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proper to say, “ by the observing which ;" nor,“ by observing of which ;" but the phrase, without either article or preposition, would be right : as, " by observing which.” The article a or an, has the same effect: as, “ This was a betraying of the
, trust reposed in him."
This rule arises from the nature and idiom of our language, and from as plain a principle as any on which it is founded; namely, that a word which has the article before it, and the possessive preposition of after it must be a noun; and, if a noun, it ought to follow the construction of a noun, and not to have the regimen of a verb. It is the participial termination of this sort of words that is apt to deceive us, and make us treat them as if they were of an amphibious species, partly nouns and partly verbs.
The following are a few examples of the violation of this rule. “He was sent to prepare the way by preaching of repentance;" it ought to be, “ by the preaching of repentance;' or," by preaching repentance." "By the continual mortify“
: ing our corrupt affections ;" it should be, “ by the continual mortifying of, or, “ by continually mortifying our corrupt affections." " They laid out themselves towards the advancing and promoting the good of it:;" “towards advancing and promoting the good. “It is an overvaluing ourselves, to
" reduce every thing to the narrow measure of our capacities;" “it is overvaluing ourselves," or, "an overvaluing of ourselves.” “Keeping of one day in seven,” &c. it ought to be, “ the keeping of one day;” or “keeping one day.”
A phrase in which the article precedes the present participle and the possessive preposition follows it, will not, in every instance convey the same meaning, as would be conveyed by the participle without the article and preposition. “He expressed the pleasure he had in the hearing of the philosopher,” is capable of a different sense from, “ He expressed the pleasure he had in hearing the philosopher.” When, therefore, we wish, for the sake of harmony or variety, to substitute one of these phraseologies for the other, we should previously consider, whether they are perfectly similar in the sentiments they convey.
2. The same observations, which have been made respecting the effect of the article and participle, appear to be applicable to the pronoun and participle, when they are similarly associated : as, “ Much depends on their observing of
: the rule, and error will be the consequence of their neglecting of it," instead of their observing the rule, and their neglecting it.” We shall perceive this more clearly, if we substitue a noun for the pronoun : as, “Much depends upon Tyro's obserzVol. I.
ing of the rule,” &c.; which is the same as, “Much depends on Tyro's observance of the rule.” But, as this construction sounds rather harshly, it would, in general, be better to express the sentiment in the following, or some other form : “ Much depends on the rule's being observed; and error will be the consequence of its being neglected :"or_"on observing the rule ; and-of neglecting it.” This remark may be applied to several other modes of expression to be found in this work; which, though they are contended for as strictly correct, are not always the most eligible, on account of their unpleasant sound. See pages 45, 46, 65, 66, 176—179.
We sometimes meet with expressions like the following: " In forming of his sentences, he was very exact :" " From calling of names, he proceeded to blows." But this is incorrect language ; for prepositions do not, like articles and pronouns, convert the participle itself into the nature of a substantive ; as we have shown above in the phrase, “ By observing which.” And yet the participle with its adjuncts, may be considered as a substantive phrase in the objective case, governed by the preposition or verb, expressed or understood : as, “ By promising much, and performing but little, we become despicable.” “He studied to avoid expressing himself too severely.”
3. As the perfect participle and the imperfect tense, are sometimes different in their form, care must be taken that they be not indiscriminately used. It is frequently said, “He begun,” for “he began;" " he run," for " he ran;" " He drunk,” for “ he drank ;' the participle being here used instead of the imperfect tense: and much more frequently the imperfect tense instead of the participle: as, “I had wrote,” for “ I had written;" "I was chose,” for “ I was chosen ;' “I have eat,” for “ I have eaten." “ His words were interwove with sighs;" “ were interwoten." "He would have spoke;""
" spoken." "He hath bore witness to his faithful servant;" “ borne.” “ By this means he over-run his guide ;" over-ran." “ The sun has rose;" “ risen." “ His constitution has been greatly shook, but his mind is too strong to be shook by such causes;" “ shaken," in both places. * They were verses
? wrote on glass ;" "writlen." Philosophers have often mistook the source of true happiness :" it ought to be, "mistaken."
The participle ending in ed is often improperly contracted, by changing ed into t: as, “In good behaviour, he is not surpast by any pupil of the school." "She was much distrest." They ought to be, “surpassed." " distressed.”
When a substantive is put absolutely, and does not agree with the following verb, it remains independent on the participle, and is called the case absolute, or the nominative absolute : as, “ The painter being entirely confined to that part of time he has chosen, the picture comprises but very few incidents.” Here the painter agrees with no verb, as the verb comprises, which follows, agrees with picture. But when the substantive preceding the participle agrees with the subsequent verb, it loses its absoluteness, and is like every other nominative: as, “The painter, being entirely confined to that part of time which he has chosen, cannot exhibit various stages of the same action."
Iu this sentence we see that the painter governs, or agrees with, the verb can, as its nominative case. In the following sentence, a still different construction takes place: “ The painter's being entirely confined to that part of time which he has chosen, deprives him of the power of exhibiting various stages of the same action.” In this sentence, if we inquire for the nominative case, by asking, what deprives the painter of the power of exhibiting various stages of the same action, we shall find it to be, the confinement of the painter to that part of time which he has chosen ; and this state of things belonging to the painter governs it in the possessive case, and forms the compound nominative to the verb deprires.
In the sentence, “What think you of my horse's running to-day:" it is implied that the horse did actually run. If it is said, “ What think you of my horse running to-day ??! it is intended to ask, whether it be proper for my horse to run to-day. This distinction, though frequently disregarded, deserves attention ; for it is obvious, that ambiguity may arise, from using the latter only of these phraseologies, to express both meanings.
The active participle is frequently introduced without an obvious reference to any noun or pronoun: as, Generally speaking, his conduct was very honourable :” “Granting this to be true, what is to be inferred from it?" "It is scarcely possible, to act otherwise, considering the frailty of human nature."
In these sentences, there is no noun expressed or implied, to which speaking, granting, and considering can be referred. The most natural construction seems to be, that a pronoun is to be understood : as, “ We considering the frailty of human nature,” &c.; "I granting this to be true,"' &c.
The word the, before the active participle, in the following sentences, and in all others of a similar construction, is improper, and should be omitted : “ This style may be more properly called the talking upon paper than writing :" “ The advising, or the attempting, to excite such disturbances, is unlawful :" " The taking from another what is his, without his knowledge or allowance, is called stealing.” They should be; “ May be called talking upon paper ;' “ Advising or at
" tempting to excite disturbances;"* " Taking from another what is his,” &c.
In some of these sentences, the infinitive mood might very properly be adopted : as, “ To advise or attempt : “To
' take from another," &c.
Adverbs, though they have no government of case, tense, &c. require an appropriate situation in the sentence, viz. for the most part, before adjectives, after verbs active or neuter, and frequently between the auxiliary and the verb: as, “ He made a very sensible discourse; he spoke un
, affectedly and forcibly; and was attentively heard by the whole assembly.
See Vol. ii. Part 3. Exercises. Chap. 1. Rule 15.
A few instances of erroneous positions of adverbs may serve to illustrate the rule. “He must not expect to find • study agreeable always ;" “always agreeable.” “We always find them ready when we want them;" “ we find them always ready,” &c. “ Dissertations on the prophecies which have
. remarkably been fulfilled ;” “which have been remarkably." “ Instead of looking contemptuously down on the crooked in mind or in body, we should look up thankfully to God, who hath made us better ;?) " instead of looking down con. temptuously, &c. we should thankfully look up,” &c.
“ If thou art blessed naturally with a good memory, continually exercise it;" "naturally blessed," &c. "exercise it continu
Sometimes the adverb is placed with propriety before the verb, or at some distance after it; sometimes between the two auxiliaries; and sometimes after them both; as in the following examples. “Vice always creeps by degrees, and insensibly twines around us those concealed fetters, by which we are at last completely bound.” “He encouraged the English Barons to carry their opposition farther.” They compelled him to declare that he would abjure the realm for ever;" instead of, "to carry farther their opposition;" and “to abjure for ever the realm." "He has generally been reck
oned an honest man ;" “ The book may always be had at such a place ;" are preferable to “has been generally ;" and “may be always." « These rules will be clearly understood, after they have been diligently studied,” in preference to, “ These rules will clearly be understood, after they have diligently been studied."
When adverbs are emphatical, they may introduce a sentence, and be separated from the word to which they belong: as, “How completely this most amiable of human virtues, had taken possession of his soul!” This position of the adverb is most frequent in interrogative and exclamatory phrases,
From the preceding remarks and examples, it appears that no exact and determinate rule can be given for the placing of adverbs, on all occasions. The general rule may be of considerable use : but the easy flow and perspicuity of the phrase, are the things which ought to be chiefly regarded.
The adverb there is often used as an expletive, or as a word that adds nothing to the sense : in which case it precedes the verb and the nominative noun: as,
6. There is a person at the door ;" “ There are some thieves in the house;" which would be as well, or better, expressed by saying, “ A person is at the door ;' “ Some thieves are in the house." Sometimes it is made use of to give a small degree of 'emphasis to the sentence: as, “ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John."
When it is applied in its strict sepse, it principally follows the verb and the nominative case: as, 66. The man stands there."
me never so
1. The adverb never generally precedes the verb: as, “I never was there;”“He never comes at a proper time." When an auxiliary is used, it is placed indifferently, either before or after this adverb : as, “ He was never seen (or never was seen) to laugh from that time.” Never seems to be improperly used in the following passages. Ask much dowry and gift.” “If I make my hands never so clean." * Charm he never so wisely." The word “ever” would be more suitable to the sense.-Ever is sometimes improperly used for never: as, “I seldom or ever see him now." It should be, “ I seldom or never ;' the speaker intending to say, “ that rarely, or rather at no time, does he see him now;"> not “ rarely,” or, " at any time."
2. In imitation of the French idiom, the adverb of place where, is often used instead of the pronoun relative and a preposition. “ They framed a protestation, where they repeated all their former claims :" i. e. “in which they repeated.” “ The king was still determined to run forwards, in the same course