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3 7 24 The power of speech is a faculty peculiar to man; 8 5 5 7 4 7 4 3
7 and was bestowed on him by his beneficent Creator, for
1 3 8 6 3 2 8 9 6 6 the greatest and most excellent uses ; but alas ! how often 5 4 5 4 m 1 3
2 do we pervert it to the worst of purposes !
le the foregoing sentence, the words the, a, are articles; power, speech, faculty, man, Creator, uses, purposes, are substantives; peculiar, beneficent, greatest, excellent, worst, are adjectives; him, his, we, it, are pronouns ; is, was, bestowed, do, pervert, are verbs; most, how, often, are adverbs ; of, to, on, by, for, are prepositions ; and, but, are conjunctions; and alas is an interjection.
The number of the different sorts of words, or of the parts of speech, has been variously reckoned by different grammarians. Some have enumerated ten, making the participle a distinct part; some eight, excluding the participle, and ranking the adjective under the noun; some four, and others only two, (the noun and the verb.) supposing the rest to be contained in the parts of their divi. sion. We have followed those authors, who appear to have given them the most natural and intelligible distribution. Some remarks on the division made by the learned Horne Tooke, are contained in the first section of the eleventh chapter of etymology.
The interjection, indeed, seems scarcely. worthy of be. ing considered as a part of artificial language or speech,. being rather a branch of that natural language, which we possess in common with the brute creation, and by which we express the sudden emotions and passions that actuate our frame. But, as it is used in written as well as oral language, it may, in some measure, be deemed a part of speech. It is with us, a virtual sentence, in which the noun and verb are concealed under an imperfect or indigested word. See this Chapter, in the OCTAVO Grammar.
Of the Articles. An Article is a word prefixed to substantives, to point
them out, and to show how far their signification extends; as, a garden, an eagle, the woman.
In English, there are but two articles, a and the: a becomes an before a vowel,* and before a silent h; as, an acorn, an hour. But if the h be sounded, the a only is to be used; as, a hand, a heart, a highway.
The inattention of writers and printers to this necessary distinction, has occasioned the frequent use of an before h, when it is to be pronounced; and this circumstance, more than any other, has probably contributed to that indistinct utterance, or total omission, of the sound signified by this letter, which very often occurs amongst readers and speakers. An horse, an husband, an herald, an heathen, and many similar associations, are frequently to be found in works of taste and merit. To remedy this evil, readers should be taught to omit, in all similar cases, the sound of the n, and to give the h its full pronunciation.
1 or an is styled the indefinite article: it is used in a vague sense, to point out one single thing of the kind, in other respects indeterminate : as,
6 Give me a book ;" “ Bring me an apple.”
The is called the definite article; because it ascertains what particular thing, or things are meant: as, “Give me the book;" “ Bring me the apples;” meaning some book, or apples, referred to.
A substantive without any article to limit it, is generally taken in its widest sense: as, “A candid temper is proper for man;" that is for all mankind.
The peculiar use and importance of the articles will be seen in the following examples; “ The son of a kingthe son of the king a son of the king." Each of these three phrases has an entirely different meaning, through the different application of the articles a and the.
“ Thou art a man,” is a very general and harmless position ; but, “ Thou art the man," (as. Nathan said to David,) is an assertion capable of striking terror and remorse into the heart.
* A instead of an is now used before words beginning with u long. See page 29, letter U. It is also used before one ; as, many a ove
The article is omitted before nouns that imply the dif ferent virtues, vices, passions, qualities, sciences, arts, metals, herbs, &c.; as, “prudence is commendable ; falsehood is odious; anger ought to be avoided;" &c. It is not prefixed to a proper name; as,
" Alexander,” (be. cause that of itself denotes a determinate individual or particular thing,) except for the sake of distinguishing a particular family: as, “ He is a Howard, or of the family of the Howards;" or by way of eminence : as, “ Eve. ry man is not a Newton ;'
“ He has the courage of an Achilles :" or when some noun is understood; He sailed down the (river) Thames, in the (ship) Britannia."
When an adjective is used with the noun to which the article relates, it is placed between the article and the noun; as, a good man, an agreeable woman,” best friend.” On some occasions, however, the adjective precedes a or an; as, " such a shame, ," "as great a man as Alexander,” “ too careless an author."
The indefinite article can be joined to substantives in the singular number only ; the definite article may be joined also to plurals.
But there appears to be a remarkable exception to this rule, in the use of the adjectives few and many, (the latter chiefly with the word great before it,) which, though joined with plural substantives, yet admit of the singular article a: as, a few men; a great many men.
The reason of it is manifest, from the effect which the article has in these phrases; it means a small or great number collectively taken, and therefore gives the idea of a wholr, that is, of unity. Thus likewise, a dozen, a score, a hundred, or a thousand, is one whole number, o aggregate of many collectively taken ; and therefore still retains the article a, though joined as an adjective to a plural substantive ; as, a hundred years, &c.
The indefinite article is sometimes placed between the adjective many, and a singular noun : as, “ Full
many gem. of purest ray serene,
" And waste its sweetness on the desert air." In these lines, the phrases, many a gem and many a flow'r
refer to many gems and many flowers, separately, not collectively considered.
The definite article the is frequently applied to adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree ; and its effect is, to mark the degree the more strongly, and to define it the more precisely : as, “ The more I examine it, the better I like it. I like this the least of any." See this Chanter, in the Octavo Grammar.
Of Substantives. SECTION 1. Of Substantives in general. A SUBSTANTIVE or Noun is the name of any thing that exists, or of which we have any notion: as, London, man, virtue.
Substantives are either proper or common.
Proper names or substantives, are the names appropriated to individuals: as, George, London, Thames.
Common names or substantives, stand for kinds containing many sorts, or for sorts containing many individuals under them; as, animal, man, tree, &c. When
proper names have an article annexed to them, they are used as common names : as, “ He is the Cicero of his age; he is reading the lives of the Twelve Cæsars,"
Common names may also be used to signify individuals, by the addition of articles or pronouns: as, “ The boy is studious; that girl is discreet*."
To substantives belong gender, number, and case; and they are all of the third person when spoken of, and of the second when spoken to : as, “Blessings attend us on every side; be grateful, children of men !" that is, ye
children of men.
* Nouns may also be divided into the following classes : Collective nouns, or nouns of multitude; as, the people, the parliament, the ariny : Abstrace pouns, or the names of qualities abstracted from their substances ; as, knowledge, goodness, wbiteness : Verbal or participial wouns ; as, beginning, reading Writing
SECTION 2. Of Gender. GENDER is the distinction of nouns, with regard to sex. There are three genders, the MASCULINE, the FEMININE, and the NEUTER.
The Masculine Gender denotes animals of the male kind :
: as, a man, a horse, a bull. The Feminine Gender signifies animals of the female kind:
: as, a woman, a duck, a hen. The Neuter Gender denotes objects which are neither males nor females : as, a field, a house, a garden.
Some substantives, naturally neuter, are, by a figure of speech, converted into the masculine or feminine gender: as, when we say of the sun, he is setting; and of a ship, she sails well.
Figuratively, in the English tongue, we commonly give the masculine gender to nouns which are conspicuous for the attributes of imparting or communicating, and which are by nature strong and efficacious. Those, again, are made feminine, which are conspicuous for the attributes of containing or bringing forth, or which are peculiarly beautiful or amiable. Upon these principles, the sun is said to be masculine ; and the moon, being the receptacle of the sun's light, to be feminine. The earth is generally feminine. A ship, a country, a city, &c. are likewise made feminine, being receivers or containers. Time is always masculine, on account of its mighty efficacy. Virtue is feminine from its beauty, and its being the object of love. Fortune and the church are generally put in the feminine:gender.
The English language has three methods of distinguish. ing the sex, viz.
1. By different words : as, Male. Female.