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as in the following passage: “Like one of those wondrous rocking stones reared by the Druids, which the finger of a child might vibrate to its centre, yet the might of an army could not move from its place, | our Constitution is so nicely poised and balanced, that it seems to sway with every breath of opinion, yet so firmly rooted in the heart and affections of the people, that the wildest storms of treason and fanaticism break over it iu vain." This sentence, though containing seven grammatical parts, or pointed groups of words, is divisible into two main portions, the first ending with the word “place;" but these larger portions cannot be more separated from each other than the smaller ones, because they are so compactly and finely bound together, that any other mark than a comma would tend to loosen their connection, and to mar the unity which runs throughout the whole passage.
Assign the reason for the insertion of semicolons in the following sentences :
Prosperity is naturally, though not necessarily, attached to virtue and merit; adversity, to vice and folly.
The furnace of affliction may be fierce; but, if it refineth thy soul, the good of one meek thought shall outweigh years of torment.
Every thing that happens is both a cause and an effect; being the effect of what goes before, and the cause of what follows.
There is a fierce conflict of good and evil throughout the universe; but good is in the ascendant, and must triumph at last.
Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation; as it is generally, in books, the worst sort of reading.
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn; and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
lle was respectful, not servile, to superiors; affable, not improper.y familiar, to equals ; and condescending, not supercilious, to those beneath him.
The little, bleak farm, sad and affecting in its lone and extreme simplicity, smiled like the paradise of poverty; when the lark, lured thither by some green barley-field, rose ringing over the solitude.
As a malicious censure, craftily worded and pronounced with assurance, is apt to pass with mankind for shrewd wit; so a virulent maxim in bold expressions, though without any justness of thought, is readily received for true philosophy.
It is the first point of wisdom to ward off evils; the second, to make them beneficial.
The look that is fixed on immortality wears not a perpetual smile; and eyes, through which shine the light of other worlds, are often dimmed with tears.
The golden rule is a protesi against selfishmess; and selfishness, cleaving as it does to the inmosi core of our being, is the besetting sin of the world.
Books are standing counsellors and preachers, always at hand, and always disinterested; having this advantage over oral instructors, that they are ready to repeat their lesson as often as we please.
EXERCISES TO BE WRITTEN. Agreeably to the Rule (p. 116), insert semicolons in the following sentences :
By granting that intellectual improvement was unfavorable to productions of the imagination, we should look to the least cultivated minds for bolder flights than to Milton, Pope, or Byron the absurdity of which is seen by the mere statement of it.
Wordsworth, in his poetry, works out wisdom as it comes from the common heart of man, and appeals to that heart in turn causing iis to recognize the truth, that there is something in humanity which deserves alike our love and reverence.
The most precious of all possessions is power over ourselves power to withstand trial, to bear suffering, to front danger power over pleasure and pain power to follow our convictions, however resisted by menace and scorn the power of calm reliance in scenes of darkness and storms.
There, cold and lifeless, is the heart which just now was the seat of friendship there, dim and sightless, is the eye whose radiant and enlivening orb beamed with intelligence and there, closed for ever, are those lips on whose persuasive accents we have so often and so lutely hung with transport.
But who the melodies of morn can tell? -
The hum of bees the linnet's lay of love
Insert commas and semicolons in the following sentences, where they are required
by the references :
Be not anxious impatient over-inquisitive but thoughtful serious and calm. (Page 116, Rule; and p. 37, Rule.)
If ever Christianity appears in its power it is when it erects its trophies upon the tomb when it takes up its votaries where the world leaves them and fills the breast with inmortal hope in dying moments. (Page 116, Rule; p. 89, Rule and d; p. 98, Rule.)
When we look up to leaven and behold the sun shining in glory or the moon and the stars walking in brightness untaught nature prompts us to adore Him that made them to bow down and worship in the temple not made with hands. (Page 116, Remark c; p. 98.)
Every particle of dust every grain of sand every minutest atom is an active agent in the mighty whole making itself felt through all the masses in our solar system and through this on all systems in the universe. (Rule, p. 116; and Rule, p. 98.)
When the virtuous father of a family stands before us great in native worth of soul amidst all the outward tokens of poverty and an humble calling what a feeling of honor and sympathy goes forth spontaneously from our hearts to greet that truest expression of human respectability! (Page 116, Remark c; p. 64; p. 79, h.}
As we trust the long-tried atfection of a human friend when for reasons satisfactory to him he now and then withholds from us his ultimate purposes so pious souls acquiescing in ignorance and conscious of absolute dependence on the Parent Mind dissolve their fears and their doubts in perfect faith. (Page 116, Rule; p. 89, Rule and d; and p. 64.)
There also are the eloquence the literature the poetry of all times and tongues, - those glorious efforts of genius that rule with a neverdying sway over our sympathies and affections commanding our smilės and tears kindling the imagination warming the heart filling the fancy with beauty and awing the soul with the sublime the terrible the powerful the infinite. (Page 116, Rule and b; pp. 37, 57, 64, 98.)
Though sometimes on passing from the turmoil of the city and the heats of restless life into the open temple of the silent universe we are tempted to think that there is the taint of earth and here the purity of heaven yet sure it is that God is seen by us through man rather than through nature and that without the eye of our brother and the voices of our kind the winds might sigh and the stars look down on us in vain. (Page 116, Rule; p. 64; p. 98, Rule and b.)
RULE II. A Series of Expressions having a Common Dependence. When, in a series of expressions, the particulars depend on a commencing or a concluding portion of the sentence, they should be separated from each other by a semicolon, if they are either laid down as distinct propositions, or are of a compound nature.
1. Philosophers assert, that Nature is unlimited in her operations; that she has inexhaustible treasures in reserve; that knowledge will always be progressive; and that all future generations will continue to make discoveries, of which we have not the slightest idea.
2. To give an early preference to honor above gain, when they stand in competition; to despise every advantage which cannot be attained without dishonest arts; to brook no meanness, and stoop to no dissimulation, – are the indications of a great mind, the presages of future eminence and usefulness. in life:
3. If we think of glory in the field; of wisdom in the cabinet; of the purest patriotism; of the highest integrity, public and private; of morals without a stain; of religious feelings without intolerance and without extravagance, – the august figure of Washington presents itself as the personation of all these ideas.
a. The first sentence exemplifies a series of clauses, being each a distinct proposition, but depending all on the words that precede them, namely, “philosophers assert.” The second example illustrates a series of expressions, the first two consisting each of a phrase and a clause; the third, of two coupled phrases; and all depending on the portion which concludes the sentence, – on the predicate, “ are the indications of a great mind," &c. The third example exhibits a series of phrases, which, according to Rule XVI., p. 98, would be punctuated only with a comma, were it not for the compound phrase, "of the highest integrity, public and private," the subdivision of which requires to be distinguished by a point less significant than that between the other phrases.
b. Commas are sometimes preferable to semicolons, when none of the particulars in a series of clauses, except perhaps the last, are
divisible into simpler portions. This mode of punctuation should be adopted when the particulars begin each with a verb, and have a cominon nominative on which they depend, as in the following passage: “ Poetry | reveals to us the loveliness of nature, brings back the freshmess of early feeling, rerires the relish of simple ple:isures, keeps unquenched the enthusiasm which warmed the spring-time of our being, refines youthful love, strengthens our interest in human nature by vivid delineations of its tenderest and loftiest feelings, spreals our sympathies over all classes of society, knits is by new ties with universal being, and, through the brightness of its prophetic visions, helps faith to lay hold on the future life.” — See page 98.
c. If a series of phrases, of which some at least are compound, though none of them parts of clauses, depends on the commencing or the concluding portion of a sentence, and any of them are capable of being subdivided by means of a comma, all the depending portions should be separated from each other by a semicolon; as, “ By doing, or at least endeavoring to do, our duty to God and man; by acquiring an humble trust in the mercy and favor of God, through Jesus Christ; by cultivating our minds, and properly employing our time and thoughts; by correcting all unreasonable expectations from the world and from men; and, in the midst of worldly business, habituating ourselves to calm retreat and serious recollection, — by such means as these, it may be hoped, that, through the divine blessing, our days shall flow in a stream as unruffled as the hurnan state admits."
d. Accordingly, such phrases as those which occur in the following sentence, though dependent on another expression, are punctuated better by the comma: “ The world is still renewed with fresh life and beauty, with a constant succession of trees and plants, with a new race of animals, with a new generation of men."
e. Some punctuators insert a dash, instead of a semicolon or a comma, between clauses or phrases dependent on other expressions. But, though it is not denied that in the more rhetorical kind of such sentences, this mark may be adopted, the semicolon or the comma is usually preferable, because the frequent recurrence of dashes, thence ensuing, would be unpleasant to the eye, without affording a proportionate aid to the understanding, and would mar the effect which they have when properly and necessarily used.
f. The dash, however, appended to a comma, as in the second and third examples under the rule, is suitably put after the last particular, that the relation of all the particulars to the portion on which they depend may be more clearly shown. — See Chap. III., Sect. III.