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Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.

riod, agreeably to the definition formerly given. Wherever we stop, the sentence is imperfect till we reach the end. But the members are not all composed according to the rule laid down. It consisteth of three members. The first ends at Nature, is a single clause, and therefore not affected by the rule ; the second is complex, consisting of several clauses, and ends at beholder; the third is also complex, and concludes the sentence. The last member cannot be faulty, else the sentence would be no period. The fault must then be in the structure of the second, which is evidently loose. That member, though not the sentence, might conclude, and a reader naturally supposes that it doth conclude, first at the word art, afterwards at the word other, both which are before its real conclusion. Such a composition, therefore, even in periods, occasions, though in a less degree, the same kind of disappointment to the reader, and consequently the same appearance of feebleness in the style, which result from long, loose, and complex sentences. A very

little alteration in the faulty member will unite the clauses more intimately, and entirely remove the exception, as thus," and after“ wards considered in general, how in forming such “ scenes and prospects, as are most apt to delight the “ mind of the beholder, the works both of Nature " and of Art mutually assist and complete each other."

It may be thought, and justly too, that this care will sometimes make the expression appear elaborate.

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I shall only recommend it as one of the surest means of preventing this effect, to render the members as simple as possible, and particularly to avoid synonymas and redundancies, of which there are a few in the member now. criticised. Such are scenes and prospects, assist and complete, mutually and each other. With the aid of this reformation also, the whole period will appear much better compacted as follows:

Having already shown how the fancy is affected by " the works of Nature ; and afterwards consider" ed in general, || how in forming such scenes as are " most apt to delight the mind of the beholder, || the “ works both of Nature and of Art assist each other;

I shall in this paper throw together some re“ flections on that particular art, which has a more " immediate tendency than any other, | to produce " those primary pleasures of the imagination, || which " have hitherto been the subject of this discourse."

PART III....Observations on loose sentences.

IN complex sentences of looser composition, there is, as was observed, a much greater risk of falling into a languid manner. This may arise from different causes. First, even where the sentence is neither long nor complex, the members will sometimes appear disjointed. The consequence always is, that a hearer will at first be in doubt, whether it be one sentence or

Take the following for an example : “ How"ever, many who do not read themselves, || are seduced


Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.


by others that do ; and thus become unbelievers

upon trust, and at second hand ; and this is too “ frequent a case *.” The harmony of the members taken severally, contributes to the bad effect of the whole. The cadence is so perfect at the end both of the first member and of the second, that the reader is not only disappointed, but surprised, to find the sentence still unfinished. The additional clauses appear out of their proper place, like something that had been forgotten.

ANOTHER cause of languor here is the excessive length of a sentence, and too many members. Indeed, wherever the sentiments of an author are not expressed in periods, the end of a member or clause, or even an intermediate word, as hath been observed already, may be the end of the sentence. Yet the commonness of such sentences, when they do not exceed an ordinary length, prevents in a great measure a too early expectation of the end. On the contrary, when they transgress all customary limits, the reader begins to grow impatient, and to look for a full stop or breathing-place at the end of every clause and member. An instance of this excess you have in the succeeding quotation : “ Though in yesterday's paper,

we considered how every thing that is great, new, or “ beautiful, is apt to affect the imagination with plea“ sure, we must own that it is impossible for us to as

* Swift's sermon on the Trinity.

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sign the necessary cause of this pleasure, because we " know neither the nature of an idea, nor the sub“ stance of a human soul, which might help us to dis“ cover the conformity or disagreeableness of the one

to the other; and therefore, for want of such a light, “ all that we can do, in speculations of this kind, is to “ reflect on those operations of the soul that are most

agreeable, and to range, under their proper heads; what is pleasing or displeasing to the mind, without

being able to trace out the several necessary and “ efficient causes from whence the pleasure or displea

sure arises *.” The reader will observe, that in this passage I have distinguished by italics all those words in the body of the sentence, no fewer than seven, at any of which, if there were a full stop, the construction of the preceding part would be complete. The fault here is solely in the length of the whole, and in the number of the parts. The members themselves are well connected.

In the next example we have both the faults åbovementioned in one sentence. “ Last year a paper was

brought here from England, called a Dialogue be" tween the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mr Hig

gins, which we ordered to be burnt by the common " hangman, as it well deserved, though we have no

more to do with his Grace of Canterbury, than you " have with the Archbishop of Dublin, whom you

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Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.

tamely suffer to be abused openly, and by name, by " that paultry rascal of an observator ; and lately up

on an affair wherein he had no concern; I mean the “ business of the missionary of Drogheda, wherein our “ excellent primate was engaged, and did nothing but “ according to law and discretion *.” Hardly will you find in any of the worst English writers a more exceptionable sentence in point of composition than the preceding, which is taken from one of the best. The stops which might be in it will be found, on an attentive perusal, to be no fewer than fourteen ; the clauses are exceedingly unequal, abrupt, and ill-compacted. Intricacy in the structure of a complex sentence might also be here exemplified as a cause of languor. But as this error never fails to create obscurity, it hath been considered already under a former head.

PART IV.... Review of what has been deduced above in regard

to arrangement.

I HAVE now briefly examined how far arrangement may contribute to vivacity, both in simple sentences and in complex, and from what principles in our nature it is, that the effect ariseth..

In this discussion I have had occasion to consider, in regard to simple sentences, the difference between

* Swift's Letter concerning the Sacramental Test.

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