« PreviousContinue »
good bye, God bless you,' ama nos et vale, vale et Epistolary
exemplo epistolae ;
that same night,' nocte proxima, nocte quae secuta est or nocte eadem ;
the eve of,' nocte quae-pridie erat.
Of course in letters the colloquialisms of every-day life are to be found oftener than in other prose;
quid agis, ecquid fit, “how are you?''is anything
going on ??—ago and facio being used very freely;
Titles and names are used only in the superscription, rarely elsewhere. Sometimes we find Heus tu, for “What do you mean, Sir?' 'I say, Sir;' and mi amice
or the name of a friend in the middle of a letter. A termination of a letter like ours will be found 37. 50. They end as a rule abruptly, with and without a “Vale;' or the date of time or place. (Datum, dedi.) They begin sometimes (after the salutation) with S. V.B.E.V., &c. Cf. 30, 4. Postscripts are found. Cf. 47 a, 49 B.
Cf. 38, 11, 16, 17, 27; 44, 23; 47, 8, 20; 52, 12-14, 20-2.
§ 40. The order of sentences in letters is much more easy and natural than in other prose. The period or anything like it would be out of place. The style will also be sometimes very elliptical ; verbs (e.g. ire, agere, facere, esse, ferre, venire, videre) being frequently omitted as in § 42 y. The familiar courteous future e. g. dices (cf. déyous år) is used for the imperative sometimes, as also noli dicere, ne dixeris, dc., to avoid a direct command.
Cf. 45, 9, 22; 47, 3, 4, 10, 20, 52, 17, 22.
$ 41. The chief peculiarities of idiom in Latin historical and descriptive writing are :
The use of the historic present as aorist, as in 15, 3, &c. In sequence of tenses dependent on this, the present is sometimes treated as a present, sometimes as an aorist (especially in oratio obliqua and where the dependent clauses come before the present, as in 9, 24); sometimes the two ideas are confused, and presents and imperfects follow intermixed, as in 10, 2–11; 17, 16.
The use of dum with the present (cf. $ 30) arises similarly from this kind of vivid narration.
Cf. 1, 2; 4, 10; 12, 6, &c.; 25, 11, &c.
B. The use of the historic infinitive as a main verb to express rapid sequence or vivid description; where we use the hist. pres. or the verbs began to,' 'proceeded to,'
&c., and often the participle or the verbal substantive in -ing.
Cf. 88 28, 8, 31; and (1) 21; 2, 15; (4) 18; 7, 9, 27; 12, 1–4; 26, 28.
y. The omission of the verb, mostly of est, sunt, and esse, or inquit, &c. (very rarely the subj. of sum, cf. 2, 3; 4, 9); and in cases (Madv. § 478) where the present participle of sum might be used if it existed.
Cf. SS 28, 40; and 17, 24; 21, 30–3; 24, 18; 25, 28; 31, 14.
8. Use of imperfect indic. (26, 40) or quum with subjunctive (7, 33) where we use a kind of ablative absolute, or pendent participle. Cf. § 25 (ii).
. €. The use of the present participle as substantive. Cf. § 25 €, § 42 a.
Ź The ablative absolute, with or without participle, at the end of a sentence where we use a co-ordinate clause.
Cf. & 9, § 428.
Adeo furentes infirmitate retinentis accendebat. Hist. 1. 9. Nec deerant sermones increpantium. H. 1. 7.
Cf. 2, 15, 19; 8, 19; 19, 9, 32; 24, 47.
B. Similar use of adjective, as participle, or as if ūv were omitted ; pronus ad novas res scelere insuper agitatur.
Cf. & 20, and 8, 9, 11; 18, 9; 24, 31.
y. Omission of copula-verb, especially with adjectives; omission of other common verbs readily supplied. Especially in the favourite parenthetical use of incertum N.
an (dolo), or sive—sive. Sive verum istud sive ex ingenio principis fictum.
Cf. 2, 3, 9, 12; 4, 9, 13; 11, 17.
8. Frequent use of ablative absolute both before and, more frequently, after the main verb, as co-ordinate clause (stating a fresh fact), or as attendant circumstance, &c.; e.g. lubrico statu, attritis opibus, H. 1. 10; of the gerund in do, 24, 35, similarly; of the gerundive (e.g. An. XI. 32, dissimulando metu digreditur) in modal or final sense, cf. 22, 12; of the ablat. absol. used impersonally, e.g. explorato, nuntiato, cf. 4, 3. Cf. 2, 6; 4, 12; 11, 12, 17.
Use of quamquam with subjunctive, and with participles, e.g. H. 1. 19; more frequent use of the subjunctive generally, wherever a fact can be stated subjectively or where the indefinite idea of frequency justifies its use; on the other hand, occasional interpolation of the indicative in obliqua oratio, and frequent use of the construction, circumveniebatur ni...se opposuissent.
Cf. 2, 3, 18; 4, 22; 8, 29; 16, 14, 33.
η. Union or confusion of incongruous ideas and constructions.
Cf. 2, 10; 8, 10, 16; 9, 7; 10, 14; 11, 10—12; 16, 5, 37; 18, 17; 22, 27.
0. Free use of infinitives (i) as substantives both as subject and object (as in Greek with the article), (ii) epexegetically as in Greek; (iii) with ellipse of verb, to express habit, inception, &c., even after quum, ubi ; e.g. legionibus cum damno labor, et fodere rivos. An. xi. 20. auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium... appellant. Agr. 30.
Imitation of Greek and of poetical forms, as in Tacitean the use of the genitive (for ablative), of the objective genitive, of the subjective dative for ablative; of adjectives or participles for substantives and for adverbs : in the use of the positive for the comparative; in the variety of periphrases for common ideas (as death, suicide, &c.) : e. g. volgus mutabile subitis ; adrogans minoribus; sermonis nimius; vehementius quam caute, &c. Cf. 2, 2; 22, 11, 14, 23; 23, 28.
General tendency to brevity, condensation, and ellipse of prepositions and nouns as well as verbs (as in r); frequent usage of verbs in peculiar senses, e.g. agere, to continue, live, stay ; tendere, to encamp ; imputare, expedire, &c.; or with peculiar constructions, e.g. fungor, potior, with accusative.
Cf. 4, 14; 10, 8; 11, 2, 11; 22, 4.
Generally it will be seen that most of the peculiarities involve, either imitation of Greek—often as if the (Greek) article or participle û were understood — affectation of brevity, or a preference for a subjective turn of thought suggestive rather than explicit, or, lastly, a desire for singularity or variety of expression.
$ 43. In English we often follow the train of English thought in another's mind, his reasonings, or statements, obliqua. and state them directly with or without a prefatory 'he said,''he advised,' &c. This is our oratio obliqua, marked only by the use of the past for the present, pluperfect for perfect (would, could, &c., for will, can). Ambiguities often occur in consequence.
Cf. (6) 12; (7) 10; (8) 15; (11) 5, &c.; (15) 7, 17.
B. In Latin the verb cannot be thus left in the in- Latin dicative mood, but is thrown into the infinitive or sub- obliqua. junctive. The subject becomes an accusative, the verb an infinitive, both in the main and in the co-ordinate