« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Proper names, which present to the mind LESSONS IN FRENCH, the idea of a single individual or thing,
have, generally, no plural; as, Washington, (Continued.)
Napaleon, &c., London, Paris, &c. ; but wé Besides these nouns, which are the most may use in the plural, proper names of perconspicuous among those which are used in sons, when we apply them to all persons either gender, there are some more which who resemble those who had them thus we will indicate only by the change in their such men as Washington, Napoleon. La
we say, properly, Nature produces but few signification, according to gender.
nature ne produit que rarement des WashMasculine.
Feminine, ingtons, des Napoléons. In such cases proper Aide, aide de-camp, Aide, assistance,
names become common. Aide, a cook assistant, Aides, tones,
Formation of the Plural in Nouns.—There if a man; but it is feminine if a woman.
are nouns whose plural is similar to the Barde, a poet, among Barde, a thin slice of singular; they are those which end in the the ancient Celts, pork.
singular with $, *, *; so we say, L'avis, Burgogne, Burgundy Burgogne, a province of les avis; le choix, les choix ; le nez, les
nea. The advice, the advices; the choice, Cartouche, a sort of or: Cartouche, a cartridge. the choices; the nose, the noses. nament in painting,
Nouns ending in au, eau, eu, du, ieu, ou, sculpture, &c. Champagne, wine,
form their plural by the addition of an x; Champague, a province of France,
Le joyau, les joyaux; L'eau, les eaux; Coche, a public coach, a Coche, a notch, a sow. le jeu, les jeux; le veu, les veux; l'essieu, barge to convey pas
les essieux; le chou, les choux. The jewel, sengers,
the jewels; the water, the waters; the play, Cornette, a standard- Cornette,a cavalry stand the plays; the vou, the vous; the axle-tree, bearer.
ard, a woman's morn
the axle-trees; the cabbage, the cabbages.
ing head-dress. Crépe, a crape. Crépe, a pancake.
The nouns, the nail, clou, hole, trou, Echo, an echo. Beko, a nymph of that male.cat, matou, cent, sou, take an s in the
plural. Enseigne, an ensign, a Enseigne, a sign of a The nouns ending in al, ail, change their standard-bearer. shop.
termination into aux in the plural; as, Espace, extent between Espace, space, as used Animal, animaux; travail, travaux; bail
, two points or space, by printers. speaking of time.
baux. Animal, animals ; work, works; Foret, a drill, a piercer. Forét, a forest.
lease, leases. Guarde, a keeper, a Garde, watch, hilt, a But there are some of these terminations warden,
which only take an s in the plural; as, ball, Guide, a guide, Guide, a rein for driving bal, pale, pal, callosity, cal, treat, régal,
a horse. Livre, a book. Livre, a pound.
place, local, carnival, carnaval, take an 8 in Manche, a handle. Manche, a sleeve, the the plural; as, bals, pals, cals, &c.; and
French channel. attire, attirail, capuchin, camail, detail, Manauvre, a labourer. Manæuvre, a manæuvre détail, fan, éventail, scarecrow, épouvantail,
of soldiers, the work. rudder, gouvernail, mall, mail, gate, portail,
camails, &c.; trave, travail, a machine to Memoire, a bill. Memoire, memory.
attach horses when shod, makes travails in Mode, the mood of a Mode, fashion.
the plural; sheepfold, bercail, has no pluverb.
ral; cattle, bétail, also has none; it is in Office, service, business, Office, pantry, larder. the plural expressed by bestiaux, which has
prayers. Page, a page at court. Page, a page in a book.
no singular. "But, as I have already said,
it is necessary to resort to a good dictionary. Of Number in Substantives.-Number, in Forefather, aïeul, heaven, ciel, eye, ail, nouns is the property which they have of make their plurals thus, aïeux, cieux, yeux ; denoting either one or several persons or but we say, des ciels de lit, testers of a bed; things.
des aïeuls, grandfather and grandmother; In the first case they are said to be in the ciels d'un tableau, the sky of a picture ; singular: as,
A man, a table, &c., un homme, ovals, cils de boeuf. une table, &c.
All nouns which are not included in any In the second, they are said to be in the of the preceding classifications, form their plural: as, Men, tables, les hommes, les plural by the addition of an $; as, roads, bles.
chemins, tables, tables, merchants, mar
chands, laws, lois, diamonds, diamants, usage has made French that take the sign accidents, accidents, &c.
of the plural ; the following are the only Orthography of Nouns ending in Ant, Ent. ones which our best writers use with plural -The nouns ending in ant, ent, in the sin- terminations : Des opéras, operas; des imgular, must, in all possible cases, keep in the promptus, impromptus; des duos, duetts; plural the t of the singular; it would be des échos, echoes; des accessits, accessits; absurd otherwise. Let us suppose that a des agendas, note-books; des alinéas, new foreigner finds, in writing, the word enfans, paragraphs ; des apartés, words spoken children ; according to the rule, which says aside; des bravos, bravos; des concertos, that the plural is formed from the singular witty conceits; des débets, balances of acby the addition of an s, if that foreigner count; des quiproquos, mistakes; des zéros, sňould use that word in the singular, he cyphers; des quolibets, quodlibets; des déwould commit a barbarism ; for in removing ticits, deficits; des examens, examinations; the 8 from the word enfans, it remains enfan, des factums, memoirs ; des imbroglios, imwhich is no French word at all.
broglios; des incognitos, incognitos; des We must then write, a diamond, un macaronis, macaronis; des magisters, vildiamant, diamonds, des diamants ; a pre- lage school-masters ; des panoramas, panosent, un présent, presents, des présents ; ramas; des numéros, numbers; des pera glove, un gant, gloves, des gants. sums, tasks; des pianos, pianos; des re
We insist upon this rule, because a num-cipissés, receipts; des exéats, passes to leave ber of grammarians pretend that the t may college, des satisfecits, bills given to chilbe suppressed in words of more than one dren to testify of their good conduct. syllable, although they do keep it in mono- All other nouns of foreign origin do not syllables, without any reason whatever for take the mark of the plural. not acting alike in both cases.
Of the Formation of the Plural in Proper The noun people, gens, the singular of Name8.-When a proper name is used as which is very seldom used, is the only one such, it does not take the sign of the plural; that does not keep the t in the plural. but it changes its termination if used as a
The adjective, all, tous, follows the same rule. These two exceptions are only the Of Proper Names representing two or result of habit, the greatest tyrant in the more Individuals in the same Family.-construction of language.
Proper names representing two or more indiOf the Nouns which have no Plural.- viduals in the same family remain invariThey are: First. The names of metals, in able; as in, My father was acquainted with their general meaning; as gold, l'or, silver, the two Racine and the two Corneille, l'argent, iron, le fer, copper, le cuivre, &c. Mon peré était lié avec les deux Racine et
Secondly. The nouns which designate les deux Corneille ; Spain is proud of havordinary virtues ; as, truth, la foi, charity, ing given birth to the two Sénèque, L'Esla charité, sincerity, la sincérité.
pagne s'honore d'avoir produit les deux Thirdly. Verbs in the infinitive used as Sénèque. However, we write with the plunouns, and to which an adjective cannot be ral termination, Les Cèsars, les Gracques. joined ; as, raising, le lever, retiring, le les Horaces, les Scipions, les Stuarts, les coucher, drinking, le boire, sleeping, le Guises, les Condes, les Bourbons, &c, either dormir, &c.
in imitation of the Latins, who used the But those to which an adjective may be plural in all cases, or because most of these joined, have the two numbers; as, dining, words are rather used as titles or surnames le diner, laughing, le rire, &c.
Some of them are even no Fourthly. Adjectives used as nouns, and longer used to designate individuals perwhich present to the mind only the idea of sonally, but classes of individuals and a metaphorical object; as, the beautiful, families. le beau, the true, le vrai, the useful, l'utile, Of Proper Names which have become &c.
Common Names.--I will examine the three Fifthly. A series of words, as the follow- tragedies of Edipe with impartiality, J'exing: Abisinthium, absinthe; frankincense, aminerai les trois Edipes avec une egale encens ; eucharisity, eucharistie ; extreme exactitude; More false than true Elzévirs unction, extiême-onction; esteem, estime; are to be found in most libraries; On trouve hunger, faim; anger, courroux ; glory, plus de faux que de vrais Elzèvirs dans la gloire ; fame, renommée; purple, pourpre ; plupart des bibliothèques. thirst,
soif ; sleep, sommeil; rest, repes. In these two examples, Edipes and Elzès of Foreign Nouns.-Among the nouns of virs are written in the plural because they foreign origin, there are only those which signify, in fact, tragedies of which the subject is called Edipe, books which have been the Latins had deified, have become in our printed by Elzévir.
language somewhat proper names; and if We also say, Des Raphaëls, des Poussins, in poetry, and even in prose, we sometimes, &c., instead of, Pictures painted by Raphaël, in elevated style, employ the plural instead Poussin, &c.,' because these proper names of the singular, it is in order to restore to are so often used that habit has changed these words something of the individuality them into common names.
which they had lost by their transformation, Of the Nouns which have no singular.- Of Compound Nouns.--Of the formation Several nours have no singular; as, An- of their plural.—The compound nouns that cestors, ancêtres ; archives, archives; coat have not yet been introduced into the lanof arms, armoiries; espousals, accordailles ; guage as making a single word, that is to bushes, broussailles ; scissors, ciseaux ; say, the distinct parts of which are still manners, mæurs; tears, pleurs; matins, united by a hyphen, are written in the matines; vespers, vepres ; darkness, ténè- plural in the most irregular manner, and bres; rubbish, décombres.
grammarians are far from agreeing about Of Nouns of virtues and vices, and of the rules which ought to regulate them; those which represent ideas and sentiments but there is a general indication which finds in their abstract meaning.-The nouns its application in most cases, and may be alluded to in the iitle of this chapter, have taken as a sure .guide. I mean the nature no plural in their abstract meaning; but and particular sense of the words of which when they are used to designate the effects, they are composed, and which show easily acts, or results which arise from the exist those that require either of the two numence of any virtue, vice, idea, or sentiment, bers. they follow the general rule; therefore, in Such is the general principle; the appli. the following sentences, Kindness is a dis- cation of which will be rendered easy by position which cannot be too highly appre- the assistance of the following rules : ciated, La bonté est une qualité qui ne sau- Of Nouns formed of a Noun and an Adrait être trop appréciée; Beauty disappears, jective.- When a compound noun is formed wit remains, La beauté passe, l'esprit reste; of a substantive and an adjective, both take Man spends his life in looking for happiness, the plural; as, A false-key, une fausse-clé. L'homme passe sa vie à chercher le bonheur; Some false-keys, des fausses clés. A freeCharity is agreeable to God and useful to mason, un franc maçon. Freemasons, des man, Le charité est agréable à Dieu et utile francs-maçons. à l'homme; the nouns bonté, beauté, bonheur, Exceptions.-A blank (papers signed in and charité, being used in their abstract blank), un blanc-seing, des blancseing. A meaning, as representing virtues or quali- terra plain (places full of earth), un terreties, but not the consequences of those plein, des terre pleins. A light horsman, qualities, have no plural; but in the fol- un chevau léger, des chevau-légers. A lowing, Your family overwhelmed me with grandmother, une grand' mère, des grand acts of kindness, Votre famille m'a comblê mères. A solemn mass, une grand' messe, de bontés ; There are beauties for all times des grand messes. and countries, Il y a des beautés de tous les In the two first examples, the sense does temps et de tous les pays; With how many not allow the use of the plural for the words trilling instances of good luck is not the blanc and terre; in the third, a fantastic worldly man favoured ? De combien de usage refuses to the noun the mark of the petits bonheurs l'homme du monde n'est-il plural; in fine, in the two last, the adjective pas entouré ! This woman is a good Chris- remains unchanged, on account of euphony tian; she is very charitable; Cette femme in pronounciation. est bonne Chrétienne; elle fait beaucoup de When, in compound nouns, there is a charités, the nouns bontés, beautés, bonheurs, word which is never used by itself, this and charités, no longer express mere qualities word is considered as an adjective, and takes or abstract ideas; they represent several the plural: as in, Wary angle, pie-grièche, acts of kindness, different kinds of beauty, des pies-grièches. Were- wolf, loup garou, instances of good luck and charity, and, des loups - garous. Gum-gutta, Gommetherefore, conveying an idea of individu- gutte, des gommes-guttes, &c. alities, they take the sign of the plural. In these examples, the words grièche
Remark. If the above names of virtues, garou, and gutte, are never used by themvices, &c., do not take the plural, it is selves, and have no sense, unless they are because we consider, as a whole, what the joined to the above nouns. mind cannot divide into several distinct
Of Nouns formed of two Nouns.
When individuals; and besides, those names which I a compound noun is formed of two substantives placed in immediate contact with each Finally we write with an s, in the singuother, both take the mark of the plural; as lar as well as in the plural, the following County town, un chef-lieu, des cheft-lieux. nouns, because there is always plurality in Wolf-dog, un chien-loup, des chiens-loups. their signification : One or several towels Cauliflower, un chou-fleur, des choux (one or several towels to wipe the hands), fleurs, &c.
un ou des essuye-mains; one or several It is evident that these locutions may be snuffers-bearers (one or several instruments turned in this way; the towns which are to hold the snuffers), un ou des porte-mouchief towns, the dogs which are like wolves, chettes ; one or several toothpicks (one or the flowers which turn into cabbages, &c. several sticks to clean one's teeth), un ou
Exceptions. - Fig - pecker (birds whose des cure-dents; one or several key-bearers beaks peck figs), un bec-figues, des bec figues; (one or several men who carry the keys), painter's maul-stick (sticks to lean the hand un ou des porte-clés. upon), un appui-main, des appuis-main; a of Nouns formed of two indeclinable hospital for the sick in Paris (places to words.-When a compound noun is formed worship God, or under the patronage of only of words which never vary, as verbs, God), un hôtel dieu, des hôtels dieu; a prepositions, adverbs, none of these words toothless man (a man who has a breach' in take the mark of the plural; as, Servanthis teeth), un brêche-dents, des brêche- fees, pour-boire, des pour-boire; a man who dents.
never laughs, un pince-sans-rire, des pinceOf Nouns formed of two Nouns separated sans-rire ; a skeleton-key, un passe-partout, by a Preposition.-When a noun is com- des passe-partout. posed of two substantives united by a pre- Although these five rules contain what position, the first takes the mark of the is of general application in the language to plural; as A rainbow (bows which are in compound nouns, it will always be well, the skies), un arc-en-ciel, des arcs-en- when a doubt arises in the mind, to refer ciel. A master-piece (works which are chief to a good dictionary, as the only sure guide ones as to their merits), un chef d'ouvre, in so complicated a matter. des chefs d'oeuvre.
Of the Functions of the Noun in LanExceptions.-Nonsense (discourses with-guage.--After having described the substanout sense, where one passes from the cock to tive in its different phases, it remains now the ass), un coq-à l'âne, des coq-à l'âne. to show how to use it as a part of speech, Temporary residence (places where one puts what place it occupies, and what its functions only his foot on the ground) pied à terre, des are in the construction of sentences. pied á terre. Face to face (interviews during The substantive has three functions of which a person is alone with another), tête speech; it is either subject, or object, or à-tête, des tête-à-tête.
used in the shape of an apostrophe. It is In these sentences the meaning of the a subject when it represents that which is words cock, foot, head, does not allow them spoken of, or performs the action of the to be placed in the plural.
verb; when we say, The horse runs, le Of Nouns formed of a Verb, a Preposi- cheval court; the horse does not fly, le cheval tion, or an Adverb, and a Noun.- When a ne vole pas, the noun horse is the subject, substantive, in a compound noun, is joined because, in the first sentence, we say, that to a verb, a preposition, or an adverb, the it runs, and in the second, that it does not substantive alone takes the plural, if there fly. is plurality in the meaning; so we write It is to the subject that everything refers with an s the following words : A counter in speech; when we say, A man just and blow (blows in the counterpart), un contre-firm is not moved either by the roaring of coup, des contre-coups ; herald (runners 'an irritated multitude, or the threats of a who run ahead), avant coureur, des avant proud tyrant; if even the world was shaken
The latter end of Autumn to the centre, and reduced to ruins, he would (seasons which are behind time), arrière be struck but not disturbed by it. Un saison, les arrière saisons.
homme juste et ferme n'est ébranlé ni par But we write without an s in the plural, les clameurs d'une populace irritée, ni par because there is no plurality in the idea, in les menaces d'un fier tyran; quand même the following words : Night cap (caps that le mond brisé s'écroulerait, il en serait keep the head tight), serre-tête, des serre- frappé, mais non pas ému, the adjectives tête; alarm clock (clocks which waken in just and firm modify the subject man, and the morning), reveille-matin, des réveille- the rest modifies a man just and firm. mnatin ; counter poison (remedies against The substantive is used in the apostrophe, poison) contre-poison, des contre-poison. when it designates the thing or person to
whom we speak; as, Kings, be attentive, beards of the great-coated and booted malRois, soyez attentifs; earth, sea, and you, titude, who stump along, picking their way heavens, be sensible to our claims, Terre, among the sidewalk puddles, or over the mer, et vous, cieux, soyez sensibles à nos muddy street crossings, which until now plaintes.
have known no moisture through the sumThe substantives, kings, rearth, sea, hea- mer but that of the sprinkling carts. The vens, are used in the form of an apostrophe. dampness imparts an additional freshness
The substantive is an object, when it is to the bloom in many a lady's cheek, at under the control of another word; in this least to those who venture abroad. Men case, it restrains the signification of that huddle together in the door-ways of saloons word. The substantive may be governed by and cigar shops, and discuss the questions another substantive, an adjective, a verb, or of the day. Umbrellas go dancing in a preposition: The law of God, la loi de sombre procession, augmenting in appear Dieu; useful to man, utile à l'homme; to ance the restless throng, even as the boughs love one's neighbour, aimer son prochain; of trees did Macduff's army with the moving at one's father's, chez son père.
wood from Dansinane. Dogs patter along The word which governs is called govern- with a wet and dismal aspect, as though ing; the word which is governed is called unaccustomed to such innovations upon regimen or object.
their usual fine weather. Draymen and In French, a substantive cannot be the cab and buss drivers roll moodily past, enre. object of another substantive without the loped in oil-cloth, and with a half sulky aid of a preposition, which is generally of, look, indicative of a dislike of rain, although de, but sometimes, to, d, for, pour, and it fills their vehicles with people. Horses others; as, The difficulty of the enterprise ; steam, as the evaporation goes on from their la difficulté de l'entreprise; the attention to dampened hides, and over the pavements one's business, l'attention à ses affaires ; their iron-shod hoofs slip and clash as they the taste for pleasure, le goût pour le plaisir. splash through the wet. Storekeepers (all
Of two substantives, one governing, the but the umbrella, clothing, and boot and other governed, the one governing generally hat sellers) look' dubiously out of their comes first. The beauty of feelings, la doors and windows, and gloomily up at the beauté des sentiments; the violence of pas- leaden-hued clouds, which still threaten sions, la violence des passions.
more wet. At night the scene in the prinWe have used the word generally, because cipal thoroughfares is a little more lively, sometimes the privilege of inversion changes Then, the brilliant gas lights are reflected that order.
in thousands of pools and puddles, into Sometimes substantives change their na- which the rain falls steadily, causing a conture into that of an adjective; in this tinual ripple on their muddy surfaces. The phrase of Bossuet, All was God, except God street lamps shed their cheering rays upon himself, tout était Dieu, excepté Dieu lui- the scene--the glasses dripping and running même, God, in the first part, is an adjective, little aqueous streams, through which the and a noun in the second,
light bravely struggles. A wet Chinaman (To be continued.)
clatters hurriedly past in his wooden shoes, bending half double, and his pinched-up face painfully expressive of extreme disa
comfort. Umbrellas jostle and hasten along; SAN FRANCISCO IN A RAIN STORM. omnibusses rumble and splash. Night
advances, the city gradually relapses into AFTER a long and a monotonous spell of its nocturnal quiet, save the homeward dry weather, dating from May last, during płodding of belated wayfarers, the prowling which the country has been parched, and of vigilant policemen, or the quick step of the thirsty earth almost opened its baked the never-weary reporters hurrying to their lips and cried for moisture, the grateful rain several offices with the latest news. A little has at last come, and all nature is the longer even these are gone, and the streets fresher and happier for the dispensation. are left to the dull pattering of the night San Francisco, particularly, has changed rains, until daylight brings with it the in its appearance. Instead of the diurnal advent of the milkman, market waggons, dry winds, bearing before them clouds of hot coffee stands, and the hurrying news penetrating dust, and now and then a flying paper carrier, who seem to monopolise the beaver, the streets are wet and splashy with otherwise silent streets, until the diurnal the continuous down-pour. The air is hum of business again announces that day moist and warm. The rain sparkles in the has returned