Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

THE

INSTITUTES

OF

ENGLISH GRAMMAR,

METHODICALLY ARRANGED;

WITH

EXAMPLES FOR PARSING, QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION, FALSE
SYNTAX FOR CORRECTION, EXERCISES FOR WRITING,

OBSERVATIONS FOR THE ADVANCED STUDENT,

AND

A KEY TO THE ORAL EXERCISES

TO WHICH ARE ADDED

FOUR APPENDIXES:

DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, AND. PÅSVÁTE

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

PRINCIPAL OF AN ENGLISH AND CLASSICAL ACADEMY, NEW YORK.

Ne quis igitur tanquam parva fastidiat Grammatices elementa.—QUINTILIAN.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Lotered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 181,

BY GOOLD BROWN, Taotho Merku Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusishah

[ocr errors]

PREFACE.

"Neque enim aut aliena vituperare, aut nostra jactantius prædicaro, animus ut?

1. LANGUAGE is the principal vehicle of thought; and so numerous and importaci are the ends to which it is subservient, that it is difficult to conceive in what manner the 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 industry-a 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 atforded us.

One may 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 inake the principles of language nis srudy.

$3,00

2. It is not the business of the grammarian to give law to language, but to teach it, agreeably to the best usage. The ultimate principle by which he mustulle goverged, and with which his instructions must always accord, is that species of cinstom'wkich critics denoniinate 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 gratarasical purity. Those rules and modes of speech, which are established by this authority, may be called the Institutes of Graminar.

3. To einbody, 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 grainmars already in use; nor has he acted ihe 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 laboured to subvert the general system of grammar, received from tiine immemorial ; but to improve upon it, in its present application to our tongue.

4. That which is excelleni, may not be perfect ; and amnendment 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 iinproved method of incul. cating unem. The scope of his labours has been, to define, dispose, and exemplify those doctrines anew; and, with a scrupulous regard to the best usage, to offer, on that anthority, some further contributions to the stock of gramınatical knowledge. Tho errors of former gramınarians he has been more studious to avoid than to expose; and of their deficiencies the reader may judge, when he sees in what manner they ara here supplied.

5. This treatise being intended for general use, and adapted to all classes of learners, was designed to embrace in a sinall compass a complete course of English Grammar, disencuinhered of every thing not calculated to convey direct information on the subject. Little regard has therefore been paid to gainsayers. Grammarians have ever dispated, 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 in stead of fruits."

« AnteriorContinuar »