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A defective verb is one which is used only in some of its

moods, tenses and persons, and is irregular.

The principal de

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Verbs that are used only in the third person singular, and are construed with the neuter pronoun it, are called impersonal verbs; as, it snows. Some irregular terminations are mere familiar contractions; as, spilt: others are the established form of expression; as, crept, dwelt, gilt, lost, felt, slept, &c.

WORDS PRONOUNCED ALIKE, OR

VERY

NEARLY ALIKE, BUT HAVING A DIFFERENT ORTHOGRAPHY AND MEANING.

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A-i-r, air, is atmosphere,

And also air, a tune we hear;

An apostrophe two e's must sever
When you write e'er, the short for ever;
The ere, that means before, must stand
An r, with e on either hand.

The heir to fortune, lands, or name,
Four letters to the word will claim;
But then the heir, an heir you call,
And scarce pronounce the h at all,
So that by sound you might believe
'Twas a-i-r, the air we breathe.
Ayr spelt with y denotes a town
Of no great size or high renown.
EXERCISE.†

If 'prevention is better than cure,' air, exercise, and ablution are surely better than physic.-My cousin Mark has set your song to a pretty air. He is heir to a place near the town of Ayr. I shall visit it ere I leave Scotland. My doctor declares he will pledge his professional reputation that the air there will suit my constitution.

'Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,

His pity gave ere charity began.'

'Remote from towns he ran his godly race,

Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change his place.'

* There is also the verb to air. Our space will not admit the insertion of every possible shade of meaning that may be attached to each word, we merely give a sufficient indication to guide the writer and prevent mistakes.

In case our introductory observations have been overlooked, we repeat the suggestion that a student going through a course of spelling lessons should carefully study each rule and transcribe it and the exercise that follows it, afterwards re-writing both from dictation if he have the opportunity of doing so; also that he should mark all words in his exercise to which the rule attached refers.

Ail, s. An infirmity.

Ail, v.
To be suffering.

Ale, s. A liquor made of malt and hops.

Write a-i-l for ail, a woe, a pain;
A-l-e, ale, a liquor will explain.

EXERCISE.

We separated them because the effects of strong ale were becoming disagreeably apparent; they were growing riotous. To-morrow Alexander will have a headache, be languid, and wonder what can ail him.

'Hundreds of men were turned into beasts,

Like the guests at Circe's horrible feasts,
By the magic of ale and cider.'

All, a.

Awl, 8.

The whole number or quan- A sharp instrument to pierce

tity.

holes.

All spelt with two l's is the all, entire;
A-w-l, awl, cobblers all require.

EXERCISE.

Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.

This cobbler is a politician; flourishing his awl and declaiming at the same time, he ran his awl into his knee and broke his wife's needle-case.-'All human hopes are deceitful, all human judgments fallacious, all sophistical reasonings inconclusive, and all circumstantial evidence imperfect.'—All friends and connections* anxious for your welfare unite in protesting that considerations of policy and expediency, if not of propriety, should restrain you from the commission of such glaring, egregious follies, connected with all sorts of debasing dissipations and corrupting companionships.—Our shoemaker has lost all his tools, even his awl.

'Yet in thy thriving still misdoubt some evil,
Lest gaining gain on thee, and make thee dim
To all things else.'

6 Macduff. He has no children. All my pretty ones?
Did you say all ?'

'England, with all thy faults I love thee still.'

Or connexions.

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'People should not be allowed to drive perambulators down the middle of the path. If they kept their own side, they would cause little inconvenience; as it is, they form a nuisance which cries aloud, with many other minor miseries, for redress.'—His claims seemed exorbitant, but were allowed.

'And Sir Jacob the father strutted and bowed,
And smiled to himself, and laughed aloud,
To think of his heiress and daughter.'

""Stop, stop, John Gilpin!-Here's the house,"
They all aloud did cry;

"The dinner waits, and we are tired."

Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

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Let me entreat your assent to the request of this petitioner.— Do not give your assent to these schemes of amalgamation until you have ascertained that they are feasible, practicable, honourable, and likely to prove remunerative.

'For ere that steep ascent was won,

High in his pathway hung the sun.'

* In the pronunciation of the words ascent and assent, there should be sufficient difference to guide a writer in spelling them; but as in a rapid or slovenly mode of speaking such distinction is frequently lost, or is not perceived by the hearer for want of attention, or for lack of a nice and discriminating ear, it has been thought well to place them in this collection. The same remark applies to several other words on the list.

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