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spicuity and accuracy in writing, appears naturally to follow that of Grammar. A competent acquaintance with the principles of both, will prepare and qualify the students, for prosecuting those additional improvements in language, to which they may be properly directed.
On the utility and importance of the study of Grammar, and the principles of Composition, much might be advanced, for the encouragement of persons in early life to apply themselves to this branch of learning; but as the limits of this Introduction will not allow of many observations on the subject, a few leading sentiments are all that can be admitted here with propriety. As words are the signs of our ideas, and the medium by which we perceive the sentiments of others, and communicate our own; and as signs exhibit the things which they are intended to represent, more or less accurately, according as their real or established conformity to those things is more or less exact; it is evident, that in proportion to our knowledge of the nature and properties of words, of their relation to each other, and of their established connexion with the ideas to which they alle applied, will be the certainty and ease, with which we transfuse our sentiments into the minds of one another; and that, without a competent knowledge of this kind, we shall frequently be in hazard of misunderstanding others, and of being misunderstood ourselves. It may indeed be justly: asserted, that many of the differences in opinion amongst men, with the disputes, contentions, and alienations of heart, which have too often proceeded from such differe ences, have been occasioned by a want of proper skill in the connexion and meaning of words, and by a tenacious. misapplication of language.
One of the best supports, which the recommendation of this study can receive, in small compass, may be derived. from the following sentiments of an eminent and candid writer * on language and composition. “All that regards " the study of composition, merits the higher attention upon
" this account, that it is intimately connected with the im“provement of our intellectual powers. For I must be " allowed to say, that when we are employed, after a “ proper manner, in the study of composition, we are cul “tivating the understanding itself. The study of arranging "and expressing our thoughts with propriety, teaches to, “think, as well as to speak, accurately.",
Before the close of this Introduction, it may not be superfluous to observe, that thę author of the following work has no interest in it, but that which arises from the hope, that it will prove of, some advantage to young persons, and relieve the labours of those who are employed in their education. He wishes to promote, in some degree, the cause of virtue, as well as of learning; and, with this view, he has been studious, through the whole of the work, not only to avoid every example and illustration, which might have an improper effect on the minds of youth; but also to introduce, on many occasions, such as have a moral and religious tendency. His attention to objects of so much importance will, he trusts, meet the approbation of every well-disposed reader. If they were faithfully regarded in all books of education, they would doubtless contribute very materially to the order and happiness of society, by, guarding the innocence, and cherishing the virtue of the rising generation. Holdgate, near York,—_1795.,
TO THE NINTH EDITION. The eighth edition of this grammar received considerable alterations and additions: but works of this nature admit of: repeated improvements; and are, perhaps, never complete. The author, solicitous to render his book more worthy of the encouraging approbation bestowed on it by the public,, has again revised the work with care and attention. The new edition, he hopes will be found much improved. The additions, which are very considerable are, chiefly, such,
as are calculated, to expand the learner's views of the subject; to obviate objections; and to render the study of grammar both easy and interesting. This edition contains also a new and enlarged system of parsing; copious lists of nouns arranged according to their gender and number; and many notes and observations, which serve to extend, or to explain, particular rules and positions *.
The writer is sensible that, after all his endeavours to elucidate the principles of the work, there are few of the divisions, arrangements, definitions, or rules, against which critical ingenuity cannot devise plausible objections. The subject is attended with so much intricacy, and admits of views so various, that it was not possible to render every part of it unexceptionable; or to accommodate the work, in all respects, to the opinions and prepossessions of every grammarian and teacher. If the author has adopted that system which, on the whole, is best suited to the nature of the subject, and conformable to the sentiments of the most judicious grammarians; if his reasonings and illustrations, respecting particular points are founded on just principles, and the peculiarities of the English language; he has, perhaps, done all that could reasonably be expected in a work of this nature; and he may warrantably indulge a hope, that the book will be still more extensively approved and circulated.
* The author conceives that the occasional strictures, dispersed through the book, and, intended to illustrate and support a number of important gramMatical points, will not, to young persons of ingenuity, appear to be dry, and useless discussions. He is persuaded that, by such persons, they will be read with attention. And he presumes that these strictures will gratify their cu. riosity, stimulate application, and give solidity and permanence to their gram. Natical knowledge.--In the Octavo edition of the grammar, particularly in the Third impression of it, the reader will find many additional discussions of this nature.
Holdgate, near York, 1804. The Twenty third edition of the present work contains references, under the particular rules, to the correspondent parts of The Exercises and The Key. By this means, the student may readily consult these volumes, for a more exten*sive illustration of the rules and principles of the Grammar. See the Advertisement to the Twelfth edition of the Key to the Exercises, at page 220 of that volume.
2. Of gender. : : : : : : : : 47
3. Of number. : : : : : : . : 50
4. Of case. : : : : : : : : : 53.
CHAP. 4. Of adjectives.
SECT. 1. Of the nature of adjectives, and the
degrees of comparison. : : : 56
2. Remarks on the subject of com-
parison. : : : : : : : 59
CHAP. 5. Of pronouns. : : : : : 60
sect. 1. Of the personal pronouns. : : : 60
2. Of relative pronouns. : : : : : 62
3. Of the adjective pronouns :::