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INTRODUCTION.

WHEN the number and variety of English Grammars already published, and the ability with which some of them are written, are considered, little can be expected froiu a new-compilation, besides a careful selection of the most useful matter, an. some degree of improvement in the mode of adapting it lo the understanding, and the gradual progress of learners. In these respects something, perhaps, fuay yet be done, for the ease and advantage of young persons.

In books designed for the instruction of youth, there is a medium to be observed, between treating the subject in so extensive and minute a manner, as to einbarrass and coofuse theis minds, by offering too much at once for their comprehension; and, on the other hand, conducting it by such short and general precepts and observations, as convey to them no clear and precise informatioo. A distribution of the parts, which is cither defective or irregular, has also a tendency to perplex the young uöderstanding, and to retard its knowledge of the prin. ciples of literature. A distinct general view, or outline, of all the essential parts of the study in which they are engaged ;. 2 gradual and judicious supply of this outline ; and a due arrangenent of the divisions, according to their natural order and connęzion, appear to be among the best ineans of enligistening the minds of youth, and of facilitating their acquisition of knowledge. The author of this work, at the same time that he lias endea roured to avoid a plan, which may be too concise or too extensive, defective in its parts or irregular in their disposition, das studied to render his subject sufficiently easy, intelligible, and comprehensive. He does not presume to have completely attained these objects. How far he has succeeded in the attempt, and wherein he has failed, must be referred to the determination of the judicious and candid reader.

Fue method which he has adopted, of exhibiting the performance in characters of different sizes, will, he trusts, be cone ducive to that gradual and regular procedure, which is so favouraple to the business of instruction. The more important rules, definitions, and observations, and which are therefore the inost proper to be committed to memory, are printed with a larger type; whilst rules and remarks that are of less consequence; that extend.or diversify the general idea, or that serve as exPlanations, are contained in the smaller letter : these, or thie

chief of them, will be perused vy the student to the greatest advantage, if postponed till the general system be completed. The use of notes and observations, in the common and detached manner, at the bottom of the page, would not, it is imagined, be so likely to attract the perusal of youth, or adınit 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 connocted progress, or the part contained in the larger character read in order by itself. Many of the notes and observations are intended, not only to explain the subjects, and to illustrate them, by comparative views of the grammar of other languages, aud of the various sentiments of English grammarians ; but also to invite the ingenious student to inquiry and reflection, and tə prompt to a more enlarged, critical, and philosophical research.

With respect to the definitions and rules, it may not be improper more particularly to observe, that in selecting and forming them, it has been the autbor's aim to render them as exact and comprehensive, and, at the same time, as intelligible to young minds, as the nature of the subject, and the dif. ficulties attending it, would admit. He presumes that they are also calculated to be readily committed to memory, and easily retained. For this purpose, he has been solicitous to select terms that are smooth and voluble; to proportion the members of the sentences to one another; to avoid protracted periods; and to give the whole definition or rule, as much harmony of expression as he could devise.

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 attention to this part of the subject; and though the jostancer of false grammar, under the rules of Syntax, are numerous, it is hoped they will not be found too many, wben 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 chiefly 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

From the alterations which have been frequently made in the sentiments and the language, to suit the connexion, and to adapt them to the particular purposes for which they are introduced; 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 ibis nature would derive no advantago from it, equal to the inconvenience of crowding the pages with

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a repetitivn of names and references. It is, however, proper to acknowledge, in general terms, that the authors to whom the gramınatical part of this compilation is principally indebted for its materials, are Harris, Johnson, Lowth, Priestley, Beattie, Sheridan, Walker, and. Coote..

The Rules and Observations respecting Perspicuity, &c. contained in the Appendix, and which are, chiefly, extracted from the writings of Blair and Campbell, will, it is presuined, form a proper addition to the Grammar. The subjects are very nearly 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 improvements in language, to which they may be properly directed.

On the utility and importance of the study of Graminar, and the principles of Composition, much might be advanced, for the encouragement of persons in early life to apply theinselves to this branch of learning ; but as the limits of this Introduction will not allow of many observations on the subject, a fer leading sentiments are all that can he adṁitted here with propriety. As words are the signs of our ideas, and the medium by which we perceive the sentiments of others, and communicate our own; and as sigus 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 or 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 ease, with which we transfuse our sentiments into the minds of one another; and that, without a competent knowledge of this kind, we shall frequently be in hazard of misunderstanding gothers, 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 heart, which have too often proceeded from such differences, have been occasioned by a want of proper skill in the connexion and meaning of words, and by a tenacious misapplication of language.

One of the best supports, which the recommendation of this study can receive, in small compass, may be derived from the following sentiments of an eininent and candid writer

on language and composition. “ All that regards the study of com"position, merits the higher attention upon this account, that " it is intimately connected with the improvement of our intel" lectual powers. For I must be allowed to say, that when we are employed, after a proper manner, in the study of compo

* Blair.

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sition, we are cultivating the understanding itself. The study "of arranging and expressing our thoughts with propriety, " teaches to think, as well as to speak, aceurately."

BEFORE the close of this Introduction, it may not be superfuous to observe, that the author of the following work has no interest in it, but that which arises from the hope, that it will prove of some advantage to young personş; and relieve the labours of those who are employed in their education. He wishes to promote, in some degree, the cause of virtue, as well as of learning; and, with this view, he has been studious, through the whole of the work, not only to avoid every example and illustration, which might have an improper effect on the minds of youth ; but also to introduce, on many occasions, such as have a moral and religious tendency. His attention to objects of so

duch importance will, he trusts, meet the approbation of every well-disposed reader. If they were faithfully regarded in all books of education, they would doubtless contribute very materially to the order and happiness of society, by guarding the in. aocence and cherishing the virtue of the rising generation. Holdgate, near York, 1795.

ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE NINTH EDITION. The eighth edition of this grammar received considerable alterations and additions : but works of this nature admit of repeated improvemenis; and are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his hook more worthy of the encouraging approbation bestowed on it by the public, has again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he hopes, will be found much improved. The additions, which are very considerable, are, chiefly, such as are calculated to expand the learner's views of the subject; to obviate objections; and to render the study of grammar both easy and interesting. This edition contains also a new and enlarged systein of parsing; copious lists of nouns arranged according to their gender and nurs ber; and many notes and observations, which serve to extend, or to explain, particular rules and positions.*

# The author conceives that the oceasional strictures, dispersed through the hook, and intended to illustrate and support a number of important grain matical points, will not, to young persons of ingenuity, appear to be dry and uselesa discussions. He is. Gersuaded that, by such persons, they will be read with attention. And he presuines that these strictures will gratify their curiesity, stimulate application, and give solidity and permanence to their gram, autical knowledge. In the Octavo edition of the grammar, the reader will Und many additional discussions of this nature.

Holdgnle, ruear York, 180).

The writer is sensible that, after all his endeavonrs to eluci. date the principles of the work, there are few of the divisions arrangements, definitions, or rules, against which critical ingeQuity cannot devise plausible objections. The subject is attended with so much intricacy, and admits of views so various, that it was not possible to render every part of it unexceptionable ; or to accommodate the work, in all respects, to the opinions and prepossessions of every graminarian and teacher. If the author has adopted that system which, on the whole, is best snited to the nature of the subject, and conformable to the sentiments of the most judicious grammarians; if bis reasonings and illustrations, respecting particular points, are founded on just principles, and the peculiarities of the Eoglish language; he bas, perhaps, dove all that could reasonably be expected in a work of this nature; and he may warrantably indulge a hope, that the book will be still more extensively approved and circulated.

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