« AnteriorContinuar »
PRECEPT 3.-In the progress of a sentence, do not desert the principal subject in favor of adjuncts. Error: “To substantives belong gender, number, and case ; and they are all of the third person when spoken of, and of the second when spoken to.”—Murray's Grammar.
PRECEPT 4.-Do not introduce parentheses, except when a lively remark may be thrown in without diverting the mind too long from the principal subject.
VI.-Strength. Strength consists in giving to the several words and members of a sentence, such an arrangement as shall bring out the sense to the best advantage, and present every idea in its due importance. A concise style is the most favorable to strength.
PRECEPT 1.---Place the most important words in the situation in which they will make the strongest impression.
PRECEPT 2.-A weaker assertion should not follow a stronger; and when the sentence consists of two members, the longer should be the concluding one.
PRECEPT 3. – When things are to be compared or contrasted, their resemblance or opposition will be rendered more striking, if some resemblance in the language and construction be preserved.
PRECEPT 4.-It is, in general, ungraceful to end a sentence with an adverb, a preposition, or any inconsiderable word or phrase, which may either be omitted or be introduced earlier.
POETIC DICTION. POETRY, as defined by Dr. Blair, “is the language of passion, or of enlivened imagination, formed, most commonly, into regular numbers.” The style of poetry differs, in many respects, from that which is commonly adopted in prose. Poetic diction abounds in bold figures of speech, and unusual collocations of words. A great part of the figures which have been treated of under the head of prosody, are purely poetical. The primary aim of a poet is to please and to move ; and, therefore, it is to the imagination, and the passions, that he speaks. He may, and he ought to, have it in his view to instruct and reform; but it is indirectly, and by pleasing and moving, that he accomplishes this end. The exterior and most obvious distinction of poetry is versification; yet there are some forms of verse so loose and familiar as to be hardly distinguishable from prose; and there is also a species of prose so measured in its cadences, and so much raised in its tone, as to approach very nearly to poetical numbers.
Poetical Peculiarities. The following are some of the most striking peculiarities in which the poets indulge, and are indulged :I.—They very often omit the articles; as,
“What dreadful pleasure ! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast ! "--Beattie. II.—They abbreviate many nouns; as, amaze, for amazement; acclaim, for acclamation ; consult, for consultation ; corse, for corpse ; eve, or even, for evening ; fount, for fountain ; helm, for helmet; lament, for lamentation ; morn, for morning ; plaint, for complaint ; targe, for target ; weal, for wealth.
III.—They employ several nouns that are not used in prose, or are used but rarely; as, benison, boon, emprise, fane, guerdon, guise, ire, ken, lore, meed, sire, steed, stithy, welkin, yore.
IV.—They introduce the noun self after another noun of the possessive case ; as, 1. “Affiction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb,
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom."-Byron. 2. "
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self."-Thomson. V.—They place before the verb nouns, or other words, that usually come after it; and, after it, those that usually come before it; as, 1. “No jealousy their davon of love o'ercast,
Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife." - Beattie,
VI.—They often place adjectives after their nouns; as, 1. “Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
Showers on her kings barbaric, pearl and gold."-Milton, 2. “Come, nymph demure, with mantle blue.” VII.—They ascribe qualities to things to which they do not literally belong; as,
1. “Or drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds." – Gray.
3. “All thin and naked, to the numb cold night."- Shakspeare. VIII. --They use concrete terms to express abstract qualities (i.o., adjectives for nouns); as, 1. “Earth's meanest son, all trembling, prostrate falls,
And on the boundless of thy goodness calls."- Young.
Sublime or dreadful, in earth, sea, or sky,
He scann'd with curious and romantic eye."-Beattie. 3. “Won from the void and formless infinite." - Milton. IX.-—They substitute quality for manner (i.e., adjectives for adverbs) ; 1. "
The stately-sailing swan,
Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier isle."--Thomson.
1. “In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime."- Thomson.
Before the always wind-obeying deep
Gave any tragic instance of our harm."--Shakspeare.
1. “Near and more near the billows rise."- Merrick.
Take every creature in, of every kind."— Pope. XII.—They form many adjectives in y, which are not common in prose; as, A gleamy ray,--tovery height, --steepy hill, --steely casque,– heapy harvests,—moony shield, -writhy snake, --stilly lake,--vasty deep, -paly circlet.
XIII.—They employ adjectives of an abbreviated form ; as, dread, for dreadful ; drear, for dreary ; ebon, for ebony ; hoar, for hoary ; lone, for lonely ; scant, for scanty ; slope, for sloping ; submiss, for submissive ; vermil, for vermillion ; yon, for yonder.
XIV.—They employ several adjectives that are not used in prose, or are used but seldom ; as, azure, blithe, boon, dank, darkling, darksome, doughty, dun, fell, rife, rapt, rueful, sear, sylvan, train, wan.
XV.-They employ personal pronouns, and introduce their nouns afterwards ; as,
1. “ It curl'd not Tweed alone, that breeze." - W. Scott. 2. “Is it the lightning's quivering glance,
That on the thicket streams;
The sun's retiring beams?"-Id.
XVI.—They sometimes omit the relative, of the nominative case; as,
“For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise ?”—Thomson. XVII.—They omit the antecedent, or introduce it after the relative; as, 1. “Who never fasts, no banquet e'er enjoys,
Who never toils or watches, never sleeps."-Armstrong. 2. “Who dares think one thing and another tell,
My soul detests him as the gates of hell."- Pope's Homer. XVIII.—They remove relative pronouns and other connectives, into the body of their clauses; as,
1. “Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck."-Darwin.
Orion's dog, the year when autumn weighs."-Pope's Isomer.
A while he stands,
To meditate the blue profound below."--Thomson.
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart."-Id. XX.—They give to the imperative mood the first and the third person; as,
1. “ Turn we a moment fancy's rapid flight."--Thomson.
Reason is upright stature in the soul!"-Young. XXI.- They employ can, could, and would as principal verbs transitive; as,
1. “What for ourselves we can, is always ours."
Does well, acts nobly :-angels could no more." - Young.
And, little less than angel, would be more."— Pope. XXII.--They place the infinitive before the word on which it depends; as,
6. When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd."-Gray. XXIII.—They place the auxiliary after its principal; as,
“No longer heed the sunbeam bright
That plays on Carron's breast he can.”—Langhorne. XXIV.–Before verbs they sometimes arbitrarily employ or omit prefixes ; as, begird, bedim, evanish, emove ; for gird, dim, vanish, move :lure, wail, wilder, reave; for allure, berail, bewilder, bereave.
XXV.–They abbreviate verbs; as, list, for listen ; ope, for open.
XXVI.-—They employ several verbs that are not used in pro , or are used but rarely; as, appal, astound, brook, cower, doji', ken, wend, ween, trow.
XXVII. --They sometimes imitate a Greek construction o? the infini
1. “Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme."- Milton. 2. For not, to have been dipp'd in Lethe lake,
Could save the son of Thetis from to die."--Spenser.
XXVIII.—They employ the participles more frequently than prose writers, and in a construction somewhat peculiar; as, 1. “He came, and, standing in the midst, explain'd
The peace rejected, but the truce obtain'd."--Pope.
Comes to the place where he before had sat
A $pectacle of rain or of scorn.”-Milton, XXIX.—They employ several adverbs that are not used in prose, or are used but seldom ; as, oft, haply, inly, blithely, cheerily, deftly, felly, rifely, ruefully, starkly, yarely. XXX.—They give to adverbs a peculiar location ; as,
1. “Peeping from forth their alleys green."-Collins.
Persundes, when speaking fails." --Shakspeare.
6. “ Robs me of that which not enriches him."- Shakspeare. XXXI.-They omit the introductory adverb there; as,
“ Was nought around but images of rest."— Thomson. XXXII.-- They employ the conjunctions, or–or, and nor--nor, as correspondents ; as,
1. “ Or by the lazy Scheldt or wandering Po."--Goldsmith.
Is nor of heaven, nor earth."--Shakspeare.
They often place prepositions and their adjuncts, before the words on which they depend; as,
“ Against your fame with fondness hate combines;
The rival batters, and the lover mines."-Johnson, XXXIV.—They sometimes place the preposition after its object; as, 1. “When beauty, Eden's bowers within,
First stretch'd the arm to deeds of sin,
The pitying angels bent and wept."--Hogg.
With skillful fingers sweep the trembling strings."-Lloyd. XXXV.—They employ interjections more frequently than prose writers; as,
“O let me gaze !-Of gazing there's no end,
O let me think !—Thought too is wilder'd here."-Young. XXXVI. —They employ antiquated words and modes of expression; as,
1. “ Withouten that would come an heavier bale." -Thomson.
Save sleep and play, who minded nought at all."--Id.
An useless were, and eke an endless task."-Id.
But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe."--Id.