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COPIOUS LANGUAGE LESSONS;
A KEY TO THE EXAMPLES OF FALSE SYNTAX.
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, AND PRIVATE STUDENTS.
AUTHOR OF THE GRAMMAR OF ENGLISH GRAMMARS.
"Ne quis igitur tanquam parva fastidiat Grammatices elementa."-QUINTILIAN.
A NEW AND REVISED EDITION,
WITH EXERCISES IN ANALYSIS, PARSING, AND CONSTRUCTION.
BY HENRY KIDDLE, A.M.,
LATE SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS, NEW YORK CITY.
NEW YORK :
56 & 58 LAFAYETTE PLACE.
The excellence of Brown's GRAMMARS, both as treatises and shool manuals, has been
In the present edition of these grammars, the more modern system of instruction has
The arbitrary method of presenting claborate and concise definitions without any pre-
Numerous corrections and alterations have been made, but not such as to interfere
With these alterations, the publishers hope that these works will be found more useful
NEW YORK, July 1, 1882.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
"Neque enim aut aliena vituperare, aut nostra jactantius prædicare, animus est."
1. LANGUAGE is the principal vehicle of thought; and so numerous and important are the ends to which it is subservient, that it is difficult to conceive in what manner tho affairs of human society could be conducted without it. Its utility, therefore, will ever entitle it to a considerable share of attention in civilized communities, and to an important place in all systems of education. For, whatever we may think in relation to its origin—whether we consider it a special gift from Heaven, or an acquisition of industrya natural endowment, or an artificial invention,-certain it is, that, in the present state of things, our knowledge of it depends, in a great measure, if not entirely, on the voluntary exercise of our faculties, and on the helps and opportunities afforded us. indeed acquire, by mere imitation, such a knowledge of words, as to enjoy the ordinary advantages of speech; and he who is satisfied with
the dialect he has so obtained, will find no occasion for treatises on grammar; but he who is desirous either of relishing the beauties of literary composition, or of expressing his sentiments with propriety and ease, must make the principles of language his study.
2. It is not the business of the grammarian to gire law to language, but to teach it, agreeably to the best usage. The ultimate principle by which he must be governed, and with which his instructions must always accord, is that species of custom which critics denominate gooD USE ; that is, present, reputable, general use. This principle, which is equally opposed to fantastic innovation, and to a pertinacious adherence to the quaint peculiarities of ancient usage, is the only proper standard of grammatical purity. Those rules and modes of speech, which are established by this authority, may be called the Institutes of Grammar.
3. To embody, in a convenient form, the true principles of the English Language; to express them in a simple and perspicuous style, adapted to the capacity of youth ; to illustrate them by appropriate examples and exercises ; and to give to the whole all possible advantage from method in the arrangement, are the objects of the following work. The author has not deviated much from the principles adopted in the most approved grammars already in use; nor has he acted the part of a servile copyist. It was not his design to introduce novelties, but to form a practical digest of established rules. He has not labored to subvert the general system of grammar, received from time immemorial, but to improve upon it, in its present application to our tongue.
4. That which is excellent, may not be perfect; and amendment may be desirable, where subversion would be ruinous. Believing that no theory can better explain the principles of our language, and no contrivance afford greater facilities to the student, the writer has in general adopted those doctrines which are already best known; and has contented himself with attempting little more than an improved method of inculcating them. The scope of his labors has been, to define, dispose, and exemplify those doctrines anew; and, with a scrupulous regard to the best usage, to offer, on that authority, some further contributions to the stock of grammatical knowledge. The errors of former grammarians he has been more studious to avoid than to expose ; and of their deficiencies the reader may judge, when he secs in what manner they are here supplied.
5. This treatise being intended for general use, and adapted to all classes of learners, was designed to embrace in a small compass a complete course of English Grammar, disencumbered of every thing not. calculated to convey direct information on the subject. Little regard has therefore been paid to gainsayers. Grammarians have ever disputed, and often with more acrimony than discretion. Those who have dealt most in philological controversy, have well illustrated the couplet of Denham :
“ The tree of knowledge, blasted by disputes,
Produces sapless leaves instead of fruits." 6. They who set aside the anthority of custom, and judge everything to be ungrammatical which appears to them to be unphilosophical, render the whole ground forever disputable, and weary themselves in beating the air. So various have been the notions of this sort of critics, that it would be difficult to mention an opinion not found in some of their books. Amidst this rage for speculation on a subject purely practical, various attempts have been made to overthrow that system of instruction which long usc has