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The Grammar of English Grammars

The Grammar of English Grammars

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The Grammar of English Grammars
Project Gutenberg's The Grammar of English Grammars, by Gould Brown This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Grammar of English GrammarsAuthor: Gould BrownRelease Date: March 17, 2004 [EBook #11615]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GRAMMAR OF ENGLISH GRAMMARS***Produced by Karl Hagen and the Online Distributed Proofreading TeamTranscriber's Notes: Despite the severity with which the author of this work treats those who depart from hisstandard of correctness, the source text does contain a small number of typographical errors. Missingpunctuation has been supplied silently, but all other errors have been left uncorrected. To let the readerdistinguish such problems from any inadvertent transcription errors that remain, I have inserted notes to flagitems that appear errors by Brown's own standard. Spellings that are simply different from current practice,e.g., 'Shakspeare' are not noted. Special characters: vowels with macrons are rendered with an equals sign (=)before the vowel. Vowels with breve marks are rendered with tildes (~) before the vowels.--KTH.THEGRAMMAROFENGLISH GRAMMARS,WITHAN INTRODUCTIONHISTORICAL AND CRITICAL;THE WHOLEMETHODICALLY ARRANGED AND AMPLY ILLUSTRATED;WITH
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FORMS OF CORRECTING AND OF PARSING, IMPROPRIETIES FOR CORRECTION, EXAMPLESFOR PARSING, QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION, EXERCISES FOR WRITING, OBSERVATIONSFOR THE ADVANCED STUDENT, DECISIONS AND PROOFS FOR THE SETTLEMENT OFDISPUTED POINTS, OCCASIONAL STRICTURES AND DEFENCES, AN EXHIBITION OF THESEVERAL METHODS OF ANALYSIS,ANDA KEY TO THE ORAL EXERCISES:TO WHICH ARE ADDEDFOUR APPENDIXES,PERTAINING SEPARATELY TO THE FOUR PARTS OF GRAMMAR.BY GOOLD BROWN,AUTHOR OF THE INSTITUTES OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR, THE FIRST LINES OF ENGLISHGRAMMAR, ETC."So let great authors have their due, that Time, who is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, whichis, farther and farther to discover truth."--LORD BACON.SIXTH EDITION--REVISED AND IMPROVED.ENLARGED BY THE ADDITION OF A COPIOUS INDEX OF MATTERS.BY SAMUEL U. BERRIAN, A. M.PREFACEThe present performance is, so far as the end could be reached, the fulfillment of a design, formed abouttwenty-seven years ago, of one day presenting to the world, if I might, something like a complete grammar of the English language;--not a mere work of criticism, nor yet a work too tame, indecisive, and uncritical; for, inbooks of either of these sorts, our libraries already abound;--not a mere philosophical investigation of what isgeneral or universal in grammar, nor yet a minute detail of what forms only a part of our own philology; foreither of these plans falls very far short of such a purpose;--not a mere grammatical compend, abstract, orcompilation, sorting with other works already before the public; for, in the production of school grammars, theauthor had early performed his part; and, of small treatises on this subject, we have long had asuperabundance rather than a lack.After about fifteen years devoted chiefly to grammatical studies and exercises, during most of which time Ihad been alternately instructing youth in four different languages, thinking it practicable to effect someimprovement upon the manuals which explain our own, I prepared and published, for the use of schools, aduodecimo volume of about three hundred pages; which, upon the presumption that its principles wereconformable to the best usage, and well established thereby, I entitled, "The Institutes of English Grammar."Of this work, which, it is believed, has been gradually gaining in reputation and demand ever since its firstpublication, there is no occasion to say more here, than that it was the result of diligent study, and that it is,essentially, the nucleus, or the groundwork, of the present volume.
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With much additional labour, the principles contained in the Institutes of English Grammar, have here beennot only reaffirmed and rewritten, but occasionally improved in expression, or amplified in their details. Newtopics, new definitions, new rules, have also been added; and all parts of the subject have been illustrated by amultiplicity of new examples and exercises, which it has required a long time to amass and arrange. To themain doctrines, also, are here subjoined many new observations and criticisms, which are the results of noinconsiderable reading and reflection.Regarding it as my business and calling, to work out the above-mentioned purpose as circumstances mightpermit, I have laid no claim to genius, none to infallibility; but I have endeavoured to be accurate, and aspiredto be useful; and it is a part of my plan, that the reader of this volume shall never, through my fault, be left indoubt as to the origin of any thing it contains. It is but the duty of an author, to give every needful facility fora fair estimate of his work; and, whatever authority there may be for anonymous copying in works ongrammar, the precedent is always bad.The success of other labours, answerable to moderate wishes, has enabled me to pursue this task underfavourable circumstances, and with an unselfish, independent aim. Not with vainglorious pride, but withreverent gratitude to God, I acknowledge this advantage, giving thanks for the signal mercy which hasupborne me to the long-continued effort. Had the case been otherwise,--had the labours of the school-roombeen still demanded for my support,--the present large volume would never have appeared. I had desired someleisure for the completing of this design, and to it I scrupled not to sacrifice the profits of my mainemployment, as soon as it could be done without hazard of adding another chapter to "the Calamities of Authors."The nature and design of this treatise are perhaps sufficiently developed in connexion with the various topicswhich are successively treated of in the Introduction. That method of teaching, which I conceive to be thebest, is also there described. And, in the Grammar itself, there will be found occasional directions concerningthe manner of its use. I have hoped to facilitate the study of the English language, not by abridging ourgrammatical code, or by rejecting the common phraseolgy [sic--KTH] of its doctrines, but by extending theformer, improving the latter, and establishing both;--but still more, by furnishing new illustrations of thesubject, and arranging its vast number of particulars in such order that every item may be readily found.An other important purpose, which, in the preparation of this work, has been borne constantly in mind, andjudged worthy of very particular attention, was the attempt to settle, so far as the most patient investigationand the fullest exhibition of proofs could do it, the multitudinous and vexatious disputes which have hithertodivided the sentiments of teachers, and made the study of English grammar so uninviting, unsatisfactory, andunprofitable, to the student whose taste demands a reasonable degree of certainty."Whenever labour implies the exertion of thought, it does good, at least to the strong: when the saving of labour is a saving of thought, it enfeebles. The mind, like the body, is strengthened by hard exercise: but, togive this exercise all its salutary effect, it should be of a reasonable kind; it should lead us to the perception of regularity, of order, of principle, of a law. When, after all the trouble we have taken, we merely findanomalies and confusion, we are disgusted with what is so uncongenial: and, as our higher faculties have notbeen called into action, they are not unlikely to be outgrown by the lower, and overborne as it were by theunderwood of our minds. Hence, no doubt, one of the reasons why our language has been so much neglected,and why such scandalous ignorance prevails concerning its nature and history, is its unattractive,disheartening irregularity: none but Satan is fond of plunging into chaos."--
Philological Museum
, (Cambridge,Eng., 1832,) Vol. i, p. 666.If there be any remedy for the neglect and ignorance here spoken of, it must be found in the more effectualteaching of English grammar. But the principles of grammar can never have any beneficial influence over anyperson's manner of speaking or writing, till by some process they are made so perfectly familiar, that he canapply them with all the readiness of a native power; that is, till he can apply them not only to what has been
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