Imatges de pÓgina
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his book, and then attempt to solve miscellaneous questions ! That a course so tedious apd revoltiog should have rendered the study of Euglish grammar ex. tremely perplexing, and generally uoprofitable, is no more than might have been expected. But the several publications on this subject, that have lately appeared, in which a different course is pursued, and which aim to relieve the student from the task of committing to memory what he does not uoderstand, are evidence of a better judgment and of more correct views.

Mr. Murray observes, in the lotroduction to his grammar, that “A distinct general view, or outline, of all the parts of tbe study in which they are engaged ; a gradual and judicious supply of this outline; and a due arrangement of the divisions, according to their natural order and connexion, appear to be among the best means of enlightening the minds of youth, and of facilitating their acquisition of knowledge.”The method which be has adopted, of exbibiting the performance is characters of different sizes, will, he trusts, be con ducive to that gradual and regular procedure, which is so favourable to the busjoess of iostruction. The more important rules, definitions, and observatiops, and which are, therefore, the most proper to be committed to memory, are printed with a larger type ; whilst rules and remarks, that are of less consequence, that extend or diversify the general idea, or that serve as explanations, are contained in the smaller letter ;-these or the chief of them, will be perused by the student to the greatest advantage, if postponed till the general system be completed."

This bint suggested the arrangement of the foliowing work. The General Vier comprises what Mr. Murray bad printed in the larger type ; whilst the rules and remarks of minor importance, with such familiar explanations as the pature of the subject and the capacity of youth seemed to require, are ranged together, under appropriate heads in the Lectures. To the compiler it appeared, that an outline of English grammar, containing the general principles and more important rules io a distinct body by themselves and within the compass of a few pages, would be ealculated to make a clearer and therefore & more durable impression on the learnei's memory, than if those principles and rules were spread over a larger surface and intermixed among orbers of less importance. This opioion appears to be justified by well established philosophical principles, connected with the human mind. In our efforts. to recollect any z precept or remark that we have read, we endeavour to call to mind the page where we saw it, the part of the page in which it was prioted, or the form of the paragraph. containing it ; and thus, by an association of ideas to which every miod is more or less accustomed, the words theaselves are at leogth remembered. So in our reminiscences of geography, especially of places that we have never visited, we call to the view of the “ miod's eye” a map that we have seen ; with the form apd size of which are associated, in our memories, the course of the larger rivers, the situation of the principal towos, &c. Hence it appears that, by means of the association of ideas, the facully of vision may


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very materially assist that of retention ; and that it is of great importance, in

elementary school-books, to render the eye as much as possible subservient to = the memory.* It is with tbis design, that, in the following work, those rules

and principles of English grammar, which, from their importance, deserve to be a impressed op the memory in the elearest and most forcible maoner, are embo-, * died into a distinct General View, comprising only a few of the first pages.

With the same design, the octavo form has been adopted, as being the best calculated to present at a single view, a suitable number of those rules and principles, without reoderiog the size of the book incoovenient. The definitions aod d inflections of the parts of speech are arranged in the body of the page; the correspoodeot rules of Syntax on the margio ; and the lessons for parsiog, sumbered and selected to correspond with the rules, are placed immediately uoder them, and opposite to the definitions. r By means of this arrangement the student becomes practically acquaintmed with Etymology and Syntax both at the same time. Etymological parssing alone is deficient; it may serve to familiarize the learner with the sao riations of the verb, for instance, as love, lovest, loves ; but it requires Syotax e to show him the reason of those variations, viz. to denote the agreement of the overb with nominatives of different persons. Thus Etymology and Syntax muak tually explaid and illustrate each other; and should, therefore, always be slu

died together. d! But, in the estimation of the unpractised learner, the facilities, which this We work affords for parsiog, and for dispensing with the vexatious task of commitetting to memory whadèe cannot understand, will probably be deemed not the

least importaot. It has been well, remarked, by a late writer on grammar, that " it is parsing which illustrates the proper coonexions of words, and makes the learner remember them.” And on this subject Mr. Murray very judiciously observes ;-" The prineiples of knowledge become most intelligible to young persons, when they are explaibed and inculcated by practical illustration and direction. This mode of teachiog is attended with so many advantages, that it Can scarcely be too much recommended or pursued. Instruction which is eolivened by pertinent examples, and in which the student is exercised in reducing the rules prescribed to practice, has a more striking effect on the mind, and is better adapted to fix the attention and sharpen the understanding, than that

which is divested of these aids and confined to bare positions aod precepts ; in which it too frequently bappens, that the learner has no further concern, than to read and repeat them. The time and care, employed in practical applica

tion, give occasion to survey the subjeet minutely, and in different points of view; by which it becomes more familiar and better understood, and produces stronger and more durable impressions. These observations are peculiarly applicable to the study of grammar, and the method of teaching it.” Io the extline of this work, all the more important principles of Etymology and their kiodred rules of Syntax are successively brought together on the same respective pages-with such practical exercises in parsiog, as are peculiarly adapted to ex. enıplify and illustrate the priociples to which they refer. By this means the study of grammar is assimilated to that of arithmetic ; the student commences with parsing, in easy exercises, the simplest parts of speech; and by parsing, that is, by repeating the rules and defioitious, and applying them to the example, he readily disceros their use aod meanings and at the same time commits them to meniory.

* This principle appears to have heen well understood by the Rev. Mr. Wood bringe and Mrs. Ē. Willard, authors of the New System of Geography. The frontispiere of their work, representing the relative size of the principal mountains, is an admirable desigur, 五, conveys a volume of instruction at a single view,

Lesson 1st respects articles and pouns only, and the examples in this lesson are designed to exemplify the definition of pouns and the division of them into common and proper ; the definition of the articles, their effect in limiting the signification of the noun, the force of the poun without any article, and the application of the first rule of Syntax.

Io Lesson 2nd, tlié Adjective is introdúced; and the examples in this Jesson, besides answering the purpose of additional exercises on the articles and nouns, are especially adapted to illustrate the second rule, and to familiarize the learner with the defioition, use, and comparison of adjectives.

Lessons 3d and 4th exemplify the distinctions of nouns with regard to geoder, pumber, person, and case, with the declension of poups and the 3rd and 41b rules, relating to the agreement and goveroment of pouns; and so on through all the parts of speech, every successive lesson exemplifying some new principle, and adding some new matter to the stock of information already acquired from the preceding ones.

This course of lessons, which comprises all the general priociples of Etymotogy and Syntax, is adapted to the humblest capacity; the learner takes up the subject in detail, and pursues it without confusion or fatigue. Pleased to find his understanding equal to his task, and gratified to perceive that be becomes master of the subject as he progresses, his efforts are encouraged by facility and rewarded with success. After having taken this general survey, he will be prepared to enter, with intelligence and pleasure, upon the course of lectures ; to fill

up the outline with the subordinale rules ; and ta become acquainted with the vicer distinctions, the intricate and anomalous constructions of the language.

The system of Mr. Murray bas been further improved in the following respects.

The division of verbs into active, passive, and Deuter,--the neuter including only such as express simply being or a state of beiog, and the active including all such as express action, with the coósequent subdivision of active verbs into transitive and intransitive, has been adopted. This arrangement of the verbs is simple and easily comprehended ; and it avoids the inconsistency, so embarrassing to the learoer, of ranking verbs expressing the highest degree of action-such as to walk, lo run, to fly, &c. io the same class witla verbs expresing no action at all.


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To the second and third persons singular of the present tense subjunctive of verbs generally, and to the present and imperfect tenses of the verb to be, and of passive verbs, two forms bave been assigned ;-he 1st or indicative form, which denotes simple contingency; as, “ If he desires it, I will perform the operation," that is, “ If he now desires it;"_and the 2nd or varied form, which denotes both contingency and futurity; as, “ If he desire it, I will perform the operation, that is, “ If he should hereafter desire it."_“ This theory of the subjunctive mood claims the merit of rendering the whole system of the moods consistent and regular ; of being more copformable than any other to tbe desinition of the subjunctive ; and of not referring to the indicative mood, forms of expression, that ill accord with its pature and simplicity."

An abridged and improved system of punctuation has been inserted in this edition. The absence of the old system will not be regretted by those, who bave attentively observed how very irregular and inconsistent it is, even io the hands of Mr. Murray himself; nor can that, annexed to this volume, scarcely fail of being approved by all, who will take the little pains necessary to exanine and reduce it to practice.

This book contains Murray's grammar and exercises both in one volume. The instances of erroneous orthography or constructioo, designed to illustiate any particular rule, are printed immediately after that rule ; and those, intended to exemplify a collection of rules promiscuously, are inserted at the end of that collection. This arrangement, besides reducing the price of the work, brings its kindred parts together, and renders it more coovenient for the learner.

Io the later editions of Murray's grammatical works, several additions and im. provements were made ; but these, which consist of a great variety of important notes and critical discussions, instead of being arranged under their appropriate heads in the grammar, were printed in different parts of the Exercises and Key. The apology, offered by Mr. Murray, for this arrangement is, that the grammar bad been set up aod kept standing, and therefore could not admit of enlargement willout an advance of the price.” To this editioo these notes have all been in. serted in their proper places in the grammar; aud besides them, this book, which has been compiled from the latest octavo edition of Murray's grammar, contains numerous additions and improvements not to be found in any duodecimo edition.

In addition to the entire system of Mr. Murray, several pages of very useful matter, frons other writers, bave been incorporated into this work. Such are the explapations of the names of the parts of speecb; of the nature and construction of adjectives; of the persons aod cases of nouns ; of the meoping of the arlicles, and of the persooal and relative pronouns; of the nature aod classification, the moods, tepses, and persons of verbs ; besides a great number of shorter pa

; ragraphs interspersed throughout the work. For these improvements, the work is priocipally indebted to the learned Horne Tooke, and the writer of the article on grammar io the" New Edinburgh Eocyclopædia."

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The following remarks, respectiog the plan of instruction to which this work is adapted, are supplementary to the Directions for Parsing, commencing at

page 14.


After haviog completed the course of lessons, contained in the General View, commence with the Lectures on Orthography ; and direct the student to prepare bimself for an examination in the first Lecture, by reading it with such alteotion, as will enable bim to answer, with promptoess, the questions set down for that Lecture, in the Questions for Examination, prioted at the close of this volume. These questions respect both the General View and the Lectures ; and, consequeotly, to answer them will require the student to review the former and to supply its deficiencies from the latter. The Rules for spelling words should be carefully committed to memory, and the Exercises in False Orthograpby corrected, before proceeding to the Lectures on Etymology.-While correcting these exercises, the studeot may also be occasionally practised in parsiog them. The Lectures on Syntax have been arranged to correspond with those op Etymology, and are desigoed to be studied in the same course, Thus, after having read the first Lecture on Etymology, turn to the corresponding Lecture on Syntax; and so on through the whole course of Lectures on the second and third parts of English grammar. Io conformity with ibis design, the Rules of Syotax are treated of in the order of the parts of speech to which those Rules principally relate. This arraogement presents the syntax, as well as the Etymology, of each part of speech in a distinct body by itself. Parsing either in the select or the promiscuous exercises, should be continued daily, througb the whole course.

To young and unpractised learners especially, it will afford an agreeable and useful variety of study, to be referred occasionally, during the introductory course of lessons in parsing, to the explanations, and required to correct the in. stances of erroneous construction attached to the principal rules in the Lectures on Syntax. “ The rules," says Mr. Murray, "require frequent explanation ; and, besides direct elucidation, they admit of examples, erroneously construct ed, for exercisiog the student's sagacity and judgment. To rectify these, at. tention and reflection are requisite ; and the knowledge of the rule necessarily results from the study and correction of the sentence. But these are oot all the advantages, which arise from Grammatical Exercises. By discovering their abilities to detect and ameud errors, and their consequent improvement, the scholars become pleased with their studies, aod are animated to proceed, and surmount the obstacles, which occur io their progress. The iostructer too is relieved and encouraged in his labours. By discerning exactly the powers and improvement of his pupils, he perceives the proper season for advancing them; and, by observing the points in which they are deficient, be koows precisely where to apply his directions and explanations."

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