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and so may _we_ be substituted for _I_, with just as much propriety; though
Dr. Perley thinks the latter usage "is not to be encouraged." - _Gram._, p.
28. Our authors and editors, like kings and emperors, are making _we_ for
_I_ their most common mode of expression. They renounce their individuality
to avoid egotism. And when all men shall have adopted this enallage, the
fault indeed will be banished, or metamorphosed, but with it will go an
other sixth part of every English conjugation. The pronouns in the
following couplet are put for the first person singular, the second person
singular, and the second person plural; yet nobody will understand them so,
but by their antecedents:

"Right trusty, and so forth - _we_ let _you_ to know
_We_ are very ill used by _you mortals_ below." - _Swift._

OBS. 31. - It is remarkable that some, who forbear to use the plural for the
singular in the second person, adopt it without scruple, in the first. The
figure is the same in both; and in both, sufficiently common. Neither
practice is worthy to be made more general than it now is. If _thou_ should
not be totally sacrificed to what was once a vain compliment, neither
should _I_, to what is now an occasional, and perhaps a vain assumption.
Lindley Murray, who does not appear to have used _you_ for _thou_, and who
was sometimes singularly careful to periphrase [sic - KTH] and avoid the
latter, nowhere in his grammar speaks of himself in the first person
singular. He is often "the _Compiler_;" rarely, "the _Author_;" generally,
"We:" as, "_We_ have distributed these parts of grammar, in the mode which
_we_ think most correct and intelligible." - _Octavo Gram._, p. 58. "_We_
shall not pursue this subject any further." - _Ib._, p. 62. "_We_ shall
close these remarks on the tenses." - _Ib._, p. 76. "_We_ presume no solid
objection can be made." - _Ib._, p. 78. "The observations which _we_ have
made." - _Ib._, p. 100. "_We_ shall produce a remarkable example of this
beauty from Milton." - _Ib._, p. 331. "_We_ have now given sufficient
openings into this subject." - _Ib._, p. 334. This usage has authority
enough; for it was not uncommon even among the old Latin grammarians; but
he must be a slender scholar, who thinks the pronoun _we_ thereby becomes
_singular._ What advantage or fitness there is in thus putting _we_ for
_I_, the reader may judge. Dr. Blair did not hesitate to use _I_, as often
as ho had occasion; neither did Lowth, or Johnson, or Walker, or Webster:
as, "_I_ shall produce a remarkable example of this beauty from
Milton." - _Blair's Rhet._, p. 129. "_I_ have now given sufficient openings
into this subject." - _Ib._, p. 131. So in Lowth's Preface: "_I_
believe," - "_I_ am persuaded," - "_I_ am sure," - "_I_ think," - "_I_ am
afraid," - "_I_ will not take upon _me_ to say."

OBS. 32. - Intending to be critical without hostility, and explicit without
partiality, I write not for or against any sect, or any man; but to teach
all who desire to know _the grammar_ of our tongue. The student must
distinctly understand, that it is necessary to speak and write differently,
according to the different circumstances or occasions of writing. Who is he
that will pretend that the solemn style of the Bible may be used in
familiar discourse, without a mouthing affectation? In preaching, or in
praying, the ancient terminations of _est_ for the second person singular
and _eth_ for the third, as well as _ed_ pronounced as a separate syllable
for the preterit, are admitted to be generally in better taste than the
smoother forms of the familiar style: because the latter, though now
frequently heard in religious assemblies, are not so well suited to the
dignity and gravity of a sermon or a prayer. In grave poetry also,
especially when it treats of scriptural subjects, to which _you_ put for
_thou_ is obviously unsuitable, the personal terminations of the verb,
though from the earliest times to the present day they have usually been
contracted and often omitted by the poets, ought still perhaps to be
considered grammatically necessary, whenever they can be uttered, agreeably
to the notion of our tuneless critics. The critical objection to their
elision, however, can have no very firm foundation while it is admitted by
some of the objectors themselves, that, "Writers _generally_ have recourse
to this mode of expression, that they may avoid harsh terminations." -
_Irving's Elements of English Composition_, p. 12. But if writers of good
authority, such as Pope, Byron, and Pollok, have sometimes had recourse to
this method of simplifying the verb, even in compositions of a grave cast,
the elision may, with tenfold stronger reason, be admitted in familiar
writing or discourse, on the authority of general custom among those who
choose to employ the pronoun _thou_ in conversation.

"But thou, false Arcite, never _shall_ obtain," &c.
- _Dryden, Fables_.

"These goods _thyself can_ on thyself bestow."
- _Id., in Joh. Dict._

"What I show, _thy self may_ freely on thyself bestow."
- _Id., Lowth's Gram._, p. 26.

"That thou _might_ Fortune to thy side engage."
- _Prior_.

"Of all thou ever _conquered_, none was left."
- _Pollok_, B. vii, l. 760.

"And touch me trembling, as thou _touched_ the man," &c.
- _Id._, B. x, l. 60.

OBS. 33. - Some of the Friends (perhaps from an idea that it is less formal)
misemploy _thee_ for _thou_; and often join it to the third person of the
verb in stead of the second. Such expressions as, _thee does, thee is, thee
has, thee thinks_, &c., are double solecisms; they set all grammar at
defiance. Again, many persons who are not ignorant of grammar, and who
employ the pronoun aright, sometimes improperly sacrifice concord to a
slight improvement in sound, and give to the verb the ending of the third
person, for that of the second. Three or four instances of this, occur in
the examples which have been already quoted. See also the following, and
many more, in the works of the poet Burns; who says of himself, "Though it
cost the schoolmaster some thrashings, I made an excellent English scholar;
and, by the time I was ten or eleven years of age, I was a critic in
substantives, VERBS, and particles:" - "But when thou _pours_;" - "There thou
_shines_ chief;" - "Thou _clears_ the head;" - "Thou _strings_ the
nerves;" - "Thou _brightens_ black despair;" - "Thou _comes_;" - "Thou
_travels_ far;" - "Now _thou's turned_ out;" - "Unseen thou _lurks_;" - "O
thou pale orb that silent _shines_." This mode of simplifying the verb,
confounds the persons; and, as it has little advantage in sound, over the
regular contracted form of the second person, it ought to be avoided. With
this author it may be, perhaps, a Scotticism: as,

"Thou _paints_ auld nature to the nines,
In thy sweet Caledonian lines." - _Burns to Ramsay_.

"Thou _paintst old_ nature," would be about as smooth poetry, and certainly
much better English. This confounding of the persons of the verb, however,
is no modern peculiarity. It appears to be about as old as the use of _s_
for _th_ or _eth_. Spenser, the great English poet of the sixteenth
century, may be cited in proof: as,

"Siker, _thou's_ but a lazy loord,
And _rekes_ much of thy swinke." - _Joh. Dict., w. Loord_.

OBS. 34. - In the solemn style, (except in poetry, which usually contracts
these forms,) the second person singular of the present indicative, and
that of the irregular preterits, commonly end in _est_, pronounced as a
separate syllable, and requiring the duplication of the final consonant,
according to Rule 3d for Spelling: as, I _run_, thou _runnest_; I _ran_,
thou _rannest_. But as the termination _ed_, in solemn discourse,
constitutes a syllable, the regular preterits form the second person
singular by assuming _st_, without further increase of syllables: as, I
_loved_, thou _lovedst_; not, "_lovedest_," as Chandler made it in his
English Grammar, p. 41, Edition of 1821; and as Wells's rule, above cited,
if literally taken, would make it. _Dost_ and _hast_, and the three
irregular preterits, _wast, didst_, and _hadst_, are permanently
contracted; though _doest_ and _diddest_ are sometimes seen in old books.
_Saidst_ is more common, and perhaps more regular, than _saidest. Werest_
has long been contracted into _wert_: "I would thou _werest_ either cold or
hot." - _W. Perkins_, 1608.[251] The auxiliaries _shall_ and _will_ change
the final _l_ to _t_, and become _shalt_ and _wilt_. To the auxiliaries,
_may, can, might, could, would_, and _should_, the termination _est_ was
formerly added; but they are now generally written with _st_ only, and
pronounced as monosyllables, even in solemn discourse. Murray, in quoting
the Scriptures, very often charges _mayest_ to _mayst, mightest_ to
_mightst_, &c. Some other permanent contractions are occasionally met with,
in what many grammarians call the solemn style; as _bidst_ for _biddest,
fledst_ for _fleddest, satst_ for _sattest_:

"Riding sublime, thou _bidst_ the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast."
- _Thomson_.

"Fly thither whence thou _fledst_."
- _Milton, P. L._, B. iv, l. 963.

"Unspeakable, who _sitst_ above these heavens."
- _Id., ib._, B. v, l. 156.

"Why _satst_ thou like an enemy in wait?"
- _Id., ib._, B. iv, l. 825.

OBS. 35. - The formation of the third person singular of verbs, is _now_
precisely the same as that of the plural number of nouns: as, _love, loves;
show, shows; boast, boasts; fly, flies; reach, reaches_. This form began to
be used about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The ending seems once
to have been _es_, sounded as _s_ or _z_: as,

"And thus I see among these pleasant thynges
Eche care _decayes_, and yet my sorrow _sprynges_." - _Earl of Surry_.

"With throte yrent, he _roares_, he _lyeth_ along." - _Sir T. Wyat_.

"He _dyeth_, he is all dead, he _pantes_, he _restes_." - _Id._, 1540.

In all these instances, the _e_ before the _s_ has become improper. The
_es_ does not here form a syllable; neither does the _eth_, in "_lyeth_"
and "_dyeth_." In very ancient times, the third person singular appears to
have been formed by adding _th_ or _eth_ nearly as we now add _s_ or
_es_[252] Afterwards, as in our common Bible, it was formed by adding _th_
to verbs ending in _e_, and _eth_ to all others; as, "For he that _eateth_
and _drinketh_ unworthily, _eateth_ and _drinketh_ damnation to
himself." - _1 Cor._, xi, 29. "He _quickeneth_ man, who is dead in
trespasses and sins; he _keepeth_ alive the quickened soul, and _leadeth_
it in the paths of life; he _scattereth, subdueth_, and _conquereth_ the
enemies of the soul." - _I. Penington_. This method of inflection, as now
pronounced, always adds a syllable to the verb. It is entirely confined to
the solemn style, and is little used. _Doth, hath_, and _saith_, appear to
be permanent contractions of verbs thus formed. In the days of Shakspeare,
both terminations were common, and he often mixed them, in a way which is
not very proper now: as,

"The quality of mercy is not strained;
It _droppeth_, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It _blesseth_ him that _gives_, and him that _takes_."
- _Merchant of Venice_.

OBS. 36. - When the second person singular is employed in familiar
discourse, with any regard to correctness, it is usually formed in a manner
strictly analogous to that which is now adopted in the third person
singular. When the verb ends with a sound which will unite with that of
_st_ or _s_, the second person singular is formed by adding _s_ only, and
the third, by adding _s_ only; and the number of syllables is not
increased: as, I _read_, thou _readst_, he _reads_; I _know_, thou
_knowst_, he _knows_; I _take_, thou _takest_, he _takes_; I _free_, thou
_freest_, he _frees_. For, when the verb ends in mute _a_, no termination
renders this _a_ vocal in the familiar style, if a synæresis can take
place. To prevent their readers from ignorantly assuming the pronunciation
of the solemn style, the poets have generally marked such words with an
apostrophe: as,

"Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie the way thou _go'st_, not whence thou _com'st_." - _Shak_.

OBS. 37. - But when the verb ends in a sound which will not unite with that
of _st_ or _s_, the second and third persons are formed by adding _est_ and
_es_; or, if the first person end in mute _e_, the _st_ and _s_ render that
_e_ vocal; so that the verb acquires an additional syllable: as, I _trace_,
thou _tracest_, he _traces_; I _pass_, thou _passest_, he _passes_; I
_fix_, thou _fixest_, he _fixes_; I _preach_, thou _preachest_, he
_preaches_; I _blush_, thou _blushest_, he _blushes_; I _judge_, thou
_judgest_, he _judges_. But verbs ending in _o_ or _y_ preceded by a
consonant, do not exactly follow either of the foregoing rules. In these,
_y_ is changed into _i_; and, to both _o_ and _i, est_ and _es_ are added
without increase of syllables: as, I _go_, thou _goest_, he _goes_; I
_undo_, thou _undoest_,[253] he _undoes_; I _fly_, thou _fliest_, he
_flies_; I _pity_, thou _pitiest_, he _pities_. Thus, in the following
lines, _goest_ must be pronounced like _ghost_; otherwise, we spoil the
measure of the verse:

"Thou _goest_ not now with battle, and the voice
Of war, as once against the rebel hosts;
Thou _goest_ a Judge, and _findst_ the guilty bound;
Thou _goest_ to prove, condemn, acquit, reward." - _Pollok_, B. x.

In solemn prose, however, the termination is here made a separate syllable:
as, I _go_, thou _goëst_, he _goëth_; I _undo_, thou _undoëst_, he
_undoëth_; I _fly_, thou _fliëst_, he _fliëth_; I _pity_, thou _pitiëst_,
he _pitiëth_.

OBS. 38. - The auxiliaries _do, dost, does_, - (pronounced _doo, dust, duz_;
and not as the words _dough, dosed, doze_, - ) _am, art, is, - have, hast,
has_, - being also in frequent use as principal verbs of the present tense,
retain their peculiar forms, with distinction of person and number, when
they help to form the compound tenses of other verbs. The other auxiliaries
are not varied, or ought not to be varied, except in the solemn style.
Example of the familiar use: "That thou _may_ be found truly owning
it." - _Barclay's Works_, Vol. i, p. 234.

OBS. 39. - The only regular terminations that are added to English verbs,
are _ing, d_ or _e, st_ or _est, s_ or _es, th_ or _eth_[254] _Ing_, and
_th_ or _eth_, always add a syllable to the verb; except in _doth, hath,
saith_.[255] The rest, whenever their sound will unite with that of the
final syllable of the verb, are usually added without increasing the number
of syllables; otherwise, they are separately pronounced. In solemn
discourse, however, _ed_ and _est_ are by most speakers uttered distinctly
in all cases; except sometimes when a vowel precedes: as in _sanctified,
glorified_, which are pronounced as three syllables only. Yet, in spite of
this analogy, many readers will have _sanctifiest_ and _glorifiest_ to be
words of four syllables. If this pronunciation is proper, it is only so in
solemn prose. The prosody of verse will show how many syllables the poets
make: as,

"Thou _diedst_, a most rare boy, of melancholy!"
- _Shak., Cymb._, Act iv, sc. 2.

"Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou _seest_,
What there thou _seest_, fair creature, is thyself."
- _Milton_, B. iv, l. 467.

"By those thou _wooedst_ from death to endless life."
- _Pollok_, B. ix, l. 7.

"Attend: that thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou _continuest_ such, owe to thyself"
- _Milton_, B. v, l. 520.

OBS. 40. - If the grave and full form of the second person singular must
needs be supposed to end rather with the syllable _est_ than with _st_
only, it is certain that this form may be _contracted_, whenever the verb
ends in a sound which will unite with that of _st_. The poets generally
employ the briefer or contracted forms; but they seem not to have adopted a
uniform and consistent method of writing them. Some usually insert the
apostrophe, and, after a single vowel, double the final consonant before
_st_; as, _hold'st, bidd'st, said'st, ledd'st, wedd'st, trimm'st, may'st,
might'st_, and so forth: others, in numerous instances, add _st_ only, and
form permanent contractions; as, _holdst, bidst, saidst, ledst, wedst,
trimst, mayst, mightst_, and so forth. Some retain the vowel _e_, in the
termination of certain words, and suppress a preceding one; as,
_quick'nest, happ'nest, scatt'rest, rend'rest, rend'redst, slumb'rest,
slumb'redst_: others contract the termination of such words, and insert the
apostrophe; as, _quicken'st, happen'st, scatter'st, render'st, render'dst,
slumber'st, slumber'dst_. The nature and idiom of our language, "the accent
and pronunciation of it," incline us to abbreviate or "contract even all
our regular verbs;" so as to avoid, if possible, an increase of syllables
in the inflection of them. Accordingly, several terminations which formerly
constituted distinct syllables, have been either wholly dropped, or blended
with the final syllables of the verbs to which they are added. Thus the
plural termination _en_ has become entirely obsolete; _th_ or _eth_ is no
longer in common use; _ed_ is contracted in pronunciation; the ancient _ys_
or _is_, of the third person singular, is changed to _s_ or _es_, and is
usually added without increase of syllables; and _st_ or _est_ has, in
part, adopted the analogy. So that the proper mode of forming these
contractions of the second person singular, seems to be, to add _st_ only;
and to insert no apostrophe, unless a vowel is suppressed from the verb to
which this termination is added: as, _thinkst, sayst, bidst, sitst, satst,
lov'st, lov'dst, slumberst, slumber'dst_.

"And know, for that thou _slumberst_ on the guard,
Thou shalt be made to answer at the bar." - _Cotton_.

OBS. 41. - Ho man deserves more praise for his attention to English
pronunciation, than John Walker. His Pronouncing Dictionary was, for a long
period, the best standard of orthoëpy, that our schools possessed. But he
seems to me to have missed a figure, in preferring such words as
_quick'nest, strength'nest_, to the smoother and more regular forms,
_quickenst, strengthenst_. It is true that these are rough words, in any
form you can give them; but let us remember, that needless apostrophes are
as rough to the eye, as needless _st_'s to the ear. Our common grammarians
are disposed to encumber the language with as many of both as they can find
any excuse for, and vastly more than can be sustained by any good argument.
In words that are well understood to be contracted in pronunciation, the
apostrophe is now less frequently used than it was formerly. Walker says,
"This contraction of the participial _ed_, and the verbal _en_, is so fixed
an idiom of our pronunciation, that to alter it, would be to alter the
sound of the whole language. It must, however, be regretted that it
subjects our tongue to some of the most hissing, snapping, clashing,
grinding sounds that ever grated the ears of a Vandal; thus, _rasped,
scratched, wrenched, bridled, fangled, birchen, hardened, strengthened,
quickened_, &c. almost frighten us when written as they are actually
pronounced, as _rapt, scratcht, wrencht, bridl'd, fangl'd, birch'n,
strength'n'd, quick'n'd_, &c.; they become still more formidable when used
contractedly in the solemn style, which never ought to be the case; for
here instead of _thou strength'n'st_ or _strength'n'd'st, thou quick'n'st_
or _quick'n'd'st_, we ought to pronounce _thou strength'nest_ or
_strength'nedst, thou quick'nest_ or _quick'nedst_, which are sufficiently
harsh of all conscience." - _Principles_, No. 359. Here are too many
apostrophes; for it does not appear that such words as _strengthenedest_
and _quickenedest_ ever existed, except in the imagination of certain
grammarians. In solemn prose one may write, _thou quickenest, thou
strengthenest_, or _thou quickenedst, thou strengthenedst_; but, in the
familiar style, or in poetry, it is better to write, _thou quickenst, thou
strengthenst, thou quickened, thou strengthened_. This is language which it
is possible to utter; and it is foolish to strangle ourselves with strings
of rough consonants, merely because they are insisted on by some
superficial grammarians. Is it not strange, is it not incredible, that the
same hand should have written the two following lines, in the same
sentence? Surely, the printer has been at fault.

"With noiseless foot, thou _walkedst_ the vales of earth" -
"Most honourable thou _appeared_, and most
To be desired." - _Pollok's Course of Time_, B. ix, l. 18, and l. 24.

OBS. 42. - It was once a very common practice, to retain the final _y_, in
contractions of the preterit or of the second person of most verbs that end
in _y_, and to add the consonant terminations _d, st_, and _dst_, with an
apostrophe before each; as, _try'd_ for _tried, reply'd_ for _replied,
try'st_ for _triest, try'dst_ for _triedst_. Thus Milton: -

"Thou following _cry'dst_ aloud, Return, fair Eve;
Whom _fly'st_ thou? whom thou _fly'st_, of him thou art."
- _P. L._, B. iv, l. 481.

This usage, though it may have been of some advantage as an index to the
pronunciation of the words, is a palpable departure from the common rule
for spelling such derivatives. That rule is, "The final _y_ of a primitive
word, when preceded by a consonant, is changed into _i_ before an
additional termination." The works of the British poets, except those of
the present century, abound with contractions like the foregoing; but late
authors, or their printers, have returned to the rule; and the former
practice is wearing out and becoming obsolete. Of regular verbs that end in
_ay, ey_, or _oy_, we have more than half a hundred; all of which usually
retain the _y_ in their derivatives, agreeably to an other of the rules for
spelling. The preterits of these we form by adding _ed_ without increase of
syllables; as, _display, displayed; survey, surveyed; enjoy, enjoyed_.
These also, in both tenses, may take _st_ without increase of syllables;
as, _display'st, display'dst_; _survey'st, survey'dst; enjoy'st,
enjoy'dst_. All these forms, and such as these, are still commonly
considered contractions, and therefore written with the apostrophe; but if
the termination _st_ is sufficient of itself to mark the second person
singular, as it certainly is considered to be as regards one half of them,
and as it certainly was in the Saxon tongue still more generally, then for
the other half there is no need of the apostrophe, because nothing is
omitted. _Est_, like _es_, is generally a syllabic termination; but _st_,
like _s_, is not. As signs of the third person, the _s_ and the _es_ are
always considered equivalent; and, as signs of the second person, the _st_
and the _est_ are sometimes, and ought to be always, considered so too. To
all verbs that admit the sound, we add the _s_ without marking it as a
contraction for _es_; and there seems to be no reason at all against adding
the _st_ in like manner, whenever we choose to form the second person
without adding a syllable to the verb. The foregoing observations I commend
to the particular attention of all those who hope to write such English as
shall do them honour - to every one who, from a spark of literary ambition,
may say of himself,

- - - - -"I twine
My hopes of being remembered in my line
With my land's language." - _Byron's Childe Harold_, Canto iv, st. 9.


The conjugation of a verb is a regular arrangement of its moods, tenses,
persons, numbers, and participles.

There are four PRINCIPAL PARTS in the conjugation of every simple and
complete verb; namely, the _Present_, the _Preterit_, the _Imperfect
Participle_, and the _Perfect Participle_.[256] A verb which wants any of
these parts, is called _defective_; such are most of the auxiliaries.

An _auxiliary_ is a short verb prefixed to one of the principal parts of an
other verb, to express some particular mode and time of the being, action,
or passion. The auxiliaries are _do, be, have, shall, will, may, can_, and
_must_, with their variations.


OBS. 1. - The _present_, or the verb in the present tense, is radically the
same in all the moods, and is the part from which all the rest are formed.
The present infinitive is commonly considered _the root_, or _simplest

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