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from the rest of the sentence by commas: as, “ My son, give me thy heart;" “ I am obliged to you, my friends, · for your many favours."
RULE X. The case absolute, and the infinitive mood absolute, are separated by commas from the body of the sentence: as, “ His father dying, he succeeded to the estate;" " At length, their ministry performed, and race well run, they left the world in peace;" “ To confess the truth, I was much in fault.” · Rule xı. Nouns in apposition, that is, nouns added to other nouns in the same case, by way of explication or illustration, when accompanied with adjuncts, are set off by commas: as, “ Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, was eminent for his zeal and knowledge;" « The butterfly, child of the summer, flutters in the sun." ;
But if such nouns are single, or only form a proper name, they are not divided: as, “ Paul the apostle;" “ The emperor Antoninus wrote an excellent book.”.
Rule xii. Simple members of sentences connected by comparatives, are for the most part distinguished by a comma: as, “ As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so doth my soul pant after thee;" “ Better is a dinner of herbs with love, than a stalled ox and hatred with it.”.
If the members in comparative sentences are short, the çomma is, in general, better omitted: as, “ How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!” “ Mankind act oftener from caprice thun reason.” · Rule XIII. When words are placed in opposition to each other, or with some marked variety, they require to be distinguished by a comía: as,
“ Tho' deep, yet clear; tho' gentle, yet not dulk;
Strong, without rage; without o’erflowing, full.” "Good men, in this frail, imperfect state, are often found, not only in union with, but in opposition to, the views and conduct of one another."
Sometimes when the word with which the last preposi. tion agrees, is single, it is better to omit the comma before
it: as, “Many states were in alliance with, and under the protection of Rome.”
The same rule and restriction must be applied when two or more nouns refer to the same preposition: as, “He was composed both under the threatening, and at the approach, of a cruel and lingering death;" “ He was not only the king, but the father of his people.”
Rule xiv. A remarkable expression, or a short observation, somewhat in the manner of a quotation, may be properly marked with a comma: as, “ It hurts a man's pride to say, I do not know;" “ Plutarch calls lying, the vice of slaves."
Rule xv. Relative pronouns are connective words, and generally admit a comma before them: as, “ He preaches sublimely, who lives a sober, righteous, and pious life;" “ There is no charm in the female sex, which can supply the place of virtue.”
But when two members, or phrases, are closely connected by a relative, restraining the general notion of the antecedent to a particular sense, the comma should be omitted: as, “ Self-denial is the sacrifice which virtue must make;" “A man who is of a detracting spirit, will misconstrue the most innocent words that can be put together.” In the latter example, the assertion is not of “ a man in general,” but of “ a man who is of a detracting spirit;" and therefore they should not be separated,
The fifteenth rule applies equally to cases in which the relative is not expressed, but understood: as, “ It was from piety, warm and unaffected, that his morals derived strength.” “ This sentiment, habitual and strong, in. fluenced his whole conduct.” In both of these examples, the relative and verb which was, are understood.
RULE xvi. A simple member of a sentence, contained within another, or following another, must be distinguished by the comma: as, “ To improve time whilst we are blessed with health, will smooth the bed of sickness.” “Very often, while we are complaining of the vanity, and the evils of human life, we make that vanity, and we increase those evils."
If, however, the members succeeding each other, are very closely connected, the comma is unnecessary: as, “ Revelation tells us how we may attain happiness.” .
When a verb in the infinitive mood, follows its governing verb, with several words between them, those words should generally have a comma at the end of them; as, “ It ill becomes good and wise men, to oppose and degrade one another."
Several verbs in the infinitive mood, having a common dependence, and succeeding one another, are also divided by commas: as, “ To relieve the indigent, to comfort the afflicted, to protect the innocent, to reward the deserving, are humane and noble employments.”
RULE XVII. When the verb to be is followed by a verb in the infinitive mood, which, by transposition, might be made the nominative case to it, the former is generally separated from the latter verb, by a comma: as, “ The most obvious remedy is, to withdraw from all associations with bad men.” “ The first and most obvious remedy against the infection, is, to withdraw from all associations with bad men.”
RULE XVII. When adjuncts or circumstances are of im. portance, and often when the natural order of them is inverted, they may be set off by commas: as, “ Virtue must be formed and supported, not by unfrequent acts, but by daily and repeated exertions.” “ Vices, like shadows, towards the evening of life, grow great and monstrous.” “ Our interests are interwoven by threads innumerable ;"> “ By threads innumerable, our interests are interwoven.”
RULE XIX. Where a verb is understood, a comma may often be properly introduced. This is a general rule, which, besides comprising some of the preceding rules, will apply to many cases not determined by any of them: as, " From law arises security; from security, curiosity; from curiosity, knowledge.” In this example, the verb “ arises.
is understood before “ curiosity” and “ knowledge;" at which words a considerable pause is necessary.
Rule xx. The words, nay, so, hence, again, first, secondly, formerly, now, lastly, once more, above all, on the contrary, in the next place, in short, and all other words and phrases of the same kind, must generally be separated from the context by a comma: as, “ Remember thy best and first friend; formerly, the supporter of thy infancy, and the guide of thy childhood; now, the guardian of thy youth, and the hope of thy coming years.” “ He feared want, hence, he over-valued riches.” “ This conduct may heal the difference, nay, it may constantly prevent any in future." “ Finally, I shall only repeat what has been often justly said.” “ If the spring put forth no blossoms, in summer there will be no beauty, and in autumn, no fruit; so, if youth be trifled away without improvement, riper years may be contemptible, and old age miserable.”
In many of the foregoing rules and examples, great regard must be paid to the length of the clauses, and the proportion which they bear to one another. An attention to the sense of any passage, and to the clear, easy communication of it, will, it is presumed, with the aid of the preceding rules, enable the student to adjust the proper paụses, and the places for inserting the commas.
Of the Semicolon.' The Semicolon is used for dividing a compound sentence into two or more parts, not so closely connected as those which are separated by a comma, nor yet so little dependent on each other, as those which are distinguished by a colon.
Exercises, p. 150. Key, p. 121. . The senaicolon is sometimes used, when the preceding member of the sentence does not of itself give a complete sense, but depends on the following clause: and sometimes when the sense of that member would be complete without the concluding one: as in the following instances : “As
the desire of approbation, when it works according to reason, improves the amiable part of our species in every thing that is laudable; so nothing is more destructive to them when it is governed by vanity and folly.”
• Experience teaches us, that an entire retreat from worldly affairs, is not what religion requires; nor does it even enjoin a long retreat from them."
“ Straws swim upon the surface; but pearls lię at the bottom."
“ Philosophers assert, that Nature is unlimited in her operations; that she has inexhaustible treasures in reserve;
hat knowledge will always be progressive; and that all future generations will continue to make discoveries, of which we have not the least idea.”.
Of the Colon. The Colon is used to divide a sentence into two. or more parts, less connected than those which are separated by a semicolon; but not so independent as separate distinct sentences.
Exercises, p. 152. Key, p. 123. The Colon may be properly applied in the three following cases.
1. When a member of a sentence is complete in itself, but followed by some supplemental remark, or further illustration of the subject: as, “ Nature felt her inability to. extricate herself from the consequences of guilt: the gospel reveals the plan of Divine interposition and aid.” “Nature confessed some atonement to be necessary: the gospel discovers that the necessary atonement is made."
2. When several semicolons have preceded, and a still greater pause is necessary, in order to mark the connecting or concluding sentiment: as, “ A divine legislator, uttering his voice from heaven; an almighty governor, stretching forth bis arm to punish or reward; informing us of perpetual rest prepared hereafter for the righteous, and of indignation and wrath awaiting the wicked: these are the con