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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 eminent and candid writer on language and composition; “ All that regards the study of composition, merits the higher attention upon this account, that it is intimately connected with the improvement of our intellectual powers. Fur I must be allowed to say, that when we are employed, after a proper manner, in the study of composition, we are cultivating the understanding itself. The study of arranging and expressing our thoughts with propriety, teaches to think, as well as to speak, accurately."*
Before the close of this Introduction, it may not be superflu sus 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 persons, 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 on, 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 much 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 innocence, and cherishing the virtue, of the rising generation.
Holdgate, near York,-1795.
• Dr. Blair.
TO THE NINTH DUODECIMO EDITION.
The eigth edition of this grammar received considerable alterations and additions ; but works of this nature admit of repeated improvements; and are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his book 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 addi-. tions, 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 system of parsing ; copious lists of nouns arranged according to their gender and number; and many notes and observations, wbich 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 few of the divisions, arrangements, definitions and rules, agains which critical ingenuity 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 grammarian and teacher. If the author has adopted that system which, on the whole, is best suited to the nature of the subject, and conformable to the sentiments of the most judicious grammarians ; if his reasonings and illustrations, respecting particular points, are founded on just principles, and the peculiarities of the English language; he bas, perhaps, done 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.
Holdgate, near York,–1804.
• The author conceives that the occasional strictures, dispersed through the book, and intended to illustrate and support a number of important grammatical points will not, to'young persons of ingenuity, appear to be dry and useless discussions. He is persuaded that, by such persons, they will be read with attention. And he presumes that these strictures will gratify their curiosity, stimulate application, and give solidity and permanence to their grammatical knowledge.
simple form; with observations on their
Of one noun governing another in the possessive case 173
or conjunctions requiring the subjunctive mood,