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this majestical ronf fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours '. And he
showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious,
.'"And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the walls thereof.
The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal'. The subject, so gorgeously described, is not for some time reduced to 'it'; first there is a timely personification her', and next the adverbial substitute 'thereof'.
So, the fall of Babylon, 'that great city', is described without the use of 'it', through personification.
'I invoke the ministers of Religion, that they proclaim its denunciation of those crimes, and add its solemn sanctions to the authority of human laws'. (Daniel Webster.) Compare with this the following sentence of Robert Hall's :
Religion is too much interested in your success not to lend you her aid ; she will shed over this enterprise her selectest influence.
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whiz of my cross-bow!' (Coleridge.)
That gave its heavenly spark;
When thou thyself art dark !
No! it shall live again'. (Campbell.) • It’ is very appropriate for the intangibility of a ghost : • Hamlet. Did you not speak to it? Horatio.
My lord, I did;
(Hamlet, 1. 2.)
To come, however, to the proper Concord of Gender, a farther circumstance has to be noted. When human beings are expressed collectively, the nouns are neuter, and the pronouns that recall them must be neuter. Any one that has had to draw up resolutions for public bodies must have often felt uncomfortable at having to lower the collective body to 'it', while each individual would be 'be' or
she'. Yet there is no alternative. Even so powerful an assembly as our House of Commons must be styled 'it', when in want of a pronoun. The only means of surmounting the indignity is to avoid using pronouns as far as possible; partly by repeating the original word, and partly by ingenuity of construction.
• Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty, as to give their support to measures thus obtruded and forced upon them?' (Chatham.) The orator shrinks from the repetition of its', 'it', and violates concord by passing off to their' and 'them'.
Sir, let the House of Commons be warned-let it warn itself-against all illusions'. (Gladstone.) The speaker being one of the house, could have said — let us warn ourselves —'.
• The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honours the British troops than I do; I know their virtues and their valour; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities'. (Chatham.) The formal plural 'troops ' is a useful stepping-stone to the more dignified pronoun.
Although in wording resolutions, in the ordinary course of business, both houses of Parliament use the singular construction-the House resolves-yet in the conferences that take place when the Houses differ on the provisions of a Bill, each House styles itself by a plural—The Lords, The Commons. The reasons, on the part of the House of Commons, for disapproving of the alterations made by the Lords on a measure as sent up to them, are worded thus : The Commons have felt it their bounden duty to state the
foregoing reasons for their disagreement with certain of the amendments sent down by the Lords.
* Her Majesty's Government hold that it is its duty under these circumstances to do its best to maintain an attitude of strict neutrality, to act with the utmost impartiality towards all parties, believing that by so doing they would be in a better position, whenever a favourable opportunity should offer, to act with greater influence and utility'.
The writer begins and ends by regarding 'Government' as a plurality, though in the two intervening cases he wavers and goes over to the singular. This departure from the plural construction is here aggravated by the clash with the prospective reference of it'. To be consistent, we should have their' for 'its' in both cases. Or, keeping prominent the oneness and collective action of the Government, we may remodel thus: “Her Majesty's Government considers it : duty under these circumstances to do the best (what may be done) to maintain-'; and for they', we may repeat the subject, which is important and somewhat distant for a mere pronoun reference : believing that by so doing the Government would be in a better position'.
"The French Senate under the First and Second Empire, though its members were appointed by the Chief of the State, were not unfairly selected from the same classes which Mr. Fawcett would place by their own right in the Upper House'.
The Senate, as a collective body of members, is necessarily represented by its’; yet the intervention of members', breaking up the body into the constituent individuals, almost precludes the use of a singular predicate. The unsatisfactory vacillation between singular and plural may be remedied. Either drop its '-'though the members were appointed'; or begin with plurality at once—“The members of the French Senate, though appointed by the Chief of the State, were not unfairly selected'.
The following is an unnecessary degradation of collective mankind by the use of 'it'; “Though the apparent happiness of mankind (be) 'is' not always a true measure of its real happiness, it is the best measure we have'. Say 'their real happiness'.
ORDER OF WORDS. This is a very large subject; its beginnings are in Grammar, and its full development is in Rhetoric.
One-half of the words of a language qualify the other half; and in English, position is almost the only thing that shows the incidence of qualifying adjuncts. The Adjectives and the Adverbs, with their equivalent phrases and clauses, are the qualifying parts of speech.
INVERSION OF SUBJECT AND VERB. The Subject goes before the Verb. To begin with the verb is rare and difficult. The cases are stated in the gram
Most important is the seventh exception to the regular arrangement-the attaining of Emphasis. This admits of being farther exemplified.
We can put the verb before its subject by commencing with an adverb. The commonest example is the case of • There' with the verb 'be': 'there is, was, should be, a law'. Less frequently, there' is used with other verbs : there came, there appeared, there continued, there exists, there lived, there dwelt, there goes.
So with 'here'. 'Here is the scissors', 'here stand the attendants', 'here lies the road to Rome', ‘here lies the point', 'here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft'.
Now' is another adverb used for inversions: 'For now began to unroll the most awful series of calamities that have ever visited the sons and daughters of men'.
So, instead of—The great law which governs exchangeable value has now been stated and argued', we could say, with some advantage to the emphasis of the passage, ‘ Now has been stated the great law that regulates exchangeable value'.
• Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight'. The following might be changed
* Now the storm begins to lower '. Say
• Now begins the storm to lower'.
• Now on the Ochils gleams the sun'. Other Adverbs :
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield'. . Soon after began the busy and important part of Swift's life'.
• Herein is love'.
• Never, not even under the tyranny of Laud, had the condition of the Puritans been so deplorable as at this time. Never had spies been so actively employed in detecting congregations. Never had magistrates, grand jurors, rectors, and churchwardens been so much on the alert'. (Macaulay.)
Thus died Noah : according to all that God commanded him, so did he'. And thus spake on that ancient man'.
' Then shook the hills, with thunder riven,
Then rushed the steed to battle driven,
Far flashed the red artillery'.
• How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How indigent the great!'
Also with 'such': 'Such is the aspect of this shore'; such was his fate'.
To the same effect are employed Adverbial phrases : ‘In my father's house are many mansions'; 'Amidst the thickest carnage blazed the helmet of Navarre'; 'between them lay,