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are instances of a very numerous class of expressions which are metaphoric or allusive, rather than strictly and literally proper; though, from having been long used, they appear quite literal.
But the subject of tense is not worth discussion; and if it were not that we think it of some importance to oppose all unmeaning definitions and useless distinctions, we would not have been at the trouble to call it in question. But if the grammatic doctrine of tenses were admitted, what is gained by it? Does it impart any instruction? Does it render Tyro better acquainted with language or more master of composition? If it does not answer such a purpose, it is evidently worse than useless.
THESE, like all anomalies, are exceedingly troublesome, especially to learners. Most of them, evidently, originated in blundering carelessness; or, in that aversion to polysyllables which operated so powerfully on our Saxon ancestors. Had grammarmakers endeavoured to remove such irregularities, they would have done some good; but instead of such useful service, their first labour was to consecrate and confirm all the perversions which they found actually existing; and thus they prevented our language from righting itself, as it would have done,
to a considerable degree, if it had been left wholly to analogy, free from the fetters of arbitrary rules established on anomalous precedents; for there is a constant effort on the part of children and foreigners, and all the ungrammatic, to restore uniformity; which effort is so well backed by reason, that it would doubtless prevail but for the despotic authority of written grammar.
With the view of inducing influential writers and speakers to set the example of banishing irregularities from the verbs, we will present them in the following distributions :
First, Verbs that have both a regular and irregular
There can be no unwillingness, even in the most dutiful disciples of custom, to discard all the above forms with the dagger prefixed; for most of them
have an olden uncouthness, except to the lovers of antique obsoleteness and whilom forms of literature.
Secondly, Verbs that might be restored to analogy, or rendered regular without offering much violence to established usage: as,
Beseech beseeched + besought
bleeded † bled
Blood blooded is still better
blowed † blew
One of these duplicates had better be discarded.
Fling flinged † flung
Forsake forsaked † forsook † forsaken