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ced on other occasions, to perform the office of a definitive, have contended that it should do so here also; and insist that we thould write his-self, and not bim-self. This, however, is only adopting one imperfection in place of another. Had they determined. to make any change, it would have been better to have at once devised a new word for the definitive pronoun of this gender, which would have removed the difficulty .complained of, and several others they have not taken notice of.
In the feminine gender, we also find that the accusative and definitive are expressed by the same word her. And here, according to the general analogy, it would seem that the word her should be reckoned, in strict propriety, the definitive, rasher than the accusative ; yet as this word is employed in both ways, we are at liberty to view the word ber as either; and it is here employed properly as the definitive, But as there is no proper definitive for the neuter gender, the word its being properly the possessive, we have, as in the masculine gender, adopted the accusative in its stead, and say it-self. Thus it has happened, that in two of the three genders of the singular number of this pronoun, we liave adopted the accusative instead of the definitive, in composition with the word self. And probably with a view to correspond with these, rather than from any other cause, we have a lopted THEM, the accusative plural, instead of the proper definitive THEIR, and say themselves, instead of their-selves, which is, without a doubt, the regular word, according to strict analo
Own. Own, as well as self, has been usually classed among pronouns; and though we cannot admit it into this class, and though it be also very often connected with self, it is yet, in its grammatical characteristics, a good deal different from it. Self, we have seen, is to be considered, in strict propriety, as a noun ; own, on the contrary, is merely a definitive ; and, as such, it must in all cases he connected with some noun which it serves to define.
We have seen above, that all those nouns which are names of the parts only of any object, stand in need of particular definitives to limit their general meaning, and make that meaning particular. Among
these definitives, own comes in as an auxiliary to give them greater force and energy. Thus, in the phrase, “I cut my hand," the definitive my fixes the meaning of the word hand. But it acquires yet more force and energy, by adding the auxiliary definitive, own, “ I cut my own hand” This is the precise idea denoted by the word own, on all occasions.
Tuis, THAT, THESE, THOSE. These four words have also, by many, been classed among pronouns, thongh they more properly belong to the elass of definitives. Dr Johnson, who seems to have considered grammar, especially English grammar, as below his notice, though he was under the necessity of writing upon that subject, has been plea. sed to adopt the idea of their being pronouns, without reserve; and, in comformity with this idea, has called these the plural of this, and those the plural of tbar,
It is indeed true that this and that, never can be employed as definitives along with nouns denoting plurality, and that these and those always do denote plurality. But that there is no greater similarity between the idea conveyed by the word this, and that of the word these, than there is between the word this and those ; and likewise that there is no greater affinity between that and those, than between that and these, is so obvious, as to require little illustration. This, denotes a single object, either at hand, or that has been just mentioned ; and that a single object at some greater distance, as opposed to it; these and those both denote plurality at a distance, the one more, the other less remote, as contrasted with each other.
It is indeed true, that from a defect in the English dialect of our language, though not in the Scottish dialect, the word these is obliged to perform a double office, by denoting a plurality at band, as well as at a distance, and therefore it becomes equivalent alike to this and that. But in the Scottish dialect that ambiguity is avoided. For, This denotes a single object, and Tbir a plurality of objects
at hand, or very near. That a single object, and
at a distance. These pronounced thae a plurality of objects,
Those, in both cases, denoting another class of distart objects as contrasted with these, as in the following example,
" This stone is heavy, (weighing or touching the stone,) but that stone, pointing tự one at a distance, is more valuable. Thir apples (pointing to, or touching a quantity at hand) are sweet; but these are
more beautiful (pointing to another quantity at a distance,) though those are more numerous, pointing to another quantity at a greater distance.''
Observe, that thise words, like all the definia tives derived immediately from nouns, are obliged to perform the double office of definitives, and what we have called possessives. Thus we say, “ this house is finer than that, or that house," either adding the noun. defined, or suppressing it, as suits our fancy, exactly in the same way as we would say,
James's house is finer than Jobn's, or John's house. From the foregoing observations, we perceive, that the personal pronouns, in all European languages, both ancient and modern, are in many respects defeciive; and that many words have been called pronouns, which are not, in strict propriety, entitled to that name ; and many others are forced to perform various offices, so nearly allied to each other in some cases, that they have not been distinguished, which Iras produced much confusion in our grammatical arrangements. We are enabled farther to perceive, that, in a language like the English, where every thing relating to the gender of nouns is denoted by the pronouns only, a few additions to this important class of words, would be productive of great energy, elegance, and perspicuity in that language.
LETTERS FROM ISABELLA TO ALBERT.
A THOUSAND, thousand thanks, my dear Albert, for your kind letter! 0! if I could but hope that my
letters could afford you the hundredth parť of the pleasure yours give to me, I should write to you every day, and every hour that I could command. But what have I to communicate, save the childish prattle of one who knows nothing? You are good, very good, to be pleased with them. How flattering is it to me to be thus afsured that I hold so near a place in your affections ! for well I know it is that partiality alone which pleases.
You aik how I spend my time here. I conform exactly to the rules of the family in every respect. Our chief business is work; but we read a little, and play a little, and converse a great deal on what we have read. One of us, for I already reckon myself one of the family, acts the housewife week about. My turn, for the first time, is to be next week; and I promise myself much pleasure in the talk ;---for, though I am a novice, yet the servants here are all so obliging; and Mrs Drury, and my young companions are so cordially desirous of pleasing me, that I shall readily find advice whenever I am at a loss ; and the hope of rendering myself of some importance will animate me. I shall be anxious to do better than they expect, without fear of being chid if I should be a little wrong; and I have often experienced that that kind of anxiety where hope predominates, is the most pleasing of all sensations.
Our parlour, through the whole day, looks very like a school room; Mrs D. is usually with us; and we are all as bnsy as can be, about one kind of work or other. No task is assigned to us; but, in