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upon the

river," " the tower fell the Greeks," "Lambeth is Westminster-abbey," there is observable in each of these expressions, either a total want of connexion, or such a connexion as produces falsehood or nonsense : and it is evident, that, before they can be turned into sense, the vacancy must be filled up by some connecting word : as thus, “ He writes with a pen;"

they ran towards the river ;" “ the tower fell Greeks;" “ Lambeth is over against Westminster-abbey." We see by these instances, how prepositions may be necessary to connect those words, which in their signification are not naturally connected.

Prepositions, in their original and literal acceptation, seem to have denoted relations of place; but they are now used figuratively to express other relations. For example, as they who are above have, in several respects, the advantage of such as are below, prepositions expressing high and low places, are used for superiority and inferiority in general: as, "He is

6 above disguise;" “ We serve under a good master;"> “ he rules

we “ over a willing people ;" “ we should do nothing beneath our character."

The importance of the prepositions will be further perceived by the explanation of a few of them.

Of denotes possession or belonging, an effect or consequence, and other relations connected with these :


The house of my friend;" that is, “ the house belonging to my friend;" “ He died of a fever;" that is, “ in consequence of a fever.”

To or unto, is opposed to from: as, “ He rode from Salisbury to Winchester."

For indicates the cause or motive of any action or circumstance, &c.; as, “ He loves her for (that is on account of) her amiable qualities."

By is generally used with reference to the cause, agent, means, &c.: as, “ He was killed by a fall;" that is,

a fall was the cause of his being killed;" “ This house was built by him ;' that is, “ he was the builder of it."

With denotes the act of accompanying, uniting, &c.: as, 16 We will


you:” “ They are on good terms with each other."—With also alludes to the instrument or means : as, “ He was cut with a knife."

In relates to time, place, the state or manner of being or acting, &c.: as, “ He was born in (that is during) the year 1720;"> “ He dwells in the city;" “ She lives in affluence.”

Into is used after verbs that imply motion of any kind : as, “ He retired into the country ;" * Copper is converted into brass."

Within relates to something comprehended in any place or

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time: as, “ They are within the house ;" “ He began and finished his work within the limited time."

The signification of without is opposite to that of within : as, “She stands without the gate :" But it is more frequently opposite to with : as, “ You may go without me.”

The import and force of the remaining prepositions will be readily understood, without a particular detail of them. We shall therefore conclude this head with observing, that there is a peculiar propriety in distinguishing the use of the prepositions by and with ; which is observable in sentences like the following: "He walks with a staff by moonlight;" "He was

“ ! taken by stratagem, and killed with a sword.” Put the one preposition for the other, and say, “he 'walks by a staff with moonlight;" "he was taken with stratagem, and killed by a sword, and it will appear, that they differ in signification more than one, at first view, would be apt to imagine.

Some of the prepositions have the appearance and effect of conjunctions : as, “ After their prisons were thrown open,” &c. Before I die;"> “ They made haste to be prepared against their friends arrived :" but if the noun time, which is understood be added, they will lose their conjunctive form : as, “ After [the time when] their prisons,”' &c.

The prepositions after, before, above, beneath, and several others, sometimes appear to be adverbs, and may be so considered : as, “They had their reward soon after ;), “ He died


" not long before ;? “ He dwells above ;” but if the nouns time and place be added, they will lose their adverbial form: as, “ He died not long before that time,” &c.'

Prepositions, as well as some other species of words, have a variety of significations. It will both gratify and instruct the inquisitive learner, to examine some of the various meanings which are attached to the preposition for. He will find, that each of the phrases denoting these meanings, may, with propriety, be substituted for the preposition.


1. It signifies, because of : as, “Let me sing praises for his

mercies and blessings." 2. With regard to, with respect to: as, “ For me, no other

happiness I own.” 3. In the character of : as, “Let her go for an ungrateful wo

r 4. By means of ; by interposition of : as, “If it were not for

Divine Providence, the world would be a scene of con

fusion." 5. For the sake of : as, “ He died for those who knew him not." 6. Conducive to: as, “ It is for the general good.”



7. With intention of going to a certain place : as, “We sailed

from Peru for China." 8. In expectation of : as, “ He waited long for the return of

his friend." 9. Instead of : as, “ We take a falling meteor for a star.” 10. In search of: as, “He went far back for arguments.” 11. In favour of: as, “One party was for the king, the other

for the people.” 12. Becoming : as, “ It were more for his honour to submit on

, this occasion." 13. Notwithstanding : as, “ For any thing we know to the con

trary, the design may be accomplished.” 14. To preserve : as, “I cannot for my life comply with the

proposal." 15. In proportion to : as, “ He is not very tall, yet for his

, years he is tall." 16. For the purpose of : as, “ It was constructed for sailing in

rough weather." 17. To be: as, “ No one ever took him for a very prudent

man. 18. In illustration of: as, “ Thus inuch, for the first point un

: , der consideration." 19. In exchange for: as, “ They received gold for their glass

beads." 20. During : as, “He was elected to the office for his life.” - 21. In recompense of : as, For his great and numerous ser

vices, they voted him a statue." 22. After O, it denotes an expression of desire : as, “O, for bet

ter times :" “0, for a place of rest and peace.


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Before the conclusion of this chapter, we shall present the reader with a list of Prepositions, which are derived from the Latin and Greek languages, and which enter into the composition of a great number of our words. If their signification should be carefully studied by the learner, he will be the better qualified to understand, with accuracy, the meaning of a numerous class of words, in which they form a material part.

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The Latin prepositions used in the composition of English words, are the following: a, abs, ad, ante, &c. A, AB, ABS,---signify from or away : as, to avert, to turn from ;

to abstract, to draw away. AD--signifies to or at : as, to adhere, to stick to; to admire, to

wonder at. ANTE—means before : as, antecedent, going before ; to antedate,

to date before.

CIRCUM-means round, about : as, to circumnavigate, to sail

round. CON, COM, co, col-signify together : as, to conjoin, to join to

gether; to compress, to press together; to co-operate, to

work together; to collapse, to fall together. CONTRA-against : as, to contradict, to speak against. DE—signifies from, down : as, to depart, to retire from; to de

ject, to cast down. DI-asunder : as, dilacerate, to tear asunder. Dis-reverses the meaning of the word to which it is prefixed;

as, to disagree, to dispossess. E, EX-out : as to eject, to throw out; to exclude, to shut out. EXTRAbeyond: as, extraordinary, beyond the ordinary



in—before an adjective, like un, signifies privation : as, in

decent, not decent; before a verb it has its simple mean

ing; as, to infuse, to pour in; to infix, to fix in. INTER-between : as, to intervene, to come between ; to inter

pose, to put between. INTRO—into, inwards: as, to introduce, to lead into ; to intro

vert, to turn inwards. OB—denotes opposition: as, to object, to oppose; to obstruct,

to block up; obstacle, something standing in opposition. PER-through: as, to perambulate, to walk through; to per

forate, to bore through. POST-after : as, post meridian, afternoon; Postcript, written

after, that is, after the letter. PRÆbefore : as, to pre-exist, to exist before; to prefix, to fix

before. PRO-forth or forwards : as, to protend, to stretch forth; to

project, to shoot forwards. PRÆTERpast, or beyond: as, preterperfect, pastperfect: pre

ternatural, beyond the course of nature. REagain, or back : as, to reprint, to print again; to retrace,

to trace back. RETRO-backwards : as, retrospective, looking backwards; retro

grade, going backwards. SE~aside, apart : as, to seduce, to draw aside; to secrete, to

put aside,

SUB—under : as, subterranean, lying under the earth; to sub

scribe, to subsign, to write under. Vol. 1.


SUBTER-under : as, subterfluous, flowing under.
SUPER-above, or oder : as, superscribe, to write above ; to su-

pervise, to overlook. TRANS-over, beyond, from one place to another : as, to trans

port, to carry over; to transgress, to pass beyond; to

transplant, to remove from one soil to another. The Greek prepositions and particles used in the composition of English words, are the following: a, amphi, anti, hyper, &c. A-signifies privation: as, anonymous, without name. AMPHI—both, or the two : as, amphibious, partaking of both,

or of two natures. ANTI--against : as, antimonarchical, against government by a

single person; antiministerial, against the ministry. HYPER-over and above : as, hypercritical, over, or too critical. HYPO—under, implying concealment, or disguise: as, hypo

crite, one dissembling his real character. META-denotes change or transmutation : as, to metamorphose,

to change the shape. PERI-round aboul : as, periphrasis, circumlocution. SYN, SYM---together : as, synod, a meeting, or coming together;

sympathy, fellow-feeling, feeling together.

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