« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The term eternal is properly applied to that only which always has exsted and always will exist. It implies without beginning and without end.
This definition excludes the application of the term eternal from every „hing that ever had a beginning, as well as from that which will ever have an end. The circumstance of having no beginning is the specific difference between the terms eternal and infinite. Infinite, endless, unceasing, &c., imply only without end.
After explaining the meaning, or giving the definition of the terms in this exercise, the student should be required to give an instance of the proper application of the word.
Give a definition to the following words, and point out the distinction or difference between them and other words, which in some respect resemble them.
Temperance. To Transpose. Amplify.
To Disregard. Composition.
The distinction or difference between two subjects may likewise be exhibited as in the following
Example. Grammar, rhetoric, and logic are kindred branches of science, but each has its separate department and specific objects. Rhetoric teaches how to express an idea in proper words ; grammar directs the arrangement and inflections of the words; logic relates to the truth or correctness of the idea to be expressed. Grammar addresses itself to the understanding ; rhetoric, to the imagination ; logic, to the judgment. Rhetoric selects the materials; grammar combines them into sentences ; logic shows the agreement, or disagreement, of the sentences with one another. A sentence may
bė grammatically correct, but rhetorically incorrect, as in the following extract:
“To take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.”
Here every word is grammatically correct; but to represent a man clad in armor to fight water, is a mixed metaphor, violating one of the fundamental principles of rhetoric. So, also, a sentence may be both grammatically and rhetorically faultless, while it violates logical principles. Thus,“ All men are bipeds, and, as birds are also bipeds, birds are to be considered as men.”
The word liberal, as applied to politicians, theologians, and philosophers; lst, when assumed by themselves ; 2dly, when applied to them by their adversaries.
The different senses in which the word independence is used, as applied to nations and individuals, to a man's character, opinions, and circumstances, is explained in the following
Escample. When we speak of a nation's independence, we mean, that it is not connected with any other nation, so as to be obliged to receive laws or magistrates from it, to pay a revenue into its treasury, or in any way to submit to its dictates. When we see a nation whose laws are framed by its own magistrates, whether elective or hereditary, without regard to the pleasure of any other nation; where the taxes are levied for the support of its own interest, and for the maintenance of its own magistrates ; where it is not necessary that the consent of another should be obtained, before it is at liberty to make war upon a foreign state, or to enter into alțiance with any foreign power that they please, to that nation custom gives the epithet “independent."
Nor does the submission of a people to the will of a despot contradict its claim to be considered an independent nation.
The subjects are, indeed, dependent upon the caprice of a tyrant, and he has absolute power over their lives, property, and political interest; but this internal slavery does not exclude them from being considered independent as a nation, and from taking a part, as such, in the disputes of other governments, provided that their own master is not also subject to some foreign power. A subject province becomes independent, when, finding itself strong enough for its purpose, it throws off the yoke of the ruling power, and declares itself free ; and it is recognized as such by other nations, if it succeeds in establishing its claim, either by arms, or the consent of the government to which it was subject.
A man is said to be independent in his character, when he does not permit the opinion of the world to influence his actions. He is independent in his opinions, when he maintains them in spite of ridicule, or the ideas of the rest of the community. If he conducts himself according to these opinions, carries into action his ideas of right and wrong, though they be contrary to what every one else thinks, he is independent in character. A man may he so subservient to another, that he will disguise his own opinions, and uphold those of the other. For some benefit conferred, or from the expectation of some advantage, he will stoop to flatter the notions of his patron, pretend to guide all his actions according to those ideas, and even regulate his conduct by rules which he knows to be wrong; and merely for the sake of being permitted to expect a slight favor. Such a man has no claim to independence of character or opinions.
When a person does not rely on the profits of his business for subsistence, but has laid up or received as an inheritance a sum of money, the income of which is sufficient for his maintenance, he is considered independent in his circumstances.
Independence is, in most cases, an excellent quality and state; but when a man's independence of character leads him to abuse, and refuse to conform to, the customs of his country, because he perceives in them something absurd, it makes him appear ridiculous.
Analogy, as defined by Johnson, is a resemblance between two things with regard to some circumstances or effects.
Webster defines it thus : An agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus, learning is said to enlighten the mind, that is, it is to the mind what light is to the eye, , enabling it to discover what was hidden before. *
Example. Youth and morning resemble each other in many particulars. Youth is the first part of life. Morning is the first part of the day. Youth is the time when preparation is to be made for the business of life. In the morning, arrangements are made for the employment of the day. In youth, our spirits are light, no cares perplex, no troubles annoy us. In the morning the prospect is fair, no clouds arise, no tempest threatens, no commotion among the elements impends. In youth we form plans which the later periods of life cannot execute; and the morning, likewise, is often productive of promises which neither noon nor evening can perform.
From this example it will be seen that subjects which in reality have in themselves no actual resemblance, may be so contrasted as to present an appearance of resemblance in their effects. Many of the beauties of poetry arise from the poet's observing these similitudes, and expressing them in appropriate language. Thus darkness and adversity, comfort and light, life and the ocean, evening and old age, misfortune and a storm, a clergyman and a shepherd, smiles and sunshine, tears and rain, a guilty conscience and a defenceless body, are subjects which in themselves have no actual similitude; yet, when contrasted with their effects, points of resemblance will
* When the thing to which the analogy is supposed happens to be mentioned, analogy has after it the prepositions to or with: when both the things are mentioned after analogy, the preposition between is used. — Johnson.
be readily seen, which show an obvious analogy. Thus, also, in the following extract the poet in addressing the sun shows an analogy between the evaporation of water, and the flight of a bird.
“ Thou lookest on the waters, and they glow
And take them wings and mount aloft in air," &c. The skilful allusion to such analogies constitutes the highest art of the poet, as it forms also the most pleasing beauty of poetry. Indeed, without such allusions, poetry loses all of its charms, and verse degenerates into mere sing-song.'
It will be a useful exercise for the student to prepare lists of subjects between which an analogy may be traced.
A Figure, in the science of language, is a departure from the common forms of words, from the established rules of syntax, or from the use of words according to their literal signification.
A departure from the common form of words is called a figure of etymology, or an etymological figure. [See Elision, &c.]
A departure from the established rules of syntax is called a syntactical figure. [See Enallage, Hyperbaton, Pleonasm, &c.]
A departure from the use of words in their literal signification is called a figure of rhetoric, or a rhetorical figure. [See Trope, Metaphor.]
Figurative language properly includes all of these different kinds of figures ; but the term is sometimes restricted to rhetorical figures. *
* Holmes's “ Rhetoric” enumerates a list of two hundred and fifty figures connected with the subjects of Logic, Rhetoric, and Grammar. The work is remarkable for its quaintness, and possesses some merit as a vocabulary. His cautions with regard to the use of figures are so characteristic, that they may afford some amusement, not edification to the student. The follow ing is his language with regard to Tropes and Figures: “The faults of Tropes are nine:
"Of tropes perplext, harsh, frequent, swoll'n, fetched far,