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• The author gives an account of the mode of compressing steel by hydraulic pressure, which is interesting'. Rather than have a loose co-ordinating clause at the end of the sentence, we might say 'gives an interesting account'. There would be no ambiguity : we should not limit “account' by the adjective, we should be aware that it has a co-ordinating application.
This is one of Gibbon's habitual contractions; as when he speaks of this sequestered region' or 'the splendid colouring of fancy and fiction'.
• Berkeley saw that there was no sincerity in this partial or unstable compromise'. Both adjectives are co-ordinating.
An example is given by Mr. Washington Moon, of a lady that, upon being addressed by her husband, “My dearest Maria', replied—' Am I to understand that you have other Marias ?' Her ground obviously was the restrictive function of the adjective; and she could not be met except by vindicating the usage for co-ordination, which is especially frequent with singular names.
• I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under.'
LIMITATION TO AN INDIVIDUAL.
The ordinary effect of an adjective is to convert a common noun into the name of a narrower or select class—horses', 'black horses ’; ‘king', 'wise king'. By successive narrowings, we may come at last to an individual. Jewish wise kings' would yield a very small class, while an additional epithet, as' renowned', or ' proverbial', or “dissolute', would suffice to signify an individual.
Another mode of narrowing a class to an individual is by a superlative degree, wisest king'; heaviest metal'.
There can be only one wisest king, and only one heaviest metal.
More usual than either of these modes is the employment of the Pronominal Possessives and Demonstratives (especially the Definite Article).
A Common Noun may be restricted to a narrower class by providing a distinct noun instead of using an adjective. In the great class expressed by the common noun 'building', we have smaller classes designated by special nameschurch', 'fortress ', 'castle', 'mansion', 'cottage'. Adjectives might have been used, and are occasionally used; • ecclesiastical building' is much the same as
church In Natural History, the naming of subordinate or inferior classes is conducted on both methods.
ADVERBS AS ADJECTIVES.
In the inscription on Napier's monument, it is said the most numerous subscribers were common soldiers'. If we regard subscribers' as a common noun limited by numerous', we shall find some trouble in explaining the limitation. We may have 'rich subscribers ', and 'poor', 'willing' and
unwilling', and each individual subscriber may be in one or other of these classes ; but a subscriber cannot well be a numerous subscriber. The word 'numerous' is not in its grammatical place, when made an adjective to limit 'subscribers'. The sentence might set forth that of the subscribers, commor soldiers made up the largest number' or * the majority'. In that case, 'number' appears as a noun qualified by a superlative; and the construction is not in any respect anomalous.
Again, 'the robin is our frequent visitor'. We may divide visitors into those that come seldom, and those that come often, and, so far, 'rare' and 'frequent’ may be said to have the function of adjectives. But the more natural grammatical expression is— The robin visits us frequently, or rarely’; the adjective being a transformed adverb, to go
along with a noun that is a transformed verb. This will be fully treated of under the Verb.
It is usual to classify Adjectives into those of Quality, those of Quantity, and those originating in the Pronouns.
The great body of Adjectives come under Quality. Not only so, but the definition is best fitted to these.
Adjectives of QUANTITY are most characteristically represented by the numerals—one, two, three, &c. These are applied to common nouns, and limit them, imparting a new meaning to the noun; and, in so far, comply with the definition. Yet there is a considerable difference between 'just men' and four men’; not enough to prevent their being classed under the Adjectives, but enough to distinguish them as kinds of Adjectives. Grammatically, different usages separate the two kinds, which is the main reason for distinguishing them in Grammar. For example, comparison is inapplicable to the numerals; we compare 'just', but not four'.
A modification of the numerals, one, two, three, &c.', gives the ordinal adjectives— first, second, third, &c.'; these also limit nouns, and with the effect of narrowing them to an individual; they are among the means of obtaining a singular name by the union of general words' first prize', 'second house ', ' ninth regiment'. They cannot be compared.
These adjectives are distinguished by their definiteness or precision; they are the strictest mode of assigning degree, and are used in all exact measurements. There are a few other words that number, but not with the same precision : many, some, any, all, most. The only one of these that is definite is 'all', but it is not the definiteness of number. As to the rest, we may make very various estimates ; ‘many stars' may mean a hundred or a thousand. Still the fact expressed is number; and if the strict numerals be adjectives, so are these.
If 'all' strictly meant number, viz., the entire number of a multitude-'all men', 'all animals', 'all cities', 'all stars '—it could not be applied except to a common noun in the plural. The phrase "all England' would then be improper. The use of such a phrase shows that we may use the adjective in place of 'whole' as opposed to parts, oi divisions of a thing. It may be assumed that the primary and literal meaning is numerical; in the case of anything divided into parts, we express the totality by "all the parts ', ' all parts of England', and then curtail the expression to 'all England'.
The Distributives-each, either, other, neither, several, every-have an equal title to be called Adjectives. They limit nouns, and add a new signification ; but they cannot be compared, and are grammatically distinct from the Adjectives of Quality.
So far there is no ground for refusing these words the rank of Adjectives, while there are grounds for making them a special class of Adjectives. Mr. Earle, indeed, calls the Numerals a noun-group, capable of assuming the threefold character of substantive, adjective, and adverb. But when the question is asked, Which is their leading function ?-we must answer that they are not Nouns, but Adjectives. “Two and two is four', 'come by threes ', are not primary but derived expressions; they start from the adjective form, and resemble abstract nouns obtained from adjectives, or else collective nouns. We cannot suppose the primitive and prevailing form of the numeral to be an abstract or a collective Houn, and that the adjectives are derived from these. The word 'dozen' did not precede the numeral 'twelve'.
The construction of the numerals, definite and indefinite, is with a common noun in the plural: two men, most men, some men, many men, any men. *Many' is also used with a singular, many a man'; this is by a special license, for the emphasis of singularity-like 'every man' for 'all men’. So any man’ is used to point out individuals, the same as any one man. 'Somne' has likewise an individual application, 'some man will come forward', 'some case will arise'.
The numerals, for the purposes of calculation, are represented by the ciphers, 1, 2, 3, 4, &c. These are also sometimes used in ordinary composition : ‘He bought 10 oxen at £30 each ;' The temperature of the air is 55° F. This method should not be employed, except in business, or in science, or with such numbers as cannot be written in short compass. A distinction may be drawn between numbers accurately ascertained and numbers aguely ascertained :
there are 365 days in the year' (precise); “there were more than a thousand persons present' (vague). For cases like the last, figures are unsuitable, it being the effect of these to suggest a precisely ascertained number.
• The motion was carried by a majority of 102, or three to one'. The first number is precise, the others are approximate.
The following contains a farther impropriety: 'Wanted 3 or 4 dozen females to make match boxes'. The collective words 'couple', ‘dozen', are suitable only when the individuals are put to use in couples, or in dozens. Say rather• Wanted from forty to fifty females', if the employer is unable to assign an exact number.
Adjectives of Quantity in mass or bulk are a very different class from any of the foregoing: they are-great, large, small, much, little, vast, enormous, &c. They do not break up the subject into parts, for numerical expression, but regard it as continuous, and proceed by uncertain gradations or leaps. A large town', 'a high mountain', 'a long time', are nouns limited by adjectives of vague, continuous quantity.
In one view, these are to all intents adjectives of quality : large towns' selects from 'towns' a limited class, designated as “large’; the rest being not large-middling or small. There is no grammatical peculiarity requiring these be singled out, or kept apart from the Adjectives of Quality.
There is another way of using them to make up the quantity, degree, or amount of any thing; "much wind', 'small weight', 'abundant fruit', 'extensive grounds ', ' great admiration '. This is a rough way of expressing the