« AnteriorContinuar »
vincible obstacle to the progress of an English education.
This vulgar error, for so I beg leave to call it, might perhaps arise from a too partial fondness for the Latin; in which, about two centuries ago, we had the service of the church, the translation of the Bible, and most other books; few of any value, being then extant in our inother tongue.
But now the case is happily altered, Nor do I think the error above-mentioned would have been so long indulged under the blessings of the reformation, had itriot been for the many fruitless attempts which have been made to fix the grammatical construction of the English tongue.
Many gentlemen, who have written on this subject, havetoo inconsiderately adopt ed various distinctions of the learned lan. guages, which have no existence in our own: many, on the other hand, convinced of this impropriety, have been too brief, or at least too general, in their definitions and rules, running into the quite opposite
extreme: and most of them, I think, have too much neglected the peculiarities of the language on which they wrote.
These considerations have induced me to suffer the following little Manual to appear amongst my friends, in the manner it now does. How far it may answer the end proposed, I must leave them to determine. If it has any merit, it must be found in conciseness, connection, and application to the proper genius of our mother tongue.
THE first impression of this little Treatise was attempted some years ago, purely to oblige a few of the Author's friends, who were engaged in the education of youth; and therefore, at that time, no means were made use of to recommend it to the public.
Two editions, however, of this little book have been since published in London, under the direction of the Reverend Mr. Ryland, of Northampton, who had, as he says, made full trial of it in his school, for some years before, with singular success:
Thus recommended, it has been well received by the public; and this circumstance has in. duced the Author to revise the original copy, to which he has now made some amendments and additions, which he flatters himself, will render it more acceptable and useful to those gentlemen and ladies who may think proper to make trial of it in their schools or fainilies.“ The editor of the two editions above-men. tioned was pleased to give this little Manual to the public, as The easiest Introduction to Dr. Loreth's English Grammar; which title, in part, it still retains; though the Author is apprehensive it was first printed before the earlicst edition of that valuable book : aud if he has in some few instances presumed to differ from so great a man, yet as he has done it on principles which to bim appeared to be satis. factory, he is confident the candid and critical reader will not impute it to affectation or 'vanity.
TO TPE GRAMMATICAL INSTITUTES,
OF THE ALPHABET,* AND THE SOUNDS OF
WE English Alphabet consists of twenty
six letters, viz. a, b, c, d, e, f, 89 h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, V, W, X, Y, z.
Six of these letters, yiz. d, e, i, O, U, Y, are called vowels, from vox, a voice or sound, because they make distinct sounds of themselves.
All the letters in the alphabet, except the vowels, viz. b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, 8;t, V, 7, 6, 7, are called consonants, from consono, to sound together; because, they cannot be sounded without some vowel joined to them.
Each of the vowels has at least three distinct sounds; the broad or full, the narrow or slender, and the middle o intermediate, which will more fully appear from the following tables :
* From alpha, beta, the first two Greek letters.