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The King of France.
the United States.)
The Literary Emporium.
the British Metropolis.
The following sentences present examples of Periphrasis, * Euphemism and Antonomasia, and it is required of the student to designate each.
Solomon, (the wisest of men,) says, "Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”
David (The Author of the Psalms) was one of the sweetest and most pious writers of the Old Testament." Moses ( The Jewish Lawgiver) was educated by the daughter of Pharaoh. Saul (The first king of Israel) was a man of uncommon stature. Methuselah (He who lived to the greatest age recorded of man) died before his father. t
Adam Smith (The author of the Wealth of Nations) says that there is in man a natural propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another.
It is pleasant to relieve (be the instrument of relieving) distress.
Short and (The transient day of sinful indulgence is followed by long and distressing (a dark and tempestuous night of ) sorrow.
Christ (He who spake as never man spoke ) says, in his sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
* The judicious use of periphrasis or circumlocution, often involves an acquaintance with figurative language, under which head it properly belongs. It is taken from that connexion in order to be applied in other exercises which precede the subject of figures.
† His father was Enoch, who never died, but was translated.
He thought the man a scoundrel (dishonest) and therefore would not pay him the money (would place no confidence in him.)
He behaved like a boor (in an improper manner) and therefore the genteel (persons of refinement) would have nothing to do with him.
I consider him an impudent puppy (rude in his manners) and shall therefore separate myself from his company.
The man was drunk (intoxicated, or had indulged in liquor) when he used these indecent words (that improper language) and although I was very mad (was displeased) with him, I did not scold at (reprove) him.
Major Andre was hanged (perished on the scaffold) although he ear. nestly requested that he might be fired at (shot.)
That man eats his victuals like a pig (is unrefined in his manners at the table) and guzzles down his drink like a fish (and is too fond of his cup.)
He has on dirty stockings (His hose are not neat) and muddy shoes (his shoes are soiled.)
A truly genteel man (A man of refinement ) is known as well by his talk (conversation) as by his clothes (dress.) He never uses low language and vulgar expressions (indulges in loose conversation.) His hands and face and his whole body are well washed, he cleans his teeth, combs his hair, (His whole person is kept neat and cleanly,) and brushes his clothes whenever they are dirty, (his dress never appears to be soiled,) and he always looks well, as if he were going to a party, (and he always looks prepared for the drawingroom.)
Of the oldest of the English Poets, (Chaucer) as he is the father of English poetry, so I hold him in the same degree of veneration as the Greeks hold Homer (the author of the Iliad and Odyssey) or the Romans, hold Virgil (the author of the Æneid.) He is a perpetual fountain of good sense ; learned in all sciences; and therefore he speaks properly on all subjects. As he knew what to say, so also he knows where to leave off; a continence which is practised by few writers, and scarcely by any of the ancients, excepting the authors of the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Æneid.
The author of the Essay on the Understanding (Mr. Locke) has advanced the opinion that moral subjects are as susceptible of demonstration as mathematical.
The Bard of Avon (Shakspeare) was one of the most remarkable men that the world ever produced, (that ever appeared in the ranks of humanity.) It may truly be said of him that he touched nothing which he did not adorn; and that he has strewed more pearls in the paths of literature than any other poet that the world has seen. His works have had more admirers than those of any other author excepting the writers of the holy Scriptures.
The science which treats of language, (Grammar) and the science which describes the earth and its inhabitants, (Geography) are branches frequent. ly studied, but too frequently imperfectly understood.
The author of the Waverley novels (Sir Walter Scott) must have been a mun of remarkable industry, as well as of uncommon talent.
TAUTOLOGY AND CATACHRESIS. Tautology is the repetition of the same meaning in different words, or the needless repetition of the same words.
Thus, in the sentence, “The nefarious wickedness of his conduct was reprobated and condemned by all,” the tautology consists in the use of nefarious and wickedness together; which is the same as to say, the wicked wickedness; and reprobated and condemned, which are words of similar meaning. So, also, in the sentence, “The brilliance of the sun dazzles our eyes, and overpowers them with light,” the same idea is conveyed by the word “dazzles" and the expression, “overpowers them with light;" one of them, therefore, should be omitted.
Whenever anything is represented as being the cause, condition, or consequence of itself, it may also be considered as a tautology, as in the following lines:
“ The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
Addison. Tautologies are allowable only in legal instruments, and other writings where precision is of more importance than elegance; when, therefore, it consists in the repetition of a word, it may be corrected by the use of a synonyme; but when it consists in the repetition of an idea, unless such repetition is important for clearness or for emphasis, it should be wholly suppressed.
They returned back again to the same city from whence they came forth.
In this sentence, all the words in Italic are tautologies; for the word return implies to turn back, the city implies the same city, and from and forth are both included in the word whence. The sentence, read without the words in Italic, is as clear and expressive as words can make it. Words which do not add to the meaning are useless, especially in prose.
He led a blameless and an irreproachable life, and no one could censure his conduct.
God is eternal, and his existence is without beginning and without end.
He sat on the verdant green, in the umbrageous shade of the woody forest.
How many there are by whom these tidings of good news have never been heard.
Virgil in his Æneid tells a story very similar to that which Homer tells in his Odyssey. But the one relates the adventures of a renowned Trojan hero, and the other relates the adventures of a renowned Grecian hero.
Our sight is of all faculties the most agreeable when we indulge it in seeing agreeable objects; because it is never wearied with fatigue, and it requires no exertion when it exerts itself.
He succeeded in gaining the universal love of all men.
A father, when he sees his child going to the silence and stillness of the tomb, may weep and lament when the shadow of death has fully overshaded him; and as he hears the last final departing knell sounding in his ears, may say, I will descend and go down to the grave to my son mourning in sorrow. But he turns away in the hurry and haste of business and occupation; the tear is wiped ; his eyes are dried; and though when he returns and comes back to his domestic hearth and fireside at home, the playful and sportive laugh comes up to his remembrance, and is recalled to his recollection, the succeding day blunts and removes the poignancy of his grief, and it finds no permanent and lasting seat.
There is a sweetness and sacred holiness in a mother's tears, when they are dropt and fall on the face of her dying and expiring babe, which no eye can see, and no one can behold with a heart untouched and unaffected.
It is clear and obvious that religious worship and adoration should be regarded with pleasure by all men.
There is another fault into which careless writers are prone to fall, which is the very reverse of tautology; and to which the term Catachresis* may not be inappropriately applied ; and this is the use of the same word in different senses.
* The literal meaning of Catachresis is against use, and it is applied by rhetoricians to express an abuse, or false use of a word, by which it is wrested from its original application, and made to express something which is at variance with its etymology. It is a sort of blundering denomination, chiefly caused by retaining the name of an object, after the qualities from which it derived that name are changed. The thing that is made, for example, is often designated by that of the substance from which it is fabri cated. Thus a vessel in which liquids are boiled is called a copper, because, in most cases, it is made of that material, and this figure is a Metonomy, But such vessels are occasionally made of other metals, still retaining the name of coppers, and it is this misnomer which is called a Catachresis From this explanation it will appear that the term as applied above, al though not rigidly restricted to its rhetorical meaning, is not wholly inap propriate.
Charity expands our hearts in love to God and man; and it is by the virtue of charity that the rich are blessed, and the poor are supplied.
In this sentence the word charity is improperly applied in two different senses, namely, for the highest benevolence, and for simple alms-giving.
Gregory favored the undertaking for no other reason than this, that the manager in countenance favored (i. c. resembled) his friend.
True wit is nature to advantage dressed; and yet some works have more wit than does them good.
Honor teaches us to respect ourselves, and to violate no right nor priv ilege of our neighbor. It leads us to support the feeble, to relieve the distressed, and to scorn to be governed by degrading and injurious passions. And yet we see honor is the motive which urges the destroyer to take the life of his friend.
The minister proposed a plan for the support of the ministers of the church.
The professor was a professor of religion.
PLEONASM, VERBOSITY, AND REDUNDANCY.
Pleonasm consists in the use of words seemingly superflujus, in order to express a thought with greater energy: as, “I saw it with my own eyes.” Here the pleonasm consists in the addition of the expression,“ with my own eyes.'
Pleonasms are usually considered as faults, especially in prose. But,
* It will be seen from what has been said in relation to the word Cata chresis that it is the foundation of many witticisms, under the denomination of paranomasia, or pun. [See Paranomasia.]