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Title: How to Write Clearly - Rules and Exercises on English Composition
Author: Abbott, Edwin A.
Language: English
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  [Illustration: QUI LEGIT REGIT]





Almost every English boy can be taught to write clearly, so far at
least as clearness depends upon the arrangement of words. Force,
elegance, and variety of style are more difficult to teach, and far
more difficult to learn; but clear writing can be reduced to rules. To
teach the art of writing clearly is the main object of these Rules and

Ambiguity may arise, not only from bad arrangement, but also from
other causes--from the misuse of single words, and from confused
thought. These causes are not removable by definite rules, and
therefore, though not neglected, are not prominently considered in
this book. My object rather is to point out some few continually
recurring causes of ambiguity, and to suggest definite remedies in
each case. Speeches in Parliament, newspaper narratives and articles,
and, above all, resolutions at public meetings, furnish abundant
instances of obscurity arising from the monotonous neglect of some
dozen simple rules.

The art of writing forcibly is, of course, a valuable
acquisition--almost as valuable as the art of writing clearly. But
forcible expression is not, like clear expression, a mere question of
mechanism and of the manipulation of words; it is a much higher power,
and implies much more.

Writing clearly does not imply thinking clearly. A man may think and
reason as obscurely as Dogberry himself, but he may (though it is not
probable that he will) be able to write clearly for all that. Writing
clearly--so far as arrangement of words is concerned--is a mere matter
of adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs, placed
and repeated according to definite rules.[1] Even obscure or illogical
thought can be clearly expressed; indeed, the transparent medium of
clear writing is not least beneficial when it reveals the illogical
nature of the meaning beneath it.

On the other hand, if a man is to write forcibly, he must (to use a
well-known illustration) describe Jerusalem as "sown with salt," not
as "captured," and the Jews not as being "subdued" but as "almost
exterminated" by Titus. But what does this imply? It implies
knowledge, and very often a great deal of knowledge, and it implies
also a vivid imagination. The writer must have eyes to see the vivid
side of everything, as well as words to describe what he sees. Hence
forcible writing, and of course tasteful writing also, is far less a
matter of rules than is clear writing; and hence, though forcible
writing is exemplified in the exercises, clear writing occupies most
of the space devoted to the rules.

Boys who are studying Latin and Greek stand in especial need of help
to enable them to write a long English sentence clearly. The periods
of Thucydides and Cicero are not easily rendered into our idiom
without some knowledge of the links that connect an English sentence.

There is scarcely any better training, rhetorical as well as logical,
than the task of construing Thucydides into genuine English; but the
flat, vague, long-winded Greek-English and Latin-English imposture
that is often tolerated in our examinations and is allowed to pass
current for genuine English, diminishes instead of increasing the
power that our pupils should possess over their native language. By
getting marks at school and college for construing good Greek and
Latin into bad English, our pupils systematically unlearn what they
may have been allowed to pick up from Milton and from Shakespeare.

I must acknowledge very large obligations to Professor Bain's treatise
on "English Composition and Rhetoric," and also to his English
Grammar. I have not always been able to agree with Professor Bain as
to matters of taste; but I find it difficult to express my admiration
for the systematic thoroughness and suggestiveness of his book on
Composition. In particular, Professor Bain's rule on the use of "that"
and "which" (see Rule 8) deserves to be better known.[2] The ambiguity
produced by the confusion between these two forms of the Relative is
not a mere fiction of pedants; it is practically serious. Take, for
instance, the following sentence, which appeared lately in one of our
ablest weekly periodicals: "There are a good many Radical members in
the House _who_ cannot forgive the Prime Minister for being a
Christian." Twenty years hence, who is to say whether the meaning is
"_and they_, i.e. _all the Radical_ members in the House," or "there
are a good many Radical members of the House _that_ cannot &c."?
Professor Bain, apparently admitting no exceptions to his useful rule,
amends many sentences in a manner that seems to me intolerably harsh.
Therefore, while laying due stress on the utility of the rule, I have
endeavoured to point out and explain the exceptions.

The rules are stated as briefly as possible, and are intended not so
much for use by themselves as for reference while the pupil is working
at the exercises. Consequently, there is no attempt to prove the rules
by accumulations of examples. The few examples that are given, are
given not to prove, but to illustrate the rules. The exercises are
intended to be written out and revised, as exercises usually are; but
they may also be used for _vivâ voce_ instruction. The books being
shut, the pupils, with their written exercises before them, may be
questioned as to the reasons for the several alterations they have
made. Experienced teachers will not require any explanation of the
arrangement or rather non-arrangement of the exercises. They have been
purposely mixed together unclassified to prevent the pupil from
relying upon anything but his own common sense and industry, to show
him what is the fault in each case, and how it is to be amended.
Besides references to the rules, notes are attached to each sentence,
so that the exercises ought not to present any difficulty to a
painstaking boy of twelve or thirteen, provided he has first been
fairly trained in English grammar.

The "Continuous Extracts" present rather more difficulty, and are
intended for boys somewhat older than those for whom the Exercises are
intended. The attempt to modernize, and clarify, so to speak, the
style of Burnet, Clarendon, and Bishop Butler,[3] may appear
ambitious, and perhaps requires some explanation. My object has, of
course, not been to _improve upon_ the style of these authors, but to
show how their meaning might be expressed more clearly in modern
English. The charm of the style is necessarily lost, but if the loss
is recognized both by teacher and pupil, there is nothing, in my
opinion, to counterbalance the obvious utility of such exercises.
Professor Bain speaks to the same effect:[4] "For an English exercise,
the matter should in some way or other be supplied, and the pupil
disciplined in giving it expression. I know of no better method than
to prescribe passages containing good matter, but in some respects
imperfectly worded, to be amended according to the laws and the
proprieties of style. Our older writers might be extensively, though
not exclusively, drawn upon for this purpose."

To some of the friends whose help has been already acknowledged in
"English Lessons for English People," I am indebted for further help
in revising these pages. I desire to express especial obligations to
the Rev. J. H. Lupton, late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge,
and Second Master of St. Paul's School, for copious and valuable
suggestions; also to several of my colleagues at the City of London
School, among whom I must mention in particular the Rev. A. R. Vardy,
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before electrotyping the Fourth and Revised Edition, I wish to say one
word as to the manner in which this book has been used by my highest
class, as a collection of Rules for reference in their construing
lessons. In construing, from Thucydides especially, I have found Rules
5, 30, 34, 36, 37, and 40_a_, of great use. The rules about Metaphor
and Climax have also been useful in correcting faults of taste in
their Latin and Greek compositions. I have hopes that, used in this
way, this little book may be of service to the highest as well as to
the middle classes of our schools.


[1] Punctuation is fully discussed in most English Grammars, and is
therefore referred to in this book only so far as is necessary to
point out the slovenly fault of trusting too much to punctuation, and
too little to arrangement.

[2] Before meeting with Professor Bain's rule, I had shown that the
difference between the Relatives is generally observed by Shakespeare.
See "Shakespearian Grammar," paragraph 259.

[3] Sir Archibald Alison stands on a very different footing. The
extracts from this author are intended to exhibit the dangers of
verbosity and exaggeration.

[4] "English Composition and Rhetoric," p. vii.



  INDEX OF RULES                                 11-13

  RULES                                          14-40

  SHORT EXERCISES                                41-63


       "        "       BURNET                   70-73

       "        "       BUTLER                   74-75

       "        "       SIR ARCHIBALD ALISON     76-78




1. Use words in their proper sense.

2. Avoid exaggerations.

3. Avoid useless circumlocution and "fine writing."

4. Be careful in the use of "not ... and," "any," "but," "only," "not
... or," "that."

4 _a_. Be careful in the use of ambiguous words, _e.g._ "certain."

5. Be careful in the use of "he," "it," "they," "these," &c.

6. Report a speech in the First Person, where necessary to avoid

6 _a_. Use the Third Person where the exact words of the speaker are
not intended to be given.

6 _b_. Omission of "that" in a speech in the Third Person.

7. When you use a Participle implying "when," "while," "though," or
"that," show clearly by the context what is implied.

8. When using the Relative Pronoun, use "who" or "which," if the
meaning is "and he" or "and it," "for he" or "for it." In other cases
use "that," if euphony allows. Exceptions.

9. Do not use "and which" for "which."

10. Equivalents for the Relative: (_a_) Participle or Adjective; (_b_)
Infinitive; (_c_) "Whereby," "whereto," &c.; (_d_) "If a man;" (_e_)
"And he," "and this," &c.; (_f_) "what;" (_g_) omission of Relative.

10 _a'_. Repeat the Antecedent before the Relative, where the
non-repetition causes any ambiguity. See 38.

11. Use particular for general terms. Avoid abstract Nouns.

11 _a_. Avoid Verbal Nouns where Verbs can be used.

12. Use particular persons instead of a class.

13. Use metaphor instead of literal statement.

14. Do not confuse metaphor.

14 _a_. Do not mix metaphor with literal statement.

14 _b_. Do not use poetic metaphor to illustrate a prosaic subject.


15. Emphatic words must stand in emphatic positions; _i.e._, for the
most part, at the beginning or the end of the sentence.

15 _a_. Unemphatic words must, as a rule, be kept from the end.

15 _b_. An interrogation sometimes gives emphasis.

16. The Subject, if unusually emphatic, should often be transferred
from the beginning of the sentence.

17. The Object is sometimes placed before the Verb for emphasis.

18. Where several words are emphatic, make it clear which is the most
emphatic. Emphasis can sometimes be given by adding an epithet, or an
intensifying word.

19. Words should be as near as possible to the words with which they
are grammatically connected.

20. Adverbs should be placed next to the words they are intended to

21. "Only"; the strict rule is that "only" should be placed before the
word it affects.

22. When "not only" precedes "but also," see that each is followed by
the same part of speech.

23. "At least," "always," and other adverbial adjuncts, sometimes
produce ambiguity.

24. Nouns should be placed near the Nouns that they define.

25. Pronouns should follow the Nouns to which they refer, without the
intervention of any other Noun.

26. Clauses that are grammatically connected should be kept as close
together as possible. Avoid parentheses. But see 55.

27. In conditional sentences, the antecedent or "if-clauses" must be
kept distinct from the consequent clauses.

28. Dependent clauses preceded by "that" should be kept distinct from
those that are independent.

29. Where there are several infinitives, those that are dependent on
the same word must be kept distinct from those that are not.

30. The principle of Suspense.

30 _a_. It is a violation of the principle of suspense to introduce
unexpectedly at the end of a long sentence, some short and unemphatic
clause beginning with (_a_) "not," (_b_) "which."

31. Suspense must not be excessive.

32. In a sentence with "if," "when," "though," &c., put the
"if-clause," antecedent, or protasis, first.

33. Suspense is gained by placing a Participle or Adjective, that
qualifies the Subject, before the Subject.

34. Suspensive Conjunctions, _e.g._ "either," "not only," "on the one
hand," &c., add clearness.

35. Repeat the Subject, where its omission would cause obscurity or

36. Repeat a Preposition after an intervening Conjunction, especially
if a Verb and an Object also intervene.

37. Repeat Conjunctions, Auxiliary Verbs, and Pronominal Adjectives.

37 _a_. Repeat Verbs after the Conjunctions "than," "as," &c.

38. Repeat the Subject, or some other emphatic word, or a summary of
what has been said, if the sentence is so long that it is difficult to
keep the thread of meaning unbroken.

39. Clearness is increased, when the beginning of the sentence
prepares the way for the middle, and the middle for the end, the whole
forming a kind of ascent. This ascent is called "climax."

40. When the thought is expected to ascend, but descends, feebleness,
and sometimes confusion, is the result. The descent is called

40 _a_. A new construction should not be introduced unexpectedly.

41. Antithesis adds force and often clearness.

42. Epigram.

43. Let each sentence have one, and only one, principal subject of
thought. Avoid heterogeneous sentences.

44. The connection between different sentences must be kept up by
Adverbs used as Conjunctions, or by means of some other connecting
words at the beginning of the sentence.

45. The connection between two long sentences or paragraphs sometimes
requires a short intervening sentence showing the transition of


46. Metaphor is briefer than literal statement.

47. General terms are briefer, though less forcible, than particular

47 _a_. A phrase may sometimes be expressed by a word.

48. Participles may often be used as brief (though sometimes
ambiguous) equivalents of phrases containing Conjunctions and Verbs.

49. Participles, Adjectives, Participial Adjectives, and Nouns may be
used as equivalents for phrases containing the Relative.

50. A statement may sometimes be briefly implied instead of being
expressed at length.

51. Conjunctions may be omitted. Adverbs, _e.g._ "very," "so."
Exaggerated epithets, _e.g._ "incalculable," "unprecedented."

51 _a_. The imperative may be used for "if &c."

52. Apposition may be used, so as to convert two sentences into one.

53. Condensation may be effected by not repeating (1) the common
Subject of several Verbs; (2) the common Object of several Verbs or

54. Tautology. Repeating what may be implied.

55. Parenthesis maybe used with advantage to brevity. See 26.

56. Brevity often clashes with clearness. Let clearness be the first


_Numbers in brackets refer to the Rules._


*1. Use words in their proper sense.*

Write, not "His _apparent_ guilt justified his friends in disowning
him," but "his _evident_ guilt." "Conscious" and "aware," "unnatural"
and "supernatural," "transpire" and "occur," "circumstance" and
"event," "reverse" and "converse," "eliminate" and "elicit," are often
confused together.

This rule forbids the use of the same word in different senses. "It is
in my _power_ to refuse your request, and since I have _power_ to do
this, I may lawfully do it." Here the second "power" is used for

This rule also forbids the slovenly use of "nice," "awfully,"
"delicious," "glorious," &c. See (2).

*2. Avoid exaggerations.*

"The _boundless_ plains in the heart of the empire furnished
_inexhaustible_ supplies of corn, that would have almost sufficed for
twice the population."

Here "inexhaustible" is inconsistent with what follows. The words
"unprecedented," "incalculable," "very," and "stupendous" are often
used in the same loose way.

*3. Avoid useless circumlocution and "fine writing."*

"Her Majesty here _partook of lunch_." Write "_lunched_."

"Partook of" implies sharing, and is incorrect as well as lengthy.

So, do not use "apex" for "top," "species" for "kind," "individual"
for "man," "assist" for "help," &c.

*4. Be careful how you use the following words: "not ... and," "any,"
"only," "not ... or," "that."*[5]

*And.* See below, "Or."

*Any.*--"I am not bound to receive _any_ messenger that you send."
Does this mean _every_, or _a single_? Use "every" or "a single."

*Not.*--(1) "I do _not_ intend to help you, because you are my enemy
&c." ought to mean (2), "I intend not to help you, and my reason for
not helping you is, because you are my enemy." But it is often wrongly
used to mean (3), "I intend to help you, not because you are my enemy
(but because you are poor, blind, &c.)." In the latter case, _not_
ought to be separated from _intend_. By distinctly marking the limits
to which the influence of _not_ extends, the ambiguity may be removed.

*Only* is often used ambiguously for _alone_. "The rest help me to
revenge myself; you _only_ advise me to wait." This ought to mean,
"you only _advise_, instead of _helping_;" but in similar sentences
"you only" is often used for "you alone." But see 21.

*Or.*--When "or" is preceded by a negative, as "I do not want butter
_or_ honey," "or" ought not, strictly speaking, to be used like "and,"
nor like "nor." The strict use of "not ... or" would be as follows:--

"You say you don't want both butter _and_ honey--you want butter _or_
honey; I, on the contrary, _do not want butter or honey_--I want them

Practically, however, this meaning is so rare, that "I don't want
butter _or_ honey" is regularly used for "I want neither butter nor
honey." But where there is the slightest danger of ambiguity, it is
desirable to use _nor_.

The same ambiguity attends "not ... and." "I do not see Thomas _and_
John" is commonly used for "I see neither Thomas nor John;" but it
might mean, "I do not see them both--I see only one of them."

*That.*--The different uses of "that" produce much ambiguity, _e.g._
"I am so much surprised by this statement _that_ I am desirous of
resigning, _that_ I scarcely know what reply to make." Here it is
impossible to tell, till one has read past "resigning," whether the
first "that" depends upon "so" or "statement." Write: "The statement
that I am desirous of resigning surprises me so much that I scarcely
know &c."

*4 a. Be careful in the use of ambiguous words, e.g. "certain."*

"Certain" is often used for "some," as in "Independently of his
earnings, he has a _certain_ property," where the meaning might be

Under this head may be mentioned the double use of words, such as
"left" in the same form and sound, but different in meaning. Even
where there is no obscurity, the juxtaposition of the same word twice
used in two senses is inelegant, _e.g._ (Bain), "He turned to the
_left_ and _left_ the room."

I have known the following slovenly sentence misunderstood: "Our
object is that, with the aid of practice, we may sometime arrive at
the point where we think eloquence in its most praiseworthy form _to
lie_." "To lie" has been supposed to mean "to deceive."

*5. Be careful how you use "he," "it," "they," "these," &c.* (For
"which" see 8.) The ambiguity arising from the use of _he_ applying to
different persons is well known.

"He told his friend that if _he_ did not feel better in half an hour
he thought _he_ had better return." See (6) for remedy.

Much ambiguity is also caused by excessive use of such phrases as _in
this way_, _of this sort_, &c.

"God, foreseeing the disorders of human nature, has given us certain
passions and affections which arise from, or whose objects are, these
disorders. _Of this sort_ are fear, resentment, compassion."

Repeat the noun: "Among these passions and affections are fear &c."

Two distinct uses of _it_ may be noted. _It_, when referring to
something that precedes, may be called "retrospective;" but when to
something that follows, "prospective." In "Avoid indiscriminate
charity: _it_ is a crime," "it" is retrospective.[6] In "_It_ is a
crime to give indiscriminately," "it" is prospective.

The prospective "it," if productive of ambiguity, can often be omitted
by using the infinitive as a subject: "To give indiscriminately is a

*6. Report a speech in the First, not the Third Person, where
necessary to avoid ambiguity.* Speeches in the third person afford a
particular, though very common case, of the general ambiguity
mentioned in (5). Instead of "He told his friend that if _he_ did not
feel better &c.," write "He said to his friend, 'If, _I_ (or _you_)
don't feel better &c.'"

*6 a. Sometimes, where the writer cannot know the exact words, or
where the exact words are unimportant, or lengthy and uninteresting,
the Third Person is preferable.* Thus, where Essex is asking Sir
Robert Cecil that Francis Bacon may be appointed Attorney-General, the
dialogue is (as it almost always is in Lord Macaulay's writings) in
the First Person, _except where it becomes tedious and uninteresting
so as to require condensation_, and then it drops into the Third

"Sir Robert _had nothing to say but_ that he thought his own abilities
equal to the place which he hoped to obtain, and that his father's
long services deserved such a mark of gratitude from the Queen."

*6 b. Omission of "that" in a speech reported in the Third
Person.*--Even when a speech is reported in the third person, "that"
need not always be inserted before the dependent verb. Thus, instead
of "He said that he took it ill that his promises were not believed,"
we may write, "'He took it ill,' he said, 'that &c.'" This gives a
little more life, and sometimes more clearness also.

*7. When you use a Participle, as "walking," implying "when," "while,"
"though," "that," make it clear by the context what is implied.*

"Republics, in the first instance, are never desired for their own
sakes. I do not think they will finally be desired at all,
_unaccompanied_ by courtly graces and good breeding."

Here there is a little doubt whether the meaning is "_since_ they are,
or, _if_ they are, unaccompanied."

*That or when.*--"Men _walking_ (_that_ walk, or _when_ they walk) on
ice sometimes fall."

It is better to use "men walking" to mean "men _when_ they walk." If
the relative is meant, use "men that walk," instead of the participle.

  (1) "_While_   he was } _Walking_ on { (1) the road, } he fell."
  (2) "_Because_ he was }              { (2) the ice,  }

When the participle precedes the subject, it generally implies a
cause: "_Seeing_ this, he retired." Otherwise it generally has its
proper participial meaning, _e.g._ "He retired, _keeping_ his face
towards us." If there is any ambiguity, write "_on_ seeing,"--"_at the
same time_, or _while_, keeping."

 (1) "_Though_ he was}                       {(1) he nevertheless stood
                     }                       {    his ground."
 (2) "_Since_ he was } _Struck_ with terror, {(2) he rapidly retreated."
 (3) "_If_ he is     }                       {(3) he will soon retreat."

*8. When using the Relative Pronoun, use "who" and "which" where the
meaning is "and he, it, &c.," "for he, it, &c." In other cases use
"that," if euphony allows.*

"I heard this from the inspector, _who_ (and he) heard it from the
guard _that_ travelled with the train."

"Fetch me (all) the books _that_ lie on the table, and also the
pamphlets, _which_ (and these) you will find on the floor."

An adherence to this rule would remove much ambiguity. Thus: "There
was a public-house next door, _which_ was a great nuisance," means
"_and this_ (_i.e._ the fact of its being next door) was a great
nuisance;" whereas _that_ would have meant "Next door was a
public-house _that_ (_i.e._ the public-house) was a great nuisance."
*"Who," "which," &c. introduce a new fact about the antecedent,
whereas "that" introduces something without which the antecedent is
incomplete or undefined.* Thus, in the first example above,
"inspector" is complete in itself, and "who" introduces a new _fact_
about him; "guard" is incomplete, and requires "_that_ travelled with
the train" to complete the meaning.

It is not, and cannot be, maintained that this rule, though observed
in Elizabethan English, is observed by our best modern authors.
(Probably a general impression that "that" cannot be used to refer to
persons has assisted "who" in supplanting "that" as a relative.) But
the convenience of the rule is so great that beginners in composition
may with advantage adhere to the rule. The following are some of the
cases where _who_ and _which_ are mostly used, contrary to the rule,
instead of _that_.


(_a_) When the antecedent is defined, _e.g._ by a possessive case,
modern English uses _who_ instead of _that_. It is rare, though it
would be useful,[7] to say "His English friends _that_ had not seen
him" for "the English friends, or those of his English friends, that
had not seen him."

(_b_) _That_ sounds ill when separated from its verb and from its
antecedents, and emphasized by isolation: "There are many persons
_that_, though unscrupulous, are commonly good-tempered, and _that_,
if not strongly incited by self-interest, are ready for the most part
to think of the interest of their neighbours." Shakespeare frequently
uses _who_ after _that_ when the relative is repeated. See
"Shakespearian Grammar," par. 260.

(_c_) If the antecedent is qualified by _that_, the relative must not
be _that_. Besides other considerations, the repetition is
disagreeable. Addison ridicules such language as "_That_ remark _that_
I made yesterday is not _that_ _that_ I said _that_ I regretted _that_
I had made."

(_d_) _That_ cannot be preceded by a preposition, and hence throws the
preposition to the end. "This is the rule _that_ I adhere _to_." This
is perfectly good English, though sometimes unnecessarily avoided.
But, with some prepositions, the construction is harsh and
objectionable, _e.g._ "This is the mark _that_ I jumped _beyond_,"
"Such were the prejudices _that_ he rose _above_." The reason is that
some of these disyllabic prepositions are used as adverbs, and, when
separated from their nouns, give one the impression that they are used
as adverbs.

(_e_) After pronominal adjectives used for personal pronouns, modern
English prefers _who_. "There are many, others, several, those, _who_
can testify &c."

(_f_) After _that_ used as a conjunction there is sometimes a dislike
to use _that_ as a relative. See (_c_).

*9. Do not use redundant "and" before "which."[8]*

"I gave him a very interesting book for a present, _and which_ cost me
five shillings."

In short sentences the absurdity is evident, but in long sentences it
is less evident, and very common.

"A petition was presented for rescinding that portion of the bye-laws
which permits application of public money to support sectarian
schools over which ratepayers have no control, this being a violation
of the principle of civil and religious liberty, _and which_ the
memorialists believe would provoke a determined and conscientious

Here _which_ ought grammatically to refer to "portion" or "schools."
But it seems intended to refer to "violation." Omit "and," or repeat
"a violation" before "which," or turn the sentence otherwise.

*10. Equivalents for Relative.*

*(_a_) Participle.*--"Men _thirsting_ (for 'men _that thirst_') for
revenge are not indifferent to plunder." The objection to the
participle is that here, as often, it creates a little ambiguity. The
above sentence may mean, "men, _when_ they thirst," or "_though_ they
thirst," as well as "men _that_ thirst." Often however there is no
ambiguity: "I have documents _proving_ this conclusively."

*(_b_) Infinitive.*--Instead of "He was the first _that_ entered" you
can write "_to_ enter;" for "He is not a man _who_ will act
dishonestly," "_to_ act." This equivalent cannot often be used.

*(_c_) Whereby, wherein, &c.,* can sometimes be used for "by _which_,"
"in _which_," so as to avoid a harsh repetition of "_which_." "The
means _whereby_ this may be effected." But this use is somewhat

*(_d_) If.*--"The man _that_ does not care for music is to be pitied"
can be written (though not so forcibly), "_If_ a man does not care for
music, he is to be pitied." It is in long sentences that this
equivalent will be found most useful.

*(_e_) And this.*--"He did his best, _which_ was all that could be
expected," can be written, "_and this_ was all that, &c."

*(_f_) What.*--"Let me repeat _that which_[9] you ought to know, that
_that which_ is worth doing is worth doing well." "Let me repeat,
_what_ you ought to know, that _what_ is worth doing is worth doing

*(_g_) Omission of Relative.*--It is sometimes thought ungrammatical
to omit the relative, as in "The man (that) you speak of." On the
contrary, _that_ when an object (not when a subject) may be omitted,
wherever the antecedent and the subject of the relative sentence are
brought into juxtaposition by the omission.

*10 a'. Repeat the Antecedent in some new form, where there is any
ambiguity.* This is particularly useful after a negative: "He said
that he would not even hear me, _which_ I confess I had expected."
Here the meaning may be, "I had expected that he would," or "that he
would not, hear me." Write, "_a refusal_, or, _a favour_, that I
confess I had expected." See (38).

*11. Use particular for general terms.*--This is a most important
rule. Instead of "I have neither the necessaries of life nor the means
of procuring them," write (if you can _with truth_), "I have not a
crust of bread, nor a penny to buy one."

CAUTION.--There is a danger in this use. The meaning is vividly
expressed but sometimes may be exaggerated or imperfect. _Crust of
bread_ may be an exaggeration; on the other hand, if the speaker is
destitute not only of bread, but also of shelter and clothing, then
_crust of bread_ is an imperfect expression of the meaning.

In philosophy and science, where the language ought very often to be
inclusive and brief, general and not particular terms must be used.

*11 a. Avoid Verbal Nouns where Verbs can be used instead.* The
disadvantage of the use of Verbal Nouns is this, that, unless they are
immediately preceded by prepositions, they are sometimes liable to be
confounded with participles. The following is an instance of an
excessive use of Verbal Nouns:

"The pretended confession of the secretary was only collusion to lay
the jealousies of the king's _favouring_ popery, which still hung upon
him, notwithstanding his _writing_ on the Revelation, and _affecting_
to enter on all occasions into controversy, _asserting_ in particular
that the Pope was Antichrist."

Write "notwithstanding that he wrote and affected &c."

*12. Use a particular Person instead of a class.*

"What is the splendour of _the greatest monarch_ compared with the
beauty of _a flower_?" "What is the splendour of Solomon compared with
the beauty of a daisy?"

Under this head may come the forcible use of Noun for Adjective: "This
fortress is _weakness_ itself."

An excess of this use is lengthy and pedantically bombastic, _e.g._,
the following paraphrase for "in every British colony:"--"under Indian
palm-groves, amid Australian gum-trees, in the shadow of African
mimosas, and beneath Canadian pines."

*13. Use Metaphor instead of literal statement.*

"The ship _ploughs_ the sea" is clearer than "the ship _cleaves_ the
sea," and shorter than "the ship _cleaves_ the sea _as a plough
cleaves the land_."

Of course there are some subjects for which Metaphor should not be
used. See (14 _a_) and (14 _b_).

*14. Do not confuse Metaphor.*

"In a moment the thunderbolt was upon them, _deluging_ their country
with invaders."

The following is attributed to Sir Boyle Roche: "Mr. Speaker, I smell
a rat, I see him brewing in the air; but, mark me, I shall yet nip him
in the bud."

Some words, once metaphorical, have ceased to be so regarded. Hence
many good writers say "_under_ these _circumstances_" instead of "_in_
these circumstances."

An excessive regard for disused metaphor savours of pedantry:
disregard is inelegant. Write, not, "_unparalleled_ complications,"
but "_unprecedented_ complications;" and "_he threw light on_
obscurities," instead of "_he unravelled_ obscurities."

*14 a. Do not introduce literal statement immediately after Metaphor.*

"He was the father of Chemistry, and brother to the Earl of Cork."

    "He was a very thunderbolt of war,
    And was lieutenant to the Earl of Mar."

*14 b. Do not use poetic metaphor to illustrate a prosaic subject.*
Thus, we may say "a poet _soars_," or even, though rarely, "a nation
_soars_ to greatness," but you could not say "Consols _soared to_
94-1/2." Even commonplace subjects may be illustrated by metaphor: for
it is a metaphor, and quite unobjectionable, to say "Consols
_mounted_, or _jumped_ to 94-1/2." But commonplace subjects must be
illustrated by metaphor that is commonplace.


*15. Emphatic words must stand in emphatic positions; i.e. for the
most part, at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.* This rule
occasionally supersedes the common rules about position. Thus, the
place for an adverb, as a rule, should be between the subject and
verb: "He _quickly_ left the room;" but if _quickly_ is to be
emphatic, it must come at the beginning or end, as in "I told him to
leave the room slowly, but he left _quickly_."

Adjectives, in clauses beginning with "if" and "though," often come at
the beginning for emphasis: "_Insolent_ though he was, he was silenced
at last."

*15 a. Unemphatic words must, as a rule, be kept from the end of the
sentence.* It is a common fault to break this rule by placing a short
and unemphatic predicate at the end of a long sentence.

"To know some Latin, even if it be nothing but a few Latin roots, _is
useful_." Write, "It is useful, &c."

So "the evidence proves how kind to his inferiors _he is_."

Often, where an adjective or auxiliary verb comes at the end, the
addition of an emphatic adverb justifies the position, _e.g._ above,
"is _very_ useful," "he has _invariably_ been."

A short "chippy" ending, even though emphatic, is to be avoided. It is
abrupt and unrhythmical, _e.g._ "The soldier, transfixed with the
spear, _writhed_." We want a _longer_ ending, "fell writhing to the
ground," or, "writhed in the agonies of death." A "chippy" ending is
common in bad construing from Virgil.

*Exceptions.*--Prepositions and pronouns attached to emphatic words
need not be moved from the end; _e.g._ "He does no harm that I hear
_of_." "Bear witness how I loved _him_."

*N.B. In all styles, especially in letter-writing, a final emphasis
must not be so frequent as to become obtrusive and monotonous.*

*15 b. An interrogation sometimes gives emphasis.* "No one can doubt
that the prisoner, had he been really guilty, would have shown some
signs of remorse," is not so emphatic as "Who can doubt, Is it
possible to doubt, &c.?"

Contrast "No one ever names Wentworth without thinking of &c." with
"But Wentworth,--who ever names him without thinking of those harsh
dark features, ennobled by their expression into more than the majesty
of an antique Jupiter?"

*16. The subject, if unusually emphatic, should often be removed from
the beginning of the sentence.* The beginning of the sentence is an
emphatic position, though mostly not so emphatic as the end. Therefore
the principal subject of a sentence, being emphatic, and being wanted
early in the sentence to tell us what the sentence is about, comes as
a rule, at or near the beginning: "_Thomas_ built this house."

Hence, since the beginning is the _usual_ place for the subject, if we
want to emphasize "Thomas" _unusually_, we must remove "Thomas" from
the beginning: "This house was built by _Thomas_," or "It was _Thomas_
that built this house."

Thus, the emphasis on "conqueror" is not quite so strong in "_A mere
conqueror_ ought not to obtain from us the reverence that is due to
the great benefactors of mankind," as in "We ought not to bestow the
reverence that is due to the great benefactors of mankind, _upon a
mere conqueror_." Considerable, but less emphasis and greater
smoothness (19) will be obtained by writing the sentence thus: "We
ought not to bestow upon a mere conqueror &c."

Where the same subject stands first in several consecutive sentences,
it rises in emphasis, and need not be removed from the beginning, even
though unusual emphasis be required:

"The captain was the life and soul of the expedition. _He_ first
pointed out the possibility of advancing; _he_ warned them of the
approaching scarcity of provisions; _he_ showed how they might
replenish their exhausted stock &c."

*17. The object is sometimes placed before the verb for emphasis.*
This is most common in antithesis. "_Jesus_ I know, and _Paul_ I know;
but who are ye?" "_Some_ he imprisoned, _others_ he put to death."

Even where there is no antithesis the inversion is not uncommon:

"Military _courage_, the boast of the sottish German, of the frivolous
and prating Frenchman, of the romantic and arrogant Spaniard, he
neither possesses nor values."

This inversion sometimes creates ambiguity in poetry, _e.g._ "The son
the father slew," and must be sparingly used in prose.

Sometimes the position of a word may be considered appropriate by
some, and inappropriate by others, according to different
interpretations of the sentence. Take as an example, "Early in the
morning the nobles and gentlemen who attended on the king assembled in
the great hall of the castle; and here they began to talk of what a
dreadful storm it had been the night before. But Macbeth could
scarcely understand what they said, for he was thinking of something
worse." The last sentence has been amended by Professor Bain into
"_What they said_, Macbeth could scarcely understand." But there
appears to be an antithesis between the guiltless nobles who can think
about the weather, and the guilty Macbeth who cannot. Hence, "what
they said" ought not, and "Macbeth" ought, to be emphasized: and
therefore "Macbeth" ought to be retained at the beginning of the

The same author alters, "The praise of judgment Virgil has justly
contested with him, but his invention remains yet unrivalled," into
"Virgil has justly contested with him the praise of judgment, but no
one has yet rivalled his invention"--an alteration which does not seem
to emphasize sufficiently the antithesis between what had been
'contested,' on the one hand, and what remained as yet 'unrivalled' on
the other.

More judiciously Professor Bain alters, "He that tells a lie is not
sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to
invent twenty more to maintain one," into "for, to maintain one, he
must invent twenty more," putting the emphatic words in their emphatic
place, at the end.

*18. Where several words are emphatic, make it clear which is the most
emphatic.* Thus, in "The state was made, under the pretence of serving
it, in reality the prize of their contention to each of these opposite
parties," it is unpleasantly doubtful whether the writer means (1)
_state_ or (2) _parties_ to be emphatic.

If (1), "As for the _state_, these two parties, under the pretence of
serving it, converted it into a prize for their contention." If (2),
write, "Though served in profession, the state was in reality
converted into a prize for their contention by these two _parties_."
In (1) _parties_ is subordinated, in (2) _state_.

Sometimes the addition of some intensifying word serves to emphasize.
Thus, instead of "To effect this they used all devices," we can write
"To effect this they used _every conceivable device_." So, if we want
to emphasize fidelity in "The business will task your skill and
fidelity," we can write "Not only your skill _but also_ your
fidelity." This, however, sometimes leads to exaggerations. See (2).

Sometimes antithesis gives emphasis, as in "You _do_ not know this,
but you _shall_ know it." Where antithesis cannot be used, the
emphasis must be expressed by turning the sentence, as "I _will make
you_ know it," or by some addition, as "You shall _hereafter_ know

*19. Words should be as near as possible to the words with which they
are grammatically connected.* See Paragraphs 20 to 29. For exceptions
see 30.

*20. Adverbs should be placed next to the words they are intended to
affect.* When unemphatic, adverbs come between the subject and the
verb, or, if the tense is compound, between the parts of the compound
tense: "He _quickly_ left the room;" "He has _quickly_ left the room;"
but, when emphatic, after the verb: "He left, or has left, the room
_quickly_."[10] When such a sentence as the latter is followed by a
present participle, there arises ambiguity. "I told him to go slowly,
but he left the room _quickly_, dropping the purse on the floor." Does
_quickly_ here modify _left_ or _dropping_? The remedy[11] is, to give
the adverb its unemphatic place, "He _quickly_ left the room, dropping
&c.," or else to avoid the participle, thus: "He _quickly_ dropped the
purse and left the room," or "He dropped the purse and _quickly_ left
the room."

*21. "Only" requires careful use. The strict[12] rule is, that "only"
should be placed before the word affected by it.*

The following is ambiguous:

"The heavens are not open to the faithful _only_ at intervals."

The best rule is to avoid placing "only" between two emphatic words,
and to avoid using "only" where "alone" can be used instead.

In strictness perhaps the three following sentences:

(1) He _only_ beat three,

(2) He beat _only_ three,

(3) He beat three _only_, ought to be explained, severally, thus:

(1) He did no more than beat, did not kill, three.

(2) He beat no more than three.

(3) He beat three, and that was all he did. (Here _only_ modifies the
whole of the sentence and depreciates the action.)

But the best authors sometimes transpose the word. "He _only_ lived"
ought to mean "he did not die or make any great sacrifice;" but "He
_only_ lived but till he was a man" (_Macbeth_, v. 8. 40) means "He
lived _only_ till he was a man." Compare also, "Who _only_ hath

_Only_ at the beginning of a statement = _but_. "I don't like to
importune you, _only_ I know you'll forgive me." Before an imperative
it diminishes the favour asked: "_Only_ listen to me." This use of
_only_ is mostly confined to letters.

Very often, _only_ at the beginning of a sentence is used for _alone_:
"_Only_ ten came," "_Only_ Cæsar approved." _Alone_ is less ambiguous.
The ambiguity of _only_ is illustrated by such a sentence as, "Don't
hesitate to bring a few friends of yours to shoot on my estate at any
time. _Only_ five (fifteen) came yesterday," which might mean, "I
don't mind a _few_; _only_ don't bring so many as _fifteen_;" or else
"Don't hesitate to bring a few _more_; no more than _five_ came
yesterday." In conversation, ambiguity is prevented by emphasis; but
in a letter, _only_ thus used might cause unfortunate mistakes. Write
"Yesterday _only_ five came," if you mean "no more than five."

*22. When "not only" precedes "but also," see that each is followed by
the same part of speech.*

"He _not only_ gave me advice _but also_ help" is wrong. Write "He
gave me, _not only_ advice, _but also_ help." On the other hand, "He
_not only_ gave me a grammar, _but also_ lent me a dictionary," is
right. Take an instance. "He spoke _not only_ forcibly _but also_
tastefully (adverbs), and this too, _not only_ before a small
audience, _but also_ in (prepositions) a large public meeting, and his
speeches were _not only_ successful, _but also_ (adjective) worthy of

*23. "At least," "always," and other adverbial adjuncts, sometimes
produce ambiguity.*

"I think you will find my Latin exercise, _at all events_, as good as
my cousin's." Does this mean (1) "my Latin exercise, though not
perhaps my other exercises;" or (2), "Though not very good, yet, at
all events, as good as my cousin's"? Write for (1), "My Latin
exercise, at all events, you will find &c." and for (2), "I think you
will find my Latin exercise as good as my cousin's, at all events."

The remedy is to avoid placing "at all events" between two emphatic

As an example of the misplacing of an adverbial adjunct, take "From
abroad he received most favourable reports, but in the City he heard
that a panic had broken out on the Exchange, and that the funds were
fast falling." This ought to mean that the "hearing," and not (as is
intended) that the "breaking out of the panic," took place in the

In practice, an adverb is often used to qualify a remote word, where
the latter is _more emphatic than any nearer word_. This is very
common when the Adverbial Adjunct is placed in an emphatic position at
the beginning of the sentence: "_On this very spot_ our guide declared
that Claverhouse had fallen."

*24. Nouns should be placed near the nouns that they define.* In the
very common sentence "The death is announced of Mr. John Smith, an
author whose works &c.," the transposition is probably made from a
feeling that, if we write "The death of Mr. John Smith is announced,"
we shall be obliged to begin a new sentence, "He was an author whose
works &c." But the difficulty can be removed by writing "We regret to
announce, or, we are informed of, the death of Mr. John Smith, an
author, &c."

*25. Pronouns should follow the nouns to which they refer without the
intervention of another noun.* Avoid, "John Smith, the son of Thomas
Smith, _who_ gave me this book," unless _Thomas Smith_ is the
antecedent of _who_. Avoid also "John supplied Thomas with money: _he_
(John) was very well off."

When, however, one of two preceding nouns is decidedly superior to the
other in emphasis, the more emphatic may be presumed to be the noun
referred to by the pronoun, even though the noun of inferior emphasis
intervenes. Thus: "At this moment the colonel came up, and took the
place of the wounded general. _He_ gave orders to halt." Here _he_
would naturally refer to _colonel_, though _general_ intervenes. A
_conjunction_ will often show that a pronoun refers to the subject of
the preceding sentence, and not to another intervening noun. "The
sentinel at once took aim at the approaching soldier, and fired. He
_then_ retreated to give the alarm."

It is better to adhere, in most cases, to Rule 25, which may be called
(Bain) the Rule of Proximity. The Rule of Emphasis, of which an
instance was given in the last paragraph, is sometimes misleading. A
distinction might be drawn by punctuating thus:

"David the father of Solomon, who slew Goliath." "David, the father of
Solomon who built the Temple." But the propriety of omitting a comma
in each case is questionable, and it is better to write so as not to
be at the mercy of commas.

*26. Clauses that are grammatically connected should be kept as close
together as possible.* (But see 55.) The introduction of parentheses
violating this rule often produced serious ambiguity. Thus, in the
following: "The result of these observations appears to be in
opposition to the view now generally received in this country, that
in muscular effort the substance of the muscle itself undergoes
disintegration." Here it is difficult to tell whether the theory of
"disintegration" is (1) "the result," or, as the absence of a comma
after "be" would indicate, (2) "in opposition to the result of these
observations." If (1) is intended, add "and to prove" after "country;"
if (2), insert "which is" after "country."

There is an excessive complication in the following:--"It cannot, at
all events, if the consideration demanded by a subject of such
importance from any one professing to be a philosopher, be given, be
denied that &c."

Where a speaker feels that his hearers have forgotten the connection
of the beginning of the sentence, he should repeat what he has said;
_e.g._ after the long parenthesis in the last sentence he should
recommence, "it cannot, I say, be denied." In writing, however, this
licence must be sparingly used.

A short parenthesis, or modifying clause, will not interfere with
clearness, especially if antithesis he used, so as to show the
connection between the different parts of the sentence, _e.g._ "A
modern newspaper statement, _though probably true_, would be laughed
at if quoted in a book as testimony; but the letter of a court gossip
is thought good historical evidence if written some centuries ago."
Here, to place "though probably true" at the beginning of the sentence
would not add clearness, and would impair the emphasis of the contrast
between "a modern newspaper statement" and "the letter of a court

*27. In conditional sentences, the antecedent clauses must be kept
distinct from the consequent clauses.*--There is ambiguity in "The
lesson intended to be taught by these manoeuvres will be lost, if the
plan of operations is laid down too definitely beforehand, and the
affair degenerates into a mere review." Begin, in any case, with the
antecedent, "If the plan," &c. Next write, according to the meaning:
(1) "If the plan is laid down, and the affair degenerates &c., then
the lesson will be lost;" or (2) " ... then the lesson ... will be
lost, and the affair degenerates into a mere review."

*28. Dependent clauses preceded by "that" should be kept distinct from
those that are independent.*

Take as an example:

(1) "He replied that he wished to help them, and intended to make
preparations accordingly."

This ought not to be used (though it sometimes is, for shortness) to

(2) "He replied ..., and he intended."

In (1), "intended," having no subject, must be supposed to be
connected with the nearest preceding verb, in the same mood and tense,
that has a subject, _i.e._ "wished." It follows that (1) is a
condensation of:

(3) "He replied that he wished ..., and that he intended."

(2), though theoretically free from ambiguity, is practically
ambiguous, owing to a loose habit of repeating the subject
unnecessarily. It would be better to insert a conjunctional word or a
full stop between the two statements. Thus:

(4) "He replied that he wished to help them, and _indeed_ he
intended," &c., or "He replied, &c. He intended, &c."

Where there is any danger of ambiguity, use (3) or (4) in preference
to (1) or (2).

*29. When there are several infinitives, those that are dependent on
the same word must be kept distinct from those that are not.*

"He said that he wished _to_ take his friend with him _to_ visit the
capital and _to_ study medicine." Here it is doubtful whether the
meaning is--

"He said that he wished to take his friend with him,

(1) _and also_ to visit the capital and study medicine," or

(2) "that his friend might visit the capital _and might also_ study
medicine," or

(3) "on a visit to the capital, _and that he also_ wished to study

From the three different versions it will be perceived that this
ambiguity must be met (_a_) by using "that" for "to," which allows us
to repeat an auxiliary verb [_e.g._ "might" in (2)], and (_b_) by
inserting conjunctions. As to insertions of conjunctions, see (37).

"In order to," and "for the purpose of," can be used to distinguish
(wherever there is any ambiguity) between an infinitive that
_expresses a purpose_, and an infinitive that does not, _e.g._ "He
told his servant to call upon his friend, _to_ (in order to) give him
information about the trains, and not to leave him till he started."

*30. The principle of suspense.* Write your sentence in such a way
that, until he has come to the full stop, the reader may feel the
sentence to be incomplete. In other words, keep your reader in
_suspense_. _Suspense_ is caused (1) by placing the "if-clause" first,
and not last, in a conditional sentence; (2) by placing participles
before the words they qualify; (3) by using suspensive conjunctions,
_e.g._ _not only_, _either_, _partly_, _on the one hand_, _in the
first place_, &c.

The following is an example of an _unsuspended_ sentence. The sense
_draggles_, and it is difficult to keep up one's attention.

"Mr. Pym was looked upon as the man of greatest experience in
parliaments, | where he had served very long, | and was always a man
of business, | being an officer in the Exchequer, | and of a good
reputation generally, | though known to be inclined to the Puritan
party; yet not of those furious resolutions (_Mod. Eng._ so furiously
resolved) against the Church as the other leading men were, | and
wholly devoted to the Earl of Bedford,--who had nothing of that

The foregoing sentence might have ended at any one of the eight points
marked above. When suspended it becomes:--

"Mr. Pym, owing to his long service in Parliament in the Exchequer,
was esteemed above all others for his Parliamentary experience and for
his knowledge of business. He had also a good reputation generally;
for, though openly favouring the Puritan party, he was closely devoted
to the Earl of Bedford, and, like the Earl, had none of the fanatical
spirit manifested against the Church by the other leading men."

*30 a. It is a violation of the principle of Suspense to introduce
unexpectedly, at the end of a long sentence, some short and unemphatic
clause beginning with (a) " ... not" or (b) " ... which."*

(_a_) "This reform has already been highly beneficial to all classes
of our countrymen, and will, I am persuaded, encourage among us
industry, self-dependence, and frugality, _and not, as some say,

Write "not, as some say, wastefulness, but industry, self-dependence,
and frugality."

(_b_) "After a long and tedious journey, the last part of which was a
little dangerous owing to the state of the roads, we arrived safely at
York, _which is a fine old town_."

*Exception.*--When the short final clause is intended to be
unexpectedly unemphatic, it comes in appropriately, with something of
the sting of an epigram. See (42). Thus:

"The old miser said that he should have been delighted to give the
poor fellow a shilling, but most unfortunately he had left his purse
at home--_a habit of his_."

Suspense naturally throws increased emphasis on the words for which we
are waiting, _i.e._ on the end of the sentence. It has been pointed
out above that *a monotony of final emphasis is objectionable,
especially in letter writing and conversation*.

*31. Suspense must not be excessive.* _Excess of suspense_ is a common
fault in boys translating from Latin. "Themistocles, having secured
the safety of Greece, the Persian fleet being now destroyed, when he
had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the Greeks to break down the
bridge across the Hellespont, hearing that Xerxes was in full flight,
and thinking that it might be profitable to secure the friendship of
the king, wrote as follows to him." The more English idiom is: "When
Themistocles had secured the safety of Greece by the destruction of
the Persian fleet, he made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the
Greeks to break down the bridge across the Hellespont. Soon
afterwards, hearing &c."

A long suspense that would be intolerable in prose is tolerable in the
introduction to a poem. See the long interval at the beginning of
_Paradise Lost_ between "Of man's first disobedience" and "Sing,
heavenly Muse." Compare also the beginning of _Paradise Lost_, Book

    "_High on a throne of royal state, which far
    Outshone the wealth of Ormuz and of Ind,
    Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
    Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold--
    Satan exalted sat._"

with the opening of Keats' _Hyperion_:

    "_Deep in the shady sadness of a vale,
    Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
    Far from the fiery noon and eve's one star--
    Sat grey-haired Saturn, quiet as a stone._"

*32. In a long conditional sentence put the "if-clause," antecedent,
or protasis, first.*

Everyone will see the flatness of "Revenge thy father's most unnatural
murder, if thou didst ever love him," as compared with the suspense
that forces an expression of agony from Hamlet in--

  "_Ghost._ If thou didst ever thy dear father love--
  _Hamlet._ O, God!
  _Ghost._ Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."

The effect is sometimes almost ludicrous when the consequent is long
and complicated, and when it precedes the antecedent or "if-clause."
"I should be delighted to introduce you to my friends, and to show you
the objects of interest in our city, and the beautiful scenery in the
neighbourhood, if you were here." Where the "if-clause" comes last, it
ought to be very emphatic: "if you were _only_ here."

The introduction of a clause with "if" or "though" in the middle of a
sentence may often cause ambiguity, especially when a great part of
the sentence depends on "that:" "His enemies answered that, for the
sake of preserving the public peace, they would keep quiet for the
present, though he declared that cowardice was the motive of the
delay, and that for this reason they would put off the trial to a more
convenient season." See (27).

*33. Suspense[13] is gained by placing a Participle or Adjective that
qualifies the Subject, before the Subject.*

"_Deserted_ by his friends, he was forced to have recourse to those
that had been his enemies." Here, if we write, "He, deserted by his
friends, was forced &c.," _he_ is unduly emphasized; and if we write,
"He was forced to have recourse to his enemies, having been deserted
by his friends," the effect is very flat.

Of course we might sometimes write "He was deserted and forced &c."
But this cannot be done where the "desertion" is to be not stated but

Often, when a participle qualifying the subject is introduced late in
the sentence, it causes positive ambiguity: "With this small force the
general determined to attack the foe, _flushed_ with recent victory
and _rendered_ negligent by success."

An excessive use of the _suspensive participle_ is French and
objectionable: _e.g._ "_Careless_ by nature, and too much _engaged_
with business to think of the morrow, _spoiled_ by a long-established
liberty and a fabulous prosperity, _having_ for many generations
forgotten the scourge of war, we allow ourselves to drift on without
taking heed of the signs of the times." The remedy is to convert the
participle into a verb depending on a conjunction: "Because we are by
nature careless, &c.;" or to convert the participle into a verb
co-ordinate with the principal verb, _e.g._ "_We are_ by nature
careless, &c., and therefore we _allow_ ourselves, &c."

*34. Suspensive Conjunctions, e.g. "either," "not only," "on the one
hand," add clearness.*--Take the following sentence:--"You must take
this extremely perilous course, in which success is uncertain, and
failure disgraceful, as well as ruinous, or else the liberty of your
country is endangered." Here, the meaning is liable to be
misunderstood, till the reader has gone half through the sentence.
Write "_Either_ you must," &c., and the reader is, from the first,
prepared for an alternative. Other suspensive conjunctions or phrases
are _partly_, _for our part_; _in the first place_; _it is true_;
_doubtless_; _of course_; _though_; _on the one hand_.

*35. Repeat the Subject when the omission would cause ambiguity or
obscurity.*--The omission is particularly likely to cause obscurity
after a Relative standing as Subject:--

"He professes to be helping the nation, which in reality is suffering
from his flattery, and (he? or it?) will not permit anyone else to
give it advice."

The Relative should be repeated when it is the Subject of several
Verbs. "All the pleasing illusions _which_ made power gentle and
obedience liberal, _which_ harmonized the different shades of life,
and _which_, by a bland assimilation, incorporated into politics the
sentiments that beautify and soften private society, are to be
dissolved by this new conquering empire of light and reason."

*36. Repeat a Preposition after an intervening Conjunction, especially
if a Verb and an Object also intervene.*

"He forgets the gratitude that he owes to those that helped all his
companions when he was poor and uninfluential, and (_to_) John Smith
in particular." Here, omit _to_, and the meaning may be "that helped
all his companions, and John Smith in particular." The intervention of
the verb and object, "helped" and "companions," causes this ambiguity.

*37. When there are several Verbs at some distance from a Conjunction
on which they depend, repeat the Conjunction.*[14]

"When we look back upon the havoc that two hundred years have made in
the ranks of our national authors--and, above all, (_when_) we refer
their rapid disappearance to the quick succession of new
competitors--we cannot help being dismayed at the prospect that lies
before the writers of the present day."

Here omit "when," and we at once substitute a parenthetical statement
for what is really a subordinate clause.

In reporting a speech or opinion, "that" must be continually repeated,
to avoid the danger of confusing what the writer says with what others

"We might say that the Cæsars did not persecute the Christians;
(_that_) they only punished men who were charged, rightly or wrongly,
with burning Rome, and committing the foulest abominations in secret
assemblies; and (_that_) the refusal to throw frankincense on the
altar of Jupiter was not the crime, but only evidence of the crime."
But see (6 _b_).

*37 a. Repeat Verbs after the conjunctions "than," "as," &c.*

"I think he likes me better _than_ you;" _i.e._ either "than you like
me," or "he likes you."

"Cardinal Richelieu hated Buckingham as sincerely as _did_ the
Spaniard Olivares." Omit "did," and you cause ambiguity.

*38. If the sentence is so long that it is difficult to keep the
thread of meaning unbroken, repeat the subject, or some other emphatic
word, or a summary of what has been said.*

"Gold and cotton, banks and railways, crowded ports, and populous
cities--_these_ are not the elements that constitute a great nation."

This repetition (though useful and, when used in moderation, not
unpleasant) is more common with speakers than with writers, and with
slovenly speakers than with good speakers.

"The country is in such a condition, that if we delay longer some fair
measure of reform, sufficient at least to satisfy the more moderate,
and much more, if we refuse all reform whatsoever--I say, if _we adopt
so unwise a policy, the country is in such a condition_ that we may
precipitate a revolution."

Where the relative is either implied (in a participle) or repeated,
the antecedent must often be repeated also. In the following sentence
we have the Subject repeated not only in the final summary, but also
as the antecedent:--

"But if there were, in any part of the world, a national church
regarded as heretical by four-fifths of the nation committed to its
care; a _church_ established and maintained by the sword; a _church_
producing twice as many riots as conversions; a _church_ which, though
possessing great wealth and power, and though long backed by
persecuting laws, had, in the course of many generations, been found
unable to propagate its doctrines, and barely able to maintain its
ground; a _church_ so odious that fraud and violence, when used
against its clear rights of property, were generally regarded as fair
play; a _church_ whose ministers were preaching to desolate walls, and
with difficulty obtaining their lawful subsistence by the help of
bayonets,--_such a church_, on our principles, could not, we must own,
be defended."

*39. It is a help to clearness, when the first part of the sentence
prepares the way for the middle and the middle for the end, in a kind
of ascent. This ascent is called "climax."*

In the following there are two climaxes, each of which has three

"To gossip(a) is a fault(b); to _libel_(a'), a _crime_(b'); to
slander(a''), a _sin_(b'')."

In the following, there are several climaxes, and note how they
contribute to the clearness of a long sentence:--

"Man, working, has _contrived_(a) the Atlantic Cable, but I declare
that it _astonishes_(b) me far more to think _that for his mere
amusement_(c), that to _entertain a mere idle hour_(c'), he has
_created_(a') 'Othello' and 'Lear,' and I am more than astonished, I
am _awe-struck_(b'), at that inexplicable elasticity of his nature
which enables him, instead of _turning away_(d) from _calamity and
grief_(e), or instead of merely _defying_(d') them, actually to _make
them the material of his amusement_(d''), and to draw from the
_wildest agonies of the human spirit_(e') a pleasure which is not
only _not cruel_(f), but is in the highest degree _pure and

The neglect of climax produces an abruptness that interferes with the
even flow of thought. Thus, if Pope, in his ironical address to
mankind, had written--

    "Go, wondrous creature, mount where science guides;
    Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
    Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule"--

the ascent would have been too rapid. The transition from earth to
heaven, and from investigating to governing, is prepared by the
intervening climax--

    "Instruct the planets in what orbs to run;
    Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
    Go, soar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
    To the first good, first perfect, and first fair."

*40. When the thought is expected to ascend and yet descends,
feebleness and sometimes confusion is the result. The descent is
called "bathos."*

"What pen can describe the tears, the lamentations, the agonies, the
_animated remonstrances_ of the unfortunate prisoners?"

"She was a woman of many accomplishments and virtues, graceful in her
movements, winning in her address, a kind friend, a faithful and
loving wife, a most affectionate mother, and she _played beautifully
on the pianoforte_."

INTENTIONAL BATHOS has a humorous incongruity and abruptness that is
sometimes forcible. For example, after the climax ending with the

    "Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule,"

Pope adds--

    "Then drop into thyself, and be a _fool_."

*40 a. A new construction should not be introduced without cause.*--A
sudden and apparently unnecessary change of construction causes
awkwardness and roughness at least, and sometimes breaks the flow of
the sentence so seriously as to cause perplexity. Thus, write
"virtuous and accomplished," or "of many virtues and accomplishments,"
not "of many virtues and accomplished;" "riding or walking" or "on
foot or horseback," not "on foot or riding." In the same way, do not
put adjectives and participles, active and passive forms of verbs, in
too close juxtaposition. Avoid such sentences as the following:--

"He had good reason _to believe_ that the delay was not _an accident_
(accidental) but _premeditated_, and _for supposing_ (to suppose, or
else, for believing, above) that the fort, though strong both _by art_
and _naturally_ (nature), would be forced by the _treachery of the_
governor and the _indolent_ (indolence of the) general to capitulate
within a week."

"They accused him of being _bribed_ (receiving bribes from) by the
king and _unwilling_ (neglecting) to take the city."

*41. Antithesis adds force, and often clearness.*--The meaning of
_liberal_ in the following sentence is ascertained by the

"All the pleasing illusions which made _power_(a) _gentle_(b) and
_obedience_(a') _liberal_(b') ... are now to be destroyed."

There is a kind of proportion. As _gentleness_ is to _power_, so
_liberality_ (in the sense here used) is to _obedience_. Now
_gentleness_ is the check on the excess of power; therefore _liberal_
here applies to that which checks the excess of obedience, _i.e._
checks servility. Hence _liberal_ here means "free."

The contrast also adds force. "They aimed at the _rule_(a), not at the
_destruction_(a'), of their country. They were men of great _civil_(b)
and great _military_(b') talents, and, if the _terror_(c), the
_ornament_(c') of their age."

Excessive antithesis is unnatural and wearisome:--

"Who can persuade where _treason_(a) is above _reason_(a'), and
_might_(b) ruleth _right_(b'), and it is had for _lawful_(c)
whatsoever is _lustful_(c'), and _commotioners_(d) are better than
_commissioners_(d'), and _common woe_(e) is named common

*42. Epigram.*--It has been seen that the neglect of climax results in
lameness. Sometimes the suddenness of the descent produces amusement:
and when the descent is intentional and very sudden, the effect is
striking as well as amusing. Thus:--

(1) "You are not only not vicious, you are virtuous," is a _climax_.

(2) "You are not vicious, you are vice," is not _climax_, nor is it
_bathos_: it is _epigram_.[15]

Epigram may be defined as a "short sentence expressing truth under an
amusing appearance of incongruity." It is often antithetical.

  "The Russian grandees came to { and diamonds," _climax_.
     court dropping pearls      { and vermin," _epigram_.

  "These two nations were divided  { and the bitter remembrance
     by mutual fear                { of recent losses," _climax_.
                                   { and mountains," _epigram_.

There is a sort of implied antithesis in:--

"He is full of information--(but flat also) like yesterday's _Times_."

"Verbosity is cured (not by a small, but) by a large vocabulary."

The name of epigram may sometimes be given to a mere antithesis;
_e.g._ "An educated man should know something of everything, and
everything of something."

*43. Let each sentence have one, and only one, principal subject of

"This great and good man died on the 17th of September, 1683, leaving
behind him the memory of many noble actions, and a numerous family, of
whom three were sons; one of them, George, the eldest, heir to his
father's virtues, as well as to his principal estates in Cumberland,
where most of his father's property was situate, and shortly
afterwards elected member for the county, which had for several
generations returned this family to serve in Parliament." Here we have
(1) the "great and good man," (2) "George," (3) "the county,"
disputing which is to be considered the principal subject. Two, if not
three sentences should have been made, instead of one. Carefully avoid
a long sentence like this, treating of many different subjects on one
level. It is called _heterogeneous_.

*44. The connection between different sentences must be kept up by
Adverbs used as Conjunctions, or by means of some other connecting
words at the beginning of each sentence.*--Leave out the conjunctions
and other connecting words, and it will be seen that the following
sentences lose much of their meaning:--

"Pitt was in the army for a few months in time of peace. His
biographer (_accordingly_) insists on our confessing, that, if the
young cornet had remained in the service, he would have been one of
the ablest commanders that ever lived. (_But_) this is not all. Pitt
(, _it seems_,) was not merely a great poet _in esse_ and a great
general _in posse_, but a finished example of moral excellence....
(_The truth is, that_) there scarcely ever lived a person who had so
little claim to this sort of praise as Pitt. He was (_undoubtedly_) a
great man. (_But_) his was not a complete and well-proportioned
greatness. The public life of Hampden or of Somers resembles a regular
drama which can be criticised as a whole, and every scene of which is
to be viewed in connection with the main action. The public life of
Pitt (, _on the other hand_,) is," &c.

The following are some of the most common connecting adverbs, or
connecting phrases: (1) expressing consequence, similarity,
repetition, or resumption of a subject--_accordingly_, _therefore_,
_then_, _naturally_, _so that_, _thus_, _in this way_, _again_, _once
more_, _to resume_, _to continue_, _to sum up_, _in fact_, _upon
this_; (2) expressing opposition--_nevertheless_, _in spite of this_,
_yet_, _still_, _however_, _but_, _on the contrary_, _on the other
hand_; (3) expressing suspension--_undoubtedly ... but_; _indeed ...
yet_; _on the one hand ... on the other_; _partly ... partly_; _some
... others_.

Avoid a style like that of Bishop Burnet, which strings together a
number of sentences with "and" or "so," or with no conjunction at all:

"Blake with the fleet happened to be at Malaga, before he made war
upon Spain; _and_ some of his seamen went ashore, _and_ met the Host
carried about; _and_ not only paid no respect to it, but laughed at
those who did." Write "_When_ Blake &c."

*45. The connection between two long sentences sometimes requires a
short intervening sentence, showing the transition of thought.*

"Without force or opposition, it (chivalry) subdued the fierceness of
pride and power; it obliged sovereigns to submit to the soft
collar[16] of social esteem, compelled stern authority to submit to
elegance, and gave a dominating vanquisher of laws to be subdued by
manners. But now (_all is to be changed_:) all the pleasing illusions
which made power gentle and obedience liberal, which harmonized the
different shades of life, and which, by a bland assimilation,
incorporated into politics the sentiments that beautify and soften
private society, are to be dissolved by this new conquering empire of
light and reason." If the words italicized were omitted, the
transition would be too abrupt: the conjunction _but_ alone would be


[5] _For_, at the beginning of a sentence, sometimes causes temporary
doubt, while the reader is finding out whether it is used as a
conjunction or preposition.

[6] _It_ should refer (1) either to the Noun immediately preceding, or
(2) to some Noun superior to all intervening Nouns in emphasis. See

[7] So useful that, on mature consideration, I am disposed to adopt
"that" here and in several of the following exceptional cases.

[8] Of course "and which" may be used where "which" precedes.

[9] "That which," where _that_ is an _object_, _e.g._ "then (set
forth) _that which_ is worse," _St. John_ ii. 10, is rare in modern

[10] Sometimes the emphatic Adverb comes at the beginning, and causes
the transposition of an Auxiliary Verb, "_Gladly_ do I consent."

[11] Of course punctuation will remove the ambiguity; but it is better
to express oneself clearly, as far as possible, independently of

[12] Professor Bain.

[13] See (30).

[14] The repetition of Auxiliary Verbs and Pronominal Adjectives is
also conducive to clearness.

[15] Professor Bain says: "In the epigram the mind is roused by a
conflict or contradiction between the form of the language and the
meaning really conveyed."

[16] This metaphor is not recommended for imitation.

       *       *       *       *       *


*46. Metaphor is briefer than literal statement.* See (13).

"The cares and responsibilities of a sovereign often disturb his
sleep," is not so brief as "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,"
where the effect of care on the mind is assimilated to the effect of a
heavy crown pressing on the head.

*47. General terms are briefer, though less forcible, than particular
terms.* Thus: "He devours _literature_, no matter of what kind," is
shorter than, "Novels or sermons, poems or histories, no matter what,
he devours them all."

*47 a. A phrase may be expressed by a word.*

"These impressions _can never be forgotten_, i.e. are _indelible_."

"The style of this book is _of such a nature that it cannot be
understood_, i.e. _unintelligible_."

The words "of such a nature that" are often unnecessarily inserted.
See the extract from Sir Archibald Alison.

*48. Participles can often be used as brief (though sometimes
ambiguous) equivalents of phrases containing Conjunctions and Verbs.*

"Hearing (when he heard) this, he advanced." See (7) for more
instances. So "phrases _containing_ conjunctions" means "phrases _that
contain_ conjunctions." "_This done_, (for, _when this was done_) he

Sometimes the participle "being" is omitted. "France at our doors, he
sees no danger nigh," for "France being" or "though France is."

*49. Participles and participial adjectives may be used like
Adjectives, as equivalents for phrases containing the Relative.*

"The never-_ceasing_ wind," "the _clamouring_ ocean," "the _drenching_
rain," are instances. The licence of inventing participial adjectives
by adding _-ing_ to a noun, is almost restricted to poetry. You could
not write "the _crannying_ wind" in prose.

*50. A statement may sometimes be briefly implied instead of being
expressed at length.* Thus, instead of "The spirit of Christianity was
humanizing, and therefore &c.," or "Christianity, since it was (or
being) of a humanizing spirit, discouraged &c.," we can write more
briefly and effectively, "Gladiatorial shows were first discouraged,
and finally put down, by the _humanizing spirit of Christianity_." So
instead of "The nature of youth is thoughtless and sanguine, and
therefore &c.," we can write, "The danger of the voyage was
depreciated and the beauty of the island exaggerated by _the
thoughtless nature of youth_."

Sometimes a mere name or epithet implies a statement. "It was in vain
that he offered the Swiss terms: war was deliberately preferred by the
_hardy mountaineers_," _i.e._ "by the Swiss, _because they were
mountaineers and hardy_." "The deed was applauded by all honest men,
but the Government affected to treat it as murder, and set a price
upon the head of (him whom they called) the _assassin." "The conqueror
of Austerlitz_ might be expected to hold different language from _the
prisoner of St. Helena_," _i.e._ "Napoleon when elated by the victory
of Austerlitz," and "Napoleon when depressed by his imprisonment at
St. Helena."

CAUTION.--Different names must not be used for the same person unless
each of them derives an appropriateness from its context. Thus, if we
are writing about Charles II., it would be in very bad taste to avoid
repeating "he" by using such periphrases as the following: "The third
of the Stewarts hated business," "the Merry Monarch died in the
fifty-fourth year of his age," &c.

*51. Conjunctions may be omitted.* The omission gives a certain
forcible abruptness, _e.g._ "You say this: I (on the other hand) deny

When sentences are short, as in Macaulay's writings, conjunctions may
be advantageously omitted.

Where a contrast is intended, the conjunction _but_ usually prepares
the way for the second of the two contrasted terms: "He is good _but_
dull." Where _and_ is used instead of _but_, the incongruity savours
of epigram: "He always talks truthfully _and_ prosily." "He is always
amusing _and_ false."

*51 a. The Imperative Mood may be used for "if."*

"_Strip_ (for, _if you strip_) Virtue of the awful authority she
derives from the general reverence of mankind, and you rob her of half
her majesty."

*52. Apposition may be used so as to convert two sentences into one.*

"We called at the house of a person to whom we had letters of
introduction, _a musician_, and, what is more, a _good friend_ to all
young students of music." This is as clear as, and briefer than, "He
was a musician, &c."

*53. Condensation may be effected by not repeating (1) the common
subject of several verbs, (2) the common object of several verbs or

(1) "He resided here for many years, and, after he had won the esteem
of all the citizens, (_he_) died," &c. So, (2) "He came to, and was
induced to reside in, this city," is shorter than "He came to this
city, and was induced to reside in it."

Such condensation often causes obscurity, and, even where there is no
obscurity, there is a certain harshness in pausing on light,
unemphatic words, such as _to_, _in_, &c., as in the first example.

*54. Tautology.*--The fault of repeating the same word several times
unnecessarily is called _tautology_, e.g.:

"This is a painful _circumstance_; it is a _circumstance_ that I much
_regret_, and he also will much _regret_ the _circumstance_." But the
fault is not to be avoided by using different words to mean the same
thing, as, "This is a painful _event_; it is a _circumstance_ that I
_much regret_, and he also will _greatly lament_ the _occurrence_."
The true remedy is to arrange the words in such a manner that there
may be no unnecessary repetition, thus: "This is a painful
circumstance, a circumstance that causes me, and will cause him, deep

The repetition of the same meaning in slightly different words is a
worse fault than the repetition of the same word. See, for examples,
the extract from Sir Archibald Alison, at the end of the book. Thus
"_A burning thirst_ for conquests is a characteristic of this nation.
It is an _ardent passion_ that &c." Other instances are--"The
_universal_ opinion of _all_ men;" "His judgment is so _infallible_
that it is _never deceived_," &c.

*55. Parenthesis may be used with advantage to brevity.*

"We are all (and who would not be?) offended at the treatment we have
received," is shorter and more forcible than the sentence would have
been if the parenthesis had been appended in a separate sentence:
"Who, indeed, would not be offended?"

Extreme care must, however, be taken that a parenthesis may not
obscure the meaning of a long sentence.

*56. Caution: let clearness be the first consideration.* It is best,
at all events for beginners, not to aim so much at being brief, or
forcible, as at being perfectly clear. Horace says, "While I take
pains to be brief, I fall into obscurity," and it may easily be seen
that several of the rules for brevity interfere with the rules for

Forcible style springs from (1) vividness and (2) exactness of
thought, and from a corresponding (1) vividness and (2) exactness in
the use of words.

(1) When you are describing anything, endeavour to _see_ it and
describe it as you see it. If you are writing about a man who was
killed, _see_ the man before you, and ask, was he _executed_, _cut
down_, _run through the body_, _butchered_, _shot_, or _hanged_? If
you are writing about the capture of a city, was the city _stormed_,
_surprised_, _surrendered_, _starved out_, or _demolished before
surrender_? Was an army _repelled_, _defeated_, _routed_, _crushed_,
or _annihilated_?

(2) Exactness in the use of words requires an exact knowledge of their
meanings and differences. This is a study by itself, and cannot be
discussed here.[17]


[17] See _English Lessons for English People_, pp. 1-53.


_For an explanation of the manner in which these Exercises are
intended to be used, see the Preface._

_A number in brackets by itself, or followed by a letter,_ e.g. _(43),
(40 a), refers to the Rules._

_Letters_ by themselves _in brackets_, e.g. _(b), refer to the
explanations or hints appended to each sentence._

_N.B..--(10 a) refers to the first section of Rule (10); (10 a') to
the Rule following Rule (10)._

1. "Pleasure and excitement had more attractions for him _than_ (_a_)
(36) (37 _a_) _his friend_, and the two companions became estranged
(15 _a_) _gradually_."

     (_a_) Write (1) "than for his friend," or (2) "than had his
     friend," "had more attractions than his friend."

2. "(_a_) He soon grew tired of solitude even in that beautiful
scenery, (36) the pleasures of the retirement (8) _which_ he had once
pined for, and (36) leisure which he could use to no good purpose,
(_a_) (30) _being_ (15) _restless by nature_."

     (_a_) This sentence naturally stops at "purpose." Also "being
     restless" seems (wrongly) to give the reason why "leisure" could
     not be employed. Begin "Restless by nature...."

3. "The opponents of the Government are naturally, and not (_a_) (40
_a_) _without justification_, elated at the failure of the bold
attempt to return two supporters of the Government at the recent
election, (_b_) (10 _a'_) _which_ is certainly to be regretted."

     (_a_) "unjustifiably." (_b_) Write, for "which," either (1) "an
     attempt that &c.," or (2) "a failure that &c."

4. "Carelessness in the Admiralty departments has co-operated with
Nature to weaken the moral power of a Government that particularly
needs to be thought efficient in (_a_) (5) _this_ _respect_, (_b_)
(29) _to_ counterbalance a general distrust of its excessive _desire_
(_c_) (47 _a_) _to please everybody_ in Foreign Affairs."

     (_a_) Write "the Navy." (_b_) Instead of "to" write "in order
     to," so as to distinguish the different infinitives, (_c_)

5. "(_a_) He was sometimes supported by Austria, who, oddly enough,
appears under Count Beust to have been more friendly to Italy _than_
(37 _a_) _France_, (30) _in this line of action_."

     (_a_) Begin with "In this line of action." Why? (_b_) Write "than
     was France" or "than France was."

6. "There was something so startling in (_a_) (5) _this_ assertion,
(_a_) (4) _that_ the discoveries of previous investigators were to be
(_b_) (47 _a_) _treated as though they had never been made_, and (4)
_that one who had not yet_ (47 _a_) _attained the age of manhood_ had
superseded the grey-headed philosophers (8) _who_ had for centuries
patiently sought after the truth, (4) _that_ (_a_) (5) _it_ naturally
provoked derision."

     (_a_) "This," "that," and "it," cause a little perplexity. Write
     "The startling assertion that the discoveries...." (_b_)
     "ignored." (_c_) "a mere youth," "a mere stripling."

7. "One of the recommendations (_on which very_ (_a_) (26) (47, _a_)
_much depended_) of the Commission was that a council in each province
should establish smaller councils, each to have the oversight of a
small district, and (_b_) (37) report to a central council on the
state of Education in (_c_) (5) it."

     (_a_) Write "cardinal recommendations." Derive "cardinal." (_b_)
     Write, either (1) "and should report," or (2) "and to report."
     (_c_) Write "in its province," or "district."

8. "At this (_a_) (1) _period_ an (_b_) (11) _event_ (_c_) (1)
_transpired_ that destroyed the last hopes of peace. The king fell
from his horse and died two hours after the fall (_d_) (30), _which
was occasioned by his horse's stumbling on a mole-hill, while he was
on his return from reviewing his soldiers_."

     (_a_) What is a "period"? (_b_) Express the particular kind of
     event ("accident"). (_c_) What is the meaning of "transpired"?
     (_d_) Transpose thus: "While the king was on his return ... his
     horse ...; the king fell and &c." The cause should precede the

9. "He determined (_c_) on selling all his estates, and, as soon as
this was done (40 _a_), _to_ (_c_) _quit_ the country, (_a_) (33)
believing that his honour demanded this sacrifice and (40) (40 _a_)
_in_ (_b_) _the_ hope of satisfying his creditors."

     (_a_) Begin with "Believing that &c." (_b_) "hoping thereby to
     satisfy &c." (_c_) "to sell" or "on quitting.".

10. "He read patiently on, Leading Articles, Foreign Correspondence,
Money Article and all; (_a_) (43) during which his father fell asleep,
and he (_b_) went in search of his sister."

     Point out the absurdity of "during which" applied to the last
     part of the sentence. (_a_) "Meanwhile." (_b_) Insert "then."

11. "The general was quite (_a_) (1) _conscious_ (40 _a_) _how_
treacherous were the intentions of _those who were_ (_b_) (49)
_entertaining_ him, and (40 _a_) _of the_ dangers from which he had
_escaped_ (15) _lately_."

     (_a_) Distinguish between "conscious" and "aware." _(b_)

12. "If _certain_ (_a_) (11) _books_ had been published a hundred
years ago, there can be no doubt that _certain recent_ (_b_) (11)
_historians_ would have made great use of them. But it _would_ (_c_)
(15 _b_) _not_, on that account, be judicious in a writer of our own
times to publish an edition of the works of _one of these_ (_b_) (11)
_historians_, in which large extracts from these books should be
incorporated with the original text."

     (_a_) "Mrs. Hutchinson's Memoirs." (_b_) "Mr. Hume." (_c_) Add at
     the end of the sentence, "Surely not."

13. "He made no attempt to get up a petition, (32) though he did not
like the new representative quite so well _as_ (_a_) (37 _a_) _his

     (_a_) "as did his colleagues" or "as he liked his colleagues."

14. "Though he was (_a_) (15) _obstinate_ and (15) _unprincipled_, yet
he could not face an angered father (15 _a_) _in spite of his

     (_a_) Begin with "Obstinate."

15. "He was known to his country neighbours (_a_) (15) _during more
than forty years_ as a gentleman of cultivated mind, (40 _a_) _whose
principles were high_, (40 _a_) _with polished address_, happy in his
family, and (_b_) (40 _a_) _actively_ discharging local duties; and
(40 _a_) _among_ political men, as an honest, industrious, and
sensible member of Parliament, (40 a) _without_ (_c_) _eagerness_ to
display his talents, (40 _a_) _who_ (10 _g_) _was_ stanch to his
party, and attentive to the interests of _those whose_ (_d_) (47 _a_)
_representative he was_."

     (_a_) "During more &c.," is emphatic, and affects the latter as
     well as the former half of the sentence: hence it should stand
     first. (_b_) "in the discharge of." (_c_) "not eager." (_d_)
     Condense into one word.

16. "The poor think themselves no more disgraced by taking bribes at
elections _than_ (_a_) (37 _a_) _the rich_ by offering them."

     (_a_) Write (1) "Than the rich think themselves disgraced," or
     (2) "Than they think the rich disgraced."

17. "We are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars, (_a_)
(41) and his tyranny, (_a_) (41) had filled his dominions with (_b_)
(1) _misfortune and_ (_c_) (11) _calamity_, and _greatly_ (_d_) (11)
_diminished_ the population of the Persian Empire. _This great Sultan
had_ (_e_) (50) _a Vizier_. _We are not_ (_f_) (55) (15) _informed_
whether he was a humorist or an enthusiast, (_g_) _but he_ pretended
(_h_) that he had learned from (_i_) (11) _some one_ how to understand
the language of birds, so that _he_ (_j_) (5) knew what was said by
any bird that opened its mouth. (_k_) (44) One evening he was with the
Sultan, returning from hunting. They saw a couple of owls _which_ (10
_g_) _were_ sitting upon a tree (_l_) (8) _which_ grew near an old
wall out of a heap of rubbish. The Sultan said (6) he should like to
know what the two owls were saying to one another, _and asked the_
(_m_) _Vizier to_ listen to their discourse and give him an account of
it. The Vizier, (_n_) (31) pretending to be very attentive to the
owls, approached the tree. He (_o_) returned to the Sultan and said
that (6) he had heard part of their conversation, but did not wish to
tell him what it was. (_p_) (5) _He_, not (_q_) (31) being satisfied
with this answer, forced him to repeat everything the owls had said
(20) _exactly_. (_r_) (44) (5) (6) _He_ told (5) _him_ that the owls
were arranging a treaty of marriage between their children, and that
one of them, after agreeing to settle five hundred villages upon the
female owl, had prayed (6) that God would grant a long life to Sultan
Mahmoud, because as long as he reigned over them they would never want
ruined villages. The story says (_s_) _that_ (_t_) (5) _he_ was
touched with the fable, (30) and (_s_) _that_ he (_a_) (39) from that
time forward _consulted_ (15) _the good of his people_, and that he
rebuilt the towns and villages (_v_) _which_ had been destroyed."

     (_a_) "abroad ... at home." (_b_) "ruin." (_c_) "desolation."
     (_d_) "half unpeopled." (_e_) "The Vizier of &c." (_f_) "We are
     not informed" is emphatic, and therefore should be inverted,
     "whether he was, &c., we are not informed." (_g_) "but he" will
     be omitted when "the Vizier" is made the subject of "pretended."
     (_h_) "Pretended" once meant "claimed," "professed." Write
     "professed." (_i_) "a certain dervish." (_j_) Introduce a new
     subject that you may substitute "Vizier" for "he," thus: "so that
     not a bird could open its mouth, but the Vizier knew &c." (_k_)
     "As he was, one evening, &c." (_l_) Note that the tree is
     represented as growing out of _ruins_. This is in accordance with
     the story of the mischief Mahmoud had done. (_m_) Omit this.
     (_n_) "Suspense" is out of place in a simple narrative like this;
     the sentence therefore ends with "owls." (_o_) "Upon his return."
     (_p_) "The Sultan" (_q_) "would not be satisfied." (_r_) "You
     must know then, &c." (_s_) Omit. (_t_) "so touched ... that."
     (_u_) end with "people." (_v_) Addison here uses "_which_"
     probably because of the preceding "that." We have to choose
     between sound and clearness. "Which" implies that _all_ the
     villages in the country had been destroyed, whereas the country
     had been only (see above) "_half_ unpeopled."

18. "Though this great king never permitted any pastime to interfere
with the duties of state, which he considered to be _superior to_ (54)
_all other claims and of paramount importance_, and (_a_) (37) kept
himself so far under control that he allowed no one pursuit or
amusement to run to any excess, yet he _took_ (54) _great pleasure in_
the chase, _of which he was_ (_b_) (2) _excessively_ (54) _fond_, and
for the purposes of which he created several _large_ parks _of
considerable_ (54) _magnitude_."

     (_a_) Either repeat "though," or else strikeout the first
     "though" and begin a new sentence after "excess." (_b_) Point out
     the contradiction between "excessively" and what precedes.

19. "To inundate (_a_) (11) their land, to man their ships, to leave
their country, with all its miracles of art and industry, its cities,
its villas, and its (_b_) (11) pastures buried under the waves (_c_)
(11); to bear to a distant climate their (_d_) (11) faith and their
old (_e_) (11) liberties; to establish, with auspices _that_(10 _a)
might perhaps be happier_, the new (_f_) (11) _constitution of their
commonwealth_, in a (_g_) (11) foreign and strange (_h_) (11) land, in
the Spice Islands of the Eastern Seas, (38) were the plans which they
had the spirit to form."

     (_a_) Introduce "dykes." (_b_) Introduce something _peculiar_ to
     the Dutch, _e.g._ "canals," "tulip gardens." (_c_) "of the German
     Ocean." (_d_) The Dutch were Calvinists. (_e_) The country was in
     old times "Batavia," so that "Batavian" would be a fit epithet to
     denote what the Dutch had inherited from their forefathers. (_f_)
     "Stadthaus," the German for "town-hall." (_g_) "other stars."
     (_h_) "strange vegetation."

20. "During twenty years of unexampled prosperity, _during_ (_a_)
_which_ the wealth of the nation had shot (14 _a_) _up and extended
its branches_ on every side, and the funds _had_ (14 _a_) _soared_ to
a higher point than had been ever attained before, (_b_) (15)
speculation had become general."

     (_a_) Omit. (_b_) Begin a new sentence: "This, _or_ Prosperity,
     had increased the taste for speculation."

21. "At that time (_a_) (16) a mere narrow-minded pedant (for he
deserves no better name) had been set up by the literary world as a
great author, and as the supreme (_b_) critic, alone qualified to
deliver decisions _which could never be_ (_b_) _reversed_ upon (15
_a_) _the literary productions of the day_."

     (_a_) End with " ... one who was--for he deserves no better
     name--a mere narrow-minded pedant." (_b_) "Which could never be
     reversed" can be expressed in one word; or else "the supreme ...
     reversed" may be condensed into a personification: "a very Minos
     of contemporary criticism."

22. "With the intention of fulfilling his promise, and (40 _a_)
_intending also_ to clear himself from the suspicion that attached to
him, he determined to ascertain _how_ (40 _a_) _far this testimony_
was corroborated, and (_a_) (40 _a_) the motives of the prosecutor,
(_b_) (43) who had begun the suit last Christmas."

     (_a_) "what were." (_b_) Begin a new sentence, "The latter &c.,"
     or "The suit had been begun &c."

23. "The Jewish nation, relying on the teaching of their prophets,
looked forward to a time when its descendants should be as numerous as
_the heavenly_ (11) _bodies_, and when the _products_ (_a_) (11) _of
the earth_ should be _so increased as to create an abundant_ (54)
_plenty_, when each man should rest beneath the shade of his own (_a_)
(11) _trees_, and when the _instruments_ (11) _of war_ should be
_converted to the_ (11) _uses of peace_."

     (_a_) Mention some "products," "trees" of Palestine.

24. "He replied (32), when he was asked the reason for his sudden
unpopularity, that he owed it to his refusal to annul the commercial
treaty, (_a_) (8) _which_(10 _a'_) gave great displeasure to the
poorer classes."

     (_a_) Point out the ambiguity, and remove it by (8) or (10 _a'_).

25. "I saw my old schoolfellow again by mere accident when I was in
London at the time of the first Exhibition, (19) _walking_ down Regent
Street and looking in at the shops."

     Point out and remove the ambiguity.

26. "He remained in the House while his speech was taken into
consideration; _which_ (52) _was_ a common practice with him, because
the debates amused his sated mind, and indeed _he used to say_ (_a_)
(6 _b_) _that they_ were sometimes as good as a comedy. His Majesty
had certainly never seen _a more_ (17) _sudden turn_ in any comedy of
intrigue, either at his own play-house or the Duke's, than that which
this memorable debate produced."

     (_a_) "and were sometimes, he used to say, as good &c."

27. "The Commons would not approve the war (20) _expressly_; neither
did they as yet condemn it (20) _expressly_; and (_a_) (18) the king
might even have obtained a supply for continuing hostilities (19) from
them, on condition _of_ (_b_) _redressing_ grievances _connected with
the_ (_c_) _administration of affairs at home_, among which the
Declaration of Indulgence was a very _important_ (_d_) (15_a_) one."

     (_a_) Write "they were even ready to grant the king &c." (_b_)
     Use the verb with a subject, (_c_) Condense all this into one
     adjective, meaning "that which takes place at home." (_d_) End
     with a noun, "importance," or "foremost place."

28. "Next to thinking clearly, (_a_) (5) _it is_ useful to speak
clearly, and whatever your position in life may hereafter be _it_
cannot be such (54) as not to be improved by _this_, (_b_) so that
_it_ is worth while making almost any effort to acquire (_c_) _it_, if
_it_ is not a natural gift: (_d_) _it_ being an undoubted (_d_) fact
that the effort to acquire _it_ must be successful, to some extent at
least, if (_d_) _it_ be moderately persevered in."

     (_a_) "Next in utility ... comes speaking clearly--a power that
     must be of assistance to you &c." (_b_)" If, therefore, you
     cannot speak clearly by nature, you &c." (_c_) "this power."
     (_d_) Omit "fact;" "for undoubtedly, with moderate perseverance

29. "_It_ (_a_) (38) _appears to me_ (15) _a greater victory than
Agincourt, a grander triumph of wisdom and faith and courage than even
the English constitution or_ (_b_) _liturgy_, to have beaten back, or
even fought against and stemmed in ever so small a degree, those
_basenesses that_ (_c_) (10_a_) _beset_ human nature, which are now
held so invincible that the influences of them are assumed as the
fundamental axioms of economic science."

     (_a_) Begin with "To have beaten &c.," and end with "liturgy."
     (_b_) Repeat for clearness and emphasis, "the English." (_c_)
     "The besetting basenesses of &c."

30. "The (_a_) (2) _unprecedented_ impudence of our youthful
representative reminds us forcibly of the _unblushing and_ (54) (40)
_remarkable_ effrontery (_c_) (which (26) he almost succeeds in
equalling) of the Member for St. Alban's, whom our (_b_) (1)
_neophyte_ (_b_) (1) _alluded to_, in the last speech with which he
favoured _those whom_ (47_a_) _he represents_, (19) as his pattern and

     (_a_) Show that "unprecedented" is inconsistent with what
     follows. (_b_) What is the meaning of "neophyte," "alluded to"?
     (_c_) Begin a new sentence, "Our young adventurer &c.," and end
     with "and he almost succeeds in equalling his master."

31. "The (_a_) (1) _veracity_ of this story is questionable, and there
is the more reason for doubting the (_a_) (1) _truth_ of the narrator,
because in his remarks on the (1) _observation_ of the Sabbath he
distinctly (_a_) (1) _alludes to_ a custom that can be shown never to
have existed."

     (_a_) Distinguish between "veracity" and "truth," "observation"
     and "observance." Show the inconsistency between "allude" and

32. "It (_a_) (5) is a most just distribution, (10 _a_) _which_ the
late Mr. Tucker has dwelt upon _so_ (_b_) largely in his works,
between pleasures in which we are passive, and pleasures in which we
are active. And I believe every attentive observer of human life will
_assent to_ (_c_) _this position_, that however (_d_) _grateful_ the
sensations may occasionally be in which we are passive, it is not
these, but the latter class of our pleasures, (8) _which_ constitutes
satisfaction, (_e_) (38) _which_ supply that regular stream of
moderate and miscellaneous enjoyments in (10 _c_) _which_ happiness,
as distinguished from voluptuousness, consists."

     (_a_) "There is great justice in &c." (b) Omit "so." (_c_)
     "admit." (_d_) Not often now used in this sense. (_e_) Repeat the
     antecedent, "I mean those (pleasures) &c."

33. "The prince seemed to have before him a _limitless_ (54) _prospect
of unbounded_ prosperity, carefully (33) _trained_ for the (_a_)
_tasks_ of the throne, and stimulated by the (_a_) _pattern_ of his
father, (_b_) who (43) _breathed his_ (3) _last_ suddenly at the age
of sixty-two, just after the conclusion of the war."

     (_a_) Find more appropriate words. (_b_) Begin a new sentence.

34. "On his way, he visited a son of an old friend (_a_) (25) _who_
had asked _him_ to call upon _him_ on his journey northward. _He_
(_b_) (5) was overjoyed to see _him_, and (_c_) _he_ sent for one of
_his_ most intelligent workmen and told (_d_) _him_ to consider
_himself_ at (_e_) _his_ service, (30) as _he himself_ could not take
(_f_) _him_ as _he_ (_g_) wished about the city."

     (_a_) If you mean that the "son" had "asked him," write "An old
     friend's son who;" if you mean that the "friend" had "asked him,"
     write "He had been asked by an old friend to call, on his journey
     northward, upon his son. Accordingly he visited him on his way."
     (_b_) Use, instead of _he_, some name meaning "one who entertains
     others." (_c_) Use participle, (_d_) "The man." (_e_) "the
     stranger's." (_f_) "his guest." (_g_) Write "could have wished"
     to make it clear that "he" means "the host."

35. "Tillotson died in this year. He was exceedingly beloved both by
King William and by Queen Mary (43), who nominated Dr. Tennison,
Bishop of Lincoln, to succeed him."

36. "(_a_) The entertainment was arranged with a magnificence that was
(_b_) perfectly _stupendous_ and (_c_) _most unprecedented_, and
which quite kept up his Lordship's _unrivalled_ reputation for
_unparalleled_ hospitality, and, thanks to the _unequalled_ energy of
Mr. Smith, who is _rapidly becoming one of the most effective_
toast-masters in the kingdom, the toasts were given with a spirit
_quite unexampled_ on occasions of this nature; and indeed we were
forcibly reminded in this respect of the _inimitable_ entertainment of
three years ago (2)."

     (_a_) Omit most of the epithets, or soften them down. Point out
     the contradictions in the sentence as it stands. (_b_) Write "a
     remarkable magnificence that quite &c.," thus dispensing with the
     following "and." (_c_) Show that "most" is superfluous.

37. "If we compare Shakespeare with the other dramatic authors of the
Elizabethan era, _his wonderful superiority to them in the_ (15)
_knowledge of human nature_ is _what_ (15 _a_) _principally strikes

38. "The prince found himself at once in sore perplexity how to
provide himself with the commonest comforts or even necessaries of
life, when he landed on this desolate coast, being (33) accustomed to

39. "This make-shift policy recommended itself to the succeeding
_ministers_ (_a_) (50), _both because they were timid and because they
were prejudiced_, and they were delighted to _excuse_ (_b_) (13)
_themselves by quoting_ the example of one who (_c_) (34) had
controlled the Liberals and humoured the Conservatives, (37) commended
himself to the country at large by his unfailing good-humour, and
(_d_) (44) (37) done nothing worthy of the name of statesman."

     (_a_) "to the timidity and prejudices of &c." (_b_) "shelter
     themselves behind." (_c_) "while he had at once." (_d_) "had yet

40. "William Shakespeare was the sun among the lesser lights of
English poetry, and a native of Stratford-on-Avon (14 _a_)."

41. "(15 _b_) I think, gentlemen, you must confess that any one of you
would have done the same (32), if you had been tempted as I was then,
placed starving and ragged among wasteful luxury and comfort,
deliberately instigated to acts of dishonesty by those whom I had been
taught from infancy to love, (_a_) praised when I stole, mocked or
punished when I failed to (15 _a_) _do_ (_b_) _so_."

     (_a_) Insert another infinitive beside "love." "Love" produces
     "obedience." (b) Repeat the verb instead of "do so."

42. "So far from being the first (54) _aggressor_, he _not_ (22)
_only_ refused to prosecute his old friend when a favourable
opportunity presented itself for revenging himself thus upon him,
_but also_ his friend's adviser, John Smith. Smith (_a_) _at all_ (23)
_events_ suspected, if he did not know of the coming danger, and had
given no information of it."

     (_a_) If "at all events" qualifies "Smith," the sentence must be
     altered. "Yet, however innocent his friend may have been, at all
     events Smith suspected...." If the words qualify "suspected,"
     place them after "suspected."

43. "It is quite true that he paid 5_s._ per day to English navvies,
_and even 6s._, (19) in preference to 2_s._ 6_d._ to French navvies."

44. "Having climbed to the _apex_ of the Righi to enjoy the spectacle
of the sun-rise, I found myself so _incommoded_ by a number of
_illiterate individuals_ who had _emerged_ from the hotel for a (_a_)
(1) _similar_ purpose, that I determined to quit them _at the earliest
practicable period_; and therefore, without stopping to _partake of
breakfast_, I _wended my way_ back _with all possible celerity_." (3)

     (_a_) "the same."

45. "You admit that miracles are _not natural_. Now whatever _is
unnatural_ is wrong, and since, by your own admission, miracles are
_unnatural_, it follows that miracles are wrong." (1)

46. "Who is the man that has dared to call into _civilized_ alliance
the (_a_) (41) inhabitant of the woods, to delegate to the (_a_)
Indian the defence of our disputed rights?

     (_a_) Insert some antithetical or other epithets.

47. "A (_a_) _very_ (11) _small proportion_ indeed of those who have
attempted to solve this problem (_b_) (19) have succeeded in obtaining
even a plausible solution."

     (_a_) State what proportion succeeded, or, if you like, what
     failed: "not one in a hundred." (_b_) Begin, "Of all those that

48. "_To be suddenly_ (_a_) (47 _a_) _brought into contact_ with a
system (8) _which_ forces one to submit to wholesale imposture, and
_to being_ (40 _a_) _barbarously ill-treated_, naturally repels (_a_)
(15 _a_) _one_."

     (_a_) Write, either (1) "Collision ... causes a natural
     repulsion," or (2) "When brought into contact ... one is
     naturally repelled," or (if "ill-treatment" is emphatic), (3)
     "One is naturally repelled by collision with &c."

49. "We annex a letter recently addressed by Mr. ----'s direction to
the Editor of the ----, in contradiction of statements, equally
untrue, which appeared in that periodical, _and_ (_a_) (9) _which_ the
editor has undertaken to insert in the next number.... I am sure that
all must regret that statements _so_ (_b_) (51) _utterly_ erroneous
should have (_c_) (23) _first_ appeared in a publication of such high

     (_a_) What the writer intended to express was that the editor had
     undertaken to insert, not the "statements," but the
     "contradiction." (_b_) Omit either "so" or "utterly." (_c_)
     "appeared first," or, "for the first time."

50. "This is a book _which_ (10 _a_) _is_ short and amusing, _which_
(10 _a_) _can be easily_ (_a_) _understood, which_ (10 _a_) is
admirably adapted for _the purpose for which it_ (_b_) _was_ (54)
_written_; and (10 _e_) _which_ ought to be more popular than the last
work _which_ (10 _a_) _was_ published by the same author."

     (_a_) Express "which can be understood" in one adjective. (_b_)
     "Its purpose."

51. "When thousands are _left_ (19) without (40) _pity_ and without
(40) _attention_ (19) _on_ a field of battle, amid (40) the insults of
an enraged foe and (40) the trampling of horses, while the blood from
their wounds, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, and (40)
they are exposed to the piercing air, _it_ (15 _a_) _must be indeed a
painful scene_."

     The whole sentence must be remedied by (40).

52. "(_a_) The youth was naturally thoughtful, and disposed (19)
besides by his early training--(31) which had been conducted with
great care, the object of his parents being to _pave_ (14) _his way_
as far as possible over the _stormy_ (14) _sea of temptation_ and to
_lead_ him into the _harbour_ of virtue--to a sincere (_b_) (1)
_remorse_ (19) for the (_b_) (1) _crimes_ that he had committed in the
sight of heaven, and also for his recent (_b_) (1) _sin_ in breaking
the laws of his country."

     (_a_) First state the reasons for his being "disposed." "The
     youth was naturally thoughtful; moreover, his early training had
     been conducted with great care by his parents, whose &c. .... He
     was therefore disposed &c." (_b_) What is the difference between
     "remorse" and "repentance," between "sin" and "crime"?

53. "(_a_) _One day_ (54) _early in the morning_, the general was
approached by a messenger, (30) in the midst of the _entanglements and
perplexities_ which had _unexpectedly surprised_ him, when the
_perilous hour of_ (54) _danger_ was at hand, and (37), in spite of
their promises, even the tribes that were _well disposed_ (54) _and
friendly_, were threatening to _desert him, and_ (54) _leave him to
face the enemy_ (_b_) (23) _alone_."

     Condense the sentence by omitting some of the italicized words,
     _e.g._ (_a_) "Early one morning." (_b_) Though there is no real
     ambiguity (unless a wrong emphasis is placed on "enemy"), yet, in
     strictness, "alone" ought to qualify "enemy." Write therefore,
     "alone in the face of the enemy."

54. "_A man_ (_a_) (10 _d_) _who_ neglected the ordinary duties *of*
life, and, immersed in study, devoted himself to grand plans for the
benefit of mankind, (_b_) (44) _and_ refused to provide for the wants
of those dependent on him, and suffered his aged relatives to become
paupers because he would not help them, (_c_) would, in my opinion,
(34) be a bad man, and not altogether (_d_) (40 _a_) without

     (_a_) "If a man." (_b_) "if he refused," or "while he refused."
     (_c_) "such a man" or "he." (_d_) "to some extent a hypocrite."

55. "I cannot believe in the guilt of (_a_) _one_ (_b_) (10 _e_)
_who_, whatever may have been said to the contrary, can be shown, and
has been shown by competent testimony proceeding from those who are
said to have carefully examined the facts, _in spite_ (23) _of many
obstacles_, to have resisted all attempts to (29) induce him to leave
his situation, (_c_) (29) to consult his own interests and to (29)
establish a business of his own."

     (_a_) "his guilt;" (_b_) (1) "for, whatever &c.... it can be
     shown by &c.... that, in spite of &c., he resisted." Or (2)
     insert "in spite ... obstacles" between "have" and "carefully."
     (_c_) (1) "for the purpose of consulting ... and establishing."
     Or (2) write "and to consult his own interests by establishing

56. "We must seek for the origin of our freedom, (_a_) (37)
prosperity, and (_a_) (37) glory, in _that and only_ (_b_) _that_[18]
portion of our annals, (30) though _it_ (_c_) _is_ sterile and
obscure. The great English people was (_d_) _then_ formed; the
notional (_e_) _disposition_ began (_d_) _then_ to exhibit those
peculiarities which it has ever since (_e_) _possessed_; and our
fathers (_d_) _then_ became emphatically islanders, (_f_) in their
politics, (_a_) feelings, and (_a_) manners, _and_ (30 _a_) _not
merely in their geographical position_."

     (_a_) Repeat the Pronominal Adjective, (_b_) Express the emphatic
     "only that" by beginning the sentence thus: "It is in that
     portion of our annals &c." (_c_) Omit. (_d_) "It was then that
     &c." (_e_) Use words implying something more _marked_ than
     "disposition," and more _forcible_ than "possessed;" in the
     latter case, "retained." (_f_) Repeat "islanders."

57. "(_a_) He was _the universal_ (54) _favourite of_ (54) _all_ (8)
_who knew him_, and cemented many friendships at this period, (_a_)
(33) (moving in the highest circle of society, and, _as he_ (_b_) (50)
_had a_ (4 _a_) _certain property, being independent_ of the profits
of literature), and soon completely extinguished the breath of slander
which at the outset of his career had threatened to sap the
foundations of his reputation."

     (_a_) Begin "Moving in &c." (_b_) "rendered independent of ... by
     &c." Show that Rule (14) is violated by the metaphors.

58. "The outward and material form of that city which, during the
brief period _which_ (10 _a_) _is_ comprised in our present book,
reached the highest pitch of military, artistic, and literary glory,
_was of this_ (_a_) (15) _nature_. The progress of _the_ (_b_) (5)
_first_ has been already traced."

     (_a_) Begin the sentence with "Such was." (_b_) By "the first" is
     meant "military glory."

59. "The detachment not only failed to take the fort, (30) spite of
their numbers and the weakness of the garrison, but also to capture
the small force that was encamped outside the town, and was, after
some sharp fighting, driven back with inconsiderable loss."

     Point out the ambiguity. Remedy it by inserting either "which,"
     or "the assailants."

60. "(_a_) (_b_) _Believing_ that these reforms can _only_ (_c_) (21)
be effected as public opinion is prepared for them, and that (5)
_this_ will be more or less advanced in different localities, the Bill
of the Association, (_a_) (31) which has been for _a_ (3)
_considerable period_ in draft, and will be introduced in the next
Session of Parliament, provides for _placing_ (_d_) (3) _the control
in regard to the points above-mentioned in the_ (3) _hands_ of the
ratepayers of each locality; the power to be exercised through
representative Licensing Boards to be periodically elected by them."

     (_a_) Place the parenthesis first, as an independent sentence:
     "The Bill of the Association has been ... Parliament." (_b_) What
     noun is qualified by "believing?" Write "In the belief." (_c_)
     "effected only so far as they are in accordance with public
     opinion, which &c." (_d_) "it, or, the Bill provides that the
     ratepayers ... shall receive control ... and shall exercise this

61. "I think they are very (1) _nice_ persons, for they kept me amused
for a _long_ (_a_) (11) _time together_ yesterday by their (1) _nice_
stories all about _what they_ (_b_) _have experienced_ in Japan, where
they had been for (_a_) _ever so long_, and (_c_) (43) where they said
that the natives ripped up _their_ (_d_) (5) stomachs."

     (_a_) Mention some time. (_b_) "experiences" or "adventures."
     (_c_) "among other things, they told us &c." (_d_) "their own."

62. "To contend for advantageous monopolies, which are regarded with a
dislike and a suspicion (_a_) _which daily_ (10 _a_) _increases_, (30)
_however natural it may be to be annoyed at the loss of that which one
has once possessed_, (15 _a_) is _useless_."

     (_a_) A compound adjective can be used, including "daily."

63. "Upon entering the rustic place of entertainment to partake of
some refreshment, my nerves were horrified by lighting on a number of
boisterous individuals who were singing some species of harvest song,
and simultaneously imbibing that cup which, if it cheers, also
inebriates; and when, banished from their society by the fumes of the
fragrant weed, I wended my way to the apartment which adjoined the one
in which I had hoped to rest my weary limbs, I found an interesting
assortment of the fairer sex, who were holding a separate
confabulation apart from the revels of their rougher spouses."

     Write "village inn," "next room," &c., for these absurd
     circumlocutions. See (3).

64. "When Burgoyne was born, in 1782, Napoleon and Wellington _were
both boys_ (11)."

     Napoleon studied at Brienne, Wellington at Eton. Mention this,
     and, in order to imply the _boyhood_, call Wellington "Arthur

65. "An honourable friend of mine, who is now, I believe, near
me--(38) to whom I never can on any occasion refer without feelings of
respect, and, on this subject, (36) feelings of the most grateful
homage; (38) whose abilities upon this occasion, as upon some former
ones, are not entrusted merely to the perishable eloquence of the
(_a_) day, but will live to be the admiration of that (_a_) hour when
all of us are mute and most of us forgotten: (_b_) (38) has told you
that prudence _is_ (52) the first of virtues, _and_ (52) can never be
used in the cause of vice."

     (_a_) Though "of the day" is a recognized expression for
     "ephemeral" or "transitory," yet to use "day" for a short time,
     and "hour" for a longer, is objectionable. Write _moment_ for
     _day_. Else write _future_ for _hour_. (_b_) "--this gentleman
     has told &c."

66. "To see the British artisan and his wife on the Sabbath, neat and
clean and cheerful, with their children by their sides, (_a_) (19)
_disporting_ themselves under the open canopy of heaven, _is_ (15)

     (_a_) There is no reasonable ground for mistaking the sense here,
     as the context makes it clear; but since Lord Shaftesbury was
     questioned whether he meant _disporting_ to qualify "artisan and
     his wife" or "children," write "and, by their sides, their
     children disporting &c."

67. "Even if (_a_) _it were_ attended with extenuating circumstances,
such conduct would deserve severe reprobation, (_b_) _and it_ is the
more called for because _it_ would seem that (_c_) _it_ was the
intention of _the author of the crime_, in perpetrating (_e_) _it_, to
inflict all the misery that was possible, upon his victim." See (5).

     (_a_) Omit "it were." (_b_) "which." (_c_) "to have been." (_d_)
     Express "author of the crime" in one word. (_e_) Use the noun.

68. "The (_a_) (1) _observance_ of the heavenly bodies must have been
attended with great difficulties, (_b_) (30) before the telescope was
(_a_) (1) _discovered_, and it is not to be wondered at if the
investigations of astronomers were often unsatisfactory, and failed to
produce complete (_a_) (1) _persuasion_, (30) (15, _a_) under these

     (_a_) What is the difference between "observance" and
     "observation," "discover" and "invent," "persuasion" and
     "conviction"? (_b_) Begin "Before &c."

69. "He plunged into the sea once more, (30) not content with his
previous exertions. After a long and dangerous struggle, he succeeded
in reaching a poor woman that was crying piteously for help, and (_a_)
(35) was at last hauled safely to shore."

     (_a_) Point put and remedy the ambiguity by inserting "he" or by
     writing "who," according to the meaning.

70. "Sir John Burgoyne himself, face to face with Todleben, became
(_a_) (1) _conscious_ of the difference between the fortifications of
San Sebastian and of Sebastopol, (_b_) _which_ (10 _e_) was (_c_) (12)
_very weak_ compared with Metz or Paris."

     (_a_) What is the exact meaning of _conscious_? (_b_) Avoid the
     relative, by repeating the name, with a conjunction, (_c_)
     "weakness itself."

71. "Upon Richard's leaving the (_c_) stage, the Commonwealth was
again set up; and the Parliament which Cromwell had (_a_) _broken_ was
brought together; but the army and they fell into new disputes: so
they were again (_a_) _broken_ by the army: and upon that the nation
was like to fall into (_b_) (11) _great_ convulsions."

     (_a_) Modern Eng., "broken up." (_b_) "violently convulsed."
     (_c_) It is a question whether this metaphor is in good taste.
     The meaning is that Richard "retired from public life." It might
     be asserted that Richard, the Commonwealth, the Parliament are
     regarded as so many puppets on a "stage." But this is extremely
     doubtful. Make _Parliament_ the principal subject: "When Richard
     retired ... and when the Commonwealth &c.... the Parliament was
     ... but, falling into a dispute with &c., it was...." See (18)
     and (43).

72. "What a revolution in the military profession! He began with (_a_)
(11) _unnecessary formality_, and (_b_) (11) _inefficient weapons_,
and ended with (_c_) (_b_) (11) _greatly improved fire-arms_."

     (_a_) "pig-tail and pipe-clay." (_b_) "Six-pounders and
     flint-locks" are now inefficient compared with
     "twenty-four-pounders and breech-loaders." (_c_) Something is
     wanted antithetical to (_a_), perhaps "loose drill" or "open

73. "Children fear to go in the dark. Men fear death in the same way.
The fear of children is increased by tales. So is the fear of death.
The contemplation of death, as the 'wages of sin,' and passage to
another world, is holy and religious. The fear of it, as a tribute due
unto nature, is weak. In religious meditations on death there is
sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition."

     Insert connecting adverbs or conjunctions. See (44).

74. "I have often heard him _reiterate_ (54) _repeatedly_ that he
would never again, if a _safe_ (54) _and secure path_ was open to him,
prefer the _perilous_ (54) _road of danger_, however _alluring_ (54)
_and attractive_ the latter might be."

75. "I thought in my dream that when my friend asked me whether I did
not observe anything curious in the conduct of the pigeons, I (_a_) (4
_a_) _remarked_ that if any one of the birds was so bold as to take an
atom from a heap of grain in the midst of them, (31) (which (_b_) a
detachment guarded, and which, being continually increased and never
eaten, seemed useless), all the rest turned against him and pecked him
to death for the (_c_) (50) _action_."

     (_a_) Point out the ambiguity. (_b_) This should come earlier in
     the sentence, and not as a parenthesis. "I noticed a heap of
     grain in the midst of them, guarded by ... Being continually ...,
     to all appearance, useless: yet." (_c_) "theft."

76. "If this low view of the royal office becomes generally adopted,
then sovereigns _who_ (8) have always hitherto commanded the respect
of Englishmen will by degrees fall into disrespect."

     Point out the ambiguity. Show how it might be removed (_a_) by
     punctuation, (_b_) by altering "who."

77. "I struck the man in self-defence. I explained this to the
magistrate. He would not believe me. Witnesses were called to support
my statements. He committed me to prison. He had the right to do this.
It is a right that is rarely exercised in such circumstances. I

     See (44). Insert conjunctions or connecting adverbs.

78. "He attained a very distinguished position by mere (15)
perseverance and common sense, which (52) (10 _a_) qualities are
perhaps mostly underrated, (30) though he was deficient in tact and
not remarkable for general ability."

79. "_Vindictiveness, which_ (_a_) (50) _is a fault_, (_b_) _and_
which may be defined as _anger_ (10 _a_) _which is caused_ not by sin
nor by crime but by personal injury, ought to be carefully
distinguished from _resentment, which_ (_a_) (50) _is a virtue_,
(_b_) _and_ which is _anger_ (49) _which is natural and_ (_c_) _right_
caused by an act (_d_) which is unjust, because it is unjust, (30 _a_)
not because it is inconvenient."

     (_a_) "The fault of vindictiveness;" "the virtue of resentment."
     (_b_) Omit _(c_) "Right" cannot be used as an adjective, but
     "righteous" can. (_d_) "an act of injustice."

80. "(_a_) He told his friend that (_a_) _his_ brother was surprised
that (_a_) _he_ had given so small a contribution, for (_a_) _he_ was
(_b_) (12) _a very rich man_, in spite of (_a_) _his_ recent losses
and the bad state of trade, (19) (30) compared with himself."

     (_a_) Use (6). (_b_) What Asian king was proverbial for wealth?

81. "(_a_) (15 _b_) It must be indeed wrong to (_a_) _crucify_ a Roman
citizen if to (_b_) (32) _slay_ one is almost parricide, to (_b_)
_scourge_ him is a monstrous crime, and to (_b_) _bind_ him is an

  (_a_) "What must it be...?"
  (_b_) See (40).

82. "The _universal_ (54) _opinion of all the_ citizens was that the
citadel _had been_ (15) _betrayed_, (30) having been captured in broad
daylight by a very small number of the enemy, and those unprovided
with scaling ladders, and admitted by a postern gate, (15 _a_) and
much wearied by a long march."

     In any case "betrayed" must come at the end of a sentence. The
     sentence may be converted into two sentences: "The citadel had
     been captured.... Naturally therefore ...;" or, "The opinion ...
     for it had been captured...." Else, if one sentence be used,
     write "As the citadel had been captured &c."

83. "This author surpassed all _those who were living_ (_a_) _at the
same time with him_ in the _forcible_ (_b_) _manner in_ which he could
_address_ (_c_) _an_ appeal to the popular sympathy, and in the ease
with which he could _draw towards_ (_a_) _himself_ the hearts of his

     (_a_) Express in one word. (_b_) "force with." (_c_) Omit.

84. "This great statesman was indeed a pillar of commerce, and a star
in the financial world. He guided or impelled the people from the
quicksands of Protection and false political economy to the safe
harbour of Free Trade; and (_a_) (14 _a_) saved the country several

     (_a_) It would be well to literalize the preceding metaphors.
     Else the literal statement must be changed into a metaphor.

85. "The ministers were most unwilling to meet the Houses, (_a_) (43)
(51) _because_ even the boldest of them (though their counsels were
_lawless_ (15) _and desperate_) had too much value for his (_b_) (11)
_personal safety_ to think of resorting to the (_c_) (12) unlawful
modes of extortion that had been familiar to the preceding age."

     (_a_) Begin a new sentence with "Lawless and desperate though
     their counsels had been &c." (_b_) "neck." (_c_) Insert some of
     these unlawful modes, "benevolences, ship-money, and the other

86. "_We will not_ (_a_) (15) _pretend to guess what_ our
grandchildren may think of the character of Lord Byron, as exhibited
_in_ (15 _a_) _his poetry_." No writer ever had the whole eloquence of
scorn, misanthropy, _and_ (_a_) (15) _despair_ (15 _a_) _so completely
at his command_. That _fountain_ (_b_) (12) _of bitterness_ was never

     (_a_) "We will not pretend to guess" and "despair" are intended
     by the author to be emphatic. (_b_) "Marah."

87. "The captain asked to be allowed fifty men, a supply of food, and
one hundred and fifty breech-loaders. (44) The general replied coldly
that he could not let his subordinate have (_a_) (4) _anything_ that
he wanted. (44) The captain was forced to set out (34) with an
insufficient force, spite of the superabundance of soldiers doing
nothing in the camp (34), and with every obstacle put in his way by a
general who from the first had resolved not even to give him ordinary
assistance, (_b_) (10 _a'_) _which_ the captain had for some time

     (_a_) Point out and remove the ambiguity. (_b_) Write, according
     to the meaning, " ... assistance that" or " ... a resolution

88. "I am a practical man, and disbelieve in everything (8) _which_ is
not practical; theories (_a_) _which_ amuse philosophers and pedants
have no attractions for me, (30) _for this reason_."

     (_a_) What difference in the meaning would be caused by the use
     of "that" for the second "which"?

89. "Yet, when that discovery drew no other severity but the (11 _a_)
_turning_ (_a_) _him out of office_, and _the_ (11 _a_) _passing a
sentence_ (_b_) _condemning him to die for it_ (31) (which was
presently pardoned, and he was after a short confinement restored to
his liberty), all men _believed_ that the king knew of the letter,
(_c_) (43) and that (6 _b_) the pretended confession of the secretary
was only collusion to lay the jealousies of the king's (_d_) (11 _a_)
_favouring_ popery, (_e_) (43) which still hung upon him, (30)
notwithstanding his (_e_) _writing_ on the Revelation, and his (_e_)
_affecting_ to enter on all occasions into controversy, (_e_)
asserting in particular that the Pope was Antichrist."

     (_a_) "expulsion from." (_b_) "a pretended sentence to death--a
     pretence that was soon manifested by his pardon and liberation."
     (_c_) Begin a new sentence: "'The secretary's pretended
     confession,' it was said, 'was &c.'" (_d_) "the suspicion that
     the king favoured Popery." (_e_) The juxtaposition of the two
     verbal nouns, "writing" and "affecting," with the participle
     "asserting," is harsh. Write, "For, notwithstanding that he
     affected controversy, and attacked the Pope as Antichrist in his
     treatise on the Book of Revelation, the king was still

90. "The opinion that the sun is fixed was once too (_a_) (1)
_universal_ to be easily shaken, and a similar prejudice has often
(_b_) _rendered_ the progress of new inventions (15 _a_) _very slow_,
(19) arising from the numbers of the believers, and not (36) the
reasonableness of the belief."

     (_a_) Write "general." Show the absurdity of appending "too" to
     "universal." (_b_) What single word can be substituted for
     "rendered slow"?

91. "The rest of the generals were willing to surrender
unconditionally, (30) _depressed by this unforeseen calamity_; (4)
_only_ the young colonel, who retained his presence of mind,
represented to them that they were increasing the difficulties of a
position in itself very difficult (19) (15, _a_) _by their conduct_."

92. "To (_a_) (31) _an author who_ is, in his expression of any
sentiment, wavering between _the_ (_b_) _demands of_ perspicuity and
energy (of which _the_ (_c_) (40 _a_) _former of course_ requires the
first care, lest (40 _a_) he should fail of both), and (37) doubting
whether the (_d_) phrase _which_ (8) _has_ (_e_) _the_ most force and
brevity will be (_f_) readily _taken_ (_g_) _in, it may_ (_h_) (3) _be
recommended to use_ both (_d_) expressions; first, (_h_) _to expound_
the sense sufficiently to be clearly understood, and then (_i_) _to_
contract it into the most compendious and striking form."

     (_a_) Write "When an author &c." (_b_) Can be omitted. (_c_)
     Assimilate the constructions: "Of which the former must, of
     course, be aimed at first, lest both be missed." (_d_) Use
     "expression" or else "phrase" in _both_ places. (_e_) Assimilate
     the construction to what follows; write "that is most forcible
     and brief." (_f_) Insert "also." (_g_) "understood." (_h_) "let
     him use ...; first let him expound." (_i_) Omit.

93. "When I say 'a great man,' I _not_ (22) _only_ mean a man
intellectually great but also morally, (38) _who_ (8) has no
preference for diplomacy (_a_) (23) _at all events which_ (10 _a_)
_is_ mean, petty, and underhanded to secure ends _which_ (8) can be
secured by an honest policy _equally_ (20) _well_, (38) _who_ (8) does
not resemble Polonius, (_b_) who prefers to get at truth by untruthful
tricks, and (_b_) who considers truth a carp _which_ (10 _g_) _is_ to
be caught by the bait falsehood. We cannot call a petty intriguer
great (_c_), (30) though we may be forced to call an unscrupulous _man
by that_ (15 _a_) _name_."

     (_a_) "at all events no preference." (_b_) Why is _who_ right
     here? If you like, you can write, "does not, like Polonius,
     prefer ... and consider." (_c_) End with "we cannot give the name
     to a petty intriguer."

94. "I regret that I have some (_a_) (3) _intelligence which_ (10 _a_)
_is of a most_ (3) _painful nature_, and which I must tell you at
once, though (_b_) _I should like to defer it_ on (_c_) (40 _a_)
account of your ill-health, and _because_ (_c_) (40 _a_) _you have
already had_ many troubles, and (40 _a_) _owing to_ the natural
dislike _which_ (8) a friend must always feel to say _that_ (10 _f_)
_which_ is unpleasant. Many old friends in this district have turned
against you: I scarcely like to write the words: _only_ (21) I remain
faithful to you, and I am sure you will believe that I am doing _that_
(10 _f_) _which_ is best for your interests."

     (_a_) "news." (_b_) In a letter these words should remain is they
     are; but if a _period_ is desired, they must (30) come last,
     after "unpleasant." (_c_) Write "because of your ill-health ...
     and the troubles ... and because of...."

95. "The general at once sent back word that the enemy had suddenly
appeared on the other side of the river, and [(35) or (37)] then (_a_)
retreated. (_b_) _It_ was thought that (_b_) _it_ would have shown
more (_c_) (1) _fortitude_ on his (3) _part_ if he had attacked the
fortifications, (_d_) _which_ were not tenable for more than a week at
all events. Such was the (54) _universal_ opinion, _at_ (23) _least,
of_ (54) _all_ the soldiers."

     (_a_) Point out the ambiguity. (_b_) "It was thought he would
     have shown &c." (_c_) Distinguish between "fortitude" and
     "bravery." (_d_) What would be the meaning if "that" were
     substituted for "which"? It will be perhaps better to substitute
     for "which," "since they."

96. "A notion has sprung up that the Premier, though he can legislate,
cannot govern, and has attained an influence which renders it
imperative, if this Ministry is to go on, that (_a_) _it_ should be

     (_a_) Who or what "has attained"? Write "and this notion has
     become so powerful that, unless it is dispersed...."

97. "Those who are _habitually silent_ (_a_) (3) _by disposition_ and
morose are less liable to the fault of exaggerating than those who are
_habitually_ (_a_) (3) _fond of talking_, and (40 _a_) _of_ (_a_) (3)
_a pleasant disposition_."

     (a) Each of these periphrases must be condensed into a single

98. "This author, (_a_) (31) though he is not (_b_) _altogether_ (_c_)
_guiltless of_ (_b_) _occasional_ (_c_) _faults_ of exaggeration,
which are to be found as plentifully in his latest works as in _those
which he_ (_d_) _published when he was beginning his career as an
author_, yet, _notwithstanding these_ (_e_) _defects_, surpassed all
_those who were living_ _at the_ (_f_) _same time with him_ in the
_clear_ (_g_) _manner in_ which he could, as it were, see into the
feelings of the people at large, and in the power--_a power that
indeed could not be_ (_f_) _resisted_--with which he _drew_ (_f_)
_toward himself_ the sympathy of _those who_ (_f_) _perused his
works_." See (54).

     (_a_) Convert the parenthesis into a separate sentence. (_b_) One
     of these words is unnecessary. (_c_) One of these is unnecessary.
     (_d_) Condense: "his earliest." (_e_) Omit these words as
     unnecessary. (_f_) Express all this in one word. (_g_) "clearness

99. "_Among the North_ (_a_) (23) _American Indians_ I had indeed
heard of the perpetration of similar atrocities; but it seemed
intolerable that such things should occur in a civilized land: and I
rushed from the room at once, leaving the wretch where he stood, with
his tale half told, (30) _horror-stricken at his crime_."

     (_a_) Make it evident whether the speaker once _lived_ among the
     North American Indians, or not, and show who is

100. "His (1) _bravery_ under this painful operation and the (1)
_fortitude_ he had shown in heading the last charge in the recent
action, (30) _though he was_ wounded at the time and had been unable
to use his right arm, and was the only officer left in his regiment,
out of twenty who were alive the day before, (19) inspired every one
with admiration."

     Begin, "Out of twenty officers &c.... Though wounded &c.... he
     had headed." "The bravery he had then shown and...."

101. "_Moral_ as well as (41) _other_ considerations must have weight
when we are selecting an officer (_a_) _that_ (10 _b_) _will be placed
in_ a position that will task his intelligence (_b_) (18) _and his

     (_a_) The repetition of "that" is objectionable. Use "to fill."
     (_b_) "and" can be replaced by some other conjunction to suit
     what precedes.

102. "It happened that at this time there were a few Radicals in the
House _who_ (8) could not forgive the Prime Minister for being a

     Point out the difference of meaning, according as we read "who"
     or "that."

103. "_It cannot be doubted_ (15 _b_) _that_ the minds of a vast
number of men would be left poor shrunken things, full of melancholy
and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves, if (32) there were
taken out of men's minds vain opinions, false valuations, imaginations
as one (_a_) would, and _the_ (15 _a_) _like_."

     (_a_) The meaning (which cannot easily be more tersely expressed
     than in the original) is "castles in the air," "pleasant

104. "God never wrought a miracle to refute atheism, because His
ordinary works refute it. (_a_) A little philosophy inclines man's
mind to atheism: depth in philosophy brings men's minds back to
religion. (44) While the mind of man looks upon second causes
scattered, it may sometimes rest in them; (44) when it beholds the
chain of them confederate and linked together, it must needs
acknowledge a Providence. (44) That school which is most accused of
atheism most clearly demonstrates the truth of religion."

     (_a_) Insert a suspensive conjunction. See (34).

105. "The spirit of Liberty and the spirit of Nationality were once
for all dead; (_a_) (5) _it_ might be for a time a pious duty, but it
could not continue always _expedient or_ (_c_) (15) (18) _profitable
to_ (_b_) (13) _mourn_ (_c_) (15 _a_) _for their loss_. Yet this is
the (_b_) (13) _feeling_ of the age of Trajan."

     (_a_) Omit. (_b_) "To sit weeping by their grave;" "attitude."
     (_c_) Notice that "expedient or profitable" are emphatic, as is
     shown by "yet" in the next sentence. Make it evident therefore,
     by their position, that these words are more emphatic than "to
     mourn &c."

106. "(_a_) _If we ask_ (15 _b_) what was the nature of the force by
which this change was effected, (_a_) _we find it to have been_ (_b_)
the force that had seemed almost dead for many generations--(38) of

     (_a_) Omit these words. (_b_) Begin a new sentence: "It was a
     force &c."

107. "I remember Longinus highly recommends a description of a storm
by Homer, because (_a_) (5) (_c_) _he_ has not amused himself with
little fancies upon the occasion, as authors of an inferior genius,
whom he mentions, (_b_) (15 _a_) have done, (30) _but_ (_c_) _because_
he has gathered together those (_d_) (1) _events_ which are the most
apt to terrify the imagination, and (35) really happen in the raging
of a tempest."

     (_a_) "The poet." (_b_) Omit "have done" and write "like some
     authors." (_c_) Suspend the sentence by writing "the poet ...
     instead of ... has." (_d_) What is the word for "that which
     happens _around_ one, or in connection with some central object?"

108. "To have passed (_a_) (3) _in a self-satisfied manner_ through
twenty years of office, letting things take their own course; to have
(_b_) _sailed_ with consummate sagacity, never against the tide of
popular (_c_) _judgement_; to have left on record as the sole title to
distinction among English ministers a peculiar art of (_d_) _sporting
with_ the heavy, the awful responsibility of a nation's destiny with
the jaunty grace of a juggler (11) (_e_) _playing with_ his golden
ball; to have joked and intrigued, and bribed and (_f_) _deceived_,
with the result of having done nothing (_g_), (_h_) _either_ for the
poor, (_h_) _or_ for religion (for (_i_) which indeed he did worse
than nothing), (_h_) _or_ for art and science, (_h_) _or_ for the
honour or concord or even the financial prosperity of the nation, (38)
is surely a miserable basis on which the reputation of a great (15)
statesman _can be_ (_k_) (15 _a_) _founded_."

     (_a_) "complacently." (_b_) "Sail" implies will and effort: use a
     word peculiar to a helpless ship, so as to contrast paradoxically
     with "sagacity." (_c_) Use a word implying less thought and
     deliberation. (_d_) _With_ is too often repeated; write "bearing"
     so as to introduce the illustration abruptly. (_e_) "tossing."
     (_f_) Use a word implying a particular kind of "deceit," not
     "lying," but the next thing to "lying." (_g_) Insert the word
     with a preceding and intensifying adverb, "absolutely nothing."
     (_h_) Instead of "either," "or," repeat "nothing." (_i_) The
     parenthesis breaks the rhythm. Write "nothing, or worse than
     nothing." (_k_) "to found."

109. "A glance at the clock will make you (1) _conscious_ that it is
nearly three in the morning, and I therefore ask you, gentlemen,
instead of wasting more time, to put this question to yourselves, 'Are
we, or are we not, here, for the purpose of (1) _eliminating_ the

110. "The speech of the Right Honourable member, so far from
_unravelling_ (14) _the obscurities of this knotty question_, is
eminently calculated to mislead his supporters (_a_) (8 _a_) _who_
have not made a special study of it. It may be (_b_) (23) _almost_
asserted of every statement (8) _which_ he has made that the very (1)
_converse_ is the fact."

     (_a_) The meaning appears to be, not "_all_ his supporters," but
     "_those of_ his supporters who:" the convenience of writing "his
     supporters _that_" is so great that I should be disposed to use
     "that." (_b_) "Every," not "asserted," requires the juxtaposition
     of "almost."

111. "The provisions of the treaty _which_ (8) require the consent of
the Parliament of Canada await its assembling."

     Point out the meaning conveyed by _which_, and by _that_.

112. "Mrs. Smith demonstrated (26), in opposition to the general
dictum of the press, that (_a_) _there had been_ a reaction against
woman's suffrage, that there had really been a gain of one vote in the
House of Commons."

     (_a_) Substitute "instead of," and erase the second "that."

113. "The practice of smoking hangs like a gigantic (14 _a_) cloud of
evil over the country."


[18] That which treats of the thirteenth century.



The following exercises consist of extracts from Burnet, Butler, and
Clarendon, modernized and altered with a view to remove obscurity and
ambiguity. The modernized version will necessarily be inferior to the
original in unity of style, and in some other respects. The charm of
the author's individuality, and the pleasant ring of the old-fashioned
English, are lost. It is highly necessary that the student should
recognize this, and should bear in mind that the sole object is to
show how the meaning in each case might have been more _clearly_

Occasionally expressions have been altered, not as being in themselves
obscure or objectionable, but as indicating a habit of which beginners
should beware. For example, in the extract from Burnet, _he_ is often
altered, not because, in the particular context, the pronoun presents
any obscurity, but because Burnet's habit of repeating _he_ is faulty.

These exercises can be used in two ways. The pupil may either have his
book open and be questioned on the reasons for each alteration, or,
after studying the two versions, he may have the original version
dictated to him, and then he may reproduce the parallel version, or
something like it, on paper.

                         LORD CLARENDON.

The principal faults in this style are, long heterogeneous sentences
(43), use of phrases for words (47 _a_), ambiguous use of pronouns
(5), excessive separation of words grammatically connected together

        ORIGINAL VERSION.                      PARALLEL VERSION.

  (44) It will not be impertinent     And now, in order to explain, as
  nor _unnatural to this_ (50)        far as possible, how so prodigious
  _present discourse_, to set down    an alteration could take place in
  in this place the present temper    so short a time, and how the[19]
  and constitution of both  Houses    royal power could fall so low as
  of Parliament, and (34) of the      to be unable to support itself,
  court itself, (30) that (5) _it_    its dignity, or its faithful
  may be the less wondered at, that   servants, it will be of use to set
  so prodigious an alteration should  down here, where it comes most
  be made in so short a time, and     naturally, some account of the[20]
  (37) the crown fallen so low, that  present temper and composition,
  it could neither support itself     not only of both Houses of
  nor its own majesty, nor _those     Parliament, but also of the court
  who would_ (47 _a_) _appear         itself.
  faithful to it_.

    *     *     *     *     *           *     *     *     *     *

         (Here follows a description of the House of Lords.)

  In the House of Commons were many   In the House of Commons
  persons of wisdom and gravity, who  there were many men of wisdom
  (7) _being possessed_ of great and  and judgment whose high
  plentiful fortunes, though they     position and great wealth disposed
  were undevoted enough to the        them, in spite of their indifference
  court, (19) had all imaginable      to the court, to feel
  duty for the king, and affection    a most loyal respect for the
  to the government _established_(47  king, and a great affection for
  _a_) _by law_ or ancient custom;    the ancient constitutional
  (43) and without doubt, the _major  government of the country. Indeed,
  part of that_ (54) _body_           it cannot be doubted that
  consisted of men who had no mind    the majority had no intention to
  to break the peace of the kingdom,  break the peace of the kingdom
  or to make any considerable         or to make any considerable
  alteration in the government of     alteration in Church or State.
  Church or State: (43) and           Consequently, from the very
  therefore (18) _all_ inventions     outset, it was necessary to resort
  were set on _foot from the_ (15)    to every conceivable device
  _beginning_ to work upon (5)        for the purpose of perverting
  _them_, and (11) corrupt (5)        this honest majority into rebellion.
  _them_, (43) (45) by suggestions
  "of the dangers (8) _which_         With some, the appeal was
  threatened all that was precious    addressed to their patriotism.
  to the subject (19) in their        They were warned "of the
  liberty and their property, by      dangers that threatened [all
  _overthrowing_ (47 _a_) _or         that was precious in] the liberty
  overmastering_ the law, _and_ (47   and property of the subject,
  _a_) _subjecting_ it to _an         if the laws were to be made
  arbitrary_ (47_a_) _power_, and by  subservient to despotism, and
  countenancing Popery to the         if Popery was to be encouraged
  subversion of the Protestant        to the subversion of the Protestant
  religion," and then, by             religion."
  infusing terrible apprehensions
  into some, and so working upon      The fears of others were appealed
  their fears, (6 _b_) "of (11 _a_)   to. "There was danger," so[21] it
  being called in question for        was said, "that they might be
  somewhat they had done," by which   called to account for something
  (5) _they_ would stand in need of   they had done, and they would then
  (5) _their_ protection; and (43)    stand in need of the help of those
  (45) raising the hopes of others,   who were now giving them this
  "that, by _concurring_ (47 _a_)     timely warning." In others, hopes
  _with_ (5) _them_ (5) _they_        were excited, and offices,
  should be sure to obtain offices    honours, and preferments were held
  and honours and any kind of         out as the reward of adhesion.
  preferment." Though there were too  Too many were led away by one or
  many corrupted and misled by these  other of these temptations, and
  several temptations, and (19)       indeed some needed no other
  others (40 _a_) who needed no       temptation than their innate
  other temptations than from the     fierceness and barbarity and the
  fierceness and barbarity _of        malice they had contracted against
  their_ (47 _a_) _own natures_, and  the Church and the court. But the
  the malice they had contracted      leaders of the conspiracy were not
  against the Church and against the  many. The flock was large and
  court; (43) yet the number was not  submissive, but the shepherds were
  great _of those in whom the         very few.
  government of the rest_ (47 _a_)
  _was vested_, nor were there many
  who had the absolute authority
  (13) to lead, though there were a
  multitude (13) that was disposed
  to follow.

  (44) (30) Mr. Pym was looked upon   Of these, Mr. Pym was thought
  as the man of greatest experience   superior to all the rest in
  in parliaments, _where he had_      parliamentary experience. To this
  (50) _served very long_, and _was   advantage he added habits of
  always_ (50) _a man of business_,   business acquired from his
  (7) being an officer in the         continuous service in the
  Exchequer, (43) and of a good       Exchequer. He had also a good
  reputation generally, (30) though   reputation generally; for, though
  known to be inclined to the         known to be inclined to the
  Puritan party; yet not of those     Puritan party, yet he was not so
  furious resolutions against the     fanatically set against the Church
  Church as the other leading men     as the other leaders. In this
  were, and (44) wholly devoted to    respect he resembled the Earl of
  the Earl of Bedford, who had        Bedford, to whom he was
  nothing of that spirit.             thoroughly devoted.

            (Here follow descriptions of Hampden and Saint John.)

  It was generally believed that      These three persons, with the
  these three persons, with the       three peers mentioned before, were
  other three lords mentioned         united in the closest confidence,
  before, were of the most intimate   and formed the mainspring of the
  and entire trust with each other,   party. Such at least was the
  and made _the engine which_ (47     general belief. But it was clear
  _a_) _moved_ all the rest; (30)     that they also admitted to their
  yet it was visible, that (15)       unreserved confidence two others,
  _Nathaniel Fiennes, the second son  (45) whom I will now
  of the Lord Say, and Sir Harry      describe,--Nathaniel Fiennes,
  Vane, eldest son to the Secretary,  second son of Lord Say, and Sir
  and Treasurer of the House_, were   Harry Vane, eldest son of the
  received by them with full          Secretary, and Treasurer of the
  confidence and without reserve.     House.

  The former, being a man of good     Nathaniel Fiennes, a man of good
  parts of learning, and after some   parts, was educated at New
  years spent in New College in       College, Oxford, where[22] his
  Oxford, (43) of which his father    family claimed and enjoyed some
  had been formerly fellow, (43)      privileges in virtue of their
  that family pretending[23] and      kindred to the founder, and
  enjoying many privileges there, as  where[22] his father had formerly
  of kin to the founder, (43) (19)    been a fellow. He afterwards spent
  had spent his time abroad in        some time in Geneva and in the
  Geneva and amongst the cantons of   cantons of Switzerland, where[22]
  Switzerland, (30) where he          he increased that natural
  improved his disinclination to the  antipathy to the Church which he
  Church, with which milk he had      had imbibed almost with his
  been nursed. From his travels he    mother's milk.[24] By a singular
  returned through Scotland (52)      coincidence, he came home through
  (which[24] few travellers took in   Scotland (not a very common route
  their way home) at the time when    for returning travellers) just
  (5) _that_ rebellion was in bud:    when the Scotch rebellion was in
  (30) (43) (44) and was very little  bud. For some time he was scarcely
  known, except amongst (5) _that_    known beyond the narrow and
  people, _which conversed_ (47 _a_)  exclusive circle of his sect,
  _wholly amongst themselves,_ until  until at last he appeared in
  he was now (15) _found in           Parliament. Then, indeed, it was
  Parliament_, (30) (43) (44) when    quickly discovered that he was
  it was quickly discovered that,     likely to fulfil even the fond
  as he was the  darling of his       hopes of his father and the high
  father, so (5) _he_  was like to     promise of many years.
  make good whatsoever _he_ had
  for many years promised.

  (5) _The other_, Sir H. Vane, was   Fiennes' coadjutor, Sir H. Vane,
  a man of great natural parts[25]    was a man of great natural
  (45) and of very profound           ability.[25] Quick in understanding
  dissimulation, of a quick           and impenetrable in dissembling,
  conception, and of very ready,      he could also speak with
  sharp, and weighty expression. He   promptness, point, and weight. His
  had an (50) unusual aspect, which,  singular appearance, though it
  though it might naturally proceed   might naturally proceed from his
  from his father and mother,         parents, who were not noted for
  neither of which were beautiful     their beauty, yet impressed men
  persons, yet (19) made men think    with the belief that he had in him
  there was somewhat in him of        something extraordinary, an
  extraordinary: and (52) his whole   impression that was confirmed by
  life made good that imagination.    the whole of his life. His
  Within a very short time after he   behaviour at Oxford, where he
  returned from his studies in        studied at Magdalen College, was
  Magdalen College in Oxford, where,  not characterized, in spite of the
  (43) though he was under the care   supervision of a very worthy
  of a very worthy tutor, he lived    tutor, by a severe morality. Soon
  not with great exactness, (43) he   after leaving Oxford he spent some
  spent some little time in France,   little time in France, and more in
  and more in Geneva, and, (43)       Geneva. After returning to
  after his return into England,      England, he conceived an intense
  (38) contracted a full prejudice    hatred not only against the
  and bitterness against the Church,  government of the Church, which
  both against the form of the        was disliked by many, but also
  government and the Liturgy, (43)    against the Liturgy, which was
  which was generally in great        held in great and general
  reverence, (15 _a_) _even with      reverence.
  many of those who were not
  friends_ to (5) _the other_. In     Incurring or seeming to incur, by
  his giddiness, which then much      his giddiness, the displeasure of
  displeased, or seemed to            his father, who at that time,
  displease, (30) (43) his father,    beside strictly conforming to the
  who still appeared highly           Church himself, was very bitter
  conformable, and exceedingly sharp  against Nonconformists, the young
  against those who were not,         Vane left his home for New
  (5) _he_ transported himself into   England.
  New England, (43) a colony within
  few years before planted by a       This colony had been planted a few
  mixture of all religions,[26] which years before by men of all sorts of
  disposed the professors to dislike  religions, and their
  the government of the Church; who   differences[26] disposed them to
  (30) (43) (44) were qualified by    dislike the government of the
  the king's charter to choose their  Church. Now, it happened that their
  own government and governors,       privilege (accorded by the king's
  under the obligation, "that every   charter) of choosing their own
  man should take the oaths of        government and governors was
  allegiance and supremacy;" (30)     subject to this obligation, "that
  (43) (5) _which_ all the first      every man should take the oaths of
  planters did, when they received    allegiance and supremacy." These
  their charter, before they          oaths had been taken, not only by
  transported themselves from hence,  all the original planters, on
  nor was there in many years after   receiving their charter, before
  the least scruple amongst them of   leaving England, but also for many
  complying with those obligations:   years afterwards, without exciting
  so far men were, _in the infancy_   the slightest scruple. Indeed,
  (15) _of their schism_, from        scruples against lawful oaths were
  refusing to take lawful oaths.      unknown[27] in the infancy of the
  (45) He was no sooner landed        English schism. But with the
  there, but his parts made him       arrival of Vane all this was
  quickly taken notice of, (26) and   changed. No sooner had he landed
  very probably his quality, being    than his ability, and perhaps to
  the eldest son of a                 some extent his position, as eldest
  Privy-councillor, might give him    son of a Privy-councillor,
  some advantage; _insomuch_ (51)     recommended him to notice: and at
  _that_, when the next season came   the next election he was chosen
  for the election of their           Governor.
  magistrates, he was chosen their
  governor: (30) (45) (43) in which   In his new post, his restless and
  place he had so ill fortune (26)    unquiet imagination found
  (his working and unquiet fancy      opportunity for creating and
  raising and infusing a thousand     diffusing a thousand conscientious
  scruples of conscience, which (5)   scruples that had not been brought
  _they_ had not brought over with    over, or ever even heard of, by the
  them, nor heard of before) (19)     colonists. His government proved a
  that he  unsatisfied with           failure: and, mutually
  them and they with him,             dissatisfied, (45) governed and
  he retransported himself            governor parted. Vane returned
  into England; (30) (43) (44)        to England, but not till he had
  having sowed such seed of           accomplished his mischievous task,
  dissension there, as grew up too    not till he had sown the seeds of
  prosperously, and miserably         those miserable dissensions which
  divided the poor colony into        afterwards grew only too
  several factions, and divisions     prosperously, till they split the
  and persecutions of each (15 _a_)   wretched colony into distinct,
  _other_, (30) (43) which still      hostile, and mutually persecuting
  continue _to the great_ (54)        factions. His handiwork still
  _prejudice of that plantation_:     remains, and it is owing to (15)
  insomuch as some of (5) _them_,     _him_ that some of the colonists,
  upon the ground of their first      on the pretext of liberty of
  expedition, liberty of conscience,  conscience, the original cause of
  have withdrawn themselves from (5)  their emigration, have withdrawn
  _their_ jurisdiction, and obtained  themselves from the old colonial
  other charters from the king, by    jurisdiction and have obtained
  which, (30) (43) in other forms of  fresh charters from the king.
  government, they have enlarged      These men have established new
  their plantations, within new       forms of government, unduly
  limits adjacent to (5) (15 _a_)     enlarged their boundaries, and set
  _the other_.their plantations,      up rival settlements on the
  within new limits adjacent to (5)   borders of the original colony.
  (15 _a_) _the other_.


[19] The original metaphor uses the crown as a prop, which seems a
confusion. Though the metaphor is so common as scarcely to be regarded
as a metaphor, it is better to avoid the appearance of confusion.

[20] We sometimes say, briefly but not perhaps idiomatically, "the
_then_ sovereign," "the _then_ temper," &c.

[21] The personality of the tempters and organizers of the conspiracy
is purposely kept in the background.

[22] The relative is retained in the first two cases, because it
conveys the _reason why_ Fiennes was educated at New College; and in
the third case, because the increased "antipathy" is regarded as the
natural _consequence_ of the residence in Calvinistic Geneva.

[23] Claiming.

[24] An insinuation of sedition seems intended.

[25] This sentence is a preliminary summary of what follows.

[26] If "which" is used here according to Rule (8), the meaning is,
(_a_) "and their differences;" if it is used for "that," the meaning
will be, (_b_) "all religions that were of a nature to dispose &c." I
believe (_a_) is the meaning; but I have found difference of opinion
on the question.

[27] The following words appear to be emphatic, bringing out the
difference between the _infancy_ and the development of schism.


The principal faults in Burnet's style are (_a_) the use of
heterogeneous sentences (see 43); (_b_) the want of suspense (see 30);
(_c_) the ambiguous use of pronouns (see 5); (_d_) the omission of
connecting adverbs and conjunctions, and an excessive use of _and_
(see 44); and (_e_) an abruptness in passing from one topic to another
(see 45). The correction of these faults necessarily lengthens the
altered version.

       ORIGINAL VERSION.                      PARALLEL VERSION.

  And his maintaining the honour of   He also gratified the English
  the nation in all foreign           feeling of self-respect by
  countries gratified the (1)         maintaining the honour of the
  _vanity which is very natural_      nation in all foreign countries.
  (50) _to Englishmen_; (30) (43) of  So jealous was he on this point
  which he was _so_ (15) (17 _a_)     that, though he was not a crowned
  _careful_ that, though he was not   head, he yet secured for his
  a crowned head, yet his (40 _a_)    ambassadors all the respect that
  ambassadors had all the respects    had been paid to the ambassadors
  paid them which our (15) _kings'_   of our kings. The king, he said,
  ambassadors ever had: he said (6    received respect simply as the
  _b_) the dignity of the crown       nation's representative head,
  was upon the account of the         and, since the nation was the
  nation, _of which the king was_     same, the same respect should
  (50) _only the representative       be paid to the[28] nation's
  head_; so, the nation being the     ministers.
  same, he would have the same
  regards paid to (41) his

  Another[29] instance of (5) _this_  The following instance of jealousy
  pleased _him_ much. Blake with the  for the national honour pleased
  fleet _happened_ (50) _to be_ at    him much. When Blake was at Malaga
  Malaga before he made war upon      with his fleet, before his war
  Spain: (44) _and_ some of his       with Spain, it happened that some
  seamen went ashore, _and_ met the   of his sailors going ashore and
  Host carried about; (44) _and_ not  meeting the procession of the
  only paid no respect to it, but     Host, not only paid no respect to
  laughed at those who did; (43)      it, but even laughed at those who
  (30) (51) so one of the priests     did. Incited by one of the priests
  put the people upon resenting this  to resent the indignity, the
  indignity; _and_ they fell upon     people fell on the scoffers and
  (5) _them and_ beat them severely.  beat them severely. On their
  When they returned to their ship    return to the ship the seamen
  (5) _they_ complained of (5)        complained of this ill-usage,
  _this_ usage; and upon that Blake   whereupon Blake sent a messenger
  sent a trumpet to the viceroy to    to the viceroy to demand the
  demand the priest who was the       priest who was the instigator of
  chief (1) _instrument_ in that      the outrage. The viceroy answered
  ill-usage. The viceroy answered     that he could not touch him, as he
  _he_ had no authority over the      had no authority over the priests.
  (15) _priests_, and so could not    To this Blake replied, that he did
  dispose of him. Blake upon that     not intend to inquire to whom the
  sent him word that _he_ would not   authority belonged, but, if the
  inquire who had the (1) power to    priest were not sent within three
  send the priest to him, but if      hours, he would burn the town. The
  _he_ were not sent within three     townspeople being in no condition
  hours, _he_ would burn their town;  to resist, the priest was at once
  (43) and (5) _they_, being in no    sent. On his arrival, he defended
  condition to resist _him_, sent     himself, alleging the insolence of
  the priest to _him_, (43) (44) who  the sailors. But the English (50)
  justified himself upon the           Admiral replied that a complaint
  petulant behaviour of the seamen.    should have been forwarded to him,
                                       and then he would have punished
  (44) Blake answered that, if (5)     them severely, for none of his
  _he_ had sent a complaint to (5)     sailors should be allowed to
  _him of_(5) _it_, (5) _he_ would     affront the established religion
  have punished them severely, since   of any place where they touched.
  (5) _he_ would not suffer _his_      "But," he added, "I take it ill
  men to affront the established       that you should set on your
  religion of any place at which (5)   countrymen to do my work; for I
  _he_ touched; but (5) (6) _he_       will have all the world know that
  took it ill, that _he_ set on the    an Englishman is only to be
  Spaniards to do (5) _it_; for _he_   punished, by an Englishman." Then,
  would have all the world to know     satisfied with having had the (50)
  that an Englishman was only to be    offender at his mercy, Blake
  punished by an Englishman; (43)      entertained him civilly and sent
  (44) and so he treated the priest    him back.
  civilly, and sent him back (30),
  being satisfied that he had him at
  his mercy.

  Cromwell was much delighted with    Cromwell was much delighted with
  (5) _this_, (43) and read the       Blake's conduct. Reading the
  letters in council with great       letters in council with great
  satisfaction; _and_ said he (6)     satisfaction, he said, "I hope I
  hoped he should make the name of    shall make the name of an
  an Englishman as great as ever      Englishman as much respected as
  that of a Roman (15 _a_) _had       ever was the name of Roman."
  been_. (44) The States of Holland   Among other countries the States
  were in such dread of (5) him that  of Holland were in such dread of
  they took care to give him no sort  Cromwell that they took care to
  of umbrage; (43) (44) _and_ when    give him no sort of umbrage.
  at any time the king or his         Accordingly, whenever the king or
  brothers came to see their sister   his brothers came to see the
  the Princess Royal, (23) within a   Princess Royal their sister, they
  day or two after, (5) _they_ used   were always warned in a day or two
  to send a deputation to let _them_  by a deputation that Cromwell had
  know that Cromwell had required of  required of the States to give
  the States that (5) _they_ should   them no harbourage.
  give _them_ no harbour.

    *     *     *     *     *           *     *     *     *     *

  Cromwell's favourite alliance was   The free kingdom of Sweden was
  Sweden.[30] (44) Carolus Gustavus   Cromwell's favourite ally; not
  and he lived in great conjunction   only under Charles Gustavus, with
  of counsels. (44) Even Algernon     whom he was on most confidential
  Sydney, (10 _a_) _who_ was not      terms, but also under Christina.
  inclined to think or speak well of  Both these sovereigns had just
  kings, commended _him_ (5) to me;   notions of public liberty; at
  and  said _he_ (5) had just         least, Algernon Sydney, a man
  notions of public liberty; (44)     certainly not prejudiced in favour
  (43) _and_ added, that Queen        of royalty, assured me this was
  Christina seemed to have _them_     true of Gustavus. He also held the
  likewise. But (44) she was          same opinion of Queen Christina;
  much changed from that, when        but, if so, she was much changed
  I waited on her at Rome; for        when I waited on her at Rome; for
  she complained of us as a factious  she then complained of the factious
  nation, _that did not readily       and unruly spirit of our nation.
  comply with the commands_ (47 _a_)
  _of our princes_. (44) All Italy    All Italy, no less than
  trembled at the name of Cromwell,   Holland,[31] trembled at the name
  and seemed under a (1) _panic_ as   of Cromwell, and dreaded him till
  long as he lived; (43) his fleet    he died. Nor durst the Turks
  scoured the Mediterranean; and the  offend the great (50) Protector
  Turks durst not offend him; but     whose fleet scoured the
  delivered up Hyde, who kept up the  Mediterranean; and they even gave
  character of an ambassador from     up Hyde, who, for keeping up in
  the king there (23) (43), and was   Turkey the character of ambassador
  brought over and executed for (5)   from the king, was brought to
  _it_.                               England and executed.

  (44) (11 _a_) The _putting_ the     In another instance of severity
  brother of the king of Portugal's   towards foreigners--the execution
  ambassador to death for murder,     of the brother of the Portuguese
  was (11 _a_) _carrying_ justice     ambassador for murder--Cromwell
  very far; (43) since, though in     carried justice very far. For,
  the strictness of the law of        though in strictness the law of
  nations, it is only the             nations exempts from foreign
  ambassador's own person that is     jurisdiction the ambassador alone,
  exempted from (4) _any authority_   yet in practice the exemption has
  (47 _a_) _but his master's that     extended to the whole of the
  sends him_, yet the practice has    ambassador's suite.
  gone in favour of _all that the
  ambassador owned_ (47 _a_) _to      Successful abroad, Cromwell was no
  belong to him_. (41) (44) Cromwell  less successful at home in
  showed his good (11)                selecting able and worthy men for
  _understanding_ in nothing more     public duties, especially for the
  than in seeking[32] out capable     courts of law. In nothing did he
  and worthy men for all employments, show more clearly his great
  but most particularly for the       natural insight, and nothing
  courts of law, (43) (30 _a_)        contributed more to his popularity.
  (10 _a_) which gave a general


[28] The meaning is "_his_, and therefore _the nation's_, ministers."
There is a kind of antithesis between "the nation" and "the nation's

[29] No instance has yet been mentioned.

[30] The thought that is implied, and should be expressed, by the
words, is this: "Cromwell's favourite ally was a free country."

[31] The remarks about Christina are a digression, and Burnet is now
returning to the respect in which Cromwell was held by foreign

[32] He not only sought, but sought successfully. That "find" is not
necessarily implied by "seek out" seems proved by the use of the word
in the Authorized Version, 2 Tim. ii. 17: "He _sought_ me _out_ very
diligently, and _found_ me."

                              BISHOP BUTLER.

The principal faults in this style are (_a_) a vague use of pronouns
(5), and sometimes (_b_) the use of a phrase, where a word would be
enough (47 _a_).

       ORIGINAL VERSION.                       PARALLEL VERSION.

  Some persons, (15) _upon            Some persons avowedly reject all
  pretence[33] of the sufficiency of  revelation as[34]essentially
  the light of Nature_, avowedly      incredible and necessarily
  reject all revelation as, _in its_  fictitious, on the ground that the
  (47 _a_) _very notion_,             light of Nature is in itself
  incredible, _and what_ (47 _a_)     sufficient. And assuredly, had the
  _must be fictitious_. And indeed    light of Nature been sufficient in
  (32) it is certain that no          such a sense as to render
  revelation would have been given,   revelation needless or useless, no
  (32) had the light of Nature been   revelation would ever have been
  sufficient in such a sense as to    given. But let any man consider
  render (5) _one_ not[35] wanting,   the spiritual darkness that once
  or useless. But no (15 _b_) man in  (41) prevailed in the heathen
  seriousness and simplicity can      world before revelation, and that
  possibly think _it_ (5) _so_, who   (41) still prevails in those
  considers the state of religion in  regions that have not yet received
  the heathen world before            the light of revealed truth; above
  revelation, and _its_ (5) present   all, let him mark not merely the
  state in those (11) _places_ (8)    natural inattention and ignorance
  _which_ have borrowed no light      of the masses, but also the
  from (5) it; particularly (19) the  doubtful language held even by a
  doubtfulness of some of the (12)    Socrates on even so vital a
  greatest men concerning _things of  subject as[36] the immortality of
  the utmost_ (11) _importance_, as   the soul; and then can he in
  well as the (15 _a_) _natural       seriousness and sincerity maintain
  inattention and ignorance of        that the light of Nature is
  mankind in general_. It is (34)     sufficient?
  impossible to say (12) who would
  have been able to have reasoned     It is of course impossible to deny
  out that whole system which we      that some second[36] Aristotle
  call natural religion, (30) in its  might have reasoned out, in its
  genuine simplicity, clear of        genuine simplicity and without
  superstition; but there is          a touch of superstition, the
  certainly no ground to affirm       whole of that system which we
  that the generality could.          call natural religion. But there
  (44) If they could, there is        is certainly no ground for
  no sort of probability that         affirming that this complicated
  they would. (44) Admitting there    process would have been possible
  were, they would highly want a      for ordinary men. Even if they had
  standing admonition to remind them  had the power, there is no
  of (5) _it_, and inculcate it upon  probability that they would have
  them. And further still, were (5)   had the inclination; and, even if
  _they_ as much _disposed_ (47 _a_)  we admit the probable inclination,
  _to attend to_ religion as the      they would still need some
  better sort of men (15 _a_) _are_;  standing admonition, whereby
  yet, even upon this supposition,    natural religion might be
  there would be various occasions    suggested and inculcated. Still
  for supernatural instruction and    further, even if we suppose these
  assistance, _and the greatest       ordinary men to be as attentive to
  advantages_ (50) _might be          religion as men of a better sort,
  afforded_ (15 _a_) _by_ (5)         yet even then there would be
  _them_. So that, to say revelation  various occasions when
  is a thing superfluous, _what       supernatural instruction and
  there_ (47 _a_) _was no need of_,   assistance might be most
  and _what can be of_ (47 _a_) _no   beneficially bestowed.
  service_, is, I think, to talk
  wildly and at random. Nor would it  Therefore, to call revelation
  be more extravagant to affirm that  superfluous, needless, and
  (40 _a_) _mankind_ is so entirely   useless, is, in my opinion, to
  (40 _a_) _at ease_ in the present   talk wildly and at random. A man
  state, and (40 _a_) _life so_       might as reasonably assert that we
  completely (40 _a_) _happy_, that   are so entirely at ease and so
  (5) _it_ is a contradiction to      completely happy in this present
  suppose (40 _a_) our condition      life that our condition cannot
  capable of _being in any respect_   without contradiction be supposed
  (47 _a_) _better_.--(_Analogy of    capable of being in any way
  Religion_, part ii. chap. 1.)       improved.


[33] "To pretend" once meant "to put forward," "maintain."

[34] It has been suggested, however, that by "in its very notion
incredible," is meant "inconceivable."

[35] "Wanting" is used for modern "wanted."

[36] This use of the particular for the general would be out of place
in Butler's style, but it adds clearness.


                         SIR ARCHIBALD ALISON.

The following extract exhibits examples of tautology and lengthiness.
The "implied statement" (50) can often be used as a remedy, but, more
often, the best remedy is omission.

       ORIGINAL VERSION.                        PARALLEL VERSION.

  The Russian empire is (50) _a       Russia, with her vast strength and
  state of_ (54) _such_ vast          boundless resources, is obviously
  strength and boundless              destined to exercise on the course
  resources, _that_ it is             of history a great and lasting
  obviously destined to make a        influence. The slowness of her
  great and lasting impression on     progress only renders her
  human affairs. Its (50) progress    durability more probable. The
  has been slow, but (5) _it_[37] is  Russian Empire has not, like the
  only on that account the more       empires of Alexander the Great and
  likely to be durable. (5) _It_ has  Napoleon, been raised to sudden
  not suddenly risen to greatness,    greatness by the genius of
  like the empire of Alexander in     individuals or the accidents of
  ancient (19) (31), or that of       fortune, but has been slowly
  Napoleon in modern, times, from     enlarged and firmly consolidated
  the force of individual genius, or  by well-guided ambition and
  the accidents of (54) casual        persevering energy,[38] during a
  fortune, but has slowly advanced,   long succession of ages.
  and (40 _a_) been firmly
  consolidated (15) _during a
  succession of ages_, from the
  combined influence of ambition
  skilfully directed and energy (15
  _a_) _perseveringly applied_.

    *     *     *     *     *           *     *     *     *     *

  The extent and fertility of the     The extent and fertility of her
  Russian territory are _such_ (54)   territory furnish unparalleled
  _as to_ furnish facilities of       facilities for the increase of her
  increase and elements of strength   population and power. European
  _which no nation_ (47 _a_) _in the  Russia, that is, Russia to the
  world enjoys_. European             west of the Ural Mountains,
  Russia--that is, Russia to the      contains one million two hundred
  westward of the Ural                thousand square geographical
  Mountains--contains a hundred and   miles, or ten times the surface of
  fifty thousand four hundred square  Great Britain and Ireland.
  marine leagues, or about one
  million two hundred thousand
  square geographical miles, being
  ten times the surface of the
  British Islands, which contain,
  including Ireland, one hundred and
  twenty-two thousand. Great part,    This vast territory is intersected
  no doubt, of this _immense_ (54,    by no mountain ranges, no arid
  see below) _territory is covered_   deserts; and though much of it is
  with forests, or (40 _a_) _lies_    rendered almost unproductive of
  so far to the north as to be        food either by the denseness of
  almost unproductive of food; but    forests, or by the severity of the
  no ranges of mountains or arid      northern winter, yet almost all,
  deserts intersect the _vast_ (54,   except that part which touches
  see above) _extent_, and almost     the Arctic snows, is capable of
  the whole, excepting that which     yielding something for the use
  touches the Arctic snows, is        of man.
  capable of yielding something for
  the use of man. The (3) (54)        The steppes of the south present
  _boundless_ steppes of the south    an inexhaustible pasturage to
  present (54) _inexhaustible_        those nomad tribes whose numerous
  fields of pasturage, and give       and incomparable horsemen form the
  birth to those nomad tribes, in     chief defence of the empire.
  whose numerous and incomparable
  horsemen the chief defence of the
  empire,[39] as of all Oriental
  states, (15 _a_) _is to be found_.
  The rich arable lands in the heart  The rich arable lands in the
  _of the_ (54) _empire_ produce an   interior produce grain enough to
  (2) _incalculable_ quantity of      support four times the present
  grain, capable not only of          population of the empire, and yet
  maintaining four times (5) _its_    leave a vast surplus to be
  present inhabitants, but affording  transported by the Dnieper, the
  a vast surplus for exportation by   Volga, and their tributaries, into
  the Dnieper, the Volga, and their   the Euxine or other seas.
  tributary streams, (30) which
  _form so many_ (54) _natural
  outlets_ into the Euxine or other
  seas; (44) while the cold and       Lastly, the cold bleak plains
  shivering plains which stretch      stretching towards Archangel and
  towards Archangel and the shores    towards the shores of the White
  of the White Sea are (48) covered   Sea, and covered with immense
  with immense forests of fir and     forests of oak and fir, furnish
  oak, furnishing at once (54)[40]    materials for shipbuilding and
  _inexhaustible_ materials for       supplies of fuel that will for
  shipbuilding and supplies of fuel.  many generations supersede the
  (54) _These ample stores_ for many  necessity of searching for coal.
  generations will supersede the
  necessity of searching in the (14
  _a_) _bowels_ of the earth for
  _the purposes of_ (54) _warmth or

  Formidable as the power of Russia   Much as we may dread Russia for
  is from the vast extent of its      the vastness of her territory and
  territory, and the great and        of her rapidly increasing numbers,
  rapidly increasing number _of       there is greater cause for fear
  its_ (54) _subjects_, (5) _it_ is   in the military spirit and the
  still more (5) _so_ from the        docility of her people.
  military spirit and docile
  disposition _by which they are_
  (54)[41] _distinguished_. The
  prevailing (54) _passion_ of the    A burning thirst for conquest is
  nation is the (54) _love of         as prevalent a passion in Russia
  conquest_, and this (54) _ardent_   as democratic ambition in the free
  (54) _desire_, which (54) _burns    states of Western Europe. This
  as_ (54) _fiercely_ in them as      passion is the unseen spring[2]
  democratic ambition does in the     which, while it retains the
  free states of Western Europe, is   Russians in the strictest
  the unseen spring[42] which both    discipline, unceasingly impels
  retains them _submissive_ (54)      their united forces against all
  _under the standard of their        adjoining states.
  chief_ and impels their
  accumulated forces in ceaseless     The national energy, which is as
  violence over all the adjoining     great as the national territory,
  states. The energies of the         rarely wastes itself in disputes
  people, great as[43] the territory  about domestic grievances. For all
  they inhabit, are rarely wasted in  internal evils, how great soever,
  internal disputes. Domestic         the Russians hope to find a
  grievances, how great soever, are   compensation, and more than a
  (54) overlooked in the thirst for   compensation, in the conquest of
  foreign aggrandizement. (15) In     the world.
  the conquest of the world the
  people hope to find a
  compensation, and more than a
  compensation, (15 _a_) _for all
  the evils of their interior


[37] Apparently "it" means, not "progress," but the "Russian empire."

[38] Not "energy," but "a long succession of ages," needs to be

[39] There is nothing in the context that requires the words, "as of
all Oriental states."

[40] If they were really "inexhaustible," the "necessity of searching
in the bowels of the earth" would be "superseded," not for "many," but
for all generations.

[41] The words can be implied, and besides they are expressed in the
following sentence.

[42] The metaphor is questionable; for a "spring," _qua_ "spring,"
does not retain at all; and besides, "a passion" ought not to "burn"
in one line, and be a "spring" in the next.

[43] The meaning appears _not_ to be, "great as" (is), _i.e._ "though
the territory is great."


       *       *       *       *       *










"It is not so much a merit to know English as it is a shame not to
know it; and I look upon this knowledge as essential for an
Englishman, and not merely for a fine speaker."--ADAPTED FROM CICERO.


[Illustration: QUI LEGIT REGIT]




_Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral, late Head Master of the City of
London School_.


We have other motives, beside the respect and gratitude which must be
felt for you by all those of your old pupils who are capable of
appreciating the work you did at the City of London School, for asking
you to let us dedicate to you a little book which we have entitled
"English Lessons for English People."

Looking back upon our school life, we both feel that among the many
educational advantages which we enjoyed under your care, there was
none more important than the study of the works of Shakspeare, to
which we and our school-fellows were stimulated by the special prizes
of the Beaufoy Endowment.

We owe you a debt of gratitude not always owed by pupils to their
teachers. Many who have passed into a life of engrossing activity
without having been taught at school to use rightly, or to appreciate
the right use of, their native tongue, feeling themselves foreigners
amid the language of their country, may turn with some point against
their teachers the reproach of banished Bolingbroke:--

            My tongue's use is to me no more
    Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
    Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
    Or, being open, put into his hands
    That knows no touch to tune the harmony;
    Within my mouth you have engaoled my tongue,
    Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips,
    And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
    Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
    I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
    Too far in years to be a pupil now.

It is our pleasant duty, on the contrary, to thank you for encouraging
us to study the "cunning instrument" of our native tongue.

Our sense of the benefits which we derived from this study, and our
recollection that the study was at that time optional, and did not
affect more than a small number of the pupils, lead us to anticipate
that when once the English language and literature become recognized,
not as an optional but as a regular part of our educational course,
the advantages will be so great as to constitute nothing short of a
national benefit.

The present seems to be a critical moment for English instruction. The
subject has excited much attention of late years; many schools have
already taken it up; others are on the point of doing so; it forms an
important part of most Government and other examinations. But there is
a complaint from many teachers that they cannot teach English for want
of text-books and manuals; and, as the study of English becomes year
by year more general, this complaint makes itself more and more
distinctly heard. To meet this want we have written the following
pages. If we had had more time, we might perhaps have been tempted to
aim at producing a more learned and exhaustive book on the subject;
but, setting aside want of leisure, we feel that a practical
text-book, and not a learned or exhaustive treatise, is what is wanted
at the present crisis.

We feel sure that you will give a kindly welcome to our little book,
as an attempt, however imperfect, to hand on the torch which you have
handed to us; we beg you also to accept it as a token of our sincere
gratitude for more than ordinary kindnesses, and to believe us

  Your affectionate pupils,

                 J. R. SEELEY.
                 EDWIN A. ABBOTT.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Messrs. Roberts Brothers' Publications._

Prof. J. R. SEELEY, M.A. Part I.--Vocabulary. Part II--Diction. Part
III.--Metre. Part IV.--Hints on Selection and Arrangement. Appendix.
16mo. Price $1.50.

_From the London Athenæum._

     The object of this book is evidently a practical one. It is
     intended for ordinary use by a large circle of readers; and
     though designed principally for boys, may be read with advantage
     by many of more advanced years. One of the lessons which it
     professes to teach, "to use the right word in the right place,"
     is one which no one should despise. The accomplishment is a rare
     one, and many of the hints here given are truly admirable.

_From the Southern Review._

     The study of Language can never be exhausted. Every time it is
     looked at by a man of real ability and culture, some new phase
     starts into view. The origin of Language; its relations to the
     mind; its history; its laws; its development; its struggles; its
     triumphs; its devices; its puzzles; its ethics,--every thing
     about it is full of interest.

     Here is a delightful book, by two men of recognized
     authority,--the head Master of London School, and the Professor
     of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, the notable
     author of "Ecce Homo." The book is so comprehensive in its scope
     that it seems almost miscellaneous. It treats of the vocabulary
     of the English Language; Diction as appropriate to this or that
     sort of composition; selection and arguments of topics; Metre,
     and an Appendix on Logic. All this in less than three hundred
     pages. Within this space so many subjects cannot be treated
     exhaustively; and no one is, unless we may except Metre, to which
     about eighty pages are devoted, and about which all seems to be
     said that is worth saying,--possibly more. But on each topic some
     of the best things are said in a very stimulating way. The
     student will desire to study more thoroughly the subject into
     which such pleasant openings are here given; and the best
     prepared teacher will be thankful for the number of striking
     illustrations gathered up to his hand.

     The abundance and freshness of the quotations makes the volume
     very attractive reading, without reference to its didactic value.

_Sold by all booksellers. Mailed, postpaid, by the Publishers_,



This book is not intended to supply the place of an English Grammar.
It presupposes a knowledge of Grammar and of English idiom in its
readers, and does not address itself to foreigners, but to those who,
having already a familiar knowledge of English, need help to write it
with taste and exactness. Some degree of knowledge is presumed in the
reader; nevertheless we do not presume that he possesses so much as to
render him incapable of profiting from _lessons_. Our object is, if
possible, not merely to interest, but to _teach_; to write lessons,
not essays,--lessons that may perhaps prove interesting to some who
have passed beyond the routine of school life, but still lessons, in
the strictest sense, adapted for school classes.

Aiming at practical utility, the book deals only with those
difficulties which, in the course of teaching, we have found to be
most common and most serious. For there are many difficulties, even
when grammatical accuracy has been attained, in the way of English
persons attempting to write and speak correctly. First, there is the
cramping restriction of an insufficient vocabulary; not merely a loose
and inexact apprehension of many words that are commonly used, and a
consequent difficulty in using them accurately, but also a total
ignorance of many other words, and an inability to use them at all;
and these last are, as a rule, the very words which are absolutely
necessary for the comprehension and expression of any thought that
deals with something more than the most ordinary concrete notions.
There is also a very common inability to appreciate the differences
between words that are at all similar. Lastly, where the pupil has
studied Latin, and trusts too much for his knowledge of English words
to his knowledge of their Latin roots, there is the possibility of
misderiving and misunderstanding a word, owing to ignorance of the
changes of letters introduced in the process of derivation; and, on
the other hand, there is the danger of misunderstanding and
pedantically misusing words correctly derived, from an ignorance of
the changes of meaning which a word almost always experiences in
passing from one language to another. The result of all this
non-understanding or slovenly half-understanding of words is a habit
of slovenly reading and slovenly writing, which when once acquired is
very hard to shake off.

Then, following on the difficulties attending the use of words, there
are others attending the choice and arrangement of words. There is the
danger of falling into "poetic prose," of thinking it necessary to
write "steed" or "charger" instead of "horse," "ire" instead of
"anger," and the like; and every teacher, who has had much experience
in looking over examination papers, will admit that this is a danger
to which beginners are very liable. Again, there is the temptation to
shrink with a senseless fear from using a plain word twice in the same
page, and often from using a plain word at all. This unmanly dread of
simplicity, and of what is called "tautology," gives rise to a
patchwork made up of scraps of poetic quotations, unmeaning
periphrases, and would-be humorous circumlocutions,--a style of all
styles perhaps the most objectionable and offensive, which may be
known and avoided by the name of _Fine Writing_. Lastly, there is the
danger of _obscurity_, a fault which cannot be avoided without extreme
care, owing to the uninflected nature of our language.

All these difficulties and dangers are quite as real, and require as
much attention, and are fit subjects for practical teaching in our
schools, quite as much as many points which, at present, receive
perhaps an excessive attention in some of our text-books. To use the
right word in the right place is an accomplishment not less valuable
than the knowledge of the truth (carefully recorded in most English
Grammars, and often inflicted as a task upon younger pupils) that the
plural of _cherub_ is _cherubim_, and the feminine of _bull_ is _cow_.

To smooth the reader's way through these difficulties is the object of
the first three Parts of this book. Difficulties connected with
Vocabulary are considered first. The student is introduced, almost at
once, to _Synonyms_. He is taught how to _define_ a word, with and
without the aid of its synonyms. He is shown how to _eliminate_ from a
word whatever is not essential to its meaning. The processes of
_Definition_ and _Elimination_ are carefully explained: a system or
scheme is laid down which he can exactly follow; and examples are
subjoined, worked out to illustrate the method which he is to pursue.
A system is also given by which the reader may enlarge his vocabulary,
and furnish himself easily and naturally with those general or
abstract terms which are often misunderstood and misused, and still
more often not understood and not used at all. Some information is
also given to help the reader to connect words with their roots, and
at the same time to caution him against supposing that, because he
knows the roots of a word, he necessarily knows the meaning of the
word itself. Exercises are interspersed throughout this Part which can
be worked out with, or without, an English Etymological
Dictionary,[44] as the nature of the case may require. The exercises
have not been selected at random; many of them have been subjected to
the practical test of experience, and have been used in class

The Second Part deals with Diction. It attempts to illustrate with
some detail the distinction--often ignored by those who are beginning
to write English, and sometimes by others also--between the Diction of
Prose, and that of Poetry. It endeavors to dissipate that excessive
and vulgar dread of tautology which, together with a fondness for
misplaced pleasantry, gives rise to the vicious style described above.
It gives some practical rules for writing a long sentence clearly and
impressively; and it also examines the difference between slang,
conversation, and written prose. Both for translating from foreign
languages into English, and for writing original English composition,
these rules have been used in teaching, and, we venture to think, with
encouraging results.

A Chapter on Simile and Metaphor concludes the subject of Diction. We
have found, in the course of teaching, that a great deal of confusion
in speaking and writing, and still more in reading and attempting to
understand the works of our classical English authors, arises from the
inability to express the literal meaning conveyed in a Metaphor. The
application of the principle of Proportion to the explanation of
Metaphor has been found to dissipate much of this confusion. The
youngest pupils readily learn how to "expand a Metaphor into its
Simile;" and it is really astonishing to see how many difficulties
that perplex young heads, and sometimes old ones too, vanish at once
when the key of "expansion" is applied. More important still, perhaps,
is the exactness of thought introduced by this method. The pupil knows
that, if he cannot expand a metaphor, he does not understand it. All
teachers will admit that to force a pupil to see that he does not
understand any thing is a great stride of progress. It is difficult
to exaggerate the value of a process which makes it impossible for a
pupil to delude himself into the belief that he understands when he
does not understand.

Metre is the subject of the Third Part. The object of this Part (as
also, in a great measure, of the Chapter just mentioned belonging to
the Second Part) is to enable the pupil to read English Poetry with
intelligence, interest, and appreciation. To teach any one how to read
a verse so as to mark the metre on the one hand, without on the other
hand converting the metrical line into a monotonous doggerel, is not
so easy a task as might be supposed. Many of the rules stated in this
Part have been found of practical utility in teaching pupils to hit
the mean. Rules and illustrations have therefore been given, and the
different kinds of metre and varieties of the same metre have been
explained at considerable length.

This Chapter may seem to some to enter rather too much into detail. We
desire, however, to urge as an explanation, that in all probability
the study of English metre will rapidly assume more importance in
English schools. At present, very little is generally taught, and
perhaps known, about this subject. In a recent elaborate edition of
the works of Pope, the skill of that consummate master of the art of
epigrammatic versification is impugned because in one of his lines he
suffers _the_ to receive the metrical accent. When one of the
commonest customs (for it is in no sense a license) of English
poets--a custom sanctioned by Shakspeare, Dryden, Milton, Wordsworth,
Byron, Shelley, and Tennyson--can be censured as a fault, and this in
a leading edition of a leading poet of our literature, it must be
evident that much still remains to be done in teaching English Metre.
At present this Part may seem too detailed. Probably, some few years
hence, when a knowledge of English Metre has become more widely
diffused, it will seem not detailed enough.

The Fourth Part (like the Chapter on Metaphor) is concerned not more
with English than with other languages. It treats of the different
Styles of Composition, the appropriate subjects for each, and the
arrangement of the subject-matter. We hope that this may be of some
interest to the general reader, as well as of practical utility in the
higher classes of schools. It seems desirable that before pupils begin
to write essays, imaginary dialogues, speeches, and poems, they should
receive some instruction as to the difference of arrangement in a
poem, a speech, a conversation, and an essay.

An Appendix adds a few hints on some Errors in Reasoning. This
addition may interfere with the symmetry of the book; but if it is
found of use, the utility will be ample compensation. In reading
literature, pupils are continually meeting instances of false
reasoning, which, if passed over without comment, do harm, and, if
commented upon, require some little basis of knowledge in the pupil to
enable him to understand the explanation. Without entering into the
details of formal Logic, we have found it possible to give pupils some
few hints which have appeared to help them. The hints are so
elementary, and so few, that they cannot possibly delude the youngest
reader into imagining that they are any thing more than hints. They
may induce him hereafter to study the subject thoroughly in a complete
treatise, when he has leisure and opportunity; but, in any case, a boy
will leave school all the better prepared for the work of life,
whatever that work may be, if he knows the meaning of _induction_, and
has been cautioned against the error, _post hoc, ergo propter hoc_. No
lesson, so far as our experience in teaching goes, interests and
stimulates pupils more than this; and our experience of debating
societies, in the higher forms of schools, forces upon us the
conviction that such lessons are not more interesting than necessary.

Questions on the different paragraphs have been added at the end of
the book, for the purpose of enabling the student to test his
knowledge of the contents, and also to serve as home lessons to be
prepared by pupils in classes.[45]

A desire, expressed by some teachers of experience, that these lessons
should be published as soon as possible, has rather accelerated the
publication. Some misprints and other inaccuracies may possibly be
found in the following pages, in consequence of the short time Which
has been allowed us for correcting them. Our thanks are due to several
friends who have kindly assisted us in this task, and who have also
aided us with many valuable and practical suggestions. Among these we
desire to mention Mr. Joseph Payne, whose labors on Norman French are
well known; Mr. T.G. Philpotts, late Fellow of New College, Oxford,
and one of the Assistant Masters of Rugby School; Mr. Edwin Abbott,
Head Master of the Philological School; Mr. Howard Candler,
Mathematical Master of Uppingham School; and the Rev. R. H. Quick, one
of the Assistant Masters of Harrow School.

In conclusion, we repeat that we do not wish our book to be regarded
as an exhaustive treatise, or as adapted for the use of foreigners. It
is intended primarily for boys, but, in the present unsatisfactory
state of English education, we entertain a hope that it may possibly
be found not unfit for some who have passed the age of boyhood; and in
this hope we have ventured to give it the title of _English Lessons
for English People_.


[44] An Etymological Dictionary is necessary for pupils studying the
First Part. Chambers's or Ogilvie's will answer the purpose.

[45] Some of the passages quoted to illustrate style are intended to
be committed to memory and used as repetition-lessons.--See pp. 180,
181, 212, 237, 238, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *


A LECTURE. By WILLIAM P. ATKINSON, Professor of English and History in
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 16mo. Cloth. Price 50

     "Full of good sense, sound taste, and quiet humor.... It is the
     easiest thing in the world to waste time over books, which are
     merely tools of knowledge like any other tools.... It is the
     function of a good book not only to fructify, but to inspire, not
     only to fill the memory with evanescent treasures, but to enrich
     the imagination with forms of beauty and goodness which leave a
     lasting impression on the character."--_N. Y. Tribune._

     "Contains so many wise suggestions concerning methods in study
     and so excellent a summary of the nature and principles of a
     really liberal education that it well deserves publication for
     the benefit of the reading public. Though it makes only a slight
     volume, its quality in thought and style is so admirable that all
     who are interested in the subject of good education will give to
     it a prominent and honorable position among the many books upon
     education which have recently been published. For it takes only a
     brief reading to perceive that in this single lecture the results
     of wide experience in teaching and of long study of the true
     principles of education are generalized and presented in a few
     pages, each one of which contains so much that it might be easily
     expanded into an excellent chapter."--_The Library Table._

       *       *       *       *       *


By ERNEST LEGOUVÉ, of the Académie Française. Translated from the
Ninth Edition by ABBY LANGDON ALGER. 16mo. Cloth. 50 cents.



     For you this sketch was written: permit me to dedicate it to you,
     in fact, to intrust it to your care. Pupils to-day, to-morrow you
     will be teachers; to-morrow, generation after generation of youth
     will pass through your guardian hands. An idea received by you
     must of necessity reach thousands of minds. Help me, then, to
     spread abroad the work in which you have some share, and allow me
     to add to the great pleasure of having numbered you among my
     hearers the still greater happiness of calling you my assistants.
     E. LEGOUVÉ.

     We commend this valuable little book to the attention of teachers
     and others interested in the instruction of the pupils of our
     public schools. It treats of the "First Steps in Reading,"
     "Learning to Read," "Should we read as we talk," "The Use and
     Management of the Voice," "The Art of Breathing,"
     "Pronunciation," "Stuttering," "Punctuation," "Readers and
     Speakers," "Reading as a Means of Criticism," "On Reading
     Poetry," &c., and makes a strong claim as to the value of reading
     aloud, as being the most wholesome of gymnastics, for to
     strengthen the voice is to strengthen the whole system and
     develop vocal power.

       *       *       *       *       *


With Appendixes in Analysis, Spelling, and Punctuation. By EDWIN A.
ABBOTT, M.A., Head Master of the City of London School. 16mo. Cloth.
Price $1.00.

     "We recommend this little book to the careful attention of
     teachers and others interested in instruction. In the hands of an
     able teacher, the book should help to relieve parsing from the
     reproach of being the bane of the school-room. The Etymological
     Glossary of Grammatical Terms will also supply a long-felt want."
     _N.Y. Nation._

     "'How to Parse' is likely to prove to teachers a valuable, and to
     scholars an agreeable, substitute for most of the grammars in
     common use."--_Boston Daily Advertiser._

     "The Rev. E.A. Abbott, whose books, 'English Lessons for English
     People,' and 'How to Write Clearly,' have been accepted as
     standard text-books on both sides of the ocean, has added another
     work to his list of sensible treatises on the use of English. It
     is called 'How to Parse,' and is best described by the further
     title, 'An Attempt to apply the Principles of Scholarship to
     English Grammar, with Appendices on Analysis, Spelling, and
     Punctuation.' The little book is so sensible and so simple that
     the greater number of its readers will perhaps forget to observe
     that it is profoundly philosophical also, but it is so in the
     best sense of the term."--_N. Y. Evening Post._

     "Of all subjects of study, it may be safely admitted that grammar
     possesses as a rule the fewest attractions for the youthful mind.
     To prepare a work capable of imparting a thorough knowledge of
     this important part of education in an attractive and
     entertaining form, to many may appear extremely difficult, if not
     impossible; nevertheless, the task has been accomplished in a
     highly successful manner by Edwin A. Abbott, Head Master of the
     City of London School, in a neat little volume entitled 'How to
     Parse.' The author has succeeded admirably in combining with the
     exercises a vast amount of useful information, which impacts to
     the principles and rules of the main subject a degree of interest
     that renders the study as attractive as history or fiction. The
     value of the book is greatly increased by an excellent glossary
     of grammatical forms and a nicely arranged index. The work
     deserves the attention and consideration of teachers and pupils,
     and will doubtless prove a highly popular addition to the list of
     school-books."--_N.Y. Graphic._

       *       *       *       *       *

_Messrs. Roberts Brothers' Publications._






  _Thin 8vo, cloth, gilt, bevelled boards. Price $2.00._
  _A cheaper edition, 16mo, cloth. Price $1.00._

     "Miss Frothingham's translation is something to be glad of: it
     lends itself kindly to perusal, and it presents Goethe's charming
     poem in the metre of the original.... It is not a poem which
     could be profitably used in an argument for the enlargement of
     the sphere of woman: it teaches her subjection, indeed, from the
     lips of a beautiful girl, which are always so fatally convincing;
     but it has its charm, nevertheless, and will serve at least for
     an agreeable picture of an age when the ideal woman was a
     creature around which grew the beauty and comfort and security of
     home."--_Atlantic Monthly._

     "The poem itself is bewitching. Of the same metre as Longfellow's
     'Evangeline,' its sweet and measured cadences carry the reader
     onward with a real pleasure as he becomes more and more absorbed
     in this descriptive wooing song. It is a sweet volume to read
     aloud in a select circle of intelligent friends."--_Providence

     "Miss Frothingham has done a good service, and done it well, in
     translating this famous idyl, which has been justly called 'one
     of the most faultless poems of modern times.' Nothing can surpass
     the simplicity, tenderness, and grace of the original, and these
     have been well preserved in Miss Frothingham's version. Her
     success is worthy of the highest praise, and the mere English
     reader can scarcely fail to read the poem with the same delight
     with which it has always been read by those familiar with the
     German. Its charming pictures of domestic life, the strength and
     delicacy of its characterization, the purity of tone and ardent
     love of country which breathe through it, must always make it one
     of the most admired of Goethe's works."--_Boston Christian

_Sold everywhere. Mailed, postpaid, by the Publishers_,

                      ROBERTS BROTHERS, BOSTON

       *       *       *       *       *

                        DR. ABBOTT'S WORKS.

HOW TO PARSE. An Attempt to Apply the Principles of Scholarship to
English Grammar. With Appendixes on Analysis, Spelling, and
Punctuation. 16mo. Cloth. Price, $1.00.

HOW TO TELL THE PARTS OF SPEECH. An Introduction to English Grammar.
American edition, revised and enlarged by Prof. JOHN G. R. McELROY, of
the University of Pennsylvania. 16mo. Cloth. Price, 75 cents.

HOW TO WRITE CLEARLY. Rules and Exercises in English Composition.
16mo. Cloth. Price, 60 cents.

J. R. SEELEY, M.A., of Cambridge University, Eng. 16mo. Cloth. Price,



       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as
possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other

The transcriber made the following changes to the text to correct
obvious errors:

1. p. 90, "inpugned" --> "impugned"
2. p. 51, to qualify "enemy. --> to qualify "enemy."

Text set in bold print is indicated by asterisks, i.e., *Bold*.

It is common to have footnotes referenced multiple times in the text.

Advertisements for Dr. Abbott's other works published by Roberts
Brothers have been moved from the front of the book to the end.

End of Transcriber's Notes]

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