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dent if we take the genitive case of a feminine noun: for it is clear that the phrase "the Queenes Majestie," so frequently used by the writers of Elizabeth's reign, can never be made into the Queen his majesty; any more than it can be Elizabeth his reign.
Take a farther example from Shakespeare.
—" Who taught you this?
I learned it out of women's faces."
The Anglo-Saxon has several declensions of substantives, and in all of them the accusative has its own peculiar termination, as prcega witega, a prophet, ace. prcejan witegan. Andjrc andgit, the understanding, ace. Andjite andgite. Sunu sunu, a son, ace. Suna suna. In the other declensions the accusative and nominative terminate alike. The English seems
lied it, and Lord Bacon has carried it so far as to writeu the Sphinx her riddles," and elsewhere " Epimetheus his sect."—Prometheus his scholars." Yet in other places he uses the genitive case freely, as, " Certainly there he whose fortunes are like Homer's verses that have a slide and easiness more than the verses of other poets, as Plutarch saith of Timoleon's fortune in respect of that of Agesilaus or Epaminondas; and that this should be no doubt it is much in a man's self." Essays.
to have retained the form of the first only, and even there to have dropped the peculiar termination of the dative both in the singular and plural. This is to be regretted, for much ambiguity of expression necessarily follows the want of a distinguishing termination for the accusative and dative cases.
This was appropriately called by the AngloSaxons, Namer* geperta or Nouns companion. In English it is wholly indeclinable, excepting when it receives a different termination in the degrees of comparison. In the Anglo-Saxon it is fully declined, as it is still in the German, excepting where it stands alone, when in that language as well as in English it is not declined, but its complete unchangeableness may be reckoned among the peculiarities of our own tongue.
The regular form of the degrees of comparison is
Positive. Comparative. Superlative.
Words of three Syllables and more are usually compared by means of more and most, as charitable, more charitable, most charitable.
In most languages the numerals are declined up to a certain point: in English they are wholly indeclinable.
1. Personal or Primitive, namely, those which form'the ground of all the rest, represent the noun perfectly in all its relations, and alone can be the nominative to a verb.
2. Possessive, a form derived from the genitive case of the primitive, of the nature of an adjective: like that it agrees with the substantive which it accompanies, and like that too, in English it is indeclinable.
3. Relative, which has relation to an antecedent noun.
4. Demonstrative, which has relation to a noun following.
5. Indefinite, such as each, some &c. which have more of the nature of an adjective than pronoun, and perhaps in English, as they are wholly indeclinable, they would be better considered as such.
The primitive pronoun of the first person is thus declined.
Sing. Plu. The Anglo-Saxon is
N. I We. Ic ic pe we.
G. My Our. Mm min Ujae ure.
D. Me Us. Me me Uj- us.
A. Me Us. Me mec me or mec Uj* us.
The possessive of the first person is
The Anglo-Saxon possessive is fully declined. The primitive pronoun of the second person is
Sing: Plu. The Anglo-Saxon is N. Thou Ye* or Du thee lie ge. you.
* A mistake in the use of ye is become common; and should be corrected. Ye is the nominative case plural, and it is a great fault to use it after the verb as an accusative, nor in any case can it be properly used but as an absolute plural, therefore in the common use of you instead of thou, it is not to be confounded with ye.