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trees so large. When we refer to the species or nature of a thing, the word such is properly applied: as, Such a temper is seldom found :' but when degree is signified, we use the word so: as, 'So bad a temper is seldom found.' · Adverbs are likewise improperly used as adjectives: as, « The tutor addressed him in terms rather warm, but suitably to his offence;' suitable. They were seen wandering about solitarily and distressed;" "solitary.' 'He lived in a manner agreeably to the dictates of reason and religion;' agreeable.' "The study of syntax should be previously to that of punctuation;' previous."*
Double comparatives and superlatives should be avoided: such as, 'A worser conduct;' On lesser hopes;' CA more serener temper;' "The most straitest sect;' 'A more superior work.' They should be, worse conduct;' 'less hopes;' a more serene temper;' the straitest sect;' ' a superior work.' · Adjectives that have in themselves a superlative signification, do not properly admit of the superlative or comparative form superadded: such as, 'Chief, extreme, perfect, right, universal, supreme,' &c., which are sometimes improperly written, Chiefest, extremest, perfect
* Young persons who study grammar, find it difficult to decide, in particular constructions, whether an adjective, or an adverb, ought to be used. A few observations on this point, may serve to inform their judgment, and direct their determination.—They should carefully attend to the definitions of the adjective and the adverb; and consider whether, in the case in question, quality or manner, is indicated. In the former case, an adjective is proper; in the latter, an adverb. A number of examples will illustrate this direction, and prove useful on other occasions.
She looks cold-She looks coldly on himn .
Charles has grown great by his wisdom-He has grown greatly in reputation.
They now appear happy— They now 'appear happily in earnest. The statement seems exact—The statement seems exactly in point.
The verb to be, in all its moods and tenses, generally requires the word immediately connected with it to be an adjeetive, not an adverb; and consequently, when this verb can be substituted for any est, rightest, most universal, most supreme,' &c. The following expressions are therefore improper. 'He sometimes claims admission to the chiefest offices;' 'The quarrel hecame so universal and national;' 'A method of attaining the rightest and greatest happiness. The phrases, so perfect, so right, so extreme, so universal, &c. are incorrect; because they imply that one thing is less perfect, less extreme, &c. than another, which is not possible.
Inaccuracies are often found in the way in which the degrees of comparison are applied and construed. The following are examples of wrong construction in this respect: This noble nation hath, of all others, admitted fewer corruptions. The word fewer is here construed precisely as if it were the superlative. It should be,
This noble nation hath admitted fewer corruptions than any other. We commonly say, “This is the weaker of the two;' or, The weakest of the two;' but the former is the regular mode of expression, because there are only two things compared "The vice of covetousness is what enters deepest into the soul of any other.'
He celebrates the church of England as the most perfect of all others. Both these modes of expression are faulty: we should not say, 'The best of any man,' or,
other, without varying the sense or the construction, that other verb inust also be connected with an adjective. The following sentences elucidate these observations: This is agreeable to our interest; That hehaviour was not suitable to his station; Rules should be conformais
is ble to sense;' . The rose smells sweet; How sweet the hay smells!
are Ho!v delightful the country appears! How pleasant the fields look!
is The clouds look dark; How black the sky looked! The apple tastes
is sour! How bitter the plums tasted! He feels happy.' In all these sentences, we can, with perfect propriety, substitute some tenses of the verb to he, for the other verbs. But in the following sentences we cannot do this: · The dog smells disagreeably; George feels exquisitely; How pleasantly she looks at us!
The directions contained in this note are offered as useful, not as complete and unexceptionable. Anomalies in language everywhere encounter us; but we must not reject rules, because they are attend od with exceptions.
“The best of any other man,' for the best of men.' The sentences may be corrected by substituting the comparative in the room of the superlative. The vice, &c. is what enters deeper into the soul than any other.' : "He celebrates, &c. as more perfect, or less imperfect, than any other.' It is also possible to retain the superlative, and render the expression grammatical, ‘Covetousness, of all vices, enters the deepest into the soul.' 'He celebrates, &c. as the most perfect of all churches.' These sentences contain other errors, against which it is proper to caution the learner. The words deeper, and deepest, being intended for adverbs, should have been more deeply, most deeply. The phrases more perfect, and most perfect, are improper ; because perfection admits of no degrees of comparison. We may say nearer or nearest to perfection, or more or less imperfect.
In some cases, adjectives should not be separated from their substantives, even by words which modify their meaning, and make but one sense with them ; as,
A large enough number surely.' It should be,' a number large enough.' "The lower sort of people are good enough judges of one not very distant from them.'
The adjective is usually placed before its substantive : as, ' A generous man ;' How amiable a woman ! The instances in which it comes after the substantive, are the following :
1st, When something depends upon the adjective ; and when it gives a better sound, especially in poetry : as, 'A man generous to his enemies: Feed me with food convenient for me;' "A tree three feet thick ;' "A body of troops fifty thousand strong ;' “ The torrent tumbling through rocks abrupt.'.
2d, When the adjective is emphatical : as, ' Alexander the Great;' Lewis the Bold;' 'Goodness infinite ;' (Wisdom unsearchable.'
3d, When several adjectives belong to one substantive : as, 'A man just, wise, and charitable ;' 'A woman modest, sensible, and virtuous.'
4th, When the adjective is preceded by an adverb: as, 'A boy regularly studious;' A girl unaffectedly modest.'
5th, When the verb to be, in any of its variations, comes between a substantive and an adjective, the
adjective may frequently either precede or follow it : as, "The man is happy;'or, "happy is the man who makes virtue his choice :' " The interview, was delightful;' or, 'delightful was the interview.'
6th, When the adjective expresses some circumstance of a substantive placed after an active verb: as, 'Vanity often renders its possessor despicable.' In an exclamatory sentence, the adjective generally precedes the substantive; as, 'How despicable does vanity often render its possessor!'
There is sometimes great beauty, as well as force, in placing the adjective before the verb, and the substantive immediately after it : as, “Great is the Lord! just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints!
Sometimes the word all is emphatically put after a number of particulars comprehended under it. Ambition, interest, honour, all concurred.' Sometimes a substantive, which likewise comprehends the preceding particulars, is used in conjunction with this adjective pronoun: as, 'Royalists, republicans, churchmen, sectaries, courtiers, patriots, all parties, concur in the illusion.'
A substantive with its adjective is reckoned as one compound word; whence they often take another adjective, and sometimes a third, and so on: as, “An old man ; a good old man; a very learned, judicious, good old man.'
Though the adjective always relates to a substantive, it is, in many instances, put as if it were absolute; especially where the noun has been mentioned before, or is easily understood, though not expressed : 'I often survey the green fields, as I am very fond of green;' « The wise, the virtuous, the honored, famed, and great,' that is, persons ;' « The twelve,' that is, apostles ;? Have compassion on the poor ; be feet to the lame, and eyes to the blind.'
Substantives are often used as adjectives. In this case, the word so used is sometimes unconnected with the substantive to which it relates ; sometimes connected with it by a hyphen ; and sometimes joined to it, so as to make the two words coalesce. The total separation is proper, when either of the two words is long, or when they cannot be fluently pronounced as one word : as, ' an adjective pronoun, a silver watch, a stone cistern : the hyphen is used, when both the words are short, and are readily pronounced as a single word : as, 'coal-mine, corn-mill, fruit-tree;' the words coalesce, when they are readily pronounced together ; have a long established association ; and are in frequent use; as, ' honeycomb), gingerbread, inkhorn, Yorkshire.'
Sometimes the adjective becomes a substantive, and has another adjective joined to it : as, ' The chief good ;' "The vast immense of space.'
Some adjectives of number are more easily converted into substantives, than others. Thus we more readily say, “A million of men,' than a thousand of men. Om the other hand, it will hardly be allowable to say, 'A million men,' whereas, ' a thousand men,' is quite familiar. Yet in the plural number, a different construction seems to be required. We say, 'some hundreds,' or
thousands,' as well as 'millions of men. Perhaps, on this account, the words millions, hundreds, and thousands, will be said to be substantives.
When an adjective has a preposition before it, anıl the substantive is understood, the words assume the na: ture of an adverb, and may be considered as an adverbial phrase ; as, 'In general, in particular, in common,' &c. ; that is, 'Generally, particularly, comnionly.'
Enow was formerly used as the plural of enough : but it is now obsolete.
OF RULE XIV.—The preposition of joined to a substantive, is frequently equivalent to the possessive case : as,.- A Christian's hope,' "The hope of a Christian.' But it is only so, when the expression can be converted into the regular form of the possessive case. We can say, “The reward of virtue,' and · Virtue's reward;' but though it is proper to say, "A crown of gold,' we cannot convert the expression into the possessive case, and say, 'Gold's crown.
Substantives govern pronouns as well as nouns, in the possessive case : as, Every tree is known by its fruit ;' Goodness brings its reward ; ' That desk is mine,
The genitive its is often improperly used for 'lis or it. is : as, . Its my book ;' instead of, 'it is my book.'
The pronoun his, when detached from the noun to which it relates, is to be considered, not as a possessive