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succeeded in surprising the quarters of the Marquess of Cadiz, who, with his followers, was ex
hausted by fatigue and watching.”—Prescott. “ This phraseology,” says Dr. Crombie, “though not strictly consonant with the rules of concord, frequently obtains both in ancient and modern languages ; in some cases, indeed, it seems preferable to the syntactical form of expression.”
84. In a familiar question or negation the compound form of the verb is preferable to the simple : as, “Does he come to town every week ?" Not “ Comes he to town” &c. ?-But, in the solemn or the poetic style, the simple form is more dignified and graceful: as, “ Understandest thou what thou readest ?” “Of whom speaketh the prophet this ?”— Acts viii. 30, 34. “ What! Heard ye not of lowland war?"-Scott.
85. Some grammarians object to the use of the numerals two, three, four, &c., before the adjectives first and last. There seems, however, to be no good reason for the objection, and the expressions two first, three last, &c., are fully sanctioned by good usage.
Examples :—“My two last letters.”—Addison. “ The two first lines are uncommonly beautiful.”— Blair. “At the two last schools.”—Johnson. “ The four first are altogether and unequivocally poetical.” -Cheever. “ The three first of his longer poems.”— Southey. The expressions first three, last two, &c., are also in good use, and, in some cases, are to be preferred.
Examples :—“The first eighteen years."— Robert. son. “The history of the world for the last fifty
years.”—Everett. “During the last seven or eight years.”Brougham.
N.B. “It has been fashionable of late to write the first three, and so on, instead of the three first. Persons write in this way to avoid the seeming absurdity of implying that more than one thing can be the first; but it is, at least, equally absurd, to talk about the first four, when [as often happens] there is no second four.” — Arnold. “Surely, if there can be only
one last, one first,' there can be only 'a last one,' (a first one.' I need only observe that usage is decidedly in favour of the former phraseology.”—Grant. “ The only argument against the use of two first, and in favour of substituting first two, so far as I can recollect, is this : In the nature of things, there can be only one first and one last, in any series of things. But—is it true that there can never be more than one first and one last ? If it be so, then the adjectives first and last must always be of the singular number, and can never agree with nouns in the plural. We are told that the first years of a lawyer's practice are seldom very lucrative. The poet tells us that his first essays were severely handled by the critics, but his last efforts have been well received. Examples like these might be produced without number. They occur everywhere in all our standard writers. . . . When a numeral adjective and a qualifying epithet both refer to the same noun, the general rule of the English language is to place the numeral first, then the qualifying epithet, and afterwards the noun. Thus we say, 'the two wise men,' the two tall men ;' and not,' the wise two men, the tall two men.' And the same rule holds in superlatives. We say, 'the two wisest men,' the two tallest men;' and not the wisest two men,' the tallest two men.' Now if this be admitted to be the general rule of the English language, it then follows that we should generally say, 'the two first, the two last, &c., rather than the first two,' the last two,' &c. This, I say, should generally be the order of the words. Yet there are some cases, in which it seems preferable to say, 'the first two, the first three,' &c." -Dr. Murdock.
86. “Of the two forms, ' him excepted,' and 'he excepted, the former, [contrary to the sentiment of the majority of grammarians,] is the correct one.”— *Latham.
87. His was formerly employed as the possessive both of he and it.
Examples :-"Put up again thy sword into his place.”—Matt. xxvi. 52. “Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning, and almost childish.” — Bacon.
N.B.-“ The possessive its does not appear before the seventeenth century.”-Booth. “ Its is not found in the Bible except by misprint.”—Brown.
88. Who is usually applied to persons only; which, though formerly applied to persons, is now confined to animals and inanimate things; what [as a mere pronoun] is applied to things only; that is applied indifferently to persons, animals, or things.
89. The word than was formerly used as a preposition, and still retains this character in the phrase
than whom ; as, “ Beëlzebub, than whom, Satan except, none higher sat.”—Milton.
Obs.—The phrase than which is also sometimes used in a similar manner; as, "A work, than which, the age has certainly produced none more sure of bequeathing its author's name to the admiration of future times.”—Russell.
90. The second person singular of the simple verb do is now usually written dost: being contracted in orthography as well as in pronunciation. This anomaly seems unnecessary. In the words undoest and overdoest no contraction takes place.
91. An is sometimes a conjunction signifying if; as, “Nay, an thou'lt mouthe, I'll rant as well as thou.”— Shakspere.
92. To express a reciprocal action or relation, the pronominal adjectives each other and one another are employed: as, “ They love each other ;”—“They love one another." The words separately considered are singular; but, taken together, they imply plurality: and they can be properly construed only after plurals, or singulars taken conjointly. Each other is usually applied to two objects; and one another to more than two. The terms, though reciprocal and closely united, are never in the same construction. If such expressions be analysed, each and one will generally appear to be in the nominative case, and other in the objective: as, “ They love each other;" that is, each loves the other. Each is properly in apposition with they, and other is governed by the verb. The terms, however, admit of other constructions: as, “Be ye helpers one of another.” — Bible. Here one is in apposition
with ye, and another is governed by of. “Ye are one another's joy."— Bible. Here one is in apposition with ye, and another's is in the possessive case, being governed by joy. “Love will make you one another's joy.” Here one is in the objective case, being in apposition with you, and another's is governed as before. The Latin terms alius alium, alii alios, &c. sufficiently oonfirm this doctrine.
93. When the verb has different forms, that form should be adopted, which is the most consistent with present and reputable usage, in the style employed : thus, to say familiarly, “The clock hath stricken," — “ Thou laughedst and talkedst, when thou oughtest to have been silent,”'_“He readeth and writeth, but he doth not cipher,”—would be no better than to use don't, won't, can't, shan't, and didn't in preaching.
94. Adjectives should be employed to qualify nouns and pronouns, and adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. It is, therefore, incorrect to say, “She writes elegant ;"_" Thine often infirmities.”
95. Conjunctions should not be unnecessarily accumulated; as, “ But And if that evil servant shall say in his heart,” &c.—Matt. xxiv. 48.
96. Those verbs and participles, which require a regimen, should not be employed without it; as, “ She endeavoured to ingratiate [herself] with the family." _“I will not allow of it.” Leave out of.
97. Those verbs and participles, which do not admit a regimen, should not be used transitively; as, “The planters grow cotton :” say, raise, or cultivate.
N.B.-Some verbs, however, may govern a kindred noun, or its pronoun, but no other : as, “He lived a