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Examples: That wine came from Cyprus. He is going to Paris. The sun is below the horizon. This form of connecting by prepositions, is not confined to substantives. Qualities, attributes, manner of existing or acting, and all other circumstances, may in the same manner be connected with the substances to which they relate. I observe, beside, that the using a preposition in this case, is not Edition: current; Page: [ ] always a matter of choice: it is indispensable with respect to every circumstance that cannot be expressed by a single adjective or adverb.


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To pave the way for the rules of arrangement, Edition: ed; Page: [ 49 ] one other preliminary is necessary; which is, to explain the difference between a natural style, and that where transposition or inversion prevails. There are, it is true, no precise boundaries between them, for they run into each other like the shades of different colours. In a natural style, relative words are by juxtaposition connected with those to which they relate, going before or after, according to the peculiar genius of the language.

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Again, a circumstance connected by a preposition, follows naturally the word with which it is connected. But this arrangement may be varied, when a different order is more beautiful: a circumstance may be placed before the word with which it is connected by a preposition; and may be interjected even between a relative word and that to which it relates.

When such liberties are frequently taken, the style becomes inverted or transposed. But as the liberty of inversion is a capital point in the present subject, it will be necessary to examine it more narrowly, and in particular to trace the several degrees in which an inverted style recedes more and more from that which is natural.

And first, as to the placing a circumstance before Edition: ed; Page: [ 50 ] the word with which it is connected, I observe, that it is the easiest of all inversion, even so easy as to be consistent with a style that is properly termed natural: witness the following examples. At St. Woolston, who writ against the miracles of our Saviour , in the utmost terrors of conscience, made a public recantation. The interjecting a circumstance between a relative word and that to which it relates, is more properly termed inversion; because, by a disjunction of words intimately connected, it recedes farther from a natural style.

But this licence has degrees; for the disjunction is more violent in some instances than in others. And to give a just notion of the difference, there is a necessity to enter a little more into an abstract subject, than would otherwise be my inclination. I cannot conceive a quality Edition: ed; Page: [ 51 ] but as belonging to some subject: it makes indeed a part of the idea which is formed of the subject.

Such partial conception of a subject, is still more easy with respect to action or motion; which is an occasional attribute only, and has not the same permanency with colour or figure: I cannot form an idea of motion independent of a body; but there is nothing more easy than to form an idea of a body at rest.

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Hence it appears, that the degree of inversion depends greatly on the order in which the related words are placed: when a substantive occupies the first place, the idea it suggests must subsist in the mind at least for a moment, independent of the relative words afterward introduced; and that moment may without difficulty be prolonged by interjecting a circumstance between the substantive and its connections. This liberty, therefore, however frequent, will scarce alone be sufficient to denominate a style inverted.

The case is very different, where the word that occupies the first place denotes a quality or an action; for as these cannot be conceived without a subject, they cannot without greater violence be separated from the subject that follows; Edition: ed; Page: [ 52 ] and for that reason, every such separation by means of an interjected circumstance belongs to an inverted style.

To illustrate this doctrine, examples are necessary; and I shall begin with those where the word first introduced does not imply a relation:. In the following examples, where the word first introduced imports a relation, the disjunction will be found more violent. Language would have no great power, were it confined to the natural order of ideas. I shall soon have opportunity to make it evident, that by inversion a thousand beauties may be compassed, which must be relinquished in a natural arrangement. The following example with relation to a preposition, is perhaps as tolerable as any of the kind: Edition: ed; Page: [ 54 ].

He would neither separate from, nor act against them. I give notice to the reader, that I am now ready to enter on the rules of arrangement; beginning with a natural style, and proceeding gradually to what is the most inverted.

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And in the arrangement of a period, as well as in a right choice of words, the first and great object being perspicuity, the rule above laid down, that perspicuity ought not to be sacrificed to any other beauty, holds equally in both. Ambiguities occasioned by a wrong arrangement are of two sorts; one where the arrangement leads to a wrong sense, and one where the sense is left doubtful.

The first, being the more culpable, shall take the lead, beginning with examples of words put in a wrong place. How much the imagination of such a presence must exalt a genius, we may observe merely from the influence which an ordinary presence has over men. This arrangement leads to a wrong sense: the adverb merely seems by its position to affect the preceding word; whereas it is intended to affect the following words, an ordinary presence; and therefore the arrangement ought to be thus:.

How much the imagination of such a presence must exalt a genius, we may observe from the influence which an ordinary presence merely has over men. Edition: ed; Page: [ 55 ]. The time of the election of a poet-laureat being now at hand, it may be proper to give some account of the rites and ceremonies anciently used at that solemnity, and only discontinued through the neglect and degeneracy of later times.

The term only is intended to qualify the noun degeneracy, and not the participle discontinued; and therefore the arrangement ought to be as follows:. Sixtus the Fourth was, if I mistake not, a great collector of books at least. The expression here leads evidently to a wrong sense; the adverb at least, ought not to be connected with the substantive books, but with collector thus:. If he was not the greatest king, he was the best actor of majesty at least, that ever filled a throne. This arrangement removes the wrong sense occasioned by the juxtaposition of majesty and at least.

I have confined myself to those methods for the advancement of piety, which are in the power of a prince limited like ours by a strict execution of the laws. That wrong sense is removed by the following arrangement:. I have confined myself to those methods for the advancement of piety, which, by a strict execution of the laws, are in the power of a prince limited like ours.

The wrong sense occasioned by this arrangement, may be easily prevented by varying it thus:. A great stone that I happened to find after a long search by the sea-shore, served me for an anchor. One would think that the search was confined to the sea-shore; but as the meaning is, that the great stone was found by the sea-shore, the period ought to be arranged thus:.

A great stone, that, after a long search, I happened to find by the sea-shore, served me for an anchor.

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Next of a wrong arrangement where the sense is left doubtful; beginning, as in the former sort, with examples of wrong arrangement of words in a member:. These forms of conversation by degrees multiplied and grew troublesome. Here it is left doubtful whether the modification by degrees relates to the preceding member or to what follows: it should be,.

These forms of conversation multiplied by degrees. Edition: ed; Page: [ 58 ]. Nor does this false modesty expose us only to such actions as are indiscreet, but very often to such as are highly criminal.

The empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the north-east side of Lilliput, from whence it is parted only by a channel of yards wide. In the following examples the sense is left doubtful by wrong arrangement of members. The minister who grows less by his elevation, like a little statue placed on a mighty pedestal, will always have his jealousy strong about him.

Here, as far as can be gathered from the arrangement, it is doubtful, whether the object introduced by way of simile, relate to what goes before or Edition: ed; Page: [ 59 ] to what follows: the ambiguity is removed by the following arrangement:. Since this is too much to ask of freemen, nay of slaves, if his expectation be not answered, shall he form a lasting division upon such transient motives?

Speaking of the superstitious practice of locking up the room where a person of distinction dies:. The knight, seeing his habitation reduced to so small a compass, and himself in a manner shut out of his own house, upon the death of his mother, ordered all the apartments to be flung open, and exorcised by his chaplain. The knight, seeing his habitation reduced to so small a compass, and himself in a manner shut out of his own house, ordered, upon the death of his mother, all the apartments to be flung open.

Speaking of some indecencies in conversation: Edition: ed; Page: [ 60 ]. As it is impossible for such an irrational way of conversation to last long among a people that make any profession of religion, or show of modesty, if the country gentlemen get into it, they will certainly be left in the lurch. Speaking of a discovery in natural philosophy, that colour is not a quality of matter:.

As this is a truth which has been proved incontestably by many modern philosophers, and is indeed one of the finest speculations in that science, if the English reader would see the notion explained at large, he may find it in the eighth chapter of the second book of Mr. A woman seldom asks advice before she has bought her wedding-cloaths. And since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit, where fraud is permitted or connived at, or hath no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage.

And since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit, the honest dealer, where fraud is permitted or connived at, or hath no law to punish it, is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage. From these examples, the following observation will occur, that a circumstance ought never to be placed between two capital members of a period; for by such situation it must always be doubtful, as far as we gather from the arrangement, to which of the two members it belongs: where it is interjected, as it ought to be, between parts of the member to which it belongs, the ambiguity is removed, and the capital members are kept distinct, which is a great beauty in composition.

In general, to preserve members distinct that signify things distinguished in the thought, the best method is, Edition: ed; Page: [ 62 ] to place first in the consequent member, some word that cannot connect with what precedes it. If it shall be thought, that the objections here are too scrupulous, and that the defect of perspicuity is easily supplied by accurate punctuation; the answer is, That punctuation may remove an ambiguity, but will never produce that peculiar beauty which is perceived when the sense comes out clearly and distinctly by means of a happy arrangement.

Such influence has Edition: current; Page: [ ] this beauty, that by a natural transition of perception, it is communicated to the very sound of the words, so as in appearance to improve the music of the period. But as this curious subject comes in more properly afterward, it is sufficient at present to appeal to experience, that a period so arranged as to bring out the sense clear, seems always more musical than where the sense is left in any degree doubtful.

A rule deservedly occupying the second place, is, That words expressing things connected in the thought, ought to be placed as near together as possible. The bad effect of a violent separation of words or members thus intimately connected, will appear from the following examples. For the English are naturally fanciful, and very often disposed, by that gloominess and melancholy of temper which is so frequent in our nation, to many wild notions and visions, to which others are not so liable.

Here the verb or assertion is, by a pretty long circumstance, violently separated from the subject to which it refers: this makes a harsh arrangement; the less excusable that the fault is easily prevented by placing the circumstance before the verb, after the following manner:. Edition: ed; Page: [ 64 ].

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Full text of "Dictionary Of Foreign Phrases And Classical Quotations"

From whence we may date likewise the rivalship of the house of France, for we may reckon that of Valois and that of Bourbon as one upon this occasion, and the house of Austria, that continues at this day, and has oft cost so much blood and so much treasure in the course of it. It cannot be impertinent or ridiculous therefore in such a country, whatever it might be in the Abbot of St.

If Scipio, who was naturally given to women, for which anecdote we have, if I mistake not, the authority of Polybius, as well as some verses of Nevius preserved by Aulus Gellius, had been educated by Olympias at the court of Philip, it is improbable that he would have restored the beautiful Spaniard. If any one have a curiosity for more specimens of this kind, they will be found without number in the works of the same author.

A pronoun, which saves the naming a person or thing a second time, ought to be placed as near as possible to the name of that person or thing.

This is a branch of the foregoing rule; and with the Edition: ed; Page: [ 65 ] reason there given, another concurs, viz. That if other ideas intervene, it is difficult to recal the person or thing by reference:. If I had leave to print the Latin letters transmitted to me from foreign parts, they would fill a volume, and be a full defence against all that Mr.

Partridge, or his accomplices of the Portugal inquisition, will be ever able Edition: current; Page: [ ] to object; who, by the way, are the only enemies my predictions have ever met with at home or abroad. Tom is a lively impudent clown, and has wit enough to have made him a pleasant companion, had it been polished and rectified by good manners. It is the custom of the Mahometans, if they see any Edition: ed; Page: [ 66 ] printed or written paper upon the ground, to take it up, and lay it aside carefully, as not knowing but it may contain some piece of their Alcoran.