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our happiness, or in the plan of his administration. One light always shines upon us from above. One clear and direct path is always pointed out to man."

A period may sometimes be admitted between two sentences, though they are joined by a disjunctive or copulative conjunction. For the quality of the point does not always depend on the connective particle, but on the sense and structure of sentences : as, “Recreations, though they may be of an innocent kind, require steady government to keep them within a due and limited province. But such as are of an irregular and vicious nature, are not to be governed, but to be banished from every well-regulated mind."

“ He who lifts himself up to the observation and notice of the world, is, of all men, the least likely to avoid censure. For he draws upon himself a thousand eyes, that will narrowly inspect him in every part."

The period should be used after every abbreviated word: as, “M. S. P. S. N. B. A. D. 0. S. N. S.&c.




See Vol. ii. Part 4. Exercises. Chap. 5.


Of the Dash.


The Dash, though often used improperly by hasty and incoherent writers, may be introduced with propriety, where the sentence breaks off abruptly; where a significant pause is required; or where there is an unexpected turn in the sentiment: as, “ If thou art he, so much respected once-but, oh! how fallen! how degraded !” “If acting conformably to the will of our Creator;-if promoting the welfare of mankind around us ;-if securing our own happiness ;-are objects of the highest moment:—then we are loudly called upon to cultivate and extend the great interests of religion and virtue." A dash following a stop, denotes that the pause is to be greater than if the stop were alone; and when used by itself, requires a pause of such length as the sense alone can determine.

“ Here lies the great- -False marble, where?

Nothing but sordid dust lies here."

• Whatever is, is right- This world, 'tis true,

“ Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too.” Besides the points which mark the pauses in discourse, there are characters, which denote a different modulation of voice, in correspondence to the sense. These are The point of INTERROGATION,

? The point of ExcLAMATION,




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Of the Interrogatory Point. A NOTE of interrogation is used at the end of an interrogative sentence; that is, when a question is asked: as, “Who will accompany me?” “Shall we always be friends ?":

Questions which a person asks himself in contemplation, ought to be determined by points of interrogation : as, “Who adorned the heavens with such exquisite beauty ?" whose command do the planets perform their constant revolutions ?"

" To whom can riches give repute or trust,

“ Content or pleasure, but the good and just ?” A point of interrogation is improper after sentences which are not questions, but only expressions of admiration, or of some other emotion.

“ How many instances have we of chastity and excellence in the fair sex !"

“ With what prudence does the son of Sirach advise us, in the choice of our companions!"

A note of interrogation should not be employed, in cases where it is only said a question has been asked, and where the words are not used as a question. “ The Cyprians asked me why I wept." To give this sentence the interrogative form, it should be expressed thus, “The Cyprians said to me, Why dost thou weep ?!”


Of the Exclamatory Point. The note of exclamation is applied to expressions of sudden emotion, surprise, joy, grief, &c. and also to invocations or addresses: as, “My friend! this conduct amazes me !!! “ Bless the Lord, O my soul! and forget not all his benefits !"

“Oh! bad we both our humble state maintain'd,
“ And safe in peace and poverty remained !"
* Hear me, O Lord ! for thy loving kindness is great!"

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It is difficult in some cases, to distinguish between an interrogative and exclamatory sentence: but a sentence, in which any wonder or admiration is expressed, and no answer either expected or implied, may be always properly terminated by a note of exclamation : as, “ How much vanity in the pursuits of men!" “Who can sufficiently express the goodness of our Creator!” “ What is more amiable than virtue !"

The interrogation and exclamation points are indeterminate as to their quantity or time, and may be equivalent in that respect to a semicolon, a colon, or a period, as the sense may require. They mark an elevation of the voice.

The utility of the points of Interrogation and Exclamation, appears from the following examples, in which the meaning is signified and discriminated solely by the points.

" What condescension !”
“ What condescension ?"
“How great was the sacrifice !"
“How great was the sacrifice ?''

SecTION 4.

Of the Parenthesis.

A PARENTHESIS is a clause containing some necessary information, or useful remark, introduced into the body of a sentence obliquely, and which may be omitted without injuring the grammatical construction : as,


“Know then this truth, (enough for man to know,)

Virtue alone is happiness below.”
“ And was the ransom paid ? It was ; and paid

(What can exalt his bounty more ?) for thee."

“ To gain a posthumous reputation, is to save four or five letters (for what is a name besides ?) from oblivion." “ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth ?"

If the incidental clause is short, or perfectly coincides with the rest of the sentence, it is not proper to use the parentheti


cal characters. The following instances are therefore improper uses of the parenthesis. "Speak you (who saw) his wonders in the deep.” “Every planet (as the Creator has made nothing in vain) is most probably inhabited.” “ He found them asleep again; (for their eyes were heavy ;) neither knew they what to answer him."

The parenthesis generally marks a moderate depression of the voice, and may be accompanied with every point which the sense would require, if the parenthetical characters were omitted. It ought to terminate with the same kind of stop which the member has, that precedes it; and to contain that stop within the parenthetical marks.* We must, however, except cases of interrogation and exclamation : as, “While they wish to please, (and why should they not wish it?) they disdain dishonourable means." "It was represented by an analogy, (Oh, how inadequate !) which was borrowed from the religion of paganism."




THERE are other characters, which are frequently made use of in composition, and which may be explained in this place, viz.

An Apostrophe, marked thus' is used to abbreviate or shorten a word: as, "'tis for it is; tho' for though ; e'en for even ; judg'd for judged." Its chief use is to show the genitive case of nouns : as, “A man's property; a woman's ornament."

* As the parenthesis includes the whole clause, and the point is a part of the clause, and properly belongs to it, there can be no doubt that the point should be contained within the parenthetical marks. To place it on the outside of the parenthetical characters, would be, to point those characters, and not the clause. The phrase which precedes the parenthesis should, doubtless, have its proper point and pause attached to it; and not be left without its necessary appendages till the parenthesis is completed: the suspense is forced and irregular. That the parenthesis itself does not supply the place of a point between the parenthetic clause, and the word immediately preceding it, is evident from this circumstance, that the preceding clause frequently requires a point and tone essentially

different from those which belong to the parenthetic clause: This will be seen in the following sentence: “If I grant this request, (and who could refuse it?) I shall secure his esteem and attachment.” The real and proper office of the parenthetical marks, is simply to denote, not a point, but the parenthetical clause. We should not have so far extended this note, were it not that many writers, and some grammarians, are divided in their opinions and practice, on the subject. Vol. I.


A Caret, marked thus, is placed where some word happens to be left out in writing, and which is inserted over the line. This mark is also called a circumflex, when placed over a particular vowel, to denote a long syllable : as, “ Euphrâtes."

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A Hyphen, marked thus - is employed in connecting compounded words ; as, “Lap-dog, tea-pot, pre-existence, selflove, to-morrow, mother-in-law."

It is also used, when a word is divided, and the former part is written or printed at the end of one line, and the latter part at the beginning of another. In this case, it is placed at the end of the first line, not at the beginning of the second.

The Acute Accent, marked thus:' as, “ Fáncy.” The Grave thus :'as,

“ Fàvour.”

In English, the accentual marks are chiefly used in spellingbooks and dictionaries, to mark the syllables which require a particular stress of the voice in pronunciation.

The stress is laid on long and short syllables indiscriminately. In order to distinguish the one from the other, some writers of dictionaries have placed the grave on the former, and the acute on the latter, in this manner : Mìnor, mineral, lively, líved, rival, ríver."


The proper mark to distinguish a long syllable, is this: as, “ Rösy:" and a short one this : “ as, “ Folly.” This last mark is called a breve.


A Diæresis, thus marked, consists of two points placed over one of the two vowels that would otherwise make a diphthong, and parts them into syllables : as, “Creator, coädjutor, aërial.”

A section marked thus, § is the division of a discourse, or chapter, into less parts or portions.

A Paragraph 1 denotes the beginning of a new subject, ora sentence not connected with the foregoing. This character is chiefly used in the Old, and in the New Testaments.

A Quotation.“" Two inverted commas are generally placed at the beginning of a phrase or a passage, which is quoted or transcribed from the speaker or author in his own

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