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guage, as in the Anglo-Saxon, the Latin arrangement of the second noun in the genitive case is also used. In English, where the repetition of sibilants becomes unpleasant to the ear, the preposition of is substituted, and we say, the will of God instead of God's will. In the construction of a sentence, these two modes of expression form a pleasing variety, and the writer will do well to avail himself of both. The following passage owes half its beauty and pathos to the skilful use of the genitive case. "We went once more to the bed, and there by his master s face, sate the poor dog. He had crept softly up form his usual resting-place, and when he saw us draw aside the curtain, he looked at us so wistfully, that—No, I cannot go on I—There is a religion in a good mans death, that we cannot babble to all the world." *
Sometimes the genitive is used alone, the second substantive being understood, as / have been staying at your friend's—i. e. at your friend's house. That is Charles's hat, but I thought it had been Henry's—i. e. Henry's hat.
According to the Latin rule also, two or more
* Sir E. Bulwer Lytton.
substantives relating to the same thing will be in the same case; but the English has this peculiarity, that the genitive termination is only appended to the last of them, as the Archbishop of Canterbury's opinion—King William and Queen Mary's reign. It would seem that in these cases the whole phrase is considered as amalgamated into a single word, in the fashion of some German compounds, and then the termination peculiar to the case is added at the end of it, as it would be to any other word.
The usual place of the adjective in English is after the article, and before the noun; but if two or three be predicated of the same substantive, it is sometimes allowed to place them after it for the sake of strengthening the expression by some addition to the phrase, as, A man gentle, peaceable, and benevolent in no ordinary degree. It is, however, a somewhat forced arrangement, and is unpleasing to the ear if often repeated.
With the prefixed, an adjective frequently changes into a noun of number, as, The Wise are cautious.
The pronoun being distinguished by the inflections of the different cases, admits of more transposition than the substantive which it represents; and sometimes, in rhetorical speech and poetry, the accusative may be placed first with considerable effect: as in the speech of Paul to the Athenians, where the translators have availed themselves with much skill of this power, " Whom ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." Milton too has used this construction; but still, though the liberty may be permitted, it is not to be repeated too often, for it is not the natural arrangement of the words: the English language is of easy march, each word taking as nearly as possible the place which the sense requires, and our ears do not easily tolerate inversions of the sentence, which, excepting on any particular occasions, make a harsh and laboured style.
The neuter pronoun it plays a large part in the idiom of the language: it forms the impersonal verbs, as they are, perhaps improperly, termed, as, it rains, it freezes, &c, and is joined with other verbs where the word thing might be substituted for it, as, it affords me pleasure— that is, this thing affords me pleasure.
It is frequently used in the room of that or this, even when it relates to masculine or feminine names, and this preference of the neuter is a peculiarity of the English, for example,
"Who was it ?— Festo the jester, my lord."
"What kind of woman isV?" *
It is also used for distinction, as, Which is It? your brother John or Charles? It is John. It enters also into phrases such as, how is It? how fares It with you? where it applies to the whole state of things. It is sad, It is strange, &c. seems to express only that the thing is sad, strange, &c.
The English follows the universal rule as to the verb substantive, and has the same case before and after it; "It is I, be not afraid." The infinitive, however, of this, as of other verbs, never admits of a nominative, and is joined with an accusative, governed by the preceding
verb transitive, as, Iknew Him to be a man of honour.
Verbs of giving, lending, promising, obtaining, and the like,* govern a dative of the person and an accusative of the thing, as, I gave him a book,—/ lent him a horse,—I promised thee forgiveness,—He afforded them protection. In these examples it is evident that, though him, the, them, are the same in form as the accusative, yet that the substantives book, horse, &c. are in fact the patients or things given, lent, &c. and therefore in the accusative case, whilst the last-mentioned pronoun or person is the receiver of the thing thus given, &c. The two persons therefore stand in the relation of giving and receiving, and the person to whom a thing is given (datum) is said to be in the dative case.
All other verbs transitive govern, that is, are followed by an accusative, as, / called Him; they fought Them; thou hast heard Me.
Verbs intransitive are not followed by any case; for their action stops short in itself, and
* The principal verbs which may be said to govern a dative, are to give, lend, read,fetch,get, send, bring, afford, promise, tell, reach, leave, with their derivatives.