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COMPOSITION AND RHETORIC

BY PRACTICE.

INTRODUCTORY.

"The art of finding thoughts and of giving them suitable expression is Composition. The science that discusses the principles which guide us in composition is Rhetoric.

In practice Composition and Rhetoric are inseparably connected. Composition has two distinct parts : the one deals with thoughts, the other with forms of expression. The former is usually called Invention; the latter, Style.

LESSON I.

THE SENTENCE. - GRAMMATICAL CLASSIFICATION.

Kinds of Sentences. - Sentences are classified, according to their form, into Simple, Complex, and Compound.

SIMPLE SENTENCES.

The Simple Sentence. — The essential parts of the simple sentence are the subject and predicate. In the most elementary form neither of these has any qualification; as, “Time flies."

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Qualifiers. — The subject and predicate may each have a vast
variety of modifications.
I. The subject is always a substantive — that is, a noun, or

pronoun, or an adjective, adverb, infinitive, or other

part of speech - used as a noun.
1. The subject, when a noun or pronoun, may be modified

by :-
(1) An adjective or an adjective phrase, used either attri-

butively or appositively; as, —
a. The good citizens, fearing a revolt, fled.
b. The days of man's life are few.
6. His father's estate was sold.
d. The husband, with his wife and children, has

departed.
e. That new world, blessed with plenty, was my hope.

f. The desire to please was too strong.
(2) A noun in apposition; as, “ There, too, sat she, the

beautiful mother of a beautiful race, the Saint

Cecilia.
2. When the subject is a verbal, simple, or phrasal, it may

have the modifiers of a verb, as well as some of

those of a substantive; as,
a. To buy (or buying) and sell (or selling) goods for

cash is a safe business.
6. To be sad and gloomy all through life argues a mis-

conception of its object.
C. His running violently down the street had a fatal result.

d. Being kept here week after week is a great annoyance.
3. When the subject is a word commonly used as an adjec-

tive or as an adverb, it may have the modifiers of those
parts of speech, as well as some of the modifiers of
nouns; as, The very good of all ages are often ridi-

culed.” This eternal now rang in his ears.”
The subject may consist of two or more nouns or pronouns, each
with modifiers.

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II. The predicate may consist of:1. A single word.

The simple verb of the predicate may be modified by :a. An adverb or adverbial phrase; as, “He turned

quickly to the right." 6. An indirect or adverbial objective; as, “ I gave him

money"; "He stayed a day.” c. An absolute word or phrase; as, The work being

finished, we repaired to our homes.”
d. An infinitive; as, “He left the hall to obey his

master's commands."
2. A verb and its object; as, “ They built a house."

The object may be : (1) a noun or its equivalent ; (2) an infinitive abbreviation for a noun clause ; as, “ He

felt his face flush." 3. A copula and its complement; as, “He was rich.4. An incomplete verb and its complement; as, “ The time

seems long"; The tree grows taller." The complement of 3 and 4 may be :a. A substantival; as, “ That is the man; “This is

he”; “My duty is to die; “Seeing is believ

ing." b. An adjectival ; as, “They are young"; "He stands

firm; “ The building is of wood; “They

seem exhausted.C. An adverbial ; as, “ The hat is here"; “ The work

is all-of-a-piece"; "He is here to stay”; “The

letter is to be written." 5. A verb completed by a factitive noun or adjective; as,

“They made him king"; "He was made king";

“The pain drove him wild.All the objects or complements of 2, 3, 4, and 5, whether substantival, adjectival, or adverbial, are themselves subject to modification, each according to its nature,

Position. — The various modifiers may sometimes occupy different positions in a sentence. It is, however, a good general rule that words and phrases should be placed as near as possible to the words they qualify.

EXERCISE I.

SIMPLE SENTENCES. 1. Enlarge the subjects and the predicates of each of the following simple sentences in as many ways as you can :(1)

(2) (a) Boys play.

Girls sew.

Man sees. (6) Horses travel.

Farmers plough.

Birds fly. (c) Mind is.

Thought roams. Money paves. 2. Combine each of the following groups of statements into a simple sentence :

a. I pursued my walk. I pursued it to a door. The door was arched. It opened. It opened to the interior of the abbey.

b. She was a maiden. She was born in the country. She was shy. She was simple. She was sweet. She was different from those reared in towns. They are boisterous. They are romping.

c. His head was small. It was flat. It was flat on top. His ears were huge. His eyes were large. They were green. They were glassy.

d. Night came. She came to receive their form. She came with her mantle. It was bespangled. It was bespangled with stars.

3. Analyze the following into simple sentences :

a. An old, thick-set peasant, in rags, is driving his plough in the field.

b. She seemed to have survived all love, all friendship, all society.

C. The faltering voice of the poor old woman rose to heaven far before the responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the chanting of the choir.

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