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tion so tame and careless of their own defence." “ All the virtues of mankind are to be counted upon a few fingers, but his follies and vices are innumerable." Is not mankind in this place a noun of multitude, and such as requires the pronoun referring to it, to be in the plural number, their ?
When a noun of multitude is preceded by a definitive word, which clearly limits the sense to an aggregate with an idea of unity, it requires a verb and pronoun to agree with it in the singular number: as, “A company of troops was detached ; a troop of cavalry was raised ; this people is become a great nation; that assembly was numerous; a great number of men and women was collected.”—See pages 147, 148.
On many occasions, where a noun of multitude is used, it is very difficult to decide, whether the verb should be in the singular, or in the plural number; and this difficulty has induced some grammarians to cut the knot at once, and to assert that every noun of multitude, as it constitutes one aggregate of many particulars, must always be considered as conveying the idea of unity; and that, consequently, the verb and pronoun agreeing with it, cannot with propriety, be ever used in the plural number. This opinion appears to be not well con
. sidered; it is contrary to the established practice of the best writers of the language, and against the rules of the most respectable grammarians. Some nouns of multitude certainly convey to the mind an idea of plurality, others, that of a whole as one thing, and others again sometimes that of unity, and sometimes that of plurality. On this ground, it is warrantable, and consistent with the nature of things, to apply a plural verb and pronoun to the one class, and a singular verb and pronoun, to the other. We shall immediately perceive the impropriety of the following constructions: “ The clergy has withdrawn itself from the temporal courts;" “ The nobility, exclusive of ils capacity as hereditary counsellor of the crown, forms the pillar to support the throne;" “ The commonalty is divided into several degrees;" “ The people of England is possessed of super-eminent privileges," " The multitude was clamorous for the object of its affections ;" “ The assembly was divided in its opinion ;" “ The fleet was all dispersed, and some of it was taken. _In all these instances, as well as in many others, the plural verb and pronoun should be used: and if the reader will apply them, as 'he looks over the sentences a second time, he will perceive the propriety and effect of a change in the construction.
Pronouns must always agree with their antecedents, and the nouns for which they stand, in gender and number; as, “This is the friend whom I love ;”. “ That is the vice which I hate;" “ The king and the queen had put on their robes;" “ The moon appears, and she shines, but the light is not her own.”
The relative is of the same person as the antecedent, and the verb agrees with it accordingly; as,
Thou who lovest wisdom ;" " I who speak from experience."
See rol. ii. Part 3. Exercises. Chap. 1. Rule 5. Or this rule there are many violations to be met with; a few of which may be sufficient to put the learner on his guard. “ Each of the sexes should keep within its particular bounds, and content themselves with the advantages of their particular districts :" better thus: “The sexes should keep within their particular bounds,” &c. "Can any one, on their
c “ entrance into the world, be fully secure that they shall not be deceived ?"" on his entrance," and “that he shall." should not think too favourably of ourselves;” “of one's self." "He had one acquaintance which poisoned his principles ;" “ who poisoned."
Every relative must have an antecedent to which it refers, either expressed or implied: as, - “Who is fatal to
66 others, is so to himself;" that is, “ the man who is fatal to others."
Who, which, what, and the relative that, though in the objective case, are always placed before the verb; as are also their compounds, whoever, whosoever, &c. : as, "He whom ye seek ;" “ This is what, or the thing which, or that, you want;" “Whomsoever you please to appoint." What is sometimes applied, in a manner
'to be exceptionable : as, “ All fevers, except what are called nervous, &c. It would at least be better to say, "except those which are called nervous."
What is very frequently used as the representative of two cases; one the objective after a verb or preposition, and the other, the nominative to a subsequent verb: as, “I heard what was said.” 6. He related what was seen." " According to rohat was proposed.” “We do not constantly love what has done us good.”—This peculiar construction may be explained, by resolving what into its principles that which : as, is I heard ihat which was said," &c.
In a few instances, the relative is introduced as the nominative to a verb before the sentence or clause which it represents : as, “ There was therefore, which is all that we assert, a course of life pursued by them, different from that which they before led.” Here, the relative which is the representative of
. the whole of the last part of the sentence; and its naturalposition is after that clause.
Whatever relative is used, in one of a series of clauses relating to the same antecedent, the same relative ought, generally to be used in them all. In the following sentence, this rule is violated: “It is remarkable, that Holland, against which the war was undertaken, and that, in the very beginning, was reduced to the brink of destruction, lost nothing. The clause ought to have been, “and which in the very begin
The relative frequently refers to a whole clause in the sentence, instead of a particular word in it: as, “ The resolution was adopted hastily, and without due consideration, which produced great dissatisfaction;" that is, “which thing," namely, the hasty adoption of the resolution.
6 The men
1. Personal pronouns being used to supply the place of the noun, are not employed in the same part of the sentence as the noun which they represent; for it would be improper to say, “ The king he is just;" " I saw her the queen;" they were there;" “ Many words they darken speech ;” “My banks they are furnished with bees." These personals are superfluous, as there is very seldom any occasion for a substitute in the same part where the principal word is present. The nominative case they, in the following sentence, is also superfluous : “ Who, instead of going about doing good, they are perpetually intent upon doing mischief."
This rule is often infringed, by the case absolute's not being properly distinguished from certain forms of expression apparently similar to it. In this sentence, “ The candidate being chosen, the people carried him in triumph,” the word candidate is in the absolute case. But in the following sentence, “ The candidate, being chosen, was carried in triumph by the people,” candidate is the nominative to the verb was carried ; and therefore it is not in the case absolute. Many writers, however, apprehending the nominative in this latter sentence, as well as in the former, to be put absolutely, often insert another nominative to the verb, and say, “ The candidate be
. ing chosen, he was carried in triumph by the people ;"_“The general approving the plan, he put it in execution.” The error in each of these two sentences, is, that there are two no
minatives used, where one would have been sufficient, and consequently that he is redundant.
2. The pronoun that is frequently applied to persons as well as to things; but after an adjective in the superlative degree, and after the pronominal adjective same, it is generally used in preference to who or which : as, “ Charles XII. king of Sweden, was one of the greatest madmen that the world ever saw;" "Cataline's followers were the most profligate that could be found in any city.” “ He is the same man that we saw be
" fore.” But if, after the word same a preposition should precede the relative, one of the other two pronouns must be employed, the pronoun that not admitting a preposition prefixed to it:
“ He is the same man, with whom you were acquainted." It is remarkable, however, that, when the arrangement is a little varied, the word that admits the preposition: as, “ He is the same man that you were acquainted with.”
There are cases wherein we cannot conveniently dispense with the relative that, as applied to persons : as first, after who the interrogative;" Who that has any sense of religion, would have argued thus ?" Secondly, when persons make but a part of the antecedent; “The woman and the estate, that became his portion, were rewards far beyond bis desert." In neither of these examples could any other relative have been used.
3. The pronouns whichsoever, whosoever, and the like, are elegantly divided by the interposition of the corresponding substantives : thus, “ On whichsoever side the king cast his eyes;" would have sounded better, if written, “On which side soever," &c.
4. Many persons are apt, in conversation, to put the objective case of the personal pronouns in the place of these and
“Give me them books ;" instead of “ those books." We may sometimes find this fault even in writing : as, serve them three there." We also frequently meet with those instead of they, at the beginning of a sentence, and where there is no particular reference to an antecedent: as, that sow in tears, sometimes reap in joy." They that, or they who sow in tears.
It is not, however, always easy to say, whether a personal pronoun or a demonstrative is preferable, in certain constructions. “We are not unacquainted with the calumny of them (or those) who openly make use of the warmest professions."
5. In some dialects, the word what is improperly used for that, and sometimes we find it in this sense in writing : “ They
those : as,
will never believe but what I have been entirely to blame." “ I am not satisfied but what," &c. instead of “but that." The word somewhat, in the following sentence, seems to be used improperly. “ These punishments seemed to have been exercised in somewhat an arbitrary manner.” Sometimes we read, “In somewhat of.” The meaning is,“ in a manner which is in some respects arbitrary.”
6. The court,
6. The pronoun relative who is so much appropriated to persons, that there is generally harshness in the application of it, except to the proper names of persons, or the general terms man, woman, &c. A term which only implies the idea of persons, and expresses them by some circumstance or epithet, will hardly authorize the use of it: as, “ That faction in England, who most powerfully opposed his arbitrary pretensions." “ That faction which," would have been better; and the same remark will serve for the following examples: “ France, who was in alliance with Sweden." who,” &c. “The cavalry, who," &c. “ The cities who aspired at liberty.” “ That party among us who,” &c. “The family whom they consider as usurpers."
In some cases it may be doubtful, whether this pronoun is properly applied or not: as, “ The number of substantial inhabitants with whom some cities abound.” For when a term directly and necessarily implies
persons, it may in many cases claim the personal relative. “None of the company whom he most affected, could cure him of the melancholy under which he laboured.” The word acquaintance may have the same construction.
7. We hardly consider little children as persons, because that term gives us the idea of reason and reflection : and therefore the application of the personal relative who, in this case, seems to be harsh : “A child who.” It, though neuter, is applied, when we speak of an infant or child whose sex is unknown: as, “It is a lovely infant;" " It is a healthy child.” The personal pronoun is still more improperly applied to animals : “ A lake frequented by that fowl, whom nature has taught to dip the wing in water."
8. When the name of a person is used merely as a name, and it does not refer to the person, the pronoun who ought not to be applied. “It is no wonder if such a man did not shine at the court of queen Elizabeth, who was but another name for prudence and economy.” Better thus; “Whose name was but another word for prudence,” &c. The word whose begins likewise to be restricted to persons; yet it is not