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that are presumed hereafter. For example: I observe as far back as my memory can carry me, how every day has been succeeded by a night; that night, by another day; that day, by another night; and so downwards in order to the day that is now. Hence, then, I anticipate a similar succession from the present day, and thus gain the idea of days and nights in futurity. After the same manner, by attending to the periodical returns of new and full moons; of springs, summers, autumns, and winters, all of which, in time past, I find never to have failed, I anticipate a like orderly and diversified succession, which makes months, and seasons, and years, in time future.

We go further than this, and not only thus anticipate in these natural periods, but even in matters of human and civil concern. For example: having observed in many past instances how health had succeeded to exercise, and sickness to sloth; we anticipate future health to those, who, being now sickly, use exercise ; and future sickness to those, who, being now healthy, are slothful. It is a variety of such observations, all respecting one subject, which when systematized by just reasoning, and made habitual by due practice, form the character of a masterartist, or man of practical wisdom. If they respect the human body, (as above,) they form a physician ; if matters military, the general; if matters national, the statesman; if matters of private life, the moralist; and the same in other subjects. All these several characters, in their respective ways, may be said to possess a kind of prophetic discernment, which not only presents them the barren prospect of futurity, (a prospect not hid from the meanest of men,) but shews withal those events which are likely to attend it, and thus enables them to act with superior certainty and rectitude. And hence it is, that (if we except those who have had diviner assistances) we may justly say, as was said of old,

He's the best prophet who conjectures well.s

• Μάντις δ' άριστος, στις εικάζει καλώς. past. It was this intimate connexion So Milton:

between time and the soul, that made Till old experience do attain

some philosophers doubt, whether, if there To something like prophetic strain, was no soul, there could be any time, since Et facile existimari potest, prudentiam esse time appears to have its being in no other quodammodo divinationem.

region. Πότερον δε μή ούσης ψυχής είη Corn. Nep. in Vit. Attici. αν ο χρόνος, απορήσειεν άν τις, κ. τ. λ. There is nothing appears so clearly an Natur. Auscult. l. iv. c. 20. Themistius, object of the mind or intellect only, as the who comments the above passage, expresses future does, since we can find no place for himself more positively. Ei toivuv dixws its existence anywhere else. Not but the λέγεται τότε αριθμητών και το αριθμοίgarme, if we consider, is equally true of the μενον, το μεν το αριθμητόν δηλαδή δυνάμει, past. For though it may have once had το δε ενεργεία, ταύτα δε ουκ άν υποσταίη, another kind of being, when (according to μη όντος του αριθμήσοντος μήτε δυνάμει common phrase) it actually was, yet was it μήτε ενεργεία, φανερόν ώς ουκ αν ο χρόνος then something present, and not something eln, un ouons juxñs. Them. p. 48. edit. past. As past, it has no existence but in Aldi. Vid. etiam ejusd. Comm. in Lib. de the mind or memory, since, had it in fact An. p. 94. any other, it could not properly be called

From what has been reasoned it appears, that knowledge of the future comes from knowledge of the past ; as does knowledge of the past from knowledge of the present; so that their order to us is that of the present, past, and future,

Of these species of knowledge, that of the present is the lowest, not only as first in perception, but as far the more extensive, being necessarily common to all -animal beings, and reaching even to Zoophytes, as far as they possess sensation. Knowledge of the past comes next, which is superior to the former, as being confined to those animals that have memory as well as senses. Knowledge of the future comes last, as being derived from the other two, and which is, for that reason, the most excellent as well as the most rare, since nature in her superadditions rises from worse always to better, and is never found to sink from better down to worse.t

And now having seen how we acquire the knowledge of time past and time future; which is first in perception, which first in dignity; which more common, which more rare; let us compare them both to the present now or instant, and examine what relations they maintain towards it.

In the first place, there may be times both past and future, in which the present now has no existence; as, for example, in yesterday and to-morrow.

Again, the present now may so far belong to time of either sort, as to be the end of the past, and the beginning of the future; but it cannot be included within the limits of either. For if it were possible, let us suppose C the present now included






within the limits of the past time A D. In such case, CD, part of the first time A D, will be subsequent to C, the present now, and so of course be future. But by the hypothesis it is past, and so will be both past and future at once, which is absurd. In the same manner we prove that O cannot be included within the limits of a future time, such as B E.

What, then, shall we say of such times, as this day, this month, this year, this century, all which include within them the present now? They cannot be past times or future, from what has been proved; and present time has no existence, as has been proved likewise." Or shall we allow them to be present, from the present now, which exists within them; so that from the presence of that we call these also present, though the shortest among them has infinite parts always absent? If so, and in conformity to custom, we allow such times present, as present days, months, years, and centuries, each must of necessity be a compound of the past and the future, divided from each other by some present " See below, note l of this chapter, p. 157.

u Sup. p. 147.

now or instant, and jointly called present, while that now remains within them. Let us suppose, for example, the time X Y, which

X А B с D E Y f.... let us call a day, or a century; and let the present now or instant exist at A. I say, inasmuch as A exists within XY, that therefore X A is time past, and AY time future, and the whole XA, AY, time present. The same holds, if we suppose the present now to exist at B, or C, or D, or E, or anywhere before Y. When the present now exists at Y, then is the whole XY time past, and still more so, when the now gets to g, or onwards. In like manner, before the present now entered X, as, for example, when it was at f, then was the whole X Y time future ; it was the

same, when the present now was at X. When it had passed that, then X Y became time present. And thus it is that time is present, while passing, in its present now or instant. It is the same indeed here, as it is in space. A sphere passing over a plane, and being for that reason present to it, is only present to that plane in a single point at once, while during the whole progression its parts absent are infinite."

From what has been said, we may perceive that all time, of every denomination, is divisible and extended. But if so, then whenever we suppose a definite time, even though it be a time present, it must needs have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And so much for time. Now from the above doctrine of time we propose, by way

of hypothesis, the following theory of tenses.

Place, according to the ancients, was it within their respective limits. Nicephorus either mediate or immediate. I am (for Blemides speaks much to the same purpose. example) in Europe, because I am in Eng- 'EveotWS Oův xpóvos ¢otiv S {0} ékátepa land; in England, because in Wiltshire; παρακείμενος το κυρίως νυν" χρόνος μεin Wiltshire, because in Salisbury; in ρικός, εκ παρεληλυθότος και μέλλοντος Salisbury, because in my own house ; in συνεστώς, και διά την προς το κυρίως νυν my own house, because in my study. Thus γειτνίασιν, νύν λεγόμενος και αυτός: “Prefar mediate place. And what is my imme- sent time, therefore, is that which adjoins diate place? It is the internal bound of to the real now or instant on either side, that containing body (whatever it be) being a limited time made up of past and which coincides with the external bound of future, and from its vicinity to that real my own body. Toû tepiéXOVTOs répas, now, said to be now also itself.” 'Enit. καθ' και περιέχει το περιεχόμενον. Now as φυσικής, Κεφ. θ'. See also Arist. Physic. this immediate place is included within the 1. vi. c. 2, 3, &c. limits of all the former places, it is from In the above note, mention is made of this relation that those mediate places also the real now, or instant, and its efficacy. are called, each of them, my place, though. To which we may add, that there is not the least among them so far exceed my mag- only a necessary connexion between existnitude. To apply this to time. The presentence and the present instant, because no century is present in the present year ; that, other point of time can properly be said to in the present month ; that, in the present be, but also between existence and life, beday; that, in the present hour; that, in the cause whatever lives, by the same reason present minute. It is thus by circumscrip- necessarily is. Hence Sophocles, speaking tion within circumscription that we arrive at of time present, elegantly says of it, that real and indivisible instant, which, by Χρόνω τω ζώντι, και παρόντι νύν. being itself the very essence of the present, The living and now present time. diffuses presence throughout all, even the

Trachin. v. 1185. largest of times, whích are found to include

The tenses are used to mark present, past, and future time, either indefinitely without reference to any beginning, middle, or end; or else definitely, in reference to such distinctions.

If indefinitely, then have we three tenses; an aorist of the present, an aorist of the past, and an aorist of the future. If definitely, then have we three tenses to mark the beginnings of these three times; three to denote their middles; and three to denote their ends; in all nine.

The three first of these tenses we call the inceptive present, the inceptive past, and the inceptive future. The three next, the middle present, the middle past, and the middle future. And the three last, the completive present, the completive past, and the completive future.

And thus it is that the tenses in their natural number appear to be twelve; three to denote time absolute, and nine to denote it under its respective distinctions.

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Méarw ypápelv. Scripturus sum. I am going to write.

MIDDLE OR EXTENDED PRESENT. Tuyxávw ypáowy. Scribo or scribens sum. I am writing.

COMPLETIVE PRESENT. l'éypapa. Scripsi. I have written.


"Eueldov ypápelv. Scripturus eram. I was beginning to write.

MIDDLE OR EXTENDED PAST. "Erypapov or étúyxavov ypáowy. Scribebam. I was writing.


Eyeypápelv. Scripseram. I had done writing.

INCEPTIVE FUTURE. Μελλήσω γράφειν. Scripturus ero. I shall be beginning to write.

MIDDLE OR EXTENDED FUTURE, "Έσομαι γράφων. Scribens ero. I shall be writing.


"Ecopai yeypapás. Scripsero. I shall have done writing.

It is not to be expected that the above hypothesis should be justified through all instances in every language. It fares with tenses as with other affections of speech ; be the language upon the whole ever so perfect, much must be left, in defiance of all analogy, to the harsh laws of mere authority and chance.

It may not, however, be improper to inquire, what traces may be discovered in favour of this system, either in languages themselves, or in those authors who have written upon this part of grammar, or lastly in the nature and reason of things.

In the first place, as to aorists. Aorists are usually by grammarians referred to the past; such are nadov, “I went;" tregov, “I fell,” &c. We seldom hear of them in the future, and more rarely still in the present. Yet it seems agreeable to reason, that wherever time is signified without any further circumscription than that of simple present, past, or future, the tense is an aorist. Thus Milton :

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth

Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep. Par. Lost, iv. 277. Here the verb walk means, not that they were walking at that instant only, when Adam spoke, but koplotws, “indefinitely, take any instant whatever. So when the same author calls hypocrisy,

the only evil that walks

Invisible, except to God alone, the verb walks hath the like aoristical or indefinite application. The same may be said in general of all sentences of the gnomologic kind, such as

Ad pænitendum properat, cito qui judicat.

Avarus, nisi cum moritur, nil recte facit, &c.
All these tenses are so many aorists of the present.

Gnomologic sentences after the same manner make likewise aorists of the future: Tu nihil admittes in te, formidine poenæ.

Hor. So too legislative sentences, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, &c.; for this means no one particular future time, but is a prohibition extended indefinitely to every part of time future.

We pass from aorists to the inceptive tenses.

These may be found in part supplied (like many other tenses) by verbs auxiliar. Meanw ypábelv. Scripturus sum. “ I am


* The Latin tongue appears to be more particular instances being to be gathered than ordinarily deficient as to the article of from the context. Thus it is that feci means aorists. It has no peculiar form even for (as the same author informs us) both tean aorist of the past, and therefore (as hoinka and étoinoa, “ I have done it," and Priscian tells us) the præteritum is forced “ I did it;" vidi both éápaka and eldov, “I to do the double duty both of that aorist and have just seen it,” and “I saw it once. of the perfect present, its application in Prisc. Gram. I. viii. p.814, 838. edit. Putsch.

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