Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

23. The mischievous urchins caught the poor dog, and to his caudal appendage they affixed a hollow vessel that reverberated most discordantly as the yelping quadruped ran down the street.

24. I could not tell them apart. 25. I expect it rained last night. 26. He went back on us.

27. Henry had been from his youth attached to the Church of Rome.

28. Sea-birds have places of rendezvous, where they seem to deliberate on the affairs of the republic.

29. The minister's resignation, in these circumstances, can not be too highly praised.

30. Our cicerone first conducted us through the principal buildings of the city.

31. The queen did not want solicitation to consent to the measure.

32. The amende honorable having been made, a hostile meeting was prevented.

33. They resplended in purple and gold lace.

34. The patrons of husbandry, having thoroughly examined all the inventions of genius to be found within the machinery hall, retired to an adjoining apartment to partake of liquid refreshments.

35. It is aggravating to be subjected to the rudeness of ill-bred people.

36. His contemporaries were anxious for his repute.

37. He sat upon a rural bench and looked with admiring eyes upon the rustic scene.

38. James Brown, a noted thief, was taken to jail yesterday.
39. Excessive use of wine is a bad custom.
40. By assisting her, you will confer to me a favor.

41. The veracity of a statement is admitted when the truth of its author is unquestioned.

42. Name the time, and let it not excel three days.
43. I have persuaded him that he has made a mistake.
44. This state of things kept us on the qui vive.
45. The constable has abdicated his office.
46. Exile evil thoughts from the heart.

47. Alphonsus ordered a great fire to be prepared, into which, after his majesty and the public had joined in prayer for heavenly assistance in this ordeal, both the rivals were thrown into the flames.

SENTENCES.

Sentences.-As regards the arrangement of its parts, there are three qualities which a sentence should possess: (1) Clearness; (2) Unity; (3) Strength; and when it is possible, the sentence should have a pleasing effect by its Harmony.

Clearness.-Clearness requires that the parts of a sentence—words, phrases, and clauses-should be so arranged as to leave no possibility of doubt as to the author's meaning. Language is the medium of communication. It should reveal the whole thought as the writer or speaker would have it understood by the person addressed. As Quintilian says, the expression should be so clear that the hearer not only may but must understand.

Clearness of style should be the first consideration with the young composer.

He should not aim so much at being brief or forcible, as at being perspicuous.

The faults opposed to clearness are two: (1) Obscurity, which leaves us wholly in doubt as to the author's meaning; (2) Ambiguity, which leaves us in doubt as to which of two or more meanings is the one intended.

One half of the words of a language qualify the other half; and in English, position is almost the only thing that shows the relation between qualifying adjuncts and the words they modify; hence, it is chiefly through the wrong placing of words, phrases, or clauses that clearness is lost. In the English language, which is very deficient in inflections to mark the grammatical relations of words, position is a matter of prime importance. The sentence, “The savage here the settler slew," is not clear. The subject and the object of the transitive verb are both placed before the verb; and since there is no peculiar ending, in English, for a noun in the singular number, objective case, or singular number, nominative case, it is impossible to know the writer's meaning In Latin this is not so.

“Puer magistrum amat," the boy the master loves, means, “The boy loves the master” no matter what the order of the words. This is indicated by the inflection, or ending, of the Latin nouns. Had “boy” been the object and “master” the subject of the verb, the form would have been, “Puerum magister amat.

Clearness is lost usually by the improper placing of words, phrases, and clauses, by the omission of necessary words, or by using words whose meaning is ambiguous.

The following are the principal rules for securing clear

ness:

RULE I. — Words, phrases, and clauses that are closely related should be placed as near to each other as possible, that their mutual relation may clearly appear.

This rule is violated most frequently by the improper placing of adverbs, of adverbial phrases and clauses, of participles, and of personal and relative pronouns.

The single-word adverbs that are most frequently misplaced, are “only” and “not." There are some others that often give trouble; as, “never,” "even,” “always,” enough,” and the phrase “at least."

ONLY.—The strict rule is, that “only” should be placed before the word affected by it.

The following are ambiguous: “The address is only to be written on this side”; “The heavens are not open to the faithful only at intervals."

Abbott says: “The best rule is to avoid placing 'only' between two emphatic words, and to avoid using 'only' where `alone' can be used instead.

“In strictness perhaps the three following sentences: He only beat three, He beat only three,

He beat three only,
ought to be explained, severally, thus:

He did no more than beat, did not kill, three.
He beat no more than three.

He beat three, and that was all he did. (Here only modifies the whole of the sentence and depreciates the action.)"

Not.—"Not” must be taken as qualifying all that follows, to the first break; as, “Not a drum was heard”;

They have no share in all that's done

Beneath the circuit of the sun."

Here the "no" is placed so as to command “ share” with all its qualifications. This is correct.

“ENOUGH" is specially understood to follow the word it modifies; as, “good enough,” “not kindly enough."

AT LEAST” is used with more exactness of meaning when it immediately precedes the word it modifies. "A tear at least is due to the fallen brave." "At least” is intended to qualify “tear"; and while we might readily refer this phrase to the word going before, there would be more precision in this arrangement: “To the fallen brave is due at least a tear,” or, “We owe to the fallen brave at least a tear.”

"Misplacement is very frequent with the combinations 'not—but,' 'not only—but also.' 'I am not come to send peace on the earth but a sword.' This is a contraction for, 'I am not come to send peace on the earth, I am come to send a sword.' The better order would be, 'I am come not to send peace on the earth but a sword.'-Bain.

“He not only gave me advice but also help” is wrong. "He gave me not only advice, but also help" is the proper form for the sentence.

“It is not only hard to distinguish between two little and too much reform, but between the good and the evil intention of the reformers," should be, “It is hard to distinguish, not only between too little and too much reform, but between the good,” etc.

The strict rule is, “When not only' precedes but also,' see that each is followed by the same part of speech.". Abbott.

For example: “He acted not only wisely but also promptly (adverbs), and this too, not only under trying circumstances, but also in (prepositions) the face of strong opposition; yet his acts were not only successful, but also worthy (adjectives) of success.

We shall now notice the placing of adjuncts generally; that is, the position of qualifying words, phrases, and clauses, whether as adjectives or as adverbs.

In the sentence, “He looked and muttered in a way that could not but fill those whose life it was to watch him and obey him with great alarm." “Fill” is to be qualified, not “watch” or “obey"; hence, the phrase "with great alarm” should be placed as near as possible to the word “fill."

“It was by hunting and fishing that the Indians chiefly subsisted.” “Chiefly” is not intended to qualify “subsisted"; it restricts the means of gaining a subsistence.

“The French nation is not consoled for the misfortunes which it has endured by the incidental triumph of justice in Italy.” “Consoled” is the word meant to be qualified.

A pocket-book was found by a boy made of leather." “Made” should modify “pocket-book.”

« ZurückWeiter »