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The Grammar of English Grammars by Gould Brown

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be master of so many of the definitions and rules as precede the part which
he attempts to correct; because this knowledge is necessary to a creditable
performance of the exercise. But those who are very quick at reading, may
perform it _tolerably_, by consulting the book at the time, for what they
do not remember. The answers to these questions will embrace all the main
text of the work; and, if any further examination be thought necessary,
extemporaneous questions may be framed for the purpose.]


1. What is the name, or title, of this book? 2. What is Grammar? 3. What is
an English Grammar? 4. What is English Grammar, in itself? and what
knowledge does it imply? 5. If grammar is the art of reading, writing, and
speaking, define these actions. What is it, _to read_? 6. What is it, _to
write_? 7. What is it, _to speak_? 8. How is grammar to be taught, and by
what means are its principles to be made known? 9. What is a perfect
definition? 10. What is an example, as used in teaching? 11. What is a rule
of grammar? 12. What is an exercise? 13. What was language at first, and
what is it now? 14. Of what two kinds does the composition of language
consist? and how do they differ? 15. What are the least parts of language?
16. What has discourse to do with sentences? or sentences, with points? 17.
In extended compositions, what is the order of the parts, upwards from a
sentence? 18. What, then, is the common order of literary division,
downwards, throughout? 19. Are all literary works divided exactly in this
way? 20. How is Grammar divided? 21. Of what does Orthography treat? 22. Of
what does Etymology treat? 23. Of what does Syntax treat? 24. Of what does
Prosody treat?



1. Of what does Orthography treat? 2. What is a letter? 3. What is an
elementary sound of human voice, or speech? 4. What name is given to the
sound of a letter? and what epithet, to a letter not sounded? 5. How many
letters are there in English? and how many sounds do they represent? 6. In
what does a knowledge of the letters consist? 7. What variety is there in
the letters? and how are they always the same? 8. What different sorts of
types, or styles of letters, are used in English? 9. What are the names of
the letters in English? 10. What are their names in both numbers, singular
and plural? 11. Into what general classes are the letters divided? 12. What
is a vowel? 13. What is a consonant? 14. What letters are vowels? and what,
consonants? 15. When are _w_ and _y_ consonants? and when, vowels? 16. How
are the consonants divided? 17. What is a semivowel? 18. What is a mute?
19. What letters are reckoned semivowels? and how many of these are
aspirates? 20. What letters are called liquids? and why? 21. What letters
are reckoned mutes? and which of them are imperfect mutes?


1. What is meant, when we speak of the powers of the letters? 2. Are the
sounds of a language fewer than its words? 3. How are different vowel
sounds produced? 4. What are the vowel sounds in English? 5. How may these
sounds be modified in the formation of syllables? 6. Can you form a word
upon each by means of an _f_? 7. Will you try the series again with a _p_?
8. How may the vowel sounds be written? and how uttered when they are not
words? 9. Which of the vowel sounds form words? and what of the rest? 10.
How many and what are the consonant sounds in English? 11. In what series
of words may all these sounds be heard? 12. In what series of words may
each of them be heard two or three times? 13. What is said of the sounds of
_j_ and _x_? 14. What is said of the sounds of _c_ and _g_? 15. What is
said of _sc_, or _s_ before _c_? 16. What, of _ce, ci_, and _ch_? 17. What
sounds has the consonant _g_? 18. In how many different ways can the
letters of the alphabet be combined? 19. What do we derive from these
combinations of sounds and characters?


1. What characters are employed in English? 2. Why should the different
sorts of letters be kept distinct? 3. What is said of the slanting strokes
in Roman letters? 4. For what purpose are _Italics_ chiefly used? 5. In
preparing a manuscript, how do we mark these things for the printer? 6.
What distinction of form belongs to each of the letters? 7. What is said of
small letters? and why are capitals used? 8. What things are commonly
exhibited wholly in capitals? 9. How many rules for capitals are given in
this book? and what are their titles? 10. What says Rule 1st of _books_?
11. What says Rule 2d of _first words_? 12. What says Rule 3d of _names of
Deity_? 13. What says Rule 4th of _proper names_? 14. What says Rule 5th of
_titles_? 15. What says Rule 6th of _one capital_? 16. What says Rule 7th
of _two capitals_? 17. What says Rule 8th of _compounds_? 18. What says
Rule 9th of _apposition_? 19. What says Rule 10th of _personifications_?
20. What says Rule 11th of _derivatives_? 21. What says Rule 12th of _I and
O_? 22. What says Rule 13th of _poetry_? 23. What says Rule 14th of
_examples_? 24. What says Rule 15th of _chief words_? 25. What says Rule
16th of _needless capitals_?

[Now turn to the first chapter of Orthography, and correct the
improprieties there quoted for the practical application of these rules.]


1. What is a syllable? 2. Can the syllables of a word be perceived by the
ear? 3. Under what names are words classed according to the number of their
syllables? 4. Which of the letters can form syllables of themselves? and
which cannot? 5. What is a diphthong? 6. What is a proper diphthong? 7.
What is an improper diphthong? 8. What is a triphthong? 9. What is a proper
triphthong? 10. What is an improper triphthong? 11. How many and what are
the diphthongs in English? 12. How many and which of these are so variable
in sound that they may be either proper or improper diphthongs? 13. How
many and what are the proper diphthongs? 14. How many and what are the
improper diphthongs? 15. Are proper triphthongs numerous in our language?
16. How many and what are the improper triphthongs? 17. What guide have we
for dividing words into syllables? 18. How many special rules of
syllabication are given in this book? and what are their titles, or
subjects? 19. What says Rule 1st of _consonants_? 20. What says Rule 2d of
_vowels_? 21. What says Rule 3d of _terminations_? 22. What says Rule 4th
of _prefixes_? 23. What says Rule 5th of _compounds_? 24. What says Rule
6th of _lines full_?

[Now turn to the second chapter of Orthography, and correct the
improprieties there quoted for the practical application of these rules.]


1. What is a word? 2. How are words distinguished in regard to _species_
and _figure_? 3. What is a primitive word? 4. What is a derivative word? 5.
What is a simple word? 6. What is a compound word? 7. How do permanent
compounds differ from others? 8. How many rules for the figure of words are
given in this book? and what are their titles, or subjects? 9. What says
Rule 1st of _compounds_? 10. What says Rule 2d of _simples_? 11. What says
Rule 3d of _the sense_? 12. What says Rule 4th of _ellipses_? 13. What says
Rule 5th of _the hyphen_? 14. What says Rule 6th of _no hyphen_?

[Now turn to the third chapter of Orthography, and correct the
improprieties there quoted for the practical application of these rules.]


1. What is spelling? 2. How is this art to be acquired? and why so? 3. Why
is it difficult to learn to spell accurately? 4. Is it then any disgrace to
spell words erroneously? 5. What benefit may be expected from the rules for
spelling? 6. How many rules for spelling are given in this book? and what
are their titles, or subjects? 7. What says Rule 1st of _final f, l_, or
_s_? 8. Can you mention the principal exceptions to this rule? 9. What says
Rule 2d of _other finals_? 10. Are there any exceptions to this rule? 11.
What says Rule 3d of the _doubling_ of consonants? 12. Under what three
heads are the exceptions to this rule noticed? 13. What says Rule 4th
_against the doubling_ of consonants? 14. Under what four heads are the
apparent exceptions to this Rule noticed? 15. What says Rule 5th of _final
ck_? 16. What monosyllables, contrary to this rule, end with _c_ only? 17.
What says Rule 6th of the _retaining_ of double letters before affixes? 18.
Under what three heads are the exceptions to this rule noticed? 19. What
says Rule 7th of the _retaining_ of double letters after prefixes? 20. What
observation is made respecting exceptions to this rule?


21. What says Rule 8th of _final ll_, and of _final l single_? 22. What
words does this rule claim, which might seem to come under Rule 7th? and
why? 23. What says Rule 9th of _final e omitted_? 24. Under what three
heads are the exceptions, real or apparent, here noticed? 25. What says
Rule 10th of _final e retained?_ 26. Under what three heads are the
exceptions to this rule noticed? 27. What says Rule 11th of _final y
changed?_ 28. Under what three heads are the limits and exceptions to this
rule noticed? 29. What says Rule 12th of _final y unchanged?_ 30. Under
what three heads are the exceptions to this rule noticed? 31. What says
Rule 13th of the terminations _ize_ and _ise?_ 32. Under what three heads
are the apparent exceptions to this rule noticed? 33. What says Rule 14th
of _compounds?_ 34. Under what seven heads are the exceptions to this rule
noticed? 35. What says Rule 15th of _usage_, as a law of spelling?

[Now turn to the fourth chapter of Orthography, and correct the
improprieties there quoted for the practical application of these rules and
their exceptions.]



[Fist] [The following examples of false orthography are inserted here, and
not explained in the general Key, that they may he corrected by the pupil
_in writing_. Some of the examples here quoted are less inaccurate than
others, but all of them, except a few shown in contrast, are, in some
respect or other, erroneous. It is supposed, that every student who can
answer the questions contained in the preceding chapter, will readily
discern wherein the errors lie, and be able to make the necessary


"Alexander the great killed his friend Clitus."--_Harrison's Gram._, p. 68.
"The words in italics are parsed in the same manner."--_Maltby's Gram._, p.
69. "It may be read by those who do not understand latin."--_Barclay's
Works_, Vol. iii, p. 262. "A roman _s_ being added to a word in italics or
small capitals."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 215. "This is not simply a
gallicism, but a corruption of the French _on_; itself a corruption."--
_Ib._, p. 228. "The Gallicism, '_it is me_,' is perpetually striking the
ear in London."--_Ib._, p. 316. "'Almost nothing,' is a common Scotticism,
equally improper: it should be, 'scarcely any thing.'"--_Ib._, p. 333. "To
use _learn_ for _teach_, is a common Scotticism, that ought to be carefully
avoided."--See _ib._, p. 261. "A few observations on the subjunctive mood
as it appears in our English bible."--_Wilcox's Gram._, p. 40. "The
translators of the bible, have confounded two tenses, which in the original
are uniformly kept distinct."--_Ib._, p. 40. "More like heaven on earth,
than the holy land would have been."--_Anti-Slavery Mag._, Vol. i, p. 72.
"There is now extant a poetical composition, called the golden verses of
Pythagoras."-- _Lempriere's Dict._ "Exercise of the Mind upon Theorems of
Science, like generous and manly Exercise of the Body, tends to call forth
and strengthen Nature's original Vigour."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 295. "O
that I could prevail on Christians to melt down, under the warm influence
of brotherly love, all the distinctions of methodists, independents,
baptists, anabaptists, arians, trinitarians, unitarians, in the glorious
name of christians."--KNOX: _Churchill's Gram._, p. 173. "Pythagoras long
ago remarked, 'that ability and necessity dwell near each
other.'"--_Student's Manual_, p. 285.

"The Latin Writers Decency neglect,
But modern Readers challenge more Respect."
--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 172.


1. Correct _Bolles_, in the division of the following words: "Del-ia,
Jul-ia, Lyd-ia, heigh-ten, pat-ron, ad-roit, worth-y, fath-er, fath-er-ly,
mar-chi-o-ness, i-dent-ic-al, out-ra-ge-ous, ob-nox-i-ous, pro-di-gi-ous,
tre-mend-ous, ob-liv-i-on, pe-cul-i-ar."--_Revised Spelling-Book_: New
London, 1831.

2. Correct _Sears_, in the division of the following words: "A-quil-a,
hear-ty, drea-ry, wor-my, hai-ry, thor-ny, phil-os-o-phy, dis-cov-e-ry,
re-cov-e-ry, ad-diti-on, am-biti-on, au-spici-ous, fac-titi-ous,
fla-giti-ous, fru-iti-on, sol-stiti-al, ab-o-liti-on."--_Standard
Spelling-Book_: "New Haven," 1826.

3. Correct _Bradley_, in the division of the following words: "Jes-ter,
rai-ny, forg-e-ry, fin-e-ry, spic-e-ry, brib-e-ry, groc-e-ry, chi-can-e-ry,
fer-riage, line-age, cri-ed, tri-ed, su-ed, slic-ed, forc-ed, pledg-ed,
sav-ed, dup-ed, strip-ed, touch-ed, trounc-ed."--_Improved Spelling-Book_:
Windsor, 1815.

4. Correct _Burhans_, in the division of the following words: "Boar-der,
brigh-ten, cei-ling, frigh-ten, glea-ner, lea-kage, suc-ker, mos-sy,
fros-ty, twop-ence, pu-pill-ar-y, crit-i-call-y, gen-er-all-y,
lit-er-all-y, log-i-call-y, trag-i-call-y, ar-ti-fici-al, po-liti-call-y,
sloth-full-y, spite-full-y, re-all-y, sui-ta-ble, ta-mea-ble, flumm-er-y,
nesc-i-ence, shep-her-dess, trav-ell-er, re-pea-ter, re-pressi-on,
suc-cessi-on, un-lear-ned."--_Critical Pronouncing Spelling-Book_:[128]
Philadelphia, 1823.

5. Correct _Marshall_, in the division of the following words: "Trench-er,
trunch-eon, dros-sy, glos-sy, glas-sy, gras-sy, dres-ses, pres-ses,
cal-ling, chan-ging, en-chan-ging, con-ver-sing, mois-ture, join-ture,
qua-drant, qua-drate, trans-gres-sor, dis-es-teem."--_New Spelling-Book_:
New York, 1836.

6. Correct _Emerson_, in the division of the following words: "Dus-ty
mis-ty, mar-shy, mil-ky, wes-tern, stor-my, nee-dy, spee-dy, drea-ry,
fros-ty, pas-sing, roc-ky, bran-chy, bland-ish, pru-dish, eve-ning,
a-noth-er."--_National Spelling-Book_: Boston, 1828.

"Two Vowels meeting, each with its full Sound,
Always to make Two Syllables are bound."--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 64.


"I was surprised by the return of my long lost brother."--_Parker's
Exercises in English Composition_, p. 5. "Such singular and unheard of
clemency cannot be passed over by me in silence."--_Ib._, p. 10. "I
perceive my whole system excited by the potent stimulus of
sun-shine."--_Ib._, p. 11. "To preserve the unity of a sentence, it is
sometimes necessary to employ the case absolute, instead of the verb and
conjunction."--_Ib._, p. 17. "Severity and hard hearted opinions accord
with the temper of the times."--_Ib._, p. 18. "That poor man was put into
the mad house."--_Ib._, p. 22. "This fellow must be put into the poor
house."--_Ib._ p. 22. "I have seen the breast works and other defences of
earth, that were thrown up."--_Ib._, p. 24. "Cloven footed animals are
enabled to walk more easily on uneven ground."--_Ib._, p. 25. "Self conceit
blasts the prospects of many a youth."--_Ib._, p. 26. "Not a moment should
elapse without bringing some thing to pass."--_Ib._, p. 36. "A school
master decoyed the children of the principal citizens into the Roman
camp."--_Ib._, p. 39. "The pupil may now write a description of the
following objects. A school room. A steam boat. A writing desk. A dwelling
house. A meeting house. A paper mill. A grist mill. A wind mill."--_Ib._,
p. 45. "Every metaphor should be founded on a resemblance which is clear
and striking; not far fetched, nor difficult to be discovered."--_Ib._, p.
49. "I was reclining in an arbour overhung with honey suckle and jessamine
of the most exquisite fragrance."--_Ib._, p. 51. "The author of the
following extract is speaking of the slave trade."--_Ib._, p. 60. "The all
wise and benevolent Author of nature has so framed the soul of man, that he
cannot but approve of virtue."--_Ib._, p. 74. "There is something of self
denial in the very idea of it."--_Ib._, p. 75. "Age therefore requires a
well spent youth to render it happy."--_Ib._, p. 76. "Pearl-ash requires
much labour in its extraction from ashes."--_Ib._, p. 91. "_Club_, or
_crump, footed_, Loripes; _Rough_, or _leather, footed_,
Plumipes."--_Ainsworth's Dict._

"The honey-bags steal from the humble bees,
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs."
--SHAK.: _Joh.'s Dict., w. Glowworm._

"The honeybags steal from the bumblebees,
And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs."
--SHAK.: _Joh.'s Dict., w. Humblebee._

"The honey bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night tapers crop their waxen thighs."
--_Dodd's Beauties of Shak._, p. 51.


"His antichamber, and room of audience, are little square chambers
wainscoted."--ADDISON: _Johnson's Dict., w. Antechamber_. "Nobody will deem
the quicksighted amongst them to have very enlarged views of
ethicks."--LOCKE: _Ib., w. Quicksighted_. "At the rate of this
thick-skulled blunderhead, every plow-jobber shall take upon him to read
upon divinity."--L'ESTRANGE: _Ib., m. Blunderhead_. "On the topmast, the
yards, and boltsprit would I flame distinctly."--SHAK.: _Ib., w. Bowsprit_.
"This is the tune of our catch plaid by the picture of nobody."--ID.: _Ib.,
w. Nobody_. "Thy fall hath left a kind of blot to mark the fulfraught
man."--ID.: _Ib., w. Fulfraught_. "Till blinded by some Jack o'Lanthorn
sprite."--_Snelling's Gift_, p. 62. "The beauties you would have me
eulogise."--_Ib._, p. 14. "They rail at me--I gaily laugh at them."--_Ib._,
p. 13. "Which the king and his sister had intrusted to him
withall."--_Josephus_, Vol. v, p. 143. "The terms of these emotions are by
no means synonimous."--_Rush, on the Voice_, p. 336. "Lillied, _adj._
Embellished with lilies."--_Chalmers's Dict._ "They seize the compendious
blessing without exertion and without reflexion."--_Philological Museum_,
Vol. i, p. 428. "The first cry that rouses them from their torpour, is the
cry that demands their blood."--_Ib._, p. 433. "It meets the wants of
elementary schools and deserves to be patronised."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p.
5. "Whose attempts were paralysed by the hallowed sound."--_Music of
Nature_, p. 270. "It would be an amusing investigation to analyse their
language."--_Ib._, p. 200. "It is my father's will that I should take on me
the hostess-ship of the day."--SHAK.: _in Johnson's Dict._ "To retain the
full apprehension of them undiminisht."--_Phil. Museum._, Vol. i, p. 458.
"The ayes and noes were taken in the House of Commons."--_Anti-Slavery
Mag._, Vol. i, p. 11. "Derivative words are formed by adding letters or
syllables to primatives."--_Davenport's Gram._, p. 7. "The minister never
was thus harrassed himself."--_Nelson, on Infidelity_, p. 6. "The most
vehement politician thinks himself unbiassed in his judgment."--_Ib._, p.
17. "Mistress-ship, _n._ Female rule or dominion."--_Webster's Dict._

"Thus forced to kneel, thus groveling to embrace,
The scourge and ruin of my realm and race."
--POPE: _Ash's Gram._, p. 83.


"The quince tree is of a low stature; the branches are diffused and
crooked."--MILLER: _Johnson's Dict._ "The greater slow worm, called also
the blindworm, is commonly thought to be blind, because of the littleness
of his eyes."--GREW: _ib._ "Oh Hocus! where art thou? It used to go in
another guess manner in thy time."--ARBUTHNOT: _ib._ "One would not make a
hotheaded crackbrained coxcomb forward for a scheme of moderation."--ID.:
_ib._ "As for you, colonel huff-cap, we shall try before a civil magistrate
who's the greatest plotter."--DRYDEN: _ib., w. Huff._ "In like manner,
Actions co-alesce with their Agents, and Passions with their
Patients."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 263. "These Sentiments are not unusual
even with the Philosopher now a days."--_Ib._, p. 350. "As if the Marble
were to fashion the Chizzle, and not the Chizzle the Marble."--_Ib._, p.
353. "I would not be understood, in what I have said, to undervalue
Experiment."--_Ib._, p. 352. "How therefore is it that they approach nearly
to Non-Entity's?"--_Ib._, p. 431. "Gluttonise, modernise, epitomise,
barbarise, tyranise."--_Churchill's Gram._, pp. 31 and 42. "Now fair befal
thee and thy noble house!"--SHAK.: _ib._, p. 241. "Nor do I think the error
above-mentioned would have been so long indulged," &c.--_Ash's Gram._, p.
4. "The editor of the two editions above mentioned was pleased to give this
little manuel to the public," &c.--_Ib._, p. 7. "A Note of Admiration
denotes a modelation of the voice suited to the expression."--_Ib._, p. 16.
"It always has some respect to the power of the agent; and is therefore
properly stiled the potential mode."--_Ib._, p. 29. "Both these are
supposed to be synonomous expressions."--_Ib._, p. 105. "An expence beyond
what my circumstances admit."--DODDRIDGE: _ib._, p. 138. "There are four of
them: the _Full-Point_, or _Period_; the _Colon_; the _Semi-Colon_; the
_Comma_."--_Cobbett's E. Gram._, N. Y., 1818, p. 77. "There are many men,
who have been at Latin-Schools for years, and who, at last, cannot write
six sentences in English correctly."--_Ib._, p. 39. "But, figures of
rhetorick are edge tools, and two edge tools too."--_Ib._, p. 182. "The
horse-chesnut grows into a goodly standard."--MORTIMER: _Johnson's Dict._
"Whereever _if_ is to be used."--_O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 175.

"Peel'd, patch'd, and pyebald, linsey-woolsey brothers."
--POPE: _Joh. Dict., w., Mummer_.

"Peel'd, patch'd, and piebald, linsey-woolsey brothers."
--_ID.: ib., w. Piebald_.


"Pied, _adj._ [from _pie._] Variegated; partycoloured."--_Johnson's Dict._
"Pie, [_pica_, Lat.] A magpie; a party-coloured bird."--_Ib._ "Gluy, _adj._
[from _glue._] Viscous; tenacious; glutinous."--_Ib._ "Gluey, _a._ Viscous,
glutinous. Glueyness. _n._ The quality of being gluey."--_Webster's Dict._
"Old Euclio, seeing a crow-scrat[129] upon the muck-hill, returned in all
haste, taking it for an ill sign."--BURTON: _Johnson's Dict._ "Wars are
begun by hairbrained[130] dissolute captains."--ID.: _ib._ "A carot is a
well known garden root."--_Red Book_, p. 60. "Natural philosophy,
metaphysicks, ethicks, history, theology, and politicks, were familiar to
him."--_Kirkham's Elocution_, p. 209. "The words in Italicks and capitals,
are emphatick."--_Ib._, p. 210. "It is still more exceptionable; Candles,
Cherrys, Figs, and other sorts of Plumbs, being sold by Weight, and being
Plurals."--_Johnson's Gram. Com._, p. 135. "If the End of Grammar be not to
save that Trouble, and Expence of Time, I know not what it is good
for."--_Ib._, p. 161. "_Caulce_, Sheep Penns, or the like, has no Singular,
according to Charisius."--_Ib._, p. 194. "These busibodies are like to such
as reade bookes with intent onely to spie out the faults
thereof"--_Perkins's Works_, p. 741. "I think it every man's indispensible
duty, to do all the service he can to his country."--_Locke, on Ed._, p. 4.
"Either fretting it self into a troublesome Excess, or flaging into a
downright want of Appetite."--_Ib._, p. 23. "And nobody would have a child
cramed at breakfast."--_Ib._, p. 23. "Judgeship and judgment, lodgable and
alledgeable, alledgement and abridgment, lodgment and infringement,
enlargement and acknowledgment."--_Webster's Dict._, 8vo. "Huckster, _n.
s._ One who sells goods by retail, or in small quantities; a
pedler."--_Johnson's Dict._

"He seeks bye-streets, and saves th' expensive coach."
--GAY: _ib., w. Mortgage._

"He seeks by-streets, and saves th' expensive coach."
--GAY: _ib., w. By-street._


"Boys like a warm fire in a wintry day."--_Webster's El. Spelling-Book_, p.
62. "The lilly is a very pretty flower."--_Ib._, p. 62. "The potatoe is a
native plant of America."--_Ib._, p. 60. "An anglicism is a peculiar mode
of speech among the English."--_Ib._, p. 136. "Black berries and
raspberries grow on briars."--_Ib._, p. 150. "You can broil a beef steak
over the coals of fire."--_Ib._, p. 38. "Beef'-steak, _n._ A steak or slice
of beef for broiling."--_Webster's Dict._ "Beef'steak, _s._ a slice of beef
for broiling."--_Treasury of Knowledge._ "As he must suffer in case of the
fall of merchandize, he is entitled to the corresponding gain if
merchandize rises."--_Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 258. "He is the
worshipper of an hour, but the worldling for life."--_Maturin's Sermons_,
p. 424. "Slyly hinting something to the disadvantage of great and honest
men."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 329. "'Tis by this therefore that I Define
the Verb; namely, that it is a Part of Speech, by which something is
apply'd to another, as to its Subject."--_Johnson's Gram. Com._, p. 255.
"It may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of
gaiety."--_Kirkham's Elocution_, p. 178. "To criticize, is to discover
errors; and to crystalize implies to freeze or congele."--_Red Book_, p.
68. "The affectation of using the preterite instead of the participle, is
peculiarly aukward; as, he has came."--_Priestley's Grammar_, p. 125. "They
are moraly responsible for their individual conduct."--_Cardell's El.
Gram._, p. 21. "An engine of sixty horse power, is deemed of equal force
with a team of sixty horses."--_Red Book_, p. 113. "This, at fourpence per
ounce, is two shillings and fourpence a week, or six pounds, one shining
and four pence a year."--_Ib._, p. 122. "The tru meening of _parliament_ iz
a meeting of barons or peers."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 276. "Several
authorities seem at leest to favor this opinion."--_Ib._, p. 277. "That iz,
az I hav explained the tru primitiv meening of the word."--_Ib._, p. 276.
"The lords are peers of the relm; that iz, the ancient prescriptiv judges
or barons."--_Ib._, p. 274.

"Falshood is folly, and 'tis just to own
The fault committed; this was mine alone."
--_Pope, Odys._, B. xxii, l. 168.


"A second verb so nearly synonimous with the first, is at best
superfluous."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 332. "Indicate it, by some mark
opposite [to] the word misspelt."--_Abbott's Teacher_, p. 74. "And
succesfully controling the tendencies of mind."--_Ib._, p. 24. "It [the
Monastick Life] looks very like what we call Childrens-Play."--[LESLIE'S]
_Right of Tythes_, p. 236. "It seems rather lik Playing of Booty, to Please
those Fools and Knaves."--_Ib._, Pref., p. vi. "And first I Name Milton,
only for his Name, lest the Party should say, that I had not Cousider'd his
Performance against Tythes."--_Ib._, p. iv. "His Fancy was too Predominant
for his Judgment. His Talent lay so much in Satyr that he hated
Reasoning."--_Ib._, p. iv. "He has thrown away some of his Railery against
Tythes, and the Church then underfoot."--_Ib._, p. v. "They Vey'd with one
another in these things."--_Ib._, p. 220. "Epamanondas was far the most
accomplished of the Thebans."--_Cooper's New Gram._, p. 27. "_Whoever_ and
_Whichever_, are thus declined. Sing. and Plur. _nom._ whoever, _poss._
whoseever, _obj._ whomever. Sing. and Plu. _nom._ whichever, _poss._
whoseever, _obj._ whichever."--_Ib._, p. 38. "WHEREEVER, _adv._ [_where_
and _ever_.] At whatever place."--_Webster's Dict._ "They at length took
possession of all the country south of the Welch mountains."--_Dobson's
Comp. Gram._, p. 7. "Those Britains, who refused to submit to the foreign
yoke, retired into Wales."--_Ib._, p. 6. "Religion is the most chearful
thing in the world."--_Ib._, p. 43. "_Two_ means the number two compleatly,
whereas _second_ means only the last of two, and so of all the
rest."--_Ib._, p. 44. "Now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose
sirname is Peter."--_Ib._, p. 96. (See _Acts_, x, 5.) "In French words, we
use _enter_ instead of _inter_; as, entertain, enterlace,
enterprize."--_Ib._, p. 101. "Amphiology, i. e. a speech of uncertain or
doubtful meaning."--_Ib._, p. 103. "Surprize; as, hah! hey day! what!
strange!"--_Ib._, p. 109. "Names of the letters: ai bee see dee ee ef jee
aitch eye jay kay el em en o pee cue ar ess tee you voe double u eks wi
zed."--_Rev. W. Allen's Gram._, p. 3.

"I, O, and U, at th' End of Words require,
The silent (e), the same do's (va) desire."
--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 15.


"_And_ is written for _eacend_, adding, ekeing."--_Dr. Murray's Hist. of
Europ. Lang._, Vol. i, p. 222. "The Hindus have changed _ai_ into _e_,
sounded like _e_ in _where_."--_Ib._, Vol. ii, p. 121. "And therefor I
would rather see the cruelest usurper than the mildest despot."--
_Philological Museum_, Vol. i, p. 430. "Sufficiently distinct to prevent
our marveling."--_Ib._, i, 477. "Possessed of this preheminence he
disregarded the clamours of the people."--_Smollett's England_, Vol. iii,
p. 222. "He himself, having communicated, administered the sacrament to
some of the bye-standers."--_Ib._, p. 222. "The high fed astrology which it
nurtured, is reduced to a skeleton on the leaf of an almanac."--_Cardell's
Gram._, p. 6. "Fulton was an eminent engineer: he invented steam
boats."--_Ib._, p. 30. "Then, in comes the benign latitude of the doctrine
of goodwill."--SOUTH: _in Johnson's Dict._ "Being very lucky in a pair of
long lanthorn-jaws, he wrung his face into a hideous grimace."--SPECTATOR:
_ib._ "Who had lived almost four-and-twenty years under so politick a king
as his father."--BACON: _ib., w. Lowness_. "The children will answer;
John's, or William's, or whose ever it may be."--_Infant School Gram._, p.
32. "It is found tolerably easy to apply them, by practising a little guess
work."--_Cardell's Gram._, p. 91. "For between which two links could speech
makers draw the division line?"--_Ib._, p. 50. "The wonderful activity of
the rope dancer who stands on his head."--_Ib._, p. 56. "The brilliancy
which the sun displays on its own disk, is sun shine."--_Ib._, p. 63. "A
word of three syllables is termed a trisyllable."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 23;
_Coar's_, 17; _Jaudon's_, 13; _Comly's_, 8; _Cooper's, New Gr._, 8;
_Kirkham's_, 20; _Picket's_, 10; _Alger's_, 12; _Blair's_, 1; _Guy's_, 2;
_Bolles's Spelling-Book_, 161. See _Johnson's Dict._ "A word of three
syllables is termed a trissyllable."--_British Gram._, p. 33;
_Comprehensive Gram._, 23; _Bicknell's_, 17; _Allen's_, 31; _John
Peirce's_, 149; _Lennie's_, 5; _Maltby's_, 8; _Ingersoll's_, 7;
_Bradley's_, 66; _Davenport's_, 7; _Bucke's_, 16; _Bolles's Spelling-Book_,
91. See _Littleton's Lat. Dict._ (1.) "_Will_, in the first Persons,
promises or threatens: But in the second and third Persons, it barely
foretells."--_British Gram._, p. 132. (2.) "_Will_, in the first Persons,
promises or threatens; but in the second and third Persons, it barely
foretells."--_Buchanan's Gram._, p. 41. (3.) "_Will_, in the first person,
promises, engages, or threatens. In the second and third persons, it merely
foretels."--_Jaudon's Gram._, p. 59. (4.) "_Will_, in the first person
singular and plural, promises or threatens; in the second and third
persons, only foretells."--_Lowth's Gram._, p. 41. (5.) "_Will_, in the
first person singular and plural, intimates resolution and promising; in
the second and third person, only foretels."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 88;
_Ingersoll's_, 136; _Fisk's_, 78; _A. Flint's_, 42; _Bullions's_, 32;
_Hamlin's_, 41; _Cooper's Murray_, 50. [Fist] _Murray's Second Edition_ has
it "_foretells_." (6.) "_Will_, in the first person singular and plural,
expresses resolution and promising. In the second and third persons it only
foretells."--_Comly's Gram._, p. 38; _E. Devis's_, 51; _Lennie's_, 22. (7.)
"_Will_, in the first person, promises. In the second and third persons, it
simply foretels."--_Maltby's Gram._, p. 24. (8.) "_Will_, in the first
person implies resolution and promising; in the second and third, it
foretells."--_Cooper's New Gram._, p. 51. (9.) "_Will_, in the first person
singular and plural, promises or threatens; in the second and third
persons, only foretels: _shall_, on the contrary, in the first person,
simply foretels; in the second and third persons, promises, commands, or
threatens."--_Adam's Lat. and Eng. Gram._, p. 83. (10.) "In the first
person shall _foretels_, and will _promises_ or _threatens_; but in the
second and third persons _will_ foretels, and _shall_ promises or
threatens."--_Blair's Gram._, p. 65.

"If Maevius scribble in Apollo's spight,
There are who judge still worse than he can write."--_Pope_.


"I am liable to be charged that I latinize too much."--DRYDEN: in
_Johnson's Dict._ "To mould him platonically to his own idea."--WOTTON:
_ib._ "I will marry a wife as beautiful as the houries, and as wise as
Zobeide."--_Murray's E. Reader_, p. 148. "I will marry a wife, beautiful as
the Houries."--_Wilcox's Gram._, p. 65. "The words in italics are all in
the imperative mood."--_Maltby's Gram._, p. 71. "Words Italicised, are
emphatick, in various degrees."--_Kirkham's Elocution_, p. 173. "Wherever
two gg's come together, they are both hard."--_Buchanan's Gram._, p. 5.
"But these are rather silent (_o_)'s than obscure (_u_)'s."--_Brightland's
Gram._, p. 19. "That can be Guest at by us, only from the
Consequences."--_Right of Tythes_, p. viii. "He says he was glad that he
had Baptized so few; And asks them, Were ye Baptised in the Name of
Paul?"--_Ib._, p. ix. "Therefor he Charg'd the Clergy with the Name of
Hirelings."--_Ib._, p. viii. "On the fourth day before the first second day
in each month."--_The Friend_, Vol. vii, p. 230. "We are not bound to
adhere for ever to the terms, or to the meaning of terms, which were
established by our ancestors."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 140. "O! learn from
him to station quick eyed Prudence at the helm."--_Frosts El. of Gram._, p.
104. "It pourtrays the serene landscape of a retired village."--_Music of
Nature_, p. 421. "By stating the fact, in a circumlocutary
manner."--_Booth's Introd. to Dict._, p. 33. "Time as an abstract being is
a non-entity."--_Ib._, p. 29. "From the difficulty of analysing the
multiplied combinations of words."--_Ib._, p. 19. "Drop those letters that
are superfluous, as: handful, foretel."--_Cooper's Plain & Pract. Gram._,
p. 10. "_Shall_, in the first person, simply foretells."--_Ib._, p. 51.
"And the latter must evidently be so too, or, at least, cotemporary, with
the act."--_Ib._, p. 60. "The man has been traveling for five
years."--_Ib._, p. 77. "I shall not take up time in combatting their
scruples."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 320. "In several of the chorusses of
Euripides and Sophocles, we have the same kind of lyric poetry as in
Pindar."--_Ib._, p. 398. "Until the Statesman and Divine shall unite their
efforts in _forming_ the human mind, rather than in loping its
excressences, after it has been neglected."--_Webster's Essays_, p. 26.
"Where conviction could be followed only by a bigotted persistence in
error."--_Ib._, p. 78. "All the barons were entitled to a seet in the
national council, in right of their baronys."--_Ib._, p. 260. "Some
knowledge of arithmetic is necessary for every lady."--_Ib._, p. 29. "Upon
this, [the system of chivalry,] were founded those romances of
night-errantry."--_Blair's Rhet._, p. 374. "The subject is, the
atchievements of Charlemagne and his Peers, or Paladins."--_Ib._, p. 374.
"Aye, aye; this slice to be sure outweighs the other."--_Blair's Reader_,
p. 31. "In the common phrase, _good-bye, bye_ signifies _passing, going_.
The phrase signifies, a good going, a prosperous passage, and is equivalent
to _farewell_."--_Webster's Dict._ "Good-by, _adv_.--a contraction of _good
be with you_--a familiar way of bidding farewell."--See _Chalmers's Dict._
"Off he sprung, and did not so much as stop to say good bye to
you."--_Blair's Reader_, p. 16. "It no longer recals the notion of the
action."--_Barnard's Gram._, p. 69.

"Good-nature and good-sense must ever join;
To err, is human; to forgive, divine."--_Pope, Ess. on Crit._


"The practices in the art of carpentry are called planeing, sawing,
mortising, scribing, moulding, &c."--_Blair's Reader_, p. 118. "With her
left hand, she guides the thread round the spindle, or rather round a spole
which goes on the spindle."--_Ib._, p. 134. "Much suff'ring heroes next
their honours claim."--POPE: _Johnson's Dict., w. Much_. "Vein healing
verven, and head purging dill."--SPENSER: _ib., w. Head_. "An, in old
English, signifies _if_; as, '_an_ it please your honor.'"--_Webster's
Dict._ "What, then, was the moral worth of these renouned
leaders?"--_M'Ilvaine's Lect._, p. 460. "Behold how every form of human
misery is met by the self denying diligence of the benevolent."--_Ib._, p.
411. "Reptiles, bats, and doleful creatures--jackalls, hyenas, and
lions--inhabit the holes, and caverns, and marshes of the desolate
city."--_Ib._, p. 270. "ADAYS, _adv_. On or in days; as, in the phrase, now
_adays_."--_Webster's Dict._ "REFEREE, one to whom a thing is referred;
TRANSFERREE, the person to whom a transfer is made."--_Ib._ "The
Hospitallers were an order of knights who built a hospital at Jerusalem for
pilgrims."--_Ib._ "GERARD, Tom, or Tung, was the institutor and first grand
master of the knights hospitalers: he died in 1120."--_Biog. Dict._ "I had
a purpose now to lead our many to the holy land."--SHAK.: _in Johnson's
Dict._ "He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his
servants."--_Psalms_, cv, 25. "In Dryden's ode of Alexander's Feast, the
line, '_Faln, faln, faln, faln_,' represents a gradual sinking of the
mind."--_Kames, El. of Crit._, Vol. ii, p. 71. "The first of these lines is
marvelously nonsensical."--_Jamieson's Rhet._, p. 117. "We have the nicely
chiseled forms of an Apollo and a Venus, but it is the same cold marble
still."--_Christian Spect._, Vol. viii, p. 201. "Death waves his mighty
wand and paralyses all."--_Bucke's Gram._, p. 35. "Fear God. Honor the
patriot. Respect virtue."--_Kirkham's Gram._, p. 216. "Pontius Pilate being
Governour of Judea, and Herod being Tetrarch of Galilee."--_Ib._, p. 189.
See _Luke_, iii, 1. "AUCTIONEER, _n. s_. The person that manages an
auction."--_Johnson's Dict._ "The earth put forth her primroses and
days-eyes, to behold him."--HOWEL: _ib._ "_Musselman_, not being a compound
of _man_, is _musselmans_ in the plural."--_Lennie's Gram._, p. 9. "The
absurdity of fatigueing them with a needless heap of grammar
rules."--_Burgh's Dignity_, Vol. i, p. 147. "John was forced to sit with
his arms a kimbo, to keep them asunder."--ARBUTHNOT: _Joh. Dict._ "To set
the arms a kimbo, is to set the hands on the hips, with the elbows
projecting outward."--_Webster's Dict._ "We almost uniformly confine the
inflexion to the last or the latter noun."--_Maunder's Gram._, p. 2. "This
is all souls day, fellows! Is it not?"--SHAK.: _in Joh. Dict._ "The english
physicians make use of troy-weight."--_Johnson's Dict._ "There is a certain
number of ranks allowed to dukes, marquisses, and earls."--PEACHAM: _ib.,
w. Marquis_.

"How could you chide the young good natur'd prince,
And drive him from you with so stern an air."
--ADDISON: _ib., w. Good_, 25.


"In reading, every appearance of sing-song should be avoided."--_Sanborn's
Gram._, p. 75. "If you are thoroughly acquainted with the inflexions of the
verb."--_Ib._, p. 53. "The preterite of _read_ is pronounced
_red_."--_Ib._, p. 48. "Humility opens a high way to dignity."--_Ib._, p.
15. "What is intricate must be unraveled."--_Ib._, p. 275. "Roger Bacon
invented gun powder, A. D. 1280."--_Ib._, p. 277. "On which ever word we
lay the emphasis."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 243; 12mo, p. 195. "Each of
the leaders was apprized of the Roman invasion."--_Nixon's Parser_, p. 123.
"If I say, 'I _gallopped_ from Islington to Holloway;' the verb is
intransitive: if, 'I _gallopped_ my _horse_ from Islington to Holloway;' it
is transitive."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 238. "The reasonableness of
setting a part one day in seven."--_The Friend_, Vol. iv, p. 240. "The
promoters of paper money making reprobated this act."--_Webster's Essays_,
p. 196. "There are five compound personal pronouns, which are derived from
the five simple personal pronouns by adding to some of their cases the
syllable _self_; as, my-self, thy-self, him-self, her-self,
it-self."--_Perley's Gram._, p. 16. "Possessives, my-own, thy-own, his-own,
her-own, its-own, our-own, your-own, their-own."--_Ib., Declensions_. "Thy
man servant and thy maid servant may rest, as well as thou."--_Sanborn's
Gram._, p. 160. "How many right angles has an acute angled
triangle?"--_Ib._, p. 220. "In the days of Jorum, king of Israel,
flourished the prophet Elisha."--_Ib._, p. 148. "In the days of Jorum, king
of Israel, Elisha, the prophet flourished."--_Ib._, p. 133. "Lodgable, _a_.
Capable of affording a temporary abode."--_Webster's Octavo Dict._--"Win me
into the easy hearted man."--_Johnson's Quarto Dict._ "And then to end
life, is the same as to dye."--_Milnes's Greek Gram._, p. 176. "Those
usurping hectors who pretend to honour without religion, think the charge
of a lie a blot not to be washed out but by blood."--SOUTH: _Joh. Dict._
"His gallies attending him, he pursues the unfortunate."--_Nixon's Parser_,
p. 91. "This cannot fail to make us shyer of yielding our
assent."--_Campbell's Rhet._, p. 117. "When he comes to the Italicised
word, he should give it such a definition as its connection with the
sentence may require."--_Claggett's Expositor_, p. vii. "Learn to distil
from your lips all the honies of persuasion."--_Adams's Rhetoric_, Vol. i,
p. 31. "To instill ideas of disgust and abhorrence against the
Americans."--_Ib._, ii, 300. "Where prejudice has not acquired an
uncontroled ascendency."--_Ib._, i, 31. "The uncontrolable propensity of
his mind was undoubtedly to oratory."--_Ib._, i, 100. "The Brutus is a
practical commentary upon the dialogues and the orator."--_Ib._, i, 120.
"The oratorical partitions are a short elementary compendium."--_Ib._, i,
130. "You shall find hundreds of persons able to produce a crowd of good
ideas upon any subject, for one that can marshall them to the best
advantage."--_Ib._, i, 169. "In this lecture, you have the outline of all
that the whole course will comprize."--_Ib._, i, 182. "He would have been
stopped by a hint from the bench, that he was traveling out of the
record."--_Ib._, i, 289. "To tell them that which should befal them in the
last days."--_Ib._, ii, 308. "Where all is present, there is nothing past
to recal."--_Ib._, ii, 358. "Whose due it is to drink the brimfull cup of
God's eternal vengeance."--_Law and Grace_, p. 36.

"There, from the dead, centurions see him rise,
See, but struck down with horrible surprize!"--_Savage_.

"With seed of woes my heart brimful is charged."--SIDNEY: _Joh. Dict._

"Our legions are brimful, our cause is ripe."--SHAKSPEARE: _ib._



ETYMOLOGY treats of the different parts of speech, with their classes and

The _Parts of Speech_ are the several kinds, or principal classes, into
which words are divided by grammarians.

_Classes_, under the parts of speech, are the particular sorts into which
the several kinds of words are subdivided.

_Modifications_ are inflections, or changes, in the terminations, forms, or
senses, of some kinds of words.


The Parts of Speech, or sorts of words, in English, are ten; namely, the
Article, the Noun, the Adjective, the Pronoun, the Verb, the Participle,
the Adverb, the Conjunction, the Preposition, and the Interjection.


An Article is the word _the, an_, or _a_, which we put before nouns to
limit their signification: as, _The_ air, _the_ stars; _an_ island, _a_


A Noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that can be known or
mentioned: as, _George, York, man, apple, truth_.


An Adjective is a word added to a noun or pronoun, and generally expresses
quality: as, A _wise_ man; a _new_ book. You _two_ are _diligent_.


A Pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun: as, The boy loves _his_ book;
_he_ has long lessons, and _he_ learns _them_ well.


A Verb is a word that signifies _to be, to act_, or _to be acted upon_: as,
I _am_, I _rule_, I _am ruled_; I _love_, thou _lovest_, he _loves_.


A Participle is a word derived from a verb, participating the properties of
a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and is generally formed by adding
_ing, d_, or _ed_, to the verb: thus, from the verb _rule_, are formed
three participles, two simple and one compound; as, 1. _ruling_, 2.
_ruled_, 3. _having ruled_.


An Adverb is a word added to a verb, a participle, an adjective, or an
other adverb; and generally expresses time, place, degree, or manner: as,
They are _now here_, studying _very diligently_.


A Conjunction is a word used to connect words or sentences in construction,
and to show the dependence of the terms so connected: as, "Thou _and_ he
are happy, _because_ you are good."--_L. Murray_.


A Preposition is a word used to express some relation of different things
or thoughts to each other, and is generally placed before a noun or a
pronoun; as, The paper lies _before_ me _on_ the desk.


An Interjection is a word that is uttered merely to indicate some strong or
sudden emotion of the mind: as, _Oh! alas! ah! poh! pshaw! avaunt! aha!


OBS. 1.--The first thing to be learned in the study of this the second part
of grammar, is the distribution of the words of the language into those
principal sorts, or classes, which are denominated _the Parts of Speech_.
This is a matter of some difficulty. And as no scheme which can be adopted,
will be in all cases so plain that young beginners will not occasionally
falter in its application, the teacher may sometimes find it expedient to
refer his pupils to the following simple explanations, which are designed
to aid their first and most difficult steps.

How can we know to what class, or part of speech, any word belongs? By
learning the definitions of the ten parts of speech, and then observing how
the word is written, and in what sense it is used. It is necessary also to
observe, so far as we can, with what other words each particular one is
capable of making sense.

1. Is it easy to distinguish an ARTICLE? If not always easy, it is
generally so: _the, an_, and _a_, are the only English words called
articles, and these are rarely any thing else. Because _an_ and _a_ have
the same import, and are supposed to have the same origin, the articles are
commonly reckoned two, but some count them as three.

2. How can we distinguish a NOUN? By means of the article before it, if
there is one; as, _the house, an apple, a book_; or, by adding it to the
phrase, "_I mentioned_;" as, "I mentioned _peace_;"--"I mentioned
_war_;"--"I mentioned _slumber_." Any word which thus makes complete sense,
is, in that sense, a noun; because a noun is the _name_ of any thing which
can thus be mentioned _by a name_. Of English nouns, there are said to be
as many as twenty-five or thirty thousand.

3. How can we distinguish an ADJECTIVE? By putting a noun after it, to see
if the phrase will be sense. The noun _thing_, or its plural _things_, will
suit almost any adjective; as, A _good_ thing--A _bad_ thing--A _little_
thing--A _great_ thing--_Few_ things--_Many_ things--_Some_ things--_Fifty_
things. Of adjectives, there are perhaps nine or ten thousand.

4. How can we distinguish a PRONOUN? By observing that its noun repeated
makes the same sense. Thus, the example of the pronoun above, "The boy
loves _his_ book; _he_ has long lessons, and _he_ learns _them_
well,"--very clearly means, "The boy loves _the boy's_ book; _the boy_ has
long lessons, and _the boy_ learns _those lessons_ well." Here then, by a
disagreeable repetition of two nouns, we have the same sense without any
pronoun; but it is obvious that the pronouns form a better mode of
expression, because they prevent this awkward repetition. The different
pronouns in English are twenty-four; and their variations in declension are
thirty-two: so that the number of _words_ of this class, is fifty-six.

5. How can we distinguish a VERB? By observing that it is usually the
principal word in the sentence, and that without it there would be no
assertion. It is the word which expresses what is affirmed or said of the
person or thing mentioned; as, "Jesus _wept_."--"Felix _trembled_."--"The
just _shall live_ by faith." It will make sense when inflected with the
pronouns; as, I _write_, thou _writ'st_, he _writes_; we _write_, you
_write_, they _write_.--I _walk_, thou _walkst_, he _walks_; we _walk_, you
_walk_, they _walk_. Of English verbs, some recent grammarians compute the
number at eight thousand; others formerly reckoned them to be no more than
four thousand three hundred.[131]

6. How can we distinguish a PARTICIPLE? By observing its derivation from
the verb, and then placing it after _to be_ or _having_; as, To be
_writing_, Having _written_--To be _walking_, Having _walked_--To be
_weeping_, Having _wept_--To be _studying_, Having _studied_. Of simple
participles, there are twice as many as there are of simple or radical
verbs; and the possible compounds are not less numerous than the simples,
but they are much less frequently used.

7. How can we distinguish an ADVERB? By observing that it answers to the
question, _When? Where? How much?_ or _How_?--or serves to ask it; as, "He
spoke fluently." _How_ did he speak? _Fluently_. This word _fluently_ is
therefore an adverb: it tells _how_ he spoke. Of adverbs, there are about
two thousand six hundred; and four fifths of them end in _ly_.

8. How can we distinguish a CONJUNCTION? By observing what words or terms
it joins together, or to what other conjunction it corresponds; as,
"_Neither_ wealth _nor_ honor can heal a wounded conscience."--_Dillwyn's
Ref._, p. 16. Or, it may be well to learn the whole list at once: _And, as,
both, because, even, for, if, that, then, since, seeing, so: Or, nor,
either, neither, than, though, although, yet, but, except, whether, lest,
unless, save, provided, notwithstanding, whereas._ Of conjunctions, there
are these twenty-nine in common use, and a few others now obsolete.

9. How can we distinguish a PREPOSITION? By observing that it will govern
the pronoun _them_, and is not a verb or a participle; as, _About_
them--_above_ them--_across_ them--_after_ them--_against_ them--_amidst_
them--_among_ them--_around_ them--_at_ them--_Before_ them--_behind_
them--_below_ them--_beneath_ them--_beside_ them--_between_ them--_beyond_
them--_by_ them--_For_ them--_from_ them--_In_ them--_into_ them, &c. Of
the prepositions, there are about sixty now in common use.

10. How can we distinguish an INTERJECTION? By observing that it is an
independent word or sound, uttered earnestly, and very often written with
the note of exclamation; as _Lo! behold! look! see! hark! hush! hist! mum!_
Of interjections, there are sixty or seventy in common use, some of which
are seldom found in books.

OBS. 2.--An accurate knowledge of words, and of their changes, is
indispensable to a clear discernment of their proper combinations in
sentences, according to the usage of the learned. Etymology, therefore,
should be taught before syntax; but it should be chiefly taught by a direct
analysis of entire sentences, and those so plainly written that the
particular effect of every word may be clearly distinguished, and the
meaning, whether intrinsic or relative, be discovered with precision. The
parts of speech are usually named and defined with reference to the use of
words _in sentences_; and, as the same word not unfrequently stands for
several different parts of speech, the learner should be early taught to
make for himself the proper application of the foregoing distribution,
without recurrence to a dictionary, and without aid from his teacher. He
who is endeavouring to acquaint himself with the grammar of a language
which he can already read and understand, is placed in circumstances very
different from those which attend the school-boy who is just beginning to
construe some sentences of a foreign tongue. A frequent use of the
dictionary may facilitate the progress of the one, while it delays that of
the other. English grammar, it is hoped, may be learned directly from this
book alone, with better success than can be expected when the attention of
the learner is divided among several or many different works.

OBS. 3.--Dr. James P. Wilson, in speaking of the classification of words,
observes, "The _names_ of the distributive parts should either express,
distinctly, the influence, which each class produces on sentences; or some
other characteristic trait, by which the respective species of words may be
distinguished, without danger of confusion. It is at least probable, that
no distribution, sufficiently minute, can ever be made, of the parts of
speech, which shall be wholly free from all objection. Hasty innovations,
therefore, and crude conjectures, should not be permitted to disturb that
course of grammatical instruction, which has been advancing in melioration,
by the unremitting labours of thousands, through a series of
ages."--_Wilson's Essay on Gram._, p. 66. Again: "The _number_ of the parts
of speech may be reduced, or enlarged, at pleasure; and the rules of
syntax may be accommodated to such new arrangement. The best grammarians
find it difficult, in practice, to distinguish, in some instances, adverbs,
prepositions, and conjunctions; yet their effects are generally distinct.
This inconvenience should be submitted to, since a less comprehensive
distribution would be very unfavourable to a rational investigation of the
meaning of English sentences."--_Ib._, p. 68. Again: "_As_ and _so_ have
been also deemed substitutes, and resolved into other words. But if all
abbreviations are to be restored to their primitive parts of speech, there
will be a general revolution in the present systems of grammar; and the
various improvements, which have sprung from convenience, or necessity, and
been sanctioned by the usage of ancient times, must be retrenched, and
anarchy in letters universally prevail."--_Ib._, p. 114.

OBS. 4.--I have elsewhere sufficiently shown why _ten_ parts of speech are
to be preferred to any other number, in English; and whatever diversity of
opinion there may be, respecting the class to which some particular words
ought to be referred, I trust to make it obvious to good sense, that I have
seldom erred from the course which is most expedient. 1. _Articles_ are
used with appellative nouns, sometimes to denote emphatically the species,
but generally to designate individuals. 2. _Nouns_ stand in discourse for
persons, things, or abstract qualities. 3. _Adjectives_ commonly express
the concrete qualities of persons or things; but sometimes, their situation
or number. 4. _Pronouns_ are substitutes for names, or nouns; but they
sometimes represent sentences. 5. _Verbs_ assert, ask, or say something;
and, for the most part, express action or motion. 6. _Participles_ contain
the essential meaning of their verbs, and commonly denote action, and imply
time; but, apart from auxiliaries, they express that meaning either
adjectively or substantively, and not with assertion. 7. _Adverbs_ express
the circumstances of time, of place, of degree, and of manner; the _when_,
the _where_, the _how much_, and the _how_. 8. _Conjunctions_ connect,
sometimes words, and sometimes sentences, rarely phrases; and always show,
either the manner in which one sentence or one phrase depends upon an
other, or what connexion there is between two words that refer to a third.
9. _Prepositions_ express the correspondent relations of things to things,
of thoughts to thoughts, or of words to words; for these, if we speak
truly, must be all the same in expression. 10. _Interjections_ are either
natural sounds or exclamatory words, used independently, and serving
briefly to indicate the wishes or feelings of the speaker.

OBS. 5.--In the following passage, all the parts of speech are exemplified,
and each is pointed out by the figure placed over the word:--

1 2 9 2 5 1 2 3 9 2 1 2 6
"The power of speech is a faculty peculiar to man; a faculty bestowed
9 4 9 4 3 2 9 1 3 8 7 3
on him by his beneficent Creator, for the greatest and most excellent
2 8 10 7 7 5 4 5 4 9 1 3 9
uses; but, alas! how often do we pervert it to the worst of
purposes!"--See _Lowth's Gram._, p. 1.

In this sentence, which has been adopted by Murray, Churchill, and others,
we have the following parts of speech: 1. The words _the, a_, and _an_, are
articles. 2. The words _power, speech, faculty, man, faculty, Creator,
uses_, and _purposes_, are nouns. 3. The words _peculiar, beneficent,
greatest, excellent_, and _worst_, are adjectives. 4. The words _him, his,
we_, and _it_, are pronouns. 5. The words _is, do_, and _pervert_, are
verbs. 6. The word _bestowed_ is a participle. 7. The words _most, how_,
and _often_, are adverbs. 8. The words _and_ and _but_ are conjunctions. 9.
The words _of, on, to, by, for, to_, and _of_, are prepositions. 10. The
word _alas!_ is an interjection.

OBS. 6.--In speaking or writing, we of course bring together the different
parts of speech just as they happen to be needed. Though a sentence of
ordinary length usually embraces more than one half of them, it is not
often that we find them _all_ in so small a compass. Sentences sometimes
abound in words of a particular kind, and are quite destitute of those of
some other sort. The following examples will illustrate these remarks. (1)
ARTICLES: "_A_ square is less beautiful than _a_ circle; and _the_ reason
seems to be, that _the_ attention is divided among _the_ sides and angles
of _a_ square, whereas _the_ circumference of _a_ circle, being _a_ single
object, makes one entire impression."--_Kames, Elements of Criticism_, Vol.
i, p. 175. (2.) NOUNS: "A _number_ of _things_ destined for the same _use_,
such as _windows, chairs, spoons, buttons_, cannot be too uniform; for,
supposing their _figure_ to be good, _utility_ requires
_uniformity_."--_Ib._, i, 176. (3.) ADJECTIVES: "Hence nothing _just,
proper, decent, beautiful, proportioned_, or _grand_, is
_risible_."--_Ib._, i, 229. (4.) PRONOUNS: "_I_ must entreat the courteous
reader to suspend _his_ curiosity, and rather to consider _what_ is written
than _who they_ are _that_ write it."--_Addison, Spect._, No. 556. (5.)
VERBS: "The least consideration _will inform_ us how easy it _is_ to _put_
an ill-natured construction upon a word; and what perverse turns and
expressions _spring_ from an evil temper. Nothing _can be explained_ to him
who _will_ not _understand_, nor _will_ any thing _appear_ right to the
unreasonable."--_Cecil_. (6.) PARTICIPLES: "The Scriptures are an
authoritative voice, _reproving, instructing_, and _warning_ the world; and
_declaring_ the only means _ordained_ and _provided for escaping_ the awful
penalties of sin."--_G. B._ (7.) ADVERBS: "The light of Scripture shines
_steadily, purely, benignly, certainly, superlatively_."--_Dr. S. H. Cox._
(8.) CONJUNCTIONS: "Quietness and silence _both_ become _and_ befriend
religious exercises. Clamour _and_ violence often hinder, _but_ never
further, the work of God."--_Henry's Exposition._ (9.) PREPOSITIONS: "He
has kept _among us_, in times of peace, standing armies, _without_ the
consent of our legislatures."--_Dec. of Indep._ (10.) INTERJECTIONS: "_Oh_,
my dear strong-box! _Oh_, my lost guineas! _Oh_, poor, ruined, beggared old
man! _Boo! hoo! hoo!_"--MOLIERE: _Burgh's Art of Speaking_, p. 266.


_Parsing_ is the resolving or explaining of a sentence, or of some related
word or words, according to the definitions and rules of grammar. Parsing
is to grammar what ciphering is to arithmetic.

A _Praxis_ is a method of exercise, or a form of grammatical resolution,
showing the learner how to proceed. The word is Greek, and literally
signifies action, doing, practice, or formal use.


_In the first Praxis, it is required of the pupil--merely to distinguish
and define the different parts of speech.

The definitions to be given in the First Praxis, are one, and only one, for
each word, or part of speech. Thus_:--


"The patient ox submits to the yoke, and meekly performs the labour
required of him."

_The_ is an article. 1.[132] An article is the word _the, an_, or _a_,
which we put before nouns to limit their signification.

_Patient_ is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or
pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

_Ox_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing, that
can be known or mentioned.

_Submits_ is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies _to be, to act_, or
_to be acted upon._

_To_ is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some
relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally
placed before a noun or a pronoun.

_The_ is an article. 1. An article is the word _the, an_, or _a_, which we
put before nouns to limit their signification.

_Yoke_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing,
that can be known or mentioned.

_And_ is a conjunction. 1. A conjunction is a word used to connect words or
sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so

_Meekly_ is an adverb. 1. An adverb is a word added to a verb, a
participle, an adjective, or an other adverb; and generally expresses time,
place, degree, or manner.

_Performs_ is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies _to be, to act_,
or _to be acted upon._

_The_ is an article. 1. An article is the word _the, an_, or _a_, which we
put before nouns to limit their signification.

_Labour_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing,
that can be known or mentioned.

_Required_ is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb,
participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and
is generally formed by adding _ing, d_, or _ed_, to the verb.

_Of_ is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some
relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally
placed before a noun or a pronoun.

_Him_ is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun.


"A nimble tongue often trips. The rule of the tongue is a great attainment.
The language of truth is direct and plain. Truth is never evasive. Flattery
is the food of vanity. A virtuous mind loathes flattery. Vain persons are
an easy prey to parasites. Vanity easily mistakes sneers for smiles. The
smiles of the world are deceitful. True friendship hath eternal views. A
faithful friend is invaluable. Constancy in friendship denotes a generous
mind. Adversity is the criterion of friendship. Love and fidelity are
inseparable. Few know the value of a friend till they lose him. Justice is
the first of all moral virtues. Let justice hold, and mercy turn, the
scale. A judge is guilty who connives at guilt. Justice delayed is little
better than justice denied. Vice is the deformity of man. Virtue is a
source of constant cheerfulness. One vice is more expensive than many
virtues. Wisdom, though serious, is never sullen. Youth is the season of
improvement."--_Dillwyn's Reflections_, pp. 4-27.

"Oh! my ill-chang'd condition! oh, my fate!
Did I lose heaven for this?"--_Cowley's Davideis._


"So prone is man to society, and so happy in it, that, to relish perpetual
solitude, one must be an angel or a brute. In a solitary state, no creature
is more timid than man; in society, none more bold. The number of offenders
lessens the disgrace of the crime; for a common reproach is no reproach. A
man is more unhappy in reproaching himself when guilty, than in being
reproached by others when innocent. The pains of the mind are harder to
bear than those of the body. Hope, in this mixed state of good and ill, is
a blessing from heaven: the gift of prescience would be a curse. The first
step towards vice, is to make a mystery of what is innocent: whoever loves
to hide, will soon or late have reason to hide. A man who gives his
children a habit of industry, provides for them better than by giving them
a stock of money. Our good and evil proceed from ourselves: death appeared
terrible to Cicero, indifferent to Socrates, desirable to Cato."--Home's
Art of Thinking, pp. 26-53.

"O thou most high transcendent gift of age!
Youth from its folly thus to disengage."--_Denham's Age_.


"Calm was the day, and the scene, delightful. We may expect a calm after a
storm. To prevent passion is easier than to calm it."--_Murray's Ex._, p.
5. "Better is a little with content, than a great deal with anxiety. A
little attention will rectify some errors. Unthinking persons care little
for the future."--See _ib._ "Still waters are commonly deepest. He laboured
to still the tumult. Though he is out of danger, he is still
afraid."--_Ib._ "Damp air is unwholesome. Guilt often casts a damp over our
sprightliest hours. Soft bodies damp the sound much more than hard
ones."--_Ib._ "The hail was very destructive. Hail, virtue! source of every
good. We hail you as friends."--_Ib._, p. 6. "Much money makes no man
happy. Think much, and speak little. He has seen much of the world."--See
_ib._ "Every being loves its like. We must make a like space between the
lines. Behave like men. We are apt to like pernicious company."--_Ib._
"Give me more love, or more disdain."--_Carew_. "He loved Rachel more than
Leah."--_Genesis_. "But how much that more is; he hath no distinct

"And my more having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more."--_Shakspeare_.


An Article is the word _the, an_, or _a_, which we put before nouns to
limit their signification: as, _The_ air, _the_ stars; _an_ island, _a_

_An_ and _a_, being equivalent in meaning, are commonly reckoned _one and
the same_ article. _An_ is used in preference to _a_, whenever the
following word begins with a vowel sound; as, _An_ art, _an_ end, _an_
heir, _an_ inch, _an_ ounce, _an_ hour, _an_ urn. _A_ is used in preference
to _an_, whenever the following word begins with a consonant sound; as, _A_
man, _a_ house, _a_ wonder, _a_ one, _a_ yew, _a_ use, _a_ ewer. Thus the
consonant sounds of _w_ and _y_, even when expressed by other letters,
require _a_ and not _an_ before them.

A common noun, when taken in its _widest sense_, usually admits no article:
as, "A candid temper is proper for _man_; that is, for _all

In English, nouns without any article, or other definitive, are often used
in a sense _indefinitely partitive_: as, "He took _bread_, and gave
thanks."--_Acts_. That is, "_some bread_." "To buy _food_ are thy servants
come."--_Genesis_. That is, "_some food_." "There are _fishes_ that have
wings, and are not strangers to the airy region."--_Locke's Essay_, p.
322. That is, "_some fishes_."

"Words in which nothing but the _mere being_ of any thing is implied, are
used without articles: as, 'This is not _beer_, but _water_;' 'This is not
_brass_, but _steel_.'"--See _Dr. Johnson's Gram._, p. 5.

_An_ or _a_ before the genus, may refer to _a whole species_; and _the_
before the species, may denote that whole species emphatically: as, "_A
certain bird_ is termed _the cuckoo_, from _the sound_ which it

But _an_ or _a_ is commonly used to denote individuals as _unknown_, or as
not specially distinguished from others: as, "I see _an object_ pass by,
which I never saw till now; and I say, 'There goes _a beggar_ with _a long

And _the_ is commonly used to denote individuals as _known_, or as
specially distinguished from others: as, "_The man_ departs, and returns a
week after; and I say, 'There goes _the beggar_ with _the long

The article _the_ is applied to nouns of cither number: as, "_The_ man,
_the_ men;" "_The_ good boy, _the_ good boys."

_The_ is commonly required before adjectives that are used by ellipsis as
nouns: as, "_The young_ are slaves to novelty; _the old_, to custom."--_Ld.

The article _an_ or _a_ implies _unity_, or _one_, and of course belongs to
nouns of the singular number only; as, _A_ man,--_An_ old man,--_A_ good

_An_ or _a_, like _one_, sometimes gives a collective meaning to an
adjective of number, when the noun following is plural; as, _A few days,--A
hundred men,--One hundred pounds sterling_.

Articles should be _inserted_ as often as the sense requires them; as,
"Repeat the preterit and [_the_] perfect participle of the verb _to
abide_."--Error in _Merchant's American School Grammar_, p. 66.

_Needless articles_ should be omitted; they seldom fail to pervert the
sense: as, "_The_ Rhine, _the_ Danube, _the_ Tanais, _the_ Po, _the_ Wolga,
_the_ Ganges, like many hundreds of similar _names_, rose not from any
obscure jargon or irrational dialect."--Error in _Dr. Murray's Hist. of
Europ. Lang._, Vol. i, p. 327.

The articles can seldom be put _one for the other_, without gross
impropriety; and of course either is to be preferred to the other, as it
better suits the sense: as, "_The_ violation of this rule never fails to
hurt and displease _a_ reader."--Error in _Blair's Lectures_, p. 107. Say,
"_A_ violation of this rule never fails to displease _the_ reader."


The articles are distinguished as the _definite_ and the _indefinite_.

I. The _definite article_ is _the_, which denotes some particular thing or
things; as, _The_ boy, _the_ oranges.

II. The _indefinite article_ is _an_ or _a_, which denotes one thing of a
kind, but not any particular one; as, _A_ boy, _an_ orange.


The English articles have no modifications, except that _an_ is shortened
into _a_ before the sound of a consonant; as, "In _an_ epic poem, or _a_
poem upon _an_ elevated subject, _a_ writer ought to avoid raising _a_
simile on _a_ low image."--_Ld. Kames._


OBS. 1.--No other words are so often employed as the articles. And, by
reason of the various and very frequent occasions on which these
definitives are required, no words are oftener misapplied; none, oftener
omitted or inserted erroneously. I shall therefore copiously illustrate
both their _uses_ and their _abuses_; with the hope that every reader of
this volume will think it worth his while to gain that knowledge which is
requisite to the true use of these small but important words. Some parts of
the explanation, however, must be deferred till we come to Syntax.

OBS. 2.--With the attempts of Tooke, Dalton, Webster, Cardell, Fowle,
Wells,[134] Weld, Butler Frazee, Perley, Mulligan, Pinneo, S. S. Greene,
and other writers, to _degrade_ the article from its ancient rank among the
parts of speech, no judicious reader, duly acquainted with the subject,
can, I think, be well pleased. An article is not properly an "_adjective_,"
as they would have it to be; but it is a word of a peculiar sort--a
_customary index_ to the sense of nouns. It serves not merely to show the
extent of signification, in which nouns are to be taken, but is often the
principal, and sometimes the only mark, by which a word is known to have
the sense and construction of a noun. There is just as much reason to deny
and degrade the Greek or French article, (or that of any other language,)
as the English; and, if those who are so zealous to reform our _the, an_,
and _a_ into _adjectives_, cared at all to appear consistent in the view of
Comparative or General Grammar, they would either set about a wider
reformation or back out soon from the pettiness of this.

OBS. 3.--First let it be understood, that _an_ or _a_ is nearly equivalent
in meaning to the numeral adjective _one_, but less emphatic; and that
_the_ is nearly equivalent in meaning to the pronominal adjective _that_ or
_those_, but less emphatic. On _some_ occasions, these adjectives may well
be substituted for the articles; but _not generally_. If the articles were
generally equivalent to adjectives, or even if they were generally _like_
them, they would _be_ adjectives; but, that adjectives may occasionally
supply their places, is no argument at all for confounding the two parts of
speech. Distinctions must be made, where differences exist; and, that _a,
an_, and _the_, do differ considerably from the other words which they most
resemble, is shown even by some who judge "the distinctive name of
_article_ to be useless." See _Crombie's Treatise_, Chap. 2. The articles
therefore must be distinguished, not only from adjectives, but from each
other. For, though both are _articles_, each is an index _sui generis_; the
one definite, the other indefinite. And as the words _that_ and _one_
cannot often be interchanged without a difference of meaning, so the
definite article and the indefinite are seldom, if ever, interchangeable.
To put one for the other, is therefore, in general, to put one _meaning_
for an other: "_A_ daughter of _a_ poor man"--"_The_ daughter of _the_ poor
man"--"_A_ daughter of _the_ poor man"--and, "_The_ daughter of _a_ poor
man," are four phrases which certainly have four different and distinct
significations. This difference between the two articles may be further
illustrated by the following example: "That Jesus was _a_ prophet sent from
God, is one proposition; that Jesus was _the_ prophet, _the_ Messiah, is an
other; and, though he certainly was both _a_ prophet and _the_ prophet, yet
_the_ foundations of _the_ proof of these propositions are separate and
distinct."--_Watson's Apology_, p. 105.

OBS. 4.--Common nouns are, for the most part, names of large classes of
objects; and, though what really constitutes the species must always be
found entire in every individual, the several objects thus arranged under
one general name or idea, are in most instances susceptible of such a
numerical distribution as gives rise to an other form of the noun,
expressive of plurality; as, _horse, horses_. Proper nouns in their
ordinary application, are, for the most part, names of particular
individuals; and as there is no plurality to a particular idea, or to an
individual person or thing as distinguished from all others, so there is in
general none to this class of nouns; and no room for _further restriction
by articles_. But we sometimes divert such nouns from their usual
signification, and consequently employ them with articles or in the plural
form; as, "I endeavoured to retain it nakedly in my mind, without regarding
whether I had it from _an Aristotle_ or _a Zoilus, a Newton_ or _a
Descartes_."--_Churchill's Gram._, Pref., p. 8. "It is not enough to have
_Vitruviuses_, we must also have _Augustuses_ to employ them."--_Bicknell's
Gram._, Part ii, p. 61.

"_A Daniel_ come to judgment! yea, _a Daniel_!"
--SHAK. _Shylock_.

"Great Homer, in _th' Achilles_, whom he drew,
Sets not that one sole Person in our View."
--_Brightland's Gram._, p. 183.

OBS. 5.--The article _an_ or _a_ usually denotes one out of several or
many; one of a sort of which there are more; any one of that name, no
matter which. Hence its effect upon a particular name, or proper noun, is
_directly the reverse_ of that which it has upon a common noun. It varies
and fixes the meaning of both; but while it restricts that of the latter,
it enlarges that of the former. It reduces the general idea of the common
noun to any one individual of the class: as, "_A man_;" that is, "_One
man_, or _any man_." On the contrary, it extends the particular idea of the
proper noun, and makes the word significant of a class, by supposing others
to whom it will apply: as, "_A Nero_;" that is, "_Any Nero_, or _any cruel
tyrant_." Sometimes, however, this article before a proper name, seems to
leave the idea still particular; but, if it really does so, the propriety
of using it may be doubted: as, "No, not by _a John the Baptist_ risen from
the dead."--_Henry's Expos., Mark_, vi. "It was not solely owing to the
madness and depravity of _a Tiberius, a Caligula, a Nero_, or _a
Caracalla_, that a cruel and sanguinary spirit, in their day, was so
universal."--_M'Ilvaine's Evid._, p. 398.

OBS. 6.--With the definite article, the noun is applied, sometimes
specifically, sometimes individually, but always _definitely_, always
distinctively. This article is demonstrative. It marks either the
particular individual, or the particular species,--or, (if the noun be
plural,) some particular individuals of the species,--as being
distinguished from all others. It sometimes refers to a thing as having
been previously mentioned; sometimes presumes upon the hearer's familiarity
with the thing; and sometimes indicates a limitation which is made by
subsequent words connected with the noun. Such is the import of this
article, that with it the singular number of the noun is often more
comprehensive, and at the same time more specific, than the plural. Thus,
if I say, "_The horse_ is a noble animal," without otherwise intimating
that I speak of some particular horse, the sentence will be understood to
embrace collectively _that species_ of animal; and I shall be thought to
mean, "Horses are noble animals." But if I say, "_The horses_ are noble
animals," I use an expression so much more limited, as to include only a
few; it must mean some particular horses, which I distinguish from all the
rest of the species. Such limitations should be made, whenever there is
occasion for them; but needless restrictions displease the imagination, and
ought to be avoided; because the mind naturally delights in terms as
comprehensive as they may be, if also specific. Lindley Murray, though not
uniform in his practice respecting this, seems to have thought it necessary
to use the plural in many sentences in which I should decidedly prefer the
singular; as, "That _the learners_ may have no doubts."--_Murray's Octavo
Gram._, Vol. i, p. 81. "The business will not be tedious to _the
scholars_."--_Ib._, 81. "For the information of _the learners_."--_Ib._,
81. "It may afford instruction to _the learners_."--_Ib._, 110. "That this
is the case, _the learners_ will perceive by the following
examples."--_Ib._, 326. "Some knowledge of it appears to be indispensable
to _the scholars_."--_Ib._, 335.

OBS. 7.--Proper names of a plural form and signification, are almost always
preceded by the definite article; as, "_The Wesleys_,"--"_The twelve
Caesars_,"--"_All the Howards_." So the names of particular nations, tribes,
and sects; as, _The Romans, the Jews, the Levites, the Stoics_. Likewise
the plural names of mountains; as, _The Alps, the Apennines, the Pyrenees,
the Andes_. Of plural names like these, and especially of such as designate
tribes and sects, there is a very great number. Like other proper names,
they must be distinguished from the ordinary words of the language, and
accordingly they are always written with capitals; but they partake so
largely of the nature of common nouns, that it seems doubtful to which
class they most properly belong. Hence they not only admit, but require the
article; while most other proper names are so definite in themselves, that
the article, if put before them, would be needless, and therefore improper.

"_Nash, Rutledge, Jefferson_, in council great,
And _Jay_, and _Laurens_ oped the rolls of fate;
_The Livingstons_, fair freedoms generous band,
_The Lees, the Houstons_, fathers of the land."--_Barlow_.

OBS. 8.--In prose, the definite article is always used before names of
rivers, unless the word _river_, be added; as, _The Delaware, the Hudson,
the Connecticut_. But if the word _river_ be added, the article becomes
needless; as, _Delaware river, Hudson river, Connecticut river_. Yet there
seems to be no impropriety in using both; as, _The Delaware river, the
Hudson river, the Connecticut river_. And if the common noun be placed
before the proper name, the article is again necessary; as, _The river
Delaware, the river Hudson, the river Connecticut_. In the first form of
expression, however, the article has not usually been resolved by
grammarians as relating to the proper name; but these examples, and others
of a similar character, have been supposed elliptical: as, "_The_ [river]
_Potomac_"--"_The_ [ship] _Constitution_,"--"_The_ [steamboat] _Fulton_."
Upon this supposition, the words in the first and fourth forms are to be
parsed alike; the article relating to the common noun, expressed or
understood, and the proper noun being in apposition with the appellative.
But in the second form, the apposition is reversed; and, in the third, the
proper name appears to be taken adjectively. Without the article, some
names of rivers could not be understood; as,

"No more _the Varus_ and _the Atax_ feel
The lordly burden of the Latian keel."--_Rowe's Lucan_, B. i. l. 722.

OBS. 9.--The definite article is often used by way of eminence, to
distinguish some particular individual emphatically, or to apply to him
some characteristic name or quality: as, "_The Stagirite_,"--that is,
Aristotle; "_The Psalmist_," that is, David; "_Alexander the Great_,"--that
is, (perhaps,) Alexander the Great _Monarch_, or Great _Hero_. So,
sometimes, when the phrase relates to a collective body of men: as, "_The
Honourable, the Legislature_,"--"_The Honourable, the Senate_;"--that is,
"The Honourable _Body_, the Legislature," &c. A similar application of the
article in the following sentences, makes a most beautiful and expressive
form of compliment: "These are the sacred feelings of thy heart, O
Lyttleton, _the friend_."--_Thomson_. "The pride of swains Palemon was,
_the generous_ and _the rich_."--_Id._ In this last example, the noun _man_
is understood after "_generous_," and again after "_rich_;" for, the
article being an index to the noun, I conceive it to be improper ever to
construe two articles as having reference to one unrepeated word. Dr.
Priestley says, "We sometimes _repeat the article_, when the epithet
precedes the substantive; as He was met by _the_ worshipful _the_
magistrates."--_Gram._, p. 148. It is true, we occasionally meet with such
fulsome phraseology as this; but the question is, how is it to be
explained? I imagine that the word _personages_, or something equivalent,
must be understood after _worshipful_, and that the Doctor ought to have
inserted a comma there.

OBS. 10.--In Greek, there is no article corresponding to our _an_ or _a_,
consequently _man_ and _a man_ are rendered alike; the word, [Greek:
anthropos] may mean either. See, in the original, these texts: "There was
_a man_ sent from God," (_John_, i, 6,) and, "What is _man_, that thou art
mindful of him?"--_Heb._, ii, 6. So of other nouns. But the _definite_
article of that language, which is exactly equivalent to our _the_, is a
declinable word, making no small figure in grammar. It is varied by
numbers, genders, and cases; so that it assumes more than twenty different
forms, and becomes susceptible of six and thirty different ways of
_agreement_. But this article in English is perfectly simple, being
entirely destitute of grammatical modifications, and consequently incapable
of any form of grammatical agreement or disagreement--a circumstance of
which many of our grammarians seem to be ignorant; since they prescribe a
rule, wherein they say, it "_agrees_," "_may agree_," or "_must agree_,"
with its noun. Nor has the indefinite article any variation of form, except
the change from _an_ to _a_, which has been made for the sake of brevity or

OBS. 11.--As _an_ or _a_ conveys the idea of unity, of course it applies to
no other than nouns of the singular number. _An eagle_ is one eagle, and
the plural word _eagles_ denotes more than one; but what could possibly be
meant by "_ans eagles_," if such a phrase were invented? Harris very
strangely says, "The Greeks have no article correspondent to _an_ or _a_,
but _supply its place by a NEGATION of their article_. And even in English,
_where_ the article _a_ cannot be used, as _in_ plurals, _its force is
exprest by the same_ NEGATION."--_Harris's Hermes_, p. 218. What a sample
of grammar is this! Besides several minor faults, we have here a
_nonentity_, a NEGATION _of the Greek article_, made to occupy a place in
language, and to express _force!_ The force of what? Of a plural _an_ or
_a,!_ of such a word as _ans_ or _aes!_ The error of the first of these
sentences, Dr. Blair has copied entire into his eighth lecture.

OBS. 12.--The following rules of agreement, though found in many English
grammars, are not only objectionable with respect to the sense intended,
but so badly written as to be scarcely intelligible in any sense: 1. "The
article _a_ or _an agrees_ with nouns _in_ the singular number _only,
individually, or collectively_: as, A Christian, an infidel, a score, a
thousand." 2. "The definite article _the_ may _agree_ with nouns _in the
singular_ AND[135] _plural number_: as, The garden, the houses, the
stars."--_Murray's Gram._, 8vo, p. 170; 12mo, 139; _Fish's Murray_, 98; _a
Teacher's_, 45. For the purpose of preventing any erroneous construction of
the articles, these rules are utterly useless; and for the purpose of
syntactical parsing, or the grammatical resolution of this part of speech,
they are awkward and inconvenient. The syntax of the articles may be much
better expressed in this manner: "_Articles relate to the nouns which they
limit_," for, in English, the bearing of the articles upon other words is
properly that of simple _relation_, or dependence, according to the sense,
and not that of _agreement_, not a similarity of distinctive modifications.

OBS. 13.--Among all the works of earlier grammarians, I have never yet
found a book which taught correctly the _application_ of the two forms of
the indefinite article _an_ or _a_. Murray, contrary to Johnson and
Webster, considers _a_ to be the original word, and _an_ the euphonic
derivative. He says: "_A_ becomes _an_ before a vowel, and before a silent
_h_. But if _the h be_ sounded, _the a only_ is to be used."--_Murray's
Gram._, p. 31. To this he adds, in a marginal note, "_A instead of an_ is
_now_ used before words beginning with _u_ long. It is used before _one.
An_ must be used before _words_ WHERE _the h_ is not silent, if the accent
is on the second syllable; as, _an heroic action, an historical
account_."--_Ib._ This explanation, clumsy as it is, in the whole
conception; broken, prolix, deficient, and inaccurate as it is, both in
style and doctrine; has been copied and copied from grammar to grammar, as
if no one could possibly better it. Besides several other faults, it
contains a palpable misuse of the article itself: "_the h_" which is
specified in the second and fifth sentences, is the "_silent h_" of the
first sentence; and this inaccurate specification gives us the two obvious
solecisms of supposing, "_if the [silent] h be sounded_," and of _locating
"words WHERE the [silent] h is not silent!_" In the word _humour_, and its
derivatives, the _h_ is silent, by all authority except Webster's; and yet
these words require _a_ and not _an_ before them.

OBS. 14.--It is the _sound_ only, that governs the form of the article, and
not the _letter_ itself; as, "Those which admit of the regular form, are
marked with _an_ R."--_Murray's Gram._, p. 101. "_A_ heroic poem, written
by Virgil."--_Webster's Dict._ "Every poem of the kind has no doubt _a_
historical groundwork."--_Philological Museum_, Vol. i, p. 457. "A poet
must be _a_ naturalist and _a_ historian."--_Coleridge's Introduction_, p.
111. Before _h_ in an unaccented syllable, either form of the article may
be used without offence to the ear; and either may be made to appear
preferable to the other, by merely aspirating the letter in a greater or
less degree. But as the _h_, though ever so feebly aspirated has
_something_ of a consonant sound, I incline to think the article in this
case ought to conform to the general principle: as, "_A historical_
introduction has, generally, _a happy_ effect to rouse attention."--
_Blair's Rhet._, p. 311. "He who would write heroic poems, should make his
whole life _a heroic_ poem."--See _Life of Schiller_, p. 56. Within two
lines of this quotation, the biographer speaks of "_an_ heroic multitude!"
The suppression of the sound of _h_ being with Englishmen a very common
fault in pronunciation, it is not desirable to increase the error, by using
a form of the article which naturally leads to it. "How often do we hear
_an air_ metamorphosed into _a hair_, a _hat_ into a _gnat_, and a _hero_
into _a Nero!_"--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 205. Thus: "Neither of them had
that bold and adventurous ambition which makes a conqueror _an
hero._"--_Bolingbroke, on History_, p. 174.

OBS. 15.--Some later grammarians are still more faulty than Murray, in
their rules for the application of _an_ or _a_. Thus Sanborn: "The vowels
are _a, e, i, o_, and _u_. _An_ should be used before words beginning with
_any of these letters_, or with a silent _h._"--_Analytical Gram._, p. 11.
"_An_ is used before words beginning with _u_ long or with _h not silent_,
when the accent is on the second syllable; as, _an united_ people, _an
historical_ account, _an heroic_ action."--_Ib._, p. 85. "_A_ is used when
the next word begins with a _consonant; an_, when it begins with a _vowel_
or silent _h_."--_lb._, p. 129. If these rules were believed and followed,
they would greatly multiply errors.

OBS. 16.--Whether the word _a_ has been formed from _an_, or _an_ from _a_,
is a disputed point--or rather, a point on which our grammarians dogmatize
differently. This, if it be worth the search, must be settled by consulting
some genuine writings of the twelfth century. In the pure Saxon of an
earlier date, the words _seldom occur_; and in that ancient dialect _an_, I
believe, is used only as a declinable numerical adjective, and _a_ only as
a preposition. In the thirteenth century, both forms were in common use, in
the sense now given them, as may be seen in the writings of Robert of
Gloucester; though some writers of a much later date--or, at any rate,
_one_, the celebrated Gawin Douglas, a Scottish bishop, who died of the
plague in London, in 1522--constantly wrote _ane_ for both _an_ and _a_:

"Be not ouer studyous to spy _ane_ mote in myn E,
That in gour awin _ane_ ferrye bot can not se."
--_Tooke's Diversions_, Vol. i, p. 124.

"_Ane_ uthir mache to him was socht and sperit;
Bot thare was _nane_ of all the rout that sterit."
--_Ib._, Vol. i, p. 160.

OBS. 17.--This, however, was a _Scotticism_; as is also the use of _ae_ for
_a_: Gower and Chaucer used _an_ and _a_ as we now use them. The Rev. J. M.
M'Culloch, in an English grammar published lately in Edinburgh, says, "_A_
and _an_ were originally _ae_ and _ane_, and were probably used at first
simply to convey the idea of unity; as, _ae_ man, _ane_ ox."--_Manual of E.
Gram._, p. 30. For this idea, and indeed for a great part of his book, he
is indebted to Dr. Crombie; who says, "To signify unity, or one of a class,
our forefathers employed _ae_ or _ane_; as, _ae_ man, _ane_ ox."--_Treatise
on Etym. and Synt._, p. 53. These authors, like Webster, will have _a_ and
_an_ to be _adjectives_. Dr. Johnson says, "_A_, an _article_ set before
nouns of the singular number; as, _a_ man, _a_ tree. This article has no
plural signification. Before a word beginning with a vowel, it is written
_an_; as, _an_ ox, _an_ egg; of which _a_ is the contraction."--_Quarto
Dict., w. A_.

OBS. 18.--Dr. Webster says, "_A_ is also an abbreviation of the Saxon _an_
or _ane, one_, used before words beginning with an articulation; as, _a_
table, _instead_ of _an_ table, or one table. _This is a modern change_;
for, in Saxon, _an_ was used before articulations as well as vowels; as,
_an tid, a_ time, _an gear_, a year."--_Webster's Octavo Dict., w. A_. A
modern change, indeed! By his own showing in other works, it was made long
before the English language existed! He says, "_An_, therefore, is the
original English adjective or ordinal number _one_; and was never written
_a_ until after the Conquest."--_Webster's Philos. Gram._, p. 20; _Improved
Gram._, 14. "_The Conquest_," means the Norman Conquest, in 1066; but
English was not written till the thirteenth century. This author has long
been idly contending, that _an_ or _a_ is not an _article_, but an
_adjective_; and that it is not properly distinguished by the term
"_indefinite_." Murray has answered him well enough, but he will not be
convinced.[136] See _Murray's Gram._, pp. 34 and 35. If _a_ and _one_ were
equal, we could not say, "_Such a one_,"--"_What a one_,"--"_Many a
one_,"--"_This one thing_;" and surely these are all good English, though
_a_ and _one_ here admit no interchange. Nay, _a_ is sometimes found before
_one_ when the latter is used adjectively; as, "There is no record in Holy
Writ of the institution of _a one_ all-controlling monarchy."--_Supremacy
of the Pope Disproved_, p. 9. "If not to _a one_ Sole Arbiter."--_Ib._, p.

OBS. 19.--_An_ is sometimes a _conjunction_, signifying _if_; as, "Nay,
_an_ thou'lt mouthe, I'll rant as well as thou."--_Shak._ "_An_ I have not
ballads made on you all, and sung to fifty tunes, may a cup of sack be my
poison."--_Id., Falstaff_. "But, _an_ it were to do again, I should write
again."--_Lord Byron's Letters_. "But _an_ it be a long part, I can't
remember it."--SHAKSPEARE: _Burgh's Speaker_, p. 136.

OBS. 20.--In the New Testament, we meet with several such expressions as
the following: "And his disciples were _an hungred_."--SCOTT'S BIBLE:
_Matt_, xii, 1. "When he was _an hungred._"--_Ib._ xii, 3. "When he had
need and was _an hungered._"--_Ib. Mark_, ii, 25. Alger, the improver of
Murray's Grammar, and editor of the Pronouncing Bible, taking this _an_ to
be the indefinite article, and perceiving that the _h_ is sounded in
_hungered_, changed the particle to _a_ in all these passages; as, "And his
disciples were _a hungered_." But what sense he thought he had made of the
sacred record, I know not. The Greek text, rendered word for word, is
simply this: "_And his disciples hungered_." And that the sentences above,
taken either way, are _not good English_, must be obvious to every
intelligent reader. _An_, as I apprehend, is here a mere _prefix_, which
has somehow been mistaken in form, and erroneously disjoined from the
following word. If so, the correction ought to be made after the fashion of
the following passage from Bishop M'Ilvaine: "On a certain occasion, our
Saviour was followed by five thousand men, into a desert place, where they
were _enhungered_."--_Lectures on Christianity_, p. 210.

OBS. 21.--The word _a_, when it does not denote one thing of a kind, is not
an article, but a genuine _preposition_; being probably the same as the
French a, signifying _to, at, on, in_, or _of_: as, "Who hath it? He that
died _a_ Wednesday."--_Shak_. That is, _on_ Wednesday. So sometimes before
plurals; as, "He carves _a_ Sundays."--_Swift_. That is, _on_ Sundays. "He
is let out _a_ nights."--_Id._ That is, _on_ nights--like the following
example: "A pack of rascals that walk the streets _on_ nights."--_Id._ "He
will knap the spears _a_ pieces with his teeth."--_More's Antid._ That is,
_in_ pieces, or _to_ pieces. So in the compound word _now-a-days_, where it
means _on_; and in the proper names, Thomas _a_ Becket, Thomas _a_ Kempis,
Anthony _a_ Wood, where it means _at_ or _of_.

"Bot certainly the daisit blude _now on dayis_
Waxis dolf and dull throw myne unwieldy age."--_Douglas._

OBS. 22.--As a preposition, _a_ has now most generally become a _prefix_,
or what the grammarians call an inseparable preposition; as in _abed_, in
bed; _aboard_, on board; _abroad_, at large; _afire_, on fire; _afore_, in
front; _afoul_, in contact; _aloft_, on high; _aloud_, with loudness;
_amain_, at main strength; _amidst_, in the midst; _akin_, of kin; _ajar_,
unfastened; _ahead_, onward; _afield_, to the field; _alee_, to the
leeward; _anew_, of new, with renewal. "_A-nights_, he was in the practice
of sleeping, &c.; but _a-days_ he kept looking on the barren ocean,
shedding tears."--_Dr. Murray's Hist. of Europ. Lang._, Vol. ii, p. 162.
Compounds of this kind, in most instances, follow verbs, and are
consequently reckoned adverbs; as, _To go astray,--To turn aside,--To soar
aloft,--To fall asleep_. But sometimes the antecedent term is a noun or a
pronoun, and then they are as clearly adjectives; as, "Imagination is like
to work better upon sleeping men, than _men awake_."--_Lord Bacon._ "_Man
alive_, did you ever make a _hornet afraid_, or catch a _weasel asleep?_"
And sometimes the compound governs a noun or a pronoun after it, and then
it is a preposition; as, "A bridge is laid _across_ a river."--_Webster's
Dict._, "To break his bridge _athwart_ the Hellespont."--_Bacon's Essays._

"Where Ufens glides _along_ the lowly lands,
Or the black water of Pomptina stands."--_Dryden._

OBS. 23.--In several phrases, not yet to be accounted obsolete, this old
preposition _a_ still retains its place as a separate word; and none have
been more perplexing to superficial grammarians, than those which are
formed by using it before participles in _ing_; in which instances, the
participles are in fact governed by it: for nothing is more common in our
language, than for participles of this form to be governed by
prepositions. For example, "You have set the cask _a_ leaking," and, "You
have set the cask _to_ leaking," are exactly equivalent, both in meaning
and construction. "Forty and six years was this temple _in_
building."--_John, ii, 20._ _Building_ is not here a noun, but a
participle; and _in_ is here better than _a_, only because the phrase, _a
building_, might be taken for an article and a noun, meaning _an
edifice_.[137] Yet, in almost all cases, other prepositions are, I think,
to be preferred to _a_, if others equivalent to it can be found. Examples:
"Lastly, they go about to apologize for the long time their book hath been
_a coming_ out:" i.e., _in_ coming out.--_Barclay's Works_, Vol. iii, p.
179. "And, for want of reason, he falls _a railing_::" i.e., _to_
railing.--_Ib._, iii, 357. "That the soul should be this moment busy _a
thinking_:" i.e., _at_ or _in_ thinking.--_Locke's Essay_, p. 78. "Which,
once set _a going_, continue in the same steps:" i.e., _to_ going.--_Ib._,
p. 284. "Those who contend for four per cent, have set men's mouths _a
watering_ for money:" i.e., _to_ watering.--LOCKE: _in Johnson's Dict._ "An
other falls _a ringing_ a Pescennius Niger:" i.e., _to_ ringing.--ADDISON:
_ib._ "At least to set others _a thinking_ upon the subject:" i.e., _to_
thinking.--_Johnson's Gram. Com._, p. 300. "Every one that could reach it,
cut off a piece, and fell _a eating_:" i.e., _to_ eating.--_Newspaper._ "To
go _a mothering_,[138] is to visit parents on Midlent Sunday."--_Webster's
Dict., w. Mothering._ "Which we may find when we come _a fishing_
here."--_Wotton._ "They go _a begging_ to a bankrupt's door."--_Dryden._
"_A hunting_ Chloe went."--_Prior._ "They burst out _a laughing_."--_M.
Edgeworth._ In the last six sentences, _a_ seems more suitable than any
other preposition would be: all it needs, is an accent to distinguish it
from the article; as, _a_.

OBS. 24.--Dr. Alexander Murray says, "To be _a_-seeking, is the relic of
the Saxon to be _on_ or _an_ seeking. What are you a-seeking? is
_different_ from, What are you seeking? It means more fully _the going on_
with the process."--_Hist. Europ. Lang_,, Vol. ii, p. 149. I disapprove of
the hyphen in such terms as "_a_ seeking," because it converts the
preposition and participle into I know not what; and it may be observed, in
passing, that the want of it, in such as "_the going on_," leaves us a
loose and questionable word, which, by the conversion of the participle
into a noun, becomes a nondescript in grammar. I dissent also from Dr.
Murray, concerning the use of the preposition or prefix _a_, in examples
like that which he has here chosen. After a _neuter verb_, this particle is
unnecessary to the sense, and, I think, injurious to the construction.
Except in poetry, which is measured by syllables, it may be omitted without
any substitute; as, "I am _a walking_."--_Johnson's Dict., w. A_. "He had
one only daughter, and she lay _a_ dying."--_Luke_, viii, 42. "In the days
of Noah, while the ark was _a_ preparing."--_1 Pet._, iii, 20. "Though his
unattentive thoughts be elsewhere _a_ wandering."--_Locke's Essay_, p. 284.
Say--"be wandering elsewhere;" and omit the _a_, in all such cases.

"And--when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is _a_ ripening--nips his root."--_Shak_.

OBS. 25.--"_A_ has a peculiar signification, denoting the proportion of one
thing to an other. Thus we say, The landlord hath a hundred _a_ year; the
ship's crew gained a thousand pounds _a_ man."--_Johnson's Dict._ "After
the rate of twenty leagues _a_ day."--_Addison_. "And corn was at two
sesterces _a_ bushel."--_Duncan's Cicero_, p. 82. Whether _a_ in this
construction is the article or the preposition, seems to be questionable.
Merchants are very much in the habit of supplying its place by the Latin
preposition _per_, by; as, "Board, at $2 _per_ week."--_Preston's
Book-Keeping_, p. 44. "Long lawn, at $12 _per_ piece."--_Dilworth's_, p.
63. "Cotton, at 2s. 6d. _per_ pound."--_Morrison's_, p. 75. "Exchange, at
12d. _per_ livre."--_Jackson's_, p. 73. It is to be observed that _an_, as
well as _a_, is used in this manner; as, "The price is one dollar _an_
ounce." Hence, I think, we may infer, that this is not the old preposition
_a_, but the article _an_ or _a_, used in the distributive sense of _each_
or _every_, and that the noun is governed by a preposition understood; as,
"He demands a dollar _an_ hour;" i. e., a dollar _for each_ hour.--"He
comes twice _a_ year:" i. e., twice _in every_ year.--"He sent them to
Lebanon, ten thousand _a_ month by courses:" (_1 Kings_, v, 14:) i. e., ten
thousand, _monthly_; or, as our merchants say, "_per month_." Some
grammarians have also remarked, that, "In mercantile accounts, we
frequently see _a_ put for _to_, in a very odd sort of way; as, 'Six bales
marked 1 _a_ 6.' The merchant means, 'marked _from_ 1 to 6.' This is taken
to be a relic of the Norman French, which was once the law and mercantile
language of England; for, in French, _a_, with an accent, signifies _to_ or
_at_."--_Emmons's Gram._, p. 73. Modern merchants, in stead of accenting
the _a_, commonly turn the end of it back; as, @.

OBS. 26.--Sometimes a numeral word with the indefinite article--as _a few,
a great many, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand_--denotes an aggregate of
several or many taken collectively, and yet is followed by a plural noun,
denoting the sort or species of which this particular aggregate is a part:
as, "A few small fishes,"--"A great many mistakes,"--"A dozen bottles of
wine,"--"A hundred lighted candles,"--"A thousand miles off." Respecting
the proper manner of explaining these phrases, grammarians differ in
opinion. That the article relates not to the plural noun, but to the
numerical word only, is very evident; but whether, in these instances, the
words _few, many, dozen, hundred_, and _thousand_, are to be called nouns
or adjectives, is matter of dispute. Lowth, Murray, and many others, call
them _adjectives_, and suppose a peculiarity of construction in the
article;--like that of the singular adjectives _every_ and _one_ in the
phrases, "_Every_ ten days,"--"_One_ seven times more."--_Dan._, iii, 19.
Churchill and others call them _nouns_, and suppose the plurals which
follow, to be always in the objective case governed by _of_, understood:
as, "A few [of] years,"--"A thousand [of] doors;"--like the phrases, "A
_couple of_ fowls,"--"A _score of_ fat bullocks."--_Churchill's Gram._, p.
279. Neither solution is free from difficulty. For example: "There are a
great many adjectives."--_Dr. Adam_. Now, if _many_ is here a singular
nominative, and the only subject of the verb, what shall we do with _are_?
and if it is a plural adjective, what shall we do with _a_ and _great?_
Taken in either of these ways, the construction is anomalous. One can
hardly think the word "_adjectives_" to be here in the objective case,
because the supposed ellipsis of the word _of_ cannot be proved; and if
_many_ is a noun, the two words are perhaps in apposition, in the
nominative. If I say, "_A thousand men_ are on their way," the men _are the
thousand_, and the thousand _is nothing but the men_; so that I see not why
the relation of the terms may not be that of _apposition_. But if
_authorities_ are to decide the question, doubtless we must yield it to
those who suppose the whole numeral phrase to be taken _adjectively_; as,
"Most young Christians have, in the course of _half a dozen_ years, time to
read _a great many_ pages."--_Young Christian_, p. 6.

"For harbour at _a thousand doors_ they knock'd;
Not one of all _the thousand_ but was lock'd."--_Dryden_.

OBS. 27.--The numeral words considered above, seem to have been originally
adjectives, and such may be their most proper construction now; but all of
them are susceptible of being construed as nouns, even if they are not such
in the examples which have been cited. _Dozen_, or _hundred_, or
_thousand_, when taken abstractly, is unquestionably a noun; for we often
speak of _dozens, hundreds_, and _thousands_. _Few_ and _many_ never assume
the plural form, because they have naturally a plural signification; and _a
few_ or _a great many_ is not a collection so definite that we can well
conceive of _fews_ and _manies_; but both are sometimes construed
substantively, though in modern English[139] it seems to be mostly by
ellipsis of the noun. Example: "The praise of _the judicious few_ is an
ample compensation for the neglect of _the illiterate many_."--_Churchill's
Gram._, p. 278. Dr. Johnson says, the word _many_ is remarkable in Saxon
for its frequent use. The following are some of the examples in which he
calls it a substantive, or noun: "After him the rascal _many_
ran."--_Spenser_. "O thou fond _many_."--_Shakspeare_. "A care-craz'd
mother of a _many_ children."--_Id._ "And for thy sake have I shed _many_ a
tear."--_Id._ "The vulgar and the _many_ are fit only to be led or
driven."--_South_. "He is liable to a great _many_ inconveniences every
moment of his life."--_Tillotson_. "Seeing a great _many_ in rich gowns, he
was amazed."--_Addison_.

"There parting from the king, the chiefs divide,
And wheeling east and west, before their _many_ ride."--_Dryden_.

OBS. 28.--"On the principle here laid down, we may account for a peculiar
use of the article with the adjective _few_, and some other diminutives. In
saying, 'A _few_ of his adherents remained with him;' we insinuate, that
they constituted a number sufficiently important to be formed into an
aggregate: while, if the article be omitted, as, '_Few_ of his adherents
remained with him;' this implies, that he was nearly deserted, by
representing them as individuals not worth reckoning up. A similar
difference occurs between the phrases: 'He exhibited _a little_ regard for
his character;' and 'He exhibited _little_ regard for his
character.'"--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 279. The word _little_, in its most
proper construction, is an adjective, signifying _small_; as, "He was
_little_ of stature."--_Luke_. "Is it not a _little_ one?"--_Genesis_. And
in sentences like the following, it is also reckoned an adjective, though
the article seems to relate to it, rather than to the subsequent noun; or
perhaps it may be taken as relating to them both: "Yet _a little_ sleep, _a
little_ slumber, _a little_ folding of the hands to sleep."--_Prov._, vi,
10; xxiv, 33. But by a common ellipsis, it is used as a noun, both with and
without the article; as, "_A little_ that a righteous man hath, is better
than the riches of many wicked."--_Psalms_, xxxvii, 16. "Better is _little_
with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble
therewith."--_Prov._, xv, 16. "He that despiseth little things, shall
perish by _little_ and _little_."--_Ecclesiasticus_. It is also used
adverbially, both alone and with the article _a_; as, "The poor sleep
_little_."--_Otway_. "Though they are _a little_ astringent."--_Arbuthnot_.
"When he had gone _a little_ farther thence."--_Mark_, i, 19. "Let us vary
the phrase [in] _a very little_" [degree].--_Kames_, Vol. ii, p. 163.

OBS. 29.--"As it is the nature of the articles to limit the signification
of a word, they are applicable only to words expressing ideas capable of
being individualized, or conceived of as single things or acts; and nouns
implying a general state, condition, or habit, must be used without the
article. It is not vaguely therefore, but on fixed principles, that the
article is omitted, or inserted, in such phrases as the following: 'in
terror, in fear, in dread, in haste, in sickness, in pain, in trouble; in
_a_ fright, in _a_ hurry, in _a_ consumption; _the_ pain of his wound was
great; her son's dissipated life was _a_ great trouble to
her."--_Churchill's Gram._, p. 127.

OBS. 30.--Though _the, an_, and _a_, are the only articles in our language,
they are far from being the only definitives. Hence, while some have
objected to the peculiar distinction bestowed upon these little words,
firmly insisting on throwing them in among the common mass of adjectives;
others have taught, that the definitive adjectives--I know not how
many--such as, _this, that, these, those, any, other, some, all, both,
each, every, either, neither_--"are much more properly articles than any
thing else."--_Hermes_, p. 234. But, in spite of this opinion, it has
somehow happened, that these definitive adjectives have very generally, and
very absurdly, acquired the name of _pronouns_. Hence, we find Booth, who
certainly excelled most other grammarians in learning and acuteness,
marvelling that the _articles_ "were ever separated from the class of
_pronouns_." To all this I reply, that _the, an_, and _a_, are worthy to be
distinguished as _the only articles_, because they are not only used with
much greater _frequency_ than any other definitives, but are specially
restricted to the limiting of the signification of nouns. Whereas the other
definitives above mentioned are very often used to supply the place of
their nouns; that is, to represent them understood. For, in general, it is
only by ellipsis of the noun after it, and not as the representative of a
noun going before, that any one of these words assumes the appearance of a
pronoun. Hence, they are not pronouns, but adjectives. Nor are they "more
properly articles than any thing else;" for, "if the essence of an article
be to define and ascertain" the meaning of a noun, this very conception of
the thing necessarily supposes the noun to be used with it.

OBS. 31.--The following example, or explanation, may show what is meant by
definitives. Let the general term be _man_, the plural of which is _men: A
man_--one unknown or indefinite; _The man_--one known or particular; _The
men_--some particular ones; _Any man_--one indefinitely; _A certain
man_--one definitely; _This man_--one near; _That man_--one distant; _These
men_--several near; _Those men_--several distant; _Such a man_--one like
some other; _Such men_--some like others; _Many a man_--a multitude taken
singly; _Many men_--an indefinite multitude taken plurally; _A thousand
men_--a definite multitude; _Every man_--all or each without exception;
_Each man_--both or all taken separately; _Some man_--one, as opposed to
none; _Some men_--an indefinite number or part; _All men_--the whole taken
plurally; _No men_--none of the sex; _No man_--never one of the race.



_In the Second Praxis, it is required of the pupil--to distinguish and
define the different parts of speech, and to explain the_ ARTICLES _as
definite or indefinite.

The definitions to be given in the Second Praxis, are two for an article,
and one for a noun, an adjective, a pronoun, a verb, a participle, an
adverb, a conjunction, a preposition, or an interjection. Thus_:--


"The task of a schoolmaster laboriously prompting and urging an indolent
class, is worse than his who drives lazy horses along a sandy road."--_G.

_The_ is the definite article. 1. An article is the word _the, an_, or _a_,
which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The definite
article is _the_, which denotes some particular thing or things.

_Task_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing,
that can be known or mentioned.

_Of_ is a preposition. 1. A preposition is a word used to express some
relation of different things or thoughts to each other, and is generally
placed before a noun or a pronoun.

_A_ is the indefinite article. 1. An article is the word _the, an_, or _a_,
which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The indefinite
article is _an_ or _a_, which denotes one thing of a kind, but not any
particular one.

_Schoolmaster_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or
thing, that can be known or mentioned.

_Laboriously_ is an adverb. 1. An adverb is a word added to a verb, a
participle, an adjective, or an other adverb; and generally expresses time,
place, degree, or manner.

_Prompting_ is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb,
participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and
is generally formed by adding _ing, d_, or _ed_, to the verb.

_And_ is a conjunction. 1. A conjunction is a word used to connect words or
sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so

_Urging_ is a participle. 1. A participle is a word derived from a verb,
participating the properties of a verb, and of an adjective or a noun; and
is generally formed by adding _ing, d_, or _ed_, to the verb.

_An_ is the indefinite article. 1. An article is the word _the, an_, or
_a_, which we put before nouns to limit their signification. 2. The
indefinite article is _an_ or _a_, which denotes one thing of a kind, but
not any particular one.

_Indolent_ is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or
pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

_Class_ is a noun. 1. A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing,
that can be known or mentioned.

_Is_ is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies _to be, to act_, or _to
be acted upon_.

_Worse_ is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or
pronoun, and generally expresses quality.

_Than_ is a conjunction. 1, A conjunction is a word used to connect words
or sentences in construction, and to show the dependence of the terms so

_He_ is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun.

_Who_ is a pronoun. 1. A pronoun is a word used in stead of a noun.

_Drives_ is a verb. 1. A verb is a word that signifies _to be, to act_, or
_to be acted upon_.

_Lazy_ is an adjective. 1. An adjective is a word added to a noun or

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