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The Grammar of English Grammars by Gould Brown

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and _enter_, and governing the latter verb? (See the exact and only needful
form for parsing any such term, in the _Twelfth Praxis_ of this work.)
None, I presume, will deny, that in the Greek or the Latin of these
phrases, the finite verbs govern the infinitive; or that, in the French,
the infinitive _entrer_ is governed first by one preposition, and then by
an other. "_Contendite intrare--multi quaerent intrare_."--_Montanus_.
"Efforcez-vous _d'_entrer--plusieurs chercheront _a_ y entrer."--_French
Bible_. In my opinion, _to_ before a verb is as fairly a preposition as the
French _de_ or _a_; and it is the main design of these observations, while
they candidly show the reader what others teach, _to prove it so_. The only
construction which makes it any thing else, is that which puts it after a
verb or a participle, in the sense of an adverbial supplement; as, "The
infernal idol is bowed down _to_."--_Herald of Freedom_. "Going _to_ and
_fro_."--_Bible_. "At length he came _to_."--"Tell him to heave _to_."--"He
was ready to set _to_." With singular absurdness of opinion, some
grammarians call _to_ a preposition, when it thus _follows_ a verb and
governs nothing, who resolutely deny it that name, when it _precedes_ the
verb, and _requires it to be in the infinitive mood_, as in the last two
examples. Now, if this is not _government_, what is? And if _to_, without
government, is not an _adverb_, what is? See Obs. 2d on the List of

OBS. 17.--The infinitive thus admits a simpler solution in English, than in
most other languages; because we less frequently use it without a
preposition, and seldom, if ever, allow any variety in this connecting and
governing particle. And yet in no other language has its construction given
rise to a tenth part of that variety of absurd opinions, which the defender
of its true syntax must refute in ours. In French, the infinitive, though
frequently placed in immediate dependence on an other verb, may also be
governed by several different prepositions, (as, _a, de, pour, sans,
apres_,) according to the sense.[406] In Spanish and Italian, the
construction is similar. In Latin and Greek, the infinitive is, for the
most part, immediately dependent on an other verb. But, according to the
grammars, it may stand for a noun, in all the six cases; and many have
called it an _indeclinable noun_. See the Port-Royal Latin and Greek
grammars; in which several peculiar constructions of the infinitive are
referred to the government of a _preposition_--constructions that occur
frequently in Greek, and sometimes even in Latin.

OBS. 18.--It is from an improper extension of the principles of these
"learned languages" to ours, that much of the false teaching which has so
greatly and so long embarrassed this part of English grammar, has been, and
continues to be, derived. A late author, who supposes every infinitive to
be virtually _a noun_, and who thinks he finds in ours _all the cases_ of
an English noun, not excepting the possessive, gives the following account
of its origin and nature: "This mood, with almost all its properties and
uses, has been adopted into our language from the ancient Greek and Latin
tongues. * * * The definite article [Greek: to] [,] _the_, which they [the
Greeks] used before the infinitive, to mark, in an especial manner, its
nature of a substantive, _is evidently the same word_ that we use before
our infinitive; thus, '_to_ write,' signifies _the_ writing; that is, the
action of writing;--and when a verb governs an infinitive, it only governs
it _as in the objective case_."--_Nixon's English Parser_, p. 83. But who
will believe, that our old Saxon ancestors borrowed from Greek or Latin
what is now our construction of the very _root_ of the English verb, when,
in all likelihood, they could not read a word in either of those languages,
or scarcely knew the letters in their own, and while it is plain that they
took not thence even the inflection of a _single branch_ of any verb

OBS. 19.--The particle _to_, being a very common preposition in the Saxon
tongue, has been generally used before the English infinitive, ever since
the English language, or any thing like it, existed. And it has always
_governed the verb_, not indeed "as in the _objective case_," for no verb
is ever declined by cases, but simply as the _infinitive mood_. In the
Anglo-Saxon version of the Gospels, which was made as early as the eleventh
century, the infinitive mood is sometimes expressed in this manner, and
sometimes by the termination _on_ without the preposition. Dr. Johnson's
History of the English Language, prefixed to his large Dictionary,
contains, of this version, and of Wickliffe's, the whole of the first
chapter of Luke; except that the latter omits the first four verses, so
that the numbers for reference do not correspond. Putting, for convenience,
English characters for the Saxon, I shall cite here three examples from
each; and these, if he will, the reader may compare with the 19th, the
77th, and the 79th verse, in our common Bible. SAXON: "And ic eom asend
with the _sprecan_. and the this _bodian_."--_Lucae_, i, 19. WICKLIFFE:
"And Y am sent to thee _to speke_ and _to evangelise_ to thee these
thingis."--_Luk_, i, 15. SAXON: "_To syllene_ his folce haele gewit on hyra
synna forgyfnesse."--_Lucae_, i, 77. WICKLIFFE: "_To geve_ science of heelth
to his puple into remissioun of her synnes."--_Luk_, i, 73. SAXON:
"_Onlyhtan_ tham the on thystrum and on deathes sceade sittath. ure fet _to
gereccenne_ on sibbe weg."--_Lucae_, i, 79. WICKLIFFE: "_To geve_ light to
them that sitten in derknessis, and in schadowe of deeth, _to dresse_ oure
feet into the weye of pees."--_Luk_, i, 75. "In Anglo-Saxon," says Dr.
Latham, "the dative of the infinitive verb ended in _-nne_, and was
preceded by the preposition _to_: as, To lufienne = _ad amandum_ [= _to
loving_, or _to love_]; To baernenne = _ad urendum_ [= _to burning_, or _to
burn_]; To syllanne = _ad dandum_ [= _to giving_, or _to
give_]."--_Hand-Book_, p. 205.

OBS. 20.--Such, then, has ever been the usual construction of the _English_
infinitive mood; and a wilder interpretation than that which supposes _to_
an _article_, and says, "_to write_ signifies _the writing_," cannot
possibly be put upon it. On this supposition, "I am going _to write_ a
letter," is a pure Grecism; meaning, "I am going _the writing_ a letter,"
which is utter nonsense. And further, the infinitive in Greek and Latin, as
well as in Saxon and English, is always in fact governed as a _mood_,
rather than as a _case_, notwithstanding that the Greek article in any of
its four different cases may, in some instances, be put before it; for even
with an article before it, the Greek infinitive usually retains its regimen
as a verb, and is therefore not "a _substantive_," or noun. I am well aware
that some learned critics, conceiving that the essence of the verb consists
in predication, have plainly denied that the infinitive is a verb; and,
because it may be made the subject of a finite verb, or may be governed by
a verb or a preposition, have chosen to call it "a mere noun substantive."
Among these is the erudite Richard Johnson, who, with so much ability and
lost labour, exposed, in his Commentaries, the errors and defects of Lily's
Grammar and others. This author adduces several reasons for his opinion;
one of which is the following: "Thirdly, it is found to have a Preposition
set before it, an other _sure sign of a Substantive_; as, '_Ille nihil
praeter loqui, et ipsum maledice et maligne, didicit_.' Liv. l. 45, p. 888.
[That is, "He learned nothing _but to speak_, and that slanderously and
maliciously."] '_At si quis sibi beneficium dat, nihil interest inter dare
et accipere_.' Seneca, de Ben. l. 5, c. 10." [That is, "If any one bestows
a benefit on himself, there is no difference _between give and
take_;" [407]--or, "_between bestowing_ and _receiving_."]--See _Johnson's
Gram. Com._, p. 342. But I deny that a preposition is a "sure sign of a
substantive." (See Obs. 2d on the Prepositions, and also Obs. 1st on the
List of Prepositions, in the tenth chapter of Etymology.) And if we appeal
to philological authorities, to determine whether infinitives are nouns or
verbs, there will certainly be found more for the latter name, than the
former; that is, more in number, if not in weight; though it must be
confessed, that many of the old Latin grammarians did, as Priscian tells
us, consider the infinitive a noun, calling it _Nomen Verbi_, the Name of
the Verb.[408] If we appeal to reasons, there are more also of these;--or
at least as many, and most of them better: as, 1. That the infinitive is
often transitive; 2. That it has tenses; 3. That it is qualified by
adverbs, rather than by adjectives; 4. That it is never declined like a
noun; 5. That the action or state expressed by it, is not commonly
abstract, though it may be so sometimes; 6. That in some languages it is
_the root_ from which all other parts of the verb are derived, as it is in

OBS. 21.--So far as I know, it has not yet been denied, that _to_ before a
_participle_ is a preposition, or that a preposition before a participle
_governs_ it; though there are not a few who erroneously suppose that
participles, by virtue of such government, are necessarily converted into
_nouns_. Against this latter idea, there are many sufficient reasons; but
let them now pass, because they belong not here. I am only going to prove,
in this place, that _to_ before the infinitive is _just such a word_ as it
is before the participle; and this can be done, call either of them what
you will. It is plain, that if the infinitive and the participle are ever
_equivalent to each other_, the same word _to_ before them both must needs
be equivalent _to itself_. Now I imagine there are some examples of each
equivalence; as, "When we are habituated _to doing_ [or _to do_] any thing
wrong, we become blinded by it."--_Young Christian_, p. 326. "The lyre, or
harp, was best adapted _to accompanying_ [or _to accompany_] their
declamations."--_Music of Nature_, p. 336. "The new beginner should be
accustomed _to giving_ [or _to give_] all the reasons for each part of
speech."--_Nutting's Gram._, p. 88. "Which, from infecting our religion and
morals, fell _to corrupt_ [say, _to corrupting_] our language."--SWIFT:
_Blair's Rhet._, p. 108. Besides these instances of _sameness in the
particle_, there are some cases of _constructional ambiguity_, the noun and
the verb having the same form, and the _to_ not determining which is meant:
as, "He was inclined _to sleep_."--"It must be a bitter experience, to be
more accustomed _to hate_ than _to love_." Here are _double_ doubts for the
discriminators: their "_sign of the infinitive_" fails, or becomes
uncertain; _because they do not know it from a preposition_. Cannot my
opponents see in these examples an argument against the distinction which
they attempt to draw between _to_ and _to_? An other argument as good, is
also afforded by the fact, that our ancestors often used the participle
after _to_, in the very same texts in which we have since adopted the
infinitive in its stead; as, "And if yee wolen resceyue, he is Elie that is
_to comynge_."--_Matt._, xi, 14. "Ihesu that delyueride us fro wraththe _to
comynge_."--_1 Thes._, i, 10. These, and seventeen other examples of the
same kind, may be seen in _Tooke's Diversions of Purley_, Vol. ii. pp. 457
and 458.

OBS. 22.--Dr. James P. Wilson, speaking of the English infinitive,
says:--"But if the appellation of _mode_ be denied it, it is then a _verbal
noun_. This is indeed _its truest character_, because _its idea ever
represents_ an _object of approach_. _To_ supplies the defect of a
termination characteristic of the infinitive, precedes it, and marks it
either as _that, towards which_ the preceding verb is directed;[409] or it
signifies _act_, and shows the word to import an action. When the
infinitive is the expression of an _immediate_ action, which it must be,
after the verbs, _bid, can, dare, do, feel, hear, let, make, may, must,
need, see, shall_, and _will_, the _preposition_ TO is omitted."--_Essay on
Grammar_, p. 129. That the truest character of the infinitive is that of a
verbal noun, is not to be conceded, in weak abandonment of all the reasons
for a contrary opinion, until it can be shown that the action or being
expressed by it, must needs assume a _substantive_ character, in order to
be "that _towards which_ the preceding verb is directed." But this
character is manifestly not supposable of any of those infinitives which,
according to the foregoing quotation, must follow other verbs without the
intervention of the preposition _to_: as, "Bid him _come_;"--"He can
_walk_." And I see no reason to suppose it, where the relation of the
infinitive to an other word is _not_ "_immediate_" but marked by the
preposition, as above described. For example: "And he laboured till the
going-down of the sun TO _deliver_ him."--_Dan._, vi, 14. Here _deliver_ is
governed by _to_, and connected by it to the finite verb _laboured_; but to
tell us, it is to be understood _substantively_ rather than _actively_, is
an assumption as false, as it is needless.

OBS. 23.--To deny to the infinitive the appellation of _mood_, no more
makes it a _verbal noun_, than does the Doctor's solecism about what "ITS
IDEA _ever represents_." "The infinitive therefore," as Horne Tooke
observes, "appears plainly to be what the Stoics called it, _the very verb
itself_, pure and uncompounded."--_Diversions of Purley_, Vol. i, p. 286.
Not indeed as including the particle _to_, or as it stands in the English
perfect tense, but as it occurs in the _simple root_. But I cited Dr.
Wilson, as above, not so much with a design of animadverting again on this
point, as with reference to the _import_ of the particle _to_; of which he
furnishes a twofold explanation, leaving the reader to take which part he
will of the contradiction. He at first conceives it to convey in general
the idea of "_towards_," and to mark the infinitive as a term "_towards
which_" something else "_is directed_." If this interpretation is the true
one, it is plain that _to_ before a verb is no other than the common
preposition _to_; and this idea is confirmed by its ancient usage, and by
all that is certainly known of its derivation. But if we take the second
solution, and say, "it signifies _act_," we make it not a preposition, but
either a noun or a verb; and then the question arises, _Which of these is
it_? Besides, what sense can there be, in supposing _to go_ to mean _act
go_, or to be equivalent to _do go_.[410]

OBS. 24.--Though the infinitive is commonly made an adjunct to some finite
verb, yet it may be connected to almost all the other parts of speech, or
even to an other infinitive. The preposition _to_ being its only and almost
universal index, we seldom find any other preposition put before this;
unless the word _about_, in such a situation, is a preposition, as I
incline to think it is.[411] Anciently, the infinitive was sometimes
preceded by _for_ as well as _to_; as, "I went up to Jerusalem _for to_
worship."--_Acts_, xxiv, 11. "What went ye out _for to_ see?"--_Luke_, vii,
26. "And stood up _for to_ read."--_Luke_, iv, 16. Here modern usage
rejects the former preposition: the idiom is left to the uneducated. But it
seems practicable to subjoin the infinitive to every one of the ten parts
of speech, except the article: as,

1. To a noun; as, "If there is any _precept to obtain_
felicity."--_Hawkesworth_. "It is high _time to awake_ out of
sleep."--_Rom._, xiii, 11. "To flee from the _wrath to come_."--_Matt._,
iii, 7.

2. To an adjective; as, "He seemed _desirous to speak_, yet _unwilling to
offend_."--_Hawkesworth_. "He who is the _slowest to promise_, is _the
quickest to perform_."--_Art of Thinking_, p. 35.

3. To a pronoun; as, "I discovered _him to be_ a scholar."--_W. Allen's
Gram._, p. 166. "Is it lawful for _us to give_ tribute to Caesar?"--_Luke_,
xx, 22. "Let me desire _you to reflect_ impartially."--BLAIR: _Murray's
Eng. Reader_, p. 77. "Whom hast thou then or _what t' accuse_?"--_Milton_,
P. L., iv, 67.

4. To a finite verb; as, "Then Peter _began to rebuke_ him."--_Matt._, xvi,
22. "The Son of man _is come to seek and to save_ that which was
lost."--_Luke_, xix, 10.

5. To an other infinitive; as, "_To go to enter_ into Egypt."--_Jer._, xli,
17. "We are not often willing _to wait to consider_."--_J. Abbott_. "For
what had he _to do to chide_ at me?"--_Shak._

6. To a participle; as, "Still _threatening to devour_ me."--_Milton_. "Or
as a thief _bent to unhoard_ the cash of some rich burgher."--_Id._

7. To an adverb; as, "She is old _enough to go_ to school."--"I know not
_how to act_."--_Nutting's Gram._, p. 106. "Tell me _when to come_, and
_where to meet_ you."--"He hath not _where to lay_ his head."

8. To a conjunction; as, "He knows better _than to trust_ you."--"It was so
hot _as to melt_ these ornaments."--"Many who praise virtue, do no more
_than praise_ it."--_Dr. Johnson_.

9. To a preposition; as, "I was _about to write_."--_Rev._, x, 4. "Not _for
to hide_ it in a hedge."--_Burns's Poems_, p. 42. "Amatum iri, To be _about
to be loved_."--_Adam's Gram._, p. 95.[412]

10. To an interjection; as, "_O to forget_ her!"--_Young's Night Thoughts_.

OBS. 25.--The infinitive is the mere verb, without affirmation, without
person or number, and therefore without the agreement peculiar to a finite
verb. (See Obs. 8th on Rule 2d.) But, in most instances, it is not without
_limitation_ of the being, action, or passion, to some particular person or
persons, thing or things, that are said, supposed, or denied, to be, to
act, or to be acted upon. Whenever it is not thus limited, it is taken
_abstractly_, and has some resemblance to a noun: because it then suggests
the being, action, or passion alone: though, even then, the active
infinitive may still govern the objective case; and it may also be easy to
_imagine_ to whom or to what the being, action, or passion, naturally
pertains. The uses of the infinitive are so many and various, that it is no
easy matter to classify them accurately. The following are unquestionably
_the chief_ of the things for which it may stand:

1. For the _supplement_ to an other verb, to complete the sense; as, "Loose
him, and _let_ him _go_."--_John_, xi, 44. "They that _go to seek_ mixed
wine."--_Prov._, xxiii, 30. "His hands _refuse_ to _labour_."--_Ib._, xxi,
25. "If you _choose to have_ those terms."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 374. "How
our old translators first _struggled to express_ this."--_Ib._, ii, 456.
"To any one who _will please to examine_ our language."--_Ib._, ii, 444.
"They _are forced to give up_ at last."--_Ib._, ii, 375. "Which _ought to
be done_."--_Ib._, ii, 451. "Which _came to pass_."--_Acts_, xi, 28. "I
_dare engage to make_ it out."--_Swift_.

2. For the _purpose_, or _end_, of that to which it is added; as, "Each has
employed his time and pains _to establish_ a criterion."--_Tooke's D. P._,
ii, 374. "I shall not stop now, _to assist_ in their elucidation."--_Ib._,
ii, 75. "Our purposes are not endowed with words _to make_ them
known."--_Ib._, ii, 74. [A] "TOOL is some instrument taken up _to work_
with."--_Ib._, ii, 145. "Labour not _to be_ rich."--_Prov._, xxiii, 4. "I
flee unto thee _to hide_ me."--_Ps._, cxliii, 9. "Evil shall hunt the
violent man _to overthrow_ him."--_Ib._, cxl, 11.

3. For the _object_ of an affection or passion; as, "He _loves to
ride_."--"I _desire to hear_ her _speak_ again."--_Shale._ "If we _wish to
avoid_ important error."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 3. "Who _rejoice to do_
evil."--_Prov._, ii, 14. "All agreeing in _earnestness to see_
him."--_Shak_. "Our _curiosity_ is raised _to know_ what lies
beyond."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 335.

4. For the _cause_ of an affection or passion; as, "I rejoice _to hear_
it."--"By which I hope _to have laid_ a foundation," &c.--_Blair's Rhet._,
p. 34. "For he made me mad, _to see_ him _shine_ so brisk, and _smell_ so
sweet."--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 118. "Thou didst eat strange flesh, which
some did die _to look_ on."--_Ib._, p. 182. "They grieved _to see_ their
best allies at variance."--_Rev. W. Allen's Gram._, p. 165.

5. For the _subject_ of a proposition, or the chief term in such subject;
as, "_To steal_ is sinful."--"_To do_ justice and judgement, is more
acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."--_Prov._, xxi, 3. "_To do_ RIGHT,
is, to do that which is ordered to be done."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 7. "_To
go_ to law to plague a neighbour, has in it more of malice, than of love to
justice."--_Seattle's Mor. Sci._, i, 177.

6. For the _predicate_ of a proposition, or the chief term in such
predicate; as, "To enjoy is _to obey_."--_Pope_. "The property of rain is
_to wet_, and fire, _to burn_."--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 15. "To die is _to
be banished_ from myself."--_Ib._, p. 82. "The best way is, _to slander_
Valentine."--_Ib._, p. 83. "The highway of the upright is _to depart_ from
evil."--_Prov._, xvi, 17.

7. For a _coming event_, or what _will_ be; as, "A mutilated structure soon
_to fall_."--_Cowper._ "He being dead, and I speedily _to follow_
him."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 111. "She shall rejoice in time _to
come_."--_Prov._, xxxi, 25. "Things present, or things _to come_."--_1
Cor._, iii, 22.

8. For a _necessary event_, or what _ought_ to be; as, "It is _to be
remembered_."--"It is never _to be forgotten_."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 2.
"An oversight much _to be deplored_."--_Ib._, ii, 460. "The sign is not _to
be used_ by itself, or _to stand_ alone; but is _to be joined_ to some
other term."--_Ib._, ii, 372. "The Lord's name is _to be praised_."--_Ps._,
cxiii, 3.

9. For what is _previously suggested_ by another word; as, "I have _faith
to believe_."--"The glossarist _did well_ here _not to yield_ to his
inclination."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 329. "It is a good _thing to give_
thanks unto the Lord."--_Ps._, xcii, 1. "_It_ is _as sport_ to a fool _to
do_ mischief."--_Prov._, x, 23. "They have the _gift to know_ it."--_Shak._
"We have no remaining _occupation_ but _to take_ care of the public."--_Art
of Thinking_, p. 52.

10. For a term of _comparison_ or _measure_; as, "He was so much affected
as _to weep_."--"Who could do no less than _furnish_ him."--_Tooke's D.
P._, ii, 408. "I shall venture no farther than _to explain_ the nature and
convenience of these abbreviations."--_Ib._, ii, 439. "I have already said
enough _to show_ what sort of operation that is."--_Ib._, ii, 358.

OBS. 26.--After dismissing all the examples which may fairly be referred to
one or other of the ten heads above enumerated, an observant reader may yet
find _other uses_ of the infinitive, and those so dissimilar that they can
hardly be reduced to any one head or rule; except that all are governed by
the preposition to, which points towards or to the verb; as, "A great altar
_to see to_."--_Joshua_, xxii, 10. "[Greek: Bomon megan tou
idein]."--_Septuagint_. That is, "An altar _great to behold_." "Altare
infinitae magnitudinis."--_Vulgate_. "Un fort grand autel."--_French Bible_.
"Easy _to be entreated_."--_Jos._, iii, 17. "There was none _to
help_."--_Ps._, cvii, 12. "He had rained down manna upon them _to
eat_."--_Ps._, lxxviii, 24. "Remember his commandments _to do_
them."--_Ps._, viii, 18. "Preserve thou those that are appointed _to
die_."--_Ps._, lxxix, 11. "As coals to burning coals, and as wood to fire;
so is a contentious man _to kindle_ strife."--_Prov._, xxvi, 21. "These are
far beyond the reach and power of any kings _to do_ away."--_Tooke's D.
P._, ii, 126. "I know not indeed what _to do_ with those words."--_Ib._,
ii, 441. "They will be as little able _to justify_ their
innovation."--_Ib._, ii, 448. "I leave you _to compare_ them."--_Ib._, ii,
458. "There is no occasion _to attribute_ it."--_Ib._, ii, 375. "There is
no day for me _to look_ upon."--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 82. "Having no
external thing _to lose._"--_Ib._, p. 100. "I'll never be a gosling _to
obey_ instinct."--_Ib._, p. 200. "Whereto serves mercy, but _to confront_
the visage of offence?"--_Ib._, p. 233. "If things do not go _to suit_
him."--_Liberator_, ix, 182. "And, _to be_ plain, I think there is not half
a kiss _to choose_, who loves an other best."--_Shak._, p. 91. "But _to
return_ to R. Johnson's instance of _good man_."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 370.
Our common Bibles have this text: "And a certain woman cast a piece of a
millstone upon Abimelech's head, and _all to break_ his skull."--_Judges_,
ix, 53. Perhaps the interpretation of this may be, "and _so as completely
to break_ his skull." The octavo edition stereotyped by "the Bible
Association of Friends in America," has it, "and _all-to brake_ his skull."
This, most probably, was supposed by the editors to mean, "and _completely
broke_ his skull;" but _all-to_ is no proper compound word, and therefore
the change is a perversion. The Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the common
French version, all accord with the simple indicative construction, "and
_broke_ his skull."

OBS. 27.--According to Lindley Murray, "The infinitive mood is often _made
absolute_, or used independently _on_ [say _of_] the rest of the sentence,
supplying the place of the conjunction _that_ with the potential mood: as,
'_To confess_ the truth, I was in fault;' '_To begin_ with the first;' '_To
proceed_;' '_To conclude_;' that is, 'That I may confess,' &c."--_Murray's
Gram._, 8vo, p. 184; _Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 244. Some other compilers have
adopted the same doctrine. But on what ground the _substitution_ of one
mood for the other is imagined, I see not. The reader will observe that
this potential mood is here just as much "_made absolute_," as is the
infinitive; for there is nothing expressed to which the conjunction _that_
connects the one phrase, or the preposition _to_ the other. But possibly,
in either case, there may be an ellipsis of some antecedent term; and
surely, if we imagine the construction to be complete without any such
term, we make the conjunction the more anomalous word of the two.
Confession of the truth, is here the aim of speaking, but not of what is
spoken. The whole sentence may be, "_In order_ to confess the truth, _I
admit that_ I was in fault." Or, "_In order_ that I may confess the truth,
_I admit that_ I was in fault." I do not deny, that the infinitive, or a
phrase of which the infinitive is a part, is sometimes put _absolute_; for,
if it is not so in any of the foregoing examples, it appears to be so in
the following: "For every object has several faces, _so to speak_, by which
it may be presented to us."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 41. "_To declare_ a thing
shall be, long before it is in being, and then _to bring about_ the
accomplishment of that very thing, according to the same declaration; this,
or nothing, is the work of God."--_Justin Martyr_.

"_To be_, or _not to be_;--that is the question."--_Shakspeare_.

"_To die;--to sleep;--To sleep_! perchance, _to dream_!"--_Id., Hamlet_.

OBS. 28.--The infinitive usually _follows_ the word on which it depends, or
to which the particle _to_ connects it; but this order is sometimes
reversed: as, "To beg I am ashamed."--_Luke_, xvi, 3. "To keep them no
longer in suspense, [I say plainly,] Sir Roger de Coverly is
dead."--_Addison_. "To suffer, as to do, Our strength is equal."--_Milton_.

"To catch your vivid scenes, too gross her hand."--_Thomson_.

OBS. 29.--Though, in respect to its syntax, the infinitive is oftener
connected with a verb, a participle, or an adjective, than with a noun or a
pronoun, it should never be so placed that the reader will be liable to
mistake the _person_ to whom, or the _thing_ to which, the being, action,
or passion, pertains. Examples of error: "This system will require a long
time to be executed as it should be."--_Journal of N. Y. Lit. Convention_,
1830, p. 91. It is not the _time_, that is to be executed; therefore say,
"This system, to be executed as it should be, will require a long time."
"He spoke in a _manner distinct enough to be heard_ by the whole
assembly."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p. 192. This implies that the orator's
_manner_ was _heard_! But the grammarian interprets his own meaning, by the
following alternative: "Or--_He spoke distinctly enough to be heard_ by the
whole assembly."--_Ibid._ This suggests that the man himself was heard.
"When they hit upon a figure that pleases them, they are loth to part with
it, and frequently continue it so long, as to become tedious and
intricate."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 341. Is it the _authors_, or their
_figure_, that becomes tedious and intricate? If the latter, strike out,
"_so long, as to become_," and say, "_till it becomes_." "Facts are always
of the greatest consequence _to be remembered_ during the course of the
pleading."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 272. The rhetorician here meant: "The facts
stated in an argument, are always those parts of it, which it is most
important that the hearers should be made to remember."

OBS. 30.--According to some grammarians, "The Infinitive of the verb _to
be_, is often _understood_; as, 'I considered it [_to be_] necessary to
send the dispatches.'"--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 166. In this example, as in
thousands more, of various forms, the verb _to be_ may be inserted without
affecting the sense; but I doubt the necessity of supposing an ellipsis in
such sentences. The adjective or participle that follows, always relates to
the preceding objective; and if a noun is used, it is but an other
objective in apposition with the former: as, "I considered _it_ an
_imposition_." The verb _to be_, with the perfect participle, forms the
passive infinitive; and the supposition of such an ellipsis, extensively
affects one's mode of parsing. Thus, "He considered himself _insulted_," "I
will suppose the work _accomplished_," and many similar sentences, might be
supposed to contain passive infinitives. Allen says, "In the following
construction, the words in _italics_ are (elliptically) passive
infinitives; I saw the bird _caught_, and the hare _killed_; we heard the
letters _read_."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 168. Dr. Priestley observes,
"There is a remarkable ambiguity in the use of the participle _preterite_,
as the same word may express a thing either doing, or done; as, I went to
see the child _dressed_."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 125. If the Doctor's
participle is ambiguous, I imagine that Allen's infinitives are just as
much so. "The _participle_ which we denominate _past_, often means an
action _whilst performing_: thus, I saw the _battle fought_, and the
_standard lowered_."--_Wilson's Essay_, p. 158. Sometimes, especially in
familiar conversation, an infinitive verb is suppressed, and the sign of it
retained; as, "They might have aided us; they ought _to_" [have aided
us].--_Herald of Freedom_. "We have tried to like it, but it's hard
_to_."--_Lynn News_.

OBS. 31.--After the verb _make_, some writers insert the verb _be_, and
suppress the preposition _to_; as, "He _must make_ every syllable, and even
every letter, in the word which he pronounces, _be heard_
distinctly."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 329; _Murray's E. Reader_, p. 9. "You
_must make_ yourself _be heard_ with pleasure and attention."--_Duncan's
Cicero_, p. 84. "To _make_ himself _be heard_ by all."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
328. "To _make_ ourselves _be heard_ by one."--_Ibid._ "Clear enough to
_make_ me _be_ understood."--_Locke, on Ed._, p. 198. In my opinion, it
would be better, either to insert the _to_, or to use the participle only;
as, "The information which he possessed, _made_ his company _to be_
courted."--_Dr. M'Rie_. "Which will both show the importance of this rule,
and _make_ the application of it _to be_ understood."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
103. Or, as in these brief forms: "To _make_ himself _heard_ by
all."--"Clear enough to _make_ me _understood_."

OBS. 32.--In those languages in which the infinitive is distinguished as
such by its termination, this part of the verb may be used alone as the
subject of a finite verb; but in English it is always necessary to retain
the sign _to_ before an abstract infinitive, because there is nothing else
to distinguish the verb from a noun. Here we may see a difference between
our language and the French, although it has been shown, that in their
government of the infinitive they are in some degree analogous:--"HAIR est
un tourment; AIMER est un besoin de l'ame."--_M. de Segur. "To hate_ is a
torment; _to love_ is a requisite of the soul." If from this any will argue
that _to_ is not here a preposition, the same argument will be as good, to
prove that _for_ is not a preposition when it governs the objective case;
because that also may be used without any antecedent term of relation: as,
"They are by no means points of equal importance, _for me to be deprived_
of your affections, and _for him to be defeated_ in his
prosecution."--_Anon., in W. Allen's Gram._, p. 166. I said, the sign _to_
must _always_ be put before an abstract infinitive: but possibly a
_repetition_ of this sign may not always be necessary, when several such
infinitives occur in the same construction: as, "But, _to fill_ a heart
with joy, _restore_ content to the afflicted, or _relieve_ the necessitous,
these fall not within the reach of their five senses."--_Art of Thinking_,
p. 66. It may be too much to affirm, that this is positively ungrammatical;
yet it would be as well or better, to express it thus: "But _to relieve_
the necessitous, _to restore_ content to the afflicted, _and to fill_ a
heart with joy, these full not within the reach of their five senses."

OBS. 33.--In the use of the English infinitive, as well as of the
participle in _ing_, the distinction of _voice_ is often disregarded; the
active form being used in what, with respect to the noun before it, is a
passive sense: as, "There's no time _to waste_."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p.
82. "You are _to blame_."--_Ib._ "The humming-bird is delightful _to look_
upon."--_Ib._ "What pain it was _to drown_."--_Shak._ "The thing's _to
do_."--_Id._ "When deed of danger was _to do_."--_Scott_. "The evil I bring
upon myself, is the hardest _to bear_."--_Home's Art of Thinking_, p. 27.
"Pride is worse _to bear_ than cruelty."--_Ib._, p. 37. These are in fact
active verbs, and not passive. We may suggest agents for them, if we
please; as, "There is no time _for us_ to waste." That the simple
participle in _ing_ may be used passively, has been proved elsewhere. It
seems sometimes to have no distinction of voice; as, "What is worth
_doing_, is worth _doing well_."--_Com. Maxim._ This is certainly much more
agreeable, than to say, "What is worth _being done_, is worth _being done
well_." In respect to the voice of the infinitive, and of this participle,
many of our grammarians are obviously hypercritical. For example: "The
active voice should not be used for the passive; as, I have work _to do_: a
house _to sell, to let_, instead of _to be done, to be sold, to be
let_."--_Sanborn's Gram._, p. 220. "Active verbs are often used improperly
with a passive signification, as, 'the house is _building_, lodgings to
_let_, he has a house to _sell_, nothing is _wanting_;' in stead of 'the
house is _being built_, lodgings to _be lett_, he has a house to _be_ sold,
nothing is _wanted_.'"--_Blair's Gram._, p. 64. In punctuation,
orthography, and the use of capitals, here are more errors than it is worth
while to particularize. With regard to such phraseology as, "The house _is
being built_," see, in Part II, sundry Observations on the Compound Form of
Conjugation. To say, "I have work _to do_,"--"He has a house _to
sell_,"--or, "We have lodgings _to let_," is just as good English, as to
say, "I have meat _to eat_."--_John_, iv, 32. And who, but some sciolist in
grammar, would, in all such instances, prefer the passive voice?



"William, please hand me that pencil."--_R. C. Smith's New Gram._, p. 12.

[FORMULE--Not proper, because the infinitive verb _hand_ is not preceded by
the preposition _to_. But, according to Rule 18th, "The preposition _to_
governs the infinitive mood, and commonly connects it to a finite verb."
Therefore, _to_ should be here inserted; thus, "William, please _to_ hand
me that pencil."]

"Please insert points so as to make sense."--_Davis's Gram._, p. 123. "I
have known Lords abbreviate almost the half of their words."--_Cobbett's
English Gram._, 153. "We shall find the practice perfectly accord with
the theory."--_Knight, on the Greek Alphabet_, p. 23. "But it would tend to
obscure, rather than elucidate the subject."--_L. Murray's Gram._, p. 95.
"Please divide it for them as it should be."--_Willett's Arith._, p. 193.
"So as neither to embarrass, nor weaken the sentence."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
116; _Murray's Gram._, 322. "Carry her to his table, to view his poor
fare,[413] and hear his heavenly discourse."--SHERLOCK: _Blair's Rhet._, p.
157; _Murray's Gram._, 347. "That we need not be surprised to find this
hold in eloquence."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 174. "Where he has no occasion
either to divide or explain."--_Ib._, p. 305. "And they will find their
pupils improve by hasty and pleasant steps."--_Russell's Gram._, Pref., p.
4. "The teacher however will please observe," &c.--_Infant School Gram._,
p. 8. "Please attend to a few rules in what is called syntax."--_Ib._, p.
128. "They may dispense with the laws to favor their friends, or secure
their office."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 39. "To take back a gift, or break a
contract, is a wanton abuse."--_Ib._, p. 41. "The legislature has nothing
to do, but let it bear its own price."--_Ib._, p. 315. "He is not to form,
but copy characters."--_Rambler_, No. 122. "I have known a woman make use
of a shoeing-horn."--_Spect._, No. 536. "Finding this experiment answer, in
every respect, their wishes."--_Sandford and Merton_, p. 51. "In fine let
him cause his argument conclude in the term of the question."--_Barclay's
Works_, Vol. iii, p. 443.

"That he permitted not the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly."--_Shakspeare, Hamlet_.

RULE XIX.--INFINITIVES. The active verbs, _bid, dare, feel, hear, let,
make, need, see_, and their participles, usually take the Infinitive after
them without the preposition _to_: as, "If he _bade_ thee _depart_, how
_darest_ thou _stay_?"--"I _dare_ not _let_ my mind _be_ idle as I walk in
the streets."--_Cotton Mather_.

"Thy Hector, wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither _hear_ thee _sigh_, nor _see_ thee _weep_."
--_Pope's Homer_.


OBS. 1.--Respecting the syntax of the infinitive mood when the particle
_to_ is not expressed before it, our grammarians are almost as much at
variance, as I have shown them to be, when they find the particle employed.
Concerning _verbs governed by verbs_, Lindley Murray, and some others, are
the most clear and positive, where their doctrine is the most obviously
wrong; and, where they might have affirmed with truth, that the former verb
_governs the latter_, they only tell us that "the preposition TO _is
sometimes properly omitted_,"--or that such and such verbs "_have commonly
other verbs following them_ without the sign TO."--_Murray's Gram._, p.
183; _Alger's_, 63; _W. Allen's_, 167, and others. If these authors meant,
that the preposition _to_ is omitted _by ellipsis_, they ought to have said
so. Then the many admirers and remodellers of Murray's Grammar might at
least have understood him alike. Then, too, any proper definition of
_ellipsis_ must have proved both them and him to be clearly wrong about
this construction also. If the word _to_ is really "understood," whenever
it is omitted after _bid, dare, feel_, &c., as some authors, affirm, then
is it here the governing word, if anywhere; and this nineteenth rule,
however common, is useless to the parser.[414] Then, too, does no English
verb ever govern the infinitive without governing also a _preposition_,
"expressed or understood." Whatever is omitted by ellipsis, and truly
"_understood_," really belongs to the grammatical construction; and
therefore, if inserted, it cannot be actually _improper_, though it may be
unnecessary. But all our grammarians admit, that _to_ before the infinitive
is sometimes "superfluous _and improper_."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 183. I
imagine, there cannot be any proper ellipsis of _to_ before the infinitive,
except in some forms of comparison; because, wherever else it is necessary,
either to the sense or to the construction, it ought to be inserted. And
wherever the _to_ is rightly used, it is properly the governing word; but
where it cannot be inserted without _impropriety_, it is absurd to say,
that it is "_understood_." The infinitive that is put after such a verb or
participle as excludes the preposition _to_, is governed by this verb or
participle, if it is governed by any thing: as,

"To make them _do, undo, eat, drink, stand, move,
Talk, think_, and _feel_, exactly as he chose."--_Pollok_, p. 69.

OBS. 2.--Ingersoll, who converted Murray's Grammar into "_Conversations_,"
says, "I will just remark to you that the verbs in the infinitive mood,
that follow _make, need, see, bid, dare, feel, hear, let_, and their
participles, are _always_ GOVERNED by them."--_Conv. on Eng. Gram._, p.
120. Kirkham, who pretended to turn the same book into "_Familiar
Lectures_," says, "_To_, the sign of the infinitive mood, is _often
understood_ before the verb; as, 'Let me proceed;' that is, Let me _to_
proceed."--_Gram. in Fam. Lect._, p. 137. The lecturer, however, does not
suppose the infinitive to be here governed by the preposition _to_, or the
verb _let_, but rather by the pronoun _me_. For, in an other place, he
avers, that the infinitive may be governed by a noun or a pronoun; as, "Let
_him do_ it."--_Ib._, p. 187. Now if the government of the infinitive is to
be referred to the objective noun or pronoun that intervenes, none of those
verbs that take the infinitive after them without the preposition, will
usually be found to govern it, except _dare_ and _need_; and if _need_, in
such a case, is an _auxiliary_, no government pertains to that. R. C.
Smith, an other modifier of Murray, having the same false notion of
ellipsis, says, "_To_, the usual sign of this mood, is _sometimes
understood_; as, 'Let me go,' instead of, 'Let me _to_ go.'"--_Smith's New
Gram._, p. 65. According to Murray, whom these men profess to follow,
_let_, in all these examples, is _an auxiliary_, and the verb that follows
it, is not in the _infinitive_ mood, but in the _imperative_. So they
severally contradict their oracle, and all are wrong, both he and they! The
disciples pretend to correct their master, by supposing "_Let me to go_,"
and "_Let me to proceed_," good English!

OBS. 3.--It is often impossible to say _by what_ the infinitive is
governed, according to the instructions of Murray, or according to any
author who does not parse it as I do. Nutting says, "The infinitive _mode_
sometimes follows the comparative conjunctions, _as, than_, and _how_,
WITHOUT GOVERNMENT."--_Practical Gram._, p. 106. Murray's uncertainty[415]
may have led to some part of this notion, but the idea that _how_ is a
"comparative conjunction," is a blunder entirely new. Kirkham is so puzzled
by "the language of that eminent philologist," that he bolts outright from
the course of his guide, and runs he knows not whither; feigning that other
able writers have well contended, "that this mood IS NOT GOVERNED by any
particular word." Accordingly he leaves his pupils at liberty to "_reject
the idea of government_, as applied to the verb in this mood;" and even
frames a rule which refers it always "To some noun or pronoun, as its
subject or actor."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 188. Murray teaches that the
object of the active verb sometimes governs the infinitive that follows it:
as, "They have a _desire_ to improve."--_Octavo Gram._, p. 184. To what
extent, in practice, he would carry this doctrine, nobody can tell;
probably to every sentence in which this object is the antecedent term to
the preposition _to_, and perhaps further: as, "I _have_ a _house_ to
_sell_"--_Nutting's Gram._, p. 106. "I _feel_ a _desire_ to _excel_." "I
_felt_ my _heart_ within me _die_."--_Merrick_.

OBS. 4.--Nutting supposes that the objective case before the infinitive
always governs it wherever it denotes the agent of the infinitive action;
as, "He commands _me_ to _write_ a letter."--_Practical Gram._, p. 96.
Nixon, on the contrary, contends, that the finite verb, in such a sentence,
can govern only one object, and that this object is the infinitive. "The
objective case preceding it," he says, "is the subject or agent of that
infinitive, and not governed by the preceding verb." His example is, "Let
_them_ go."--_English Parser_, p. 97. "In the examples, 'He is endeavouring
_to persuade_ them _to learn_,'--'It is pleasant _to see_ the sun,'--the
pronoun _them_, the adjective _pleasant_, and the participle
_endeavouring_, I consider as _governing_ the following verb in the
infinitive mode."--_Cooper's Plain and Pract. Gram._, p. 144. "Some
erroneously say that pronouns govern the infinitive mode in such examples
as this: 'I expected _him_ to be present.' We will change the expression:
'He was expected to be present.' _All will admit_ that _to be_ is governed
by _was expected_. The same verb that governs it in the passive voice,
governs it in the active."--_Sanborn's Gram._, p. 144. So do our _professed
grammarians_ differ about the government of the infinitive, even in _the
most common_ constructions of it! Often, however, it makes but little
difference in regard to the sense, which of the two words is considered the
governing or antecedent term; but where the preposition is excluded, the
construction seems to imply some immediate influence of the finite verb
upon the infinitive.

OBS. 5.--The _extent_ of this influence, or of such government, has never
yet been clearly determined. "This _irregularity_," says _Murray_, "extends
only to _active or neuter_ verbs: ['active _and_ neuter verbs,' says
_Fisk_:] for all the verbs above mentioned, when made _passive_, require
the preposition _to_ before the following verb: as, 'He was seen _to_ go;'
'He was heard _to_ speak;' 'They were bidden _to_ be upon their
guard.'"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 183. Fisk adds with no great accuracy "In
the _past_ and _future_ tenses of the active voice also, these verbs
generally require the sign _to_, to be prefixed to the following verbs; as,
'You _have dared to proceed_ without authority;' 'They _will_ not _dare to
attack_ you.'"--_Gram. Simplified_, p. 125. What these gentlemen here call
"_neuter verbs_," are only the two words _dare_ and _need_, which are, in
most cases, active, though not always transitive; unless the infinitive
itself can make them so--an inconsistent doctrine of theirs which I have
elsewhere refuted. (See Obs. 3rd on Rule 5th.) These two verbs take the
infinitive after them without the preposition, only when they are
intransitive; while all the rest seem to have this power, only when they
are transitive. If there are any exceptions, they shall presently be
considered. A more particular examination of the construction proper for
the infinitive after each of these eight verbs, seems necessary for a right
understanding of the rule.

OBS. 6.--Of the verb BID. This verb, in any of its tenses, when it commands
an action, usually governs an object and also an infinitive, which come
together; as, "Thou _bidst_ the _world adore_."--_Thomson_. "If the prophet
_had bid thee do_ some great thing."--_2 Kings_, v, 13. But when it means,
_to promise_ or _offer_, the infinitive that follows, must be introduced by
the preposition _to_; as, "He _bids_ fair _to excel_ them all"--"Perhaps no
person under heaven _bids_ more unlikely _to_ be saved."--_Brown's
Divinity_, p. vii. "And each _bade_ high _to_ win him."--GRANVILLE: _Joh.
Dict._ After the compound _forbid_, the preposition is also necessary; as,
"Where honeysuckles _forbid_ the sun _to_ enter."--_Beauties of Shak._. p.
57. In poetry, if the measure happens to require it, the word _to_ is
sometimes allowed after the simple verb _bid_, denoting a command; as,

"_Bid_ me _to_ strike my dearest brother dead,
_To_ bring my aged father's hoary head."--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. i, l. 677.

OBS. 7.--Of the verb DARE. This verb, when used intransitively, and its
irregular preterit _durst_, which is never transitive, usually take the
infinitive after them without _to_; as, "I _dare do_ all that may become a
man: Who _dares do_ more, is none."--_Shakspeare_. "If he _durst steal_ any
thing adventurously."--_Id._ "Who _durst defy_ th' Omnipotent to
arms."--_Milton_. "Like one who _durst_ his destiny _control_."--_Dryden_.
In these examples, the former verbs have some resemblance to auxiliaries,
and the insertion of the preposition _to_ would be improper. But when we
take away this resemblance, by giving _dare_ or _dared_, an objective case,
the preposition is requisite before the infinitive; as, "Time! I _dare
thee to_ discover Such a youth or such a lover."--_Dryden_. "He _dares me
to_ enter the lists."--_Fisk's Gram._, p. 125. So when _dare_ itself is in
the infinitive mood, or is put after an auxiliary, the preposition is not
improper; as, "And _let_ a private man _dare to say_ that it
will."--_Brown's Estimate_, ii, 147. "_Would_ its compiler _dare to
affront_ the Deity?"--_West's Letters_, p. 151. "What power so great, _to
dare to disobey?_"--_Pope's Homer_. "Some _would_ even _dare_ to
die."--_Bible_. "What _would dare to molest_ him?"--_Dr. Johnson_. "_Do_
you _dare to prosecute_ such a creature as Vaughan?"--_Junius_, Let.
xxxiii. Perhaps these examples might be considered good English, either
with or without the _to_; but the last one would be still better thus:
"_Dare_ you _prosecute_ such a creature as Vaughan?" Dr. Priestley thinks
the following sentence would have been better with the preposition
inserted: "Who _have dared defy_ the worst."--HARRIS: _Priestley's Gram._,
p. 132. _To_ is sometimes used after the simple verb, in the present tense;
as, "Those whose words no one _dares to_ repeat."--_Opie, on Lying_, p.

"_Dare_ I _to_ leave of humble prose the shore?"
--_Young_, p. 377.

"Against heaven's endless mercies pour'd, how _dar'st_ thou _to_ rebel?"
--_Id._, p. 380.

"The man who _dares to_ be a wretch, deserves still greater pain."
--_Id._, p. 381.

OBS. 8.--Of the verb FEEL. This verb, in any of its tenses, may govern the
infinitive without the sign _to_; but it does this, only when it is used
transitively, and that in regard to a bodily perception: as, "I _feel_ it
_move_."--"I _felt_ something _sting_ me." If we speak of feeling any
mental affection, or if we use the verb intransitively, the infinitive that
follows, requires the preposition; as, "I _feel_ it _to_ be my duty."--"I
_felt_ ashamed _to_ ask."--"I _feel_ afraid _to_ go alone."--"I _felt_
about, _to_ find the door." One may say of what is painful to the body, "I
_feel_ it _to_ be severe."

OBS. 9.--Of the verb HEAR. This verb is often intransitive, but it is
usually followed by an objective case when it governs the infinitive; as.
"To _hear_ a _bird sing_."--_Webster_. "You have never _heard me say_ so."
For this reason, I am inclined to think that those sentences in which it
appears to govern the infinitive alone, are elliptical; as, "I _have heard
tell_ of such things."--"And I _have heard say_ of thee, that thou canst
understand a dream to interpret it."--_Gen_, xli, 15. Such examples may be
the same as. "I have heard _people_ tell,"--"I have heard _men_ say," &c.

OBS. 10.--Of the verb LET. By many grammarians this verb has been
erroneously called an _auxiliary_ of the optative mood; or, as Dr. Johnson
terms it, "a _sign_ of the _optative_ mood:" though none deny, that it is
sometimes also a principal verb. It is, in fact, always a principal verb;
because, as we now apply it, it is always transitive. It commonly governs
an objective noun or pronoun, and also an infinitive without the sign _to_;
as, "Rise up, _let us go_."--_Mark_. "Thou _shalt let it rest_."--_Exodus_.
But sometimes the infinitive coalesces with it more nearly than the
objective, so that the latter is placed after both verbs; as, "The solution
_lets go_ the _mercury_."--_Newton_. "One _lets slip_ out of his account a
good _part_ of that duration."--_Locke_. "Back! on _your_ lives; _let_ be,
said he, my _prey_."--_Dryden_. The phrase, _let go_, is sometimes spoken
for, _let go your hold_; and _let be_, for _let him be, let it be_, &c. In
such instances, therefore, the verb _let_ is not really intransitive. This
verb, even in the passive form, may have the infinitive after it without
the preposition to; as, "Nothing _is let slip_."--_Walker's English
Particles_, p. 165. "They _were let go_ in peace."--_Acts_, xv, 33. "The
stage was never empty, nor the curtain _let fall_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
459. "The pye's question was wisely _let fall_ without a
reply."--_L'Estrange_. With respect to other passives, Murray and Fisk
appear to be right; and sometimes the preposition is used after this one:
as, "There's a letter for you, sir, if your name be Horatio, as I _am let
to know_ it is."--_Shakspeare_. _Let_, when used intransitively, required
the preposition _to_ before the following infinitive; as, "He would not
_let_ [i. e. _forbear_] _to counsel_ the king."--_Bacon_. But this use of
_let_ is now obsolete.

OBS. 11.--Of the verb MAKE. This verb, like most of the others, never
immediately governs an infinitive, unless it also governs a noun or a
pronoun which is the immediate _subject_ of such infinitive; as, "You _make
me blush_."--"This only _made_ the _youngster laugh_"--_Webster's
Spelling-Book_. "Which soon _made_ the young _chap hasten_ down."--_Ib._
But in very many instances it is quite proper to insert the preposition
where this verb is transitive; as, "He _maketh_ both the deaf _to_ hear,
and the dumb _to_ speak."--_Mark_, vii, 37. "He _makes_ the excellency of a
sentence _to_ consist in four things."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 122;
_Jamieson's_, 124. "It is this that _makes_ the observance of the dramatic
unities _to_ be of consequence."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 464. "In _making_
some tenses of the English verb _to_ consist of principal and
auxiliary."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 76. "When _make_ is intransitive, it has
some qualifying word after it, besides the sign of the infinitive; as,--I
think he _will make out_ to pay his debts." Formerly, the preposition _to_
was almost always inserted to govern the infinitive after _make_ or _made_;
as, "Lest I _make_ my brother _to_ offend."--_1 Cor._, viii, 13. "He _made_
many _to_ fall."--_Jer._, xlvi, 16. Yet, in the following text, it is
omitted, even where the verb is meant to be _passive_: "And it was lifted
up from the earth, and _made stand_ upon the feet as a man."--_Dan._, vii,
4. This construction is improper, and not free from ambiguity; because
_stand_ may be a noun, and _made_, an active verb governing it. There may
also be uncertainty in the meaning, where the insertion of the preposition
leaves none in the construction; for _made_ may signify either _created_ or
_compelled_, and the infinitive after it, may denote either the _purpose_
of creation, or the _effect_ of any temporary compulsion: as, "We are _made
to be serviceable_ to others."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p. 167. "Man _was
made to mourn_."--_Burns_. "Taste _was never made to cater_ for
vanity."--_Blair_. The primitive word _make_ seldom, if ever, produces a
construction that is thus equivocal. The infinitive following it without
_to_, always denotes the effect of the making, and not the purpose of the
maker; as, "He _made_ his son Skjoeld _be received_ there as king."--_North.
Antiq._, p. 81. But the same meaning may be conveyed when the _to_ is used;

"The fear of God is freedom, joy, and peace;
And _makes_ all ills that vex us here _to_ cease."--_Waller_, p. 56.

OBS. 12.--Of the verb NEED. I incline to think, that the word _need_,
whenever it is rightly followed by the infinitive without _to_, is, in
reality an _auxiliary_ of the potential mood; and that, like _may, can_,
and _must_, it may properly be used, in both the present and the perfect
tense, without personal inflection: as, "He _need_ not _go_, He _need_ not
_have gone_;" where, if _need_ is a principal verb, and governs the
infinitive without _to_, the expressions must be, "He _needs_ not _go_, He
_needed_ not _go_, or, He _has_ not _needed go_." But none of these three
forms is agreeable; and the last two are never used. Wherefore, in stead of
placing in my code of false syntax the numerous examples of the former
kind, with which the style of our grammarians and critics has furnished me,
I have exhibited many of them, in contrast with others, in the eighth and
ninth observations on the Conjugation of Verbs; in which observations, the
reader may see what reasons there are for supposing the word _need_ to be
sometimes an auxiliary and sometimes a principal verb. Because no other
author has yet intentionally recognized the propriety of this distinction,
I have gone no farther than to show on what grounds, and with what
authority from usage, it might be acknowledged. If we adopt this
distinction, perhaps it will be found that the regular or principal verb
_need_ always requires, or, at least, always admits, the preposition _to_
before the following infinitive; as, "They _need_ not _to_ be specially
indicated."--_Adams's Rhet._, i, 302. "We _need_ only _to_ remark."--_Ib._,
ii, 224. "A young man _needed_ only _to_ ask himself," &c.--_Ib._, i, 117.
"Nor is it conceivable to me, that the lightning of a Demosthenes _could
need to_ be sped upon the wings of a semiquaver."--_Ib._, ii, 226. "But
these people _need to_ be informed."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 220. "No man
_needed_ less _to_ be informed."--_Ib._, p. 175. "We _need_ only _to_
mention the difficulty that arises."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 362.
"_Can_ there _need to_ be argument to prove so plain a point?"--_Graham's
Lect_. "Moral instruction _needs to_ have a more prominent place."--_Dr.
Weeks_. "Pride, ambition, and selfishness, _need to_ be restrained."--_Id._
"Articles are sometimes omitted, where they _need to_ be used."--_Sanborn's
Gram._, p. 197. "Whose power _needs_ not _to_ be dreaded."--_Wilson's
Hebrew Gram._, p. 93. "A workman that _needeth_ not _to_ be ashamed."--_2
Tim._, ii, 15. "The small boys _may have needed to_ be managed according to
the school system."--_T. D. Woolsey_. "The difficulty of making variety
consistent, _needs_ not _to_ disturb him."--_Rambler_, No. 122. "A more
cogent proof _needs_ not _to_ be introduced."--_Wright's Gram._, p. 66. "No
person _needs to_ be informed, that _you_ is used in addressing a single
person."--_Wilcox's Gram._, p. 19. "I hope I _need_ not _to_ advise you
further."--_Shak., All's Well_.

"Nor me, nor other god, thou _needst to_ fear,
For thou to all the heavenly host art dear."--_Congreve_.

OBS. 13.--If _need_ is ever an auxiliary, the essential difference between
an auxiliary and a principal verb, will very well account for the otherwise
puzzling fact, that good writers sometimes inflect this verb, and sometimes
do not; and that they sometimes use _to_ after it, and sometimes do not.
Nor do I see in what other way a grammarian can treat it, without
condemning as bad English a great number of very common phrases which he
cannot change for the better. On this principle, such examples as, "He
_need_ not _proceed_," and "He _needs_ not _to_ proceed," may be perfectly
right in either form; though Murray, Crombie,[416] Fisk, Ingersoll, Smith,
C. Adams, and many others, pronounce both these forms to be wrong; and
unanimously, (though contrary to what is perhaps the best usage,) prefer,
"He _needs_ not _proceed_."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p. 180.

OBS. 14.--On questions of grammar, the _practice of authors_ ought to be of
more weight, than the _dogmatism of grammarians_; but it is often difficult
to decide well by either; because errors and contradictions abound in both.
For example: Dr. Blair says, (in speaking of the persons represented by _I_
and _thou_,) "Their sex _needs_ not _be_ marked."--_Rhet._, p. 79. Jamieson
abridges the work, and says, "_needs_ not _to_ be marked."--_Gram. of
Rhet._, p. 28. Dr. Lowth also says, "_needs_ not _be_ marked."--_Gram._, p.
21. Churchill enlarges the work, and says, "_needs_ not _to_ be
marked."--_New Gram._, p. 72. Lindley Murray copies Lowth, and says,
"_needs_ not _be_ marked."--_Gram._, 12mo, 2d Ed., p. 39; 23d Ed., p. 51;
and perhaps all other editions. He afterwards enlarges his own work, and
says, "_needs_ not _to_ be marked."--_Octavo Gram._, p. 51. But, according
to Greenleaf they all express the idea ungrammatically; the only true form
being, "Their sex _need_ not _be marked_." See _Gram. Simplified_, p. 48.
In the two places in which the etymology and the syntax of this verb are
examined, I have cited from proper sources more than twenty examples in
which _to_ is used after it, and more than twenty others in which the verb
is not inflected in the third person singular. In the latter, _need_ is
treated as an auxiliary; in the former, it is a principal verb, of the
regular construction. If the principal verb _need_ can also govern the
infinitive without _to_, as all our grammarians have supposed, then there
is a third form which is unobjectionable, and my pupils may take their
choice of the three. But still there is a fourth form which nobody
approves, though the hands of some great men have furnished us with
examples of it: as, "A figure of thought _need_ not _to_ detort the words
from their literal sense."--_J. Q. Adams's Lectures_, Vol. ii, p. 254.
"Which a man _need_ only _to_ appeal to his own feelings immediately to
evince."--_Clarkson's Prize-Essay on Slavery_, p. 106.

OBS. 15.--Webster and Greenleaf seem inclined to justify the use of _dare_,
as well as of _need_, for the third person singular. Their doctrine is
this: "In _popular practice_ it is used in the third person, without the
personal termination. Thus, instead of saying, 'He _dares_ not do it;' WE
_generally_ say, 'He _dare_ not do it.' In like manner, _need_, when an
active verb, is regular in its inflections; as, 'A man _needs_ more
prudence.' But _when intransitive_, it drops the personal terminations in
the present tense, and is followed by a verb without the prefix _to_; as,
'A man _need_ not _be_ uneasy.'"--_Greenleaf s Grammar Simplified_, p. 38;
_Webster's Philosophical Gram._, p. 178; _Improved Gram._, 127. Each part
of this explanation appears to me erroneous. In _popular practice_, one
shall oftener hear, "He _dares n't_ do it," or even, "_You dares n't_ do
it," than, "_He dare not_ do it." But it is only in the trained practice of
the schools, that he shall ever hear, "He _needs n't_ do it," or, "He
_needs not_ do it." If _need_ is sometimes used without inflection, this
peculiarity, or the disuse of _to_ before the subsequent infinitive, is not
a necessary result of its "_intransitive_" character. And as to their
latent _nominative_, "whereof there _is_ no _account_," or, "whereof there
_needs_ no _account_;" their _fact_, of which "there _is_ no _evidence_,"
or of which "there _needs_ no _evidence_;" I judge it a remarkable
phenomenon, that authors of so high pretensions, could find, in these
_transpositions_, a nominative to "_is_," but none to "_needs_!" See a
marginal note under Rule 14th, at p. 570.

OBS. 16.--Of the verb SEE. This verb, whenever it governs the infinitive
without _to_, governs also an objective noun or pronoun; as, "_See me do_
it."--"I _saw him do_ it."--_Murray_. Whenever it is intransitive, the
following infinitive must be governed by _to_; as, "I _will see to have_ it
done."--_Comly's Gram._, p. 98; _Greenleaf's_, 38. "How _could_ he _see to
do_ them?"--_Beauties of Shak._, p. 43. In the following text, _see_ is
transitive, and governs the infinitive; but the two verbs are put so far
apart, that it requires some skill in the reader to make their relation
apparent: "When ye therefore _shall see_ the abomination of desolation,
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, _stand_ in the holy place," &c.--_Matt._,
xxiv, 15. An other scripturist uses the _participle_, and says--"_standing_
where it ought not," &c.--_Mark_, xiii, 14. The Greek word is the same in
both; it is a participle, agreeing with the noun for _abomination_.
Sometimes the preposition _to_ seems to be admitted on purpose to protract
the expression: as,

"Tranio, I _saw_ her coral lips _to move_,
And with her breath she did perfume the air."--_Shak_.

OBS 17.--A few other verbs, besides the eight which are mentioned in the
foregoing rule and remarks, sometimes have the infinitive after them
without _to_. W. Allen teaches, that, "The sign _to_ is _generally_
omitted," not only after these eight, but also after eight others; namely,
"_find, have, help, mark, observe, perceive, watch_, and the old preterit
_gan_, for _began_; and _sometimes_ after _behold_ and _know_."--_Elements
of Gram._, p. 167. Perhaps he may have found _some instances_ of the
omission of the preposition after all these, but in my opinion his rule
gives a very unwarrantable extension to this "irregularity," as Murray
calls it. The usage belongs only to particular verbs, and to them not in
all their applications. Other verbs of the same import do not in general
admit the same idiom. But, by a license for the most part peculiar to the
poets, the preposition _to_ is occasionally omitted, especially after verbs
equivalent to those which exclude it; as, "And _force_ them
_sit_."--_Cowper's Task_, p. 46. That is, "And _make_ them _sit_."
According to Churchill, "To use _ought_ or _cause_ in this manner, is a
Scotticism: [as,] 'Won't you _cause_ them _remove_ the hares?'--'You
_ought_ not _walk_.' SHAK."--_New Gram._, p. 317. The verbs, _behold, view,
observe, mark, watch_, and _spy_, are only other words for _see_; as,
"There might you _behold_ one joy _crown_ an other."--_Shak_. "There I sat,
_viewing_ the silver stream _glide_ silently towards the tempestuous
sea."--_Walton_. "I _beheld_ Satan as lightning _fall_ from
heaven."--_Luke_, x, 18.

"Thy drowsy nurse hath sworn she did them _spy
Come_ tripping to the room where thou didst lie."--_Milton_.

------"Nor with less dread the loud
Ethereal trumpet from on high '_gan blow_."--_Id., P. L._, vi, 60.

OBS. 18.--After _have, help_, and _find_, the infinitive sometimes occurs
without the preposition _to_, but much oftener with it; as, "When
enumerating objects which we wish to _have appear_ distinct."--_Kirkham's
Gram._, p. 222. "Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to _have_ a man's mind
_move_ in charity, _rest_ in Providence, and _turn_ upon the poles of
truth."--_Ld. Bacon_. "What wilt thou _have_ me _to_ do?"--_Acts_, ix, 6.
"He will _have_ us _to_ acknowledge him."--_Scougal_, p. 102. "I _had to
walk_ all the way."--_Lennie's Gram._, p. 85. "Would you _have_ them _let
go_ then? No."--_Walker's Particles_, p. 248. According to Allen's rule,
this question is ambiguous; but the learned author explains it in Latin
thus: "Placet igitur eos _dimitti_? Minime." That is, "Would you have them
_dismissed_ then? No." Had he meant, "Would you have them _to_ let go
then?" he would doubtless have said so. Kirkham, by adding _help_ to
Murray's list, enumerates nine verbs which he will have to exclude the sign
of the infinitive; as, "_Help_ me _do_ it."--_Gram._, p. 188. But good
writers sometimes use the particle _to_ after this verb; as, "And Danby's
matchless impudence _helped to_ support the knave."--DRYDEN: _Joh. Dict.,
w. Help_. Dr. Priestley says, "It must, I suppose, be according to the
_Scotch_ idiom that Mrs. Macaulay omits it after the verb _help_: 'To _help
carry_ on the new measures of the court.' _History_, Vol. iv, p.
150."--_Priestley's Gram._, p. 133. "You will _find_ the difficulty
_disappear_ in a short time."--_Cobbett's English Gram._, 16. "We shall
always _find_ this distinction _obtain_."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 245. Here
the preposition _to_ might have been inserted with propriety. Without it, a
plural noun will render the construction equivocal. The sentence, "You will
find the _difficulties disappear_ in a short time," will probably be
understood to mean, "You will find _that_ the difficulties disappear in a
short time." "I do not _find_ him _reject_ his authority."--_Johnson's
Gram. Com._, p. 167. Here too the preposition might as well have been
inserted. But, as this use of the infinitive is a sort of Latinism, some
critics would choose to say, "I do not find _that he rejects_ his
authority." "Cyrus was extremely glad to find _them have_ such sentiments
of religion."--_Rollin_, ii, 117. Here the infinitive may be varied either
by the participle or by the indicative; as, "to find _them having_," or,
"to find _they had_." Of the three expressions, the last, I think, is
rather the best.

OBS. 19.--When two or more infinitives are connected in the same
construction, one preposition sometimes governs them both or all; a
repetition of the particle not being always necessary, unless we mean to
make the terms severally emphatical. This fact is one evidence that _to_ is
not a necessary part of each infinitive verb, as some will have it to be.
Examples: "Lord, suffer me first TO _go_ and _bury_ my father."--_Matt._,
viii, 21. "To _shut_ the door, means, TO _throw_ or _cast_ the door
to."--_Tooke's D. P._, ii, 105. "Most authors expect the printer TO _spell,
point_, and _digest_ their copy, that it may be intelligible to the
reader."--_Printer's Grammar_.

"I'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To _shake_ the head, _relent_, and _sigh_, and _yield_."--_Shak_.

OBS. 20.--An infinitive that explains an other, may sometimes be introduced
without the preposition _to_; because, the former having it, the
construction of the latter is made the same by this kind of apposition: as,
"The most accomplished way of using books at present is, TO _serve_ them as
some do lords; _learn_ their _titles_, and, then _brag_ of their
acquaintance."--SWIFT: _Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 166.

OBS. 21.--After _than_ or _as_, the sign of the infinitive is sometimes
required, and sometimes excluded; and in some instances we can either
insert it or not, as we please. The latter term of a comparison is almost
always more or less elliptical; and as the nature of its ellipsis depends
on the structure of the former term, so does the necessity of inserting or
of omitting the sign of the infinitive. Examples: "No desire is more
universal than [_is the desire_] to be exalted and honoured."--_Kames, El.
of Crit._, i, 197. "The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as
[_is the difficulty_] to find a friend worth dying for."--_Id., Art of
Thinking_, p. 42. "It is no more in one's power to love or not to love,
than [_it is in one's power_] to be in health or out of order."--_Ib._, p.
45. "Men are more likely to be praised into virtue, than [_they are
likely_] to be railed out of vice."--_Ib._, p. 48. "It is more tolerable to
be always alone, than [_it is tolerable_] never to be so."--_Ib._, p. 26.
"Nothing [_is_] more easy than to do mischief [_is easy_]: nothing [is]
more difficult than to suffer without complaining" [_is
difficult_].--_Ib._, p. 46. Or: "than [_it is easy_] to do mischief:" &c.,
"than [_it is difficult_] to suffer," &c. "It is more agreeable to the
nature of most men to follow than [_it is agreeable to their nature_] to
lead."--_Ib._, p. 55. In all these examples, the preposition _to_ is very
properly inserted; but what excludes it from the former term of a
comparison, will exclude it from the latter, if such governing verb be
understood there: as, "You no more heard me _say_ those words, than [_you
heard me_] _talk_ Greek." It may be equally proper to say, "We choose
rather to lead than _follow_," or, "We choose rather to lead than _to_
follow."--_Art of Thinking_, p. 37. The meaning in either case is, "We
choose to lead rather than _we choose to_ follow." In the following
example, there is perhaps an ellipsis of _to_ before _cite_: "I need do
nothing more than _simply cite_ the explicit declarations," &c.--_Gurney's
Peculiarities_, p. 4. So in these: "Nature did no more than _furnish_ the
power and means."--_Sheridan's Elocution_, p. 147.

"To beg, than _work_, he better understands;
Or we perhaps might take him off thy hands."
--_Pope's Odyssey_, xvii, 260.

OBS. 22.--It has been stated, in Obs. 16th on Rule 17th, that good writers
are apt to shun a repetition of any part common to two or more verbs in the
same sentence; and among the examples there cited is this: "They mean _to_,
and will, hear patiently."--_Salem Register_. So one might say, "Can a man
arrive at excellence, who has no desire _to_?"--"I do not wish to go, nor
expect _to_."--"Open the door, if you are going _to_." Answer: "We want
_to_, and try _to_, but can't." Such ellipses of the infinitive after _to_,
are by no means uncommon, especially in conversation; nor do they appear to
me to be always reprehensible, since they prevent repetition, and may
contribute to brevity without obscurity. But Dr. Bullions has lately
thought proper to _condemn_ them; for such is presumed to have been the
design of the following note: "_To_, the sign of the infinitive, should
never be used for the infinitive itself. Thus, 'I have not written, and I
do not intend _to_,' is a colloquial vulgarism for, 'I have not written,
and I do not intend _to write_.'"--_Bullions's Analyt. and Pract. Gram._,
p. 179. His "Exercises to be corrected," here, are these: "Be sure to write
yourself and tell him to. And live as God designed me to."--_Ib._, 1st Ed.,
p. 180. It being manifest, that _to_ cannot "be used _for_"--(that is, _in
place of_--)what is implied _after_ it, this is certainly a very awkward
way of hinting "there should never be an ellipsis of the infinitive after
_to_." But, from the false syntax furnished, this appears to have been the
meaning intended. The examples are severally faulty, but not for the reason
suggested--not because "_to_" is used for "_write_" or "_live_"--not,
indeed, for any one reason common to the three--but because, in the first,
"_to write_" and "_have not written_," have nothing in common which we can
omit; in the second, the mood of "_tell_" is doubtful, and, without a comma
after "yourself," we cannot precisely know the meaning; in the third, the
mood, the person, and the number of "_live_," are all unknown. See Note 9th
to Rule 17th, above; and Note 2d to the General Rule, below.

OBS. 23.--Of some infinitives, it is hard to say whether they are
transitive or intransitive; as, "Well, then, let us proceed; we have other
forced marches to _make_; other enemies to _subdue_; more laurels to
_acquire_; and more injuries to _avenge_."--BONAPARTE: _Columbian Orator_,
p. 136. These, without ellipsis, are intransitive; but relatives may be




"I dare not to proceed so hastily, lest I should give offence."--_Murray's
Exercises_, p. 63.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the preposition _to_ is inserted before
_proceed_, which follows the active verb _dare_. But, according to Rule
19th, "The active verbs, _bid, dare, feel, hear, let, make, need, see_, and
their participles, usually take the infinitive after them without the
preposition _to_;" and this is an instance in which the finite verb should
immediately govern the infinitive. Therefore, the _to_ should be omitted;
thus, "I _dare_ not _proceed_ so hastily," &c.]

"Their character is formed, and made appear."--_Butler's Analogy_, p. 115.

[FORMULE.--Not proper, because the preposition _to_ is not inserted between
_made_ and _appear_, the verb _is made_ being passive. But, according to
Obs. 5th and 10th on Rule 19th, those verbs which in the active form govern
the infinitive without _to_, do not so govern it when they are made
passive, except the verb _let_. Therefore, _to_ should be here inserted;
thus, "Their character is formed, and made _to_ appear."]

"Let there be but matter and opportunity offered, and you shall see them
quickly to revive again."--_Wisdom of the Ancients_, p. 53. "It has been
made appear, that there is no presumption against a revelation."--_Butler's
Analogy_, p. 252. "MANIFEST, _v. t_. To reveal; to make to appear; to show
plainly."--_Webster's American Dict._ "Let him to reign like unto good
Aurelius, or let him to bleed like unto Socrates."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p.
169. "To sing I could not; to complain I durst not."--_S. Fothergill_. "If
T. M. be not so frequently heard pray by them."--_Barclay's Works_, iii,
132. "How many of your own church members were never heard pray?"--_Ib._,
iii, 133. "Yea, we are bidden pray one for another."--_Ib._, iii, 145. "He
was made believe that neither the king's death, nor imprisonment would help
him."--_Sheffield's Works_, ii, 281. "I felt a chilling sensation to creep
over me."--_Inst._, p. 188. "I dare to say he has not got home yet."--_Ib._
"We sometimes see bad men to be honoured."--_Ib._ "I saw him to
move."--_Felch's Comprehensive Gram._, p. 62. "For see thou, ah! see thou a
hostile world to raise its terrours."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 167. "But that
he make him to rehearse so."--_Lily's Gram._, p. xv. "Let us to
rise."--_Fowle's True Eng. Gram._, p. 41.

"Scripture, you know, exhorts us to it;
Bids us to 'seek peace, and ensue it.'"--_Swift's Poems_, p. 336.

"Who bade the mud from Dives' wheel
To spurn the rags of Lazarus?
Come, brother, in that dust we'll kneel,
Confessing Heaven that ruled it thus."--_Christmas Book_.


The true or regular syntax of the English Participle, as a part of speech
distinct from the verb, and not converted into a noun or an adjective, is
twofold; being sometimes that of simple _relation_ to a noun or a pronoun
that precedes it, and sometimes that of _government_, or the state of
_being governed_ by a preposition. In the former construction, the
participle resembles an adjective; in the latter, it is more like a noun,
or like the infinitive mood: for the participle after a preposition is
governed _as a participle_, and not as a case.[417] To these two
constructions, some add three others less regular, using the participle
sometimes as the _subject_ of a finite verb, sometimes as the _object_ of a
transitive verb, and sometimes as a _nominative_ after a neuter verb. Of
these five constructions, the first two, are the legitimate uses of this
part of speech; the others are occasional, modern, and of doubtful


Participles relate to nouns or pronouns, or else are governed by
prepositions: as, "Elizabeth's tutor, at one time _paying_ her a visit,
found her _employed_ in _reading_ Plato."--_Hume_. "I have no more pleasure
in _hearing_ a man _attempting_ wit and _failing_, than in _seeing_ a man
_trying_ to leap over a ditch and tumbling into it."--_Dr. Johnson_.

"Now, _rais'd_ on Tyre's sad ruins, Pharaoh's pride
Soar'd high, his legions _threat'ning_ far and wide."--_Dryden_.


A participle sometimes relates to a preceding _phrase_ or _sentence_, of
which it forms no part; as, "I then quit the society; _to withdraw and
leave them to themselves_, APPEARING to me a duty."--"It is almost
exclusively on the ground we have mentioned, that we have heard _his being
continued in office_ DEFENDED."--_Professors' Reasons_, p. 23. (Better,
"_his continuance_ in office," or, "_the continuing of him_ in office." See
Obs. 18th on Rule 4th.)

"But _ever to do ill_ our sole delight,
As _being_ the contrary to his high will."--_Milton_.


With an infinitive denoting being or action in the abstract, a participle
is sometimes also taken _abstractly_; (that is, without reference to any
particular noun, pronoun, or other subject;) as, "To seem _compelled_, is
disagreeable."--"To keep always _praying_ aloud, is plainly
impossible."--"It must be disagreeable to be left pausing[418] on a word
which does not, by itself, produce any idea."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p.

"To praise him is to serve him, and fulfill,
_Doing_ and _suffering_, his unquestion'd will."
--_Cowper_, Vol. i, p. 88.


The participle is often used irregularly in English, as a substitute for
the infinitive mood, to which it is sometimes equivalent without
irregularity; as, "I saw him _enter_, or _entering_"--_Grant's Lat. Gram._,
p. 230. "He is afraid of _trying_, or _to try_."--_Ibid._ Examples
irregular: "Sir, said I, if the case stands thus, 'tis dangerous
_drinking_:" i.e., to drink.--_Collier's Tablet of Cebes_. "It will be but
ill _venturing_ thy soul upon that:" i.e., to venture.--_Bunyan's Law and
Grace_, p. 27. "_Describing_ a past event as present, has a fine effect in
language:" i.e., to describe.--_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 93. "In English
likewise it deserves _remarking_:" i.e., to be remarked.--_Harris's
Hermes_, p. 232. "Bishop Atterbury deserves _being particularly
mentioned_:" i.e., to be particularly mentioned.--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 291.
"This, however, is in effect no more than _enjoying_ the sweet that
predominates:" i.e., to enjoy.--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 43.

"Habits are soon assum'd; but when we strive
To strip them off, 'tis being _flay'd_ alive."--_Cowper_, Vol. i, p. 44


An other frequent irregularity in the construction of participles, is the
practice of treating them essentially as nouns, without taking from them
the regimen and adjuncts of participles; as, "_Your having been well
educated will be_ a great recommendation."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 171.
(Better: "_Your excellent education_"--or, "_That you have been well
educated_, will be," &c.) "It arises from _sublimity's expressing grandeur_
in its highest degree."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 29. "Concerning _the
separating_ by a circumstance, _words_ intimately connected."--_Kames, El.
of Crit._, Vol. ii, p. 104. "As long as there is any hope of _their keeping
pace_ with them."--_Literary Convention_, p. 114. "Which could only arise
from _his knowing the secrets_ of all hearts."--_West's Letters to a Young
Lady_, p. 180. "But this again is _talking_ quite at random."--_Butler's
Analogy_, p. 146.

"_My being here_ it is, that holds thee hence."--_Shak._

"Such, but by foils, the clearest lustre see,
And deem _aspersing others, praising thee_."--_Savage, to Walpole_.


OBS. 1.--To this rule, I incline to think, there are _properly_ no other
exceptions than the first two above; or, at least, that we ought to avoid,
when we can, any additional anomalies. Yet, not to condemn with unbecoming
positiveness what others receive for good English, I have subjoined two
items more, which include certain other irregularities now very common,
that, when examples of a like form occur, the reader may _parse them as
exceptions_, if he does not choose _to censure them as errors_. The mixed
construction in which participles are made to govern the possessive case,
has already been largely considered in the observations on Rule 4th.
Murray, Allen, Churchill, and many other grammarians, great and small,
admit that participles may be made the subjects or the objects of verbs,
while they retain the nature, government, and adjuncts, of participles; as,
"Not _attending_ to this rule, is the cause of a very common
error."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo, p. 200; _Comly's Gram._, 188; _Weld's Gram._,
2d Ed., 170. "_Polite_ is employed to signify their being _highly
civilized_.'"--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 219. "One abhors _being_ in
debt."--_Ib._, p. 98; _Jamieson's Rhet._, 71; _Murray's Gram._, 144. "Who
affected _being_ a fine gentleman so unmercifully."--_Spect._, No. 496.
"The minister's _being attached_ to the project, prolonged their
debate."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 78. "It finds [i.e., _the mind_ finds,] that
_acting thus_ would gratify one passion; _not acting_, or _acting
otherwise_, would gratify another."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 109. "But
further, _cavilling_ and _objecting_ upon any subject _is_ much easier than
_clearing up_ difficulties."--_Bp. Butler's Charge to the Clergy of
Durham_, 1751.

OBS. 2.--W. Allen observes, "The use of the participle as a nominative, is
one of the _peculiarities_ of our language."--_Elements of Gram._, p. 171.
He might have added, that the use of the participle as an objective
governed by a verb, as a nominative after a verb neuter, or as a word
governing the possessive, is also one of the peculiarities of our language,
or at least an idiom adopted by no few of its recent writers. But whether
any one of these four modern departures from General Grammar ought to be
countenanced by us, as an idiom that is either elegant or advantageous, I
very much doubt. They are all however sufficiently common in the style of
reputable authors; and, however questionable their character, some of our
grammarians seem mightily attached to them all. It becomes me therefore to
object with submission. These mixed and irregular constructions of the
participle, ought, in my opinion, to be _generally_ condemned as false
syntax; and for this simple reason, that the ideas conveyed by them may
_generally_, if not always, be expressed more briefly, and more elegantly,
by other phraseology that is in no respect anomalous. Thus, for the
examples above: "_Inattention_ to this rule, is the cause of a very common
error."--"_Polite_ is employed to signify a _high degree of civilization_;"
or, "_that they are_ highly civilized."--"One abhors _debt_."--"Who
affected _the_ fine gentleman so unmercifully."--"The minister's
_partiality_ to the project, prolonged their debate."--"It finds [i.e.,
_the mind_ finds,] that _to act thus_, would gratify one passion; _and that
not to act_, or _to act otherwise_, would gratify another."--"But further,
_to cavil and object_, upon any subject, is much easier than _to clear up_
difficulties." Are not these expressions much better English than the
foregoing quotations? And if so, have we not reason to conclude that the
adoption of participles in such instances is erroneous and ungrammatical?

OBS. 3.--In Obs. 17th on Rule 4th, it was suggested, that in English the
participle, without governing the possessive case, is turned to a greater
number and variety of uses, than in any other language. This remark applies
mainly to the participle in _ing_. Whether it is expedient to make so much
of one sort of derivative, and endeavour to justify every possible use of
it which can be plausibly defended, is a question well worthy of
consideration. We have already converted this participle to such a
multiplicity of purposes, and into so many different parts of speech, that
one can well-nigh write a chapter in it, without any other words. This
practice may have added something to the copiousness and flexibility of the
language, but it certainly has a tendency to impair its strength and
clearness. Not every use of participles is good, for which there may be
found precedents in good authors. One may run to great excess in the
adoption of such derivatives, without becoming absolutely unintelligible,
and without violating any rule of our common grammars. For example, I may
say of somebody, "This very superficial grammatist, supposing empty
criticism about the adoption of proper phraseology to be a show of
extraordinary erudition, was displaying, in spite of ridicule, a very
boastful turgid argument concerning the correction of false syntax, and
about the detection of false logic in debate." Now, in what other language
than ours, can a string of words anything like the following, come so near
to a fair and literal translation of this long sentence? "This exceeding
trifling witling, considering ranting criticising concerning adopting
fitting wording being exhibiting transcending learning, was displaying,
notwithstanding ridiculing, surpassing boasting swelling reasoning,
respecting correcting erring writing, and touching detecting deceiving
arguing during debating." Here are _not all_ the uses to which our writers
apply the participle in _ing_, but there would seem to be enough, without
adding others that are less proper.

OBS. 4.--The active participles, _admitting, allowing, considering,
granting, speaking, supposing_, and the like, are frequently used in
discourse so independently, that they either relate to nothing, or to the
pronoun _I_ or _we_ understood; as, "_Granting_ this to be true, what is
to be inferred from it?"--_Murray's Gram._, p. 195. This may be supposed to
mean, "_I_, granting this to be true, _ask_ what is to be inferred from
it?" "The very chin was, _modestly speaking_, as long as my whole
face."--_Addison_. Here the meaning may be, "_I_, modestly speaking,
_say_." So of the following examples: "_Properly speaking_, there is no
such thing as chance."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 172. "Because, _generally
speaking_, the figurative sense of a word is derived from its proper
sense."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 190. "But, _admitting_ that two or three
of these offend less in their morals than in their writings, must poverty
make nonsense sacred?"--_Pope's Works_, Vol. iii, p. 7. Some grammarians
suppose such participles to be put absolute in themselves, so as to have no
reference to any noun or pronoun; others, among whom are L. Murray and Dr.
James P. Wilson, suppose them to be put absolute with a pronoun understood.
On the former supposition, they form an other exception to the foregoing
rule; on the latter, they do not: the participle relates to the pronoun,
though both be independent of the rest of the sentence. If we supply the
ellipsis as above, there is nothing put absolute.

OBS. 5.--Participles are almost always placed after the words on which
their construction depends, and are distinguished from adjectives by this
position; but when other words depend on the participle, or when several
participles have the same construction, the whole phrase may come before
the noun or pronoun: as, "_Leaning_ my head upon my hand, _I_ began to
figure to myself the miseries of confinement."--_Sterne_.

"_Immured_ in cypress shades, a _sorcerer_ dwells."--_Milton_.

"_Brib'd, bought, and bound_, they banish shame and fear;
Tell you they're stanch, and have a soul sincere."--_Crabbe_.

OBS. 6.--When participles are compounded with something that does not
belong to the verb, they become _adjectives_; and, as such, they cannot
govern an object after them. The following construction is therefore
inaccurate: "When Caius did any thing _unbecoming_ his dignity."--_Jones's
Church History_, i, 87. "Costly and gaudy attire, _unbecoming_
godliness."--_Extracts_, p. 185. Such errors are to be corrected by Note
15th to Rule 9th, or by changing the particle _un_ to _not_: as,
"Unbecoming _to_ his dignity;" or, "_Not_ becoming his dignity."

OBS. 7.--An imperfect or a preperfect participle, preceded by an article,
an adjective, or a noun or pronoun of the possessive case, becomes a
_verbal_ or _participial noun_; and, as such, it cannot with strict
propriety, govern an object after it. A word which may be the object of the
participle in its proper construction, requires the preposition _of_, to
connect it with the verbal noun; as, 1. THE PARTICIPLE: "_Worshiping_
idols, the Jews sinned."--"_Thus worshiping_ idols,--_In worshiping_
idols,--or, _By worshiping_ idols, they sinned." 2. THE VERBAL NOUN: "_The
worshiping of_ idols,--_Such worshiping of_ idols,--or, _Their worshiping
of_ idols, was sinful."--"_In the worshiping of_ idols, there is sin."

OBS. 8.--It is commonly supposed that these two modes of expression are, in
very many instances, equivalent to each other in meaning, and consequently
interchangeable. How far they really are so, is a question to be
considered. Example: "But if candour be _a confounding of_ the distinctions
between sin and holiness, _a depreciating of_ the excellence of the latter,
and at the same time _a diminishing of_ the evil of the former; then it
must be something openly at variance with the letter and the spirit of
revelation."--_The Friend_, iv, 108. Here the nouns, _distinctions,
excellence_, and _evil_, though governed by _of_, represent the _objects_
of the forenamed actions; and therefore they might well be governed by
_confounding, depreciating_, and _diminishing_, if these were participles.
But if, to make them such, we remove the article and the preposition, the
construction forsakes our meaning; for _be confounding, (be) depreciating_,
and _(be) diminishing_, seem rather to be verbs of the compound form; and
our uncertain nominatives after _be_, thus disappear in the shadow of a
false sense. But some sensible critics tell us, that this preposition _of_
should refer rather to the _agent_ of the preceding action, than to its
_passive object_; so that such a phrase as, "_the teaching of boys_,"
should signify rather the instruction which boys give, than that which they
receive. If, for the sake of this principle, or for any other reason, we
wish to avoid the foregoing phraseology, the meaning may be expressed thus:
"But if _your_ candour _confound_ the distinctions between sin and
holiness; _if it depreciate_ the excellence of the latter, and at the same
time _diminish_ the evil of the former; then it must be something openly at
variance with the letter and the spirit of revelation."

OBS. 9.--When the use of the preposition produces ambiguity or harshness,
let a better expression be sought. Thus the sentence, "He mentions
_Newton's writing of_ a commentary," is not entirely free from either of
these faults. If the preposition be omitted, the word _writing_ will have a
double construction, which is inadmissible, or at least objectionable. Some
would say, "He mentions _Newton writing_ a commentary." This, though not
uncommon, is still more objectionable because it makes the leading word in
sense the adjunct in construction. The meaning may be correctly expressed
thus: "He mentions _that Newton wrote_ a commentary." "Mr. Dryden makes a
very handsome observation on _Ovid's writing a letter_ from Dido to
AEneas."--_Spect._, No. 62; _Campbell's Rhet._, p. 265; _Murray's Key_, ii,
253. Here the word _writing_ is partly a noun and partly a participle. If
we make it wholly a noun, by saying, "on _Ovid's writing of_ a letter," or
wholly a participle, by saying, "on _Ovid writing_ a letter;" it may be
doubted, whether we have effected any improvement. And again, if we adopt
Dr. Lowth's advice, "Let it be either the one or the other, and abide by
its proper construction;" we must make some change; and therefore ought
perhaps to say; "on _Ovid's conceit of writing_ a letter from Dido to
AEneas." This is apparently what Addison meant, and what Dryden remarked
upon; the latter did not speak of the letter itself, else the former would
have said, "on _Ovid's letter_ from Dido to AEneas."

OBS. 10.--When a needless possessive, or a needless article, is put before
the participle, the correction is to be made, not by inserting _of_, but by
expunging the article, according to Note 16th to Rule 1st, or the
possessive, according to Note 5th to Rule 4th. Example: "By _his_ studying
the Scriptures he became wise."--_Lennie's Gram._, p. 91. Here _his_ serves
only to render the sentence incorrect; yet this spurious example is
presented by Lennie to _prove_ that a participle may take the possessive
case before it, when the preposition _of_ is not admissible after it. So,
in stead of expunging one useless word, our grammarians _often_ add an
other and call the twofold error a _correction_; as, "For _his_ avoiding
_of_ that precipice, he is indebted to his friend's care."--_Murray's Key_,
ii, 201. Or worse yet: "_It was from our_ misunderstanding _of_ the
directions _that_ we lost our way."--_Ibid._ Here, not _our_ and _of_ only,
but four other words, are worse than useless. Again: "By _the_ exercising
_of_ our judgment, it is improved. Or thus: By _exercising_ our judgment,
it is improved."--_Comly's Key in his Gram._, 12th Ed., p. 188. Each of
these pretended corrections is wrong in more respects than one. Say, "By
exercising our _judgement, we improve it_" Or, "Our _judgement_ is improved
by _being exercised_" Again: "_The loving of_ our enemies is a divine
_command_; Or, _loving our enemies_ [is a divine command]."--_Ibid._ Both
of these are also wrong. Say, "'_Love your enemies_,' is a divine command."
Or, "_We are divinely commanded to love_ our enemies." Some are apt to
jumble together the active voice and the passive, and thus destroy the
unity even of a short sentence; as, "By _exercising_ our memories, they
_are improved_."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 226 and 195. "The error _might have
been avoided_ by _repeating_ the substantive."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 172.
"By _admitting_ such violations of established grammatical distinctions,
confusion _would be introduced_."--_Ib._, p. 187. In these instances, we
have an active participle without an agent; and this, by the preposition
_by_, is made an adjunct to a passive verb. Even the participial noun of
this form, though it actually drops the distinction of voice, is awkward
and apparently incongruous in such a relation.

OBS. 11.--When the verbal noun necessarily retains any adjunct of the verb
or participle, it seems proper that the two words be made a compound by
means of the hyphen: as, "Their hope shall be as the _giving-up_ of the
ghost."--_Job_, xi, 20. "For if the _casting-away_ of them be the
reconciling of the world."--_Rom._, xi, 15. "And the _gathering-together_
of the waters called he seas."--_Gen._, i, 10. "If he should offer to stop
the _runnings-out_ of his justice."--_Law and Grace_, p. 26. "The
_stopping-short_ before the usual pause in the melody, aids the impression
that is made by the description of the stone's _stopping-short_.'"--_Kames,
El. of Crit._, ii, 106. I do not find these words united in the places
referred to, but this is nevertheless their true figure. Our authors and
printers are lamentably careless, as well as ignorant, respecting _the
figure of words_: for which part of grammar, see the whole of the third
chapter, in Part First of this work; also observations on the fourth rule
of syntax, from the 30th to the 35th. As certain other compounds may
sometimes be broken by _tmesis_, so may some of these; as, "Not forsaking
the _assembling_ of ourselves _together_, as the manner of some
is."--_Heb._, x, 23. Adverbs may relate to participles, but nouns require
adjectives. The following phrase is therefore inaccurate: "For the more
_easily_ reading of large numbers." Yet if we say, "For reading large
numbers _the more easily_," the construction is different, and not
inaccurate. Some calculator, I think, has it, "For the more _easily_
reading large numbers." But Hutton says, "For the more _easy_ reading _of_
large numbers."--_Hutton's Arith._, p. 5; so _Babcock's_, p. 12. It would
be quite as well to say, "For the _greater ease in_ reading large numbers."

OBS. 12.--Many words of a participial form are used directly as nouns,
without any article, adjective, or possessive case before them, and without
any object or adjunct after them. Such is commonly the construction of the
words _spelling, reading, writing, ciphering, surveying, drawing, parsing_,
and many other such _names_ of actions or exercises. They are rightly put
by Johnson among "_nouns_ derived from _verbs_;" for, "The [name of the]
action is the same with the participle present, as _loving, frighting,
fighting, striking_."--_Dr. Johnson's Gram._, p. 10. Thus: "I like
_writing_."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p. 171. "He supposed, with them, that
_affirming_ and _denying_ were operations of the mind."--_Tooke's
Diversions_, i, 35. "'Not rendering,' said Polycarp the disciple of John,
'evil for evil, or _railing_ for _railing_, or _striking_ for _striking_,
or _cursing_ for _cursing_."--_Dymond, on War_. Against this practice,
there is seldom any objection; the words are wholly nouns, both in sense
and construction. We call them _participial_ nouns, only because they
resemble participles in their derivation; or if we call them _verbal_
nouns, it is because they are derived from verbs. But we too frequently
find those which retain the government and the adjuncts of participles,
used as nouns before or after verbs; or, more properly speaking, used as
mongrels and nondescripts, a doubtful species, for which there is seldom
any necessity, since the infinitive, the verbal or some other noun, or a
clause introduced by the conjunction _that_, will generally express the
idea in a better manner: as, "_Exciting_ such disturbances, is unlawful."
Say rather, "_To excite_ such disturbances,--_The exciting of_ such
disturbances,--_The excitation of_ such disturbances,--or, _That one should
excite_ such disturbances, is unlawful."

OBS. 13.--Murray says, "The word _the_, before the _active participle_, in
the following sentence, and in all others of a similar construction, is
improper, and should be omitted: '_The_ advising, or _the_ attempting, to
excite such disturbances, is unlawful.' It should be, '_Advising_ or
_attempting_ to excite disturbances.'"--_Octavo Gram._, p. 195. But, by his
own showing, "the present participle, with the definite article _the_
before it, becomes a _substantive_."--_Ib._, p. 192. And substantives, or
nouns, by an other of his notes, can govern the infinitive mood, just as
well as participles; or just as well as the verbs which he thinks would be
very proper here; namely, "To _advise_ or _attempt_ to excite such
disturbances."--_Ib._, p. 196. It would be right to say, "_Any advice_, or
_attempt_, to excite such disturbances, is unlawful." And I see not that he
has improved the text at all, by expunging the article. _Advising_ and
_attempting_, being disjunct nominatives to _is_, are nothing but nouns,
whether the article be used or not; though they are rather less obviously
such without it, and therefore the change is for the worse.

OBS. 14.--Lennie observes, "When _a preposition_"--(he should have said,
When _an other_ preposition--) "follows the participle, _of_ is
inadmissible; as, _His_ depending _on_ promises proved his ruin. _His_
neglecting _to_ study when young, rendered him ignorant all his
life."--_Prin. of E. Gram._, 5th Ed., p. 65; 13th Ed., 91. Here _on_ and
_to_, of course, exclude _of_; but the latter may be changed to _of_, which
will turn the infinitive into a noun: as, "_His_ neglecting _of study_,"
&c. "_Depending_" and "_neglecting_," being equivalent to _dependence_ and
_neglect_, are participial nouns, and not "participles." Professor
Bullions, too, has the same faulty remark, examples and all; (for his book,
of the same title, is little else than a gross plagiarism from Lennie's;)
though he here forgets his other erroneous doctrines, that, "A
_preposition_ should never be used before the infinitive," and that,
"Active verbs do not admit a preposition after them." See _Bullions's Prin.
of E. Gram._, pp. 91, 92, and 107.

OBS. 15.--The participle in _ing_ is, on many occasions, equivalent to the
infinitive verb, so that the speaker or writer may adopt either, just as he
pleases: as, "So their gerunds are sometimes found _having_ [or _to have_]
an absolute or apparently neuter signification."--_Grant's Lat. Gram._, p.
234. "With tears that ceas'd not _flowing_" [or _to flow_].--_Milton_. "I
would willingly have him _producing_ [_produce_, or _to produce_] his
credentials."--_Barclay's Works_, iii, 273. There are also instances, and
according to my notion not a few, in which the one is put _improperly_ for
the other. The participle however is erroneously used for the infinitive
much oftener than the infinitive for the participle. The lawful uses of
both are exceedingly numerous; though the syntax of the participle,
strictly speaking, does not include its various _conversions_ into other
parts of speech. The principal instances of _regular_ equivalence between
infinitives and participles, may be reduced to the following heads:

1. After the verbs _see, hear_, and _feel_, the participle in _ing_,
relating to the objective, is often equivalent to the infinitive governed
by the verb; as, "I saw him _running_"--"I heard it _howling_."--_W.
Allen_. "I feel the wind _blowing_." Here the verbs, _run, howl_, and
_blow_, might be substituted. 2. After intransitive verbs signifying _to
begin_ or _to continue_, the participle in _ing_, relating to the
nominative, may be used in stead of the infinitive connected to the verb;
as, "The ass began _galloping_ with all his might."--_Sandford and Merton_.
"It commenced _raining_ very hard."--_Silliman_. "The steamboats commenced
_running_ on Saturday."--_Daily Advertiser_. "It is now above three years
since he began _printing_."--_Dr. Adam's Pref. to Rom. Antiq._ "So when
they continued _asking_ him."--_John_, viii, 7. Greek, "[Greek: Os epemenon
erotontes auton.]" Latin, "Cum ergo perseverarent _interrogantes_
eum."--_Vulgate_. "Cum autem perseverarent eum _interrogare_."--_Beza_.
"Then shall ye continue _following_ the Lord your God."--_1 Sam._, xii, 14.
"Eritis _sequentes_ Dominum Deum vestrum."--_Vulgate_. "As she continued
_praying_ before the Lord."--_1 Sam._, i, 12. "Cum ilia _multiplicaret
preces_ coram Domino."--_Vulgate_. "And they went on _beating down_ one an
other."--_2 Sam._, xiv, 16. "Make the members of them go on _rising_ and
_growing_ in their importance."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 116. "Why do you keep
_teasing_ me?"

3. After _for, in, of_, or _to_, and perhaps some other prepositions, the
participle may in most cases be varied by the infinitive, which is governed
by _to_ only; as, "We are better fitted _for receiving_ the tenets and
_obeying_ the precepts of that faith which will make us wise unto
salvation."--_West's Letters_, p. 51. That is--"_to receive_ the tenets and
_obey_ the precepts." "Men fit _for fighting_, practised _in fighting_,
proud _of fighting_, accustomed _to fighting_."--_W. Allen's Gram._, p.
172. That is, "fit _to fight_," &c. "What is the right path, few take the
trouble _of inquiring_."--_Murray's Key_, 8vo. ii, 235. Better,
perhaps:--"few take the trouble _to inquire_."

OBS. 16.--One of our best grammarians says, "The infinitive, in the
following sentences, _should be exchanged_ for the participle: 'I am weary
_to bear_ them.' Is. i, 14. 'Hast thou, spirit, perform'd _to point_ the
tempest?' Shak."--_Allen's Gram._, p. 172. This suggestion implies, that
the participle would be here not only equivalent to the infinitive in
sense, but better in expression. It is true, the preposition _to_ does not
well express the relation between _weary_ and _bear_; and, doubtless, some
regard should be had to the meaning of this particle, whenever it is any
thing more than an index of the mood. But the critic ought to have told us
how he would make these corrections. For in neither case does the
participle alone appear to be a fit substitute for the infinitive, either
with or without the _to_; and the latter text will scarcely bear the
participle at all, unless we change the former verb; as, "Hast thou,
spirit, _done pointing_ the tempest?" The true meaning of the other example
seems somewhat uncertain. The Vulgate has it, _"Laboravi sustinens_," "I
have laboured _bearing_ them;" the French Bible, "_Je suis las de les
souffrir_," "I am tired of _bearing_ them;" the Septuagint, "[Greek: Ouketi
anaeso tas hamartias humon,]" "I will no more forgive your sins."

OBS. 17.--In the following text, the infinitive is used improperly, nor
would the participle in its stead make pure English: "I will not reprove
thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt-offerings, _to have been_ continually
before me."--_Ps. 1. 8._ According to the French version, _"to have been"_
should be _"which are;"_ but the Septuagint and the Vulgate take the
preceding noun for the nominative, thus: "I will not reprove thee for thy
sacrifices, _but thy burnt-offerings are_ continually before me."

OBS. 18.--As the preposition _to_ before the infinitive shows the latter to
be "_that towards which_ the preceding verb is directed," verbs of
_desisting, omitting, preventing_, and _avoiding_, are generally found to
take the participle after them, and not the infinitive; because, in such
instances, the direction of effort seems not to be so properly _to_, or
_towards_, as _from_ the action.[419] Where the preposition _from_ is
inserted, (as it most commonly is, after some of these verbs.) there is no
irregularity in the construction of the participle; but where the
participle immediately follows the verb, it is perhaps questionable whether
it ought to be considered the object of the verb, or a mere participle
relating to the nominative which precedes. If we suppose the latter, the
participle may be parsed by the common rule; if the former, it must be
referred to the third exception above. For example:

1. After verbs of DESISTING; as, "The Cryer used to proclaim, DIXERUNT, i.
e. They _have done speaking._"--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 132. "A friend is
advised to _put off making_ love to Lalage."--_Philological Museum_, i,
446. "He _forbore doing_ so, on the ground of expediency."--_The Friend_,
iv, 35. "And yet architects never _give over attempting_ to reconcile these
two incompatibles."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 338. "Never to _give over
seeking_ and _praying_ for it."--_N. Y. Observer._ "Do not _leave off
seeking._"--_President Edwards._ "Then Satan _hath done flattering_ and
_comforting._"--_Baxter._ "The princes _refrained talking._"--_Job_, xxix,
9. "Principes _cessabant loqui._"--_Vulgate._ Here it would be better to
say, "The princes refrained _from_ talking." But Murray says, "_From_ seems
to be superfluous after _forbear_: as, 'He could not forbear from
appointing the pope,' &c."--_Octavo Gram._, p. 203. But _"forbear to
appoint"_ would be a better correction; for this verb is often followed by
the infinitive; as, _"Forbear to insinuate."_--_West's Letters_, p. 62.
"And he _forbare to go_ forth."--_1 Sam._, xxiii, 13. The reader will
observe, that, _"never to give over"_ or _"not to leave off,"_ is in fact
the same thing as to continue; and I have shown by the analogy of other
languages, that after verbs of continuing the participle is not an object
of government; though possibly it may be so, in these instances, which are
somewhat different. 2. After verbs of OMITTING; as, "He _omits giving_ an
account of them."--_Tooke's Diversions of Purley_, i, 251. I question the
propriety of this construction; and yet, _"omits to give"_ seems still more
objectionable. Better, "He _omits all account_ of them." Or, "He _neglects
to give_, or _forbears to give_, any account of them." L. Murray twice
speaks of apologizing, "for the use he has made of his predecessors'
labours, and for _omitting to insert_ their names."--_Octavo Gram., Pref._,
p. vii; and _Note_, p. 73. The phrase, _"omitting to insert,"_ appears to
me a downright solecism; and the pronoun _their_ is ambiguous, because
there are well-known names both for the _men_ and for their _labours_, and
he ought not to have omitted either species wholly, as he did. "Yet they
absolutely _refuse doing so_, one with another."--_Harris's Hermes_, p.
264. Better, _"refuse to do so."_ "I had as repeatedly _declined_
going."--_Leigh Hunt's Byron_, p. 15.

3. After verbs of PREVENTING; as, "Our sex are happily _prevented from
engaging_ in these turbulent scenes."--_West's Letters to a Lady_, p. 74.
"To prevent our frail natures _from deviating_ into bye paths [write
_by-paths_] of error."--_Ib._, p. 100. "Prudence, prevents our speaking or
acting improperly."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 99; _Murray's Gram._, p. 303;
_Jamieson's Rhet._, p. 72. This construction, though very common, is
palpably wrong: because its most natural interpretation is, "Prudence
improperly prevents our speech or action." These critics ought to have
known enough to say, "Prudence prevents _us from_ speaking or acting
improperly." "This, however, doth not _hinder_ pronunciation _to borrow_
from singing."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, ii, 70. Here the infinitive is used,
merely because it does not sound well to say, _"from borrowing from
singing;"_ but the expression might very well be changed thus, _"from being
indebted to singing."_ "'This by no means _hinders_ the book _to be_ a
useful one.'--_Geddes._ It should be, _'from being.'_"--_Churchill's
Gram._, p. 318.

4. After verbs of AVOIDING: as, "He might have _avoided treating_ of the
origin of ideas."--_Tooke's Diversions_, i, 28. "We may _avoid talking_
nonsense on these subjects."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 281. "But carefully
_avoid being_ at any time ostentatious and affected."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
233. "Here I cannot _avoid mentioning_[420] the assistance I have
received."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. iv. "It is our duty to _avoid leading_
others into temptation,"--_West's Letters_, p. 33. "Nay, such a garden
should in some measure _avoid imitating_ nature."--_Kames, El. of Crit._,
ii, 251. "I can promise no entertainment to those who _shun
thinking_."--_Ib._, i, 36. "We cannot _help being_ of opinion."--ENCYC.
BRIT. _Murray's Gram._, p. 76. "I cannot _help being_ of
opinion."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 311. "I cannot _help mentioning_ here one
character more."--_Hughes. Spect._, No. 554. "These would sometimes very
narrowly _miss being catched_ away."--_Steele_. "Carleton very narrowly
_escaped being taken_."--_Grimshaw's Hist._, p. 111. Better, "escaped
_from_ being taken;"--or, "_escaped capture_."

OBS. 19.--In sentences like the following, the participle seems to be
improperly made _the object_ of the verb: "I intend _doing_ it."--"I
remember _meeting_ him." Better, "I intend _to do_ it."--"I remember _to
have met_ him." According to my notion, it is an error to suppose that
verbs in general may govern participles. If there are any proper instances
of such government, they would seem to be chiefly among verbs of _quitting_
or _avoiding_. And even here the analogy of General Grammar gives
countenance to a different solution; as, "They _left beating of_
Paul."--_Acts_, xxi, 32. Better, "They _left beating_ Paul;"--or, "They
_quit beating_ Paul." Greek, "[Greek: Epausanto tuptontes ton Paulon.]"
Latin, "Cessaverunt _percutientes_ Paulum."--_Montanus_. "Cessarunt
_coedere_ Paulum."--_Beza_. "Cessaverunt _percutere_ Paulum."--_Vulgate_.
It is true, the English participle in _ing_ differs in some respects from
that which usually corresponds to it in Latin or Greek; it has more of a
substantive character, and is commonly put for the Latin gerund. If this
difference does not destroy the argument from analogy, the opinion is still
just, that _left_ and _quit_ are here _intransitive_, and that the
participle _beating_ relates to the pronoun _they_. Such is unequivocally
the construction of the Greek text, and also of the literal Latin of Arias
Montanus. But, to the mere English grammarian, this method of parsing will
not be apt to suggest itself: because, at first sight, the verbs appear to
be transitive, and the participle in _ing_ has nothing to prove it an
adjunct of the nominative, and not the object of the verb--unless, indeed,
the mere fact that it is a participle, is proof of this.

OBS. 20.--Our great Compiler, Murray, not understanding this construction,
or not observing what verbs admit of it, or require it, has very
unskillfully laid it down as a rule, that, "The participle with its
adjuncts, may be considered as a _substantive phrase_ in the objective
case, governed by the preposition or verb, _expressed or understood_: as,
'By _promising much and performing but little_, we become despicable.' 'He
studied to avoid _expressing himself too severely_.'"--_Octavo Gram._, p.
194.[421] This very popular author seems never to have known that
participles, as such, may be governed in English by prepositions. And yet
he knew, and said, that "prepositions do not, _like articles and pronouns_,
convert the participle itself into the nature of a substantive."--_Ibid._
This he avouches in the same breath in which he gives that "nature" to a
participle and its adverb! For, by a false comma after _much_, he cuts his
first "_substantive phrase_" absurdly in two; and doubtless supposes a
false ellipsis of _by_ before the participle _performing_. Of his method of
resolving the second example, some notice has already been taken, in
Observations 4th and 5th on Rule 5th. Though he pretends that the whole
phrase is in the objective case, "the truth is, the assertion grammatically
affects the first word only;" which in one aspect he regards as a noun, and
in an other as a participle: whereas he himself, on the preceding page, had
adopted from Lowth a different doctrine, and cautioned the learner against
treating words in _ing_, "as if they were of an _amphibious_ species,
partly nouns and partly _verbs_;" that is, "partly nouns and partly
_participles_;" for, according to Murray, Lowth, and many others,
participles are verbs. The term, "_substantive phrase_," itself a solecism,
was invented merely to cloak this otherwise bald inconsistency. Copying
Lowth again, the great Compiler defines a phrase to be "two or more words
rightly put together;" and, surely, if we have a well-digested system of
grammar, whatsoever words are rightly put together, may be regularly parsed
by it. But how can one indivisible word be consistently made two different
parts of speech at once? And is not this the situation of every transitive
participle that is made either the _subject_ or the _object_ of a verb?
Adjuncts never alter either the nature or the construction of the words on
which they depend; and participial nouns differ from participles in both.
The former express actions _as things_; the latter generally attribute them
to their agents or recipients.

OBS. 21.--The Latin gerund is "a kind of verbal noun, partaking of the
nature of a participle."--_Webster's Dict._ "A gerund is a participial
noun, of the neuter gender, and singular-number, declinable like a
substantive, having no vocative, construed like a substantive, and
governing the case of its verb."--_Grant's Lat. Gram._, p. 70. In the Latin
gerund thus defined, there is an appearance of ancient classical authority
for that "amphibious species" of words of which so much notice has already
been taken. Our participle in _ing_, when governed by a preposition,
undoubtedly corresponds very nearly, both in sense and construction, to
this Latin gerund; the principal difference being, that the one is
declined, like a noun, and the other is not. The analogy, however, is but
lamely maintained, when we come to those irregular constructions in which
the participle is made a half-noun in English. It is true, the gerund of
the nominative case may be made the subject of a verb in Latin; but we do
not translate it by the English participle, but rather by the infinitive,
or still oftener by the verb with the auxiliary _must_: as, "_Vivendum est
mihi recte_, I must live well."--_Grant's L. Gram._, p. 232. This is better
English than the nearer version, "Living correctly is necessary for me;"
and the exact imitation, "Living is to me correctly," is nonsense. Nor does
the Latin gerund often govern the genitive like a noun, or ever stand as
the direct object of a transitive verb, except in some few doubtful
instances about which the grammarians dispute. For, in fact, to explain
this species of words, has puzzled the Latin grammarians about as much as
the English; though the former do not appear to have fallen into those
palpable self-contradictions which embarrass the instructions of the

OBS. 22.--Dr. Adam says, "The gerund in English becomes a substantive, by
_prefixing_ the article to it, and then it is always to be construed with
the preposition _of_; as, 'He is employed _in writing_ letters,' or, 'in
_the writing of_ letters:' but it is improper to say, 'in _the writing_
letters,' or, 'in _writing of_ letters.'"--_Latin and English Gram._, p.
184. This doctrine is also taught by Lowth, Priestley, Murray, Comly,
Chandler, and many others; most of whom extend the principle to all
participles that govern the possessive case; and they might as well have
added all such as are made either the subjects or the objects of verbs, and
such as are put for nominatives after verbs neuter. But Crombie, Allen,
Churchill, S. S. Greene, Hiley, Wells, Weld, and some others, teach that
participles may perform these several offices of a substantive, without
dropping the regimen and adjuncts of participles. This doctrine, too,
Murray and his copyists absurdly endeavour to reconcile with the other, by
resorting to the idle fiction of "_substantive phrases_" endued with all
these powers: as, "_His being at enmity with Caesar_ was the cause of
perpetual discord."--_Crombie's Treatise_, p. 237; _Churchill's Gram._, p.
141. "Another fault is _allowing it to supersede_ the use of a point."--
_Churchill's Gram._, p. 372. "To be sure there is a possibility of some
ignorant _reader's confounding the two vowels_ in pronunciation."--_Ib._,
p. 375. It is much better to avoid all such English as this. Say, rather,
"_His enmity with Caesar_ was the cause of perpetual discord."--"An other
fault is _the allowing of_ it to _supersede_ the use of a point."--"To be
sure, there is a possibility _that_ some ignorant _reader may confound_ the
two vowels, in pronunciation."

OBS. 23.--In French, the infinitive is governed by several different
prepositions, and the gerundive by one only, the preposition _en_,--which,
however, is sometimes suppressed; as, "_en passant, en faisant,--il alloit
courant_."--_Traite des Participes_, p. 2. In English, the gerundive is
governed by several different prepositions, and the infinitive by one only,
the preposition _to_,--which, in like manner, is sometimes suppressed; as,
"_to pass, to do,--I saw him run_." The difficulties in the syntax of the
French participle in _ant_, which corresponds to ours in _ing_, are
apparently as great in themselves, as those which the syntax of the English
word presents; but they result from entirely different causes, and chiefly
from the liability there is of confounding the participle with the verbal
adjective, which is formed from it. The confounding of it with the
gerundive is now, in either language, of little or no consequence, since in
modern French, as well as in English, both are indeclinable. For this
reason, I have framed the syntactical rule for participles so as to include
under that name the gerund, or gerundive, which is a participle governed by
a preposition. The great difficulty with us, is, to determine whether the
participle ought, or ought not, to be allowed to assume _other_
characteristics of a noun, without dropping those of a participle, and
without becoming wholly a noun. The liability of confounding the English
participle with the verbal or participial adjective, amounts to nothing
more than the occasional misnaming of a word in parsing; or perhaps an
occasional ambiguity in the style of some writer, as in the following
citation: "I am resolved, 'let the newspapers say what they please of
_canvassing_ beauties, _haranguing_ toasts, and _mobbing_ demireps,' not to
believe one syllable."--_Jane West's Letters to a Young Lady_, p. 74. From
these words, it is scarcely possible to find out, even with the help of the
context whether these three sorts of ladies are spoken of as the
canvassers, haranguers, and mobbers, or as being canvassed, harangued, and
mobbed. If the prolixity and multiplicity of these observations transcend
the reader's patience, let him consider that the questions at issue cannot
be settled by the brief enunciation of loose individual opinions, but must
be examined in the light of _all the analogies and facts_ that bear upon
them. So considerable are the difficulties of properly distinguishing the
participle from the verbal adjective in French, that that indefatigable
grammarian, Girault Du Vivier, after completing his _Grammaire des
Grammaires_ in two large octavo volumes, thought proper to _enlarge_ his
instructions on this head, and to publish them in a separate book, (_Traite
des Participes_,) though we have it on his own authority, that the rule for
participles had already given rise to a greater number of dissertations and
particular treatises than any other point in French grammar.

OBS. 24.--A participle construed after the nominative or the objective
case, is not in general equivalent to a verbal noun governing the
possessive. There is sometimes a nice distinction to be observed in the
application of these two constructions. For the leading word in sense,
should not be made the adjunct in construction. The following sentences
exhibit a disregard to this principle, and are both inaccurate: "He felt
his _strength's_ declining."--"He was sensible of his _strength_
declining." In the former sentence, the noun _strength_ should be in the
objective case, governed by _felt_; and in the latter, it should rather be
in the possessive, governed by _declining_. Thus: "He felt his _strength_
declining;" i.e., "_felt it decline_."--"He was sensible of his
_strength's_ declining;" i.e., "_of its decline_." These two sentences
state the same fact, but, in construction, they are very different; nor
does it appear, that where there is no difference of meaning, the two
constructions are properly interchangeable. This point has already been
briefly noticed in Obs. 12th and 13th on Rule 4th. But the false and
discordant instructions which our grammarians deliver respecting
possessives before participles; their strange neglect of this plain
principle of reason, that the leading word in sense ought to be made the
leading or governing word in the construction; and the difficulties which
they and other writers are continually falling into, by talking their
choice between two errors, in stead of avoiding both: these, as well as
their suggestions of sameness or difference of import between the
participle and the participial noun, require some farther extension of my
observations in this place.

OBS. 25.--Upon the classification of words, as parts of speech,
distinguished according to their natures and uses, depends the whole scheme
of grammatical science. And it is plain, that a bad distribution, or a
confounding of such things as ought to be separated, must necessarily be
attended with inconveniences to the student, for which no skill or learning
in the expounder of such a system can ever compensate. The absurdity of
supposing with Horne Tooke, that the same word can never be used so
differently as to belong to different parts of speech, I have already
alluded to more than once. The absolute necessity of classing words, not
according to their derivation merely, but rather according to their sense
and construction, is too evident to require any proof. Yet, different as
are the natures and the uses of _verbs, participles_, and _nouns_, it is no
uncommon thing to find these three parts of speech confounded together; and
that too to a very great extent, and by some of our very best grammarians,
without even an attempt on their part to distinguish them. For instances of
this glaring fault and perplexing inconsistency, the reader may turn to the
books of W. Allen and T. O. Churchill, two of the best authors that have
ever written on English grammar. Of the participle the latter gives no
formal definition, but he represents it as "_a form_, in which _the action_
denoted by _the verb_ is capable of being joined _to a noun_ as _its
quality_, or accident."--_Churchill's New Gram._, p. 85. Again he says,
"That the participle is _a mere mode of the verb_ is manifest, if our
definition of a verb be admitted."--_Ib._, p. 242. While he thus identifies
the participle with the verb, this author scruples not to make what he
calls the imperfect participle perform all the offices of a _noun_: saying,
"Frequently too it is used as a noun, admits a preposition or an article
before it, becomes a plural by taking _s_ at the end, and governs a
possessive case: as, 'He who has _the comings_ in of a prince, may be

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