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The English adjective may be sometimes rendered by a substantive, and the word with which it agrees be put in the genitive case; as,
You will easily judge how few orators there are and have been: Facillimè quanta oratorum sit, semperque fuerit paucitas judicabis:
Instead of quàm pauci ..
1. Ancient friendship, the dignity of the man, and my constant practice through life, jointly called upon me to defend him.
2. A good voice, though it is very desirable, it is not in our power to acquire, but to exercise and improve it, is certainly in the power of every man.
3. No one could resist the brave Hercules.
This variation generally takes place when the chief stress lies upon the adjectives, as implying a cause, reason, or "something like it.
A substantive may be changed into a verb by a periphrasis; as,
Nor could I foresee that accident: Neque quod accidit,' prævidere poteram.
1. Nor did I prognosticate those events, when I said they would happen; but I was only urged by my fears, lest they should happen ; when I considered the possibility of them, and, at the same time, foresaw their pernicious tendency, if they should happen.
2. But I make this concession to you, that you may pass over those things which, from your silence, you allow not to exist.
But, above all, a SUPERLATIVE will admit of many different modes of variation.
A superlative is elegantly changed into a comparative, with a negative, especially with the pronoun relative, qui, quæ, quod; as,
A most courteous and learned man: Vir quo non alius humanior, quo non doctior alter.
1. He was most eminent, and indeed unparalleled, in his virtues and vices. (Say, nihil fuit.)
2. Plato, who was the most ingenious and learned of men, laid it down as a maxim, that those republics would enjoy a lasting happiness, whose government was in the hands of the wise and the İcarned.
Observe that quo is more elegantly used with a comparative than ut, to express the purpose.
1. He paid his debts (nomina liberavit) that he might lead a happier life. 2. We broke open the seal (linum incidimus), that we might detect the conspirators the more easily.
Or it may be rendered comparatively, with an affirmative, either by an interrogative or a repetition of the words; as, A most courteous man: Vir humanus, si quisquam omninò humanus;
Or, Quis, or, quid hoc viro humanior, or humanius ?
1. Believe me, your brother is a most studious man.
2. Croesus was the richest man in the world; and yet neither his numerous forces, nor his riches, could avail any thing against the attack of a small but disciplined army, inured to poverty and hardships.
A superlative receives an additional force, if its comparative is introduced with it, as having more power than the superlative in this manner;
Plato a most learned man: Plato quovis doctissimo doctior.
1. In this, indeed, I am more miserable than you, because my calamity is accompanied with yours, and common to both.
2. Be persuaded that those are the fairest talents, which are employed for the good of others (ad communem utilitatem).
Cicero and the best writers often increase the force of the superlative by the addition of such expressions as these; unus omnium, unus, sine controversia, apprimè, insigniter, egregiè; as,
You seem to me a most choice and excellent speaker: Unus omnium in dicendo mihi videris lectissimus.
1. I dare pronounce him to be the most eminent in the state for genius and industry.
2. I cannot even promise it to that most learned and religious man, and who enjoys your greatest favour and friendship.
The variation of the superlative may be elegantly made by these verbs, contendere, certare, superare, or by cedere; as, Cicero was the most eloquent of orators: Nemo oratorum cum Cicerone contendere audet eloquentiâ.
1. Your brother is the greatest lover of literature that ever was.
2. Those who love and cultivate the liberal arts are always the most humane and courteous of men.
3. Alexander the Great was the most ambitious of heroes, who is even said to have wept because he had no other world to conquer.
The superlative may also be elegantly varied by these forms; tam followed by quàm, qui, or tam, quàm qui maximè; by adeò ità ut; tantus, quantus; æquè or perindè, atque; as,
This man possesses the greatest humanity: Humanitas in hoc viro tam magna, quàm quæ maxima; or, Haud est quisquam omnium æquè humanus, atque hic vir, &c.
1. Nero was the most cruel tyrant that ever lived.
2. He fought with unparalleled bravery, and overcame the enemy. 3. The letters, which he sent to the senate, were the most elegant that can be conceived.
4. The study of physic is very, or the most, useful.
In these different forms something must be added, which the judgment of the scholar will easily suggest; as, tantus, quantus, nunquam anteà; adeò, ut nihil suprà; ut nulla fieri possit accessio, nihil addi possit; ut nulli sint conferendi, &c.
Instead of quo, eo, or quanto, before a comparative, a sentence may be elegantly varied by using ut quisque in the first part, and ita in the latter, with superlatives; as,
The more a man excels in greatness of soul, the more he wishes to be the first of men: Ut quisque animi magnitudine maximè excellit, ita maximè vult omnium princeps esse.
1. Thus, for the future, the more opulent any man may be, the greater enemy he will appear to the Romans.
2. The more abandoned any man has been, the safer will he be.
3. The more eloquent any one is, the more he dreads the difficulties of speaking, the various turns and chances of his oration, and the expectation of men.
Quot may be changed into quantum, and tot into tantum, when they are meant to express not merely numbers, but magnitude.
How many books you have! If we were to estimate your knowledge by the size of your library, you must be thought the most learned man in the universe.
Quot may be changed into quotus quisque, with a kind of exclamation indirectly expressive of paucity of numbers; as, How many will believe this? Quotus quisque hoc credet? 1. Well may you commend their patriotism; for how many are there, who will voluntarily lay down their lives for their country? 2. How many are there, who can escape reports in a city so much addicted to scandal (in maledicentissimâ civitate)?
Observe that the particle enim is elegantly inserted between quotus and quisque.
For how few are there, who understand the art of numbers and measure?
For octodecim and novemdecim, it is more elegant to use duodeviginti and undeviginti, and, also, duodevicesimus, undevicesimus, duodetriginta, &c., and, to express a large uncertain number, the Latins generally use sexcenti, centum, mille and sexcenties, millies, centies.
An adjective and a participle are sometimes used for a substantive; as,
I saw him at his departure: Vidi eum proficiscentem.
1. Xenophon represents the elder Cyrus, at his death, as expressing his belief of the soul's immortality.
2. Cato learned the Greek language in his old age.
A substantive joined with the preposition propter, ob, &c., will be elegantly put in the case which was to have been governed by the verb, the preposition left out, and the other substantive, which was to have been the case of the verb, will be put in the genitive; as, instead of saying, invidere alicui ob divitias, we shall say, invidere divitiis alicujus.
1. If you had succeeded in this business, I should have congratulated you on your good fortune.
2. If I speak with too much freedom, I may be forgiven on account of my youth.
And in the same manner a substantive joined with these prepositions, ob, propter, per, &c., may, by a kind of prosopopoeia, become the nominative case to the verb, the prepositions being left out; as for, You are become famous on ac
count of your learning: say, Your learning has rendered you famous.
1. I shall attach myself to his most particular friends, and thus I shall insinuate myself into an intimacy with him, from which I have hitherto been excluded on account of my great diffidence.
2. I am now deprived of those comforts, to which I had accustomed myself by nature, by inclination, and by habit.
The pronoun qui, quæ, quod, is often elegantly used for a preposition; as,
For the love that you bear me: Qui tuus est erga me
1. There is no sorrow which the hand of time (longinquitas temporis) will not lessen and alleviate. But it would be beneath you to lay your whole hope and expectation on time, and not to exert yourself, and make use of your own wisdom, to apply the remedy to the wound you have received; and, if departed spirits are endowed with any sense of perception, from your daughter's love to you, and her affection for all her friends and relatives, she must be highly displeased to see you so disconsolate.
2. From his great learning, it was expected that he would have written much better.
A verb, but chiefly an infinitive, is frequently used for a substantive, and is often necessarily so where the Latin noun either does not exist or would be very inelegant; as,
Your desertion of the unhappy was most shameful: Miseros deseruisse tibi turpissimum erat.
1. Though fortune should frown upon a man, yet his great esteem of virtue, and the preservation of equanimity in the most arduous circumstances, will always render him cheerful, and even happy.
2. Thus you see what small value those men have for their body, who regard their honour.
3. An accurate knowledge of the arts softens our manners.
It is often necessary to make use of a verb instead of adjectives, as in these instances: Vix credi potest, It is incredible. Vix fieri potest, It is impossible, &c.
It is indeed impossible that I should be deceived in this business.
The word totus, to render it still more forcible, may be