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lar import, is put before the positive, it is callea by some writers the superlative of eminence, to distinguish it from the other superlative, which has been already mentioned, and is called the superlative of comparison. Thus, very eloquent, is termed the superlative of eminence ; most eloquent, the superlative of comparison. In the superlative of eminence, something of comparison is, however, remotely or indirectly intimated ; for we cannot reasonably call a man very eloquent, without comparing his elo quence with the eloquence of other men.
The comparative may be so employed, as to express the same pre-eminence or inferiority as the superlative. Thus, the sentence, “Of all acquirements, virtue is the most valuable," conveys the same sentiment as the following; “ Virtue is more valuable than every other aequirement."
Of Pronouns. A PRONOUN is a word used instead of a noun, to avoid the too frequent repetition of the same word: as, “ The man is happy; he is benevolent; he is useful”
There are three kinds of pronouns, viz. the PERSONAL, the RELATIVE, and the ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS.
SECTION 1. Of the Personal Pronouns. THERE are five Personal Pronouns, viz. I, thou, he, she, it; with their plurals, we, ye, or you, they.
Personal pronouns admit of person, number, gender, and case.
The persons of pronouns are three in each number, viz.
1, is the first person
subject of any discourse : first, the person who speaks, may speak of himself; secondly, he may speak of the person to whom he addresses himself; thirdly, he may speak of some other person : and as the speakers, the persons spoken to, and the other persons spoken of, may be many, so each of these persons must have the plural number.
The numbers of pronouns, like those of substantives, are two, the singular and the plural: as, I, thou, he; we, ye or you, they.
Gender has respect only to the third person singular of the pronouns, he, she, it. He is masculine; she is feminine; it is neuter.
The persons speaking and spoken to, being at the same time the subjects of the discourse, are supposed to be present; from which, and other circumstances, their sex is commonly known, and needs not to be marked by a distinction of gender in the pronouns : but the third person or thing spoken of, being absent, and in many respects unknown; it is necessary that it should be marked by a distinction of gender ; at least when some particular person or thing is spoken of, that.ought to be more distinctly marked: accordingly the pronoun singular of the third person bas the three genders, he, she, it.
Pronouns have three cases; the nominative, the possessive, and the objective.
The objective case of a pronoun has, in general, a forma different from that of the nominative, or the possessive case.
The personal pronouns are thus declined :
Ye or you.
Person. Third. Fem.
Section 2. Of the Relative Pronouns. RELATIVE Pronouns are such as relate, in general, to some word or phrase going before, which is thence called the antecedent: they are, who, which, and that: as, “The man is happy who lives virtuouslyt."
What is a kind of compound relative, including both the antecedent and the relative, and is mostly equivalent to that which : as, “ This is what I wanted” that is to say, “ the thing which I wanted.”
Who is applied to persons, which to animals and inanimate things : as, "He is a friend, who is faithful in adversity;" «The bird, which sung so sweetly, is flown;" “This is the tree, which produces no fruit."
That, as a relative, is often used to prevent the too frequent repetition of who and which. It is applied to hoth persons and things : as, “ He that acts wisely deserves praise;" “Modesty is a quality that highly adorn & woman.' Who is of both numbers, and is thus declined :
Singular and Plural.
Whom. Which, that, and what, are likewise of both numbers, but they do not vary their termination ; except that whose is sometimes used as the possessive case of which : as, “ Is there any other doctrine whose followers are punisbed ?"
+ The relative pronoun, when used interrogatively, relates to a word a phrase which is not antecedent, but subsequent, to the relative. See note unde ibe VI. Rule of Syutas.
- And the fruit
“ Pure the joy without allay,
“ This is one of the clearest characteristics of its being a religion whose origin is divine."
By the use of this license, one word is substituted for three : as, “ Philosophy, whose end is to instruct us in the knowledge of nature," for, “ Philosophy, the end of which is to instruct us," &c.
Who, which, and what, have sometimes the words soever and' ever annexed to them; as, “ whosoever or whoever, whichsoever or whichever, whatsoever or whatever:" but they are seldom used in modern-style.
The word that is sometimes a relative, sometimes a demonstrative pronoun, and sometimes a conjunction. It is a relative, when it may be turned into who or which without destroying the sense : as, “ They that (who) reprove us, may be our best friends ;"“ From every thing that (which) you see, derive instruction.” It is a demonstrative pronoun when it is followed immediately by a substantive, to which it is either joined, or refers, and which it limits or qualifies : as, “ That boy is industrious ; " That belongs to me;" meaning, that book, that desk, &c. It is a conjunction, when it joins sentences together, and cannot be turned into who or which, without destroying the sense : as, “ Take care that every day be well employed.” “I hope he will believe that I have not acted improperly."
Who, which, and what, are called Interrogatives, when they are used in asking questions ; as, " Who is he?" " Which is the book ?? « What art thou doing?”
Whether was formerly made use of to signify interro gation : as, " Whether of these shall I choose ?", but it is • now seldom used, the interrogative which being substi
tuted for it. Some Grammarians think that the use of it should be revived, as, like either and neither, it points to
the dual number ; and would contribute to render our expressions concise and definite.
Some writers have classed the interrogatives as a sepa. rate kind of pronouns; but they are too nearly related to the relative pronouns, both in nature and form, to render such a division proper. They do not, in fact, lose the character of relatives, when they become interrogatives. The only difference is, that without an interrogalion, the relatives have reference to a subject which is antecedent, definite, and known; with an interrogation, to a subject which is subsequent, indefinite, and unknown, and which it is expected that the answer should express and ascertain.
SECTION 3. Of the Adjective Pronouns. Adjective Pronouns are of a inixed nature, participating the properties both of pronouns and adjectives.
The adjective pronouns may be subdivided into four şorts, namely, the possessive, the distributive, the demonstrative, and the indefinite.
1. The possessive are those which relate to possession or property. There are seven of them; viz. my, thy, his, her, our, your, their.
Mine and thine, instead of my and thy, were formerly used before a substantive, or adjective, beginning with a vowel, or a silent h: as, “ Blot out all mine iniquitics."
The pronouns, his, mine, thine, have the same form, whether they are possessive pronouns, or the possessive cases of their respective personal pronouns. See note to Rule 10,
A few examples will probably assist the learner, to distinguish the possessive pronouns from the genitive cases of their correspondent personal pronouns.
The following sentences exemplify the possessive pronouns. My lesson is finished ; Thy books are defaced ; He loves his studies ; She performs her duty; We own our faults ; Your situation is distressing ; I admire their virtues."
The following are examples of the possessive cases of the personal pronouns.-" This desk is mine ;' the other is thine ; These trinkets are his · those are hers · This