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THE first edition of a book is of necessity somewhat tentative. More extended experience, and the suggestions of judicious critics, render certain changes inevitable. But the alterations in this revised edition are so numerous, that some explanation is due to those who have introduced the book into their schools.

It was urged by certain remonstrants that the information imparted was too meagre and elementary in its character; by others, that it was more adapted for the use of teachers than of pupils. Both objections were well grounded, for these outlines were originally prepared for an intermediate class of students.

In the present edition, the author has endeavoured to reconcile these conflicting views. He has supplied fuller details for the advanced student, and, at the same time, has given greater expansion to the elementary principles. The simple expedient of a variation in the type has rendered this possible. The young pupil should confine his attention to the paragraphs in large type; those in smaller type are intended for more advanced

classes. A judicious teacher may select from these whatever facts he considers likely to prove of interest or advantage to his younger pupils.

In consequence of this compression of the type, the bulk of the volume has been but slightly affected, while the subject-matter has been increased nearly two-fold.

Among the many changes introduced into this edition, the most conspicuous are the following:

1. It has been thought desirable, at the risk of some repetition, to break up the lists of Prefixes and Suffixes, Compounds, and Diminutives, and to distribute them under their respective heads. Those peculiar to Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs, &c., may thus be studied in connexion with the class of words to which they belong.

2. A list of the principal parts of the so-called Irregular Verbs has been introduced.

3. A fuller list of the English Prepositions has been given, and an attempt made to trace their formation, and exhibit it to the eye in the arrangement of the list.

4. In compliance with the wishes of many experienced teachers, the leading principles of Grammatical Analysis, and the technical terms employed in explaining them, have been embodied in the Syntax; while the Syntax itself has been enlarged and, it is hoped, improved.

5. A set of Examination Questions has been appended, which, by presenting the facts contained in the text in a concise form, may assist the solitary student in his unaided study.

The alterations thus effected are, no doubt, considerable; but it was thought better to introduce them at

once, and so obviate the necessity for any material changes hereafter.

It is scarcely necessary to remind the practical teacher that the numerous Old English forins scattered through these pages should not be intruded upon the attention of the young student: they are given solely for the information and guidance of the teacher. It is impossible fully to appreciate the traces of inflection still lingering in the language, without some knowledge of these archaic forms.

The author begs to acknowledge his obligations to Mr. Marsh's very valuable and interesting Lectures on the English Language; to the careful Manual of Dr. Angus, which has furnished him with numerous hints and illustrations, and to Mr. Mason's excellent Compendium of Analysis. His incidental obligations to other writers are too numerous to admit of distinct specification. But his thanks are especially due to Professor Key, whose valuable suggestions are embodied in nearly every page, and to whose philological writings modern grammarians are so deeply indebted.







1. The languages of the civilised world are divided into two great families; the Semitic, and the Indo-European.

As the Semitic words in the English language are very few, it will be sufficient to observe that the Hebrow, Phænician, Syriac, Chaldee, Arabic, Ethiopic and Coptic, are included in this family.

2. The subdivisions of a family are called stocks ; and the subdivisions of a stock, branches.

The Indo-European family is divided into the following stocks : Sanscrit, Persian, Slavonic or Windic, Keltic, Classical, and Teutonic.

3. The Sanscrit and Persian are Asiatic stocks, and include the ancient languages and most of the modern dialects of India, Persia, and the adjacent tribes.

The languages of the remaining stocks are, or were, spoken by the inhabitants of Europe. Hence the name Indo-European has been applied to this family, which has also been called the Indo-Germanic, the Caucasian, and the Japhetic. It is now more commonly known as the Aryan family. Arya is a Sanscrit word, meaning "noble.” Its original signification was "tiller of the soil” or “plougher,” but it


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