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acquainted.” “ You was here." « Whence did thou come up? “ Thou confined." “The temper as well as knowledge of a modern historian require,” &c.
Magnus, with four thousand of his accomplices, were put to death.”
Cleander, with six hundred soldiers, were executed,” &c.
When several singular subjects are connected by a disjunctive conjunction, the verb must be singular, and not as in the following examples :
“ He knows not what spleen, languor, or listlessness are.” “Neither death nor torture were sufficient,” &c.
“ Neither Charles nor his brother were qualified to support such a system.”
Each, either, neither, and every, when followed by of' with its governed words, must have the verb in the singular number, and not as in these examples : “ Each of these words imply.” “ Neither of them are remarkable." · Every circumstance which enable them.” Every one of the letters bear date after his banishment." “In proportion as either of these two qualities are wanting," &c.
ERRORS IN THE USE OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE.
The subjunctive, not the indicative, mood should be used after a conjunction when there is question of future contingency or supposition. In the following quotations, this rule is neglected :
“ If the most active of mankind was able, at the close of his life,” &c. “ If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pickaxe with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed,” &c. “If any member absents himself, he shall forfeit a
penny for the use of the club,”
- To bless the name of the Lord, whether He gives or takes away," &c.
The indicative, not the subjunctive, mood should be used after a conjunction when an ascertained fact is referred to as either past or present; and a proposition enouncing a universal truth must always be in the present indicative. In the following sentences, these rules are infringed :
“But if it be true, which was said by a French prince, that no man was a hero to the servants of his chamber, it is equally true that every man is less a hero to himself.” “ Two young men have made a discovery that there was a God.” “ If similitude of manners be a motive to kindness, the idler may flatter himself with universal patronage.” “No one can thoroughly understand the Scriptures of the New Testament, unless he be well acquainted with those of the Old.”
ERRORS IN THE SEQUENCE OF MOODS AND TENSES.
When two propositions are coupled by a conjunction, the verbs in each proposition must correspond with each other in mood and tense. This rule is infringed in the examples below:
“ If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and rememberest," &c.
“ Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” “ Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes,” &c.
66 Whether our conduct be inspected, and we are under a righteous government, &c. “Let us consider how many things we formerly knew, but now have either wholly forgotten, or but very imperfectly remembered," &c. 6. These contacts
would rather occasion silence than to produce a voice,” &c.
A participle should not be joined with a verb, as in the following passage : —
“Nor is it then a welcome guest, affording only an uneasy sensation, and brings with it a mixture of concern and compassion.”
An ellipsis of part of a compound tense should be avoided. The following sentences are exceptionable in this respect :
“I am, and always have, taken great pains," &c. “ You never have, and never will see, such a sight again." “ This dedication may serve for almost any book that has, is, or shall be published.” “I shall do all I can to persuade others to take the same measures for their cure which I have."
ERRORS IN THE USE OF PARTICIPLES.
The past tense indicative is frequently used incorrectly for the participle; as:
“I had no sooner drank, but,” &c. 6 I do not find that any science has throve among us,” &c. “ Had he wrote English poetry,” &c. 66 The seeds of future divisions were sowed.” “ The court of Augustus had not wore off the manners of the republic.”
6 A constitution, when it has been shook by the iniquity," &c. “Some philosophers have mistook.” “The greater regard was showed.” The fountains of the earth were broke open or clove asunder.” “ This nimble operator will have stole it." “If a new species of controversial books had not arose,” &c.
ERRORS IN THE USE OF ADJECTIVES.
Some adjectives which bear in themselves a comparative or a superlative meaning, do not admit of degrees of comparison. In the following extracts, the form of the adjective is incorrect :
“ The last are, indeed, more preferable, because they are founded,” &c. “The two chiefest properties of
c air." “ The extremest parts of the earth were meditating a submission.” “Money, in a word, is the most universal incitement of human misery."
Double comparatives and superlatives are no longer admissible; such as, " Which title had been more truer,” &c. 66 The waters are more sooner frozen than more further upwards," &c. “I wish your grandam had a worser march.” “ This was the most unkindest cut of all.”
When two objects are compared together, the comparative, not the superlative, degree of the adjective should be used. In the following sentences, this rule is infringed:
“ This was, in reality, the easiest manner of the two.” “The question is not whether a good Indian or bad (a bad) Englishman be most happy; but which state is most desirable, supposing virtue and reason to be the same in both."
Adjectives are sometimes incorrectly used as adverbs; as :
“ I shall endeavour to live suitable to a man in my station.” “He behaved himself conformable to that blessed example." "His expectations run high, and
” the fund to supply them is extreme scanty.”
“I never could think so very mean of him.” “ There is
scarce a man living,” &c. “Exceeding fair.” ceeding popular.” “ Extreme good bargains.” “His speech was all excellent good in itself,” &c.!
INACCURACIES IN THE USE OF THE COMPARATIVE AND
“ This noble nation hath, of all others, admitted fewer corruptions” (than any other). “The vice of covetousness is what enters deepest into the soul of any other” (deeper than any other). 66 We have a profession set apart for the purposes of persuasion, wherein a talent of this kind would prove the likeliest, perhaps, of any other” (likelier than any other). “ As old, or even older than tradition (as old as). “ The event, of all others, which the Orleans party most ardently wished to avoid” (more ardently than any other).
ERRORS IN THE USE OF NEGATIVE AND DISJUNCTIVE
• Neither’ should be followed by “nor,' and not as in the following extracts :
“ That neither partiality or prejudice appear.” “ These can point out the straight way upon the road, but can neither tell you the next turning, or answer your questions.” “ He was charged as neither faithful or exact.” “I demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, or any other reward whatever."
Some adjectives are correctly used as adverbs; as : door was fast locked ;” “ Do not speak too loud ;” “I long loved your daughter,” &c.