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It does not come from Als; any more than Though, and Be-it, and If (or Gif), &c. come from Although, and Albeit,


“ the writers of the last century, to express a consequence, instead of som

THAT. Swift, I believe, is the last of our good writers who has fre" quently used this manner of expression. It seems improper, and is deservedly grown obsolete.”


But Dr. Lowth, when he undertook to write his Introduction, with the best intention in the world, most assuredly sinned against his better judg

For he begins most judiciously, thus,-“ Universal Grammar explains the principles which are common to All languages. The “ Grammar of any particular language applies those common principles to “ that particular language.” And yet, with this clear truth before his eyes, he boldly proceeds to give a particular grammar; without being himself possessed of one single principle of Universal Grammar. Again, he says,“ The connective parts of sentences are the most important of all, and re" quire the greatest care and attention : for it is by these chiefly that the « train of thought, the course of reasoning, and the whole progress of the « mind, in continued discourse of all kinds, is laid open; and on the right “ use of these, the perspicuity, that is the first and greatest beauty of style,

principally depends. Relatives and Conjunctions are the instruments of “ connection in discourse: it may be of use to point out some of the most “ common inaccuracies that writers are apt to fall into with respect to them; “ and a few examples of faults may perhaps be more instructive, than any “ rules of propriety that can be given.”

And again," I have been the more particular in noting the proper uses “ of these conjunctions, because they occur very frequently; and, as it and Algif, &c.—For Als, in our old English is a contraction of Al, and es or as : and this Al (which in comparisons used to be very properly employed before the first es or as, but was not employed before the second) we now, in modern English, suppress: As we have also done in numberless other instances; where All (though not improper) is not necessary.

was observed before of connective words in general, are of great importance with respect to the clearness and beauty of style. I may add too, because mistakes in the use of them are very common.”

Nn 2


“ She glides away under the foamy seas
“ As swift as Darts or feather'd arrows ily."

That is, “ She glides away (with) That swiftness, (with) which feather'd 6

arrows fly.”

After which he proceeds to his examples of the proper and improper use of these connectives :—without having the most diftant notion of the meaning of the words whose employment he undertakes to fettle. The consequence was unavoidable : that, (having no reasonable rule to go by, and no apparent signification to direct him) he was compelled to trust to his own fanciful taste (as in the best it is), and the uncertain authority of others : and has confequently approved and condemned without truth or reason. Pour« quoi (says Girard) apres tant de siecles & tant d'ouvrages, les gens de “ Lettres ont-ils encore des idées si informes & des expressions si confuses, “ fur ce qu'ils font profession d'etudier & de traiter ? Ou s'ils ne veulent

pas prendre la peine d'approfondir la matiere, comment osent-ils en « donner des leçons au public ? C'est ce que je ne conçois pas."


When in old English it is written,

« Sche-
“ Glidis away under the fomy Seis
• Als swift as Ganze or fedderit arrow ficis."

Douglas. Booke 10. Pag. 323.


Then it means,

« With ALL THAT swiftness with which, &c."

After what I have said, you will see plainly why fo many of the conjunctions may be used almost indifferently (or with a very little turn of expression) for each other. And without my entering into the particular minutiæ in the use of each, you will easily account for the flight differences in the turn of expression, arising from different customary abbreviations of construction.

I will only give you one instance, and leave it with you for your entertainment: from which you will draw a variety of arguments and conclusions.

“ And soft he sighed, Lest men might him hear.
And soft he sigh’d, that men might not him hear.
And soft he sighed, Else men might him hear.
Unless he sighed soft, men might him hear.
Bur that he sighed soft, men might him hear.
WITHOUT he sighed soft, men might him hear.
Save that he sighed soft, men might him hear.
Except he fighed soft, men might him hear.


OUTcept he sighed soft, men might him hear.
OUT-TAKE he sighed soft, men might him hear.
If that he figh'd not soft, men might him hear.
And an he sigh'd not soft, men might him hear.
Set that he sigh'd not soft, men might him hear.
Put case he sigh'd not soft, men might him hear.
Be it he sigh'd not soft, men might him hear.


According to your account then, Lord Monboddo is extremely unfortunate in the particular care he has taken to make an exception from the general rule he lays down, of the Verbs being the Parent word of all language, and to caution the candid reader from imputing to him an opinion that the conjun&tions were intended by him to be included in his rule, or have any connexion whatever with Verbs *.

H. In

* “ This so copious derivation from the verb in Greek, naturally leads ." one to suspect that it is the Parent word of the whole language : and « indeed I believe that to be the fact: for I do not know that it can be s certainly shewn that there is any word that is undoubtedly a primitive, :66 which is not a verb; I mean a verb in the stricter sense and common ." acceptation of the word. By this the candid reader will not understand “ that I mean to say that prepositions, conjunEtions, and such like words, .“ which are rather the Pegs and Nails that faften the several parts of the

language together than the language itself, are derived from verbs or are “ derivatives of any kind.” Vol. II. Part 2. B. 1. Ch. 15.



In my opinion he is not less unfortunate in his rule than in his exception. They are both equally unfounded : and yet as well founded, as almost every other position which he has laid down in his two first volumes. The whole of which is perfectly worthy of that profound politician and philosopher, who esteems that to be the most perfect form, and as he calls it—" the last stage of civil society *," where government leaves nothing to the free-will of individuals ; but interferes with the domestic private lives of the citizens,

Court de Gebelin is as positive in the contrary opinion," Il a fallu necessairement,” (says he) “ que tous les autres mots vinssent des noms. « Il n'est aucun mot, de quelqu'espece que ce soit, & dans quelque langue

que ce soit, qui ne descende d'un nom.”-Hist. de la Parole, page 180.

* “ But the private lives of the subjects under those governments are “ left as much to the free will of each individual, and as little subjected to ". rule, as in the American Governments above mentioned : and every man “ in such a state may with impunity educate his children in the worit “ manner possible ; and may abufe his own person and fortune as much as “ he pleases; provided he does no injury to his neighbours, nor attempts “ any thing against the state. The last stage of civil society, in which the

progression ends, is that most perfect form of polity which, to all the “ advantages of the Governments last mentioned, joins the care of the “ education of the youth, and of the private lives of the citizens ; neither 5. of which is left to the will and pleasure of each individual; but both are ". regulated by PUBLIC WISDOM,”-Vol. I. page 243.


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