature result of all my investigations. It is the last effort I shall make to arrest the progress of error, on this 
subject. It needs the club of Hercules, wielded by the arm of a giant, to destroy the hydra of educational prejudice. 
The club and the arm, I pretend not to possess, and my efforts may be fruitless ; but it will ever be a satisfaction to 
reflect that I have discharged a duty demanded by a deep sense of the importance of truth. It is not possible for 
me to think with indifference, that half a million of youth in our schools are daily toiling to learn that which is not 
true. It has been justly observed that ignorance is preferable to error. 

Some of the more prominent errors of the English Grammars, are, 

1. The admission oiihe article, as a distinct part of speech, and an entire mistake respecting what is called the 
indefinite article. The word article signifies, if any thing, a. joint ; but there is no class of words, unless it may be 
the conjunctions, which can, with a shadow of propriety, be brought under that denomination. The words called 
articles, are, in all \ang\iages, adjectives ; words limiting or in some way qualifying the sense of names or nouns. In 
most languages, they are varied like the nouns which they qualify, and attached to them like other adjectives. 

2. The arrangement of words in a class to which they do not belong. Thus, that is called sometimes a pronoun, 
and sometimes a conjunction, when in fact it is always a pronoun or substitute, and never a conjunction. So also if, 
though, unless, notwithstanding, are called conjunctions ; which is a most palpable mistake. Notwithstanding, 
is placed by Murray among the conjunctions. But after he procured my Grammar, he inserted, under his twenty-first 
rule of Syntax, the following remark. " It is very frequent, when the word notwithstanding agrees with a number 
of words, or with an entire clause, to omit the whole, except this word ; and in this use oi notwithstanding, we have 
a striking proof of the value of abbreviations in language," &c. The whole passage, taken from my Grammar, and 
the two subsequent passages, are too long to be here recited. The remark to be made here is, that the author, by 
attempting to patch a defective system, falls into the absurdity of making notwithstanding a conjunction, in one part 
of his book, and in another, he makes it a word agreeing ivith a number of words, or with an entire clause ! 

3. There is no correct and complete exhibition of the English verb in any British Grammar which I have seen. 
The definite tenses, which are as important as the indefinite, are wholly wanting ; and the second future in Murray 
is imperfect. It seems that he had in his first editions inserted this form, thou shall, or ye shall have loved, but in his 
octavo edition, he informs us that shall in the second and third persons is incorrectly applied. To prove this, he 
gives the following examples. " Thou shalt have served thy apprenticeship, before the end of the year." " He 
shall have completed his business, when the messenger arrives." Very true ; but the author forgot that by placing 
when or after, as an introduction to the sentence, the use o{ shall is not only correct, but in many cases, necessary. 
When thou shalt or you shall have served an apprenticeship, after he shall have completed his business, are perfectly 
correct expressions. But in consequence of this oversight, Murray's second future ia defective throughout the whole 


4. The Syntax of every British Grammar that I have seen, is extremely imperfect. There are many English 
phrases which are perfectly well established and correct, which are not brought within the rules ; and of course they 
cannot be parsed or resolved by the student. 

5. There are several false rules of construction which mislead the learner ; rules which are in direct opposition to 
the practice of the best writers. 

6. There are some phrases or modes of expression, frequently used by authors, which are not good English, and 
which it is the business of the Grammarian to correct, but which are not noticed in any British Grammar. Some 
of these have been considered in the preceding Introduction. 

There is a great difficulty in devising a correct classification of the several sorts of words ; and probably no classi- 
fication that shall be simple and at the same time philosophically correct, can be invented. There are some words 
that do not strictly fall under the description of any class yet devised. Many attempts have been made and are still 
making to remedy this evil ; but such schemes as I have seen, do not, in my apprehension, correct the defects of the 
old schemes, nor simplify the subject. On the other hand, all that I have seen, serve only to obscure and embarrass 
the subject, by substituting new arrangements and new terms, which are as incorrect as the old ones, and less intel- 

On the subject of the tenses of the verbs, for example, we may attempt philosophical accuracy, and say that there 
are, and there can be three tenses only, to express the natural division of time \nio past, present, and future. But a 
language which should have words to express these three divisions only, would be miserably imperfect. We want to 
express not only the past, the preseiit, and the future, with respect to ourselves or the time of speaking and writing, 
but the past with respect to other times or events. When we say, the mail will have arrived before sun-set, we ex- 
press not only a. future event, at the time of speaking, but an event to be past before another event, the setting of the 
sun. Hence I have given to that form of words, the denomination of the prior future. So of the past time. He 
had delivered the letter, before I arrived, denotes an event not only jjast, as to the time of speaking, but past before 
another event, my arrival. This tense I call the prior-past. These denominations, like the terms of the new chim- 
istry, define themselves. The old names of the latter tense, i)luperfect ox preterphiperfcct, more than finished or past, 
or beyond more than finished or past, I have discarded. These small alterations of the old system will, I hope, be 
well received. 

If it should be said, that our verbs have not tenses, because they have not variations of termination to express them ; 
I would reply, that this may be considered as a mistake, proceeding from an early bias, impressed upon us by the 
Greek and Latin forms of the tenses. A tense is a term intended to denote a form of verbs used for expressing time 
or some division of it, and it is just as properly applied to a combination of words for that purpose, as to a modifica- 
tion of the simple verb. The use of it is entirely arbitrary. Locutus sum are not the less a tense, because two words 
are employed. It is the time and not the form of words used to express it, which stamps propriety on the denom- 

If we attempt to dispense with some of the English tenses, by analyzing them, and resolving them into their prima- 
ry elements, that is, parsing the words composing them, each distinctly, we shall meet with insuperable difficulties. 
Let a man attempt to make out the sense of this phrase, he hud been writing, by analysing it. Had alone denotes 
field, jiossessed, as in the phrase, " he had an estate in New York." Then in the phrase above, it will signify, he held 
or possessed been writing. 

It is alledged that the auxiliary verbs are not secondary, but the most important verbs in the language. The point 
of importance must be determined by this fact, that by themselves they do not make complete sense ; they leave the 
sense or affirmation imperfect. He may, he can, he will, he shall, are incomplete sentences, without another verb 
expressed or understood. They express nothing definite which is intended to be affirmed. When I ask, whether 
you can lend me a sum of money, and you reply, / can, the verb lend is understood. Not so with the verbs consid- 
ered as principal. When I say, / ivrite, Itcalk, the sense or affirmation is complete without the use of another verb. 
Hence it is with perfect propriety, that such verbs as can be used only in connection with others, should be considered 
as of a secondary character, and being used to aid in forming the tenses, they may very justly be denominated aux- 
iliars or auxiliaries. 

Some of our verbs are used eitiier as principal or as auxiliary, as have and will ; and will takes a diflTerent and reg- 
ular form when principal ; I will, thou wiliest, he tvilleth or wills an estate or a legacy ; but when auxiliary, thou wilt, 
he will bequeath his estate. 


Will, indeed, in its primary use, expresses volition, as when we say, " I ivill walk or ride ; but as an auxiliary, it 
often loses this signification. When it is said, " it will rain to-morrow," what relation has will to volition 1 

To show the utter futility of attempting to explain phrases by the primary signification of the auxiliaries, take the 
following example. May and might express power, liberty or possibility ; have and had express holding or possession. 
On this plan of explanation, resolve the following sentence. " He miffht have had more prudence than to engage in 
speculation ;" that is, he was able, or had power, to hold or possess, held or possessed more prudence than to engage 
in speculation. 

So the following. " It maij have rained on the land." That is, it has power or is possible, to hold or possess, rained 
on the land. 

All attempts to simplify our forms of the tenses by such resolution, must not only fail, but prove to be perfectly ridic- 
ulous. It is the combination of icords only that admits of definition ; and these must be exhibited as tenses ; forms 
of expression presenting to the hearer or reader the precise time of action. This is necessary for our own citizens ; 
but for foreigners, indispensable, as they want to know the tenses in Enghsh which correspond with the tenses in 
their own languages. 

Nor shall we succeed much better in attempting to detect the primary elements of the terminations which form the 
variations of the simple verb. We may conjecture any thing ; we may suppose loved to be a contraction of love-did; 
but in opposition to this, we find in our mother tongue, this termination ed, was od, or ode. Ic liifode, I loved ; 
we lufodon, we loved. Besides, if I mistake not, this termination is the same as that in the early Roman laws, 
in which esto was written estod ; and I believe we have no evidence that do and did ever belonged to the Latin lan- 
guage. But what settles this question, is, that did itself is formed of do and this same termination, do-ed. Here 
the question may rest. 

We may conjecture that the personal terminations of the verbs were originally pronouns, and this conjecture is 
certainly better founded than many others ; but we find in our mother tongue, the verb love, in the plural number, is 
written, we hifiath, ge liifath, thi hifiath, all the persons having the same termination ; but certainly the same word 
was never used to express %ve, you or ye, and they. 

I have attentively viewed these subjects, in all the lights which my opportunities have afforded, and I am convinced 
that the distribution of words, most generally received, is the best that can be formed, with some slight alterations 
adapted to the particular construction of the English language. Our language is rich in tenses, beyond any language 
in Europe ; and I have endeavored to exhibit all the combinations of words forming them, in such a manner that 
students, natives or foreigners, may readily understand them. 

I close with this single remark, that from all the observations I have been able to make, I am convinced the dic- 
tionaries and grammars which have been used in our seminaries of learning, for the last forty or fifty years, are so 
incorrect and imperfect, that they have introduced or sanctioned more errors than they have amended ; in other 
words, had the people of England and of these States been left to learn the pronunciation and construction of their 
vernacular language solely by tradition, and the reading of good authors, the language would have been spoken and 
written with more purity than it has been and now is, by those who have learned to adjust their language by the rules 
which dictionaries and grammars prescribe. 


The Grammar of a language is a collecdon of principles and rules, taken 
from the established usages of the nationusing that language ; in other words, 
an exhibition of the genuine structure of the language. These principles 
and rules iie il. ri\e.l tiom the natural distinctions of words, or they are ar- 
bitrary, iiml ill [H !i(i lui Ibcir authority wholly on custom. 

A riih \- .ui r.,|jlilished form of construction in a particular class of words 
Thus it is J rule iu Kiiglish that the plural number of nouns is formed by 
adding » or cs to the singular, as hand, hands, cage, cages, fish, fishes. 

An exception to a rule is, the deviation of a word from the common con- 
struction. Thus the regular plural of tnan would be mans,- but the actua 
plural is men. This word then is an exception to the general rule of form- 
ing plural nouns. 

Grammar is usually divided into four parts — orthography, etymology, syn- 
tax, and prosody. 

Orthography treats of the letters of a language, their sounds and use 
whether simple or in combination; and teaches the true mode of writing 
words, according to established usage- 
Etymology treats of the derivation of words from their radicals or pi 
fives, and of their various inflections and modifications to express person, 
number, case, sex, time and mode. 

Syntax is a system of rules for constructing sentences. 

Prosody treats of the quantity or rather of the accent of syllables, of poetic 
feet, and the laws of versification. 

The elements of language are articulate sounds. These are represented on 
paper by letters or characters, which are the elements of written language 

A syllable is a simple sound, or a combination or succession of sounds ut 
Icred at one breath or impulse of the voice. 

A word consists of one syllable or of a combination of syllables. 

A sentence consists of a number of words, at the pleasure of the speakei 
or writer ; but forming complete sense. 


The English Alphabet consists of twenty six letters or characters, viz. 
A a— B b— C c— D d— E e— F f— G g— H h— I i— J j— K k— L 1 — M m— 
N n— o— P p— Q q— R r— S s— T t— U u— V v— W w— X x— Y y— Z z 

Of these, three, a, e, and o, are always vowels ; i and u arc either vowels 
or diphthongs ; and yisa vowel, diphthong, or consonant. To these may be 
added to, which is actually a vowel. H is an aspirate or mark of breathing, 
and the rest are consonants, or articulations. 

A vowel is a simple sound formed by opening the mouth, in a particular 
manner. This may be known by the power we have of prolonging the 
sound, without changing the position of the organs, as in uttering a, e,and o. 
When the position of the organs is necessarily varied, during the utterance, 
the sound is not simple, but diphthongal; as in uttering i and u. 

The vowel characters in English have each several different sounds. 
A has four souiiil^ ; First or long, as in /ate, ale. 

2. Shiirt, .1- :ii nt. I), it. ban. This is nearly the fourth sound shortened. 

3. 1)1.1, 111, -i II. I///. /(i,7, and shortened, as in toAot. 

4. ll.ili.iii, lis [II Jiilfur, calm, ask. 

E has two sounds; First or long, as in mete, me, meter. 

2. Short, as in met, bet, pen. This is nearly the first sound of a shortened. 

E has also the sound of a long, as in prey, vein ; but this is an anomaly. 

/has two sounds; First or long, and diphthongal, as in fine, wine, mind. 

2. Short, as inpit, ability. This is the short sound of e long. 

O has three sounds ; or long, as in note, roll. 

2. Short, as in not, nominal. This is the short sound of broad aie, as in 
what, warrant. 

3. The sound of oo, or French ou, as in move, tomb, lose. 

J/has three sounds; First or long, as in cube, rude, enumerate; a diph- 
thongal sound. 
2. Short, as in cub, but, number. 

5. The Italian M, as in bush, bullet; the short sound of oo. 

¥ has two sounds ; the first and long is the same as tliat of ?' long, as in 
defy, rely, try, chyle. 
2. Short, as in sym^Hom, pity ; the same as the short sound off. 
Vol. I. H. 

At the beginning of words, y may be considered a consonant, as in year. 
Wis properly avowel, having the same sound as oo, in Kjoo^the French 
ou, the Italian, German, and Spanish u. It is the same in English as iu 
the Welsh. Thus dwell is pronounced dooell. When initial, it has been 
considered to be a consonant, as in well, will, ooell, ooill; but although the 
position of the organs in uttering this letter at the beginning of words may 
be a little closer, it can hardly be called an articulation. In this combina- 
tion, the two vowels arc rather diphthongal. 

Consonants or articulations are characters that represent the junctions, 
jointings, or closings of the organs, which precede or follow the vocal sounds. 
Some of them are close articulnliens whieh wbr.lly infereept the voice. 
Such arefe,p, and <, as in the syll '''.-.' '/ '' I ': . ir ii^nnlly railed 
mutes, OT pure mutes. Others';.. .. !.• | . I. , _ n ..i -.mnil, as b. 
rf, and g, in the syllables cd, e(<, I i; 1! ii, : .i.,//!,, muhs. 

Others are imperfect articulatiuu.-, aui > niii. Ij imciiu(jiuiii, ilie \oice, but 
admitting a kind of hum, a hiss, or a breatliiug; and for lliis reason, they 
are sometimes called semi-vowels. Such are/, /, m, n, r, $, v, and z,as in 
the syllables eX, el, em, en, er, es, ev, ez. 

J and the soft g represent a compound sound, or rather a union of sounds, 
which may be expressed by edge, or t^e, as in join, general. 

X represents the sounds of ks, or gz. 

Th have an aspirated sound, as in thing, wreath ; or a vocal sound, as in 
thus, thou, breathe. 

Sh maybe considered as representing a simple sound, asm esh,she,shall. 
This sound, rendered vocal, becomes ezh, for which we have no character. 
It is heard infusion, pronounced fuzhun. 

The letters ng in combination have two sounds ; one as in sing, singer ; 
the other as in finger, longer. The latter requires a closer articulation of 
the palatal organs, than the former ; but the distinction can be communica- 
ted only by the ear. The orthoepists attempt to express it by writing g 
after the ng, &sfing-ger. But the peculiar sound of ng- is expressed, if ex- 
pressed at all, solely by the first syllable, as will be obvious to any per.son, 
who will write sing-ger for singer ; for let sing in this word be pronoun- 
ced as it is by itself, sing, and the additional letter makes no difference, 

iless the speaker pauses at sing, and pronounces ger by itself. 

The articulations in English may all be thus expressed : eb, ed, ef, eg, ek, 
el, em, en, ep, er, es, et, ev, ez, eth, aspirate and vocal, esh, ezh, ing. 

These articulations may be named from the organs whose junctions they 
represent — Thus 

Labials, or letters of the lips, eb, ef, ev, ep, em. 

Dentals, ed, et, eth, es, esh, ez, ezh, en. 

Palatals, eg, ek, el, er. 

Nasals, em, en, ing. 

The letters « and z, are also called sibilants, or hissing letters — to which 
may be added, esh, and ezh. 

Q is precisely equivalent to k; but it differs from it in being always follow- 
by M. It is a useless letter; for quest might as well be written kuest or 
kwesi, in the Dutch manner. 

A diphthong is a union of two vowels or simple sounds uttered so rapidly 
and closely, as to form one syllable only, or what is considered as one sylla- 
' le ; as oi and oy in voice and joy, ou in sound, and ow in vow. 

A triphthong is a union of three vowels in one syllable ; as in adieu. 

There are many combinations of vowels in English words, in which one 
owel only is sounded: as ai, ea, ie, ei, oa, ui, ay, ey,&ic. These may be 
called digraphs. They can be reduced to no rule of pronunciation. 

The combinations au and aw have generally the sound of the broad a, as in 
fraud, and law. The combination ew has the sound of u long, as in pew, 
new, crew; and sometimes at the beginning of words the sound of ^u, as in 
eucharist, euphony. 

The letters cl, kl, at the beginning of a word, are pronounced as tl, as in 
clear. Gl at the beginning of words are pronounced as d/, as in glory. 


The first and principal rule in dividing syllables, is not to separate letters 
that belong to the same syllable, except in cases of anomalous pronunciation. 


The best division of syllables is that which leads the learner most easily to a^ 
just pronunciation. Thus, hab-it, ham-let, bat-ter, ho-ly, lo-cal, en-gage, 
an-i-mal, al-i-ment, pol-i-cy, eb-o-ny, des-ig-nate, lam-ent-a-ble, pref- 

An exception to this rule occurs in such words as vicious, ambition, in 
which the ci and fi are pioiiouuccil like sh. In this case, it seems prefera- 
ble todiride tlie wok!- 'r.,~ r,-,,, i;v, nm-bi-tion. 

Individiu;; the syii ■ \ mi e words it seems advisable to keep the 

original eniire, uu!.' - i ■ i' oi\ i ion may lead to a wrong pronunciation. 
Thus aet-or, help-cr. ^7 , . >-"/ . lu.y he considered as a better division than 
ac-tor, hel-per, op-pres-^or. But it may be eligible in many cases, to devi- 
ate from this rule. Thus op-pres-sion seems to be more convenient both 
lor children in learning and for printers, than op-press-ion. 


1. Verbsof one syllable, ending with a single consonant preceded by a 
short vowel, and verbsof more syllables than one, ending with an accented 
consonant preceded by a short vowel, double tiie final consonant in the par- 
ticiple, and when any syllable is added beginning witli a vowel. Thus, 

Abet, Sin, Permit, 

Abetted, Sinned, Permitted, 

Abetting, Sinning, Permitting, 

Abettor. Sinner. Permitter. 

2. When the final consonant is preceded by a long vowel, the consonant 
is usually not doubled. Thus, 

Seal, Repeal, Defeat, 

Sealed, Repealed, Defeated, 

Sealing, Repealing, Defeating, 

Sealer. Repealer. Defeater. 

3. When the accent falls on any syllable except the last, the final conso- 
nant of the verb is not to be doubled in the derivatives. Thus, 

Bias, Quarrel, Worship, Equal, 

Biased, Quarreled, Worshiped, Equaled, 

Biasing, Quarreling, Worshiping, Equaling, 

Biaser. Quarrelei'. Worshiper. Equaler. 

The same rule is generally to be observed in nouns, as in jeweler, from 

These are general rules ; though possibly special reasons may, in some 
instances, justify exceptions. 


Words are classified according to their uses. Writers on grammar are not 
perfectly agreed in the distribution of words into classes. But I shall, with 
one exception, follow the common distribution. Words then may be distrib- 
uted into cisht classes or parts of speech. 1. The name ornoun. 2. The 
pronoun orsubsliliite. 3. the adjective, attribute or attributive. 4. The 
verb. 5. Tlie adverb. 6. The preposition. 7. The connective or cmi- 
junction. 8. The exclamation or interjection. 

The participle is sometimes treated as a distinct part of speech; it Is a de- 
rivative from the verb, and partakes of its nature, expressing motion or ac- 
tion. But it sometimes loses its verbal character, and becomes a mere ad- 
jective, expressing quality or habit, rather than action. 

Sames or 


A name or noun is that by which a tiling is calletl; and it expresses the 
idea of that which exists, material or immaterial. Of material substances, 
as man, horse, tree, table — of immaterial things, as faith, hope, love. These 
and similar words are, by customary use, made the names of things which 
exist, or the symbols of ideas, which they express without the help of any 
other word. 

Division of Names. 

Names are of two kinds; common, or those which represent the idea of 
a whole kind or .species ; and proper or appropriate, which denote individu 
hIs. Thus animal is a name common to all beings, having organized bodie: 
and endowed with life, digestion, and spontaneous motion. Plant and reg 
rtable are names of all beings which have organized bodies and life, with 
out the power of spontaneous motion. Fori'l is the common name of all 
iethereil animals which fly— ^s7i, of animals which live wholly in water. 

On the other hand, Thomas, John, William, arc proper or appropriate 
names, each denoting an individual of which there is no species or kind 
London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rhine, Po, Danube, Massachusetts, Hudson, 
Potomac, are also proper names, being appropriate toimUvidual things. 

Propel names however become common when they comprehend two 
more individuals ; as, the Capets, the Smiths, the Fletchers. 

" TiPo Hoberts there the pagan force defy'd." Hook's Tasso, b. 5 

Limitation of Names. 

Proper names are sufficiently definite without the aid of another word 
to Umit their meaning, as Boston, Baltimore. Savamrjh. \vi when cc 

individuals have a common character, or predominant qualities which create 
a simiUtude between them, this common character becomes in the mind a 
species, and the proper name of an individual possessing this character, ad- 
ndts of (he definitives and of plural number, like a common name. Thus a 
conspirator is called a Cataline ; and numbers of them Catalines or the Cata- 
lines of their country. A distinguished general is called a Cesar — an emin- 
ent orator the Cicero of his age. 

But names, which are common to a whole kind or species, require often 
to be limited to an individual or a certain number of individuals of the kind 
or species. For this purpose the English language is furnished with a num- 
ber of words, as an, or a, the, this, that, these, those, and a few others, 
which define the extent of the signification of common names, or point to 
the particular things mentioned. These are all adjectives or attributes, 
having a dependence on some noun expressed or implied. 

Rule I. — A noun or name, without a preceding definitive, is used either 
in an unUmited sense, extending to the whole species, or in an indefinite 
sense, denoting a number or quantity, but not the whole. 

" The proper study of mankind is man." Pope- 

Here man comprehends the whole species. 

" In the first place, woman has, in general, much stronger propensity than 
man to the perfect discharge of parental duties." LiJ'e of Cowper. 

Here woman and 7nan comprehend each the whole species of its sex. 

Note. — The rule laid down by Lowth, and transcribed implicitly by his 
followers, is general. " A substantive without any article to limit it, is taken 
in its widest sense ; thus man means all mankind." The examples al- 
ready given prove the inaccuracy of the rule. But let it be tried by other 

"There are fishes that have wings, and are not strangers to the airy re- 
gions." — Locke, b. 3. ch.6. 12. If the rule is just, timt fishes is to be 
■"' taken in its widest sense," then all fishes have wings I 

Rule II.— The definitive an or a, being merely one, in its English or- 
thography, and precisely synonymous with it, limits a common name to an 
individual of the species. Its sole use is to express unity, and with respect 
to number, it is the most definite word imaginable; as an ounce, a church, n 
hip, that is, 07ie ship, one church. It is used before a name which is indefi- 
lite, or applicable to any one of a species ; as 

" He bore him in the thickest troop. 

As doth a lion in a herd of neat." Shakspearc. 

Here a limits the sense of the word lion, and that of herd to one — but 

does not specify the particular one — " As any lion does or would do in 


his definitive is used also before names which are definite and as specific 
as possible : as, "Solomon built a temple." "The Lord God planted a gar- 
den eastward in Eden." London is a great commercial city. A decisive 
battle was fought at Marengo. The English obtained a signal naval vic- 
tory at the mouth of the Nile. 

Note. — When the sense of words is sufficiently certain, by the construc- 
tion, the definitive may be omitted ; as, " Duty to your majesty, and regard 
for the preservation of ourselves and our posterity, require us to entreat 
your royal attention." 

It is also omitted before names whose signification is general, and requires 
no limitation — as '^wisdom is justified of her children" — "anger resteth in 
the bosom of fools." 

The definitive a is used before plural names preceded by few or many — 
as a few days, a great many persons. It is also used before any collective 
word, as a dozen, a hundred, even when such words are attached to plural 
nouns ; as a hundred years. 

It is remarkable that a never precedes many without the intervenUon of 
great between them — but follows many, standing between this word and a 
name — and what is equally singular, many, the very essence of which is 
to mark plurality, will, with a intervening, agree with a name in the singu- 
' • number ; as 

" Full many a gem of purest ray serene." Gray. 

" Where matiy a rose bud rears its blushing head." Beattie. 

Rule. III. — The definitive the is employed before names, to limit their 
signification to one or more specific things of the kind, discriminated from 
[hers of the same kind. Hence the person or thing is understood by the 
reader or hearer, as the twelve Apostles, the laws of morality, the rules of 
good breeding. 

This definitive is also used with names of things which exist alone, or 
which we consider as single, as the Jews, the Surt, the Globe, the Ocean ; 
and also before words when used by way of distinction, as the Church, 
the Temple. 

Rule IN .— The is used rhetorically before a name in the singular num- 
ber, to denote the whole species, or an indefinite number; as, ''the fig-tree 
pulteth forth her green figs." Sol. Song. 

" The almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden. 
" Or ever the silver cord shall be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken," &.c. 
I Ecclcsiastes. 


■ Tlie Christian, who, with pious horror, avoided the abominations of the 
•us or the theater, found himself encompassed with infernal snares," &c. 

G-ib. Rom. Emp. ch. 15. 

■ The heart likes naturally to bo moved and affected." 

CampbelVs JRhet. ch. 2. 

; is also used before i 

i employed figuratively 

Note 1.— Thisdcfii 
in a general sense; as, • , ., 

" His mates their safety to the waves consign. Lusiad, 2. 

Here waves cannot be understood of any particular waves ; but the word 
is a metaphor for a particular thing, the ocean. 

Note 2. The definitive the is used before an attribute, which is selected 

from others belonging to the same object ; as, " The very frame of spirit; 
proper for being diverted with the laughable in objects, is so different from! 
- - "■ philosophizing on them." Campbell's Rhet. 1.2. 

that which is necessary for ] 


As men have occasion to .speak of a single object, or of two or more indi- 
viduals of the same kind, it has been found necessary to vary the noun or 
name, and usually the termination, to distinguish plurality from unity. The 
different forms of words to express one or more are called in Grammar, num- 
bers; of which there are in English, two, the singular and the plural. 
The singular denotes an individual, or a collection of individuals united in a 
body ; as, a man, a ship, an office, a company, a society, a dozen. The plu- 
ral denotes two or more individuals, not considered as a collective body ; as, 
men, ships, offices, companies, societies. The plural number is formed by 
the addition of s or es to the singular. 

Rule 1. When the terminating letter of a noun will admit the .sound of 

I coalesce with the i 
the plural ; as sea, 
vales ; vow, vows. 

2. Whentbr Im. 
lable of it, tlw .< • 
houses; grace. i;i i , 

3. When the i, u, 
ral is formed by add 
cannot be pronounced ; 

I or the last syllable of it, s only is added to for 
hand, hands ; pen, pens ; grape, grapes ; vale, 

. . I ; combine insound with the word orlastsyl- 
I i.-.i«es the number of syllables; as, house 

[' J.'*; rose, roses; voice, voices; maze, mazes, 
- II, . ss. sft, or eft with its English sound, the plu- 
5 to the singular; for a single s after those letters 
as, fox, foxes; glass, glasses; brush, brushes; 
church, chtirches. But after eft with its Greek sound, like *, the plural is 
formed by « only ; as monarch, monarchs. 

4. When a name ends with y after a consonant, the plural is formed by 
dropping y and adding tes ,■ as vanity, vanities. Alkali has a regular plu 
ral, alkalies. 

But after ay, ey, and oy, s only is added ; as, delay, delays; valley, val 
leys; joy, joys; money, moneys. 

Note. — A few English nouns deviate from the foregoing rules in the 
formation of the plural number 

Class 1. — In some names, / in the singular, is for the convenience of 
utterance, changed into 










CL.4.SS 2. — The second class consists of words which 
numbers, with plurals irregularly formed; as. 






used in both 








peas or pease, 
criterioiis or criteria, 
focuses or foci, 
radiuses or radii, 
indexes or indices, 
calxes or calces, 

children. hypothe 

feet. brother, 

teeth. penny, 

men. die, 

women. pea, 

oxen. criterion, 

lice. focus, 

geese. radius, 

beaux. index, 

theses. calx, 

emphases. phenomenon, 

Pennies is used for real coins; pence for their value in computati 
Dies denotes stamps for coining; dice, pieces used in games. — Peas denotes 
the seeds as distinct objects ; pease the seeds in a mass. — Brothers is the 
plural used in common discourse; brethren, in the scripture style, but is not 
restricted to it. 

Cherubim and Seraphim are real Hebrew plurals; but such is the pro- 
pensity in men to form regular inflections in language, that these words are 
used as in the singular, with regular plurals, cherubims, seraphims. In like 
manner, the Hebrew singulars, cherub and seraph, have obtained regular 

The influence of this principle is very obvious in other foreign words, 
which the sciences have enlisted into our service; as may be observed in 

the words radius, focus, index, &c. which now begin to bo U5ed with regu- 
lar English plural terminations. This tendency to regularity is, by all means, 
to be encouraged ; for a prime excellence in language is the uniformity of 
its inflections. The facts here stated will be evinced by a few authorities. 

" Vesiculated corallines are found adhering to rocks, shells and /ucuscs." 
Encyc. art. Corallines. 

" Many /etiwes are deficient at the extremities." 

Var. Zoon. Sect. 1, 3, 9. 

"Five hundred denariiises." Baker's Livy, 4. 491. 

"The radiations of that tree and its fruit, the principal /oeitsfs of which 
are in the Maldivia islands." Hunter's St. Pierre, vol. S. 

"Tlie reduction of metallic calxes into metals." 

Ency. art. Metallurgy. 

See also Jl/ediunw, Campbell's Rhetoric, 1, 150 — Ca/jxcs, Darwin's Zoon. 
1, 74 — Caudexes, Phytologia, 2, 3 — Irises, Zoon. 1. 444. Reguluses and 
residuums. Ency. art. Metal. 

In authorities equally respectable, we find stamens, stratums, funguses ; 
and in pursuance of the principle, we may expect to see lamens for lamina ; 
lamels for lamella; barytc for barytes; pyrite for pyrites; strontite for 
strontites ; stalactite for the plural stalactites. These reforms are necessa- 
ry to enable us to distinguish the singular from the plural number. 

Class 3. — The third class of irregulars consists of such as have no plural 
termination ; some of which represent ideas of things which do not admit of 
plurality ; as rye, barley, flax, hemp, flour, sloth, pride, pitch, and the names 
of metals, gold, silver, tin, zink, antimony, lead, bismuth, quicksilver. When, 
in the progress of improvement, any thing, considered as not susceptible of 
plurality, is found to have varieties, which are distinguishable, this distinc- 
tion gives rise to a plural of the term. Thus in early ages our ancestors 
took no notice of different varieties of wheat, and the term had no plural. 
But modern improvements in agriculture have recognized varieties of this 
grain, which have given the name a plural form. The same remark is ap- 
plicable to fern, clay, marl, sugar, cotton, &c. which have plurals, formerly 
unknown. Other words may hereafter undergo a similar change. 

Other words of this class denote pluraMty, without a plural termination ; as 
cattle, sheep, swine, kine, deer, ; trout, salmon, carp, perch, and many 
other names of fish. Fish has a plural, but it is used in the plural sense 
without the termination ; as, 

"We are to blame for eating these fish." Anacharsis 6. 272. 

"The^sft reposed in seas and crystal floods, 

" The beasts retired in covert of the woods." Hoole T. 2. 726. 

Cannon, shot and sail, are used in a plural sense ; as, 

" One hundred cannon were landed from the fleet." 

Burchctt, A'aval Hist. 732. 

" Several shot being fired." Ibm. 455. 

" Several sail of ships." " TZim. 426. 

In the sense in which sail is here used, it does not admit of a plural 


Under this class may be noticed a number of words, expressing time, dis- 
tance, measure, weight, and number, which, though admitting a plural ter- 
mination, are often, not to say generally, used without that termination, even 
when used with attributes of plurality ; such are the names in these expres- 
ions, two year, five mile, ten foot, seven pound, three tun, hundred, thou- 
and, or million, five bushel, twenty weight, &c. Yet the most unlettered 
people never say, two minute, three hour, five day, or week, or month ; nor 
inch, yard or league ; nor three ounce, grain, dram, or peck, 
like singularity is observable in the Latin language. " Tritici quadra- 
gintamilUa modium." Liv. lib. 26. 47. Forty thousand modiura of wheat. 
Quatuor milliapondo auri," four thousand pound of gold. Ibm. 27. 10. 
Here we see the origin of our pound. Originally it was merely weight — 
four thousand of gold by weight. From denoting weight generally, pondo 
became the term for a certain division or quantity ; retaining however its 
lignification of unity, and becoming an indeclinable in Latin. Twenty 
pound then, in strictness, is twenty divisions by weight ; or as we say, with 
a like abbreviation, twenty weight. 

The words horse, foot and irtfantry, comprehending bodies of soldiers, are 
used as plural nouns and followed by verbs in the plural. Cavalry is some- 
times used in like manner. 

Class 4. — The fourth class of irregular nouns consists of words which 
have the plural termination only. .Some of these denoting plurality, are al- 
ways joined with verbs in the plural ; as the following : 

Annals, drawers, lees, customs, 

archives, downs, lungs, shears, 

ashes, dregs, matins, scissors, 

assets, embers, mallows, shambles, 

betters, entrails, orgies, tidings, 

bowels, fetters, nippers, tongs, 

compasses, filings, pincers, or thanks, 

clothes, goods, pinchei-s, vespers, 

calends, hatches, pleiads, vitals, 

breeches, ides, snuffi -?, victuals. 

Letters, in the sense of literature, may be aJded to the foregoing list. 
Manners, in the sense oi behavior, is also plural. 


Other words of tliis class, though ending in s, are used either wholly ir 
the singular number, or in the one or tlie other, atthe pleasure of the writer 
Amends, wages, conies, economies, 

alms, billiards, catoprics, mathematics, 

bellows, fives, dioptrics, mechanics, 

gallows, sessions, acoustics, hydraulics, 

odds, measles, pneumatics, hydrostatics, 

means, hysterics, statics, analytics, 

pains, physics, statistics, politics, 

news, ethics, spherics, 

riches, optics, tactics. 

Of these, jja/rts, riches, and wages* are more usually considered as plu- 
ral — netvs is always singular — odds and /neons are either singular or plu 
ral — the others are more strictly singular; for measles is the name of adis. 
ease, and in strictness, no more plural than gout or fever. Small pox, for 
pocks, is sometimes considered as a plural, but it ought to be used as sin] 
lar. Billiards has the sense of game, containing unity of idea; and eth 
physics and other similar names, comprehending each the whole system of 
a particular science, do not convey the ideas of parts or particular branches, 
but of a whole collectively, a unity, and hence seem to be treated as words 
belonging to the singular number. 


Pre-eminent by so mttch odds. 

With every odds thy prowess I defy. 

Where the odds is considerable. 

The wages of sin is death. 

Much pains has been taken. 

Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high. Bible 

Here he erected a fort and a gallows. Lusiad 1. 134 

The riches we had in England was the slow result of long industry and 
wisdom, and is to be regained, &c. Davenant, 2. 12. 

Mathematics informs us. Encyc. art. strength of Materials. 

Politics is the art of producing individual good by geneial measures. 

Beddoes' Hygeia. 2. 79. 

Politics contains two parts. Locke, vol. 2. 408. 

Locke however uses a plural verb with ethics. "The ideas that ethics 
are conversant about." — B. 4. 12. 8. 

Pains, when preceded by much, should always have a singular verb. 

Means is so generally used in either number, every means, all means, 
this means, and these means, that authorities in support of the usage are 
deemed superfluous. 


Milt. P. L. 4. 474. 

Hoole Tas. 6. 19. 40. 

Camp. Rhet, ch. 5. 


Enfield Hist. Phil. ch. 2. 

Gender, in grammar, is a difference of termination, to express distinc- 
tion of sex. 

There being two sexes, tnale und female, words which denote males are 
said to be of the masculine gender ; those which denote females, of the fem- 
inine gender. Words expressing things without sex, are said to be of neuter 
gender. There are therefore but two genders; yet for convenience the 
neuter is classed with the genders ; and we say there are three, the mascu- 
line, feminine and neuter. The English modes of distinguishing sex are these : 
1. The regular termination of the feminine gender, is ess; which is ad- 
ded to the name of the masculine ; as lion, lioness. But when the word 
ends in or, the feminine is formed by retrenching a vowel, and blending 
two syllables into one; as actor, actress. In a few words, the feminine gen- 
der is represented by ix, as testatrix, from testator ; and a few others are ir- 
regular. The following are most of the words which have a distinct termi- 
nation for the feminine gender : 








































































2. In many instances, animals, with which we have most frequent occa- 
sions to be conversant, have different words to express the dilTerent sexes ; 

'Originally wagis, and really singular. 

as man and woman; brother and sister ; uncle and aunt ; .son and daughter; 
boy and girl ; father and mother ; horse and mare ; bull and cow. 

Man however is a general term for the whole race of mankind ; so also, 
horse comprehends the whole species. A law to restrain every man from 
an offence would comprehend women and boys ; and a law to punish a tres- 
pass committed by any horse, would comprehend all marcs and colts. 

3. When words have no distinct termination for the female sex, the sexes 
are distinguished by prefixing some word indicating sex ; as a male rabbit, 
a female opossum ; a he goat, a she goat; a man servant, a maid servant ; a 
male coquet, a female warrior ; a cock-sparrow, a hen-sparrow. 

4. In all cases, when the sex is sufficiently indicated by a separate word, 
names may be used to denote females without a distinct termination. Thus, 
although females are rarely soldiers, sailors, philosophers, or mathematicians, 
and we seldom have occasion to say, she is a soldier, or an astronomer, yet 
there is not the least impropriety in the application of these names to females, 
when they possess the requisite qualifications; for the sex is clearly marked 
by the word she or female, or the appropriate name of the woman ; as *' Joan 
of Arc was a warrior." " The Amazons, were a nation of female warriors."* 

Encyc. art. Amazons. 

5. Although the Englisli language is philosophically correct in consider- 
ing things without life as of neither gender, yet by an easy analogy, the 
imagination conceives of inanimate things a.s animated and di^tingnished by 
sex. On this fiction, called ;)£/-soni^cation, depends much of the descrip- 
tive force and beauty of poetry. In general, those objects which are re- 
markable for their strength, influence, and the attribute of imparting, take 
the masculine gender ; those which are remarkable for the more mild and 
delicate qualities, for beauty and the attribute of producing, become femin- 
ine ; the sun darts his scorching rays ; the moon sheds her paler light. 

" Indus or Ganges rolling /us broad wave." Akenside. 

" There does the soul 
Consent her soaring fancy to restrain." Ibm. 

" Now morn he>' rosy steps in th' eastern clime 
Advancina— " 

' The north east spends his rage." 


Case in Grammar denotes a variation of words to express the relation of 
things to each other. In English, most of the relations are expressed by 
separate words ; but the relation of property, ownership or possession, is ex- 
pressed by adding s to a name, with an apostrophy ; thus, John's book ; 
which words are equivalent to " the book of John." This is called the Pos- 
sessive Case. In English therefore names have two cases only, the nomi- 
native or simple name, and the possessive. The nominative before a verb 
and the objective after a verb are not distinguished by inflections, and are to 
be known only by position or the sense of the passage. 

When the letter s, added as the sign of the possessive, will coalesce with 
the name, it is pronounced in the same syllable ; as John's. But if it will 
coalesce, it adds a syllable to the word ; as Thomas's bravery, pronoun- 
ced as if written Thomasis ; the Church's piosperity, Churchis prosperity. 
These examples show the impropriety of retrenching the vowel; but it oc- 
casions no inconvenience to natives. 

When words end in es or ss, the apostrophy is added without e; as on 
eagles' wings ; foi- righteousness' sake. 

Pronouns or Substitutes. 

Pronouns or substitutes are of two kinds ; those which are used in the 
place of the names of persons only, and may be called personal ; and those 

hich represent names, attributes, a sentence or part of a sentence, or a se- 

BS of propositions. 

The pronouns which are appropriate to persons, are, I, thou, you, he, she, 

e, ye, and who. 

/is used by a speaker to denote himself, and is called the first person of 
the singular number. 

When a speaker includes others with himself, he uses we. This is the 
first person of the plural number. 

Thou and you represent the person addressed — thou, in solemn discourse, 
and you, in common language. These are the second person. In the plu- 
al, ye is used in solemn style, and you in familiar language. 

He represents the name of a male, and she, that of a female, who is the 
subject of discourse, but not directly addressed. These are called the third 

It is a substitute for the name of any tlung of the neuter gender in the 
third person, and for a sentence. 

They is a substitute for the names of persons or things, and forms the 
third person of the plural number. 

• The termination or in Latin, is a contraction of vir, a man ; as o" in Eng- 
lish is of iver, the same word in Saxon. But in common understanding, the 
idea of gender is hardly attached to these terminations ; for we add er to 
words to denote an agent, without life, as grater, heater. 


iriio U a rela(ive or personal pronoun, used to introduce a new clause or 
affirmation into a sentence, which clause has an immediate dependence on 
the pieciding one. IVho is also used to ask questions, and hence it is called 
an inlorrOi£;>tive. ; . , . 

Ulikh is also a relative, but is of neuter gender. It is also mterrogative. 

These pronouns have two cases; the nominative which precedes a verb, 
and the objective which follows it. They are inflected in the following 



Si71g. Plu. 




she they 




Obj. - 

- her them 

Norn. - 

- thou 



it they 




Obj. - 

- it them 

Nom. - 



Nom. - 

who who 




Obj. - 

- whom whom 

Nom. - 

- he 





Note. — Mine, thine, his, hers, yours and theirs, are usually considered 
as the possessive case. But the three first are either attributes, and used 
with nouns, or they are substitutes. The three last arc always substitutes, 
used in the place of names which are understood, as may be seen in the note 

Its and whose have a better claim to he considered as a possessive case; 
but as they equally well fall under the denomination of attributes, I have, 
for the sake of uniformity, assigned them a place with that part of speech. 

* That 7ni7ie, thine, his, yours, hers and theirs, do not constitute a poss 
ive case, is demonstrable ; for they are constantly used as the nominatives to 
verbs and as the objectives after verbs and prepositions, as in the following 
passages. " Whether it could perform its operations of thinking and memo- 
ry out of a body organized as ours is," — Locke, b. 2. 27. " In referring our 
ideas to those of other men called by the same name, ours may hefalse."—" It 
is lor no other reason but that his agrees not with our ideas." — ibm. ch. 32 
9 and 10. 

'• You may imagine what kind of faith theirs was." 

Bacon, Unity in Religion 

"He ran headlong into his own ruin whilst he endeavoured to precipitate 
ours." Bolingbroke, Let. to Windham. 

" The reason is that his subject is generally things ; theirs, on the contra- 
ry, is persons." Camp. Rhet. b. 1. ch. 10. 

" Yours of the 26th Oct. I have received, as I have always done yours, 
with no little satisfaction." Wyeherley to Pope 

"Therefore leave your forest of beasts for oitrs of brutes, called men." Ibm 

" These return so much better outof your hands than they went from mine.' 


Your letter of the 20th of this month, like the rest of 


much more wit, sense and kindness than mine can 


-tells me 
s," &c. 

" Having good works enough of your own besides to ensure yoxirs and 
tlieir immortality." 

" The omission of repetitions is but one, and the easiest part oC yours and 
of my design." Pope to Wyeherley. 

" iVIy sword and yours are kin." Shakspeare, 

It is needless to multiply proofs. We observe these pretended possessives 
uniformly used as nominatives or objectives. To say that, in these passagi 
ours, yours, theirs, and mine form a possessive case, is to make the possessive \ 
perform the office of a nominative case to verbs, and an objective ease after 
verbs and prepositions — a manifest solecism. 

Should it be said that a noun is understood ; I reply, this cannot be true, 
in regard to the grammatical construction ; for supply the noun for which 
the word is a substitute, and the pronoun must be changed into an adjective. 
" Vours of the 26th of October," becomes your letter — "he endeavoured to 
precipitate ours," becomes our ruin." This shows that the words are real 
substitutes, like others, where it stands for other men or thi7igs. 

Besides in three passages, just quoted, the word yaurs is joined by a con- 
nective to a name in the same case ; " to ensure yours and their immortali- 
ty." " The easiest part of yours and of my design." " My sword and' 
yours are kin." Will any person pretend that the connective here joins dif- 
ferent cases ? 

Another consideration is equally decisive of this question. 1( yours, ours, 
&c. are real possessives, then the same word admits of two different signs of 
the case ; tor we say correctly, " an acquaintance o( yours, ours, or theirs" 
— o/ being tlte sign of the possessive ; but if the words in themselves are 
possessives, then there must be two signs of the same case, which is absurd. t 
Compare these words with a name in the possessive case — " My house is 
on a hill ; my father's is on a plain." Here father's is a real possessive case ; 
the word /loiMe being understood ; and the addition of the noun makes no 
alteration in the word/a(Aer's ,• " my father's is, or my father's house is." 

1 This case does not compare with that of names. We say, a " soldier of 
the king's," or a soldier of the king's soldieis ; but we cannot say, " an ac- 
•luaintance of yours acquaintance." 

But it must be ob.servcd, that although it and who are real substitutes, 
never united to names, like attributes — it day — who man ; yet its and whose 
cannot be detached from a name expressed or implied — as, Hs shape, its 
figure — whose face — whose \forks— whose are they ? that is, 'whose works. 
These are therefore real adjectives. 

n the use of substitutes, it is to be remarked, that /, thou, you, ye and 
we are generally employed without an antecedent name. When /, and the 
name of the person are both employed, as they are in formal writings, oaths 
and the like, the pronouns precede the name ; as, " I, Richard Roe, of Bos- 
ton." In similar language, you and we also precede the name ; as, "" You, 
John Doc, of New- York." "We, Richard Roe and John Doe, of Phila- 

Vou is used by writers very indefinitely, as a substitute for any person 
who may read the work — the mind of the writer imagining a person ad- 

He and they are used in the same indefinite manner; as, " He seldom lives 
frugally, who lives by chance." " Blessed are they that mourn, for they 
shall be comforted." 

He and they, in such sentences, represent any persons who fall within the 
subsequent description. 

PVho and whom are always substitutes for persons, and never for things 
or brutes. Whose is equally applicable to persons as to things. 

Whoever is often employed as the nominative to two verbs ; as, " Whoever 
expects to find in the scriptures a specific direction for every moral doubt 
that arises, looks for more than he will meet with." Paley, Phil. ch. 4. 
Mine, thine and his are equally well used as substitutes, or as attributes. 
" The silver is mine, and the gold is mine." Hag. ii. 8. " The day is thine, 
the night also is thine." Ps. Ixxiv, 16. " The lord knoweth them that are 
his." 2 Tim. ii. 19. In these examples the words, mine, thine, his, may 
be considered as substitutes — " The silver is mine," that is, my silver. 

In this character the words usually follow the verb; but when emphati- 
cal, they may precede it ; as " His will I be." 2. Sam. xvi. 18. " Thine, 
Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory." " TTiine is the king- 
dom." 1. Ch. xxix. 11. 

These words are also used as attributes of possession ; as, " Let not mine 
enemies triumph." " So let thine enemies perish." " And Abram remov- 
ed his tent.»' Mine and thine arc however not used in familiar language ; 
but in solemn and elevated style, they are still used as attributes. 

" Mine eyes beheld the messenger divine." Lusiad. B. 2. 

There is another class of substitutes, which supply the place of names, 
attributes, sentences or parts of a sentence. 


In the following sentence, it is the substitute for a name. " The sun rules 
the day ; it illumines the earth." Here it is used for sun, to prevent a re- 
petition of the word. 

In the following passage, it has a difTerent use. " The Jews, it is well 
known, were at this time under the dominion of the Romans." Porteus, 
Led. S. Here it represents the whole of the sentence, except the clause in 
which it stands. To understand this, let the order of the words be varied. 
" The Jews were at this time under the dominion of the Romans, it [all 
that] is well known. 

" It is a testimony as glorious to his memory, as it is singular, and almost 
unexampled in his circumstances, that he loved the Jewish nation, and that 
he gave a very decisive proof of it, by building them a sjTiagogue." ibm. 

To discover what is represented by the first it, we must inquire, what is a 
glorious testimony ? Why, clearly that he loved the Jewish nation, and gave 
them a decisive proof of it, by building them a synagogue. It then is a 
substitute for those clauses of the sentence. The second it refers to the 
same clauses. In the latter part of the sentence, he gave a magnificent 
proof of it — of what ? of what is related in a preceding clause — He loved the 
Jewish nation — of that he gave a decisive and magnificent proof. Here it 
represents that member of the sentence. 

As for the pulling of them down, if the affairs require it." Bacon on 
Ambition. Require what ? " The pulling of them down" — for which part 
of the sentence, it is a substitute. 

" And how could he do this so effectually, as by performing works, which 
it utterly exceeded all the strength and ability of men to accomplish." Por- 
teus,' Led. 5. 

What utterly exceeded ? To what does it refer ? Let us invert the or- 
der of the words — " as by performing works to accomplish which exceeded 
all the strength of men." Here we find to accomplish, a verb in the infin- 
itive, is the nominative to exceeded, and for that verb, it is a substitute. 

This inceptive use of t< forms a remarkable idiom of our language, and 
deserves more particular illustration. It stands as the substitute for a sub- 
sequent member or clause of a sentence ; and is a sort of pioneer to smooth 
the way for the verb. Thus, " It is lemarkable, that the philosopher Seneca 
makes use of the same argument." Partem Led. 6. If we ask, what is 
remarkable.' The answer must be, the fact stated in the last clause of the 
sentence. That this is the real construction, appears from a transposition 
of the clauses. "The philosopher Seneca makes use of the same argument. 
that is remarkable." In this order we observe the true use of that, which 


is also a subsUtule for the preceding clause of the sentence, and it becomes 
redundant. The use then of the inceptive it appears to be to enable us to 
begin a sentence, wi(lir.:it y>].:' iir; r, v,-:b as the introductory word ; and by 
the use of ii and Wio' ' : i- iibsequent members of the sentence, 

the order is inverted \' ■ nut; obscurity. 

It is to be noticed i,i j.uU'r substitute, iJ, is equally proper to 

begin sentcnr;. V.I: ,, in.-ol a ;>ereo« is afterwards used; as, " It 

was John H I,. ' i powers of eloquence." But if we transpose 

the words, .1 , , ' ' ihat, the substitute which begins anew clause, 

next after iIj ■ , ,i >■ ';.l, we must use /leforthe inceptive — "He, who 
or that exliiliur.l Muh pdvicrs of eloquence, was ,Iohn." 

In interros^ilive scutences, the order of words is changed, and it follows 
the verb. Wlio is it that has been thus eloquent? 

Tlicre is a sentence in Locke, in which the inceptive it is omitted. 
" Whereby comes to pass, that, as long as any uneasiness remains in the 
mind. £. ch. 21. In strictness, this is not a defective sentence, for that 
may be considered as the nominative to comes. Whereby that comes to 
pass which follows. Or the whole subsequent sentence may be considered 
as the nominative — for all that comes to pass. But the use of the inceptive 
it is so fully established as the true idiom of the language, that its omission 
is not to be vindicated. 

This and that., these and those. 

This and that are either definite attributes or substitutes. As attributes, 
they are used to specify individuals, and distinguish them from others ; as, 
" This my son was dead and is alive again." '■ Certuiidy Wi/.s was a right- 
eous man." " The end of (Aaf man is peace." ■■ \\ /',< / iiim liy whom 

the son of man is betrayed." This and that hay j' ' .\.\ those. 

The general distinction between this and tliu>. 1 ' - , :i object 

to be presenter near in time or place ; that, to if .,'< ni. ;'..i' ;Ih ; distinc- 
tion is not always observed. In correspondence bowt.'\t-'r with this distinc- 
tion, when, in discourse, two things are mentioned, this and these refer to 
the last named, or nearest in the order of construction ; that and those to 
the most distant ; as, 

" Self love and reason to one end aspire, 

Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire ; 

But greedy that [self love] its object would devour. 

This [reason] taste the honey and not wound tlie flower." Pope. 

" Some place the bliss in action, some in ease. 

Those call it pleasure, and contentment these." Ibm. 

The poets sometimes contrast these substitutes in a similar manner, to de- 
note individuals acting or existing in detached parties, or to denote the 
whole acting in various capacities ; as, 

" 'Twas war no more, but carnage through the field. 
Those lift their sword, and these their bosoms yield." 

Hoole's Tasso. b. 20. 
" Nor less the rest, the intrepid chief retain'd ; 
n>ese urged by threats, and those by force constraiu'd." Ibtn. 

There is a peculiarity in the use oi that ; for when it is an attribute, it is 
always in the singular number; but as a substitute for per.sons or things, 
it is plural as well as singular, and is used for persons as well as things 
more frequently than any word in the language ; as, | 

" I knew a man that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to 
a conclusion, ' Stay a little that we may make an end the sooner.' " 

Bacon on Dispatch. 

Here that is the representative of man, and (( stands for the last clause 
of the sentence or by- word. 

" Let states that aim at greatness take heed how their nobility and gen- 
tlemen multiply too fast." Bacon. 

Here that is a substitute for a plural name. So also in the following. 
" They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." 
" They that had eaten were about four thousand" — "they that are in the 
flesh" — " they that weep"- — '* bless them that curse you." 

Another very common use of this and that, is to represent a sentence or 
part of a sentence ; as, 

" It is seldom known that, authority thus acquired is possessed without 
insolence, or that, the master is not forced to confess that, he has enslaved 
himself by some foolish confidence." Rambler, JVo. 68. 

In this sentence, the first that represents the next member — " Authority 
thus acquired is possessed without insolence, that is seldom known." It rep- 
resents the same clause. The second that represents all which follows, in- 
cluding two clauses or members. The third that is the substitute for the last 
clause. In strictness the comma ought always to be placed after that ; 
which punctuation would elucidate the use of the substitute and the true 
construction ; but the practice is otherwise, for that, in this and like sen- 
tences, is either a nominative or an objective. The first that in the fore- 
going sentence is the nominative, coinciding with it, or in apposition to it ; 
and when the clauses are transposed, the inceptive it, being redundant, is 
dropped, and that becomes the nominative. The same remark is applicable 
to the second that ; the verb and first clause, it is seldom known, being 
understood. The third that is the objective after confess. " The master 
has enslaved himself by some foolish confidence— he is forced to confess that 
— all that is seldom known." 

Such is the true construction of sentences— the definitive that, fnstead of 
being a conjunction, is the representative of a sentence or distinct clause, 
preceding that clause, and pointing the mind to it, as the subject which fol- 
lows. And it is'as definite or demonstrative in this application to sentences, 
as when it is applied to a name or noun. 

The following sentence will exhibit the true use of that as a substitute — 
" He recited his former calamities ; to which was now to be added that he 
was the destroyer of the man who had expiated him. 

Beloe's Herodotus, Clio, 4.5. 

AccorJiiiu- to our present "ranmiars, that is a conjunction ; if so, the pre- 
ceding vcri, //,,.. Iii u, 1 [.<.•.].•■ word. But the sense is, " to which 

was to be > ■ .; '1 I'od in the following words. 

The II -^r , - ''stitute are more clearly manifest, when 

it denotes \<f,\' r mi , 1:, , , . , i-, I'.l- |,,,ssa;;e, "And he came and dwelt in 
a city called ISazareth ; thni , _ ; , iiliillcd which was spoken by the 
prophets, 'He shall be c;ill. > ,. Matt. ii. 23. Here that If. 

equWiilent to that purpost , i 'il- and dwelt in Nazareth, /or 

the jmrpose expressed in ir'i.ii / / ,/ // and jffticA represent the last 
clause in the sentence — " He shall be called a Nazarene." The excellence 
and utility of substitutes and abbreviations are strikingly illustrated by this 
use of that. 

This substitute has a similar use in thi^ Introihietory sentence. That we 
may proceed — </ia< here refers to the inliAir' '.>,:,!-. The true construc- 
tion is, jBm( Wiaiu'e 7«o^ proceed — hill .> I ; I lie shown, denoting 
supply or something more or further— - .\ .lintepretation of the 
expression is — More that — or fiirthei Ih-i ir, i.i f<, /.i.icted. It is the sim- 
ple mode our ancestors used to express addition lo \vhat has preceded, equiv- 
alent io the modern phrase, let us add, or we may add wh-at follows, by 
way of illustrating or modifying the sense of what has been related. 

That, like who and which, has a connecting power, which has given to 
these words the name of »-cZa«(»e ,■ in which character, it involves one mem- 
ber of a sentence within another, by introducing a new verb ; as, " He. 
that keepethhis mouth, keepeth his'life." Prov. xiii. In this passage, that 
keepeth his mouth, is a new atfirmation, interposed between the first nom- 
inative and its verb, but dependant on the antecedent nominative. 

" The poor of the Hock, that waited upon me, knew that, it was the word 
of the Lord." Zech. xi. 11. In this passage we have that in both its char- 
acters — the first that is a substitute for poor of the flock ; the second, for the 
last clause of the sentence, it was the word of the Lord. 

This exposition of the uses of that enables us to understand the propriety 
of that that joined in construction. 

" Let me also tell you that, that faith, which proceeds from insufficient or 
bad principles, is but little better than infideUty." In this passage, the first 
that is a substitute for the whole subsequent part of the sentence ; the se- 
cond that is an attribute agreeing with faith— "That faith which proceeds 
from bad principles is little better than infidelity — let me tell you that." 
Hence it might be well always to separate the two words by a comma. We 
now distinguish these words by a stronger emphasis on the last. 

"He, whom thou now hast, is not thy husband ; in that saidst thou truly." 
John iv. 18. That is, in that whole declaration. 

From these passages and the explanation, we learn that that is a substi- 
tute, either for a single word or a sentence ; nor has it any other character, 
except when an attribute. 

This is much less frequently a substitute for sentences than that, but is 
used in this character, as well as in that of an attribute ; as, " Let no prince 
measure the danger of discontents by this, whether they be just or unjust ; 
for that were to imagine people to be reasonable, who do often spurn at their 
own good ; nor yet by this, whether the griefs whereupon they rise be in 
fact great or small." Bacon on Kingdoms. 

Here this, in each part of the sentence, is the representative of the clause 
in Italics succeeding. 

" Can we suppose that all the united powers of hell are able to work such 
astonishing miracles, as were wrought for the confirmation of the christian 
religion ? Can we suppose that they can control the laws of nature at pleas- 
ure, and that with an air of sovereignty, and professing themselves the lords 
of the universe, as we know Christ did .' If we can believe this, then we 
deny," &c. We observe here, this represents a series of sentences. 

In some cases, this represents a few words only in a preceding sentence, 
as in the following — " The rule laid down is in general certain, that the 
king only can convoke a parliament. And this, by the ancient statutes of 
the realm, he is bound to do, every year or oftener, if need be." 

Blacks. Comment. B. 1. ch. 2. 

If we ask, what is the king bound to do ? The answer must be, convoke a 
parliament ; for which words alone this is the substitute, and governed 
by do. 

The plurals, these and those, are rarely or never used as substitutes for 


7-fTiicA is also a substitute for a sentence, or part of a sentence, as well as 
for a single word ; as, "if there can be any other way shown, how men may 
come to that universal agreement, in the things they do consent in, 
which I presume may be ilone." Locke oti Viid. B. 1. 2. 


Wliich, in this passage, represents all which precedes — u-hich or all that 
is above related, maybe done. 

" Anolh>r reason that makes me doubt of any inn', pi m li- I ; : ];., •■■]■ -. 
is, that I think there cannot any one moral rule l" I I , 
may not justly demand a reason; tf/u'cA would li. 

absurd, if they were innate, or so much as self-ci-i'l" : .' i . .; 

principle must needs be." /■'"' * 'r<ii>- '■'< 

In this passage, the first v;hich represents the next prerclm^ |.,.ri oi ihr 
sentence, aman may jui^tly demand a reason — which jiuinr <;/ ./. 'nint.lnia 
« reason would be 'ridiculous — The second «'/iic/i is a sllll^lllnll• lor v//- 
evident ; which, that is, self-evident, every principle must be. 

" Judas declared him innocent, which he could not be, had he, in any re- 
spect, dccei\ ed the disciples." Porteus, Led. 2. Here which represents 
tlie aitiibuto innocent. 

That would c([ually well represent the same word, with a connective. 
" Judas declared him innocent, and that he could not be," &.c. 

" We shall fiml the reason of it to be the end of language, which being to 
communicate thou;;hts" — that is, end of language, and for those words, is 
uhich the substitute. 


This substitute has several uses. First, it has the sense of that which ; as, 
" I have heard what has been alledgcd." 

Secondly — VVTiat stands for any indefinite idea; as, " He cares not what 
lie says or' does." " We shall the better know what to undertake." 

Locke on Und. 1. 6. 
Tliirdly — M'hat is an attribute, either in the singular or plural number, 
and denotes somethins uncertain or indeterminate ; as, " In what character, 
Kutler was admitted into that lady's service, is unknown." 

Johnstin's Life of Butler. 
" It is not material what names are assigned to them." 

Camp. Rhet. 1.1. 
•' I know not what impressions time may have made upon your person." 

Life of Cowp. Let. 27. 
" To see what are the causes of wrong judgment." Locke 2. 21. 

Fdurlhly — IVhat is used by the poets preceding a name, for the or that 
which, but its place cannot be supplied by these words, without a name be- 
tween them ; as, 

" What time the sun withdrew his cheerful light. 
And sought the sable caverns of the night." Hoole's Tasso. b. 7. 
That is, at the time when or in which. 

Fifthly — A principal use otichat is to ask questions ; as, " What will be 
the consequence of the revolution in France ?" 

This word has the singular property of containing ttvo ca.'ies ; that is, it 
performs the office of a word in the nominative, and of another in the objec- 
tive case ; as, •' I have, in ii-hat goes before, been engaged in physical in- 
quiries fartlu 1 111. HI I i iplr.I." Locke 2. 8. Here what contains the ob- 
ject after (n .m ' ■ 1 r tog-oes. 

H'AaMs n 1 ' i n ,h an attribute and a substitute ; as, " It was 

agreed that //■''' - ~ v\ . i r alioard his vessels, should be landed." Mick- 

le's Discovery «/ Jiidia. fi'J. Mere what goods, are equivalent to the goods 
U'hich ; for what goods include the nominative to two verbs, were and 
should be landed. This use of tlie word is not deemed elegant. 


.3s, primarily signifies like, similar ; the primary sense of which is even, 
equal. It is used adverbially in the phrases, as good, as great, as probable ; 
the sense of which is tike or equally good, great or probable. Hence it fre- 
quently follows si/f/i . •• Send him such books as will please him." But in 
tills and similar phrases, as must be considered as the nominative to will 
please ; or we mn^t su|)|jii^e iin ellipsis of several words. "Send him such 
books as(/u b.','', . n Ij', ', w ;i| pi, ase liim,or as </iose which will please him." 
So in the foil.. V- 

" We havr ' i ■ . I to repose on its veracity with such humble 

confidonci- ..~ - Illy." Johnson's Life of Cowley. 

■' MI I'l. ji \ . Ii Cod is concerned to see inflicted on sin is on- 

ly -:. ' .1 irovernment." 

• ' 'ill themselves with such probable conclu3ioi\s 

ii,v\\.i. -ii:.,. , i;' i..i i(,, |.i i Ileal purposes of life." 

■ The malcontents made such demands as non.- 

In the last example, if as is to be considered as . I .. .; i -u .: 

it is in the objeclive case. 

These and similar phrases are anomalous; and we can resolve them only 
by supplying the ellipsis, or by considering as in the nature of a pronoun,' 
and the nominative to the verb. j 

In the following form of expression, we may supply it for the nominative. 

Doevery thing fls was said about mercury and sulphur." Encyc.l 

•• As it was said." 

In poetry, as supplies the place of st*c7i. 

"From whence might contest spring and mutual rage, 

.is would the camp in civil broils engage." ' Hoole's Tasso.' 

In prose we would say, " such contest and rage as." 

.7.5 sonictinic! refers to a sentence or member of a sentence, and some- 

ii . - i* 1 ' ' ' 1 y be supplied by which. "On his return to Egypt, os I 

i ' lie authority, he levied a mighty army." Beloe, Herod. 

''I .! "On his return to Egypt, he levied a mighty army, 

" ' .' li'ij I 'iiM'd from the same authority. 

./s niun (II ;;ins a sentence. " Jls to the three orders of pronouns already 
mentioned, they may be called prepositive, as may indeed all sub.stantives." 
Harris. That is, concerning, respecting the three orders, or to explain that 
\\ liich respects the three orders, &c. 


Both is an adjective of number, but it is a substitute also for names, sen- 
tences, parts of sentences, and for attributes. 

\braliam took sheep and o.ten, and gave them unto Abimelech, anil 
both of them made a covenant."- Genesis xxi. 27. 

Here both is the representative of Abraham and Abimelech. 
'• He will not bear the loss of his rank, because he can bmr the loss of 
his estate; but he will bear both, because he is prepared for both." 

Baling, on Exile. 
In the last example, both represents the parts of the sentences in italics. 

nious." Mickle,p. 159. 

As an attribute, it has a like position before names ; as, " Tousa confessed 
he had saved both his life and his honor." Viro. IfiO. 

" It is both more accurate, and proves no inconsiderable aid to iIk- liibt 
understanding of things, to discriminate by ditTerent signs such as arc liniy 
different." Campbell's Rhet . \.:a. 

In this passage, both represents more accurate, and the following member 
of the sentence ; but tlie construction is harsh. 

The necessity which a speaker is unilcr, of suiting himself to his audi- 
ence, both that he may be understood by them, and that liis words may 
lave an influence upon them." Camp. Rhet. ch. 10. 

Here both represents the two following clauses of the sentence. The 
definitive the is placed between both and its noun ; as, " To both the pre- 
ceding kimis, the term burlesque is applied." Camp. Rhet. 1. 2. 


The attribute same is often used as a substitute for persons and sentences 
or parts of a sentence ; as, " Nothing appears so clearly an object of the mind 
or intellect only, as the future does, since we can find no place for its exis- 
tence any where else. Not but the same, if we consider, is equally true of 
the ^josf." Hermes,p. \V2. 

In this ill constructed sentence, same has reference to all which is pre- 
dicated of the future tense — that is, that it is an object of intellect only, 
since we can find no place for its existence any where else — The same, all 
this, is true of the past also. 

" For iraeeaud generous ever are the same." Lusiad, 1. 

Many,fex!;, all, any. 
These words we often find used as substitutes for names. " For many shall 
come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many." 'Matt. 
xxiv. 5. " Many are called, but few chosen." xx. 16. " All that come 
into the tent, and all that is in the tent shall be unclean .seven days." .V«»i. 
xix. 14. " If a soul shall sin against any of the. commandments." Lev. iv. 2. 
" Neither is there any, that can deliver out of my hand." Deut. xxxii. 3?. 

First, last, former, latter, less, least, more, most, 

are often used as substitutes. 

" The victor's laurel^ as the martyr's crown. 

The first I hope, nor less the last I prize." Hoole's Tasso. 6. S. 
'• The last shall be first, and the^rsf last." Matt. xx. 16. 

" It will not be amiss to inquire into the cause of this strange phenome- 
non ; that, even a man of diseernnienl should write without meaning, and 
not be sensible that be hath no meaning; and that judicious people sliould 
I . . ; \, ■ I I ii'i ' ... : •! u in this way, and not discover (he defect. Both 
; 1 ' much more than the last." Camp. Rhet. 2. 7. 

I i ,11 \\o clauses of the sentence, preceded by that — 

. re surprising. First a.Tii last st:>.ni in the placj 

lehemence are often confounded, the /aHer being con- 

-i ! - I'i Ihe former. Camp. Rhet. 1.1. 

I . . !. 111. I to go thither with less than the appointed equipment." 

M.ckle. I. i.M. Heie/e.>.s supplies the place of e?u!/)me«^ and prevents 

the necessity of its repetition. 

"To the relief of these, Noronha sent some supplies, but while he was 
preparing to send more, an order from Portugal arrived." Mickle, 1. 180. 
Here more is sufficiently intelligible without a repetition of the name — 


•' And the diildicn ol' Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less.' 

Exod. xvi. 17 
"I cannot go beyond the word of tlie Lord, my God, to do less or more.' 

JVunib. xxii. 18 

"Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty work; 

were done." JV/a«.xi. 20 

" Was not tliis love indeed ? 

We men say more, swear more, but indeed 

Our shews are more than will." Shahs. Twelfth JVight 

" Jabal was the father o( such as dwell in tents." Gen. iv, 

'•Thou shalt provide able men such as fear God." iJ.c. xviii, 

"Objects of importance must be portrayed byolyectsof importance; such 

as have grace, by things graceful." Ca7np. Rhet. 1. 2 

Such here supplies the place of a name or noun, but it retains its attribu 

tivc sense and the name may be added. 

Self and o-mn. 

Self is said to have been originally an attribute, but is now used as an in 
tensive word to give emphasis to substitutes and attributes. Sometimes it is 
used as a noun. In the plural, it forms selves. It is added to the attributes 
my, your, own, as myself, yourself,* ourselves; and to him, her, them, as 
himself, herself, themselves. And though annexed to substitutes in the ob- 
jective case, these words are indifferently in the nominative or objective. 
Self is never added to his, their, mine, or thine. 

the compounds himself, herself, thyself, ourselves, themselves, may be 
placed immediately after the personal substitute, as he himself wrote a let- 
ter to the minister, or immediately after the following verb or its object, as 
" He wrote a letter himself," — "he went himself to the admiralty." In 
such phrases himself not only gives emphasis to the affirmation ; but gives 
to an implied negative, the force of one expressed. " He went himself to 
the minister," carries with it a direct negation that another person went. In 
negative sentences, it has a different effect. " He did not write the letter 
himself," implies strongly that he wrote it by an agent, or had an agency in 
procuring it to be written. 

These compound substitutes are used after verbs when reciprocal action 
is expressed ; as, " They injure themselves." 

Itself is added to names for emphasis ; as, " this is the book itself." 

Own is an attribute denoting property, used with names to render the 
sense emphatical ; as, " this book is my owti." 

Otvn is sometunes a substitute; as, " He came unto his own and his own 
received him not." Johni. 11. 

" This is an invention of his own." 

One, other, another, none. 

The attribute one is very often a substitute ; other is used in the same 
manner, and often opposed to 072e. "All rational or deductive evidence is 
derived from one or the other of these two sources." Camp. Rhet. ch. 5. 

To render these words more definite, and the specification of the alternative 
more explicit, the definitive rte is placed before them; as, "either he will 
hate the one and love the other." 

,3nother has sometimes a possessive case ; as, " the horse is another's " 
but this form of speech is but little used. ' 

Another is the Saxon an, one, and other — one other. It is an attribute 
but often used as a substitute. " Let another praise thee and not thine own 
mouth." prov. xxvii. 2. 

JVone [no one] is often a substitute ; as, "Ye shall he down and none 
shall make you afraid." Lev. xxvi. 6. It is used in the plural as well as the 
singular number. 

The cardinal numbers are all used as substitutes, when the thino-s to 
which they refer are understood by the train of discourse, and no ambiguity 
is created by the onussion of the name ; as, " The rest of the people also cast 
lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem." j\-eh. xi. 1. 

One has sometimes the possessive form ; as, " One's person is to be protected 
bylaw;" and frequently the plural number; as, "I have commanded my 
sanctified ones, and I have called my mighty ones." /so. xiii. 3. 

* In this compound, we have a strong confirmation of what I have ailed, 
ed respectmg the arrangement of you in the singular number, when used of 
a smgle person. Self is invariably In the singular— setoes in the plural. 
^ow ityov. is to be classed with plurals in all cases, we must, to be consist- 
ent, apply yourselves to a single person. Yet we make the proper disUnc- 
tion— yourself is applied to one person— yourselves to more. But upon the 
principle of our grammars, that you must always be joined to a verb in the 
plural, we are under the necessity of saying " Vou yourself were," when 
we address a single person— which is false construction. Whatever verb 
therefore IS used with you when applied to an individual, must be considered 
as a verb in the singular number. 

One, when contrasted with other, sometimes represents plural names, and 
is joined with a plural verb, as in this passage, "The reason why the one 
are ordinarily taken for real quahties, and the other, only for bare powers, 
seems to be," &,c. Locke, b. 2. ch. 8. 25. 

One and another, have a peculiar distributive use in the following and the 
like expressions; "Brethren, let us love one another." The effect of these 
words seems to be, to separate an act affirmed of a number collectively, and 
distribute it among the several individuals — " Let us love — let each one love 
the other." " If ye have love one to another" — " by love serve one anoth- 
er." One another, in this phraseology, have the comprehensive sense of 
every one. " By love serve" — every one serve the otlier. Each is used in 
a like sense — They loved each other — that is — they loved— each loved the 


Several is an attribute, denoting originally one thing severed from others. 
But this sense seems to be now confined to technical law language ; as a 
"joint and several estate." In common use, it is always plural, expressive 
of an indefinite number, not very large. It is frequently a substitute ; as, 
" Several of my unknown correspondents." Spectator, 281. 


The attribute some is often used as a substitute ; as, " Some talk of sub- 
jects they do not understand ; others praise virtue who do not practice it." 

Each, every, either, neither. 

Each is a distributive attribute, used to denote every individual of a num- 
ber, separately considered ; as, " The king of Israel and the kingof Judahsat 
each on his throne." " Thou also and Aaron, take each of you his censer." 

The /our beasts had each of them six wings." 

In these passages, each is a substitute for the name of the persons or ob- 
jects, one separate from the other.* 

Eveiy denotes all the individuals of a number considered separately. It is 
therefore a distributive attribute, but sometimes a substitute, chiefly in the 
law style ; as, " every of the clauses and condiUons." It is generally follow- 
ed by the name to which it belongs, or by the cardinal number one. 

We sometimes see every separated from its name by the definitive the and 
an attribute of the superlative degree ; as, " every the least variation." 


Either and neither are usually classed with the conjunctions; but in 
strictness, they are always attributes or substitutes. Their correlatives or 
and 7ior, though considered as conjunctions, belong to the latter class of words ; 
or being merely an abbreviation of other, and nor being the same word 
with the Saxon negative prefixed, as will be hereafter shown. 

Either and or denote an alternative ; as, " I will take either road at your 
pleasure." That is, I will take one road or the other. In this use, either is 
an attribute. 

Either is also a substitute for a name ; as, " Either of the roads is good." 
It also represents a sentence or a clause of a sentence ; as, " No man can 
serve two masters, for either, he will hate the one and love the otlier, or 
else," &c. Matt. vi. 24. To understand the true import of either, let or be 
also reduced back to its original orthography, " for either, he will hate the 
one and love the other ; other else he will hold to the one and despise the 
other." Here we are presented with the sentence as it would have stood 
in the Saxon ; and we see two distinct affirmations, to the first of which is 
prefixed either, and to the last other. These words then are substitutes for 
the following sentences when they are intended to be alternative. Either 
and or are therefore signs of an alternative, and may be called alternatives. 

Either is used also for each ; as, " Two thieves were crucified — on either 
side one." This use of the word is constantly condemned by critics, and as 
constantly repeated by good writers ; but it was the true original sense of 
the word, as appears by every Saxon author. 

Either is used also to represent an alternative of attributes ; as, " the emo- 
tion must be either not violent or not durable." Camp. Rhet. 1. 2. 

JYcither is not either, from the Saxon ne-either; and nor is ne-other, not 
other. As either and or present an alternative or a choice of two things, so 
neither and nor deny both or the whole of any number of particulars ; as, 
" Fight neither with small nor great." 1 Kings, xxii. 31. Which sentence 
when resolved stands thus ; " Fight not either with small, not other with 
great." Such is the curious machinery of language ! 

JVeither is also used as an attribute and as a substitute for a name ; as, 
" JVeither office is filled, but neither of the offices will suit the candidate." 

Note. — Or, either, nor and neither are here explained in their true origi- 
nal character ; but when they stand for sentences, it is more natural to con- 
sider them as connectives, under which head I have arranged them. 

In general, any attribute [adjective] which describes persons or things 
with sufficient clearness, without the name to which it strictly belongs, may 

* Each is as applicable to a hundred or thousand as to two. " The prince 
had a body guard of a thousand men, each of whom was six feet high." 


)>(• used as a substitute ; as, " The rich have many fi lends ' — " Assocuiti 
with the uitseand good"—" The future will resemble the"—'' Such i 
(he opinion of the learned." 

Attributes or Adjectives. 

Attributes or Adjectives, in grammar, are words wliich denote flic quali 
ties inherent in, or ascribed to things ; as, a bright sun ; a splendid equip 
age; & miserable hut; a niusmficcnt hon^i- : ai. hmiest man; an amiable 
woman; liberal chdrity ; /ii!sr\ h , ,i >," " ''ii~<ience. 

As qualiUes may exist ii. liiil. I' i may be compared with 

each other, suitable iiiodo^ ..i -]» . ', - i -spress these compara- 
tive degrees. In English, rmiM all iihh,- .>n i /7„<<; degrees of compar- 
ison, and a few admit of fum: There are thcretore four degrees of com- 

The/)-s< denotes a slight degree of the quality, and is expressed by Uie 
termination ish ; as reddish, brownish, yellowish. This may be denomina- 
ted the imperfect degree of the attribute. 

The second denotes such a degree of the attribute as to constitute an abso- 
lute or distinct quality ; as red, brown, great, small, brave, tvise. This is 
called the positive degree. 

The third denotes a greater or less degree of a quality than e.\ists in 
another object, with which it is compared ; as greater, smaller, braver, 
tmser. This is called the comparative degree. 

The fottrth denotes the utmost or least degree of a quality ; as bravest, 
zmsest, poorest, smallest. This is called the superlative degree. 

The imperfect degree is formed by adding ish to an attribute ; as yellow, 
yellowish. If the attribute ends in e, this vowel is omitted ; as white, whitish. 

The comparative degree is formed by addina r to adjectives ending with e, 
as wise, wiser; and by adding cr to words cij.linu uuli an articulation, as 
cold, colder ; or by prefixing more or less, w- /.i i. /»>/, /. ^ luihle. 

The superlative degree is^formed by addin- / lo ilnu^.nding withe, 

as wise, wisest; and es< to those which end uilli mi niiLciihuion, as coW, 
coldest ; or by prefixing tnost and least, as?mist brave, teasi charitable. 

Every attribute, susceptible of comparison, may be compared by more and 
most, less and least. 

All monysyllables admit of er and est, and dissyllables when the addition 
maybe easily pronounced ; as happy, happier, happiest; lofty, loftier, loftiest. 
But few words of more syllables than one will admit of er and est. Hence 
most attributes of more syllables than one are compared by more and ntost, 
less and least ; as more fallible, most upright, less generous, least splendid. 

When attributes end in y after a consonant, this letter is dropped, and i 
substituted before er and est ; as lofty, loftier, loftiest. 

A few attributes have different words or irregular terminations for-expres- 
sing the degrees of comparison ; as good, better, best ; had or evril, worse, 
worst ; fore, former, first ; less or lesser, least; much, more, most; near, 
nearer, nearest or next ; old, older, oldest or eldest ; late, later, latest or la^t. 

When qualities are incapable of increase or diminution, the words which 
express them do not admit of comparison. Such are the numerals, first, 
second, third,&t.c., and attributes of mathematical figures, as square, spher- 
ical, rectangular ; for it will readily appear, that if a thing is/rs( or square, 
it cannot be more or less so. 

The sense of attributes however is not restricted to the modification, ex- 
pressed by the common signs of comparison, but may be varied in an indefi- 
nite number of ways, by other words. Thus the attiibute very, which is 
the French tirai, true, formerly written veray, is much used intensively to 
express a great degree of a quality, but not the greatest; as very wise or 
learned. In like manner are used much, far, extremely, exceedingly, and 
most of the modifiers in ly. 

Some attributes, from partitular appropriate uses, have received names, 
by which they are distinguished. But the usual classification is by no means 
correct. The following distribution seems to result from the uses of the 
words named. 

An or a, the, this, that, these, those, other, another, one, none, some, may 
he called definitives, from their office, which is to limit or define the extent 
of the name to which they are prefixed, or to specify particulars. 

My, thy, her, our, your, their, and tnine, thine, his, when used as attri- 
butes, with names, are possessive attributes, as they denote possession or 
ownership. /«sandi»Aose, if ranked with attributes, belong to the same class. 

Each and every are distributives, but they may be classed with the de- 

Either is an alternative, as is or, which is now considered merely as a 

Own is an intensive adjective. The words to which self is affixed, him- 
self, myself, themselves, yourself, yourselves, ourselves, thyself, itself, may 
be denominated intensive substitutes, or for brevity, intensivcs. Or they 
may be called compound substitutes. 


The verb is a primary part of speech, and next to the name or noun, is of 
the most importance. The uses of the verb are, 

1st. To affirm, assert, or declare ; as, the sun shines ; John loves study ; 
God is just ; and negatively, avarice is not commendabU'. 

Vol. I. ■ I. 

2(1. To comiTK 
3d. Toprav. 1 
4th. Toiiiqiiii 
From the vai. 

attend, let us observe. 

' ' ; as, may the spirit of grace dwell iu us. 
K. docs it rain .' Will he come ? 
iiiiitications of verbs, have originated several 
divisions or t-l ! i , nne in English which seems to be correct 

and Mill, n iiiU i ,;r, i , ,,, is, into transitive and intransitive. To 
th(<< I I I ' lion of the verb be, with certain auxiliaries 

and \> : .' ' ^ ;- I . ! :t pas.sive verb.* 

1. \ ' . , ' ir , uiinii or < lit rgy, which is exerted upon 

soiiir (i!.j, (I, ..! in I in. iirj ■■:'!•.•■ r'liri In Miiiiral construction, the word 

cx|)jc- in; i!i: MiM ■'■;. Inll'iiv- 1; li.- intei-vcntion of any other 

wo:.l, i!ni:i:ii 111 I, I iua\ I . :,. . . I'hus, " ridicule provokes 

angiT," i; a cniiii.l. I, i-iniiiiviii.a, , .',,"'. i 'I l^l lit or uominative wofd, 
which causes l!i. a.ti ai ; /.rmv-/.. i^ilir mi l. .a ailiniiatioii of an act ; a?i- 
g-er is the objcti ^i.lii.'t iiK.iiii.'.al, Inllnim- ihr ! vcrbprotJ»/ce. 

The wind III -pi- a>]iiii." i- ilir iHiriiiaii"n ni an ad nf the wind exerted 
onaship. rfidi/ is llu- a;;.;nl ; ;i,v)^,r/,s, tin- veil, ; anil ■./(/;(, the object. 

2. An intransitive verb denotes simple being or existence in a certain 
state, as to be, to rest ; or it denotes action, which is limited to the subject. 
Thus, "John sleeps," is an affirmation, in which John, the nominative to 
sleeps, is the subject of the affirmation ; sleeps is a verb intransitive, affirming 
a particular thing of John, which extends to no other object. 

3. The 7)assi»c verb in English is formed by adding certain auxiliaries and 
participles to the verb be. It denotes p.assion orsuflering; that is, that the 
subject of the affirmation or nominalive i< alledril Ijy the action affirmed; as, 

John is convinced ;" "Laura i^ li. < i m I . ii in-d." 

In this form of the verb, the a- 1 I iimge places. Inthetran- 

sitive form the agent precedes ili iliject follows; as, "John 

has convinced Moses." In the jia- i, r i .i .a Hi. order is changed, and the 
agent follows the verb preceded by a preposition ; as, " Mosea is convinced 
by John." 

To correspond with their nominatives, verbs are used in both numbers, 
and with the three persons in each. 

As action and being may be meiiinin. i a< pn -ipul, past and future, verbs 
have modifications toexpress time. ^^llH h an . ilkil tenses. And as action 
and being mai^be represented in \ i- \\ a\-, ii iljs have various modifica- 
tions to answer these purposes, calli. il iihuli s m muuds. Hence to verbs be- 
long person, number, tense and mode. 

The persons, which have been already explained, are I, thou or you, he. 
he, it, in the singular number; in the plural, we, ye or you, they. The 
numbers have been before explained. 


There are .six tenses or modifications of the verb to express time. Each 
of these is divided into two forms, for the purpose of distinguishing the defi- 
nite or precise time from the indefinite. These may be thus explained and 


Present Tense, indefinite. 

This form of the present tense affirms or denies action or being, in present 
time, without limiting it with exactness to a given point. It expresses also 
facts which exist generally, at all times, general truths, attributes which are 
1 permanent, habits, customary actions, and the like, without reference to a 
specific time ; as, God is infinitely great and just; man is imperfect and de- 
pendent ; plants spring from the earth ; Vudsfly ; fishes swim. 

Present Tense, definite. 
This form expresses the present time with precision ; usually denoting ac- 
tion or being which corresponds in time with another action; as, lam wri- 
ting, while you are waiting. 

Past Tense, indefinite. 
This form of the past tense represents action which took place at a given 
time past, however distant and completely past ; as, " In six days, God crea- 
ted the heavens and the earth." "Alexander conquered the Persians." 
" Scipio was as virtuous as brave." " The Earl of Chatham was an elo- 
quent statesman." 

Past Tense, definite, [imperfect.] 
This form represents an action as taking place and unfinished in some spe- 
cified period of past time ; as, " I was standing at the door when the proces- 
sion passed." 

*The common distribution into ac^iue, neuter and passive, is very objec- 
tionable. Many of our neuter verbs imply action in a pre-eminent degree, 
as to run, to umlk, to/y ; and the young learner cannot easily cbnceive why 
such verbs are not called active. 


Perfect Tense, indefinite. 

This form of the perfect tense represents an action completely past, and 
often at no great distance, but the time not specified ; as, " I have accom- 
plished my design." But if a particular time is named, the tense must be 
the past ,■ as, " I accomplished my design last week." " I have seen 
my friend last week," is not correct Enghsh. In this respect, the French 
idiom is different from the English, for "J'ai vu mon ami hier" is good 
French, but "I have seen my friend yesterday" is not good English. The 
words must be translated, " I saw my friend yesterday." No fault is more 
common than a mistranslation of this tense. 

It is to be noted however that this perfect indefinite tense is that in which 
we express continued or repeated action; as, "My father has lived about 
eighty years." " The king has reigned more than forty years. " He has 
been frequently heard to lament." Life of Cowper. We use it also when a 
specified past time is represented, if that time is expressed as apart of the 
present period. Thus, although we cannot say, " We have been together 
yesterday," we usually say, " We have been together this morning, or this 
evening." We even use this tense in mentioning events which happened 
at a greater distance of time, if we connect that time with the present ; as, 
" His brother has visited him once within two years." " He has not seen 
his sister, since the year 1800." 

Perfect Tense, definite. 

This form represents an action as just finished; as, ' 
a history of the revolution in France." 

Prior-past Tense, indefinite, [pluperfect.] 

This form of the prior past tense expresses an action which was past at or 
before some other past time specified; as, " he had received the news before 
the messenger arrived." 

Prior-past, definite. 

This form denotes an action to be just past, at or before another time spe 
cified ; as, " I had been reading your letter when the messenger arrived," 

have been reading 

Future Tense, indefinite. 

This form of the future tense gives notice of an event to happen hereafter 
as, " Your son will obtain a commission in the navy." " We shall have 
fine season." 

Future Tense, definite. 

This form expresses an action which is to take place and be unfinished at 
a specified future time ; as, " He tcill be preparing for a visit, at the time 

This form of the futu 
ture time specified ; as 

Prior-Future, indefinite. 

re tense denotes an action which will be past at a fu- 
, " They will have performed their task, by the ap 
puiuieu Hour. 

Prior-Future, definite. 

This form represents an action which will be just past at a future speci 
fied time ; as, " We shall have been making preparations, a week before our 
friends arrive."* 

In the use of the present tense, the following things are to be noticed, 

1. The present tense is customarily used to express future time, when by 
any mode of expression, the mind is transported forward to the time, so as to 
conceive it present; as, "I cannot determine, till the mail arrives 
soon as it is light, we shall depart." " When he has an opportunity, he will 
write." The words tilt, when, as soon as, carry the mind to the time of an 
event to happen, and we speak of it as present. 

2. By an easy transition, the imagination passes from an author to his writ- 
ings ; these being in existence and present, though long after his decease 
we substitute the writer's name for his works, and speak of him as living, 
or in the present tense ; thus, Milton resetnbles Homer in sublimity and in- 
vention, as Pope resenift/es Virgil, in smoothness of versification. Plato is 
fanciful ; Aristotle is profound. 

*The common names and distribution of the tenses, are so utterly incor- 
rect and incompetent to give a just idea of their uses, that I have ventured 
to offer a new division, retaining the old names, as far .as truth will warrant. 
The terms prior-past, and prior-future, are so perfectly descriptive of the 
tenses arranged under them, that I cannot but think they will be well re- 
ceived. The distincUon of indefinite and definite is not wholly new ; but I 
have never seen the definite forms displayed, though they are as necessary 
as the indefinite forms. Indeed, I see not how a foreigner can learn our lan- 
guage, as the tenses are commonly distributed and defined. 

3. It gives great life and effect to description, in prose or verse, to repre- 
sent past events as present ; to introduce them to the view of the reader or 
hearer, as having a present existence. Hence the frequent use of the pres- 
ent tense for the future, by the historian, the poet and the orator : 
" She spoke ; Minerva burns to meet the war ; 
And now heaven's empres.'s calls the blazing car ; 
At her command rush forth the steeds divine. 
Rich with immortal gold, the trappings shine." Iliad, 5. 

The definite tenses, it will be observed, are formed by the participle of the 
present tense, and the substantive verb, be. This participle always ex- 
presses present time, even when annexed to a past or future tense ; for, / 
was writing, denotes that, at the past time mentioned, the action was pres- 
ent; I shall be writing, denotes future time, but an action then to be present. 

The past tense of every regular verb ends in ed; d being added to a verb 
ending in e, and erf to a verb with other terminations; as hate, hated ; look, 

The future tense is formed by the present tense of shall and will; for, I 
shall go, he will go, are merely an appropriate use of / shall to go, I will to 
go. See an explanation of these words under the head of auxiliaries. 

There are other modes of expressing future time ; as, " 1 am going to 
write" ; " I am about to write." These have been called the inceptive fu- 
ture, as they note the commencement of an action, or an intention to com- 
mence an action without delay. 

We have another mode of expression, which does not strictly and posi- 
tively foretell an action, yet it implies a necessity of performing an act, and 
learly indicates that it will take place. For example, " I have to pay a 
um of money to morrow." That is, I am under a present necessity or obli- 
gation to do a future act. 

The substantive verb followed by a radical verb, forms another idiomatic 
expression of future time ; as, " John is to command a regiment." " Eneas 
went in search of the seat of an empire which was, one day, to command 
the world." The latter expression is a future past ; that 'i»,past to the nar- 
rator, but future as to the event, at the time specified. 


Mode, in grammar, is the manner of representing action and being, or the 
wishes and determinations of the mind. This is performed by inflections of 
the verb, or by combinations of verbs with auxiliaries and participles, and 
by their various positions. 

As there are scarcely two authors who are agreed in the number and de- 
nominations of the modes in English, I shall ofler a distribution of the verbs, 
and a display of their inflections and combinations, somewhat different from 
any which I have seen. 

1. The first and most simple form of the verb, is the verb without inflec- 
tions, and unconnected with persons. This form usually has the prefix to; 
as to love. 

This form of the verb, not being restricted to person or number, is usually 
called the Infinitive Mode. 

2. Another use of the verb is to affirm, assert or declare some action or 
existence, either positively, as he runs, or negatively, as you are not in 
'health. This form is called the Indicative Mode. 

3. Another office of the verb is to command, direct, ask, or exhort ; as 
arise, make haste, let us be content. This is called the Imperative Mode. 

4. Another form of the verb is used to declare the power, liberty, possi- 
bility or necessity of acting or being, by means of certain words called aux- 
iliaries, as may, can, must, &c. This form is called the Potential Mode; as, 
/ may or can write ; he tnust wait.* 

5. Another use of verbs is to represent actions or events which are un- 

certain, conditional or contingent; as, if he shall go; if they would attend. 

' ■ Mode, but would better be denominated the 

and Potential become conditional, by means 
jof words used to express condition; as if, though, unless, whether. 
I The Modes then are five ; the Infinitive, the Indicative, the Impera- 
tive, the Potential, and the Subjunctive. 

It may also be observed that the combinations and arrangements of our 
verbs and auxiliaries to express negative and interrogative propositions, are 
really 7nodes of the verb, and a place might be assigned to the verb for each 
purpose, were it not for the inconvenience of having modes of modes. For 
the sake of distinction, I denominate these verbs interrogative and negative, 
and have exhibited the conjugation of each. 


Participles are derivatives from verbs, formed by particular terminations, 
and having the sense of verbs, attributes or names. 

There are two species of participles; one denoting present lime, and 
formed by adding ing to the verb, as turn, turning, or when the verb ends 
with e, by dropping that letter and adding ing, as place, placing. But e is 

* This mode is inserted in compliance with the opinions of many Gram- 
marians, but in opposition to my own. It is in fact the indicative mode, af- 
firming the power, &c. of acting, instead of the act itself. 


retainpil in ilyeing from dye, to color, to distinguisti it from ilying, the parti- 
ciple of die; in which word, yis used to prevent the duplication of i. In 
singeing from singe, e is retained to soften g, and to distinguish the word 
from singing; so also in twingeing. 

This participle of the present tense is used, as before observed, to form 
the definite tenses. But it often loses the sense of the verb, and becomes 
an attribute ; as a loving friend, lasting friendship. In this use, it admits of 
comparison by more or less, most and least ; as more lasting, less saving 
most promising. 

This participle also becomes an adverb or modifier by receiving the ter- 
mination ly, as lovingly, laughingly; and this species of modifiers admits of 
comparison, as more lovingly, most charmingly. 

This participle also becomes a name and admits of tlie definitive; as, "the 
burning of London in 1666." In this capacity, it takes the plural form ; as, 
"the mier^ouJiHgs of the Nile ;" "he seeth all his goings." And some- 
times the plural is used when a modifier is attached to the participle ; as, 
" the goings out, the comings in." Ezek. xliii. II. But this use of the par- 
ticiple is not esteemed elegant, nor is it common. 

In a few instances, the participle in ing becomes a name by receiving the 
termination ness; as willingness, from willing. 

The other species of participle is formed from the verb, by adding d or erf, 
and in regular verbs, it corresponds exactly with the past time ; as loved, 
preceded. This may be called the participle of the perfect tense. 

This participle, when its verb is transitive, may be joined with the verb 
be, in all its inflections, to form a passive verb, and the participle, in such 
combination, is called pctssive. 

But this participle, when formed from an intransit ive verb, cannot, except 
in a few instances, be joined to the substantive verb, or used in a passive 
sense; but it unites with the other auxiliaries. 

This participle often loses its verbal character, and becomes an attribute ; 
as a concealed plot, a painted house. In this character it admits of compari- 
son, as " a more admired artist," " a most respected magistrate ;" and a fc 

these verbal attributes rec 
pointedly, more conccitnlh/ 
Those verbs, whose pi-i 
lar. All which deviate li" 
ticiples of the perfect tcn-r 
found in the sequel. 

ation ly, and become modifiers, as 

iple end in ed, are deemed regu- 
deemed irregular, and their par- 
n and g. A list of them will be 


In English, a few monosyllabic verbs are chiefly employed to form the 
modes and tenses of other verbs, and from this use, are denominated auxilia- 
ries or helping verbs. These are followed by other verbs, without the prefix 
to, as " he may go ;" though they were originally principal verbs, and some 
of' them still retain that character, as well as that of auxiliaries. 

The verbs which are always auxiliary to others, are nmy, can, shall, must; 
those which are sometimes auxiliaries, and sometimes principal verbs, are 
will, have, do and be. To these may be added need and dare. 

May conveys the idea of «&«% or permission; as, "he may go, if he will." 
Or it denotes possibility ; as, " he may have written or not."* 

Can has the sense of to be able. 

Shalt, in its primitive sense, denotes to be obliged, coinciding nearly with 
Might ; which sense it retains in the German. But this signification, though 
evidently the root of the present uses of this word, is much obscured. Th( 
following remarks will illustrate the several usesof «'iH and shall. 

Will a common origin with the Latin volo. Hence the German wol 
len, the old English woH, and the present contraction won'*, that \s,woll-not.\ 

This was originally a principal verb, and is still used as such ii 
guage. It denotes the act of the mind in determining, or a deter 
for he teills to go, and he will go, are radically of the same import. 

* The primitive idea expressed by inay was power ; Sax. magan, to 
be able, 
f It is supposed that the Roman ti was pronounced as our w, wolo. 

When a man exprcs-^cs his own detcrminalion of inind, I will, we are ac- 
customed to consider tlie event, or act willed as certain ; for we naturally 
connect the power to act, with the intention; hence we make the declara- 
tion of will a ground of confidence, and by an easy association of ideas, we 
connect the declaration, with an obligation to carry the determination into 
efTect. Hence will expressed by a person himself, came to denote a promise. 

But when a person declares the will of another, he is not supposed to pos- 
sess the power to decide for him, and to carry his will into effect. He merely 
offers an opinion, grounded on infoi-mation or probable circumstances, which 
give him more or less confidence of an event depending on another's will. 
Hence will in the second and third person simply foretells, or expresses an 
opinion of what will take place. 

Sliall, in some of its inflections, retains its primitive sense — to be obliged 

or bound in duty ; but in many of its uses, its sense is much varied. In the 

first person, it merely foretells ; as, " I shall go to New- York to-morrow." 

In this phrase, the word seems to have no reference to obligation ; nor is it 

)nsidercd by a second person as imposing an obligation on the person utter- 

ig it. But when shall is used in the second and third persons, it resumes 

3 primitive sense, or one nearly allied to it, implying obligation; as when 

superior commands with authority, you shcUl go ; or implying a right in the 

second and third person to expect, and hence denoting a promise in the 

speaker ; as, " you shall receive your wages." This is radically saying, 

' you ought to receive your wages ;" but this right in the second person to 

•eceivc, implies an obligation in the person speaking to pay. Hence shall 

n the first [lerson foretells ; in the second, /(romise.s, commands, or expresses 

determination. When shall in the second and third persons, is uttered with 

iphasis, it expresses determination in the speaker, and implies an authority 

enforce the act. " You shall go." 

Must expresses necessity, and has no variation for person, number or 

Bo is a principal and a transitive verb, sisiTiifying to act or make; but i< 
used in the present or past tenses as an auxiliary to give emphasis to a dec- 
laration, to denote contrast, or to supply the place of the principal verb. 

)uld have been impossible for Cicero to inflame the minds of the 
people to so high a pitch against oppression, considered in the abstract, as he 

II y did inflame them against Verres the opjnessor 
10. Here did expresses emphasis. 

t was hardly possible that he should not distinguish you as he has done." 
Coup. Let. 40. Here done stands in the place oi distinguished you. For 
it must be oliserved that when do is the substitute for another verb, it sup- 
plies the place not only of the verb, but of the object of the verb. 

" He loves not plays 

As thou dost, Anthony." 

That is, as thou lovest plays. 

Do is also used in negative and interrogative sentences ; the present and 
past tenses of the Indicative Mode being chiefly formed tiy this auxiliary : 

, " I do not reside in Boston." " Does John hold a commission ?" 

Have is also a principal and transitive verb, denoting to possess ; but much 
used as an auxiliary, as " He has lately been to Hamburg." It is often used 
to supply the place of a principal verb, or participle, preventing a repetition 
of it, and the object after it ; as, " I have not seen Paris, but my brother has," 
that is, has seen Paris. 

Equally common and extensive is the use of be, denoting existence, and 

nee called the substantive verb. Either in the character of a principal 

rb, or an auxiliary, it is found in almost every sentence of the language. 

The inflection of a verb, in all the modes, tenses, numbers and persons, is 
termed Conjugation. The English verbs have few inflections, or changes 
of termination ; most of the tenses and modes being formed by means of the 

Note. — In the following conjugations, a small n in an Italic character, is 
inserted in the place where not should stand in negative sentences. The 
place is generally occupied by never, but not in every case. It is be- 
jlieved this letter will be very useful, especially to foreigners. The learner 
[may conjugate the verb with or without tiot, at pleasure. 

Camp. met. 1. 

2d. Person, 

May. — Present Tense . 
Singular. Plural. 

1st. Person, I may n We may n 

C Thou mayest n C Ye niay n 
( You may n* ( You may n 

*" It may be remarked once for all, that thou and 
ye are the second person used in the sacred style, 
and sometimes in other grave discourses. In all 
other cases, you is the second person of the singu- 
lar number, as well as of the plural. It is not one of 
the most trivial absurdities which the student must 
now encounter at every step, in the study of En- 


Singular. Plural. 

C mas. He may re They may n 
3d. Persoti,2fem. She may n 
( neut. It may n 

glish grammar, that he meets with you in the plu- 
ral number only, though he finds it the represen- 
tative of an individual. Now if you is always plu- 
ral, then you yourself is not grammatical, but ab- 
surd; the true expression then must be, you your- 
selves, applied to an individual. Then I must say 
to a friend, who visits me, please to seat yourselves, 
Sir. This Is equal to the royal style, tee Ourself' 


I might n 
( Thou mightest n 
\ You might ;i 

He might n 

Past Tense. 
'•• Plural. 

We might re 
J Ye might n 
( You might 7i 
They might n 

Can.— Present Tense. 

I can re 
{ Thou canst 
[ You can re 

He can n 

J Ye can n 
{ V ou can n 
They can ti 

1 could n 


We couUl n 

J Ye couM n 

C Thou couldst n 

I You could u i You could 

He could n They could re 

Shall.— Present Tense. 

I shall n We shall n 

i Thou Shalt re ( Ye shall n 

I You shall n { You shall u 

He shall n They shall re 

Past Tense. 

I should n We should n 

C Thou shouldst n < Ye should ti 

I You should II ( You should n 

He should » They should re 

Will .—Present Tense. 
I will re We will n 

C Thou wilt re C Ye will n 

I You will n I You will n 

He will re They will re 

Past Tense. 
I would n We would re 

( Thou wouldst re ( Ye would re 

I You would re \ You would re 

He would n They would re 

Note. — Will, when a principal verb, is regu- 
larly conjugated ; I will, thou wiliest, he wills 
Pa-st tetxse, I willed. 

Must has no change of termination, and is join- 
ed with verbs only in the following tenses. 
Present Tense. 
I must re love We must re love 

( Thou must re love { Ye must re love 
\ You must re love ( You must re love 
He must re love They must re love 

Perfect Tense. 
I must re have loved We must re have loved 
r Thou just re have Jy^^^^j^j^^^^I^^^^j 

l^bveT'' " ''^"M You must re have loved 

He mustnhave loved They must re have loved 

Do. — Indicative jl/ode— Present Tense. 

I do re love We do n love 

C Thou dost re love C Ye do n love 

( You do n love ( You do re love 

He does or doth re love They do re love 

Past Tense. 

I did re love We did re love 

C Thou didst re love ( Ye did n love 

\ You did re love I You did re love 

He did n love They did n love 

Infinitive Mode. Participles. 

To do. Doing, done, having done. 

Note. — In the third person singular of the pre- 
sent tense, doth is used in sacred and solemn lan- 
guage; does in common and familiar languagi 
This verb, when principal and transitive, has all 
the tenses and modes, 1 have done, I had done, 1 
will do, &c. 

HAVE.-Infinitive Mode, Present Tense.- To have. 

Perfect Tense. — To have had. 

Participle of the Present Tense. — Having. 

Of the Perfect Tense.— Had. 

Compound. — Having had. 

Indicative Mode. — Present Tense. 


Perfect Tense. 

Singular. Plural. 

I have re had We have n had 

C Thou hast re had ( Ye have re had 

I You have re had ( Y'ou have re had 

He has or hath re had They have re had 

Prior-past Tense. 
I had re had We had re had 

C Thou hadstre had C Ye had re had 

I You had n Iiad { You had re had 

He had re had They had re had 

Note. — In these tenses, the perfect and prior- 
past, this verb is always principal and transitive. 
Future Tense. 
In this tense the verb is principal or auxiliary 
with the same form of conjugation. 

The following form foretells. 
I shall re have We shall re have 

C Thou wilt re have CYcwillrehave 

) You will re have { You will re have 

He will re have They will n have 

The following form promises, commands or de- 

I will re have We will re h,ave 

C Thou Shalt re have ( Ye shall re have 

I You shall re have ( You shall re have 

He shall re have They shall re have 

This tense foretells, and is used only when the 
verb is principal. 

hall 7t have had 
fThou Shalt or wilt re 
J have had 

1 You shall or will re 1 You shall or will re have 
|_ have had 
He shall or will re 'They shall or will re 

have had have had 

Note. — Will is not used in the iirst person of 
is tense ; it being incompatible with the 
of a promise. We cannot say, " I will have had 
possession a year, on the first of October next; 
but I shall have had, is a common expression. 
Imperative Mode. 

I have n 
^ Thou hast re 
t You haven 
He has or hath re* 

Past Tense. 
I had re 
i Thou hadstre 
(You had re 
He had re 
Note. — In the foregoing te 
used either as a principal verb < 

We have re 
; Ye have re 

■ They have 

C Ye had re 

I You had re 
They had re 
ises, this verb is 
r an auxiliary 

Have you n or do re you 

Let me re have 
Let him n have 


Thou mightestre have 
Thou shouldst re have 
Thou couldst re have 
Thou wouldst re have 
You might re have 
You should re have 
You could re have 
You would re have 
He might re have 
He should re have 
He could n have 
He would re have 

Ye might >i havi? 
Ye should n have 
Ye could re have 
Yc would II have 
You might re have 
You should re have 
You could re have 
You would n have 
They might re have 
They should re have 
They could n hai?e 
They would n have 

Perfect Tense. 
In this tense, have is a principal verb only. 
Imaynhavehad We mayn have had 

; Thou mayest re have had C Ye may re have had 
> You may re have had { You may 7i have had 
" He may re have had They may re have had 

Prior-past Tense — the principal verb only. 
" might re ha ' " -^r ^ 

might re have 


' Thou mightest re have 

' You might re have had You | 

" He might re have had 
In the same manner 

There is no future tense, distinct from that of 
the indicative mode. 

Conditional or Subjunctive Mode. 

The Conditional or Subjunctive Mode is the 

me as the Indicative, with some preceding word 

expressing condition, supposition or contingency. 

These words are, if, though or although, unless, 

except, whether, lest, albeit. 

If is a. corruption of gif, the imperative of gifaii, 
the Saxon orthography of give. 

Have ye re, have you re 
Do re you have 

request or exhortation, 

the solemn style ; ha 

ust, in the nature of things, be addressed to the 
second person ; nor can these phrases, let me have, 
let xis have, be considered, in strictness, as the first 
person of this mode, uorlet him have, astheihini; 
but they answer to the first and third persons of 
this mode in other languages, and the mere nam- 
ing of them is wholly immaterial. 

The true force and effect of the verb, in this 
mode, depend on its application to characters, and 
the manner of utterance. Come, go, let him go, 
if uttered with a respectful address, or in a civil 
manner, may express entreaty, request or exhort- 
ation. On the other hand, such words uttered 
with a tone of authority, and addressed to inferiors, 
express command. 

Potential Mode. — Present Tense. 
I In the following tense, this verb is either auxil- 
iary or principal. 

I may or can n have We may or can re have 

C Thou mayest or canstre ( Ye may or can re have 
] have ] 

( You mayor canre have ( Youmayorcanrehave 
He may or can re have They may or can n 

Must is used in the foregoing tense, and in the 
perfect also. 

Past Tense. 
In this tense, the verb is principal or auxiliary. 
I might re have We might re have 

I should re have We should re have 

I could re have We could re have 

I would n have Wc would n have 

ixon theah, signifie 

Though, the 
permit, allow. Mthough 

compound of all and though, give or allow all. 
The old word thof, still used in some parts of Eng- 
land, is the imperative of the Saxon thajian, to al- 
low. Unless is the imperative of the Saxon on- 
lysan, to loose or dissolve. Except is the impera- 
tive of that verb. Lest is from lesan, to lease or 
dissolve. Albeit is a compound of all, be and if, 
let it be so. 

These words, if, though, answer in signification 
and use, to the following : admit, grant, allow, 
suppose, as signs of a condition or hypothesis. " If 
you shall go," is simply, "give, you shall go;" 
that is, give that condition or fact ; allow or sup- 
pose it to be so. 

It has been, and is still customary for authors 

to omit the personal terminations of the second 

d third persons of the verb in the present tense, 

form the subjunctive mode; if thou go, if he 


The correct construction of the subjunctive 
mode is precisely the same as that of the indica- 
tive ; as it is used in popular practice, which has 
preserved the true idiom of the language; if thou 
tiast, if he has or hath ; to denote present uncer- 
tainty. But a future contingency may be ex- 
pressed by the omission of tlie personal termina- 
tions ; if he go, that is, if he shall go. 
Be is a verb denoting existence, and therefore 
called the substantive verb. It is very irregular, 
being derived from different radicals, and having 
undergone many dialectical changes. 

Infinitive Mode, Present Tense.— To ie. 

Perfect Tense.— To have been. 

Participle of the Present Tense. — Being. 

Of the Perfect.— Seen. 

Compound. — Having been. 

Indicative Mode.— Present Tense. 

I am re We are re 

C Thou art re (Ye are re 

> You arc re ( You are re 

fit is re 

The foregoing form of the pre 
enerally used by good wrilcrs. 

They : 


ing form is the most ancient, anJ if still veiy gen- 
eral in popular practice. 

I be n Wc lie )i 

Vou be n Ve or you be n 

Heisn They ben 

Tlwu beest, in the second person, is not in use. 
Past Tense. 
I was « We were n 

C Thou wast n C Ye were re 

\ Vou was or were n { You were Ji 
He was ft They were n 

Perfect Tense. 
I have n been We have been 

{ Thou hastn been ( Ye have been 

) You have n been { You have n been 

He hath or has n been They have n been 

Prior-past Tense. 

I had n been We had n been 

( Thou hadstJt been ( Ye had n been 

) Vou had n been ( You hadn been 

He had « been They had n been 

Future Tense. 

I shall or will n be We shall or will n be 

i Thou Shalt or wiltJi be ( Ye shall or will n be 

) Vou shall or will n be ( You shall or will n be 

He shall or will n be They shall or will n be 

Prior-future Tense. 
I shall n have been We shall n have been 

("Thou .shall or wilt n f Ye shall or will »i have 
I have been J been 

] You shall or will n] You shall or will n 
I have been I. have been 

He shall or will n have They shall or will » 
been have been 

Imperative Mode. 
C Be n ; be thou n ; do n thou be, or 
Command < do n be ; be ye n ,• do n you be, or 

( do you n be, or do n be. 

Exhortation C Let me n be, let him n be, let us n 

Entreaty ( be, let them n be. 

Potential Mode. 

I may or can n be We may or can n be 

^ Tljou mayst or canst n ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^„ ^ ^^ 

You may or can n I 

^ You may or can n be 
He may or can n be They may or can n be 
Must is used in this tense, and in tlie perfect 

Past Tense. 
I might n be We might n be 

(, Thou mightest n be ( Ye might n be 
I You might n be \ You might n be 

He might n be They might n be 

In the same manner witli could, should and 

Perfect Tense. 
I may or can have « We may or can n have 
been been 

Ye may or can n have 

Past Tense. 
// I was We were 

i Thou wast ( Ye were 

) Vou was or were \ You were 
He was They were 

The foregoing tenses express uncertainty, 
wliether a fact exists or existed ; or they admit 
the fact. The following form is used for tlic like 
purposes : 

Ifl be We be 

C Thou be ( Ye be 

I You be \ You be 

He be They be 

But this is more properly the form of the condi- 
tional future ; that is, the verb without the sign of 
the future— i/Ae be, for if he shall be. 
The following is the form of expressing sujiposi- 
m or hypothesis, and may be called the 
Hypothetical Tense. 
Ifl were We were 

j Thou wert ( Ye were 

I Vou was or were I Vou were 
He were They were 

" Ifl were," supposes I am not; "if I were 
noV' supposes I am. 

other tenses are the same as in the indica- 
tive mode. 

The Conjugation of a Regular Verb. 

Love. — Infinitive Mode, Present Tense. 

To love. 

Perfect Tense.— To have loved. 

Participle of the Present Tense. — Laving. 

Of the Perfect.— toBcd. 

Compound. — Having loved. 

Indicative Mode. — Present Tense, indefinite. 

I love n We love n 

C Thou lovest re (Ye love rt 

I You love 71 ( You love re 

He loveth or loves n They love n 

With the auxiliary do. 
I do n love We do n love 

C Thou dost n love ( Ye do n love 

( You do n love ( Vou do re love 

He doth or docs re love They do n love 

I am re loving We are re laving 


rThou mayest or canst ("l 
1 n have been J 

I Vou may or can n have | 1 
[ been (^ 

You may or can re have 
He may or can n have They may or can 7i 
been have been 

Prior-past Tense. 
I might n have been We might re have been 
C Thou mightest re have C Ye might nhave been 
< been J Vou might n have 

^ You might n have been ( been 
He might n have been They might re have 

In the same manner with could, would and 
fhould. There is no future tense in this mode. 
Subjunctive Mode. 
This Mode is formed by prefixing any sign of 
condition, hypothesis or contingency, to the indie 
ative mode in its various tenses. 
Present Tense. 
If I am We are 

( Thou art ^ Ye are 

I Vou are ( V'ou are 

He is They are 

I loving 

C Ve are n 
\ V ou are n loving ( You are re loving 

He is n loving They are n loving 

Past Tense, indefinite. 
I loved n We loved n 

C Thou lovedst n J Ye loved re 

I You loved re ( Vou loved n 

He loved re They loved n 

With the auxiliary did. 

I did re love We did n love 

C Thou didst re love C Ve did re love 

( You did re love I Vou did n love 

He did re love They did n love 

I was n loving We were re loving 

( Thou wast re loving C Ye were n loving 
( You was re loving ( You were re loving 

He was re loving They were re loving 

Perfect Tense, indefinite. 
I have n loved We have n loved 

Thou hast n loved C Ye have re loved 

You have re loved ' \ You have n loved 

He has or hath n loved They have re loved 

I have n been loving We have re been lov- 


re been lov 

He has 



■ing I ing 
.•mg j Vou havi 

t loving 
been They have n been 




Prior-past, indefinite. 

I had n loved We had re loved 

: Thou hadst re loved C Ye had re loved 

Vou had 71 loved I Vou had n loved 

' He had rt loved They had re loved 

{Ye had re been lov- 
You had n been lov- 
He had re been loving They had ;ibeenlov- 

Future Tense, indefinite. 
The form of predicting. 
I shall re love We shall n love 

C Thou wilt n love ( Ve will 7i love 

I You will « love ( You will n love 

He will n love They will re love 

The form of promising, commanding and deter- 

1 will re love We will n love 

C Thou shalt re love C Ve shall re love 

( You shall re love ( You shall n love 

He shall re love They shall n love 

I shall or will n be lov- We shall or will re be 
ing loving 

(Thou shalt or wilt re be ("Ye shall or will n be 
loving J loving 

You shall or will re be] You shall or will n 
loving (^ be loving 

He shall or will re be lov- They shall or will n 
ing be loving 

Prior-future, indefinite. 
I shall n have loved We shall n have loved 

{Thou shalt or wilt re have [" Ye shall or will n 
loved J loved 

You shall or willTi have) Vou shall or will n 
loved (^ have loved 

He shall or will re have They shall or will n 
loved have loved 

I shall n have been lov- We shall »ihave been 
ing loving 

iThou shalt or wilt re have f Ye shall or will n 
been loving J have been loving 

You shall or will re have | You shall or will n 
been loving l^ have been loving 

He shall or will re have They shall or will re 
been loving have been loving 

Imperative Mode. 
Let me n love Let us n love 

Love re Love 7i 

Do re love Do 7i love 

Do thou re love Do ye or you n love 

Do you n love Let them 7i love 

Let him 71 love 
In the place of let, the poets employ the verb 
without the auxiliary. 
" Perish the lore that deadens young desire." 

Beat. Minst. 
That is, let the lore perish. 
" £e ignorance thy choice, where knowledge 
leads to woe." Ibm. 

Potential Mode. — Present Tense, indefinite. 
I may or can n love We may or can 77 love 

C Thou mayst or canst 77 C Ve may or can n love 
? love 2 Vou may or can 7» 

( You may or can re love ( love 
He may or can 71 love They may or can n 

Must is used in this tense and in the perfect. 

I may or can re be loving We may or can n be 

iThou mayst or canst re be fYe may or can n be 
loving J loving 

Vou may or can re be lov- i You may or can 71 be 
ing t loving 

He may or can re be lov- They may or can 71 
ing be loving 

Past Tense, indefinite. 
I might re love We might n love 

C Thou mightest re love C Ye might re love 
( You might n love I You might n love 

He might 11 love They might re love 


With couhl, would and should in tliesame man 

I might n he loving We might n be lovinf^ 

' Thou mightest n be lov- f Ye might n be loving 
ing < You might n be lov 

' You might n be loving ( ing [ing 

He might n be loving They might n be lov- 
With could, would and should in the same man 

1 iii<ty ui c 

fThou maj 
< canst n 
( You may i 

Perfect Tense, indefinite. 
' You 
■ They 

f have 
> loved 

1 may can n \ 
He may or can n J 
I may or can ii have 

been loving 
f Thou mayest or canst 
1 n have been loving 

, have 


We may or can 

been loving 
' Ye may or can n have 
) been loving 
Du may or can ra S Youmayorcannha 
have been loving ( been loving 
He may or can n have They may or can 
been loving have been loving 

Prior-past Tense, indefinite. 
I might n have loved We might n have loved 
Thou mightest n have C Ye might n have 

loved 1 loved 

You might n have \ You might n hav 

loved ( loved [loved 

He might « have loved They might n h: 

I might n have been 

Thou mightest n have 

We might 71 have been 

Ye might nhave been 

You might n have 

been loving 
They might n have 

been loving 

been loving 
J You might n have 
f been loving 
He might n have been 

been loving 

With could, would and should in tlie same man 
ner, in the two last forms. 

The potential mode becomes conditional by mean 
of the modifiers, if, though, unless, &c. prefixed to 
its tenses, without any variation from the foregoing 
inflections. This may, for distinction, be called 
the Conditional Potential. 

Subjunctive Mode. — Present Tense. 
If, though, unless, whether, suppose, admit, fyc. 
I love n We love 7i 

< Thou lovest n i Ye love n 

I You love n { You love n 

He lovethorlovesji They love « 
Some authors omit the personal terminations in 
the second and third persons — if thou love, if he 
love. With this single variation, which I deem 
contrary to the principles of our language, the 
subjunctive mode differs not in the least from the 
indicative, and to form it the learner has only to 
prefix a sign of condition, as if, though, unless, &c. 
to the indicative, in its several tenses. With this 
exception, however, that in the future tense, the 
auxiliary may be and often is suppressed. Thus 
instead of 

If I shall or will love We shall or will love 

S Thou Shalt or will love J Ye shall or will love 
l You shall or will love ( You shall or will love 
He shall or will love They shall or will love 

Authors write, 
//; «■<•. I love 

We love 

S Thou love 

< Ye love 

) You love 

I You love 

He love 

They love 

This form is properly used, when shall or will 
may precede the verb, and when the verb is pre- 
ceded by a command or admonition ; as, " See that 
none render e\i\ for evil to any man." 

1 Thess. V. 15. 

In the subjunctive mode, there is a peculiarity 
in the tenses which should be noticed. When I 
say, if it rains, it is understood that I am icncer- 
tai/i of the fact, at the time of speaking. But 

when I say, '' If it rained, we shouM be obliged 
to seek shelter," it is not understood that I am un- 
certain of the fact; on the contrary, it is under- 
stood that I am certain, it does not rain at the time 
of speaking. Or if I say, " if it did not rain, I 
would take a walk," I convey the idea that it does 
rain at the moment of speaking. This form of ourj 
tenses in the subjunctive mode has never been the 
subject of much notice, nor ever received its due 
explanation and arrangement. For this hypothet- 
ical verb is actually a present tense, or at least in-i 
definite — it certainly does not belong to past time. I 
It is further to be remarked, that a negative sen- 
tence always implies an affirmative — " if it did not 
rain," implies that it does rain. On the contrary, 
an affirmative sentence implies a negative — " if it 
did rain," implies that it does not. 

n the past time, a similar distinction exists ; for 
" if it rained yesterday," denotes uncertainty in 
the speaker's mind — but " if it had not rained yes- 
terday," implies a certainty, that it did rain. 
Passive form of the Verb. 
Indicative Mode. — Present Tense. 
I am Ji loved We are n loved 

SThou art n loved ( Ye are n loved 
You are n loved ( You are n loved 
He is n loved They are n loved 

Past Tense. 
I was n loved We were « loved 

^ Thou wast n loved C Ye were )i loved 

( You was or were n loved ( You were n loved 
He was n loved They were n loved 

Perfect Tense. 

I have n been loved 

( Thou hast n been loved 
( You have n been loved 

We have » been 

Ye have n been 

You have n been 

He has or hath n been They have n been 

loved loved 

Prior-past Tense. 

I had n been loved We had n been loved 

Thou hadst n been loved ( Ye had n been loved 

Y'ou had n been loved I You had n been loved 

He had n been loved They had n been 


Future Tense. 

I shall or will ti be loved We shall or will n be 

Thou shalt or wilt n be 

( Ye shall or will n be 


> loved 

You shall 

or will n be 

\ You shall or will n 


( be loved 

He shall 

)r will n be 

They shall or will n 


be loved 



I shall n 

have been 

We shall nhave been 



: Thou shalt or wilt w T Ye shall or will n 
) have been loved 1 have been loved 

\ Y'ou shall or will n S You shall or will n 
f have been loved f have been loved 

He shall or will n have They shall or will n 
been loved 

Let me n be loved 

Be thou or you n loved 
Do you n be loved' 
Let him n be loved 

have been loved 
• Mode. 

Let us n be loved 
Be n loved 
Be ye or you n loved 
Do you n be loved 
Let them n be loved 

Potential Mode. — Present Tense, 
may, can or must n be We may, can or must 


■ Thou mayest, canst or 
I must n be loved 
I You may, can or must 

n be loved 
He may, can or must n 

be loved 

n be loved 
Ye may, can or musti 

n be loved 
You may, can or must 

n be loved 
They may, can or 

must n be loved 

Past Tense. 

I might n be loved We might Jt be loved 

( Thou n\ightest nhe loved C Ye might n be loved 

( You might n be loved ( You might n be loved 

He might n be loved They might n be 


With could, should and would in the same manner. 

Perfect Tense. 

We may, can or must 
n have been loved 

Ye may, can or must 
71 have been loved 

You may, can or must 
71 have been lov- 



J You 

might n 

■ith could, would and 

I may, can or must n 

have been loved 
Thou mayest, canst or 
must n have been 
You may, can or must n 
have been loved 
He may, can or must »s They may, can 
have been loved must n have been 

Prior-past Tense. 
I might n 
( Thou mightest 
( You might n 
He might n 
In the same manne 

Subjunctive Mode. — Present Tense. 
If, Src. I am n loved We are n loved 

C Thou art n loved ^ Ye are n loved 
( You are n loved ( You are » loved 
He is 71 loved They are n loved 

Or thus : 
If, iV<". I be n loved We be »i loved 

{ Thou be )i loved C Ye he n loved 
I You be n loved ( Y'ou be n loved 
He be n loved They be n loved 

Past Tense. 
If, Src. 1 was n loved We were n loved 

f Thou wastn loved C Ye were n loved 

< You wasor were n } 

( loved ( You were n loved 

He was ?i loved They were n loved 
Or thus : 
If, Sfc. I were n loved We were n loved 

( Thou wert »( loved ( Ye were n loved 
\ You were n loved ( You were « loved 
He were n loved They were n loved 
Perfect Tense. 
If, Src. I have ra been loved We haven been loved 
C Thou hast n been C Ye have n been lov- 
1 loved * ed 

j You have 7i been J You have n been 
f loved ( loved 

He has or hath n They have ?i been 
loved loved 

Prior-past Tense. 
If, ^c. I had n been loved We had n been loved 
C Thou hadst n been C Ye had n been loved 
5 loved ) 

J You had n been j You had n been lov- 
f loved ( ed 

He had n been They had n been lov- 
loved ed 

Future Tense. 
If, Src. I shall, will or We shall, will or 
should 7ibe loved should n be loved 
fThou Shalt, wilt or C Ye shall, will or 
shouldst n be lov- should n be loved 

< ed J 

I You shall, will or You shall, will or 
t should n be loved [^ should n be loved 
He shall, will or They shall, will or 
should n be loved should « be loved 
Prior-future Tense. 
If, Src. I shall or should n We shall or should n 
have been loved have been loved 
TThou shalt or shouldst fYe shall or should n 
J n have been loved J have been loved 
I You shall or should »J ] You shall or should 
1^ have been loved (^ n have been loved 
He shall or should n They shall or should 
have been loved n have been loved 

The future is often elliptical, the auxiliary being 
omitted. Thus instead of <// shall be loved, &c. 
used the following forms : 


If, SfC. I be 11 loved We be n loved 

( Thou be n loved ( Ye be n loved 
\ You be n loved \ You be n loved 
He be n loved They be n loved 

An exhibition of the verb in the interrogative 
form, with the sign of the negative. 

Indicative Mode. — Present Tense, indefinite. 

Love In? Love we n ? 

^ Lovest thou it ? < Love ye n ? 

( Love you n 7 \ Love you n ? 

Loveth or loves he n ? Love tliey n ? 
The foregoing form is but little used. The fol- 
lowing is the usual mode of asking questions. 
Do I n love > Do we n love ? 

( Dost thou n love ? < Doye n love ? 
\ Do you n love ? \ Do you n love ? 

Does or doth he n love ? Do they « love ? 

Definite . 

Am I « loving .' Are we n loving ? 

J Art thou 71 loving ? J Are ye n loving ? 

^ Are you n lo\ ing .' ^ Are you n loving ? 

Is he n loving ? Are they n loving .' 

Past Tense, indefinite. 
Did I n love .' Did we n love .' 

( Didst thou n love >. < Did ye n love ? 
^ Did you n love .' < Did you n love ? 

Did he n love ? Did they n love .' 

The otlier form of this tense, loved he ? is sel- 
dom used. Definite. 

Was I n loving .' Were we n loving ? 

( Wast thou n loving ? t Were ye n loving ? 
? Was or were you ?i < 
I loving ? ( Were you n loving ? 

Was he n loving? Were they n loving? 

Perfect Tense, indefinite. 
Have I n loved? Have we n loved ? 

< Hast thou n loved ? < Have ye n loved ? 
I Have you »i loved ? ( Have you n loved ? 
Has or hath he n loved ? Have they n loved ? 
Have I n been loving? Have we n been lov- 

[ing ? ing ? 

■ Hast thou n been lov- C Have ye nbeenloving! 
' Have you n been lov- < Have you n been lov- 
' ing i ing? 

Has or hath he n been Have they n been lov- 
loving ? ing ? 

Prior-past, indefinite. 
Had I n loved ? Had we ?i loved ? 

Hadst thou n loved ? < Had ye n loved ? 
Had you n loved ? ( Had you n loved ? 

Had he n loved ? Had they n loved 

Had I n been loving ? Had we n been loving ; 
'Hadst thou Jt been < Had ye Ji been loving? 
loving ? \ Had you n been loving; 

' Had you n been loving? Had they n been lov. 
Had he n been loving ? ing? 

Future Tense, indefinite. 

Shall I n love ? 
, Shalt or wilt thou 
S love ? 

> Shall or will you 
V. l,,ve ? 

Shall we n love ? 
■ Shall or will ye n love 

Shall or will you » 
' love ? 



Shall r n be loving ? 
r Shalt or wilt thou n be 
) loving ? 

\ Shall or will you n be 
' loving ? 

Shall or will he n he 
loving ? 

Shall we n be loving ? 
Shall or will ye n be 

Shall or will you n be 

Shall or will they n be 
loving ? 

Prior-future, indefinite. 

Shall I re have loved: 
Shalt or wilt thou n 

have loved ? 
Shall or will you n 

have loved ? 
Shall or will he t 

have loved ? 

Shall we n have loved ? 
Shall or will ye n have 

loved ? 
Shall or will you n 

have loved ? 
Shall or will they n 

have loved ? 

The definite form of this tense is little used. 

Will, in this tense, is not elegantly used in the 
first person. 

The interrogative form is not used in the imper- 
ative mode ; a command and a question being in- 

It is not necessary to exhibit this form of the 
verb in the potential mode. Let the learner be 
only instructed that in interrogative sentences, the 
nominative follows the verb when alone, or the 
first auxiliary when one or more aroused; and 
the sign of negation not, (and generally never,) 
immediately follows the nominative. 


All verbs whose past tense and perfect participle do not end in ed 
Bemed irregular. The number of tliese i 

I about one hundred and seventy 
seven. They aie of three kinds. 

1. Those whose past tense, and participle of the perfect are the same as 
the present ; as, beat, burst, cast, cost, cut, hit, hurt, let, put, read, rent, 
rid, set, shed, shred, shut, slit, split, sjnead, thrust, sweat, wet. Wet has 
sometimes wetted; heat sometimes het ; but the practice is not respectable. 
Light and qidt have lit and quit in the past time and participle, but they 
are also regular. 

2. Verbs whose past time and participle are alike, but different from the 
present; 3iS, meet, met ; sell, sold. 

3. Verbs whose present and past tense and participle are all different ; as, 
hnow, knetp, known. 

A few ending with ch, ck, x,p, II, ess, though regular, suffer a contraction 
of ed into t ; as, snatcht for snatched, checkt for checked, snapt for snapped, 
mixt for mixed, dwelt for dwelled, past for passed. Others have a digraph 
shortened ; as, drearn, dreamt ; feel, felt; mean, meant ; sleep, slept ; deal, 
dealt. In a few, v is changed into/,- as bereave, bereft ; leave, left. 

As some of the past tenses and participles are obsolete or obsolescent, it 
deemed proper to set these in separate columns for the information of the 



Past tense. 


Past tense obs. Part, o 







Arise, rise 

arose, rose 

arisen, risen 


awoke, awaked 








beat, beaten 


begun, began 



bended, bent 

bended, bent 


bereaved, bereft bereaved, bereft 







bade bidden 







bit, bitten 









broke, broken 








builded, built 











catched, caught catched, caught 







chose, chosen 

1 Ir>fin. 

" Past tense. 

Participle. Past tense obs. Part. obs. 

Cleave, to stick cleaved 

cleaved clave 

Cleave, to 

spUt cleft 

cleft clove cloven 





clothed clad 


came, come 







crowed crew 








durst, dared* 



dealt, dealed 

dealt, dealed 


dug, digged 

dug, digged 









driven, drove drave [drunk 



drank drunken, 


dwelt, dwelled 

dwelt, dwelled 


cat, ate 

eat, eaten [ved 



engraven, engia- 























forgot, forgotten forgat 
forsaken, forsook 





frozen, froze 



got, gotten gat 


gUded, gilt 

gilded, gilt 


iirded, girt 

girded, girt 









graved, graven 










hanged, hung 

hanged, hung 






hewed, hewn 



hid, hidden 






held holden 

* When transitive, this verb 

is always regular; as, "he dared him." 












Lie (down) 










Past tense ubs. Part, ubs 





































































rode, 1 







shone, shined 










slit, slitted 


spilled, spilt 



stride, strode 







swum, swam 







mowed, mown 



shaken, shook 





shone, shined 


shown, showed 













slit, slitted 

smitten, smit 

sowed, sown 

spoke, spoken 



spilled, spilt 






stole, stolen 







strowed, shown 


taken, took 
torn, tore 



Pa,<it tense. 



trod, trodden 
worn, wore 
woven, wove 

Past tense obs. Part. 


Work worked,wrought worked, wrought 

Wring wrung, wringed wrung, wiinged 

Write wrote, writ writ, written 

Note 1. — The old forms of the past tense, sang, spake, sprang, forgat, 
&c. are here placed among the obsolete ivonls. They are entirely obsolete, 
in ordinary practice, wheth. r |">]' H -i ■ i ;- liilo ; and it seems advisable not 
to attempt to revive them. I: : i I'l; reason for omitting them, 

there is one which is not i ■ . '.. ii,l. The sound of a in these 

and all other like cases, w.i- u;] mm!I\ h- lunada or aw ; which sound, in 
the Gothic and Saxon, as in the niodeir! Scotch, corresponded nearly with 
in spoke, swore. Spoke is therefore nearer to the original than spake, as 
we now pronounce the vowel a with its first or long sound, as in sake. 

Note 2. — In the use of the past tense and participle of some of these 
verhs, there is a diversity of practice ; some authors retaining those which 
others have rejected as obsolete. Many words which were in use in the 
days of Shakspeare and Lord Bacon are now wholly laid aside ; others are 
used only in books; while others are obsolescent, being occasionally used ; 
and a few of the old participles, having lost the verbal character, are used 
only as adjectives. Of the last mentioned species, are fraught, drunken, 
[molten, beholden, shorn, clad, bounden, cloven. Holpen is entirely obso- 
lete. Holden, swollen, gotten and forgotten, are nearly obsolete in com- 
mon parlance. Wrought is evidently obsolescent. Stricken is used only 
in one phrase, stricken in age or years, which we learn from the bible ; but 
in every other case, is inelegant and pedantic. 

Bishop Lowth has attempted to revive the use of many of the obsolescent 
past tenses and participles, for which he has, and I think deservedly, incur- 
red the severe animadversions of eminent critics. " Is it not su.-jjrising," 
says Campbell on Rhetoric, b. 2, ch.2, "that one of Lowth's penetration 
should think a single person entitled to revive a form of inflection in a par- 
ticular word, which had been rejected by all good writers of every denom- 
ination, for more than a hundred and fifty years." This writer declares 
what Lowth has advanced on the use of the past tense and participle, to be 
inconsistent with the very first principles of grammar. He observes justly 
that authority is every thing in language, and that this authority consists in 
reputable, national, present usage. 

Independent of authority however, there are substantial reasons in the 
language itself for laying aside the participles ending with en, and for re- 
moving the difTerences between the past time and participle. In opposition 
to the opinion of Lowth, who regrets that our language has so few inflec- 
tions, and maintains that we should preserve all we have, I think it capable 
■of demonstration that the differences between the past time and participle of 
the past tense of our irregular verbs, is one of the greatest inconveniences 
in the language. If we used personal terminations to form our modes and 
tenses like the Greeks, it would be desirable that they should be carefully 

tained. But as we have no more than about half a dozen different termi- 
nations, and are therefore obliged to form our modes and tenses by means of 
auxiliaries, the combination of these forms a part of the business of learn- 
ing the language, which is extremely difficult and perplexing to foreigners. 
Even the natives of Scotland and Ireland do not always surmount the diffi- 
culty. This diflBculty is very much augmented by the difference between 
the past tense and the participle. To remove this difference, in words in 
which popular usage has given a lead, is to obviate, in a degree, this incon- 
venience. This is recommended by another circumstance — it will so far 
reduce our irregular verbs to an analogy with the regular, whose past tense 
and participle of the perfect are alike. 

number of words, the dropping of n in the participle, will make a 
convenient distinction between the participle and the adjective ; for in the 
llatter, we always retain en — we always say, a written treatise, a spoken lan- 
guage, a hidden mystery — though the best authors write, a " mystery hid 
from ages ;" " the language spoke in Bengal." 

Besides, whenever we observe a tendency in a nation to conti act words, 
we may be assured that the contraction is found to be convenient, and is 
therefore to be countenanced. Indeed if I mistake not, we are indebted to 
such contractions for many real improvements; as write from gewrite; 
slain from ofslegen ; fastened from gefastnode ; men from mannan ; holy 
from haligan, &c. And as a general remark, we may be assured that no 
language ever suffas the loss of a useful word or syllable. If a word or 
syllable is ever laid aside in national practice, it must be because it is not 
wanted, or because it is harsh and inconvenient in use, and a word or sylla- 
ble more consonant to the general taste of a nation or state of society, is 


Such is the fact with our participles in en ; the e being suppressed m pro- 
nunciation, we have the words spokn, icrittn, holdn, in actual practice. 
Nothing can be more weak, inefficient and disagreeable than this nasal 
sound of the half vowel n ; it is disagreeable in prose, feeble inverse, and 
in music, intolerable. Were it possible to banish every sound of this kind 

from ihe language, 

rable. At any rate, when 
people in generat have laid a.side any of these sounds, writers, who value 
the beauties of language, should be the last to revive them. 

Defective Verbs. 

Verbs which want the past time or participle, are deemed defective. Of 
these we have very few. The auxiliaries may, can, will, shall, nntst, 
having no participle, belong to this Ought is used in the present and 
past tenses only, with the regular inflection of the second person only — / 
ought, thou oughlest, he ought. We, you, they ought, quoth is wholly ob- 
solete, except iii poetry and burlesque. It has no inflection, and is used 
chiefly in the third person, with the nominative following it, quoth he. 

Wit, to know, is obsolete, except in the infinitive, to introduce an expla- 
nation or enumeration of particulars ; as, " There are seven persons, to wit, 
four men and three women." Wot and leiat are entirely obsolete. 

Adverbs or Modifiers. 

Adverbs arc a secondary part of speech. Their uses are to enlarge, re- 
strain, limit, define, and in short, to modifi/ the sense of other words. 
Adverbs may l)e classed according to their several uses. 

1. Those which qualify the actions expressed by verbs and participles; 
as, "a good man lives ^ioit.s(y ;" " a room is c?C|£fan% furnished." Here 
piously denotes the manner oj living ; elegantly denotes the mannerof be- 
ing furnished. 

In this class may be ranked a number of other words, as when, soon, then, 
where, whence, hence, and many others, whose use is to modify verbs. 

2. Another class of adverbs are words usually called prepositions, used 
with verbs to vaiy their signification; for which purpose they generally 
follow them in construction, as to fall on, give out, bear with, cast up; or 
they are prefixed and become a part of the word, as overcome, underlay. 
In these uses, these words modify or change the sense of the verb, and 
when prefixed, are united with the verb in orthography. 

A few modifiers admit the terminations of comparison; as soon, sooner, 
soonest ; often, oftcner, oftenest. Most of those which end in ly, may be 
compared by more and most, less and least ; as more justly, more excellent 
ly ; less honestly, least criminally. 


Prepositions, so called from their being put before other words, serve 
to connect words and show the relation between them, or to show the 
Thus a man of benevolence, denotes a man who pos 
( liii^i was crucified between two thieves. Receive 
i\f\ mvi- ii to Thomas. 

Hisi (MihiTion, are to, for, by, of, in, into, on, upon, 
ir<jt. iiji. over, under, beneath, against, fri 
iriirilx, before, behind, after, without, across. 
r of particles, which serve to vary or modify the words 
K'fixed, and which are sometimes called inseparable 
■ they are never used, but as parts of other words. 
mis, pre, re, sub, in abide, become, conjoin, mistake.. 

as connectives. Their use is to express ni 
alternatives. Thus, " Either John or Ii . 
an alternative sentence ; the verb or pre li 
but not to both ; and whatever may br ti 
thus joined by or, the verb and predioriI( 1 
' One very common use of ur, is to jo' 


the Exchange," is 
■ . or the other, 
r :,i.3or propositions 


condition of thing' 
sesses benevoI«-nc 
the book /ro»i .l"i 
The prepositiHi! 
(imoHff, belli; , „ 
with, tlinnmli. ol 

a, be 

prefix, return, subjoin, ^c. These may be called prefixes. 
Connectives or Conjunctions. 

Connectives are words which unite words and sentences in construction 
joining two or more simple sentences into one compound one, and continu- 
ing the sentence at the pleasure of the writer or speaker. They also begin 
sentences after a full period, manifesting some relation between sentences 
in the general tenor of discourse. 

The connectives of most general use, are and, or, either, nor, neither, 
hut, than. To which may be added because. 

And is supposed to denote an addition; as, " The book is worth four shil 
lings and sixpence." That is, it is worth four shillings, add sixpence, oi 
with sixpence added. " John resides at New York, and Thomas, at Bos 
ton." That is, John resides at New York, add, [add this which follows,] 
Thomas resides at Boston. From the great use of this connective in join- 
ing words of which the same thing is affirmed or predicated, it may be just- 
ly called the copulative by way of eminence. 

The distinguishing use of the connective is to save the repetition of 
words ; for this sentence, " John, Thomas and Peter reside at York," con- 
tains three simple sentences ; '■ John resides at York," — " Thomas resides 
at York," — "Peter resides at York;" which are all combined into one,] 
with a single verb and predicate, by means of the copul 

added by way of explanation or definition. Thus, " No di • 

can more fatally disable it from benevolence, than ill-him 

ness." Rambler, J\i~o. 74. Here peevishness is not inteml. 

thing from ill-humor, but as another term for the same idea. In lhi> o.i-j, 

m- expresses only an alternative of words, and not of signification. 

Iher andur are affirmative of one or other of the particulars named, 
so neither and nor are negative of all the paniculars. Thus, " For 1 am 
persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor 
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor highth, 7ior depth, nor 
any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God." Rom. 
39. Here neither is in fact a substitute for each of the following 
particulars, all of which it denies to be able to effect a certain purpose — not 
either of these which follow shall separate us from the love of God. It is 
laid down as a rule in our grammars, that nor must always answer to nei- 
ther; but this is a great mistake, for the negation o{ neither, not either, ex- 
tends to every one of the following alternatives. But nor is more general- 
ly used, and in many cases, as in the passage just recited, is far the most 
But is used for two Saxon words, originally by mistake, but now by es- 
tablished custom ; bet or bote, the radical of our modern words better, boot, 
and denoting sufficiency, compensation, more, further, or something addi- 
tional, by way of amendment ; and buton or butan, equivalent to without 
or except. 

In the former sense, we have the word in this sentence ; " John resides 
at York, but Thomas resides at Bristol." The primitive sense here is, John 
resides at York ; more, add or supply, Thomas resides at Bristol. It does 
not signify opposition, as is usually supposed, but some addition to the sense 
of what goes before. 

In the latter sense, or that of butan, it is used in this passage, " He hatli 
not grieved me, but in part." 2 Cor. ii. 5. That is, " He hath not grieved 
me, except fn part." The first assertion is a complete negation ; the word 
but, (butan,) introduces an exception. " Nothing, but true religion, can 
give us peace in death." Here also is a complete negation, with a saving 
introduced by but. Nothing, except true religion. 

These were the only primitive uses of 6ut, until by means of a mistake, 
a third sense was added, which is that of only. Not knowing the origin 
and true meaning of but, authors omitted the negation in certain phrases 
where it was essential to a true construction ; as in the following passages, 
" Our light affliction, which is but for a moment." 2 Cor. iv. " If they 
kill us, we shall 6uf die." 2 Kings, vii. 

The but, in these passages, is buton, be o>it, except; and according to 
the true original sense, 7iot should precede, to give the sentence a negative 
turn. " Our Ught affliction is not, but (except) for a moment." " We shall 
not, but die." As they now stand, they would in strictness signify. Our 
light affliction is except for a moment — We can except die, which would not 
be sense. To correct the sense, and repair the breach made in the true 
English idiom, by this mistake, we must give but a new sense, equivalent 
to only. Thus we are obliged to patch and mend, to prevent the mischiefs 
of innovation. 

The liistory of this word but should be, as Johnson expresses the idea, " a 
guide to reformers, and a terror to innovators." The first blunder or inno- 
ation blended two words of distinct meanings into one, in orthography and 
pronunciation. Then the sense and etymology being obscured, authors 
proceeded to a further change, and suppressed the negation, which was es- 
sential to the buton. We have now therefore one word with three different 
and unallied meanings ; and to these may be reduced the whole of John- 
son's eighteen definitions ofbut. 

Let us however ti'ace the mischief of this change a little further. As the 
word but is now used, a sentence may have the same meaning with or with- 
out the negation. For example : " he hath ?wt grieved me, but in part," 
and " he hath grieved me, but in part," have, according to our present use 
of but, precisely the same meaning. Or compare different passages of 
scripture, as they now stand in our bibles. 
He hath not grieved me, but in part. 
Our light affliction is but for a moment. 

This however is not all ; for the innovation being directed neither by 
knowledge nor judgment, is not extended to all cases, and in a large pro- 
iporlion of phrases to which but belongs, it is used in its original sense with 
a preceding negation, especially with nothing and none. " There is none 
good, but one, 3iat is God." Matt. xix. 17. This is correct — there is none 
good, except one, that is God. " He saw a fig-tree in the way, and found 
nothing tliereon but leaves only." Matt. xxi. 19. This is also correct — 
" he found nothing, except leave* ;" the only is redundant. " It amounts 
to no more but tliis." Locke, Und. b. 1. 2. This is a correct English 

Eitherlni or have been already explained under'the head of substitutes,! Phrase; "it amounts to no more, except this;" but it is nearly obsolete, 
for in strictness they are the representatives of sentences or words; but as j Hence the propriety of these phrases. "They could not, hut be known 
or has totally lost that character, both these words will be here considered I be fore." Locke, 1. 2. " The reader may be, nay cannot choose but be 
Vol. I. J. 


very fallible in the understanding of it." Locke, 3. 9. Here but is used inll 
its true -onse. They eould not, except this, be known before. That is, thei'n 
fontrary was not possible. The other phrase is frequently found in Shaks-|;i, 
peare and other old writers, but is now obsolete. They cannot choose butj > 
that is, they have no choice, power or alternative, except to be very fal- 

But is called in our grammars, a disjunctive conjunction, connecting 
sentences, but expressing opposition in tne sense. To illustrate the use of 
this word which joms and diyoins at the same time, Lowth u;ives this ex- 
ample ; " You and I rode to London, but Peter staid at home. ' — Here the 
Bishop supposed the but to express an opposition in the sense. But let 6wi 
be omitted, and what diflerence will the omission make in the sense .' "Youj 
and I rode to London, Peter staid at home." Is the opposition in the sense! 
les? clearly marked than when the conjunciion is used ? By no means. 
And the truth is, that the opposition in the sense, when there is any, is never 
expressed by the connective at all, but always by the following sentence or 
phrase. " They have mouths, but they speak not ; eyes have they, but see 
not." Psalm cxv. 5. Let 4t«< be omitted. " They have mouths, they speak 
not ; eyes have they, they see not." The omission of the connectives makes 
not the smallest alteration in the sense, so far as opposition or difference of 
idea in the members of the sentence is concerned. Indeed the Bishop is 
mo.=t linfiirtunntr in the examplr Jr 1. rtrl in il!n«trate his rule ; for the cop- 
ulativi ami ihay !"■ \i-r,\ lor / ;;/ ;'.,.'', ' ■ ,.t alteration in the sense — 
" Voii and ( loilf tn Loiiilnii. ■• ; . : , i ' ■: home." In this sentence 
the iipijj uliju is as cuiiiplclrl-, . >, . .J ,, .! ..,/.' was Used; which proves 
that the opposition in Ihe senst- lus nu iiepc-mlL-nce on the connective. 

Nor is it true that an oppo-ition in the seuse always follows 6ut. "Man 
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of 
the mouth of God." Matt. iv. 4. Here the la-t clause expresses no oppo- 
sition, but merely an additional fvf Tlr <:■; • ■ i^ ■:■ r.f hut when used for 
bote,is supply, more, further, s' ''' ' anplete the sense ; 

it may be in opposition to wli.:' '■ ; ' : Liuation only. In 

general, hoxvcvcr. the word //;(/ i. ■■<•• ,.,• , , > ', n . ; I , ,:,re a clause of a 
senlrn". . i'.'r- '■■■' 'o in'ri 'i'. ■;■ .1 new ami -Mine w ii.ii ilnirrunt idea, by way 

of '',1 ■■' :'. pieceding clause. This use is very naturally 

drilii' 'I I ^i " ' i~r of the word, something further which is toi 

mak. ■11 ',:>:>■':■ " ',|'''|'' a ^lai has preceded. 

ThiDi i< a coiinicuie oi luiuparison ; "John is taller than Peter." 

Because is a mere compound of by and cause — by cause. " It is the] 21. Now 
case of some to contrive some filse periods of business, ftecawse they mayiadjective 
seem men of dispatch." Bacon on Dispatch. See also j?po(7i. 7. 6. Thisljtile ; prol 

from nouns ami adjectives by the termination izi 
: system, systemize; moral, moralize. When the p 
. u'.vel, the consonant ( is pretixed to the terminatioc 

I goodness, from good ; gror 

. ; - i ,.■'', nouns and adjectives by the addition of en orn; 
;;uH-ii. uiJ..'ii, from length, wide. 

Verbs ior:/ied by fy; asbrutify, stratify, from bi'ute, stratum. 
Nouns foi-nied from adjectives by ness ; ; 
from gracious. 

8. Nouns formed by dom and ric, denoting jurisdiction; as kingdom, 
bishopric, from king and bishop. Dom and ric, are nouns denoting jurisdic- 
tion or territory. 

9. Nouns formed by hood and ship, denoting state or condition ; as man- 
hood, lordship, from man, lord. 

10. Nouns ending in ment and age, from the French, denoting state or 
act ; as commandment, parentage, from command, pai"ent. 

11. Nouns in er,o»- and ee, used byway of opposition, the former denoting 
the agent, the latter the receiver or person to whom an act is performed ; as 
assignor, assignee; indorser, indorsee. 

12. Adjectives formed IVom nouns by the addition of y; as healthy, from 
health ; pithy, from pith : or ly added to the noun ; as stately, from state- 
Ly is a contraction of like. 

13. Adjectives formed from nouns by the addition of/uJ ,• as hopeful, from 

11. Adjectives formed from nouns or verbs by ible or able ; as payable, 
from pay ; creditable, from credit ; compressible, from compress. Jible de- 
notes power or capacity. 

15. Adjectives formed from nouns or adjectives by ish; as whitish, from 
white; blackish, from black; waggish, fom wag. 

16. Adjectives formed from nouns by less, noting destitution ; as father- 
less, fi'om father. 

17. Adjectives formed from nouns by ous ; as famous, from fame ; gra- 
cious, from grace. 

18. Adjectives formed by adding some to nouns ; as delightsome, from 

li). Adverbs formed from adjectives by ly ; as sweetly, from sweet. 
20. Nouns to eTpipis f males formed by adding ess to the masculine gen- 
der; ash.'i:, - f:r„>ii' 

! ' ■ sirne directly from the Latin, others formed from 
■ , from responsible ; contractility, from contrac- 


riticism to the contrary notwith- 

orriKu hy adding a/ to nouns; as national, from nation, 
standing; but it is now obsolete. 23. Adjectives ending in jc, mostly from the Latin or French, but some 

of them by the addition of ic to a noun ; as balsamic, from balsam ; sul- 
Exclamations. phuric, from sulphur. 

24. Nouns formed by ate, to denote the union of substances in salts ; as 
Exclamations are sounds uttered to express passions and emotions ; usu- jcarbonate, in the chimical nomenclature, denotes carbonic acid combined 
ally those which are violent or sudden. They are called interjections, ,y,\f]^ another body. 

words throum in between the parts of a sentence. But this is not alwaysj' 25. Nouns ending in ite, from other nouns, and denoting salts formed by 
the fact, and the name is insignificant. The more appropriate name is, ex- j the union of acids with other bodies; as sulphite, from sulphur. 
clamaiions; as they are mere irregular sounds, uttered as passion dictates i 26. Nouns ending in ret, formed from other nouns, and denoting a sub- 
and not subject to rules. ||stance combined with an alkaline, earthy or metallic base; as sulphuret, 

A few of these sounds however become the customary modes of expres-lcarburet, from sulphur and carbon. 
sintr particular passions and feelings in every nation. Thus in English, joy,-' 27. Nouns formed fiom other nouns by adding cy; as ensigncy, eaptain- 
surpiisc and tiriitare expressed by oh, uttered with a different tone andj,(.y^ from ensign, captain. 

counlenauce. .'lias expresses grief or great sorrow— pisA, i)sAa«', express i ^-ords are also formed by prefixing certain syllables and words, some of 
iitempt. Sometimes jerbs, names, and^ attributes aj-e uttered by wa^ o{,^]^^^ siiinificanf by themselves, others never "used but in composition; as 
xi„.ii Tir.i— „i Tji„„- .„„r /-!„„ - ^ pre, con, mis, sub, super : and great numbers are formed by the union 
two words ; as bed-room, ink-stand, pen-knife. 

1 and sub- 

detached manner ; as. Hail ! Welcome ! Bless me ! Gr 
cious heavens ! 

In two or three instances, exclamations are followed by 
stilulcs in the nominative and objective; as, O «/io?/, in t1 
ah me, in the objective. Sometimes that follows O, expressing a wish ; " ' 
that the Lord would guide my ways." But in such cases, we may conside 
ivish or some other verb to be understood. 


However numerous may be the words in a language, the number of rad 
tal words is small. Most words are formed from others by addition of ce 


Syntax teaches the rules to be observed in the construction of sentences. 

A sentence is a number of words arranged in due order, and forming a 

complete atfirmation or proposition. In philosophical language, a sentence 

consists of a subject and a predicate, connected by an affirmation. Thus, 

" God is omnipotent," a complete propodtion oi- sentence, composed of God, 

_^^ „,..^... „ „„ „.. „. ^^. ,'lie subject, omnipotent, the predicate or thing affirmed, cormected by the 

tain words or syllables, which were oHeinalTy 'distinct words,""but "wWc'h !verb is, which forms the affirmaUon. , . „ 

have lost their distinct character, and are now used only in combinalionij The predicate is often included m the veto ; as, " the sun shines, 
with other words. Thus er in lover, is a contraction of wcr, a Saxon word;! A simple sentence then contams one subject and one personal verb, that 
denoUng man, [the Latin vir ,-] ness denotes state or condition ; ly is an ab-jlis, the noun and the verb ; and without these, no proposition can be tormed. 
breviation of like or liche ; fy is from facio, to make, &c. A compound sentence consists of two or more simple sentences, joined by 

Most of the English derivatives fall under the following heads :— | connectives. The divisions of a compound sentence may be called inem- 

1. Nouns formed from nouns, or more generally from verbs, by the addi-l|bers or clauses. 

tion of r, er or or, denoting an agent; as lover, hater, assignor, flatterer,!; Sentences are declaratory, as, I am writing, the wind h\ov/s— imperative, 
from love, hate, assign, flatter. In a few instances, words thus formed arenas, go, retire, be quiet— inten-ogative, as, where am I ? who art thou .—or 
less regular; as glazier, from glass; courtier, from court; parishioner, fromjicondifionoj, as, if he should arrive, 
parish. I The rules for the due construction of sentences fall under three heads : 

2. Nouns converted into verbs by the prefix to ,• as from water, cloud, tojFJrsi, concord or agreement-Second, government— r/iird, arrangement 
water, to cloud. ijand punctuation. 

3. Adjectives converted into verbs in the same manner ; as to lame, tOj| In agreement, the name or noun is the controlling ' 
. ool, to warm, from lame, cool, warm. 

ojl in agreemeni, me nattte or iiuuu is mt. v.winiv.iii.^ „v.iu, »J it carries wit/i 
(lit the verb, the substitute and the attribute. In government, the verb is 


id ; but name? and prcposilions have their share of ioflu- 

■ h 

It or Concord. 

Rule I.- 

The . 

Note S. — We sometime': see a nominative introducing a sentence, the 
sense suddenly interiupted, and the noininalive left without its intended 
verb ; as, " Tlie name of a procession ; what a great mixture of indepen- 
dent ideas of persons, habits, tapers, orders, motions, sounds, docs it con- 
tain," he. Lnrke, 3.5.13. This form of expression is often very striking in 

;iiv -I 'i-^ '-o. The first words being the subject of the discourse and 

ii r to usher in the sontence, to invite attention ; and the 

. in the fei-vor of aniniaUon, quitting the trammels of a 
1m , I. rushc~ forward to a description of the thing mentioned. 

iiiiii 1.1L-. .1.1 i..i liioie striking idea; in the form of exclamation. 

Rule 11. — A name, a nominative case, or a sentence, joined with a par 
iimiple of the present tense, may sl.uid in construction witho 
Ijing i\\<i case absolute, ov clause independent ; as, "Jesus had couveycil 
young learners, by askingi kj^jseif away, a multitude being in that place." John v. 13. Here mul- 
s, a young man of greatlljj^„^g^ the noun, joined with being, stands without a verb. 
His father harassed with I <i gy memory we conceive heat or light, yellow or sweet, <A« object be- 
I business, recommendedjL^^g. removed." Loclie, 2. 10. 

be asked, who inherited! " I have, notwithstanding this discouragement, attempted a dictionary 

verb must agree with its nominative in number and person 

In solemn style. " Thou hast loved righteousness." Heb. i. 9 

" Thou Shalt not steal." Commandment 

"Art thou called, being a servant ?" 1 Cor. vii. 21 

" But j/e are washed, but i/« <""e sanctified." 1 .^^^,, ..._.. ..„...^, „ ..„ ^ .„o^, „. ,j - r- 

In familiar language. I v-'rite; John reads; JVetoton was the first ofjltjcipie of the present tense, may stand in construction without a verb, form 

astionomers. ' ' -»--7..j. ... . *_ __ « „ „, 

vh ' ' ' '' '' 

is £«meufs, which is the nominative to thellofthe English I 

verb "m/ien/«/. Who recommended the quiet of a private station ? •W'*il " Whatever .substance begins to exist, it must, during its eristencc 
/a<fter, which is therefore the nominative to the verb recommenrferf ■ • " r-->-- « «- 

"I " What 
J cessarily I 
of| "Ther 

Johnson's Preface. 
ts existence, nc- 
Locke, 2. 27. 28. 

custom to the 

be the same 

Note 2.— Let the following rules be observed respecting the position ofll " xhe penalty shall be fine and imprisonment, any law ( 
the nominative. \\contrary notwithstanding." 

I. The nominative usually precedes the verb in declaratory phrases ; as,. The latter phraseology is peculiar to the technical law style. In no other 
" God created the world ;" " the law is a rule of right." But the nomina- L^jg^ joes notwithstanding follow the sentence. But this position makes 
tivc maybe separated from its verb, by a member of a period; as, "ii6(!7"'.!/,|| no difference in the true construction, which is, "any law or custom to the 
say the fanatic favorers of popular power, can only be found inadcmocra- Lontrary not opposing" — the real clause independent, 
cy." Anarcharsis, ch. 62. L n \g very common, when this participle agrees with a number of words, 

n. Tlie nominative often follows an intransitive verb, for such a verb|Lr a whole clause, to omit the whole except the participle ; and in tliis use 
can have no object after it, and that position of the nominative creates no jof noteitAstanding-, we have astriking proof of the value of abbreviations 
ambiguity; thus, " .\bove it stood the Seraphim." /». vi. "Gradual sinks !;„ language. For example: "Moses said, let nc 
the breeze." Thomson. , . I morning. JVotwithstanding, they hearkened i 

III. When the verb is preceded by Acre, there, hence, thence, then, thus 
yet, so, nor, neither, such, the same, herein, therein, wherein, and perhaps. 

But after a single veil 

by some other words, the nominative may follow the verb, especially be; 
as, " here are five men ;" " there was a man sent from God ;" " hence 
arise wars ;" " thence proceed our vicious habits ;" " then came the scribes 
and Pharisees ;" " thus saith the Lord." " Yet required not I bread of the 
governor." JVcA. v. 18. " So panteth my soul after thee, O Lord." Psalm 
xlii. " Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents." John ix. " Such 
were the facts ;" " the same was the fact." " Herein consists the excel- 
lency of the English government." Blackstone's Comm. b. 1. 

IV. When an cmphatical attribute introduces a sentence, the nominative 
may follow the verb ; as, " Great is the Lord, glorious are his works, and 
happy is the man who has an interest in his favor." 

V. In certain phrases, which are conditional or hypothetical, the sign of 
the condition may be omitted, and the nominative placed after the auxili: 
ry ; as, " Did he but know my anxiety," for if he did but know—" Had 
known the fact," for if I had known—" Would they consent," for if they 
would, &c. 

VI. When the words whose, his, their, her, mine, your, he. precede the 
verb with a governing word, the nominative may follow the verb; as, " Out 
ofivhose modifications have been made most complex modes." 

Locke, 2. 22. 10. 

VII. In interrogaUve sentences, the nominative follows the verb wh 
alone, or the first auxiliary ; as, Believest thou ? Will he consent ? Has 
been promoted ? The nominative also follows the verb in the imperative 
mode ; as, go thou ; " be ye warmed and filled." "■■* "*■•"■■ " ' 
the nominative is commonly omitted ; as, arise, flee 

Note 3. — In poetry, the nominative is often omitted in interrogative sen 
tences, in cases where in prose the omission would be improper; as, "Live 
there who loves his pain." Milton. That is, lives there a man or person. 

Note 4. — In the answer to a question, the whole sentence is usually | 
omitted, except the name, which is the principal subject of the interroga 
tion; as, " who made the chief discoveries concerning vapor? Black." 

Note 5. — In poetry, the verb in certain phrases is omitted, chiefly such 
verbs as express an address or answer ; as, " To whom the monarch" — that 
is, said or replied. 

Note 6. — When a verb is placed between two nominatives in different 
numbers, it may agree with either, but generally is made to agree with the 
first, and this may be considered as preferable ; as, " His meat was locusts lindependent. 
and wild honey." " /( [piracy] is the remains of the manners of ancient This omission 
Greece." Anarch, ch. 36.]!in ar.y other ca^ 

Note 7. — Verbs follow the connective ttan, without a nominative ex- ;' ur'h I',, -."i 
pressed: as, " Not that any thing occurs in consequence of our late los-, r 
more afflictive than jca.'; to be expected." Lifeof Cowper, Let.iVl ■ 

" He felt himself addicted to philosophical speculations, with more ardor m i, . ; v ,i . 
than consisted with the duties of a Roman and a senator." 

Murphy's Tacitus, 4. 57. 

"All words that lead the mind to any other ideas, than are supposed really 
to exist in that thing." Locke, 2. 25. 

These forms of expression seem to be elliptical ; " more afflictive than 
that which was to be expected." That which or those which will gener- 
ally supply the ellipsis. 

leave of it till the 
unto Moses." Ex. xvi. 
19. 20. Here notwithstanding s'tands without the clause to which it be- 
longs; to complete the sense in words, it would be necessary to repeat the 
whole preceding clause or the substance of it — " Moses said, let no man 
leave of it until the morning. JVotwithstanding this command of Moses , 
or notwitjistanding Moses said that which has been recited, they hear- 
kened not unto" 

Folly meets w ith success in this world ; but it is true, notwithstanding. 
that it labors under disadvantages." Porteus, Lecture 13. This passage at 
length would read thus — " Folly meets with success in the world ; but it is 
true, notwithstanding folly meets with success in the virl-l. ibt •! Ichors 

under disadvantages." By supplying what is really m]!-' ■ . •; rily 
well understood, we learn the true construction; so lii.ii . ' /i? 

is a participle always agreeing with a word or clause, i .i.i - I ... i..!.!- 
stood, and forming the independent clause, and by a cu^.on.uij c;ii(<-i=, it 
stands alone in the place of that clause. 

Such is its general use in the translation of the Scriptures. In the fol- 
lowing passage, the sentence is expressed — " Notwithstanding I have spo- 
!ken unto you." Jer. xxxv. That is, "This fact, I hare spoken unto 
you, not opposing or preventing." Or in other words, "In opposition to 
this fact." 

It is also very common to use a substitute, this, that, which or what, for 
the whole sentence; as, " Bodies which have no taste, and no power of af- 
fecting the skin, may, notwithstanding this, [notwithstanding they have no 
taste, and no power to aflect the skin,] act upon organs which are more 
delicate." Fourcroy, Translation. 

I have included in hooks, the words for which this is a substitute. 

"To account for the misery that men bring on themselves, notwithstand- 
ing that, they do all in earnest pursue happiness, we must consi.ler how 
things come to be represented to our desires under deceitful appearances." 
* iocAe, 2. 21.61. 

Here that, a substitute, is used, and the sentence also for which it is a 
substitute. This is correct English, but it is usual to omit the substitute, 
when the sentence is expressed—" JVotwithstanding they do all in earnest 
pursue happiness." 

It is not uncommon to omit the participle of the present tense, when a 
participle of the perfect tense is employed. " The son of God, while cloth- 
ed in flesh, was : 

biect to all the frailties and inconveniences of human na- 

, Dje 

sin excepted." Locke, 3. 9. That is, sin being excepted — the clause 

more frequent when the participle provided is used, than 

" In the one case, provided the facts on which it is 

f. Nil''!- I '<> -riru-iently numerous, the conclusion is said to be morally cer- 

r !l (III lihet. I. m. Here being is omitted, and the whole 

, i^ independent — " The facts on which it is founded are 

..,< ,, , ; ;/ ,, :;i,-rous, that 6e!Hg prodded, the conclusion is morally cer- 
tain. Provuled, in such cases, is equivalent to giren, admitted or sup- 

" In mathematical rea-^oning, provided you are ascertained of the regu- 
lar procedure of the mind, to aSrm thai the conclusion is false, implies a 
contradiction." Ibm. 134. 

In this phrase, that may follow provided — provided that, you ai-e ascer- 
tained, &c., as in the case oi notwithstanding, before meationed; that be- 


ia^ a definitive substitute, pointing to the following sentence — that which 
follows being provided.* 

It is not uncommon for autliors to carry the practice of abridging discourse 
so far as to obscure the common regular construction. An instance fre- 
quently occurs in the omi-!sion both of the nominative and the participle in 
the case independent. For example : " Conscious of his own weight and 
importance, his conduct in parliament would be directed by nothing but the 
constitutional duty of a peer." Junius, Let. 19. Here is no noun expressedj 
to which conscious can be referred. We are therefore to supply the neces-, 
sary words, to complete the construction — " He being conscious" — forming! 
the clause independent. [ 

Rule III. — A sentence, a number of words, or a clause of a sentenccj 
may be the nominative to a verb, in which case the verb is always in the 
third person of the singular number; as, "All that is in a man's power in 
this case, is, only to observe what the ideas are which take their turns in 
the understanding." Loeke 2. 14. Here the whole clause in italics is the 
nominative to is. 

■' To attack vices in the abstract, without touching persons, may be safe 
I'ighling indeed, but it is fighting with shadows." Pope, Let. 48. 

•' I deny that men's coming to the use of reason, is the time of their dis- 
covery." Locke, 1. 2. 

" TTiat any thing can exist without existing in space, is to my mind in- 
comprehensible." Darwin, Zoon. sect. 14. Here the definitive substitute 
mav be transferred to a place next before the verb — " Any thing can exist, \bler, JVo. 58, 
- - -.-.-■' ■? .. . j^^j^ ^. 

may „^ ..^..„ ^ — -—j r, — 

without existing in space," that [whole proposition] is incomprehensible. 

Rule IV. — The infinitive mode may be the nominative to a personal 
verb ; as, " to see is desii-able ;" " to die is the inevitable lot of men." Some- 
times an attribute is joined with the infinitive ; as, " to be blind is calami- 
tous." In this case the attribute has no name expressed to which it refers 
The proposition is abstract, and applicable to any human being, but not ap- 
plied to any. 

Rule V. — In some cases the imperative verb is used without a definite 
nominative ; as, " I will not take any thing that is thine — save only that 
which the young men have eaten." Gen. xiv. 23. 24. 

" Israel burned none, save Hazor only." Josh. xi. 13. 

" I would that all were such as I am, except these bonds. Jlcts xxvi. 29. 

" Our ideas are movements of the nerves of sense, as of the optic nerve in 
recollecting visible ideas, suppose of a triangular piece of ivory. 

Darwin, Zoon. sect. 39. 

This use of certain verbs in the imperative is very frequent, and there is a 
peculiar felicity in being thus able to use a verb in its true sense and with 
its proper object, without specifying a nominative ; for the verb is thus left 
applicable to the first, second or third person. I may save or except, or you 
may except, or we may suppose. If we examine these sentences, we shall 
be convinced of the propriety of the idiom ; for the ideas require no appli- 
cation to any person whatever. 

Rule VI. — When the same thing is affirmed or predicated of two or 
more subjects, in the singular number, the nominatives are joined by the 

I this sentence, resi-\ 
dence at Oxford is a predicate common to three persons ; and instead of 
three affirmations — John resides at Oxford, Thomas resides at Oxford, Peter 
resides at Oxfoid, the three names are joined by and, and one verb in the 
plural applied to the whole number. 

" Reason and truth constitute intellectual gold, which defies destruc- 
tion." Johnson. "Whyaie whiteness Ani coldness in snow?" Locke. 
'• Your lot and mine, in this respect, have been very different." ' Cowp. 
Let. 38.t 

Note 1. — The rule for the use of a plural verb with two or more names 
in the singular number, connected by and, is laid down by critics with too 
much positiveness and universality. On original principles, all the names, 
except the first, are in the objective case ; for it is probable that and contains 
in it the verb add. " John and Thomas and Peter reside at York," on prim- 
itive principles must be thus resolved — "John, add Thomas, add Peter re- 
side at York." But without resorting to first principles, which are now los 
or obscured, the use of the singular verb may be justified by considering the 
verb to be understood after each name, and that which is expressed, agree- 
ing only with the last ; as, " Nor were the young fellows so wholly lost to a 
.<ense of right, as pride and conce?? Tins since made them affect to be." Ram 
hler, JVo. 97. That is, as pride has and as conceit has. " Their safety and 
welfare is most concerned." Spectator, JVo. 121. In our best authors the 
singular verb is frequent in such sentences.} 

What will the hypercritic say to this sentence, " Either sex and every age 
ii^as engaged in the pursuits of industry." Gibbon, Ro?n. Emp. ch. 10 

[s not the distributive effect of either and every, such as to demand a siugu- 
ar verb? So in the following: " The judicial and every other power is ac- 
countable to the legislative." Paley, Phil. 6. 8. 

Note 2. — When names and substitutes belonging to ilifferent persons, 
are thus joined, the plural substitute must be of the first person in prefer- 
to the second and third, and of the second in preference to the third. 
/, you and he are represented by we ; you and he, by you. Pope in one of 
his letters makes you or / to be represented by we or you. " Either you or 
■ are not in love with the other." The sentence is an awkward one, and 
ot to be imitated. 
Rule VII. — When an affirmation or predicate refers to one subject only 
mong a number, which are separately named in the singular number, the 
subjects are joined by the alternative or, or nor, with a verb, substitute and 
name in the singular number; as, " Either John or Peter was at the Ex- 
change yesterday; but neither John nor Peter is there to day." 

Errors. — " A circle or square are the same in idea." Locke, 2. 8. 

" But whiteness or redness are not in the porphyry." Ibm. 

" Neither of them [Tillotson and Temple,] are remarkable for precision." 


Substitutes for sentences, whether they represent a single clause, or the 

parts of a compound sentence, are always in the singular number ; as, " It is 

true indeed that many have neglected opportunities of raising themselves 

to honor and to wealth, and rejected the kindest offers of fortune." Ram- 

nd that rcl'er to the clauses which follow — " /* is 

cted tlie kindest offers," &c. 

y have i 

Rule VI H. — Collective or aggregate names, comprehending two or 
more individuals under a term in I lie singular number, have a verb or sub- 
stitute to agree with them in the singular or plural ; as, the council is or 
are unanimous ; the company was or were collected ; this people, or these 

No precise rule can be given to direct, in every case, which number is to 

used. Much regard is to be had to usage, and to the unity or plurality 

of idea. In general, modern practice inclines to the use of the plural verb 

" substitute ; as may be seen in the daily use of clergy, nobility, court, 

council, commonalty, audience, enemy and the like. 

The clergy began to withdraw themselves from the temporal courts." 

Blackstoae's Coram. Introduction. 
Let us take a view of the principal incidents, attending the nobiUty, ex- 
clusive of their capacity as hereditary counselors of the crown." 

Blackstone's Comm. 1. 12. 
" The commonalty are divided into several degrees." Ibm. 

" The enemy were driven from their works." 

Portuguese .Ssia. Mickle. 163. 
"The chorus 7)re/?a7"e resistance at his first approach — the chorus sings 
of the battle^thc chorus entertains the stage." Johnson's Life of Jttilton. 
The nobility are the pillars to support the throne." 

Blackstone's Comm. 1. 2. 

Party and army. 


oined with a verb in the 

' Provided that, says Johnson, is an adverbial expression, and we 
times see provided numbered among the conjunctions, as its 
word is in French. What strange work has been made with Urammar 

t Is this last example an evidence that mine is in the possessive case ! 

t This was also a very common practice with the best Greek and Roi 
writers. JiTens cnim, et ratio, et consilium, in senibi's dsf. Cicero, de 
Senec. ca. IM. "!?ed etiani insius terra; vis ae natura dclectat. Ibm. 15, 

singular number. Constitution cannot be plural. Church may be singu- 
lar or plural. J\Iankind is almost always plural. 

The most common and palpable mistakes in the application of this rule, oc- 

Lr in the use of sort and kind, with a plural attribute — these sort, those 
kind. This fault infects the works of our best writers ; but these words are 
trictly singular, and ought so to be used. 

When a collective name is preceded by a definitive which clearly limits 
he sense of the word to an aggregate with an idea of unity, it requires a verb 
and substitute to agree with it in the singular number; as, a company of 
detached ; a troop of cavalry was raised ; this people is become 
a great nation ; that assembly teas numerous ; " a government established 
by that people." Blackstone's Comm. 1. 2. 

Yet our language seems to be averse to the use of it, as the substitute for 
names, even thus limited by a, this or that. " How long will this people 
provoke me, and how long will it be ere they will believe me for all the 
signs that I have shewed among them 7" JVum. xiv. 11. " Liberty should 
leach every individual of a yeopie ; as they all share one common nature." 
Spectator, JVo. 287. In these passages, it in the place of they, would not be 
relished by an English ear ; nor is it ever used in similar cases.* 

Rule IX. — When the nominative consists of several words, and the last 
of the names is in the plural number, the verb is commonly in the plural 
also ; as, " A part of the exports consist of raw silk." '• The number of 
oysters increase." Golds. Anim. JVat. vol. i, ch. S. " Of which seeming 
equality we have no other measure, but such as the train of our ideas 
have lodged in our memories." Locke, 2. 14. 21. " The greater part of 
philosophers have acknowledged the excellence of this government." 

Anarch, vol. 5. 2T2. 

Rule X. — Pronouns or substitutes must agree with the names they rep- 
resent, in number, gender and person ; as. 

* The Romans used a greater latitude in joining plurals with collective 
names, than we can. " Magna pars in villis rcpleti cibo vinoque." Liv. 2. 
26. Here is an attribute plural of the masculine gender, agreeing with a, 
noun in the singular, of the feminine gender. 


'• Mine answer to them that do examine me is this." 1 Cor. ix. )3. 

•' T%ese are not the children of God." Horn. ix. 8. 

" Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, when ye come into the 
land whither I bring you." JVumb. xv. 18. 

"This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inherit- 
ance." Matt. xxi. .38. 

" Esther put on her royal apparel— sAe obtained favor in his sight — then 
the king said unto her." Esth. v. 

"A river went out of Eden to vpater the garden, and it 

I parted — ' 
Gen. ii. 10. 
6?e«. iii. 12. 

" The woman whom thou gavest to be with me. ■ 

"Ignatius, who was bishop of Antioch, conversed with the apostles." 
Paley, Evid. sect. 

-A letter, which is just received, gives us the news." 

•'O thou who rulest in the heavens." 

IVIio and whom are exclusively the substitutes for persons ; u-hose is of 
«ll genders, and as correctly applied to things as to persons 

" The question whose solution I require." 

" That forbidden fruit whose mortal taste." 

''A system whose imagined st'.ms." 

" these are the charnun;; agonies of love. 
Whose miseries deligh ." 

It, though neuter, is used as the substitute for infant i 
tinction of sex in the lirst period of life ijcing disregarded. 

Formerly which na-i used as a subslitiue (or persons ; ,i- 
authors. III. I , |. m:1'., in fhe vulgar version of the -,:i, .;.!>■ ' i,i:_li'\ 
men ii !' ' .- i ' ' But this use of the won! i- : : ! I I 

iVli.iii I:- ' hi- persons, when a question i- .: ii : 
tioii ;m • II ' '■ : .1 ..■'■,,",'; lit' the men was it; I know nm »■,/,,, p, i ;\-,i- 

IVho i-' soujftiiius ii^od in the substitute for things, bui most unwarr;im- 
ably. "The countries wno—." Vavenant on Rev. 2. Vi. "Tlie towns 
who—." Hume Cnntin. 11. ch. 10. "Thi- lat-tion or party who — ." Equally 
faulty is the use of who and whom for brutes ; " the birds who — ." 

The use of it for a sentence, seems to have given rise to a very vague ap- 
plication of the word in phrases like this : How sliall 1 contrive it to attend 
conn? How fares if with you? But such phrases, whatever may have 
given rise to them, are used chiefly in familiar colloquial language, and are 
Seemed inelegant in any other style. 

A more justifiable use of it is seen in this sentence: "But it is not this 




rs fiv, 

to the verb, and the other is governed by the verb or a preposition in the 
objective ease, or by a noun in the possessive ; as, " Locke, whom there is 
no reason to suspect of favoring idleness, has advanced." Ramb. 89. Here 
reason is the nominative to is, and whom is governed by suspect. 

" Take thy only son Isaar, whom thou lovest." Gen. xxii. Here are 
two substitutes, one the nominative to the verb, and the other governed by 
it in the objective. 

" God is the sovereign of the universe, whose majesty ought to (ill us 
with awe, to whom we owe all possible reverence, and whom we arc 
bound to obey." 

It is not unusual to see in periods, a third clause introduced within a se- 
Icond, as a second is within the fust, each with a distinct substitute for a 
Inorainativc; as, " Those modifications of any simple idea, which, as has 
been said, I call simple modes, arc distinct ideas." Locke, 2. 13. 

Involution to this extent may be used with caution, without embarrassing 
a period ; but beyond this, if ever used, it can hardly fail to occasion obscu- 
rity. Indeed the third member included in a second, must be very short, 
or it will perplex the reader. 

Substitutes are sometimes made to precede their principals : thus, " When 
a man declares in autunm, when he is eating them, or in spring when there 
arc none, that he loves grapes — ." Locke, 2. 20. But this arrangement is 
usually awkward and seldom allowable. 

Kui.E XIII.— When there are antecedents in different persons, to which 
a nominative substitute refers, the substitute and verb following may agree 
with either, though usage may sometimes offer a preference ; as, "lam 
I'; I..mI (lilt make all things; that stretch forth the heavens alone; that 
; . I ; I 1 (he earth," &c. Isa. xliv. Here /and Lord are ofdiUercnt 

; 1 I hut may agree with either. If it agrees with /, the verbs 

.1 1 ii II (he first person : " I am the Lord that make." If Mat agrees 
uilh Lord in llie third person, the verb must be in the third person : " I 
am the Lord that maketh." But in all cases, the following verbs should all 
be of the same person. 

Rule XIV. — The definitive adjectives, this and /ftoi, the only attributes 
which are varied to express number, must agree in number with the names 
to which they refer ; as, this city, that church ; these cities, those 

This and <AaJ are often used as substitutes for a name in the singular 
number, which is omitted, but the same name in the plural iimnediately 
follows after a connective ; as in this example, " The mortality produced 

connective ; as in tl 
sence that distinguishes them into species; it is men who rangcj by (Ais and other diseases." Life of Washington, Z. S. That is, by this 
Locke, 3. 6. ."(i.rdisease and other diseases. The sentence may be varied thus, by this dis 

Here it is in the singular, though referring to men in the plural. The 
cause or origin of this, in our language as in others, may perhaps be found 
in the disposition of the mind to combine the particular agents employed in 
performing an act, into a single agent. The unity of the act or effect 
seems to predominate in idea, and control the grammatical construction of 
the substitute. 

Rule XI. — In compound sentences, a single substitute or relative, who, 
which or that, employed to inlroducf a new clause, is the noiniiKitive to the 
verb or verbs belonging (■» (I: i' » l.ui -i', . trl i" nilhi .. rniiiin ;. J w iin ii ; 

iise and others ; but the first form is the most common, and it occasions i 

Other adjectives and participles, used as adjectives, are joined to the 
names wlii.-b tbi-y qualify without inflection ; as, a wise man, wise men ; an 

amiiiM. iliill."!,. I'niMnn. ,1 irii-ived truth, or received truths ; a 

Shblill- ii . I '■• III li:i,M.. I ;: • I •!, I. 


■s r,: 

nes of men and things 
/eio were present; the wise are 

" The thirst after cuiiosili 
83. "He who suffers nt 
good." Ibm. "Theyt/ii 
flesh." Rom. viii. 5. " 

' I I I ,1 .', ' I . , • , i L, I ir plural form, and are qualified by 

! i i; i I , :.; ,,1 I, ,11, , iwo jinites or infinites, unirer- 

■■ I ;!h' iii-h, iiii iiiii,! till- K'liiu- i.i ;li. . I,'.. '4, ,./,;;,. I'll. .■.'■..,,' -,r,i,,', , ': iri'ii I, n: "The extraordinary great." 
those irho urr the most nchly endnwed' Bin ke on the . ■Sublime, -.ifH. - Thr blue profound." Akenside. 
by nature, and [are] accomplished by their own industry, how few arell When nouns are joined by a copulative, an adjective preceding the first is 
there whose virtues are not obscured by the ignorance, prejudice or envy (applied to the others without being repeated ; as, " From ^reat luxury and 
of their beholders." Spiel. .Va. 2.5j.| licintiousness, converted to sfricf sobriety and frugality of manners." En- 

In a few instances, the substitute for a sentn . II rii i-i i, mi < 'n I '. / ' :( n c'/eaf belongs to licentiousness as well as to luxury, 
as the nominative to a verb, before the senlei . i , , < '; i i \ ', — Adjectives are usually placed before the nouns to which 

sents; as, "There was therefore, ji'Aicfe is 1 1 1 > :; as, a tctse prince ; an ofte(/ie»^ subject; a pious clergyman; 

life pursued by them, different from that wliic ii 'ii\ I i.n I .i' r.,:. >,\ ,,;,.,, -oMin-. 

Evid. ch. 1. Here which is the representative of the \^hole of the last part' Kx-ccplion 1. When some word or words are dependent on an adjective, 
of the sentence, and its natural position is after that clause. 

The substitute what combines in itself the offices of two substitutes, 
which, if expressed, would be the nominatives to two verbs, each in distinct 
subsequent clauses ; as, " Add to this, tvhat, from its antiquity is but little 
known, has the recommendation of novelty." Hermes, pref. 19. Here 
what stands for that, which; and the two following verbs have no other 

This use of what is not very common. But what is very frequently used 
as the representative of two cases ; one, the objective after a verb or prepo- 
sition, and the other, the nominative to a subsequent verb. Examples : 

" I heard what was said." " He related rckat was seen." 

" We do not so constantly love what has done us good." 

Locke, 2. 20, 14. 

" Agreeable to what was afterwards directed." Black. Com. b. 2. ch. S. 

" Agreeable to what hath been mentioned." Prideaur, p. 2, 6, 3. 

" There is something so overruling in whatever inspires us with awe." 
Burke on the Sui)lime, 304. In these sentences what includes an object 
after a verb or preposition, and a nominative to the following verb. " I have 
heard that, which was said." 

Rule XII. — When a new clause is introduced into a sentence, with two 
pronouns, or with one pronoun and a noun, one of them is the nominative 

it follows the noun; as, knowledge requisite for a statesman; furniture 
convenient for a family. 

Exception 2. When an adjective becomes a title, or is emphatically ap- 
plied to a noun, it follows it ; as Charles the Great ; Henry the First ; Lewis 
the Gross ; Wisdom incomprehensible. 

Exception 3. Several adjectives belonging to the same noun, may pre- 
cede or follow the noun to which they belong ; as a learned, wise and raar- 
■tial prince, ora prince Uai ill' ' vx ) n' m.irtial. 

' Exception 4. The v, r n i .tcs the noun from its adjective : 

as, war is e.vpensive ; -mi i ,- 

Exceptions. An einpl : is n!(en used to introduce a sen- 

tence, in which case it |ii I ' I ii || i|ii ill!;. -. Ill ! iMiii'limes 

at a considerable distance , , , • , ; de thai 

event ; /octunafc is thai v ,, -i , 

Exceptiond. Theailjriin, .■, ■, , :. i i n - i„"ir. I.y Mp. 

which never precedes it in constniciion ; as. ■•,-,11 the nations of Europe." 
Such and many are separated from nouns by a ; as, " such a character is 
rare;" "many a time." 

All adjectives are separated from nouns by a, when preceded by so and 
las, as ".10 rich a dress," "as splendid a retinue;" and they are separated 
by a or the, when preceded by hotc and however, as " how distingubhed an 


just the com- 
; and the noun 

get of bravery," --liow brilliant the prize," "how 

The v/ori soever may be interposed between the adje 
as, " how clear soever this idea of infinity ;" "how remote soever it may 
seem." Locke. 

Double is separated from its noun by the ; as " double the distance" — 
the in such cases, never preceding double. But a precedes double, as well 
as other adjectives. 

^11 and singular or every precede the before the noun in these phrases — 
" All and singular tlie articles, clauses and conditions" — " All and every of 
the articles" — phrases of the law style. 

Rule XVI. — Adjectives belong to verbs in the inlinitive mode ; as, " to 
see is pleasant ;" " to ride is more agreeable than to walk ;" " to calumniate 
is detestable." ~ 

Sometimes the adjective belongs to the infinitive in union with another 
adjective or a noun; as, *'to be blind is unfortunate ;" " to be a coward is 
disgraceful." Here the attribute unfortunate is the attributive of the first 
clause, to be blind, ^c. 

RuLK XVII. — Adjectives belong to sentences, or whole propositions. 
Examples : 

" Agreeable io this, we read of names being blotted out of God's Book.''' 
Burder's Oriental Customs, 375. 

What is agreeable to this ? The answer is found in the whole of the last 
clause of the sentence. 

" Antiochus — to verify the character prophetically given of him by Dan- 
iel, acted the part of a vile and most detestable person, agreeable to what 
hath been aforementioned of him." Prideaux, part 2. b. 3. 

" Her majesty signified her pleasure to the admiral, that as soon as he had 
left a squadron for Dunkirk, agreeable to what he had proposed, he .should 
proceed with the fleet." Burchei's JYav. Hist. 439. 

" Independent of his person, his nobility, his dignity, his relations and 
friends may be urged," &c. Guthrie's Quintilian. 

" No body can doubt but that these ideas of 7ni.xed modes are made by a 
voluntary collection of ideas put together in the mind, independent from 
any original patterns in nature." Locke, 3. 5. 

" Whereupon God was provoked to anger, and put them in mind how, 
contrary to his directions, they had spared the Canaanites." 

Wliiston's Josephus, b. 5. eh. 2. 

" Greece, which had submitted to the arms, in her turn, subdued the un- 
derstandings of the Romans, and contrary to that which in these cases com- 
monly happens, t'ne conquerors adopted the opinions and manners of the 
conquered." Enfield, Hist. Phil. b. 3. 1. 

"This letter of Pope Innocent enjoined the payment of tithes to the par- 
sons of the respective parishes, where any man inhabited, agreeable to 
what was afterwards directed by the same Pope in other countries." 

Blackstone's Comm. b. 2. ch. 3. 

"Agreeable to this, wc find some of the Anglo-Saxon ladies were ad- 
mitted into their most august assemblies." 

Henry, Hist. Brit. b. 2. eft. 7. and 6. 4. ch. I. sect. 4. 

" As all language is composed of significant words variously combined, a 
knowledge of them is necessary, previous to our acquiring an adequate 
idea of language." Encyc. art. Grammar. 

" His empire could not be established, previous to the institution of pret- 
ty numerous societies." Smellie, Phil. JVat. Hist. 339. 

" Suitable to this, we find that men, speaking of mixed modes, seldom 
imagine, &c. Locke, 3. 5. 11. 

"JVo such original convention of the people was ever actually held, an- 
tecedent to (he existence of civil government in that country." 

Paley, Phil. b. 6. ch. 3. 

Note. — Writers and critics, misapprehending the true construction ofj 
these and similar sentences, have supposed the attribute to belong to the 
verb, denoting the manner of action. But a little attention to the sense of 
such passages will be sufficient to detect the mistake. For instance, in the 
example from Enfield, the attribute contrary cannot qualify the verb adopt- 
ed ; for the conquerors did not adopt the opinions of the conquered in a man- 
ner contrary to what usually happens — the manner of the act is not the 
thing affirmed, nor does it come into consideration. The sense is this, the 
fact, that tfte conquerors adopted the opinions and manners of the con- 
quered, was contrary to what commonly happens in like cases. The at- 
tribute belongs to the whole sentence or proposition. The same explana- 
tion is applicable to every similar sentence. 

In consequence of not attending to this construction, our hypercritics, 
who are very apt to distrust popular practice, and substitute their own rules 
for customary idioms founded on common sense, have condemned this use 
of the attribute ; and authors, suffering themselves to be led astray by these 
rules, often use an adverb in the place of an adjective. 

" The greater part of philosophers have acknowledged the excellence of 
this government, which they have considered, some relatively to society, 
and others as it has relation to the general system of nature." 

Anarch, ch. 62. 

"The perceptions are exalted info a source of exquisite pleasure inde- 
pendently of every particular relation of interest." 

Studies ofJVature, 12. 

In the first of these examples, relatively is used very awkwardly for u.i 
relative, or as rekitiiig, oi a? it relates, or in relation ; lor the word has a 
direct reference ii. _■ , , / 1///.- / / 

In the second . \ . ; i ; •■ i.hntly is used as if it had been intended 

to modify the vii !'■ , , ••'■pWoxis are independently exalted. But 
the manner of f i!: i:: 'm liiino- described. It is not that the per- 

ceptions are exalted in ;iri m : |. i, ■ ... 

of a relation to interest ; Inn i. 
a source of exquisite plio.-, m . 
Equally faulty is the follo\..'i, i 

'^ Agreeably to this law, chiUrc 

nor in a manner independent 
perceptions are exalted into 
of every relation of interest. 

ind to support their parents." 

Paley, Phil. 
lodify the action of verbs, and to 
with the action by which they 

Deut. XV. 

Rule XVIII.— Adjectives : 
express the qualities of things i 
are produced. Examples : 

" Open thine hand wide." 

We observe in this passage, that wide, the attribute of hand, has a con- 
nection with the verb open ; for it is not " open thy wide hand," but the at- 
tribute is supposed to be the effect of the act of opening. Nor can the mod- 
ifier, widely, be used ; for it is not simply the manner of the act which is 
intended, but the effect. 

" Let us wiilc slow and txncl." Guthrie's Quintilian, 2. 375. 

Wc II. 1.:. |M il;,,,.^ - i' :;,, I. ./.,/(•/(/ for s/ozi', as describing only the man- 
ner of iv . - .; ,' I : lie substituted for ™«f/. for tills word is 
intendi.l '■'■ i . H ' - . mng, in the correctnc^s of what is writ- 
ten. 'I'll. ."li. , ui . , \|i;, ■,. i;i,' idea with a happy jirecision nnii brevity. 

As this is one of the most common, as well as most beautiful idioms of 
our language, which has hitherto escaped due oliscrvation, the following au- 
thorities are subjoined to illustrate and justify the rule. 

" We could hear distinctly the bells^which sounded sweetly soft and 
pensive." Chandler's Travels, ch. 2. 

" A southernly wind succeeded blowing/;esft." Ibm. vol. 2. 3. 

" His provisions were grown very short." Burchet's JVav. Hist. 357. 

" When the caloric exists ready combined with the water of solution." 

Lavoisier, Trans, ch. 5. 

" The purest clay is that which burns white." Encyc. art. Chimistry. 

" Bray, to pound or grind small." Johnson's Diet. 

" When death lays «ias(e thy house." Beattie's Minst. 

" All which looks very little like the steady hand of nature." 

Paley, Phil. ch. 5. 

" Magnesia feels smooth; calcarious earths feel dry; lithomarga feels 
very greasy or at least smooth, yet some feels dry and dusty." 

Kirwan, vol. 1.12.180. 

" By this substance, crystals and glasses are colored blue." 

Chaptal, TVam. 299. 

" There is an apple described in Bradley's work, which is said to have 
one side of it a sweet fruit, which boils soft, and the other side a sour fruit, 
which boils hard." Darwin, Phytol. 105. 

" Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring." Pope. 

" Heaven opened wide her ever during gates." .Milton, P. L. 7. 

" The victory of the ministry cost them dear." Hume, Contin. 11. 9. 

" Ani just as short of reason he must fall." Pope. 

" Thick and more thick the steely circle grows." Hoole's Tasso. b. 8. 

" Ancus marched strait toFidens." Hooke, Bom. Hist. 1. 6. 

" The cakes eat short and crisp." Vicar of Wakefield. 

" A steep ascent of steps which were cut close and deep into the rock." 
Hampton's Polybius, 2. 265. 

" It makes the plow go deep or shallow." 

" The king's ships were getting jeodi/." 

" After growing old in attendance." 

" The sun shineth watery." 

" Soft sighed the flute." 

" I made him just and right." 

" He drew not iiigh unheard." — 

" When the vowel of the preceding syllable is pronounced short." 

" Here grass is cut close and gravel rolled smooth. Is not that trim r 

Boswell, Johnson, 3. I 

" Slow tolls the village clock — deep mourns the turtle." 

Beattie's JWinstrel. 

" If you would try to live independent." Pope, Let. 

" He obUged the Nile to run bloody for your sakes."" 

fVhiston's Josephus, 3. 5. 

" Correct the heart and all will go right." Porteus, Lect. 3. 

The poets sometimes use adjectives in this manner, when modifui-- 
would express the idea. Sometimes they are induced to it by the measmr 
and not unfrequently by the obvious superiority of the adjective in expii - 
sing the idea with force and precision. 

* " Cruentam etiam fluxisse aquam Albanani, quidam auctores erai 
Liv. lib. 27. 11. Some authors related that the Albaii river ran bloody. 

Encyc. art. Agriculture. 
Lusiad, 1. 91. 
Sped. JVo. 282. 
Bacon. Apoph. 
Thomson, Spring. 
Milton, 3. 98. 
Ibm. 645. 


When two qualifying word: 
though appUed to a verb ; as, 

It !■, 

Ihe i(j]i 
imil lea 

ire wanted, tlie latter rnay be 
He beat time tuleiahly exact." 

Goldsmith, An. JVat. ch. 12. 

found diminished in weight exactly equal to what the 

Lavoisier, ch. 3. 

I'r, ,••"•'■,■ r!riir." Goldsmith. 

' /■ ■■: .1." Tlwmaon. Spring. 

I 111. |)lc very til " Vatlel, Trans. 2. 7. 

! u( no idvnbial foim of the adjective in 

II t •' < <it more and most, less 

' h the regular 

Boole's Tasso. 7. 

sons of the l)e?t sense — do not a little encourage me." Spectator, 124. " It 
great deal better ;*' a trijle stronger ; the last of which expressions is 

Rule XXI. — The adjectives each, every, either and neither, have verbs 
and substitutes agreeing with them in the singular number ; as, 

" Each one was a head of the bouse of his fathers." Josh. xxii. 1-t. 

" Kvery one that Jindeth me, shall slay me." Geii. iv. 14. 

" And lake every man his censer." A'um. xvi. 17. 

" Nadab and Abihu took either of them his censer." Lev. x. 1. 

" AVther of the ways of separation, real or mental, is compatible to pure 
pace." Locke, 2. 13. 

Jirrors. " Let each esteem others better than themselves." It ought to 
be himself. 

1 1,, n III, |... : '..^ "There are bodies, eac/i of which arc so small." lMclte,2.8. It ought 

Of nature and lieiAiudijartiitJ c„i„, to be is. 

Worthier I'd sing." Jikenside, Pleas, of Imag. 1. 323. Note. — .\ plural verb, which affirms something of a number of particu- 

' So while we taste the fragrance of the rose, lars, is often followed by a distributive which nssigns the affirmation to the 

Glows not her blush the/airer.'" TJm. 2. 77. particular objects or individuals. Thn^ " If im •'d'! have, each a peculiar 

" When we know our strength, we shall the better know what to under-jiearth." Hence we may considc; , .. /, .. i! , i n^vtivc to has understood 

take with hopes of success." Locke, I. 6.^}, — " If metals have, if each met. il I ;> .ith." There is no other 

" And he that can most inform or best understand him, will certainly be j way of resolving the phrase. Tin . i \ ... -^ion is common, though 

Aielcoiiied." Rambler, JVo. 99. j quite useless; as Ihe last clause, ■ ii i ..lii i... i..l," is sufficient. It has 

" How much nearer he approaches to his end." not the merit of an abbreviation. Thi-, phrase, •' Let us love one another," 

" I have dwelt the longer on the discussion of this point." lis of a similar construction, but it is not easy to find a substitute of equal 

Junius, Let. 17.||brevity. 
"The next contains a spirited command and should be pronounced muchij Rule XXII. — Nouns of measure or dimension stand without a govcrn- 
his,her." Murray's Grammar.* Ang word, followed by an adjective ; as, "a wall seven feet high and two 

"Leviathan, which God of all his works ijfeet thick ;" "a carpet six yards wide ;" "a line sixty fathoms long;" " a 

Created htigest that swim th' ocean's stream." Milton, 1. 201. kingdom five hundred miles square ;" " water ten feet deep." 

" But mercy tii-st and last shall brightest ^iliine." Ibm. 3. 134. I " An army forty thon^^nn.' ttnnr" i ; n -imilTv 

•■ Such opinions as seemed to approach nearest [to] the truth." Note. — Double coni|> . " . .. ';. ^'t ■ most straitest, most high- 

Enfield, Hist. Phil. 2. 59.1'est, being improper an.l n I . . . . I The few which were 

" Her smiles, amid the blushes, lovelier show ; [formerly used are obsol. i. (I . . , . ,. im-i !>■ in spelling wyrsa, is obso- 

Amid her smiles, her blushes lovelier glow." Hoole's Tasso. 6. 15.. lete ; but lesser, a mistake lo. Us^-a, i, sull ux^\, as well as its abbreviation. 

Authors, misguided by Latin rules, and conceiving that every wordj /ts.«. 

■which is used to qualify a verb, must be an adverb, have pionounced many The superlative form of certain attributes, which in the positive degree, 

of the passages here recited and similar ones to be incorrect ; and in such|;contain the utmost degree of the quality, as extremest, chiefest, is improper 

as are too well established to bear censure, they call the adjective an arf-'^and obsolete. But authors indulge in a most unwarrantable license of an- 

verb. Were it not for this influence in early education, which impresses aljncxing comparison to attributes whose negative sense precludes increase or 

notion that all languages must be formed with the like idioms, we should jdiminution ; as in these sentences, "These are more formidable and more 

never have received an idea that the same woi-d may not modify a noun, zniimpassable than the mountains." Goldsmith, An. J\'at. ch. 2. "This dif- 

adjeclive and a verb. Ificulty was rendered still more insurmountable by the licentious spirit of 

So far are the words here used from being adverbs, that they cannot be our young men." .Murphy, Tacit. Oral. 35. "The contradictions of im- 

changed into adverbs, without impairing the beauty, weakening the force, piety are still more incomprehensible." Massillcm, Serm. to the Great. 

or destroying the meaning of the passages. Let the sentences be put to the Similar to these are numerous expressions found in good authors — more 

test — Magnesia feels smoothly — the cakes eat shortly and ciispV — t'..- p ;t pnssible, more indispensable, universal, more uncontrollable; and 

pies boil softly or hardly — glows not her blush 
English ear rejects Ibis alteration at once ; the sci 
Nor can the adjective be separated from the verli — " Amid li.i " li ■ , 1. ■ . . 
blushes, being lovelier, glow" — this is not the sense ; nor will ii miswer m wil 
say, " Her lovelier blushes glow" — this is not the idea. The sense is, thatjj I 
the attribute expressed by lovelier, is not only a quality of blushes, but a! ten 
quality derived, in a degree, from the action of the verb, glow. llln i 

Thus, clay burns white — objects may be seen double — may rise high — lUt; 

, in which the sign of comparison i 

! the epithet ; for the word itself cxpres. 

iisht to boar some emphasi--, which, if a qualifying word is prefixed, 

.n.,,-.!lv '.. )i:,i-i fiv, ,! t.i that word.* 

I ! , I . ■ -.■ seems to be too well established to be al- 

a of more ani moat, less 3.ui least perfect. 
. K I w" :.' Ill ,. i.i.jie precision of thought to apply a term of 

ribute less possible, less surmountable, less 

1 low — grow strait, or thick, ot thin, or fat, or lean — one may speak louddcontrollable, rather than a term of increase to a negative attribute, 

1 shines clear — the.^ner a substance is pulverized — to grow wiser, 
to plunge deeper, spread rvider — and similar expressions without number, 
constitute a well established idiom, as common as it is elegant. 

Rule XIX —Some adjectives are used to modify the sense of others and 
of participles ; as, a very clear day ; red hot iron ; a more or most excellent 
character ; more prcssiug necessity ; most grating sound. " Without com- 
ing any nearer." Locke. " A closer grained wood." Lavoisier, TVans. 
" Full many a gem of purest ray serene." Gray. 

" Some deem'd him wondrous wise." Bcaltic's .Minstrel. 

In these expressions the last attribute belongs more immediately to the 
noun i'\p .^-iii- iiv ,1.1 ilily ; and the first attribute qualifies the second. 

Ni.' I' , .1 'V .'.' aitributes are used to modify a third, or the princi- 
pal on, i i iiiierin which external force acts upon the body is 
veryhr . . .will." Rambler, A'o. 7S 

Kr 1 . . \ . , I'. .'.^ are used to qualify the sense of adverbs ; as, a 
city «..- ' I. llnded; the soldiers were most amply rewarded; a 

donati.ii ... I ! lly bestowed; a house less elegantly furnished; a 

man lli.- /../v' |...i. . .: i\ .lisposed. 

We have a lew otii. r words which are often used to modify adjectives as 
well as verbs ; as, a little ; a great deal ; a trifle. " Many letters from pe 

deeyt : 
deejilii . 

■ The vices which enter deeper or 
■/ /■ and deepest, should be more 
t.- in the two passages 1 have ci- 

.1.- is pronounced s/iuitij" — " Ihe 
liighU/!" This alteration will put 

Note 2. — In English, two nouns are frequently united to form a new 
noun; as earth-woini, drill-plow, ink-stand, book-case. In some cases, 
these compouii.; i. ' \ . 'i !i...i cirectually blended into one term ; in other 
cases, they ai.' ' i i I'ir component parts by a hyphen. In other 

cases, words ... . ' Iv lirst term forms a sort of occasional adjec- 

tive to the sc(..i, . : I ' // ',,' Kst, or family-consumption. 

Note 3. — Kiom a disposition to abridge the number of words in discourse, 
we find many expressions which are not reducible to any precise rule, 
formed at first by accident or ellipsis. Such are, at first, at last, at best, at 
worst, at most, at least, at farthest, at the utmost. In these expressions 
there may have been an ellipsis of some noun ; but they arc well establish- 
ed, brief and significant, and may be numbered among the /)m(0«s of Mer- 

Note 4.— Wcbave c.-ilain ; 

djectives which follow a verb and a noun to 
which Ihey bi-I..i : m i. ^ . i |.ncede Ihe noun. Such are, adry, afeared. 
afraid, alone, ii' . ' n. alive, asleep, mvake,athirst, aloft, aghast, 

afloat, askeu. ,1 ■ /it, plenty, worth; lo which may be added, 

amiss, agrouniK ... .. - . .nid a few others which may be used as at- 
tributes or moiMiii is. \\ e .say, one is adry, ashamed, alive or awake; but 
never an a/iry person, an ashamed child, &.c. We say, "A proclamation 
was issued pursuant to advice of council." But we can in no case place 
pursuant before a noun. 

* This clTect may proceed also from another consirleration. If the adjec- 
tive alone is used, its sense precludes the idea of or diminution — it 
expresses all that can be expressed. But admit comparison, and it ceases 
to express the utmost extent of the quality. 


Worth not only follows the noun which it qualifies, but is followed by ajiguage by grammar, and neglect usages which are much better authority, 
I denoting price or value ; as, a book worth a dollar or a guinea ; it is land the basis of correct grammar. " Pieces of iron arranged in such a way 

well worth 


worth observation." Beloe's Herodotus, 

Erato. 98. If a substitute is used after worth, it must be in the objective 
case. It is worth them or it. 

But worthy, the derivative oi worth, follows the usual construction of ad- 
jectives, and may precede the noun it qualifies ; as, a worthy man. 

Regimen or Government. 

Rule XXIII.— One noun signifying the same thing with another, or de- 
scriptive of it, may be in apposition to it ; that is, may stand in a like charac- 
ter or case, without an intervening verb; as, Paul, the apostle; John, the 
baptist ; Newton, the philosopher ; Chatham, the orator and statesman. 

Note I. — In the following sentence, a noun in the plural stands in appo- 
sition to two nouns in the singular, joined by an alternative. "The terms 
of our law will hardly find words that answer them in the Spanish or Ital- 
ian, no scanty languages." Locke, 3. 5. 8. 

Note 2. — Nouns are not unfrequently set in apposition to sentences ; as, 
" Whereby if a manhad a positive idea of infinite, either duration or space, 
he could add two infinites together ; nay, make one infinite infinitely big- 
ger than another: absurdities too gross to be confuted." Locke, 2. 17. 20. 
Here the absurdities are the whole preceding propositions. 

" You are too humane and considerate ; things few people can be charged 
with." Pope Let. Here things is in opposition to temane and considerate. 
Such a construction may be justified, when the ideas are correct, but it is 
not very common. 

" The Dutch were formerly in possession of the coasting trade and freight 
of almost all other trading nations; they were also the bankers for all Eu- 
rope : advantages by which they have gained immense sums." Zimmer- 
man's Survey, 170. Here advantages is put in apposition to the two first 
members of the sentence. 

Rule XXJV. — When two nouns are used, one denoting the possessor, 
the other the thing possessed, the name of the possessor precedes the other 
in the possessive case ; as, " In my Father's house are many mansions." 
Men's bravery ; England's fleet ; a Christian's hope ; Washington's pru- 

Note 1. — When the thing possessed is obvious, it is usual to omit the 
noun ; as, " Let us go to St. Paul's," that is, church ; " He is at the Presi- 
dent's," that is, house. 

" Nor think a lover's are but fancied woes." Coioper. 

That is, a lover's woes. " Whose book i"; this ? William's." 

Note 2. — When the possessor is described by two or more nouns, the 
sign of the possessive is generally annexed to tlie last; as, " Edward, the 
se'cond of England's Queen." Bacon on Empire. 

" In Edward the third's time." Blackstone's Comm. b. 1, ch. 2. 

" John the Baptist's head." Matt. xiv. 

" jj member of parliament's paying court to his constituents." Burke. 

But if the thing possessed is represented as belonging to a number sever- 
ally specified, the sign of the possessive is repeated with each ; as, " He 
has the surgeon's and the physician's advice." " It was my father's, moth- 
er's, and uncle's opinion."* 

Note 3. — When of is used before the possessive case of nouns, there is 
a double possessive, the thing possessed not being repeated ; as, " Vital air 
was a discovery o/Pitesf/e^'s." "Combustion, as now understood, was a 
discovery of Lavoisier's." The sense of which is, that vital air was one of 
the discoveries of Priestley. This idiom prevents the repetition of the 
same word. 

Note 4. — The possessive may be supplied by of, before the name of the 
possessor; as, "the hope of a christian." But <)/' does not always denote 
possession ; it denotes also consisting of, or in, concerning, &c. and in these 
cases, its place cannot he supplied by the possessive case. Thus cloth of 
wool, cannot be converted into wool's cloth ; nor a cup of water, into water's 
cup ; nor an idea of an angel, into an angel's idea ; nor the house of Lards, 
into the Lord's house. 

Rule XXV. — Participles are often used for nouns, and have the like 
effect in governing them in the possessive case; as, "A courier arrived 
from Madrid, with an account of his Catholic majesty's having agreed to 
the neutrality." " In case of his Catholic majesty's dying without issue." 
" Averse to the nation's involving itself in another war." Hume, Contin 
vol. 7, 6. 2, ch. 1. " Who can have no notion of the same person's possess- 
ing Aifkreui accomplishments." Spectator, J\'o. 150 

This is the true idiom of the language ; yet the omission of the sign of 
the possessive is a common fault among modern writers, who learn the Ian 


1 seemed most favorable for tlie combustion being communicated to every 

Lavoisier, Trans. 
exception." Ibm. These 

* The contrary rule in Murray is egregiously wrong ; as exemplified in 
this phrase, " This was my father, mother and imcle's advice." This is not 
English. When we say, " the king of England's throne," the three words, 
king of England, are one noun in ctlect, and can have but one sign of the 
possessive. But when two or three distinct nouns are used, the article pos- 
sessed is described as belonging to each. " It was my father's advice, my 
mother's advice, and my uncle's advice." We can omit advice after the 
two first, but by no means, the sign of the possessive. 

There is no reason for hydrogen being 
expressions are not English. 

Rule XXVI. — Transitive verbs and their participles require the object- 
ive case or the object of action to follow them : as, '• In the beginuiug, God 
created the leaven and the earth." 

" If ye love jne, keep my commandments." "0 righteous fatlier, the 
world hath not known thee." 

Sometimes the object and often the objective case of substitutes precedes 
the governing verb ; as, " The spirit of truth, whoyn the world cannot re- 
ceiue." " Whom ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." 

Whom and which, when in the objective, always precede the verb. 
In verse, a greater license of transposition is used, than in prose, and 
uns are often placed before the governing verb. 
" But through the heart 
Should jealousy its venom once diffuse." Thomson. 

" She with extended arms his aid implores." Ibm. 

A noun with whatever, whatsoever or whichever, preceding, is placed be- 
e the governing verb ; as, "whatsoever positive ideas we have." 

Locke, 2. 17. 
-We have some verbs which govern two words in the objective 

case ; as. 

Miltm, 10. 744. 
Life of Cmtyper. 

Did I request thee, maker, from my clay 
To mould me man?" 

" God seems to have made hitn what he was." 

"Ask Aim his opinion." " You have asked me the news' 

Will it be said that the latter phrases are elliptical, for " ask oj him his 
opinion .'" I apprehend this to be a mistake. According to the true idea of 
the government of a transitive verb, him must be the object in the phrase 
under consideration, as much as in this, " Ask him for a guinea ;" or in this, 
" ask him to go." 

This idiom is very ancient, as we often see it in the Latin. " Intcrroga- 
tus sententiam." Liv. 26. 33. "Se id Scipioncm orare." Ibm. 27. 17. 
"Auxilia regem orabant." Ibm. lib. 2S. 5. The idiom in both languages 
had a common origin. 

Note 2. — Some verbs were formerly used as transitive, which are no 
longer considered as such ; as, " he repented him" — " flee thee away" — 
" he was swerved" — " the sum was amounted," &c. which are held im- 

Cease, however, is used as a transitive verb by our best writers. " Cease 
this impious rage." Milton. " Her lips their music cease." Hoole's Tasso. 

Rule XXVII. — Intransitive verbs are followed by the name of the act 
or effect, which the verb expresses in action ; as, " to live a life of virtue ;" 
"to die the deathoi i\ie righteous;" "to dream dreams;" " to run sl race ;" 
" to sleep the sleep of death." 

We observe, in these examples, life is the 7iame of living supposed to be 
complete, as race is the name of the act of running when accomplished. 

Note. — Nearly allied to this idiom is that of using, after verbs transitive 
or intransitive, certain nouns which are not the objects of the verb, nor oi 
precisely the same sense, but which are either the names of the result of 
the verb's action, or closely connected with it. Examples : " A guinea 
weighs five penny weight, six grains ;" " a crown weighs nineteen penny 
weight;"* " a piece of cloth measures ten yards." 

" And on their hinges grate thunder." "And rivers run potable 

gold." " The crispid brook ran nectar." "Groves whose rich trees wept 

odorous gums and balm." " Grin a ghastly smile." Milton. 

" Her lips blush deeper sweets." Thomson. 

" To ascend or descend a flight of stairs, a ladder, or a mountain." 

" To cost a guinea." 

Under this rule or the following may be arranged these expressions. 
" Let them go their way." " When matters have been brought this 
length." Lavoisier, Translation. " We turn our eyes this way or that 
way." " Reckoning any way from ourselves, a yard, a mile, &c." 

Locke, 2. 17. 

Similar to this idiom are the phrases, to go west or east — pointing north 
or south, north-west or south-east, and the like, which I find to be Saxon 
phrases and very ancient. 

In some instances verbs of this sort are followed by two objects; as, " a 
ring cost the purchaser an eagle." 

Rule XXVIII. — Names of certain portions of time and space, and espe- 
cially words denoting continuance of time or progression, are used without a 
governing word ; as, " Jacob said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel." 
" And dust shalt thou cat all the days of thy life." " And he abode with 

* The radical idea of teeight is carry, bear or sustain, from the Saxon 
wteg, a balance. The idiom in question has its originial in that idea — a 
guinea weighs five penny weights, six grains — that is, carries or sustains 
that weight in the scales. How much of the propriety, and even of the 
beauty of language is lost, by neglecting to study its primitive state and 
(principles '. 


him the space of a mmith." " The teee of hie yielded her 
month." " In those days F Daniel was mourning three full weeks' 
" Whosoever shall urge thee to go a mile, go with him twain." " To walk 
Amile, or a league." 

" EtTects occurring every moment to ourselves." 
. " You have asked me news a hundred times." Pope. 

Words expressing particular or precise points of time, are usually prece- 
ded hy a preposition ; as, " at that hour ;" " ou that day." But to both these 
rules there are exceptions. 

Rule XXIX. — The verb he has the same after it as before it; or 
two substitutes connected with be in construction are in the same case. " Jt 
is/, be not afraid." "Thou art she." "It is Ac." " Who was he?" 
" Who do men say that / am .'" " JVhom do they represent me to be.' 
But " Whom do men say that I am," is incorrect. 

Ru L E X X X . — Transitive verbs and their participles admit of a sentence, 
a clause or number of words as their object; as, "He is not alarmed so far 
as to consider how much nearer he approaches to his end." 

Rambler, JVo. 78. 

Consider what ? The whole following clause, which is the object of the 

" If he escapes being banished by others, I fear lie will banish himself." 
Pope, Let. to Swift. 

Here being banished stands in the place of a noun, as the object after 

wrvH Rule XXXI.— T 

"" ciple ; a.s, " he love: 

abandon a vicious lit 

•Add to this, whal./i 
very drcumstance, tin 
In this sentence tlie i\lv 
and is the actual objcci . 

■' Suppose then (Ac 

s but little known, has from that 
nf novelty." Hermes, Preface. 
■■ in italics, is what is to be added, 
irb add. 
to have had a creator" — " Suppose 
Paley, Ev. 1. 

the disposition which dictated this council to continue 
" For that mortal dint, 

Save tie who reigns above, none can resist." Milton, 2. 815. 

" I wish I could give you any good reasons for your coming hither, ex- 
cept that, /earnestly invite you." Pope, Let. 

" Lord Bathurst is too great a husbandman to like barren hills, except 
they are his own to improve." Pope, Let. Sept. 3, 1726.; 

In these and similar passages, the object of the verb is a whole proposi- 
tion or statement, in a sentence or clause of a sentence. In this passage, 
"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," the fact excepted is af- 
firmed in a single verb. Take away this fact " that you shall repent," and 
the consequence must be, you will perish. This is one of the modes of ab- 
breviation in language which I have so frequently mentioned, and which 
constitutes a principal excellence of the English. 

We observe, in some of the passages here cited, the pronoun that, after 
the verb. This is probably the true original construction ; the substitute, 
that, pointing to the whole following clause. " He cou Id do no mighty works 
there, save that, [except that single fact which follows,] he laid his hand 
on a few sick and healed them." 

Note.— It may be here observed that in some of the passages cited the 
verb has no definitive nominative; the verbs save, except, suppose, add, !fc. 
are in the imperative mode, but the address is not made to any particular 
person or persons. Ani this probably has led authors to class save and ex- 
cept among conjunctions, prepositions or adverbs, or to consider them as 
used adverbially ; for it has been already observed that the class of adverbs 
has been a sort of common sink to receive all words which authors have not 
been able to comprehend. I 

Is it not strange that suppose, add, admit, allow, and other verb.s, which 
are constantly used in the same manner, should have hitherto escaped the 
same doom .' In the passages above cited from Paley, suppose is used pre- 
cisely in the same manner, as except and save in others. Indeed nothing 
but the most inexcusable negligence could have led critics to this classifica- 
tion of sane and except— (or in many passagesof scripture, these very words, 
in the sense in which they are called conjunctions or adverbs, have an ob- 
ject lolloHinii them, lik« other transitive verbs; as, " Israel burned none of 
them, sar, Hazor only." Josh. xi. l.S. " Ye shall not come into the land, 
.save I „l, I: iiiul .1, shun." JVum. xiv. 30. " I would that all were as I am, 
except tli,s, l,,.,iih:- jtcts, xxri. 

This u-i- 1.1 Mrli< without a definite nominative occasions no inconven- 
ience ; for the address is not made to any p,irticular person, but is equally 
'•" apply it. See the subject further expL ' " 

applicable to any 
unde ' 


ifiiiilive mode follows, first, anotlier verb or parti- 
lurish the social alfections ;" " be persuaded to 
'he is willing to encounter danger;" "he was 
[proceeding to relatehis adventures." 

2dly. The infiniUve follows a noun ; as, " The next thin-r natural for the 
[mind to do." Locke. " He has a task to perform." 

I 3dly. It follows an adjective or verbal attribute; as, " a question difficult 
to be solved." " it is delightful to contemplate the goodness of Providence." 
"God is viorihy to be loved and trusted." "Be prepared to receive your 

4thly. It follows as ; thus, " an object so high as to be invisible ;" " a 
question so obscure as to perplex the understanding." 

5thly. It follows than after a comparison; as, " Nothing makes a man sus- 
pect much, more than to know little." Bacon on Suspicion. 

6thly. It follows the preposition/oj-, noting cause or motive ; as, " What 
went ye out /or to see?" Matt. xi. 

Tills is the true original idiom, but it is usual now to omit /or; as, " he 
went to see a reed shaken with the wind." In every phrase of this sort,/n/- 
is implied in the sense ; but the use of the word is 

The infinitive mode is independent, standing as a substitute for a whole; 
phrase ; as, " It is not once in ten attempts that you can find the case you 
seek, in any law book ; to say nothing of those numerous points of conduct 
concerning which the law professes not to prescribe." Paley, Phil. ch. -1. 

Rule XXXII. — The verbs, bid, make, see, hear, feel, let, with the auxil- 
aries, may, can, must, shall and will, and dare and need, when used as aux- 
iliaries, are followed by the infinitive without the prefix to ; as, " he bids 
me come;" " we cannot make them understand;" " let me see youwrite;" 
"we heard liim relate the story;" " we felt the earth Uemble." " Which 
(hey \e\.pass." Locke. " He may go, can go, must go, shall go, will go." 
" I dare engage; 1 dare say." " He need not be anxious." 

Note 1.— In the uses of dare and need, there are some pecuharities which 
deserve remark. 

When dare signifies to defy or challenge, it is regular in the tenses and 
persons, is a transitive verb, and is followed by the infinitive with the usual 
prefix ; as, " he dares me to enter the list." But when it is intransitive, 
denoting to Aare courage, it more generally drops the personal terminations, 
has an anomalpus past tense, and is followed by the infinitive without to; in 
short it has the form of an auxiliary, and in the German, it is classed with 
the auxiliaries. Examples: " I dare engage." Pope's Works, Letter to 
Gay. " I dare not confess." Swift to Gay. " I dare say." Locke. "But 
my Lord, you dare not do either." Junius, Let. 28. '■• Dursil venture to 
deliver my own sentiments." Hume, Es. 7. 

The past tense, when regular, is followed by the infinitive with the usual 
prefix. " You have dared to throw more than a suspicion upon mine." 
Junius, Let. 20. The same remark may be extended to the future tense. 
He will not rfaie to attack his adversary." 

In like manner, need, when a transitive verb, is regular in its inflections; 
, " A man needs more prudence" — " The army needed provisions." But 
hen intransitive, it drops the personal terminations in the present tense, is 
formed like an auxiliary, and is followed by a verb, without the prefix to ; 
as, " Nobody need 6e afraid he shall not have scope enough." Locke, 2.22.9. 
i" I need not j?o any farther." Ibtn. "Nor need we wonder." Ibm. "The 
lender need be under no fear." Anarch, ch. 69. " There need be no diffi- 
culty." Heddoes, Hygeia, I. 27. " She need dig no more." Spectator, 
.Vo. 121. " A man need not be uneasy on these grounds." Boswell, 3. 41. 
" He need not urge to this honorable court." Judge Chase. 

lu the use of this verb, there is another irregularity, which is pecuUar, 
the verb being without a nominative, expressed or implied. " Whereof here 
needs no account." Milton, P. L. 4. 235. "There is no evidence of the 
fact, and there needs none." This is an established use of need. 

Note 2.— The infinitive mode has, in its sense and use, a near affinity to 
a noun and often has the construction of one. It is much employed to intro- 
duce sentences which are the nominatives to verbs, as well as the objects 
following them ; as, " To will is present with me, but to perform that which 
is good I find not." Here the first infinitive is the nominative to is, and the 
second begins the sentence which is the object afler^nd. 

Note 3. — A common mistake in the use of the infinitive is, to use the 
perfect tense after another verb in the past time, when in fact one of the 
verbs in the past time would correctly express the sense ; thus, " It would 
have been no difficult matter to have compiled a volume of such amusing pre- 

' ■ " Cowper to Hill, Let. 29. Here the first verb states the time 

The following passage in Locke, 2. 27. 2. contains another iP^!' ^''^" " "'*'* ""' difficult to compile a volume ; at that time the compi- 

verb used in the same manner : " Coiild two bodies he in the same place at 
the same time, then those two parcels of matter must be one and the same, 
take them great or little." 

The error of considering sore as an adverb or conjunction, has however 
produced a mulfitude of mistakes in construction, as in tb.>..- i,nc^:,._r.>.. • 
" Save Ae who reigns above." Milton. "Which no man kii.v\ i . t 

Ae that receiveth it." iieti. ii. 17. The nominative Ae cannot lu 

any principle of true construction. We ought to he Aim, the .^ 
verb. Except might have been used, andthis word beins cull. I .. i^.i ,ju^: 
tion, would have required after it the objective else. Biit both -"..i= -r„i 
verbs, and ought to have the same construction. 
Vol. I. K. 

lation couM not be past ; the verb therefore should have been to compile, 
which is present and always indefinite. 

In the following passage, we have a like use of verbs which is correct. 
" A free pardon was granted to the son, who teas known to have offered in- 
ilignities to the body of Varus." Murphy's Tacitus, fi. I. Here 'the offer- 
'::s of indignities was a fact precedent to the time stated in the verb icas 
'niiwn; and therefore the verb, to have offered, is well employed. 

Rule XXXIII. — The infinitive signifying motive or purpose, often in- 
ioiluces a clause or sentence which is not ihenoininative orobjecli' 

I verb; as, " To see how far this reaches, and what are the causes of 


j|VtiL,, a=., J. u Oct: nitw lai iiii> readies, auQ wnai are me causes Of wrong 
lijudgment, we must remember that things are judged good or bad in a double 


.»eiise." Lode, 2. 21. 61 . " To present property from being too unequally 
distributed, no pei-son should be allowed to dispose of his possessions to the 
])rpiudice of his lawful heirs." Anarch, ch. 62. 

Note. — This form of sentence -seems to be derived from the use o{ for 
before the verb,/oi- to see. The modern practice is to prefix some noun, as 
ill order to see, or " With a view to prevent." 

Rule XXXIV. — In the use of the passive form, there is often an inver- 
sion of the order of the subject and object ; thus, " The bishops and abbots 
were allowed their seats in the house of Lords." 

Blackstone, Comm. b. 1, ch. 2. 

Here the true construction would be, " Seats in the house of Lords were 
allowed to the bishops and abbots." 

"Theresa was forbid the presence of the emperor." Murphy's Tacitus, 
2. .540. Note. — This is a common phrase. It may be resolved thus : The 
presence of the emperor wa* forbid to Theresa — or, Theresa was forbid to 
approach the presence of the emperor. 

KuLE XXXV. — The participle of the present tense without a definitive 
a or the, or with any possessive attribute, usually retains the sense of its 
verb, and has the objective case after it; as, "The clerk is engrossing the 
bill." "The love we bear our friends is generally caused by our finding 
the same dispositions in them, which we ieel in ourselves." 

Pope's Letters. 

" In return to your inviting me to your forest." Ibm. 

But when the participle is preceded by a or the, it takes the character and 
government of a noun, and in most cases, must be followed by of; as, "The 
middle station of life seems to be most advantas:eously situated for the gain- 
ing of wisdom. Poverty turns our thoughts too much upon the supplying of 
our wants, and riches, upon enjoying our superfluities." 

Spectator, JVo. 464, 

In many cases this participle becomes a noun, without a or the ; as, " It 
is more properly talking upon paper, than u^ting." Pope, Let 

Note. — The foregoing rule is often violated by our best writers, and to 
make it universal is (o assume an authority much too dictatorial. " Some 
were employed in bloiving of glass ; others in weaving of linen." 

Gibbon, Rom. Emp. ch. 10. 

Rule XXXVI. — Participles of the present tense, either single or in un- 
ion with the participle of the perfect tense, often perform, at once, the office 
of a verb and a noun ; as, " The taking from another what is his, without his 
knowledge or allowance, is called stealing." Locke, 2. 28. 16. 

" By the mind's changing the object to which it compares any thing." 

Locke, 2. 25. 

" To save them from other people's damning them." Wycherley to Pope. 

" Such a plan is not capable of being carried into execution." 

Anarch, ch. 62. 

" They could not avoid submitting to this influence." 

Baling, on Hist. Let. 8. 

Note 1. — The participle in ing, though strictly active in its signification, 
is not unfrequently used by modern authors in a passive sense ; as, " More 
living particles are produced — than are necessary foi- nutrition or for the 
restoration of decomposing organs," that is, organs suffering decomposition. 
Darwin, Zoon. sect. 39. 9. " From which caloric is disengaging," that is, 
undergoing the process of separation. Lavoisier, Translation. " The num- 
ber is augmenting daily." Ibm. " They seemed to think Cesar was slay- 
ing before their eyes rather than that he was slain." Guth. Quin. 2. 18. 
" The nation had cried out loudly against the crime while it was commit- 
ting." Boling. on Hist. Let. 8. " My lives are re-printing." Johnson 
to Boswell, 1782. 

Many of this kind of participles have become mere attributes ; as writing 
paper ; looking glass ; spelling or pronouncing dictionary. Wanting and 
owing have long had the character of passive participles, with the sense of 
wanted, iiwed. 

Note 2. — The use of two participles in the place of a noun is one of the 
most frequent practices of our best writers ; as, " This did not prevent John's 
being acknowledged and solemnly inaugurated Duke of Normandy." Hen- 
ry, Hist. Brit. b. 3. The participle being with an attribute, supplies the 
place of a noun also. " As to the difference of being more general, that 
makes this maxim more remote from being innate." Locke, 1. 2. 20. 

Rule XXXVII. — Participles, like attributes, agree with a sentence, a 
part of a sentence, or a substitute for a sentence ; as, " Concerning relation 
in general, these things may be considered." Locke, 2. 25. 

Here concerning relates to the whole of the last clause of the sentence — 
■' These things may be considered" — all which is concerning relation in 

" This criterion will be different, according to the nature of the object 
which the mind contemplates." Enfield, Hist. Phil. 2. 15. 

That is, the dilTerence of criterion will accord with the nature of the ob- 

" According to Hierocles, Ammonius was induced to execute the plan ol 
a distinct eclectic school," &.c. Ibm. p. 63. 

Here the whole statement of facts in the last clause was according to Hie- 
rocles ; that is, it accorded with his testimony. 

" I have accepted thee, concerning this thing also." Gen. 19. 

" I speak concAning Christ and the church." Eph. v. 32, 

" Thus shalt thou do unto thcLcvitcs, touching their charge." 

Aum. viii. 26. 

Rule XXXVIII. — Participles often stand without a noun, sentence or 
substitute, on which they immediately depend, being referable to either of 
the persons indefinitely ; as, " It is not possible to act otherwise, considering 
the weakness of our nature." Spectator. 

Note — Johnson, in his Dictionary, calls this a kind of conjunction, 
and adds — " It had been more grammatically written considered; vu, 
French ; but considering is ahvays used." 

This criticism indicates an incorrect view of tlie subject. Considered, 
cannot be used without a change in the structure of the sentence — "The 
weakness of our nature being considered." But to make this form of ex- 
pression correspondent to the other clause, that ought also to be varied, and 
definite person introduced ; thus, " It does not appear (to us) possible to act 
otherwise, the weakness of our nature being considered." But this amend- 
ment would be of no advantage. 

To comprehend the use of such expressions, we should consider that men 
find it useful to deal in abstract propositions and lay down truths without re- 
ference to persons. This manner of discoursing is often less invidious than 
to apply propositions or opinions to persons. To accomplish this purpose, 
have devised words and modes of speech which enable them thus to 
communicate their ideas. In the passage cited, the first clause contains a 
general abstract proposition, equally applicable to any person—" It is not 
possible to act otherwise." That is, it is not possible for me, for you, for 
,, or for her ; but it might be invidious to specify persons. It is not pos- 
e for John or Thomas to act otherwise, he considering the weakness of 
nature. Hence the proposition is left without application ; and it fol- 
lows naturally that the persons who are to consider the cause, the weakness 
of our nature, should be left indefinite, or unascertained. Hence co?i- 
sidering is left without a direct application to any person. 

Whatever foundation there may be for this explanation, the idiom is com- 
mon and well authorized. 

" Generally speaking, the heir at law is not bound by the intention of the 
testator." Paley, Phil. 23. 

" Supposing that electricity is actually a substance, and taking if for 
granted that it is different from caloric, does it not in all probability contain 
caloric, as well as all other bodies ?" Thomson, Chim. art! Calnrir. 

Here is no noun expressed or implied, to which supposing and taking 
can be referred ; we would be most naturally understood. 

" Supposing the first stratum of particles to remain in their place, after 
their union with caloric, we can conceive an affinity, &.c." Am. Here 
supposing may be refened to tve, but is tliis the real construction ? 

" For supposing parliament had a right to meet spontaneously, withoui 
being called together, it would be impossible to conceive that all the mem- 
bers would agree," &c. Blackstone, Comm. B. 1. 2. 

" The articles of this charge, considering by whom it was brought, were 
not of so high a nature as might have been expected." 

Henry, Brit. B. 4. ch. 1. 

" It is most reasonable to conclude that, excepting the assistance he may 
be supposed to have derived from his countrymen, his plan of civilization 
was the product of his own abilities." Enfield, Hist. Phil. 1. ch. 9. 

" None of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for 
washing." JVeh. iv. 23. 

" And he said unto them, hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered 
my way." Gen. xxiv. 56. 

" Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his 
deeds." Col. iii. 9. 

" Comparing two men, in reference to a common parent, it is easy to 
frame th^ ideas of brothers." Locke, 2. 25. 

" Granting this to be true, it would help us in the species of things no 
farther than the tribes of animals and vegetables." Locke, 3. 6. 23. 

Rule XXXIX. — Adverbs or Modifiers are usually placed near the 
words whose signification they are intended to affect. 

First. They are placed before adjectives : as, truly wise ; sincerely up- 
right ; unaffectedly polite. 

Secondly. They usually follow a verb when single ; as, he spoke elo- 
quently : and if a verb is transitive with an object following, the adverb 
follows the object ; as, " John received the present gratefully." 

To this rule, the exceptions are very numerous, and not to be classed 
under general heads. " So it frequently happens." " Men often deceive 
themselves." Indeed, in many eases the position of the modifier makes no 
difference in the sense, and may be regulated entirely by the preference of 
sound, in the general structure of the period, provided it is not such as to 
mislead the reader, in the application of the word. 

Thirdly. When one auxiliary and a participle are used, the modifier is 
usually placed between them or it follows the participle ; as, " he was gra- 

ciously received," or " lie was received graciously." The first is the most 

Fourthly. When two auxiliaries are used, the adverb is usually placed 
after the second ; as, " We have been kindly treated." But it may follow 
the participle, as " We have been treated kindly ;" and in some cases it 
may precede the auxiliaries, as " -Vnd certainly you must have known." 

.hmiun. Letter 8. 


Fifililv. Wlien ailverbs are emphatical, they may introduce a sentence, 
anil l» - |. 1 h 1 n ,111 the word to ivhieh they belong ; as, " Haw complete- 
ly t\,\ I liviman virtues Aarf taA-CTi possession of his soul!" 
po,i ;. - I |,fi-itiou of the nioditicr is most frequent iu interroga- 
tive .uhI r-,, ■!,.-, I. 3 jihrases. 

The adverb alirays is usually placed before a verb. 

JVever commonly precedes a single verb, except be, which it follows ; as, 
" We are never absent from Church on Sunday." It is sometimes placed 
before an auxiliary, as " He never has been at court;" but it is more cor- 
rectly and elegantly placed after the first auxiliary, as " He has never been 
at court," "he has never been intoxicated." 

This word ha-s a peculiar use in the phrase ; " Ask me never so much 
dowry." Gen. xxxiv. " The voice of charmers, charming never so wise- 
ly." Ps. Iviii. The sense i-j, '• Ask me so much dowry as never was asked 
brfore ;" an abbreviation siri<!;ularly expressive of the idea of asking to any 
amount or extent. Authors not imderstanding it, have substituted ever for 
never, which impairs the force, if it does not destroy the sense, of the 
phrase) The use of both is now common, but never is preferable. " Some 
agreements indeed, though never so expressly made, are deemed of so im- 
portant a nature, that they ought not to rest in verbal promise only." 

Blackstone, Comm. B. 3. eh. 9. 

The use of here and there, in the introduction of sentences before verbs, 
forms an authori/cd idiom of the language ; though the words may be con- 
sidered as redundant. The practice may have originated in the use of the 
liand in pointing, in the early stage of society. 

Here, there, and where, originally denoting plaee, are now used in re- 
ference to words, subjects and various ideas of which place is not predica- 
blc. " It is not so with respect to volitions and actions ; here the coalesence 
is intimate." Hermes, ch. 8. " We feel pain, in the sensations, where we 
expected pleasure." Locke, 2. 7. 4. 

Hence, whence, and thence, denoting the place from which a departure is 
stated, are used either teith or without the preposition/ram. In strictness, 
the idea of /inm is inclculcil in the words, and it ought not to be u.sed. 
These word* .il- i i i "iily in reference to jdace, but to any argu- 
ment, subjccl. . • ! - nirse. 

Hither, thitir . i ■ - - . ^'enoting to a place, are obsolete in popular 

practice, and ul-ul,-. .m u< writing; being superseded by here, there, 
■where. This change is evidently the effect of the all-controlling disposi- 
tion of men to abridge speech, by dismissing useless syllables, or by substi- 
tuting short words of easy pronunciation for those which are more difficult. 
Against this disposition and its effects, the critic remonstrates in vain ; and 
we may rest assured that common convenience and utility are better guides 
in whatever respects the use of words, than the opinions of men in their 
closets. No word or syllable in a language, which is essential, or very use 
ful, is ever lost. 

While Is a noun denoting time, and not a modifier. In this phrase, " 
will go while you stay," the word is used in its primitive manner, without 
government, like many other names of portions of time — a month, a week 

We are accustomed to use, as modifiers, a little and a great ileal. " The 
many letters I receive, do not a little encourage me." Spectator, JVo. 124 
Many names are used in like manner, as modifiers of the sense of verbs 
" You don't care six-pence whether he was wet or dry." Johnson 

Rule XL. — In polite and classical language, two negatives destroy the 
negation and express an affirmative ; as, " JVor did he not perceive them,'" 
that is, he did perceive them. This phraseology is not common nor agreea- 
ble to the genius of our tongue. 

The following is a common and well authorized use of negatives. " Hii 
manners are not inelegant," that is, are elegant. This manner of expres- 
sion, however, when not accompanied with particular emphasis, denotes i 
moderate degree of the quality. 

Note. — In popular language, two negatives are used for a negation, ac- 
cording to the practice of the ancient Greeks and the modern French. This 
idiom was primitive, and was retained in the Saxon ; as, " Oc se kining 
Peada ne risadc nane while." Sax. Chron. p. 33. And the king Peada did 
not reign none while, that is, not a long time. The learned, with a view 
to philosophical correctness, have rejected the use of two negatives for one 
negation. The consequence is, we have two modes of speaking directly op 
posile to each other, but expressing the same thing. " He did not owe 
nothing," in vulgar language, " and he owed nothing," in the style of the 
learned, mean precisely the same thing. 

Rule XLI. — Prepositions are followed by the names of objects and the 
objective case ; as, /rum New York to Philadelphia ; across the Delaware ; 
ouer land; 6^ water; </iro«gA the air; with us ; for me ; (othem; in you 
among the people ; toward us. 

The preposition to is supposed to be omitted after verbs of giving, yield 
ing, affording, and the like ; as, " give them bread," instead of give bread 
M them. " Afford him protection ;" " furnish her with books." But tliis 
idiom seems to be primitive, and not elliptical. 

From is sometimes suppressed ; as in this phrase, " He was banished the 

Home, after a verb denoting motion to, is always used without to ; as, 
" We are going home." 

Afler the attribute near, to is often omitted ; as, " To bring them nearer tlic 
truth." Massillon. Also after adjoining ; as, " a garden adjoining a river." 

The preposition is sometimes separated from the word which governs ; as, 
' With a longing for that state which he is charmed with," instead of with 
which he is charmed. 

n many cases, the relative pronoun may be suppressed, as " I did not 
see the person he came with," that is, «'iWt M.)/io»rt he came ; and in other 
cases, what is employed for the word governed, as " I know not what per- 
son he gave the present to." 

This separation of the preposition from the word governed by it, and the 
ppression of the substitute, are most common and most allowable in collo- 
quial and epistolary language. In the grave and elevated style, they arc 
elegant, and never to be admitted to the prejudice of perspicuity ; a.i 
in the following passage, "Of a space or number, which, in a constant and 
endless enlarging progression, it can in thought never attain to." 

Locke, 2. 17. 8. 
A separation of the preposition to such a distance from the word with 
which it is connected in construction, is perplexing and inelegant. 

Note. — In the use of who as an interrogative, there is an apparent devi- 
ation from a regular construction — it being used without distinction of case ; 
Who do you speak to ?" " Who is she married to ':" " Who is this re- 
served for ;" " Who was it made by .'" This idiom is not merely colloquial; 
is found in the writings of our best authors. It is the Latin cui and quo. 
Rule XLU. — Prepositions govern sentences and clauses or members of 
, " Without seeking any morejustitiable reasons of hostility." 
Hume, 1. 3. 

' Besides making an expedition into Kent." Hume, 1. 36. 

' From what has been said." Blair, Serm. 

' To the general history of these periods will be added, &c." 

Enfield, Prelim. 
' .^bout the beginning of the eleventh century." Ibm. 

' By observing these rules and precautions." Ibm. 

' In comparing the proofs of questionable facts." Ibm. 

' For want of carefully attending to tlic preceding distinction." 

Jinfield, Hist. Phil. b. 2. 
' -ifter men became christians." Paley, Evid. ch. 1. 

' Before you were placed at the head of affairs." Junius. Let. 8. 

' Personal bravery is not enough to constitute the general, without he 
animates the •vhole army with courage." Fielding's Socrates, p. 18S. 

Pray, get these verses by heart against I see you." Chesterfield, Let. 
After having made me believe that I possessed a share in your affec- 
tion." Pope, Let. 
" Ambition, envy, — will take up our minds, without we can possess our- 
Ives with sobriety." Spectator, jXo. 143. 
Note. — We obsei-ve, in the foregoing passages, the preposition has two 
uses. One is to precede a word to which other words are annexed as ne- 
cessary to complete the sense — " about the beginning." Here the sense is 
complete ; the time is not designated. To define the time wiiich is the 
object of the preposition about, it is necessary to add the words — " of the 
eleventh century"— «6o«f that time. So that the whole clause is really 
the object after the preposition. 

The other use of the preposition is to precede nouns, verbs or other words 
which are not the object of the preposition, but which have a construction 
independent of it ; as, " after men became christians." Here men is the 
nominative to became ; yet the whole proposition is as really the object gov- 
erned by after, as the word hour, in the phrase, after that hour. " Against 
I see you," is a phrase of like construction. No single word is an object or 
in the objective case after against ; but the whole affirmation is the object. 
" Without we can possess ourselves," has a like construction, and though 
superseded, in a degree, by unless, a word of similar import, is a true En- 
glish phrase. After [this fact] men became christians — Against [that time 
when] I see you — Without [this fact] we can possess ourselves. 

Rule XLIII. — The modifiers of sentences, if, though, unless, and lest, 
may be followed by verbs in the future tense, without the usual auxiliaries, 
shall, will or should; as, "If his son ask bread, will he give him a 
stone ?" " If he asft a fish, will he give him a serpent ?" " Though he slay 
me, yet will I trust in him." " He shall not eat of the holy things, unless 
he wash his flesh with water." " Lest thou say I have made Abram rich." 
Except has a like effect upon the following verb ; as, " I will not let thee 
go, except thou bless me." Wluther ha.s been numbered also among the 
conjunctions, which require the conditional mode, but by an egregious mis- 
take. It is not a connective, nor does it imply a condition or hypothesis, but 
in alternative. 

Rule XLIV. — Connectives join two or more clauses or members in a 
compound sentence; as, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from 
.speaking guile." 

Here are two clauses united by and, which continues the sense and pre- 
vents the repetition of the verb keep. 

"I sought the Lord, antZ he heard me, and delivered me from all my 
fears." Here are three clauses combined into a sentence or period by the 
help of and ; but a new verb is introduced in each, and the second connec- 
tive prevents the repetition of the substitute he only. 

" A wise son heareth his father's instruction ; but a scorner heareth not 
rebuke." Here but joins tlie t(vo clauses, but a new character i.i the nomi- 
native to a distinct verb, in the second clause, which exhibits a contrast to 
the first, and no word is omitted. 


Rule XLV.— Connectiv 
10 the same verb, expi-essed 
live verb or a preposition in the same case. Connectives also join verbs, 
-tdjectives, and adveri)S. Kxample: 

" Peter and John went up into the Temple." 

Connectives join attributes and modifiers; as, "He is wise and virtuous, 
*' An orator pleads eloquently and plausibly." 

The connectives perform a very important office in abridging language, 
by enabling us to omit words which must otherwise be repeated. Thus 
when I say, " I esteem religion and virtue," two affirmations, •' I esteem re- 
ligion, I esteem virtue," are actually included in the sentence. 

When several words or clauses succeed each other, it is not uncommon to 
omit the connective ; as, " We hear nothing of causing the blind to see, the 
lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the lepers to be cleansed." Paley, Evid. 

After the connective than, there may be and usually is an ellipsis of a 
verb, a noun, or other words ; as, " There is none greater in this house than 
I." Gen. xxxix. 9. That is, than I am. 

"Only in the throne will I be greater than thou." Gen. \\\. That is, 
than thou shalt be. 

" He loves his money more than his honoi," that is, more than he loves 
his honor. 

" The king of the north shall return and set forth a multitude greater 
than the former." Dan. xi. 13. That is, than the former multitude. 

" I will pull down ray barns and build greater." Luke xii. That is, 
greater barns. 

Sometimes other words may be suppressed without obscuring the sense ; 
as, " It is better for me to die than to live." Jonah iv. That is, better than 
for me to live. 

Precise rules for the ellipsis of words, in all cases, cannot be given. In 
general, a writer will be governed by a regard to perspicuity, and omit no 
word, when the want of it leaves the sense obscure or ambiguous, nor 
when it weakens the strength of expression. But the following remarks 
and examples may be of use to the student. 

1. When a number of words are joined in consti'uction, the definitive 
ifiay be omitted, except before the first ; as the sun, moon and stars ; a house 
and garden. So also when two or more attributes agree with the samel 
name ; as a great, wise and good prince. But when attributes or names are 
particularly emphatical, the definitive should be expressed before each ; as 
the sun, the moon and the stars. 

2. The repetition of names adds emphasis to ideas ; as, " Christ, the pow- 
er of God and the wisdom of God," is more emphatical than " Christ, the 
power and the wisdom of God." 

3. An adjective belonging to two or more nouns joined by a connective, 
may be omitted except before the first ; as my house and garden ; good 
qualities and actions. " rAejr interest and solicitation— " Ratnbler,5Q. Nor 
does it make any difference that the nouns are in different numbei 
adjectives have no distinction of number, the same word may be applied to 
the singular number and the plural ; as a magnificent house and gardens ; 
his bouse and lands. But when a precedes the first adjective, this construc- 
tion is not elegant. 

4. In compound sentences, a nominative pronoun or noun may be omitted 
before all the verbs except the first ; as, I love, fear and respect the magis- 
trate — instead of, I love, I fear and I respect. The substitute may some- 
times be suppressed ; as the man I saw, for the man ivhom i saw. 

5. An adverb need not be repeated with every word which it qualifies, 
the connective and rendering it unnecessary ; as, he spoke and acted grace- 
fidli/. Here gracefully belongs to speaking as well as to acting. 

A preposition may be omitted after a connective ; as, he walked over the 
hills and the valleys, that is, over the valleys. 

After like and near, to is usually omitted ; as, " Like three distinct powers 
in mechanics." Blackstone's Comm. 1. 2. That is, like to three. " Such 
opinions as seemed to approach nearest the truth." Enfield, 2. 59. That is, 
nearest to the truth. 

Likewise* after join and adjoin, to is sometimes omitted ; as, " a garden 
adjoining the river." 

For is omitted by the poets after mourn. 
" He mourn'd no recreant friend, no mistress coy." Beatlie. 


Punctuation is the marking of the several pauses which are to be ob- 
served, in reading or speaking a sentence or continued discourse. By 
means of pauses, a discourse is divided into periods or complete sentences, 
.md periods into clauses or simple sentences, and these, into phrases. 

A period is a sentence complete, making perfect sense, and not connect- 
ed in constniction with what follows. The pause after the period is mark- 
ed by a point [.] and in speaking, is distinguished by a cadence or fall of the 

The members of a period, or clauses and phrases, are all more or less con- 
nected in sense, and according to the nearness of the connection, are mark- 
ed by a comma [,] a semicolon [ ;] or a colon [:] 

The comma is the shortest pause, and is often used to mark the construc- 
tion, where very little interruption of voice is allowphle 

I A simple sentence or clause contains an affirmation, a command or a 
iquesuou, that is, one personal verb, with its nominaiive and adjuncts. By 
adjunct^ is meant any phrase or number of words added by way of modify- 
ing or qualifying the primary words. Thus when it is said, " Cicero was 
an orator of a diffuse style," the latter words, of a diffuse style, are the ad- 
jmict of orator, and the whole forms a complete simple sentence, with one 
verb or affirmation. 

A phrase contains no assertion, or does not amount to a proposition. 

Rule I. In general the parts of a simple sentence or clause are not to 

be separated by any point whatever ; 
dition of life." But when a simple 
phrase or phrases, modifying the affir 
, " To be very active in laudable p 
istic of a man of merit "" 

Hope is necessary in every con- 
is long, or contains a distinct 
it may be divided by a comma; 
is the distinguishing character- 
. revengmg an injury, a man is but even with 
his enemy." In most cases, where a short pause will give distinctness to 
ideas, a comma is well placed after an important word ; as, " To mourn with- 
out measure, is folly; not to mourn at all, insensibility." The pause 
after measure, in this sentence, is essential to the sti engtli of the expression. 
" The idea of beauty is vague and undefined, different in different minds, 
and diversified by time or place." Rambler. 

Rule II. When a connective is omitted between two or more words, 

hether names, adjectives, pronouns, verbs or modifiers, the place is sup- 
plied by a comma ; as, " Love, joy, peace and blessedness are reserved for 
the good." " The miseries of poverty, of sickness, of captivity, would, 
without hope, be insupportable." Rambler. " We hear nothing of caus- 
ing the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the lepers to be 
cleansed." Paley. " He who loves, serves and obeys his maker, is a pi- 
ous man." " Industry steadily, prudently and vigorously pursued, leads 
to wealth." " David was a brave, martial, enterpiising prince." " The 
most innocent pleasures are the most rational, the most delightful and the 
most durable." 

Rule HI. Two or nvore simple sentences closely connected in sense, 
or dependent on each other, are separated by a comma only ; as, " When 
our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves we leave them." " The temperate 
man's pleasures are durable, because they are regular." " That all the 
duties of morality ought to be practised, is without difficulty discoverable, 
because ignorance or uncertainty would immediately involve the world in 
confusion and distress." Rambler. 

Rule IV. The sentence independent or case absolute, detached affir- 
mations or phrases involved in sentences, and other important clauses, must 
be separated from the other parts of a sentence, by a comma; as, "The 
envoy has returned, his business being accomplished." The envoy, hav- 
ing accomplished his business, has returned." " Providence has, I think, 
displayed a tendeiness for mankind." Rambler. " The decision of patron- 
age, who was but half a goddess, has been sometimes erroneous." Ibm. 
" The sciences, after a thousand indignities, retired from the palace of pat- 
ronage." Ibm. " It is, in many cases, apparent." Ibm. 

Rule V. A comma is often required to mark contrast, anfithesis, or re- 
markable points in a sentence, and sometimes very properly separates words 
closely dependent in construction ; as, " a good man will 'love himself too 
well to lose, and his neighbor too well to win, an estate by gaming." 
" Prosperity gains friends, and adversity tries them." " It is harder to 
avoid censure, than to gain applause." 

" Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull." 

Rule VI. A single name in apposition is not separated by a comma ; 
as, " the Apostle Peter:" but when such name is accompanied with an ad- 
junct, it should be separated ; as, " Parmenio, a friend of Alexander's, hear- 
ing the great offers that Darius had made, said, " Were 1 Alexander, I 
would accept them." " So would I," replied Alexander, " were I Par- 

Rule VII. Terms of address, and words of others repeated, but not in- 
troduced as a quotation, are separated by a comma ; as, " Wherefore, Sirs, 
be of good cheer." " My son, hear the counsel of thy father." "Thus 
halt tliou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." 


Rule VIII. Modifying words and phrases, as however, nay, hence, be- 
ides, in short, finally, formerly, &c. are usually separated by a comma ; as, 
' It is, however, the task of criticism to establish principles." Rambler. 


The semicolon is placed between the clauses of a period, which are less 
losely connected than such as are separated by a cojnma. 

First. When the first division of a sentence completes a proposition, so 
as to have no dependence on what follows ; but the following clause has a 
dependence on the preceding, the two parts are separated generally by a 
semicolon ; as, " It may he laid down as a maxim, that it is more easy to 
take away superfluities than to supply defects ; and therefore he that is cul- 
pable, because he has passed the middle point of virtue, is always accounted 
a fairer object of hope, than he who fails by falling short." Rambler. In 
this sentence the part of the sentence preceding the semicolon is a perfect 


period in itself, and miglit have beeu closed with a full point ; but the au- (voice, and the longest pause used between sentences. It closes a discourse 
5ior has added' another division, by way of inference, and this is dependent :also, or marks a completion of a subject, chapter or section, 
on the first division. The author proceeds— " The one has all that perfec- ; The full point is used also after initials when used alone, as after N. S. 
tion requires, and more, but the excess may be easily retrenched ; the other\for New Style ; and after abbreviations, as Croc. Anglic, for Crocus All- 
wants the qualities requisite to excellence." Here the first division makes l[glicanus. 

t complete proposition ; but the antithesis begun by the numeral one, is not 
complete, without tlie last division. 

" Economy is no disgrace ; for it is better to live on a little, than to out- 
live a great deal." , , , v . . <• 

" Be in peace with many ; nevertheless, have but one counselor of a 

" A friend cannot be known in prosperity ; an enemy cannot be hid in ad- 

In general then, the semicolon separates the divisions of a sentence, 
when the latter division has a dependence on the former, whether the for- 

1 the sentence or an abrupt turn; as. 

To these may be added. 

The dash [ — ] which marks a break i 
** If thou art he — but O how fallen !" 

The interrogation point [.'] that closes a sentence which asks a question ; 
as, " How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity .'" 

The exclamation point [!] which is used after sudden expressions of sur- 
prise, or other emotions; as, "O happiness ! Our being's end and aim I" 

The parenthesis ( ) and hooks [ ] include a remark or clause not essential 
to the sentence in consti-uction, but useful in explaining it or introducing an 
mportant idea. They mark a moderate pause, and the clause included is 

iner has a dependence on the latter or not. with a depressed tone of voice ; ; 

Secondly. When several members of a sentence have a dependence on^ "Know then this truth (enough I 
each other, by means of a substitute for the same principal word, and the | Virtue alone is happiness below." Pope. 

clauses, in other respects, constitute distinct propositions, the semicolon ,! n ^jn be readily seen that the sentence is not at all dependent on the 
may be used ; as, " Wisdom hath builded her house ; she hath hewn out ' parenthetical clause ; but the converse is not true, for that clause has a de- 

her seven pillars ; she hath killed her beasts 
£he hath also furnished her table." Prov. ix 

The Colon is used when the sense of the division of i 

tigled her wine ; 

■ man to know) 

pendence more or less remote on the sentence. Thus, enough for 7nan to 
know, is not intelligible without connecting it with the parts of the sentence 
preceding and following. So in this passage ; " If any one pretends to be so 
sceptical, as to deny his own existence (for really to doubt of it, is manifest- 
ly impossible) let him enjoy his beloved happiness." Locke, 4. 10. 2. The 

, as to admit of a full point, but something is ^dded by way of illustration .^^^ .^ .^ ^ substitute for existence. V ^V 

as, " A brute arrives at a point of perfection that he can never pass m a ^,.^^ ^ ^^ j,^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^ 

few years he has all the endowments he is capable of and were he tohve ;^^^ seliicolon, colon and full pointfmay bear to each other the propor- 
.„„ ...„„.,„. ,„„.„ „.„„M h„ .h, same thmg he is at P'^^e" -^^^^ ^^^ | tion of one, two, four and six ; and the interrogation point and exclamation 

'^ >- • 'jpoint may be considered each as equal in time to the colon or period. But 

Period. "° precise rule can be given, which shall extend to every case ; the length 

ten thousand i 

The Period or full point marks c 


of the pauses must depend much on the nature of the discourse, and their re- 
1 of the sense, a cadence of the Ispective proportions may be often varied to advantage by a judicious speaker, 



els are the first or long, and the second 

Examples of the first or long 

a in make, fate, grace. 

c in me, mete, meter. 

i in pine, bind, strife. 

o in note, hold, port. 

u in true, duty, rude. 

y in dry, defy, imply. 
The principal things to be regardec 

Examples of the second or short 
a in mat, ban, grand, 
e in bet, men, send. 
i in bit, pin, miss, 
o in not, boss, bond, 
u in dun, must, refund, 
y in pity, cycle, synonym 

in learning the pronunciation of Eng- 
lish words, are the accent and the sound of the vowel of the accented syl- 

Rule I. This mark ' called an accent, designates the accented syllable. 
II. The accent placed immediately after a vowel indicates the vowel to 
have its first or long sound, either at the end or in the middle of a 
syllable ; as in sa'cred, prc'cept, ri'ot, po'et, mu'sic, cy'press ; de- 
gra'de, reple'te, divi'de, explo'de, intru'de. 
HI. A horizontal mark or point over a vowel shows it to be long, and 
when no accent is found in the word, this mark designates the ac- 
cented syllable; as in discourse, encroach, bestow, enroll, 

IV. An accent placed immediately after a consonant, or combination of 
consonants in the same syllable, indicates that the vowel of that syl- 
lable, if unpointed, is short; as in hab'it, ten'et, con'duct, ul'cer, 
sym'bol ; adapt', intend', predict', despond', abrupt'. 

1. A pointed vowel has the sound designated by the point or 
points ; as in full'ness, al'terable, book'ish, convey'. 

2. a before II, Id and Ik, in monosyllables or accented syllables, 
has its broad sound like aw; as in befall', bald'ness, walk'ing. 

3. before II is long ; as in enroll'. 

V. An accent immediately after a diphthong, or after a syllable con- 
taining one, designates the accented syllable, but the diphthong has 
its proper sound; as in renew', devour', avow', appoint', annoy'. 
\'I. This mark ' called in Greek the grave accent, placed before a vowel, 
indicates that vowel to have its ItaUan sound, as in >ask, b'ar, fa- 
ther, m'ask. In words of two or more syllables, when no other ac- 
cent is used, this designates the accented syllable ; as in ^answera- 
ble, b'argain. 
VII. Two accents immediately before c, / or s, indicate that c, t or s, in 
pronunciation, coalesces with the following vowel, and form the 
sound of sA or zh, which closes the syllable, and of course the pre- 
ceding vowel is short. Thus, vi"cious, ambi"tion, are pronounced 
vish'us, ambish'on ; vi'sion is pronounced vizh'un. 
VIII. C before a, o and m, and in some other situations, is a close articula- 
tion, like k, and in the vocabulary of this work, whenever it is equiv- 
alent to A:, it is marked thus C 

Before e, i and y, c is precisely equivalent to s, in some, this ; as 
in cedar, civil, cypress, capacity. 
IX. E tinal answers the following purposes. 

1. It indicates that the preceding vowel is long ; as in hate, mete, 
sire, robe, lyre ; abate, recede, invite, remote, intrude. 

2. It indicates that c preceding has the sound of s, as in lace, 
lance, and that g preceding has the sound of j, as in charge, 
page, challenge. 

3. In proper English words, e final never forms a syllable, and 
in most words, in the terminating unaccented syllable, it is si- 
lent and useless. Thus, motive, genuine, examine, juvenile, 
reptile, granite, are pronounced motiv, genuin, examin, juve- 
nil,reptil, grauil. 

In a few words of foreign origin, e final forms a syllable ; a? 
in syncope, simile. These are noted in their place. 
X. E final is silent after I in the following terminations, ble, cle, die, fle, 
gle, kle, pie, tie, zle; as in able, manacle, cradle, ruffle, mangle, 
wrinkle, supple, rattle, puzzle, which are pronounced a'bl, man'aci, 
cra'dl, ruPfl, man'gl, wrin'kl, sup'pl, puz'zl. 
XI. In the termination en, e is usually silent ; as in token, broken, pro- 
nounced tokn,brokn. 
XII. The termination ous in adjectives and their derivatives is pronounced 
us ; as in gracious, pious, pompously. 

XIII. The combinations ce, ci, ti, before a vowel, have the sound of sh ; as 

in cetaceous, gracious, motion, partial, ingratiate, pronounced ceta- 
shus, grashus, moshon, parshal, ingrashate. 

But ti after a consonant have the sound of ch ; as in christian, bas- 
tion, mixtion, pronounced chrischan, baschan, mixchun. So in 
combustion, digestion. 

St after an accented vowel are pronounced like zh ; as in Ephe- 
sian, confusion, pronounced Ephezhan, confuzhon. 

When cior ti precede similar combinations, as in pronunciation, 
negotiation, they may be pronounced ce, instead of she, to prevent 
a repetition of the latter syllable ; as pronunciashon, instead of pro- 

XIV. Gh, both in the middle and at the end of words, are silent ; as in 

caught, bought, fright, nigh, sigh ; pronounced caut, baut, frite. 

Exceptions. In the following words gh are pronounced as/ — 
cough, chough, clough, enough, hough, laugh, rough, slough, 
tough, trough. 
XV. When wh begin a word, the aspirate A precedes M> in pronunciation, 
as in what, whiff, whale, pronounced hwat, hwif, hwale ; id having 
precisely the sound of oo, French mi. 

In the following words, iv is silent — who, whom, whose, whoop, 
whole, whore. 

XVI. H after r has no sound nor use ; as in rheum, rhyme, pronounced 

reum, ryme. 

XVII. K and g before n arc silent ; as in know, gnaw, pronounced no, naw. 

XVIII. W^ before ris silent; as in wring, wreath, pronounced ring, reath. 

XIX. £ after m is silent ; as in dumb, numb, pronounced dum, num. 

XX. L before k is silent ; as in baulk, walk, talk, pronounced bank, wauk, 

XXI. Ph have the sound of/; as in philosophy. 

XXII. The combination no- has two sounds; one, as in sing, singer; the 
other, as in finger, linger, longer. The latter is the more close pal- 
atal sound; but the distinction can only be learned by the ear. 

XXIII. The letters c/, answering to kl, are pronounced as if written tl ; 
clear, clean, arc pronounced tlear, tlean. 

Gl are pronounced as dl; glory is pronounced dlory. 

XXIV. ,/V after m, and closing a syllable, is silent ; as m hymn, condemn. 

XXV. P before s and t is mute ; as in psalm, pseudology, ptarmigan, pro- 

nounced s;\m, sudology, tarmigan. 

The letter y unaccented and terminating words of more syllables than one 
is short, like I in pity and ability. This letter, in the plural number of nouns 
and in the third person singular of the present tense of verbs, is dropped, and 
ie substituted and followed by s. The termination thus formed is pronoun- 
ced iz ; as from vanity, is formed vanities, pronounced vanitiz ; from the verb 
to pity is formed pities, pronounced piUz. 

But when y in monosyllabic verbs, and accented y in other verbs ends the 
word, the termination ies in the third person is pronounced izc; as in flies 
from fly, defies from defy. So cries, both the verb iuid noun, is pronounced 

<V has two sounds : its proper souiul as in see, and that of z as in his. It 


has its proper sound after the following consonants/, p, t, k, €, and //; as- 
pirate, whether they end the word or are followed bj' c final ; as in rhiefs 
caps, streets, franks, hates, hopes, fates, flakes, breaths, wreaths. It has 
(he sound of z, after 6, c followed by e final, rf, g, g!i, I, m, n,n, r,s and ss 
z, V, aw, ay, ew, ey, ow, oy, sh, ng, th vocal, eh, oe, ie, both in nouns anil 
verbs, and whether these letters end the word or are followed by e final ; a- 
in robs, robes, races, rods, rides, rags, rages, toils, dreams, sighs, rains, bars 
waves, roses, passes, mazes, laws, days, newt, preys, vows, joys, brushes, 
ftngs, breathes, churches, foes, goes, ijies. 

Sc before e, i and y, have only the sotnid of the single letter s or e. Thus 
scene is pronounced sene; sciolist, siolist. 

S before m, in the terminations, asm, earn, ism, has the sound of z; as ii 
fpasra, telesm, baptism. 

The pronunciation of the word which is radical or primitive in English ii 
lo be observed in the derivatives. Thus the letter s is directed to be pro 
Bounced as z in bruise, and this direction is to be observed in all its deriva 
lives. Earth being directed lo he pronounced erth, all its derivatives and 
compounds are to follow the same direction. So freight is pronounced yra^e. 


A has the short sound of aw; as in alter, what. 

€ [ke] is the sairie as k ; as in cape, access. 

E whether by itself or followed by i or y, has the sound of c 

long ; as in lohere, there, vein, survey, 
i has the sound of e long, or ee ; as in machine. 
O has the sound of oo, or French ou; as in move. 
lias the sound of sliort it ; as in come, wonder. 
QQ have the short sound of oo ; as in book, look. 
__ y has the .sound of oo ; as above, as in full, pull. 
CH have tlie French sound, like sh; as in chaise. 

G has the sound of ^■. 
TH have their vocal sound ; as in thou, this. 

V has the sound otyu; as in unite, use, pronounced yunite,yuse 
In digraphs or combinations of vowels, of which one only is pronounced, 
the mark over one vowel designates the sound, and the other vowel is qui 
escent ; a.s in bear, boat, course, soul, blood, bilw, low, crow, bestow. 

The digraphs ea, ee, ei, ie have uniformly the sound of long e ; as in meat, 
feet, seize, siege. 

Before the letter r. there is a slight sound of e between the vowel and the 
consonant. Thus bare, parent, apparent, mere, mire, more, pure, pyre, are 
pronounced nearly baer, paerent, appaerent, me-er, mier, moer, puer, pyer. 
This pronunciation proceeds from the peculiar articulation r, and it occa- 
sions a slight change of the sound of a, which can be learned only by the ear. 
The vowels in unaccented syllables are either short, or they have thcirl 
first sound slightly pronounced. Thus in the words produce, domestic, a 
has its first sound, but pronounced rapidly and without force. In syllables 
which have a secondary accent, the vowel is often long, and little distin-j 
guishable from that in syllables having the primary accent ; as in legislature,' 
in which a in the third syllable has its long sound. I 

In syllables wholly unaccented, the sounds of the vowels are so rapidly 
uttered, that they cannot be designated by written characters ; they are all 
sounded nearly alike, and any attempt at a proper notation of such evanes 
cent sounds serves only to perplex or mislead the learner. 

Words of anomalous pronunciation, not falling under the foregoing rules, 

jre printed in an orthography which expresses their true pronunciation, 

The Welsh z has the sound of the vocal tk, in thou. 

In the expression of the sounds of foreign words in English characters, 

iheio IS often an insurmountable difficulty, as there are sounds, in some Ian 

guages, which English characters, according to our use of them, will not 
express with precision. But in regard to etymology, such exact expression 
of .sounds is not necessary. For example, in regard to the affinity of words, 
it is wholly immaterial whether the Hebrew 3 is expressed by b, v, or bh; 
whether 1 is expressed by d, th, or dh ; whether D is expressed by h or 
ch ; and whether p is expressed by k, q, or qu. So in Arabic it is immate- 
rial whether j^ is expressed by th or ds, and ri by g or kh. 

The Arabic vowel ^arta, I am informed, is differently pronounced by the 
Persians and Arabians; the one nation pronouncing it as the English a in 
mate; the other, generally, as a in fall. I have expressed it by a or aw. 

It was desirable that the Russ, Saxon, Swedish, and German words should 
be printed with the appropriate types ; but the utility would have liardly 
compensated for the expense of suitable fonts, and no essential incoHveni- 
ence can result from the want of them; the English characters being suffi- 
cient to express the sounds of the letters, with all the exactness which et)'- 
mology requires. 


a. stands for adjective. 

adv. „ for adverb. 

con. ,, for connective or conjunction. 

exclam. „ for exclamation, or interjection. 

n. ,, for name or noun. 

Obs. „ for obsolete. 

prep. „ for preposition. 

pp. „ for participle passive. 

ppr. „ for participle of the present tense, 

pret. ,, for preterit tense. 

pron. „ for pronoun. 

". J. „ for verb intransitive. 

'•. '. ,, for verb transitive. 

./Ir. „ for Arabic. 

yirm. m „ for Armoric. 

Ch. „ for Chaldee. 

Corn. „ for Cornish. 

Dan. „ for Danish. 

D. „ for Dutch or Belgic. 

Eng. „ for England or English. 

Eth. „ for Ethiopic. 

Fr. „ for French. 

G. or Ger. „ for German. 

Gr. „ for Greek. 

Goth. „ for Gothic. 

Heb. „ for Hebrew. 

Ice. „ for Icelandic. 

.''■• „ for Irish, Hiberno-Celtic, and Gaelic. 

11. „ for Italian. 

Lat. or L. „ for Latin. 

Per. „ for Persic or Persian. 

Port. „ for Portuguese. 

Ptiss. „ for the Russ language, or Russian. 

Sam. „ for Samaritan. 

Sans. „ for Sanscrit. 

Sax. „ for Saxon, or 

Sp. „ for Spanish. 

Sw. „ for Swedish. 

Syr. „ for Syriac. 

TV. „ for Welsh. 



Hebrew and 
Aleph N 

































D D 



1 J 






















-J > 
j > 
































The Arabic vowels are only three, viz. Fatha ^ a, e. Kesra ~ e, i. Dhamina J 
The diacritical signs are Jesm Jj_ or quiescent Slieva. Teshdid _^ or Dagesh forte. 
Nunnation or double final vowels, j^~ ^, showing that they are to be pronounced 

The Persians use the Ar 


o iJi 
J J' 








i \ 




















i I 

— i 

ibic alphabet with the addition of Pe J ; Che ^ ; Ghaf ■ 
Long. Ethiopic. 

, en or in, i 
and Zhe 














f\ c Ay l\o 

a be HI by pbo 

Ige Tgy -^go 

£de jrdy ^do 

yhe yhv 1/ho 

Aa (Vu A.1 

nba fVbu n,bi 

T ga ^ gu 1 gi 

S da J?, dii j^ di 

Uha l>hu yhi 

wa (D, \vu "^ wi T wa T we (D' vvy p wo 

H za I+. zii H, zi H za H, ze Th zy h zo 
rhha d>hu dxbi rhba rh,be ^hy rbho 
Hharm '*7ha -V hn "^hi -^ha -^ be -^hy <ho 
Tait mtba f[vthu fj^thi rfitha n\tbe ^tby fptho 
Yaman pya pyu aj' ^J^- ^Y^ ^JJ P'jo 
duaf nka rbku nka n,ke ^ky ^ko 
Lawi A la A^ lu A, h A la A, le A ly A" lu 














<wma <?>niu ''^mi t^ma '^me /^niy <prao 
^na Vnu ^ni 'I'na ^ne ^ny S°no 

U] sa U> su 111, si m sa IH, se ^ sy MJ so 
Oa Ou <\i 0,0. o^e 6y Po 
d!:fa .<fu <i;fi <tfa ^fe <i:fy tf^fo 
f\ pa ^ pu ?i, pi ;^ pa /^ pe ?i py {Kpo 
T pa T pu X P' J pa T pe T py T po 
8za ft,zii a,zi 8za f^ze 8'zy 8zo 
9 zza 9- zzu (^ zzi q zza q, zze e zzy ^zzo 
«t>ka <fekii "^ki fka <feko ^ ky 'Pko 
d.ra 4.111 (^ri ^ra 4 re £;ry Cro 
rtsa iVsu i\si i^sa i^se ?isy ^so 

i- ta i^tu 'titi ^ta -tie '=hty i^to 

Note. — In the foregoing alphabets, the order of the Arabic and Ethiopic letters is conformed to that of the Chaldee and Hebrew. The reader will 
observe two or three defects, which are owing to the imperfection of the fonts of type. 





i/a is the first letter of the Alphabet in 
of the known languages of the eartli ; in 
the Ethiopic however it is the thirteenth, 
and in the Runic the tenth. It is naturall; 
the first letter, because it represents the 
first vocal sound naturally formed by the 
human organs : being the sound uttered 
with a mere opening of the mouth without 
constraint, and without any effort to alter 
the natural position or configuration of the 
bps. Hence this letter is Ibund in many 
words first uttered bv infants ; which 
words are the names of the objects with 
which infants are first concerned, as the 
breast, and the parents. Hence in He- 
brew DK am, is mother, and ax ah, is father. 
In Chaldee and Syriac ahba is father ; k 
Arabic, aba ; in Ethiopic, abi ; in Mala- 
yan and Bengalese, lappa ; in Welsh, tad, 
whence we retain daddy ; in Old Greek and 
in Gothic atta ; in Irish, aithair ; in Can 
tabrian, aita ; in Lapponic, atki ; in Abys 
sinian, abba ; in Amharic, aba ; in Shilhit 
and Melindane, Afi-ican dialects, baba 
and papa is found in many nations. Hence 
the Latin mamma, the breast, which is, ii 
popular use, the name of mother ; in Swe 
dish, amma, is a nurse. This list might be 
greatly extended ; but these examples 
prove A to be the first natural vocal sound, 
and entitled to the first place in alphabets. 
The Hebrew name of this letter, aleph 
signifies an ox or a leader. 
A has in English, tliree sounds ; tlie long or 
slender, as in place, fate ; the broad, as in 
wall, fall, which is shortened in salt, what ; 
and the open, as in father, glass, which is 
shortened in rather, fancy. Its primitive 
.sound was probablv aw. A is also an 
abbreviation of the Saxon an or ane, one, 
used before words beginning with an ar- 
ticulation ; as a table, instead of an table, 
or one table. This is a modern change; 
for m Saxon an was used before articula- 

tions, as well as vowels, as, an tid, a tune 
an gear, a year [See An.] 
This letter serves as a prefix to many Eng 
lish words, as in asleep ; awake ; afoot 
aground ; agoing. In some cases, this is a 
contraction of the Teutonic ge, as in asleep, 
aware, from the Sa.xon geslapan, to sleep ; 
gewarian, to beware ; the Dutch gewaar. 
Sometimes it is a corruption of the Saxon 
on, as again fi-om ongean, awake from on- 
wacian, to watch or wake. Before parti- 
ciples, it may be a contraction of the Celtic 
ag, the sign of the participle of the present 
tense ; as, ag-radh, saying ; a saying, ago 
mg. Or this may be a contraction of on, 
or what is equally probable, it may have 
proceeded from a mere accidental sound 
produced by neghgent utterance. In 
some words, a may be a contraction of 
at, of, in, to, or an. In some words of Greek 
original, a is privative, giving to them a 
negative sense, as in anonymous, from a 
and ovo/ia name. 
Among the ancients, A was a numeral .ieno 
tmg 500 ; and with a dash A 5000. In the 
Hebrew, Syr. Ch. Sam. and Ar. it denotes 
one or unity. In the Julian Calendar, A 
is the first of the seven dominical letters. 
Among logicians. A, as an abbreviation, 
stands for a universal aflirmative proposi- 
tion. A asserts ; E denies. Thus in bar- 
hara,a tlu-ice repeated denotes so many of] 
the propositions to be universal. 
The Romans used A to signify a negative orj 
dissent in giving their votes ; A standing 
for antiquo, I o])pose or object to the pro- 
posed law. Opposed to tliis letter were 
U R, uti rogas, be it as you desire — the 
words used to express assent to a proposi- 
tion. These letters were marked on 
wooden ballots, and each voter had an 
aflirmative and a negative put into liis! 
hands, one of which at pleasure he gavel 
as his vote.— In criminal trials, A stood for 
absolvo, I acquit : C for condemno, I con-| 

denm ; and AT L for non liquet, it is not 
evident ; and the judges voted by ballots 
thus marked.— In inscriptions, A stands for 
Augustus ; or for ager, aiunt, aurum, ar- 
gentum, &c. 
A is also used for anno, or ante ; as in An- 
no Domini, the year of our Lord ; anno 
mundi, the year of the world ; ante merid- 
iem, before noon ; and for arts, in artium 
magister, master of arts. Among the Ro- 
mans, A U C stood for anno ab urbe condi- 
ta, from the building of the city or Rome. 
In algebra, a and the first letters of the al- 
phabet represent known quantities— the 
last letters are sometimes used to repre- 
sent unknown quantities. 
In music, A is the nominal of the sixth note 
in the natural diatonic scale — called by 
Guido la. It is also the name of one of 
the two natural moods ; and it is the open 
note of the 2d string of the violin, by which 
the other strings are tuned and regulated. 
In pharmacy, a or aa, abbreviations of the 
Greek ana, signify of each separately, or 
that the things mentioned should be taken 
in quantities of the same weight or meas- 
In chimistry, AAA stand for amalgama, or 

In commerce, A stands for accepted, as in case 
of a bill of exchange. Mercliants also 
number their books by the letters — ^A, B, C, 
instead of figures. PubUc ofiicers number 
their exhibits in the same manner ; as the 
document A, or B. 
Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters 
of the Greek Alphabet, are used in Scrip- 
ture for the beginning and end — represen- 
tative of Christ. 
In mathematics, letters are used as represen- 
tatives of nimibers, Hues, angles and quan- 
tities. In arguments, letters are substitu- 
ted for persons, in cases supposed, or stat- 
ed for illustration, as A contracts with B 
to deliver property to D.—h\ the English 




jJuaseolonjy " a landlord has a hundred 
a year," " the sum amounted to ten dollars 
rt man," a is merely tlie adjective one, and 
this mode of expression is idiomatic ; a 
hundred in o [one] year ; ten dollars to a 

AAM, n. [Ch. riDN, or xnK a cubit, a measure 
containing 5 or 6 palms.] A measure of 
liquids among the Dutch equal to 288 
English pints. 

A 'TRONIC, u. Tert&ining to Aaron, the 
■Jrwish High P) icst, or to the priesthood 
of which he was the head. Doddridge. 

AB, In Knghsh names, is an abbreviation of 
Abbey or Abbot ; as Abbingdon, Abbey- 
town, Abbeyhill, Abbol-town. 

AB, a prefix to words of Latin origin, and a 
Latin preposition, as in abscond, is the 
Greek arco, and the Eng. of, Ger. ab, D. af, 
Sw. Dan. af, written in ancient Latin af. 
It denotes from, separating or departure. 

AB, The Hebrew name of Father. See Abba. 

AB, The eleventh month of the Jewish civil 
year, and the fiflh of the ecclesiastical 
year, answermg to a part of July, and a 
part of August. In the Syriac Calendar, 
ab is the name of the last summer month. 

AB'ACIST, n. [from abacus.] 

One that casts accoimts ; a calculator. 
[JVot much ^ised.] 

ABACK' adv. [a and back, Sax. on bcec ; at, 
on or towards the back. See Back.] 

Towards the back ; on the back part ; back- 
ward. In seamen's language it signifies 
tlie situation of the sails, when pressed 
back against the mast by the wind. 

7'aken aback, is when the sails are carried 
back suddenly by the wind. 

Laid aback, is when the sails are purposely 
placed in that situation to give the shi| 
sternway, -- . . _. 

can and Doric orders. Encm. 


plication table, invented by Pvthagoras. 

and disposition of the keys of a musical 

ABACUS MAJOR, A trough used in mines, 

to wash ore in. Encyc. 

AB'ADA, n. A wild animal of Africa, of the 
of a steer, or half grown colt, having 

to the plinth above the boultin in the Tus-f|ABAN'DONER, n. One who abandons. 

two horns on its forehead and a third on ABAN'GA, n. The ady ; a species of Palm- 
the nape of the neck. Its head and tail 

AB'ACOT, n. The cap of State, formerly ^ 
used by Enghsh Kings, wrought into the 
figure of two crowns. 

ABACTOR, n. [Latin from abigo, ab and 
ago, to drive.] 

tn law, one tliat feloniously drives away or 
steals a herd or numbers of cattle at once, 
in distinction from one that steals a sheep 
or two. 

AB'ACUS n. [L. abacus, any thing flat, as a 
cupboard, a bench, a slate, a table or board 
for games; Gr. agot. Usually deduced 
from the Oriental, n3X abak, dust, be 
cause the ancients used tables covered 
with dust for maldng figures and dia- 

1. Among the Romans, a cupboard or buffet 

2. An instrument to facilitate operations in 
arithmetic ; on this are drawn lines 
counter on the lowest line, is one ; on the 
next, ten ; on the third, a hundred, &c 
On the spaces, counters denote half the 
number of the line above. Other schemes 
are called by the same name. The name 
is also given to a table of numbers cast up, 
as an abactts of addition ; and by analogy, 
to the art of numbering, as in itnighton's 
Chronicon. ^ "Encyc 

3. In architecture, a table constituting the up- 
per member or crowning of a column and 
its capital. It is usually square, but some- 
times its sides are arched inwards. The 
name is also given to a concave nioldmg 
on the capital of the Tuscan pedestal ; and 

resemble those of an ox, but it has cloven 
feet, like the stag. Cyc. 

ABADDON, n. [Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. n3N, 
to be lost, or destroyed, to perish.] 

1. The destroyer, or angel of the bottomless 
pit. Rev. ix. 

2. The bottomless pit. Milton. 
AB'AFT, adv. or prep. [Sax. eft or aft, again. 

Hence efler or cefter, after, subsequent ; 
Sax. (eftan, behind in place ; to which 
word be is prefixed — beaiftan, behind, and 
this word is corrupted into abaft.] 

A sea-term signifying in or at the hinder 
part of a ship, or the parts which lie to- 
wards the stern ; opposed to afore. Rela- 
tively it denotes /uri/ier ajl or towards the 
stern ; as abaft the mainmast. Abajl the 
beam, is ui that arch of the horizon which 
is between a hne drawn at right angles 
with the keel, and the point to which the 
stern is directed. It is often contracted 
into aft. Mar. Diet. 

AB AGUN, n. The name of a fowl in Ethi- 
o])ia, remarkable for its beauty and for a 
sort of horn, growing on its head. The 
wcpi-il hianifies statelv Abbot. Crabbe. 

Al'.AISA.NCE, [See Obeisance. 
Maiiner''s Dic't.W^ 15 V LI UN ATE v. t. [See Alienate, Aliene. 

title of property from one to 
another — a term of the civil law — rarely or 
never used in common law proceedings. 

ABALIENA'TION, n. The transferring of 
title to propenv. [See Alienation.] 

ABAN'DON, D. «. [Fr. abandonner; Sp. and 
Port, abandonar ; It. abbandonare ; said to 
be from ban, and donner, to give over to 
the ban or proscription ; or from a or ab 
and bandum, a flag or ensign.] 

1. To forsake entirely ; as to abandon 
hopeless enterprize. 

Wo to that generation by which the te^itimony 
of God shall be abandoned. Dr. .Mason. 

2. To renounce and forsake ; to leave witl 
a view never to return ; to desert as lost 
or desperate ; as to abandon a country ; 
to abandon a cause or party. 

3. To give up or resign witliout control, as 
when a person yields himself, witliout res 
traint, to a propensity ; as to abandon 
one's self to intemperance. Abandoned 
over and abandoned of are obsolete, 

4. To resign ; to yield, relinquish, or give 
over entirely. 

Varus abandoned the cares of empire to hi- 
wiser colleague. Gibbon 

ABAN'DON, n. One who totally forsake> 
or deserts. Obs. 

3. A relinquishment. [Xot used.] Karnes. 

ABAN'DONED, pp. Wholly forsaken or 

iVBAN'DONING, ppr. Forsaking or de- 
serting wholly ; renoimcing ; yielding 
one's self without restraint. 

ABAN'DONING, n. A forsaking ; total de- 

lie hoped his past meritorious actions might 
outweigh his present abandoning the thought 
of future actions. Clarendon. 

ABAN'DONMENT, n. A total desertion ; a 
.state of being forsaken. 

3. Given up 

hence, extremely 

tree. [See Ady.] 

ABANNI'TION; «. [Low Lat.] 

A banishment for one or two years for man- 
slaughter. [JVot used.] Diet. 

ABAPTIS'TON, n. The perforating part of 
he trephine, an instrimient used in tre- 
panning. Coxe. 

ABA'RE, V. t. [Sax. abarian. See Bare.] 

To make bare ; to uncover. [Abi in use.] 

ABARTICULA'TION, n. [See Articulate.] 
In anatomy, that species of articulation or 
structure of joints, which admits of mani- 
fest or extensive motion ; called also diar- 
tlirosis and dearticulation. Encyc. Coxe. 

ABAS', n. A weight in Persia used in 
weighing pearls, one eighth less than the 
European carat. Encyc. 

ABA'SE, V. t. [Fr. abaisser, fi-om bas, low, 
or the bottom ; W. bais ; Latin and Gr. 
basis ; Eng. base ; It. Abbassare ; Sp. baxo, 
low. See "Aba^h.] 

1. The literal sense of aba^e is to lower or 
depress, to throw or cast down, as used by 
Bacon, " to abase the eye." But the word 
is seldom used in reference to material 

3. To cast down ; to reduce low ; to de- 
press ; to humble ; to degrade ; applied to 
the passions, rank, oflice, and condition in 

Those that walk in pride he is able to abase. 
Dan. iv. 

Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased. 
Mat. xxiii. Job, xl. 2 Cor. xi. 

ABASED, pp. Reduced to a low state, 
humbled, degraded. 

In heraldry, it is used of tlie wings of eagles,, 
when the tops are turned downwards to- 
wards the point of the shield ; or when the 
wings are shut, the natural way of bear- 
ing them being spread, with the top point- 
ing to the cJiief of the angle. 

Bailey. Chambers. 

ABA'SEMENT, n. The act of humbling 
or bringing low ; also a state of depres- 
sion, degradation, or humiliation. 

ABASH', V. t. [Heb. and Ch. lyu bosh, to 
be confounded, or ashamed.] 

To make the spirits to fail ; to cast down the 
countenance ; to make ashamed ; to con- 
fuse or confoimd, as by exciting suddenly a 
consciousness of guih, error, inferiority,&c. 
They heard and were abashed. Milton.. 

ABASH'ED, pp. Confused with shame ; 
confounded ; put to silence ; followed by at. 

ABASHING, ppr. Putting to shame or 

ABASII'MENT, n. Confusion from shame. 

[Little used.] 
ABASING, ppr. Humbling, depressing, 

liringing low. 
ABAS'SI, or ABASSIS, ?!. A silver 

wicked, or sinning without restraint; irre-i of Persia, of the v;iluc of twenty cents, 
claimablv wicked. " about ten ncnce sterlins. Encic. 

claimably wicked, 

about ten pence sterling. 



ABATABLE, a. That may or can be aba- 
ted ; as ail abatable writ or nuisance. 

ABA'TE, V. t. [Fr. abattre, to beat down ; 
battre, to beat, to strike ; S|i. balir, abatir ; 
Port, bater, abater; It. battere, abbattere; 
Heb. CIi. £33n, to beat; Syr. .^ela< id. 

Ar. tiA^i gabata, to beat, and i-Haa^s 
kabatha, to beat down, to prostrate. The 
Saxon has the pai'ticiple gebatod, abated. 
The prefix is sunk to a in abate, and lost in 
heat. See Class Bd. No. 2,3, :«.] 

1. To beat down ; to pull down ; to destroy 
in any manner ; as to abate a nuisance. 

2. To lessen ; to diminish ; to moderate ; as 
to abate zeal ; to abate pride ; to abate a 
demand ; to abate courage. 

3. To lessen ; to mitigate ; as to abate pain 
or sorrow. 

4. To overthrow ; to cause to fail ; to fru 
trate by judicial sentence ; as to abate a 

5. To deject ; to depress ; as to abate the 
sold. Obs. 

6. To deduct ; 

Nothing to add and nothing to abate. Pope. 

7. To cause to fail ; to annul. By the Eng- 
lish law, a legacy to a charity is abated by 
a deficiency of assets. 

8. In Connecticut, to remit, as to abate a tax. 
ABA'TE, V. i. To decrease, or become less 

in strength or violence ; as pain abates ; a 
storm abates. 

2. To fail I to be defeated, or come to naught; 
as a writ abates. By the civil law a legacy 
to a charity does not abate by deficiency 
of assets. 

3. In laiv, to enter into a freehold after the 
death of the last occupant, and before the 
heir or devisee takes 

4. In horsemanship, to perform well a down 
ward motion. A horse is said to abate, or 
take down iiis curvets, when, working 
upon curvets, he puts both his hind legs 
to the ground at once, and observes the 
same exactness in all the times. Encyc. 
ABA'TED, pp. Lessened ; decreased ; 
destroyed ; mitigated ; defeated ; remit 
ted ; overthrown. 
- ABATEMENT, n. The act of abating ; 
the state of being abated. 

2. A reduction, removing, or pulling down, 
as of a nuisance. Blackstone. 

3. Duninution, decrease, or mitigation, as of 
grief or pain. 

4. Deduction, sum withdrawn, as from an 

3. Overthrow, failure, or defeat, as of a writ. 
G. The entry of a stranger into a freeholi 
after the death of the tenant, before the 
heir or devisee. Blacksto 

7. In heraldry, a mark of dishonor in a coat 
of arms, by which its dignity is debase< 
for some stain on the character of the 
•- ABATER, n. The person or thing that 
ABATING, ppr. PuUing down, diminish 
ing, defeating, remitting. 
__ ABATOR, n. A person who enters into j 
ju freehold on the death of the last possessor, 

I before the heir or de\'isee. Blackstone 


\TTIS, ) n. [from beating or pulling 

ABATIS, ^ down. Fr. abattre.] 

Rubbish. In fortification, piles of trees, or 
branches of trees sharpened, and laid with 
the points outward, in front of ramparts, 
to prevent assailants from mounting the 
walls. Encyc. 

AB'ATURE, n. [from abate.] Grass beaten 
or trampled down by a stag in passing. 


ABB, n. [Sax. ab or ob.] Among weavers, 
yarn for the warp. Hence abb-wool is 
wool for the abb. Encyc. 

AB'BA, n. In the Chaldee and Syriac, a 
father, and figuratively a superior. Sans. 

In the Syriac, Coptic and Ethiopic churches, 
it is a title given to the Bishops, and the 
Bishops bestow the title, by way of dis- 
tinction, on the Bishop of Alexandria. 
Hence the title Baba, or Papa, Pope or 
great father, which the Bishop of Alexan 
dria bore, before the Bishop of Rome. 
'4 AB'BAC Y, n. [trom abba, Low Lat. abba-j 
tia.] The dignity, rights and privileges of| 
an abbot. It comprehends the govern- 
ment and revenues. 

ABBAT'I€AL. ) r, , . . , , 

ABBATIAL, J "' Belongmg to an abbey 

AB'BE, n. Ab'by, [from abba.] 

In a monastic sense, the same as an abbot ; 
but more generally, a title, in Catholic 
countries, without any determinate rank, 
office or rights. The abbes are numerous, 
and generally have sojie literary attain- 
ments ; they dress as academics or schol 
ars, and act as instructors, in colleges and 
private families ; or as tutors to young 
gentlemen on their travels ; and many of 
them become authors. 

AB'BESS, n. [from abba.] 

A female superior or governess of a nun 
nery, or convent of nuns, having the 
authority over the nuns which the abbot 
have over the Monks. [See Abbey.] 

AB'h^\,n.plu. abbeys, [from abba.] 

A monastery or society of persons of either 
sex, secluded fi-om the world and devoted 
to rehgion. The males are called monks. 
and governed by an abbot; the females 
are called nuns, and governed by an abbess. 
These institutions were suppressed in 
England by Henry VIII.; but they still 
exist in Catholic countries. 

ABBEY-LUBBER, n. A name given t 
monks, in contem])t for their idleness. 

AB'BOT, n. [formerly abhat, tViuii nhh< 
latinized abbas, or from Hrh. jiliiral ni3N.] 

The superior or governor of an alibi y or 
monastery. Originally monasteries were 
founded m retired places, and the religious 
had no concern with secular affairs, being 
entirely subject to the prelates. But the 
abbots possessing most of the learning, in 
ages of ignorance, were called from their 
seclusion to aid tlic rliurches in opposing 

hcn-si,-s ; n„.n,-istrnrs vv,-n- W .led in 

thi- vir,nit\ ..f ,-,,„-- liH- :,Mh,i. brcanie 

weiiltliMii.l he. II.. I-; s.,ii„. ., I'll, , -III .-i>sumed 
the miter, threw off" their depentlence on 
the bishops, and obtained seats ui parha- 
ment. For many centuries, princes and 
noblemen bore the title of abbots. At 
present, m catholic coimtries, abbots are 
regular, or such as take the vow, and wear 

A B D 

the habit of the ordi^r ; an<\ coynmendatury, 
such as are seculars, but obliged, when of 
suitable age, to take orders. The title is 
borne also by some persons, who have not 
the govermnent of a monastery ; as bisli- 
ops, whose sees were formerly abbeys. 


AB'BOTSHIP, n. Tlie state of an abbot. 

ABBREUVOIR, n. [Fr. abreuvoir, from 
abreuver, to water ; Sp. abrevar, id. ; from 
Gr. Bf>fx>^.] 

Among masons, the joint between stones in 
a wall, to be filled wth mortar. Diet. 

[ I know not whether it is now used.] 

ABBREVIATE, v. t. [It. abbreviare ; 
Sp. abreviar ; Port, abbreviar ; fi'om L. 
ahbrevio, brevio, from hrevis, short ; con- 
tracted from Gr. Bpo;^j, from the root of 
break, which see.] 

1. To shorten ; to make shorter by contract- 
ing the parts. [In this sense, not much 
used, nor often applied to material sub- 

2. To shorten ; to abridge by the omission 
or defalcation of a part ; to reduce to 
a smaller compass ; as to abbreviate a 

3. In mathematics, to reduce fractions to the 
lowest teniis. Wallis. 

ABBREVIATED, pp. Shortened ; reduced 
in length ; abridged. 

2. In botany, an abbreviated perianth is 
shorter than the tube of the corol. 


ABBREVIATING, ppr. Shortening ; con- 
tracting in lengtli or into a smaller com- 

ABBREVIATION, n. The act of shorten- 
ing or contracting. 

2. A letter or a few letters used for a word : 
as Gen. for Genesis ; U. S. A. for United 
States of America. 

3. The reduction of fractions to the lowest 

ABBRE'VIATOR, n. One who abridges or 
reduces to a smaller compass. 

ABBRE'VIATORS, a college of seventy- 
two persons in the chancery of Rome, 
whose duty is to draw up the Pope'.s 
briefs, and reduce petitions, when granted, 
to a due fiirm for bulls. 

ABBRE'VIATORY, a. Shortening, con- 

ABBRE VIATURE, n. A letter or charac- 
ter for shortening ; an abridgment, a 

\. H. 

The tlrree first letters of the alpha- 
bi-i, used lor the whole alphabet. Also a 
litll.- book for teaching the elements of 
reading. Shak. 

AB'DALS, n. The name of certain fanatics 
in Persia, who, in excess of zeal, some- 
times run into the streets, and attempt to 
kill all they meet who are of a different 
religion ; and if they are slant for their 
madness, they think it meritorious to die, 
and by the vulgar are deemed martyrs. 


AB'DERITE, n. An inhabitant of Abdera, 
a maritime town in Thrace. Democritus 
is so called, from being a native of the 
place. As he was given to laughter, fool- 
ish or incessant laughter, is called abde- 
rian. Whitaker. 

AB DI€ANT, a. [See Abdicate.] Abdicating : 

A B D 



ABDICATE, V. t. [L. abdico ; ah and dico, 
to cieilioate, to bestow, but the literal jiri- 
iiiary sense (li dico is to send or thrust.] 

1. In a g-ejiemi seijse, to relinquish, renounce, 
or abandon. Forster. 

'J. To abandon an office or trust, without 
a formal resignation to those who confer- 
red it, or without their consent ; also to 
abandon a throne, without a formal sur- 
render of the crown. 

Case of King James, Blackstone. 

3. To relinquish an office before the expira- 
tion of the time of service. 

Case of Diocletian, Gibbon; also Case of 
Paul III. Coxe's Russ. 

4. To reject ; to renoiuice ; to abandon as a 
right. Burke. 

5. To cast away ; to renounce ; as to abdi- 
cate our mental faculties. [Unusual.l 

J. P. Smith. 

G. In the civil law, to disclai] 

expel him from the family, as a father ; 

to disinJierit during the Ufe of tlie father. 


AB'DI€ATE, v. i. To renoimce ; to aban- 
don ; to cast off; to relinquish, as a right, 
power, or trust. 

Though a ICing may abdicate for his own per 
son, he cannot abdicate for the monarchy. 


AB'DI€ATED, pp. Renounced ; rehnquish- 
ed without a formal resignation; aban- 

ABDICATING, ppr. Relinquishing with- 
out a formal resignation ; abandoning. 

ABDICA'TION, n. The act of abdicating 
the abandoning of an office or trust, with 
out a formal surrender, or before the usual 
or stated time of expiration- 

9. A casting off; rejection. 

ABDICATIVE, o. Causing or implying 
abdication. [LAftte used.] Diet. 

AB'DITIVE, a. [L. abdo, to hide ; ab and 
do.] Having the power or quality ol' 
hiding. [Little used.] Diet 

AB'DITORY, 71. A place for secreting or 
preserving goods. Cowel. 

ABDOMEN, or ABDOMEN, n. [L. per 
haps abdo and omentum.] 

I. Tiie lower belly, or that part of the body 
which lies between the thorax and the 
bottom of the pelvis. It is lined with 
membrane called peritoneum, and co 
tains the stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, 
kidneys, bladder and guts. It is separated 
from the breast internally by the dia 
phragm, and externally, by the extremi 
ties of the ribs. On its outer surface it ii 
divided into four regions — the epigastric, 
the umbilical, the hypogastric and limibar. 

'?. In insects, tlie lower part of the animal 
united to the corslet by a thread. In 
species, it is covered with wings, and 'H 
case. It is divided into segments and 
rings, on the sides of which are small 
t^piracles bv which the insect respires 

D. JVat. Hist. 

ABDOMINAL, a. Pertaining to the lower 

ABDOM'INAL, n. phi. abdominals. liil 
ichthyology the abdominals are a class of 
fish whose ventral fins are placed behind 
the pectoral, and which laelong to the 
division of 6oni/_/5sA. The class contains 
nine genera — the loche, sahnon, pike, 

argentine, atherine, mullet, flying fish, 

herring and carp. JEnci/c. 


RING, an oblong tendinous ring in both 

groins, through which pass the spermatic ABERR A'TION, n. [L. abeiratio.] The 

cord in men, and the round ligaments of 
the uterus in women. Med. Diet. 

ABiJOM'INOUS, a. Pertaining to the abdo- 
men ; having a large belly. Cowper. 

ABDU'CE, V. t. [L. abduco, to lead away, 
of a6 and duco, to lead. See Duke.] 

To draw from ; to withdraw, or draw to a 
fferent part ; used chiefly in anatomy. 

ABDU'CENT, a. Drawing from, pulUng 
back ; used of those muscles which pidl 
back certam parts of the body, for sepa- 
rating, opening, or bending them. The 
abducent muscles, called abductors, are 
opposed to the adducent muscles or adduc- 
tors. Med. Diet. 
son andf|ABDU€'TION, n. In a general sense, the 
act of drawing apart, or carrying aw; 

2. In surgery, a species of fracture, in which 
the broken parts recede from each other, 

3. In logic, a kind of argimientation, called 
by the Greeks apagoge, in which t" 
major is evident, but the minor is not 
clear, as not to require farther proof. As 
in this syllogism, "all whom God absolves 
are free from sin ; God absolves all who 
are in Christ; therefore all who are in 
Christ are free from sin." Encyc. 

4. In lata, the takuig and carrying away of a 
child, a ward, a wife, &c. either by fraud, 
persuasion, or open violence. 


ABDUCTOR, n. In anatomy, a muscle 
which serves to withdraw, or pull back a 
certain ])art of the body ; as the abductor 
oculi, which pulls the eye outward 

ABEA'R, V. t. ahare, [Sax. abccran.] To 
bear ; to behave. Obs. Spenser. 

ABE A'R ANCE, n. [from abear, now disused ; 
from tear, to carry.] Behavior, demeanor. 
[Little used.] Blacksto 

ABECEDA'RIAN, n. [a word formed from 
the first four letters of the alphabet.] O 
who teaches the letters of the alphabet, 
a learner of the letters. 

ABECE'DARY, a. Pertaining to, or formed 
by the letters of the alphabet. 

ABED', adv. [See Bed.] On or in bed, 

ABE'LE, or ABEL-TREE, n. An obsolete 
name of the white poplar. [See Poplar.] 

ITES, m Church history, a sect in Africs 
which arose in the reign of Arcadius 
they married, but lived in continence, 
after the manner, as they pretended, of 
Abel, and attempted to maintain the sect 
by adopting the cliildren of others. 


A'BELMOSK, n. A trivial name of a spe 
cies of hibiscus, or Syrian mallow. The 
plant rises on a herbaceous stalk, three or 
foiu- feet, sending out two or three side 
branches. The seeds have a musky odor, 
(whence its name, iiouxoi,) for which rea- 
son the Arabians mix them with coffee. 

ABER'RANCE, > n. [L. aberrans, aberro, 

ABER'RANCY, \ to wander from ; of ab 
and erro, to wander.] 

A wandering or deviating from the right 
way, but rarely used in a literal sense. In 
a figurative sense, a deviation from truth, 

error, mistake ; and in morals, a fault, a 

deviation from rectitude. Brown. 

ABER'RANT, a. Wandermg, stray mg from 

the right way. [Rarely tised.] 

of wandering from the right way ; devia- 
tion from truth or moral rectitude ; devia- 
tion from a strait line. 

2. In astronomy, a small apparent motion of 
the fixed stars, occasioned by the progres- 
sive motion of light and the earth's annua) 
motion in its orbit. By this, they some- 
times appear twenty seconds distant frozn 
their true situation. Lunier. 

3. In optics, a deviation in the rays of light, 
when inflected by a lens or speculum, 
by which they are prevented from uniting 
in the same point. It is occasioned by the 
figure of the glass, or by the imequa) re- 
frangibility of the rays of light. Encyc. 

Crown of abeiration, a luminous circle sur- 
rounding the disk of the sun, depending on 
the aberration of its rays, by which its 
ajiparent diameter is enlarged. Cyc. 

ABER'RING, part. a. Wandering; going 
astray. Broken. 

ABERRUN'CATE, v. t. [L. averrunco.] To 
pull up by the roots ; to extkpate utterly. 
[ATot used.] Did. 

ABET', V. t. [Sax. betan, gebetan ; properly 
to push forward, to advance ; hence to 
amend, to revive, to restore, to make bet- 
ter ; and applied to fire, to increase the 
flame, to excite, to promote. Hence to 
aid by encouraging or instigating. Hence 
in Saxon, " Na bete nan man that fyr." 
Let no n)an bet, [better, excite] the fire, 
LL. Ina. 78.] 

1. To encourage by aid or countenance, but 
now used chiefly in a bad sense. " To 
abet an opinion," in the sense of support, 
is used by Bishop Cumberland ; but this 
use is hardly allowable. 
In law, to encourage, counsel, incite or 
assist in a criminal act. 

ABET', n. The act of aiding or encouraging 
crime. [JVbt used.] 

ABETMENT, n. The act of abetting. 

ABETTED, pp. Incited, aided, encour- 
aged to a crime. 

jVBETTING, ppr. CounseUiug, aiding or 
encouraging to a crime. 

ABET'TOR, n. One who abets, or incites, 
aids or encourages another to commit a 
crime. In treason, there are no abettors; 
all persons concerned being principals. 

ABEVA€UA'TION, n. [ab and e-acuation.] 
In medicine, a partial evacuation of mor- 
bid humors of the body, either by nature 
or art. Cyc. 

[ABKY'ANCE, n. pron. abuyance. [Norm. 
abbaiaunce, or abaizance, in expectation ; 
boyance, expectation. Qu. Fr. bayer, to 
gape, to look a long time with the mouth 
open ; to stand looking in a silly manner ; 
It. badare, to amuse one's self, to stand 
trifling ; " tenere a bada," to keep at bay ; 
" Star a bada," to stand trifling. If B d 
are the radical letters, it seems to belong 
to the root of abide. See Bay.] 

In pxi)ectation or contemplatiou of law. 
The fee simple or inheritance of lands and 
tenements is in abeyance, when there is 
no person in being in whom it can vest ; 
so that it is in a state of expectancy or 
waiting until a proper person shall appear. 

A B 1 

A B J 

A B L 

Tlius if land is leased to a man for life, 
retiiaiiuler to another for years, the re- 
mainder for years is in abeyance, till the 
death of the lessee, for life. Blackstone. 
ABHOR', v.t. [L.abhorreojofabandhorreo, 
to set uj) bristles, shiver or shake ; to look 

1. To hate extremely, or with contempt ; to 
lothe, detest or abominate. iShak. 

2. To despise or neglect. Ps. xxii. 24. Amos 
vi. 8. 

3. To cast off or reject. Ps. kxxix. ii8. 
ABHORRED, pp. Hated extremely, de 

ABHOR'RENCE, } n. Extreme hatred, de 
ABHOR'RENCY, ^ testation, great aver 

ABHOR'RENT, a. Hating, detesting, struck 
with abhorrence. 

2. Contrary, odious, inconsistent with, ex 
pressive of extreme opposition, as, "Slan 
der is ahhortxnt to all ideas of justice." In 
this sense, it should be always followed 
by to — abhorrent from is not agreeable tc 
the Eixjrlish idiom. 

ABHOR'RENTLY, adv. With abhorrence, 

ABHOR'RER, n. One who abhors. 

ABHOR'RING,;)pr. Having great aversion 
detesting. As a noun, it is used in Isaiah 
l.wi. for the object of hatred — "An ahhor 
ring to all flesh." 

A'BIB, n. [Heb. 3X, swelUng, protuberant 
Ch. 33X, to produce the fu-st or early fruit 
3'3N, a full grown ear of corn.] 

The first month of the Jewish ccclesiastica 
year, called also Nisan. It begins at the 
spring equinox, and answers to the latter 
part of March and beginning of April 
Its name is derived fi-om the foil growtl 
of wheat in Egypt, which took place an- 
ciently, as it does now, at that 

ABI'DE, V. i. pret. and part, abode. [Ai-. ^x j \ 
abada, to be, or exist, to continue ; W. 
hod, to be ; Sax. bidan, abidan; Sw. bida 
D. beiden ; Dan. bier ; Russ. vitayu, to 
dwell, rest, continue, stand &-m, or be 
stationary for any tune indefinitely. CI 
Bd. No 7.] 

1. To rest, or dwell. Gen. xxix. 19. 

2. To tarry or stay for a short time. Gen; 
x.\iv. 55. 

3. To continue permanently or in the same 
state ; to be firm and inunovable. Ps 
CXLX. 90. 

4. To remain, to continue. Acts, xxrii. 31 
Eccles. viii. 15. 

ABI'DE, li. t. To wait for ; to be prepared 
for ; to await. 

Bonds and afflictions abide me. Acts, xx. 23 
[For is here understood.] 

2. To endure or sustain. 

To abide the indignation of the Lord. Joel x. 

3. To bear or endure; to bear patiently 
" I cannot abide his impertinence." 

This verb when intransitive, is followed by 
in or at before the j)lace, and with before 
the person. " Abide icith me — at Jerusa- 
lem or in this land." Sometimes by 
the sword shall abide on his cities; antj 
in the sense of wait, by for, abide/or jne. 
Hosea, iii. 3. Sometuues by by, abide by 
the crib. Job, .xxxix. 

In general, abide by signifies to adhere to. 
maintain, defend, or stand to, as to abide 
by a promise, or by a fiiend ; or to sufter 

the consequences, as to abide by the event, 
that is, to be fixed or permanent in a par- 
ticular condition. 

ABI'DER, n. One who dwells or continues. 

ABIDING, ppr. Dwelling; remaining; 
Mlinuing; enduring; awaiting. 

ABl DING, n. Continuance ; fixed state ; 
residence ; an enduring. 

.-VBI'DINGLY, adv. In a manner to con- 
tinue ; permanently. Haweis. 

ABIL'ITY, 71. [Vr.habilM; It. abilita; Sp. 
habilidad ; L. habUitas, ableness, fitness, 
from habeo, to have or hold.] 

1. Physical power, whether bodily or men- 
tal ; natural or acquired ; force of under- 
standing ; skill in arts or science. Ability 
is active power, or power to perform ; as 
opposed to cfipacitjf, or power to receive. 
In the jiluiul, abilities is much used in a 
like sense ; and also for faculties of the 
mind, and acquired qualifications. 


2. Riches, wealth, substance, which are the 
means, or which furnish the poiver, of 
doing certain acts. 

Tliey gave after their ability to the work. 
Ez. ii. 

3. Moral power, depending on the will — a 
metaphysical and theological sense. 

4. Civil or legal power ; the power or right 
to do certain things, as an ability to trans- 
fer property or disj)Ose of effects — ability 
to inherit. It is opposed to disability. 


ABINTEST'ATE, a. [L'. ah and intesla- 
ttis — dying without a will, from in and 
tc.<ilor, to bear witness ; W. tyst ; Arm, 
test, witness. See Test and Testify.] 

In tlie civil law, inheriting the estate of one 
dying without a will. 

ABJECT', V. t. To throw away ; to cast 
out. Ohs. Spenser 

ABJECT, a. [L. abjectm, &om abjicio, tc 
throw away, from ab and jacio, to throw.] 

1. Sunk to a low condition ; applied to per- 
sons or things. Hence, 

2. Worthless, mean, despicable, low in esti- 
mation, without hope or regard. 

AB'JEiT, )!. A person in the lowest con- 
dition and despicable. Ps. xxxv. 

ABJECT EDNESS, ft. A very low or des 
)iicable condition. [Little used.] 

ABJECTION, )i. A state of being cast 
away ; hence a low state ; meanness of] 
spirit ; baseness. 

ABJECTLY, adv. In a contemptible man 
ncr ; nieanlv : servilelv. 

AB JECTNE'SS, n. The state of being 
abject ; meanness ; servilit3^ 

ABJURATION, n. [See Abjure.] 

I. The act of abjuring ;, a renunciation upon 
oath ; as "an abjuration of the realm," by 
which a person swears to leave the coiui 
try, and never to return. It is used also 
for the oath of renunciation. Formerly 
in England, felons, takhig refiige in a 
church, and confessing their guilt, could 
not be arrested and tried, but might save 
their lives by abjuring the realm ; that ' 
by taking an oath to qiut the kingdom for- 

2. A rejection or denial with solemnit; 

total abandonment; as "an abjuration of 

ABJU'RATORY, a. Containing abjura 

tion. Encyc. 

ABJII'RE, V. t. [L. abjuro, to deny upon 
oath, from ab and juro, to swear.] 

1. To renounce upon oath ; to abandon ; as 
to abjure allegiance to a prince. 

2. To renounce or reject with solemnity ; 
to reject ; as to abjure errors ; abjure 

.3. To recant or retract. Shak. 

4. To banish. [J\rot used.] 

ABJURED, pp. Renounced upon oath; 

solemnlv recanted. 
ABJU'RER, ft. One who abjures. 
ABJURING, ppr. Renouncing upon oath ; 

disclaiming with solenmit)^ 
ABLAC'TATE, t-. t. [L. ablacto ; from ab 

and lac, milk.] To wean from tlie breast. 

[LitUe used.] 
ABLACTA'TION, n. [L. ab and lac, miUc. 

Lacto, to suckle.] 

1. In medical authors, the weaning of a 
child from the breast. 

2. Among ancient gardeners, a Siethod of 
grafting in which the cion was not sepa- 
ratee! (Vcjiii till' parent stock, till it wa.s 
firmly uiiitid to that in which it was in- 
serted. Tills is now called grafting by 
approach or inarching. [See Craft.] Encyc. 

ABLAQUEATION, [L. allaqucatio, fi-om 
ab and laquear, a roof or covering.] 

A laying bare the roots of trees to expose 
them to the air and water — a practice 
niiiong eardeners. 

ABLATION, n. [L.o6 anAlatio, a carrj-- 

A carrying away. In medicine, the taking 
from the body whatever is hurtful ; evac- 
uations in general. In rhimistry, the re- 
moval of whatever is finished or no longer 

AB'LATIVE, a. [F. ahlaiif; It. ablativo ; 
L. ahhilirtis ; L. ablatus, from aufero, to 
cany away, c^fah and /fro.] 

\ word applied to the sixth case of nouns in 
the Latin language, in which case are u.scd 
words when the actions of carrying away, 
or taking from, are signified. 

Ablative absolute, is when a word in that 
case, is independent, in construction, of 
the rest of the sentence. 

ABLE, a. a'bl. [L. habilis ; Norm, ablez.] V 

1. Having physical power sirfficient ; having 
competent power or strength, bodily or 
mental ; as a man able to perform miUtary 
service — a child is not able to reason oii 
abstract subjects. 

2. Having strong or imusual nowers of 
mind, or intellectual qualificanons ; as an 
able minister. 
Provide out of all Israel able men. Ex. xviii. 

3. Having large or competent property ; or 
simply having property, or means. 
Everj' man shall give as he is able. Dcut. xvi. 

4. Having competent strength or fortitude. 
He is not able to sustain such pain or affliction. 

5. Having sufficient knowledge or sldll. 
He is able to speak French. 
She is not able to play on the piano. 

G. Having competent moral power or quali- 
An illesilimate son is not able to take by inher- 

A'BLE-B6DIED,n. Havmg a sound, strong 
body, or a body of competent strength for 
service. In marine language, it deuctcs 
sldll in seamanship. Mar. Diet. 


-AB'LEN, or AB'LET, n. A Miiail fresh 

water fish, the bleak. 
A'BLENESS, n. Abihty of body or mmd ; 

force ; vigor ; capabihty. 
AB'LEPSY, n. [Gr. oisjif+ia.] Want of 

sight ; blindness. 
ABLER, and A'BLEST, Comp. and superl 

of able. 
AB'LOCATE, V. t. [L. abloco, ah and loco 

to let out.] To let out ; to lease. Calvin 
ABLOCA'TION, n. A letting to hire. 
ABLU'DE, v.t.[L. abludo, ah and ludo, to play.' 
To be unhlte ; to differ. [N'ol used.] Hall 
AB'LUENT, a. [\.. ahluo, to wash away; 

ab and luo, or lavo, to wash ; Ir. lo or liui. 

Washing clean ; cleansing by water or li- 
quids. [Little used except as a noun.] 
AB'LUENT, n. In medicine, that which 

thins, purifies or sweetens tlie blood. 


[See Diluent and Abstergent.] 
ABLUTION, n. [L. abhitio, from ab and luo 

or lavo to wash.] 

1. In a general sense, the act of washing 
a cleansing or purification by water. 

2. Appropriately, the washing of the body as 
a preparation for religious duties, enjoin: 
ed by Moses and still practiced in many 

3. In chimistry, the purification of bodies by 
the affusion of a proper liquor, as water to 
dissolve salts. Qiiincy. 

4. Ill medicine, the washing of the body ex- 
ternally, as by baths ; or internally, by 
diluting fluids. 

5. Pope has used ablution for the water used 
in cleansing. 

6. The cup given to the laity without conse 
cration, in popish churches. Johnson 

A'BLY, adv. In an able manner ; with great 

AB'NEGATE, v. I. To deny. [JVb« used: 

ABNEGATION, n. [L. abnego, to deny, 
from ab and neso ; W. 7mca, nacau ; Sw. 
7}eka, to deny ; W. nac, no ; Eng. nay; L. 
nee, not ; Ir. nach, not.] A denial ; a re- 
nunciation ; self-denial. Hammond. 

AB'NEGATOR, n. One who denies, re- 
nounces, or opposes any tiling. Sandys. 

ABNODA'TION, n. [L. abnodo ; ab and 
nodus, a knot.] The act of cutting away 
the knots of trees. Diet. 

ABNORM'ITY, n. [L. ainormu, in-egular ; 
ah and norma, a rule.] Irregularity ; de- 
formity. [Little used.] Diet. 

ABNORIVrOUS, a. [L. abnormis, supra.] 
Irregular ; deformed. [Little used.] Diet. 

ABOARD, adv. [a and board. See Board.] 
Within a ship, vessel, or boat. 

Togo aboard, to enter a ship, to embark. 

To fall aboard, to strike a ship's side. 

Aboard main tack, an order to draw a corner 

of the main-sail down to the chess-tree. 

Encyc. Mar. Diet. 

ABO'DANCE, n. [from bode.] An omen. 
[j\"ot used.] Johnson. 

ABO'DE, pret. of abide. 

ABO'DE, n. [See Abide.] Stay; continuance 
in a place ; residence for a longer or shor- 
ter time. 

2. A place of continuance ; a dwelling ; a 

3. To make abode, tn dwell or reside. 
ABO'DE, v.t. [See Bode.] To foreshow. 



ABO'DE, V. i. To be an omen. Dryden 

ABO'DEMENT, n. [from bode.] A secret 
anticipation of something future. Shak 

ABO'DING, ji. Presentiment ; prognostica 
tion. Hall. 

ABOL'ISH, v.t. [Fr. abolir; L. aholeo ; {rom 
ah and oleo, olesco, to grow.] 

1. To make void; to annul; to abrogate 
applied chiefly and appropriately to estab- 
fished laws, contracts, rites, customs and 
institutions — as to abolish laws by a repeal, 
actual or virtual. 

9. To destroy, or put an end to ; as to abol- 
ish idols. Isa. ii. To abolish death, 2 
Tim. i. This sense is not common. To 
abolish posterity, in the translation of Pau 
sanias. Lib. 3. Ca. 6. is hardly allowable. 

ABOL'ISHABLE, a. That may be annul 
led, abrogated, or destroyed, as a law, rite, 
custom, &c. 

ABOL'ISHED,;;;?. AnnuUed ; repealed ; ab 
rogated, or destroyed. 

ABOL'ISHER, n. One who aboUshes. 

ABOL'ISIIING, ppr. JIaking void ; annul 

ling ; destroving. 
ABOLISHMENT, n. The act of aimul 

ing ; abrogation ; destruction. Hooker 

ABOLI"TION, n. abolishun. The act of 
abolishing ; or the state of beuig abolish 
ed ; an annulfing ; abrogation ; utter des 
truction ; as the abolition of laws, decrees 
ordinances, rites, customs, debts, &lc. 

The appUcation of this word to persons and 
things, is now uimsual or obsolete. To 
abolish persons, canals and senses, the Ian 
guage of good writers formerly, is no Ion 
ger legitimate. 

ABOM'INABLE, a. [See Abomiiiate.] Very 
hateful ; detestable ; lothesome. 
This word is appficable to whatever 
odious to the mind or offensive to the 
senses. Milton. 

3. Unclean. Lcvit. vii- 

IaBOMTNABLENESS, n. The quality or 
tate of being very odious; hatefuhiess. 

ABOM'INABLY, adv. Very odiously ; de 
testably ; sinfiilly. 1 Kings xxi. 

2. In vulgar language, extremely, exces 

ABOMTNATE, v. t. [L. abomino, supposed 
to be formed by ab and omen ; to depre 
cate as ominous ; may the Gods avert the 

To hate extremely ; to abhor ; to detest. 


ABOM'INATED, pp. Hated utterly; de 
tested ; abhon-ed. 

ABOMINATING, ppr. Abhorring ; hating 

ABOMINA'TION, n. Extreme hatred ; de 
testation. Sieijl^ 

2. Theobject of detestation, a common signi- 
fication in scripture. 

The way of the wicked is an abomination to 
the Lord. Prov. xv. 

3. Hence, defilement, pofiution, in a physica' 
sense, or evil doctrines and practices, 
which are moral defilements, idols and 
idolatry, are called abominations. The 
Jews were an abomination to the Egyp- 
tians ; and the sacred animals of the 
Egj'jJtians were an abomination to the 
Jews. The Roman army is called the 
abomination of desolation. Mat. xxiv. 13. 
In short, whatever is an object of extreme 
hatred, is called an abomination. 


ABO'RD, n. [Fr. See Border.] Literally, ar- 
rival, but used for first a|)pearance, man- 
ner of accosting, or address, but not an 
Enghsh word. Chesterfield. 

ABO'RD, v.t. To accost. [JVotinuse.] 

ABO'REA, n. A species of duck, called by 
Edwards, the black-bellied whistling duck. 
This fowl is of a reddish brown color, with 
a sort of crest on its head ; the belly is spot- 
ted with black and white. It belongs to 
the genus, anas. 

ABORIG'INAL, a. [L. ab and origo, origm. 
See Origin.] 

First ; original ; primitive ; aboriginal people 
are the first inhabitants of a country. 
Aboriginal tribes of America. 

President Smith 

ABORIG'INAL, n. An original, or primitive 
inhabitant. The first settlers in a country 
are called aboriginals ; as the Celts in Eu- 
rope, and Indians in America. 

President Smith. 

ABORIGINES, n. plur. Aborigmals— but 

not an Enghsh i 
It may be well to let it pass into disuse. [See 

ABORSEMENT, n.abors'ment. [See Abort.] 

Abortion. [jVot in use.] 
ABORT', V. I. [L. aborto ; ab and ortus, orior.] 

To miscarry in birth. [JVb< in use.] 

ABORT', n. An abortion. [JSTotinuse.] 

ABORTION, n. [L. aioj-ito, a miscarriage ; 

usually deduced from o6 and orior.] 

1. The "act of miscarrying, or jwoducing 
young before the natural time, or before 
the fetus is perfectly formed. 

2. In a figurative sense, any fruit or produce 
that does not come to maturity, or any 
thing which fails in its progress, before it 
is matured or perfect, as a design or pro- 

3. The fetus brought forth before it is per- 
fectly formed. 

ABOR'TIVE, a. Brought forth m an imma- 
ture state ; failmg, or coming to naught, 
before it is comj)lete. 

2. Failing in its effect ; miscarrying ; pro- 
ducing nothing ; as an abortive scheme. 

3. Rendering abortive; as abortive gulf, in 
Milton, but not legitimate. 

4. Pertaining to abortion ; as abortive vellum, 
made of the skin of an abortive calf 


5. In botany, an abortive flower is one which 
falls without producing fruit. Martyn. 

ABOR'TIVE, n. That which is brought 
forth or born prematurely. [Little used.] 

ABOR'TIVELY, adv. Immaturely ; in an 
untimely manner. 

ABOR'TIVENESS, n. The state of being 
abortive ; a failuig in the progress to per- 
fection or maturity ; a failure of producing 
the intended effect. 
llbVBORT'MENT, n. An untimely birth. 

ABOUND', v.i. [L.abundo;Fr.abonder; It. 
abbondare ; Sp. abundar. If this word is 
from L. unda. a wave, the latter has prob- 
ably lust its first consonant. Abound may 
n;it"inally be deduced from the Celtic. 
Anil. /;«(», I'leiity ; fonna,lo abound; W. 
fyniaw. tn prudiiie, to generate, to abound, 
from fu'n, a source, the root of fynon. 
L. fons, a fountain.] 

A B G 

1. To have or possess in great quantity; to 
be copiously supplied; followed by with 
or in ; as to abound tvith provisions ; to 
abound in good things. 

2. To be in great plenty ; to be very prevalent. 

Where sin abounded, grace did much more 
abound. Rom. v. 

ABOUNDING, ppr. Having in great plen- 
ty ; being in great plenty ; l)eing very pre- 
valent ; generally prevaiUng. 

ABOUND'ING, ji. Increase. South. 

ABOUT', prep. [Sax. abutan, onbutan, em- 
butan, about, around ; on or emb, coincid- 
ing with Or. a^$i, and butan, without, [see 
but,] Uterally, around, on the outside.] 

1. Around ; on the exterior part or surface. 

Bind them about thy neck. Prov. iii. 3. 
Isa. 1. Hence, . 

2. Near to iti place, with the sense of circiUa- 

Get you up from about the tabernacle. Num. 

3. Near to in lime. . 

He went out a6«u( the third hour. Mat.xxi.iJ. 

4. Near to, in action, or near to the perform- 
ance of some act. 

Paul was about to open his mouth. 
They were about to flee out of the ship. Acts, 
xviii. 14— xxvii. 30. , , , , , 

5. Near to the person ; appended to the clothes 
Every thing about him is in order. Is 
your snuffbox about you ? 

From nearness on all sides, the transition 

is easy to a concern with. Hence, 

C. Concerned in, engaged in, relating to, re- 

A B O 

The weight is above a tun. 

4. More in degree; in a greater degree. 
Hannaniah feared God above many. Neh, 

vii. 2. 

The serpent is cursed above all catUe. Gen. m 

5. Beyond ; in excess. 
I In stripes above measure. 2 Cor. xi. 

God will not suffer you to be tempted above 
I what ye are able, 1. Cor. x. 13. 

6. Beyond ; in a state to be unattainable ; as 
things above comprehension. 

7. Too proud for. 
This man is above his business. 

8. Too elevated in mind or raiilc ; having too 
much dignity for ; as 

This man is above mean actions 


I must be about my father's busmess. Luke, 
ii. 49. The painter is not to take so much pains 
about the drapery as about tlie face. I>ryd( 
flTiat is he about ? 
7. In compass or circumference ; two yards 

about the trunk. 
ABOUT', ofrfi'. Near to in number or quantity 
There fill tliat day about three thousand men, 
Ex. xxxii. 

2. Near to in quality or degree ; as about as 
high, or as cold. 

3. Here and there ; around ; in one place and 

Wandering about from house to house. 1. 
Tim. v. 

4. Round, or the longest way, opposed to 
across, or the shortest way. A mile about, 
and half a mile across. 

To bring about, to bring to the end; to ef- 
fect or accomplish a purpose. 

To come about, to change or turn ; to come 
to the desired point. In a like sense, sea- 
men say go about, when a ship changes 
her course and goes on the other tack 

Ready about, about ship, are orders for tack- 

To go aboiit, signifies to enter upon ; also 
to prepare ; to seek the means. 

fvhy go ye about to kill nie. John, vii. 
-^ ABOVE', prep. [Sax. abufan, bufan, bufon , 
D. ftoi'cn.] 

1. Literally, liigher in place. 

The fowls that fly above the earth. Gen. i. 20 

2. Figuratively, superior in any respect. 

I saw a light above the brightness of the Sun 
Acts, xxvi. 

The price of a virtuous woman is above ru 
bies, Prov. xxxi. 

3. More in number or qnantity. 

He was seen by above five hundred brethren 
at once, 1. Cor. xv. 6. 

3. It is often used elliptically, for IieavcU; 
the celestial regions. 

Let not God regard it from above. Job, iii 
The powers above. 
10 In a book or writing, it denotes if/on 
in a former place, as what has been said 
above ; supra. This mode of speakiii 
originated in the ancient maimer of writ- 
ing, on a strip of parchment, beginning 
one end and proceeding to the other. The, 
beginning was the upper end. 
ABOVE', adv. Overhead ; in a higher place. 
2. Before. Dnjden. 

."?. Chief in rank or power. Deut. xxviii. 
I'e all is elliptical; above all considera- 
ons ; chiefly ; in preference to other things. 
Above board ; above the board or table ; in 
open sight ; without trick, concealment 
or deception. This expression is said by 
Johnson to be borrowecl from gamesters, 
who, when they change their cards, put 
their hands imder the table. 
ABOVE-CITED, Cited before, in the pre 

ceding part of a book or wi-ituig. 
ABOVE-GROUND, Alive, not buried. 
ABOVE-MENTIONED, Mentioned before. 
A. Bp. Al)brev. for Archbishop. 
ABRACADAB'RA, The name of a deity 
worsliipped by the Syrians : a cabaUstic 
word. The letters of his name, written on 
paper, in the form of an inverted cone, 
were recommended by Samonicus as an 
antidote against certain diseases. Encyc. 
ABRA'DE, V. t. [L. abrado, to scrape, from 

To rub or wear off; to waste by friction 
used especially to express the action of 
sharp, corrosive medicines, in wearing 
away or removing the mucus of the mem- 
ABRA'DED, pp. Rubbed or worn off; worn ; 

ABRA'DING, ppr. Rubbing off; wearing. 
ABRAHAM'IC, a. Pertaining to Abraham, 
the patriarch, as Abrahamic Covenant 


ABRA'SION, n. abra'zhun. The act ol 

wearing or rubbing off; also substance 

worn off by attrition. Quinn/. 

ABREAST', adv. abresV, [from a and breast.] 

1. Side by side ; with the breasts in a line 
Two men rode abreast. 

2. In marine language, ships are abreast 
when their heads are equally advanced 
and tliev are abreast of objects when the 
objects "are on a line with the beam- 

3. Opposite ; against ; on a line with— as a 
I ship was abreast of Montauk point. — .3| 
I seaman's phrase. 


.\BRID6E', V. t. abridj', [Fr. ahriger, from 
Gr. 9<^xv(, short, or its root, from the root 
oi break or a verb of that family.] 
To make shorter ; to epitomize ; to con- 
tract by using fewer words, yet retaining 
the sense in substance— used of writings. 

Justin abridged the history of Trogus Pom- 

2. To lessen; to diminish; as to abridge 
labor ; to abridge power or riglits. Smith. 

3. To deprive ; to cut off from ; followed by 
of; as to abridge one of his rights, or enjoy- 
ments. To abridge from, is now obsolete 
or improper. 

4. In algebra, to reduce a compound quantity 
or equation to its more simple expression. 
The equation thus abridged is called a for- 

ABRIDG'ED pp. IMade shorter ; epitomized; 
reduced to a smaller compass ; lessened ; 

ABRID(i'ER, It. One who abridges ; one 
who makes a compend. 

ABRIDGING, ppr. Shortening; lessening; 
depriving ; debarring. 

ABRIDGMENT, n. An epitome ; a com- 
pend, or sumraaiT of a book. 

2. Diminution ; contraction ; reduction — as 
an abridgment of expenses. 

3. Deprivation ; a debarring or restraint— as 
an ahridgment of pleasures. 

ABROACH, adv. [See Broach.] 
Broached ; letting out or yielding liquor, or 
in a posture for letting out ; as a cask is 
abroach. Figuratively used by Shakespeare 
for setting loose, or in a state of being dif- 
fused, "Set miscliief abroach;" but tliis 
sense is unusual. 
ABROAD, adv. abrawd'. [See Broad.] 
In a general sense, at large ; widely ; not 
confined to naiTow limits. Hence, 

1. In the open air. 

' Beyond or out of the walls of a house, as 

o walk abroad. 
3. Beyond the limits of a camp. Deut. xxiii. 

Beyond the bounds of a country ; in for- 
eign countries — as to go abroad for an ed- 
ucation. — We have broils at home and en- 
emies abroad. 

5. Extensively ; before the public at large. 
He began to blaze abroad the matter. Mark 
i. 45. Esther 1. 

i Widely ; with expansion ; as a tree 
spreads its branches abroad. 

AB ROGATE, v. t. [L. abrogo, to repeal, 
from ab and rog-o, to ask or propose. See 
the EnffUsh reach. Class Rg.] 

To repeat; to annul by an authoritative act ; 
to abolish by the authority of the malter or 
his successor ; applied 'to the repeal of 
laws, decrees, ordinances, the abolition of 
established customs &c. 

AB'ROGATED;)?). Repealed ; annulled by 
an act of authority. 

AB'ROGATING,;>/)r. Repealing by author- 
itv ; ni.iking void. 

ABROGATION, n. The act of abrogating; 
a repeal by authority of the legislative 

ABROOD' adv. [See Brood.] In the action 
ofbroodins. [.Vo« in «.?e.] Sancrojt. 

ABROOD'ING, n. A sitting abrood. [Aot 
in use.] B.isset. 

ABROOK', V. t. To brook, to endure. |.Vo/ 
in I'se. Sec Brook.] .^kak. 

A B S 

ABRO TANUM, n. [Gr. A§poforov.] 

A species of ]ilant arranged under the Genus, 

Artemisia ; called also southern wood. 
ABRUPT', a. [L. abruplus, from abrumpo, to 

break of, oi ah and rumpo. See Rupture.] 

1. Literally, broken off, or broken sliort. 

2. Steep, craggy ; applied to rocks, precipi- 
ces and the like. 

3. Figurativdy, sudden ; without notice to 
prejjare the mind for the event ; as an ab- 
rupt entrance and address. 

4. Unconnected ; having sudden transitions 
from one subject to another ; as an abrupt 
style. Ben Jonson 

5. In botany, an abrupt pinnate leaf is one 
which has neither leaflet, nor tendiil at 
the end. MaHyn 

ABRUPT' n. A chasm or gulf with steep 
sides. " Over the vast abrupt." Milton. 
[T)ds use of the word is infrequent.'] 

ABRUP'TION, n. A sudden breaking off; 
a violent separation of bodies. IVoodward. 

-VBRUPT'LY, adv. Suddenly; without giv- 
ing notice, or without the usual forms ; as, 
the Mmister left France abruptly. 

ABRUPT'NESS, n. A state of being brok- 
en ; craggediiess ; steepness. 

2. Figuratively, suddenness ; unceremonious 
haste or vehemence. 

AB'SCESS, n. [L. abscessus, from ab and 
cedo, to go from.] 

An imposthume. A collection of morbid 
matter, or pus in the cellular or adipose 
membrane ; matter generated by the sup- 
puration of an inflammatory tumor. 

QuinoT/. Hooper. 

ABSCIND', vt. [L. absci7ido.] To cut off. 
[Little used.] 

AB'SCISS, n. [L. abscissus, from ab and 
scindere, to cut ; Gr. ff;ti?u. See Scissors.] 

In conies, a part of the diameter, or transverse 
axis of a conic section, intercepted be- 
tween the vertex or some other fixed 
point, and a semiordinate. Encyc. 

ABSCIS"SION, n. [See Absciss.] 

A cutting off, or a being cut oft". In surgery, 
the separation of any corrupted or useless 
part of the body, by a sharp instrimient ; 
applied to the soft parts, as amputation is 
to the bones and flesh of a limb. Quincy. 

ABSCOND', t).t. [L.abscondo, to hide, of 
abs and condo, to hide, i. e. to withdraw, 
or to thrust aside or mto a corner or secret 

1. To retire from public view, or from the 
place in which one resides or is ordinarily 
to be found ; to withdraw, or absent one's 
self in a private manner ; to be concealed ; 
appropriately, used of persons who secrete 
themselves to avoid a legal process. 

2. To hide, withdraw or be concealed ; as, 
" the marmot absconds in winter. [lAttle 
used.] Ray. 

ABSCOND'ER, n. One who withdraws 
from public notice, or conceals himself 
from public view. 

ABSeOND'ING, ppr. Whhdrawing pri- 
vately from public view ; as, an absconding 
(/eJtor, who confines himself to his apart- 
ments, or absents himself to avoid the mi- 
;iisters of justice. In the latter sense, it is 
properly an adjective. 

AB'SENCE, n. [L. absens, from ahsum, 
abesse, to be away ; ab and sum.] 

1. A state of being at a distance in place, or 


not in company. It is used to denote any 
distance indefinitely, either in the sann 
town, or country, or in a foreign country 
and primarily supposes a prior presence. 
" Speak well of one in his absence." 

2. Want ; destitution ; implying no previous 
presence. " In the absence of conventiona' 
law." Ch. Kent. 

3. In law, non-appearance ; a not being ii 
court to answer. 

4. Heedlessness ; inattention to things pre 
sent. Absence of mind is the attention of 
the mind to a subject which does not occu 
py the rest of the company, and wliicl 
draws the mind from things or objects 
which are present, to others distant or for- 

AB'SENT, a. Not present ; not in compa- 
ny ; at such a distance as to prevent com- 
munication. It is used also for being in i 
foreign country. 
A gentleman is absent on his travels. 
Absent from one another. Gen. xxxi. 49. 

2. Heedless ; inattentive to persons pre- 
sent, or to subjects of conversation m com 

An absent man is uncivil to the company. 
In familiar language, not at home ; as, 
the master of the house is absent. In other 
words, he does not wish to be disturbed 
by company. 

ABSENT', V. t. To depart to such a dis 
tance as to prevent intercourse ; to retire 
or withdraw ; to forbear to appear in pre- 
sence ; used with the reciprocal pronoun. 

Let a man absent himself from the company 

ABSENTEE', n. One who withdraws iron 
his coimtry, ofiiee or estate ; one who 
removes to a distant place or to another 

ABSENt'ER, n. One who absents himself 

/VBSENT'MENT, ,i. A state of being ab- 
sent. Barroto. 

ABSINTH'IAN, a. [from absinthium.] Of 
the natuie of wormwood. Randolph 

ABSINTH'IATED, a. Impregnated with 
wormwood. Diet. 

ABSINTH'IUM, n. [Gr. o+aS™. ; Per. 

...AAAAMil afsinthin ; the same inChal- 

daic. BudEBus in his commentaries on 
Theophrast, supposes the word composed 
of a priv. and ^itSos, dehght, so named 
from its bitterness. But it may be an Ori- 
ental word.] 
The common wonnwood; a bitter plant, us- 
ed as a tonic. A species of Artemisia. 
VB'SIS, In astronomy. [See Apsis.] 
AB'SOLUTE,a. [L.absolutus. See Absolve.] 

1. Literally, in a general sense, free, indepen- 
dent of any thing extraneous. Hence, 

2. Complete in itself ; positive ; as an abso- 
lute declaration. 

3. Unconditional, as an absolute promise. 

4. Existing independent of any other cause, 
is God is absolute. 

5. Unlimited by extraneous power or control, 
as an absolute government or prince. 

C. Not relative, a.s absolute space. StUlingfleet. 

In grammar, the case absolute, is when a 
word or member of a sentence is not im- 
mediately dependent on the other parts of 
the sentence in government. 

Absolute equation, in astronomy, is the ag- 
gregate of the oplic and eccentric equa- 


tions. The apparent inequality of a 
planet's motion in its orbit, arising from 
its unequal distances from the earth at 
different times, is called its optic equation : 
the eccentric inequahty is caused by the 
uniformity of the planet's motion, m an 
elliptical orbit, which, for that reason, 
appears not to be imiform. 

Absolute numbers, in algebra, are such as 
have no letters annexed, as 2a-|-3(j=48. 
The two latter numbers are absolute or 
pure. Encyc. 

Absolute space, in physics, is space consid- 
ered without relation to any other object. 

Absolute gravity, in philosophy, is that prop- 
erty in bodies by which they are said to 
weigh so much, without regard to circum- 
stances of modification, and this is always 
as the quantity of matter they contain. 


AB'SOLUTELY, adv. Completely, wholly, 
as a thing is absolutely uninteUigible. 

2. Without dependence or relation ; in a 
state unconnected. 

Absolutely we cannot discommend, we can- 
not absolutely approve, either willingness to 
live, or forwardness to die. Hooker. 

3. Without restriction or Umitation ; as God 
reigns absolutely. 

4. Without condition, as God does not for- 
give absolutely, but upon condition of faith 
and repentance. 
Positively, peremptorily, as command me 

absolutely not to go. Milton. 

AB'SOLUTENESS, n. Independence ; com- 
pleteness in itself 

2. Despotic authority, or that which is sub- 
ject to no extraneous restriction, or con- 

ABSOLU'TION, n. In the civil law, an 
acquittal or sentence of a judge declaring 
an accused person innocent. In the canon 
law, a remission of sins pronounced by a 
priest in favor of a penitent. Among 
protestants, a sentence by which an ex- 
communicated person is released from his 
hability to punishment. Ayliffe. South. 

AB'SOLUTORY, a. Absolving; that ab- 

ABSOLV'ATORY, a. [from absolve.] Con- 
taining absolution, pardon, or release ; 
having power to absolve. Cotgrave. 

ABSOLVE', V. t. abzolv', [L. absolvo, from ah 
and solvo, to loose or release ; Ch. nblV, to 
absolve, to finish ; Heb. ^\3, to loose or 
loosen. See Solve.] 

To set free or release from some obligation, 
debt or responsibility ; or from that which 
subjects a person to a burden or penalty ; 
as to absolve a person from a promise ; to 
absolve an offender, which amounts to an 
acquittal and remission of his punishment. 
Hence, in the civil law, the word was used 
for acquit ; and in the canon law, for for- 
give, or a sentence of remission. In ordi- 
nai-y language, its sense is to set free or 
release from an engagement. Formerly, 
good writers used the word ui the sense of 
finish, accomplish; as to absolve work, in 
"Milton ; but in this sense, it seems to be 

ABSOLVED, jjjj. Released; acquitted; re- 
mitted : declared imiocent. 

ABSOLV'ER, n. One who absolves; also 
that pronounces sin to be remitted. 

A B ?< 

A B S 

A B 8 

ABSOLVING, ppr. Settin:; ficc from a 
flebt. or fliarge ; arqiiitting; remitting. 

AIVSONANT, a. [See Absonous.] Wide 
from the purpose ; contrary to reason. 

AB'SONOTJS, a. [L. absonus ; ah and sonus, 
sound.] Unmusical, or untiiuable. 


ABSORB', v- t. [L. absorbeo, ah and sorheo, 

ft^n or lU^n, id. ; Rab. tjlty, to diaw or 
drink in ; whence simp, sherbet, shnib.] 

1. To drink in ; to suck up ; to imbibe ; as 
a spunge, or as the lacteais of the body. 

2. To drink in, swallow up, or overwhelm 
with water, as a body in a whirlpool. 

;j. To waste wholly or sink in expenses ; to 
exhaust ; as, to absorb an estate in luxury. 

4. To engross or engage wholly, as, absorbed 
in study or the pursuit of wealtli. 

ABSORBABIL'ITY, n. A state or quality 
of being absorbable. 

ABSORB'ABLE, a. That may be imbibed 
or .swallowed. Kerr^s Lavoisier. 

ABSORB' ED, or ABSORPT', pp. Im- 
bibed ; swallowed ; wasted ; engaged ; lost 
in study ; wholly engrossed. 

ABSORB'ENT, a. Imbibing ; swallowimr. 

ABSORB'ENT, n. In anatonv/, n vrs'sol 
which imbibes, as the lacteal-. I\ in|ili:itir^, 
and inhaling arteries. In mu/i, in,-, .i n — 
taceous powder, or other substniice, « liiili 
imbibes the humors of the body, as chalk 
or magnesia. Encyc. 

ABSORB'ING, ;)pc. Imbibing; engrossing; 

ABSORP'TION, n. The act or process ofl 
imbibing or swallowing ; either by water 
which overwhelms, or by substances,which 
drink in and retain liquids ; as the absorp- 
tion of a body in a whirlpool, or of water 
by the earth, or of the humors of the body 
by dry powders. It is used also to express 
the swallowing up of substances by the 
earth in chasms made by earthquakes, am' 
the sinking of large tracts in violent com 
motions of the earth. 

% In chimistry, the conversion of a gaseous 
fluid into a liquid or solid, by union with 
another substance. Ure. 

_\BSORP'TIVE, a. Having power to hn- 
bibe. Darwin 

ABSTA'IN, V. i. [L. abstineo, to keep from 
abs and <e?ieo, to hold. See Tenant.] 

In a general sense, to forbear, or refi-ain 
from, voluntardy ; but used cliiefly to de- 
note a restraint upon the passions or 
ai)petites ; to refrain fi-om indulgence. 
Abstain from meats offered to idols. Acts, xv 

To abstain from the use of ardent spirits ; to 
abstain (com luxuries. 

ABSTE'MIOUS, a. [L. abstemius ; from 
abs and temetum, an ancient name of strong 
wine, according to Fabius and Gellins 
But Vossius supposes it to be from absti- 
7ieo, by a change of n to m. It may be 
from the root of timeo, to fear, that is, to 
withdraw.] Sparing in diet ; refraining 
from a free use of food and strong drinks. 
Instances of longevity are chiefly among the 
abstemious. .irbuthnot. 

2. Sparing in the enjoyment of animal pleas- 
ures of any kind. [TTiis sense is less com- 
mon, a/id perhaps not legitimate.] 

3. Sparingly used, or used with temperance ; 

belonging to abstinence ; as an abstemious 
diet ; an abstemious life. 

ABSTE'MIOUSLY, adv. Temperately 
with a spiiriiig use of meat or drink. 

AHSTH'AllorsNESS, n. The quality of 
liiinir tiHijii rate or sparing in the use of 
Inod .mikI .-iioiigdrink.s. 

This word expresses a greater degree of 
abstinence than temperance. 

ABSTERGE', V. t. absterj'. [L. abslergeo, 
of abs and tergeo, to wipe. Tergeo may 
have a common origin with the Sw. torcka, 
G. trocknen, D. droogen, Sax. drygan, to 
dry; for these Teutonic verbs signify to 
ivipe, as well as to dry.] 

To wipe or make clean by wiping ; to 
cleanse by resolving obstructions in the 
body. [ Used chiefly as a medical term.] 

ABSTERG'ENT, a. Wiping; cleansing. 

ABSTERg'ENT, n. A medicine which frees 
tlie body from obstructions, as soap ; but 
the use of the word is nearly superseded 
by detergent, which see. 

ABSTER'SION, n. [(romh.abstergeo,abster 
SM«.] The act of wiping clean; or a clean- 
sing by medicines which resolve obstruc- 
tions. [See Deterge, Detersion.] Bacon. 

ABSTER'SIVE, o. Cleansing; having the 
qualit.v of removing obstructions. [See 

\B'STINENCE, n. [L. abstinentia. See 
Abstain.] In general, the act or practice 
of voluntarily refraining from, or forbear- 
ing any action. ^^ Abstinence from every 
thing which can be deemed labor." 

Foley's Philos. 
More appropriately, 

2. The refraining from an indulgence of 
appetite, or from customary gratificat" 
of animal propensities. It denotes a total 
forbearance, as in fasting, or a forbearance 
of the usual quantity. In the latter se 
it may comcide with temperance, but in 
general, it denotes a more sparing use of 
enjoyments than temperance. Besides, 
abstinence implies previous free indul 
gencp ; temperance does not. 

AB'STINENT, a. Refiaining from indul 
gence, especially in the use of food and 

AB'STINENTLY, adv. With abstinence 

AB'STINENTS, a sect which appeared 
France and Spain in the third century, 
who opposed marriage, condemned the 
use of flesh meat, and placed tlie Holy 
Spirit in the class of created beings. 

ABSTRACT', v. t. [L. abstraho, to draw 
from or separate; from abs and trako, 
which is the Eng. draw. See Draw.] 

1. To draw from, or to separate ; as to abstract 
an action fi-om its evil effects ; to abstract 
spirit from any substance by distillation : 
but in this sense extract is now more gen- 
erally used. 

2. To separate ideas by the operation of the 
mind ; to consider one part of a complex 
object, or to have a partial idea of it in the 
mind. Home. 

3. To select or separate the substance of a 
book or writing ; to epitomize or reduce 
to a suimnary. Jf'atts. 

4. In chimistry, to separate, as the more 
volatile parts of a substance by repeated 
distillaticm, or at least bv distillation. 

AB'STRAGT, a. [L. absiractus.] Separate 

distini't troni sonioil.iii!: fl>e. An abstract 
idea, in iiict.-i|ili\ -ir. i :i,i idea separated 
from a <-(iiii|il.-\ ohp ■,- i- iVom other ideas 
wliicli natm-iilly :ii-i-i>iiniaiiy it, as the so- 
lidity of marble contemplated apart fi-om 
its color or figure. Encyc 

Abstract terms are those which express ab- 
stract ideas, as beauty, whiteness, round- 
ness, without regarding any subject in 
wliich they exist; or abstract terms arc 
the names of orders, genera, or species of 
things, in which there is a combination of 
similar quahties. Stewart. 

Abstract numbers are numbers used with- 
out apphcation to things, as, 6, 8,10: 
but when applicti to any thing, as 6 feet, 
10 men, they become concrete. 

Abstract or pure mathematics, is that 
wliich treats of magnitude or quantity, 
without restriction to any species of par- 
ticular magnitude, as arithmetic and 
gcomcti-y ; opposed to which is mixed 
iiiailii MKitirs, w liiih trcatsof sunple prop- 
erti(^. .'iikI till- relations of quantity, as 
a|>|ili( .1 \n -i-ii-ililc objects, as hydi-ostat- 
ics, iiuMguti'ju, optics, &c. Encyc. 

2. Separate, existing in the mind only ; as 
an abstract subject ; an abstract question ; 
and hence difficult, abstruse. 

AB'STRAeT, ?!. A simmiai-y, or epitome, 
containing the substance, a general view, 
or the principal heads of a treatise or 
writing. ti'att.t. 

2. Formerly, an extract, or a smaller quan- 
tity, contaming the essence of a larger. 

In the abstract, in a state of separation, as a 
subject considered in the abstract, i. c. 
without reference to particular persons of 

ABSTR A€T'ED, pp. Separated ; refined ; 
exalted ; abstruse ; absent in mind. 

Milton. Donne. • 

ABSTRA€T'EDLY, adv. In a separate 
state, or in contemplation only. 


ABSTRA€T'EDNESS, n. The state of be- 
ing abstracted. Baxter. 

ABSTRAeT'ER, n. One who makes an 
abstract, or summary. 

ABSTRA€T'ING,/);)r. Separating ; making 
a sunnnary. 

ABSTRA€'TI0N, n. The act of separating, 
or state of being separated. 

2. The operation of the mind when occupied 
by abstract ideas ; as when we contem- 
plate some particular part, or property of a 
complex object, as separate from the rest. 
Thus, when the mind considers the branch 
of a tree by itself, or the color of the 
leaves, as separate from their size or 
figure, the act is called abstraction. So 
also, when it considers whiteness, softness, 
virtue, erislence, as separate from any par- 
ticuliu- objects. Encyc. 

The power which the understanding has 
of separating the combinations which are 
presented to it, is distinguished by logi- 
cians, by the name of absiraction. Steieart. 
Abstraction is the ground- work of clas- 
sification, by which things are an-anged in 
orders, genera, and species. We separate 
in idea the qualities of certain objects 
which are of the same kind, from others 
which are diflferent in each, and arrange 
the objects having the same properties in a 
class, or collected bodv. 



A C A 

3. A separation from woi-ldly objects ; a re- 
cluse life ; as a lierinit's abstraction. 

4. Absence of mind ; inattention to present 

5. In the process of distillation, the term is 
used to denote tlie separation of the volatile 
parts, which rise, come over, and are con- 
densed in a receiver, from those which 
are fixed. It is chiefly used, when a 
fluid is repeatedly poured upon any sub- 
stance in a retort, and distilled off", to 
change its state, or the nature of its com- 
position. JVicholson. 

ABSTRACT'IVE, a. Having the power or 
qualitv of abstracting. 

ABSTRACT'IVE, ? a. Abstracted, or 

ABSTRA€TI"TIOUS, S drawn from other 
substances, particularly from vegetables, 
without fermentation. Cyc. 

AB'STRA€TLY, adv. Separately ; absolute- 
ly ; in a state or manner unconnected witli 
any thing else ; as, matter abstractly con- 

AB'STRACTNESS, n. A separate state ; a 
.state of being in contemplation only, or 
not connected with any object. 

ABSTRU'DE, v. t. [Infra.] To thrust or 
puU away. [JVoi used.] 

ABSTRU'SE, a. [L. abstrusus, from abstru- 
do, to thrust away, to conceal; abs and 

tnido ; Ar. j^j.Ia tarada ; Cli. Tit3, to thrust ; 
Syr. Sam. id.; Eng. to thrust] Hid; con- 
cealed ; hence, remote from apprehension ; 
difficult to be comprehended or under- 
stood ; opposed to what is obvious. [.Vbi 
used of material objects.] 

Metaphysics is an abstruse science. Eneyc. 
ABSTRU'SELY, adv. In a concealed man- 
ner ; obscurely ; in a manner not to be 
easily understood. 
•ABTRU'SENESS, n. Obscurity of mean- 
ing ; the state or quaUty of being difficult 
to be understood. Boyle. 

ABSURD', a. [L. absurdus, from ab and 
.nirdus, deaf, insensible.] Opposed to man- 
ifest truth ; inconsistent with reason, or the 
plain dictates of conmion sense. An ab- 
.?urd man acts contrary to the clear dic- 
tates of reason or sound judgment. An ab- 
surd proposition contradicts obvious truth. 
An absurd practice or opinion is repugnant 
to the reason or common apprehension of 
men. It is absurd to say sLx and six make 
ten, or that plants will take root in stone. 
VBSURD'ITY, n. The quality of being in 
consistent with obvious truth, reason, or 
sound judgment. Want of judgment, ap- 
plied to men ; want of propriety, applied to 
things. Johnson 

'I. That which is absurd ; in this sense it has 

a plural ; the absurdities of men. 
ABSURD'LY, adv. In a maimer 

tent with reason, or obvious propriety 
ABSURD'NESS, n. The same as absurdity, 

and less used. 
\BUND'ANnE, n. [F. abondance. See 
Abound.] Great plenty; an overflowing 
quantity ; ami)le sufficiency ; in strictness 
applicable to quantity only ; but custom- 
arily used of number, as an abundance ol 
peasants. Addison 

In scripture, the abundance of the rich is great 
wealth. Eccl. v. Mark, xii. Luke, xxi. 

The abundance of the seas is great plenty of] 
fish. Dcut. x^xlii. 

It denotes also fullness, overflowing, as the 
oftM/M/traff of the heart. Mat. xii Luke, vi. 

ABUND'ANT, a. Plentiful; in great quan- 
tity ; tiilly sufficient ; as an abundant sup- 
])ly. in scripture, abounding; having in 
great quantity ; overflowing with. 

The Lord God is abundant in goodness and 
tmth. Ex. xxxiv. 

Abundant number, in arithmetic, is one, the 
sum of whose aliquot parts exceeds the 
number itself Thus 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, the 
aliquot parts of 12, make the sum of IC. 
This is opposed to a deficient number, as 14, 
whose aUquot parts are 1, 2, 7, the : 
of which is 10 ; and to a perfect nunilier, 
which is equal to the sum of its ahqu< 
parts, as 6, whose aUquot parts are 1, 2, 3. 

ABUND'ANTLY, adv. Fully ; amply ; plen 
tifully ; in a .sufficient degree. 

[ABU'SAGE, n. Abuse. [Kot used.] 

ABU'SE, V. t. s as z. [Fr. abuser ; Sp. abu 
sar ; It. abusare ; L. abutor,, of 
ab and utor, to use ; Ir. idh ; W. gtveth, 
use ; Gr. (9w, to accustom. See Use.] 

1. To use ill; to maltreat; to misuse; to use 
with bad motives or to wrong purposes ; as, 
to abuse rights or privileges. 

They that use this world as not abusing it. 
1 Cor. vii. 

2. To violate ; to defile by improper sexual 
intercourse. Spenser. 

3. To deceive ; to impose on. 
Nor be with all these tempting words abtised. 

. To treat rudely, or with reproachful lan- 
guage ; to revile. 

He mocked and abused them sliamcfully. 

5. To pervert the meaning of; to misapply ; 

as to abuse words. 
ABU'SE, n. Ill use; impro])er treatment or 
employment ; application to a wrong pur- 
pose ; as an abuse of our natural powers ; 
an abuse of civil rights, or of rehgious pri- 
vUeges ; abuse of advantages, &c. 

Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of 
Ubei-ty, as well as by the abuses of power. 

Federalist, Madison 

2. A corrupt practice or custom, as the abuses 
of government. 

3. Rude speech; reproachful language ad 
dressed to a person ; contumely ; reviUng 
words. Milton. 

. Seduction. 

After the abuse he forsook me. Sidney. 

5. Perversion of meaning; improper use or 

appUcation ; as an abuse of words. 
ABU'SED, pp. s as z. Ill-used ; used to a 

bad purpose ; treated with rude language ; 

misemployed ; perverted to bad or wrong 

ends ; deceived ; defiled ; violated. 
ABU'SEFUL, a. Using or practicing abuse; 

abusive. [JVot used.] Bp. Barlotv. 

ABU'SER, n. s as :. One who abuses, in 

speech or behavior; one that deceives; 

a ravisher ; a sodomite. 1 Cor. vi. 
ABU'SING, ppr. s as z. Using ill ; employ 

ing to bad purposes; deceiving; violating 

the person ; perverting. 
ABU'SION, n. abu'zhon. Abuse; evil or 

ru])t usage ; reproach. [Idttle ttsed.] 
ABU'SIVE, a. Practicing abuse; offering 

harsh words, or ill treatment ; as an ahi 

sive author; an abusive fellow. 
2. Containing abuse, or that is the instru- 
of abuse, as abusive words ; rude 

reproachful. In the sense of deceitful, as 
an abusive treaty. [Littk itsed.] Bacon. 

ABUSIVELY, adv. In an abusive manner ; 
iiidelv ; reproachfiiUy. 

ABU'SIVENESS, n. lU-usage ; the quality 
of being abusive ; i-udeness of language, or 
violence to the person. Barlow. 

ABUT', v. i. [Fr. aboutir. See About.] To 
border upon ; to be contiguous to ; to meet : 
in strictness, to adjoin to at the end ; but 
this distinction has not always been ob- 
served. The word is chiefly used in de- 
scribing the bounds or situation of land, 
ami ill |i(ijiular language, is contracted into 
but, as hutted and bounded. 

\BUT'iMENT, «. The head or end; that 
which unites one end of a thing to an- 
other; chiefly used to denote the soUd 
pier or mound of earth, stone or timber, 
which is erected on the bank of a river to 
support the end of a bridge and connect it 
with the land. 

2. That which abuts or borders on another. 

ABUT'TAL, n. The butting or boundary of 
land at the end ; a head-land. 

Spelman. Cowel. 

ABY', V. t. or i. [Probably contracted from 
abide.] To endure ; to pay dearly ; to re- 
ain. Ohs. Spenser. 

ABYSM', n. abyzm'. [Old Fr., now abime. 
See Abyss.] A gulf. Shak. 

ABYSS', n. [Gr. ASvaaoi, bottomless, from a 
priv. and Svsio;, bottom. Ion. for 8v8os. 
See Bottojn.] A bottomless gulf; used 
also for a deep mass of waters, supposed 
by some to have encompassed the earth 
before the flood. 

Darkness was upon the face of the deep, oi 
abyss, as it is in the Septuagint. Gen. i. 2. 
The word is also used for an immense 
cavern in the earth, in which God is sup- 
posed to have collected all the waters on 
the third day of the creation. It is used 
also for hell, Erebus. 

2. That which is immeasurable; that m 
which any thing is lost. 

Thy throne is darkness, in the abyss of light. 

The o5!/ssoftime. Dryden. 

3. In antiquity, tlie temple of Proserpine, so 
called from the immense treasures it was 
supposed to contain. 

4. In heraldry, the center of an escutcheon. 
He bears azure, a fleur de Us, in abyss. 



Abyssinians, Ethiopians, from (_p:x2«. 
habasha, to collect, or congregate. A name 
denoting a mixed multitude or a black 
race. Ludolf. Castle. 

ABYSSIN'IANS, n. A sect of christians m 
Abyssinia, who admit but one nature in 
Jesus Christ, and reject the council of 
Chalcedou. They are governed by a 
bishop, or metropohtan, called Abuna, who 
is appointed by the Coptic patriarch of 
Cairo. Encyc. 

A€, in Saxon, oak, the initial syllable of 
names, as acton, oaktown. 

A€A€'ALOT, \ n. A Mexican fowl, the 

AC'ALOT, S Tantalus Mexicanus, or 
Corvus aquaticus, water laven. See Acalot. 

ACA'CIA, n. [L. acacia, a thorn, from Gr. 
axr;, a [Kiint.] 

A C A 

A C C 

A C C 

Egyiitian thorn, a species of i>laiu ranked by 
Liiine under the genus mimosa, and by 
others, made a distinct genus. Of the 
flowers of one species, the Chinese make a 
yellow dye which bears washing in silks, 
and appears with elegance on paper. 


A€ACIA, ua medicine, is a name given to 
the inspissated juice of the unripe fruit of 
the Mimosa Nilotica, which is brough 
from Egypt in roundish masses, in blad 

Externally, it is of a deep brown color ; in 
ternally, of a reddish or yellowish brown ; 
of a firm consistence, but not very dry 
It is a mild astringent. But most of the 
drug which passes under this name, is the 
inspissated juice of sloes. Encyc. 

Acacia, among antiquaries, is a name 
given to something like a roll or bag, seei 
on medals, as in the hands of emperors and 
consuls. Some take it to represent i 
handkerchief rolled u)), with which sig 
nals were given at the games ; others, a 
roll of petitions ; and some, a purple bag 
of earth, to remind them of their mortal- 
ity. Encyc. 

A€A'CIANS, in Church History, were cer- 
tain sects, so denominated from their lead- 
ers, Acacius, bishop of Cesarea, and Aca- 
cius, patriarch of Constantinople. Some 
of these maintained that the Son was only 
a similar, not the same, substance with the 
Father ; others, that he was not only 
distinct but a dissimilar substance. Encyc. 

A€ADE'ME ; n. An academy ; a society of 
persons. [J^Tot used.] 

A€ADE'MIAL, a. Pertaining to an acade- 

ACADE'MIAN, n. A member of an acad 
emy; a student in a university or col 

A€ADEM'le, > a. Belonging to ar 

A€ADEM'l€AL, \ academy, or to a col 
lege or university — as academic studies ; 
also noting what belongs to the school or 
philosophy of Plato — as the academic sect. 

A€ADEM'I€, n. One who belonged to the 
school or adhered to the philosophy of 
Socrates and Plato. Tlie latter is consid- 
ered as the founder of the academic phi- 
losophy in Greece. 

He taught, that matter is eternal and infinite, 
but without form, refractory, and tending 
to disorder ; and that there is an intelli 
gent cause, the author of spiritual being, 
and of the material world. Enfldd. 

ACADEMICALLY, adv. In an academi 
cal manner. 

ACADEMI"CIAN, n. [Fr. acadimicien.] 

A member of an academy, or society for 
promoting arts and sciences ; particularly, 
a member of the French academies. 

ACAD'EMISM, n. The doctrine of the 
academic pliilosophy. Baxter. 

ACAD EMIST, n. A member of an Acad- 
emy for promoting arts and sciences ; also 
an academic philosopher. 

ACAD'EMY, n. [L. academia, Gr. AxoStjum.] 

Originally, it is said, a garden, grove, or villa, 
near Athens, where Plato and his follow- 
ers held their philosophical conferences. 

1. A school, or seminary of learning, hold- 
ing a rank between a university or col- 
lege, and a common school; also a school, 

tor teaching a particular art, or particular 
sciences, as a military academy. 

2. A house, in which the students or mem- 
bers of an academy meet ; a place of edu 

3. A society of men united for the promo 
tion of arts and sciences in general, or of 
some particidar art. 

AC'ALOT, n. [Contracted fi-om ctcacalotl.] 

A Mexican fowl, called by some the aquatic 
crow. It is the ibis, or a ibwl that very 
much resembles it. 

ACAMAC'U, 71, A bird, the Brazilian fly 
catcher, or Todus. Cyc. 

AC.ANA'CEOUS, a. acana'shus. [Gr. axapof 
a i)rickly shrub.] 

Armed with prickles. A class of plants are 
called acanacem. Milne 

ACANTH'A, n. [Gr. axmOa, a spine oi 

In botany, a prickle ; in zoology, a spine or 
I)rickly fin ; an acute process of the ver- 
tebers. Encyc. 

ACANTHA'CEOUS, a. Armed with prick- 
les, as a plant. 

ACAN'THARIS, n. In entomology, a spe- 
cies of Cimex, with a spinous thorax, and 
a ciliated abdomen, with spines ; found in 
Jamaica. Cyc. 

ACANTH'INE, a. [See Acanthus.] 

Pertaining to the plant, acanthus. The 
acanthine garments of the ancients were 
made of the down of thistles, or embroid- 
ered in imitation of the acanthus. Encyc. 

ACANTHOPTERYG'IOtS, a. [Gr axa^Sos, 
a thorn, and rtf fpi7io!', a Uttle feather, fi-om 
KTepov, a feather.] 

In zoology, having back fins, which are hard, 
bony and pricky, a term applied to certain 
Jishes. hinne 

AC.ANTH'US n. [Gr. oxar^os, L. acanthus, 
from oxoffio, a prickle or thorn. See 

The plant bear's breech or brank ursine ; 
a genus of several species, receiving their 
name from their prickles. 

2. In architecture, an ornament resembling 
the foliage or leaves of the acanthus, used 
in capitals of the Corinthian and Compo- 
site orders. Milton. Encyc. 

ACAN'TICONE, n. See Pistacite. 

ACARN'AR, n. A bright star, of the first 
magnitude, in Eridamis. Bailey. 

ACATALECTIC, n. [Gr. o.xa.ta%fixroi, not 
defective at the end, of xaTa and 7.rjyu to 
cease ; Ir. lieghim.] A verse, wliich has 
the complete number of syllables without 
defect or superfluity. Johnson. 

ACAT'ALEPSY, n. [Gr. axata%r,-ita ; a and 
xaraAa/tSaiu to comprehend.] 

Impossibihty of complete discovery or com- 
l)rehension ; incomprehensibility. [Little 
used.] Whitaker. 

ACAT'ECHILI, n. A Mexican bird, a spe- 
cies of Fringilla, of the size of the siskin, 

ACATER, ACATES. See Caterer and Cates. 

ACAU'LINE, \ a. [L. a. priv. and caxdis, Gr. 

ACAU'LOUS, S xo.v^oi, a stalk ; W. haul; D. 
kool, cabbage. See Colcwort.] 

In botany, without a stem, having floAvers 
resting on the ground ; as the Carline 

ACCE'DE, V. i. [L. accedo, of ad and ccdo, 
to yield or give place, or ratlier to move.] 

I. To agree or assent, as to a proposition, or 

to terms proposed by another. Hence ui 
a negotiation. 

2. To become a party, by agreeing to the 
terms of a treaty, or convention. 

ACCE'DING, ppr. Agreeing ; assenting ; 
becommg a party to a treaty by agreeing 
to the terms proposed. 

ACCELERATE, v. t. [L. accdero, of ad 
and cdero, to hasten, from cder, quick : 
Gr. XE?.^; ; Heb. Ch. Syr. and Eth. S'rp, 
nSp or "75, to be light, nimble ; Syr. to has- 
ten. In Ch. and Ar. this root signifies 
also to be small, or minute.] 

1. To cause to move faster; to hasten; to 
quicken motion ; to add to the velocity of 
a moving body. It implies previous mo- 
tion or progression. 

2. To add to natural or ordinary progres- 
sion ; as to accelerate the growth of a plant, 
or the progress of knowledge. 

3. To bring nearer in time ; to shorten the 
time between the present tune and a fu- 
ture event ; as to accelerate the ruin of a 
govenunent ; to accelerate a battle. 

ACCEL'ERATED, pp. Quickened in mo- 
tion ; hastened in progress. 
ACCELERATING, ppr. Hastening; in- 

creasHig velocity or progres 

ACCELERA'TION, n. The act ofincreas- 
ing velocity or progress ; the state of being 
quickened in motion or action. Accelera- 
ted motion in mechanics and physics, is 
that which continually receives accessions 
of velocity ; as, a falling body moves to- 
wards the earth with an acceleration of ve- 
locity. It is the opposite of retardation. 

.Icceleration of the moon, is the increase of the 
moon's mean motion from the sun, com- 
pared with the diurnal motion of the eanh ; 
the moon moving with more velocity noiv 
than in ancient tunes — a discovery made 
by Dr. Halley. 

The diurnal acceleration of tlie fixed star.?, 

is the time by which they anticipate the 

mean diurnal revolution of the sun, which 

is nearly three minutes, fifty-six seconds. 


ACCEL'ERATIVE, a. Adding to velocity ; 
quickening progression. Reid. 

A.CCEL'ERAT6RY, a. Accelerating ; quick- 
ening motion. 

ACCEND', V. t. [L. accendo, to kindle ; ad 
and candeo, caneo, to be white, canus, 
white ; W. caii, white, bright ; also a song. 
Whence, can/o, to sing, to chant ; cantus, a 
song; Eng. eani; W. ca»j«, to bleach or 
whiten, and to sing ; cynnud, fuel. Hence, 
kindle, L. candidus, candid, white. The 
primary sense is, to tlu-ow, dart, or thrust ; 
to shoot, as the rays of light. Hence, 
to cant, to throw. See Chant and Cant.] 
To kindle ; to set on fire. [The verb is not 

ACCENDIBIL ITY, n. Capacity of being 
kindled, or of becoming inflamed. 

ACCEND'IBLE, a. Capable of bemg in- 
flamed or kindled. Ure. 

ACCEN'SION, n. The act of kindling or 
setting on fire ; or the state of being kind- 
led ; inflammation. Chimistn/. 

ACCENT, n. [L. accentus, tromad and fa- 
no, cantum, to sing ; AV. canu ; Corn, kann : 
h: canaim. Sec ikccend.] 

A C C 

A C C 

A C C 

I . Tlie modulation of the voice in reading or 
sjjealiiiig, as practiced by tlie ancient 
Greeks, wliich rendered tlieir rehearsal 
musical. More strictly, in English, 

'.'. A particular stress or force of voice upon 
certain syllables of words, wliich distin- 
guishes them from the others. Accent 
is of two liinds, jirimary and secondary ; 
as in as'pira'tion. In uttering this word, 
we observe xhejirst and third syllables are 
distinguished ; the third by a full sound, 
which constitutes the primary accent ; the 
first, by a degree of force in the voice 
which is less than that of the primary ac- 
cent, but evidently greater than that which 
falls on the second and fourth syllables. 

When the full accent falls on a vowel, 
that vowel has its long sound, as in vo'cal ; 
but when it falls on an articulation or con- 
.sonaiit, the preceding vowel is short, as in 
hab'it. Accent alone regulates EngUsh 

3. A mark or character used in writing to 
direct the stress of the voice in proiumcia- 
tion. Our ancestors borrowed from the 
Greek language three of these characters, 
the acute (',) the grave (') and the circum- 
flex (' or '.) In the Greek, the first 
shows when the voice is to be raised ; the 
second, when it is to be depressed ; and 
tlie thu-d, when the vowel is to be uttered 
with an undulating sound. 

4. A modulation of the voice expressive of 
passions or sentiments. 

The tender accents of a woman's cry. Prior 

5. Manner of speaking. 

A man of plain accent. Obs. Shak 

G. Poetically, words, language, or expres 
sions in general. 

Words, on your wings, to heaven her accents 

Such words as heaven alone is fit to hear. 


7. In music, a swelling of sounds, for the 
purpose of variety or expression. The 
principal accent falls on the first note 
the bar, but the third place in common 
time requires also an accent. 

8. A pecuhar tone or inflection of voice, 
A€'CENT, V. t. To express accent ; to utter 

a syllable with a particular stress or mod 
ulation of the voice. In poetry, to utter 
or pronounce in general. Also to note 
accents by marks in writuig. 

Locke. Wotlon 

ACCENTED, pp. Uttered with accent 
marked with accent. 

A€'CENTING, ppr. Pronouncing or mark- 
ing with accent. 

ACCENT'UAL, «. Pertaining to accent. 

ACCENTUATE, v. t. To mark or pro- 
nounce with an accent or \vith accents. 

A€CENTUA'TION, n. The act of placuig 
accents in writing, or of pronouncing them 
in speaking. 

.\CCEPT', V. t. [L. accepto, from accipio, ad 
and capio, to take; Fr. accepter; Sj). 
aceptar ; Port, aceiter; It. accettare. See 
Lat. capio. Class G. b.] 

I. To take or receive what is offered, with 
a consenting mind ; to receive with ap 
probation or favor. 

Bless. Lord, his substance, and accept the 
work of his hands. Deut. xx.viii. 

He made an oifer 


Observe the difference between receive 
and acctjit. 

He received an appointment or the offer of a 
commission, but he did not accept it. 

2. To regard with partiahty ; to value or 

It is not good to accept the person of the 
wicked. Prov. xviii. 2 Cor. viii. 

In theology, acceptance with God im- 
])lies forgiveness of sins and reception into 
his favor. 

3. To consent or agree to ; to receive as 
terms of a contract ; as, to accept a treaty ; 
often followed by of. 

Accept of the terms. 

4. To understand ; to have a particular idea 
of; to receive in a particular sense. 

How is tliis phrase to be accepted ? 

5. In commerce, to agree or iwomise to pay, 
as a bill of exchange. [See Acceptance.] 

ACCEPT'ABLE, a. That may be received 
with pleasure ; hence pleasing to a receiv- 
gratifying ; as an acceptable present. 
2. Agreeable or pleasing in person ; as, a 
man makes himself acceptable by his ser- 
vices or civihties. 
ACCEPT' ABLENESS, > n. The quahtv of 
ACCEPTABILITY, I bemg agreeable 
a receiver, or to a person with whom one 
has mtercourse. [The latter ivord is little 
used, or not at all.] 
ACCEPT' ABLY, adv. In a mamier to 
please, or give satisfaction. 

Let us have grace whereby we may serve God 
acceptably. Heb. xii. 
ACCEPT' ANCE, n. A receiving with ap- 
probation or satisfaction ; favorable recep- 
tion ; as work done to acceptance. 

They shall come up with acceptance on my 
altar. Isa. Ix. 

2. The receiving of a bill of exchange or or- 
der, m such a manner, as to bind the 
ceptor to make payment. This must 

by express words ; and to charge the 
drawer with costs, in case of non payment, 
the acce])tance nmst be in writmg, under, 
across, or on the back of the bill. 


3. An agreeing to terms or proposals in com- 
merce, by which a bargain is concluded 
and the parties bound. 

4. An agreeing to the act or contract of an 
other, by some act which binds the person 
in law ; as, a bishop's taking rent reserved 
on a lease made by liis predecessor, is an 
acceptance of the terms of the lease and 
binds the party. Laiv. 

5. In mercantile language, a bill of exchange 
accepted ; as a merchant receives anoth 
er's acceptance in payment. 

6. Formerly, the sense in which a woi'd is 
understood. Obs. [See Mceptation.] 

ACCEPTA'TION, n. Kind reception; a 
receiving with favor or approbation. 

This is a saying worthy of all acceptation. 
1 Tim. i. 

2. A state of being acceptable ; favorable re- 

Some things are of great dignity and accept- 
ation with God. Hooker. 

But in this sense acceptableness is more 
generally used. 

3. The meaiung or sense in which a word or 
expression is understood, or generally re- 
ceived ; as, a term is to be used according 
to its usual acceptation. 

4. Reception in general. Obs. 

ACCEPT'ED, pp. Kindly received ; re- 
garded ; agreed to ; understood ; received 
as a bill of exchange. 

ACCEPT'ER, or ACCEPTOR, n. A per- 
son who accepts; the person who receives 
a bill of exchange so as to bind himself to 
])ay it. [See Acceptance.] 

ACCEPT'ING, ppr. Receiving favorably; 
agreeing to ; understanding. 

ACCEP'TION, n. The received sense of a 
word. [J^ot now used.] Hammond. 

ACCEPT'IVE, a. Ready to accept. [JVol 
used.] B. Jonson. 

ACCESS', n. [L. accessus, from accedo. See 
Accede. Fr. acc^s.] 

1. A coming to ; near approach ; admit- 
tance ; admission ; as to gain access to a 

2. Approach, or the way by which a thing 
may be approached ; as, the access is by a 
neck of land. Bacon. 

3. Means of approach ; liberty to approach; 
mplying previous obstacles. 

By whom also we have access by faith 
Rom. V. 

4. Admission to sexual intercourse. 
During coverture, access of the husband shall 

e presumed, unless the contrary be shown. 


5. Addition; increase by sometliing added; 
as an access of territory ; but in this sense 
accession is more generally used. 

6. The return of a fit or paroxysm of disease, 
or fever. In this sense accession is gene- 
rally used. 


ACCESSIBIL'ITY, n. The quahty of heiiig 

approachable; or of admitting access. 
ACCESS'IBLE,a. That may be approached 

or reached ; approachable ; applied to 

things ; as an accessible town or mountain. 
2. Easy of approach ; affable ; used ofpeisons. 
ACCESS'ION, n. [L. accessio.] A coming to ; 

an acceding to and joining ; as a king's 

accession to a confederacy. 

2. Increase by something added ; that which 
is added ; augmentation ; as an accession of 
wealth or territory. 

3. Inlaw, a mode of acquiring property, by 
which the owner of a corporeal substance, 
which receives an addition by growth, or 
by labor, has a right to the thing added or 
the unprovement ; provided the tiling is 
not changed into a different species. Thus 
the owner of a cow becomes the owner of 
her calf Blackstone. 

4. The act of arriving at a throne, an ofiice, 
or dignity. 

5. That which is added. 

The only accession which the Roman Em- 
pire received, was the province of Britain. 


6. The invasion of a fit of a periodical dis- 
ease, or fever. It difiers from exacerbation. 
Accession uiiphesa total previous intermis- 
sion, as of a fever ; exacerbation impUes 

■ only a previous remission or abatement of 
ACCESS'IONAL, a. Additional. 
ACCESSO'RIAL, a. Pertaining to an acces- 
sory; as accessorial agenc}', accessorial guilt. 
Burr's Trial. 
ACCESSORILY, arfu. [Sec Accessory.] In 
the manner of an accessory ; fiy subordi- 

A C C 

Dale means, or in a secondary chai 

not as principal, but as a subordinate agent. 

A€'CESSORINESS, n. The state of being 
accessory, or of being or acting in asecon 
dary character. 

ACCESSORY, n. [L. Accessorius, fi-om ac 
cessus, accedo. See Accede. This word i 
accented on the first syllable on accoinit of| 
the derivatives, which require a seconda 
ry accent on the third ; but the natural 
accent of accessory is on the second sylla 
ble, and thus it is often pronounced b) 
good speakers.] 

1. Acceding ; contributing ; aiding in prochic- 
ing some effect, or acting in subordination 
to the principal agent. Usually, in a bad 
sense, as John was accessory to the felony 

1. Aiding in certain acts or effects in a sec- 
ondary manner, as accessory sounds in mu- 
sic. Encyc, 

Ae'CESSORY, n. In latv, one who is guilty 
of a felony, not by committing tlie offense 
in person or as principal, but by advising 
or commanding another to commit the 
crime, or by conceaUng the offender. 
There may be accessories in all felonies, 
but not in treason. An accessory before 
the fact, is one who counsels or commands 
another to commit a felony, and is not 
present when the act is executed ; aftei 
the fact, when one receives and conceals 
the offender. 

3. That wliich accedes or belongs to some- 
thing else, as its principal. 

Accessory nerves, in anatomy, a pair of nerves 
wiiich arising from the medulla in the ver- 
tebers of the neck, ascend and enter the 
skull ; then passing out with the par va 
gum, are distributed into the muscles of| 
the neck and shoidders. 

Accessory, among paijiters, an epithet given 
to paits of a history-piece which are 
ly ornamental, as vases, armor, &c. 

.\€'CIDENCE, n. [See Accident] A small 
book containing the rudiments of grammai'. 

ACCIDENT, n. [L. accidens, faUing, fioni 
ad and cado, to fall; W. codum, a fall 
cicyzaw, to fall ; Ir. kudaim ; Corn, kotha . 
.\rm. kueika, to fall. See Case and Ca- 
dence. Class G d.] 

1. A coming or falling; an event that takes 
j)lace without one's foresight or cxpecta 
tion ; an event which proceeds from ar 
miknown cause, or is an unusual effect of 
alinown cause,^ and therefore not expect 
ed ; chance ; casuahy ; contingency. 

2. That which takes place or begms to exist 
without an efficient intelligent cause and 
without design. 

All of them, in his opinion, owe their being, 
to fate, accident, or the blind action of stuptd 
matter. Bwight. 

:\ In logic, a property, or quaUty of a being 
which is not essential to it, as whiteness in 
paper. Also all quahties are called acci- 
dents, in opposition to substance, as sweet- 
ness, sojlness, and tilings not essential to a 
body, as clothes. Encyc. 

4. In grammar, something belonging to a 
word, but not essential to it, as gender 
number, inflection. Encyc. 

a. In heraldry, a point or mai'k, not essential 
to a coat of arms. Encyc. 

ACCIDENT'AL, a. Happerung by chance, 
or rather imexpectedly ; casual" ; fortui- 

A C C 

tons ; taking place not according to the 
usual course of tilings ; opposed to that 
which is constant, regular, or intended ; as 
an accidental visit. 

2. Non-essential ; not necessarily belonging 
to ; as songs are accidental to a play. 

Accidental colors, are those which depend 
upon the affections of the eye, in distinc- 
tion from those which belong to the light 
itself. Encyc. 

Accidental point, in perspective, is that point 
in the horizontal line, where tlie projec- 
tions of two lines parallel to each other, 
meet the perspective plane. 

ACCIDENT' ALLY, arfy. By chance; casu 
ally ; fortuitously ; not essentially. 

ACCIDENT'ALNESS, n. The quaUty of] 
being casual. [Little used.] 

ACCIDEN'TIARY, a. Pertaining to the ac- 
cidence. [JVot used.] Morton 

ACCIP'ITER, n. [ and ca;)io, to seize.] 

1. A name given to a fish, the milvus or hi 

cerna, a species of Trigla. Cyi 

9. In ornithology, t\m name of the order of 

rapacious fowls. 
The accipiters have a hooked bill, the su))e- 
rior mandible, near the base, being exten- 
ded on each side beyond the inferior. The 
genera are the vultur, the falco, or hawk 
and the strix, or owl. 
AeCIF'ITRINE, a. [Supra.] Seizing ; ra- 
pacious ; as the accipitrine order of fowls. 
Ed. Encyc. 
AeCI'TE, V. t. [L. ad and aft, to cite.] To 

call ; to cite ; to summon. [.Vot used.] 
A€€LA'IM, V. t. [L. acclamo, ad and clamo. 
to cry out; Sp.clamar; Fort. clamar ; It. 
clamare; W. llevain; Ir. liumham. See 
Claim, Clamor.] To applaud. [Little used.] 
A€€LA'IM, n. A shout of joy ; acclama- 
tion. Milton. 
ACCLAMA'TION, n. [L. acclamatio. See 

A shout of applause, uttered by a multitude. 
Anciently, acclamation was a form of 
words, uttered with vehemence, some wtat 
resembUng a song, sometimes accorapan 
ed with applauses which were given by 
the hands. Acclamations were ecclesias- 
tical, military, nuptial, senatorial, synodi 
cal, theatrical, &c. ; they were musical, 
anil i7thmical ; and Ijestowed for joy, re 
spect, and even reproach, and oflen ac 
companied with words, repeated, five 
twenty, and even sixty and eighty times! 
In the later ages of Rome, acclamations 
were performed by a chorus of music in 
structed for the pui-pose. 

In modem times, acclamations are expres 
sed by huzzas; by clapping of hands ; and 
often by repeating vivat rex, vivaf respubll 
ca, long live the king or repubhc, or other 
words expressive of joy and good wishes. 
ACeLAM'ATORY, a. Expressing joy or 

applause by shouts, or clapping of hand 
ACCLI'MAT ED, a. [Ac for ad and cli- 
mate.] Habituated to a foreign climate, 
or a cUmate not native ; so far accustom- 
ed to a foreign chmate as not to be pecu- 
liarly liable to its endemical diseases. 

Med. Repository. 
AeeLIV'ITY, n. [L. acclivus, acclivis, as- 
cending, from ad and clivus, an ascent ; 

A C C 

Ir. clui; Gr. Eol. xAirtvj; Sax. clif, a 

cliff, bank or shore; clifian, cleofian, to 

cleave, or split. See Cliff.] 
-\ slope or inclination of the earth, as the 

side of a hill, considered as ascending, in 

oi)position to declivity, or aside descending. 

Rising groiuid ; ascent ; the talus of a 

ACCLI'VOUS, a. Rising, as a hill with a 

A€€LOY', V. t. To fill ; to stuff: to fill to 

satiety. [.Yot used.] [See Cloy.] Spenser. 
A€€OIL'. [See Cor7.] 
A€'€OLA, n. A delicate fish eaten at Maha. 
ACCOLA'DE, n. [L. ad and collum, neck.] 
A ceremony formerly used in conferring 

knighthood ; but whether an embrace or 

a blow, seems not to be settled. Cyc. 

ACCOM'MODABLE, a. [Fi. accommodable. 

See Accommodate.] 
That may be fitted, made suitable, or made 

to agree. [Little used.] 
A€€OM']MODATE,i;.f. [L. accommodo, to 

apply or suit, from ad and commodo, to 

profit or help ; of con, with, and modus, 

measure, proportion, limit, or manner. See 


1. To fit, ada])t, or make suitable ; as, to ac- 
commodate ourselves to circumstances ; to 
accommodate the choice of subjects to the 
occasions. Paley. 

2. To supply with or furnish ; followed by 
with ; as, to accommodate a man idth 

•3. To supply with conveniences, as to ac- 
commodate a fi-iend. 

4. To reconcile things which are at vari- 
ance ; to adjust ; as to accommodate differ- 

5. To show fitness or agreement ; to api)ly ; 
as, to accommodate prophecy to events. 

i. Toiend— a commercial sense. 

In an intransitive sense, to agree, to be con- 
formable to, as used by Boyle. Obs. 

A€€OM'MODATE,n, Suitable; fit; adapt- 
ed ; as means accommodate to the end. 

Ray. TUloUon. 

ACCOMMODATED, pp. Fitted ; adjust- 
ed ; adapted ; apphed ; also fiimished 
with conveniences. 

We are well accommodated with lodgings. 

ACCOM'MODATELY, adv. Suitably ; fitly. 
[Little used.] More. 

ACCOM MODATENESS,)). Fitness. [Lit- 
tle %ised.] 

ACCOMMODATING, ppr. Adapting ; 
making suitable ; reconciling ; furnishing 
with conveniences ; applying. 

ACCOMMODATING, a. Adapting one's 
self to ; obliging; yielding to the desires of 
others ; disposed to comply, and to oblige 
another ; as an accommodating man. 

\CCOMMODA TION, n. Fitness ; adapta- 
tion ; followed by to. 

The organization of the body with accommo- 
dation to its functions. Hale. 

I. Adjustment of differences ; reconciliation; 

as of parties in dispute. 
3. Provision of conveniences. 

In the plural ; conveniences ; things fur- 
nished for use ; chieffy applied to lodgings. 
In mercantile language, accommodation is 
used for a loan of money ; which is often 
a great convenience. An accommodation 

A C C 

.'o/f, in the language of bank directors, 
is one drawn and offered for discount, fo 
the purpose of borrowing its amount, ii 
opposition to a note, which the owner has 
received in payment for goods. 

In England, accommodation hill, is one 
given instead of a loan of money. Crabbe 

6. It is also used of a note lent merely to 
accommodate the borrower. 

7. In theology, accoimnodation is the appli 
cation of one thing to another by analogy, 
as of the words of a prophecy to a future 

Many of those quotations were probably in- 
tended as nothing more than accommodations. 

^. In marine language, an accommodation- 
ladder is a hglit ladder hung over the side 
of a ship at the gangway. 

A€COM'MODATOR, ti. One that accom 
niodates ; one that adjusts. Warburton. 

A€€t)lM'PANABLE, a. [See Accompany. 
Sociable. [J^Totused.] 

A€€ClM'PANIED, pp. Attended; joined 
with in societv. 

ACeOM'PANIMENT, n. [Yr.A'-compagne. 
ment. See Accompany.] Something that 
attends as a circumstance, or which is ad- 
ded by way of ornament to the principal 
thing, or for the sake of symmetry. Thus 
instruments of music attending the voice ; 
small objects in pauituig ; dogs, guns and 
game in a hunting piece ; warlike instru- 
ments with the portrait of a military cha- 
racter, are accompaniments. 

A€€OM'PANIST, n. The performer in mu- 
sic who takes the accompanying part. 


ACCOM'PANY, V. t. [Fr. accompagner ; Sp, 
acompahar ; Port, acompanhar. See Com- 

1. To go with or attend as a companion or 
associate on a journey, walk, &c. ; as a 
man accompanies his friend to church, or 
on a tour. 

2. To be with as connected ; to attend ; as 
pain accompanies disease. 

A€€OM'PANY, V. i. To attend; to be 
associate ; as to accompany with others. 
Obs. Bacon. 

2. To cohabit. Milton. 

3. In music, to perform the accontpanying 
part in a composition. Busby. 

A€€OM'PANYING, ppr. Attending ; going 
with as a companion. 

A€€OM'PLICE, n. [Fr. complice ; L. com- 
plicatus, folded together, of coji, with, and 
plico, to fold ; W. plegy, to plait ; Arm. 
plega. See Complex and Pledge.] An asso- 
ciate in a crime ; a partner or partaker in 
guilt. It was formerly used in a good 
.sense for a co-opei-ator, but this sense is 
wholly obsolete. It is followed by loith be- 
fore a person ; as, A was an accomplice 
with B in the murder of C. Dryden uses 
it with to before a thing. 

A€eOM'PLISH, V. t. [Fr. accomplir, to fin- 
ish, from ad and L. compleo, to complete. 
See Complete.] To complete ; to finish 

That He would acco?nplish seventy years in 
the desolation of Jerusalem. Dan. ix. 

2. To execute ; as to accomplish a vow, wrath 
or fury. Lev. xiii. and xx. 

3. To gain ; to obtain or cfiiict by successful 

A C C 

exonions ; as to accomplish a purpose. Prov. 
4. To fulfil or bring to pass ; as, to accomplish 

oust yet be accomplished 

Tliis that is written 
in me. Luke, xxii. 
>. To fin-nish with qualities whicli serve to 
render the mind or body complete, as with 
valuable endowments and elegant man- 
.\C€OM'PLISHED, pp. Finished ; complet 
cd ; fidfiUed ; executed ; effected. 

2. a. Well endowed with good qualities anc 
manners ; complete in acquirements ; hav- 
ing a finished education. 

3. Fashionable. Swift. 
ACeOM'PLISHER, n. One who accoiii 


A€€OM'PLISHING, ppr. Finishing; com 
pleting ; fulfilHng ; executing ; effecting ; 
furnishing with valuable qualities. 

A€eOM'PLISHMENT,?i. Completion; ful- 
filment ; entire performance ; as the accom- 
plishment of a prophecy. 

2. The act of carrying into effect, or obtain- 
ing an object designed ; attainment ; as 
the accomplishment of our desires or ends. 

?. Acquirement ; that which constitutes ex- 
cellence of mind, or elegance of manners, 
acquired by education. 

A€€OMPT'. Obs. [See Account.] 

ACCOM PT' ANT. Obs. [See Accountayit.] 

ACCORD', n. [Fr. accord, agreement, con- 
sent ; accorder, to adjust, or reconcile ; Sp 
acordar ; Arm. accord, accordi ; It. accordo. 
accordare. The Lat. has concors, concordo. 
Qu. cor and cordis, the heart, or from the 
same root. In some of its apphcations, it 
is naturally deduced from chorda. It. 
da, the string of a musical instrument ^ 
Agreement ; harmony of minds ; consent 
or concurrence of opinions or wills. 

They all continued with one accord in prayei 
Acts, i. 

2. Concert ; harmony of sounds ; the union 
of different sounds, which is agreeable to 
the ear ; agreement in pitch and tone ; 
tjie accord of notes ; but in this sense, it is 
more usual to employ concord or chord. 

•3. Agreement ; just correspondence of things ; 
as the accord of hght and shade in painting, 

4. Will ; voluntary or spontaneous motion ; 
used of the will of persons, or the natural 
motion of other bodies, and preceded by 


;ing more forward of his own accord. 2 

That which groweth of its own accord thou 
shalt not reap. Lev. xxv. 
. Adjustment of a difference ; reconciliation. 
The mediator of an accord. 

6. In law, an agreement between parties in 
controversy, by which satisfaction for an 
injury is stiptdated, and which, when ex- 
ecuted, bars a suit. Blackstone. 

7. Permission, leave. 
ACCORD', J', t. To make to agree, or cor- 

•espond ; to adjust one thing to another. 

Her hands accorded the lute's music to the 

voice. Sidney. 

2. To bring to an agreement ; to settle, ad- 
just or compose ; as to accord suits or con- 
troversies. Hall. 

\CCORD', V. i. To agree ; to be in corres- 

My heart accnrdeth with my tongue. Shak. 
To agree in pitch and tone. 

A C C 

AecORD'ABLE, a. Agreeable; consonanf. 

^ Goiver 

ACCORD' ANCE, n. Agreement with a per 

son ; contbrmity loifh a thing. 
ACCORD'ANT, a. Corresponding; conso- 
nant ; agreeable. 
ACCORD'ED, pp. Made to agree ; adjusted. 
ACCORD'ER, n. One that aids, or favors 

[Little used.] 
ACCORD'ING, ppr. Agreeing ; harmoni- 

Th' according music of a well mixt state. 

2. Suitable ; agreeable ; in accordance with 
In these senses, the word agrees with or 
refers to a sentence. 

Our zeal should be according to knowledge. 
Noble is the fame that is built on candor and 
ingenuity, according to those beautiful lines ol 
Sir John Denham. Spectator. 

Here the whole preceding parts of the 
sentence are to accord, i. e. agree with, 
correspond with, or be suitable to, what 
follows. According, here, has its true parti- 
cipial sense, agreeing, and is always fol- 
lowed by to. It is never a preposition. 
ACCORD'INGLY, adv. Agreeably; suita- 
bly ; in a manner conformable to. 
Those who live in faith and good works, will 

be rewariled accordingly. 
ACCORP'ORATE, v. t. To unite ; [JVot in 

use.] '" ' ■ ^ - - 

side, border, coast ; G. kiiste ; D. kust : 
Dan. kyst.] 
To approach ; to draw near ; to come side 

by side, or face to face. [JVo< in use.] 
2. To speak first to ; to address. Milton. 

ACCOST', i;. i. To adjoin. [J^ot in use.] 

ACCOST'ABLE, o. Easy of access ; famil- 
iar. Howell. 

•e.] [See Incorporate.] Milton. 

DOST' V. t. [t r. accoster ; ad and cote. 

ACCOST'ED, pp. Addressed ; first spoken 
In heraldry, being side by side. 

ACCOST'ING, ppr. Addressijig by first 
speaking to. 

ACCOUCHEUR, n. accooshdre. [Fr.] A 
man who assists women in cliildbirth. 

ACCOUNT', n. [Fr. conte ; It. conto ; Sp. 
cuenta; Ann. count ; an account, reckon- 
ing, computation. Formerly writers used 
accompt from the Fr. compte. See Count] 

1. A sum stated on paper; a registry of a 
debt or credit ; of debts and credits, or 
charges ; an entry in a book or on paper 
of things bought o^- sold, of payments, ser- 
vices &,c., including the names of the par- 
ties to the transaction, date, and price or 
value of the thing. 

Account signifies a single entry or 
charge, or a statement of a number of jjar- 
ticular debts and credits, in a book or on a 
separate paper ; and in the plural, is used 
for the books containing such entries. 
A computation of debts and credits, or a 
general statement of particular sums; as, 
the accou7it stands thus ; let him exliibit 
his account. 

A computation or mode of reckoning ; 
applied to other things, than money or 
trade ; as the Julian account of time. 
t|4. Narrati\ e ; relation ; statement of facts : 

A C C 

A C C 

A C C 

recital of particular transactions and 
events, verbal or written ; as an account 
of the revolution in France. Hence, 

5. An assigmnent of reasons ; explanation 
by a recital of particular transactions, giv- 
en by a person in an employment, or to a 
sujierior, often implying responsibility. 

Give axi account of thy stewardship. Luke, xvi. 
Without responsibility or obligation. 
He giveth not account of his matters. Job, 

6. Reason or consideration, as a motive ; as 
on all accounts, on every account. 

7. Value ; importance ; estimation ; that is, 
such a state of persons or things, as rend- 
ers them worthy of more or leas estima- 
tion ; as men of account. 

What is the son of man that thou niakest ac- 
count of \ata. Ps. cxliv. 

8. Profit ; advantage ; that is, a result or pro- 
duction worthy of estimation. To find 
our account in a pursuit ; to tuni to ac- 
count. Philip. 4. 

9. Regard; behalf; sake; a sense deduced 
from charges on book ; as on account of 
public affairs. 

Put that to mine account. Philem. xviii. 

To make account, that is, to have a previous 
opinion or e.xpectation, is a sense now ob- 

A writ of account, in law, is a writ which 
the plaintiffbrings demanding that the de- 
fendant should render his just account, or 
show good cause to the contrary ; called 
also an action of account. Cowel. 

A€€OUNT', V. t. To deem, judge, consid- 
er, think, or hold in opinion. 

I and my son Solomon shall be accounted of- 
fenders. 1. Kings, i. 

2. To account of, to hold in esteem ; to value. 

Let a man so account of us as of minister 
of Christ. 1 Cor. iv. 

Silver was not any thing accounted of in Ih 
cLiys of Solomon. 1 Kings, x. 

3. To reckon, or compute ; as, the motion of 
the sun whereby years are accounted- 
also to assign as a debt ; as, a project a 
counted to his service ; but these uses are 

A€€OUNT', V. i. To render an 

or relation of particulars. An oflicer must 

account with or to the Treasurer/or money 

t}. To give reasons; to assign the 

to explain ; with for; as, idleness accounts 
for poverty. 
3. To render reasons ; to answer for 

responsible character. 
We must account for all the talents entrusted 

to us. 
-.A€€OUNTABIL'ITY, n. The state of being 

liable to answer for one's conduct ; habil- 

jty to give account, and to receive reward 

or punishment for actions. 

The awful idea of accountability. 

R. Hall 
2. Liability to the payinent of money or of 

damages ; responsibility for a trust 
ACCOUNT' ABLE, a. Liable to be called to 

account ; answerable to a superior. 
Every man is accountable to God /or his con 

2. Subject to pay, or make good, in case of 

loss. A sheriff is accountable, as bailiff and 

receiver of goods. 
.Accountable for, that may be explained. [.Vot 


.\CCOUNT'ABLENESS, n. Liablencss to 
answer or to give accoimt ; the state ofj 
being answerable, or liable to the payment 
of monev or damages. 

ACCOUNT' ANT, n. One skilled in mercan- 
tile accounts ; more generally, a person 
who keeps accounts ; an oflicer in a pub- 
lic oflice who has charge of the accounts. 
In Great Britain, an officer in the court 
of chancery, who receives money and 
pays it to the bank, is called accountant- 

ACCOUNT'-BOOK, n. A book in which 
accounts are kept. Sufijt. 

ACCOUNT'ED, pp. Esteemed; deemed; 
considered ; regarded ; valued. 

Accounted for, ex]>lained. 

A.CCOUN'T'ING, n;7r. Deeming ; esteeming ; 
reckoning ; rendering an account. 

Accounting for, rendering an account ; as- 
signing the reasons ; unfoldmg the causes. 

ACCOUNT'ING, n. The act of reckoning 
or adjusting accounts. 

VCCOUPLE, V. t. accup'plc. To couple ; to 
join or link together. [See Couple.] 

ACCOUPLEMENT, n. accup'plement. A 
couphng ; a connecting in paus ; jimction. 
{Ijittle used.] 

ACCOUR'AGE, v. t. accur'age. [See Cour-\ 
age.] To encourage. [JVut tised.] 


ACCOURT, V. t. [See Court.] To entertain' 
witli courtesy. [Ao< used.] Spenser} 

ACCOUTER, tJ. f. accoot'er. [Fr. accoutrer ;' 
contracted from accoustrfr, from Norm.j 
costc, a coat, coster, a rich cloth or vest- 
ment for festivals. I think this to be the! 
true origin of the word, rather than cou-\ 
dre, couture, couturier.] [ 

In a general sense, to dress ; to equip ; but ^ 
appropriately, to array in a militaiy dress •^' 
to put on, or to ftu'nish with a military 
dress and arms ; to equip the body for 
military service. 

ACCOUt'ERED, pp. Dressed in arms; 

Ai't'Ol T ERIXG, ppr. Equipping with 
iiiilitarv haliilinients. * 

ACCOUt'ERMENTS,?!. plu. Dress ; equip- 
age ; furniture for the body ; appropri- 
ately, miUtary dress and arms ; equijiage 
for miUtary service. 

3. In common usage, an old or unusual Ai 

ACCOY', V. t. [old Fr. accoisir. Todd.] 

To render quiet or diffident ; to soothe ; to 
caress. [Obs-] Spenser. 

ACCRED'IT, r. «. [Fr. accrcrfi7er; Sp. acrc- 
ditar; It. accreditare; to give authority or 
reputation ; from L. ad and credo, to be-! 
heve, or give faith to. See Credit.] j 

To give credit, authority, or reputation ; to' 
accredit an envoy, is t6 receive him in his 
public character, and give him credit and 
rank accordinglv. 

ACCREDITATION, n. That which sives 
title to credit. [Ldttle used.] 

ACCRED'ITED, pp. Allowed ; received 
with reputation ; authorized in a public 
character. Christ. Obs. 

ACCRED'ITING,;>p-. Giving authority or 

ACCRES'CENT, a. [See Accretion.] In- 
creasing. Shuckford. 

ACCRE'TION, n. [Lat. accretio 
accres'co, to increase, literally, to grow 

ad .iiid cresco ; Eiig. accrue ; Fr. accroitre. 
See Increase, Accrue, Grow.] 

\. A growing to ; an increase by natural 
growth ; applied to the increase of organic 
bodies by the accession of parts. 

Plants have an accretion, but no alimenta- 
tion. Bacon. 

2. In the civil law, the adhering of property 
to sometlijng else, by which the owner of 
one thing becomes possessed of a right to 
anotlier ; as, when a legacy is lef\ to two 
persons, and one of them dies before the 
testator, the legacy devolves to the sur- 
vivor by right of accretion. Encyc. 

ACCRE'TIVE, a. Increasing by growth; 
growing; adding to by growth; as the 
accretive motion of plants. 

ACCROACH, V. i. [Fr. accrocher, to fix on a 
hook ; from croc, crochet, a hook, from 
the same elements as crook, which see.] 

1. To hook, or draw to, as with a hook ; but 
in this sense not used. 

2. To encroach ; to draw away from an- 
other. Hence in old laws to assume the 
e.vercise of royal prerogatives. 


The noun accroachment, an encroachment, or 
attempt to exercise royal power, is rarely 
or never used. [See Encroach.] 

ACCRUE, V. i. accru'. [Fr. accroitre, accru, 
to increase; L. accresco, cresco; Sp. crecer 
and acrectr ; It. crescere, accrescere ; Port. 
crecer : Arm. crisqi.] 

Literally, to grow to; hence to arise, pro- 
ceed or come ; to be added, as increase, 
profit or damage ; as, a profit accrues to 
government from the coinage of copper ; 
a loss accrues from the coinage of gold 
and silver. 

ACCRUE, n. accru'. Something that ac- 
cedes to, or follows the property of an- 
other. 04s. 

ACCRU'ING, ppr. Growing to ; arising ; 
coming ; being added. 

.'V.CCRU'MENT, n. Addition ; increase. 
[Little used.] Montagu. 

(fACCUBA'TION, n. [L. accubatio, a rechn- 
ing, from ad and cubo, to lie down. See 
Cube.] A lying or reclining on a couch, as 
the ancients at their meals. The manner 
was to rechne on low beds or couches 
with the head restmg on a pillow or on the 
elbow. Two or three men lay on one bed, 
the feet of one extended behind the back 
of another. This practice was not permit- 
ted among soldiers, children, and senants ; 
nor was it known, until luxury had cor- 
rupted manners. Encyc. 

.^iCCUMB', V. i. [L. accumbo ; ad and cubo.] 
recline as at table. [.Vot used.] 

ACeUM'BENCY, n. State of being accum- 
bent or reclining. 

ACCUM'BENT, a. [L. accumbens, accumbo, 
from cubo. See Accubation.] Leaning or 
reclining, as the ancients at their meals. 

ACCU'MULATE, v. t. [L. md 
cumulo, to heap; cumulus, a heap; Sp. 
acuimilar ; It. accumulare ; Fr. accumu- 
ler, combler.] 

1. To lieap up ; to pile ; to amass ; as, to accu- 
mulate earth or stones. 

2. To collect or bring together; as to accu- 
mulate causes of misery ; to accumulate 

ACCU'MULATE. v. i. To grow to a grea'. 

A C C 

.-ii/e, mmiber or quantity ; to 
^'leatly ; as public evils uccumulale 

ACCUMULATE, a. Collected into a mass, 
orfjiiaiitity. Bacon 

ACCUMULATED, ipp- Collected into i 
lic,-i|i i.r ^'irat quantity. 

Aid Ml LV'l'lNG, ;);))•. Heaping up 
i(iM^(>-in^ : increasing greatly. 

ACCLMULATION, n. Thekct ofaccunni 
latiiig ; tlie state of being accumulated ; ai 
amassing; a collecting together; as ai: 
nccumulation of earth or of evils. 

•2. In tat', the concun-ence of several titles 
to the same thing, or of several circum 
stances to the same proof. Encyc. 

3. In Universities, an accumulation of degrees, 
is tlie taking of several together, or at 
.smaller intervals than usual, or than is 
allowed by the rules. Encyc. 

AeCU'MULATIVE, a. That accumulates; 
heapuig up ; accumulating. 

ACCU'MULATOR, n. One that accumu- 
lates, gathers, or amasses. 

ACCURACY, n. [L. accuratio, from accu- 
rare, to take care of; ad and curare, to take 
care ; cxira, care. See Care.] 

1. Exactness ; exact conformity to truth ; or 
to a rule or model ; freedom from mistake ; 
nicety; correctness; precision wliich re- 
sults from care. The accuracy of ideas or 
ophiions is conformity to truth. The val- 
ue of testimony depends on its accuracy ; 
copies of legal instruments should be taken 
with accuracy. 

2. Closeness ; tightness ; as a tube sealed with 

ACCURATE, a. [L. accuratus.] In exact 
conformity to truth, or to a standard or 
rule, or to a model ; free from failure, error, 
or defect ; as an accurate account ; accurate 
measure ; an accurate expression 

2. Determinate ; precisely fixed ; as, one body 
may not have a very accurate influence on 
another. Bacon 

3. Close ; perfectly tight ; as an accurate seal- 
ing or luting. 

ACCURATELY, adv. Exactly ; in an accu- 
rate manner ; with precision ; without er- 
ror or defect ; as a writing accurately copied. 

9. Closely; so ' • ■ ■ ^ J- 




2. The charge of an offense or criiiif 

the declaration containing the charge. 

They set over his head his accusation, ] 

ACCU'SATIVE, a. A term given to a case 
of noims, in Grammars, on which thi 
tion of a verb terminates or falls ; called 
in English Grammar the objective case. 

ACCU'SATIVELY, adv. In an accusative 

2. In relation to the accusative case 

ACCU'SATORY, a. Accusing ; containing 
an accusation ; as an accusatory libel. 

ACCU'SE, ». <. sasz. [L. accuse, to blame. 
ad and causor, to blame, or ac- 
causa, blame, suit, or process. 



lui ui ucicci, asu n rnmg accurately copiea. 
Closely ; so as to be peifectly tight ; as a 
vial accurately stopped. Comstock. 

3'eURATENESS, n. Accuracy; exact- 
ness ; nicety ; precision. 
ACCURSE, V. t. accurs', [Ac for ad and 
curse.] To devote to destruction ; tounpre 
cate misery or evil upon. [This verb i 
rarely used. See Curse.] 
ACCURS'ED, pp. or a. Doomed to destruc 
tion or misery : 

The city shall be accursed. John vi. 
2. Separated fi-om the faithful ; cast out of 
the church ; excommunicated. 

I could wish myself accursed from Christ. 

St. Paul, 
\S. Worthy of the curse : detestable ; exe- 

Keep from tlie accursed tiling. Josh. vi. 
4. Wicked ; malignant in the extreme. 
ACCU'SABLE, a. That may be accused ; 
chargeable with a crime ;"blamable; ha- 
^ ble to censure ; followed by of. 
ACCU'SANT, n. One who accuses. Hall. 
ACCUSA'TION, n. The act of charging 
with a crime or offense ; the act of accus- 
ing of any wrong or injustice. 

cause ; t v. accuser ; 

accusar; It.accusare; Arm. accusi. The 
sense is, to attack, to drive against, t( 
charge or to fall upon. See Cause.] 

1. To charge with, or declare to have com 
mitted a crime, either by plaint, or com 
plaint, information, indictment,or impeach- 
ment ; to charge with an offense against 
the laws, judicially or by a public process 
as, to accuse one of a high crime or mis- 

2. To charge with a fault ; to blame. 
Their thoughts, in the meanwhile, accusing 

or excusing one another. Rom. ii. 

It is followed by o/ before the subject of ac- 
cusation ; the use of for after this verb is 

ACCU'SED, pp. Charged with a crime, by 
a legal process ; charged with an offense 

ACCU'SER, n. One who accuses or blames 
an oflicer who prefers an accusation 
against another for some offense, in the 
name of the government, before a tribu 
nal that has cognizance of the offense. 

ACCU'SING, ppr. Charging with a crime 

ACCUS'TOM, V. t. [Fr. accoutumer, from ad 
and coutume, coustume, custom. See Cus- 

Toinake familiar by use ; to form a habit I: _ 
practice ; to habituate or inure ; as to 
accustom one's self to a spare diet. 

ACCUS'TOM, V. i. To be wont, or habitu 
ated to do any thing. [Little used.] 

3. To cohabit. [Abi«serf.] Milton. 
ACCUS'TOM, n. Custom. [JVot used.] 

ACCUS'TOMABLE, a. Of long custom ; 

habitual ; customary. [Little used.] 
ACCUS'TOMABLY, adv. According 

custom or habit. [Little used.] 
ACCUS'TOMAISfCE, n. Custom ; habitual 

use or practice. [JVotused.] Boyle. 

ACCUS'TOMARILY, adv. AcconUng to 

custom or common practice. [See Cus- 
■" '; used.] 
, a. Ui 

[See Ciistoman/.] [Little used. 
ACCUS'TOMED, pp. Being fainihar by 

use ; habituated ; inured. 
2. o. Usual ; often practiced ; as in their ac- 

customed manner. 
ACCUS'TOrMING, ppr. Making famihar 

by practice ; inuring. 
ACE, n. [L. as, a unit or pound ; Fr. as ; 

It. asso; D. aas; G. ass; Sp. as.] 
A unit ; a single point on a card or die ; or 

the card or die so marked. 

tomarily.] [Little used. 
ACCUS'TOMARY, a. Usual; customary 

2. A very small quantity; a panicle; an atonj; 
a trifle ; aw a creditor will not abate an ace 
of his demand. 
ACEL'DAMA, n. [Ch. Spn, a field, and 

KOI, Ch. Syr. and Sam., blood.] 
A field said to have lain south of Jerusalem, 
the same as the potters field, purchased 
with the bribe which Judas took for betray- 
ing his master, and therefore called the 
field of blood. It was appropriated to the 
interment of strangers. 
ACEPH'ALOUS, a. [Gr. a priv. and«t«„, 

a head.] 
Without a head, headless. In lustory, the 
term Acephali, or AcephaUtes was given 
to several sects who refused to follow 
some noted leader, and to such bishops as 
were exempt from the jurisdiction and dis- 
cipline of their patriarch. It was also 
given to certain levelers who acknowl- 
edged no head in the reign of Henry 1st. 
It was also applied to the Blemmvcs, a 
pretended nation of Africa, and to "other 
tribes in the East, whom ancient natural- 
ists represented as havhig no head : their 
eyes and mouth being plncnl in other 
parts. Modern discoverjis li:n c ili>-i|>;it- 
ed these fictions. In Kii?jli-li l.;i\\ >. men 
who held lands of no paiti. iilai lonl, and 
clergymen who were under no bisliop. 
L. L. Hen. I. Cowel. 
ACEPH'ALUS, n. An obsolete name of the 
tjenia or tape worm, which was formerly 
supposed to have no head ; an error now 
exploded. The term is also used to ex- 
press a verse defective in the begimiing. 
ACERB', a. [L. acerbus ; G. herbe, harsh, 
sour, tart, bitter, rough, whence herbst, 
autumn, herbstzeit, harvest time ; D. herfst, 
harvest. See Harvest] 
Sour, bitter, and harsh to the taste ; sour, 
with astringency or roughness ; a quaUty 
of unripe fruits. Qtiincy. 

ACERB'ITY, n. A sourness, with rough- 
ness, or astringency. 

Figuratively, harshness or severity of 
temper in man. 
ACER'IC, a. [L. acer, a maple tree.] 
Pertaining to the maple ; obtamed from the 
na))le, as aceric acid. Ure. 

AC'EROUS, a. [L. acerosus, chaflfy, from 
acus, chaffer a point.] In botany, chaffy ; 
resembling chaff. 
2. An acerous or acerose leaf is one which 
is linear and permanent, in form of a nee- 
dle, as m pine. Martyru 
ACES'CENCY, n. [L. acescens, turning 
sour, from acesco. See Acid.] A turning 
sour by spontaneous decomposition ; a 
state of becoming sour, tart, or acid ; and 
hence a being moderately sour. 
ACES'CENT, a. Turning .sour; becoming 
tait or acid by spontaneous decomposition. 
Hence sliglitly sour ; but the latter sense 
is usually expressed by acidulous or sub- 
acid. JVicholson. 
ACES'TE, n. In entomology, a species of 
papUio or butterfly, with subdentated 
wings, found in India. Cyc. 
ACES'TIS, n. [Gr.] A factitious sort of 
chi-ysocolla, made of Cyprian verdigris, 
urine, and niter. Cyc. 
ACETAB'ULUM, n. [L. from acetum, vin- 
egar. See Acid.] Among the Romans a 

A C H 

A C I 

A C 1 

vinegar cnise or like vessel, and a meas- 
ure of about one eighth of a pijit. 
1. In anatomy, the cavity of a bone for receiv- 
ing the protuberant end of another bone, 
and therefore forming the articulation cal- 
led enarthrosis. It is used especially for 
the cavity of the os Innominatum, which 
receives the liead of the thigh bone 

ACTIE'AN, a. Pertaining to Acliaia in 
Greece, and a celebrated league or con- 
federacy established there. Tliis State lay 
on the gulf of Corinth, within Pelopon- 

ACIIERN'ER, n. A star of the first magni- 
tude m the southern extremity of the con- 
stellation Eridanus. 

2. In botfiny, the trivial name of a species of A€H'ER!SET, n. An ancient measure of 
■■ ■ " ■ corn, supposed to be about eight bushels. 


ACHIE'VABLE, a. [See Achieve.^ That 

may be performed. Barrow. 

ACHIE'VANCE, n. Performance. Ehjol. 

.'VCIIIE'VE, v.t. [, to finish; Ann. 

acchui; old Fr. cJicver, to come to the end, 

from Fr. chef, the head or end ; old Eng. 

cheve ; Sp. and Port, acabar, from cabo, end, 

cnpe. See Chief.] 

1. To i)erform, or execute ; to accomplisli ; 
to finish, or carry on to a final close. It is 
apiiropriately used for the effect of efforts 
made by tlie hand or bodily exertion, as 
fleeds achieved by valor. 

2. To gain or obtain, as the result of exertion. 
Show all the spoils by valiaat Kings achieved. 

AOIIIE'VEn, pp. Performed; obtained ; 

piv.izn, the cup peziza ; so called from its 
reseinbliince to a cup. 

3. A glandular substance found in the placen- 
ta of some anunals. 

4. It is sometimes used in the sense of Coty- 

5. A species of lichen. Cyc. 
^AC'ETARY, n. [^ee Acid.] An acid pulpy 

substance in certain fi-uits, as the pear, in- 
closed in a congeries of small calculous 
bodies, towards the base of the fruit. 


ACETATE, n. [See Acid.] In chimistry, a 
neutral salt formed by the union of the 
acetic acid, or radical vuiegar, with any 
saUfiable base, as with earths, metals, and 
alkalies; as the ace/aie of alumine, of lime, 
or of copper. Lavoisier. 

AC'ETATED, «. [See Acid.] Combined 
with acetic acid, or radical vinegar. 

ACE'Tle, o. [See Acid.] A term used to 
denote a particular acid, acetic acid, the 
concentrated acid of vinegar, or radical 
vinegar. It may be obtained by exposing 
common vinegar to fi-ost — the water frcez" 
ing leaves the acetic acid, in a state of pu 

ACETIFI€A'TION, n. The act of making 
acetous or sour; or the operation of mak- 
ing vinegar. Cyc. 

ACE'TIFY, V. t. To convert into acid oi 
vinegar. Aikin 

AC'ETITE, n. [See Add.] A neutral salt 
formed by the acetous acid, with a salifi 
able base ; as the acelitc of copper, alumi 
nous acetite. Lavoisier 

ACETOM'ETER, n. [L. acetum, vinegar, 
and liftfiov, measure.] 

An instrument for ascertaining the strengtl 
of vinegar. Ure. 

ACETOUS, a. [See Acid.] Sour; hke or 
having the nature of vinegar. Acetous 
acid is the term used by chimists for dis 
tilled vinegar. Tliis acid, in union with 
different bases, forms salts called acetites. 

ACETUM, n. [L. See Add.] Vmegar; a 
sour liquor, obtained from vegetables dis 
solved in boiUng water, and from ferment 
ed and spirituous liquors, by expositig tliem 
to heat and air. 

This is called the acid or acetous fermenta 

A€HE, V. i. ake. [Sax. ace, ece ; Gr. axtu. 
to aclie or be in pain ; a;K05, pain. Tli 
primary sense is to be pressed. Perhaps 
the oriental pi;? " 

1. To suffer pain ; to have or be in pain, or 

in continued pain ; as, the head aclm. 

• 2. To suffer grief, or extreme grief; to be 

- ' distressed ; as, the heart aches 

AGHE, 7!. ake. Pain, or continued pain, in 

opposition to sudden twuiges, or spasmod 

ic ])ain. It denotes a more moderate de 

gree of pain than pang, anguish, suid tor- 

Vol. L 

VCIllK'VEMENT, n. The performance of 


2. A great or heroic deed ; something ac- 
complished by valor, or boldness. 

3. An obtaining by exertion. 

4. An escutcheon or ensigns armorial, grant- 
ed for the performance of a great or hon- 
orable action. Encyc. 

ACHIE'VER, n. One who accomplishes a 
purpose, or obtains an object by his exer- 

ACHIE'VING,p;)r. Performing; executing ; 

A'ellING, ppr. Being in pain ; suffering 

A'€HING, n. Pain; continued pain or distress. 

A'CHIOTE, n. The anotta, a tree, and adriig 

used for dyeing red. The bark of the tree 

makes good cordage, and the wood is used 

to excite fire by friction. [See Anotta.] 


A'€HOR, n. [Gr. a;t"P, sordes capitis.] 
. The scald head, a disease forming scaly 
eruptions, supposed to be a critical evac- 
uation of acrimonious humors ; a species 
of herpes. Hooper. Quincy. 

. In mythology, the God of flies, said to have 
been worshipped by the Cyreneans, 
avoid being vexed bv those insects. Encyc. 

A€HR03IAT'I€, a. "[Gr. a priv. and ;i:p"iu<t, 

Destitute of color. Achromatic telescopes 
are formed of a combination of lenses 
which separate the variously colored rays 
of light to equal angles of divergence, ';ii 
different angles of refi-action of the niuai 
ray. In this case, the rays being made i. 
refract towards contrary parts, the w holt 
ray is caused to deviate from its course,! 
without being separated into colors, and} 
the o[)tical aberration arising fi-om the 
rious colors of light, is prevented. This 
telescope is an invention of DoUand. 

\CI€'ULAR, a. [L. adcula, Priseian, a 
needle, froniGr. axtj, L. acies,3. point. See 


Intlic shape of a needle; having sharp point* 
like iieedlcs. Kirwan. Martyn. 

\n ncicidar prism is when the crystals are 
slender and straight. Phillips. 

ACl€'ULARLY, adv. In the manner of 
needles, or prickles. 

ACID, a. [L. acidus ; Sax. aced, vine- 
gar ; from the root of ades, edge ; Gr. 
axr] ; W. oKif, an edge or point. See Edge.] 

Sour, sharp or biting to the taste, having the 
taste of vinegar, as addfruils or liquors. 

AC'ID, n. In chimistry, acids are a class of 
of substances, so denominated from their 
taste, or the sensation of .sourness which 
they ijnidnce on the tongue. But the 
namc^ is now given to several substances, 
which ha\e not this characteristic in an 
eminent degree. The properties, by which 
they are distinguished, are these : 

1. When taken into the mouth, they occa- 
sion the taste of sourness. They are cor- 
rosive, unless diluted with water ; and some 
of them are caustic. 

2. They change certain vegetable blue colors 
to red, and restore blue colors which have 
been tiu-ned green, or red colors which 
have been turned blue by an alkali. 

3. iWost of them unite with water in all pro- 
jjortions, with a condensation of volume 
and evolution of heat ; and many of them 
have so strong an attraction for "water, as 
not to appear in the sohd state. 

4. They have a stronger affinity for alka- 
hes, than these have for any other sub- 
stance ; and in combining with them, most 
of them produce effervescence. 

They unite with earths, alkaUes and me- 
tallic oxyds, forming interesting com- 
pounds, usually called salts. 

6. With few exceptions, they are volatiUzed 
or decomposed by a moderate heat. 

The old chimists divided acids into ani- 
mal, vegetable, and mineral — a division 
now deemed inaccurate. They are also 
divided into oxygen acids, hydrogen acids, 
and acids destitute of these acidifiers. 
Another division is into acids with simple 
radicals, acids with double radicals, acids 
with triple radicals, acids with imknown 
radicals, compound acids, dubious acids, 
and acids destitute of oxygen. 
Lavoisier. Thomson. J^icholson. Aikin. 

ACIDIF'EROUS, a. [Acid and L. fero.] 
Containing acids, or an acid. 

Acidiferous minerals are such as consist of 
an earth combined with an acid; as carbo- 
nate of Ume, alumuiite, &c. Phillips. 

VCID'IFIABLE, a. [From Acidify.] 

Capable of being converted into an acid, by 
union with an acidifying principle, with- 
out decomposition. 

ACIDIFI€A'TION, n. The act or process 
of aridifvuig or changing into an acid. 

\ril) II'IKD, pp. Made acid; converted 

veil* ll'IKR, n. That which by combina- 
tion Ibiins an acid, as oxygen and hydro- 

ACID'IFY, I', t. [Add and L.fncio.] 

To make acid ; but appropriately to convert 
into an acid, chimically so called, by com- 
bination with any substance. 

ACIDIFYING, ppr. Making acid; con- 
verting into an acid ; having power to 
change into an acid. Oxygen is called the 
acidifying principle or element. 

A C K 

ACIDIM'ETER, n. [Acid and Or. nitf^ov, 

All instrument for ascertaining tlie strength 
of acids. Ure. 

ACID'ITY, n. [Fr. aciditi, from acid.] 

The quality of being sour; sourness; tart- 
ness ; sharpness to the taste. 

AC'IDNESS, n. The quahty of being sour; 

ACIDULATE, v. t. [L. addulus, shghtly 
sour; Fr. aarfwier, to make sour. See^a'rf." 

To tuige with an acid ; to made acid in i 
moderate degre. A-buthnot. 

ACID'ULATED, pp. Tinged with an acid ; 
made slightly sour. 

ACID'ULATING,;7jur. Tinging with an acid 

AC'IDUIiE, \ 11. In chimistry, a compound 

ACID'ULUM, S salt, in which the alkahne 
base is su])ersaturated with acid ; as, tarta 
reous aciduhim ; oxalic acidulum. 

ACIDULOUS, a. [L. addulus. See Add.] 

Slightly sour ; sub-acid, or having an ex 
cess of acid ; as, addulous sulphate. 

ACINAC'IFORM, a. [L. acmaces, a cime 
ter, Gr. axuaxs;?, and Tl,. forma, form.] 

In botany, formed like, or resembling a cim- 
eter. Marfyn. 

AC'INIFORM, a. [L. annus, a grape stone 
and forma, shape.] 

Having the form of grapes ; being ui clusters 
Uke grapes. The uvea or posterior la- 
men of the iris in the eye, is called the 
adniform tunic. Anatomists apply the 
term to many glands of a similar forma 
tion. Qtiincy. Hooper 

ACINOSE, > a. [From L. acinus. Set 

ACINOUS, S Adniform.] 

Consisting of minute granular concretions 
used in mineralogy. Kirwan 

ACINUS, n. [L.] In botany, one of the 
small grains, which compose the fruit of 
the blackbeiTy, &c. 

ACIPENSER, a. In ichthyology, a genus 
of fishes, of the order of chondropterygii, 
having an obtuse head ; the mouth under 
the head, retractile and without teeth. 
To this genus belong the sturgeon, ster- 
let, huso, &c. Cyc 

\CIT'LI, n. A name of the water hare, or 
great crested grebe or diver. 

Diet, of Nat. Hist 

A€KNOWL'EDGE, v.t. Aknol'edge, [ad 
and knoivledge. See Kno%p.] 

J. To own, avow or admit to be true, by a 
declaration of assent ; as to acknoiuh'dge 
the being of a God. 

'3. To own or notice with particular regard. 
In all thy ways acknowledge God. Prov. iii. 
Isa. xxxiii. 

?i. To own or confess, 
sciousness of guilt. 

1 acknowledge my transgressions, and my 
sin is ever before me. Ps. li. and x.\xii. 

4. To own with assent ; to admit or receive 
with approbation. 

He tliat acknowledgeth the son, hath the 
the father also. 1 John ii. 2 Tim. ii. 

3. To own with gratitude ; to own as a ben- 
efit ; as, to acknowledge a favor, or the re- 
ceipt of a gift. 

They his gifts acknowledged not. Milton. 

G. To own or admit to belong to ; as, to ac- 
knowledge a son. 

7. To receive with respect. 

AU tbat eee them shall acknowledge that 

A C O 

implying a con- 

they are the seed which the Loid hath blessed 
Isa. vi. I Cor. xvi. 

8. To own, avow or assent to an act in a le- 
gal foriri, to give it validity ; as, to acknowl- 
edge a deed before competent authority. 

A€KNOWL'EDGED, pp. Owned ; con- 
fessed ; noticed with regard or gratitude ; 
received with approbation ; owned before 

A€KNOWL'ED(iING, ppr. Owning ; con 
fessing ; approving ; grateful ; but the lat- 
ter sense is a galUcism, not to be used. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT, n. The act of 
owning ; confession ; as, the acknowledg- 
ment of a fault. 

2. The ownuig, with approbation, or m the 
true character ; as the acknowledgment of 
a God, or of a pubUc mmister. 

3. Concession ; admission of the truth ; as, 
of a fact, position, or principle. 

4. The owning of a benefit received, accom- 
panied with gratitude ; and hence it com 
bines the ideas of an expression of thanks. 
Hence, it is used also for something given 
or done ui return for a favor. 

5. A declaration or avowal of one's own act 
to give illegal vahdjty ; as the acknowledg- 
ment of a deed before a proper officer. 

icknoivledgment-money, in some parts of Eng- 
land, is a stun paid by tenants, on the death 
of their landlord, as an acknowledgment 
of their new lords. Encyc. 

A€'aiE, n. Ac'my. [Gr. axuri.] 

The top or highest point. It is used to de- 
note the maturity or perfection of an ani- 
mal. Among physicians, the crisis of a 
disease, or its utmost violence. Old med- 
ical writers divided the progress of a dis- 
ease into four periods, the arche, or begin- 
ning, the anabasis, or increase, the acme 
or utmost violence, and the paracme. 
or decline. But acme can hardly be con- 
sidered as a legitimate English word. 

A€'NE, n. Ac'ny. [Gr.] 

A small hard pimple or tubercle on the face. 

ACNES'TIS, n. [Gr. a priv. and xiuu, to rub 
or gnaw.] 

That part of the spine in quadi'upeds which 
extends from the metaphrenon, between 
the shoulder blades, to the loins ; which 
the animal cannot reach to scratch. 

Coxe. (^uincy. 

A€'0, n. A Mediterranean fish, called 

AG'OLIN, n. A bird of the partridge kind 

in Cuba. Its breast and belly are white ; 

its back and tail of a dusky yellow brown 

Diet. ofJVat. Hist 

A€OL'OTHIST, ? ,„ , « i 

A€'OLYTE, I "• [^■■- <""'^»'"-] 

In the ancient church, one of the subordinate 
officers, who hghted the lamps, prepared 
the elements of the sacraments, attended 
the bishops, &c. An oflicer of the like 
character is still employed in the Romish 
Church. Encyc. 

A€'ONITE, n. [L. aconitum; Gr. axo^^To^" 

The herb wolf's bane, or monks-hood, 
poisonous plant ; and in poetry, used for 
poison in general. 

AeON'TIAS, n. [Gr. axovtias 
dart, from axuv.] 

1. A species of serpent, called dart -snake, or 
jaculum, liomits maimer of dartuig on its 
prey. This serjieni is about three feet iji 


length ; of a hght gray color witli blaclr 
spots, resembling eyes ; the belly perfectly 
white. It is a native of Africa and the 
Mediterranean isles; is the swiftest of its 
kind, and cods itself upon a tree, from 
which it darts upon its prey. 

2. A comet or meteor resembUiig the serpent. 

ACOP', adv. [a and cope.} 

JAt the top. Obs. Jonsort. 

A'€ORN, n. [Sax. eecem, from ace or ac, 
oak, and com, a grain.] 

1. The seed or fruit of the oak ; an oval nut 
which grows in a rough permanent cup. 

The first settlers of Boston were reduced to 
the necessity of feeding on clams, muscles, 
ground nuts, and acorns. B. Trumbull. 

2. In marine language, a small ornamental 
piece of wood, of a conical shape, fixed on 
the point of the spindle above the vane, on 
the mast head, to keep the vane from be- 
ing blown off. Mar. Diet. 

3. In natural history, the Lepas, a genus of 
shells of several species found on the Brit- 
ish coast. The shell is multivalvular, un- 
equal, and fixed by a stem ; the valves are 
parallel and pei-pendicular, but they do not 
open, so that the animal performs its func- 
tions by an aperture on the top. These 
shells are always fixed to some solid body. 

A'€ORNED, a. Furnished or loaded with 

A'eORUS, n. [L. from Gr. axopoi.] 

1. Aromatic Calamus, sweet flag, or sweet 

2. In natural history, blue coral, which grows 
in the form of a tree, on a rocky bottom, 
in some parts of the African seas. It is 
brought from the Camarones and Benin. 


3. In medicine, this name is sometimes given 
to the great galangal. Encyc. 

A€OTYL'EDON, n. [Gr. a priv. and xotv- 
^yjiuv from xotvt.ij, a hollow.} 

In botany, a plant whose seeds have no side 
s, or cotyledons. Martim. 

ACOTYLEDONOUS, a. Having no side 

ACOUS'TIC, a. [Gr. oxoisnaioj, from axovu, 
to hear.] 

Pertaining to the ears, to the sense of hear- 
ing, or to the doctrine of sounds. 

Acoustic duct, in anatomy, the meatus audito- 
rius, or external passage of the ear. 

Acoustic vessels, in ancient theaters, were bra- 
zen tubes or vessels, shaped like a bell, 
used to proj)el the voice of the actors, so 
as to render them audible to a great dis- 
tance ; in some theaters at the distance of 
400 feet. Encyc. 

icoustic instrument, or auricular tube, called 

in popidar language, a speaking trumpet. 


Acoustics, or acousmalics, was a name given 
to such of the disciples of Pythagoras, as 
had not completed their five years proba- 

A€OUS'TICS, n. The science of sounds, 
teaching their cause, nature, and phenom- 
ena. This science is, by some writers, di- 
vided into diacoustics, which explains the 
properties of sounds coming du-ectly from 
the sonorous body to the ear; and catacou- 
stics, which treats of reflected sounds. 
But the distinction is considered of httl© 
real utility. 

2. lu medicine, this term is sometimes usetj 

A c a 

A c a 

A C R 

for remedies for deafness, or imperfect 

hearinj^. quincij. 

ACQUA'INT, V. t. [Old Fr. accointer, to 

make known ; whence accointance, ac- 

qnaintance. Qu. Per. \^l^s kunda, 
knowing, intelligent ; Ger. kunde, knowl- 
edge ; kwid, known, public ; D. kond or 
kunde, knowledge ; Sw. klind, known ; 
Dan. kimder, to know, to be acquainted 
with. These words seem to have for their 
primitive root the Goth, and Sax. kunnan, 
to know, the root of cunning ; Ger. ken- 
nen ; D. kunnen, kan ; Eng. can, and ken ; 
which see.] 

1. To make known ; to make fully or inti- 
mately known ; to make famiUar. 

A man of sorrows and acquainted with giicf. 
Isaiah liii. 

2. To inform ; to communicate notice to ; as, a 
friend in the country acquaints me with hi; 
success. Of before the object, as to ac- 
quaint a man o/this design, has been used, 
but is obsolete or improper. 

3. To acquaint one^s self, is to gain an inti- 
mate or particular knowledge of 

JJcquaiiit now thyself with him and be at 
peace. Job xxii. 

A€QUAI'NTANCE, ?i. Famihar know- 
edge ; a state of being acquainted, or of 
having intimate or more than sUght or su- 
perficial knowledge ; as, 1 knotv the man, 
but have no acquaintance with him. Some- 
times it denotes a more slight knowledge. 

9. A person or persons well known ; usually 
persons we have been accustomed to see 
and converse with; sonietmies, persons 
more slightly known. 

Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, 
end mine acquaintance into darkness. Ps 

•Acquaintances, in the plural, is used, as ap 
plied to individual persons known; but 
more generally, acquaintance is used for 
one or more. 

Jicquaintant, in a like sense, is not used. 

ACQUAINTED, pp. Known; famiharly 
known ; informed ; having personal know- 

ACQUAINTING, ppr. Making known to ; 
giving notice, or information to. 

ACQUEST', n. [L. acquisitus, acquiro.] 

1. Acquisition ; the tiling gained. Bacon. 

2. Conquest ; a place acquired by force. 
ACQUIESCE, V. i. acquiess'. [L. acquiesco 

of ad and quiesco, to be quiet ; quies, rest 
Fr. acquiescer.] 

1 . To rest satisfied, or apparently satisfied, or 
to rest without opposition and discontent ; 
usually implying previous opposition, m 
easiness, or dislike, but ultimate compl: 
ance, or submission ; as, to acquiesce in the 
dispensations of providence. 

2. To assent to, upon conviction ; as, to ac- 
quiesce in an opmion ; that is, to rest satis- 
fied of its correctness, or propriety. 

Acquiesced in, in a passive sense, comphcd 
with ; submitted to, without opposition 
as, a measure has been acquiesced in. 

ACQUIES'CENCE, n. A quiet assent ; a si- 
lent submission, or submission with appa 
rent content ; distinguished from avowed 
consent on the one" hand, and on the other, 

from opposition or open discontent ; as, an 
acquiescence in the decisions of a court, or 
in the allotments of providence. 

ACQUIES'CENT, a. Resting satisfied; 
easy; submjtthig; disposed to submit. 


ACQUIES'CING, ppr. Quietly submitting ; 
resting content. 

ACQUI'RABLE, a. That inay be acquired. 

ACQUI'RE, V. t. [L. acquiro, ad and quwro, to 
seek, that is to follow, to press, to urge ; ac- 
quiro signifies to jmrsue to the end or ob- 
ject;^uenr; Sp. arfgutnV ; Ar. Sy'i, 
Heb. Ipn to seek, to make towards, to fol- 
low. The L. qucesivi, unless contracted, is 
jnobably from a difierent root. See class 
Gr. and Gs.] 

To gain, by any means, something wliich is 
in a degree permanent, or which becomes 
vested or inherent in the possessor ; as, to 
acquire a title, estate, learning, habits, 
skill, dominion, &.C. Plants acquire a green 
color from the solar rays. A mere tempo- 
rary possession is not expressed by acquire, 
but by gain, obtain, procure ; as, to obtain 
[not acquire] a book on loan. 

Descent is the title whereby a man, on the 
the deatli of liis ancestor, acquires liis estate, by 
right of representation, as his heir at law. 


ACQUI'RED, pp. Gained, obtained, or re- 
ceived fi-om art, labor, or other means, 
in distinction from thosQ,things which are 
bestowed by nature. Thus we say, abili- 
ties, natural and acquired. It implies title, 
or some permanence of possession. 

ACQUI'REMENT, n. The act of acquiring, 
or that wliich is acquired ; attainment, 
is used ui opposition to natural gifts ; as, 
eloquence, and skill in music and painting, 
are acquirements ; genius, the gift of nature. 
It denotes especially personal attainments, 
in opposition to material or external thuigs 
gained, whicli are more usually called ac- 
quisitions ; but this distinction is not always 

ACQUI'RER, n. A person who acquires. 

ACQUIRING, ppr. Gaining by labor or 
other means, something that has a degree 
of permanence in the possessor. 

ACQUI'RY, n. Acquirement. [.Vo< used.] 


AC'QUISITE, a. s as ;. Gained. [.Vot used.] 

ACQUISI"TION, n. [L. acquisitio, fi-om ac- 
quisitxts, acqucesivi, which are given as the 
part, and prct. of acquiro ; but quasivi is 
probably from a different root ; W. ceisiaw ; 

Eth. rhUJUJ chasas, jchas ; Ar. ^i kassa, 
to seek. Class Gs. ] 

1. The act of acquiring ; as, a man takes 
pleasure m the acquisition of property, as 
well as in the possession. 

2. The thing acquired, or gained ; as, learn- 
ing is an acquisition. It is used for mtellec- 
tual attainments, as well as for external 
things, property, or dominion ; and in a 
good sfiisp. (I<>niitiiig something estimable. 

ACQl'lH rrn K. «. That is acquu-ed; ac- 
quii-i-il : \hiit improper.] Walton. 

ACQUI.-« 1TI\ ELY, adv. Noting acquirc- 
meut, with to or for followuig. 

Lilifs Grammar. 

ACQUIST', n. See Acquest. [JVol used.] 


ACQUIT', v.t. [Fr. acquiUer; W. gadit, 
gadaw ; L. cedo ; Arm. kitat, or quytaat, 
to leave, or forsake ; Fr. quitter, to forsake ; 
Sp. quitar; Port, quitar; It. quitare, to re- 
mit, forgive, remove ; D. kttyten ; Ger. quil- 

To set free ; to release or discharge from an 
obligation, accusation, guilt, censure, sus- 
picion, or whatever Ues upon a person as 
a charge or duty ; as, the jury acquitted xho 
prisoner ; we acquit a man of evil inten- 
tions. It is followed by of before the ob- 
ject ; to acquit from is obsolete. In a re- 
ciprocal sense, as, the soldier acquitted 
himself well in battle, the word has a like 
sense, implying the discharge of a duty or 
obhgation. Hence its use in expressing 
excellence in performance ; as the orator ac- 
quitted himself well, that is, in a manner 
that his situation and public expectation 

ACQUIT'MENT, n. The act of acquitting, 
or state of being acquitted. South. 

S'his word is superseded by acquittal.] 
IT'TAL, n. A judicial setting free, or 
deliverance from the charge of an offense ; 
as, by verdict of a jury, or sentence of a 

The acquittal of a principal operates as an 
acquittal of the accessories. 

ACQUITTANCE, n. A discharge or re- 
lease from a debt. 

2. The writing, which is evidence of a dis- 
charge ; a receipt in full, which bars a 
fui-thcr demand. 

ACQUIT TED, pp. Set fiee, or judicially 
(liscliiu-fi-cd iWiiri an accusation ; released 
fri>iri H (Ic hi, iluty, obligation, charge, or 
su.spi<-ioii of guilt. 

ACQUIT'TING, ppr. Setting free from ac- 
cusation ; releasing from a charge, obliga- 
tion, or suspicion of guilt. 

ACRA'SE, I V. t. To make crazy ; to in- 

ACRA'ZE, S fatuate. [JYot in use.] [See 

2. To impair; to destroy. [JVotin use.] 

AC'RASY, n. [Gr. axpaaia, from a priv. and 
xpost;, constitution or temperament.] 

In medical authors, an excess or predominan- 
cy of one quahty above another, in mix- 
tin-e, or ui the human constitution. Bailey. 

ACRE, n. a'ker. [Sax. acer, acera, or acer ; 
Ger. acker ; D. akker ; Sw. acker ; Dan. 
ager ; W. eg- ; Ir. acra ; Gr. oypof ; Lat. 
ager. In these languages, the word re- 
tains its primitive sense, an open, plowed, 
(II- >.i\\i',l III 111. In Eng. it retained its ori- 
^■ -ii;iiii;r:iiiiin, that of any open field, 
iiiiiil II \\,i- liMiitod to a definite quantity 
liv .i,,rin. > -il. Ed. 35. Ed. 1. 24. H. 8. ' 

1. A quantity of land, containing 160 square 
rods or jierches, or 4840 square yards. 
This is the EngUsh statute acre. ' The 
acre of Scotland contains 6150 2-5 square 
yards. The French arpent is nearly equal 
to the Scottish acre, about a fifth larger 
than the English. The Roman juger was 
3200 square yards. 

•2. In the 3Iogul's dominions, acre is the 
same as lack, or 100,000 rupees, equal to 
£12,500 sterUng, or S55,.500. 

Acre-fght, a sort of duel in the open field. 

A C R 

formerly fought by English and Scotch 
combatants on their frontiers. 

Acre-tax, a tax on land in England, at a cer- 
tain sum for each acre, called also acre-shot. 

A'€RED, a. Possessing acres or landed pro- 
perty. Pope. 

A€'R1D, a. [Fr. acre ; L. acer.] 

Sharp; pungent; bitter; sharp or biting to 
the taste ; acrimonious ; as acrid salts. 

A€'RIDNESS, n. A sharp, bitter, pungent 

A€RIMO'NIOUS, a. Sharp; bitter; corro- 
sive ; abounding with acrhnony. 

2. Figuratively, severe ; sarcastic ; apphed to 
language or temper. 

A€RIMO'NIOUSLY, adv. With sharpness 
or bitterness. 

ACRIMONY, n. [L. (uriinonia, from acer, 
sharp. The latter part of the word seems 
to denote likeness, state, condition, like 
head, hood, in knighthood; in which case it 
may be from thesame root as maneo, Gr. 


1. Sharpness ; a quality of bodies, which 
rodes, dissolves, or destroys others ; as, the 
acrimony of the hiunors. Bacon. 

2. Figuratively, sharpness or severity oftem- 
per ; bitterness of expression proeeeduig 
from anger, ill-nature, or petulance. South 

AC'RISY, n. [Gr. o priv. and xptsi;-, judg 

A state or condition of which no right judg- 
ment can be formed ; that of which no 
choice is made ; matter in dispute ; inju 
djciousness. [Ldttle used.] Bailey. 

AC'RITUDE, n. [See Acrid.] 

An acrid quahty ; bitterness to the taste 
biting heat. 

ACROAMAT'Ie, a. [Gr. oxpottjuof txo;, from 
axpooo/iat, to hear.] 

.\bstruse ; pertaining to deep learning ; an 
epithet applied to the secret doctrines of 
Aristotle. Enfield, 

ACROAT'IC, a. [Gr. axpoartxo;.] 

Abstruse ; pertaining to deep learning ; and 
opposed to exoteric. Aristotle's lectures 
were of two kinds, acroatic, acroamatic, or 
esoteric, which were dehvered to a class of 
select disciples, who had been previously 
instructed in the elements of learning; and 
cxotenc, which were dehvered in public. 
The former respected being, God, and na- 
ture ; the principal subjects of the latter 
were logic, rhetoric, and policy. The ab- 
struse lectures were called acroatics. 


ACROCERAU'NIAN, a. [Gr. axpa, a sum- 
mit, and xsfavvoi, thunder.] 

An epithet apphed to certain mountains, 
between Epirus and lUyricum, hi the 41 
degree of latitude. Tliey project into the 
Adriatic, and are so termed from beuig 
often struck with lightning. Encyc. 

ACRO'MION, n. [Gr. axpos, highest, and 
u/ios, shoulder.] 

In anatomy, tliat part of the spine of the 

scapula, whicli receives the extreme pan 

of the clavicle. Quj'ncT/. 

A€RON'I€, I a. [Gr. axpos, extreme, and 

A€RON'I€AL, S rul, night.] 

(n astronomy, a term applied to tlie rising of 

a star at sun set, or its setting at sun rise. 

This rising or setting is called acronical. 

The word is opposed to cosmical. 

Banley. Encyc. Johnson. 

A C T 

A€RON'l€ALLY, adv. In an acronical 

manner ; at the rising or setting of the 

.\€'ROSPIRE, n. [Gr. axpos, highest, and 

artcifa, a spire, or spiral line.] 
A shoot, or sprout of a seed ; the plume, or 

plumule, so called frotnits spu-alform. 

A€'ROSPIRED, a. Having a sprout, or 

having sprouted at both ends. Mortimer. 
ACROSS', prep, akraus'. [a and cross. See 

1. From side to side, opposed to along, which 

is in the direction of the length ; athwart ; 

quite over ; as, a bridge is laid across a 

i. Intersecting ; passing over at any angle ; 

as a line passing across another. 
A€ROS'Tl€, n. [Gr. axpa, extremity or be- 
ginning, and atix"!, order, or verse.] 
A composition in verse, in which the first 

letters of the Unes, taken in order, form the 

name of a person, khigdom, city, &c. 

which is the subject of the composition 

or some title or motto. 
A€ROS'Tle, a. That relates to, or contains 

an acrostic. 
ACROS'TICALLY, adv. ,In the manner of 


A€T, V. t. To perform ; to represent a 
character on the stage. 

Act well your part, there all the honor lies. 
To feign or counterfeit. Obs. or improper. 
With acted fear the villain thus pursued. 

To put m motion ; to actuate ; to regulate 

[In this latter sense, obsolete and superseded by 
actuate, which see.] 

ACT, ji. The exertion of power; the effect, 
of which power exerted is the cause ; as, 
the act of giving or receiving. In thia 
sense, it denotes an operation of the mind. 
Thus, to discern is an act of the understand- 
ing ; to judge is an act of the will. 

2. That which is done ; a deed, exploit, or 
achievement, whether good or ill. 

And his miracles and his acts wUch he did 
in the midst of Egypt. Deul. xi. 

3. Action ; performance ; production of ef- 
fects ; as, an act of charity. But this sense 
is closely allied to theforegoing. 

A state of reality or real existence, as 

A€ROTELEU'Tl€, li. [Gr. oxpo;, extreme 
and Ti'Kivrij, end.] 

\mong ecclesiastical ivriters, an appellation 
given to any thing added to the end of a 
psahn, or hymn ; as a doxology. 

AC'ROTER, n. [Gr. oxpoyjjp, a summit.] 

In architecture, a small pedestal, usually witl 
out a base, anciently placed at the two 
extremes, or m the middle of pediments or 
frontispieces, serving to .support the statues, 
&c. It also signifies the figures placed as 
ornaments on the tops of churches, and the 
shaip pinnacles that stand in ranges about 
flat builduigs with rails and balusters. 
Anciently the word signified the extremi- 
ties of the body, as the head, hands, and 
feet. Encyc. 

ACROTHYM'ION, n. [Gr. azpos, extreme, 
and Su^of, thyme.] 

Among physicians, a species of wart, with a 
narrow basis and broad top, having the 
color of thyme. It is called Thymus. 


ACT, V. i. [Gr. ayu, Lat. ago, to urge, 
drive, lead, bring, do, perform, or in gen- 
eral, to move, to exert force ; Cantabrian, 
eg-, force ; W. eg'ni; Ir. cig-eon, force ; Ir. 
aige, to act or carry on ; eachdmn, to do or 
act ; actaim, to ordain ; eacht, acht, deed, 
act, condition ; F. agir ; It. agire, to do 

1. To exert power: as, the stomach acts upon 
food ; the will acts upon the body in pro- 
ducing motion. 

2. To be in action or motion ; to move. 
He hangs between in doubt to act or rest. 


3. To behave, demean, or conduct, as in 
morals, private duties, or public offices 
as, we know not why a minister has acted 
in this manner. But in this sense, it i.' 
most frequent in popular language ; as 
how the man acts or has acted. 

To act up to, is to equal in action ; to fulfil 
or perform a correspondent action ; as, he 
has acted up to his engagement or hi: 

opposed to a possibility. 
The seeds of plants are n 

not at first in act, but 
in possibility, what they afterwards grow to be. 

5. In general, act denotes action completed ; 
but preceded by in, it denotes incomplete 

She was taken in the very act. John viii. 
In act is used also to signify incipient 
action, or a state of preparation to exert 
po wer ; as, " In act to strilte," a poetical use. 
A part or division of a play, to be perform- 
ed without interruption ; after which the 
action is suspended to give respite to the 
performers. Acts are divided into smaller 
portions, called scenes. 

7. The result of pubhc deliberation, or the 
decision of a prince, legislative body, 
council, court of justice, or magistrate : 
a decree, edict, law, judgment, resolve, 
award, determination ; as an act of par- 
hament, or of congress. The term is also 
transferred to the book, record, or writing, 
containing the laws and determinations. 
Also, any instrument in writing to verily 

In the sense of agency, or power to pro- 
duce effects, as in the passage cited by 
Johnson, from Shakespeare, the use is im- 

To tiy the vigor of them and apply 
AUayments to their act. 

.id, in English Universities, is a thesis 
maintained in pid)lic, by a candidate for a 
degree, or to show the proiSciency of a stu- 
dent. At Oxford, the time when masters 
and doctors complete their degrees is also 
called the aci, which is held with great so- 
lemnity. At Cambridge, as in the United 
States," it is called commencement. Encyc. 

Act of faith, auto da fe, in Cathohc countries, 
is a solenm day held by the Inquisition, 
for the punishment of heretics, and the 
absolution of accused persons found inno- 
cent ; or it is the sentence of the Inquisi- 

Acts of the Apostles, the title of a book in the 
New Testament, containing a history of 
the transactions of the Apostles. 

Acta Diiirna, among tiie Romans, a sort of 




Gazette, containing an authorized account 
of transactions in Rome, nearly siHiilar to 
our newspapers. 

^cta popuh, or atta publica, the Roman re- 
gisters of assemblies, trials, executions, 
biLililih'js, Iiirlii<. marriages, and deaths of 

^di: .<. ,)(/hs-. mil, lit. 's of what passed in the 
Rumaii Mjiiute, culled also conunentarii, 

A€T'ED,pp. Done; performed; represent- 
ed oil the stage. 

A€'TIAN, a. Relating to Actium, a town 
and promontory of Epirus, as Actian 
games, which were instituted by Augus- 
tus, to celebrate his naval victory over 
Anthony, near that town, Sep. 2, B. C. 31. 
They were celebrated every five years. 
Hence, Actian years, reckoned from that 
era. Encyc. 

ACT'ING,;>;)r. Doing; performing; behav- 
ing ; representing the character of another. 

A€T'ING, n. Action ; act of performing a 
part of a play. Shak. Churchill. 

A€'TINOLITE, n. [Gr. axnv, a ray, and 
ueo;, a stone.] 

A mineral, called, by Werner, strahlstcin, 
ray-stone, nearly allied to hornblend. It 
occurs in prismatic crjstals, which are 
long, and incomplete, and sometimes ex- 
tremely minute and even fibrous. Its 
prevailing color is green of different 
shades, or shaded with yellow or brown. 
There are several varieties, as the com- 
mon, the massive, the acicular, the glassy, 
and the fibrous. 

Werner. Kirwan. Cleaveland. 

AetinoUte is crystalized, asbestiform, and 

glassy. Phillips. 

A€TlNOLIT'I€, a. Like or pertaining to 

A€'T10N, n. [L. actio. See Act.] 

1. Literally, a driving ; hence, the state of 
acting or moving ; exertion of power or 
force, as when one body acts on another ; 
or action is the effect of power exerted on 
one body by another ; motion produced. 
Hence, action is opposed to rest. Action, 
when produced by one body on another, is 
mechanical ; when produced by the will of 
a living being, spontaneous or voluntary. 
[See Def. 3.] 

2. An act or thing done ; a deed. 

The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him 
are actions weighed. 1. Sam. ii. 
■i. In mechanics, agency ; operation ; driving 
impulse ; effort of one body upon another ; 
as, the action of wind upon a ship's sails. 
Also the effect of such aetion. 

4. In ethics, the external signs or expression 
of the sentiments of a moral agent ; con- 
duct ; behavior ; demeanor ; that is, mo- 
tion or movement, with respect to a rule 
or propriety. 

5. In poetry, a series of events, called also 
the subject or fable ; this is of two kinds ; 
the principal action which is more strictly 
the fable, and the incidental action or epi- 
sode. Encyc. 

6. In oratory, gesture or gesticulation ; the 
external deportment of the speaker, or the 
accommodation of his attitude, voice, gest- 
ures, and countenance to the subject, or to 
the thoughts and feelings of the mind. 


7. In physiology, the motions or functionsof 

the body, vital, animal, and natural ; vi- 
tal and involuntary-, as the action of the 
heart and lungs ; animal, as muscidar, and 
all voluntary motions; natural, as mandu- 
cation, deglutition, and digestion. Encyc. 
8. In laiv, literally, an urging for right ; a 
suit or process, by which a demand is 
made of a right ; a claim made before a 
tribunal. Actions are real, personal or 
mixed ; real, or feudal, when the demand- 
ant claims a title to real estate ; personal, 
when a man demands a debt, jjersonal 
duty, or damages in Ueu of it, or satisfac- 
tion for an injury to person or property ; 
and mired, when real estate is demanded, 
with damages for a wrong sustained. 
Actions are also civil or penal ; civil, when 
instituted solely in behalf of private per- 
sons, to recover debts or damages ; penal, 
when instituted to recover a penalty, im- 
posed by way of punishment. The w-ord 
is also used for a right of action ; as, the law 
gives an action for every claim. 

A chose in action, is a right to a thing, 
in opposition to the possession. A bond 
or note is a chose in action [Fr. chose, a 
thing,] and gives the owner a right to prose- 
cute his claim to the money, as he has an 
absolute property in a light, as well as in 
a thing, in possession. 
In some countries of Europe, action is a 
share in the capital stock of a company, 
or in the pubhc funds, equivalent to oiir 
term sluire ; and consequently, in a more 
general sense, to stocks. The word is 
also used for movable effects. 

10. In painting and sculpture, the attitude or 
position of the several parts of the body, 
by wliich they seem to be actuated by pas- 
sions ; as, the arm extended, to represent 
the act of giving or receiving. 

11. Battle ; fight ; engagement between 
troops in war, whether on land or water, 
or by a greater or smaller number of com- 
batants. This and the 8th definition ex- 
hibit the Uteral meaning of ac/to/i — a driv- 
ing or urging. 

Quantity ofaction, in physics, the product 
of the mass of a body by the sjiace it 
runs through and its velocity. Encyc. 

In many cases action and act are synony- 
mous : but some distinction between 
them is observable. Action seems to 
have more relation to the power that 
acts, and its operation and process of 
acting ; and act, more relation to the effect 
or operation complete. Action is also more 
generally used for ordinary transactions ; 
and act, for such as are remarkable, or 
dignified ; as, all our actions should be reg- 
ulated by prudence ; a prince is distinguish- 
ed by acts of heroism or humanity. Encyc. 

Action taking, in Shakespeare, is used for hti- 

A€'TIONABLE, a. That will bear a suit, 
or for which an action at law may be sus- 
tained ; as, to call a man a thief is actionable. 

A€'TIONABLY, adv. In a manner that sub- 
jects to legal process. 

Europe, a proprietor of stock in a trading 
company ; one who owns aefiois or shares 
of stock. 

ACT'IVE, a. [L. activus ; Fr. actif] 

That has the power or quality of acting ; that 

contains the principle of action, indepeii- 
ilciit of any visible external force ; as, 
attraction is an active power : or it may be 
defined, that communicates action or mo- 
tion, opposed to passive, that receives ac- 
tion ; as, the active powers of the mind. 

2. Having the power of quick motion, or 
disposition to move with speed ; niTnble ; 
hvely ; brisk ; agile ; as an active animal. 

3. Busy ; constantly engaged in action ; 
pursuing business"with vigor and assidu- 
ity ; op))osed to dull, slow, or indolent; as 
an aetive officer. It is also opposed to 
sedentary, as an active life. 

4. Requiring action or exertion ; practical ; 
operative ; producing real effects ; opposed 
to speculative ; as, the active duties of Ufe. 

a. In grammar, active verbs are those which 
not only signify action, but have a noun 
or name following them, denoting the 
object of the action or impression ; called 
also transitive, as they imply the passing 
of the action expressed by the verb to the 
object ; as, a professor instructs his pupils. 

6. Active capital, or wealth, is money, or prop- 
erty that may readily be converted into 
money, and used in commerce or other 
employment for profit. Hamilton, 

7. Active commerce, the commerce in which 
a nation carries its own productions and 
foreign commodities in its own ships, or 
which is prosecuted by its own citizens ; 
as contradistinguishedfrom passive com- 
merce, in which the productions of one 
country are transported by the people of 
another country. 

The commerce of Great Britain and of 
the United States is active ; that of China 
is passive. 

It maybe the interest of foreign nations 
to deprive us, as far as possible, of oil 
active commerce in our own bottoms. 

Federalist, Hamilton. 

ACTIVELY, adv. In an active manner; 
by action ; nunbly ; briskly ; also in an 
active signification, as a word is used 

A€T'IVENESS, n. The quality of being 
active; the faculty of acting; nimbleness; 
quickness of motion; less used than activity. 

A€T1V ITY, n. The quality of being ac- 
tive; the active faculty ; nimbleness; agil- 
ity ; also the habit of diligent and vigorous 
pursuit of business ; as, a man of activity. 
It is apphed to persons or things. 

Sphere of activity, is the whole space in which, 
the virtue, power, or influence of any ob- 
ject, is exerted. 

To put in activity, a French phrase, for put- 
ting in action or employment. 

A€T'OR, n. He that acts or performs ; an 
active agent. 

3. He that represents a character or acts a 
part in a play ; a stage player. 

3. Among civilians, an advocate or proctor 
in civil courts or causes. 

ACTRESS, n. A female who acts or per- 
forms, and especially, on the stage, or in 
a play. 

A€T UAL, a. [Fr. actuel. See Act.] 

Real or eftective, or that exists truly and 
absolutely ; as, actual heat, opposed to 
that, which is virtual or potential ; actual 
cautery, or the burning by a red-hot iron, 
opposed to a cautery- or caustic appUcation, 

A C U 

that may produce the same effect upon 
the body by a different process. 

2. Existing in act ; real ; in opposition to 
sijecidative, or existing in theory only; 
as an actual crime. 

3. In theology, actual sin is that which is 
committed by a person himself, opposed 
to original sin, or the corruption of nature 
supposed to be communicated from Adam. 

4. That includes action. 

Besides her walking and other actual per- 
formances. [Hardly legitimate.} Shak. 

A€TUAL'ITY, n. ReaUty. Haweis. 

A€T'UALLY, adv. In fact ; really ; in truth. 

ACTUARY, n. [L. aduan'its.] 

A register or clerk ; a term of the civil law, 
and used origmally in courts of civil law 
jurisdiction ; but in Europe used for i 
clerk or register generally. 

ACT'UATE, a. Put in action. ILiUle used. 

A€T UATE, V. t. [from act.]] 

To put into action ; to move or incite to 
action ; as, men are actuated by motiv 
or passions. It seems to have been used 
formerly in the sense of invigorate, noting 
increase of action ; but the use 

ACTUATED, pp. Put in action ; incited to 

ACTUATING, ppr. Putting in action ; in 
citing to action. 

ACTUATION, n. The state of being put in 
action ; effectual o])eration. Glanville 

ACT'US, n. Among the Romans, a measure 
in building equal to 120 Roman feet. In 
agriculture, the length of one furrow. 

ACIJ ATE, V. t. [L. acuo, to sharpen. See 

To sharpen ; to make pungent, or coiTosive. 
[Little %ised.] Harvey. 

ACUBE'NE, n. A star of the fourth magni- 
tude in the southern clavif of Cancer. 

ACUI "TION, n. [from L. acuo, to shaqien.] 

The sharpening of medicines to increase 
their effect. 

ACU'LEATE, a. [L. aculeus, from acus. 
Gr. axri, a point, and the diminutive ul. 
See Acid.] 

In botany, having prickles, or sharp points ; 
pointed; used chiefly to denote prickles 
lixed in the bark, in distinction from 
thorns, which grow from the wood. 


2. In zoology, having a sting. 

ACU'LEI, n. [L.] In botany and zoology, 
piickles or spmes. 

AC'ULON, or AC ULOS, n. [Gr. axv^oj, 
probably from ac, an oak.] 

The fruit or acorn of the ilex, or scarlet oak 

ACU'MEN, )!. [L. acumen, from acus oi 

A sharp point; and figm-atively, quickness 
of perception, the faculty of nice discrim 

ACU'MINATE, a. [L. acuminatus, from 

Endins in a sharp point ; pointed. 

ACU'MINATEK, a. Sliarpened to a point. 

ACUMINA'TION, n. A sharpening ; termi- 
nation in a sharp point. 

ACUPUNCTURE, n. [L. acus, needle, and 
punctura, or punctus, a pricking.] 

Among the Chinese, a surgical operation, 
performed by pricking the part aftected 
with a needle, as in head-aches and lethar- 
gieg. Encyc. 

A D 

AC'URU, n. The name in India of a fragrant 
aloe-wood. As. Researches. 

A'CUS, n. [L.] The needle-fish, or gar-fish. 

3. The ammodyte or sand eel. Cyc. 

3. The oblong cimex. Cyc. 

ACUTE, a. [L. acutus, sharp-pointed ; Qu. 
from acuo, acus, or from the Oriental m 
had or chad, sharji, Heb. Ch. Ar.] 

Shar]) at the end ; ending in a sharp point ; 
opposed to blunt or obtuse. An acute angle 
in geometry, is one which is less than a 
right angle, or which subtends less than 
ninety degrees. An acute angled triangle 
is one whose three angles are all acute, 
or less than ninety degrees each. 

2. Figuratively, applied to mental powers; 
penetrating ; having nice discernment ; 
perceiving or using minute distinctions; 
opposed to dull or stupid ; as an acute 

3. Applied to the senses ; having nice or quick 
sensibility ; susceptible of slight impres- 
sions ; having power to feel or perceive 
small objects ; as, a man of acute eye 
sight, hearing, or feeling. 

4. Aji acute disease, is one which is attended 
with violent symptoms, and comes speedily 
to a crisis, as a pleurisy ; opposed to chronic 

5. An acute accent, is that wMch elevates or 
sharpens the voice. 

6. Ill music, acute is applied to a tone which 
is sharp, or high ; opposed to grave. 

. In botany, ending m an acute angle, as 
leaf or perianth. Martyn. 

ACUTELY, adv. Sharply ; keenly ; with 
nice discrimination. 

ACU'TENESS, n. Shaipness ; but seldom 
used in this hteral sense, as apphed to ma- 
terial things. 

2. Figuratively, the faculty of nice discern- 
ment or perception ; app'Ued to the senses, 
or the understanding. By an acuteness of 
feeUng, we perceive small objects or slight 
impressions ; by an acuteness of intellect, 
we discern nice distinctions. 

3. Sharpness, or elevation of sound, in rhet- 
oric or music. Boyle 

4. Violence of a disease, which brings i) 
speedily to a crisis. 

ACUTIA'TOR, n. In the middle ages, a per- 
son whose office was to sharpen instru- 
ments. Before the invention of fire-arms, 
such officers attended armies, to sharpen 
their instruments. Encyc. 

AD. A Latin preposition, signifying to. It 
is probably from Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. Eth. 

nn«, Ar. 4^;;^, to come near, to approach; 
from which root we may also deduce at. 
In composition, the last letter is usually 
changed into the first letter of the word to 
which it is prefixed. Thus for addamo, 
the Romans wrote acclamo ; for adgredior, 
aggredior ; for adjirmo, affirmo ; for adlego, 
allego ; for adpono, appono ; for adripio, 
ai-npio ; for adscribo, ascribo ; for adtineo, 
attineo. The reason of tliis change is found 
in the ease of pronunciation, and agreea- 
bleness of the sounds. 

Ad hominem, to the man, m logic, an argu- 
ment, adapted to touch the prejudices of 
the person addressed. 

Ad inquirendum, in law, a judicial writ com 
manding inquiry to be made. 

Ad libitum, [L.] at pleasure. 


Ad valorem, according to the value, Lti' com* 
merce and finance, terms used to denote 
duties or charges laid upon goods, at a 
certain rate per cent, upon their value, a? 
stated in their mvoices ; in opposition to a 
specific sum upon a given quantity or 

AD'AcjE, n. [L. adagium, or adagio; It. 

A proverb ; an old saying, which has obtain- 
ed credit by long use ; a wise observation 
handed down from antiquity. 

ADA'GIO, 71. [It. ffrfcfg-io, a compound of arf 
and agio, leisure ; Sp. and Port, ocio ; L. 
otium\; Fr. aise ; Eng. ease.] 

In music, a slow movement. As an adverb, 
slowly, leisurely, and with grace. When 
repeated, adagio, adagio, it directs the 
movement to be very slow. 

AD'AM, n. InHeb.Ch. Syr.Eth.Ar.,jV/an; 
primarily, the name of the human species, 
mankind ; appropriately, the first Man, 
the progenitor of the human race. The 
word signifies form, shape, or suitable form : 
hence, species. As a verb, the word signi- 
fies, in Ethiopic, to please or be agreeable ; 
in Arabic, to join, imite, or be accordant, to 
agree. It is evidently connected with nm 
damah, Heb. Ch. Syr., to be like or equal, 
to form an image, to assimilate. Whence 
the sense of likeness, image, form, shape ; 
Gr. Sefms, a body, like. [See Man.] 

Adam's apple, a species of citron, [see Cit- 
ron ;] also the prominent part of the throat. 

Ad'am's needle, the popular name of the 
yucca, a plant of four species, cidtivated in 
gardens. Of the roots, the Indians make 
a kind of bread. [See Y^tcca.] 

AD'AMANT, n. [Gr. aSa^a;; L. adamas; 
a word of Celtic origin ; W. ehedvaen, a 
load stone, from ehed, to fly or move, and 
vaen, or maen, a stone. Chaucer uses ada- 
mant for the load stone. Romaunt of the 
Rose, L. 1182. Ger. diamant, is adamant 
and diamond ; Sp. diamante ; Sw. damant ; 
Fr. aimant, loadstone. See Diamond.] 

A very hard or imiieuetrable stone ; a name 
given to the diamond and other substan- 
ces of extreme hardness. The name has 
often been given to the load stone ; but in 
modern mineralogy, it has no technical 

ADAMANTE'AN, a. Hard as adamant. 


ADAMANT'INE, a. Made of adamant ; ha- 
ving the quaUties of adamant ; that cannot 
be broken, dissolved, or penetrated ; as 
adamantine bonds, or chains. 

Adamantine Spar, a genus of earths, of three 
varieties. The color of the first is gra)', 
with shades of brown or green ; the form 
when regular, a hexangular prism, two 
sides large and four small, without a 
pyramid ; its surface striated, and with a 
thin covering of white mica, mterspersed 
with particles of red felspar ; its fracture, 
foliaceous and sparry. The second variety 
is whiter, and the texture more foliaceous. 
Tlie third variety is of a reddish brown 
color. This stone is very hard, and of 
difficult fusion. Enajc. 

A variety of corundum. Cleaveland. 

AD'AMie, a. Pertaining to Adam. \Adamic 
earth, is the term given to common red 
clay, so called by means of a mistaken 
opinion thai .\daiii means red earth. 




AD'AMITES, in Church hislonj, a sect of 
visionaries, who pretended to establish a 
Btate of innocence, and like Adam, went 
naked. They abhorred marriage, holding 
it to be theeffect of sin. Several attempts 
have been made to revive this sect ; one 
as late as the 15tli century. Encyc. 

ADAMIT'I€, a. Like the Adamites. 


ADANSO'NIA, n. Ethiopian sour gourd, 
monkey's bread, or African calabash-tree. 
It is a tree of one species, called baobab, a 
native of Africa, and the largest of the 
vegetable kingdom. The stem rises not 
al)ove twelve or fifteen feet, but is from 
sixty-five to seventy-eight feet in circum- 
ference. The branches shoot horizontally 
to the length of sixty feet, the ends bend- 
ing to the ground. The fruit is oblong, 
pointed at both ends, ten inches in length, 
and covered with a greenish down, under 
whicl) is a hard ligneous rind. It hangs to 
the tree by a pedicle two feet long, and 
contains a white spungy substance. The 
leaves and bark, dried and powdered, are 
used by the negroes, as pepper, on their 
food, to promote perspiration. The tree is 
named from M. Adanson, who has given 
a description of it. 

ADAPT', «.<. [Sp.flrfaptar; It. adattare; L. 
ad. and apto, to fit ; Gr. ortru.] 

To make suitable ; to fit or suit ; as, to adapt 
an instrument to its uses ; we have pro- 
vision adapted to our wants. It is appUed 
to things material or immaterial. 

ADAPT' ABLE, a. That may be adapted. 

ADAPTA'TION, n. The act of making 
suitable, or the state of being suitable, or 
fit; fitness. 

ADAPT'ED, pp. Suited ; made suitable ; 

ADAPT'ER. See adopter. 

ADAPTING, ;);>r. Suitint' ; making fit. 

ADAPTION, n. Adaptation ; the act of 
fitting. [Little used, and hardly legitimate.] 

ADAPT'NESS, n. A state of being fitted. 
[.Vot used.] JVewton. 

A D.\R, n. A Hebrew month, answering to 
the latter part of February and the begin- 
ning of March, the 12th of the sacred and 
6th of the civil year ; so named from "nx, 
to become glorious, from the exuberance 
of vegetation, in that month, in Egypt and 
Palestine. Parkhurst. 

ADAR'CE, n. [Gr. a«opx»;s.] 

A saltish concretion on reeds and grass in 
marshy grounds m Galatia. It is lax and 
porous, like bastard spunge, and used to 
clear the skin ui leprosy, tetters, &c. 

Qufnci/. Plot. 

ADAR'€ON, n. In Jeurish antiquity, a gold 
coin worth about three dollars and a tliird, 
or about fifteen shillings sterhng. 

ADAR'ME, n. A Spanish weight, the s 
teenth of an oimce ; Fr. demi-gros. The 
Spanish ounce is seven per cent, lighter 
than that of Paris. 

Encyc. Span. Diet.