Page images

The flock, and not the fleece, are, or ought to be, the objects of the shepherd's cara.

That nation was once powerful; but now they are feeble.


A noun of multitude, conveying plurality of idea, must have a verb or pronoun agreeing with it in the plural; as, “ The council were divided in their sentiments."

My people doth not consider.
The multitude eagerly pursues pleasure as its chief good.

The committee was divided in its sentiments, and it has referred the business to the general meeting.

The people rejoices in that which should give it sorrow

RULE XII. A noun or pronoun in the possessive case, is governed by the noun it possesses; as, “ Man's happiness;" Its value is great.” Note. 1. When the possessor is described by a circumlocution, the

pose sessive sign should generally be applied to the last term only; as, “ The duke of Bridgewater's canal; The bishop of Landafj's excellent book ; The captain of the guard's house.” This usage, however, ought generally to he avoided. The words do not literally convey the ideas intended. What nonsense to say, “This is the governour of Ohio's house !"

2. When nouns in th: possessive case are in apposition, and follow each other in quick succession, the possessive sign is gonerally annexed to the last only; as, “ For David my servanl's sake; John the Baptist's head ; The canal was built in consequence of De Witt Clinton the governour's advice.”

But when a pause is proper, and the governing noun not expressed, the sign should be applied to the first possessive only, and understood to the rest; as, “I reside at Lord Stormoni's, my old patron and benefactor."

3. Its, the possessive case of it, is often improperly used for 'tis, or, it is ; as, Ils' my book : Ils his,” &c. ; instead of, " Ti is my book; or, 'Tis my book ; It is his; or, 'Tis his."

4. Participles frequently govern nouns and pronouns in the possessive case; as, “ In case of his majesiy's dying without issue, &c.; Upon God's having ended all his works, &c.; I reinernber its being reckoned a great ex. ploit; At my coming in he said,” &c. But in such instances, the participle with its adjuncls may be considered a substantive phrase, according to Note 2, Rule 28.

5. Phrases like these, “ A work of Washington Irving's; A brother of Jose seph's; A friend of mine ; A neighbour of yours," do not, as some have supposed, each contain a double possessive, or two possessive cases, but they may be thus construed; “A work of (cut of, or, among the number of ) Wasia ington Irving's works; that is, One of the works of Washington Irving; One of the brothers of Joseph; One friend of my friends ; One neighbour of your neighbours.

FALSE SYNTAX. Homers works are much admired. Nevertheless, Asa his heart was not perfect with the Lord. James Hart, his book, bought August the 19, 1829.

Note 1. It was the men's, women's, and children's lot to suffer great calamities.

This is Peter's, John's, and Andrew's occupation.
Note 2. This is Campbell's the poet's production.

The silk was purchased at Brown's, the mercer's and haberdasher's.

Note 4. Much will depend on the pupil composing frequently. Much depends on this rule being observed.

The measure failed in consequence of the president neglect. ing to lay it before the council.

RULE XIII. Personal pronouns must agree with the nouns for which they stand, in gender and number ; as, John writes, and he will soon write well."

Note. You, though frequently employed to represent a singular noun, ia always plural in forin; therefore the verb connected with it should be plural: as, “My friend, you were mistaken.' See pages 99 and 100.

FALSE SYNTAX. Every man will be rewarded according to their works. Incorrect, because the pronoun their does not agree in gender or number with the noun “man,” for which it stands; consequently Rule 13, is violate.l. Their should be his; and then the pronoun would be the masculine gender, singular number, agreeing with man, according to Rule 13. (Repeai the Rule.)

An orator's tongue should be agreeable to the ear of their audience.

Rebecca took goodiy raiment, and put them on Jacob.

Take handfuls of ashes, and let Moses sprinkle it towards neaven, in the sight of Pharaoh, and it shall become small dust.

No one should incur censure for being tender of their reput&tion.

Note. Horace, you was blamed; and I think you was worthy of censure.

Witness, where was you standing during the transaction? How far was you from the defendant ?

RULE XIV. Relative pronouns agree with their antecedents, in gender, person, and number ; as, “ Thou who lovest wisdom •" I who speak from experience.

Note. When a relative pronoun is preceded by two antecedents of differ ent persons, the relative and the verb may agree in person with either, but not without regard to the sense; as, “I am the man who command you ;* or, “I am the inan who coinmands you.The meaning of the first of these examples will more obviously appear, if we render it thus: “I who coin. mand you, am the man."

When the agreement of the relative has been fixed with either of the preceding antecedents, it must be preserved throughout the sentence; as, “I am the Lord, that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself," &c.

Thou who has been a witness of the fact, canst state it.

The wheel killed another man, which make the sixth which have lost their lives by this means.

Thou great First Cause, least understood !
Who all my sense confined.

Note, 2d part. Thou art the Lord, who didst choose Abraham, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees.


The relative is the nominative case to the verb, when no nominative comes between it and the verb; as, “ The master who taught is, was emi


FALSE SYNTAX. If he will not hear his best friend, whom shall be sent to admonish him. This is the man whom, he informed me, was my benefactor.

RULE XVI. When a nominative comes between the relative and the verb, the relative is governed by the following verb, or by some other word in its own member of the sentence; as, “ He whom I serve, is eternal."

Note 1. Who, which, what, the relative that, and their compounds, whom · ever, whomsoerer, &c., though in the objective case, are always placed before the verb; as, “He whom ye seek, has gone hence."

2. Every relative must have an antecedent to which it relates, either expressed or implied; as, “Who steals my purse,steals trash ;” that is, he who.

3. The pronouns whichsoever, whatsoever, and the like, are sometimes ele gantly divided by the interposition of the corresponding nouns; as, “ On which side soever the king cast his eyes,” &c.

4. The pronoun what is sometimes improperly used instead of the conjunction that; as, “He would not believe but what I was in tault.* It should bą, " but that," &c.

FALSE SYNTAX. That is the friend who I sincerely esteem. Not proper, because who, which is the object of the action expressed by the transitive verb “esteem,” is in the nominative case. It ought to be rokom in the objective; and then it would be governed by esteem, according to Rule 16. (Repeat the Rule:)-and, also, acc rding to Rule 20. “That is the friend whom I sincerely esteein.”

They who much is given to, will have much to answer for.

From the character of those who you associate with, your own will be estimated.

He is a man who I greatly respect.

Our benefactors and tutors are the persons who we ought to love, and who we ought to be grateful to.

'They who conscience and virtue support, may smile at the caprices of fortune.

Who did you walk with?
Who did you see there?
Who did you give the book to ?

RULE XVII. When a relative pronoun is of the interrogative kind, it refers to the word or phrase containing the answer to the question for its subsequent. which subsequent must agree in case with the interrogative; as, “Whose book is that? Joseph's ;" Who gave you this ? John."

Note. Whether the interrogative really refers in a subsequent or not, is doubtful; but it is certain that the subsequent should agree in case with the interrogative.

FALSE SYNTAX. Who gave John those books? Us. Of whom did you buy them? Of a bookseller, he who lives in Pearl-street.

Who walked with you? My brother and him.
Who will accompany me to the country? Her and me.

RULE XVIII. Adjectives belong to, and qualify nouns, expressed or understood; as, “He is a good, as well as a wise man.”

Note 1. Adjectives frequently belong to pronouns; as, “I am miserable; He is industrious."

2. Numeral adjectives belong to nouns, which nouns must agree in num ber with their adjectives, when of the carilinal kind; as, "Ten feet; Eighty fathoms.” But some anomalous and figurative expressions form an exception to this rule ; as, “ A fleet of forly sail ;« Two hundred head of cattle.

3. Adjectives sometimes belong to verbs in the infinitive mood, or to a pare of a sentence; as, “ To see is pleasant ; To be blind is unfortunate ; To die Sor our country is glorious."

4. Adjectives are often used to modify the sense of other adjectives, or the action of verbs, and to express the quality of things in connexion with the action hy which that quality is produced ; as, “Red hot iron; Pae blue lining; Deep sea-green sash; The apples boil soft ; Open your hand wide; The clay burns white; The fire burns blue; The eggs boil hard."

5. When an adjective is preceded by a preposition, and the noun is under : stood, the two words may be considered an adverbial phrase; as, “In general, in particular;" that is, generally, particularly.

6. Adjectives should be placed next to the nouns which they qualify; as, “ A tract of good land.”

7. We should generally avoid comparing such adjectives as do not literally admit of comparison; such as, more impossible, most impossible; more une conquerable, more perfect, f.c. See REMARKS on adjectives, page 76.

8. When an adjective or an adverb is used in comparing two objects, it ehonld be in the comparative degree ;, but when more than two are compared, the superlative ought to be employed; as, “ Julia is the taller of the two; Her specimen is the best of the three."

FALSE SYNTAX. Note 2. The boat carries thirty tun.

The chasm was twenty foot broad, and one hundred fathom in depth.

Note 6. He bought a new pair of shoes, and an elegant picco of furniture.

My cousin gave his fine pair of horses for a poor tract of land.

Note 7. The contradictions of impiety are still more incomprehensible.

It is the most uncertain way that can be devised.
This is a more perfect model than I ever saw before.
Note 8. Which of those two cords is the strongest ?
I was at a loss to determine which was the wiser of the three.

RULE XIX. Adjective pronouns belong to nouns, express ed or understood; as, Any man, all men."

Note 1. The demonstrative adjective pronouns must agree in number with their nouns; as,This book, these books; that sort, those sorts.".

2. The pronominal adjectives, each, every, either, neilher, another, and one, agree with nouns in the singular number only; as, Each man, every person, another lesson ;" unless the plural nouns convey a collective idea : as, Every six months.

3. Either is ofter improperly employed instead of each; as, “The king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, sat either of them on his throne." Each signifies both taken separately ; either implies only the one or the other taken disjunctively:~"sat each on his throne.”

Note 1. Those sort of favours do real injury.
They have been playing this two hours.
These kind of indulgences soften and injure the mind.
He saw one or more persons enter the garden

« PreviousContinue »