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Through all the above modes, with their respective tenses, the verb being considered as denoting an attribute, has always reference to some person, or substance. Thus if we say, Went, or, Go, or Whither goeth, or Might have gone, we must add a person or substance, to make the sentence complete. Cicero went; Cæsar might have gone; Whither goeth the wind? Go! thou traitor! But there is a mode or form under which verbs sometimes appear, where they have no reference at all to persons or substances. For example, To eat is pleasant; but to fast is wholesome. Here the verbs, to eat, and to fast, stand alone by themselves, nor is it requisite or even practicable to prefix a person or substance. Hence the Latin and modern grammarians have called verbs under this mode, from this their indefinite nature, infinitives. Sanctius has given them the name of impersonals; and the Greeks that of atrapéubata, from the same reason of their not discovering either person or number.

These infinitives go further. They not only lay aside the character of attributives, but they also assume that of substantives, and as such themselves become distinguished with their several attributes. Thus, in the instance above, pleasant is the attribute attending the infinitive to eat; wholesome the attribute attending the infinitive to fast. Examples in Greek and Latin of like kind are innumerable.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
Scire tuum nihil est.
Ου κατθανείν γάρ δεινόν, αλλ' αισχρώς θανεν.)

things temporary have their existence, as it diameter of the square is incommensurable were limited by time; that they are con- with its side. What then shall we say? fined within it, as within some bound ; and Was there ever a time when it was not inthat in some degree or other they all sub- commensurable, as it is certain there was mit to its power, according to those common a time when there was no Stonehenge, or phrases, that time is a destroyer ; that Pyramids ? or is it daily growing less inthings decay through time ; that men for- commensurable, as we are assured of decays get in time, and lose their abilities ; and in both those massy structures?" From seldom that they improve, or grow young, these unchangeable truths, we may pass to or beautiful. The truth, indeed, is, time their place, or region ; to the unceasing inalways attends motion. Now the natural tellection of the universal mind, ever perfect, effect of motion is to put something, which ever full, knowing no remissions, languors, now is, out of that state in which it now &c. See Nat. Ausc. 1. iv. c. 19. Metaph. is, and so far, therefore, to destroy that l. xiv. c. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. edit. Du Val. and

note g, p. 11. The following passage may * The reverse of all this holds with deserve attention. things that exist eternally. These exist Του γάρ νου και μεν νοείν πέφυκεν, και not in time, because time is so far from μη νοών και δε και πέφυκε, και νοεί αλλά being able to measure their existence, that και ουτος ούπω τέλεος, αν μη προσθής no time can be assumed, which their exist- αυτό το και νοείν αεί, και πάντα νοείν, και ence doth not surpass. Το which we may μη άλλοτε άλλα. ώστε είη αν εντελέσταadd, that they feel none of its effects, being τος ο νοών αεί και πάντα, και άμα. Μar, no way obnoxious either to damage or dis Tyr. Diss. xvii. p. 201. edit. Lond. solution.

Ý It is from the infinitive thus partici“To instance in examples of either kind pating the nature of a noun or substantive, of being. There are such things at this in- that the best grammarians have called it stant, as Stonehenge and the Pyramids. It sometimes ovoua smuatkòv, “ a verbal is likewise true at this instant, that the noun;" sometimes ovoua pñuatos, “ the




The Stoics in their grammatical inquiries had this infinitive in such esteem, that they held this alone to be the genuine prua, or “verb,” a name which they denied to all the other modes. Their reasoning was, they considered the true verbal character to be contained simple and unmixed in the infinitive only. Thus the infinitives, thepirateîv, ambulare, “to walk," mean simply that energy, and nothing more. The other modes, besides expressing this energy, superadd certain affections, which respect persons and circumstances. Thus ambulo and ambula mean not simply “to walk,” but mean, “I walk,” and “walk thou.” And hence they are all of them resolvable into the infinitive, as their prototype, together with some sentence or word, expressive of their proper character. Ambulo, "I walk;” that is, indico me ambulare, “I declare myself to walk." Ambula,“ walk thou ;' that is, impero te ambulare, “I command thee to walk ;” and so with the modes of every other species. Take away, therefore, the assertion, the command, or whatever else gives a character to any one of these modes, and there remains nothing more than the mere infinitive, which (as Priscian says) significat ipsam rem, quam continet verbum.z

The application of this infinitive is somewhat singular. It naturally coalesces with all those verbs that denote any tendence, desire, or volition of the soul, but not readily with others. Thus it is sense, as well as syntax, to say, Bouroua. Siv, cupio vivere, “I desire to live;" but not to say, ło0lw Siv, edo vivere, or even, in English, “I eat to live;" unless by an ellipsis, instead of “I eat for to live,” as we say, éveka toû Sîv, or pour vivre. The reason is, that though different actions may unite in the same subject, and, therefore, be coupled together, (as when we say,


verb's noun. The reason of this appella- rere enim est cursus ; et scribere, scriptura; tion is in Greek more evident, from its et legere, lectio. Itaque frequenter et nomitaking the prepositive article before it in all nibus adjunguntur, et aliis casualibus, more cases και το γράφειν, του γράφειν, τα γρά- nominum ; ut Persius, pely. The same construction is not un- Sed pulcrum est digito monstrari, et diknown in English.

cier, hic est. Thus Spencer:

And soon after, Cum enim dico, bonum est For not to have been dipt in Lethe lake, legere, nihil aliud significo, nisi, bona est

Could save the son of Thetis from to die. lectio. l. xviii. p. 1130. See also Apoll. 'And Toù laveîv. In like manner we say, l. i. c. 8. Gaza Gram. l. iv. Td dè åtapé“ He did it to be rich,” where we must patov, ovouá éoti phuatos, K. T. a. supply by an ellipsis the proposition for. ^ See Apollon. 1. iii. 13. Ka03Aoo Tây “ He did it for to be rich,” the same as if we mapnyuévov åró Tivos, k. T. 1. See also had said, “ He did it for gain :" éveka Toll Gaza, in the note before. Igitur a conTouteiv, évexa Toû képôovs, in French, structione quoque vim rei verborum (id pour s'enricher,

Even when we speak est, nominis, quod significat ipsam rem) such sentences as the following, “ I choose habere infinitivum possumus dignoscere ; to philosophize, rather than to be rich,” od res autem in personas distributa facit φιλοσοφείν βούλομαι, ήπερ το πλουτεϊν, alios verbi motus. Itaque omnes modi the infinitives are in nature as much ac- in hunc, id est, infinitivum, transumuntur cusatives, as if we were to say, “ I choose sive resolvuntur. Prisc. l. xviii. p. 1131. philosophy rather than riches,” την φιλοσο- From these principles Apollonius calls the φίαν βούλομαι, ήπερ τον πλούτον. Thus, infinitive ρημα γενικώτατον, and Priscian, too, Priscian, speaking of infinitives, Cur- rerbum generale.

We are

" He walked and discoursed,") yet the actions, not withstanding, remain separate and distinct. But it is not so with respect to volitions and actions. Here the coalescence is often so intimate, that the volition is unintelligible till the action be expressed : cupio, volo, desidero; “I desire, I am willing, I want" - What! The sentences, we see, are defective and imperfect. We must help them then by infinitives, which express the proper actions to which they tend. Cupio legere, Volo discere, Desidero videre: “I desire to read, I am willing to live, I want to see.” Thus is the whole rendered complete, as well in sentiment as in syntax.

And so much for modes, and their several species. to attempt to denominate them according to their most eminent characters; it may be done in the following manner. As every necessary truth, and every demonstrative syllogism, (which last is no more than a combination of such truths,) must always be expressed under positive assertions, and as positive assertions only belong to the indicative, we may denominate it, for that reason, the mode of science. Again: as the only conversant about contingents, of which we cannot say with certainty that they will happen or not, we may call this mode the mode of conjecture. Again: as those that are ignorant and would be informed, must ask of those that already know, this being the natural way of becoming proficients; hence we may call the interrogative, the mode of proficiency.

Inter cuncta leges, et percontabere doctos,
Qua ratione queas traducere leniter ævum,

Quid pure tranquillet, &c. Further still: as the highest and most excellent use of the requisitive mode is legislative command, we may style it, for this reason, the mode of legislature. Ad divos adeunto caste, says Cicero, in the character of a Roman lawgiver; “Be it therefore enacted," say the laws of England; and in the same mode speak the laws of every other nation. It is also in this mode that the geometrician, with the authority of a legislator, orders lines to be bisected, and circles described, as preparatives to that science which he is about to establish.

There are other supposed affections of verbs, such as number and person ; but these, surely, cannot be called a part of their essence, nor, indeed, are they the essence of any other attribute, being, in fact, the properties, not of attributes, but of substances. The most that can be said, is, that verbs in the more elegant languages are provided with certain terminations, which respect


a Priscian calls these verbs, which natu- Lat. p. 685. edit. Var. rally precede infinitives, verba voluntatira ; Nec omne ůrapéupatov cuicunque verbo, they are called in Greek προαιρετικά. See &c. 1. xvii. 1129 ; but more particuarly see b Ob nobilitatem præivit indicativus, soApollonius, 1. iii. c. 13, where this whole lus modus aptus scientiis, solus pater veridoctrine is explained with great accuracy. tatis. Scal. de Caus. L. Lat. c. 116. See also Macrobius de Diff. Verb. Gr. et

the number and person of every substantive, that we may know with more precision, in a complex sentence, each particular substance, with its attendant verbal attributes. The same may be said of sex, with respect to adjectives. They have terminations which vary, as they respect beings, male or female, though substances past dispute are alone susceptible of sex. We therefore pass over these matters, and all of like kind, as being rather among the elegancies, than the essentials of language," which essentials are the subject of our present inquiry. The principal of these now remaining, is the difference of verbs as to their several species, which we endeavour to explain in the following manner.




All verbs, that are strictly so called, denote energies ;' now, as all energies are attributes, they have reference, of course, to certain energizing substances. Thus it is impossible there should be such energies, as to love, to fly, to wound, &c. if there were not such beings as men, birds, swords, &c. Further, every energy doth not only require an energizer, but is necessarily conversant about some subject. For example: if we say, Brutus loves, we must needs supply, loves Cato, Cassius, Portia, or some one. The sword wounds, i.e. wounds Hector, Sarpedon, Priam, or some one.

And thus is it, that every energy is necessarily situate between two substantives; an energizer, which

• It is somewhat extraordinary, that so and third person are improperly so called, acute and rational a grammarian as Sanctius being, in fact, but negations of the other should justly deny genders, or the distinction of sex to adjectives, and yet make

d Whoever would see more upon a subpersons appertain, not to substantives, but ject of importance, referred to in many parts to verbs. His commentator, Perizonius, is of this treatise, and particularly in note x of much more consistent, who says, At vero this chapter, p. 163, may consult Letters consi rem recte consideres, ipsis nominibus et cerning Mind, an octavo volume, published pronominibus vel maxime, imo unice inest 1750, the author Mr. John Petvin, vicar of ipsa persona ; et verba se habent in per- Ilsington in Devon ; a person who, though Bonarum ratione ad nomina plane sicuti from his retired situation little known, was adjectiva in ratione generum ad substantiva, deeply skilled in the philosophy both of quibus solis autor (Sanctius scil. 1. i. c. 7.) the ancients and moderns, and, more than et recte genus adscribit, exclusis adjectivis. this, was valued by all that knew him for Sanct. Minerv. I. i. c. 12. There is, indeed, his virtue and worth. an exact analogy between the accidents of e We use this word energy, rather than sex and person. There are but two sexes, motion, from its more comprehensive meanthat is to say, the male and the female ; ing; it being a sort of genus, which inand but two persons, (or characters essential cludes within both motion and its privato discourse,) that is to say, the speaker tion. See before, p. 144. and the party addressed. The third sex


is active, and a subject, which is passive. Hence, then, if the energizer leads the sentence, the energy follows its character, and becomes what we call a verb active: thus we say, Brutus amat, “Brutus loves.” On the contrary, if the passive subject be principal, it follows the character of this, too, and then becomes what we call a verb passive : thus we say, Portia amatur, “ Portia is loved.” It is in like manner that the same road between the summit and foot of the same mountain, with respect to the summit is ascent, with respect to the foot is descent. Since then every energy respects an energizer, or a passive subject; hence the reason why every verb, whether active or passive, has in language a necessary reference to some noun for its nominative case.

But to proceed still further from what has been already observed. Brutus loved Portia. Here Brutus is the energizer; loved, the energy; and Portia, the subject. But it might have been, Brutus loved Cato, or Cassius, or the Roman republic; for the energy is referable to subjects infinite. Now, among these infinite subjects, when that happens to occur, which is the energizer also, as when we say Brutus loved himself, slew himself, &c. in such case the energy hath to the same being a double relation, both active and passive. And this it is which gave rise among the Greeks to that species of verbs called verbs middle ;$ and such was their true and original use, however in many instances they may have since happened to deviate. In other languages the verb still retains its active form, and the passive subject (se or “himself”) is expressed like other accusatives.

Again: in some verbs it happens that the energy always keeps within the energizer, and never passes out to any foreign extraneous subject. Thus when we say, Cæsar walketh, Cæsar sitteth, it is impossible the energy should pass out, (as in the case of those verbs called by the grammarians verbs transitive,) because both the energizer and the passive subject are united in the same person.

For what is the cause of this walking or sitting? It is the will and vital powers belonging to Cæsar. And what is the subject, made so to move or sit? It is the body and limbs belonging also to the same Cæsar. It is this, then, forms that species of verbs, which grammarians have thought fit to call verbs neuter, as if, indeed, they were void both of action

The doctrine of impersonal verbs has verbs middle, admit a coincidence of the been justly rejected by the best gram- active and passive character.” Apollon. marians, both ancient and modern. See I. ij. c. 7. He that would see this whole Sanct. Min. 1. i. c. 12; 1. iii. c. 1; l. iv. c. 3. doctrine, concerning the power of the midPriscian. I. xviii. p. 1134. Apoll. I. iii. sub. dle verb, explained and confirmed with great fin. In which places the reader will see a ingenuity and learning, may consult a small proper nominative supplied to all verbs of treatise of that able critic, Kuster, entitled this supposed character.

De vero Usu Verborum Mediorum. A 8 Τα γαρ καλούμενα μεσότητος χήματα neat edition of this scarce picce has been συνέμπτωσιν ανεδέξατο ενεργετικής και lately publislied. . Tauntinñs diadéoews: “The verbs, called

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