Page images

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.

Sect. I.

The necessity of connectives for this purpose.

them t. If it is produced as an exception, there are also exceptive conjunctions for that purpose ‡. Both the last mentioned orders are comprehended under the general name disjunctive. If the latter sentence include the reason of what had been affirmed in the preceding, the casual is used §. 1f, on the contrary, it contain an inference, it must be introduced by an illative. Besides these, there is in every tongue a number of phrases, which have the power of conjunctions in uniting sentences, and are of great utility in composition, both for enabling the orator to hit with greater exactness the relations almost infinitely diversified that may subsist between the thoughts, and for the variety they afford in that part of the speech, wherein variety is more needed than in any other *. It likewise deserves our notice, that several of those words which are always classed by grammarians and lexicographers among the adverbs, have, in uniting the several parts of a discourse, all the effect of conjunctions tt. The general name of connexive, I shall therefore apply indiscriminately to them all.

Yet, nevertheless.

But, or, however, whereas. $ For.

|| Then, therefore.

*Add to this, in like manner, on the contrary, in short, proceed, to return, to conclude. We might produce phrases, if necessary, corresponding to each of the above orders.

†† Such are some adverbs of time, as then, signifying at that time, hitherto, formerly; of place, as here, thus far; of order, as first, secondly, finally; of resemblance, as thus accordingly; of contrariety, as else, otherwise, contrariwise.

[ocr errors]

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

SECT. II...Observations on the manner of using the connectives in combining sentences.

Ir remains to make a few observations with regard to the right manner of using the materials above specified, for connecting sentences and paragraphs. It is not indeed by any use of them, that we can propose to add much energy to the style, for that is rarely the gift of these particles; but we may employ them so as to preclude the irksomeness and languor which invariably result from an improper use of them.

My first observation shall be, that as there are many conjunctions and connective phrases appropriated to the coupling of sentences that are never employed in joining the members of a sentence, so there are several conjunctions appropriated to the latter use, which are never employed in the former; and some that are equally adapted to both these purposes. This distinction in connectives will be found in different instances to flow from different sources. In some it is a natural distinction arising from the very import of the words; in which case we shall always find, on inquiry, that it obtains alike in every tongue. In other instances it is a distinction merely customary, founded on the usages which prevail in a particular language.


Sect. II. Observations on the use of connectives in combining sentences.


As to those particles which are naturally fitted for conjoining clauses and members, but not sentences, they are chiefly the comparative, the hypothetical†, and the intentional ‡. Let it not be imagined, that because a conjunction which falls under one or other of these denominations, is often found in the beginning of a sentence, it serves to couple the sentence with that which went before. Such a connexive will always be discovered, on examination, to have no reference to any thing without the sentence. Consider the following examples." If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments." Though "I tell you what I am, ye will not believe me." "That I might save sinners, I came into the world." It is manifest that the conjunction wherewith each of these sentences begins, marks singly the relation that subsists between the two following clauses, or the nature of the dependence which the one has on the other. It is not even implied in the expression, that any thing had been said before. Accordingly, the same sense, without any variation, is expressed when the clauses are transposed; though sometimes the one arrangement will exhibit it with greater energy than the other. Thus, "Ye will keep my commandments, "if ye love me; "Ye will not believe me, though I "tell you what I am ;" and, "I came into the world, "that I might save sinners," are precisely the same

+ If, tho', altho', when, unless, except.

That, so that, insomuch that, lest.

« PreviousContinue »