Part 24 out of 54
thou shalt be condemned."--_Matt._, xii, 36 and 37. What scruples this
declaration _ought to_ raise, it is not my business to define. But if such
be God's law, what shall be the reckoning of those who make no conscience
of uttering continually, or when they will, not idle words only, but
expressions the most absurd, insignificant, false, exaggerated, vulgar,
indecent, injurious, wicked, sophistical, unprincipled, ungentle, and
perhaps blasphemous, or profane?
OBS. 8.--The agreement of pronouns with their antecedents, it is necessary
to observe, is liable to be controlled or affected by several of the
figures of rhetoric. A noun used figuratively often suggests two different
senses, the one literal, and the other tropical; and the agreement of the
pronoun must be sometimes with this, and sometimes with that, according to
the nature of the trope. If the reader be unacquainted with tropes and
figures, he should turn to the explanation of them in Part Fourth of this
work; but almost every one knows something about them, and such as must
here be named, will perhaps be made sufficiently intelligible by the
examples. There seems to be no occasion to introduce under this head more
than four; namely, personification, metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche.
OBS. 9.--When a pronoun represents the name of an inanimate object
_personified_, it agrees with its antecedent in the figurative, and not in
the literal sense; as, "There were others whose crime it was rather to
neglect _Reason_ than to disobey _her_."--_Dr. Johnson_. "_Penance_ dreams
her life away."--_Rogers_. "Grim _Darkness_ furls _his_ leaden
shroud."--_Id._ Here if the pronoun were made neuter, the personification
would be destroyed; as, "By the progress which _England_ had already made
in navigation and commerce, _it_ was now prepared for advancing
farther."--_Robertson's America_, Vol. ii, p. 341. If the pronoun _it_ was
here intended to represent England, the feminine _she_ would have been much
better; and, if such was not the author's meaning, the sentence has some
worse fault than the agreement of a pronoun with its noun in a wrong sense.
OBS. 10.--When the antecedent is applied _metaphorically_, the pronoun
usually agrees with it in its literal, and not in its figurative sense; as,
"Pitt was the _pillar which_ upheld the state."--"The _monarch_ of
mountains rears _his_ snowy head."--"The _stone which_ the builders
rejected."--_Matt._, xxi, 42. According to this rule, _which_ would be
better than _whom_, in the following text: "I considered the horns, and,
behold, there came up among them an other _little horn_, before _whom_
there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots."--_Daniel_,
vii, 8. In _Rom._, ix, 33, there is something similar: "Behold, I lay in
Sion a _stumbling-stone_ and _rock_ of offence: and whosoever believeth _on
him_ shall not be ashamed." Here the _stone_ or _rock_ is a metaphor for
_Christ_, and the pronoun _him_ may be referred to the sixth exception
above; but the construction is not agreeable, because it is not regular: it
would be more grammatical, to change _on him_ to _thereon_. In the
following example, the noun "_wolves_," which literally requires _which_,
and not _who_, is used metaphorically for _selfish priests_; and, in the
relative, the figurative or personal sense is allowed to prevail:
"_Wolves_ shall succeed for teachers, grievous _wolves_,
_Who_ all the sacred mysteries of Heaven
To their own vile advantages shall turn."
--_Milton, P. L._, B. xii, l. 508.
This seems to me somewhat forced and catachrestical. So too, and worse, the
following; which makes a _star_ rise and _speak_:
"So _spake_ our _Morning Star_ then in _his rise_,
And _looking_ round on every side _beheld_
A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades."
--_Id., P. R._, B. i, l. 294.
OBS. 11.--When the antecedent is put by _metonymy_ for a noun of different
properties, the pronoun sometimes agrees with it in the figurative, and
sometimes in the literal sense; as, "When _Israel_ was a child, then I
loved _him_, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called _them_, so
_they_ went from them: [i. e., When Moses and the prophets called the
_Israelites_, they often refused to hear:] _they_ sacrificed unto Baalim,
and burnt incense to graven images. I taught _Ephraim_ also to go, taking
_them_ by _their_ arms; but _they_ knew not that I healed
_them_."--_Hosea_, xi, 1, 2, 3. The mixture and obscurity which are here,
ought not to be imitated. The name of a man, put for the nation or tribe of
his descendants, may have a pronoun of either number, and a nation may be
figuratively represented as feminine; but a mingling of different genders
or numbers ought to be avoided: as, "_Moab_ is spoiled, and gone up out of
_her_ cities, and _his_ chosen young men are gone down to the
slaughter."--_Jeremiah_, xlviii, 15.
"The wolf, who [say _that_] from the nightly fold,
Fierce drags the bleating _prey_, ne'er drunk _her_ milk,
Nor wore _her_ warming fleece."--_Thomson's Seasons_.
"That each may fill the circle mark'd by _Heaven_,
_Who_ sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish or a sparrow fall."--_Pope's Essay on Man_.
"And _heaven_ behold _its_ image in his breast."--_Ib._
"Such fate to suffering _worth_ is given,
_Who_ long with wants and woes has striven."--_Burns_.
OBS. 12.--When the antecedent is put by _synecdoche_ for more or less than
it literally signifies, the pronoun agrees with it in the figurative, and
not in the literal sense; as,
"A dauntless _soul_ erect, _who_ smiled on death."--_Thomson_
"But to the generous still improving _mind_,
_That_ gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy,
To _him_ the long review of ordered life
Is inward rapture only to be felt."--_Id. Seasons_.
OBS. 13.--Pronouns usually _follow_ the words which they represent; but
this order is sometimes reversed: as, "_Whom_ the cap fits, let _him_ put
it on."--"Hark! _they_ whisper; angels say," &c.--_Pope_. "_Thou, O Lord_,
art a God full of compassion."--_Old Test_. And in some cases of
apposition, the pronoun naturally comes first; as, "_I Tertius_"--"_Ye
lawyers_." The pronoun _it_, likewise, very often precedes the clause or
phrase which it represents; as, "Is _it_ not manifest, that the generality
of people speak and write very badly?"--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 160;
_Murray's Gram._, i, 358. This arrangement is too natural to be called a
transposition. The most common form of the real inversion is that of the
antecedent and relative in poetry; as,
"_Who_ stops to plunder at this signal hour,
The birds shall tear _him_, and the dogs devour."
--POPE: _Iliad_, xv, 400.
OBS. 14.--A pronoun sometimes represents a _phrase_ or a _sentence_; and in
this case the pronoun is always in the third person singular neuter: as,
"Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew _it_ not."--_Gen._, xxviii,
10. "Yet men can go on to vilify or disregard Christianity; _which_ is to
talk and act as if they had a demonstration of its falsehood."--_Butler's
Analogy_, p. 269. "When _it_ is asked wherein personal identity consists,
the answer should be the same as if _it_ were asked, wherein consists
similitude or equality."--_Ib._, p. 270. "Also, that the soul be without
knowledge, _it_ is not good."--_Prov._, xix, 2. In this last example, the
pronoun is not really necessary. "That the soul be without knowledge, _is_
not good."--_Jenks's Prayers_, p. 144. Sometimes an infinitive verb is
taken as an antecedent; as, "He will not be able _to think_, without _which
it_ is impertinent _to read_; nor _to act_, without _which it_ is
impertinent _to think_."--_Bolingbroke, on History_, p. 103.
OBS. 15.--When a pronoun follows two words, having a neuter verb between
them, and both referring to the same thing, it may represent either of
them, but not often with the same meaning: as, 1. "I am the man, who
command." Here, _who command_ belongs to the subject _I_, and the meaning
is, "I who command, am the man." (The latter expression places the relative
nearer to its antecedent, and is therefore preferable.) 2. "I am the man
who commands." Here, _who commands_ belongs to the predicate _man_, and the
meaning is, "I am the commander." Again: "I perceive thou art a pupil, _who
possessest_ good talents."--_Cooper's Pl. and Pract. Gram._, p. 136. Here
the construction corresponds not to the perception, which is, of the
pupil's talents. Say, therefore, "I perceive thou art a _pupil possessing_
(or, _who possesses_) good talents."
OBS. 16.--After the expletive _it_, which may be employed to introduce a
noun or a pronoun of any person, number, or gender, the above-mentioned
distinction is generally disregarded; and the relative is most commonly
made to agree with the latter word, especially if this word be of the first
or the second person: as, "_It_ is no more _I that do it_."--_Rom._, vii,
20. "For _it_ is not _ye that speak_."--_Matt._, x, 20. The propriety of
this construction is questionable. In the following examples, the relative
agrees with the _it_, and not with the subsequent nouns: "_It_ is the
combined _excellencies_ of all the denominations _that_ gives to her her
winning beauty and her powerful charms."--_Bible Society's Report_, 1838,
p. 89. "_It_ is _purity and neatness_ of expression _which is_ chiefly to
be studied."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 271. "_It_ is _not the difficulty_ of the
language, but on the contrary the _simplicity and facility_ of it, _that
occasions_ this neglect."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. vi. "_It_ is _a wise head
and a good heart that constitutes_ a great man."--_Child's Instructor_, p.
OBS. 17.--The pronoun _it_ very frequently refers to something mentioned
subsequently in the sentence; as, "_It_ is useless _to complain_ of what is
irremediable." This pronoun is a necessary expletive at the commencement of
any sentence in which the verb is followed by a phrase or a clause which,
by transposition, might be made the subject of the verb; as, "_It is
impossible_ _to please every one_."--_W. Allen's Gram._ "_It_ was requisite
_that the papers should be_ sent."--_Ib._ The following example is censured
by the Rev. Matt. Harrison: "_It is really curious, the course_ which balls
will sometimes take."--_Abernethy's Lectures_. "This awkward expression,"
says the critic, "might have been avoided by saying, 'The course which
balls will sometimes take is really curious.'"--_Harrison, on the English
Language_, p. 147. If the construction is objectionable, it may, in this
instance, be altered thus: "It is really curious, _to observe_ the course
which balls will sometimes take!" So, it appears, we may avoid a _pleonasm_
by an _addition_. But he finds a worse example: saying, "Again, in an
article _from_ the 'New Monthly,' No. 103, we meet with the same form of
expression, _but with an aggravated aspect_:--'It is incredible, the number
of apothecaries' shops, presenting themselves.' It would be quite as easy
to say, 'The number of apothecaries' shops, presenting themselves, is
incredible.' "--_Ib._, p. 147. This, too, may take an infinitive, "_to
tell_," or "_to behold_;" for there is no more extravagance in doubting
one's eyes, than in declaring one's own statement "incredible." But I am
not sure that the original form is not allowable. In the following line, we
seem to have something like it:
"It curled not Tweed alone, that breeze."--_Sir W. Scott_.
OBS. 18.--_Relative_ and _interrogative_ pronouns are placed at or near the
beginning of their own clauses; and the learner must observe that, through
all their cases, they almost invariably retain this situation in the
sentence, and are found before their verbs even when the order of the
construction would reverse this arrangement: as, "He _who_ preserves me, to
_whom_ I owe my being, _whose_ I am, and _whom_ I serve, is
eternal."--_Murray_, p. 159. "He _whom_ you seek."--_Lowth_.
"The good must merit God's peculiar care;
But _who_, but God, can tell us _who_ they are?"--_Pope_.
OBS. 19.--A _relative_ pronoun, being the representative of some antecedent
word or phrase, derives from this relation its person, number, and gender,
but not its case. By taking an other relation of case, it helps to form an
other clause; and, by retaining the essential meaning of its antecedent,
serves to connect this clause to that in which the antecedent is found. No
relative, therefore, can ever be used in an independent simple sentence, or
be made the subject of a subjunctive verb, or be put in apposition with any
noun or pronoun; but, like other connectives, this pronoun belongs at the
head of a clause in a compound sentence, and excludes conjunctions, except
when two such clauses are to be joined together, as in the following
example: "I should be glad, at least, of an easy companion, _who_ may tell
me his thoughts, _and_ to _whom_ I may communicate mine."--_Goldsmith's
Essays_, p. 196.
OBS. 20.--The two _special_ rules commonly given by the grammarians, for
the construction of relatives, are not only unnecessary, but faulty. I
shall notice them only to show my reasons for discarding them. With whom
they originated, it is difficult to say. Paul's Accidence has them, and if
Dean Colet, the supposed writer, did not take them from some earlier
author, they must have been first taught by _him_, about the year 1510; and
it is certain that they have been copied into almost every grammar
published since. The first one is faulty, because, "_When there cometh no
nominative case between the relative and the verb, the relative shall_ [not
always] _be the nominative case to the verb_;" as may be seen by the
following examples: "Many are the works of human industry, _which_ to begin
and finish are [say _is_] hardly granted to the same man."--_Dr. Johnson's
Adv. to Dict._ "They aim at his removal; _which_ there is reason to fear
they will effect."--"_Which_ to avoid, I cut them off."--_Shak., Hen. IV_.
The second rule is faulty, because, "_When there cometh a nominative case
between the relative and the verb, the relative shall_ [not always] _be
such case as the verb will have after it_;" as may be seen by the following
examples: "The author has not advanced any instances, _which_ he does not
think _are_ pertinent."--_Murray's Gram._, i, 192. "_Which_ we have reason
to think _was_ the case with the Greek and Latin."--_Ib._, 112. "Is this
your son, _who_ ye say _was born_ blind?"--_John_, ix, 19. The case of the
relative cannot be accurately determined by any rules of mere location. It
may be nominative to a verb afar off, or it may be objective with a verb
immediately following; as, "_Which_ I do not find that there ever
_was_."--_Knight, on the Greek Alphabet_, p. 31. "And our chief reason for
believing _which_ is that our ancestors did so before us."--_Philological
Museum_, i, 641. Both these particular rules are useless, because the
general rules for the cases, as given in chapter third above, are
applicable to relatives, sufficient to all the purpose, and not liable to
OBS. 21.--In syntactical parsing, each word, in general, is to be resolved
by some _one_ rule; but the parsing of a pronoun commonly requires _two_;
one for its agreement with the noun or nouns for which it stands, and an
other for its case. The rule of agreement will be one of the four which are
embraced in this present chapter; and the rule for the case will be one of
the seven which compose chapter third. So that the whole syntax of pronouns
requires the application of eleven different rules, while that of nouns or
verbs is embraced in six or seven, and that of any other part of speech, in
one only. In respect to their cases, relatives and interrogatives admit of
every construction common to nouns, or to the personal pronouns, except
apposition. This is proved by the following examples:
1. Nominatives by Rule 2d: "I _who_ write;--Thou _who_ writest;--He _who_
writes;--The animal _which_ runs."--_Dr. Adam_. "He _that spareth_ his rod,
hateth his son."--_Solomon_. "He _who_ does any thing _which_ he knows is
wrong, ventures on dangerous ground."--"_What_ will become of us without
religion?"--_Blair_. "Here I determined to wait the hand of death; _which_,
I hope, when at last it comes, _will fall_ lightly upon me."--_Dr.
Johnson_. "_What is_ sudden and unaccountable, _serves_ to
confound."--_Crabb_. "They only are wise, _who are_ wise to
2. Nominatives by Rule 6th: (i.e., words parsed as nominatives after the
verbs, though mostly transposed:) "_Who_ art thou?"--_Bible_. "_What_ were
we?"--_Ib._ "Do not tell them _who_ I am."--"Let him be _who_ he may, he is
not the honest fellow _that_ he seemed."--"The general conduct of mankind
is neither _what_ it was designed, nor _what_ it ought to be."
3. Nominatives absolute by Rule 8th: "There are certain bounds to
imprudence, _which being transgressed_, there remains no place for
repentance in the natural course of things."--_Bp. Butler_. "_Which being
so_, it need not be any wonder, why I should."--_Walker's Particles,
Pref._, p. xiv. "He offered an apology, _which not being admitted_, he
became submissive."--_Murray's Key_, p. 202. This construction of the
relative is a Latinism, and very seldom used by the best _English_ writers.
4. Possessives by Rule 4th: "The chief man of the island, _whose_ name was
Publius."--_Acts_. "Despair, a cruel tyrant, from _whose_ prisons none can
escape."--_Dr. Johnson_. "To contemplate on Him _whose_ yoke is easy and
_whose_ burden is light."--_Steele_.
5. Objectives by Rule 5th: "Those _whom_ she persuaded."--_Dr. Johnson_.
"The cloak _that_ I left at Troas."--_St. Paul_. "By the things _which_ he
suffered."--_Id._ "A man _whom_ there is reason to suspect."--"_What_ are
we to do?"--_Burke_. "Love refuses nothing _that_ love sends."--_Gurnall_.
"The first thing, says he, is, to choose some maxim or point of morality;
to inculcate _which_, is to be the design of his work."--_Blair's Rhet._,
p. 421. "_Whomsoever_ you please to appoint."--_Lowth_. "_Whatsover_
[sic--KTH] he doeth, shall prosper."--_Bible_. "_What_ we are afraid to do
before men, we should be afraid to think before God."--_Sibs_. "Shall I
hide from Abraham that thing _which_ I do?"--_Gen._, xviii, 32. "Shall I
hide from Abraham _what_ I am going to do?"--"Call imperfection _what_ thou
6. Objectives by Rule 6th: (i.e., pronouns parsed as objectives after
neuter verbs, though they stand before them:) "He is not the man _that_ I
took him to be."--"_Whom_ did you suppose me to be?"--"If the lad ever
become _what_ you wish him to be."
7. Objectives by Rule 7th: "To _whom_ shall we go?"--_Bible_. "The laws by
_which_ the world is governed, are general."--_Bp. Butler_. "_Whom_ he
looks upon as his defender."--_Addison_. "That secret heaviness of heart
_which_ unthinking men are subject to."--_Id._ "I cannot but think the loss
of such talents as the man of _whom_ I am speaking was master of, a more
melancholy instance."--_Steele_. "Grammar is the solid foundation upon
_which_ all other science rests."--_Buchanan's Eng. Synt._, p. xx.
OBS. 22.--In familiar language, the relative of the objective case is
frequently understood; as, "The man [_whom_] I trust."--_Cowper_. "Here is
the letter [_which_] I received." So in the following sentences: "This is
the man they hate. These are the goods they bought. Are these the Gods they
worship? Is this the woman you saw?"--_Ash's Gram._, p. 96. This ellipsis
seems allowable only in the familiar style. In grave writing, or deliberate
discourse, it is much better to express this relative. The omission of it
is often attended with some obscurity; as, "The next error [_that_] I shall
mention [,] is a capital one."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 157. "It is
little [_that_] we know of the divine perfections."--_Scougal_, p. 94. "The
faith [_which_] we give to memory, may be thought, on a superficial view,
to be resolvable into consciousness, as well as that [_which_] we give to
the immediate impressions of sense."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 53. "We speak
that [_which_] we do know, and testify that [_which_] we have
seen."--_John_, iii, 11. The omission of a relative in the nominative case,
is almost always inelegant; as, "This is the worst thing [_that_] could
happen."--"There were several things [_which_] brought it upon
me."--_Pilgrim's Progress_, p. 162. The latter ellipsis may occur after
_but_ or _than_, and it is also sometimes allowed in poetry; as, [There is]
"No person of reflection but [who] must be sensible, that an incident makes
a stronger impression on an eye-witness, than when heard at second
hand."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 257.
"In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man."--_Pope, on Man_.
"Abuse on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread."--_Id., to Arbuthnot_.
"There's nothing blackens like the ink of fools."--_Id., to Augustus_.
OBS. 23.--The _antecedent_ is sometimes suppressed, especially in poetry;
as, "Who will, may be a judge."--_Churchill_. "How shall I curse [_him_ or
_them_] whom God hath not cursed?"--_Numbers_, xxiii, 8. "There are,
indeed, [some persons] who seem disposed to extend her authority much
farther."--_Campbell's Philosophy of Rhet._, p. 187.
[He] "Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor;
[He] Who lives to fancy, never can be rich."--_Young_.
"Serious should be an author's final views;
[They] Who write for pure amusement, ne'er amuse."--_Id._
OBS. 24.--_Which_, as well as _who_, was formerly applied to persons; as,
"Our _Father which_ art in heaven."--_Bible_. "Pray for _them which_
despitefully use you."--_Luke_, vi, 28. And, as to the former example here
cited, some British critics, still preferring the archaism, have accused
"The Americans" of "poor criticism," in that they "have changed _which_
into _who_, as being more consonant to the rules of Grammar." Falsely
imagining, that _which_ and _who_, with the same antecedent, can be of
different _genders_, they allege, that, "The use of the _neuter_ pronoun
carried with it a certain vagueness and sublimity, not inappropriate in
reminding us that our worship is addressed to a Being, infinite, and
superior to all distinctions applicable to material objects."--_Men and
Manners in America_: quoted and endorsed by the REV. MATT. HARRISON, in his
treatise on the English Language, p. 191. This is all fancy; and, in my
opinion, absurd. It is just like the religious prejudice which could
discern "a singular propriety" in "the double superlative _most
highest_."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 28. But _which_ may still be applied to a
young child, if sex and intelligence be disregarded; as, "The _child which_
died." Or even to adults, when they are spoken of without regard to a
distinct personality or identity; as, "_Which_ of you will go?"--"Crabb
knoweth not _which_ is _which_, himself or his parodist."--_Leigh Hunt_.
OBS. 25.--A proper name taken merely as a name, or an appellative taken in
any sense not strictly personal, must be represented by _which_, and not by
_who_; as, "Herod--_which_ is but an other name for cruelty."--"In every
prescription of duty, God proposeth himself as a rewarder; _which_ he is
only to those that please him."--_Dr. J. Owen_. _Which_ would perhaps be
more proper than _whom_, in the following passage: "They did not destroy
the _nations_, concerning _whom_ the Lord commanded them."--_Psalms_, cvi,
34. Dr. Blair has preferred it in the following instance: "My lion and my
pillar are sufficiently interpreted by the mention of _Achilles_ and the
_minister, which_ I join to them."--_Lectures_, p. 151. He meant, "_whose
names I connect with theirs_;" and not, that he joined the _person_ of
Achilles to a lion, or that of a minister to a pillar.
OBS. 26.--When two or more relative clauses pertain to the same antecedent,
if they are connected by a conjunction, the same relative ought to be
employed in each, agreeably to the doctrine of the seventh note below; but
if no conjunction is expressed or understood between them, the pronouns
ought rather to be different; as, "There are many things _that_ you can
speak of, _which_ cannot be seen."--_R W. Green's Gram._, p. 11. This
distinction is noticed in the fifth chapter of Etymology, Obs. 29th, on the
Classes of Pronouns. Dr. Priestley says, "Whatever relative _be_ used, in a
_series_ of clauses, relating to the same antecedent, the same ought to be
used in them all. 'It is remarkable, that _Holland_, against _which_ the
war was undertaken, _and that_, in the very beginning, was reduced to the
brink of destruction, lost nothing.'--_Universal History_, Vol. 25, p. 117.
It ought to have been, _and which in the very beginning_."--_Priestley's
Gram._, p. 102. L. Murray, (as I have shown in the Introduction, Ch. x,
22,) assumes all this, without references; adding as a salvo the word
"_generally_," which merely impairs the certainty of the rule:--"the same
relative ought _generally_ to be used in them all."--_Octavo Gram._, p.
155. And, of _who_ and _that_, Cobbett says: "Either may do; but both
_never_ ought to be relatives of the same antecedent in the same
sentence."--_Gram._, 202. The inaccuracy of these rules is as great as
that of the phraseology which is corrected under them. In the following
sentence, the first relative only is restrictive, and consequently the
other may be different: "These were the officers _that_ were called
_Homotimoi_, and _who_ signalized themselves afterwards so gloriously upon
all occasions."--_Rollin's Hist._, ii, 62. See also in _Rev._, x, 6th, a
similar example without the conjunction.
OBS. 27.--In conversation, the possessive pronoun _your_ is sometimes used
in a droll way, being shortened into _your_ in pronunciation, and nothing
more being meant by it, than might be expressed by the article _an_ or _a_:
as, "Rich honesty dwells, like _your_ miser, sir, in a poor house; as,
_your_ pearl in _your_ foul oyster."--_Shakspeare_.
NOTES TO RULE X.
NOTE 1.--A pronoun should not be introduced in connexion with words that
belong more properly to the antecedent, or to an other pronoun; as, "And
then there is good use for _Pallas her_ glass."--_Bacon's Wisdom_, p. 22.
Say--"for _Pallas's_ glass."
"My _banks they_ are furnish'd with bees,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep."--_Shenstone_, p. 284.
This last instance, however, is only an example of _pleonasm_; which is
allowable and frequent in _animated discourse_, but inelegant in any other.
Our grammarians have condemned it too positively. It occurs sundry times in
the Bible; as, "Know ye that the LORD _he_ is God."--_Psalms_, c, 3.
NOTE II.--A change of number in the second person, or even a promiscuous
use of _ye_ and _you_ in the same case and the same style, is inelegant,
and ought to be avoided; as, "_You_ wept, and I for _thee_"--"Harry, said
my lord, don't cry; I'll give _you_ something towards _thy_
loss."--_Swift's Poems_, p. 267. "_Ye_ sons of sloth, _you_ offspring of
darkness, awake from your sleep."--_Brown's Metaphors_, p. 96. Our poets
have very often adopted the former solecism, to accommodate their measure,
or to avoid the harshness of the old verb in the second person singular:
as, "_Thy_ heart is yet blameless, O fly while _you may_!"--_Queen's Wake_,
"Oh! Peggy, Peggy, when _thou_ goest to brew,
Consider well what _you're_ about to do."--_King's Poems_, p. 594.
"As in that lov'd Athenian bower,
You _learn'd_ an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd!
Can well recall what then it heard."--_Collins, Ode to Music._
NOTE III.--The relative _who_ is applied only to persons, and to animals or
things personified; and _which_, to brute animals and inanimate things
spoken of literally: as, "The _judge who_ presided;"--"The old _crab who_
advised the young one;"--"The _horse which_ ran away;"--"The _book which_
was given me."
NOTE IV.--Nouns of multitude, unless they express persons directly as such,
should not be represented by the relative _who_: to say, "The _family whom_
I visited," would hardly be proper; _that_ would here be better. When such
nouns are strictly of the neuter gender, _which_ may represent them; as,
"The _committees which_ were appointed." But where the idea of rationality
is predominant, _who_ or _whom_ seems not to be improper; as, "The
conclusion of the Iliad is like the exit of a great man out of _company
whom_ he has entertained magnificently."--_Cowper._ "A law is only the
expression of the desire of a _multitude who_ have power to
punish."--_Brown's Philosophy of the Mind._
NOTE V.--In general, the pronoun must so agree with its antecedent as to
present the same idea, and never in such a manner as to confound the name
with the thing signified, or any two things with each other. Examples:
"_Jane_ is in the nominative case, because _it_ leads the
sentence."--_Infant School Gram._, p. 30. Here _it_ represents _the word
"Jane"_ and not _the person Jane._ "What mark or sign is put after _master_
to show that _he_ is in the possessive case? Spell _it_"--_Ib._, p. 32.
Here _the word "master"_ is most absurdly confounded with _the man_; and
that to accommodate grammar to a child's comprehension!
NOTE VI.--The relative _that_ may be applied either to persons or to
things. In the following cases, it is more appropriate than _who, whom_, or
_which_; and ought to be preferred, unless it be necessary to use a
preposition before the relative:--(1.) After an adjective of the
superlative degree, when the relative clause is restrictive; as, "He
was the _first that_ came."--"He was the _fittest_ person _that_ could then
be found."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 422. "The Greeks were the _greatest_
reasoners _that_ ever appeared in the world."--BEATTIE: _Murray's Gram._,
p. 127. (2.) After the adjective _same_, when the relative clause is
restrictive; as, "He is the _same_ man _that_ you saw before."--
_Priestley's Gram._, p. 101; _Murray's_, 156; _Campbell's Rhet._, 422. (3.)
After the antecedent _who_; as, "Who that is a sincere friend to it, can
look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the
fabric?"--_Washington._ (4.) After two or more antecedents that demand a
relative adapted both to persons and to things; as, "He spoke largely of
the _men and things that_ he had seen."--"When some particular _person_ or
_thing_ is spoken of, _that_ ought to be more distinctly marked."--
_Murray's Gram._, p. 51. (5.) After an unlimited antecedent which the
relative clause is designed to restrict; as, "_Thoughts that_ breathe, and
_words that_ burn."--_Gray_. "Music _that accords_ with the present tone of
mind, is, on that account, doubly agreeable."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii,
311. "For Theocritus descends sometimes into _ideas that_ are gross and
mean."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 393. (6.) After any antecedent introduced by
the expletive _it_; as, "_It_ is _you that_ suffer."--"It was I, and not
he, _that_ did it."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 142. "It was not he
_that_ they were so angry with."--_Murray's Exercises_, R. 17. "_It_ was
not _Gavius_ alone _that_ Verres meant to insult."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
325. (7.) And, in general, wherever the propriety of _who_ or _which_ is
doubtful; as, "The little _child that_ was placed in the midst."
NOTE VII.--When two or more relative clauses connected by a conjunction
have a similar dependence in respect to the antecedent, the same pronoun
must be employed in each; as, "O thou, _who_ art, and _who_ wast, and _who_
art to come!"--"And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon,
and all the host of heaven, _whom_ they have loved, and _whom_ they have
served, and after _whom_ they have walked, and _whom_ they have sought, and
_whom_ they have worshiped."--_Jer._, viii, 2. NOTE VIII.--The relative,
and the preposition governing it, should not be omitted, when they are
necessary to the sense intended, or to a proper connexion of the parts of
the sentence; as, "He is still in the situation you saw him." Better thus:
"He is still in the situation in _which_ you saw him."
NOTE IX.--After certain nouns, of time, place, manner, or cause, the
conjunctive adverbs _when, where, whither, whence, how_, and _why_, are a
sort of special relatives; but no such adverb should be used where a
preposition and a relative pronoun would better express the relation of the
terms: as, "A cause _where_ justice is so much concerned." Say, "A cause
_in which_." See Etymology, Obs. 6th, 7th, and 8th, on the Classes of
NOTE X.--Where a pronoun or a pronominal adjective will not express the
meaning clearly, the noun must be repeated, or inserted in stead of it: as,
"We see the beautiful variety of colour in the rainbow, and are led to
consider the cause of _it_." Say,--"the cause of _that variety_;" because
the _it_ may mean _the variety, the colour_, or _the rainbow_.
NOTE XI.--To prevent ambiguity or obscurity, the relative should, in
general, be placed as near as possible to the antecedent. The following
sentence is therefore faulty: "He is like a beast of prey, that is void of
compassion." Better thus: "He that is void of compassion, is like a beast
NOTE XII.--The pronoun _what_ should never be used in stead of the
conjunction _that_; as, "Think no man so perfect but _what_ he may err."
This is a vulgar fault. Say,--"but _that_ he may err."
NOTE XIII.--A pronoun should never be used to represent an
_adjective_,--except the pronominal adjectives, and others taken
substantively; because a pronoun can neither express a concrete quality as
such, nor convert it properly into an abstract: as, "Be _attentive_;
without _which_ you will learn nothing." Better thus: "Be attentive; _for
without attention_ you will learn nothing."
NOTE XIV.--Though the relative which may in some instances stand for a
phrase or a sentence, it is seldom, if ever, a fit representative of an
indicative assertion; as, "The man opposed me, _which_ was anticipated."--
_Nixon's Parser_, p. 127. Say,--"_but his opposition_ was anticipated."
Or: "The man opposed me, _as_ was anticipated." Or:--"_as I expected he
would_." Again: "The captain disobeys orders, _which_ is punished."--_Ib._,
p. 128. This is an other factitious sentence, formed after the same model,
and too erroneous for correction: none but a conceited grammatist could
ever have framed such a construction.
NOTE XV.--The possessive pronouns, _my, thy, his, her, its_, &c., should be
inserted or repeated as often as the sense or construction of the sentence
requires them; their omission, like that of the articles, can scarcely in
any instance constitute a proper ellipsis: as, "Of Princeton and
vicinity."--Say, "Of Princeton and _its_ vicinity." "The man and
wife."--Say, "The man and _his_ wife." "Many verbs vary both their
signification and construction."--_Adam's Gram._, p. 170; _Gould's_, 171.
Say,--"and _their_ construction."
NOTE XVI.--In the correcting of any discord between the antecedent and its
pronoun, if the latter for any sufficient reason is most proper as it
stands, the former must be changed to accord with it: as, "Let us discuss
what relates to _each particular_ in _their_ order:--_its_ order."--
_Priestley's Gram._, p. 193. Better thus: "Let us discuss what relates to
_the several particulars_, in _their_ order." For the order of things
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE X. UNDER THE RULE ITSELF.--OF AGREEMENT
"The subject is to be joined with his predicate."--BP. WILKINS: _Lowth's
Gram._, p. 42.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the pronoun _his_ is of the masculine
gender, and does not correctly represent its antecedent noun _subject_,
which is of the third person, singular, _neuter_. But, according to Rule
10th, "A pronoun must agree with its antecedent, or the noun or pronoun
which it represents, in person, number, and gender." Therefore, _his_
should be _its_; thus, "The subject is to be joined with _its_ predicate."]
"Every one must judge of their own feelings."--_Byron's Letters_. "Every
one in the family should know their duty."--_Wm. Penn_. "To introduce its
possessor into 'that way in which it should go.'"--_Infant School Gram._,
p. v. "Do not they say, every true believer has the Spirit of God in
them?"--_Barclay's Works_, iii, 388. "There is none in their natural state
righteous, no not one."--_Wood's Dict. of Bible_, ii, 129. "If ye were of
the world, the world would love his own."--_John_, xv, 19. "His form had
not yet lost all her original brightness."--_Milton_. "No one will answer
as if I were their friend or companion."--_Steele_, Spect., No. 534. "But
in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."--
_Philippians_, ii, 3. "And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts
against his neighbour."--_Zechariah_, viii, 17. "For every tree is known by
his own fruit."--_Luke_, vi, 44. "But she fell to laughing, like one out of
their right mind."--_Castle Rackrent_, p. 51. "Now these systems, so far
from having any tendency to make men better, have a manifest tendency to
make him worse."--_Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 128. "And nobody else would
make that city their refuge any more."--_Josephus's Life_, p. 158. "What is
quantity, as it respects syllables or words? It is that time which is
occupied in pronouncing it."--_Bradley's Gram._, p. 108. "In such
expressions the adjective so much resembles an adverb in its meaning, that
they are usually parsed as such."--_Bullions, E. Gram._, p. 103. "The
tongue is like a race-horse; which runs the faster the less weight it
carries."--ADDISON: _Joh. Dict.; Murray's Key_, Rule 8. "As two thoughtless
boys were trying to see which could lift the greatest weight with their
jaws, one of them had several of his firm-set teeth wrenched from their
sockets."--_Newspaper_. "Everybody nowadays publishes memoirs; everybody
has recollections which they think worthy of recording."--_Duchess
D'Abrantes_, p. 25. "Every body trembled for themselves or their
friends."--_Goldsmith's Greece_, i, 171.
"A steed comes at morning: no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair."--_Campbell_.
UNDER NOTE I.--PRONOUNS WRONG OR NEEDLESS.
"Charles loves to study; but John, alas! he is very idle."--_Merchant's
School Gram._, p. 22. "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask
bread, will he give him a stone?"--_Matt._, vii, 9. "Who, in stead of going
about doing good, they are perpetually intent upon doing mischief."--
_Tillotson_. "Whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of
Pontius Pilate."--_Acts_, iii, 13. "Whom, when they had washed, they laid
her in an upper chamber."--_Acts_, ix, 37. "Then Manasseh knew that the
Lord he was God."--_2 Chron._, xxxiii, 13. "Whatever a man conceives
clearly, he may, if he will be at the trouble, put it into distinct
propositions, and express it clearly to others."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p.
293. "But to that point of time which he has chosen, the painter being
entirely confined, he cannot exhibit various stages of the same
action."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 52. "It is without any proof at all what he
subjoins."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 301. "George Fox his Testimony concerning
Robert Barclay."--_Ib._, i, 111. "According to the author of the Postscript
his advice."--_Ib._, iii, 263. "These things seem as ugly to the Eye of
their Meditations, as those AEthiopians pictur'd in Nemesis her
Pitcher."--_Bacon's Wisdom of the Ancients_, p. 49. "Moreover, there is
always a twofold Condition propounded with Sphynx her AEnigma's."--_Ib._, p.
73. "Whoever believeth not therein, they shall perish."--_Sale's Koran_, p.
20. "When, at Sestius his entreaty, I had been at his house."--_Walker's
Particles_, p. 59.
"There high on Sipylus his shaggy brow,
She stands, her own sad monument of woe."
--_Pope's Homer_, B. xxiv, l. 777.
UNDER NOTE II.--CHANGE OF NUMBER.
"So will I send upon you famine, and evil beasts, and they shall bereave
thee."--_Ezekiel_, v, 17. "Why do you plead so much for it? why do ye
preach it up?"--_Barclay's Works_, i, 180. "Since thou hast decreed that I
shall bear man, your darling."--_Edward's First Lesson in Gram._, p. 106.
"You have my book and I have thine; i.e. thy book."--_Chandler's Gram._,
1821, p. 22. "Neither art thou such a one as to be ignorant of what you
are."--_Bullions, Lat. Gram._, p. 70. "Return, thou backsliding Israel,
saith the Lord, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon
you."--_Jeremiah_, iii, 12. "The Almighty, unwilling to cut thee off in the
fullness of iniquity, has sent me to give you warning."--_Art of Thinking_,
p. 278. "Wert thou born only for pleasure? were you never to do any
thing?"--_Collier's Antoninus_, p. 63. "Thou shalt be required to go to
God, to die, and give up your account."--BARNES'S NOTES: _on Luke_, xii,
20. "And canst thou expect to behold the resplendent glory of the Creator?
would not such a sight annihilate you?"--_Milton_. "If the prophet had
commanded thee to do some great thing, would you have refused?"--_Common
School Journal_, i, 80. "Art thou a penitent? Evince your sincerity by
bringing forth fruits meet for repentance."--_Christian's Vade-Mecum_, p.
117. "I will call thee my dear son: I remember all your tenderness."--
_Classic Tales_, p. 8. "So do thou, my son: open your ears, and your
eyes."--_Wright's Athens_, p. 33. "I promise you, this was enough to
discourage thee."--_Pilgrim's Progress_, p. 446. "Ere you remark an other's
sin, Bid thy own conscience look within."--_Gay_. "Permit that I share in
thy woe, The privilege can you refuse?"--_Perfect's Poems_, p. 6. "Ah!
Strephon, how can you despise Her who without thy pity dies?"--_Swift's
Poems_, p. 340.
"Thy verses, friend, are Kidderminster stuff,
And I must own, you've measur'd out enough."--_Shenstone._
"This day, dear Bee, is thy nativity;
Had Fate a luckier one, she'd give it ye."--_Swift._
UNDER NOTE III.--WHO AND WHICH.
"Exactly like so many puppets, who are moved by wires."--_Blair's Rhet._,
p. 462. "They are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of
Egypt."--_Leviticus_, xxv, 42. "Behold I and the children which God hath
given me."--_Heb._, ii, 13; _Webster's Bible, and others._ "And he sent
Eliakim which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe."--_2 Kings_,
xix, 2. "In a short time the streets were cleared of the corpses who filled
them."--_M'Ilvaine's Led._, p. 411. "They are not of those which teach
things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."--_Barclay's Works_,
i, 435. "As a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among
the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth
in pieces."--_Micah_, v, 8. "Frequented by every fowl whom nature has
taught to dip the wing in water."--_Rasselas_, p. 10. "He had two sons, one
of which was adopted by the family of Maximus."--_Lempriere, w. AEmytius_.
"And the ants, who are collected by the smell, are burned by fire."--_The
Friend_, xii, 49. "They being the agents, to which this thing was
trusted."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 139. "A packhorse who is driven constantly
forwards and backwards to market."--LOCKE: _Joh. Dict._ "By instructing
children, the affection of which will be increased."--_Nixon's Parser_, p.
136. "He had a comely young woman which travelled with him."--_Hutchinson's
Hist._, i, 29. "A butterfly, which thought himself an accomplished
traveller, happened to light upon a beehive."--_Inst._, p. 143. "It is an
enormous elephant of stone, who disgorges from his uplifted trunk a vast
but graceful shower."--_Zenobia_, i, 150. "He was met by a dolphin, who
sometimes swam before him, and sometimes behind him."--_Edward's First
Lessons in Gram._, p. 34.
"That Caesar's horse, who, as fame goes,
Had corns upon his feet and toes,
Was not by half so tender-hooft,
Nor trod upon the ground so soft."--_Hudibras_, p. 6.
UNDER NOTE IV.--NOUNS OF MULTITUDE.
"He instructed and fed the crowds who surrounded him."--_Murray's
Exercises_, p. 52. "The court, who gives currency to manners, ought to be
exemplary."--_Ibid._ "Nor does he describe classes of sinners who do not
exist."--_Anti-Slavery Magazine_, i, 27. "Because the nations among whom
they took their rise, were not savage."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 113. "Among
nations who are in the first and rude periods of society."--_Blair's
Rhet._, p. 60. "The martial spirit of those nations, among whom the feudal
government prevailed."--_Ib._, p. 374. "France who was in alliance with
Sweden."--_Smollett's Voltaire_, vi, 187. "That faction in England who most
powerfully opposed his arbitrary pretensions."--_Mrs. Macaulay's Hist._,
iii, 21. "We may say, the crowd, _who_ was going up the
street.'"--_Cobbett's Gram._, 204. "Such members of the Convention who
formed this Lyceum, as have subscribed this Constitution."--_New-York
UNDER NOTE V.--CONFUSION OF SENSES.
"The possessor shall take a particular form to show its case."--_Kirkham's
Gram._, p. 53. "Of which reasons the principal one is, that no Noun,
properly so called, implies its own Presence."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 76.
"Boston is a proper noun, which distinguishes it from other
cities."--_Sanborn's Gram._, p. 22. "Conjunction means union, or joining
together. It is used to join or unite either words or sentences."--_Ib._,
p. 20. "The word _interjection_ means _thrown among_. It is interspersed
among other words to express sudden or strong emotion."--_Ib._, p. 21. "_In
deed_, or in very deed, may better be written separately, as they formerly
were."--_Cardell's Gram._, 12mo, p. 89. "_Alexander_, on the contrary, is a
particular name, and is restricted to distinguish him alone."--_Jamieson's
Rhet._, p. 25. "As an indication that nature itself had changed her
course."--_Hist. of America_, p. 9. "Of removing from the United States and
her territories the free people of colour."--_Jenifer_. "So that _gh_ may
be said not to have their proper sound."--_Webster's El. Spelling-Book_, p.
10. "Are we to welcome the loathsome harlot, and introduce it to our
children?"--_Maturin's Sermons_, p. 167. "The first question is this, 'Is
reputable, national, and present use, which, for brevity's sake, I shall
hereafter simply denominate good use, always uniform in her
decisions?"--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 171. "Time is always masculine, on
account of its mighty efficacy. Virtue is feminine from its beauty, and its
being the object of love."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 37; _Blair's_, 125;
_Sanborn's_, 189; _Emmons's_, 13; _Putnam's_, 25; _Fisk's_, 57;
_Ingersoll's_, 26; _Greenleaf's_, 21. See also _Blair's Rhet._, p. 76.
"When you speak to a person or thing, it is in the second
person."--_Bartlett's Manual_, Part ii, p. 27. "You now know the noun, for
it means name."--_Ibid._ "_T_. What do you see? _P_. A book. _T_. Spell
it."--_R. W. Green's Gram._, p. 12. "_T_. What do you see now? _P_. Two
books. _T_. Spell them."--_Ibid._ "If the United States lose her rights as
a nation."--_Liberator_, Vol. ix, p. 24. "When a person or thing is
addressed or spoken to, it is in the second person."--_Frost's El. of
Gram._, p. 7. "When a person or thing is spoken of, it is in the third
person."--_Ibid._ "The ox, that ploughs the ground, has the same plural
termination also, _oxen_."--_Bucke's Classical Gram._, p. 40.
"Hail, happy States! thine is the blissful seat,
Where nature's gifts and art's improvements meet."
EVERETT: _Columbian Orator_, p. 239.
UNDER NOTE VI.--THE RELATIVE THAT.
(1.) "This is the most useful art which men possess."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo,
p. 275. "The earliest accounts which history gives us concerning all
nations, bear testimony to these facts."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 379;
_Jamieson's_, 300. "Mr. Addison was the first who attempted a regular
inquiry" [into the pleasures of taste.]--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 28. "One of
the first who introduced it was Montesquieu."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 125.
"Massillon is perhaps the most eloquent writer of sermons which modern
times have produced."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 289. "The greatest barber who
ever lived, is our guiding star and prototype."--_Hart's Figaro_, No. 6.
(2.) "When prepositions are subjoined to nouns, they are generally the same
which are subjoined to the verbs, from which the nouns are
derived."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 157. "The same proportions which are
agreeable in a model, are not agreeable in a large building."--_Kames, EL
of Crit._, ii, 343. "The same ornaments, which we admire in a private
apartment, are unseemly in a temple."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 128. "The same
whom John saw also in the sun."--_Milton. P. L._, B. iii, l. 623.
(3.) "Who can ever be easy, who is reproached with his own ill
conduct?"--_Thomas a Kempis_, p. 72. "Who is she who comes clothed in a
robe of green?"--_Inst._, p. 143. "Who who has either sense or civility,
does not perceive the vileness of profanity?"
(4.) "The second person denotes the person or thing which is spoken
to."--_Compendium in Kirkham's Gram._ "The third person denotes the person
or thing which is spoken of."--_Ibid._ "A passive verb denotes action
received or endured by the person or thing which is its
nominative."--_Ibid, and Gram._, p. 157. "The princes and states who had
neglected or favoured the growth of this power."--_Bolingbroke, on
History_, p. 222. "The nominative expresses the name of the person, or
thing which acts, or which is the subject of discourse."--_Hiley's Gram._,
p. 19. (5.) "Authors who deal in long sentences, are very apt to be
faulty."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 108. "Writers who deal in long sentences, are
very apt to be faulty."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 313. "The neuter gender
denotes objects which are neither male nor female."--_Merchant's Gram._, p.
26. "The neuter gender denotes things which have no sex."--_Kirkham's
Compendium_. "Nouns which denote objects neither male nor female, are of
the neuter gender."--_Wells's Gram._, 1st Ed., p. 49. "Objects and ideas
which have been long familiar, make too faint an impression to give an
agreeable exercise to our faculties."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 50. "Cases which
custom has left dubious, are certainly within the grammarian's
province."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 164. "Substantives which end in _ery_,
signify action or habit."--_Ib._, p. 132. "After all which can be done to
render the definitions and rules of grammar accurate," &c.--_Ib._, p. 36.
"Possibly, all which I have said, is known and taught."--_A. B. Johnson's
Plan of a Dict._, p. 15.
(6.) "It is a strong and manly style which should chiefly be
studied."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 261. "It is this which chiefly makes a
division appear neat and elegant."--_Ib._, p. 313. "I hope it is not I with
whom he is displeased."--_Murray's Key_, R. 17. "When it is this alone
which renders the sentence obscure."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 242. "This
sort of full and ample assertion, _'it is this which_,' is fit to be used
when a proposition of importance is laid down."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 197.
"She is the person whom I understood it to have been." _See Murray's
Gram._, p. 181. "Was it thou, or the wind, who shut the door?"--_Inst._, p.
143. "It was not I who shut it."--_Ib._
(7.) "He is not the person who it seemed he was."--_Murray's Gram._, p.
181; _Ingersoll's_, p. 147. "He is really the person who he appeared to
be."--_Same_. "She is not now the woman whom they represented her to have
been."--_Same_. "An only child, is one who has neither brother nor sister;
a child alone, is one who is left by itself"--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 98;
_Jamieson's_, 71; _Murray's Gram._ 303.
UNDER NOTE VII.--RELATIVE CLAUSES CONNECTED.
(1.) "A Substantive, or Noun, is the name of a thing; of whatever we
conceive in any way to subsist, or of which we have any notion."--_Lowth's
Gram._, p. 14. (2.) "A Substantive or noun is the name of any thing that
exists, or of which we have any notion."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 27;
_Alger's_, 15; _Bacon's_, 9; _E. Dean's_, 8; _A. Flint's_, 10; _Folker's_,
5; _Hamlin's_, 9; _Ingersoll's_, 14; _Merchant's_, 25; _Pond's_, 15; _S.
Putnam's_, 10; _Rand's_, 9; _Russell's_, 9; _T. Smith's_, 12; and others.
(3.) "A substantive or noun is the name of any person, place, or thing that
exists, or of which we can have an idea."--_Frost's El. of E. Gram._, p. 6.
(4.) "A noun is the name of anything that exists, or of which we form an
idea."--_Hallock's Gram._, p. 37. (5.) "A Noun is the name of any person,
place, object, or thing, that exists, or which we may conceive to
exist."--_D. C. Allen's Grammatic Guide_, p. 19. (6.) "The name of every
thing that exists, or of which we can form any notion, is a noun."--_Fisk's
Murray's Gram._, p. 56. (7.) "An allegory is the representation of some one
thing by an other that resembles it, and which is made to stand for
it."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 341. (8.) "Had he exhibited such sentences as
contained ideas inapplicable to young minds, or which were of a trivial or
injurious nature."--_Murray's Gram._, Vol. ii, p. v. (9.) "Man would have
others obey him, even his own kind; but he will not obey God, that is so
much above him, and who made him."--_Penn's Maxims_. (10.) "But what we may
consider here, and which few Persons have taken Notice of, is,"
&c.--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 117. (11.) "The Compiler has not inserted
such verbs as are irregular only in familiar writing or discourse, and
which are improperly terminated by _t_, instead of _ed_."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 107; _Fisk's_, 81; _Hart's_, 68; _Ingersoll's_, 104;
_Merchant's_, 63. (12.) "The remaining parts of speech, which are called
the indeclinable parts, or that admit of no variations, will not detain us
long."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 84.
UNDER NOTE VIII.--THE RELATIVE AND PREPOSITION.
"In the temper of mind he was then."--_Addison, Spect._, No. 54. "To bring
them into the condition I am at present."--_Spect._, No. 520. "In the
posture I lay."--_Swift's Gulliver_. "In the sense it is sometimes
taken."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 527. "Tools and utensils are said to be
_right_, when they serve for the uses they were made."--_Collier's
Antoninus_, p. 99. "If, in the extreme danger I now am, I do not imitate
the behaviour of those," &c.--_Goldsmith's Greece_, i, 193. "News was
brought, that Darius was but twenty miles from the place they then
were."--_Ib._, ii, 113. "Alexander, upon hearing this news, continued four
days in the place he then was."--_Ib._, ii, 113. "To read, in the best
manner it is now taught."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 246. "It may be
expedient to give a few directions as to the manner it should be
studied."--_Hallock's Gram._, p. 9. "Participles are words derived from
verbs, and convey an idea of the acting of an agent, or the suffering of an
object, with the time it happens."--_Alex. Murray's Gram._, p. 50.
"Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I serv'd my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies."--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 173.
UNDER NOTE IX.--ADVERBS FOR RELATIVES.
"In compositions where pronunciation has no place."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
101. "They framed a protestation, where they repeated their
claims."--_Hume's Hist_. "Which have reference to Substances, where Sex
never had existence."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 43. "Which denote substances
where sex never had existence."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 38; _Fisk's_, 57.
"There is no rule given how truth may be found out."--_Walker's Particles_,
p. 160. "The nature of the objects whence they are taken."--_Blair's
Rhet._, p. 165. "That darkness of character, where we can see no
heart."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p. 236. "The states where they
negotiated."--_Formey's Belles-Lettres_, p. 159. "Till the motives whence
men act be known."--_Beattie's Moral Science_, p. 262. "He assigns the
principles whence their power of pleasing flows."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 19.
"But I went on, and so finished this History in that form as it now
appears."--_Sewel's Preface_, p. v. "By prepositions we express the cause
why, the instrument by which, wherewith, or the manner how a thing is
done."--_Alex. Murray's Gram._, p. 128; _John Burn's_, 121. "They are not
such in the language whence they are derived."--_Town's Analysis_, p. 13.
"I find it very hard to persuade several, that their passions are affected
by words from whence they have no ideas."--_Burke, on the Sublime_, p. 95.
"The known end, then, why we are placed in a state of so much affliction,
hazard, and difficulty, is our improvement in virtue and piety."--_Butler's
Anal._, p. 109.
"Yet such his acts, as Greeks unborn shall tell,
And curse the battle where their fathers fell."
--_Pope, Il._, B. x, I. 61.
UNDER NOTE X.--REPEAT THE NOUN.
"Youth may be thoughtful, but it is not very common."--_Webster's El.
Spelling-Book_, p. 85. "A proper name is that given to one person or
thing."--_Bartlett's School Manual_, ii, 27. "A common name is that given
to many things of the same sort."--_Ibid._ "This rule is often violated;
some instances of which are annexed."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 149;
_Ingersoll's_, 237. "This is altogether careless writing. It renders style
often obscure, always embarrassed and inelegant."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 106.
"Every inversion which is not governed by this rule, will be disrelished by
every one of taste."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 62. "A proper diphthong is
that in which both the vowels are sounded."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 9;
_Alger's_, 11; _Bacon's_, 8; _Merchant's_, 9; _Hiley's_, 3; and others. "An
improper Diphthong is one in which only one of the two Vowels is
sounded."--_Lennie's Gram._, p. 5. "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his
descendants, are called Hebrews."--_Wood's Dict._ "Every word in our
language, of more than one syllable, has one of them distinguished from the
rest in this manner."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 236. "Two consonants proper to
begin a word must not be separated; as, fa-ble, sti-fle. But when they come
between two vowels, and are such as cannot begin a word, they must be
divided; as, ut-most, un-der."--_Ib._, p. 22. "Shall the intellect alone
feel no pleasures in its energy, when we allow them to the grossest
energies of appetite and sense?"--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 298; _Murray's
Gram._, 289. "No man hath a propensity to vice as such: on the contrary, a
wicked deed disgusts him, and makes him abhor the author."--_Kames, El. of
Crit._, i, 66. "The same that belong to nouns, belong also to
pronouns."--_Greenleaf's Gram._, p. 8. "What is Language? It is the means
of communicating thoughts from one to another."--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p.
15. "A simple word is that which is not made up of more than one."--_Adam's
Gram._, p. 4; _Gould's_, p. 4. "A compound word is that which is made up of
two or more words."--_Ib._ "When a conjunction is to be supplied, it is
called Asyndeton."--_Adam's Gram._, p. 235.
UNDER NOTE XI.--PLACE OF THE RELATIVE.
"It gives a meaning to words, which they would not have."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 244. "There are many words in the English language, that are
sometimes used as adjectives, and sometimes as adverbs."--_Ib._, p. 114.
"Which do not more effectually show the varied intentions of the mind, than
the auxiliaries do which are used to form the potential mood."--_Ib._, p.
67. "These accents make different impressions on the mind, which will be
the subject of a following speculation."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 108.
"And others very much differed from the writer's words, to whom they were
ascribed."--_Pref. to Lily's Gram._, p. xii. "Where there is nothing in the
sense which requires the last sound to be elevated, an easy fall will be
proper."--_Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 250; _Bullions's E. Gram._, 167.
"There is an ellipsis of the verb in the last clause, which, when you
supply, you find it necessary to use the adverb not."--_Campbell's Rhet._,
p. 176; _Murray's Gram._, 368. "_Study_ is singular number, because its
nominative _I_ is, with which it agrees."--_Smith's New Gram._, p. 22.
"John is the person, or, thou art who is in error."--_Wright's Gram._, p.
136. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin."--_2 Cor._,
"Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
To seal the accuser's lips."--_Beauties of Shakspeare_, p. 268.
UNDER NOTE XII.--WHAT FOR THAT.
"I had no idea but what the story was true."--_Browns Inst._, p. 144. "The
post-boy is not so weary but what he can whistle."--_Ib._ "He had no
intimation but what the men were honest."--_Ib._ "Neither Lady Haversham
nor Miss Mildmay will ever believe, but what I have been entirely to
blame."--See _Priestley's Gram._, p. 93. "I am not satisfied, but what the
integrity of our friends is more essential to our welfare than their
knowledge of the world."--_Ibid._ "There is, indeed, nothing in poetry, so
entertaining or descriptive, but what a didactic writer of genius may be
allowed to introduce in some part of his work."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 401.
"Brasidas, being bit by a mouse he had catched, let it slip out of his
fingers: 'No creature, (says he,) is so contemptible but what may provide
for its own safety, if it have courage.'"--PLUTARCH: _Kames, El. of Crit._,
Vol. i, p. 81.
UNDER NOTE XIII.--ADJECTIVES FOR ANTECEDENTS.
"In narration, Homer is, at all times, remarkably concise, which renders
him lively and agreeable."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 435. "It is usual to talk
of a nervous, a feeble, or a spirited style; which are plainly the
characters of a writer's manner of thinking."--_Ib._, p. 92. "It is too
violent an alteration, if any alteration were necessary, which none
is."--_Knight, on the Greek Alphabet_, p. 134. "Some men are too ignorant
to be humble, without which, there can be no docility."--_Berkley's
Alciphron_, p. 385. "Judas declared him innocent; which he could not be,
had he in any respect deceived the disciples."--_Porteus_. "They supposed
him to be innocent, which he certainly was not."--_Murray's Gram._, Vol. i,
p. 50; _Emmons's_, 25. "They accounted him honest, which he certainly was
not."--_Fetch's Comp. Gram._, p. 89. "Be accurate in all you say or do; for
it is important in all the concerns of life."--_Brown's Inst._, p. 145.
"Every law supposes the transgressor to be wicked; which indeed he is, if
the law is just."--_Ib._ "To be pure in heart, pious, and benevolent, which
all may be, constitutes human happiness."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 232. "To be
dexterous in danger, is a virtue; but to court danger to show it, is
UNDER NOTE XIV.--SENTENCES FOR ANTECEDENTS.
"This seems not so allowable in prose; which the following erroneous
examples will demonstrate."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 175. "The accent is laid
upon the last syllable of a word; which is favourable to the
melody."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 86. "Every line consists of ten
syllables, five short and five long; from which there are but two
exceptions, both of them rare."--_Ib._, ii, 89. "The soldiers refused
obedience, which has been explained."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 128. "Caesar
overcame Pompey, which was lamented."--_Ib._ "The crowd hailed William,
which was expected."--_Ib._ "The tribunes resisted Scipio, which was
anticipated."--_Ib._ "The censors reproved vice, which was admired."--_Ib._
"The generals neglected discipline, which has been proved."--_Ib._ "There
would be two nominatives to the verb was, which is improper."--_Adam's Lat.
Gram._, p. 205; _Gould's_, 202. "His friend bore the abuse very patiently;
which served to increase his rudeness: it produced, at length, contempt and
insolence."--_Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 50; _Emmons's_, 25. "Almost all
compounded sentences, are more or less elliptical; some examples of which
may be seen under the different parts of speech."--_Murray's Gram._, p.
217; _Guy's_, 90; _R G. Smith's_, 180; _Ingersoll's_, 153; _Fisk's_, 144;
_J. M. Putnam's_, 137; _Weld's_, 190, _Weld's Imp. Ed._, 214.
UNDER NOTE XV.--REPEAT THE PRONOUN.
"In things of Nature's workmanship, whether we regard their internal or
external structure, beauty and design are equally conspicuous."--_Kames,
El. of Crit._, i, 269. "It puzzles the reader, by making him doubt whether
the word ought to be taken in its proper or figurative sense."--_Ib._, ii,
231. "Neither my obligations to the muses, nor expectations from them, are
so great."--_Cowley's Preface_. "The Fifth Annual Report of the
Anti-Slavery Society of Ferrisburgh and vicinity."--_Liberator_, ix, 69.
"Meaning taste in its figurative as well as proper sense."--_Kames, El. of
Crit._, ii, 360. "Every measure in which either your personal or political
character is concerned."--_Junius_, Let. ix. "A jealous, righteous God has
often punished such in themselves or offspring."--_Extracts_, p. 179.
"Hence their civil and religious history are inseparable."--_Milman's
Jews_, i, 7. "Esau thus carelessly threw away both his civil and religious
inheritance."--_Ib._, i, 24. "This intelligence excited not only our hopes,
but fears likewise."--_Jaudon's Gram._, p. 170. "In what manner our defect
of principle and ruling manners have completed the ruin of the national
spirit of union."--_Brown's Estimate_, i, 77. "Considering her descent, her
connexion, and present intercourse."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 85. "His own
and wife's wardrobe are packed up in a firkin."--_Parker and Fox's Gram._,
Part i, p. 73.
UNDER NOTE XVI.--CHANGE THE ANTECEDENT.
"The sound of _e_ and _o_ long, in their due degrees, will be preserved,
and clearly distinguished."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 242. "If any person
should be inclined to think," &c., "the author takes the liberty to suggest
to them," &c.--_Ib., Pref._, p. iv. "And he walked in all the ways of Asa
his father; he turned not aside from it."--_1 Kings_, xxii, 43. "If ye from
your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."--_Matt._,
xviii, 35. "Nobody ever fancied they were slighted by him, or had the
courage to think themselves his betters."--_Collier's Antoninus_, p. 8.
"And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with
her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son."--_Gen._, xxvii,
15. "Where all the attention of man is given to their own indulgence."--
_Maturin's Sermons_, p. 181. "The idea of a _father_ is a notion
superinduced to the substance, or man--let man be what it will."--_Locke's
Essay_, i, 219. "Leaving every one to do as they list."--_Barclay's Works_,
i, 460. "Each body performed his part handsomely."--_J. Flint's Gram._, p.
15. "This block of marble rests on two layers of stone, bound together with
lead, which, however, has not prevented the Arabs from forcing out several
of them."--_Parker and Fox's Gram._, Part i, p. 72.
"Love gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices."--_Shakspeare_.
When the antecedent is a collective noun conveying the idea of plurality,
the Pronoun must agree with it in the plural number: as, "The _council_
were divided in _their_ sentiments."--"The Christian _world_ are beginning
to awake out of _their_ slumber."--_C. Simeon_. "Whatever Adam's
_posterity_ lost through him, that and more _they_ gain in
"To this, one pathway gently-winding leads,
Where march a train with baskets on their heads."
--_Pope, Iliad_, B. xviii, l. 657.
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE XI.
OBS. 1.--The collective noun, or noun of multitude, being a name that
signifies many, may in general be taken in either of two ways, according to
the intention of the user: that is, either with reference to the
_aggregate_ as one thing, in which sense it will accord with the neuter
pronoun _it_ or _which_; or with reference to the _individuals_, so as to
accord with a plural pronoun _they, their, them_, or _who_, masculine, or
feminine, as the individuals of the assemblage may happen to be. The noun
itself, being literally singular both in form and in fact, has not
unfrequently some article or adjective before it that implies unity; so
that the interpretation of it in a plural sense by the pronoun or verb, was
perhaps not improperly regarded by the old grammarians as an example of the
figure _syllepsis_:.as, "Liberty should reach every individual of _a
people_, as _they_ all share one common nature."--_Spectator_, No. 287.
"Thus urg'd the chief; _a generous troop appears_,
_Who spread their_ bucklers and _advance their_ spears."
--_Pope, Iliad_, B. xi, l. 720.
OBS. 2.--Many of our grammarians say, "When a noun of multitude is preceded
by a definitive word, which clearly limits the sense to an aggregate with
an idea of unity, it requires a verb and pronoun to agree with it in the
singular number."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 153; _Ingersoll's_, 249; Fisk's,
122; _Fowler's_, 528. But this principle, I apprehend, cannot be sustained
by an appeal to general usage. The instances in practice are not few, in
which both these senses are clearly indicated with regard to the same noun;
as, "_Each House_ shall keep a journal of _its_ proceedings, and from time
to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in _their_ judgement
require secrecy."--_Constitution of the United States_, Art. i, Sec. 5. "I
mean _that part_ of mankind _who are known_ by the name of women's men, or
beaux."--_Addison, Spect._, No. 536. "A _set_ of men _who are_ common
enough in the world."--_Ibid._ "It is vain for _a people_ to expect to be
free, unless _they_ are first willing to be virtuous."--_Wayland's Moral
Science_, p. 397. "For _this people's_ heart is waxed gross, and _their_
ears are dull of hearing, and _their_ eyes _they_ have closed."--_Matt._,
xiii, 15. "_This enemy_ had now enlarged _their_ confederacy, and made
_themselves_ more formidable than before."--_Life of Antoninus_, p. 62.
"Thus from the tents the fervent _legion swarms_;
So loud _their_ clamour, and so keen _their_ arms."
--_Pope, Iliad_, B. xvi, l. 320.
OBS. 3.--Most collective nouns of the neuter gender, may take the regular
plural form, and be represented by a pronoun in the third person, plural,
neuter; as, "The _nations_ will enforce _their_ laws." This construction
comes under Rule 10th, as does also the singular, "The _nations_ will
enforce _its_ laws;" for, in either case, the agreement is entirely
literal. Half of Murray's Rule 4th is therefore needless. To Rule 11th
above, there are properly no exceptions; because the number of the pronoun
is itself the index to the sense in which the antecedent is therein taken.
It does not follow, however, but that there may be violations of the rule,
or of the notes under it, by the adoption of one number when the other
would be more correct, or in better taste. A collection of things
inanimate, as a fleet, a heap, a row, a tier, a bundle, is seldom, if ever,
taken distributively, with a plural pronoun. For a further elucidation of
the construction of collective nouns, see Rule 15th, and the observations
NOTES TO RULE XI.
NOTE I.--A collective noun conveying the idea of unity, requires a pronoun
in the third person, singular, neuter; as, "When a legislative _body_ makes
laws, _it_ acts for _itself_ only; but when _it_ makes grants or contracts,
_it_ acts as a party."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 40. "A civilized _people_
has no right to violate _its_ solemn obligations, because the other party
is uncivilized."--_Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 314.
NOTE II.--When a collective noun is followed by two or more words which
must each in some sense agree with it, uniformity of number is commonly
preferable to diversity, and especially to such a mixture as puts the
singular both before and after the plural; as, "_That_ ingenious nation
_who have done_ so much honour to modern literature, _possesses_, in an
eminent degree, the talent of narration."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 364. Better:
_"which has done."_
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE XI.
UNDER THE RULE ITSELF.--THE IDEA OF PLURALITY.
"The jury will be confined
till it agrees on a verdict."--_Brown's Inst._, p. 145.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the pronoun _it_ is of the singular number,
and does not correctly represent its antecedent _jury_, which is a
collective noun conveying rather the idea of plurality. But, according to
Rule 11th, "When the antecedent is a collective noun conveying the idea of
plurality, the pronoun must agree with it in the plural number." Therefore,
it should be _they_; thus, "The jury will be confined till _they_ agree on
"And mankind directed its first cares towards the needful."--_Formey's
Belles-Lettres_, p. 114. "It is difficult to deceive a free people
respecting its true interest."--_Life of Charles XII_, p. 67. "All the
virtues of mankind are to be counted upon a few fingers, but his follies
and vices are innumerable."--_Swift_. "Every sect saith, 'Give me liberty:'
but give it him, and to his power, he will not yield it to any body
else."--_Oliver Cromwell_. "Behold, the people shall rise up as a great
lion, and lift up himself as a young lion."--_Numbers, xxiii_, 24. "For all
flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."--_Gen._, vi, 12. "There
happened to the army a very strange accident, which put it in great
UNDER NOTE I.--THE IDEA OF UNITY.
"The meeting went on in their business as a united body."--_Foster's
Report_, i, 69. "Every religious association has an undoubted right to
adopt a creed for themselves."--_Gould's Advocate_, iii, 405. "It would
therefore be extremely difficult to raise an insurrection in that State
against their own government."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 104. "The mode in
which a Lyceum can apply themselves in effecting a reform in common
schools."--_New York Lyceum_. "Hath a nation changed their gods, which are
yet no gods?"--_Jeremiah_, ii, 11. "In the holy scriptures each of the
twelve tribes of Israel is often called by the name of the patriarch, from
whom they descended."--_J. Q. Adams's Rhet._, ii, 331.
UNDER NOTE II.--UNIFORMITY OF NUMBER.
"A nation, by the reparation of their own wrongs, achieves a triumph more
glorious than any field of blood can ever give."--_J. Q. Adams_. "The
English nation, from which we descended, have been gaining their liberties
inch by inch."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 45. "If a Yearly Meeting should
undertake to alter its fundamental doctrines, is there any power in the
society to prevent their doing so?"--_Foster's Report_, i, 96. "There is a
generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their
mother."--_Proverbs_, xxx, 11. "There is a generation that are pure in
their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness."--_Ib._, xxx,
12. "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen
perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a
king is among them."--_Numb._, xxiii, 21. "My people hath forgotten me,
they have burnt incense to vanity."--_Jer._, xviii, 15. "When a quarterly
meeting hath come to a judgment respecting any difference, relative to any
monthly meeting belonging to them," &c.--_Extracts_, p. 195; _N. E.
Discip._, p. 118. "The number of such compositions is every day increasing,
and appear to be limited only by the pleasure or conveniency of the
writer."--_Booth's Introd. to Dict._, p. 37. "The church of Christ hath the
same power now as ever, and are led by the same Spirit into the same
practices."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 477. "The army, whom the chief had thus
abandoned, pursued meanwhile their miserable march."--_Lockhart's
Napoleon_, ii, 165.
When a Pronoun has two or more antecedents connected by _and_, it must
agree with them jointly in the plural, because they are taken together: as,
"_Minos_ and _Thales_ sung to the lyre the laws which _they_
composed."--STRABO: _Blair's Rhet._, p. 379. "_Saul_ and _Jonathan_ were
lovely and pleasant in _their_ lives, and in _their_ death _they_ were not
divided."--_2 Sam._, i, 23.
"_Rhesus_ and _Rhodius_ then unite their rills,
Caresus roaring down the stony hills."--_Pope, Il._, B. xii, l. 17.
When two or more antecedents connected by and serve merely to describe one
person or thing, they are either in apposition or equivalent to one name,
and do not require a plural pronoun; as, "This great _philosopher_ and
_statesman_ continued in public life till _his_ eighty-second year."--"The
same _Spirit, light_, and _life, which enlighteneth_, also sanctifieth, and
there is not an other."--_Penington_. "My _Constantius and Philetus_
confesseth me two years older when I writ _it_."--_Cowley's Preface_.
"Remember these, O _Jacob_ and _Israel_! for _thou_ art my
servant."--_Isaiah_, xliv, 21. "In that _strength_ and _cogency which
renders_ eloquence powerful."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 252.
When two antecedents connected by _and_ are emphatically distinguished,
they belong to different propositions, and, if singular, do not require a
plural pronoun; as, "The _butler_, and not the _baker_, was restored to
_his_ office."--"The _good man_, and the _sinner too_, shall have _his_
reward."--"_Truth_, and _truth only_, is worth seeking for _its_ own
sake."--"It is _the sense_ in which the word is used, and _not the letters_
of which it is composed, _that determines_ what is the part of speech to
which it belongs."--_Cobbett's Gram._, 130.
When two or more antecedents connected by _and_ are preceded by the
adjective _each, every_, or _no_, they are taken separately, and do not
require a plural pronoun; as, "_Every plant_ and _every tree_ produces
others after _its_ own kind."--"It is the cause of _every reproach_ and
_distress_ which _has attended_ your government."--_Junius_, Let. xxxv. But
if the latter be a collective noun, the pronoun may be plural; as, "_Each
minister_ and _each church_ act according to _their_ own
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE XII.
OBS. 1.--When the antecedents are of _different persons_, the first person
is preferred to the second, and the second to the third; as, "_John_, and
_thou_, and _I_, are attached to _our_ country."--"_John_ and _thou_ are
attached to _your_ country."--"The Lord open some light, and show both
_you_ and _me our_ inheritance!"--_Baxter_. "_Thou_ and thy _sons_ with
thee _shall bear_ the iniquity of _your_ priesthood."--_Numbers_, xviii, 1.
"For all are friends in heaven; all faithful friends;
And many friendships in the days of Time
Begun, are lasting here, and growing still:
So grows _ours_ evermore, both _theirs and mine_."
--_Pollok, C. of T._, B. v, l. 335.
OBS 2.--The _gender_ of pronouns, except in the third person singular, is
distinguished only by their antecedents. In expressing that of a pronoun
which has antecedents of _different_ genders, the masculine should be
preferred to the feminine, and the feminine to the neuter. The parser of
English should remember, that this is a principle of General Grammar.
OBS 3.--When two words are taken separately as nominatives, they ought not
to be united in the same sentence as antecedents. In the following example,
therefore, _them_ should be _it_: "The first has a lenis, and the other an
asper over _them_."--_Printer's Gram._, p. 246. Better thus: "The first has
a lenis _over it_, and the other an asper."
OBS. 4.--Nouns that stand as nominatives or antecedents, are sometimes
taken conjointly when there is no conjunction expressed; as, "The
historian, the orator, the philosopher, _address themselves_ primarily to
the understanding: _their_ direct aim is, to inform, to persuade, to
instruct."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 377. The copulative _and_ may here be said
to be understood, because the verb and the pronouns are plural; but it
seems better _in general_, either to introduce the connective word, or to
take the nouns disjunctively: as, "They have all the copiousness, the
fervour, the inculcating method, that _is_ allowable and graceful in an
orator; perhaps too much of it for a writer."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 343. To
this, however, there may be exceptions,--cases in which the plural form is
to be preferred,--especially in poetry; as,
"Faith, justice, heaven itself, now quit their hold,
When to false fame the captive heart is sold."--_Brown, on Satire_.
OBS. 5.--When two or more antecedents connected by _and_ are nominally
alike, one or more of them may be _understood_; and, in such a case, the
pronoun must still be plural, as agreeing with all the nouns, whether
expressed or implied: as, "But intellectual and moral culture ought to go
hand in hand; _they_ will greatly help each other."--_Dr. Weeks_. Here
_they_ stands for _intellectual culture_ and _moral culture_. The following
example is incorrect: "The Commanding and Unlimited _mode_ may be used in
an absolute sense, or without a name or substitute on which _it_ can
depend."--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 80. Change _it_ to _they_, or _and_ to
_or_. See Note 6th to Rule 16th.
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE XII.
PRONOUNS WITH ANTECEDENTS CONNECTED BY AND.
"Discontent and sorrow manifested itself in his countenance."--_Brown's
Inst._, p. 146.
[FORMULE--Not proper, because the pronoun _itself_ is of the singular
number, and does not correctly represent its two antecedents _discontent_
and _sorrow_, which are connected by _and_, and taken conjointly. But,
according to Rule 12th, "When a pronoun has two or more antecedents
connected by _and_, it must agree with then, jointly in the plural, because
they are taken together." Therefore, _itself_ should be _themselves_; thus,
"Discontent and sorrow manifested _themselves_ in his countenance."]
"Both conversation and public speaking became more simple and plain, such
as we now find it."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 59. "Idleness and ignorance, if it
be suffered to proceed, &c."--JOHNSON: _Priestley's Gram._, p. 186. "Avoid
questions and strife; it shows a busy and contentious disposition."--_Wm.
Penn_. "To receive the gifts and benefits of God with thanksgiving, and
witness it blessed and sanctified to us by the word and prayer, is owned by
us."--_Barclays Works_, i, 213. "Both minister and magistrate are compelled
to choose between his duty and his reputation."--_Junius_, p. 9. "All the
sincerity, truth, and faithfulness, or disposition of heart or conscience
to approve it, found among rational creatures, necessarily originate from
God."--_Brown's Divinity_, p. 12. "Your levity and heedlessness, if it
continue, will prevent all substantial improvement."--_Brown's Inst._, p.
147. "Poverty and obscurity will oppress him only who esteems it
oppressive."--_Ib._ "Good sense and refined policy are obvious to few,
because it cannot be discovered but by a train of reflection."--_Ib._
"Avoid haughtiness of behaviour, and affectation, of manners: it implies a
want of solid merit."--_Ib._ "If love and unity continue, it will make you
partakers of one an other's joy."--_Ib._ "Suffer not jealousy and distrust
to enter: it will destroy, like a canker, every germ of friendship."--_Ib._
"Hatred and animosity are inconsistent with Christian charity; guard,
therefore, against the slightest indulgence of it."--_Ib._ "Every man is
entitled to liberty of conscience, and freedom of opinion, if he does not
pervert it to the injury of others."--_Ib._
"With the azure and vermilion
Which is mix'd for my pavilion."--_Byron's Manfred_, p. 9.
When a Pronoun has two or more antecedents connected by _or_ or _nor_, it
must agree with them singly, and not as if taken together: as; "_James_ or
_John_ will favour us with _his_ company."--"Neither _wealth_ nor _honour_
can secure the happiness of _its_ votaries."
"What _virtue_ or what mental _grace_,
But men unqualified and base
Will boast _it_ their possession?"--_Cowper, on Friendship_.
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE XIII.
OBS. 1.--When two or more singular antecedents are connected by _or_ or
_nor_, the pronoun which represents them, ought in general to be singular,
because _or_ and _nor_ are disjunctives; and, to form a complete concord,
the nouns ought also to be of the same person and gender, that the pronoun
may agree in all respects with each of them. But when _plural_ nouns are
connected in this manner, the pronoun will of course be plural, though it
still agrees with the antecedents singly; as, "Neither _riches_ nor
_honours_ ever satisfy _their_ pursuers." Sometimes, when different numbers
occur together, we find the plural noun put last, and the pronoun made
plural after both, especially if this noun is a mere substitute for the
"What's justice to a man, or laws,
That never comes within _their_ claws."--_Hudibras_.
OBS. 2.--When antecedents of different persons, numbers, or genders, are
connected by _or_ or _nor_, they cannot very properly be represented by any
pronoun that is not applicable to each of them. The following sentences are
therefore inaccurate; or at least they contradict the teachings of their
own authors: "Either _thou or I_ am greatly mistaken, in _our_ judgment on
this subject."--_Murray's Key_, p. 184 "Your character, which _I, or any
other writer_, may now value _ourselves_ by (upon) drawing."--SWIFT:
_Lowth's Gram._, p. 96. "Either _you or I_ will be in _our_ place in due
time."--_Coopers Gram._, p. 127. But different pronouns may be so connected
as to refer to such antecedents taken separately; as, "By requiring greater
labour from such _slave or slaves_, than _he or she or they_ are able to
perform."--_Prince's Digest_. Or, if the gender only be different, the
masculine may involve the feminine by implication; as, "If a man smite the
eye of his _servant_, or the eye of his _maid_, that it perish, he shall
let _him_ go free for _his_ eye's sake."--_Exodus_, xxi, 26.
OBS. 3.--It is however very common to resort to the plural number in such
instances as the foregoing, because our plural pronouns are alike in all
the genders; as, "When either _man or woman_ shall separate _themselves_ to
vow a vow of a Nazarite."--_Numbers_, vi, 2. "Then shalt thou bring forth
_that man or that woman_ unto thy gates, and shalt stone them with stones,
till _they_ die."--_Deut._, xvii, 5. "Not on outward charms could _he or
she_ build _their_ pretensions to please."--_Opie, on Lying_, p. 148.
"Complimenting either _man or woman_ on agreeable qualities which _they_ do
not possess, in hopes of imposing on _their_ credulity."--_Ib._, p. 108.
"_Avidien_, or his _wife_, (no matter which,) _sell their_ presented
partridges and fruits."--_Pope_, Sat. ii, l. 50. "Beginning with Latin _or_
Greek hexameter, _which are_ the same."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 79.
"Did ever _Proteus, Merlin_, any _witch_,
Transform _themselves_ so strangely as the rich?"
--_Pope_, Ep. i, l. 152.
OBS. 4.--From the observations and examples above, it may be perceived,
that whenever there is a difference of person, number, or gender, in
antecedents connected disjunctively, there is an inherent difficulty
respecting the form of the pronoun personal. The best mode of meeting this
inconvenience, or of avoiding it by a change of the phraseology, may be
different on different occasions. The disjunctive connexion of explicit
pronouns is the most correct, but it savours too much of legal precision
and wordiness to be always eligible. Commonly an ingenious mind may invent
some better expression, and yet avoid any syntactical anomaly. In Latin,
when nouns are connected by the conjunctions which correspond to _or_ or
_nor_, the pronoun or verb is so often made plural, that no such principle
as that of the foregoing Rule, or of Rule 17th, is taught by the common
grammars of that language. How such usage can be logically right, however,
it is difficult to imagine. Lowth, Murray, Webster, and most other English
grammarians, teach, that, "The conjunction disjunctive has an effect
contrary to that of the copulative; and, as the verb, noun, or pronoun, is
referred to the preceding terms taken separately, it must be in the
singular number."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 75; _L. Murray's_, 151;
_Churchill's_, 142; _W. Allen's_, 133; _Lennie's_, 83; _and many others_.
If there is any allowable exception to this principle, it is for the
adoption of the plural when the concord cannot be made by any one pronoun
singular; as, "If I value my friend's _wife or son_ upon account of _their_
connexion with him."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 73. "Do not drink wine nor
strong drink, _thou nor thy sons_ with thee, when _ye_ go into the
tabernacle of the congregation."--_Levit._, x, 8. These examples, though
they do not accord with the preceding rule, seem not to be susceptible of
any change for the better. There are also some other modes of expression,
in which nouns that are connected disjunctively, may afterwards be
represented together; as "_Foppery_ is a sort of folly much more contagious
THAN _pedantry_; but as _they_ result alike from affectation, _they_
deserve alike to be proscribed."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 217.
IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION.
FALSE SYNTAX UNDER RULE XIII.
PRONOUNS WITH ANTECEDENTS CONNECTED BY OR OR NOR.
"Neither prelate nor priest can give their flocks any decisive evidence
that you are lawful pastors."--_Dr. Brownlee_.
[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the pronoun _their_ is of the plural number,
and does not correctly represent its two antecedents _prelate_ and
_priest_, which are connected by _nor_, and taken disjunctively. But,
according to Rule 13th, "When a pronoun has two or more antecedents
connected by _or_ or _nor_, it must agree with them singly, and not as if
taken together." Therefore, _their_ should be _his_; thus, "Neither prelate
nor priest can give _his_ flocks any decisive evidence that you are lawful
"And is there a heart of parent or of child, that does not beat and burn
within them?"--_Maturin's Sermons_, p. 367. "This is just as if an eye or a
foot should demand a salary for their service to the body."--_Collier's
Antoninus_, p. 178. "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and
cast them from thee."--_Matt._, xviii, 8. "The same might as well be said
of Virgil, or any great author, whose general character will infallibly
raise many casual additions to their reputation."--_Pope's Pref. to Homer_.
"Either James or John, one of them, will come."--_Smith's New Gram._, p.
37. "Even a rugged rock or barren heath, though in themselves disagreeable,
contribute by contrast to the beauty of the whole."--_Kames, El. of Crit._,
i, 185. "That neither Count Rechteren nor Monsieur Mesnager had behaved
themselves right in this affair."--_Spect._, No. 481. "If an Aristotle, a
Pythagoras, or a Galileo, suffer for their opinions, they are
'martyrs.'"--_Gospel its own Witness_, p. 80. "If an ox gore a man or a
woman, that they die; then the ox shall be surely stoned."--_Exodus_, xxi,
28. "She was calling out to one or an other, at every step, that a Habit
was ensnaring them."--DR. JOHNSON: _Murray's Sequel_, 181. "Here is a Task
put upon Children, that neither this Author, nor any other have yet
undergone themselves."--_Johnson's Gram. Com._, p. 162. "Hence, if an
adjective or participle be subjoined to the verb, when of the singular
number, they will agree both in gender and number with the collective
noun."--_Adam's Lat. Gram._, p. 154; _Gould's_, 158. "And if you can find a
diphthong, or a triphthong, be pleased to point them out too."--_Bucke's
Classical Gram._, p. 16. "And if you can find a diphthong, or a triphthong,
a trissyllable, or a polysyllable, point them respectively out."--_Ib._, p.
25. "The false refuges in which the atheist or the sceptic have intrenched
themselves."--_Christian Spect._, viii, 185. "While the man or woman thus
assisted by art expects their charms will be imputed to nature
alone."--_Opie_, 141. "When you press a watch, or pull a clock, they answer
your question with precision; for they repeat exactly the hour of the day,
and tell you neither more nor less than you desire to know."--_Bolingbroke,
on History_, p. 102.
"Not the Mogul, or Czar of Muscovy,
Not Prester John, or Cham of Tartary,
Are in their houses Monarch more than I."
--KING: _Brit. Poets_, Vol. iii, p. 613.
In this work, the syntax of Verbs is embraced in six consecutive rules,
with the necessary exceptions, notes, and observations, under them; hence
this chapter extends from the fourteenth to the twentieth rule in the
RULE XIV.--FINITE VERBS.
Every finite Verb must agree with its subject, or nominative, in person and
number: as, "I _know_; thou _knowst_, or _knowest_; he _knows_, or
_knoweth_"--"The bird _flies_; the birds _fly_."
"Our fathers' fertile _fields_ by slaves _are till'd_,
And _Rome_ with dregs of foreign lands _is fill'd_."
--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. vii, l. 600.
OBSERVATIONS ON RULE XIV.
OBS. 1.--To this general rule for the verb, there are properly _no
exceptions_; and all the special rules that follow, which prescribe
the concord of verbs in particular instances, virtually accord with it.
Every _finite verb_, (that is, every verb _not in the infinitive mood_,)
must have some noun, pronoun, or phrase equivalent, known as the _subject_
of the being, action, or passion; and with this subject, whether
expressed or understood, the verb must agree in person and number. The
infinitive mood, as it does not unite with a nominative to form an
assertion, is of course exempt from any such agreement. These may be
considered principles of Universal Grammar. The Greeks, however, had a
strange custom of using a plural noun of the neuter gender, with a verb of
the third person singular; and in both Greek and Latin, the infinitive mood
with an accusative before it was often equivalent to a finite verb with its
nominative. In English we have _neither of these usages_; and plural nouns,
even when they denote no absolute plurality, (as _shears, scissors,
trowsers, pantaloons, tongs_,) require plural verbs or pronouns: as, "Your
_shears come_ too late, to clip the bird's wings."--SIDNEY: _Churchill's
Gram._, p. 30.
OBS. 2.--When a book that bears a plural title, is spoken of as one thing,
there is sometimes presented an _apparent exception_ to the foregoing rule;
as, "The _Pleasures_ of Memory _was published_ in the year 1792, and became
at once popular."--_Allan Cunningham_. "The '_Sentiments_ of a
Church-of-England Man' _is written_ with great coolness, moderation, ease,
and perspicuity."--_Johnson's Life of Swift_. "The '_Pleasures_ of Hope'
_is_ a splendid poem; _it_ was written for perpetuity."--_Samuel L. Knapp_.
In these instances, there is, I apprehend, either an agreement of the verb,
by the figure _syllepsis_, with the mental conception of the thing spoken
of; or an improper ellipsis of the common noun, with which each sentence
ought to commence; as, "The _poem_ entitled,"--"The _work_ entitled," &c.
But the plural title sometimes controls the form of the verb; as, "My Lives
are reprinting."--_Dr. Johnson_.
OBS. 3.--In the figurative use of the present tense for the past or
imperfect, the vulgar have a habit of putting the third person singular
with the pronoun _I_; as, "_Thinks I_ to myself."--_Rev. J. Marriott_. "O,
_says I_, Jacky, are you at that work?"--_Day's Sandford and Merton_.
"Huzza! huzza! Sir Condy Rackrent forever, was the first thing _I hears_ in
the morning."--_Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent_, p. 97. This vulgarism is to
be avoided, not by a simple omission of the terminational _s_, but rather
by the use of the literal preterit: as, "_Thought_ I to myself;"--"O,
_said_ I;"--"The first thing I _heard_." The same mode of correction is
also proper, when, under like circumstances, there occurs a disagreement in
number; as, "After the election was over, there _comes shoals_ of people
from all parts."--_Castle Rackrent_, p. 103. "Didn't ye hear it? _says
they_ that were looking on."--_Ib._, p. 147. Write, "there _came_,"--"_said
OBS. 4.--It has already been noticed, that the article _a_, or a singular
adjective, sometimes precedes an arithmetical number with a plural noun;
as, "_A thousand years_ in thy sight _are_ but as yesterday."--_Psalms_,
xc, 4. So we might say, "_One_ thousand years _are_,"--"_Each_ thousand
years _are_"--"_Every_ thousand years _are_," &c. But it would not be
proper to say, "A thousand years _is_," or, "Every thousand years _is_;"
because the noun _years_ is plainly plural, and the anomaly of putting a
singular verb after it, is both needless and unauthorized. Yet, to this
general rule for the verb, the author of a certain "English Grammar _on the
Productive System_," (a strange perversion of Murray's compilation, and a
mere catch-penny work, now extensively used in New England,) is
endeavouring to establish, by his own bare word, the following exception:
"_Every_ is sometimes associated with a plural noun, in which case the verb
must be singular; as, 'Every hundred years _constitutes_ a
century.'"--_Smith's New Gram._, p. 103. His _reason_ is this; that the
phrase containing the nominative, "_signifies a single period of time_, and
is, therefore, _in reality_ singular."--_Ib._ Cutler also, a more recent
writer, seems to have imbibed the same notion; for he gives the following
sentence as an example of "false construction: Every hundred years _are_
called a century."--_Cutler's Grammar and Parser_, p. 145. But, according
to this argument, no plural verb could ever be used with any _definite
number_ of the parts of time; for any three years, forty years, or
threescore years and ten, are as single a period of time, as "every hundred
years," "every four years," or "every twenty-four hours." Nor is it true,
that, "_Every_ is sometimes associated with a plural noun;" for "_every
years_" or "_every hours_," would be worse than nonsense. I, therefore,
acknowledge no such exception; but, discarding the principle of the note,
put this author's pretended _corrections_ among my quotations of _false
OBS. 5.--Different verbs always have different subjects, expressed or
understood; except when two or more verbs are connected in the same
construction, or when the same word is repeated for the sake of emphasis.
But let not the reader believe the common doctrine of our grammarians,
respecting either the ellipsis of nominatives or the ellipsis of verbs. In
the text, "The man was old and crafty," Murray sees no connexion of the
ideas of age and craftiness, but thinks the text a _compound sentence_,
containing two nominatives and two verbs; i.e., "The man was old, and _the
man was_ crafty."  And all his other instances of "the ellipsis of the
verb" are equally fanciful! See his _Octavo Gram._, p. 219; _Duodecimo_,
175. In the text, "God loves, protects, supports, and rewards the rights,"
there are four verbs in _the same construction_, agreeing with the same
nominative, and governing the same object; but Buchanan and others expound
it, "God loves, and God protects, and God supports, and God rewards the
righteous."--_English Syntax_, p. 76; _British Gram._, 192. This also is
fanciful and inconsistent. If the nominative is here "_elegantly
understood_ to each verb," so is the objective, which they do not repeat.
"And again," they immediately add, "the _verb_ is often understood to its
noun or nouns; as, He dreams of gibbets, halters, racks, daggers, &c. i.e.
He dreams of gibbets, and he dreams of halters, &c."--_Same works and
places_. In none of these examples is there any occasion to suppose an
ellipsis, if we admit that two or more words _can_ be connected in the same
OBS. 6.--Verbs in the imperative mood commonly agree with the pronoun
_thou, ye_, or _you_, understood after them; as, "_Heal [ye_] the sick,
_cleanse [ye_] the lepers, _raise [ye_] the dead, _cast [ye_] out
devils."--_Matt._, x, 8. "_Trust_ God and _be doing_, and _leave_ the rest
with him."--_Dr. Sibs_. When the doer of a thing must first proceed to the
place of action, we sometimes use _go_ or _come_ before an other verb,
without any conjunction between the two; as, "Son, _go work_ to-day in my
vineyard."--_Matt._, xxi, 28. "_Come see_ a man who [has] told me all
things that ever I did."--_John_, iv, 29. "He ordered his soldiers to _go
murder_ every child about Bethlehem, or near it."--_Wood's Dict. of Bible,
w. Herod_. "Take a present in thine hand, and _go meet_ the man of
God."--_2 Kings_, viii, 8. "I will _go see_ if he be at home."--_Walker's
Particles_, p. 169.
OBS. 7.--The _place_ of the verb has reference mainly to that of the
subject with which it agrees, and that of the object which it governs; and
as the arrangement of these, with the instances in which they come before
or after the verb, has already been noticed, the position of the latter
seems to require no further explanation. See Obs. 2d under Rule 2d, and
Obs. 2d under Rule 5th.
OBS. 8.--The infinitive mood, a phrase, or a sentence, (and, according to
some authors, the participle in _ing_, or a phrase beginning with this
participle,) is sometimes the proper subject of a verb, being equivalent to
a nominative of the third person singular; as, "To play _is_
pleasant."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 80. "To write well, _is_ difficult; to
speak eloquently, _is_ still more difficult."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 81. "To
take men off from prayer, _tends_ to irreligiousness, _is
granted_."--_Barclay's Works_, i, 214. "To educate a child perfectly,
_requires_ profounder thought, greater wisdom, than to govern a
state."--_Channing's Self-Culture_, p. 30. "To determine these points,
_belongs_ to good sense."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 321. "How far the change
would contribute to his welfare, _comes_ to be considered."--_Id.,
Sermons_. "That too much care does hurt in any of our tasks, _is_ a
doctrine so flattering to indolence, that we ought to receive it with
extreme caution."--_Life of Schiller_, p. 148. "That there is no disputing
about taste, _is_ a saying so generally received as to have become a
proverb."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 360. "For what purpose they embarked,
_is_ not yet known."--"To live in sin and yet to believe the forgiveness of
sin, _is_ utterly impossible."--_Dr. J. Owen_.
"There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
But drinking largely _sobers_ us again."--_Pope_.
OBS. 9.--The same meaning will be expressed, if the pronoun _it_ be placed
before the verb, and the infinitive, phrase, or santance, after it; as,
"_It_ is pleasant _to play_,"--"_It_ is difficult _to write well_;" &c. The
construction of the following sentences is rendered defective by the
omission of this pronoun: "Why do ye that which [_it_] is not lawful to do
on the sabbath days?"--_Luke_, vi, 2. "The show-bread, which [_it_] is not
lawful to eat, but for the priests only."--_Ib._, vi, 4. "We have done that
which [_it_] was our duty to do."--_Ib._, xvii, 10. Here the relative
_which_ ought to be in the objective case, governed by the infinitives; but
the omission of the word _it_ makes this relative the nominative to _is_ or
_was_, and leaves _to do_ and _to eat_ without any regimen. This is not
ellipsis, but error. It is an accidental gap into which a side piece falls,
and leaves a breach elsewhere. The following is somewhat like it, though
what falls in, appears to leave no chasm: "From this deduction, [_it_] _may
be easily seen_ how it comes to pass, that personification makes so great a
figure."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 155. "Whether the author had any meaning in
this expression, or what it was, [_it_] _is not easy_ to
determine."--_Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 298. "That warm climates should
accelerate the growth of the human body, and shorten its duration, [_it_]
_is very reasonable_ to believe."--_Ib._, p. 144. These also need the
pronoun, though Murray thought them complete without it.
OBS. 10.--When the infinitive mood is made the subject of a finite verb, it
is most commonly used to express action or state in the abstract; as, "_To
be_ contents his natural desire."--_Pope_. Here _to be_ stands for simple
_existence_; or if for the existence _of the Indian_, of whom the author
speaks, that relation is merely implied. "_To define ridicule_, has puzzled
and vexed every critic."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 300. Here "_to define_"
expresses an action quite as distinct from any agent, as would the
participial noun; as, "The _defining of_ ridicule," &c. In connexion with
the infinitive, a concrete quality may also be taken as an abstract; as,
"_To be good_ is _to be happy_." Here _good_ and _happy_ express the
quality of _goodness_ and the state of _happiness_ considered abstractly;
and therefore these adjectives do not relate to any particular noun. So
also the passive infinitive, or a perfect participle taken in a passive
sense; as, "_To be satisfied with a little_, is the greatest wisdom."--"_To
appear discouraged_, is the way to become so." Here the _satisfaction_ and
the _discouragement_ are considered abstractly, and without reference to
any particular person. (See Obs. 12th and 13th on Rule 6th.) So too,
apparently, the participles _doing_ and _suffering_, as well as the
adjective _weak_, in the following example:
"Fallen Cherub, to be _weak_ is miserable,
_Doing_ or _suffering_."--_Milton's Paradise Lost_.
OBS. 11.--When the action or state is to be expressly limited to one class
of beings, or to a particular person or thing, without making the verb
finite; the noun or pronoun may be introduced before the infinitive by the
preposition _for_: as, "_For men to search_ their own glory, is not
glory."--_Prov._, xxv, 27. "_For a prince to be reduced_ by villany
[sic--KTH] to my distressful circumstances, is calamity
enough."--_Translation of Sallust_. "_For holy persons to be humble_, is as
hard, as _for a prince to submit_ himself to be guided by tutors."--TAYLOR:
_Priestley's Gram._, p. 132; _Murray's_, 184. But such a limitation is
sometimes implied, when the expression itself is general; as, "_Not to know
me_, argues thyself unknown."--_Milton_. That is, "_For thee_ not to know
me." The phrase is put far, "_Thy ignorance of me_;" for an other's
ignorance would be no argument in regard to the individual addressed. "_I,
to bear this_, that never knew but better, _is_ some burden."--_Beauties of
Shak._, p. 327. Here the infinitive _to bear_, which is the subject of the
verb _is_, is limited in sense by the pronoun _I_, which is put absolute in
the nominative, though perhaps _improperly_; because, "_For me to bear
this_," &c., will convey the same meaning, in a form much more common, and
perhaps more grammatical. In the following couplet, there is an ellipsis of
the infinitive; for the phrase, "fool with fool," means, "_for_ fool _to
contend_ with fool," or, "for one fool to contend with an other:"
"Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhor,
But _fool with fool_ is barb'rous civil war."
--_Pope, Dunciad_, B. iii, l. 175.
OBS. 12.--The objective noun or pronoun thus introduced by _for_ before the
infinitive, was erroneously called by Priestley, "_the subject of the
affirmation_;" (_Gram._, p. 132;) and Murray, Ingersoll, and others, have
blindly copied the blunder. See _Murray's Gram._, p. 184; _Ingersoll's_,
244. Again, Ingersoll says, "The infinitive mood, or part of a sentence, is
sometimes the subject of a verb, _and is, therefore, its_
NOMINATIVE."--_Conversations on English Gram._, p. 246. To this erroneous
deduction, the phraseology used by Murray and others too plainly gives
countenance: "The infinitive mood, or part of a sentence, is sometimes put
_as the nominative case_ to the verb."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 144; _Fisk's_,
123; _Kirkham's_, 188; _Lennie's_, 99; _Bullions's_, 89; and many more. Now
the objective before the infinitive may not improperly be called _the
subject_ of this form of the verb, as the nominative is, of the finite; but
to call it "the subject _of the affirmation_," is plainly absurd; because
no infinitive, in English, ever expresses an affirmation. And again, if a
whole phrase or sentence is made the subject of a _finite_ verb, or of an
affirmation, no one word contained in it, can singly claim this title. Nor
can the whole, by virtue of this relation, be said to be "in the
_nominative case_;" because, in the nature of things, neither phrases nor
sentences are capable of being declined by cases.
OBS. 13.--Any phrase or sentence which is made the subject of a finite
verb, must be taken in the sense of _one thing_, and be spoken of as _a
whole_; so that the verb's agreement with it, in the third person singular,
is not an exception to Rule 14th, but a construction in which the verb may
be parsed by that rule. For any one thing merely spoken of, is of the third
person singular, whatever may be the nature of its parts. Not every phrase
or sentence, however, is fit to be made the subject of a verb;--that is, if
its own import, and not the mere expression, is the thing whereof we
affirm. Thus Dr. Ash's example for this very construction, "a _sentence_
made the subject of a verb," is, I think, a palpable solecism: "The King
and Queen appearing in public _was_ the cause of my going."--_Ash's Gram._,
p. 52. What is here before the verb _was_, is _no_ "_sentence_;" but a mere
phrase, and such a one as we should expect to see used independently, if
any regard were had to its own import. The Doctor would tell us what "was
_the cause_ of his going:" and here he has two nominatives, which are
equivalent to the plural _they_; q.d., "_They_ appearing in public _was_
the cause." But such a construction is not English. It is an other sample
of the false illustration which grammar receives from those who _invent_
the proof-texts which they ought to _quote_.
OBS. 14.--One of Murray's examples of what he erroneously terms
"_nominative sentences_," i.e., "sentences or clauses constituting the
subject of an affirmation," is the following: "A desire to excel others in
learning and virtue [,] _is_ commendable."--_Gram._, 8vo, p. 144. Here the
verb _is_ agrees regularly with the noun _desire_, and with that only; the
whole text being merely a simple sentence, and totally irrelevant to the
doctrine which it accompanies. But the great "Compiler" supposes the
adjuncts of this noun to be parts of the nominative, and imagines the verb
to agree with all that precedes it. Yet, soon after, he expends upon the
ninth rule of Webster's Philosophical Grammar a whole page of useless
criticism, to show that the adjuncts of a noun are not to be taken as parts
of the nominative; and that, when objectives are thus subjoined, "the
assertion grammatically respects the first nouns only."--_Ib._, p. 148. I
say _useless_, because the truth of the doctrine is so very plain. Some,
however, may imagine an example like the following to be an exception to
it; but I do not, because I think the true nominative suppressed:
"By force they could not introduce these gods;
For _ten to one_ in former days _was_ odds."--_Dryden's Poems_, p. 38.
OBS. 15.--Dr. Webster's ninth rule is this: "When the nominative consists
of several words, and the last of the names is in the plural number, the
verb is commonly in the plural also; as, 'A part of the exports _consist_
of raw silk.' 'The number of oysters _increase_.' GOLDSMITH. 'Such as the
train of our ideas _have lodged_ in our memories.' LOCKE. 'The greater part
of philosophers _have acknowledged_ the excellence of this government.'
ANACHARSIS."--_Philos. Gram._, p. 146; _Impr. Gram._, 100. The last of
these examples Murray omits; the second he changes thus: "A number of men
and women _were_ present." But all of them his reasoning condemns as
ungrammatical. He thinks them wrong, upon the principle, that the verbs,
being plural, do not agree with the first nouns only. Webster, on the
contrary, judges them all to be right; and, upon this same principle,
conceives that his rule must be so too. He did not retract or alter the
doctrine after he saw the criticism, but republished it verbatim, in his
"Improved Grammar," of 1831. Both err, and neither convinces the other.
OBS. 16.--In this instance, as Webster and Murray both teach erroneously,
whoever follows either, will be led into many mistakes. The fact is, that
some of the foregoing examples, though perhaps not all, are perfectly
right; and hundreds more, of a similar character, might be quoted, which no
true grammarian would presume to condemn. But what have these to do with
the monstrous absurdity of supposing objective adjuncts to be "parts of the
actual nominative?" The words, "_part," "number," "train_" and the like,
are _collective nouns_; and, as such, they often have plural verbs in
agreement with them. To say, "A _number_ of men and women _were_ present,"
is as correct as to say, "A very great _number_ of our words _are_ plainly
derived from the Latin."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 86. Murray's criticism,
therefore, since it does not exempt these examples from the censure justly
laid upon Webster's rule, will certainly mislead the learner. And again the
rule, being utterly wrong in principle, will justify blunders like these:
"The truth of the narratives _have_ never been disputed;"--"The virtue of
these men and women _are_ indeed exemplary."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 148. In
one of his notes, Murray suggests, that the article _an_ or _a_ before a
collective noun must confine the verb to the singular number; as, "_A great
number_ of men and women _was_ collected."--_Ib._, p. 153. But this
doctrine he sometimes forgot or disregarded; as, "But if _a number_ of
interrogative or exclamatory sentences _are thrown_ into one general
group."--_Ib._, p. 284; _Comly_, 166; _Fisk_, 160; _Ingersoll_, 295.
OBS. 17.--Cobbett, in a long paragraph, (the 245th of his English Grammar,)
stoutly denies that any _relative pronoun_ can ever be the nominative to a
verb; and, to maintain this absurdity, he will have the relative and its
antecedent to be always alike in _case_, the only thing in which they are
always independent of each other. To prove his point, he first frames these
examples: "The men _who are_ here, the man _who is_ here; the cocks _that
crow_, the cock _that crows_;" and then asks, "Now, if the relative be the
nominative, why do the verbs _change_, seeing that here is no change in the
relative?" He seems ignorant of the axiom, that two things severally equal
to a third, are also equal to each other: and accordingly, to answer his
own question, resorts to a new principle: "The verb is continually varying.
Why does it vary? Because it _disregards the relative_ and goes and finds
the antecedent, and accommodates its number to that."--_Ibid._ To this wild
doctrine, one erratic Irishman yields a full assent; and, in one American
grammatist, we find a partial and unintentional concurrence with it.
But the fact is, the relative agrees with the antecedent, and the verb
agrees with the relative: hence all three of the words are alike in person
and number. But between the case of the relative and that of the antededent
[sic--KTH], there never is, or can be, in our language, any sort of
connexion or interference. The words belong to different clauses; and, if
both be nominatives, they must be the subjects of different verbs: or, if
the noun be sometimes put absolute in the nominative, the pronoun is still
left to its own verb. But Cobbett concludes his observation thus: "You will
observe, therefore, that, when I, in the etymology and syntax as relating
to relative pronouns, speak of relatives as being in the nominative case, I
mean, that they relate to nouns or to personal pronouns, _which are in that
case_. The same observation applies _to the other cases_."--_Ib._, 245.
This suggestion betrays in the critic an unaccountable ignorance of his
OBS. 18.--Nothing is more certain, than that the relatives, _who, which,
what, that_, and _as_, are often nominatives, and the only subjects of the
verbs which follow them: as, "The Lord will show _who are_ his, and _who
is_ holy."--_Numbers_, xvi, 5. "Hardly is there any person, but _who_, on
such occasions, _is disposed_ to be serious."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 469.
"Much of the merit of Mr. Addison's Cato depends upon that moral turn of
thought _which distinguishes_ it."--_Ib._, 469. "Admit not a single word
but _what is_ necessary."--_Ib._, p. 313. "The pleader must say nothing but
_what is_ true; and, at the same time, he must avoid saying any thing _that
will hurt_ his cause."--_Ib._, 313. "I proceed to mention such _as appear_
to me most material."--_Ib._, p. 125. After _but_ or _than_, there is
sometimes an ellipsis of the relative, and perhaps also of the antecedent;
as, "There is no heart _but must feel_ them."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 469.
"There is no one _but must be_ sensible of the extravagance."--_Ib._, p.
479. "Since we may date from it a more general and a more concerted
opposition to France _than there had been_ before."--_Bolingbroke, on
Hist._, p. 213. That is, "than _what_ there had been before;"--or, "than
_any opposition which_ there had been before." "John has more fruit _than
can be gathered_ in a week."--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, pp. 196 and 331. I
suppose this sentence to mean, "John has more fruit than _what_ can be
gathered in a week." But the author of it denies that it is elliptical, and
seems to suppose that _can be gathered_ agrees with _John_. Part of his
comment stands thus: "The above sentence--'John has more fruit than can be
gathered in a week'--in every respect full and _perfect_--must, to be
_grammatical_! according to _all_ the 'old theories,' stand, John has more
fruit than _that fruit is which, or which fruit_ can be gathered in a
week!!!"--_Ib._, 331. What shall be done with the headlong critic who thus
mistakes exclamation points for arguments, and multiplies his confidence in
proportion to his fallacies and errors?
OBS. 19.--In a question, the nominative _I_ or _thou_ put after the verb,
controls the agreement, in preference to the interrogative _who, which_, or
_what_, put before it; as, "_Who am I? What am I? Who art thou? What art
thou?_" And, by analogy, this seems to be the case with all plurals; as,
"_Who are we? Who are you? Who are they? What are these_?" But sometimes
the interrogative pronoun is the only nominative used; and then the verb,
whether singular or plural, must agree with this nominative, in the third
person, and not, as Cobbett avers, with an antecedent understood: as, "_Who
is_ in the house? _Who are_ in the house? _Who strikes_ the iron? _Who
strike_ the iron? _Who was_ in the street? _Who were_ in the
street?"--_Cobbett's Gram._, 245. All the interrogative pronouns may be
used in either number, but, in examples like the following, I imagine the
singular to be more proper than the plural: "_What have become_ of our
previous customs?"--_Hunt's Byron_, p. 121. "And _what have become_ of my
resolutions to return to God?"--_Young Christian_, 2d Ed., p. 91. When two
nominatives of different properties come after the verb, the first controls
the agreement, and neither the plural number nor the most worthy person is
always preferred; as, "_Is it I? Is it thou? Is it they_?"
OBS. 20.--The verb after a relative sometimes has the appearance of
disagreeing with its nominative, because the writer and his reader disagree
in their conceptions of its mood. When a relative clause is subjoined to
what is itself subjunctive or conditional, some writers suppose that the