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empire," is a complex sentence, having in it two predicates, though but one subject; so also is, "Pompey the Great and Titus conquered the Jews," having in it two subjects, though but one predicate.*
A word or phrase modifying a subject or a predicate does not affect the character of the sentence in which it occurs in respect of its simplicity and complexity.-"Pompey the Great conquered Palestine sixty-three years before Christ," is a simple sentence; the latter member thereof, "sixtythree years before Christ," modifying the predicate by showing the time when the act took place as distinguished from all other times. "Epicurus strongly denies that length of time adds anything to a happy life," is a complex sentence, containing, as it does, two distinct subjects and two distinct predicates; one of the subjects, length, being modified or restricted by the expression, of time, and both predicates, by adjuncts,-denies by the adverb strongly, and adds, by the expression, to a happy life. The same words may be differently arranged, so as to convey in two different sentences two distinct propositions.
To exemplify the manner in which sentences are constructed for the purpose of enabling them to serve as a medium of intercourse, is the legitimate province of Syntax, to the knowledge of which an acquaintance with the uses of the several members of a sentence is necessary. In the foregoing examples we have had to deal with the several essential parts of sentences in their simplest forms, that is, where the several parts consisted of single words. It is necessary to observe, moreover, that such parts sometimes consist of many words, so strung together as to present to the mind the idea of a single whole. In the expression, for instance, "How excellent and how divine is the power of speech!" the subject is not a single word, but found in the combination, "power of speech." In the expression, "Man is a breathing animal," the predicate is not a single word, but consists of the combination, "is a breathing animal." In this class of expressions, the copula is, or other part of the verb to be,
* The reason of this is obvious; a sentence being resolvable into as many distinct propositions as there are subjects or predicates therein.
with the remaining part of the predicate, may be resolved into the simple predicate; thus the above expression may be changed into "Man breathes," without any alteration whatever in the sense. In the expression, "Her religion was a gloomy superstition, which taught that the offering of holocausts of those who dared to use the noblest faculties which the Deity had given them, was an acceptable service to a God of mercy;" we have in one of the clauses the predicate taught, which being a transitive verb requires an object; and the object is not a single word, but a combination consisting of all the words included between the word that and the conclusion.
In a complex sentence there may be two subjects or more, and two predicates or more; but in no sentence, however complex, can there be any subject or any predicate but one, which may be called the subject or the predicate. The reason of this is obvious. In all sentences there must be a subject to speak of, and a predicate to assert something of it. The subject first present to the mind of the speaker serves as the foundation of the sentence whereon the superstructure is laid. This subject is independent of all others, and is called the subject: and the verb, which affirms something of it, is called the verb; other subjects and other predicates may of necessity be introduced, but not independently; that is, their introduction results from some necessity to modify or restrict in some degree a word or phrase previously existing in the sentence.
These remarks will be illustrated by the analysis of the following sentence:-"Some incidents happened which revived her tenderness for Essex, and filled her with the deepest sorrow for the consent which she had unwarily given to his execution." Here there are the several words incidents, which, and she, which are subjects of their respective verbs; but none of them is called the subject, but incidents, which is the word or name for that which the writer had first before his mind when he wrote, and is therefore the foundation on which the subsequent superstructure of the sentence is raised; so, likewise, there are several verbs, happened, revived, filled, had given, all affirming something of their own peculiar subject, but none entitled to the name, the predicate, or the verb, except that
one, happened, which makes the affirmation concerning thẻ subject incidents.
A complex sentence may be resolved into as many simple 'sentences as there are subjects or predicates therein. the foregoing sentence there are four predicates; and, accordingly, it may be resolved into four simple sentences thus:-"Some incidents happened; these incidents revived her tenderness for. Essex; these incidents filled her with the deepest sorrow for the consent; she had unwarily given this consent to his execution."
On the order in which the component parts of a complex sentence should succeed each other, it is scarcely possible to lay down any more practical rule than this: viz., Such order of the several parts must be observed as is conducive to perspicuity, and least adapted to cloud and obscure, or even to render dubious, the sense, and make it a question what idea is intended to be conveyed by each particular word in its place.
The following is given as a specimen of a complex sentence, the parts of which are accurately arranged :"Metals in a perfect state are easily distinguished from other minerals, by a peculiar brilliancy which pervades their whole substance, by their complete opacity, and great weight in proportion to that of other mineral substances." A different order, shewing that rules in the matter of the arrangement of the parts of a sentence are not arbitrary, may be substituted, without introducing any obscurity as to sense. "Metals are easily distinguished in a perfect state from other minerals, by a peculiar brilliancy which pervades their whole substance, by their complete opacity and great weight, in proportion to that of other mineral substances." Again, thus-Metals, by a peculiar brilliancy which pervades their whole substance, by their complete opacity and great weight, in proportion to that of other mineral substances, are easily distinguished in a perfect state from other minerals."
Of the order of words observed in the foregoing, though the arrangement may be different, yet it is to be remarked that there are several parts whose position is fixed and cannot be altered; the expression for instance, in a perfect state, belongs evidently to the word metals, as descrip
tive of certain conditions under which only the assertion in the text is capable of being made concerning them; this expression, therefore, may not be removed so far from the word metals as to render it difficult to conclude to what it belongs; the sentence should not run thus-" Metals are easily distinguished from other minerals in a perfect state," &c., for in this case the expression may be said to belong to the word minerals, which would evidently destroy the sense: for a similar reason the expression in question may not be inserted after either of the words brilliancy, which, substance, opacity, weight. The position of the adverb, too, is fixed, and for perspicuity must always be placed in juxtaposition with the qualified word, sometimes coming before, sometimes after it; and in the case of a verb made of more words than one, sometimes between the component parts, as in the expression, "I have been fearfully deceived," or as in the expression in the text," are easily distinguished." "From other minerals," is immediately connected with metals, and distinguished; it is therefore rightly placed, and may not be placed otherwise. It should not be placed thus "Metals are easily distinguished by a peculiar brilliancy, which pervades their whole substance, from other minerals." This order, it is true, would not in the present instance obscure the sense, but yet the parts would hang awkwardly, because incongruously, together, a thing by all means to be avoided in the use of language: if the sentence were a single one, and the words from which to substance inclusive, were omitted, then the order objected to would be admissible, and it might run thus— "Metals are easily distinguished, by a peculiar brilliancy, from other minerals,' ‚""Which pervades their whole substance." This and such clauses are called relative, because they have in them a relative pronoun; they are farther called "the relative complement," from com together, and pleo to fill; as being clauses intended to fill up, as it were, and render more perfect the idea to be conveyed regarding the word or phrase to which they are attached: their position is fixed, and they are always introduced as near as possible to the word or phrase to which they belong. In the sentence under examination, which stands for brilliancy, the subject of pervades: the clause commencing
with which is therefore rightly placed in the text, and may not be placed otherwise. Sometimes, however, they cannot, by reason of some unavoidable obstacle, be placed immediately after the words to which they refer: the expressions in question may, for instance, run thus:-" Metals are easily distinguished from other minerals by a peculiar brilliancy of appearance, which pervades their whole substance;" but the rule should be as undeviatingly observed as circumstances will admit, viz., to introduce the relative clause as nearly as possible in juxtaposition with the word or words to which it is intended to belong.
Relative clauses are one of the chief agents in giving birth to complex sentences, as they give occasion for the introduction of other subjects than that which is the basis of the simple sentence; for a similar reason, the conjunction that, expressive of purpose or means, or an existing state of things, plays an important part in producing such sentences, as will be seen from the following examples :Arise, and eat, that thy soul may bless me. I see that good men are not so good as I once thought they were.'
The subject of a sentence, though that which, of all the parts thereof, is first present to the mind, does not necessarily occupy the first place therein as to the order of the words; of this the following will serve as an example :"At first setting out upon a vicious course, men are a little nice and delicate." When the idea intended to be conveyed is represented through the medium of other words as well as the subject, and when such other words refer to something of primary importance which it is especially desirable to rivet the attention on, then such words are, with peculiar propriety, placed first, and the subject subsequently introduced: thus-"To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses." Of this there is a notable example in the commencement of Milton's invocation to his muse in the " Paradise Lost,"
"Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste`