Sidebilder
PDF

Thus; Caesar said that he would receive them into his friendship, for the sake of the Ædui; we shall say, Casar, AEduorum causá, sese eos in fidem recepturum dizit, with greater elegance than AEduorum causá, Casar.....

In mentioning several things, from which one is excepted, or particularized, the particles denoting that exception, with their cases, as practer nisi, will be placed before the others.

1. I greatly admire your benevolence and liberality, besides your other virtues. 2. For if we should exhibit to your view the whole tissue of this man's vices and iniquities, except this foul transaction, which delicacy obliges me to pass over in silence, we shall not find his life distin; by one single trait, that can retrieve his name from eternal lsgrace

... I beg of you, that you would send me some books, if not all.

The ablative, in expressions like these is more elegantly placed before the comparative :

1. Quicker than hope.

2. Longer than what was just.

3. More sad than usual.

4. He is a man much more illustrious in peace than in war.

5. So much easier is it to accuse, than to defend; to inflict, than to cure, a wound.

Adverbs should be placed before the verb, as the manner or degree, in which the nominative corresponds with its verb, arises first in the mind.

1. He came to me of his own accord.

2. Cicero has written excellently well on that subject. 3. They succeeded very ill in that business.

The vocative is usually thrown back; at least after several words of the sentence, except some sudden emotion of the mind is to be expressed; but, in order to avoid ambiguity, it should come immediately after some word to which it properly belongs; as,

Your uncle, O Brutus, has removed this doubt: Quam dubitationem avunculus tuus, Brute, sustulit.

1. It has long been a matter of great doubt with me, Brutus, whether it were more difficult, or a matter of greater importance, to refuse you at once, when you repeatedly asked me the same thing, or to grant you your request at .*. ere the vocative, coming with the verb, to doubt, which must be the last in the sentence, will be equally thrown back.) 2. It cannot but be a matter of astonishment to you, my lords, that, while there are so many men of the first dignity and eminence sitting here, I should claim the preference in rising to address you.

The verb sum has a peculiar elegance in the beginning of

a sentence, or after negative words, as nullus, nihil, memo, and

after comparatives and superlatives; words of many syllables; after adjectives and verbals in dus.

1. For there is no misfortune, which does not seem to threaten us all, from the general disorder which prevails through the whole world. - *

2. For, if we must comply with the desires of our friends, they must no longer be called friendships, but real conspiracies.

3. It is a criminal and impious custom to dispute against the gods whether from design or caprice. *

o

When two words come closely together, one of which is a monosyllable, and the other a word of many syllables, the monosyllable is always placed before the polysyllable; as, vir clarissimus ; ars pulcherrima ; me amat, &c.

Sentences are very elegantly closed by comparatives and superlatives, as indeed by any word, and chiefly verbs, of many syllables. But, in the arrangement of words, care must be taken to avoid the too frequent recurrence of the same termination or cadence, as it has been observed before, which much offend the ear; as, nullo timore nec dolore. 1. For as men oppressed with a severe fit of illness, and labouring under the raging heat of a fever, are often at first seemingly relieve by a draught of cold water, but are afterwards afflicted with redoubled fury and vehemence; in like manner, this distemper, which has seized the commonwealth, eased a littlé by the punishment of this traitor, will, from his surviving associates, soon assume new force. 2. The nourishment and care of the body must have for its end the preservation of its health and strength, and not pleasure.

Sentences are also elegantly terminated by omnis, nullus, memo, when the idea of universality is conveyed with a more particular stress; as,

There is either no virtue, or every pain must be despised: Aut nulla virtus est, aut contemnendus dolor omnis.

1. What great desire can move you to pass a law, which is attended with the greatest disgrace, and has not one merit 2

2. If sleep did not bring rest to our bodies, and as it were a medicine for our labours, we must think that it was unnatural, since it takes away our senses, and all action.

3. We perceive that, in this age, literature is patronised by no rich men.

4. If you should arrive thither, like Ulysses you will not know one of your relations. -

Sentences also receive peculiar elegance and force, when terminated by an accumulation of two or three emphatic words, more generally verbs, rising in a regular climax one above the other, sometimes with, but more frequently without, any conjunctions. But this mode of concluding sentences must be very sparingly used, and only when the subject requires a greater degree of animation and energy to be thrown into the language; as, For what did I ordain, what did I undertake, or what did I execute, but by the advice, authority and decision of this assembly Quid enim constitui, quid gessi, quid egi, nisi ex hujus ordinis consilio, auctoritate, sententiá 2

1. For in proportion to any man's ignorance of antiquity, and Grecian literature, does he with the utmost petulance and contumely abuse, discard and deride those ancient illustrious heroes.

2. For is there a word in these letters, that is not full of politeness, good manners and benevolence 2

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

. As what has been said concerning the natural order of words is equally applicable to the arrangement of clauses, it will be only necessary shortly to mention, that, as far as they follow the natural order of our ideas, so far, in general, they will be conducive to elegance and perspicuity. But as, in the arrangement of the several clauses of a compound sentence, recourse must be had to a frequent transposition, care must be taken not to throw the sentence into disorder and obscurity. The chief thing, therefore, to be avoided, is the hyperbaton or synchesis, that is, a confused intermixture of words, belonging to one clause, with the words that belong to another, which might materially alter or obscure the sense; as, we would not say, for Great was my joy, when I received the book from you; Magnum ego librum cilm abste accepissem fuit meum gaudium; - * Because the reader would not know whether magnum i eferred to librum or gaudium. As it is, however, of great consequence in composition, how, and what members of a sentence should precede the others, the two following examples may serve more fully to illustrate this. It is necessary that those clauses, which explain and define a thing, should be placed first, or, at least, should, immediately after the nominative case, or some other introductory word, form the first clause of the sentence, thus: I wonder that Brutus should have been among the assassins of Casar, as he had received so many favours from him : We shall say, so * Miror Brutum, qui a Casare tot beneficiis affectus erat, inter ejus interfectores fuisse: For were we to say, Miror Brutum, inter Caesaris interfectores fuisse, qui ab eo tot beneficiis affectus erat; the qui, besides the inelegance of the sentence, might be referred to Caesar as well as to Brutus.

These rules, however, as we mentioned above, will admit of some exceptions; as, where those divisions that should come first are longer than those that follow ; we should not say, Cur illa restam brevi tempore ac sine negotio fieri potueris, mescio; but, Nescio, cur, &c.; for, in this case, the harmony of the sentence requires that the longer clauses should come last.

Clauses, denoting the place where, and the time when, any thing is done, though they may be last in English, should come in the beginning of the sentence; as,

I shall give you the book as soon as I shall have received it : i.ibrum, cam primum accepcro, tibi dabo.

1. He had not where to turn himself. ,

2. You should consider, that you will be in the power of your enemy, in whatever place you may be.

3. Thus the person of the king escaped, while our troops were employed in pillaging these villages.

4. He was guarded first by his own modesty, and then by the vigilance and instruction of his father, as long as his age exposed him to such suspicion .

Clauses, expressing a cause or reason, beginning by quia, quomiam, clim, quod, and sometimes cur, must also come first ; as,

I shall always love you, because you have conferred numberless favours upon me: Te, quia me innumeris beneficiis affeceris, propterea semper amabo.

o - a

1. I could not write to you, because I knew not where you were.

2. But if there could be no reason at all why you should be overwhelmed with so great sorrow, it appears a wonder to all that you o those signs of a weak and degenerate mind.

3. For no one imagined that any man existed, who could immediately enjoy the sweets of undisturbed rest, after having, by the enormity of his guilt, riolated every divine and human law; because they, who have been guilty of so foul a crime, not only cannot enjoy casm repose, but not even breathe without horror and trembling.

Clauses denoting any thing conditional, the guides of h are si, misi, siquidem, &c.; as, a

« ForrigeFortsett »