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plu.yards; but many words of Saxon derivation are irregular in this respect.* Many substantives formerly terminated in e, and some of these retain it in the plural, though they have lost it in the singular, probably because an unpleasant clashing of harsh letters is thus avoided. Thus we say, a box, plu. boxes; a lash, plu. lashes; a church, plu. churches; or sometimes, to preserve the due length of the syllable, as, a hero, plu. heroes; an echo, plu. echoes; but in words more lately adopted from foreign languages, the * of the plural is added simply; as, a folio, plu. folios; a punctilio, plu. punctilios; a nuntio, plu. nuntios. Words ending in y make their plural by changing y into ies; as a harpy, plu. harpies: and finally, many words of Latin and Greek derivation retain their respective plural, as a phenomenon, plu. phenomena; the aroma, plu. aromata, &c.
The English substantive, according to the universal rule, has three genders; but unlike most other languages, ancient or modern, the larger part of the words of this description belong to the neuter gender; for unless in poetry, or in a very few instances of technical phrase, none are held masculine or feminine without an actual distinction of sex. Even a ship, which by seamen is constantly spoken of as feminine, is neuter in common parlance. From this general rule, however, we must except, The Deity, God, or any other terms of the same signification, which are constantly masculine. Other names there are, such as those of the planets, which admit of being made masculine or feminine; and here the English differs somewhat from its parent language; for though the sun is feminine and the moon masculine in the German dialects in general, the English in this follows the Greek and the Latin, and reverses the gender. In more ornate composition, the virtues and vices are also made masculine and feminine. In some cases nouns may be considered as of either gender, as fox, goat, &c.; but the animals more commonly spoken of have a different term for the two sexes ; as horse, mare; bull, cow; lion, lioness.
The cases of English substantives are five: that is, there are five different relations which it stands in with regard to other things, and which are understood in the word itself, without the aid of a preposition. These, according to the phraseology of the Latin, are as follows:
in conjunction with a verb, as thus, A Man (N) may beat Another Man (A) if he can, but it is A Man's (G) part to give Him,* i.e. a man
* " In those and the like phrases may not me, thee, him, her, us, which in Saxon are the dative cases of their respective pronouns, be considered as still continuing such in the English, and including in their very form the force of the prepositions to and/or? There are certainly some other phrases which are to be resolved in this manner: 'Wo is me!' The phrase is pure Saxon,' wa is me!' me is the dative case: in English, with the preposition, to me. So,' methinks;' Saxon, ' methincth;' sfioi doicti. 'As us thoughte' Sir John Maundevylle. 'Methoughte, this short interval of silence has had more music in it, than any of the same space of time before or after it.' Addison, Tatler, No. 133. See also Spect. No. 63. It ought to be, methovght. 'The Lord do that which seemeth him good,' 2 Sam. x. 12. See also 1 Sam. iii. 18 ; 2 Sam. xviii. 4. 'O well is thee!' Psal. cxxviii. 2. 'Wei his the, id est bene est tibi,' Simeon Dunelm, apud x. Scriptores. col. 135. 'Wei is him that ther mai be,' Anglo-Saxon poem in Hiokes's Thesaur. vol. I. p. 231. 'Well is him that dwellelh with a wife of understanding,' 'Well is him that hath found prudence,' Ecclus. xxv. 8, 9. The translator thought to correct his phrase afterward; and so hath made it neither Saxon nor English: 'Wei is he, that is defended from it,' Ecclus. xxviii. 19. 'Wo worth the day !' Ezek. xxx. 2, that is,' Wo be to the day.' The word worth is not the adjective, but the Saxon verb weorthan, or worthan fieri, to be, to become; which is often used by Chaucer, and is still retained as an auxiliary verb in the German language."—Lowth's Grammar, p. 166, note 6.
(D). fair play. Man! (V) hold your hand. Here we have the agent, or nominative, that heats; the patient, or accusative, that is heaten; the person standing in the relation of possession, or genitive, and of giving, or dative; finally, in that of being addressed by another, or vocative: and all this without the intervention of any other word to mark the relative position or state. They are therefore genuine cases.
In the Anglo-Saxon the first declension of substantives is
Norn. SmrB Smith SmiSar- Smithas.
Gen. SrmSer- Smithes SmiSa Smitha. Dat. SmiSe Smiihe SnuSum Smithum.
Ace. SmiS Smith SmiSaj- Smithas.
In the Dano-Saxon the plural nominative and accusative are written SmiSef Smithes.
It will easily be seen that the declension of our substantives is lineally descended from this, and that our Smith's is but the abbreviation of Smithes, and not of Smith his as some have fancied, and, in ignorance of the parent language, written.* This becomes yet more evi
* It is however a fault rather common among our elder writers. The framers of the Liturgy have sancti