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ENGLISH GRAMMAR SIMPLIFIED.
ADAPTED FOR SCHOOLS AND SELF INSTRUCTION.
TO WHICH IS ADDED A
TREATISE ON PUNCTUATION.
BY J. BEST DAVIDSON.
SOLD BY SIMPKIN AND MARSHALL, LONDON;
J. BUCKTON, LEEDS;
AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
THE publication of a third edition, were I to adopt the usual course of authors, would afford me an opportunity for remark upon the approbation with which the public have received my endeavours to lighten the labours of youth in this indispensable branch of instruction. But I have no disposition to exult in past success, and I shall therefore confine my preface to the mere expression of a hope, that this much improved and much cheaper edition will not meet with a less gratifying share of public favor than those which have preceded it.
Leeds, November, 1846.
JNO. BEST DAVIDSON.
The figures refer to the numbers preceding the paragraphs.
Grammar, and its divisions.. 6
1. It is much to be regretted that English Grammar writers have almost invariably been the propounders of deductions from foreign and inappropriate tongues, by which they have set aside those practical principles of plainness and intelligibility which can be deduced from the analogy of no language other than our own.
2. Such systems of grammar the present work seeks generally to modify, and in many important points wholly to reject, in order to obtain and preserve the greatest practical purity of principle and simplicity of method-two valuable objects, the attainment of which is necessary to impart firmness and decision to previous existing rules of uncertainty and hesitation-those fatal properties in grammar which have conjointly tended to discourage and embarrass inquiring youth.
3. As regards the arrangement observed in the present work, everything it is believed is placed in its natural and legitimate order; and, upon the whole, the author has the satisfaction to think that the plan upon which he has proceeded, has enabled him to offer rules of a more comprehensive nature than those of other grammarians, and that it has enabled him also to combine with that comprehensiveness a simplicity of diction better suited to the varied capacities of youth and students of self-instruction, than that of preceding writers.
4. A leading department in the task which has been undertaken, and which has cost the entire rejection of a vast number of conflicting dogmas on the most prominent part of speech, is the production of a new theory of the verb, which, while the author is certain that it is the most completely novel theory ever attempted, he has the con. fidence also to believe that it possesses an encouraging brevity and plainness that are to be found in no other theory whatsoever.