Page images
PDF
EPUB

As to causal conjunctions, (of which we have spoken already,) there is no one of the four species of causes which they are not capable of denoting; for example: the material cause, “the trumpet sounds, because it is made of metal;" the formal, “the trumpet sounds, because it is long and hollow;" the efficient, “the trumpet sounds, because an artist blows it;" the final, “the trumpet sounds, that it may raise our courage.” Where it is worth observing, that the three first causes are expressed by the strong affirmation of the indicative mode; because, if the effect actually be, these must of necessity be also. But the last cause has a different mode, namely, the contingent, or potential : the reason is, that the final cause, though it may be first in speculation, is always last in event; that is to say, however it may be the end, which set the artist first to work, it may still be an end beyond his power to obtain, and which, like other contingents, may either happen, or not. Hence, also, it is connected by conjunctions of a peculiar kind, such as that, iva, ut, &c.

The sum is, that all conjunctions, which connect both sentences and their meanings, are either copulative or continuative: the continuatives are either conditional or positive; and the positives are either causal or collective.

And now we come to the disjunctive conjunctions, a species of words which bear this contradictory name, because, while they disjoin the sense, they conjoin the sentences.*

With respect to these, we may observe, that as there is a principle of union diffused throughout all things, by which this whole is kept together, and preserved from dissipation; so there is a principle of diversity diffused in like manner, the source of distinction, of number, and of order."

2 See b. i. c. 8. p. 158,9. See also note h, and Plato. Others differ as to species, but p. 14. For the four causes, see note it, as to genus are the same: such are man and

lion. There are others, again, which differ a Οι δε διαζευκτικοί τα διαζευγμένα as to genus, and coincide only in those συντιθέασι, και η πραγμα από πράγματος, transcendental comprehensions of ens, being, #tpbownov and a pogánov diacevyvūvtes, existence, and the like: such are quantities Tŵy opdow & Louvôovoiv. Gazæ Gram. l. iv. and qualities; as, for example, an ounce, and Disjunctivæ sunt, quæ, quamvis dictiones the colour white. Lastly, all being whatever conjungant, sensum tamen disjunctum ha- differs, as being, from non-being. bent. Prisc, l. xvi. p. 1029. And hence it Further : in all things different, howis that a sentence connected by disjunctives ever moderate their diversity, there is an has a near resemblance to a simple negative appearance of opposition with respect to truth: for though this, as to its intellection, each other, inasmuch as each thing is itself, be disjunctive, (its end being to disjoin the and not any of the rest. But yet in all subsubject from the predicate,) yet, as it com- jects this opposition is not the same. In bines terms together into one proposition, relatives, such as greater and less, double and it is as truly synthetical as any truth that half, father and son, cause and effect; in these is affirmative. See chap. i. note b, p. 117. it is more striking than in ordinary subjects,

The diversity which adorns nature may because these always shew it, by necessarily be said to hei ten by degrees, and as it inferring each other. In contraries, such as passes to different subjects to become more black and white, even and odd, good and and more intense. Some things only differ bad, virtuous and vicious ; in these the opwhen considered as individuals, but if we position goes still further, because these not recur to their species, immediately lose all only differ, but are even destructive of each. distinction: such, for instance, are Socrates other. But the most potent opposition is

P. 23.

Now it is to express, in some degree, the modifications of this diversity, that disjunctive conjunctions seem first to have been invented.

Of these disjunctives, some are simple, some adversative : simple, as when we say, Either it is day, or it is night;" adversative, as when we say, “ It is not day, but it is night.” The difference between these is, that the simple do no more than merely disjoin; the adversative disjoin, with an opposition concomitant. Add to this, that the adversative are definite; the simple, indefinite. Thus, when we say, “ The number of three is not an even number, but an odd,” we not only disjoin two opposite attributes, but we definitely affirm one, and deny the other; but when we say, “The number of the stars is either even or odd, though we assert one attribute to be, and the other not to be, yet the alternative, notwithstanding, is left indefinite. And so much for simple disjunctives.

As to adversative disjunctives, it has been said already that they imply opposition. Now there can be no opposition of the same attribute in the same subject, as when we say, “Nireus was beautiful;" but the opposition must be either of the same attribute in different subjects, as when we say,

" Brutus was a patriot, but Cæsar was not;” or of different attributes in the same subject, as when we say, “Gorgias was a sophist, but not a philosopher;" or of different attributes in different subjects, as when we say, “ Plato was a philosopher, but Hippias was a sophist.”

The conjunctions used for all these purposes may be called absolute adversatives.

But there are other adversatives, besides these; as when we say, “Nireus was more beautiful than Achilles; Virgil was as great a poet, as Cicero was an orator.” The character of these latter is, that they go further than the former, by marking, not only opposition, but that equality, or excess, which arises among

[ocr errors]

that of åytldaors, or “contradiction,” when The simple disjunctive 7, or vel, is we oppose proposition to proposition, truth mostly used indefinitely, so as to leave an to falsehood, asserting of any subject, either alternative ; but when it is used definitely, it is, or it is not. This, indeed, is an op- so as to leave no alternative, it is then a position which extends itself to all things; perfect disjunctive of the subsequent from for every thing conceivable must needs have the previous, and has the same force with its negative, though multitudes by nature kal oủ, or et non. It is thus Gaza explains have neither relatives nor contraries. that verse of Homer,

Besides these modes of diversity, there Boύλoμ' εγώ λαών σόον έμμεναι, ή αποare others that deserve notice: such, for λέσθαι. .

Iliad. A. instance, as the diversity between the name That is to say, “ I desire the people should of a thing and its definition ; between the be saved, and not be destroyed;" the conjuncvarious names which belong to the same tion , being åvaipetikos, or “sublative." It thing, and the various things which are de- must, however, be confessed, that this verse noted by the same name ; all which diver- is otherwise explained by an ellipsis, either sities, upon occasion, become a part of our of μάλλον, or αυτές, concerning which, see discourse. And so much, in short, for the the commentators. subject of diversity.

[ocr errors]

ול

subjects from their being compared ; and hence it is they may be called adversatives of comparison.

Besides the adversatives here mentioned, there are two other species, of which the most eminent are unless and although. For example: “Troy will be taken, unless the Palladium be preserved; Troy will be taken, although Hector defend it.” The nature of these adversatives may be thus explained: as every event is naturally allied to its cause, so by parity of reason it is opposed to its preventive; and as every cause is either adequated or inadequate, inadequate, when it endeavours without being effectual,) so in like manner is every preventive. Now adequate preventives are expressed by such adversatives as unless ; " Troy will be taken, unless the Palladium be preserved;" that is, this alone is sufficient to preyent it. The inadequate are expressed by such adversatives as although ; " Troy will be taken, although Hector defend it;" that is, Hector's defence will prove ineffectual.

The names given by the old grammarians to denote these last adversatives, appear not sufficiently to express their natures. They may be better, perhaps, called adversatives adequate, and inadequate.

And thus it is that all disjunctives, that is, conjunctions, which conjoin sentences, but not their meanings, are either simple or adversative; and that all adversatives are either absolute or comparative, or else adequate or inadequate.

We shall finish this chapter with a few miscellany observations.

In the first place it may be observed, through all the species of disjunctives, that the same disjunctive appears to have greater or less force, according as the subjects, which it disjoins, are more or less disjoined by nature. For example: if we say, “ Every number is even or odd, every proposition is true or false,” nothing seems to disjoin more strongly than the disjunctive, because no things are in nature more incompatible than the subjects. But if we say, “ That object is a triangle, or figure contained under three right lines;” the or, in this case, hardly seems to disjoin, or, indeed, to do more than distinctly to express the thing; first by its name, and then by its definition. So if we say, " That figure is a sphere, or a globe, or a ball,” the disjunctive, in this case, tends no further to disjoin, than as it distinguishes the several names which belong to the same thing."

This distinction has reference to com- this occasion, which they called subdisjuncmon opinion, and the form of language tira, “a subdisjunctive,” and that was sive. consonant thereto. In strict metaphysical Alerander sive Paris; Mars sive Mavors. truth, no cause that is not adequate is any The Greek eti' oùv seems to answer the cause at all.

same end. Of these particles, Scaliger thus • They called them for the most part, speaks: Et sane nomen subdisjunctivarum without sufficient distinction of their species, recte acceptum est, neque enim tam plane adrersatire, or evavtwuatikol.

disjungit, quam disjunctivæ. Nam disjunc! The Latins had a peculiar particle for tivæ sunt in contrariis-subdisjunctiva h It is somewhat surprising that the po- αφορμή εύρηται παρά τους Στωικούς του litest and most elegant of the Attic writers, καλείσθαι αυτός προθετικούς συνδέσμους: and Plato above all the rest, should have 6 Now in what manner, even in other aptheir works filled with particles of all kinds, plications, (besides the present,) preposiand with conjunctions in particular ; while tions give proof of their conjunctive syntax, in the modern polite works, as well of our- we have mentioned already ; whence, too, selves as of our neighbours, scarce such a the Stoics took occasion to call them preword as a particle or conjunction is to be positive conjunctions." Apollon. 1. iv. c. 5. found. Is it, that where there is con- p. 313. Yet is this, in fact, rather a de nexion in the meaning, there must be words scriptive sketch, than a complete definition, had to connect ; but that where the con- since there are other conjunctions which nexion is little or none, such connectives are prepositive as well as these. See Gaz. are of little use ? That houses of cards, I. iv. de Præposit. Prisc. I. xiv. p. 983.

Again: the words when and where, and all others of the same nature, such as whence, whither, whenever, wherever, &c. may be properly called adverbial conjunctions, because they participate the nature both of adverbs and conjunctions: of conjunctions, as they conjoin sentences; of adverbs, as they denote the attributes either of time or of place.

Again: these adverbial conjunctions, and perhaps most of the prepositions, contrary to the character of accessory words, which have strictly no signification, but when associated with other words,) have a kind of obscure signification, when taken alone, by denoting those attributes of time and place. And hence it is, that they appear in grammar like Zoophytes in nature; a kind of middle beings, of amphibious character, which, by sharing the attributes of the higher, and the lower, conduce to link the whole together."

And so much for conjunctions, their genus, and their species.

CHAPTER III.

CONCERNING THOSE CONNECTIVES CALLED PREPOSITIONS.

[ocr errors]

PREPOSITIONS by their name express their place, but not their character. Their definition will distinguish them from the former connectives. A preposition is a part of speech, devoid itself of signification, but so formed as to unite two words that are significant, and that refuse to coalesce or unite of themselves. This connective power (which relates to words only, autem etiam in non contrariis, sed diversis without cement, may well answer their tantum ; ut, Alexander sive Paris. De end, but not those houses where one would Caus. Ling. Lat. c. 170.

choose to dwell? Is this the cause ? or και Πολλαχού γάρ ή φύσις δήλη γίνεται have we attained an elegance to the anκατά μικρόν μεταβαίνουσα, ώστε αμφισβη- cients unknown ? τείσθαι επί τίνων, πότερον ζώον και φυτόν: Venimus ad summam fortunæ, &c. “Nature, in many instances, appears to i The Stoic name for a preposition was make her transition by little and little, so poetirds oúvderuos, præpositiva conthat in some beings it may be doubted, junctio,a prepositive conjunction. whether they are animal or vegetable.' μεν ούν και κατά τας άλλας παραθέσεις αι Themist. p. 74. edit. Ald. See also Arist. #podés els ouvdepuiñs ouvrátews yivortal de Animal. Part. I. x. p. 93. edit. Syll. παρεμφατικαί, λέλεκται ημίν εξ ών και

99

and not sentences) will be better understood from the following speculations.

Some things coalesce and unite of themselves; others refuse to do so without help and, as it were, compulsion. Thus, in works of art, the mortar and the stone coalesce of themselves, but the wainscot and the wall not without nails and pins. In nature this is more conspicuous. For example; all quantities and qualities coalesce immediately with their substances. Thus it is we say, “a fierce lion," a vast mountain ;” and from this natural concord of subject and accident, arises the grammatical concord of substantive and adjective. In like manner, actions coalesce with their agents, and passions with their patients. Thus it is we say, "Alexander conquers,” “Darius is conquered." Nay, as every energy is a kind of medium between its agent and patient, the whole three, agent, energy, and patient, coalesce with the same facility; as when we say, “ Alexander conquers Darius." And hence, that is, from these modes of natural coalescence, arises the grammatical regimen of the verb by its nominative, and of the accusative by its verb. Further than this, attributives themselves may be most of them characterized ; as when we say of such attributives as ran, beautiful, learned, he ran swiftly, she was very beautiful, he was moderately learned, &c. And hence the coalescence of the adverb with verbs, participles, and adjectives. The general conclusion appears to be this.

“Those parts of speech unite of themselves in grammar, whose original archetypes unite of themselves in nature.” To which we may add, as following from what has been said, that the great objects of natural union are substance and attribute. Now though substances naturally coincide with their attributes, yet they absolutely refuse doing so one with another. And hence those known maxims in physics, that body is impenetrable ; that two bodies cannot possess the same place; that the same attribute cannot belong to different substances, &c.

From these principles it follows, that when we form a sentence, the substantive without difficulty coincides with the verb, from the natural coincidence of substance and energy—“the sun warmeth.” So likewise the energy with the subject, on which it operates—“warmeth the earth. So likewise both substance and energy with their proper attributes" the splendid sun,genially warmeth—the fertile earth.” But suppose we were desirous to add other substantives, as, for instance, air, or beams. How would these coincide, or under what character could they be introduced ? Not as nominatives or accusatives, for both

* Causa, propter quam duo substantiva accidens; itaque non dicas, Cæsar, Cato non ponuntur sine copula, e philosophia pucat. Scal. de Caus. Ling. Lat. c. petenda est: neque enim duo substantiali- 177. ter unum esse potest, sicut substantia et

« PreviousContinue »