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What Addison had in his mind when he began the sentence was probably, “ It is not I whom you are in love with,” but determining afterwards to throw out the relative, (an allowable idiom in English) he put the pronoun in the case properly assigned to the relative. In the same manner, the student will have no difficulty in showing that the following expressions are ungrammatical :-“I believe it to be he,” “ A great recompense was offered to whomsoever would bring it,” “ The philosopher who he saw to be a man of profound knowledge.” The error is not uncommon in authors before and about the time of Addison ; but no example of the kind has fallen under my notice, in any recent author of note, except one already quoted at the foot of page
116 from Alison. 239. These we consider the leading rules or principles by the thorough understanding of which the construction of any sentence may be seen. Many idiomatic expressions will of course remain unaccounted for, nor would it be
if it be possible in the case of a living language, to collect and explain them. Dr Johnson, in the short grammar prefixed to his celebrated Dictionary, dismisses the subject of Syntax in a few lines, remarking that “our language has so little inflection or variety of terminations, that its construction neither requires nor admits many rules ;” an observation worthy of the dictator of English literature, and too little attended to by succeeding grammarians. While, however, we hold these seven rules sufficient, yet a few supplementary remarks may still be made. They do not present any thing absolutely new, being in fact implied in the definitions of the different parts of speech, or in the seven rules already laid down; yet, for the sake of uniformity and convenience of reference, I shall number them continuously, and give instances both of illustration, and if necessary of violation too, of the rules, as we proceed.
RULE VIII.—THE ADJECTIVE. 240. Every adjective must qualify a noun either expressed or understood ; thus, “Such is the emptiness of human enjoyment, that we are always impatient of the present.”
.”-Johnson. Here we have two adjectives, the one, human, qualifying the noun enjoyment, which comes immediately after it, and the other qualifying time, or some such noun understood.
241. We have already (115) seen that the adjective in English has no distinction of gender, and therefore any rule about its agreeing with nouns is quite inapplicable; except indeed to the demonstrative adjectives, this and that, which must be made to correspond in number with the nouns which they qualify : thus, “ These abominable principles, and this more abominable avoual of them, demand the most decisive indignation.”—Chatham.
242. The adjectives a and an (commonly called the indefinite article) are identical in meaning, but they differ slightly in application ; a being prefixed to words beginning with the sound of a consonant, the long sound of u, and vowels sounding like w; and an, to words which begin with the sound of a vowel. Thus, we say, a man, but an ox; a house, but an hospital; a one-horse coach ; a unicorn ; an easterly wind, &c. There is a delicacy about the use of the article not to be taught by rule. Sometimes it is omitted where it ought to be inserted, and sometimes inserted when it ought to be left out.
1. In the Delta of Egypt, a level surface of great extent is annu. ally submerged by the fertilizing floods of the Nile.-- Alison.
2. Whatever makes the past or the future predominate over the present, exalts us in the scale of thinking beings.-Johnson.
3. To the mean eye, all things are trivial, as certainly as to the jaundiced they are yellow.-Carlyle.
4. When the Spaniards settled in South America, they had no intention of giving to the natives that energy and those powers which might enable them, in future times, to overthrow their oppressors.-Alison.
5. They had chosen for themselves a singular but an inoffensive mode of worship.Gibbon.
6. If existence be a good, the eternal loss of it must be a great evil; if it be an evil, reason suggests the propriety of inquiring why it is so.-Hall,
7. These times are the ancient times when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient, ordine retrogrado, by a computation backward from ourselves.-Bacon.
SENTENCES TO BE CORRECTED.--240-242. 1. The government of Egypt was an hereditary monarchy.Tytler.
2. As if an attachment to the king were to be measured by an hatred to dissenters.-Hall.
3. The arguments advanced on both sides are worthy of notice even in an European history, as involving the fundamental princi. ples on which constitutional monarchy are (?) rested.-Alison.
4. The five represented a symbol of the sun.—Tyller. 5. Modern authors have given a currency to this false idea.- Idem. 6. Thus was New Carthage taken in the one day.-Keightley.
7. Luxuriance of ornament and the fondness for point are certain indications of the decline of good taste.-Tytler.
8. We observe at least as frequent an use of them, &c.-Hallam.
RULE IX.-THE DISTRIBUTIVES,
243. The exact import of the four words, each, every, either, and neither, which are known by the name of Distributive Adjectives, ought to be carefully attended to, and, from their very meaning, it will appear that they must always be joined to a noun in the singular.
244. Each means the one and the other of two: thus Hallam, speaking of Dante and Milton, says, “ Each of these great men chose the subject that suited his natural temper and genius.” Every refers to any number more than two, considered individually : thus, “ England expects every man to do his duty,"—& memento addressed by the hero of Trafalgar to his whole fleet, and meant to use the courage of every individual belonging to it as if the fate of his country depended on him alone. Either means the one or the other of two; neither, not either, not the one or the other of two. The use of both words cannot be better seen than in the lines quoted by Johnson from Shakspeare,
“Lepidas flatters both,
245. Such are the distinctions usually laid down between these words, and upon the whole justly ; but it must be allowed that hitherto good use has not been uniform, each
being often applied to a number above two, and every to two. Still the tendency is to observe the distinction between them such as we have pointed out.
246. Mr Latham* argues that neither should take a plural and either a singular verb. “ In predicating something concerning neither you nor 1, a negative assertion is made concerning both. In predicating something concerning either you or I, a positive assertion is made concerning one of the two.” This is a mere oversight, I doubt not, on the part of the distinguished grammarian named, for it is quite contrary to his own principles, and general practice too, to look to the logic of the sentence, and not rather to its grammatical form. Neither, he would at once allow is not either, and it is an anomaly to let a negative change the number of the verb. The principle referred to by Latham explains the error of using a plural verb with neither, but does not justify it.
1. But each of this learned couple was skilled in both languages. - Hallam.
2. Every man is not able to stem the temptations of public life; and if he cannot conquer, he may properly retreat.-Johnson.
3. Every street and square in Dresden was by this time crowded with troops.-Alison.t
4. Neither of the Hincmars (uncle and nephew] seems to have understood Greek.-Hallam.
5. No public libraries of any magnitude had yet been formed in either of the universities (Oxford or Cambridge].—Hallam.
6. Neither of the contracting powers was to conclude either a peace or a truce without the consent of the other.-Alison.
7. Each of these topics needs a lecture for its development.Channing.
* English Language, p. 363.
+ It would be difficult to justify on the principles of general grammar the use of a singular verb in this case, street and square so obviously presenting a plural idea. It seems to be the influence of "
every " carried too far. Yet the error (if it is one) is very common. “It has been frequently observed, by writers on Physiognomy, that every emotion and every operation of the mind hus a corresponding expression of the countenance."-D. Stewart.
SENTENCES TO BE CORRECTED.-243-246. 1. Arts in the early stages of social life are so simple, that each man is sufficiently master of them all to gratify every demand of his own limited desires.-Robertson.
2. Every means were employed to excite the Nonconformists to thank the king for his indulgence.—Mackintosh.
3. Every person's happiness depends in part upon the respect and reception which they meet with in the world.-Paley.
4. Neither he nor his disciple, Stewart, though aware of the mistakes that have arisen in this province of metaphysics by selecting our instances from the phenomena of vision instead of the other senses, have avoided the same source of error.-Hallam.
5. Neither the time nor the place of his birth are known with certainty.
Robertson. 6. These various rivers, all of which are navigable, each with their own affiliated set of streams, form a vast chain of inland navigation.-Alison.
7. The two great parties of the christian world have each their own standard of truth by which to try all things.- Arnold.
8. The Inquisition was revived, and every despotic custom, which made the government of Spain miserable, were re-established in full force.-Goldsmith.
9. Each of the oriental sects was eager to confess, that all, except themselves, deserved the reproach of idolatry and polytheism.Gibbon.
10. But neither Elizabeth's friendship nor Throgmorton's zeal were of much avail to Mary.-Robertson. 11. Each looked to sun, and stream, and plain, As what they ne'er might see again.
Scott. 12. There have been three riots in England of late, each of which have been levelled against dissenters.-Hall.
13. Neither of them appealed to impotent laws which could afford them no protection.-Robertson.
RULE X.—THE ADJECTIVE AND ADVERB.
247. It is not the office of an adjective to qualify either a verb or another adjective; this must be done by an adverb. We do not say, “ James reads good,” but “ James reads well.” “ I am myself indifferent honest,” should be, “ I am myself indifferently honest.” “ In general,” says Adam Smith,
no quality, when considered in concrete, or as qualifying some particular subject, can itself be conceived as the subject