Old grammar books p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to give a few samples from old books, especially out of print or even forgotten books. A lot of these books have a lot of valuable information. Old books on grammar make fascinating reading. They include a lot of things that modern grammar books don’t go near. McDougall’s Complete Grammar from 1913; and Cambridge […]

READERSVOICE.COM aims to give a few samples from old books, especially out of print or even forgotten books.

A lot of these books have a lot of valuable information. Old books on grammar make fascinating reading. They include a lot of things that modern grammar books don’t go near. McDougall’s Complete Grammar from 1913; and Cambridge Lessons in English. Book II. Teacher’s Edition, by George Sampson, published 1929 are two fine examples.  The latter opens with a quote from Milton:

To be seriously concerned whether the mother-tongue is healthy or diseased and whether it is habitually used with propriety is really no trifling matter. Plato thought that radical changes in dress and habits portended disaster to a nation. I am much more inclined to believe that the downfall of a dominion and the humiliation of its high estate will ensue when the essential rightness of language falls into disrepute. Is it not as plain as can be that when the verbal currency is cheapened and debased, its image and superscription obliterated and forgotten, the minds of an abjectly passive and spiritless people are already ripe for slavery of some sort? On the other hand, never have we heard that any state or empire did not prosper at least moderately, as long as its zeal for exactness and grace of speech endured.

Milton: Epist. Ad Benedictum Bonmatthaeum. (paraphrased by G.M.).

Here are just a couple of notable sections from these books.

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