All language depends on two general principles.
First. The fixed and unvarying laws of nature which regulate matter and mind. Second. The agreement of those who use it.
In accordance with these principles all language must be explained. It is not only needless but impossible for us to deviate from them. They remain the same in all ages and in all countries. It should be the object of the grammarian, and of all who employ language in the expression of ideas, to become intimately acquainted with their use.
It is the business of grammar to explain, not only verbal language, but also the sublime principles upon which all written or spoken language depends. It forms an important part of physical and mental science, which, correctly explained, is abundantly simple and extensively useful in its application to the affairs of human life and the promotion of human enjoyment.
It will not be contended that we are assuming a position beyond the capacities of learners, that the course here adopted is too philosophic. Such is not the fact. Children are philosophers by nature. All their ideas are derived from things as presented to their observations. No mother...