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strong emotions, especially in the minds of timid persons. To speak truth, to be diligent in business, punctual to engagements, and honourable in transactions, are important rules of prudential wisdom; and they seldom fail to give respectability to the character of every one who diligently observes them.
The conjunctive and, is the only word that connects two or more nouns, pronouns, or members of a sentence into a plural nominative: thus, The sun that shines, the rain that descends, and the wind that blows, produce good to mankind. The conjunction is sometimes omitted: The sun, the rain, the wind, produce good to mankind. Such words as with, as well as, &c., though they seem connective, do not form a plural nominative: thus, The king with his body guard has just passed-not have. The king as well as his attendants has passed by.
As before intimated, all disconnective words, such as neither, nor, either, or, have the opposite effect of and. There is in many people, neither knowledge, wisdom, nor virtue-not are. It is either John or James that delights in music. Beauty, wealth, or fame, is a very precarious possession.
Except when the noun or pronoun coming after the disjunctive is plural, the nominative is always singular: thus, Neither adversity nor enemies disturb his equanimity-not disturbs. Neither enemies nor adversity disturbs-not disturb. It is better in such cases, if possible, to put the plural word last;
but in all such forms of expression the inconvenience of arbitrary grammar is strikingly obvious.
Concerning nouns which indicate plurality when considered in one view, and unity or individuality when considered in another-there is no uniform grammatic usage. Some authors would write, "My people do not consider; they have not known me:" others, My people does not consider: it has not known me. The multitude eagerly pursue pleasure as their chief good. The multitude eagerly pursues pleasure as its chief good. The council were divided in their sentiments. The council was divided in its sentiments. In such cases there is, fortunately, not yet any established etiquette or despotic authority: the speaker or writer is left to the freedom of his own will; only having once made choice as to plural or singular, there is propriety in keeping to it; not saying, My people do not consider: it has not known me: or, My people does not consider: they have not known me, &c.
4. Any noun, pronoun, or member of a sentence immediately preceded by a preposition, is never included in the nominative to a verb. This is worthy of attention, as tending to prevent grammatic blunders; many of which happen from supposing that plural nouns, pronouns, or expressions, are the nominative, merely because they come before the verb: hence such instances of false grammar as the following: The number of the signatures are twenty. The number of places amount to twenty. Many a
failure in the transactions of business and in human affairs originate in imprudence. John with James and William live in the country. In all these examples, the nominative is singular, and therefore is, not are, should be employed; and the regular verb should have s affixed, thus: The number of the signatures is twenty: The number of the places amounts to twenty. Many a failure in the transactions, &c., originates in imprudence. John with James and William lives in the country.
The following are instances of grammatic impropriety:
The language should be perspicuous and correct: in proportion as either of these two qualities are wanting, the language is imperfect. Every one of the letters bear date after his banishment. Each of his children behave badly. Of the diversities in human character, some is better and some is worse; none is wholly faultless. None, i. e. no one, is properly singular, but custom has assigned to it a plural import. Some, like many, when a singular noun is not put after it, is always plural: thus, Some one says; Some author says; Many a one has said so; Many an author has said so, &c. But if these adjectives be not connected with a singular noun, they are always considered plural: thus, Some say-not says. Many have said so-not has said.
DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE IRREGULAR VERBS.
THESE have been exhibited; and the grammatic learner should either commit them to memory or practice much upon them. They differ from the regular verbs only in not having ed affixed in what is called the past tense. The following are some of the most frequent ungrammatic uses of the irregular verbs:
I knowed him long ago; I have knowed him many years-it should be, I knew, I have known. The wind blowed hard last night; The wind has blowed hard all day-blew, has blown. John buyed a knife yesterday, and he has buyed a pencil to-daybought. The horse drawed in the waggon yesterday, and he has drawed in the plough to-day-drew, has drawn. The corn growed well in the spring, and has growed well ever since-grew, has grown.
It is to be hoped that literary persons of sufficient influence will set the example of discarding such anomalous proprieties; but, in the mean time, the middle and lower classes of the grammatic world must prudently, perhaps, do homage to established usage.
REMARKS ON THE PREPOSITIONS.
It has been already observed, when these come immediately before any pronoun which has two forms, (called nominative and objective,) it must be put in the second form, or objective case: thus, I went with her to them from him: John gave this book to me, and said it was a present to both of us, &c.—not with she, to they, from he, &c. There is a very general mistake, as if than and as had the same effect in changing the form of the pronoun: thus,. I am older than her; she is wiser than him; we are not so rich as them; but it does not follow that they are more happy than us-it should be, than she, than he, as they, than we.
The learner should commit the prepositions to memory, or render them familiar by frequent inspection. There is some diversity in their application; for even such as are strictly synonymous, are not all (according to preponderating usage) interchangeable. In the following examples, the first mode of expression is best sanctioned by established usage:
He found the greatest difficulty in speaking, or of speaking. His abhorrence of Popery-abhorrence to Popery. It is a change for the better-to the better. He was very different then from what he is now-to what he is now. I differ from you in opinion-I differ with you in opinion. There is no need of it for it. This is no diminution of his greatness -to his greatness. It is derogatory from his autho