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RULE XX. When the qualities of different things are compared, the latter noun or pronoun is not governed by the conjunction than or as, but agrees with the verb, or is governed by the verb or the preposition, expressed or understood: as, Thou art wiser than I;" that is, “ than I am." They loved him more than me;" i. e.“ more than they loved me.” “ The sentiment is well expressed by Plato, but much better by Solomon than him;" that is, “ than by him *.”
Exercises, p. 115. Key, p. 80. The propriety or impropriety of many phrases, in the preceding as well as in some other forms, may be discovered, by supplying the words that are not expressed; which will be evident from the following instances of erroneous construction. “ He'can read better than me."
" He is as good as her.”
“Whether I be present or no.” « Who did this? Me." By supplying the words understood in each of these phrases, their impropriety and governing rule will appear: as, “ Better than I can read;" “ As good as she is;" “ Present or not present;" “ I did it.”
1. By not attending to this rule, many errors have been committed: a number of which is subjoined, as a further caution and direction to the learner. “ Thou art a much greater loser than me by his death.” “ She suffers hourly more than me.” “ We contributed a third more than the Dutch, who were obliged to the same proportion more than
King Charles, and more than him, the duke and the popish faction, were at liberty to form new schemes." “ The drift of all his sermons was, to prepare the Jews for the reception of a prophet mightier than him, and whose shoes he was not worthy to bear.” “ It was not the work of so eminent an author, as him to whom it was first imputed.” “ A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both."
“ If the king * Ece the Tenth, or any subsequent, edition of the Key: Rule xx. The Nole.
give us leave, we may perform the office as well as them that do.” In these passages it ought to be, “ I, we, he, they, respectively."
When the relative who immediately follows than, it seems to form an exception to the 20th rule; for in that connexion, the relative must be in the objective case: as, “ Alfred, than whom, a greater king never reigned,” &c. “ Beelzebub, than whom, Satan excepted, none higher sat," &c. It is remarkable that in such instances, if the personal pronoun were used, it would be in the nominative case; as, “A greater king never reigned than he," that is, “than he was.” “ Beelzebub, than he," &c.; that is, “ than he sat.” The phrase than thoni, is, however, avoided by the best modern writers.
RULE XXI. To avoid disagreeable repetitions, and to express our ideas in few words, an ellipsis, or omission of some words, is frequently admitted. Instead of saying, “ He was a learned man, he i was a wise
and he was a good man;" we make use of the ellipsis, and say, “ He was a learned, wise, and good man."
When the omission of words would obscure the sentence, weaken its force, or be attended with an impropriety, they must be expressed. In the sentence, “We are apt to love who love us," the word them should be supplied. “A beautiful field and trees,” is not proper language. It should be, “Beautiful fields and trees;" or, “ A beautiful field and fine trees.'
Exercises, p. 116. Key, p. 82. Almost all compounded sentences are more or less elliptical; some examples of which may be seen under the different parts of speech.
1. The ellipsis of the article is thus used ; “A man, woman, and child:” that is, “a man, a woman, and a child.” “ A house and garden;" that is, “ a house and a
garden.” « The sun and moon;" that is, “ the sun and the moon." "The day and hour;} that is, “ the day and the hour.” In all these instances, the article being once expressed, the repetition of it becomes unnecessary. There is, however, an exception to this observation, when some peculiar emphasis requires a repetition; as in the following sentence. “ Not only the year, but the day and the hour.” In this case, the ellipsis of the last article would be improper. When a different form of the article is requisite, the article is also properly repeated: as, a house and an orchard;" instead of, “ a house and orchard." 2. The noun is frequently omitted in the following man
“The laws of God and man;" that is, “the laws of God and the laws of man.” In some very emphatical exa: pressions, the ellipsis should not be used: as, “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God;" which is more emphatical than, “ Christ the power and wisdom of God.” 3. The ellipsis of the adjective is used in the following
"A delightful garden and orchard;" that is, “a delightful garden and a delightful orchard;" " A little man and woman;" that is, “ A little man and a little woman." In such elliptical expressions as these, the adjective ought to have exactly the same signification, and to be quite as proper, when joined to the latter substantive as to the former; otherwise the ellipsis should not be admitted. Sometimes the ellipsis is improperly applied to nouns of
quia different numbers: as, “ A magnificent house and gardens.” In this case it is better to use another adjective; as, “ A magnificent house and fine gardens."
Cou! W ( >> 4. The following is the ellipsis of the pronoun. i “I love: and fear him;" that is, “I love him, and il fear him on « My house and lands;" that is, “ my house and my lands." In these instances the ellipsis may take place with propriety; but if we would be more express and emphatical, it must not be used: as, “ His friends and his foes ;" “ My sons and my daughters.”
In some of the common forms of speech, the relative pronoun is usually omitted: as, “This is the man they love;'' instead of, “This is the man whom they love.”
6. These are the goods they bought;" for, “These are the goods which they bought.”
In complex sentences, it is much better to have the relative pronoun expressed: as it is more proper to say, " The posture in which I-lay,” than, “In the posture I lay:" « The horse on which I rode, fell down;" than " The horse 1 rode, fell down.”
The antecedent and the relative connect the parts of a sentence together, and, to prevent obscurity and confusion, should answer to each other with great exactness. speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.” Here the ellipsis is manifestly improper, and ought to be supplied : as, “ We speak that which we do know, and testify that which we have seen."
5. The ellipsis of the verb is used in the following instances. «. The man was old and crafty;" that is, “ the man was old, and the man was crafty.”
- She was young, and beautiful, and good;" that is, “ She was young, she was beautiful, and she was good.” “ Thou art poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked.” If we would fill up the ellipsis in the last sentence, thou art ought to be repeated before each of the adjectives.
If, in such enumeration, we choose to point out one property above the rest, that property must be placed last, and the ellipsis supplied: as, "She is young and beautiful, and she is good."
“I went to see and hear him;" that is, “ I went to see him, and I went to hear him.” In this instance there is not only an ellipsis of the governing verb I went, but likewise of the sign of the infinitive mood, which is hy it. Ho, did, have, had, shall, will, may, might, and the rest
of the auxiliaries of the compound tenses, are frequently used alone, to spare the repetition of the verb: as, “ He regards his word, but thou dost not:" i. e. “ dost not regard it.”
“We succeeded, but they did not;" “ did not succeed.” “I have learned my task, but thou hast not;" " hast not learned.” “ They must, and they shall be pu nished;" that is, “they must be punished.” See the Key. 6. The ellipsis of the adverb is used in the following
“ He spoke and acted wisely;" that is, “He spoke wisely, and he acted wisely.” “Thrice I went and offered my service;" that is, “ Thrice I went, and thrice I offered my service."
7. The ellipsis of the preposition, as well as of the verb, is seen in the following instances: “He went into the abbeys, halls, and public buildings;" that is, “ he went into the abbeys, he went into the halls, and he went into the public buildings.” “ He also went through all the streets and lanes of the city;" that is, “ Through all the streets, and through all the lanes,” &c. “He spoke to every man and woman there,” that is, “to every man and to e
every woman." “ This day, next month, last year;" that is, “on this day, in the next month, in the last year;" 6. The Lord do that which seemeth him good;" that is, “ which seemeth to him.”
8. The ellipsis of the conjunction is as follows : “ They confess the power, wisdom, goodness, and love, of their creator;" i. e. “ the power, 'and wisdom, and goodness, and love of,” &c. Though I love him, I do not flatter him," that is, « Though I love him, yet I do not flatter him.”
9. The ellipsis of the interjection is not very common; it, however, is sometimes used: as, “ Oh! pity and shame !" that is, “ Oh pity! Oh shame!”
As the ellipsis occurs in almost every sentence in the English language, numerous examples of it might be given; but only a few more can be admitted here.