Изображения страниц

but he is building it; or fomething to that purpose.

In old English, this defect was fometimes fupplied by prefixing the prepofition in to the active participle: as, "Forty and fix years was this "temple in building." But this would now appear formal; and indeed, in the cafe fuppofed, hardly intelligible: "The house is not built, but "it is in building." ~

In the original Greek, of the paffage quoted in the last paragraph from the fecond chapter of St. John's Gofpel, the verb is of the firft aorist paffive; which, it feems, might fignify imperfect and continued action, as well as indefinite past time. In Latin, it might be rendered, according to the idea which our Tranflators must have had of it, Quadraginta et fex annos hoc templum ædificabatur. For that this is the true grammatical fenfe of the imperfect paffive, though not always adhered to by Roman writers, we have the authority of Ruddiman.

[blocks in formation]


The indicative tenfes of the Paffive Latin verb are thus diftinguished by that moft accurate Grammarian. "the fubject of difcourfe be the building of a house. 1. "When I fay Domus ædificatur, I mean that it is just now a "building, but not finished. 2. When Edificabatur, that "it was then, or at a certain past time, a building, but not "then finished. 3. Edificabitur, that fome time hence it "fhall be building, without any formal regard to the finish

[ocr errors]

ing of it. But when I make use of the Participle per'fect, I always fignify a thing compleated and ended: "but with thefe fubdistinctions. 1. By Edificata eft I mean fimply, that it is finished; without any regard to the time < when. 2. Edificata fuit, it is finished; and fome time

" fince

If the Participle effentially implies time, it would not be easy to give a reafon, why neuter verbs fhould not, as well as active, have participles both of prefent time, and of paft. According to the common theory, dormiens, fleeping, is the prefent participle of a neuter verb: but where is the preterite participle? Of active verbs we have participles of either fort; amans, loving, amatus, loved; audiens hearing, auditus, heard, &c. But of dormio, I fleep, fedeo, I fit, floreo, I flourish, though there are participles of prefent time (as they are called) dormiens, fleeping, fedens, fitting, florens, flourishing, there are none of paft time. And yet, thefe attributes may be spoken of as paft, as well as prefent. He flept, he fat, he flourished, may be faid, as well as, he fleeps, he fits, he flourishes.

How is this difficulty to be folved? By rejecting the common theory, and adopting what is here offered. Call the one participle Active, and the other Paffive: and then, what is more eafy, than to fay, that to Neuter verbs, which


fince has intervened. 3. Edificata erat, it was finished at a certain past time referred to, with which it was contemporary. 4. Edificata fuerat; it was finished before a "certain past time referred to, to which it was prior. 5. "Edificata erit, it shall be finished fome time hereafter, ei"ther without regard to a particular time when; or with

[ocr errors]

refpect to a certain time yet future, with which its finish"ing fhall be contemporary. 6. Edificata fuerit, it shall be finished and past before another thing yet future, to which its finishing fhall be prior."---The Author then goes on to fhow, which he does in a very ingenious and fatisfactory manner, how it comes to pafs, that these tenses are fo often ufed promiscuously by Latin writers. See Rudiments of the Latin Tongue, page 45.

can never be Paffive, no paffive participle can ever belong?

Excepting, therefore, the Greek participles, which are more numerous, and perhaps lefs understood, than thofe of other tongues; may we not, from what has been faid, infer, that Participles, as expreffing the attribute of the verb without affirmation, ought to be diftinguished, not into those of past, prefent, and future time, but into, 1. Active and imperfect, which fignify action, or condition, begun, continuing, and unfinished, as fcribens, writing, dormiens, fleeping: 2. Paffive and Perfect, which denote action complete, as fcriptus, written: and, 3. Future, expreffive of action, or condition, which is to commence, but has not yet commenced, as fcripturus, about to write, dormiturus, about to fleep, and (if you please) fcribendus, about to be written.

If now it be asked, in what refpects the adjective differs from the participle: I anfwer, firft, that the former, though it may be derived from a verb, (as tacitus, filent, from taceo) is not, like the participle, neceffarily derived from it: and, fecondly, that thofe varieties of expreffion and form, which relate to the continuance, completion, and futurity, of action and condition, and which belong effentially to the participle, are not characteristical of the adjective. Other diftinctions might be specified, but thefe are fufficient.The Adjective denotes a quality fimply the Participle denotes a quality, together with feveral other confiderations relating to the continuance, completion, and futurity, of action and condition,

[blocks in formation]

These remarks were reserved to this place: becaufe, without the knowledge of fome things in the two laft fections, they could not be understood. If, on account of the unavoidable repetition of certain technical terms, the reader fhould find them in any degree obfcure, he needs not be difcouraged; as none of either the foregoing, or the fubfequent, reafonings depend upon them.



The fubject of Attributives continued.-Of Adverbs.

[ocr errors]


AHE Greek word Epirrhêma, which anfwers to adverb, properly fignifies fomething additional to an attributive: for, as was already obferved, all forts of attributives, the adjective and participle as well as the verb, were called † rhêmata, or verbs, by the antient grammarians. In this etymology of the name, we partly difcern the nature of an Adverb. It is a word joined to attributives; and commonly denotes fome circumstance, manner, or quality, connected with their fignification.

Adverbs are joined--to verbs, as fortiter pugnavit, he fought bravely; to participles, as graviter fauciatus, grievously wounded;-to adjectives, as egregie fidelis, remarkably faithful. They are joined even to nouns: but, when this happens, the noun will be found to imply the meaning of an attributive; as when Livy fays, admodum puella, very much a girl, the fenfe plainly is, a girl very young. Adverbs are alfo joined to adverbs: for the circumstances, manners, or qualities, denoted by this part of fpeech, may themselves be characterised by other circumftances, manners,

· ἐπιβλημα.

† βήματα.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »