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many of our auxiliaries would have been shortened and softened; and at length incorporated with the radical words, so as to assume the form of initial or final inflections. For it is while they are only spoken, and not written, that languages are most liable to alterations of this kind; as they become, in some degree, stationary from the time they begin to be visible in writing. But we know that writing was practised in many, and perhaps in most European nations, previously to the very existence of the modern languages: from which we may infer, that attempts would be made to write those languages almost as soon as to speak them. And if thus our auxdiary words were kept distinct in the beginning, and marked as such by our first writers, it is no wonder that they should have remained distinct ever since.

Had the Greek and Latin tongues been ascertained by writing, at as early a period of their existence, their fate would perhaps have been similar; and their inflections might now, like those of the Hebrew, have been easily analysed; and found to be auxiliary words shortened and softened by colloquial use, and gradually incorporated with the radical part of the original nouns and verbs. But it was the misfortune of the modern languages, (if it can be called a misfortune,) that their form was, in some measure, fixed before it became so complete as it might have been; that without passing through the intermediate stages of childhood and youth, they rose at once (if I may so speak) from infancy to premature manhood : and in regard to the Classic tongues, it was a fortunate circumstance, that their growth advanced more gradually, and that their form was not established by writing, till after it had been variously rounded and moulded by the casual pronunciation of successive ages. Hence, if there be any truth in these conjectures, (for they lay claim to no higher character, it will follow that the Greek and Latin tongues are for this reason peculiarly elegant, because they who first spoke them were long in a savage state; and that the modern languages are for this reason less elegant, because the nations among whom they took their rise were not savage. This looks very like a paradox. And yet, is it not more probable, than any thing which can be advanced in favour of that contrary supposition, adopted by some learned men, that the Classic tongues were planned by philosophers, and the modern languages jumbled rudely into form by barbarians ?

The preceding theory of Dr. Beattie, though modestly offered by him as conjecture only, appears to be well founded, and entitled to considerable respect and attention. It is a curious discussion, and well adapted to lead the student to critiVol. I.


cal reflections, and to further inquiries, respecting the nature and origin of the Inflections of language.



An Adverb is a part of speech joined to a verb, an adjective, and sometimes to another adverb, to express some quality or circumstance respecting it: as, “ He reads well;" “ A truly good man;" " He writes very correctly.

Some adverbs are compared thus: “Soon, sooner, soonest;" “ often, oftener, oftenest.” Those ending in ly, are compared by more and most : as, “ Wisely, more wisely, most wisely.


ADVERBS seem originally to have been contrived to express compendiously in one word, what must otherwise have required two or more: as, “ He acted wisely,” for, he acted with wisdom; “ prudently,” for, with prudence; “ He did it here," for, he did it in this place; “ exceedingly," for, to a great degree; " often and seldom,” for many, and for few times;

very,” for, in an eminent degree, &c.-Phrases which do the office of adverbs may properly be termed adverbial phrases, as, “ He acted in the best manner possible.” Here, the words in the best manner possible, as they qualify the verb acted, may be called an adverbial phrase.

There are many words in the English language, that are sometimes used as adjectives, and sometimes as adverbs : as, 66 More men than women were there ;” or, “ I am more diligent than he.". In the former sentence more is evidently an adjective, and in the latter, an adverb. There are others that are sometimes used as substantives, and sometimes as adverbs; as, “ To-day's lesson is longer than yesterday's ;" here to-day and yesterday are substantives, because they are words that make sense of themselves, and admit besides of a genitive case : but in the phrase, “ He came home yesterday, and sets out again to-day,” they are adverbs of time; because they answer to the question when. The adverb much is used as all three : as,

Where much is given, much is required;" “ Much money

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has been expended;" “ It is much better to go than to stay." In the first of these sentences, much is a substantive; in the second, it is an adjective; and in the third, an adverb. In short, nothing but the sense can determine what they are.

Adverbs, though very numerous, may be reduced to certain classes, the chief of which are those of Number, Order, Place, Time, Quantity, Manner or Quality, Doubt, Affirmation, Negation, Interrogation, and Comparison.

1. Of number: as, “Once, twice, thrice," &c.

2. Of order : as, “ First, secondly, thirdly, fourthly, fifthly, lastly, finally,” &c.

3. Of place: as, “ Here, there, where, elsewhere, anywhere, somewhere, nowhere, herein, whither, hither, thither, upward, downward, forward, backward, whence, hence, thence, whithersoever," &c.

4. Of time.
Of time present : as, "Now, to-day,” &c.

Of time past: as, “ Already, before, lately, yesterday, heretofore, hitherto, long since, long ago,” &c.

Of time to come : as, “ To-morrow, not yet, hereafter, henceforth, henceforward, by and by, instantly, presently, immediately, straightways," &c.

Of time indefinite: as, “Oft, often, oft-times, often-times, sometimes, soon, seldom, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, always, when, then, ever, never, again," &c.

5. Of quantity: as, “Much, little, sufficiently, how much, how great, enough, abundantly," &c.

6. Of manner or quality: as, “Wisely, foolishly, justly, unjustly, quickly, slowly,” &c. Adverbs of quality are the most numerous kind ; and they are generally formed by adding the termination ly to an adjective or participle, or changing le into ly: as, “ Bad, badly ; cheerful, cheerfully; able, ably; admirable, admirably."

7. Of doubt : as, “ Perhaps, peradventure, possibly, perchance."

8. Of affirmation : as, “ Verily, truly, undoubtedly, doubtless, certainly, yea, yes, surely, indeed, really," &c.

9. Of negation: as, “ Nay, no, not, by no means, not at all, in no wise," &c.

10. Of interrogation : as, "How, why, wherefore, whether," &c.

11. Of comparison : as, “ More, most, better, best, worse, worst, less, least, very, almost, little, alike," &c.

Besides the adverbs already mentioned, there are many which are formed by a combination of several of the prepositions with the adverbs of place here, there, and where : as,



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“Hereof, thereof, whereof; hereto, thereto, whereto; hereby, thereby, whereby ; herewith, therewith, wherewith ; herein, therein, wherein; therefore, i.e. there-for,) wherefore, (i. e. where-for,) hereupon, or hereon, thereupon, or thereon, whereupon, or whereon,” &c. Except therefore, these are seldom used.

In some instances the preposition suffers no change, but becomes an adverb merely by its application : as when we say, 6he rides about ;'? “ he was near falling ;' " but do not after lay the blame on me.

There are also some adverbs, which are composed of nouns, and the letter a used instead of at, on, &c. as, “ Aside, athirst, afoot, ahead, asleep, aboard, ashore, abed, aground, afloat," &c.

The words when and where, and all others of the same nature, such as, whence, whither, whenever, wherever, &c. may be properly called adverbial conjunctions, because they participate the nature both of adverbs and conjunctions : of conjunctions, as they conjoin sentences; of adverbs, as they denote the attributes either of time or of place.

It may be particularly observed, with respect to the word therefore, that it is an adverb when, without joining sentences, it only gives the sense of, for that reason. When it gives that sense, and also connects, it is a conjunction : as, “ He is good, therefore he is happy.” The same observation may be extended to the words consequently, accordingly, and the like. When these are subjoined to and, or joined to if, since, &c. they are adverbs, the connexion being made without their help; when they appear single, and unsupported by any other connective, they may be called conjunctions.

The inquisitive scholar may naturally ask, what necessity there is for adverbs of time, when verbs are provided with tenses, to show that circumstance. The answer is, though tenses may be sufficient to denote the greater distinctions of time, yet to denote them all by the tenses would be a perplexity without end. What a variety of forms must be given to the verb, to denote yesterday, to-day, to-morrow, formerly, lately, just now, now, immediately, presently, soon, hereafter, &c. It was this consideration that made the adverbs of time necessary, over and above the tenses.

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PREPOSITIONS serve to connect words with one another, and to show the relation between them. They are, for the most part, put before nouns and pronouns: as, “He went from London to York;" “ She is above disguise;" " They are instructed by him.”


The following is a list of the principal prepositions : Of into


at to within below


on or upon for without between up among by over

beneath down after with under from

before about in through beyond behind against

Verbs are often compounded of a verb and preposition : as, to uphold, to invest, to overlook; and this composition sometimes gives a new sense to the verb: as, to understand, to withdraw, to forgive. But in English, the preposition is more frequently placed after the verb; and separately from it, like an adverb; in which situation it is not less apt to affect the sense of it, and to give it a new meaning; and may still be considered as belonging to the verb, and as a part of it. As, to cast, is to throw; but to cast up, or to compute an account, is quite a different thing: thus, to fall on, to bear out, to give over, &c. So that the meaning of the verb, and the propriety of the phrase, depend on the preposition subjoined. As the distinct component parts of these words are, however, no guide to the sense of the whole, this circumstance contributes greatly towards making our language peculiarly difficult to foreigners.

In the composition of many words, there are certain syllables employed, which grammarians have called inseparable prepositions: as, be, con, mis, &c. in bedeck, conjoin, mistake; but as they are not words of any kind, they cannot properly be called a species of preposition.

One great use of prepositions, in English, is, to express those relations, which, in some languages, are chiefly marked by cases, or the different endings of nouns. See page 44. The necessity and use of them will appear from the following examples. If we say, “he writes a pen,” “they ran the

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