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guity is removed by the following order. “ The ininister of state who, like a little statue placed on a mighty pedestal, grows less by his elevation, will always,” &c.

Words expressing things connected in the thought, ought to be placed as near together as possible, even when their separation would convey no ambiguity. This will be seen in the following passages from Addison. “ For the English are naturally fanciful, and very often disposed by that gloominess and melancholy of temper, which are so frequent in our nation, to many , wild notions and extravagancies, to which others are not so liable.” Here the verb or assertion is, by a pretty long circumstance, separated from the subject to which it refers. This might have been easily prevented, by placing the circumstance before the verb, thus: For the English are naturally fanciful, and by that gloominess and melancholy of temper which are so frequent in our nation, are often disposed to many wild notions," &c.

“ For as no mortal author, in the ordinary fate and vicissitade of things, knows to what use his works may, some time or other, be applied,” &c. Better thus : “For as, in the ordinary fate and vicissitude of things, no mortal author knows to what use, some time or other, his works may be applied," &c.

From these examples, the following observations will occụr: that a circumstance ought never to be placed between two capital members of a period; but either between the parts of the member to which it belongs, or in such a manner as will confine it to its proper member. When the sense admits it, the sooner a circumstance is introduced, generally speaking, the better, that the more important and sig. nificant words may possess the last place, quite disencumbered. The following sentence is, in this respect, faulty, The Emperor was so intent on the establishment of his absolute power in Hungary, that he exposed the empire doubly to desolation and ruin for the sake of it.” Better thus: “ That, for the sake of it, he exposed the empire doubly to desolation and ruin."


This appears to be a proper place to observe, that when different things have an obvious relation to each other, in respect to the order of nature or time, that order should be regarded, in assigning them their places in the sentence ; unless the scope of the passages require it to be varied. The conclusion of the following lines is inaccurate in this respect : “But still there will be such a mixture of delight, as is proportioned to the degree in which any one of these qualifications is most conspicuous and prevailing.” The order in which the two last words are placed, should have been reversed, and made to stand, prevailing and conspicuous.-They are conspicuous, because they prevail.

The following sentence is a beautiful example of strict conformity to this rule. “Our sight fills the mind with the largest variety of ideas, converses with its objects at the greatest distance, and continues the longest in action, without being tired or satiated with its proper enjoyments.” This passage follows the order of nature. First, we have the variety of objects mentioned, which sight furnishes to the mind ; next, we have the action of sight on those objects ; and lastly, we have the time and continuance of its action. No order could be more natural or exact.

The order which we now recommend, is, in single words especially, frequently violated, for the sake of better sound; but, perhaps in no instances, without a deviation from the line of strict propriety.

3. In the disposition of the relative pronouns, who, which, what, whose, and of all those particles which express the connexion of the parts of speech with one another.

A small error in the position of these words may cloud the meaning of the whole sentence; and even where the meaning is intelligible, we always find something awkward and disjointed in the structure of the sentence, when these relatives are out of their proper place. “ This kind of wit,” "says an author, was very much in vogue among our countrymen, about an age or two ago'; who did not practise it for any oblique reason, but purely for the sake of being


witty." We are at no loss about the meaning here ; but the construction would evidently be mended by disposing the circumstance," about an age or two ago," in such a man ner as not to separate the relative who from its anteceden our countrymen ; in this way: “ About an age or two ag this kind of wit was very much in vogue among our countrymen, who did not practise it," &c.

The following passage is still more censurable. “ It is folly to pretend to arm ourselves against the accidents of life, by heaping up treasures, which nothing can protect us against, but the good providence of our Creator." Which always refers grammatically to the substantive immediately preceding; and that, in the instance just mentioned, is 6 treasures.” The sentence ought to have stood thus : “ It is folly to pretend, by heaping up treasures, to arm ourselves against the accidents of life, which nothing can protect us against,” &c.

With regard to relatives, it may be farther observed, that obscurity often arises from the too frequent repetition of them, particularly of the pronouns who and they, and them and theirs, when we have occasion to refer to different persons; as in the following sentence of Tillotson. look with an evil eye upon the good that is in others, and think that their reputation obscures them, and their commendable qualities stand in their light; and therefore they do what they can to cast a cloud over them, that the bright shining of their virtues may not obscure them." This is altogether careless writing. When we find these personal pronouns crowding too fast upon us, we have often no method left, but to throw the whole sentence into some other form, which may avoid those frequent references to persons who have before been mentioned.

To have the relation of every word and member of a sentence marked in the most proper and distinct manner, not only gives clearness to it, but makes the mind pass sinoothly and agreeably along all the parts of it.--See the APPENDIX to the Exercises.




THE SECOND requisite of a perfect sentence, is its Unily.

In every composition, there is always some connecting principle among the parts. Some one object must reign and be predominant. But most of all, in a single sentence, is required the strictest unity. For the very nature of a sentence implies that one proposition is expressed. It may consist of parts, indeed, but these parts must be so closely bound together, as to make the impression upon the mind of one object, not of many: To preserve this unity of a sentence, the following rules must be observed.

In the first place, During the course of the sentence, the scene should be changed as little as possible. We should not be hurried by sudden traņsitions from person to person, nor from subject to subject. There is commonly, in eyery sentence, some person or thing which is the governing word, This should be continued so, if possible, froin the beginning to the end of it.

The following sentence varies from this rule : came to anchor, they put me on shore, where I was welcomed by all my friends, who received me with the greatest kindness." In this sentence, though the objects contained in it have a sufficient connexion with each other, yet, by this manner of representing them, by shifting so often both the place and the person, we and they, and I and who, they appear in so disunited a view, that the sense of connexion is much impaired. The sentence is restored to its proper unity, by turning it after the following manner. Having come to an anchor, I was put on shore, where I was wel. comed by all my friends, and received with the greatest kindness.”

Here follows another instance of departure from the rule, “The sultan being dangerously wounded, they carried him to his tent; and, upon hearing of the defeat of his troops, they put him into a litter, which transported hina to a place

“ After we

of safety, at the distance of about fifteen leagues." Better thus ; “ The sultan being dangerously wounded, was carried to his tent; and, on hearing of the defeat of his troops, was put into a litter, and transported to a place of safety about fifteen leagues distant."

A second rule under the head of unity, is, Never to crond into one sentence, things which have so little connexion, that they could bear to be divided into two or three sentences.

The violation of this rule tends so much to perplex and obscure, that it is safer to err by too many short sentences, than by one that is overloaded and embarrassed. Examples abound in authors. “ Archbishop Tillotson," says an author, “ died in this year. He was exceedingly beloved by king William and queen Mary, who nominated Dr. Tennisod, bishop of Lincoln, to succeed him." Who would expect the latter part of this sentence to follow in consequence of the former ? “ He was exceedingly beloved by both king and queen," is the proposition of the sentence. We look for some proof of this, or at least something reJated to it to follow; when we are on a sudden carried off to a new proposition.

The following sentence is still worse. The author, speaking of the Greeks under Alexander, says :

« Their march was through an uncultivated country, whose savage inhabitants fared hardly, having no other riches than a breed of lean sheep, whose ftesh was rank and upsavoury, by reason of their continual feeding upon sea-fish." * Here the scene is changed upon us again and again. The march of the Greeks, the description of the inhabitants through whose country they travelled, the account of their sheep, and the cause of their sheep being ill-tasted food, form a jumble of objects, slightly related to each other, which the reader cannot, without much difficulty, comprehend under one view

These examples have been taken from sentences of no great length, yet very crowded. Writers who deal in long sentences, are very apt to be faulty in this article. Take, for an instance, the following from Temple. « The usta)

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