When Judge Grammar took possession of Grammar-land; he gave all the words to his nine followers, to take for their very own as long as they obeyed him. These nine followers he called the nine Parts-of-Speech, and to one or the other of them every word in Grammar-land was given.
They are funny fellows, these nine Parts-of-Speech. You will find out by-and-by which you like best amongst them all. There is rich Mr. Noun, and his useful friend Pronoun; little ragged Article, and talkative Adjective; busy Dr. Verb, and Adverb; perky Preposition, convenient Conjunction, and that tiresome Interjection, the oddest of them all.
Now, as some of these Parts-of-Speech are richer, that is, have more words than others, and as they all like to have as many as they can get, it follows, I am sorry to say, that they are rather given to quarrelling; and so it fell out that one day, when my story begins, they made so much noise, wrangling and jangling in the court, that they woke Judge grammar up from a long and very comfortable nap.
“What is all this about?” he growled out, angrily. “Brother Parsing! Dr. Syntax! Here!”
In an instant the Judge’s two learned counsellors were by his side. For whenever there is a fuss in Grammar-land, Serjeant Parsing has to find out all about it, and Dr. Syntax has to say what is right or wrong, according to the law.
“Brother Parsing,” said the Judge, “this racket must be stopped. What are they fighting about? I divided the words clearly enough once amongst the nine Parts-of-Speech. Why cannot they keep the peace?”
“My lord,” answered Serjeant Parsing, “the fact is that it is a long time since you portioned out the words, and the Parts-of-Speech since then have been left to do pretty much as they like. Some of them are greedy, and have stolen their neighbours’ words. Some of them have got hold of new words, which the others say they had no right to make; and some of them are even inclined to think that Dr. Syntax is old-fashioned, and need not be obeyed. In fact, unless your lordship takes the matter in hand at once, I am afraid the good old laws of Grammar-land will all go to wreck and ruin.”
“That must never be,” said the Judge, solemnly shaking his wig: “That must never be. We must stop it at once. Go and summon all my court before me.”
“Certainly, my lord,” answered Serjeant Parsing; “but may I ask if there is any Part-of-Speech you wish for in particular?”
“I wish for them all, sir, every one,” replied the Judge. “They shall all come before me, and you shall question them in turn, and make them say what right they have to the titles and the words which they claim; and then if there is any disagreement between them, I will settle the matter once for all.”
“Quite so, my lord,” said Serjeant Parsing; “and shall I invite our friends in Schoolroom-shire?”
“Our friends in Schoolroom-shire? By all means let them come,” replied the Judge. “If we wish to have peace among the Parts-of-Speech it is most important that the people of Matter-of-fact-land should know how to use them well. And as the people of Matter-of-fact-land generally spend at least a part of their lives in Schoolroom-shire, we cannot do better than send our invitation there. Go, Brother Parsing, and request them to come, and to bring their slates and pencils with them, that they may keep an account of what we do, and let our Parts-of-Speech prepare to come before us at once.”
- Introduction—Judge Grammar and his Subjects
- Mr. Noun
- Little Article
- Mr. Pronoun
- Serjeant Parsing’s Visit to Schoolroom-shire
- Mr. Adjective
- Mr. Adjective Tried for Stealing
- The Quarrel Between Mr. Adjective, and Mr. Pronoun, and Little Interjection
- Dr. Verb
- Dr. Verb’s Three Tenses, Number, and Person
- Serjeant Parsing in Schoolroom-shire Again
- The Nominative Case
- Prepositions Govern the Objective Case
- Active Verbs Govern the Objective Case
- The Possessive Case; and who’s to have the Prize?
- Grammar Land Worksheets
- Answer Key
At the end of each chapter there is an activity for children to identify the words they have just learned.
Written by M. L. Nesbitt
151 Pages, Paperback