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mon and detached manner, at the bottom of the page, would not, it is imagined, be so likely to attract the perusal of youth, or admit of so ample and regular an illustration, as a continued and uniform order of the several subjects. In adopting this mode, care has been taken to adjust it so that the whole may be perused in a connected progress, or the part contained in the larger character read in order by itself.
With respect to the definitions and rules, it may not be im. proper more particularly to observe, that, in selecting and forming them, it has been the Compiler's aim to render them as exact and comprehensive, and, at the same time, as intelligi. ble to young minds, as the nature of the subject, and the diffi. culties attending it, would admit. In this attempt, he has sometimes been, unavoidably, induced to 'offer more for the scholar's memory, than he could otherwise have wished. But if he has tolerably succeeded in his design, the advantages to be derived from it, will, in the end, more than compensate the inconvenience. In regard to the notes and observations, he may add, that many of them are intended, not only to explain the subjects, and to illustrate them by comparative views, but also to invite the ingenious student to inquiry and reflection, and to prompt to a more enlarged, critical, and satisfactory research.
From the sentiment generally admitted, that a proper selection of faulty composition is more instructive to the young grammarian, than any rules and examples of propriety that can be given, the Compiler has been induced to pay peculiar ate' tention to this part of the subject; and though the instances of false grammar, under the rules of Syntax, are numerous, it is hoped they will not be found too many, when their variety and usefulness are considered.
In a work which professes itself to be a compilation, and which, from the nature and design of it, must consist of materials selected from the writings of others, it is scarcely necessary to apologize for the use which the Compiler has made of his predecessors' labours : or for omitting to insert their names. From the alterations which have been frequently made in the sentiments and language, to suit the connexion, and to adapt them to the particular purposes for which they are in'troduced ; and, in many instances, from the uncertainty to whom the passages originally belonged, the insertion of names could seldom be made with propriety. But if this could have been generally done, a work of this nature would derive no advantage from it, equal to the inconvenience of crowding the pages with a repetition of names and references. It is, how. ever, proper to acknowledge in general terms, that the authors to whom the grammatical part of this compilation is principally indebted for its materials, are, Harris, Johnson, Lowth, Priestley, Beattie, Sheridan, Walker, and Coote.
Iniroductions The Rules and observations respecting Perspicuity, &€. £51ned in the Appendix, and which are, chiefly, extracted from 1.e writings of Blair and Campbell, will, it is presumed, form a proper acklition to the Grainmar. The subjects are very ceriy related; and the study of perspicuity and accuracy in writing, appears naturally to follow that of Grammar. A competent acquaintance with the principles of both, will prepare and qualify the students, for prosecuting those additional proveinents in language, to which they may be properly directed,
On the utility and importance of the study of Grammar, end the principles of Composition, much might be advanced, for the encouragement of persons in early life, to apply thensives to this branch of learning; but as the limits of this introduction will not allow of many observations on the subject, a few leading sentiments are all that can be admitted here with propriety. As words are the sig!)s of our ideas, and the me. dium by which we perceive the sentiments of others, and communicate our own; and as signs exhibit the things which they are intended to represent, more or less accurately, according as their real or established conformity to those things, is more cr less exact; it is evident, that in proportion to our knowledge of the nature and properties of words, of their relation to each other, and of their established connexion with the ideas to which they are applied, will be the certainty and ear, with which we transfuse our sentiments into the mincis of one area ther; and that, without a competent knowledge of this kind, we shall frequently be in hazard of misunderstanding others, and of being misunderstood ourselves. It may indeed be justly asserted, that many of the differences in opinion amongst men, with the disputes, contentions, and alienations of heari, which have too ofien proceeded from such differences, have been occasioned by a want of proper skill in the connex1014 and meaning of words, and by a tenacious misapplication of
One of the best supports, which the recommendation of this study can receive, in small compass, may be derived iron the following sentiments of an eminent and candid writer* language and composition. “All that regards the study of composition, merits the higher attention upon this account, that it is intimately connected with the impro:ement of our intellectual powers. For I must be allowed to say, that when we are einployed, after a proper manges, in the study of composition, we are cultivating the understanding itselt. The ** Idy of arranging and expressing our thinghts with propriety, teaches to think, as well as to speak, accurately."
Before the ciose of this Introduction, it may not be super fous to observe, that the Compier of she following work
has no interest in it, but tiat which arises froin the hope, that it will prove of some advantage to yourg persons, and reseve the latours of those who are employed in their education. He wisiit's to promote, in some degree, the cause of virtue, as well as of learning; and, with this view, he has been studio ous, through the whole of the work, not only to avoid every xan,ple and illustration, which might have an improper effect on the minds of youth ; but also to introduce, on many occa. sious, suuh ahave a moral and religious tendency. His attention to ohjects of so much importance will, he trusts, mpet the approbation of every well-isposed reader. If they were Luthfully regarded in all books of education, they would doubt. less contribute very materially to the order and happiness or society, hy guarding the innocence, and cherishing the virti of the rising generatiti,
TO THE NINTH EDITION ,
THE eighth edition of this grammar receivest. considerable alterations and additions : but work: of this nature admit of repeated improvements ; an. are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his book more worthy of the encolraging approbation bestowed on it by the public, his again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he hopes will be found much improved. , Tlu aditions, which are very considerable, are chieily, such ac are calculated, to expand the learner's views of the subject; to obriate objections; and to render the study of grammar both easy and inter. esting. This edition contains also a new and enlarg ed system of parsing; copious lists of nouns arrans ed according to their gender and number; and many notes and observations, which serve to extend, or to explain, particular rules and positions. *
The writer is sensible that, after all his endeavours to elucidate the principles of the work, there are tew of the divisions, arrangemems, definitiolis, o rules, against which critical ingenuity cannot de vise plausible objections. The subject is attended with so much intricacy, and adinits of views so various, that it was not possible to render every part of it un exceptionable, or to accommodate the work, in all
* The author conceives that the occasional strictures, disa persed through the book; and intended to illustrate and support a number of important grammatiral points, will not, to young persons of ingenuity, appear cu betry and osciess disa Cussions. He is persuaded that, by such persona, they will be read with attention. And he presumed that these strictures sa gratify their curiosity, stiniulite application, and give sr. Llity and permanence to their grammatical lancu ledynie