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and not to be allowed. I have already stated my opinion, that ' a work of Schiller's' has arisen from a confusion of the two forms; and it certainly is warranted by the authority of good writers. On the other hand, I see no reason to condemn a work of Schiller,' meaning 'a work written by Schiller.'
151. But as we have two forms in English, we should be careful to avail ourselves of this advantage, in order to guard against ambiguity of expression.
For example, where Hume says, “They attacked Northumberland's house, whom they put to death,' we observe a little awkwardness in that form of expression. It seems better to say, They attacked the house of Northumberland, whom they put to death.' For although the gender of the pronoun shows that Northumberland is referred to, yet we are so accustomed in English to find the antecedent coming immediately before the relative, that the position of house’ between the two makes us fancy that there is something wrong. It is a good rule that, if we can make any alteration which will prevent the attention of the reader from being called to the mere form of words, we ought to avail ourselves of the privilege, and to fix his attention, not upon the sign, but upon the thing signified.
152. We saw, § 13—20, that there may be various kinds of Objectives in a sentence; and we distinguished three; the Primary and Secondary Objectives, and the ComplementObjective.
As an example of the care required to distinguish Objectives, we may take the following passage :
Lafeu. They say miracles are past; and we have our
philosophical persons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves
to an unknown fear.--All's Well, ii. 3. In some editions the words are pointed thus :-- to make modern and familiar things, supernatural and causeless. But the meaning is just the contrary : 'to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless.'
The word 'modern' is used in the literal sense of daily,' trivial,' common-place,' and the meaning is to modernise
and familiarise things, which are really above nature, and beyond the laws of cause and effect, as commonly understood
So also the phrase
we make trifles of terrors' means, turn terrors into sport.' The adjectives 'supernatural' and 'causeless' are used to qualify the objective · things;' while the adjectives modern and familiar' are complement
' objectives, to be taken in connection with the verb 'make.' 153. In our version of the Scriptures, we read : Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming
fire.-Psalm civ. 4. It has sometimes been suggested that this passage might be taken just the other way :
Who maketh the winds his messengers; the flames of
fire his ministers. But I have some doubts as to the latter clause. Compare, too, Hebrews i. 7, 8.
154. As there is, in English nouns, no distinction of form between nominative and objective, the order of words is a matter of great importance. In the following passage from Gibbon, objectives are immediately followed by nominatives; and the reader is obliged to peruse the sentence more than once, in order to discover where the objectives end, and the nominatives begin. Speaking of Theodoric, he says:
The ambassadors who resorted to Ravenna from the most
distant countries of Europe admired his wisdom, magnificence and courtesy; and if he sometimes accepted either slaves or arms, white horses or strange animals, the gift of a sun-dial, a waterclock, or a musician, admonished even the princes of Gaul of the superior art and industry of his Italian subjects.
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, c. 39. After a little reflection, it is easy to see that the objectives end at animals, and the nominatives begin with the gift of a sun-dial. But a writer should no cause his readers to hesitate, even for a moment, upon mere points of grammar.
155. As a general rule, transitive verbs govern an objective, and intransitives do not. But we must be very careful to watch the change of construction in verbs. For an intransitive verb, when compounded with a preposition, may acquire a transitive force; and as, in English, the preposition
is generally not attached to the verb, but put after it, the construction is sometimes misunderstood.
For instance, run is an intransitive verb; but run through is transitive, in the sense of (1) pierce, (2) waste : as,
They ran him through, with a sword.
He ran through his property. Here him is the objective, governed by the compound verb ran through ; and property is the objective, governed, not by the preposition through, but by the compound verb ran through. For we might turn the sentences thus :
They pierced him with a sword.
He squandered his property. See $$ 490, 491.
156. These constructions should be distinguished from others, where the intransitive, used with a preposition, still remains intransitive: as depart from,' despair of.' But one remark is common to both ; that this appending of a preposition gives rise to the idiom of throwing a preposition to the end of the sentence : as,
This I was afraid of.
That result I despaired of. Those grammarians who derive their notions from the idiom of the Latin language, condemn this usage of the preposition as inelegant; but more recent investigations, in the Germanic dialects, have proved that this is an old English idiom. See $$ 483–485.
157. A noun denoting time, space, or measure is often used absolutely; and from the analogy of similar constructions in Latin, we say that such nouns are in the objective case : as,
They rode all day.
shillings a week, wheat seventy shillings the quarter, and
the labourer worked twelve hours a day.—Macaulay. It has been surmised, that a, in these constructions, is not the indefinite article, but a remnant of the Anglo-Saxon preposition an, 'in,' on. But see § 304.
158. Dr. Angus remarks, (Handbook, $ 413) that the preposition of is sometimes erroneously used with an adjective, in such constructions as the following:
Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high.--Esther v. 14.
But in the present state of our knowledge, we must guard against hasty judgments. We must not rashly condemn an idiomatic usage, if it be really idiomatic; but we must examine the custom of old writers, before we arrive at a final conclusion.
159. A noun in the objective case is often found with an intransitive verb, when the noun and the verb are akin in meaning. This called in Latin grammar the Cognate Accusative : as, 'to dream a dream,''to run a race.' So,
Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end
be like his.-Numbers xxiii. 10. 160. The infinitive mood, used substantively, can stand as an objective: "John loves to study; ' and the infinitive so employed does not lose its power as a verb, but may have another objective dependent upon itself: as,
Ladies, you deserve
Coriolanus, v. 3. Occasionally, we find a forerunning it employed to show that an infinitive phrase is coming: as,
Thou dost; and think'st it much to tread the ooze
Tempest, i. 2. 161. We saw, $$ 37, 38, that when a sentence takes the place of an objective, there are three forms in which the subordinate clause may appear :
1. I know she is eloquent].
3. I know him to be eloquent]. We have termed the objective him, in the third example, a subject-accusative,' because it forms the subject of the subordinate clause, and yet it stands in the accusative or objective case before the infinitive to be. This mode of explanation is borrowed from the Latin grammarians, and is the most satisfactory that can be offered.
162. As a general rule, the objective follows the governing verb; but sometimes for the sake of emphasis, the order is reversed, and the objective stands first : as, Honey from out the gnarled hive I'll bring.
Keats, Endymion, 4.
Such sober certainty of waking bliss
Milton, Comus, 263. As pronouns often exhibit variations to mark difference of case, there is, with them, less danger of confusion; and a pronoun in the objective is freely placed before the verb: as,
Him the Almighty Power
Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 44-5. So, too, when the subject-nominative denotes a person, and the objective a thing or quality : as,
Equal toil the good commander endures with the common
soldier. Interrogative and relative pronouns, when used in the objective, occupy the first place in the sentence or clause; as, whom did he mean ?' this is the man whom I mentioned,'
THE SECONDARY OBJECTIVE,
163. In Latin, some verbs govern two accusatives; others an accusative and a dative; others an accusative and a genitive. What we have termed the secondary objective' corresponds to the second accusative, to the dative, or to the genitive in the Latin construction.
The employment of the secondary objective, in place of a dative, is particularly observable in the usage of personal pronouns; for, me and thee are old datives, as well as accusatives; and him is a true dative, though we commonly employ it as an accusative.
164. The secondary objective is formed after verbs of 'giving,'' telling,' showing :' as,
Give me that book.
They showed him all.
Macbeth, iv. 3. 165. The secondary objective, in the case of personal pronouns, is often used to represent the person for whom, for whose benefit, or at whose request anything is done. This corresponds to what is called the dativus commodi : so,