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Shord how the Rule (p. 120) may be applied to the insertion of the semicolons is.
the following sentences :
To have even our earthly being extended in everlasting remembrauce; to be known wherever the name of virtue can reach; and to be known as the benefactors of every age, by the light which we have diffused, or the actions which we have performed or prompted, — who is there that does not feel some desire of this additional immortality?
Is there any splendor to be found in distant travels beyond that which sets its morning throne in the golden east; any dome sublimer than that of heaven; any beauty fairer than that of the verdant and blossoining earth; any place, though invested with all the sanctities of old time, like that home which is hushed and folded within the embrace of the humblest wall and roof?
Leighton is great by the magnificence of thought; by the spontaneous emanations of a mind replete with sacred knowledge, and bursting with seraphic affections; by that pauseless gush of intel lectual splendor, in which the outward shell, the interinediate letter, is eclipsed and almost annihilated, that full scope may be given to the mighty effulgence of the informing spirit.
Happy, thrice happy, he who relies on the eternity of the soul; who believes, as the loved fall one after one from his side, that they have returned to their native country; who feels that each treasure of knowledge he attains, he carries with him through illimitable being; who sees in virtue the essence and the element of the world he is to inherit.
There are men whose powers operate in leisure and in retirement, and whose intellectual vigor deserts them in conversation; whom merriment confuses, and objection disconcerts; whose bashfulness restrains their exertion, and suffers them not to speak till the time of speaking is past; or whose attention to their own character makes them unwilling to utter at hazard what has not been considered, and cannot be recalled.
That benevolence which prompted Jesus to incessant exertion; which supported him through unparalleled suffering; which was alike the soul of his discourses, his actions, and his miracles; whicb shone through his life and his death; whose splendors were around his brow when he expired on the cross, and when he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, what is it but a glorious revelation of the glorious truth, that God is love?
EXERCISES TO BE WRITTEN.
Insert semicolons or commas between the particulars of each series in these
sentences, in accordance with the Rule and Remarks (pp. 120-21): – The great tendency and purpose of poetry is to carry the mind above and beyond the beaten, dusty, weary walks of ordinary life to lift it into a purer element and to breathe into it more profound and generous emotion. (Rule, and Remark c.)
He was framed to enjoy equally the fire of poetic or the abstruseness of philosophical writings to watch the meteor-flash of oratory or to trace in history's page the even course of milder eloquence. (Remark d.)
Benevolence remembers the slave pleads his cause with God and man recognizes in him human brother respects in him the sacred rights of humanity and claims for him, not as a boon but as a right, that freedom without which humanity withers, and God's child is degraded into a tool or a brute. (Remark b.)
If thou hast never tasted the holy peace which descends into the simplest heart, when it fervently realizes the presence of God if no gleam from the future life ever brightens thy earthly way if the sores and irritations of thy contact with the world are never soothed and softened by the healing consciousness of a divine love, - thou hast studied to little purpose, and the fountains of a true happiness are yet sealed up to thee. (Rule.)
The bad phenomenon of character, which is mainly to be traced to impulse, is that of uncertainty of a being on whom no dependence can be placed who is driven hither and thither by every wind that blows who receives impressions one day from one quarter, another day from another who has neither fixed principles in his intellect, nor harmony and consistency in his conduct. (Rule.)
No matter in what language the stranger's doom may have been pronounced no matter what complexion, incompatible with freedom, an Indian or an African sun may have burned upon him no matter in what disastrous battle his liberty may have been cloven down no matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery, the first moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, the altar and the god sink together in the dust his soul walks abroad in her own majesty his body swells beyond the measure of his chains, that burst from around him and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled by the irresistible Genius of Universal Emancipation. (Rules, pp. 120, 116.
Let the following paragraphs be punctuated throughout, in consisteniy with
the Rule and Remarks (pp. 120-21), and with preceding portions of tho
Wherever on this earth an understanding is active to know and serve the truth wherever a heart beats with kind and pure and generous affections wherever a home spreads its sheltering wing over husband and wife and parent and child — there under every diversity of outward circumstance the true worth and dignity and peace of man's soul are within reach of all.
In the light of beauty that floats over the changing aspects of the material universe in the grand interpreting thought which pervades the broken story of the ages and translates it into coherency in the spirit which comes to you from the smiles of gladness and the tears of sorrow and softens your heart in genial sympathy with human weal and human woe in the interchange of ideas which kindles enthusiasm and draws a higher meaning and purpose out of life acknowledge realities which transcend the limits of sense own a spiritual world whose mysteries encompass you on every side by whose laws you are bound and in whose issues of endless unfolding you are yourself perhaps destined to be involved.
Those who have shone in all ages as the lights of the world the most celebrated names that are recorded in the annals of fame legislators the founders of states and the fathers of their country on whom succeeding ages have looked back with filial reverence patriots the guardians of the laws who have stemmed the torrent of corruption in every age heroes the saviours of their country who have returned victorious from the field of battie or more than victo rious who have died for their country philosophers who have opened the book of nature and explained the wonders of almighty power bards who have sung the praises of virtue and of virtuous men whose strains carry them down to immortality — with a few excep tions have been uniformly on the side of goodness and have been as distinguished in the temple of fame. It was one of the maxims which governed their lives that there is nothing in nature which can compensate wickedness that although the rewards and punishments which influence illiberal and ungenerous minds were set aside that although the thunders of the Almighty were hushed and the gates of paradise were open no more they would follow religion and virtue for their own sake and co-operate with eternal Providence in perpetual endeavors to favor the good to depress the bad and to promote the happiness of the whole creation.
Short Sentences slightly Connected. When several short sentences follow one another, slightly connected in sense or in construction, they should be separated by a semicolon.
1. Stones grow; vegetables grow and live; animals grow, live, and feel. 2. Every thing grows old; every thing passes away; every thing disappears. 3. She presses her child to her heart; she drowns it in her tears; her fancy
catches more than an angel's tongue could describe.
a. Without instituting any comparison between the merits of a concise and a diffuse style of composition, — which, indeed, is out of our province, we may observe, that a printed page, when crowded with short sentences, and having, in consequence, a great number of capitals and large spaces, is offensive to the
eye. As a matter of taste, therefore, as well as of propriety, it is recommended, that, wherever a number of short successive sentences are evidently allied to one another in thought, expression, or construction, as in the examples under the rule, semicolons be substituted for full points.
b. In poetry very often occur short sentences which could not be separated by a full point, without destroying the connection which subsists between them; for, hampered by the peculiar structure of verse, and more attentive to the fineness of his thoughts, the harmony of his numbers, and the appropriateness of his imagery, than to any regular train of ideas, the poet is frequently obliged to omit the connecting and disjunctive particles, so useful in prose composition in knitting together parts of sentences which are closely related in sense, and in separating those which are distinct. Especially in the more common kinds of verse, consisting of stanzas regularly forined, as used in songs, ballads, and hymns, it is better to point the sentences, of which they consist, with semicolons or colons, according to their various relations, except where the distinctions in thought and expression are prominent; for, in all such cases, periods must be used.
c. When, in a series of short sentences, cach particular is constructed exactly alike, and the last is preceded by the conjunction and, the separation may be indicated by a comma, instead of a semicolon, agreeably to the rule on page 98; as, “ The pride of wealth is contemptible, the pride of learning is pitiable, the pride of dignity is ridiculous, and the pride of bigotry is insupportable."
What is the reason for the insertion of semicolons in these sentences ?
The wind and rain are over; calm is the noon of day; the clouds are divided in heaven; over the green hill flies the inconstant sun.
The old men sit at their doors; the gossip leans over her counter; the children shout and frolic in the streets.
There is good for the good; there is virtue for the faithful; there is victory for the valiant; there is spirituality for the spiritual.
The evidences of religion have been collected; its doctrines have been elucidated; the attacks of its enemies have been repelled; the norals of its professors, upon the whole, have been purified.
When a writer reasons, we look only for perspicuity; when he describes, we expect embellishment; when he decides or relates, we desire plainness and simplicity.
The Christian orator speaks the truth plainly to his hearers; he awakens them; he shows them their impending danger; he excites them to action.
The temples are profaned; the soldier's curse resounds in the house of God; the marble pavement is trampled by iron hoofs; horses neigh beside the altar.
The epic poem recites the exploits of a hero; tragedy represents a disastrous event; comedy ridicules the vices and follies of mankind; pastoral poetry describes rural life; and elegy displays the tender emotions of the heart.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. We pay no homage at the tomb of kings to sublime our feelings ; we trace no line of illustrious ancestors to support our dignity; we recur to no usages, sanctioned by the authority of the great, to protract our rejoicing. No: we love liberty; we glory in the rights of men; we glory in independence.