Изображения страниц

great value and regard for them; it is not worked that now we are ashamed of it; yet the worth of the thing, but the spirit that there they meet us, between the leaves of induced the gift, that we prize. We are all that old Bible, utterly forgotten by the travellers along a road more or less weary giver, but oh! treasured by the recipientto every one; life's journey presents us with treasured in the greatest treasury of all, the many trials, crosses, and cares; we need to little gifts of love thought worthy of a place drink at the fountain, for the way is dusty ; between those leaves. They look at us, to rest by the roadside, for the journey is they remind us of days long past, but surely toilsome; and we like to receive the word of they were links in a friendship which not hearty cheer from the fellow-traveller who yet severed, some of the little things that is bound for the same destination. Many a yet abide, and, like the small seed, sinking time have we been thus helped on by a little into the ground, containing the germ of present. Through many years we knew great results. We have never valued great what it was to be hard pressed by daily care, and costly gifts as we have little presents; to get up and lie down with it, and to find the first are so often the great representathe struggle difficult to bear with cheerful- tives of little realities, the latter the feeble ness and hope ; but, during that time, how tokens of what is above all outward expresoften was a speed on” uttered by the sion. Once we were tempted to ridicule an voiceless presence of some little present! ornament from its want of taste and fitness, Listless and weary, we had risen from unre- we were stopped by the wearer's words_ It freshing sleep, lo! the postman's knock was the present of a friend !" the article at sent into our hearts a sudden thriil; if we once assumed another aspect, it became the were hard borne with the small harassings representation of a precious bond, one we of genteel poverty, others were basking in a take upon us too lightly, and throw off too glowing sunshine and a sumptuous ease, easily—the bond of friendship. and some gleam from that bright but distant As far as your means and time will perworld might come to us—a ray, yes ! in the mit, give little presents. Of course, you shape of a little present. The letter is will not always meet with a grateful return, thick and bulky, we feel it, we wonder (the never mind ! do you think you will ever wonder of joy is strange to us, and that really repent of a kind action ? Let them alone brings pleasure), then we break the speak for you when you are absent, and if seal; something more than a letter springs they do not call forth answering beams of to sight-some small but useful thing, per- love, and joy, and thankfulness, let them haps one of those many pretty articles made at least glow as the hot burning coals upon after the directions of the Family Friend, the heads of the ungrateful. and such have come to us, and we have rejoiced over our little present. Nor is the

“Yes, I love you, little presents,

In your small array; pleasure evanescent; we feel, all day long,

Stars of kindness, mildly beaming that something pleasant has happened to

Light upon my way. us; we have been remembered by a distant friend, and little troubles sink before the

“Oh! I value little presents, rising of the beams shed by our little pre

They have potent sway

Over care, and grief, and sorrow, sent.“ Imust give Baby some little thing,''

Driving all away.' said a child, one day, to us, speaking of his youngest brother, " I must give Baby some

Yes, if but for a little time they are worth little thing, because I love him, and I have much, how much all may judge who know never given him anything yet.” It was a the value of an hour of ease in a day of true and beautiful feeling, let the little pain, or a short lull in the storm to the child become our teacher; let us, too, give tempest-tossed mariner - the lull which our little presents, called forth by the feel- enables us to discern land—the bright, the ing of love and kindness; let us think of better, the beautiful though far-off land, the cup of cold water—a gift of itself so where yet the echo of these little kindnesses insignificant, and of that best Voice which reverberates, with a sweet and lasting ever sounded in our world, proclaiming-it effect. has its reward. Long after we had given and forgotten the gifts, little presents have come up and looked at us again; we had

Think of "living!” Thy life, wert thou the not remembered the queer old drawing, the pitifullest of all the sons of earth,” is no idle work of our childhood; or the little letter dream, but a solemn reality. It is thy own; it is

all thou hast to front eternity with. Work, then, that accompanied it, full of all manner of even as he has done, and does, like a star, ungood wishes; the old marker, so badly hasting, yet unresting."--Carlyle.

[ocr errors]


after them. We will, therefore, divide the LESSONS IN FRENCH.

adjectives into three classes :

(1.) Those which always follow the noun.

(2.) Those which have a different meanOf the Superlatives, Absolute and Rela- ing by being placed before and after the tive. The adjective is in the superlative noun. degree of comparison, when it expresses the (3.) Those of which the place is fixed by quality of the noun in the highest degree, taste and euphony. or in a very high degree; hence there are

Of Adjectives which are invariably placed two sorts of superlatives, the absolute and after the Noun.---(1.) Adjectives derived the relative.

from past participles; as, An accomplished The superlative absolute is made by woman, Une femme accomplie ; A distinputting très, fort, bien, very, before the guished man, Un homme distingué. adjective; it is called absolute, because it (2.) Adjectives expressing form, colour, expresses no relation to other objects; as taste, favour, and sound; as, A round table, Rome is a very fine city, Rome est une très Une table ronde ; A white house, Une maibelle ville.

son blanche ; Sweet wine, Du vin doux ; The adverbs, extremely, extrêmement, in- An odoriferous flower, Une fleur odoriféfinitely, infiniment, are also the sign of the rante; A sonorous voice, Une voix sonore. superlative absolute. This woman is ex- (3.) Adjectives performing the part of tremely amiable, Cette femme est extrême- nouns; as, A royal palace (a palace of a ment amiable; This man is supremely happy, king),'Un palais royal; The paternal tenCet homme est infiniment heureux.

derness (of a father), La tendresse paterThe superlative relative is formed by nelle ; A grammatical principle (of a gramplacing the article before the comparatives, mar), Un principe grammatical. plus, pis, moins, meilleur, pire, moindre ;

(4.). Adjectives expressing the point of it is relative, because it expresses a relation view in which we consider things or perto other objects; the article must be of the sons; as, A necessary, possible, or impossible same number and gender as the adjective. thing, Une chose nécessaire, possible, imParis is the finest of cities, Paris est la plus possible ; An absurd idea, Une idée absurde ; belle des villes ; You are the smaller of the A dangerous man, Un homme dangereux ; two, Vous êtes le moins grand des deux; He A mortal disease, Une maladie mortelle. is the worst of the family, Il est le pire de Mortel is sometimes placed before the la famille, &c.

noun, but then it signifies tedious, weariWhen several adjectives in either of the some; as, Three wearisome miles, Trois superlatives qualify a noun, the adverbs, mortels milles. plus, moins, fort, extrêmement, &c., must (5.) Adjectives which express the state or be repeated before every one of them, as situation of persons and things, and those well as the article, when the superlative is which refer to habits; as, A quiet or peacerelative.

able man, Un homme tranquille, calme; Remark.-When the adjective used in An idle or drunken man, Un homme oisif, the superlative relative is placed before the ivre; Thick or thin cloth, Du drap épais ou noun, the article the is used but once; as in, mince. Your sister is the most handsome woman I (6.) Adjectives which express an outward have ever seen, Votre seur est la plus belle or accidental modification; as, A blind or femme que j'aie jamais vue.

humpbacked man, Un homme aveugle or But if the superlative should be placed bossu ; A knotty stick, Un bâton noueux. before the noun, the article the should be (7.) Adjectives merely distinguishing used twice before the noun, and in the su-objects by genus, species, or sort; as, A reaperlative; as, Your sister is the most accom- sonable animal, 'Un animal raisonnable ; A plished woman I know, Votre seur est la fruit-tree, Un arbre fruitier ; A personal femme la plus accomplie que je connaisse. pronoun, Un pronom personnel.

Of the Place of Adjectives.—There is no (8.) Adjectives designating countries; as, absolute rule in reference to the place of The French army, L'armée Française. adjectives ; taste and euphony are the only Of Adjectives which sometimes precede guides in many cases. Usage, however, has and sometimes follow the Noun without decided that some of them, on account of changing their Signification.-(1.) Adjectheir origin or signification, should always tives derived from present participles, genefollow or precede the nouns which they rally follow the noun, but a great number qualify; whilst others acquire an entirely may be placed before it; as, À fascinating different meaning by being placed before or woman, Une femme séduisante; An inte

A meani man.

Last year.

resting book, Un livre attachant; A charm- adjectives are used; placed after, we eming music, 'Une charmante musique; A ploy the cardinal, except for the numbers charming country-house, Une charmante first and second. maison de campagne.

Of Adjectives which change entirely their (2.) Adjectives which by their meaning Signification by being placed before or after have some analogy with the noun which certain Nouns. We shall not mention here they qualify, are placed before the noun, all the adjectives which belong to this class, and after it if that analogy does not exist; -good dictionaries give the necessary inas, A wise magistrate, Un sage magistrat, formation on the subject; we will only A wise man, Un homme sage.

mention those which, exposing foreigners to In the first expression, there is an analogy disagreeable blunders, require their partibetween wisdom and the character of the cular attention at an early period of their following noun, for a magistrate is supposed instruction. They are the following: to be wise he could not be a magistrate Un grande homme, A great man. without being so; but the word man does

Un homme grande,

A tall man. not necessarily imply the idea of wisdom, Un petit homme, A small mari, for there are many more fools than wise Un homme petit, men; hence the place of the adjective in Un bon homme, A simple-minded man. either case.

Un homme bon,

A good man.

An honest man. For the same reason we may say, Good Un brave homme,

A brave man. wine, De bon vin; Bad bread, De mauvais Une certaine chose, A certain thing. pain; A large tree, Un grand arbre ; A Une chose certaine, A positive thing. small child, Un petit enfant.

D'une commune voix, Unanimously. Remark.-In the language of passion, Une voix commune, A common voice. piety, and admiration, in poetry and meta

La dernière année de la phorical style, many of the adjectives which guerre,

The last year of the war.

L'année dernière, we have classed among those that should be

Une sage femme, A midwife. placed after the noun, are elegantly placed Une femme sage, A wise woman. before it; as, An amiable object, Un aimable Un galant homme. A man who has the chaobjet; White hands, De blanches mains ;

racter and manners of Tender looks, De tendres regards; A wicked

a gentleman.

a man who is gallant man, Un méchant homme; although there Un homme galant,

with the ladies, is no necessary analogy between an object

Un gentil-homme, A nobleman. and amiableness, between looks and tender- Un homme gentil, A man who is pretty, ness, and man and wickedness, &c.

gay, lively, &c. In speaking of a man, if we say, He is De nouveau vin, Some other kind of wine.

Wine newly made. extremely miserable, Il est dans une misère Du vin nouveau,

Uu pauvre auteur,

A poor writer, extrême, we merely intimate that his misery

Un auteur pauvre,

A writer who is not rich. is great, without inferring any intention on

Un honnête homme, An honest man. our part to interest others in ihat distress, Un homme honnête, A polite man. which would be the case if we should say, Un malhonnête homme, a dishonest man. Il est dans une extrême misère.

Un homme malhonnête, A man of ill breeding.

méchante Numerical adjectives are generally placed Une


A flat epigram. before the noun; but when they are used to

Une épigramme mé. designate a person or a thing among others


A wicked epigram. of the same name, by the rank which they occupy among them, they are placed after Of Adjectives which are placed after the it when speaking of persons, and indiffer- Noun for the sake of Euphony.-Adjectives ently, before or after, when speaking of ending in ic, ique, el, ile, ul, ule, and esque, things; as in, The disobedience of Adam are those of the first termination always, was the first fault of our first parents, La and the others most generally, placed after désobéissance d'Adam fut la première faute the noun on account of euphony; as in, A de nos premiers parens; Louis the Twelfth public man, Un homme public; A public and Louis the Eleventh were two French square, Une place publique; A splendid kings of a very different character, Louis chateau, Un château magnifique ; A trifle, Onze et Louis Douze furent deux rois de Une chose futile ; A credulous woman, Une France d'un caractère bien different; Voc femme crédule. lume first, Volume premier, or premier Of the place of Two or more Adjectives volume; Chapter tenth, Chapitre dix, or Qualifying the same Noun.-(1.) When dixième chapitre.

two or several adjectives qualify a noun, When placed before the noun, ordinal I and one of them belongs to the class of those which should always follow the noun, they junction And, Et.—Whenever an adjecare all placed after that which they qualify; tive is preceded or followed by several nouns as in, She is a beautiful, amiable, and accom- of the same gender, and united by the conplished woman, C'est une femme belle, ai-junction and, et, it takes the plural, and is inable, et accomplie.

of the same gender as the nouns; as in, The Accomplie, being derived from the past Arabs have their face and body burnt by participle of the verb to accomplish, belongs the heat of the sun, Les Arabes ont le to one of the classes mentioned above. An visage et le corps brulés de l'ardeur du soillustrious and classical author, Un auteur leil. illustre et classique; because classique bears But if the nouns should have some simino necessary affinity to, nor is it necessarily larity in their signification, as they would in harmony with the noun, inasmuch as it then in fact represent but one idea, the adalludes rather to a class than to an indivi- jective should be used in the singular, and dual.

agree with the last; as in, He received us (2.) But when both adjectives could in- with an insufferable ostentation and pride, dividually be placed before the noun, it Il nous reç ut avec un faste et un orgueil becomes a matter of taste and euphony, insupportable. whether they precede or follow it; as in, A Of Adjectives qualifying several Nouns brave and intrepid soldier, Un brave et in- of a different Gender. Whenever an adjectrépide soldat, or, Un soldat brave et intré- tive is used to qualify several nouns of a pide; A large and fine city, Une grande et different gender, it is used in the plural belle ville, or, Une ville grande et belle. number and masculine gender; as in, The

There is a natural analogy between the inhabitants of the Strait of Davis eat their idea of a soldier and that of bravery and fish and meat raw, Les habitans du détrait intrepidity, and between the idea of a city de Davis mangent leur poisson (m.) et leur and that of splendour and size.

viande (f.) crus. (3.) When two adjectives are used to in- Euphony sometimes requires that the dicate the external appearance of persons feminine noun should be expressed first and things, and one of them may on account | when the adjective has not the same termiof its meaning, be placed before the noun, nation in either gender; thus we must say, that noun may be placed between the two; The actor plays with perfect dignity and as in, I placed my goods in a large open taste, Cet acteur joue avec une noblesse et basket, Je plaçai mes marchandises dans un un goût parfaits, rather than, Cet acteur grand panier ouvert; He is a tall, thin man, joue avec un goût et une noblesse parfaits ; C'est un grand homme maigre.

because in this last sentence the feminine Remark.-It should be observed, that an noun noblesse and the adjective parfaits, adjective can never, as in English, be placed plural masculine, would form a díssonance before a noun without being united by the disagreeable to the ear. conjunction and or neither, or, et, or ni, of Adjectives qualifying several Nouns ou; but they may follow it when there are which are united by the Conjunction And, more thantwo, and the conjunction et placed Et.”—When two or several nouns are sybefore the last'; as in, Your sister is a pretty, nonymous in their meaning, and one only amiable, rich, generous, and well-bred wo- is intended to be qualified by the adjective man, Votre seur est une, femme jolie, aim- which follows them both, this adjective able, riche, généreuse, et bien née.

agrees with the last. His whole life has of Adjectives considered in reference to been spent in continued labour and occupatheir relations with other words.-The re- tion, Toute sa vie n'a été qu'un travail et lations of adjectives with other words are une occupation continuelle. the following: 1st. Agreement of adjectives The same rule is applied whenever there with nouns; 2nd. Use of adjectives with is a gradation in the meaning of the several the article; 3rd. Object of the adjective. nouns qualified by the adjective; as in, The

Of the Agreement of Adjectives.-The knife, the headband, the fire, all is ready, adjective makes but one with the noun which Le fer, le bandeau, la flamme, est toute it qualifies; consequently, it must follow the prête. inflection of the noun and agree with it in Of Adjectives preceded by two or several number and gender; as, Good father, Bon Nouns, and relating only to the last — When père; Good mother, Bonne mère; Exquisite an adjective is preceded by several nouris, wine, Excellents vins; Handsome women, united or not by the conjunction and, et, Belles femmes.

and qualifies only the last, it should agree Of Adjectives qualifying several Nouns with this one, and should not be used in the of the same Gender, and united by the Con- | plural on account of those which precede it;


as in, A smile is a sign of benevolence, | l'Egypte, dans l'Asie et dans la Grèce, Bacapprobation, and internal satisfaction, Le chus ainsi qu' Hercule étaient reconnus pour sourire est une marque de bienveillance, demi-Dieux (addition.) d'applaudissement et de satisfaction intéri- Of Ecceptions to the rules relating to the

agreement of the Adjective:--Of the AdjecOf Adjectives preceded by several Nouns, tive Feu," late. - The adjective feu, late, separated by the Conjunction, Or, Ou.. is invariable when placed before the article When an adjective is preceded by two nouns or adjective possessive pronoun, but it vaseparated by the conjunction or, ou, it ries if placed after them; as in, The late agrees with the last if it is intended to qua- Queen, Feu la reine, or la feue reine; My lify only one of them; as in, As Rome was late mother, Feu ma mère or ma feue no longer free, and could no more be such, mère. it mattered but little who would be its Of the Adjective Nu," Naked.--The master, whether Pompeius or Cæsar Rome adjective nu, naked, remains invariable n'étant plus libre et ne pouvant plus l'être, when it precedes a noun, but it agrees with qu'importait que Pompée ou que César fût that noun when it follows it; as in, He goes maître. Maître is in the singular, because barefooted, Il va nu pieds or les pieds nus. there could be but one master in Rome. But when the adjective nu is preceded by

But if the adjective should at once qua: the article the used in the feminine, it lify the two nouns, the agreement should agrees with the noun which it qualifies, take place with both; as in, Who is the although it is placed before it; as in, My father who would not mourn over his son father has kept for himself the title to his and daughter being lost for the world, Quel lands, and given the revenue to his children, est le bon père de famille qui ne gémisse de Mon père s'est conservé la nue propriété de voir son fils ou sa fille perdus pour la so- ses terres et en a abandonné l'usufruit à ses ciété ?

enfants. Perdus is in the plural, because the mind Of the Adjective " Demi,Half:-Whenrefers to both as being lost.

ever the adjective demi is placed before a Of Adjectives qualifying sometimes the noun, it forms with that noun a compound first, sometimes the second Noun, when it is expression in which the two words are joined preceded by several Nouns separated by the by a hyphen, and remains invariable; but Preposition Of, De.–When an adjec- when placed after the noun, it agrees with tive is preceded by two nouns separated by that noun in gender but not in number, for of, de, it agrees with the first or the last two halves make one whole; three halves according to the sense of the sentence; as make one whole and a half, &c.; thus we say: in, White silk stockings, Des bas de soie One hour and a half, Une heure et demie ; blancs ; A skein of white silk, Un écheveau Half an hour, Une demi-heure. de soie blanche. In the first sentence, the But if the word demi should be used as a mind does not think of the material which, noun in a sentence like the following, it being white, renders the stockings of that should be used in the plural : This clock colour, but of the stockings themselves, strikes the hours but not the half-hours, which strike the eye as being white. Cette horloge sonne les heures, mais elle,

In the second example, it is the material ne sonne pas les demies. which occupies the mind, the skein being Demi, although an adjective, is someonly the shape in which it is presented to times used as an adverb, and then it never

varies; as in, Half-fool, half-dead, halfOf Adjectives preceded by several Nouns rotten, &c., Demi-fou, 'demi-mort, demiseparated by the Conjunctions " Ainsi Que, pourri, fc. Aussi Bien Que,as well as, Comme;" as, Of the Adjectives Excepté, Excepted," Avec,with, fc.—When an adjective is Passé, Past,Supposé,supposed,Vu, used with several nouns separated by the Considering," Y Compris," Here Inabove conjunctions, or any other having the cluded,Franc de Port, “ Free of Postage,"'. same signification, it agrees only with the 8C.-When the above expressions, or any of first of those nouns if the sentence expresses the same nature, are placed before a noun, a comparison, and with all, if the sentence they act as prepositions, and remain invaimplies the idea of addition or simulta- riable; but they do vary when they follow neousness; as in, Truth as well as light is it; as in, All is well made in this house exunalterable, La vérité comme la lumière cept the doors, Tout est bien fait dans cette est inaltérable (comparison); In Egypt, maison excepté les portes ; You will find Asia, and Greece, Bacchus as well as Her- here included a copy of my last letter, Vous cules was worshipped as a demi-god, Dans trouverez ci-inclus une copie de ma derniere

the eye.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »