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Montcalm, fighting gallantly at the head of the French, .. Patrick Henry, styled by his contemporaries the “Orator of Nat
Tea and coffee, for a long time used only as luxuries,
POSITION OF PHRASES.
As a simple sentence may consist of an indefinite number
a of words and phrases, a variety of changes in the arrangement of its parts may be made. Thus the sentence, “On a pleasant spring morning, with my little curious friend beside me, I stood on the beach opposite the promontory," may be arranged in several ways; as,
With my little curious friend beside me, I stood, on a pleasant spring morning, on the beach opposite the promontory. I stood on the beach opposite the promontory,
little curious friend beside me, on a pleasant spring morning.
On a pleasant spring morning, I stood on the beach opposite the promontory, with my little curious friend beside me.
The particular position that a phrase should occupy will generally depend on the sense intended; therefore, phrases should usually be placed beside the parts of the sentence they are designed to modify. This is especially true of all phrases used as adjective elements, but phrases used adverbially may be placed in almost any part of the sentence. The taste of the writer must determine which is the best place. Should the sentence contain a number of phrases, they should not be grouped together at the beginning, at the end, or in the middle, but they should be distributed in such a way that the sentence shall be agreeable to the ear. For example, in the sentence, "They were imprisoned for three months in the town of Clinch in an old stone house, dark and damp, and altogether barren of human comforts," the phrases are all placed together after the verb, and the effect is unpleasant. By distributing the phrases, the statement may be more neatly expressed; thus,
* TO THE TEACHER.-The pupil should here be taught the punctuation of simple sentences. The rules for such punctuation, together with examples illustrating the rules, will be found in Chapter XVI.
For three months, they were imprisoned in the town of Clinch in an old stone house, etc.; or, They were, for three months, imprisoned in the town of Clinch in an old stone house, etc.
Clearness of meaning is of the utmost importance, and often depends upon the arrangement of phrases. Hence it is well in constructing sentences to try several arrangements and carefully avoid those that admit the least doubt as to the meaning.
It sometimes happens that several arrangements of a simple sentence present the meaning with equal clearness; yet there may be still a choice of structure. It is not enough that we express ourselves so as to be clearly understood; we should endeavor to arrange our sentences neatly, elegantly, and harmoniously. Hence, when the several varieties of structure have been made, ask yourself the following questions: Which construction is clearest? Which is neatest? Which is most harmonious ?
DIRECTION.—Change the position of the words and phrases in the following sentences in four ways, without altering the meaning:
1. Dogs, in their love for man, play a part in nearly every tragedy.
2. The sea for many hundred miles rolls and flashes over a shallow bottom.
3. In the far East, tiny humming-birds are eagerly sought by the ladies of high rank.
4. You have but to peep, in any lane, or brake, in spring, into a bird's nest to see a number of mysterious spheres lying cozily in their
5. Directly in front of the tent, and at no great distance from it, a thick net-work of vines stretched between two trees.
6. The sun has thrown its shadow upon the pewter dial two hours beyond the meridian time.
7. Nations, therefore, have fittingly rejoiced in every century since the creation, in the joyfulness of harvest.
8. Then, standing in the center of his court, in the great hall of Hatfield House, the Lord of Misrule bade his herald declare him Lord Supreme from Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night.
9. Alone, in unuttered sympathy, the two ascended the steps of the sacred temple to approach the shrine.
10. With a merry heart and a glad countenance, he eagerly entered his mother's room early in the morning before breakfast.
SYNTHESIS OF SIMPLE SENTENCES.
Synthesis is the process of combining separate statements into a single sentence. The following is the method: 1. An Italian mariner made his appearance at
2. He made his appearance successively. Separate
3. These courts were in the south and west of Europe. Statements. 4. He was a citizen of Genoa.
5. Genoa was a little republic.
7. It was in the last quarter of the century. Combined.—In the last quarter of the fifteenth century, an Italian mariner, a citizen of the little republic of Genoa, made his appearance successively at various courts in the south and west of Europe.*
* NOTE.-It will be observed that in the combined sentence all the elements contained in each of the separate statements are woven together.
Statement i is the principal proposition, or skeleton sentence.
Rhetorical analysis, the opposite of synthesis, is the separation of a single sentence into the different statements implied in it. The following illustrates the method:
The Natural Bridge, over Cedar Creek, is a rocky mass spanning the bed of the stream at a height of 215 feet.
The Natural Bridge is a rocky mass.
It is over Cedar Creek.
the bed of the stream.
DIRECTION.—Combine each of the following groups of statements into a simple sentence. Try the sentence in various orders, and tell which construction you prefer, and why. Attend carefully to the punctuation :
1. A favorite diversion was hunting. A favorite diversion was hawking. These were diversions of the Middle Ages. They occurred at intervals. They occurred during the intervals of war.
2. Former kings possessed large forests. These forests were in all parts of England. The Conqueror was not content with these forests. He resolved to make a new forest. He decided to make it near Winchester. Winchester was the usual place of his residence.
3. Alice Cary and her sister Phæbe planted the tree. They planted it in their youth. It is the large, beautiful sycamore. It is seen in passing along the Hamilton turnpike. It is seen in passing from College Hill to Mt. Pleasant. These places are in Ohio.
4. It was an idle question. It was put to a railway acquaintance. A name was spoken. It was spoken in a moment. The landlady's
Statement 2 contributes the single word “successively."
3 Statement 4 adds the phrase "a citizen of Genoa"; this phrase is put in apposition with the subject.
Statement 5 adds the words “ little republic."
Statements 6 and 7, combined, appear in the form of an adverbial phrase, "in the last quarter of the fifteenth century," which serves as a modifier of the predi
name was spoken. She was the best landlady in all Germany. She was the dearest in all Germany. She was the jolliest in all Germany.
5. The youth was Narcissus. He was hunting one day. He was hunting in the forest. He chanced to see the fountain. The fountain was flashing. It was flashing beneath a stray sunbeam.
6. The daylight faded away. The moonbeams crept down. They crept into the little glade. They came to bear him company. They came to be with him in his faithful watch. They came to stay till morning.
7. The prince was a dissolute young man. He was a debauched young man. He was eighteen years of age. He bore no love to the English. He declared his intention. He intended to yoke the English to the plow. He would yoke them like oxen. He would do this on coming to the throne.
8. It was a monster of a bee. It had been wandering overhead. It was now among the leaves. It was now flashing through the strips of sunshine. It was now lost in the dark shade. It finally appeared to be settling. It appeared to be settling on the eyelid of David Swan.
9. Their two faces were grim. Their two faces were wrinkled. They were ghastly with guilt and fear. Their faces bent over their victim. They looked horrible. Their looks might have caused them to be mistaken for fiends.
10. We should suit our behavior to men. We should suit it to the several degrees of men. Of these degrees, there are three. We should suit our behavior to our superiors. We should suit it to our equals. We should suit it to those below us. This is the principal point of good breeding.
11. Ben was still stunned by the change. The change was sudden. It was terrible. The change was in his affairs. Ben sat gazing out of the window. It was the window of the coach. He hoped to see some phenomenon. He wished the phenomenon to be monstrous. He hoped to see it in the street. He wished it to prove the awful state to be only a dream. The awful state of his affairs inspired this hope.
12. The glow showed him a figure. The figure was shown by the fire's glow. It was a wood fire. The glow was a dull red. The figure was seated. It had its back to him. The figure sat on the hearth. It bent over the light. The light was fitful.
13. To come alone was to remind him. To come thus with the chaise was to remind Sampson Brass. It was for Kit to come in this