« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
2. Full of spirit, and high in hope', we set out on the journey of life.
3. Sensible of our own'infirmities, we should view the failings of others with a pitying eye.
4. Conscious of the superiority of his forces', the Persian monarch hastened to meet Alexander on the plains of Issus.
INVERTED PERIOD.* Rule.--Every inverted period requires the rising inflection and long pause between its two principal constructive parts.
EXAMPLES. 1. The stage might be made a perpetual source of the most noble and useful entertainment', were it under proper regulations.
2. He acted agreeably to the dictates of prudence', though he was in a situation exceedingly delicate.
3. Gratian very often recommends the fine taste', as the utmost perfection of an accomplished man.
4. Persons of good taste expect to be pleased', at the same time they are informed.
5. I can desire to perceive those things that God has prepared for those that love' him, though they be such as eye hath not seen, ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive. Sentences, constructed like the following, also fall under this rule.
6. Poor were the expectations of the studious, the modest, and the good', if the reward of their labours were only to be expected from man.
7. Virtue were a kind of misery', if fame only were all the garland that crowned her.
LOOSE SENTENCE. Rule.-The member that forms perfect sense must be separated from those that follow by a long pause and the falling inflection.
1. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God'; so that things which are seen were not made of things that do appear.
A period is said to be inverted, when the first part forms perfect sense by itself, but is modified or determined in its signification by the latter.
+ A loose sentence is a member containing perfect sense by itself, followed by some other member or members, which do not restrain or qualify its signitication.
2. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed'; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
3. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation'; for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
4. Purity has its seat in the heart'; but it extends its influence over so much of the outward conduct, as to form a great and material part of the character.
5. When benignity and gentleness reign within, we are always least in hazard from without'; every person, and every occurrence, is beheld in the most favourable light.
6. A man has frequent opportunities of mitigating the fierceness of a party ; of doing justice to the character of a deserving man; of softening the envious, quieting the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced'; which are all of them employments suited to a reasonable nature, and bring great satisfaction to the person who can busy himself in them with discretion.
Note.When a sentence consists of several loose members which neither modify nor are modified by one another, they may be considered as a compound series, and pronounced accordingly.
ANTITHETIC MEMBER.* RULE.—The first member of an antithesis must end with the long
pause and the rising inflection.
1. Meekness controls our angry passions', candour our severe judgments.
2. A friend exaggerates a man's virtues', an enemy inflames his crimes.
3. The generous never recount minutely the actions they have done, nor the prudent those they will do.
4. The most frightful disorders arose from the state of feudal anarchy. Force decided all things. Europe was one great field of battle, where the weak struggled for freedom', and the strong for dominion. The king was without power', and the nobles without principle. They were tyrants at home', and robbers abroad. Nothing remained to be a check upon ferocity and violence.
5. Between fame and true honour a distinction is to be made. The former is a blind and noisy' applause: the latter a more silent and internal homage. Fame floats on the breath of the multitude': honour rests on the judgment of the thinking. Fame may
Antithesis opposes words to words, and thoughts to thoughts.
give praise, while it withholds esteem'; true honour implies esteem, mingled with respect. The one regards particular dise tinguished' talents: the other looks up to the whole character.
6. These two qualities, delicacy and correctness, mutually imply each other. No taste can be exquisitely delicate without being correct; nor can be thoroughly correct without being delicate. But still a predominancy of one or other quality in the misture is often visible. The power of delicacy is chiefly seen in discerning the true' merit of a work; the power of correctness, in rejecting false pretensions to merit. Delicacy leans more to feeling'; correctness more to reason and judgment. The former is more the gift of nature'; the latter, more the product of culture and art. Among the ancient critics, Longinus possessed most delicacy'; Aristotle, most correctness. Among the modems, Mr Addison is a high example of delicate' taste; Dean Swift, had he written on the subject of criticism, would perhaps have afforded the example of a correct one.
CONCESSIVE MEMBER. RULE. _At the end of a concession the rising inflection takes place.
1. Your enemies may be formidable by their numbers, and by their power',—but he who is with you is mightier than they.
2. Spurious beauties, such as unnatural characters, forced sentiments, affected style, may please for a little' ; but they please only because their opposition to nature and to good sense has not been examined, or attended to.
3. Reason, eloquence, and every art which ever has been studied among mankind, may be abused, and may prove dangerous in the hands of bad men; but it were perfectly childish to contend, that, upon this account, they ought to be abolished.
4. One may be a speaker, both of much reputation and much influence, in the calm argumentative manner.
To attain the pathetic, and the sublime of oratory, requires those strong sensibilities of mind, and that high power of expression, which are given to few.
5. To Bourdaloue, the French critics attribute more solidity and close reasoning; to Massillon, a more pleasing and engaging manner. Bourdaloue is indeed a great reasoner, and inculcates his doctrines with much zeal, piety, and earnestness': but his style is verbose, he is disagreeably full of quotations from the fathers, and he wants imagination.
Exercises on the preceding RULES. 1. By deferring our repentance, we accumulate our sorrows.
2. As, while hope remains, there can be no full and positive miseryo so, while fear is yet alive, happiness is incomplete.
3. Human affairs are in continual motion and fluctuation, altering their appearance every moment, and passing into some new forms.
4. As you value the approbation of Heaven, or the esteem of the world, cultivate the love of truth; in all your proceedings be direct and consistent.
5. By a multiplicity of words, the sentiments are not set off and accommodated ; but, like David equipped in Saul's armour, they are encumbered and oppressed.
6. Though it may be true, that every individual, in his own breast, naturally prefers himself to all mankind, yet he dares not look man. kind in the face, and avow that he acts according to this principle.
7. If our language, by reason of the simple arrangement of its words, possesses less harmony, less beauty, and less force, than the Greek or Latin ; it is, however, in its meaning, more obvious and plain.
8. Whether we consider poetry in particular, and discourse in gen. eral, as imitative or descriptive; it is evident, that their whole power in recalling the impressions of real objects, is derived from the significancy of words.
9. Were there no bad men in the world, to vex and distress the good, the good might appear in the light of harmless innocence ; but they could have no opportunity of displaying fidelity, magnanimity, patience, and fortitude.
10. Though I would have you consider the present life as a state of probation, and the future as the certain rectifier and recorder of all the good and evil committed here ; yet live innocently, live honestly, and, if possible, apart of that interesting consideration.
11. It is not by starts of application, or by a few years' preparation of study afterwards discontinued, that eminence can be attained. No; it can be attained only by means of regular industry, grown up into a habit, and ready to be exerted on every occasion that calls for industry.
12. We blame the excessive fondness and anxiety of a parent, as something which may, in the end, prove hurtful to the child, and which, in the mean time, is excessively inconvenient to the parent; but we easily pardon it, and never regard it with hatred and detestation.
13. The character of Demosthenes is vigour and austerity ; that of Cicero is gentleness and insinuation. In the one, you find more man. liness; in the other, more ornament. The one is more harsh, but more spirited and cogent; the other, more agreeable, but, withal, looser and weaker.
14. 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 impetuosity ; Virgil leads us with an attractive majesty. Homer scatters with a generous profusion; Virgil bestows with a careful magnificence. Homer, like the Nile, pours out his riches with a sudden overflow ; Virgil, like a river in its banks, with a constant stream. And when we look upon their machines, Homer seems, like his own Jupiter in his terrors, shaking Olympus,
scattering the lightnings, and firing the heavens; Virgil, like the same power in his benevolence, counselling with the gods, laying plans for empires, and ordering his whole creation.
INTERROGATION.* Rule I.-Questions asked by pronouns or adverbs, end with the
1. Without correct and important ideas, of what avail are a multitude of fine words'?
2. Who continually keeps this globe on which we dwell in its orbit'? Who giveth day and night, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest'? Who produces every plant, and brings forth successively every animal'? Who sendeth the early and the latter rain'? Who supplies the returning wants of every living being'?
3. Who continually supports and governs the stupendous system? Who preserves ten thousand times ten thousand worlds in perpetual harmony'? Who enables them always to observe such time, and obey such laws, as are most exquisitely adapted for the perfection of the wondrous whole'? They cannot preserve and direct themselves; for they were created, and must, therefore, be dependent. How, then, can they be so actuated and directed, but by the unceasing energy of the Great Supreme'? 4. Ah! why will kings forget that they are men,
And men that they are brethren'? Why delight
In one soft bond of amity and love'? Note 1.-Interrogative sentences consisting of members in a series necessarily depending on each other for sense, must be pronounced according to the rule which relates to the series of which they are composed.
What can be more important and interesting than an inquiry into the existence', attributes', providence', and moral government' of God? Rule II.—Questions asked by verbs require the rising inflection. +
EXAMPLES. 1. Are we intended for actors in the grand drama of eternity'? Are we candidates for the plaudit of the rational creation ? Are
• When the last words, in this species of interrogation, happen to be emphatical, they must be pronounced with a considerable degree of force and loudness.
+ When the question is very long, however, or concludes a para. graph, the falling instead of the rising inflection takes place.