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to bring forward what has been neglected, we are not much inclined to tread anew the wearisome path of our childhood. For the present, therefore, with the exception of a few casual remarks, the declensions and conjugations shall be allowed to remain, unaltered, as they are found in the initiatory Schools. Before, however, entering upon the ground which we mean to occupy, we must beg leave to differ so far from the ordinary Grammars, as to distinguish between Syntax and Construction.

SYNTAX (from the Greek syn, with, and taxis, arrangement) treats of the Orthography that certain words should assume with regard to each other. It belongs to Grammar, strictly so called, and is, in every particular language, that collection of Rules which fixes its grammatical inflexions. Thus:

*He came to see me, at my lodgings, yesterday morning; and I returned with him, to his house, in the evening.'

Here the words I, me and my all refer to the speaker; and he, him and his, to the person spoken of: varying as either acts, is acted upon, or is a possessor, in the sentence. Again: She loves you, but you do not love her.'

He loved her once, but he loves her no longer.' In the former sentence, the verb, to love,

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changes with the person; and, in the latter, with the time of the action.

To preserve the customary uniformity, in such relations, is the proper province of Syntax.

CONSTRUCTION (from the Latin construere, to pile up, or build,) is the placing of the words and phrases of a sentence in a certain order; and, hence, we speak, metaphorically, of the structure of a sentence, pronouncing it to be bad, or good, according as it is perplexed or explicit,--rugged or harmonious. For example, the following are two Constructions of the same phrases, and which present the same thoughts though not with equal elegance and precision:

Success and miscarriage are empty sounds, (for) I have protracted my work till most of those have sunk into the grave, whom I wished to please; having little to fear or to hope from censure or from praise, with frigid tranquillity, I therefore dismiss it.'

• I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave, and success and miscarriage are empty sounds, I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquillity, having little to fear or to hope from censure or from praise.'

Other arrangements of these phrases might be formed, or even the phrases themselves might be inverted; and he is the best Composer who is able to chuse the most luminous and most harmonious of the several Constructions. Strictly speaking, there is, probably, a shade of distinction in meaning, more or less obvious, between every two Constructions of the same sentence; but the investigation of this subject would here be premature: for we are now giving definitionsnot examples.

HARMONY of Construction may be understood in two different senses: One is the accordance of the several members of the sentence and may be compared to symmetry in Architecture. The other is the pleasing succession of accents and emphases, and would, perhaps, be more accurately denominated by the term Melody: it forms the beauty and elegance of Prose; and, when the order of succession is preserved with measured regularity, it constitutes the essence of

Poetry is not, exclusively, allied to either. It consists in embodying the forms of things unknown, and in giving to airy nothing a local habitation and a name.

Prose, (Latin prosa) is from prorsus, straight forward, in contradistinction to VERSE (Latin versus) from vertere, to turn; because, in the one case, the reader goes on to the end of the paragraph, whereas, in the other, he must turn back


at the end of every verse, whether the line be filled up or not. It is on account of these turnings that the lesser divisions in the Bible are called Verses.

That part of Composition which teaches the laws of Versification is named PROSODY, from the Greek prosodia, accent; and, although the English language does not possess the modulations which belonged to the accents of the Greeks, yet accentuation, such as we have it, is the sole foundation of our Verse. Those are supposed to have been of the nature of musical notes, and hence their name, from the Latin compound accino, I sing.

The accents of the English tongue (which are only to be found in Dictionaries) merely mark the stress of the voice, when resting upon certain syllables, in the same way that EMPHASIS (Greek phao, I speak) denotes a more forcible pronunciation of a particular word in a sentence. Seeing that, on our principles, every polysyllable is a combination of so many separate words, Accent and Emphasis are the same; and every compound, with its accentuated syllable, is, obviously, a minor sentence (or Phrase) with its emphatical word. “As emphasis,” says Mr. Walker, “ evidently points out the most significant word in a sentence, so, where other reasons do not forbid, the accent always dwells with greatest force on that part of the word which, from its importance, the hearer has always the greatest occasion to observe; and this is necessarily the root, or body, of the word.”

Accents, having been fixed by custom, are invariable; but Emphasis shifts with the meaning of the speaker. Although the example given by Mr. Sheridan has been often quoted, it is an illustration so plain, and yet so ample, that it would be affectation to substitute another.

It is a question of six words which may have five different interpretations:

“ Shall you ride to town to-morrow?

“ If the emphasis is on shall, as Shall you ride to town to-morrow?' it implies, that the person spoken to had expressed before such an intention, but that there is some doubt, in the questioner, whether he be determnined on it or not; and the answer may be, certainly,' or, ‘I am not sure. If it be on you, as, 'Shall you ride to town to-morrow?' the question implies that some one is to go, and 'Do you mean to go yourself, or send some


stead ? and the answer may be . No, but my servant shall.' If on ride, as, “ Shall you ride, &c.? the answer may be ' No, I shall walk, or go in a coach. If on town, as, • Shall you ride to town to-morrow?' the answer may be, “No, but I shall ride to the forest.' If on to-morrow, as, “Shall you ride to town to-morrow?' the answer may be, “No, not to-morrow, but the next day.


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