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- A Preposition is a part of speech, devoid itself of signification; but so formed as to unite two words that are significant, and that refuse to coalesce or unite of themo selves." -Now I am curious to know, whether you will agree with Mr. Harris in his definition of this part of Speech;.or whether you are determined to differ from him on every point.


Till he agrees with himself, I think you should not difapprove of my differing from him; because for this at least I have his own respectable authority. Having defined a word to be a Sound fignificant;" he now defines a Preposition to be a word “ devoid of fignification.And a few pages after, he says, Prepositions commonly transfuse Something of their own ineaning into the word with which they are compounded.

Now, if I agree with him that words are founds fignificant; how can I agree that there are sorts of words devoid of signification ? And if I could suppose that Prepofitions are devoid of signification ; how could I afterwards allow that they transfuse something of their own meaning ?

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This is the same objection repeated, which you made before to his definition of the first sort of Connectives. But is it not otherwise a compleat definition ?


Mr. Harris no doubt intended it as such : for, in a note on this passage, he endeavours to justify his doctrine by a citation from Apollonius * ; which he calls 6 rather a de« scriptive sketch than a complete definition.” But what he gives us in the place of it, as compleat, is neither definition nor even description.' It contains a Negation and an Accident; and nothing more. It tells us what the Preposition is not; and the purpose for which he supposes it to be employed. It might serve as well for á definition of the East India Company, as of a Preposition: for of that we may truly say-" It is not itself any part of the

*“ Je n'entends pas trop bien le Grec, dit le Geant. “ Ni moi non plus, dit la Mite philosophique.

Pourquoi donc, reprit le Sirien, citez-vous un certain Aristoty en « Grec?

C'est, repliqua le Savant, qu'il faut bien citer ce qu'on ne comprend point du tout, dans la langue qu'on entend le moins."

Voltaire. Micromeogas.


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“ Government, but so formed as to unite those who would “ not have coalesced of themselves *"Poor Scaliger (who well knew what a definition should be) from his own melancholy experience exclaimed—“ Nibil infelicius grammatico definitore !" Mr. Harris's logical ignorance most happily deprived him of a sense of his misfortunes. And fo little, good man, did he dream of the danger of his fituation; that whilst all others were acknowledging their fuccessless though indefatigable labours, and lamenting their insuperable difficulties, he prefaces his doctrine of Connectives with this singularly confident introduction ; " What remains of our work is a matter of less difficulty; “ it being the same here as in some historical pictures « when the principal figures are once formed, it is an easy 66 labour to design the rest *."

* Let the reader who has any sense of justice, or who feels any anxiety for the welfare of his country, look back and re-confider the corrupt use which one Coalition would have made of this company in the year 1783 and the corrupt use which another Coalition has made of it since. Let him then recall to his mind the parallel history of the Company of St. George, at the close of the flourishing days of the Republic of Genoa ; and, in spite of all outward appearances, he will easily be able to foretell the speedy fate of this pilfered and annihilated body. Without any external shock, the fure cause of its rapid destruction is in its present despotic and corrupt conficution : to the formation of which (and to no supposed delinquency nor personal enmity) that much injured man, Mr. Hastings, was made the victim by all the corrupt parties in the kingdom..

64 when


However contradictory and irregular all this may appear to you, Mr. Harris has advanced nothing more than what the most approved Greek and Latin Grammarians have de

* Such is the language, and such are the definitions of him who, in this very chapter of the prepositions, has modestly given us the following note.

" And here I cannot but observe, that he who pretends to discuss the « sentiments of any one of these philosophers, or even to cite and translate " him (except in trite and obvious sentences) without accurately knowing “ the Greek tongue in general ; the nice differences of many words appa" rently synonymous ; the peculiar style of the author whom he presumes “ to handle ; the new coined words, and new significations given to old « words used by such author and his sect; the whole philosophy of such « fect, together with the connections and dependencies of its several parts, “ whether logical, ethical or physical ;--He, I say, that without this pre* vious preparation, attempts what I bave said, will shoot in the dark ; « will be liable to perpetual blunders; will explain and praise, and censure « merely by chance; and though he may possibly to fools appear as a wise

man, will certainly among the wife ever pass for a fool. Such a man's • intellect comprehends antient philosophy, as his eye comprehends a a distant profpect. He may fee, perhaps, enough to know mountains " from plains, and feas from woods; but for an accurate discernment of “ particulars and their character, this, without farther helps, it is impossible

to attain.”



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livered down to him, and what modern Grammarians and Philosophers have adopted *

H. Yes,

*“ Præpositio seu adnomen, per se non significat, nisi addatur nomi“ nibus.”—Campanella.

“ Multas & varias hujus partis orationis definitiones invenio. Et præ " cæteris arridet hæc.-Præpofitio est vocula: modum quendam nominis

adsignificans." -Caramuel.
« Ut omittam Particulas minores, cujusmodi sunt Præpofitiones, Con-
junctiones, Interjectiones, quæ nullam habent cum nominibus affinitatem.

J. C. Scaliger. de L. L. Cap. cxcii.

Even Hoogeveen who clearly saw—“ Particulas in sua Infantia fuisse vel verba vel nomina, vel ex nominibus formata adverbia ;” yet gives the following account and Definition of them.

Primam, ut reliquarum, ita Græcæ quoque linguæ originem fuisse simpliciffimam, ipla natura ac ratio docent, primosque ovopabetas nomina, quibus res ; et verba, quibus a&tiones exprimerent, non vero Particulas instituise, probabile eft. Certe, cum ex nominibus et verbis integra conftet oratio, quorum hæc actiones et affectiones, illa personas agentes et patientes indicant; Jure quæritur, an primæva lingua habuerit particulas. Non utique neceffariam, rem exprimendi, vim habere videntur, fed adscititiam quandam, et sententias per nomina et verba expressas variandi, stabiliendi, infirmandi, negandi, copulandi, disjungendi, imminuendi, affirmandi, limitandi, multisque modis afficiendi : Ipfæ vero, quatenus particula, per se fola spectatæ, nihil fignificant.

Natura, inquam, ipsa docet, Particulis antiquiora esse nomina et verba, quia, observato rerum ordine, neceffe eft, res et actiones prius fuis


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