Skip to main content

Full text of "Advanced course of composition and rhetoric: a series of practical lessons on the origin, history and peculiarities of the English language ... Adapted to self instruction, and the use of schools and colleges."

See other formats


. Q3 


;70 pages, 3 50 

•y. Large 12mo. 

1 5ft 

Komau Anti- 

jiAS K. Aekold. 
. . -1 25 

e Beautiful, 

vo. . . 1 75 
>Iiy. 2 vols. 3 50 
sting of: 

, 1 00 
. 2 25 
Deawing, 88 
. 12 GO 
fst(?matic, and com- 
plete, philosophical in arrangement, and progressive in the develop- 
ment of the subject, Theyare used in all parts of the United 
States, and have been officially recommended for the use of the Pub- 
lic Schools of Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, 
California, and all other States where official adoptions are made. 

Covell's Bigest of Ejiglisli Grammar : Synthetical and 

Analytical. 12mo. 219 pages, 63 

Coming's Class-Il®ol£ of Pliysiolog-y. 12mo. 1 25 
Coe's ©rawing Cards. For Children, In 10 parts. Each, SO 
Coe & SlaelPs Elenaentary Bra^s^ing Cards, In 3 

parts. Designed for Children. Each, 25 

DwJgSit's iKtroductioM to tiae StUfSy of Art. By the 

author of " Grecian and Koman Mythology." 12mo. . 1 25 

Be^v's Digest of tlie ILa^^i^s, Customs, Manners, 

and Institutions of the Ancient and Modern Nations, By Thomas 

Dew, late President of the College of William and Mary. 8vo, 

662 pages, ... 2 50 

Ellswortli's System of Penmanslisp. Complete in 7 

Books. Per dozen, 1 80 

Copy Slips. For Primary Schools. 66 to the Set, 1 25 

Green's Primary Botany, Illustrated, 4to. 102 pages, 1 00 
Analytical Class-Bool£ of Botany. Illus- 
trated, 4to. 228 pages, 1 75 

J). Appleton d: Co., JVew Ycri, Aave tUJw ready, 











i^^tt Pnnbieii Hnb ^m ©itgrH&ings. 


12ino. 460 pa^es. Price $1.25. 
The special attention of Educators is solicited to this work, on the fol* 
lowing grounds : 

I. It brings up the science to the present date, incorporating the new discov- 
eries, the corrected views and more comprehensive principles which have resulted 
from recent inquiry. Among these may be mentioned the discoveries in Spectrum 
Analysis, the doctrines of the ConseTvation and Correlation of Forces, the researches 
of Berthelot on the Artificial Production of Organic Substances, the interesting re- 
searches of Graham on the Crystalloid and Colloid condition of matter, with many 
other results of recent investigation not found in contemporary text-l)Ooks. 

II. Avoiding excess of technicalities, it presents the subject in a lucid, forcible, 
and attractive style. 

IIL It is profusely illustrated with cuts of objects, apparatus, and exporimenta, 
which enable the student to pursue the subject alone or in schools without ap- 

IV. Directions for experimental operations are much condensed, and descrip- 
tions of unimportant chemical substances are made very brief, or altogether omit- 
ted, thus obtaining space to treat with unusual fulness the " chemistry of common 
Ufe," and the later revelations of this beautiful science. 

V. It presents just such a view of the leading principles and more important 
facts of the science as is demanded for the purposes of general education. 

VI. The work is arranged upon a natural method, the topics being so presented 
as to unfold the true order of Nature's activities. Part I treats of the natural 
forces by which matter is transformed. Part II, of the application of these forces 
to the lower or mineral world. Part III, of the organic kingdom, which rises out 
of the preceding ; while Part IV, or Physiological Chemistry, completes the schema 
in the world of life. 

VII. It presents the science not only as a branch but as a means of education— 
a valuable instrument of intellectual culture and discipline. 

VIII. It gives a clear exposition of the origin and nature of Bclentiflo knowl- 
edge and the value of scientific studies for purposes of education. 

A Specimen Copy for examination mil be sent, post paid, on 
receipt of 62 cents. 

StandLard. IEd.Tacatioxial "Works. 

Crillesple's Ijand Surveying : Theoretical and Practical. 
By W. M. Gillespie, LL.D., Civil Engineer, Professor of Civil 
Engineering in Union College ; author of " Manual of Eoads and 
Eailways," etc. With Four hundred engravings, and a Map 
showing the Yariation of the Needle in the United States. 1 vol. 
8vo. 424 pages, 2 50 

Graliai**''== ■■^'""■i^e'H s-«rT»r»Bi-«7-r»i<»«. r!la.';<5ifififl ftnd Exnlained. 


and t' 







This book may be kept out TWO WEEKS ONLY, and 

is subject to a fine of 25 CENTS a day thereafter. 
It is due on the last date stamped below: 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 




|i 3ttm at Irattital '$mmi 







•* Tnic grace in writing comes from abt, not chanco."-*— Popk. 




APPLETON & CO., 443 & 445 BROADWAY. 

By the same Author: 

FIEST LESSONS IN COMPOSITION: In whicli the Principles of the Arii are 
developed in connection with the Principles of Grammar. 12mo, pp. 182. 63 cts. 

AN ENGLISH GRAMMAE: 12mo, pp. 288. 75 cts. 

PRIMARY HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES : Made easy and interesting 
for Beginners. Child's Quarto, splendidly illustrated, pp. 192. "6S cts. 

a full Acconnt of the Aborigines, Biographical Notices of Distinguished Men, 
numerous Maps, Plans of Battle-fields, and Pictorial Illustrations. 12mo, pp. 
473. $1.25. 

A NATURAL PHILOSOPHY : Embracing the most recent Discoveries in Physics, 
Adapted to use with or without Apparatus, and accompanied with Practiaal 
Exeraises and 335 Illustrations. 12mo, pp. 450. $1.25. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by 
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 
Southern District of New York. 


m 28 '65 











The favor with which the,,public have kindly received the Au- 
thor's " First Lessons in Composition ", and the frequent calls made 
by Colleges and higher Academies for a more advanced work 
on the same plan, with which to follow it, have led to the prepara- 
tion of the present volume. The elementary book to which refer- 
ence has just been made, was intended to initiate the beginner by 
easy steps into the art of composition j the work now offered to 
the public has a wider scope, embracing a variety of subjects worthy 
of the attention of advanced piipUs, and presenting much important 
matter heretofore scattered through a number of different text- 
books. Claiming to give a comprehensive and practical view of our 
language ia all its relations, this " Advanced Course " views it as a 
whole, no less than with reference to the individual words composing 
it ; shows how it compares with other tongues, modern and ancient ; 
points out its beauties ; indicates how they may best be made avail- 
able ; and, in a word, teaches the pupil the most philosophical 
method of digesting and arranging his thoughts, as well as the most 
correct and effective mode of expressing them. 

The volume commences with a condensed history of our tongue, 
prefaced by a consideration of the origin of language in general, 
both spoken and written. Attention is first paid to the successive 
steps, by which, with Divine aid, man was enabled to develop a sys- 
tem of spoken language, to frame that elaborate and wonderful 
fabric without which civilization would be blotted from the globe. 
The invention of letters and the various systems of writing form 
the next subjects in order. The primitive language of Britain is 
then traced through successive modifications, produced by as 
many political changes, until at last the German invaders banished 


it to wilds and fastnesses, and introduced the sturdy mother-tonguQ 
of our own English. The history of the latter is then traced, from 
the days of Hengist and Horsa, through lines of Saxon kings, Scan-^ 
dinavian usurpers, and Norman conquerors ; until, modified, enriched, 
and improved, by the foreign elements with which it was brought 
in contact, it became a new tongue, that was soon embodied by poets 
in undying verse, and was destined to give birth to the noblest and 
most valuable literature of modem times. 

The formation of the English language having been thus con- 
sidered, its words are treated of, both with reference to their origin 
and the parts they respectively perform in a sentence. The memory 
of the pupil being then refreshed by a condensed review of the 
leading topics of grammar, a chapter on false syntax, and an ex- 
haustive view of the principles relating to the use of Capitals, the 
too generally neglected subject of Punctuation is next taken up. 
As this art, when considered at all in educational text-books, is 
treated only in the most cursory manner, it was regarded as a 
desideratum to present in this volume a complete and thorough 
system, which should cover exceptions as well as rules, and provide 
for every possible case, however rare or intricate. Such a system, 
it is claimed, is here set forth. 

Khetoric proper constitutes the next division of the work. Here, 
by means of strict conciseness, space has been found to treat with 
due attention and minuteness of every important subject connected 
with the art. The student is led to consider successively Taste, its 
elements, characteristics, and standard ; the pleasures of the imagi- 
nation ; its sources, — the novel, the wonderful, the picturesque, the 
sublime, and the beautiful ; sublimity and beauty of writing ; wit, 
humor, and ridicule ; figures their use and abuse ; style, its varie- 
ties and essential properties ; and criticism. A thorough prelimi- 
nary course on these important subjects was thought necessary 
before requiring the student to write original exercises. 

Thus prepared, the pupil enters on the subject of prose compo- 
sition. The process of Invention, which furnishes the thoughts to 
be clothed in a dress of words, and which constitutes the most dif- 
ficult if not the chief branch of the art, is first considered. The 
young composer is shown how to analyze his subject, and to am- 
plify the thoughts successively 'suggested into a well-connected 
whole. The different parts of an exercise are taken up in turn j 
t^arious forms and models of introductions are presented 5 descrip- 


tion, narration, argument, &c., are treated, and the peculiarities of 
each pointed out, as well as the styles which they respectively re- 
quire. The varieties of prose composition follow ; and, with care- 
fully selected models before him, the student is required to prepare 
original compositions on the same plan, — such previous instruction 
having been given, and such aids being presented, that the process 
of composing, no longer a dull, routine, performance, becomes a 
highly intelligent and improving mental discipline. Thus made 
acquainted successively with Letters, Narratives, Fiction, Essays, 
Argumentative Discourses, and Orations, and furnished with sub- 
jects in each department and suggestions as to their proper treat- 
ment, the student is next led to the consideration of Poetry, its 
feet, measures, rhymes, pauses, and different varieties. 

The subject last referred to is not treated with the view of mak- 
ing poets. A claim to this high title must be founded on something 
more than a mere ability to versify or rhyme correctly. But, while it 
is admitted that no rules can make a poet of one whom nature has 
not constituted such, it is sincerely believed that a knowledge of the 
principles here set forth will have a tendency to produce more cor- 
rect and better poetry, as it certainly will enable the reader to 
have a higher appreciation of its merits. Not every one who goes 
through a course of syntax can write good prose ; yet this does 
not alter the fact that a thorough acquaintance with syntax is es- 
sential to the good prose writer. 

If it be asked, what constitute the distinguishing features and 
advantages of the volume here presented to the public, the author 
would reply : In the first place, clearness and simplicity. Though 
the work was prepared for pupils of an advanced grade, and has 
been written in a style adapted to their comprehension, yet it was 
deemed of primary importance to set forth every point perspic- 
uously and intelligibly. Secondly, it embraces in small compass a 
variety of important subjects, which have a common connection, 
and mutually illustrate each other ; but which the pupil has here- 
tofore been obliged to leave unlearned, or to search for among a 
number of different volumes. In the third place, it is eminently 
practical. Exercises have been introduced throughout the work, 
wherever admissible, which will ensure that what has been learned 
IS properly understood, and impressed on the mind. 

It remains for the author to acknowledge his obligation to the 
carious sources from which he has received assistance in the prepa- 


» ation of the present work. His object throughout having been to 
produce a useful book, he did not feel at liberty to reject aught that 
could be turned to practical use. He has, therefore, as far as was 
consistent with his own plan, carefully gleaned whatever he has 
found of value in the works of those who have preceded him. Par- 
ticular reference is here made to the text-books which for years 
have been regarded as standards on the subjects of which they re- 
spectively treat ; to Blair's Lectures, Burke on the Sublime and 
Beautiful, Alison's Essay on Taste, and other books of a similar 
stamp, from which ideas, and occasionally language, have been freely 
drawn. Nor have more modern English publications been over- 
looked. In a word, it is believed that, while originality of plan and 
execution have been strictly maintained, whatever may have been 
elsewhere contributed to the elucidation of the subject, will not be 
wanting here : at the same time it has been the author's aim, in 
drawing from others, to improve upon their language, to adapt 
their style to the comprehension of all, and to avoid the errors of 
fact, grammar, or rhetoric, into which they may have fallen. 

The author is aware that an objection to the use of a text-book 
on Composition exists in the minds of some, who prefer that their 
pupils should prepare written exercises from given subjects without 
aid or instruction of any kind. Of such he would respectfully ask 
a careful consideration of the question whether something may not 
be gained by pursuing a regular, consistent, plan. As, in the vari- 
ous departments of industry, much more can be accomplished, in a 
limited time and with a given amount of labor, by those who work 
according to a definite enlightened system, than by men of equal 
energy, who, with an end alone in view, without regard to a choice 
of means, go blindly to their task, directed by no higher principle 
than chance; so, it is claimed, an equal advantage is gained by 
those students of composition who pursue a well-digested plan, ma- 
tured by experience, and elaborated by careful thought. Those 
who have tried both courses must decide whether this position is 
not as consonant with fact, as it certainly is with reason. 

■Repeating his thanks for the patronage extended to the little 
volume which preceded this, the author can only express the hope 
that the work now sent forth may meet with an equally kind 

Nbw York, Sept. 11, 1854. 




L Media of Comnmnication, . e 13 

IL Origin of Spoken Language, , - 17 

lIL Written Language, r . 20 

lY. Alphabetic "Writing, ... 24 

V. Formation of Language, 29 

VL Origin of the English Language, , S4 

YIL Origin of the English Language (cordinuecl), .41 

Vm. Oigin of the English Language (continued), 47 

IX. Analysis of the English Language, 52 

X. Characteristics of the English Language, , , 57 

XL Parts of Speech, 61 

XII. Sentences, . . 67 

XIIL Capital Letters, 74 

Xiy, Exercise on Capitals, . 79 



iV. Principles of the Art, 81 

XVI. The Period, . .86 

XVIL The Interrogation-point — The Exclamation-point, . , . • 91 

tYIII. The Colon, . . * . 97 

SIX. The Semicolon, 100 




XX The Comma, , , , . , . 104 

XXL The Comma (continued), . . ,,.... 108 

XXII. The Comma {continued), 113 

XXIIL The Comma {contkiued), 118 

XXIV. The Comma {continued), 123 

XXV. The Comma {continued), . 128 

XXVL The Dash, .181 

XXVII. Parentheses.— Brackets, 136 

XXVIII. Apostrophe.— Hyphen.— Quotation-points, 141 

XXIX. Exercise on the Apostrophe, the Hyphen, and Quotation-pointa, * 14T 

XXX. Other Marks used in Writing and Printing, 149 

XXXI. Grammatical Inaccuracies, . , 155 

XXXII. Exercise in False Syntax, 160 



XXXIII. Province and Objects of Ehetoric, . . . . . . .168 

XXXIV. Taste.— Its Universality and Cultivation, 169 

XXXV. Elements and Characteristics of Taste, 173 

XXXVI. Standard of Taste, 178 

XXXVII. Pleasures of the Imagination, 183 

gXXVIII. Sources of the Pleasures of the Imagination.— The Novel— The Won- 

derfuL— The Picturesque 188 

XXXIX. The Sublime, 194 

XL. The Sublime in Writing, 201 

XLI. The Sublime in Writing {continued), 206 

XLIL The Sublime in Writing {continued), 211 

XLIII. The Beautiful, 214 

XLIV. Gracefulness,— The Beautiful in the Human Countenance, in Sound, 

and in Writing, . ,....'.. 221 

XLV. Wit, 225 

XL VI. Humor and Eidicule, .231 

XLVII. Figures of Orthography, Etymology, and Syntax, . . . .235 

XLVIIL Figurative Language, 239 

XLIX. Exercises on Figurative Language, 245 

L> Figures of Ehetoric, 246 

LI. Exercise on Figures, • . 253 

LII. Eules for the Use of Ehetorical Figures, . ^ 254 

LIII. Exercise on Figures, 260 

LIV. Style and its Varieties, ' 262 


ussaoN PACK 

LV. Exercise on the Yarieties of Style, ... ... 267 

LVI. Essential Properties of Style. — Purity.— Propriety, , 270 

LVIL Exercise on Purity and Propriety, 277 

LVni. Precision, : . . 279 

LIX. Clearness, or Perspicuity, 284 

LX. Exercise on Clearness, 291 

LXI. Strength, 293 

LXII. Harmony, . 299 

LXIIL Exercise on Harmony, SOS 

LXIV. Unity, 809 

LXY. The Forming of Style, 313 

LXVL Criticism, ,818 



LXVII. Invention.— Analysis of Subjects, 825 

LXVIII. Amplification, 829 

LXIX. Revision and Correction of Compositions, 884 

LXX. Exercise in Amplification, 837 

LXXI. Exercise in Amplification, , 387 

LXXIL Exercise on Plain and Figuratisi^e Language, . . , 337 

LXXIII, Exercise in Extended Simile, , . 338 

LXXIV. Exercise in Extended Simile, . 838 

LXXV. Exercise in Metaphorical Language, . 838 

LXXYI. Exercise in Allegory, 839 

LXXVII. Exercise in Hyperbole, ,340 

LXXYUI. Exercises in Yision and Apostrophe, 841 

LXXIX. Exercise in Personification, . 841 

LXXX, Exercises in Climax and Antithesis, 342 

LXXXI. Parallels, 842 

LXXXII. Exercise in Parallels, 343 

LXXXIII. Exercise in Parallels, . 844 

LXXXIY. Exercise in Defining Synonymes, . 344 

LXXXY. Exercise in Defining Synonymes, , 844 

LXXXYI. Exercise in Paraphrasing, . 844 

LXXXYII. Exercise in Paraphrasing, 345 

LXXXYIII. Exercise in Abridging, .846 

LXXXIX. Exercise in Abridging, 847 

XC. Exercise in Abridging, 847 

XCL Exercise in Criticism, ....... . , 347 


XCII. Exercise in Criticism, . . 847 

XCIIL Description of Material Objects, . . . , . , . ,348 
XCIY. Description of Natural Scenery, and Persons, . ... 860 

XCV. Narration. — Argument— Exposition. — Speculation, .... 858 

XCVL Letters 855 

XCYIL Letters (continued), . ^ 865 

XCYIIL Narratives, ; 867 

XCIX Exercise in Biography, ,872 

C. Fiction, .874 

CL Essays, . , .879 

CIL Exercises in Essay-Writing, .... , . 885 

CIIL Tliesesj or Argamentative Discourses, , • ... 385 

CIV. Orations.— Sermon-Writing, 992 



CV. Yerse.—Quantity.— Feet— Metres, 400 

CYI. Stanzas.— Sonnets.— Heroic Verse.— Blank Verse, . ' » . 406 

CVIL Ehymes.— Pauses, . 413 

CrniL Varieties of Poetry, .418 

Specimen Proof-Sheet, =. 424 

Explanation of Marks used on the Specimen Proof-Sheet, ... 426 
list of Subjects, . ... . . 427 

Table of Abbreyiations, . . .485 

Index. . . ' . . ^1 








§ 1. Man is distinguislied from the brute creation by the 
possession of reason. Brutes are governed by instinct ; man, 
by his reasoning faculties. The senses of both are the same^ 
and on these senses material objects produce similar impres* 
sions. But from these impressions brutes cannot reason anj 
further than their natural instincts enable them, and their ne- 
cessities require. Man, on the other hand, being possessed of 
intellectual faculties, is capable of drawing inferences; and 
thus from the impressions made on his senses by a single ex- 
ternal object, receives many different ideas, which, producing 
others in their turn, may be multiplied to infinity, 

§ 1. How is man distinguished from the brute creation ? By what are brutea 
governed ? By what, man ? How do the senses of men and brutes, and the impres- 
Bions produced upon them, dififer ? How, then, do men receiYe more ideas from these 
impressions than brutes? 


§ 2. Men, being endowed with social dispositions, natural- 
ly desire to interchange the ideas received in the manner 
above described. Brutes, also, particularly those of grega- 
rious habits, are at times actuated by a similar impulse to 
make known their feelings to each other. Now in both these 
cases some medium of communication is necessary ; and we 
find that the ingenuity of man has devised four means more or 
less adapted to the purpose, the first two cf which the instinct 
of the lower orders of creation has led them also to employ. 
These are as follows : — 

I. Gestures. By these are meant the movements of the 
body or its members. In the case of brutes, they are often 
so expressive as to leave no doubt as to the predominant emo- 
tion. Thus, in the billing of doves we see love exemplified ; 
in the lion lashing his sides with his tail, and the cat raising 
her back at the sight of an enemy, we have unmistakable evi- 
dences of anger ; and in the horse depressing his ears back- 
wards, of fear. Man, having generally other and better means 
of communication, seldom uses gestures alone, though he often 
employs them to illustrate and enforce what he says. When 
other means, however, are wanting, he is able with their aid 
alone to express his sentiments ; as in the case of the sick who 
have lost the power of speech, or of one attempting to make 
himself understood by those with whose language he is unac- 
quainted. It is surprising, indeed, to see how perfectly per- 
sons practised in the use of gestures can communicate even 
complicated trains of thDught and long series of facts. Good 
pantomimists will make the plot of a theatrical piece just as 
intelligible to an audience as if it were developed by dialogue. 

§ 2, What desire results from man's social disposition ? Is this desire confined to 
the human race ? How many means of communication has man devised ? How many 
and which are employed by brutes also ? 

What is the first medium of communication ? What is meant by gestures ? Giv« 
instances of the use of gestures by brutes, and mention the emotions they indicate. 
For what purpose does man generally use gestures ? Do they ever serve alone to ex^ 
press his sentiments? Give instances. What may be communicated by gestures? 
Give an instance. What is said of the action of the Greeks and Eomans ? How 
fer was it carried on the stage? What point was debated by Cicero and Kosciuaf 


This fact was known and appreciated by the ancient Greeks 
and Romans, whose action was much more vehement than we 
are accustomed to see at the present day. On the stage this 
was carried so far that two actors were at times brought on to 
play the same part ; the office of one being to pronounce the 
words, and that of the other to accompany them with appro- 
priate gestures, a single performer being unable to attend to 
both. Cicero informs us that it was a matter of dispute be- 
tween the actor Roscius and himself whether the former could 
express a sentiment in a greater variety of ways by significant 
gestures, or the latter by the use of different phrases. He 
also elsewhere tells us that this same Roscius had gained great 
love from every one by the mere movements of his person.* 
During the reign of Augustus both tragedies and comedies 
were acted by pantomime alone. It was perfectly understood 
by the people, who wept, and laughed, and were excited in 
every way as much as if words had been employed. It seems, 
indeed, to have worked upon their sympathies more powerful- 
ly than words ; for it became'necessary, at a subsequent period, 
to enact a law restraining members of the senate from study- 
ing the art of pantomime, a practice to which it seems they 
had resorted in order to give more effect to their speeches 
before that body. 

When, however, the Roman Empire yielded to the arms 
of the Northern barbarians, and, as a consequence, great 
numbers of the IS,tter spread over it in every direction, their 
cold and phlegmatic manners wrought a material change as re- 

* " Ergo Hie corporis motu tantum amorem sibi concilidrat a nobis 
Mnnibus." — Peg Auchia Poeta, VIII. 

What does Cicero tell us with respect to this actor ? In the reign of Augustus, how 
were both tragedies and comedies represented ? How did some of the senators seek to 
giie effect to their speeches ? What law was passed on the subject ? What effect did 
the conquest of the Eoman Empire by Northern barbarians have on the gestures and 
tones of the people ? How do the tones of the people of Southern Europe now com- 
pare with those of the North ? Of what nations, in particular, is this ti-ue ? 


gards tlie gestures, no less than the tones and accents, of the 
people. The mode of expression gradually grew more sub- 
dued, and the accompanying action less violent, in proportion 
as the new influences prevailed. Conversation became more 
languid ; and public speaking was no longer indebted for its 
effect to the art of the pantomimist. So great was the change 
in these respects that the allusions of classical authors to the 
oratory of their day were hardly intelligible. Notwithstand 
ing these modifications, however, the people of Southern Eu- 
rope, being warmer and more passionate by nature, are, at 
the present day, much more animated in their tones and more 
addicted to gesticulation than the inhabitants of the North. 
This is particularly true of the French and Italians. 

II. Inarticulate Sounds^ or cries used by man, particu- 
larly during infancy, and by all other animals, to express 
strong and sudden emotions, such as fear, love, sorrow, 
and the like. In the earlier periods of man's history, 
before a perfect system of language was developed, it is 
probable that these natural interjections were used more 
frequently than at present. Grammarians consider them 
the earliest elements of speech. Among these inarticulate 
sounds may be classed sighing, groaning, laughing, and 
screaming, each of which is a key to the prevailing senti- 
ment of the mind. 

III. Spoken Language^ or an assemblage of articulate 
sounds, which are individually the type of «ertain ideas, and 
by a combination of which thoughts may be expressed. This 
means of communication, as well as that which follows, is 
employed by man alone. 

IV. Written Language. By this is meant a combmation 
of arbitrary characters, which convey to the mind the ideas 
they represent through the medium of the eye. 

What is the second medium of communication ? WTiat is meant by Inarticulata 
Bounds? When were they most frequently used? How do grammarians regard 
them ? What may be clussed among these Inarticulate Sounds ? 

What is the third medium of communication? What is Spoken Language ? By 
whom is it employed ? 


It will be seen that, as the ideas generated by man's refleo< 
tive faculties infinitely outnumber the emotions of brutes, so 
his means of communication are at once more numerous and 

Gestures and inarticulate sounds our subject does not 
lead us to consider any further ; of language, spoken and 
written, we shall now proceed to treat. 



§ 3. It is a question that has been much and ably dia* 
cussed, whether spoken language is a divine or human institu- 
tion : whether God gave it to man, as He gave the mental 
faculties ; or man invented it for himself, stimulated by the 
desire of communicating with his kind. 

Those who think language is a human institution believe, 
with the ancient philosophers and poets, that men were orig- 
inally *' a dumb and low herd " ; * that they were in all things 
rude and savage, totally ignorant of the arts, unable to com- 
municate with each other except in the imperfect manner of 
beasts, and sensible of nothing save hunger, pain, and similar 
emotions. Cicero, alluding to th§. human race in primeval ages, 
says : " There was a time when men wandered every where 
through the fields after the manner of beasts, and supported 
life by eating the food of beasts." Diodorus, Lucretius, 

* " Mutum et turpe pecus." 

"What is the fourth medium of communication? What is meant bj Written 
Language ? 

How do man's ideas and means of communication compare with those of brutes ? 

§ 8. What question has been much discussed ? What did the ancient philosophers 
and poets regard as the original state of men ? What does Cicero say of the human 
race in primeval times ? What ancient writers agree with him in this opinion ? What 


Horace, Pliny, Juvena], and other ancient writers, agree with 
Cicero in this opinion, and hold that it was only after a long 
and gradual improvement that men came to their present en=- 
lightened state. 

Lord Monboddo, who, in his work on " The Origin and 
Progress of Language," labors to prove that man is but a 
higher species of monkey, thinks that originally the human 
race had only a few monosyllables, such as ha, he, hi, ho, by 
which, like beasts, they expressed certain emotions. 

Dr. Murray gives it as his opinion that all language orig- 
inated in nine monosyllables, Ag, bag, dwag, gwag, lag, mag 
NAG, RAG, SWAG. " Each of thcso," says Dr. M., " is a verb^ 
and indicates a species of action. Power, motion, force, ideas 
united in every untutored mind, are implied in them all. They 
were uttered at first, and probably for several generations, in 
an insulated manner. The circumstances of the action were 
communicated by gestures and the variable tones of the voice ; 
but the actions themselves were expressed by their suitable 

Rousseau represents men as originally without language, 
as unsocial by nature, and totally ignorant of the ties of 
society. He does not, however, seek to explain how language 
arose, being disheartened at the outset by the difficulty of de- 
ciding whether language was more necessary for the institu- 
tion of society, or society for the invention of language. Mau- 
pertius, however, overcomes this difficulty by holding that 
" language was formed by a session of learned societies assem- 
bled for that purpose. 

§ 4. But we must leave these absurd theories. Language 
is, beyond doubt, a divine institution, invented by the Deity 
and by Him made known to the human race. If language was 

is the title of Lord Monboddo's work ? What does the author try to prove in it ? How 
does he think that the human race originally expressed their emotions ? In what doea 
Dr. Murray think that all language originated ? What part of speech, according to hini, 
was each of these monosyllables ? What ideas does he think were implied in them ? 
How does Eousseau represent the original race of men ? What difficulty disheartened 
him at the outset of his enquiries ? What does Maupertius hold ? 


devised by man, tlie invention could not have been at once 
matured, but must have been the result of the necessities and 
experience of successive generations. This, however, does not 
accord with the facts of history ; for, however far we go back, 
we cannot arrive at any period when even the most unenlight- 
ened portions of mankind did not possess a system of language. 
Scripture informs us that this means of communication was 
employed by the first man and woman, as well as their imme- 
diate descendants ; and we are hence forced to the conclusion 
that it was the result of a direct revelation from on high. 

Nevertheless, while the elements were thus imparted by 
G-od, it is natural to suppose that much was left for man to 
perfect ; and that, just as a mind was given to him which he 
is required to cultivate and fit for the performance of its 
duties by a long course of training, so the mere elements were 
imparted, out of which he had to form by successive improve- 
ments a perfect means of communication. " Three things," 
says Scaliger, " have contributed to enable man to perfect lan- 
guage, — necessity, practice, and the desire to please. Neces- 
sity produced a collection of words very imperfectly connected ; 
practice, in multiplying them, gave them more expression ; 
while it is to the desire of pleasing that we owe those agree- 
able turns, those happy collocations of words, which impart to 
phrases both elegance and grace." 

"We are confirmed in this supposition by the fact that the 
history of many languages shows a gradual progress from im- 
perfect beginnings to a finished state, and that there is hardly 
any cultivated tongue, which, if traced back to its earlier ages, 
will not be found either defective in some of its parts or want- 
ing in those characteristics which are a source of beauty and 

§ 4. Leaving these theories, by -whom must -we conclude that language was invented ? 
If it was devised by man, what would we find on looking back at the history of early 
times ? Was this the case ? What does Scripture inform us with regard to the first 
man and woman and their immediate descendants ? What follows from this ? Was 
any thing left for man to perfect ? According to Scaliger, by what was man enabled to 

perfect language ? What did necessity produce ? What did practice impart to them ? 

What do we owe to the desire of pleasing ? 


strength. The language of a nation, traced through the suo 
eessive eras of its existence, will be found to have undergone 
a series of improvements in all respects analogous to the ad* 
vances which have heen made in the institutions and social 
condition of the people who speak it. In the first great ante- 
diluvian language similar changes must have occurred. 

It may be added that the divine origin of language is 
maintained by a number of our best writers. Locke, in his 
" Essay on the Human Understanding," Book III, chap. 1, 
sec. 1, says : " God, having designed man for a sociable crea- 
ture, made him not only with an inclination and under a ne- 
cessity to have fellowship with those of his own kind ; but 
furnished him, also, with language, which was to be the great 
instrument and common tie of society." 



§ 5. Ideas may be communicated by written, as well as 
spoken, language. The latter represents ideas by articulate 
sounds ; the former employs certain arbitrary characters to 
represent these articulate sounds, and thus through a double 
medium conveys the ideas themselves. It is written language 
alone that gives permanence to thoughts. 

§ 6. Written language was devised by man. The exact 
period ^f its origin is unknown; but it is supposed -.not to 
have been invented until several centuries after men were in 

What fact confirms us in the belief that in language much was left for man to per 
feet ? What is Locke's view of the origin of language ? 

§ 5. What else besides spoken language enables us to communicate ideas ? Hp-w 
does spoken language represent ideas ? How, written language ? Which gives per- 
manence to thoughts ? 

§ 6. By whom was written language devised ? When Is it supposed to have been 


possession of a complete system of spoken language. The sys- 
tems first employed were necessarily rude and imperfect ; but, 
as men increased in experience and knowledge, successive im- 
provements were made, until at last the present simple method 
was devised. Four systems have been employed in different 
ages and countries ; the Ideographic, the Verbal, the Syllabic, 
and the Alphabetic. 

§ 7. Ideographic System. — The earliest method of con- 
veying thoughts by means of written characters is called Ideo- 
graphic. It represented material objects and facts by means of 
pictures ; and what was not material or visible, but was merely 
conceived in the mind, and could not, therefore, be thus de- 
picted, by symbols. Thus the idea of a battle was conveyed 
by a pictorial representation of two men engaged in fighting ; 
while the abstract idea of eternity was denoted by a circle, 
which, being without beginning or end, was an appropriate 
emblem. It represented things themselves, and not their 

The hieroglyphics* of Egypt constituted one kind of 
Ideographic writing. The Mexicans, also, used it at the time 
of Cortes' invasion ; their king was informed of the arrival of 
the Spaniards and their ships, by pieces of white linen on 
which were painted objects resembling vessels, and men in 
Spanish garb. Ideographic writing is also said to have been 
employed by some of the North American Indians. 

§ 8. Verbal System. — The Verbal system is second in point 
of antiquity. It appropriated a peculiar character to each 

* This -word signifies " sacred carvings," being derived from the 
Greek words 'Upos, sacred, and yXixpu, to carve. 

Invented ? What was its character at first ? What change took place as men increased 
In knowledge ? How many systems have prevailed ? 

§7. What is the earliest system called? How did it represent material objects? 
How, what was not material or visible ? Give an example. Did it represent the objects 
fliemselves, or their names ? To what system do the hieroglyphics of Egypt belong ? 
What other people used this system ? How was the Mexican king informed of the 
Spaniards' arrival ? By what other race has Ideographic writing been employed ? 

S 8. What is the second system called ? How did it represent material objects aaa 


object and idea, without reference to the word by which isucl 
object or idea was represented. This was an improvement oi 
the Ideographic system, but was objectionable on account of 
the great number of characters rec^uired. Chinese, at the 
present day, is written in a measure according to this system. 
Old authorities inform us that it employs no less than 80,000 
characters ; later researches, however, prove the number to be 
considerably smaller. As each character represents an object 
or abstract idea, and not merely a sound, it follows that any 
thing written according to this system is understood by all 
that are acquainted with the characters, although their own 
spoken languages may be totally different; just as the value 
of figures in their various combinations is universally known 
to the nations of Europe, notwithstanding the difference in 
their respective tongues. The written language of the Chinese 
Empire, accordingly, is read and understood by the people of 
Japan, Corea, Loo-choo, and Cochin China, as well as by 
various other tribes who are unable to hold the slightest oral 
intercourse with each other. 

It is proper to add that this is denied by some, who contend that 
Chinese is written mainly according to the Syllabic system, a description 
of which follows. If any Japanese or Coreans are found to understand 
written Chinese, it is, according to these authorities, from their having 
studied it, or else on account of its resemblance to their own written 
systems. Our present greatly increased facilities for obtaining infor- 
mation respecting the people of the Celestial Empire and their pecu- 
liarities, will soon dissipate all imcertainty on this subject ; and we shall 
probably find that each opinion has some foundation in truth. It is 
likely either that the characters are partly Verbal and partly Syllabic, 
or else that there are two distinct systems, originally perhaps used by 
different classes, but now employed indiscriminately at the option of the 

abstract ideas? What rendered it objectionable? In what language is it still em- 
ployed ? How many characters are required in this language ? Need one understand 
the spoken language, in order to understand a -written language in which the Verbal 
ByBtem is employed ? Give an example. In illustration of this, what is mentioned 
\ylth regard to the written language of the Chinese Empire ? What account do other 
authorities give of written Chinese ? How do they e'splain the fact that seme Japanese 
and Coreaus are found to understand it ? What is probable with regard te these dif- 
ferent opinione ? 


§ 9. Syllabic Syste7n. — By the two systems above de- 
scribed, things themselves were represented without reference 
to the sounds by which they are denoted. But the frequent 
recurrence of the same syllables in the names of things soon 
led men to see the advantages that would be gained by repre- 
Benting the sound instead of the thing signified ; and hence 
originated a third method, commonly called the Syllabic sys- 
tem. In this, certain characters were employed to represent, 
not objects, but syllabic sounds, by a combination of which the 
names of things were denoted. Thus the word agriculture 
would be expressed by four characters only, one representing 
each syllable. Though this was a great improvement on the 
Verbal System, it was also objectionable on account of the 
number of characters required. It is thought at one time to 
have been used by many Asiatic nations ; and is still the 
basis, though in a somewhat modified form, of the written lan- 
guage of the Ethiopians and that of the Siamese. 

§ 10. Alphabetic System. — The defects incident to the sys- 
tems described above finally taught man the necessity of invent- 
ing some new method of conveying his thoughts ; and hence re- 
sulted the introduction and ultimate perfection of Alphabetic 
writing, which is used in almost all languages at the present 
day. This may be regarded as the greatest of human inven- 
tions, and has contributed more than any thing else to the 
progress of civilization. According to this system, the simple 
sounds of the human voice are represented by appropriate 
marks or letters, by combining which syllables and words are 
formed ; and that with such precision and completeness that 
not only can all material objects be denoted and described, 

§ 9, How were ideas represented by the two systems already described ? What 
system was nest invented ? According to the Syllabic system, what did each character 
represent ? How were words denoted ? How many characters wonld this system re- 
quire to express the word agriculture? How did the Syllabic compare with the 
Verbal system ? What rendered the Syllabic system objectionable ? By what nations 
was it at one time employed ? In what written languages is it still used ? 

1 10. By the defects of these systems, what was man finally taught ? What system 
was next invented ? How may it be regarded ? What are represented by the charao 


but also abstract ideas, the emotions of the mind, and every 
variety of thought 



§11. Derivation. — The word alphabet is derived from 
aA<jf)a, ^r\ra^ the first two Greek characters, and signifies the 
letters of a written language disposed in their regular order. 

§ 12. Origin. — The inventors of alphabetic writing are 
unknown. According to the Jewish Rabbis, it is of divine 
origin. " God," says one of their number, " created letters 
on the evening of the first Sabbath." Adam Clarke also in- 
clines to this opinion, although he places the revelation at a 
later date, maintaining that God taught Moses the use of let- 
ters by writing the Ten Commandments with His own finger 
on the tables of stone. Eusebius, Clemens of Alexandria, 
Cornelius Agrippa, and others, attribute this noble invention 
to Moses himself; Philo, to Abraham; Irenseus and others, 
to Enoch, who is by some thought to have been the author of 
a work still extant, to which there is an apparent allusion in 
the 14th and the 15th verse of St. Jude's Epistle. Bibliander 
considers Adam entitled to the honor of the invention ; and 
the Sabians actually produce a book which they pretend was 
written by this patriarch. If, however, letters were known at 
this early period, it can hardlj be explained why men, in spite 
of the vastly superior facilities they afford, should have gone 
back to the ideographic or the syllabic system. 

ters employed in the Alphabetic system ? By combining theso characters, what ore 
formed ? 

§ 11. From what is the word alphabet derived ? What does it signify ? 

§12. What is said of the inventors of alphabetic -vrriting ? To whom do the Jew- 
ish Eabbis attribute its invention ? What is Adam Clarke's opinion ? To whonj do 
Eusebius, Clemens, and Cornelius Agrippa attribute it ? To whom, Philo ? To whom, 
Irenseus? What reason is there for supposing Enoch to have been acquainted with 


Among the Greeks and Romans, the invention of letters 
was generally attributed to the Phoenicians.* For the Grreeks 
this was natural, as they received the greater part of their 
alphabet directly from Cadmus, a native of Phoenicia, and 
would therefore be likely to think that the honor of the inven- 
tion belonged to that country. Yet it is clear that some of 
the most learned of the Greeks regarded Cadmus in his true 
light ; not as the inventor, but merely as the introducer, of let- 
ters. Plato expressly says that Thaut, the Egyptian, was the 
first to divide letters into vowels and consonants, mutes and 
liquids. An individual of this same name, Thaut or Taaut, is 
also mentioned by Sanchoniathon, the historian, as the inven- 
tor of letters, but is claimed by him as a Phcenician, living in 
the 12th or the 13th generation after the Deluge. To reconcile 
these conflicting accounts, Jackson, in his " Chronological An- 
tiquities," holds that letters were invented by Taaut or Thoth, 
the Phoenician, a son of Misraim, about five centuries after 
the deluge, but were introduced into Egypt four hundred years 
afterwards by a second Taaut ; whom he supposes to have been 
identical with the celebrated Hermes Trismegistus of the 
Greeks, the inventor, according to Diodorus, of grammar, 
music, letters, and writing. Whether this supposition is cor- 
rect or not, we may fairly conclude that, whichever of these 
nations first employed letters, they were not long in becoming 

* " Ipsa gens Phoenicimi in gloria magna est literarum invent ionis." 
* The race of Phoenicians themselves enjoy the great glory of the inven- 
tion of letters.* — Flint, Book v., chap. 12. 

" Phoenices primi (lamge si credimus) ausi 

Mansuram rudibus vocem signare fignris." — Lucan. 

this system ? By whom does Bibliander think it was invented ? What evidence of 
this is furnished by the Sabians? What objection is there to the supposition that let- 
tsiB w«re known thus early ? 

To whom did the Greeks and Eomans attribute the invention of letters ? What led 
tiie Greeks to this opinion ? How did some of the most learned Greeks regard Cad- 
mtja ? Whom does Plato mention in connection with the classification of letters ? Who 
else alludes to this Thaut ? What does Sanchoniathon say of him ? How does Jackson 
explain this inconsistency ? With what Greek personage does he suppose this second 



Known to the other ; as the commercial relations of the Egyp- 
tians and Phoenicians were intimate and likely to make their 
respective inventions common property. 

According to some late writers who are versed in Oriental 
literature, the claims of the Indians to the honor of having 
devised letters are not without some weight. The Sanscrit, 
which is the most refined of the Indian languages, is supposed 
to have been one of the most ancient now existing, and is the 
parent of almost every dialect of Southern Asia. The Hin 
doos assert that they were acquainted with letters before any 
other nation on the globe ; and that, in their ancient books, 
sages from Egypt and other countries are represented as com- 
ing to India, to inform themselves respecting alphabetic wri- 
ting and other inventions for which the Hindoos were at that 
early period distinguished. As, however, none of these an- 
cient books have yet made their appearance in Europe, and as 
national vanity has led the Orientals generally to exaggerate 
their ancient standing in literature, art, and science, we can 
hardly weigh these unsupported statements against the posi- 
tive testimony presented from other quarters. * 

Modern scholars seem to be divided in opinion as to 
whether this great invention is due to the Phoenicians or the 
Hebrews. Mr. Astle, whose essay on " The Origin and Prog- 
ress of Writing" displays great research, and is justly re- 
garded as high authority, on the evidence of the ancients, pro- 
nounces in favor of the Phoenicians. It must be remembered, 
however, that while the Grreeks were well acquainted with the 
latter nation on account of their intimate commercial relations, 
to the Hebrews they were almost entire strangers ; and 

Taant to have been identical ? What is said of the relations that subsisted between the 
Egyptians and the Phoenicians ? 

What other people claim to have invented letters ? What is said of the Sanscrit 
kr^age ? What do the Hindoos assert with regard to their ancient books ? Have 
we a::iy reason to believe their statements ? 

What are the views of modern scholars on this point? In whose favor does Mii 
Astle decide ? What reason is there for supposing that the Greeks may have been mis- 
taken in attributing the invention of letters to the Phoenicians? From what alphabet 


hence, thougli their evidence may be reliable as regards the 
claims of the Phoenician alphabet to an antiquity greater than 
either the Egyptian or the Syrian can boast, they must still 
have been unqualified to pronounce between it and the He- 
brew. From the latter, indeed, the Phoenician alphabet is 
now generally thought to have been derived. It is at least well 
known that writing was practised among the Jews long before 
we have any evidence of its having been in use among the 
Phoenicians. The Pentateuch itself is a living proof that al- 
phabetic writing was known to Moses, while the frequent allu- 
sions to that art which it contains shows that this knowledge 
was not confined to the legislator alone.* The injunction con- 
tained in the 9th verse of the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, 
that the people should write the words of the law on the posts 
of their houses and on their gates, proves such a general ac- 
quaintance with the art as to justify the inference that it was 
then no recent invention, but had been known and used for 
years. The suggestion urged by some that the writing here 
alluded to, as well as that in which the five books of Moses 
were originally composed, may have been according to the 
hieroglyphic or syllabic system, is inadmissible ; for we have 
not the slightest trace of the existence of these sacred books 
in any other form than that which they now bear. 

Nor are we by any means driven to the inference which 
some have drawn from the passage, that the Deity himself 
communicated to Moses, and through him to the human race, 
a knowledge of the alphabetic system. Had so important a 
revelation been made, we have every reason to suppose that 

*See Exodus, xxiv., 12; xxxil, 15, 16; xvii., 14; xxxiv., 1, 27: ITuu- 
IS, xxxiii., 2: Deutekonomt, xxvii., 3. 

is the Phoenician supposed to have been derived ? How early was alphabetic writing 
blown among the Jews ? What leads us to suppose that the people generally were ac- 
quainted with the art ? What precludes us from supposing that the writing hero al- 
luded to was according to some earlier system ? What inference has been drS'Wn from 
theee passages ? What renders it unlikely that this was the case ? 


it would Lave been recorded in distinct terms by the Jewish 

§ 13. Tlie Greek Alphabet and its Derivatives. — What- 
ever alphabet may have been the most ancient, one fact is 
clearly established ; that Cadmus introduced sixteen letters 
from Phoenicia into Grreece, to which Palamedes subsequently 
added four, and Simonides, at a still later period, four more. 

The Phoenician language was written from right to left. The Greek 
at first followed it in this respect ; but was in course of time written 
from right to left, and from left to right, alternately, as land is ploughed. 
The Laws of Solon were engraved in this style, about 600 B. C, as also 
were many inscriptions still to be seen on ancient monuments. Soon 
after this period, however, the present manner of writing, from left to 
right, came into general use. It had been introduced many years be- 
fore by Pronapides, who, according to some, was a teacher of Homer's. 

From the Greek alphabet, the Etruscan, Oscan, Latin, Coptic, and 
others, were formed. The Latin alphabet contained twenty-five letters. 
From it, ours is derived. The number and form of the Latin letters are 
retained in English without any further change than the addition 
of W. 

§ 1 4. Comparison of Different Alphabets. — As letters are 
merely arbitrary marks used to denote the elemental sounds 
of which spoken language is composed, the number of letters 
in the alphabet of any people ought to correspond exactly with 
the number of such sounds which they employ. Yet in no 
language do we find this to be the case. In some the alpha- 
betic characters are the more numerous, in consequence both 
of the admission of more than one letter to express the same 
sound, and of the introduction of characters to denote com- 

§ 13. Who introduced letters into Greece, and how many were there ? How many 
were subsequently added, and by whom ? 

How was the Phcenician language written ? What other language was written sim- 
ilarly to it? What change was afterwards made as regards the Greek language? 
What laws were written in this st34e ? By whom was the present method of writing 
mtroduced ? What alphabets were derived from the Greek ? How many letters did 
the Latin alphabet contain? What alphabet was derived from it? How do the two 
correspond ? 

§ 14. What are letters ? With what ought the number of letters in the alphabet of 
any people to correspond? Do we find such a correspondence? What is the reason 
«tf this inconsistency ? How do the different alphabets compare in the number of tholi 


pound sounds wMcli could otherwise be perfectly represented 
by combinations. In other languages some sounds are entirely 
unrepresented, and consequently in these there is a deficiency 
of alphabetic characters. Hence, though about the same num- 
ber of elemental sounds are in use among different nationSj 
there will be found no little difference in the number of 
letters composing their various alphabets. 

Thus, the English alphabet contains 26 letters ; the French, 23 ; the 
Italian, 20 ; the Spanish, 27 ; the Kiissian, 41 ; the Hebrew^ Samaritai^ 
Syrian, and Chaldean, each 22 ; the Arabic, 28 ; the Persian and Egyp- 
tian, each 32; the Turkish, 33; the Georgian, 36; the Armenian, 88; 
the Sanscrit, 50 ; the Abyssinian, 202 ; and the Indian, or Brahmanic, 240 



§ 15. There is every reason, as we have seen, to believe 
that, while in the invention of language man was assisted by 
the Deity, it was still only after many years of gradual devel- 
opment and improvement that it arrived at its present perfec- 
tion. As it is impossible for us to ascertain how far divine 
assistance was vouchsafed, we shall consider the steps of for- 
mation as it is most likely they would be taken by man, inde- 
pendently of a direct revelation, under the stimulus of neces- 
sity and the desire of pleasing. 

The first words were, no doubt, Interjections ; for it would 
be natural for men, however savage or ignorant of the use of 
words, to employ exclamations for the purpose of expressing 

sounds, and how in the number of their letters ? How many letters does the English 
alphabet contain ? The French ? Italian ? Spanish ? Russian ? Hebrew, Samaritan, 
Syriac, and Chaldean? Arabic? Persian and Egyptian? Turkish? Georgian? 
Armenian ? Sanscrit ? Abyssinian ? Indian, or Brahmanic ? 

§ 15. Is it probable that a complete system of language was given to man ? How 
has it beea brought to its present perfection ? What words, la it supposed, were firsl 



their sudden emotions. The words that next came into US6 
did not probably denote the name of any particular object ; 
but were such as expressed a whole sentence, indicative of de- 
sires or fears, or intended to convey some important news or 
information ; as, the enetny is coming^ the victory is ours. 

Individual objects next engaged attention. The savage 
lived, we will say, in the midst of a forest. Inasmuch as he 
derived his means of subsistence partly from certain trees 
which it contained, he was soon compelled, in his intercourse 
with others, to allude to them, and represent them by some 
name, or, as grammarians would say, Noun. This appella- 
tion he at first probably applied to all similar objects. It wag 
not till experience taught him the difference between oaks, 
cyjjresses, cedars, &c., and their respective peculiarities, that 
he gave them specific names. As it often became necessary 
to allude to more than one, it was not long before a distinct 
form was adopted to denote the plural number. 

Before all the visible objects of creation had been thus 
arranged into classes and distinguished by general appella- 
tions, and before experience and observation had assigned par- 
ticular names to the various species, it must have been neces- 
sary for men occasionally to allude to a specific object in con- 
tradistinction to the rest of its class. To identify it, therefore, 
intelligibly to another, they would have to distinguish it by 
stating either its distinctive qualities or the relations in which 
it stood to other objects. Thus, if they desired to allude to 
a tree of particular size, or one standing by a spring, instead 
of characterizing it as the fir or the elm, they would naturally 
say, the large tree^ the tree hy the spri7tg. In this way were 
formed Adjectives, which generally express quality, and Prep- 
ositions, which indicate the relations subsisting between Noims 
(often called substantives) and other words. 

employed J Explain the reason. What words nest came into use ? Give an exampl© 
Describe the way in which Nouns were formed. When were specific names coined ? 
What distinct form was afterwards adopted, and why? Describe the necessity which 
^.alled for the Adjective. Give an example. What other class of words had the sama 


Though several important steps had by this time been 
taken towards the formation of a complete system of language, 
yet the means which it afforded of distinguishing objects were 
still imperfect; for, when any substantive was used in dis- 
course, as tree, river, horse, how was it to be known which of 
the many individuals embraced in the general class, which 
tree, river, or horse, was meant ? When the thing alluded to 
was within the range of sight, it could without difficulty be 
pointed out by a movement of the hand ; but, when this was 
not the case, it became necessary to invent words by which 
the particular object intended could be specified. Hence 
arose the Adjective pronouns thit and that^ and the Article 

Yerbs must necessarily have been coeval with the first 
attempts towards the formation of language, as no affirmation 
can be expressed without the assistance of this part of speech. 
We seldom speak except to express our opinion that some- 
thing is or is not, that some act does or does not take place ; 
and the word which affirms the fact or state is always a 

Thus, then^ we have seen Interjections, Nouns, Adjectives 
Prepositions, Articles, Adjective Pronouns, and Verbs, suc- 
cessively called for by the wants of men, and consequently in- 
vented as component parts of language. Personal Pronouns 
were probably the creation of a later age. A young child, it 
has been observed, almost invariably repeats the noun instead 
of using the substitute. Speaking of himself, a child would 
be likely to say, " Grive Johnny Johnny's whistle", and not 
*•' Give me my whistle." So great, indeed, seems to be the 
disinclination of youthful minds to multiply terms that it ia 
often found quite difficult to teach them the use of the pro- 

origin ? Give an example. Give an account of the origia of the Adjective Pronouns 
thie and that. What Article originated in the same way ? What class of words is 
required for the expression of affirmations ? When did they come into use ? 

Of what class of words have we thus far traced the origin ? What part of speech 
was the creation of a later age ? Are children generally inclined to use the personal 


noun. Such was the case, in all probability, with mau in the 
infancy of his being ; and it is not likely that he added this 
new species of words to his primitive and necessary stock, 
until sufficient advance had been made in the formative proc- 
ess to show their great advantage as regards brevity of ex- 
pression and pleasantness of sound. 

Among the early races of men, it seems probable that 
there was much less said than at the present day. Their sen 
tences were at once fewer, shorter, and simpler, than ours 
As successive advances, however, were made, and it was found 
that mutual intercourse was a source of pleasure, men did not 
confine themselves simply to what it was necessary to com- 
municate, but imparted freely to each other even such 
thoughts as had no practical bearing. The original brief 
mode of expression was gradually laid aside ; longer senten- 
ces were used ; and a new class of words was required to con- 
nect clauses so closely related in construction and sense as 
not to admit of separation into distinct periods. This was the 
origin of Conjunctions ; and the same cause, when man's taste 
was still further improved and he began to think of beautify- 
ing language while he extended its power of expression, led to 
the invention of the Relative Pronoun. 

To tell how, when, and where the action expressed by the 
verb was performed, and also to indicate the degree in which 
any object possessed a certain quality, as for instance how tall 
a tree was, man's inventive faculties were not long in perceiv- 
ing that a new species of words was required and in forming 
them accordingly. Adverbs were thus introduced ; and with 
them the elements of language, or Parts of Speech, as they 
are termed, were complete. Man now had the means of ex- 
pressing fully and intelligibly all that came into his mind ; 

pTononn ? What do they employ in its place ? What is gained by the use of the Per- 
sonal Prononn? What was the character of the sentences used ty the early races of 
men ? What change took place in the course of time ? What kind of sentences came 
Into use? What new clasp ot words was- thus required? What parts of speech ongi- 
nated in this way ? Describe the origin of Adverbs. What are the elements of Ian- 


and his future efforts were to be directed, not to the creation 
of new elements, but to improving and modifying those already 
devised, to harmonizing the whole and uniting them in a con- 
sistent system. Up to this point necessity had operated ; the 
improvements subsequently made must be attributed to the 
desire of pleasing. 

§ 16. In thus tracing the origin of the Parts of Speech^ 
we have based our theory and deductions on the suppositiou 
that man's starting-point was a state of utter ignorance. It 
is believed by many that this ignorance was entailed on the 
human race at the same time with, death, as a punishment foi 
the first disobedience; that, immediately on their expulsion 
from Eden, our first parents lost that enlightenment with 
which they had been originally endowed by the Deity. Others 
think that this sinking to savagism was gradual, and was the 
result of the moral degradation which, as the Bible informs 
us, characterized most of the descendants of Adam at the 
time of the Deluge. In either of these cases, or if there was 
no direct revelation from on high, the successive steps in the 
formation of language were probably similar to those described 
above, for such would be their natural order. If God did 
assist men directly, it is likely that He merely put them in 
possession of such elements as barely enabled them to com- 
municate with each other what was absolutely essential, and 
that much was left for human ingenuity to devise ; in which 
case, also, we may conclude that the steps of formation were 
successively taken in the order described above. 

In what condition men were as regards their language at the time 
of the Deluge, cannot be ascertained. Different communities probably 
spoke different dialects, of greater or less comprehensiveness and power 
of expression, according to the various circumstances of their position 
and history. 

guage, or classes of words, called ? After the formation of the parts of speech, to what 
were man's efforts directed ? 

§ 16. On what supposition is this theory of the origin of words based ? According 
to some, when was this ignorance entailed on man ? What is the opinion of others on 
this subject? In either case, what seems probable with respect to the steps of for- 
mation? To what extent is it likely that the Deity assisted men? What is said r& 
gsvrdlng the different dialects spoken at the time of the Deluge ? 





§ 17. Britain before the Roman Conquest. — The earliest 
authentic account that we have of the inhabitants of Britain 
is from Julius Caesar, by whom the southern part of the 
Island was conquered in the year 54 b. c. The Ro^nan gen- 
eral informs us that he found the people of Kent far more 
civilized than the rest, and adds that there was no great differ- 
ence between their customs and those of GrauL* This is not 
to be wondered at, as the southern part of the island was un- 
questionably peopled directly from Gaul; that is, from the 
northern districts of what is now called France, which lay 
directly opposite and were separated from it by a strait so 
narrow as to prove no obstacle to emigration. The historian 
Tacitus, who, in his Life of Agricola, takes occasion to de- 
scribe the an-cient British, confirms this account. He remarks 
that many points in the personal appearance of the Silures, or 
inhabitants of South Wales, together with their proximity to 
the Spanish coast, afford sufficient foundation for the belief 
that they were a branch of the Iberi, or first settlers of Spain ; 
while there was little question that the parts opposite to Gaul 
had been seized on by the people of that country, their re- 
spective languages, religious rites, and general characteristics, 
bearing a marked resemblance to each other.f 

* Ex his omnibus longe sunt humanissimi qui Cantium incoiunt : 
qufB regio est maritima omnis ; neqne multum a Gallica diiferunt con- 
suetudiue, — C^sar, de Bello Gallico, Lib. V., c. 14. 

f In universum tamen sestimanti, Gallos vicimim solum occupasse 
eredibile est. Eorum sacra reprehendas, snperstitionnm persuasione: 
sermo hand multum diversus : in deposcendis periculis eadem audacia, 

§ 17. Who famishes us with the earliest authentic accotmt of the people of 
Britain? What part of the island did Cossar conquer, and when? Which of the in- 
habitants did he find most civilized ? Whom did they resemble in their manners and 
customs? How is this accounted for? Who confirms Caesar's account? Where did 
the Silures live ? From whom, according to Tacitus, did they derive their origin ? By 
whom does he think that the part'^ opposite Gaul were peopled ? What great race had 


The great Celtic race was at this early period scattered 
over the whole of Southwestern Europe ; and no doubt suc- 
cessive bodies had found their way to Britain, either directly, 
or after a temporary residence on the opposite coasts of the 
continent. At the time of Caesar's invasion, therefore, in 
Britain, as well as in Gaul and Spain, dialects of the great 
Celtic tongue were spoken ; but it was not to this original 
vernacular that our English of the present day owes its origin. 
We allude to it here because it is important that the student 
should be acquainted with its history and be able to trace its 
connection with our language, in the formation of which it has 
had its share, in a measure directly, but more particularly 
through the medium of its derivatives, the Latin and Norman 

Ireland appears to have been originally peopled by colonies from 
Carthage, and through this channel to have received its language from 
the Phoenicians, to whom also the Celts seem to have been indebted for 
theirs. Tlieir own historians declare this to have been the case ; and 
the Irish language was originally called Bearni Feni, or the Phoenician 
tongue. N"o inscription, however, is to be found in Ireland in Phoenician 
characters ; and it is therefore probable that the colonies which emi- 
grated thither from Carthage started after the First Punic War. for it 
Has at this period that the Carthaginians gave up their own alphabet 
for that of the Eomans. Subsequently to this settlement, there was 
probably a considerable influx of Iberi ft-om Spain ; who carried with 
them their Celtic dialect, and, grafting it on the Phoenician before in 
use, produced a tongue which, though not identical with that of ancient 
Britain, bore a close resemblance to it. 

et, ubi advenere, in detractandis eadem formido. — ^Tacttus, Julii Agric' 
olce Vita, XL 

settled in Southwestern Europe ? What language prevailed both there and in Britain, 
at the time of Caesar's invasion ? Is Celtic the groundwork of English ? What share 
has it had in the formation of our language ? 

Whence does Ireland seem to have been peopled ? From whom did it receive its 
language? What was the Irish language originally called? At what period is it 
prot/able that the Carthaginian colonies emigrated to Ireland ? What reason Is there 
tor this supposition? What other element, besides the Phoenician tongue, had a share 
li the formation of ancient Irish ? By whom was the Celtic language introduced into 
Ireland? What islands, also, were colonized by the Spaniards? What was their an- 
cient name ? For what were they renovvned ? What people ciirried on an extensive 


The Spaniards, also, we are informed by Dionysius,* colonized the 
Seilly Isles, those famous Kassiterides, renowned among the ancients for 
their exhaustless stores of tin. The Phoenicians seem, from a very early 
date, to have carried on an extensive commerce with these islands, foj 
the express purpose of supplying the nations on the Mediterranean witj 
this useful metal. For a long time they succeeded in keeping the posi- 
tion of the islands a secret ; and we are informed that a Phoenician 
trader, perceiving himself to be watched by a Roman merchantman, ran 
hia vessel ashore rather than betray their locality, and was recompensed 
for his loss from the treasury of the state. The successive attempts of 
different nations to discover these valuable islands were, however, at 
last successful ; and the Kassiterides, as well as the large islands to 
which they were adjacent, were soon peopled by the restless Celts. 

§ 18. Celtic Language. — The Celtic Language derives 
its name from the word KeXrot, the appellation given by the 
Greeks to the primitive inhabitants of Western Europe, who 
came originally from the same stock as the Greeks and 
Romans themselves, but had pushed their migrations further. 
The name was afterwards assumed by an individual tribe, who, 
after various wanderings, settled in Gaul immediately south of 
the Loire. Celtic is regarded by etymologists as the parent of 
most of the languages of Southern and Western Europe, of some 
African tongues, and the various dialects of the two Tartaries. j 
Latin and Greek are also reckoned among its derivatives.}: 

* To0i KacrcTLTepoio yevedXif] 
Acpyeioi vaiovcriu ayavoi TraiSes ''l^ripcav. 

DioNTsros, Perierg., v. 563. 
•)- La langue celtique dans son sens le plus extendu, est la langue que 
parlerent les premiers habitans de I'Europe, depuis les rives de I'Helles- 
pont et de la Mer Egee, jusques a celle de I'ocean ; depuis le cap Sigee 
aux portes de Troie, jusques au cap de Finisterre in Portugal, ou jusques 
en Ireland. — Gebelin, Disc. Prelim., art. 2. 

\ Lingua Hetrusca, Phrygia, Celtica, affines sunt omnes ; ex uno 
fonte derivatse. E"ec Grssca longe distat ; Japheticee sunt omnes ergo et 
ipsa Latina. — Stieknhelm, 

trade with the Kassiterides ? What incident is related in illustration of the value which 
the Phoenicians set upon their exclusive trade with these islands ? By whom, at last, 
were the Kassiterides peopled ? 

§ 18. From what does the Celtic language derive its name ? From what stock did 
the KsAtoi spring ? By whom was the name afterwards assumed ? Vv hat tongue^ 
bove been formed from the Celtic? From wha* language was Celtic aa offshoot 
What resemblance cenfirras this fact ? 


Celtic was itself an offshoot from tlie Hebrew or Phceni- 
cian tongue ; thus etymology, as well as profane history, con- 
firms the account given by Moses of the peopling of the earth 
from one parent family. A marked resemblance may still be 
observed between the Hebrew and Welsh of the present day ; 
and we can only wonder that thirty centuries, involving so 
many political revolutions, should not have produced a greater 
difference between them. 

As we have said that the original British was derived from 
the same stock as the language of Greece and that of Rome, it 
may seem strange that there was not sufficient resemblance 
between it and the latter to be observed and recorded by 
Caesar when he invaded the island. It must be remembered, 
however, that centuries had elapsed from the time of their 
formation ; that all languages at that early day, being spoken 
rather than written, were particularly liable to mutations ; 
and that, after separating from each other, all intercourse be- 
tween the kindred tribes ceased, and their dialects must there- 
fore in a great measure have lost their affinity. The radicals 
common to both must have assumed distinct forms, and the 
new objects and inventions peculiar to each must have origi- 
nated new terms to which the others were strangers. As they 
did not advance towards civilization with the same degree of 
rapidity, so their respective languages could not have been 
equally copious or polished ; for words multiply with ideas 
and successive advances in art and science. In process of 
•time, these causes, added to the difference in the natural 
features of their respective countries and in the objects with 
which they were surrounded, must have obscured the common 
roots, and produced such accessions of new words to each dia- 
lect as to make them seem entirely distinct from one another. 

Even the temperature, soil, and atmosphere of a country have a 
great effect on its language, " It is commonly observed," says Rowland, 

What connection had Greek and Latin with the original language of Britain? 
How, then, is it to be explained that there was not sufficient resemblance between them 
to be observed and recorded by Caesar ? W^hat changes must have been made, and 
why ? What natural circumstances produce changes in the language of a country ? 


the learned author of " Mona Antiqua Restorata ", " that different cli 
mates, airs, and aliments, do very much diversify the tone of the parts 
and muscles of hiiman bodies ; on some of which the modulation of the 
voice much depends. The peculiar moisture of one country, the drought 
of another (other causes from food, &c., concurring), extend or contract, 
ewell or attenuate, the organs of the voice, so that the sound made 
thereby is rendered either shriU or hoarse, soft or hard, plain or lisping, 
in proportion to that contraction or extension. And hence it is, that 
the Chinese and Tartars have some sounds in their language that Euro- 
peans can scarcely imitate." 

It is probable that the Celtic spoken in Britain and G-anl 
before their conquest by the Komans bore a much closer re- 
semblance to the parent tongue than the dialects that prevail- 
ed in the Southeast of Europe ; for the obvious reason that 
the former countries had paid less attention to literature and 
science, enjoyed fewer opportunities of intercourse with other 
nations, and suffered less from invasion, war, and conquest. 

§ 19. Branches of Celtic. — Of the Celtic stock there are 
two branches ; the British or Cambrian, and G-aelic or Erse. 
The former was the dialect that anciently prevailed in Brit- 
ain and Gaul; embracing the Cornish, spoken till a recent 
period in Cornwall, and the Armorican of the French province 
of Bretagne. It is represented by the Welsh of the present 
day. To the second or Erse branch belong the ancient and 
present Irish, the G-aelic of the Highlands of Scotland, and 
the Manks of the Isle of Man. 

In the first class is placed, as we have seen, the language of Bre- 
tagne or Brittany, on the north-west coast of France, generally called 
Armorican. An astonishing resemblance exists between this tongue and 
Welsh, which proves them to have had a common origin and to have 
Buffered very few subsequent modifications. So similar are they that 

What does Eowland say in this connectiotL ? Which resembled more closely the 
parent tongue, the Celtic of Gaul and Britain, or that of Southeastern Europe ? WTiat 
reason is assigned for this ? 

% 19. How many branches are there of the Celtic stock V Name them. Where did 
the British or Cambrian prevail ? What dialects did it embrace ? By what is it repre- 
Bented at the present day ? What languages belong to the Erse branch ? To which 
branch does the language of Brittany belong? What is it generally called ? What 
tongue d OOF Armorican resemble? What docs this prove? Eelatc an. incident illas- 


>wheD. a Welsh regiment passed through Brittany some years since, after 
the conquest of Bellisle, they could converse with the inhabitants and 
were readily understood by them. When and how this district was set- 
tled is not known ; but the inhabitants are manifestly of British, and 
therefore primarily of Celtic, origin. Some suppose that a body of 
British were driven by the Saxons across the Strait of Dover and settled 
on the French coast ; others give credit to a tradition which prevails 
among the Armoricans, that they are descended from some British sol- 
diers who were summoned to Italy as auxiliaries to the Eoman army, 
and who, on their return, seized on this district for a home in conse- 
quence of having learned that the Saxons had become masters of their 
native land. 

§ 20. Peculiarities of Celtic. — Of the ancient Celtic we 
can form a tolerably correct idea by examining the modern 
Welsb and Irish. Its peculiarities seem to have been, 

I. A lack of inflection in its nouns ; that is, they did not 
undergo any change of termination to indicate a change 
of case. The modern Irish has a peculiar form for the 
dative plural ; but with this exception there is no change 
in the terminations of nouns either in Irish, Welsh, or Ar- 

II. A system of initial mutations, by which the noun alters 
its first letter or receives a prefix, according to its rela- 
tion to other words in the sentence. 

It must be remembered that we are now speaking of the 
original language of Britain, and not of the English of the 
present day. The formation of the latter was the work of a 
later date. Yet it contains some traces of the old Celtic, in- 
troduced either directly from the remains of that language, 

trative of the resemblance between "Welsh and Armorican. "When and how was Brit- 
tany settled? How do some account for its settlement? "What tradition prevaila 
among the Armoricans on the subject? 

§ 20. How may we form an idea of the ancient Celtic ? "What peculiarity belonged 
to its nouns ? How do modern Irish, "Welsh, and Armorican agree with ancient Celtio 
in. this particular ? How was the relation between the noun and other Avords in the 
sentence indicated ? 

Is Celtic, the original language of Britain, the groundwork of our presenc Enghsb ( 
Who^. <;onnectioD is there between them ? 


still preserved in their greatest purity in the British Isles, oi 
at second-hand from the Norman French or some other deriv- 
ative from the same stock. 

§21. Period of Roman Supj-emacy. — Britain was sub- 
jugated by the Romans about 50 b. c, and remained in pos^ 
session of its conquerors for four centuries. It was an in- 
variable point of policy with the Bomans to introduce their 
Own language into conquered states, as the most effective 
means of removing their prejudices and reconciling them to 
their bondage. Latin, consequently, supplanted a number of 
aboriginal tongues, just as English has superseded the verna- 
culars of the native Indians of America. In some countries, 
where a war of extermination was carried on, this change was 
immediate ; in others it was more gradual. The Celtic of 
Britain, however, does not seem to have received much modi- 
fication during the period of Boman supremacy. Our lan- 
guage has, it is true, many derivatives from the Latin ; but 
these came through the medium of the Norman French, and 
were not introduced in the days of Caesar or his immediate 
successors. Though numerous Boman garrisons were stationed 
in the island, and though many of the British youth were 
drafted into the armies of the Empire, while others were sent 
to Borne for their education, yet, either from their inaptness at 
learning or their aversion to those who had deprived them of 
liberty, the mass of the people continued firm in their attach- 
ment to their ancient language and in its exclusive use. 
Many, however, of the higher classes became acquainted with 
Latin, and through their means some words were introduced 
from it which are still found in modern Welsh. English, also, 
contains a few terms introduced from the language of the 

§ 21. At what date did the Eomans subjugate Britain ? How long did it remain in 
their possession ? What policy did the Eomans pursue in the states they conquered ? 
What was the consequence ? Does the Celtic of Britain appear to have received much 
modification during the period of Koman supremacy ? How, then, are we to account 
for the Latin derivatives in our language ? What opportunities did the British youth 
havG of learning the Eoraan tongue ? Why did they not embrace these opportunities ? 
What class remained firmest in their attachment to their ancient language? Througli 


Romans at this period ; such as the word street^ from the 
Latin strata ; and names of places ending in coin, a contrac 
tion of colonia (a colony), and in cester, derived from castro 
(a camp). Hence the origin of Linco/?^, Leicester, Gloucester 



§ 22. The Saxon Conquest. — In this state of comparative 
purity the language of the British Celts remained until the 
beginning of the 5th century. About this time, the whole of 
Southern Europe began to be overrun by Goths, Huns, anc* 
other Northern barbarians ; who, allured by the advantages of 
a milder climate and more productive soil, emigrated froi7« 
what was then called Scandinavia, answering to our moderij, 
Norway and Sweden, and wrested province after province from 
the Roman Empire. Their conquest was so complete as tc 
effect a radical change in the customs, laws, and of course dia 
lects, of the districts they subjugated. The languages spoken 
by the Northern tribes were mostly of a common origin, and 
belonged to the great Gothic stock ; yet, though resembling 
each other in their main features, they were distinguished by 
many minor points of difference. The Huns and Lombards, 
overrunning Italy, soon corrupted the Latin language and orig- 
inated the modern Italian. The Franks and Normans, graft- 
ing their vernacular oil the Latin- Celtic of Gaul, produced 

what class were a fow Latin words introduced at this early period ? Give some Latia 
derivatives of this date, with the words from which they were formed. 

§ 22. How long did the Celtic of Britain remain comparatively pure ? About thi» 
yme, what incursions began to be made in Southern Europe ? Whence did the North- 
ern barbarians come ? What was the result of their conquests ? To what stock did 
their languages belong? Which of those tribes overran Italy ? What language origi- 
aated in their corraptions of Latin ? What tribes grafted their vernacular on tho 


Norman French. Spanis-K and Portuguese arose from a simi- 
lar combination of the language of the Yisigoths with the half 
Celtic and half Roman patois of the Peninsula, subsequent!;^ 
modified bj the introduction of somo Arabic elements during 
the supremacy of the Moors in Spain. 

Nor did Britain escape invasion. While the attention of 
Scandinavian nations was directed principally towards South- 
ern Europe, several German tribes fixed their eyes on this iso- 
lated province of Rome ; and, either allured by the hope of 
plunder, or induced to send out colonies by the denseness of 
theii population, despatched thither successive expeditions. 
Prior to this period, indeed, German colonies of greater or less 
size had been planted in Britain ; for we read that this was done 
by the Emperor Antoninus, at the close of the war with the 
Marcomanni. These early settlers, however, were too few to 
effect much change in the customs of the inhabitants. It may 
have been through these colonists that their kinsmen on the 
continent obtained a knowledge of the island, and were in- 
duced to emigrate thither in such numbers. Other accounts 
state that they went on the invitation of the British themselves, 
who solicited their assistance against the Picts, a fierce race 
occupying the northern part of the island ; and that, having 
succeeded in vanquishing the latter, they were tempted to re- 
main by ihe fertility of the soil and the pleasantness of the 
climate. However this may be, the first expedition of which 
we have any authentic account was led by Hengist and Horsa, 
and effected a landing on the shores of Kent, a. d. 449. It 
was in this county, therefore, that the original British was 
first superseded by the mother-tongue of our present English. 

Latin-Celtic of Gaul ? What tongue was thus produced ? How did Spanish and Por- 
tuguese arise? What elements were subsequently introduced? 

To what part of Europe was the attention of Scandinavian nations principally 
ilirected? What tribes fixed their eyes on Britain ? What induced them to send ex- 
peditions thither ? By whom, and after what war, had German colonies been previously 
planted in Britain ? Had these early settlers effected any change in the customs of the 
Inhabitants ? How ^id the Germans come to send expeditions to Britain in th» fifth 
t^ntury ? Why did ihey remain in Britaia? Who led the first expedition f Wtera 


Two traditions are handed down with respect to the stratagem by 
means of which Hengist procured sufficient land for his first settlement. 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, a "Welsh historian of the twelfth century, states 
that he purchased for a nominal simi as much land as could be inclosed 
with an ox-hide ; and that then, having cut it into narrow strips, he 
3urrounded with it an extent of ground sufficient for the erection of a 
castle. This is a familiar story, found in the traditions of various na- 
tions. The other version is given by the Saxons. They say that their 
great leader bought from the inhabitants a lap-full of earth at what 
fleemed to his companions an -extravagant price ; but that he proceeded 
to sow this soil over a large tract, and then, since it could not be distin- 
guished from the other ground, laid claim to the whole, and made good 
his pretensions by force of arms. 

A second ©xpedition from the north of Grermany followed 
in the year 477, under the command of Ella. This chieftain 
established himself in what is now called Sussex (that is, 
South Saxony). The kingdoms of Wessex (West Saxony), lying 
in what is now known as the County of Hants, and Essex 
(East Saxony), were next settled by successive expeditions, in 
the years 495 and &30 respectively. After this, large bodies 
of Germans were constantly arriving. It is unnecessary to 
trace any further the history of their emigrations. 

As soon as they found themselves possessed of sufficient 
strength, the new comers formed the determination of seizing 
upon the whole island, or at least all those parts of it that 
were specially favored by Nature. In this they finally suc- 
ceeded ,• and the original inhabitants, to avoid extermination, 
were obliged to flee to the mountains of Wales and Cornwall, 
where they maintained their independence for many centuries, 
and bave preserved their language, with but little alteration, 
to the present day. In the rest of the island, however, a radi- 
cal change both in language and customs immediately took 

lid they effect a landing, and when ? WTiat tradition is preserved by Geoffrey of Mon- 
tnouth respecting Hengist's stratagem for procuring land? What is the Saxon ac- 

In what year did a second expedition follow ? Under whose command ? Where 
did this chieftain establish himself? What kingdoms wore nest settled, and in what 
years ? What deternaination did the new comers soon form ? Did they succeed la 
tarrytng it through ? Whither were the original inhabitants obliged to fleo ? What 


place. There was no engrafting of one tongue on another, as 
was the case in Southern Europe ; but an immediate substitu- 
tion of the language of the conquerors for that of the yan- 
quished. The tongue spoken by these German invaders i& 
therefore the real groundwork of our language ; a fact well 
established bj history, as well as by the etymological analogies 
subsisting between English and the various dialects of G-othio 

§ 23. The Invaders. — By which of the German tribes the 
expeditions alluded to were fitted out, was formerly a subject 
of doubt, but seems now to be satisfactorily established. The 
Saxons, Angles, and Frisians, appear to have been the prin- 
cipal ones concerned in them. Of these, the first occupied the 
valley of the Eiver Weser, their territory, as far as we can 
now locate it, corresponding with the Kingdom of Hanover, 
the Duchy of Oldenburg, and part of Holstein. They were a 
powerful people, and constituted the chief body of the in- 
vaders. This is inferred from the fact that the ancient 
Britons knew their German conquerors by no other name than 
that of Saxons ; and still further because this is the appeUa- 
tion which the Welsh, Armoricans, and Gaelic- Celts univer- 
sally apply to the English of the present day. Yet, though 
the Saxon element originally preponderated, the Angles were 
evidently strongly represented ; for they enjoy the distinction 
of having given their name permanently to the island, Eng- 
land being nothing more than a corruption of Angleland. 

Who these Angles were, is by no means certain. Tacitus 
and Ptolemy allude to them ; the former, indefinitely, in connec- 
tion with other tribes, while the latter locates them in the 
central part of the valley of the Elbe. They seem at one 
time to have been a distinct and powerful tribe, and were per- 

change took place in the rest of the island ? What tongue is the real groundwork ct 
our language ? How is this fact established ? 

§ 23. What German tribes seem to have taken the principal part in the invasion 
of Britain ? Where did the Saxons live? With what modern countries did their ter- 
ritories correspond ? Whence do we infer that the Saxons constituted the chief body 
ftf the invaders ? What other tribe was strongly represented ? What reason have we 


haps allied bj birth to their Saxon neighbors. Having become 
reduced in number by war or some other calamity, they 
were incorporated with the latter, and found their way to 
Britain along with them. While on the Continent, they were 
far outnumbered by the Saxons, and played so unimportant 
a part that little mention is 'made of them in history : the in- 
fluence of the two nations in Britain was more nearly equal ; 
and the Angles may at length have preponderated over their 
kinsmen and allies, and thus succeeded in giving name to their 
new habitation and its language. 

The Frisians are not generally thought to have formed 
part of the German settlers of Britain ; but that they were 
concerned in one or more of the expeditions seems probable 
from the following considerations : — 

I. Occupying the whole coast from the Zuyder Zee to the 

mouth of the Elbe, they must have been situated between 
the Saxons and the sea, and are therefore likely to have 
joined the latter tribe, to a greater or less extent, in their 
maritime expeditions. 

II. The historian Procopius, speaking of Britain, expressly 
mentions the Frisians as composing a part of its popula- 
tion.* Hengist himself is represented as a Frisian by 
some authorities. The Saxon Chronicle, also, alludes to 
Frisians in Britain. 

III. The Frisian language, as now spoken in Friesland, bears 
a closer resemblance to English than any other known 

* Bpirriaw 5h tV vrjcrou eOvrj rpia TroXvavdpairorara %xov(Ti, fiacriXeis 
re ets aurwi/ eKacTTca i<p4aTriKev, ovoixara Se K^lrai rols eOveffi tovtols Ay* 
yihoL re koI ^picraoves Koi ol rrj vijcrct) oixavvfj-oi BpiTTwyes. — PROCOPitls, 
B. 6. IV. 20. 

for supposing this ? What early historians allude to the Angles ? Where does Ptolemy 
Locate them ? What seems to have been their early history ? On the Continent, ho-w 
did they compare in power and influence with the Saxons ? How, in Britain ? What 
other tribe seem to have taken part in these incursions? Explain how their 
position renders this supposition probable. What historian and what work mention 
Frisians as forminsf part of the populatioa of Britain ? What warrior ia by some repro- 


Dr. Latnam, whose researches have thrown much light upon this 
subject, and whose " Hand-book of the English Language" is repleta 
with scholarship and learning, thus sums up the whole matter : " It waa 
certainly from the Anglo-Saxon, and probably from a part of the Frisian 
area, that Great Britain was first invaded." 

§ 24, The Saxo7i Language. — The language whicli thus 
suddenly superseded the Celtic of the ancient British was, as 
has been remarked, an offshoot of the great Gothic stem, 
which itself dates as far back as the Celtic. The nations 
that spoke the various Grothic dialects lived in the northern 
part of Europe, having probably emigrated at an ear]y date 
from Southwestern Asia, or been driven out by more power- 
ful tribes. Their bards, whose business it was to recite the 
exploits of their heroes, agree in assigning to their race an 
Eastern origin ; and Herodotus mentions the Germans among 
other tribes of ancient Persians.* The Gothic stock is divid- 
ed into two great branches : the Scandinavian, including the 
dialects of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland ; and the 
Teutonic, or Germanic. To this latter division Anglo-Saxon 

§ 25. Norse or Danish Element. — The first introduction 
of a foreign element into the pure Saxon of England was oc- 
casioned by the invasion of the Scandinavian nations during 
the ninth and the tenth century. The pirates who effected 
the conquest of the island are generally called Danes ; but the 
Norwegians seem to have played the principal part in these 
expeditions. Their supremacy must have caused, to a certain 

* ''AAAot 8e nepcrat eiVl o'/5e, TiavQiaXaioi, Arjpovcriatoi, V epfxav loi.-^ 
Heeodotus, Clio, 125. 

gented to have been a Frisian ? What additional evidence have we in the languj^ 
now spoken in Friesland ? What does Dr. Latham say on the subject ? 

§ 24. From what great stock did the Saxon language spring ? Where did the 
Gothic dialects prevail at this time ? From what part of the world did the nations 
using them originally migrate? What evidence have we of this? Into how many 
branches is the Gothic stock divided ? What are they ? What dialects are included In 
the Scandinavian branch ? To which division does Anglo-Saxon belong ? 

§ 25. What occasioned the first introduction of a foreign element into the pure Saxon 
of Englftnd ? What name is generally given to the pirate-conquerors ? What nation 


extent, a temporary admixture of foreign terms. To decide 
what words we owe to this era is extremely difficult, on ac- 
count of the analogy subsisting between the Scandinavian and 
German dialects, both of which, it will be remembered, were 
derived from the same Grothic parent. It is certain, however, 
that very few Danish terms were ultimately incorporated ; as 
the island suffered a change of masters, rather than of people, 
customs, or laws. The Norsemen have left in our language 
but little trace of their invasion ; and this chiefly in the names 
of places on or near the coast. 



§ 26. First Introduction of Norman French Elements.— 
Not perceptibly affected by the iqjrasions of the Norsemen or 
even by their temporary usurpation of the throne, Saxon con- 
tinued to be the language of the island until the Norman Con- 
quest, 1066 A. D. During the six hundred years that elapsed 
between its introduction and this event, it underwent, indeed, 
some modifications of greater or less moment ; and these are 
particularly noticeable in the century immediately preceding 
the battle of Hastings. It was at this period that the first 
importation of Norman French words took place, under the 
auspices of Edward the Confessor. Educated in France and 
prejudiced in favor of all that belonged to that country, this 
prince, on returning to England and assuming the throne, 
Burrounded himself with Norman favorites, and sought to in- 
troduce French customs into his court and French idioms into 

liad most to do with the invasion ? What effect did theii' snpremacy produce on the 
language? "Were many new terms incorporated? As regards the names of places, 
where have they left the principal traces of their invasion ? What renders it difficult 
to determine the words introduced by the Norsemen ? 

§ 26. How long did Saxon, in comparative purity, continue to be the language <rf 


his language ; much to the disgust of his subjects, whose affeo- 
tions he estranged by this injudicious course. Inconsiderable 
as were the changes thus brought about, they served to pavo 
the way for those fundamental modifications which the Nor- 
man Conquest was destined to produce. 

§ 27. Norman Conquest and its Effects. — William, Duke 
of Normandy, invaded England 1066 a. d., and, having won. 
the battle of Hastings, seated himself without delay upon the 
throne. Eesolved to wean the people from their ancient in- 
stitutions, he endeavored, as the most effective means of ac- 
complishing this object, to make them forget their language. 
With this view, he ordered that in all schools throughout the 
kingdom the youth should be instructed in the French tongue; 
and this ordinance was generally complied with, and remained 
in force till after the reign of Edward III. It was also re- 
quired that the pupils of grammar-schools should translate 
their Latin into French, and that all conversation among 
them should be carried on in one of these two languages. 
Anglo-Saxon was banished from the tribunals of the land, and 
pleadings were required to be in French ; deeds were drawn 
and laws compiled in the same language ; no other tongue 
was used at Court ; it was exclusively employed in fashion- 
able society ; and the English nobles themselves, ashamed of 
their own country, affected to excel in this foreign dialect. 
The lower classes, however, at first vigorously resis-ted these 
attempts ; and for fifty years all that was done towards chang- 
ing the language was effected by the hand of power. Yet in 
spite of this feeling on the part of the people, even during the 
very period in question, the intercourse necessarily carried on 
with the Normans introduced not a few of their terms into 
common conversation. Thus undermined, popular prejudice 

England? What was the principal modification it had previously undergone ? Who 
was the author of these changes ? For what did they pave the way ? 

§ 27. By whom was England invaded 1066 A. d. ? What battle decided the fate 
of the empire? What was its result ? How did the Conqueror endeavor to alienate 
'the people from their ancient institutions ? In what were the youth instructed ? Wl-mt 
was made the language of the courts? By what class were these attempts reaistoJ' 


gradually became less violent. The superior versatility of the 
language of their conquerors and its peculiar adaptedness to 
poetry were soon acknowledged by the educated. The treas- 
ures of the early ballad and romantic literature of Normandy 
were eagerly sought for ; and, within a hundred years after 
the Conquest, we find the people as willing to learn the Nor- 
man tongue, and engraft its beauties on their own, as their 
fathers had been opposed to speaking or even hearing it. 

This willingness, however, extended only to a modification 
of their vernacular ; the determination was still as strong and 
unanimous as ever against allowing the introduction of Nor- 
man French at the expense and to the exclusion of the latter. 
To improve its constructions and enlarge its vocabulary would 
be to increase its usefulness ; and for these purposes they 
freely drew on the language of their conquerors. But the 
latter was rendered odious by too many unpleasant associa- 
tions to allow of its substitution for a tongue which the use 
of centuries had rendered sacred in their eyes. Of effecting 
this, the power of William and his successors was totally in- 
capable. The people carried their point ; and within two 
hundred years these very kings and nobles from across the 
channel were compelled to learn the Saxon, at first so much 
contemned, now converted into English by the important 
changes just alluded, to, which commenced as early as the 
middle of the twelfth -century. In 1362, the new language 
thus formed was introduced into the courts and allowed to be 
used in pleading ; all classes of society spoke it ; poets em- 
ployed it as the vehicle of their choicest thoughts ; and Eng- 
lish literature may be said to have had its origin. 

Did they succeed in keeping their vernacular unalloyed ? How were Norman words 
gradually introduced ? In what qualities did the educated Saxons find that the Nor- 
Enan language surpassed their own ? What was the state of feeling among the Saxons 
I oontury after the Conquest ? How far did this willingness extend ? For what pur- 
poses did they draw on the language of their conquerors ? Did the kings or the people 
Borry their point ? Two hundred years after the Conquest, what do we find ? Into 
what was Saxon by that time converted ? In 1362 what took placj ? In what locol- 
tties were these changes soonest e&cted ? 



These changes, though covering in the kingdom at large a period of 
two hundred years, were in some parts much sooner effected. The 
greater the number and influence of the Norman inhabitants in any 
given locality, the sooner did Anglo-Saxon prejudices give way and the 
distinctive features of the French become blended with those of the 

§ 28. Conversion of Anglo-Saxon into English. — Marks 
of the successive changes to which allusion has been raade 
are evident in the few extant writings of the twelfth and 
the succeeding century. In the case of some of the produc- 
tions of this transition period, critics have found it difficult to 
decide whether they should be classed among the latest speci- 
mens of Saxon, or the earliest of English, literature, bearing, 
as they do, the characteristics of each ; they have, therefore, 
introduced the word Semi-Saxon, which they apply to all 
writings between 1150 and 1250 a. d. Passing over a few 
works of minor importance, the Travels of Sir John Mande- 
ville, written in 1356, may be called the first English book. 
Wicliffe's Translation of the Bible followed twenty-seven 
years afterwards, and did much towards fixing the unsettled 
forms of the new language. 

The English of these early times, however, differs much from that 
of the present day. Even the poetry of Chaucer, who wrote in the lat- 
ter part of the fourteenth century, cannot be understood without the 
aid of a glossary. Our language has not, to be sure, since the JSTorman 
invasion suffered any shock from the intermixture of conquerors, and 
their dialects ; but its appearance is much changed in consequence, not 
only of manifold simplifications in the spelling, but also of the disuse of 
many Saxon terms (one fifth of those current in Alfred's time being now 
obsolete), and the continual introduction of new words from the dead 
languages, as weU as from the French, Italian, and Spanish. For scien- 
tific terms resort has generally been had to the Greek ; and, as new dis- 
coveries have been constantly making since the Middle Ages, the addi- 
tions from this source have been considerable. Commerce has also 

§ 28. In what writings have we marks of these successive changes ? What writings 
ore classed as Semi-Saxon ? What may be called the first English book ? When was 
tt written ? What work followed twenty -seven years afterwards ? How does this early 
English compare with that of ihe present day ? What is said of Chaucer's poetry ? 
Whence arises this difference ? What part of the 8ason words current in Alfred's time 


Widely extended ; and commodities formerly unknown have been intro. 
duced into common use, retaining in most cases their foreign names. 
Thus "we have obtained the words camphor, arsenic, and many others. 
The changes and additions just mentioned, as well as a vaidety of modi- 
fieations which are found to have affected, not only our own, but ako 
every other modern tongue, have so altered the appearance of the later 
English that a close examination is necessary to convince the reader of 
ts identity with the language of Chaucer. 

§ 29. Changes by which Anglo-Saxon was converted into 
English. — The principal changes by which Anglo-Saxon was 
converted into English, were, 

I. Modifications and contractions in the spelling of words. 
II. The introduction of French terms, phrases, and idioms. 

III. The use of less inversion and ellipsis, especially in 

IV. The omission of inflections or changes in the termination 
of the noun, and substitution of prepositions to express 
its relations to other words. This last-mentioned change 
is the only one of sufficient importance to authorize us in 
considering the new derivative as an independent tongue. 
It is an alteration which time very often brings about ; 
and itj, perhaps, to be attributed rather to the natural 
efforts of the people to simplify their grammar, than to 
the effects of the Norman Conquest or the new dialect 
it introduced. Observation shows that this tendency 
has by no means been confined to English. It seems to 
be a universal principle, that, the further we go back in 
the history of a given language, the more terminational 
changes we find in its nouns and verbs, and the fewer 
prepositions and auxiliaries. 

are now ot)soIete ? Whence hare we obtained most of our scientific terms ? How have 
we received the words camphor, arsenic, and many others ? What ia said of the 
effect of these alterations and additions? 

§ 29. Mention the foar principal changes by which Anglo-Saxon was converted into 
English. Which of these is the most important ? How is it often brought about ? To 
what is it attributable ? Is this tendency confined to the English language ? The 
further we go back in the history of a tongue, what do we find ? 




§ 30. To recapitulate and enlarge on what lias been said 
in the preceding lesson, it appears that our language, as it 
now stands, is composed of the following elements : — 

i. Saxon. — Of the forty thousand words contained in our 
fullest dictionaries, twenty-three thousand are from this source " 
as are, also, our chief peculiarities of construction and idiom. 
Some of these it may be interesting to particularize. The in- 
flection of our pronouns ; the terminations of the possessive 
case and plural number, as well as of the second and third 
person singular of verbs ; the syllables ei- and est, and the 
words more and most, by which we form the comparative and 
superlative of adjectives and adverbs ; the suffix hj (derived 
from like), which enters into the formation of a large propor- 
tion of our adverbs. — all these are derived from the Saxon. 
As to the words we have received from it, they are those 
which occur most frequently and are individually of the 
greatest importance : such as the articles a, an, the ; all our 
pronouns ; the adjectives oftenest used, especially such as are 
irregularly compared ; the commonest adverbs of one syllable, 
how, noiv, then, and the like ; nearly all of the numerous 
irregular verbs, as well as the auxiliaries, have, be, shall, will, 
&c. ; and the prepositions and conjunctions, almost without 

Irregular nouns, adjectives, and verbs, are in every language among 
the oldest words, and are very likely to be those most used in common 
conversation ; to which fact their deviation from regularity may often 

§ 80. How many words are contained in our fullest dictionaries ? Of these, how 
many are Saxon ? What terminations have we received from this source ? Which 
of our words are Saxon ? Mention some of them. What is said of the irregular nouns, 
adjectives, and verbs in every language ? What striking objects have received Saxon 
Eames ? Whence come most of our abstract terms ? Whence, the sp«cifications under 
tbem ? Give examples. What rich fund of words is almost entirely Saxon ? Mention 


be traced. These, as we have seen, our Saxon ancestors gave us ; to 
them, aLso, we owe the names of the striking objects which constantly 
meet our view, of sun and moon, land and water, hill and dale. While, 
moreover, we borrow fi'om the Latin or French most of our abstract 
terms, the specifications classed under them are for the most part Saxon, 
Thus Latin supplies us with the general term color ; but to Saxon we 
are indebted for the particular varieties, white and black, blue and yel- 
low, red and brown : from the former we get the comprehensive term to 
T/iove ; from the latter, the different kinds of motion, walking, running^ 
leaping, springing, gliding, creeping, cr^awling, &c. Hence, too, the rich 
and necessary fund of words by which we express our feelings and pas- 
sions as well as the relations which call them forth. These emotions 
the Saxons shared with all others of the human race, and the words 
wl ich they employed in expressing them have come down to us almost 
without alteration. To this class belong the words love and hate, hope 
and fear, smile and tear, sigh and groan, weeping and laughter, father 
and mother, man and wife, son and daughter. Our connnon business 
terms, the language of the shop, the market, and the farm, have the 
same origin. Saxon, therefore, besides dictating the laws and furnish- 
ing the particles by which our words are connected, yields the most 
available terms for expressing the feelings, describing the objects of 
sense and imagination, and conveying the facts of every-day life. 

2. Norman French, — From the time of the Conquest till 
the days of Chaucer, a period of three hundred years, this 
element played an important part in the formation of our 
tongue. First introduced by royal authority as the language 
of law, chivalry, and feudalism, and unwillingly received by 
the masses, it finally found its way into their afi'ections, and 
was largely drawn upon for words in whicli the Saxon vocabu- 
lary was deficient. From this source it is estimated that at 
least five thousand words were added. Besides covering the 
abstractions and generalities of every-day life, they often con- 
vey slight distinctions and delicate shades of thought. We 
find them particularly useful, when we wish to express disap- 

some. What other terms have the same origin ? What portion, then, of its syntas 
and vocabulary does English owe to Saxon ? 

Between what periods did Norman French play an important part in the formation 
of our tongue ? How was it first introduced ? In process of time, how was it received 
by the people ? How many words have we taken from this source ? What do they 
convey with peculiar accuracy ? When do we find them particularly useful ? How is 
this explained ? 


probation without wounding the feelings of another. Tha 
natural courtesy of the Normans led to the creation of a fund 
of words applicable to this purpose, for which the energetic 
and too often rough expressions of the Saxons wore totally un- 

3. Modern French. — From this offspring of the ancient 
Norman our authors have, at different periods, taken many 
useful words ; which, either with very slight changes in their 
spelling or without any modification at all, have, after a time, 
by common consent, become incorporated into the language. 
A taste for French expressions as well as French opinions has- 
from time to time prevailed in England, and of course led to 
the introduction of many foreign terms from this source ; 
whence, also, numerous additions have been made through the 
medium of trade, many fabrics which owe their invention to 
the artists of France having come into general use and re- 
tained iheir foreign names. 

4. ]^ATiN. — Under this head must be classed those ele- 
ments which have come directly from the Latin, and not 
through the medium of any other tongue. Between the two 
classes it is not always easy to draw a dividing line, particu- 
larly in the case of the later derivatives. The earliest addi- 
tiaos from this source (if we except proper names and a few 
military terms, introduced into the original vernacular of 
Britain during the period of Boman supremacy, and thence 
received and naturalized at a later date by the Saxons) were 
ecclesiastical words, such as monk, saint, cloister, mass, and 
the like, necessarily employed wherever the Church of Bome 
carried its doctrines, institutions, and ritual. Next follow 
the Latinisms introduced in the thirteenth century, at which 
time a taste for classical studies began to revive in England 

What is said of the additions from modern French ? Through what medium 
baye they mostly been received ? 

Into what two classes are the Latin elements of our language divided? Is it easy 
to distinguish between them ? What additions were made from this source during the 
period of Eoman supremacy ? What Latin terms were next introduced ? Give ex- 
amples. WTiat Latinisms next followed ? Towards the close of the eighteenth cen- 


as well as elsewhere. Thenceforth, as necessity required, oc- 
casional additions were made from the same source, especially 
by theological and scientific writers ; until, towards the close 
of the eighteenth century, Johnson and his imitators, having 
coined largely from Latin roots and naturalized a variety of 
classical idioms, succeeded in making their high-sounding de- 
rivatives fashionable, at the expense of the less pretending 

It has been questioned by those who compare the simplicity of Ad- 
dison with the pompousness of Hume and Gibbon, whether this whole- 
sale latinizing was any improvement to our language and Hterature ; if, 
however, it resulted in no other advantage, it has at least secured us an 
array of synonymes (that is, words that have the same or a similar sig- 
nification) unequalled by those of any other modern language. 

5. Celtic. — Next in importance are the Celtic elements, 
some of which were introduced into our language at or short- 
ly after the period of its first formation, while others have 
been added in modern times, either by antiquarians or in con- 
sequence of intercourse with the Welsh and Irish. As exam- 
ples of the latter, may be mentioned the words tartan^ plaid^ 
flannel^ &c. The former class may be arranged under two 
subdivisions : — 
I. Those elements which came directly from the Celtio 
itself; embracing a great number of geographical names, 
such as Thames^ Kent^ &c., as well as a variety of com- 
mon nouns in every-day use, among which are hran^ 
darn^flaw^ gruel^ mop, tackle^ &c. 
II. Such as originated in the Celtic, yet were received into 
English, not directly from that tongue, but through the 
medium of Latin or Norman French, into which they 
had previously found their way. 

tary, what taste became fashionable ? How does the style of Addison compare with 
that of Hume and Gibbon? What question has been raised with regard to this 
wholesale latinizing ? What great advantage has resulted from it ? 

What elements are next in importance ? When were the Celtic additions intro- 
duced? What Is the first class into which the ancient elements are divided? Givo 
examples. What, the second ? How have Celtic words found their way into English 
to modem times ? 


6. Greek. — To this language we are indebted largely foi 
scientific terms, but little or none for words of every-day life 
The elements thus derived are all of recent addition. If we 
except the words phenomenon^ criterion^ automaton^ and a 
few others, they have all been introduced within the last hun- 
dred and fifty years. New discoveries of science having ren- 
dered an enlargement of our technical nomenclature necessary, 
recourse was had to the Greek as afi"ording the greatest ad- 
vantages for this purpose. Hence our numerous words end- 
ing in logy and grapky^ and their derivatives, 

7. Miscellaneous Elements. — Under this head fall the 
few isolated words added from time to time, through the 
medium of business, or as occasion has required, from Eastern 
and North American dialects, or the modern tongues of Eu- 
rope not before alluded to. 

Dr. Latham, in his " Handbook," p. 56, furnishes us with a variety 
of examples : — 

Italian, virtuoso. 

KussiAN, Czar. 

Turkish, coffee, bashaw, scimitar. 

Arabic, admiral, assassin, alchemy, alcohol, and a variety of words 
beginning with the Arabian article al. 

Persian, turban, caravan. 

Hindoo, calico, chintz, curry, lac. 

Malay, bantam, gamboge, rattan, sago. 

Chinese, nankeen, tea, and its varieties, bohea, hyson, &c. 

K American Indian, squaw, wigwam. 

§ 31. From what has been stated, however, with regard 
lo the numerical proportion of the elements composing our 
language, no correct idea can be formed respecting their rela- 

What terms do we owe to the Greek language? When were they introduced? 
Within this period, what has called for an enlargement of our scientific vocabulary? 
What terminations in English indicate Greek origin? 

How have a variety of miscellaneous elements crept into our language? Give 
examples from the Italian; Eussian; Turkish; Arabic; Persian; Hindoo; Malay; 
Chinese ; North American Indian dialects. 

§ 31. From what has been stated with regard to their number, can a correct idea be 
formed of the relative importance of the elements that compose our language ? Why 


tive importance. Some words, for instance, (and this is the 
case with many of our Saxon derivatives) are constantly re- 
curring, while the use of others is rare and limited to certain 
styles or subjects. To determine what part of our language, 
as commonly written, is really Saxon, various passages from 
the authorized version of the Scriptures and from standard 
writers of different eras have been analyzed. The result, as 
given in Turner's Anglo-Saxons, shows that when the words 
were classified under the languages from which they were re 
spectively derived, more than four fifths of the whole were 
found to be of Saxon origin. The individual passages com- 
pared were found to differ ividely from each other as regards 
their proportion of foreign elements. The translators of the 
Bible wrote by far the purest Saxon, only ^V of tiieir words 
being derived from other sources ; of Swift's words, ^ are nof 
Saxon ; of Milton's, | ; of Shakspeare's, | ; of Spenser's 
Addison's, and Thomson's, about I ; of Johnson's, | ; of 
Pope's and Hume's, | ; of Gribbon's, much more than J, 



§ 32. Before proceeding to consider the different classes 
of words, and the parts they respectively perform in a sen- 
teice, we may with advantage look at our language as a whole, 
and observe its leading characteristics. 

Derived, as we have seen, from so many different sources, 

not ? To arrive at a knowledge of this, what has been done ? What proportion of all 
the words employed is found to be of Saxon origin ? Who are ascertained to have 
wr'tten the purest Saxon? What proportion of their words is derived fi-om otheF 
soTi-ces? Of Swift's words, what part is not Saxon? of Milton's? Shakspeare's? 
Spenser's? Addison's, and Thomson's ? Johnson's? Pope's and Hume's ? Gibbon's? 
§ 32. What follows from the fact that English has been derived from so many differ' 


each of which has contributed some of its own peculiar fea« 
tures, it naturally follows that English, like every other com- 
pounded language, is full of irregularities. We must not ex- 
pect entire consistency in its parts, or that complete analogy 
of structure which is found in simpler tongues that have been 
built on but one foundation. Our words, naturalized from 
widely different dialects, " straggle," as Blair says, " asunder 
from each other, and do not coalesce so naturally in the struc- 
ture of a sentence as the words in the Greek and Rom'an 
tongues." Our orthography is anomalous ; the same combi- 
nation of letters may be pronounced in half a dozen different 
ways : * and our syntactical constructions are so arbitrary that 
it often perplexes the best grammarians to account for them. 
We have introduced foreign idioms and modes of construc- 
tion ; and our sentences too often look like patchwork, com- 
posed of divers pieces, handsome enough in themselves, but 
of such different colors and qualities that the eye cannot help 
being struck with the variety in passing from one to another. 
Composite languages, however, have advantages as well as 
drawbacks. The very variety alluded to above is preferable to 
sameness, and often imparts vivacity to what might otherwise 
seem monotonous and dull. Such tongues, moreover, are gener- 
ally enriched with copious vocabularies ; and particularly is this 
true of English, whose abundance of historical, political, moral, 
and philosophical terms, leaves little to be desired by the wri- 
ter. Nor are we less amply provided with distinct and pecu- 
liar poetical terms. With us poetry differs from prose, not 
only in having a certain arrangement of syllables and feet, but 

* For example, ough in through, though, cough, tough, lough, hie- 
fimigh, plough. 

ont sources? Wbat mustwc not expect? What says Blair respecting our -words ? 
What is the character of our orthography ? Give an example. What is said of our 
sentences ? 

What advantage, on the other hand, do composite languages possess ? With what 
we such tongues generally enriched? With what kind of terms are we amply pro- 
vided ? In English, how does poetry differ from prose ? Whose writings prove this? 


in tlie very words that compose it ; so mncli so that the wri- 
tings of Ossian, though they have neither rhyme nor metre, 
are classed by many among poems. In this respect we enjoy 
a great advantage over the French, whose poetry, without 
rhyme, would be hardly distinguishable from their prose ; and 
with whom, as a consequence, blank verse is never attempted. 
For this richness we are indebted to the fact that our language, 
originally made up from several others, has borrowed from 
them all ; and thus has supplied from one what was wanting 
in another, and even in some cases appropriated duplicate 
terms and expressions to denote the same thing. These are of 
great use to the writer in every department of composition, 
enabling him to diversify his style and avoid unpleasant repe- 

§ 33. Every language is supposed to take, in a greater or 
less degree, its predominant tone from the character of the 
people that speak it. Though it cannot, of course, exactly 
represent their customs, manners, powers of mind, and habits 
of thought, yet it must necessarily be in some measure, if ever 
so little, affected by their national characteristics. The 
vivacity of the French, the thoughtfulness of the English, and 
th gravity of the Spanish, are unmistakably impressed on 
their respective tongues. 

From the character of those by whom our language was originally 
formed, and from whom it has received most of ita subsequent additions 
and modifications, we would expect to find it distinguished by strength 
and energy ; and this is the case, notwithstanding the numerous small 
particles and auxiliary verbs which we are constantly obliged to em- 
ploy, with a decidedly weakening effect. Though our constructions are 
by no means compact, and our thoughts are diluted with a superabun- 
dance of words, yet, in spite of these disadvantages, since it abounds in 

What Is said of French in this respect? What kind of verse is, therefore, never at- 
tempted in that language ? To what fact is English indebted for this richness ? How 
{s this quality of use to the writer ? 

§ 33. From what does every language take its predominant tone ? What is the 
characteristic of the French and their tongue ? What of the English ? What of the 
Spanish ? Judging from the character of the formers of our language, by what would 
Tce exp»jot to find English distinguished ? Is this the case ? What words, however, 


terms adapted to the expression of the strongest emotions, and presents 
Biiperior facilities for forming compounds, and thereby briefly represent- 
ing complex ideas, our language is admitted by all nations to be emi- 
nently nervous and energetic. 

Flexibility, or susceptibility of accommodation to differ* 
ent styles and tastes, so as to be either grave or gay, forcible 
or tender, simple or imposing, as occasion may require, is one 
of the most important qualities that a language can possess, as 
regards both writing and speaking. To ensure flexibility, 
three characteristics are essential; copiousness, capacity for 
changes of construction and arrangement, and strength and 
beauty as regards individual words. The first two of these 
qualities we have seen that English possesses in a high de- 
gree ; in the last it is not deficient. While, therefore, it is in- 
ferior in flexibility to Latin and Grreek, and of modern lan- 
guages perhaps to Italian, it is still capable of being used 
with success in any style ; as must be apparent to all who ex- 
amine the master-pieces which our literature has produced in 
the various departments of prose and poetry. 

It has been said above that our tongue is not deficient in 
harmony ; and this is proved by the fact that it is capable of 
being formed into poetry without the aid of rhyme. Vowel 
sounds abound, and please the ear with their variety. The 
frequent recurrence of the hissing consonant 5, however, has aa 
unpleasant effect, which we have only partially removed b;y 
assigning to that letter, in certain positions, the sound of z , 
as in w, these^ eoTb^ loves^ resolves^ &c. The melody of our 
periods is also materially affected by our tendency to throw tho 
accent of polysyllables back towards the beginning ; to which 
tendency we are indebted for such awkward words as tempo» 

have a decidedly weakening effect ? What is said of our constructions ? How are oui 
thouglits diluted ? Notwithstanding this, what is the general character of our lan- 
guage ? To what features does it owe this character ? 

What is one of the most important qualities a language can possess f En amerata 
the characteristics essential to flexibility. How does English rank as regards these 
three essentials ? How does it compare in flexibility with Latin, Greek, and Italian ? 
What proves its adaptation to all styles? 


rarily ^ mischievously^ mercenariness^ miserahleness, and many 
others similarly discordant. 

Whatever may be said of the English language in other 
respects, in simplicity it undoubtedly surpasses the rest of 
European tongues. It is free from intricacies of case, declen- 
sion, mood, and tense. Its words are subject to but few termi- 
national changes. Its substantives bave no distinctions of 
gender except what nature has made. Its adjectives admit of 
such changes only as are necessary to denote the degrees of 
comparison. Its verbs, instead of running through all the 
varieties of ancient conjugation, suffer few changes. With 
the help of prepositions and auxiliaries, all possible relations 
are expressed, while the words for the most part retain their 
forms unchanged. We lose from this, no doubt, in brevity 
and strength ; but we gain vastly in simplicity. The arrange- 
ment of our words is, in consequence, less difficult, and our 
sentences are more readily understood. The rules of our syn- 
tax are exceedingly simple, and the acquisition of our lan- 
guage is easy in proportion. 



§ 34. Having traced the history of our language, considered 
the sources from which it is derived, and noted its chief 
characteristics, we shall now proceed to treat of its words, 

What proves that English is not deficient in harmony ? What conwnant has an 
onpieasant sound ? How have we attempted to remove the difficulty ? What tendency 
In accentuation interferes with the melody of periods ? Mention some Inharmonioaa 
words thus accented. 

In what does English surpass all other European tongues ? What features aie men- 
tioned, which conduo3 to its simplicity ? How are the different relations of nouns and 
verbs expressed ? In what respects do we lose in consequence of this ? In what do 
we gain ? 


viewed with reference to the respective parts they perform in a 
sentence. A knowledge of grammar being presupposed in the 
pupil, we shall here, by a brief summary, merely recall to his 
mind its leading principles, with such definitions and illustra' 
tions only as are absolutely essential to the proper understand- 
ing of the succeeding lessons. 

The classes into which words are divided with reference 
to their use and mutual relations, are called Parts of Speech.. 
They are nine in number. 

I. NOUNS, or names of things. They are divided into 
two classes : Common Nouns, or names that distinguish one 
class of objects from another, — as, onan^ cz7y, river ; and 
Pp^oper Nouns, or names that distinguish one individual of a 
class from another, — as, Moses, BrooJdyn, Rhine. 

The term Substantive is frequently used as synonymous with noun. 
Besides nouns, it embraces whatever may be used as such ; that is, pro- 
noims, verbs in the infinitive, and clauses. 

II. PRONOUNS, or words that may be used instead of 

Iliey are comprised in the following classes : — 

1 Personal, or such as show by their form what person they are ; that 
is, whether they represent the person speaking, the person spoken 
to, or the object spoken of. The Personals are, /, thou, he, she, it, and 
their compounds, myself, thyself, himself, herself, itself. 

2. Relatives, or such as relate to a substantive going before, called an 
Antecedent. The relatives are, who, which, and that. Wliat, what- 
ever, whoever, and whichever, include the antecedent, and are called 
compound relatives. 

8. Interrogatives, or such as are used to ask questions. The interroga- 
tives are, who, which, and what. 

% 34. What do we mean by parts of speech ? How many are there ? Which is the 
fiibt ? What are nouns? Into what classes are they divided? What are common 
aoans ? What are proper nouns ? What term is often used as synonymous with noun ? 
'^hat else besides nouns are included under the general head of substantives? 

What is the second part of speech? What are pronouns? Enumerate the classes 
into which they are divided. Define the term personal pronoun. Mention the per- 
sonals. What are relative pronouns ? Enumerate them. What are inten-ogatives f 
Mention them. What is meant by adjective pronouns? Mention the principal onea. 


1. Adjective Pronouns, or such as on some occasions take the place of 
substantives, and on others are used with them, like adjectives 
Under this head fall the words, tlds, that, each, every, either, neither 
no, none, any, all, such, some, both, other, another. 

III. ARTICLES, or words placed before nouns to show 
whether they are used in a particular or general sense. We 
have two articles : the^ called Definite, because it defines or 
points out a particular object; and an or a, called Indefi- 

lY. A.DJECTIYES, or words which describe or limit 
substantives; as, " ThQ Jive good emperors". 

V. VERBS, or words that express an action or state ; as, 
" He is sure to succeed.'''' That respecting which the action or 
state is primarily expressed is called the Subject of the verb; 
thus, in the preceding example, he is the subject of the 
verb is. 

Verbs are divided into two classes : TRANsmvE, or such as express 
an act done to an object; and Intransitive, or such as express a state, or 
an act not done to an object. "James reads Latin", " James can read", 
*' James is asleep" : in the first sentence the verb is transitive ; in the 
last two, intransitive. 

To show the relation which the subject bears to the action express- 
ed, transitive verbs have two distinct forms, caUed Voices. The Ac- 
nvE Voice represents the subject of the verb as acting ; as, " Caesar con- 
quered Pompey." The Passive Voice represents the subject of the verb 
as acted upon ; as, " Pompey was conquered by Csesar." 

A verb is said to be finite when it is limited by person and number. 
This is the case in every part except the infinitive mood and the parti- 

By the regimen of a verb or preposition is meant the substantive it 
governs with all the limiting words belonging thereto ; as, " A good citi- 

What is the third part of speech? What are artic^s? Mention them, and give 
their names. 

What is the fourth part of speech ? What are adjectives ? Give an example. 

What is the fifth part of speech ? What arc verbs ? What is meant by the subject 
of a verb ? Into how many classes are verbs divided ? What are they ? What are 
transitive verbs ? What, intransitive ? Give examples. How many voices are there ? 
What are they called ? How does the active voice represent the subject of the verb ? 
How does the passive represent it ? When is a verb said to be finite ? What is ir.cant 
»/ the regimen of a verb or preposition ? Give examples. 


zen obeys his country's laws" " The age of miracles is past.** " A oom 
pany of wicked and projiigate men." 

To verbs belong 

Participles, or words wbicb, partaking of the nature of 
adjectives and verbs, describe a substantive by assigning to il 
an action or a state. Transitive verbs have six participles 
three in the active, and three in the passive, voice ; as, loving^ 
hved^ having lovecl^ and being loved^ loved^ having been 
loved. Intransitive verbs, admitting of no passive voice, have 
but three participles ; as, walking^ walked^ having walked. 

VI. ADVERBS, or words added to verbs, participles, ad- 
jectives, and other adverbs, to express time, place, degree, 
comparison, manner, &c. ; as, now^ here^ very^ so, gracefully. 
Adverbs of manner for the most part end with the letters ly. 
This class of words must be carefully distinguished from adjec- 
tives, which also express manner or quality, but are always 
joined to substantives. 

VII. CONJUNCTIONS, used to connect words, senten- 
ces, and parts of sentences. The most common ones are, 

and, or, either, because, except, 

as, nor, neither, since, whether, 

for, yet, than, though, lest, 

if, but, that, although, unless. 

VIII. PREPOSITIONS, wnich show the relations be- 
tween substantives and other words in a sentence. The fol- 
lowing list contains the principal : 

about, behind, during, out of, touching, 

above, below, except, past, towards, 

across, beneath, for, regarding, under, 

after, besides, from, respecting, underneath, 

What are participles ? How many participles have transitive verbs ? How many 
have Intransitives ? Give examples of each. 

What are adverbs? With what syllable do adverbs of manner generally end J 
From what must adverbs be carefully distinguished ? What is tne difference betweeu 
them ? 

What are conjunctions ? Mention the most common ones. 

What are prepositions ? Enumerate the principal onea. 

















in, round, until, 

into, save, unto, 

notwithstanding, since, up, 

o^ through, upon, 

off, throughout, with, 

on, till, within, 

over, to, without 

IX. INTERJECTIONS, or words used to denote a sua 
den emotion of the mind ; as, ah I alas ! O ! oh ! fie ! hist 

Example. — ^The following sentence contains all the parts of speech, 
the words falling respectively under one of the above classes, as denoted 
by the numbers placed over them : — 

7926583 4 1 

" But alas I he soon fell before the malignant tempter." 
^ 35. Of these parts of speech, the noun, pronoun, and verb, 
alone are inflected ; that is, undergo changes in termination to 
denote different cases, numbers, persons, &c. 

§ 36. That we may determine to which of the above classes 
a word belongs, we must examine the relations it sustains to 
the rest of the sentence ; and, as in different connections the 
same word often performs very different offices, it follows that 
in one sentence it may be one part of speech, and in another 
another, according to its application. The same word often ap- 
pears, as 

I. Noun and verb. Example, heat. '^ The heat is great" ; 
here, being the name of something, it is a noun. " Heat the 
plate" ; in this case it expresses an action, and is therefore a 

II. Adjective and noun. Example, damp. " A damp 
cellar" ; in this expression it describes cellar, and is conse- 

What are interjections ? Give examples. 

Give a sentence containing all the parts of speech, and mention the class to which 
the words respecti7ely belong. 

§ 35. Which of these parts of speech are inflected? What is the meaning d tha 
term to l>e inflected ? 

I 36. HoTv are we to determine to which of these classes a word belongs ? How 
may the same word be used in different sentences ? As what, for instsace, does the 
word heat appear ? Give examples, and state what part of speech it is in each. As 
what two parts of speech does the word damp appear? Give examples. To what 

66 PARTS OP srspcH. 

quently an adjective. " Misfortune casts a damp over the 
spirits" ; here, being the name of something, it is a noun. 

III. Adjective and verb. Example, dry. "A dry cli- 
mate." '' Dry your cloak." 

ly. Adverb and conjunction. Example, as. *' As bright 
as the sun." The first «s, being joined to the adjective bright, 
to express comparison, is an adverb ; the second as, connecting 
parts of the sentence, is a conjunction. 

y. Adverb and preposition. Example, up. " Look up." 
" Up the hill." "When followed by a noun or pronoun as its 
object, it is a preposition ; when not, an adverb. 

§ 37. Difficulty is often experienced in parsing the words 
that and but. 

That, according to its use, may be a relative pronoun, an 
adjective pronoun, or a conjunction. When who or which can 
be Tised in its place, it is a relative ; " He that {who) has a 
guilty conscience is not to be envied." When it points out a 
particular object, it is an adjective pronoun ; " That fact can 
not be doubted." When it connects parts of a sentence, it is 
a conjunction ; " I hope that you may succeed." 

But is employed as an adverb, a preposition, and a 
conjunction. When only can be used in its stead, it is an ad- 
verb; ^^ But [only) three were there." When equivalent to 
except^ it is a preposition; "No one but (excerpt) Napoleon 
could have conceived such an idea." In other cases it is a 
conjunction ; " Cassar was great mtellectually, but not mor- 

classes does dry belong ? Give examples. As what two parts of speech does up up 
pear ? Under what circumstances is it a preposition, and under what an adverb ? 

§ 37. As what three parts of speech does the word that appear? How can we de- 
termine which it is ? Give examples. As what is the word liut employed ? How caa 
WTO determine what part of speech it is f 



Mention what part of speech each of the following words 

is, and how you know it to be so : — 

1. A violent storm at sea is often succeeded by a calm. 2. Calm 
vour agitated mind. 3. How calm, how beautiful, comes on the stiU 
hour when storms are gone ! 4. With dulcet songs the mothers stili 
their babes, 5. The still of midnight is at hand, 6. Still water runs 
deep. 7. A still is a vessel used in the distillation of liquors. 8. Still 
one was absent. 9. My cheeks no longer did their color boast. 10. 
Fie I color not a glaring falsehood with feigned and specious excuses. 
11. A little mind often dwells in a great body. 12. Little did the French 
Emperor anticipate the overthrow that awaited him in Russia. 13. 
Man wants but little here below, nor wants that little long. 14. The 
Dutch till their fields with such care that the whole of Holland resem- 
bles a highly cultivated garden. 15, Occupy till I come. 16, It is no 
worse to rob a man's till than to despoil him of his fair reputation by 
spreading slanderous reports, 17. The Arctic adventurers were imbed- 
ded in ice tUl the ensuing spring. 18, Past twelve o'clock, and yet the 
hermit sighs. 19. While the body was still hanging on the gallows, the 
queen and her train rode gaily past, 20. Past time never returns, 21. 
Spirit of the Past! look not so mournfully at me with thy great tearful 
eyes. 22. For me, for all. Death comes alike, 23. Men are never so 
ridiculous for the qualities they have as for those they affect to have, 
24, Fenelon, hearing that his library was on fire, exclaimed, " Ah ! God 
be praised that it is not some poor man's dwelling ! " 25, No man should 
think so highly of himself as to imagine he can receive but little light 
from books, nor so meanly as to believe he can discover nothing but 
what is to be learned from them. 



§ 38. All language consists of sentences. 

A sentence is such an assemblage of words as makes com- 
plete sense ; as, " Truth is eternal." 

§ 39. Every sentence consists of two parts, subject ard 

The subject is that respecting which something is affirmed, 

§ 88, Of what does all language consist ? What is a sentence ? 

§ 89. Into what is eyery sentence divisible ? "What is meant by the subject i What, 


asked, or exclaimed, or to whicli a command, an exhortation, oi 
an entreaty is addressed. In the above example, truth is the 

The predicate is that which is affirmed, asked, or exclaimed^ 
respecting the subject ; or the command, exhortation, or en- 
treaty addressed to it. In the above example, the words is 
eternal constitute the predicate. 

The subject of a sentence may be ascertained by putting who or wliai 
jefore the leading verb. The answer to the question thus formed will 
be the subject, and the rest of the sentence the predicate. Thus : — 
" Truth is eternal." What is eternal ? Answer, truth. Truth is there- 
fore the subject, and is eternal the predicate. 

In imperative sentences, that is, such as express a command, an ex- 
hortation, an entreaty, or permission, the subject is often understood; 
as, " Look not upon the wine when it is red." Thou understood is the 
subject ; all the words expressed constitute the predicate. 

§ 40. There are two kinds of subjects, grammatical and 

The grammatical subject is the name of the person or 
thing respecting which the affirmation is made, the question 
asked, &c., (see § 39) without any limiting terms. It usually 
consists of but one word, and is nominative to the leading 
verb in the sentence. 

The logical subject consists of the name of the person or 
thing respecting which the affirmation is made, the question 
asked, &c., together with all the words that limit or de* 
scribe it. 

" The worst kind of lie is a half truth." Kind is the grammatical 
subject ; the worst kind of lie is the logical subject ; is a half truth is the 

When there are no limiting words, the logical subject corresponds 
with the granunaticaL Thus in the sentence, " Truth is eternal," truth 
is both the grammatical and the logical subject. 

Dy the predicate ? How may the subject of a sentence be ascertained ? What is s&id 
of the subject of imperative sentences ? Give an example. 

§ 40. How many kinds of subjects are there ? What are they called ? What is the 
grammatical subject? Of how many words does it generally consist? What is tha 
logical subject. Give an example of the two kinds of suligects? In what case doeg 
the logical subject correspond with the grammatical ? 


§ 41. Some sentences are susceptible of division into two 
or more leading parts, entirely independent of each other in 
construction and having distinct subjects and predicates. 
Such parts are called Members. The following sentence con- 
sists of two members : " A friend exaggerates a man's vir- 
tues ; an enemy magnifies his crimes." 

§ 42. Sentences may contain adjuncts, phrases, and clauses. 

An Adjunct consists of a preposition and its regimen ; as, 
" The appearance of eviV ; " The blessings of a kind God ". 

A Phrase is a combination of words which separately have 
no connection, either in construction or sense, with other words 
in the sentence, but which, when taken together, convey a 
single idea and may be construed as a single word. In short, 
in a ivord^ on the contrary, are phrases. 

A Clause is a combination of words for the most part in- 
dependent in construction of other words in the sentence, and 
by themselves incomplete in sense, generally introduced for 
the purpose of asserting some additional circumstance respect- 
ing the leading proposition. 

§ 43. The clauses in most common use are eight in num 
ber ; viz., Relative, Participial, Adverbial, Vocative, AdjeC' 
fcive, Appositional, Causal, and Hypothetical. 

A Relative Clause is one that contains a relative pronoun 
as, " He ivho lives to nature rarely can be poor." 

A Participial Clause is one that contains a participle 
as, " Awakened by the morning sun, the birds carol their 
songs of gratitude." 

An Adverbial Clause is one that performs the office of an 
adverb, generally expressing time, place, or manner ; as, 
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods}'- 

% 41 What Is meant by the members of a sentence ? Form a sentence containing 
two members*, 

§ 42. What may sentences contain ? What is an adjunct ? Give an example. What 
te a phrase ? Give examples. What is a clause ? 

§ 43. Mention the clauses in most common use. Define each in turn, and give an 


A Vocative Clause is one that contains the name of an 
object addressed ; as, " Go to the ant, thou sluggard ! " 

An Adjective Clause is one that contains an adjective , 
as, " Firm in his attachments, Lafayette never forgot a 

An Appositional Clause is one that contains a noun or 
pronoun in apposition with some other substantive, that is, 
which refers to the same object and is similarly construed ; 
as, " Down they go, the brave young rider s^ Riders, re- 
ferring to the same persons and being in the same construc- 
tion as they, is in apposition with it. 

A Causal Clause is one that indicates the motive with 
which, or the end for which, an action is don^ ; as, " To perfect 
his education, he went to France." 

• A Hypothetical Clause is one that embodies a supposition ; 
as, " If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." 

§, 44. These clauses, when used by themselves, do not 
make complete sense, as will be seen by making the trial in 
the sentences given above as examples. They are therefore 
called Dependent Clauses. 

The leading clauses on which they depend, make sense b/ 
themselves, and are therefore called Independent Clauses 
Thus, in the sentence, " To perfect his education, he went to 
France", to perfect his education is a dependent, he went to 
France an independent, clause. 

§ 45. As regards their signification, sentences are divided- 
into four classes ; viz., Declarative, Interrogative, Imperative, 
and Exclamatory. 

A Declarative Sentence is one that declares something ; 
as, " It rains." 

Declarative sentences constitute the greater part of written Ian 

§ 44. What general name is given to these clauses ? Why ? What is meant by an 
Independent clause? In the sentence, "To perfect his education, he went to France', 
select the dependent and the independent clause. 

§ 45. As regards their signification, how are sentences divided ? What is a declarativ* 
sentence ? Give an example. What is an interrogative sentence ? Give an example 


An Interrogative Sentence is one that asks a question ; 
as, " Does it rain ? " 

Interrogative sentences are generally introduced by the interroga- 
tive pronouns, who, which, or what ; or, by the auxiliaries, do, am, have, 
shall, may, &c. ; as, " Who is there ? " " What is truth ? " " Am I 
right?" "May we go?" 

An Imperative Sentence is one that expresses a com- 
mand, an exhortation, an entreaty, or permission ; as, " Let 
it rain.' 

Imperative sentences are generally introduced by a verb in the im- 
perative mood, let being often used for that purpose ; as, " Go in peace ; " 
" Let him arise." 

As already remarked, the subject of an imperative sentence is often 
understood ; thus, in the above sentences, ^/iow understood is the subject. 

An Exclamatory Sentence is one that exclaims something ; 
as " How it rains ! " 

The adverb how and the adjective pronoun what are often used to in- 
troduce exclamatory sentences ; as, " How dead the vegetable kingdom 
lies ! " " What a bereavement ! " 

It is a nice point, in the case of some sentences introduced by or con- 
taining the word what, to determine whether they are exclamatory or 
interrogative ; as, " Unhappy man that I am, what have I done 1 " In 
Buch cases, judge from the context whether an answer is expected : if so, 
the sentence is interrogative ; if not, exclamatory. 

§ 46. As regards their construction, sentences are divided 
into two classes, Simple and Compound. 

Simple Sentences are such as have but one member. (See 


Compound Sentences are such as have two or more mem- 

How are interrogative sentences generally introduced ? What is an imperative sen- 
tence ? Give an example. How are imperative sentences generally introduced ? What 
verb is often used for this purpose? What is said of the subject of these sentences ? 
What is an exclamatory sentence? Give an example. With what words are ex- 
clamatory sentences often introduced? With what are they sometimes liable to be 
confounded? What is the rule for deciding when a sentence is exclamatory and when 
Interrogative ? 

§ 46. As regards their construction, how are sentences divided ? What are simplb 
Bentonces ? Witiat are eompound sentences ? What may a simple sentence contilfl ? 


A sentence may be simple, and yet contain any of the above depend- 
ent clauses. It may have two grammatical subjects connected by a 
conjunction, or a compound predicate, and yet be a simple sentence ; as, 
" Humility and modesty are cardinal virtues, and cannot be too much 
cultivated." A compound sentence must have two members wholly 
independent of each other in construction, each having its own subject 
and predicate. A slight change in the above example will make it a 
compound sentence, the difference between the two consisting not in 
meaning, but simply in form ; thus, " Humility and modesty are cardi- 
nal virtues ; they can not be too much cultivated." 


Point out the sentences which compose the following ex- 
tract, and state with regard to each, whether it is declarative, 
interrogative, imperative, or exclamatory ; also, whether sim- 
ple or compound. If simple, state what is the subject (both 
grammatical and logical), and what the predicate. Analyze 
the compound sentences into their members, and state the 
subject and predicate of each. 

Point out and name any of the above clauses that may 
occur, and mention the leading clause on which each depends. 

Example. — ^The first stanza given below constitutes a simple impera- 
tive sentence. The first line is an independent clause, inasmuch as it 
makes sense by itself. The second line is a participial clause, since it 
contains the participle ^^^ec?. The last two lines constitute an adverb- 
ial clause, in which is embraced the relative clause that beat the mur- 
muring walks like autumn rain. Thou understood, being nominative to 
the leading verb let, is the grammatical subject ; and the logical also, in- 
asmuch as there are no limiting terms. The whole stanza, as it stands, 
is the predicate. 


Let me move slowly through the street, 

Filled with an ever-shifting train, 
Amid the sound of steps that beat 

The murmuring walks like autumn ram. 

What must a compound sentence contain ? Give an example of a simple sentence, and 
show how, by a slight change, it may be converted into a compound one. 


Ro-vv fast the flitting figures come 1 

The mild, the fierce, the stony face ; 
Some bright with thoughtless smiles, and some 

Where secret tears have left their trace. 

They pass, to toil, to strife, to rest ; 

To haUs in which the feast is spread ; 
To chambers where the funeral guest 

In silence sits beside the dead. 

Ajid some to happy homes repair, 

Where children, pressing cheek to cheek, 
With mute caresses shall declare 

The tenderness they cannot speak. 

Ajid some, who walk in calmness here, 

Shall shudder as they reach the door, 
Where one who made their dwelling dear, 

Its flower, its light, is seen no more. 

Youth, with pale cheek and slender frame, 

And dreams of greatness in thine eye, 
Goest thou to build an early name, 

Or early in the task to die ? 

Keen son of trade, with eager brow. 

Who is now fluttering in thy snare ? 
Thy golden fortunes — tower they now. 

Or melt the glittering spires in air ? 

Who of this crowd to-night shall tread 

The dance tiU daylight gleams again ? 
Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead ? 

Who writhe in throes of mortal pain ? 

Some, famine-struck, shall think how long 

The cold, dark hours, how slow the light; 
And some, who flaunt amid the throng, 

Shall hide in dens of shame to-night. 

Each where his tasks or pleasures call, 

The^ pass, and heed each other not. 
There is who heeds, who holds them all 

In .His large love and boundless thought 

These struggling tides of life that seem 

In wayward, aimless course to tend. 
Are eddies of the mighty stream 

That rolls to its appointed end. 




§ 47. Letters are divided into two classes^ known as Small 
Letters (a, b, >«), W) and Capitals (A, B, liKj w). The for- 
mer constitute the great bulk of all kinds of printed or writ- 
ten matter. Capitals, however, are employed in certain cases 
at the commencement of words, for the purpose of attracting 
special attention. 

It was formerly the custom, both in writing and printing^ 
to begin every noun with a capital, and such is still the prac- 
tice in the German language. This custom, however, con- 
ducing to no useful end, has very properly been laid aside ; 
and at the present day the use of capitals is confined to such 
cases as fall under the following rules. 


§ 48. EuLE I. — Begin with a capital the first word of every 

§ 49. KuLE II. — Begin with capitals all proper nouns, 
and titles of office, honor, and respect ; as, B^ome, Myrtle 
Avenue^ Mr. Chairman^ Dr. Franklin^ Gen. Washington^ 
dear Sir. 

§ 50. Under this head fall adjectives, as weU as common nouns, when 
joined to proper nouns for the purpose of expressing a title ; as, Alex- 
ander the Great, Charles the Bald, King "William, Good Queen Bess. 

§ 47. How are letters divided ? Which constitute the greater part of all printed 
matter ? Where and for what purpose are capitals employed ? What custom formerly 
prevailed ? 

§ 48. Eepeat Eule I. 

§ 49, Eepeat Eule II. Give examples.* 

§ 50. What adjectives and common nouns fall under this rule ? 

• Note.— Hereafter, when an example is given in Ulustration of a defiaitaon or rule, the student is re^ 
~ to repeat iK without its being required by a special question. 


§ 51. When the title is employed without the proper name, if used 
n addressing a person, commence it with a capital ; if not, in which 
lase it will be preceded by the article the, commence it with a small 
etter. Thus : " King, live forever 1 " — " The king soon after resigned 
lis crown." When used without reference to a particular individual, 
uch titles become common nouns and must commence with small let 
era ; as, " A king is no better than his subjects." 

§ 62. The same principle applies to the words mountain, river, gulf, 
Itc. When joined to proper nouns, either with or without a preposition 
>etween, they must begin with capitals ; as, the Rocky Mountains, the 
Ifississippi River , Hudson^ s Bay, the Gulf of Guinea, the Cape of Good 
lope, the Isle of Man. When used by themselves, though with refer- 
mce to particular objects, they must commence with small letters ; as, 
' These mountains are covered with snow." 

§ 53. The words North, East, South, and West, and their compounds 
Vorth-easf, &c., when nouns, referring to certain districts of country or 
he people that inhabit them, begin with capitals ; when nouns, refer- 
ing to a point of the compass, and generally when adjectives, they 
iommence with small letters. Thus: "The South generally opposed 
he bill." — " The wind is from the south." — " Florida is south-west of New 

§ 54. Heaven, used in the singular and signifying the abode of the 
)lest, must commence with a capital ; as, " Let Heaven be your goal." 
ji the plural, it signifies the sky and begins with a small letter ; as, 
' The heavens were overcast." 

§ 55. The names of the months and the days of the weeks must com- 
nence with capitals ; those of the seasons, with small letters ; as, May, 
Sunday, summer 

§ 56. Rule III. — Begin with capitals all adjectives 
'ormed from proper nouns ; as, Roman, Spanish, Eliza- 

§ 51. What rule applies to the title "Wben used without the proper name ? Wben 
ised without reference to a particular individual, what do such titles become, and how 
uust they commence ? 

§ 52. To what words does this same principle apply ? 

§ 53. State the rule that applies to the words North, East-, South, West, and their 

§ 54. How must the word Heaven commence ? In the plural number, what does 
Iteignify, and how must it commence ? 

§ 55. How must the names of the months, the days of the weeks, and the seasons, 
jommence ? 

§ 56. Eepeat Eule IIL What is said of the usage of the^ French language on 
this point ? 


In tliis respect the usage of the French language differs from ours. 

§ 5*7. Under this head fall adjectives denoting a sect or religion, 
ivhether formed from proper nouns or not ; as, Catholic, Protestant, 

§ 58, A few adjectives derived from proper nouns, used merely to 
express a quality, without reference to the names from which they are 
derived, begin with small letters. Thus, stentorian, though derived 
from Stentor, a fabulous personage noted for the strength of his lungs, 
is now used as simply synonymous with loud and does not commence 
with a capitaL The word heavenly is another case in point. When 
used in the sense of very great, more than earthly, it must begin with a 
small letter ; an initial capital is proper only when it means, literally, 
pertaining to Heaven. We speak of the " heavenly beauty of a land- 
scape " ; but, " the Heavenly rest in store for believers". 

§ 59. Rule TV. — Begin with capitals common nouns 
when spoken to, or spoken of, in a direct and lively manner^ 
as persons. 

In these cases, usage 'is by no means uniform. In the inferior kinds 
of personification, for instance where sex merely is attributed to inani- 
mate objects, a small letter must be used ; as, " The sun sheds his beams 
upon the earth." A capital is proper only in the more vivid and glow- 
ing personifications. 

§ 60. Rule Y. — Begin with a capital the first word of 
every line of poetry ; as, 

" Swans sing before they die ; 'twere no bad thing. 
Should certain persons die before they sing." 
§ 61. The only exception to this rule is in the case of humorous 
poetry, when a word is divided at the end of a line, and a portion of 
it is carried to the beginning of the next verse : in this case the sylla- 
bles thus carried over must not commence with a capital. As, 
" PjTrhus, you tempt a danger high, 
When you would steal from angry li- 
oness her cubs." 

§ 57. To what other adjectives does this rule apply ? 

§ 58. State the rule applicable to a few adjectives denved from proper names, but 
cow used merely to express a quality. Illustrate this principle in the case of the wards 
Stoniorian and heavenly. 

% 59. Eepeat Eule IV. In what cases is It not applicable ? 

§60. Eepeat EulerV. 

fi 61. What is the ooly exception to this rule ? 


§ 62. Rule VI. — Begin with capitals all appellations of 
the Deity, and the personal pronouns he and thou when stand 
ing for His name. 

Under this liead are embraced adjectives which form part of the 
titles applied to the Deity; as, "the Eternal One", "the Supreine 

§ 63. It must be observed that several of the divine appellations are 
also used as common nonns, and in that case, of course, commence with 
small letters. This principle is illustrated in the following sentences by 
the use of the words god and providence : " The gods of the heathen 
bow before our God." — " Ti'ust in Frovidence." — " The providence [fore- 
seeing care] of God directs every event." 

§ 64. Rule YII. — Begin with a capital the first word of a 
direct quotation ; that is, one that forms a complete sentence 
by itself and is not connected with what precedes hy that^ if^ 
or any other conjunction, as, " Remember the old maxim : 
'Honesty is the best policy.' " 

In such a sentence as this, "He has come to the conclusion that 
* honesty is the best policy ' ", it would be wrong to commence honesty 
with a capital, because the quotation is introduced by that. 

§ 65. Rule VIII. — Begin with a capital every noun, ad- 
jective, and verb, in the titles of books and headings of chap- 
ters ; as, " Hervey's ' Meditations among the To7nbs ' ". 

In advertisements, handbills, &c., it is customary to begin with 
capitals the names of the principal objects, to which it is desired to 
draw attention. 

§ 66. Rule IX — Begin with capitals words that are the 
leading subjects of chapters, articles, or paragraphs. 

Thus, when a word is being defined, it is proper to commence it with 
a capital; as in § 42. 

This rule leaves much to the judgment of the writer. It is not well 

§ 62. Eepeat Kule VL What adjectives fall under this rule ? 

§ 63. How are several of the divine appellations also used ? In this case, how must 
tbey commence ? Illustrate this principle. 

§ 64. Eepeat Eule VII. If the quotation is introduced by that, how must it com- 
aionce ? 

§ 65. Eepeat Eule VIIL What is the custom in advertisements, hand-bills, &c. ? 

% 66. Eepeat Eule IX. What is said about Interpreting this rule too liberally f 
Whai there is doubt, what is the safest course ? 


to interpret it too liberally, as has been done by some transcendentalisla 
and imitators of German pliilosoj)hers, who speak of the Me and tho 
Not Me, JEntity, the Good, the Beautiful, and the like, checkering the 
page with plentiful capitals as if it were a turgid advertisement. This 
is bad taste. Wherever there is any reasonable doubt, use a small 

§ 67. KuLE X. — The pronoun /, and the interjection O, 
must always be written with capitals. 

§ 68w. Observe the difference between the interjections O and oh 
The former is used only before the names of objects addressed or invok- 
ed, is not immediately followed by an exclamation-point (!) and must 
always be a capital ; the latter is used by itself to denote different 
emotions of the mind, has an exclamation-point after it, and begins with 
a small letter, except at the commencement of a sentence. 

§ 69. Rule XI. — Begin with capitals words denoting well- 
known events, historical eras, noted written instruments, extra- 
ordinary physical phenomena, and the like ; as, the American 
Uevolutioii^ the Middle Ages, the Magna Charta, the Giclf 
Stream, the Aurora Borealis. 

The object of beginning such words with capitals is to enable the reader 
to distinguish at once between the individual objects they represent and 
common nouns of the same form and appearance. This must be done in 
all cases where there is liability of confusion. Thus in the sentence} 
"Then cometh the Judgment", if we mean the Day of Judgment, jwc?^- 
ment must begin with a capital, or the writer's meaning may be misun- 

§ 70. Use a small letter in all cases where one of these 
eleven rules does not apply. When in doubt, use a small 

§71. In printed matter, a style of character formed like 
capitals, but smaller, is employed for running titles, captions 
of chapters and paragraphs (see § 212), &c. ; as, a, b, c. These 
are known as small capitals. 

§ 67. Eepeat Eule X. 

§68. What interjections must not be confounded? What must be observed with 
lespect to ? What, respecting oh ? 

§ 69. Repeat Eule XI. What is gained by following this rule ? Illustrate Its appli 
cation in the sentence " Then cometh the Judgment." 

§ 70. When none of these rules apply, what must be used ? 

§ 71. In printed matter, what style of character is used for running titles, &c. ? 




In the following sentences, apply the rules given in the pre- 
ceding lesson. Where a capital is improperly used, substi- 
tute a small letter. 

Under § 48. act well thy Part, avoid tlie appearance of EviL 
watch and Pray, labor Conquers all Things, what a heart-rending 
Scene 1 has honor left the world ? thou art mortal truth Is mighty, 
whither can I fly? what a disappointment! 

Under § 49. charles martel defeated the saracens. what has become 
of the mohegans, the pequots, the iroquois, the mohawks, and the hun- 
dred other powerful tribes that lived east {see § 63) of the mississippi 
when our fathers landed at plymouth and Jamestown ? iceland belongs 
to denmark. sir william herschel was born in 1738, at hanover, in 

Under § 50. edward the elder succeeded his father, alfred the great, 
on the throne of england. John lackland usurped the crown of his 
Brother, richard The lion-hearted, during the absence of the latter in 
the holy land. 

Under § 51, 52. great king, forgive me. the king hastily took horse 
and fled to london. An emperor, after all, is but a man. dukes, earls, 
counts, and Knights, flocked to the crusades {see § 69). The amazon is 
the largest River in the World, mountains and oceans shall waste 
away. The pyrenees form the Boundary between france and Spain. 
These Mountains are infested by daring Banditti. 

Under § 53, 54, 55. as far as the east is from the west, as far as 
heaven is from Earth, so far is Vice from Virtue, Truth from Falsehood. 
our winter consists of three months, dec ember, January, and february. The 
senator has spoken for the west ; let him understand that the west ia 
capable of speaking for itself, an east wind often brings a Storm. Last 
tuesday the wind was north-west. 

Under § 56, 57. most of the french peasants belong to the roman cath- 
olic church. The reign of queen anne is generally admitted to have 
been the augustan age of english literature, in civilization and Refine- 
ment, christian lands far surpass mohammedan and pagan countries. 

Under 8 58. The north-american Indians endure the tortures of their 

* Note to the Teachee. — The portions of this book headed Exeecise can be either 
recited orally or -written out, as the teacher may prefer. The latter method, however, 
in the author's opinion, is attended with gi-cat advantages over the former, which will 
more than make up for the additional time it may consume. When required to write 
these tasks, the student is not only likely to receive a much more durable impression 
of the principles illustrated, but is at the same time exercised in orthography and pen- 
toanship, and forms, from the close observation of words thus required, an invaloabla 
iabit of precision. 


Enemies with Stoical fortitude, beau brummell's tastes were decidedly 
epicurean, a Platonic attachment subsisted between petrarch and laura. 
A long face and puritanical demeanor are no proofs of a man's piety, 
diesbach discovered the process of making Prussian blue. 

Under § 59, 60. Fiercely grim war unfolds his flag. The moon can 
infuse no warmth into her rays. 

honor, thou blood-stained god (§ 63) 1 at whose red altar 
sit war and homicide, oh (§ 68) to what madness 
will insult drive thy votaries ! 

humility herself, divinely mild, 

sublime religion's meek and modest child. 

peace, thy olive wand extend, 
and bid wild war his ravage end, 
man with brother man to meet, 
and as a brother kindly Greet. 

Under § 61. 

Her cheeks were ros- 
y, and so was her nose ; 
And her hat 

Was of sat- 
in, and dirty at that 

Under § 62, 63. how comprehensive is the providence of god ; he 
orders all things for his Creatures' Good, those who trust in providence 
He will not desert, omnipotent creator, all-wise, eternal being, thou 
keepest us from day to dayl In the latter days the comforter shall 

Under § 64. What sound advice is conveyed in Bion's Maxim: 
" know Thyself." If " a tree is known by its Fruit", as our saviour said, 
what must we think of uncharitable christians ? 

Under § 65. Burke's " philosophical inquiry into the origin of our 
ideas of the sublime and beautiful", and alison's " essays on the nature 
and principles of taste", are standard text-books on the subjects of 
which they respectively treat, sismondi's " historical view of the liter- 
ature of the south of europe" is a work well worthy of careful study. 

Under § 6*7, 68. i banished — i, a roman senator 1 beware, o treacher- 
ous people ! i have reasoned, i have threatened, i have prayed ; and 
yet thou art not moved, o hard-hearted man. oh for a lodge in some 
vast wilderness! whither, oh whither can i go? 

Under § 69. the wars of the roses desolated england between the 
years 1455 and 1485. the invincible arnaada, fitted out by the Span- 
iards against england was the largest naval armament that europe ever 
saw. the flight of mohammed from mecca, known in history as the 
hegira, took place 622 a. d., and is the era from which the arabians and 
Persians still compute their time, the norm an conquest was the means 
of introducing chivalry and the feudal system into England. 

PART n. 



§ 72. Punctuation is tlie art of dividing written language 
by points^ in order that the relations of words and clanses may 
be plainly seen, and their meaning be readily understood. 

In spoken language, these relations are sufficiently indicated by the 
pauses and inflections of the voice ; but as written language has no such 
aids, it is necessary to supply the deficiency with arbitrary marks. 

§ 73. The ancients originally wrote their manuscripts with- 
out marks or divisions of any kind. Points are said to have 
been first used about 200 b. c, by Aristophanes, a gramma- 
rian of Alexandria, but did not come into general use for 
several centuries. The modern system of punctuation was in- 
vented by Manutius, a learned printer who flourished in 
"Venice at the commencement of the sixteenth century. To 
him we are indebted for developing the leading principles of 

§ T2. What is Panctuatica ? How are the relations of words and clauses indicated 
in 8i)oken language ? 

I 73. How did the ancients write their manuscripts ? WTien and by whom were 
points invented? How long before they came into general use? By whom was tha 
modern system deyised ? When and where did the inventor live ? 



the art, thougli in some of their details they have since that 
time undergone considerable modification. 

§ 74. Punctuation does not generally receive in educational 
"institutions the attention its importance demands ; and hence, 
in the case of otherwise well-informed persons, there is too 
often a lack of accurate and practical information on this sub- 
ject Even those who have made literary pursuits a profes- 
sion, have regarded this important art as altogether beneath 
their notice, and leave their manuscripts to be supplied with 
points entirely at the discretion of the printer. As there is 
no man at whose hands business or friendship does not require 
an occasional letter, so there is none that ought not to be able, 
by a proper use of points, to make his meaning intelligible ; 
particularly since the art is simple in itself, is founded on the 
principles of grammar, and often admirably illustrates the 
latter science. 

§ 75. Punctuation not only serves to make an author's 
meaning plain, but often saves it from being entirely miscon- 
ceived. There are many cases in which a change of points 
completely alters the sentiment. 

An English statesman once took advantage of this fact, to free him- 
Belf from an embarrassing position. Having charged an officer of gov- 
ernment with dishonesty, he was required by Parhament, under a heavy 
penalty, publicly to retract the accusation in the House of Commons 
At the appointed time he aj)peared with a written recantation, which 
he read aloud as follows : " I said he was dishonest, it is true ; and 1 
am sorry for it." This was satisfactory ; but what was the surprise of 
Parliament, the following day, to see the retraction printed in the 
papers thus : " I said he was dishonest ; it is true, and I am sorry for 
it 1 " By a simple transposition of the comma and semicolon, the ingen- 
ious slanderer represented himself to the country, not only as having 
made no recantation, but even as having reiterated the charge in the 
very face of Parliament. 

§ 76. It is frequently objected to the study of Punctua 

§ 74. What is said of the general neglect of punctuation ? "Why ought a knowledge ^ 
Df the art to be possessed by all ? 

§ 75. What does punctuation often prevent ? Ho-v7 may a complete change of sen 
fanent frequently be made ? Eepeat an anecdote illustrative of this fact. 


tion tliat good usage differs widely in this respect, and it ia 
therefore impossible to lay down any fixed rules on the sub 
ject. To a certain extent it is true that usage differo. PunC' 
tuation is an art in which there is great room for the exercise 
of taste ; and tastes will be found to vary in this, as well as in 
every thing else. Yet it is equally true that, as an art, it is 
founded on certain great and definite principles ; and that, 
while considerable latitude is allowed in the application of 
these, whatever directly violates them is wrong and inadmis- 
sible. As well might it be argued that the study of rhetoric 
is unnecessary, because different authors use different styles 
of expression ; or, that there are no grammatical principles 
from which to deduce rules, because even in celebrated authors 
we have frequent instances of false syntax. The faults of 
others, whether in grammar or Punctuation, should not be 
seized on by any one as an excuse for nis own ignorance ; but 
should rather lead him to redoubled diligence, that he may 
Avoid the rock on which they have split. 

§ 77. Old grammarians taught that points were used 
merely as aids to reading ; and that, when the pupil came to 
a comma, he should stop till he could count one, when to a 
semicolon, till he could say one^ two, &c. ; and some writers, 
in accordance with this principle, use points, without reference 
to sentential structure, wherever they wish the reader to 
pause, determining what mark is to be employed solely by the 
length of the pause required. From such a system grave 
errors necessarily result. However convenient it may be to 
give such instructions to a child when beginning to read, it 
will soon be found that, if he remembers them and carries them 
out, he will not only constantly violate the principles of elo- 
cution, but will for the most part fail to understand the mean- 
ing of the sentences he enunciates. Punctuation is entirely 

§ T6. What objection is frequently made to the study of punctuation ? Does usaga 
differ ? For what is there great room ? On what, nevertheless, is the art founded ? Ia 
there any ground for the objection ? 

§ 77. What did old grammarians teach with regard to points ? What will result 
from cfliyying out such a system ? What connection is there betweer punctuation and 


independent of elocution. Its primary object is to bring out 
the writer's meaning, and so far only is it an aid to the reader. 
Rhetorical pauses occur as frequently where points are not 
found as where they are ; and for a learner to depend for 
these on commas and semicolons would effectually prevent his 
becoming a good reader, just as the use of such marks wher- 
ever a cessation of the voice is required would completely ob' 
scure a writer's meaning. This may be seen by comparing a 
passage properly punctuated with the same passage pointed as 
its delivery would require. 

Properly Punctuated. The people of the United States have justly 
supposed that the policy of protecting their industry against foreign 
legislation and foreign industry was fully settled, not by a single act, 
but by repeated and deliberate acts of government, performed at distant 
and frequent intervals. 

Punctuated for delivery. The people of the United States, have 
justly supposed, that the policy, of protecting their industry, against 
foreign legislation and foreign industry, was fully settled ; not, by a 
single act ; but, by repeated and deliberate acts of government, per- 
formed, at distant and frequent intervals. 

From a paragraph punctuated like the last, little meaning 
can be gathered. 

§ 78. Let the following principles with regard to Punc- 
tuation be constantly borne in mind. 

I. Points must be placed without reference to rhetorical 
pauses. In the expression yes^ sir, if we consulted delivery 
we would place no point after yes ; grammar, however, re- 
quires a comma there. 

II. The principal use of points is to separate words and 
clauses, and indicaie the degree of connection between them. 
Thus, clauses between which the connection is close must be 
separated by commas ; those in which it is more remote by 

III. Points are also used to indicate what part of speech 

elocution ? How does a passage properly punctuated compare with the samo passage 
pointed for delivery ? 

§ 78. What must not be consulted in the use of points ? What is the principal use 
»f points ? What else are they employed to indicate ? Illustrate this with the word 


4 word is. Thus, shame is in most sentences a noun or verb ; 
if used as an interjection, it has an exclamation-point after it, 
to denote the fact — shame ! 

TV. Another office they perform by showing to what class 
a sentence belongs. Thus, " George is well," followed by a 
period, is a declarative sentence, asserting that George is in 
good health : followed by an interrogation-point, it is an in- 
terrogative sentence, and implies belief that he is well together 
with an inquiry whether it is not so ; in other words, it is 
equivalent to '• George is well ; is he not ? " This important 
difference of meaning can be conveyed in no other way than 
by the use respectively of the period and interrogation-point. 

Y. Points are also employed to indicate a sudden transi- 
tion or break in the construction or meaning. Thus, where a 
sentence is suddenly interrupted or broken off, a dash is 
placed ; as, " Woe to the destroyer ! woe to the ." 

VI. Finally, they are used to denote the omission of 
words. Such is the office of the commas in the following sen- 
tence : " Reading maketh a full man ; conference, a ready 
man ; writing, an exact man." The verb maJ^eth being left 
out in the last two clauses, commas are inserted to denote the 

YII. Never introduce a point unless you have some posi- 
tive rule for so doing. Whenever there is any reasonable 
doubt as to the propriety of employing the comma, do not use 
it. The tendency of punctuators at the present day is to in- 
troduce too many points. 

YIII. Be guided by rules and principles, no matter how 
many or how few points they may require. Sentences may 
be so constructed as to need points after almost every word ; 
while others, even of some length, require no division at all. 

■ — — * 

thame. "What other office do they perform ? Show this with the sentence, " George is 
«?eU." "What do they frequently indicate in the construction or meaning ? What else 
are they used to denote ? WTien there is doubt as to the propriety of employing a 
comma, what is the safest course ? What is the tendency of punctuators at the present 
day ? "What is stated under the eighth head respecting the frequency and paucity of 


IX. Eemember that " circumstances alter cases " ; and 
that, therefore, a mode of pointing which is accurate in a 
short sentence may not, in a long one, be either tasteful or 
even strictly correct. "We shall revert to this subject from 
time to time hereafter. 

§ 79. The characters used in Punctuation are as fol* 
lows : — 


Period, • Semicolon, 

Interrogation-Point, I Comma, , 

Exclamation-Point, I Dash, — 

Colon, 2 Parentfeses, ( ) 

Brackets, [ ] 

We shall proceed to take these up m turn. Careful attention to the 
rules, and particularly to the examples that illustrate them, will, it is 
believed, enable the writer to punctuate with propriety every sentence 
that can occur. If, after diligent trial, he finds himself unable to do 
this in the case of any sentence of his own composition, he is advised 
to look over it carefully, to see if he has not violated some principle 
of rhetoric or grammar. Punctuating often leads to the detection of 
Buch errors. 



§ 80. The word Period is derived from the Greek 
language, and means a circuit. This name is given to the 
full stop (.), because it is placed after a complete circuit 
of words. The period is found in manuscripts of a compara 
tively early date, and was in use before any other point. 

points in a sientence ? According to the ninth head, what is to be regarded in punc- 
taating a sentence ? 

§ 79. Name the charactorg iigod in punctuation. What advice is given to the writer, 
when ho finds difficulty in punctuating a sentence of his own composition i 

§ 80. Give the derivation and meaning of the word period. Why is the oil stop 
'x> ca.'le''' ? "When did tho period come into use ? 


§ 81. Rule L— A period must be placed after every de- 
clarative and imperative sentence ; as, " Honesty is the best 
policy."— "Fear God." 

These sentences having been defined in § 45, it is presumed no difiS. 
enlty will be experienced in recognizing them, or in determining ho^w 
mach of a paragraph must be taken to compose them. As soon as a 
passage makes complete sense, if it is at the same time independent of 
•w-hat follows in construction and not closely connected with it in mean- 
ing, the sentence is complete ; and, if it be declarative or imperative, 
must close with a period. 

§ 82. The degree of closeness in the connection is a matter which 
must be left somewhat to individual judgment ; and this degree, it maybe 
remarked, is often the only criterion which a writer has to guide him 
in deciding between periods and colons, colons and semicolons, semico- 
lons and commas. ISTo rule can be laid down that will cover every 
case ; but one or two principles may be stated, as applicable to most of 
the cases that occur in practice. 

I. "Words, clauses, and members, united by a conjunction, are regarded 
as more closely connected than those between which the conjunction is 
omitted. Thus : " Truth is the basis of every virtue. Its precepts 
stiould be religiously obeyed." It is not improper to divide this passage 
iuto two distinct sentences, and to separate them with a period. If, 
however, we introduce a conjunction between them, we make the con« 
nection closer, and cannot use a higher point than a semicolon. " Truth 
is the basis of every virtue ; and its precepts should be religiously 

n. A clause containing a relative pronoun is more closely connected 
with the one containing the antecedent, than the same clause would be 
if a personal-or demonstrative pronoun were substituted for the rela- 
tive. " At this critical moment, Murat was ordered to charge with his 
indomitable cavalry ; which movement having been performed with hia 
usual gallantry, the issue of the battle was no longer doubtful" By 
changing which to this, we diminish the connection between the two 
parts, and may punctuate dififerently. " At this critical moment, Murat 
was ordered to charge with his indomitable cavalry. This mevement (fee." 

§ 81. Repeat Eule I. How is it determined when a sentence is complete ? 

§ 82. "What is said of the degree of closeness in the connection ? What effect does 
tho omission of a conjunction between words, clauses, and members, have on the close- 
ness of the connection ? Does a relative or a demonstrative pronoun institute a closei 
eonnection between the parts of a sentence. Illustrate this. How does a portion of a 


TTT, A portion of a sentence that has a distinct subject of its own is 
less closely connected with the rest, than such a part as depends for it? 
Bubject on some preceding clause. Thus, in the sentence, " Truth is the 
basis of every virtue ; and its precepts should be religiously obeyed," a 
semicolon is placed after virtue, because a new nominative, precepts, ia 
introduced into the final member. If we keep truth as the subject, the 
connection will be closer, and we must substitute a comma for the semi- 
colon after virtue ; as, " Truth is the basis of every virtue, and should 
be cherished by all." 

It follows from the above remarks that it is not proper to place 
a period immediately before a conjunction which closely connects what 
foUows with what precedes. This is frequently done in the translation 
of the Scriptures, where we have verse after verse commencing with 
and; but it is not authorized by good modern usage. In such cases, 
either the passage so introduced ought to form part of the preceding sen- 
tence, and be separated from it only by a colon or semicolon ; or else, if 
cliis is impracticable on account of the great length or intricacy it would 
/nvolve, the following sentence should be remodelled in such a way as to 
commence with some other word. These remarks apply to all conjunc- 
tions that form a decided connection between the parts ; such as merely 
signify to continue the narrative, and imply no connection with what pre- 
cedes, may without impropriety introduce a new sentence. 

As the substance of the preceding paragraph, we may lay down the fol- 
lowing general rule, remembering that there are occasional exceptions : — 
A sentence should not commence with the conjunctions and, for, or how- 
ever ; but may do so with btit, now, and moreover. 


" Friendship is not a source of pleasure only; it is also a source of duty: 
and of the responsibilities it imposes we should never be unmindful." 
Here and intimately connects the two members, and a period must 
not precede it. 

" There is only one species of misery which friendship cannot comfort, 
the misery of atrocious guilt ; for there are no pangs but those of 
conscience that sympathy does not alleviate." Here for implies sa 
close a connection that a pei'iod is inadmissible before it. 

sentence containing a distinct subject of its own compare in closeness of connection ■with 
one that depends for its subject on some preceding clause ? Give an example. 

"Where is it improper to place a period ? In wbat book do we frequently find 
sentences commencing with and? What two remedies are suggested for such cases? 
To what conjunctions do theso remarks apply ? What conjunctions may with propriety 
tomrnence a new sentence? Is it ever proper to begin a sentence with andt In 
what case ? 


"Then cried they all again, saying, ISot this man, but Barabbaa. 
Now Barabbas was a robber." In this sentence it is right to precede 
now with a period, because this word does not imply connection, 
but means simply to continue the narrative, to go on. 

"■ Domitian was a low, cruel, and sensual wretch, whose highest pleasure 
consisted in maiming helpless flies, whose mind was paralyzed by 
sloth, whose soul was surfeited with disgusting gluttony, whose heart 
was dead to every generous impulse, and whose conscience was 
Beared by crime. And this was the emperor of Rome, the controller 
of the world's destinies." Here a period may be placed before and. 
Sentences in which, as in this, and does not closely connect, but is 
simply equivalent to now, as used in the preceding example, consti- 
tute an exception to the general rule, and admit a period before and. 

§ 83. From Remark IL it follows that a period must net separate a 
relative clause from its antecedent. It would, therefore, be wrong to 
substitute periods for semicolons in the following sentence : " There are 
men whose powers operate in leisure and in retirement, and whose in- 
tellectual vigor deserts them in conversation; whom merriment con- 
fuses, and objection disconcerts ; whose bashfulness restrains their ex- 
ertion, and suffers them not to speak till the tmie of speaking is past." 

§ 84. Rule II. — A period must be placed after every ab- 
breviated word ; as, Br. Geo, F. Johnson^ F. R. S. 

§ 85. The period in this case merely indicates the abbreviation, and 
does not take the place of other stops. The punctuation must be the 
same as if no such period were employed ; as, " My clerk put the letter 
in the P. 0. ; there can be no mistake about it." " Horace Jones, jr., M.D., 

§ 86. When, however, an abbreviated word ends a sentence, only one 
period must be used ; for an example, see the close of the preceding 

§ 81. Under this head fall Roman capitals and small letters, when 
used for figures ; as, " Charles I. was the son of James I.'' 

§ 88. An important exception to this rule must be noted. When an 
abbreviated word is of such constant occurrence that, without reference 
to the word from which it comes, it is itself considered as a component part 
of our language, no period is placed after it. Thus, it would be wrong 
to put a period after eve abbreviated from evening, or hack from hacTcnsy. 

§ 88. What must a period in no case separate ? 

§ 84 Eepeat Eule II. ' 

§ 85. In this case what does the period indicate ? Must it take the place of othei 

§ 86. In what case, however, is there an exception ? 

§ 87. When must the Eoman capitals and small letters be folloT7ed by periods^ 
icder this rule ? 

§ 83. What large class of abbreviated words constitute an exception to this rale ? 


§ 89. So, when, the first syllable of a Christian or given name h 
used, not as an abbreviation of the latter, but as a familiar substitute f«>r 
it, no period must be employed ; as, " Ben Jonson." 

For a comprehensive list of abbreviations, see Table at the close of 
th« volume. 


Insert periods in the following sentences, wherever requir- 
ed bj the above rules : — 

A graphic description of this scene may be found in Gibbon's Hist of 
the Dec and Fall of the Rom Em, vol ii, chap 5 

Mrs Felicia Hemans was born in Liverpool, Eng, and died at Dublin, 
1835, AD 

Messrs G Longman and Co have received a note from the Cor Sec of 
the Nat Shipwreck Soc, iuforming them of the loss of one of their ves- 
sels off the N" E coast of S A, at 8 p m, on the 20th of Jan 

James VI of Scotland became Jas I of England 


In the following extract all the stops are inserted except 
periods. The pupil is required to introduce these points 
wherever they are needed, and to begin each new sentence with 
a capital. 


" This great natural curiosity lies about thirty miles from the Adri- 
atic, back in the Friuli Mountains, near the province of Cariola we 
arrived at the nearest tavern at three in the afternoon ; and, subscri- 
bing our names upon the magistrate's books, took four guides and the re- 
quisite number of torches, and started on foot a half hour's walk brought 
us to a lai'ge rushing stream, which, after turning a mill, disappeared 
with violence into the mouth of a broad cavern sunk in the base of a 
mountain an iron gate opened on the nearest side; and, lighting our 
torches, we received an addition of half a dozen men to our party of 
guides, and entered we descended for ten or fifteen minutes through a 
capacious gallery of rock, up to the ankles in mud, and feeling continu- 
ally the drippings exuding from the roof, tiU by the echoing murmurs of 
dashing water we found ourselves approaching the bed of a subterraneous 
river we soon emerged in a vast cavern, who?e height, though we had 
twenty torches, was lost in the darkness the river rushed dimly below 
us, at the depth of perhaps fifty feet, partially illuminated by a row of 
lamps, hung on a slight wooden bridge by which we were to cross to 
tii2 opposite side 

** We came after a while to a deeper descent, which opened into a 
magnificent and spacious hall it is called ' the ball-room', and is used as 

g 89. What exception refers to certain Christian or given names f 


gncli once a year, on the occasion of a certain Illyrian feast the floor has 
been cleared of stalagmites, the roof and sides are ornamented beyond 
all art with glittering spars, a natural gallery with a balustrade of stal- 
actites contains the orchestra, and side-rooms are all around where sup- 
per might be laid and dressing-rooms offered in the style of a palace I 
can imagine nothing more magnificent than such a scene a literal de- 
scription of it even would read like a fairy tale 

"A little farther on, we came to a perfect representation of a water- 
fall the impregnated water had fallen on a declivity, and, with a slightly 
ferruginous tinge of yellow, poured over in the most natural resemblance 
to a cascade after a rain we proceeded for ten or fifteen minutes, and 
found a small room like a chapel, with a pulpit in which stood one of 
the guides, who gave us, as we stood beneath, an Illyrian exhortation 
there was a sounding-board above, and I have seen pulpits in old Gothic 
churches that seemed, at a first glance, to have less method in their ar- 
chitecture the last thing we reached was the most beautiful from the 
cornice of a long gallery hung a thin, translucent sheet of spar, in the 
graceful and waving folds of a curtain; with a lamp behind, the hand 
could be seen through any part of it it was perhaps twenty feet in 
length, and hung five or six feet down from the roof of the cavern the 
most singular part of it was the fringe a ferruginous stain ran through 
it from one end to the other, with the exactness of a drawn line ; and 
thence to the curving edge a most delicate rose-teint faded gradually 
down, like the last flush of sunset through a silken curtain had it been 
a work of art, done in alabaster and stained with the pencil, it would 
have been thought admirable 

" The guide wished us to proceed, but our feet were wet, and the air 
of the cavern was too chill we were at least four miles, they told us, 
from the entrance, having walked briskly for upwards of two hours the 
grotto is said to extend ten miles under the mountains, and has never 
been thoroughly explored parties have started with provisions, and 
passed forty-eight hours in it without finding the extremity it seems to 
me that any city I ever saw might be concealed in its caverns I have 
often tried to conceive of the grottos of Antiparos, and the celebrated 
caverns of our own country ; but I received here an entirely new idea 
of the possibility of space under ground there is no conceiving it unseen 
the river emerges on the other side of the mountain, seven or eiglit 
miles from its first entrance " 



§ 90. Rule I. — An interrogation-point must be placed 
after every interrogative sentence, member, and clause. 

I 90. Eepeat Eule I., relating to the us© of the interrogation-point. 



L After an interrogative sentence. — " Are we not mortal % " 
IL After an interrogative member. — " Our earthly pilgrimage is nearly 

finished ; shall we not, then, think of eternity ? " 
DX After an interrogative clause. — "As we must soon die (who knows 
but this very night ?), we should fix our thoughts on eternity." 

§ 91. Some sentences which are declarative in form are reaUy inter- 
rogative (see § 78, Remark IV.), and must of course be closed with inter- 
rogation-points. Thus the sentence, " You will remain all night," is de- 
clarative in form, and, followed by a period, indicates a positive an- 
nouncement of the fact. If intended as an indirect question, however, 
(" You will remain aU night, wiU you not ? ") it mu£^ be followed by an 

§ 92. After sentences which merely assert that a question has been 
asked, a period must be placed, unless the exact words of the question 
are given ; in this case, an interrogation-point takes the place of a period, 
and must stand before the quotation-points enclosing the question. As, 
" They asked me whether I would return." — " They asked me, ' WiU 
you return \ ' " 

So, if a question is introduced into the middle of a sentence, in the 
exact words in which it was asked, an interrogation-point must be 
placed before the last quotation-points, the following word must com- 
mence with a small letter, and the remainder of the sentence must be 
punctuated as it would be if no quoted clause were introduced ; as, 
*' These frequent and lamentable catastrophes ask the question, ' Are 
you prepared to die ? ' with startling emphasis." The clauses of such 
sentences, however, are capable of a decidedly better arrangement ; aa 
will be seen by the following alteration : " These frequent and lament- 
able catastrophes ask, with startling emphasis, the question, * Are yoTi 
prepared to die ? ' " 

§ 93. Rule II. — An exclamation-point must be placed 
after every exclamatory sentence, member, clause, and ex- 

§ 91. What form have some interrogative sentences ? How must they be closed ? 
illustrate this. 

§ 92. State the principle relating to sentences which merely declare that a question 
lita^ been asked. How must we punctuate questions introduced into the middle of a 
sentence ? How is the rest of the sentence to be pointed ? What is said respecting the 
wrangement of such sentences ? 

§ 93. Eepeat Rule II., relating to the use of the exclamation-point 



I. After an exclamatory sentence. — '' How slow yon tiny vessel ploughs 
the main 1 " 
n. After an exclamatory member. — " The clock is striking midnight 

how suggestive and solemn is the sound 1 " 
HL After an exclamatory clan&e. — " We buried him (with what intense 
and heart-rending sorrow I) on the field which his life-blood had 
rV. After exclamatory expressions. — " Consummate horror I guilt with 
out a name 1 " 

§ 94. From the above examples it wiU be seen that the interroga- 
tion-point and exclamation-point do not always denote the same degree 
of separation, but are used when the connection is close as well as when 
it is remote. Thus in Examples I. and II. they are placed after propo- 
sitions making complete sense, and indicate as entire separation from 
what follows as would be denoted by a period. In the last example, 
on the contrary, the exclamation-points are by no means equivalent, in 
this respect, to periods. The two points under consideration, therefore, 
not only separate complete and independent sentences with the force of 
periods ; but are also placed between members like colons and semico- 
lons, and even between clauses, like commas. In the first case, the 
words following these points must commence with capitals ; in the last 
three cases, with small letters, as may be seen above. The sole crite- 
rion is the degree of connection subsisting between the parts thus sepa- 

§ 95. Sometimes the connection is so close that the different parts 
are dependent on each other in construction, or do not make sense when 
taken separately. In this case, if each division is of itself distinctly 
interrogative, varying the question each time by applying it to some 
new object ; or, in other words, if it contains a repetition of the aux- 
iliary that asks the question, or an interrogative adverb, or adverbial 
clause, — use an interrogation-point after each, and let the following 
word commence with a small letter ; as, " How shall a man obtain the 
kingdom of God ? by impiety ? by murder ? by falsehood ? by theft ? " 

If, however, such divisions do not apply the question to any new 
object, but merely state additional circumstances respecting that which 

§ 94 What is said respecting the degree of separation denoted by the interrogation- 
podnfc and exclamation-point? When they separate complete and independent senten- 
ces, how must the next word commence ? When they stand between members and 
Cifiuses, how must the following word commence ? 

§ 95, State the mode of punctuating, when the parts are dependent on each other in 
construction, and each varies the question by applying it to some new object. How are 
ttiese parts separatea if they do not thus vary the question ? 


formed the original subject of the enquiry, they must not be separated 
by interrogation-points, but by commas, semicolons, or colons, as here- 
after directed ; as, " Where are now the great cities of antiquity, those 
vast and mighty cities, the pride of kings, the ornament of empires ? " 
Here but one question is asked, and but one interrogation-point must be 

§ 96. Observe, moreover, that when a succession of interrogative ad 
verbs or adverbial clauses commence a sentence, the incompleteness of 
file sense prevents us from placing an interrogation-point after each of 
them, as we would do if they stood at its close. The two following sen- 
tences illustrate this difference : " Under what circumstances, for what 
purpose, at whose instigation, did he come ? " — " Under what circum- 
stances did he come ? for what purpose ? at whose instigartion ? " 

§ 9*7. The principles laid down in § 95, 96, apply to the exclama- 
tion-point with the same force as to the interrogation-point. The fol- 
lowing examples wiU illustrate their application : — 

Under § 95. What cold-blooded cruelty did ]S"ero manifest I what 
disgusting sensuality ! what black ingratitude I what concentrated self- 
ishness! what utter disregard of his duties, as a monarch and as a 
man ! — How quicldy fled that happy sea^n ; those days of dreamy love, 
those nights of innocent festivity ! 

Under § 96. How extensive, how varied, how beautiful, how sub- 
lime, is the landscape ! — How extensive is the landscape ! how varied ! 
how beautiful ! how sublime 1 

§ 98. Rule III. — An exclamation-point must he p^ced 
after every interjection except O ; as, ah ! alas ! hold ! 

For an explanation of the difference between and oh ! , see § 68. 

§ 99. In some cases, when an interjection is very closely connected 
with other words, the exclamation-point is not placed between them, 
but reserved for the close of the expression ; as, " Fie upon thee ! " 

§ 100. Two Interrogative interjections, eh and hey, are usually fol- 
lowed by the interrogation-point ; as, " You think it suits my com- 
plexion, hey ? " 

§ 101. Rule IV. — An exclamation-point may be placed 

§ 96. In what case is an interrogation-point inadmissible after interrogative adverbs 
Qt adverbial clauses, following each other in a series ? 

§ 97. To what besides the interrogation-point do the principles just stated apply ? 

§ SS. Repeat Rule III. What is the difference in signification and punctuation be- 
tween and oh f 

§ 99. When an interjection is very closoly connected with other words, where is 
the exclamation-point placed ? 

§ 100. What inteijoctions are usually followed by tho interrogation-point ? 


after a vocative clause, containing an earnest or solemn invo- 
cation ; as, " Father Supreme ! protect us from the dangers 
of this night." 

The comma may, witlioiit impropriety, be substituted, in such a case, 
for the exclamation-point ; as, " Father Supreme, protect us from the 
dangers of this night." 

§ 102. Rule Y. — More than one exclamation-point may 
be placed after a sentence or expression denoting an extraor- 
dinary degree of emotion ; as, " Political honesty ! 1 Where 
can such a thing be found ? " 

As a general thing, this repetition of the exclamation-point is con- 
fined to humorous and satirical compositions. 


Insert, in the following sentences, periods, interrogation- 
points, and exclamation-points, wherever required by the rules 
that have been given: — 

Undeb § 90. There is no precedent applicable to the question ; foi 
when has such a case been presented in our past history "When may we 
look for another such in the future Who hath heard such a thing 
"Who hath seen such a thing Shall the earth be made to bring forth in 
one day Shall a nation be born at once 

Under § 91. I have not seen him in a year He has grown I sup- 
pose — You intend starting in Saturday's steamer — " You have quite 
recovered from your injury " " Quite recovered Oh no ; I am still 
imable to walk " 

Under § 92. They asked me why I wept — ^They asked me, " Why 
do you weep " — ^This is the question : whether it is expedient to pur- 
chase temporal pleasure at the expense of eternal happiness — ^This is 
the question : " Is it expedient to purchase temporal pleasure at the ex- 
pense of eternal happiness " — The question for debate was whether 
virtue is always a source of happiness — Pilate's question, " What is 
truth ", has been asked by many a candid enquirer — " Who is there " 
demanded the sentinel 

! Under § 93. How heavily we drag the load of life — How sweet- 
ly the bee winds her small but mellow horn — thoughts ineffable O 
visions blest — O the times O the morals of the day — Such is the uncer- 
tainty of life ; yet oh how seldom do -we realize it — While in this part 
|0f the country, I once more revisited (and alas with what melancholy 
presentiments ) the home of my youth 

8 101. Repeat Rule IV. In such cases, what may be substituted for the esclamatioa 

S 102. Repeat Rule V. To what kinds of composition is this repetition of the es 
tlamation-poiut confined ? 


Under § 95, 96. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ shali 
tribulation shall distress shall persecution shall famine shall peril 
shall sword — I am charged with being an emissary of France An 
emissary of France And for what end It is alleged that I wished to 
sell the independence of my country And for what end "Was this the 
object of my ambition and is this the mode by which a tribunal of jus- 
tice reconciles contradictions — When, where, under what circumstances, 
did it happen — When did it happen where under what circum- 

Under § 97. How calm was the ocean how gentle its swell — How 
wide was the s"W eep of the rambow's wings how boundless its circle 
how radiant its rings — virtue, how disinterested, how noble, how 
lovely, thou art — O virtue, how disinterested thou art how noble how 
lovely — the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge 
of God how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding 

Under § 98. Hark daughter of Almon — Hist he comes — Hail 
Bacred day — Lo I am with you alway — Zounds the man's in earnest — 
Indeed then I am wrong — dear what can the matter be — Humph 
this looks suspicious — ^Pshaw what can we do 

Under § 99. Woe to the tempter — Woe is me — ^Shame upon thy 
insolence — Ah me — Away with him — Hurrah for the right — Hence- 
forth, adieu to happiness 

Under § 101. King of kings and Lord of lords in humility we ap 
proach Thy altar 

O Kome my country city of the soul 

The orphans of the heart must turn to thee, 

Lone mother of dead empires 

Men of Athens listen to my defence — Ye shades of the mighty dead 
listen to my invocation. 

Under § 102. An honest lawyer An anomaly in nature. Cage 
him when you find him, and let the world gaze upon the wonder — A 
discerning lover that is a new animal, just born into the universe — 
And this miserable performance, in which it is debatable whether there 
is more ignorance or pretension, comes before the world with the high- 
sounding title, " Dictionary of Dictionaries " 

JiliscELLANEOUs. — Caust tliou draw out leviathan • with a hook, or 
his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down — When saw we thee an 
hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and 
did not minister unto thee — When saw we thee an hungered, and did 
not minister imto thee or athirst or, a stranger or naked or sick or in 
prison — The question, " What is man " has occupied the attention of 
the wisest philosophers ; yet how few have given a satisfactory an- 
swer — An ancient sage, being asked what was the greatest good in the 
smallest compass, replied, "The human mind in the human body " — 
" Am I dying " he eagerly asked " Dying Oh no not dying " was the 
faint but liopeful response — It rains still, hey — Where have you been, 
eh — ^Aroynt thee, witch — " Ha, ha, ha " roared the squire, who en- 
joyed the story amazingly " Ha, ha, ha " echoed the whole company 




§ 103. The word Colon comes from the Greek language, 
and means limh or member. Its use appears to have origi- 
nated with the early printers of Latin books. Formerly it 
was much used, and seems to have been preferred to the semi- 
colon, which, with writers of the present day, too generally 
usurps its place. The Colon, however, has a distinct office 
of its own to perform ; and there are many cases in which no 
point can with propriety be substituted for it. It indicates 
the next greatest degree of separation to that denoted by the 

§ 104. Rule I. — A colon must be placed between the 
great divisions of sentences, when minor subdivisions occur 
that are separated by semicolons; as, "We perceive the 
shadow to have moved along the dial, but did not see it mov- 
ing ; we observe that the grass has grown, though it was im- 
possible to see it grow : so the advances we make in knowl- 
edge, consisting of minute and gradual steps, are perceivable 
only after intervals of time." 

The example just given is composed of three members, of which it ia 
evident that the first two are more closely connected with each other 
than with the last. The former requiring a semicolon between them, 
as will appear hereafter, the latter must be cut off by a point indicating 
a greater degree of separation, that is, a colon. 

§ 105. Rule II. — A colon must be placed before a formal 
enumeration of particulars, and a direct quotation, when re- 
ferred to by the words thus^ folloiving^ as follows, this, these, 
<fcc. ; as, " Man consists of three parts : first, the body, with 

{ 108. From what language is the word colon derived ? What does it mean ? With 
whoia did this point originate ? What is said of its use formerly and at the present 
day? What degree of separation does it denote ? 

§104 EepeatEuleL 

§ 105 Eepeat Bole II. What Is meant by a formal en\mieratlon of particohsB? 


its sensual appetites; second, the mind, with its thirst fo 
knowledge and other noble aspirations ; third, the soul, with 
its undying principle." — " Mohammed died with these words 
on his lips : ' God, pardon my sins ! Yes, I come among 
my fellow-citizens on high.' " 

By " a formal enumeration" is meant one in which the particulars 
are introduced by the words first, secondly, <fec., or similar terms. In 
this case, the objects enumerated are separated from each other by semi- 
colons ; and before the first a colon must be placed, as in the example 
given above. If the names of the particulars merely are given, without 
any formal introductory words or accompanying description, commas 
are placed between them, and a semicolon, instead of a colon, is used 
before the first ; as, " Grammar is divided into four parts ; Orthography, 
Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody." 

§ 106. If the quoted passage consists of several sentences or begins 
a new paragraph, it is usual to place a colon followed by a dash (: — ) 
at the end of the preceding sentence; as, "The cloth having been re- 
moved, the president rose and said : — 

'Ladies and gentlemen, we have assembled,'" &c 

§ lOT. If the quoted passage is introduced by that, or if it is short 
and incorporated in the middle of a sentence, a colon is not admissible 
before it; as, "Remember that * one to-day is worth two to-morrows.'" 
"Bion's favorite maxim, 'Know thyself,* is worth whole pages of good 

§ 108. When the quoted passage is brought in without any intro- 
ductory word, if short, it is generally preceded by a comma ; if long, by 
a colon ; as, " A simpleton, meeting a philosopher, asked him, * What 
afifords wise men the greatest pleasure ? ' Turning on his heel, the sage 
promptly replied, ' To get rid of fools.' " The use of the colon in this 
OAse is illustrated in § 105. 

§ 109. Rule III. — A colon was formerly, and may now 
"be, placed between the members of a compound sentence, 

When thus formally enumerated, how are the particulars separated from each other ? 
What marks must precede the first ? When the names merely are given, how are they 
B^arated, and by what preceded? 

§ 106. If the quoted passage consists of several sentences or a paragraph, how is the 
preceding sentence generally closed ? 

§ 107. In what case is a colon inadmissible before a quoted passage ? 

§ lOS. State the principle that applies to a quoted passage brought in without any 
Introductory word. 

§ 109. Kepeat Rule IIL What is said of usage in these cases ? What is the highest 
^iat that can be used between members couneoted by a coi\junction ? 


wlien there is no conjunction between them and the connection 
is slight ] as, " Never flatter the people : leave that to such aa 
mean to betray them." 

With regard to the cases falling under this rule, usage is divided 
Many good authorraes preier a semicolon; while others substitute a 
period, and commence a new sentence with what follows. It appears to 
be settled, however, that, if the members are connected by a conjunction, 
a semicolon is the highest point that can be placed between them ; as, 
" Never flatter the people ; but leave that to such as mean to betray 


Insert, wherever required in the following sentences, pe- 
riods, interrogation-points, exclamation-points, and colons : — 

Under § 104. Xo monumental marble emblazons the deeds and fame 
of Marco Bozarris ; a few round stones piled over his head are aU that 
marks his grave yet his name is conspicuous among the greatest heroes 
and purest patriots of history — " Most fasliionable ladies," says a plain- 
spoken writer, " have two faces ; one face to sleep in and another to 
show in company the first is generally reserved for the husband and 
family at home; the other is put on to please strangers abroad the 
family face is often indifferent enough, but the out-door one looks some- 
thing better" — You have called yourself an atom in the universe ; you 
have said that you were but an insect in the solar blaze is your pres- 
ent pride consistent with these professions 

Under § 105. The object of this book is twofold first, to teach the 
inexperienced how to express their thoughts correctly and elegantly ; 
secondly, to enable them to appreciate the productions of others — The 
human family is composed of five races, differing from each other in fea- 
ture and color first, the Caucasian or white ; second, &o — Lord Bacon 
has summed up the whole matter in the following words " A little phi- 
losophy inclineth men's minds to atheism; but depth in philosophy 
bringeth men's minds to religion" — Where can you find anything simpler 
yet more sublime than this sentiment of Richter's " I love God and little 
children" — He answered my argument thus " The man who lives by 
hope will die by despair" 

Under § 106. Cato, being next called on by the consul for his opinion, 
delivered the following forcible speech 

Conscript fathers, I perceive that those who have spoken before 
me, <fec 

Under p 107. Socrates used to say that other men lived in order that 
they might'eat, but that he ate in order that he might live — The propo- 
rtion that " whatever is, is right", admits of question — It is a fact on 
which we may congratulate ourselves, that " honor and shame from no 
condition rise" — The Spanish proverb, " he is my friend that grinds at 
my mill," exposes the false pretensions of persons who wiU not go out of 
their way to serve those for whom they profess friendship 


Under § 108, Solomon says " Go to the ant, tliou sluggard" — Dioge« 
nes, the eccentric Cynic philosopher, was constantly finding fault with 
his pupils and acquaintances To excuse himself, he was accustomed to 
Bay " Other dogs bite their enemies ; but I bite my friends, that I may 
Bave them" — A Spanish proverb says "Four persons are indispensable 
to the production of a good salad first, a spendthrift for oil ; second, a 
miser for vinegar ; third, a counsellor for salt ; fourth, a madman, to stir 
it all up " 

Under § 109. Love hath wings beware lest he fly — I entered at the 
first window that I could reach a cloud of smoke filled the apartment — 
Life in Sweden is, for the most part, patriarchal almost primeval sim- 
plicity reigns over this northern land, almost primeval solitude and still- 
ness — Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide in aU the 
duties of life cunning is a kind of instinct, that looks out only after its 
own immediate interest and welfare 

Miscellaneous. — "What a truthful lesson is taught in these words of 
Sterne " So quickly, sometimes, has the wheel turned round that many 
a man has lived to enjoy the benefit of that charity which his own piety 
projected" — Colton has truly said that " kings and their subjects, mas- 
ters and servants, find a common level in two places ; at the foot of the 
cross, and in the grave" — We have in use two kinds of language, the 
spoken and the written the one, the gift of God ; the other, the invention 
of man — How far silence is prudence, depends upon circumstances I 
waive that question — You have friends to cheer you on ; you have books 
and teachers to aid you but after all the proper education of your mind 
must be your own work — Death is like thunder in two particulars we 
are alarmed at the sound of it ; and it is formidable only from what has 
preceded it 



§ 110. The word Semicolon means half a limb or mem- 
b^' ; and the point is used to indicate the next greatest de- 
gr'^e of separation tc that denoted by the colon. It was first 
employed in Italy, and seems to have found its way into Eng- 
land about the commencement of the seventeenth century. 

§ 1 1 1. Rule I. — A semicolon must be placed between the 

§ 110. What does the word semicolon mean ? What degree of separation does It 
Indicate? Where was it first employed ? When did it find its way into England? 



members of compound sentences (see § 41), unless tiie con- 
nection is exceedingly close ; as, " Lying lips are an abomina- 
tion to the Lord; but they that deal truly are His delight." 

We have already seen, in § 109, that, wnen there is no conjunction 
between the members, a colon may be used, if the connection is slight; 
a semicolon, however, is generally preferred. On the other hand, when 
the members are very short and the connection is intimate, a comma ma 
without impropriety be employed ; as, " Simple men admire the learned, 
ignorant men despise them." Usage on this point is much divided, the 
choice between semicolon and comma dependmg entirely on the degree 
of connection between the members, respecting which different minda 
cannot be expected to agree. In the example last given, either a semi- 
colon or a comma may be placed after learned. 

§ 112. Rule IL — A semicolon must be placed between 
the great divisions of sentences, when minor subdivisions oc- 
cur that are separated by commas; as, " Mirth should be the 
embroidery of conversation, not the web ; and wit the orna- 
ment of the mind, not the furniture." 

§ 113. Rule III. — When a colonis placed before an enumer- 
ation of particulars, the objects enumerated must be separated 
by semicolons ; as, " The value of a maxim depends on four 
things : the correctness of the principle it embodies ; the sub- 
ject to which it relates ; the extent of its application ; and 
the ease with which it may be practically carried out." 

§ 114. Rule TV. — A semicolon must be placed before an 
enumeration of particulars, when the names of the objects 
merely are given without any formal introductory words or 
accompanying description ; as, *' There are three genders ; the 
masculine, the feminine, and the neuter." 

§ 115. Rule Y. — A semicolon must be placed before the 
conjunction as, when it introduces an example. For an illus 
tration, see the preceding Rule. 

§ 111. Repeat Rale L What other point may be used, when there is no conjune' 
Won ? When the connection is very close, what point may be employed ? 
§ 112. Repeat Rule IL 
§ lis. Repeat Rule IIL 
§ 114. Repeat Rule IV. 
§115. Repeat Rule V. 


§ 116. Rule VI. — When severallong clauses occur in sue 
cession, all having common dependence on some other clause or 
"^word, they must be separated by semicolons ; as, " If we ne- 
glected no opportunity of doing good ; if we fed the hungry 
and ministered to the sick ; if we gave up our own luxuries, 
to secure necessary comforts for the destitute ; though no man 
might be aware of our generosity, yet in the applause of our 
own conscience we would have an ample reward." 

§ 117. If the clauses are short, they may be separated by commas; 
as, " If I succeed, if I reach the pinnacle of my ambition, you shall share 
my triumph." 


Insert in the following sentences, wherever required by 
the rules, all the points thus far considered : — 

Under § 111. Air was regarded as a simple substance by ancient 
philosophers but the experiments of Cavendish prove it to be composed 
of oxygen and nitrogen — The gem has lost its sparkle scarce a vestige 
of its former brilliancy remains — The porcupine is fond of climbing trees 
and for this purpose he is furnished with very long claws — The Lap- 
landers have little idea of religion or a Supreme Being the greater part 
of them are idolaters, and their superstition is as profound as their wor- 
ship is contemptible 

Under § 112. The Jews ruin themselves at their Passover the Moors, 
at their marriages and the Christians, in their law-suits — The poisoned 
valley of Java is twenty miles in extent, and of considerable width it pre- 
sents a most desolate appearance, being entirely destitute of vegetation 

— The poet uses words, indeed but they are merely the instruments of his 
art, not its objects — Weeds and thistles, ever enemies of the husband- 
man, must be rooted out from the garden of the mind good seed must be 
sown and the growing crop must be carefully attended to, if we would 
have a plenteous harvest 

Under § 113. The true order of learning should be as follows first, 
what is necessary second, what is useful and third, what is ornamental 

— God hath set some in the church first, apostles secondarily, prophets 
thirdly, teachers after that, miracles then, gifts of healings, helps, govern- 
ments, diversities of tongues — The duties of man are twofold first, those 
that be owes to his Creator secondly, those due to his fellow-men — Two 
paths open before every youth on the one hand, that of vice, with its 
unreal and short-lived pleasures on the other, that of virtue, with the 
genuine and permanent happiness it ensures 

Under § 114. We have three great bulwarks of liberty viz., schoolsj 

§ 116. Eepeat Eule VI. 

§ 117. If the dependent clauses are short, how may they be separated? 

THE SBMIC0L02T. 103 

colleges, and (iniversities — There are three cases the nominative, the 
possessive, and the objective — According to a late writer, London sur- 
passes all other great cities in four particulars size, commerce, fogs, and 

UxDER § 115. After interjections, pronouns of the first person are gen- 
erally used in the objective case as, " Ah me" Those of the second per- 
son, on the other hand, follow interjections in the nominative as, " 

Under § 116. The greatest man is he who chooses the right with in- 
vincible resolution who resists the sorest temptations from within and 
without who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully who is calmest in 
storms, and most fearless under menace and frowns and whose reliance 
on truth, on virtue, and on God, is most unfaltering — The delight- 
ful freedom of Cowper's manner, so acceptable to those long accustomed 
to a poetical school of which the radical fault was constraint his noble 
and tender morality his fervent piety his glowing and well-expressed 
patriotism his descriptions, unparalleled in vividness and accuracy his 
playful humor and powerful satire, — all conspired to render him one of 
the most popular poets of his day 

Under § llY. Read not for the purpose of contradicting and con- 
futing nor of believing and taking for granted nor of finding material for 
argument and conversation but in order to weigh and consider the 
thoughts of others — When I have gone from earth when my place is 
vacant when my pilgrimage is over will thy faithful heart still keep my 
memory green 

I^liscELLANEOus. This wide-spread republic is the future monu- 
ment to "Washington Maintain its independence uphold its constitution 
preserve its union defend its liberty — The ancients feared death we, 
thanks to Christianity, fear only dying — ^The study of mathematics 
cultivates the reason that of the languages, at the same time, the reason 
and the taste Ths former gives power to the mind the latter, both 
power and flexibility The former, by itself, would prepare us for a 
state of certainties which nowhere exists the latter, for a state of proba- 
bilities, which is that of common life — Woman in Italy is trained to 
shrink from the open air and the public gaze she is no rider is never in 
at the death in a fox-hunt is no hand at a whip, if her life depended on 
it she never keeps a stall at a fancj- fair never takes the lead at a de- 
bating club she never addresses a stranger, except, perhaps, behind a 
mask in carnival-season her politics are limited to wearing tri-color rib- 
bons and refusing an Austrian as a partner for the waltz she is a dunce, 
and makes no mystery of it a coward, and glories in it — ^Lord Chatham 
made an administration so checkered and speckled he put together a 
piece of joinery so crossly indented and whimsically dovetailed he con- 
Btrueted a cabinet so variously inlaid with whigs and tories patriots 
and courtiers, — that it was utterly unsafe to touch and unsure to stand 
on — Helmets" are cleft on high blood bursts and smokes around 

104 T^B COMMA. 



§ 118. The word Comma means that which is out q^ ^ 
and the mark so called denotes the Issast degree of separation 
that requires a point. In its present form, the comma is not 
found in manuscripts anterior to the ninth century ; a straight 
line drawn vertically between the words was formerly used in 
its place. 

§ 119. General Rule. — -The comma is used to separate 
words, phrases, clauses, and short members, closely connected 
with the rest of the sentence, but requiring separation by 
some point in consequence of the construction or arrange- 


§ 120. Words, phrases, adjuncts, and clauses, are said to 
be PARENTHETICAL whcu they are not essential to the meaning 
of a sentence and are introduced in such a way as to break the 
connection between its component parts. They are generally 
introduced near the commencement of a sentence, between a 
subject and its verb ; but they may occupy other positions. 
Every such parenthetical expression must be separated from 
the leading proposition by a comma before and after it. 

As these expressions are of constant occurrence, and are always 
punctuated in the same manner, with a comma on each side of them, it 
is important that the pupil should be able to recognize them without 
difficulty. The following examples contain respectively a parenthetical 
word, phrase, adjunct, and clause, printed in italics ; which, it will be 

§ lis. What does the word comma mean? What degree of separation does the 
jnark so called denote ? In its present form, when was the comma first used? Before 
that time, what was employed in its stead ? 

§ 119. Repeat the General Rule. 

§ 120. When are words, phrases, adjuncts, and clauses, said to be parenthetical J 
iVhere are they generally introduced ? How must every parenthetical expression be 


seen, may be omitted without injury to the sense, and stand, in every 
case, between the subject and its verb : — 


1. Ifapoleon, unquestionably, was a man of genius. 

2. There is, as it were, an atmospheric maelstrom all about us. 

3. History, in a word, is replete with moral lessons. 

4. Thomson, who was blessed with a strong and copious fancy^ drew 
ii's images from nature itself 


§ 121. The mere introduction of adjuncts and clauses be- 
tween a subject and its verb, does not make them parentheti- 
cal. Sometimes they form an essential part of the logical sub- 
ject, and cannot be omitted without rendering the sense in- 
fomplete. In that case, they are not parenthetical, but re- 
strictive ; and there must be no comma between them and 
that which they restrict. Whether a comma is to be placed 
after such restrictive expressions, depends on principles here- 
after explained. 

Examples of restrictive adjuncts and clauses are furnished below. 
The pupn is requested to compare them carefully with the examples of 
parenthetical expressions just given, and to make himself so familiar 
with their distinguishing features that he can at once determine to 
which of the two classes any given adjunct or clause belongs. Few 
sentences occur without expressions of this kind; and, as they must 
have a comma on each side of them if parenthetical, but none before 
i;hem if restrictive, constant mistakes will be made unless the distinction 
is thoroughly understood. The criterion is, wUl the meaning of the 
sentence be preserved if the expression is omitted ? If so, it is paren- 
thetical; if not, restrictive. 


1. The love of money is the root of aU evil. 
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

2. A man tormented by a guilty conscience can not be happy. 
« Those who sleep late lose the best part of the day. 

tat off from the rest of the sentence ? Give examples, and show in each case how you 
know the expression to be parenthetical 

§ 121. Besides its position, what Is necessary to make an expression parenthetical! 
Whet are |djuncts and clauses called restrictive? From what must restrictive ad 
juncts and clauses not be cut off by the comma ? "What is the eriierion for determining 
whether a sentence is parenthetical or restrictive ? Give examples, and show in eaob 
case how you know the expression to be restrictive. 












equently introduced 

parenthetically are ai 

in reality, 

as a matter of course, 

no doubt, 

at all events, 

of course. 

to be brief, 

above all, 

to be sure. 

generally speaking. 

on the contrary, 

as it were, 

now and then. 



§ 122. A comma must be placed before and after every 
parenthetical word, phrase, adjunct, clause, and expression ; 
jee the examples in § 120. 

The words referred to in this rule are chiefly conjunctions and ad 
rerba. Those of most frequent occurrence are as foUows : — 







The phrases mo 
lows : — 

in truth, 
in fact, 
in fine, 
in short, 
in general, 
in particular. 

The most common parenthetical adjuncts are these : — 

without doubt, in the first place, by chance, 

without question, in the mean time, in that case, 

beyond a doubt, in a word, for the most part, 

beyond question, in a measure, on the other hand. 

Any of the clauses enumerated in § 43 may be used parenthetically. 

§ 123. A comma must be placed before and after parenthetical sub- 
jects introduced by as well as ; as, " Industry, as well as genius, is es- 
sential to the production of great works." — " Printing, as well as every 
other important invention, has wrought great changes in the world." 

§ 124. A comma must be placed on each side of negative adjuncts 
and clauses, when introduced parenthetically by way of contrast or op- 
position ; as, " Prosperity is secured to a state, not by the acquisition 
of territory or riches, but by the encouragement of industry and the dis- 
semination of virtuous principles." 

If, however, the word expressing negation is removed from the ad- 

§ 122. Eepeat Rule I. What parts of speech, for the most part, are the words hero 
referred to ? Enumerate some of the principal. Mention the phrases most frequently 
fntroduced parenthetically. Give some of the commonest parenthetical acyuncts. 
What clauses may be used parenthetically ? • 

% 123. What subjects are introduced parenthetically, and fall under this rule ? 

S 124. State the principle that applies to negative adjuncts and clauses. What 
dmnge in the punctuation miist be made, if the word espressing negation is removed 


junct or clause in question and joined to the leading verb, one comma 
only must be used, and that before the conjunction which introduces 
the last of the contrasted expressions ; as, " Prosperity is not secured tc 
a state by the acquisition of territory or riches, but by the encourage- 
ment of industry and the dissemination of virtuous principles." 

If the parts of the sentence are inverted, so that the clauses or ad- 
juncts are brought before the leading verb with the introductory words, 
U is, then the clause or adjunct introduced by the conjunction receives 
the commas, one on each side ; as, " It is not by the acquisition of ter- 
ritory or riches, but by the encouragement of industry and the dissem- 
ination of virtuous principles, that prosperity is secured to a state." 

§ 125. Some are in the habit of omitting the comma before a paren- 
thetical expression when it foUows a conjunction. Tliis is wrong ; there, 
as in every other position, it must be cut off by a comma on each side : 
as, " Your manners are affable, and, for the most part, pleasing." 

§ 126. Observe, with regard to the words referred to in Rule L, that 
it is only when they belong to the whole proposition, and not to individual 
words, that they are thus cut off by commas. A few examples, which 
the pupil is requested to compare, wiU illustrate this difference. 

Examples. — The passions of mankind, however, frequently blind them. 
However fairly a bad man may appear to act, we distrust him. — Is it, 
then, to be supposed that vice will ultimately triumph ? — We then pro- 
ceeded on our way. — I would, too, present the subject in another point 
of view. — It rains too hard to venture out 


Supply the commas omitted in the following sentences, re- 

membering that none must be introduced unless required by 

a positive rule: — 

Under § 122. Nothing on earth I tell you can persuade me to such 
a step. — There is it must be admitted something attractive in such 
dreamy speculations. — Nothing in my opinion is more prejudicial to the 
interests of a nation than unsettled and varying policy. — The funda- 
mental principles of science at least those that were abstract rather 
than practical were deposited during the Middle Ages in the dead lan- 
guages. — A whiff of tobacco smoke strange as it may appear gives 
among these barbarous tribes not merely a binding force but an inviola- 

froia the adjanct or clause and joined to the leading verb ? What is the proper mode 
of pointing, when the parts of the sentence are inverted, and the introductory worda 
tt is are employed ? 

§ 125. In what case are some in the habit of omitting the crjmma before a paren- 
thetical expression ? Is this right ? 

126. In what case only are the words referred to in Eule I. out oflF by commas ? 


ble sanctity to treaties. — ^This added to other considerations will pre* 
vent me from coming. 

Under § 123. Nations as well as men fail in nothing which thej 
boldly attempt. — ^The unprincipled politician like the chameleon is con- 
stantly changing his color. — Marie Antoinette unlike most regal person- 
ages was extremely affable in her manners. — ^The insect as well as the 
man that treads upon it has an oifice to perform. — Dangerous as well aa 
degrading are the promptings of pride. — Printing like every other im- 
portant invention has wrought great changes in the world. 

Under § 124. This principle has been fully settled not by any single 
act but the repeated and deliberate declarations of government. — Songs 
not of merriment and revelry but of praise and thanksgiving were heard 
ascending. — ^A great political crisis is the time not for tardy consultation 
but for prompt and vigorous action. — A great political crisis is not the 
time for tardy consultation but for prompt and vigorous action. — It is 
not tardy consultation but prompt and vigorous action that a great po- 
litical crisis requires. — Juries not judges are responsible for these evils. — 
Not for his own glory but for his country's preservation did Washington 
take the field. — It was not in the hope of personal aggrandizement that 
our forefathers embarked in the revolutionary struggle but to secure fbi 
themselves and their posterity that without which they felt life was 

Under § 125. Milton was like Dante a statesman and a lover; and 
like Dante he had been unfortunate in ambition and in love. — We may 
perhaps find it difficult to admire Queen Elizabeth as a woman ; but 
without doubt as a sovereign she deserves our highest respect. She soon 
if we may believe contemporaneous historians gained incredible influence 
with her people ; and while she merited all their esteem by her real 
virtues she also engaged their affections by her pretended ones. 

Under § 126. There were besides several other considerations 
which led Columbus to believe that the earth was round. — ^There are 
others besides its soldiers to whom a state should show its gratitude. — 
Now from this I would argue that all violent measures are at the pres- 
ent time impolitic, — Who now believes in the divine right of kings?-— 
Morning will come at last however dark the night may be. — Galileo 
however was convinced of the truth of his theory, and therefore per- 
sisted in maintaining it even at the risk of imprisonment and death. 
[In the last sentence, therefore does not break the connection suflicientlY 
to be set off by. commas.] 



§ 127. When clauses, and when words, phrases, and ad- 
juncts, that may be used parenthetically, are introduced in 


Buch a way as not to break the connection between dependent 
parts, they are cut off by but one comma, which comes after 
them if they commence the sentence, but before them if they 
end it ; as, " Unquestionably, Napoleon was a man of genius." 
— ^'G-eneraily speaking, an indolent person is unhappy." — " This 
is the case, beyond a doubt." — " See the hollowness of thy 
pretensions, worshipper of reason." 

Observe, liowever, that such expressions as are restrictive do not 
fall under this rule. 

§ 128. A comma must also be placed after the following and similar 
words, which are rarely, and some of them never, used parenthetically, 
when they stand at the commencement of sentences, and refer, not to 
any particular word, but to the proposition as a whole : — 
again, yes, now, first, 

farther, no, . why, secondly, 

howbeit, nay, well, thirdly, &c. 

As, " Yes, the appointed time has come." — " Why, this is rank in- 
justice." — " "Well, follow the dictates of your inclination." 

§ 129. A comma must be placed after here and there, now and then, 
when they introduce contrasted clauses or members ; as, " Here, every 
citizen enjoys the blessings of personal freedom ; there, despotism forges 
fetters for thought, word, and action." 

§ 130. The comma may be omitted in the case of too, also, therefore^ 
and perhaps, when introduced so as not to interfere with the harmo- 
nious flow of the period, and, particularly, when the sentence is short ; 
as, " Industry gains respect and riches too." — " He dehvered a lecture 
on Monday evening also." — " Perhaps they are safe." 

§ 131. In the case of adjuncts immediately following a verb, the 
connection is often so close that a comma is inadmissible ; as, " I did it 
with my own hand." 

§ 132. Adverbial, adjective, and hypothetical clauses, if very short, 
closely connected, and introduced so as not to interfere with the harmo- 

§ 127. Kepeat Enle II. What expressions do not fall under this rule ? 

§ 128. What other words, rarely used parenthetically, take a comma after them 
when they stand at the commencement of sentences ? 

§ 129. State the rule relating to here and there, now and then. 

§ 130. In the case of what words may the comma be omitted ? 

§ 131. What is said of the connection in the case of adjuncts immediately following 
a verb ? 

% 132, When may adverbial, adjective, and hypothetical clauses be used withoat 
the comma ? 


moua flow of the sentence, need not be cut off by the comma ; as, " 1 
began this work two years ago at Eome." 

§ 133. A participial clause that relates to, and immediately follows 
the object of a verb, must not be separated from it; as, " We see our 
companions borne daily to the grave." 

§ 134. Clauses that would otherwise be set off by the comma, if sub- 
divided into parts which require the use of this point, must be separated 
by the semicolon, according to the rule in § 112, where an example 


§ 135. No comma must be placed between restrictive ad- 
juncts or clauses (see § 121) and that which they restrict ; as, 
" The eye of Providence is constantly upon us." — '' Who can 
respect a man that is not governed by virtuous principles ? " 

Vocative and causal clauses {see § 43) are never restrictive, and 
must therefore be set off by the comma. 

§136. Relative clauses introduced by the pronoun t?iat, as well as 
those in which the relative is not expressed, are restrictive, and must 
have no comma before them ; as, " Suspect the man that cannot look 
you in the eye." — " The day we celebrate is one of the proudest in our 
national history." 

§ 13Y. A restrictive clause, however, must be set off by a comma, 
when it refers to several antecedents which are themselves separated by 
that point; as, "There are many painters, poets, and statesmen, whom 
chance has rendered famous rather than merit." 

§ 138. A rule of syntax requires that a restrictive clause should 
stand immediately after its logical antecedent ; if, however, a sentence is 
so loosely constructed as to have other words intervene between the an- 
tecedent and the restrictive clause, a comma should be placed before 
the latter ; as, " He can have no genuine sympathy for the unfortunate, 

§ 133. In what case may the comma be omitted before a participial clause ? 

§ 134, In what case does the semicolon talse the place of the comma between 
clauses ? 

§ 135. Repeat Rule IIL, respecting restrictive adjuncts and clauses. What clauses 
are never rf>strictive ? How must they, therefore, be set off? 

§ 136. "W hat relative clauses are restrictive, and must therefore have no comma 
b<5f<;re them? 

§ 137. In what case must a restrictive clause be set off by a comma ? 

§ 188. What is the proper position for a restrictive clause ? If other words are in« 
troduced between the clause and its antecedent, what change must be made in thu 
punctuation ? 


that has never been unfortunate himself." "With its parts correctly ar. 
ranged, this sentence requires no point ; as, " He that has never been 
unfortunate himself can have no genuine sympathy for the tmfortu- 

§ 139. "When there is a succession of restrictive clauses relating to 
the same antecedent, they are separated from each other by commas, 
and the first must be set off from the antecedent by the same point :— 
as, " Countries, whose rules are prompt and decisive, whose people are 
onit^d, and whose course is just, have little to fear, even from more power- 
ful nations." 

§ 140. A comma is also generally placed befor-e a restrictive clause 
containing of which, to which, or for which, preceded by a noun ; as, 
' "We have no sense or faculty, the use of which is not obvious to the 
reflecting mind." 

§ 141. A participial clause is restrictive when the participle it con- 
tains can be exchanged for the relative that and a finite verb without 
Injury to the sense. " A man discharging his duty under trying circum- 
stances is worthy of our confidence" ; here, discharging is equivalent to 
that discharges, and the clause is restrictive. In such a case, no comma 
must separate the clause from the antecedent, unless the principle em- 
bodied in § 137 applies. 


In the followiDg sentences, insert commas wherever requir- 
ed by rule : — 

Under § 127. But for this event the future liberator of Rome might 
have been a dreamer. — Thou sayest right barbarian. — Great poet as 
Petrarch is he has often mistaken pedantry for passion. — When a peo- 
ple suffer in vain it is their own fault. — Happier had it been for many 
had they never looked out from their own heart upon the world. — 
What are good laws if we have not good men to execute them? — 
Low though the voice the boast was heard by all around. — Amazed at 
what had taken place the barons mechanically bent the knee. — Im- 
patient to finish what he had begun Caesar allowing his army no 
rest pushed forward to the capital. — Though neither honest nor elo- 
quent the demagogue often controls the people. — To say the truth it 
was a goodly company. — From this time forth no sound of merriment 

S 189. State the principle that applies to a succession of restrictive relative clauses 
relating to the same antecedent 

% 140. What is said of restrictive clauses containing of which, &c, preceded by 
a noun ? 

§ 141, "When is a participial clause restrictive ? In such a case, must it be separated 
from its antecedent ? 


was ever heard in inose lordly haUs ; on the contrary silence and gloom 
hung over them like a paU. — Nevertheless though you have wronged 
me thus I inflict no vengeance. — When I became a man I laid asida 
ehUdish things. — Are ye bewildered still Romans? 

Under § 128. Well honor is the subject of my story — Yes it often 
happens that when we get out of the reach of want we are just within 
the reach of avarice. — Again one man's loss is sometimes another man's 
gain. — Verily this is a troublous world. — Furthermore we are always 
suspicious of a deceitful man's motives. — Nay though the whole world 
should do wrong this is no excuse for our offences. — First let us look at 
the facts. 

Under § 129. Then the world listened with pleasure to the rude 
strains of the troubadour ; now the divine thoughts of the most gifted ge-^ 
niuses can hardly command its attention. — Here we have troubles, 
pains, and partings ; there we are allowed to look for an unbroken rest 
the elevated pleasures of which {see § 140) no heart can conceive. 

Under § 130. Perhaps there is no man so utterly unhappy as the 
useless drone. — I have seen this, and can therefore describe it with ac- 
curacy. — Pythagoras made many discoveries in geometry and astrono- 
my also. — I can give you some information on the subject being a 
farmer and a practical one too. — I was also there ; you are therefore 

Under § 131. The love of life is deeply implanted in the human 
heart. — To sum the matter up in a few words his hand is against every 
man's. — A tree is known by its fruits. — Banished irom his native coun- 
try ^schines retired to Rhodes where he opened a school of oratory 
that became famous throughout all Greece. — 

The golden wain rolls roimd the silent North, 

And earth is slumbering 'neath the smiles of heaven- 

Under § 132. You may go if you wish. — We frequently meet ene- 
mies where we expect friends. — Columbus maintained his theory with a 
confidence which went far towards convincing his hearers. — All th'^.&e 
things will have passed away a hundred years hence. — Satan goes 
about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 

Under § 133. How many have seen their affection slighted and even 
betrayed by the ungrateful ! — We hear the good slandered every day. 
— Alexander the Great had a large city built in honor of his favorite 

Under § 134. During the fourteenth century Italy was the India of 
X vast number of well-born but penniless adventurers who had inflamed 
their imaginations by the ballads and legends of chivalry who from 
youth had trained themselves to manage the barb, and bear alike 
through summer's heat and winter's cold the weight of arms and who 
passing into an effeminate and distracted land had only to exhibit bra- 
very in order to command wealth. 

Under 5; 135. The quality of mercy is not strained. — How soft tne 
music of those village bells ! — Good nature is a sun which sheds light 
on all around. — He who is a traitor to his country is a serpent which 
turns to bite the bosom that warms it. — Mahomet always observed the 
Corms of that grave and ceremonious politeness so common in his country. 


Uneeb § 136. Is there a heart that music cannot melt I — Anger is a 
fire that consumes the heart. — The evil that men do, lives after them, 

— The land we live in is on many accounts bound to our hearts by the 
strongest ties. — Men are willing for the most part to overlook the faults 
of those they love, 

Undee § IBl. There was no man, woman, or child that the tyrant 
Nero^did not heartily hate. — The profligate man is a stranger to the in- 
nocent social enjoyments, the gushing affections, and sacred domestic 
pleasures which to the virtuous constitute a never-failing source of 
satisfaction and contentment. — The Lydians, the Persians, and the Ara 
bians that wish to leave the army, are at liberty to do so. 

Under § 138. An author cannot be readily understood who is imac- 
quainted with the art of punctuation. — All is not gold that glitters. — 
Clauses must be set off by commas which are introduced parenthetically. 

— That man is not fit to be the head of a nation who prides himself on 
being the head of a party. (Punctuate the sentences in this paragraph 
as they stand; then arrange them in their proper order, and point them ac- 

Under § 139. We should have respect for the theories of a philoso- 
pher whose judgment is clear, whose learning is extensive, and whose 
reasonings are founded on facts even though his deductions may con- 
flict with generally received opinions. 

Under § 140. Have no desire for a reputation the acquisition of 
which involves dishonesty or deceit. — The barometer is an instrument 
the usefulness of which to the navigator can hardly be overestimated. — 
All physicians tell us that dyspepsia is a disease the remedy for which 
it is hard to find. — IS"apoleon had fl'om youth fixed his eyes on a pin- 
nacle of greatness the path to which he knew was filled with tremen- 
dous obstacles. 

Under § 141. Those distinguished for honesty and activity rarely if 
ever in this land of business energy lack employment — This was to be 
expected in a country overrun with disbanded soldiers whose only 
means of subsistence were theft and violence. — 'So person found guilty 
of felony is allowed to hold office. — We cannot too much pity the lot of 
a chUd thrown at a tender age on the charities of the world. 


IHE COMMA (continued). 

RULE ly. — apposition. 
§ 142. Single words in apposition and appositional clauses 
must be set off by the comma ; as, " The fate of Rienzij the 

§ 142. Kepeat Eule IV., respecting words in apposition and appositional clausea. 


last of the Koman tribunes, shows the fickleness of an ignorant 

populace." — " DariuSj the king of the Persians." 

§ 143. To this rule there are four exceptions, llie comma must be 

L Between a proper name and a common noun pla«ed iromediately 
before or after it without an adjunct ; as, " Darius the king " ; " the 
Altai Mountains " ; " the River Rhine ". 
U. When a pronoun other than I is in apposition with a substan- 
tive which it immediately precedes or follows ; as, " Cicero him- 
self " ; " Ye mighty men of war ". 

LI. When the word in apposition or the clause in quesdon is necessary 
to the idea predicated, so that it cannot be left out without render- 
ing the sense incomplete ; as, " The people elected him presidenV^^ 
" He was chosen umpire." — " I regard him as a traitor."—^'' Whom 
iis friends considered an honest man." In these examples, italics 
are used to indicate the words and clauses in question ; and, as 
they cannot be omitted without injury to the sense, they are neces- 
sary to the idea predicated, and must not be set off by the comma. 

TV. The comma is omitted between the parts of a compound proper 
name, when in their proper order ; as, " The Rev. Samuel T. Wol- 
laston " ; " Marcus TuUius Cicero ". 
When, however, the order is inverted, as in alphabetical lists of 

names, directories, &c., a comma must be inserted; as, "Hone, James 

G. " ; " Lyle, Rev. S. Phillips ". 

When a title, either abbreviated or written in full, is annexed to a 

proper name, it must be set off by a comma ; aa^ " Robert Horton, M. B., 

F. R. S."; " W. C. Doubleday, Esquire". 


§ 144. When a transposition occurs, so that an adjunct or 
a clause which would naturally follow a verb is introduced 
before it, a comma is generally required to develop the sense. 

§ 143. How many exceptions are there to this rule ? What is the first, relating to 
a proper name atd common noun ? What is the second, relating to pronouns ? What 
is the third, relating to words and clauses necessary to the idea predicated ? What Is 
iie fourth, relating to compound proper names ? If the parts of the name are trans- 
posed, what stop must be inserted ? When a title is annexed to a proper name, how 
mnst it be set off ? 

§ 144. Eepeat Eule V., relating to transposed adjuncts and clauses. When tb« 
natural order is restored, what change is necessary in the punctuation ? 



1. To those who lal*or, sleep is doubly pleasant 

2. Of the five races, the Caucasian is the most enlightened. 

3. To all such, objections may be made. 

4. Whom he loveth, he chasteneth. 

In the above examples, we have a rhetorical arrangement , the com- 
mon order would be as follows : — " Sleep is doubly pleasant to those 
who labor " ; " The Caucasian is the most enlightened of the five races " ; 
&e. As just written, it will be seen that these sentences require no 

§ 145. The comma mus<- be omitted in the following cases : — 
L When the transposed adjunct is short and closely connected with 
the verb ; as, " With this I am satisfied." If, however, there ia 
danger of a reader's mistaking the sense as in the third example 
under § 144, a comma must be placed after the adjunct. 
n. When the transposed adjunct or clause is introduced by It is ; as, 
"It is chiefly through books that we hold intercourse with su- 
perior minds." 
in. When a verb preceding its nominative comes immediately after the 
transposed adjunct or clause ; as, " Down from this towering peak 
poured a roaring torrent." 
lY. When the transposition consists in placing an objective case with 
or without limiting words immediately before the verb that governs 
it ; as, " Silver and gold have I none." 


§ 146. A comma must be placed after the logical subject 
of a sentence {see § 40) when it ends with a verb, or when it 
consists of several parts which are themselves separated by 
commas; as, " Thoss who persevere, succeed." — " The world 
of gayety, of temptation, and of pleasure, allures thee." 

The object of this rule is to enable the eye readily to perceive what 
the logical subject is. In the last example, if the comma after pleasure 
were omitted, a false impression would be conveyed, as it would seem 
that the words and of pleasure were more closely connected with the 
verb allures than the rest of the subject, — which is not the case. 

§ 145. In what four cases may the comma be omitted in the case of transposed ad* 
Janets and clauses ? 

§ 146. What is meant by the logical subject of a sentence ? Eepeat Eule YL, rclatiog 
k> logical subjects. What ia the object of this rule ? 


§ 147. A CAmma after the logical subject is, also, sometimes "fieces- 
sary to prevent ambiguity. Thus, in the sentence, " He who pursues 
pleasure only defeats the object of his creation," it is impossible to teU 
•whether only modifies pleasure or defeats. If the meaning is that " he 
who pursues nothing but pleasure defeats, &c.," a comma should be in- 
serted after only ; if not, we should have one after pleasure. The reader- 
should not be left in doubt. 

§ 148. A comma, followed by a dash, is generally placed after a logi- 
cal subject when it consists of several particulars separated by semico- 
lons, or by commas, when, fop the sake of greater definiteness, the words 
all, these, all these, such, or the like, referring to the particulars before 
enumerated, are introduced as the immediate subject of the verb ; as, 
" To be overlooked, slighted, and neglected ; to be misunderstood, mis- 
represented, and slandered ; to be trampled under foot by the envious, 
the ignorant, and the vile ; to be crushed by foes, and to be distrusted 
and betrayed even by friends, — such k too often the fate of genius." 


§ 149, Absolute participial clauses, and substantives in tbe 
nominative absolute with their adjuncts and limiting words, 
must be set off by the comma ; as, " Rome hatiing fallen^ the 
world relapsed into barbarism." — " His conduct on this occa- 
sion^ how disgraceful it was ! " — " Yes, sir." — " And thou 
too, Brutus ! " 

Some absolute participial clauses have the participle understood, but 
must, notwithstanding, be punctuated according to the above rule. 
Thus, in the following lines, though bemg is left out after steeds and foe, 
the clauses must be set off by the comma : — 

" "Winged with his fears, on foot he strove to fly, ' 
His steeds too distant, and the foe too nigh."- 

§ 150. The second example under Rule VH. illustrates a construc- 
tion admissible in poetry, but not to be imitated in prose. It should 
read, " How disgraceful was his conduct on this occasion I " As originally 
given, it may be punetuated with either a comma or a dash after occasion. 

§ 147. On what otber account is a comma sometimes necessary after the logical sub- 
ject ? Illustrate this, and show how a comma prevents ambiguity. 

1 148. In what case is a comma followed by a dash placed af:er a logical subject ? 

§ 149. Eepeat Eule VII., relating to absolute words and clauses. What is sometimea 
emitted from a participial clause ? Does this change the mode of punctuating ? 

§) 150. What is the second example in § 149? What is said respecting such con* 



Insert in the following sentences whatever poiiits are re- 
quired by the rules that have been given: — 

Under § 142. Mahomet left Mecca a -wretelied fugitive lie returned 
a merciless conqueror — A professed Catholic he imprisoned the Pope a 
pretended patriot he impoverished the country — The Scriptures those 
lively oracles of God contain the only authentic records of primeval 
ages — I I^ebuchadnezzar king of the Jews make this decree — Aristides 
the just Athenian is one of the noblest characters in Grecian history — 
Eichard I the Lion-hearted — Charles the Bald king of France — We 
saw him tyrant of the East 

Under § 143. The River Volga and the Ural Mountains form accord- 
ing to some geographers the boundary between Asia and Europe — We 
humble men may admire the great if we can not equal them — John 
Howard Payne the author of " Home, sweet home " and Samuel Wood- 
worth who composed " The old oaken bucket " occupy a prominent place 
among American poets — It has been said that if all the learned and 
scientific men of every age could meet in a dehberative assembly they 
would choose Sir Isaac Kewton for their president — With modesty your 
guide, reason your adviser, and truth your controlling principle, you 
will rarely have reason to be ashamed of your conduct — Herodotus is 
called the father of profane history — These grumblers would not have 
considered Csesar himself a good general — Henry P. Witherspoon 
junior LL D 

Under § 144. At the talents and virtues of all who hold different 
views from their own certain partisan winters are accustomed to sneer — 
Of all the passions vanity is the most unsocial — To love many a soldier 
on the point of realizing his dreams of glory sacrifices the opportunity 
of so doing — Whether such a person as Homer ever existed we can not 
say — How the old n».gicians performed their miracles it is difficult 
to explain — That riches are to be preferred to wisdom no one wiU 
openly assert 

Under § 145. With a crash feU the severed gates — On me de- 
volves the unpleasant task — In memory's twilight bowers the mind 
love"!! to dwell ^— It is only by constant effort that men succeed in great 
undertakings — To the poor we should be charitable — To the poor men 
should be charitable — History we read daily — At the bottom of the 
hill ran a httle stream — In Plato's garden congregated a crowd of ad- 
miring pupils — Respecting the. early history of Egypt little is known — 
Equivocation I despise truth and honor I respect — It is chiefly by con 
Btant practice and close attention to correct models that one learns to 
compose with ease and elegance — This he denied 

Under § 146. The miracles that Moses performed may have con- 
vinced Pharaoh but at first they humbled not his pride — Every impure, 
angry, revengeful, and envious thought is a violation of duty — The evil 
that men do lives after them — Whatever breathes lives — The boldness 
of these predictions, the appaient proximity of their fulfillment, and 
the imposing oratory of the preacher struck awe into the hearts of his 


audience — Spring, Summer, Autimm, and Winter have each its office 
to perform 

Under § 14Y. He who stands on etiquette merely shows his own 
littleness — To become conversant with a single department of literature 
only has a tendency to make our views narrow and our impressions in- 
correct — To remain in one spot always prevents the mind from taking 
comprehensive views of things 

Under § 148. The solemn circle round the death-bed the stifled 
grief of heart-broken friends their watchful assiduities and touching ten- 
derness the last testimonies of expiring love the feeble, fluttering, pres- 
sure of the hand the last fond look of the glazing eye turning upon us 
even from the threshold of existence the faltering accents struggling in 
death to give one more assurance of affection all these recollections rush 
into our mind as we stand by the grave of those we loved 

Under § 149. Whose gray top shall tremble he descending — The bap- 
tism of John was it from Heaven or of men — This point admitted we 
proceed to the next division of our subject — The boy oh! where was 
he — This said He formed thee Adam thee man — Man to man steel 
to steel they met their enemy — Shame being lost all virtue is lost — 
Their countenances expressive of deep humiliation they entered the pal- 
ace — wretched we devoid of hope and comfort — That man of sor- 
row oh how changed he was to those who now beheld him — The con- 
quest of Spain their object they left no means untried for effecting a 
landing on the Peninsula — Honor once lost life is worthless — I whither 
can I go — The summing up having been completed on both sides the 
judge next proceeded to charge the jury 

Under § 150. Our time how swiftly it passes away — Her dimples 
and pleasant smile how beautiful they are — My banks they are cov- 
ered with bees — The companion of my infancy and friend of my riper 
years she has gone to her rest and left me to deplore my bereavement — 
Earthly happiness what is it where can it be found — The bride she 
smiled ; and the bride she blushed {After punctuating the sentences in 
this paragraph, as they stand, give them the usual prose construction and 
punctuate accordingly.) 



§ 151. A comma must be placed between sbort memlDers 
of compound sentences, connected by and, but, or, nor, for^ 
because, whereas, that expressing purpose, so that, in ordef 
that, and other conjunctions. 

§ 151. Repeat Rule VIII., relating to short members. If the members aro long, or 
oontain Bubdivisions set off by commas, how must they be separated ? 



1. Educate men, and you keep them from crime. 

2. Man proposes, but God disposes. 

8. Be temperate in youth, or you will hare to be abstinent in old 

4. Be virtuous, that you may be respected. 

5. Travelling is beneficial, because it enlarges our ideas. 

6. The ship of state is soon wrecked, unless honesty is at the helm. 

7. LoTe not sleep, lest thou come to poverty. 

8. The record is lost, so that we cannot now decide the point. 

If the members are long, or contain subdivisions set off by commas, 
they must be separated, according to principles already laid down, by 
the semicolon. 

§ 152. Observe that a comma must not be placed before that, when 
not equivalent to in order that ; nor before than or whether : as, " He said 
that he would come." — " Honest poverty is better than fraudulent 

§ 153. 1^0 comma must be placed before lest when it immediately 
follows a word with which it is closely connected ; as, " Let those who 
stand, take heed lest they faU." 


§ 154. A comma must be placed before and, hut^ or^ and 
?wr, when they connect parts of a compound predicate, unless 
these parts are very short and so closely connected that no 
point is admissible ; as, '' I love not the woman that is vain 
of her beauty, or the man that prides himself on his wisdom." — 
" We can neither esteem a mean man, nor honor a deceitful 

§ 155. If the parts of a predicate consist of but two or three words 
each, construed alike, a comma is not necessary ; as, " Pleasure beckons 
us and tempts us to crime." 

§ 156. A comma must not be placed before and and or, when they 
connect two words that are the same part of speech, either unlimited, 
or both limited by adjuncts of similar construction ; as, " Here J 

$ 152. Before -what conjunctions is it improper to place a comma? 
§ 153. Before whit conjunction is the comma genenilly omitted ? 
S 154. Kepeat Eule IX., relating to compound predicates. 

§ 155. In what case is a comma unnecessary between the parts <5f a predicate? 
§ 156. State the principle that applies to and and or connecting two words that are 
the same x>art of speech. 


and Sorrow sit.'* — "Trust not an ungrateful son or a disobedient 

§ 151, The words, however, referred to in the preceding paragraph 
must be separated by the comma, if one is limited by a word or words 
which might be erroneously applied to both ; as, " I have seven brave 
sons, and daughters." 

§ 158. A comma must be used before conjunctions, when they con- 
aect two words contrasted, or emphatically distinguished from each 
other ; also, before the adverb not, used without a conjimction between 
contrasted terms ; as, " Charity both gives, and forgives." — " Liberal, 
not lavish, is kind Nature's hand." 


§ 159. A comma must be placed before or, when it intro- 
duces an equivalent, an explanatory word, or a clause defining 
the writer's meaning ; as, " Autography, or the art of deter- 
mining a person's character from bis handwriting, is coming 
into vogue." — " Herodotus was the father of history, or rather 
of profane history." 

§ 160. In double titles of books, a semicolon is generally placed 
before or, and a comma after it ; as, " Fascination ; or, The Art of 
Charming ". 

RULE XL — OMISSION of words. 

§ 161. When, to avoid repetition, and, or, no?', or a verb 
previously used, is omitted, a comma takes its place. 


1. In what, school did the "Washingtons, Henrys, Hancocks, Frank- 
lins, and Rutledges, of America, learn the principles of civil Hberty ? 
(And is here omitted after the first three proper names respectively.) 

2. The merciful man will not maim an insect, trample on a worm, or 
cause an unnecessary pang to the humblest of created things. (Ob, is 
omitted after insect.) 

3. In the well-trained heart, neither envy, jealousy, hatred, nor re- 
venge, finds a resting-place. (Nor is omitted after envy and jealousi/.) 

1 157. In what caso must the "words jtist referred to have a comma between them ? 
§ 15S. State the principle that applies to conjunctions connecting contrasted words. 
$ 159, Eepeat Eale X., relating to equivalents. 
§ 160. How are doable titles of books to be punctuated? 

§ 161. Eepeat Eule XL, relfl-ting to the omission of words. Give esamples, show 
the omissions, and state what point must be inserted. 


4. Conversation makes a ready man ; -writing, an exact man. (In 
the last member makes is omitted, and a co mm a takes its place.) 

§ 162. When this rule is followed, the clauses or members in which 
the omission occurs must be separated by semicolons. When, however, 
the clauses are very short, the style is lively, and the connection close, 
the comma may be employed to set off the clauses or members, and no 
point need be used in the place of the omitted comma ; as, " When the 
BOt sings the praises of sobriety, the miser of generosity, the coward of 
valor, and the atheist of religion, we may easily judge what is the sin- 
cerity of their professions." 


§ 163. A comma must be placed before and^ or, and ?2or, 
when they connect the last of a series of clauses, or of a suc- 
cession of words that are the same part of speech and in the 
same construction. See Examples 1, 2, 3, under Kule XI. 


Insert in the following sentences whatever points are re- 
quired : — 

Undee § 151. Anger glances into the breast of a wise man but it 
rests only in the bosom of fools — The island on which the city of New 
York stands was originally bought from the Indians for twenty-four 
dollars whereas it is now valned at three hundred million — Week fol- 
lowed week until at last Columbus and his followers were thousands of 
miles from their native shore — Bad men are constantly in search of 
some new excitement that their minds may be diverted from the re- 
proaches of conscience — Science is constantly making new discoveries 
while ignorance and prejxidice refuse to receive those already made — 
Love flies out at the window when poverty comes in at the door — The 
lives of men should be filled with beauty just as the earth and heavens 
are clothed with it 

Under § 152. Honorable peace is better than uncertain war — It is 
easier to excite the passions of a mob than to cahn them — What injus- 
tice that the new world was not called after Columbus — We know not 
whether to-morrow's sun will find us alive — Shall we forget that truth 
is mighty — It is a strange fact that man alone of living things delights 
in causing pain to his species 

Under § 153. Take care lest the spoiler come — The falling leaves 
bid us beware lest we fix our affections too firmly on the things of earth 

§ 162. When this rule is foUcwed, by what point must the clauses be separated ? 
Wliat exceptior is there ? 

§ 16S. Bepcat Eule XIL, relating to U>« last of a series of clauses. 



— We should Lave a care lest sinful pleasures seduce us with their maua- 
fold temptations — Beware lest they suddenly fall upon thee 

Under § 154. The great astronomical clock of Strasburg is twenty- 
four feet higher than the tallest of the Egyptian pyramids and one hun- 
dred and forty feet higher than St. Paul's in London — Cicero was supe- 
rior to Demosthenes in the finish of his periods but inferior to him in 
energy and fire — The fool neither knows whether he is right nor carea 
whether he is wrong — The world has gained wisdom from its yeara 
and is quick to penecrate disguises — The brave man will conquer or 
perish in the attempt 

Under § 155. Study disciplines the mind and matures the judg- 
ment — Virtue should be the aim of our youth and the solace of our de- 
clining years — Years come and go — Galileo read or wrote the greater 
part of the night — Here sit we down and rest — How sweetly and 
solemnly sound the evening chimes 

Under § 156. The bold man does not hesitate to take a position and 
maintain it — Adams and Jefferson died by a singular coincidence July 
4 1826 — The magnitude of the heavenly bodies and their almost 
infinite distance from us fill our minds with views at once magnificent 
and sublime 

Under § 157. I woke and thought upon my dream — With the aid 
of the telescope we discern in the moon vast yawning pits and huge 
volcanoes sending forth their awful fires — In the bazaar may be seen 
tons of ice and vast quantities of ivory from Africa — The relative pro- 
noun who is applied to persons and things personified 

Under § 158. Bear and forbear — Brave not rash is the true 
hero — He is not a fool but only foolish — Eemember the favors you 
receive not those you confer — The credulous may believe this won- 
derful story not I — It is as great a sin to murder one's self as to m"urder 

Under § 159. The period or full stop denotes the end of a complete 
sentence — Republics show little gratitude to their great men or rathei 
none at aU — Hence originated philosophy or the love of wisdom — At 
this point the lake is ten fathoms or sixty feet deep — The Marquis of 
Anglesea or as he was then called Lord Paget lost a leg at the battle 
of Waterloo 

Under § 160. {Besides punctuating the following sentences, use cap- 
itals wherever required hy § 65.) We have just finished reading "six 
months in the gold-diggings or a miner's experience in eldorado " — A 
new book of travels has just made its appearance entitled " The city 
f the doges or venice and the Venetians in the nineteenth century " 

Under § 161. Study makes a learned man experience a wise one — 
Rapid exhaustless deep his numbers flowed — Let your pleasure be 
moderate seasonable innocent, and becoming {comma after innocent 
according to § 163) — Mahomet's Paradise consisted of pure waters shady 
groves luscious fruits and exquisite houris — The author dreads the 
critic the miser the thief the criminal the magistrate and every body 
public opinion — My head is filled with dew my locks with the dropa 
of the night — Benevolence is allied to few vices selfishness to fewer 


Unpek § 162 Without books justice is dormant philosophy lame 
literature dumb and all things are involved in darkness — Without 
modesty beauty is ungraceful learning unattractive and wit disgust- 
ing — Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a 
fall — Talent is surrounded with dangers and beauty with temptations 

Under § 163. Mahomet the founder of Islamism did not hesitate to 
work with his own hands he kindled the fire swept his room made his 
bed milked his ewes and camels mended his stockings and scoured his 
Bword — So eagerly the Fiend o'er bog or steep through strait rougli 
dense or rare with head hands wings or feet pursues his way 

Suns moons and stars and clouds his sisters were 
Rocks mountains meteors seas and winds and storms 
His brothers 



§ 164. When two or more antecedent portions of a sen- 
tence have a common connection with some succeeding clause 
or word, a comma must be placed after each ; as, " She is as 
tall, though not so handsome, as her sister.'' 

Commas are frequently required, under this rule, after difi'erent prep- 
ositions governing the same substantive; as, "They are fitted for, and 
accustomed to, very different modes of Hfe." 

In the case of a series of adjectives preceding their noun, a comma 
is placed after each but the last ; and there general usage, by an un- 
philosophical anomaly, requires us to omit the point; as, "A quick, 
brilliant, studious, learned man ". This usage violates one of the funda- 
mental principles of punctuation ; it indicates, very improperly, that 
the noun man is more closely connected with learned than with the 
other adjectives. Analogy and perspicuity require a comma after 

§ 164 Eepeat Eule XIII., relating to common connection. After what part of 
epeech are commas frequently required under this rule ? What usage prevails in the 
case of a scries of adjectives preceding their noun ? What is said of this usage ? 



§ 165. Words used in pairs take a comma after eacK pair; 
as, " The dying man cares not for pomp or luxury, palace or 
estate, silver or gold." — " Ignorant and superstitious, cunning 
and vicious, deceitful and treacherous, the natives of this 
island are among the most degraded of mankind ' 


§ 166. Words repeated for the sake of emphasis must be 
^et off, with their adjuncts if they have any, by the comma ; 
as, "Verily, verily, I say unto you." 

§ 16Y. If, however, tlie repetition is abrupt, proceeds Srom hesitation, 
or is accompanied with a break in the sentiment, ai dash may be used ; 
as, " He has gone to his rest — gone, to return no more." 


§ 168. A comma must be placed before to^ the sign of the 
infinitive mood, when equivalent to in order to ; as, '' Cicero 
sent his son to Athens, to complete his education." 


§ 169. The comma must set off quotations, passages re- 
sembling them in form, and observations in general, when 
short and not formally introduced ; as, " It was Bion that 
first said, ' Know thyself.' " — " I would here call attention to 
the fact, that nature has endowed the body with recuperative 
faculties, which often enable it to rally and recover from pros- 
tration when science has exhausted all its remedies in vain." 

When formally introduced by the words these, following, or as foi- 
\(ym, a colon must precede the quotation. 

§ 170. When a quotation is divided, a comma must be placea on 

§ 165, Repeat Rule XIV., relating to -words used in pairs. 
§ 166. Repeat Rule XV., relating to words repeated. 
§ 167. In what case may a dash be used instead ©f a comma? 
% 16S. Repeat Rule XVI., relating to the infinitive mood. 

§ 169. Repeat Rule XVII., relating to quotations. When formally iEtrodiicod, by 
lyhat point is the quotation preceded ? 


each side of the -words introduced between its parts; as, " One to-day," 
says. Franklin, " is worth two to-morrows." 


§ 171. Members of sentences, containing correlative ad 
verbs and conjunctions, are separated by the comma; as, " Tho 
harder we study, the better we like to study." — " As a cloud 
darkens the sky, so sorrow casts a gloom over the soul." 

§ 1Y2, The comma, however, is generally omitted in the case of so — 
that, so — aS; rather — than, and 7nore — than, especially when the parta 
they connect are clauses and not members ; unless the related parts con- 
tain subdivisions separated by the comma, in which case the same point 
must be placed before the last correlative term. 


1. He is so exliausted that he cannot work. 

2. So act as to gain the respect of men. 

3. The Laplander would rather Uve in his own iand than any other. 

4. Marie Antoinette was more amiable in her ]ife than fortunate m her 


1. He is so unwell, weak, and exhausted, that he cannot work. 

2. So think, speak, and act, as to gain the respect of men. 

3. The Laplander, however, woxdd rather live in his own land, than 

any other. 

4. Marie Antoinette, queen of France, was more amiable in her life, than 

fortunate in her death. 

RULE XIX. — AaiEiGuous constructions. 
§ 1 73. A comma must be used, even when not required by the 
grammatical construction, wherever it serves to develop the 
sense or prevent ambiguity. 

Thus^ aft?er a long logical subject, a comma is of service ; as, " That a 
man thoroughly educated in youth and who has ever since been in the 
habit of composing r-ould make so gross a mistake through ignorance, is 
ohnost incredible." 

Cases in which the comma prevents ambiguity have been noticed 
under several of the foregoing rules. 

1 170. What is the mode of p'xnctuating, when & quotation is divided ? 

§ ITl. Repeat Rule XVIII., relating to correlative terms. 

§172. In the case of what correlatives is the comma generally omitted ? 'Whor 
however, do they take it ? 

§ 173. Repeat Rule XIX., relating to ambiguous constructions. According to thj 
rale, where is a comma of service ? 



§ 174. Except in the case of dates, numbers written in Ara- 
bic characters take a comma after each period of three figures, 
beginning at the right; as, " In 1846, the planet Neptune was 
discovered, and found to be at a distance of 2,900,584,000 
miles from the sun." 

Dates must always be expressed by figures. So must large numbers, 
when many words would be required to denote them. Otberwise, as in 
the case of round numbers, and always for small ones, words are to be 
employed. Thus: " Yenus is, in round numbers, sixty-five million miles 
from the sun; its exact distance is 65,392,000 miles." — "We leave the 
ninety-nine sheep that are safe, to look after the one that is lost." 


Supply the points omitted in the following sentences:— 

Under § 164. The spirit of liberty must change it is fast changing 
the face of the earth — The world at this moment is regarding us with 
a willing but something of a fearful admiration — The literature of a na- 
tion is one of its highest and certainly one of its most refined elements 
of greatness — He who lacks decision of character may win the love but 
he certainly cannot gain the respect of his feUow men — This doctrine 
is founded upon and consistent with the truth 

Under § 165. These shores rough and cold barbarous and barren de- 
void of comforts and even necessaries peopled with fierce beasts and 
fiercer savages became their home — Sink or swim survive or perish I 
am for the Declaration — Vicissitudes of good and evil of trials and con- 
solations of joy and sorrow of cloud and sunshine fiU up the life of man — 
I M take thee N to my wedded wife to have and to hold from this day 
forward for better for worse for richer for poorer in sickness and in 
health to love and to cherish till death us do part 

Under § 166. Lend lend your wings I mount I fly — Quit oh quit this 
mortal frame — Speak not harshly speak not harshly to the orphan's 
tender heart — Charge charge on the cravens — Some shriek shriek 
madly in the whirhng gulf — He swam the Tiber unhurt unhurt alike 
by his fall and the weapons of the enemy 

Under § 167. Dust dust thou art vile and dishonored dust — JTie 
tyrant slept slept but rested not — We have promised we have promised 
tut recollect under certain restrictions — I fear I fear that he will play 
you false, — You think him happily situated happily situated with a con- 
science that allows him no rest a conscience which keeps his evil deeds 
constantly before his eyes 

§ 174. Repeat Rule XX., relating to numbers expressed by figures. How must 
dates always be expressed? How, large numbers? Eound numbers? Small 
aumbers ? 


Under § 168. The people of Mayence to sho-w their gratitude to Gut- 
tenberg the inventor of printing have erected in his honor a magnificent 
statue wrought by the sculptor Thorwaldsen — Tyrants when reason and 
argument make against them have recourse to violence to silence their 
opponents — He comes to heal the sick and set the captive free — Oh 
that I had the wings of the morning to flee to the uttermost parts of the 

Under § 169. A poet aptly asks "What will not men attempt foi 
sacred praise" — Let the thought be deeply engraved upon your heart 
that every moment which flies is irrecoverably lost — The schoolmen of 
the Mddle Ages occupied themselves with discussing the important ques- 
tion whether spirits can move from one place to another without pass- 
ing through the intervening space — Let our fixed resolve be liberty or 
death — The truth of Swift's assertion that no man ever wished himself 
younger may well be questioned 

Under § 170. " Liars " says Aristotle " are not believed even when 
they speak the truth" — An angel's arm" says the poet Young " can't 
snatch me from the grave ; legions of angels " he adds with equal truth 
"can't confine me there" — With what motive it may be asked did 
Chatterton commence his course of imposture For pecuniary profit I 
answer or perhaps for the pleasure of deceiving the world 

Under § lYl. Neither can wealth make a bad man respectable nor 
can poverty sink a worthy person below the station his virtues deserve 

— As thy day is so shall thy strength be — Whether Jansen is entitled 
to the undivided honor of inventing the telescope or Metius had pre- 
viously discovered the principle involved in that instrument is a subject 
of discussion among the learned — Though he slay me yet will I trust in 

Under § 172. They now live more happily than ever — They now 
live more respectably comfortably and happily than ever — Catiline 
was so overcome with shame that he could not speak — Catiline was so 
overcome with shame disappointment and anger that he could not speak 

— The history of the United States shows a more rapid advance in 
power and importance than has ever been made by any other nation — 
Cicero was as vain as he was eloquent 

Under § 173. To assume that a person is guilty of an offence because 
appearances happen to be against him is manifestly unjust — The author 
of these profound and philosophical essays on the abstract questions of 
Moral Philosophy was a poor blacksmith — Men who have no desire to 
participate in the factious quarrels and personal animosities which now 
unhappily distract the land are rudely dragged into the arena of politics 
-—Books and study only teach the proper use of books 

Under § 174. In 1800 the population of the city of N"ew York waa 
60489 in 1850 it was 515597 showing an increase during this lapse of fifty 
years of 455108 souls — In 1850 the debt of the state of ISTew York 
amounted to $22859053 we may call it in round numbers twenty-three 
millions of doUars — The comet of 1811 had a diameter of at least 560000 
geographical miles and a tail eighty-eight millions of miles in length 




§ 175. As the rules for the comma are numerous and more 
difficult of application than those relating to the other points, 
it has been thought best to illustrate them with a miscella- 
neous exercise, which will bring before the student's mind, in 
connection, all the cases in which this point is required. Cau- 
tions are first presented, for the purpose of warning the stu- 
dent against errors which the author has found that the inex- 
perienced are most likely to make. 

Caution I. Do not suppose that a sentence, simply because 
it is long, must contain a comma. Unbroken connection be- 
tween the parts of a sentence, no matter how long it may be, 
precludes the use of this point. Thus : " It is hard for those 
who pride themselves on the greatness of man to believe that 
those mighty cities which were once the wonder and admira- 
tion of the ancient world could so entirely have disappeared 
that their position is now a subject of discussion among 
scholars and antiquaries." 

Caution II. Do not insert a comma between a grammati- 
cal subject and its verb, when the one immediately follows the 
other. A rhetorical pause is, in this case, sometimes required 
before the verb ; but a comma, never. 

Caution III. There must be no comma before and^ when 
it connects two words only ; as, " A prosperous and happy 

Caution IV. Observe the difference of punctuation in sen- 
tences like the following : — 

The Romans, having conquered the world, were unable to conqn^ 

The Romans having conquered the world, freedom of thought and 

action became extinct. 

§ 175. What is said of the rules for the comma? What is the substance of Caution 
L? of Caution II. ? of Caution III. ? of Caution IV. f of Caution V. ? 


In the first sentence, Romans is the grammatical subject of were, and 
the parenthetical participial clause between these words must be set off 
by a comma on each side. In the second, Romans, being used absolute- 
ly with the participle having conquered, must not be separated from it by 
a comma, but this point must be reserved for the termination of thp 
entire absolute clause. 

Caution Y. When you are in doubt as to the propriety 
of inserting commas, omit them ; it is better to have too few 
than too many. 


Supply such points as are necessary in the following sen- 
tences : — 

Under Rule I. Education if it cannot accomplish every thing can 
nevertheless accomplish much — Achilles im questionably was a puissant 
warrior but had not the poetry of Homer immortalized his name he 
would now in all likelihood have been as little known as the meanest 
soldier in the Grecian host 

Under Rule II. By aU that you hold dear on earth listen to my 
prayer — To accomplish these ends he left no means however insignifi- 
cant untried — If I were not Alexander I would be Diogenes — If for- • 
tune has played thee false to-day do thou play true for thyself to-mor- 
row — Never be discouraged however gloomy the prospect 

Under Rule III. In every line of Dante's " Divine Comedy" we dis- 
cern the asperity which is produced by pride struggling with misery 

— "We designate as the mind that part of us which feels knows and thinks 

— A man renowned for repartee often sacrifices the feelings of his friends 
to his attempts at wit — The means by which men acquire glory are 

Under Rule IV. Hail Patience blest source of peace blest cure for 
every pain — Sisters and brothers how many may you be — "Were I even 
declared king or elected president of such a nation I should esteem it 
no honor — The genealogy of princes the field-book of conquerors history 
is well worthy of our attention 

Under Rule V. Among the noblest attributes of a virtuous man is jus- 
tice — Over the matchless talents of Washington protity threw her 
brightest lustre — Of infancy childhood boyhood and youth we have 
been discoursing — Than pleasure's exaggerated promises nothing can be 
more alluring to youth 

Under Rule YI. All that live must die — Apostles prophets and mar- 
tyrs have proved the truth of the Christian faith — AU the rules of elo- 
quence the precepts of philosophy and the refined conversation of 
Athens to which place he was sent by his father for the completion of 
nis education failed to make Cicero's son an orator or a man of talent — 
Worlds above around beneath and on all sides arch thee about as a 



Undee Eule VII. The ship having left her wharf a salute was fired 
from the shore — A habit of indolence once formed it is extremely diffi- 
cult to shake it off — The campaign thus fairly opened both parties pros* 
ecuted the war with unprecedented vigor — Ye men of Rome shake off 
your sloth 

Under Rule VIII. The sun sets but he wiU rise again- We obey 
the laws of society because it is expedient to do so — Art is long but 
time is fleeting — Great poets are rare while empty rhyrnesters can be 
counted by thousands — Must we submit to such indignities in order 
that we may have enough to eat 

Under Rule IX. Man wants but little here below nor wants that lit- 
tle long — Sincerity is as valuable as knowledge and on some accounts 
more so — Cunning and avarice may gain an estate but cannot gain 
friends — We are naturally inclined to praise those who praise us and 
to flatter those who flatter us 

Under Rule X. English Grammar or the art of speaking and wri- 
ting the English language correctly cannot in this country be too much 
studied — The Persians or rather the survivors of them retreated from 
the field of battle with all possible despatch — Young ladies' seminaries 
or as they were formerly called girls' schools abound in this part of the 

Under, Rule XL, XII. Modern times with all their boasted progress 
have never produced as strong a man as Samson as meek a man as Moses 
or as wise a man as Solomon — Life is short unsatisfactory and uncer- 
tain — Men women and children stare cry out and run — Csesar came 
Baw and conquered 

Under Rule XIIL Deeds not words are the proper tests by which to 
try a man's character — Who is so beautiful who so graceful as the maid 
of Lodore — I beg of you beware of and avoid the evil-doer — How 
sweet the voice how blessed the words of him who offers consolation to 
the mourner 

Under Rule XIV. Poverty and distress desolation and ruin are the 
consequences of civil war — Virtue without industry and idleness with- 
out vice are impossibilities — Generous but not prodigal frugal but not 
parsimonious brave but not rash learned but not pedantic this prince 
maintained a happy medium between all objectionable extremes 

Under Rule XV. Onward onward strong and steady — Blessed 
thrice blessed is the peace-maker — There we hope to enjoy rest never- 
ending rest rest in which are concentrated all conceivable pleasures — 
Suddenly there came a tapping as of some one gently rapping rapping 
at my chamber door — Lochiel Lochiel beware of the day 

Under Rule XVI. We must respect ourselves to have others respect 
us — A man must be a genius indeed to say anything new about Niag- 
ara — Eat to live do not live to eat — ■ He is going to Europe to see 
whether travelling will benefit his health 

Under Rule XVII. It was a principle of O'Conneh's that no poUtical 
advantage is worth a crime — When Xerxes sent a haughty message 
to Leonidas that he should deliver up his arms the Spartan warrior 
answered in true Laconic style "Let him come and take them" — 
" Language " says Talleyrand " was given us to conceal our thoughts " 


Under Rule XVllL — ^Though Tycho de Brahe who liv^ed near ths 
close of the sixteenth century certainly recognized the correctness of 
the Copernican system at an early period yet his ambitious vanity and 
religious prejudices urged him to oppose it — Either you must confess 
your crime or I shall have to suffer unjustly 

Under Rule XIX. To contemplate abstract subjects only disciplines 
the mind rarely if ever interesting it — A long course of conduct so en- 
tirely opposed to what honest men consider required by the great prin- 
ciples of truth and justice cannot be passed over without the strongest 

Under Rule XX. The loftiest mountain in the moon is said by as« 
tronomers to be 1'7138 feet high — The surface of the sun contain? 
1865312000000 square miles that of the moon 10350400 that of the earth 



§ 176. The dash, a character of comparatively recent in- 
troduction, has of late, both by writers and printers, been very 
wrongly endowed with the functions of parentheses, comma, 
semicolon, colon, and even period; and is now extensively 
used by many, who find it a convenient substitute when igno- 
rance prevents them from employing the proper point. Against 
this prevailing abuse the student can not be too impressively 
warned., The dash has its legitimate uses, and performs a 
part in which no other point can properly take its place ; but 
it must not be allowed to overstep its proper limits. Use this 
point, therefore, only where it is strictly required by the fol- 
lowing rules : — 


§ 177. The dash is used to denote a break in the construc- 
tion, a suspension of the sense, an unexpected transition in 

§ 176, When was the dash first introduced ? What is said of its use at the present 

§ 177. Repeat Rule I., relating to breaks, suspensions, &c. 

132 THE DASH. 

the sentiment, a sudden interruption, and hesitation in the 


1. Kero, Domitian, Caligula, Heliogabalus — one and the same charao 
ter belongs to them all. 

2. Politicians are brilliant, versatile, profound, far-seeing — everything 
but honest. 

He had no malice in his mind — 
No ruffles on his shirt. 
4. " No one is aware of your imprisonment but Sir William, and he 

is " 

" Here ! " interrupted a deep voice, as the door flew open. 

6, " I would do it, but — but- to say the truth — I " 

" To say the truth, you are afraid," broke in the earl 


§ 178. A dash may be used after other points, when a 
greater pause than they usually denote is required. 

Hence it appears that the dash is a rhetorical as well as a 
grammatical point. 

Under this rule, a dash is used in the following eases : — 
I. After a period, interrogation-point, and exclamation-point. 

1. When a writer passes to a new branch of his subject without 
commencing a new paragraph ; as, " From this it is evident that 
friendship had its origin in the social feelings which nature has 
implanted in the breast of man. — Let us now look at its effects." 

2. In dialogues, when in the same paragraph one person ceases 
speaking and another begins ; as, " * Art thou not — ' — * What ? '— 
' A traitor I ' — ' Yes,' — ' A villain ! ' — ' Granted.' " 

8. A dash is generally placed after the three points above men 
tioned, between a passage quoted and the name of the author or 
book it is taken from ; also, between a side-head and the subject* 
matter to which it belongs ; also, between sentences that have no 
connection when brought together in the saroe paragraph. 

§ 178. Repeat Rule II., relating to the use of the dash after other points. What kind 
of a point does this shDw the dash sometimes to be? After what points is a dash 
Bometimes required by a change of subject ? In what case ? When is a dash require*} 
Dfter the period, interrogation point, and exclamation -point, in dialogues? State the 
principle that applies to the use of the dash after these three points, in the case c4 
quoted passages, side-heads, and unconnected sentences. When must a dash follow v 

THE DASH. 133 


a. Men of humor are always, in some degree, men of genins. — Cole- 
ridge's Table-Talk. 

b. Form of the Earth. — Heraclitus supposed that the earth had the 
form of a canoe ; Aristotle, that it was shaped like a timbrel; 
Anaximander, that it was a vast cylinder. 

c. For dashes between unconnected sentences, see Exercise on p. 130. 

II. After a colon, when reference is made by this, these, followiyig, or 
asfolloxos, to several succeeding sentences or a new paragraph ; as, 
*' The cloth having been removed, the president rose and made the 
following address : — 

' Ladies and gentlemen, we have assembled, &c. " 

m. After a semicolon a dash is somethnes used, though not absolutely 
necessary, when the last member is placed in lively contrast with 
the first, or implies strong opposition to it ; as, " He chastens ; — but 
he chastens to save." 

lY After a comma, 

1. When it follows a logical subject consisting of several particulars 
separated by semicolons, or by commas, when, for the sake of 
greater definiteness, the words all, these, all these, such, or tho 
like, referring to the particulars before enumerated, are intro- 
duced as the immediate subject of a verb ; as, " To be overlooked, 
slighted, and neglected ; to be misunderstood, misrepresented and 
slandered ; to be trampled under foot by the envious, the igno- 
rant, and the vile ; to be crushed by foes, and to be distrusted 
and betrayed even by friends, — such is too often the fate of 

2. When, in consequence of the omission of namely, or a similai 
word, a longer pause is required than that usually denoted by 
the comma, though the connection is so close as not to admit a 
higher point ; as, " There is one feeling, and only one, that seeraa 
to pervade the breasts of all men alike, — the love of life," 


§ 179. Th dash is used before a repeated word or expres- 
sion, when the repetition is abrupt or exclamatory, proceeds 

colon ? When is this point sometimes used after a semicolon ? In what two cases is a 
dafih required after a comma ? 

§ 179. Eepeat Eule III,, relating to repetitiona 

134 THE DASH. 

from hesitation, or is accompanied with a change in the senti 


1. Here sleeps the dust oi Cicero — Cicero ! who once thrilled a world 
with his eloquence. 

2. He is a — a — a — excuse me, but I must say it — a cold-blooded villain. 
8, Such is your affected, sentimental lover — a lover of nothing but 



§ 180. The dash is used to denote an omission of letters, 
figures, and words ; as, " On a bright summer day in the year 

1 8 — , the stirring little village of was thrown into unusual 

excitement by the arrival of the E family from London." 

In the following sentences supply the omitted points : — 

Under § lYY. I am your lordship's most obsequious zounds what a 
peer of the realm — And bid her you mark me on Wednesday next but 
soft what day is this — Rich honesty often dwells in a poor house like 
your pearl in a spoiled oyster — If it should rain I request the poor 
thing may have a a what's this coat coat no coach — I'm off Sir Charles 
I'll do your errands A double-barrelled gun two scruples of jalap my 
lady's poodle your lordship's wig a sticking-plaster they shall be here 
within the hour — " My friend the counsellor" " Say learned friend if 
you please sir" — " There is a business Mi\ Alderman fallen out which 
you may oblige me infinitely by I am very sorry that I am forced to be 
troublesome but necessity Mr. Alderman " " Ay sir as you say necessity 
But upon my word dear sir I am very short of money at present still " 
" That's not the matter sir" — They poisoned my very soul hot burning 
poisons — Away ungrateful wretch A father's curse rest Alas what am 
I doing I cannot curse my son — It was a sight that child in the agony 
of death that would have moved a heart of stone 

A crimson handkerchief adorned his head 
His face was cheerful and his nose was red 

Under § 1*78. They were about laying violent hands upon me in the 
Benate-house. What must this empire then be unavoidably over- 
turned — " Inform me friend is Alonzo the Peruvian confined in this 
dungeon" "He is" " I must speak with him" "You must not" "He 
ie my friend " " Not if he were your brother " " What is to be his fate " 
" He dies at sunrise" " Ha then I am come in time " — I find it profita- 
ble sometimes to indulge in such reflections as these All men are mor- 
tal Since the creation only two men have escaped death Therefore 

§ 180. Eepeat Kiilo IV., relating to omissiona 

TEE DASH. 135 

however likely it may appear that I shall hold a perpetual lease of life 
the time comes when like my fathers I must close my eyes on this 
pleasant world — I go but when I come 'twill be the burst of ocean in 
the earthquake I go but not to leap the gulf alone — The ambition 
of man constantly making him dissatisfied with what he has and inspi- 
ring him with desires for what is beyond his reach his envy which ren- 
ders a neighbor's prosperity odious in his eyes his selfishness which robs 
him of the purest enjoyment God has ever youehsafed that of doing 
good to his species these ignoble passions entail on him a succession of 
miseries and make Hfe one scene of trial — I pause for a reply JN'one 
Then none have I offended — The bounding of Satan over the walls of 
Paradise his sitting in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life his 
alighting among the herd of animals which are so beautifully represent- 
ed as playing about Adam and Eve his transforming himself into dif- 
ferent shapes in order to hear their conversation all these circumstances 
give an agreeable surprise to the reader — Copernicus was instructed in 
that school where it is fortunate when one can be well taught the family 

Anger. As the whirlwind in its fury teareth up trees and deformeth 
the face of nature or as an earthquake in its convulsions overturneth 
cities so the rage of an angry man throweth mischief around him danger 
and destruction wait on his hand Dodsley 

Under § 179. Merciful yes merciful as the hawk is to the dove — 
Prominent among the philosophers of antiquity is Socrates Socrates who 
looked beyond the absurd fables of his country's mythology Socrates who 
lifted his voice in behalf of truth and died a martyr in its cause Socrates 
who advanced as far in moral enlightenment as it was possible for tho 
human intellect to do unaided by a revelation from on high — "I would 
not return if if " " If you thought I would allow you to remain " inter- 
rupted the earl harshly — Shall I who have spent my hfe in the camp I 
who have shed my blood in defence of my country I who am a soldier 
by experience as well as profession shall I compare myself with this 
flaunting captain — He has a weakness a weakness of the head as well 
as the stomach — "I will inquire into the matter and if if " " Well if" 
broke in my father impatient of delay — He is full of love love for him- 
eelf — Our friend is aiSicted with a grievous consumption a consumption 
of victuals 

Under § 180. A series of observations made in 18 showed that of 
one hundred shooting stars four had an elevation from the earth oJ 
1 — 3 miles fifteen of 3 6 miles twenty-two of 6 10 miles thirty-five of 
10 15 miles thirteen of 15 20 miles three of about 30 miles one of 45 46 
miles one of about 60 miles and one of over 100 miles — In the year 
I visited L — In the winter of 1849 50 I studied this subject atten- 
tively and obtained much useful information respecting it from Gold- 
smith's " History of the Earth and Animated Nature " chape 4 9 




§ 181. The word Parenthesis means a putting m beside', 
and the term is applied to a word or words introduced into a 
sentence for the purpose of explaining, modifying, or adding 
to, the leading proposition, but inserted abruptly, in such a 
way as to break the connection between dependent parts and 
interfere with their harmonious flow. Such an expression i% 
placed between curves, known as parentheses or marks of pa- 
renthesis. It is indicated in reading by using a lower tone 
of voice and more rapid delivery than are employed for the 
rest of the passage. An example is presented in the follow- 
ing sentence : " Shall we continue (alas that I should be con- 
strained to ask the question ! ) in a course so dangerous to 
health, so enfeebling to mind, so destructive to character ? " 

§ 182. Old writers, with whom intricate constructions and 
violations of unity were common, made frequent use of paren- 
theses. The obvious disadvantage, however, of introducing 
propositions within propositions, a practice which draws off the 
reader's attention from the main point, and too often involves 
the sacrifice of perspicuity, harmony, and strength, has led 
late critics to advise the use of less intricate sentences, and to 
proscribe parentheses as incompatible with nervousness of 

" On some occasions," says Blair, " these [parentheses,] may have a 
spirited appearance ; as prompted by a certain vivacity of thoiiglit, 
which can glance happily aside as it is going along. But, for the most 
part, their effect is extremely bad ; being a sort of wheels within wheels ; 
sentences in the midst of sentences ; the perplexed method of disposing 
of some thought, which a writer wants art to introduce in its proper 

§ 181. Wliat does the word parenthesis mean ? To what is the term applied ? Wha* 
marks are used to enclose such expressions ? How are they indicated in reading ? 

§182, By whom were parentheses often employed? What is the advice of latei 
critics, and on what is it based ? What is the substance of Blair's remark on the sub- 


place. * Watts, also, remarks on this subject, "Do not suffer every oc« 
casional thought to carry you away into a long parenthesis." The pro- 
priety of such observations is so evident that good writers at the present 
day avoid formal parentheses as much as possible. The marks by which 
they are denoted have now, therefore, become comparatively rare ; but 
in the cases covered by the following rule they cannot well be dispensed 

§ 183. Rule I. — Marks of parenthesis are used to enclose 
words whicli explain, modify, or add to, the leading propositioD 
of a sentence, when introduced in such a way as to break the 
connection between dependent parts and interfere with their 
harmonious flow. 


1. Matilda (such was the lady's name) smiled sweetly at this address. 

2. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul and a system of future re- 
wards and punishments was taught explicitly (at least as explicitly 
as could be expected of an ancient philosopher) by Socrates. 

3. Are you still (I fear from the tone of your letter you must be) trou- 
bled with these apprehensions ? 

§ 184. Doubts may sometimes arise as to whether it is better to use 
parentheses, or commas, as prescribed in § 122 for parenthetical clauses. 
The latter point is preferable when the words in question coalesce readi- 
ly with the rest of the sentence, but is inadmissible when a complete or 
independent member is inserted ; particularly if it is brought in abruptly 
or its construction differs from thaft of the parts between which it stands. 
The following examples will illustrate these cases. 

1. Every star, as we infer from indisputable facts, is the centre of a 
planetary system. 

2. Every star (and this great truth is inferred from indisputable facts) 
is the centre of a planetary system. 

§ 185. The proper place for parentheses is the middle of a sentence; 
yet loose writers sometimes place them at the end ; as, " Such is the 
wonderful account given by travellers of the natives of Patagonia (trav- 
ellers, you know, are sometimes fond of the marvellous)." 

ject ? What does Watts advise ? What is said of the use of parentheses at the 
present day ? 

§ 183. Eepeat Eule I., relating to the purpose for which marks of parentheses are 

§ 1S4. What is sometimes a matter of question ? When is the comma preferable f 
When is it inadmissible ? 

§185. What is the proper place for parentheses? Where do loose writers 6om&. 
times place them ? 


§ 186. Expressions of approbation or disapprobation introduced into 
reports of speeches as having been made by the audience, as well as re- 
marks by the person reporting or publishing them, must be enclosed Id 
parentheses ; as. 

This doctrine, as long as I have breath, I shall oppose. (Hear 
hear!) I shall oppose it in this hall; I shall oppose it on the hustings. 
(Cheers, mingled with hisses.) Nor shall I hesitate to publish to the 
world on whom rests the responsibility of advocating so arbitrary, un- 
just, and in all respects infamous, a measure. (Cries of "Order I" 
" Order ! " from all parts of the hall.) 

§ 187. In dramatic compositions, directions to the performers and all 
other parts not strictly belonging to the dialogue are enclosed in paren- 
theses ; except the names of the speakers, as they successively take up 
the discourse, which, constituting side-heads, are set off by a period and 
dash, or by a period alone ; thus : — 

CiCEKO. — Expel him, lictors. Clear the senate-house. 

{They surround him.) 
Catiline {struggling through them). — I go, — ^but not to leap the 
gulf alone. 
You build my funeral-pile, but your best blood 
Shall quench its flame. — {To the lictors) Back, slaves ! — I will 

{He rushes out. The scene closes.) 

§ 188. Rule II. — Matter witbin parentheses must be punc- 
tuated just as it would be in any other position, except before 
the last parenthetical mark. There, if the matter introduced is 
complete in itself as regards both construction and sense, an in- 
terrogation-point, an exclamation-point, or (in the case of the re- 
marks and directions alluded to in § 186, 187) a period, may 
be used, according to the character of the sentence. If the 
parenthesis is incomplete in sense, however, there must be no 
point before the last mark. See the examples under § 186, 187, 
as well as the following : — 

1. Men are born equal (here I see you frowning, biting your lip, and 
shaking your head ) ; it is circumstances only that cast their lots in 
different stations. 

§ 186. In reports of speeches, what are parentheses used for enclosing ? 
§ 187. In dramatic compositions, what are enclosed -within parentheses ? WbaS 
points follow the names of the speakers, used as side-heads ? 
§ 188. Eepeat Eule II., relating to matter within parentiieses. 


2, Robert is wasting his time (was it for this his family made such 8acri« 
fices ? ) in idle amusements. 

8. The poets (tender-hearted swains ! ) have portrayed love as no prose- 
writer has ever been able to paint it, 

§ 189. Rule ill. — Marks of parenthesis are not necessarily 
accompanied with otber points ; neither, on the other hand, do 
they supersede the latter. Whatever point would be needed 
between the parts if the parenthesis were left out, must be re- 
tained. If a colon or semicolon is required, it must stand 
after the last parenthetical mark ; if a comma, it must occupy 
the same position unless a parenthetical clause immediately 
precedes, in which case it must stand before the first mark of 

" Matilda (such was the lady's name) smiled sweetly at this address." 
Here we have no comma, because none would be needed if the paren- 
thesis were left out ; — " Matilda smiled sweetly at this address." 

" If a tree is known by its fruits (and who that believes Scripture 
can doubt it? ), what must we think of these men? " Here the conama 
required after the hypothetical clause is inserted after the last mark of 

" Are you stiU, my friend, (I fear from the tone of your letter you 
must be) troubled with these apprehensions ? " Here the required 
comma is placed before the parenthesis because the parenthetical clause, 
my friend, immediately precedes. 

§ 190. Rule IV. — An interrogation-point within paren- 
theses is often placed after an assertion or supposition, to throw 
doubt on it ; and an exclamation-point similarly enclosed is 
used to denote wonder, irony, or contempt ; as, '' When I get 
the office (?), I shall spend my leisure time in reading." — 
••' This accurate scholar ( ! ), who went to Eton and graduated 
at Cambridge has actually made a dozen grammatical mistakes 
within the compass of one short paragraph." 


§ 191. Brackets are used principally in quoted passages, 

189. What does Eule IIL say respecting the use of other marks when paienthesea 
are employed? "Where must a colon or semicolon, if required, stand? Where, a 
comma ? Give the examples, and show why they are so punctuated, 

130. Kepeat Eule IV., relating to the enclosing of interrogation -points and esclama- 
tloD-poJnta within parentheses. 


to eneloso words improperly omitted by the author or intro* 
duced to correct a mistake. Sometimes, like parentheses, 
they enclose an observation, an explanatory word, or a crit- 
ical remark, that does not belong to the quotation. They are 
also employed in dictionaries and similar works to enclose the 
figured pronunciation of a word, the primitive from which it is 
derived, or a reference to some other term. 


1. He miglit have been happy, and now [ he ] is convinced of it. 

2. A variety of pleasing objects meet [meets] the eye. 

3. Mrs. Hemans was born to be a great poet. [ She may have been 
born to be a great poet ; but, if so, we cannot help thinking that she 
woefully missed her mark.] 

4. Petit-maitre [ pet'te-ma'tr ] n. A coxcomb. 

As regards the points to be used in connection with brackets, and 
the proper method of punctuating the matter contained within them, 
the same principles apply as those laid down for parentheses in 
§ 188, 189. 

When an independent sentence is enclosed, as in Example 3 given 
above, a period, an interrogation-point, or an exclamation-point must be 
used before the last bracket, according to the character of the sentence. 

In the following sentences, supply the points required : — 

Under § 183, 185. Is it I must take the liberty of asking because no 
law touches the case that you thus violate justice — For I know that in 
me that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing — He had not been there 
BO I was informed by those who lived in the neighborhood since the year 
1840 — He Mr. Brown had never before found himself m so embarrass- 
ing a position He was overcome and he begged the company would not 
think he was exaggerating his feelings with this unexpected mark of 
esteem — I expected to find every thing that great wealth for my friend 
is a man of property and taste for his taste is admitted to be unex- 
ceptionable could bestow — Here we took dinner though conscience will 
hardly allow me to dignify sour bread and musty eggs by so high- 
sounding a name 

Under § 186.. 18Y. I agree with the honorable gentleman Mr Allen 
that it is pleasing to every generous mind to obey the dictates of sym- 
pathy but sir truth and justice impose on us higher obligations Length- 
ened applause and confusion in the galleries during which several sen- 

§191. For what are brackets used? What use is made of them in dictionaries? 
\Vhat points may be used in connection with brackets ? How must the matter they 
enclose be punctuated ? When an independent sentence is enclosed, what point must 
precede the last bracket ? 


tences were lost Mr Chairman I cannot vote for this resolution Cheers 
I owe it not only to my country but to the rights of man of which so 
much is said to preserve the wise and long-established policy of the 
former and to stand by the principle of non-intervention as a high moral 
defence and security for the latter The speaker took his seat amid loud 

Seio'inel Go in Ilxit Sentinel 

RoLLA calls Alonzo Alonzo 

Enter Alonzo speaking as he comes in 

Alonzo How Is my hour elapsed "WeU I am ready 

Under § 188. The honorable gentleman on the right Mr Doubleday 
of Louisiana has overlooked one important point — I wish and why 
should I deny it that this compliment had been paid to any one rather 
than myself — She had managed this matter so well oh she was the 
most artful of women that my father's heart was gone before I suspected 
it was in danger — Consider and oh may the consideration sink deep 
into your heart that one crime inevitably leads the way to others 

Undee § 189. While we earnestly desire the approbation of our fel- 
low-men and this desire the better feelings of our nature cannot fail to 
awaken we should shrink from gaining it by dishonorable means — 
Buch was the creed of the Stoics see Tenneman's Manual Vol 11 p 230 
and their principles were for the most part strictly carried out in life — 
The baron left to himself malice itself could not wish him a worse ad- 
viser resolved on a desperate course — Could he possibly have commit- 
ted this crime I am sure he could not which as all wiU acknowledge 
is at variance with the whole tenor of his life 

Under § 190. This would-be scholar once declared that the Iliad was 
the noblest poem in the Latin language — Her intellectual beauty is cer- 
tainly surpassed only by her physical charms — Entering into conversa- 
tion with his most Christian Majesty I was shocked to hear views ad- 
vanced which would almost have disgraced a heathen. 

Under § 191. A man had four sons and he divided his property be- 
tween among them — Be more anxious to acquire knowledge than 
about showing to show it — He has little more of the scholar besides than 
the name — Some alas too few for the well-being of society place their 
bHss in action some in ease — Elude Latin eludo v. t. to escape — Ennui 
ong-we weariness dullness of spirit — Peter-wort n. A plant. See 
Saint Peter's Wort 



Besides the grammatical points, various otlier marks are em- 
ployed in written and printed matter ; the principal of these are 
the Apostrophe ('), the Hyphen (-), and Quotation-points (" ''). 

Besi<l68 the grammatical points, what other marks are employed ? 


§ 192. The word apostrophe means a turning from or 
away. The mark so caHed has the same form as the comma, 
and differs from it only in being placed above the line. 


§ 193, The apostrophe is used to denote the omission of a 
letter or letters ; as, His^ IHl^ d^er.^ tho\ 

The period and the dash are also employed, as we haY€ abeady 
seen, for this purpose. The following distinction, however, is to be ob- 
served : — 

1. The period is employed mainly in abbreviations of titles, proper 
names, technical and tabular terms, and foreign words ; as, P. M. G., 
for Fost-master General; — Jas. K. Folk, for James Knox Folk; — 
D. v., for Deo volente, God willing ; — hu., for bushel. 
% The dash is used when it is desired to allude to an object without 
making known what it is ; as, " In the year 18 — , the usually quiet 

village of L was thrown into a state of excitement," cfec. 

3. In most other cases, that is, when the object is merely to abbreviate 
common English words which do not fall under the above classes, or 
to contract two words into one, the apostrophe is employed. 


§ 194. The apostrophe is used to denote the possessive 
case of nouns ; as, India'' s treasures ; — kings'^ daughters. 

To form the possessive case, singular nouns take 's; as, fanci/i 
fiiglit ; — Thomases unbelief. Plural nouns ending in s take the apos- 
trophe alone ; as, the cities^ gates : other plural nouns take 's ; as, men^s 
sorrows. But if, by reason of a succession of s sounds, or from any other 
cause, euphony would be violated by the introduction of an s, the apos- 
trophe alone is iised in forming the possessive ; as, Moses' staff ;— for con^ 
acience' sake; — Felix' speech. 

§ 192. "WTi&t does the word apostrophe mean ? How does the mark so called differ 
ftiom the comma ? 

§ 198. Repeat Rule I., relating to the omission of letters. What other points are 
employed for this purpose ? In what case is the period used ? In what, the dash ? lu 
what, the apostrophe ? 

§ 194. For what other purpose is the apostrophe used, according to Rule IL ? How 
do singular nouns form their possessive case? How, plural nouns? When is the 
apostrophe alone used in forming the possessive ? 


§ 195. Observe that this rule applies only to nouns. The possessive 
case of the personal pronouns, whether ending in s or not, must have no 
apostrophe ; as, mine, her, hers, ours, yours, theirs. 

§ 196. The apostrophe followed by s is also ased to form the plural 
of the names of letters, figures, and signs ; as, " Dot your i's, cross 
your i's, make your Q's better, and insert two -{-'«•" 


§ 197. The word hyphen is derived from two Greek words 
meaning under one ; and the mark so called is used to denote 
that the parts between which it stands belong to one and 
the same word. 


§ 198. The hyphen must be placed between words that 
unite to form a single epithet, and also between the parts of a 
compound substantive when each receives the stress of the 
voice ; as, laughter -loving^ good-natured^ twenty-one^ never- 
tO'he-f or gotten^ glass-house^ self-conceit^ 07ie^S'Self. 

§ 199. Compound words, however, whose parts have so completely 
coalesced that they have but one accent, are written without the hy- 
phen ; as, watchnan, lapdog, broadsword. 


§ 200. The hyphen is used to distinguish words of similar 
spelling, but different pronunciation and meaning ; also, to form 
one compound term of words which, if not thus united, would 
have a different signification. 

Thus re-creation means the act of creating again; and, when the word 
is so written, the first e is long, as in me. If we omit the hyphen, we 

§ 195. What is said of the possessive case of pronouns ? 
§ 196. How is the plural of the names of letters, figures, and signs, formed ? 
§ 197, What is the meaning of the word hyphen f What does lie mark so called 
ttenote ? 

§ 198. Eepeat Kule I., relating to compound epithets and substantives. 

§ 199. What compounds are written without the hyphen ? 

§ 200. For what other purposes is the hyphen used, according to Eule II, ? Ulustrata 


have recreation, — quite a different word, equivalent to relaxation, amuse- 
ment ; and we must give the first vowel the sound of e in met. 

The words monk's-hood and dog's-ear will serve as examples of the 
second case mentioned in the rule. Leave out the hyphen, and we no 
longer have the familiar, plant known as monk's-hood, but a monk's hood, 
that is the head-covering of a monk. Dog's-ear means the corner of a 
leaf turned or twisted over ; but remove the connecting mark, and we 
bave the ear of a dog. 

§ 201. The hyphen may also be used instead of the diaeresis, to denote 
that two adjacent vowels do not unite to form a diphthong, vv^hen these 
vowels respectively terminate a prefix and commence the radical with 
which it is joined ; as, pre-existent, co-operate. 


§ 202. When, from want of space, a portion of a word has 
to be carried to a new line, the division must be made after 
a complete syllable, and the hyphen is used at the end of the 
line, to connect the separated parts ; as, ' Vir- 

tue cannot be bought." 

§ 203. "With regard to Syllabication, or the division of words into 
syllables, it is proper to remark that two systems prevail The English 
method divides on the vowels, that is, without reference to pronun- 
ciation, throws consonants as much as possible into the beginning of 
syllables ; as, me-lon, wi-dow, di-U-gent, a-stro-no-my. This method, as 
Webster justly remarks, contradicts the very definition of a syllable. 
"A syllable in pronunciation", says this author, "is sji indivisible thing; 
and, strange as it may appear, what is indivisible in utterance is divided 
in writing ; when the very purpose of dividing words into syllables in 
writing, is to lead the learner to a just pronunciation." Some English 
writers, however, and among them Lowth, advocate the method gener- 
ally adopted in this country, of making such divisions as most nearly 
exhibit the true pronunciation. According to this system, the examples 

the first case with tiae word reoreation. Illustrate the second with the words monies- 
\ood and dog's-ear, 

§201. For what purpose is the hyphen, like the diseresis, sometimes used? In 
what case ? 

§ 202. Repeat Eule III., relating to the use of the hyphen at the end of a line. 

§ 203. What is syllabication ? How many systems prevail ? Describe the Eng- 
Usb system. What does Webster say of it? Describe the system pursued in this 


given above -would be divided thus : mel-on, wid-ow, dil-i-gent, as-tron-G- 
my. A few rules covering most cases may be of service. 

Rule I. — Join consonants to the vowels whose sounds tbey modify ; 
as, ep-i-dem-ic, an-i-mos-i-ty. 

Rule II. — Let prefixes and suffixes form distinct syllables when this 
can be done without the pronunciation's being misrepresented : as, re^ 
print, out-run; re-ject-ed, not re-jec-ted ; form-er, not for-m^, when the 
meaning is one that forms. 

Rule III. — In the «ase of compounds, syllabic divisions should fall 
between the simple words that compose them ; as, horse-man, more-over^ 

Rule IV. — The terminations cial, tial, sion, Hon, cious, tious, and 
others that are pronounced as one syllable, must not be divided. 

§ 204 After the numerous instances in which it has just been so em- 
ployed, it is hardly necessary to add that the hyphen is used, by lexicog- 
raphers and others, not only at the end of a line, but wherever they 
desire to show the syllables of which a word is composed. 

§ 205. Quotation-points, called in French and sometimes 
in English, from the name of the person who first used them, 
G-uiLLEMETS, consist of two inverted commas and two apostro- 
phes [" "]. They are used to enclose words quoted from an 
author or speaker, or represented in narratives as employed 
in dialogue ; as, " By doing nothing," says an old writer, 
"men learn to do evil." — "Quick! quick! or I perish," 
shrieked the exhausted hunter. " One moment longer ! The 
rope has some ! " shouted a hundred voices from the top of the 

When the substance merely is given, and not the exact words, quo- 
tation-pointst are unnecessary ; as, Diogenes used to say that other dogs 

II diTlding into syllables, vnth what must consonants be joined T "What is said 
about preflses and suffixes' forming distinct syllables? Ho-w are compounds divided? 
What terminations must not be divided ? 

§ 204 What "use is made of the hyphen by lexicographers ? 

§ 205, What are quotation-points called in French ? Why are they so called ? Of 
orhat do they consist ? What are they used to enclose ? When the substance merely 



bit their enemies, but that he bit his friends that he might save Ihcm 
Had tlie exact words used by the philosopher been given, quotation 
points would have been required. Thus : Diogenes used to say, 
" Other dogs bite their enemies ; but I bite my friends, that I may save 

In the case of passages cited in a foreign language, titles of books, 
names of newspapers, &c., some writers prefer italics to quotation-points ; 
as, " Virgil's Labor omnia vincit has passed into a proverb." — " The 
Athenceum has a well written review of Pearson's History of the Puri- 

§ 206. Matter within quotation-points is to be punctuated 
just; as if it stood in any other position. If at the close of a 
quoted passage any grammatical point is required, it may be 
placed before the two apostrophes if it is applicable to the ex- 
tract alone, but after them if it belongs to the sentence or 
member as a whole; as. He answered briefly^ ^'' Am la 
knave that you should suspect me of this P^ — Are our lots 
tjideed cast in '' the brazen age'''' ? 

§ 207. Single Points [' '] are used to enclose a quotation 
within a passage which is itself quoted ; as, " The great rule," 
says Lavater, " of moral conduct, or ' ethics ', as it is styled 
by philosophers,, is to make the best use of one's time." 

If within a passage thus enclosed between single quotation-points, 
there is occasion to introduce another extract, double points are used 
for the sake of distinction ; as, " King Louis asked Joinville, * "Would 
you rather be a leper, or commit what the church calls " a deadly 

,§ 208. When an extract consists of several successive para- 
graphs, inverted commas must stand at the commencement of 
each, but the apostrophes are not used till the quotation 
ends ; as, 

b given, are quotation-points necessary? For what do some writers prefer italics to 

§ 206. How is matter within quotation-points punctuated? If a grammatical point 
is required at the CiOse of a passage, how must it oe placed as regards the two apos- 
trophes ? 

§ 207. "What are single quotation-points used to enclose ? If within a passage thus 
enclosed another extract is introduced, how must it be denoted ? 

§ 208. How are the inverted commas and apostrophes used in an extract consisting 
of several paragraphs ? 


" No man can be happy, if self is the sole object of his thoughts and 

" JSTo man can be happy, if conscience tells him that he has left a sin-- 
gle duty unperformed. 

" No man can be happy who is destitute of good principles and gen- 
erous feelings." 



In tbe following sentences, supply the omitted points and 
marks : — 

Under § 193. He whos virtuous and pious in this life will be happy 
i the next — Tis one who 11 neer forget you — Tho the heavens and the 
earth pass away truth shall live forever — Oer hill through vale mid 
snow een tho gainst his own will he steadily pursues his way — 1 11 tstke 
a milder medcine than revenge for Ive lovd her as few have lovd 

Under § 194, 195. Swans down ; — a ladys fan ; — ladies dresses ; — 
childrens hats ; — Misses shoes ; — eagles wings ; — All Saints Church. — 
Peters wifes mother lay sick of a fever — Much depends on this princi- 
ples being understood and these rules being strictly observed — Racinea 
and Corneilles tragedies hold the same rank in French literature as 
Shakspeares enjoy in English — " Mens virtues " says a splenetic writer 
" like angels visits are few and far between " — This volume of Grays 
poems is neither his hers yours nor theirs it is either mine or my 
brothers — A few moments conversation convinced me of my friends sin- 
cerity — Xerxes soldiers ; — for goodness sake ; — Crcesus son ; — Musaua 
songs ; — Hercules sword 

Under § 196. Make your/5 better give your gs the same slant and 
let your — s be of the same length — A supply of es hs gs .s and ;5 
must be procured from the foundry — Three 5s = five 3s 
.. Under § 198. At twenty one my sister in law was a laughter loving 
bright eyed pure hearted single minded girl — The market women are 
bringing in an abundance of water melons musk melons and a new 
variety of apple called seek no furthers — My fellow traveller had a 
dare devil look that made me regard his double barrelled pistols with 
Bome apprehension and wish myself safe back in my old farm house — 
Buch bottle of small beer comparisons ought to be avoided — The ladies 
hats the present season give their faces a bewitching kiss me if you dara 

Under § 199. These boatmen are allowed to sleep in the daytime — 
Bhe makes a good housewife — Gunpowder for sale 


Under § 200, 201. The stolen articles were restored — The goods 
vere taken from one warehouse and restored in another — Ripe fruits 
recreate the nostrils with their aromatic scent — Instead of reinforcing 
it was found necessary to recreate the army — To reform public abuses 
is one of the aims of every true patriot — The troops were reformed into 
a hollow square — My health is reestablished — Articles are sometimes 
reexported — These two bodies were thus reunited — "What mortal 
knows his preexistent state — We have been gathering woKs bane and 
bears foot 

Under § 203 {Divide the following wordu into syllables by means of hy- 
phens :) Helen, never, every, abomination, apostolical, trinitarian, her- 
etic, ejecting, reflected, lioness, poetaster, preexistent, transacted, ob- 
vious, nevertheless, notwithstanding, official, courageous, officious, pala- 
tial, paleaceous, occasion, termination, adhesion, meandered, anathemati- 

Under § 205. All things rare and brilliant says Goldsmith in his 
History of Man and Quadrupeds will ever continue to be fashionable 
while men derive greater advantage from opulence than virtue — After 
Phocion was condemned to death one of his friends asked him if he had 
any message to leave his son Tell him said the magnanimous patriot to 
serve his country as faithfully as I have done and to forget that she re- 
warded my services with an unjust death — Every day thousands are 
going to that bourne from which no traveller returns — This morning's 
courier contains a full description of the Great Eastern the largest 
vessel in the world — The British Critic has an able article on Bonners 
Inquiry into the Origin of Language and a lengthy review of the same 
authors Hints on the Subject of Reform 

Under § 206. Then said he Lo I come — The prose of 'Tasso is placed 
by Corniani almost on a level with his poetry for beauty of diction "We 
find in it he says dignity of rhythm and elegance purity without affec- 
tation and perspicuity without vulgarity — We naturally ask How can 
these things be — Can any one help admiring the great genius of him 
whom all Europe designates as the man of destiny — We can only weep 
and cry with the poet Alas poor Yorick 

Under § 207, 208. " Hallam justly remarks There is more of the 
conventional tone of amorous song than of real emotion in Surreys 
poetry The 

Easy sighs such as men draw in love 

are not like the deep sorrows of Petrarch or the fiery transports of the 
Castilians" — "The tale made every ear which heard it tingle and 
every heart thrill with horror It was in the language of Ossian the 
Bong of death " 

•' The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of 
repeate^i injuries and usurpations all having in direct object the estab- 
lishment of an absolute tyranny over these States To prove this let 
facts be submitted to a candid world 

He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary 
for the public good 

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with 
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people 

ACCENTS. 1 49 

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of 
their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries 

He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms otf 
officers to harass our people and eat out their substance 



§ 209. Besides the marks already describedj there are 
others occasionally used for different purposes, as follows : — 

I. Accents, or marks placed over vowels to indicate their 
pronunciation. They are three in number : — 

1. The Acute Accent [ ' ] is placed over the vowel e in some words from 
the French language, to indicate that it is not silent, but has the 
sound of a in cane ; as, conde, bal pare. 

It is used by elocutionists to denote the rising inflection , as, " Are 
they here ? " 

Placed after a syllable, it shows that the accent or stress of the 
voice falls thereon ; as, el'ement, philos' opher. 

2. The Grave Acoeist: [ ' ] is sometimes placed over the vowel e in poetry, 
to denote that it must not be suppressed in pronunciation ; as, 

" The hrtdsed sea- weed wastes away ; 
Its atoms on the breezes ride." 

By elocutionists it is used in contradistinction to the acute, to 
denote the falling inflection ; as, " They are here." 
8. The CmcuMFLEX Accent [ * ] is placed by lexicographers over certain 
vowels, to indicate a peculiar sound ; as, hall, marine, bull. 

Writers on oratory use it to denote a wave, or combination of the 
rising and the falling inflection in the pronunciation of the samo 
syllable ; as, " It is not he ; it is she." 

§ 209. What are accents ? How many are there ? "What are they called ? Ovor 
what vowel is the acute accent sometimes placed? In words derived from what lan- 
guage? So placed, what does it indicate? For what is it used by elocutionists? 
Placed after a syllable, what does it show ? Over what vowel is the grave tccent 
sometimes placed in poetry ? For what purpose ? How do elocutionists use it? For 
wiiat is the circumflex accent used "by lexicographers? For what, by elocutionists? 


II. Quantity- Marks. These are two in number : — 

1. The Macron [ " ] , placed over a vowel to denote .its long sound ; as, 
fate, mete, ndte, Heliogabdlus. 

2. The Breve [ '^ ] , placed over a vowel to denote its short sound ; as, 
fat, met, not, Heliogahalus. 

III. Emphasis-Marks, used generally at the beginning of 
paragraphs, to attract the special attention of the reader 
They are found in newspapers, cards, hand-bills, &c., but rare- 
ly in books. They are, 

1. The Index, or Hand [ ^^ ] . 

2. The AsTERiSM [ ^*^ ] . 

IV. Division- Marks, which denote the commencement of 
a new branch of the subject. The maiks generally used for 
this purpose are, 

1. The PARAGRArH [^] , rarely found in modern books, but common in 
the Bible and other old publications. The beginning of a new sub- 
ject is now indicated simply by a break ; that is, by commencing or 
a new line, a little to the right. The word paragraph is derived from 
the Greek ; and literally means a marginal note, something written 
near or alongside. 

2. The Section [ § ] , the mark for which seems to be a combination of 
two s ' s, standing for signum sectionis, the sign of the section. This 
mark is placed before subdivisions of books in connection with num- 
bers, to facilitate reference ; it is so used throughout this volume. 

V. Reference-Marks, used to connect a wcrd or words 
in the text with remarks in the margin, or at the bottom, of 
the page on which they occur. Their names are given below, 
in the order in which, by the common consent of printers, 
they are introduced. 

How many quantity-marks are there? What are they called? What does the 
macron denote ? What, the breve ? 

Where do emphasis-marks generally stand ? For what are they used ? Name and 
describe thorn. 

What do division-marks denote? Name them. Where is the paragraph found? 
Is it used in modern publications ? How is the beginning of a new subject now indi- 
cated? From what language is the word paragraph derived? What does it mean? 
From what is the section formed ? How is this mark used ? 

For -what are reference-marks employed? Give their names In the order In 


1. The Asterisk * I 4. The Section ... 

2. The Obelisk, or Dagger . . -f 5. Parallels . . 
8. The Double Dagger . . . + } 6. The Paragraph . . . 

"When more than six reference-marks are required, some printers 
double and treble those just enumerated. The better way, however, ia 
to use small figures or letters, technically called superiors. 

VI. Marks of Ellipsis, [ '], [ ], or [* * **], 

are used to show that letters are omitted from a word, words 
from a sentence, sentences from a paragraph, or entire para 
graphs and chapters from a work ; as, 

1. " The k — g, (k. .g, or k**g) promenades the city at night in dis- 

2. " If an Artist love his Art for its own sake, he wiU delight in excel- 
lence wherever he meets it, as well m the work of another as in his 
own. ***** Ifor is this genuine love compatible with a craving 
for distinction." 

In Example 1, k — g, k. .g, or k**g, is used iov king. It win be 
observed that, when periods or stars are thus introduced into words, 
there must be one for each letter omitted. When they are used, as in 
Ex. 2, to denote the omission of one or more sentences, any number may 
be employed ; but too many mar the beauty of a printed page, 

VII. The Brace [/-x-a,^^] is used to connect several 
terms or expressions with one to which all have a common re- 
lation ; as, 

Bagatelle, ) ( trifle ; 

Cortege, > may be translated < escort ; 
Ennui, ) ( weariness. 

The brace is, also, sometimes employed to connect a triplet, or three 
lines of poetry rhyming together, when introduced into a poem, most of 
whose lines rhyme in pairs or couplets ; as. 

So slowly, by degrees, unwilling fame 
Did matchless Eleonora's fate proclaim, 


Till public as the loss the news became. 

VIII. The DiiERESis (••), placed over either (generally the 

which they are used by printers ? When more than sis are required, what is it best 
to employ ? 

Describe the diflferent marks of ellipsis. For what are they used ? When periods 
or stars are used to denote the omission of letters, how many must there be ? When 
{hey denote the omission of a sentence, how many must there be ? 

For what is the brace used ? For what is it sometimes employed in poetry ? 


latter) of two contiguous vowels, shows that they do not form 
a diphthong, but must be pronounced separately ; as, zoology^ 
aeronaut J phaeton. The word is of Greek origin, and signi- 
fies a division. 

IX. The Cedilla is a mark sometimes placed under the 
letter c (9) standing before a and o, to show that, contrary to 
analogy, it has the sound of s. This mark seldom occurs ex- 
cept in certain French words not yet fully naturalized in Eng- 
lish ; as, facade^ garq.on. 

X. The Double Comma („) is used to denote that a word 
is to be supplied from a line above in the space immediately 
beneath it. Names of persons, however, are generally repeat- 
ed ; as, 

Harvey Johnson, jr., Steubenville, Ohio. 
Jacob J. Johntioa, jr., „ „ 

Sometimes inverted commas (") are preferred for this purpose. 

XI. Leaders ( ) are dots placed at short intervals, to 

carry the eye from words at the commencement of a line to 
matter at its end with which they are connected. It is chiefly 
in tables of contents and indexes of books that leaders are re- 
quired. Thus : — / 

Media of Communication page 13. 

Spoken Language „ 1*7. 

Written „ „ 20. 

XII. The Caret (^), used only in manuscript, shows where 
interlined words are to be introduced ; as, " No man is ex- 
empted from *^® ills of life." The name of this mark is a Lat- 
in word, meaning it is wanting. 

Where is the dlaaresis placed ? What does it show ? From what language is the 
word derived, and what does it signify ? 

Under what letter is the cedilla placed ? Before what vowels ? In what words ? 

Where and for what is the double comma employed ? What other mark is preferred 
by some for this purpose ? 

What are leaders ? Where, principally, are they required ? 

Where it, the caret used ? What does It show ? What is the origin, and what the 
meaning, of the word ? 



XIII. There are, also, certain characters which may with 
propriety be here enumerated. 

In Prices Current, Book-keepings, &c., we meet with '^ for jaer, cu, 
each, and @, at, to. In almanacs, treatises on Astronomy, and the like, 
the following marks constantly occur : — 

s . 

. . Mercury. 

$ . 

. , Venus. 

e . 

. . Earth. 

^ . 

. . Mars. 

ft . 

. . Vesta. 


. . Juno. 


o . 


D . 


® . 


a . 


6 . 


8 . 

ISTew Moon. 
First Quarter. 
Full Moon. 
Last Quarter. 


§ 210. Names of Books. — A book is said to be in folio, or 
as abbreviated fol., when the sheets of which it is composed 
are folded once, each making two leaves, or four pages. The 
size of a folio volume, and indeed of all the others enumerated 
below, depends on that of the sheet ; but, with the same sheet, 
a book of folio form is twice as large as one in quarto, and 
four times the size of an octavo, as will be presently seen. 
Formerly, almost all books were printed in folio ; but the 
weight of such volumes, and the difficulty of handling them, 
rendering them decidedly objectionable, they have gradually 
gone out of fashion ; and now no book is published in folio, 
unless a large page is required for exhibiting illustrations, or 
some similar purpose. 

A quarto, or 4to volume is one whose sheets are folded into 
four leaves or eight pages. An octavo, or 8vo, consists of sheets 
divided into eight leaves or sixteen pages each ; and so a duo- 
decimo, or 12mo, a 16mo, 18mo, 24mo, 32mo, 48mo, and 64mo, 
denote volumes composed respectively of sheets folded into 
twelve, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-four, thirty-two, forty-eight, 
and sixty-four leaves. 

What does the character ^ denote ? What, the character ® ? Leam the astrono- 
mical marks. 

§ 210. When is a book said to be in folio ? On -what does the si2e of a folio volume 
depend ? Were folio volumes formerly more or less in vogue than at present ? Why 
have they gone out of fashion ? What is meant by a quarto volume ? an octavo ? a 
l2mo? al6mo? a24mo? a32mo? a48mo? a64mo? 


§ 211. Kinds of Type. — There are different sizes of type 
of whicli the following are most used : — 

English, abcdefghij klmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

Pica^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

Small Pica, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 
Long Primer, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 
Bourgeois^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 
Brevier, ab c defghij klmnop qrstu v wxyz. 

Minion, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

Nonpareil, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

Agate, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. 

Pearl, abcdefghijklninopqrstuvwxyz. 

Diamond, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuTWzyz. 

Putting matter in type is technically called comj)osing, or setting up. 
The amount of matter composed is estimated in ems, or spaces of the 
length of the letter m ; which differ, of course, according to the size of the 
type employed. 

By Leads are meant thin plates of type-metal, with which the lines 
are sometimes separated. When these plates are employed, the matter 
is said to be leaded ; when not, solid. 

§ 212. Italics, so called from their having been first used 
by Italian printers, are letters inclined to the right , like those 
in which this clause is printed ; and are indicated in manu- 
script by a line drawn under the words to be italicized. They 
are used for emphatic, important, and contrasted terms ; for 
words and sentences introduced to illustrate rules ; for names 
of newspapers, vessels, &C; ; and for words and quotations 
from foreign languages. 

As no more definite rule for their use can be given, the composer 
must exercise his judgment in deciding when they may with propriety 
be employed. It is necessary only to caution him against using them 
too freely. Like every thing else, when made familiar, they lose their 
effect ; and, besides offending the eye, tend rather to perplex the reader 
than to aid him in determining what is really emphatic. 

In the English Bible, italics are not used for emphatic words ; but 

§ 211. Mention the different sizes of type, in order. "What is meant by composing^ 
ir setting up, type ? How is the amount of composed matter estimated ? What is an 
cm t What are leads ? What is meant by leaded matter ? What, by solid ? 

§ 212. Describe italics. Why are they so called ? How are they indicated in mann 
icript ? For what are they used ? What is the effect of employing them too freely f 
In the Bible, what do italics denote ? 


for such as are wanting in tlie original Hebrew or Greek, and were in- 
troduced by the translators to complete or explain the meaning. 

§213. Running Titles, or Head-lines, consist of a word 
or words placed at the top of a page to show the subject of 
which it treats. They are usually printed in capitals or small 
capitals. Such headings, when placed over chapters and para- 
graphs, are known as Captions and Sub-heads ; and as Side- 
heads, when commencing the first line of the paragraph to 
which they refer. 

§ 214. The first page of a book contains the title, and is 
therefore styled the Title-page. A plate facing it is known 
as the Frontispiece. A small ornamental engraving -some- 
times found on the title-page, and often at the commencement 
of chapters, is called a Vignette. This term means a little 
vine ; and the engraving in question was so designated from 
the fact that originally a vine, or a wreath of vine-leaves, 
was the favorite form for such ornaments. 

In old books, printers were in the habit of placing 
under the last line of each page the word with which the fol- 
lowing page was to commence, either as a guide in the arrange- 
ment of the pages, or to prevent hesitation on the part of the 
reader while turning from one to another. These are called 
catch- words ; they are now no longer used. 




§ 215. "Whatever merits of style or thought an author may 
possess, or whatever applause he may temporarily receive, he 
cannot expect permanently to hold an honorable position in 

§213. Of what do running titles, or head-lines, consist? How are they usually 
printed? "When placed over chapters and paragraphs, what are such headings called? 
What is meant by side-heads ? 

§ 214. What is meant by the title-page of a book ? What, by the frontispiece ? 
What is a vignette ? What is the meaning of this term, and why was tho engraving 
In question so called ? 

In old books, what was placed at the bottom of each page ? "Waat were theeo 
words called ? 


literature, unless lie is thoroughly acquainted with the rules 
of grammar, and observes them in composition. Without a 
preparatory knowledge of this art, but little benefit can be de- 
rived from exercises in rhetoric. Before entering on the lat- 
ter study, therefore, it is expected that the student will not 
only have made himself familiar with the principles of language 
in general, but will also have devoted particular attention to the 
grammar of his own tongue : it is presupposed that he is well 
versed in its etymology ; that he can analyze or parse its sen- 
tences ; and that he has intelligently applied its rules in the 
correction of false syntax. Yet, even after such preparation, 
when he comes to the construction of original sentences, he 
will inevitably find that in guarding against the violation of 
one principle he often overlooks another ; and that, notwith 
standing his utmost care, he is occasionally betrayed into in- 
accuracies, and even solecisms. If this is the case with one 
who is conversant with grammar (and that it is, the pages of 
many well-educated writers conclusively show), how liable to 
error must those be whose acquaintance with the art is imper- 
fect or superficial ! While the latter are advised to pursue a 
complete course of syntax with the aid of some standard text- 
book, the author has deemed it proper to insert here for their 
benefit, as well as that of all whose memory may need refresh- 
ing on these essentia,^, points, a few rules covering those cases 
in which he has found that beginners are most liable to err. 

§ 216. When two or more adjectives belong to a noun with which 
there is occasion bo use the article also, the latter is placed before the 
first adjective alone if reference is made to a single object, but before 
each if several objects are referred to. Thus: *' A white and red flag" 
signifies one flag, partly red and partly white ; " a white and a red flag'- 
means two flags, one red and the other white. Do not, therefore, omit 
the article before the last adjective, unless it is clear that but one thing 
is intended. 

§ 217. The possessive case and the word that governs it must not be 

§ 215. What is essential to an honorable position in literature ? What *s exiK,cted of 
Uie student before he enters on the study of rhetoric? 

§ 216. State the principle relating to the use of the article before A Quju^j. *<ich which 
.,, - .J ->.licctives are connected. (Give examples in each case.) 


separated by an intervening clause ; thus, " Tlie knave thereupon com- 
menced rifling his friend's, as he facetiously called him, pocket," must 
be changed to " The knave thereupon commenced rifling the pocket of 
his friend, as he facetiously called him." 

§ 218. In addressing the same person, do not, in the progress of a sei.- 
teuce, use pronouns of different number ; but preserve either the singular 
or the plural throughout. Thus, it is wrong to say, " I owe thee a heavy 
debt of gratitude, and will you not allow me to repay it ? " We should 
have either " I owe you a heavy debt," or, " and wilt thou not," &c. 

§ 219. Bach is singular ; and a pronoun or verb agreeing with it 
must also be singular ; as, " Let them depend each on his own exer- 
tions," not their own. 

So, several nouns preceded respectively by each, every, oi no, whether 
connected by and or not, require a singular verb and pronoun ; as, 
''Every lancer and every rifleman was at his post." 

§ 220. RecoUoct that, under aU circumstances, a verb must agree with 
its subject in person and number. When a plural substantive is intro- 
duced between a singular subject and its verb, be careful not to put the 
verb in the plural. " Too great a variety of studies perplex and weaken 
the judgment." Variety, the subject, being in the singular, perple-x and 
weaken should be perplexes and weakens. 

§ 221. When in two connected clauses the leading verb is in the pres- 
ent or the future tense, the dependent one must not be in the past. 
Thus, in the sentence, " Ye will not come unto me that ye might have 
life," might is wrong, because it is connected in the past tense with the 
leading verb will come, which is future. Might have should be changed 
to may have, which is presents 

On the other hand, if the leading verb is in the past tense, the de 
pendent verb must be past also. Thus, in the example last given, if will 
come were changed to twuld come, might have would be correct ; as, "Ye 
would not come unto me that ye might have life." 

§ 222. Two verbs connected by a conjunction without separate 

§ 217. State the principle that relates to the position of the possessive case and thj 
word that governs it. 

§ 218. Whai'; is to be observed rcLpectlrg the use of pronouns in the progress of a 

§219. "What iumber is each f "What number musk a pronoun or verb agreeing ■wit^s 
be? State the other rule laid down in this section. 

§ 220. Give the rule for the agreement of the verb ? "What common error must be 
avoided ? 

§ 221. What is the rule for the tenses of the leading and the dependent verb in con* 
aected clauses ? 














nominati-vey, must be In the same mood. This rule is violated in the fol< 
lowing sentence ; would go being in the potential mood, and suffered in 
the indicative : " The Pharisees would neither go into the kingdom of 
Heaven themselves, nor suffered others to enter." Either a new nomina- 
tive must be introduced for suffered to agree with, or one of the verbs 
must be altered to the sanie mood as the other. The sentence is best 
corrected by changing the second verb. " The Pharisees would neither 
go into the kingdom of Heaven themselves, nor suffer others to enter." 

§ 223. The transitive verbs lay., raise, and set, must not be confounded 
with the intransitive, lie, rise, and sit. This common error must be care- 
fully avoided. Compare these verbs, as conjugated below. 

TEANsmvE. Intransitive, 

Lay, laid. 

Raise, raised, 

Set, set, 

We lay a thing down, raise it up, and set it in its place. We lie abed 
when we are sick, but rise as soon as we are able to sit up. 

§224. When several auxiliaries belonging to different tenses are used 
with the same participle or verbal form, care must be taken to have 
them consistent. " I can make as much money as he has." As he haa 
what ? Evidently has make, which would be bad grammar. The sen- 
tence should read, " I can make as much money as he has made." 

§ 225. Wliom, and not who, must be used as the object of a verb. 
" He is a man whom I honor next to the king himself ;" not who, for the 
verb honor governs the relative in the objective case, although the lat- 
ter stands before it. 

§ 226. A preposition must not be introduced after a transitive verb, 
to govern a substantive which is really the object of the latter. "Covet 
earnestly for the best gifts ; " covet being a transitive verb, for should be 

§ 227. ISTever use to, the sign of the infinitive, for the infinitive itself; 
as in the sentence, " I have not seen him, and I am not hkely to." It should 
be, " I am not likely to see him." 

§ 222. What is said of tho mood of two verbs connectod by a conjunction ? How 
may sentences in which this rule is violated be corrected ? 

§223. What verbs must not be confounded? Conjugate the transitive verba ktj/, 
raixe. set. Conjugate the intransitives lie, rise, sit. 

§ 224. Give the rule relating to auxiliaries. 

§ 925. What is the objective of the relative who, and when must it be used? 

§ 226. What part of speech must not be introduced to govern the object of a tran- 
^tive verb 7 

S 227. What must not be used for the infinitive ? 



§ 228. Appropriate prepositions must follow certain words. In the 
following sentence, to should be changed to from, after the adjective 
different. " This account is very dififerent to what I told you." 

As this rule is constantly violated, a list of a few common adjectives 
and verbs is here presented, together with the prepositions properly 
used in connection with them. 

Abhorrence of. 

Accompanied with an inanimate ob- 
ject ; by any thing that has life. 

Accuse of. 

Acquaint loith. 

Adapted to. 

Agree with a person ; to a proposi- 
sition from another ; upon a thing 
among ourselves. 

Analogy between (when two objects 
follow the preposition) ; to, with 
(when one of the substantives pre- 
cedes the verb). 

Arrive at, in. 

Attended with an inanimate object; 
by anything that has life. 

Averse to, from. 

Capacity for. 

Charge on a person ; with a thing. 

Compare with (in respect of quali- 
ty) ; to (for the sake of illustra- 

Congenial to. 

Conversant with men ; with or in 
things : about and among are 
sometimes used. 

Copy after a person ; from a thing. 

Correspond with. 

Die of a disease ; by an instrument 
or violence. 

Disappointed of what we fail to ob- 
tain; in what does not answer 
our expectations, when obtained. 

Entrance into. 

Expert in, at. 

Followed by. 

Militate against. 

Profit by. 

Reconcile (in friendship) to; (to 
make consistent) with. 

Reduce (subdue) under; (in other 
cases) to. 

Between is applicable to two objects only ; among, to three or more. 
" A father divided a portion of his property between his two sons ; the 
rest he distributed among the poor." 

In must not be used for into, after verbs denoting entrance. *' ' Come 
into (not in) my parlor,' said the spider to the fly." 

§ 229. It is inelegant to connect a transitive verb and a preposition, 
or two different prepositions, with the same object ; as, " We confide in 
and respect the good ; " — " I caUed on, and had a conversation with, 
him." It is better, in such cases, either to sxipply an object for each of 
the governing words, or to omit one of the latter if it can be done with- 
out injury to the sense : thus, " "We confide in the good, and respect 
them ; " — " I called, and had a conversation with him." 

228. By what must certain words be followed ? To how many objects Is 
bctnoeen applicable ? To how many, among f By what must vorbs denoting entrano! 
bo followed ? 

§ 229. What must not be connected with the same object ? 




Correct the grammatical errors in the following sert 
tences : — 

Under § 216. Between the old and new mansion is a fine grove of 
Ireea. — ^A gold and silver medal were presented to the inventor. — ^Thc 
educated and uneducated man are very different personages. — A white, 
red, and blue flag, was displayed from the castle. — A white, red, and 
blue flag, were displayed from the castle. — This veil of flesh parts the 
visible and invisible world. — The past and present we know, but who 
can guess the future ? — ^Sing the first and second stanza, — A red and 
white rose is a great rarity. — Here are a red and white rose, growing 
together on the same bush. 

Under § 21*7. This politician's (for statesman we can hardly call him) 
dishonorable course has alienated most of his friends. — Richard the 
Lion-hearted's, as he is styled in history, glorious career, made him the 
idol of his subjects. — She began to extol the farmer's, as she called him, 
excellent understanding. — Critics find fault with the poets' of the Mid- 
dle Ages numerous metrical inaccuracies. 

Under § 218. Thou hast protected us, and shall we not honor you ? — 
To thee I owe many favors, and you may therefore rely on my executing 
thy command. — 'Tfs thine to command, mine to obey ; let me, there 
fore, know your pleasure. 

Under § 219. The king of Israel and the king of Judah sat each on 
their throne. — Let each esteem other better than themselves. — Every 
passenger must hold their own ticket. — Each of the sexes should keep 
within its proper bounds, and content themselves with the advantage3 
of their particular spheres. — Some of our principal schools have each a 
grammar of their own. — Every bone, every muscle,. every fibre, of man, 
are known to his Creator. — Every leaf, every twig, every drop of water, 
teem with life. — Each day, each hour, each moment, bring their own 
temptations. — No pain, no parting, no trial, no temptation, are to be en- 
countered there. — Every man is entitled to freedom of speech, if they do 
not pervert it to the injury of others. — Every body trembled for them- 
selves or their friends. — Every one has passed through scenes which are 
indelibly impressed on their memory. 

Under § 220. Perfect submission to the rules of the school are re- 
quired. — The column of murders, robberies, fires, and accidents, are 
more attractive to many readers than any other department of a news- 
paper. — Glad tidings of great joy is brought to the poor. — The train of 
our ideas are often interrupted. — Three months' notice are required be- 
fore a pupil is allowed to leave. — Seven men's assertion are ^ better than 
one man's oath. — Six months' sojourn among these mountains have re- 
itored me to perfect health. 

Under g 221. If he dislikes you, why did you associate with him?— 


If he -was a good man, why do you accuse him ? — I would be obliged to 
you if you will lend me that book. — I should like it if you will go. — We 
informed him of the difficulty, that he may be prepared for it. — They 
will study, if they could be sure of taking the first prize. — Let me feel 
that I can succeed, and I would work hard to accomplish it. — Cultivate 
the acquaintance of the learned ; for they might be of service to you. 

Under § 222. He writes and can read. — Many persons can command 
their passions, but will not do so. — He would neither go himself nor 
sent his servant. — I am engaged in a great work, and would not leave it 
for one of less importance. — ^They might have been happy, and now aro 
convinced of it. 

Under § 223. By laying abed late in the morning, you lose a tenth 
part of your life. — Take not up what you have not lain down. — The 
price of new-lain eggs has raised. — He lay himself out to please us. — ^The 
wicked man lays in wait for his adversary. — The ship sat sail at eight 
o'clock, and we set on the deck till midtiight. — Ye have sat at nonght all 
my counsel. — He sits a horse well. (In this sentence sits is correct, 
the preposition on being understood, to govern horse.) 

Under § 224. Some dedications may serve for any book that has, is, 
or*shall, be published. — He neither has, nor will, gain anything by this 
course. — He may have, and I think did, esteem her. — He doth leave the 
mnety and nine, goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone 
astray. — I did go, and answered my accusers. — Ko man in this world 
has, or will be, perfectly happy. — I have labored as much as a person in 
my situation can. 

Under § 225. Few men have friends, who, under all circumstances, 
they can trust. They slew Varus, who in a former chapter I have men- 
tioned. — Who should I meet the other day, but my old friend ? — Be care- 
ful who you trust. — Do you know who you are speaking to ? — ^There are 
some who, though we do not like them, we cannot help respecting. — 
Who have we here ? 

Under § 226. Let me consider of the matter. — Great benefit may be 
reaped from reading of history. — His servants ye are to whom ye obey. — 
I shall commence by premising with a few observations. — We cannot 
aUow of any interference. — ^The peasants do not seem to want for any 
thing. — The prisoner declined answering to the judge's questions. — Of 
this we have considered. — She was afraid to enter in the room. 

Under § 227. The good man tries to live as God designed him to. — I 
will attend the meeting myself, and induce all my friends to, — Explain 
this point, or ask your friend to. — ^The book is so uninteresting, that I 
have not read it through, and never expect to. 

Under § 228. Your afifairs have been managed in a different manner 
than what I advised. — Let us profit from the misfortunes of others. — We 
are often disappointed in things which we seemed sure to obtain. — We 
are often disappointed of things which before possession, promised much 
enjoyment. — ^Socrates was accused for having introduced innovations in 
religion. — Confide on the virtuous, and rely in those who have not de- 
ceived you. — Such a course is attended by many dangers. — Catiline fled 
from Rome, attended with a few followers. — Bestow favors to the de- 
serving only. — Many die annually from the plague. — How can this fact 
be reconciled to his statements ? — How many ridiculous customs have 


been brought in use during the last hundred years. — Let your actions 
correspond to your professions. — The Anglo-Saxons soon quarrelled be- 
tween themselves. — Virgil has often been compared to Homer. — Good 
humor may be compared with the sun, -which sheds light on all 

Under § 229. It is well when pupils love, and entertain respect for, 
their teachers. — Music naturally has a great charm for, and power over, 
the young. — No one ought to injure, or wound the feelings of, his 
neighbor. — Poetry has a natural alliance with, and often strongly ex- 
cites, our noblest emotions. — Endeavor to alter, or rather prevent the 
introduction of, so pernicious a fashion. — Good men are not always 
found, as regards their views and conduct, consistent with, but, on the 
other liand, are often opposed to, each other. 





§ 230. The word Khetoric is derived from the Greet 
verb peco, to speak, and in its primary signification had refer- 
ence solely to the art of oratory ; in this sense, moreover, we 
find it generally used by ancient writers. As, however, most 
of the rules relating to the composition of matter intended for 
delivery are equally applicable to other kinds of writing, in 
the course of time the meaning of the term was naturally ex- 
tended ; so that even as early as in the age of Aristotle it was 
used with reference to productions not designed for public rec- 

At the present day, Khetoric, in its widest acceptatioD, 
comprehends all prose composition ; and it is with this signi- 
fication we here use the term : in its narrowest sense it is 
limited to persuasive speaking. 

S 280, What is the derivation of the word rhetoric t What did It originally signify ? 
To what has it since been extended ? In its widest acceptation, what does it oom- 


§ 231. The ancients thought it necessary for one wli# 
would master this subject to study with care everything con 
nected with the great object proposed, the conviction of th 
hearer or reader ; and with this view some rhetoricians intrc 
duced into their system Treatises on Law, Morals, Politic? 
&c., on the ground that no one could write or speak well o* 
these subjects without properly understanding them. Quin 
tilian even insists on virtue as essential to the perfect orator 
because an audience is necessarily influenced by the considera 
tion that candor, truth, and uprightness, distinguish the per 
son addressing them. This, however, is assuming too much 
As the art of architecture has nothing to do with the collec 
tion of materials, though without materials it is impossible to 
build ; so a knowledge of the subject of which the orator or 
essayist is to treat, constitutes no part of the art of Rhetoric, 
though essential to its successful employment : nor does vir- 
tue, whatever unction it may impart to the words of a writer 
or speaker, fall within the province of this art any more than 
wealth or rank, which are also likely to produce a prejudice in 
his favor. 

Some modern writers, in imitation of the ancients, and with a greater 
show of justice, have introduced Invention as a division of Rhetoric ; in- 
sisting that even perfection in the art of expressing, arranging, and 
beautifying, is valueless, unless the thoughts to be so treated are 
judicious and appropriate. But the same objection here applies. 
Rhetoric, properly speaking, has no reference to the creation of thoughts, 
but merely to the manner of expressing them. The rules and principles 
of Invention, however, though independent of the art under considera- 
tion, must be carefully studied in connection with it, by all who would 
give effect to their compositions. This subject wiU hereafter receive at- 
tention ; we shall first proceed to consider Rhetoric proper. 

§ 232. Rhetoric may be regarded as either a science or an 

§231. What did tbe ancients regard as essential to the mastery of this art? 
What did some rhetoricians introduce into their systems? Wliat does Quintilian 
consider essential to the perfect orator ? Is this j ust ? Illustrate the case by a com- 
parison with the art of architecture. What have some modern writers introduced as 
8 division of rhetoric ? What objection is there to this ? What is saici of the rules an^ 
prmciples of invention ? 


art. As a science, it investigates, analyzes, and defines, tlie 
principles of good writing ; as an art, it enables us to ap- 
ply these principles, or in other words teaches us the best 
method of communicating our thoujhts. 

All art is founded on science. The relation between the two is that 
of offspring and parent. Valuable knowledge always leads to some 
practical result ; and practical skill is rarely of general utility or ex 
tended application, unless it originates in knowledge. On the most sub- 
lime of sciences, for instance, theology and ethics, is founded the most 
important of arts, the art of living. So, from abstract mathematical 
science are derived the arts of the surveyor, the architect, the navi- 
gator, and the civil engineer. N'or can it be denied that their practical 
application in these arts constitutes the chief value of mathematical 
studies ; and that, were they not so applied, they would be as much 
neglected as they are now cultivated. In like manner, it is on account- 
of its practical utility that Rhetoric is deemed worthy of a prominent 
place among the branches of a polite education. 

§ 233. As an art. Rhetoric has been classed by some 
among the useful arts, the object of which is to aid or benefit 
mankind ; by others, among the elegant arts, which aim sim- 
ply to please. It seems, however, to partake of the nature of 
both ; and may therefore with propriety be denominated a 
mixed art. 

Both the elegant and the useful arts are founded on experience, but 
differ in their origin and growth. The latter, being the offspring of 
necessity, are cultivated even in the ruder stages of society ; whereas 
the former have their origin in leisure, and are disregarded until pro- 
vision has been made for the bodily wants. The useful arts, however, 
although first to originate in a community, are slower than the fine arts 
in their progress towards perfection. Thus, modern workmen im- 
measurably excel the ancients in the art of ship-building ; and how far 

§ 232. IIoAv may rhetoric be regarded ? As a science, what is its province ? What, 
as an art ? "What is the relation of art to science ? On what sciences is the art of living 
founded? From abstract mathematical science what arts are derived? What consti- 
tutes the chief value of mathematics ? In like manner, why is rhetoric deemed an im- 
portant branch of education ? 

§ 288. What is the object of the useful arts ? What, of the elegant arts ? To which 
does, rhetoric belong ? On what are both the useful and the elegant arts founded ? In 
what do they differ ? At what period of a nation's history do they respectively 
wiginate ? 

Bhow tho difference tu their development and progress towards petfectioru Illns- 


tMs superiority may be carried by means of future discoveries and im- 
provements, no one can say. In literature, bowever, we find tbe reverse 
to be tbe case ; wbile naval architecture was yet comparatively in its 
infancy, tbe art of composition reacbed so bigb a degree of perfection 
among tbe Greeks, tbat modern times, witb all tbeir genius and learning, 
bave produced notbing superior to tbe master-pieces of antiquity. In 
tbe rapidity of its development, as well as tbe zeal witb wbicb it en- 
deavors to please by elaborate embellisbment, Ebetoric partakes of tba 
nature of tbe elegant arts ; it resembles tbe useful arts in its utility, we 
may almost say its absolute necessity to mankind, as facilitating tbe 
means of communication. 

§ 234. From tbe study of E-betoric, two great advantages 
result : first, it enables us to discern faults and beauties in tbe 
compositions of otbers ; and, secondly, it teacbes us bow to 
express and embellisb our own tbougbts, so as to produce tbe 
most forcible impression. 

Tbe first of tbese results, were tbere no otber, would be sufficient 
recompense for tbe labor involved in pursuing a rbetorical course. Nor, 
it mu^, be remembered, is tbis labor great. Tbe questions tbat arise 
exercise our reason witbout fatiguing it. Tbey lead to inquiries, acute 
but not painful ; profound, but neitber dry nor difficult. Tbey keep 
tbe mind active, but do not require from it tbe effort necessary for tbe 
investigation of purely abstract trutb. 

By a trifling expenditure of time and attention, we are tbus enabled 
to judge of literary productions for ourselves, to weigb in tbe balance 
of taste and criticism, and form our opinions independently of otbera 
We are not obliged to give or witbbold our admiration as tbe world or 
tbe critic may decide. 

ISTor is tbis independence tbe only advantage gained. Tbe study of 
belles-lettres* furnisbes a never-failing means of entertainment for ouj 

* Belles-lettres, tbe general term used in tbe Frencb language to 
denote tbe art of wbicb we are treating and kindred subjects, is exceed- 
ingly indefinite in its signification, being by some writers limited to 
rhetoric and poetry, and by otbers made to embrace natural j)bilosopby 

trate this by a comparison of naval architecture with literature. In what respect does 
rhetoric resemble the elegant arts ? In what, the useful arts ? 

§ 234 What advantages result from the study of rhetoric ? What is said of the first 
of these? Xs much labor involved in pursuing a rhetorical course? What does a 
trifling expenditure of time enable us to do ? What other advantage is gained ? How 
Is the pleasure received from the creations of art greatly increased? 

What term do the French apply to rhetoric and Kindred branches ? What s-abjects 


leisure hours. Thorough acquaintance ^ith the principles of an art 
doubles the pleasure "we receive from it ; and one whose taste has been 
cultivated by assiduous study of the philosophy of criticism will find, on 
almost every page, beauties which the common reader overlooks, is in- 
capable of appreciating, and consequently entirely loses. A love for the 
standard master-pieces of literature is thus awakened ; and he who haa 
once acquired such a relish is in no danger of being a burden to him- 
seK, or of yielding to the seductions of false and destructive pleasures. 

These studies, however, do more than entertain and please ; they 
improve the imderstanding. To apply the principles of sound criticism 
to composition, to examine what is beautifid and why it is so, to dis- 
tinguish between affected and real ornaments, can hardly fail to improve 
us in the most valuable department of philosophy, the philosophy of 
human nature. Such examinations teach us self-knowledge. They 
necessarily lead us to reflect on the operations of the judgment, the 
imagination, and the heart; and familiarize us with the most refined 
feelings that ennoble our race. Beauty, harmony, grandeur, and ele- 
gance ; aU that can soothe the mind, gratify the fancy, or move the 
affections, — belong to the province of these studies. They bring to 
light various springs of action, which, without their aid, might have 
passed unobserved ; and which, though delicate, often exercise an im- 
portant influence in life. 

Lastly, the cultivation of taste by the study of belles-lettres has in 
all ages been regarded as an important aid in the enforcement of 
morality. Let the records of the world be canvassed, and we shall 
find that trespasses, robberies, and murders, are not the work of refined 
men ; that though, in some instances, the latter have proved unequal to 
temptation, and are betrayed into gross crimes, yet they constitute the 
exception and not the rule. E"or does the study of rhetoric operate aa 

and geometry ; one author even goes so far as to introduce in a treatise 
on the subject a discourse on the seven sacraments of the Eoman Catho- 
lic Church. At the Lyceum of Arts in Paris, the department of belles- 
lettres comprehends general grammar, languages, rhetoric, geogra- 
phy, history, antiquities, and numismatics. In this country, the term is 
generally used in a more limited sense, to denote polite literature, in- 
cluding criticism, taste, the pleasures of the imagination, &c. 

«ro hj some embraced under this head ? At the Lyceum of Arts in Paris, -^vhat doea 
tto department of belles-lettres comprehend ? As used in this country, what does tho 
tfirm signify ? 

Besides entertainment, what may we gain from the study of belles-lettres ? "What 
do critical examinations teach us ? 

What else results from the cultivation of taste by the study of belles-lettres ? What 


a preventive to the more heinous offences only ; it elevates the tone of 
the mind, increases its sensibility, enlarges the sphere of its sympathies, 
and thus enables it to repress its selfishness and restrain its more violent 
emotions. To a man of acute and cultivated taste, every wrong action, 
whether committed by himself or another, is a source of pain : and, if 
ho is the transgressor, his lively sensibility brings him back to duty, 
with renewed resolutions for the future. Even the highest degree of 
cultivation may, to be sure, prove insufficient to eradicate the evil pas- 
sions ; yet its tendency will certainly be to mitigate their violence. The 
poet has truly said : — 

" These polished arts have humanized mankind ; 
Softened the rude, and calmed the boisterous mind." 

I^Toble sentiments and high examples, constantly brought before the 
mind, cannot fail to beget in it a love of glory, and an admiration of 
what is truly great. Though these impressions may not always be 
durable, they are at least to be ranked among the means of disposing 
the heart to virtue. 

§ 235. As an aid in enabling us to communicate our 
thoughts in the best manner, it would seem as if the value of 
rhetoric would be obvious to all ; yet there are some who ven- 
ture to call it in question. Rules, they say, hamper the mind, 
fetter genius, and make stiff and artificial composers. They 
prefer leaving the writer, untrammelled, to chance or the in 
spiration of the moment ; ridiculing the idea of his inquiring, 
while in the act of giving utterance to a thought, what is re- 
quired, or what prohibited, by rule. This principle, if true 
of Pthetoric, obviously applies to logic, grammar, and even 
the elementary branches of education; and it follows that, 
through fear of cramping the natural powers, we should do 
away with training of all kinds. The absurdity of this con- 
clusion is manifest. 

Such reasoning can come only from a shallow mind, which would 
thus excuse its own ignorance. A writer can not hope to attain perfec- 
tion in his art, without paying due attention to its rules and principles. 
Men are not born great composers, any more than they are born skilful 

feeling does a wrong action generally awaken in a man of cultivated tasto ? What do 
noble sentiments and high examples produce in the mind? 

§ 235. What objection is made by some to the study of rhetoric ? To what do they 
prefer leaving tho writer ? Expose the fallacy of this objection. What is the ad- 


carpenters or expert shoemakers. Proficiency in either vocation is the 
result of study and practice. It is not necessary that, while composing, 
the writer should keep rules constantly before him, and thus make his 
style mechanical and lifeless. But the principles of his art should be so 
familiar to his mind, as, without consciousness on his part, to control its 
action. He thus intuitively avoids what is wrong, while there is nothing 
to prevent his sentences from being as easy, natural, and tmconstrained, 
OS those of the loosest and most ignorant scribbler. 



§ 236. The rules of Rbetoric and Criticism are not arbi- 
trary, but have been deduced from examinations and compari- 
sons of those great productions which in all ages have elicited 
the admiration of men. Striking passages have been ana- 
lyzed ; the peculiarities which render them pathetic, sublime, 
or beautiful, have been investigated ; and thus rules have 
been formed, by which the critic is enabled to judge of other 
literary performances, and the writer is shown how to express 
his thoughts in such a way as to reproduce similar impres- 

Thus, Aristotle, who was the first to lay down rules for unity of 
action in dramatic and epic poetry, did not arrive at them by a train 
of inductive reasoning, but by close observation of Sophocles and Homer. 
Perceiving that these writers, by confining themselves in each of their 
respective works to one action complete in itself, awakened deeper in- 
terest in their readers than those who combined unconnected facts, he 
generalized the important principle that in the drama and the epic poera 

vantage of studying principles and rules ? Is a constrained style likely to be the 

§ 236. "What is said of the rules of rhetoric and criticism ? Whence have they been 
deduced? Describe tfco process. How did Aristotle arrive at his rules for nnitj 
of action ? 



unity of design is essential to success. All tlie rules of the rhetorician 
have been deduced in a similar manner, and are thus based at once on 
experience and nature. 

§ 237. The works from which the principles of Khetoric 
are deduced, have, as already remarked, elicited the universal 
admiration of men. This implies the existence in the human 
mind of a faculty capable of forming opinions respecting them. 
Such a faculty does, indeed, exist ; nor is its action limited to 
the works of literature. It extends alike to all the creations 
of nature and art ; and is known by the name of Taste. 

§ 238. Taste may be defined as that faculty of the mind 
which enables it to perceive, with the aid of reason to judge 
of, and with the help of imagination to enjoy, whatever is 
beautiful or sublime in the works of nature and art. 

The word taste is thus used metaphorically. It literally signifies the 
sense residing in the tongue by which wo distinguish different flavors, 
and is hence appropriately applied to the analogous faculty of the mind 
which recognizes alike the most delicate beauties and the most minute 

So contradictory are the definitions of Taste given by different au- 
thors, so obscure is their language, and so inconsistent are many of them 
with themselves, that it is difficult to ascertain their real views on the 
subject. Hume calls Taste " a natural sensibility ". Hutcheson makes it 
a distinct faculty, perfect in itself: he maintains that it is entirely inde- 
pendent of both judgment and imagination, not only receiving impres- 
sions, but also passing judgment on them, and producing the pleasures 
arising therefrom ; or, in other words, that it perceives and at the same 
time judges and enjoys. With this view Blair for the most part agrees ; 
nor are Addison's views, as set forth in ISo. 409 of the Spectator, materi- 
ally different. An opposite theory is advocated by Burke and Aken- 
side. The former unhesitatingly attributes the perception and the 
enjoyment arising therefrom to entirely different faculties, confining 
Taste to the perception. Akenside distinctly teaches that all the plea- 
Burea connected with the sublime and beautiful have their source in the 

S 257. "What does the general admiration of the master-pieces of literature imply in 
tiie human mind ? To what does this faculty extend ? What is it called ? 

§ 283. What is Taste ? What does this term literally signify ? What is said of the 
definitions of Taste given by different authors ? What does Hume call Taste ? Siata 
Hutcheson's view. What writers agree with him in the main? What is BurJie's 
theory? Akenside's? Alison's? Cousin's? 


imagination. Alison, also, in parts of his Essay ably advocates thia 
theory ; yet, with strange inconsistency, in his very definition makes 
Taste " to be that facility of the human mind by -which we perceive and 
enjoy whatever is beautiful or sublime in the works of nature or art.** 
The French philosopher Cousin says, " Three faculties enter into that 
complex faculty that is called taste, — imagination, sentiment, reason," 
Sentiment, according to this author, receives the impression; reason 
passes judgment on it; while imagination produces the sensation of 
pleasure experienced by the mind. 

Amid these conflicting theories, the author has adopted that which 
seems to him least liable to objection. 

§ 239. Taste is common, in some degree, to all men. 
Even in children it manifests itself at an early age, in a fond- 
ness for regular bodies, an admiration of statues and pictures, 
and a love of whatever is new or marvellous. In like manner, 
the most ignorant are delighted with ballads and tales ; the 
simplest intellects are struck with the beauties of earth and 
sky ; and savages, by their ornaments, their songs, and the 
rude eloquence of their harangues, show that along with rea- 
son and speech they have received the faculty of appreciating 
beauty. We may therefore conclude that the principles of 
Taste are deeply and universally implanted in the minds of 

§ 240. Though Taste is common to all men, yet they by 
no means possess it in the same degree. There are some en- 
dowed with feelings so blunt, and tempers so cold and phleg- 
matic, that they hardly receive any sensible impressions even 
from the most striking objects ; others are capable of appreci- 
ating only the coarsest kind of beauties, and for these have no 
strong or decided relish ; while in a third class pleasurable 
emotions are excited by the most delicate graces. There 
seems, indeed, to be a greater difference between men as re- 
spects Taste than in point of common sense, reason, or judg 
ment. In this Nature discovers her beneficence. In facul- 

§ 2S9. What is said of the universality of Taste? How docs it manifest itself iu 
children? How, in the ignorant? How. in savages ? What is the natural inference ? 

§ 240. Is Taste possessed by all tnen in the same degree ? What is said of the dif 
ference between individuals in this respect? How does nature show her beneflcenca 


ties necessary to man's well-being, she makes little distinction 
between her children ; whereas those that have reference rather 
to the ornamental part of life she bestows sparingly and ca- 
priciously, and requires a higher culture for bringing them to 

Tliis difference in the degrees of Taste possessed by men is owing, in 
& great measure, as we have seen, to nature ; which has endowed some 
with more sensitive organs than others, and thus made them capable of 
greater intellectual enjoyment. Yet education has even more to do 
than nature with the formation of Taste ; a fact which becomes obvioua 
when we compare barbarous with enlightened nations in this respect, 
or contrast such individuals of the latter as have paid attention to liberal 
studies with the uncultivated and vulgar. We shall at once perceive 
an almost incredible difference in the degrees of Taste which they re- 
spectively possess, — a difference attributable to nothing but the educa- 
tion of the faculty in the one case and its neglect in the other. 

Hence it follows that Taste is eminently an improvable faculty ; and 
in the case of this, as well as all the mental and bodily powers, exer- 
cise is to be regarded as the great source of health and strength. 

Even the senses are rendered peculiarly acute by constant use. The 
blind, for instance, who can make themselves acquainted with the forms 
of bodies only by their touch, and are therefore constantly employing 
it, acquire exquisite sensibility ; so that they can even read fluently by 
passing their fingers over raised letters. In like manner, watchmakers, 
engravers, proof-readers, and all who are accustomed to use the eye on 
minute objects, acquire surprising accuracy of sight in discerning with 
ease what to others is almost invisible. Every one, moreover, has seen 
the result of cultivating an ear for music. He who at first relishes only 
the simplest compositions gradually appreciates finer melodies, and is at 
last enabled to enjoy all the intricate combinations of harmony. So, an 
eye for painting can not be acquired at once, but is formed by close 
study of the works oi the best masters. 

It is thus that diligent study, and close attention to models of style, 
are necessary to a full appreciation of the great works of literature. One 
slightly acquainted with the productions of genius sees no more in them 
than in common-place compositions ; their merits are lost upon him ; he 

!n the distribution of Taste and common sense ? "What besides nature operates in the 
formation of Taste ? How is this shown ? How may Taste be improved ? 

"What effect has exercise on the senses ? Give examples. Whf.t is the result ol 
'ultivating an ear for music ? How is an eye for painting acquired ? "W hat is nece* 
sary to an appreciation of the great works of literature ? 


is equally blind to their excellencies and defects. His Taste, nowever, 
becomes cultivated in proportion as his acquaintance with works of thia 
character is extended. He is gradually enabled, not only to form judg- 
ments, but to give satisfactory reasons for them. His Taste is developed 
and improved by exercise ; just as the musician's ear and the paint- 
er's eye are cultivated by a similar process. 



§ 241. Taste, we have seen, is founded on sensibility; not, 
liowever, the sensibility of mere instinct, but that of reason. 
The judgment has so much to do with the operations and de- 
cisions of this faculty, that we must regard it as one of the 
essential elements of the latter. The mind may or may not 
be conscious of the train of reasoning by which it arrives at 
its conclusions ; but in most cases there must be such reason- 
ing before taste can perform its functions. Y/e are pleased 
through our natural sensibility to impressions of the beautiful, 
aided, as we shall presently see, by the imagination ; but an 
exertion of reason is first required, to inform us whether the 
objects successively presented to the eye are beautiful or not. 
Thus in reading such a poem as the ^neid, much of our gratifica- 
tion arises from the story's being well conducted, and having a proper 
connection between its parts ; from the fidehty of the characters to na- 
ture, the spirit with which they are maintained, and the appropriate- 
ness of the style to the sentiments expressed. A poem thus conducted 
18 enjoyed by the mind, through the joint operation of the Taste and 
the imagination ; but the former faculty, without the guidance of rea- 
son, could form no opinion of the story, would be at a loss to know 
whether it was properly conducted, and would therefore fail to receive 

§ 241. On what is Taste founded ? What faculty, nevertheless, has much to do -with 
its decisions ? Before Taste can perform its functions, what must take place ? In read- 
ing such a poem as the ^neid, from what does much of our pleasure arise ? Sho-w 


pleasure from its perusal. In like manner, whenever in works of Tast« 
an imitation of nature is attempted, whenever it becomes necessary 
to consider the adaptation of means to an end, or the connection and 
consistency of parts uniting to form a whole, the judgment must alwaya 
play an important part. 

In the operations of Taste, then, two different elements 
seem to have a share ; first, a natural susceptibility or sensi- 
tiveness to pleasurable emotions arising from the contempla- 
tion of beauty and sublimity; and, secondly, a sound judg- 
ment, to enable this faculty, with or without consciousness of 
such assistance, to appreciate what is beautiful and sublime, 
and admire it intelligently. To the exercise of this faculty, 
however, in its perfection, a good heart is no less essential 
than a sound head. Not only are the moral beauties supe- 
rior to all others, but their influence is exerted, in a greater or 
less degree, on many objects of Taste with which they are 
connected. The affections, characters, and actions of men, 
certainly afford genius the noblest subjects; and of these there 
can be no due appreciation by minds whose motives and prin- 
ciples conflict with those which they respectively contemplate 
or describe. On the selfish and hard-hearted man the highest 
beauties of poetry are necessarily lost. 

^ 242. The characteristics of Taste, in its most improved 
state, are reducible to two. Delicacy and Correctness. 

Delicacy of Taste implies the possession of those finer organs and 
powers which enable us to discover beauties that lie hid from the vulgar 
eye. It may be tested by the same process that enables us to estimate 
the delicacy of an external sense. As the acuteness of the palate is 
tried, not by strong flavors, but by a mixture of different ones, each of 
which, notwithstanding it is blended with others, is detected and recog- 
nized ; so the Delicacy of internal Taste appears by a lively sensibility 

where the exercise of judgment is necessary. In what cases does this faculty always 
play an important part ? 

What two elements have a share in the operations of Taste ? To the exercise of 
Taste in its perfection, what is essential ? Show how this is the case. What effect have 
the highest beauties of poetry on selfish men ? 

§ 242. What are the characteristics of an improved Taste ? What does delicacy of 
Taste imply ? How may it be tested ? Show some of the peculiaritiea of a dellcei* 


to the finest, minutest, and most latent objects, even when most inti- 
mately blended and compounded together. Many have strong sensi- 
bility, yet are deficient in Delicacy. They may be deeply impressed 
by such beauties as they perceive, but can perceive only what is coarse, 
bold, or palpable ; chaster and simpler graces escape their notice. The 
man of delicate Taste, on the other hand, has not only strength, but also 
nicety, of feeling. He sees distinctions and difi"erences which are lost on 
others ; neither the most concealed beauties nor the minutest blemishes 
escape him. 

Addison, in his Spectator, No. 409, gives a striking illustration of 
delicacy of taste. " We find," says he, " there are as many degrees of 
refinement in the intellectual faculty as in the sense which is marked out 
by this co mm on denomination. I knew a person who possessed the one 
in so great a perfection, that, after having tasted ten different kinds of 
tea, he would distinguish, without seeing the color of it, the particular 
Bort which was offered him ; and not only so, but any two sorts of them 
that were mixed together in an equal proportion ; nay, he has carried 
the experiment so far, as, upon tasting the composition of three different 
sorts, to name the parcels from whence the three several ingredients 
were taken. A man of fine taste in writing will discern, after the same 
manner, not only the general beauties and imperfections of an author, 
but discover the several ways of thinking and expressing himself which 
diversify him fr-om all other authors, with the several foreign infusions 
of thought and language, and the particular authors from whom they 
were borrowed."* 

Correctness of Taste implies soundness of understanding. 
It judges of every thing by the standard of good sense ; is 
never imposed on by counterfeit ornaments ; duly estimates 
the several beauties it meets with in works of genius ; refers 
them to their proper classes; analyzes the principles from 
which their power of pleasing proceeds ; and enjoys them ac- 
cording to their respective merits. 

These t-^o qualities, Dehcacy and Correctness, though quite dis- 
tinct, to a certain extent imply each other. N"o Taste can be ex- 
quisitely delicate without being correct, or thoroughly correct without 
being delicate. Still one or the other characteristic predominates. 

Taste. What striking illustration does Addison give of delicacy of Taste ? What does 
correctiiess of Taste imply ? By what standard does it judge of things ? Show how 
ft correct Taste deals with works of genius. What relation subsists between delicacy 
tind correctness ? What critics among the ancients are respectively distinguished for 
ielicftcy and correctness of Taste ? Who^ among modern critics ? 


Among ancient critics, Longinus possessed most Delicacy ; Aristotle, 
most Ccrrectness. Of moderns, none exceed Addison in Delicacy; and 
few in Correctness equal Johnson and Eames. 

§ 243. We have thus far contemplated Taste in its sound 
or healthy state ; we find, however, from our own experience, 
as well as from the history of the past, that it is liable to 
change, and may in both individuals and nations become 
weakened and even vitiated. There is, indeed, nothing more 
fluctuating or capricious. The inconsistencies of this faculty, 
and the wrong conclusions at which it often arrives, have even 
created in some a suspicion that it is merely arbitrary ; that 
it is not grounded on invariable principles, is ascertainable by 
no standard, and is dependent exclusively on the changing 
fancy of the hour ; and that therefore all labored enquiries 
concerning its operations are useless. 

One or two examples of the opposite Tastes which have prevailed in 
different parts of the world, and the revolutions that have taken place 
from time to time in the same country, may here be cited with proprie- 
ty. In eloquence and poetry, nothing has ever pleased the Asiatics ex- 
cept the tumid, the ornamental, the artificial, and the gaudy ; whereas 
the ancient Greeks, despising Oriental ostentation, admired only what 
was chaste and simple. In architecture, the models of Greece for cen- 
turies met with general preference ; subsequently, however, the Gothic 
style prevailed to the exclusion of all others ; and this in turn was af- 
terwards laid aside, while the Grecian was again received into popular 
favor. Again, in literature, how completely opposite is the taste of the 
present day to that which prevailed during the reign of Charles 11. 1 
Nothing was then in vogue but an affected brilliancy of wit ; the sim- 
ple majesty of Milton was overlooked ; labored and unnatural conclu- 
Bions were mistaken for scintillations of genius, sprightliness for tender- 
ness, and bombast for eloquence. Examples of vitiated Taste, whether 
we apply this term, literally, to the external sense, or, figuratively, to 
the internal faculty, meet us on all sides. The Hottentot smears his 
body with putrid oil ; the Greenlander delights in rancid fat ; the Al- 

§ 243. How have we thus far contemplated Taste? To what do we find it liable? 
What cliaracter does it sometimes assume in both individuals and nations ? What sus- 
picion have the iDcojtisten^ies of this faculty produced in some? What example is 
cited of opposite Tastes in eloquence and poetry? in architecture? Compare the 
literary taste of Charles Second's era with that of the present day. Give examples of 
s'itiated Taste ? 


pine hunter takes pride in the swollen neck peculiar to his people ; the 
woman of fashion prefers rouge to the roses which nature has planted 
m her cheeks ; and some intellects admire Jack the Giant-kiUer more 
than the sublimest strains of the Epic Muse. 

§ 244. In view of sucli facts as these, it is natural to fall 
back on the trite proverb de gustibus non dupiitandwm^ 
" there is no disputing about tastes ; " and to conclude that, as 
long as there is so great a diversity, all standards and testa 
must be arbitrary, and consequently worthless. But let us 
Bee to what this doctrine leads. If the proverb is true of 
Taste in its literal signification, it must be equally true of the 
other senses. If the pleasures of the palate are superior to 
criticism, those of sight, smell, sound, and touch, must be 
equally privileged. At this rate, we have no right to con- 
demn one who prefers the rude head on a sign to Raphael's 
glorious creations, the odor of a decaying carcass to that of 
the most fragrant flower, or hideous discord to exquisite har- 
mony. This principle, applied to Taste in its figurative ac- 
ceptation, is equivalent to the general proposition that, as re- 
gards the perceptions of sense, by which some things appear 
agreeable and others disagreeable, there is no such thing as 
good or had^ right or ivrong ; that every man's Taste is to 
him a standard without appeal ; and that we cannot, therefore, 
properly censure even those who prefer the empty rhymester to 
Milton. The absurdity of such a position, when applied to ex- 
tremes, is manifest. No one will venture to maintain that 
the Taste of a Hottentot or an Esquimaux is as delicate as 
that of a Longinus or an Addison ; and, as long as this is the 
case, it must be admitted that there is some foundation for 
the preference of one man's Taste to another's, some standard 
by which all may be judged. 

It must b« observed that the diversity of men's Tastes does not 

§ 244 What conclusion may naturally be drawn from this variety in Tastes ? "Where 
loes this doctrine lead us? Applied to the faculty of Taste, to what is this principle 
equivalent? Show the absurdity of such a position. If one man's Taste is to be pre- 
ferred to another's, what must exist ? in what case is diversity of Tastes not only ai- 
missible but to be expected ? Show in what Tastes may differ and yet be correct. 


necessarily imply incorrectness in any Where the objects considered 
are different, such diversity is not only admissible but to be expected 
One man relishes poetry most ; another takes pleasure in history alone. 
One prefers comedy; another, tragedy. One admires the simple; 
another, the ornamental. Gay and sprightly compositions please the 
young; those of a graver' cast affoi^d more entertainment to the old. 
Some nations delight in bold delineations of character and strong repre- 
sentations of passion; others find superior charms in delicacy of 
thought and elegance of description. Though all differ, yet all select 
some one beauty which suits their peculiar tone of mind ; and therefore 
no one has a right to condemn the rest. It is not in matters of Taste 
as in questions of mere reason, that but one conclusion is true, and all 
the rest are erroneous. Truth, which is the object of reason, is one ; 
beauty, which is the leading object of Taste, is manifold. 



§ 245 Tastes, we have seen, admit of variety ; but only 
when exercised on different things. When on the same ob- 
ject men disagree, when one condemns as ugly what another 
admires as beautiful, then we have no longer diversity, but 
direct opposition ; and one must be right and the other wrong, 
unless we allow the absurd position that all Tastes are equal- 
ly good. 

Suppose a certain critic prefers Yirgil to Homer ; I, on the contrary, 
give the preference to the latter. The other party is struck with the 
elegance and tenderness which characterize the Roman bard ; I, with 
the simplicity, sublimity, and fire, of the Greek. As long as neither of 
us denies that both these poets have great beauties, our difference 
merely exemplifies that diversity which, as we have seen, is natural 
aai allowable. But, if the other party asserts that Homer has no 
beauties whatever, that he is dull and spiritless, that his Diad is in no 

§ 245. In what case may Tastes differ -without being directly opposite ? lliustratd 
fcis point by a comparison of Yirgil with Homer. In case of an opposition of Tastes, 


respect superior to any old legend of knight-errantry, — 1 have a 
right to charge my antagonist with having either no Taste at all, or one 
in a high degree corrupted ; and I appeal to whatever I regard as the 
standard of Taste, to show him his error. 

It remains to enquire what this standard is, to which, in such oppo- 
sition of Tastes, we must have recourse. The term properly denotes 
something established as a rule or model, of such undoubted authority 
as to be the test of other things of the same kind. Thus, when we say 
a standard weight or measure, we mean one appointed by law to regu- 
late all other weights and measures. 

§ 246. Whenever an imitation of any natural object is 
aimed at, as for instance when a description of a landscape or 
a portraiture of human character is attempted, fidelity to na- 
ture is the proper criterion of the truly beautiful, and we may 
lay down the proposition that Nature is our standard. In 
such cases reason can readily compare the copy with the origi- 
nal ; and approve or condemn, as it finds the peculiarities of 
the object imitated more or less truthfully represented. 

§ 247. In many cases, however, this principle is inapplica- 
ble ; and for these we are obliged to seek some other stand- 
ard. Were any person possessed of all the mental powers in 
full perfection, of senses always exquisite and true, and par- 
ticularly of sound and unerring judgment, his opinions in mat- 
ters of Taste would beyond doubt constitute an unexception- 
able standard for all others. But as long as human nature is 
liable to imperfection and error, there can be no such living 
criterion ; no one individual who will be acknowledged by his 
fellow-men to possess a judgment superior to that of all the 
rest. Where, then, can we find the required standard ? 
Manifestly, in the concurrent Tastes of the majority of man- 
kind. What most men agree in admiring must be considered 

to wh&t does it become necessary to appeal ? What does the term standard denote ? 
What do we mean by a standard weight or measure ? 

§ 246. When an imitation of any natural object is aimed at, what is the criterion of 
ILo beautiful ? What faculty is called on to approve cr condemn ? On what is its 
iccision based ? 

§ 247. In what cases 1=^ this principle inapplicable ? Why can not the Taste of a 
person of sound judgment be taken as a standard? What is the only safe standard 
that can be adopted ? Show how we appeal to this standard in cases of literal taste. 


beautiful ; and his Taste alone can be esteemed true wbo coin 
cides with the general sentiment of his species. 

If any one should maintain that sugar is bitter and tobacco sweet, 
no reasoning could avail to prove it, because it contradicts the genera] 
voice of mankind. The taste of such a person would inevitably be re« 
garded as diseased. In like manner, with regard to the objects of inter- 
nal Taste, the common opinion of mankind carries the same authority, 
and constitutes the only test by which tlie impressions of individuals caa 
be tried. 

§ 248. When we speak of the concurrent Tastes of men as 
the universal standard, it must be understood that we mean 
men placed in situations favorable to the proper development 
of this faculty. Such loose notions as may be entertained 
during ages of ignorance and darkness, or among rude and un- 
civilized nations, carry with them no authority. In such 
states of society, Taste is either totally suppressed or appears 
in its worst form. By the common sentiments of men, there- 
fore, we mean the concurrent opinions of refined men in civil- 
ized nations, by whom the arts are cultivated, works of genius 
are freely discussed, and Taste is improved by science and 

Even among such nations, accidental causes occasionally pervert the 
Taste ; superstition, bigotry, or despotism, may bias its decisions; or 
habits of gaiety and licentiousness of morals may bring false ornaments 
and dissolute writing? into vogue. Admiration of a great genius may 
protect his faults from criticism, and even render them fashionable. 
Sometimes envy obscures for a season productions of great merit; while 
personal influence or part} -spirit mny, on the contrary, exalt to a high 
though short-lived reputation what is totally undeserving. Such incon- 
sistencies may lead us to doubt the correctness of our standard ; but it 
will be found thc.t these vagaries in the course of time in-v ariably correct 
themselvBs; that the genuine Taste of mankind in general ultimately 
triumphs over the fantastic notions which may have attained temporary 
Durrency with superficial judges. The latter soon pass away ; vfhereaa 

§ 248. What do we mean by the con current Tastes of men, which wo make tlio 
iiniveTsal standard? Even among cultivated nations, what may pervert the Tosto? 
Bbow ho^ its decisions are sometimes inflnenced. What feeling is likely to l>e pro 
dacod by these inconsistencies? XJltirautely, however, what will we find? 

STAND aud of taste. 181 

the principles of true philosophic Taste are unchangeable, being the same 
now that they were five thousand years ago. 

The universality of Taste and the consistency of its decisions, except 
when temporarily. perverted by external causes, prove that it is far from 
being arbitrary, is independent of individual fancies, and employs a 
practical ciiterion for determining their triith or falsehood. In every 
composition, what captivates the imagination, convinces the reason, or 
touches the heart, pleases all ages and all nations. Hence the unan- 
inous testimony which successive generations have borne to the merit 
of some few works of genius. Hence the authority which such worka 
have acquired as standards of composition ; since from them we learn 
what beauties give the highest pleasure, and elicit the general admi- 
ration of mankind. 

§ 249. The terms Taste and Genius being frequently con- 
founded, though signifying quite different things, it is of im- 
portance clearly to define the distinction subsisting between 
them. Taste consists in the power of judging ; Genius, in that 
of creating. Genius includes Taste; whereas the latter not 
only may, but generally does, exist without the former. Many 
are capable of appreciating poetry, eloquence, and the produc- 
tions of art, who have themselves no abilities for composing or 
executing. Delicate and correct Taste forms a good critic ; 
but Genius is further necessary to form a poet, an orator, or 
an artist. Genius, therefore, is a higher power than Taste. It 
implies a creative or inventive faculty, which not only per- 
ceives beauties already existing, but calls new ones into beings 
and so exhibits them as strongly to impress the minds of 

The term G-imius, as commonly used, extends further 
than to the objects of Taste. Thus we speak of a genius for 
mathematics, for war, for politics, and even for mechanical em- 
ployments. In this acceptation, it signifies a natural talent 
or aptitude for excelling in any particular vocation. 

How is' it proved that the principles of Taste are not arbitrary? How hp.v6 the 
great works of genius been regarded in all ages ? 

§ 249. What terms are often confounded ? Show the difference between Taste and 
gpnius. Which forms the critic, and which the poet? Which is the higher power? 
What is the common acceptation of the term genius ? As possessed by individual 
lainda, which extends to the wider range of objects, genius or Taste ? W^hat is said of 


Genius, the creative faculty, as possessed by individual 
minds, does not extend to so wide a range of objects as Taste. 
It is not uncommon to meet persons possessed of good Taste 
in several of the elegant arts, in painting, sculpture, music, 
and poetry ; but to find one who is an excellent performer in 
all these is much more rare, or rather not to be expected at 
all A universal genius is not likely to excel in any thing ; 
only when the creative powers of the mind are directed exclu- 
sively to one object, is there a prospect of attaining eminence. 
With Taste the reverse is the case ; exercising it on one class 
of objects is likely to improve it as regards all. 

§ 250. Genius, as remarked above, implies the existence 
of Taste ; and the more the latter is cultivated and improved, 
the nobler will be the achievements of the former. Genius, 
however, may exist in a higher degree than Taste ; that is, a 
person's Genius may be bold and strong, while his Taste is re- 
markable for neither delicacy nor correctness. This is often 
the case in the infancy of a literature or an art : for Genius, 
which is the gift of nature, attains its growth at once ; while 
Taste, being in a great degree the result of assiduous study 
and cultivation, requires long and careful training to attain 
perfection Shakspeare is a case in point. Full of vigor and 
fire, and remarkable for the originality of his thoughts, he still 
lacks much of that delicacy, both of conception and expression, 
which has been attained by later writers of far inferior Genius. 
Indeed, those who dazzle the minds of their readers with great 
and brilliant thoughts are too apt to disregard the lesser 
graces of composition. 

a universal genius? What is the result of exercising Taste on any particular class of 
objects ? 

§ 250. "What is implied in genius? May it exist without a high degree of Taete? 
When is this often the case ? What author is a case in point ? 




§251. The pleasures of Taste, sinc^ they arise from im- 
pressions made on the imagination, are generally known as the 
Pleasures of the Imagination. 

§ 252. The Imagination is that faculty of the mind by 
which it conceives ideas of things communicated to it oy the 
organs of sense, and, selecting parts of different conceptions, 
combines them into new wholes of its own creation. 

Imagination, like every other faculty of mind, is of course confined 
to man. Opening to him, as it does, an enlarged sphere of manifold 
and multiform pleasures, it affords a striking proof of Divine benevolence. 
The necessary purposes of life -might have been answered, though our 
senses had served only to distinguish external objects, without conveying 
to us any of those delightful emotions of which they are now the source. 
The Creator, however, has seen fit to vouchsafe to man these pure and 
innocent enjoyments for the purpose of elevating his aspirations, enno- 
bling his emotions, banishing unworthy thoughts from his breast, freeing 
him from the control of passion and sense, and leading him to look 
beyond the earth, and 

" Before the transient and minute 
To prize the vast, the stable, the sublime." 

The mind that has once feasted on the pleasures which imagination 
affords, will never be satisfied to leave them for meaner enjoyments ; any 
more than one who from some height views a majestic river roUing its 
waves through spacious plains and past splendid cities, will withdraw 
his gaze from the inviting prospect, to contemplate the stagnant pool at 
his feet. 

§ 253. The process by which the emotions alluded to affect 
the imagination next requires attention. Whenever an object 

I 25L From what do the pleasures of Taste arise ? What are they generally 
called ? 

§ 252. What is meant by the imagination ? To whom is it confined ? Show how its 
bestowal is a proof of divine beneficence. How do the pleasures of the imagination 
(XHnpare with other enjoyments 2 

§ 253. Describe the process by which the sensations in question affect the Imagination 


calculated to produce them is presented to the miudj unless 
its attention is previously engrossed, a train of thought is im- 
mediately awakened, analogous in character to the object ex- 
citing it. It must be observed, however, that the simple per- 
ception of the object is insufficient Of itself to excite the 
emotion. No pleasurable impression will be produced, unless 
the mind operates in connection with the sensatior ; unless 
he imagination busies itself with the pursuit of such trains of 
thought as are awakened. 

We find that the same thing is true of the creations of art. A fine 
landscape, a beautiful poem, a thrilling strain of harmony, excite feeble 
emotions in our minds, as long as our attention is confined to the quali- 
ties they present to our senses. "We fully appreciate them only when 
our imaginations are kindled by their power, when we lose ourselves 
amid the images summoned before us, and wake at last from the play of 
fancy as from the charm of a romantic dream. 

§ 254. That pleasurable emotions are not produced by 
mere impressions on the external senses, but remain unfelt 
unless these impressions are transferred to the imagination, is 
susceptible of conclusive proof. If, for instance, the mind is 
in such a state as to prevent the play of imagination, the sen- 
sation of pleasure is entirely lost, although of course the effect 
on the outward sense is the same. A man in pain or afflic- 
tion will contemplate without the slightest admiration scenes 
and objects, which, were his imagination at liberty, would 
afford him the liveliest pleasure. The sublimity and beauty 
of external nature are almost constantly before us, and not a 
day passes without presenting us objects calculated to charm 
and elevate the mind ; yet it is in general with a heedless eye 
that we regard them, and only at particular moments that we 
are sensible of their power. There are few that have not con- 
templated with delight the beauties of a glowing sunset ; yet 
every one knows that, at times, all the gorgeous magnificence 

What, beside the sensation, is essential to the production of a pleasurable emotion In 
the mind ? What is said of the emotions produced by the creations of art ? 

§ 254. Prove that pleasurable emotions are not produced by mere impressions on the 
jxternai senses. To what is the dilTerence in the impressions prod-iced by the earaa 


with -K^hicli Nature paints tlac heavens at the close of day falla 
powerless on the eye. 

Tliis difference of effect is clearly not attributaole to the objects 
themselves, nor to the external senses on which the impression is prima^ 
rily produced : it arises from a difference in the state of our imagina* 
tions ; from our disposition at one time to follow out the train of thought 
awakened, and our incapacity to do this, at another, in consequence of 
the pre-occupation of our minds by some engrossing idea. The pleasures 
of Taste are enjoyed in their perfection only when the imagination ig 
free, and the attention is so little occupied as to leave us open to all the 
impressions created by the objects before us. It is, therefore, always in 
leisure hours that we turn to music and poetry for amusement. The 
seasons of care, of grief, of business, have other occupations ; and destroy, 
for the time at least,, our sensibility to the beautiful or the subhme, in 
proportion as the state of mind produced by them is unfavorable to the 
exercise of the imagination. 

Another proof that imagination is the source of the pleas- 
ures of Taste may be derived from what is observed in the 
process of criticising. When, in considering a poem or paint- 
ing, we attend minutely to the language and structure of the 
one, or the coloring and design of the other, we cease to feel 
the delight which they otherwise produce. The reason of this 
is that by so doing we restrain our imagination, and, instead 
of yielding to its suggestions, resist them by fixing our atten- 
tion on minute and unconnected parts. On the contrary, 
if the imagination is ardent and is left to its free exercise, the 
mind receives pleasure from the performance as a whole, and 
takes no note of the minor details of criticism. 

It is this chiefly that makes it difficult for young persons with lively 
imaginations to form correct judgments of the productions of literature 
and art, and which so often induces them to approve of mediocre per- 
formances. It is not that they are incapable of learning in what merit 
of composition consists ; for the principles which direct us in the forma- 

sb^ecc &-: different times attributable ? When are the pleasures ot taste enjoyed in their 
perfection ? When do we turn to music or poetry for amusement ? 

What do facts observable in the process of criticising prove with regard to tho 
pleasures of Taste? State the arguments thus derived. What kind of n-itics sro per- 
sons with ardent imaginations likely to become ? What renders it difficult fo'* the 
young to form correct judgments of literary performances ? What effect has tlio labot 


tion of critical opinions are neither numerous nor abstruse. It is not 
that sensibility increases with age ; for this all experience contradicts. 
But it IS because at this period of life the imagination is fresh, and ia 
excited by the slightest causes ; because the young decide on the merits 
of a composition according to the impression it makes on this faculty ; 
because their estimate of its value is formed, not by comparing it ■with 
Other works or with any abstract or ideal standard, but from the facility 
with which it leads them into those enchanting regions of fancy where 
youth loves to wander. It is their own imagination that m reality pos- 
sesses the charms which they attribute to the work that excites it ; and 
the simplest tale is as capable of exciting this faculty in the young, and 
is therefore advanced to as high a rank in their estimation, as the most 
meritorious performances would be at a later period. 

AU this flow of imagination, however, in which youth and men of 
sensibility are apt to indulge, and which so often yields them pleasure 
while it involves them in incorrect judgments, the labor of criticism de- 
stroys. Thus employed, the mind, instead of being free to follow the 
trains of imagery successively awakened, is either fettered to the con- 
Bideration of minute and isolated parts, or pauses to weigh the various 
ideas received. Thus distracted, it loses the emotion, whether of beauty 
or sublimity ; and, since the impression on the outward sense is evident- 
ly the same as before, it must be the restraint of imagination alone that 
makes the difference, and consequently this faculty is the sole source 
whence the pleasures of Taste flow. Accordingly, the mathematician 
who investigates the demonstrations of the iJifewtonian philosophy, the 
painter who studies the designs of Eaphael, the poet who reasons on the 
measure of Milton, — all in such occupations lose the delight which these 
Beveral productions give ; and, when they wish to recover the emotion 
of pleasure, must withdraw their attention from minute considerations, 
and leave their fancy to revel amid the great and pleasing conceptiona 
with which it is inspired. 

§ 255. The pleasures received from objects of Taste de- 
pending, as we have seen, on the action of the imagination, it 
follows that whatever facilitates the lively exercise of this 
faculty heightens the pleasurable emotions experienced. This 
is obviously the effect of those interesting associations with 

t criticism on the flow of imagination ? What is said of the mathematician, the 
painter, and the poet, when studying the great masters of their respective arts? 

§255. On what do the pleasures received from objects of Taste depend? What, 
therefore, heightens the pleasurable emotions experienced ? Of what is this obviously 
the effect ? In how manv classes are associations comprised ? What is the first class ? 


particular objects which exist in every mind. These associa- 
tions are comprised in three classes : — 

L Personal. N"o man is indifferent to a view of the house where he 
was born, the school where he was educated, or the scenes amid which 
his infancy was spent. So many images of past affections and past hap- 
piness do they recall, that, common-place as they may seem to others, 
to him they are a source of indescribable rapture. There are melodies, 
also, that were learned in infancy, or were sung perhaps by beloved 
voices now silent, which awake strong feeling within us whenever they 
are heard, and are through life preferred to aU others. 

n. National. Next to personal associations, those connected with 
our country are most calculated to heighten our emotions of pleasure. 
What American can visit the localities consecrated by the blood of his 
struggling ancestors, can behold Bunker HiU, Bennington, VaUey Forge, 
Cowpens, or Yorktown, and not feel his heart touched with a far higher 
and stronger enthusiasm than would be kmdled by the mere beauty of 
the respective scenes ? To others, they may be objects of indifference ; 
to us, they are hallowed by their connection with our country's history. 
In like manner, the fine lines which Virgil, in his Georgics, has dedicated 
to the praises of his native land, beautiful as they are to us, were un- 
doubtedly read with far greater pleasure by the ancient Eoman. 

Tlie influence of such associations in increasing the beauty or sub- 
limity of musical compositions must have been generally observed. 
Swiss soldiers in foreign lands have been so overwhelmed with melan- 
choly on hearing their celebrated national air, that it has been found 
necessary to forbid its performance in the armies in which they serve. 
This effect is not attributable to the composition itself, but to the recol- 
lections with which it is accompanied ; to the images it awakens of 
peace and domestic pleasures , from which they have been torn, and to 
which they may never return. So the tune called BeUisle March is said 
to have owed its popularity in England to the supposition that it was 
the air played when the British army marched into BelHsie, and to its 
consequent association with images of conquest and military glory. 

III. Historical. Powerful, though in a less degree than the asso- 

Describe personal associationa Show how they impart additional intensity to the 
pleasure received from certain melodies. "What associations, next to personal ones, are 
most calculated to heighten our pleasurable emotions ? What scenes are likely to kin- 
ale enthusiasm in an American's heart? Why? In whom is it likely that the lines 
dedicated by Virgil to his country awakened the liveliest pleasure ? What compcsi- 
>ions have their effect greatly increased by such associations? What illustration is 
cited, touching the Swiss soldiers? To what is the effect of this national air attrib- 
utable ? In like manner to what does the air called Eellisle March owe its popularity ? 


siations connected witli our own land, are those founded on general his- 
tory or the lives of distinguished persons. The valley of Vaucluse is 
celebrated for its beauty ; yet how little would it have been esteemed, 
had it not been the residence of Petrarch ! In like manner, there are 
many landscapes, no doubt, more beautiful than Runnymede ; yet those 
who remember that this place witnessed the granting of the great char- 
ter which has guaranteed the rights and liberties of millions, wiU £sd 
few scenes affect their imaginations so strongly. 



§ 256. Of the five senses that have been given to man, 
three, — taste, smell, and touch, — are incapable by themselves of 
awakening the imagination to pleasure. Cooperating with the 
other two, they may contribute to the efi"ect produced on this 
faculty * or, by the associations connected with their sensa- 
tions, they may occasionally produce pleasing trains of thought : 
but, independently exercised, they cannot be regarded as 
sources of the pleasures of Taste. Hence the intensity of the 
affliction with which the blind and deaf man is visited. Cut 
off from the manifold enjoyments ensured by sight and hear- 
ing, and by these alone, he finds but little solace in the posses- 
sion of the- three inferior senses. 

Taste (in its literal signification) has to do with the body; it flattera 
and serves the grossest of all masters, the stomach. 1:^0 sense has less 

What is the third class of associations? How do they rank as regards effect? What 
llustrations are given to prove their power ? 

§ 256. Which of the five senses are incapable of affecting the imagination ? When do 
they cf)ntributo to the effect produced on this faculty ? How are they sometinacs instru' 
mental in producing pleasing trains of tliought ? Independently exercised, are they 
sources of the pleasure of Taste ? What follows with respect to the blind and deaf 

To what does the sense of Taste appeal ? What kind of pleasures is it incapable of 


connection with the mind, or is so utterly incapable of yielding it 

Smell may sometimes seem to yield perceptions of the beautiful ; but 
it is because the odor ie exhaled from an object that we already know 
to be beautiful, and that is so independently of its fragrance. Thus the 
rose charms us with its symmetrical proportions and the richness and 
variety of its shades ; its odor is agreeable, not beautiful, and suggests 
the idea of beauty only because we know it to proceed from a beautiful 

Touch may in a measure judge of smoothness, regularity, and sym- 
metry ; but not with sufficient promptness and accuracy to make it a 
source of pleasure to the imagination, unless sight comes to its aid. 

Agreeable trains of thought may, indeed, occasionally be awakened 
by the taste, smell, and perhaps touch, of particular objects with which 
striking recollections of the past are connected ; yet we cannot on that 
account say that the sensati'ons produced through these media are a 
source of mental pleasure. 

§ 257. The only senses capable of kindling the imagina- 
tion and exciting its pleasures are sight and hearing. The 
impressions of the former are the more striking, and the 
enjoyment they yield is both more lasting and more intense. 
The blind, therefore, apart from the greater helplessness to 
which they are reduced, lose incomparably more of the pleas- 
ures of the imagination, whether awakened by nature or art, 
than the deaf. 

These senses seem to be particularly in the service of the souL The 
sensations they produce are pure, not gross ; intellectual, not corporeal. 
They contribute to the refining rather than the sustaining of life. They 
procure us pleasures which are not selfish and sensual, but noble and 

§ 258. To these two senses, then, through the operation 
of which natural objects excite a flow of imagination and con- 
producing? Of what may smell sometimes seem to yield perceptions? Explain how 
this is, and illustrate it in the case of the rose. Of what qualities may touch, in a 
measure, judge? Why is it not, then, a source of pleasure to the imagination? To 
what are the agreeable trains of thought sometimes awakened by these senses 
Bttributable ? 

§ 257. What senses alone are capable- of kindling the imagination ? Which pro- 
fluces the more striking impressions ? How, then, does the afOiction of the blind com- 
■ pars with that of the deaf? What is said of the sensations and pleasures produced by 
sight and hearing ? 


sequent pleasure, art must be addressed, in order to make an 
impression on the mind. The eye being, as we have seen^ 
the medium of the most vivid and abundant sensations, to it 
most of the fine arts,: — painting, sculpture, architecture, and 
landscape-gardening, — are exclusively addressed. Music, po- 
etry^ and rhetoric (which we have seen is a mixed art), ad- 
dress themselves to the ear. 

§ 259. We may divide those objects of sight and hearing 
which constitute the source of pleasure to the imagination, 
into two great classes, the productions of nature and those of 
art. Strictly speaking, our subject leads us to treat only of 
the latter, or rather of that class of the latter which pertains 
exclusively to the art of composition. Yet, as the relation 
subsisting between the two is intimate and they often afford 
striking illustrations of each other, we shall briefly extend our 
notice to both. 

§ 260. The different characteristics which an object must 
possess to excite the imagination are known as the novel, the 
wonderful, the picturesque, the sublime, and the beautiful. 
Of these the last two are by far the most fruitful sources of 

These five quahties belong ahke to natural and artificial objects. 
Two others must here be mentioned, more limited in extent, because ap- 
plicable orJy to the creations of art. 

I. Fidelity of imitation. Art in many cases aims at nothing more 
than a reproduction of nature. In these cases, the closer resemblance 
the copy bears to the original, the greater pleasure does it afford. Nor 
is this less true, though the object copied be destitute of beauty, or 
even repulsive. In a picture we can endure the filthy lazzaroni and dis- 
gusting dwarf, from whom in life we would turn away with uncontral* 

§ 258. To what must art be addressed ? Which arts are addressed to the eye ? 
Which, to the ear ? 

§259. Into what two great classes are the objects of sight and hearing divided? 
What is said of the relation subsisting between them ? 

§ 260. Enumerate the characteristics which an object must possess, to excite the 
imagination. Which of these are the most fruitful sources of pleasure ? To what ob- 
jects do these qualities belong ? What two others are more limited in extent ? In 
what cases is fidelity of imitation a source of pleasure ? Illustrate the fact that a faith- 


lable aversion. The mind is pleased with the fidelity of the representa- 
tion, because in the triumphs of art the whole species may be said to 
have a coromon concern and pride. 

n. Wit, humor, and ridicule, in literary compositions, are the source 
of various pleasures. These are of such importance as to require future 
consideration at some length. 

§ 261. The Novel is an important source of tbe pleasures 
of Taste, producing, as it does, a lively and instantaneous effect 
on the imagination. An object wbich bas no merit to recom- 
mend it, except its being uncommon or new, by means of this 
quality gives a quick and pleasing impulse to the mind. A 
degree of novelty, indeed, though not essential to the produc- 
tion of impressions by the beautiful or the sublime, consider- 
ably heightens them ; for objects long familiar, however 
attractive, are apt to be passed over with indifference. 

The emotion produced by novelty is of a livelier and more 
pungent nature than that excited by beauty ; but is propor- 
tionally shorter in its continuance. If there is no other charm 
to rivet our attention, the shining gloss thus communicated 
soon wears off. 

The desire to see and hear what is new is universal, and is known 
as curiosity. !N^o emotion of the mind is stronger or more general. Con- 
versation is never more interesting than when it turns on strange ob- 
jects and extraordinary events. Men tear themselves from their fami- 
lies in search of things rare and new, and novelty converts into pleasures 
the fatigues and even the perils of travelling. By children, also, this 
feehng is constantly manifested. "We see them perpetually running from 
place to place, to hunt out something new ; they catch, with eagerness 
and often with very little choice^ at whatever comes before thenu 
]S"ow, by reason of its nature, novelty cannot for any length of time en- 
gross our attention ; and hence curiosity is the most versatile of all our 

fal representation pleases, though the object copied may be absolutely repulsive 
Explain the reason. "What source of pleasure to the imagination belongs exclusivelj 
to literary compositions ? 

§ 261. "What is the effect of the novel on the imagination ? "What, on the impres- 
sions produced by the beautiful and the sublime ? How does the emotion produced by 
novelty compare with that excited by beauty ? "What is the desire to see and hear new 
things called ? How do men show that they are under its control ? How is It m«sai- 
fested by children ? "What is the leading characteristic of curiosity ? 

192 TEE SrOVEL. 

affections. It is constantly changing its object, and always presento as 
appearance of anxiety and restlessness. 

§ 262. Novelty is possessed by objects in different degrees, 
to which its effects are proportioned, 

I. The lowest degree is found in objects surveyed a second 
feime after a long interval. 

Experience teaches ns that, without any decay of remembrance, ab- 
sence always gives an air <of novelty to a once familiar object. Thus, a 
person with whom we have been intimate, returning from abroad after 
a long interval, appears almost like a new acquaintance. Distance of 
place contributes to this effect no less than lapse of time ; a friend, for 
example, after a short absence in a remote country, has the same air of 
novelty as if he had returned after a longer interval from a place nearer 
home. The mind unconsciously institutes a connection between him 
and the distant region he has visited, and invests him with the singu- 
larity of the objects he has seen. 

II. The next degree of novelty belongs to objects respect- 
ing which we have had some previous information. 

Description, though it contributes to familiarity, cannot altogether 
remove the appearance of novelty when the object itself is presented. 
The first sight of a lion, for instance, is novel, and therefore a source of 
pleasure, although the beholder may have previously obtained from pic- 
tures, statues, and natural history, a thorough acquaintance with all his 
Deculiarities of appearance. 

III. A new object that bears some distant resemblance 
to one already known is an instance of the third degree of 

We are familiar, for example, with the features of the Caucasian race 
of men, having seen them from infancy ; the first sight of a Chinese, 
however, is novel and pleasing, becaiise, although he bears a resemblance 
to those we already know, the points of difference are sufiicient to ex- 
cite our curiosity. 

IV. The highest degree of novelty is that which character- 

§ 2^2. To what are the effecb of novelty proportioned ? In what objects is novelty 
found in the lowest degree? What is always the effe.ct of absence? What besides 
lapse of time contributes to this effect ? Illustrate this. What connection is uncon- 
sciously instituted by the mind ? What objects are characterized by novelty in the 
second degreo? What is the effect of description ? Illustrate this. What is the next 
highest degree of novelty ? Give au illustration. To what objects does the highea? 
degree of novelty belong ? 


izes objects entirely unknown and bearing no analogy to any 
with which we are acquainted. 

§ 263. The Wonderful is analogous in character to the 
novel, and is by some confounded with it. It is equally a 
source of pleasure, its charm consisting principally in the pro- 
duction of unexpected trains of thought. 

The difference between the novel and the wonderful is readily illus- 
trated. A traveller who lias never seen an elephant, goes to a jungle 
in India for the purpose of meeting with one ; if he succeeds, the sight 
is novel and pleasing, but not wonderful, for it was fully expected. A 
Hindoo, wandering in America, suddenly sees an elephant feeding at 
large in a field : the sight is not novel, for he is accustomed to the ani- 
mal ; it is wonderful, however, because totally unexpected, — and is 
pleasing in proportion. 

The Chinese appreciate the fact that the wonderful pleasurably ex- 
cites the imagination in a high degree, and take advantage of it in the 
embellishment of their gardens, which, we may add, are among the finest 
in the world. A torrent, for example, is conveyed under the ground, 
that the visitor may b§ at a loss to divine whence the imusual sound 
proceeds ; and, to multiply stiU stranger noises, subterranean cavities are 
devised in every variety. Sometimes one is unexpectedly led into a 
dark cave, which still more unexpectedly terminates in a landscape en- 
riched with all the beauties that nature can afford. In another quar- 
ter, enchanting paths lead to a rough field, where bushes, briers, and 
stones, interrupt the passage ; and, while means of egress are being 
sought, a magnificent vista opens on the view. 

§ 264. The Picturesque is by some regarded simply as a 
variation of the beautiful, and treated under that head. The 
term seems, however, to be applied to objects which have a 
rugged appearance, in contradistinction to such as are sublime 
or beautiful, particularly when introduced among the latter by 
way of contrast. Affecting the mind at first with an emotion 
of surprise, such objects soon give birth to an additional train 

§263. To what is the wonderful analogous? In what does its charm consist? 
Illustrate the difference bet^yeen the novel and the wonderful. What use do the Chi- 
tieee make of the fact that the wonderful pleasurably excites the imagination ? Sliow 
bow they apply this principle in their gardens. 

§ 264. To what do some regard the picturesque as belonging ? To what objects doee 
this term seem rather to be applied ? With what emotion do picturesque objects first 
affect the mind ? To what do they soon give birth? Mention some picturesque ob- 



of images winch the scene itself would not have suggested. A 
ruined tower in the midst of a deep wood, an old bridge flung 
across a chasm between rocks, a moss-covered cottage on a 
precipice, are instances of the picturesque. We have other 
examples in a stream with a broken surface and an irregulai 
motion ; and, among trees, not in the smooth young beech or 
the fresh and tender ash, but in the gnarled oak and knotty 

It is not necessary that picturesque objects should be of great size; 
it is enough if they are rough and scraggy, if they indicate age by their 
appearance and have forms characterized by sudden variations. .Among 
animals, the ass is generally regarded as more picturesque than the 
horse ; and, among horses, it is to the wild and rough forester or the worn- 
out cart-horse, that this epithet is applied. In our own species, objects 
merely picturesque are to be found among the wandering tribes of gyp- 
sies and beggars ; who, in aU their characteristics, bear a close analogy 
to the wild forester and worn-out cart-horse, as well as to old mills, 
hovels, and similar inanimate objects. 



§ 265. The term Sublimity, for which grandeur is by 
some used as an equivalent, is applied to great and noble ob- 
jects which produce a sort of internal elevation and expansion. 
The emotion, though pleasing, is of a serious character, and, 
when awakened in the highest degree, may be designated even 
as severe, solemn, and awful ; being thus readily distinguish- 
able from the livelier feelings produced by the beautiful. 

jects. What is the leading characteristic of such objects? Is the ass or the horse 
the more picturesque ? To what kind of horses is this epithet applicable ? "Whitt 
members of our own species present a picturesque appearance ? To what are they anal' 
agous in character ? 

§ 265. What word is used as an equivalent for s^iblimity ? To what are these terms 
tipplied ? Describe the emotion produced by sublimlfy. 


The principal source of the sublime is might, or power 
in a state of active exertion. Hence the grandeur of earth- 
quakes and volcanoes ; of great conflagrations ; of the stormy 
ocean and mighty torrent ; of lightning, tempests, and all 
violent commotions of the elements. 

A stream that confines itself to its bants is a beautiful object; but, 
wlien it rushes witli the impetuosity of a torrent, it becomes sublime. 
•' The sight of a small fire," says Longinus, " produces no emotion ; but 
we are struck with the boiHng furnace of Etna, pouring out whole rivers 
of liquid flame." The engagement of two great armies, being the high- 
est exertion of htmaan might, constitutes one of the noblest and most 
magnificent spectacles that can be presented to the eye, or exhibited to 
the imagination in description. Lions and other animals of strength are 
subjects of some of the grandest passages. In what sublime terms is the 
war-horse described in Job 1 

"Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck 
with thunder ? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper ? The 
glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth 
m his strength ; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He moeketh at 
fear, and is not afirighted ; neither turneth he back from the sword. 
The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He 
swaUoweth the ground with fierceness and rage ; neither believeth he 
that it is the sound of the trumpet. -He saith among the trumpets. Ha, 
ha ! and he smelleth the battle afar off." 

The description of the leviathan is worked up in the same book with 
fine effect. 

" Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook ? or his tongue with a 
cord which thou lettest down ? Canst thou put an hook into his nose ? 
or bore his jaw through with a thorn ? Wilt thou play with him as 
with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens ? By his neesings a light 
doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of hia 
mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nos- 
trils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or cauldron. His breath kin- 
dleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. In his neck remaineth 
strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him." 

§ 266. The simplest form in which sublimity develops it- 

What is the principal eource of the sublime? From this sourco what derive 
their grandeur ? How is a stream that confines itself to its banks characterized ? When 
does the same stream become sublime ? Eepeat the remark of Longinus. What Is 
the highest exertion of human might ? What kind of a spectacle does a battle, there- 
fore, constitute ? What animals form the subject of some of the grandest passages? 
Where are the war-horse and the leviathan described in sublime terms ? Eepeat these 

§266, What is the simplest form in which sublimity develops itself? Give some 


self is vastness. Wide-extended plains, to which the eye di^ 
cerns no limit ; the firmament of heaven ; the boundless ex 
panse of ocean, — furnish us with familiar examples. 

To connect greatness of size with greatness of character is natnrai, 
particularly with unenlightened minds. The Scythians, for example, 
were so impressed with the fame of Alexander the Great that they 
thought he must be a giant, and were astonished when they found him 
to be rather under than above their own size. 

The mind is inadequate to the conception of infinity, and intuitively 
invests whatever approaches it with a character of grandeur. Hence, 
infinite space, endless numbers, and eternal duration, possess this 
quality in an eminent degree. It must be observed, however, that 
where there is such variety in the parts of any object that one cannot 
be inferred from another, unless they are of such size that all can be 
taken in at one view, a portion of the sublimity is lost. When there is 
Buch immensity that the whole cannot be comprehended at once, the 
mind is distracted rather than satisfied, and is excited only to an in- 
ferior degree of pleasure. With the sky and the ocean this is not the 
case ; because what is invisible is the counterpart of what we see, and 
from such portions as meet the eye imagination can readily draw the 
picture of such as are concealed from it. When, however, every part 
must be seen that an idea of the whole may be formed, any degree of 
magnitude inconsistent with distinctness diminishes the effect. Addi- 
son's observation is therefore just, that there would have been more true 
sublimity in one of Lysippus' statues of Alexander, though no larger than 
life, than in the vast Mount Athos, had it been cut into the figure of the 
hero, according to the proposition of Phidias, with a river in one hand, 
and a city in the other. 

§ 267. All vastness produces the impression of sublimity. 
This impression, however, is less vivid in objects extended in 
length or breadth than in such as are vast by reason of their 
height or depth. Though a boundless plain is a grand object, 
yet a high mountain to which we look up, or an awful preci- 

familiar examples. With what is it natural to connoct greatness of character ? What 
did the Scythians think respecting Alexander the Great? To what is the mind in- 
adequate ? What objects, therefore, are eminently grand ? When there is variety in 
the parts of an object, what degree of magnitude is inconsistent with the highest sub- 
limity ? Why does not this principle operate in the case of the sky and the ocean 
What remark does Addison make in illustration of this point ? 

§ 267. With the same size, in what directions must bodies be extended, to be most 
wiDlmie? How does a boundless plain compare with a high mountain or an awful 


pice or tower from which we contemplate objects beneath, is 
still grander. The sublimity of the firmament arises as well 
from its height as from its vast extent. 

Our every-day actions slio-w that we are aware of the effect pro- 
duced on the mind by elevation. "We raise lofty monuments, and on 
their tops place the statues of our heroes, at as great a height as is com- 
patible with distinctness of view. So thrones are erected for kings, and 
elevated seats for judges and magistrates. Among all nations, Heaven 
is placed far above. Hell far below. Why are these directions prefer- 
red to all others, if the mind does not instinctively connect an idea of 
grandeur with great height and depth ? 

§ 268. The solemn and the terrible are important elements 
of the sublime ; hence, darkness, solitude, and silence, which 
have a tendency to fill the mind with awe, contribute much to 
sublimity. It is not the gay landscape, the flowery field, oi 
the flourishing city, that produces the emotion of grandeur : 
but the hoary mountain, and the solitary lake ; the aged forest, 
and the torrent falling down the precipice. 

Hence, too, night scenes are generally the most sublime. The firma- 
ment, when filled with stars in magnificent profusion, strikes the imagi- 
nation with a more awful grandeur than when we view it enlightened 
by the brightest noon-day sun. The soimd of a bell and the striking of 
a large clock are at any time grand ; but they become doubly so, when 
heard amid the stillness of night. In descriptions of the Deity, dark- 
ness is often introduced, and with great effect, as a means of imparting 
additional sublimity to the subject. " He maketh darkness his pavilion," 
saith the inspired writer; "He dweUeth in the thick cloud," So, 
Milton :— 

" How oft, amidst 

Thick clouds and dark, does Heaven's all-ruling Sire 

Choose to reside, his glory unobscured, 

And with the majesty of darkness round 

Circles his throne ! " 

§ 269. Obscurity is another source of the sublime. We 

precipice ? To what is the sublimity of the firmament owing ? How, in every-day 
life, do we avail ourselves of the effects produced by elevation ? Why do all natlona 
locate Heaven above them, and Hell below ? 

§ 268. What other elements contribute largely to the sublime ? Give instances of 
their effect. As regards sublimity, what is the effect of darkness on the heavens, the 
Bound of bells, &c. ? What is often introduced into descriptions of the Deity, and with 
what effect ? Give an example from Scripture ; from Milton. 


have seen that in natural and visible objects, when a portion 
of the form is seen, it is essential that the whole be within 
reach of the eye, unless there is such uniformity that its ap- 
pearance can be readily inferred. When no part, however, 
is visible or material, 1but the whole is left to imagination, the 
obscurity and uncertainty fill the mind with indescribable 
awe. Thus we find that descriptions of supernatural beings 
are characterized by sublimity, though the ideas they yield 
are confused and indistinct. The superior power we attribute 
to such beings, the obscurity with which they are veiled, and 
the awe they awaken in our minds, necessarily render them 
sublime. The grand efi"ect of obscurity is obvious in the fol- 
lowing passage from the book of Job : — 

" In thouglits from the visions of tlie night, when deep sleep falleth 
on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones 
to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face ; the hair of my flesh 
stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an 
image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, 
saying, ' Shall mortal man be more just than God ? shall a man be more 
pure than his Maker ? ' " 

As a general principle, all objects greatly elevated, or far removed as 
regards eitlier space or time, are apt to strike us as grand. Whatever 
is viewed through the mist of distance or antiquity looms larger than its 
natural size. Hence epic poets find it expedient to select as heroes the 
great personages of bygone times, rather than those of their own day, 
though equally distinguished. 

It follows that no ideas are so sublime as those connected 
with the Supreme Being, the least known but incomparably 
the greatest of all things ; the infinity of whose nature and 
the eternity of whose duration, joined to the immensity of 
His power, though they transcend our conceptions, yet exalt 
them in the highest degree. 

§ 270. Sublimity is also frequently heightened by disor- 

§ 269, What is another source of the subh'me ? Show the difference in tliis respect 
between material and immaterial things. What is said of supernatural objects ? Quota 
Brom Job a sublime passage descriptive of a spirit. As a general principle, what objects 
strike us as grand ? Why do epic poets select as heroes personages of bygone times ? 
With whom are our sublimest ideas connected ? 

§ 270. By what is sublimity frequently heightened ? What feeling does strict r^u- 


der. When we gaze at things strictly regular in their outline 
and methodical in the arrangement of their parts, we feel a 
sense of confinement incompatible with mental expansion. 

Exact proportion of parts, thougli it often contributes additional 
effect to the beautiful, seldom enters into the sublime. A great mass of 
rocks thrown -wildly and confusedly together by the hand of nature 
produces a greater impression of grandeur in the mind than if they had 
been adjusted to each other with the utmost taste and care. 

§ 271. We have thus far considered sublimity as belong- 
ing to visible things merely ; it may, however, characterize 
objects of hearing, as well as those of sight. Among the arts 
which please the imagination through the ear, poetry and 
rhetoric have already been enumerated. Though, with the 
aid of conventional characters which represent words and 
thereby ideas, they address the eye, and may therefore be un- 
derstood by the deaf, yet they are to be regarded as primarily 
appealing to the ear, and governed by principles laid down 
with the direct view of producing the liveliest effect on that 
organ. Accordingly, under the head of sublimity, as pertain- 
ing to objects of hearing, we muHt treat of the sublime in 
writing ; and this, by reason of its importance, will constitute 
a separate lesson It remains for us here to enumerate the 
sounds characterized by sublimity. These are included in 
five classes, as follows : — 

L Those associated with ideas of danger ; such as, the howling of a 
storm, the rumbling of an earthquake, the groaning of a volcano, 
the roaring of thxmder, the report of artUlery. 
IL Those associated with great power actively exerted ; as, tne noise 
of a torrent, the fall of a cataract, the uproar of a tempest, the dash 
of waves, the crackling of a conflagration. 
SL Those associated with ideas of majesty, solemnity, deep melancholy 
or profound grief; as, the sound of the trumpet and other warlike 
instruments, the notes of the organ, the tolling of the bell, &e. 

%rity produce ? To what -ices exact proportion of parts contribute ? In what position 
do massive rocks produce the greatest impression of grandeur ? 

§ 271. To -what, besides objects of sight, does sublimity bfelong? To what sense are 
Uj6 arts of poetry and rhetoric addressed ? With what three classes of ideas must 


IV. Of the notes of animals, those awaken the emotion of grandem 
which are known to proceed from strong or ferocious creatures. Ag 
examples of this class, the roar of the lion, the growling of bears, 
the howling of wolves, and the scream of the eagle, may be men- 
V. Those sounds of the human voice may be accounted sublime which 
indicate that the more serious emotions, — sorrow, terror, and the 
like, — are strongly excited. The tones wliich, in general, denote a 
high degree of emotion, wUl be found to be loud, grave, lengthened, 
and swelling. 

§ 272. It will be seen that the sublimity of sound arises, 
not from any inherent quality or independent fitness to pro- 
duce the emotion, but exclusively from the association of 

This is evident from the fact that, as soon as the sound is separated 
from the idea, it ceases to be sublime. Thus, persons who are afraid of 
thunder frequently mistake some common sound for it, such as the roll- 
ing of a cart or carriage. While the mistake continues, they feel an 
emotion of sublimity ; but, the moment they are undeceived, they are 
the first to laugh at their error and ridicule the noise that occasioned 
it. Similar mistakes are often made, in those countries where earth- 
quakes are common, between inconsiderable sounds and the low rum- 
bling noise which is said to precede such an event ; there can be no 
doubt that, the moment the truth is discovered, the emotion of sublimi- 
ty is at an end. So, children are at first as much impressed with the 
thunder of the theatre as with that of the genuine tempest ; but, when 
they understand the delusion, regard it as no more than the insignificant 
noises they hear every day. Again, to the Highlander the sound of the 
bag-pipe is sublime, because it is the martial instrument of his country, 
and is constantly associated with splendid and magnificent images ; to 
the rest of the world, the instrument is at best barely tolerable. Final- 
ly, that sublimity in the tones of animals arises from associations with 
their character seems obvious from several considerations. The howl 
of the wolf differs Httle from that of the dog either in tone or strength ; 

sounds be associated, in order to be sublime? Give examples of each. Of tbe notes 
of animals, which awaken the emotion of grandeur ? What sounds of the human voice 
are accounted sublime ? What tones denote a high degree of emotion ? 

§ 272. From what does the sublimity of sound arise? What evidence is there of 
this ? Illustrate the point by stating what takes place when some insignificant sound 
is mistaken for thunder or the rumbling of an earthquake. How is the sound of the 
bag-plpo regarded by the Highlander? How, by the rest of the world? WUat coca 


but there is no comparison between them in point of sublimity, becauso 
we know the ane to be a savage, and the other a domestic, animal. 
There are few animal sounds so loud as the lowing of a cow ; yet it will 
be admitted that it is far from being characterized by sublimity. "We 
may therefore infer that sounds possess this quality, not by reason of 
any inherent character, but only through the associations connected 
with them. 



§ 273. For a literary composition to possess sublimity, it 
is necessary that the subject be sublime ; that, if a scene or 
natural object, it be one wbich, exhibited to us in reality, 
would inspire us with thoughts of tbe elevated, awful, and 
magnificent character that has been described. This excludes 
what is merely beautiful, gay, or elegant. If it be attempted, 
with the aid of rhetoric, to make any such object the theme 
of a sublime composition, the effort will prove a failure, and 
bombast or frigidity of style will result. 

§ 274. We shall find, then, that the passages generally 
accounted sublime are, for the most part, descriptions of the 
natural objects mentioned in the last lesson as capable of pro- 
ducing the emotion of grandeur ; or, in other words, of what 
is vast, mighty, magnificent, obscure, dark, solemn, loud, pa- 
thetic, or terrible. 

Shakspeare, in the following lines, furnishes us with a fine example 
of sublimity, arising from the vastness of the objects successively pre- 

Blons the difference ? From what does sublimity in the tones of animals arise ? Illos- 
b-ate this. 

§ 2T3. What is essential to sublimity in a literary composition ? K a scone or natural 
object is treated ot, what must be its character ? What is excluded ? What will re- 
sult, if it be attempted to write sublimely on a trivial subject ? 

§ 274. Of what, then, for the most part, are sublime passages descriptions ? Kepeet 
She quotation from Shakspeare, and show wherein its sublimity consists. 



sented, and the pathetic thought that all this magnificence and greats 
uess is destined to destruction. 

" The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself. 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve ; 
And, like 'an insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind." 

As observed in § 265, battles are among the sublnnest spectacles on. 
wliich the eye can gaze, by reason of their displaying immense power in 
the act of violent exertion. We may, therefore, look for the same ele- 
ment of grandeur in descriptions of such scenes. Homer fui^nishes one 
of the sublimest, as well as earliest, in the whole range of poetry. 

" "When now gathered on either side, the hosts plunged together in 
fight ; shield is harshly laid to shield ; spears crash on the brazen corse- 
lets ; bossy buckler with buckler meets ; loud tumult rages over aU. ; 
groans are mixed with the exulting shouts of men ; the slain and the 
slayer join their cries ; the earth is floating round with blood. As 
when two rushing streams fx'om two mountains come roaring down, and 
throw together their rapid waters below, they roar along the gulfy vale. 
The startled shepherd hears the sound, as he stalks o'er the distant 
hills ; so, as they mixed in fight, from both armies clamor with loud 
terror arose." 

From Ossian we take another description of a battle-scene, which 
bears, it will be observed, a decided resemblance to the one last quoted, 
both in the enumeration of circumstances, and in the comparison of the 
contending hosts to two mountain torrents. Both are eminently sub- 
lime, presenting to us in a few words a succession of striking images. 

" Like Autumn's dark storms pouring from two echoing hills, towards 
each other approached the heroes ; as two dark streams from high rocks 
meet and roar on the plain, loud, rough, and dark in battle, meet Loch- 
lin and Inisfail. Chief mixes his strokes with chief, and man with man ! 
Steel sounds on steel, and helmets are cleft on high : blood bursts and 
smokes around : strings murmur on the polished yews : darts rush along 
the sky : spears fall like circles of light which gild the stormy face of 

" As the noise of the troubled ocean when roll the waves on high, as 
the last peal of thundering heaven, such h the noise of battle. Though 
Cormac's hundred bards were there, feeble were the voice of a hundred 
bards to send the deaths to future times ; for many were the deaths of 
the heroes, and wide poured the blood of the valiant." 

What are among the sublimest spectacles, and why ? What follows with respect to 
deecriptions of battle-scenes ? From what two authors are general descriptions of bat- 
tles quoted ? How do they compare in point of sublimity ? In what respects do they 
resemble each other ? What other poet's description of a similar scene is presented ? 
Eopeat it. How, in your opinion, does it compare in point of grandeur with the two 
»x*racts just given ? 


Compare mtli these the fine passage in the sixth book of Paradise 
Lost, than which nothing could be more lofty or forcible. 

" Now storming fury roso, 
And clamor sucli as beard in Heaven till now 
Was never ; arms on armor clashing brayed 
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels 
Of brazen chariots raged ; dire was the noiso 
Of conflict ; ovor-head the dismal hiss 
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flow, 
And flying vaulted either host with fire. 
So under fiery cope together rushed 
Both battles main, with ruinous assault 
And inextinguishable rage ; all Heaven 
Eesounded ; and, had earth been then, all earth 
Had to her centre shook." 

Darkness, obscurity, and difficulty, are introduced with fine effect 
bto the following passage from Milton, which describes the travelling 
of the faUen angels through their dismal habitation : — 

" O'er many a dark and dreary vale 
They passed, and many a region dolorous ; 
O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp ; 
Eocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens and shades, of death— 
A universe of death." 

Seldom has a supernatural being been represented with such genuine 
sublimity as in the following fine extract from Ossian, descriptive of 
Fingal's interview with the spirit of Loda. The ghost is invested with 
obscurity, might, and terror ; the king of Morven, with fearless heroism ; 
the darkness of night is around : all things contribute to intensify the 
sublimity, with which, it may be added, the simple sententiousness of 
the style is eminently in keeping. 

" A blast came from the mountain : on its wings was the spirit of 
Loda. He came to his place in his terrors, and shook his dusky spear. 
His eyes appear like flames in his dark face : his voice is like distant 
thunder. Fingal advanced his spear in night, and raised his voice on 
high. ' Son of night, retire : call thy winds, and fly I Why dost thou 
come to my presence with thy shadowy arms ? Do I fear thy gloomy 
form, spirit of dismal Loda ? Weak is thy shield of clouds ; feeble in 
that meteor thy sword I The blast rolls them together : and thou thy- 
self art lost. Fly from my presence, son of night 1 caU thy winds and 

What other passage is presented from Milton? What points are introduced with 
line efiect ? What specimen is given of descriptions of supernatural objects ? With 
what is tho ghost invested ? With what, the king ? What contributes to IntensifF the 
sublimity ? 

How is the sjkhit of Loda described ? What does it command Fingal to do ? What 
is the result of the interview ? 


" * Dost thou force me from my place ? ' replied tlie hollow voice. • 1 
turn the battle in the field of the brave. I look on the nations, and 
they vanish : my nostrils pour the blast of death. I come abroad on 
the winds : the tempests are before my face. But my dwelling is calm 
above the clouds ; pleasant are the fields of my rest.' 

" ' Dwell in thy pleasant fields,' said the king, ' Let Comhal's son 
be forgotten. Do my steps ascend from my hills into thy peaceful 
plains ? Do I meet thee with a spear on thy cloud, spirit of dismal 
Loda? Why then dost thou frown on me Why shake thine airy 
epear ? Thou frownest in vain : I never fled from the mighty in war ; 
and shall the sons of the wind frighten the king of Morven ? I^o — he 
knows the weakness of their arms.' 

" ' Fly to thy land,' replied the form ; * take to the wind, and fly ! 
The blasts are in the hollow of my hand : the course of the storm m 
mine. Fly to thy land, son of Comhal, or feel my flaming wrath I ' 

" He lifted high his shadowy spear ! he bent forward his dreadful 
height. Fingal, advancing, drew his sword, the blade of dark-brown 
Luno. The gleaming path of the steel winds through the gloomy ghost. 
Tlie form fell shapeless into air." 

§ 275. Besides the objects enumerated in the last lesson, 
tbere is another class from which the subjects of the sublimest 
passages are often taken. They consist of the great and 
heroic feelings and acts of men ; and the elevation which dis- 
tinguishes them is generally known as the moral or senti- 
mental sublime. When, in an extremely critical position, a 
person forgets all selfish interests and is controlled by high 
inflexible principles, we have an instance of the moral 

The most fruitful sources of moral sublimity are these : — 

I. Firmness in the cause of truth and justice. 

Of this species of heroism, ancient Roman history furnishes many 
distinguished examples. Brutus, with unyielding sternness sentencing 
his sons to death, for having conspired against their country ; and Titua 
Manlius, ordering his son to the stake, for engaging with an enemy con- 
trary to his command ; — excite in our minds the most elevated ideas. 
Socrates is another instance, who chose to die by hemlock, though 
means of escape were in his power, because their employment might have 
been construed into an admission of guilt. Above all, among never-to- 

§ 276. What is meant by the moral or sentimental sublime ? When have "we instaa- 
COB of the moral sublime ? What is the first source of moral sublimity ? What his- 
tory furnishes us examples of this species of heroism ? Mention two. What illustration 
is afforded by Socrates' career ? What other memorable examples are cited ? What is 
the second source of the moral sublime ? Show how the stiwy of Damon and Pythias 
furnishes two examples of moral sublimity. What instane« la cited from Eoman hi& 


be-forgotten instances of the moral sublime, are to be mentioned thg 
hieroic deaths of the Christian martyrs, who, amid tortures inconceiva- 
ble, ia flames and on the rack, testified to the reality of their faith. 

II. Generous self-sacrifice in behalf of another. 

The story of Damon and Pythias, the former of whom, having in- 
curred the enmity of the tyrant Dionysius, was by him sentenced to 
death, furnishes us with two remarkable examples : first, that of 
Pythias, who remains as hostage during his friend's farewell visit to his 
family, on condition of sufi'ering in his stead if he does not return at the 
appointed time ; and, secondly, that of Damon, who, refusing to profit 
by the feelf-devotion of Pythias, comes back in season to redeem his 
pledge. We find another forcible illustration in (he career of Ccriola- 
nus ; when, after having been besought in vain by the leading men of 
Rome, he yields to his mother's tears and prayers, though aware that 
the consequences wiU be fatal to himself, and consents to withdraw his 
army with the sad words, " Mother, thou hast saved Rome, — but lost 
thy son ! " Equally sublime is the self-devotion of Codrus, the last 
Athenian king. Informed by the oracle, that, in a battle which was 
about to take place, Athens or her king must perish, he rushed iato the 
thickest of the fight, and by the sacrifice of himself saved, as he thought, 
his country. 

III. Self-possession and fearlessness in circumstances of 

Of such elevated emotion, an incident in the career of Caesar affords 
a striking illustration. Crossing, on one occasion, a branch of the sea, 
he was overtaken by a tempest of such violence that the pilot declared 
himself unable to proceed, and was in the act of turning back. " Quid 
times ? Ooesarem vehis ! " " What do you fear ? You carry Caesar 1 " 
was the sublime reply. We have another example of heroism in Mu- 
cins Scaevola, thrusting his arm into Porsenna's camp-fire, to show how 
he scorned his threatened tortures, and keeping it there vsdth unmoved 
countenance tiU it was entirely consumed. More than this, we see the 
effect produced by the act ; for Porsenna was so struck with it that he 
gave the youth, who had come to murder him, his life, and subsequent- 
ly negotiated a peace with Rome. 

lY. Exalted patriotism. 

Wolfe's death-scene embodies the height of the moral sublimep 

toiy ? "VThat, from the early history of Athens ? What is the third source of moral sub* 
limity ? Exemplify it with incidents drawn from the career of Cjesar and that of Mucins 
Scsevola. What is the fourth source of moral sublimity ? Illustrate this with an ac- 


Wounded on the Plains of Abraham, in the very death-agony, he heard 
the distant shout, " They fly ! they fly ! " — " Who fly ? " eagerly asked 
the dying hero. — " The enemy," replied one of his ofiicers. — " Then,'' 
said he, " I die happy I " and expired. Another notable instance, quoted 
by all French critics, occurs in one of Corneille's tragedies. In the 
famous combat between the Horatii and the Curiatii, the old Horatins, 
being informed that two of his sons are slain, and that the third has 
betaken himself to flight, at first will not believe the report ; but, being 
thoroughly assured of the fact, he is filled with grief and indignation at 
this supposed unworthy behavior of his surviving son. He is reminded 
that hisj son stood alone against three, and is asked what he wished that 
he had done. " That he had died I " (QuHl mourut !'*) is the reply. 



§ 276. To give effect to the description of a sublime oh 
ject, a clear, strong, concise, and simple, style, must be em- 

These difi"erent qualities of style will be treated of hereafter ; their 
general character is sufliciently understood for our present purpose. 
Every thing must be painted in such terms as to leave no room for mis- 
apprehension. To ensure strength, such circumstances must be selected 
for the description as exhibit the object in a striking point of view. It 
is plain that things present different appearances to us according to the 
side we look upon ; and that, when there are a variety of circumstances, 
our descriptions will vary in character according to those we select. In 
this selection lies the great art of the composer, and the difficulty of 
sublime writing. If the description is too general, and barren of cir- 
cumstances, we can not present a forcible picture ; while, if any trivial 
or common-place circumstance is introduced, the whole is degraded. 

count of Wolfe's death-scene. What notable instance of exalted patriotism occurs in 
one of Corneille's tragedies ? 

§ 276. To give effect to the description of a sublime object, 'what kind of a style 
must be employed ? How must every thing be painted ? To ensure sti-ength, what 
circumstances must be selected for the description ? In what lies the great art of sub- 
lime writing ? If the description is too general, what follows ? What, if a trivial cir- 


Thus, if a storm is tlie subject, sometliing else is necessary than to say 
that torrents of rain pour down, and trees and houses are overthrown. 
"We must seize on the more striking phenomena with which it is at- 
tended, and dwell only on its grander effects. 

§ 277. Conciseness is one of the most important essen- 
tials of sublimity in writing. The greatest thoughts must 
be presented in the fewest words. If the specimens in the 
last lesson, particularly those from Homer and Ossian, are 
examined, it will be seen that this is their leading feature ; no 
words are introduced unless essential to the idea. 

'* I love God and little children," says the German philosopher Eich- 
ter. In what more elevated terms could he have expressed his love for 
sinlessness and innocence ? The sentence is grand, because so strikingly 
condensed. The same conciseness constitutes the sublimity of Csesar's 
famous Teni, vidi, vici, in which he announced to the Senate the re- 
sult of one of his battles ; a saying which loses just half its terse ener- 
gy, when translated into English, " I came, I saw, I conquered." 

In the sentence before quoted, " Quid times ? Gcesarem vehis,^' the 
effect is also due, in a measure, to the sententiousness of the style. It is 
readily seen how much is gained by conciseness, when we compare with 
these brief and eloquent words of the fearless conqueror, Lucan's ac- 
count of the scene, in which, by attempting to amplify and adorn tha 
thought, he has diluted it into insignificance. 

" But Caesar, still superior to distress, 
Fearless and confident of sure success, 
Thus to the pilot loud : — ' The seas despise, 
And the vain threatening of the noisy skies ; 
Though gods deny thee yon Ausonian strand, 
Yet go, I charge you ; go, at my command. 
Thy ignorance alone can cause thy fears, 
Thou know'st not what a freight thy vessel bears ; 
Thou know'st not I am he to whom 'tis given 
Never to want the care of watchful Heaven. 
Obedient fortune waits my humble thrall, 
And, always ready, comes before I call 
Let winds and seas loud wars at freedom wage. 
And waste upon themselves their empty rage 1 

cumstance is introduced ? If a storm is the subject, what must be seized on, and what 
left untouched ? 

§ 277. What quality of style is particularly conducive to sublimity ? What must be 
the character of the thoughts, and what of the words ? What will be found, on ex- 
amining the specimens in the last lesson ? Give a sentence from Eichter, which is sub- 
lime by reason of its conciseness. Give one from Cassar. When translated into Eng- 
lish, how does this sentence compare in sublimity with the original? What othei 


A stronger, mightier, demon is thy friend ; 

Thou and thy bark on Caesar's fate depend. 

Thou stand'st amazed to view this dreadful scene, 

And wonder'st what the gods and fortune mean : 

But artfully their bounties thus they raise, 

And from my danger arrogate new praise ; 

Amidst the fears of death they bid me lire. 

And still enhance what they are sure to give." — llowK. 

§278. Simplicity is no less essential to sublimity than 
conciseness. The words employed must be, not only few, but 
plain. High-flown and turgid expressions must be avoided no 
less carefully than mean, low, and trivial ones. Ornament, 
however conducive to beauty of style, is here out of place. 
Nothing is more mistaken than to suppose that magnificent 
words, accumulated epithets, and swelling expressions, consti- 
tute real elevation. 

This will be apparent from an illustration. Longinus and all critics 
from his time to the present have concurred in attributing the highest 
sublimity to the verse in Genesis which describes the creation of light: 
" And God said, Let there be light : and there was light." But exchange 
its simplicity for misplaced ornament, — " The sovereign arbiter of na- 
ture, by the potent energy of a single word, commanded light to exist, 
and immediately it sprang into being," — and the sound is indeed mag- 
nified, but the sentiment is degraded, and the grandeur is gone. 

The reason why a deficiency of conciseness or simplicity is fatal to 
the sublime appears to be this. The emotion in question raises the 
mind considerably above its ordinary tone. A temporary enthusiasm 
is produced, extremely agreeable while it lasts, but from which the 
mind is every moment in danger of sinking to its usual level. Now 
when an author has brought us, or is attempting to bring us, into this 
state of elevated rapture, if he indulges in unnecessary words, if he stops 
to introduce glittering ornaments, if he even throws in a single decora- 
tion that is inferior to the leading image, he loses the critical moment; 
the tension of the mind is relaxed ; the emotion is dissipated. The beau- 
tiful may survive; the sublime is sacrificed. 

Bontence of Caesar's owes a portion of its sublimity to conciseness? How Is this 
shown ? 

§ 278. What besides conciseness is essential to sublimity ? What kind of expressions 
must be avoided ? Illustrate the different effects produced by simple and by high-flown 
language. Explain why a deficiency of conciseness or simplicity is fatal to the 


§ 279. The writer must not only be concise and simple ; 
ho must also have a lively impression of his subject. If hia 
own enthusiasm is not awakened, he cannot hope to excite 
emotion in others. 

All forced attempts by which a writer endeavors to excite himself 
and his readers, when his imagination begins to flag, have just the oppo- 
site effect from what is intended. A poet gains nothing by labored ap- 
peals, invocations of the muses, or general exclamations concerning the 
greatness, terribleness, or majesty, of what he is about to describe. We 
find an example of such forced introductions in Addison's description ol' 
the Battle of Blenheim. 

" But, my muse 1 what numbers wilt thou find. 
To sing the furious troops in battle joined ? 
Methinks I hear the drum's tumultuous sound, 
The victor's shouts, and dying groans confound ; " &c. 

§ 280. When, therefore, an awe-inspiring object is pre- 
sented in nature, a grand creation in art, an exalted feeling in 
the human mind, or a heroic deed in human action ; then, if 
our own impression is vivid, and we exhibit it in brief, plain, 
and simple terms, without rhetorical aids, but trusting mainly 
to the dignity which the thought naturally assumes, we may 
hope to attain to the sublime. 

Sublimity, by its very nature, awakens but a short-lived emotion. 
By no force of genius can the mind for any considerable time be kept so 
far raised above its common tone. Neither are the abilities of any hu- 
man writer sufficient to furnish a long continuation of uninterruptedly 
sublime ideas. The utmost we can expect is that the fire of imagina- 
tion should sometimes flash upon us, like lightning from heaven, and 
then disappear, ^o author is sublime throughout, in the true sense of 
the word. Yet there are some, who, by the strength and dignity of 
their conceptions, and the current of high ideas that runs throughout 
their compositions, keep their readers' minds in a state of comparative 

§2T9. What else must a writer have, to write sublimely? What is said of forced 
attempts to excite one's self and one's readers ? From what does a writer gain noth- 
ing ? Illustrate this from Addison. 

§ 2S0. How, then, may we hope to attain to the sublime ? What kind of an emotion 
does s-ablimity awaken? Why can not the emotion continue for any length of time J 
"What is the utmost we can expect ? Can any author hope to be sublime throughout ? 
What is the nearest approach to it? What writers among the ancients, and who 
nnaong moderns, are distinguished for the elevated tone which runs throughout theii 
asnpositions ? 


elevation. In this class Pindar, Demosthenes, and Plato, among tha 
ancients, and Ossian and Milton, among moderns, are worthy of being 

§281. An unimproved state of society is peculiarly favor 
able to the production of sublime compositions. When the 
mind is unaccustomed to the ornamental, it is more apt to ap- 
preciate and admire the grand. In the infancy of nation s^ 
men are constantly meeting with objects to them new and 
striking ; the imagination is kept glowing ; and the passions are 
often vehemently excited. They think boldly, and express 
their thoughts without restraint. Advances towards refine- 
ment are conducive to the development of beauty in fetyle, but 
signally limit the spbere of the sublime. 

We find this theory borne out by fact. As a general thing, the sub- 
limest writers have flourished either in the early ages of the world or in 
the infancy of their respective nations. Thus, the grandest of all pas- 
sages are found in the earliest of books, the Bible. The style of the in- 
spired writers is characterized by a sublimity commensurate with the 
majesty and solemnity of their subjects. What can transcend in gran- 
deur the following descriptions of the Almighty ? The student is re- 
quested to observe how they combine the various elemen-ts mentioned 
above as calculated to elevate the mind and affect the imagination. 

" In my distress I called upofl the Lord, and cried unto my God : He 
heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even 
into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled ; the foundations also 
of the hiUs moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There 
went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured ; 
coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down : 
and darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub and did 
fly : yea. He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness 
His secret place ; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and 
thick clouds of the skies." — Psalm xvm., 6-11. 

" Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at 
His feet. He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove 
asunder the nations ; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the 
perpetual hills did bow : His ways are everlasting. The mountains saw 
Thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the waters passed by: 

§ 281. What state of society is favorable to the sublime ? Explain the reason. To 
what are advances towards refinement conducive ? At what period do we find that 
the subliraest writers have flourished ? What book contains the grandest of all pas- 
sages? What descriptions are peculiarly sublime? Kepeat the description of the 
^mighty from Psalm xviii. Eepeat that from Habakkuk. Wherein consists tho sub 


tlie deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high." — Habak- 
K.UK, m., 5, 6, 10. 

The same remark holds true in Greek literature. Homer, who was the 
earliest, is also the most sublime, poet that has written in that language, 
his ideas being grand and his diction imaffected. "VVe have already 
seen how magnificently he describes a battle. A similar passage, wor- 
thy of special mention, occurs in the 20th book of the Iliad. It rspre- 
eents the gods as taking part in an engagement between the Greeks 
and Trojans, All heaven and earth are in commotion. Jupiter thun- 
ders from on high. Minerva and Mars gird themselves for the terrible 
conflict. Neptune strikes the earth with his trident; the ships, the 
cities, and the mountains, shake ; the earth trembles to its centre. Pluto 
starts fi'om his throne, in dread lest the secrets of the infernal regions be 
laid open to the view of mortals. 

After the magnificent passages quoted fi'ora Ossian, it is hardly nec- 
essary to say that he is one of the most sublime of writers. He pos- 
sesses the plain and venerable manner of antiquity. He deals in no 
superfluous or gaudy ornaments, but throws forth his images with a 
rapid conciseness which appeals powerfully to the mind. Among poets 
of more polished times we must look for elaborate graces, exact propor- 
tion of parts, and skilfully conducted narratives. In the midst of smio 
ling landscapes, the gay and beautiful have their home ; the sublime 
dwells among the rude scenes of nature and society which Ossian de- 
scribes ; amid rocks and torrents, whirlpools and battles. 



§ 282. Rhyme, which generally forms a feature of English 
verse, is unfavoratJe to sublimity in writing, by reason of its 
constrained elegance, its studied smoothness, and the super- 

limity of these passages ? Who is the suhlimest of Greek poets ? Give the substance 
of a fine passage in the 20th book oAhe Iliad. What is said of Ossian ? Describe his 
style. Where must we look for the elaborate graces of writing? Where, for the 
sublime ? 

§ 282. What is the effect of rhyme as regards sublimity ? How does it produce this 


fluous words often brought in to produce a recurrence of the 
same sound. 

Homer's description of the nod of Jupiter has been admired in aU 
ages as a model of elevated thought : — " He spoke, and, bending hia 
sable brows, gave the awful nod ; while he shook the celestial locks of 
his immortal head, all Olympus was shaken." Pope translates this pas- 
sage into English verse, with a decided loss of sublime effect. It will be 
seen that he enlarges on the thought and attempts to beautify it ; but 
the result is that he only weakens it. The third line is entirely exple- 
tive, being introduced for no other reason than to furnish a rhymo for 
the preceding one. 

" He spoke : and awful bends his sable brows, 
Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod, 
The stamp of fate, and sanction of a god. 
High heaven with trembling the dread signal took, 
And all Olympus to its centre shook." 

§ 283. The freedom and variety of our blank verse render 
it a decidedly better medium than rhyme for the expression 
of sublime ideas. Hence it is much to be preferred for epic 
poetry. Milton has availed himself of this fact. The images 
he successively presents in Paradise Lost are unsurpassed for 
grandeur. Take, for instance, the description of Satan aftei 
his fall, at the head of the infernal hosts : — 

" He, above the rest, 
In shape and gesture proudly eminent, 
Stood like a tower ; his form had not yet lost 
All her original brightness, nor appeared 
Less than archangel ruined ; and the excess 
Of glory obscured : as when the sun, new risen, 
Looks through the horizontal misty Jilr, 
Shorn of his beams ; or, from behind the moon, 
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds 
On half the nations, and with fear of change 
Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet staone 
Above them aU the archangel." 

This passage is justly eulogized by Blair. " Here/' he says, " conem 

effect ? Eepcat Homer's description of the nod of Jupiter, as literally translated. Re- 
peat Pope's translation of the same. How does it compare with the literal version ? 
Explain the reason. 

§ 28a What kind of verse is preferable to rhyme for the expression of sublime ideas? 
Hence, for what should it be employed ? Who has thus used it with great success ? 
What is said of the images successively presented in Paradise Lost? Eepeat 'Milton''g 
description of Satan after his fall. What does Blair say about this passage V 


a variety of sources of the sublime : the principal object eminently great ; 
a high superior nature, fallen indeed, but erecting itself against distress 
the grandeur of the principal object heightened, by associating it with 
so noble an idea as that of the sun suffering an eeHpse ; this picture, 
shaded with all those images of change and trouble, of darkness and 
terror, which coincide so finely with the sublime emotion; and the 
whole expressed in a style and versification, easy, natural, and simple, 
but magnificent." 

§ 284. Those wlio aim at the sublime are liable to fall into 
fcwo faults, — frigidity and bombast. 

§ 285. Frigidity consists in degrading an object or sen- 
timent which is sublime in itself, by our mean conception of 
it, or by a weak, low, and childish description. No fault is 
more to be avoided. 

As a forcible example of frigidity, we quote a passage fiom a poem of 
Sir Richard Blackmoor's, descriptive of an eruption of Etna ; in which, 
as humorously observed by Dr. Arbuthnot, he represents the mountain 
in a fit of colic. 

Etna, and all the burning mountains, find 
Their kindled stores with inbred storms of wind ' 
Blown up to rage, and roaring out complain, 
As torn with inward gripes, and torturing pain ; 
Laboring, they cast their dreadful vomit round, 
And with their melted bowels spread the ground.''' 

So Ben Jonson, in a battle-scene, rather injudiciously caps the clmaas 
of his would-be subhmity by representing the sun in a perspiration. 

" The sun stood still, and was, behind the cloud 
The battle made, seen sweating to drive up 
His frighted horse, whom still the noise drove backward." 

Catiline, Act V 

§ 286. Bombast consists in attempting to raise an ordinary 
or trivial object above its level, and to endow it with a sub- 
limity it does not possess. Such attempts illustrate the old 
saying that there is but a step from the sublime to the ridic- 

§ 284 Into what faults are those who aim at the sublime liable to fall ? 

% 285. In what does frigidity consist ? Quote a passage from Blackmoor, illustrative 
(£ this fault Point out wherein the frigidity lies. What has been humorously ob- 
Berved respecting these lines ? How does Ben Jonsori represent the sun in a battle, 
scene ? Of what fault is he therein guilty ? 

§ 286. In what does bombast consist ? What is the mind prone to do ? iLto "whaf 


ulcus. When under the control of violent passionS; the 
mind, it is true, is prone to magnify the objects of its concep- 
tions beyond their natural bounds ; but such hyperbolical de- 
scription has its limits, and, when carried too far, degenerates 
into the burlesque. Ben Jonson, Blackmoor, and Dryden, have 
fallen into this fault. 

" Great and high 
The world knows only two, that's Eome and L 
My roof receives me not ; 'tis air I tread, 
And at each step I feel my advanced head 
Ejiock out a star in heaven." 

Ben Joxson. Sejamis, Act V. 

Give way, and let the gushing torrent come; 
Behold the tears we bring to swell the deluge, 
Till the flood rise upon the guilty world. 
And make the ruin common." 

Ben Jonson. Ladi/ Jane Gray, Act IV. 

" To see this fleet upon the ocean move. 

Angels di'ew wide the curtains of the skies ; 
And heaven, as if there wanted lights above, 
For tapers made two glaring comets rise. " 




§ 287 Beauty does not afford the imagination so high a 
degree of pleasure as sublimity ; but, characterizing a greater 
variety of objects than the latter quality, it is a more fruit- 
ful source of gratification to that faculty. The emotion it 
awakens is easily distinguishable from that of grandeur. It 
is calmer and more gentle, and is calculated, not so much to 
elevate the mind, as to produce in it an agreeable serenity. 
Sublimity raises a feeling too violent to be lasting; the 
pleasure arising from beauty admits of longer continuance. 

does hyperbolical description degenerate? "What writers have fallen into this fault? 
Give examples, and show wherein the bombast lies. 

§ 287. Which affords the higher degree of pleasure, beauty or sublimity ? Which is 


Few words in the language are applicable to as wide a range of ob- 
jects as beauty. It is used in connection with whatever pleases the eye 
or ear ; with many of the graces of writing ; and even with the abstract 
terms of science. "We speak of a beautiful tree or flower; a beautiful 
poem ; a beautiful character ; and a beautiful theorem in mathematics. 

§ 288. Frequent attempts have been made to discover in 
what the beautiful consists ; what quality it is, which all 
beautiful objects possess, and which is the foundation of the 
agreeable sensations they produce. Yet no theory has been 
advanced on this subject which is not open to objection ; and 
it would, therefore, seem as if the various objects so denomi- 
nated are beautiful, by virtue, not of any one principle com- 
mon to them all, but of several different qualities. The 
same agreeable emotion is produced by them all, and they 
are therefore designated by the common appellation heau- 
tiful; but this emotion seems to spring from sources radically 

Of the theories here alluded to, several are worthy of mention. The 
principle of the beautiful has been made to consist in, 

I. Agreeahleness. Experience, however, which is the great test of 
theory, proves this hypothesis false. All agreeable things are not beau- 
tiful ; nor do those which have the one quaHty in the highest degree 
possess the other in proportion. "We never speak of a beautiful taste or 
a beautiful smell ; but would certainly do so if the beautiful and the 
agreeable were synonymous. As long as they can be separated and are 
not commensurate with each other, they cannot be identicaL 

n. Utility. Here again, applying the test of experience, we find the 
theory does not hold good. A three-legged stool may be very useful, 
yet is far from being generally regarded as beautiful 

nX Unity and variety. This has been a favorite theory, and makes 
beauty to consist in a variety of contrasting features so combined that 

Uie more fruitfal source of gratification ? Why ? Show the difference in the emotions 
they respectively produce. To what is the term heauty applicable ? 

§ 288. What attempts have been made by diflferent writers ? What is said of the 
various theories advanced ? What would seem to follow, with respect to the source of 
he beautiful ? 

In what does the first theory mentioned make the beautiful to consist ? What is tho 
great test of theory ? What does experience prove with respect to this hypothesis ? 
Show how this is proved. According to the second theory, in what does beauty con- 
Blst ? Show how this hypothesis does not always hold good. What has been a favorite 


unity of design characterizes the whole. Thus, in a beautiful flo-wer, 
there is a unity of proportion and symmetry, and at the same time a 
diversity in the size and tints of the leaves. Even in mathematics, what 
is beautiful is not merely an abstract principle ; it is a great truth, 
carrying with it a long train of consequences. Yet it is objected, and 
with justice, that many things please us as beautiful in which we are 
unable to detect any variety at all ; and others, again, in which va- 
riety is carried to such a degree of intricacy as to preclude the idea of 

As, therefore, we can discover no common and universal source of 
beauty, we shall next consider the different qualities from which it pro- 
ceeds in individual cases. 

§ 289. Color is one of the chief elements of beauty ; 
though why it is so we can explain no further than by saying, 
that the structure of the eye is such as to receive more 
pleasure from some modifications of the rays of light than 
others. This organ, moreover, is so variously constituted, 
that a color which is agreeable to one may excite no special 
admiration in another. Still, we find there are some pecu- 
liarities belonging to colors, which, in the estimation of all, 
enhance their beauty. 

I. They must not be dusky or muddy, but clear and fair. 
II. They must be delicate rather than strong. Light straw- 
color and mellow pink are generally considered more 
beautiful than deep and dazzling yellow and red. 
III. If the colors are strong and vivid, they must be mingled 
and contrasted with each other, the strength and glare 
of each being thus abated. This constitutes the charm 
of variegated flowers. 
These various traits are found to characterize the beautiful colors 
which nature everywhere employs to render her works attractive, and 
which art finds it extremely difficult to imitate. They will be recog- 
nized in the blending shades with which she paints the feathers of birds, 

tSieory with many ? Exemplify it. "What objection is justly made to it ? What, there- 
fore, are we unable to discover ? 

§ 289. What is one of the chief elements of beauty ? How far are we able to ex- 
l^ain this? What three peculiarities, in the general estimation, enhance the beauty of 
colors? In what natural objects do these peculiarities characterize color? As in the 


fclie complexioii of blooming youth, the floral creation, and the sunset sky. 
As in sounds, so in the case of colors, there is little doubt that the 
association of ideas often contributes to the pleasure received. Green, 
for instance, may appear more beautiful from bemg connected in our 
minds with rural scenes; white, from its being the type of innocence; 
and blue, from its association with the serenity of the sky. 

§ 290. Figure. — Regular jQgures, or such as we perceive 
to be formed according to fixed principles, are, as a general 
rule, beautiful. Such is the character of circles, squares, 
triangles, and ellipses. The mind unconsciously connects with 
well-proportioned forms the idea of practical adaptation to 
some useful end. Regularity, however, does not involve the 
idea of sameness, which would tire and disgust the eye ; on 
the contrary, variety is generally united with it in the most 
attractive works of nature. 

Gradual variation in the parts uniting to form a whole seems to be 
one of the commonest sources of natural beauty. There is generally a 
constant change of direction in the outline ; but it is so gradual that we 
find it difficult to determine its beginning or end. Thus, in the form of 
a dove, the head increases insensibly to the middle, whence it lessens 
gradually until it becomes blended with the neck. The neck loses 
itself in a larger swell, which continues to the middle of'the body, whence 
there is a corresponding diminution towards the tail. The tail takes a 
new direction ; but, soon varying its course, blends with the parts 
below : and thus the outline is constantly changing. 

Curves change their direction at every point, and hence afford the 
commonest instances of gradual variation. Circular figures, therefore, 
are generally more beautiful than those bounded by straight lines. 
This is a theory of Hogarth's, who makes beauty of figure consist chiefly 
in the preponderance of two curves, which he calls the line of beauty 
and the line of grace. The former is a waving hne, inclining alternate- 
ly backwards and forwards, something like the letter m . It is con- 

case of sounds, what often contributes to the pleasure received from colors ? Exemplify 
Giis in the case of green, white, and blue. 

I 290. What figures, as a general rule, are beautiful ? What idea does the mind con- 
aeet with well-proportioned forms ? What does regularity not involve ? On the con- 
trary, in the works of nature, what is generally united with it ? What is said of the 
outline of the most attractive natural objects ? Illustrate this in the case of the dove 
What figures are the most beautiful ? Why ? In what does Hogarth make beauty 
COQ&lst ? Describe his line of beauty. In what does it constantly occur ? Describe 
Hogarth's line of grace. In what Is it exhibited ? 



Btantly occurring in shells, flowers, and other ornamental works of 
nature, and enters largely into the decorations employed by painters 
and sculptors. This curve twisted round a solid body, or having th€ 
same appearance as if it had been so twisted, constitutes the line of 
grace. The latter is exhibited familiarly in the cork-screw ; abo, in a 
winding stair-case, and a lady's ringlet loosely curled. 

§ 291. Smoothness. — Smoothness is another quality es- 
sential to beauty. We receive pleasure from contemplating 
the smooth leaves of flowers, smooth slopes of earth, smooth 
streams in a landscape, smooth coats m birds and beasts, 
smooth skins in our own species, and smooth and polished 
surfaces in furniture. Give any beautiful object a broken and 
rugged surface ,• and, however well it may be formed in other 
respects, it pleases no longer. 

Smoothness appeals, not only to the sight, but also to the touch. 
The slightness of the resistance made to that part of the body with 
which a smooth surface comes in contact, produces a pleasing emotion, 
though one of inferior degree. 

§ 292. Motion. — Other things being equal, bodies in 
motion are more attractive than those at rest ; and such as 
move in undulating lines please us in a higher degree than 
those that undeviatingly pursue the same direction. This 
fact is readily accounted for by Hogarth's principle. Upward 
motion, moreover, affords greater pleasure than that in the 
opposite direction. This, together with its waving character, 
constitutes the beauty of curling smoke ; a feature which 
painters are fond of introducing into their landscapes. 

Motion is an element of beauty, only when gentle in its character. 
When very swift or forcible, it becomes sublime. The motion of a bird 
gliding through the air, or of a placid brook, is beautiful ; that of the 
lightning as it darts from heaven, or a mighty river chafing against ita 
banks, partakes rather of sublimity. 

§ 291. What other quality is essential to beauty ? In what natural objects is il 
found ? "What results from giving any beautiful object a rugged surface ? To what 
Bense besides sight does smoothness appeal ? Show how it produces a pleasing emotion 
through the touch. 

§ 292. What imparts an additional attraction to bodies ? What kind of motion ia 
the most beautiful? What feature are painters fond of introducing into landscapes? 
[n what does its beauty consist ? In what case does motion contribute to sublimit 
rather than beauty ? 


§ 293. Smallness and delicacy. — As vastness and 
strength are elements of the sublime, so smallness and deli- 
cacy belong to the beautiful. The former qualities excite our 
astonishment and admiration ; the latter, our sympathy and 
love. Whatever we are fond of is associated in our minds 
with the idea of smallness. Hence the diminutives used in 
every language to express affection and tenderness. So, an 
air of robustness and strength, however conducive to the sub- 
lime, is incompatible with .the beautiful. To the latter an ap- 
pearance of delicacy is essential, which may even be carried 
to the borders of fragility. 

It is not the i mm ense and mighty oak of the forest that we consider 
beautiful ; but the delicate myrtle, the fragile violet, the modest forget- 
me-not. For the same reason we are more pleased with the slender 
grey-hound than the burly mastiff, and with the slight Arabian courser 
than the stout carriage-horse. To these quahties, too, much of woman's 
beauty is attributable. 

§ 294. Design. — Another source of beauty is found in de- 
sign, as evidenced in the skilful combination of parts in a 
whole, or the adaptation of means to an end. So largely does 
this enter into the beautiful, that some have considered it the 
leading principle of the latter. This causes our pleasure 
when we contemplate the wonderful structure of the hand, 
and see with what nicety its many parts are adjusted, 
to form a member unequalled in strength, flexibility, and 

The pleasuiie arising from the sense of design is entirely distinct 
from that produced by the various qualities described above. Thus, in 
a watch, we recognize beauty in the exterior, by reason either of tho 
color, polish, smoothness, or regularity of shape ; but the pleasure pro- 

§ 293. As regards size, what is essential to the beautiful ? What feelings are excited 
by vastness and strength ? What, by smallness and delicacy ? What idea do we asso- 
ciate with beloved objects ? What are diminutives in every language used to express ? 
What effect has an air of robustness and strength ? Illustrate this. To what is much 
r-f woman's beauty attributable ? 

§ 294. In what is another source of beauty found ? What causes our pleasure when 
we contemplate the wonderful structure of the hand ? In the case of a watch, show 
how distinct emotions of pleasure are produced by the before-mentioned qualities and 


duced by an examination of the internal machinery arises entirely from 
our consciousness of design, our appreciation of the admirable skill "with 
■whieh so many complicated pieces are united for one useful purpose. 

This element has an influence in the formation of many of our opin- 
ions. It is the foundation of the beauty which we discern in the pro« 
portions of doors, arches, pillars, and the like. However fine the orna- 
ments of a building may be, they lose most of their attractions, unless, 
either in appearance or reality, they conduce to some useful end. 

This principle should be constantly borne in mind by the composer. 
In a poem, a history, an oration, or any other literary work, unity of de- 
sign and an adjustment of the parts in one symmetrical whole, are as 
essential to effect as in architecture and other arts. The finest descrip- 
tions and most elegant figures lose all their beauty, or rather become 
actual deformities, unless connected with the subject, and consistent 
with the leading design of the writer. Let the object proposed be con- 
Btantly kept in view, and nothing foreign to it, however beautiful in it- 
self, be introduced to distract the attention. 

§ 295. Such are some of the leading elements of beauty, 
possessed, in difi'erent measures, by the various creations of 
nature and art. Some objects combine them all, and thereby 
become attractive in the highest degree. Thus, in flowers and 
birds, we are entertained at once with color, regularity of form, 
unity in variety, smoothness, delicacy, and, at times, motion. 
Different sensations are produced by each of these qualities ; 
yet they blend in one general perception of beauty. 

The most beautiful object that nature presents is a landscape, which 
combines, in rich variety, luxuriant fields, picturesque trees, running 
water, birds skimming the air, animals moving in the pasture, and hu- 
man figures as the climax of the whole. The charms of the picture are 
enhanced by the judicious introduction of the creations of art, — an arch- 
ing bridge, a moss-covered cottage with graceful smoke ascending from 
the chimney, a busy mill, an unpretending house of worship. • A taste 
capable of appreciating such scenes is essential to success in poetical 

by the sense of design. How does this dement influence us in the formation of out 
opinions? How does this principle apply to literary compositions? What must be 
constantly kept in view ? 

§ 295. What objects are attractive in the highest degree ? With what are we enter- 
tained in the case of flowers and birds ? What is the most beautiful object that nature 
presents ? What is essential to success in poetical description ? 


§ 296. There is a moral beauty, as well as a moral sub- 
limity. The latter, we have seen, cbaracterizes great and 
heroic acts, self-devotion, fearlessness, and patriotism. The 
moral beautiful belongs to the gentler virtues, affability, gene- 
rosity, compassion, and the like. The emotion they excite re- 
sembles that produced by beautiful external objects. 



§ 297. Gracefulness. — In the effect it produces on the 
mind, gracefulness is analogous to beauty. This quality be- 
longs chiefly to posture and motion. Grace requires that there 
should be no appearance of difficulty ; that the body should 
not be kept rigidly erect, but slightly bent, and that its parts 
should be so disposed as neither to embarrass each other, nor to 
be divided by sharp and sudden angles. . In this roundness of 
sliape and delicacy of attitude, resides a charm which must be 
obvious to all who consider attentively the Venus de Medici, 
the Antinous, or any other great statue. 

§ 298. The Beautiful in the Human Countenance.— 
The beauty of the human countenance is more complicated 
than that belonging to most natural objects. It depends at 
once on color, or complexion ; on figure, or outline ; and on 
unity of design, that is, the adaptation of its various parts 
to the purposes for which they were formed. The chief 

§296. What is meant by moral beauty? Wherein consists tbe difference be- 
tween it and moral sublimity ? What does the emotion produced by the moral beau- 
tiful resemble ? 

§ 297. What, in its effect, is analogous to beauty. To what, chiefly, docs gr&cefol- 
ness belong ? What does it require ? In what statues is it exhibited ? 

§ 298. How does the beauty of the human countenance compare with that of most 
tiataral objects ? On what docs it depend ? In what does its chief beauty lie ? What 


beauty of the countenance, however, lies in what is called its 
expression, or the idea which it conveys respecting the qualities 
of the mind. If good-humor, intelligence, frankness, benevo- 
lence, or any other amiable quality, is indicated, the beauty of the 
face is heightened even more than by faultlessness of feature. 
It is difficult to explain how certain conformations of feature give ua 
the impression of certain peculiarities of mind and disposition. Perhaps 
both instinct and experience have a share in producing this connection. 
Some regard the relations subsisting between the two as exceedingly in- 
timate. The celebrated physiognomist Campanella, who made extensive 
observations on human faces and was wonderfully expert in imitating 
such as were in any way remarkable, held that it was impossible for 
one even temporarily assuming a particular expression, to avoid, for the 
time his countenanance was so changed, the mental disposition connected 
therewith. When desirous of becoming acquainted with a person's feel- 
ings, he imitated his expression, his carriage, and all his other peculiari- 
ties of face and body, as nearly as possible, and then carefully observed 
what tui'n of mind he seemed to acquire by the change , thus, he 
claimed, he could enter into any one's thoughts as effectually as if he 
were converted into the man himself. 

§ 299. The Beautiful in Sound. — Beauty, as well as sub- 
limity, extends to the objects of hearing equally with those of 
sight. It belongs, in a high degree, to that composition of dif- 
ferent sounds which we call Music, the principles of which are 
so various and complex as to constitute an independent sci- 

Musical compositions that combine grand and magnificent sounds, 
that are remarkable for loudness; strength, and quick transitions, prop- 
erly belong to the sublime. Most music, however, is distinguished by 
sweetness, and is, therefore, simply beautiful. Milton, in his L'Allegro, 
happily describes airs of this character. It will be observed how per- 
fectly the passage is in keeping with the subject, how easy and flowing 

heightens the beauty of the countenance even more than faultlessness of feature? 
What, perhaps, combine to give us pleasure from certain conformations of feature F 
What was Campanella ? What did he hold with regard to the countenance ? By what 
process did he claim that he could enter into a person's thoughts ? 

§ 299. To what besides objects of sight does beauty extend ? To what does it be- 
long in a high degree ? What musical compositions properly belong to the sublime? 
By what, however, is most music distinguished ? Kepeat the lines in which Milton 
tlescribes airs of this character. By what are iheee lines themselves characterized ? 


the measure, and how pleasing the harmony of the words, both as taken 
individually and as combined together. We should vainly seek for a 
more striking example of the beautiful in writing. 

" And ever, against eating cares, 
Lap me in soft Lydian airs ; 
In notes with many a winding bout 
Of linked sweetness long drawn out ; 
With wanton head and giddy cunning, 
The melting voice through mazes running ; 
Untwisting all the chains that tie 
The hidden soul of harmony." 

Of simple sounds, those fall under the head of the beauti' 
ful that are characterized by sweetness, softness, and delicacy. 
Much here, also, is due to association. The notes of beautiful 
animals are, by reason of a connection of ideas, themselves 
beautiful. This is the chief reason why we find so mixch to 
admire in the warbling of birds. The minuteness and deli- 
cacy of their forms, their modes of life, and the domestic at- 
tachments subsisting between them, render them objects of 
special interest and tenderness on the part of the human fami- 
ly ; and hence, their notes, intuitively connected in our minds 
with the objects from which they proceed, awaken a strong 
emotion of beauty. 

Superstitious feelings sometimes impart effect to sounds which would 
otherwise be far from awaking anji special admiration. To most per- 
sons the cry of the stork is hardly tolerable ; but, for the Hollander, 
with whom this bird is the object of a popular and pleasing superstition, 
it possesses a singular charm. 

Those soimds of the human voice are generally accounted most beau- 
tiful which are low and grave, and gradually increase in volume. 

§ 300. The Beautiful in Writing. — The term beauty ^ as 
applied to writing, is often used with but little definite mean- 
ing, When we speak of a beautiful sonnet, letter, or oration, 

we mean simply one that is well composed ; that is agreeable, 

■ — _ . 

What simple sounds fall under the head of the beautiful ? To what is much of the 
pleasure received from them due ? Why do we admire the warbling of birds ? What feel- 
ings sometimes impart elfect to sounds ? How does the cry of the stork affect most per- 
sons? How, the Hollander ? Why ? What sounds of the human voice are accounted 
most beautiful ? 

§ 300. As generally applied to writing, what does the term heauiy signify ? Properly 
epeaking, to what is it ipplied ? Show how it differs from sublimity of style. How 


either by reason of the sentiment it embodies, or the style In 
which it is expressed. But, properly speaking, this term has 
a more limited signification ; being applied, not to what is im- 
passioned, sparkling, yehement, or elevated, but to all that 
raises in the reader a gentle, placid emotion, similar to that 
produced by the contemplation of beauty in natural objects. 

The beautiful in writing is not confined to descriptions of attractive 
external objects, but extends to all subjects except those of an ab- 
stract or elevated character. It does not, like sublimity, exclude or- 
nament; or require plainness of words ; nor is it necessarily confined to 
occasional passages. It may characterize an author's style throughout. 
Among the ancients, Yirgil is as much distinguished for the beauty of 
his periods as Homer is for the sublimity of his conceptions. So, Cicero's 
orations have more of the beautiful than the sublime ; in this latter 
quality they are surpassed by those of Demosthenes. Among moderns, 
Fenelon and Lamartine in French, Addison in English, and Irving in 
American, literature, possess those various graces of composition which 
constitute the beautifuL 


As an example of the beautiful in writing. Eve's account 
of her first consciousness of existence and her introduction to 
Adam is quoted from Milton. Let the student point out its 
successive beauties, and, as an exercise in punctuation, sup- 
ply the omitted points. 

" That day I oft remember when from sleep 
I first awaked and found myself reposed 
Under a shade on flowers much wondering where 
And what I was whence thither brought and how. 
Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound 
Of waters issued from a cave and spread 
Into a liquid plain then stood unmoved 
Pure as the expanse of heaven I thither went 
With unexperienced thought and laid me down 
On the green bank to look into the clear 
Smooth lake that to me seemed another sky. 
As I bent down to look just opposite 
A shape within the watery gleam appeared 
Bending to look on me. I started back 

do Virgil and Homer compare, as regards beauty and sublimity ? How, Cloero ana 
Demosthenes? What modern writers possess those graces of composition which con- 
stitute the beautiful ? 

WIT, 226 

It started back but pleased I soon returned 
Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks 
Of sympathy and love. There I had fixed 
Mine eyes till now and pined with vain desire 
Had not a voice thus warned me What thou seest 
What there thou seest fair creature is thyself 
With thee it came and goes but follow me 
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays 
Thy coming and thy soft embraces he 
Whose image thou art. * * 

* * * What could I do 

But follow straight invisibly thus led ? 
Till I espied thee fair indeed and tall 
Under a platane yet methought less fair 
Less winning soft less amiably mild 
Than that smooth watery image. Back I turned 
Thou following criedst aloud Return fair Eve 
Whom fiiest thou ? Whom thou fliest of him thou art 
His flesh his bone to give thee being I lent 
Out of my side to thee nearest my heart 
Substantial life to have thee by my side 
Henceforth an individual solace dear. 
Part of my soul I seek thee and thee claim 
My other half. With that thy gentle hand 
Seized mine I yielded." 



§ 301. Sublimity and beauty are not the only sources of 
the pleasure derived from literary compositions. Wit, humor, 
and ridicule, when introduced judiciously, have an agreeable 
effect, and must next be considered. 

§ 302. Wit is that quality of thoughts and expressions 
which excites in the mind an agreeable surprise, not by means 
of anything marvellous in the subject, but merely by employ- 

§ 801, "What besides sublimity and beauty are sources of pleasure in literary com' 
portions ? 

§802. What is wit? 


226 WIT. 

ing a peculiar imagery, or presenting in a novel and singulal 
relation ideas remotely connected. 

§ 303. This agreeable surprise is excited in four ways :— 
I. By degrading eleyated things. 
II. By aggrandizing insignificant things. 
[TL By representing objects in an unusual light by means of 

singular imagery. 
IV. By paronomasia, or play upon words. 

§ 304. Of wit consisting in the degrading of elevated sub- 
jects, Butler furnishes many specimens in Hudibras. From 
these we select the following lines, descriptive of early dawn ; 
in which the low metaphorical style of the first couplet and 
the singular simile used in the second, constitute the witty 
points : — 

" And now had Phoebus in the lap 
Of Thetis taken out his nap : 
And, like a lobster boiled, the morn 
From black to red began to turn." 

Another example follows, in whicli tlie comparison of tlie eubhma 
blast and the angry thunder to trivial objects produces the effect in 

" I love to hear the shrieking wind, 
Magnificently wild !— 
Like the melodious music of 
A bastinadoed child. 

" I -ove to hear the thunder burst, 
CTer woodland, plain, and hiU ; — 
Like the loud note of angry swine, 
Petitioning for swill." 

The object being to surprise the mind with an unexpected deprecia- 
tion of what is by nature serious or grand, homely expressions, vulgar 
idioms, and cant phrases, are often the source of this species of wit. 

To this division of the subject belong parodies and travesties, or 
writings in which serious productions by occasional alterations of worda 
are made applicable to other subjects, particularly those of a ludicious 

§ 31)3, In what four ways is this agreeable surprise excited ? 

§ 304. Who furnishes many specimens of the first species of wit ? Eepeat the lines 
\a whicb he describes the early dawn. What constitute the witty points ? In the sec- 
ond example quoted, what produces the effect in question ? What are often the sourots 
'a this species of wit ? What belong to this division of the subject ? What is meant 

WIT. 227 

character. Of a similar nature are compositions -which maintain a 
eerioiis tone throughout, until at the close some unexpected allusion, 
sentiment, or image, is introduced, which entirely changes the tenor of 
the piece. The following will serve as a specimen : — 

"' Old man ! old man I for whom digg'st thou this grave ? ' 
I asked, as I walked along ; 
For I sa\T, in the heart of London streets, 
A dark and busy throng. 

" 'Twas a strange wild deed ! but a wilder wish 
Of the parted soul, to lis 
'Midst the troubled numbers of living men, 
Who would pass him idly by ! 

"So I said, ' Old man, for whom digg'st thou this grave, 
In the heart of London town ? ' 
And the deep-toned voice of the digger replied : — 
' We're laying a gas-pipe down ! ' " 

§ 305. The second species of wit is the converse of that 
just illustrated, and is often denominated burlesque. Its ob- 
ject being to give a mock importance to trivial things, it affects 
pompous and sonorous language, just as the first species ad- 
mits of the lowest and most vulgar. 

Pope's writings abound in this kind of pleasantry. In the following 
extract from the " Eape of the Lock," he represents a lady's toilet under 
the allegory of a solemn religious ceremony. The belle herself figures 
as priestess of the mysteries, assisted in her sacred office by the dressing- 
maid, while her mirrored image is the divinity whose rites are thus 

" And now unveiled, the toilet stands displayed. 

Each silver vase in mystic order laid. 

First, robed in white, the nymph intent adores, 

With head uncovered, the cosmetic powers. 

A heavenly image in the glass appears, 

To that she bends, to that her eyes she rear* 

The infericr priestess at her altar' s side, 

Trembling, begins the sacred rites of pride ; 

Unnumbered treasures ope at once, and here 

The various offerings of the world appear ; 

From each she nicely cuUs with curious toil, 

And decks the goddess with the glitter'ng spoil." 

b| ffctrodies f What other compositions are of a similar nature ? Give the substance 
of ■iiie piece quoted, and show wherein the wit consists. 

H 305. What is the second species of wit often denominated ? What is its object, 
Bud what does it affect ? Whose writings abound in this kind of pleasantry ? What 
fe the subject of the passage quoted ? How does the author represent it ? Wherein 
consists the wit ? 

^28 WIT. 

Under this head fall the applications of grave reflections to frivoloui 
Bubjects, as in the following lines from PhiUips : — 

" My galligaskins, that have long withstood 
The winter's fury and encroaching frosts, 
By time subdued (what will not time subdue I \ 
An horrid chasm disclose." 

Analogous to this is the connection of small things with great, where- 
by they are represented as of equal importance. Pope furnishes many 
passages in point. 

" Then flashed the livid lightning from her eyes, 
And screams of horror rend the affrighted skies. 
Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast, 
When husbands, or when lap-dogs, breathe their lastl 
Or when rich china vessels, fallen from high, 
In glittering dust and painted fragments lie ! " 

" Not youthful kings in battle seized alive, 
Not scornful virgins who their charms survive, 
Not ardent lovers robbed of all their bliss, 
Not ancient ladies when refused a kiss. 
Not tyrants fierce that unrepenting die. 
Not Cynthia when her manteau's pinned awry,— 
E'er felt such rage, resentment, and despair. 
As thou, sad virgin 1 for thy ravished hair." 

§ 306. Of the third species of wit, which surprises the 
mind with the singularity of the images it employs, there are 
many varieties, of which a few specimens may be presented. 

liie first consists in connecting things between which there is an 
apparent contrariety. Thus, Roger de Coverley, in the Spectator, says 
that he would have given his widow ' a coal-pit to have kept her ir 
clean linen ; and that her fingers should have sparkled with one hun- 
dred of his richest acres.' So, Garth, in the following lines, compares 
the dropsy to a miser, and produces an agreeable surprise in the mind 
by representing it as poor in the midst of opulence, and thirsty though 
drenched with water : — 

" Then Hydrops nest appears among the throng ; 

Bloated and big, she slowly sails along : 

But like a miser in excess she's poor. 

And pines for thirst amid her watery store." 

What else fall under this head ? Give an example, and show where the wit lies. In 
what other way is a similar effect produced ? In the passages quoted from Pope, show 
what constitutes the wit. 

§ 306. With what does the third species of wit surprise the mind ? In what does 
the first variety consist ? How is this exemplified in the Spectator ? To what doea 
9arth compare the dropsy ? How does he produce an agreeable surprise in the mind J 

WIT. 229 

A second variety consists in artfully confounding the literal and fig- 
urative sense of an expression. In this way, what at first sight presents 
a specious appearance is presently seen to be absurd ; as in the follow 
Ing lines from Hudibras : — 

" While tlms they talked, the kuight 
Turned the outside of his eyes to white, 
As men of inward light are wont 
To turn their optics in upon 't." 

The eye is naturally turned to light, and hence the closing line at 
first seems reasonable ; but when we reflect that it is the metaphorical 
light of knowledge to which reference is here made, the absurdity 
Decomes manifest. 

A third variety attributes corporeal or personal attributes to what 
is incapable, by its very nature, of possessing them. Thus, in the fol- 
lowing passage, grace, or piety, and virtue, are represented as so nearly 
related to each other that a marriage between them (that is, their union 
in the same person) would be unlawfixl : — 

" What makes morality a crime 
The most notorious of the time; 
Morality, which both the saints 
And wicked too cry out against ? 
'Cause gi-ace and virtue are within 
Prohibited degrees of kin : 
And therefore no true saint allows 
They shall be suffered to espouse." 

A fourth variety consists in attributing to a person as a virtue what 
is merely a necessity ; as in the following : — 

" The advantage of the medical profession is that the dead are dis- 
tinguished by wonderful charity and discretion ; we never hear them 
complain of the physic that has killed them." 

There are many other phas3s in which this species of wit is displayed. 
We shall content ourselves with mentioning but one more ; that in which 
premises are introduced that promise much but perform nothing ; as in 
the following : — 

Beatrice. With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money 

enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if 
he could get her good-will. 

Much Ado about Nothing, Act II., 8c. I. 

Beatrice. I have a good eye, uncle, I can see a church by day- 
light. — Ibid. 

In what does the second variety of this kind of Wit consist ? Illustrate it from Hudi* 
bras, and show the point Describe the third variety. Give the substance of the quo- 
tation irom Hudibras which illustrates it. In what does the fourth variety consist ? 
niustrate it. Describe the fifth variety. Illustrate it. 

230 WIT 

§ 307. The last species of wit is what the French call 
jeu de mots^ and what we recognize in English as the pnn, or 
a play upon word^. Though regarded as the lowest kind of 
wit, yet there are few to whom it is not, at times, a source of 
amusement. In tracing its history, we find that it has been 
a favorite entertainment with all nations in a certain stage of 
their progress towards refinement of taste and manners, and 
has afterwards gradually, though invariably, fallen into disre- 
pute. Thus, in England, during the reigns of Elizabeth and 
James I., it was regarded as one of the chief graces of writing, 
and as such entered, not only into the works of Shakspeare 
and other great dramatists, but also into the sermons and 
moral essays of gr^ve divines. 

As soon as a language is formed into a system, and the meaning of 
words is ascertained with tolerable accuracy, opportunity is afforded 
for expressions, which, by the double meaning of certain words, in reality 
have an entirely different meaning from what at first sight they seem to 
have ; and the penetration of the reader or hearer is gratified by de- 
tecting the true sense in spite of its disguise. But, in process of time, 
the language becomes matured ; the meaning of its words is more strict- 
ly defined ; those capable of a double application, having been once 
used in this way, lose their effect for the future, inasmuch as without 
novelty they can excite no surprise or pleasure in the mind : and thus 
the pun falls in the estimation of the tasteful and judicious. 

IsTovelty, as just remarked, is essential to the effect of a pun ; as, 
indeed, it is to all kinds of wit. Nothing is more tasteless, we may al- 
most say disgusting, than a joke that has become stale through frequent 
repetition. Any appearance of study or premeditation also detracts 
from the effect of a pun; and hence, what appears excellent when 
thrown out extemporaneously in conversation, may be intolerable when 
put in print. 

Examples of paronomasia, or a play upon words, are so eoromon 
that only a few specimens are here necessary for the illustration of the 
subject. The word in whose double meaning the point lies, is in italica 

§ SOT. What is the last species of wit here presented, called by the French ? What 
do we call it in English ? How is it regarded ? In tracing its history, what do we find ? 
^t what time was it much esteemed in England ? Into whose writings did it largely 
enter ? At what period of the history of a language is an opportunity alForded for 
oflfective puns ? What takes place in process of time ? What is essential to the eflfect 
»f a pun ? Esplain how a pun may appear excellent when extemporaneously thrown 


We may add that conmidrimis, rebuses, and riddles in general are ein« 
braced in tlus class of witticisms. 

" They say thine eyes, like sunny skies, 
Thy chief attraction form ; 
I see no sunshine in those eye«, — 
They take one all hy storm." 

" Here thou, gi-eat Anna ! whom three realms obey, 
Bost sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea." 

" Prince Eugene is a great taker of snuff as well as of towns '* 

" Beneath this stone my wife doth lie j 
She's now at rest, and so am I." 


" They tell me that your brow is fair, 
And is surpassed by none ; 
To me the cause is very clear — 
You 'brow-beat eveiy one." 

Sometimes the wit of the pun consists, not in the double meaning of 
a word, but in its haying the same sound as some other word, with 
which it is brought into juxta-position for the purpose of temporarily 
misleading the hearer. This is illustrated at the beginning and close 
of the following Baker's Advertisement : — " The subscriber, know- 
ing that all men need bread, wishes the public to know that he also 
kneads it. He is desirous of feeding all who are hungry, and hopes his 
good works may be in the mouth of every one. He is well-disposed 
towards all men ; and the best bred people among us wOl find him, he 
hopes, one of the best bread-Tn&u. in the city." 



§ 308. Humor consists, for the most part, in a representa- 
tion of imaginary, short-lived, or over-strained emotions, 

t^ yet very poor when subsequently related. "What is the technical name of the pun ? 
What else are embraced in this class of witticisms ? 

In what does the wit of the pun sometimes consist ? Give an example. 

§SOS. In what does humor consist? Under what head do representations of rea] 


wMcli display themselves preposterously, or so as to excite 
derision rather than sympathy. 

Representations of real emotion, in the display of which there is no 
violation of taste or good sense, fall under the head of the pathetic, to 
■which, consequently, the humorous is opposed. These two kinds of 
writing are much heightened in effect by being presented in contrast ; a 
fact of which writers of fiction often avail themselves. This constitutes 
tiie chief charm of Dickens' novels, 

§ 309. The subject of humor is character : not everything 
in character ; not its graver faults or vices ; but its peculiari- 
ties, its foibles, caprices, extravagances, anxieties, jealousies, 
childish fondnesses, and weaknesses generally, — its affectation, 
vanity, and self-conceit. 

One who possesses a talent for the humorous finds the greatest scope 
for its display in telling familiar stories, or acting a whimsical part in 
an assumed character. Even the mimicking of minute peculiarities of 
pronunciation, or grammatical faults in discourse, is admissible in the 
humorous production. The object is to expose the weak points of the 
individual under description ; and these are often best set forth by 
entering into the minutest details. Even over-acting, if not immode- 
rate, contributes to the entertainment of the picture. 

§ 310. Humor is not, like wit, sudden and short-lived; a 
brilliant scintillation, which flashes forth, and is then lost in 
obscurity. It often extends through entire productions ; and, 
indeed, forms the staple of comic writing in general. Buck- 
ingham justly says of comedy, 

" Humor is all. "Wit should be only brought 
To turn agreeably some proper thought." 

" Novelty, moreover, is not essential to humor. Its trutb 
fulness to nature prevents it from being tiresome ; and it en- 
dures readings and re-readings, which would make mere wit 
absolutely disgusting. 

emotion fall? Of what fact do writers of fiction often avail themselves? Of whoso 
works does this constitute the chief charm ? 

§ 809. What is the subject of humor ? In what does a talent for the humorous find 
the best field for its display ? How are the weak points of an individual often best 
exposed ? What is the effect of over-acting ? 

§ 310. How does humor compare with wit in duration? Of what does it form the 
Itaple ? What does Buckingham say of its use in comedy ? What prevents humor 
from being tiresome ? 


§ 31 1. In every literature, humor has been employed, to a 
greater or less extent, in the lighter departments of composi- 
tion, as a means of pleasing. Cervantes, perhaps, in his Don 
Quixote, has carried it to a greater degree of perfection than 
any other writer. Into English literature,*particularly its dra- 
matic compositions, it enters largely. Shakspeare, Gay, Far- 
quhar, and others, have used it with great effect. 

It is to be regretted that Enghsh comedy has not confined itself to 
pure and legitimate himior. To the discredit of our stage, obscenity 
and ribaldry are too often allowed to take its place. This can hardly 
be attributed to a lack of natural refinement. The cause seems rather 
to be that the first great master-pieces in this department of Hterature, 
written in a licentious age, were stained with gross indelicacy, which 
subsequent authors, with this precedent before them, deemed it neces- 
sary to imitate. With obscenity, humor has nothing in common. 

§ 312. The aim of humor is simply to raise a laugh. When 
there is an ulterior object, — that is, when it is sought by means 
of this laugh to influence the opinions and purposes of the 
hearer or reader, — then humor becomes ridicule. In this case, 
a keener contempt of the weakness under review must be 
awakened than in the case of humor. 

E,idieule is to argumentative composition what the reductio ad ahsur- 
duni is to a mathematical demonstration, — a negative, yet satisfactory, 
way of arriving at the object proposed. It may be effectively applied 
to whatever is absurd, and, in a measure, also, to what is false. When 
sober argument would be too dignified and formidable a weapon to em- 
ploy, ridicule may with propriety take its place. To a certain extent, 
the same foibles feel its lash as are open to the more genial attacks of 
humor. It goes, however, a step further ; adding to the former cate- 
gory, ignorance, cowardice, profligacy, and dishonesty. Great Crimea 
are beyond its sphere. To raise a laugh at cruelty, perfidy, or murder, 
would be intolerable. 

§ 311. In what departments of literature is humor extensively emp.byed ? Who 
has carried it to the greatest perfection ? What is said of English comedy ? What 
seems to be the cause of this ? 

§ 312. What is the aim of humor ? When does humor become ridicule ? What 
feeling is in this case awakened ? To what is the relation between ridicule and argu- 
mentative composition compared ? To what may ridicule be applied ? When may it 
•*ith propriety take the place of argument ? What arc beyond its sphere, and why ? 


§3i3. The attack of ridicule is, from its ver^ nature, a 
covert one. What we profess to contemn, we scorn to confute. 
Hence, the reasoning of which ridicule is the medium must be 
ijarried on under a species of disguise. Sometimes the con- 
tempt itself is dissembled, and the railer assumes an air of ar- 
guing gravely in defence of what he is exposing as ridiculous. 
He affects to be in earnest ; but takes care to employ so thin 
a veil that one can easily see through it and discern his real 
intent. Such a course of reasoning is known as irony ^ and it 
often constitutes the most effective way of dealing with folly 
and falsity. 

We have a brief specimen of ironical ridicule in Elijah's address to 
the priests of Baal, who were endeavoring by sacrifices and prayers to 
draw a manifestation of power from their false god : — " Cry aloud : for 
he is a god: either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, 
or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakened." 


The first extract given below illustrates humor ; the second, 
ridicule. Let the student point out their distinguishing fea- 
tures ; and, as an exercise in punctuation, let him supply such 
points as are omitted. 

" The languid lady next appears in state 
Who was not born to carry her own weight 
She lolls reels staggers till some foreign aid 
To her own stature lifts the feeble maid. 
Then if ordained to so severe a doom 
She by just stages journeys round the room 
But knowing her own weakness she despairs 
To scale the Alps that is ascend the stairs 
My fan let others say who laugh at toil 
Fan hood glove scarf is her laconic style 
And that is spoke with such a dying fall 
That Betty rather sees than hears the call 
The motion of her lips and meaning eye 
Piece out the idea her faint words deny. 

§ 313. What is the character of the attack of ridicule ? How must the reasoning of 
which it is the medium be carried on ? Sometimes, what does the railer seem to be 
doing ? What does he take care, however, that the hearer or reader shall discover ? 
What name is given to this species of ridicule? What is said of its effect? Eepeat 
She qaoted specimen of ironical ridicule. 


Oh listen with attention most profound 
Her voice is but the shadow of a sound 
And help oh help her spirits are so dead 
One hand scarce lifts the other to her head. 
If there a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er 
She pants she sinks away and is no more. 
Let the robust and the gigantic carve 
Life is not worth so much she'd rather starve 
But chew she must herself ah cruel fate 
That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat, — Young. 


" By these methods in a few weeks there starts up many a writer ea* 
pable of managing the profounde^t and most universal subjects For 
what though his head be empty provided his common-place book be 
full And if you will bate him but the circumstances of method and 
style and grammar and invention allow him but the common privileges 
of transcribing from others and digressing from himself as often as he 
shall see occasion he will desire no more ingredients towards jfitting up a 
treatise that shall make a very comely figure on a bookseller's shelf 
there to be preserved neat and clean for a long eternity adorned with 
the heraldry of its title fairly inscribed on a label never to be thumbed 
or greased by students nor bound to everlasting chains of darkness in a 
library but when the fullness of time is come shall happily undergo the 
trial of purgatory in order to ascend the «ky, — Swift. 



§ 314. Figures are intentional deviations from tlie ordinary 
spelling, form, construction, or application of words. They are 
arranged in four classes ; figures of orthography, figures of 
etymology, figures of syntax, and figures of rhetoric. Though 
admissible in both prose and poetry, they occur more frequent- 
ly in the latter. 

§315. Figures of orthography are intentional deviations 
from the ordinary spelling of words. They are two in num- 
ber ; Mi-me^-sis and Ar^-cha-ism. 

§ 814, What are figures ? Into what classes aro they divided ? In what do they 
most frequently occur ? 


Mimesis consists in imitating the mispronunciation of a 
word, by means of false spelling ; as, " Well, zur^ I'll argify 
the topic." 

Archaism consists in spelling a word according to ancient 
usage ; as, " The gret Kyng hathe, every day, fifty fair Damy- 
selesy alle Maydenes, that serven him everemore at his Mete^ 

§ 3 1 6. Figures of etymology are intentional deviations 
from the ordinary forms of words. Those most used are eight 
in number ; A-phse|^-e-sis, Pros^-the-sis, Syn^-co-pe, A-poc^-o-pe, 
Par-a-go''-ge, Di-ser^-e-sis, Syn-ser^-e-sis, and Tme^-sis. 

Aj)hcBresis is the elision of a letter or letters from the be- 
ginning of a word : as, ^hove, for ahove ; ^neatJi, for beneath. 

Prosthesis is the prefixing of a letter or letters to a word : 
as, &doivn, for down ; hedeched, for decked. 

Syncope is the elision of a letter or letters from the middle 
of a word : as, e^en, for even ; ha''penny, for halfpenny, 

Apoco;pe is the elision of a letter or letters at the end of a 
word : as, th\ for ihe ; tho\ for though. 

Paragoge is the annexing of a letter or letters to a word; 
as, vastj, for vast ; ^vithouten, for without. 

Diceresis is the separation into different syllables of two 
contiguous vowels that might unite in a diphthong. This fig- 
ure is usually indicated by placing two dots over the last of the 
separated vowels. Thus, aeronaut^ instead of ceronaut j 
codj)eratey for cooperate. 

Synceresis is the condensing of two syllables into one : as, 
walkhtj for waTkest ; hallowed^ for hallow-ed. 

It was formerly customary tc make the participial termination ed 
a separate syllable ; as, lov-ed, droion-ed. This practice is still adhered 
to by some in solemn discourse ; but,.in common pronunciation, SynseresLg 

§ 315. What are figures of orthography ? Name them. In what does Mimesis con* 
sist ? In what, Archaism ? 

§ 316. What are figures of etymology ? Mention the principal ones, observing that 
an acute accent in each case denotes the syllable that receives the stress of the voice. 
Define them in turn, and give examples of each. In the case of Aphaeresis and other 
Bgures that consist in elisions, what mark must be employed? How is Diceresis indi- 
cated ? What termination was formerly made a separate syllable ? What is the prao- 
dce at the present day ? 


incorporates the final ed with the preceding syllable, -whenever this is 
not impossible by reason of the nature of the letters. 

Tmesis, is the separating of tbe parts of a compound by 
introducing a word or words between tbem: as, what i^a-y 
soever he turned ; to us ward. 

§ 3 1 7. Figures of syntax are intentional deviations from 
the ordinary construction of words. Those most in use are 
five in number; El-lip^-sis, Ple^-o-nasm, Syl-lep^-sis, En-aV- 
la-ge, and Hy-per^-ba-ton. 

Ellipsis is the omission of a word or words, necessary to 
the construction of a sentence, but not essential to its meaning ; 
as, " [He] who steals my purse, steals trash." — " To whom 
thus Eve [spoke]." 

Words thus omitted are said to be understood. They are used in the 
syntactical parsing of sentences, to explain the agreement or govern- 
ment of the words expressed. 

Pleonasm is the use of superfluous words ; as, " The boy, 
oh! where was lie?^^ — "I know thee, w7io thou arV^ This 
figure often imparts force to expressions, and is generally em- 
ployed when the feelings are strongly excited. 

Syllepsis is the construing of words according to the 
meaning they convey, and not by the strict requirements of 
grammatical rules ; as, " Philip went down to the city of Sa- 
maria, and preached Christ unto them.'''' — " The moon her sil- 
ver beams dispenses." 

In the first example, city is 8d person, singular number ; and, ac- 
cording to strict grammatical rules, them should be it. By the city, how- 
ever, the writer means the people in the city ; and he is, therefore, at lib 
erty to use a. pronoun in the plural In the last example, it will be 
seen, there is a species of inferior personification, by which sex is at- 
tributed to the moon, an inanimate object ; we may therefore substitute 
a feminine pronoun for its, which, strictly speaking, it would be neces- 
sary to use. As in this last case, the deviation which constitutes Syl- 
lepsis often arises from the introduction of a rhetorical figure, such as 
personification or metaphor. 

§ 317. What are figures of syntax ? Name those most in use. What is Ellipsis ? 
What Is said of words omitted according to this figure? In what are they used? 
What is Pleonasm? What does this figure impart to expressions, and when is it gen- 
erally employed ? What is Syllepsis ? Point out how this figure operates in the two 


Enallage is the use of one part of speech, or one modificac 
tion of a word, for another ; as, '' They fall successive and suc- 
cessive risey—^'- Sure some disaster has hefcll^ 

In the first example, we should have the adverb successively to modify 
the verbs fall and rise, instead of the adjective successive ; and, in the 
last the participle befallen, in place of the imperfect befell. The truth 
ie, that this figure has been found necessary, to excuse the grammatical 
errors that occur in distinguished writers. The young composer ia 
warned against supposing that Enallage can justify a violation of the 
rules of Syntax. Perhaps the only case in which it may with propinety 
be used, is the substitution of you for thou and we for /, when reference 
is made to a single person, 

My^erbaton is the transposition of "words ; as, " He wan- 
ders earth around," — for, " He wanders around earth." 

This figure constitutes one of the chief features that distinguish 
poetry from prose. Judiciously used in either, it imparts variety, 
strength, and vivacity, to composition. Care must be taken, however, 
not to carry it to such an extent as to occasion ambiguity or obscurity. 


Point out the figures that occur in the following passages, 

and show, if they were not employed, what changes would have 

to he made in the words : — 

1. There's but one pang in death, — leaving the loved. 2. Thro' me 
shine the pearly pebbles. 3. Maister, have you any wery good weal in 
your vallet ? 4. E'en 'neath the earth I'll him pursue. 5. At her feet 
he bowed, he fell, he lay down : at her feet he bowed, he fell ; vv^here he 
bowed, there he fell down dead. 6. It's never a trouble, so plase your 
honor, for an Irishman to do his duty. 7. He touehethe no thing, he 
handlethe nought, but holdethe everemore his Hondes before him, upon 
the Table. 8. Adown the steepy hill they toil. 9. Th' aerial pencil 
forms the scene anew. 10. So little mercy shows who needs so much. 
11. Pr'ythee, peace. 12. There lament they the live day long. 13. I 
lay in Sion a stumbling-stone, and rock of offence ; and whosoever be- 
lieveth on him shall not be ashamed. 14. Turn thou me, and I shall 
be turned. 15. He that hath charity, for him the prayers of many 
ascend. 16. First Evening draws her crimson curtain, then Night 

given examples. From what does Syllepsis often arise ? What is Enallage ? Show 
how it operates in the given examples. For what has this figure been found necessary ? 
Against what is the composer warned ? In what case may Enallage bo properly em- 
ployed? What is Hyperbaton? In what is this figure most used? What does if 
contribute to produce ? What may result from its immoderate use ? 


throws down lier pall. lY. Consider the lilies of tlie field, how they 

18. Dan Chaucer, Well of English undefyled. 

On Fame's eternall beadroU worthie to be fyled. 

19. * * Let us instant go, 
O'erturn his bowers, and lay his castle low. 

20 'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car. 

Transports me to the thickest war. 

21. Who neyer fasts, no banquet e'er enjoys. 

22. Bliss is the same in subject as in king, 
In who obtain defence, or who defend. 



§ 3 1 8. The figures defined in the last lesson, though it is im 
portant that the student should be able to recognize them, and, 
if need be, use them, have but little to do with style, compared 
with those which we shall next consider, and which are known 
as figures of rhetoric. Before proceeding to treat of these sep- 
arately, we may with propriety consider figurative language 
in general, its origin, its peculiarities, and the advantages 
gained by its use. 

§ 319, Definition. — Figurative language implies a depart- 
ure from the simple or ordinary mode of expression ; a cloth- 
ing of ideas in words which not only convey the meaning, but, 
through a comparison or some other means of exciting the 
imagination, convey it in such a way as to make a lively and 
forcible impression on the mind. 

Thus, if we say, " Saladin was shrewd in the council, brave in the 
field," we express the thought in the simplest manner. But if we vary 

§ 318. How do the figures just defined compare in importance with figures of 
rlistoric ? Before proceeding to treat of the latter, what is it proposed to consider ? 

§ 819, "What does figurative language imply ? Hlustrato its use with the two examples 


tbe expression thus, " Saladin was a fox in the council, a hon in the 
field," we clothe the same sentiment in figurative language. Instead of 
cunning and courage, we introduce the animals that possess these quali 
ties in the highest degree, and thus present livelier images to the mind. 
So, we have a plain and simple proposition in the sentence, " It is im- 
possible, even .by the most careful search, fully to ascertain the divine 
nature." " But when we say, " Canst thou, by searching, find out God ? 
Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection ? It is high as heaven, 
'^hat canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know?" we 
unite with the same proposition questions expressive of admiration, and 
thus render it more forcible. 

§ 320. Origin. — To account for the origin of figures, we 
must go back to tbat of language itself, for they are coeval. 
At this early period, men would naturally begin witb giving 
names to the difi"erent objects with which they came in contact. 
Their nomenclature was at first, of course, limited and imper- 
fect ; but, as knowledge increased and ideas multiplied, the 
store of words would naturally increase also. Nevertheless, 
to the infinite variety of objects and ideas, language was inade- 
quate ; or rather, to extend it so as to have a separate word 
for each, would have involved a vocabulary too cumbrous for 
even the best memories. This difficulty was to be avoided ; 
and a natural expedient was adopted, — that of making a word 
already applied to one idea or object stand for another, be- 
tween which and the primary one they found or fancied some 
resemblance to exist. Thus, compassion in the human breastj 
as well as tnildness of speech, seemed to be a kindred idea to 
softness in material bodies. The latter term was therefore ex- 
tended to the two former ideas ; we speak with equal pro- 
priety of a soft bed^ a soft heart and soft words. 

Figures of this kind abound in all languages. The operations of the 
mind and affections, in particular, are designated by words originally 
applied to sensible objects. These words, being earliest introduced, 

§ 320. To iK!connt for the origin of figures, to what must we go back ? With what 
rould men aaturally begin ? What was the character of their nomenclature at first ? 
When did ^t begin to be extended ? What was the objection to inventing a separate 
word for "^ach idea and object ? What nat-aral expedient was adopted ? Give an illus- 
Tation. To what objects were names first given ? To what, in particular, were these 
lames afterwards extended ? Cite some expressions which arose in this way. What 


were naturally extended, by degrees, to those mental peculiarities of 
whicli men had more obscure ideas and to which they found greater 
difficulty in assigning distinct names. Hence arose such expressions aa 
0, piercing jxidgvaent, a toarm and a cold heart, a rough temper. In some 
cases, these figurative words are the only ones that can -well be applied 
to such ideas ; as the student will be convinced, on attempting to find a 
eyuonymous expression for " a cold ov freezing reception". 

With the origin of figures, moreover, imagination has had much to 
do. Every object that makes an impression on the mind is accompanied 
with certain cognate ideas. ISTothing presents itself in an isolated man- 
ner. There are relations which inseparably connect every material ob- 
ject with other things which either precede or follow it, produce it or are 
produced by it, resemble it or are oj)posed to it. Thus every idea car- 
ries others in its train, which may be regarded as its accessories ; and the 
latter often strike the mind more forcibly than the principal idea itseli 
ITiey are pleasanter, perhaps, or more famihar ; or they recall to re- 
membrance a greater variety of important circumstances. The imag- 
ination, thus disposed to rest on the accessory rather than on the prin- 
cipal object, often appHes to the latter the name or epithet originally 
appropriated to the former. Hence, choice, as well as the necessity allu- 
ded to above, has given currency to a great nxmaber of figurative ex- 
pressions, and men of lively imaginations are adding to them every day. 
Thus, instead of saying, " Under Augustus, Rome enjoyed greater power 
and glory than at any other period," we take an analogous idea, sug- 
gested by imagination from the growth of a plant or tree, and say, 
'^^ovaQ flourished most under Augustus ; " or, remembering that, when 
a heavenly body is directly overhead, and therefore apparently at the 
highest point of its orbit, astronomers say it is at its zenith, we substi- 
tute this accessory and say, " Under Augustus, Rome was at the zenith 
of her power and glory", — and thus express the thought more tersely 
and pointedly than by the literal language above cited. 

§321. HiSTOPcY. — Such was the origin of figurative lan- 
guage. First introduced by necessity, it was found to yield 
such pleasure to the imagination and communicate so much 
(ife to composition, that men used it in preference to plain 

^Tilty of the mind, also, had much to do with the origin of figures ? Describe the 
way in which it operated to produce them. Express, in plain language, the fact that 
rJQder Augustus, Eome attained her greatest power and glory. Express the same 
sentiment figuratively in two different ways. Show, in each case, whence the figure 
»s derived. 

§ S2'l. What two causes, then, led to the use of figurative language ? When did 


language, even when they could express their meaning equally 
well by means of the latter. Both these causes operated with 
special force in the early stages of society. The barrenness 
of language made it necessary to use words in a figurative 
sense ; while imagination, then more vivid than in subsequent 
ages, gave a decided preference to terms so employed. As it 
was in the infancy of society, so we find it generally to be 
with savage tribes. New objects strongly impress their 
minds. They are governed by imagination and passion, rather 
than reason ; and this is shown in their language. The North 
American -Indian tongues afford striking illustrations of this 
fact. Bold, picturesque, and metaphorical, they abound in 
allusions to material objects, particularly such as are most 
striking in a wild and solitary life. An Indian chief, in an 
ordinary harangue to his tribe, uses more metaphors than a 
European would employ in an epic poem. 

As a language progresses in refinement, precision is more regarded, 
and there is a tendency to give every object a distinct name of its own- 
Still, figurative words continue to occupy a considerable place. "We 
find, on examination, that, while there are some which, by reason of fi^e- 
quent use, have come to be regarded as purely literal expressions, such 
as a cleat head, a hard heart, and the like ; there are many others which, 
in a greater or less degree, retain their figurative character and impart 
to style the peculiar effect described above. As examples, we may 
point to such phrases as the following : " to enter upon a subject,'' " to 
follow out an argument," " to stir up strife," " to move the feelings," &e. 
In the use of such expressions, the correct writer will always carry out 
the figure ; that is, will regard the allusion on which it is based, and in- 
troduce in the same connection nothing inconsistent therewith. One 
may, for instance, "be sheltered under the patronage of 'a great man"; 
but it would be wrong to say, " sheltered under the mask of dissimula- 
tion," — ^for a mask does not shelter, but conceals. 

§ 322. Advantages. — The advantages which accrue from 
the use of figures are as follows : — 

these causes operate with special force ? Why ? In what languages do they also 
operate strongly ? What tongues afford striking illustrations of this fact ? What is the 
character of these Indian tongues ? As a language progresses in refinement, what ten- 
dency prevails ? What follows, as regards figurative expressions ? What do we find, 
Id process of time, with respect to them ? In the us® of figurative expressions, wbat 
mnst the writer bo careful to do ? Illustrate thi& 


I They erurich language by increasing its facilities of ex- 
pression. By their means, words and phrases are multiplied, 
so that all kinds of ideas, the minutest differences, and the 
nicest shades of thought, can be distinctly and accurately ex- 

II. They dignify style. Words and phrases to which the 
ear is accustomed are often too colloquial and familiar to be 
employed in connection with elevated subjects. When treat- 
ing of the latter, we should be greatly at a loss were it not for 
figures. Properly used, they have the same effect on language 
that is produced by the rich and splendid dress of a person 
of rank ; that is, by imparting a general air of magnificence, 
they exact admiration and respect. Assistance of this kind is 
often necessary in prose ; in poetry, it is indispensable. 

To say the sun rises, for instance, is trite, and fails to awaken any 
pleafsure in the mind ; but the same thought is pleasing in the highest 
degree as figuratively expressed by Thomson : 

" But yonder comes the powerful king of day, 
Eejoicing in the East." 

So, what a contrast is presented by the plain proposition, " all men are 
subject alike to death," and the same sentiment as expressed by Horace : 

" With equal pace, impartial Fate 
Knocks at the palace and the cottage gate." 

III. They bring before the mind two objects simulta 
neously yet without confusion. We see one thing in another, 
and this is always a source of pleasure. In nothing does the 
mind more gladly employ itself than in detecting and tracing 

When, for example, for youth we substitute the morning oj life, the 
fancy is entertained with two ideas at once, — the early period of exist- 
ence, and the opening of the day ; each of which has its own associa 
tions, and awakens its peculiar train of images. The fancy is thus ex 

I 822. What is the first advantage resulting from the use of figures? What, tha 
Rdcond? When we are treating of elevated subjects, what words must not be used? 
In such cases, to what must we have recourse ? To what is the effect of figurative lan- 
guage compared ? In what department of composition is assistance of this kind indis- 
pensable' Show, by means of two examples, the difference in effect between trite and 
Sgorative language ? What is the third advantage gained by the use of figures ? Ex- 


cited ia a two -fold degree ; and this double pleasure is enhanced not a 

little by the evident resemblance between the objects compared. 

ly. Again, as already seen, figures frequently convey the 
meaning more clearly and forcibly than plain language. This 
is particularly true in the case of abstract conceptions, which, 
in a greater or less degree, they represent as sensible objects, 
surrounding them with such circumstances as enable the mind 
fully to comprehend them. A well- chosen figure, indeed, not 
nnfrequently, with the force of an argument, carries oonvic- 
tion to the mind of the hearer ; as in the following illustra- 
tion from Young : " When we dip too deep in pleasure, we 
always stir a sediment that renders it impure and noxious." 

§ 323. Rules. — In the use of figures, rules are of service, 
as they are in every other department of composition. There 
is no force in the argument that they are unnecessary, because 
people who have never heard of a rule use figures properly 
every day. 

We constantly meet with persons who sing agreeably and correctly 
without knowing a note of the gamut ; is it, therefore, improper to re- 
duce the notes to a scale, or unnecessary for a musician to study the 
principles of his art ? The ornaments of composition are certainly as 
capable of improvement as the ear or the voice ; and the only means of 
ensuring this improvement are careful study of the various rules founded 
on nature and experience, and constant practice with reference to the 
principles they establish. 

g 324. Use. — Though the advantages arising from the use 
of figurative language have been dwelt on at some length, it 
must not be supposed, either that its frequent use is absolute- 
ly essential to beauty of composition, or that figures alone, 
without other merits, can constitute such beauty. As the 
body is more important than the dress, so the thought is 

plain and illustrate this point. Fourthly, how do figures frequsntly convey a writer's 
meaning? In the case of what is this particularly true? To what is a well-chosei: 
Ggnre often equivalent in force ? Give an illustration from Young. 

§ 323. What is said of rules for the use of figures ? Vfhat argument is urged against 
them ? Expose the fallacy of this argument 

§ 324 What must not be supposed with respect to figurative language ? Which is 
more important,— the thought, or its dress ? 


of more moment than the mode of expressing it. No figure 
can render a cold or empty composition interesting ; while, on 
the other hand, if a sentence is sublime or pathetic, it can 
support itself without borrowed assistance 



In the following passages, change the figurative to plam 
language : — 

Example. Figurative.— The king of terrors. 

The waves are asleep on the bo.som of ocean. 
Plain. — ^Death. 

The ocean is calm. 

1. The morning of life ; — the veil of night ; — & fiery temper ; — a deep 
thinker ; — a light disposition ; — a cold heart ; — a warm friend : — an at 
tack of sickness ; — a thin audience ; — high hopes ; — a hard lot. 2. Athena 
was now at the jomwacZe of glory. 3. The sea swallows many a vessel. 
4. Beside the warrior slept his bow. 5. Guilt is wedded to misery. 6. 
Homer's genius soars higher than Virgil's, Y. Some great men are noted 
for the roughness of their behavior. 8. Time had left his footprints on 
her brow. 9. The breath of spring infuses new life into the vegetable 
world. 10. The sanguine man is sometimes rudely wakened from his 
dreams. 11. Even at imaginary woes the heart will sometimes ache. 
12. Abstinence is the only talisman against disease. 13. This lamenta- 
tion touched his heart. 14. We should not be cast down by light afflic- 

15. "Adversity's cold frosts will soon be o'er; 

It heralds 'brigJiier days .'—the joyous Spring 
Is cradled on the Winter's icy treast, 
And yet comes flushed in beauty." 

16. " Vice is a monster of so frightful vden, 

As to be hated needs but to be seen ; 
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace." 

In each of the following passages, introduce figurative lan- 
guage without altering the sense. Punctuate the sentences 
so formed, and be careful to carry out the figure properly. 


The student may form figures of his own, or may employ those 
suggested by the words in parentheses. 

Example. Plain* — ^The uneompassionate man has no sympathy for 
the unfortunate. 
Figurative. — The hard-hearted man turns a deaf ear to the 

1. The mind should be kept uncontaminated {weeds, garden). 2. Let 
us be virtuous, and not yield to the temptations of pleasure {path, listen^ 
voice). 8. With the ancient Stoics it was a principle never to indulge 
their appetites unduly {overstep). 4. Suspicion is a source of great un- 
happiness {poison). 5. Providence has wisely ordained that we shall 
not know the future {sealed). 6. Calumnious reports are often circu- 
lated about those whose lives afford the least reason for them {aim, 
arrows). 1. He is dying {tide). 8. Fortune, though it may involve ua 
in temporal difficulties, can not make us permanently unhappy, if we 
do no evil. 9. Time makes many changes. 10. The young man, on 
leaving college, should pause a moment for serious thought before en- 
gaging in active life {launching). 11. We should constantly have regard 
to the requirements of truth and justice. 12. We meet with few utterly 
stupid persons ; with still fewer noble geniuses : the generality of man- 
kind are between the two extremes. 13. Often, when apparently gay, 
the heart is sad. 14. Seldom do the old form very ardent friendships. 
15. Our worst enemies are our own evil passions. 16 The rising sun 
shines on the tops of the mountains {gilds). 11. The lightning is seen 
first on one peak and then on another {leaps). 18. He is in love. 



§ 325. Figures of rhetoric are intentional deviations from 
the ordinary application of words. They are constantly oc- 
curring in every department of composition, and are a source 
of life and beauty to style. Rhetoricians have devoted 
much attention to defining, analyzing, and classifying them ; 
and, by making slight shades of difference sufficient ground 
for the formation of new classes, have succeeded in enumera- 
ting more than two hundred and fifty. Such minuteness is 
/)f no practical use ; and we shall limit our consideration to 

S 325. What are figures of rhetoric ? How many have been enumerated by rhetor 
fclans ? How have they succeeded in making so many ? How many are here codt 



the sixteen leading figures, wMcli embrace many of the subdi 
visions above alluded to, are all that it is necessary to under- 
stand or of advantage to employ. 

The sixteen principal figures are Sim^-i-le, Met^-a-phor, 
Al^-le-go-ry, Me-ton^-y-my, Sy-nec^-do-che, Hy-per^-bo-le, Vis^ 
ion, A-pos^-tro-phe, Per-son-i-fi-ca^-tion, In-ter-ro-ga^-tion, Ex 
cla-ma^-tion, An-tith^-e-sis, Cli^-max, I^-ro-ny, A-poph^-a-sis 
and On-o-mat-o-poe^-ia. 

Several of these figures are called tropes (a term derived from the 
Greek, meaning turns), because the word is turned, as it were, from its 
ordinary application. 

§ 326. Simile is the comparison of one object to another, 
and is generally denoted by like^ as, or so ; as, " He shall be 
like a tree planted by the rivers of water." — " Thy smile is 
as the dawn of the vernal day." 

Comparisons are sometimes made without any formal term to denote 
them ; as, " Too much indulgence does not strengthen the mind of the 
young ; plants raised with tenderness are seldom strong." Here a com- 
parison is made just as much as if the word as were introduced before 
'plants. So, Chaucer employs a simile in the following beautiful line 
without directly indicating it : — 

"Up rose the sun, and up rose Emilie." 

AH comparisons may be divided, according to the purpose for which 
they are employed, into two classes, known as Explanatory Similes and 
EmbelHshing Similes. The former may be used without impropriety 
even in abstruse philosophical compositions, which, indeed, they often 
illustrate in the happiest manner. One of this class is successfully em- 
ployed by Harris, to explain the distinction between the powers of 
sense and those of imagination. " As wax would not be adequate to the 
purpose of signature, if it had not the power to retain as well as to re- 
ceive the impression ; the same holds of the soul, with respect to sense 
and imagination. Sense is its receptive power ; imagination its reten 
tive. Had it sense without imagination, it would not be as wax, but aa 
water, where, though aU impressions be instantly made, yet as soon aa 

Sidered ? Name them. What are several of these figures called ? What does the word 

§ 326. What is Simile ? By what words is it indicated ? How are comparisons some- 
times made ? Give an example. Into what two classes are Similes divided ? Deflna 
each, and give examples. 


they are made, tliey are instantly lost." The Embellislimg Simile, oq 
the other hand, is introduced, not for the sake of explanation or instruc- 
tion, but simply to beautify the style. Such, for instance, is the effect 
of the following from Ossian: — " Pleasant are the words of the song, said 
Cuchullin, and lovely are the tales of other times. They are Hke the 
calm dew of the morning on the hill of roes, when the sun is faint on its 
side, and the lake is settled and blue in the vale. 

§ 327. Metaphor indicates the resemblance of two objects 
hj applying the name, attribute, or act of one directly to 
the other; as, "He shall be a tree planted by the rivers 
of water." 

Metaphor is the commonest of all the figures. It assumes a variety 
of forms, under some of which it is constantly appearing in composition. 
Sometimes there is no formal comparison ; but, as was instanced in the 
last lesson, an act is assigned to an object, which, literally, it is incapa- 
ble of performing, to represent in a lively manner some act which it can 
perform; as, "Wild fancies gambolled unbridled through his brain." 
We may properly apply the term metaphorical to words used in this 
figurative sense, like many of those in the last Exercise. 

§ 328. Allegory is the narration of fictitious events, where- 
by it is sought to convey or illustrate important truths. Thus, 
in Psalm Ixxx., the Jewish nation is represented under the 
symbol of a vine : — " Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt . 
thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou pre- 
paredst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and 
it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of 
it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars." 

It will be seen that an Allegory is a combination of kindred meta- 
phors so connected in sense as to form a kind of story. The parables of 
Scripture, as well as fables that point a moral, are varieties of this figure. 
Sometimes an Allegory is so extended as to fill a volume ; as in the case 
of Bunyan's " Pilgrim's Progress". 

§ 329. Metonymy is the exchange of names between things 

§ 827. What does Metaphor indicate ? What is said of the forms under which it 
appears ? How is it sometimes used in connection with a single object ? What terra 
may bo properly apphed to words used iiguratively ? 

§ 328. What is Allegory ? Of what is it a combination ? What are mentioned as 
varieties of this figure? How far is an Allegory sometimes extended ? 

§ 829. What is Metonymy ? On what is this figure not founded ? Mention the va» 


related. It is founded, not on resemblance, but on tbe rela- 
tion of, 1. Cause and effect: as, *' They have Moses and the 
prophets ", i. e., their writings ; " Gray hairs should be respect- 
ed", i. e., old age. 2. Progenitor and posterity; as, " Hear, 
IsraeV/Le., descendants of Israel. 3. Subject and attri- 
bute; as, " Youth and beauty shall be laid in dust", i. e., the 
young and beautiful. 4. Place and inhabitant ; as, " What 
land is so barbarous as to allow this injustice?" i.e., what 
people. 5. Container and thing contained ; as. " Our ships 
next opened a fire", i. e., our saihrs. 6. Sign and thing sig- 
nified; as, " The sceptre shall not depart from Judah", i. e., 
kingly power. 7. Material and thing made from it ; as, 
" His steel gleamed on high", i. e., his sword. 

§ 330. Synecdoche is using the name of a part for that of 
the whole, the name of the whole for that of a part, or a defi- 
nite number for an indefinite : as, " The sea is covered with 
sails^\ i. e., ships ; " Our hero was gray, but not from age", 
i.e., his hair was gray; " Ten thousand were on his right 
hand ", i. e., a great number. 

§ 331. Hyperbole is the exaggeration of attributes, or the 
assigning to a subject of a wonderful and impossible act as 
the result of ardent emotion ; as, " They [Saul and Jonathan] 
were swifter than' eagles^ they were stronger than lions.'''' — 
" And trembling Tiber dived beneath his bed.''^ 

Hyperbolical expressions are of frequent occurrence in common con- 
versation ; we often s?y, as cold as ice, as hot as fire, ^ white as snow, 
&Q., in all which phrases the quahty is exaggerated beyond the bounds 
of truth. Their frequency is to be attributed to the imagination, which 
always takes pleasure in magnifying the objects before it. Languages 
are, therefore, more or less hyperbolical, according to the liveliness of 
this faculty in those who speak them. Hence the Orientals indulge in 

rious relations subsisting between objects whose names are exchanged, and illustrate 

§830. What is Synecdoche ? 

§ 831. What is Hyperbole? Where does this figure frequently occur? Give some 
eommon colloquial hyperbolical expressions. To what is their frequency attributable ? 
According to what is a language found to be more or less hyperbohcal ? By whom is 
Hyperbole most frequently used ? 


Hyperbole more freely than Europeans, and the young use it to a muct 
greater extent than those of maturer years. 

§ 332. Vision, also called Imagery, is the representation 
of past events, or imaginary objects and scenes, as actually 
present to the senses ; as, " Caesar leaves Graul, crosses the 
Rubicon, and enters Italy", i. e., left Gaul, crossed the Eubicon, 
&c. ; " They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown." 
It will be seen from the examples that this figure often con- 
sists in substituting the present tense for the past. 

§ 333. Ajoostrophe is a turning from the regular course of 
the subject, into an invocation or address ; as, " Death is swal- 
lowed up in victory. death, where is thy sting ? grave, 
where is thy victory ? " 

§ 334. Personification, or Pros-0'po-2:)os!-ia, is the attribut- 
ing of sex, life, or action to an inanimate object ; or the ascribing 
of intelligence and personality to an inferior creature; as, 
" The sea saw it and j?e<^." — " The Worm, aware of his intent, 
harangued him thus." 

§ 335. Interrogation is the asking of questions, not for the 
purpose of expressing doubt or obtaining information, but in 
order to assert strongly the reverse of what is asked j as, 
" Doth God pervert judgment ? or doth the Almighty pervert 
justice ? " This figure imparts animation to style. It is con- 
stantly employed in the Book of Job. 

§ 336. Exclamation is the expression of some strong emo- 
tion of the mind ; as, " Oh ! the depth of the riches both of the 
wisdom and the knowledge of God ! " This figure employs 
exclamatory sentences and vocative clauses. 

§ 337. Antithesis is the placing of opposites in juxta-posi- 
tion, for the purpose of heightening their effect by contrast; 

§ 832. What is Vision sometimes called ? Define this figure. What teisa does U 
'tften require? 

§ 833. What is Apostrophe ? 

§ 834. What is Personification ? 

§ 835. What is Interrogation ? Where does it constantly occur ? 

§ 836. What is Exclamation ? What does this figure employ ? 

§ 33T. What is Antithesis ? Where is it used with great eflfect ? 


as, " A good man obtain eth favor of the Lord ; but a man 
of wicked devices will He condemn." — " Though grave^ yet 
trifling; zealous^ yet untrue.'''' This figure is used with 
great effect in the Book of Proverbs, x.-xv. It is one of the 
most ejBfective ornaments that can be employed in composition. 
" To extirpate antithesis from literature altogether," says 
the author of Lacon, " would be to destroy at one stroke about 
eight-tenths of all the wit, ancient and modern, now existing 
in the world." 

§ 338. Climax is the arrangement of a succession of 
words, clauses, members, or sentences, in such a way that the 
weakest may stand first, and that each in turn, to the end of 
the sentence, may rise in importance, and make a deeper im- 
pression on the mind than that which preceded it ; as, " Who 
shall separate us from the love of Christ ? Shall tribulation^ 
or distress^ or perseeution, or famine^ or nakedness, or peril, 
or sword ? " 

This term is derived from tlie Greek word, klimax, " a ladder." The 
definition given above has reference to the Climax of sense. We have 
also a Climax of sound, which consists in arranging a series of words or 
clauses according to their length, that is, so that the shortest may 
come first: as, "He was a great, noble, disinterested man;" not, "He 
was a disinterested, noble, great man." A fine effect is produced by 
combining the Climax of sense with that of sound. Cicero understood 
this fact, and, in his orations, constantly availed himself of it, with the 
greatest success. 

The faulty arrangement of words and clauses in the opposite ordei 
to that prescribed by this figure, that is, so that they successively de- 
crease in importance, is known as Anti-climax. It is well illustrated in 
the following couplet : — 

"And thou, Dalhousie, thou great god of war. 
Lieutenant-colonel to the earl of Mar I " 

The term Climax is also applied by some to sentences in which, foi 
the sake of emphasis, an expression occurring in one member is re- 

§ 8S8. What is Climax ? From what is this term derived ? What is meant by a 
Cliiuax of sound ? How is a fine effect produced ? Who has availed himself of thia 
fact? What is Anti-climax? Cite a couplet in point. To what sentences is the term 
Climax also applied ? Repeat the illustration quoted from Pope. What other pame la 
^ven to this variety of Climax ? 


peated m another ; as, " Wlien we have practised good actions a while 
they become easy ; and, when they are easy, we begin to take pleasure 
in them ; and, when they please us, we do them frequently ; and, by 
frequency of acts, they grow into a habit." So, Pope, to heighten com- 
passion for the fate of an unfortunate lady, repeats the idea that she 
lacked friendly sympathy in her distress : — 

"By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed, 
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed ; 
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned, 
By strangers honored and by strangers mourned." 

Some make this an independent figui'e, and style it Repetition. 

§ 339. Iro7ty is a figure by whicb is expressed directly the 
opposite of what it is intended shall be understood ; as when 
Elijah said to the priests of Baal, who were trying to induce 
their false god to manifest himself miraculously, " Cry aloud, 
for he is a god," &c. This figure has been already considered 
under the head of Eidicule. 

§ 340. Apophasis, Faralipsis, or OmissioUy is the pretend- 
ed suppression of what one is all the time actually mentioning ; 
as, " I say nothing of the notorious profligacy of his character ; 
nothing of the reckless extravagance with which he has 
wasted an ample fortune ; fwthing of the disgusting intemper- 
ance which has sometimes caused him to reel in our streets ; 
— but I aver that he has exhibited neither probity nor ability 
in the important office which he holds." 

§341. OnomatopcBia is the use of a word or phrase formed to 
imitate the sound of the thing signified ; as when we say, rat 
tat tat., to denote a knocking at the door ; how wow^ to express 
the barking of a dog ; or, huzz^ buzz, to indicate the noise 
made by bees. 

§889. What is Irony? 

§ 840, What other names has Apophasis ? Define this Sgara 

§ 84L What is Onomatopoeia ? Exemplify it 




Point out the figures that occur in the following passages, 

and state to which of the four classes they belong. There 

may be more than one in the same sentence. 

1. They that are of a froward heart are abomination to tne Lord: 
but such as are upright in their way are His delight. 2. As a jewel of 
gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. 
8. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us 
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 4. The depth 
saith, It is not in me : and the sea saith. It is not with me. 5. Weep on 
the rocks of roaring winds, O maid of Inistore 1 Bend thy fair head over 
the waves, thou loveher than the ghost of the hills, when it moves on 
the sunbeam, at noon, over the silence of Morven. He is fallen : thy 
youth is low ! 6. He smote the city. 7. There are a naillion truths 
that men are not concerned to know. 8. On this side, modesty is 
engaged ; on that, impudence : on this, chastity ; on that, lewd- 
ness: on this, integrity; on that, fraud: on this, piety; on that pro- 
faneness : on this, constancy ; on that, fickleness : on this, honor ; on 
that, baseness : on this, moderation ; on that, unbi'idled passion. 9. For 
all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for- 
ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that, if a 
man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be num- 
bered. 10. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write ; but 
error is a scribbled one, from which we must first erase. 11. Horatius 
was once a very promising young gentleman ; but in process of time he 
became so addicted to gaming, not to mention his drunkenness and de- 
bauchery, that he soon exhausted his estate, and ruined his constitution. 
12. Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth ? Are thy days 
as the days of man? Are thy years as man's days? 13. Streaming 
grief his faded cheek bedewed. 14. My heart is turned to stone : 1 
strike it, and it hurts my hand. 15. Friendship is no plant of hasty 
growth. 16. Cool age advances, venerably wise. 17. Oh! that ye 
•would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. 
18. Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge ; but he that hateth re- 
proof is brutish. 19. His arm soon cleared the field. 

20. Some lead a life unblamable and just. 
Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust, 

21. The combat thickens. On, ye brave, 
Who rush to glory or the grave 1 

22. Oh ! unexpected stroke, worse than ot death I 
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ! thus leavo 
Thee, native soil, these happy walks, and shades, 
Fit haunt of gods I 


83. O books, ye monuments of mind, concrete' wisdom of the wisest ; 
Sweet solaces of daily life ; proofs and results of immortality ; 
Trees yielding all fruits, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations,' 
Groves of knowledge, where all may eat, nor fear a flaming sword. 

24. Earth felt the wound ; and Nature from her seat 
Sighing, through all her works, gave signs of woe 
That all was lost. 

25. How slow yon tiny vessel ploughs the main 1 
Amid the heavy billows now she seems 

A toiling atom ; then from wave to wave 
Leaps madly, by the tempest lashed ; or reels, 
Half wrecked, through gulfs profound. 

26. Me miserable ! which way shall I fly 
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ? 
Which way I fly is hell, myself am hell, — 
And in the lowest depth, a lower deep, 
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide. 
To which the hell I sufl'er seems a heaven. 

2T. The earth 

Gave signs of gratulations, and each hill. 
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs 
Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings 
Flung rose, flung odor from the spicy shrub. 

Dash along ! 
Slash along ! 
Crash along ! 
Flash along ! 

On! on! with a jump, 

And a bump. 

And a roll. 

Hies the fire-flend to his destined goal ! 



§ 342. For a practical view of the figures defined in Lesson 
L., and to learn under what circumstances they are most 
efiectively introduced, the young writer is recommended to a 
careful and critical perusal of standard authors. A few re- 
marks, however, on figures in general, and some brief rules re- 
specting the use of the most important ones, will he found of 

§ 343. In the first place, an observation already made must 
be remembered, that composition is by no means dependent on 
figures for all, or even the greater part, of its beauties and 

§ 342. Where is the student referred for a practical view of figures ? 

§ 343. What observation is first made respecting the effect of figures on compo- 


merits. Examples of the most sublime and pathetic writing 
abound, and many have been cited above, in which, powerful 
as is their effect, no assistance is derived fi-om this source 
Figures, therefore, though valuable as auxiliaries, should not 
be the chief object had in view. If a composition is destitute 
of striking thoughts, or even if the style is objectionable, all 
the figures that can be employed will fail to render it agreeable. 
They may dazzle a vulgar eye, but can never please a judicious 

In the second place, to be beautiful, figures must rise nat- 
urally from the subject. Dictated by imagination or passion, 
they must come from a mind warmed by the object it would 
describe. They must flow in the same train as the current of 
thought. If deliberately sought out, and fastened on where 
they seem to fit, with the express design of embellishing, their 
effect will be directly the opposite of what is intended. 

Again, even when imagination prompts and the subject nat- 
urally gives rise to figures, they should not be used to excess. 
The reader may be surfeited with them ; and, when they recur 
too often, they are apt to be regarded as evidence of a superfi- 
cial mind that delights in show rather than in solid merit. 

Lastly, without a genius for figurative language, no one 
should attempt it. Imagination is derived from nature ; we 
may cultivate it, but must not force it. We may prune its re- 
dundancies, correct its errors, and enlarge its sphere ; but the 
faculty itself we can not create. We should therefore avoid 
attempts which can result only in making our weakness 

With these general principles in view, we proceed to cer- 
tain rules and cautions relating to simile, metaphor, and hyper- 
bole, the commonest ornaments of style. 

§344. Simile. 

sltion ? What is essential to the beauty of figures ? When they are deliberately sought 
for, what is their effect ? What is said of using them to excess, even when they arisa 
naturally from the subject? What writers should avoid attempts at figurativa 


I. Objects must not be compared to things of the same kind, tliq,t 
closely resemble them. Much of the pleasure we receive from this figure 
arises from its discovering to us similitudes where at first glance we 
would not expect them. When Milton compares Satan's appearance, 
after his fall, to that of the sun suffering an eclipse and terrifying the 
nations with portentous darkness, we are struck with the point and 
dignity of the simile. But when he likens Eve's bower in Paradise to 
the arbor of Pomona, or Eve herself to a wood-nymph, we receive but 
little entertainment, as one bower and one beautiful woman must obvi- 
ously, in many respects, resemble another. 

II. Still less should similes be founded on faint resemblances. In 
this case they neither explain nor embellish, and instead of entertaining 
the mind distract and perplex it. Shakspeare, bold in his use of figures, 
rather than delicate or correct, frequently violates this rule. The fol- 
lowing is a case in point : — 

" Give me the crown.— Here, Cousin, seize the crown : 
Here on this side, my hand ; on that side, thine. 
Now is this golden crown like a deep well. 
That owes two buckets, filling one another; 
The emptier ever dancing in the air, 
The other down, unseen and full of water: 
That bucket down, and full of tears, am I, 
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high." 

IIL Trite similes are by all means to be avoided. Among these may 
be classed the comparison of a hero to a lion, that of a person in sorrow' 
to a flower drooping its head, of a violent passion to a tempest, of a 
ruddy cheek to a rose, of a fair brow to alabaster, — which have been 
handed down from one generation to another, and are still in great favor 
with second-rate writers. As originally used by those who took them 
direct from nature, they were beautiful ; but frequent use has divested 
them of all their charm. Indeed this is one criterion by which the true 
genius may be distinguished from the empty imitator. To the former, 
the treasures of nature are open ; he discerns new shapes and forms, and 
points of resemblance before unobserved : the latter must humbly follow 
in the train of those more gifted than himself. Unable to originate any 
new comparison, he can only re-express the inventions of others. 

§ 844. To what must objects not be compared? From what does much of the 
pleasure we receive from the use of simile arise ? Illustrate this by a reference to 
two of Milton's similes. What is said of similes founded on faint resemblances ? Who 
Q-equently violates this rule ? To what does he make one of his characters compare a 
crown ? What is the effect of this figure ? - What is the third class of similes that must 
be avoided ? Instance some of these. Show the diflPerence in this respect between the 
true genius and the imitator. In the fourth place, to what must objects not be com- 


IV. Nothing is gained by comparing objects to things respecting 
which little is known, as in the following from Cowley : — 

" It gives a piteous groan, and so it broke ; 
In vain it something would have spoke ; 
The love within too strong for 'twas, 
Like poison put into a Venice-glass,'''' 

Comparisons, therefore^ founded on local allusions or traditions, ou 
the career of obscure mythological personages, on matters strictly "be 
longing to science or philosophy, or on any thing with which pei*soiis 
of a certain trade or profession only are conversant, must be avoided. 
To be effective, the object to which comparison is made must be 
familiar to the reader, — one of which, if not personally known to him, 
he has at least a well-defined conception. 

V. Similes must not be drawn from resemblances to low or trivial 
objects. Figures so derived degrade style, instead of adorning it. 
Bear witness the following: — 

"As wasps, provoked by children in their play, 
Pour from their mansions by the broad highway, 
In swarms the guiltless traveller engage, 
Whet all their stings, and call forth all their rage ; 
All rise in arms, and, with a general cry. 
Assert their waxen domes, and buzzing progeny : 
Thus from the tents the fervent legion swarms, 
So loud their clamors, and so keen their arms,"— Pope's Homee. 

"We certainly have no higher idea of the prowess of an army from its 
being said to resemble a swarm of wasps. In like manner, objects should 
be compared to things that possess the quality in which the resemblance 
lies in a greater degree than themselves. Thus, in the sentence, " The 
moon is like a jewel in the sky," the simile is bad, because the moon 
sheds more light than a jewel, and should not therefore be compared to 
the latter. 

yi. So, to compare low or trivial objects to things far exceeding 
them in greatness is no beauty, but constitutes one of the varieties of 
burlesque. This is exemplified in a passage from the Odyssey, in which 
the click of a lock is compared to the roaring of a bull. 

" Loud as a bull makes hill and valley ring. 
So roared th9 lock when it released the spring." 

pared ? How does Cowley violate this rule ? "What comparisons are thus excluded ? 
Fifthly, from what resemblances must similes not be drawn ? "What is the effect of 
figures thus derived ? In the illustration cited from Homer, to what is the Grecian host 
likened? "What is the fault in comparing the moon to a jewel? Describe and illus- 
trate the sixth class of faulty similes. What emotions do not admit of comparisons 1 
Show- how Shakspeare violates this principle. 


Vn. Similes are out of place, when anger, terror, remorse, or despair 
is the prevalent passion. Men under the influence of such emotions are 
not likely to indulge in comparisons. Shakspeare, in Henry VI., gross- 
ly violates this principle, when he makes the dying Warwick say : — 

" My mangled body shows, 
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows, 
That I must yield my body to the earth, 
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. 
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, 
"Whoso arms gave shelter to the princely eaglo ; 
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept ; 
"Whose top-branch overpeered Jove's spreading tree, 
And kept low shrubs from winter s powerful wind." 

§ 345. Metaphor. 

I. Metaphors being in most cases similes with the term denoting 
the comparison omitted, the rules laid down in the last section for the 
latter figure are equally applicable to the former. In other words, wa 
must avoid unmeaning, far-fetched, trite, obscure, degrading, bombastic, 
and unreasonable metaphors. These different faults having been illus- 
trated under the simile, it is not thought necessary to give further ex- 

II. Care must be taken that the metaphor be appropriate. Thus, the 
clergyman who prayed that God would be " a rock to them that are 
afar off upon the sea," used a very inappropriate figure ; because, as 
roclcs in the sea are a source of great danger to marinei^s, he was in 
reality asking for the destruction of those for whose safety he intended 
to pray. 

III. The commonest error in the use of metaphors is the blending of 
figurative with plain language in the same sentence ; that is, the con- 
struction of a period in such a way that a part must be interpreted 
metaphorically and the remainder literally. Thus Pope, in his transla- 
tion of Homer's Odyssey (the error is not found in the original), makes 
Penelope say with reference to her son, 

" Now from my fond embrace by tempests torn, 
Our other column of the state is borne, 
Nor took a kind adieu, nor sought consent." 

In the second line she calls her son a " column of the state," and in 
the third speaks of his talcing a kind adieu and seeking consent Now, as 

§ 345. "What is the difference between similes and metaphors ? "What is snid of the 
rules relating to the former ? Accordingly, what kind of metaphors must be avoided ? 
In the second place, what quality is essential to the correct metaphor ? Give an ex- 
ample of the inappropriate use of this figure. "What is the commonest error in the uso 
\)f metaphors ? Illustrate this from Pope's translation of the Odyssey, and show the 


columns can not very well take kind adieus or seek consent, there is an 
inconsistency, and the metaphor is faulty. The poet should either have 
avoided likening Telemachus to a column, or else should not have at- 
tributed to him an act which it is impossible for a column to perform. 
So Pope elsewhere says, addressing the king, 

" To thee the world its present homage pays ; 
The harvest early, but mature the praise." 

Here, had it not been for the rhyme, he would evidently have said, 
" The harvest early, but mature the crop." He would thus have carried 
out the figure. 

rV. Mixed metaphors, — ^that is, the use of two different figures in the 
same period, with reference to the same object. — confound the imagina- 
tion, and are to be strictly guarded against. Thus Addison, in his 
" Letter from Italy," says, 

" I bridle in my struggling muse with pain, 
That longs to launch into a bolder strain." 

He first makes his muse a horse which may be bridled, then a ship 
which may be launched. How can it be both, at one and the same 
moment? How can being bridled prevent it from launching? With 
equal impropriety Shakspeare uses the expression, " To take arms 
against a sea of troubles," comparing the troubles in question, in the 
same breath, to an enemy and to a sea. 

Y. Lastly, metaphors should not be carried too far ; if all the minor 
points of resemblance are sought out and dwelt upon, the reader will 
inevitably become wearied. 

§ 346. Hyperbole. 

I. Violent hyperboles are out of place in mere descriptions. A per- 
son in great affliction may indidge in wild exaggeration, but for a writer 
merely describing such a person to use language like the following is 
pure bombast : — 

"I found her on the Hoor, 
In all the storm of grief, yet beautiful ; 
' Pouring forth tears at such a lavish rate, 

That, were the world on fire, they might have drowned 
The wrath of Heaven, and quenched the mighty ruin."— Lee. 

H. Hyperboles may be so extravagant as to render the wi-iter and 
his subject ridiculous. Lucan furnishes a case in point. The later 

error. Give another couplet from Pope containing a violation of this principle. What 
ere mixed metaphors? What is their eflPect? Show how Addison and Shakspeare 
violate this rule. What i^aid about carrying metaphors too far ? 

§ 346. In what are violent hyperboles out of place ? Give an example of bombast 


Roman poets, as a compliment to their emperors, wei^e in the habit of 
asking them in their addresses what part of the heavens they would 
choose for their habitation after they had become gods. Lucan, how 
ever, resolving to outdo all his predecessors in an address to Nero, 
gravely beseeches him not to choose his place near either of the poles 
lest his weight overturn tlie universe. 



Point out the figures of orthography, etymology, syntax, 
and rhetoric, that occur in the following extracts. In each 
passage, there is a faulty figure, which violates one or more 
of the rules laid down in the last lesson. Show wherein the 
error lies, and suggest, in each lase, a figure by which the 
difficulty in question may be avoided. 


1. " The holy Book, like the eighth sphere, doth shine." — Cowley. 
2. " The sun, in figures such as these, 
Joys with the moon to play : 

To the sweet strains they advance. 
Which do result from their own spheres ; 

As this nymph's dance 
Moves with the numbers which she hears." — -Waixek. 

g. In Shakspeare's Richard II., a gardener gives these directions to 
his servants : — 

" Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricots. 
Which, like unruly children, make their sire 
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight ; 
Give some supportance to the bending twigs. 
Go thou ; and, like an executioner. 
Cut off the heads of too fast-growing sprays. 
That look too lofty in our commonwealth ; 
All must be even in our government." 

produced by this figure. "What is said of extravagant hyperboles? Cite one in -whicli 
Lucan indulges. 


4. In Addison's Cato, Fortius, bidding his beloved Lucia an eternal 
farewell, uses the following language : — 

" Thus o'er the dying lamp the unsteady flame 
Hangs quivering on a point, leaps off by fits, 
And falls again, as loath to quit its hold. 

Thou must not go ; my soul still hovers o'er thee, 

And can't get loose." 

5. " Nor could the Greeks repel the Lycian powers, 
Nor the bold Lycians force the Grecian towers. 
As, on the confines of adjoining grounds, 
Two stubborn swains with blows dispute their bounds , 
They tug, they sweat ; but neither gain nor yield. 
One foot, one inch, of the contended field." — ^Pope's Homee. 

6. Speaking of the faUen angels, searching for mines of gold, Milton 
says :— 

" A numerous brigade hastened : as when bands 
Of pioneers, with spade and pick-axe armed, 
Forerun the royal camp to trench a field 
Or cast a rampart." 


7. " Trothal went forth with the stream of his people, but they met 
a rock : for Fingal stood unmoved ; broken, they roUed back from his 
side. ISTor did they roU in safety ; the spear of the king pursued their 
flight."— OssiAN. 

8. A torrent of superstition consumed the land. 

9. " Where is the monarch who dares resist us? Where is the po 
tentate who doth not glory in being numbered among our attendants ? 
As for thee, descended from a Turcoman sailor, since the vessel of thy 
imbounded ambition hath been wrecked in the gulf of thy self-love, it 
would be proper that thou should'st take in the saUs of thy temerity, 
and cast the anchor of repentance in the port of sincerity and justice, 
which is the port of safety ; lest the tempest of our vengeance make 
thee perish in the sea of the punishment thou deservest." — ^Tameelane. 

10. Dryden, in the following lines, describes the Supreme Being as 
extinguishing the fire of London in accordance with the supplicationa 
of His people : — 

*' A hoUow crystal pyramid He takes. 
In firmamental waters dipped above ; 
Of this a broad extinguisher He makes. 
And hoods the flames that to their quarry strove." 

11. — = — " The Alps, 

The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls 
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps." — Newspaper Poet. 

12. " There is a time when factions, by the vehemence of their own 
fermentation, stun and disable one another." — Bolingbeoke. 


13. * The tackle of my heart is cracked and burnt ; 

And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail 

Are turned to one thread, one little hair : 

My heart hath one poor string to stay it by, 

Which holds but till thy news be uttered."— Shakspeaee. 


14* " By every wind that comes this way, 
Send me at least a sigh or two ; 
Such and so many I'll repay 
As shall themselves make winds to get to you." — Cowley. 

15. " All armed in brass, the richest dress of war, 

(A dismal, glorious sight) he shone afar. 

The sun himself started with sudden fright 

To see his beams return so dismal bright." - Cowley. 

16. "■* Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousm! 

We'll make foul weather with despised tears : 

Our sighs, and they, shall lodge the summer-corii, 

And make a dearth in this revolting land." — Shakspeaee. 



§ 347. If we examine the compositions of any two indi- 
viduals on the same subject, we shall generally find that, not 
only do their respective sentiments differ, but also their modes 
of expressing those sentiments. This is no more than natu- 
ral. We must expect the thoughts and words of men to differ 
similarly with their actions and dispositions. Now, the pecu- 
liar manner in which a writer expresses his thoughts by means 
of words is called Style, — a word derived from the Latin stylus^ 
the name of a pointed steel instrument employed by the 
Romans in writisg on their waxen tablets. Yet, while the 
mental peculiarities of most writers are apparent in their dic- 
tion, there are some general distinctive features which enable 

§ 347. On examining tlie compositions of two different persons on the same subject, 
<fhat will wo generally find ? What is style ? From what is the word derived ? EntK 


US to divide their various styles into different classes, as fol- 
lows the Dry, the Plain, the Neat, the Elegant, the Florid, 
the Simple, the Labored, the Concise, the Diffuse, the Ner- 
vous, and the Feeble. These we shall now consider, premi- 
eing that (with the exception of the Dry, the Labored, and the 
Feeble, which are always to be avoided) they are appropriate 
to different subjects, and must be selected by a writer with 
reference to the matter he proposes to treat. It is obvious 
that the swelling style of an oration would be altogether out 
of place in a philosophical essay or an unpretending letter. 
As we define each, we shall note to what compositions it is 

§ 348. The difference between the first five of the styles 
enumerated above, consists chiefly in the amount of ornament 

A dry style excludes ornament of every kind. Aiming only to be 
understood, it takes no trouble to please either the fancy or the ear. 
Such a style is tolerable in didactic writing alone, and even there only 
solidity of matter and perspicuity of language enable us to endure it 
This is so generally felt that we have but few specimens of a purely dry 
style. Aristotle's may be mentioned among the most striking ; and, in 
modern times, Berkley has perhaps approached it as nearly as any othei 

A plain style rises one degree above that last described. While the 
plain writer is at no pains to please us with ornament, he carefully 
avoids disgusting us with harshness. In addition to perspicuity, which 
is the only aim of the dry writer, he studies precision, purity, and pro- 
priety. Such figures as are naturally suggested and tend to elucidate 
his meaning, he does not reject ; while such as merely embellish he 
avoids as beneath his notice. To this class of writers Locke and Swift 

l^ext in order is the neat style. Here ornaments are employed, but 

merate the principal varieties of style. By what must a writer be gnided in making a 
selection between them ? 

§348. In what does the difference between the first five of these styles consist? 

escribe the dry style. In what kind of writing alone is it tolerabl*? What authors 

aflEbrd the most strikiDg specimens of this style ? Describe the plain style. Besides 

perspicuity,' what does the plain writer study? What figures does he employ ? What 

writers belong to this class? What style is next in order in point of ornament? Do- 


not those of the most elevated or sparkling kind ; they are appropriate 
and correct, rather than bold and glowing. Beauty of composition ia 
sought to be attained rather by a judicious selection and arrangement 
of words than by striking efforts of imagination. The sentences em- 
ployed are of moderate length, and carefidly freed from superfluities. 
This style is adapted to every species of writing ; to the letter, the 
essay, the sermon, the law-paper, and even the most abstract treatise. 

Adrancing a step, we come to the elegant style ; which possesses all 
the beauty that ornament can add, without any of the drawbacks 
arising from its improper or excessive use. It may be regarded as the 
perfection of style. " An elegant writer," says Blair, " is one who 
pleases the fancy and the ear, while he informs the understanding ; and 
who gives us his ideas clothed with all the beauty of expression, but not 
overcharged with any of its misplaced finery." Such a one preemi- 
nently is Addison ; and such, though in a less degree, are Pope, Tem- 
ple, and Bolingbroke. 

A florid style is one in which ornament is everywhere employed. 
The term is used with a two-fold signification : — for the ornaments may 
spring from a luxuriant imagination and have a solid basis of thought to 
rest upon : or, as is too often the case, the luxuriance may be in words 
alone and not in fancy ; the brilliancy may be merely superficial, a 
glittering tinsel, which, however much it may please the shallow- 
minded, cannot fail to disgust the judicious. As first defined, this style 
has been employed by several distinguished writers with marked suc- 
cess ; among these the most prominent is Ossian, whose poems consist 
almost entirely of bold and brilliant figures. But it is only writers of 
transcendent genius that can thus indulge in continued ornament with 
any hope of success. Inferior minds inevitably fall into the second 
kind of floridity alluded to above, than which nothing is more con- 
temptible. Vividness of imagination in the young often betrays them 
into this fault ; it is one, however, which time generally corrects, and 
which is therefore to be preferred to the opposite extreme. " Luxu- 
riance," says Quintilian, " can easily be cured ; but for barrenness there 
is no remedy." 

Careful revision is the best means of correcting an over-florid style. 

scribe it. To what varieties of composition is it adapted ? What is the next style ? 
Describe it. "What does Blair say of the elegant writer? What authors have excelled 
in this style ? What is meant by a florid style ? State in what two senses this term is 
used. As first defined, by whom has it been employed ? What writers alono can hope 
to use it with success ? Into what are inferior minds that attempt it apt to fall ? Who 
are often betrayed into this fault by vividness of imagination ? What does Quintilian 
say respecting luxuriance and barrenness? What is the best means of correcting an 
over-florid stylo ? What other means is suggested ? Show how it operates. 


tJnnoccssary words must be stricken out, and even the whole sentence 
must sometimes be remodelled. On the ornamental parts, in particular, 
the file must be freely used. Figures which are not in all respects chaste 
and appropriate to the subject, must be unceremoniously removed. To 
write frequently on familiar themes will be found another effective 
means of correcting excessive floridity. In such exercises, the inappro" 
priateness of too much ornament will be obvious to the writer himself, 
and the effort made to* repress it will have a beneficial effect on all his 

§ 349. The simple and the labored style are directly op- 
posed to each other, the difference between them lying prin- 
cipally in the structure of their respective sentences. 

The simple writer expresses himself so easily that the reader, before 
making the attempt, imagines he can write as well himself His diction 
bears no marks of art ; it seems to be the very language of nature. 
The man of taste and good sense is unable to suggest any change where- 
by the author could have dealt more properly or eSiciently with his 
subject. Simplicity does not imply plainness ; when ornaments are 
suited to the subject, it adopts them, its chief aim being consistency with 
nature. The best specimens of simplicity are afforded by the writers 
of antiquity, — particularly Homer, Herodotus, Xenophon, and Csesar 
and the reason is plain, because they wrote from the dictates of nat- 
ural genius, and imitated neither the thoughts nor the style of others. 
Among moderns, Goldsmith's writings are characterized by this quality 
in the highest degree. 

Simplicity having been thus defined at length, it is unnecessary to 
say much respecting the labored style, which is in all respects its re- 
verse. The characteristics of the latter are affectation, misplaced orna- 
ment, a preponderance of swelling words, long and involved sentences, 
and a constrained tone, neither easy, graceful, nor natural. 

§ 350. Styles are distinguished as concise and diffuse^ ac- 
cording as few or many words are employed by the writer to 
express his thoughts. 

The concise writer, aiming to express himself in the briefest possi- 

§ 849. What is the opposite of a simple style ? In what does the difference between 
Hiein chiefly consist? Describe the diction of the simple writer. What ornaments 
does he employ ? Who afford the best specimens of simplicity ? Why ? What modem 
writer possesses this quality in a high degree? What aie the characteristics of the 
labored style ? 

§ 850. What constitutes the difference between the concise and the diffuse style ? 
Sow does the concise writer express himself? How, the diffuse ? When do both these 



ble manner, rejects as redundant every thing not material to tlie sensa 
He presents a? thought but once, and then in its most striking lighti 
His sentences are compact and strong rather than harmonious, and 
suggest more than they directly express. 

The diffuse writer, on the other hand, presents his thoughts in a 
variety of lights, and endeavors by repetition to make himself perfectly 
understood. Fond of amplification, he indulges in long sentences 
making up by copiousness what he lacks in strength. 

Each of these styles has its beauties, and each becomes faulty when 
csarried to excess. Too gi'eat conciseness produces abruptness and ob- 
scurity ; while extreme diffuseness dilutes the thought, and makes but a 
feeble impression on the reader. In deciding to which of these quali- 
ties it is best to incline in any particular instance, we should be con- 
trolled by the nature of the subject. Discourses intended for delivery 
require a more copious style than matter which is to be printed and 
read at leisure. "When, as in the case of the latter, there is an oppor- 
tunity of pausing and reviewing what is not at first understood, greater 
brevity is allowable than when the meaning has to be caught from the 
words of a speaker, and is thus, if too tei-sely expressed, liable to be lost. 
As a general thing, in descriptions, essays, and sublime and impassioned 
writing, it is safer to incline to conciseness. The interest is thus kept 
alive, the attention is riveted, and the reader's mind finds agreeable ex- 
ercise in following out the ideas suggested, without being fully pre- 
sented, by the author. 

The most concise, as weU as the simplest, writers are found among 
the ancients. Aristotle and Tacitus, above aU others, are characterized 
by terseness and brevity of expression ; the former, indeed, in a greater 
degree than propriety allows. The genius of our language, as we have 
already seen, is opposed to the pointed brevity which constitutes the 
principal charm of the classics. We shall therefore find comparatively 
few specimens of concise composition in our literature ; while, on the 
contrary, we can boast of many writers, who, in elegant diffuseness, will 
not compare unfavorably with Cicero, the great model of antiquity in 
this variety of style. 

§351. The nervous and the feeble style produce re- 
styles become faulty ? What results from too great conciseness ? What, from extreme 
diffascness ? In deciding, in any particular instance, to which it is best to incline, by 
li^hat should we be controlled ? Which of these styles is recommended for matter that 
Is t» be spoken, and on what grounds ? Which is the better for sublime and impas- 
sioaed writhig, and why ? Where must we look for the most concise writers ? What 
two, in particular, are mentioned ? Which of these styles does the genius of our lan- 
gnago favor? 


Bpectively a strong and a slight impression on the reader or 

Ttey are by some considered synonymous with the diffuse and the 
concise, but not properly ; for, however much the latter qualities may 
contribute to produce the former, there are instances of a feeble brevity 
as well as a nervous copiousness. When considering the essential 
properties of style, we shall have occasion to treat of strength, and it 
will then appear in what that quality consists. Meanwhile, we may 
say that unmeaning epithets, vague expressions, and improper arrange- 
ments of words and clauses, are to be avoided, as inevitable sources of 



Brief examples of the principal styles described in the last 
lesson are presented below. The judicious writer aims at 
variety in his compositions ; and hence, though a work, as a 
whole, may have a prevailing tone or manner, it does not fol- 
low that successive sentences are so distinguished. We can 
therefore better exemplify the ' different styles by short pas- 
sages than by lengthy extracts. Besides pointing out the 
peculiarities which lead us to characterize these extracts as 
dry, elegant, florid, &c., show what figures occur, and name 
them ; aliso, supply the omitted points. 


The Sceptic. — Whether the principles of Christians or infidels are 
truest may be made a question but which are safest can be none. Cer- 
tainly if you doubt of all opinions you must doubt of your own and then 
for aught you know the Christian may be true. The more doubt tha 
more room there is for faith a sceptic of all men having the least right 
to demand evidence. But whatever uncertainty there may be in other 
points thus much is certain either there is or is not a God there is or ia 

§ 351, What styles remain to be considered ? With what are they by some con- 
lidered synonymous ? Show why this is not a correct view. What are to be avoided, 
as inevitable sources of weakness ? 


not a revelation man either is or is not an agent the soul is or is not 
immortal. If the negatives are not sure the affirmatives are possible. 
If the negatives are improbable the affirmatives are probable. In pro- 
portion as any of your ingenious men finds himself unable to prove any 
one of these negatives he hath grounds to suspect he may be mistaken. 
A minute philosopher therefore that would act a consistent part should 
have the diffidence the modesty and the timidity as well as the doubts 
of a sceptic. — Berkley. 


Reflections hi Westminster Abbey. — When I look upon the tombs of 
the great every emotion of envy dies in me when I read the epitaphs of 
the beautiful every inordinate desire goes out when I meet with the 
grief of parents upon a tombstone my heart melts with compassion when 
I see the tomb of the parents themselves I consider the vanity of grieving 
for those whom we must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by 
those who deposed them when I consider rival wits placed side by side 
or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes 
[ reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions factions 
and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs 
of some that died yesterday and some six hundred years ago I consider 
that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries and make our 
appearance together. — ^Addison. 


The Flowery Creation. — The snowdrop foremost of the lovely train 
breaks her way through the frozen soil in order to present her early 
compliments to her lord dressed in the robe of innocency she steps forth 
fearless of danger long before the trees have ventured to unfold their 
leaves even while the icicles are pendent on our houses. — Next peeps 
out the crocus but cautiously and with an air of timidity. She hears 
the howling blasts and skulks close to her low situation. Afraid she 
Beems to make large excursions from her root while so many ruffian 
winds are abroad and scouring along the sether. — ISTor is the violet last 
in this shining embassy of the year which with all the embellishments 
that would grace a royal garden condescends to line our hedges and 
grow at the feet of briers. Freely and without any solicitations she dis- 
tributes the bounty of her emissive sweets while herself with an exem- 
plary humility retires from sight seeking rather to administer pleasure 
than to win admiration emblem expressive emblem of those modest vir- 
tues which delight to bloom in obscurity which extend a cheering influ- 
ence to multitudes who are scarce acquainted with the source of their 
comforts motive engaging motive to that ever-active beneficence which 
stays not for the importunity of the distressed but anticipates their suit 
ana prevents them with the blessings of its goodness I — Hervey. 


Tlie Village Schoolmaster. 

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way 
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay 
There in his noisy mansion skilled to rule 
The village master taught his little school. 


A man severe lie was and stern to view 

I knew liim well and every truant knew. 

"Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace 

The day's disasters in his morning's face 

Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee 

At all his jokes for many a joke had he 

Full well the busy whisper circling round 

Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned 

Yet he was kind or if severe in aught' 

The love he bore to learning was a fault. 

The village aU declared how much he knew 

TVas certain he could write and cipher too 

Lands he could measure terms and tides presage 

And e'en the story ran that he could gauge 

In arguing too the parson owned his skill 

For e'en though vanquished he could argue still 

While words of learned length and thundering sound 

Amazed the gazing rustics ranged aroimd 

And stni they gazed and still the wonder grew 

That one smaU. head could carry all he knew. 

But past is all his fame the very spot 

Where many a time he triumphed is forgot. — Goldsmith. 


The Good Housewife. — K"ext unto her sanctity and holiness of life it 
is meet that our English housewife be a woman of great modesty and 
temperance as well inwardly as outwardly inwardly as in her behavior 
and carriage towards her husband wherein she shall shun all violence 
of rage passion and humor coveting less to direct than to be directed 
appearing ever unto him pleasant amiable and delightful and though 
occasion of mishaps or the misgovernment of his wiU may induce her to 
contrary thoughts yet virtuously to suppress them and with a mild suf- 
ferance rather to call him home from his error than with the strength 
of anger to abate the least spark of his evil calling into her mind that 
evil and uncomely language is deformed though uttered even to servants 
but most monstrous and ugly when it appears before the presence of a 
husband outwardly as Ie. her apparel and diet both which she shall pro- 
portion according to the competency of her husband's estate and calling 
making her circle rather straight than large for it is a rule if we extend 
to the uttermost we take away increase if we go a hair's breadth beyond 
we enter into consumption but if we preserve any part we build strong 
forts against the adversaries of fortune provided that such preservation 
be honest and conscionable. — ^ISIaekham. 


Studies. — Some books are to be tasted others to be swallowed and 
some few to be chewed and digested that is some books are to be read 
only in parts others tt) be read but not curiously and some few to be 
read wholly and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be 
read by deputy and extracts made of them by others but that would 
be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books 
else distilled books are lUve common distilled waters ilashj things. 


Reading maketh a full man conference a ready man and writing an ex- 
act man and therefore if a man write little he had need have a great 
memory if he confer little he had need have a present wit and if he read 
little he had need have much cunning to seem to know what he doth 
not. — Bacon. 


On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings. — In the course of all this 
proceeding your lordships will not fail to observe he is never corrupfc 
DTit he is cruel he never dines with comfort but where he is sure to cre- 
ate a famine. He never robs from the loose superfluity of standing 
greatness he devours the fallen the indigent the necessitous. His extor- 
tion is not like the generous rapacity of the princely eagle who snatches 
away the living struggling prey he is a viJture who feeds upon the pros- 
trate the dying and the dead. As his cruelty is more shocking than his 
corruption so his hypocrisy has something more frightful than his 
cruelty. For whilst his bloody and rapacious hand signs proscriptions 
and sweeps away the food of the widow and the orphan his eyes over- 
flow with tears and he converts the healing balm that bleeds from 
wounded humanity into a rancorous and deadly poison to the race of 
man. — Burke. 



§ 352. It has been observed that the peculiarities of indi- 
vidual minds, appearing in their respective styles of composi- 
tion, give rise to the varieties enumerated in the last lesson. 
In some, this peculiarity of manner is so decided that the au- 
thor, even when he writes anonymously, is easily recognized. 
Such marked individuality of style, adhered to by an author 
throughout his compositions, is known as mannerism. While 
these peculiarities of diction are by no means forbidden by 
the rules of composition, there are certain properties which 
every style ought to possess. These are seven in number ; 
Purity, Propriety, Precision, Clearness, Strength, Harmony, 
and Unity 

§ 352. From what do the varieties of style take their rise ? What is Manncnsm ? 
What is m«ant by the essential properties of style ? Mention them. 

PURITY. 271 

§ 353 Purity consists in the use of such words and con- 
structions as properly belong to the genius of the language. 
It may be violated, therefore, in two ways : first, by the Bar- 
barism, or use of an impure word ; and, secondly, by the Sole- 
cism, or use of an impure construction. Of these faults there 
are several varieties. 

§ 354. Barbarisms. — These consist of, 

I. Obsolete words ; that is, such as have gone out of 

Among these we may mention the following, sometimes employed by 
difected writers : — 

Behest, command. Quoth, said. 

Bewray, betray. Bith, since. 

Erst, formerly. Btroam, roam. 

Irks, wearies. Wldlom, of old. 

Let, hinder. Wist, knew. 

Peradventure, perhaps. Wot, know. 

Whatever these and similar words may have been in the days of our 
forefathers, they cannot now be regarded as pure English. They are 
sometimes used in poetry, in burlesques, and in narratives of ancient 
times, to which, being in keeping with the characters and objects de- 
scribed, they are peculiarly appropriate ; but in all other varieties of 
composition they should be carefully avoided. Analogous to this fault 
is that of employing a word in good use with an obsolete signification. 
Thus in the days of Shakspeare the verb owe often had the meaning of 

own: — 

" Thou dost here usurp 
The name thou owest [ownest] not." 

The writer who should, at the present day, use owe in this sense 
would be guilty of a barbarism. 

II. Newly-coined words ; or such as find their way into 
conversation and newspapers, but are not authorized by good 
usage ; as obligate^ for oblige ; deputize^ for commission^ &.c. 

What wo are to regard as good usage will be explained hereafter. 

§ 853. In what does purity consist ? In how many ways may it be violated ? What 
J8 the barbarism ? What, the solecism ? 

§ 354. What is the first variety of barbarism ? Mention some of the obsolete words 
J coaslonally used by affected writers, and give their modern equivalents. In what va- 
riotias of writing are they sometimes used with propriety ? What fault is analogous to 
this t Illustrate this with the verb oice, as used in Shakspeare. What is the second 
Bpccies of barbarism " What writers are at liberty to coin words ? How must the 


A writer who is unfolding the principles of a new science, and who 
is thus destitute of words with which to express his meaning, is at lib- 
erty to coin such terms as he needs. He must do it, however, with cau- 
jion, and must first satisfy himself that there is no suitable word already 
in the language. In such cases, recourse is generally had to Latin and 
Greek, particularly the latter ; and etymological analogies must be re- 
garded in the process of formation. 

With this exception, the coining of words is strictly prohibited ; and 
the judicious writer will avoid, not only such terms as have been thus 
recently formed, but also those which, though invented years ago by 
authors of note, have not been received into general use. It had been 
better for our language, perhaps, had this principle in later times been 
more carefully followed. We should thus have avoided such cumbrous 
words as numerosity, cognition, irrefrag ability, and hundreds like them, 
whose meaning can be as accurately, and far more intelligibly, conveyed 
by words in existence long before they were invented. With some 
writers, the coining of these Latin derivatives seems to have been a 
passion. Saxon they reserved for conversation ; their compositions they 
deemed it necessary to adorn with ponderous Latin. The former was 
their natural idiom ; the latter, their labored after-thought. Dr. John- 
son was their great leader, respecting whom an anecdote is related 
which strikingly illustrates this propensity. Speaking, on one occasion, 
of " The Rehearsal," he said, " it has not wit enough to keep it sweet ; " 
then, after a pause which he had employed in translating this thought 
into his latinized dialect, he added, " it has not sufficient virtue to pre- 
serve it from putrefaction." 

As our language now stands, it is abundantly copious for aU pur- 
poses ; and not only is the coining of new words inadmissible, but we 
should also, as we have seen, avoid the frivolous and unnecessary inno- 
vations of others. The only latitude allowed is in the formation of com- 
pound words by the union of two or more simple ones with the hyphen, 
whereby lengthy circumlocutions are sometimes avoided; but even 
here care must be taken to combine only such as naturally coalesce, 
are clearly understood, and convey an idea which no word already exist- 
ing bears. Thus, stand-point is an unobjectionable compoun^i ; but side- 
Mil is not to be tolerated as long as hill-side continues in good standing. 

privilege be exercised ? In such cases, to what languages is recourse ge:nerally had ? 
What must be regarded in the process of formation? "With this exception, what is said 
^ the coining of words ? Had this principle been generally followed, what cumbrous 
words would we have avoided ? What is said of the passion of some writers for Latin 
derivatives ? Illusti'ate this with an anecdote of Dr. Johnson. In what may some 
LSitude be allowed ? Even here, what must be observed ? Illustrate this. "What ia 


III. Foreign words. These are to be rejected, when 
there are pure English words which express the thought 
equally well. 

As in former years there was a passion for Latin, so at the present 
time there is a great fondness for French; and Gallicisms, or words and 
idioms from this language, are abundantly interlarded in the current 
compositions of the day. Some of these expressions, such as ennui, hor 
de ccnnbat, &c,, express the idea intended more accurately than it can 
be conveyed by any pure native word or phrase ; and we can not, there- 
fore, prohibit their use. In the case of the following, however, and many 
others, there are corresponding English words equally expressive ; and, 
by using their foreign substitutes, we only incur the imputation of ped- 

Amende honorable, apology. 

A propos, appropriate. 

Bagatelle, trifle. 

Beau mo7ide, fashionable world. 

OoMaiUe, rabble. 

Coup d^ttat, stroke of state policy. 

Delicatesse^ delicacy. 

Dernier resort, last resort. 

Emeute, disturbance. 

Fougue, turbulence. 
Fraicheur, coolness. 
Hauteur, haughtiness. 
Haut ton, people of fashion. 
Naivete, simplicity. 
NHmporte, no matter. 
Nou& verrons, we shall see. 
Par excellence, pre-eminently 
Politesse, pohteness. 

lY. Provincial words; that is, such as are employed in 
particular districts, but are not in general use. Thus, chuck- 
hole in some localities denotes a steep hole in a wagon rut ; 
and chuffy in Sussex and Kent means surly : but such words 
cannot properly be introduced into composition. 

§ 355. Solecisms. — As above defined, a solecism is a devia- 
tion from the proper construction of words. It appears in 
many different forms, as follows : — 

I. Syntactical errors. All violations of the rules of Syntax 
fall under this head. Some of the principal of these we havo 
already considered in § 216-229. 

II. Phrases which, when looked at grammatically, convey 

chQ tiiird variety of barbarism ? For what is a fondness manifested by many -n-rlters at 
tii'i present day ? What are gallicisms ? What is said of some of them, such as ennui 
ini hors de combat ? When there are corresponding English expressions, what effect 
tias the use-of French words ? Eepeat the list of French words often u.sed, and give 
their English equivalents. What is the fourth species of barbarism ? Give examples. 

§ 855. What is a solecism ? What is the first form in which it appears ? What, the 
second ? Exemplify it. What, the third ? Give illustrations. 


274 PURITY. 

a different meaning from that intended as, " He sings a good 
song," for " He sings well." A good song may be ill sung, and 
therefore the grammatical meaning of the sentence is different 
from that which it is made to bear. Similar solecisms are in* 
volved in the expressions, " He tells a good story," " He plays 
a good fiddle," &c. 

III. Foreign idioms : such as, '' He knows to sing," for " He 
knows how to sing ;" — " It repents me," for " I repent," &c. 

§ 356. In § 354 we spoke of words not authorized by good 
Qsage ; it becomes necessary to inquire into the meaning of 
this expression. It is evident that usage is the only standard 
both of speaking and writing ; that it is the highest tribunal 
to which, in cases of grammatical controversy, we can appeal. 
This, however, can not be the case with all usage ; if it were, 
we might with propriety defend the grossest violations of or- 
thography and syntax, for which abundant precedents can be 
found. That usage alone must be regarded as a standard, 
which is, 

I. Re^putahUj that is, authorized by the majority of writers 
in good repute : not such as are most meritorious, because on 
this point individual views may disagree; but those whose 
merit is generally acknowledged by the world, respecting which 
there can be little diversity of opinion. 

II. National, as opposed to provincial and foreign. 

The ignorant naturally regard tlie limited district in whicli they hve 
GS the world at large, and all that it authorizes as correct. The learned 
arc apt to conceive a fondness for foreign tongues, and to transplant 
thence peculiarities of diction into their own vernacular. Thus originate 
provincial and foreign usage, neither of which carries with it any weight 
of authority. 

III. Present, as opposed to obsolete. The authority of 

§ 856. What is the only standard of speaking and writing? Why may we not re- 
gard all usage as a standard ? To be so regarded, what three essential qualities must 
QEage p<:>dsess ? What is meant by reputable usage ? Why are not meritorious, rather 
than repntable, authors selected as standards? What is meant by national usage? 
Show how provincial and foreign usage originate. To what is present usage opposed 5 
How fa'- may the authority of old writers be admitted ? 

PURITY. 275 

old writers, however great their fame, can not be admitted in 
support of a term or expression not used by reputable authors 
of later date. 

§ 357. We sometimes find, however, that good usage is not 
uniform ; that is, that respectable authors can be produced on 
both sides of a question, in support of two different forms of 
expression, respecting which there is controversy. In this 
case, we can not characterize either as barbarous ; yet between 
them we have to select : and it is the province of criticism to 
establish principles by which our choice may be directed. 
Reference is here made to controverted points ; not to those 
differences in words and constructions which are not c^uestions 
of right and wrong, but allowable variations of expression. 
In doubtful cases, the following rules will be found of service : — 

I. When usage is divided as to any two words or phrases, if either 
is ever used in a different sense from the one in question while the other 
is not, employ the latter. Thus, to express consequently, the two phrases 
by consequence and of consequence are employed. The former is prefera- 
ble, because the expression of consequence may also mean of moment, of 

II. In the forms of words, consult the analogies of the language. 
Thus, contemporary is preferable to cotemporary ; because, in words 
compounded with con, the final n, though expunged before a vowel or 
h mute, is generally retained before a consonant: as, coincide, coheir, 
concomitant. We have, indeed, an exception in copartner ; in which, 
though the radical commences with the consonant p, the final n of con 
is omitted : but in doubtful cases we must be guided by the rule, and 
not the exception. 

m. When there arc several different forms in other respects equal, 
that ought to be preferred which is most agreeable to the ear. Thus 
amiableness and amiability are both correct and authorized woj'ds, formed 
according to the analogies of the language ; but, under this rule, the lat- 
ter, being the more harmonious, should have preference. 

IV. When there is doubt, if either of the words or expressions in 

§ 867, What do we sometimes find with respect to good usage ? In this case, to 
what must we have recourse ? Give the substance of the first rule, and illustrate it, 
A.8 regards the forms of words, what must we consult ? Exemplify this with the word 
tonternjiorary. Other things being equal, which form of a word, according to the 


question -would seem, from its etymological form, to have a significatioi 
different from that which it commonly bears, we should reject it. Thus, 
loose and unloose are both used to denote the same idea. Since, how- 
ever, the prefix un negatives the meaning of the radical, to unloose would 
etymologically signify to fasten, to tie, and we should therefore, in all 
cases, give the preference to loose. 

§ 358. The second essential quality of style is Propriety : 
which consists in avoiding vulgarisms, or undignified and low 
expressions ; in choosing correctly between words formed from 
the same radical, which resemble each other in appearance, but 
differ in application and meaning; and in employing words 
only in such acceptations as are authorized by good usage. 

Vulgarisms are out of place in every variety of composition except 
low burlesques. Under this head are included, not only coarse expres- 
sions, such as, " to turn up one's nose at any thing," but also words which 
are proper enough in conversation but not sufficiently dignified for com- 
position. The latter are teohmcallj called colloquialisms ; "hj dint of 
argument," " not a whit better," " to get a disease," will serve as exam- 
ples. Young writers naturally express themselves in writing as they 
would in speaking. Hence colloquialisms, unless they exercise great 
care, will constantly occur in their compositions. 

The second fault which violates Propriety is the confounding o^ kin- 
dred derivatives in the case of which the writer is misled by the re- 
semblance in the appearance of the words, though the difference between 
their respective meanings may be so great that they can hardly be regard- 
ed as synonymes. Thus, from false we have three nouns formed, which are 
too often used without proper discrimination, — falseness, falsity, and 
falseJiood. The following distinction should be observed in their use :— 
falseness is equivalent to the want of truth, and is applied to person? 
only: falsity and falsehood are applied to things alone ; the former de- 
notes that abstract quaKty which may be defined as contrariety to truth 
the latter is simply an untrue assertion. We speak of the falseness of 
one who tells falsehoods, and expose the falsity of his pretensions. 

So, observation and observance are often confounded. The radical, t(. 

third rule, should be preferred? Give the substance of the fourth rule, and apply it in 
the case of loose and unloose. 

§ 358. What is the second essential quality of style ? In what does propriety con 
list? "Where aloce are vulgarisms admissible? What are included under this head 
What writers are apt to fall into colloquialisms ? What is the second fault which vio 
jates propriety? Give the three nouns derived from false; show the proper applies- 
ion, and illustrate the use, of eacii. Define the two derivatives from the verb observe^ 


observe, signifies both to note, to mark, and to keep, to celebrate. In its 
former acceptation, it gives rise to the verbal noun observation ; in ita 
latter, to observance. We say, " a man of observation," not observance ; — 
" the observance [not observation^ of the Sabbath." 

Conscience and consciousness are thus distinguished : the former ia 
the moral sense which discerns between right and wrong ; the latter 
is Kimply knowledge, as used in connection with sensations or mental 
operations. Dryden, therefore, violates Propriety in the following 
couplet : — «. 

" The sweetest cordial we receive at last, 
Is conscience of vii'tuous acrlons past." 

Negligence is often improperly used for neglect. The former is a 
habit ; the latter, an act. " His negligence was the source of ah his mis- 
fortunes." — " By his neglect he lost the opportunity." 

In like manner, sophisin and sophistry are apt to be confounded. The 
former is a fallacious argument ; the latter, a fallacious course of reason- 
ing. " Gorgias, who was noted for his sophistry, then had recoui'se to a 
transparent sophism." 

The third fault that violates Propriety is the employment of a word 
m a sense not authorized by good usage ; as when we say a road is im- 
practicable, for impassable; or speak of decompounding a mixture, instead 
of analyzing it. 



Correct the violations of Purity and Propriety in the 
following sentences : — 

1. If the privileges to which he has an undoubted right, and has so 
long enjoyed, should now be wrested from him, would be flagrant in- 
justice. 2. The religion of these people, as weU as their customs and 
manners, were strangely misrepresented. 3. Removing the term from 
"Westminster, sitting the' Parliament, was illegal 4. This change of for- 
tune had quite transmogrified him. 5. The king soon found reason to 

and illustrate their use. Show the difference between conscience and consciousness. 
How does Dryden violate propriety by the use of the former? Define the differencfi 
between negligence and neglect ; between sophism and sophistry. Defijie and illn* 
trate the third fault that violates propriety. 


repeut him of provoking such dangerous enemies. 6. The popular lorfla 
did not fail to enlarge themselves on the subject. V. I shall endeavoi 
to live hereafter suitable to a man in my station. 8. It was thought 
that the coup d^Hat would have occasioned an emeute. 9. The dernier 
resort of the emperor will be to make the amende honorable ; but nom 
verrons. 10. The queen, whom it highly imported that the two monarchs 
should be at peace, acted the part of mediator. 11, The wisest princea 
need not think it any diminution to their greatness, or derogation to 
their sufficiency, to rely upon counsel. 12. He behaved himself con- 
formable to that blessed example. 13. I should be obliged to him, if he 
will gratify me in that particular. 14. May is par excellence the month 
of flowers ; it is delicious at this season to go streaming about the fields. 
15. You can't bamboozle me with such flimsy excuses. 16. I hold that 
this argument is irrefragable. 1*7. Whether one person or more was 
concerned in the business, does not yet appear. 18. The conspiracy 
Was the easier discovered from its being known to many. 19. These 
feasts were celebrated to the honor of Osiris, whom the Greeks called 
Dionysius, and is the same with Bacchus. 20. Such a sight was enough 
to dumfounder an ordinary man. 21. This will eventuate in jeopardi- 
zing the whole party. 22. Firstly, he has conducted matters so illy 
that his fellow countrymen can hereafter repose no confidence in him. 
23. All these things required abundance of finesse and delicatesse to 
manage with advantage. 24. When I made some a propos remarks upon 
his conduct, he began to quiz me ; but he had better have let it alone. 
25. A large part of the meadows and cornfields was overflown. 26. 
Having finished my chores before sundown, I lit a fire. 27. The 
pleasures of the understanding are more preferable than those of the 
senses. 28. Virtue confers the supremest dignity on man, and should 
be his chiefest desire. 29. Temperance and exercise are excellent pre- 
ventatives of debility. 30. I admire his amiableness and candidness. 
31. It grieves me to think with what ardor two or three eminent per- 
sonages have inchoated such a course. 


1. Every year a new flower, in his judgment, beats all the old ones, 
though it is much inferior to them both in coloi and shape. 2. The 
[ceremonious, or ceremonial ?] law is so called in contradistinction to the 
moral and the judicial law. 3. Come often ; do not be [ceremonious, or 
ceremonial ?]. 4. Meanwhile the Britons, left to shift for themselves, 
were forced to call in the Saxons to their aid. 6. Conscience of integ- 
rity supports the misfortunate. 6. His name must go down to posterity 
with distinguished honor in the public records of the nation. 7. Every 
thing goes helter-skelter and topsy-turvy, when a man leaves his busi- 
ness to be done by others. 8. The alone principle ; — a likely boy ;— he 
is considerable of a man ; — the balance of them ; — at a wide remove ; — 
I expect he did it ; — I learned him the lesson ; — to fall trees ; — he con- 
ducts well ; — like he did ; — we started directly they came ; — I feel as 
though ; — equally as well. 9. What [further, or farther ?] need have 
we of caution? 10. Still [further, or farther?], what evidence have wo 
of this ? 11. We may try hard, and still be [further, or farther ?] from 
success than ever. 12. If all men were exemplary in their conduct, 
things would soon take a new face, and religion receive a mighty en- 
Eourageraent. 13. A reader can often see with half an eye what ails a 


sentence, when its author is unable to discover any mistake. 14. H« 
passed his time at the court of St. James, currying favor with the minis- 
ter. 15. One brave [act, or action ?] often turns the fortune of battle, 
16. Our [acts, or actions?] generally proceed from instinct or impulse ; 
our [acts, or actions ?] are more frequently the result of deliberation. 
1*7. Learning and arts were but then getting up. 18. One is in a bad 
fix that has to spend a rainy day in the country. It is enough to give 
most people the blues. 19. I had Kke to have gotten a broken head. 
20. It is difficult for one unaccustomed to [sophism, or sophistry ?] to 
succeed in a [sophism, or sophistry ?]. 21. This performance was much 
at one with the other. 22. I had a great mind to tell him that I set 
store by him. 23. If we can not beat our adversaries with logic, we 
ehould at least not allow them to get the upper hand of us in mildness 
of temper and properness of behavior. 



§ 359. The third essential property of style is Pe.ecision. 
This term is derived from the Latin prcEcidere, to cut off ; 
and the property so called consists in the use of such words 
as exactly convey the meaning, and nothing more. Suppose 
we mean to say, " Csesar displayed great courage on the bat- 
tle-field " ; were we to use fortitude instead of courage, we 
should violate Precision, because the former quality is dis- 
played in supporting pain, the latter in meeting danger. We 
should be guilty of the same fault, if we were to employ both 
words, — " Csesar displayed great courage and fortitude on 
the battle-field," — because it would be saying more than we 

§ 360. Precision is most frequently violated by a want of 
discrimination in the use of synonymous terms ; as in the ex- 
ample above, Y^hen fortitude is substituted for courage. One 

§ 859. What is the third essential property of style ? From -what is the word pre' 
dsion derived ? In what does the quality so called consist ? Illustrate this with tba 
sentence, "Ceesar displayed great courage on the battle-field." 

§ 360. How is precision most frequently violated ? When is one word said to be tho 


word is said to be the synonyme of another, when it means the 
same thing or nearly the same : as, enough^ and sufficient , 
active, brisk, agile, and nimble. In such synonymous terms 
our language abounds, in consequence of its having received 
additions from many different sources. While a very few of 
these differ so imperceptibly that they may be regarded as 
almost identical in signification, by far the greater part are 
distinguished by delicate shades of meaning ; and their dis- 
criminate use at once denotes the scholar and imparts the 
finest effect to composition. 

The habit of using words accurately begets the habit of thinking 
accurately ; the student, therefore, when in the act of composing, can 
not be too careful in the choice of the words he employs, — can not make 
a better use of his time than in esamining and comparing the various 
synonymous expressions that present themselves to his mind, and in 
thus enabling himself to select from among them such as exactly convey 
his meaning, and nothing more or less. As aids in this improving men- 
tal exercise, he will find Webster's Quarto Dictionary and Crabb'a 
" English Synonymes " specially useful. To illustrate this subject, a few 
eynonymes are here defined in contrast, from which the importance of 
using them aright will be apparent. 

I. Custom, habit. Custom is the frequent repetition of the same act; 
habit is the effect of such repetition. By the custom of early rising, we 
form habits of diligence. Custom applies to men collectively or indi- 
vidually ; habit applies to them as individuals only. Every nation has 
its customs ; every man has his peculiar habits. 

II. Surprise, astonish, amaze, confound. We are surprised at what la 
unexpected; astonished, at what is more unexpected, and at what is 
vast or great ; amazed, at what is incomprehensible, or what unfavorably 
affects our interests ; confounded, at what is shocking or terrible. We 
are surprised to meet a friend, at an hour when he is generally engaged 
at home ; we are astonished to meet one whom we supposed to be across 
the ocean ; we are amazed to meet a person of whose death we have 
been informed ; we are confounded to hear that a family of our acquaint- 
ance have been poisoned. 

m. Abhor, detest. To abhor implies strong dishke ; to detest com 

tynonyme of another ? Why are synonymous terms numerous in our language ? "What 
Ib said respecting their shades of meaning ? How can an examination into these deli- 
cate differences of signification benefit the student ? Show and illustrate the difference 
between custom and habit; between surprise, astonish, amaze, and confound; be- 


bines with this dislike an equally strong disapprobation. We ahho] 
being in debt ; we detest treachery. 

IV. Only, alone. Only imports that there is no other of the same 
kind ; alone imports being accompanied by no other. An only child ia 
one that has neither brother nor sister ; a child alone, is one that is left 
by itseK. There is a difference, therefore, in precise language, between 
the two phrases, " virtue only makes us happy," and " virtue alone 
makes us happy." The former implies that nothing else can do it ; the 
latter, that virtue itself, unaccompanied with other advantages, is suffi- 
cient to ensure our happiness. 

V. Entire, complete. A thing is entire when it wants none of its 
parts ; complete, when it lacks none of its appendages. A man may 
have an entire house to himself, and yet not have one complete apart- 

VI. Enough, sufficient. Enough, properly speaking, has reference to 
the quantity one wishes to have ; sufficient, to that which one needs. 
The former, therefore, generally implies more than the latter. The 
miser may have sufficient, but never has enough. 

YII. Avow, acJcnoioledge, confess. Each of these words implies the 
admission of a fact, but under different circumstances. To avow sup- 
poses the person to glory in the admission ; to acknowledge implies a 
small faidt, for which the acknowledgment compensates ; to confess h 
used in connection with greater offences. A patriot avows his opposi- 
tion to a tyrant, and is applauded ; a gentleman acknowledges his mis- 
take, and is forgiven ; a prisoner confesses his crime, and is punished. 

§361. The precise writer rejects all unnecessary words ; 
he does not, for instance, say, that such a thing cannot 
possibly be, or must necessarily be, because possibly and 
necessarily imply nothing more than can and must. He does 
not, after having made a statement, repeat it without any 
modification of the idea, in several different clauses, imagining 
that he is thereby adding to what has been said. Such un- 
meaning repetitions are called redundancies^ and no other 
fault so enfeebles style. 

Addison, at the beginning of his Oato, is guilty of several gross re- 
dundancies : — 

iween abhor and detest; between oreZy and alone; between entire and c^ompUiey 
hotvi^ecn enough and stifficient; between avow, acknowledge, and confess. 

§ 361, What is said of the precise writer ? What are redundancies ? What is their 
iffect on style ? Who is mentioned as guilty of this fault? Kepeat the passage, and 


" The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers, 
And heavily in clouds brings on the day, 
The great, the important day, big with the fate 
Of Cato and of Eome," 

In the first two lines, the same sentiment is three times repeated io 
different words. " The dawn is overcast," means no more than " the 
morning lowers"; and both these expressions denote precisely the same 
thiHg as the line that follows. In the third line, three synonymous ex- 
pressions appear, — " the great, the important day, hig with the fate." 

In revising a composition, special regard must be had to Precision. 
Unnecessary words (and sometimes many will be found) must be un- 
sparingly pruned out. The best method of avoiding such superfluities, 
or of breaking up a loose style, when once formed, is to endeavor, before 
writing, to get a well-defined conception of the subject. Redundancies 
often proceed from the writer's not having any precise idea himself of 
what he wants to say. 

§ 362. Another violation of Precision consists in tlie af- 
fected substitution for the names of persons or the terms 
which we ordinarily apply to abstract ideas, circumlocutions 
expressive of some attribute, which may belong to another 
object, and is therefore liable to be mistaken by the reader. 
Thus, Shaftesbury, devoting several pages of one of his works 
to Aristotle, names him only as " the master critic ", " the 
mighty genius and judge of art ", " the prince of critics", " the 
grand master of art ", and " the consummate philologist", — 
leaving the reader to infer who is meant by these high-sound- 
ing titles. So, in another passage, without designating them 
by name, he alludes to Homer, Socrates, and Plato, respect- 
ively, as " the grand poetic sire", "the philosophical patri- 
arch", and " his disciple of noble birth and lofty genius". 

In like manner, when the proper name has been mentioned, an allii- 
gion to the same individual by means of a circumlocution is apt to give 
the reader a wrong impression ; as, " Literary and scientific men hasten- 
ed to the court of Charlemagne, anxious to secure the favor of the greatest 

point out the redundancies. In revising a composition, to what must special regard be 
had ? What is the best method of avoiding superfluities and breaking up a loose style ? 
From what do redundancies often proceed ? 

§ 362. What other violation of precision is here alluded to ? Show how Shaftesbury 
violates this principle. When the proper name has been mentioned, what is the effect 
t(f alluding to the same individual by means of a circumlocution? Illustrate this. 


monarch of his age." A reader ignorant of history might suppose that 
it T7as not (Sbarlemagne's favor, but that of some other monarch resi- 
ding at his court, that they were desirous of securing. A slight change 
will prevent the possibility of mistake as to the meanifig : " Anxious to 
secure the favor of Charlemagne, literaiy and scientific men hastened to 
his court " 


In the following sentences, wlien two synonymes are pre 

sented within brackets, select the proper one ; when Precision 

is violated, correct the error : — 

1. He [only, or alone?] of all their number had sufficient resolution 
to declare himself ready to proceed. — ^This circumstance [only, or alone?] 
is sufficient to prove the worthlessness of the criticism. — On questioning 
them, they all denied knowledge of the fact, except one [only, or alone?], 
in whose countenance I traced evident signs of guilt. 2. As soon as you 
have heard [enough, or sufficient ?] music, we will adjourn to the other 
apartment. — I am obliged to remain here, because I have not [enough, 
or sufficient?] money to proceed on my journey. 3. We [avow, ac- 
knowledge, or confess?] an omission of duty; — we a debt; — the 

criminal cannot be persuaded to ; — the martyr s his faith. 

4. The equipment of the ship is [entire, or complete ?]. 5. A being who 
has nothing to pardon or forgive in himseK may reward every man ac- 
cording to his works. 6. The physician enjoined temperance and ab- 
stinence on his patient. V. There was no tenant in the house ; it was 
[vacant, or empty ?]. — The house was stripped of its furniture ; it was 
entirely [vacant, or empty ?]. — Mr. D.'s death has left a [vacant, or 
empty ?] seat in the Board. 8. Paley has said that man is a bundle ot 
[customs, or habits?]. — Many great men have the [custom, or habit?] 
of taking snuff. — ^The [custom, or habit ?] of going to church may pro- 
duce [customs, or habits ?] of piety. 9. The general said that he [re- 
ceived, or accepted?] with pride and satisfaction this token of their 
friendship. 10. Though nimierous applications were made for the pris- 
oner's [forgiveness, or pardon?], they were all [unsuccessful, or ineffec- 
tual ?]. 11. The pleasures of imagination are more preferable than those 
of sense. 12. This is the chiefest objection that I have to such a course. 
13. No man of spirit can acquiesce in, and remain satisfied with, this de- 
cision. 14. This wavering and unsettled policy cannot be too strongly 
condemned. 15. I am certain and confident that the account I have given 
is correct and true. 16. He then made his statement and related his 
story. lY. "We rested beneath the umbrageous shadow of a shady oak, 
and then again resumed our journey anew. 18. The brightness of pros- 
perity, shining on the anticipations of futurity, casts the shadows of ad- 
versity into the shade, and causes the prospects of the future to look 
bright. 19. We often conjure up grounds of apprehension, and give 
ourselves unnecessary uneasiness. 20. The magistrate questioned the 
prisoner minutely and examined him at length. 21. IS'ow, if the fabrio 
of the mind or temper appeared to us such as it really is ; if we saw it 
impossible to remove hence any one good or orderly affection, or to in- 


troduce any ill or disorderly one, without drawing on, in some degree 
that dissolute state which, at its height, is confessed to be s(^puserable, — 
it would then, undoubtedly, be confessed, that since no ill, immoral, oi 
unjust action, can be committed without either a new inroad and breach 
on the temper and passions, or a further advancing of that execution 
already done ; whoever did ill, or acted in prejudice to his integrity, 
^ood nature, or worth, would, of necessity, act with greater cruelty to^ 
wards himself, than he who scrupled not to swallow what was poisoa<=. 
0U8, or who, with his own hands, should voluntarily mangle or wound 
his outward form or constitution, natural limbs, or body. 22. Constan- 
tine was constantly receiving presents, which were forwarded from all 
quarters to the great Christian emperor. 



§ 863. The fourth essential property of style is Clearness; 
or Pef^spicuity ; which consists in such a use and arrangement 
of words and clauses, as at once distinctly indicate the mean- 
ing of the writer or speaker. To a certain extent, this quality 
involves the three already considered ; that is, other things 
being equal, the greater the Purity, Propriety, and Precision, 
of a sentence, the clearer it will be. Yet these properties 
may belong, in a high degree, to a style which is far from per- 
spicuous. Something more is necessary to constitute the 
quality under consideration. 

§ 364. The faults opposed to clearness are, 
I. Obscurity, which consists in the use of words and con- 
structions from which it is difficult to gather any 
meaning at all. 
II. Equivocation^ which consists in the use of words sus- 
ceptible, in the connection in which they are placedj 
of more than one interpretation. 

§ 363. What is the fourth essential property of style ? In what does it eonslst ? 
What does clearness, to a certain extent, involve ? 

§ 364. Enumerate and define the three faults opposed to clearness. 


III. Ambiguity^ which consists in such an arrangement of 
words or clauses as leaves the reader in doubt be* 
tween two different significations. 
§ 365. Obscurity. — Nothing disgusts us more with a com- 
position than to find difficulty in arriving at its meaning. 
Whatever effect the thoughts it embodies might have pro- 
duced had they been clearly expressed, is inevitably lost, 
while the reader is pondering its intricate periods. Obscurity 
results from various causes, of which the principal are as fol- 
lows : — 

I. An imjoroper ellipsis. 

Tliis figure, as we have seen in § SlY, authorizes the omission of 
words necessary to the construction, but not to the sense. Whenever the 
omission of a word renders the meaning of a sentence unintelligible, the 
eUipsis becomes improper. A writer in The Guardian uses this expres- 
sion : " He is inspired with a true sense of that function." The meaning 
is not intelligible till we put in the words improperly left out : " He is 
inspired with a true sense of tlie importance of that function." " Arbi- 
trary power", says another, " I look upon as a greater evil than anarchy 
itself, as much as a savage is a happier state of hfe than a galley-slave." 
We can not properly call a savage or a galley-slave a state of life, though 
we may with propriety compare their conditions. The obscurity is re- 
moved by doing away "with the ellipsis : " as much as the state of a sav- 
age is happier than that of a galley-slave." 

II. A bad arrangement. 

Some sentences have their parts so arranged that, on commencing 
them, we imagine they will convey a certain meaning, which is quite 
different from what we find they really signify when we get to their 
close. Thus, in The Spectator the following sentence occurs : " I have 
hopes that when Will confronts him, and all the ladies in whose behalf he 
engages him cast kind looks and wishes of success at their ciiampion, he 
will have some shame." On hearing the first part of the sentence, wc 
naturally imagine that Will is to confront all the ladies ; but we soon 
find that it is necessary to construe this clause with the verb cast. To 

1 865. What feeling is produced ia the reader by a composition difficult to be nnder- 
gteod ? What is the first source of obscurity ? When is an ellipsis improper ? Give 
examples of improper ellipses. What is the second source of obscurity ? What false 
Impression do we receive from some sentences whose parts are improperly arranged ? 
niustrate this error from The Spectator, and show how it may be con'ccted. Wliaf 


correct the error, the whole sentence must be remodelled, or we ma^ 
simply introduce the adverb when after and : " I have hopes that when 
Will confronts him, and when all the ladies," &c. 

The words most frequently misplaced in such a way as to involve 
obscurity are adverbs, particularly onli/ and not only. If these words 
are separated from what they are intended to modify, the meaning of 
the whole sentence is obscured. " He not only owns a house, but also a 
large farm." Not only, as it now stands, modifies the verb owns ; and 
from the beginning of the sentence one naturally supposes that another 
verb is to follow, — that he not only owns the house, but lives in it, a; 
something of the kind. Whereas, net orly is intended to modify 
house, and should therefore be placed immediately before it: "He owns, 
not only a house, but also a large farm." 

Sometimes a faulty arrangement of adjuncts or clauses produces a lu- 
dicrous combination of ideas ; as when we say, " Here is a horse 
ploughing with one eye", instead of, " Here is a horse with one eye. 
ploughing." From the former sentence we would infer that the horse 
was turning up the ground with one of his organs of vision. So, in the 
following: "He was at a window in Litchfield, where a party of royal- 
ists had fortified themselves, taking a view of the cathedral." The roy- 
alists would hardly go to the trouble of fortifying themselves merely for 
the purpose of taking a view of the cathedral. It should read thus : " He 
was at a window in Litchfield, taking a view of the cathedral, where a 
party," &c. 

The sentences given above as examples would be ambiguous accord- 
ing to our definition of that term, if there were any other than an ab- 
surd meaning to be gleaned from the construction which we first natu- 
rally put upon them. As this is not the case, however, they fall under 
the head we are now considering, — obscurity. It may be argued that, in 
these and similar examples, the obscurity will quickly be removed if 
the reader uses the least reflection. But this is not sufficient; we muss 
have no obscurity to be removed. Clearness requires, according to 
Quintilian, '* not that the reader may understand if he will, but that he 
must understand whether he will or not ". 

III. The use of the same word in different senses. 

words are most frequently misplaced in sucli a way as to involve obscurity ? What is 
tho effect of separating them from what they are Intended to modify ? Give an exam- 
ple of this error, show how it occasions obscurity, and correct it. What does a faulty 
arrangement of adjuncts and clauses sometimes produce ? Give examples, and correct 
the errors they contain. Why do we not rank these cases under the head of ambiguous 
constructions ? What may be argued with respect to them ? Is this suflacient ? What 
Soas Quintilian say respecting clearness ? What is the third source of obscurity ? lUus- 


A word sLoiild not be used in different senses in the same sentence. 
Thus, " He presents more and more convincing arguments than his ad- 
versary." Here the word more first occurs as an adjective, and is pres- 
ently, to the great confusion of the reader, repeated as an adverb, the 
sign of the comparative degree. It should be : " He presents more nw- 
merous and more convincing arguments than his adversary ", — more being 
here in each ease an adverb. 

The words oftenest used in this way are pronouns, particularly the 
personals and relatives. Depending for their signification on the sub- 
stantives for which they stand, if they are used with reference to differ- 
ent objects, their meaning is of course varied, and this shoidd be strictly 
avoided in the progress of a sentence. Examples of this fault follow. 
'* ITiey were pei-sons of moderate intellects, even before theT/ were impaired 
by their passions." Here, the first they refers to certain persons ; the 
second, to the noun intellects, while the same pronoun in the possessive 
case, their, refers again to the persons in question. To correct the er- 
ror, we must either remodel the whole, or (though it sounds stiff in so 
short a sentence) alter the second they to the latter : — " They were per- 
sons of moderate intellects, even before the latter were impaired by their 
passions." Again: "Lysias promised his father that he would never for- 
get his advice." There is no equivocation here; for it is evident at 
once that, though the first his, and he, refer to Lysias, the second his has 
reference to the father ; yet such constructions are highly objectionable. 
This sentence, as well as others like it, is most neatly corrected by sub- 
stituting the exact words of the speaker for the substance of what he 
said ; as, " Lysias promised his father, " I will never forget thy advice." 

Not only does this incorrect use of pronouns produce obscurity, it is 
also inconsistent with Harmony and Strength. In composing, therefore, 
it is well constantly to bear in mind the rule? — Do not make the same 
pronoun refer to different objects in the same sentence. This is sometimes 
a difficult rule to follow, as every careful writer must have found. Eein- 
hard says, in his Memoirs, " I have always had considerable difficulty 
in making a proper use of pronoims. Indeed, I have taken great pains 
so to use them, that aU ambigiuty by the reference to a wrong antece- 
dent should be impossible, and yet have often failed in the attempt." 
K"otwithstanding this difficulty, the principle involved is of such im- 
portance that it should be carried out, even if the whole train of thought 

trate this, and show how the error may be corrected. "What words are oftenest used in 
this way ? How is it that they may bear different significations ? Give an example. 
When such an eiTor occurs in a sentence containing an indirect quotation, how may It 
be corrected ? "What other faults besides obscurity does this Incorrect use of pronouns 
Involve ? Repeat the rule. "What does Reinhard say respecting it ? "What is the fourtb 


has to be put in a different form at a considerable expense of time 'and 

IV. Complicated sentential structure. 

When the structure of a sentence is much involved, especially when 
its parts differ in form, or when long or abrupt parentheses are intro- 
duced, obscurity is apt to result. This fault is more common with old 
writers than among those of the present day. It violates, not only 
the rules of Clearness, but also those of Unity; under which latter 
subject it will be illustrated, and the best modes of correction will be 
pointed out. 

Y. Long sentences. These are always a source of ob- 
scurity, unless the members composing them are similar in 
their structure. There is a tendency in most young writers 
to make their sentences too long. The other extreme is safer 
than this ; but either is to be avoided. The most pleasing 
stylo in this respect is one characterized by variety ; one in 
which long and short sentences are judiciously alternated. 

VI. Technical Terms. 

Terms belonging to a particular trade, business, or science, not being 
understood by the generality of readers, should be strictly avoided, 
esj)ecially in poetry. Dryden, however, was of the contrary opinion. 
" As those," says he, " who in a logical disputation keep to general 
terms would hide a fallacy, so those who do it in any poetical descrip- 
tion would veil their ignorance." Accordingly, in his translation of the 
^neid, he indulges in the following technicahties : — 

" Tach to the larloard, and stand off to sea, 
Veer starboard sea and land." 

Technical tei^ms are allowable only in scientific treatises, where we ex. 
pect to find them ; and in comedy and fiction, where they are some- 
times introduced into dialogue for the purpose of illustrating individual 

§ 366. Equivocation. — To avoid this fault, it is not neces- 

Bonrce of obscnrity ? What is meant by this ? What besides a want of clearness re- 
snlts from such involved constructions ? What is the fifth source of obscurity ? In 
what c^e only is a long &entence perspicuous ? In whom is there a tendency to long 
sentences ? What is the best rule, as regards length of sentences ? What is the sixth 
source of obscurity ? Why should teclmical terms bo avoided ? What was Dryden's 
opinion on this point ? Show how bo has acted on this opinion in his translation of tlie 
jEneid. In what compositions are technical terms allowable ? 

§ 366. What is meant by an equivocal term ? When may such a term be used, and 


sary that we reject alFwords of more than one signification; 
for, in that case, our vocabulary would become exceedingly 
limited, and by far the greater part of our language would be 
utterly useless. But a regard for Perspicuity requires us to 
reject an equivocal term except when its connection with other 
words in any particular case distinctly indicates which of its 
significations, as there used, it bears. This connection will 
almost always determine the meaning so clearly that the true 
sense will be the only one suggested. Thus, the word pound 
signifies both the sum of twenty shillings sterling and sixteen 
ounces avoirdupois. Yet, if a person tells me that he rents a 
house for fifty pounds a year, or that he has bought fifty 
pounds of meat, there will be no lack of perspicuity, — the idea 
of weight will not present itself to my mind in the one case, 
or that of money in the other. Sometimes, however, the con- 
nection is insujfficient to determine the meaning; and the ex- 
pression, being thus susceptible of a two-fold interpretation, 
must be avoided. Examples of the different kinds of equivo- 
cation are presented below, together with the best modes of 

I. '' I am persuaded that neither death nor life will be able to separate 
as from the love of God." Here of is equivocal ; we cannot tell whether 
the meaning is the love which we bear to God, or that which He bears 
to us. If the former is intended, it should be " our love to God " ; if the 
latter, "God's love to us". So, "the reformation of Luther" means 
either the change wrought in him, or that brought about hy him. The 
latter signification may be denoted by commencing reformation with a 
capital ; as, in this sense, it is an important historical event. 

n. " They were both more ancient than Zoroaster, or Zerdusht." 
Here, or is equivocal. This conjunction connects either equivalents 
or substitutes. Hence, the reader unacquainted with Persian his 
tory may be at a loss to know whether Zoroaster and Zerdusht are the 
pame person or different ones. According to the system of punctuation 
laid dovm in this voliune, the comma before or denotes that they are 

Vhen must it be avoided ? What generally determines the meaning of an equivocal 
WOffd ? Give an example. 

Quote a sentence in which of is equivocal ; point out the two interpretations of 
which it is susceptible ; and show what alterations should be made to express each 
meaning clearly. Treat in this same manner a sentence in which or is equivocal ; one 



one and the same, and its omission would signify tliat two persons were 
intended. Yet, as many are unacquainted with punctuation, it is best, 
when this conjunction is used in the latter sense,— that is, as a con- 
nective of substitutes, — to introduce its correlative either before the first 
of the words so connected. "■ They were both more ancient than either 
Zoroaster or Zerdusht ", would denote that they were different persona, 
beyond the possibility of mistake. 

IIL " I have long since learned to like nothing but what you do.® 
Do is equivocal ; we can not tell whether it is an auxiliary or a prin- 
cipal verb, — whether the meaning is to like nothing hut what you like, 
or nothing hut ivhat you do. If the former is intended, we should change 
do to Wke, or else say nothing hut what pleases you. 

lY. " Lysias promised his father that he would never forget hia 
friends." Properly speaking, the last his refers to the same antecedent 
as the first ; and the meaning is, that he would never forget his own 
(Lysias') friends. If this is the author's meaning, the sentence is gram- 
matically correct ; yet, as it may be misunderstood by those who do not 
look closely at grammatical relations, it would be well to alter the form 
according to the suggestion touching tn analogous case in § 365: 
" Lysias promised his father, ' I will never forget thy [or my'\ friends.' " 

V. " He aimed at nothing less than the crown." Owing to the 
equivocal expression nothing less than, this sentence may denote either, 
" Nothing was less aimed at by him than the crown ; " or, " Nothing irt- 
ferior to the crown could satisfy his ambition." 

§ 367. Ambiguity. — This fault, also, leaves the reader in 
doubt between two meanings ; but this doubt is occasioned, 
not by the use of equivocal terms, but by a faulty arrange- 
ment of words or clauses. Both equivocation and ambiguity, 
but particularly the latter, are faults of frequent occurrence 
in composition ; from the fact that a writer -whose mind is 
pre-occupied with one of the significations of an expression, 
which he designs it to convey, is not likely to notice that it 
also bears another. The commonest varieties of ambiguity 
are illustrated in the following examples : — 

I. The proper place for a relative pronoun is immediately after its 

tn which do is equivocal ; one In which Ihis is equivocal ; one in which the expression 
nothing less than is equivocal. 

I 867. By what is ambiguity occasioned ? What renders it a fault of frequent occur- 
rence ? What part of speech, improperly placed, often occasions ambiguity ? Where 
should the relative pronoun stand ? Correct the sentence, " A servant will obey a mas- 


antecedent ; and, if it occupies any other place, the sentence, as a gen-< 
eral rule, should te so changed as to allow it to stand in that position. 
Thus, instead of, " A servant will obey a master's orders whom he loves," 
we should have, " A servant wUl obey the orders of a master whom he 
loves." Yet, as this principle is constantly violated in composition, we 
are sometimes at a loss to determine to which of two antecedent sub- 
Btantives a relative belongs. " Solomon, the son of David, who built the 
temple at Jerusalem, was a wise and powerful monarch." — " Solomon, 
the son of David, who was persecuted by Saul, was a wise and powerful 
monarch." — In these two sentences, who is similarly situated ; yet in the 
former it relates to Solomon, and in the latter to David. A perspicuous 
WKter would avoid the possibility of misconception by changing both :— 
" Solomon, the son of David and builder of the temple at Jerusalem, was 
a wise and powerful monarch." — " Solomon, wi ose father David waft 
persecuted by Saul, was " <fec. 

n. The peculiar position of a substantive sometimes occasions am- 
biguity, particularly in poetry, when the object is placed before the 
verb. In the sentence, " And thus the son the fervent sire addi'essed," 
we are unable to say whether the son or the sire was the speaker. The 
meaning may be fixed in either way by substituting his for the, before 
the object ; for, ac-cording to the idiom of our language, the possessive 
pronoun is, in such cases, more properly joined to the regimen of a verb 
than to its nominative. If the son was the speaker, the line should run, 
** And thus the son his fervent sire addressed ; " if he was the party 
Bpoken to, *' And thus his son the fervent sire addressed" 



In the following sentences, correct such expressions as are 

not perspicuous : — 

1. He talks all the way up stairs to a visit. 2. God begins His cure 
by caustics, by incisions and instruments of vexation, to try if the dis- 
ease that will not yield to the allectives of cordials and perfumes, fric- 

tcr's orders whom he loves." Show how the relative who, similarly placed in two dif- 
ferent sentences, may refer to different antecedents. How may these sentences be 
altered, to make the reference clear ? In poetry, from what does ambiguity sometimes 
proceed ? Gi vc an example, and show how the meaning may be determined. 


tions and baths, may be forced out by deleterics, scarifications, and 
more salutary, but less pleasing, physic. 3. Some productions of nature 
rise in value according as they more or less resemble art. 4. The farmer 
went to his neighbor, and told him that his cattle were in his field. 5. 
He may be said to have saved the life of a citizen, and consequently en- 
titled to the reward. 6. I perceived it had been scoured with half an 
eye. 7. The love of a parent is one of the strongest passions implanted 
in the heart. 8. So obscure are Carlyle's sentences that nine tenths of his 
readers do not receive any idea from them. [^Equivocal : — does it mean 
that only one tenth of his readers understand them ; or that, though nine 
tenths may not do so, eight tenths may ? Alter the sentence in two ways, so 
that it may perspicuously express both these ideas.'] 9. Few kings have 
been more energetic than Menes, or [equivocaT] Misraim. 10. The young 
man did not want natural talents ; but the father of him was a coxcomb, 
who affected being a fine gentleman so unmercifully, that he could not 
endure in his sight, or the frequent mention of, one who was his son, 
growing into manhood, and thrusting him out of the gay world. 11. 
We are naturally inclined to praise who praise us, and to flatter who 
flatter us. 12. The rising tomb a lofty colttmn bore. [Ambiguous: — 
which bore the other?] 13. He advanced against the old man, imitating 
his address, his pace, and career, as well as the vigor of his horse and 
his own skill would allow. 14. Their rebuke had the effect intended. 
\_Equivocal : — did they give the rebuke, or receive it ?] 15. Whom chance 
misled his mother to destroy. [Ambiguous : — was the mother the destroy- 
er or the destroyed?] 16. This work has been overlooked [eq^dvocaT] by 
the most eminent critics. lY. You ought to contemn all the wit in the 
world against you. 18. The clerk told his employer, whatever he did, 
he could not please him. 19. Claudius was canonized among the gods, 
who scarcely deserved the name of a man. 20. The Latin tongue, in 
its purity, was never in England. 21. The lady was sewing with a Ro- 
man nose. 22. Here I saw two men digging a well with straw hats. 
23. We may have more, but we can not have more satisfactory, evi- 
dence. 24. Dr. Prideaux used to relate that, when he brought the 
copy of his " Connection of the Old and liew Testaments " to the book- 
seller, he told him it was a dry subject, and the printing could not be 
safely ventured upon unless he could enliven the work with a little 
humor. 25. The sharks who prey upon the inadvertency of young 
heirs are more pardonable than those who trespass upon the good opin- 
ion of those who treat them with respect. 26. Dryden makes a hand- 
some observation on Ovid's writing a letter from Dido to ^neas, in the 
following words. [Ambiguous : — were the words here referred to those 
of Dryden s observation or those of Dido's letter ?] 27. Most of the 
hands were asleep in their berths, when the vessel shipped a sea that 
carried away our pinnace and binnacle. Our dead-lights were in, 
or we should have filled. Tlie mainmast was so sprung, that we were 
obliged to fish it, and bear away for the nearest port. 28. This occurs in 
Ben Jonson's works, a prominent dramatist contemporary with Shak- 
speare. 29. D's fortune is equal to half of E's fortune, which is a thou- 
sand dollars. [Ambiguous : — does E's fortune, or a half of it, amount to a 
thousand dollars ?] 30. My Christian and surname begin and end with 
the same letters. [Ambiguous : — does the Christian name begin ivith the 
mme letter that the surname begins ivith ; and end with the same letter that 
the surno/nne ends with ; as, in Andreio Aslceiv ? or does the Christian name 


Old with the same letter with which it begins, and the surname also end 
with the same letter with which it begins; as, in Hezekiah Thrift? or, 
lastly, are all these four letters, the first and the last of each name the 
same; as, in Norman Nelson? 81. The good man not only deserves 
the respect but the love of his fellow-beings. 32. Charlemagne pat- 
ronized not only learned men, but also established several educational 
institutions. 33. Sixtus the Fourth was, if I mistake not, a great col- 
lector of books, at least. 



§ 368. The fifth essential property of a good style is 
Strength ; wliich consists in such a use and arrangement of 
words as make a deep impression on the mind of the reader 
or hearer. 

§ 369. The first requisite of Strength is the rejection of all 
superfluous words, which constitutes, as we have seen, one of 
the elements of Precision also. Whatever adds nothing to the 
meaning of a sentence takes from its Strength ; and, whether 
it he simply a word, a clause, or a member, should be rejected. 
In the following passages, the words in italics convey no ad- 
ditional meaning, and, consequently, a regard for Strength re- 
quires their omission :-- ' Being satisfied with what he has 
achieved, he attempts nothing further." — " If I had not been 
absent if I had been here, this would not have happened." — 
" The very first discovery of it strikes the mind with inward 
joy, and spreads delight through all its faculties. ''"' 

§ 370. The second principle to be observed by those who 
aim at Strength of style, has reference to the use of relatives, 

§ 868. What is the fifth essential property of style ? In what does it consist ? 
S 369. "What is the first requisite of strength ? What is the efiect of words which 
idd nothing to the meaning of a sentence ? Give examples. 

§ 870. To what does the second principle refer ? By what are parts of sentences 


conjunctions, and prepositions, which, indicating the connec* 
tion and relation of words, are constantly occurring. 

L Parts of sentences are coiknected by either a conjunction or a rela- 
tive pronoun, not hy both. In the following sentence, the connection is 
made by and, and who should therefore be rejected : " He was a man of 
:fine abilities, and who lost no opportunity of improving them by study." 
Between two relative clauses, however, a conjunction is generally em» 
ployed ; as, " Cicero, whom the profligate feared, hut who was honored 
by the upright," &c. The conjunction is also introduced even when the 
relative and its verb are suppressed m one of the clauses, as in the com- 
mencement of the sentence from Swift, given below. Care must be 
taken not to use the relative for the conjunction, or the conjunction 
for the relative ; of which latter fault, Swift is guilty in the following 
sentence : — 

" There is no talent so useful towards rising in the world, or which 
puts men more out of the reach of fortune, than that quality generally 
possessed by the dullest sort of people, and is, in common language, 
called discretion." 

Here aiid should be which. It will be observed, also, that the words 
xohich is are understood after talent, near the commencement of the sen- 
tence, and that the conjunction or is therefore introduced to connect the 
first clause with that which follows. 

11. The too frequent use of and must be avoided. Not only when 
employed to introduce a sentence, but also when often repeated during 
its progress, this conjunction greatly enfeebles style. Such is its effect 
in the following sentence from Sir William Temple, in which it is used 
no less than eight times : — 

" The Academy set up by Cardinal Richelieu, to amuse the wits of 
that age and country, and divert them from raking into his politics and 
ministry, brought this into vogue ; and the French wits have, for this 
last age, been wholly turned to the refinement of their stjde and lan- 
guage ; and, indeed, with such success that it can hardly be equalled, 
and runs equally through their verse and their prose." 

When the object is to present a quick succession of spirited images, 
the conjunction is often entirely omitted with fine effect, by a figure 
called by grammarians Asyndeton. This is illustrated in Caesar's cele^ 
brated veni, vidi, vici, and constitutes the chief feature of the style of 

connected? Should both the relative and the conjunction be used for this purpose in 
the same connection ? In what case is the relative alone insufficient to make the con- 
nection? What is the fault in the sentence quoted from Swift? What conjunction 
must not be repeated too often ? From whom is a sertence quoted, which is faulty ia 
Jiis respect? "What is meant by asyndeton? When is this figure used with fine 



On the other hand, when we are making an enumeration in which it 
is important that the transition from one object to another should not be 
too rapid, but that each should appear distinct from the rest and by 
itself occupy the mind for a moment, the conjunction may be repeated 
with peculiar advantage. Such repetition is called Polysyndeton ; it is 
exemplified in the following sentence of St. Paul's : — 

" I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor 
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate 
us from the love of God." 

III. What is called the splitting of particles, — that is, the separation 
of a preposition from the noun which it governs, — is always to be 
avoided. This fault occurs in the following sentence : *' Though virtue 
borrows no assistance from, yet it may often be accompanied by, the ad- 
vantages of fortune." No one can read these lines without perceiving 
their decided lack of Strength and Harmony. A slight change will 
greatly improve their effect : "■ Though virtue borrows no assistance 
from the advantages of fortune, yet it may often be accompanied by 

IV. Avoid, on ordinary occasions, the common expletive there, as 
used in the following sentence : — " There is nothing which disgusts ua 
sooner than the empty pomp of language." The sentiment is expressed 
more simply and strongly thus: " I^othing disgusts us sooner", &c. 
This expletive form is proper only when used to introduce an important 

§ 371. A third means of promoting the Strength of a sen- 
tence is to dispose of the important word or words in that 
place where they will make the greatest impression. What 
this place is, depends on the nature and length of the sen- 
tence. Sometimes, it is at the commencement, as in the fol- 
lowing from Addison ; " The pleasures of the miagination, 
taken in their full extent, are not so gross as those of sense, 
nor so refined as those of the understanding." In . other 

effect? In -what sentence of Caesar's is it illustrated? In whose writings does it con- 
Btantly recur ? What is polysyndeton ? When may it be used with advantage ? Ee- 
poat a sentence from Scripture, in which it occurs. What is meant by the splitting of 
f«rticles ? What effect has it on style ? Eepeat a sentence in which this fault occurs, 
and show how to correct it. In what cases is the expletive form there is proper, and 
where should it be avoided ? 

§ 37L As a third means of promoting strength, where should the important word or 
»?ord8 be placed ? In what position will they make the greatest impression ? Whera 


cases, it will be found of advantage to suspend the isense foi 
a time, and bring the important term at the close of the pe- 
riod. " On whatever side," says Pope, " we contemplate 
Homer, what principally strikes us is his wonderful inven- 
tion,'''' No rule can be given on this subject; a comparison 
of different arrangements is the only means of ascertaining, in 
any particular case, which is the best. It will, therefore, be 
well for a writer, when a sentence which he has composed 
seems weak, to try whether he can not improve it by varying 
the position of the important words. 

But, whatever position the emphatic word or words may occupy, it 
is of primary importance that they be disencumbered of less significant 
terms ; which, if presented in too close connection, divert the mind from 
the prominent idea or object on which it should be allowed to dwell. 
The difference of effect will be evident on comparing one of Shaftesbury's 
sentences, in which a variety of adverbs and adverbial phrases are 
skilfuUy introduced, and a sentence composed of the same words, less 
forcibly, though not ungrammatically, arranged. 

As written. — " If, whilst they [poets] profess only to please, they 
secretly advise and give instruction, they may now, perhaps, as well as 
formerly, be esteemed, with justice, the best and most honorable among 

As altered. — If, whilst they profess to please only, they advise and 
give instruction secretly, they may be esteemed the best and most 
honorable among authors, with justice, perhaps, now as well as for- 

g 372. Fourthly, Strength requires that, when the mem- 
bers of a sentence differ in length, the shorter should have 
precedence of the longer ; and, when they are of unequal 
force, that the weaker be placed before the stronger. 
Both of these principles are violated in the following sen- 
tence : " In this state of mind, every employment of life be- 

do they stand in the sentence quoted from Addison ? Where, in that taken from Pope? 
What course is suggested to the writer, when he finds that he has composed a feeble 
sentence ? Wherever the emphatic words are placed, what is of primary importance ? 
From whom is a sentence quoted in illustration ? 

§ 872. What does strength require, as regards the position of members that differ in 
length or force? Eepeat a sentence in which these principles are yiolated, and 
show how it may be corrected. What figure consists in an arrangement similai 


comes an oppressive burden, and every object appears gloomy." 
How much more forcible does it become when the shorter and 
weaker member is placed first : " In this state of mind, every 
object appears gloomy, and every employmeat of life becomes 
an oppressive burden." 

This arrangement of the members ni a sentence constitutes what ha? 
already been defined among the rhetoiical figures as Climax. What is 
most emphatic is brought last, in order that a strong impression may be 
left on the reader's mind. From this rule the next naturally follows. 

§ 373. Avoid closing a sentence with an adverb, a preposi' 
tion, or any small unaccented word. Besides the violation of 
Harmony involved in placing a monosyllable where we are 
accustomed to find a swelling sound, there is a peculiar feeble- 
ness arising from the fact that the mind naturally pauses to 
consider the import of the word last presented, and is disap- 
pointed when, as in the case of a preposition, it has no signif- 
icance of its own, but merely indicates the relation between 
words that have preceded it. " He is one whom good men 
are glad to be acquainted with." It will be readily seen how 
much is gained by a simple transposition: " He is one with 
whom good men are glad to be acquainted." 

The same principle holds good in the case of adverbs. " Such things 
were not allowed formerly ", is feeble compared with, " Formerly such 
things were not allowed." When, however, an adverb is emphatic, it 
is often, according to § 3Y1, introduced at the close of a period with fine 
effect; as in the following sentence of Bolingbroke's : "In their pros- 
perity, my friends shall never hear of me ; in their adversity, always." 

This principle, also, requires us to avoid terminating a sentence with 
a succession of unaccented words ; such as, with it, in it, on it, &q. 
*' This is a proposition which I did not expect ; and I must ask th€ 

to that here prescribed ? Why is it best to place last that which is most em* 
phatic ? 

§ 3T3. With what must we avoid closing a sentence ? What is the effect of ter- 
minating a period in this way ? Give an example of this error, and show how to cor- 
rect it. With what part of speech, as a general rule, must a sentence not be closed? 
Exemplify, and then correct, this ercor. In what case may an adverb close a period ? 
Repeat a sentence of Bolingbroke's, in which one is so placed with fine eifoct. What 
else does this principle require us to avoid ? Give an example. 



privilege of reflecting on it." The last member would be more forcibla 
thus : " and I must ask time for reflection." 

§ 374. Lastly, when in different members two objects are 
eontrastedj a resemblance in language and construction in- 
creases the effect. The most striking comparisons are those 
in which this rule is observed. Thus, Pope, speaking of Ho* 
mer and Virgil : — " Homer was the greater genius ; Virgil the 
better artist : in the one, we most admire the man ; in the 
other, the work. Homer hurries us with a commanding im- 
petuosity ; Virgil leads us with an attractive majesty. Homer 
scatters with a generous profusion; Virgil bestows with a 
careful magnificence." 

We may further illustrate this point by placing side by side two 
sentences embodying the same thought, in one of which this rule is ob- 
served, while in the other it is disregarded. 

Weak. — He embraced the cause of liberty faintly, and pursued it 
without resolution ; he grew tired of it when he had much to hope, and 
gave it up when there was no ground for apprehension. 

Strong. — He embraced the cause of liberty faintly, and pursued it 
irresolutely ; he grew tired of it when he had much to hope, and gave 
it up when he had nothing to fear. 


In the followmg sentences, make such corrections as are 

required by the rules for the promotion of Strength : — 

1. He was a man of fine reputation, and enjoyed a high degree of 
popularity. 2. I went home, full of a great many serious reflections. 3. 
This is the principle which I referred to. 4. Catiline was not only an 
■infamous traitor, but a profligate man. 6. We should constantly aim at 
perfection, though we may have no expectation of ever arriving at it. 6. 
It was a case of unpardonable breach of trust and gross disregard of 
oflieial duty, to say the least. V. We flatter ourselves with the belief 
that we have forsaken our passions, when they have forsaken us. 8. Every 
one that aims at greatness does not succeed (§ S*?!). 9. He appears to 
enjoy the universal esteem of all men. 10. Though virtue borrows no 
assistance from, yet it may often be accompanied by, the advantages of 
fortune. 11. As the strength of our cause does not depend upon, so 
neither is it to be decided by, any critical points of history, chronology, 
or language. 12. Alfred the Great, of England, was one of the most 

§874. When in different members of a sentence two objects are contrasted, how 
is the effect increased ? Show bow Pope applies this principle in comparing Homer 
end Virgil. 


remarkable and distinguished men that we read of in historj. Though 
his efforts were unable and insufficient entirely to banish the darkness 
of the age he lived in, yet he greatly improved the condition of his coun- 
trymen, and was the means of doing much good to them. 13. Sensual- 
ists, by their gross excesses and frequent indulgences, debase their 
minds, enfeeble tHeir bodies, and wear out their spirits (§ 3*72). 14. In- 
gratitude is not a crime that I am chargeable with, whatever other faults I 
may be guilty of. 15. The man of virtue and of honor will be trusted, 
and esteemed, and respected, and relied upon. 16. He has talents which 
are rapidly unfolding into life and vigor, and indomitable energies 
(§ 872). 17. It is absurd to think of judging either Ariosto or Spenser 
by precepts which they did not attend to. 18. Force was resisted by 
force, valor opposed by valor, and art encountered or eluded by similar 
address (§ 374). 19. It is a principle of our religion that we should not 
revenge ourselves on our enemies or take vengeance on our foes. 20. It 
is impossible for us to behold the divine works with coldness or indiffer- 
ence, or to survey so many beauties without a secret satisfaction and 
complacency. 21. The faith he professed, and which he became an 
apostle of, was not his invention. 22. The creed originated by Moham- 
med, and which almost all the Arabians and Persians believe in, is a mix- 
ture of Paganism, and Judaism, and Christianity. 23. There is not, in 
my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant consideration in religion 
than this, of the perpetual progress whi»h the soul makes towards the 
perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. 24. 
Their idleness, and their luxury and pleasures, their criminal deeds, and 
their immoderate passions, and their timidity and baseness of mind, have 
dejected them to such a degree, that life itself is a burden, and they find 
no pleasure in it. 25. Shakspeare was a man of profound genius, and 
whose bold and striking thoughts must be admired in every age. 26. 
Avarice is a crime which wise men are often guilty of. 



§ 375. The sixth essential property of a good style is 
Harmony ; a term used to denote that smooth and easy flow 
which pleases the ear. Sound, though less important than 
sense, must not be disregarded, as a means of increasing the 
effect of what is spoken or written. Pleasing ideas can hardly 
be transmitted by harsh and disagreeable words ; and, what- 

§ 8T5. WTiat is the sixth essential property of style ? What does harmoDy denote I 


ever emotion we are endeavoring to excite in the reader, we 
accomplish our object much more readily and effectually by 
availing ourselves of the peculiar sounds appropriate thereto. 
Harmony consists in, 

I. The use of euphonious, or pleasant-sounding, words. 

II. The euphonious arrangement of words. 

III. The adaptation of sound to the sense it expresses. 

§ 376. The following words are to be avoided as inharmo 
nious : — 

I. Derivatives from long compound worcls ; such as harefacedness, wrong 
headedness, unsuccessfulness. 

II. Words containing a succession of consonant sounds ; as, form'dst, 
strik'st, flinched. 

III. Words containing a succession of unaccented syllables ; as, me- 
teorological, derogatorily, mercinariness. 

IV. Words in wliicli a shorl^or unaccented syllable is repeated, or fol- 
lowed by another that closely resembles it ; as, holily, farriering. 

It must not be inferred that the writer is required, in aU cases, to re- 
ject the words embraced under the classes just enumerated. Harsh 
terms are sometimes adapted to the subject, and express the meaning 
more forcibly than any others. They should be avoided, however, when 
euphony is desirable, and there are other terms which express the mean- 
ing with equal significance. 

Those words are most agreeable to the ear, in which there is an in- 
termixture of consonants and vowels ; not so many of the former as to 
impede freedom of utterance, or such a recurrence of the latter as fre- 
quently to occasion hiatus. 

§ 377. A regard for harmony also requires us, in the prog- 
ress of a sentence^ to avoid repeating a sound by employing 
the same word more than once, or using, in contiguous words, 
similar combinations of letters. This fault is known as T'au- 
ohgy. It may be corrected by substituting a synonyme for 

dow does sound compare in importance with sense ? In what three particulars does 
harmony consist ? 

§ 876. Mention the four classes of words to be avoided as inharmonious. When are 
Buch words to be rejected? When may they be employed? What words are most 
figreeable to the ear ? 

§ 377. What is tautology ? What is its effect ? How may it bo corrected ? Give 

\ HARMONY. 301 

one of the words in whicli the repeated sound occurs. The 
unpleasant effect of tautology will be readily perceived in the 
following sentences : — " The general ordered the captain to 
order the soldiers to observe good order^ — " We went in an 
e?iormous car." By a substitution of synonymes, as above 
suggested, we avoid the unpleasant repetitions in these passa- 
ges, and increase their Strength. — " The general directed the 
captain to cotnmand the soldiers to observe good order." — 
" We went in a large car." 

§ 378. Harmony, moreover, is deficient in sentences con- 
taining a succession of words of the same number of syllables; 
thus, " No kind of joy can long please us," is less harmonious 
than, '•' No species of joy can long delight us." So we im- 
prove the sound of the following sentence, in which there is a 
preponderance of dissyllables, by varying the length of the 
words. " She always displays a cheerful temper and pleasant 
humor." — " She invariably exhibits a contented and pleasant 

§ 379. The second particular on which the Harmony of a 
sentence depends, is the proper arrangement of its parts. 
However well-chosen the words may be, or however eupho- 
nious in themselves, if they are unskilfully arranged the music 
of the sentence is lost. 

In the harmonious structure of p'sriods, no writer, ancient or mod- 
ern, equals Cicero. It was a feature which he regarded as of the utmost 
importance to the effect of a composition, and to ensure the perfection 
of "which he spared no labor. Indeed, his countrymen generally were 
more thorough in their investigations of this subject, and more careful 
in their observance of tne rules pertaining thereto, than are the most 
polished of modern writers. Not only was their language susceptible oi 
more melodious combinations than onrs, but their ears were more deli- 
cately attuned, and were thus the means of affording them livelier plea- 
sure from a well-rounded period. " I have often," says Cicero, " been 
witness to bursts of acclamation in the public assemblies when sentences 

§ 378. In what sentences is harmony deficient ? Give examples. 

§ 379. What is the second particular on which the harmony of a sentence depends f 
Who surpasses all writers in the harmonious structure of his periods ? How, as regarda 
tliis property, do the ancient Eomans compare with the moderns ? What does Cicero 


closed musically; for that is a pleasure which tie ear espects." Els© 
where, alluding to a sentence of the eloquent Carbo, he tells us, " So 
great a clamor was excited on the part of the assembly that it was alto- 
gether wonderful." At the present day, we can not, even with thd 
most harmonious style, hope to produce such effects. It is sirfl&cient if 
the ear is pleased ; it need not be transported. There is danger, more- 
over, if a swelling tone is continued too long, of giving to what is com- 
posed an air of tumid declamation. The ear of a reader, becoming famil- 
iar with a monotonous melody, is apt to be cloyed with it, and to con- 
vey to the mind but a slight impression compared with that produced 
by variety. Contiguous sentences must be constructed differently, bo 
that their pauses may fall at unequal intervals. Even discords properly 
introduced, and abrupt departures from regularity of cadence, have, at 
times, a good effect. Above all, there must be no appearance of labored 
attempts at Harmony ; no sacrifice of Perspicuity, Precision, or Strength, 
to sound. All unmeaning words introduced merely to round a period 
must be regarded as blemishes. "When the meaning of a sentence is ex- 
pressed with clearness, force, and dignity, it can hardly fail to strike the 
ear agreeably ; at most, a moderate degree of attention wiU be all that 
is required for imparting to such a period a pleasing cadence. La- 
bored attempts will often result in nothing more than rendering the 
composition languid and enervated. 

§ 380. The first thing requiring attention in the arrange- 
ment of sentences, is that the parts be disposed in such a way 
as to be easily read. What the organs of speech find no dif- 
ficulty in uttering, will, as a general rule, afi"ord pleasure to the 
ear. In the progress of a sentence, the voice naturally rests 
at the close of each member ; and these pauses should be so 
distributed as neither to exhaust the breath by their distance 
from each other, nor to require constant cessations of voice by 
the frequency of their recurrence. Below are presented in con- 
trast a harmonious sentence from Milton, and one of an oppo- 
site character from Tillotson ; the former of which pleases the 

say that he has witnessed ? What does he state with respect to a sentence of Carbo's ? 
Why siiould we not, at the present day, aim at a similar degree of harmony ? What is 
recommended with respect to the construction of contiguous sentences ? What is some- 
times the elfect of discords? What T)eriods will generally strike the ear agreeably? 
What is the effect of labored atteiii}' *^<^ at harmony ? 

§ 880. What first requires attention in the arrangement of sentences ? Where does 
the voice, in reading, naturally rest ? How should these pauses be distributed ? Froia 


ear with its well- arranged succession of pauses ; while the 
latter offends this organ by reason of the length of its members, 
particularly the closing one, in which the reader j&nds no 
opportunity for taking breath. 

From Milton. — " We shall conduct you to a hill-side, laborious, in- 
deed, at the first ascent; but else, so smooth, so green, so full of goodly 
prospects, and melodious sounds on every side, that the harp of Orpheus 
was not more charming." 

From Tillotson. — " This discourse concerning the easiness of God'a 
commands, does, all along, suppose and acknowledge the difficulties of 
the first entrance upon a religious course ; except only in those persons 
who have had the happiness to be trained up to religion by the easy 
and insensible degrees of a pious and virtuous education." 

On this same account, a want of skill in the distribution of pauses, 
the example given " as altered" in § 8*71 is singularly inharmonious ; as, 
also, are many sentences in which there are long parentheses. 

§ 381. The next thing to be considered is the cadence of 
periods. The rule bearing on this point is, that when we aim 
at dignity or elevation the sound should be made to swell to 
the last. Herein the requirements of Strength and Harmony 
agree, — that the longest members and the fullest and most 
sonorous words be retained for the conclusion. To end a sen- 
tence, therefore, with a preposition, or a succession of unac- 
cented words, is as disagreeable to the ear as it is enfeebling. 
Observe the admirable cadence of the following fine sen- 
tence of Sterne's : — 

" The accusing spirit which fiew up to Heaven's Chancery with the 
oath, blushed as he gave it in ; and the recording angel, as he wrote it 
down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out forever." 

A slight change at the close of the sentence will mar its melody. 

" The accusing spirit which flew up to Heaven's Chancery with the 
oath, blushed as he gave it in ; and the recording angel, as he wrote it 
down, dropped a tear, and blotted it out." 

§ 382. Finally, as the highest kind of Harmony, — most dif- 
ficult to attain, and. when attained, most effective, — we have to 

what authors ars examples quoted, and wherein lies the harmony of the one, and the 
harshness of the other ? What is said of sentences containing long parentheses ? 

§ 8S1. What is the rule for giving an effective cadence to a sentence ? With what 
do "both strength and harmony require us to avoid closing a period ? Eepeat a musical 
sentence from Sterne, point out wherein its harmony consists, and show bow a slight 
change will destroy its cadence. 


consider the adaptation of sound to sense. This is two-fold 
first, the natural adaptation of particular sounds to certaic 
kinds of writing ; and, secondly, the use of such words in the 
description of sound, motion, or passion, as, either in reality 
or by reason of imaginary associations, bear some resemblance 
to the object described. 

§ 383. Certain currents of sound, it has been said, are 
adapted to the tenor of certain varieties of composition. 
Sounds have, in many respects, a correspondence with our 
ideas, partly natural, and partly the eJQfect of artificial associa- 
tions. Hence, any one modulation continued impresses a cer- 
tain character on style. Sentences constructed with the 
Ciceronian swell are appropriate to what is grave, important, 
or magnificent ; for this is the tone which such sentiments natu- 
rally assume : but they suit no violent passion, no eager 
reasoning, no familiar address. These require sentences 
brisker, easier, and more abrupt. No one current of sounds, 
therefore, will be found appropriate to difi'erent compositions, 
or even to difi'erent parts of the same production. To use the 
same cadence in an oration and letter would be as absurd as 
to set the words of a tender love-song to the air of a stately 
march. There is thus much room for taste and judgment in 
forming such combinations of words as are suited to the sub- 
ject under consideration. 

§ 384. Not only is a general correspondence of the current 
of sound with that of thought to be maintained in composi- 
tion, but, in particular cases, the words, either by their length, 
their rapidity of movement, or some other peculiarity, may 
be made to resemble the sense with the happiest efi'ect. This 
can sometimes be accomplished in prose, but is to be looked 

§ 382. What is the highest kind of harDiony ? Under what two heads do we con- 
sider the adaptation of sound to sense ? 

§ 883. To what are certain currents of sound adapted ? Explain the reason. What 
6b the result of continuing any one modulation ? To what are sentences constructed 
with the Ciceionian swell appropriate? To what are they unsuited ? Ir. what, then, 
Is there much room for taste and judgment? 

§ 384. How may words be made to resemble the sense ? In what department of 


for chiefly in poetry, where inversions and other licenses give 
us a greater command of sound. 

The sounds of words are employed for representing, 
chiefly, three classes of objects : first, other sounds ; secondly, 
difiierent kinds of motion ; thirdly, the passions of the mind. 

The simplest variety of this kind of Harmony is the imi- 
tation, by a proper choice of words, of striking sounds which 
we wish to describe ; such as the noise of waters, or the roar- 
ing of winds. 

This imitation is not difficult. 'No great degree of art is required in 
a poet, when lie is describing sweet and soft sounds, to use words that 
are composed principally of liquids and vowels, and therefore glide 
easily along ; or, when he is speaking of harsh noises, to throw together 
a number of rough syllables of difficult pronunciation. This is, in fact, 
no more than a continued onomatopoeia, a rhetorical figure already de- 
fined ; it is simply carrying out a principle which has operated in the 
formation of many words in our language. In common conversation we 
speak of the whistling of winds, the shriek af the eagle, the whoop of the 
Indian, the buzz of insects, and the hiss of serpents. These sounds we 
express respectively by articulate sounds which resemble them; and 
this is just what the poet seeks to do, only at greater length, and by 
combinations Instead of individual words. 

The first two examples are passages from Paradise Lost, represent- 
ing respectively the sounds made by the unclosing of the gates of Hell, 
and the opening of the portals of Heaven. Observe how admirably 
these sentences are adapted, each to its subject; how harsh the one, 
how harmonious the other. 

" On a sudden, open fly, 
With impetuous recoil, and jarring sound, 
The infernal doors ; and on their hing^ grate 
Harsh thunder." 

" Heaven opened wide 
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound, 
On golden hinges turning." 

None knew better than Pope the effect of this higher kind of Ha^ 

composition, chiefly, is this beauty to be looked for, and why ? What three classes of 
objects are oftenest thus represented by sounds ? What is the simplest yariety of this 
kind of harmony ? How may sweet and soft sounds be represented ? How, harsh 
noises ? What figure is thus carried out ? Give examples of words formed in imitation 
of the sounds which they denote. What do the first two examples represent ? How 
do they compare with each other ? What poet, in particular, has attained this higher 


mony. He thus, in the Odyssey (xxi., 449), represents the sound of a 

bow-string : — 

" The string, let fly, 
Twanged sliort and sharp, like the shrill swallow's cry." 

So, in his Iliad (xxiii., 146), he imitates the noise of axes and falling 
Daks* — 

" Loud sounds the ase, redoubling strokes on strokes, 
On all sides round the forest hurls her oaks 
Headlong. Deep echoing groan the thickets brown, 
Then, rustling, crackling, crashing, thunder downy 

The roaring of a whirlpool he describes in the following terms : — 

"Dire Scylla there a scene of horror forms. 
And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms ; 
"When the tide rushes from her rumUing caves, 
The rough rock roars : tumultuous boil the 

In allusion to the very subject before us, — i. e. making the sound, in 
poetry, resemble the sense, — the same author gives a precept, and 
strikingly illustrates it, in a single line : — 

" But, when loud surges lash the sounding shore, 
The hoarse rough verse shoidd like the torrent roar,'''' 

In the second place, the sound of words is often employed 
to imitate motion, whether swift or slow, violent or gentle, 
equable or interrupted. Though there is no natural affinity 
between sound and motion, yet in the imagination they are 
closely connected, as appears from the relation subsisting be- 
tween music and dancing. 

Long syllables naturally give the impression of slow and difficult 
motion, as in these lines of Pope :— 

" A needless Alexandrine ends the song ; 
That, like a wounded snake, drags its sloto length along. 

"Just writes to make his barrenness appear. 
And strains from hardA)ound trains eight lines a year,'' 

A succession of short syllables containing but few consonants de 
notes rapid motion, as in the last of the following lines from Cowley, 

kind of harmony ? Eepeat the lines in which he represents the sound of a bow-string; 
those in which he imitates the noise of axes and falling oaks ; those in which he de- 
scribes the roaring of a whirlpool ; those in which he alludes to the subject under con- 

What is the second variety of this kind of harmony ? What is said of the conneo- 
Hon between sound and motion ? How is the impression of slow and difficult motion 
conveyed ? Illustrate this from Pope. How is rapid motion denoted ? Quote, in illus. 



which Johnson says, as an example of representative versification, " per 
haps no other English line can equal." 

'■ He "Who defers this work from day to day, 
Does on a river's bank expecting stay, 
Till the whole stream that stopped him shall be gone,— 
Which runs, and, as it runs, forever shall rv/n on.'''' 

Pope furnishes an example of easy metrical flow, which admirably 
represents the gentle motion of which he speaks. 

*• Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, 
And the sjnooth stream in smoother nurnbers flowsy 

k sudden calm at sea is well painted in the following lines : — 

" Then the shrouds drop ; 
The downy feather, on the cordage hung, 
Moves not : the flat sea shines like yellow gold 
Fused in the fire, or like the marble floor 
Of some old temple vride." 

Sounds are also capable of representing the emotions and 
passions of the mind : not that there is, logically speaking, 
any resemblance between the two ; but inasmuch as different 
syllabic combinations awaken certain ideas, and may thus pre- 
dispose the reader's mind to sympathy with that emotion on 
which the poet intends to dwell. Of this, Dry den's Ode on 
St. Cecilia's Day is a striking exemplification ; as, also, is 
Collins' Ode on " The Passions." An extract or two from 
the latter poem will sufficiently illustrate the subject ; it will 
be observed that the wirds, the metre, and the cadence, ad- 
mirably correspond with the emotion in each case depicted. 

" Next Anger ru-hed, his eyes on fire. 
In lightnings owned his secret stings ; 
In one rude clash he struck the lyre. 
And swept with hurried hand the strings." 

" With wofal measures wan Despair — 
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled ; 
A solemn, strange, and mingled air, 
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild ! " 

tration, a line from Cowley, highly commended by Johnson. Quote a couplet of Pcpo's, 
which represents gentle motion. Eepeat the example in which a sudden calm at sea 
is described. What else are sounds capable of representing ? Explain how this is pos- 
sible. What poems afford examples ? Eepeat the passages quoted from Collins' Oda, 
End show how the sound corresponds with the emotion denoted. 


"But thou, Hope, with eyes so fair, 
What was thy delighted measure ? 
Still it whispered promised pleasure, 
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! 
Still would her touch the strain prolong. 

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, 
She called on Echo still through all her scng ; 
And where her sweetest theme she chose, 
. ' A soft responsive voice was heard at every close , 

- -J.. - And Hope, gnchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hail I * 



Correct tlie following sentences according to the rules 

for tlie promotion of Harmony : — 

1. JSTo mortal autlior, in tlie ordinary fate and vicissitude of things, 
knows to what use his works, whatever they are, may, some time or 
other, be applied (§ 381). 2. It is likewise urged, that there are, by 
computation, in this kingdom, above ten thousand parsons, whose reve- 
nues, added to those of my Lords the Bishops, would suffice to maintain, 
at their present rate of living, half a million, if not more, poor men. 
8. Study to unite with firmness gentle pleasing manners (§ 3*7 8). 4. He 
was mortifyingly rebuked for the mischievousness of his behavior. 5. 
There are no persons, or, if there are any, assuredly they are few in 
number, who have not, at some time of life, either directly or indirect- 
ly, with or without consciousness on their part, been of service to their 
fellow-creatures, or at least a portion of them. 6. Thou rushedst into 
the midst of the conflict and swervedst not. Y. I have just made ar- 
rangements for /orwarding four bales of goods. 8. A mild child is 
liked better than a wild child. 9. St. Augustine lived holily and god- 
lily. 10. ISTotwithstanding the barefacedness of his conduct, we could 
not help pitying the miserableness of his condition. 11. The slow horse 
that keeps on his course may beat the fast horse that stops to eat or 
sleep by the way (§ 378). 12. It is he that has committed the deed, at 
least accessorily. 13. Sobermindedness and shamefacedness are by 
some considered evidences of virtue. 14. Generally speaking, a pru- 
dent general will avoid a general engagement imless his forces are equal 
in bravery and discipline to those of his opponent. 15. This is distinct- 
ly stated in an encyclical letter of that age. 16, Energy, industry, t^em- 
perance, and handiness, recommend mechanics. 17. Hydrophobia 
(which is derived from two Greek words, meaning /ear of water, and is 
bo called from the aversion to that element which it produces in human 
patients suffering from its attack, though it seldom causes a similar 
nversion in the animal from whose bite it originates) sometimes does not; 

UNITY. 309 

display itself for montlis after the poison lias been received into the sys- 
tem. 18. To two tunes I have made up my mind never to listen. 19. 
Days, weeks, and months, pass by ; the rocks shall waste and man shall 
turn to dust. 20. In an analogous case, this might be different. 21. 
Should liberty continue to be abused, as it has been for some time past, 
(and, though demagogues may not admit it, yet sensible and observing 
men will not deny, that it has been,) the people will seek relief in des- or in emigration. 22. We should carefully examine into, and 
candidly pass judgment on, our faults. 23. In a few years, the hand of 
industry may change the face of a country, so that one who was familiar 
with it may be unable to recognize it as that which he once knew ; but 
many generations must pass before any change can be wrought in the 
sentiments or manners of a people, cut off from intercourse with the 
rest of the world, and thereby confined to the sphere of their own nar- 
row experience (§ 380). 24. Confident as you are now in your asser- 
tions, and positive as you are in your opinions, the time, be assured, ap- 
proaches, when things and men will appear in a different light to you. 
25. Some chroniclers, by an injudicious use of familiar phrases, express 
themselves sillily. 26. The scene is laid on an ewland lake. 



§385. The last essential property of a good style is 
Unity ; whicli consists in the restriction of a sentence to one 
leading proposition, modified only by such accessories as are 
materially and closely connected with it. The very nature 
of a sentence implies that it must contain but one proposition. 
It may, indeed, consist of parts ; but these must be so bound 
together as to convey to the mind the impression of one fact, 
and one alone. 

§ 386. The first requirement of Unity is, that during the 
course of the sentence the scene and the subject be changed 
as little as possible. The reader must not be hurried by sud- 

§ 885. TVhat is the last essential property of a good style ? In what do^s unity con- 
sist? What does the nature of a sentence imply? K it consists of parts, what nrus? 
bo their character ? 

§ 886. What is the first requirement of unity ? What is the effect of sudden trausi- 

310 UNITY, 

den transitions from place to place, or from person to person. 
One leading subject at a time is enough for the mind to con- 
template ; when more are introduced, the attention is dis- 
tracted, the Unity destroyed, and the impression weakened. 
This, it will be seen, is the effect in the following sentence, 
which contains no less than four subjects ^—friends ^ we, 7, who 
[that is, 2jasse?tgers']. Observe how a slight change in the 
construction gets rid of two of the subjects and thus insures 
the Unity of the sentence. 

*' My friends turned back after we reached the ressel, on board of 
wWcli I was received with kindness by the passengers, who vied with 
each other in showing me attention." 

Corrected. — " My friends having turned back after we reached the 
vessel, the passengers received me on board with kindness, and vied 
with each other in showing me attention." 

§ 3B7. A second rule is, do not crowd into one sentence 
things that have no connection. 

This rule is violated in the following passage : — " Archbishop Tillot- 
fion died in this year. He was exceedingly beloved both by King Wil- 
liam and Queen Mary, who nominated Dr. Tennison, Bishop of Lin- 
coln, to succeed him." Who, from the beginning of this sentence, 
would expect such a conclusion ? When we are told that he was loved 
by the king and queen, we naturally look for some proof of this affec- 
tion, or at least something connected with the main proposition ; whereas 
we are suddenly informed of Dr. Tennison's nomination in his place. To 
correct such an error, we must remove the discordant idea, and embody 
it, if it is essential that it be presented, in a distinct sentence : — " He was 
exceedingly beloved by King William and Queen Mary. Dr. Tennison, 
Bishop of Lincoln, was nominated to succeed him." 

The following sentence, from a translation of Plutarch, is still worse. 
Speaking of the Greeks.^ under Alexander, the author says : — 

" Their march was through an uncultivated country, whose savage 
inhabitants fared hardly, having no other riches than a breed of lean 
sheep, whose flesh was rank and unsavory, by reason of their continual 
feeding upon sea-fish." 

Here the scene is changed again and again. The march of the 

tlons in a sentence from place to place or from person to person ? Illustrate this with a 
Bontence containing four subjects, and show how the fault may be corrected. 

% 8S7. What is the second rule for the preservation of unity ? Eepeat a passage in 
rrhich it is violated. Show wherein the error lies, and correct it. Give the substance 
of tho passage quoted from g translation of Plutarch. What is objectionable in it ? In 

UNITY. 311 

Greeks, the description of the inhabitants through whose country they 
travelled, the account of their sheep, and the reason why these ani- 
mals made unsavory food, form a medley which can not fail to be 
distasteful in the highest degree to an intelligent reader. 

A violation of this rule is fatal to Unity even in periods 
of no great length, as is apparent from the examples just 
given ; in sentences unduly protracted, however, there is a 
Btill greater liability to err in this particular. The involved 
style of Clarendon furnishes numerous examples. Nor does he 
stand alone ; many of the old writers are, in this respect, 
equally faulty. From Shaftesbury we shall quote a sentence 
in point. He is describing the effect of the sun in the frozen 
regions ; beginning with this orb as his prominent subject, he 
soon proceeds to certain monsters and their exploits ; whence, 
by an unexpected and unaccountable transition, he suddenly 
brings man into view, and admonishes him at some length as 
to his religious duties. The only way to correot such an in- 
volved period as this, is to break it up into several smaller 

" It breaks the icy fetters of the main, where vast sea-monstera 
pierce through floating islands, with arms which can withstand the 
crystal rock ; whilst others, who of themselves seem great as islands, 
are by their bulk alone armed against all but man ; whose superiority 
over creatures of such stupendous size and force, should make him 
mindful of his privilege of reason, and force him humbly to adore the 
great composer of these wondrous frames, and the author of his own 
superior wisdom." 

It may be contended that, in passages like the above, punctuation 
will bring out the meaning by showing the relation between the various 
parts ; and that, therefore, if commas, semicolons, and colons, are prop- 
erly used, a violation of Unity may be tolerated. It is true that punc- 
tuation does much to remedy even faults as gross as those in the last 
paragraph ; but it must be remembered that the points it employs do 
not make divisions of thought, but merely serve to mark those already 
existing, and are therefore proper only when they correspond with the 
Latter. Let those who think that a proper distribution of points will 

what sentences is a want of unity most likely to occur ? Whose long and intricate pe- 
riods furnish examples? From whom is a sentence in point quoted? Give its suh- 
etance. What mistaken view do some take with respect to the correction of senteneoa 
fleficient in unity, by means of punctuation ? Show why this view ia mistaken. 

312 UNITY. 

make up for the want of Unity, try the experiment in the last example 
The ideas it contains are so foreign to each other that we mn?t have at 
least three distinct sentences to exj)ress them properly ; yet it is evi- 
dent that, as the members now stand, periods between them are inad- 
missible, on account of the closeness of their connection. 

§ 388. In the third place, a regard for Unity requires that 

we avoid long parentheses. We have already alluded to their 

effect as prejudicial to Clearness, Strength, and Harmony. In 

the old writers they are of frequent occurrence, and constitute 

so palpable a fault that in later times it has been thought the 

safest course to reject parentheses of every kind. Passages 

in which they occur, must be divided into as many sentences 

as there are leading propositions. 

Example. — The quicksilver mines of Idria, in Austria (which were 
discovered ia 17 97, by a peasant, who, catching some water from a 
spring, found the tub so heavy that he could not move it, and the bottom 
covered with a shining substance which turned out to be mercury) yield, 
every year, over three hundred thousand pounds of that valuable metal 

Corrected. — The quicksilver mines of Idria, in Austria, were discov- 
ered by a peasant in 1797. Catching some water from a spring, he 
found the tub so heavy that he could not move it, and the bottom 
covered with a shining substance which turned out to be mercury. Of 
this valuable metal, the mines in question yield, every year, over three 
hundred thousand pounds. 


Correct the following sentences so that their Unity may 

be preserved, altering the punctuation as may be required by 

the changes made : — 

1. The usual acceptation takes profit and pleasure for two different 
things, and not only calls the followers or votaries of them by the sever- 
al names of busy and idle men, but distinguishes the faculties of the 
mind, that are conversant about them ; calling the operations of the 
first, wisdom ; and of the other, wit ; — which is a Saxon word, used to 
express what the Spaniards and Italians call ingenio, and the French, 
esprit, both from the Latin : though I think wit more particularly sig- 
nifies that of poetry, as may occur in remarks on the Runic language. — 
Sir William Temple. 2. To this succeeded that licentiousness which 
entered with the Restoration, and fi'om infecting our religion and morals 
fell to corrupt our language ; which last was not likely to be much im- 
proved by those who at that time made up the court of King Charles 
the Second ; either such as had followed him in his banishment, or who 

§ 888. What is the third rule ? "What is the effect of long parentheses ? 


had been -altogether conversant in the dialect of these fanatic times ; or 
young men who had been educated in the same country ; so that the 
court, which used to be the standard of correctness and propriety of 
speech, was then, and I think has ever since continued, the worst school 
in England for that accomplishment ; and so will remain, till better care 
be taken in the education of our nobility, that they may set out in the 
world with some foundation of literature, in order to qualify them for 
patterns of politeness. — Swift. 3. We left Italy with a fine wind, which 
continued three days ; when a violent storm drove us to the coast of 
Sardinia, which is free from aU kinds of poisonous and deadly herbs, 
except one; which resembles parsley, and which, they say, causes 
those who eat it to die of laugMng. 4. At Coleridge's table we were 
introduced to Count Frioli, a foreigner of engaging manners and fine 
conversational powers, who was killed the following day by a steamboat 
explosion. 5. The lion is a noble animal, and has been known to live 
fifty years in a state of confinement. 6. Haydn (who was the son of a 
poor wheelwright, and is best known to us by a noble oratorio called 
^' The Creation," which he is said to have composed after a season of 
solemn prayer for divine assistance) wrote fine pieces of music when he 
was no more than ten years old. 7. The famous poisoned valley of Java 
(which, as Mr. Loudon, a recent traveller in that region, informs us, is 
twenty miles in length and is filled with skeletons of men and birds ; and 
into which it is said that the neighboring tribes are in the habit of 
driving criminals, as a convenient mode of executing capital punish- 
ment) has proved to be the crater of an extinct volcano, in which car- 
bonic acid is generated in great quantities, as in the Grotto del Cane at 
Naples. 8. The Chinese women are for the most part industrious ; and 
use, as embellishments of their beauty, paint, false hair, oils, and pork 
fat. 9. London, which is a very dirty city, has a population of two 
millions and a quarter. 10. We next took the cars, wliich were filled 
to overflowing, and broiaght us to a landing, where a boat was in wait- 
ing that looked as if it were a century old ; but which, while we were 
examining its worm-eaten sides, put off at a rate which soon showed us 
that its sailing qualities were by no means contemptible, and taught us 
the practical lesson that it is unsafe to judge of the merits of a thing by 
its external appearance. 



§ 389. As we have now considered the various kinds ot 

Style, and the essential properties which should be preberved 

in them all, it may not be out of place to add a few practical 

suggestions respecting the best mode of forming a character- 



istio manner of expressing one's tiiouglits. Whether a young 
composer's style is to be concise or diffuse, simple or labored, 
nervous or feeble, will depend, of course, in a great measure, 
on the bent of his mind when he shall have attained mature 
years ; but, as it is necessary to begin composing at an early 
age, it is unsafe to trust to the vicissitudes of natural tern 
perament, and run the risk of contracting bad habits, which, 
when discovered, it may be hard to lay aside. These difficul- 
ties it is best to avoid by employing, from the outset, such 
aids as reason and experience recommend. The object in so 
doing is not to sacrifice nature to art, to restrain the flow of 
genius, or to destroy individuality of manner : bnt, on the 
other hand, to promote the healthy development of this indi- 
viduality ; to modify its extravagances, suppress those of its 
features which are objectionable, and cultivate with the ut- 
most care such as are meritorious and pleasing. 

§ 390. In the first place, give careful and earnest thought 
to the subject about which you propose to write, 

Thougli at first sight this may seem to have little to do with the 
formation of style, the relation between the two is in reality extremely 
close. Before we have ourselves obtained a full, clear, and decided, 
view of a subject, we can not hope to communicate such an impression 
of it to others. The habit of writing without first having distmct ideas 
of what we intend to say, will inevitably produce a loose, confused, and 
slovenly, style. 

§ 391. Secondly, compose frequently. Rules are of ser- 
vice, but they are not intended to take the place of practice. 
Nothing but exercise will give facility of composition, 

§ 392. In the third place, compose slowly and with care. 
It is to hasty and careless writing that a bad style may gene- 

§ 889. On what will the characteristics of a young composer's style, in a great mea- 
sure, depend ? What is said of the necessity of using aids in the formation of style ? 
What is the object in so doing ? 

§ 890. What is the first rule relating to the formation of style ? What is said of the 
connection between style and thought ? What will inevitably result from writing witJi- 
out having distinct ideas of what we intend to say ? 

§ 891. What is the second rule ? 


mlly be traced. Faults are thus contracted which it will cost 
infinite trouble to unlearn. 

Quintilian (bk. x., ch. 3) alludes to this point in the following 
terms: — " I enjoin that such as are beginning the practice of composition 
write slowly and with anxious deliberation. Their great object, at first, 
should be to write as well as possible ; practice will enable them to 
write quickly. By degrees, matter -witi offer itself still more readily; 
words will be at hand ; composition will flow ; every thing, as in the 
arrangement of a well-ordered family, will present itself in its proper 
place. The sum of the whole is this : by hasty composition we shall 
never acquire the art of composing well; by writing well, we shall soon 
be able to write speedily." 

§ 393. Fourthly, revise carefully. Nothing is more neces- 
sary to what is written, or more important to the writer. 
" Condemn," says Horace, in his Epistle to the Pisos, v. 
292-294, " condemn that poem which many a day and many a 
blot have not corrected, and castigated ten times to perfect ac- 

Even the most experienced writers are apt to commit oversights, for 
which revision is the only remedy. K we put aside what has been writ- 
ten till the expressions we have used are forgotten, and then review our 
work with a cool and critical eye, as if it were the performance of an- 
other, we shall discern many imperfections which at first were over- 
looked. This is the time for priming away redundancies ; for seeing 
that the parts of sentences are correctly arranged and connected by 
the proper particles ; for observing whether the requirements of gram- 
mar are strictly complied with ; and for bringing style into a consistent 
and effective form. Disagreeable as this labor of correction may be, aU 
must submit to it who would attain literary distinction, or even express 
their thoughts with ordinary propriety and force. A little practice will 
Boon create a critical taste, and render the work if not pleasant, at least 
easy and tolerable. 

§394. In the fifth ^\2iQQ^ study the style of the best au- 
thors. Notice their peculiarities ; observe what gives effect 

§ 392. What is the third rule ? To what is a bad style generally traceable ? What 
{s Quintilian's advice on this point ? 

§ S98. What is the fourth rule ? What does Horace say on this point ? Describe 
Ci© most effective method of revising. To what, in this process, must the author's 
attention be directed ? What is said of the necessity of this labor of correction ? 

§ 894 What is the fifth rule ? Explain what is meant by this. What is said of sor- 


to their writings ; compare one with anothar ; and, in eompo 
sing, endeavor to avoid their faults and imitate their beauties. 

No servile imitation is here recommended. This is in the highest 
degree dangerous, generally resulting in stiifness and artificiality of 
manner, and a lack of seK-confidence, which is fatal to success in com- 
position. Avoid adopting a favorite author's peculiar phrases or con- 
structions. " It is infinitely better," says Blair, " to have something 
that is our own, though of moderate beauty, than to affect to shine in 
borrowed ornaments, which will, at ^ast, betray the utter poverty of 
our genius." Modifying our style by assimilating it to one which we 
particularly admire, or which the world has stamped with its approval, 
is quite a different thing from laying aside our own individuality en- 
tirely, to adopt another's, which we have but & slight chance of being 
able to maintain. 

No exercise is likely to aid us more in acquiring a good style than 
to translate frequently from the writings of some eminent English au- 
thor into our own words ; to take, for instance, a page of Addison or 
Goldsmith, and, having read it over until we have fully mastered the 
meaning, to lay aside the book and attempt to reproduce the passage 
from memory. A comparison of what we have written with the origi- 
nal will then show us in what the faults of our style consist, and how 
we may correct them ; and, among the different modes of expressing the 
same thought, will enable us to perceive which is the most beautiful. 

§ 395. Avoid such mannerism as would prevent you from 
adapting your style to your subject and to the capacity of 
those you address. Keep the object proposed in view, aod 
let your mode of expression be strictly consistent therewith. 
Nothing is more absurd than to attempt a florid, poetical 
btjle, on occasions when it is our business only to reason ; or 
to speak with elaborate pomp of expression, before persons to 
whom such magnificence is unintelligible. 

In the following sentences, make such corrections as are 
required by the rules for Purity, Propriety, Precision, Clear- 
ness, Strength, Harmony, and Unity : — 

vile imitation? What does Blair say on this subject? Show the difference letween a 
gervil<s imitation and the course here advised. What exercise is likely to aid us in ac- 
quiring a good style ? 

§ 895. What is the last rule, relating to the adaptation of the style to the subject ? 
What advice is given on this head ? 


1. Misfortimes never arrive singly, but crowd upon us en masse wheD, 
we are least able to resist them. 2. A [peaceable, or peaceful ?] valley ; 
— a [peaceable, or peaceful ?] disposition. 8. I decline accepting of the 
situation. 4. Petrarch was much esteemed by his countrymen, who, even 
at the present day, mention with reverence the poet of Vaucluse and the 
inventor of the sonnet. 5. This is so ; and so cruel an [act, or action ?] has 
rarely been heard of. 6. The lad can not leave his father; for, if he 
should leave him, he would die. 7. The works of art receive a great 
advantage from the resemblance which they have to those of nature, 
because here the similitude is not only pleasant, but the pattern is per- 
fect. 8. A friend exaggerates a man's virtues ; one who is hostile en- 
deavors to magnify his crimes (§ 3'74). 9. This is not a principle that we 
can act on and adhere to. 10. Diana of the Ephesians is great. 11. 
"We do things frequently that we repent of afterwards. 12. Great and 
rich men owe much to chance, which gives to one what it takes from 
others. 13. There are those who allow their envy of those who are more 
fortunate than themselves to get the better of them to such an extent 
that they try to injure them all they can. 14. [Classic, or classical?] 
and English school ; — a [classic, or classical ?] statue. 15. Runnicg out 
to see whether there v/as a new emeute, which the hauteur of the new 
governor rendered \erj plausible, I came within an ace of being done for. 
16. They attempted to remain incog. 17. If a man have little merit, he 
had need have much modesty. 18. The laws of nature are truly what 
Lord Bacon styles his aphorisms, — laws of laws. Civil laws are always 
imperfect, and often false deductions from them, or applications of them; 
nay, they stand, in many instances, in direct opposition to them. 19. 
Being content with deserving a triumph, he refused the honor of it. 20. 
That temperamental dignotions, and conjectures of prevalent humors, 
may be collected from spots in our nails, we are not averse to concede. 
21. It cannot be impertinent or ridiculous, therefore, in such a country, 
whatever it might be in the Abbot of St Real's, which was Savoy, I 
think ; or in Peru, under the Incas, where Garcilasso de la Vega says it 
was lawful for none but the nobility to study — for men of ail degrees 
to instruct themselves in those affairs wherein they may be actors, or 
judges of those that act, or controllers of those tha43 judge. 22. The moon 
was casting a pale light oa the numerous graves that were scattered 
before me, as it peered above the horizon when I opened the little gate 
of the church-yard. 23. This work, having been fiercely attacked by 
critics, he proposes for the present to lay aside. 24. Men look with an 
evil eye upon the good that is in others, and think that ^AaV reputation 
obscures them,, and that their commendable qualities do stand in their light ; 
and therefore they do what they can to cast a cloud over them, that the 
bright shining of their virtues may not obscrre them. 25. In this uneasy 
state, both of his public and private life, Cicero W8.s oppressed by a new 
and cruel affiiction, the death of his beloved daughter, Tullia, which 
happened soon after her divorce from Dolabella, whose manners and 
humors were entirely disagreeable to her. 26. The erroneous judgment 
of parents concerning the conduct of sehoohnasters, has crushed the 
peace of many an ingenious man who is engaged in the care of youth ; 
and paved the way to the ruin of hopeful boys. 2Y. The discontented 
man (as his spleen irritates and sours his temper, and leads him to dis- 
harge its venom on all with whom he stands connected) is never found 
'vithout a great share of malignity. 28. "We have been cAowsec? out of ouf 


rights by these clod-polh and blackguards. 29. As no one is free ham 
faults, so few want good qualities (§3*78). 30. No msm of feelincf can 
look upon the ocean without feeling an emotion of grandeur. 31. The 
mercenariness of many tradesmen leads them to speak derogatorily of 
their neighbors. 32. With Cicero's writva^B, it is right that young di- 
vines should be conversant ; but they should not give them the prefer- 
ence to Demosthenes, who, by many degrees, excelled the other ; at least 
as an orator. 33. After he has finished his elementary studies, which 
will discipline his mind, and fit it for the pursuit of more advanced 
branches, I advise him to commence with the ancient languages, which 
will, by easy stages, prepare him for the acquisition of the modern 
tongues ; whence he may with propriety proceed to the careful study 
of the higher departments of mathematics and beUes-lettres, which form 
an important part of every scholar's education. 34. Such were the 
prudence and energy of Cicero's course during this critical state of af- 
fairs, that his countrymen overlooked his self-conceitedness, and vied 
with each other in testifying their respect to "the father of his country". 
85. He used to use many expressions, which, though useful, are not usu- 
ally used, and have not come into general use. 



§ 396. Definition. — Criticism (from the Greek KptVw, ^ 
judge) may be defined as the art of judging with propriety con- 
cerning any object or combination of objects. In the more 
limited signification in which it is generally used, its province 
is confined to literature, philology, and the fine arts, and to 
subjects of antiquarian, scientific, or historical investigation. 
In this sense, every branch of literary study, as well as each 
of the arts, has its proper criticism. 

g 397. Rules. — It is criticism that has developed the rules 
and principles of Hhetoric. As was remarked when we first 
entered on the study of this subject, its rules are not arbi- 
trary, but have been deduced from a careful examination of 

1 896. From what is the term eriticism derived ? What does it signify ? As gen- 
erally used, to what is it confined ? 

§ 89T. How have the rules and principles of rhetoric been developed ? What !>©• 


'chose great productions wMcli have been admired as beautiful 
in every age. Nor has "beauty been the sole object of the 
critic's search. Truth, particularly in history and the scien- 
ces, it has been his province not only to seek out, but, when 
found, to use as a balance in weighing the objects on which he 
passes judgment. The office of criticism, therefore, is, first to 
establish the essential ideas which answer to our conceptions 
of the beautiful or the true in each branch of study ; and next 
to point out, by reference to these ideas, the excellencies or 
deficiencies of individual works, according as they approach, or 
vary from, the standard in question. 

Thus historical criticism teaches us to distinguish the true from the 
false, or the probable from the improbable, in historical works : scien- 
tific criticism has in view the same object in each respective line of 
science: literary criticism, in a general sense, investigates the merits 
and demerits of style or diction, according to the received standard of 
excellence in every language ; while, in poetry and the arts, it develops 
the principles of that more refined and exquisite sense of beauty which 
forms the ideal model of perfection in each. 

§ 398. Relation letween its ancient and its present charac- 
ter, — Criticism originated among the Greeks and Romans at an 
early day, and was carried by them to a high degree of perfec- 
tion. Aristotle, Dionysius Halicarnasseus, and Longinus, 
among the former, and, among the latter, Cicero and Quintil- 
ian, did much towards awakening a critical taste in their 
respective countrymen ; enabling them to appreciate propriety 
of diction, and making them acquainted with those minute 
matters, which, however insignificant they may appear, are 
essential to effective composition. 

The classical critics, however, confined themselves mainly to that 
department of their art which has reference to the principles of beauty. 
Their sphere of knowledge being more limited than ours, their minda 

sides boanty has been the object of the critic's search ? What, then, is the office of 
criticism ? What does historical criticism teach us ? What is the object of scientifio 
criticism ? What, of literary criticism ? 

§ 398. What is said of criticism among the ancient Greeks and Eomans ? What 
Qutiiors are mentioned as distinguished in this department ? What eflFect did their 
efforts produce on their countrymen ? To what did the classical critics confmo thcnv* 


were more sedulously exercised in reflecting on their own perceptions, 
Hence the astonishing progress they made in the fine arts ; and hence, 
in literature, beauty of language and sentiment was their highest aim- 
Accordingly, the criticisms of antiquity relate almost exclusively to liter- 
ature and the arts ; and the term is, therefore, still confined, in its most 
popular signification, to those provinces of research. 

The criticism of Truth, which pertains chiefly to history and science, 
was of later origin ; but may be regarded as closely allied to the criti- 
eism of beauty, inasmuch as it is regulated by analogous principles, and 
minds which possess a high degree of judgment in the one are generally 
capable of forming right apprehensions in the other. One principle, im- 
portant to be noted, is equally true of each : that, whether beauty or 
truth is the aim, extensive knowledge of the subject, as well as education 
and practice, is necessary in the sound critic ; — yet knowledge alone ia 
not sufficient ; the abihty to discriminate and judge correctly is still 
more important, and this no knowledge, however great, can supply. To 
be acquainted with a rule, and to be able to apply it in difficult cases, 
are entirely different things. 

§ 399. Literary Criticisjn. — We have here to do with 
criticism, only so far as it pertains to the works of literature. 
The rules of good writing having been deduced in the manner 
above described, it is the business of the critic to employ 
them as a standard, by a judicious comparison with which he 
may distinguish what is beautiful and what is faulty in every 
performance. He must look at the sentiments expressed, and 
judge of their correctness and consistency ; he must view the 
performance as a whole, and see whether it clearly and proper- 
ly embodies the ideas intended to be conveyed ; he must ex- 
amine whether there is sufficient variety in the style, must 
note its beauties, and show, if it is susceptible of improve- 
ment, in what that improvement should consist ; he must see 
whether the principles of syntax or rhetoric are violated ; and, 
finally, must extend his scrutiny even to the individual words 

selves ? How is the astonishing progress of the ancients in the fine arts explained ? In 
literature, what was their highest aim ? Accordingly, to what did their criticisms re- 
late? To what does the criticism of truth chiefly refer? What is the connection be- 
tween it and the criticism of beauty ? What important principle is equally truo 
of both ? 

§ 399. With what department of criticism have we here to do ? Point out the va- 
rious duties of the literary critic. By what must he be guided ? To what should his 


employed. And all this must be done without allowing preju- 
dice to bias his decisions, or the desire of displaying his own 
knowledge to lead him from the legitimate pursuit of his 

The critic miist be guided by feeling as well as rules ; otherwise, his 
efforts will result in a pedantry as useless as it is distasteful. He should 
not, on account of minor imperfections, condemn, as a whole, a periorm- 
ance which evinces in its author deep and correct feeling, or possesses 
other merits equally important. He should carefully draw a distinction 
between what is good and what is bad, giving full credit for the one and 
showing how to correct the other. His criticisms should not be con- 
fined to Httle faults and errors, which no writer, however careful, has 
been able entirely to avoid. A true critic will rather dwell on excel- 
lencies than on imperfections ; will seek to discover the concealed beau- 
ties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worthy 
of their observation. This, indeed, is a more difficult task, and involves 
a more delicate taste and a profounder knowledge, than indiscriminate 
fault-finding. As Dryden has justly remarked, 

" Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow ; 
He who would search for pearls, must dive below." 

§ 400. Abuse. — The most exquisite words and finest strokes 
of an author are those which often appea,r most exceptionable 
to a man deficient in learning or delicacy of taste ; and it is 
these that a captious and undistinguishing critic generally at- 
tacks with the greatest violence. In this case, recourse is 
often had to ridicule. A little wit is capable of making a 
beauty as well as a blemish the subject of derision. Though 
such treatment of an author may have its effect with some, who 
erroneously think that the sentiment criticised is ridiculou? 
instead of the wit with which it is attacked, yet in the intelli- 
gent reader it will naturally produce indignation or disgust. 

When, moreover, a critic frequently indulges in such a course, he is 
apt to find fault with every thing against which He can bring this fa- 
criticisms not be confined ? On what will the true critic dwell ? Is the discovery of 
beauti€>s rs defects the more difficult task? What couplet of Dryden's illustrates 
this point ? 

§ 400. What is said of an author's most exquisite words and finest strokes ? To 
ff-hat does the malicious critic often have recourse ? What is said of the use of wit or 
ridicule in criticism ? What habit is a critic who indulges in ridicule apt to lorm ? How 
18 pleasantry of this kind characterized ? ^ 

1 4* 


vonte weapon to bear ; and often censures a passage, not because tberc 
is any thing wrong in it, but merely from the fact that it affords him an 
opportunity of being merry at another's expense. Such pleasantry is 
unseasonable, as well as disingenuous and unfair. 

•§ 401. Ohjectio?is. — The objection most commonly urged 
against criticism is that it abridges the natural liberty of 
genius, and imposes shackles which are fatal to freedom of 
thought and expression. This argument has been -noticed 
before. It is sufficient here to say that the cutting off of 
faults cannot be called an abridgment of freedom ; or, if it can, 
it is well that such freedom should be abridged. The reason- 
able author is not unwilliug to have his work examined by the 
principles of good taste and sound understanding ; and this is 
all that the true critic proposes to do. There may, indeed, be 
some unreasonable critics who carry their strictures to the 
verge of personal abuse ; but their violence gives no more 
ground for objecting to healthy and proper criticism than the 
fact that there are unsound reasoners affords for inveighing 
against all logic. 

A more specious objection is sometimes made, which is 
aimed particularly at the principles on which criticism is 
founded. These, it is charged, are arbitrary and untrue, be- 
cause it sometimes happens that what the critic condemns the 
public receive with approbation. Were this often the case, 
there would be ground to doubt whether the art of the critic, 
and indeed all the departments of rhetoric, are not resting on 
a false foundation. Such instances, though very rare, do 
sometimes occur. It must be admitted that works containing 
gross violations of the rules of art have attained a general and 
even a lasting reputation. Such are the plays of Shakspeare, 
which, considered as dramatic poems, are irregular in the 
highest degree. But it must be observed that they have 
gained public admiration, not by their transgressions of the 

§401. What Is most commonly urged as an objection against criticism ? Howls 
this objection answered? What more specious objection is sometimes advanced ! 
What admission is made ? Explain how this fact furnishes no argument in favor of tho 


laws of criticism, but in spite of such transgressions. The 
beauties they possess, in points where they conform to the 
rules of art, are sufficient to overshadow their blemishes and 
inspire a degree of satisfaction superior to the disgust arising 
from the latter. Shakspeare pleases, not by bringing the 
transactions of many years into one play, not by his mixture 
jf tragedy and comedy in the same piece, nor by his strained 
thoughts and affected witticisms. These we regard as blem- 
ishes, traceable to the tone of the age in«which he lived. But 
these faults are forgotten in his animated and masterly repre- 
sentations of character, his lively descriptions, his striking and 
original conceptions, and above all his nice appreciation of 
the emotions and passions of the human heart ; beauties which 
true criticism teaches us to value no less than nature enables 
us to feel. 

We have not here the space for an example of extended 
criticism. Blair, whose lucid pen, correct taste, sound judg- 
ment, and extensive reading, eminently fitted him for the task, 
furnishes in his lectures (xx-xxiv) several admirable papers 
on the style of Addison and Swift. To these, the student 
who wishes specimens of critical writing extended to some 
length, will do well to refer. We here present a brief exami- 
nation of two passages, in which verbal criticism is exem- 

1. "Man, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched being. 
Launched alone on the sea of life, he would soon suffer shipwreck." 

We have here a proposition strikingly true, expressed in clear and 
forcible terms. The first word, "man", is universally employed by the 
best authors as an appellative for the human race. " Man, considered 
in himseK", signifies, the human family viewed as individuals inde- 
pendent of each other. In this state, says the author, he is " a very 
helpless being ". The term " helpless " here implies the want of power 
to succor himself: and it is evident that, if man were left to himself in 
infancy, he would perish ; and that, if altogether detached from society 
m manhood, it would be only with great difficulty that he could procure 
for himself either the comforts or the necessaries of life. 

objector. Whose productions are instanced as having gained a world-wide popularity 
In spite of thoir irregularities ? To what is this popularity attributable ? 


But man, "considered in himself", is not only a very Iielpless, but 
also " a very wi'etclied being ". It will be observed that additional em- 
phasis is here communicated by the repetition of the article and the 
-adverb. He is not merely a very helpless and wretched being, but " a 
very helpless and a wry wretched beiog". The term '/ wretched " ia 
generally used as synonymous with unhappy or miserable ; but, in this 
passage, it expresses the meaning of the author more precisely than 
either of these words would have done. Unhappy may denote merely 
the uneasiness of a man who may be happy if he pleases ; the discon- 
tented are unhappy, because they think others more prosperous than 
themselves. Miserable is applied to persons whose minds are tormented 
by the stings of conscience, agitated '*by the violence of passion, or 
harassed by worldly vexations ; and, accordingly, we say that wicked 
men are miserable. But, " wretched ", derived from the Saxon word for 
an exile, literally signifies cast away, or abandoned. Hence appears the 
proper application of the word in this sentence : man, if left to himself, 
might indeed exist in a solitary state without being either unhappy or 
miserable, provided his bodily wants were supplied; though he cer- 
tainly would be a very " wretched " being, when deprived of all the 
comforts of social life, and all the endearments of friends and kindred. 

Having thus stated his proposition, the author illustrates it with a 
metaphor. The figure, though appropriate, is trite ; life has, from time 
immemorial, been compared to a sea, and man to a voyager. An origi- 
nal comparison, which a little thought could hardly have failed to sug- 
gest, would have been more striking and effective. 

2. " Education is the most excellent endowment, as it enlarges the mind, promotes 
its powers, and renders a man estimable in the eyes of society." 

This sentence, though it contains many pompous words, is a remark- 
able example of a style which lacks propriety. Education is not an 
" endowment " ; for an endowment is a natural gift, such as taste or 
imagination. Education does not " enlarge " the " mind " ; though it 
may, in a figurative sense, enlarge its capacities. Neither can it "pro- 
mote " the mental " powers " themselves ; but it may promote their im- 
provement. For does it follow, that, because a man has improved his 
mind by education, he is on that account " estimable ", esteem being pro- 
duced only by intrinsic worth ; but a good education may render a man 
respectable. The sentiment which the author intended to convey should 
have been expressed thus ; " Education is the most excellent attainment, 
as it enlarges the capacities of the mind, promotes their improvement, 
and renders a man respectable in the eyes of society." 





§ 402. Up to the present point, the attention of the stu 
dent has been directed chiefly to the dress in which he should 
clothe his thoughts ; we now proceed to the thoughts them- 
selves, and those practical exercises in composition, to prepare 
for which has been the object of the preceding pages. 

The process of evolving thoughts in connection with any- 
particular subject is known as Invention. It is this that fur- 
nishes the material of compcsition, and on which, in a great 
measure, its value depends. 

Here, moreover, lies most of the difficulty which the young expe- 
rience in writing. Let them have definite thoughts, and they will gen- 
erally find it easy to express themselves. But how are they to deal 
with intangible things ; to form the necessary conceptions ; and to 
insure that, when formed, they wiU be worthy of being embodied and 

§ 402. Up to the present point, to what has the student's attention been directed? 
To what do we now proceed ? What is Invention ? What does it furnish ? What is 
said of the difficulty whiah the young experience in writing ? 


preserved in language ? This question we now proceed to answer ; not 
claiming that the want of intellectual ability can be supplied by this or 
any other course ; yet believing that those to whom composition is dis- 
tasteful, will, by pursuing the plan here prescribed, find most of their 
difficulty vanish, and that all who fairly test the system will improve 
inore rapidly than they could do if left to chance or their own unaided 

§ 403. As soon as a subject has been selected, tbe first 
thing required is thought, — careful, deliberate, concentrated, 
thought. When Newton was asked how he had succeeded in 
making so many great discoveries, he replied, '.' By thinking." 
This labor the composer must undergo ; no instruction or aid 
from foreign sources can take its place. It must he patient 
and deliberate thought, moreover, not hasty or superficial ; it 
must be original thought, not a reproduction of the ideas of 
others ; it must be well-directed thought, fixed on a definite 
object, and not allowed to wander from one thing to another ; 
it must be exhaustive thought, embracing the subject in all its 

When this task has been fairly performed, the next step 
is in order. This is an Analysis of the subject, or a drawing 
out of the various heads which suggest themselves to the 
mind as appropriate to the theme of discourse. Such heads 
will of course differ according to the subject under considera- 
tion, as will appear when we treat in turn of the different 
kinds of composition. There is so general a resemblance be- 
tween them, however, that from an example or two there will 
be no difi&culty in understanding what is here meant. 

Suppose, for instance, that Anger is the subject. On a little reflec- 
tion, such questions as the following will suggest themselves to the com- 
poser ; and, as they occur, he notes them down. 

What is meant by the term Anger ? — What visible effect does this 
passion produce on the person indulging in it ? — How does he feel, when 
Lis fit of passion has subsided ? — ^ISIorally speaking, what is the charac* 

§ 403. "When a subject has been selected, what is the first thing required ? "What 
kind of thought is liere referred to ? To whart did Newton attribute his discoveries ? 
What step is next ic order ? What is meant by analyzing a subject ? Suppose Anger 
\o be the theme, what questions will suggest themselves to the composer ? What will 


ter of this passion? — What are its usual effects on indi\dduals ? — To 
what may the angry man be compared ? — What examples does history 
afford ? — WTiat has been said by others respecting Anger ? — What are 
the best modes of regulating this passion, or of avoiding its occasions ? — < 
What are its effects on society ? — Draw a contrast between a man of 
calm, placid, temper, and one of a hasty, irritable, disposition. — Show 
the advantage, under as many heads as possible, of regulating angry 

Here then is the germ of a composition. Abundant material is now 
at hand. Thoughts beget thoughts ; from these ideas, others will natu- 
rally spring during the process of writing. Before proceeding to this, 
however, it wiU be necessary to arrange these heads in their proper 
order, so that a logical connection may be preserved throughout the 
whole. The leading subject of inquiry must be kept constantly in 
view, and all thoughts must be rejected that do not bear directly upon 
it. Unity is as necessary in an extended composition as m a single 
sentence. The time to ensure sequence and unity of parts is when the 
Analysis is being revised. Beginning with a general introduction, ar- 
ranging properly, enlarging on some of the heads by following out the 
trains of thought suggested, and closing with practical reflections, the 
analysis, as improved by the writer, would stand as follows : — 


L Introduction. The passions in general ; relation which anger sus- 
tains to the rest. 

n. Definition. What anger is. A proverb found in various lan- 
guages says it is " a short-lived madness." Show why, 

1. A man in a violent fit of anger looks as if he were insane ; show 
in what respects. 

2. His mind is beyond the control of reason and judgment ; it is 
like a chariot without a driver, or a ship in a storm without 
a pilot. 

8. He says and does things so unreasonable that they must be the 
result of temporary derangement He may be compared to a 
tornado, a mountain torrent, or a conflagration, to whose fury 
none can set bounds, and whose disastrous effects are visited 
even on the innocent. 

4. The world, and even the law, in a measure, deal with him as if 
he were a maniac. 

5. Even the angry man himself admits that he has no control over 
his reason, deeming it sufficient apology for the most unseemly 
blow or word to say that it was done in a passion. 

these qaestions furnish ? Before proceeding to write out the matter they suggest, -whal 
Is it necessary to do ? "What must be kept in view ? "What is essential in an extended 
composition, as well as in a single sentence ? What is the time for insuring sequence 
and unity of parts ? As properly arranged and ready for the writer, give an analysis 
of an Essay on Anger. 


IIL Feelings which follow its indulgence. Mortification ; hmniliation 

regret at what may have been done under the influence of pas. 

sion. " An angry man," says Publius Syrus, " is again angry 

with himself when he returns to reason." He may be likened to 

a scorpion which stings itself as well as others. 
IV. Historical Mlustrations. Cain and Abel ; Alexander the Great 

and Clitus ; &c. 
V. Moral Character of Anger, At variance with the principles 

of the Gospel. " Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous,' 

Prov. xxvii., 4. 
VI. Quotations. What do others say of anger ? 

A passionate man rides a horse that runs away with him. 

Maunder' s Proverbs. 

Anger begins with folly, and ends with repentance. — Ibid. 

Rage is the mania of the mind. — Ibid. 

A passionate man scourgeth himself with his own scorpions. 

Ray's Proverbs. 

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes. — Cato. 

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness, as it appears well in the 

weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns, children, old folks, 

sick folks. — Lord Bacon. 

When passion enters at the fore-gate, wisdom goes out at the 

postern. — Melding^s Proverbs. 

Anger and haste hiader good counsel. — Ibid. 

No man is free who does not command himself. — Pythagoras. 
VII. Effects of Anger on Society, 

1. In individuals, leads to crime, as in the above examples. 
Makes one enemies, and becomes a source of adversity. Draw 
a contrast between a man of placid temper and one of hasty 

2. In families and communities, produces hard feelings and un- 

3. In nations, causes war and all its attendant evils. 
VIIL Best Modes of regulating this passion. 

IX. Conclusion. Our own duty in this respect, and what we shall 
gain by controlling our angry feelings. 

Here, in its proper form, is an abstract of what the writer intends 
to say. Of course, the words and formal divisions used above wiU not 
appear in his composition. They are merely the means of ensuring a 
proper arrangement and exhaustive examination of the subject. The 
Invention is now in a great measure done ; aU that remains is to embody 
these thoughts in proper language, according to the rules and principles 
already considered at length, and to interweave with them such further 
matter as presents itsel£ This is called Amplification, and will be con- 

In a composition from this analysis, what will not appear? For what are they 
used ? "What now remains ? "What is the process called ? By what must it be fol- 
lowed? Enumerate the three steps to be taken in composing. "What may somfi 


sidered in the next lesson. Followed by a careful revision, it completea 
the process of composing ; which consists, to sum up our remarks, of 
three steps : — 

L Roughly drafting aU the thoughts suggested by the subject, 
n. Arranging and enlarging these into a formal Analysis. 

IIL Amplifying this Analysis into a composition. 

To some, this three-fold process may seem to involve unnecessary 
labor ; but experience proves that these steps can all be properly taken, 
and the composition written in less time than by the common method 
of attempting to write without any guide of the kind here proposed. 
It will, at the same time, be found a far more satisfactory and interest- 
ing mode of proceeding ; and will result in the production of a more 
meritorious composition. Those who are in the habit of writing much, 
almost invariably make a preliminary Analysis of their subject, no mat- 
ter what they are about to compose. The lawyer always draws up a 
brief of his points ; and the minister, a corresponding abstract of his 
sermon. It is expected, therefore, that, in every case, the student, be- 
fore attempting to write his exercise, wiU draw up the two Analyses, as 
here suggested. 

Exercise. — Draw up careful and exhaustive Analyses, 
on the plan here described, of the subjects. Education and 



§ 404. The analysis completed, the next step is Ampli 
FfCATioN. This, as already explained, consists in enlarging 
on the ideas before expressed under the various heads, throw- 
ing in appropriate additional matter, and forming a complete 
and consistent whole. 

think of this three-fold process? What does exj^erience prove with regard to it? 
What is Bald of those who are in the habit of writing ? What is expected of the 

§ 404. After analyzing the subject and properly arranging the heads, what is the 


The following example will serve to illustrate the process to which 
we refer. A brief and simple proposition is here made the basis of 
several successive amplifications, in each of which some new fact or 
circumstance is added. 

1. Alexander conquered the Persians. 

2. Alexander the Great, the son of Philip of Macedon, conquered 
the Persians. 

3. Alexander the Great, the son of Philip of Macedon, being chosen 
generalissimo of the Greeks, destroyed the empire of the Persians. 

4. Alexander the Great, the son of Philip of Macedon, being chosen 
generalissimo of the Greeks, destroyed the empire of the Persians, the 
inveterate enemies of Greece. 

6. About 330 years before Christ, Alexander the Great, the son of 
Philip of Macedon, being chosen generalissimo of the Greeks, destroyed 
the empire of the Persians, the inveterate enemies of Greece. 

6. About 330 years before Christ, Alexander the Great, the son of 
Philip of Macedon, after a long series of splendid victories, succeeded 
Ln demolishing the empire of the Persians, the ancient and inveterate 
enemies of Grecian liberty. 

Analogous to such an amplification of a simple proposition, is the 
production of a composition from an analysis like that furnished in the 
last lesson. "When the writer passes from one head to another, ha 
should commence a new paragraph ; that is, leaving blank the remain- 
der of the line on which he has been writing, he should pass to the next, 
and commence about an inch from the left edge of the page. This 
division is important. A distinct portion of a composition relating to a 
particular point, whether consisting of one sentence or of more, shoidd 
invariably constitute a distinct paragraph. 

Of course, different writers, in the expression of their ideas, wiU 
amplify in different ways, according to their respective turns of mind 
and the amount of thought they bestow on the subject. Yet the gen- 
eral principles stated below will apply in a majority of cases, and may 
be found of service. 

§405. As regards the introduction, it must be short, 
pointed, and appropriate. On this part of the composition 
much depends, for it is all-important that a good impression 
be made at the outset. The reader's mind, not yet occupie 
with facts, or fairly engaged in the consideration of the subject, 
is directed chiefly to the words and constructions employed ; 

next step ? In what does amplification consist ? Give an example in which a simple 
proposition is made the basis of five successive amplifications. To such an amplification 
what is analogous ? What is the meaning of commencing a new paragraph ? When 
should a new paragraph be commenced ? 

§ 405. What must be the character of introductions ? Why is it important that the^ 


and, if it finds ground for severe criticism, will naturally be 
prejudiced against the author and his work. If the composi- 
tion is to be short, the introduction should be brief in propor- 
tion. In some cases, a formal introduction is unnecessary, 
and the author at once lays down the proposition he intends 
to prove, or defines the subject of which he proposes to treat. 
In this case, the first sentence should be brief, forcible, and 

§ 406. An efi"ective introduction is frequently made by 
commencing with a general proposition, proceeding thence to 
a particular statement, and following this with an individual 
application ; as in the following paragraph from The Spectator, 
which would be an appropriate introduction for an essay on 
'^ The Art of Music, as practised by the Ancient Hebrews :'' — 

{General Assertion.) "MteiC. among those who were styled the 
chosen people, was a religious art. {Particular assertion.) The songs of 
Sion, which we have reason to believe were in high repute among the 
courts of the Eastern monarchs, were nothing else but psalms, and 
pieces of poetry, that adored or celebrated the Supreme Being. {Individ- 
ual assertion.) The greatest conqueror in this holy nation, after the 
manner of the old G-reeian lyrics, did not only compose the words of 
his divine odes, but generally set them to music himself; after which, 
his works, though they were consecrated to the tabernacle, became the 
national entertainment, as well as the devotion, of his people." 

§ 407. The commonest and easiest introduction, however, is 
one in which a remark is made respecting the general class to 
which the object under consideration belongs ; from which re- 
mark there is an easy transition to an analogous statement 
respecting the particular case in question. An example of 
such an introduction follows : — 

{General Statement.) " Few institutions can contribute more to pre- 
serve civilization, and promote moral and intellectual improvement 
among all ranks of people, than the establishment of public lectures in 
every part of the kingdom, periodically repeated after a short interval 
{Particular Statement.) Such is the light in which are to be considered 

itould be well written ? To what must the length of the introduction be proportioned? 
Instead of presenting a formal introduction, to what does the writer sometimes pro- 
joed ? In this case, what should be the character of the first sentence ? 

§ 406. How is an eflfective introduction frequently made ? Give an example. 

§ 407. Describe the commonest introduction. Give an example. Give the sab«toDca 
>f an introduction appropriate to the essay on Anger analyzed in the last lesson. 


the discourses appointed by the wisdom of the Church to be everywhere 
held on the recurrence of the seventh day. By these, the meanest and 
most illiterate are enabled to hear moral and philosophical treatises on 
every thing which concerns their several duties, without expense, and 
without solicitation." 

An introduction of this character would be appropriate to the essay 
on Anger, analyzed in the last lesson; something, for instance, like the 
following : — 

Every passion in the breast of man, when allowed to control his ac- 
tion, unrestrained by the conservative power of reason, is attended 
with the unhappiest consequences, both to himself and the community 
in which he Uves. If this is true of the passions in general, even of 
those which are comparatively mild in their nature, how emphatically 
is it the case with Anger, which, more than all others, disdains the con- 
trol of good sense and a sound understanding. 

§ 408. A happy allusion to some story, tradition, or his- 
torical fact, is among the most pleasing, and therefore success- 
ful, introductions that can be employed. When the circum- 
stance to which reference is made is well known, the mere 
allusion is sufficient ; as when we say, " There are some to 
whose charity ties of blood are the only open sesame^ The 
story of " The Forty Thieves," in which these words oc- 
cur as the charm used in opening the door of the robbers' 
cave, is familiar to every one, and therefore an explanation is 
unnecessary. If, however, there is a likelihood that some may 
be ignorant of the subject alluded to, it is well briefly to tell 
the story, and then to apply it in the case in question. This 
is gracefully done in the following example, which would be 
an admirable introduction for the subject, " Liberty to be 
cherished, under whatever form it may appear" : — 

" Ariosto tells a pretty story of a fairy, who, by some mysterious law 
of her nature, was condemned to appear at certain seasons in the form 
of a foul and poisonous snake. Those who injured her during this pe- 
riod of her disguise were forever excluded from participation in the 
blessings she bestowed. But to those, who, in spite of her loathsome as- 
pect, pitied and protected her, she afterwards revealed herseK in the 
beautiful and celestial form which was natural to her; accompanied 
their footsteps, granted all their wishes, filled their houses with wealth, 
made them happy in love, and victorious in war. Such a spirit is Lib- 

§ 408. What is mentioned as one of the most pleasing introductions ? In what cas6 
is the mere allusion sufficient ? When is an explanation necessary ? Give an example 
0f a hajpy introductory allusion. 


erty. At times she takes tlie foi-m of a hateful reptile. She grovels, she 
hisses, she stings. But woe to those who in disgust shall venture tr 
crush her I And happy are those, who, having dared to receive her in 
her degraded and frightful shape, shall at length be rewarded by her in 
the time of her beauty and glory." 

§ 409. A definition may be amplified by presenting the 
meaning of the term defined under difi'erent forms, if there is 
danger of its being misunderstood ; by stating any erroneous 
impression respecting it against wbich it may be necessary to 
guard ; or, negatively, by pointing cut in what it does not con- 
sist. Historical illustrations and quotations may be multi- 
plied according to the reading of the student. Arguments for 
or against a proposition may be extended by enumerating the 
particular instances from which the general truth has been de- 
duced, in which case the process is known as Induction ; or 
by an appeal to the statements of , others, which is called the 
argument from Testimony ; or by referring to what is proved or 
acknowledged to be true in similar cases, which is the argu- 
ment from Analogy. Under the head of effects, we may ex- 
tend our observations to collateral consequences ; or contrast 
the subject under discussion with its opposite, as regards the 
results which follow from each. The conclusion, in many 
cases, makes a practical application of the subject; which may 
be diversified by appealing to the conscience, or sense of right 
and wrong • to the selfish propensities, on which considerations 
of expediency act ; to the common sense, which weighs what 
is said, and opens the mind of the candid enquirer to convic- 
tion ; or tc the feelings, which awaken the sympathy, and 
persuade, though they may fail' to convince. 

§ 409. How may a definition be amplified ? What is said of historical illustratioia 
and quotations ? In what three ways may arguments be extended ? Under the head 
of effects, how may we amplify ? What does the conclusion in many cases do ? How 
may it be diversified ? 




§ 410. Revision of Compositions. — When a composition has 
been prepared according to the suggestions in the last two 
lessons, the next thing is to revise it. Before this is at- 
tempted, a short' interval should be allowed to elapse, so that 
the writer may, in a measure, forget the expressions he has used, 
and criticise his work as severely and impartially as if it were 
the production of another. 

To ensure time for this impoi^tant examination, at least a week should 
De allowed for the preparation of each exercise ; the first part of which 
should be appropriated by the student to its composition, and the re- 
mainder to its careful correction. In revising, each sentence should be 
read aloud slowly and distinctly, that the ear may aid the eye in de- 
tecting faults. The principles laid down for the promotion of Propriety, 
Precision, Strength, &o., should be strictly followed. Whatever violates 
them must be altered, no matter what the expense of time or trouble. 
Even such passages as seem doubtful to the writer, although he may be 
unable to detect in them any positive error, it wiU be safest to change. 
The commonest faults are solecisms, tautologies, redundancies, and a 
want of unity ; for the detection of these, therefore, the reviser should 
be constantly on the alert. Having satisfied himself that, in these par- 
ticulars, his sentences wiU pass criticism, he should next seek to in- 
crease their effect and enhance their beauty, by improving, polishmg, 
and ornamenting his style, when this can be done without the appear- 
ance of affectation. He should ensure that a proper connection is main- 
tained between the parts, supplying omitted matter that may be essential 
to a proper understanding of the train of thought, and omitting what- 
ever of a foreign nature he may at first inadvertently have introduced. 
A clean copy is now to be made, in doing which regard must be had 
3 neatness of chirography. A careless habit of writing is apt to lead 
to a careless habit of composing, a careless habit of study, and a careless 
habit of life. What is worth doing at all, it has been remarked, 
IS worth doing well ; and, therefore, though it may seem to some a tri- 

§ 410. After a composition is written, what is next necessary ? What is said with 
respect to allowing an interval between the act of composing and revising ? Describe 
the prooaei, of 'Qvisiou. In making a clean copy, what must be regarded ? What la 


fling matter, the careful student will see that his exercise is presented in 
the neatest possible form. The most convenient paper, as regards size, 
is the ordinary letter sheet. A margin of an inch and a half should be 
allowed on each side for the remarks of the teacher. The subject should 
occupy a line by itself, should be equally distant from both margins, 
and should be written in a larger hand than the rest. Attention must 
be paid to the spelling and punctuation. When there is not room for 
the whole of a word at the end of a line, it must be divided after one 
of its syllables, and the hyphen must connect the separated parts aa 
directed in § 202. 


§411. Correction of Compositions. — Most teachers have 
their own system of examining and correcting compositions ; 
those who have not, may find the following suggestions of ser- 
vice : — 

L Kead the esercises presented in the presence of the class, and in- 
vite criticism from all. The credits allowed should be based, as well 
on the promptitude and soundness of the remarks thus made, as on the 
merits of the performances submitted. It is surprising to see how soon 
this simple exercise develops a critical taste, and what a salutary effect 
this taste in turn produces on the style of those in whom it is awakened. 
Underhne words in which errors of any kind occur, and require the 
student to correct them himself. Eemarks on the style may with ad- 
vantage be made by the teacher, and their substance embodied in the 
margins left for that purpose. 

n. In certain words, errors in orthography are very common ; busi- 
ness is apt to be written buisness ; separate, seperate ; believe, beleive, &e. 
When such errors occur, let the words be spelled by the whole class in 
concert. If, as is often the case, special difficulty is found in spelling 
particular words, it is well for the teacher to keep a record of the lat- 
ter, and to give them to the class from time to time as a lesson in or- 

m. In correcting compositions, do not criticise so closely or severely 
as to discourage the pupil ; but adapt your remarks to his degree of ad- 
vancement. Let your corrections, in every case, be in harmony with 

said of a careless habit of writing? What suggestions are made with respect to 
paper, &c. ? 


the scope and style of the exercise. With beginners, it is well to maka 
no other alterations than such as are absolutely required. As the com- 
poser advances, his performances may be more closely criticised, and his 
attention may be directed to those nicer points, to which, at an earlier 
period, it would be injudicious to refer. 

IV. After a criticism by the class and remarks by the teacher, the 
student should make the required corrections, and submit them for ap- 
proval. He should then copy his exercise in a book provided for the 
purpose, a comparison of the different parts of which will at any time 
ehow what progress he has made. 

Y. In correcting, the student will save time and trouble by availing 
himself of some of the marks used in the correction of proof, and ex- 
Iiibited on a specimen sheet at the close of this volume. 

I. Amplify, according to the example in § 404, in five or 
more successive sentences, each of the following simple 
propositions : — 

1. Alfred the Great died. 

2. Richard Coeur de Lion engaged in one of the Crusades. 

3. A storm wrecked the Spanish Armada. 

4. Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. 

5. Can we doubt the immortality of the soul ? 

II. According to the example in § 406, construct an introduc- 
tion asserting, 

(^Generally) that a knowledge of music is becoming rapidly ex- 
tended in this country; {Particularly) that singing and^'instru- 
mental music are studied in different sections and by aU grades 
of society ; and {Individually) that almost every household con- 
tains some performer. These propositions must be amplified, and 
constitute not less than three distinct sentences. 

III. "Write, on the same plan, an introduction laying down 
the proposition that dissimulation is one of the promi- 
nent faults of the present generation. 

IV. According to the examjple in § 407, write introductions 


1.. That a virtue carried to an extreme becomes a fault ; and 
that, therefore, by those who do not look closely enough to 
discern the line which distinguishes the two, they are apt to be 
confounded : apply this in the case oi frugality and parsimony, 

2. The general consequence of becoming familiar with any thing, 
and the particular consequence of becoming . familiar with 

3. The fact that every tongue may be regarded as an index to the 
peculiarities of the people speaking it, and that this is the case 
with the Enghsh language. 

LESSON LXX. — Exercise in Amplification. 

Prepare an Essay on Anger from the analysis in Lesson 

LESSON" LXXI. — Exercise in Ampldioation. 

Write an Essay on Education from the analysis already 

LESSON LXXn. — Exercise on Plain and Figurative Language. 

Compose two sentences for each of the following words ; 
one of which shall contain it in its literal, the other in its 
figurative, signification : — 

EXAMPLES.— "Weigh. {Literal.'] On weighing the goods he had purchased that 
moming at the market, he found they were deficient by at least two pounds. 

[I^igurative.] After well weighing the matter in his mind, he determined upon 
pursuing the plan he had first intended. 

BiTTEB. \LiteralP^ Among the fruits we met with in this country, was a sort of 'biir 
tar apple, very disagreeable to the taste. 

[Figu7Xitive.] He is now no longer the gay, thoughtless creature of former years 
his face is furrowed, his look haggard and anxious, and his heart a prey to the bitter 
cet anguish. 

Rest — stand — watch — cover — mask — idle — deep — sleep — 
monument — constellation — refulgent — overwhelm — sepulchre 
— response — burn — discover — observation — entertain — carna- 
tion — illuminate — eradicate — torment — labyrinth — emanate — 



LESSOIf LXXni.— Exercise in Extended Simile. 

Trace, at length, the points of resemblance between thg 
given subjects that follow, carrying out the comparison as in 
the Example : — 

EXAMPLE.— Old age, Sunset. Old age has been called the sunset of life ; it Ifl 
then that the mind, free from the agitation and tumult of the passions, is calm and 
tranquil, like the still serenity of the evening, when the busy sound of labor is hushed, 
and the glare of tho meridian sun has passed away. The soul of the just man, conscioua 
of Ms own Integrity, like the glorious orb enveloped in those mellow tints which are 
then reflected from it in a thousand hues, sinks into a peaceful slumber, again to rise in 
brighter splendor, and renew in another world the course destined for it by the Al- 
mighty Euler of the universe. 

1. Youth — morning. 2. Life — an ocean. 3. Joy and 
sorrow — light and shade. 4. Knowledge — a hill. 5. Earth — 
a mother. 6. Uncultivated genius — an unpolished diamond. 
7. Neglected talent — a flower in the desert. 8. Death of a 
child — blighting of a blossom. 9. Charity diffusing its bless- 
ings — the sun imparting light and heat. 10. Honor appear- 
ing through a mean habit — the sun breaking through clouds. 

LESSON LXXIV. — Exercise in Extended SmrcE. 

Select natural objects to which the following abstract 
qualities may be compared, and carry out the simile as in the 
Example in the last Lesson : — 

Adversity. Ambition. Peace. Death. 

Prosperity. Ignorance. "War. Memory. 

Melancholy. Calumny. Sm. Justice, 

LESSOI^ LXXV. — Exercise in Metaphorical Language. 

Compose sentences containing the following words used, 
metaphorically, in the sense of the words placed after them in 
italics : — 

EXAMPLE.— Path, Career. Notwithstanding all the temptations held out to him, 
DO resolutely pursued the path of integrity, untouched alike by the follies and licen« 
tiouBuess of a corrupt court. 

1, Crown — glory. 2. Dregs — mce. 3. Cloak — cover" 
ing. 4. Yoke — power. 5. Abyss — ruin. 6. Spring — 


source. 7. Fruits — results. 8. Curb — restraint. 9. 
Blow — affljiction. 10. Kod — tyranny. 11. Yeil — con- 
ceal. 12. Paint — describe. 13. Blush — hecome red. 14. 
Drink — ahsorh. 15. Seal — close. 1 6. Dance — move grace- 
fully. 17. Steal — move silently. 18. Frown upon — testi- 
fy disapprobation of . 19. Fly — move swiftly. 20. Scum 
— unworthy portion. 

LESSON LXXVI.— Exercise m Axlegort. 

Two examples of Allegory, extracted from The Spectator 
are presented below. The one is an apologue, or fable, which, 
to convey a great moral truth, represents the lower animals as 
possessing reason, and inanimate objects as endowed with life 
and intelligence ; the second is an allegory proper, which, 
with the same end in view, personifies the abstract qualities. 
Imitate the latter model in allegories representing, 
I. Truth and Falsehood. 

n. Diligence and Idleness. 

in. Modesty and Assurance. 

rV. Man, a voyager, addressed on the one hand by Pleasure, on the 
other by Virtue. 

THE complaining DROP. 
"A drop of water fell out of a cloud into the sea ; and, finding itself lost in such an 
Jinmensity of fluid matter, broke out intt.- the following reflection :— ' Alas I what an in- 
considerable creature am I in this prodigious ocean of waters ! My existence is of no 
concern to the universe ; I am reduced to a kind of nothing, and am less than the least 
of the works of God.' It so happsned that an oyster, which lay in the neighborhood 
of this drop, chanced to gape and swallow it up in the midst of this its humble soliloquy. 
The drop lay a great while hardening in the shell, until by degrees it was ripened into 
a pearl ; which, falling into the hands of a diver, after a long series of adventures, is at 
present that famous pearl which is fixed on the top of the Persian diadem." 


{£'rom an Allegory entitled " Tlie Paradise of FooW) 
"At last we approached a bower, at the entrance of which Error was seated. Th<j 
trees were thick woven, and the place where he sat artfully contrived to darken him a 
little. He was disguised in a whitish robe, which he had put on that he might appear 
to us with a nearer resemblance to Truth ; and as she has a light whereby she mani- 
Sasts the beauties of nature to the eyes of her adorers, so he had provided himself with 
a magical wand, that he might do something in imitation of it, and please with dclu- 
Mons. This he lifted solemnly, and, muttering to himself bid the glories which he kept 
fludeT onehantment to appear before us. Immediately wo cast our eyes on that part 


of the sky to which he pointed, and ohserved a thin blue prospect ; which cleared as 
mountains in a summer morning when the mist goes off, and the palace of Vanity ap- 
peared to sight. ***** 

" At the gate, the travellers neither met with a porter, nor waited till one should 
appear ; every one thought his merits a suflicient passport, and pressed forward. In 
the hall we met with several phantoms, that roved amongst us and ranged the company 
according to their sentiments. There was decreasing Honor, thiit had nothing to show 
but an old coat of his ancestor's achievements. There was Ostentation, that made him- 
eelf his own constant subject; and Gallantry, strutting upon his tiptoes. At the upper 
end of the hall stood a throne, whose canopy glittered with all the riches that gayety 
could contrive to lavish on it ; and between the gilded arms sat Yanity, decked in tha 
peacock's feathers, and acknowledged for another Venus by her votaries. The boy who 
stood beside her for a Cupid, and who made the world to bow before her, was called 
Self-Conceit. His eyes had every now and then a cast inwards, to the neglect of all 
objects about him ; and the arms which he made use of for conquest, were borrowed from 
those against whom he had a design. The arrow which he shot at the soldier was 
fledged from his own plume of feathers ; the dart he directed against the man of wit, 
was winged from the quills he writ with ; and that which ho sent against those who 
presumed upon their riches, was headed with gold out of their treasuries. He made 
nets for statesmen from their own contrivances ; he took fire from the eyes of the ladies 
with which he melted their hearts ; and lightning from the tongues of the eloquent, to 
inflame them with their own glories. At the foot of the throne sat three false Graces ; 
Flattery with a shell of paint. Affectation with a mirror to practise at, and Fashion ever 
changing the posture of her clothes. These applied themselves to secure the conquests 
which Sclf-Conceit had gotten, and had each of them their particular polities. 
Flattery gave new colors and complexions to all things ; Affectation, new airs and ap- 
pearances, which, as she said, were not vulgar ; and Fashion both concealed some home 
defects, and added some foreign external beauties." 

LESSON" LXXVn. — ExKRCiSE in Hyperbole. 
Represent the following subjects by Hyperbole. 

Example. — An impressive speech. His speech was so deeply interesting and 
impressive, that the very walls listened to his arguments, and were moved by his 

1. The brightness of a lighted room. 

2. The splendor of a dress ornamented with jewels. 

3. The number of persons in a crowd. 

4. The quantity of rain which has fallen in a shower. 

5. The thirst of an individual (by the quantity of liquid he consumes), 

6. The size of a country (by the rising and setting of the sun). 

7. The affliction caused by the death of a distinguished individual 

8. The depth of a precipice. 

9. The waves of the ocean in a storm. 

10. The heat of a summer day. 

11. The refreshing effects of a shower. 

12. The excitement of city life. 

13. The darkness of night. 

14. The selfishness of a miser. ^ 

15. Vegetation in the torrid zone. 


LESSON LXXVni. — Eseecises in Vision and Apostrophe. 

I. Employ Yisiou in brief descriptions of the following 
scenes : — 

I, A Battle-scene. III. An Earthquake. 

II. A Storm at Sea. TV. A Timnder-storin. 

II. Alter the following passages, so that they may contam 
examples of Apostrophe : — 

1. I cannot but imagine that the virtuous heroes, legislators, and patriots of every 
age and country, are bending from their elevated seats to witness this contest, as if they 
were incapable, till it be brought to a favorable issue, of enjoying their eternal repose. 
Let these illustrious immortals enjoy that repose ! Their mantle fell when they as- 
cended ; and thousands, inflamed with their spiiit, and impatient to tread in their steps, 
are ready to swear by Him that sitteth upon the throne and liveth for ever and ever, 
that they will protect Freedom in her last asylum, and never desert that cause, which 
they sustained by their labors, and cemented with their blood. 

2. Thus passes the world away. Throughout all ranks and conditions, " one gener- 
ation passeth. and another generation cometh ;" and this great inn is by turns evacuated 
and replenished by troops of succeeding pilgrims. The world is vain and inconstant 
Life is fleeting and transient When will the sons of men learn to think of it as they 
ought? When will they learn humanity from the afflictions of their brethren; oi 
moderation and wisdom from the sense of theii- own fugitive state ? 

LESSOjS" LXXIX. — Exercise in Personification. 

I. Introduce into sentences the following expressions il- 
lustrative of Personification : — 

Sleep embraces — !N"attire speaks — ^The evening invites — ^The moon 
gilas — The morning smiles — The sun cHmbs — Care keeps watch — 
Night spreads — Vengeance bares his arm — ^Time has tamed — Years had 
ploughed — ^Britain saw — Death prepared his dart — Memory wept — 
Freedom shrieked — Rapine prowls — Murder stalks — ^The vessel cleavea 
—Wisdom strays — Hope fled — Love watches. 

II. Write sentences containing the following subjects per- 
sonified : — 

Example. — Contentment. If Contentment, the parent of Felicity and the faith- 
ful companion of Hope, would whisper her consolations in our ears, in vain might For. 
lune wreck us on inhospitable shores. 

Eternity. Pitt. Charity. Folly. 

Idleness. Hope. Disease. Peace. 

The Grave. Faith. Mirth. Light. 


LESSON LXXX. — Exercises in Climax and Antithesis. 

I. In each of the following passages, arrange the parts so 
as to form a Climax : — 

'Es.A.-HLp-LE..— Improperly arranged. "What a piece of work is man 1 in action how 
like an angel I how noble in reason ! in apprehension how like a god ! how infinite in 
faculties ! in form and motion how expressive and admirable 

Arranged in the form of a Climax. What a piece of work is man 1 how nobia 
in reason! how infinite in faculties I in form and motion how expressive and admi- 
rable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! 

1. Nothing can be more worthy of us than to contribute to the hap- 
piness of those who have been once useful and are still willing to be so ; 
to be a staff to their declining days ; to make the winter of old age weal 
the aspect of spring ; to prevent them from feeling the want of such 
pleasures as they are able to enjoy ; and to smooth the furrows in their 
faded cheeks. 

2. The history of every succeeding generation is this. New objects 
attract the attention ; new intrigues engage the passions of man ; new 
actors come forth on the stage of the world ; a new world, in short, in 
the course of a few years, has gradually and insensibly risen around us ; 
new ministers fill the temples of religion ; new members, the seats of 

3. It is pleasant to command our appetites and passions, and to keep 
them in due order, within the bounds of reason and religion, because 
that is empire ; it is pleasant to mortify and subdue our lusts, because 
that is victory ; it is pleasant to be virtuous and good, because that is 
to excel many others ; it is pleasant to grow better, because that is to 
excel ourselves. 

II. Represent the following subjects in Antithesis, re- 
memb Bring the principle stated in § 374 : — 

Example. — A Wise Man and a Fool. A wise man endeavors to shine in himself; 
a fool, to outshine others. The former is humbled by the sense of his own infirmities „ 
the latter is lifted up by the discovery of those which he observes in others. The wise 
man considers what he wants ; the fool, what he abounds in. The wise man is happy 
when he gains his own approbation ; and the fool, when he recommends himself to 
the applause of those about him. 

Summer and Winter. Pride and Humility. 

Modesty and Prudery. Moderation and Intemperance. 

Oratitude and Ingratitude. Peace and War. 

Morality and Religion. Discretion and Cunning. 

Knowledge and Ignorance. Cheerfulness and Melancholy. 

Geography and History. Spring and Autumn. 

LESSON LXXXI.— Parallels. 
A Parallel is a comparison showing the points of simili- 


tude and difference between two persons, characters, or objects 
that resemble each other either in appearance or in reality. 
In this variety of composition, individual peculiarities are 
often contrasted by means of Antitheses with fine effect. From 
Dr. Johnson's Life of Pope, we extract the following fine 
specimen of the Parallel : — 


" In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose educa 
tion was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed mora 
time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and ha 
collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. 
Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The 
notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by 
minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more cer- 
tainty in that of Pope. Poetry was not the sole praise of either, for both excelled like- 
wise in prose ; but -Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. The style of 
Dryden is capricious and varied ; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys 
the motions of his own mind ; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. 
Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid ; Fope is always smooth, uniform, and gen- 
tle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the va- 
ried exuberance of abundant vegetation ; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, 
and levelled by the roller. 

" Of genius,— that power which constitutes a poet ; that quality without which judg- 
ment is cold, and knowledge is inert ; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, 
and animates ; — the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It 
is not to be inferred, that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little, because Drydea 
had more ; for every other writer, since Milton, must give place to Pope : and even of 
Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems. 
Dryden's performances were always hasty, either excited by some external occasion, or 
extorted by domestic necessity; he composed without consideration, and published 
without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or gather in one excursion, was 
all that he sought, and all that he gave. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to 
condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might 
produce, or chance might sur»ply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope 
continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's tho 
heat is more regular and constant Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never 
galls below it Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual 

Draw Parallels, in the style of the example just given 


1. Ifapoleon and Washington. 

2. Lafayette and Howard. 

LESSON LXXXII.-— Exercise in Paballkis. 
Draw Parallels between. 


1. Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, 

2. The United States and England. 

LESSOIf LXXXni.— ExEEOisE m Pakallbls. 

Draw Parallels between, 

1. The Torrid and the Temperate Zone. 

2. The European and the Oriental 

3. The Eloquence of the Bar and that of the Pulpit. 

4. A Plain and a Florid Style. 

LESSON LXXXIV. — Exercise in DEFmiNG Synontmes 

Analogous to tlie drawing of Parallels is the defining of 
the shades of difference between synonymous terms, models 
of which will be found on pp. 280, 281. In a similar man- 
ner, show the distinction between the following synonymeSj 
and illustrate their use in different sentences : — 

1. Invention, Discovery. 5. Wit, Humor. 

2. Genius, Talent. 6. Poison, Venom. 

3. Pride, Vanity. 7. Peaceful, Peaceable. 

4. Handsome, Pretty. 8. Continuation, Continuance. 

LESSON LXXXV. — Exercise in Defining Stnontmes. 

Show the difference between the following synonymous 
terms : — 

1. Associate, Companion. 2. Idle, Lazy, Indolent. 3. Great, Large, 
Big. 4. Sick, Sickly, Diseased. 5. Contemptible, Despicable, PitifuL 
6. Eight, Claim, Privilege. Y. Disregard, Slight, Neglect. 8. Anec- 
dote, Tale, Story, Novel, Eomance. 

LESSON LXXXVI.^ExERasE in Paraphrasing. 

A. Paraphrase is the amplified explanation of a passage iis 
clearer terms than those employed by its author. Para- 
phrases frequently occur in versions from foreign languages ; 
when, instead of a literal translation of the original text, the 


substance is given in an amplified form and in a style which 
is regarded as more intelligible. 

Maxims, Aphorisms, Proverbs, and Saws, are often para 
phrased. A Maxim is a proposition briefly expressed, which 
teaches a moral truth and is susceptible of practical applica- 
tion. An Aphorism {which corresponds with the Apophthegm 
of the ancients) is a speculative rather than a practical propo- 
sition, embodying a doctrine or the principles of a science. A 
Proverb or Saying (the Adage of the ancients) is a terse 
proposition current among all classes, relating to matters of 
worldly wisdom as well as moral truth. A Saw is a vulgar 
proverb. The following examples will show the difference 
between them. 

Maxim. — Forgiveness is the noblest revenge. 

Aphorism. — Originality in Art is the individualizing of the uni- 

Proverb. — A word to the wise is sufficient. 

Saw. — ^A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. 

Paraphrase the following Maxims, Proverbs, &c. : — 

Example. — Wealih hegets want. 

Paraphrase. — The desires of man increase with his acquisitions. Every step that 
he advances, brings something within his view, which he did not see before, and which, 
as soon as he sees it, he begins to want. When necessity ends, curiosity begins ; and 
no sooner are we suppliod with every thing that nature can demand, than we sit down 
to contrive artificial appetites. 

1. Either never attempt, or persevere to the end. 

2. Poor and content is rich, and rich enough. 

3. Good news doeth good like medicine. 

4. No pains, no gains. 

5. Fear is the mark of a mean spirit. 

6. One swallow does not make a summer. 

7. Nothing venture, nothing have. 

8. Between two stools one comes to the ground 

9. One good turn deserves another. 

10. Money makes the mare go. 

11. It never rains but it pours. 

12. Penny wise, pound foolish. 

LESSON LXXXYII.— ExEEOiSE nx Paeaphbasinq. 
Paraphrase the following passages : — 

I, Make no man your idol, for the best man must have faults ; and his faults will in- 
eeneibly become yours, in addition to your own. 



2. He that argues for victory is but a gambler in worda, seeking to enrich himseU 
Ly another's loss. 

3. Distress and difficulty are known to operate in private life as the spurs of dili* 

4. The love of gain never made a painter ; but it has marred many. 

5. Complaints and murmurs are often loudest and most frequent among those who 
possess all the external means of temporal enjoyment. 

6. The want of employment is one of the most frequent causes of vice. 

7. A wound from a tongue is worse than a wound from the sword : for the lattei 
affects only the body ; the former, the soul. 

8. Trust him little who praises all ; him less, who censures all ; and him least, who 
!fi Indifferent about all. 

9. He that finds truth, without loving her, is like a bat; which, though it hath 
ayes to discern that there is a sun, yet hath so evil eyes, that it can not delight in 
the sun. 

10. They who have never known prosperity, can hardly be said to be unhappy; 
it is from the remembrance of joys we have lost, that the arrows of aflOliction are 

11. Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding. 

12. The strongest passions allow us some rest, but vanity keeps us in perpetual 
motion. "What a dust do I raise I" says the fly upon a coach-wheeL "At what 
a rate do I drive I " says the fly upon the horse's back. 


Abridging (sometimes called Epitomizing) is the opposite 
of Amplification, and consists in expressing the substance of 
a passage, article, or volume, in fewer words. 

Example.— Tradition says, that Foo-tsze, the Chinese philosopher, was in his 
youth of so impatient a temper, that he could not endure the drudgery of learning, 
and determined to give up literary pursuits for some manual employment. One day, 
as he was returning home with a full determination to go to school no longer, he hap- 
pened to pass by a half-witted old woman, who was rubbing a small bar of iron on a 
whetstone. When the young student asked her the reason of this strange employment, 
she replied, " Why, sir, I have lost my knitting-needle, and just thought I would rub 
down this bar to make me another." The words acted like magic on the young phi- 
losopher, who returned to his books with tenfold diligence; and, whenever he felt im- 
patient and despondent, would say to himself, " If a half-witted old woman has resolu- 
tion enough to rub down a bar of iron into a needle, it would be disgraceful in mo 
to have less perseverance, when the highest honors of the empire are before me." He 
lived to see the justice of these reflections. His acquirements, in process of time, made 
his name a proverb, and procured for him those very honors, which, but for this fortunate 
incident he would have thrown away, and which without exertion none can hope to 

Abridged. — Poo-tsze, the Chinese philosopher, was possessed ot so little diligence 
Sn his youth that he determined to abandon literary pursuits. Eeturning from school 
with the resolution of at once seeking some manud employment, he observed a nalf- 
witted old woman rubbing a bar of iron on a whetstone. Asking the reason of this 
Itrange proceeding, he learned from her that she had lost her knitting-needle and was 


endeavoring to make another by rubbing down the bar. The words acted like magic 
on the young philosopher. " Shall an old woman," he said to himself, ' have more reso- 
lution and perseverance than I, within whose reach are the highest honors of the em- 
pire ? " Inspired with new vigor, he returned to his books ; his good resolutions wer« 
kept ; and history still names him as among the wisest of philosophers. 


Abridge, and present in your own words, the matter con- 
tained in Lesson XXXIX. of this volume, on " The Sub- 
lime ". 

LESSON XC. — Exercise in Abkidqing. 

Abridge, and present in your own words, the matter con- 
tained in Lesson LXVL, on Criticism. 

LESSON XCL — Exercise in Critioism. 

In the style of the Examples presented in Lesson LXVL, 
write a criticism on the Allegory entitled " The Palace of 
Vanity," quoted in Lesson LXXVI. 

LESSON XCn. — Exercise in Criticism. 

Questions on ike Remarks in the Preceding Lessons. — ^What is an 
apologue, or fable ? What is an allegory proper ? What is a parallel ? 
What figure is used with advantage in parallels? What is a para- 
phrase ? In what do paraphrases frequently occur ? What are often 
paraphrased? What is a maxim? What is an aphorism? What was 
it called by the ancients ? What is a proverb ? What is a saw ? Give 
examples of each. What is meant by abridging ? What other name ia 
sometimes given to this process ? 

Write a criticism on Dr. Johnson's Parallel between Dry- 
den and Pope, quoted in Lesson LXXXI. 




§ 412. Composition is the art of inventing ideas and eg 
pressing them by means of written language. 

A composition is a written production on any subject, and 
of any length or style. 

§ 413. There are two great divisions under which all com- 
positions may be classed, — Prose and Poetry. 

Those compositions are embraced under the head of Prose, 
in which a natural order and mode of expression are em- 
ployed, without reference to an exact arrangement of sylla- 
bles or the recurrence of certain sounds. 

Poetry embraces such compositions as are characterized 
by a departure from the natural order and mode of expres- 
sion ; or, by an exact arrangement of syllables or the recur- 
rence of certain sounds. 

§ 4 1 4. The parts of composition, whether Prose or Poetry, 
are five ; Description, Narration, Argument, Exposition, and 
Speculation. Either of these may separately constitute the 
bulk of a written production ; or, they may all, as is frequent- 
ly the case, enter, in a greater or less degree, into the same 

§415. DescriiDtimi consists in delineating the character- 
istics of any object by means of words. It forms an impor- 
tant part of almost every variety of composition ; and allows 
the widest scope for ornament and beauty of language. The 
Btyle used in description should correspond with the character 

§ 412. What is composition? What is meant by a composition ? 

I 413. What are the two great divisions under which all compositions arc classea t 
Which are embraced under the head of Prose ? Which, under Poetry ? 

§ 414. Enumerate the parts which enter, in a greater or less degree, into diflferent 

§ 415. In what does description consist ? For what does it allow wide scop© ? What 


of the object treated. If the latter is grand, the language in 
which it is described should be elevated in proportion. If 
beauty is the leading characteristic of the one, it should dis- 
tinguish the other also. Whatever the nature of the object 
described, the style, to be effective, should be adapted to 
it, according to the principle stated under the head of Har- 

Writers are most frequently called on to describe material 
objects, natural scenery, and persons. 

§ 416. In the description of material objects, such heads as 

tne following will generally be found appropriate ; and, in 

drawing up an analysis for any particular subject, a selection 

may be made from them, and such new divisions introduced 

as are suggested : — 

I. The place where, and the circumstances under which, the object 
was seen ; the time when it was made, invented^ or discovered; 
the changes which time may have produced in it. 
n. Its history ; traditions or reminiscences connected with it 

III. The materials of which, and the persons by whom, it was made. 

IV. Its form, size, and general appearance. 
Y. Comparison of it with any similar object. 

yi. The feelings excited by beholding it. 
Vn. The purpose for which it was designed. 
Vm. The effects it has produced. 

§ 417. As a specimen of this kind of description, we ex- 
tract from Forsyth's " Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and 
Letters," a passage on 


A colossal taste gave rise to the Coliseum. Here, indeed, gigantic dimensions 
w-ere necessary for, though hundreds could enter at once, and fifty thousand find 
seats, the s^ace was still insuQIoient for Rome, and the crowd for the morning games 
began at midnight. Vespasian and Titus, as if presaging their own deaths, hurried 
the building, and left several marks of their precipitancy behind. In the upper 
walls they have inserted stones which had evidently been dressed for a diflferent 
purpose. Some of the arcades are grossly unequal ; no moulding preserves the same 
level and form round the whole ellipse, and every order is full of license. 

Happily for the Coliseum, the shape necessary to an amphitheatre has .given it a sta- 
DiUty of construction sufficient to resist fires, and earthquakes, and lightnings, and 

is said of the style to be used in description ? What are writers most frequently called 
on to describe ? 

§ 416. In the description of material objects, what heads wiU generally be found ap- 
propriate ? 


Sieges. Its elliptical form was the hoop which bound and held it entire till barhariana 
rent that consoliduUng ring ; popes widened the breach ; and time, not unassisted, con- 
tinues the work of dilapidation. At this moment, the liermitage is threatened with a 
dreadful crash ; and a generation not very remote must be content, I apprehend, with 
the picture of this stupendous monument 

"When the whole amphitheatre was entire, a child might comprehend its design In a 
moment, and go direct to his place without straying in the porticoes ; for each arcade 
bears its number engraved, and opposite to every fourth arcade was a staircase. This 
multiplicity of wide, straight, and separate passages, proves the attention which the an- 
cients paid to the safe discharge of a crowd ; it finely illustrates the precept of Yitra- 
vius, and exposes the perplexity of seme modern theatres. 

Every nation has undergone its revolution of vices ; and, as cruelty is not the 
present vice of ours, we can all humanely execrate the purpose of amphitheatres, now 
that they lie in ruins. Moralists may tell us that the truly brave are never cruel ; but 
this monument says, "No." Here sat the conquerors of the world, coolly toenjoy tho 
tortures and death of men who had never offended them. Two aqueducts were scarce- 
ly sufficient to wash off the human blood which a few hours' sport shed in this imperial 
Bhsmbles. Twice in one day came the senators and matrons of Rome to the butchery ; 
a virgin always gave the signal for slaughter ; and, when glutted with bloodshed, thoso 
ladies sat down in the wet and streaming arena to a luxurious supper 1 Such reflec- 
tions check our regret for its ruin. 

As it now stands, the Coliseum is a striking image of Rome itself; decayed, vacant, 
serious, yet grand ; half-gray and half-green ; erect on one side and fallen on the other 
with consecrated ground in its bosom ; inhabited by a beadsman ; visited by everj 
caste ; for moralists, antiquaries, painters, architects, devotees, all meet here to medi- 
tate, to examine, to draw, to measure, and to pray. " In contemplating antiquities," 
says Livy, " the mind itself becomes antique." It contracts from such objects a venera* 
ble rust, which I prefer to the polish and the point of those wits who have lately pro 
faned this august ruin with ridicule, 

Write a Oriticism on the above extract. 

LESSON xciy. 


§ 418. In descriptions of natural scenery, a selection may 
generally be made from the following heads. The order in 
which they should be treated depends somewhat on the nature 
of the subject. 

I us. In descriptions of natural scenery, what heada will generally be found appro- 


L Circumstances under which it was seen ; whether at sunrise, at 

noon, or by moonlight. 
n. Natural features of the scene ; level or undulating ; fertile or bar- 
ren ; vegetation ; trees, mountains, streams, &c., within view. 
ELL Improvements of art ; whether well cultivated ; buildings, and 

other productions of human industry. 
rV. Living creatures that animate the scene ; human beings. 
V. N"eighboring inhabitants ; peculiarities, <fec. 

VL Sounds ; murmur of a stream ; noise of a waterfall ; rustling of 
leaves ; lowing of cattle ; barking of dogS ; singing of birds ; cries 
of children ; noise of machinery, &c. 
VIL Distant prospect. 
VIII. Comparison with any other scene. 
IX. Historical associations. 
X Feelings awakened in the mind. 

§ 419. For an example of this kind of description, the stu* 
dent is referred to the following extract from Sir Walter 
Scott. He will find other specimens, of a different style, in- 
asmuch as they treat of individual curiosities of scenery 
rather than extended landscapes, in Willis's description of 
the Grotto of Adelsburg, quoted in p. 90 of this volume, and 
Campbell's Account of Fingal's Cave in a Letter to the poet 
Thomson, Lesson XCYI. 


The sun was setting upon one of the rich grassy glades of this forest. Hundreds of 
broad-headed, short-stemmed, wide-branched, oaks, which had witnessed, perhaps, the 
stately march of the Eoman soldiery, flung their gnarled arms over a thick carpet of tha 
most delicious greensward. In some places, they were intermingled with beeches, 
hollies, and copsewood of various descriptions, so closely as totally to intercept the level 
beams of the sinking sun ; in others, they receded from each other, forming those long 
sweeping vistas, in the intricacy of which the eye delights to lose itself while imagina- 
tion consiaers them as the paths to yet wilder scenes of sylvan solitude. Here, the red 
rays of the sun shot a broken and discolored light that partially hung upon the shat- 
tered boughs and mossy trunks of the trees ; and there, they illuminated, in brilliant 
patches, the portions of turf to which they made their way. 

A considerable open space in the midst of this glade seemed formerly to have been 
ledicated to the rites of Druldical superstition ; for, on the summit of a hillock so regular 
as to seem artificial, there still remained part of a circle of rough unhewn stones of large 
dimensions. Seven stood upright ; the rest had been dislodged from their places, proba- 
bly by the zeal of some convert to Christianity, and lay, some prostrate near their 
former site, and others on toe side of the hill. One large stone only had found its way 
to the bottom ; and, in stopping the course of a small brook which glided smoothly 
round the foot of the eminence, gave, by its opposition, a feeble voice of murmur tc the 
placid, and elsewhere silent, streamlet. 

§ 420. Descriptions of persons are often required in com- 
position. In writing them, such heads as the following are 
generally taken : — 


I. Form ; whether tall or short, fleshy or thin, &c. 

11. Face, features, hair, expression, &c. 

in. Manners ; dignified, graceful, awkward, haughty, or affable. 
IV. Dress. 

V. Any peculiarity of appearance. 
VI. Character, disposition, mental abilities, &c. 

§ 421. Two graphic specimens of this kind of description 
are given below : one from Cooper, representing a well-drawn 
character in his "Last of the Mohicans " ; the other, from the 
elegant pen of Bulwer. 


The person of this remarkable Individual was to the last degree ungainly, withcut 
being in any particular manner deformed. He had all the bones and joints of otner 
men, without any of their proportions. Erect, his stature surpassed that of his fellows; 
though, seated, he appeared reduced within the ordinary limits of our race. The same 
contrariety in his members seemed to exist throughout the whole man. His head was 
large ; his shoulders, narrow ; his arms, long and dangling ; while his hands were small, 
If not delicate. His legs and thighs were thin nearly to emaciation, but of extraordinary 
length ; and his knees would have been considered tremendous, had they not been out- 
done by the broader foundations on which this false superstructure of blended human 
orders was so profanely reared. The ill-assorted and injudicious attire of the individual 
only served to render his awkwardness more conspicuous. A sky-blue coat, with short 
and broad skirts and low cape, exposed a long thin neck, and longer and thinner legs, 
to the worst animadversions of the evil-disposed. His nether garment was of yellow 
nankeen, closely fitted to the shape, and tied at his bunches of knees by large knots ot 
white ribbon, a good deal sullied by use. Clouded cotton stockings, and shoes, on one of the 
latter of which was a plated spur, completed the costume of the lower extremity of this fig- 
ure, no curve or angle of which was concealed, but, on the other hand, studiously exhibited, 
through the vanity or simplicity of its owner. From beneath the flap of an enormous 
pocket of a soiled vest of embossed silk, heavily ornamented with tarnished silver lace, pro- 
jected an instrument [a tuning fork], which, from being seen in such martial company, 
might have been easily mistaken for some mischievous and unknown implement of 
war. Small as it was, this uncommon engine had excited the curiosity of most of the 
Europeans in the camp, though several of the provincials were seen to handle it, not 
only withoiit fear, but with the utmost familiarity. A large civil cocked hat, like those 
worn by clergymen within the last thirty years, surmounted the whole, furnishing dig- 
nity to a good-natured and somewhat vacant countenance, that apparently needed such 
artificial aid to support the gravity of some high and extraordinary trust 


At once vain, yet high-minded,— resolute, yet impassioned, — there was a gorgeons 
magnificence in her very vanity and splendor, and ideality in her waywardness : hoi 
defects made a part of her brilliancy ; without them she would have seemed less wo- 
man, and, knowing her, you would have compared all women by her standrjd. 
Softer qualities beside her seemed not more charming, but more Insipid, She had no 
vulgar ambition, for she had obstinately refused many alliances which the daughter of 
Easelli could scarcely have hoped to form. The untutored minds and savage power of 
the Eoman nobles seemed to her imagination, which was full of the poetry of rank (ita 
\uKury and its graces), as something barbarous and revolting, at once to be dreaded and 


doepisedL She had, therefore, passed her twentieth year unmarried, but not, perhaps^ 
without love. The faults themselves of her character, elevated that ideal of love which 
she had formed. She required some being round whom all her vainer qualities could 
rally ; she felt that where she loved she must adore ; she demanded no common idol 
before which to humble so strong and imperious a mind. Unlike women of a gentler 
mould, who desire for a short period to exercise the caprices of sweet empire, when she 
loved she must cease to command, and ride, at once, be humbled to devotion. So 
rare were the qualities that could attract her, so imperioasly did her haughtiness require 
that those qualities should be above her own, yet of the same order, that her love ele- 
vated its object like a god. Accustomed to despise, she felt all the luxury it is to vener- 
ate I And if it were her lot to be united to one thus loved, her nature was that which 
might become elevated by that it gazed on. 

Tor her beauty, reader, shouldst thou ever go to Kome, thou wilt see in the capitol 
Lhe picture of the Cumsean Sibyl, which, often copied, no copy can even faintly represent ; 
why this is so called I know not, save that it has something strange and unearthly in 
the dark beauty of the eyes. I beseech thee, mistake not this sibyl for another, for the 
Eoman galleries abound in sibyls. The sibyl I speak of is dark, and the face has an 
Eastern cast; the robe and turban, gorgeous though they be, grow dim before the rich 
but transparent roses of the cheek; the hair would be black save for that golden glow 
which mellows it to a hue and lustre never seen but in the South, and even in the South 
most rare ; the features, not Grecian, are yet faultless ; the mouth, the brow, the ripe 
and exquisite contour, all are human and voluptuous ; the expression, the aspect, la 
Eomething more ; the form is, perhaps, too full for the ideal of loveliness, for the propor- 
tions of sculpture, for the delicacy of Athenian models ; but the luxuriant fault has a 
majesty. Gaze long upon that picture : it charms, yet commands, the eye. "While you 
gaze, you call back five centuries. Tou see before you the breathing image of Nina di 


Write a Criticism on either of these extracts. 



§ 422. Narration is the account of real or imaginary facts 
or events. A neat or an elegant style is most effective for this 
kind of writing, in which too much ornament is out of place. 
Events should be related in the order of their occurrence, and 
in such a way that the interest of the reader may he kept 

§ 422. What is narration ? What style is recommended for this kind of writing? 
In what order should evente be related ? 


§ 423. Argument is the statement of reasons for or against a 
proposition, made with the view of inducing belief in others. 
Clearness and strength are essential to its success. Little, if 
any, ornament is necessary ; to this element of composition, a 
neat, diffuse style is appropriate. 

% 424. Exposition consists in explaining the meaning of an 
author, in defining terms, setting forth an abstract subject iu 
its various relations, or presenting doctrines, precepts, princi- 
ples, or rules, for the purpose of instructing others. A treatise 
on grammar, for instance, consists principally of exposition. 
Clearness being the chief object, and the nature of the subject 
in most cases almost entirely excluding ornament, this kind of 
matter should be presented in a neat, concise, style. 

§ 425. Speculation is the expression of theoretical views 
not as yet verified by fact or practice. It enters largely into 
works on metaphysics, and is best understood through the 
medium of a neat, simple, style. 

§ 426. A specimen of narration follows : — 


In one of those terrible eruptions of Mount Etna -whicli have often happened, the 
danger of the inhabitants of the adjacent country was uncommonly great To avoid 
Immediate destruction from the flames and the melted lava which ran down the sides 
of the mountain, the people were obliged to retire to a considerable distance. Amidst 
the hurry and confusion of such a scene, every one fleeing and carrying away whatever 
he deemed most precious, two brothers, in the height of their solicitude for the preser- 
vation of their wealth and goods, suddenly recollected that their father and mother, both 
very old, were unable to save themselves by flight. Filial tenderness triumphed over 
every other consideration. " Where," cried the generous youths, " shall we find a more 
precious treasure than they are, who gave us being, and who have cherished and pro- 
tected us tnrough life ? " Having said this, the one taking up his father on his shoulders, 
end the other his mother, they happily made their way through the surrounding smoko 
and flames, AU who were witnesses of this dutiful and afi'ectionate conduct were struck 
with the highest admiration ; and they and their posterity ever after called the plain 
through which these young men made their retreat, "The Field of the Pious". 

§ 423. "What is argument ? In what style is it best presented ? 

§ 424. In what does exposition consist ? Of what, for instance, does it form the 
principal part ? What is the chief object in exposition? What style is appropriate 
10 it? 

§ 425. What is speculation ? Into what does it largely enter ? Through what style 
s it best understood ? 



I. Amplify the above specimen of narration, presenting it 
entirely in your own language. 

II. Amplify the following heads into a specimen of narra- 
tion, in the style of the above model, using your own language 
throughout: — 


Dionysius, tyrant of Sicily, though surrounded by riches and pleas- 
ures, was far from being happy. [Why ?] 

Damocles, one day, complimented him on his power, and affirmed 
that no monarch was ever greater or happier than he. 

Dionysius asked him whether he would like to make trial of this 
happiness, and see whether it was as great as he imagined. 

On Damocles' gladly consenting, the king ordered a gilded eouch to be 
brought in for him, a splendid banquet to be prepared, and the royal 
pages to wait on him as if he were their monarch. [Describe the ban- 

Damocles was intoxicated with pleasure. But, chancing to look up, 
as he lay luxuriously pillowed on his royal couch, he saw a glittering 
sword suspended from the ceiling, by a single hair, exactly over his 

This sight put an end to his joy. The rare perfumes and inviting 
dishes had lost their charm. [Describe his feelings in detail] Finally, 
leaping from the couch, he besought the king to allow him to return to 
his former humble position. [Moral which Dionysius, in his answer, 
drew from this act of his courtier, with respect to the happiness of kings.] 



§ 427. There are six leading divisions of Prose Composi- 
tion ; Letters, Narratives, Fiction, Essays, Theses or Argu- 
mentative Discourses, and Orations. 


§ 428. Definition. — A Letter is a written communicatioQ 
on any subject from one person to another. 

§ 427. Enumerate the six leading divisions of prose composition. 

§ 428. What is a letter ? What is letter--vmting commonly called ? What is said 


Letter-writing is commonly called Epistolary Correspond 
ence. It is one of the most important branches of compo- 
sition, entering more largely than any other into the daily 
business of life. 

The form of the letter has often been used for essays, novels, histo- 
ries, &c. ; that is, th^ese productions have been divided into parts, each 
of which commences with an address to some friend 6f the author or 
imaginary personage, as if it had passed as an actual communicatioUi 
Such compositions, however, should be classed under the divisions to 
which, according to their matter, they respectively belong. The letter 
l^roper is one intended for the person to whom it is addressed. 

§ 429. Varieties. — The principal kinds of letters are, 

I. News Letters, or communications to papers or periodi- 
cals, containing accounts of what has happened or is happen- 
ing elsewhere than at the place of publication. 

Such communications have lately become popular, and now form a 
feature of almost all leading newspapers. In these letters, profundity 
is not expected, unless they treat of political, religious, or other serious 
topics. They should rather be characterized by brilliancy of thought, 
and an original, striking, mode of expression. Their effect may often 
be increased by strokes of humor, and what is commonly called pigtiaiv- 
cy, or a pleasing vein of sarcasm on persons and things in general. Taste 
and judgment are required for a proper selection of subjects. The space 
allowed, being generally limited, should be filled to the best advantage. 
Local matters should be avoided : it is well to introduce uo topics but 
those of general interest. 

II. Letters of business. In these, brevity and clearnesa 
are all -important. The writer should aim at the greatest de- 
gree of conciseness consistent with perspicuity, and should 
confine himself strictly to the business in hand. 

III. Official letters, or such as pass between men in office, 
respecting public affairs. These are always formal, and 

of its importance ? For what is the form of the letter often used ? How should suob 
compositions be classed ? What is the letter proper ? 

§ 429. What are the principal kinds of letters? What are news letters? What \s 
said of the popularity of news letters? What is not expected in them? By what 
Bhould they be characterized ? What often increases their effect ? What topics should 
be selected for such letters ? What are required in letters of business ? To what must 
they bo confined? What is meant by official letters? Describe them? In letters 


abound in phrases of courtesy. Theii style should be firm 
and dignified. 

IV. Letters of friendship. 

In these, a tendency to diffuseness, arising in young writers fi'om 
a fear that they may not have enough matter to fill the sheet, must be 
avoided. " There is hardly any species of composition, in my opinion," 
ssys Kirke White, " easier than the epistolary." There is an off-hand 
ease about the letter which renders its production a work of but little 
tune or difficulty; and, by reason of this very facility of composition, the 
writer is apt to express himself carelessly and without proper thought. 
Time and labor should be bestowed on this, as well as every other, de- 
partment of composition. 

Flippancy, also, should be carefully avoided. It must be remem- 
bered that what is committed to paper does not, like conversation, pass 
into forgetfulness ; it is preserved, and may, at any time, be made pub- 
lic. We should therefore never write, even to the most intimate friend, 
any thing which we would be ashamed that the world should see. 

The commonest fault, perhaps, of letters of friendship, is egotism. 
This cannot but be distasteful to the person addressed, no matter how 
great his interest in the writer. A friend, of course, expects from hia 
correspondent some personal intelligence, but he looks for other matter 
along with it ; and will inevitably be struck with the bad taste of one 
who confines his letter to an enumeration of his own exploits or those 
of the limited circle to which he belongs. In like manner, we should 
avoid filling a letter with details relating to parties with whom the per- 
son addressed is unacquainted. 

y. Letters of condolence, written to persons in affliction 
for the purpose of expressingsympathy with their misfortunes. 
In these, great tact is necessary ; for ill-judged consolation, 
instead of healing the wound, opens it afresh. In this, as 
well as the two classes which follow, the writer should confine 
himself to the leading subject of his communication. 

VI. Letters of congratulation, or those in which the writer 

of friendship, to what is there a tendency ? What does Kirke White say of epistolary 
eorrespondence ? To what is this facility of composition apt to lead ? What else must 
bo carefully avoided ? Why ? What should we never write, even to the most inti- 
uiBte friend ? What is the commonest fault of letters of friendship ? What is tho 
effect of egotism on the person addressed ? With what, in like manner, should we 
avoid filling a letter? What are letters of condolence ? Why should they be written 
with groat tnct ? To what should the writer confine hims.(3lf ? What are letters of con- 


professes his joy at tlie success or happiness of another, or at 
some event deemed fortunate for both parties or for the comr 
munity at large. They should he brief, sincere, and to the 

VII. Letters of introduction, in which the writer com- 
mends a friend to the kind offices of some third party. 

It is customary to leave such letters unsealed, and to put on the 
back, besides the superscription, the name of the party introduced. In 
giving letters of introduction, it is of primary importance to adhere 
strictly to the truth. It is false kindness to exaggerate the merits of 
the bearer, or to recommend in high terms a person but partially known. 
Such a course often places all parties concerned in an unpleasant po- 

§ 430. Style. — The style of letters (with the exception of 
official communications, which require a studied and formal 
elegance) should be simple, easy, and natural. All appear- 
ance of effort, far-fetched ornaments, and attem^pts at display, 
are fatal to their effect. Puerilities and affected simplicity, 
on the other hand, are equally objectionable. 

A good letter bears the same relation to other kinds of writing, that 
friendly conversation does to the more dignified varieties of spoken lan- 
guage. " I love talking letters dearly," said the poet Cowper, and the 
majority of correspondents wiU agree with him. A letter of friendship 
should be a mirror of the writer's mind, and nothing is so likely to 
ensure this as a conversational style. We should write as we would 
speak were the friend we addressed suddenly to make his appearance, — 
yet, of course, with more dehberation and care. If his stay were to be 
brief, we would naturally touch only on the more interesting topics ; 
and so, in a letter, where we are necessarily limited, we should give 
preference to those subjects that are most important 

§ 431. Ansivers. — Every letter^ not insulting, merits a 
rompt reply ; and such a reply is called an Answer. In 

gratulation ? What should be their character* What is meant by letters of intro- 
duction ? WTiat is customary with respect to sucn letters ? What caution is given ? 

§430. What style is most effective for letters? What exception is made? What 
must bo avoided ? To what is the relation which a gw)d letter bears to other kinds of 
writing compared ? What kind of letters did Cowper like ? How should we write to 
A friend ? What subjects snould we select ? 

% 481. What is meant by an answer ? What letters merit answers f In answering^ 


answering, it is proper always, at the outset, to acknowledge 
the receipt of your correspondent's communication, in some 
such words, for instance, as the following : *' Yours of the 15th 
inst. came safely to hand yesterday ; and I am glad to learn 
from it," &c. ; or, " Your welcome letter of the 10th ult. was 
received in due course of mail, and would have been answered 
sooner had it not been," &c. 

Besides this, it is customary for a person answering a business or 
official letter to embody in his opening sentence a statement of what ho 
understands it to contain ; as in the following, which also illustrates the 
profuse use of form and titles in official communications : — 

Department of State, 
Washington, April 28, 1854. 
The undersigned. Secretary of State of the United States, has had 
the honor to receive the note of Mr. , her Britannic Majesty's En- 
voy Extraordinary and Llinister Plenipotentiary, of the 21st instant, ac- 
companied by the declaration of her Majesty the Queen of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, m regard to the rule which will 
for the present be observed towards those Powers with which she is at 
peace, in the existing war with Kussia. 

§ 432. Manual Execution. — By complying with the fol- 
lowing suggestions, the student will ensure neatness in making 
copies of his letters and other compositions : — 

Draw two light pencil lines parallel with the left edge of the page, 
the first about half an inch, the second an inch and a half, distant from 
it. Commence your composition, and every successive paragraph, on 
the inner marginal line ; but let the body of your writing rest on the 
outer one. When you have completed a page, erase the marginal lines 
neatly with india-rubber. When a letter is not long enough to fill a 
page, it should not be commenced on the first line, but at such a dis- 
tance from it as will leave an equal space above and below. 

§ 433. Date. — The date of a letter, which should always 
6e distinctly stated, must stand at the right of the first line. 
It consists of the name of the place where it is written, the 

what is always proper at the outset ? Give examples. Besides this, what is it custonuar 
for a person answering a business or official letter to embody in the opening sentence? 
Give an example. 

§ 432. What suggestions are made, for the purpose of ensuring neatness ? 

§ 433. Describe the date of a letter. WhoJ-e does it stand ? 


month, day of the month, and year ; as, Mobile^ August 
26, 1854. 

§ 434. Address. — The address of a letter is found on the 
next line below the date, at the left side. It contains, in the 
first line, the name and title of the party written to ; and, on 
the second, the words, " Sir," " Dear Sir," " My dear Sir," 
for a gentleman, — or, " Madam," '' Dear Madam," " My dear 
Madam," for a married lady, — according to the degree of 

An unmarried lady is best addressed in a single line : 
" Miss ;" " Dear Miss ;" or, " My dear Miss ." 

In addressing a business firm, place on the first line its 
proper style and title ; and, on the second, the word " G-en- 
tlemen " or " Ladies," according to the sex of the parties com- 
posing it. 

A relative is properly addressed by the name that indi- 
cates the relationship ; as, " My dear Father," " My deaf 
Grandson," " My dear Sister ; " or, a relative of the same 
age, or a friend, may be addressed by the Christian name, if 
intimacy will allow it ; as, " My dear William," " My dear, 

Some prefer placing the first Hne, containing the name and title of 
tlie party addressed, at the bottom of the letter instead of the top, aa 
above suggested. 

Examples of proper forms of date and address follow ; the pupil will 
do well to observe their punctuation : — 

Messrs. Davis & Clapp : 

173 Greenwich St., New-York, ) 
Sept. 1, 1854. ) 

Hon. E. S. Norton, 

Canal Com. of the State of N. Y. : 

Jackson, N. C, ) 
2d Sept., 1854. f 

§ 484. Where is the address of a letter found ? Describe it. How is an unmai-ried 
Jfldf best addressed ? Describe the address of a business firm ? How is a relative 
Droperly addressed ? Where do some prefer placing the first line containing the name 
and title of the party addressed ? Give some examples of proper forms of date and 


HasMns P. 0., Tenn., 
September 3, 1854. 
Rev. James Norton, D. D. : 
Eev. and dear Sir, 

Stewart L. Roy, Esq, : 
Dear Sir, 

Mesdames E. <fc J. Lacretelle : 

Miss R. A, Tompkins : 
My dear Friend, 

Steamer Washington, } 
Miss. River, Sept. 4tli, '54. J 

Boston, Ang. 20, '64. 
N. 0., Aug. 26, 1854. 

§ 435. 'Subscription. — By the Bubscription of a letter is 
meant that clause or sentence at the end which contains the 
terms of affection or respect, and the signature. Different 
forms are appropriate, according to the relative position of 
the writer and the person addressed. A few of the most 
common are subjoined. It will be seen at once in what case 
each is appropriate. Observe the punctuation, as before. 

I remain, dear Sir, 

Tour obedient servant, 

Geo. H. Smith. 

Allow me to subscribe myself 

Your obHged & obt. servt., 

Thomas Dean. 

With my best wishes for your welfare, I remain 
Your sincere friend, 

Reuben H. S. "Wells. 

Hoping to hear from you without delay, I remain 
Yours <fec., 

S. "Wellman Brown. 

§ 4S5. VThat is meant by the subscription of ft letter ? To what must the snbscilp' 
tion be appropriate ? Q-ive examples. 



"With my best love to all, I am, as evoT; 

Your affectionate daughter, 

Eest assured, dear madam, tliat your long continued kindness ml 
not be forgotten, but will ever command the gratitude and service of 
Yours most respectfully & truly, 

Horace H. Hinman. 

Whatever may betide, you have the warm and earnest sympathy of 
Your faithful & affectionate cousin, 

The undersigned has the honor to avail himself of this opportunity 
to renew to the Secretary of State of the United States the assurance of 
his distinguished consideration. 

John F. Crampton. 
Hon. W. L. Marcy, Secretary of State, &c. 

§ 436. We subjoin four specimens of the diff"erent kinds 
of letters. The first is a business letter, given by a person of 
known responsibility to a friend, to enable the latter to pro- 
cure goods on time. It is commonly called a letter of credit. 
The second is a letter of introduction. The third is a letter 
of friendship, from Campbell to the poet Thomson, descrip- 
tive of a visit to Fingal's Cave. The fourth is in a more 
familiar style, being one of Moore's letters to his mother. 
The student is particularly requested to notice their charao* 

No. 1. Letter of Credit. 


September 15, 1854. 

Coburg, Canada West, } 


Please deliver to Eichard Berry, of this place, goods, silks, and merchandise, to any 
amount not exceeding five thousand dollars ; and I will hold myself accountable to 
you for the payment of the same, in case Mr. Berry should fail to make payment 

You will please to notify me of the amount for which you may give him credit, 
tfid, If default should be made in the payment, let me know It immediately. 
I am, gentlemen, your most obt, servant, 

John Anderson. 
Messrs. isaac Smith & Co., 

No. 25 Broadway, N. Y. 


No. 2. Letter of Inteoduction. 

St Louis, Jan. 3, '1854 
My dear Sir, 

Allow me to introduce to you my friend, Cyrus Johnson, a distinguished teacher 
of this place, who visits your city for the purpose of making himself acquainted with 
the system of instruction pursued in your common schools. He is one whose life thuj 
far has been devoted to the cause of education, and whose efforts have already been 
signally blessed to hundreds of our youth. Any aid, therefore, that you may be able 
to render him in the prosecution of his inquiries, will be a service to our whole com- 
munity, as well as a personal favor to 

Yours very truly, 

Heniy F. Quinn. 
Joseph B._ Stacy, Esq., 

14 Fifth Avenue, N. T. 

No. 3 

Thule's Wildest Shore, 15th day of the Harvest Storm ; ) 
Sept 16, 1795. f 

My dear Friend, 

I have deferred answering your very welcome favor till I could inform you of the 
accomplishment of my long meditated tour through the "Western Isles. Though I have 
been disappointed in my expectations of seeing St Kilda, yet I have no reason to be 
dissatisfied with my short voyage, having visited the famous Staffa and Icolmkill, so 
much admired by your countrymen. I had formed, as usual, very sanguine ideas of 
the happiness I should enjoy in beholding wonders so new to me. I was not in the 
least disappointed. The grand regularity of Staffa, and the venerable ruins of lona, 
filled me with emotions of pleasure to which I had been hitherto a stranger. It was 
not merely the gratification of curiosity ; for these two islands are marked with a grand 
species of beauty, besides their novelty, and a remarkable difference from all the other 
islands among the Hebrides. In short, when I looked into the cave of Staffa, I regret- 
ted nothing but that my friend was not there too. 

Staffa, the nearest to Mull, and the most admirable of all the Hebrides, is but a 
small island, but exceedingly fertile. From one point to another, it is probably an Eng- 
lish mile. The shore is boisterous and rocky near the sea ; but at the distance of twenty 
yards from its rugged base, it rises for thirty or forty feet into a smooth, stony, plain, 
gi-adually sloping to the bottom of the rocks, which rise perpendicularly to a vast 
height, and form the walls of the island. On the top of these are rich plains of grass 
and com, in the centre of which stands a lonely hut, in appearance very like the abode 
of a hermit or savage. 

The walls of the island (for so I beg leave to denominate the rocks that form its 
sides) are truly wonderful. They are divided into natural pillars, of a triangular shape. 
These pillars are not a random curiosity, broken and irregular. They are as exactly 
similar and well proportioned, as if the hand of an artist had carved them out on tho 
walls with a chisel. The range of them is so very long and stegi that we caniwt admit 
the idea of their being wrought by human hands. There is a wildness and sublimity 
in them beyond what art can produce ; and we are so struck with its regularity that W6 
can hardly allow Nature the merit of such an artificial work. Certain it is, if Art ac- 
complished such a curiosity, she has handled instruments more gigantic than any which 
are used at present ; and if Nature designed the pillars, she has bestowed more geometry 
on the rocks of Staffa, than on any of her works so stupendous in size. The cave of 
Staffa is at least three hundred feet long, lined with long stripes of pillars of the same 
kind, and hung at tb« top with stones of an exact figure of five sides. The height ia 


seventy feet, so that, being very wide, it appears like a very large Gothic cathedral, 
Its arch is gradually narrowed at the top, and its base, except the footpath on one side, 
Is the sea which comes in. "We entered the mouth of the cave with a peal of bagpipes, 
which made a most tremendous echo. 

Icolmkill is venerable for being the burial-place of forty-eight Scotch, and eight 
Danish kings, whose tombs we saw. Our voyage lasted three days. I slex)t the first 
night at Icolmkill, the second at Tiree, and the third again at Mulk 

If I had room, I would scribble down an elegy, composed a few days after my arri- 
val in Mull from Glasgow ; but you see I have clattered away all my paper upon StaflPa. 
I depend upon your good-nature to excuse my prolis description, and the illegible 
scrawling of your very sincere friend, 

Le O.vuxllb. 
Mr. James Thomson, London. 


No. 4 

Aboard the Boston, 
Sandy Hook, thirty miles from New York, 
Friday, May 11, 1804. 
My darling Motner, . 

I wrote to you on my arrival at New York, where I have been nearly a week, and 
am now returned aboard the frigate, which but waits a fair wind to sail for Norfolk. 
The Halifax packet is lying alongside of us, and I shall take the opportunity of sending 
this letter by her. At New York, I was made happy by my father's letter of the 25th 
January, and dear Kate's of the 30th, which make four in all that I have received from 
home. I had so very few opportunities at Bermuda, and they were attended with so 
much uncertainty, that I fear you may have suffered many an ansious moment, darUng 
mother, from the interruption and delay of the few letters I could despatch to you. 
But, please Heaven I we shall soon have those barriers of distance removed ; my own 
tongue shall tell you my " travel's history," and your heart shall go along with me over 
every billow and step of the way. "When I left Bermuda, I could not help regretting 
that the hopes which took me thither could not be even half realized ; for I should love 
to live there, and you would like it too, dear mother : and I think if the situation would 
give me but a fourth of what I was so deludingly taught to expect, you should all have 
come to me ; and, though set apart from the rest of the world, we should have found 
in that quiet spot, and under that sweet sky, quite enough to counterbalance what the 
rest of the world could give us. But I am still to seek, and can only hope that I may 
find at last 

The environs of New York are pretty, from the number of little, fanciful, wooden 
houses that are scattered, to the distance of sis to eight miles, round the city ; but 
when one reflects upon the cause of this, and that these houses are the retreat of tho 
terrified, desponding, inhabitants, from the wilderness of death which every autumn 
produces in the city,* there is very little pleasure in the prospect; and, notwithstand- 
ing the rich fields, and the. various blossoms of their orchards, I prefer the barren 
breezy, rock of Bermuda, to whole continents of such dearly purchased fertility. 

"While in New York, I employed my time to advantage in witnessing all the novel- 
ties possible. I saw young M. Buonaparte, and felt a slight shock of an earthquake 
which are two things I could not often m«et with upon Usher's Quay. From Norfolk 
I intend going to Baltimore and Washington ; if possible, also to Philadelphia and Bos- 
ton, from thence to Halifax. From Halifax I hope to set sail, in tho cabin where I now 

• Reference is here made to the yellow fever, wkieh, at the time this letter was written, prevftUed ft 
N«w York, to a greater or less exteat, every year. 


write this letter, for tlio dear old isles of the Old World again ; and I think it probabla 
that twelve months from the time I left England, will very nearly see me on its coasta 
once more. ♦ * * Your own, 

T. M. 


Somewliat in the style of the above models, write a letter 
OF CREDIT, and a letter of introduction. 

letters (continued). 

§ 437. Folding and Sealing. 

As envelopes are now generally used for enclosing letters, the most 
convenient mode of folding is as follows : — As the sheet lies before yon, 
turn up the bottom until its edge exactly lies upon the edge at the top, 
and make a fold in the middle. The sheet is now in an oblong form. 
Bring the side at your right hand to your body, and fold over about one 
third of the letter towards the top. Finally, turn as much of the upper 
part over in the opposite direction. 

Most envelopes are self-sealing ; that is, are furnished with a glutin- 
ous substance, which, on being moistened, answers the purpose of a 
seal. When this convenience is wanting, a wafer is generally used ; in 
which case, care must be taken not to make it so wet as to spread and 
soil the adjacent parts. The use of the wafer, however, imphea haste ; 
and those who study etiquette, almost without exception, give the pre- 
ference to sealing-wax. Indeed, according to Lord Chesterfield, the use 
of the wafer is open to a stiU more serious objection than the mere im- 
plying of haste. This nobleman is said, on having received a letter 
sealed with the obnoxious article in question, to have remarked with 
some indignation, " What does the fellow mean hy sending me his ovm 

If no envelope is used, but the old-fashioned mode of folding is foUow- 

§ 437. What are now generally used for enclosing letters ? Describe the most oon. 
venient mode of folding. With what are most envelopes furnished? When this con- 
venience is wanting, what is generally used ? In the use of the wafer, what must \>q 
avoided ? To what do those who study etiquette give the preference ? Why ? What 
was Lord Chesterfield's objection to the wafer ? K the old-fashioned mode of folding 
ia followed, what must be avoided in putting on the seal ? 


ed, be careful that the seal, whether was or wafer, is so placed, that tha 
opening of the letter will not render any part of the writing illegible. 

§ 438. Super scriptio7i. — The superscription of a letter is 
the direction on the outside, consisting of the name of the per- 
son addressed, and the place and state in which he lives. 

In directing, be careful not to apply to a person two titles that mean 
the same thing ; as, Mr. Robert Jones, Esq. ; Dr. Edward Sayre, M. D. 
In the first example, either Mr. or Esq. should be omitted ; and, in the 
last, either Dr. or M. D. 

When a letter is not sent by mail, but is taken by private hand, it is 
customary to acknowledge the favor by placing on the outside, at the 
lower corner on the left, the bearer's name, in some such expression as 

the following : — " Politeness of Mr. " ; " Courtesy of Mrs. " ; 

" Favored hy Miss ". 

A letter of introduction should contain, in the san e position as the 
above, the name of the person introduced, in some such form as the 
following: — " Introducing Mr. "; " To introduce Mr. ". 

§ 439. A short letter is called a Note. 

Business notes have the same form as letters. Notes of invitation 
should be written on small sheets, called, from the use to which they 
are appropriated, note-paper. 

It is customary, in writing notes, to use the 3d person instead of both 
the 1st and 2d, as in the example given below. Care must be taken to 
avoid the common error of introducing the 1st or 2d person, after the 
3d has been thus employed ; as in the following : " Mrs. Wliite presents 
her compliments to Mr. Roy, and solicits the pleasure of your [instead of 
his'] company on Monday evening, the ^th inst. 

In notes, the oldest or only daughter of a family is addressed as 

Miss , no other name being used ; when there are other daughters, 

they are distinguished by their Christian names. If Mr. David Temple, 
for instance, has three daughters, Caroline, Mary, and Cornelia, the first 
is properly addressed as Miss Temple ; the second, as Miss Mary Temple ; 
and the third, as Miss Cornelia Temple. On the death or marriage of 

§ 488. What is meant by the superscription of a letter ? In directing, what must we 
avoid? Give examples. "When a letter is taken by private hand, how is it cus- 
tomary to acknowledge the favor ? What should a letter of introduction contain on the 
back, besides the superscription ? 

§ 439. What is a note ? What form have business notes ? On what should notes 
of invitation be written ? In what person does the writer speak of himself ? In what, 
of the person addressed ? Against what common error is the writer cautioned ? In 
teotes. how is the oldest daughter of a family addressed ? How, the other daughters ? 


Caroline, Mary becomes Miss Temple ; and, on that of both Caroline an<J 
Mary, Cornelia assumes the title in question. 

A few forms, with their appropriate replies, may be of service. 


i^O. 1. 2^0. 1. 

Mrs. Dunn presents her compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Baker accept with pleas- 

Hr. and Mrs. Baker, and solicits the pleas- ure Mrs. Dunn's polite invitation for tha 

ore of their company on Tuesday evening, 12th inst 
the 12th inst. 

23 Broadway, Jay St., 

Sept 8. Sept. 9. 

N'o. 2. iVb. %—A B egret. 

Mr. Bristow requests the pleasure of the Mr. Marshall regrets that a previous 

Hon. Mr. Marshall's company at dinner on engagement will deprive him of the 

Wednesday next, at 4 o'clock. pleasure of accepting Mr. Bristow's invi- 
tation to dinner for Wednesday next. 

7 Greene St., Astor House, 

Sept 4. Sept 5. 

No. 3. ITo. ^.—A Regret. 
Mr. W. F. Cameron presents his respects Miss Lydia Bryant presents hei corn- 
to Miss Lydia Bryant, and begs that he pliments to Mr. W. F. Cameron, and re- 
may be allowed to wait on her this evening grets that sickness in her family will pre- 
to the Italian Opera. vent her acceptance of his invitation for 

this evening. 

Liberty st, Montague square, 

Sept 3. Sept 3. 


T. Write a letter to a friend in the city from some country 
retreat which you may have lately visited, remembering 
to draw up a preliminary analysis, and to follow tha 
models in the last lesson, as regards date, address, &c. 
II. "Write a note requesting the loan of a volume from a 
III. Write a note accepting a friend's invitation to tea. 



§ 440. A Narrative is a composition which consists, for 
the most part, of an account of real facts or events ; but into 

Give an example. On the death or marriage of the oldest daughter, how is the second 
daughter addressed ? Give the form of a note of invitation, and the reply. 


which, description, argument, exposition, or speculation, maj 
also be introduced. 

§ 441. Narratives are divided into Histories Biographies 
Obituaries, Yojages, Travels, and Anecdotes. 

§ 442. A History is an account of facts or events pertain 
ing to distinguished places or objects, to communities, nations 
or states. A detached portion of history, confined to any par 
tieular era or event, is known as an Historical Sketch. 

The difference between a history and annals is, that the latter 
merely enumerate events in chronological order, without admitting any 
observations on the part of the writer ; whereas history has less regard 
to the order of time, and allows the writer to investigate causes and 
effects, and to introduce other matter connected with the subject. 

§ 443. A history, to be good, must be true and interesting. 

The first essential is truth. The writer must present a faithful ac- 
count of what has taken place, or his work is valueless. All prejudice 
must be laid aside. Nothing must be concealed, nothing exaggerated. 
AH available sources of information must be explored, and whatever 
bears on the subject in hand must be brought to light. In cases of 
doubtful or conflicting testimony, the rules of evidence must be care- 
fully weighed, and truth ensured at the expense of every other con 

In the second place, a good history must be interesting. Much de- 
pends on the manner of the historian. Whatever the nature of the 
events he records, however great his research or accurate his state- 
ments, if his style is dry, dull, or lifeless, he can not hope to gain the 
favor of his readers. He should aim at simplicity, clearness, and 
strength; but, when he is dwelling on those splendid achievements 
which at intervals have spread a glorious refulgence over the page of 
history, with his subject he naturally rises to sublimity. 

The English language has produced many historians of the first 
ank ; among whom, Robertson, Hume, and Gibbon, are worthy of spe- 

§ 440. What is a narrative ? 

§ 441. Into what are narratives divided ? 

§ 442. "What is a history ? What is an historical sketch ? Define the difference be- 
fcvreen a history and annals. 

§ 443. What two things are essential to a good history ? To ensure truth, what 
must the writer do ? What is the second essentia! of a good history ? On what does 
touch depend ? At what should the historian aim ? When does he naturally rise to 
sublimity ? Mention some of the prominent English historians. Mention those dis« 


cial mention. American literature can boast of three names equally 
great, — Bancroft, Hildreth, and Prescott. The style of the latter ia 
justly regarded as a model of historical ^vriting, as well from its purity 
and beauty as from the absorbing interest with which it invests what- 
ever he treats. 

The N"orth American Review makes the following remarks on Pres- 
cott's style, which are worthy of being added, as likely to convey a just 
idea of what a good historical style should be: — 

" Mr. Prescott is not a mannerist in style, and does not deal in elaborate, antithetical, 
z>lc«Iy-balanced periods. His sentences are not cast in the same artificial mould, nor ia 
there a perpetual recurrence of the same forms of expression, as in the -writings of John- 
eon or Gibbon ; nor have they that satin-like smoothness and gloss for which Eobertson 
Is so remarkable. The dignified simplicity of his style is still farther removed from any 
thing nke pertness, smartness, or affectation ; from tawdry gum-flowers of rhetoric, and 
brass-gilt ornaments ; from those fantastic tricks with language which bear the same 
relation to good writing that vaulting and tumbling do to walking. It is perspicuous, 
flexible, and natural, sometimes betraying a want of high finish, but always manly, 
always correct, — never feeble, and never inflated. He does not darkly Insinuate state- 
ments, or leave his reader to infer facts. Indeed, it maybe said of his style, that it has 
QO marked character at all. Without ever offending the mind or the oar, it has nothing 
that attracts observation to it, simply as a style. It is a transparent medium, through 
which we see the form and movement of the writer's mind . In this respect, we may 
compare it with the manners of a well-bred gentleman, which have nothing so peculiar 
as to awaken attention,- and which, from their very ease and simplicity, enable the es- 
eential qualities of the understanding and character to be more clearly discerned." 

§ 444. A Biography is an account of the life of an individu- 
al. When the chief incidents only are touched upon, it is 
called a Biographical Sketch. The style recommended in the 
last paragraph for history is also appropriate to biography. 
The writer should avoid a tendency to minuteness of uninter- 
esting detail, and exaggerated praise of the person of whose 
life he is treating. 

§ 445. The third variety of narrative is the Obituary, 
which is a notice of a person's death, accompanied with a 
brief sketch of his life and character. Obituaries are gener- 
ally written by friends of the deceased, in whom, as in the 

tinguished in American literature. WTiat is said of Prescott's style ? In what terma 
does the North American Review speak of it ? 

§444. What is a biography ? What is a biographical sketch? What style is ap- 
propriate to biography? Against what tendency should the biographer be on his 
griard ? 

§445. What is the third variety of narrative? What is an obituary? By whom 
aro obituaries generally written? What, therefore, is the natural tendency in tlio 



biographer, there is a natural tendency to exaggerate tha 
abilities and virtues of those whose memory they would pre- 
serve. Such exaggeration fails of its object, being readily de- 
tected, and in that case not only losing its effect, but actually 
offending the reader. In this, as in every other species of 
narrative, truth should be the primary object, 

§ 446. Travels constitute the fourth kind of narrative. 
They may be defined as an account of incidents that have 
happened, and observations that have been made, during a 
journey ; and form one of the most entertaining and popular 
departments of literature. 

jSTarration constitutes the greater part of a book of travels ; but de- 
Bcription and the other elements of composition may also be introduced, 
in a greater or less degree. Keen powers of observation are essential to 
the writer in this department of composition. His style should be varied 
to suit the different objects and incidents he is called on successively to 
describe ; ornamented or simple, sublime or sparkling with humor, as 
occasion may require. To awaken interest in his readers, he should se- 
lect new and important subjects only, and exhibit them in their most 
Btriking light. 

§ 447. The fifth class comprises Voyages ; which resem- 
ble travels in every respect, except that the incidents they re- 
late are such as have happened to one passing by water be- 
tween countries remote from each other. As regards style, 
the same principles apply as in the case of travels. 

§448. The last variety of narrative we shall here mention, 
is the Anecdote. This term is derived from two Grreek words 
(a privative and Ik^oto'^^ given out^ tnade public) ; and was 
originally applied to an historical fact not generally known. 

writers of obituaries? What is said of such exaggeration? In all the A«arieties of 
narrative, what should be the primary object? 

§ 446. What constitute the fourth kind of narrative ? What is meant by travels 1 
What constitutes the greater part of a book of travels ? What else may be intro- 
(lucea ? What is essential to success in the writing of travels ? What style is most 
effective for them ? What subjects should be selected by the writers of travels ? 

§447. What is the fifth division of narratives? In what do voyages differ from 
travels? What style is recommended for voyages ? 

§ 443. What is the last variety of narrative mentioned ? From what is the word 


when promulgated for the first time. As now used, however, 
this term signifies an account of an interesting detached inci- 
dent, particularly one connected with the career of some distin- 
guished person. The point of an anecdote should not be ob- 
scured by too many words, 

§ 449. The only example it is thought necessary to pre- 
sent, is one of the anecdote. The other varieties form so 
considerable a portion of the current literature of the day that 
khe student can hardly go amiss for suitable models. 


Long after the victories of Washington over the French and English had made 
his name familiar to all Europe, Dr. Franklin chanced to diue with the English and 
French ambassadors ; when, as nearly as the precise words can be recollected, the 
following toasts were drunk : — 

" England — The Sim whose bright beams enlighten and fructify the remotest cor- 
ners of the earth." 

The French ambassador, filled with national pride, but too polite to dispute the pre- 
vious toast, drank the following : — 

" Fkance— Tho Moon whose mild, steady, and cheering rays, are the delight of all 
nations, consoling them in darkness, and making their dreariness beautiful" 

Dr. Franklin then arose, and, with his usual dignified simplicity, said : — 

" Geoegb Washtngton — The Joshua who commanded the Sun and Moon to stand 
still ; and they obeyed him." 


I. Write, in your own language, an Anecdote of Richard 
the Lion-hearted. 
II. Write, in your own language, an Anecdote of Philip of 
Macedon, from the following heads : — 

A Macedonian soldier had so distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of valor as 
to gain the favor of King Philip and many marks of royal approbation. 

This soldier was once shipwrecked ; and, being cast ashore with scarcely a sign of 
life, was revived only by the care and tenderness of a Macedonian, whose lands were 
contiguous to the sea, and who hastened to his relief. Placed in this good man's bed, 
carefully nursed, and freely supplied with the necessaries of life, the shipwrecked sol- 
dier found himself, at the expiration of forty days, sufficiently recovered to be able to 
resume his journey. He left with loud protestations of gratitude to his kind host ; aid. 
Informing the latter of his influence with the king, promised that his first care should 
be to secure from the royal bounty a munificent reward {<^ one who had so generously 
befriended him in time of need. 

anecdote derived ? To what was this term originally appliod ? As now used, what 
Joes it signify? What is the effect of too many words in an anecdote? 


In reality, however, he was filled with base cupidity, and ungratefully resolved ts 
procure for himself the grounds of his benefactor. Shortly after, he presented himself 
before the king ; and, recounting his misfortunes and at the same time his services, 
begged that Philip would give him an estate, and specified that of his entertainer as 
one which would be peculiarly acceptable. Ignorant of the circumstances, Philip in- 
considerately granted the request 

The soldier Immediately returned, and, driving out his preserver with violence^ 
Beized on the property in question. The latter, stung to the heart by this unparalleled 
ingratitude, boldly approached the king, and laid the whole case before him. Philip, 
finding, on examination, the story to be true, lamented his own inconsiderate act, 
ordered the property to be restored, made the suffering cobiplainant a munificent 
present, and, seizing the base soldier, confiscated his goods, and had the words tub 
TTNGRATEFTJL GtTEST branded on his forehead. 

[Close vrith remarks on the king's justice,] 



From the following points, draw up two Biographical 
Sketches, one of Alfred the Great, and the other of William 
the Conqueror. If further information is needed, any history 
will supply it. 


Introduction — Responsibility resting on kings — How much 
the happiness or misery of their subjects depends on them — 
How some kings abuse their opportunities of doing good, 
while others are incalculable blessings to the lands they rule- 
How it was in the case of Alfred. 

Born 849, at Wantage in Berkshire — son of Ethelwolf , 
his mother was Osburgh, daughter of Oslac, butler to Ethel- 
wolf, but well descended. 

His early education neglected — his natural thirst for 
knowledge — skilled i^ bodily exercises. 

His enemies, the Danes : i. e. the people of Scandinavia 
(Sweden, Denmark, and Norway). Commander of his brother's 
armies — recommends a navy. 


Losses and reverses of fortune — anecdote of the burnt 
cakes — visit in disguise to the Danish camp — defeat of the 
Danes — baptism of Guthrum — Alfred's power increases. — 
Peace during the last two years of his reign — dies 901. 

His character — learning — piety — habits — political institu- 
tions — patronage of learned men — division of England into 
counties, hundreds, tithings, &c. 


Introduction — some kings seem to have been chosen by 
Providence as instruments for effecting mighty changes in 
nations — the case with William the Conqueror — intermixture 
of Normans with Saxons produced the English nation of the 
present day. 

Whose son ? — his title to the English throne — his rival — 
the invasion of England — the number of William's army — 
where he landed. 

Harold's title to the crown — proposals made by William 
to Harold the night before the battle. 

The battle and its circumstances — death of Harold, and 
victory of William — 14th October, 1066. Extinction of the 
Saxon rule — submission of the clergy. 

Coronation — oath — return to Normandy — Effects of his 
absence — Conspiracy of the English — return of William, and 
treatment of the rebels and English clergy. 

Destined to vexation and trouble — his children — anecdote 
of their quarrels. 

Insurrection in Normandy — conduct of the queen, daugh- 
ter of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders — rebellion quelled by an 
English army. 

Death of Queen Matilda — insurrection in Maine aided by 
the King of France. 

Invasion of France by William — accident which caused 
the death of the king in 1087. 

Character — changes produced in England during his reign 
— Relations between the Saxons and the Normans — changes 
in the language. 




§ 450. Fiction is that branch of composition which con- 
sists in the narration of imaginary incidents. With this nar- 
ration, descriptionis of material objects, of natural scenery, and 
of persons, are generally combined. 

It will be seen that the difference between the narrative and the fic- 
tion lies in the character of the incidents they respectively relate ; tbe 
former being limited to such as are true, while those of the latter aro 
created either whoUy or in part by the imagination. We say in part, 
for fictions may be founded on fact, historical events being often taken 
as the basis of such compositions. If the details have been invented by 
the author, if imaginary conversations, characters, oi scenes, are intro- 
duced, it is sufficient to constitute a fiction. 

§451. The chain of incidents on which a fiction is founded, 
is called its Plot. A plot should not be glaringly improb- 
able ; it should be moral, consistent in all its parts, and so 
managed as to keep alive the reader's interest throughout. 
This is often ensured by reserving some important denouement 
for the last. 

§ 452. Next to a good plot, nothing is more necessary to 
success in fictitious composition than a striking and life-like 
portraiture of character. Individual peculiarities of mind 
and manners must be carried out. Whatever the personages 
introduced say or do, must strictly harmonize with the char- 
acter assigned them by the writer. 

§ 453. Fictitious compositions constitute one of the most 

§ 450. What is fiction ? With this narration, what are generally combined ? What 
oonbcitntes the difference between a narrative and a fiction ? On what may fictions be 
founded ? What are often taken as a basis for them ? In such cases, what is sufficient 
to constitute a fiction ? 

§ 451. What is meant by the plot of a fictitious composition ? What is essential 
with respect to a plot ? How is the reader's interest often kept alive to the end ? 

§ 462. Next to a good plot, what is most important to success in fictitious compo- 
lition ? What is meant by this ? 

§ 463. Explain how fictitious compositions exert a powerful influence on the morals 


important departments of literature. Obtaining greater cur- 
rency than almost any other kinds of writing, and furnishing 
food, as they do, to a great extent, for the imaginations of the 
young, they exert a powerful influence on the morals and taste 
of a nation. That this influence should be cast on the side of 
morality and truth, is all-important. 

In the hands of judicious writers who feel the responsibility of their 
position, fiction becomes an important instrument of good. It furnishes 
one of the best channels for conveying instruction, for showing the 
errors into which we are betrayed by our passions, for lenderiog virtue 
attractive and vice odious. Accordingly, we find that the wisest of 
men, in all ages, have used fables and parables as vehicles of moral in- 
struction. It must be observed, however, that, while fiction, as shown 
above, may be an effective instrument of good, it is no less powerful an 
agent of evil, when diverted from its proper use, and made to teach a 
false moral or pander to the baser passions. ISTo ordinary responsibility, 
therefore, rests on the writer in this department of composition. 

§ 454. The principal forms in which fiction appears are 
Tales, Novels, Romances, and Dialogues. 

The first three of these are closely related ; the difi'erence 
between them is as follows. The Tale is short- and simple, 
and admits of comparatively few characters ; it is told without 
much regard to keeping the reader in suspense, and often has 
but little depth of plot or importance of denouement. The 
Nwel and the Romance, on the contrary, admit of every pos- 
sible variety of character, and afford the greatest scope for 
exciting the interest of the reader by a rapid succession of 
events, an involvement of interests, and the unravelling of in- 
tricacies of plot. The Novel, though thus like the Romance 
in its main features, difi'ers from the latter in that it aims at 
the delineation of social manners, or the development of a 
etory founded on the incidents of ordinary life, or both to- 
gether ; whereas the Romance is based on incidents, not mere- 

and taste of a nation. In the hands of judicious writers, what does fiction become? 
Bhow how it is made an instrument of good. On the other hand, show how it may bo 
attended with the most pernicious efifects. 

§ 454 What are the principal forms in which fiction appears ? What are the dis- 
tinguishing features of the tale, the novel, and the romance ? What word is commonly 


ly improbable, but altogether wild and out of tlie common 
course of life at the present day, — on legends of bygone ages^ 
heroic exploits of former times, supernatural events, and vaga- 
ries of the imagination in general. In all three, the plot ma;y 
be unfolded, at least in a measure, by means of conversations 
between the characters introduced. 

The word story is commonly used as synonymous with tale. Proper- 
ly speaking, however, this term is applied to any narrative of past 
events, real or fictitious. We speak of " the story of Joseph," and " the 
etory ol the Forty Thieves." 

A Dialogue is a fictitious conversation between two or 
more persons. 

Dialogues have been used with great success, particularly by the 
ancients, as a convenient form for the discussion of serious topics con- 
nected with criticism, morals, and philosophy. Well conducted, they 
are peculiarly entertaining to the reader ; as they not only afford him 
a full view of the subject in all its relations, but at the same time please 
him with their easy conversational style, and their display of well-sup- 
ported characters. But, to be thus effective, a dialogue must show in a 
striking light the character and manners of the several speakers, must 
adapt to these their thoiights and expressions respectively, — in a word, 
must be a spirited representation of a real conversation. 

In this difficult branch of composition, few have equalled Plato, in 
whose mind soundness of judgment seems to have been combined in an 
unprecedented degree with richness of imagination. Socrates is one of 
his prominent characters. This sage, whom he reveres as a philosopher 
and loves as his master, is represented as conversing with the sophists 
on various topics ; as asking them questions which bear on the point 
without their perceiving it, founding new interrogatories on the an- 
swers received, and thus leading them on until they suddenly find 
themselves involved in difficulties and absurdities, and are obliged, by 
the admissions they have made, to own the falsity of their own position 
and the correctness of their adversary's. This mode of reasoning has 

used as synonymous with tale ? What two-fold signilication has this term story f Il- 
lustrate each. What Is a dialogue ? For what have dialogues been used ? What ren^ 
ders them, when well conducted, peculiarly entertaining to the reader. To be effect! ve^ 
what is essential with respect to a dialogue ? Who is distinguished for his skill in this 
department of composition? Who constitutes one of Plato's prominent characters? 
Describe the Socratic mode of reasoning as represented in Plato's dialogues. What is 
Baeant by a Socratic dialogue? What other bind of dialogue is mentioned? Whal 


hence been called Socratic ; and a Socratic dialogue is one in which it 
is pursued. 

There are also lighter dialogues, in which wit and humor play an 
important part, and which are designed princij)ally to satirize the fol- 
lies of the day. These, Lucian, among the ancients, carried to a high 
degree of perfection. In modern times, we have few specimens either of 
the lighter yr the graver kind, that can be said to possess superior merit: 
the difficulty of this style of composition seems to have brought it int© 
disfavor with the majority of writers. 

§ 455. An extended dialogue, consisting of different scenes 
accommodated to action, and participated in by a number of 
characters, who appear and disappear at intervals as may be 
necessary for the development of the plot, is called a Drama, 
Dramas are written in either prose or poetry, but generally 
the latter ; for which reason, we shall at present postpone 
their consideration. 

§ 456. We subjoin a specimen of the tale, — one, however, 
in which, by reason of its brevity, there is necessarily but 
little plot. In tales of any length, description may be intro- 
duced with effect. 


Cardinal de Eichelieu has always been considered a great minister, and on some 
accounts lie well deserved the name. He rendered an immense service to monarchy, 
in despatching the last heads of the feudal hydra, and literature owes him much for 
the establishment of the French Academy. Although himself but an indifferent 
writer, he was ever ready to encourage the arts, and paid liberally for the efforts oi 
others. The Cardinal, however, could not endure that his acts should be made the 
subject of comment, particularly since some of them were of a character not calcu- 
lated to elicit very warm commendation from lovers of morality. The more power- 
ful, indeed, occasionally indulged in freedom of speech; but woe to the humble 
individual that was indiscreet enough publicly to find fault with the peccadilloes of 
his Eminence. With such he had a summary way of privately dealing which effec- 
tually closed their Ups for the future. 

M. Dumont, a small merchant of the Eue St. Denis, received one morning a letter 
dated Eueil, a little village on the outskirts of Paris, where the Cardinal had a coun- 
try-seat. This letter contained an invitation to supper for the nest day with hia 
Eminence. M. Dumont could not believe his eyes ; he read the letter several times, 
looked at the direction, and finally concluded that he must be indeed the person to 
whom it was addressed. Amazed beyond expression, he called his wife and daugh- 

Micient writer excelled in it ? What has brought this kind of composition into disfavol 
ftrith the majority of writers ? 

§ 455. What is a drama ? Are dramas generally written in prose, or poetry ? 


tera, to commtmicate to them his good fortune. You may imagine the joy and pridfl 
of the three women I 

About four o'clock he mounted his horse, and started for Eueil. He had scarcely 
passed the suburbs, when the clouds assumed a threatening look, and the sound of dis* 
tant thunder announced the approach of a violent storm. The merchant, having 
neglected to provide himself with a cloak, doubled the speed of his horse. But the 
storm travelled faster than his steed ; flashes of lightning succeeded each other with 
frightful rapidity, and the rain fell in torrents. Assailed by the tempest, our hero put 
his horse to the gallop; but at length, unable to continue his journey, he stopped at 
H small tavern in Manterre. He alighted, sent his horse to the stable, and took refuge 
in a low room, where the servants lighted a blazing fire to dry his clothes. While he 
was warming himself, the door opened, and another person, also drenched with rain, 
entered, and seated himself in the opposite corner. 

The two travellers looked at each other for some time in silence. At last, M. Du- 
mont addressed his companion with the words : " "What detestable weather I " 

" It is very bad indeed," replied the stranger. " But it is only a shower, which, 1 
hope, will soon pass over." 

" Hear," continued M. Dumont ; " the storm increases ; peals of thunder shake the 
house; the rain falls in torrents : and yet I must go on." 

" Sir," said the unknown, " it must be important business that can induce you to 
proceed on your journey in this weather." 

" It is, indeed," said Dumont ; " I will tell you : it is no secret. I am invited to a 
supper, this evening, with the Cardinal de Eichelieu." 

" Ah I I know it is a difficult matter to decline such an invitation. But you have 
Btill a long way to go, and how can you present yourself before his Eminence in the 
state in which you now are ? " 

" His Eminence will, perhaps, appreciate my eagerness to accept his kind invitation." 

" If I did not fear to appear indiscreet, I would ask you if you ever had any thing 
to do with the Cardinal." 

" Nothing at all. I must even say that I can not account for the favor which I 
have received." 

"The Cardinal is very jealous of his authority ; he does not like to have his actions 
judged. One word sometimes is sufficient to excite his suspicion ; think well. Have 
you never given his Eminence any cause for complaint against you ? " 

" I think not. I have been constantly occupied with my business. I have no inter- 
est in what they call politics. However, I believe that, before two or three friends only, 
I censured the death of the Duke of Montmorency, and you would have done the same, 
had your grandfather been the steward of that illustrious noble." 

" My dear sir, you look like an honest man. You have inspired me with much in- 
terest for you ; will you listen to me then ? Do not go to EueiL' 

" Not go to Eueil I I shall set out this instant, in spite of the storm." 

" One word more, my friend, for your position interests me exceedingly ; you really 
believe that the Cardinal is expecting you to supper ? "Well, let me undeceive yoo 
You are expected, it is true,— but to be hung 1 " 

" Oh, merciful Heaven I what do you mean ? It is impossible." 

" I tell you again," said the stranger, " to be hung 1 " 

At these words, Dumont, shuddering with terror, drew himself near to the unr 

"For Heaven's sake, how do you know ? " 

" I am sure of it." 

" But what have I done to deserve such a fate ? " 

" I don't know ; but I am sure of what I say, for I am the one who has been sent for 
u> bang you." 


The poor merchant, pale as a corpse, drew back several steps, and, scarcely able to 
Bpeak, said : 

" Pray tell me, sir — who are you ? " 

" The hangman of Paris, called by his Eminence to despatch yoiu Think of the ser- 
vice I have rendered you, and remember that the least indiscretion on your part will 
be my ruin." 

The merchant remounted his horse without waiting for the storm to abate ; and, 
drenched to the bone, he reached Paris. Instead of repairing to his own house, he 
sought shelter with an old friend, to whom he related his adventure and wonderful es- 
cape. "With the aid of money, he obtained a passport, under a false name ; and, well dis- 
guised, started for England. There he remained till the death of the Cardinal, which 
occurred two years after. 


Write a Tale, founded on incidents of your own inven- 
tion, and conveying the moral that appearances are deceitful. 



§ 457. Essays constitute the fourth division of prose com- 

The term essay literally signifies an attempt ; and is gener- 
ally applied, in literature, to productions in which a writer 
briefly sets forth his views on the leading points connected 
with a subject, without pausing to consider them carefully or 
minutely. Some writers, however, in a spirit of modesty, 
have thought proper to characterize as essays their most pro- 
found and elaborate compositions, following the example of 
Locke in his celebrated ^^JSssay on the Human Understanding ". 
The term has thus come to have a widely extended signifi- 
cation ; and is now equally applicable to the crude exercise of 
the school-boy and the sublimest effort of the man of letters. 

§ 457. What constitute the fourth division of prose compositions ? W hat does the 
term essay literally signify ? To what is it generally applied in literature ? What tave 
Gome writers, in a spirit of modesty, used this term to denote ? What is the conse- 
\£<ience, as regards the present acceptation of the word essay ? What, for the most part 

380 ESSAYS, 

The themes of essays are, for the most part, either abstract 
subjects or topics connected with life and manners. 

§ 458. The term essay being thus comprehensive, the compo- 
sitions so designated are susceptible of division into a variety 
of classes distinguished by particular names ; the principal 
of which are Editorials, Reviews, Treatises, Tracts, Disserta- 
tions, and Disquisitions. 

An Editorial is a short essay on some current topic of the 
day, presented in a newspaper or periodical as embodying the 
views of its conductors. 

A Review is a critical essay on some literary production, 
in which its beauties and defects are pointed out. 

A Treatise is a methodical and elaborate essay, generally 
on some ethical, political, or speculative, subject. 

A Tract is a brief essay, generally on some religious or 
political theme, called forth by the events of the day, and sel- 
dom possessing sufficient general interest to survive the occa- 
sion which gave it birth. 

A Dissertation is an essay of some length, investigating, in 
all its relations, some disputed subject ; and written, not for 
the purpose of establishing a given position, but of fairly pre- 
senting the arguments on all sides, and arriving at the truth. 

A Disquisition has the same object in view as a disser^ 
tation, — that is, the eliciting of truth ; it differs from the lat- 
ter only in being more brief, and being confined more strictly 
to the particular point under consideration. 

§ 459. In the conduct of the essay, great latitude is 
allowed. Its subjects are so various that no uniform mode of 
treatment can be recommended or followed. The heads to 
be taken will of course differ according to the character of 
the topics treated; yet, in most compositions of this class, 

constitute the themes of essays ? Enumerate the classes into which essays aro divi- 
ded. What is an editorial ? a review ? a treatise ? a tract ? a dissertation ? a dia- 
luisition ? 

§ 459. What is allowed in the conduct of an essay ? VThy cannot a uniform, mode 
of treatment be followed ? According to what will the heads to be taken differ? What 


the following will be found appropriate. They may be am- 
plified according to the suggestions in § 409. 

I. Introduction. — Suggestions respecting it will be found in §406, 
406, 40Y, 408. 
n. Definition. 
HL Origin. 
IV. History. 
Y. Historical Illustrations. 
VI. Advantages. Similes and Quotations. 
Vn, Disadvantages. Similes and Quotations. 
Vm. Practical Conclusion. 

If tlie subject is one on which there is a difference oi opinion, it may 
be well, in place of the fourth and the fifth head, given above, to sub- 
Btitute the following : — 
IV. Statement of Views. 

I. General view. What has been thought on this subject by 
aU nations, and in all ages ? 
IL Local view. What opinions are entertained on it in the age 
and country to whicb the writer belongs ? 

Or the following division may be preferable : — 

I. Ancient view, or that held by the ancients generally, and 
especially their philosophers. 
n. Modern view. Causes which may have operated to produce 
a change of opinion. 
V. Author's View. Arguments to sustain it. The negative argu- 
ment, or proving the truth of what is advanced by showing the 
absurdity of the contrary, is often introduced with fine effect. 

It wiU be seen from the above heads that the essay may contain all 
the parts of composition, — description, narration, argimient, exposition, 
and speculation. 

§ 460. As a specimen of the essay, in the brief form in which, 
as a school or college exercise, it generally appears, we subjoin 
a composition on Friendship^ which may be supposed to have 
been written from the following 

I. Definition. What is friendship ? 

n. Origin and necessity. 

ni. Estimation in which it was formerly held. Example. 
IV. Universality ; extends to all ranks of life. 

V. Benefits of true, and evils of false, friendship ? 
VX Conclusion. Practical reflections. 

heads will generally be found appropriate ? If the subject is one on -whicb there is a 
differenee of opinion, what heads will it be well to take ? 

332 ESSAYS. 


Friendship is an attachment between persons of congenial dispositions, habite, and 

It has its origin in the nature and condition of man. He is a social creature, and 
naturally loves to frequent the society, and enjoy the affections, of those who are 
like himself. He is also, individually, a feeble creature ; and a sense of this weakness 
renders friendship indispensable to him. Though he may have all other enjoyments 
within his reach, he still finds his happiness incomplete, unless participated by one 
whom he considers his friend. When in difficulty and distress, he looks around for 
advice, assistance, and consolation. 

No wonder, therefore, that a sentiment of such importance to man should have been 
so frequently and so fully considered. We can scarcely open any of the volumes of 
antiquity without being reminded how excellent a thing is friendship. The examples of 
David and Jonathan, Achilles and Patroclus, Pylades and Orestes, Nisus and Eurya- 
Ins, Damon and Pythias, all show to what a degree of enthusiasm it was sometimes car- 
ried. Even the great Cicero deemed it of sufficient importance to form the subject of 
one of his masterly essays. But it is to be feared that, in modern times, friendship ia 
seldom remarkable for similar devotedness. With some, it is nominal rather than real; 
and, with others, it is regulated entirely by self-interest. 

Yet it would, no doubt, be possible to produce, from every rank in life, and from 
every state of society, instances of sincere and disinterested friendship, creditable to hu- 
man nature, and to the age in which we live. We can not think so ill of our species as 
to believe that selfishness has got the better of their nobler feelings sufficiently to de- 
stroy their sympathy with their fellow-creatures, and their love towards those whom 
God hath given them for neighbors and brethren. 

ivfter these remarks, to enlarge on the benefits of possessing a real friend appears 
unnecessary. What would be more intolerable than the consciousness that in all tho 
wide world, not one heart beat in unison with our own, or caied for our welfare ? 
What indescribable happiness must it be, on the other hand, to possess a real friend;— • 
a friend who will counsel, instruct, assist; who will bear a willing part in our calamity, 
and cordially rejoice when the hour of happiness returns I 

Let us remember, however, that all who assume the name of friends are not entitled 
to our confidence. History records many instances of the fatal consequences of infidelity 
In friendship ; and it cannot be denied that the world contains mon who are happy to find 
a heart they can pervert, or a head they can mislead, if thus their unworthy ends can 
be more surely attaine(f . Caution in the formation of friendships is, therefore, in the 
highest degree necessary. We should admit none to the altar of our social affections 
without closely scrutinizing their lives and characters. We must assure ourselves of 
the uprightness and truth of those to whom we open our hearts in friendship, if Ave would 
not have a pernicious influence exerted, on our own dispositions; if we would not, Iq 
the hour of trial, find ourselves forgotten and abandoned to the old charities of an un« 
»yj5ipathizing world. 

Write an Essay from the following extended Analysis : — 


1 Introduction. Courage is a natural quality, yet it is often increased 
or lessened by circumstances. Among the considerations which 
tend to confirm this quality on particular occasions, is the con- 
sciousness that we have right on our side, that we are engaged in 
a just and honorable cause. 


JI. Reasons why this is the case. 

1, A mind conscious of rigM is not ashamed ; and, as shame ia 
always cowardly, so the absence of it conduces to moral cour- 
^ A mind conscious to itself of honest intentions is not paralyzed 

by any fear of being detected in what it is doing. 

3. Conscious rectitude gives confidence to the heart, from a convic- 
tion of being in the path of duty. 

4. A good cause makes a stout heart, from a persuasion that God 
will maintain the right ; and, " if God be for us, who can be 
against us ? " 

5- A desire for the approbation of men will encourage those who are 

engaged in the cause of truth and JTistice, 
6 The just man will be further emboldened by the reflection that 

his adversary's cause is a bad one, and can not prevail against 

7. Even to fail in a good cause is honorable ; and, therefore, the 

upright mind is sustained by the double assurance mentioned 

by St. Paul, " Whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; or 

whether we die, we die unto the Lord : living or dying, we are 

the Lord's." 

in Contrast. — ^While he who feels he is in the right is thus fearless, 
one who is doing what he knows to be wrong is afraid to be seen : 
his heart is paralyzed by a constant dread of detection, disgrace, 
and punishment ; and the conviction that he is maintaining the 
wrong against an adversary who is armed with the consciousness 
of rectitude, will have a most pernicious influence upon both his 
moral and physical courage. 

lY Similes. — As bright armor will resist a rtusket Dall far better than 
a rusty suit of mail, so a good cause is far stronger than a puissant 
arm raised to uphold what is wrong. 

A good foundation makes a building flrm ; and when the rain 
descends and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon 
that house, it will not fall, because its foundation is secure : where- 
as, a house built upon the sand cannot resist the rain, the floods, 
and the wind, but Avill fall when they beat against it, and great 
will be the fall thereof 

A ship built of sound timber may weather the roughest sea ; 
but one made of rotten planks can not ride in safety through the 
smoothest water. 

A dog stealing a bone is alarmed at the slightest sound, and 
will run away; while the same dog, guarding a house at night, 
can not be terrified by threats or danger. 

A "thief doth fear each bush an officer"; but a soldier in the 
battle-field will stand fearlessly at the cannon's mouth. 

Boys engaged upon their duty are not afraid of the eye of their 
master ; but every sound alarms them when they are doing what 
they know to be wrong. 

A dying man who has endeavored to discharge his duty, is 
not airaid to meet his Maker ; but one whose conscience tells him 
that he has been an evil-doer, is in an agony of fear when ha 
finds himself on his death-bed. 


V. Historical Illustrations. — ^According to Shakspeare's representation^ 
Kichard III., at the battle of Bosworth Field, was weighed down 
with the oppression of conscious guilt; but Richmond, being buoyed 
up with the conviction of the justness of his cause, fought like a 
lion, and prevailed. 

Macbeth started at every whisper of the wind, or shriek of the 
night-hawk, when he went to murder Duncan ; but stood as an 
" eagle against a sparrow, or a lion against a hare," in the fierce 
contest with the Norwegian rebels. 

Siccus Dentatus resisted a hundred adversaries sent to assassi- 
nate him, with considerable success ; killing fifteen, and wounding 
thirty others. 

A usurper is in constant fear of conspiracies : common tradi- 
tion says that Cromwell wore armor imder his clothes, and never 
went and returned by the same route. 

Leonidas, at the straits of Thermopylae, was not afraid with four 
hundred men to oppose Xerxes, the invader of Greece, at the head 
of a million troops. 

William Tell, with a handful of adherents, boldly resisted the 
Austrian multitude, and even repulsed it. 

David, with a simple sling and stone, encountered Goliath, the 
giant of Gath, and slew him. 
VI. Quotations. Honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. — Frov. 

KXLK., 23. 

-The wicked flee when no man pursueth : but the righteous are 
bold as a lion. — Prov. xxvm., 1. 

Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. — ShaJcspeare. 
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just ; 
And he but naked, though locked up in steel, 
"Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. 


Conscience makes cowards of us all. — ShaTcspeare, 

Conscience is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward ; a 
man can not steal, but it accuseth him ; a man can not swear, but 
it checks him. Tis a blushing shamefaced spirit, that mutinies in 
a man's bosom, and fills one full of obstacles. — ShaTcspeare. 

When the mind proposes honorable ends, not only the virtues, 
but the deities also, are ready to assist. — Lord Bacon. 

Innocence is the best armor. — Proverb. 
VII." Conclusion, 

1. When we feel ill at ease and afraid to persevere in an enter, 
prise or take a bold part against our adversaries, let us careful- 
ly examine whether our cause is just. 

2. If we would not be cowards, we must be sure that we have 
right on our side ; for, if wo have not, we will inevitably dis- 
trust our own success and be unable to do justice to the cause 
in which we are engaged. 




1. Draw up an analysis, and write an essay, from the fol- 
lowing suggestions : — 

What is Society ? — "WTien did it begin to exist ? — ^Under -what forma 
did it at first appear ? — What are its benefits ? — What is the efi'ect of 
society on the human mind ? — ^What is its effect on the arts and sci- 
ences ? — Show the difference between a state of barbarism and one of 
civilization. — What are the disadvantages of society ? — Mention some of 
the vices engendered by an over-refined state of society — and the per- 
nicious effects resulting to the community from them — Give historical 
examples of these effects. 

2. Draw up an analysis, and write an essay, from the fol- 
lowing suggestions : — 

What does the word gwernment signify ? — Show the origin and ne- 
cessity of government. — Show the effects of anarchy. — ^Which was the 
earliest form of government ? — Describe this patriarchal form of govern- 
ment. — What qualities naturally give one man a power over others ? — 
Which are, or have been, the prevailing forms of government ? — Enu- 
merate the advantages and disadvantages of each. — Which is the most 
stable ? — What is the form of government in this country ? — Show the 
advantages of the government of the United States, — Conclusion ; how 
thankful we should be that our lots are cast in a country which enjoya 
80 Liberal a government, and how careful we should be not to abuse the 
blessings thus placed within our reach. 



§ 461. The fifth form in which prose compositions appear 
is that of the Thesis, or Argumentative Discourse. 

A Thesis, or Argumentative Discourse, is a composition 
in' which the writer lays down a proposition, and endeavors to 
persuade others that it is true. The statements or reasons 

§ 461, What is the fifth form in which prose compositions appear ? Wl 
thesia, or argumentative disconrse ? What are argumenta ? In what cas« does i 

r? What is a 

, „ g __ ,us« does a theala 

oecome an oration ? 



used for this purpose are called Arguments. "When intended 
for delivery, or written in a suitable style for that purpose, a 
thesis becomes an Oration. 

§ 462. In the conduct of orations and argumentative dis* 
courses, six formal divisions were adopted by the ancients , 
the Exordium or Introduction, the Division, the Statement, 
the Reasoning, the Appeal to the Feelings, and the Peroration 
It is by no means necessary, however, that these six parts 
should enter into every discourse. To employ them all 
would inevitably, in some cases, produce an appearance of 
stiffness and pedantry. Yet, as any of them may be used, we 
proceed to define and treat briefly of each. 

§ 463. The object of the Exordium or Introduction is to 
render the reader or hearer well-disposed, attentive, and open 
to persuasion. 

To aecomplisli the first of these ends, the writer must make a modest 
opening, and convey to his readers the impression that he is candidly 
maintaining a position of the truth of which he is himself assured. To 
awaken attention, he should hint at the importance, novelty, or dignity 
of the subject. Finally, to make his readers open to conviction, he 
should endeavor to remove any prejudices they may have formed against 
the side of the question he intends to espouse. 

The introduction of a discourse is its most difficult part. 
If, as we have seen, it is important in other compositions to 
make a good impression at the outset, it is doubly so when we 
are endeavoring to persuade. The following suggestions will 
be found generally applicable : — 

I. An introduction must be easy and natural. It must appear, as 
Cicero says, " to have sprung up of its own accord from the matter 
imder consideration". To ensure these qualities, it is recommended 
hat the introduction should not be composed until the other parts of 

§ 462. In the conduct of argumentative discourses, what formal divisions were 
adopted by the ancients ? In some cases, what would result from employing all these 
divisions ? 

% 463. What is the object of the exordium ? What must the writer do, in order to 
aocomplish these three ends ? What is said of the importance of having an eflfectivo 
Introduction ? Wliat is the first essential of an introduction ? What does Cicero gay 
m this head? To ensure this, when is it recommended that the introduction should be 


the discourse are written, or at least until its general scope and Waring 
are digested. Cicero, though in treating of the subject he distinctly ap- 
proves of this plan, did not see fit in his own case to follow it. It was 
his custom, as we learn from one of his Letters to Atticus, to prepare, at 
his leisure, a variety of introductions, that he might have them in 
readiness for any work which he should afterwards write. In conse- 
quence of this singular mode of proceeding, he happened unwittingly to 
employ the same introduction in two different works. Atticus informed 
him of the fact, and Cicero, acknowledging the mistake, sent him a new 

11. In the second place, modesty is essential in an introduction; 
it must not promise too much, and thus raise expectations in the 
reader which may be disappointed. 

m. An introduction is not the place for vehemence and passion. 
The minds of the readers must be gradually prepared before the writer 
can venture on strong and animated outbursts. An exception, how- 
ever, may be made when the subject is of such a nature that the 
very mention of it naturally awakens passionate emotion. 

IV. Introductions, moreover, should not anticipate any material 
part of the subject. K topics or arguments afterwards to be enlai-ged 
upon are hinted at or partially discussed in the introduction, they 
lose, when subsequently brought forward, the grace of novelty, and 
thereby a great portion of their effect. 

V. Lastly, the introduction should be accommodated, both in length 
and character, to the discourse that is to follow : in length, as nothing 
can be more absurd than to erect an immense vestibule before a dimin- 
utive building ; and in character, as it is no less absurd to overcharge 
with superb ornaments the portico of a plain dweUing-house, or to 
make the entrance to a monument as gay as that to an arbor. 

§ 464. The Division is that part of a discourse in which 
the writer makes known to his readers the method to be pur- 
sued, and the heads he intends to take, in treating his subject. 
There are many cases in which the division is unnecessary ; 
some, in which its introduction would even be improper : as, 
for instance, when only a single argument is to be used. 

compused ? What was Cicero's practice ? Into what difficulty did it once lead him f 
In tbe second place, what is essential in an introduction ? Thirdly, for what is an intro. 
ductfon not the place ? What exception is made ? What is the effect of anticipating 
In the introduction any material part of the subject ? Lastly, to what should the intro 
Auction be accommodated ? How is this illustrated ? 

§464. What is the division? In what compositions is it most frequently used f 


A formal division is used more frequently in the sermon than in any 
other species of composition; but it has been questioned by many 
whether the laying down of heads, as it is called, does not lessen, rather 
than add to, the eflfect. The Archbishop of Cambray, in his Dialogues 
on Eloquence, strongly condemns it : observing that it is a modern in- 
vention, which took its rise only when metaphysics began to be intro- 
duced into preaching ; that it renders a sermon stiff and destroys its 
anity ; and is fatal to oratorical effect. It is urged, on the other hand, 
however, that a formal division renders a sermon more clear by showing 
how all the parts hang on each other and tend to one and the same 
point, and thus makes it more impressive and instructive. The heads 
of a sermon, moreover, are of great assistance to the memory of a 
hearer; they enable him to keep pace with the progress of the dis- 
course, and afford him resting-places whence he can reflect on what has 
been said, and look forward to what is to follow. 

When the division is employed, care should be taken, 

I. That the several parts into which the subject is divided be really 
distinct ; that is, that no one include another. 

n. That the heads taken be those into which the subject is most 
easily and naturally resolved. 

in. That the several members of the division exhaust the subject. 

IV. That there be no unnecessary multiplication of heads, to distract 
and weary the reader. 

V That a natural order be followed; that is, that the simplest 
points be first discussed, and afterwards the more difficult ones that are 
founded on them. 

VI. That the terms in which the division is expressed be as con- 
cise as possible. That there be no circumlocution, no unnecessary 

§ 465. The third division of a discourse is the Statement, 
in which the facts connected with the subject are laid open. 
This generally forms an important part of legal pleadings. 
The statement should be put forth in a clear and forcible 
style. The writer must state his facts in such a way as to 

What has been questioned by many ? What is the opinion of the Archbishop of Cam- 
bray ? What advantages, on the other hand, does a formal division possess ? When 
Uie division is employed, what six points should be attended to ? 

§ 465. What is the third division of a discourse ? What is the statement ? Of what 
impositions does it form an important part? In what style should it be written? 
How must the writer state his facts ? 


keep strictly within tlio bounds of truth, and yet to present 
them under the colors that are most favorable to his cause ; 
to place in the most striking light every circumstance that is 
to his advantage, and explain away, as far as possible such as 
make against him. 

§ 466. The fourth division is the Reasoning ; and on this 
every thing depends. It is here that the arguments are found 
which are to induce conviction, and to prepare for which is the 
object of the parts already discussed. The following sugges- 
tions should be regarded : — 

L The writer should select such argTiments cnly as he feels to be 
soKd and convincing. He must not expect to impose on the world by 
mere arts of language ; but, placing himself in the situation of a reader, 
sliould think how he would be affected by the reasoning which he pro- 
poses to use for the persuasion of others. 

II. When the arguments employed are strong and satisfactory, the 
more they are distinguished and treated apart from each other, the 
better; but, when they are weak or doubtful, it is expedient rather to 
throw them together, than to present each in a clear and separate light. 

IIL When we have a number of arguments of different degrees of 
strength, it is best to begin and close with the stronger, placing the 
weaker in the middle, where they will naturally attract least attention. 

rV. Arguments should not be multipHed too much, or extended too 
far. Besides burdening the memory, and lessening the effect of indi- 
vidual points, such diffuseness renders a cause suspected. 

§ 467. The fifth division is the Appeal to the Feelings. 
This should be short and to the point. All appearance of art 
should be strictly avoided. To move his readers, the writer 
must be moved himself. 

§ 468. The last division of a discourse is the Peroration; 

§ 466. What is the fourth division ? Of what does it consist ? What arguments 
should be selected ? When the arguments employed are strong and satisfactory, how 
should they be treated ? How, when they are weak or doubtful ? When we have a 
number of arguments of different degrees of strength, how is it best to arrange them? 
What is the etfect of multiplying arguments too much, or extending them too far ? 

§ 467. What is the fifth division of a discourse ? What should be the character of tm 
appeal to the feelings ? 

§ 468. What is the last division of a discourse ? In it, what does the writer do ? 


in which the writer sums up all that has been said, and en- 
deavors to leave a forcible impression on the reader's mind. 

§ 469. As examples, two argumentative discourses are present- 
ed below, supporting, respectively, the affirmative and the nega- 
tive of the q^uestion, " Does virtue always ensure happiness ? " 



Selilsliness exerts a powerful influence over the actions of all men. Even "when tv© 
least suspect that we are complying with its dictates, if we closely examine the springa 
of our action, we shall find that we are instinctively following the promptings of our 
own tastes and propensities. We can hence perceive the wisdom of Providence, who, 
to win men to virtue even against their own will, has annexed to it an invariable re- 
ward. Happiness He has made depend solely and exclusively on uprightness ; and 
this proposition it is the object of the present discourse to establish. 

It would seem as if this were so palpable a truth that it would require no demon- 
stration, but would be at once universally admitted. Yet there are some, who, despite 
the teachings of moralists of every age, deeming themselves wiser in their generation 
than the children of light, have thought proper to deny it, and thus have sought to over- 
throw the strongest bulwark on which society depends. Whatever the scofi'er may say, 
however confidently he may point to individual instances as contradicting the position 
here maintained, it becomes the candid examiner not to be driven from the truth by ridi- 
cule or sophistry; not to let sneers prevail against the weight of testimony that ancient 
sages, as well as modern philosophers, have borne on this subject; and, finally, to con- 
sider with care before he ventures to disbelieve a doctrine which is at the foundation of 
all morality. 

In the first place, it is necessary to define virtue ; we regard it as consisting in the 
discharge of our duty to God and our neighbor, despite all temptations to the contrary. 
Our first argument is, that a wtuous course is so consonant to the light of reason, is so 
agreeable to our moral sentiments, and produces such peace of mind, that it may be said 
to carry its reward along with it, even if unattended by that recompense which it ought 
to receive from the world. 

This is evident in the very nature of things. The all- wise and beneficent Author of 
nature has so framed the soul of man that he can not but approve of virtue, whether in 
himself or in others, and has annexed to the practice of it an inward satisfaction that 
surpasses all the blessings of earth. The goods of fortune, wealth, ranli, external pros- 
perity,— all these may take to themselves wings and fly away ; but of the happiness 
which springs from the consciousness of a proper discharge of duty, no thief can rob us, 
no stroke of adversity can deprive us. 

But the reward of virtue is not always confined to this internal peace and happiness. 
As, in the works of nature and art, whatever is really beautiful is generally useful, so 
in the moral world, whatever is truly virtuous, is at the same time so beneficial to 
society that it seldom goes without some external recompense. Men know that they 
can depend on one who acts from principle; they have confidence in his words and 
representations, and give him the preference in aU matters ot business. Thus, even in 
a worldly point of view, the virtuous man has an advantage over those of loose principles 
or immoral lives. 

In the third place, nothing is so liable to create in our behalf firm and lasting friend- 
ship on the part of the good, as virtuous practices. The associations of the wicked aro 
undeserving of the name of friendship ; it is only to the elevated fellowship of upright 


mliirts that this term is applied. Now, that friendship is a source of the purest happt 
ties8 none will deny ; and for the blessings resulting from it we are thus indebted, in 
great measure, to virtue. 

But there is another important consideration that wo should not forget. Few men 
arc so constituted as to be insensible to the approbation or censure of the world. To 
many, its smilo is alone sufficient to constitute happinesfi; its frown is a source of 
misery. Now, this smile is gained in no way so readily as by a course of integnty. 

How has the approbation of all ages rewarded the virtue of Scipio 1 That great 
warrior had taken a beautiful captive, with whose charms he was greatly enamored; 
but, finding that she was betrothed to a young nobleman of her own country, he, with- 
out hesitation, generously delivered her up to his rivah This one act of the noble 
Roman has, more than all his conquests, shed an imperishable lustre around hia 

Nor has the approbation of society been limited to the virtuous actions of individ- 
uals. The loveliness of virtue generally has been the constant topic of all moralists, 
ancient and modern. Plato remarks, that, if virtue were to assume a human form, it 
would command the admiration of the whole world. A late writer has said, " In every 
region, every clime, the homage paid to virtue is the same. In no one sentiment were 
ever mankind more generally agreed." 

If, therefore, virtue is in itself so lovely ; if it is accompanied with an inward 
peace and satisfaction ; if it is a source of temporal advantages ; if it is the spring from 
which flow the blessings of friendship ; if it wins for those who practise it the appro- 
bation of the world ; — it must be admitted by every candid enquirer that the proposition 
with which we started is true, that virtue always ensures happiness. Though it must 
be acknowledged that it is frequently attended with crosses in this life, and that some- 
thing of self-denial is implied in its very idea ; yet the wise will admit the truth of the 
poet'.** words, will consider 

" The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears, 
Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears." 

Our own experience, no less than the arguments here adduced, must convince us that 

" Gmlt ever carries his own scourge along ; 
Virtue, her own reward ". 



In contemplating the maxims of the ancient Stoic philosophers, we cannot help 
being struck with the soundness of their principles, and the stern requirements of their 
moral code. Yet there is one of their propositions to which we cannot yield assent; 
and that is, that temporal happiness is the necessary consequence of virtue. So impor- 
tant a question,— one on which so many issues, and those the practical issues of life, 
fire staked, — is well worthy of discussion. 

It is well understood that, in treating this question, prejudices will have to be com- 
bated and removed : for there are many who, without having looked closely at the sub- 
ject, have followed the ancient Stoics; and, because it is a convenient creed to teach, and 
one which it is believed will lead to the practice of virtue, have sought to inculcate this 
Bslfish principle. A regard for virtue should be instilled by higher arguments than 
this ; virtue should be practised because it is a duty,— because it is the command of 

lu the first place, we lay down the proposition that there is no necessary connectiGn 
between virtue and happiness. To the ancients, who knew not that the soul was im- 
mortal, it may have seemed necessary that the patient self-denial, the forgiving charity, 
lad the active benevolence, of virtue, should be rewarded in this world; but wo, who 

392 . OBATIOKS. 

live ill the light of a revelation from on high, know that there Is a hereafter, and loob 
to that infinite cycle of ages, not to this finite state of probation, foi the reward to which 
virtue may be entitled. 

Again: no one can deny that it is an important principle of our religious system 
that the virtuous and the pious should be put to the trial, and that afflictions and crosses 
are sent by the Omnipotent to test the stability of their faith and practice. As Job, a 
man that "'feared God and eschewed evil," was tried by visitations from on high; so 
have the good of all ages been obliged to submit to similar probation. Viewed In this 
light, it would seem that trial is peculiarly, in this world, the lot of virtue ; the nece*- 
sary preparation to be made, in time, by those who would enjoy a blissful eternity. 

But those who, with the poet, believe that 

" Vii-tue alone is happiness below ", 

point us to the pleasures of a quiet conscience, and the peace which a knowledge of the 
performance of duty brings with it It is admitted that these are great blessings, and 
that without them happiness cannot exist ; but are they alone sufficient to make a man 
happy ? Can the quietest conscience in the universe remove the pangs of hunger, alle 
viate the sufferings of the sick, or comfort the mourner ? The experience of the world 
will answer, no. There are many Jobs ; there are many good, but unhappy, men. 

To go a step further ; to say what is necessary to ensure happiness ; to point to re- 
ligion, the hope of that which is to come, as an anchor to which the soul may cling 
" amid a sea of trouble,"— would be foreign to the question. In view of the argument! 
we have advanced, in view of the striking argument furnished by our own experiencej 
we think we may fairly conclude that 

"Virtue alone is" not "happiness below"- 


Write an argumentative discourse supporting either the 
affirmative or the negative of the question, " Do public amuse- 
ments exercise a beneficial influence on society ? " 

LESSON ciy. 


§ 470. An Oration is a discourse intended for public de- 
livery, and written in a style adapted thereto. At the present 
day, this term is generally applied to discourses appropriate 
to some important or solemn occasion ; such as a funeral, an anni- 
versary, a college commencement, &c. It is a speech of an 
elevated character, and differs in this respect from the harangue 

§ 470. What is an oration ? To what is the term generally applied at the prcsonl 
lay? How does *e oration differ from the harangue and the address ? 


and the address : the fbrmer of which implies a noisy and de- 
clamatory manner in the speaker ; the latter, a less formal and 
stately style than characterizes the oration. 

§471. The ancients recognized three classes of orations; 
the demonstrative, the deliberative, and the judicial. The 
scope of the first was to praise or to censure ; that of the sec- 
ond, to advise or to persuade ; that of the third, to accuse or 
to defend. The chief subjects of demonstrative eloquence, for 
instance, were panegyrics, invectives, gratulatory and funeral 
orations ; deliberative eloquence was displayed chiefly in the 
senate-house and assembly of the people ; while judicial elo- 
quence was confined to the courts of law. 

In modern times, also, a three-fold division has been adopted, though 
one different from that just described. Orations are now distinguish 
ed as, 

L Speeches to be delivered in dehberative pubUc assembhes ; as in 
Congress, at popular meetings, <fec. 

II. Speeches at the bar. 

III. Sermons, or discourses to be delivered from the pulpit. 

§ 472. The style of an oration should be elevated and for- 
cible. It should not lack ornament ; and whatever embellish- 
ments are introduced must be of the most exalted character. 

An argumentative discourse, written in the style just described, and 
intended for delivery in public, becomes an oration To the latter, 
therefore, the principles laid down for such discourses in the last lesson 
are equally applicable. The same formal divisions may be adopted, 
either in whole or in part, as occasion may require. 

§ 473. Sermons constitute the most important class of ora- 
tions. For the benefit of those who desire brief and practical 
directions for the preparation of such discourses, we condense 
the following remarks from Hannam's valuable " Pulpit As- 
sistant" : — 

§ 471. How many classes of orations did the ancients recognize ? Name them, and 
state what was the scope of each. In modern times, what division has been adopted ? 

§ 472. What should be the style of an oration ? What should be the charactel 
or the ornaments introduced ? What divisions may be adopted in the preparation 
of orations ? * 




Choice of Texts. 

1. Never choose such texts as bave not complete sense; for only impertinent 
ftnd foolish people will attempt to preach from one or two words, which signify 

2. Not only words which have a complete sense of themselves must be taken, but 
they mnstalso include the complete sense of the writer; for it is his language and sen- 
timents that you aim to explain. For example, if you take these words of 2 Cor. i., 8, 
" Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the 
God of all comfort," and stop here, you will have complete sense ; but it is not the Apos- 
tle's sense. If you go further, and add " who comforteth us in all our tribulation ", it 
will not then be the complete sense of St. Paul, nor will his meaning be wholly taken 
in, unless you go to the end of the fourth verse. When the complete sense ot the 
Bacred writer is taken, you may stop ; for there are few texts in Scripture which do not 
Bfl'ord matter sufficient for a sermon, and it is as inconvenient to take too much text 
as too littlo ; both extremes must be avoided. 

General Suggestions. 

1. A sermon should clearly explain a text ; that is, should place things before the 
people's eyes in such a way that they may be understood without difficulty. Bishop 
Burnett says, "a preacher is to fancy himself as in the room of the most unlearned 
man in the whole parish, and must therefore put such parts of his discourses as he 
would have all understand in so plain a form of words that it may not be beyond the 
meanest of them. This he will certainly study to do if his desire be to edify them, 
rather than to make them admire himself as a learned and high spoken man." 

2. A sermon must give the entire sense of the whole text, to ensure which, it must 
be considered in every view. This rule condemns dry and barren explications, wherein 
the preacher discovers neither study nor invention, and leaves unsaid a great number of 
beautiful things with which his text might have furnished him. In matters of religion and 
piety, not to edify much is to destroy much ; and a sermon cold and poor, will do more 
mischief in an hour, than a hundred of the other kind can do good. 

8. The preacher must I e discreet, in opposition to those impertinent people who 
utter jests, comical comparisons, quirks, and extravagances ; sober, in opposition to those 
rash spirits who would curiously dive into mysteries beyond the bounds of modesty ; 
chaste, in opposition to those bold and imprudent geniuses who are not ashamed of say- 
ing many things which beget unclean ideas. The preacher must be simple and grave. 
Simple, speaking things of good natural sense, without metaphysical speculations ; grave, 
because all sorts of vulgar and proverbial sayings ought to be avoided. 

4. The understanding must be informed, but in a manner which affects the heart; 
either to comfort the hearers, or to excite them to acts of piety and repentance. 

5. Above all things, avoid excess. There must not be too much genius ; too many 
brilliant, sparkling, and shining, things. Over-abundant ornaments lead the hearer to 
Bay, " The man preaches himself, aims to display his genius, and is animated by the 
Bpirit of the world rather than the Spirit of God." 

6. A sermon must not be overcharged with doctrine, because the hearers' memories 
can not retain it all ; and by aiming to keep all, they will lose all. 

Eeasoning must not be carried too far. Long trains of argument, composed of a 
number of propositions chained together, with principles and consequences dependent 
on thorn, are always embarrassing to the auditor. 

By this is meant the relation of the text to the foregoing or following verses, This 


must be found by deliberate thought, with the aid of good commentaries. The con- 
nection often contributes much to the elucidation of the text ; and, in this case, should 
always be alluded to in the discourse. The beginning of the sermon seems to be the 
best place for treating it ; it often affords good material for an introduction. 


Four or five heads are generally suflBcient ; a greater number are embaiTassing to 
the hearer. 

There are two sorts of divisions which we may properly make : the first, which la 
the most common, is the division of the text into its parts ; the other is a division of 
the discourse, or sermon itself. 

The division of the sermon itself is proper in the following cases : — 

1. When a prophecy of the Old Testament is handled; for, generally, the under- 
standing of these prophecies depends on many general considerations, which, by ex- 
posing and refuting false senses, open a way to the true explication. 

2. When a text is connected with a disputed point, the understanding of which must 
depend on the state of the question, and the arguments that have been advanced. All 
these lights are previously necessary, and they can be given only by general consider- 
ations. For example, Eom. iii., 28, — " We conclude that a man is justified by faith 
without the deeds of the law." Some general considerations must precede, which clear 
ap the state of the question between St. Paul and the Jews, touching justification, 
which mark the hypothesis of the Jews upon that subject, and which discover the 
trilB principle that St. Paul would establish ; so that, in the end, the text maybe clearly 

3. In a conclusion drawn from a long preceding discourse ; as, for example, Eom. v., i. 
" Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus 
Christ" The discourse must be divided into two parts : the first consisting of some 
general considerations on the doctrine of justification, which St. Paul establishes in 
the preceding chapters ; and the second, of his conclusion, that, being thus justified, 
we have peace with God, &c, 

4. In the case of texts quoted in the New Testament from the Old. Prove by gen- 
eral considerations U^.at the text is properly produced, and then proceed clearly to its 
explication. Of this kind are Hebrews i., 5, 6, " I will be to him a Father," &c. " One 
in a certain place testified," &c., ii., 6. " Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith," &c., 
iii., 7. 

5. In this class must be placed divisions into different views. These, to spea^ prop- 
erly, are not divisions of a text into its parts ; but rather different applications, which 
axfi made of the same texts to divers subjects. Typical texts should be divided thus; 
and a great number of passages in the Psalms, which relate not only to David, but also 
to Jesus Christ : such 5hould be considered first literally, as they relate to David ; and 
then in the mystical sense, as they refer to the Lord Jesus. 

There are also typical passages, which, besides their literal sense, have figurative 
meanings, relating not only to Jesus Christ, but also to the church in general, and to 
every believer in particular. For example, Dan. ix., 7, " O Lord, righteousness belongeth 
ante thee, but unto us confusion of faces as at this day ," must not be divided into parts, 
but considered in different views : 1. In regard to all men in general. 2. In regard to 
the Jewish Church in Daniel's time. 3. In regard to ourselves at the present day. So, 
again, Heb, iii., 7, 8, " To-day if ye will hear his voice," which is taken from Psalm 
xcv., cannot be better divided than by referring it, 1. To David's time. 2. To St Paul's. 
3. To our own. 

As to the division of the text itself, sometimes the order of the words is so clear and 
natural, that no division is necessary ; we need only follow the order In qaestion. As, 
for example, Eph. i, 3. " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 


hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Here th« 
words divide themselves, and to explain thorn we need only follow them. A gratefifl 
acknowledgment, "Blessed be God". The title under which the Apostle blesses 
God, " The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ". The reason for which he blesses him, 
because "he hath blessed us ". The plenitude of this blessing, "with all blessings". 
The nature or kind signified by the term spiritual. The place where he hath blessed 
us, "in heavenly places". In whom he hath blessed us, "in Christ", 

Most texts, however, ought to be formally divided ; for which purpose we must re- 
gard chiefly the order of nature : put that division which naturally precedes, in the first 
place, and let the rest follow in its proper order. 

There are two natural orders: one natural in regard to subjects themselves; the 
other natural in regard to us. Though in ge:ieral you may follow which of the two 
you please, yet there are some texts that determine the division ; as Phil, ii., IS. 
"It is God which worketh efiFectually in you both to will and to do of his good 
pleasure." There are, it is plain, three things to be discussed; the action of God's 
grace upon men, " God worketh effectually in you " ; the effect of this grace, " to 
will and to do"; and the spring or source of the action, according to "his good 
pleasure ". I think the division would not be proper, if we were to treat, 1. Of 
God's good pleasure ; 2. Of his grace ; and 3. Of the will and works of men. 

Above all things, in divisions, avoid introducing any thing in the first part which 
implies a knowledge of the second, or which obliges you to treat of the second to 
make the first understood ; otherwise you will be obliged to make many tedious re- 
petitions. Endeavor to separate your parts from each other as well as you can. 
When they are very closely connected, place the most detached first, and make that 
serve for a foundation to the explication of the second, and the second to the third ; 
so that, at the conclusion, the hearer may at a glance perceive, as it were, a perfect 
body, a well-finished building. One of the greatest merits of a sermon is harmony 
in its component parts ; that the first lead naturally to the second, the second to the 
third, &c. ; that what goes before excite a desire for what is to follow. 

When, in a text, there are several terms which need a particular explanation, ant 
which can not be explained without confusion, or without dividing the text into too 
many parts, then do not divide the text at all, but divide the discourse into two or thre<! 
parts. First explain the terms, and then proceed to the subject itself. 

There are many texts, in discussing which it is not necessary to treat of either sub- 
ject or attribute ; but all tb 3 discussion turns on words that convey no meaning iude^ 
pendently of other terms, and which are called in logic syncategorematica. For 
example, John iii., 16, " God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that 
whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." The cafe- 
gorical proposition is, God loved the world ; yet, it is necessary neither to insist much 
upon the term God, nor to speak in a common-place way of the divine love. The text 
should be divided into two parts : first, the gift which God in his love hath made of hij 
Son; secondly, the end for which this gift was bestowed, "that whosoever believeth in 
Mm should not perish, but have everlasting life ". 

There are texts of reasoning which are composed of an objection and an answer. 
These are naturally divided into the objection and the solution. As, Eomans vi., 1, 2, 
•* What shall we say then," &c. 

There are some texts of reasoning which are extremely difficult to divide, because 
they cannot be extended into many propositions without confusion. As, John iv.. 10, 
» If thou knewest the gift of God," &c. Here we may take two heads : the first in- 
cluding the general proposition contained in the words; the second, the particular 
ipplication of these to the Samaritan woman. 

There are some texts which imply many important truths without expressing 


them. These should be alluded to and enlarged upon. In such ct-ses, the text 
may be divided into two parts ; one referring to what is implied, iand the other to 
what is expressed. 

Subdivisions also should be made, for they are of great assistance to the writer; 
thay need not, however, be mentioned in the discourse, for there is a risk of overbur 
dening the hearer's memory. 

Methods of Discussion, 

These are four in number. According to the nature of the subject, one or more may 
be employed. Clear subjects must be discussed by observation or continued applica- 
tion ; difficult and important ones, by explication. 

EsPLiCATiox. — This consists in explaining the terms used, or the subject, or both. 
There are two sorts of explications : the one, simple and plain, needs only to be pro- 
posed, and agreeably elucidated ; the other must be confirmed, if it speak of fact, by 
proofs of feet ; if of right, by proofs of right ; if of both, by proofb of both. A great and 
important subject, consisting of many branches, may be reduced to a certain number 
of propositions or questions, and these may be discussed one after the other. 

L Explication of Terms. — The difficulties of these arise from three causes ; either 
the terms do not seem to make any sense ; or they are equivocal, forming different 
senses ; or the sense they seem to make at first appears perplexed, improper, or con- 
tradictory ; or the meaning, though clear, may be controverted, and is exposed to cavil. 
First propose the difficulty : then solve it as briefly as possible. 

What we have to explain in a text consists of one or more simple terms; of ways 
of speaking peculiar to Scripture ; or of particles called syncategorematica. 

1. Simple terms are the divine attributes, goodness, &c., man's virtues or vices, 
faith, hope, &c. These are either literal or figurative; if figurative, give the meaning 
of the figure, and, without stopping long, pass on to the thing itself Some simple 
terms should be explained only so far as they bear on the meaning of the sacred 
author. Sometimes the simple terms in a text must be discussed at length, in order 
to give a clear and fall view of the subject. 

2. Expressions peculiar to Scripture deserve a particular explanation, because they 
are rich in meaning; such as, "to be in Christ," " come after Christ," &c. 

3. Particles called syncategorematica (such as none, some, all, now, when, &c 
which augment, or limit the meaning of the proposition, should be carefully examined 
for often the whole explication depends upon them. 

2. Explication of the Suhject^-lf the difficulty arise from errors, or false senses, re- 
fute and remove them ; then establish the truth. If from the intricacy of the subject 
itself, do not propose difficulties, and raise objections, but enter immediately into the 
explication of the matter, and take care to arrange your ideas well. 

In all cases, illustrate by reasons, examples, comparisons of the subject ; their rela- 
tions, couformitiea or differences. You may do it by consequences ; by the person, his 
state, &c., who proposes the subject; or the persons to whom it is proposed ; by circum» 
Btances, time, place, &c. 

Obsektatioh-.— This method is best for clear and historical passages. Some 
texts require both explication and observation. Sometimes an observation may be 
made by way of explication. Observations, for the most part, ought to be theological , 
historical, philosophical, or critical, very seldom. They must not be proposed in a 
scholastic style, or common-place form ; but in an easy, familiar, manner. 

Continual Application.— This method may be entirely free from explanations and 
(itrservations ; it is appropriate to texts exhorting to holiness and repentance. 

f EOPOSiTiON. — Texts may be reduced to two propositions at least, and three oi 


four at most, having a mutual dependence and connection. This method opens ttie 
most extensive field for discussion. In the former modes of discussion you are re- 
strained to your text but here your subject is the matter contained in your propo- 

The way of explication is most proper to give the meaning of Scripture : this, of sy* 
tematic divinity ; and it has this advantage, it vrill equally servo either theory or 

Peror^aiion, or Conclusion. 

TLis ought to be short, lively, aud animating; full of great and beautiful figures; 
aiming to move Christian affecticas, — to confirm our love of God, our gi-atitude, zeal« 
repentance, self-condemnation, consolation, hope of felicity, courage, constancy in 
ftfiiiction, aad steadiness in temptation. Let some one or more striking ideas, not men- 
tioned in the discussion, be reserved for this part, and applied with vigor. 

The Eiiyistence of God. 

" The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." Psalms xiv., 1. 

" The fool hath said," — it is evident that none but a fool would have said it. 

The fool, a term in Scripture signifying a wicked man ; one who hath lost his wis- 
dom, and right apprehension of God ; one dead in sin. 

" Said in his heart " ; i. e., ho thinks, or he doubts, or he wishes. He dares not openly 
publish it, though he dares secretly think it ; he doubts, he wishes, and sometimes 

" There is no God," — no judge, no one to govern, reward, or punish. Those who 
deny the providence of God, do in eifect deny his existence ; they strip him of that wis- 
dom, goodness, mercy, and justice, which are the glory of the Deity. 

The existence of God is the foundation of all religion. The whole building totters, if 
the foundation be out We must believe that he is, and that he is what he has de- 
clared himself, before we can seek him, adore him, or love him. 

It is, therefore, necessary we should know why we believe, that our belief be founded 
on undeniable evidence, and that we Toaj give a better reason for his existence, than 
that we have heard our parents and teachers tell of it. It is as much as to say, " There 
is no God," when we have no better arguments than those. Let us look at the evidences 
which should establish us in the truth. 

L All nature shows the existehce of its Maker. We cannot open our eyes but we 
discover this truth shining through all creatures. The whole universe bears the charac- 
ter and stamp of a First Cause, infinitely wise, infinitely powerful. Let us cast our eyes 
on the earth which bears us, and ask, " Who laid the foundation ? " Job xxxviii., 4. Let 
as look on that vast arch of skies that covers us, and inquire, "Who hath thus stretched 
it forth ? " Isaiah xl, 21, 22. " Who i? it also who bath fixed so many luminous bodies 
with so much order and regularity ? " Jo'b xxvi., 13. Every plant, every atom, as well as 
every star, bears witness of a Deity. Who ever saw statues, or pictures, but concluded thera 
had been a statuary and limner ? Who can behold garments, ships, or houses, and not 
anderstand there was a weaver, a carpenter, an architect? A man may as well doubt 
whether there be a sun, when he sees his beams gilding the earth, as doubt whether 
there be a God, when he sees his works. Psalms xix., 1-6. The Atheist is, therefore, 
\ fool, because he denies that which every creature in his constitution asserts. Can he 
behold the spider's net, or the silk-worm's web, the bee's closets, or the ant's grana- 
ries, without acknowledging a higher being than a creature, who hath planted that 
genius in them ? Job xxxix. Psalms civ., 24. All the stars in heaven and the dust on 
earth, oppose the Atheist Eomans i., 19, 20. 


II. The power of conscience is an argument to convince us of this tru'.ii. " Every 
one that findeth me shall slay me," Genesis iv., 14, was the language of Cain ; and similar 
apprehensions are frequent in those who feel the fury of an enraged conscience. The 
psalmist tells us concerning those who say in their heart " There is no God '', that " they 
are in fear where no fear is." Psalms liii., 5. Their guilty minds invent terrors, and thereby 
confess a Deity, while they deny it,— that there is a sovereign Being who will punish. 
Pashur, who wickedly insulted the prophet Jeremiah, had this for his reward, "that 
his name should be Magor-missabib," i. e., "fear round about". Jeremiah xx., 3, 4. When 
Belshazzar saw the handwriting, " his countenance was changed," Daniel v., 6. The 
apostle who tells us that there is a " law written in the hearts cf men ", adds, their " con- 
sciences also bear witness." Romans ii., 15. 

III. Universal consent is another argument. The notion of a God is found among 
all nations; it is the language of every country and region ; the most abominable idola- 
try argues a Deity. All nations, though ever so barbarous and profligate, have confessed 
some Goi 

IV. Extraordinary jxhdgments. "When a just revenge follows abominable crimes, 
especially when the judgment is suited to the sin ; when the sin is made legible by the 
inflicted judgment. "The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth." 
Psalms ix., 16. Herod Agrippa received the flattering applause of the people, and 
thought himself a God; but was, by the judgment inflicted upon him, forced to confess 
another. Acts xii., 21-23 ; Judges i., 6, 7; Acts v., 1-10, 

V. Accomplishment of Prophecies. To foretell things that are future, as if the; 
already existed or had existed long ago, must be the result of a mind inflnitely intelli- 
gent. "Show the things that are to come hereafter." Isaiah xli., 23. "I am God, de- 
claring the end from the beginning." Isaiah xlvi., 9, 10. Cyrus was prophesied of, Isaiah 
xHv., 28, and xlv., 1, long before he was born ; Alexander's sight of Daniel's prophecy 
concerning his victories, moved him to spare Jerusalem. The four monarchies were 
plainly deciphered in Daniel, before the fourth rose up. That power, which foretells 
things beyond the wit of man, and orders all causes to bring about those predictions, 
must be an inflnite and omniscient power. 

"What foUy, then, for any to shut their eyes, and stop their ears ; to attribute those 
things to blind chance, which nothing less than an infinitely wise and powerful Being 
could effect 1 

Peroration, or Conclusion. 

I. If God can be seen in creation, study the creatures; the creatures are the heralds 
of God's glory. " The glory of the Lord shall endure." Psalms civ., 31. The world is 
a sacred temple ; man is introduced to contemplate it. As grace does not destroy na- 
ture, so the took of redemption does not blot out the book of creation. 

II. If it be a folly to deny or doubt the being of God, is it not a folly also not to 
worship God when we acknowledge his existence ? "To fear God, and keep his com- 
mandments, is the whole duty of man." "We are not reasonable if we are not religious. 
^Romans xii., 1. 

III. If it be a folly to deny the existence of God, will it not be our wisdom, since we 
acknowledge his being, often to think of him ? It is said of the fool only, " God is not 
ia all his thoughts." Psalms x., 4. 

IV. If we believe the being of God, let us abhor practical atheism. Men's practicee 
are the best indexes to their principles. " Let your light shine before men," Matthei* 
7-, 16. 





§ 474. Strictly speaking, those compositions only fa}i 
under the head of poetry, into which the language of the 
imagination largely enters ; which abound in metaphors, sim- 
iles, personifications, and other rhetorical figures. Such 
writings, even if they have the form of prose, must be re- 
garded as poems ; while, on the other hand, prosaic matter, 
even if put into the form in which poetry generally appears, 
is still nothing more than prose. The distinction between 
prose and poetry, therefore, has reference to the matter of 
which they are respectively composed. 

Poetry being the language of imagination and passion, we naturally 
e2q)ect to find in it more figures than in prose. These, having been 
already fully treated, need no further consideration here. As regards 
Its form, poetry is generally characterized by deviations from the natural 

§ 474. What compositions fall under the head of poetry ? To what does the dia* 
Miction between prose and poetry refer ? What do we naturally expect to find in 

VERSE. 401 

order and mode of expression, -which are kaown as poetical license* 
Examples of some of these follo-w : — 
L Violent inversions. 

" Now storming fury rose, 
And clamor such as heard in Heaven till now 
Was never.^"" 

IL Violent ellipses. 

" While all those souls [that] havs ever felt the force 
Of those enchanting passions, to my lyre 
Should throng attentive.''' 

m. The use of peculiar words, idioms, phrases, <fcc., not generally 
found in prose ; as, morn, eve, der, sheen, passing rich. 

rV. Connecting an adjective with a different substantive from that 
which it really qualifies ; as in the following lines, in which wide ia 
joined to nature instead of hounds : — 

" Through v/ide nature's bounds 
Expatiate with glad step." 

V. Using a noun and a pronoun standing for it [in violation of a 
syntactical rule] as subjects or objects of the same verb ; as, 

The toy — oh ! where was he ? " 

VL The use of or for either, and nor for neither. 

" Whate'er thy name, or Muse or Grace." 

" 2fbr earth nor Heaven shall hear his prayer." 

VTL The introduction of an adverb between to, the sign of the ia 
finitive, and the verb with which it is connected ; as, 

" To slowly trace the forest's shady scene." 

VUL Making intransitive verbs transitive ; as, 

" Still, in harmonious intercourse, they liDed 
The rural day, and talked the flowing heart." 

IX. The use of foreign idioms ; as, 

" To some she gave 
To search the story of eternal thought" 

§ 475. Verse is the form in wMcli poetry generally ap 
pears. It consists of language arranged into metrical lines, 
called verses, of a length and rhythm determined by rules 

poetry? What is meant by poetical licenses? Enumerate the poetical licenses men- 
tioned in the text, and give an example of each. 

I 475. "What is verse ? Of what does it generally consist ? "What is the difference 

402 VERSE 

which usage has sanctioned. The distinction between prose 
and verse is, therefore, a matter of form. 

Yerse is merely the dress which poetry generally assumes. The two 
are entirely independent of each other : all poetry is not verse, as we 
see in. the ca9«3 of Fenelon's Telemachus and Ossian's Poems ; nor, on the 
other hand, is all verse by any means poetry, as nine tenths of the 
fugitive pieces given to the world under the latter name abundantly 

Versification is the art of making verses. 

A Yerse, as we have seen, is a metrical line of a length 
and rhythm determined by rules which usage has sanc- 

A Hemistich is half of a verse. 

Ehyme is a similarity of sound in syllables which begin 
differently but end alike. It is exemplified at the close of the 
following lines : — 

" Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul; 
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole'^ 

A Distich, or couplet, consists of two verses rhyming to- 
gether ; the lines just given are an example. 

A Triplet consists of three verses rhyming together ; as, 

" Souls that can scarce ferment their mass of clay, — 
So drossy, so divisible, are they, 
As woiild but serve pure bodies for allay." 

A Stanza [often incorrectly called a mrse\ is a regular 
division of a poem, consisting of two or more lines, or verses. 
Stanzas are of every conceivable variety, their formation being 
regulated by the taste of the poet alone. The stanzas of 
the same poem, however, should be uniform. 

§ 476. Syllables occurring in verse are distinguished as 
long and short, according to the time occupied in uttering 
them. A long syllable is equivalent to two short ones. 

between verse and poetry ? What is versification ? What is a verse ? What la a 
hemistich ? What is rhyme ? What is a distich v What is a triplet ? What la a 
stanza ? What is it often incorrectly called ? By what is the formation of the stanza 
regulated ? What is said of the stanzas of the same poem ? 

§ 476. How are syllables occurring in verse distinguished ? On what is this distlno- 


When it is desired to indicate the quantity, the macron [—J is 
placed over a long syllable, and the breve [w] over a short 
one ; as, the. man. 

In words of more than one syllable, accent, whether primary or 
secondary, constitutes length ; syllables that are unaccented are short. 
In the case of monosyllables, nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and in- 
terjections, are for the most part long ; articles are always short ; prepo- 
sitions and conjunctions are generally short ; pronouns are long when 
emphasized, — when not, short. This will appear from the following 

lines : — 

The goddess heard, and bade the MusSs raise 
The golden trumpet of eternal praise : 
From pole to polo th6 winds dififuse the sound, 
That fills the circuit of the world ground. 

In Latin and Greek, each syllable has a definite quantity, without 
reference to accent. This is not the case in English. Our vowel sounds 
have nothing to do with the length or shortness of syllables. Fat, in 
which a has its flat or short sound, is as likely to be accented, and 
therefore long, in poetry, as fate, in which the sound of the vowel js 
generally called long. 

§ 477. A Foot is a division of a verse, consisting of two 

or three syllables. 

The dissyllabic feet are four in number, as follows : — 

Iambus w — , remove. j Spoxdee, — — , dark night. 

Teochee — ^, moving. | PTKRmo, w w, hap-jpily. 

The trisyllabic feet are eight in number, as follows : — 

Anapest WW—, intervene. Bacchius ^ , the dark night 

Dactyl — w w, happily. ANTiBACcmus w, eye-servant. 

AMPmBRACH w _ w, redundant. Molossus , long dark night* 

Amphimacee — w —, winding-sheet. Tribrach www, insu-jperable. 

Of these twelve feet, the iambus, the trochee, the anapest, 
and the dactyl^ are oftenest used ; and are capable, respective- 

tion founded? How is the quantity of a syllable indicated? In words of more than 
one syllable, which syllables are long, and which short ? In the case of monosyllables, 
which of the parts of speech are generally long, and which are short? What is the case 
In Latin and Greek, with respect to the quantity of syllables ? What relation subsists 
in English between the quantity of syllables and tte sound of the vowels they cou- 
tain ? Illustrate this. 

§ 47T. What is a foot ? How many dissyllabic feet are there ? Enumerate them, 
state of what syllables they are respectively composed, and give an example of each. 
How many trisyllabic feet are there ? Enumerate them, state of what syUables they 
are compose(J, and give an example of each. Of these twelve feet, which are oftenoet 


ly, without the assistance of the rest, of forming distinct 
orders of numbers. They are, therefore, caXled primarT/ feet 
and the measures of which they respectively form the chief 
component part, are known as iambic, trochaic, anapestic^ and 
dactylic. A line which consists wholly of one kind of foot is 
called pure : that is, a line containing nothing hut iambi is 
a pure iambic ; one into which no foot but the trochee enters is a 
pure trochaic. Verses not consisting exclusively of one kind 
of foot are said to be mixed. Examples follow : — 

1. Pure lamhic. — The rul-jing pas-]sion con-Jqiiers rea-lson stiU. 

2. Pure Trochaic. — Sister | spirit ] come a-] way. 

8. Pure Anapestic. — From the plains, j from the wood-llands and groves. 

4. Pure Dactylic. — Bird of the | wilderness. 

1. Mixed lamhic. — No crime \ was thine | ill-fdr\tQdL. fair. 

2. Mixed Trochaic. — ^Trembling, | hoping, | lingering, \ flying. 

5. Mixed Anapestic. — Bear re-jgiDns of si-|lence and shade. 
4. Mixed Dactylic. — Mdnight as-jsls^ our moan. 

The remaining eight feet are called secondary, and are oc- 
casionally admitted for the sake of preventing monotony and al- 
lowing the poet freer scope. 

§ 478. By Metre, or Measure, is meant the system accord- 
ing to which verses are formed. The metre depends on the 
character and number of the feet employed. According to 
the character of the feet, metres, we have already seen, are 
distinguished as iambic, trochaic, anapestic, and dactylic. 
According to the number of the feet, the varieties of metre 
are as follows : Monometer, or a measure composed of one foot; 
Dimeter, of two feet ; Trimeter, of three ; Tetrameter, of 
four ; Pentameter, of five ; Hexameter, of six ; Heptameter 
of seven ; Octometer, of eight, 

A line at the end of which a syllable is wanting to com- 
plete the measure, is said to be catalectic. One in which there 

Qsed ? What name is given to these four ? Why ? What are the measures of which 
they respectively form the chief component part, called ? What is meant by & pure 
iambic line ? What, by a mixed ? Enumerate the secondary feet For what purpoa© 
are they occasionally admitted ? 

§ 478. What is meant by metre, or measure ? On what does the metre depend f 
A-ccording to the character of the feel, vhat are the vaiieties of metre ? What, accord- 


is a syllable over at the end, is called hypercatalectic. When 
there is neither deficiency nor redundancy, a line is said to be 

Scanning is the process of dividing a line into the feet of 
which it is composed. 

§ 479. Examples of the different measures follow. Some 
of the lines are pure, and some are mixed. The figures 1, 2, 
3, &c., respectively denote monometer, dimeter, trimeter, &c. 
Vertical lines mark some of the divisions into feet. Scanning 
is performed by pronouncing the syllables which constitute 
the successive feet, and after each mentioning its name. Thus, 
in scanning the fifth line, the following words would be em- 
ployed : " Honor ^ trochee ; and shame, iambus ; from no, iam- 
bus ; condi-, iambus; tion rise, iambus." The line is mixed 
iambic pentameter acatalectic. The student is requested to 
scan the following lines, and name the measure of each : — 


1. Lochiell 
2. The main 1 | thS main ! 
8, Tor lis I the sum-lmers shine. 
4. First stands | the no-jble Wash-jington. 
5. Honor | and shame | from no | condi-|tion rise. 
6. "With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly wounds. 
7. Over the Alban mountains high, the light of morning broke. 
8. O all ye people clap your hands, and with triumphant voices sin^ 

1. Tiirning. 
2. Fear sur- 1 rounds me. 
8. Dearer I friends ca-[res3 thee. 
4. Honor's | but an | empty | bubble. 
5. Chains of care to lower ea