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bequea safer i

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represe sounds

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kind;

ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

INTRODUCTION.

SPEECH is the proper attribute of man, the manifester of the intelligent soul which God breathed into him at the beginning; it is the sayer of his thoughts and feelings, the interpreter between him and his fellowcreature.

This manifestation of the mind by speech constitutes language: in other words, language is the expression of thought by means of words, the audible signs of ideas.

Moreover, to communicate with the absent, and to bequeath his thoughts to future generations through a safer instrument than uncertain tradition, man has invented a kind of second language, writing, which represents words by letters, the visible signs of the sounds and articulations of the voice, of which words are made.

Language is subject to the same vicissitudes as mankind; common is their history. As mankind divides

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into nations, so does language split into idioms, and simultaneously with nations do idioms grow, decline, transform themselves. Again, as the style shows the man, the tongue shows the people, and thus it is that the comparative study of idioms and literatures gives so deep an insight into what human societies are or have been.

Grammar is the science of language : it treats of ideas and words, of thought and discourse; it explains the letter by the spirit. General or particular, it views the fundamental laws of language, or deals with the forms and phraseology peculiar to idioms.

The germ of language resides in those spontaneous cries by which man utters his emotions. There we find the object by excellence, I, the soul, and the act by excellence, its emotion, united in a note of the heart, the first-born among the words, and the first language of infant man, the interjection.

Hence it is that proceeded the mind's language, to which we now come; from feeling we pass to thought. The mind, the reflector of the material and the moral world, the conscious witness of what takes place within itself, perceives at once, and as one, the object and its act. This perception, the incipient thought, is then developed by expressing these two ideas separately, yet as the parts of a whole. Signified by speech,

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