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- The German, Latin, and Greek pronouns are declined into different cases in a similar manner with their nouns, and like them are capable of expressing their relations by changes of inflection only.
The indefinite (or, as it is usually called, impersonal) pronoun is peculiar to the languages of modern times. Ex. Eng. Germ. French. Ital.
si. * It appears to have been adopted as a substitute for that form of verbal inflection called the passive voice, as its functions are executed in Latin and in Greek by the passive impersonal verb.
The English indefinite pronoun (one) is employed in a singular sense only, synonimous to the French pronominal chacun ; while in other modern languages it has also a cumulative meaning, and signifies the public, or at least an aggregate portion of society, and is used under circumstances where the plural (they) is employed by us for the same purpose. Thus:
One lives *; man lebt t; on vit ; si vive; vivitur.
on dit; si dice; dicitur. • One in English is susceptible of a plural termination, and in German and French likewise ; but this is when employed in a definitive sense, as a plural pronoun. Thus ;
66 The wise ones say,"
“ The knowing ones are taken in,” • Ones is not here an impersonal, nor an enumerative word, buc the substitute of a plural or aggregative noun, as individuals, or people; in other words, a plural pronoun.
So in French, “ les uns et les autres ;" and in German “ die eine und die andre.”
• The English pronominal adjectives are as numerous as those of most other languages ancient or moderņ: and equally competent, with the aid of prepositions, to express all the relations of language. The three English attributives his, her, its, by a very peculiar modification are expressive of the sex, not of the name to which they are applied, but that of which they are predicated.
* This form of relation, common to the German with our own tongue, imparts often a brilliant precision to meanings, which either in the other modern languages, or in those of Greece and Rome, cannot be expressed with the same brevity.g'
Il la donne a toi.
A ti aspettiamo. •* One or an, Germ. ein (being, or one that is) from sein (to be); as Ess or ev from Ev (esse).
† (Man) Germ.“ some," or " more than one;" whence mannig (several, many):
On is derived in like manner from ogni, Ital. omnis, Lat.
terized by too much vehemence, and deficient in the requisite modesty. It is probable that a little envy at the popularity which Mr. Price was acquiring lurked at the bottom of this reproof: but it is certain that the reproof itself made a strong and undesirable impression on his sensitive temperament; his subsequent delivery being marked rather by a chilling languor than a redundant animation. This alteration rendered him less popular in the pulpit, and, during a considerable interval in his ministry, diminished the number of his auditors and weakened the effect of his preaching.
In 1756, the pecuniary circumstances of Mr. Price were improved by a legacy bequeathed to him by Mr. Streatfield, and by some property which had been left to him by his uncle. The amount of this latter benefaction might probably have been greater, if the orthodoxy of the nephew had made a nearer approximation to that of the uncle: but the latter, having on one occasion discovered that his nephew acquiesce in the proper divinity of Jesus Christ, declared that “ he had rather see him transformed into a pig, than that he should have been brought up to be a dissenting minister without believing in the Trinity.” Mr. Price moved his residence to Newington Green in the year 1758, having married a lady of the name of Blundell in the previous year; and about this time he published his treatise on the Foundation of Morals, which introduced him to the acquaintance of several persons of literary eminence; - to that of Dr. Adams, of Pembroke College, Oxford, Dr. Douglas the late Bishop of Salisbury, and David Hume.
Mr. Price appears to have been always forcibly impressed with a devout sense of the duties which belong to the ministerial office : but, at this period, he seems to have considered other studies as a sort of unauthorized deduction from the time which ought to be occupied by more sacred contemplation. Hence, during the first few years of his residence at Newington Green he devoted himself almost wholly to the composition of sermons, and the toils of theological disquisition. In 1762 he accepted an invitation to succeed Dr. Benson, as evening-preacher in Poor-Jewry-lane: but, not withstanding this accession to his ecclesiastical labours, he appears to have been so much discouraged by the apathy of his auditors, (a great part of whom he mentions, on one occasion, to have fallen asleep while he was preaching on the future, judgment,) that he had determined to give up preaching altogether, from an idea that his talents were totally unfit for the office of a public speaker.'
He now again endeavoured to console himself for the real or supposed inefficacy of his labours in the pulpit, by addressing a larger and more attentive auditory from the pulpit
of the press. In 1767 he published four dissertations on Private Prayer, -on Providence, -on the Junction of virtuous Men in the heavenly State, and on Historical Evidence and Miracles; the latter dissertation being designed as a refutation of Mr. Hume's arguments against the credibility of miraculous events.
The mathematical sciences also now occupied his mind; and he wrote a paper which was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1763, and another which was inserted in the volume for the following year. His reputation as a mathematician was raised so high by these two communications to that learned body, that he was invited by the booksellers to superintend the publication of a complete edition of Sir Isaac Newton's works : but, though his mind was perhaps on the whole better fitted for mathematical calculation than even for theological research, he appears, from a nice and highly commendable sense of professional duty, always to have regarded his philosophical as subordinate to his religious pursuits. Hence the composition of sermons, in one period of his life, almost exclusively engrossed his attention; and his excursions into the region of the mathematics were consequently rather brief and desultory.
The Dissertations on Providence, and on the Re-union of the Just in a State of Blessedness, introduced Mr. Price to an acquaintance with the Earl of Shelburne, afterward Marquis of Lansdowne, who had then lately lost his wife; and the state of whose mind was rendered peculiarly fitted for the perusal of any work of the devotional and consolatory kind which, like the dissertations of Mr. Price, was not a mere flimsy assemblage of common-places, but invigorated by argument, and beaming with the rays of superior intelligence. quaintance with Lord Shelburne appears to have been matured by a subsequent intercourse into much friendly regard ; which was certainly augmented by the works which Mr. Price afterward produced on some important questions of political economy. In some observations which Mr. Price made on the
proper method of calculating the values of contingent reversions, communicated to the Royal Society in the year 1770, he detected an error in the calculations of De Moivre, which we niention because Mr. Morgan says that it was accompanied by the following singular circumstance. Mr. Price's amiable diffidence in his own abilities led him, for some time, to suppose that the error, which he had detected in De Moivre, was
No very good reason can be given for classing under one denomination words so dissimilar as pronouns. Some pronouns are substantives, as I, thou, he, who, which, what, &c.: but other pronouns are adjectives, as this, the, that, my, thy, his, &c.; - and some grammarians make into a third class, called articles, the words a, one, some, the, and the numerals, reckoning among them each, every, either, other, or, so, as, which others call conjunctions. Not enough has been done to disentangle these motley shreds.
Verbs follow next. Their inflections are personal, or temporal. The personal formative syllables no doubt originate in the coalescence of pronouns. If our tongue was wholly self-derived, we should conjugate: love-i love-thou
love-he love-we love-ye
love-they; and, probably, the terminations of Greek and Latin verbs began in this manner. The temporal inflections originate in the coalescence of auxiliaries. Certain primæval verbs lend themselves as terminations to all the rest. The substantive love originally signifies lip; and the participles loved, loving, are resoluble into lip-having, lip-had :- but whence the ing and the ed which inflect the auxiliary itself? To have is to hold; and in many Gothic dialects (German, for instance,) the participle present is formed with end, or and. Why not derive it from hand? Hand-hold is present hold;- and, if so, why not in our language derive the ing from finger? Finger-hold is present hold. The inflection of the past participle is very like the word dead, and perhaps comes from it : in Latin, ictus, struck, seems to be the root of the past participle. Children, whose actions are often interrupted by a blow, are as likely to designate the cessation of action by a stroke as by death. Verbs probably originate in the
* These words his, her, hers, its, are commonly asserted to be the oblique cases of the respective pronouns he, she, it. But it is presumed that, in addition to the reasons adduced in a former part, that opinion will be completely refuted by the following arguments.
ist. The German pronominals from which they are derived, seiner (his or its) and ihrer (her or hers) are declinable through all their numbers, cases and genders, like the other German adjectives. Seiner, seine, sein (or seines ;) Ihrer, ihre, ihr, (or ihres), &c.
• 2d. In English, as in German, they are always made to apply to a subsequent noun, like every other personal ; my, thy, our, your, their; and there is no more reason to make them substantive in the singular than in the plural.'
imperative mood; in which form, like a noun in the vocative case, they approach very near to an interjection.
On the subject of adverbs we expected a copious dissertation; because, in an early part of the essay, a new name was given to this part of speech: but we find little more than the meagre eighty-third page allotted to this sort of word. We may be allowed to observe that the adverb, whether attached to an adjective or to a verb, often approaches very near to an interjection, and is usually employed to proclaim some personal impression, which does not affect the main proposition affirmed or denied in the sentence.
With regard to prepositions, the author advances a doctrine that to us is unintelligible:
• Prepositions are the auxiliaries of nouns, as auxiliaries are the prepositions of verbs ; and this analogy, which we have ventured to apply to English construction, will be found to hold good in all languages, in such proportion as these two classes of words may be employed in them under a separate form. Auxiliaries only become inflectible by their combination with pronouns,
prepositions are also inflected by a syllabic union with the pronominal article. And if our English nouns and consequently adjectives, are not inflectible, from the same cause our verbs are very slightly so; while in other languages, whose verbal system is extensively varied by the syllabic combination of their auxiliary with the independent verbs, that of their nouns is not less so, by the annex. ation to them of their inflected particles.'
Part iii. treats of the philosophy of language, and of alphabetic character. Here the writer displays much reading in the grammars of various nations: - but, instead of endeavouring (like Horne Tooke) to strip, grammar of its mysticism, and subject its principles to the analysis of reason and the influence of good sense, he too often exhibits a rage for superfine subdivision, and for an affected, innovative, technical, strange nomenclature, resembling that of Harris, the author of Hermes. - We recommend to this ingenious, but not lucid, philologer, a more attentive study of the Grammar, the Dictionary, and the Mithridates of Adelung, who was the greatest glossologist of the present age.
• * The Sanscrit noun has eight distinctly inflected cases.
• The German or Saxon language, which is the foster-mother of our own, has its nouns and adjectives subjected to a very compli. cated system of declinability, while its verbs are scarcely less simple in their construction than our own.'