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The first and second personal pronouns are not merely representatives of the names of the persons using them, or with reference to whom they are used, but they imply, besides, the personality and real or iinaginary .presence of the party or parties speaking or addressed.
As the idea of real or imaginary presence is implied in the first and second personal pronouns, they require no inflection indicative of gender ; but as the persons or other existences represented by the third personal pronoun may or may not be present, a means of connoting the gender is required.
Personal pronouns are often used substantively (i. e., as nouns), and do not represent any special or particular person or persons. The difference between these uses will be seen in the following examples ; viz.—Pronominally. James cannot succeed, because he [James], is slothful. Substantively. Ile (the person] who is slothful cannot succeed. The pronoun, as representative of a noun, is subject to the same restrictions of number, meaning, &c., as the noun whose place it supplies—e.g., The reasonings of a logician ought to be accurate, for they are the results of the study of the laws of thought. They represents the word reasonings, qualified by the consideration that they are those of a logician.
The pronoun it, though generally included, for convenience, among the personal pronouns, is, strictly speaking, an impersonal one ; for we cannot attribute personality to inanimate things. Its use is very peculiar and difficult. Perhaps the following remarks and examples may aid the student to employ it with accuracy. 1st. It is the representative of any inanimate existence-e.g.,
“The air ...
And stooping to the violet.”—N. P. Willis. 2nd. It is used as a vague embodiment of any circumstance or state-e. g., "Methinks it is good to be here.” “Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu." How goes it with you, friend ? It rains; &c.
3rd. It is often employed either as the introducing nominative to a clause or phrase, or the substitute of one-e. g., It was vain to contend against such a host of difficulties.
“ Yet I strangely thought
4th. It is sometimes enclitical after intransitive verbs-e.g., I walked it all the way. He tries to lord it too much.
“Whether the charmer sinner it or saint it,
If folly grows romantic, I must paint it."
5th. It is frequently, though in an inelegant and pleonastic manner, employed as a nominative to the verb to be, followed by another nominative and a relativeme. g., It was Ben Jonson who wrote “ Every Man in his Humour.” It is in Britain alone that we find liberty without license.
The italicised words are quite unnecessary to express the sense.
The singular personal pronouns, my, thy, him, her, it, are intensitively compounded with the noun self ; and the plural personal pronouns, our, your, them, with selves ; and follow the same laws as in their simple form.
The following examples exhibit the correct use of the personal pronouns:-
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ?
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers-Yes !"-Couper.
The unknown regions of the human heart,
For all to see, but no man to approach."—W.S. Landor. (1st and 3rd.) “Friendship is a vase which, when it is flawed by heat, or violence, or accident, may as well be broken at once; it can never be trusted after. The more graceful and ornamental it was, the more clearly do we discern the hopelessness of restoring it to its former state. Coarse stones, if they are fractured, may be cemented again ; precious ones never."-Idem.
(1st, 2nd, and 3rd.) “If you snap the golden threads of thought, they will float away on the air like the film of the gossamer, and I shall never be able to recover them."-Longfellow.
The following examples contain personal pronouns incorrectly used :-(1st.) “I thought this a good occasion to ascertain how far my authority was nominal or real, and, therefore, insisted peremptorily upon their putting off again. Unless,' as I said, “Messieurs, you are masters, and not me [I].'"-Capt. B. Hall. (2nd.)
“Too well, alas !
Arise and follow him."-S. Rogers. EXERCISE XXVI.—Insert the proper personal pronouns in the places marked by dashes in the following extracts :
“If there be a faith from of old, - is this, as — often repeat, that no lie can live for ever. The very truth has to change – vesture from time to time, and be born again ; but all lies have sentence of death written down against - in heaven's chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards — hour.”—Carlyle.
“ Crafty men contemn – studies; simple men admire —; and wise men use --; for teach not — own use; that is a wisdom without -, and won by observation."--Bacon.
“Oh, man! – image of — Maker's good,
– Spirit is that built — ? What dull sense
In hollow murmurs to lock up - powers ?"-Fletcher. EXERCISE XXVII.—Change such of the personal pronouns in the under-given extracts as are italicised from the nominative to such other cases as are right.
“ It is the business of the philosophical to seek truth ; it is the office of the religious to worship she."—W.8. Landor.
“Fancy, then, some five full-grown millions of gaunt figures, with their haggard faces, in woollen jupes, with copper-studded leather girths, and high sabots, starting up to ask, as in forest roarings, they washed upper classes, after long, unreviewed centuries, virtually this ques. tion:-How have ye treated we? how have ye taught we, fed we, and led we while we toiled for ye? The answer can be read in flames over the nightly summer sky. This is the feeding and leading we have had of ye,-Emptiness—of pocket, of stomach, of head, and of heart. Behold, there is nothing in we ; nothing but what nature gives she wild children of the desert-Ferocity and Appetite -strength grounded on hunger."—Carlyle.
Relative pronouns carry back the thoughts to some noun previously used; they are who, which, and that.
Who is inflected thus:-Nom. who, poss. whose, obj. whom. Who refers to rational existences, which to irrational ones, and that to either, when the use or the repetition of who or which would be disagreeable to the ear, and after the words same and all.
Relative pronouns, with the clauses in which they occur, are equivalent to adjectives, and are consequently either, Ist, restrictive, or, 2nd, explanatory—e.9., 1st.“ I shall win a name that beauty will not blush to hear;" not any name, but such an one as shall not bring the blush to beauty's cheek. 2nd. Ile must be a bad writer, or, at least, a very indifferent one, in whom there are no inequalities. That is most used restrictively, and who and which explanatorily.
Who, which, and what are also used as interrogative relatives.
The relatives, who, which, and what, in some instances, though seldom in modern authors, are compounded with the words, 80 and ever, and occasionally with both of these together-e. g., Whoso, whoever, whosoever, whomsoever, whichever, whichsoever, whatever, whatsoever, g'c. The following extracts exemplify the correct use of the relative pronouns:
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall."— Pope.
But who, save God, can tell us who they are ?"-Idem. "I have usually found that those who make faults of foibles, and crimes of faults, have within themselves an impulse toward worse, and give ready way to such impulse whenever they can, secretly or safely. There is a gravity which is not austere, not captious, which belongs not to melancholy, nor dwells in contraction of heart, but arises from tenderness, and rests upon affection." -W. S. Landor..
“Nay, lady, sit, if I but wave this wand;
Your nerves are all chained up in alabaster,
Root-bound, that fled Apollo.”—Milton. “When any new thing comes in their way, children ask the common question of a strangerWhat is it?"-Locke.
“What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won."-Shakspere.
“Gaze on woman's beauty, as a star
Were never missed."-Keats. “The contemplation of the works of creation elevates the mind to the admiration of whatever is great and noble, accomplishing the object of all study, which, in the elegant language of Sir James Mackintosh, is to inspire the love of truth, of wisdom, of beauty, especially of goodness, the highest beauty, and of that supreme and eternal Mind which contains all truth and wisdom, all beauty and goodness.'”—Mrs. Somerville.
EXERCISE XXVIII.—Insert the proper relative pronouns in those places where dashes indicate their omission.
“Her dark eye
Like the burnt taper's Aame?"-Dana. “What is past is past. There is a future left to all men — have the virtue to repent, and the energy to atone."-Bulwer.
Adjective pronouns, otherwise called pronominal adjectives, are those in which the qualifying functions of an adjective, and the representative properties of a pronoun, are combined. They are either demonstrative, distributive, possessive, or indefinite.
This qui These Singular / Former Yone .
war ? That. Fural Those. or Plural | Latter.
(Singular. My, thy, his, her, its, own, and their compounds.
Plural. Ours, yours, theirs, own, I Personal possessives are followed by nouns; adjective possessives are not. Indefinites.-All, another, any, both, certain, enough, few, many, none, one, other, same, several, some, such, whole.
The following extracts contain examples of the correct use of the adjective pronouns:
“ All is done as task-work, wise or not,
For greatest purposes. This 'tis to be
To its untold variety."—W. Smith. “A winged word hath stuck ineradicably in a million hearts, and enrenomed every hour through. out their hard pulsation. On a winged word hath hung the destiny of nations. On a winged word hath human wisdom been willing to cast the immortal soul, and to leave it dependent for all its future bappiness."-W.8. Landor.
“Each one of ye
A law and government."-W. Smith.
"He neither loves
One native charm than all the gloss of art."--Goldsmith.
“Truth is an endearing quality. None are so beloved as the ingenuous."— Tuckerman.
“As an essayist, he (Goldsmith ] has contributed some of the most pure and graceful specimens of English prose discoverable in the whole range of literature."--Idem.
“Goldsmith saw enough of the world to disrobe his mind of that scepticism, born of custom, which makes dotards of us all."-Idem.
“In fact, Johnson's remarks on society beyond the bills of mortality are generally of much the same kind with those of honest Tom Dawson, the English footman, in Dr. Moore's ‘Zelucco.'"Macaulay.
“Sir W. Scott gives us a novel; Mr. Hallam a critical and argumentative history. Both are occupied with the same matter. But the former looks at it with the eye of a sculptor. His intention is to give an express and lively image of its external form. The latter is an anatomist. His task is to dissect the subject to its inmost recesses, and to lay bare before us all the springs of motion, and all the causes of decay.--Idem.