Page images
PDF
EPUB

b. The sun is setting and ..
c. He rode, not a mule, but .
d. Our captives are as fierce as Odin, yet .
e. He has transgressed the law, therefore
f. Take the path to the left, for ...
g. In his girdle he wore a long dagger, which
h. His shield was covered with a scarlet cloth, which ...

2. Combine the following simple sentences into compound sentences :

a. A number of horsemen were seen. They were slowly advancing. They nearly reached the foot of the hill. They then struck off. They struck off in a different direction.

b. Animal attachment must be refreshed. It must be refreshed continually. It must be kept alive. It must be kept alive by the presence of its object. True affection is seated in the soul. It can live on long remembrance.

6. He was a great reader. He read old legends. He read romances. He could not believe them. He regretted this. Superstitious persons live in a kind of fairyland. He desired that pleasure.

3. Compose a compound sentence with simple subjects and simple predicates about each of the following: Time, money, sleep, base-ball, horses, railroads, steam-boats.

4. Introduce as many modifiers as you can into each of the sentences required in 3. 5. Compose other sentences on the topics named in 3,

in which the members are (1) simple, (2) complex, (3) compound.

6. Write out fully the following abbreviated compound sentences :

a. Measures should be supported, not men.

b. At every turn I met with some illustrious name, or the cognizance of some powerful house.

c. Now one of these elements appears most prominent, now the other.

d. His hospitable intentions were brief, but expressive. e. He whistled after him, and shouted his name, but all in vain.

LESSON IV.

THE SENTENCE.

RHETORICAL CLASSIFICATION.

Kinds of Sentences. On the basis of rhetorical value, sentences may be divided into Periodic, Loose, The Compromise, Balanced, Short, and Long.

[blocks in formation]

A periodic sentence is one which is so constructed that the complete meaning is suspended till the close.

Examples. (1) “When the sun shines forth, we will set sail.”

(2) “What I cannot describe is, how in the innermost recesses of my own heart, I had a lurking suspicion."

2. LOOSE SENTENCE.

A loose sentence is one which is so constructed that it may be brought to a close at one or more places and still be complete in

sense.

Examples. — (1) “ The battle was, won | at last | after hard fighting | and prodigious displays of valor.”

(2) “The mature man, in the desire to get quit of an early habit, attempts an imitation in which he is prevented from succeeding | by the lasting consequences of the unintentional imitation, | into which he had glided when a child."

In these examples we may stop at the several places marked and have complete sense.

A loose sentence is not necessarily a faulty sentence, but as a person who writes such sentences is apt to fall into obscure and careless constructions, it is well for beginners to give attention to forming periodic sentences.

Most loose sentences may be converted into periodic by some

change in arrangement. The first example will become periodic if arranged thus : “At last, after hard fighting, and prodigious displays of bravery, the battle was won."

3. THE COMPROMISE. The compromise is a sentence that is partly a periodic and partly a loose sentence. It consists of two or more parts, one of which is periodic, while the sentence taken as a whole is a loose sentence.)

Example. - He then sent two more, and one of them, hurry.. ing back in affright, said that the whole British army was at hand.”

4. BALANCED SENTENCE. A balanced sentence is one which contains two clauses that are similar in form, and either parallel or contrasted in meaning.

Examples. (1) “Contempt is the proper punishment of affec. tation; and detestation, the just consequence of hypocrisy."

(2) “The style of Dryden is capricious and varied, that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid ; Pope, always smooth, uniform, and level. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation ; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe and levelled by the roller."

Tend

5. SHORT AND LONG SENTENCES. These terms carry with them their own definition.

Advantages of Each. - Each of these kinds of sentences has its advantage. Short sentences are more easily understood, and, if introduced after a number of long ones, give sprightliness and animation, as well as relieve the monotony by variety. If, however, too many of them are used together, the effect is irksome, because abrupt. Long sentences, on the other hand, although requiring closer attention, afford greater scope for the addition of

subordinate particulars, for the expansion of the main thought, and for the introduction of finer oratorical cadences.

When Used. — It is impossible to lay down rules to determine when each of the different classes of sentences should be used. Perhaps, the loose sentence is best adapted to composition in which simplicity and clearness are the aim, such as narration, description, and exposition; the periodic and the compromise, to those which are required to be forcible, as persuasion; the balanced sentence, to satire, and to essays, in which characters or subjects are compared or set off by contrast. Long and short sentences should be introduced to relieve one another. As the continuous use of any one kind becomes monotonous, the best rule that can be given is to study variety

EXERCISE IV.

[ocr errors]

PERIODIC AND LOOSE SENTENCES.

DIRECTION. Reconstruct these Periodic Sentences into Loose Sentences.

1. He excelled both in ability and in industry. 2. She spent her time either in sewing or in reading.

3. Without further preface he conducted them into his little schoolroom.

4. While the sacred words, “I am a Roman citizen,” were on his lips, you ordered him to death.

5. If a doubt remains on the mind of any member, let him examine the trade returns of the several States.

6. Were this opinion well founded, one generation would have no advantage over another.

7. Unless this measure is clearly constitutional, I shall not vote for it.

8. Where this is the case in any part of the world, those who are free are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. 9.

When he was not under the influence of some strange scruple, or some domineering passion, which prevented him from boldly and fairly investigating a subject, he was a wary and acute

reasoner.

10. When he talked, he clothed his wit and his sense in forcible and natural expressions.

11. It was during the thirty years which preceded the appearance of Johnson's Lives that the diction and versification of English poetry were, in the sense in which the word is commonly used, most correct.

12. Supposing the story true, we may remark that the gradual change of manners, though imperceptible in the process, appears great when different times, and those not very distant, are compared.

13. Of the mind that can trade in corruption, and can deliberlately pollute itself with ideal wickedness for the sake of spreading the contagion in society, I wish not to conceal or excuse the depravity.

EXERCISE V.

LOOSE AND PERIODIC SENTENCES.

DIRECTION. Reconstruct each of these Loose Sentences into one or more Periodic Sentences.

1. He repaid her by breaking her fortune, and nearly breaking her heart.

2. We welcome you to the blessings of good government and religious liberty.

3. The waves rolled over his head and threatened to drown him, but he reached the shore in safety.

4. Olivia would be drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank of flowers, dressed in a green Joseph, richly laced with gold, and a whip in her hand,

5. Alice could not see his blushing cheek, but she noticed his hesitation and that he retracted the promise he had made.

6. Spenser's poem strikes the note of the coming Puritanism both in its conception and in the way in which its conception is realized in the portion of the work that he completed.

7. His habitation is some poor thatched roof, distinguished from his barn by the loop-holes that let out smoke, which the rain had

« PreviousContinue »