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thing paffive in regard to those actions. Intranfitive verbs are by most authors called Neuter, that is, neither active nor paffive: but I think with very little propriety. Paffive indeed they are not; but furely it will not be pretended, that in running, walking, flying, &c. there is no action. When they take an accufative after them, as vivere vitam felicem, to live a happy life; ire longam viam, to go a long journey, they put off the Intranfitive character, and are to be referred to the other clafs of active verbs; and their place may be fupplied by verbs tranfitive. Thus, to live a happy life, vivere vitam felicem, is the fame with degere vitam felicem, to lead a happy life and, to go a long journey, is the fame with, to perform a long journey.

3. That is properly a Neuter verb, which affirms neither action nor paffion; but fimply denotes the state, pofture, or quality of things or perfons; as Sto, I ftand; manes, thou remaineft t; dormit, he fleeps; floremus, we are flourishing; albetis, ye are white; mortui funt, they are dead. It is obvious, that these verbs, like those of the former fpecies, can neither take accufatives after them, nor be transformed into paflives; because, where there is no action, nothing can be acted upon. True it is, that in fome languages, both neuter and intranfitive verbs are ufed in the paffive imperfonally: but this is an idiom, depending, not on the nature of things, but on the arbitrary rules of those languages; and befides, when this is done, whatever the form of the verb may be, the fignification is not neceffarily paffive. Thus ftatur may mean ftant; curritur, currunt; turbatur, eft turba; pugnatur, pugnant.


Thefe, I think, are all the forts of verbs that are neceffary in language, and, confequently, all that Univerfal Grammar has to confider. But, in the Greek and Latin grammars, other kinds of verbs are specified; which I fhall give some account of, though a very brief one. For, firft, they do not properly come within my plan; and fecondly, they may all, in respect of fignification, be referred to one or other of the claffes already mentioned.

When the fame being that acts is also the fubject or object of the action, the verb may be called Middle; as Acteon faw himself in the stream, Cato New himself. This, in moft languages, may be expreffed by an active verb governing the reciprocal pronoun: but, antiently, it feems, the Greeks expreffed it by a particular feries of inflections, that have been called by Grammarians the middle voice. Few examples, however, of reciprocal action fignified by this middle verb, can now be produced, except from the earlieft authors. In latter times, it came to refemble the Deponent of the Latins; having a fignification purely active, though, in fome tenfes, a paffive termination.

The Hebrews have a form of the verb, or, as it is called, a Conjugation, which refembles in its use the old middle verb of the Greek tongue. Those of their Grammarians, who reject the vowel-points as a rabbinical and modern invention, reduce the conjugations to five, which they name Kal, Niphal, Hiphil, Hophal, and Hithpael. These five may be reduced to three ;

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See Hom. Il. iii. 141. xiii. 168. Odyff. v. 491. ix. 296.

for Kal and Niphal are but the active and paffive voices of the fame verb; and fo are Hiphil and Hophal. Hithpael has no paffive.

In Kal we have the primitive verb, as mafar, tradidit, be delivered: for, among the Hebrews, the third perfon fingular of the preterite is the root of the verb. In Hiphil fomething of Caufation is implied; as himfir, tradere fecit, he caufed to deliver.

Hithpael is the form, that correfponds to the old Greek middle verb: as hithmafer, tradidit fe, he delivered himself. This at leaft is its moft common fignification. In neuter verbs, however, it differs not materially from the conjugation Kal: halach and hithhalach both fignify ambulavit, he walked. And fometimes it emphatically expreffes affuming the appearance of a character without the reality. "There is, " fays Solomon," mitghafher, that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing there is mithrofhefh, that maketh him"felf poor, yet hath great riches."

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It may be remarked here, though foreign from the fubject, that in certain English neuter verbs of Saxon original fomething is difcernible, not unlike the analogy of the Hebrew conjugations Kal and Hiphil. To fit, to lie, to rife, to writhe, to fall, are neuters, that might be referred to the former conjugation to which correfpond the following actives in Hiphil, To fet, to lay*, to raise,


Is it not ftrange, that, in the prefent language of England, not only in converfation, but even in fome printed books of confiderable name, the neuter to lie, and the active to lay fhould be fo frequently confounded; and that, inftead


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to wreathe, to fell, that is, to caufe to fit, to caufe to lie, to caufe to rife, to caufe to writhe, to caufe to fall.

Inceptive verbs are appropriated to the beginnings of action, or rather of condition; as calefco, I begin to be warm; tumefco, I begin to fwell. In Latin, they are often productive of elegance, by preventing circumlocution; they are not found in the Greek, nor are they neceffary in any language.


Equally unneceffary, though not lefs elegant, are the Greek and Latin Defideratives, which fignify

of be lies on the ground, and he lay on the ground, it should be faid he lays, and he laid? Would not a man of educa tion be ashamed to be found ignorant of the difference between an active and a neuter verb? Or could he think it creditable to mistake jecit, he threw, for jacuit, he lay? Yet this vulgar idiom is not lefs barbarous. If the humour of confounding active verbs with neuter should continue to prevail, we may foon expect to fee, and to hear, fentences like the following: "I laid in bed till eight; then I raised, and "fet a while in a chair; when on a fudden a qualm came on, " and I felled upon my face."--Our life muft come to an end; but let us live as long as we can: our language may alter; but let us with it permanent, and do our best to make it fo.

Pope has in one place, for the fake of a rhyme, admitted this barbarifm. Priam, lying at Achilles's feet, fays, Iliad χχίν,

For him, through hoftile camps I bent my way,

For him, thus proftrate at thy feet I lay:

which is the more provoking, because it is in one of the fineft paffages of the poem, and in a passage where, in ge


nify defire; as * brofeió, efurio, I defire to eat; † polemêfeió, bellaturio, I have a defire to go to


Deponent verbs, which with an active fignification have a paffive termination, as loquor, I fpeak; and Neutral paffive verbs, which have an ac tive termination, and a paffive fignification, as vapulare, to be whipped, veneunt, they are fold, are not uncommon in the Latin tongue. The former are faid to have their name from deponere; because they lay afide that paffive sense, which one would expect from, their final fyllables. The verb liceo is a very fingular one; for with an active termination it has a paffive fense, and with a paffive termination an active sense: Liceor means, I offer a price; and Liceo, I am valued or set at a price.

The Latin Frequentative verb denotes frequency as pulfo, I ftrike often, which is an active tranfitive; curfito, I run often, which is an active tranfitive; and dormet, I fleep often, which is neuter. This verb is not neceffary; but, like the inceptive and the defiderative, it contributes fomething to that elegant concifenefs, which is fo peculi arly the character of the Roman language.

Imperfonal verbs are used only in the third perfon fingular; and in Greek, Latin, and Italian,


neral, though not throughout, the Tranflator has the honour to outdo his original. It might have been easily avoided.

For him, through hoftile camps I pafs'd, and here
Proftrate before thee in the duft appear.

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