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cation of our thoughts, and supplies the place of words which are not in the language. Whereas Abbreviations are not necessary for communication; and supply the place of words which are in the language.
As far then as regards the Article, Mr. Harris seems at present to be the author most likely to meet with your approbation : for he not only establishes its necessity, in order “ to circumscribe the latitude of genera and species,” and therefore treats of it separately; but has raised it to a degree of importance much beyond all other modern Grammarians. And though he admits of only two Articles, “ properly and strictly fo called,” viz. A and THE; yet has he assigned to these two little words full one fourth part in his distribution of language : which, you know, is into—66 Substantives, Attributives, Definitives, and Con66 nectives."
If Mr. Harris has not intirely secured my concurrence with his Doctrine of Definitives, I must confess he has at least taken effectual care to place it compleatly beyond the reach of confutation. He says,
66 The Articles have no meaning, but when associated
66 to some other word.”
2. “ Nothing can be more nearly related than the Greek
66 article 'o to the English article the.”
66 But the article A defines in an imperfect manner.”
Therefore the Greeks have no article correspondent 66 to our article A."
5. However “ they supply its place."
And How, think you?
6. “ By a Negation"—(observe well their method of
supply)" by a negation of their article (0,;"
Even in English, we also express the force of the 66. article A, in plurals, by the same negation of the 66 article THE *."
" It is perhaps owing to the imperfect manner in which the Article A " defines, that the Greeks have no article correspondent to it, but supply “ its place, by a negation of their Article ‘o.-'o av@pwTOS ETEO EV, The man
fell; arbpwr os etEDEV, A man fell;—without any thing prefixed, but only « the Article withdrawn.”
Now here I acknowledge myself to be compleatly thrown out; and, like the philosopher of old, merely for want of a firm resting-place on which to fix my machine : for it would have been as easy for him to raise the earth with a fulcrum of ether, as for me to establish any reasoning or argument on this sort of negation. For, “ nothing being
prefixed,” I cannot imagine in what manner or in what respect a negation of "O or of the, differs from a negation of Harris or of Pudding. For lack however of the light of comprehension, I must do, as other Grammarians do in similar situations; attempt to illustrate by a parallel.
I will suppose Mr. Harris (when one of the Lords of the Treasury) to have addreffed the Minister in the same style of reasoning.“ Salaries, Sir, produce no benefit, “ unless associated to some receiver: my salary at present “ is but an imperfect provision for myself and family: « but your salary as Minister is much more compleat.
* Even in English, where the Article A cannot be used, as in plurals, “ its force is expressed by the fame negation.—Those are the men, means, • Those are individuals of which we possess some previous knowledge.-
Those are men, the Article apart, means no more than they are so many
vague and uncertain individuals ; just as the phrase, A man, in the • fingular, implies one of the same number.”
Book 2. Chap. 1.
« Oblige • Oblige me therefore by withdrawing my present scanty 6 pittance; and supply its place to me, by a negation of
your salary.”—I think this request could not reasonably have been denied : and what satisfaction Mr. Harris would have felt by finding his theory thus reduced to practice, no person can better judge than myself; because I have experienced a conduct not much dissimilar from the Rulers of the Inner Temple : who having first inticed me to quit one profession, after many years of expectation, have very handsomely supplied its place to me by a negation of the other.
tions and additions) have already been given to the public in A Letter to Mr. DUNNING in the year 177 which, though published, was not written on the spur of the occasion. The substance of that Letter, and of all that I have farther to communicate on the subject of Language, has been amongst the loose
closet now upwards of thirty years; and would probably have remained there some years longer, and have been finally consigned with myself to oblivion, if I had not been made the miserable victim of—Two Prepositions and a Conjunction.
The officiating Priests indeed * were themselves of rank and eminence sufficient to dignify and grace my fall. But
* Attorney General Thurlow-since Chancellor and a Peer.
Solicitor General Wedderburne-since Chancellor and a Peer.