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EXAMPLES FOR PARSING, QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION, FALSE
OBSERVATIONS FOR THE ADVANCED STUDENT,
A KEY TO THE ORAL EXERCISES:
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, AND PRIVATE
BY GOOLD BROWN,
PRINCIPAL OF AN ENGLISH AND CLASSICAL ACADEMY, NEW YORK.
Ne quis igitur tanquam parva fastidiat Grammatices olementa.-QUINTILIAN.
REVISED BY THE AUTHOR.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK, .
RE IT REMEMBERED, That on the Thirtieth day of June, A. D. 1825, in the forty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Goold Brown, of the said District, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:
“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 private learners. By Goold Brown. Nequis igitur tanquam parva fastidiat Grammatices elementa.-Quintüian. Second Edition, revised and enlarged.”
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled, “An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled 'An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
STEREOTYPED BY THOMAS B. SMITB, 216 WILLIAN STREET, NEW YORK.
"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 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 afforded 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 coniposition, 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 give law to language, but to teach it agreeably to the best usage. The ultimate principle by which he must be governed, and with which hls 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 laboured 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 labours 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 sees 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 subjert, Little regard has therefore been paid to gainsayers. Grammarians have ever disdo sed, and often with more acrimony than discretion. Those who have dealt most in phunlogical controversy, have well illustrated the couplet of Denham:
“The tree of knowledge, blasted by disputes,