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very amusing lesson by a teacher who is quick and familiar with illustrating it. At all events it can be questioned out of very little children, without their having learnt it before from any book. This is a matter of experience. A subject can scarcely be called hard justly which admits of being treated in this way. Without doubt it is often hard to decide on particular words or expressions, especially in the Moods; some of which are fairly capable of two or more explanations, and only long practice can decide which is best, even if we must not go further and say that it is a matter of expediency to be referred to authority rather than any absolute best at all. But the main track is clear. This Grammar aims at pointing out the main track to persons who already can speak and read the language. It intends to do away, if possible, with the idea of mystery, and of a mysterious power in words which makes them act on each other, instead of being thoughtbricks fitted into their places at the pleasure of the builder. This is the main plan. The teacher cannot however set it to be learnt by rote, but must use it with thoughtful freshness of skill. This may be a defect to some, but it is hoped that many will not consider it to be such. Rules, and terms which are not thoroughly understood in principle first, seem to be knowledge, but are barriers. It is not possible to overrate the injury done to young minds by allowing them to use technical terms in any number, or the permanent confusion of mind that often results from doing so. A few must be used, but the meaning even of these, however common, requires constantly to be freshened up again, or they become dead. Talking seeming knowledge in an unknown tongue is a dangerous substitute for intelligent work; easy indeed for the master, but fatal to many a pupil. If the Middle and Lower Classes are to be taught, every step must be conscious, for there is no time for rote-work.
In the hope of helping conscious progress the writer commends his labours to all those who are interested in the work of Education, and the new field opened by the Oxford Examinations.
The School House, UPPINGHAM,
SKETCH OF GRAMMAR.
The learner should merely read this sketch.
MERE animals are shut up in themselves and remain unchanged.
Men constantly send out parts of their inner life in various
ways; these parts then have a kind of separate life, and can influence other men.
Language, Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture are the chief shapes in which men embody themselves and deal with their fellow men.
Language, therefore, means inner life or thought taking an outward body.
And Grammar means the rules which are discovered by common sense applied to language.
Thoughts are expressed by words arranged in sentences.
Sentences therefore are words arranged so as to have a meaning.
Thoughts are innumerable, but, as one or two shapes of brick can be built up into every variety of building, so eight shapes or classes of words, thought-bricks as it were, are enough to make up all the languages in the world and all their words.
These eight classes are called the Parts of Speech. They are the Noun, the Verb, the Adjective, the Adverb, the Preposition, the Pronoun, the Article, and the Conjunction.
The Noun is a naming word; every name is a Noun: e.g. 'grass,' wind,' virtue,' John,' &c.
The Verb is a speaking word; every word which tells of anything happening is a Verb: e.g. 'grows,' blows,' &c.
The Adjective is a qualifying word; every word which is joined to a Noun to say what sort of thing the Noun is is an Adjective: e.g. 'green grass,' wild wind,' &c.
The Adverb is a word which qualifies the Verb; every word which states the sort or degree of the action spoken of by the Verb is an Adverb: e.g. 'grows quickly," "blows fiercely,' &c.
The Preposition is a word placed before a Noun to fasten it on, in sense, to a Verb or Adjective: e.g. 'He fell on his head.'
The Pronoun is a word used instead of a Noun: e.g. 'he,' she,''we,' 'it,' &c.
The Article is a word used to mark whether a Noun means any individual of the class named, as 'a horse;' or is limited, in sense, to some particular one or ones, as 'the horse,' the horses,' &c.
The Conjunction joins together words, or sentences, or parts of sentences, as 'the horse and dog.'
The Interjection is sometimes called a Part of Speech, but if it takes a word after it, as 'ah me,' it is a Preposition; if not, as alas, it is a Verbal expression equivalent to ‘I mourn.' Sometimes it is a mere cry, and scarcely to be called a word.
Of these parts of speech, two only really stand by themselves, the Noun and Verb. A thorough knowledge of the Noun and Verb, therefore, is the main part of language