« הקודםהמשך »
general. Of this kind, in our own unfortunate country, was that destructive pestilence, whose mortality was so far tal as to sweep away, if Sir William Petty may be believed, five millions of Christian souls, besides women and Jews.
God's revenge against punning. Arbuthnot.
Such also was that dreadful conflagration ensuing in this famous metropolis of London, which consumed, according to the computation of Sir Samuel Morland, 100,000 houses, not to mention churches and stables. '
But on condition it might pass into a law, I would gladly exempt both lawyers of all ages, subaltern and field officers, young heirs, dancing-masters, pickpockets, and players.
An infallible scheme to pay the public debts. Swift.
Sooner let earth, air, fea, to chaos fall,
Rape of the Lock.
Circumstances in a period resemble small stones in a building, employ'd to fill up vacuities among those of a larger size. In the arrangement of a period, such under-parts crowded together make a poor figure; and never are graceful but when interspersed among the capital parts. I illustrate this rule by the following example.
It is likewise urged, that there are, by computation, in this kingdom, above 10,000 parsons, whose revenues,
added to those of my Lords the bishops, would suffice to maintain, &c.
Argument against abolishing Christianity. Swift.
Herę two circumstances, viz. by computation and in this kingdom, are crowded together unnecessarily : they make a better appearance separated in the following manner :
It is likewise urged, that in this kingdom there are, by computation, above 10,000 parsons, &c.
If there be room for a choice, the sooner a circumstance is introduced, the better; because circumstances are proper for that coolness of mind, with which we begin a period as well as a volume: in the progress, the mind warms, and has a greater relish for matters of importance. When a cir-. cun:stance is placed at the beginning of the period, or near the beginning, the transition from it to the principal subject is agreeable : it is like ascending, or mounting upward. On the other hand, to place it late in the period has a bad effect; for after being engaged in the principal subject, one is with reluctance brought down to give attention to a circumstance. Hence evidently the preference of the following arrangement,
Whether in any country a choice altogether unexceptionable has been made, seems doubtful.
before this other,
Whether a choice altogether unexceptionable has in a. ny country been made, &c. .
For this reason the following period is exception : able in point of arrangement.
I have considered formerly, with a good deal of atten. tion, the subject upon which you command me to communicate my thoughts to you. ;
Bolingbroke of the study of history, letter I..
which, with a slight alteration, may be improyed thus :
I have formerly, with a good deal of attention, confidered the subject, &c.
Swift, speaking of a virtuous and learned education:
And although they may be, and too often are drawn, by the temptations of youth, and the opportunities of a · large fortune, into some irregularities, when they come forward into the great world; it is ever with reluctance and compunction of mind, because their bias to virtue still continues.
The Intelligencer, No 9.
And although, when they come forward into the great world, they may be, and too often, &c.
The bad efect of placing a circumstance last or late in a period, will appear from the following examples.
Let us endeavour to establish to ourselves an interest in him who holds the reins of the whole creation in his - hand.
• Spectator, No 12.
Let us endeavour to establish to ourselves an interest in him, who, in his hand, holds the reins of the whole creation.
Virgil, who has cast the whole system of Platonic philosophy, so far as it relates to the soul of man, into beautiful allegories, in the sixth book of his Æneid, gives us the punishment, ce
Spettator, No 9a.
Virgil, who, in the sixth book of his Æneid, has cast,
And Philip the Fourth was obliged at last to conclude a peace, on terms repugnant to his inclination, to that of his people, to the interest of Spain, and to that of all Europe, in the Pyrenean treaty.
Letters on history, vol. 1. letter 6. Bolingbrake.
And at last, in the Pyrenean treaty, Philip the Fourth was obliged to conclude a peace, &c.
In arranging a period, it is of inportance to determine in what part of it a word makes the greatest figure, whether at the beginning, during the course, or at the close. The breaking silence rouses the attention, and prepares for a deep impression at the beginning : the beginning, however, must yield to the close; which being succeeded by a pause, affords time for a word to make its deepest impression *. Hence the following rule, That to give the utmost force to a period, it ought if possible to be closed with that word which makes the greatest figure. The opportunity of a pause should not be thrown away upon accessories, but reserved for the principal object, in order that it may make a full impression; which is an additional reason against closing a period with a circumstance. There are however periods that admit not this structure; and in that case, the capital word ought, if poflible, to be placed in the front, which next to the close is the most advantageous for making an impression. Hence, in directing our discourse to
• To give force or elevation to a period, it ought to begin and end with a long syllable. For a long syllable makes naturally the strongest impression ; and of all the syllables in a period, we are chiefly moved with the first and last.
Demetrius Phalereus of Elocution, fe&t. 39.