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most, placed before the adjective, have the same effect: as, wise, more wise, most wise.

The termination ish may be accounted in some sort a degree of comparison, by which the signification is diminished below the positive: as, black, blackish, or tending to blackness ; salt, saltish, or having a little taste of salt.

The word rather is very properly used to express a small degree or excess of a quality : as, “ She is rather profuse in her expenses."

Monosyllables, for the most part, are compared by er and est; and dissyllables by more and most: as, mild, milder, mildest ; frugal, more frugal, most frugal. Disyllables ending in y; as, happy, lovely; and in te after a mute, as, able, ample ; or accented on the last syllable, as, discreet, polite ; easily admit of er and est : as, happier, happiest; abler, ablest'; politer, politest. Words of more than two syllables hardly ever admit of those terminations.

In some words the superlative is formed by adding the adverb most to the end of them; as, nethermost, uttermost, or utmost, undermost, uppermost, fóremost:

In English, as in most languages, there are some words of very common use, (in which the caprice of custom isapt to get the better of analogy,) that are irregular in this respect: as, "good, better, best; bad, worse, worst; little, , less, least, much or many, more, most ; near, nearer, nearest or next ; late, later, latest or last; old, older or elder, oldest or eldest ;" and a few others.

An adjective put without a substantive, with the definite article before it, becomes a substantive in sense and meaning, and is written as a substantive; as, “ Providence rewards the good, and punishes the bad.?'.

Various nouns placed before other nouns assume the nature of adjectives; as, sea fish, wine vessel, corn field, meadow ground, &e.

Numeral adjectives are either cardinal, or ordinal : cardinal, as, one, two, three, &c.; ordinal, as, first, second, third, &c.

SECTION 2. Remarks on the subject of Comparison.

If we consider the subject of comparison attentively, we shall perceive that the degrees of it are infinite in number, or at least indefinite.-A.mountain is larger than a mite; by how many degrees? How much bigger is the earth than a grain of sand ? By how many degrees was Socrates wiser than Alcibiades ? or by how many is snow whiter than this paper ? It is plain, that to these and the like questions, no definite answers can be returned.

In quantities, however, that may be exactly measured, the degrees of excess may be exactly ascertained. A foot is just twelve times as long as an inch ; and an hour is sixty times the length of a minute. But, in regard to qualities, and to those quantities which cannot be measured exactly, it is impossible to say how many degrees may be comprehended in the comparative excess.

But though these degrees are infinite or indefinite in fact, they cannot be so in language; nor would it be convenient, if language were to express many of them. In regard to unmeasured quantities and qualities, the degrees of more and less, (besides those marked above,) may be expressed intelligibly, at least, if not accurately, by certain adverbs, or words of like import: as, “Socrates was inuch wiser than Alcibiades ;" “Snow is a great deal whiter than this paper;" "Epaminondas was by far the most accomplished of the Thebans;" “The evening star is a very splendid object, but the sun is incomparably more splendid;" “ The Deity is infinitely greater than the greatest of his creatures." The inaccuracy of these, and the like expressions, is not a material inconvenience; and, if it were, it is unavoidable : for human speech can only express buman thought;

and where thought is necessarily inaccurate, language must be so too.

When the word very, exceedingly, or any other of similar import, is put before the positive, it is called by some writers the superlative of eminence, to distinguish it from the other superlative, which has been already mentioned, and is called the superlative of comparison. Thus, very eloquent, is termed the superlative of eminence; most eloquent, the superlative of comparison. In the superlative of eminence, something of comparison is, however, remotely or indireetly intimated; for we cannot reasonably call a man very eloquent, without comparing his eloquence with the eloquence of other men.

The comparative may be so employed, as to express the same pre-eminence or inferiority as the superlative. Thus, the sentence, “Of all acquirements, virtue is the most valuable,” conveys the same sentiment as the following; “ Virtue is more valuable thạn every other acquirement."

CHAPTER V.

of Pronouns.

A PRONOUN is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word: as, " The man is happy, he is benevolent; he is useful." Tliere are three kinds of pronouns, viz. the PER

RELATIVE, and the ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS.

SONAL, the

Section 1. Of the Personal Pronouns.

THERE are five Personal Pronouns, viz. I, thou, he, she, it; with their plurals, we, ye or you, they.

Personal pronouns admit of person, number, gender, and case.

the persons of pronouns are three in each number, viz.

I, is the first person
Thou, is the second person

Singular. He, she, or it, is the third person We, is the first person Ye you, is the second person

Plural. They, is the third person ;

or

This account of persons will be very intelligible, when we reflect, that there are three persons who may be the subject of any discourse: first, the person who speaks, may speak of himself ; secondly, he may speak of the person to whom he addresses himself ; thirdly, he may speak of some other person: and as the speakers, the persons spoken to, and the other persons spoken of, may be many, so each of these persons must have the plural number.

The Numbers of pronouns, like those of substantives, are two, the singular and the plural: as, 1, thou, he ; we, ye or you, they.

Gender has respect only to the third person singular of the pronouns, he, she, it. He is masculine; she is feminine; it is neuter.

The persons speaking and spoken to, being at the same time the subjects of the discourse, are supposed to be present; from which, and other circumstances, their sex is commonly known, and needs not to be marked by a distinction of gender in the pronouns: but the third person or thing spoken of, being absent, and in many respects unknown, it is necessary that it should be marked by a distinction of gender; at least when soine particular person or thing is spoken of, that ought to be more distinctly marked: accordingly the pronoun singular of the third person has the three genders, he, she, it.

F

Pronouns have three cases; the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.

The objective case of a pronoun has, in general, a form different from that of the nominative, as the pogar peive

case.

Plural.

The personal pronouns are thus declined:
Person.
Case.

Singular.
First. Nom. I.

Poss. Mine. Ours.
Obj.
Me.

Us.

We.

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RELATIVE Pronouns are such as relate, in general to some word or phrase going before, which is thence called the antecedent: they are, who, which, and that as, “The man is happy who lives virtuouslyt."

+ The relative pronoun, when used interrogatively, relates to a word or phra-e which is not antecedent, but subseguirí, to the relative. See yote under the VI.

rei Sgras.

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