Page images

why, and there, as used in the above examples, have no reference to any particular word, and add nothing to the sense, yet they qualify the sentences in which they berid, by introducing them with greater ease.

In imitation of the French idiom, the adverb of place where is often used instead of the relative pronoun and a preposition, as, They framed a protestation, where they repeated all their former claims; i. e. in which they repeated. The king was still determined to run forward in the same course where he was already, by his precipitate career, too fatally advanced; i. e. in which he was.

the adverbs hence, thence, and whence, imply a preposition; for they signify from this place, from ihat place, from what place. It seems, therefore, strictly speaking, to be improper to join a preposition with them, because it is superfluous; as, This is the leviathan, from whence the wits of our age are said to borrow their weapons: An ancient author prophecies from hence. But the origin of these words is little attended to, and the preposition from is so often used in connexion

with them, that the omission of it, in many cases, would seem stiff, and be disagreeable. When thus inserted, the preposition may be considered as a part of the adverb: the adverb being divided into two words.

The adverbs here, there where, are often improperly applied to verbs signifying motion, instead of the adverbs hither thither, whither; as, He came here hastily; They rode there with speed. They should be, He came hither: They rode thither, &c.

RULE XXIV. Conjunctions connect the same moods and tenses of verbs, and cases of nouns and pronouns; as,

Candor is to be approved and practised: If thou sincerely desire and earnestly pursue virtue, she will assuredly be found by thee, and prove a rich reward: The master taught her and me to write: He and she were schoolfellows.

This rule refers only to nouns and pronouns which have the same bearing or relation with regard to other parts of the sentence. Conjunctions not unfrequently connect different moods and tenses of verbs. In such instances, however, the nominative must generally, if not always, be repeated. We may say, He lives temperately, and he should live temperately: He may return, but he will not conlinue: She was proud though she is now humble; but it is obvious, that in such cases the nominative ought to be repeated; and that by this means, the latter members of these sentences are rendered not so strictly depending on the preceding, as those are which come under the rule. When, in the progress of a sentence, we pass from the affirmative, to the negative form, or from the negative to the affirmative, the subject or nominative, is always resumed: as,He is rich, but he is not respectable: He is not rich, but he is respectable. There appears to be, in general, equal reasons for repeating the nominative and résuming the subject, when the course of the sentence is diverted by a change of the mood or tense. The following sentences may therefore be improved: Anger glances into the breast of a wise man, but will rest only in the bosom of fools; but rests only; or, but it will rest only. Virtue is praised by many, and would be desired also, if her worth were really known: and she would. The world begins to recede, and will soon disappear; and it will.

Some conjunctions require the indicative, some the subjunctive mood after them. When something contingent or doubtful is implied, the verb is in the subjunctive mood; as, If he approves of this arrangement, let him not hesitate to adopt it: He will not be pardoned, unless he repent. If I were to write, he would not regard it.

Conjunctions that are of a positive and absolute nature require the indicative mood, as, He is healthy because he is temperate; though he is poor, he is contented and happy.

RULE XXV. Two or more nouns connected by a copulative conjunction require the words with which they agree to be plural; if connected by a disjunctive conjunction, the verb, noun, or pronoun, with which they agree, must be singular; as,

Socrates and Plato were wise; they were the most eminent philosophers of Greece.

The sun that rolls over our heads, the food that we receive, the rest that we enjoy, daily admonish us of a superior and superintending Power.

This rule is often violated; some instances of which are annexed: And so was also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon; and so were also. By whose power all good and evil is distributed; are distributed. Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; are perished.

When the nouns are nearly related, or scarcely distinguishable in sense, and sometimes even when they are very different, some authors have thought it allowable to put the verbs, nouns, and pronouns in the singular number; as, Tranquillityand peace dwells there: Ignorance and negligence has pro

duced the effect: The discomfiture and slaughter was very great. This, however, is not strictly conformable to the principles of grammar.

The conjunction disjunctive has an effect contrary to that of the conjunction copulative; for as the verb, noun, or pronoun, is referred to the preceding terms taken separately, it must be in the singular number; as, Ignorance or negligence has caused this mistake: John, James, or Joseph intends to accompany me: There is, in many minds, neither knowledge nor understanding.

RULE XXVI. A noun of multitude or signifying many, has a verb, noun, or pronoun agrecing with it either in the singular or plural number.

In the application of this rule regard should be had to the import of the word as conveying unity or plurality of idea; as the meeting was large; The parliament is dissolved: The nation is power ful: My people do not consider; they have not known me: The multitude eagerly pursue pleasure as their chief good: The council were divided in their sentiments.

We ought to consider whether the term will immediately suggest the idea of the number it represents, or whether it exhibits to the mind the idea of the whole as one thing.

In the former case, the verb ought to be plural; in the latter, it ought to be singular. Thus it seems improper to say, The peasantry goes barefoot; The people is represented by able statesmen. It would be better to say, The peasantry go barefoot; the people are represented, &c. On the contrary, there is a harshness in the following sentences, in which nouns of number have verbs plural; because the ideas they represent seem not to be sufficiently divided in the mind: The court of Rome were not without solicitude: The house of commons were of small weight: An army were immediately assembled: The court of Rome have been justly censured for their violent proceedings.

RULE XXVII. The infinitive mood may be governed by a verb, noun, adjective, or participle; as,

Cease to do evil: They have a disposition to do right: He is eager to learn: Endeavoring to persuade.

The infinitive mood is sometimes governed by a conjunction; as, He was so sanguine, as to anticipale no opposition. Sometimes it is governed by an adverb; as, I know not how to proceed. Sometimes by a preposition; as, The ship is about to sail. The preposition about, in this example, is in a similar situation to the participle going in the sentence which follows, and has the same influence in governing the infinitive mood: I am now going to speak to you on a subject of importance: (See remarks on the word going, when connected with sentences thus constructed, in the account of Participles, p.51852.) That the preposition about governs the verb to sail in the above example, will appear evident by changing the verb to a participial noun, as, The ship is about sailing; sailing is here evidently a participial noun, in the objective case, and governed by about.

The participle to, though generally used before a verb in the infinitive mood, is sometimes properly omitted; as, I heard him say it; instead of, to

say it.

The verbs which have commonly other verbs

« PreviousContinue »