Page images
PDF

unfrequently is placed between the auxiliary and the participle of a compound tense, as,

“I speak but brotherly of him,”

“Epictetus makes use of another kind of allusion, which is very beautiful and wonDERFULLY proper to incline us to be satisfied with the post in which Providence has placed us.”

“Men . . who are contented with a competency, and wiLL not MoLEst their tranquillity to gain an abundance.”

“The Stoics thought they could Not sufficiently REPREseNt the excellence of virtue if they did not comprehend in the notion of it all possible perfections.”f

The following is the usual place in the sentence of the different kinds of adverbs.

1. ADVERBs of NUMBER are usually placed after the verb and its accusative, if it be a verb, transitive, as I told them Twice: but sometimes they will be sound placed between the pronoun and the verb, as, I Twice told them; or even before it, when much emphasis is required, as, “Once or twice I was about to speak and tell him plainly,” &c.;

The first, however, is the natural and colloquial order of the words.

2. ADVERBs of ORDER stand after the verb, as, I went FIRST, or the verb and its accusative, if there be one, as, I saw him LAST. Like those of number, too, they may be removed from their usual place for the sake of emphasis.

3. ADVERBs of PLACE are always after the verb, excepting in one or two especial phrases. Thus we say, Come HITHER, He is going THITHER, they are HERE, I was therE: but these last have their place first in the phrases, HERE am I,_-THERE he is, -and the like, as “Here am I, for thou didst call me.” $.

“Here comes the fool i' faith.” “There's for thy pains.” “Here's an over-weening rogue.” “There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.” ||

* Shakspeare. t Addison. # Shakspeare. § Samuel. | Shakspeare.

4. Adverbs of TIME have their place after the verb, or between the pronoun or nominative and the verb, or, in compound tenses between the auxiliary and the participle, as, * I happened to stumble against a crust and fell flat on my face. I Got UP immediately,” &c.” “When dinner was almost done, the nurse came in with a child of a year old in her arms, who immediately SPIED me,” &c.” “The barbarity of the action was represented to Mark Antony, who immediately suMMONED Herod.”f “Two hundred carpenters and engineers werE immediately set to work.” Sometimes an adverb of time stands absolutely, and then it has its place at the beninning of the sentence, as, “Hereafter ye shall see the son of man,” &c. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days—”f Now, when used as an expletive, also stands first in the sentence, as, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem—”: 5. ADVERBs of QUANTITY may be placed after or before the verb indifferently, as, he had ENOUGH to pay his expenses, or, ENough was given him to pay his expenses. Much is required. I do not ask MUCH. 6. ADVERBs of QUALITY are placed after the verb, or between the nominative and verb, as, he reasoned wiseLY.

[ocr errors]

7. ADVERBs of Doubt are generally placed first, as, PERHAPs he will come.

8. ADVERBs of AFFIRMATION also stand before the verb, as, YEs you may. CERTAINLY they were imprudent.

9. ADVERBs of NEGATION. Of these, no has its place before, and not after the verb. No is frequently used almost as an adjective to a noun, as, No one, No man, and thus makes, with the substantive, the nominative to a verb; and not is sometimes used in the same way, as, NoT one of them spoke, and then of course it precedes the verb. More commonly it takes its natural place, as, I thought Not. I did Not intend to go. He will Not come. Though Milton has sometimes used two negatives as an affirmative, yet it is a practice not to be imitated, for it produces a harsh and unpleasing phrase. 10, ADVERBs of INTERRoGATION stand before the verb, as, How can it be? WHY was it done? 11. Adverbs of CoMPARIson. Of these almost usually takes its place between the nominative and the verb, as, I have ALMost done. The rest are placed after it, as, we think ALIKE. They have seen MoRE. There is a mistake very prevalent in common parlance at present, which may here be noticed; namely, the making the adverbs of time, immediately and directly, do duty as conjunctions. It has been seen by quotations from good writers, that immediately cannot take its place at the beginning of a sentence, unless it stand absolutely, and be followed by a preposition, as, immediately upon, immediately after; and without some such arrangement it cannot take its place before the nominative; yet we commonly hear and even read such phrases, as, IMMEDIATELY he heard it, he departed. DIRECTLY he arrived, the horses were brought. In all such cases it stands, and stand improperly, in the room of the conjunction when, or the phrase as soon as, and is particularly offensive to an ear trained to anything like grammatical accuracy. 7. Preposition. The English preposition may be held always to govern an accusative case. In composition it is sometimes inseparably joined to the verb, as, to forget, to undertake; but it is more frequently separable, as, to get in, to answer for, to stand by, to go for, to part with, &c. The place which these separable prepositions are to take, is left very much to the taste of the author; and it has, in modern writing, been generally thought proper to place the preposition with a relative before the verb, as, The friends with whoM we PARTED yesterday. The cause by which we intend to stand to the last : yet this is not the natural arrangement of the words, and much of the force of the expression is lost, by making the mind of the hearer or reader wait to see what verb is coming to decide the meaning of the sentence. The friends that we PARTED WITH yesterday; the cause that we intend to STAND BY to the last,--is both more English in arrangement, and more forcible in expression; in some cases the preposition may even be placed farther from the verb without losing force: but it must be after not before it. This arrangement of separable prepositions is a part of the Teutonic character of the language, and so far from being inelegant, is almost essential to an idiomatic style. Where the preposition forms no part of the verb, it is best placed near the word it governs. Thus, in,-it was done in a strange way, —in governs a strange way, and therefore in speaking of it we should say, the strange way in which it was done, and it would be a clearer and better expression than if we were to say, the strange way that it was done IN, though even this is not altogether forbidden, as,

* Swift. t Addison. † Matthew. § Shakspeare.

— “I give them with this ring,
Which, when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love.”

The only place therefore which can be assigned to the preposition, is that which shall make the sentence most clear and rapid in its expression; for, if we attentively study the habits of our nation, we shall find that it does not easily brook delay in anything, whether it be in speech or action. Even our words are shortened to the utmost in the pronunciation, and frequently abridged of a syllable or two, to save time and trouble in speaking; we may therefore be well assured that any mode of arranging the phrase which gives a slower march to the sentence, is repugnant to the genius of the language, and will never make a pleasing style.

8. Conjunction.

Some conjunctions have a government of modes, i.e., require the indicative or subjunctive mode to follow

* Shakspeare.

them, while others, such as and, but, as, &c., have no influence whatever on the mode. Hypothetical, conditional, concessive and exceptive conjunctions, such as if, though, except, whether, &c., seem in general to require the subjunctive mode* after them, but when the sense is meant to be at all decisive, even these will have the indicative after them. The following are examples of their government of the subjunetive, taken from the translation of the Bible. “If thou be the son of God—” “Though he slay me—” Unless he wash his flesh—” “— no power except it were given from above.” “Whether it were I or they.” In each of these cases something contingent or doubtful is expressed. In the following the indicative mode is used to imply a greater degree of certainty. “If the scripture has, as surely it has, left this matter,” &c. “Nor has any one reason to complain for want of farther information, unless he can show his claim to it.” “But though we are sufficiently instructed for the common purposes of life,” &c.f That, expressing the motive or end, will have the subjunctive mode; generally however in the tenses formed with MAY or the conditional of SHALL, as, “Full well ye reject the commandment of God that ye may keep your own tradition.”f Lest governs a subjunctive, as, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”% THAN and As, expressing a comparison of the qualities of persons or things, govern no mode; but like all conjunctions require to be followed by the same cases, modes, and tenses as have preceded it, as “thou art wiser THAN I (am), YoU ARE not so tall. As I (am), you think him handsomer THAN (you think) me, and you love him more THAN (you love) me. In all other instances if you com

* W. Lowth's Grammar. f Bishop Butler. # Mark. Ş 1 Cor.

« PreviousContinue »