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tion, and deduction, as scarcely admits the exertion either of fancy or of passion.
In regard to complex sentences, both compound and decompound, I have remarked the difference between the loose sentence and the period; I have observed the advantages and the disadvantages of each iu point of vivacity, the occasions to which they are respectively suited, the rules to be observed in composing them, and the faults which, as tending to enervate the expression and tire the reader, ought carefully to be avoided. I have also made some remarks on the different kinds of antithesis, and the uses to which they may properly be applied.
Thus much shall suffice for the general illustration of this article, concerning the vivacity which results from arrangement.
OF THE CONNECTIVES EMPLOYED IN COMBINING THE PARTS OF A
I AM very sensible that the remarks contained in the preceding chapter, on the particular structure and the particular arrangement in sentences, whether simple or complex, which are most conducive to vivacity, however well these remarks are founded, and however much they may assist us in forming a judgement concerning any performance under our review, are very far from exhausting this copious subject; and still farther from being sufficient to regulate our practice in composing.
For this reason I judged that the observations on the nature and the management of connexive particles contained in this chapter and the succeeding, might prove an useful supplement to the two preceding ones, (for they are connected with both,) and serve at once to enlarge our conceptions on this subject, and to assist our practice. At first, indeed, I have intended to comprehend both these chapters in the foregoing. But when I reflected, on the other hand, not only that they would swell that article far beyond the ordinary bounds, but that, however much the topics are related, the nature of the investigation contained in them is both different in itself, and must be differently conducted, I thought it would have less the appearance of digression, and conduce more to perspicuity, to consider them severally under their proper and discriminating titles.
I need scarcely observe, that by connectives I mean all those terms and phrases, which are not themselves the signs of things, of operations, or of attributes, but by which, nevertheless, the words in the same clause, the clauses in the same member, the members in the same sentence, and even the sentences in the same discourse, are linked together, and the relations subsisting among them are sug. gested. The last of these connexions I reserve for the subject of the ensuing chapter; all the rest I comprehend in this. The proper subject of this is the connectives of the several parts in the sentence ; the proper subject of the next is the connectives of the several sentences in the discourse.
It was observed already concerning the connectives, that of all the parts of speech they are the most unfriendly to vivacity. In their nature they are the least considerable parts, as their value is merely secondary. Yet, in respect of the difficulty there is in culling and disposing them, they often prove to an author the most considerable. In themselves they are but the taches which serve to unite the constituent parts in a sentence or a paragraph. Consequently, the less conspicuous they are the more perfect will the union of the parts be, and the more easily will the hearer glide, as it were, from one word, clause, or member of a period into another. The more observable they are, the less perfect will the union be, and the more difficulty will the hearer pass on from member to member, from clause to clause, and from word to word. The cohesion of the parts in a cabinet or other piece of furniture seems always the more complete, the less the pegs and tacks so necessary to effect it, are exposed to view.
It is a secret sense of the truth of this doctrine with regard to language, which imperceptibly, as the taste improves in a nation, influ. ences their writers to prefer short to long conjunctions. With us in particular, it is the more necessary to attend to this circumstance, as the nouns and the verbs, which are the most significant words, are mostly monosyllables. For as every thing is judged by comparison, polysyllabic conjunctions must appear the more cumbersome on that very account. Happily enough at present our conjunctions and relatives in most frequent use (for the last also are merely a species of connectives) are monosyllables.* A few which do not occur so often are dissyllables.t Almost all the polysyllabic conjunctions are now either disused altogether or occur but rarely. I
In the ancient style which obtained in this island, the conjunctions were sometimes lengthened and rendered remarkable by combining them together. Thus the particle that, which is both a conjunction and a relative, was aunexed to most of them. Two centuries ago we should not have said, “ After I have spoken,” but, “ After that I have spoken." In like manner we should then have said, because that, before, that, although that, whilst that, until that, except that, unless that, since that, and seeing that. Sometimes they even used, if that, for that, and when that. This particle seems to have been added, in order to distinguish the conjunction from the preposition or
* Such are the following, in several of which the constituent syllable is also short, and, two, or, nor, nay, yea, but, yet, if, tho', lest, than, as, ere, till, since, 30, for, that, whilst, when, who, whose, whom, which, what.
| These are, also, likewise, before, after, because, besides, further, again, unless, whereas, altho'.
These are, however, moreover, nevertheless, notwithstanding that, insomuch that, albeit, furthermore, forasmuch as.' The three last may be counted obsolete, except with scriveners. The rest cannot entirely be dispensed with
the adverb, as the word to which it was annexed was often susceptible of both uses, and sometimes of all the three. * But the event hath shown that this expedient is quite superfluous. The situation marks sufficiently the character of the particle, so that you will rarely find an ambiguity arising from this variety in the application. The disuse therefore of such an unnecessary appendage is a real improvement.
The relatives, as was hinted before, partake of the nature of conjunction, both as they are the instruments of linking the members of sentences together, and as they have no independent signification of their own. These, when in coupling the clauses of a paragraph they are joined with a preposition, form what may properly be termed a sort of complex conjunctions. Such are, according to the original form of the words, upon which, unto which, with that, by which, or, according to a method of combining entirely analogical in our language, whereupon, whereunto, therewith, whereby. In the use of such drawling conjunctions, whether in the loose or in the compound form, there is a considerable risk, as is evident from the principles above explained, of rendering the sentence tiresorne, and the expression languid.
Some writers, sensible of the effect, seem totally to have mistaken the cause. They have imputed the flatness to the combination, imagining that the uncompounded form of the preposition and the pro-, noun would nowise affect the vivacity of the style. Lord Shaftesbury was of this opinion, and his authority has misled other writers. His words are : “ They have of late, 'tis true, reformed in some measure the gouty joints and darning work of whereunto's, whereby's, thereof's, therewith’s, and the rest of this kind : by which complicated periods are so curiously strung, or hooked on, one to another, after the long-spun manner of the bar or pulpit.”+ Accordingly several authors have been so far swayed by this judgement, as to condemn, in every instance, this kind of composition of the adverbs where, here, and there, with prepositions. But if he would be satisfied that the fault, where there is a fault, doth not lie in the composition, let us make the experiment on one of the long-spun complicated
* The same manner of forming the conjunctions is retained to this day, both in French and in Italian. They are in French, apres que, parce que, avant que, bien que, de peur que, tandis que, jusqu'a ce que, a moins que, depuis que, lors que ; in Italian, cubito, che, perchio che, primo che, ancora che, per tema che, mentre che, sin tanto che, altro che, da che, gia sia che. An effect of the improvement of taste, though not in the same degree, may be observed in both these languages, similar to that which hath been remarked in English, Some drawling conjunctions formerly used are now become obsolete, as in French, encore bien que, bien entendu que, comme ainsi soit que ; in Italian, concio fosse cosa che, per laqual cosa che, gia sia cosa che. The necessary aid of the particle que in French for expressing the most different and even contrary relations hath induced their celebrated critic and grammarian Abbé Girard to style it the conductive conjunction. The same appellation may be assigned with equal propriety to the che in Italian.
† Misc. v. chap. I. For the same reason we should condemn the quapropter, quamobrem, quandoquidem, quemadmodum, of the Latin, whose composition and use are pretty similar. To these a good writer will not frequently recur: but their best authors have not thought fit to reject them altogether.
periods of which the author speaks, by resolving the whereupon into upon which, by saying unto which, for whereunto, and so of the rest, and I am greatly deceived, if we find the darning work less coarse, or the joints less gouty, than they were before this correction. And if in any case the combined shall displease more than the primitive form, I suspect that the disuse will be found the cause and not the consequence of its displeasing.
Compositions of this sort with dissyllabic prepositions are now mostly obsolete, and it would be silly to attempt to revive them. But with several of the monosyllabic prepositions they are still used. I shall therefore here offer a few arguments against dispossessing them of the ground which they still retain. First, they occasion a little variety. And even this, however inconsiderable, unless some inconvenience could be pleaded on the opposite side, ought, in conjunctions especially, for a reason to be given afterwards, to determine the matter. Secondly, they sometimes, without lengthening the sentence, interrupt a run of monosyllables, (a thing extremely disagreeable to some critics,) very opportunely substituting a dissyllable instead of two of the former. Thirdly, they in certain cases even prevent a little obscurity, or at least inelegance. It was observed on a former occasion, that when any relative occurs oftener than once in a sentence, it will seldom be compatible with the laws of perspicuity, tuat it should refer to different antecedents. And even if such change of the reference should not darken the sense, it rarely fails to injure the beauty of the expression. Yet this fault in long periods and other complex sentences is often scarcely avoidable. Sometimes the only way of avoiding it is by changing an of which, in which, or by which, into whereof, wherein, or whereby. This will both prevent the too frequent recurrence of the syllable which, none of the most grateful in the language; and elude the apparent inaccuracy of using the same sound in reference to different things. Fourthly, more is sometimes expressed by the compound than by the primitive form, and consequently there are occasions on which it ought to be preferred. The pronoun this, that, and which, do not so naturally refer to a clause or a sentence, as to a word : nor do the two first refer so naturally to a plural as to a singular ; whereas the compounds of here, there, and where, do with equal propriety refer to all these. Few will pretend that the place of therefore would be properly supplied by for that, or that with what would be in every case an equivalent for wherewith ; or after this, for hereafter ; but even in other instances not quite so clear, we shall on examination find a difference. In such a sentence as this, for example, “ I flattered her vanity, lied to her, and abused her companions, and thereby wrought myself gradually into her favour;" it is evident that the words by that would here be intolerable; and if you should say by these actions, or by so doing, the expression would be remarkably heavier and more awkward,
The genuine source of most of these modern refinements is, in my opinion, an excessive bias to every thing that bears a resemblance to what is found in France, and even a prejudice against every thing to which there is nothing in France corresponding.