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characteristic of the French in common with the other Romanesque languages.

Such are the three ways in which we manage the expression of the adjectival idea, the three methods of adjection, the variations in the Morphology of the Adjective.

This threefold variety of adjectives, Flat, Flexional, and Phrasal, has a philological importance which will more clearly be seen in the next section, where it will be made the basis of the whole arrangement.


428. In Adverbs our attention shall be given to one leading character. It is that which has been already traced in the adjectives at the end of the last section. The adverbs rise stage above stage in a threefold gradation. They are either Flat, Flexional, or Phrasal; and this division gives the plan of the present section.

If a substantive becomes an adverb by position we call it a Flat Adverb, as forest wild in 219. Or if an adjective is so transformed ;-as

extreme. All the former Editions being extream Faulty.—Preface to Telemachus; translated by Littlebury and Boyer, 11th ed. ; 1721. these are flat adverbs. If we say extremely faulty we use a flexional adverb : and the same thing may be expressed by a phrasal adverb, thus, faulty in the extreme.

But before proceeding to catalogue, it will be desirable to apprehend clearly what an adverb is, in the most pure and simple acceptation of the term. The adverb is the tertiary or third presentive word. It has been shewn above that the substantive is the primary, that the adjective and verb are

co-ordinated as the secondary, and we now complete this trilogy of presentives by the addition of the adverb, which is the third and last of presentive words. Whatever material idea is imported into any sentence must be conveyed through one of these three orders of words. All the rest is mechanism.

We assign to the adverb the third place, although we know that it does not stand in that order in every sentence. We do, so because this is the true and natural order; for it is in this order alone that the mind can make use of it as an adverb. Whether the adverb stand first, as in very fine child, or in the third place as in John rides well, either way it is equally third in mental order. As fine is dependent on child for its adjectival character, so very is dependent on the two for its adverbial character. There is a good meaning in very if I say 'a very child,' but it is no longer an adverbial meaning.

429. As a further illustration of the tertiary character of the adverb, it may be noticed that it attaches only to adjectives and verbs, that is to the two secondary words. The adverb is further removed from the base of language, it is higher above the foundation by which language is based in physical nature; in other words, mind is more deeply engaged in its production than it is either in that of the substantive or of the adjective. Accordingly the adverbs cannot be disposed of in a catalogue such as we have made of substantives and adjectives. The power of making adverbs is too unlimited for us to catalogue them as things already moulded and made. The adverb is to be looked at rather as a faculty than as a product, as a potential rather than as a material thing.

Of all presentive words, the adverb has most sympathy with the verb. Indeed, this quality is already intimated in the Latin name of Adverb. It is the peculiar companion of the verb, as the adjective is of the substantive. It continues or intensifies the mental action raised by the verb, or couched in the adjective. And here having reached as it were the third and topmost storey of our edifice, we leave behind us the care for raw material, and think more and more of the arts and graces of architectural composition. We have done with the forest and the quarry, and we are absorbed in the contemplation of the effect. We may yet incidentally notice that an adverbial form has come from Saxon or other national source; but our main attention will be required by a division as truly inward to the adverbs themselves, as that which formed the plan of the chapter on verbs. And this internal division is the more worthy of consideration, as it is not limited to the adverbs alone, but is correlated to the general economy and progress of language.

(1) Of the Flat Adverb.

430. The Flat Adverb is simply a substantive or an adjective placed in an adverbial position. The same word which, if it qualified a noun, would be called an adjective, being set to qualify an adjective or a verb is called an adverb. The use of the unaltered adjective as an adverb has a peculiar effect, which I know not how to describe better than by the epithet Flat. This effect is not equally appreciable in all instances of the thing; but it may perhaps be recognised in such an expression as wonder great, which was common in the fourteenth century, or in the following:


With foreheads villainous low.

W. Shakspeare, Tempest, iv. i. 247.


When spight of cormorant deuouring Time.

Loues Labour's lost, i. 1. 4.

The uneasy young traveller in an American car, who (as Mr. Zincke relates) exclaimed 'Mother, fix me good,' gave us there an excellent example of this original adverb of nature.

Although this adverbial use of good is not admitted in literary English, the analogous use of gut is polite German. Indeed, the flat adverb is much more extensively used in German than in English, as schreiben Sie langsam, write slowly. We do also hear in English write slow, but it is rather rustic. In Jeremiah xlix. 8 there is a German example: 'Flee ye, turne backe, dwell deepe, O inhabitants of Dedan,' where the flat adverb deep is an imitation from Luther: Fliehet, wendet euch und verkriechet euch tief, ihr Bürger

zu Dedan.

431. Our English instances of this most primitive form of adverb will mostly be found in the colloquial and familiar specimens of language. In such homely phraseology as walk fast, walk slow; speak loud, speak low; tell me true ; or again in this, yes, sure—we have examples of the flat adverb. They are frequent in our early classics, and they are cherished by our modern poets. But the precise grammar-book does not allow them. Instead of just and right, as in the following passage from Shakspeare, we should now be directed to say 'exactly' or 'precisely':

At this fusty stuffe
The large Achilles (on his prest-bed lolling)
From his deepe Chest, laughes out a lowd applause,
Cries excellent, 'tis Agamemnon iust.
Now play me Nestor; hum, and stroke thy Beard
As he, being drest to some Oration:

That's done, as neere as the extreamest ends
Of paralels; as like, as Vulcan and his wife,
Yet god Achilles still cries excellent,
'Tis Nestor right. Troylus and Cressida, i.



clean. Suffre yet a litle whyle, & ye vngodly shal be clene gone : thou shalt loke after his place, & he shal be awaye.—Psalm xxxvii. 1o.

Miles Cover

dale, 1535

He cherups brisk his ear-erecting steed.

William Cowper, The Task, Book III.

Yet these each other's power so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest.

Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller.

I don't mean to hurt you, you poor little thing,

And pussy-cat is not behind me;
So hop about pretty, and put down your wing,
And pick up the crumbs, and don't mind me.

Nursery Rhyme.
With eager spring the troutlets rise
To seize the fair delusive prize;
And quick the little victims pay
The penalty of being gay.

E. W. L. Davies, Dartmoor Days, p. 81.

slow ... best.
While the bell is cooling slow

May the workman rest:
Each, as birds through bushes go,
Do what likes him best.

H. D. Skrine, Schiller's Song of the Bell.

extraordinary. We had an extraordinary good run with the Tiverton hounds yesterday. -Land and Water, January 15, 1870.

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