Part 22 out of 54
(what amounts to the same thing) a phrase beginning with a participle,
ought never to govern the possessive case, as it is to show that every part
and parcel of the foregoing citations from Priestley, Murray, and others,
is both weakly conceived and badly written, I should neither have detained
the reader so long on this topic, nor ever have placed it among the most
puzzling points of grammar. Let it be observed, that what these writers
absurdly call "_an entire_ CLAUSE _of a sentence_," is found on examination
to be some _short_ PHRASE, the participle with its adjuncts, or even the
participle alone, or with a single adverb only; as, "holding up her
train,"--"dismissing his servant so hastily,"--"composing,"--"reading
frequently,"--"composing frequently." And each of these, with an opposite
error as great, they will have to be "_one name_," and to convey but "_one
idea_;" supposing that by virtue of this imaginary oneness, it may govern
the possessive case, and signify something which a "lady," or a "person,"
or a "pupil," may consistently _possess_. And then, to be wrong in every
thing, they suggest that any noun on which such a participle, with its
adjuncts, "depends, _may be put_ in the _genitive case_;" whereas, such a
change is seldom, if ever, admissible, and in our language, no participle
_ever can depend_ on any other than the nominative or the objective case.
Every participle so depending is an adjunct to the noun; and every
possessive, in its turn, is an adjunct to the word which governs it. In
respect to construction, no terms differ more than a participle which
governs the possessive case, and a participle which does not. These
different constructions the contrivers of the foregoing rule, here take to
be equivalent in meaning; whereas they elsewhere pretend to find in them
quite different significations. The meaning is sometimes very different,
and sometimes very similar; but seldom, if ever, are the terms convertible.
And even if they were so, and the difference were nothing, would it not be
better to adhere, where we can, to the analogy of General Grammar? In Greek
and Latin, a participle may agree with a noun in the genitive case; but, if
we regard analogy, that genitive must be Englished, not by the possessive
case, but by _of_ and the objective; as, "[Greek: 'Epei dokim`aen zaeteite
tou 'en 'emoi lalountos Christou.]"--"Quandoquidem experimentum quaeritis in
me loquentis Christi."--_Beza_. "Since ye seek a proof of _Christ speaking_
in me."--_2 Cor._, xiii, 3. We might here, perhaps, say, "of _Christ's
speaking_ in me," but is not the other form better? The French version is,
"Puisque vous cherchez une preuve _que Christ parle_ par moi;" and this,
too, might be imitated in English: "Since ye seek a proof _that Christ
speaks_ by me."
OBS. 13.--As prepositions very naturally govern any of our participles
except the simple perfect, it undoubtedly seems agreeable to our idiom not
to disturb this government, when we would express the subject or agent of
the being, action, or passion, between the preposition and the participle.
Hence we find that the doer or the sufferer of the action is usually made
its possessor, whenever the sense does not positively demand a different
reading. Against this construction there is seldom any objection, if the
participle be taken entirely as a noun, so that it may be called a
participial noun; as, "Much depends _on their observing of_ the
rule."--_Lowth, Campbell_, and _L. Murray_. On the other hand, the
participle after the objective is unobjectionable, if the noun or pronoun
be the leading word in sense; as, "It would be idle to profess an
apprehension of serious _evil resulting_ in any respect from the utmost
_publicity being given_ to its contents."--_London Eclectic Review_, 1816.
"The following is a beautiful instance of the _sound_ of words
_corresponding_ to motion."--_Murray's Gram._, i, p. 333. "We shall
discover many _things partaking_ of both those characters."--_West's
Letters_, p. 182. "To a _person following_ the vulgar mode of omitting the
comma."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 365. But, in comparing the different
constructions above noticed, writers are frequently puzzled to determine,
and frequently too do they err in determining, which word shall be made the
adjunct, and which the leading term. Now, wherever there is much doubt
which of the two forms ought to be preferred, I think we may well conclude
that both are wrong; especially, if there can easily be found for the idea
an other expression that is undoubtedly clear and correct. Examples: "These
appear to be instances of the present _participle being used_
passively."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 64. "These are examples of the past
_participle being applied_ in an active sense."--_Ib._, 64. "We have some
examples of _adverbs being used_ for substantives."--_Priestley's Gram._,
p. 134; _Murray's_, 198; _Ingersoll's_, 206; _Fisk's_, 140; _Smith's_, 165.
"By a _noun, pronoun_, or _adjective, being prefixed_ to the
substantive."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 39; also _Ingersoll's, Fisk's, Alger's,
Maltby's, Merchant's, Bacon's_, and others. Here, if their own rule is good
for any thing, these authors ought rather to have preferred the possessive
case; but strike out the word _being_, which is not necessary to the sense,
and all question about the construction vanishes. Or if any body will
justify these examples as they stand, let him observe that there are
others, without number, to be justified on the same principle; as, "Much
depends _on the rule being observed_."--"Much will depend _on the pupil
composing frequently_." Again: "Cyrus did not wait for the _Babylonians
coming_ to attack him."--_Rollin_, ii, 86. "Cyrus did not wait for the
_Babylonians' coming_ to attack him." That is--"for _their_ coming," and
not, "for _them_ coming;" but much better than either: "Cyrus did not wait
for the Babylonians _to come and_ attack him." Again: "To prevent his
_army's being_ enclosed and hemmed in."--_Rollin_, ii, 89. "To prevent his
_army being_ enclosed and hemmed in." Both are wrong. Say, "To prevent his
_army from being_ enclosed and hemmed in." Again: "As a sign of _God's
fulfilling_ the promise."--_Rollin_, ii, 23. "As a sign of _God
fulfilling_ the promise." Both are objectionable. Say, "As a sign _that God
would fulfill_ the promise." Again: "There is affirmative evidence for
_Moses's being_ the author of these books."--_Bp. Watson's Apology_, p. 28.
"The first argument you produce against _Moses being_ the author of these
books."--_Ib._, p. 29. Both are bad. Say,--"for _Moses as being_ the
author,"--"against _Moses as being_ the author," &c.
OBS. 14.--Now, although thousands of sentences might easily be quoted, in
which the possessive case is _actually_ governed by a participle, and that
participle not taken in every respect as a noun; yet I imagine, there are,
of this kind, few examples, if any, the meaning of which might not be
_better expressed_ in some other way. There are surely none among all the
examples which are presented by Priestley, Murray, and others, under their
rule above. Nor would a thousand such as are there given, amount to any
proof of the rule. They are all of them _unreal_ or _feigned_ sentences,
made up for the occasion, and, like most others that are produced in the
same way, made up badly--made up after some ungrammatical model. If a
gentleman could possibly demand a _lady's meaning_ in such an act as _the
holding-up of her train_, he certainly would use none of Priestley's three
questions, which, with such ridiculous and uninstructive pedantry, are
repeated and expounded by Latham, in his Hand-Book, Sec.481; but would
probably say, "Madam, _what do you mean_ by holding up your train?" It was
folly for the doctor to ask _an other person_, as if an other could _guess_
her meaning better than he. The text with the possessive is therefore not
to be corrected by inserting a hyphen and an _of_, after Murray's doctrine
before cited; as, "What is the meaning of this _lady's holding-up of_ her
train?" Murray did well to reject this example, but as a specimen of
English, his own is no better. The question which he asks, ought to have
been, "_Why did this person dismiss_ his servant so hastily?" Fisk has it
in the following form: "What is the reason of this _person's dismissing his
servant_ so hastily?"--_English Grammar Simplified_, p. 108. This amender
of grammars omits the _of_ which Murray and others scrupulously insert to
govern the noun _servant_, and boldly avows at once, what their rule
implies, that, "Participles are sometimes used both as verbs and as nouns
at the same time; as, 'By the _mind's changing the object_,' &c."--_Ib._,
p. 134; so _Emmons's Gram._, p. 64. But he errs as much as they, and
contradicts both himself and them. For one ought rather to say, "By the
_mind's changing of_ the object;" else _changing_, which "does the office
of a noun," has not truly "a correspondent regimen." Yet _of_ is useless
after _dismissing_, unless we take away the _adverb_ by which the
participle is prevented from becoming a noun. "Dismissing _of_ his servant
so _hastily_," is in itself an ungrammatical phrase; and nothing but to
omit either the preposition, or the two adverbs, can possibly make it
right. Without the latter, it may follow the possessive; but without the
former, our most approved grammars say it cannot. Some critics, however,
object to the _of_, because _the dismissing_ is not _the servant's_ act;
but this, as I shall hereafter show, is no valid objection: they stickle
for a false rule.
OBS. 15.--Thus these authors, differing from one an other as they do, and
each contradicting himself and some of the rest, are, as it would seem, all
wrong in respect to the whole matter at issue. For whether the phrase in
question be like Priestley's, or like Murray's, or like Fisk's, it is
still, according to the best authorities, unfit to govern the possessive
case; because, in stead of being a substantive, it is something more than a
participle, and yet they take it substantively. They form this phrase in
many different fashions, and yet each man of them pretends that what he
approves, is just like the construction of a regular noun: "_Just as we
say_, 'What is the reason of this person's _hasty dismission of_ his
servant.'"--_Murray, Fisk, and others. "Just as we say_, 'What is the
meaning of this lady's _dress_,' &c."--_Priestley_. The meaning of a
_lady's dress_, forsooth! The illustration is worthy of the doctrine
taught. "_An entire clause of a sentence_" substantively possessed, is
sufficiently like "_the meaning of a lady's dress, &c._" Cobbett despised
_andsoforths_, for their lack of meaning; and I find none in this one,
unless it be, "_of tinsel and of fustian_." This gloss therefore I wholly
disapprove, judging the position more tenable, to deny, if we consequently
must, that either a phrase or a participle, as such, can consistently
govern the possessive case. For whatever word or term gives rise to the
direct relation of property, and is rightly made to govern the possessive
case, ought in reason to be a _noun_--ought to be the name of some
substance, quality, state, action, passion, being, or thing. When therefore
other parts of speech assume this relation, they naturally _become nouns_;
as, "Against the day of _my burying_."--_John_, xii, 7. "Till the day of
_his showing_ unto Israel."--_Luke_, i, 80. "By _my own
showing_."--_Cowper, Life_, p. 22. "By a fortune of _my own
getting_."--_Ib._ "Let _your yea_ be yea, and _your nay_ nay."--_James_, v,
12. "Prate of _my whereabout_."--_Shah_.
OBS. 16.--The government of possessives by "_entire clauses_" or
"_substantive phrases_," as they are sometimes called, I am persuaded, may
best be disposed of, in almost every instance, by charging the construction
with impropriety or awkwardness, and substituting for it some better
phraseology. For example, our grammars abound with sentences like the
following, and call them good English: (1.) "So we may either say, 'I
remember _it being_ reckoned a great exploit;' or perhaps more elegantly,
'I remember _its being_ reckoned a great exploit.'"--_Priestley, Murray,
and others_. Here both modes are wrong; the latter, especially; because it
violates a general rule of syntax, in regard to the case of the noun
_exploit_. Say, "I remember _it_ was reckoned a great exploit." Again: (2.)
"We also properly say, 'This will be the effect of the _pupil's composing_
frequently.'"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 179; _and others_. Better, "This will
be the effect, _if the pupil compose_ frequently." But this sentence is
_fictitious_, and one may doubt whether good authors can be found who use
_compose_ or _composing_ as being intransitive. (3.) "What can be the
reason of the _committee's having delayed_ this business?"--_Murray's Key_,
p. 223. Say, "_Why have the committee_ delayed this business?" (4.) "What
can be the cause of the _parliament's neglecting_ so important a
business?"--_Ib._, p. 195. Say, "_Why does the parliament neglect_ so
important a business?" (5.) "The time of _William's making_ the experiment,
at length arrived."--_Ib._, p. 195. Say, "The time _for William to make_
the experiment, at length arrived." (6.) "I hope this is the last time of
_my acting_ so imprudently."--_Ib._, p. 263. Say, "I hope _I shall never
again act_ so imprudently." (7.) "If I were to give a reason for _their
looking so well_, it would be, that they rise early."--_Ib._, p. 263. Say,
"I should attribute _their healthful appearance_ to their early rising."
(8.) "The tutor said, that diligence and application to study were
necessary to _our becoming_ good scholars."--_Cooper's Gram._, p. 145. Here
is an anomaly in the construction of the noun _scholars_. Say, "The tutor
said, that _diligent application_ to study was necessary to our _success in
learning_." (9.) "The reason of _his having acted_ in the manner he did,
was not fully explained."--_Murray's Key_, p. 263. This author has a very
singular mode of giving "STRENGTH" to weak sentences. The faulty text here
was. "The reason why he _acted_ in the manner he did, was not fully
explained."--_Murray's Exercises_, p. 131. This is much better than the
other, but I should choose to say. "The reason of _his conduct_ was not
fully explained." For, surely, the "one idea or circumstance" of his
"having acted in the manner in _which_ he did act," may be quite as
forcibly named by the one word _conduct_, as by all this verbiage, this
"substantive phrase," or "entire clause," of such cumbrous length.
OBS. 17.--The foregoing observations tend to show, that the government of
possessives by participles, is in general a construction little to be
commended, if at all allowed. I thus narrow down the application of the
principle, but do not hereby determine it to be altogether wrong. There are
other arguments, both for and against the doctrine, which must be taken
into the account, before we can fully decide the question. The double
construction which may be given to infinitive verbs; the Greek idiom which
allows to such verbs an article before them and an objective after them;
the mixed character of the Latin gerund, part noun, part verb; the use or
substitution of the participle in English for the gerund in Latin;--all
these afford so many reasons by analogy, for allowing that our
participle--except it be the perfect--since it participates the properties
of a verb and a noun, as well as those of a verb and an adjective, may
unite in itself a double construction, and be taken substantively in one
relation, and participially in an other. Accordingly some grammarians so
define it; and many writers so use it; both parties disregarding the
distinction between the participle and the participial noun, and justifying
the construction of the former, not only as a proper participle after its
noun, and as a gerundive after its preposition; not only as a participial
adjective before its noun, and as a participial noun, in the regular syntax
of a noun; but also as a mixed term, in the double character of noun and
participle at once. Nor are these its only uses; for, after an auxiliary,
it is the main verb; and in a few instances, it passes into a preposition,
an adverb, or something else. Thus have we from the verb a single
derivative, which fairly ranks with about half the different parts of
speech, and takes distinct constructions even more numerous; and yet these
authors scruple not to make of it a hybridous thing, neither participle nor
noun, but constructively both. "But this," says Lowth, "is inconsistent;
let it be either the one or the other, and abide by its proper
construction."--_Gram._, p. 82. And so say I--as asserting the general
principle, and leaving the reader to judge of its exceptions. Because,
without this mongrel character, the participle in our language has a
multiplicity of uses unparalleled in any other; and because it seldom
happens that the idea intended by this double construction may not be
otherwise expressed more elegantly. But if it sometimes seem proper that
the gerundive participle should be allowed to govern the possessive case,
no exception to my rule is needed for the _parsing_ of such possessive;
because whatever is invested with such government, whether rightly or
wrongly, is assumed as "the name of something possessed."
OBS. 18.--The reader may have observed, that in the use of participial
nouns, the distinction of _voice_ in the participle is sometimes
disregarded. Thus, "Against the day of my _burying_," means, "Against the
day of my _being buried._" But in this instance the usual noun _burial_ or
_funeral_ would have been better than either: "Against the day of _my
burial_." I. e., "In diem _funerationis meae._"--_Beza_. "In diem _sepulturae
meae_."--_Leusden_. "[Greek: 'Eis t`aen haemeran tou entaphiasmou
mou.]"--_John_, xii, 7. In an other text, this noun is very properly used
for the Greek infinitive, and the Latin gerund; as, "_For my
burial._"--_Matt._, xxvi, 12. "Ad _funerandum_ me."--_Beza_. "Ad
_sepeliendum_ me."--_Leusden_. Literally: "_For burying me._" "[Greek: Pros
to entaphiasai me.]" Nearly: "_For to have me buried._" Not all that is
allowable, is commendable; and if either of the uncompounded terms be found
a fit substitute for the compound participial noun, it is better to
dispense with the latter, on account of its dissimilarity to other nouns:
as, "Which only proceed upon the _question's being begged._"--_Barclay's
Works_, Vol. iii, p. 361. Better, "Which only proceed upon _a begging of
the question._" "The _king's having conquered_ in the battle, established
his throne."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 128. Better, "The king's _conquering_ in
the battle;" for, in the participial noun, the distinction of _tense_, or
of previous _completion_, is as needless as that of voice. "The _fleet's
having sailed_ prevented mutiny."--_Ib._, p. 78. Better, "The _sailing of
the fleet_,"--or, "The _fleet's sailing_" &c. "The _prince's being
murdered_ excited their pity."--_Ibid._ Better, "The _prince's murder_
excited their _indignation_."
OBS. 19.--In some instances, as it appears, not a little difficulty is
experienced by our grammarians, respecting the addition or the omission of
the possessive sign, the terminational apostrophic _s_, which in nouns is
the ordinary index of the possessive case. Let it be remembered that every
possessive is governed, or ought to be governed, by some noun expressed or
understood, except such as (without the possessive sign) are put in
apposition with others so governed; and for every possessive termination
there must be a separate governing word, which, if it is not expressed, is
shown by the possessive sign to be understood. The possessive sign itself
_may_ and _must_ be omitted in certain cases; but, because it can never be
inserted or discarded without suggesting or discarding a governing noun, it
is never omitted _by ellipsis_, as Buchanan, Murray, Nixon, and many
others, erroneously teach. The four lines of Note 2d below, are sufficient
to show, in every instance, when it must be used, and when omitted; but
Murray, after as many octavo pages on the point, still leaves it perplexed
and undetermined. If a person knows what he means to say, let him express
it according to the Note, and he will not fail to use just as many
apostrophes and Esses as he ought. How absurd then is that common doctrine
of ignorance, which Nixon has gathered from Allen and Murray, his chief
oracles! "If _several_ nouns in the _genitive_ case, are immediately
connected by a _conjunction_, the apostrophic _s_ is annexed _to the last_,
but _understood to the rest_; as, Neither _John_ (i. e. John's) nor
_Eliza's_ books."--_English Parser_, p. 115. The author gives fifteen other
examples like this, all of them bad English, or at any rate, not adapted to
the sense which he intends!
OBS. 20.--The possessive case generally comes _immediately before_ the
governing noun, expressed or understood; as, "All _nature's_ difference
keeps all _nature's_ peace."--_Pope_. "Lady! be _thine_ (i. e., _thy walk_)
the _Christian's_ walk."--_Chr. Observer._ "Some of _AEschylus's_ [plays]
and _Euripides's_ plays are opened in this manner."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
459. And in this order one possessive sometimes governs an other: as,
"_Peter's wife's mother_;"--"_Paul's sister's son_."--_Bible_. But, to this
general principle of arrangement, there are some exceptions: as,
1. When the governing noun has an adjective, this may intervene; as,
"_Flora's_ earliest _smells_."--_Milton_. "Of _man's_ first
disobedience."--_Id._ In the following phrase from the Spectator, "Of
_Will's_ last _night's_ lecture," it is not very clear, whether _Will's_ is
governed by _night's_ or by _lecture_; yet it violates a general principle
of our grammar, to suppose the latter; because, on this supposition, two
possessives, each having the sign, will be governed by one noun.
2. When the possessive is affirmed or denied; as, "The book is _mine_, and
not _John's_." But here the governing noun _may be supplied_ in its proper
place; and, in some such instances, it _must_ be, else a pronoun or the
verb will be the only governing word: as, "Ye are _Christ's_ [disciples, or
people]; and Christ is _God's_" [son].--_St. Paul_. Whether this
phraseology is thus elliptical or not, is questionable. See Obs. 4th, in
3. When the case occurs without the sign, either by apposition or by
connexion; as, "In her _brother Absalom's_ house."--_Bible_. "_David_ and
_Jonathan's_ friendship."--_Allen_. "_Adam_ and _Eve's_ morning
hymn."--_Dr. Ash_. "Behold the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, is the
_Lord's_ thy _God_."--_Deut._,, x, 14. "For _peace_ and _quiet's_
sake."--_Cowper_. "To the beginning of _King James_ the _First's_
reign."--_Bolingbroke, on Hist._, p. 32.
OBS. 21--The possessive case is in general (though not always) equivalent
to the preposition _of_ and _the objective_; as, "_Of_ Judas Iscariot,
_Simon's_ son."--_John_, xiii, 2. "_To_ Judas Iscariot, the son _of
Simon_."--_Ib._, xiii, 26. On account of this one-sided equivalence, many
grammarians erroneously reckon the latter to be a "_genitive case_" as well
as the former. But they ought to remember, that the preposition is used
more frequently than the possessive, and in a variety of senses that cannot
be interpreted by this case; as, "_Of_ some _of_ the books _of_ each _of_
these classes _of_ literature, a catalogue will be given at the end _of_
the work."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 178. Murray calls this a "laborious
mode of expression," and doubtless it might be a little improved by
substituting _in_ for the third _of_; but my argument is, that the meaning
conveyed cannot be expressed by possessives. The notion that _of_ forms a
genitive case, led Priestley to suggest, that our language admits a
"_double genitive_;" as, "This book _of_ my _friend's_."--_Priestley's
Gram._, p. 71. "It is a discovery _of Sir Isaac Newton's_."--_Ib._, p. 72.
"This exactness _of his_."--STERNE: _ib._ The doctrine has since passed
into nearly all our grammars; yet is there no double case here, as I shall
OBS. 22.--Where the governing noun cannot be easily mistaken, it is often
omitted by ellipsis: as, "At the alderman's" [_house_];--"St. Paul's"
[_church_];--"A book of my brother's" [_books_];--"A subject of the
emperor's" [_subjects_];--"A friend of mine;" i. e., _one of my friends_.
"Shall we say that Sacrificing was a pure invention of _Adam's_, or of
_Cain_ or _Abel's?_"--_Leslie, on Tythes_, p. 93. That is--of Adam's
_inventions_, or of Cain or Abel's _inventions_. The Rev. David Blair,
unable to resolve this phraseology to his own satisfaction, absurdly sets
it down among what he calls "ERRONEOUS OR VULGAR PHRASES." His examples are
these: "A poem of Pope's;"--"A soldier of the king's;"--"That is a horse of
my father's."--_Blair's Practical Gram._, p. 110, 111. He ought to have
supplied the plural nouns, _poems, soldiers, horses_. This is the true
explanation of all the "double genitives" which our grammarians discover;
for when the first noun is _partitive_, it naturally suggests more or other
things of the same kind, belonging to this possessor; and when such is not
the meaning, this construction is improper. In the following example, the
noun _eyes_ is understood after _his_:
"Ev'n _his_, the _warrior's eyes_, were forced to yield,
That saw, without a tear, Pharsalia's field."
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. viii, l. 144.
OBS. 23.--When two or more nouns of the possessive form are in any way
connected, they usually refer to things individually different but of the
same name; and when such is the meaning, the governing noun, which we
always suppress somewhere to avoid tautology, is _understood_ wherever the
sign is added without it; as, "A _father's_ or _mother's sister_ is an
aunt."--_Dr. Webster_. That is, "A _father's sister_ or a mother's sister
is an aunt." "In the same commemorative acts of the senate, _were thy
name_, thy _father's_, thy _brother's_, and the _emperor's_."--_Zenobia_,
Vol. i, p. 231.
"From Stiles's pocket into _Nokes's_" [pocket].
--_Hudibras_, B. iii, C. iii, l. 715.
"Add _Nature's, Custom's, Reason's_, Passion's strife."
--_Pope, Brit. Poets_, Vol. vi, p. 383.
It will be observed that in all these examples the governing noun is
singular; and, certainly, it must be so, if, with more than one possessive
sign, we mean to represent each possessor as having or possessing but one
object. If the noun be made plural where it is expressed, it will also be
plural where it is implied. It is good English to say, "A _father's_ or
_mother's sisters_ are aunts;" but the meaning is, "A father's _sisters_ or
a mother's sisters are aunts." But a recent school critic teaches
differently, thus: "When different things of the same name belong to
different possessors, the sign should be annexed to each; as, _Adams's,
Davies's_, and _Perkins'_ Arithmetics; i. e., _three different
books_."--_Spencer's Gram._, p. 47. Here the example is fictitious, and has
almost as many errors as words. It would be much better English to say,
"_Adams's, Davies's, and Perkins's Arithmetic_;" though the objective form
with _of_ would, perhaps, be still more agreeable for these peculiar names.
Spencer, whose Grammar abounds with useless repetitions, repeats his note
elsewhere, with the following illustrations: "E. g. _Olmstead's_ and
_Comstock's_ Philosophies. _Gould's Adam's_ Latin Grammar."--_Ib._, p. 106.
The latter example is no better suited to his text, than "_Peter's wife's
mother_;" and the former is fit only to mean, "Olmstead's _Philosophies_
and Comstock's Philosophies." To speak of the two books only, say,"
Olmstead's _Philosophy_ and Comstock's."
OBS. 24.--The possessive sign is sometimes annexed to that part of a
compound name, which is, of itself, in the objective case; as, "At his
_father-in-law's_ residence." Here, "_At the residence of his
father-in-law_," would be quite as agreeable; and, as for the plural, one
would hardly think of saying, "Men's wedding parties are usually held at
their _fathers-in-law's_ houses." When the compound is formed with _of_, to
prevent a repetition of this particle, the possessive sign is sometimes
added as above; and yet the hyphen is not commonly inserted in the phrase,
as I think it ought to be. Examples: "The duke of Bridgewater's
canal;"--"The bishop of Landaff's excellent book;"--"The Lord mayor of
London's authority;"--"The captain of the guard's house."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 176. "The Bishop of Cambray's writings on eloquence."--_Blair's
Rhet._, p. 345. "The bard of Lomond's lay is done."--_Queen's Wake_, p. 99.
"For the kingdom of God's sake."--_Luke_, xviii, 29. "Of the children of
Israel's half."--_Numbers_, xxxi, 30. From these examples it would seem,
that the possessive sign has a less intimate alliance with the possessive
case, than with the governing noun; or, at any rate, a dependence less
close than that of the objective noun which here assumes it. And since the
two nouns here so intimately joined by _of_, cannot be explained separately
as forming two cases, but must be parsed together as _one name_ governed in
the usual way, I should either adopt some other phraseology, or write the
compound terms with hyphens, thus: "The _Duke-of-Bridgewater's_
canal;"--"The _Bishop-of-Landaff's_ excellent book;"--"The _Bard-of-
Lomond's_ lay is done." But there is commonly some better mode of
correcting such phrases. With deference to Murray and others, "_The King of
Great Britain's prerogative_,"  is but an untoward way of saying,
"_The prerogative of the British King_;" and, "_The Lord mayor of London's
authority_," may quite as well be written, "_The authority of London's Lord
Mayor_." Blair, who for brevity robs the _Arch_bishop of half his title,
might as well have said, "_Fenelon's_ writings on eloquence." "_Propter
regnum Dei_," might have been rendered, "For the kingdom _of God_;"--"For
_the sake of_ the kingdom of God;"--or, "For the sake of _God's_ kingdom."
And in lieu of the other text, we might say, "Of the _Israelites'_ half."
OBS. 25.--"Little explanatory circumstances," says Priestley, "are
particularly awkward between the _genitive case_, and the word which
usually follows it; as, 'She began to extol the farmer's, _as she called
him_, excellent understanding.' Harriet Watson, Vol. i, p.
27."--_Priestley's Gram._, p 174. Murray assumes this remark, and adds
respecting the example, "It ought to be, 'the excellent understanding of
the farmer, as she called him.' "--_Murray's Gram._, p. 175. Intersertions
of this kind are as uncommon as they are uncouth. Murray, it seems, found
none for his Exercises, but made up a couple to suit his purpose. The
following might have answered as well for an other: "Monsieur D'acier
observes, that Zeno's (the Founder of the Sect,) opinion was Fair and
Defensible in these Points."--_Colliers Antoninus_, p. ii.
OBS. 26.--It is so usual a practice in our language, to put the possessive
sign always and only where the two terms of the possessive relation meet,
that this ending is liable to be added to any adjunct which can be taken as
a part of the former noun or name; as, (1.) "The _court-martial's_ violent
proceedings." Here the plural would be _courts-martial_; but the possessive
sign must be at the end. (2.) "In _Henry the Eighth's_ time."--_Walker's
Key, Introd._, p. 11. This phrase can be justified only by supposing the
adjective a part of the name. Better, "In the time of Henry the Eighth."
(3.) "And strengthened with a _year or two's age_."--_Locke, on Education_,
p. 6. Here _two's_ is put for _two years_; and, I think, improperly;
because the sign is such as suits the former noun, and not the plural.
Better, "And strengthened with _a year's age or more_." The word _two_
however is declinable as a noun, and possibly it may be so taken in
Locke's phrase. (4.) "This rule is often infringed, by the _case absolute's
not being properly distinguished_ from certain forms of expression
apparently _similar_ to it."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 155; _Fisk's_, 113;
_Ingersoll's_, 210. Here the possessive sign, being appended to a distinct
adjective, and followed by nothing that can be called a noun, is employed
as absurdly as it well can be. Say, "This rule is often infringed by an
improper use of the nominative absolute;" for this is precisely what these
authors mean. (5.) "The participle is distinguished from the adjective by
the _former's expressing the idea of time_, and the _latter's denoting only
a quality_"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 65; _Fisk's_, 82; _Ingersoll's_, 45;
_Emmons's_, 64; _Alger's_, 28. This is liable to nearly the same
objections. Say, "The participle differs from an adjective by expressing
the idea of time, whereas the adjective denotes only a quality." (6.) "The
relatives _that_ and _as_ differ from _who_ and _which_ in the _former's
not being immediately joined_ to the governing word."--_Nixon's Parser_, p.
140. This is still worse, because _former's_, which is like a singular
noun, has here a plural meaning; namely, "in _the former terms' not
being_," &c. Say--"in _that the former never follow_ the governing word."
OBS. 27.--The possessive termination is so far from being liable to
suppression _by ellipsis_, agreeably to the nonsense of those interpreters
who will have it to be "_understood_" wherever the case occurs without it,
that on the contrary it is sometimes retained where there is an actual
suppression of the noun to which it belongs. This appears to be the case
whenever the pronominal adjectives _former_ and _latter_ are inflected, as
above. The inflection of these, however, seems to be needless, and may well
be reckoned improper. But, in the following line, the adjective elegantly
takes the sign; because there is an ellipsis of both nouns; _poor's_ being
put for _poor man's_, and the governing noun _joys_ being understood after
it: "The _rich man's joys_ increase, the _poor's decay_."--_Goldsmith_. So,
in the following example, _guilty's_ is put for _guilty person's_:
"Yet, wise and righteous ever, scorns to hear
The fool's fond wishes, or the _guilty's_ prayer."
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. v, l. 155.
This is a poetical license; and others of a like nature are sometimes met
with. Our poets use the possessive case much more frequently than prose
writers, and occasionally inflect words that are altogether invariable in
"Eager that last great chance of war he waits,
Where _either's_ fall determines _both their_ fates."
--_Ibid._, B. vi, l. 13.
OBS. 28.--To avoid a concurrence of hissing sounds, the _s_ of the
possessive singular is sometimes omitted, and the apostrophe alone retained
to mark the case: as, "For _conscience'_ sake."--_Bible_. "_Moses'_
minister."--_Ib._ "_Felix'_ room."--_Ib._ "_Achilles'_ wrath."--_Pope_.
"_Shiraz'_ walls."--_Collins_. "_Epicurus'_ sty."--_Beattie_. "_Douglas'_
daughter."--_Scott_. "For _Douglas'_ sake."--_Ib._ "To his _mistress'_
eyebrow."--_Shak_. This is a sort of poetic license, as is suggested in the
16th Observation upon the Cases of Nouns, in the Etymology. But in prose
the elision should be very sparingly indulged; it is in general less
agreeable, as well as less proper, than the regular form. Where is the
propriety of saying, _Hicks' Sermons, Barnes' Notes, Kames' Elements,
Adams' Lectures, Josephus' Works_, while we so uniformly say, in _Charles's
reign, St. James's Palace_, and the like? The following examples are right:
"At Westminster and _Hicks's Hall_."--_Hudibras_. "Lord _Kames's_ Elements
of Criticism."--_Murray's Sequel_, p. 331. "Of _Rubens's_ allegorical
pictures."--_Hazlitt_. "With respect to _Burns's_ early
education."--_Dugald Stewart_. "_Isocrates's_ pomp;"--"_Demosthenes's_
life."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 242. "The repose of _Epicurus's_
gods."--_Wilson's Heb. Gram._, p. 93.
"To _Douglas's_ obscure abode."--_Scott, L. L._, C. iii, st. 28.
"Such was the _Douglas's_ command."--_Id., ib._, C. ii, st. 36.
OBS. 29.--Some of our grammarians, drawing broad conclusions from a few
particular examples, falsely teach as follows: "When a singular noun ends
in _ss_, the apostrophe only is added; as, 'For _goodness'_ sake:' except
the word _witness_; as, 'The _witness's_ testimony.' When a noun in the
possessive case ends in _ence_, the _s_ is omitted, but the apostrophe is
retained; as, 'For _conscience'_ sake.'"--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 49;
_Hamlin's_, 16; _Smith's New Gram._, 47. Of principles or inferences
very much like these, is the whole system of "_Inductive Grammar_"
essentially made up. But is it not plain that _heiress's, abbess's,
peeress's, countess's_, and many other words of the same form, are as good
English as _witness's_? Did not Jane West write justly, "She made an
attempt to look in at the dear _dutchess's_?"--_Letters to a Lady_, p. 95.
Does not the Bible speak correctly of "_an ass's head_," sold at a great
price?--_2 Kings_, vi, 25. Is Burns also wrong, about "_miss's fine
lunardi_," and "_miss's bonnet?_"--_Poems_, p. 44. Or did Scott write
inaccurately, whose guide "Led slowly through the _pass's_ jaws?"--_Lady of
the Lake_, p. 121. So much for the _ss_; nor is the rule for the
termination _ence_, or (as Smith has it) _nce_, more true. _Prince's_ and
_dunce's_ are as good possessives as any; and so are the following:
"That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey;
This sprung some doubt of _Providence's_ sway."--_Parnell_.
"And sweet _Benevolence's_ mild command."--_Lord Lyttleton_.
"I heard the _lance's_ shivering crash,
As when the whirlwind rends the ash."--_Sir Walter Scott_.
OBS. 30.--The most common rule now in use for the construction of the
possessive case, is a shred from the old code of Latin grammar: "One
substantive governs _another_, signifying a different thing, _in_ the
possessive or genitive case."--_L. Murray's Rule X_. This canon not only
leaves occasion for an additional one respecting pronouns of the possessive
case, but it is also obscure in its phraseology, and too negligent of the
various modes in which nouns may come together in English. All nouns used
adjectively, and many that are compounded together, seem to form exceptions
to it. But who can limit or enumerate these _exceptions?_ Different
combinations of nouns have so often little or no difference of meaning, or
of relation to each other, and so frequently is the very same vocal
expression written variously by our best scholars, and ablest
lexicographers, that in many ordinary instances it seems scarcely possible
to determine who or what is right. Thus, on the authority of Johnson, one
might write, _a stone's cast_, or _stone's throw_; but Webster has it,
_stones-cast_, or _stones-throw_; Maunder, _stonecast, stonethrow_;
Chalmers, _stonescast_; Worcester, _stone's-cast_. So Johnson and Chalmers
write _stonesmickle_, a bird; Webster has it, _stone's-mickle_; yet, all
three refer to Ainsworth as their authority, and his word is
_stone-smickle_: Littleton has it _stone-smich_. Johnson and Chalmers
write, _popeseye_ and _sheep's eye_; Walker, Maunder, and Worcester,
_popeseye_ and _sheep's-eye_; Scott has _pope's-eye_ and _sheepseye_;
Webster, _pope's-eye_ and _sheep's-eye, bird-eye_, and _birds-eye._
Ainsworth has _goats beard_, for the name of a plant; Johnson, _goatbeard_;
Webster, _goat-beard_ and _goats-beard._ Ainsworth has _prince's feather_,
for the amaranth; Johnson, Chalmers, Walker, and Maunder, write it
_princes-feather_; Webster and Worcester, _princes'-feather_; Bolles has it
_princesfeather_: and here they are all wrong, for the word should be
_prince's-feather._ There are hundreds more of such terms; all as uncertain
in their orthography as these.
OBS. 31.--While discrepances like the foregoing abound in our best
dictionaries, none of our grammars supply any hints tending to show which
of these various forms we ought to prefer. Perhaps the following
suggestions, together with the six Rules for the Figure of Words, in Part
First, may enable the reader to decide these questions with sufficient
accuracy. (1.) Two short radical nouns are apt to unite in a permanent
compound, when the former, taking the sole accent, expresses the main
purpose or chief characteristic of the thing named by the latter; as,
_teacup, sunbeam, daystar, horseman, sheepfold, houndfish, hourglass._ (2.)
Temporary compounds of a like nature may be formed with the hyphen, when
there remain two accented syllables; as, _castle-wall, bosom-friend,
fellow-servant, horse-chestnut, goat-marjoram, marsh-marigold._ (3.) The
former of two nouns, if it be not plural, may be taken adjectively, in any
relation that differs from apposition and from possession; as, "The
_silver_ cup,"--"The _parent_ birds,"--"My _pilgrim_ feet,"--"Thy _hermit_
cell,"--"Two _brother_ sergeants." (4.) The possessive case and its
governing noun, combining to form a literal name, may be joined together
without either hyphen or apostrophe: as, _tradesman, ratsbane, doomsday,
kinswoman, craftsmaster._ (5.) The possessive case and its governing noun,
combining to form a _metaphorical_ name, should be written with both
apostrophe and hyphen; as, _Job's-tears, Jew's-ear, bear's-foot,
colts-tooth, sheep's-head, crane's-bill, crab's-eyes, hound's-tongue,
king's-spear, lady's-slipper, lady's-bedstraw_, &c. (6.) The possessive
case and its governing noun, combining to form an adjective, whether
literal or metaphorical, should generally be written with both apostrophe
and hyphen; as, "_Neats-foot_ oil,"--"_Calfs-foot_ jelly,"--"A
_carp's-tongue_ drill,"--"A _bird's-eye_ view,"--"The _states'-rights'_
party,"--"A _camel's-hair_ shawl." But a triple compound noun may be formed
with one hyphen only: as, "In doomsday-book;" (--_Joh. Dict._;) "An
_armsend-lift._" Cardell, who will have all possessives to be adjectives,
writes an example thus: "John's camel's hair girdle."--_Elements of Eng.
Gram._, p. 39. That is as if John's camel had a hair girdle! (7.) When the
possessive case and its governing noun merely help to form a regular
phrase, the compounding of them in any fashion may be reckoned improper;
thus the phrases, _a day's work, at death's door, on New Year's Day, a new
year's gift, All Souls' Day, All Saints' Day, All Fools' Day, the saints'
bell, the heart's blood, for dog's meat_, though often written otherwise,
may best stand as they do here.
OBS. 32.--The existence of a permanent compound of any two words, does not
necessarily preclude the use of the possessive relation between the same
words. Thus, we may speak of _a horse's shoe_ or _a goat's skin_,
notwithstanding there are such words as horseshoe and goatskin. E.g., "That
preach ye upon the _housetops._"--ALGER'S BIBLE: _Matt._, x, 27. "Unpeg the
basket on the _house's top._"--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 238. Webster defines
_frostnail_, (which, under the word _cork_, he erroneously writes _frost
nail_,) "A nail driven into a _horse-shoe_, to prevent _the horse_ from
slipping on ice." Worcester has it, "A nail driven into a _horse's shoe_,
to prevent _his slipping on the ice._" Johnson, "A nail with a _prominent
head driven_ into the _horse's shoes_, that it may pierce the ice."
Maunder, "A nail with a _sharp head driven_ into the _horses' shoes_ in
frosty weather." None of these descriptions is very well written. Say
rather, "A _spur-headed_ nail driven into a _horse's shoe_ to prevent _him
from_ slipping." There is commonly some difference, and sometimes a very
great one, between the compound noun and the possessive relation, and also
between the radical compound and that of the possessive. Thus a _harelip_
is not a _hare's lip_, nor is a _headman_ a _headsman_, or _heart-ease
heart's-ease._ So, according to the books, a _cat-head_, a _cat's-head_,
and a _cat's head_, are three very different things; yet what Webster
writes, _cat-tail_, Johnson, _cats-tail_, Walker and others, _cats-tail_,
means but the same thing, though not a _cat's tail._ Johnson's
"_kingspear, Jews-ear, lady-mantle, and lady-bedstraw_," are no more
proper, than Webster's "_bear's-wort, lion's foot, lady's mantle, and
lady's bed-straw._" All these are wrong.
OBS. 33.--Particular examples, both of proper distinction, and of blind
irregularity, under all the heads above suggested, may be quoted and
multiplied indefinitely, even from our highest literary authorities; but,
since nothing can be settled but by the force of _principles_, he who would
be accurate, must resort to rules,--must consider what is analogical, and,
in all doubtful cases, give this the preference. But, in grammar,
particular analogies are to be respected, as well as those which are more
general. For example, the noun _side_, in that relation which should seem
to require the preceding noun to be in the possessive case, is usually
compounded with it, the hyphen being used where the compound has more than
two syllables, but not with two only; as, _bedside, hillside, roadside,
wayside, seaside, river-side, water-side, mountain-side._ Some instances of
the separate construction occur, but they are rare: as, "And her maidens
walked along by the _river's side._"--_Exodus_, ii, 5. After this noun
also, the possessive preposition _of_ is sometimes omitted; as, "On this
_side_ the river;"(--_Bible_;) "On this _side_ Trent."--_Cowell_. Better,
"On this _side of_ the river," &c. "Blind Bartimeus sat by the _highway
side_, begging."--_Mark_, x, 46. Here Alger more properly writes
"_highway-side._" In Rev., xiv, 20th, we have the unusual compound,
"_horse-bridles._" The text ought to have been rendered, "even unto the
_horses' bridles._" Latin, "usque ad fraenos equorum." Greek, "[Greek: achri
ton chalinon ton hippon]."
OBS. 34.--Correlatives, as father and son, husband and wife, naturally
possess each other; hence such combinations as _father's son_, and _son's
father_, though correct enough in thought, are redundant in expression. The
whole and a part are a sort of correlatives, but the whole seems to possess
its parts, more properly than any of the parts, the whole. Yet we seldom
put the whole in the possessive case before its part, or parts, but rather
express the relation by _of_; as, "a quarter _of_ a dollar," rather than,
"a _dollar's_ quarter." After the noun _half_, we usually suppress this
preposition, if an article intervene; as, "_half a dollar_," rather than,
"half _of_ a dollar," or "a _dollar's_ half." So we may say, "_half the
way_," for "half _of_ the way;" but we cannot say, "_half us_" for "half
_of_ us." In the phrase, "_a half dollar_," the word _half_ is an
adjective, and a very different meaning is conveyed. Yet the compounds
_half-pint_ and _half-penny_ are sometimes used to signify, the _quantity_
of _half a pint_, the _value_ of _half a penny_. In weight, measure, or
time, the part is sometimes made possessive of the whole; as, "a _pound's_
weight, a _yard's_ length, an _hour's_ time." On the contrary, we do not
say, "_weight's_ pound, _length's_ yard, or _time's_ hour;" nor yet, "a
pound _of_ weight, a yard _of_ length;" and rarely do we say, "an hour _of_
time." _Pound_ and _yard_ having other uses, we sometimes say, "a pound
_in_ weight, a yard _in_ length;" though scarcely, "an hour _in_ time."
OBS. 35.--Between a portion of time and its correlative action, passion, or
being, the possessive relation is interchangeable; so that either term may
be the principal, and either, the adjunct: as, "_Three years'_ hard work,"
or, "Three years _of hard work_." Sometimes we may even put either term in
either form; as, "During the _ten years'_ war,"--"During the ten years _of
war_,"--"During the war _of ten years_,"--"During the _war's_ ten years."
Hence some writers, not perceiving why either word should make the other
its governed adjunct, place both upon a par, as if they were in apposition;
as, "Three _days time_."--_Brown's Estimate_, Vol. ii, p. 156. "By a few
_years preparation_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 341. "Of forty _years
planting_."--_Wm. Penn_. "An account, of five _years standing_." If these
phrases were correct, it would also be correct to say, "_one day
time_,"--"_one year preparation_,"--"_one year planting_,"--"_of one year
standing_;" but all these are manifestly bad English; and, by analogy, so
are the others.
OBS. 36.--Any noun of weight, measure, or time, put immediately before an
other, if it be not in the possessive case, will naturally be understood
_adjectively_; as, "No person can, by words only, give to an other an
adequate idea of a _pound weight_, or [a] _foot rule_."--_Gregory's Dict._
This phraseology can, with propriety, refer only to the weight or the rule
with which we weigh or measure; it cannot signify _a pound in weight_, or
_a foot in length_, though it is very probable that the author intended the
latter. When the noun _times_ is used before an other noun by way of
multiplication, there may be supposed an ellipsis of the preposition _of_
between the two, just as when we divide by the word _half_; as, "An hour is
sixty _times the length_ of a minute."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 48. "Thirty
seconds are _half the length_ of a minute." That is,--"half _of_ the
length,"--"sixty times _of_ the length."
NOTES TO RULE IV.
NOTE I.--In the syntax of the possessive case, its appropriate form,
singular or plural, should be observed, agreeably to the sense and
declension of the word. Thus, write _John's, men's, hers, its, ours, yours,
theirs_; and not, _Johns, mens', her's, it's, our's, your's, their's_.
NOTE II.--When nouns of the possessive case are connected by conjunctions
or put in apposition, the sign of possession must always be annexed to
such, and such only, as immediately precede the governing noun, expressed
or understood; as, "_John_ and _Eliza's_ teacher is a man of more learning
than _James's_ or _Andrew's_"--"For _David_ my _servant's_ sake."--_Bible_.
"For my sake and the _gospel's_."--_Ib._ "Lost in _love's_ and
NOTE III.--The relation of property may also be expressed by the
preposition _of_ and the objective; as, "_The will of man_," for "_man's
will_." Of these forms, we should adopt that which will render the sentence
the most perspicuous and agreeable; and, by the use of both, avoid an
unpleasant repetition of either.
NOTE IV.--A noun governing the possessive plural, should not, by a forced
agreement, be made plural, when its own sense does not require it; as, "For
_our parts_,"--"Were I in _your places_:" for we may with propriety say,
"_Our part, your place_, or _your condition_;" as well as, "_Our desire,
your intention, their resignation_."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 169. A noun
taken figuratively may also be singular, when the literal meaning would
require the plural: such expressions as, "_their face_,"--"_their
neck_,"--"_their hand_,"--"_their head_,"--"_their heart_,"--"_our
mouth_,"--"_our life_,"--are frequent in the Scriptures, and not improper.
NOTE V.--The possessive case should not be needlessly used before a
participle that is not taken in other respects as a noun. The following
phrase is therefore wrong: "Adopted by the Goths in _their_ pronouncing the
Greek."--_Walker's Key_, p. 17. Expunge _their_. Again: "Here we speak of
_their_ becoming both in form and signification passive."--_Campbell's
Rhet._, p. 226. Say rather, "Here we speak of _them as becoming passive_,
both in form and signification."
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION. FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE IV.
EXAMPLES UNDER NOTE I.--THE POSSESSIVE FORM.
"Mans chief good is an upright mind." See _Brown's Institutes of E. Gram._,
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the noun _mans_, which is intended for the
possessive singular of _man_, has _not_ the appropriate form of that case
and number. But, according to Note 1st under Rule 4th, "In the syntax ef
the possessive case, its appropriate form, singular or plural, should be
observed, agreeably to the sense and declension of the word." Therefore,
_mans_ should be maris, with the apostrophe before the _s_; thus, "_Man's_
chief good is an upright mind."]
"The translator of Mallets History has the following note,"--_Webster's
Essays_, p. 263. "The act, while it gave five years full pay to the
officers, allowed but one year's pay to the privates."--_Ib._, p. 184. "For
the study of English is preceded by several years attention to Latin and
Greek."--_Ib._, p. 7. "The first, the Court Baron, is the freeholders or
freemens court."--_Coke, Litt._, p. 74. "I affirm, that Vaugelas'
definition labours under an essential defect."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 163.
"I affirm, that Vangelas's definition labours under an essential
defect."--_Murray's Octavo Gram._, Fourth Amer. Ed., Vol. ii, p. 360.
"There is a chorus in Aristophane's plays."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 480. "It
denotes the same perception in my mind as in their's."--_Duncan's Logic_,
p. 65. "This afterwards enabled him to read Hicke's Saxon Grammar."--_Life
of Dr. Murray_, p. 76. "I will not do it for tens sake."--_Dr. Ash's
Gram._, p. 56. "I arose, and asked if those charming infants were
her's."--_Werter_, p. 21. "They divide their time between milliners shops
and taverns."--_Brown's Estimate_, Vol. i, p. 65. "The angels adoring of
Adam is also mentioned in the Talmud."--_Sale's Koran_, p. 6. "Quarrels
arose from the winners insulting of those who lost."--_Ib._, p. 171. "The
vacancy, occasioned by Mr. Adams' resignation."--_Adams's Rhet._, Vol. i,
p. vii. "Read for instance Junius' address, commonly called his letter to
the king."--_Ib._, i, 225. "A perpetual struggle against the tide of
Hortensius' influence."--_Ib._, ii, 23. "Which, for distinction sake, I
shall put down severally."--_Johnson's Gram. Com._, p. 302. "The fifth case
is in a clause signifying the matter of ones fear."--_Ib._, p. 312. "And
they took counsel, and bought with them the potters' field."--ALGER'S
BIBLE: _Matt._, xxvii, 7. "Arise for thy servant's help, and redeem them
for thy mercy's sake."--_Jenks's Prayers_, p. 265. "Shall not their cattle,
and their substance, and every beast of their's be ours?"--SCOTT'S BIBLE:
_Gen._, xxxiv, 23. "And every beast of their's, be our's?"--FRIENDS' BIBLE:
_ib._ "It's regular plural, _bullaces_, is used by Bacon."--_Churchill's
Gram._, p. 213. "Mordecai walked every day before the court of the womens
house."--SCOTT'S BIBLE: _Esther_, ii, 11. "Behold, they that wear soft
clothing are in king's houses."--IB. and FRIENDS' BIBLE: _Matt._, xi, 8:
also _Webster's Imp. Gram._, p. 173. "Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law,
took Zipporah, Moses' wife, and her two sons; and Jethro, Moses'
father-in-law, came, with his sons and his wife, unto Moses."--ALGER'S
BIBLE, and THE FRIENDS': _Exod._, xviii, 2--6. "King James' translators
merely revised former translations."--_Rev. B. Frazee's Gram._, p. 137.
"May they be like corn on houses tops."--_White, on the English Verb._, p.
"And for his Maker's image sake exempt."
--_Par. Lost_, B. xi, l. 514.
"By all the fame acquir'd in ten years war."
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. i, l. 674.
"Nor glad vile poets with true critics gore."
--_Pope's Dunicad_, [sic--KTH] p. 175.
"Man only of a softer mold is made,
Not for his fellow's ruin, but their aid."
--_Dryden's Poems_, p. 92.
UNDER NOTE II.--POSSESSIVES CONNECTED.
"It was necessary to have both the physician, and the surgeon's
advice."--_Cooper's Pl. and Pr. Gram._, p. 140. "This out-side
fashionableness of the Taylor on Tire-woman's making."--_Locke, on
Education_, p. 49. "Some pretending to be of Paul's party, others of
Apollos, others of Cephas, and others, pretending yet higher, to be of
Christ's."--_Woods Dict., w. Apollos_. "Nor is it less certain that
Spenser's and Milton's spelling agrees better with our pronunciation."--
_Philol. Museum_, i, 661. "Law's, Edwards', and Watts' surveys of the
Divine Dispensations."--_Burgh's Dignity_, Vol. i, p. 193. "And who was
Enoch's Saviour, and the Prophets?"--_Bayly's Works_, p. 600. "Without any
impediment but his own, or his parents or guardians will."--_Literary
Convention_, p. 145. "James relieves neither the boy nor the girl's
distress."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 116. "John regards neither the master nor
the pupil's advantage."--_Ib._, p. 117. "You reward neither the man nor the
woman's labours."--_Ib._ "She examines neither James nor John's conduct."--
_Ib._ "Thou pitiest neither the servant nor the master's injuries."--_Ib._
"We promote England or Ireland's happiness."--_Ib._ "Were Cain and Abel's
occupation the same?"--_Brown's Inst._, p. 179. "Were Cain's and Abel's
occupations the same?"--_Ib._ "What was Simon's and Andrew's employment?"--
_Author_. "Till he can read himself Sanctii Minerva with Scioppius and
Perizonius's Notes."--_Locke, on Education_, p. 295.
"And love's and friendship's finely--pointed dart
Falls blunted from each indurated heart."--_Goldsmith_.
UNDER NOTE III.--CHOICE OF FORMS.
"But some degree of trouble is all men's portion."--_Murray's Key_, p. 218;
_Merchant's_, 197. "With his father's and mother's names upon the blank
leaf."--_Corner-Stone_, p. 144. "The general, in the army's name, published
a declaration."--HUME: in _Priestley's Gram._, p. 69. "The Commons'
vote."--_Id, ib._ "The Lords' house."--_Id., ib._ "A collection of writers
faults."--SWIFT: _ib._, p. 68. "After ten years wars."--_Id., ib._
"Professing his detestation of such practices as his predecessors."--_Notes
to the Dunciad_. "By that time I shall have ended my years
office."--_Walker's Particles_, p. 104. "For Herodias' sake, his brother
Philip's wife."--_Mark_, vi, 17. "For Herodias's sake, his brother Philip's
wife."--_Murray's Key_, p. 194. "I endure all things for the elect's sakes,
that they may also obtain salvation."--FRIENDS' BIBLE: _2 Tim._, ii, 10.
"For the elects' sakes."--SCOTT'S BIBLE. "For the elect's sake."--ALGER'S
BIBLE, and BRUCE'S. "He was Louis the Sixteenth's son's heir."--_W. Allen's
Exercises, Gram._, p. 329. "The throne we honour is the choice of the
people."--"An account of the proceedings of the court of Alexander."--"An
excellent tutor of a person of fashion's child!"--_Gil Bias_, Vol. 1, p.
20. "It is curious enough, that this sentence of the Bishop is, itself,
ungrammatical!"--_Cobbett's E. Gram._, 201. "The troops broke into
Leopold the emperor's palace."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 59. "The meeting was
called by Eldon the judge's desire."--_Ibid._ "Peter's, John's, and
Andrew's occupation was that of fishermen."--_Brace's Gram._, p. 79. "The
venerable president of the Royal Academy's debility has lately
increased."--_Maunder's Gram._, p. 12.
UNDER NOTE IV.--NOUNS WITH POSSESSIVES PLURAL.
"God hath not given us our reasons to no purpose."--_Barclay's Works_, Vol.
i, p. 496. "For our sakes, no doubt, this is written."--_1 Cor._, ix, 10.
"Are not health and strength of body desirable for their own
sakes?"--_Hermes_, p. 296; _Murray's Gram._, 289. "Some sailors who were
boiling their dinners upon the shore."--_Day's Sandford and Merton_, p. 99.
"And they in their turns were subdued by others."--_Pinnock's Geography_,
p. 12. "Industry on our parts is not superseded by God's
grace."--_Arrowsmith_. "Their Healths perhaps may be pretty well
secur'd."--_Locke, on Education_, p. 51. "Though he was rich, yet for our
sakes he became poor."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 211. "It were to be wished,
his correctors had been as wise on their parbs."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 60.
"The Arabs are commended by the ancients for being most exact to their
words, and respectful to their kindred."--_Sale's Koran_. "That is, as a
reward of some exertion on our parts."--_Gurney's Evidences_, p. 86. "So
that it went ill with Moses for their sakes."--_Psalms_, cvi, 32. "All
liars shall have their parts in the burning lake."--_Watts_, p. 33. "For
our own sakes as well as for thine."--_Pref. to Waller's Poems_, p. 3. "By
discover- ing their abilities to detect and amend errors."--_Murray's
Gram._, Vol. 11, p. iv.
"This world I do renounce; and, in your sights, Shake patiently my great
affliction off."--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 286 "If your relenting angers
yield to treat, Pompey and thou, in safety, here may meet."--_Rowe's
Lucan_, B. iii, l. 500.
UNDER NOTE Y.--POSSESSIVES WITH PARTICIPLES.
"This will encourage him to proceed without his acquiring the
prejudice."--_Smith's Gram._, p. 5. "And the notice which they give of an
action's being completed or not completed."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 72;
_Alger's_, 30. "Some obstacle or impediment that prevents its taking
place."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 38; _Alex. Murray's_, 37. "They have
apostolical authority for their so frequently urging the seeking of the
Spirit."--_The Friend_, Vol. xii, p. 54. "Here then is a wide field for
reason's exerting its powers in relation to the objects of taste."--
_Blair's Rhet._, p. 18. "Now this they derive altogether from their having
a greater capacity of imitation and description."--_Ib._, p. 51. "This is
one clear reason of their paying a greater attention to that construction."
--_Ib._, p. 123. "The dialogue part had also a modulation of its own, which
was capable of its being set to notes."--_Ib._, p. 471. "What is the reason
of our being often so frigid and unpersuasive in public discourse?"--_Ib._,
p. 334. "Which is only a preparation for his leading his forces directly
upon us."--_Ib._, p. 264. "The nonsense about _which's_ relating to things
only, and having no declension, needs no refutation."--_Fowle's True E.
Gram._, p. 18. "Who, upon his breaking it open, found nothing but the
following inscription."--_Rollin_, Vol. ii, p. 33. "A prince will quickly
have reason to repent his having exalted one person so high."--_Id._, ii,
116. "Notwithstanding it's being the immediate subject of his discourse."--
_Churchill's Gram._, p. 294. "With our definition of its being synonymous
with time."--_Booth's Introd._, p. 29. "It will considerably increase the
danger of our being deceived."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 293. "His beauties
can never be mentioned without their suggesting his blemishes also."--
_Blair's Rhet._, p. 442. "No example has ever been adduced of a man's
conscientiously approving of an action, because of its badness."--_Gurney's
Evidences_, p. 90. "The last episode of the angel's shewing Adam the fate
of his posterity, is happily imagined."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 452. "And the
news came to my son, of his and the bride being in Dublin."--_Castle
Rackrent_, p. 44. "There is no room for the mind's exerting any great
effort."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 32. "One would imagine, that these criticks
never so much as heard of Homer's having written first."--_Pope's Preface
to Homer_. "Condemn the book, for its not being a geography."--_O. B.
Peirce's Gram._, p. 317. "There will be in many words a transition from
their being the figurative to their being the proper signs of certain
ideas."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 322. "The doctrine of the Pope's being the
only source of ecclesiastical power."--_Religious World_, ii, 290. "This
has been the more expedient from the work's being designed for the benefit
of private learners."--_Murray's Exercises, Introd._, p. v. "This was
occasioned by the Grammar's having been _set up_, and not admitting of
enlargement."--_Ib., Advertisement_, p. ix.
A Noun or a Pronoun made the object of an active-transitive verb or
participle, is governed by it in the objective case: as, "I found _her_
assisting _him_"--"Having finished the _work_, I submit _it_."
"Preventing _fame_, misfortune lends him _wings_,
And Pompey's self his own sad _story_ brings."
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. viii, l. 66.
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE V.
OBS. 1.--To this rule there are no exceptions; but to the old one adopted
by Murray and others, "Active verbs govern the objective case," there are
more than any writer will ever think it worth his while to enumerate. In
point of brevity, the latter has the advantage, but in nothing else; for,
as a general rule for NOUNS AND PRONOUNS, this old brief assertion is very
defective; and, as a rule for "THE SYNTAX OF VERBS," under which head it
has been oftener ranked, it is entirely useless and inapplicable. As there
are four different constructions to which the nominative case is liable, so
there are four in which the objective may be found; and two of these are
common to both; namely, _apposition_, and _sameness of_ case. Every
objective is governed by some _verb_ or _participle_, according to Rule
5th, or by some _preposition_, according to Rule 7th; except such as are
put in _apposition_ with others, according to Rule 3d, or after an
infinitive or a participle _not transitive_, according to Rule 6th: as,
"Mistaking _one_ for the _other_, they took _him_, a sturdy _fellow_,
called _Red Billy_, to be _me_." Here is every construction which the
objective case can have; except, perhaps, that in which, as an expression
of time, place, measure, or manner, it is taken after the fashion of an
_adverb_, the governing preposition being suppressed, or, as some say, no
governing word being needed. Of this exception, the following quotations
may serve for examples: "It holds on by a single button round my neck,
_cloak-fashion_"--EDGEWORTH'S _Castle Rackrent_. p. 17. A man quite at
leisure to parse all his words, would have said, "_in the fashion of a
cloak_." Again: "He does not care the _rind of a lemon_ for her all the
while."--_Ib._, p. 108. "We turn our eyes _this way or that
way_."--_Webster's Philos. Gram._, p. 172; _Frazee's Gram._, 157. Among his
instances of "_the objective case restrictive_," or of the noun "used in
the objective, without a governing word," Dr. Bullions gives this: "Let us
go _home_" But, according to the better opinion of Worcester, _home_ is
here an _adverb_, and not a noun. See Obs. 6th on Rule 7th.
OBS. 2.--The objective case _generally follows_ the governing word: as,
"And Joseph knew his _brethren_, but they knew not him"--_Gen._, xlii, 8.
But when it is emphatic, it often precedes the nominative; as, "_Me_ he
restored to mine office, and _him_ he hanged."--_Gen._, xli, 13. "_John_
have I beheaded."--_Luke_, ix, 9. "But _me_ ye have not always."--_Matt._,
xxvi, 11. "_Him_ walking on a sunny hill he found."--_Milton_. In poetry,
the objective is sometimes placed between the nominative and the verb; as,
"His daring foe securely _him_ defied."--_Milton_.
"Much he the _place_ admired, the person more."--_Id._
"The broom its yellow _leaf_ shed."--_Langhorne_.
If the nominative be a pronoun which cannot be mistaken for an objective,
the words may possibly change places; as, "_Silver_ and _gold_ have I
none."--_Acts_, iii, 6. "Created _thing_ nought valued _he_ nor
shunn'd."--_Milton_, B. ii, l. 679. But such a transposition of _two nouns_
can scarcely fail to render the meaning doubtful or obscure; as,
"This _pow'r_ has praise, that virtue scarce can warm,
Till fame supplies the universal charm."--_Dr. Johnson_.
A relative or an interrogative pronoun is commonly placed at the head of
its clause, and of course it precedes the verb which governs it; as, "I am
Jesus, _whom_ thou persecutest."--_Acts_, ix, 5. "_Which_ of the prophets
have not your fathers persecuted?"--_Ib._, vii, 52.
"Before their Clauses plac'd, by settled use,
The Relatives these Clauses introduce."--_Ward's Gram._, p. 86.
OBS. 3.--Every active-transitive verb or participle has some _noun_ or
_pronoun_ for its object, or some _pronominal adjective_ which assumes the
relation of the objective case. Though verbs are often followed by the
infinitive mood, or a dependent clause, forming a part of the logical
predicate; yet these terms, being commonly introduced by a connecting
particle, do not form _such an object_ as is contemplated in our definition
of a transitive verb. Its government of the _objective_, is the only proper
criterion of this sort of verb. If, in the sentence, "Boys _love_ to play,"
the former verb is transitive, as several respectable grammarians affirm;
why not also in a thousand others; as, "Boys _like_ to play;"--"Boys
_delight_ to play;"--"Boys _long_ to play;"--"The boys _seem_ to
play;"--"The boys _cease_ to play;"--"The boys _ought_ to play;"--"The boys
_go out_ to play;"--"The boys _are gone out_ to play;"--"The boys _are
allowed_ to play;" and the like? The construction in all is precisely the
same, and the infinitive may follow one kind of verb just as well as an
other. How then can the mere addition of this mood make _any_ verb
transitive? or where, on such a principle, can the line of distinction for
transitive verbs be drawn? The infinitive, _in fact_, is governed by the
preposition _to_; and the preceding verb, if it has no other object, is
intransitive. It must, however, be confessed that some verbs which thus
take the infinitive after them, cannot otherwise be intransitive; as, "A
great mind _disdains to hold_ any thing by courtesy."--_Johnson's Life of
Swift_. "They _require to be distinguished_ by a comma."--_Murray's Gram._,
OBS. 4.--A transitive verb, as I have elsewhere shown, may both govern the
objective case, and be followed by an infinitive also; as, "_What_ have I
_to do_ with thee?"--_John_, ii, 4. This question, as one would naturally
take it, implies, "I have _nothing to do_ with thee;" and, by analogy,
_what_ is governed by _have_, and not by _do_; so that the latter verb,
though not commonly intransitive, appears to be so here. Indeed the
infinitive mood is often used without an objective, when every other part
of the same verb would require one. Maunder's rule is, "Transitive verbs
and participles govern _either_ the objective case _or_ the infinitive
_mode_."--_Comprehensive Gram._, p. 14. Murray teaches, not only that, "The
_infinitive mood_ does the office of a substantive in the objective case;
as, 'Boys love _to play_;'" but that, "The _participle_ with its adjuncts,
may be considered as a substantive phrase _in the objective case_, governed
by the preposition or verb; as, 'He studied to avoid _expressing himself
too severely_.'"--See his _Octavo Gram._, pp. 184 and 194. And again:
"_Part of a sentence_, as well as a noun or pronoun, may be said to be _in
the objective case_, or to be put objectively, _governed_ by the active
verb; as, 'We sometimes see _virtue in distress_, but we should consider
_how great will be her ultimate reward_.' Sentences or phrases under this
circumstance, may be termed _objective sentences_ or _phrases_."--_Ib._, p.
OBS. 5.--If we admit that sentences, parts of sentences, infinitives,
participles with their adjuncts, and other phrases, as well as nouns and
pronouns, may be _"in the objective case;"_ it will be no easy matter,
either to define this case, or to determine what words do, or do not,
govern it. The construction of infinitives and participles will be
noticed hereafter. But on one of Murray's examples, I would here observe,
that the direct use of the infinitive for an objective noun is a manifest
_Grecism_; as, "For to will is present with me; but _to perform_ that which
is good, I find not."--_Octavo Gram._, p. 184. That is, "_the performance
of_ that which is good, I find not." Or perhaps we may supply a noun after
the verb, and take this text to mean, "But to perform that which is good,
I find not _the ability_." Our Bible has it, "But _how_ to perform that
which is good. I find not;" as if _the manner_ in which he might do good,
was what the apostle found not: but Murray cites it differently, omitting
the word _how_, as we see above. All active verbs to which something is
subjoined by _when, where, whence, how_, or _why_, must be accounted
intransitive, unless we suppose them to govern such nouns of time, place,
degree, manner, or cause, as correspond to these connectives; as, "I _know
why_ she blushed." Here we might supply the noun _reason_, as, "I know the
_reason why_ she blushed;" but the word is needless, and I should rather
parse _know_ as being intransitive. As for "_virtue in distress_," if this
is an "_objective phrase_," and not to be analyzed, we have millions of the
same sort; but, if one should say, "_Virtue in distress_ excites pity," the
same phrase would demonstrate the absurdity of Murray's doctrine, because
the two nouns here take _two different cases_.
OBS. 6.--The word _that_, which is often employed to introduce a dependent
clause, is, by some grammarians, considered as a _pronoun_, representing
the clause which follows it; as, "I know _that_ Messias cometh."--_John_,
iv, 25. This text they would explain to mean, "_Messias cometh_, I know
_that_;" and their opinion seems to be warranted both by the origin and by
the usual import of the particle. But, in conformity to general custom, and
to his own views of the practical purposes of grammatical analysis, the
author has ranked it with the conjunctions. And he thinks it better, to
call those verbs intransitive, which are followed by _that_ and a dependent
clause, than to supply the very frequent ellipses which the other
explanation supposes. To explain it as a conjunction, connecting an
active-transitive verb and its object, as several respectable grammarians
do, appears to involve some inconsistency. If _that_ is a conjunction, it
connects what precedes and what follows; but a transitive verb should
exercise a direct government, without the intervention of a conjunction. On
the other hand, the word _that_ has not, in any such sentence, the
inherent nature of a pronoun. The transposition above, makes it only a
_pronominal adjective_; as, "Messias cometh, I know _that fact_." And in
many instances such a solution is impracticable; as, "The people sought
him, and came unto him, and stayed him, _that_ he should not depart from
them."--_Luke_, iv, 42. Here, to prove _that_ to be a pronoun, the
disciples of Tooke and Webster must resort to more than one imaginary
ellipsis, and to such inversion as will scarcely leave the sense in sight.
OBS. 7.--In some instances the action of a transitive verb gives to its
direct object an additional name, which is also in the objective case, the
two words being in apposition; as, "Thy saints proclaim _thee
king_."--_Cowper_. "And God called the _firmament Heaven_."--_Bible_.
"Ordering them to make _themselves masters_ of a certain steep
eminence."--_Rollin_, ii, 67. And, in such a construction, the direct
object is sometimes placed before the verb; though the name which results
from the action, cannot be so placed: as, "And _Simon_ he surnamed
_Peter_."--_Mark_, iii, 15. "_Him_ that overcometh will I make a _pillar_
in the temple of my God."--_Rev._, iii, 12. Some grammarians seem not to
have considered this phraseology as coming within the rule of apposition.
Thus Webster: "We have some verbs which govern two words in the objective
'Did I request thee, maker, from my clay
To mold _me man_?'--_Milton_, 10, 744.
'God seems to have made _him what_ he was.'--_Life of
Cowper_."--_Philosophical Gram._, p. 170. _Improved Gram._, p. 120.
See also _Weld's Gram._, 2d Ed., p. 154; "Abridged Ed.," p. 119; and
_Fowler's E. Gram._, Sec.450. So Murray: "Some of our verbs _appear to govern
two words_ in the objective case; as, 'The Author of my being formed _me
man_.'--'They desired me to call _them brethren_.'--'He seems to have made
_him what_ he was.' "--_Octavo Gram._, p. 183. Yet this latter writer says,
that in the sentence, "They appointed _me executor_," and others like it,"
the verb _to be_ is _understood_."--_Ib._, p. 182. These then, according to
his own showing, are instances of apposition; but I pronounce then such,
without either confounding same cases with apposition, or making the latter
a species of ellipsis. See Obs. 1st and 2d, under Rule 3d.
general, if not always, when a verb is followed by two objectives which are
neither in apposition nor connected by a conjunction, one of them is
governed by a preposition understood; as, "I paid [to] _him_ the
_money_"--"They offered [to] _me_ a _seat_"--"He asked [of] _them_ the
_question_"--"I yielded, and unlock'd [to] _her_ all my
_heart_."--_Milton_. In expressing such sentences passively, the object of
the preposition is sometimes erroneously assumed for the nominative; as,
"_He_ was paid _the money_," in stead of, "The _money_ was paid [to]
_him_."--"_I_ was offered _a seat_," in stead of, "_A seat_ was offered
[to] _me_." This kind of error is censured by Murray more than once, and
yet he himself has, in very many instances, fallen into it. His first
criticism on it, is in the following words: "We sometimes meet with such
expressions as these: 'They were asked a question;' 'They were offered a
pardon;' 'He hath been left a great estate by his father.' In these
_phrases_, verbs passive are made to govern the objective case. This
license _is not to be approved_. The expressions should be: 'A question was
put to them;' 'A pardon was offered to them;' 'His father left him a great
estate.'"--_L. Murray's Octavo Gram._, p. 183. See Obs. 12, below.
OBS. 9.--In the Latin syntax, verbs of _asking_ and _teaching_ are said to
govern two accusatives; as, "_Posce Deum veniam_, Beg pardon of
God."--_Grant's Latin Gram._, p. 207. "_Docuit me grammaticam_, He taught
me grammar."--_Grant, Adam, and others_. And again: "When a verb in the
active voice governs two cases, in the passive it retains the latter case;
as, _Doceor grammaticam_, I am taught grammar."--_Adam's Gram._, p. 177.
These writers however suggest, that in reality the _latter_ accusative is
governed, not by the verb, but by a preposition understood. "'_Poscere deos
veniam_ is 'to ask the gods _for_ pardon.'"--_Barnes's Philological Gram._,
p. 116. In general the English idiom _does not coincide_ with what occurs
in Latin under these rules. We commonly insert a preposition to govern one
or the other of the terms. But we sometimes leave to the verb the objective
of the person, and sometimes that of the thing; and after the two verbs
_ask_ and _teach_, we sometimes _seem_ to leave both: as, "When thou dost
_ask me blessing_, I'll kneel down, and _ask of thee forgiveness_."--
_Shakspeare_. "In long journeys, _ask_ your _master leave_ to give ale to
the horses."--_Swift_. "And he _asked them of_ their _welfare_."--_Gen._,
xliii, 27. "They _asked of him_ the parable."--_Mark_, iv, 10.
("_Interrogarunt eum de parabola_."--_Beza_.) "And asking _them
questions_"--_Luke_, ii, 46. "But _teach them_ thy _sons_."--_Deut._, iv,
9. "_Teach them_ diligently _unto_ thy _children_"--_Ib._, vi, 7. '"Ye
shall _teach them_ your _children_."--_Ib._, xi, 19. "Shall any _teach God
knowledge_?"--_Job_, xxi, 22. "I will _teach you_ the _fear_ of the
Lord."--_Psal_, xxxiv, 11. "He will _teach us of_ his ways."--_Isaiah_, ii,
3; _Micah_, iv, 2. "Let him that _is taught in_ the _word_,
communicate."--_Gal._, vi, 6.
OBS. 10.--After a careful review of the various instances in which more
than one noun or pronoun may possibly be supposed to be under the
government of a single active verb in English, I incline to the opinion
that none of our verbs ought to be parsed as actually governing two cases,
except such as are followed by two objectives connected by a conjunction.
Consequently I do not admit, that any passive verb can properly govern an
objective noun or pronoun. Of the ancient Saxon dative case, and of what
was once considered the government of two cases, there yet appear some
evident remains in our language; as, "Give _him bread_ to eat."--"Bread
shall be given _him_"--_Bible_. But here, by almost universal consent, the
indirect object is referred to the government of a "preposition
understood;" and in many instances this sort of ellipsis is certainly no
elegance: as, "Give [_to_] truth and virtue the _same arms which_ you give
[_to_] vice and falsehood, and the former are likely to prevail."--_Blair's
Rhet._, p. 235. The questionable expression, "_Ask me blessing_," if
interpreted analogically, must mean, "Ask _for_ me _a_ blessing," which is
more correct and explicit; or, if _me_ be not supposed a dative, (and it
does not appear to be so, above,) the sentence is still wrong, and the
correction must be, "Ask _of_ me _a_ blessing," or, "Ask _my_ blessing."
So, "Ask your _master leave_," ought rather to be, "Ask _of_ your master
leave," "Ask your master _for_ leave," or, "Ask your _master's_ leave." The
example from Mark ought to be, "They asked _him about_ the parable." Again,
the elliptical sentence, "Teach them thy sons," is less perspicuous, and
therefore less accurate, than the full expression, "Teach them _to_ thy
sons." _To teach_ is to tell things _to_ persons, or to instruct persons
_in_ things; _to ask_ is to request or demand things _of_ or _from_
persons, or to interrogate or solicit persons _about_ or _for_ things.
These verbs cannot be proved to govern two cases in English, because it is
more analogical and more reasonable to supply a preposition, (if the author
omits it,) to govern one or the other of the objects.
OBS. 11.--Some writers erroneously allow passive verbs to govern the
objective in English, not only where they imagine our idiom to coincide
with the Latin, but even where they know that it does not. Thus Dr.
Crombie: "Whatever is put in the accusative case after the verb, must be
the nominative to it in the passive voice, while the other case is retained
under the government of the verb, and cannot become its nominative. Thus,
'I persuade you _to_ this or _of_ this, '_Persuadeo hoc tibi_. Here, the
person persuaded is expressed in the dative case, and cannot, therefore, be
the nominative to the passive verb. We must, therefore, say, _Hoc tibi
persuadetur_, 'You are persuaded _of_ this;' not, _Tu persuaderis_. 'He
trusted me _with_ this affair,' or 'He believed me _in_ this,' _Hoc mihi
credidit_.--Passively, _Hoc mihi creditum est_. 'I told you this,' _Hoc
tibi dixi_. 'YOU WERE TOLD THIS,' _Hoc tibi dictum est_; not, _Tu dictus
es_." [No, surely: for, '_Tu dictus es_,' means, 'You were called,' or,
'Thou art reputed;'--and, if followed by any case, it must be the
_nominative_.'] "It is the more necessary to attend to this rule, and to
these distinctions, as the idioms of the two languages do not always
concur. Thus, _Hoc tibi dictum est_, means not only 'This was told _to_
you,' but 'YOU WERE TOLD THIS.' _Liber mihi apatre promissus est_, means
both 'A book was promised (_to_) me by my father,' and 'I WAS PROMISED A
BOOK.' _Is primum rogatua est sententiam_, 'He was first asked _for_ his
opinion,' and 'An opinion was first asked _of_ him;' in which last the
accusative of the person becomes, in Latin, the nominative in the passive
voice." See _Grants Latin Gram._, p. 210.
OBS. 12.--Murray's _second_ censure upon passive government, is this: "The
following sentences, which give [to] the passive voice the regimen of an
active verb, _are very irregular, and by no means to be imitated_. 'The
bishops and abbots _were allowed their seats_ in the house of lords.'
'Thrasea _was forbidden the presence_ of the emperor.' 'He _was shown_ that
very _story_ in one of his own books.' These sentences should have
been: 'The bishops and abbots were allowed _to have_ (or _to take_) their
seats in the house of lords;' or, 'Seats in the house of lords were allowed
_to_ the bishops and abbots:' 'Thrasea was forbidden _to approach_ the
presence of the emperor;' or, 'The presence of the emperor was forbidden
_to_ Thrasea:' 'That very story was shown _to_ him in one of his own
books.'"--_Octavo Gram._, p. 223. See Obs. 8, above. One late grammarian,
whose style is on the whole highly commendable for its purity and accuracy,
forbears to condemn the phraseology here spoken of; and, though he does not
expressly defend and justify it, he seems disposed to let it pass, with the
license of the following canon. "For convenience, it may be well to state
it as a rule, that--_Passive verbs govern an objective, when the nominative
to the passive verb is not the proper object of the active
voice_."--_Barnard's Analytic Gram._, p. 134. An other asserts the
government of two cases by very many of our active verbs, and the
government of one by almost any passive verb, according to the following
rules: "Verbs of teaching, giving, and some others of a similar nature,
govern two objectives, the one of a person and the other of a thing; as, He
taught _me grammar_: His tutor gave _him a lesson_: He promised _me a
reward_. A passive verb may govern an objective, when the words immediately
preceding and following it, do not refer to the same thing; as, Henry _was
offered a dollar_ by his father to induce him to remain."--_J. M. Putnam's
Gram._, pp. 110 and 112.
OBS. 13.--The common dogmas, that an active verb must govern an object, and
that a neuter or intransitive verb must not, amount to nothing as
directions to the composer; because the classification of verbs depends
upon this very matter, whether they have, or have not, an object after
them; and no general principle has been, or can be, furnished beforehand,
by which their fitness or unfitness for taking such government can be
determined. This must depend upon usage, and usage must conform to the
sense intended. Very many verbs--probably a vast majority--govern an object
sometimes, but not always: many that are commonly intransitive or neuter,
are not in all their uses so; and many that are commonly transitive, have
sometimes no apparent regimen. The distinction, then, in our dictionaries,
of verbs active and neuter, or transitive and intransitive, serves scarcely
any other purpose, than to show how the presence or absence of the
objective case, affects the meaning of the word. In some instances the
signification of the verb seems almost merged in that of its object; _as,
to lay hold, to make use, to take care_. In others, the transitive
character of the word is partial; as, "He _paid_ my _board_; I _told you
so_." Some verbs will govern any objective whatever; as, _to name, to
mention_. What is there that _cannot be named or mentioned?_ Others again
are restricted to one noun, or to a few; as, _to transgress a law, or
rule_. What can be transgressed, but a law, a limit, or _something_
equivalent? Some verbs will govern a kindred noun, or its pronoun, but
scarcely any other; as, "He _lived_ a virtuous _life_."--"Hear, I pray you,
this _dream which I have dreamed_"--_Gen._, xxxvii, 6. "I will also command
the clouds that they _rain_ no _rain_ upon it."--_Isaiah_, v, 6.
OBS. 14.--Our grammarians, when they come to determine what verbs are
properly transitive, and what are not so, do not in all instances agree in
opinion. In short, plain as they think the matter, they are much at odds.
Many of them say, that, "In the phrases, 'To dream a dream,' 'To live a
virtuous life,' 'To run a race,' 'To walk a horse,' 'To dance a child,' the
verbs assume a transitive character, and in these cases may be denominated
active."--See _Guy's Gram._, p. 21; _Murray's_, 180; _Ingersoll's_, 183;
_Fisk's_, 123; _Smith's_, 153. This decision is undoubtedly just; yet a
late writer has taken a deal of pains to find fault with it, and to
persuade his readers, that, "No verb is active in _any sense_, or under
_any construction_, that will not, in _every sense_, permit the objective
case of a personal pronoun after it."--_Wright's Gram._, p. 174. Wells
absurdly supposes, "An _intransitive_ verb may be used to govern an
objective."--_Gram._, p. 145. Some imagine that verbs of mental action,
such as _conceive, think, believe_, &c., are not properly transitive; and,
if they find an object after such a verb, they choose to supply a
preposition to govern it: as, "I conceived it (_of_ it) in that
light."--_Guy's Gram._, p. 21. "Did you conceive (of) him to be
me?"--_Ib._, p. 28. With this idea, few will probably concur.
OBS. 15.--We sometimes find the pronoun _me_ needlessly thrown in after a
verb that either governs some other object or is not properly transitive,
at least, in respect to this word; as, "It ascends _me_ into the brain;
dries _me_ there all the foolish, dull, and crudy vapours."--_Shakspeare's
Falstaff_. "Then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster _me_
all to their captain, the heart."--_Id._ This is a faulty relic of our old
Saxon dative case. So of the second person; "Fare _you_ well,
Falstaff."--_Shak_. Here _you_ was written for the objective case, but it
seems now to have become the nominative to the verb _fare_. "Fare thee
well."--_W. Scott_. "Farewell _to_ thee."--_Id._ These expressions were
once equivalent in syntax; but they are hardly so now; and, in lieu of the
former, it would seem better English to say, "Fare _thou_ well." Again:
"Turn _thee_ aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay _thee hold_ on
one of the young men, and take _thee_ his armour."--_2 Sam._, ii, 21. If
any modern author had written this, our critics would have guessed he had
learned from some of the Quakers to misemploy _thee_ for _thou_. The
construction is an imitation of the French reciprocal or reflected verbs.
It ought to be thus: "Turn _thou_ aside to thy right hand or to thy left,
and _lay hold_ on one of the young men, and take _to thyself_ his armour."
So of the third person: "The king soon found reason to repent _him_ of his
provoking such dangerous enemies."--HUME: _Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 180.
Here both of the pronouns are worse than useless, though Murray discerned
but one error.
"Good Margaret, _run thee_ into the parlour;
There thou shalt find my cousin Beatrice."--SHAK.: _Much Ado_.
NOTES TO RULE V.
NOTE I.--Those verbs or participles which require a regimen, or which
signify action that must terminate transitively, should not be used without
an object; as, "She _affects_ [kindness,] in order to _ingratiate_
[herself] with you."--"I _must caution_ [you], at the same time, against a
servile imitation of any author whatever."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 192.
NOTE II.--Those verbs and participles which do not admit an object, or
which express action that terminates in themselves, or with the doer,
should not be used transitively; as, "The planters _grow_ cotton." Say
_raise, produce, or cultivate_. "Dare you speak lightly of the law, or move
that, in a criminal trial, judges should advance one step beyond _what_ it
permits them _to go_?"--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 278. Say,--"beyond _the point
to which_ it permits them to go."
NOTE III.--No transitive verb or participle should assume a government to
which its own meaning is not adapted; as, "_Thou_ is a pronoun, a word used
_instead_ of a noun--personal, it _personates_ 'man.'"--_Kirkham's Gram._,
p. 131. Say, "It _represents man_." "Where _a string_ of such sentences
_succeed each other_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 168. Say, "Where _many_ such
sentences _come in succession_."
NOTE IV.--The passive verb should always take for its subject or nominative
the direct object of the active-transitive verb from which it is derived;
as, (Active,) "They denied me this privilege." (Passive,) "This _privilege_
was denied _me_;" not, "_I_ was denied this _privilege_:" for _me_ may be
governed by _to_ understood, but _privilege_ cannot, nor can any other
regimen be found for it.
NOTE V.--Passive verbs should never be made to govern the objective case,
because the receiving of an action supposes it to terminate on the subject
or nominative. Errors: "Sometimes it _is made use of_ to give a small
degree of emphasis."--_L. Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 197. Say, "Sometimes it
_is used_," &c. "His female characters _have been found fault with_ as
insipid."--_Hazlitt's Lect._, p. 111. Say,--"have been _censured_;"
or,--"have been _blamed, decried, dispraised_, or _condemned_."
NOTE VI.--The perfect participle, as such, should never be made to govern
any objective term; because, without an active auxiliary, its signification
is almost always passive: as, "We shall set down the characters _made use
of_ to represent all the elementary sounds."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 5;
_Fisk's_, 34. Say,--"the characters _employed_, or _used_."
NOTE VII.--As the different cases in English are not always distinguished
by their form, care must be taken lest their construction be found
equivocal, or ambiguous; as, "And we shall always _find our sentences
acquire_ more vigour and energy when thus retrenched."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
111. Say, "We shall always find _that_ our sentences acquire more vigour,"
&c.; or, "We shall always find our sentences _to_ acquire more vigour and
energy when thus retrenched."
NOTE VIII.--In the language of our Bible, rightly quoted or printed, _ye_
is not found in the objective case, nor _you_ in the nominative; scriptural
texts that preserve not this distinction of cases, are consequently to be
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION. FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE V.
UNDER THE RULE ITSELF.--THE OBJECTIVE FORM.
"Who should I meet the other day but my old friend!"--_Spectator_, No. 32.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the pronoun _who_ is in the nominative case,
and is used as the object of the active-transitive verb _should meet_. But,
according to Rule 5th, "A noun or a pronoun made the object of an
active-transitive verb or participle, is governed by it in the objective
case." Therefore, _who_ should be _whom_; thus, "_Whom_ should I meet,"
"Let not him boast that puts on his armour, but he that takes it
off."--_Barclay's Works_, iii, 262. "Let none touch it, but they who are
clean."--_Sale's Koran_, 95. "Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein."--_Psalms_, xcviii, 7. "Pray be
private, and careful who you trust."--_Mrs. Goffe's Letter_. "How shall the
people know who to entrust with their property and their liberties?"--
_District School_, p. 301. "The chaplain entreated my comrade and I to
dress as well as possible."--_World Displayed_, i, 163. "He that cometh
unto me, I will in no wise cast out."--_Tract_, No. 3, p. 6. "Who, during
this preparation, they constantly and solemnly invoke."--_Hope of Israel_,
p. 84. "Whoever or whatever owes us, is Debtor; whoever or whatever we owe,
is Creditor."--_Marsh's Book-Keeping_, p. 23. "Declaring the curricle was
his, and he should have who he chose in it."--_Anna Ross_, p. 147. "The
fact is, Burke is the only one of all the host of brilliant contemporaries
who we can rank as a first-rate orator."--_The Knickerbocker, May_, 1833.
"Thus you see, how naturally the Fribbles and the Daffodils have produced
the Messalina's of our time:"--_Brown's Estimate_, ii, 53. "They would find
in the Roman list both the Scipio's."--_Ib._, ii, 76. "He found his wife's
clothes on fire, and she just expiring."--_New-York Observer_. "To present
ye holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight."--_Barclay's Works_,
i, 353. "Let the distributer do his duty with simplicity; the
superintendent, with diligence; he who performs offices of compassion, with
cheerfulness."--_Stuart's Romans_, xii, 9. "If the crew rail at the master
of the vessel, who will they mind?"--_Collier's Antoninus_, p. 106. "He
having none but them, they having none but hee."--DRAYTON'S _Polyolbion_.
"Thou, nature, partial nature, I arraign! Of thy caprice maternal I
complain!"--_Burns's Poems_, p. 50. "Nor knows he who it is his arms pursue
With eager clasps, but loves he knows not who."--_Addison's_, p. 218.
UNDER NOTE I.--OF VERBS TRANSITIVE.
"When it gives that sense, and also connects, it is a conjunction."--_L.
Murray's Gram._, p. 116. "Though thou wilt not acknowledge, thou canst not
deny the fact."--_Murray's Key_, p. 209. "They _specify_, like many other
adjectives, and _connect_ sentences."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 114. "The
violation of this rule tends so much to perplex and obscure, that it is
safer to err by too many short sentences."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 312. "A
few _Exercises_ are subjoined to each important definition, for him to
_practice_ upon as he proceeds in committing."--_Nutting's Gram._, 3d Ed.,
p. vii. "A verb signifying actively governs the accusative."--_Adam's
Gram._, p. 171; _Gould's_, 172; _Grant's_, 199; and others. "Or, any word
that will _conjugate_, is a verb."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 44. "In these two
concluding sentences, the author, hastening to finish, appears to write
rather carelessly."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 216. "He simply reasons on one
side of the question, and then finishes."--_Ib._, p. 306. "Praise to God
teaches to be humble and lowly ourselves."--ATTERBURY: _ib._, p. 304. "This
author has endeavored to surpass."--_Green's Inductive Gram._, p. 54.
"Idleness and plezure fateeg az soon az bizziness."--_Noah Webster's
Essays_, p. 402. "And, in conjugating, you must pay particular attention to
the manner in which these signs are applied."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 140.
"He said Virginia would have emancipated long ago."--_The Liberator_, ix,
33. "And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience."--_2 Cor._, x,
6. "However, in these cases, custom generally determines."--_Wright's
Gram._, p. 50. "In proof, let the following cases demonstrate."--_Ib._, p.
46. "We must surprise, that he should so speedily have forgotten his first
principles."--_Ib._, p. 147. "How should we surprise at the expression,
'This is a _soft_ question!'"--_Ib._, p. 219. "And such as prefer, can
parse it as a possessive adjective."--_Goodenow's Gram._, p. 89. "To assign
all the reasons, that induced to deviate from other grammarians, would lead
to a needless prolixity."--_Alexander's Gram._, p. 4. "The Indicative mood
simply indicates or declares."--_Farnum's Gram._, p. 33.
UNDER NOTE II.--OF VERBS INTRANSITIVE.
"In his seventh chapter he expatiateth himself at great
length."--_Barclay's Works_, iii, 350. "He quarrelleth my bringing some
testimonies of antiquity, agreeing with what I say."--_Ib._, iii, 373.
"Repenting him of his design."--_Hume's Hist._, ii, 56. "Henry knew, that
an excommunication could not fail of operating the most dangerous
effects."--_Ib._, ii, 165. "The popular lords did not fail to enlarge
themselves on the subject."--_Mrs. Macaulay's Hist._, iii, 177. "He is
always master of his subject; and seems to play himself with it."--_Blair's
Rhet._, p. 445. "But as soon as it comes the length of disease, all his
secret infirmities shew themselves."--_Ib._, p. 256. "No man repented him
of his wickedness."--_Jeremiah_, viii, 6. "Go thee one way or other, either
on the right hand, or on the left."--_Ezekiel_, xxi, 16. "He lies him down
by the rivers side."--_Walker's Particles_, p. 99. "My desire has been for
some years past, to retire myself to some of our American
plantations."--_Cowley's Pref. to his Poems_, p. vii. "I fear me thou wilt
shrink from the payment of it."--_Zenobia_, i, 76. "We never recur an idea,
without acquiring some combination."--_Rippingham's Art of Speaking_, p.
"Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide,
Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's side."--_Milton_.
UNDER NOTE III.--OF VERBS MISAPPLIED.
"A parliament forfeited all those who had borne arms against the
king."--_Hume's Hist._, ii, 223. "The practice of forfeiting ships which
had been wrecked."--_Ib._, i, 500. "The nearer his military successes
approached him to the throne."--_Ib._, v, 383. "In the next example, _you_
personifies _ladies_, therefore it is plural."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 103.
"The first _its_ personates vale; the second _its_ represents
stream."--_Ib._, p. 103. "Pronouns do not always avoid the repetition of
nouns."--_Ib._, p. 96. "_Very_ is an adverb of comparison, it compares the
adjective _good_."--_Ib._, p. 88. "You will please to commit the following
paragraph."--_Ib._, p. 140. "Even the Greek and Latin passive verbs require
an auxiliary to conjugate some of their tenses."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 100.
"The deponent verbs, in Latin, require also an auxiliary to conjugate
several of their tenses."--_Ib._, p. 100. "I have no doubt he made as wise
and true proverbs, as any body has done since."--_Ib._, p. 145. "A uniform
variety assumes as many set forms as Proteus had shapes."--_Kirkham's
Elocution_, p. 72. "When words in apposition follow each other in quick
succession."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 57. "Where such sentences frequently
succeed each other."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 349. "Wisdom leads us to
speak and act what is most proper."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 99; _Murray's
Gram._, i, 303.
"_Jul_. Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague?
_Rom_. Neither, fair saint, if either thee dislike."--_Shak_.
UNDER NOTE IV.--OF PASSIVE VERBS.
"We too must be allowed the privilege of forming our own laws."--_L.
Murray's Gram._, p. 134. "For we are not only allowed the use of all the
ancient poetic feet," &c.--_Ib._, p. 259; _Kirkham's Elocution_, 143;
_Jamieson's Rhet._, 310. "By what code of morals am I denied the right and
privilege?"--_Dr. Bartlett's Lect._, p. 4. "The children of Israel have
alone been denied the possession of it."--_Keith's Evidences_, p. 68. "At
York fifteen hundred Jews were refused all quarter."--_Ib._, p. 73. "He
would teach the French language in three lessons, provided he was paid
fifty-five dollars in advance."--_Chazotte's Essay_, p. 4. "And when he was
demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come."--_Luke_,
xvii, 20. "I have been shown a book."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 392. "John
Horne Tooke was refused admission only because he had been in holy
orders."--_Diversions of Purley_, i, 60. "Mr. Horne Tooke having taken
orders, he was refused admission to the bar."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 145.
"Its reference to place is lost sight of."--_Bullions's E. Gram._, p. 116.
"What striking lesson are we taught by the tenor of this history?"--_Bush's
Questions_, p. 71. "He had been left, by a friend, no less than eighty
thousand pounds."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 112. "Where there are many
things to be done, each must be allowed its share of time and
labour."--_Johnson's Pref. to Dict._, p. xiii. "Presenting the subject in a
far more practical form than it has been heretofore given."--_Kirkham's
Phrenology_, p. v. "If a being of entire impartiality should be shown the
two companies."--_Scott's Pref. to Bible_, p. vii. "He was offered the
command of the British army."--_Grimshaw's Hist._, p. 81. "Who had been
unexpectedly left a considerable sum."--_Johnson's Life of Goldsmith_.
"Whether a maid or a widow may be granted such a privilege."--_Spectator_,
No. 536. "Happily all these affected terms have been denied the public
suffrage."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 199. "Let him next be shewn the parsing
table."--_Nutting's Gram._, p. viii. "Thence, he may be shown the use of
the Analyzing Table."--_Ib._, p. ix. "Pittacus was offered a great sum of
money."--_Sanborn's Gram._, p. 228. "He had been allowed more time for
study."--_Ib._, p. 229. "If the walks were a little taken care of that lie
between them."--_Addison's Spect._, No. 414. "Suppose I am offered an
office or a bribe."--_Pierpont's Discourse_, Jan. 27, 1839.
"Am I one chaste, one last embrace deny'd?
Shall I not lay me by his clay-cold side?"
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. ix, l. 103.
UNDER NOTE V.--PASSIVE VERBS TRANSITIVE.
"The preposition _to_ is made use of before nouns of place, when they
follow verbs and participles of motion."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 203;
_Ingersoll's_, 231; _Greenlef's_, 35; _Fisk's_, 143; _Smith's_, 170;
_Guy's_, 90; _Fowler's_, 555. "They were refused entrance into the
house."--_Murray's Key_, ii, 204. "Their separate signification has been
lost sight of."--_Horne Tooke_, ii, 422. "But, whenever _ye_ is made use
of, it must be in the nominative, and never in the objective,
case."--_Cobbett's E. Gram._, 58. "It is said, that more persons than one
are paid handsome salaries, for taking care to see acts of parliament
properly worded."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 334. "The following Rudiments of
English Grammar, have been made use of in the University of
Pennsylvania."--DR. ROGERS: _in Harrison's Gram._, p. 2. "It never should
be lost sight of."--_Newman's Rhetoric_, p. 19. "A very curious fact hath
been taken notice of by those expert metaphysicians."--_Campbell's Rhet._,
p. 281. "The archbishop interfered that Michelet's lectures might be put a
stop to."--_The Friend_, ix, 378. "The disturbances in Gottengen have been
entirely put an end to."--_Daily Advertiser_. "Besides those that are taken
notice of in these exceptions."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 6. "As one, two,
or three auxiliary verbs are made use of."--_Ib._, p. 24. "The arguments
which have been made use of."--_Addison's Evidences_, p. 32. "The
circumstance is properly taken notice of by the author."--_Blair's Rhet._,
p. 217. "Patagonia has never been taken possession of by any European
nation."--_Cumming's Geog._, p. 62. "He will be found fault withal no more,
i. e. not hereafter."--_Walker's Particles_, p. 226. "The thing was to be
put an end to somehow."--_Leigh Hunt's Byron_, p. 15. "In 1798, the Papal
Territory was taken possession of by the French."--_Pinnock's Geog._, p.
223. "The idea has not for a moment been lost sight of by the
Board."--_Common School Journal_, i, 37. "I shall easily be excused the
labour of more transcription."--_Johnson's Life of Dryden_. "If I may be
allowed that expression."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 259, and 288. "If without
offence I may be indulged the observation."--_Ib._, p. 295. "There are
other characters, which are frequently made use of in composition."--
_Murray's Gram._, p. 280; _Ingersoll's_, 293. "Such unaccountable
infirmities might be in many, perhaps in most, cases got the better
of."--_Seattle's Moral Science_, i, 153. "Which ought never to be had
recourse to."--_Ib._, i, 186. "That the widows may be taken care
of."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 499. "Other cavils will yet be taken notice
of."--_Pope's Pref. to Homer_. "Which implies, that all Christians are
offered eternal salvation."--_West's Letters_, p. 149. "Yet even the dogs
are allowed the crumbs which fall from their master's table."--_Campbell's
Gospels, Matt._, xv. 27. "For we say the light within must be taken heed
unto."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 148. "This sound of a is taken notice of in
Steele's Grammar."--_Walker's Dict._, p. 22. "One came to be paid ten
guineas for a pair of silver buckles."--_Castle Rackrent_, p. 104. "Let
him, therefore, be carefully shewn the application of the several questions
in the table."--_Nutting's Gram._, p. 8, "After a few times, it is no
longer taken notice of by the hearers."--_Sheridan's Lect._, p. 182. "It
will not admit of the same excuse, nor be allowed the same indulgence, by
people of any discernment."--_Ibid._ "Inanimate things may be made property
of."--_Beanie's M. Sci._, p. 355.
"And, when he's bid a liberaller price,
Will not be sluggish in the work, nor nice."--_Butler's Poems_, p. 162.
UNDER NOTE VI.--OF PERFECT PARTICIPLES.
"All the words made use of to denote spiritual and intellectual things, are
in their origin metaphors."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 380. "A reply to an
argument commonly made use of by unbelievers."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 293.
"It was heretofore the only form made use of in the preter tenses."--_Dr.
Ash's Gram._, p. 47. "Of the points, and other characters made use of in
writing."--_Ib._, p. xv. "If _thy_ be the personal pronoun made use
of."--_Walker's Dict._ "The Conjunction is a word made use of to connect
sentences."--_Burn's Gram._, p. 28. "The points made use of to answer these
purposes are the four following."--_Harrison's Gram._, p. 67. "_Incense_
signifies perfumes exhaled by fire, and made use of in religious
ceremonies."--_Murray's Key_, p. 171. "In most of his orations, there is
too much art; even carried the length of ostentation."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
246. "To illustrate the great truth, so often lost sight of in our
times."--_Common School Journal_, I, 88. "The principal figures, made use
of to affect the heart, are Exclamation, Confession, Deprecation,
Commination, and Imprecation."--_Formey's Belles-Lettres_, p. 133.
"Disgusted at the odious artifices made use of by the Judge."--_Junius_, p.
13. "The whole reasons of our being allotted a condition, out of which so
much wickedness and misery would in fact arise."--_Butler's Analogy_ p.
109. "Some characteristieal circumstance being generally invented or laid
hold of."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 246.
"And _by_ is likewise us'd with Names that shew
The Means made use of, or the Method how."--_Ward's Gram._, p. 105.
UNDER NOTE VII.--CONSTRUCTIONS AMBIGUOUS.
"Many adverbs admit of degrees of comparison as well as
adjectives."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 133. "But the author, who, by the
number and reputation of his works, formed our language more than any one,
into its present state, is Dryden."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 180. "In some
States, Courts of Admiralty have no juries, nor Courts of Chancery at
all."--_Webster's Essays_, p, 146. "I feel myself grateful to my
friend."--_Murray's Key_, p. 276. "This requires a writer to have, himself,
a very clear apprehension of the object he means to present to
us."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 94. "Sense has its own harmony, as well as
sound."--_lb._, p. 127. "The apostrophe denotes the omission of an _i_
which was formerly inserted, and made an addition of a syllable to the
word."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 67. "There are few, whom I can refer to,
with more advantage than Mr. Addison."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 139. "DEATH, in
_theology_, [is a] perpetual separation from God, and eternal
torments."--_Webster's Dict._ "That could inform the _traveler_ as well as
the old man himself!"--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 345.
UNDER NOTE VIII.--YE AND YOU IN SCRIPTURE.
"Ye daughters of Rabbah, gird ye with sackcloth."--ALGER'S BIBLE: _Jer._,
xlix, 3. "Wash ye, make you clean."--_Brown's Concordance, w. Wash_. "Strip
ye, and make ye bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins."--ALGER'S BIBLE:
_Isaiah_, xxxii, 11. "You are not ashamed that you make yourselves strange
to me."--FRIENDS' BIBLE: _Job_, xix, 3. "You are not ashamed that ye make
yourselves strange to me."--ALGER'S BIBLE: _ib._ "If you knew the gift of
God."--_Brown's Concordance, w. Knew_. "Depart from me, ye workers of
iniquity, I know ye not."--_Penington's Works_, ii, 122.
RULE VI.--SAME CASES.
A Noun or a Pronoun put after a verb or participle not transitive, agrees
in case with a preceding noun or pronoun referring to the same thing: as,
"_It_ is _I_."--"_These_ are _they_."--"The _child_ was named
_John_."--"_It_ could not be _he_."--"The _Lord_ sitteth _King_
forever."--_Psalms_, xxix, 10.
"What war could ravish, commerce could bestow,
And _he_ return'd a _friend, who_ came a _foe_."
--_Pope_, Ep. iii, l. 206.
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE VI.
OBS. 1.--Active-transitive verbs, and their
imperfect and preperfect participles, always govern the objective case; but
active-intransitive, passive, and neuter verbs, and their participles, take
the same case after as before them, when both words refer to the same
thing. The latter are rightly supposed _not to govern_ any case; nor
are they in general followed by any noun or pronoun. But, because they are
not transitive, some of them become connectives to such words as are in the
same case and signify the same thing. That is, their finite tenses may be
followed by a nominative, and their infinitives and participles by a
nominative or an objective, _agreeing_ with a noun or a pronoun which
precedes them. The cases are the same, because the person or thing is one;
as, "_I_ am _he_."--"_Thou_ art _Peter_."--"Civil _government_ being the
sole _object_ of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by
common consent."--_Jefferson's Notes_, p. 129. Identity is both the
foundation and the characteristic of this construction. We chiefly use it
to affirm or deny, to suggest or question, the _sameness_ of things; but
sometimes _figuratively_, to illustrate the relations of persons or things
by comparison: as, "_I_ am the true _vine_, and my _Father_ is the
_husbandman_."--_John_, xv, 1. "_I_ am the _vine, ye_ are the
_branches_."--_John_, xv, 5. Even the names of direct opposites, are
sometimes put in the same case, under this rule; as,
"By such a change thy _darkness_ is made _light_,
Thy _chaos order_, and thy _weakness might_."--_Cowper_, Vol. i, p. 88.
OBS. 2.--In this rule, the terms _after_ and _preceding_ refer rather to
the order of the sense and construction, than to the mere _placing_ of the
words; for the words in fact admit of various positions. The proper subject
of the verb is the nominative _to_ it, or _before_ it, by Rule 2d; and the
other nominative, however placed, is understood to be that which comes
_after_ it, by Rule 6th. In general, however, the proper subject _precedes_
the verb, and the other word _follows_ it, agreeably to the literal sense
of the rule. But when the proper subject is placed after the verb, as in
certain instances specified in the second observation under Rule 2d, the
explanatory nominative is commonly introduced still later; as, "But be
_thou_ an _example_ of the believers."--_1 Tim_. iv, 12. "But what! is thy
_servant_ a _dog_?"--_2 Kings_, viii, 13. "And so would I, were _I
Parmenio_."--_Goldsmith_. "O Conloch's daughter! is _it thou_?"--_Ossian_.
But in the following example, on the contrary, there is a transposition of
the entire lines, and the verb agrees with the two nominatives in the
"To thee _were_ solemn _toys_ or empty _show_,
The _robes_ of pleasure and the _veils_ of wo."--_Dr. Johnson_.
OBS. 3.--In interrogative sentences, the terms are usually transposed,
or both are placed after the verb; as, "Am _I_ a _Jew_?"--_John_, xviii,
35. "Art _thou_ a _king_ then?"--_Ib._, ver. 37. "_What_ is
_truth_?"--_Ib._, ver. 38. "_Who_ art _thou_?"--_Ib._, i, 19. "Art _thou
Elias_?"--_Ib._, i, 21. "Tell me, Alciphron, is not _distance_ a _line_
turned endwise to the eye?"--_Berkley's Dialogues_, p. 161.
"Whence, and _what_ art _thou_, execrable shape?"--_Milton_.
"Art _thou_ that traitor _angel_? art _thou he_?"--_Idem_.
OBS. 4.--In a declarative sentence also, there may be a rhetorical or
poetical transposition of one or both of the terms: as, "And I _thy victim_
now remain."--_Francis's Horace_, ii, 45. "To thy own dogs a _prey_ thou
shalt be made."--_Pope's Homer_, "I was eyes to the blind, and _feet_ was
_I_ to the lame."--_Job_, xxix, 15. "Far other _scene_ is _Thrasymene_
now."--_Byron_. In the following sentence, the latter term is palpably
misplaced: "It does not clearly appear at first _what the antecedent is_ to
_they_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 218. Say rather: "It does not clearly appear
at first, _what is the antecedent_ to [the pronoun] _they_." In examples
transposed like the following, there is an elegant ellipsis of the verb to
which the pronoun is nominative; as, _am, art_, &c.
"When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering _angel thou_."--_Scott's Marmion._
"The forum's champion, and the people's chief,
Her new-born _Numa thou_--with reign, alas! too brief."--_Byron_.
"For this commission'd, I forsook the sky--
Nay, cease to kneel--thy _fellow-servant I_."--_Parnell._
OBS. 5.--In some peculiar constructions, both words naturally come _before_
the verb; as, "I know not _who she_ is."--"_Who_ did you say _it_ was?"--"I
know not how to tell thee _who I_ am."--_Romeo_. "Inquire thou whose _son_
the _stripling_ is."--_1 Sam._, xvii, 56. "Man would not be the creature
_which he_ now is."--_Blair_. "I could not guess _who it_ should
be."--_Addison_. And they are sometimes placed in this manner by
_hyberbaton_ [sic--KTH], or transposition; as, "Yet _he it_ is."--_Young_.
"No contemptible _orator he_ was."--_Dr. Blair_. "_He it_ is to whom I
shall give a sop."--_John_, xiii, 26. "And a very noble _personage Cato_
is."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 457. "_Clouds they_ are without water."--_Jude_,
"Of worm or serpent kind _it something_ looked,
But monstrous, with a thousand snaky heads."--_Pollok_, B. i, l. 183.
OBS. 6.--As infinitives and participles have no nominatives of their own,
such of them as are not transitive in their nature, may take _different_
cases after them; and, in order to determine what _case_ it is that follows
them, the learner must carefully observe what preceding word denotes the
same person or thing, and apply the principle of the rule accordingly. This
word being often remote, and sometimes understood, the _sense_ is the only
clew to the construction. Examples: "_Who_ then can bear the thought of
being an _outcast_ from his presence?"--_Addison_. Here _outcast_ agrees
with _who_, and not with _thought_. "_I_ cannot help being so passionate an
_admirer_ as I am."--_Steele_. Here _admirer_ agrees with _I_. "To
recommend _what_ the soberer part of mankind look upon to be a
_trifle_."--_Steele_. Here _trifle_ agrees with _what_ as relative, the
objective governed by _upon_. "_It_ would be a romantic _madness_, for a
_man_ to be a _lord_ in his closet."--_Id._ Here _madness_ is in the
nominative case, agreeing with _it_; and _lord_, in the objective, agreeing
with _man_. "To _affect_ to be a _lord_ in one's closet, would be a
romantic _madness_." In this sentence also, _lord_ is in the objective,
after _to be_; and _madness_, in the nominative, after _would be._
"'My dear _Tibullus!_' If that will not do,
Let _me_ be _Horace_, and be _Ovid you_."--_Pope_, B. ii, Ep. ii, 143.
OBS. 7.--An active-intransitive or a neuter participle in _ing_, when
governed by a preposition, is often followed by a noun or a pronoun the
case of which depends not on the preposition, but on the case which goes
before. Example: "The _Jews_ were in a particular manner ridiculed _for
being_ a credulous _people_."--_Addison's Evidences_, p. 28. Here _people_
is in the nominative case, agreeing with _Jews_. Again: "The learned pagans
ridiculed the _Jews_ for _being_ a credulous _people_." Here _people_ is in
the objective case, because the preceding noun _Jews_ is so. In both
instances the preposition _for_ governs the participle _being_, and nothing
else. "The atrocious crime of _being_ a young _man_, I shall neither
attempt to palliate _or_ deny."--PITT: _Bullions's E. Gram._, p. 82; _S. S.
Greene's_, 174. Sanborn has this text, with "_nor_" for
"_or_."--_Analytical Gram._, p. 190. This example has been erroneously
cited, as one in which the case of the noun after the participle is _not
determined_ by its relation to any other word. Sanborn absurdly supposes it
to be "in the _nominative independent_." Bullions as strangely tells us,
"it may correctly be called the _objective indefinite_"--like _me_ in the
following example: "He was not sure of _its being me_."--_Bullions's E.
Gram._, p. 82. This latter text I take to be _bad English_. It should be,
"He was not sure _of it as being me_;" or, "He was not sure _that it was
I."_ But, in the text above, there is an evident transposition. The
syntactical order is this: "_I_ shall neither deny _nor_ attempt to
palliate the atrocious crime of being a young _man_." The words _man_ and
_I_ refer to the same person, and are therefore in the same case, according
to the rule which I have given above.
OBS. 8.--S. S. Greene, in his late Grammar, improperly denominates this
case after the participle _being_, "the _predicate-nominative_," and
imagines that it necessarily remains a nominative even when the possessive
case precedes the participle. If he were right in this, there would be an
important exception to Rule 6th above. But so singularly absurd is his
doctrine about "_abridged predicates_," that in general the _abridging_
shows an _increase_ of syllables, and often a conversion of good English
into bad. For example: "_It_ [the predicate] remains _unchanged in the
nominative_, when, with the participle of the copula, _it_ becomes _a
verbal noun_, limited by the possessive case of the subject; as, 'That he
was a foreigner prevented his election,'='_His_ being a _foreigner_
prevented his election.'"--_Greene's Analysis_, p. 169. Here the number of
syllables is unaltered; but _foreigner_ is very improperly called "a verbal
noun," and an example which only lacks a comma, is changed to what Wells
rightly calls an "_anomalous expression_," and one wherein that author
supposes _foreigner_ and _his_ to be necessarily in the same case. But
Greene varies this example into other "_abridged forms_," thus: "I knew
_that he was a foreigner_," = "I knew _his being_, or _of his being a
foreigner_." "The fact _that he was a foreigner_, = _of his being a
foreigner_, was undeniable." "_When he was first called a foreigner_, = _on
his being first called a foreigner_, his anger was excited."--_Ib._, p.
171. All these changes _enlarge_, rather than abridge, the expression; and,
at the same time, make it questionable English, to say the least of it.
OBS. 9.--In some examples, the adverb _there_ precedes the participle, and
we evidently have nothing by which to determine the case that follows; as,
"These judges were twelve in number. Was this _owing to there being_
twelve primary _deities_ among the Gothic nations?"--_Webster's Essays_, p.
263. Say rather: "Was this _because there were_ twelve primary deities
among the Gothic nations?" "How many are injured by Adam's fall, that know
nothing of _there ever being_ such a man in the world!"--_Barclay's
Apology_, p. 185. Say rather,--"_who know not that there ever was_ such a
man in the world!"
OBS. 10.--In some other examples, we find a possessive before the
participle, and a doubtful case after it; as, "This our Saviour himself was
pleased to make use of as the strongest argument of _his_ being the
promised _Messiah_"--_Addison's Evidences_, p. 81. "But my chief affliction
consisted in _my_ being singled out from all the other boys, by a lad about
fifteen years of age, as a proper _object_ upon whom he might let loose the
cruelty of his temper."--_Cowper's Memoir_, p. 13. "[Greek: Tou patros
[ontos] onou euthus hypemnaesthae]. He had some sort of recollection of his
_father's_ being an ass"--_Collectanea Graeca Minora, Notae_, p. 7. This
construction, though not uncommon, is anomalous in more respects than one.
Whether or not it is worthy to form an exception to the rule of _same
cases_, or even to that of _possessives_, the reader may judge from the
observations made on it under the latter. I should rather devise some way
to avoid it, if any can be found--and I believe there can; as, "This our
Saviour himself was pleased to _advance_ as the strongest _proof that he
was_ the promised Messiah."--"But my chief affliction consisted in _this,
that I was_ singled out," &c. The story of the mule is, "_He seemed to
recollect on a sudden that his father was an ass_." This is the proper
meaning of the Greek text above; but the construction is different, the
Greek nouns being genitives in apposition.
OBS. 11.--A noun in the nominative case sometimes follows a finite verb,
when the equivalent subject that stands before the verb, is not a noun or
pronoun, but a phrase or a sentence which supplies the place of a
nominative; as, "That the barons and freeholders derived their authority
from kings, is wholly a _mistake_."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 277. "To speak
of a slave as a member of civil society, may, by some, be regarded a
_solecism_."--_Stroud's Sketch_, p. 65. Here _mistake_ and _solecism_ are
as plainly nominatives, as if the preceding subjects had been declinable
OBS. 12.--When a noun is put after an abstract infinitive that is not
transitive, it appears necessarily to be in the objective case, though
not governed by the verb; for if we supply any noun to which such
infinitive may be supposed to refer, it must be introduced before the verb
by the preposition _for_: as, "To be an _Englishman_ in London, a
_Frenchman_ in Paris, a _Spaniard_ in Madrid, is no easy matter; and yet it
is necessary."--_Home's Art of Thinking_, p. 89. That is, "_For a
traveller_ to be an _Englishman_ in London," &c. "It is certainly as easy
to be a _scholar_, as a _gamester_."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 425. That is,
"It is as easy _for a young man_ to be a _scholar, as it is for him to be a
gamester_." "To be an eloquent _speaker_, in the proper sense of the
_word_, is far from being a common or easy _attainment._"--_Blair's Rhet._,
p. 337. Here _attainment_ is in the nominative, after _is_--or, rather
after _being_, for it follows both; and _speaker_, in the objective after
_to be_. "It is almost as hard a thing [for a _man_] to be a poet in
despite of fortune, as it is [for _one_ to be a _poet_] in despite of
nature."--_Cowley's Preface to his Poems_, p. vii.
OBS. 13.--Where precision is necessary, loose or abstract infinitives are
improper; as, "But _to be precise_, signifies, that _they_ express _that
idea_, and _no more_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 94; _Murray's Gram._, 301;
_Jamieson's Rhet._, 64. Say rather: "But, _for an author's words to be
precise_, signifies, that they express _his exact_ idea, and _nothing_ more
OBS. 14.--The principal verbs that take the same case after as before them,
except those which are passive, are the following: to be, to stand, to sit,
to lie, to live, to grow, to become, to turn, to commence, to die, to
expire, to come, to go, to range, to wander, to return, to seem, to appear,
to remain, to continue, to reign. There are doubtless some others, which
admit of such a construction; and of some of these, it is to be observed,
that they are sometimes transitive, and govern the objective: as, "To
_commence_ a suit."--_Johnson_. "O _continue_ thy loving kindness unto
them."--_Psalms_, xxxvi, 10. "A feather will _turn_ the scale."--_Shak._
"_Return_ him a trespass offering."--_1 Samuel_. "For it _becomes_ me so to
speak."--_Dryden_. But their construction with like cases is easily
distinguished by the sense; as, "When _I_ commenced _author_, my aim was to
amuse."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 286. "_Men_ continue men's
_destroyers_."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 56. "'Tis most just, that thou turn
rascal"--_Shak., Timon of Athens_. "He went out _mate_, but _he_ returned