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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS DISTRICT ; to wit:
E IT REMEMBERED, That on the first day of September, in
the twenty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, DUNCAN MACKINTOSH, of the said District, and his two Daughters, have deposited in this Office the Title of a Book, the right whereof they claim as Authors, in the words following, to wit : " A plain, rational Essay on English Grammar : The main object of which is to point out a plain, rational and permanent Standard of Pronunciation. To which is given, a Gamut or Key, still more simple, plain and easy than that given to Music, pointing out the quantity and quality of every fyllable and word, according to the present mode among polite scholars. Long syllables are distinguished from short ones, by authority of legal accent; and the sounds of both clearly pointed out, by typographical marks or characters, and illustrated by fuch rules and examples as render the whole fo very intelligible and easy, even to the weakest capacity, that foreigners as well as natives may learn to read English properly, in a few weeks. This plan, hitherto unattempted, is respectfully inscribed to British and American Ladies and Gentlemen, whose generous criticifm and assistance is humbly requested by their devoted humble servants, Duncan Mackintosh and his two Daughters."
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An A& for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.”
N. GOODALE, Clerk of the District of
A true copy of Record,
Attest, N. Goodale, Clerk.
INTRODUCTION TO THIS GRAMMAR,
AS GIVEN IN ANOTHER VOLUME FOR THE USE OF THE FRENCH.
THE enlightened French nation has always acknowledged the great ease of learning to translate the English language ; whose sublime fimplicity, regularity and energy are universally known : yet, not only foreigners, but natives likewise, very justly complain of our pronunciation as an almost impenetrable mystery. But my Effay renders the pronunciation of English, by many deci grees, easier than that of any other language : for, I give it a Gamut or Key similar to, but still more concise, plain and easy than that given to music. By means of eight simple notes or marks, I plainly point out the length or duration, as well as the sound of every fyllable and word in our tongue : witness my Gamut or Key to the Vowels and Consonants, which any body may learn to pronounce properly in a week's time : and whoever does so, can, with ease, read my whole Essay. I likewise give rules to the various sounds of
let. ter in our alphabet ; and further, I treat of English Grammar in a manner, perhaps, more natural, plain and comprehensive than any of my predecessors.
If my present Effay succeeds, I shall foon publish a Dictionary on the same principles : so that a foreigner, who reads French, can, in a few weeks time, make himself master of the English tongue, in his closet, by the mere study of my Essay. Though it be necessary to give the rules in French ; as also to give the translation of our declensions and conjugations : yet such explanatory, examples as are easily found in Boyer's Dictionary are not here translated, on purpose to exercise the pupil,
and to prevent perplexity by too quick a transition from the English to the French accent. I do not meddle with poetry because I am not a poet ; and I am neither able nor willing to teach the profe jargon of the lowest class. It is true that we have a grave, solemn pronunciation, and a familiar, cursory one : I teach the former, with but very little regard to the latter, which I look upon as a most dangerous corrupter of language, politeness and morals-it is, in general, but a low, familiar gabble of short, insignificant fyllables. I cannot help thinking that purity of expression contributes to purity of sentiment, and that corruption and familiarity breed contempt, In short I am averse to all unneceffary abridgments. The French, be it said to their honor, admit of none such and, even with us, abridgments, in writing or speaking to our fuperiors, are thought yery impolite. But whatever the opinion of the student may be on this subject, he should first make himself master of the folemn
pronunciation, and then he may, if he will, soon learn the familiar one by rote. That the chief materials of both languages are the same, is evident from the following table of terminations and words.
$ I nev'er expec't to be read by tho'se who are
I 3 3
domineered by' invin'cible igʻnorance, capric'e or prej'. soʻ, I address' myself but to the few thinking
' be'ings, who enjoŷ' the free use of their senses, gov.
e'rned by right rea'fon : for, all' such' will re'lish and
Mi'ne, which is feen' in my tit'le paçe, is ex'ecuted ac
coʻrding to my abil'ities, not my wish'es. I ha've don'e
my ut'most to cull' the beau'ties and to shun' the er'rors
of oûr best' mo'dern gramma'rians; and thou'gh I recom
what I call', it's le'gal king and pa'rliament; yet' I ha've
not da'red to introduce any no'velty in'to present prac3 tice.
Thoʻugh implic'it obedience to the law's be the prin'ci.
pal du'ty of every good fub'ject; yet', we moʻre na't
* See the Gamut with its guide.
3 3 I
our hon'or, prosper'ity and pleaasure. Therefore, no'.
body will qûar'rel with me', meʼrely, for hav'ing compli'
ed with staʼndard ru'les, euph'ony and common sense :
and thereby disti'ng-ûishing long' from short' syllables-
giving, at the fa'me tim’e, the qúan'tity and the fou'nd or
false orthogʻraphy. Such' a very efsen'tîal plan', hith
serves but to show the qúan'tity of its fyl’lable (if he has'
qúar tity of its fyllable the mas
a good' ea'r and has' exam'ined the following keys with
their gûid'e) must be perfùad'ed that my' plan' re’nders
the a'rt of reading much' mo're regʻular, easy and
With re'ference to a few' exceptions, which' see' in
oûr sta'ndard accent rules, we must' not plac'e the ac'
place the ac'