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"I was walking, ambulabam." 2. As finished by the perfect tense, "I have walked." 3. As finished some time since, the particular time being left undetermined; "I walked, ambulavi:" this is what grammarians call an aorist or indefinite past. 4. As finished before something else, which is also past. This is the plusquamperfect; "I had walked, ambulaveram. "I had walked before you called upon me." Our language, we must perceive with pleasure, has an advantage over the Latin, which has only three variations of past time.


The varieties in future time are two; a simple or indefinite future; "I shall walk, ambulabo;" and a future having reference to something else, which is likewise future; "I shall have walked, ambulavero "I shall have walked, before he will pay me a visit.".


Beside tenses, verbs admit the distinction of voices, viz. the active and passive; as, "I love, or I am loved.” They admit also the distinction of modes, which are intended to express the perceptions and volitions of the mind under different forms. The indicativé mode simply declares a preposition; "I write; I have "written." The imperative requires, commands, or threatens ; Write thou; let him write." The subjunctive expresses a proposition under the form of a condition, or as subordinate to something to which reference is made; "I might write; I could write; "I should write, if the matter were so." This expres

sion of the preceptions and volitions of the mind in so many various forms, together with the distinction of the three persons, I, thou, and he, constitutes the conjugation of verbs, which makes so great a part of the Grammar of all languages.

Conjugation is reckoned most perfect in those languages, which, by varying the termination, or the initial syllable of the verb, expresses the greatest number of important circumstances without the help of auxiliary verbs. In the Oriental tongues verbs have few tenses; but their modes are so contrived, as to express a great variety of circumstances and relations. In the Hebrew they say in one word, without the aid of an auxiliary, not only, "I taught," but, "I was taught; I

caused to teach; I was caused to teach; I taught "myself." The Greek, which is commonly thought to be the most perfect of all languages, is very regular and complete in the modes and tenses. The Latin, though formed on the same model, is not so perfect; particularly in the passive voice, which forms most of the tenses by the aid of the auxiliary "sum." In modern European tongues, conjugation is very defective. The two great auxiliary verbs, to have and to be, with those other auxiliaries, which we use in English, do, shall, will, may, and can, perfixed to a participle, or to another verb in the infinitive mode, supersede in a great measure the different terminations of modes and tenses which formed the ancient conjugations.

The other parts of speech, as they admit no variation, will require only a short discussion.

Adverbs are for the most part an abridged mode of speech, expressing by one word what might, by a cir cumlocution, be resolved into two or more words belonging to other parts of speech. "Here," for instance, is the same with "in this place." Hence adverbs seem to be less necessary, and of later introduction into speech, than several other classes of words; and accordingly most of them are derived from other words, formerly established in the language.

Prepositions and conjunctions serve to express the relations which things bear one to another, their mutual influence, dependence, and coherence; and so to join words together, as to form intelligible propositions. Conjunctions are commonly employed for connecting sentences, or members of sentences; as, and because, and the like. Prepositions are used for connecting words; as, of, from, to, &c. The beauty and strength of every language depend in a great measure on a proper use of conjunctions, prepositions, and those relative pro nouns, which serve the same purpose of connecting dif ferent parts of discourse.

Having thus briefly considered the Structure of Language in general, we will now enter more particularly into an examination of our own Language.

The English, which was spoken after the Norman Conquest, and continues to be spoken now, is a mixture of the ancient Saxon and the Norman French, together with such new and foreign words, as commerce and learning have, in a succession of ages gradually introduced. From the influx of so many streams, from a junction of so many dissimilar parts, it naturally follows, that the English, like every compound language, must be somewhat irregular. We cannot expect from it that complete analogy in structure, which may be found in those simpler languages, which were formed within themselves, and built on one foundation. Hence our syntax is short, since there are few marks in the words themselves which show their relation to each other, or point out either their concordance or their government in a sentence. But, if these be disadvantages in a compound language, they are balanced by the advantages which attend it; particularly by the number and variety of words by which such a language is commonly enriched. Few languages are more copious than the English. In all grave subjects especially, historical, critical, political, and moral, no complaint can justly be made of the barrenness of our tongue. We are rich too in the language of poetry; our poetical style differs widely from prose, not with respect to numbers only but in the very words themselves; which proves what a compass and variety of words we can select and employ,

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suited to different occasions. Herein we are infinitely superior to the French, whose poetical language, if it were not distinguished by rhyme, would not be known. differ from their ordinary prose. Their language, however, surpasses ours in expressing whatever is ide licate, gay, and amusing. It is, perhaps, the happiest language for conversation in the known world; but for the higher subjects of composition, the English is justly considered as far superior to it.

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The flexibility of a language, or its power of becoming either grave and strong, or easy and flowing, or tender and gentle, or pompous and magnificent, as occasions require, is a quality of great importance in speaking and writing. This depends on the copiousness of a language; the different arrangements.of which its words are susceptible; and the variety and beauty of the sounds of its words. The Greek possessed these requisites in a higher degree than any other language. It superadded the graceful variety of its different dialects; and thereby readily assumed every kind of cha racter, an author could wish, from the most simple and familiar, to the most majestic. The Latin, though very beautiful, is inferior in this respect to the Greek. It has more of a fixed character of stateliness and gravity; and is supported by a certain senatorial dignity, of which it is difficult for a writer to divest it. Among modern tongues, the Italian possesses much more flex ibility than the French; and seems to be on the whole



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