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Rule 1.- SIMPLE SENTENCES. A simple sentence does not, in general, admit the comma; as, “ The weakest reasoners are the most positive.”— W. Allen.
Exception.—When the nominative in a long simple sentence is accompanied by inseparable adjuncts, a commà should be placed before the verb; as, “The assemblage of these vast bodies, is divided into different systems."
RULE II. SIMPLE MEMBERS. The simple members of a compound sentence, whether successive or involved, elliptical or complete, are generally divided by the comma; as,
1. “He speaks eloquently, and he acts wisely."
5. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Excception 1.—When a relative immediately follows its antecedent, and is taken in a restrictive sense, the comma should not be introduced before it; as, “The things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.' -2 Cor. iv, 18.
Exception 2.-When the simple members are short, and closely connected by a conjunction or a conjunctive adverb, the comma is generally omitted; as, “ Infamy is worse than death.”
“ Let him tell me whether the number of the stars be even or odd.”
RULE III.-MORE THAN Two WORDS. When more than two words or terms are connected in the same construction, by conjunctions expressed or understood, the comma should be inserted after every one of them but the
and if they are nominatives before a verb, the comma should follow the last also : as, 1. “Who, to the enraptur'd heart, and ear, and eye,
Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody." 2. “Ah! what avails
All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring,
If envy, scorn, remorse, or pride, the bosom wring ?" 3. “Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou, stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless." 4. “She plans, provides, expatiates, triumphs there."
OBS.-Two or more words are in the same construction, when they have a common dependence on some other term, and are parsed alike.
RULE IV.-ONLY Two WORDS. When only two words or terms are connected by a cock junction, they should not be separated by the comma; as, Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul.”—Goldsmith.
Exception 1.-- When the two words connected have several adjuncts, or when one of them has an adjunct that relates not to both, the comma is inserted; as, “ Honesty in his dealings, and attention to his business, procured him both esteem and wealth.”—“Who is applied to persons, or things personified." -Bullions.
Exception 2.- When the two words connected are emphate ically distinguished, the comma is inserted; as,
Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand.”—Beattie. “ 'Tis certain he could write, and cipher too."— Goldsmith. Exception 3.-— When there is merely an alternative of words, the comma is inserted; as, “We saw a large opening, or inlet."
Exception 4.—When the conjunction is understood, tho comma is inserted; as,
“She thought the isle that gave her birth,
RULE V.-WORDS IN PAIRS. When successive words are joined in pairs by conjunctions, they should be separated in pairs by the comma; as, “ Interest and ambition, honour and shame, friendship and enmity, gratitude and revenge, are the prime movers in public transactions."—W. Allen.
RULE VI.-WORDS PUT ABSOLUTE. Nouns or pronouns put absolute, should, with their adjuncts, be set off by the comma; as, “ The prince, his father being dead, succeeded.”—“This done, we parted.”—“Zaccheus, make haste and come down.”—“His prætorship in Sicily, what did it produce ?"-Cicero.
RULE VII.-WORDS IN APPOSITION. Words put in apposition, (especially if they have adjuncts) are generally set off by the comma; as, “ He that now calls upon thee, is Theodore, the hermit of Teneriffe.”——Johnson.
Exception 1.- When several words, in their common order, are used as one compound name, the comma is not inserted; as,
6 Samuel Johnson, _“ Publius Gavius Cosanus." Exception 2.- When a common and a proper name aro closely united, the comma is not inserted; as, “ The brook
Kidron,"_“The river Don,"-" The empress Catharine," “Paul the apostle."
Exception 3.-When a pronoun is added to another word merely for emphasis and distinction, the comma is not inserted; as,
“ Ye men of Athens,”—“I myself,”—“Thou flaming minister,"_“You princes."
Exception 4. -When a name acquired by some action or relation, is put in apposition with a preceding noun or pronoun, the comma is not inserted: as, I made the ground my bed;" _“To make him king ;"_“Whom they revered as God;". “ With modesty thy guide.”—Pope.
RULE VIII.-ADJECTIVES. Adjectives, when something depends on them, or when they have the import of a dependent clause, should, with their ad juncts, be set off by the comma; as, 1.
-“ Among the roots Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes.”—Thom. 2.
Up springs the lark,
Exception.- When an adjective immediately follows its noun, and is taken in a restrictive sense, the comma should not be used before it; as, « On the coast averse from entrance.”—Milton.
RULE IX.--FINITE VERBS. Where a finite verb is understood, a comma is generally required: as, “ From law arises security ; from security, curiosity; from curiosity, knowledge.”—Murray.
RULE X.-INFINITIVES. The infinitive mood, when it follows a verb from which it must be separated, or when it depends on something remote or understood, is generally, with its adjuncts, set off by the comma; as, “ His delight was, to assist the distressed." "To conclude, I was reduced to beggary." “The Governor of all-has interposed,
Not seldom, his avenging arm, to smite
Rule XI.-PARTICIPLES. Participles, when something depends on them, when they have the import of a dependent clause, or when they relate to
something understood, should, with their adjuncts, be set off
Ling'ring and listning, wander'd down the vale.”— Beattie.
Exception.—When a participle immediately follows its noun,
rown'd for repartee,
RULE XIII.- CONJUNCTIONS. Conjunctions, when they are separated from the principal clause that depends on them, or when they introduce an example, are generally set off by the comma; as, “But, by a timely call upon Religion, the force of Habit was eluded." -Johnson.
RULE XVI.-WORDS REPEATED.
RULE XVII.-DEPENDENT QUOTATIONS. A quotation or observation, when it is introduced by a verb, (as, say, reply, and the like,) is generally separated from the rest of the sentence by the comma; as,
66 The book of nature,' said he, 'is open before thee.'”—“I say unto all, Watch."
SECTION II.-OF THE SEMICOLON. The Semicolon is used to separate those parts of a compound sentence, which are neither so closely connected as those which are distinguished by the comma, nor so little dependent as those which require the colon.
RULE I. COMPOUND MEMBERS. When several compound members, some or all of which require the comma, are constructed into a period, they are generally separated by the semicolon : as, “In the regions inhabited by angelic natures, unmingled felicity forever blooms; joy flows there with a perpetual and abundant stream, nor needs any mound to check its course.
.”—Carter. RULE II.-SIMPLE MEMBERS. When several simple members, each of which is complete in sense, are constructed into a period; if they require a pause greater than that of the comma, they are usually separated by the semicolon : as, “Straws swim upon the surface; but pearls lie at the bottom.”-Murray. “A longer care man's helpless kind demands; That longer care contracts more lasting bands.”—Pope.
RULE III.—APPOSITION, &c. Words in apposition, in disjunct pairs, or in any other construction, if they require a pause greater than that of the comma, and less than that of the colon, may be separated by the semicolon: as, “ There are five moods; the infinitive, the indicative, the potential, the subjunctive, and the imperative."
SECTION III.--OF THE COLON. The Colon is used to separate those parts of a compound sentence, which are neither so closely connected as those which are distinguished by the semicolon, nor so little dependent as those which require the period.
RULE I.-ADDITIONAL REMARKS. When the preceding clause is complete in itself, but is foks lowed by some additional remark or illustration, especially if