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AN, in the original Imperatives of some of their own or derived verbs, meaning to Give ?


No. If that was my opinion I know you are ready instantly to confute it by the Conditionals of the Greek and Latin and Irish, the French, Italian, Spanish, Portugueze and many other Languages. But I mean, that those words which are called conditional conjunctions, are to be accounted for in all languages in the same manner as I have accounted for IF and AN. Not indeed that they must all mean precisely as these two do,-Give and Grant; but some word equivalent: Such as,—Be it, Suppose, Allow, Permit, Put, Suffer, &c. Which meaning is to be fought for from the particular etymology of each respective language, not from some un-named and un-known “ Turns, Stands, Poftures, &c. of the mind.”

In short, to put this matter out of doubt, I mean to discard all supposed mystery, not only about these Conditionals, but about all those words also which Mr. Harris and others distinguish from Prepositions, and call Conjunctions of Sentences. I deny them to be a separate fort of words or Part of Speech by themselves. For they have not a separate manner of signification : although they are not devoid of signification. And the particular fignification of each must be fought for from amongst


the other parts of Speech, by the help of the particular etymology of each respective language. By such means alone can we clear away the obscurity and errors in which Grammarians and Philosophers have been involved by the corruption of some common words, and the useful Abbreviations of Construction. And at the same time we shall get rid of that farrago of useless distinctions into Conjunctive, Adjunctive, Disjunktive, Subdisjunktive, Copulative, Negative copulative *, Continuative,, Subcontinuative, Positive, Suppositive, Casual, Collective, Effective, Approbative, Discretive, Ablative, Presumptive, Abnegative, Completive, Augmentative, Alternative, Hypothetical, Extensive, Periodical, Motival, Conclufive, Explicative, Transitive, Interrogative, Comparative, Diminutive, Preventive, Adequate Preventive, Adversative, Conditional, Suspensive, Illative, Conductive, Declarative, &c. &c. &c. which explain noe thing; and (as most other technical terms are abused) serve only to throw a veil over the ignorance of those who employ them t.

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* « Non, Non, non minus disjungit, quam Nec, Nec. Quanquam neutrum ego Disjunktivum. appello, sed copulativum, potius negativum.

Aristarchus Anti-Bentleianus. Pars secunda. Pag. 12.. + Technical terms are not invariably abused to cover the ignorance only of those who employ them. In matters of law, politicks, and Government, they are more frequently abused in attempting to impose upon the ignorance of others; and to cover the injustice and knavery of those who employ them.

B. You


You mean, then, by what you have said, flatly to contradict Mr. Harris's definition of a Conjun&tion; which he says, is—" a Part of Speech devoid of signification itself, “ but so formed as to help signification, by making two or 56 more significant sentences to be one significant sentence."


I have the less scruple to do that, because Mr. Harris makes no scruple to contradict himself. For he afterwards acknowledges that some of them have a kind of ob

scure signification when taken alone; and appear in “ Grammar, like Zoophytes * in nature, a kind of middle “ Beings of amphibious character; which, by sharing the so attributes of the higher and the lower, conduce to link so the whole together.”

Now I suppose it is impossible to convey a Nothing in a more ingenious manner. How much superior is this to

* These Zoophytes have made a wonderful impression on Lord Monboddo. I believe (for I surely have not counted them) that he has used the allusion at least twenty times in his progress of language ; and seems to be always hunting after extremes merely for the sake of introducing them. But they have been so often placed between two stools, that it is no wonder they Should at last come to the ground,


the oracular Saw of another learned author on Language (typified by Shakespeare in Sir Topaz *) who, amongst much other intelligence of equal importance, tells us with a very folemn face, and ascribes it to Plato, that—" Every

man that opines, must opine something: the subject of si opinion therefore is not nothing.” But the fairest way to Lord Monboddo is to give you the whole passage.

6 It was not therefore without reason that Plato said 6 that the subject of opinion was neither the toov, or the " thing itself, nor was it the to jen ov, or nothing; but “ something betwixt these two. This may appear at first « fight a little mysterious, and difficult to be understood; « but, like other things of that kind in Plato, when « examined to the bottom, it has a very clear meaning, and

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* “ As the old Hermit of Prague, that never faw pen and ink, very «. wittily faid to a niece of king Gorbodúc,—Thal that is, is : So I being " Master Parson, am Mafter Parfon. For what is that, but that? And is, " but is aw

Twelfth Night, A& IV. Scene 3.

John Lily's Sir Tophas monboddizes in the same manner. " Sir Tophas. Doest thou not know what a poet is? ** Epiton. No. *- Sir Tophas. 'Why foole, a poet is as much as one should say-a poet. "

Endimion, Ac I Scene 3.


explains the nature of opinion very well * : FOR, as he “ says, Every man that opines, must opine something; “ the subject of opinion therefore is not nothing. At the “ same time it is not the thing itself, but something be66 twixt the two p." His Lordship, you see, has explained


* Lucinde. Qu'est ce que c'est que ce galimatias ?
Frontin. Ce galimatias ! Vous n'y comprenez donc rien?
Lucinde. Non, en verité.
Frontin. Ma foi, ni moi non plus : je vais pourtant vous l'expliquer G

vous voulez.
Lucinde. Comment m'expliquer ce que tu ne comprends pas

Frontin. Oh! Dame, j'ai fait mes études, moi:

L'amant de lui-meme. Rousseau, Scene xiii. † Origin and Progress of Language, Vol. I. p. 100.

« Il possede “ l'antiquité, comme on le peut voir par les belles remarques qu'il a faites. " Sans lui nous ne sçaurions pas que dans la ville d'Athenes les enfans “ pleuroient quand on leur donnoit le fouet.-Nous devons cette decouverte " à fa profonde erudition.”

But his lordship’s philosophical writings are full of information, explanations and observations of equal importance. Vol. I. p. 136, he informs us, thatPorphyry, the greatest philosopher as well as best writer of bis age; " relates that crows and magpies and parrots were taught in his time not

only to imitate human speech, but to attend to what was told them and " to remember it; and many of them, fays he, have learned to inform " against those whom they saw doing any mischief in the house. And he “ himself tamed a partridge that he found somewhere about Carthage to " fuch a degree, that it not only played and fondled with him, but answered him when he spoke to it in a voice different from that in which the partridges call one another : but was so well bred, that it never made 9

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