Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

few leading sentiments are all that can be admitted here
with propriety. As words are the signs of our ideas, and
the medium by which 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 evident, that in proportion to our
knowledge of the nature and properties of words, of their rela--
tion 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 justly 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 lan
guage.

One of the best supports, which the recommendation of this study can receive, in small compass, may be derived from the following sentiments of an emment and candid writer* on language and composition, “ All, that regards the study of com

position, merits the higher attention upon this account, that is it is intimately connected with the improvement of our inteldo lectual powers. For I must be allowed to say, that when we " are employed, after a proper manner, in the study of compo

sition, we are cultivating 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 superAuous 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

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Wales

* Blair.

mere and ers, ngs

15 ogs

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 illus-tration, which might have an improper effect on the minds of pouth ; but also to introduce, on many occasions, such as have a moral and religious tendency. His attention to objects of so much importance will, he trusts, meet the approbation of every well-disposed reader. If they were faithfully regarded in all books of education, they would doubtless contribute very materially to the order and happiness of society, by guarding the it. docence, and cherishing the virtue of the rising generation.

Holdgate, near York, 1795..

our

lam he ese,

ne

his ing med

ADVERTISEMENT

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The eighth edition of this grammar received considerable alterations and additions : but works of this nature admit of repeated improvements; and are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his book more worthy of the encouraging approbation bestowed op it by the public, has again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he hopes 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 grammar both easy and interesting. This edition contafns also a new and enlarged system of parsing ; copious lists of nouns arranged according to their gender and number; and many notes and observations, which serve to extend, or to explain, particular rules and positions.*

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

a

* The author conceives that the occasional strictures, dispersed through the book, and intended to illustrate and support a number of important grammatical points, will not, to young persons of ingenuity, appear to be dry and useless discussions. He is persuaded that, 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 edin tion of the grammar, the reader will find many additional discussions of this nature.

Haldgate, near York, 1804.

The writer is sensible that, after all his endeavours to elucidate the principles of the work, there are few of the divisions, arrangements, definitions, or rules, against which critical ingenuity cannot 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 reasonably 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.

1

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Page.

CHAP. 1.

Of letters
SECT. 1. Of the nature of the letters, and of a per-
fect alphabet.

13 2. General observations on the sounds of the letters.

21 3. The nature of articulation explained. 32 CHAP. 2.

Of syllables, and the rules for arrang-
ing them.

35 CHAP.3. Of words in general, and the rules for spelling them.

37

[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

46

[ocr errors]

50

.

PART II. ETYMOLOGY. CHAP. 1. A general view of the parts of speech. 41 CHAP.

2. Of the articles. CHAP. 3.

Of substantives.
SECT. 1. Of substantives in general.
2. Of gender.

47
3. Of number
4. Of case.

53 CHAP. 4.

Of adjectives.
SECT..1. Of the nature of adjectives, and the de-
grees of comparison.

56 2. Remarks on the subject of comparison. 59 CHAP. 5.

Of pronouns.
SECT. 1. Of the personal pronouns.

60 2. Of relative pronouns.

62 3. Of the adjective pronouns.

65

.

60

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. 2.

Of versification.

241

OF PUNCTUATION.

CHAP. 1 CHAP. 2. CHAP 3. CHAP. 4. CHẠP. 5.

of the comma. •
Of the semicolon.
Of the colon.
Of the period.
of the dash, notes of interrogation,

exclamation, capitals, &c.

258 264 265 206

267

APPENDIX.

BULES AND OBSERVATIONS FOR PROMOTING PERSPICUITY

AND ACCURACY IN WRITING.

of purity

[ocr errors]

PART I. Of perspicuity and accuracy of expression, with respect to

single words and phrases. CHAP. 1.

274 RAP. 2. Of propriety

275 GIÁP. 3, of precision.

282 PART II. of perspicuity and accuracy of expression, with respect to

the construction of sentences. CRAP. 1.. Of the clearness of a sentence.

287 CHAP. 2. Of the unity of a sentence.

293 CHAP. 3. Of the strength of a sentence. .

297 CHAP. 4. Of figures of speech. .

315

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

335

ADDRESS TO YOUNG STUDENTS.

« PreviousContinue »