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tide. Again, We read Johnxvi. 13. "When he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." That is, according to this translation, into all truth whatsoever, or into all kinds of truth; but, according to the original, we should read with the definitive article, " into all The truth ;" that is, into the moit eminent truth, or into that concerning which our blessed Saviour was discoursing, into all evangelical truth. The translation, " Truly this was The Son of God," Matth.xxvii. 4. supposes the Roman centurion to ave had a proper idea of the divinity of our Lord; a fense which some have objected to. But when we consider, that the Centurion, by his residence among the Jews, might have arrived at the knowledge of the true God, might have been an auditor of the heavenly doctrines, and a spectator of the great miracles which our Lord wrought before his crucifixion, it is not at all improbable, that the last scene in which our Lord appeared unto him, might have wrought so powerful a conviction, that he owned him to be the Son of God, in the same sense as the Jews might have represented their Messiah to be.
We have said above, that both the articles are definitive, or that they determine or limit the signification of the word to which they are joined; but this they do in different manners. A, or An determines the word it precedes to be one single thing of the kind, leaving it vague and uncertain which: The determines which it is, or, of many which they are. An is derived from the Saxon an, or the Gothic ans, which signifies one, and therefore can only be joined to substantives in the singular number; but The may be joined to plurals also. As the Englisli word means has generally been used as if it had' Bo singular number, the best writers have the article A before it; thus
Atterbury, " A means of still doing further good." Biihop Lowth recommends the singular in this place, asking, Whether it ought to be A mean? But it should be remembered, that this singular has scarce any authority, and that there are a thousand instances in which grammatical analogy is not preserved.
Another remarkable exception to this rule is, that a is used before the adjectives few and many, even when joined with substantives plural: thus Shakespear writes, A many thousand French; and we fay, both A few men, and A great many men. The reason of this use of the article A, appears from the effect which it has in these phrases; it signifies a small or greater number taken collectively, and therefore gives the idea of a whole, that is of unity. Thus, likewise, A thousand, A hundred, is one whole number, or an aggregate of many taken collectively; and therefore still retains the article A, though joined, as an adjective, to a plural substantive, as A hundred years, A thousand doors. But when two or three are prefixed to the word thousand, we look upon it as a barbarism; for no polite ear can bear " A three thousand men," though they can endure " A thousand men very well. The reason is, that the word thousand, like, a dozen, or 3 score, is considered as one collective idea; but the word three separates and divides the parts of which it is composed, and will not any longer suffer it to be considered as a single collective idea, but as divided into many. Hence we may see the want of grammatical propriety, in this sentence of Swift, " How many a message would he send?" The word how seems to destroy the unity or collective nature of the idea; and therefore the sentence should have been Written without the Article, thus, "How many messages? For the fame reason the following expression in the £ e 2 Engliih.
English version of the Psalms must be pronounced irreconcileable with analogy, "Many one there it that fay of my foul."
As the article A, Or an, signifies one in the languages from whence we have adopted it, so it likewise is used instead of one, or the unites of a collective number taken feparatively; thus we fay, a hundred A year; /'. e. a hundred every single year in a certain series.
Though the articles are not properly used before such words as are in their own nature as definite as they tnay he, and upon that account are not set before Proper names; yet there are cafes in which even proper names receive them. Tho' proper names signify originally individuals, yet when they are used as family names, which extends to all the individuals, they then admit an article, as T H E Howards, The Pelhams. Again, when the high charailer or tminence of some individual, was so remarkable, that his name became afterwards a common or appellative noun, used to denote those who excelled in the same way, it then assumed an article; thus any great critic may be called A N Aristarchus, any illustrious warrior, An Alexander, or a Marlborough; every great beauty A N Helen, or a Venus; and Khylock very properly exclaims, " A Daniel coir.e to judgment! yea, A Daniel.'" when he would applaud the wisdom of the young lawyer.
In some few instances the definite article T H E is prefixed to the names ef towns, a., The Hague, The Ha•vannah, The Devizes; in the two former instances we follow the French, who prefix their article to those words; aud we add the article in the last, because the word has a plural termination.
The use or omission of the article A makes a nice, and sometimes an important, distinction in a sentence;
thus if we fay, '* He behaved witte A little reverence," the sense is quite different from what it is when we drop the article, and fay, "He behaved with little reverence." In the former sense we praise, and assert that some reverence was shewn, tho' not a great deal; in the latter, we dispraise, and intimate that the person did not shew so much reverence as he ought, because he should have shewn a great deal.
The very position of the article ha* a great effect upon the sense: when we insert the article A between the adjective and substantive, as in half A crown, we mean only half the value of a crown-piece; but when^we fay A Half Crown, we mean a piece of money which is but half the value of a crown-piece. To make this plainer, two shillings and sixpence is half A crown, but not K half crown.
The definitive article The is sometimes joined to adverbs in the comparative and superlative degree, and its effect is to mark the degree more strongly, and to define the more precisely; as "The more I examine it, The more I like it. I like this The least. But this article is sometimes omitted, both by writers and speakers, before the superlative degree, but especially by the Scots, who have not contributed a little to corrupt our language by the multiplicity of their works. Thus a Scotch historian and essayist writes, "At •worst, time might be gained." To the fame writers we may attribute the omission of this article, before substantives, when they are used in an eminent or emphatical sense, and require a definitive the most. Thus, we read preface, dedication, introduction. And the politicians of that country too frequently tell us of wants of government; and that government cannot subsist without a change, not considering that govern/nmt is used as a specie^ without 217
Remarkable Instance of Ftcundity.
the article; and that in order to define it, and convey the idea of any particular government, or our own government, by way of eminence, it lhould always have the article The before it.
When we apply the ordinal numbers to a series of things, we insert the article The between the adjective and the substantive, as George The Third: some writers have indeed affected to set this article before the ordinal, as the author hinted at before, who writes, " The first Henry." But this is a liberty he has no more right to arrogate, with respect to our language, than the liberties he too frequently takes with the fundamental articles of our religion.
The word God, when used as a proper name, has no article before it; as in " Fear God, Sec." but when it is used as an appellative or common noun, it then admits the article, " I am not A God afar off;", or " The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac, and The God of Jacob." The article The is inserted to define the sense of the word God, and to
distinguish the true God under the idea of a gentilitial, local, and tutelary deity, from the tutelary and local deities of the heathens.
To conclude, the words to be joined with articles, are those common or appellative nouns which denote the several genera and species of beings. These, by assuming a different article, serve either to express an individual upon its first appearance, or else to intimate, upon its return, a remembrance, recognition, or repeated knowledge.
These remarks may therefore fliew the great importance' of the proper use of the article; the near affinity there is between the Greek article, and the English definite article; and the superiority of the English language in this respect, which, by means of its Twj articles, determines the extent of the signification of common names with the greatest precision; whereas the Greek has only One article, which has puzzled the Greek grammarians; and the Latin has, properly speaking, no article at all.
Remarkable Instance of Fecundity, from a curious monumental Inscription.
IT startles us at first thoughts to find, that the world has been peopled by the descendants of a single pair of the human species. The fecundity of the human species is certainly great; its numbers would undoubtedly have been greater were it not for the mortality occasioned by epidemical diseases, war, famine, and accidents of all kinds. . But as the increase of the brute and vegetable kind would bear no proportion to the human species, were it not for these seeming calamities; we find the divine mercy illustrating itself even in iu puiusluneoti i au4 with a
fatherly tenderness, thinning the human- species, that the remnant of them might meet a sufficient supply of the necessaries of liie. Should our species be exempted from these catastrophes, and should the brute creation increase in proportion, ther* would then be substituted another want, which we do not feel at present, there would be too great scarcity of vegetables to supply both the species. But this evil is prevented by subjecting both species to violent deaths, the rational to the devastations of war, and the irrational to the supply os the calls of our hunger.
Thus, Thus, Partial ill is universal good. And, Whatever is, is right.
The possibility of peopling the world by one pair of the human species, and the kindness of our heavenly Father in making the instances of great fecundity scarce and remarkable, employed my thoughts, when I saw the following inscription at the cathedral of Lincoln, which I have transmitted to you for the entertainment of your readers.
"Here lyeth the body of Michael Honywood, D. D. who was grandchild, and one of the Three HunDred and Sixty-seven persons that Mary the wife of Robert Honywood, Esq; did see, before stie died, lawsully descended from her (that is) 16 of her own body, 114 grandchildren, 228 of the third generation, and 9 of thefourth."—Mrs. Honywood died in the year 1605, and in the 78th year of her age.
To the Editors of the OJ
AFTER wishing you all possible success in your present undertaking, and undaunted perseverance in holding up the JliicU for 'virtue, as well as the glass for folly, I here make you a tender of the following manuscript, which I have long had by me, the result of a poor old man's experience, and which goes by the name of Pocr Richard's Maxims. Who the wrjter was, where he resided, or in what aira he existed, is immaterial, provided the reader can prosit by his experience, or improve by his documents: you, gentlemen, as literary cooks, will be able to judge, in some measure, from the perusal, what entertainment it will afford; and whether it will be worth while to serve, it to the public, is entirely submitted to you. There appears to me a pleasing simplicity, and instructive moral, in the generality of these aphorisms of poor Richard,
Whose even thoughts with so much
plainness flow, Their sense — untutor'd infancy
may know— Yet to such height is all their plainness wrought, ■ Wit may admire.—Tand letter'd
Pride be taught: And, which having reference to human actions, the happiness of life ui.s greatly interested in the obser
vance of them: inasmuch as they have a direct tendency to rouze the trifler or sluggard from the couch of sloth, and betake himself to rational and useful diligence; and not only so, but to inspire him with that prudence which our moralists have introduced into the class of virtues, ai that which gives being to all the rest, and which, suffer me to observe*, there is no age, condition, or situation in life, but what will afford scope for the exercise and improvement of it. Oxfordshire, Yours, Det. 1, 1768. PRO BUS.
Poor Richard'? Maxims.
GOD helps them who help themselves.
Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears—while the used key is always bright.
Dost thou love life? then do nor squander time—for that's the stuff hie* is made of.
The steeping fox catches no poultry—and there will be sleeping enough in the grave.
If time be of all things the most precious—wasting time must b; the greatest prodigality.
Lost time is never found again— what we call time enough, always proves little enough.
Poor Richard's Maxims. 219
Sloth makes all things difficult— Neglect not your affairs, nor truf«
but industry all easy. too much to others;
He that riscth late must trot all day4 and shall scarce overtake his business at night.
Laziness always travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.
Drive thy business, and let not thy
Industry needs not wish—and he that lives upon hope will die fasting.
There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands.
He that hath a trade hath an estate, and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour.
Industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.
Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God giveth all things to
For I hever saw an oft removed tree, ■y .
Three removes is as bad as a firekeep thy lhop, and thy shop will keep thee.
If you would have your business done, go—if not fend.
He that by the plough would thrive,
The diligent eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge.
Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.
In affairs of this world men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.
Learning is for the studious, riches
industry—then plough deep, while for the careful, power for the bold, sluggards sleep, and you shall have and heaven for the virtuous.
corn to fell and to keep.
One day is worth two to-morrows, therefore have you somewhat to do to-morrow ?—do it to-day—be always afham'd to catch yourself idle—let not the sun look down and say, inglorious here he lies.
Handle your tools without mittins, remember the cat in gloves catches no mice.
Constant dropping wears away stones—and by diligence and patience the mouse ate into the cable— and little strokes fell great oaks.
Employ thv time well, if thou meanit to gain leisure—and since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.
Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease. 'Many without labour would live by their wits enly; but they break for want of '.lock.
Fly pleasures and they'll followyou.
The diligent spityier has a large shift—and now I have sheep and a covJ, every body bids me good-morrow. ■ .
A little neglect may breed great mischief; for a want of a nail th» shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of care about a horfe-shoenail.
A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone, and die not worth a groat at last.
A fat kitchen will always make a . lean will; for many estates are spent in the getting,
Since women for tea forsook spinning and'
And men for punch forsook hewing and splitting.
Think of saving as well as getting, for the Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than her incomes.
Women and wine, game and deceit,
Beware of little expences; a small leak will sink a great ship.