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Supply the ELLIPSIS in each of the following sentences :
1. Surely one of tho most perfect buildings within the compass of London.
2. A long time must be spent in learning the business of a watchmaker or surgeon, before a man acquire enough skill to practise.
3. Such were the men and principles for which they resolved to do battle, not by words, but force of arms.
4. The faith he professed, and became an apostle of, was not his invention.
5. If man be a little, shortlived, contemptible animal, it was not their saying it made him so.
6. Euphranon, who had never met with any of this species or sect of men, and but little of their writings, shewed a great desire to know their principles.
7. Gateway as to a fortified place; then a spacious court, like the square of a city; broad staircases, passages to interior courts; fronts of stately architecture all round.
8. He stuck to the recantation he had made at his trial, declaring he wished all embarked in the same cause might meet the same fate.
9. Men of greatest learning have spent their time in finding out the dimensions and even weight of the planets.
10. The evils of failure are greater in civil than foreign war. 11. Explain me this.
12. Diversity of opinions about a thing doth not hinder but that thing may be, and one of the opinions concerning it true.
13. There are many things we every day see others unable to perform, and perhaps have even miscarried ourselves in attempting; and yet can hardly allow to be difficult.
14. A true commander of men.
59. The third rule for perspicuity of language advises the selection of those words which are likely to be most generally understood.* Anglo-Saxon being the staple of modern English, words of that origin are most familiar to the great mass of Englishmen. Hence it is a safe rule to prefer words of Saxon to words of Classical origin.
* Technical words, or those which belong to a special calling, should also be avoided; for they can only be intelligible to those who are acquainted with the particular pursuit or process to which they belong.
f“ Ceteris paribus, when a Saxon and à Latin word offer themselves, we had best choose the Saxon."-Trench.
Exercise 22. Substitute words of Saxon for those of classical origin (in italics) in the following passages :
1. The old man deifies prudence, the young commits himself to magnanimity and chance. The young man who intends no malefaction believes that none is intended, and therefore acts with openness and candour; but his father, having suffered the injuries of fraud, is impelled to suspect, and too often allured to practise it. Age looks with anger on the temerity of youth, and youth with contempt on the scrupulosity of age.
2. Columbus was fully sensible of his perilous situation. He had observed with great apprehension the fatal operation of ignorance and of fear in producing disaffection among his crew, and saw that it was now prepared to burst out into open mutiny. He retained, however, perfect presence of mind. He affected to appear ignorant of their machinations. Notwithstanding the agitation and solicitude of his own mind, he appeared with a cheerful countenance, like a man satisfied with the progress had made, and confident of success.
3. Those who in the evening had derided the folly of their companions, were the most eager the ensuing day to tread in their footsteps. The ignorance which magnified the hopes diminished the perils of the enterprise. Since the Turkish conquest, the paths of pilgrimage were obliterated ; and such was the stupidity of the people, that at the sight of the first city or castle beyond the limits of their knowledge, they were ready to inquire whether that was not the Jerusalem, the term and object of their labours.
4. It is from the same deranged eccentric vanity that this, the insane Socrates of the National Assembly, was compelled to publish a mad confession of his mad faults, and to attempt a new species of glory, from bringing to light the obscure and vulgar vices which we know may sometimes be joined with eminent talents. He has not observed on the nature of vanity who does not know that it is omnivorous.
5. The frequent vicissitudes and reverses of fortune which nations have experienced on that very ground where the arts have prospered, are pro. bably the effects of a busy, inventive, and versatile spirit, by which men have carried every national pursuit to extremes. They have elevated the fabric of despotic einpire to its greatest height, where they had best comprehended the foundations of freedom. They perished in the flames which they themselves had ignited ; and they only, perhaps, were capable of displaying alternately the greatest improvements, or the lowest corruptions, to which the human mind can be brought.
6. Ice is only water congealed by the frigidity of the air, whereby it acquireth no new form, but rather a consistence or determination of its diffluency, and amitteth not its essence but condition of fluidity. Neither doth there anything properly conglaciate but water or watery humidity ; for the determination of quicksilver is properly fixation ; that of milk, coagulation ; and that of oil and unctuous bodies, only incrassation.
II. Energy of Language. 60. Energy, as applied to the words used in a sentence, is that quality by which they produce a forcible and vivid impression on the reader's mind.
61. Rules for Energy of language :-
62. Circumlocution consists in the use of more words than a single idea requires for its adequate expression; as, “Even at that period of time, the things I endured were not allowed to come to a termination;"—for, “ Even then my sufferings were not allowed to terminate."'*
Exercise 23. Correct the errors of Circumlocution in the following sentences :
1. Pope professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised through the whole period of his existence with unvaried liberality; and perhaps his character may receive some illustration if a comparison be instituted between him and the man whose pupil he was.
2. His mind had a larger range, and he collects his forms of fancy and illustrative figures from a more extensive circumference of scientific knowledge.
3. The first desires of human nature in a state of wildness are merely to gratify the importunities of appetite.
4. The wonders of the created universe exercise but little fascinating power over a being taken up in obviating the necessities of each successive day, and filled with anxiety on behalf of a precarious subsistence.
5. To walk along the margin of the sea when the tide has fled from the land, or to stretch out the body on a rock when the waters have returned, may raise the intellectual power in man to the highest exercise of its faculties.
6. The application of the mind to the science which describes the earth is both profitable and capable of giving delight.
7. Offices with no duty attached to them are in reality nothing but payments without service.
8. When they could no longer enjoy freedom at home, they removed from their native country to the occidental continent.
* A legalised circumlocution,—that is, when it is employed for the purpose of softening a statement which in more concise language might give offence,-is called a Euphemism.
63. Tautology* is the unnecessary repetition of a word or words in the same sentence; as, " The birds were clad in their brightest plumage, and the trees were clad in their richest verdure."
1. That day has been well spent which enables one to say at the close of the day, “ This day has not been lost.”
2. He turned a scornful glance towards the left of the House, and then left the House abruptly.
3. He is hardly trustworthy who, after forsaking his friends, calumniates the friends he has forsaken.
4. Our expectations are frequently disappointed; for we expect greater happiness from the future than experience authorises us to expect.
5. That we see but in part, and know but in part, might instruct the proudest esteemer of his own parts how useful it is to talk and consult with others.
6. In this we may see the reason why some men of study and thought, that reason aright, and are lovers of truth, do make no great advances in their discoveries of it.
7. The truth is, that error and truth are uncertainly blended in their minds.
8. Let the enlargement of your knowledge be one constant view and design in life, since there is no time, or place, or engagement in life which excludes us from this method of improving the mind.
9. Having ascended the mountain with the view of enjoying the extensive prospect, we found that the view in reality exceeded our highest expectations. I
64. In regard to the second rule for Energy of language, Dr Campbell has observed that “the more general the terms are, the picture is the fainter; the more special they are, the brighter."
* Tautology, Redundancy, and Circumlocution are often confounded. They may be easily distinguished thus :-Tautology refers to the repetition of a word, redundancy to the repetition of an idea, circumlocution to multiplication of words to express a single idea.
† See also Exercise 5.
| Tautology is often admissible in antithetical sentences ; for points of contrast are frequently brought out more strikingly by repeating all the words of a clause, except those which mark the difference: as, “In cities and houses we see the works of man; in the country we see the works of God.”
The impression made by the strongest general terms must in the end be weaker than that produced by the barest specific descriptions; and that because all general expressions are relative, and the standard of comparison varies with every writer nearly as much as with every reader. What one man considers
an enormous vessel,” another may reckon a very ordinary ship; but if the specific dimensions were given, no one would be taken at a disadvantage. So, “a costly vase,” in one man's estimation, may be “ a great bargain” to another: what one thinks “an insolent remark,” another might consider quite innocent and natural. Were the price actually stated in the one case, and the words specifically quoted in the other, there would at least be a common ground to go upon, and material from which each could draw his own conclusion; e. g. :
General: “ The elevation of the land is quite inconsiderable compared with the earth's bulk.”
Specific: “ The top of the highest mountain is not more than five miles above the level of the sea; so that its whole height is little more than 130 of the earth's diameter."
65. The third rule for Energy of expression advises a judicious use of the figures of language, as distinct from the figures of construction (s. 43, III., and 49, II.). The figures of language chiefly used in prose are, Simile, Metaphor, Metonymy, and Personification.
66. Simile and Metaphor both imply the comparison of two things. In the Simile, the one object is said to resemble the other, and some sign of comparison (as, like) stands between them. In the Metaphor, the one object is said actually to be the other, by reason of the qualities in which it resembles it. Thus :
Simile :-He fights like a lion.
Exercise 25. Select separately the Similes and the Metaphors from the following sentences :
1. To the upright there ariseth light in darkness. 2. Charity, like the sun, brightens every object on which it shines. 3. On each side of her stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids.