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Person

PERSON

PERSON is a property of the noun and pronoun which varies the verb.
The first person denotes the speaker.
The second person denotes the person or thing spoken to; as, "Listen, earth!"
The third person denotes the person or thing spoken of; as, "The earth thirsts."

Nouns have but two persons, the second and third. When a man speaks, the pronoun I or we is always used; therefore nouns can never be in the first person. In examples like the following, some philologists suppose the noun to be in the first person:—"This may certify, that I, Jonas Taylor, do hereby give and grant," &c. But it is evident, that the speaker or writer, in introducing his own name, speaks of himself; consequently the noun is of the third person.

If you wish to understand the persons of nouns, a little sober thought is requisite; and, by exercising it, all difficulties will be removed. If I say, my son, have you seen the young man? you perceive that the noun son is of the second person, because I address myself to him; that is, he is spoken to; but the noun man is of the third person, because he is spoken of. Again, if I say, young man, have you seen my son? man is of the second person, and son is of the third.

"Hast thou left thy blue course in the heavens, golden-haired sun of the sky?"

"Father, may the Great Spirit so brighten the chain of friendship between us, that a child may find it, when the sun is asleep in his wig-wam behind the western waters."

"Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise!"
"Eternal Hope, thy glittering wings explore
Earth's loneliest bounds, and ocean's wildest shore."

In these examples, the nouns, sun, father, mountains, valleys, and hope, are of the second person, and, as you will hereafter learn, in the nominative case independent. Course, heavens, sky, Spirit, chain, friendship, child, sun, wig-wam, waters, earth, skies, wings, earth, bounds, ocean, and shore, are all of the third person.