Изображения страниц

Not in the solitude,
Alone, may man commune with Heaven, or behold,

Only in savage forest
And sunny vale the present Deity;
Or only hear his voice
Where the winds whisper and the waves are glad.

Even here do I behold
Thy steps, Almighty! here, amidst the crowd

Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur, deep and strong-
Choking the ways that wind
'Mongst the proud piles, the work of human kind.

“ Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a portion ;
From him you came, from him accept it here-
A frank and sober, more than costly, entertainment."
He spoke, and bade the welcome tables spread;
Then talked of virtue till the time of rest,
When the grave household round his hall repair,
Warned by the bell, and close the hour with supplication.

At length the world, renewed by calm sleep,
Was strong for toil; the dappled morn arose
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept
Near the closed cradle, where an infant slumbered,
And writhed his neck; the landlord's little pride-
O strange return !-grew black, and gasped, and expired.
Horror of horrors ! what! his only son!
How looked our hermit when the deed was completed !
Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his breast.

Confused, and struck with silence at the deed,
He flies; but, trembling, fails to fly with haste.
If all our hopes and all our apprehensions,

Were prisoned in life's narrow limit;
If, travellers through this vale of tears,

We saw no better world beyond;
Oh, what could check the rising sigh?
What earthly thing could pleasure bestow ?
Oh, who could venture then to expire ?

Oh, who could then endure to live?

A few examples are presented below, in which the words in Italic are improperly used for others which in some respects they resemble.

Example 1st. “The lamb is tame in its disposition.” .

Here the word tame is incorrectly used for gentle ; tameness is produced by discipline; gentleness belongs to the natural disposition.

Example 2d. “ Newton discovered the telescope, and Harvey invented the circulation of the blood.”

In this example the words discovered and invented should change places. We discover what was hidden; we invent what is new.

Example 3d.

“ Caius Marcus displayed courage when he stood unmoved with his hand in the fire ; Leonidas displayed his fortitude at Thermopylæ when with three hundred Spartans he opposed the entire army of Xerxes.”

Here also courage and fortitude should change places. Courage enables us to meet danger; fortitude gives us strength to endure pain

From such examples the student will learn the importance of proper attention to the exact meaning of words. A loose style of writing is the result of the careless use of words, improperly considered as synonymous.


I heard a large noise, which, though made at a big distance, must have been made by a very great animal.

The work is capable of great improvement, although it was written by a very susceptible man.

Můch men were present, and their united voices caused many confusion.

Franklin framed the fact that lightning is caused by electricity. Sir Isaac Newton discovered the telescope. Solon invented a new set of laws for the city of Athens.

A wicked man fabricates sorrow for his sins, and often feigns an excuse for his crimes.

The book has many vices, but the defect is not in the author, who has sufficiently shown his abhorrence of faults.

I know the man and am acquainted with his faults. We are agreeably amazed to see our friends returning so soon. We are surprised that they accomplished their business so early, as well as astonished at the unexpected events which nearly threatened their ruin.

We often know the spot where a thing is, but it is not easy to find ou: the exact place where it happened.

When dissensions arise among neighbors, their passions often interfere to hinder accommodations; when members of a family consult interest or humor, rather than affection, there will necessarily be variances; and

when inany member of a community have an equal liberty to express their opinions, there will necessarily be disagreements.

A misplaced economy in people of property is low, but swearing and drunkenness are meaner vices.

We perform many duties only as the occasion offers, or as the opportu nity requires.

It is the duty of a person to govern those who are under him in all mat. ters wherein they are incompetent to rule themselves.

Fashion and caprice regulate the majority as the time of one clock rules that of many others.

Exuberance of imagination and luxuriance of intellect are the greatest gifts of which a poet can boast.

We may be eminent and illustrious for things good, bad, or indifferent , we may be distinguished for our singularities; we may be conspicuous for that which is the subject of vulgar discourse; but we can be distinguished only for that which is really good and praiseworthy,

Lovers of fame are sometimes able to render themselves eminent for their vices or absurdities, but nothing is more gratifying to a man than to render himself illustrious for his professional skill. It is the lot of few to be noted, and these few are seldom to be envied.

Water and snow amass by the continual accession of fresh quantities, the ice accumulates in the river until it is frozen over.

The industrious man amasses guineas and accumulates wealth.

France has long been celebrated for its health ; and many individuals resort thither for the benefit of their salubrity.

The places destined for the education of youth should be salutary; the diet of the young healthy rather than delicate, and in all their disorders, care should be taken to administer the most wholesome remedies.

A nation may be extravagant of its resources, and a government may be profuse of the public money; but no individual should be lavish of what is not his own, nor prodigal of what he gives another.

There are but few remarkable things; but many things are extraordinary.

A man may have a distaste for his ordinary occupations without any apparent cause; and after long illness he will frequently take a dislike to the food or the amusement which before afforded him pleasure.

It is good to suppress unfounded disgusts; it is difficult to overcome a strong dislike ; and it is advisable to divert our attention from objects calculated to create distaste.*

* Words are sometimes similar in sound, although different in spelling and signification. Such are the words sight, cite, and site; raise and raze aisle and isle ; scent, cent, and sent, &c. Although these are not, technically speaking, to be considered as synonymous, they may be here mentioned in order to caution the student with regard to the use of them. The verbs lie and lay, also, although entirely different in meaning, have some parts in common, which are frequently misused. The teacher who wishes for exer cises of this kind, to be corrected by the pupil, will find a large collection of them in a little work recently published by a distinguished teacher of this city, entitled “ The Companion to Spelling Books, in which the Or thography and Meaning of many thousaud Words, most liable to be mis. spelled and misused, are impressed upon the Memory by a regular Series of Written Exercises.” The work is by that eminent teacher, Mr. William B. Fowle. See also the exercises on words, page 17



The same idea may be expressed in a great variety of ways by the methods of inversion and transposition suggested in the following examples.

Example 1st. By changing active verbs into passive, and the contrary; thus, By the active verb. A multitude of delighted guests soon filled the places of those who refused to come. By the passive verb. The places of those who refused to come were soon filled by a multitude of delighted guests.

Example 2d. By using the case absolute, instead of the nominative case and its verb, and the contrary; as, The class having recited their lessons, the teacher dismissed them. The class recited their lessons and the teacher dismissed them. Of these two sentences the former is preferable, because it preserves the unity of the sentence, which requires that the subject or nominative should be changed as little as possible during the course of the sentence. Another recommendation of the former expression is, that it throws out the conjunction, which should never be unnecessarily introduced into a sentence.

Example 3d. Infinitive mood or substantive and participial phrases instead of nominative or oljective nouns, and the reverse ; as, His having been unfortunate is no disgrace ; instead of, His misfortunes are no disgrace.

Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time are material duties of the young; or, To be diligent, industrious, and properly to improve time are material duties of the young.

Example 4th. By the negation or affirmation of the contrary; as, Solon the Athenian effected a great change in the government of his

country. Solon, the Athenian, effected no small change in the government of his country

The beauty of the earth is as conspicuous as the grandeur of the heavens. The beauty of the earth is not less conspicuous than the grandeur of the heavens.

Example 5th. By reversing the corresponding parts of the sentence, with a negative adverb; as, The grandeur of the heavens is not more conspicuous than the beauty of the earth.

The negation of the contrary. * The beauty of the earth is not less conspicuous than the grandeur of the heavens.

By a comparison. There is as much beauty in the earth, as there is grandeur in the heavens.

By an expletive cause. There is no less beauty in the earth than grandeur in the heavens.

Example 6th. By changing the participial phrases into a personal verb, with a conjunction ; as, Charles, having been deprived of the help of tutors, neglected his studies. Charles was deprived of the help of tutors, and therefore he neglected his studies.

Example 7th. Change of the nominative and verb into an infinitive phrase ; as, He sacrificed his future ease and reputation that he might enjoy present pleasure. He sacrificed his future ease and reputation to enjoy present pleasure.

Example 8th.

The infinitive changed into an objective noun ; as, Canst thou expect to escape the hand of vengeance ? Canst thou expect an escape from the hand of vengeance ?

Or into a finite verb with its nominative ; as, Canst thou expect that thou shalt escape the hand of vengeance ?

* The negative adjective is generally more elegant than the negative adverb. Thus, “I was unable," is to be preferred to the expression, I was not able." "Invisible," rather than "not visible; " "Inconsistent," rather than " not consistent," &c.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »