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EXERCISE TO BE WRITTEN.
Insert both the semicolon and the colon wherever required in these sentences :
The republic may perish the wide arch of our ranged union may fall star by star its glories may expire stone after stone its columns and its Capitol may moulder and crumble all other names which adorn its annals may be forgotten but, as long as human hearts shall anywhere pant, or human tongues shall anywhere plead, for a true, rational, constitutional liberty, those hearts shall enshrine the memory, and those tongues shall prolong the fame, of George Washington.
We are not merely to transmit the world as we receive it to teach, in a stationary repetition, the arts which we have received as the dove builds, this year, just such a nest as was built by the dove that went out from the ark, when the waters had abated but we are to apply the innumerable discoveries, inventions, and improvements which have been successively made in the world, -, and never more than of late years, — and combine and elaborate them into one grand system of condensed efficacy and quickened vitality, in forming and bringing forward our successors.
We may abound in meetings and movements enthusiastic gatherings in field or forest may kindle all minds with a common sentiment great revivals may bear away thousands on a torrent of sympathy but it is all in vain, if men do not retire from the tumult to the silent culture of every right disposition and the quiet practice of every duty in vain, unless they patiently engrave the commandments on inward tables, unless they hear a still voice in the soul, and retain a steady warmth there, when the noise has ceased and the flames have died away, as on the ancient mount of revelation.
As water, whether it be the dew of heaven or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some receptacle, where it may by union comfort and sustain itself and, for that cause, the industry of man hath frered and made spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, and pools, which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and adorn with accomplish. ments of magnificence and state, as well as of use and necessity so knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration or spring from human sense, would soon perish, and vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and places appointed, as universities, colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comforting the same.
Quotations, Remarks, &c., formally introduced. A colon should be placed before a quotation, a speech, a course of reasoning; or a specification of articles or subjects, when formally introduced.
1. The air was sweet and plaintive; and the words, literally translated, were these: "The winds roared and the rains fell, when the poor white man, faint and weary, came, and sat under our tree.”
2. Let us take, in illustration, three poets, in an ascending scale of intellectual precedence: Keats, the representative of sensitiveness ; Byron, of wilfulness; Shakspeare, of self-direction.
a. By a formal introduction to a quotation, &c., is meant the use of any phrase, or mode of expression, drawing the attention of the reader to what is about to be said.
b. Some writers put a dash after the colon, in order to distinguish more clearly the quotation from the introductory matter; as, “ The words, literally translated, were these: - The winds roared,'” &c. But this seems unnecessary, unless the words cited begin a new paragraph, which usually occurs when they consist of more than one sentence.
c. When a quotation is short, and closely connected with the words preceding it, a comma between the parts is sufficient. — See page 108.
d. When quotations or remarks are introduced by one of the connective and explanatory words, as, namely, that is, a semicolon before and a comma after it are preferable to the colon; as, “I purchased the following articles; namely, tea, sugar, coffee, and raisins." The reason is, that the connection between the introductory remark and the example, or the articles enumerated, is rendered more inti mate by the use of the explanatory word. — See page 128.
e. When the subjects or things specified consist of words or phrases in apposition with a preceding noun, or with that which is equivalent to it, without any formal introduction, a comma and a dash are used; as, “ Energy and audacity of will characterize all ruling men, — statesmen, generals, reformers, orators.”
ORAL EXERCISE. Say why colons are inserted before quotations, 8c., in the following sentences :
All our conduct towards men should be influenced by this im portant precept: “Do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you."
The discourse consisted of two parts: in the first was shown the necessity of exercise; iu the second, the advantages that would result from it.
Speaking of party zeal, Pope makes this judicious remark : “ There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead.”
Be our plain answer this: The throne we honor is the people's choice; the laws we reverence are our brave fathers' legacy; the faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind, and die with hope of bliss beyond the grave.
The philosopher Malebranche makes this curious remark: “It is possible that some creatures may think half an hour as long as we do a thousand years, or look upon that space of duration which we call a minute as an hour, a week, a month, or a whole age."
It is only necessary to make the experiment to find two things: one, how much useful knowledge can be acquired in a very little time; and the other, how much time can be spared, by good mauagement, out of the busiest day.
In a letter from Oxford to my brother Amos, his late pupil, for whom John Henderson always entertained the highest esteem, he thus expresses himself: “ See that you govern your passions. What should grieve us but our infirmities? what make us angry but our own faults?”.
The words with which Beattie concludes one of the most beautiful stanzas of his principal poem, express a sentiment with which it is impossible for us not to sympathize:
“Oh! how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms that Nature to her votary yields?
And all the dread magnificence of heaven; -
EXERCISE TO BE WRITTEN.
Let these sentences be punctuated agreeably to the preceding Rule and
Remarks (p. 138): – We all admire this sublime passage “God said "Let there be light;' and there was light.” (Rule, and Remark c.)
Now, pray, remember this Unmixed carbonic acid gas, when inhaled, is a deadly poison. (Rule.)
The infinitive mood is often used as the nominative to a verb as, “ To err” that is, error, “is human.” (Remark d; and p. 128, Remark.)
When the Roman historians describe an extraordinary man, this always enters into his character as an essential part of it he was of incredible industry and of remarkable application. (Rule.)
Ye who still linger on the threshold of life, doubting which path to choose, remember that, when years shall be passed, and your feet shall stumble on the dark mountain, you will cry bitterly, but cry in vain“ ( youth! return: oh! give me back my early days." (Remark c.)
Silvio Pellico, in his exceļlent work on the “ Duties of Men,” thus remarks “ To love our country with truly elevated feeling, we ought to begin by supplying it, in ourselves, with citizens, of whom that country need not feel ashamed.” (Rule.)
Listening intently at the chimney, which communicated with that below, I distinctly heard the husband utter these words “Well, come now: must we kill them both ?" To which the woman replied “ Yes;" and I heard nothing more. (Rule, and Remark c.)
When the love of fame acts upon a man of genius, the case appears to stand thus The generality of the world, distinguished by the name of readers, observe, with a reluctance not unnatural, a person raising himself above them. All men have some desire of fame, and fame is grounded on comparison. (Rule.)
One of the best writers of the present day, but perhaps one of the least known, — John James Tayler, - says, when comparing the labors of the philosopher with those of the prophet “ The philosopher, on the other side, cautiously accepting the material transmitted to him, explores it with the keen edge of his analysis, and pares ofi from the vital substance of truth the impure accretions which it has contracted in the grosser atmosphere of the popular belief, and which must check its growth and expansion when placed in the thin, pure air of a higher region.” (Rule.)
RULE IV. The Chanting Service in the Liturgy. A mark similar to a colon is inserted in every verse of the Psalms used in the “ Book of Common Prayer,” and in works of a like nature ; as, “My tongue is the pen : of a ready writer.”
This mark does not represent a grammatical point, but is inserted for the use of choirs, where the Psalms, and other portions of the Liturgy, are chanted; and serves only to divide a verse into two parts.
Terms in the Rule of Three. In arithmetical works, the terms used in the Rule of Three are set off by colons. Thus, the expression, “ As 111 lbs. is to $6.45, so is 37 lbs. to $2.15,” is put in the form, — “111 lbs. : $6.45 :: 37 lbs. : $2.15.”
a. Some of the rules on the proper application of the colon and the dash ought to be rejected in works where their observance would occasion ambiguity; as in books of arithmetic, where colons are used for proportion, and where the dash is put as a mark for subtraction. Should these marks frequently occur, it will not be improper to substitute a semicolon where the construction requires the grammatical colon or the dash.
b. In works printed prior to this century, the colon was sometimes used to denote abbreviation; and, even at the present day, it is occasionally so employed in writing. This mode of punctuation, however, may be justly regarded as erroneous; the period being almost universally preterred as the mark denoting the contractiou of words.