« הקודםהמשך »
paration by means of an interjected circumstance belongs to an inverted style.
To illustrate this doctrine examples are necessary, and I shall begin with those where the word first introduc.d does not imply a relation;
• i Nor Eve to iterate
Her former trespass fear'd.
• Hunger and thirst at once,
Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent
Moon that now meet'st the orient sun, now fli'st
In the following examples, where the word first introduced imports a relation, the disjunction will be found more violent* .
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
■ Upon the firm opacous globe
Of this round world, whose first convex divides
On On a sudden open fly,
With impetuous recoil and jarring found,
■ • ■ Wherein remain'd,
For what could else? to our almighty foe
'" —"- Forth rufh'd, with whirlwind found, The chariot of paternal Deity.
Language would have no great power, were it confined to the natural order of ideas: I shall soon have an opportunity to make it evident, that by inversion, a thousand beauties may be compassed, which must be relinquished in a natural arrangement. In the mean time, it ought not to escape observation, that the mind of man is happily so constituted as to relish inversion, though in one respect unnatural; and to relish if so much, as in many cases to admit even such words to be separated as are the most intimately connected. It can scarce be said that inversion has any limits; though I may venture to pronounce, that the disjunction of articles, conjunctions, or prepositions, from the words to which they belong, has very seldom a good effect: the following example with relation to a preposition, is perhaps as tolerable as any of the kind.
He would neither separate/rom, nor act against them.
I give notice to the reader, that I am now ready to enter upon the rules of arrangement; beginning with a natural style, and proceeding gradually to what is the mpst inverted^ And in the arrangement of a period, as well as in a right choice of words, the first and great object being perspicuity, the rule above laid down, That perspicuity ought not to be sacrificed to any other beauty, holds equally in both. Ambiguities occasioned by a wrong arrangement are of two forts; one where the arrangement leads to a wrong fense, and one where the sense is left doubtful. The first, being the more culpable, shall take the lead, beginning with examples of words put in a wrong place.
How much, the imagination of such a presence muse exalt a genius, we may observe merely from the influence which an ordinary presence has over men.
Characteristics, vol. j. p. y.
This arrangement leads to a wrong fense: the adverb merely seems by its position to affect the preceding word; whereas it is intended to affect the following words, an ordinary presence; and therefore the arrangement ought to be thus •'
How much the imagination of such a presence must 'exalt a genius, we may observe from the influence which an ordinary presence merely has over men. [Or better], which even an ordinary presence has over men.
The time of the election of a poet-laureat being now at hand, it may be proper to give some account of the rites and ceremonies anciently used at that solemnity, and only discontinued through the neglect and degeneracy of later times.
The term only is intended to qualify the nount degeneracy, and not the participle discontinued; and therefore the arrangement ought to be as follows;
-and discontinued through the neglect and
degeneracy only, of later times.
Sixrus the Fourth was, if I mistake not, a great collector of books at least.
Letters, on history, vol. I. let. 6. Bolingbroke.
The expression here leads evidently to a wrong fense: the adverb at least, ought not to be connected with the substantive books, but with colleCtor, thus;
Sixtus the Fourdi was a great collector at least, of books..
Speaking of Lewis XTV.
If he was not the greatest king, he was the best actov •f majesty at least, that ever filled a throne.
Ibid, letter 7.
U 4 Better
If he was not the greatest king, he was at least the best actor of majesty, 6c.
This arrangement removes the wrong fense occasioned by the juxtaposition of majesty and at, least.
The following examples are of a wrong ar^ rangement of members.
I have confined myself to those methods for the advancement of piety, which are in the power of a prince limited like ours by a strict execution of the laws.
A projeil for the advancement of religion. Swift,
The structure of this period leads to a meaning which is not the author's, viz. power limited by a strict execution of the laws. This wrong fense is removed by the following arrangement:
I have confined myself to those methods for the advancement of piety, which, by a strict execution of the laws, are in the power of a prince limited like ours.
This morning when one of Lady Lizard's daughters was looking over some hoods and ribands brought by her tirewoman, with great care and diligence, I employed no less in examining the box which contained them..
Guardian, N° 4.