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C|)ufls on a Neb lh:inciple. 

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'* Though Oninmar be usually amongst the first things taught, it is 
always one of the last understood.**— Ditbrsions op Purlby. 

*< Le plus grand arantage d*une langue est d*<tre elair' Tous les pro. 
ced^ de graxmnaire ne devroient aller qu'ii ce but'* 





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Oliver at Boyd, Printers. 

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Introduction^ 1 

NOUN, 17 



VERB, 34 




Conclusion, 70 

Specimen of Parsing, 7I 


A. The present unsettled state of the English Parts 

of Speech, 85 

B. The same word is not more than one Part of Speech. 

—In this Appendix it is shown that the word that 
is always a Definite Adjectiye, having a noun ex- 
pressed or understood after it,.... 93 

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C Our Aoxilijry Verbs aie cacntul parts of an Be- 

gularVoiii,^ -...108 

D. Englidi Xoans have no Gender,... 11 1 

£- On tbe etymdcgr and ok of Ae irards thcm and^ . 
THAV, whidiaie ihawn to be Ihe same wind. — In 
this Appendix is nrplamfd the etymological s^- 
nification of the eompantive degree in Ki^ish, 

Frendi, and Latin^... '. 113 

F. On the ttrofidd nae of the woid Tnaax^.. ~.119 

O. On the etjmologj and nae of the pranonn it, 121 

H. ProfisHor Dngald Stewart and the Qnartnly Re- 
Tiew, versus Home Tooke^s Direnioiis of Porley^lSS 

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Every one may have observed how few persons, 
even of the best education^ can take up an Eng- 
lish book, and give accurately the parts of speech 
of the words, in the order they occur. Nor is this 
much to be wondered at, when we look into the 
present state of English Grammar, as exhibited 
in all the popular books on the subject. They 
are enough to puzzle philosophers themselves, and 
more than enough to bewilder and disgust the un- 
fortunate children who are doomed to wade through 

The only grammar I have met with which has 
any pretensions to simplicity, is one by the famous 
Cobbett, who writes expressly (as he tells us) for 
^^ sailors and soldiers, plough-boys and appren* 
tices.*" The work is certainly entitled to notice, 
on account of the extraordinary circulation it has 

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had among the educated classes of society : but 
as to intrinsic merit, it seems to me to leave the 
subject it professes to simplify just as much clog- 
ged and disfigured as it was before ; nor, in fact, 
is it very easy to discover in what respects it dif- 
fers from other grammars, excepting that it re- 
peats their errors in plainer language, and in so 
doing, only tends to give them greater currency 
and perpetuity.* Had the author, however, exer- 
cised his usual penetration, he might have seen 
that, since even"" statesmen and philosophers have, 
upon his own showing, fallen into grammatical 
errors (though they have not fallen into quite so 
many as he alleges), his soldiers, sailorsj and 
plough-boys, could have very little hope of avoid* 
ing them. I will venture to assert, that none of 
these persons ever read, or ever will read Cob* 

* There is indeed another object in the publication of 
this book (whether the principal, or only a secondary one, 
I pretend not to decide), namely, the propagation of treason 
and libel, and a wanton abuse of the constituted audiori- 
ties of the country. Cobbett may thank his stars that he 
is an Englishman ; for such a publication would not be 
tolerated in any other country under the son ; not even 
in America. 

As to his grammatical errors, I shall have occasion to 
advert to a few of them in the Notes and Appendix to this 

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belt's grammar ; nor, if they did^ cotdd they com- 
prehend a twentieth part of it. Not that the sub- 
ject is difficult, or that his manner of treating it is 
unintelligible ; but his work (partly from its very 
nature, but chiefly from the defects it possesses in 
common with all other grammars) is not, with all 
its pretensions to simplicity, adapted for the lower 
orders of society ; who, indeed, as it seems to me, 
have nothing to do with the niceties of grammar, 
or with any other niceties beyond those of their 
respective occupations. 

I have not myself the vanity to think that my 
Analysis will be read by the lower orders, though 
I have rendered it as simple as possible, and have 
excluded from it all hard names and technical 
terms, to which I have as great an objection as 
they can have. Such terms, in a grammatical 
disquisition especially, seem to me not only use- 
less, but pernicious, for whatever class of readers 
it may be intended— useless, because the subject 
may just as well be explained without them — and 
pernicious, because they tend to render that mys- 
terious and unintelligible, which in reality is just 
the reverse. 

My object has been to correct certain errors, 
which, with all deference, I conceive our gramma- 


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rians have fallen into. I have. endeavoured also 
to supply their omissions, and to do away with 
their redundancies ; and, in general, to simplify 
the rules for Parsing^ by furnishing dear expla- 
nations of the Parts of Speech : and though I have 
not attempted to define metaphysically their na- 
ture, I have done what perhaps may be thought 
more important, fiimished easy rules for their use. 
I have, besides, given the exact number of the 
Pronouns, Prepositions^ and Conjunctions, which 
has never been done before ; so that, if my rules 
be approved, these parts of speech may be con- 
sidered as rescued from that perplexing uncer- 
tainty in which they have hitherto been involved. 
I have, moreover, given a new arrangement of the 
Verb ; and have abolished the useless distinction 
of the Article, by throwing it into the Adjective, 
to which it naturally belongs. I have, however, 
retained the old names of the parts of speech, not- 
withstanding that several of them are objection- 
able—contenting myself with suggesting what I 
consider to be better ones in the Notes. In short, 
I have made no alteration of any kind but what 
the necessity of the case seemed to require ; and 
whatever change I have proposed, has been solely 
with a view to substitute something short and 

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simple, for what before was complicated, inaccu« 
rate, or unintelligible.* 

Let it not be supposed, at the same time, that 
I affect to have made any discoveries. Much of 
what I have advanced is, I believe^ new : at least, 
it is the result of my own reflection, and different 
from any thing I have met with in English Oram* 
mars. The truth is, that I found I entertained 
very confused ideas of the Parts of Speech ; and 
moreover, that this conflision was shared by others 
whom I consulted, and who might be supposed to 
know better. I therefore set about clearing away 
the rubbish, merely to fill up my leisure hours 
agreeably, and, as I thought, not uselessly : and 
having, after a good deal of labour, succeeded, to 
my own satisfaction at least, I felt anxious to make 
the path which I had cleared for myself, equally 
accessible to others. 

It is not, however, difficult either to detect exist- 
ing errors, or to suggest a remedy for them. The 
difficulty is to simplify the remedy ; and not only 
to make its usefrdness obvious, but its application 
easy. I have spent much time and reflection in 
endeavouring to accomplish this object in respect 

* See Appendix A. 

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to English Gnunmar ; with what success, it is not 
for me to decide. 

I cannot here avoid expressing my smrprise hovr 
little attention has been paid to thb department 
of Literatuie by the writers of our age ; and how 
little taste the generality of persons appear to have 
for the subject. In the too eager pursuit of other 
matters, we do not pay sufficient attention to that 
by which alone they are all treated and handled. 
I hesitate not to assert, that we have no English 
Ghrammar, nor any work upon the subject, that 
can give the Englishman clear notions of the Parts 
of Speech of his language : we have nothing, in 
fact, but a few clumsy and almost unintelligible 
compilations ** for the use of schools ;^ or dis- 
quisitions that are far too philosophical and ab- 
struse for the unlearned reader.* While there 

* '' It is a carious example of the spirit of the age^ 
that Mr Lindley Murray's Grammar has proceeded to toe 
thirtieth edition, in complete defiance of all the facts and 
arguments laid down in Tooke*s Diversiona of Purley. 
Murrav translates the Latin Grammar into English, as so 
manv had done before him, and fancies he has written an 
English Grammar ! and divines applaud, and school- 
masters usher him into the polite world, and English 
scholars carry on the jest, while Home Tooke's genuine 
anatomy of our native tonsue is laid on the shelf! Can it 
be that our politicians smell a rat in the member for Old 
Sarum ? that our clergy do not relish Parson Home ? that 
the world at large are alarmed at acuteness and originality 

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has been a competition for superiority in almost 
every other branch of knowledge, this, which is so 
intimately connected with them all, has been un- 
accountably neglected. Even of our learned men, 
the great majority, I suspect, understand Oreek 
and Latin better than they do English.* It is 
true that English cannot be fiilly understood with- 
out a knowledge of other languages : but surely, 
• in respect to minute grammatical investigation, 
•we ought not to give any tongue a preference to 
our own: nor indeed is it possible to translate, 
with accuracy, any foreign language into EngHsh, 
without a thorough comprehension of the minuikp 
of both. At any rate, we cannot employ our 
knowledge of the languages of Europe (whether 

greater than their own ? — It seems in this, as in many 
other instances, as if there were a patent for absurdity in 
the natural bias of the human mind, and that folly should 
be stereotyped" — Oid Number of the New Monthly Ma* 

* " It is an egregious but common error to imagine that 
a perfect knowledge of Greek and Latin precludes the ne- 
.cessity of studying the principles of English Grammar. 
The structure of the ancient, and that of tne modern lan- 
guages are very dissimilar." — Caombie. 

It is a curious fact that, in the notes to Soame*s Bamp- 
ton Lectures for 1830, on the Doctrines of the Anglo* 
Saxon Church, the Latin and Greek quotations are not 
translated into English, while the Anglo-Saxon uniforrolv 
are. Does not this prove that our learned men know Greek 
. and Latin better than their own language ? 

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they be dead or Hying) better than in enabling us 
to master the etjrmology and use of our own. 
Persons of any pretensions to education should at 
least endeavour clearly to understand the parts of 
speech of a language which is daily in their 
mouths ; and not be contented with barely look- 
ing at the superficies, when^ with a very little 
trouble, they may penetrate to a considerable 
depth beyond the surface. They will dtscorer 
many beautiful and valuable gems to reward themi 
for their labour. 

I have met, indeed, with wellrbiformed persons, 
clergymen, and even authors of merit, who have 
contended that the study of English Grammar is 
unnecessary, on, the plea that we learn from mix- 
ing with good society, and from the perusal of 
standard books, both to speak and write our native 
tongue with propriety. It is painful to be under 
the necessity of refuting a notion so obviously erro- 
neous, and pregnant with mischief. I would only 
ask such persons the few following questions :-^ 
Will not the English language gradually degene- 
rate, and cease in time to be a civilized language 
at all, if the principles of it are neglected by the 
very persons whose compositions are justly regard- 
ed as the standards of its purity ? When, in speak- 

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ing BBd wntmg, ire mfy fellow the multitade, jnay 
we not be «aid to be gioping in die dark, and pro- 
ceeding more fvom chance than ffom intdligence ? 
And shall we not, in that case, be continually Ua- 
ble to fall into errors, without haying in our pos- 
session any test by which to correct them ? Is not 
the writer who knows his native tongue grammati- 
cally, more likely than one who does not, to aivoid 
those ambiguous and inaccurate sentences which 
disfigure the compositions of our most popular au- 
thors ? It is granted that custom is the sole rule 
for the jproficmoia^fon of words ; butJirewenotto 
be guided by something higher, in determining the 
laws of Universal Grammar? Besides, does not our 
conceiving a subject dearly, and thinking upon it 
correctly, depend much upon learning to express 
oursdves upon it with precision ? Finally, if it be 
necessary to attend to the minutuB of other lan- 
guages, m OT^ to a fiiU understanding of them, 
how can we be said to understand English, if we 
know no more about its minutias than what may 
be gathered from capricious custom,-«-no more, in 
^hort, than what the simplest child or the most il- 
literate peasant has pidred up, thoughtlessly and at 
random, from the mere hearsay of his companions P 
But to return. I have taken the liberty to find 


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great fault with my predecessors, for which I sup^ 
pose I shall be foimd great fault with myself: if, 
indeed, I be so ftr honoured as to be noticed at all. 
Should, however, my cotemporaries censure me 
with as much apparent reason as I have censured 
others, I shall be thankful for the reproof, and 
study to profit by it. If I get advice which is really 
valuable, I will excuse the harsh terms in which it 
may chance to be conveyed. 

At the same time, I think it necessary to say 
that the manner in which the public may receive 
this Analysis will be to me no proof either of its 
mierit or demerit. When I observe such perform- 
ances as those of L. Murray and Cobbett univer- 
sally applauded, I am forced to conclude that it ia 
much easier to obtain praise than to deserve it On 
the other hand, the little esteem in which the Di- 
versions of Purley is hdid is an instance that the 
highest praise may be deserved, and not received.* 
I am not, therefore, so sanguine as tQ expect a 
place among the enviable few who have both de- 
served the public approbation and obtained it 
Meanwhile, however, I am satisfied as to the im- 

I - • : 

* Some French writer says, " La faveur prodiguee aux 
mauvais ouvrages, est aussi cootraire aux progres de Tesprft 
que le d^chainement oontre lea bona." 

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portanc^ and utility of what I hare attempted, not- 
withstanding some imperfections with which it may 
possibly be incumbered. 

On what is commonly called Syntax I have said 
little, because, from the title of the work, this was 
evidently foreign to my purpose. Besides, how- 
ever defective our popular grammars are on the 
.Parts of Speech, they are by no means soon Syn- 
tax; nor am I aware that any material improve^ 
iH^nt could be made in that department. At the 
same time, I am persuaded that a dear knowledge 
of the Parts of Speech, and intercourse with per- 
sons of good education, would, in a great mea* 
sure, supersede the necessity of perusing works on 

I ought here to state that this Analysis is not 
intended for mere beginners, because I have sup- 
posed my readers to be already acquainted with the 
outlines of English Grammar : in other words, to 
know what every person of the least pretensions to 
education must know ; and hence I have not re- 
peated what may be found in every abridgment 
pf every grammar that is in print. Still less have 
I altered into those details which Harris, Murray, 
Grant, and others have so industriously pursued,— 
details, one-half of which, as it seems to me, every 

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Engluhman knows abea^jr, without haviag r^id 
^em; and the other half, very few persons would 
be the wiser for, were they to poiB over them evet 
80 studiously. My main object has hem to eluci- 
date and ihcifitate the method of pamng : and by 
Iceeping this object steadily in view, I hope it will 
be found that I ba^e equally avrnded the obscurity 
Arising ftom brevity, and the tediousness proceed- 
ing from i)eduadan(7. 

It will be seen that I have availed mysdf of some 
valuable hints suggested by the learned author of 
die Diversions of Purley. The object of that in- 
eatimaUe work, however, is chiefly to expose the 
errors of the aa<^ient.and modern grammarians, 
which is done with an acuteness and research beyond 
all praise ; but. it must ever be regretted that one so 
admirably fitted for the task as Tooke was, should 
not have advanced a step farther than he did, and 
constructed a grammar and dictionary on the prind- 
pies he 80 suocessftilly advocated. This is the more 
to be regretted, since nodiing is so bewildering and 
irksome to the English student, as to find (whidi 
we continually do in Johnson^s Dictiosafy) the same 
word put down as two, three, or four different parts 
of speech; and each of these with from five td fifty 
different meanings ! when we know that this same 

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woidfiidy be proved lo 4be only QfM put of speedi ; 
and, however mo^ed by the connezioii in wMcb 
it is used, to have bot one primary meaning. The 
Divefsiong of Purley may satisfy every one that 
words have only one meaning; and I have taken 
upon myself to show that they are not more than 
one part of speech.* 

It seems impossibk to compose even a tolesdbk 
dictionary or grammar, or woric on synonymes, wid^ 
out some knowledge of Etymology,-— which term 
I do not use in the sense commonly affixed to it in 
our popular grammars, in order to distinguish it 
from Syntax : but I mean by it, the origin and de- 
rivation of words as far back as we can trace them, 
together with their various collateral significations, 
whether literal or figurative. Nothing but this will 
furnish the clue to the true meaning of particidar 
words. WUhout the due, we grope in the dark, 
and lose ourselves in a labyrinth of errors : toith 
the clue, the path is easily discovered, time is saved, 
and confusion avoided. 

I by no means assert that it is necessary for all 
who use dictionaries to be etymologiBts : but it is 
evident that when a lexicographer does not himself 

* See Appeadix B. 

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know the trae s^ificntion of a word, he caimot 
give a satis&ctory explanation of it to others. His 
ignorance will betray itself even to the unlearned. 
The most superficial may perceive when an author 
is master of his subject, or when he is only hasardr 
ing random assertions, or improbable guesses con- 
cerning it. All I mean to affirm is, that words and 
synonymes ought to be invariably based on Ety- 
mology, which is the only anchor that can keep 
them stationary amid the storms and currents to 
which the ocean of language is ever subject.* 

* How, for example, ean the seemingly different senses 
of the same words in English and French, be understood, 
without knowing their Etymology ? Such as, attend and 
attendre ; defend and defendre ; particular snd particulier / 
assist and assister, and a hundred others. Or how can tlie 
various meanings of the same word in English he satisfac- 
torily explained, without keeping in view its derivation ? 
To instance the word fare : faran is the Anglo-Saxon verb 
to go ; hence wc have Jar, gone; what is y ova fare ? or, 
what is your going ? no thorough-fare, or, no thorough 
(through) going; a vfSiy -faring and sea-faring man, or, a 
wsy-^t"^ or sea-^n^ man ; how fare* it with yoo ? or, 
how goes it with you ? or, how do you get on generally ? 
farewell^ or, go, get on well : and hence, by an easy tran- 
sition, the noun fare means the general gv^/tn^ on, in re- 
spect to treatment, accommodations, provisions, &c. Let 
an^ one now turn to Johnson's Dictionary, and compare 
thi^ simple EtymologicdL account of the word fare, with 
his, and decide which is the most satisfactory. 

In the Notes and Appendix of this Treatise, I have 
availed myself of Etymology whenever it throws light on 
the Parts of Speech, or on points that are coufessemy ob- 

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The utmost this Analysis professes to effect is^ 
to supply what the generality of persons^ I have 
reason to believe, feel the want of, — ^namely, dUr 
tinct conceptions on the Seven Parts of Speech 
of the English Language, — a subject which, more 
than any other, has been rendered unintelligible 
by the obscurity of definitions, and the technicali- 
ties of terms : and though in its present state the 
Analysis may not be altogether adapted for begin- 
ners, yet it wiQ be very easy to construct an abridg- 
ed grammar for their use, on the plan I have re- 
commended, should it be approved of 

All that is necessary for the ordinary reader, is 
contained in the text of the Analysis, which is short. 
Those who wish to go beyond the surface may, it 
is hoped, derive satisfaction from the Notes and 
Appendix, in whidh some original matter will be 

A specimen of Parsing is given at the conclu- 
sion^ where a letter of Lord Chesterfield^'s to i^s 
Son, is employed for the purpose of illustrating the 
rules contained in the Analysis. 

scure, but not to the subversion of any of the established 
principles of the language. 

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I HAVE remarked in the preface, that I do not pro- 
fess to give definitions of the Parts of Speech, but 
only rules for their use. I am obliged, however, 
to find a d^nition for the Noun^ as otherwise we 
should have no datum to proceed upon in deter- 
mining the remaining parts of speech. The Ad- 
jective and Pronoun (it will be seen) may be known 
from the Noun ; the Verb and Preposition from 
the Pronoun ; the Conjunction from the Verb ; 
and the Adverb from them all; but we have no 
similar method of determining the Noun; and 

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hence the necessity of considering it as a sort of 
axiom or first prindple, and giving it an indepen- 
dent definition. I would therefore define the Nouk 
(from nam^ nomen) to be the name of any person, 
phice, thing, quality, or principle, — ^using these 
words in their most extensive signification, or more 
briefly, the name of whatever may be th£ 

SUBJECT OF conversation.* 

There has been great diversity of opinion as to 
the number of the cctses of our Nouns, — some ar- 
guing for six, some for three, some for two, and 
others for one ; while one grammarian of the 17th 
century (Dr Wallis) contends that our noun should 
be divested of cases altogether ; and that what is 
commonly called the possessive case^ ought to be 
considered as a possessive adjective, on the ground 
that it goes before, and in some sort qualifies, 
.a noun. On this point, I have adopted the opi- 
nion of the two most distinguished grammarians 
.of the last century, viz. Bishop Lowth and Dr 
Priestly, — ^not altogether because the opinion is 
theirs, but because it is most consonant to the name 

* I am indebted^ for this definition, to Quintilian^ who 
says of the Noun that it is de i/uo hquimur ; in contradis* 
tinction to the verb^ which^ he says, is qwid hqatmur. 

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and nature of the thing, — the word case signify, 
ing cadence^ (from casuSf cadd) a fall, or termi- 
nation : and hence we have just as many cases, as 
we have distinguishing terminations to our nouns ; 
and these, it is sufficiently ohvious, are two only, 
viz. the nominative and possessive; as, man, man^s ; 
sun, sun'^s. 

I say nothing of the plurals of nouns, because 
there is no uncertainty about them, and I suppose 
my readers to be abeady acquainted with them. 
As to gender, I do not admit that our nouns have 

I shall have occasion to make a few more obser- 
vations on the noun, when treating of the Adjec- 
tive ; for these two parts of speech, like man and 
wife, ought not, strictly speaking, to be ^^ put 

* See Appendix D* 

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'TsE office ef tbe ABjetdwe is to deaigmaie the 
Xomi, or point out aome prniBarity bdoqgbig to 
it ; wad its pootioB gamalhr is, sad always may 
be, immediatdj brfare tbe Noun. 

Tbe nile, tben, I vould oKr fiir tbe Adjsc- 
TITS is, tbat it precedks axd designates the 

Witb leqpect to tbe oidiiiaiy dass of adjectives, 
it will not be necessary for me to do more than 
sbow tbat tbe above rale is strictly applicable to 
tbem. Thus we say, a genemus man, a large 
bouse, a moeet orange ; and again, we defflgnate a 
man as being generous, a bouse as bdnglaige, an 
orange as being sweet. Consequently, generous, 
large, and sweet, since tbey both precede and de- 
signate nouns, are adjectives. These, for the sake 
of distinction, may be caUed Attributive Adjec- 
tivesy as generally indicating the attribute or qua- 

* PoMessive cases of nouns^ verbs, and prepositions, pre- 
cede nouns^ but do not designate them. 

The term adfjective is evidently objectionable, since it 
has no reference to the use or character of the word : Pre- 
nmn would be better. 

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lity of the noun. And it may be added, that this 
is the only description of adjectives which admits 
of degrees of comparison ; as, generous, more ge- 
nerous, most generous; laige, laiger, largest; 
sweet, sweeter, sweetest. 

There is a second class of words to which our 
rule of preceding and designating nouns will apply, 
and which, on this account, must be brouj^t under 
the head of adjectives ; I mean Prcnomimal Ad* 
jectivea^ so caUed, becauise formed from their re« 
spective pronouns. Of these, there are exactly 
eleven ; my, mine^ thy^ thine, his, her, ito, our, 
yowTy their, whose. We say, his book, her child, 
my table ; and the book is designated as being 
his book, the child, as being her child, and the ta- 
ble, as being my table. These consequently are 

When, in parsing, we meet with the words my- 
self, thy-self, our-selves, &c., we can only say con* 
ceming them, that they are compounded prono^ 
minal adjectives, being compounds of the pro* 
nominal adjectives my, thy, our, 4*c.> and the af- 
fix self, or its plural, selves.* 

• The term self is no part of speech : it is a mere affix, 
in the same manner that un^ dis^ re, mis, tub, and con are 
jt^n^^es. Sometimes selfh a prefix, as in self-deulal. 

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There is a third descriptioii of words which equal- 
ly admit of being put before nouns, and are equally 
employed to designate them. The following list 
contains a certain ntunber of them i^^One^ two^ 
three^ Sfc, ad infinitum ; Jlrst, second^ thirds 4-c., 
ad infinitum; the,'^ thiSj that, whichj tvhat^ 
these, those, only, awn, same, ecuih, every, ano* 
ther, both, whole, all, no. These may be said to 
define, or restrict the sense of the noun to which 
they are joined, and may, for that reason, be caUed 
Definite Adjectives. The remainder of the words 
in question are as follows, and may, for the contrary 
reason, be called Indefinite Adjectives ; a or an,* 

* The reader may perhaps be surprised to find what are 
eommonly allied the Articles theySXxA a or an, classed among 
adjectives. But surely if these two words can be legiti- 
mately brought under this head^ it must be wrong, in every 
view, to assi^ them a place by themselves. Now, it is 
evident that m the phrsses the house., a man, the and a de- 
signate as well as precede dieir nouns ; for a or on is ane, 
one (unus) ; so that a man is equivalent to one, some, or 
any roan ; and, in like manner, the house is equivalent Co 
this, that, or the same house. Hence the and a are definite 
and indefinite adjectives respectively. 

Dr Wallis (one of our oldest and best grammarians) holds 
this opinion ; and Dr Priestly, in his Rudiments of £nff* 
lish Grammar, says expressly, *' articles are, strictly speak- 
ing, adjectives, as they necessarily require a noun substan- 
tive to follow them, the signification of which they serve 
to limit and ascertain, as cM adjectives <2tK**-*P* 105. 

The word 7Ae has been ascertained bv Tooke to have the 
tame etymology as the word that, the former being the im- 

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whichever, whatever , any, same, other, few, se- 
veral, many, such,* 

It will be seen at once that all these words may 
be placed before nouns ; and they also serve to 
designate them. Thus, when we speak of two 
men, that house, which tree, these books, some 
children, few cities, such horses, &c., we designate 
these nouns by pointing out a peculiarity in each 
of them : of the men, it is intimated that it is not 
an unlimited number, but only two ; of the tree 
and house, that it is not any, but a particular one ; 
of the books, that it is certain books pointed to by 
the speaker; of the children and cities, that it is 
a small number of them, in contradistinction to all 
or none ; of the horses, that it is a description si- 
milar to certain others that have been mentioned.-}- 

perative of the Anglo-Saxon verb thean^ to aaanme or sup* 
pose, and the latter the past participle (tbied, thet, that) 
of the same verb. Hence the stsnified originally, assume ; 
and thai, assumed. In Appendixes B and £ we shall have 
occasion to make an important use of this etymolMj. 

* My reason for excluding either and neither from the 
above list, will appear in Appendix B. 

t There are a few anomalies or peculiarities in these 
definite and indefinite adiectives, which may require to be 
adterted to. Some of them are joined to nouns plural, 
some to nouns singular, and some to both. Other, and 
the numerals one, two, three, 4[c,, admit of plural termi- 
nations ; as, others, ones, twos^ threes, &c We also write 
other's, one's, which are contractions fbr other person's. 

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1 eaitikf hat cwo^ tbiee, scd mheUb^bs sww&y 
jccixdu^ to dicr ayfuptlr A&rbI ve in dtf- 
femi tCBtOKCS. Tbtt, I an pdsaded, is ahi>. 
gttbtr MM enar^ akl a rerj misduefwi one, in. 
jMnicb ai it Icfldi to great coofnaaB. Theabove 
wogd» are ad|ectircs, and notlmg eke. It is trae, 
thejr hare not ahrajrs a noon cnncaipd after tiieai, 
bat dieB tbej bare alvays one ondentood. The 
sentence is, in tbat case^ dfiptical ; bat it would 
be itraage to aigne tbat tbe eO^ds dianged the 
partof qieediof theword. I foibear saying racnne 
oil ibu subject bere, because in Appendix B I 
have endeayoured to pioYe, at some length, the 
general position, that no word is ever more than 
one part of speech. 

Upon the whole, we need never, T think, be at 
A loss to determine the noun and adjective. We 

0ns person '»• We baj, besides, afew oranges, mani^ a time, 
Much a flguroi what a wonder. Lastly, own never occurs 
but between tbe pronominal adjective and tbe noun ; as^ 
my 0wn houpo. These peculiarities, bowever^ do not affect 
their general ohsracter as adjectiye(|. . . ^ 

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have seen that the adjective precedes and desig* 
loates the noun ; and this rule for the adjectire 
furnishes us with one for the noun, nrhich perhaps 
tnay be more easy of application than the defini- 
tion given at the beginning of this secticm, a rule 
being always more intelligible and tangible than a 
definition ; for the noun is evidently that word 
which is preceded and designated by the acgecdve : 
80 that if we previously know ^ne of these parts of 
speech, we can scarcely fail to ascertain die other. 
Thus, if it be asked, what part of speech is the 
word early f • I find I can say, an early hour; 
and if I know hour to be a noun, i am then sure 
that early is an adjective. In the same manner, 
I discover the parts of speech of such words as 
li^^^ much^ eiiougk, former^ latter^ near^ Uke^ 
^^ because I can say, little wine, much bread, 
enough water, the former epistle, the iattef sen- 
tence, a near view, a like occurrrace.* And con- 
versely, if I want to ascertain the parts of speech 
of the words advantage^ degree^ service^ system^ 
cor^encey 4*^., I find I can put adjectives before 

* I shall bave occasion to make a further remark on the 
words near and lilce when we come to Prepositions. Their 
apparent use cls prepositions, will be easily accounted for, 
without its being necessary to class them with prepositions. 

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Aeokf and ssy, a great advantage, a Idg^ degree; 
an important service, a regular system, impficit 
confidence; and hence I may infier that the wovds 
in qnestbn are noons. This will generally be 
found a short and simple, and for the most par^ 
a correct method of ascertaining the noun as well 
as the adjective. 

There are fi>ur other words to be noticed tmder 
tfab Section, because I hope to make it appear 
that they are to be consid«»d as each a noun and 
adjective in a state of combination. I mean the 
words ours, yoursy hers^ and theirs. Our Gram^ 
marians find no difficulty in disposing of these 
words. They call them possessive cases of prou 
nouns, and in so calling them, think they have 
done all that is necessary ; though they, strangely 
enough, assign other possessive cases to the very 
4ame pronouns. Thus they call her and hers^ the 
possessivesof^i^; our bhAouts of we ; your tokA 
yours of you ; their and theirs of they ! This may 
satisfy those who are contented to take the ipse 
dicoit of the grammarian in the place of reason 
and common. sense ; but to me, I confess, nothing 
can be more unsatisfactory. Our^ your^ her^ and 
iheir^ I have already shown to be pronominal ad- 
jectives ; but with respect to the same words with 

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tfie ^^ulgoined, I was for a long lime at a loss to 
find a suitable denommation for them, there being 
no other words like than, in our, or in any other 
language. Possessive cases they eannot be : for 
all other possessive cases admit of nouns jafter 
them, which these do not. I am disposed then to 
consider them as the pronominal adjectives aur^ 
youTy her^ and tMr^ combined with an anUcederU 
noun i for the final s will be found, in every in- 
stance to represent a noun previously referred to* 
Thus the sentences, ^^ that house is our«,^ ^< these 
duldren are tbeir^,^ signify ^< that house is our- 
bouse/' ^^ these cfaUdren are their-childrra ;'^ so 
that the true and only use of the « is to represent 
the noun already mentioned, to save the trouble 
of repetition : in other words, our^ and theirs are 
fHTonominai a^^ectives and nouns in a state of com- 
bination ; and it is of course the same with hers 
and jfours.* All I contend for is, that this is the 
modem force and signification of the s (which is 

* It may be some help to the memory to consider the s 
as standing for tb<i word said : thus^ apeakit^ of a house, 
we say^ it is theirs^ their-«, tbeir-jaid^ their-said-house. 

Sometimes the noun represented by i is understood ; as 
in the phrase *^ I am yours truly/' i, «. I afn« my doar 
friend, yours, or your-friend truly. " I have receii^ 
yours of the l<5th inst**' i. €, your-lMter* 

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all we need lie ooDoemed about) w liate f q lie ite 

The sam of what has been said is this. The 
nocm may be known from its being the name of 
any subject or oligect ; the a^ecdve from its i«e- 
ceding and deagnating the noon. Or, when the 
adjective is previously known, the noon may be 
more conveniently determined from its bdng pre- 
ceded and designated by the adjecdve. We have 

1. Attributive Adjectives; so caDed from thm> 
generally indicating the attribute of the noun, as 
generous, large, sweet 

2. Pronominal Adjectives ; from the pronoun ; 
as, Aw, her, my. 

3. Definite Adjectives ; from their defining or 
limiting the noun ; as, /Ae, this, that 

4. Indefinite Adjectives ; from their leaving the 
noun undefined or unlimited ; as, a, any, some. 

The four words ours, yours, hers, theirs, are 
the prondminal adjectives, our, your, her, their, 
combined with an antecedent noun. 

With respect to the foregoing classification of 
adjectives into four divisions, a better arrangement 
and nomenclature might perhaps be devised. My 

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chief object was to prove that the several dasses 
of words alluded to, really are adjectives ; or at 
least, that since they are all of one character, they 
ought to pass under one general name, whatever 
name may be thought most appropriate. 

A few supplementary observations concerning 
Adjectives seem to be necessary* 

The present and past participles of verbs are 
frequently used adjecHvely; as, a pleasing ad- 
dress, A finished picture. 

Nouns are sometimes used adjecHvely ; as, a 
gold-nng^ ^Aip-stores, cauntry-houaej shell^^Bbf 
cAwrcA-yard-cough, &c.* 

It would seem as if occasionally the same word 
were used both as a noun and an adjeciive ; thus 
we say, a great evil, and an evil design ; a divine 
being, and an eminent divine. The same remark 
will apply to the words Christicm^ ritual, liquid^ 
missionary, cold, cunning, original, private, and 
tif few more. As it is, however, one object of this 
work to show that words are not more than one 

* Johnson calls country an adjective, because we say 
country-house. Might he not as well have called cow an 
adjective, because we say cow-house ? Sometimes even a 
preposition is used adjectively, as, an a/?er- thought^ an 
under'tL<!,ent ; but we do not on that account call after 
and under adjectives. 

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part of speech, I would decide, that in all such 
cases, the woid in qnestiem is a noun used adfec^ 
Hveltff (m the ground that it mnst have been a 
noun before it conld be an adjective. Persons 
and objects mnst have eidsted before their quali- 
ties were thought of. It admits of proof that 
nouns and verbs were antecedent to all other part« 
of speech. 

The foregoing is aU that is necessary to be 
known concerning the Noun and the Adjective. 
Under the head of the Verb, will be found some 
observations on the Participle, which it is well 
known is nearly related to the Adjective. 

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This part of speech is well named, because it ex- 
plains itself. It is a word used instead of, or for 
a noun. Hence, whatevee woed eepeesents 


The following are our nine pronouns with their 
nominative and objective cases. 

NaminaUTe Caiei. Ol^ective Caiea. 

I me 

thou thee 

he him 

she her 

it it 

we us 

ye or you you 

they them 

who* whom 

I have never been able to discover any pro- 
nouns except these ; though in our grannnars we 
read of pronouns distributivey relative j absolute, 
demonstrative, substantive, indefinite, persofiuU, 

* Who is exclusively called by our Grsmmarians, a re- 
leHve pronoun ; Imt is not every pronoun relative } Do 
they not all relate to the nouns for which they stand ? 

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maf^^ int. :H. .' -^^s^DcsaiBS v^ae^ lae 

id viica la^ve nv cJUtttMEt ktt m tbe^ 

Ai^ vLtt &s teoL fa5d pige 2? concenuiig' 
t^e vcr& «''.4>i. «^ii^« /AX#« M^, M«mv fibMr, 
^/^4r, tatk^ OTtfjiher^ 6r€^ it is almost vnmrrsfMry 
to obeerre, tbat tboc^h dl tbe gnmmns axe 
flamed to e^// diera prrmounsj tber are m &cC 
BoC aoy becaniie Aej do sot Tcpteseiit Boons ; 
bot «e mdjeetire^^ b ce aia e tZiey precede and de- 
rignate ddium ; vhidi nomia, vben tfaey are not 
expressed are understood. This is so plain mil 
dnrioas a distinction, tliat it is smpriang these^ 
two parts of speech should have been so uniyer- 
sail J confounded* 

When, in parsing, we meet with the words 
him-self, them-selves^who-so, who-so-e^rer, &c.,we 
can only say of them that they are compounded 
pronouns^ being componnds of die pronouns Aw/i, 
them^ wkOf and the affiiees se^, «o, ever.f 

* Tho German GrammnrianiB make the distinetron I con- 

t Tho above compounds, together with my-self, thy- 
irlf, vour-ielf, our-iielves, arc not pronouns, properly sa 
calirU, but ire uied merely to give en^th4$$i9 to the pro* 
iiouuN ) like ki-m^t of the French, or ^^mkei of thfr 

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It may be proper to remark, that when we say 
** he himself J or they themadvea did it,'' — in order 
to account for the nominatiye and objective cases 
thus coming together before the verb, we must 
understand a preposition before the objective; 
thus, " he (of or by) himself, they (of or by) 
themselves did it"' — ^the preposition, as we shall 
see presently, always governing the objective case 
Df the pronoun.* 

The sum is, that pronouns are representatives 
of nouns, and are nine in number, viz. the nomi^ 
natives, /, thou, he, 4*c., with their objectives vie, 
thee, hiufij S^c. 

* This^ I think^ is a more natural way of accounting for 
the anomaly, than by supposing with Lowth and John- 
son, that himself and themselves are^ in such examples, 
corruptions for hhself and theirtelves* 


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Thk Verb u so called becaase it is tbe cbief word 
(verbum) in a sentence^ and without which no 
sentence can be complete* 

Generally speaking, it denotes Action, or Coik 
dition of Being ; and it is either transitive or in- 
transitive ; that is, the action either passes from 
the actor to the object acted upon^ or it is con- 
fined to the actor. 

When the action is tranative, it includes the 
time and mode of its performance, together with 
the person or persons by whom, and those on 
whom the said action is performed; whence we 
have Person, Time, Mode (or Mood) and what is 
called Voice.* Thus, in the sentences, '' James 
raised John from the ground,^ ^< James dressed 
John,^ the person is James, the time is past, the 
mode is indicative (or declarative^, and the voice 
is active ; the expression Active Voice signifying 

* Why the word Voice (vobi, vox, toco) should have 
been employed by Grammarians to describe the active and 
passive state of the verb, I have never been able to dis- 

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that the action passes firom James to John, in con- 
tradistinction to what is called the Passive Voice^ 
which denotes that John is raised from the ground, 
and is dressed by James. Moreover, the active 
voice of the transitive verb governs the objective 
case of the pronoun ; as, << I dress him.'" 

When the action is intransitive, we have only 
person, time, and mode; as in the sentences, 
** James rises at six o'clock,^ " James dresses 
himself,*" the person is James, the time is present, 
the mode is indicative.* 

I would propose the following simple rule for 
recognising the vebb ; it is a woed befobi: 


N0UN8 MAY BE USED. This will bc found more 
comprehensive than the ordinary definition of 
beififfy doinffj and suffering ; for (to say nothing 
of the impropriety of defining verbs hy verbs) to 
look, to think, to stand, to sit, &c., are neither to 
be, do, nor sufier ; but we may say, I look, thou 
lookest, he looks, &c., I think, thou thinkest, &c., 
I stand, &c., which is the best proof that these 

• The French express this distinction between the tran» 
sitive and intransitiTe action more elegantly than we do. 
With them Uver is to raise, se lever to rise ; hahiller to 
dress another, ihaMUer to dress one's self. 

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aieveibs. The same rule indudes the iMMmnativ^ 
pronoun who ; for we say^ I who love, thou who 
lovest, he who lore^ ; osy intern^tivdy , who bves ? 

I purpose giving first a swnmary view of the 
Aoxiliaxy rerbs, and then of the Begqhr verb 
and Fartidple, referring the reader to any Gram^ 
mar for a list of the Irsegnlar verbs, which^ how- 
ever, are better learnt from conversation tha« 
from books.* 

I shall make two preliminary observations >— * 
First, I have deviated from what ia usually givea 
in Grammars, as to the number and arrangepient 
of Auxiliary verbs. I redu>n fourteen oi them in 
all, of which five are Indicative, and nine Con* 
tingjE^nt. To ought, I have assigned, an Incum^ 
belli mood; while must and k^ are classed to^ 
gather under the head of the Imperative^ The 
efiect of this last arrangement is to give a past 
time to the Imperative> which it could not have^ 
while let only belonged to it. S£coNnii.Y„ The 
Auxiliaries should, wouM,^ mighty and coidd^ 

* Accordmp; to Bishop Lowth^ there are 4300 verbs in 
the English language, of which only 177 are irregular. 
He might have addetl that the irregular are most in use, 
and that it is probably for this very reason they have be* 
come mutilated and imperfect 

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though orij^nally the past times of shaU^ willy 
matfy and can respectively, yet are not considered 
any longer in that light ; as it will appear, on the 
inost superficial examination, that these digtinc* 
tions are now lost, and that each of the above 
terms has a force of its own, and must be taken 
by itself. In the same manner ought was (»igi- 
nally the past time of the verb to owcy but it 
must now be considered as a distinct verb. 

The following Table contains the fourteen 
auxiliary verbs, and shows at the same time the 
manner in which they are used as the moods of 
English verbff in general. 


^I HAVE, thou hast, &C. \ Indtcatitb Mood, bo 
jl AM| thou art, &c / called, because indi* 

I DO, thou dost, &c. > caftng- the action done* 

'l SHALL, thou shalt, &c. I being done, or that is 
J wiLL^ thou wilt, &c. / to be done. 

/ S Conditional Mood, ' 

f I SBOULP, thou shouldst, &c. ( implyinff^ that the aco 
I WOULD, thou wouldat, &c. ^ tion depends on a con» 
J ditiofu 

\l CAN, thou canst, &c Y """"K *« P°f'' ^ 

{\ couii,. thou couUlBt, &c. 3 P*'**"" "» ■»"'«"• 

} Incumbent Mood^ 
showing the duty to 
perform an action. 
^ Imfbkativb Mood, 
I MUST) thon must, &e, ( signifying an order ot 

^Let r request Xo perform an 

J action* 

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It thus appean that the auxiliary verbs are di* 
vided into two classes; namely, fire Indicatire 
and nine Contingent, — the former constituting 
one Indicative Mood, and the latter four Contin- 
gent Moods, vis. a Conditional, Potential, In- 
cumbent, and Imperative Mood. I do not con- 
rider what is called the Infinitive as a mood, any 
more than the Participle ; on the ground that 
they contain no affirmation or command, proper- 
ties which ought, I think, to be deemed essential 
to a mood. 

Respecting the conjugation of the Indicative 
auxiliaries to have, to be, and to do, and that of 
the Indicative Mood of verbs generally, I would 
remark that, whatever may be predicated of past 
time, must equally be predicated of present and 
future time; in other words, whatever state or 
stage an action was in yesterday, it may be in at 
the present moment, or may be in to-morrow. So 
that there are Three Times in every verb, ptMt, 
present, and future : and there must be the same 
number and denomination (whatever that number 
and denomination may chance to be) of States of 
Action in eooA of the said three times. The 
number of these States of Action in the English 
verb, I conceive to be three, and that they ought 

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to be denominated Finiahedj Unfinished, and 

In accordance with this principle, I will here 
give an outline of the conjugation of the three 


to hav€i to be, and to do, with their Infinitires 
and Participles. The other two Indicative auxi- 
liaries shaU and unU are only used to express the 
future time of the Indicative mood. 

(I had had, thou, &c. 

finished < I had been, thou, &c 
H I ij. had done, thou, &c. 

S ) (I was having, thou, &c 

^ <unfini8hed< I was being (or getting), thou, &e 
S y (,1 was doing, thou, &c« 

2( ri had, thou, &c. 

indefinite ^ I was, thou, &c. 
: did, thou, &c. 

Qite -{ I 



,"1 have had, thou, &c. 
finished -{ I have been, thou, &c 
I have done, thou, &c. 
r I am having, thou, &c 
(unfinished < I am being, thou, && 
(1 am doing, thou, &c. 
f 1 have, thou, &c. 
[ indefinite < I am, thou, && 
(l do, thou, &c» 



ri ahall or will* haye had, thou, &c. 

finished < I shall or will have heen^ thou, &c. 

{l shall or will have done, thou, &c. 

ri shall or will he having, thou, &c. 

2 (unfinished-j ^ '^f ^' "^"^ ^® ^^'°S (°^ getting), thou, 

H / \l shall or will he doing, thou, &c. 

g I ri shall or will have, thou, &c. 

^indefinite < I ^all or will he, thou, &c. 
(I shall or will do, thou, &c. 


Past. To have had, to have been, to have done* 

Present. To have, to be, to do- 

TTo be about to have. 
FuTUEE. < To be about to be. 

I To be about to do. 


Fast. Had, been, done. 

Present. Having, being, doing. 

r About to have. 
Future, -f About to be. 

(^ About to do. 

The four Contingent moods of these verbs are 
now to be exhibited, together with those of verbs 
in general, under the head of 


The following^ sentences (amounting to not less 
than three hundred and thirty-six, if we include 

* The rule for shall and will is somewhat conaplicated* 
It can only be learnt from correct practice. 

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all the perMiifl) exhibit all the possible varieties in 
which the contingent auxiliaries can be used, ex- 
cept what relates to let, which will be given after- 

!^,T.'; Ifi^w" /have, thou. &c 
riZj (be, thou, &c 

^°f.r1jr* V^^'thAc^c..^ 

be dressed, thou, > Reoulab.* 

r / &c. Pass,) 


TiAL. ) 1 can 
V.I could 

be drawn, thou, > » *».• 

{1 De drawn, tnou, ?- 

I must \ &c. Pass, J 

In these sentences (which it will be observed 
only express the Condition, Power, Duty, and 
Obligation of acting) there is evidently very Kttle 
reference to time ; for the action being contingent, 
that is, doubtful whether it be performed at aH, it 
is impossible to fix the time of its performance. 
Notwithstanding, we may perhaps be justified in 
assigning to the above sentences, one presekt 
TIME, on the ground, that when we speak of the 
power, duty, or obligation to do any thing, these 

* The verbs io dress and to draw are selected merely a» 
examples of a regular and irregular verb. It is well known 
that the only distinction between these two kinds of verbs, 
consists in the fonner expressing its past time by the ter- 
mination etf, and the latter by a different one. 

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must be present to us at the moment^ eren though 
we should never carry the act into exeeution. 

When die same auxiliaries are compounded 
with the verb to havcy and the past participle of 
the following verb, they may, for a similar reason^ 
be said to have one past time,* thus, 

Condi- flAould / had, tbmi, &c 
TiON^ could / y^X^^c 



» \\^\. \ done, thou, &c 

POTEK- _J I niight \ d,e«k,thoti.&c Act. l „„„ 

I could Y g^^ / Pass.)'^^'^ 
I ought to/ drawn, thou, &c Jc/. 1 j 

I been drawn, thou, > heou- 

Imuftt y &c. . PflwJ ^^•^ 

It deserves notice that, in the foregoing contin- 

* One great mistake of our Grammarians is their hav- 
ing divided the contingent moods of English verbs into 
several successive tenses. It is true, that for the reaaoa 
given above (and for the convenience of parsing) I have 
assigned one present time to the contingent auxiliaries in 
iheir simple state, and one past time to them when com- 
pounded ; but this is the very utmost they possess ; and 
It is only in a restricted sense that they can be said to p08« 
sess so much. Yet what say our Grammars ? They in- 
fbrm us that may and can ^e fresekt ; that should j 
toauld, might, and could^ are imfeafect; that may and 
can have are perfect ; and that should, would, mighty and 
could have are pluperfect ! that is^ four successive tenses 
are ascribed to verbs, for which the utmost stretch of the 
imagination can only find two ! If mistakes are to be 
made, let them at least be made on the side of simplicity 
and not of confusion. 

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gent auxiliaries, ought is the only one which re« 
tains the infimtive sign to after it Once, how- 
ever, the others had it also, as might easily be 
shown by a reference to their etjrmology. And 
not only they, but do> shaU^ wiU, and let be- 
sides, though they have now dropped it.* But 
in parsing^ we must understand it, and call the 
verb which follows in the infinitive. Thus, in 
the sentences, <^ I do, shall, will, may, might, can, 
could, should, would, and must dress,^ and also 
. in '' let him dress,^ the verb dress is in the in- 

EngUsh verbs, moreover, have the power of as- 
suming (under certain limitations) what may pro- 
perly be called a Hypothetical Form ;% and this, 
like the contingent moods, has two times, one pre- 
sent and one past ; thus. 

* *' AbbreTiations and corruptious are ilwtys buaiMt 
with the words which are most frequently in use : letters, 
like soldiers, being very apt to desert and drop in a long 
march." — Diversions ofPurley, 

f If the reader will translate these phrases into French, 
he will see at once the necessity of the verb dress being in 
the infinitive. The phrase ** let him dress** is, in other 
words, " permit him to dress," 

X I call it tiform in contradistinction to a mood, because 
it contains a supposition only, and not an assertion. 

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(I were, thou wert, he were, 

thou be, he be, we be, you be, they 
Though,>^ thou have, behave^ be. 

Unless, ^ thou do, he do, 

&c.* / thou dress, he dress. Act. 

\l be, thou be, he be, &c. dressed. Passm 


thou have been, he have been, 

thou have had, he have had, 

thou have done, he have done, 

thou have dressed, he have dressed. Act, 

thouhavebeen dressed,he have been dressed.Po^^. 

All the parts of verbs, whether auxiliary, regu- 
lar, or irregular (with the single exception of the 
Imperative let)^ are capable of being used hypo- 
thetically, by putting before them the words if, 
though, unless, &c. : but the above are the only 
parts in which the hypothetical form can be dis- 
tinguisked. The other parts undergo no varia- 
tion when so used. 

* The number and character of these words will come 
under our consideration hereafter. It is scarcely necessary 
to remark that, in the above sentences, some one or other 
of the contingent auxiliaries is understood between the 
pronoun and the verb : generally it is should; as^ if thou 
(shouldst) have, though he (should) dress. 

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Before quitting the contingent auxiliaries, I will 
here give a fiill view of the Imperative Mood of 
English verbs, as connected with the two auxiliaries 
let and mtisf. Above we could do no more than 
advert to it as it related to must 


/had, thou, &e. 

\been, thou, &c. 

Past^ I must have, <done, thou, &c. 

/dressed, thou^ &c. Act 

\been dressed^ thou, &c„*Pass> 

/Let me, (or I ™"**\hftve 

h( Have, be, do, dress thou, or thou must/. ' 
H^Lethim, (or he mustv. ' 

S)LetU8, (or we mustT , ' - 

*/Have, be, do, dress you, or you must l5L^«-«wi ipJl. 
'^ VLet them, (or they must/*^**^'®"^- ^«'- 

The foregoing will be found to comprehend all 
that relates to the Indicative and Contingent auxi- 
liary verbs, together with the Conditional, Poten- 
tial, Incumbent, and Imperative Moods, and Hy- 
pothetical forms of verbs generally. It now only 
remains that we ^ve the Indicative Mood of the 


The ouly thing to be premised is, that our Gram- 
marians show far too great an anxiety to tread in 
the steps of their Greek and Liatin predecessors, 

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le 1 rf AeteMwcf die 

imle,^ "^ finl aid «cnad pRtcnmpofiect,^ «« fint 
ad second pretcfplnperfect,^ ^ riMjiimil «f die 
pveaent,^ ^ c omp o un d of die paat,^ ^ ptcaentper- 
teet^ ^ post perfect, ^ preCente antcnor,^ ^ fii- 
tore anteiior,^ &c &c. The fidlowiiig oodiiie of 
tlie Actire and Pasave Toice of tlie veib ie dress 
Qsk c cpfufiuity with the piinci^ adopted m the 
indicatiyeaiixiliaTies) wiDy peih^a, be found more 
rimfde and satiafutory :«*- 

t A^u^^ f vie/. I had dressed, thou, Ac 

^IHBisDed |p^. I had been dressed, thott,&c. 

S \ CAcU I was dressing, thocu &c 

^YmfiDisbed-^Pax^.I was being (or getting) dressed, 

B/ i tbou, &c- 

Aiiidellnite H^' I dies^d or did dress, thou, &c; 
yiDueniuie -J^p^, I ^33 dressed, thou, &c. 

Si(filiifhed H^- I have dressed,* tbou, &c 
SI \Pass. I have been dressed, thou, &C. 

^ \ (Act. I am dressing, diou, &c* 

!!<unfini8hed< Fass.I axn being (or getting) dressed, thou, 

B) V &«• 

Sf i«.<ioA«u^ /-4c/. I dress, or do dress, thou, &c. 
g^indeflmte |p^,., ^^ dressed, thou, &c, 

* '* I have dressed," which is given as the finished action 
of the present time, may, perhaps, appear to iome, very like 
a past time ; but, upon reflection, it will be found that the 
IdM of present time is, in the above instance, aeoeasarily 

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'Act I shall or will liaTe dressed, thou, &c. 

finished -l Pass. I shall or will have heen dressed, 

thou, &c. 

^AeL I shall or will bedresshig, thou, &c. 

^unfinished < Pass. I shall or will be being (or getting) 

dressed, thou, &e. 

fAct I shall or will dress, thou, &c. 


XPoss, I shall or will be dressed, thou^ &c. 

conveyed by the auxiliary have, which denotes, no doubt, 
that the action is finished, but that the sneaker continues 
to have, hx>ld, or possess the action in a finished state ; that 
is, he remains dressed at the time of speaking ; for if he 
were subsequently to undress, he would no longer saVi ** I 
have dressed," but " I dressed," or " I had dressed. 

Other seeming tenses, besides these given above, might 
be enumerated ; but the objection to them will be found 
to be two- fold ; 1st, They are incapable of the three modi- 
fications of past, present, and future ; and, Sd, they do not 
exfMress specific aeu at specific times, but intended, inter- 
rupted, or ambiguous acts ; as, '' I was to dress," *^ I waa 
to have dressed," '* I had been dressing,** " I had to dress,** 
" I am to dress," " I have to dress," &c. 

The indicative mood of the Latin, French, and German 
verb may be divided similarly to that of the £ng^h verb, 
excepting, that instead of three, they only admit of two 
states of action for each time ; thus. 


I Je louois, 
H )lch lobete, 

/je louai, 

\Ich hatte gelobt,J 

^V Je loue, 
H yJch lobe, 
S ^I^audavi, 


"-I praised or was praising. 
'I had praised. 

habe gelobt, 

^I praise. 

>- 1 have praised. 

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Paq^ fi4c^ To have dressed. 

rAST. \pass. To have been dressed. 

Present Z^"^'' To dress. 
PRESENT. |p^^ rj.^ ^^ drcssed. 

Future /^^^* 'r® ^® about (or going) to dress. 

• \Pass» To be about (or going) to be dressed. 


Past f'^ct. Having dressed. 

• \Pass. Having been dressed. 

Present I^^'* Dressing. 
present. |p^^ ggj^g drcssed. 

TT^T^tT^^ /-^^'- About to dress. 

* UTURE. -j^ p^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^g dressed. 

Intransitive verbs may, in general, be conju- 
gated like the active voice of the regular verb ; 
only that some of them^ it will be found, do not 
admit of an equal number of states of action ; par- 
ticularly those which express conditions of being 
that are involuntary ; as, to languish, to become, 
to fall, to smile, to shine, to seem. 

Having had occasion to introduce the past, pre- 
sent, and future participles, in the conjugation of 

gXlchwerdeloben, j P^*»^*"«- 

H ^Laudavero, S 

£ /J'aurai lou^, >I shall or will have praised, 

yich werde gelobt haben, J 

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the verb ; and to show (under the head of the Ad- 
jecdye) that the two first are often used adjectively, 
I will now proceed to what remams to be said on 
the subject of the . 


Which denotes a word partaking of the character 
both of the verb and adjective : of the former, from 
its indicating certain conditions of action, or being 
in a given subject ; of the latter, from its point- 
ing out certain attributes or properties in the said 

What I have chiefly to notice here, is a peculiar 
class of words, which I propose distinguishing by 
the name of Indeterminate Participles. I use 
the word Indeterminate with reference to time. 
All other participles are sufficiently determined by 
their past, present, and future appellatives ; but 
the under-mentioned have no time belonging to 
them, beyond what the accidental construction of 
the sentence in which they occur, assigns to them. 
It is singular that none of our grammarians have 
distincdynoticed them, and our lexicographers seem 
also to have been at a loss in what light to consi- 
der them. The following list contains all,'or nearly 

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md cshibitB, at die 
the wiMii inwJBch Aeyanadaut of 
bang med. vil vidi sht put cf At wrii io be 
before thcfls. and a piepoatioB after diCB ; dms. 

Bcinz mcnejsitry id 

— eowKTtaMf with 

— dtsifxmj of 

— arfrwe to or froci 

— comparabii to 
-» ncMrtDorfiir 

*■" QMMtC Oft 

— MMEisarr of 

— afrmdot 

— KahUto 

— capable cf 

— incapable of 

— consonant to 

— mindful c€ 

Bcin^ Ttgmrdicss of 

— cvc^mri?* to 

— mlAo^ent to 

— ccKtfatil-^e with 

— rrfrrahle to 

— devoid of 
'— pmrsmamt to 
-» smbpertiwe of 

— imeidemt to 

— coMfeqMemt up«3n 

— prone to 

— subject to 

— commensurate with 

— coeooi with. 

Now, it will be seen that these words cannot be 
verbs, according to our rule, since they do not ad* 
mit the nominative cases of the pronouns imme- 
diately before them ; nor can they be adjectives, 
since they cannot be made to precede and desig* 
nate nouns. At the same time, they partake of 
the nature of adjectives, from their indicating cer*« 
tain attributes in the subject referred to ; and they 

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partake of the oatme of veibs, fiom their indicat- 
ing certain conditions of being in the same sub- 
ject. They are, therefore, Participles, and may, 
accordingly, be always used as such. 

There are two words which come nearer to the 
Indeterminate Participle than to any other part of 
speech, and yet sli^tly differ from it, on which 
accotwt they may be called Anomalous Participles, 
viz. wont and worth. Wont requires after it the 
infinitive of a verb ; as, << he was wont to say.'^ 
Worth affects the word which follows it without 
the intervention of a preposition ; as, <^ it is worth 
a shilling.'^ These are anomalies from which no 
language is exempt ; but in parsing, it is proper 
to notice them. They are the only anomalies I 
have discovered under the head of the participle 
or verb. 

While I am upon the Participle, I would ob- 
serve that such words as unwilling, imdeserving, 
unresisting, unpretending, &c., should be called 
compounded present participles ; and that unde- 
served, unresisted, imaccustomed, unprotected, 
&c., be called compotmded past participles^ be> 
ing compoui|ded of the inseparable prefix tm, and 
participles of existing verbs. These words are 

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called ad;>cltf)e« by onr lexkogni^era ; but, sure- 
ly, when a word is distiiigaished by a peculiar and 
obvious character, that ought to be designated in 

There are, indeed, 'several words which have the 
past participle termination, but which, as they are 
not derived from existing verbs, are adjectives 
only; as, craved, crabbed, naked, insulated, 
crested, turreted: particularly compound terms; 
as, able-bodied, good-natured, bare-headed, evil- 
miaded, &c. 

In the use of the different tenses, moods, and 
participles of the verbs, considerable latitude is 
used in conversation, and certain minute shades of 
distinction exist, which can only be understood by 
familiarity with the language, and by intercourse 
with correct speakers. This rather belongs to the 
province of Syntax, on which I do not profess to 
enter. The outline I have given of the verb, 
though not, perhaps, altogether perfect, seems to 
me more complete, and less liable to objection, 
than any other I have met with. More might 
have been attempted ; but changes even for the 
better, sometimes do harm, when made with too 

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great nicety, or pushed beyond certain limits For 
every purpose of parsing, the foregoing will be 
found abundantly sufSoient. 

The sum of the whole is this, — the verb may al- 
ways be known from its admitting the nominative 
cases of the pronouns before it ; as, / dresSy thou 
readesty he who rides^ Sfc. 

The auxiliary verbs are fourteen in number. 
Five of these are indicative ; as, I have, am, doy 
shcUly will. The other nine are contingent ; as, 
I should f wouldy may, mighty can, could, otight^ 
must, and let. These last are considered as pos- 
sessing, in their simple state, one present time, 
and one past time when compounded ; and they 
serve also to express the conditional^ potential, in- 
cumbent, and imperative moods of verbs generally. 

The regular verb, aided by its incorporated ter- 
minations, and the indicative auxiliaries, has one 
past time, one present, and one future ; each of 
which is subdivided into three states of action, viz. 
finished, unfinished, and indefinite. 

All the parts of verbs may be thrown into the 
Hypothetical form; but there is only a limited 
number of parts by the structure or inflection of 
which this form can be distinguished. 

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The primary characteristic of the Prepofsition is, 
that it affects words in contradistinction to sen-- 
fences ; namely, nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and 
participles; and, in particular, any word, not 


The following list includes all the prepositions, 
of which there are thirty-seven: — around, amidst, 
about, among, along, across, against, after, at, 
above, below, before, beneath, behind, by, be- 
yond, besides, between, but,* except, for, from, 

* Bui, when it has a negative or exceptive force (as, 
'* thoa shalt have no other Gods but me"), is a preposition, 
and governs the objective case of the pronoun. Hence the 
sentence in Mark xii. ^' there is none other God but he" 
should, unquestionably, be " there is none other Grod but 
hitn.*^ When but denotes that something is to be added 
to what went before (as, ^' lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil/') it is an adverb^ as will appear 

The preposition but is etyraologically be-out, or remove, 
withdraw ; and is compounded of the imperative be and 
the adverb out ; and it may be remarked that behw, before, 
beneath, behind^ beyond, besides, between, are equally com- 
pounded of the same verb, and their respective adverbs. 
It is also a singular coincidence that the preposition with- 
out is from the same root as but or be-out (sec Divcrsi-^ 

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in, into, our, on, of, off, save,* through, to, to- 
wards, upon, under, with, within, witliout. 

These may at once be known horn their requir- 
ing after them the objeetiye cases himy her, them^ 
me J you, us, or wham.-f' 

of Purley, vol. L p. 215), and hence, in Old English^ but 
is frequently used for without ; as, in the Jacobite song, 

'' But the hose and hut the breeks." 
*' But doubt" is a common expression in Gravin Douglas. 

The other hut was formerly (and ought still to be) writ- 
ten hot, being the comparative of the old Saxon verb hotan^ 
to addk Hence our phrase to boot, or, in addition. The 
French mats (magis) has the very same meaning. But is 
one of the few words in the English language that are two 
parts of speech ; and it arises from the two above-men- 
tioned words, which are in origin and meaning so widely 
different, having become accidentally confounded. 

• On the principle that the preposition must govern the 
oljective case, the word they in Matt. xix. '' Save they to 
whom it is given," should be them ; accordingly we have 
elsewhere, '' Save Jesus Christ and him crucified." 

t The preposition might be named the obfectative (ob- 
jectatus), to denote that it governed the objective case of 
the pronoun. 

The rule I have given for determining the preposition, 
is supported by the analogy of the Greek and Latin lan- 
guages^ the prepositions of which constantly govern a case 
of all these parts of speech which possess cases. It is the 
same in German. 

I have not admitted since or till among the prepositions, 
because we do not usually say since or till himy wie, ^c. ; 
but, since my time, till his time, &c. For the same rea- 
son I have excluded up and down^ because, instead of up 
him^ down him, &c., we rather say, up his arm, down his 
back, &c. 

There is reason to believe that all the prepositions are 
fragments of transitive verbs, and that it is in virtue of their 

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There are a few expressions, such as, nigh to, 
as to, with respect to, according to, on account of, 
in spite of, which may be said to be used as pre- 
positions ; at the same time, it is only in virtue of 
the concluding words of and to, that they are en- 
titled to this rank. 

being so, that they require the objective case after them. 
Many of them are known to be such ; others can be traced 
to Saxon or Gothic nouns, which nouns had been probably 
past participles of verbs ; it being well known that nouns 
and verbs are often the same word, differing only by a pre- 
fix or termination. The circumstance of the preposition 
governing the objective case, seems to have escaped Tooke ; 
at least he does not notice or account for it. He shows 
e. g. that through means a door or passage ; but then a 
noun can never govern an objective case ; and hence it 
seems reasonable to conclude that the word was previously 
a verb, or became one subsequently. 

With reference to a Note in p. 25, respecting the words 
like and Ttear, we use the objective case after them, and 
say, like or near me, him, ^c, which may seem at first 
sight, to give these words a claim to be ranked among pre- 
positions. But the truth is, our ancestors write *' like to 
or unto me, him^ ^c," " near to or unto me, him, S[C'" the 
objective being, as usual, governed by the preposition to 
or unto. Custom has, however, retained the objective, and 
dropped the preposition. But this cannot change the cha- 
racter of the words near and like, which I have already 
shown to be adjectives. We sometimes say, in the same 
manner, ^' he lives opposite us" i. e. opposite to us ; op- 
posite being an adjective, and incapable of governing a case. 

Sometimes prepositions are annexed or prefixed to verbs 
in such a way that the original meaning of both is lost or 
modified ; in which case, we must consider the combina- 
tion as forming new verbs ; as, to take-off^, to take-in, to put- 
off, to look-after, to take- up- with, to let-on, to over- take, 
to under-take, to with-hold, to with*draw. 


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The present participles respecting^ concerning, 
touching^ eaieepAng^ aamng^ 4rc., may also be said 
to be used as prepositions, but it is only in their 
lyerhal capacity that they govern the objective case. 

According to Johnscm and others, many of the 
prepositions are adverbs as well as preporitions ; 
but in Appendix C, I have, I trust, shown this to 
be a mistake. 

The sum is, that there are thirty-seven propo- 
sitions, which may always be known from their ad- 
mitting after them the objective case of the pro- 
nouns ; as, by them^for us, in whom, S^c. 

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As it is the primaiy characteristic of the Preposi- 
tion to affect wordsj and, in particular, to govern 
the objective case of the Pronoun : so it is that of 
the Conjunction to affect sentences; and, in 
particular, it governs the hypothetical form 


Though there be diany words in our language 
used conjunctively, there are only eight which 
can properly be called Conjunctions ; namely, if, 
though (or although), unless, lest, notwithstanding, 
whether, till (or until), and ere. Thus we say, 
or ought, in strictness of speech, to say, — 

If, \ 

unless, 11 be, thou be, he be, we be, you be, they 

-VT **'Iu ( thou have, behave, be. 

NotwithA ^y^^^^^^ jj^j 

wII.K^A thou dress, he dress. .. . Act. 

1111 F ^^' ^'^^^ ^' ^^ ^' ^^ dressed. Pass. 
Ere.* / 

* As a general principle, one would say that the Con- 
junction, denoting contingency, ought to have no affinity 
with the Indicative Mood, which denotes certainty. This 
rule, notwithstanding, is often violated, not only in £ng- 

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There -is one partial exception to this rule, 
namely, with respect to till as applicable to the 
auxiliary were. When this verb refers to time 
past, we cannot say, till I were, but, till I was ; 
as, ^^ He stopped till I was dressed,^ not ^< till 
I were dressed."" The rule, however, holds good 
in all the other instances ; and these, if we in- 
clude each person, amount to one hundred and 

The general signification of the above eight Con- 
junctions is, that something is supposed, antici- 
pated, doubted> or admitted, in contradistinction 
to its being positively ascertained.* And hence 

lish, but in Greek, Latin, and French. In English, the 
above are the only parts of verbs by which the Hypothe- 
tical form can be distinguished fVom the other parts ; yet 
our modem writers seem to think it a matter of little con. 
sequence whether these or the indicative mood follow the 
conjunction : and not only so, but the same writer at one 
time follows the rule, and at another neglects it, without 
any reason beyond the caprice of the moment ! Ustu is the 
great norma loquendi as well as scribendi, and to its autho- 
rity we must bow, however capricious or unreasonable it 
may be. But though often broken, the rule is, neverthe- 
less, a sound one, abstractly considered, and may, there- 
fore, serve to distinguish the conjunction from the other 
parts of speech. 

* 7/" is ytf, gif, give, give or grant. Thus we have in 
the old song, of " Peblis to the Play," the same word used 
for both the conjunction and the verb, — 

And ^^ye will gif me richt nocht, 
The meikill devUl gang wi' you. 

Though^ lest, and unless, are fully explained by Tooke ; 

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it is that the same rule applies to all imperatives 
and participles of verbs (and generally to all terms 
and expressions), which denote doubts supposition. 

and together with if, so generally govern the hypothetical 
form of verbs^ that it is useless giving examples. 

It may be observed, however^ respecting though (which 
is the imperative of a verb signifying admit or suppose), 
that notwithstanding we find it nearly as often followed 
by the indicative mood as by the hypothetical form^ yet 
there is far from being any necessity for this. Thus we 
have in our Bible translation — ^' who, though he was rich, 
yet for our sakes became poor :" but since there is no 
doubt as to the fact here alluded to, the indicative was 
should be preserved, and though got rid of; which might 
easilv be done thus — "•' who was rich (or who being rich), 
yet for our sakes became poor." Now since we have the 
phrase '' though he was rich," we might naturally expect 
to find the same phrase in a corresponding passage, viz. 
'* though he was a Son, yet learned he ob^ence bv the 
things which he su£Pered." But such is the general dis- 
regard to all rule in these instances, that we find instead^ 
'^ though he were a Son," &Cr Here again, for the same 
reason as before, the indicative should be used, and the 
conjunction discarded. The same remark will equally ap- 
ply to the example, " and although we be unworthy, 
through our manifold sins, &c. ;*' and in short, in all such 
cases, it is easy to change the construction of the sentence^ 
so that both the sense and the grammar may be preserved 

There is another observation to be made here. The 
verb is frequently understood only, instead of bein^ ex- 
pressed, after some of the conjunctions. The following is 
an example of its being understood after though, " It will 
be easy to get a deed of gift — we must talk about it, 
though." — (Antiquary.) i. e. " Though it be easy to get 
a deed of gift, we must talk about it." 

The conjunction Notwithstanding is evidently not-with- 
standing, i, e. not-opposing, or not-denying, or granting. 

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command, caution, or contingency ; which verbs, 
termo, and expresaons, Eouce they belong to other 
Parts of Speech, may be said to be tssed conjunc" 
tively; e. g. whoever, whatever, suppose, suppos- 
ing, or it being supposed ; take care, or let him 
take care ; grant or granted ; granting, allowing, 
admitting, providing, and all similar present par- 

The verb is genendly understood after this conjunction. 
'^ Jesus saith unto Peter^ then are the children free ; not- 
ivithstanding^ lest we should offend them, go," &:c u e, 
notwithstanding this circumstance, or notwithstanding the 
children be free^ lest we should offend them, go, &c. 

Johnson calls Whether a pronoun and an adverb ! But 
it will be found, upon the slightest examination, that all 
his examples resolve themselves (by supplying the ellipsis) 
into our conjunctional use of the word. The Latin utrum, 
and the Vrench' soi-tpie point the same way: and in our 
fiible translation we have, " so then whether it were I or 
they, so we preached, and so ye believed ;" *' whether he 
be a sinner or no, I know. not. 

With respect to Till, which is a contraction fbr to-while 
(while being synonymous with time), its conjunctional cha- 
racter seems determined by the dum and donee of the Latin, 
and the Jusqu'd ce que of the French, together with the 
fact of its being invariably (when the construction admits 
of it) followed by the hypothetical form in our Bible trans- 
lation ; as, '' under the shadow of thy wings shall be my 
refUge, until this tyranny be overpast." " Doth she not 
seek diligently till she find it ?" Here also the verb is 
sometimes understood ; as, ^^ Let both grow together until 
the harvest." «. e. until the harvest come, 

I am doubtful as to the etymology of Ere, HoUingshed 
thus spells and uses the word, '*y^ it were perceived what 
he had done." In the New Testament we have, *' come 
down ere my child die," 

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ticiples ; piovided ; be it, albeit (aU*be^it) ; in 
case ; on condition ; beware ; remember ; Qod 
grant, or would to God; would that; O that, 
&c. &c. 

Some of these are of more general application 
than others ; but none of them are, or at least 
oi^ht to be, followed by the indicative mood of 
the verb— ^dways excepting of course those per- 
sons and tenses which are common to the hypo> 
thetical form and indicative mood. 

There are three prepositions which are sorne^ 
times used as conjunctions, excepij h^orCi and 
wUhoutj — thus, ^^ That which thou sowest is not 
quickened ewcepi it dieJ^ ^< like com bbuled 
before it be grown up.^^ *^ Show me the turn my 
Sandie daur do about the house, tritkout it be 
just to tak his meat and drink and his diversieR 
like ony of the weans.*" — (Antiquaby.) 

The definite adjective that may be either in- 
serted or omitted after the conjunctions, and the 
words used as such : for it is the same thing 
whether we say if, or if that ; though, or thou^ 
that; in case I be there, or in case that I be 
there, &c. I notice this, because Murray and 
others, not aware of the true force of that (which 

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is fully explained in Appendix B), have given it 
every name but the right one.* 

It is evident that I restrict the conjunctions to a 
very small number compared with what our Gram- 
marians do ; yet surely not without good reason : 
for it never can be right to class with the eight 
words given above (which, we have seen, have a 
distinguishing character belonging to themf) such 
words as therefore, neither, nor, or, because, and, 
as, yet, nevertheless, &c., which are totally desti- 
tute of that character. All such words I transfer 
to the adverbs, because they have not the charac- 
teristics of any of the other parts of speech. This 
is surely better than to class a certain number of 
them (as Murray and other Grammarians have 
done) under the head of disjunctive conjunctions^ 
—of which the very name is sufficient to confuse 
and mislead by its- heterogeneous combination. 

* In the examples, " Remember that thou keep holy the 
Sabbath day," '* Let him take care that he come in time," 
the hypothetical form is governed by the imperative of the 
verbs, and not by the word that, which might have been 
omitted without the least injury to either the sense or the 
grammar. — See Appendix B. 

t They might be named dubitatives, or suppositives, 
from the contingency which they denote. 

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The sum is, that there are eight conjunctions, 
if, though, lest, unless, notwithstanding, whether, 
till, and ere ; whose distinguishing feature is, that 
they govern the hypothetical form of verbs. There 
are, besides, from twenty to thirty words or ex- 
pressions (denoting contingency, and belonging to 
other parts of speech) which affect the same form 
of the verb in the same manner, and which, on 
this account, may be said to be used conjunctive- 
ly ; as, in case, suppose, ewcept^ provided^ grant- 

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Under the head of adyerbs I include every word 
which does not clearly belong to some one or other 
of the parts of speech already mentioned : and 
consequently all those useless distinctions which 
pass under the name of copttUfHve, adversative, 
sknpky casual, dedarative, suspensive^ iUative^ 
4*0. 4"^. conjunctions ; not to mention Ben Jon- 
son^s separating^ severing^ sundering^ and rea^ 
sorting conjunctions ! Interjections I would also 
include among adverbs^ as they are too insignifi- 
cant a set of words (if they deserve to be called 
words) to form a separate part of speech.* In 
short, the adverb can only be considered as a re- 
ceptacle for all straggling, nondescript, and un- 
claimed words ; but which are of too multifarious 
a character to admit of either rule or defimtion.-|- 

* B. Jonson observes, in his quaint manner, that '* In- 
teijections, commonly so called, are, in right, adverbs, 
such as these that follow^ with their like : ah I alas / was^ 
4:c. ; ^. a note of silence : Rr, that serveth to set days by 
the ears : hrr, to chase away birds." 

f The adverb might be named the non-descriptive^ se- 
parative, inordinate, or exverb, or any other name signi- 
ficant of its detached^ lawless, or irregular character. 

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They may be compared to the ** mixed multi- 
tude^ of followers which generally constitute the 
rear of an army, being less known by any definite 
character than by the total loant of character. 

If, however, I have succeeded in giving distinct 
rules for the forgoing parts of speech, diere is ob- 
viously the less reason for doing so in this instance. 
The only one that can be given is this, whenevbe 


IT IS AN ADVERB. This may not be thought very 
satisfactcHry; and yet the nature of the case will 
not admit of any thing more so.^ 

It would be easy to doss adverbs, and they 
generally are classed in our popular grammars. 
For example, several are formed by the prefix 
a, as, astray, adrift, afoot^ aside, abed, abreast, 
abroad, aboard ; and others by the affix ward, as, 
upward, downward, inward, outward, forward, 
backward, hitherward, &c. Almost all the attri- 

* Bishop Lowth says of adverbs, that '' they denote 
some modiiicatioii or circumstance <i£ an aetioB or quality ; 
as the manner^ order, time, place^ distance, motion, rela- 
tion, quantity, quality, comparison, doubt, affirmation, ne- 
gation, demonstration, interrogation." It is clear that 
these can never be reduced under any one characteristic 

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butive adjectives (and they are by far the most 
numerous class of adjectives) are changed into ad- 
verbs by means of the termination ly^ as, perfectly, 
advantageously, quickly, sweetly, pleasantly, &c. 
These admit degrees of comparison, as sweetly, 
more sweetly, most sweetly. In the same manner^ 
present and past participles are changed into ad- 
verbs, as, charmingly, seemingly, affectedly, ad- 
visedly. Besides these, there are adverbs of time^ 
as, then, now, to-day, to-morrow, yesterday; of 
place^ as, here, there, up, down, hence, thence, 
&c. ; of order^ as, moreover, finally, once, twice, 
thrice, firstly, secondly, thirdly, &c. Lastly, 
many adverbs consist of two or three words (often 
belonging to other parts of speech) joined to- 
gether; as, already (all-ready), alike (all-like), 
alBo (all-so), because (by-cause), needs (need-is), 
&c. ; so also, no-thing, some-thing, there-of, there- 
upon, some-times, never-the-less, some-where, for- 
as-much, &c. &c. 

In this manner it would be easy to subdivide 
the adverbs, if it could be made to answer any 
good purpose. Classification is necessary to se- 
parate things essentially different, or where in- 
convenience would arise from confounding them ; 

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but beyond this point it should perhaps cease : it 
then only burdens the memory without aiding 

The sum is, that the adverb, from its varied 
character, admits of no rule being given for de- 
termining it, except that it comprehends all words 
which do not obviously belong to one or other of 
the foregoing parts of speech. 





AccoBDiNa to the preceding arrangement, all con- 
fusion may be avoided in determining the parts of 
speech. Every word is accounted for, its charac- 
ter fixed and unchangeable, and its discovery easy. 
For every purpose of parsing with facility, the 
text alone of the Analysis will be found sufficient. 
But if, in addition, the notes be perused; and 
the Appendix B, in which the general position is 
maintained, that ^' the same word is not more than 
one part of speech," I am persuaded that, with 
the exception of a few solecisms, coUoquiaUsms, 
and anomalous expressions which are common to 
all languages, no ambiguity is unaccounted for, 
nor any real difficulty unexplained. 

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1. When a noun occurs in the nominative case^ 
I call it a noun simply. The reader who knows 
the meaning of the word, will easily supply what- 
ever else it may be thought necessary to say con- 
cerning it. 

2. When an adjective occurs without its noun 
expressed after it, I always supply the noun, with 
a view to show that the said adjective is never any 
other part of speech. I have also supplied the 
noun, or the adjective and noun, when elliptically 
omitted after the preposition. 

3. As the reader is supposed to know the dif- 
ference between the present and past participles 
of verbs, and the nominative and objective case 

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of pronouns, these, after the first time of occur- 
ing, will merely be called participle and pronoun 

4. When the verb is in any of the persons of 
the present time, indefinite action, indicative mood, 
active voice, the infinitive only of the verb will be 
mentioned, after the first time of occurring, to 
save the trouble of repetition. 


Your very bad pronunciation, : Pronominal ad- 
j ective — adverb — ^attribu tive adjective* — noun. 

my son, gives me : Pronominal adjective — ^noun— 3d 
person singular, present time, indefinite action, indica- 
tive mood, active voice of the verb to give — ^pronoun, 
objective case. 

real concern, and I : adj. — ^noun— adv.— pron. 

congratulate both you and : 1st pers. sing, present 
timcj indefinite, of verb to congra^uZa^e— definite adj. 
(meaning both persons) — pron. — ^adv. 

myself that I was : pronom. adj. mt/^ compounded 
with the affix self (see p. 21) — def adj. (on that account. 

* As the attributive adjectives occur frequently, I shall, 
in future, to save space, call them simply adjectives. 

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or that thing happened^ viz.) — proo. l8t pen, sing, put 

indefinite of verb to be. 
infonned of it, as : past participle of verb to inform-* 

preposition — pron. — adv. ('' I was informed," past in* 

definite, passive voice, of verb to inform)- 
1 hope in time : pron. — verb to hope — ^prep. — noun, 
to prevent it, and : infinitive of /epr^e«^ — pron. — adv. 
I shall ever think : pron. — 1st pers. sing, indicative 

auxiliary tkall — adv. — infinitive of to think (see p. 43), 

{" I shall think/' fature indefinite of to think), 
myself, as hereafter you : myself, see this word above 

— adv. — adv. — pron. 
will, I am sure, : indie aux. «&<//— pron. — ^rerb to be^ 

acy. (of sure belief). 
think yourself infinitively obliged : inf. of to think — 

see mi/self above — adv. — past part, of to oblige ('* you 

will think," fut. indef. of to think). 
to your friend for : prep. — ^pronom. adj. — ^noun — ^prep, 
informing me of it. : present part, of to inform-^oa- 

— prep. — ^pron. 
If this ungraceftil and : oonjunction^def. adj.— fl4J* 

disagreeable manner of speaking : adj«— noun— prep. 

— part, of verb to speak* 
had, either by your : past indef. of to Aat^f*— adv^— 

prep — ^pronom. a^j* 

• We need only say here, and in similar case" "**'* ^^'^ 
conjunction {/'throws the verb into the hypoib 

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negligence or mine, : noun— ndv.-^onom. adji (mine 

become habitual to you, : '' it had become,** past 
finished of verb to Ziecomtf— adj.^— prep.— -pron. 

as in a couple of : adv.— prep.-— indef. adj. — ^noan'— - 

years more it would : noun---adj. (more time)^ com-- 
parative degree of mtich — pron.-*<K>ntiiigent aux. vfould. 

have been, what a figure : inf. of foAflw(8eep. 43) — 
part, of to be (" it would have," present time, condi- 
tional mood of to have; " it would have been," past 
time, cond. of to be; see p. 42)— def. adj. see p. 24— 
indef. adj. — ^noun. 

would you have made : conting. aux. tiwuU—proB. — 
inf. of to Aa»e— part, of to make (" you would have 
made," see above, '* H would have been").- 

in company or in : prep.— noun — adv. — ^prfep. 

a public assembly ! : indef. adj. — adj. — noun. 

Who would have liked : pron.— (t. e. " he or they 
would have liked," see above, " it would have 

you in the one, or : pron.— prep.— ^ef. adj.— def. 
a^j. (one state) — adv. 

attended you in the other ? : " who would have at- 

but that there is nothing in the verb itself to distinguish 
it as such. In parsing, we need not, I think, advert to the 
said form of the verb, unFess it belong to one of the distin- 
guishing parts. See p. 44. 

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tencfed," 8ce ab»Te, ^' who wonld hove Kfced**— pnm.— 

prep.— dcf. adj.— def, adj. \^other state). 
Bead what Cicero and : present imperative of to remd 

— def. adj. {what Mtn^j)— noun — ^ad?. 
Quintilian say ofeimndadoii, : noun— verb to joy^ 

prep. — noun. 
and observe what stress : adv.— present imper. of to 

observe — def. adj.-^nooa. 
they ky upon the gracefulness of it : pron.— yerb 

to %— prep.— def. adj.— noun — ^prep.— pion. 
Nay, Cicero goes farther, : adv.— noun-»verb to go 

— ^ldj. (a farther length) comparative ot/ar, 
and even maintains that : adv — ^adv— verb to main- 

torn— def. adj. (that position, via.) 
« good figure is : indef. adj.— adj.— noun— verb to be. 
necessary for an orator, : adj. (a necessary thing)-^ 

prep. — indef. adj. — ^noun. 
and particularly that ; adv.— adv.— def. a^j. {that pa- 
< sitiont viz.) 
he must not be : pron.— conting. aux. mu^/— adv.- 

inf. of to be (" he must be/' present imper. of to be), 
overgrown and clumsy. : adj.— adv.— adj. 
Men are oflener led : noun— verb to /6e— adv. (compar 

of of/<ffi)— .part, of to lead (" they are led/' pres. indef. 

passive of to lead), 
by their ears than : prep.— pronom. adj.— noun— adv. 
by their understandings. : prep.— pronom. adj.— 


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The way to the heart : defi ad|}.'^nonii— prep.— def. 

— def. a4j.— ^nann. 
is through the senses. : yerb to i^e— ^rep.— def. a4}.-^ 

I hare frequently known : pron.— rerb to Aat^e— ftdv. 

—part of to know Q*^ I hare known,** present finished 

a mane's fortune decided : indef. adj.— noun^ posses* 

me ease — ^noun — part, of to decide. 
for ever by his first address. : " for ever," an adv.* 

— prep.— pronom. adj. — dcf. adj. — noun. 
If it be pleasing, : coi\j.— pron. — ^present hypothetical 

form of to he, see p. 44 — ^part of to please, 
people are hurried involuntarily : noun— verb to be 

—part, of to ^ttrry— adv. (" they are hurried," see " they 
. are led" above.) 
into a persuasion that : prep. — ^indef. adj.-^oun — 

def. a4j. (of that fact, viz.) 
he has merit ; if it be : pron. — ^verb to have — ^noun — 

see ''if it be/' above, 
ungraceful, they are immediately : adj.— pron — 

verb to be-^y, 
prejudiced against him, and : part, of to prejudice — 

prep.— pron. — adv. (" they are prgudiced," see '' they 

are led," above). 

• The words " for ever" should be joined, Mkt for -soothe 
for-as'mucht 4[c. They are probably an abbreviation for 
** fbr every time." 

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nnTH&mg to allow him : compounded present ptrt.^ see 

p, 61 — inf. of to aUow — ^pron. 
the merit which : def. adj.— nonn^-def. adj. (which 

it may be he has. : pron.*— oonting. aox. may^-inf. of 

io &e— pron.— verb to have, (" it may be," pree. poten. 

of io be.) 
Nor is this statement : adv.— verb to be-^et adj.—- 

so unjust as at : adv.^adj.— «dv.-*prep. 
first sight it may seem; : def. adj.— noun— »pron.— con- 
ting, aux. may — ^infin. of io seem (" it may seem," pres, 

poten. of to seem). 
for, if a man : prep, (for thefoUomng rf<uofi>— oo^j.— 

indef. adj.— noun. 
have parts, he must : pres. hypoth. form of to have-^ 

noun — prou.— -conting. aux. must. 
know of how much : inf. of io know — prep.-Hidv.— 

a^. — (« he must know," pres. imper. of io know)* 
consequence it is to him : noun— pron.— verb to Ae— 

prep. — ^pron. 
^to have a graceful : inf. of to Aaire— indef. adj.— «dj. 
manner of speaking, and : noun— prep.^— part, of to 

ipeaA>— adv. 
a genteel and pleasing address; : inde£ a4]*— a4)«** 

adv. — ^part. of to please — noun. See p. 29. 
and he will cultivate : adv^-^pron.— indic; aiub wiil^ 

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inC cT i» cvlfcmife (<« W will cifemirE^** fiit. iade£ of /# 

and inpnyre them to die utmort. : adT.^<< lie will 

improfc,* fee ** he will caltivate* abofe)~i»iNiu— prep. 

— de£ adj.— «dj. (v/Mosf es<n/). 
What is the constant obserrafion : de£ »]j. {what 

oifstrraiwm)—^etb to be — def. adj. — adj. — noon, 
as to an actors : adr.— prep.— de£ adj.— noon, 
upon the stage ? is it : prep.— def. adj.— noon^Yerb 

to bt — pnm. 
not that those who : adr.— def. adj. (jAat obtervation) 

— def. adj. {those actor*) — pron. 
have the best sense : verb to have — def. adj. — a^j. 

(snperlative of good) — noon, 
always speak the best, : adr. — verb to speah—def. 

adj. — adj. (the best way, or in the best manner), 
though they happen not : codj.— pron.-^re8. indef. 

of to happen — adv. 
to have the best voices ? : verb to have—det, adj. — adj. 

— ^noun. 
They will speak distinctfy : " they will speak/ see 

he will cultivate" above — adv. 
and with a proper emphasis, : adv.— prep.— Indef. adj. 

— adj. — ^nouD. 
be their voices : (t. e. though they be) pres. bypoth. 
• form of to be — pronom. adj. — ^noiin. 
ever so bad. : adv. — adv/^-adj. 
Had Roscius spoken : past indef. of to have^-^k^foxk^ 

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.^art of to speak (" lie hid iqpokeD/' pMt finidied of fo 

quick and ungracefully, I will : adj. (in a qmek 

ffwmii^)---adF.-HidT.--pron.«— indie, aoz. wiil. 
answer for it that Cicero : '' I will answer/ see " he 

will eultivate" above— prep.— pnnu—def. a^J. (that thing 

would have happened)— nonn. 
would not have thought : see '' you would have 

made" above, 
him worth the oration which : pron.-^nomalott8 

participle, see^p. 61 — def. adj.— -noun— de£ adj. (which 

he made in his £ivour. : past indef. of to maAr<>--prep. 

-— pronoDL. a4j.-— ^onn. 
Words were givoi us : noon— past indef. of to de- 
part of to give p ro p . (^ they were given/* past indef. 

passive of to give). 

to communicate our ideas by; : inf. ci to commwUeaie 

— pronom. a^j.— noa n ■ p rep. (L e. 5y which words). 
and there must be something : adv^HMlv^— ^'itnrast 

4)e/' see ^ he most know** above— adv. 
inconceivably absurd in nttemg : aiv^— «4{. Q, e. 

an absurd tttsy)— pe ep , pmi «r ^ mtter. 
them in such a manner : ftm pwfu indet a4{<^ 

indet adj. see p. Ti noua 

as that people eithor : sdr^-ACa^j. (a«/ ijtey may 
happen)— noon— adv. 

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cannot understand them : conting. aux. can com' 

bined with the adverb not — ^inf. of to understand— ^ron, 

— (^' they can understand," ptes. poten. of to under' 

or will not desire : adv. — see " he will cultivate" above. 
to understand them. : inf. of to understand— ^tou. 
I tell you sincerely that : pron.-^verb to tell-^Ton. 

— ^adv.— def. adj. (that truth), 
I shall judge of your parts : '' I shall judge/* see 

^* he will cultivate"— -prep.— ^roiwin. adj. — noun. 
by your speaking gracefully or ungracefully. : prep- 

— ^pronom. adj. — ^part. of /o speak — adv. — adv. — adv. 
If youhayeparts, : conj. — ^pion.*^verb to Aa»«^— noun. 
you will never be at rest :* " you will be," see ** he 

will, cultivate" idx>ve — od^.-r-prep. — noun, 
till you have brought : conj. — proa. — verb to have-- 

part, of to bring — (" you have brought" pres. finished of 

to hring)' 
yourself to a habit : see myself above — prep.— 4n«lef. 

adj. — noun, 
of speaking most gracefully ; : prep.— part, of to speak 

— adj. (superl. of much)— tidy. (" most graceftilly" su- 

perl. of adv. graceful!;^). 
for, I aver that : prep, (for this reason) — pron.— verb 

to aver— def. adj. {that truth). 

* Siidi expressions as, at rest, at first, at length, at ^) 
in order, in short, &c., may be considered adverbial ;9X 
the same time it is idways useful to analyite them. 

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It 18 m ycfur ] 

nom. wdjy 
You win desire your : flee^ktvflli 

proDom. adjj* 
iator that yoa i 

y!OD . c o ntnig.1 
tead aloud to Urn : ** job wucf tmA," mt 

every day, and that : 

he win conect you : wet "he will addwaUT 

eveiy time yoa read : dif. adlj.- 

to read, 

too fiwt, do not observe : m iw ^ s^ j . (widi teofoMt aa 

utterance*) — reib la 4»— «dT. — iaf. of lo observe (** yoa 

do observe," pict. iadef. of /a oftocne). 
the proper stops, or : AtL wdy — m ^ umm — ody. 
lay a wrong ein^iasis. : verb io I9— iiidet adj.— id)]. 

You win even read load : see ** he wiU cnhiTate'' 

abo^e — adT. — adj. (with a kmd voter), 
to yourself, and tune yodr : prepu— see MgiwJf above 

—adT.—'' yoQ win tone" aee above— pramo. adj. 

* The intcrrentioii of the mdrtinitr a^ective a between 
an attribadve a^ective and a ooini^ does not difeet the 
mf ''mtaila maSf"* ^ too 

charaeter of the fivmer ; we 1 
large a hoDae." 


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ifttteraitce to your own : nouni^prep'-^pronoin. a4|*-«*- 

def. adj. 
ear, and read at first : Dona-t-adv.-^*' you will raad/' 

see above — prep. — def. acy. (the^r*< time). 
much slower than you need :.a4}.-*adj. {^ower nua^ 

ner\ compar. oislow — adv. — ^pron.-*verb <o n€€d* 
to do, m order to correct : inf.of fodo-— prep.-^aouii 

— ^inf. of to correct, 
that shameful habit of : def. a4i*<*-adj.— -noun — 

speaking faster than you ought. : part of fo speak-^ 

a4j. (in a faster manner) — adv.-— conting. aux. ought 

(<' you ought to speak/' present incumbent of to 

In dbort, you will make : prep.— adj. (in a short sen- 

ience) — " you will make^** see above, 
it your business and : pron. — ^pronom. a4j.— noun^ 

your pleasure to speak well, : pronom. adj. — ^noun — 

inf. of to speak — adv. 
if you think right. : conj.— pron.— verb to think^atlj, 

(in a right manner). 
Therefore what I have said : adv.— def. adj. (what 

matter or advice) — see " you have brought" above, 
is more than sufficient, z verb to be— adj. {more mat- 
ter) — adv. — a^. {sufficient matter), 
if you have sense^ : conj.— pron.— verb to have-^ 


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and ten fimes more : adr.«-*de£ «dj.**noiiii*-^j. 

{more matter). 
would not be suiBcient, : see '^ would not have" above 

— a4j. (jn^eUnt matter), 
if you have not. : conj—- >proD. — ^verb to Aave^— ady« 
So here I rest it : adT.—adT-—proih— verb ior^*/— 




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This in part appears from the same word being 
denominated three and four different parts of speech^ 
according to its apparent use— a subject which is 
elsewhere fully discussed.* 

The same fact appears from the numerous opi- 
nions as to the number of cases belonging to our 
nouns. Besides those I have already mentioned 
(Analysis^ p. 18), I may add, that Drs Johnson and 
Blair express doi^t whether our noons have a pos- 
sessive case or not. The former says, '^ The relatioti 
of English nouns to words going before them or 
following, are not expressed by cases, or changiis 
of termination, but, as in most of the European 
languages, by prepositions, — unless tve may be said 
to have a genitive" The latte/ remarks, " English 
nouns have no case whatever,, except a sort qf genu 

• See Appendix B. 

t This may be a proper place to remark on what seems, 
at first sight, a double genitive. In such phrases as these. 

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I have briefly adverted in anether place ( Analy* 
ns, p. 42) to the anoertainty which preyaiU in oar 
mmmars concerning the Aoxiliaiy V erbt^ partica« 
urly those from which we form oar Contii^peot 
Moods. Of these, Cobbett says, '^ I neednot dwell 
here on the uses c^ shall, will, mmw, might, shamU 
mould, cam, cotUd, and muH, whi<£ uses, various as 
they are, are as well known to us all, as the uses of 
our Ueih and our nates j and to misapply which 
words, argues not only a deficiency in the reasoning 
faculties, but almost a deficiency in intellectual dis- 
crimination/' This is one way of getting rid of di£* 
ficulties. That very paat of grammar which has 
been more misunderstood than perhi^s any other, 
and which^ therefore, needed most explmataaBf 

<' Howmsfff servants of my Father'* hare bicad enough and 
to spare,*' ttc, ** In a letter ^ Lord Che8terfield'# to his 
^oD," &c., the question is, what noun is understood after 
Father 8 and Chesterfield's ? At one time I was dvsgoBsd 
to think this phraseology corrupt, and that the '« in Fa^ 
ther's and Chesterfield's ought to be dropped, fiut on 
further consideration, I am satisfied that the above sen- 
tences are merely elliptical ; thus, '' How many servants 
(out) of (or among) my Father's {servants) have bread 
enough." **• In a letter (out) of (or among) -Cbesteffield^s 
(letters) to his Son." 

It is a eurious coincidence^ md not uawordiy of obser- 
vation, that in old writings the third person singular, pie* 
sent time indefinite of verbs, the plurals of nouns, and 
their possessive cases, all end alike, viz. in is. The fol- 
lowing extract from an old " Bond of Manrent*' will ex- 
emplify what I have just stated : — '' And I sail give the 
saia Lord my maister, the best liell and trew counsale 
that I can qunen he only askis at me ; and do him trew 
and thankfbl service, in all and sundry huactionis, causis, 
and quarrelUsy movit, or to be movit be him ; my allegeant 
to Qwre sDovran ladye the ^uanis grace, her tutor and j^ 
vemor, aUanerly except." 

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Cpbbett tak^srfor' granted hi» pkMigh-boys and ap- 
lurentices comprehend as well aa ihey do the use of 
their teeth and their noses ! Might he not have 
made the same sapposition concerning every part 
xx£ grammar, and thus aaved himself the trouble of 
writing a book upon the subject ? He might have 
jaid at onoe, " whoever does not understand the 
rules of Syntax^ and the definitions and uses of the 
diiSerent parts of speech^ must be deficient in intel- 
lectual discnminatiOD." 

This grammarian seems to have a strange anti* 
pBthy to the auxiliary verbs, being considered aa the 
moods of the regular verbs (which yet are the only 
moods they have), though he gives no reason for 
this antipathy. He says, " all the^/tM« which gram« 
marians have made about the potential moods, and 
other fanciful dUUnctions cf ihe kind, serve only to 
pu2zle ana perplex the reader I" Cobbett appears 
to have been himself sadly perplexed by these same . 
moods, «and, therefore, he very naturally decries what 
he did not understand : and yet, such is his incon* 
sistency, that in the passage quoted above, he as- 
sumes that his sailors and soldiers, &c., already un- 
derstand this perplexing subject too well to render 
any explanation necessary I 

but, besides the auxiliary verbs, it will be found 
that the utmost confusion prevails with regard to 
4he Preposition, Conjunction and Adverb, of which 
the very names are calculated to mislead. In fact, 
&e names Adjective, Preposition, Conjunction, and 
Adverb, have so little to do with the parts of speech 
which they are emploved to designate, that, had all 
these four reciprocally interchanged places, they 
would have equally served the puipose which thev 
do at present. But in an age when there is so laud- 
able an anxiety shown to furnish correct nomencla** 
Xures for subjects i>f adence, why should grammar 

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i)e almost the only one which is^ in this respect^ ne- 
glected ? 

L. Murray defines a Preposition as that which serves 
to " connect words with one another^ and to show the 
relation between them." But is not this equally true 
of the Noun, Adjective, Pronoun^ Verb, Conjunc- 
tion, and Adverb ? Have not all these a mutaial ref- 
lation and connexion when put together, so as to 
&>rm a sentence ? And if so, L. Murray has done 
no more than ascribe to the preposition a property 
which it possesses in common with every other part 
of speech ; and consequently has not defined it at all. 

Equally unmeaning and puerile is his account of 
\he Conjunction, which he tells us is " chiefly used 
to connect sentences ;" but he adds, " it sometimes 
connects only words." A man must have more than 
common penetration, who can form the most remote 
idea of a preposition or conjunction ftom Such defi- 

Cobbett rids his hands of this matter much in the 
same way that he does of the auxiliary verbs. He de- 
votes only three pages of his whole book on grammar 
to prepositions and conjunctions, which might indeed 
have been enough, had he said any thing concern- 
ing them to the purpose ; but he does no more than 
respect the errors of his predecessors ; and excuses 
himself from not doing more, on the plea that the 
words in question are only *^ the little fingers of the 
body,'* and unworthy of much consideration ! 

Tiie writer of the article '^ Grammar," in the En- 
cyclopedia Brltannica, thus expresses himself on the 
same two parts of speech : — " We shall content our- 
selves with retailing the common doctrine respect- 
ing these parts of speech, as far as it is intelligible^ 
requesting our readers who would understand the 
subject, to attend rather to the relations between their 
fmruMS ideas (this, by the way, is a new method^ 

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findiag out the parts of speecli) than to tkejrivolotts 
distinctions, which, in compliance with custom, we are 
compelled to lay before them*' What an admission 
to 1)6 made in England in the nineteenth century^ 
and on the subject of English Grammar ! Is it not 
full time that some attempt should be made to dis- 
entangle a subject which is confessedly involved in 
so much confusion ? 

The celebrated Harris defines prepositions and 
conjunctions to be *' words void of signification ; 
but so formed as to unite words that are significant^ 
and that would not otherwise unite." This position 
carries its refutation on its face. It is absurd to 
suppose that any words are void of signification^ 
however ignorant we may be what that signification 
iS : and it is still more absurd to suppose that two 
words^ each confessedly signifying something when 
taken apart^ should be combined, and have a new 
meaning communicated to them by a word signify- 
ing nothing, 

A respectable grammarian of the name of Grants 
says of prepositions and conjunctions^ '' both parts 
of speech being grammatical connectives, it is not 
always easy to discriminate them." 

But the circumstance which, more than any other, 
proves the unsettled state of these two parts of speech 
is, diat their exact number has never yet been de- 
termined—in other words^ no precise rule for ascer- 
taining them has hitherto been discovered. The 
grammarians content themselves with giving us 
what they call the principal ones ; or they furnish 
«ight or ten of them, and then finish with an et 
eastern ! 

Even H. Tooke did not perceive any other dif- 
ibrence between the two, than that prepositions were 
upplied to words, and conjunctions to sentences. 
This is, no doubt, true generally, though not inva- 
riably > bat ev^ if it were, it is much too vag"*~ *^ 

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serve as a rule fat distinguishhig between tfaefli. 
It is necessary to know to what kind of words the 
one IS applied^ and to what kind of sentences the 
other. Tooke, however^ did not give his attention 
to the parts of speech as suck. He was content to 
take these as he found them^ and confined himself 
to the derivation of the words. 

A writer on grammar calls Adverbs *' the modifi- 
cations of the attributes of substances ;" an explana- . 
tion which may be very profound^ but is not very 
intelligible. But whatever it may mean^ it cannot 
be true, since no one explanation or definition will 
apply to so multifarious a class of words as adverbs. 
S. Johnson^ in his " Grammar of the English 
Tongue/' prefixed to his Dictionary^ unaccountable 
as it may seem^ does not so much as mention pre- 
positions, conjunctions, or adverbs i 

Mr Feam, the author of a book entitled Anti- 
Tooke^ speaks so abstractedly and obscurely on the 
subject of grammar^ that I have found it impossible 
to understand him. He ascribes all the errors of 
his predecessors to their '' ignorance of the real 
structure of the category of relatives and relation." 
The phrase " I love," he would change into ** I 
inning a loving state ;" " I have loved," into " I 
hsLVelove; " I had loved," into '' I have-have (or 
ha-have) loved." Lastly, he promises, that, in a 
second volume (which I have not seen), he will 
treat '^ of the nature of limited silence, and gram- 
matical contact, -considered as an element of speech" ! 
There are ibur ways of disposing <^ a subject, 
when we are too dull to understand it, and too c<m- 
ceited to acknowledge that such is the case^^all of 
which seem to be in vogue among dur grammarians. 
Thejirst is, to aifect to despise the subject as un- 
worthy of attention : the second is, to express our- 
selves upon it unintelligibly or obscurely : the third 
is, to assert boldly that it is too simple to need any 

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explanatiooj and that a beuUi must be a fool wlio 
does not intuitively comprehend it : and the fourth 
\»^ to say nothing at all about it, one way or the 

As a farther proof of the unsettled state of the 
parts of speech, it may be mentioned, that, upon a 
comparison of Johnson's and Walker's Dictionaries, 
it will be found that many words which the former 
calls adverbs, the latter calls conjunctions. 

The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Adverbs 
that '' tiiey are applied to many purposes, and their 
general nature may be better understood by read- 
ing a list of them, and attending to their etymology, 
than by any general description or definition." 

A posthumous work by the Rev. Dr A. Murray 
of Edinburgh, on the History of European Ian- 
guages, was published a few years ago, and con- 
tains occasional remarks on grammar. I never met, 
in any book, with more gratuitous, and, I will add, 
more improbable assertion. The editor (the Rev. 
Dr Scott) says of Dr Murray, " He is an expounder 
of languages on the principles of Home Tooke, and 
only entered on the path which that ingenious phi- 
lologist opened up." No two works on the same 
subject, were ever, I will venture to say, more op- 
posite in principle than the Diversions of Purley and 
the History of European languages. Dr Murray 
thinks, and Mtempls to prove, that all the known 
languages of Europe and Asia are derived from nine 
monosyllables, viz. ag, bag, dwag, gwag, lag, mag, 
nag, rag, and swag ! It is but justice, however, to 
the author to add, that the work evidently was not 
intended for the public in its present state, which is 
ill arranged, and in many parts unintelligible. 

For the exposure of Mr Harris' numerous errors 
and inconsistencies, I must refer the reader to the 
Diversions of Purley, where (vol. 1, p. S^'" - -^ ^ ~ 
, will find a number of additional exr 

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from our own and foreign authors^ of the truth of 
the position under consideration. The few I have 
given are chiefly taken from those English writers 
who have appeared since Tooke's time^ and whose 
works happened to fall in my way. 

All this seems to prove the present unsettled state 
of our parts of speech ; and that no rules have hxth-> 
erto been invented^ calculated to fix their character^ 
and determine them with certainty. I hope those 
I have given will be found to answer this import- 
ant end ; particularly with respect to the pronoun^ 
preposition^ conjunction^ and adverb^ which ap« 
peared to stand most in need of illustration. What- 
ever objection my rules may be liable to^ they seem 
preferable to the total absence of rule. Even arbi- 
trary power is better than anarchy. 

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OF SPEECH. — In this appendix it is shown that 
the word that is always a definite adjective, 
having a noun expressed or understood after it. 

"I DO not allow," says Tooke^ ''that any words 
change their nature so as to belong, sometimes to 
one part of speech, sometimes to another, from the 
different ways of using them. I never could perceive 
any such fluctuation in any word whatever, though 
I know it is a general charge brought erroneously 
against words of almost every denomination." 

Neither Tooke, however, nor any other author 
that I have met with, has undertaken to make good 
the position, that the same word is only one part of 

By the doctrine thus stated, it is not to be under- 
stood that a word may not be a noun or a verb, ac- 
cording as the indefinite adjective a, or the sign of 
the infinitive to, may be put before it ; thus, to fight, 
to run, to walk, are verbs ; a fight, a run, a walk, 
are nouns. These are radier to be considered as 
different words, than as examples of the same word 
being different parts of speech. 

Nor is it to be understood as a departure from the 
position under consideration, that the same word is 
sometimes, apparently, both a noun and an adjec- 
tive; as, under the head of the adjective, I have 
shown that all such instances are merely nouns used 
adjectively ; any noun being liable to be so used.* 

There are, however, few rules without exception ; 

* See Analysis, p. 17* 

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and, in ordinary books on grammar, we find more 
exceptions to general rules than, perhaps^ in any 
other science whatever. Yet I have scarcely had 
occasion to make one exception to the rules of my 
Analysis ; for which reason I am the less scrupulous 
in ofl^ring one or two to the general position which 
I have undertaken to establish in this Appendix. 

I have already remarked, under the head of the 
preposition, that the word but is both a preposition 
and an adverb, according to its meaning; or, to 
speak more grammatically, according as it governs, 
or does not govern, the objective case of the pronoun. 
The word her, it may be added, is both a pronominal 
adjective, and the objective case of the pronoun she. 
The only other exception I am aware of is the fol- 
lowing:— many present participles of verbs are, at 
the same time, nouns ; as, great learning, good eat' 
ing, hard drinking. Some of these admit of plural 
terminations, which is another proof of their being 
nouns ; as, excellent understandings, acute feeUngs, 
angelic being*, clever sayings, fine doings, &c. &c. 
Such words consequently (when in the singular num- 
ber) are either present participles or nouns, accord- 
ing to their use and signification. 

The great error of our modem lexicographers and 
grammarians, has been in doubling, tripling, and 
quadrupling the parts of speech of those adjectives 
and prepositions which are used apparently as ad- 
verbs, pronouns, or conjunctions. 

Whenever adjectives occur in sentences without 
any noun expressed or obviously understood afVer 
them, they are most improperly called adverbs. 
But it should be remembered that when it can be 
shown, by a few plain examples, that a word is an 
adjective (which may be done by trying ff a noun 
can be placed after it*) it is a legitimate inference 

• See Analysis, p. 14. 

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that the word is always an adjective, though no 
noun may be expressed after it^ and though it may 
even be doubtful what noun is to be understood ; 
and a word is never to be called an adverb, till it be 
found impossible to refer it to any of the preceding 
parts of speech. Thus, in the colloquial phrases, as 
much as, as good as, in short, in general, upon the 
whole, at least, it is enough, I shall expect you earfy, 
only be sure you come, &c.; much, good, short, 
general, whole, best, enough, early, only, and sure, 
are adjectives and nothing, else ; because, taking 
them in their ordinary sense, unconnected with par^ 
ticular sentences, they may be made to precede 
and designate nouns. The foregoing and similar 
phrases are mere abbreviations : and the reason why 
they are so, is because we are continually using them, 
and wish to convey our meaning in the most expe- 
ditious manner possible. They are, as it were, the 
short-hand of conversation,— -sentences nearly worn 
away by constant use and friction ; or, to change the 
figure, they are by-paths and near-cuts to the object 
in view, to save the time and trouble of following the 
more circuitous high- way. ** Almost all the irregu- 
larities in the construction of any language," says 
Priestley, " arise from the ellipsis of some words 
which were originally inserted in the sentence and 
made it regular." But it seems evident that the 
ellipsis cannot, or at least ought not to alter the ori- 
ginal parts of speech of the words. At the same 
time, when we set about the task of showing that 
the foregoing words still retain their character of 
adjectives, it must be acknowledged that this brevity 
sometimes produces obscurity; and that. what we 
gain in respect to time and despatch, we are apt to 
lose in perspicuity. For the said adjectives have 
long ceased to be used in connexion with their 
nouns; and we cannot now revert to the period' 
when they came to be thus ellrptically used^ or tra 

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the precise association which mast have existed iit 
tile speaker's mind ; and hence there is occasionally 
a difficulty in determining what is the exact noun 
to be supplied after them. But it is not less certain 
that some noun is to be supplied^ and that is reason 
enough for calling the words in question adjectives^ 
and not adverbs. 

In proof of this^ I may offer the following solu* 
tions of the above-mentioned sentences : — 

In shorty t. e» (to say all) in (a) short (sentence). 

In getieral, i, c. in (a) general (way). 

Upon the whole, t. e. upon (a review of) the whole 

At least, i, e. at (the) least (estimate or considera- 

It is enough, u e, enough (food, discourse, reward, 
punishment, or whatever else may chance to be re- 
ferred to by the speaker). 

I shall expect you early, i. e. at an early (hour). 

Onli/ be sure you come, i. e. (the) only (thing is) 
be (a) sure (person, or in a sure state that) you 
come. In the same manner we say, elliptically, be 
quick, be good, be constant, where quick, good, smd 
constant are evidently adjectives. 

The words much, more, most, little, less, least, 
(each of which, according to Johnson, is three parts 
of speech) may, in like manner, be shown never to 
lose their original character of adjectives, though 
oflen used elliptically. 

In the familiar sentence, e.g. " I am much obliged 
to you," the question is, what noun is to be under- 
stood after the adjective much ? I have no doubt it 
is obligation or gratitude, or some noun of similar 
import; thus, "I am (with) much (obligation or 
gratitude) obliged to you ;" though, of course, the 
noun is dropped to prevent tautology. But in our 
Bible translation, many such tautological phrases 
may be found, which is a proof that about the time 

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the said translation was made^ tautology was not 
thought so great a blemish as it is now, and which 
renders it probable that such sentences as the above> 
are to be Ailed up in the manner I am contending 
for* The fbllowing are a few scriptural tautological 
e3Epressions that occur to me : — ^ He will rejoice over 
thee with 70^ ;" " he cried with a bitter crn ;** '* with 
sorrow he hath afflicted me ;" '* strengthened with 
might in the inner man ;*' "JUled with all the fuU 
ness of God ;*' *' the comfort wherewith we are com^ 
forledr " I win command the clouds that they rain 
no rain upon it.** 

According to this rule, we need have no difficulty 
in filling up many sentences in which such adjec- 
tives as much seem to be used adverbially; thus, 
*' I like him much** i. e, I like him (with) much 
(love) ; " I am much delighted with him/' i. e. I am 
(with) mnch (pleasure^ delight, or satisfaction,) de- 
lighted with him. 

Other uses of muck are still more easily reduced 
to the same rule ;— " where much is given, much will 
be required," t. «. where much (talent) is given, 
much (return) will be required; *^ much larger" 
means, larger (by) much ^space or extent) ; *' are 
ye not much better than they?" t. e. better (by) 
much (measure), or in a much (better state), or 
much better (creatures) than they. 

MoRB. — '* It is more blessed to give than to re. 
ceive," u e. a more Messed (thing). 

" He loved Rachael more than Leah," i. e. with 
more (affection). 

'^As the sun sinks, the stars appear more and 
more" u e. with more and more (distinctness). 

"The dove returned not again unto him any 
more" u e. any more (times). 

" Jane dances more gracefully than Mary." Here, 
todetonnine the noun understood after the compara- 
tive ftc^tive more, we must bear in mind that the 

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termination fy h & contraction for like; and hence 
the true rendering is, ''Jane dances more ^aceful- 
like than Mary/' t. e. in a more graceful-like (man- 
ner) than Mary. 

Most.-—'' Anne dances the most gracefully of the 
three/' i. e, in the most graceful-like (manner) of 
the three. 

" He will love most who has most forgiven/' t. e. 
he will love with most (affection) who has most 
(debt) forgiven. 

" Sorrowing most of all for the words which he 
spake/' &c., t. e. sorrowing with most (sorrow) of all 
(causes of sorrow) for the words which he spake, &c. 

" A penurious man makes the most of what he 
has/' u e. the most (use or value). 

Little. — " When thou wast little in thine own 
sight," f. e, of little (consideration) or a little (person). 

" He finished it by little and little," i. e. by little 
and little (degrees or steps). 

"If that had been too UttU for thee/' i. e. too 
little (a matter) or too little (happiness) for thee. 

" He has Utile of this world's goods/' t. e. little 
(portion) of this world's goods. 

" He IS a little better to-day/' t. e. in a little better 

Less. — " 'Tis less to conquer than to make wars 
cease/' t. e. of less (consequence) or a less (matter).. 

" Thy servant knew nothing of this, less or more,*' 
I. e. with more or less (knowledge). 

" The English are less volatile tnan the French," 
i. e. a less volatile (people). 

" I saw him less and less after that," t. e. a less 
and less (number of times). 

Least. — The only doubtful instance in which this 
word is used is in the common phrase " at least," 
which has been already explained, page 96. 

These examples may suffice to satisfy the reader 
that the above adjectives never lose their original 

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character, howeTer used^ or wherever dtuated. Some 
of the proposed methods of filling up the sentences, 
may perhaps appear awkward ; but this proceeds 
solely from our nabit of contracting our colloquial 
phrases, and from being more anxious to express 
ourselves with rapidity 3ian with accuracy.* It is 
to be observed, at the same time, that this habit of 
abbreviating is not without its advantages, notwith- 
standing the awkwardness and ambiguity it some- 
times occasiomi. '^ Abbreviations," says Tooke, 
'' are the wheels of language, the wings of Mercury, 
and though we might be dragged along without 
them, it would be with difficulty, very heavily and 
tediously." To be convinced of the truth of this, 
we have only to examine a Law Instrument, where 
uncommon accuracy is required. It abounds with 
tautological expressions and tedious repetitions, 
which are necessary to prevent the possibility of 
mistake, but of all which we get rid by certain con- 
ventional abbreviations. 

* '' L'esprit humain," says M. de firosses, '^ veut alter 
vit€ dans son op^ation, plus empresse de s'expriraer 
promptement, que curieux de s'exprimer avec una justesse 
exacte et r^flechie. S'il n'a pas riustrument qu'il tbudroit 
employer, 11 se sert de celui qu'il a tout pret 

Almost every verse of our English translation of the Scrip- 
tures furnishes us with an example of an elliptical sen- 
tence. It is well known that the words in italics are inserted 
to supply the ellipses of the Hebrew and Greek originals. 

Syllables are omitted in words, for the same reason that 
words are omitted in sentences, viz., that the mind may 
^^aller vite dans son operation." Some remarkable in- 
stances might be given how much the French have curtailed . 
the words they have borrowed from the Latin. The fol- 
lowing are a few : — Mhte, roeipsum ; eveque, episcopus ; 
eareme, quadragesima ; amif amicus ; dme, animus ; vingt^ 
viginti ; precher, priedicare ; maUre, magister ; tnvie, in- 
vidia ; MAme, blasphemia. 

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Let U8 take another example of an adjective be- 
ing confounded with other parts of speech. It might 
be reasonably supposed that the word one would be 
(without a pun) only one part of speech^ and have only 
one meaning;-— according to Johnson^ however^ it has 
six meanings as an adjective, and thirteen as a noun ! 
And to increase the confusion^ he adds^ ** There are 
many uses of the word one which serve to d^nomi-^ 
nate it a substantive^ though some of them may seem 
rather to make it a pronoun relative, and some may^ 
perhaps be considered as consistent with the nature 
of an adjecti ve^ the substantive being understood" ! I 
have looked carefully over the examples he quotes^ 
and find that the word is invariably an adjective, 
having a noun expressed or understood after it« I 
will give a few examples of what Johnson calls ita 
use as a noun> with a view to show that it is never 
any thing but an adjective : — 

^* The treea beat one against another," i« e. one 
(tree) against another (tree)*, 

'^ The men were taken out one by one," i. e. one 
(man), by one (man). 

" One o'clock/' t. e, one (hour) of the clock. 

'^ One would imagine," *. c. one (person) would 

" That orange is bad, give me a better one," i. e^ 
SL better one (orange), or one better orange. 

'^Let us love one another," j. e. let us each one 
(person) love another (person). 

One's is evidently a contraction for one person's. 

It thus appears that in all the foregoing elliptical 
sentences, nouns are understood after the words we 
have been considering, which words consequently 
are adjectives.* It is surely better to have recourse 

* I know of only one apparent exception to the rule, 

that words which precede and designate nouns are a4jec- 

'- - -we say, " either house will suii me,'* " neiiher horse 

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to this method of efkplaining the apparent ambiguity^ 
than admit a position so repugnant to common sense^ 
-and so subversive of all order, as that the same word 
mAV be several different parts of speech. 

It were easy to prove, by the very same method, 
that such words as this, that, which, what, these, 
those, such, each, another, &c., which Johnson and 
others call pronouns, and I know not what besides, 
are never any thing but adjectives, on the ground 
that they precede and designate nouns, which no 
pronoun can do. A pronoun is the representative 
of its noun, as an ambassador is the representative 
of his sovereign at a distant court. An adjective is 
the herald which precedes and designates the sove- 
reign in his own court; but we must not confound 
the herald at home with the ambassador abroad. 
Their characters, situations, and offices, are essen- 
tially different. 

The only one of the above class of adjectives 
which requires a separate notice is that. «fohnson 

can carry me ;'* from which It might be concluded that 
either and neither were adjectives. If, however, we ana- 
lyze these sentences, we shall find that they are mere ab- 
breviations. '^ Either house," means (and is a contrac- 
tion for) '^ either this house or that house.** If then we 
call either an adjective, it will be imnossible to avoid call- 
ing or an adjective also, which would clearly be absurd. 
Hence we must call them both adverbs ; and it is observ- 
able that in other languages, eitfter and dr are expressed 
by one and ^e same word, as indeed is done by our poets 
in our own ; thus, 

Or in the starry regions or the abyss. 
Neither is ^^ not either," and therefore the same remark 
applies equally to the latter as to the former; hence also 
we have. 

We nor ally nor brother know. 
Either is often improperly put for each ; as, *' on either 
side of the river was there the tree of life." 

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calls this ivord a pronoun and a conjunction ; and 
Murray, Cobbett, and the rest of the grammarians, 
say it is a relative pronoun, a demonstrative pro- 
noun, and a conjunction ! That it cannot be a pro- 
noun of any kind, the foregoing remarks will I hope 
satisfy the reader >* and I will now proceed to show, 
by a few examples, that its supposed use as a con- 
junction, may always (by supplying the understood 
noun) be resolved into its real use as an adjective: — 

'^ We believe thai thou shalt come to be our judge ;" 
t. e. we believe that (truth), thou shalt come to be 
our Judge. 

/' Thou say est that I am;" u e. thou sayest that 
(person) I am. 

^' I tell you that that man is innocent ;" t. e. I tell 
you that (fact), that man is innocent 

" Read the book again that you may understand 
it better ;" t. e. read the book again (to the end) that 
(or to that end) you may understand it better. 

^' They glorified God, saying that a great prophet 
is risen up among us ;" i. e. saying that (speech, or 
making that declaration) a great prophet is risen up 
among us. 

** We give thee thanks for that it hath pleased 
thee," &c. ; i, e. we give thee thanks for that (cir- 
cumstance, namely,) it hath pleased thee, &c. In 
such examples, the for is commonly omitted ; but 
its insertion here is grammatically correct ; and it 
affords us a good instance of the manner in which 
expressions come to be gradually abbreviated, and 
abbreviated in such a way^ that their original con- 
nexion is not always easily discovered. 

** So run that ye may obtain ;"' i. e. so run that 
(result may happen, or to that end)— ye may ob- 

" Eat that you may live, and live that you may 

See Analysis, p. 19. 

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do good ;" i, e. eat to that (end) — ^you may live, 
and live to that (end) — ^you may do good. 

" The first particular to he ohserved concerning 
Cain and Ahel is this, thai they engaged in differ- 
ent employments suitable to their Afferent inclina- 
tions ;" t. e. is this (circumstance, namely,) that 
(circumstance) — ^they engaged in different employ- 
ments, &c. Here we have, no doubt, an instance 
of redundancy, but by no means an inelegant one ; 
and it is of use in more particularly calling the at- 
tention of the reader to the subject about to be men- 

In all these examples the word that is clearly an 
adjective ; and we may add, that were its full pro- 
nunciation attended to, and also its correct punctua- 
tion (namely with a comma or dash after it), we 
should have less difficulty than we now have in per- 
ceiving that such is the case. 

But there is another common use of the same 
word, where its employment as an adjective is less 
obvious, but not less certain : I mean, where it is 
substituted for who and which, 

** Blessed is he that hath not walked in the coun- 
sel of the ungodly ;" in other words, '' blessed is 
the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the 
ungodly ;" t. e. blessed is the man that (man) hath 
not walked in the counsel of the ungodly. That 
this is the true sense of that, will appear more evi- 
dent by inverting the order of the words : " The 
man hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly 
-^blessed is that man ;" which order of the words 
brings the sentence close to the etymology of the 
and that. For according to what has been already 
shown,* the means assume, or suppose; and that, 
assumed, or supposed. Hence we have, by substi- 

* Analysis, Note, p. 22. 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 


tution — Suppose a man hath not walked in the 
counsel of the ungodly ; blessed is supposed man. 

'^ He shall be like a tree that will bring forth hi9 
fruit in due season ;" t. e. he shall be like a tree that 
(tree) will bring forth his fruit in due season. If 
which be substituted for thai, it will clearly be 
'' which tree ;" and for the same reason it must be 
" that tree." 

Examples might be multiplied ad infinitum ; 
" And why beholdest thou the mote that (mote.) is 
in thy brother's eye, and considerest not the beam 
that (beam) is in thine own eye ?" 

But this is not all : for as me adjective that sig- 
nifies assumed, and as we may put a plural noun 
after the latter^ and say *' assumed persons or 
things^" so we may say '^ that persons or things.'* 
This may startle those readers who have not at- 
tended to the origin and progress of the English 
language. But nothing is more true than what I 
have stated. The placing plural nouns after that, 
was a general rule of syntax down to the reign 
of Henry VIII.,* and though few are aware of 
,it> it is siiil practised every day by ourselves, 
whenever that is used for who or which, the antece- 
dent noun being in the plural nmnber; thus^-— 
^^ to render thanks for the great benefits that we 
have received at his hands ;" i. €. to render thanks 
for the great benefits that (benefits) we have re-* 
ceived at his hands. This may be proved in two 
ways ; 1^/, by referring, as before^ to the etymdogy 
of the and that — " assume great benefits ; €Lssumed 
benefits we have received at his hands." Or, 2df fay 
substituting which for that — ^' the great benefits 
which (benefits) we have received at his hands." 

''As we forgive them (cnr those persons) that 

• Sir Thomas More says, — " That evyll aungells the 
devilles." . 

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trespass affaiiist us ;" t . e. as we forgive those per- 
sons that (persons) trespass against us. 

*^ Mercifully assist our prayers that we make be- 
fore thee ;" u e* that (prayers) we make before 

Let one example more suffice t ** And they 
brought unto him those which (i. e. those persons, 
which persons) were possessed with devils, and 
those that (t. e. those persons^ that persons) had the 
dropsy^ and he healed them." 

The above instances include every possible variety 
of the use of that; and the conclusion to be drawn 
from the whole is this — ^the word that has always a 
noun after it, singular or plural, expressed or un- 
derstood ; consequently, it is always a definite ad- 
jective, and never, therefore, a pronoun or a con- 

Out of the thirty-seven prepositions, which I have 
enumerated in their proper place, eighteen of them, 
according to Johnson, are adverbs as well as prepo- 
sitions ! I consider it of so much importance to get 
rid of this confusion of speech, that I hope the reader 
will bear with me, while I show, very briefly, that 
the eighteen words alluded to are prepositions only ; 
it being remembered that the primary characteristic 
of the preposition is to affect nouns, adjectives, pro- 
nouns, and participles; and, in particular, that it 
governs the objective case of the pronoun. 

In the following sentences, the prepositions do 
not appear, at first sight, to affect the said parts of 
speecn, and hence they have been called adverbs. 
By supplying the ellipsis, however, it will appear 

• The several uses of that may be reduced to four, nvhen 
the noun is understood ; and it may be added, that the 
first, second, and third time it occurs in the fi)urth com- 
mandment, and the single time in which it ^occurs in the 
fifth commandment, exhibit the said four uses of the word. 


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that they are thereby restored to their original and 
unchangeable character of prepositions only. 

Above and abound. — *' Above was sky^ and ocean 
all around ;" t. e. above* (them) and around (them). 

About. — " Why go ye about to kill me ?" i. e. 
about (preparing) to kill me — actually employed in 

After. — ^' And about the space of an hour qf-^ 
ter ;" i, e. after (that time). 

Beneath. — ** The Lord he is God in heaven 
above, and in the earth beneath ;" t. e. in heaven 
above (the earth) and in earth beneath (the heaven). 

Below.—" Pass the time of your sojourning here 
beUm ;" L e. below (the heaven). 

Before. — '^ I knew that before ;" u e. before 
(some particular time). 

Behind. — " She came in the press behind and 
touched him ;" i. e. behind (him). ' 

Besides. — " Besides^ it ought to be remember- 
ed ;" t. e. besides (the circumstance previously 

By. — *' He stood % while I read;" t. e, by (some 
person or place). 

For. — " Work out your salvation with fear and 
trembling, Jor it is God who worketh in you, &c. ; 
t, e. for (this reason). 

In. — " He went in and shut the door ;" i. e. in 
(or into the room). 

Oyer. — '* He crossed over to the other side of the 
Lake ;" t. e. over (the water). 

On. — " They went on till they came," &c. ; f • e. 
on (their journey). 

* In the phrase '' the above list,** the preposition above 
seems to usurp the place of the ac^ective ; but this is not 
the case. The above list, means ^e list above, that is, 
the list above that part of the page where the phrase 


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TflBOUOH.— *' They bored the rock through ;" i. e. 
they bored through the rock. 

Undbb.— -'' From two years old and under ;" t. e. 
under (that age). 

Within and without.—" Within were fightinffs^ 
and without were fears ;" i. e. within (us) and with- 
out (us). 

Many other examples might be given in illustra- 
tion of the same general position^ that (with the ex- 
ceptions already made) the same word is not more 
than one part of speech, and that every part of 
speech has a distinguishing character whicn it never 
loses ; but these may perhaps be thought sufficient 
to point out the manner in which the ellipsis is to 
be supplied, and the word in question restored to its 
proper name and unalterable character. 

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A GREAT deal of unnecessary pains have been taken 
to show that our auxiliary verbs are not essential to 
the tenses and moods of our regular verbs, and that 
the latter have nothing belonging to them but what 
is indicated by their terminations. 

We are told that the English verb has but one 
voice, namely, the active ; one mood, the indicative ; 
and two tenses, the present and the nast. There is 
certainly no more tiian this markea by the verb's 
terminations ; and on the same principle, it ought 
to be contended that it has only one number, namely, 
the singular , since the three persons plural are not 
distinguished by terminations, but only by prefix, 
ing the nominative cases of pronouns. 

The only terminations which are incorporated 
with our regular verb are the following : — 

dress dress-ed. 

dress-est dress-edst. 

dress-es. dress-ing. 

But these, it is evident, would be of very little use 
without assistance from other quarters. Our regu- 
lar verbs would be exceedingly '* defective" verbs, 
if this were all they could supply. But why re- 
strict them to a few incorporated terminations, 
when the genius of the language has furnished them 
with other means of expressing their various modi- 
fications and powers ? jSvery regular verb of every 
civilized language mtisl have voices, moods, tenses, 
and numbers, whatever be the method in which 

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these are ooiiBtnicted ; beoaoae nMiikiiid> whose 
feelings and passiixis are every where the same, 
have uniformi]^ found it necessary to adopt sudi 
Qiethods in th^ intercourse with each other ; and 
so long as the time and mamner of an action are 
clearly expressed^ it can be of no consequence 
whether this be done by one word, with its incor. 
porated prefixes and terminations, or by a peripkrm^ 
sis, or by both. 

In this respect, the English, French, and Latin 
verbs differ from each omer only tn degree. The 
English moods and tenses are composed almost en- 
tirely of periphrases ; the French about equally of 
periphrases and terminations; and the Latin, al- 
most entirely, but not exclusively, of terminations. 

One of the alleged objections to calling a pert- 
phrasis a verb is, that the latter (verbum) necessarily 
implies one word only, and that therefore it must be 
improper to call two or three words by that appel- 
lation. But it should be remembered, that the pre- 
fixes and terminations of the Oreek and Latin verbs 
were once distinct words, though afterwards they 
coalesced with the verb ; and thus, from having been 
two or three words, became one;* these prefixes 
and terminations " being (as Tooke justly remarks) 
equally auxiliary with our uncoalescing words, and 
used for the same purpose." And it is a very con- 
ceivable case, that a corresponding change may 
hereafter take place in the English verb ; that is, 
that the auxiliaries which at present make up our 
various moods and tenses, may coalesce with the 
verb, and with each other, and thus become one 
word instead of several. 

Thus amabam was compouuded of ama-ibam. 
amaveram of ama-eram. 

amavi of ama-habui, amabui, amavi. 

amabo of ama-volo^ amavo, amabo. 

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Viewing the matter in this lights the objection 
that the verb^ on account of its name^ ought neces- 
sarily to be one word> falls to the grouna ; and we 
are justified in concluding that our auxiliary verbs^ 
are essential to our regular verbs^ since the latter, 
without these, cannot exhibit their several relations ; 
nor express the various modifications of time, man- 
ner, and circumstances of an action^ which it is the 
object of the verbs of all languages io express. 

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Our only methods of marking the difference of 
sex in animals is by distinguishing names for each ; 
by the pronouns^ Ae, and she, and it ; and by the 
pronominal adjectives his, her, and its. Thus much 
seems to be necessary to prevent confusion.* Yet 
it cannot be contended that the structure of our 
language is formed with reference to gender, 
since our adjectives and participles are unchange- 
ably the same for both sexes^ as well as for inani- 
mate objects. We say^ " the or that good man ;" 
''the or that good woman;'' ''the or that good 
thing :*' whereas if our language possessed gender^ 
the adjectives the, thai, and sfiod (together with 
any other adjectives or participles that might be 
used in connexion with the above nouns)^ would have 
terminations varying with the gender of the nouns 
to which they were annexed.t 

To say that males are masculine and females fe. 
minine^ is only saying that males are males^ and fe- 
males females ; it is a distinction o^ fact, but not a 
distinction of the English language. It does not 
follow^ because the person has a sex^ that therefore 

* Even this is not uniformly adhered to ; for, Istj The 
names poet, author, dancer, singer, ^c, are applied indi- 
scriminately to males and femues. Sd, He, shoj and t /, 
are^ at this day, used indiscriminately by the common 
people in various parts of Great Britain ; and^ Sd, In our 
Bible translation, we find '^ and to every seed his own 
body ;" '*• but it the salt have lost his savour." 

t As is the case, for example, with the German adjec- 
tives corresponding to the above ; der, die, das ; jener, 
jene, jenes ; guter^ gute, gut. 

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ihe noun has a gender. A woman is a female ; but 
the noun woman is no more of the feminine gender 
than the nouns skip, moon, England, church, soul, or 
any other of the numerous^ and often arbitrary^ fe- 
minine personifications which are in common use. 
In speaking of these^ we say she and her; but 
that, I repeat, does not constitute sender, unless 
the adjectives and participles to which they are an- 
nexed, have feminine terminations, which they have 
not. If the nouns ship, England, moon, be without 
gender (and this is admitted by all modem English 
grammarians) then must the noun woman be equally 
without gender, since they are all four designated 
precisely in the same manner. 

It may not perhaps be easy for one who knows 
no language but English, to understand this dis* 
tinction ; but it is presumed that the Greek, Latin, 
French, or German scholar will not hesitate to agree 
to it. 

Ben Jonson says^ '^ of genders there are six"! 
As the reader perhaps never heard of more than 
two, or at most three, he may be curious to learn 
how six can be made out. I will here give them 
for his information or amusement. 

1. Masculine, including (B. Jonson says) angels, 
men, and stars. 

2. Feminine, including women, islands, countries, 
and ships. 

3. Neuter, as houses, stones, and trees. 

4. Promiscuous, as people, dogs, horses, and cat- 

5. Doubtful, as cousin, friend, neighbour. 

6. Common of three genders. By this he means 
that adjectives being applied to masculine, feminine, 
and neuter nouns, maybe said to have three genders. 

I think these frivolous distinctions will rather 
serve to confirm than overthrow the doctrine that 
our n hout gender. 

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THE SAME WORD. — In this Appendix is ex- 
plained the etymological signification of the com- 
parative degree in English, French, and Latin. 

These two wcnrds^ I hare no doubt» are one an4 
the same word. They were both written than so 
late as the 17th century, as every reader of old 
English knows ; and they are, I believe, either the 
infinitive or present participle (it is immaterial 
which) of the Anglo-Saxon verb thean, to assume 
or suppose ; of which verb^ as has already been ob- 
served^ our words the and thai, are the imperative 
and past particii^. 

It will be found, on a very slight examination, 
that the word then always signifies that some cir- 
. cumstanoe previously referred to b assumed, sup- 
posed, or granted; thus, 

" Then went out to him all Jerusalem ;" i. e, as* 
suming (what has already been said concerning 
J<^), all Jerusalem went out to him. 

" What then f" or then, what ? t . e. €usuming 
(thus much), what follows ? 

'<If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching 
vain ;" t. e. if Christ be not risen, then (assuming 
this) our preaching is vain. 

" So then, they that are in the fiesh cannot please 
God j" f . e. so then (assuming what has been just ad- 
vanced) they that are in the flesh cannot please Gkui. 

'' It (the Church of England^ has rescued us first 
from heathenism ; then (aasummg this) from papal 
idolatry and superstition* It has saved us frr 

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temporal and spiritual despotism. We owe to it 
our moral and intellectual character as a nation; 
much of our private happiness^ much of our public 
strength. Whatever should weaken it^ would^ in 
the same degree^ injure the common weal ; what- 
ever should overthrow it, would, in sure and imme- 
diate consequence, bring down the goodly fabric of 
that constitution, whereof it is a constituent and 
necessary part. If the friends of the constitution 
understand this as clearly as its enemies, and act 
upon it as consistently and actively, then (assuming 
this) will the church and state be safe, and with 
them, the liberty and prosperity of our country." 
Concluding words of Southey's Book of the Church. 

But our use of Ihan in the same sense, is not so 
evident. I conceive it to be this :— 

** You are better than I ;" t. e. than I (assuming 
I am goo^, — ^the positive degree of the adjective being 
understood in ail such cases) you are better. 

'^ John was greater than a prophet ;" t. e. than a 
prophet (assuming a prophet is great) John was 

" The judgments of the Lord are more to be de- 
sired than fine gold ;" t. e. than fine gold (assuming 
that fine gold is much to be desired) the judgments 
of the Lord are more to be desired. 

*' It is better to suffer than to do wronff." Here 
the construction would seem to imply uiat doing 
wrong is good, and that suffering is better ; whereas 
the true meaning is, that '' it is had to suffer, but 
worse to do wrong;" t. e. than to suffer (assuming 
that to suffer is hai) it is worse to do wrong. 

We also use than after oiher ; thus, '' you are to 
do it for no other reason than that I command you ;" 
t. e. than that I command you (assuming that I com- 
mand you) you are to do it for no other reason. 

It seems unaccountable, at first sight, that while 
'^han /, than he, than we, we never say, than 

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who; and I am not aware that this seeming anomaly 
has ever been explained. The above etjrmmogy will, 
however, serve to clear it up, and at die same time, 
show why we say, than whom, instead. 

The phrase " you are better than I," or '' than he," 
is evidently to be filled up, than I am, or than he is; 
but take the following example :— '^ Cromwell, than 
whom no man was ever better skilled in artifice ;" 
t. e. than whom (assuming whom, or whom assuming 
to have been skilled in artifice) no man was ever 
better skilled. But we cannot say ^' mho assuming," 
since the transitive verb assume must govern Uie 
objective case of the pronoun. Consequently, than 
whom is right, and than who would be wrong.* 

We often hear in conversation (particularly, 
I think, in Scotland) the phrases than me, than 
him, than us, &c.,t and all our grammarians 

* The importanoe of etymology for determining the true 
meaning and use of words, will appear from the following 
extract from *^ Baker*s Remarks on the English Language, 
oonoerning the expression than whom : — " The late Dr 
Sdter, A&ter of the Charter House, on seeing the first 
edition of my book (in which Baker had contended fbr 
than who\ inquired of the bookseller the name of the au- 
thor, and soon after wrote to me, desiring me to call upon 
him. When I saw him, be objected to my observation on 
Pope's expression of than wham. He insisted that than 
whom was always right, and that tlian who was a bad ex- 
pression. I heard what he had to say without being at all 
convinced. But I find that the author of the Introduction 
of English Grammar (Bishop Lowth), in an edition of 
his book, published since that time, is of the same opinion, 
though he seems to own the expression to be ungrammatical. 
But neither am I yet eonvincedt jfc." Could they have 
referred to the derivation of the word than, the dispute 
would have been at an end. 

t Captain M'Intyre, in the Antiquanr, says, '' there is 
old Edie, sir, or Caxon, oould not they do better them me ? 

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caution U8 against them as improper, though not 
one of them attempts to show wherein the impro- 
priety lies ; or how it is that^ since ikan whom is cor- 
rect, than him should be incorrect. Now the truth 
is that the above phrases are not ungrammatical, 
however unfieishionable they may be. Let one ex- 
ample suffice for the whole : '' She is better than 
him;" t. e. than him (assuming him to be good) she is 
better. Than he, is eaually good, but in Uiat case the 
sentence is to be rendered, '^ assuming he is good." 
All this may perhaps seem trifling to those who 
affect to prefer things to words. But it ought never 
to be considered as useless to investigate uie origin 
of what has always been considered as an anomaly 
in our language ; and to show that it is strictly con- 
formable to the rules of grammar.* 

* Let any one read the nonsense which Cobbett has 
written (Grammar p. 106) on the expression than whom, 
and Uie confident terms in which he ignorantly condemns 
it, and it ma^ then perhaps be admitted by the most de- 
termined anti<*etymologist how very necessary it is to know 
t^e derivation of a word before venturing to lay down rules 
■ftft its use. The following is a specimen of Cobbett*s 
reasoning on t&e expression in question : — " It is a very 
:Oommon parliament-nouse-phrase, and therefore presump- 
tively corrupt ; but it is a Doctor-Johnson-phrase too." 
He tells us that we ought to say than tuho, becauie we say 
than /, than he, &c. I repeat that the opinion of such a 
man on grammar would be beneath notice, but for the 
unaccountable popularity of his book ; and that, not among 
the persons for whom it was intended, but among the 
educated classes of society, who ought to have known bet- 
ter than to encourage such trumpery. 

Dr A. Murray has a remark on the words then and than, 
whidi affiirds a fiiir specimen of his usual habit of substi- 
tuting random unsupported assertion, in lieu of legitimate 
derivation:—** One of the earliest applications," he says, 
'' of thwag or iha, the or that, was to mark time. Than 

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It may not be amias to add that tiie i^ench metfabci 
of construcdng the oompantive d^^ree, is similar ta 
ours ; excepting that they midersCand not only the 
positive degree of the adjecdre, bat also Ae impenu 
tive mood of the verb to assuwte ; their qme (qui, 
qii2e, qnod^) being nearfy equivalent to our common 
acceptation of the word thai / thiu :^- 

^'.Le soleil est plus grand que la Inne;" t. e, (as* 
same) que la lune (soit grande), le soleil est plus 

^' £lle est plus belle que quand je la vis ;" c. e. 
(assume) que quand je la vis (elle f&t belle), elle 
est plus belle. 

" Je suis plus fort que je n^^tais I'ann^ pass^ ;" 
L e. (assume) que je n'^tais (fort) I'ann^e pass^e^ je 
suis plus fort. 

" II dit plus qu'il ne fiut ;" t. e. (assume) qu'il ne 
fait (beaucoup) 11 dit plus. 

According to these two last solutions^ the necessity 
of the ne is apparent, which otherwise seems redun- 
dant. The ne in French is sometimes redundantj 
though by no means so oflen as it appears to be.t 

and thanne, in all the dialects, signified, at that, or at the 
time ; then, at that distant time, either past or to come* 
This word began to be coasidered as peculiar to that idea, 
and it gradually assumed a difibrent pronunciation.*' 

* It is a very common idiom of the French language, 
to understand an imperative before qtie at the beginning 
<£ a sentence; e. g-., "— que le nom de Dieu soit beni ;" 
*i — qu'il te plaise me garder ;'* "-—que celui qui a deux 
vetemens en donne un k celui qui n*en a point." The que, 
in such examples, is usually translated let; but it is almost 
needless to remark that there is not the least affinity be- 
tween que and our auxiliary let. The true way of render- 
ing these sentences is by understanding the imperative of 
some verb before que, such as, arrange, contrive, or take 

t It is redundant in the following sentence :— 'Je n*o' 

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The Latin and Greek rule for the comparative 
degree is analogous to those of the English and 
French, though to appearance very different ; thus, 

'' Majora his videois ;" i. e. his (existentibus) 
uutgfitV'— 4lie ablative absolute) majora videbis. 

** O fons Blandusise splendidior vitro ;" t. e. vitro 
(existente splendido) fons Blandusiae splendidior. 

The Greek is of course the same^ substituting the 
genitive for the ablative.* 

I cannot conclude this article better than with the 
following quotation from M. de Brosses, as prefixed 
to the Diversions of Purley : '* he grand objet de 
Tart 6tymologique n'est pas de rendre raison de Tori- 
gine de tons les mots sans exception, et j'ose dire 
que ce seroit un but assez frivole. Get art est prin- 
cipalement recommandable en ce qu'il foumit k la 
philosophic des mat^riaux et des observations pour 


ffuUe raison de vous cndndre : but it should be observed 
that pas^ paint. Jamais^ rien, and personne are not nega- 
tives; and hence, whenever these words occur, there is 
always a real n^;ative expressed or understood. We may 
remark that in our old authors, Chaucer, 'Cranmer, G. 
Douglas, Grower, &c, and even in Shakspeare, the double 
negative (instead of signifying, as it now does, an affirma- 
tive) is frequently employed to give additional force to a 
single one. 

• I have little doubt that the German alt^ than, is alle- 
es, all-it, our old aU-be^it (the imperative be being un- 
derstood), which is evidently analogous to the other com- 
paratives we have been considering; thus : — '* £r ist mehr 
gelehrt als weise ; he is more learned than wise; t. e. als 
weise (all-be-it, or granting he is wise) er ist mehr gelehrt, 
he is more learned. 

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We use this word in two ways. 

The one has reference to place; as "there is a 
man, a house, &c./' — pointing to the same as visible ; 
or, ''he was there at the time I was." This use 
of the word answers to the French Id and voild ( vois- 

But we have another way of usin^ there, which 
corresponds with the French t7y a, ily avoit, &c., 
there is, there was, and which, with us, seems to be 
nothing more than an elegant redundancy : thus, 

'' There was a man sent from God whose name 
was John ;" or, a man was sent from Ood whose 
name was John. 

'' There is this to be said ;" or, this is to be said. 

'' Now there is a pool at Jerusalem ;" or, now a 
pool is at Jerusalem. 

" There shall arise false Christs;" or, false Christs 
shall arise. 

" There were set there six water-pots of stone ;" 
here we have both acceptations of the word, the 
first being redundant^six water-pots of stone were 
set there. 

It is desirable to know where a word really is 
redundant, that we may not employ ourselves need- 
lessly in attempting to explain it. Perhaps, however, 
this apparent redundancy might be accounted for, 
and the two uses of the word shown to be the same, 
if we knew its etymology, which we do not know. 

There is nothing in Oreek or Latin corresponding 
with this redundant sense of the word there; nor 
does it seem to have been in use among our ances- 
tors ; for in Wickliffe's Bible, instead of the sentence 
*' There was a man sent from God whose name was 

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John ;*' we find^ *' a man was sent fro Ood to 
whom the name was JonJ' 

Cobbett^ who never finds difficulties in grammar 
any mate than in politics, thus exd[ains the matter 
in question. His example is, "There are many 
men who have been at Latin schools for years 
who cann^ write six sentences in English." " Now 
you know (he adds) the word there, in its usual 
sense, has reference to place, yet it has no such re* 
ference here. The true meaning is that, many men 
are in existence who have been at Latin schools." 

As to the meaning of the word, we shall never 
know that accurately till we know its etymology ; 
but certainly it does not always mean ''in existence," 
if ever it do : for, take any of the foregoing ex« 
amples and try what soise can be made by substi- 
tuting the expression '' in existence," for the word 
in question ; thus, 

" There is this to be said ;" t. e. (according to 
Cobbett) in existence is this to be said ! The simplest 
solution of the difficulty is to consider the word as 
redundant — '' many men have been at Latin schools 
for years who cannot write six sentences in English." 

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1 HAYB never met, in any book, with a clear ac- 
count of this little word, which yet ought to be 
given on account of the peculiar manner in which 
it 18 commonly used. 

To make the matter plain, it will be necessary to 
advert to the etymology of it ; for I repeat, it is im- 
possible Mtcghave a correct idea of any word without 
Knowing its etymology. Tooke has ably shown that 
IT was originally the past participle of a Gothic 
verb, kteian, which meant to say;* consequently, it 
means '' said." This accordingly is its exact signi- 
fication when It fdUms the person or thing alluded 
to: thus, " What is that .(that thiijg) you have in 
your hand? it is an oranges:''. t. ^. iT\said thing in 
my hand) is an orange. *^i^ 

" Who is there ? it is I ;" L e. it (said person 
who is here) is I. 

But IT very fre(|uently goes before the thing al- 
luded to ; and this is the point which chiefly requires 
explanation. Many sentences begin with it, where 
this pronoun cannot mean said, because nothing has 
yet been said. Take, for example, the following 
sentence from the Introduction to my Analysis : — 
" It will be seen that I have availed myself of some 
valuable hints suggested by the learned author of 
the Diversions of Furley." The question is, what 
noun does the pronoun it here stand for ? £vi- 

* In Scotland, the aspirate is still preserved among the 
peasantry: they generally say Ai/. 


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dently not for any thing said, nothing havinff been 
previously spoken of or referred to ; but then it 
will be found, that in all such cases, it relates to 
something which is going, or aboui to be said ; which 
thing about to be said, is the noun represented by 
IT ; or rather, it is the anticipation of this noun, as 
I shall now proceed to prove. 

The following phraseology is common in our 
language: — *' In ki^ "EsasLy, Mr Locke observes/' &c, ; 
where the pronominal adjective his precedes the 
noun Mr Locke to which it refers. His, therefore, 
has, in such instances, an anticipaiive reference 
to the following .noun. 

Now the very same thing happens with the pro- 
noun IT ; it has often an anticipative reference to 
the following noun ; so that its exact meaning, in 
such instances, is not the said, but the about to be 
said: thus, in the example already quoted, <Mt 
(the about to be said) will be seen (namely) that, I 
have availed myself of some valuable hints suggest- 
ed by the learned author of the Diversions of Pur- 

All similarly*constructed sentences are to be re- 
solved in the same manner ; and so common is this 
idiom in our language, that there is scarcely a page 
of an English book that does not contain an exam- 
ple of it, which is an additional reason for giving it 
a clear explanation. The following are a few more 
examples :— 

*' It pleases me to hear that you are so diligent ;" 
i. e. It (the about to be said) pleases me (namely) to 
hear that you are so diligent. 

" It is written, my house shall be called the house 
of prayer ;" t. e. It (the about to be said) is written, 
(namely) my house shall be called the house of 

'^ It is easy to conquer our faults when we sin- 
cere^ ' ' rio so ;" t. e. It (the about to be said) 

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is easy^ (namely) to conquer our faults when we 
sincerely wish to do so. 

*' We beseech thee to hear us that it may please 
thee to bless and preserve all the Royal Family ;" 
t. e.^-that it (the about to be said) may please thee^ 
(namely) to bless and preserve all the Royal Family. 

From this it appears that the pronoun it is never 
strictly impersoniu. It relates either to something 
going before^ or immediately to follow. It serves 
the office of a page, or an usher. 

In the familiar phrases *' it is fair^" " it rains/' 
" it is dark, light/' &c., "what o'clock is it ?" there 
is a tacit allusion to the state of the atmosphere, or 
of the weather, or to time. When it is remembered 
how often the time and the weather are the subject 
of our conversation, and how naturally we study 
brevity on fiuniliar topics, we shall cease to wonder 
that the noun represented by the pronoun it, should 
not be expressed, but understood only, in all allu- 
sions of that kind. 

Gobbett has devoted six pages of his Grammar to 
the pronoun it; but from nis ignorance of the ori- 
gin and true meaning of the word (which be might 
have learnt from the Diversions of Purley, if he 
ever heard of such a book), he only gropes in the 
dark, and misses his object, which yet ne is very 
confident of having attained. *' The pronoun it 
(he says) though a personal pronoun, does not al- 
ways stand for, or at least appear to stand for, any 
noun whatever ; but is used to point out a state qf 
things, or the cause of something produced." It is 
not very easy to understand what this means ; at 
least the " ploughboys and apprentices" will scarce- 
ly comprehend it ; but the following example which 
he gives, may perhaps be thought to throw some 
light upon his meaning :— " It is delightful to see 
brothers and sisters living in uninterrupted love to 
the end of their days /' '' that is," says Cobbett, 

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'' the state of things which exhibits brothers and 
sisters living io uninterrupted love^ is delightful/' 
Here is '^ delightful" confusion certainly ! A state 
of things exhibiting persons living in uninterrupted 
love ! How much more natural is the following 
solution, and that only because it is the etymolo- 
gical one. — It (the about to be said) is delightful, 
(namely) to see brothers and sisters living in unin- 
terrupted love. 

It would be easy to point out many similar faults 
in Cobbett's Grammar. There are even whole pages 
of discussion, in which we find the utmost confu- 
sion of ideasj and palpable granunatical errors, 
coupled with an appearance of great simplicity of 
style, and a confident tone in laying down the law, 
which, with the superficial of this superficial age, 
pass for perspicuity and accuracy. But I forbear 
saying more on this subject; my object l>eing ra« 
ther to establish truth than confute error. 

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The two first have been unwarrantably severe on 
H. Tooke, on account of his etvmological researches^ 
which ihey allege he has employed for purposes at 
once unphilosophical and preposterous. They ac- 
cuse him of disregarding tne modem signification 
of words, and restraining them to their primitive 
and literal use, to the confusion of language, and 
the subversion of common sense. Their accusa- 
tions, however, are unsubstantiated, and altogether 
groundless— except perhaps as to a single mcau- 
tious remark which Tooke has made on the word 
Truth, which they have most unfairly selected and 
blazoned forth as a specimen of his whole reason- 
ing.* Tooke was a man of too vigorous and highly 

• Truth, troweth, that which is frourec? or affirmed. Ac- 
cording to this etymology, '' two persons (says Tooke) 
Hiav contradict one another, and yet both speak truUi ;** 
and again, ^* instead of truth being a rare commodity, 
there is nothing but truth in the workl." But who would 
infer from this, that Tooke wished to disr^ard or invali- 
date the modem meaning of the word truth ? And even 
admitting that he did, are we not still indebted to him for 
the discovery of this carious etymology of one of the most 
interesting words of our language ? But, after all, the ob- 
jection to Tooke amounts to nothing ; for we often speak 
of denying or questioning the truth of an assertion, as we 
are also said to deny or question facts ; i. e. we question 
or deny what is alleged to be truth or foct until it be 
proved. Neither trutn nor trowing is of any value, unless 
supported by sufficient evidence. 

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cultivated an understanding, to maintain that words 
ought at this day to be understood only in the sense 
they bore when first employed. No man in his 
senses could support so extravagant an opinion as 
this, which is contradicted by me changes which 
almost every word in our language has undergone^ 
and is still undergoing, — changes which Tooke un- 
derstood better than any man either before his time 
or since; but he justly thought it would at least be 
an interesting and instructive '^ Diversion," to trace 
words to their source, and show the connexion be- 
tween their original and present signification ; and 
he quotes M. de Brosses, Lord Bacon, Bishop WiU 
kins, and Locke (no contemptible authorities), as 
strongly recommending such an undertaking, and 
as anticipating the most useful results from its ac- 

*' I will venture to say (observes Pinkerton in 
the preface to his edition of Ancient Scottish Poems) 
that a man who writes a language without acquaint, 
ance with its early state, may compose well from 
chance, but never from intelligence. For know- 
ledge of the primitive and progressive powers of 
words, is the only solid foundation of that rich and 
terse style which posterity pronounces classic." 

As to Professor Stewart, he seems to have op- 
posed Tooke for no better reason than that the lat- 
ter was opposed to his favourite metaphysics. And 
yet, if a comparison were made between metaphy- 
sics (in the modem sense of the word) and etymo- 
logy, it might easily be proved, that the latter is a 
far more certain, satisfactory, and useful pursuit 
than the former. In fact, etymology is the only 
true metaphysics ; for we cannot get at our thoushts 
but throuffh the medium of words, which are their 
signs. We cannot even think without the help of 
words. All the terms by which we express mental 
or Sorrowed from sensible objects ; and 

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we cannot have any notion of the mind^ or its pow« 
ers, farther than as we have a knowledge of the true 
signification of the words by which w'e express them. 
Hence, bj analysing our words, we are in fact ana- 
lyzing our thoughts, and resolving them into their 
constituent elements. 

In short, etymology elucidates the general laws 
by which Uie operations of the human mind are re-> 
gulated, by exmbidng the method she adopts for 
conveying her ideas ; it lays open the channels in 
which our words flow when leu to the impulse of 
nature ; and it establishes the interesting fact, that 
however distantly they may seem to wander from 
their source, they may always, with care and in- 
dustry, be traced back to it, and never wholly lose 
the distinguishing marks of their origin. 

" I have often thought (says Tooke) it was for 
mankind a lucky mistake, for it was a mistake which 
Mr Locke made, when he called his book an Essay 
on the Human Understanding, For some part of 
the inestimable benefit of that work has, merely on 
account of its title, reached to many thousands more 
than, I fear, it would have done, had he called it, 
what it is merely, a Grammatical Essay, or a Trea- 
tise on Words i^nd fjanguage," 

With respect to the too general prejudice against 
Tooke and nis writings, I shall only add, that, as to 
his religious and political opinions, I dislike them 
as much as any one ; but that does not shut my eyes 
to his unrivalled merits as a Philologist, and the in- 
calculable service he has rendered to the English 


Oliver & Doyd, Frinten. 

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