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words, in order to express what might thus be expressed more clearly in thirty-two :
“Although the objects in this sentence are sufficiently connected, the frequent changing of “the pronoun-we, they, I, who—makes them “appear so disunited that the sense of connection “is much impaired”. His sentence contains three-and-twenty words too many!
On page 461, Lindley Murray very properly objects to such tautological expressions as, “Forced to get home, partly by stealth, and “partly by force"; and, “The universal love and "esteem of all men". But, only three pages further on, we find him saying ;
I conquered', expresses, with more ' force, the rapidity and quick succession of con“quest, than if connecting particles had been “used.”
Again, on page 498, he says, of certain impres
As soon as they are made, they are instantly lost."
Concerning the order of words in a sentence, Lindley Murray says, on page 449;—“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 assign“ing 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 oso will be such a mixture of delight, as is pro“portioned to the degree in which any one of " these qualifications is most conspicuous and “'prevailing'. The order in which the two last “[the last two] words are placed, should have “been reversed, and made to stand, prevailing “and conspicuous.—They are conspicuous, because "they prevail”.
I turn over one leaf only, and find that Lindley Murray has quite forgotten all that he had said about the order of the words in a sentence. On page 453, he writes as follows:
"The violation of this rule tends so much to perplex
“and obscure, that”, etc.
Adopting Lindley Murray's own form of criticism, I say ;—"The order in which the last two “words are placed, should have been reversed, "and made to stand, obscure and perplex. The "perplexity is occasioned by the obscurity.”
Concerning precision, Lindley Murray says, on page 438;
"It signifies retrenching superfluities, and pruning
the expression, so as to exhibit neither more nor less, than an exact copy of the person's idea who
If Lindley Murray had borne in mind his own definition of "precision", he would have struck out of his sentence the words printed in italics; for, what is meant by “retrenching superfluities", but "pruning the expression” ? and what is conveyed in the words “neither more nor less”, that is not conveyed in the word “ exact” ? But worse than all, is the expression,—“the person's idea
. who"! After that, the reader will be prepared for the assertion that almost every kind of fault in composition may be found in Lindley Murray’s own writings; and yet, I affirm, he is not more inaccurate in his language, than are ninety-nine men out of every hundred. He knew what was correct in the use of words, and effected much good in his day, but his practice was strangely at variance with his precepts.
Criticisms written for the New York Round Table.
THE HON GEORGE P. MARSH.
THE Hon. George P. Marsh is contributing to • The Nation' a series of articles on the new edition of 'Webster's Dictionary'; and the editor of that periodical says, in a brief notice introducing the first of the series ;-“We believe that
they will be found the most valuable and enter
taining criticism which that work has yet elicited, “and we commend them especially for perusal “ and preservation to the scholars and the whole corps of instructors of the country.”
Knowing that Mr. Marsh's criticisms are deserving of attentive perusal, and that his opinions will be received with deference by the most eminent philologists in Europe as well as in America, I write, in the interests of literature, to request