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horse," “ To dance the child," the verbs certainly assume a transitive form, and may not, in these cases, be improperly denominated transitive verbs.
1. Some writers, however, use certain neuter verbs as if they were transitive, putting after them the objectire case, agrecably to the French construction of reciprocal verbs ; but this custom is so foreign to the idiom of the English tongue, that it ought not to be adopted or imitated. The following are some instances of this practice.
Repenting him of his design.” “ The king soon found reason to repent him of his provoking such dangerous enemies." “ The popular lords did not fail to enlarge themgelves on the subject.”
6 The nearer his successes approached him to the throne." “Go flee thee away into the land of Judah.” “I think it by no means a fit and decent thing to vie charities,” &c. "They have spent their whole time and pains to agree the sacred with the profane chronology.”
2. Active verbs are sometimes as improperly made Deuter; as, “I must premise with three circumstances.' “ Those that think to ingratiate with him by calumniating me."
3. The neuter verb is varied like the active ; but, having in some degree the nature of the passive, it admits, in many instances, of the passive form, retaining still the neuter signification, chiefly in such verbs as signify some sort of motion, or change of place or condition : as, “I am come; I was gone ; I am grown; I was fall. en.” The following examples, however, appear to be crroneous, in giving the neuter verbs a passive form, instead of an active one. " The rule of our holy religion, from which we are infinitely swerved.” “ The whole ob. ligation of that law and covenant was also ceased.” Whose number was norv amounted to three hundred.” ". This mareschal, upon some discontent, was entered into a con. spiracy against his master.” At the end of a campaign, when half the men are deserted or killed." It should be, 56 have swerved, had ceased," &c.
4. The verb to be, through all its variations, has the same case after it, as that which next precedes it: “I am he whom they invited; "." It may be (or might have been)
he, but it cannot be (or could not have been) T;" “ It is impossible to be they;" “ It seems to have been he, who conducted himself so wisely;" “ It appeared to be she that transacted the business ;' " I understood it to be him;" “ I believe it to have been them;" “ We at first took it to be her; but were afterwards convinced that it was not she." “ He is not the person who it seemed he was.' “He is really the person who he appeared to be." “ She, is not now the woman whom they represented her to have been." “ Whom do you fancy him to be ?” By these examples, it appears that this substantive verb has no government of case, but serves, in all its forms, as a conductor to the cases; so that the two cases which, in the construction of the sentence, are the next before and after it, must always be alike. Perhaps this subject will be more intelligible to the learner, by observing, that the words in the cases preceding and following the verb to be, may be said to be in upposition to each other. Thus, in the sentence, “I understood it to be him,” the words it and hiin are in apposition; that is, “ they refer to the same thing, and are in the same case.”
The following sentences contain deviations from the rule, and exhibit the pronoun in a wrong case : " It might have been him, but there is no proof of it;" Though I was blamed, it could not have been me;"
" I saw one whom I took to be she ;" “ She is the person who I understood it to have been;" “ Who do you think me to be ?”' " Whom do men say that I am ?"! " And whom think ye that I am ?? -See the Octavo Grammar.
Passive verbs which signify naming, &c. have the same ! case before and after them : as, “ He was called Cæsar'; She was named Penelope ; Homer is styled the prince of poets ; James was created a duke; The general was saluted emperor; The professor was appointed tutor to the prince.”
-5. The auxiliary let governs the objective case : as, “Let him beware," " Let us judge candidly;" « Let them not presume;"! " Let George study. his lesson.”
RULE XII. One verb governs another that follows it, or depends upon it, in the infinitive mood : as, “ Cease to do evil;
learn to do well; “We should be prepared to render an account of our actions."
The preposition to, though generally used before the latter verb, is sometimes properly omitted : as, “I heard him say it;" instead of " to say it."
The verbs which have commonly other verbs following them in the infinitive mood, without the sign to, are Bid, dare, need, make, see, hear, feel; and also, let, not used as an auxiliary; and perhaps a few others : as,
" I bade him do it;" * Ye dare not do it;" “ I saw him do it ;' “ I heard him say it;"
66 Thou lettest him go.” 1. In the following passages, the word to, the sign of the infinitive mood, where it is distinguished by Italic characters, is superfluous and improper. " I have observed some satirists to use,”' &c. • To see so many to make so little conscience of so great a sin.” " It cannot but be a delightful spectacle to God and angels, to see a young person, besieged by powerful temptations on every side, to acquit himself gloriously, and resolutely to hold out against the most violent assaults; to behold one in the prime and flower of his age, that is courted by pleasures and honours, by the devil, and all the bewitching vanities of the world, to reject all these, and to cleave steadfastly unto God.”
This mood has also been improperly used in the following places: “I am not like other men, to envy the talents I cannot reach." “ Grammarians have denied, or at least doubted, them to be genuine ;" " That all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always what is righteous in thy sight."
The infinitive is frequently governed by adjectives, substantives, and participles : as, ". He is eager to learn;" "She is worthy to be loved ;" 6 They have a desire to improve;" "Endeavouring to persuade.”
The infinitive mood has much of the nature of a substantive, expressing the action itself which the verb signifes, as the participle has the nature of an adjective. Thus the infinitive 'mood does tlie office of a substantive in differont cases : in the nominative : as, “ T'o play is pleasant :" in the objective: as, " Boys love to play; " Tor to will
is present with me ; but to perform that which is good, I find not."
The infinitive mood is often made absolute, or used independently on the rest of the sentence, supplying the piace of the conjunction that with the potential mood : as,
" To confess the truth, I was in fault : “ To begin with the first ;" “ To proceed;" “ To conclude ;" that is, “ That I may confess,” &c.
RULE XIII. In the use of words and phrases which, in point of time, relate to each other, a due regard to that relation should be observed. Instead of saying, “ The Lord "hath giren, and the Lord hath taken away ;" we should say, « The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.' Instead of, “I remember the family more than twenty years;" it should be, "I have remembered the family more than twenty years.'
It is not easy to give particular rules for the management of the moods and tenses of verbs with respect to one another, so that they may be proper and consistent. The best rule that can be given, is this very general one: * To observe what the sense necessarily requires." It may, however, be of use to give a few examples of irregular construction. " The last week I intended to have written,” is a very common phrase ; the infinitive being in the past time, as well as the verb which it follows. But it is certainly wrong ; for how long soever now is since I thought of writing, “ to write was then present to me, and must still be considered as present, when I bring back that time, and the thoughts of it. It ought, therefore, to be, “ The last week I intended to write.” The following sentences are also erroneous : 6 I cannot excuse the remissness of those whose business it should have been, as it certainly was their interest, to have interposed their good offices. “ There were two circumstances which inade it necessary for them to have lost no time.” tory painters would have found it difficult to have invented such a species of beings They ought to be, “ to interposa, to lose, to invent. " On the morrow, because he
should have known the certainty, wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him.” It ought to be, “because be would know,” or rather," being willing to know.”
“ The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.” If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead;" may,
” in both places, would have been better. 6 From his biblical knowledge, he appears to study the Scriptures with great attention ;' “ to have studied," &c. “ I feared that I should have lost it, before I arrived at the city ;” should lose it.”. “I had rather walk ;" It should be, “ I would rather walk." “ It would have afforded me no satisfaction, if I could perform it :” it should be,“ if I could have performed it;?' or," It would afford me no satiskıction, if I could perform it.”
To preserve consistency in the time of verbs, we must recollect that, in the subjunctive mood, the present and imperfect tenses often carry with them a future sense ; and tha the auxiliaries should and would, in the imperfect limes, are used to express the present and future as well
the past: for which see page 75.
1. It is proper further to observe, that verbs of the intinitive mood in the following form ; “to write,” “ to be writing," and “to be written," always denote something contemporary with the time of the governing verb, or subsequent to it: but when verbs of that mood are expressed as follows; “ To have been writing," "to have written," and “ to have been written,” they always denote something antecedent to the time of the governing verb. This remark is thought to be of importance ; for if duly at tended to, it will, in most cases, be sufficient to direct us in the relative application of these tenses.
The following sentence is properly and analogically expressed: “ I found him better than I expected to find him."
Expected to have found him," is irreconcilable alike to grammar and to sense. Indeed, all verbs expressive of hope, desire, intention, or command, must invariably be followed by the present, and not the perfect of the infinitive. Every person would perceive an error in this expression ; “ It is long since I commanded him to have done it :" Yet “expected to have found,” is no better. It is as clear that the finding must be poste