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represent that idea; a general rule may be approximately given on the subject, viz. : “ Adverbs are placed in most instances before the adjective modified by them; after verbs modified by them; and frequently between the component parts of the verb; as, ' I have had quite sufficient;' 'He spoke eloquently;' 'He has nobly acquitted himself in that matter.'
15. In the Greek language, two negatives make the negation stronger; in the English it is different, and two negatives are equivalent to an affirmative: the expression, therefore, “He could not by no possibility grant my request,” is incorrect, expressing literally, as it does, the fact that he could grant my request: it should be,“ by any possibility."
Note 1. Uneducated and unthinking speakers are wont very frequently to fall into the error adverted to in the foregoing observations : “I cannot take no more”—“Nothing was never so ridiculous”—“They could
ot pursue the path no farther," are examples of such errors, and literally express
very opposite idea to that intended. NOTE 2. Sometimes two negatives may be so used in the same context as not to be equivalent to an affirmative; thus, “He could not speak, not even a word more. Here, however, we have apparently but one, yet in reality two distinct propositions, with a negative in each; the latter, , associated with even, being a mere repetition of the former, in order to render the denial more emphatic.
16. Many phrases, generally consisting of a preposition and its governed noun, perform the functions of an adverb, and are therefore styled adverbial phrases ; of such are, “In fine"= finally. “At length"=lastly. “All of a sudden" =very suddenly. “At present” (this does not give us the idea of presently, at least literally, although the two expressions all but convey the same idea). "In general"=
“= generally. “At least"=in the least degree.
17. It remains to be remarked under this head, in addition to the remarks on the etymology of the Conjunction, and on the syntax of the Subjunctive Mood (Rule X.) that conjunctions are capable of no government except that of mood; they do not govern a case. Than, following the comparative degree, does not govern the case of the succeeding noun, which is governed, as to case, by its position in the sentence. In the sentence, “ John is taller than James," James is the subject of is, understood, and is therefore nominative. “They punished him more than me;"' me is governed by the transitive verb punished, understood, and therefore in the objective. “ John's books are cleaner than William's :" here William's is governed by the noun books understood, and therefore in the possessive case.
NOTE.--From the foregoing, it may be laid down as a general rule, that the noun or pronoun which follows than is always influenced in case by a word understood.
18. The disjunctives, or, nor, are of two sorts, real and nominal. “A king or queen always rules in England :" here the disjunction is real; king or queen being different names for different objects. In all real disjunctions, the inference is, that if one out of two (or more) individuals (or classes) do not perform a certain action, the other does.
A sovereign or supreme ruler always rules in England :" here the disjunction is nominal; sovereign and supreme ruler being different names for the same object. In all nominal disjunctives the inference is, that if an agent (or agents) do not perform a certain action under one name, he does (or they do) it under another.
Both nominal and real disjunctives agree in this-whatever may be the number of nouns which they connect, the construction of the verb is the same as if there were but
Henry, or John, or Thomas walks (not walk) ; the sun, or solar luminary, shines (not shine). The disjunctive isolates the subject, however much it may be placed in juxtaposition with other nouns."--[This whole observation has been taken from Professor Latham.]
19. Some conjunctions are so used as to be always associated with others; when this happens, one of the associated particles belongs to one clause, the other to another ; the one which precedes is called the antecedent, the other the consequent. The following are the principal conjunctions so used:
Neither James nor John was present. Either James or John will be present. Whether or not he will depart to-morrow, is still a matter of doubt. My house is as large as your's (is). He left so as to catch the nine o'clock train. As thy faith, so shall thy strength be. It was no other than the king himself. Your brother is so idle that he cannot possibly progress. I saw a horse such as your's. He commanded him by a voice such that, had he been a stone, it must have moved him. He ordered wine the same as that which I drank in your house. I would rather study than be a dunce.
Note 1.-On the usage of though, yet, see the etymology of Conjunctions.
NOTE 2.- Other, such, same, &c., are usually ranked amongst the Adjectives. They are appended to the foregoing list; the same usage being observed with regard to them as to the Conjunctions.
NOTE 3.—Rather is sometimes used alone as an adverb, modifying the word with which it stands connected; thus, “It is rather cold;" whereby is meant that it is so cold that it is difficult to say whether it is cold or hot, but yet the cold preponderates in a small degree. There is still, therefore, a comparison, and rather occupies its usual position; as the sentence, if completed, would be, “It is rather cold than hot."
NOTE 4.-The poets frequently use, as probably more emphatic, nor, both as the antecedent and the consequent; thus, “ Nor man nor beast his ire did spare.”
ON THE FIGURES OF SPEECH. The word figure applies literally to the shape of a piece of matter; and, as all pieces of matter agree or disagree in shape, according to the manner in which their particles are combined and collocated one with the other, the term figure has been appropriated to signify that peculiar, as distinguished from the ordinary shape or mode in which words are arranged to express ideas.
“Her eyes were exceedingly bright,” expresses an ordinary idea in ordinary every-day language. The same fact is conveyed by the following language: “Her eyes were two stars shining in the dead of night.” These two expressions, though conveying the same idea, differ from each other as one particle of matter díffers, in form, from another.
The first is common-place, the last figurative language—that is, language consisting of words so put together as to present a shape or form different from that of the ordinary words.
Figurative language is the language of nature; ordinary language is the language of art. The precepts of philosophy and the teaching of poetry were of old delivered in the language of figure. Our Saviour taught through the medium of parables, a species of figure; and “without a parable," says the Evangelist, “spake He not unto them.”
The languages of the East abound in figures; this would naturally follow from the fact, that figurative language would be the language first spoken; men in the earlier ages, and perhaps the ruder, from a want of copious vocabularies, having been obliged to use expressions of a figurative character, presented to them through the medium of the senses, for those more ordinary ones substituted by the moderns, whose imagination too, being less ardent, would lead them to the use of the latter.
The use of figures is attended with considerable danger of blunderg; and the necessity of a correspondence in all the parts of figures, especially those resulting from resemblance between the thing represented and the thing made use of as the medium of representation, is such as to lay the writer or speaker, if he would not render himself
ridiculous, under a continual obligation to be on his guard against inaccuracies in thought and expression.
The figures of speech, which originate in a resemblance between two things, are—Metaphor, Simile, and Allegory.
The Metaphor, a very commonly used figure, compares one thing with another, or rather conveys an idea by distorting the ordinary application of the word. Shepherd, for instance, is the name of a person who takes care of, and feeds sheep; the helplessness and innocence of sheep naturally create in the shepherd a strong affection for them, which is exhibited in the great care he takes in providing for their wants. From the similarity in kind, though not degree, between such care and that exhibited by the Creator towards his creatures, he is sometimes called, in the language of figure, a shepherd. Thus—“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;" “The Lord is my shield;" "The Lord God is a sun and shield;" “Man puts forth in youth the tender buds of hope,”—are examples of this figure.
The Simile also expresses a likeness between two things, but in a manner different from that whereby metaphor expresses it. Milton describes the shield of Satan, and likens it to
“The moon, whose orb Through optic-glass the Tuscan artist views,
At evening, from the top of Fesole.” This is an example of the simile; which differs from the metaphor, in that the facts asserted in simile are perfectly true; whereas, of those asserted in metaphor, only one is literally true. The metaphor asserts that one individual has the characteristics of the other to which it is compared. Thus, God is called a shield: this is not true literally. The simile asserts that one object resembles another, as in the foregoing, wherein Satan's shield is said to be like the moon in form; this
may be true. In the sentence, “Man puts forth in youth the tender buds of hope;" Man is the primary object, and is said to do what the secondary object, a tree, to which he is compared, does. The distinction, therefore, between metaphor and simile, may be thus briefly stated: Metaphor compares things by asserting of one what belongs only to another ; Simile, by asserting what is