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Of the connectives employed in combining the parts of a sentence.

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coarse implements, pins, nails, and cramps. The ancient languages resemble the same art in its most improved state, after the invention of dovetail joints, grooves, and mortices, when thus all the principal junctions are effected by forming properly the extremities or terminations of the pieces to be joined. For by means of these the union of the parts is rendered closer, whilst that by which their union is produced is scarce perceivable,

ADDISON, if I remember right, somewhere compares an epic poem, (and the same holds, though in a lower degree, of every other literary production) written in Greek or in Latin, to a magnificent edifice, built of marble, porpy hry, or granite; and contrasts with it such a poem or performance in one of our modern languages, which he likens to such a building executed in freestone, or any of those coarser kinds of stone which abound in some northern climates. The latter may be made to answer all the essential purposes of accommodation as well as the former; but as the materials of which it is constructed, are not capable of receiving the same polish, and consequently cannot admit some of the finer decorations, it will not only be inferior in beauty, but its imitative ornaments will be much less lively and expressive. It may nevertheless be equal to the other both in grandeur and in utility. If the representations that have been given of the Chinese language are genuine, if all their words are monosyllabic and indeclinable, if every relation and circumstance, even time and number, must be

Sect. III.

Modern languages compared with Greek and Latin, &c.

expressed by separate particles, I should think a performance in their tongue might be justly compared to a building in brick, which may be both neat and convenient, but which hardly admits the highly ornamented finishing of any order of architecture, or indeed any other species of beauty than that resulting from the perception of fitness. But this only by the


If I might be indulged one other similitude, I should remark, that the difference between the ancient Greek and Latin, and the modern European languages, is extremely analagous to the difference there is betweentheir garb and ours. The latter will perhaps be admitted to be equally commodious, possibly for some purposes more so; but with its trumpery of buttons and button-holes, ligatures and plaits formally opposed to one another, it is stiff and unnatural in its appearance; whereas the easy flow and continually varied foldings of the former, are at once more graceful, and better adapted for exhibiting nature in shape, attitude, and motion, to advantage. The human figure is, I may say, burlesqued in the one habit, and adorned by the other. Custom, which can conciliate us to any thing, prevents us from seeing this in ourselves and in one another; but we quickly perceive the difference in pictures and statues. Nor is there a painter or a statuary of eminence who is not perfectly sensible of the odds, and who would not think his art degraded in being employed to exhibit the reigning mode. Nay,

Of the connectives employed in combining the parts of a sentence.

in regard to the trifling changes, for they are but trifling, which fashion is daily making on our garments, how soon are we ourselves brought to think ridiculous, what we accounted proper, not to say elegant, but two or three years ago; whereas no difference in the fashions of the times and of the country, can ever bring a man of taste to consider the drapery of the toga or of the pallium, as any way ludicrous or offen


PERHAPS I have carried the comparison farther than was at first intended. What hath been said, however, more regards the form or structure, than the matter, of the languages compared. Notwithstanding the preference given above in point of form to the ancient tongues, the modern may, in point of matter, (or the words of which the language is composed) be superior to them. I am inclined to think that this is actually the case of some of the present European tongues. The materials which constitute the riches of a language, will always bear a proportion to the acquisitions in knowledge made by the people. For this reason, I should not hesitate to pronounce that English is considerably richer than Latin, and in the main fitter for all the subtle disquisitions both of philosophy and of criticism. If I am more doubtful in regard to the preference, when our tongue is compared with Greek, notwithstanding the superiority of our knowledge in arts and sciences, the reason of my doubt is, the amazing ductility of that language, by which

Sect. III.

Modern languages compared with Greek and Latin, &c.

it was adapted to express easily, in derivations and compositions, new indeed, but quite analogical, and therefore quite intelligible, any discoveries in the sciences, or invention in the arts, that might at any time be made in their own, or imported from foreign countries. Nay, it would seem to be a general conviction of this distinguishing excellence, that hath made Europeans almost universally recur to Greek for a supply of names to those things which are of modern invention, and with which the Grecians themselves never were acquainted; such as microscope, telescope, barometer, thermometer, and a thousand others.


Of the Connectives employed in combining the Sentences in a Discourse...

IN the preceding chapter I have discussed what I had to offer on the manner of connecting the words, the clauses, and the members of a sentence, I intend in the present chapter to consider the various manners of connecting the sentences in a discourse, and to make some remarks on this subject, for the assistance of the composer, which are humbly submitted to the judgment of the reader.

Of the connectives employed in combining the sentences of a discourse.

SECT. I....The necessity of connectives for this purpose.

Ir will scarcely be doubted by any person of discernment, that as there should always be a natural connection in the sentiments of a discourse, there should generally be, corresponding to this, an artificial connection in the signs. Without such a connection the whole will appear a sort of patchwork, and not a uniform piece. To such a style we might justly apply the censure which the emperor Caligula gave of Seneca's, that it is "sand without lime," the parts having no cohesion. As to the connection of periods and other sentences, it is formed, like that of words, clauses, and members, mostly by conjunctions, frequently by pronouns, the demonstrative especially †," and sometimes by other methods, of which I shall soon have occasion to take notice.

WHEN facts are related in continuation, or when one argument, remark, or illustration, is with the same view produced after another, the conjunction is a copulative ‡. If the sentiment in the second sentence is in any way opposed to that which immediately precedes, an adversative is employed to conjoin

* Arena sine calce.

+ This, that, such. ‡ And, now, also, too, likewise, again, besides, further, moreover, yea, nay, nor.

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