« ForrigeFortsæt »
Review-Grammar of the English Language.
nection between this example, and the , tion from the Greek—“ ita ut non point which Mr. S. had been treating. posse ipsos neque panem manducare.' He had been speaking of the govern- Beza, whose language is correct, gives ment of adverbs; now in the sentence only one negative. Though a few rare adduced, there is no adverb at all: examples of a double negative mày consequently the impropriety of the be found in old Latin authors, they expression, I would have come, but hin- are to be regarded, not as the standard dered me bad weather, cannot be owing of grammatical accuracy, but as anoto any error in regard to the position malies, being deviations from the conor government of adverbs, but solely stant practice of all the best writers. to this circumstance; bad weather is Mr. S. tells us, that “one of the double the nominative to the verb hindered, negatives employed by our Fathers” is and therefore ought to precede it. sometimes superseded “ by the auxi
Page 145. “ It might be asked, Who liary do.” Of this however he has not else does it expose?”.
produced, and we apprehend cannot If we had met with this expression produce, a single instance. The only in the works of any other respectable cases that seem to illustrate this suppoauthor, we should immediately have sition, are in the French sentence "Je concluded that it was an error of the ne sais pas,”—I do not know; and in press. But as Mr. S. would vindicate the Latin, aisne”-say you not, or do it according to the principles laid you say. But in neither of these, does down (page 123,) we must notice it, as the auxiliary do stand in the place of a a glaring and unpardonable breach of negative: in the former sentence, the the rules of grammar. The relative in two French negatives ne and pas are this sentence, who else does it expose, rendered in English by the single nenot being nominative to the verb ex- gative not; and in the latter, ne is not pose, is governed by it, and ought a negative, and requires no corremost certainly to be the objective, spondent word in English. whom.
(says Mr. S.) we cannot alter the Again, as in all interrogatories, the phrases of the common people. They noun or pronoun which answers the still use two or three negatives in every question must be in the same case county and in every dialect.” We are as that which asks it; if it be right to ruly surprised, that Mr. S. should adsay Who else does it expose, it must be duce this by way of argument. If the equally right to answer in the nomina- practice of the common people be to tive, and say, I, thou, or she ; that is, decide what is right and what wrong, supplying the ellipsis, it exposes I, it we may at once discard all the rules exposes thou, it exposes she, &c. that grammarians have laid down; for
Pages 146, 147. We cannot accord there is not one of them but what is with Mr. S. in the opinions here laid constantly violated by the common down respecting negatives. The Eng-people. And to what a state would lish language is in many respects es- this reduce our language ! sentially different from the Greek, The examples quoted by Mr. S. are Latin, and French; and particularly false, and cannot be justified accorddiffers from the Greek and French, in ing to the laws of English Grammarthe use of negatives. In this particu- I never gave him no cause of dislar, the Latin and English must re- pleasure” is wrong, and is certainly semble each other. That two negatives cquivalent to, I have given him cause of in the same clause are very common in displeasure. One of the negatives must French and Greek, and in the latter be expunged. language sometimes three or four, “ We were a great family; and none which strengthen each other, and add of us never had no learning.” This, emphasis to the negation, is readily which Mr. S. says, was court lanallowed ; but in Latin and English, guage not long ago," would now be the doctrine of Lowth and Murray is, deemed by all persons of education we think, perfectly accurate; viz. that completely vulgar, and unpardonably two negatives, in the same clause, inaccurate. Two of the negatives destroy one another, or are equivalent to must be cancelled. an affirmative. The Latin example The example from Shakspear—“He quoted from Montanus's version proves never yet no villainie ne sayde,"might nothing, because it is not pure classi- have passed in his days, but is inadcal Latin, but only a literal transla- missible now.
“ I have not found so great faith, no, said, it is nominative to the verb came, not in Israel.” This language is cor- the preposition against is then left withrect and emphatic, but it does not out any noun or pronoun which it can affect the point; for though there are govern, and stands wholly unconnected three negatives, they are in three dif- in the sentence. If it be said, that ferent clauses ; there being a comma prince is the objective, governed by the after faith, and another after no; by preposition against, then the verb came which commas the sentence is divided is left without a nominative; which is into three clauses.
another anomaly. The sentence thereThe two examples—“For merchants fore cannot be analyzed and accounted to consult their interest is no uncom- for, unless it be granted that prince is mon thing,”—“ The veteran is not un- at one and the same time both nomiacquainted with the hardships of life,” native and objective case.
The same which Mr. S. says are not excep- observations apply to the other sentionable,” certainly are exceptionable tence quoted by Mr. S. “ Supper according to his own hypothesis, ready against the reapers return;" which admits two or more negatives where the noun reapers stands in a into one clause, with the intent of similar predicament. To speak gramstrengthening the expression. For if matically, the mode of expression must these expressions be used according be altered. If the preposition against to his system, the first means, For mer- be retained, we should say, against the chants to consult their interests is ex- coming of the prince ; against the return tremely uncommon, or is by no means com- of the reapers. Otherwise, for this mon ; and the latter, The veteran is ut- preposition should be substituted when, terly unacquainted, or not in the least ac
as soon as, by the time that, or the like: quainted with hardships, &c. Whereas thus, that all things might be ready when according to the correct and true sys- the prince came thither ; supper being tem of Lowth and Murray, those ex- ready as soon as the reapers return. Mr. pressions are allowable, and the two S. may object, that this is “
to use four negatives in each sentence destroy words, when one would do better.” each other, and are equivalent to an That one word would do better, bas not affirmative; so that the first means, been proved; and at all events, breFor merchants to consult their interest vity of expression can never atone for is a common thing; and the latter, a plain breach of grammatical rules. The veteran is acquainted with the hard (See Mr. S.'s Gram. page 167. Rule ships of life.
XXIV.) The saying of Frederic the Page 147. “ No one, among all the Great to the Austrian General, I would friends I conversed with yesterday, rather have you on my right hand than never dropped any hint of my brother's over against me, is quite foreign to the arrival.” Mr. Sutcliffe's attempt to point in dispute, for in it the preposivindicate this expression is quite un- tion against is immediately followed by successful; one of the negatives must the pronoun me, which it governs in he omitted.
the objective case. Page 148.“ Prepositions govern Page 150. “ The conjunctions if, nouns and pronouns in the accusative though, whether, unless, except, &c. case; as, 'He loves us; we believed govern a plural verb in the third perhim,' &c. How strangely and unpar- son singular; as, If this part of our donably remiss must Mr. S. have been, trade were well cultivated. Though in selecting examples, the first two of accuracy apply to works of this kind. which contain no preposition at all, If this argument need confirmation. and therefore cannot exemplify the It must be always the preacher's own rule!
fault, if he transgress in unity,” &c. Page 149. “I doubt the propriety of In the above sentences, according to Lowth's stricture on Clarendon in the Mr. S. the verbs were, apply, need, following example; That all things transgress, are plural, while their nomight be ready against the prince came minative cases, part, accuracy, arguthither.” We cordially agree with ment, he, are singular. If this be grantLowth on this point, and are sorry that ed, what becomes of the First Rule of Mr. S. should endeavour to justify the Syntax ? A verb may be plural, though expression. In regard to the above its nominative case is singular. sentence, we would inquire, What case The difference between were, apply, is the substantive prince? If it be need, transgress, and was, applies, needs,
Review-Grammar of the English Language.
It is a
trangresses is, not that the former are yet we think that Mr. Sutcliffe's stricplural and the latter singular, as Mr. tures have weight in them, and deserve S. erroneously teaches. By no means; farther consideration. We should be they are all singular: but the difference glad to see this point fairly discussed is here; the former are third person and fully illustrated; and we thereto singular, of the imperfect or present invite the attention of our critical tense, subjunctive mood; while the readers and correspondents. But two latter are third person singular, same of the examples quoted by Mr. S. are tense, of the indicative mood.
not appropriate. " I, who am the All that Mr. S. seems to mean is, proprietor, have just seen the coach that the conjunctions mentioned above, set out.”—“ I, the Lord thy God, am govern the subjunctive, not the indica- a jealous God.” Mr. Murray's rule tive mood. Only give a pupil this in- relates only to those cases, wherein, a formation, and according to his para relative is preceded by two nominatives of digm of the verb, to love, (page 65, &c.) different persons.
Now in the former he will of course say, If this part were sentence, the relative is preceded by well cultivated. Though accuracy apply, one nominative only, viz, I; and in &c.
the latter, there is no relative at all : Throughout this rule and its illus- so that these examples are not to the trations, Mr. S. adopts the highly im- point. proper and deceptive phraseology of Page 172. Application leads to the plural verb and the singular verb, merit. Leads is an irregular verb where the former is no more a plural neuter,” &c. Not so; leads is a transithan the latter; and the proper and tive verb. Mr. S. says in the note, true phraseology would be the subjunc- “ leads is here neuter, because it extive verb or form, and the indicative presses the way which leads.” To us verb.
this appears no reason at all. Page 159. Interjections, says Mr. S. transitive verb, because its action algovern every case of the pronoun.” ways passes on to some being or obThis is not quite correct : they never ject which is led; and which in the govern the possessive case.
above case is men, people, or some Page 160. Woe to him that build- such word understood. eth his house by unrighteousness.” Page 173. “ We are never all from
The pronoun him is not here govern- home. Are is an irregular verb neuter, ed by any interjection, but by the pre-indicative mood, present tense, and position to, and therefore does not ex- the third person plural,” &c. Are emplify the rule.
here not the third person plural, but Page 170.“ Mr. Murray, magnify- the first person plural. ing a simple oversight of Lowth to a “Home is a common substantive, distinct rule of Syntax, says (Rule governed by the perfect participle VII.) When the relative is preceded gone.” Not so: home is the objective by two nominatives of different per- case, governed by the preposition from. sons, the relative and the verb may How amiable are thy tabernacles, agree in person with either, accord- O Lord of hosts! Thy is a possessive ing to the sense ; as, I am the man who pronoun, second person, singular numcommand you ; or I am the man who ber, and genitive case. commands you. The examples he ad- As the possessive pronouns my, thy, duces are not from writers of classical &c. undergo no variation on account taste, but from our version of the of case or number, we know not that we Bible; “ I am the Lord that maketh can with propriety assign any case or all things, that stretcheth forth the number to them. If they must be alheavens alone.'--' I am the Lord lowed some number, should we not thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, call thy plural, when joined to a plural and who leadeth thee by the way thou substantive, as tabernacles? and if the shouldest go. The translator of Isaiah pronoun thy have any case, it certainly has led Mr. Murray into this mistake, is not the genitive, as Mr. S. states, but by not adverting to the transposition the nominative, agreeing with its subof the words. Example.- I, who stantive tabernacles. make all things; I, who teach thee; I “ John or Thomas will be blamed. who lead thee, am the Lord thy God.' Will be are auxiliaries employed to
Though we are not clearly convinced express the future time of the subsethat Mr. Murray's rule is erroneous, quent verb. Blamed is the perfect
participle passive, agreeing with its should be supplied, thus; by an author nominative Jehn or Thomas.”
(who flourished) about a century ago. The proper way of parsing the sen- Page 210. “ The fine taste of the tence would be, we apprehend, thus. reader will vary the quantity of syllaWill be blamed is a regular transitive bles, as much as the semi-breve varies verb, passive voice, indicative mood, from the demi-semiquaver, that is, in first future tense, thiid person singular, the proportion of one to eight.” One agreeing with its nominative case, would suppose from this that the proJohn or Thomas.
portion of the demi-semiquaver to the Page 174. Let me alone. Let an semibreve is as one to 8 ; whereas the irregular verb active, imperative mood, semibreve is equal in time to 32 demifirst person and singular number.” semiquavers, and the proportion beLet is not the first person, but the se- tween them is as 1 to 32. cond person, either singular or plural, Page 225.
“ For my own part, I agreeing with its nominative case, thou would never trust a man whom I or ye, understood.
thought was capable of giving those Anarcharsis, whose travels I am secret wounds." &c.
This is unquesreading. Whose, a pronoun relative, tionably wrong. If the relative here third person, singular number, mascu- be the objective case, the verb was is line gender, genitive case, agreeing left without any nominative whatever. with its antecedent author.” No such The verb thought has no influence on antecedent is either expressed or un- the relative; for I thought is a sort of derstood, Whose agrees with its ante- parenthesis, equivalent to, as I thought; cedent Anacharsis in number and per- and the relative should be the nominason ; but as to its case, it is the pos- tive who, governing the verb was. sessive governed by the following sub- Page 243. “ Terminative pronouns. stantive travels, according to Mr. S.'s Our difficulty here is insuperable. 15th rule of Syntax.
While we follow the Saxon, which Page 175.
Study your grammar beautifully associates with the subsedaily. Your a personal pronoun, se- quent relative or verb, we mostly cond person, singular number, and ge- leave the people, and deviate from the nitive case.
.” Your is not a personal Greek and Latin, as well as the pronoun, but an adjective pronoun ; French.” (see Mr. S.'s Gram. Pages 44, 45.) and We see no difficulty in the case. It if it have any case at all, it is not the ge- is only necessary to remember, that nitive, but the objective, agreeing with neither than nor any other conjunction its substantive grammar.
governs any case of a noun or proMr. Sutcliffe's observations on the noun; and to supply the verb omitted structure of sentences and the figures in the latter clause, which will shew of speech, with the examples adduced what case ought to be used. Our rule by way of illustration, are interesting here is not, as Mr. S. says, a deviation and instructive : they deserve the at- from the Greek and Latin. In such tention of all who are studying the re- phrases as greater than I, more cruel finements and delicacies of our lan- than thou, younger than he; if the conguage.
junction than be expressed in Greek or Page 200.“ The dash is employed Latin, the construction is precisely sito confer attention to the preceding milar to our own, and the latter noun sentences,” &c.
or pronoun is the nominative. But We think this phraseology to confer when the conjunction than is omitted attention to, unclassical and improper. in Greek or Latin, their construction To confer attention on, or to excite at- resembles the French, and the latter tention to, would be correct.
noun or pronoun is in one of the obPage 205.
• The distinction be- lique cases. On this and other points, tween accent and quantity, and the Mr. S. seems almost inclined to yield happy union of the two, are finely pen- to public custom; but when we consicilled by an author about a century ago." der that nine-tenths of those who speak
This language is certainly incorrect. English, have little or no grammatical The present tense cannot be thus con- knowledge of the language, it must be nected with times perfectly past. Ei- allowed that the general practice of ther the verb are pencilled should be unlettered people cannot be the stanchanged into the past tense were pen- dard of propriety and accuracy. cilled ; or some verb in the past tense “ The warriors who proud Athens 1025 Review--Grammar of the English Language. 1026 possessed,” &c. If it be meant, that preposition of, assuredly is not the the warriors possessed Athens, this is genitive case, but the objective. The correct; but if the idea be that Athens apostrophe and additional s are essenpossessed the warriors, it is palpably tial to the English genitive. Probably wrong, for the relative ought to be the the use of the Latin term genitive, in objective whom, being governed by the preference to the plain English word verb possessed.
possessive, has led Mr. S. into this misPage 244. “ Why did God create take; he having erroneously concludthose who he knew would be such ?” ed, that because such words would be
“ God (says Mr. S.) is the nomina- the genitive in Latin, therefore they tive; those (sinners) the objective case ; are genitive in English. to perfect the syntax, the relative Pages 245, 246. “ It must be noted, should be whom.” Not so: the rela- that all auxiliaries, whether of the intive does not agree with its antecedent dicative, of the potential, or of the subin case; the case of the latter has no junctive mood, govern the third person influence at all on that of the former. singular of the verb in the plural numThe relative in this sentence ought ber; as he loves makes with the auximost certainly to be who, being nomi- liary he does love, he will or shall love; native to the verb would be ; for the in the potential mood, he may or can parenthetical sentence, he knew, equi- love; in the subjunctive, he would, could, valent to as he knew, has no influence or should love." on the construction of the other words. We are sorry that we have again to
I go to court to see acquaintance, combat this nonsensical sentiment. On whom I should not otherwise see.'
.” the authority of all the grammarians, “ Both court and acquaintance (says and of Mr. S. himself, we deny that Mr. S.) are in the objective case; the verb love in such phrases as he therefore the relative whom is correct. does love, he may love, if he love, &c. is The case of the relative here is not in plural. As well might we be told, the least dependent on the words court that the pronoun he is plural. All that and acquaintance. It ought to be the Mr. S. wishes to teach would, we apobjective, because it cannot be nomi- prehend, be implied in saying that connative to the verb in its own clause ditional conjunctions govern the subshould see, but is governed by that junctive mood, or require the following verb.
verb to be in the subjunctive, not the in“ Let me ask, whom you call the an-dicative mood. cients." Whom is right, not, as Mr. S. Page 249.
“ It seems uncouth, says, because there is any ellipsis, but do not say improper, when we hear a because it cannot be nominative to the man say, I am away from Ireland these verb call, but is governed by it. three months.” Such language is cer
We would here state an important tainly not only uncouth, but improper. principle, of which Mr. S. appears un- The verb ought unquestionably to be conscious. The case of the relative pro- the perfect tense, have been. noun is always determined bysomeword Several other things we have noticed in its own clause or member of a sen- in Mr. Sutcliffe's Grammar, which we tence, and never depends at all on any
can neither recommend nor approve. word out of that clause; and the word in some places, his style is inelegant which determines its case is always and unclassical; in others, it is inaceither a verb, a preposition, a substan- curate and ungrammatical. This we tive, or the conjunction than. For this cannot but deem inexcusable in an conjunction, preceding the relative, Elementary work on English Gramcauses it to be in the objective case; mar. At the same time, we are happy and this is the only instance in the lan- to acknowledge that there are some guage of a conjunction governing any parts which we have perused with case of a noun or pronoun.
pleasure, and which may be of consiPotiphar, an officer of derable service to English pupils and Pharaoh-Joseph of Arimathea, a dis- students. But we forbear to enlarge ; ciple of Jesus—Boling broke employed and shall now leave our readers at perMallet, another friend of Pope. In fect liberty to form their own opinion, each of these examples the genitive is as to the aggregate merits and defects single,” &c. We conceive there is no of the work. genitive at all in any of them. An
W. P. B. English substantive preceded by the Guernsey, October, 1819, No. 11,--Vol. I,
Page 245. “