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of our language, which, in this particular, is simple
and philosophic, has left other relations of time to
depend on logical construction.

I write

I wrote

I am

I was

I walk

I walked
I have

I had Had is the contraction for haved, as in many other words of similar structure.

132. The future, in English, can only be expressed by two distinct verbs, one depending on the other; as, I intend to go tomorrow.

In this expression, the idea of the future, which is unequivocal, even without the word tomorrow, depends on this simple deduction. The verb intend is present tense, in form and meaning. It declares a purpose of the mind to do an action : that action not commenced, and therefore future. Neither can this deduction of the future be, in substance, varied by any qualifying words. Whether I intend to go instantly, next week, or next year, the grammar and the logic are the same : for it is not the business of either to inquire, how far the proposed action is in advance of the present moment. What is to be, in one second of time, is as absolutely future, as the praises which are to be offered after the lapse of ten thousand ages.

I wish, I will, I must, I propose, to go, with every similar form of expression, are all to be explained in the same manner. 'No other kind of future can be expressed in the English language. This future tense, then, strictly speaking, is not one of grammatical form; but of logical deduction.

233. The principle is the same if the reference is

to an action now doing : as, I have been writing two hours, and I intend to write an bour longer. This intention refers entirely to that portion of the action which remains unfinished, that is, the future.

If the first verb is put in the past tense, the second is future in relation to the time of the intention, and not to the present time; as, I intended, last Monday, to write on Tuesday.

This relatiue future may exist, when both the verbs signify present and continuing action; as “He causeth the sun to shine on the just and on the unjust.” Here the idea is a continuing cause, and a consequent continuing action. The shining depends on the causing, and is future in relation to it. Under these circumstances of continuance, the iwo actions are partly consecutive, and partly concomitant.

234. The verb do, by its meaning and use, when put before the infinitive mood, presents the idea of two actions nearly coeval; as, I do write; I do believe; help thou my unbelief.” The close conpexion in the time of the two verbs, in this instance, depends on the special meaning of the word do, which signifies immediate and efficient action. In the phrase, “I dare write," the grammatical structure is precisely the same ; but the logical expositions are different ; and the assertion may be understood that I do write, or that I do not.

The same close relation exists between the indicative and the infinitive verb, in point of time, when they both imply the affections of the mind; as, 66 will

you admit the correctness of my statement ?” Ans. I will admit it. There is no constructive future, in English, which can come nearer to an absolute present than this. To will, is the present act of the mind. Admit also implies an act of pure volition. To will, what depends solely on the will, is a purpose of the mind which is unavoidably accompanied by its own instantaneous fulfilment.

235. The word will conveys no more idea of futurity than is generally implied by imperative and infinitive verbs, and by all the "auxiliaries."

“If a yong jentleman will venture himselfe into the companie of ruffians, it is over great a jeopardie, lest their facions, maners, thoughts, taulke, and dedes, will verie sone be over like.”-R. Ascham's "Scholemaster."

If a young gentleman inclines to venture (hinself) at any time.

Will is the Latin volo, Gr. 681w, Ex houdi, anciently written in England, voll, afterwards woll, as it is still pronounced in Yorkshire, and some other counties. It made its past tense wolde, and was, and still is, used in frequent instances, without a following infinitive verb. : “Graunt mercy, good frende, quod he, I thanke thee that thou woldest so."-Dream of Chaucer, fol. 256.

Will, like other verbs, formerly required the usual sign of the infinitive mood after it, when followed by an other verb.

This verb runs through all the present languages of Europe, northern and southern, having nothing but its great importance, and consequent frequency of use, to distinguish it from other principal verbs. In modern French literature it may, like four others, specially privileged, take or omit the usual infinitive preposition, though not the infinitive form, after it; but in other tongues, generally, the proper infinitive forms are required, in the consecutive verb.

The principle here explained respecting this formation is most strikingly illustrated by reference to the other languages of northern Europe. In German, the most extensive of them, the plural is generally made by the verb to be; as, Ich werde seyn, I am to be: wir waren seyn, we were to be. In this, and several other tongues, it is perfectly understood by every person familiar with them, that there is no other way of forming a plural but by an infinitive verb, depending on its proper correlative expression.

Nothing is more foreign from a true philosophic principle, than the arbitrary selection of shall and will, as the exclusive signs of the future. This results from a mistaken idea of the character and meaning of these words, of which more will be said under the head of " auxiliaries."

137. The modified relations of a word, with the same general meaning, as explained under the adjectives, have an extensive application to verbs. Want of attention to this has led to much confusion in grammars.

To dust furniture, is to clear it from dust,
To dust gunpowder is to make it fine.

To dust [ ] often signifies to sprinkle or cover with dust, either as a protection from injury, or by way of reproach.

2. Samuel, xvi. 13. "And as David and his men went by, Shimei went along on the hill's side, over against him, and cursed (him) as he went and threw stones at him, and (dusted him with dust."*)

* This is the literal version : but the translators have given the same meaning in different words: “and cast dust” upon him.


These words form a most deeply interesting part in the science of language; and it is difficult to conceive any thing more contrary to philosophy, than to adduce them, as having no meaning, and as entirely subsidiary, for the very reasons which show their primary importance.

A slight degree of preliminary reasoning leads strongly to an other reflection. The words of obscure meaning, and the general prefixes and terminations of nouns, adjectives, and verbs, could not, as they now exist, have belonged to the original structure: for these appendages of refinement and convenience belong to cultivated speech, and were not adapted to suit the wants of savage man.

One broad rule may be laid down in relation to these, as well as all other words. They all had their origin in ideas directly relating to persons and things in the material world.

239. All original verbal expressions were signs of some thing obvious to the corporeal organs : and prefixes, terminations, or modifying 'words grew, subsequently, from compounding and refining these elementary terms. They were not invented as qualifying words. To suppose such a process, is to reject all the lessons of experience. The first words used among men, and consequently those denoting the most important ideas, were, if we may so say, worn down by long familiarity, and gradually blended with newer formed words.

The thunder was heard, and the name applied was direct, according to what was obvious to the

A cause was supposed, and this inferential


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