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The Grammar of English Grammars by Gould Brown

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Speech, void of Signification itself, but so formed as to help
Signification by making_ TWO _or more significant Sentences to be_ ONE
_significant Sentence_."--_Harris's Hermes_, 6th Edition, London, p. 238.

[314] Whether these, or any other conjunctions that come together, ought to
ho parsed together, is doubtful. I am not in favour of taking any words
together, that can well be parsed separately. Goodenow, who defines a
phrase to be "the union of two or more words having the _nature and
construcion [sic--KTH] of a single word_," finds an immense number of these
unions, which he cannot, or does not, analyze. As examples of "a
_conjunctional phrase_," he gives "_as if_ and "_as though_."--_Gram._, p.
25. But when he comes to speak of _ellipsis_, he says: "After the
conjunctions _than, as, but_, &c., some words are generally understood;
as, 'We have more than [_that is which_] will suffice;' 'He acted _as_ [_he
would act_] _if_ he were mad.'"--_Ib._, p. 41. This doctrine is plainly
repugnant to the other.

[315] Of the construction noticed in this observation, the Rev. Matt.
Harrison cites a good example; pronounces it elliptical; and scarcely
forbears to condemn it as bad English: "_In_ the following sentence, the
relative pronoun is three times omitted:--'Is there a God to swear _by_,
and is there none to believe _in_, none to trust _to_?'--_Letters and
Essays, Anonymous_. _By, in_, and _to_, as prepositions, stand alone,
_denuded of the relatives_ to which they apply. The sentence presents no
attractions worthy of imitation. It exhibits a license carried to the
extreme point of endurance."--_Harrison's English Language_, p. 196.

[316] "An ellipsis of _from_ after the adverb _off_ has caused the latter
word sometimes to be inserted _incorrectly_ among the prepositions. Ex.
'off (from) his horse.'"--_Hart's Gram._, p. 96. _Off_ and _on_ are
opposites; and, in a sentence like the following, I see no more need of
inserting "_from_" after the former, than _to_ after the latter: "Thou
shalt not come down _off_ that bed _on_ which thou art gone up."--2
_Kings_, i, 16.

[317] "_Who consequently_ reduced the _greatest_ part of the island TO
their own power."--_Swift, on the English Tongue_. "We can say, that _one
nation reduces another_ TO _subjection_. But when _dominion_ or _power_ is
used, we always, _as_ [so] far as I know, say, _reduce_ UNDER _their
power_" [or _dominion_]--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 229.

[318] "_O foy_, don't misapprehend me; I don't say so."--DOUBLE DEALER:
_Kames, El. of Crit._, i, 305.

[319] According to Walker and Webster, _la_ is pronounced _law_; and, if
they are right in this, the latter is only a false mode of spelling. But I
set down both, because both are found in books, and because I incline to
think the former is from the French _la_, which is pronounced _lah_.
Johnson and Webster make _la_ and _lo_ synonymous; deriving _lo_ from the
Saxon _la_, and _la_ either from _lo_ or from the French _la_. "_Law_, how
you joke, cousin."--_Columbian Orator_, p. 178. "_Law_ me! the very ghosts
are come now!"--_Ibid._ "_Law_, sister Betty! I am glad to see

"_La_ you! If you speak ill of the devil,
How he takes it at heart!"--SHAKESPEARE: _Joh. Dict., w. La._

[320] The interjection of interrogating, being placed independently, either
after a question, or after something which it converts into a question, is
usually marked with its own separate eroteme; as, "But this is even so:
eh?"--_Newspaper_. "Is't not drown'd i' the last rain? Ha?"--_Shakespeare_.
"Does Bridget paint still, Pompey? Ha?"--_Id._ "Suits my complexion--_hey_,
gal? so I think."--_Yankee Schoolmaster_. Sometimes we see it divided only
by a comma, from the preceding question; as, "What dost thou think of this
doctrine, Friend Gurth, ha?"--SCOTT'S IVANHOE: _Fowler's E. Gram._, Sec.29.

[321] Though _oh_ and _ah_ are most commonly used as signs of these
depressing passions, it must be confessed that they are sometimes employed
by reputable writers, as marks of cheerfulness or exultation; as, "_Ah_,
pleasant proof," &c.--_Cowper's Task_, p. 179. "Merrily _oh!_ merrily
_oh!_"--_Moore's Tyrolese Song_. "Cheerily _oh!_ cheerily _oh!_"--_Ib._ But
even if this usage be supposed to be right, there is still some difference
between these words and the interjection _O_: if there were not, we might
dispense with the latter, and substitute one of the former; but this would
certainly change the import of many an invocation.

[322] This position is denied by some grammarians. One recent author says,
"The _object_ cannot properly be called one of the principal parts of a
sentence; as it belongs only to some sentences, and then is dependent on
the verb, which it modifies or explains."--_Goodenow's Gram._, p. 87. This
is consistent enough with the notion, that, "An infinitive, with or without
a substantive, may be _the object of a transitive verb_; as, 'I wish _to
ride_;' 'I wish _you to ride_.'"--_Ib._, p. 37. Or, with the _contrary_
notion, that, "An infinitive may be _the object of a_ _preposition_,
expressed or understood; as, 'I wish _for you to ride_.'"--_Ibid._ But if
the object governed by the verb, is always a mere qualifying adjunct, a
mere "explanation of the attribute," (_Ib._, p. 28,) how differs it from an
adverb? "Adverbs are words _added to verbs_, and sometimes to other words,
to _qualify_ their meaning."--_Ib._, p. 23. And if infinitives and other
mere _adjuncts_ may be the objects which make verbs transitive, how shall a
transitive verb be known? The fact is, that the _true_ object of the
transitive verb _is one of the principal_ _parts_ of the sentence, and that
the infinitive mood cannot properly be reckoned such an object.

[323] Some writers distinguish sentences as being of _three_ kinds,
_simple_, and _complex_, and _compound_; but, in this work, care has not in
general been taken to discriminate between complex sentences and compound.
A late author states the difference thus: "A sentence containing but one
proposition is _simple_; a sentence containing two propositions, one of
which modifies the other, is _complex_; a sentence containing two
propositions which in no way modify each other, is _compound_."--_Greene's
Analysis_, p. 3. The term _compound_, as applied to sentences, is not
_usually_ so restricted. An other, using the same terms for a very
different division, explains them thus: "A _Simple Sentence_ contains but
one subject and one attribute; as, 'The _sun shines_.' A _Complex Sentence_
contains two or more subjects of the same attribute, or two or more
attributes of the same subject; as, 'The _sun_ and the _stars_ shine.' 'The
sun _rises_ and _sets_.' 'The _sun_ and the _stars rise_ and _set_.' A
_Compound Sentence_ is composed of two or more simple or complex sentences
united; as, 'The _sun shines_, and the _stars twinkle_.' 'The _sun rises_
and _sets_, as the _earth revolves_.'"--_Pinneo's English Teacher_, p. 10;
_Analytical Gram._, pp. 128, 142, and 146. This notion of a _complex
sentence_ is not more common than Greene's; nor is it yet apparent, that
the usual division of sentences into two kinds ought to give place to any
tripartite distribution.

[324] The terms _clause_ and _member_, in grammar, appear to have been
generally used as words synonymous; but some authors have thought it
convenient to discriminate them, as having different senses. Hiley says,
"Those parts of a sentence which are separated by commas, are called
_clauses_; and those separated by semicolons, are called
_members_."--_Hiley' s Gram._, p. 66. W. Allen too confines the former term
to simple members: "A compound sentence is formed by uniting two or more
simple sentences; as, Man is mortal, and life is uncertain. Each of these
simple sentences is called a _clause_. When the _members_ of a compound
sentence are complex, they are _subdivided_ into _clauses_; as, Virtue
leads to honor, and insures true happiness; but vice degrades the
understanding, and is succeeded by infamy."--_Allen's Gram._, p. 128. By
some authors, the terms _clause_ and _phrase_ are often carelessly
confounded, each being applied with no sort of regard to its proper import.
Thus, where L. Murray and his copyists expound their text about "the
pupil's composing frequently," even the minor phrase, "_composing
frequently_," is absurdly called a _clause_; "an entire _clause_ of a
sentence."--See _Murray's Gram._, p. 179; _Alger's_, 61; _Fisk's_, 108;
_Ingersoll's_, 180; _Merchant's_, 84; _R. C. Smith's_, 152; _Weld's_, 2d
Ed., 150. The term _sentence_ also is sometimes grossly misapplied. Thus,
by R. C. Smith, the phrases "_James and William_," "_Thomas and John_," and
others similar, are called "sentences."--_Smith's New Gram._, pp. 9 and 10.
So Weld absurdly writes as follows; "A _whole sentence_ is frequently the
object of a preposition; as, 'The crime of being a young man.' _Being a
young man_, is the object of the preposition _of_."--_Weld's E. Gram._, 2d
Edition, p. 42. The phrase, "_being a young man_," here depends upon
"_of_;" but this preposition governs nothing but the participle "_being_."
The construction of the word "_man_" is explained below, in Obs. 7th on
Rule 6th, of Same Cases.

[325] In the very nature of things, all _agreement_ consists in
concurrence, correspondence, conformity, similarity, sameness, equality;
but _government_ is direction, control, regulation, restrain, influence,
authoritative requisition, with the implication of inequality. That these
properties ought to be so far distinguished in grammar, as never to be
supposed to co-exist in the same terms and under the same circumstances,
must be manifest to every reasoner. Some grammarians who seem to have been
not always unaware of this, have nevertheless egregiously forgotten it at
times. Thus Nutting, in the following remark, expresses a true doctrine,
though he has written it with no great accuracy: "A word _in parsing_ never
governs the same word _which_ it qualifies, or with which it
agrees."--_Practical Gram._, p. 108. Yet, in his syntax, in which he
pretends to separate agreement from government, he frames his first rule
under the better head thus: "The nominative case _governs_ a verb."--_Ib._
p. 96. Lindsey Murray recognizes no such government as this; but seems to
suppose his rule for the agreement of a verb with its nominative to be
sufficient for both verb and nominative. He appears, however, not to have
known that a word does not agree syntactically with another that governs
it; for, in his Exercises, he has given us, apparently from his own pen,
the following _untrue_, but otherwise not very objectionable sentence: "On
these occasions, the pronoun is governed by, _an consequently agrees with_,
the preceding word."--_Exercises_, 8vo, ii, 74. This he corrects thus: On
these occasions, the pronoun is governed by the preceding word, _and
consequently agrees with it_."--_Key_, 8vo, ii, 204. The amendments most
needed he overlooks; for the thought is not just, and the two verbs which
are here connected with one and the same nominative, are different in form.
See the same example, with the same variation of it, in _Smith's New
Gram._, p. 167; and, without the change, in _Ingersoll's_, p. 233; _and
Fisk's_, 141.

[326] It has been the notion of some grammarians, that _the verb governs
the nominative before it_. This is an old rule, which seems to have been
very much forgotten by modern authors; though doubtless it is as true, and
as worthy to be perpetuated, as that which supposes the nominative to
govern the verb: "Omne verbum personale finiti modi regit ante se expresse
vel subaudite ejusdem numeri et personae nominativum vel aliquid pro
nominativo: ut, _ego scribo, tu legis, ille auscultat_."--DESPAUTERII SYNT.
fol. xvi. This Despauter was a laborious author, who, within fifty years
after the introduction of printing, complains that he found his task heavy,
on account of the immense number of books and opinions which he had to
consult: "Necdum tamen huic operi ultimam manum aliter imposui, quam
Apelles olim picturis: siquidem aptius exire, quum in multis tum in hac
arte est difficillimum, _propter librorum legendorum immensitatem_, et
opinionum innumeram diversitatem."--_Ibid., Epist. Apologetica_, A. D.
1513. But if, for this reason, the task was heavy _then_, what is it _now_!

[327] Nutting's rule certainly implies that _articles_ may relate to
_pronouns_, though he gives no example, nor can he give any that is now
good English; but he may, if he pleases, quote some other modern
grammatists, who teach the same false doctrine: as, "RULE II. _The article
refers to its noun_ (OR PRONOUN) _to limit its signification_."--R. G.
Greene's Grammatical Text-Book, p. 18. Greene's two grammars are used
extensively in the state of Maine, but they appear to be little known
anywhere else. This author professes to inculcate "the principles
established by Lindley Murray." If veracity, on this point, is worth any
thing, it is a pity that in both books there are so many points which, like
the foregoing parenthesis, belie this profession. He followed here
Ingersoll's RULE IV, which is this: "_The article refers to a noun_ OR
PRONOUN, _expressed or understood, to limit its signification_."--
_Conversations on E. Gram._, p. 185.

[328] It is truly a matter of surprise to find under what _titles_ or
_heads_, many of the rules of syntax have been set, by some of the best
scholars that have ever written on grammar. In this respect, the Latin and
Greek grammarians are particularly censurable; but it better suits my
purpose to give an example or two from one of the ablest of the English.
Thus that elegant scholar the Rev. W. Allen: "SYNTAX OF NOUNS. 325. A verb
agrees with its nominative case in number and person."--_Elements of E.
Gram._, p. 131. This is in no wise the syntax of _Nouns_, but rather that
of _the Verb_. Again: "SYNTAX OF VERBS. 405. Active Verbs govern the
accusative case; as, I love _him_. We saw _them_. God rules the
_world_."--_Ib._, p. 161. This is not properly the syntax of _Verbs_, but
rather that of _Nouns_ or _Pronouns_ in the accusative or objective case.
Any one who has but the least sense of order, must see the propriety of
referring the rule to that sort of words to which it is applied in parsing,
and not some other. Verbs are never parsed or construed by the latter of
these rules nor nouns by the former.

[329] What "the Series of Grammars, English, Latin, and Greek, ON THE SAME
PLAN," will ultimately be,--how many treatises for each or any of the
languages it will probably contain,--what uniformity will be found in the
distribution of their several sorts and sizes,--or what _sameness_ they
will have, except that which is bestowed by the binders,--cannot yet be
stated with any certainty. It appears now, in 1850, that the scheme has
thus far resulted in the production of _three remarkably different
grammars_, for the English part of the series, and two more, a Latin
grammar and a Greek, which resemble each other, or any of these, as little.
In these works, abound changes and discrepances, sometimes indicating a
great _unsettlement_ of "principles" or "plan," and often exciting our
wonder at the extraordinary _variety_ of teaching, which has been claimed
to be, "as nearly in the same words as the as the _genius of the languages_
would permit!" In what _should_ have been uniform, and easily _might_ have
been so, these grammars are rather remarkably diverse! Uniformity in the
order, number, or phraseology of the Rules of Syntax, even for our own
language, seems scarcely yet to have entered this "SAME PLAN" at all! The
"onward progress of English grammar," or, rather, of the author's studies
therein, has already, within "fifteen years," greatly varied, from the
_first model_ of the "_Series_," his own idea of a good grammar; and,
though such changes bar consistency, a future progress, real or imaginary,
may likewise, with as good reason, vary it yet as much more. In the preface
to the work of 1840, it is said: "This, though _not essentially different_
from the former, is yet in some respects a new work. It has been almost
_entirely rewritten_." And again: "The Syntax is _much fuller_ than in the
former work; and though _the rules are not different_, they are arranged in
a _different order_." So it is proved, that the model needed remodelling;
and that the Syntax, especially, was defective, in matter as well as in
order. The suggestions, that "_the rules are not different_," and the
works, _"not essentially" so_, will sound best to those who shall never
compare them. The old code has thirty-four chief, and twenty-two "special
rules;" the new has twenty chief, thirty-six "special," and one "general
rule." Among all these, we shall scarcely find _exact sameness_ preserved
in so many as half a dozen instances. Of the old thirty-four, _fourteen
only_ were judged worthy to remain as principal rules; and two of these
have no claim at all to such rank, one of them being quite useless. Of the
_twenty_ now made chief, five are new to "the Series of Grammars," and
three of these exceedingly resemble as many of mine; five are slightly
altered, and five greatly, from their predecessors among the old: one is
the first half of an old rule; one is an old subordinate rule, altered and
elevated; and _three are as they were before_, their numbers and relative
positions excepted!

[330] "The grammatical predicate is a verb."--_Butler's Pract. Gram._,
1845, p. 135, "_The grammatical predicate_ is a finite verb."--_Wells's
School Gram._, 1850, p. 185. "The grammatical predicate is either a verb
alone, or the copula _sum_ [some part of the verb _be_] with a noun or
adjective."--_Andrews and Stoddard's Lat. Gram._, p. 163. "The _predicate_
consists of two parts,--the verb, or _copula_, and that which is asserted
by it, called the _attribute_; as 'Snow _is white_.'"--_Greene's Analysis_.
p. 15. "The _grammatical_ predicate consists of the _attribute_ and
_copula_ not modified by other word."--_Bullions, Analyt, and Pract.
Gram._, P. 129. "The _logical_ predicate is the grammatical, with all the
words or phrases that modify it." _Ib._ p. 130. "The _Grammatical
predicate_ is the word or words containing the simple affirmation, made
respecting the subject."--_Bullions, Latin Gram._, p. 269. "Every
proposition necessarily consists of these three parts: [the _subject_, the
_predicate_, and the _copula_;] but then it is not alike needful, that they
be all severally expressed in words; because the copula _is often included_
in the term of the predicate; as when we say, _he sits_, which imports the
same as, _he is sitting_."--_Duncan's Logic_, p 105. In respect to this
Third Method of Analysis. It is questionable, whether a noun or an
adjective which follows the verb and forms part of the assertion, is to be
included in "the grammatical predicate" or not. Wells says, No: "It would
destroy at once all distinction between the grammatical and the logical
predicate."--_School Gram._, p. 185. An other question is, whether the
_copula_ (_is, was_ or the like,) which the _logicians_ discriminate,
should be included as part of the _logical_ predicate, when it occurs as a
distinct word. The prevalent practice of the _grammatical_ analyzers is, so
to include it,--a practice which in itself is not very "logical." The
distinction of subjects and predicates as "_grammatical_ and _logical_," is
but a recent one. In some grammars, the partition used in logic is copied
without change, except perhaps of _words_: as "There are, in sentences, a
_subject_, a _predicate_ and a _copula_." JOS. R. CHANDLER, _Gram. of_
1821, p. 105; _Gram. of_ 1847, p. 116. The logicians, however, and those
who copy them, may have been hitherto at fault in recognizing and
specifying their "_copula_." Mulligan forcibly argues that the verb of
_being_ is no more entitled to this name than is every other verb. (See his
_Exposition_," Sec.46.) If he is right in this, the "_copula_" of the
logicians (an in my opinion, his own also) is a mere figment of the brain,
there being nothing that answers to the definition of the thing or to the
true use of the word.

[331] I cite this example from Wells, for the purpose of explaining it
without the several errors which that gentleman's _"Model"_ incidentally
inculcates. He suggests that _and_ connects, not the two relative
_clauses_, as such, but the two verbs _can give_ and _can take_; and that
the connexion between _away_ and _is_ must be traced through the former,
and its object _which._ These positions, I think, are wrong. He also uses
here, as elsewhere, the expressions, _"which relates it"_ and, _"which is
related by,"_ each in a very unusual, and perhaps an unauthorized, sense.
His formule reads thus: "_Away_ modifies _can take_; _can take_ is
CONNECTED with _can give_ by _and_; WHICH is governed by CAN GIVE, and
relates to _security_; _security_ is the object of _finding_, _which_ is
RELATED BY _of_ to _conviction_; _conviction_ is the object of with,
_which_ RELATES IT to _can look_; _to_ expresses the relation between
_whom_ and _can look_, and _whom_ relates to _Being_, which is the subject
of _is."_ --_Wells's School Gram._, 113th Ed., p. 192. Neither this nor the
subsequent method has been often called _"analysis;"_ for, in grammar, each
user of this term has commonly applied it to some one method only,--the
method preferred by himself.

[332] The possessive phrase here should be, "_Andrews and Stoddard's_," as
Wells and others write it. The adding of the apostrophe to the former name
is wrong, even by the better half of Butler's own absurd and
self-contradictory Rule: to wit, "When two or more nouns in the possessive
case are connected by _and_, the possessive termination _should be added to
each of them_; as, 'These are _John's and Eliza's_ books.' But, if objects
are possessed in common by two or more, and the nouns are closely connected
without any intervening words, the possessive termination is _added to the
last noun only_; as, 'These are _John and Eliza's_ books.'"--_Butler's_
_Practical Gram._, p. 163. The sign twice used implies two governing nouns:
"John's and Eliza's books." = "John's books and Eliza's;" "Andrews' and
Stoddard's Latin Grammar," = "Andrews' (or Andrews's) Latin Grammar and

[333] In Mulligan's recent "Exposition of the Grammatical Structure of the
English Language,"--the work of an able hand,--this kind of "Analysis,"
being most improperly pronounced "_the chief business of the grammarian_,"
is swelled by copious explanation under minute heads, to a volume
containing more than three times as much matter as Greene's; but, since
school-boys have little relish for long arguments, and prolixity had here
already reached to satiety and disgust, it is very doubtful whether the
practical utility of this "Improved Method of Teaching Grammar," will be
greater in proportion to this increase of bulk.--G. B., 1853.

[334] "I will not take upon me to say, whether we have any Grammar that
sufficiently instructs us by rule and example; but I am sure we have none,
that in the manner here attempted, teaches us what is right, by showing
what is wrong; though this perhaps may prove _the more useful and effectual
method_ of Instruction."--_Lowth's Gram., Pref._, p. viii.

[335] With the possessive case and its governing noun, we use but _one
article_; and sometimes it seems questionable, to which of the two that
article properly relates: as, "This is one of _the_ Hebrews'
children."--_Exodus_, ii, 6. The sentence is plainly equivalent to the
following, which has two articles: "This is one of _the_ children of _the_
Hebrews." Not because the one article is equivalent to the two, or because
it relates to both of the nouns; but because the possessive relation itself
makes one of the nouns sufficiently definite. Now, if we change the latter
construction back into the former, it is the noun _children_ that drops its
article; it is therefore the other to which the remaining article relates.
But we sometimes find examples in which the same analogy does not hold.
Thus, "_a summer's day_" means, "_a day of summer_;" and we should hardly
pronounce it equivalent to "_the day of a summer_." So the questionable
phrase, "_a three days' journey_," means, "_a journey of three days_;" and,
whether the construction be right or wrong, the article _a_ cannot be said
to relate to the plural noun. Possibly such a phrase as, "_the three years'
war_," might mean, "_the war of three years_;" so that the article must
relate to the latter noun. But in general it is the latter noun that is
rendered definite by the possessive relation: thus the phrase, "_man's
works_" is equivalent to "_the works_ of man," not to "_works of the man_;"
so, "_the man's works_," is equivalent, not to "the works of man," but to
"the works of _the_ man."

[336] Horne Tooke says, "The _use_ of A after the word MANY is a corruption
for _of_; and has _no connection_ whatever with the _article_ A, i. e.
_one_."--_Diversions of Purley_, Vol. ii, p. 324. With this conjecture of
the learned etymologist, I do not concur: it is hardly worth while to state
here, what may he urged pro and con.

[337] "Nothing can be more certain than that [in Greek syntax] all words
used for the purpose of definition, either stand between the article and
the noun, or have their own article prefixed. Yet it may sometimes happen
that an apposition [with an article] is parenthetically inserted instead of
being affixed."--J. W. DONALDSON: _Journal of Philology_, No. 2, p. 223.

[338] _Churchill_ rashly condemns this construction, and still more rashly
proposes to make the noun singular without repeating the article. See his
_New Gram._, p. 311. But he sometimes happily forgets his own doctrine; as,
"In fact, _the second and fourth lines_ here stamp the character of the
measure."--_Ib._, p. 391. O. B. Peirce says, "'Joram's _second_ and _third
daughters_,' must mean, if it means any thing, his _second daughters_ and
_third daughters_; and, 'the _first_ and _second verses_.' if it means any
thing, must represent the _first verses_ and the _second verses_."--
_Peirce's English Gram._, p. 263. According to my notion, this
interpretation is as false and hypercritical, as is the rule by which the
author professes to show what is right. He might have been better employed
in explaining some of his own phraseology, such as, "the _indefinite-past
and present_ of the _declarative mode_."--_Ib._, p. 100. The critic who
writes such stuff as this, may well be a misinterpreter of good common
English. It is plain, that the two examples which he thus distorts, are
neither obscure nor inelegant. But, in an alternative of single things, the
article _must be repeated_, and a plural noun is improper; as, "But they do
not receive _the_ Nicene _or the_ Athanasian _creeds_."--_Adam's Religious
World_, Vol. ii, p. 105. Say, "_creed_." So in an enumeration; as, "There
are three participles: _the_ present, _the_ perfect, and _the_ compound
perfect _participles_"--_Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 42. Expunge this last word,
"_participles_." Sometimes a sentence is wrong, not as being in itself a
solecism, but as being unadapted to the author's thought. Example: "Other
tendencies will be noticed in the Etymological and Syntactical
part."--_Fowler's E. Gram._, N. Y., 1850, p. 75. This implies, what appears
not to be true, that the author meant to treat Etymology and Syntax
_together_ in a single part of his work. Had he put an _s_ to the noun
"part," he might have been understood in either of two other ways, but not
in this. To make sure of his meaning, therefore, he should have said--"in
the Etymological _Part_ and _the_ Syntactical."

[339] Oliver B. Peirce, in his new theory of grammar, not only adopts
Ingersoll's error, but adds others to it. He supposes no ellipsis, and
declares it grossly improper ever to insert the pronoun. According to him,
the following text is wrong: "My son, _despise not thou_ the chastening of
the Lord."--_Heb._, xii, 5. See _Peirce's Gram._, p. 255. Of this
gentleman's book I shall say the less, because its faults are so many and
so obvious. Yet this is "_The Grammar of the English Language_," and claims
to be the only work which is worthy to be called an English Grammar. "The
first and only Grammar of the English Language!"--_Ib._, p. 10. In
punctuation, it is a very _chaos_, as one might guess from the following
Rule: "A _word_ of the _second person_, and in the _subjective_ case, _must
have_ a _semicolon_ after it; as, John; hear me."--_Id._, p. 282. Behold
his practice! "John, beware."--P. 84. "Children, study."--P. 80. "Henry;
study."--P. 249. "Pupil: parse."--P. 211; and many other places. "Be thou,
or do thou be writing? Be ye or you, or do ye or you be writing?"--P. 110.
According to his Rule, this tense requires six semicolons; but the author
points it with two commas and two notes of interrogation!

[340] In Butler's Practical Grammar, first published in 1845, this doctrine
is taught as a _novelty_. His publishers, in their circular letter, speak
of it as one of "the _peculiar advantages_ of this grammar over preceding
works," and as an important matter, "_heretofore altogether omitted by
grammarians_!" Wells cites Butler in support of his false principle: "A
verb in the infinitive is _often_ preceded by a noun or pronoun in the
objective, which has _no direct dependence_ on any other word.
Examples:--'Columbus ordered a strong _fortress_ of wood and plaster _to be
erected_.'--_Irving_. 'Its favors here should make _us tremble_.'--
_Young_." See _Wells's School Gram._, p. 147.

[341] "Sometimes indeed _the verb hath two regimens_, and then _the
preposition is necessary_ to one of them; as, 'I address myself _to_ my
judges.'"--_Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric_, p. 178. Here the verb
_address_ governs the pronoun _myself_, and is also the antecedent to the
preposition _to_; and the construction would be similar, if the preposition
governed the infinitive or a participle: as, "I prepared myself _to_ swim;"
or, "I prepared myself _for_ swimming." But, in any of these cases, it is
not very accurate to say, "_the verb has two regimens_;" for the latter
term is properly the regimen of the _preposition_. Cardell, by robbing the
prepositions, and supposing ellipses, found _two regimens for every verb_.
W. Allen, on the contrary, (from whom Nixon gathered his doctrine above,)
by giving the "accusative" to the infinitive, makes a multitude of our
active-transitive verbs "_neuter_." See _Allen's Gram._, p. 166. But Nixon
absurdly calls the verb "active-transitive," _because it governs the
infinitive_; i. e. as he supposes--and, except when _to_ is not used,
_erroneously_ supposes.

[342] A certain _new theorist_, who very innocently fogs himself and his
credulous readers with a deal of impertinent pedantry, after denouncing my
doctrine that _to_ before the infinitive is a _preposition_, appeals to me
thus: "Let me ask you, G. B.--is not the infinitive in Latin _the same_ as
in _the English?_ Thus, I desire _to teach Latin_--Ego Cupio _docere_. I
saw Abel _come_--Ego videbam Abelem _venire_. The same principle is
recognized by the Greek grammars and those of most of the modern
languages."--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 358. Of this gentleman I know
nothing but from what appears in his book--a work of immeasurable and
ill-founded vanity--a whimsical, dogmatical, blundering performance. This
short sample of his Latin, (_with six puerile errors in seven words_,) is
proof positive that he knows nothing of that language, whatever may be his
attainments in Greek, or the other tongues of which he tells. To his
question I answer emphatically, NO. In Latin, "One verb governs an other in
the infinitive; as, _Cupio discere_, I desire _to_ learn."--_Adam's Gram._,
p. 181. This government never admits the intervention of a preposition. "I
saw Abel come," has no preposition; but the Latin of it is, "_Vidi Abelem
venientem_," and not what is given above; or, according to St. Jerome and
others, who wrote, "_Abel_," without declension, we ought rather to say,
"_Vidi Abel venientem_." If they are right, "_Ego videbam Abelem venire_,"
is every word of it wrong!

[343] Priestley cites these examples as _authorities_, not as _false
syntax_. The errors which I thus quote at secondhand from other
grammarians, and mark with double references, are in general such as the
first quoters have allowed, and made themselves responsible for; but this
is not the case in every instance. Such credit has sometimes, though
rarely, been given, where the expression was disapproved.--G. BROWN.

[344] Lindley Murray thought it not impracticable to put two or more nouns
in apposition and add the possessive sign to each; nor did he imagine there
would often be any positive impropriety in so doing. His words, on this
point, are these: "On the other hand, the application of the _genitive_
sign to both or all of the nouns in apposition, would be _generally_ harsh
and displeasing, and _perhaps in some cases incorrect_: as, 'The Emperor's
Leopold's; King George's; Charles's the Second's; The parcel was left at
Smith's, the bookseller's and stationer's."--_Octavo Gram._, p. 177.
Whether he imagined _any of these_ to be "_incorrect_" or not, does not
appear! Under the next rule, I shall give a short note which will show them
_all_ to be so. The author, however, after presenting these uncouth
fictions, which show nothing but his own deficiency in grammar, has done
the world the favour not to pronounce them very _convenient_ phrases; for
he continues the paragraph as follows: "The rules which _we_ have
endeavoured to elucidate, will prevent the _inconveniences_ of both these
modes of expression; and they appear to be _simple, perspicuous_, and
_consistent_ with the idiom of the language.'--_Ib._ This undeserved praise
of his own rules, he might as well have left to some other hand. They have
had the fortune, however, to please sundry critics, and to become the prey
of many thieves; but are certainly very deficient in the three qualities
here named; and, taken together with their illustrations, they form little
else than a tissue of errors, partly his own, and partly copied from Lowth
and Priestley.

Dr. Latham, too, and Prof. Child, whose erroneous teaching on this point is
still more marvellous, not only inculcate the idea that possessives in form
may be in apposition, but seem to suppose that two possessive endings are
essential to the relation. Forgetting all such English as we have in the
phrases, "_John the Baptist's head_,"--"_For Jacob my servant's
sake_,"--"_Julius Caesar's Commentaries_,"--they invent sham expressions,
too awkward ever to have come to their knowledge from any actual use,--such
as, "_John's the farmer's wife_,"--"_Oliver's the spy's evidence_,"--and
then end their section with the general truth, "For words to be in
apposition with each other, they must be in the same case."--_Elementary
Grammar, Revised Edition_, p. 152. What sort of scholarship is that in
which _fictitious examples_ mislead even their inventors?

[345] In Professor Fowler's recent and copious work, "The English Language
in its Elements and Forms," our present _Reciprocals_ are called, not
_Pronominal Adjectives_, but "_Pronouns_," and are spoken of, in the first
instance, thus: "Sec.248. A RECIPROCAL PRONOUN is _one_ that implies the
mutual action of different agents. EACH OTHER, and ONE ANOTHER, are our
reciprocal forms, _which are treated exactly as if they were compound
pronouns_, taking for their genitives, _each other's, one another's_. _Each
other_ is properly used of _two_, and _one another_ of _more_." The
definition here given takes for granted what is at least disputable, that
"_each other_," or "_one another_," is not a phrase, but is merely "_one
pronoun_." But, to none of his three important positions here taken, does
the author himself at all adhere. In Sec.451, at Note 3, he teaches thus:
"'They love each other.' Here _each_ is in the nominative case in
apposition with _they_, and _other_ is in the objective case. 'They helped
one another.' Here _one_ is in apposition with _they_, and _another_ is in
the objective case." Now, by this mode of parsing, the reciprocal terms
"are treated," not as "compound pronouns," but as phrases consisting of
distinct or separable words: and, as being separate or separable words,
whether they be Adjectives or Pronouns, they conform not to his definition
above. Out of the sundry instances in which, according to his own showing,
he has misapplied one or the other of these phrases, I cite the following:
(1.) "The _two_ ideas of Science and Art differ from _one another_ as the
understanding differs from the will."--_Fowler's Gram._, 1850, Sec.180.
Say,--"from _each_ other;" or,--"_one_ from _the_ other." (2.) "THOU, THY,
THEE, are etymologically related to _each_ other."--_Ib._, Sec.216. Say,--"to
_one an_ other;" because there are "_more_" than "_two_." (3.) "Till within
some centuries, the Germans, like the French and the English, addressed
_each_ other in familiar conversation by the Second Person
Singular."--_Ib._, Sec.221. Say,--"addressed _one an_ other." (4.) "Two
sentences are, on the other hand, connected in the way of co-ordination [,]
when they are not thus dependent one upon _an_other."--_Ib._, Sec.332.
Say,--"upon _each_ other;" or,--"one upon _the_ other;" because there are
but two. (5.) "These two rivers are at a great distance from one
_an_other."--_Ib._, Sec.617. Say,--"from _each_ other;" or,--"_one from the_
other." (6.) "The trees [in the _Forest of Bombast_] are close, spreading,
and twined into _each other_."--_Ib._, Sec.617. Say,--"into _one an_ other."

[346] For this quotation, Dr. Campbell gives, in his margin, the following
reference: "Introduction, &c., Sentences, Note on the 6th Phrase." But in
my edition of Dr. Lowth's Introduction to English Grammar, (a Philadelphia
edition of 1799,) I _do not_ find the passage. Perhaps it has been omitted
in consequence of Campbell's criticism, of which I here cite but a
part.--G. BROWN.

[347] By some grammarians it is presumed to be consistent with the nature
of _participles_ to govern the possessive case; and Hiley, if he is to be
understood _literally_, assumes it as an "_established principle_," that
they _all_ do so! "_Participles govern_ nouns and pronouns in the
possessive case, and at the same time, if derived from transitive verbs,
_require_ the noun or pronoun following to be in the objective case,
_without the intervention of the preposition of_; as 'Much depends on
_William's observing the rule_, and error will be the consequence of _his
neglecting it_;' or, 'Much _will_ depend on the _rule's being observed by
William_, and error will be the consequence of _its being
neglected_.'"--_Hiley's Gram._, p. 94. These sentences, without doubt, are
_nearly_ equivalent to each other in meaning. To make them exactly so,
"_depends_" or "_will depend_" must be changed in tense, and "_its being
neglected_" must be "_its being neglected by him_." But who that has looked
at the facts in the case, or informed himself on the points here in
dispute, will maintain that either the awkward phraseology of the latter
example, or the mixed and questionable construction of the former, or the
extensive rule under which they are here presented, is among "the
established principles and best usages of the English language?"--_Ib._, p.

[348] What, in Weld's "Abridged Edition," is improperly called a
"participial _noun_," was, in his "original work," still more erroneously
termed "a participial _clause_." This gentleman, who has lately amended his
general rule for possessives by wrongfully copying or imitating mine, has
also as widely varied his conception of the _participial_--"_object
possessed_;" but, in my judgement, a change still greater might not be
amiss. "The possessive is often governed by a participial clause; as, much
will depend on the _pupil's_ composing frequently. _Pupil's_ is governed by
the _clause_, '_composing frequently_.' NOTE.--The sign ('s) should be
annexed to the word governed by the _participial clause_ following
it."--_Weld's Gram._, 2d _Edition_, p. 150. Again: "The possessive is often
governed by a participial _noun_; as, Much will depend on the _pupil's_
composing frequently. _Pupil's_ is governed by the participial _noun
composing_. NOTE.--The sign ('s) should be annexed to the word governed by
the participial _noun_ following it."--_Weld's Gram., Abridged_, p. 117.
Choosing the possessive case, where, both by analogy and by authority, the
objective would be quite as grammatical, if not more so; destroying, as far
as possible, all syntactical distinction between the participle and the
participial noun, by confounding them purposely, even in name; this author,
like Wells, whom he too often imitates, takes no notice of the question
here discussed, and seems quite unconscious that participles partly made
nouns can _produce_ false syntax. To the foregoing instructions, he
subjoins the following comment, as a marginal note: "_The participle used
as a noun_, still _retains its verbal properties_, and may govern the
objective case, or be modified by an adverb or adjunct, like the verb from
which it is derived."--_Ibid._ When one part of speech is said to be _used
as an other_, the learner may be greatly puzzled to understand _to which
class_ the given word belongs. If "_the participle used as a noun_, still
retains its verbal properties," it is, manifestly, not a noun, but a
participle still; not a participial noun, but a _nounal participle_,
whether the thing be allowable or not. Hence the teachings just cited are
inconsistent. Wells says, "_Participles_ are often used _in the sense of
nouns_; as, 'There was again the _smacking_ of whips, the _clattering_ of
hoofs, and the _glittering_ of harness.'--IRVING."--_School Gram._, p.
154. This is not well stated; because these are participial _nouns_, and
not "_participles_." What Wells calls "participial nouns," differ from
these, and are _all_ spurious, _all_ mongrels, _all_ participles rather
than nouns. In regard to possessives before participles, no instructions
appear to be more defective than those of this gentleman. His sole rule
supposes the pupil always to know when and why the possessive is _proper_,
and only instructs him _not to form it without the sign!_ It is this: "When
a noun or a pronoun, preceding a _participle used as a noun_, is _properly_
in the possessive case, the sign of possession should not be
omitted."--_School Gram._, p. 121. All the examples put under this rule,
are inappropriate: each will mislead the learner. Those which are called
"_Correct_," are, I think erroneous; and those which are called "_False
Syntax_," the adding of the possessive sign will not amend.

[349] It is remarkable, that Lindley Murray, with all his care in revising
his work, did not see the _inconsistency_ of his instructions in relation
to phrases of this kind. First he copies Lowth's doctrine, literally and
anonymously, from the Doctor's 17th page, thus: "When the thing to which
_another is said to belong_, is expressed by a circumlocution, or by _many
terms_, the sign of the possessive case _is commonly added to the last_
term: as, 'The _king of Great Britain's_ dominions.'"--_Murray's Gram._,
8vo, p. 45. Afterwards he condemns this: "The word in the genitive case is
frequently PLACED IMPROPERLY: as, 'This fact appears from _Dr. Pearson of
Birmingham's_ experiments.' _It_ should be, 'from the experiments of _Dr.
Pearson_ of Birmingham.' "--_Ib._, p. 175. And again he makes it necessary:
"A phrase in which the words are so connected and dependent, as to admit of
no pause before the conclusion, _necessarily requires_ the genitive sign
_at or near_ the end _of the phrase_: as, 'Whose prerogative is it? It is
the _king of Great Britain's_;' 'That is the _duke of Bridgewater's_
canal;' " &c.--_Ib._, p. 276. Is there not contradiction in these

[350] A late grammarian tells us: "_In_ nouns ending in _es_ and _ss_, the
other _s_ is not added; as, _Charles'_ hat, _Goodness'_ sake."--_Wilcox's
Gram._, p. 11. He should rather have said, "_To_ nouns ending in _es_ or
_ss_, the other _s_ is not added." But his doctrine is worse than his
syntax; and, what is remarkable, he himself forgets it in the course of a
few minutes, thus: "Decline _Charles_. Nom. _Charles_, Poss. _Charles's_,
Obj. _Charles_."--_Ib._, p. 12. See the like doctrine in Mulligan's recent
work on the "_Structure of Language_," p. 182.

[351] VAUGELAS was a noted French critic, who died in 1650. In Murray's
Grammar, the name is more than once mistaken. On page 359th, of the edition
above cited, it is printed "_Vangelas_"--G. BROWN.

[352] Nixon parses _boy_, as being "in the possessive case, governed by
distress understood;" and _girl's_, as being "coupled by _nor_ to _boy_,"
according to the Rule, "Conjunctions connect the same cases." Thus one word
is written wrong; the other, parsed wrong: and so of _all_ his examples
above.--G. BROWN.

[353] Wells, whose Grammar, in its first edition, divides verbs into
"_transitive, intransitive_, and _passive_;" but whose late edition
absurdly make all passives transitive; says, in his third edition, "A
_transitive verb_ is a verb that _has some noun or pronoun_ for its
object;" (p. 78;) adopts, in his syntax, the old dogma, "Transitive verbs
govern the objective case;" (3d Ed., p. 154;) and to this rule subjoins a
series of remarks, so singularly fit to puzzle or mislead the learner, and
withal so successful in winning the approbation of committees and teachers,
that it may be worth while to notice most of them here.

"REM. 1.--A sentence or phrase _often supplies the place_ of a noun or
pronoun in the objective case; as, 'You see _how few of these men have
returned.'"--Wells' s School Gram._, "Third Thousand," p. 154; late Ed.
Sec.215. According to this, must we not suppose verbs to be often transitive,
when _not made so_ by the author's _definition_? And if _"see"_ is here
transitive, would not other forms, such as _are told, have been told_, or
_are aware_, be just as much so, if put in its place?

"REM. 2.--An _intransitive_ verb may be used to _govern an objective_, when
the verb and the noun depending upon it are of kindred signification; as,
'_To live_ a blameless _life;'--'To run_ a _race.'"--Ib._ Here verbs are
absurdly called "_intransitive_," when, both in fact and by the foregoing
definition, they are clearly transitive; or, at least, are, by many
teachers, supposed to be so.

"REM. 3.--Idiomatic expressions sometimes occur in which _intransitive_
verbs are followed by _objectives depending upon them_; as, 'To _look_ the
_subject_ fully in the face.'--_Channing_. 'They _laughed him_ to
scorn.'--_Matt_. 9:24. 'And _talked_ the _night_ away.'--_Goldsmith_."--
_Ib._ Here again, verbs evidently _made transitive by the construction_,
are, with strange inconsistency, called "_intransitive_." By these three
remarks together, the distinction between transitives and intransitives
must needs be extensively _obscured_ in the mind of the learner.

"REM. 4.--Transitive verbs of _asking, giving, teaching_, and _some
others_, are often employed to govern two objectives; as, '_Ask him_ his
_opinion_;'--'This experience _taught me_ a valuable _lesson_.'--'_Spare
me_ yet this bitter _cup.'--Hemans_. 'I thrice _presented him_ a kingly
_crown_.'--_Shakspeare_."--_Ib._ This rule not only jumbles together
several different constructions, such as would require different cases in
Latin or Greek, but is evidently repugnant to _the sense_ of many of the
passages to which it is meant to be applied. Wells thinks, the practice of
supplying a preposition, "is, in many cases, arbitrary, and does violence
to an important and well established _idiom_ of the language."--_Ib._ But
how can any idiom be violated by a mode of parsing, which merely expounds
its _true meaning_? If the dative case has the meaning of _to_, and the
ablative has the meaning of _from_, how can they be expounded, in English,
but by suggesting the _particle_, where it is omitted? For example: "Spare
me yet [_from_] this bitter cup."--"Spare [_to_] me yet this joyous cup."
This author says, "_The rule_ for the government of two objectives by a
verb, without the aid of a preposition, is adopted by Webster, Murray,
Alexander, Frazee, Nutting, Perley, Goldsbury, J. M. Putnam, Hamlin,
Flower, Crane, Brace, and many others."--_Ib._ Yet, if I mistake not, the
weight of authority is vastly against it. _Such a rule as this_, is not
extensively approved; and even some of the names here given, are improperly
cited. Lindley Murray's remark, "Some of our verbs appear to govern two
words in the objective case," is applied only to _words in apposition_, and
wrong even there; Perley's rule is only of "_Some_ verbs of _asking_ and
_teaching_;" and Nutting's note, "It _sometimes happens_ that one
transitive verb governs two objective cases," is so very loose, that one
can neither deny it, nor tell how much it means.

"REM. 5.--Verbs of _asking, giving, teaching_, and _some others_, are often
employed in the passive voice _to govern_ a noun or pronoun; as, 'He _was
asked_ his _opinion.'--Johnson_. 'He _had been refused shelter_.'--
_Irving_."--_Ib._, p. 155, Sec.215. Passive _governing_ is not far from
absurdity. Here, by way of illustration, we have examples of _two sorts_;
the one elliptical, the other solecistical. The former text appears to
mean, "He was asked _for_, his opinion;"--or, "He was asked _to give_ his
opinion: the latter should have been, "_Shelter had been refused_
him;"--i.e., "_to_ him." Of the seven instances cited by the author, five
at least are of the latter kind, and therefore to be condemned; and it is
to be observed, that when they are _corrected_, and the right word is made
nominative, the passive government, by Wells's own showing, becomes nothing
but the ellipsis of a preposition. Having just given a _rule_, by which all
his various examples are assumed to be regular and right, he very
inconsistently adds this not: "_This form_ of expression is _anomalous_,
and _might_, in many cases, be improved. Thus, _instead_ of saying, 'He was
offered a seat on the council,' it would be preferable to say 'A seat in
the council was offered [to] him.'"--_Ib._, p. 155, Sec. 215. By admitting
here the ellipsis of the preposition _to_, he evidently refutes the
doctrine of his own text, so far as it relates to _passive government_,
and, by implication, the doctrine of his fourth remark also. For the
ellipsis of _to_, before "_him_," is just as evident in the active
expression, "I thrice _presented him_ a kingly crown," as in the passive,
"A kingly crown _was thrice presented him_." It is absurd to deny it in
either. Having offset _himself_, Wells as ingeniously balances his
_authorities, pro and con_; but, the _elliptical_ examples being
_allowable_, he should not have said that I and others "_condemn this usage

"REM. 6.--The passive voice of a verb is sometimes used in connection with
a _preposition_, forming a _compound passive verb_; as 'He _was listened
to_.'--'Nor is this _to be scoffed at_.'--'This is a tendency _to be
guarded against_.'--'A bitter persecution _was carried on_.'--_Hallam_."--
_Ib._, p. 155, Sec. 215. The words here called "_prepositions_," are
_adverbs_. Prepositions they cannot be; because they have no subsequent
term. Nor is it either necessary or proper, to call them parts of the verb:
"_was carried on_," is no more a "compound verb," than "_was carried off_,"
or "_was carried forward_," and the like.

"REM. 7.--Idiomatic expressions sometimes occur in which a noun in the
objective is preceded by a passive verb, and followed by _a preposition
used adverbially_. EXAMPLES: 'Vocal and instrumental music _were made use
of_.'--_Addison_. 'The third, fourth, and fifth, _were taken possession of_
at half past eight."--_Southey_. 'The Pinta _was soon lost sight of_ in the
darkness of the night.'--_Irving_."--_Ib._, p. 155, Sec. 215. As it is by
the manner of their use, that we distinguish prepositions and adverbs, it
seems no more proper to speak of "_a preposition used adverbially_," than
of "_an adverb used prepositionally_." But even if the former phrase is
right and the thing conceivable, here is no instance of it; for "_of_" here
modifies no verb, adjective, or adverb. The construction is an unparsable
synchysis, a vile snarl, which no grammarian should hesitate to condemn.
These examples may each be corrected in several ways: 1. Say--"_were
used;"--"were taken into possession_;"--"_was soon lost from sight_." 2.
Say--"_They_ made use of music, _both_ vocal and instrumental."--"Of the
third, _the_ fourth, and _the_ fifth, _they took_ possession at half past
eight."--"Of the Pinta _they_ soon list sight," &c. 3. Say--"Use _was also_
made of _both_ vocal and instrumental music."--"Possession of the third,
_the_ fourth, and _the_ fifth, _was_ taken at half past eight."--"The Pinta
soon _disappeared_ in the darkness of the night." Here again, Wells puzzles
his pupil, with a note which half justifies and half condemns the awkward
usage in question. See _School Gram._, 1st Ed., p. 147; 3d Ed., 156; late
Ed., Sec. 215.

"REM. 8.--There are _some_ verbs which may be used either transitively or
intransitively; as, 'He _will return_ in a week,' 'He _will return_ the
book.'"--_Ib._, p. 147; 156; &c. According to Dr. Johnson, this is true of
"_most_ verbs," and Lindley Murray asserts it of "_many_." There are, I
think, but _few_ which may _not_, in some phraseology or other, be used
both ways. Hence the rule, "Transitive verbs govern the objective case,"
or, as Wells now has it, "Transitive verbs, in the active voice, govern the
objective case," (Sec. 215,) rests only upon a distinction which _itself
creates_, between transitives and intransitives; and therefore it amounts
to little.

[354] To these examples, Webster adds _two others_, of a _different sort_,
with a comment, thus: "'Ask _him_ his _opinion_?' 'You have asked _me_ the
_news_.' Will it be said that the latter phrases are elliptical, for 'ask
_of_ him his opinion?' I apprehend this to be a mistake. According to the
true idea of the government of a transitive verb, _him_ must be the
_object_ in the phrase under consideration, as much as in this, 'Ask _him_
for a guinea;' or in this, 'ask him to go.'"--_Ibid, ut supra_; _Frazee's
Gram._, p. 152; _Fowler's_, p. 480. If, for the reason here stated, it is a
"mistake" to supply _of_ in the foregoing instances, it does not follow
that they are not elliptical. On the contrary, if they are analogous to,
"Ask him _for_ a guinea;" or, "Ask him _to go_;" it is manifest that the
construction must be this: "Ask him [_for_] his opinion;" or, "Ask him [_to
tell_] his opinion." So that the question resolves itself into this: What
is the best way of _supplying the ellipsis_, when two objectives thus occur
after ask?--G. BROWN.

[355] These examples Murray borrowed from Webster, who published them, with
_references_, under his 34th Rule. With too little faith in the corrective
power of grammar, the Doctor remarks upon the constructions as follows:
"This idiom is outrageously anomalous, but perhaps incorrigible."--
_Webster's Philos. Gram._, p. 180; _Imp. G._, 128.

[356] This seems to be a reasonable principle of syntax, and yet I find it
contradicted, or a principle opposite to it set up, by some modern teachers
of note, who venture to justify all those abnormal phrases which I here
condemn as errors. Thus Fowler: "Note 5. When a Verb with its Accusative
case, _is equivalent to a single verb_, it may take this accusative after
it in the passive voice; as, 'This _has been put an end to_.'"--_Fowler's
English Language_, 8vo, Sec.552. Now what is this, but an effort to teach bad
English by rule?--and by such a rule, too, as is vastly more general than
even the great class of terms which it was designed to include? And yet
this rule, broad as it is, does not apply at all to the example given! For
"_put an end_," without the important word "_to_," is not equivalent to
_stop_ or _terminate_. Nor is the example right. One ought rather to say,
"This has been _ended_;" or, "This has been _stopped_." See the marginal
Note to Obs. 5th, above.

[357] Some, however, have conceived the putting of the same case after the
verb as before it, to be _government_; as, "Neuter verbs occasionally
_govern_ either the nominative or [the] objective case, after
them."--_Alexander's Gram._, p. 54. "The verb _to be, always governs_ a
Nominative, unless it be of the Infinitive Mood."--_Buchanan's Gram._, p.
94. This latter assertion is, in fact, monstrously untrue, and also

[358] Not unfrequently the conjunction _as_ intervenes between these "same
cases," as it may also between words in apposition; as, "He then is _as_
the head, and we _as_ the members; he the vine, and we the
branches."--_Barclay's Works_, Vol. ii, p. 189.

[359] "'Whose house is that?' This sentence, before it is parsed, _should
be transposed_; thus, 'Whose is that house?' The same observation applies
to every sentence of a similar construction."--_Chandler's old Gram._, p.
93. This instruction is worse than nonsense; for it teaches the pupil to
parse every word in the sentence _wrong_! The author proceeds to explain
_Whose_, as "qualifying _house_, understood;" _is_, as agreeing "with its
nominative, _house_;" _that_, as "qualifying _house_;" and _house_, as
"nominative case to the verb, _is_." Nothing of this is _true_ of the
original question. For, in that, _Whose_ is governed by _house; house_ is
nominative after _is; is_ agrees with _house_ understood; and _that_
relates to _house_ understood. The meaning is, "Whose house is that house?"
or, in the order of a declarative sentence, "That house is whose house?"

[360] 1: In Latin, the accusative case is used after such a verb, because
an other word in the same case is understood before it; as, "Facere quae
libet, ID est [_hominem_] esse _regem_."--SALLUST. "To do what he pleases,
THAT is [for a _man_] to be a _king_." If Professor Bullions had understood
Latin, or Greek, or English, as well as his commenders imagine, he might
have discovered what construction of cases we have in the following
instances: "It is an honour [for a _man_] to be the _author_ of such a
work."--_Bullions's Eng. Gram._, p. 82. "To be _surety_ for a stranger [,]
is dangerous."--_Ib._ "Not to know what happened before you were born, is
to be always a _child_."--_Ib._ "Nescire quid acciderit antequam natus es,
est semper esse _puerum_."--_Ib._ "[Greek: Esti tion aischron ...topon, hon
haemen pote kurioi phainesthai proiemenous]." "It is a shame to be seen
giving up countries of which we were once masters."--DEMOSTHENES: _ib._
What support these examples give to this grammarian's new notion of "_the
objective indefinite_" or to his still later seizure of Greene's doctrine
of "_the predicate-nominative_" the learned reader may judge. All the Latin
and Greek grammarians suppose an _ellipsis_, in such instances; but some
moderns are careless enough of that, and of the analogy of General Grammar
in this case, to have seconded the Doctor in his absurdity. See _Farnum's
Practical Gram._, p. 23; and _S. W. Clark's_, p. 149.

2. Professor Hart has an indecisive remark on this construction, as
follows: "Sometimes a verb in the infinitive mood has a noun after it
without any other noun before it; as, 'To be a good _man_, is not so easy a
thing as many people imagine.' Here '_man_' may be parsed as used
_indefinitely_ after the verb _to be_. It is not easy to say in what _case_
the noun is in such sentences. The analogy of the Latin would seem to
indicate the _objective_.--Thus, 'Not to know what happened in past years,
is to be always a _child_,' Latin, 'semper esse puerum.' _In like manner_,
in English, we may say, '_Its_ being _me, need_ make no change in your
determination.'"--_Hart's English Gram._, p. 127.

3. These learned authors thus differ about what certainly admits of no
other solution than that which is given in the Observation above. To parse
the nouns in question, "_as used indefinitely_," without case, and to call
them "_objectives indefinite_," without agreement or government, are two
methods equally repugnant to reason. The last suggestion of Hart's is also
a false argument for a true position. The phrases, "_Its being me_," and
"_To be a good man_," are far from being constructed "_in like manner_."
The former is manifestly bad English; because _its_ and _me_ are not in the
_same case_. But S. S. Greene would say, "_Its being I_, is right." For in
a similar instance, he has this conclusion: "Hence, in _abridging_ the
following proposition, 'I was not aware _that it was he_,' we should say
'_of its being he_,' not '_his_' nor '_him_.'"--_Greene's Analysis_, 1st
Ed., p. 171. When _being_ becomes a noun, no case after it appears to be
very proper; but this author, thus "_abridging_" _four syllables into
five_, produces an anomalous construction which it would be much better to

[361] Parkhurst and Sanborn, by what they call "A NEW RULE," attempt to
determine the doubtful or unknown case which this note censures, and to
justify the construction as being well-authorized and hardly avoidable.
Their rule is this: "A noun following a neuter or [a] passive participial
noun, is in the _nominative independent_. A noun or pronoun in the
_possessive_ case, always precedes the participial noun, either _expressed_
or _understood_, signifying the same thing as the noun does that follows
it." To this new and exceptionable' dogma, Sanborn adds: "This form of
expression is one of the most common idioms of the language, and _in
general composition_ cannot be well avoided. In confirmation of the
statement made, various authorities are subjoined. Two grammarians only, to
our knowledge, have remarked OH this phraseology: 'Participles are
sometimes preceded by a possessive case and followed by a nominative; as,
There is no doubt of _his_ being a great _statesman_.' B. GREENLEAF. 'We
sometimes find a participle that takes the same case after as before it,
converted into a verbal noun, and the latter word retained unchanged in
connexion with it; as, I have some recollection of his _father's_ being a
_judge_.' GOOLD BROWN."--_Sanborn's Analytical Gram._, p. 189. On what
principle the words _statesman_ and _judge_ can be affirmed to be in the
nominative case, I see not; and certainly they are not nominatives
"_independent_" because the word _being_, after which they stand, is not
itself independent. It is true, the phraseology is common enough to be good
English: but I dislike it; and if this citation from me, was meant for a
confirmation of the reasonless dogmatism preceding, it is not made with
fairness, because my _opinion_ of the construction is omitted by the
quoter. See _Institutes of English Gram._, p. 162. In an other late
grammar,--a shameful work, because it is in great measure a tissue of petty
larcenies from my Institutes, with alterations for the worse,--I find the
following absurd "Note," or Rule: "An infinitive or participle is often
followed by a substantive _explanatory_ of an _indefinite_ person or thing.
The substantive is then in the _objective_ case, and may be called the
_objective after the infinitive_, or _participle_; [as,] It is an honor to
be the _author_ of such a work. His being a great _man_, did not make him a
happy man. By being an obedient _child_, you will secure the approbation of
your parents."--_Farnum's Practical Gram._, 1st Ed., p. 25. The first of
these examples is elliptical; (see Obs. 12th above, and the Marginal Note;)
the second is bad English,--or, at' any rate, directly repugnant to the
rule for same cases; and the third parsed wrong by the rule: "_child_" is
in the nominative case. See Obs. 7th above.

[362] When the preceding case is not "_the verb's nominative_" this phrase
must of course be omitted; and when the word which is to be corrected, does
not literally follow the verb, it may be proper to say, "_constructively
follows_," in lieu of the phrase, "_comes after_."

[363] The author of this example supposes _friend_ to be in the nominative
case, though _John's_ is in the possessive, and both words denote the same
person. But this is not only contrary to the general rule for the same
cases, but contrary to his own application of one of his rules. Example:
"_Maria's_ duty, as a _teacher_, is, to instruct her pupils." Here, he
says, "_Teacher_ is in the _possessive_ case, from its relation to the name
_Maria_, denoting the same object."--_Peirce's Gram._, p. 211. This
explanation, indeed, is scarcely intelligible, on account of its
grammatical inaccuracy. He means, however, that, "_Teacher_ is in the
possessive case, from its relation to the name _Maria's_, the two words
denoting the same object." No word can be possessive "from its relation to
the name _Maria_," except by standing immediately before it, in the usual
manner of possessives; as, "_Sterne's Maria_."

[364] Dr. Webster, who was ever ready to justify almost any usage for which
he could find half a dozen respectable authorities, absurdly supposes, that
_who_ may sometimes be rightly preferred to _whom_, as the object of a
preposition. His remark is this: "In the use of _who_ as an interrogative,
there is an _apparent deviation_ from regular construction--it being used
_without distinction of case_; as, '_Who_ do you speak _to?_' '_Who_ is she
married _to?_' '_Who_ is this reserved _for?_' '_Who_ was it made _by?_'
This _idiom_ is not merely colloquial: it is found in the writings of our
best authors."--_Webster's Philosophical Gram._, p. 194; his _Improved
Gram._, p. 136. "In this phrase, '_Who_ do you speak _to?_' there is a
_deviation_ from regular construction; but the practice of thus using
_who_, in certain familiar phrases, seems to be _established_ by the best
authors."--_Webster's Rudiments of E. Gram._, p. 72. Almost any other
solecism may be quite as well justified as this. The present work shows, in
fact, a great mass of authorities for many of the incongruities which it
ventures to rebuke.

[365] Grammarians differ much as to the proper mode of parsing such nouns.
Wells says, "This is _the case independent by ellipsis_."--_School Gram._,
p. 123. But the idea of _such_ a case is a flat absurdity. Ellipsis occurs
only where something, not uttered, is implied; and where a _preposition_ is
thus wanting, the noun is, of course, its _object_; and therefore _not
independent_. Webster, with too much contempt for the opinion of "Lowth,
followed by the _whole tribe of writers_ on this subject," declares it "a
palpable error," to suppose "prepositions to be understood before these
expressions;" and, by two new rules, his 22d and 28th, teaches, that,
"Names of measure or dimension, followed by an adjective," and "Names of
certain portions of time and space, and especially words denoting
continuance of time or progression, are used _without a governing
word_."--_Philos. Gram._, pp. 165 and 172; _Imp. Gram._, 116 and 122;
_Rudiments_, 65 and 67. But this is no account at all of the
_construction_, or of the _case_ of the noun. As the nominative, or the
case which we may use independently, is never a subject of government, the
phrase, "_without a governing word_," implies that the case is _objective_;
and how can this case be known, except by the discovery of some "governing
word," of which it is the _object?_ We find, however, many such rules as
the following: "Nouns of time, distance, and degree, are put in the
objective case without a preposition."--_Nutting's Gram._, p. 100. "Nouns
which denote time, quantity, measure, distance, value, or direction are
often put in the objective case without a preposition."--_Weld's Gram._, p.
153; "Abridged Ed.," 118. "Numes signifying duration, extension, quantity,
quality, and valuation, are in the objective case without a governing
word."--_Frazee's Gram._, p. 154. _Bullions_, too, has a similar rule. To
estimate these rules aright, one should observe how often the nouns in
question are found _with_ a governing word. Weld, of late, contradicts
himself by _admitting the ellipsis_; and then, inconsistently with his
admission, most absurdly _denies the frequent use_ of the preposition with
nouns of _time, quantity_, &c. "Before words of this description, the
_ellipsis of a preposition is obvious_. But it is _seldom proper to use_
the preposition before such words."--_Weld's "Abridged Edition,"_ p. 118.

[366] Professor Fowler absurdly says, "_Nigh, near, next, like_, when
followed by the objective case, _may be regarded either_ as Prepositions or
as Adjectives, _to_ being understood."--_Fowler's E. Gram._, 8vo, 1850,
Sec.458, Note 7. Now, "_to_ being understood," it is plain that no one of
these words can be accounted a preposition, but by supposing the
preposition to be complex, and to be partly suppressed. This can be nothing
better than an idle whim; and, since the classification of words as parts
of speech, is always positive and exclusive, to refer any particular word
indecisively to "_either_" of two classes, is certainly no better
_teaching_, than to say, "I do not know of which sort it is; call it what
you please!" With decision prompt enough, but with too little regard to
analogy or consistency, Latham and Child say, "The adjective _like governs
a case_, and it is the only adjective that does so."--_Elementary Gram._,
p. 155. In teaching thus, they seem to ignore these facts: that _near_,
_nigh_, or _opposite_, might just as well be said to be an adjective
governing a case; and that the use of _to_ or _unto_ after _like_ has been
common enough to prove the ellipsis. The Bible has many examples; as, "Who
is _like to_ thee in Israel?"--_1 Samuel_, xxvi, 15. "Hew thee two tables
of stone _like unto_ the first."--_Exodus_, xxxiv, 1; and _Deut._, x, 1.
But their great inconsistency here is, that they call the case after like
"_a dative_"--a case unknown to their etymology! See _Gram. of E. Gram._,
p. 259. In grammar, a _solitary_ exception or instance can scarcely be a
_true one_.

[367] The following examples may illustrate these points: "These verbs, and
all others _like to_ them, were _like_ TIMAO."--_Dr. Murray's Hist. of
Europ. Lang._, Vol. ii, p. 128. "The old German, and even the modern
German, are much _liker to_ the Visigothic than they are to the dialect of
the Edda."--_Ib._, i, 330. "Proximus finem, _nighest_ the end."--_Ib._, ii,
150. "Let us now come _nearer to_ our own language."--_Dr. Blair's Rhet._,
p. 85. "This looks _very like_ a paradox."--BEATTIE: _Murray's Gram._, Vol.
i, p. 113. "He was _near_ [to] falling."--_Ib._, p. 116. Murray, who puts
_near_ into his list of prepositions, gives this example to show how
"_prepositions become adverbs!_" "There was none ever before _like unto_
it."--_Stone, on Masonry_, p. 5.

"And earthly power doth then show _likest_ God's,
When mercy seasons justice."--_Beauties of Shakspeare_, p. 45.

[368] Wright's notion of this construction is positively absurd and
self-contradictory. In the sentence, "My cane is worth a shilling," he
takes the word _worth_ to be a noun "in _apposition_ to the word
_shilling_." And to prove it so, he puts the sentence successively into
these four forms: "My cane is _worth_ or _value_ for a shilling;"--"The
_worth_ or _value_ of my cane is a shilling;"--"My cane is a _shilling's
worth_;"--"My cane is _the worth of_ a shilling."--_Philosophical Gram._,
p. 150. In all these transmutations, _worth_ is unquestionably a noun; but,
in none of them, is it in apposition with the word _shilling_; and he is
quite mistaken in supposing that they "indispensably prove the word in
question to be a _noun_." There are other authors, who, with equal
confidence, and equal absurdity, call _worth_ a _verb_. For example: "A
noun, which signifies the price, is put in the objective case, without a
preposition; as, 'my book is _worth_ twenty shillings.' _Is worth_ is a
_neuter verb_, and answers to the _latin_ [sic--KTH] verb
_valet_."--_Barrett's Gram._, p. 138. I do not deny that the phrase "_is
worth_" is a just version of the verb _valet_; but this equivalence in
import, is no proof at all that _worth_ is a verb. _Prodest_ is a Latin
verb, which signifies "_is profitable to_;" but who will thence infer, that
_profitable to_ is a verb?

[369] In J. R. Chandler's English Grammar, as published in 1821, the word
_worth_ appears in the list of prepositions: but the revised list, in his
edition of 1847, does not contain it. In both books, however, it is
expressly parsed as a preposition; and, in expounding the sentence, "The
book is worth a dollar," the author makes this remark: "_Worth_ has been
called an adjective by some, and a noun by others: _worth_, however, in
this sentence expresses a relation by value, and is so far a preposition;
and no ellipsis, which may be formed, would change the nature of the word,
without giving the sentence a different meaning."--_Chandler's Gram._, Old
Ed., p. 155; New Ed., p. 181.

[370] Cowper here purposely makes Mrs. Gilpin use bad English; but this is
no reason why a school-boy may not be taught to correct it. Dr. Priestley
supposed that the word _we_, in the example, "_To poor we_, thine enmity,"
&c., was also used by Shakespeare, "in a droll humorous way."--_Gram._, p.
103. He surely did not know the connexion of the text. It is in "Volumnia's
_pathetic_ speech" to her victorious son. See _Coriolanus_, Act V, Sc. 3.

[371] Dr. Enfield misunderstood this passage; and, in copying it into his
Speaker, (a very popular school-book,) he has perverted the text, by
changing _we_ to _us_: as if the meaning were, "Making us fools of nature."
But it is plain, that all "fool's of nature!" must be fools of nature's own
making, and not persons temporarily frighted out of their wits by a ghost;
nor does the meaning of the last two lines comport with any objective
construction of this pronoun. See _Enfield's Speaker_, p. 864.

[372] In Clark's Practical Grammar, of 1848, is found this NOTE: "The Noun
should correspond in number with the Adjectives. EXAMPLES--A two feet
ruler. A ten feet pole."--P. 165. These examples are wrong: the doctrine is
misapplied in both. With this author, _a_, as well as _two_ or _ten_, is an
_adjective_ of number; and, since these differ in number, what sort of
concord or construction do the four words in each of these phrases make?
When a numeral and a noun are united to form a _compound adjective_, we
commonly, if not always, use the latter in its primitive or singular form:
as, "A _twopenny_ toy,"--"a _twofold_ error,"--"_three-coat_ plastering,"
say, "a _twofoot_ rule,"--"a _tenfoot_ pole;" which phrases are right;
while Clark's are not only unusual, but unanalogical, ungrammatical.

[373] Certain adjectives that differ in number, are sometimes connected
disjunctively by _or_ or _than_, while the noun literally agrees with that
which immediately precedes it, and with the other merely by implication or
supplement, under the figure which is called _zeugma_: as, "Two or more
nouns joined together by _one_ or _more_ copulative conjunctions."--
_Lowth's Gram._, p. 75; _L. Murray's_, 2d Ed., p. 106. "He speaks not to
_one_ or a _few_ judges, but to a large assembly."--_Blair's Rhet._, p.
280. "_More_ than _one_ object at a time."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 301.
See Obs. 10th on Rule 17th.

[374] Double comparatives and double superlatives, such as, "The _more
serener_ spirit,"--"The _most straitest_ sect,"--are noticed by Latham and
Child, in their syntax, as expressions which "we occasionally find, even in
good writers," and are truly stated to be "_pleonastic_;" but, forbearing
to censure them as errors, these critics seem rather to justify them as
pleonasms allowable. Their indecisive remarks are at fault, not only
because they are indecisive, but because they are both liable and likely to
mislead the learner.--See their _Elementary Grammar_, p. 155.

[375] The learned William B. Fowle strangely imagines all pronouns to be
_adjectives_, belonging to nouns expressed or understood after them; as,
"We kings require _them_ (subjects) to obey _us_ (kings)."--_The True
English Gram._, p. 21. "_They_ grammarians, [i. e.] _those_ grammarians.
_They_ is an other spelling of _the_, and of course means _this, that,
these, those_, as the case may be."--_Ibid._ According to him, then, "_them
grammarians_," for "_those grammarians_," is perfectly good English; and so
is "_they grammarians_," though the vulgar do not take care to _vary this
adjective_, "as _the case_ may be." His notion of subjoining a noun to
every pronoun, is a fit counterpart to that of some other grammarians, who
imagine an ellipsis of a pronoun after almost every noun. Thus: "The
personal _Relatives_, for the most part, _are suppressed_ when the Noun is
expressed: as, Man (he) is the Lord of this lower world. Woman (she) is the
fairest Part of the Creation. The Palace (it) stands on a Hill. Men and
Women (they) are rational Creatures."--_British Gram._, p. 234;
_Buchanan's_, 131. It would have been worth a great deal to some men, to
have known _what an Ellipsis is_; and the man who shall yet make such
knowledge common, ought to be forever honoured in the schools.

[376] "An illegitimate and ungrammatical use of these words, _either_ and
_neither_, has lately been creeping into the language, in the application
of these terms to a plurality of objects: as, '_Twenty_ ruffians broke into
the house, but _neither_ of them could be recognized.' 'Here are _fifty_
pens, you will find that _either_ of them will do.'"--MATT. HARRISON, _on
the English Language_, p. 199. "_Either_ and _neither_, applied to any
number more than _one_ of _two_ objects, is a mere solecism, and one of
late introduction."--_Ib._, p. 200. Say, "_Either_ OR _neither_," &c.--G.

[377] Dr. Priestley censures this construction, on the ground, that the
word _whole_ is an "_attribute of unity_," and therefore improperly added
to a plural noun. But, in fact, this adjective is not _necessarily_
singular, nor is _all_ necessarily plural. Yet there is a difference
between the words: _whole_ is equivalent to _all_ only when the noun is
singular; for then only do _entireness_ and _totality_ coincide. A man may
say, "_the whole thing_," when he means, "_all the thing_;" but he must not
call _all things, whole things_. In the following example, _all_ is put for
_whole_, and taken substantively; but the expression is a quaint one,
because the article and preposition seem needless: "Which doth encompass
and embrace the _all_ of things."--_The Dial_, Vol. i, p. 59.

[378] This is not a mere repetition of the last example cited under Note
14th above; but it is Murray's interpretation of the text there quoted.
Both forms are faulty, but not in the same way.--G. BROWN.

[379] Some authors erroneously say, "A _personal_ pronoun does not always
agree in person with its antecedent; as, 'John said, _I_ will do
it.'"--_Goodenow's Gram._ "When I say, 'Go, and say to those children, you
must come in,' you perceive that the noun children is of the _third_
person, but the pronoun you is of the _second_; yet _you_ stands for
_children_,"--_Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 54. Here are different speakers, with
separate speeches; and these critics are manifestly deceived by the
circumstance. It is not to be supposed, that the nouns represented by one
speaker's pronouns, are to be found or sought in what an other speaker
utters. The pronoun _I_ does not here stand for the noun _John_ which is of
the third person; it is John's own word, representing himself as the
speaker. The meaning is, _"I myself, John, of the first person, will do
it."_ Nor does _you_ stand for _children_ as spoken _of_ by Ingersoll; but
for _children_ of the _second person_, uttered or implied in the address of
his messenger: as, "_Children_, you must come in."

[380] The propriety of this construction is questionable. See Obs. 2d on
Rule 14th.

[381] Among the authors who have committed this great fault, are, Alden, W.
Allen, D. C. Allen, C. Adams, the author of the British Grammar, Buchanan,
Cooper, Cutler, Davis, Dilworth, Felton, Fisher, Fowler, Frazee, Goldsbury,
Hallock, Hull, M'Culloch, Morley, Pinneo, J. Putnam, Russell, Sanborn, R.
C. Smith, Spencer, Weld, Wells, Webster, and White. "_You is plural_,
whether it refer to only one individual, or to more."--_Dr. Crombie, on
Etym. and Synt._, p. 240. "The word _you_, even when applied to one person,
is plural, and should never he connected with a singular
verb."--_Alexander's Gram._, p. 53; _Emmons's_, 26. "_You_ is of the Plural
Number, even though used as the Name of a single Person."--_W. Ward's
Gram._, p. 88. "Altho' the Second Person Singular in both Times be marked
with _thou_, to distinguish it from the Plural, yet we, out of
Complaisance, though we speak but to one particular Person, use _the Plural
you_, and never thou, but when we address ourselves to Almighty God, or
when we speak in an emphatical Manner, or make a distinct and particular
Application to a Person."--_British Gram._, p. 126; _Buchanan's_, 37. "But
_you_, tho' applied to a single Person, requires a _Plural Verb_, the same
as ye; as, _you love_, not _you lovest_ or _loves_; you _were_, not _you
was_ or _wast_."--_Buchanan's Gram._, p. 37.

[382] "Mr. Murray's 6th Rule is unnecessary."--_Lennie's English Gram._, p.
81; _Bullions's_, p. 90. The two rules of which I speak, constitute
Murray's Rule VI; Alger's and Bacon's Rule VI; Merchant's Rule IX;
Ingersoll's Rule XII; Kirkham's Rules XV and XVI; Jaudon's XXI and XXII;
Crombie's X and XI; Nixon's Obs. 86th and 87th: and are found in Lowth's
Gram., p. 100; Churchill's, 136; Adam's, 203; W. Allen's, 156; Blair's, 75;
and many other books.

[383] This rule, in all its parts, is to be applied chiefly, if not solely,
to such relative clauses as are taken in the _restrictive_ sense; for, in
the _resumptive_ sense of the relative, _who_ or _which_ may be more proper
than _that_: as, "Abraham solemnly adjures his _most faithful_ servant,
_whom_ he despatches to Charran on this matrimonial mission for his son, to
discharge his mission with all fidelity."--_Milman's Jews_, i, 21. See
Etymology, Chap. 5th, Obs. 23d, 24th, &c., on the Classes of Pronouns.

[384] Murray imagined this sentence to be bad English. He very strangely
mistook the pronoun _he_ for the object of the preposition _with_; and
accordingly condemned the text, under the rule, "Prepositions govern the
objective case." So of the following: "It is not I he is engaged
with."--_Murray's Exercises_, R. 17. Better: "It is not I _that_ he is
engaged with." Here is no violation of the foregoing rule, or of any other;
and both sentences, with even Murray's form of the latter, are quite as
good as his proposed substitutes: "It was not _with him_, that they were so
angry."--_Murray's Key_, p. 51. "It is not _with me_ he is engaged."--_Ib._
In these fancied corrections, the phrases _with him_ and _with me_ have a
very awkward and questionable position: it seems doubtful, whether they
depend on _was_ and _is_, or on _angry_ and _engaged_.

[385] In their speculations on the _personal pronouns_, grammarians
sometimes contrive, by a sort of abstraction, to reduce all the persons to
the _third_; that is, the author or speaker puts _I_, not for himself in
particular, but for any one who utters the word, and _thou_, not for his
particular hearer or reader, but for any one who is addressed; and,
conceiving of these as persons merely spoken of by himself, he puts the
verb in the third person, and not in the first or second: as, "_I is_ the
speaker, _thou_ [_is_] the hearer, and _he, she_, or _it_, is the person or
thing spoken of. All denote _qualities of existence_, but such qualities as
make different impressions on the mind. _I is_ the being of _consciousness,
thou_ [_is_ the being] of _perception_, and _he_ of _memory_."--_Booth's
Introd._, p. 44. This is such syntax as I should not choose to imitate; nor
is it very proper to say, that the three persons in grammar "denote
_qualities_ of existence." But, supposing the phraseology to be correct, it
is no _real_ exception to the foregoing rule of concord; for _I_ and _thou_
are here made to be pronouns of the _third_ person. So in the following
example, which I take to be bad English: "I, or the person who speaks, _is_
the first person; you, _is_ the second; he, she, or it, is the third person
singular."--_Bartlett's Manual_, Part ii, p. 70. Again, in the following;
which is perhaps a little better: "The person '_I_' _is spoken of_ as acted
upon."--_Bullions, Prin. of E. Gram._, 2d Edition, p. 29. But there is a
manifest absurdity in saying, with this learned "Professor of Languages,"
that the pronouns of the different persons _are_ those persons: as, "_I is
the first person_, and denotes the speaker. _Thou is the second_, and
denotes the person spoken to."--_Ib._, p. 22.

[386] (1.) Concerning the verb _need_, Dr. Webster has the following note:
"In the use of this verb there is another irregularity, which is peculiar,
the verb being _without a nominative_, expressed or implied. 'Whereof here
_needs_ no account.'--_Milt., P. L._, 4. 235. There is no evidence of the
fact, and there _needs_ none. This is an established use of
_need_."--_Philos. Gram._, p. 178; _Improved Gram._, 127; _Greenleaf's
Gram. Simp._, p. 38; _Fowler's E. Gram._, p. 537. "Established use?" To be
sure, it is "an established use;" but the learned Doctor's comment is a
most unconscionable blunder,--a pedantic violation of a sure principle of
Universal Grammar,--a perversion worthy only of the veriest ignoramus. Yet
Greenleaf profitably publishes it, with other plagiarisms, for "Grammar
Simplified!" Now the verb "_needs_," like the Latin _eget_, signifying _is
necessary_, is here not active, but neuter; and has the nominative set
_after it_, as any verb must, when the adverb _there_ or _here_ is before
it. The verbs _lack_ and _want_ may have the same construction, and can
have no other, when the word _there_, and not a nominative, precedes them;
as, "Peradventure _there shall lack five_ of the fifty righteous."--_Gen._,
xviii, 28. There is therefore neither "_irregularity_," nor any thing
"_peculiar_," in thus placing the verb and its nominative.

(2.) Yet have we other grammarians, who, with astonishing facility, have
allowed themselves to be misled, and whose books are now misleading the
schools, in regard to this very simple matter. Thus Wells: "The
_transitive_ verbs _need_ and _want_, are sometimes employed in a general
sense, _without a nominative_, expressed or implied. Examples:--'There
_needed_ a new dispensation.'--_Caleb Cushing_. 'There _needs_ no better
picture.'--_Irving_. 'There _wanted_ not patrons to stand up.'--_Sparks_.
'Nor did there _want_ Cornice, or frieze.'--_Milton_."--_Wells's School
Gram._, 1st Ed., p. 141: 113th Ed., p. 154. In my edition of Milton, the
text is, "Nor did _they want_ Cornice or frieze."--_P. L._, B. i, l. 715,
716. This reading makes _want_ a "transitive" verb, but the other makes it
neuter, with the nominative following it. Again, thus Weld: "_A verb in the
imperative mode_, and the _transitive_ verbs _need, want_, and _require_,
sometimes appear to be used indefinitely, _without a nominative_; as, _let_
there be light; There _required_ haste in the business; There _needs_ no
argument for proving, &c. There _wanted_ not men who would, &c. The last
expressions have an _active form with a passive sense_, and should perhaps
rather be considered _elliptical_ than _wanting a nominative_; as, _haste
is required, no argument is needed_, &c."--_Weld's English Grammar
Illustrated_, p. 143. Is there anywhere, in print, viler pedantry than
this? The only elliptical example, "_Let_ there be light,"--a kind of
sentence from which the nominative is _usually suppressed_,--is here
absurdly represented as being full, yet without a subject for its verb;
while other examples, which are full, and in which the nominative _must
follow_ the verb, because the adverb "_there_" precedes, are first denied
to have nominatives, and then most bunglingly tortured with false ellipses,
to prove that they have them!

(3.) The idea of a command _wherein no person or thing is commanded_, seems
to have originated with Webster, by whom it has been taught, since 1807, as
follows: "In some cases, the imperative verb is used without a definite
nominative."--_Philos. Gram._, p. 141; _Imp. Gram._, 86; _Rudiments_, 69.
See the same words in _Frazee's Gram._, p. 133. Wells has something
similar: "A verb in the imperative is sometimes used _absolutely_, having
no direct reference to any particular subject expressed or implied; as,
'And God said, _Let_ there be light.'"--_School Gram._, p. 141. But, when
this command was uttered to the dark waves of primeval chaos, it must have
meant, "_Do ye let light be there._" What else could it mean? There may
frequently be difficulty in determining what or who is addressed by the
imperative _let_, but there seems to be more in affirming that it has no
subject. Nutting, puzzled with this word, makes the following dubious and
unsatisfactory suggestion: "Perhaps it may be, in many cases, equivalent to
_may_; or it may be termed itself an _imperative mode impersonal_; that is,
containing a command or an entreaty addressed to no particular
person."--_Nutting's Practical Gram._, p. 47.

(4.) These several errors, about the "Imperative used Absolutely," with "no
subject addressed," as in "_Let there be light_," and the Indicative "verbs
NEED and WANT, employed without a nominative, either expressed or implied,"
are again carefully reiterated by the learned Professor Fowler, in his
great text-book of philology "in its Elements and Forms,"--called, rather
extravagantly, an "English Grammar." See, in his edition of 1850, Sec.597,
Note 3 and Note 7; also Sec.520, Note 2. Wells's authorities for "Imperatives
Absolute," are, "Frazee, Allen and Cornwell, Nutting, Lynde, and Chapin;"
and, with reference to "NEED and WANT," he says, "See Webster, Perley, and
Ingersoll."--_School Gram._, 1850, Sec.209.

(5.) But, in obvious absurdity most strangely overlooked by the writer, all
these blunderers are outdone by a later one, who says: "_Need_ and _dare_
are sometimes used in _a general sense without a nominative_: as, 'There
_needed_ no prophet to tell us that;' 'There _wanted_ no advocates to
secure the voice of the people.' It is better, however, to supply _it_, as
a nominative, than admit an _anomala_. Sometimes, when intransitive, they
have the _plural form_ with a singular _noun_: as, 'He need not fear;' 'He
dare not hurt you.'"--_Rev. H. W. Bailey's E. Gram._, 1854, p. 128. The
last example--"_He dare_"--is bad English: _dare_ should be _dares_. "He
_need_ not _fear_," if admitted to be right, is of the potential mood; in
which no verb is inflected in the third person. "_He_," too, is not a
"_noun_;" nor can it ever rightly have a "_plural_" verb. "To supply _it_,
as a nominative," where the verb is declared to be "_without a
nominative_," and to make "_wanted_" an example of "_dare_" are blunders
precisely worthy of an author who knows not how to spell _anomaly!_

[387] This interpretation, and others like it, are given not only by
_Murray_, but by many other grammarians, one of whom at least was earlier
than he. See _Bicknell's Gram._, Part i, p. 123; _Ingersoll's_, 153;
_Guy's_, 91; _Alger's_, 73; _Merchant's_, 100; _Picket's_, 211; _Fisk's_,
146; _D. Adams's_, 81; _R. C. Smith's_, 182.

[388] The same may be said of Dr. Webster's "_nominative sentences_;" three
fourths of which are nothing but _phrases_ that include a nominative with
which the following verb agrees. And who does not know, that to call the
adjuncts of any thing "an _essential part_ of it," is a flat absurdity? An
_adjunct_ is "something added to another, but _not essentially a part_ of
it."--_Webster's Dict._ But, says the Doctor, "Attributes and other words
often make an _essential part_ of the nominative; [as,] '_Our_ IDEAS _of
eternity_ CAN BE nothing but an infinite succession of moments of
duration.'--LOCKE. 'A _wise_ SON MAKETH a glad father; but a _foolish_ SON
IS the heaviness of his mother.' Abstract the name from its attribute, and
the proposition cannot always be true. 'HE _that gathereth in summer_ is a
wise son.' Take away the description, '_that gathereth in summer_,' and the
affirmation ceases to be true, or becomes inapplicable. These sentences or
clauses thus _constituting_ the subject of an affirmation, may be termed
_nominative sentences_."--_Improved Gram._, p. 95. This teaching reminds me
of the Doctor's own exclamation: "What strange work has been made with
Grammar!"--_Ib._, p. 94; _Philos. Gram._, 138. In Nesbit's English Parsing,
a book designed mainly for "a Key to Murray's Exercises in Parsing," the
following example is thus expounded: "The smooth stream, the serene
atmosphere, [and] the mild zephyr, are the proper emblems of a gentle
temper, and a peaceful life."--_Murray's Exercises_, p. 8. "_The smooth
stream, the serene atmosphere, the mild zephyr_, is part of a sentence,
_which_ is the _nominative case_ to the verb '_are_.' _Are_ is an irregular
verb neuter, in the indicative mood, the present tense, the third person
plural, and _agrees with the aforementioned part of a sentence_, as its
nominative case."--_Introduction to English Parsing_, p. 137. On this
principle of _analysis_, all the rules that speak of the nominatives or
antecedents connected by conjunctions, may be dispensed with, as useless;
and the doctrine, that a verb which has a phrase or sentence for its
subject, must be _singular_, is palpably contradicted, and supposed

[389] "No Relative can become a Nominative to a Verb."--_Joseph W. Wright's
Philosophical Grammar_, p. 162. "A _personal_ pronoun becomes a nominative,
though a _relative_ does not."--_Ib._, p. 152. This teacher is criticised
by the other as follows: "Wright says that 'Personal pronouns may be in the
nominative case,' and that 'relative pronouns _can not be_. Yet he declines
his relatives thus: 'Nominative case, _who_; possessive, _whose_;
objective, _whom!"--Oliver B. Peirce's Grammar_, p. 331. This latter author
here sees the palpable inconsistency of the former, and accordingly treats
_who, which, what, whatever_, &c., as relative pronouns of the nominative
case--or, as he calls them, "connective substitutes in the subjective
form;" but when _what_ or _whatever_ precedes its noun, or when _as_ is
preferred to _who_ or _which_, he refers both verbs to the noun itself, and
adopts the very principle by which Cobbet and Wright erroneously parse the
verbs which belong to the relatives, _who, which_, and _that_: as,
"Whatever man will adhere to strict principles of honesty, will find his
reward in himself."--_Peirce's Gram._, p. 55. Here Peirce considers
_whatever_ to be a mere adjective, and _man_ the subject of _will adhere_
and _will find_. "Such persons as write grammar, should themselves be
grammarians."--_Ib._, p. 330. Here he declares _as_ to be no pronoun, but
"a modifying connective," i.e., conjunction; and supposes _persons_ to be
the direct subject of _write_ as well as of _should be_: as if a
conjunction could connect a verb and its nominative!

[390] Dr. Latham, conceiving that, of words in apposition, the first must
always be the leading one and control the verb, gives to his example an
other form thus: "_Your master, I, commands you_ (not _command_)."--_Ib._
But this I take to be bad English. It is the opinion of many grammarians,
perhaps of most, that nouns, which are ordinarily of the third person, _may
be changed in person_, by being set in apposition with a pronoun of the
first or second. But even if terms so used do not _assimilate_ in person,
the first cannot be subjected to the third, as above. It must have the
preference, and ought to have the first place. The following study-bred
example of the Doctor's, is also awkward and ungrammatical: "_I, your
master, who commands you to make haste, am in a hurry_."--_Hand-Book_, p.

[391] Professor Fowler says, "_One_ when contrasted with _other_, sometimes
represents _plural nouns_; as, 'The reason why the _one_ are ordinarily
taken for real qualities, and the _other_ for bare powers, seems to
be.'--LOCKE.", _Fowler's E. Gram._, 8vo, 1850, p. 242. This doctrine is, I
think, erroneous; and the example, too, is defective. For, if _one_ may be
_plural_, we have no distinctive definition or notion of either number.
"_One_" and "_other_" are not here to be regarded as the leading words in
their clauses; they are mere adjectives, each referring to the collective
noun _class_ or _species_, understood, which should have been expressed
after the former. See Etym., Obs. 19, p. 276.

[392] Dr. Priestley says, "It is a rule, I believe, in all grammars, that
when a verb comes between two nouns, either of which may be understood as
the subject of the affirmation, that it may agree with either of them; but
some regard must be had to that which is more naturally the subject of it,
as also to that which stands next to the verb; for if no regard be paid to
these circumstances, the construction will be harsh: [as,] _Minced pies
was_ regarded as a profane and superstitious viand by the sectaries.
_Hume's Hist._ A great _cause_ of the low state of industry _were_ the
restraints put upon it. _Ib._ By this term was understood, such _persons_
as invented, or drew up rules for themselves and the world."--_English
Gram. with Notes_, p. 189. The Doctor evidently supposed all these examples
to be _bad English_, or at least _harsh in their construction_. And the
first two unquestionably are so; while the last, whether right or wrong,
has nothing at all to do with his rule: it has but one nominative, and that
appears to be part of a definition, and not the true subject of the verb.
Nor, indeed, is the first any more relevant; because Hume's "_viand_"
cannot possibly be taken "as _the subject_ of the affirmation." Lindley
Murray, who literally copies Priestley's note, (all but the first line and
the last,) rejects these two examples, substituting for the former, "His
meat _was_ locusts and wild honey," and for the latter, "The wages of sin
_is_ death." He very evidently supposes all three of his examples to be
_good English_. In this, according to Churchill, he is at fault in two
instances out of the three; and still more so, in regard to the note, or
rule, itself. In stead of being "a rule in all grammars," it is (so far as
I know) found only in these authors, and such as have implicitly copied it
from Murray. Among these last, are Alger, Ingersoll, R. C. Smith, Fisk, and
Merchant. Churchill, who cites it only as Murray's, and yet expends two
pages of criticism upon it, very justly says: "To make that the nominative
case, [or subject of the affirmation,] which happens to stand nearest to
the verb, appears to me to be on a par with the blunder pointed out in note
204th;" [that is, of making the verb agree with an objective case which
happens to stand nearer to it, than its subject, or nominative.]--
_Churchill's New Gram._, p. 313.

[393] "If the excellence of Dryden's works was _lessened_ by his indigence,
their number was increased."--_Dr. Johnson_. This is an example of the
proper and necessary use of the indicative mood after an _if_, the matter
of the condition being regarded as a fact. But Dr. Webster, who prefers the
indicative _too often_, has the following note upon it: "If Johnson had
followed the common grammars, or even his own, which is prefixed to his
Dictionary, he would have written _were_--'If the excellence of Dryden's
works _were_ lessened'--Fortunately this great man, led by usage rather
than by books, wrote _correct English, instead of grammar_."--
_Philosophical Gram._, p. 238. Now this is as absurd, as it is
characteristic of the grammar from which it is taken. Each form is right
sometimes, and neither can be used for the other, without error.

[394] Taking this allegation in one sense, the reader may see that Kirkham
was not altogether wrong here; and that, had he condemned the _solecisms_
adopted by himself and others, about "_unity of idea_" and "_plurality of
idea_," in stead of condemning the _things intended to be spoken of_, he
might have made a discovery which would have set him wholly right. See a
footnote on page 738, under the head of _Absurdities_.

[395] In his _English Reader_, (Part II, Chap. 5th, Sec. 7th,) Murray has
this line in its proper form, as it here stands in the words of Thomson;
but, in his _Grammar_, he corrupted it, first in his _Exercises_, and then
still more in his _Key_. Among his examples of "_False Syntax_" it stands

"What black despair, what horror, _fills_ his _mind_!"
--_Exercises_, Rule 2.

So the error is propagated in the name of _Learning_, and this verse goes
from grammar to grammar, as one that must have a "_plural_" verb. See
_Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 242; _Smith's New Gram._, p. 127; _Fisk's Gram._,
p. 120; _Weld's E. Gram._, 2d Ed., p. 189; Imp. Ed., p. 196.

[396] S. W. Clark, by reckoning "_as_" a "_preposition_," perverts the
construction of sentences like this, and inserts a wrong case after the
conjunction. See _Clark's Practical Grammar_, pp. 92 and 178; also _this
Syntax_, Obs. 6 and Obs. 18, on Conjunctions.

[397] Murray gives us the following text for false grammar, under the head
of _Strength_: "And Elias with Moses appeared to them."--_Exercises_, 8vo,
p. 135. This he corrects thus: "And _there appeared to them_ Elias with
Moses."--_Key_, 8vo, p. 266. He omits the comma after _Elias_, which some
copies of the Bible contain, and others do not. Whether he supposed the
verb _appeared_ to be singular or plural, I cannot tell; and he did not
extend his quotation to the pronoun _they_, which immediately follows, and
in which alone the incongruity lies.

[398] This order of the persons, is _not universally_ maintained in those
languages. The words of Mary to her son, "Thy _father and I_ have sought
thee sorrowing," seem very properly to give the precedence to her husband;
and this is their arrangement in St. Luke's Greek, and in the Latin
versions, as well as in others.

[399] The hackneyed example, "_I and Cicero are well,"--"Ego et Cicero
valemus_"--which makes such a figure in the grammars, both Latin and
English, and yet is ascribed to Cicero himself, deserves a word of
explanation. Cicero the orator, having with him his young son Marcus Cicero
at Athens, while his beloved daughter Tullia was with her mother in Italy,
thus wrote to his wife, Terentia: "_Si tu, et Tullia, lux nostra, valetix;
ego, et suavissimus Cicero, valemus_."--EPIST. AD FAM. Lib. xiv, Ep. v.
That is, "If thou, and Tullia, our joy, are well; I, and the sweet lad
Cicero, are likewise well." This literal translation is good English, and
not to be amended by inversion; for a father is not expected to give
precedence to his child. But, when I was a boy, the text and version of Dr.
Adam puzzled me not a little; because I could not conceive how _Cicero_
could ever have said, "_I and Cicero are well_." The garbled citation is
now much oftener read than the original. See it in _Crombie's Treatise_, p.
243; _McCulloch's Gram._, p. 158; and others.

[400] Two singulars connected by _and_, when they form a part of such a
disjunction, are still equivalent to a plural; and are to be treated as
such, in the syntax of the verb. Hence the following construction appears
to be inaccurate: "A single consonant or _a mute and a liquid_ before an
accented vowel, _is_ joined to that vowel"--_Dr. Bullions, Lat. Gram._ p.

[401] Murray the schoolmaster has it, "_used_ to govern."--_English Gram._,
p. 64. He puts the verb in a _wrong tense_. Dr. Bullions has it, "_usually
governs_."--_Lat. Gram._, p. 202. This is right.--G. B.

[402] The two verbs _to sit_ and _to set_ are in general quite different in
their meaning; but the passive verb _to be set_ sometimes comes pretty near
to the sense of the former, which is for the most part neuter. Hence, we
not only find the Latin word _sedeo, to sit_, used in the sense of _being
set_, as, "Ingens coena _sedet_," "A huge supper _is set_," _Juv._, 2, 119;
but, in the seven texts above, our translators have used _is set, was set,
&c._, with reference to the personal posture of _sitting_. This, in the
opinion of Dr. Lowth and some others, is erroneous. "_Set_," says the
Doctor, "can be no part of the verb _to sit_. If it belong to the verb _to
set_, the translation in these passages is wrong. For _to set_, signifies
_to place_, but without any designation of the _posture_ of the person
placed; which is a circumstance of importance, expressed by the
original."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 53; _Churchill's_, 265. These gentlemen
cite three of these seven examples, and refer to the other four; but they
do not tell us how they would amend any of them--except that they prefer
_sitten_ to _sat_, vainly endeavouring to restore an old participle which
is certainly obsolete. If any critic dislike my version of the last two
texts, because I use the present tense for what in the Greek is the first
aorist; let him notice that this has been done in both by our translators,
and in one by those of the Vulgate. In the preceding example, too, the same
aorist is rendered, "_am set_," and by Beza, "_sedeo_;" though Montanus and
the Vulgate render it literally by "_sedi_," as I do by _sat_. See _Key to
False Syntax_, Rule XVII, Note xii.

[403] Nutting, I suppose, did not imagine the Greek article, [Greek: to],
_the_, and the English or Saxon verb _do_, to be equivalent or kindred
words. But there is no knowing what terms conjectural etymology may not
contrive to identify, or at least to approximate and ally. The ingenious
David Booth, if he does not actually identify _do_, with [Greek: to],
_the_, has discovered synonymes [sic--KTH] and cognates that are altogether
as unapparent to common observers: as, "_It_ and _the_," says he, "when
Gender is not attended to, are _synonymous_. Each is expressive of Being in
general, and when used Verbally, signifies to _bring forth_, or to _add_ to
what we already see. _The, it, and, add, at, to_, and _do_, are _kindred
words_. They mark that an _addition_ is made to some collected mass of
existence. _To_, which literally signifies _add_, (like _at_ and the Latin
_ad_,) is merely a different pronunciation of _do_. It expresses the
_junction_ of an other thing, or circumstance, as appears more evidently
from its varied orthography of _too_."--_Introd. to Analyt. Dict._, p. 45.
Horne Tooke, it seems, could not persuade this author into his notion of
the derivation and meaning of _the, it, to_, or _do_. But Lindley Murray,
and his followers, have been more tractable. They were ready to be led
without looking. "To," say they, "comes from _Saxon and Gothic_ words,
which signify action, effect, termination, to act, &c."--_Murray's Gram._,
8vo, p. 183; _Fisk's_, 92. What an admirable explanation is this! and how
prettily the great Compiler says on the next leaf: "Etymology, when it is
guided by _judgment_, and [when] _proper limits_ are set to it, certainly
merits great attention!"--_Ib._, p. 135. According to his own express rules
for interpreting "a substantive _without any article to limit it_" and the
"relative pronoun _with a comma before it_," he must have meant, that "_to_
comes from Saxon and Gothic words" _of every sort_, and that _the words of
these two languages_ "signify action, effect, termination, to act, &c." The
latter assertion is true enough: but, concerning the former, a man of sense
may demur. Nor do I see how it is possible not to despise _such_ etymology,
be the interpretation of the words what it may. For, if _to_ means _action_
or _to act_, then our little infinitive phrase, _to be_, must mean, _action
be_, or _to act be_; and what is this, but nonsense?

[404] So, from the following language of three modern authors, one cannot
but infer, that they would parse the verb _as governed by the preposition_;
but I do not perceive that they anywhere expressly say so:

(1.) "The Infinitive is the form of the supplemental verb that always has,
or admits, the _preposition_ TO before it; as, to _move_. Its general
character is to represent the action in _prospect_, or _to do_; or in
_retrospect_, as _to have done_. As a verb, it signifies _to do_ the
action; and as _object of the preposition_ TO, it stands in the place of a
noun for _the doing_ of it. The infinitive verb and its prefix _to_ are
used much like a preposition and its noun object."--_Felch's Comprehensive
Gram._, p. 62.

(2.) "The action or other signification of a verb may be expressed in its
widest and most general sense, without any limitation by a person or agent,
but _merely as the end or purpose_ of some other action, state of being,
quality, or thing; it is, from this want of limitation, said to be in the
_Infinitive mode_; and is expressed by the verb with the _preposition_ TO
before it, to denote _this relation of end or purpose_; as, 'He came _to
see_ me;' 'The man is not fit _die_;' 'It was not right for him _to do_
thus.'"--_Dr. S. Webber's English Gram._, p. 35.

(3.) "RULE 3. A verb in the Infinitive Mode, is _the object_ of the
preposition TO, expressed or understood."--_S. W. Clark's Practical Gram._,
p. 127.

[405] Rufus Nutting, A. M., a grammarian of some skill, supposes that in
all such sentences there was "_anciently_" an ellipsis, not of the phrase
"_in order to_," but of the preposition _for_. He says, "Considering this
mode as merely a _verbal noun_, it might be observed, that the infinitive,
when it expresses the _object_, is governed by a _transitive_ verb; and,
when it expresses the _final cause_, is governed by an _intransitive_ verb,
OR ANCIENTLY, BY A PREPOSITION UNDERSTOOD. Of the former kind--'he learns
_to read_.' Of the latter--'he reads _to learn_,' i. e. '_for_ to
learn.'"--_Practical Gram._, p. 101. If _for_ was anciently understood in
examples of this sort, it is understood now, and to a still greater extent;
because we do not now insert the word _for_, as our ancestors sometimes
did; and an ellipsis can no otherwise grow obsolete, than by a continual
use of what was once occasionally omitted.

[406] (1.) "La preposition, est un mot indeclinable, place devant les noms,
les pronoms, et les _verbes_, qu'elle _regit_."--"The preposition is an
indeclinable word placed before the nouns, pronouns, and _verbs_ which it
_governs_."--_Perrin's Grammar_, p. 152.

(2.) "Every verb placed immediately after _an other verb_, or after _a
preposition_, ought to be put in the _infinitive_; because it is then _the
regimen_ of the verb or preposition which precedes."--See _La Grammaire des
Grammaires, par Girault Du Vivier_, p. 774.

(3.) The American translator of the Elements of General Grammar, by the
Baron De Sacy, is naturally led, in giving a version of his author's method
of analysis, to parse the English infinitive mood essentially as I do;
calling the word _to_ a preposition, and the exponent, or sign, of a
_relation_ between the verb which follows it, and some other word which is
antecedent to it. Thus, in the phrase, "_commanding_ them _to use_ his
power," he says, that "'_to_' [is the] Exponent of a relation whose
Antecedent is '_commanding_,' and [whose] Consequent [is]
'_use_.'"--_Fosdick's De Sacy_, p. 131. In short, he expounds the word _to_
in this relation, just as he does when it stands before the objective case.
For example, in the phrase, "_belonging to him alone: 'to_,' Exponent of a
relation of which the Antecedent is '_belonging_,' and the Consequent,
'_him alone.'"--Ib._, p. 126. My solution, in either case, differs from
this in scarcely any thing else than the _choice of words_ to express it.

(4.) It appears that, in sundry dialects of the north of Europe, the
preposition _at_ has been preferred for the governing of the infinitive:
"The use of _at_ for _to_, as the sign of the infinitive mode, is Norse,
not Saxon. It is the regular prefix in Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, and
Feroic. It is also found in the northern dialects of the Old English, and
in the particular dialect of Westmoreland at the present day."--_Fowler, on
the English Language_, 8vo, 1850, p. 46.

[407] Here is a literal version, in which two infinitives are governed by
the preposition _between_; and though such a construction is uncommon, I
know not why it should be thought less accurate in the one language than in
the other. In some exceptive phrases, also, it seems not improper to put
the infinitive after some other preposition than _to_; as, "What can she do
_besides sing_?"--"What has she done, _except rock_ herself?" But such
expressions, if allowable, are too unfrequent to be noticed in any general
Rule of syntax. In the following example, the word _of_ pretty evidently
governs the infinitive: "Intemperance characterizes our discussions, that
is calculated to embitter in stead _of conciliate_."--CINCINNATI HERALD:
_Liberator_, No. 986.

[408] This doctrine has been lately revived in English by William B. Fowle,
who quotes Dr. Rees, Beauzee, Harris, Tracy, and Crombie, as his
authorities for it. He is right in supposing the English infinitive to be
generally governed by the preposition _to_, but wrong in calling it a
_noun_, or "the _name_ of the verb," except this phrase be used in the
sense in which every verb may be the name of itself. It is an error too, to
suppose with Beauzee, "that the infinitive never in any language _refers to
a subject_ or nominative;" or, as Harris has it, that infinitives "_have no
reference at all to persons or substances_." See _Fowle's True English
Gram._, Part ii, pp. 74 and 75. For though the infinitive verb never
_agrees_ with a subject or nominative, like a finite verb, it most commonly
has a very obvious _reference_ to something which is _the subject_ of the
being, action, or passion, which it expresses; and this reference is one of
the chief points of difference between the infinitive and a noun. S. S.
Greene, in a recent grammar, absurdly parses infinitives "_as nouns_," and
by the common rules for nouns, though he begins with calling them _verbs_.
Thus: "_Our honor is to be maintained. To be maintained_, is a _regular
passive_ VERB, infinitive mode, present tense, and is _used as a_ NOUN _in
the relation of predicate_; according to Rule II. A _noun or pronoun_ used
with the copula to form the _predicate_, must be in the _nominative_
case."--_Greene's Gram._, 1848. p. 93. (See the Rule, ib. p. 29.) This
author admits, "The '_to_' seems, like the preposition, to perform the
office of a _connective_:" but then he ingeniously imagines, "The
infinitive _differs from the preposition and its object_, in that the
'_to_' is _the only preposition_ used with the verb." And so he concludes,
"The _two_ [or more] _parts_ of the infinitive are taken together, and,
_thus_ combined, may _become a_ NOUN _in any relation_."--_Ib._, 1st
Edition, p. 87. S. S. Greene will also have the infinitive to make the verb
before it _transitive_; for he says, "The only form [of phrase] used as the
_direct object of a transitive verb_ is the _infinitive_; as, 'We intend
(What?) _to leave_ [town] to-day:' 'They tried (What?) _to conceal_ their
fears.'"--_Ib._, p. 99. One might as well find transitive verbs in these
equivalents: "_It is our purpose to leave_ town to-day."--"They
_endeavoured to conceal_ their fears." Or in this:--"They _blustered_ to
conceal their fears."

[409] It is remarkable that the ingenious J. E. Worcester could discern
nothing of the import of this particle before a verb. He expounds it, with
very little consistency, thus: "To, _or_ To, _ad_. A particle employed as
the usual sign or prefix of the infinitive mood of the verb; and it might,
in such use, be deemed _a syllable of the verb_. It is used _merely as a
sign of the infinitive_, without having any distinct or separate meaning:
as, 'He loves _to_ read.'"--_Univ. and Crit. Dict._ Now is it not plain,
that the action expressed by "_read_" is "that _towards_ which" the
affection signified by "_loves_" is directed? It is only because we can use
no other word in lieu of this _to_, that its meaning is not readily seen.
For calling it "a syllable of the verb," there is, I think, no reason or
analogy whatever. There is absurdity in calling it even "a _part_ of the

[410] As there is no point of grammar on which our philologists are more at
_variance_, so there seems to be none on which they are more at _fault_,
than in their treatment of the infinitive mood, with its usual sign, or
governing particle, _to_. For the information of the reader, I would gladly
cite every explanation not consonant with my own, and show wherein it is
objectionable; but so numerous are the forms of error under this head, that
such as cannot be classed together, or are not likely to be repeated, must
in general be left to run their course, exempt from any criticism of mine.
Of these various forms of error, however, I may here add an example or two.

(1.) "What is the meaning of the word _to?_ Ans. _To_ means _act_.
NOTE.--As our verbs and nouns _are spelled in the same manner_, it was
formerly _thought best_ to prefix the _word_ TO, to words _when used as
verbs_. For there is no difference between the NOUN, _love_; and the VERB,
_to love_; but what is shown by the _prefix_ TO, which signifies _act_; i.
e. to _act_ love."--_R. W. Greene's Inductive Exercises in English
Grammar_, N. Y., 1829, p. 52. Now all this, positive as the words are, is
not only fanciful, but false, utterly false. _To_ no more "means _act_,"
than _from_ "means _act_." And if it did, it could not be a sign of the
infinitive, or of a verb at all; for, "_act love_," is imperative, and
makes the word "_love_" a _noun_; and so, "_to act love_," (where "_love_"
is also a noun,) must mean "_act act love_," which is tautological
nonsense. Our nouns and verbs are not, _in general_, spelled alike; nor are
the latter, _in general_, preceded by _to_; nor could a particle which may
govern _either_, have been _specifically intended_, at first, to mark their
difference. By some, as we have seen, it is argued from the very sign, that
the infinitive is always essentially a noun.

(2.) "The _infinitive mode_ is the _root_ or _simple form_ of the verb,
used to express an action or state _indefinitely_; as, _to hear, to speak_.
It is generally distinguished by the sign _to_. When the particle _to_ is
employed in _forming_ the infinitive, it is to be regarded as _a part of
the verb_. In _every other case_ it is a _preposition_."--_Wells's School
Grammar_, 1st Ed., p. 80. "A _Preposition_ is a word which is used to
express the relation of a _noun_ or _pronoun_ depending upon it, to some
other word in the sentence."--_Ib._, pp. 46 and 108. "The passive form of a
verb is sometimes used in connection with a _preposition_, forming a
_compound passive verb_. Examples:--'He _was listened to_ without a
murmur.'--A. H. EVERETT. 'Nor is this enterprise _to be scoffed
at_.'--CHANNING."--_Ib._, p. 146. "A verb in the infinitive _usually
relates_ to some noun or pronoun. Thus, in the sentence, 'He desires to
improve,' the verb _to improve_ relates to the pronoun _he_ while it is
governed by _desires_."--_Ib._, p. 150. "'The _agent_ to a verb in the
infinitive mode must be in the _objective_ case.'--NUTTING."--_Ib._, p.
148. These citations from Wells, the last of which he quotes approvingly,
by way of authority, are in many respects self-contradictory, and in nearly
all respects untrue. How can the infinitive be only "the _root_ or _simple
form_ of the verb," and yet consist "generally" of two distinct words, and
often of three, four, or five; as, "_to hear_,"--"_to have heard_,"--"_to
be listened to_,"--"_to have been listened to_?" How can _to_ be a
"_preposition_" in the phrase, "_He was listened to_," and not so at all in
"_to be listened to_?" How does the infinitive "express an action or state
_indefinitely_," if it "_usually relates to some noun or pronoun_?" Why
_must_ its _agent_ "be in the _objective_ case," if "_to improve_ relates
to the pronoun _he_?" Is _to "in every other case a preposition_," and not
such before a verb or a participle? Must every preposition govern some
"_noun or pronoun_?" And yet are there some prepositions which govern
nothing, precede nothing? "The door banged _to_ behind him."--BLACKWELL:
_Prose Edda_, Sec.2. What is _to_ here?

(3.) "The _preposition_ TO _before_ a verb is the sign of the
Infinitive."--_Weld's E. Gram._, 2d Ed., p. 74. "The preposition is _a part
of speech_ used to connect words, and show their relation."--_Ib._, p. 42.
"The perfect infinitive is formed of the perfect participle and the
auxiliary HAVE _preceded_ by the _preposition_ TO."--_Ib._, p. 96. "The
infinitive mode _follows_ a _verb, noun_, or _adjective_."--_Ib._, pp. 75
and 166. "A verb in the Infinitive _may follow_: 1. _Verbs_ or
_participles_; 2. _Nouns_ or _pronouns_; 3. _Adjectives_; 4. _As_ or
_than_; 5. _Adverbs_; 6. _Prepositions_; 7. The _Infinitive_ is often used
_independently_; 8. The Infinitive mode is often used in the office of a
_verbal noun_, as the _nominative case_ to the verb, and as the _objective
case_ after _verbs_ and _prepositions_."--_Ib._, p. 167. These last two
counts are absurdly included among what "the Infinitive _may follow_;" and
is it not rather queer, that this mood should be found to "_follow_" every
thing else, and _not_ "the preposition TO," which comes "_before_" it, and
by which it is "_preceded_?" This author adopts also the following absurd
and needless rule: "The Infinitive mode has an objective case before it
_when_ [the word] THAT _is omitted_: as, I believe _the sun_ to be the
centre of the solar system; I know _him_ to be a man of veracity."--_Ib._,
p. 167; _Abridged Ed._, 124. (See Obs. 10th on Rule 2d, above.) "_Sun_" is
here governed by "_believe_;" and "_him_," by "_know_;" and "_be_," in both
instances, by "the preposition TO:" for this particle is not only "the
_sign_ of the Infinitive," but its _governing word_, answering well to the
definition of a preposition above cited from Weld.

[411] "The infinitive is sometimes governed by a preposition; as, 'The
shipmen were _about to flee_.'"--_Wells's School Gram._, 1st Ed., p. 149;
3d Ed., p. 158. Wells has altered this, and for "_preposition_" put
"_adverb_."--Ed. of 1850, p. 163.

[412] Some grammatists, being predetermined that no preposition shall
control the infinitive, avoid the conclusion by absurdly calling FOR, a
_conjunction_; ABOUT, an _adverb_; and TO--no matter what--but generally,
_nothing_. Thus: "The _conjunction_ FOR, is inelegantly used before verbs
in the infinitive mood; as, 'He came _for_ to study Latin.'"--_Greenleaf's
Gram._, p. 38. "The infinitive mood is sometimes _governed_ by
_conjunctions_ or _adverbs_; as, 'An object so high _as to be_ invisible;'
'The army is _about to march_.'"--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 188. This is a note
to that extra rule which Kirkham proposes for our use, "_if we reject the
idea of government_, as applied to the verb in this mood!"--_Ib._

[413] After the word "_fare_," Murray put a semicolon, which shows that he
misunderstood the mood of the verb "_hear_." It is not always necessary to
repeat the particle _to_, when two or more infinitives are connected; and
this fact is an other good argument against calling the preposition _to_ "a
part of the verb." But in this example, and some others here exhibited, the
repetition is requisite.--G. B.

[414] "The Infinitive Mood is not confined to a trunk or nominative, and is
always preceded by _to_, expressed or implied."--_S. Barrett's Gram._,
1854, p. 43.

[415] Lindley Murray, and several of his pretended improvers, say, "The
infinitive sometimes _follows_ the word AS: thus, 'An object so high _as to
be_ invisible.' The infinitive occasionally _follows_ THAN _after_ a
comparison; as, 'He desired _nothing more than to know_ his own
imperfections.'"--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 184; _Fisk's_, 125; _Alger's_,
63; _Merchant's_, 92. See this second example in _Weld's Gram._, p. 167;
_Abridg._, 124. Merchant, not relishing the latter example, changes it
thus: "I wish _nothing more, than to know_ his fate." He puts a comma after
_more_, and probably means, "I wish nothing _else_ than to know his fate."
So does Fisk, in the other version: and probably means, "He desired nothing
_else_ than to know his own imperfections." But Murray, Alger, and Weld,
accord in punctuation, and their meaning seems rather to be, "He desired
nothing _more heartily_ than [_he desired_] to know his own imperfections."
And so is this or a similar text interpreted by both Ingersoll and Weld,
who suppose this infinitive to be "_governed by another verb, understood_:
as, 'He desired nothing _more than to see_ his friends;' that is, 'than he
_desired_ to see,' &c."--_Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 244; _Weld's Abridged_,
124. But obvious as is the _ambiguity_ of this fictitious example, in all
its forms, not one of these five critics perceived the fault at all. Again,
in their remark above cited, Ingersoll, Fisk, and Merchant, put a comma
before the preposition "_after_," and thus make the phrase, "_after a
comparison_," describe the place _of the infinitive_. But Murray and Alger
probably meant that this phrase should denote the place of the conjunction
"_than_." The great "Compiler" seems to me to have misused the phrase "_a
comparison_," for, "_an adjective or adverb of the comparative degree_;"
and the rest, I suppose, have blindly copied him, without thinking or
knowing what he ought to have said, or meant to say. Either this, or a
worse error, is here apparent. Five learned grammarians severally represent
either "_than_" or "_the infinitive_," as being AFTER "a _comparison_;" of
which one is the copula, and the other but the beginning of the latter
term! Palpable as is the _absurdity_, no one of the five perceives it! And,
besides, no one of them says any thing about the _government_ of this
infinitive, except Ingersoll, and he supplies a _verb_. "_Than_ and _as_,"
says Greenleaf, "sometimes _appear to govern_ the infinitive mood; as,
'Nothing makes a man suspect _much more, than_ to know little;' 'An object
so high _as_ to be invisible."--_Gram. Simp._, p. 38. Here is an other
fictitious and ambiguous example, in which the phrase, "_to know little_,"
is the subject of _makes_ understood. Nixon supposes the infinitive phrase
after _as_ to be always the subject of a finite verb _understood_ after it;
as, "An object so high as to be invisible _is_ or, _implies_." See _English
Parser_, p. 100.

[416] Dr. Crombie, after copying the substance of Campbell's second Canon,
that, "In doubtful cases _analogy_ should be regarded," remarks: "For the
same reason, '_it needs_' and '_he dares_,' are better than '_he need_' and
'_he dare._'"--_On Etym. and Synt._, p. 326. Dr. Campbell's language is
somewhat stronger: "In the verbs _to dare_ and _to need_, many say, in the
third person present singular, _dare_ and _need_, as 'he _need_ not go: he
_dare_ not do it.' Others say, _dares_ and _needs_. As the first usage is
_exceedingly irregular_, hardly any thing less than uniform practice could
authorize it."--_Philosophy of Rhet._, p. 175. _Dare_ for _dares_ I suppose
to be wrong; but if _need_ is an auxiliary of the potential mood, to use it
without inflection, is neither "irregular," nor at all inconsistent with
the foregoing canon. But the former critic notices these verbs a second
time, thus: "'He _dare_ not,' 'he _need_ not,' may be justly pronounced
_solecisms_, for 'he _dares_,' 'he _needs_.'"--_Crombie, on Etym. and
Synt._, p. 378. He also says, "The verbs _bid, dare, need, make, see, hear,
feel, let_, are _not_ followed by the sign of the infinitive."--_Ib._, p.
277. And yet he writes thus: "These are truths, of which, I am persuaded,
the author, to whom I allude, _needs_ not _to_ be reminded."--_Ib._, p.
123. So Dr. Bullions declares against _need_ in the singular, by putting
down the following example as bad English: "He _need_ not be in so much
haste."--_Bullions's E. Gram._, p. 134. Yet he himself writes thus: "A name
more appropriate than the term _neuter, need_ not be desired."--_Ib._, p.
196. A school-boy may see the inconsistency of this.

[417] Some modern grammarians will have it, that a participle governed by a
preposition is a "_participial noun_;" and yet, when they come to parse an
adverb or an objective following, their "_noun_" becomes a "_participle_"
again, and _not_ a "_noun_." To allow words thus to _dodge_ from one class
to an other, is not only unphilosophical, but ridiculously absurd. Among
those who thus treat this construction of the participle, the chief, I
think, are Butler, Hurt, Weld, Wells, and S. S. Greene.

[418] Dr. Blair, to whom Murray ought to have acknowledged himself indebted
for this sentence, introduced _a noun_, to which, in his work, this
infinitive and these participles refer: thus, "It is disagreeable _for the
mind_ to be _left pausing_ on a word which does not, by itself, produce any
idea."--_Blair's Rhetoric_, p. 118. See Obs. 10th and 11th on Rule 14th.

[419] The perfect contrast between _from_ and _to_, when the former governs
the participle and the latter the infinitive, is an other proof that this
_to_ is the common preposition _to_. For example, "These are the four
spirits of the heavens, which go forth _from standing_ before the Lord of
all the earth."--_Zech._, vi, 5. Now if this were rendered "which go forth
_to stand_," &c., it is plain that these prepositions would express quite
opposite relations. Yet, probably from some obscurity in the original, the
Greek version has been made to mean, "going forth _to stand_;" and the
Latin, "which go forth, _that they may stand_;" while the French text
conveys nearly the same sense as ours,--"which go forth _from the place
where they stood._"

[420] _Cannot_, with a verb of _avoiding_, or with the negative _but_, is
equivalent to _must_. Such examples may therefore be varied thus: "I
_cannot but mention_:" i.e., "I _must_ mention."--"I _cannot help
exhorting_ him to assume courage."--_Knox_. That is, "I _cannot but exhort_

[421] See the same thing in _Kirkham's Gram._ p. 189; in _Ingersoll's_, p.
200; in _Smith's New Grammar_, p. 162; and in other modifications and
mutilations of Murray's work. Kirkham, in an other place, adopts the
doctrine, that, "_Participles_ frequently govern nouns _and_ pronouns in
the possessive case; as, 'In case of his _majesty's dying_ without issue,
&c.; Upon _God's having ended_ all his works, &c.; I remember _its being

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