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that purpose.

It is equivalent to the Saxon weorthan; but that verb, (unless perhaps in some anomalous usages of the word were,) has not reached our times. Accordingly, by means of a few dextrous maneuvres, which puzzle the brains of the Scots and Irish, we have contrived to make will and shall answer all the three divisions of futurity. With regard to which of the two shall, in any particular case, become a simple future, our choice is founded on the following principles:

1. Knowing little of the will, or determination, of others, we denote their contingent actions by will, and their compulsory ones by shall.

2. Knowing our own will, we denote our voluntary actions by will, and our contingent actions by shall.

3. When we would express our own necessary actions, we use a periphrasis, such as “I shall be forced,or “ I shall be obliged to do such a thing: or, changing the verb, we say " I must do it” or " I am obliged (or forced) to do it.”

4. When we would express the voluntary actions of others, we lay an emphasis on the word will, and say “ You will do it;" or we use such prophetical phrases as “ You will surely do so,” “I am convinced that he will do so," &c.

5. SHOULD and WOULD are the conditionals

of shall and will, and follow similar rules of construction. Should is sometimes used unconditionally, and is then equivalent to ought. Would is also used in the same manner, and then signifies wish. I should have done that" signifies " I' ought to have done that;” and “ I would that you were wise” is equivalent to," I wish that you were wise." In these usages, should and would cease to be conditionals.

The preceding principles aré, probably, unexceptionable, but they are too general to be easily referred to, in particular instances. The choice between shall and will depends so much upon the intention of the speaker, that it is scarcely possible to teach a foreigner to distinguish their usage; for even our best writers must be sometimes in fault, seeing that they are not always uniform in their practice. Nevertheless, an attention to accuracy in the use of those words is of the utmost importance; for, on the nice discrimination of the signs of the future tense, much of the precision and elegance of composition depends. As, in incurable diseases, the prescriptions are always most numerous and generally specifics, so, on this subject, every grammarian has promulgated his own infallible instructions; and we have now before us a work, devoted entirely to shall and will, containing no

fewer than thirty-five Rules, with numerous observations and examples upon each. However correct these may be, (and we believe that they are correct,) they defeat their purpose by their multiplicity. Mr. Brightland's Rule (from the Latin of Dr. Wallis) has the advantage of being easily retained in the memory ; but it is not sufficiently comprehensive:

“ In the First Person, simply, shall foretels;
In will, a threat, or else a promise, dwells;
Shall, in the Second and the Third, does threat:
Will, simply, then foretels the future feat.”

When it is said that will, in the first person either promises, or threatens, it is understood only in its combination with other words, or from its known connexion with other circumstances. The will or desire of the speaker is all that is expressed in the simple sentence, and this will may promise a favour or threaten a punishment; for we never use will in the first person without assuming that we have power. Shall, in the second and third

also presumes the power of compulsion; for it would be absurd to say

“ You shall," or “ He shall," act in a certain manner, if we had no power to enforce obedience: it would be an empty threat.

When we would employ shall and will as inter

person, also

rogatories, we find, by a little attention, that the choice for the different futures depends on the same principles as in direct assertions. The expected answer ought always to be made by the same auxiliary with which the question is asked; and the answer will immediately determine the choice. Thus, “When shall we meet again ?” is to be answered by We shall meet again” (at such a time). Had the reply been “We will meet again” (at such a time) it would have expressed the will, or desire, of meeting, which was no part of the question. Again, Shall your brother be in town to-morrow?” The answer, if in terms of the question, must either be “He shallor “He shall not,” which, in either case, would imply compulsion; and, therefore, if it were not intended to exercise power over this brother, the question should have been put, as well as answered, by will.“ Shall I have my money to-morrow" is proper; and the answer may be “ You shall,which is a promise of payment. Shall I call upon you to-morrow" is a substitution of shall for may; or the sentence may be considered as elliptical, in place of Shall I (be allowed to) call upon you tomorrow?” or, in other words, “Will you allow me to call upon you to-morrow?Shall I help you to a cup of tea?May I help you to a cup of tea?” and “Will you allow me to help you to a cup of tea?” are spoken indiscriminately. The etiquette of polished society has prescribed laws to these and other colloquial phrases with which written language, in general, has nothing to do. The Scotch mode of expression “Will I call upon you?” or “Will I help you?” is, however, unquestionably, erroneous. It would signify “Am I willing to do so?” which is not, probably, the meaning of the speaker.

We shall now proceed to give some miscellaneous examples of the application of these troublesome auxiliaries; but, previously, we beg the reader's attention to the following Rule, which embraces the whole of the subject; and, being of easy application, will be convenient for referring to in our explanatory remarks:


If the speaker is the nominative to the verb, and also determines its accomplishment;-or, if he is neither the nominative to the verb nor determines its accomplishment,—the proper auxiliary is will:-in every other case it is SHALL.

Miscellaneous Examples. I will speak.” Here I is the nominative and also determines the act to speak, which therefore

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