Page images

or epithet, will hardly authorize the use of it: as, That faction in England who most powerfully opposed his ar. bitrary pretensions.” “ That faction which, would have been better; and the same remark will serve for the fol lowing examples: France, who was in alliance with Sweden.” “The court, who," &c. The cavalry who,&c. “The cities who aspired at liberty." "That party among us who," &c. “ The family whom they consider as usurpers."

In some cases it may be doubtful, whether this pronoun is properly applied or not: as, “The number of substantial inhabitants with whom some cities abound," For when a term directly and necessarily implies, persons, it may in many cases claim the personal relative. « None of the

company whom he most affected, could cure him of the melancholy under which he laboured.” The word acquaintance may have the same construction.

7. We hardly consider little children as persons, because that term gives us the idea of reason and reflection : and therefore the application of the personal relative who, in this case, seems to be harsh : “ A child who." It is still more improperly applied to animals : "A lake frequented by that fowl whom nature has taught to dip the wing in


8. When the name of a person is used merely as a name, and it does not refer to the person, the pronoun who ought not to be applied. “ It is no wonder if such a man did not shine at the court of queen Elizabeth, who was but another name for prudence and economy.” Better thus ; “ whose name was but another word for prudence, &c.” The word whose begins likewise to be restricted to persons; yet it is not done so generally, but that good writers, even in prose, use it when speaking of things. The construction is not, however, generally pleasing, as we may see in the following instances: “ Pleasure, whose nature, &c." “Call every production, whose parts and whose nature," &c.

when we say,

much upon

In one case, however, custom authorizes us to use which, with respect to persons ; and that is when we want to distinguish one person of two, or a particular person among a number of others. We should then say, " Which of the two,” or Which of them, is he or she?"

9. As the pronoun relative has no distinction of number, we sometimes find an ambiguity in the use of it: as

“ The disciples of Christ, whom we imitate;" we may mean the imitation either of Christ, or of his disciples. The accuracy and clearness of the sentence, depend very

the proper

and determinate use of the relative, so that it may readily present its antecedent to the mind of the hearer or reader, without any obscurity or ambiguity.

10. It is and it was, are often, after the manner of the French, used in a plural construction, and by some of our best writers : as, It is either a few great men who decide for the whole, or ii is the rabble that follow a seditious ringleader;" It is they that are the real authors, though the soldiers are the actors of the revolutions;" It was the heretics that first began to rail,” &c.; 'Tis these that early taint the female mind." This license in the con. struction of it is, (if it be proper to admit it at all,) has, however, been certainly abused in the following sentence, which is thereby made a very awkward one.

" It is wonderful the very few accidents, which, in several years, happen from this practice."

11. The interjections O! Oh! and Ah! require the objective case of a pronoun in the first person after them : as, “ O me! Oh me! Ah me!". But the nominative case in the second person : as, “O thou persecutor !" " Oh ye hypocrites!" " O thou, who dwellest," &c.

The neuter pronoun, by an idiom peculiar to the English language, is frequently joined in explanatory sentences, with a noun or pronoun of the masculine or feminine gen. der: as, “ It was I;" “ It was the man or woman that did it.”

The neuter pronoun it is sometimes omitted and understood ; thus we say,

As appears, as follows ;” for “ As it appears, as it follows;” and “May be,” for “ It may be.”

The neuter pronoun it is sometimes employed to express;

1st, The subject of any discourse or inquiry: as, It happened on a summer's day;" “ Who is it that calls oli ine?”

2d, The state or condition of any person or thing: as, • How is it with you?”

3d, The thing, whatever it be, that is the cause of any effect or event, or any person considered merely as a Cause: as, We heard her say it was not he;" “ The truth is, it was I that helped her.”

RULE VI. THE relative is the nominative case to the verb, when no nominative comes between it and the verb: as, “ The master who taught us ;">." The' trees which are planted.”

When a nominative comes between the relative and the verb, the relative is governed by some word in its own member of the sentence : as, “ He who preserves me; to whom I owe my being, whose I am, and whom I serve, is eternal.”

Exercises, p. 80. Key, p. 42. In the several members of the last sentence, the relative performs a different office, In the first member, it marks the agent; in the second, it submits to the government of the preposition ; in the third, it represents the possessor ; and in the fourth, the object of an action: and therefore it must be in the three different cases, correspondent to those offices.

When both the antecedent and relative become nomina

tives, each to different verbs, the relative is the nominative to the former, and the antecedent to the latter verb: as, * True philosophy, which is the ornament of our nature, consists more in the love of our duty, and the practice of virtue, than in great talents and extensive knowledge."

A few instances of erroneous construction, will ilļustrate both the branches of the sixth rule. The three following refer to the first part. “How can we avoid being grateful to those whom, by repeated kind offices, have proved themselves our real friends?”. “These are the men whom, you might suppose, were the authors of the work :” “ If you were here, you would find three or four, whom you would say passed their time agreeably:" in all these places it should be who instead of whom. The two latter sen. tences contain a nominative between the relative and the verb; and, therefore, seem to contravene the rule: but the student will reflect, that it is not the nominative of the verb with which the relative is connected. The remaining examples refer to the second part of the rule." Men of fine talents are not always the persons who we should esteem.” “The persons who you dispute with, are prer cisely of your opinion." "Our tutors are our benefactors, who we owe obedience tó, and who we ought to love." In these sentences, whom should be used instead of who.

1. When the relative pronoun is of the interrogative kind, the noun or pronoun containing the answer, must þe in the same case as that which contains the question : As, Whose books are these? They are John's." , . Who gave them to him? We." Of whom did you buy them? Of a bookseller; him who lives at the Bible and Crown,' Whoni did you see there? Both kim and the shopmans' The learner will readily comprehend this rule, by supplying the words which are understood in the answers. Thussi to express the answers at large, we should say, They are John's books." "We gave them to him." "We bought them of him who lives, &c." "We saw both him and the shopman."

-As the relative pronoun, when used interrogatively, refers to the subsequent word or phrase containing the answer to the question, that word or phrase may properly be termed the subsequent to the interrogative.

[ocr errors]

RULE VII. When the relative is preceded by two nomina. tives of different persons, the relative and verb may agree in person with either, according to the sense : as, “ I am the man who command you ;” or, “ I am the man who commands you."

Exercises, p. 81. Key, p. 43. The form of the first of the two preceding sentences, expresses the meaning rather obscurely. It would be more perspicuous to say; “I, who command you, am the man." Perhaps the difference of meaning, produced by referring the relative to different antecedents, will be more evident to the learner, in the following sentences. the general who gives the orders to-day;" “ I am the general, who gide the orders to-day;" that is, “ I, who give the orders to-day, am the general.”

When the relative and the verb have been determined to agree with either of the preceding nominatives, that agreement must be preserved throughout the sentence; as in the following instance : “ I am the Lord that maketh all things ; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone.” Isa. xliv. 24. Thus far is consistent The Lord, in the third person, is the antecedent, and the verb agrees with the rebative in the third person I am the Lord, which Lord, Or Werehat 'maketh all things." Tut 7 were made the ante: cedent, the relative and verb should


with it in the first person : as," I am the Lord, that make all things, that ftretch forth the heavens alone. But should it follow; **That spreadeth 'abroad the earth by myself;” there would arise a confusion of persons; and a manifest solecisin.

my w

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »