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judgment.' It would be proper also to say, 'from his conversation, he appears to have studied Homer, with great care and judgment;' "That unhappy man is supposed to have died by violence. These examples are not only consistent with our rule, but they confirm and illustrate it. It is the tense of the governing verb only, that marks what is called the absolute time; the tense of the verb governed, marks solely its relative time withi respect to the verb.
To assert, as some writers do, that verbs in the infinitive mode have no tenses, no relative distinctions of present, past, and future, is inconsistent with just grammatical views of the subject. That these verbs associate with verbs in all the tenses, is no proof of their haying no peculiar time of their own. Whatever period the governing verb assumes, whether present, past, or future, the governed verb in the infinitive always respects that period, and its time is calculated from it.
Thus, the time of the infinitive may be before, after, or the same as, the time of the governing verb, according as the thing signified by the infinitive, is supposed to be before, after, or present with, the thing denoted by the governing verb. It is, therefore, with great propriety, that tenses are assigned to verbs of the infinitive mode. The point of time from which they are computed, is of no consequence ; since present, past, and future, are completely applicable to them.
It may not be improper to observe, that though it is often correct to use the perfect of the infinitive after the governing verb, yet there are particular cases, in which it would be better to give the expression a different form. Thus, instead of saying, “I wish to have written to him sooner,' 'I then wished to have written to him sooner,' He will one day wish to have written sooner:' it would be more perspicuous and forcible, as well as more agreeable to the practice of good writers, to say ; 'I wish that I had written to him sooner,' He will one day wish that he had written sooner.'
Should the justness of these strictures be admitted, the past infinitive would not be superseded, though some grammarians have supposed it would : there would still be numerous occasions for the use of it; as we may per
ceive by a few examples. It would ever afterwards have been a source of pleasure, to have found him wise and virtuous.' "To have deferred his repentance longer, would have disqualified him for repenting at all.' "They will then see, that to have faithfully performed their duty, would have been their greatest consolation.'
In relating things that were formerly expressed by another person, we often meet with modes of expression similar to the following :
"The travellers who lately came from the south of England, said that the harvest there was very abundant :' 'I met Charles yesterday, who told me that he is very happy :' The professor asserted that a resolute adherence to truth is an indispensable duty :' The preacher said very audibly, that whatever was useful, was good.
In referring to declarations of this nature, the present tense must be used, if the position is immutably the same at all times, or supposed to be so : as, “The bishop declared, that yirtue is always advantageous :' not, I was always advantageous.' But if the assertion referred to something that is not always the same, or supposed to be so, the past tense must be applied : as, 'George said that lie was very happy :' not, 'is very happy.'
The following sentences will fully exemplify, to the young grammarian, both the parts of this rule. He declared to us, that he was afraid of no man; because conscious innocence gives firmness of mind.' 'He protested, that he believed what was said, because it appeared to him probable.' "Charles asserted that it was his opinion that men always succeed, when they use precaution and pains.' "The doctor declared to his audience, that if virtue suffers some pains, she is amply recompensed by the pleasure which attends her.'
Exercises on Rule 1.. T'he next new year's day, I shall be at school three years.
And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak.
I should be obliged to him if he will gratify me in that particular.
And the multitude wondered when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame walk, and the blind seeing. 20
I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days.
In the treasury belonging to the cathedral in this city, is preserved with the greatest veneration, for upwards of six hundred years, a dish which they pretend to be made of emerald.
The court of Rome gladly laid hold on all the opportunities, which the imprudence, weakness, or necessities of princes, afford it, to extend its authority,
Fierce as he moved, his silver shafts resound. They maintained that scripture conclusion, that all mankind rise from one head.
John will earn his wages, when his service is completed.
Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.
I have been at London a year, and seen the king last summer.
After we visited London, we returned, content and thankful, to our retired and peaceful habitation.
Examples adapted to the Remarks under Rule I. I purpose to go to London in a few months, and after I shall finish my business there, to proceed to America. · These prosecutions of William seem to be the most iniquitous measures pursued by the court, during the time that the use of parliaments was suspended.
From the little conversation I had with him, he appeared to have been a man of letters.
I always intended to have rewarded my son according to his merit.
It would, on reflection, have given me great satisfaction, to relieve him from that distressed situation.
It required so much care, that. I thought I should have lost it before I reached home. · We have done no more than it was our duty to have done,
He would have assisted one of his friends, if he could do it without injuring the other ; but as that could not have been done, he avoided all interference.
Must it not be expected, that he would have defended an authority, which had been so long exercised without controversy ?
These enemies of Christianity were confounded, whilst they were expecting to have found an opportunity to have betrayed its author.
His sea sickness was so great, that I often feared he would have died before our arrival.
If these persons had intended to deceive, they would have taken care to have avoided, what would expose them to the objections of their opponents.
It was a great pleasure to have received his approbation of my labors; for which I cordially thanked him.
It would have afforded me still greater pleasure, to receive his approbation at an earlier period : but to receive it at all, reflected credit upon me.
To be censured by him, would soon have proved an insuperable discouragement. ;
Him, portion’d maids, apprentic'd orphans blest,
The young who labor, and the old who rest. The doctor, in his lecture, said, that fever always produced thirst.
RULE II. Some conjunctions require the indicative, and some the subjunctive mode after them. When something contingent or doubtful is implied, the verb is in the subjunctive mode; but conjunctions that are of a positive and absolute nature require the indicative mode.
The conjunctions, if, though, unless, except, whether, &c. generally require the subjunctive mode ; as, “If thou be afflicted, repine not ;' " Though he slay me, yet will I trust in hịm;' He cannot be clean unless he wash him. self;' "No power, except it were given from above ;' " Whether it were I or they, so we preach.'
Almost all the irregularities, in the construction of any language, have arisen from the ellipsis of some words, which were originally inserted in the sentence, and made it regular ; and it is probable, that this has been general
ly the case with respect to the conjunctive form of words, now in use ; which will appear from the following exam. ples : 'We shall overtake him though he run;' that is,
though he should run ;' unless he act prudently, he will not accomplish his purpose ;' that is, unless he shall act prudently. If he succeed and obtain his end, he will not be the happier for it ;' that is, if he should succeed, and should obtain his end.' These remarks and examples are designed to show the original of many of our present conjunctive forms of expression; and to e: able the student to examine the propriety of using them, by tracing the words in question to their proper origin and ancient connexions. But it is necessary to be more particular on this subject, and therefore I shall add a few observations respecting it.
That part of the verb which grammarians call the present tense of the subjunctive mode, has a future signification. This is effected by not varying the terminations of the second and third persons singular as the indicative does ; as will be evident from the following examples : “ If thou prosper, thou shouldst be thankful." “ Unless he study more closely, he will never be learned.” Some writers however would express these senti-ments with the personal variations ; “ If thou prosperest,” &c. "Unless he studies," &c. : and as there is a great diversity of practice in this point, it is proper to offer a few remarks to assist the learner in distinguishing the right application of these different forms of expression. It may be considered as a rule, that no changes of termination are necessary, when these two circumstances concur : 1st, When the subject is of a dubious and contingent nature ; and 2d, When the verb has a reference to future time. In the following sentence, both these circumstances will be found to unite : “If thou injure another, thou wilt hurt thyself;" “ He has a hard heart; and if he continue impenitent, he must suffer.” “He will maintain his principles, though he lose his estate ;" “ Whether he succeed or not, his intention is laudable ;? If he be not prosperous, he will not repine.' "If a man smite his servant, and he die,' &c. Ecodus xxi. 20. In all these examples, the things signified by the verbs are uncertain, and refer to future time.