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This mode of expression has been formerly much admired :' It ought to be, was formerly much admired.'
"The business is not done here, in the manner in which it has been done, some years since in Germany :' It should be, 'in the manner in which it was done,' &e.
I will pay the vows which my lips have uttered, when I was in trouble :' It ought to be, which my lips mttered,' &c.
• I have in my youth, trifled with health ; and old age now prematurely assails me :' It should be, 'in my youth I trifled with health,' &c.
The five examples last mentioned, are corrected on the same principle that the preceding examples are cor: rected.
Charles has grown considerably since I have seen him the last time : This sentence ought to be, Charles has grown considerably, since I saw him the last time.'
Payment was, at length, made, but no reason assigned for its being so long postponed : It should be, 'for its having been so long postponed.'
"He became so meek and submissive, that to be in the house as one of the hired servants, was now the utmost of his wishes :' It ought to be, was then the utmost of his wishes.' · They were arrived an hour before we reached the city : It ought to be, they had arrived,' &c. ; because arrived, in this phrase, denotes an event not only past, but prior to the time referred to, by the words, 'reached the city.'
The workmen will finish the business at midsummer.' According to the meaning, it ought to be, The workmen will have finished.' &c.
All the present family have been much indebted to their great and honorable ancestor :' it should be, are much indebted.'
This curious piece of workmanship was preserved and shown to strangers for more than fifty years past : ' It ought to be, has been preserved, and been shown.' &c.
I had rather walk than ride :' It should be, I would rather walk than ride."
On the morrow, because he should have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he
loosed him :' It ought to be, because he would know;' or rather, being willing to know.'
• The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight;' 'If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead : In both these places, may would have been better than might,
I feared that I should have lost the parcel, before I arrived at the city :' It should be, 'I feared that I should lose,' &c.
It would have afforded me no satisfaction, if I could perform it :' It ought to be, if I could have performed it ;' or, it would afford me no satisfaction, if I could perform it.'
To preserve consistency in the time of verbs, and of words and phrases, we must recollect that, in the subjunctive mode, the present and the imperfect tenses often carry with them a future tense; and that the auxiliaries should and would, in the imperfect time, are used to express the present and future, as well as the past.
With regard to verbs in the infinitive mode, the practice of many writers, and some even of our most respectable writers, appears to be erroneous. They seem not to adyert to the true principles, which influence the different tenses of this mode. I shall produce some rules on the subject, which, I presume, will be found perspicuous and accurate. All verbs, expressive of hope, desire, intention, or command, must invariably be followed by the present, and not the perfect of the infinitive.' "The last week I intended to have written, is a very common phrase ; the infinitive being in the past time, as well as the verb which it follows. But it is evidently wrong : for how long soever it now is since I thought of writing, 'to write’ was then present to me: and must still be considered as present, when I bring back that time, and the thoughts of it. It ought, therefore, to be ; · The last week, I intended to write,'
The following sentence is properly and analogically expressed : 'I found him better than I expected to find him.' " Expected to have found him,' is irreconcilable to grammar and to sense. Every person would perceive an error in this expression: It is long since I commanded him to have done it :' yet, expected to have found,' is not better. It is as clear, that the finding must be posterior to the expectation, as that the obedience must be posterior to the command.
As the verbs to desire and to wish, are nearly related, one might naturally suppose, from the rule just laid down, that the latter verb, like the former, must invariably be followed by the present of the infinitive. But if we reflect, that the act of desiring always refers to the future ; and that the act of wishing refers sometimes to the past, as well as sometimes to the future ; we shall perceive the distinction between them, and that, consequently, the following modes of expression are strictly justifiable : 'I wished that I had written sooner ;' 'I wished to have written sooner :' and you will be perfectly satisfied, that the following phrases must be improper : I desire that I had written sooner ;' I desire to have written sooner.'
Having considered and explained the special rule, respecting the government of verbs expressive of hope, desire, intention, or command, I shall proceed to state and elucidate the general rule, on the subject of verbs in the infinitive mode. It is founded on the authority of Harris, Lowth, Campbell, Pickbourn, &c.; and I think too, on the authority of reason and common sense. When the action or event, signified by a verb in the infinitive mode, is contemporary or future, with respect to the verb to which it is chiefly related, the present of the infinitive is required : when it is not contemporary nor future, the perfect of the infinitive is necessary.' To comprehend and apply this rule, we have only to consider, whether the infinitive verb refers to a time antecedent, contemporary, or future, with regard to the governing or related verb. When this simple point is ascertained, there will be no doubt respecting the form which the infinitive verb should have. · A few examples may illustrate these positions. If I wish to signify, that I rejoiced at a particular time, in recollecting the sight of a friend, sometime having intervened between the seeing and the rejoicing, I should express myself thus : I rejoiced to have seen my friend.' The seeing, in this case, was evidently antecedent to the rejoicing ; and therefore the verb which expresses the former, must be in the perfect of the infinitive mode. The same meaning may be expressed in a
different form · "I rejoiced that I had seen my friend ;' or, in having seen my friend ;' and you may, in general, try the propriety of a doubtful point of this nature, by converting the phrase into these two corresponding forms of expression. When it is convertible into both these equivalent phrases, its legitimacy must be admitted.-If, on the contrary, I wish to signify, that I rejoiced at the sight of my friend, that my joy and his surprise were contemporary, I should say, 'I rejoiced to see my friend ;' or, in other words, 'I rejoiced in seeing my friend.' The correctness of this form of the infinitive may also, in most cases, be tried, by converting the phrase into other phrases of a similar import.
The subject may be still further illustrated by addia tional examples. In the sentence which follows, the verb is with propriety put in the perfect tense of the infinitive mode : . It would have afforded me great pleasure, as often as I reflected upon it, to have been the messenger of such intelligence. As the message, in this instance, was antecedent to the pleasure, and not contemporary with it, the verb expressive of the message must denote that antecedence, by being in the perfect of the infinitive. If, on the contrary, the message and the pleasure were referred to as contemporary, the subsequent verb would, with equal propriety, have been put in the present of the infinitive : as, It would have afforded me great pleasure, to be the messenger of such intelJigence.' In the former instance, the phrase in question is equivalent to these words; 'If I had been the messenger ;' in the latter instance, to this expression ; 'Being the messenger.
For the satisfaction of the learner, I shall present a variety of false constructions, under the general rule.
“This is a book which proves itself to be written by the person whose name it bears ;' it ought to be, which proves itself to have been written.'
• To see him would have afforded me pleasure all my life ;' it should be, ' To have seen him, would have afforded,' &c. or, ' To see him would afford me pleasure,' &c.
The arguments were sufficient to have satisfied all who heard them ;'* Providence did not permit the reign of Julian to have been long and prosperous :' they should
be,' were sufficient to satisfy,' &c. and,“ to be long and prosperous.
It was impossible for those men, by any diligence whatever, to have prevented this accident : everything that men could have done, was done ;' corrected thus;
to prevent this accident ;' every thing that men could do,' &c.
The respect shown to the candidate would have been greater, if it had been practicable to have afforded repeated opportunities to the freeholders, to have annexed their names to the address :' they should be, 'if it had been practicable to afford,' and 'to annex their names.'
:! From his biblical knowledge, he appears to study the Holy Scriptures with great attention : it ought to be, "he appears to have studied,'&c.
'I cannot excuse the remissness of those whose business it should have been, as it certainly was their interest, to have interposed their good offices :'There were two circumstances which made it necessary for them to have lost no time :' History painters would have found it difficult to have invented such a species of beings.' In these three examples, the phrases should have been, 'to interpose, to lose, to invent.'
It is proper to remind the learner, that, in order to express the past time with the defective verb ought, the perfect of the infinitive must always be used : as, He ought to have done it.' When we use this verb, this is the only possible way to distinguish the past from the present.
In support of the positions adyanced under this rule, the sentiments of the most eminent grammarians can be produced. There are, however, some writers on grammar, who strenuously maintain, that the governed verb in the infinitive ought to be in the past tense, when the verb which governs it, is in the past time. Though this cannot be admitted, in the instances which are controverted under this rule, or in any instances of a similar nature, yet there can be no doubt that in many cases, in which the thing referred to, preceded the governing verb, it would be proper and allowable, We may say ; 'From a conversation I once had with him, he appeared to have studied Homer with great care and