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the observance of its most prominent and distinguishing rules, it will spontaneously acquire a coherence of the parts, and will, as it were, perform its stated revolutions, with perfect regularity, at the same time, without that strict and laboured minuteness, which would only. render the style stiff and puerile.
The first feature or character of a period is a circuit, since, without these secondary or intervening parts, it would remain a simple primary idea or proposition. For instance : When Sallust says, Concordiâ parva, res crescunt; Discordid marimæ dilabuntur; that is not a period, because each member is separately understood. But if we were to say, Quemadmodum concordiâ parvae res crescunt, ita discordid etiam marimæ dilabuntur, it would then nearly form a period, since the sense would not be discovered before the completion of the sentence. Still, however, this example, strictly speaking, does not give a precise illustration of a period, as there is no intervening member ; but it serves merely to show the suspension of the sense till the sentence is complete. In order to constitute a complete period, or circuit, the sentence must, as it were, be intersected by the insertion of one or more intervening clauses or members; as in this example:. , ' But T. Veturius and Sp. Postumius, in their secomd consulship, because, after their ill success at Caudium, our legions having passed under the yoke, they had agreed to make peace with the Samnites, were surrendered up to them : At verò T. Veturius et Sp. Postumius, cùm iterum consules essent, quia, cùm malè pugnatum apud Caudium esset, legionibus nostris sub jugum missis, pacem cum Samnitibus fece• rant, dediti sunt his. In this sentence, the primary idea is, T. Veturius et Sp. Postumius dediti sunt his, which is divided by the clause or circuit expressing the cause, quia pacem cum Samnitibus fecerauit ; and this again is intersected by two other clauses, indicating the time, rùm malè pugnatum apud Caudium esset. and, legionibus nostris suh jugum missis. - • T he least attention will easily discover the beauty of such a pe* «od, and how essentially necessary the insertion of these circu tous or intermediate clauses is to elegance of style
A few examples are here subjoined, to show how, from a simple, a compound sentence may be formed, consisting of two, three or four members, each member corresponding and . contributing to the- whole. Let the simple proposition be, That Alexander, by living temperately, would have acquired the veneration of posterity. If you wish to extendthis sentence, by making it to consist of two members, say, • • . Alexander, if he had lived temperately, Would have acquired the veneration of posterity. Three Members : If Alexander, as much a in warlike bravery, 3. -., *. Had also surpassed them in the virtue of temperance, He would have acquired the highest veneration of posterity. Four Members : * If, as much as Alexander excelled other commanders in warlike bravery, - I. He had surpassed them also in the virtue of temperance, He would not less have commanded the veneration of posterity, Than he did the love, the admiration, and the absolute subjection of his own people. - Four Members: If, unfortunately, impudence had the same influence in the senate and at the bar, ` As open and daring violence prevails in the fields and solitary places, My client would not less, be obliged to submit to the effrontery of his adversary in defending his cause, Than, in the commission of that injury, he showed himself inferior to him in bold and daring courage.
he excelled other commanders
The distribution of a period into its parts will become very easy to the scholar, where the subject itself supplies him with the particles necessary to form the connexion, as those that denote a cause, condition, relation, opposition and comparison, or that tend to explain or define it; as, quum, quia si, quod si, quamvis, ut, qui, and its compounds, aut, vel, ubi, &c.
The simple proposition is, . ... I have sent you the promised book. By adding the Cause, the period becomes bimembris. Because you have postponed your coming,—I send you the book I promised. , .' Comparison : • . IFor as storms and hurricanes recommend and enhance the calm and temperature of the seas and of the skies, So we may be allowed to suppose, that your former tumults and troubles arose merely to give a greater zest and favour to your present tranquillity. Condition : • . If we had noton our private account many and just motives for the friendship subsisting between us, I would retrace the first origin of our intimacy from the happy intercourse existing between our parents., 'This last might easily be extendedito three members : If we had not on our private account many and just motives for the friendship subsisting between us, Which a mutual exchange of good offices from our earliest years has so happily confirmed, I would retrace the first origin of our intimacy from the friendly intercourse existing between our parents. Concess.on : Though I could not but receive the highest satisfaction from the glory of my dear friend Dolabella, And it filled me with the most lively joy and pleasure on his account, , , Yet I cannot but confess that I feel my heart most sensibly affected, That, in the opinion of the people, I am associated with you in the participation of your praises. Interrogation : • And now, among the different sentiments of the philosophers concerning the consequence of our final dissolution, May I not venture to declare what are my own?
The relative qui, quæ, quod, with its compounds, followed by is, talis, tantus, &c. - f It is not fit that any credit should be given to those men, Who appear to speak with too much vehemence for their own emolument. But it must be most attentively considered by those, voho have the care of education, p. VVhat is the particular bent and disposition of those, whom they instruct.—(Three members may easily be effected here by beginning with the relative voho.) Who then can censure, or in justice be angry with me, If those hours, which others employ in business, in pleasures, in celebrating public solemnities, in refreshing the body and unbending the mind ; . . - If the time which is spent by some in midnight banquetings, in diversions and in gaming, I myself employ in reviewing and retracing those studies? Ut quemadmodum, sicut, &c. followed by sic : quanquam, followed by tamen, &c. Beware, citizens, beware lest, as it was glorious for them to transmit so extensive an empire to posterity, Your inability to preserve and defend it prove not infamous for you. / Though this past behaviour of thine was beyond all patience, . ' Yet have I borne with it as I could.
The structure of a period will be easily understood from these examples; but as some difficulty will arise, where the simple idea does not immediately supply materials for the formation of the period, and as nothing contributesimore to the true elegance of style, a few general 'rules are- given, which, as faras it can be done, will enable: the. scholar tò find out the necessary clauses or members properito be inserted. - - ' , ' *'*
In considering a simple proposition, which you wish to extend, and distribute into the parts of a period, it will be easy to discover whether it includes the idea of cause, condition, concession, time, place, &c., and may with propriety admit the insertion of the particles mentioned above, proper to express that idea. Suppose the subject is, the Destruction of Corinth. The first idea that arises is the simple fact that L. Mummius overthrew Corinth. , A scholar, therefore, in order to give it the first requisite mentioned by Cicero, the
Latinè, would say, L. Mummius Corinthum funditus delevit. But if he wished to give it the form of a more finished period, the question might be started, Why he did it : what reasons could influence the Roman commander to destroy that city, at that time the celebrated seat of arts. This question, being resolved, will immediately give the sentence the form and structure of a period. L. Mummius, because he himself was very ignorant of the liberal arts, - Overthrew Corinth with unparalleled barbarity. And, by dwelling a little more on the circumstance of the overthrow, the consideration that this famous city was the seat of the arts, may give another member, and, indeed, more ornament to the period. L. Mummius, being himself very ignorant and illiterate, Destroyed, with the most unparalleled barbarity, the famous city Corinth, - - VVhich was, as it were, the eye and the parent of Greece. Thus an additional clause explanatory of the subject, or denoting concession, &c., may very easily be found out; as, Industry without genius is of very little use; It will soon occur to the mind that industry is very commendable, and that will form a period. Industry, though in itself very commendable, Is of little use without the help of genius. Or, Industry, ífit be, or which is, without genius, &c. There are other methods of giving to a simple sentence the form of a period, which are more simple, and which use will soon render familiar and easy ; as by changing one word into another. Thus an adjective or a participle might be changed into qui, &c. . A fortunate unhoped-for hour will arrive ; say, which shall not be hoped for. Propter, ob, may be changed into quia, cùm, &c. All men respect your brother for his great learning, say, because he is endowed with learning. This might indeed be effected by using a periphrasis, or any kind of circumlocution. In the structure, however, of a period, let it be repeated, that great care must be taken that the aptè and congruenter, mentioned by Cicero, be diligently observed; that the adoption of additional clauses be appropriate and illustrative of the subject, and that they do not extend beyond four members.