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note below, and most of the corrections under it, are wrong. But I am
persuaded that the adopters of this rule did not observe how common is the
phraseology which it condemns; as, "For if _the casting-away of them_ be
_the reconciling of the world_, what shall _the receiving of them_ be, but
life from the dead?" - _Rom._, xi, 15. Finally, this author rejects the _of_
which most critics insert when a possessive precedes the verbal noun;
justifies and prefers the mixed or double construction of the participle;
and, consequently, neither wishes nor attempts to distinguish the
participle from the verbal noun. Yet he does not fail to repeat, with some
additional inaccuracy, the notion, that, "What do you think of my _horse's
running_? is different _to_ [say _from_,] What do you think of my _horse
running_?" - _Ib._, p. 94.

OBS. 47. - That English books in general, and the style of even our best
writers, should seldom be found exempt from errors in the construction of
participles, will not be thought wonderful, when we consider the
multiplicity of uses to which words of this sort are put, and the strange
inconsistencies into which all our grammarians have fallen in treating this
part of syntax. It is useless, and worse than useless, to teach for grammar
any thing that is not true; and no doctrine can be true of which one part
palpably oversets an other. What has been taught on the present topic, has
led me into a multitude of critical remarks, designed both for the
refutation of the principles which I reject, and for the elucidation and
defence of those which are presently to be summed up in notes, or special
rules, for the correction of false syntax. If my decisions do not agree
with the teaching of our common grammarians, it is chiefly because these
authors contradict themselves. Of this sort of teaching I shall here offer
but one example more, and then bring these strictures to a close: "When
present participles are preceded by an article, or pronoun adjective, they
become nouns, and must not be followed by objective pronouns, or nouns
without a preposition; as, _the reading of many books wastes the health_.
But such nouns, like all others, may be used without an article, being
sufficiently discovered by the following preposition; as, _he was sent to
prepare the way, by preaching of repentance_. Also an article, or pronoun
adjective, may precede a clause, used as a noun, and commencing with a
participle; as, _his teaching children was necessary_." - _Dr. Wilson's
Syllabus of English Gram._, p. xxx. Here the last position of the learned
doctor, if it be true, completely annuls the first; or, if the first be
true, the last must needs be false, And, according to Lowth, L. Murray, and
many others, the second is as bad as either. The bishop says, concerning
this very example, that by the use of the preposition _of_ after the
participle _preaching_, "the phrase is rendered _obscure_ and _ambiguous_:
for the obvious meaning of it, in its present form, is, 'by preaching
_concerning_ repentance, or on that subject;' whereas the sense intended
is, 'by publishing the covenant of repentance, and declaring repentance to
be a condition of acceptance with God.'" - _Lowth's Gram._, p. 82. "It ought
to be, 'by _the_ preaching _of_ repentance;' or, by _preaching_
repentance." - _Murray's Gram._, p. 193.


NOTE I. - Active participles have the same government as the verbs from
which they are derived; the preposition _of_, therefore, should never be
used after the participle, when the verb does not require it. Thus, in
phrases like the following, _of_ is improper: "Keeping _of_ one day in
seven;" - "By preaching _of_ repentance;" - "They left beating _of_ Paul."

NOTE II. - When a transitive participle is converted into a noun, _of_ must
be inserted to govern the object following; as, "So that there was _no
withstanding of_ him." - _Walker's Particles_. p. 252. "The cause of their
salvation doth not so much arise from _their embracing of_ mercy, as from
_God's exercising of_ it" - _Penington's Works_, Vol. ii, p. 91. "Faith is
_the receiving of_ Christ with the whole soul." - _Baxter_. "In _thy
pouring-out of_ thy fury upon Jerusalem." - _Ezekiel_, ix, 8.

NOTE III. - When the insertion of the word _of_, to complete the conversion
of the transitive participle into a noun, produces ambiguity or harshness,
some better phraseology must be chosen. Example: "Because the action took
_place prior to the taking place of_ the other past action." - _Kirkham's
Gram._, p. 140. Here the words _prior_ and _place_ have no regular
construction; and if we say, "_prior_ to the taking _of place of_ the
other," we make the jumble still worse. Say therefore, "Because the action
took place _before_ the other past action;" - or, "Because the action took
place _previously_ to the other past action."

NOTE IV. - When participles become nouns, their adverbs should either become
adjectives, or be taken as parts of such nouns, written as compound words:
or, if neither of these methods be agreeable, a greater change should be
made. Examples of error: 1. "_Rightly_ understanding a sentence, depends
very much on a knowledge of its grammatical construction." - _Comly's
Gram._, 12th Ed., p. 8. Say, "_The right_ understanding _of_ a sentence,"
&c. 2. "Elopement is a running _away_, or private departure." - _Webster's
El. Spelling-Book_. p. 102. Write "_running-away_" as one word. 3. "If they
[Milton's descriptions] have any _faults_, it is their _alluding too
frequently_ to matters of learning, and to fables of antiquity." - _Blair's
Rhet._, p. 451. Say, "If they have any _fault_, it is _that they allude_
too frequently," &c.

NOTE V. - When the participle is followed by an adjective, its conversion
into a noun appears to be improper; because the construction of the
adjective becomes anomalous, and its relation doubtful: as, "When we speak
of _'ambition's being restless_' or, _'a disease's being
deceitful_.'" - _Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 346; _Kirkham's_, p. 224. This
ought to be, "When we speak of _ambition as_ being restless, or a _disease
as_ being deceitful;" but Dr. Blair, from whom the text originally came,
appears to have written it thus: "When we speak of _ambition's_ being
restless, or a _disease_ being deceitful." - LECT. xvi, p. 155. This is
_inconsistent with itself_; for one noun is possessive, and the other,
objective. NOTE VI. - When a compound participle is converted into a noun,
the hyphen seems to be necessary, to prevent ambiguity; but such compound
nouns are never elegant, and it is in general better to avoid them, by some
change in the expression. Example: "Even as _the being healed_ of a wound,
presupposeth the plaster or salve: but not, on the contrary; for the
application of the plaster presupposeth not _the being healed_." - _Barclays
Works_, Vol. i, p. 143. The phrase, "_the being healed_" ought to mean
only, _the creature healed_; and not, _the being-healed_, or _the healing
received_, which is what the writer intended. But the simple word _healing_
might have been used in the latter sense; for, in participial nouns, the
distinction of _voice_ and of _tense_ are commonly disregarded.

NOTE VII. - A participle should not be used where the infinitive mood, the
verbal noun, a common substantive, or a phrase equivalent, will better
express the meaning. Examples: 1. "But _placing_ an accent on the second
syllable of these words, would entirely derange them." - _Murray's Gram._,
Vol. i, p. 239. Say rather, "But, _to place_ an accent - But _the_ placing
_of_ an accent - or, But an _accent placed_ on the second syllable of these
words, would entirely derange them." 2. "To require _their being_ in that
case." - _Ib._, Vol. ii, p. 21. Say, "To require _them_ to be in that case."
3. "She regrets not having read it." - _West's Letters_, p. 216. Say, "She
regrets _that she has not_ read it." Or, "She _does not regret that she
has_ read it." For the text is equivocal, and admits either of these

NOTE VIII. - A participle used for a nominative after _be, is, was_, &c.,
produces a construction which is more naturally understood to be a compound
form of the verb; and which is therefore not well adapted to the sense
intended, when one tells what something is, was, or may be. Examples: 1.
"Whose business _is shoeing_ animals." - _O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 365.
Say, "Whose business _it_ is, _to shoe_ animals;" - or, "Whose business is
_the_ shoeing _of_ animals." 2. "This _was in fact converting_ the deposite
to his own use." - _Murray's Key_, ii, p. 200. Say rather, "This was in fact
_a_ converting _of_ the deposite to his own use." - _Ib._

NOTE IX. - Verbs of _preventing_ should be made to govern, not the
participle in _ing_, nor what are called substantive phrases, but the
objective case of a noun or pronoun; and if a participle follow, it ought
to be governed by the preposition _from_: as, "But the admiration due to so
eminent a poet, must not _prevent us from remarking_ some other particulars
in which he has failed." - _Blair's Rhet._, p. 438. Examples of error: 1. "I
endeavoured to prevent _letting him_ escape" - _Ingersoll's Gram._, p. 150.
Say, - "to prevent _his escape_." 2. "To prevent _its being connected_ with
the nearest noun." - _Churchill's Gram._, p. 367. Say, "To prevent _it from_
being connected," &c. 3. "To prevent _it bursting_ out with open
violence." - _Robertson's America_, Vol. ii, p. 146. Say, "To prevent it
_from_ bursting out," &c. 4. "To prevent _their injuring or murdering of_
others." - _Brown's Divinity_, p. 26. Say rather, "To prevent _them from_
injuring or murdering _others_."

NOTE X. - In the use of participles and of verbal nouns, the leading word in
sense should always be made the leading or governing word in the
construction; and where there is reason to doubt whether the possessive
case or some other ought to come before the participle, it is better to
reject both, and vary the expression. Examples: "Any person may easily
convince himself of the truth of this, by listening to _foreigners
conversing_ in a language [which] he does not understand." - _Churchill's
Gram._, p. 361. "It is a relic of the ancient _style abounding_ with
negatives." - _Ib._, p. 367. These forms are right; though the latter might
be varied, by the insertion of "_which abounds_" for "_abounding_." But the
celebrated examples before cited, about the "_lady holding up_ her train,"
or the "_lady's holding up_ her train," - the "_person dismissing_ his
servant," or the "_person's dismissing_ his servant," - the "_horse running_
to-day," or the "_horse's running_ to-day," - and many others which some
grammarians suppose to be interchangeable, are equally bad in both forms.

NOTE XI. - Participles, in general, however construed, should have a clear
reference to the proper subject of the being, action, or passion. The
following sentence is therefore faulty: "By _establishing_ good laws, our
_peace_ is secured." - _Russell's Gram._, p. 88; _Folker's_, p. 27. Peace
not being the _establisher_ of the laws, these authors should have said,
"By _establishing_ good laws, _we_ secure our peace." "_There will be no
danger_ of _spoiling_ their faces, or of _gaining_ converts." - _Murray's
Key_, ii, p. 201. This sentence is to me utterly unintelligible. If the
context were known, there might possibly be some sense in saying, "_They_
will be in no danger of spoiling their faces," &c. "The law is annulled, in
the very _act of its being made_." - _O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 267. "The
_act of_ MAKING _a law_," is a phrase intelligible; but, "the _act of its_
BEING MADE," is a downright solecism - a positive absurdity.

NOTE XII. - A needless or indiscriminate use of participles for nouns, or of
nouns for participles, is inelegant, if not improper, and ought therefore
to be avoided. Examples: "_Of_ denotes possession or _belonging_." -
_Murray's Gram._, Vol. i, p. 118; _Ingersoll's_, 71. "The preposition _of_,
frequently implies possession, property, or _belonging to_." - _Cooper's Pl.
and Pr. Gram._, p. 137. Say, "_Of_ frequently denotes possession, or _the
relation of property_." "England perceives the folly _of the denying of_
such concessions." - _Nixon's Parser_, p. 149. Expunge _the_ and the last
_of_, that _denying_ may stand as a participle.

NOTE XIII. - Perfect participles being variously formed, care should be
taken to express them agreeably to the best usage, and also to distinguish
them from the preterits of their verbs, where there is any difference of
form. Example: "It would be well, if all writers who endeavour to be
accurate, would be careful to avoid a corruption at present so prevalent,
of saying, _it was wrote_, for, _it was written; he was drove_, for, _he
was driven; I have went_, for, _I have gone_, &c., in all which instances a
verb is absurdly used to supply the proper participle, without any
necessity from the want of such word." - _Harris's Hermes_, p. 186.




"In forming of his sentences, he was very exact." - _Error noticed by
Murray_, Vol. i, p. 194.

[FORMULE. - Not proper, because the preposition _of_ is used after the
participle _forming_, whose verb does not require it. But, according to
Note 1st under Rule 20th, "Active participles have the same government as
the verbs from which they are derived; the preposition _of_, therefore,
should not be used after the participle, when the verb does not require
it." Therefore, _of_ should be omitted; thus, "In forming his sentences, he
was very exact."]

"For not believing of which I condemn them" - _Barclay's Works_, iii. 354.
"To prohibit his hearers from reading of that book." - _Ib._, i, 223. "You
will please them exceedingly, in crying down of ordinances." - MITCHELL:
_ib._, i, 219. "The war-wolf subsequently became an engine for casting of
stones," - _Constable's Miscellany_, xxi, 117. "The art of dressing of hides
and working in leather was practised." - _Ib._, xxi, 101. "In the choice
they had made of him, for restoring of order." - _Rollin's Hist._, ii, 37.
"The Arabians exercised themselves by composing of orations and
poems." - _Sale's Koran_, p. 17. "Behold, the widow-woman was there
gathering of sticks." - _1 Kings_, xvii, 10. "The priests were busied in
offering of burnt-offerings." - _2 Chron._, xxxv, 14. "But Asahel would not
turn aside from following of him." - _2 Sam._, ii, 21. "He left off building
of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah." - _1 Kings_, xv, 21. "Those who accuse us of
denying of it, belie us." - _Barclay's Works_, iii, 280. "And breaking of
bread from house to house." - _Ib._, i, 192. "Those that set about repairing
of the walls." - _Ib._, i, 459. "And secretly begetting of
divisions." - _Ib._, i, 521. "Whom he had made use of in gathering of his
church." - _Ib._, i, 535. "In defining and distinguishing of the acceptions
and uses of those particles." - _Walker's Particles_, p. 12.

"In punishing of this, we overthrow
The laws of nations, and of nature too." - _Dryden_, p. 92.


"The mixing them makes a miserable jumble of truth and fiction." - _Kames,
El. of Crit._, ii, 357. "The same objection lies against the employing
statues." - _Ib._, ii, 358. "More efficacious than the venting opulence upon
the Fine Arts." - _Ib._, Vol. i, p. viii. "It is the giving different names
to the same object." - _Ib._, ii, 19. "When we have in view the erecting a
column." - _Ib._, ii, 56. "The straining an elevated subject beyond due
bounds, is a vice not so frequent." - _Ib._, i, 206. "The cutting evergreens
in the shape of animals is very ancient." - _Ib._, ii, 327. "The keeping
juries, without meet, drink or fire, can be accounted for only on the same
idea." - _Webster's Essays_, p. 301. "The writing the verbs at length on his
slate, will be a very useful exercise." - _Beck's Gram._, p. 20. "The
avoiding them is not an object of any moment." - _Sheridan's Lect._, p. 180.
"Comparison is the increasing or decreasing the Signification of a Word by
degrees." - _British Gram._, p. 97. "Comparison is the Increasing or
Decreasing the Quality by Degrees." - _Buchanan's English Syntax_, p. 27.
"The placing a Circumstance before the Word with which it is connected, is
the easiest of all Inversion." - _Ib._, p. 140. "What is emphasis? It is the
emitting a stronger and fuller sound of voice," &c. - _Bradley's Gram._, p.
108. "Besides, the varying the terms will render the use of them more
familiar." - _Alex. Murray's Gram._, p. 25. "And yet the confining
themselves to this true principle, has misled them!" - _Horne Tooke's
Diversions_, Vol. i, p. 15. "What is here commanded, is merely the
relieving his misery." - _Wayland's Moral Science_, p. 417. "The
accumulating too great a quantity of knowledge at random, overloads the
mind instead of adorning it." - _Formey's Belles-Lettres_, p. 5. "For the
compassing his point." - _Rollin's Hist._, ii, 35. "To the introducing such
an inverted order of things." - _Butler's Analogy_, p. 95. "Which require
only the doing an external action." - _Ib._, p. 185. "The imprisoning my
body is to satisfy your wills." - GEO. FOX: _Sewel's Hist._, p. 47. "Who
oppose the conferring such extensive command on one person." - _Duncan's
Cicero_, p. 130. "Luxury contributed not a little to the enervating their
forces." - _Sale's Koran_, p. 49. "The keeping one day of the week for a
sabbath." - _Barclay's Works_, i. 202. "The doing a thing is contrary to the
forbearing of it." - _Ib._, i, 527. "The doubling the Sigma is, however,
sometimes regular." - _Knight, on the Greek Alphabet_, p. 29. "The inserting
the common aspirate too, is improper." - _Ib._, p. 134. "But in Spenser's
time the pronouncing the _ed_ seems already to have been something of an
archaism." - _Philological Museum_, Vol. i, p. 656. "And to the reconciling
the effect of their verses on the eye." - _Ib._, i, 659. "When it was not in
their power to hinder the taking the whole." - _Brown's Estimate_, ii, 155.
"He had indeed given the orders himself for the shutting the
gates." - _Ibid._ "So his whole life was a doing the will of the
Father." - _Penington_, iv, 99. "It signifies the suffering or receiving the
action expressed." - _Priestley's Gram._, p. 37. "The pretended crime
therefore was the declaring himself to be the Son of God." - _West's
Letters_, p. 210. "Parsing is the resolving a sentence into its different
parts of speech." - _Beck's Gram._, p. 26.


"There is no expecting the admiration of beholders." - _Baxter_. "There is
no hiding you in the house." - _Shakspeare_. "For the better regulating
government in the province of Massachusetts." - _British Parliament_. "The
precise marking the shadowy boundaries of a complex government." - _J. Q.
Adams's Rhet._, Vol. ii, p. 6. "[This state of discipline] requires the
voluntary foregoing many things which we desire, and setting ourselves to
what we have no inclination to." - _Butler's Analogy_, p. 115. "This amounts
to an active setting themselves against religion." - _Ib._, p. 264. "Which
engaged our ancient friends to the orderly establishing our Christian
discipline." - _N. E. Discip._, p. 117. "Some men are so unjust that there
is no securing our own property or life, but by opposing force to
force." - _Brown's Divinity_, p. 26. "An Act for the better securing the
Rights and Liberties of the Subject." - _Geo._ III, 31st. "Miraculous curing
the sick is discontinued." - _Barclay's Works_, iii, 137. "It would have
been no transgressing the apostle's rule." - _Ib._, p. 146. "As far as
consistent with the proper conducting the business of the House." - _Elmore,
in Congress_, 1839. "Because he would have no quarrelling at the just
condemning them at that day." - _Law and Grace_, p. 42. "That transferring
this natural manner - will ensure propriety." - _Rush, on the Voice_, p. 372.
"If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the
key." - _Macbeth_, Act ii, Sc. 3.


"So very simple a thing as a man's wounding himself." - _Blair's Rhet._, p.
97; _Murray's Gram._, p. 317. "Or with that man's avowing his
designs." - _Blair_, p. 104; _Murray_, p. 308; _Parker and Fox, Part III_,
p. 88. "On his putting the question." - _Adams's Rhet._, Vol. ii, p. 111.
"The importance of teachers' requiring their pupils to read each section
many times over." - _Kirkham's Elocution_, p. 169. "Politeness is a kind of
forgetting one's self in order to be agreeable to others." - _Ramsay's
Cyrus_. "Much, therefore, of the merit, and the agreeableness of epistolary
writing, will depend on its introducing us into some acquaintance with the
writer." - _Blair's Rhet._, p. 370; _Mack's Dissertation in his Gram._, p.
175. "Richard's restoration to respectability, depends on his paying his
debts." - _O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 176. "Their supplying ellipses where
none ever existed; their parsing words of sentences already full and
perfect, as though depending on words understood." - _Ib._, p. 375. "Her
veiling herself and shedding tears," &c., "her upbraiding Paris for his
cowardice," &c. - _Blair's Rhet._, p. 433. "A preposition may be known by
its admitting after it a personal pronoun, in the objective
case." - _Murray's Gram._, p. 28; _Alger's_, 14; _Bacon's_, 10;
_Merchant's_, 18; and others. "But this forms no just objection to its
denoting time." - _Murray's Gram._, p. 65. "Of men's violating or
disregarding the relations which God has placed them in here." - _Butler's
Analogy_, p. 164. "Success, indeed, no more decides for the right, than a
man's killing his antagonist in a duel." - _Campbell's Rhet._, p. 295. "His
reminding them." - _Kirkham's Elocution_, p. 123. "This mistake was
corrected by his preceptor's causing him to plant some beans." - _Ib._, p.
235. "Their neglecting this was ruinous." - _Frost's El. of Gram._, p. 82.
"That he was serious, appears from his distinguishing the others as
'finite.'" - _Felch's Gram._, p. 10. "His hearers are not at all sensible of
his doing it." - _Sheridan's Elocution_, p. 119.


"An allegory is the saying one thing, and meaning another; a double-meaning
or dilogy is the saying only one thing, but having two in
view." - _Philological Museum_, Vol. i, p. 461. "A verb may generally be
distinguished, by its making sense with any of the personal pronouns, or
the word _to_ before it." - _Murray's Gram._, p. 28; _Alger's_, 13;
_Bacon's_, 10; _Comly's_, and many others. "A noun may, in general, be
distinguished by its taking an article before it, or by its making sense of
itself." - _Merchant's Gram._, p. 17; _Murray's_, 27; &c. "An Adjective may
usually be known by its making sense with the addition of the word _thing_:
as, a _good_ thing; a _bad_ thing." - _Same Authors_. "It is seen in the
objective case, from its denoting the object affected by the act of
leaving." - _O. B. Peirce's Gram._, p. 44. "It is seen in the possessive
case, from its denoting the _possessor_ of something." - _Ibid._ "The name
man is caused by the adname _whatever_ to be twofold subjective case, from
its denoting, of itself, one person as the subject of the two
remarks." - _Ib._, p. 56. "_When_, as used in the last line, is a
connective, from its joining that line to the other part of the
sentence." - _Ib._, p. 59. "From their denoting reciprocation." - _Ib._, p.
64. "To allow them the making use of that liberty." - _Sale's Koran_, p.
116. "The worst effect of it is, the fixing on your mind a habit of
indecision." - _Todd's Student's Manual_, p. 60. "And you groan the more
deeply, as you reflect that there is no shaking it off." - _Ib._, p. 47. "I
know of nothing that can justify the having recourse to a Latin translation
of a Greek writer." - _Coleridge's Introduction_, p. 16. "Humour is the
making others act or talk absurdly." - _Hazlitt's Lectures_. "There are
remarkable instances of their not affecting each other." - _Butler's
Analogy_, p. 150. "The leaving Cæsar out of the commission was not from any
slight." - _Life of Cicero_, p. 44. "Of the receiving this toleration
thankfully I shall say no more." - _Dryden's Works_, p. 88. "Henrietta was
delighted with Julia's working lace so very well." - _O. B. Peirce's Gram._,
p. 255. "And it is from their representing each two different words that
the confusion has arisen." - _Booth's Introd._, p. 42. "Æschylus died of a
fracture of his skull, caused by an eagle's letting fall a tortoise on his
head." - _Biog. Dict._ "He doubted their having it." - _Felch's Comp. Gram._,
p. 81. "The making ourselves clearly understood, is the chief end of

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