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WHEN the number and variety of English Grammars already

published, and the ability with which some of them are written, are considered, little can be expected from a new compilation, besides a careful selection of the most useful natter, and some degree of improsement in the mode of adapting it to the understanding, and the gradual progress of learners. In these repsects something, perhaps, may yet be done for the ease and advantage of young persons.

In books designed for the instruction of youth, there is a medium to be observed, between treating the subject in so extensive and minute a manner, as to embarrass and confuse their minds, by offering too much at once for their comprehension ; and, on the other hand, conducting it by such short and general precepts and observations, as convey to them no clear and precise information. A distribution of the parts which is either defective or irregular, has also a tendency to perplex the young understanding, and to retard its knowledge of the principles of literature. A distinct general view, or outline, of all the essential parts of the study in which they are engaged ; a gradual and judicious supply of this outline ; and a due arrangement of the divisions, according to their natural order and connexion, appear to be among the best means of enlightening the minds of youth, and of facilitating their acquisition of knowledge. The author of this work, at the same time that he has endeavoured to avoid a plan, which may be too concise or too extensive, defect. jve in its parts or irregular in their disposition, has studied to render his subject sufficiently easy, intelligible, and comprehensive. He does not presume to have completely attained these objects. How far he has succeeded in the attempt, and wherein he has failed, must be referred to the determination of the judicious and candid ceader,

The method which he has adopted, of exhibiting the performance in characters f different sizes, will, he trusts, be conducive to that gradual and regular procedure, which is so favorable to the business of instruction. The inore important rules, definitions, and observations, and which are therefore the most proper to be committed to memory, are printed with a larger type ; whilst rules and remarks that are of less consequence, that extend or diversify the general idea, or that serve as explanations, are contained in the smaller let... ter ; these, or the chief of them, will be perused by the student to the greatest advantage, if postponed till the general system be completed. The use of notes and observations, in the common and detached manner, at the bottom of the page, would not, it is imagined, be so likely to attract the perusal of youth, or admit of so ample and regular an illustration, as a continued and uniform order of the sev. eral subjects. In adopting this mode, care has been taken to adjust it so that the whole may be perused in a connected progress, or the part contained in the larger character rea in order by itself. Many of the notes and observations are intended not only to explain the subjects, and to illustrate them, by comparative views of the grammar of other languages, and of the various sentiments of English grammarians ; but also to invite the ingenious student to inquiry ap3

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reflection, and to prompt to a more enlarged, eritical, and philosophical research.

With respect to the definitions and rules, it may not be improper more particularly to observe, that in selecting and forming them, it has been the author's aim to render them as exact and comprehensive, and, at the saine time, as intelligible to young minds, as the nature of the subject, and the difficulties attending it, would admit. He presumes that they are also calculated to be readily committed to memory, and easily retained. For this purpose, he has been solicitous to select terms that are smooth and voluble ; to proportion the members of the sentences to one another ; to avoid protracted periods; and to give the whole definition or rule, as much harmony of expression as lie could devise.

From the sentiment generally admitted, that a proper selection of faulty compositon is more instructive to the young grammarian, than any rules and exainples of propriety that can be given, the Compiler has been induced to pay peculiar attention to this part of the sub. ject; and though the instances of false grammar, under the rules of Syntax, are numerous, it is hoped they will not be found too ma. ny, when their variety and usefulness are considered.

In a work which professes itself to be a compilation, and which, froin the nature and design of it, must consist 'chiefly of materials selected from the writings of others, it is scarcely necessary to apologize for the use which the Compiler has made of his predeces. sors' labors ; or for omitting to insert their names. From the alterations which have been frequently made in the sentiments and the language, to suit the connection, and to adapt them to the particular purposes for which they are introduced ; and, in many instances, from the uncertainty to whom the passages originally belonged, the insertion of names could seldom be made with propriety. But if this could have been generally done, a work of this nature would derive no advantage from it, equal to the inconvenience of crowding the pages with a repetition of names and references. It is, hower. er, proper to acknowledge, in general terms, that the authors to whom the grammatical part of this compilation is principally indebte ed for its materials, are Harris, Johnson, Lowth, Priestley, Beattie, Sheridan, Walker, and Coote.

The rules and observations respecting perspicuity, &c. contained in the Appendix, and which are, chiefly, extracted from the writ. ings of Blair and Campbell, will, it is presumed, form a proper ad. dition to the Grammar. The subjects are very nearly related ; and the study of perspicuity and accuracy in writing, appears naturally to follow that of Grammar. A competent acquaintance with the principles of both, will prepare and qualify the students, for proseeuting those additional improvements in language, to which they may be properly directed.

On the utility and importance of the study of Grammar, and the principles of composition, much might be ad anced, for the encour. ngement of persons in early life to apply themselves to this branch of

(darning ; but as the limits of this introduction will not allow of many observations on the subject, a few leading sentiments are all that can be admitted here with propriety. As words are the signs of our ideas, and the medium by wliich we perceive the sentiments of others, and communicate our own ; and as signs exhibit the things which they are intended to represent, more or less accurately, according as their real or established conformity to those things is more or less exact; it is e ident, that in proportion to our knowl. edge of the nature and properties of words, of their relation to each other, and of their established connexion with the ideas to which they are applied, will be the certainty and ease, with which we transfuse our sentiments into the minds of one another; and that without a competent knowledge of this kind, we shall frequently. be in hazard of misunderstanding others, and of being misunderstood ourselves. It may indeed be jųstly asserted, that many of the differences in opinion amongst men, with the disputes, contentions, and alienations of heart, which have too often proceeded from such differences, have been occasioned by a want of proper skill in the connexion and meaning of words, and by a tenacious" misapplication of language

One of the best supports which the recommendation of this study ean receive, in small compass, may be deri ed from the following sentiments of an eminent and candid w.iter* on language and com. position. "All that regards the study of composition, merits the

higher attention upon this account, that it is intimately connected 5. with the improvement of our intellectual powers. For I must be ss allowed to say, that when we are employed after a proper manner, " in the study of composition, we are culti ating the understanding “ itself. The study of arranging and expressing our thoughts with * propriety, teaches to think, as well as to speak, accurately."

BEFORE the close of this introduction, it may not be superfluous to observe, that the author of the following work has no interest in it; but that which arises from the hope, that it will prove of some advantage to young persons, and relieve the labours of those who are employed in their education. He wishes to promote, in some degree, the cause of virtue, as well as of learning ; and with this view, he has been studious, through the whole of the work, not .. only to avoid 'every example and illustration, which might bave an improper effect on the minds of youth ; bút also to introduce, on many occasions, such as have a moral and religious tendency. His attention to objects of so much importance will be trusts, meet the approbation of every well disposed reader. If they were faithfully regarded in all books of education, thềy woulu doubtless contribute very materially to the order and happiness : of society, by guarding the innocence, and cherishing the virtuse of the rising generation. : Holdgate, near York, 1795.

*** Blair

TO THE NINTH EDITION.

THB eighth edition of this grammar received considerable al. terations and additions : but works of this nature admit of repeat. ed improvements; and are, perhaps, never complete. The au hor, solicitous to render his book more worthy of the encouraging approbation bestowed on it by the public, has again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he bopes will be found much improved The additions, which are very considerable, are chiefly such as are calculated to expand the learner's views of the subject; to obviate objections : and to render the study of gram. mar both easy and interesting. This edition contains also a new and enlarged system of parsing · copious lists of nouns arranged according to their gender and number 1 and many notes and obser. vations, which serve to extend or to explain particular rules and positions.*

The writer is sensible, that after all his endeavors to elucidate the principles of the work, there are few of the divisions, arrangements, definitions, or rules, against which critical ingenuity can. not devise plausible objections. The subject is attended with so much intricacy, and admits of views so various, that it was not possible to render every part of it unexceptionable ; or to accommodate the work in all respects, to the opinions and prepossessions of every grammarian and teacher. If the author has adopted that system which, on the whole, is best suited to the nature of the subject, and conformable to the sentiments of the most judicious grammarians ; if his reasonings and illustrations, respecting particular points, are founded on just principles, and the peculiarities of the English language ; he has, perhaps, done all that could rea. sonably be expected in a work of this nature ; and he may warrantably indulge a hope, that the book will be still more extensively approved and circulated.

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** The author conceives that the occasional strictures, dispersed through the book, and intended to illustrate and support a number of impurtant and grammatical points, will not, to young persons of ingenutity, appear to be dry and useless discussions. He is pcrsuaded ikat, by such persons. they will be read with attention. And he presumes that these strictures will gratify their curiosity, stimulate application, and give solidity and permanence to their grammatical knowledge. In the octavo edition of the Grammar, the reader will find many addi. tional discussions of this nature.

Holdgate, near York, 1814.

Page.

33

PART 1.- ORTHOGRAPHY.
Chap 1. Of Letters.
Sect. 1. Of the nature of the letters, and of a perfect
alphabet.

9
2. General observations on the sounds of the letters. 16
3. The nature of articulation explained.

26
Chap. 2. Of Syllables, and the rules for arranging them. 29
Chap. 3. Of Words in general, and the rules for spelling them. 30

PART II. ETYMOLOGY.
Chap. 1. A generál view of the Parts of Speech.
Chap. 2. Of the Articles.

36
Chap. 3. Of Substantives.
Sec. 1. Of Substantives in general.

38
2. Of Gender.

39
3. Of Number.

41
4. Of Case.

44
Chap. 4 Of Adjectives.
Sec. 1. Of the nature of adjectives, and the degrees of

47
2. Remarks on the subject of comparison.

49
Chap. 5. Of Pronouns.
Sec. 1. Of the personal pronouns.

50
2. Of relative pronouns,

52
3. Of the adjective pronouns.

54
Chap. 6. Of Verbs.
Sec. 1. Of the nature of verbs in general.

59
2. Of number and person.

62
3. Of moods and participles.

ib
4. Remarks on the potential mood.

66
5. Of the tenses.

68
6. The conjugation of the auxiliary verbs to have and
to be.

73
7. The auxiliary verbs conjugated in their simple form ;

with observations on their peculiar nature and force. 80
8. The conjugation of regular verbs.

84
9. Observations on passive verbs.

91
10. Of irregular verbs.

93
11 Oi defective verbs, and of the different ways in
which verbs are conjugated.

98
Shap. 7. Of Adverbs

99
Chap. 8. Of Prepositions.

102
Chap 9. Of Conjunctions.

105
Chap. 10. Of Interjections.

108
Chap. 11. Of Derivation,
Sec. 1. Of the various ways in which words are derived
from one another.

109
2. A sketch of the steps, by which the English lan-
guage has risen to its present, state of refinement. 112
PART III.SYNTAX,

114
Ofthe Syntax of the Article.

138

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