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Here the cæsura after the first semipede Day, stops us unexpectedly, and forcibly impresses the imagination with the greatness of the author's loss, the loss of sight.
No sooner had th' Almighty ceas'd, but all
As from blest voices uttering joy.-There is something very striking in this uncommon cæsura, which suddenly stops the reader, to reflect on the importance of a particular word.
We shall close the subject, with an example containing the united powers of many of the principles which have been explained.
Dire wås the tóssîng" deep the groans" Děspāir
Shook” bắt delay?d tỏ strike. Many of the rules and observations respecting Prosody, are taken from “ Sheridan's Art of Reading ;” to which book the Compiler refers the ingenious student, for more extensive information on the subject.
PUNCTUATION *, PUNCTUATION is the art of dividing a written composition into sentences, or parts of sentences, by points or stops, for the purpose of marking the different pauses which the sense, and an accurate pronunciation require.
The Comma represents the shortest pause; the Semicolon, a pause double that of the comma; the Colon, double that of the semicolon; and the Period, double that of the colon.
Exercises, p. 141. Key, p. 111. The precise quantity or duration of each pause, cannot be defined; for it varies with the time of the whole. The same composition may be rehearsed in a quicker or a slower time; but the proportion between the pauses should be ever invariable.
In order more clearly to determine the proper application of the points, we must distinguish between an imperfect phrase, a simple sentence, and a compound sentence.
An imperfect phrase contains no assertion, or does not amount to a proposition or sentence: as, “ Therefore; in haste; studious of praise."
A simple sentence has but one subject, and one finite verb, expressed or implied: as, “ Temperance preserves health.”
A compound sentence has more than one subject, or one finite verb, either expressed or understood ; or it consists of two or more simple sentences connected together: as, “ Good nature mends and beautifies all objects;" • Virtue refines the affections, but vice debases them.”
In a sentence, the subject and the verb, or either of them,
• As punctuation is intended to aid both the sense, and the pronunciation of a sentence, it could not have been exclusively discussed under the part of Syntax, or of Prosody. The nature of the subject, its extent and importance, and the graminatical knowledge which it presupposes, have induced us to mako it a distinct and subsequent article.
may be accompanied with several adjuncts: as, the object, the end, the circumstance of time, place, manner, and the like: and the subject or verb may be either immediately connected with them, or mediately; that is, by being connected with something which is connected with some other, and so on : as, “ The mind, unoccupied with useful knowledge, becomes a magazine of trifles and follies.”
Members of sentences may be divided into simple and compound members. See page 137.
Of the Comma. THE Comma usually separates those parts of a sentence, which, though very closely connected in sense and construction, require a pause between them.
Exercises, p. 141. Key, p. 111. Rule 1. With respect to a simple sentence, the several words of which it consists have so near a relation to each other, that, in general, no points are requisite, except a full stop at the end of it: as, “ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” “ Every part of matter swarms with living creatures."
A simple sentence, however, when it is a long one, and the nomipative case is accompanied with inseparable adjuncts, may admit of a pause immediately before the verb: as, “ The good taste of the present age, has not allowed us to neglect the cultivation of the English language:" “ To be totally indifferent to praise ar censure, is a real defect in character.”
Rule 11. When the connexion of the different parts of a simple sentence is interrupted by an imperfect phrase, a comma is usually introduced before the beginning, and at the end of this phrase: as, “ I remember, with gratitude, his goodness to me:” “His work is, in many respects, very imperfect. It is, therefore, not much approved.” But when these interruptions are slight and unimportant, the comma
is better omitted; as, “ Flattery is certainly pernicious ;"> “ There is surely a pleasure in beneficence.”
In the generality of compound sentences, there is frequent occasion for commas. This will appear from the folJowing rules; some of which apply to simple, as well as to compound sentences. Pering
RULE HII. When two or more nouns occur in the same construction, they are parted by a comma: as, “ Reason, virtue, answer one great aim :" “ The husband, wife, and children, suffered extremely *,” “ They took away their furniture, clothes, and stock in trade:” “ He is alternately supported by his father, his uncle, and his elder brother.”
From this rule there is mostly an exception, with regard to two nouns closely connected by a conjunction : as, « Virtue and vice form a strong contrast to each other:" • Libertines call religion bigotry or superstition;" “ There is a natural difference between merit and demerit, virtue and vice, wisdom and folly." But if the parts connected are not short, a comma may be inserted, though the conjunction is expressed: as, “ Romances may be said to be iniserable rhapsodies, or dangerous incentives to evil;" " Intemperance destroys the strength of our bodies, and the vigour of our minds."
Rule iv. Two or more adjectives belonging to the same substantive are likewise separated by commas: as, “ Plain, honest truth, wants no artificial covering ;" “ David was a brave, wise, and pious man;" “ A woman, .gentle, sensible, well-educated, and religious ;" “ The most innocent pleasures are the sweetest, the most rational, the most affecting, and the most lasting.”
But two adjectives, immediately connected by a conjunction, are not separated by a comma: as, “ True worth is modest and retired;" “ Truth is fair and artless, simple
* As a considerable pause in pronunciation, is necessary between the last noun and the verb, a comma should be inserted to denote it. But as no pause is allowable between the last adjective and the noun, under Rule IV. the comina is there properly omitted.
See WALKER's Elements of Elocution.
and sincerc, uniform and consistent.” “We must be wise or foolish; there is no medium.”
Rule v. Two or more verbs, having the same nominative case, and immediately following one another, are also separated by commas: as, “ Virtue supports in adversity, moderates in prosperity:” “In a letter, we may advise, exhort, comfort, request, and discuss.”
Two verbs immediately connected by a conjunction, are an exception to the above rule: as, “ The study of natural history expands and elevates the mind;" “ Whether we eat or drink, labour or sleep, we should be moderate.”
Two or more participles are subject to a similar rule, and exception: as, “ A man, fearing, serving, and loving his Creator;" “ He was happy in being loved, esteemed, and respected;" “ By being admired and flattered, we are often corrupted.”
Rule vi. Two or more adverbs immediately succeeding one another, must be separated by commas: as, “ We are fearfully, wonderfully framed ;" “ Success generally depends on acting prudently, steadily, and vigorously, in what we undertake.”
But when two adverbs are joined by a conjunction, they are not parted by the comma: as, “ Some men sin deliberately and presumptuously;" “ There is no middle state; we must live virtuously or vitiously.”
Rulevii. When participles are followed by something that depends on them, they are generally separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma: as, “ The king, approving the plan, put it in execution;" “ His talents, formed for great enterprises, could not fail of rendering him, conspicuous;" “ All mankind compose one family, assembled under the eye of one common Father.”
Rule VIII. When a conjunction is divided by a phrase or sentence from the verb to which it belongs, such intervening phrase has usually a comma at each extremity: as, , • They set out early, and, before the close of the day, arrived at the destined place.”
Rule IX. Expressions in a direct address, are separated