ページの画像
PDF
ePub

depress, uncompressed, &c. oppressor,
depression, &c.
repress,

oppression, &c. impress, repressed,

suppress, impression, &c. repression, suppressor, re-impress, &c. express,

suppression, &c. compress, expression, insuppress, &c. compression, &c. oppress,

unsuppressed, &c. uncompress,

Exercises.

Write a list of words derived from the following words or roots by ada.
og the prefixes, suffixes, &c., that have been explained.
Faith.
Jure.
Right.

Append.
Health.
Marry.
Good.

Absolve.
Pity.
Merge.
Idol.

Abridge.
Hope.
Tend.
Law.

Answer.
Mercy.
Stand.
Author.

Aspire.
Art.
Run.

Contract. Pride.
Care.
Ply.

Present. Blame.
Need.
Range.
Attend.

Bless.
Fear.
Creatc.

Moderate. Caprice.
Shame.
Pose.
Virtue.

Censure.
Respect.
Graphic.
Use.

Caution.
Create.
Fac and

Presume. Cite.
Fine.
Factum.*
Separate.

Commune.
Scribe.
Divide.
Critic.

Conceal.
Argue.
Improve. False.

Correct.
Sense.
Profess.
Fire.

Reform.
Lude.
Succeed. Full.

Defy.
Join.
Deduce.
Frolic.

Define.
Real.
Defend.
Fortune.

Discover
Large.
Resolve.

Multiply. Elect.
Form.
Calumny.
Note.

Elevate.
Fense.
Arm.

Conform. Fancy.
Move.
Peace.
Hinder.

Faction.
Spect.
Love.
Book.

Fault.
Sign.
Laugh.
Apply.

Favor.

* The origin of this word is the Latin verb facio, and its supine factum, which signifies to make, to do, or to cause, and it enters, in some form, into the composition of more than five hundred of our English words. The word pono, and its supine positum, furnish 250 words ; plico, 200; fero and latum, 198; specio, 177 ; mitto and missum, 174; tenes and tentum, 168; capeo and captum, 197 ; tendo, tensum, and tentum, 162 ; duco and ductum, 150; logos, (from the Greek language,) 156 ; grapho, :52. These twelve words enter, in some shape, into the composition of nearly 2500 English words. From 154 Greek and Latin primitives, nearly 13,000 English words are derived,

or are afferted in their signification. See Towne's Analysis of Derivative Words.

[blocks in formation]

Synonymes are words having precisely the same meaning.

The number of words, in any language, which are strictly synonomous, are few; but, as was stated in the last lesson, in the English language there are many instances of words, derived from different sources, expressive of precisely the same idea. Thus, the words swiftness and velocity, womanish and effeminate, building and edifice, fewness and paucity, brotherly and fraternal, fatherly and paternal, motherly and maternal, yearly and annual, height and altitude, are words of precisely the same import.

Although, with exceptions of the kind just enumerated, the words strictly synonomous are few, yet it is often the case that one word of similar meaning may be substituted in a sentence for another, without materially altering the idea intended to be expressed. Thus, in the senence, “I design to show the difference in these words," the word design may be changed into intend, purpose, propose, or mean; thus.

I design to show the difference in these words.
I intend to show the difference in these words.

I purpose, propose, or mean to show the difference, &c. The word show may, in like manner, be changed into explain, point out, or illustrate; the word defference may be changed into distinction, and expressions may be substituted for words, without materially altering the mean ing of the sentence.

Such exercises as these give a command of language to the student. and are of great use as a preparation for exercises in prose, as well as verse. But to the poet especially a familiar acquaintance with expres sions of similar meaning is absolutely indispensable. Confined as he is to certain rules, it is often the case, that a long word must be substituted for a short one, or a short one for a long, in order to progluçe the necessa

ry succession of syllables to constitute the measure, or the harmony, of his verses.

It has been stated, that few words are 'strictly synonymous. Although, in the sentence just recited, namely, “I design to show the difference in these words," it has been observed, that the words intend, purpose, propose, or mean, may be substituted for design, without materially altering the sense, yet it must be understood, that the words themselves are really different in meaning. The word design properly signifies to mark out; as with a pencil; purpose signifies to set before one's mind as an object of pursuit ; mean signifies to have in the mind; proposé properly implies to offer, and intend expresses the bending of the mind toward an object. *

The words difficulties, embarrassments, and troubles, are often used as words of precisely similar signification; but there is, in reality, considerable difference in their signification. The

three terms are all applicable to à person's concerns in life, but difficulties relate to the facility of accomplishing an undertaking, and imply, that it is not easily done. "Embarrassments relate to the confusion attending a state of debt, and trouble to the pain which is the natural consequence of not fulfilling engagements or answering demands. Of the three words, difficulties expresses the least, and troubles the most. “A young man, on his entrance into the world, will unavoidably experience difficulties, if not provided with ample means in the outset. But, let his means bé ever so ample, if he have not prudence, and talents fitted for business, he will hardly keep himself free from embarrassments, which are the greatest troubles that can arise to disturb the peace of a man's mind.”

The words difficulty, obstacle, and impediment, although frequently used as synonymous, have nice distinctions in their meanings. Difficulty, as has already been observed, relates to the ease with which a thing is done, obstacle signifies the thing which stands in the way between the person and the object he has in view; and impediment signifies the thing which entangles the feet. All of these terms include in their signification, that which interferes either with the actions or views of men. The difficulty lies most in the nature and circumstances of the thing itself; the obstacle and impediment consist of that which is external or foreign; the difficulty interferes with the completion of any work; the obstacle interferes with the attainment of any end; the impediment interrupts the progress and prevents the execution of one's wishes; the difficulty embarrasses; it suspends the powers of acting or deciding; the obstacle opposes itself; it is properly met in the way, and intervenes between us and our object; the impediment shackles and puts a stop to our proceeding; we speak of encountering a difficulty, surmounting an obstacle, and removing an impediment; we go through difficulty, over an obstacle, and pass by impediments. The disposition of the mind often occasions more difficulties in negociations, than the subjects theinselves; the eloquence of Demosthenes was the greatest obstacle which Philip of Macedon experienced in his political career; ignorance in the language is the greatest impediment which a foreigner experiences in the pursuit

of any object out of his own country.

* The student who wishes a fuller explanation of the difference be tween these words is referred to that very valuable work entitled, “ English Synonymes explained in Alphabetical Order, with copious Illustrations

and Examples drawn from the best Writers, by George Crabb, of Xigdalej Hall, Oxford.”

The following instances show a difference in the meaning of words reputed synonymous, and point out the use of atvending, with care and strictness, to the exact 'import of words. Custom, habit.

Custom respects the action; habit, the actor. By custom, we mean the frequent repetition of the same act; by habit, the effect which that repetition produces on the mind or body. By the custom of walking often in the streets, one acquires a habit of idleness.

Pride, vanity. Pride makes us esteem ourselves; vanity makes us desire the esteem of others. It is just to say, that a man is too proud to be vain.

Haughtiness, disdain. Haughtiness is founded on the high opinion we entertain of ourselves; disdain, on the low opinion we have of others.

Only, alone. Only imports, that there is no other of the same kind; alone imports being accompanied by no other. An only child is one that has neither brother nor sister; a child alone is one who is left by itself. There is a difference, therefore, in precise language, between these two phrases: “ Virtue only makes us happy ;” and “ Virtue alone makes us happy.”

Wisdom, prudence. Wisdom leads us to speak and act what is most proper. Prudence prevents our speaking or acting improperly.

Entire, complete. A thing is entire when it wants none of its parts; complete when it wants none of the appendages that belong to it. A man may have an entire house to himself, and yet not have one complete apartment.

Surprised, astonished, amazed, confounded. I am surprised with what is new or unexpected; I am astonished at what is vast or great; I am amazed at what is incomprehensible; I am confounded by what is shocking or terrible.

Tranquillity, peace, calm. Tranquillity respects a situation free from trouble, considered in itself; peace, the same situation with respect to any causes that might interrupt it; calm, with regard to a disturbed tuation going before or following it. A good man enjoys tranquillity, in himself; peace, with others; and calm, after a storm.

In a similar manner, differences can be pointed out in the words con quer, vanquish, subdue, overcome, and surmount. Conquer signifies to seek or try to gain an object vanquish implies the binding of an individual ; subdus siguifies to give or put under; overcome expresses the coming over or getting the mastery over one ; surmount signifies to mount over or to rise above any one. Persons or things are conquered or subdued; persons, only, are vanquished. An enemy or a country is conquered; a foe is vanquished, people are subdued ; prejudices and prepossessions are overcome ; obstacles are sur. mounted. We conquer an enemy by whatever means we gain the mastery over him ; we vanquish him, when by force we make him yield; we subdue him by whatever means we check in him the spirit of resistance. A Christian tries to conquer his enemies by kindness and generosity; a warrior tries to vanquish them in the field; a prudent monarch tries to subdue his rebel subjects by a due mixture of clemency and rigor. One may be vanquished in a single battle; one is subdued only by the most violent and persevering measures.

William the First conquered England by vanquishing his rival, Harold; after which he completely subdued the English.

Vanquish is used only in its proper sense; conquer and subdue are Mkewise employed figuratively, in which sense they are analogous to overcome and surmount. That is conquered and subdued which is in the mind; that, is overcome and surmounted which is either internal or external.' We conquer and overcome what makes no great resistance; we subdue and sur mount what is violent and strong in its opposition. Dislikes, attachments, and feelings in general, either for or against, are conquered ; unruly and tumultuous passions are to be subdued : a man conquers himself, he subdues his spirit. One conquers by ordinary means and efforts, one subdues by extraordinary means. It requires determination and force to conquer and overcome; patience and perseverance to subdue and surmount. Whoever aims at Christian perfection must strive with God's assistance to conquer avarice, pride, and every inordinate propensity; to subdue wrath, anger, lust, and every carnal appetite, to overcome temptations, to vanquish the tempter, and to surmount trials and impediments, which obstruct his

course.

The nice distinctions which exist among some words commonly reputed synonymous having now been pointed out, the student may proceed to the exercises of this Lesson according to the following

Escample.

The words vision, way, formerly, weaken, unimportant, see, and think, are proposed; and it is required to find a list of words, having a meaning similar to them respectively.

Vision, apparition, phantom, spectre ghost.
Way, manner, method, mode, course, means.

Formerly, in times past, in old times, in days of yore, an ciently, in ancient times.

Weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, enervate, invalidate.
Unimportant, insignificant, immaterial, inconsiderable

« 前へ次へ »