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never appear with a nominative before them: as dei, oportet; exefti, licet; bafta, it is enough; the perfon, concerning whom they affirm, being expreffed by an oblique cafe dependent on the verb; as intereft omnium, all are concerned; licet tibi, you may, or it is allowed you; penitet me, I repent; mi bafta, it is fufficient for me. The English verbs, it behoves, it irketh, it becomes, are alfo called Imperfonal by our Grammarians; and do indeed refemble the Greek and Latin imperfonals in two refpects, that they are only ufed in the third perfon fingular; and that they express the perfon, concerning whom they affirm, by a fubfequent or dependent oblique cafe: for we cannot fay, I behove, or thou behoveft; but we fay, It behoves me, it behoves thee. But these English imperfonals differ from the antient in this, that they have always before them a nominative expreffed: for, behoves me, irks me, becomes me, without the pronoun it prefixed, are not according to the English idiom,

It has been difputed, whether the Greek and Latin Imperfonal verbs are always dependent on a nominative understood or expreffed: and by very able Grammarians the matter has been decided in the affirmative. Thus, to refert omnium, negotium or res is the fuppofed nominative and delectat me ftudere seems to be nothing different from studere delectat me; where ftudere, the infinitive noun, is properly the nominative to delectat. The controverfy is foreign from my purpose, and therefore I will not enter upon it. I fhall only observe, that among the Latin Grammarians it was carried on with a vehe

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mence that is ridiculous enough. Prifcian had faid, that all Impersonal verbs are really Personals, because they have nominatives, which, whether expreffed or not, are ftill implied. He was anfwered by Auguftinus Saturnius, in the following terms: May the Gods confound you, "Prifcian, together with that fame doctrine of "yours"-and he goes on to urge his objections. Nay but," replies Sanctius, may the Gods "confound you, Auguftine, together with "thofe cavillings of yours; for I do maintain, "that Prifcian is in the right:"-which in the fequel he endeavours to prove. Ruddiman, who had more fenfe, as well as more temper, than any of these wife men, obferves very coolly and properly, that, whatever be determined concerning the fuppofed nominative of impersonal verbs, this we are fure of, that it never can be a perfon, but must always be a thing: for which reason, the verbs in question are called Imperfonal; a name, that conveys a pretty juft idea of their




The Subject continued. Further Remarks on the Participle.


HAT the Participle expreffes a quality or attribute with time, has more than once been taken for granted in the courfe of this investigation, and is generally admitted by Grammarians. Ruddiman, one of the most cautious of them, declares it to be effential to the Participle, first, that it come immediately from a verb, and, fecondly, that in its fignification it include time. And therefore, continues he, larvatus, masked, is not a participle, because it comes from a noun, and not from a verb; and tacitus, filent, though it comes from a verb, is not a participle, because it does not fignify time*. And all the writers on Univerfal Grammar that I am acquainted with concur in the fame doctrine.

And this is, perhaps, the most convenient light, in which the Participle can be confidered in Univerfal Grammar: for it is not easy, nor, I believe, poflible to defcribe it more minutely, without entering into the idioms of individual tongues. In fact, the participles of fome languages differ widely in their nature from thofe of others; and

* Rudiments of the Latin tongue, page 62.


even, of one and the fame language, fome participles seem to be of one character, and some of another.

1. As the first grammarians drew all their ideas from the Greek tongue, in which there are participles correfpondent to the present, preterite, and future tenses; it was natural for them to suppofe present time to be included in the participle of prefent time (as it is called), past time in the preterite participles, and future time in the participles of the future. And this being once fuppofed by the acuteft of all Grammarians, the Greek, might naturally be admitted unexamined, or but flightly examined, by their brethren of other countries, and of latter ages.

But the Greek participles of the prefent do not always exprefs prefent time; nor is paft time always referred to by their preterite participles; nay, on fome occafions, time feems not to be fignified at all, by either the former, or the latter. When Cebes fays, Etunchanomen peripatountes en tô tou Chronou hierô*, We were walking in the temple of Saturn, the participle of the present, walking, is by means of the verb, were, applied to time paft, (which an adjective in the fame connection might have been); and therefore of itself cannot be understood to fignify any fort of time. If one choose to affirm, that the participle thus applied muft fignify time: then the words at a walk, or the adjective merry, must also fignify time, when it is faid, We were at a walk in the meadow, or, We were merry in the meadow ;— which no body, I think, will maintain.-Again,

• Ετυγχανομεν περιπατουντες εν τώ το Χρόνο ἱερα.


When we read in the Gofpel, Ho pifteufas fotbêfetai*, the participle belongs to the aorift of paft time, and the verb is of future time; yet we must not render it, "He who believed fhall be "faved:" for it appears from the context, that the believing here spoken of is confidered as pofteriour in time to the enunciation of the promise. Here, therefore, the participle lofes the fignification of past time: and may be rendered, by the indefinite prefent, "He who believeth fhall be "faved;" or by the future, (which often coincides in meaning with the indefinite prefent)" He "who will believe fhall be faved;" or merely by a noun, which in its fignification is not connected with time, "The believer fhall be faved."— Can it be faid then, that the participle in this place neceffarily implies any fignification of time, when we fee, that its full import may be expreffed, either by prefent, or by future time, or without any reference to time paft, prefent, or future?-Greek, as well as Latin and English, participles, often take the fignification of nouns, and confequently lofe that of time as † ho peirazon, the tempter, ha kektêmenos ‡, the mafter, or proprietor.

2. In Latin, the future participle of the active verb does indeed exprefs future time: Scripturus, about to write. But the future participle of the paffive, in dus, "does not fo much import futurity (I quote the words of Ruddiman) "as necef


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fity, duty, or merit. For there is a great dif"ference between these two fentences, Dicit li"teras a fe fcriptum iri, and Dicit literas a fe

• Ο πιςευσας σωθήσεται. See Mark. xv. 16.

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