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ORAL EXERCISES.

After mentioning the distinctive uses of the notes of interrogation and exclamı

tion, say why interrogative marks are inserted in these sentences :

Are there not seasons of spring in the moral world ? and is not the present age one of them?

Who can look only at the muscles of the hand, and doubt that man was made to work?

The past, the mighty past, the parent of the present, — where is it? What is it?

Are the palaces of kings to be regarded with more interest than the humbler roofs that shelter millions of human beings ?

If a wicked man could be happy, who might have been so happy as Haman?

Who would tear asunder the best affections of the heart, the noblest instincts of our nature?

Have you more liberty allowed you to wound your neighbor's character than you have to shed his blood ?

A gandy verbosity is always eloquence in the opinion of him that writes it; but what is the effect on the reader?

Bion, seeing a person who was tearing the hair of his head for sorrow, said, “ Does this man think that baldness is a remedy for grief?'

Is the celestial fire which glowed in their hearts for ever quenched, and nought but ashes left to mingle with the earth, and be blown around the world?

You say you will repent in some future period of time; but are you sure of arriving at that period of time? Have you one hour in your hand? Have you one minute at your disposal ?

What but the ever-living power of literature and religion preserved the light of civilization, and the intellectual stores of the past, undiminished in Greece, during the long and dreary ages of the decline and downfall of the Roman empire?

Who shall sunder ne from such men as Fenelon and Pascal and Borromeo, — from Archbishop Leighton, Jeremy Taylor, and John Howard? Who can rupture the spiritual bond between these mev and myself? Do I not hold them dear? Does not their spirit, flowing out through their writings and lives, penetrate my soul? Are they not a portion of my being? Am I not a different man from what I should have been, had not these and other like spirits acted on mine? And is it in the power of synod or conclave, or of all the ecclesiastical combinations on earth, to part me from them?

Show how the Rule or the Remarks (pp. 155-6) apply to the punctuation of these

sentences :

“Honest man,” says I, “ be so good as to inform me whether I ain in the way to Mirlington.”

The question is not what we might actually wish with our present views, but what with juster views we ought to wish.

When a king asked Euclid the mathematician, whether he could not explain his art to him in a more compendious manuer, he was answered that there was no royal way to geometry.

“The sun not set yet, Thomas ?” – “Not quito, sir. It blazes through the trees on the hill yonder, as if their branches were all on fire."

The Phænicians invented letters; but what did they do with them? Apply them to the record, the diffusion, transmissiou, and preservation of knowledge ?

You do not expect me to leave iny family, when we are all so comfortable, and brave the perils of a long passage and sickly climate, for the mere chance of getting gold?

To purchase heaven, has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold ?--
No: all that's worth a wish or thought,

Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought. Can gray hairs make folly venerable ? and is not their period to be reserved for retirement and meditation ?

Are the stars, that gem the vault of the heavens above us, mere decorations of the night, or suns and centres of planetary systems ?

Where be your gibes now; your gambols; your songs; your fashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table in a roar ?

Are you conscious of a like increase in wisdom, – in pure endeavors to make yourself and other men what you and they cught to be?

Greece, indeed, fell; but how did she fall? Did she fall like Babylon? Did she fall “like Lucifer, never to hope again”?

Is there any man so swelled by the conceit of his union with the true church, as to stand apart, and say, “I am holier thau thou"?

What do you say? What? I really do not understand you. Be so good as to explain yourself again. Upou my word, I do not. – Oh! now I know: you mean to tel is a day. Why did you not say at once, “ It is cold to-day"?

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RULE II.

Expressions indicating Passion or Emotion. An exclamative mark is put after expressions denoting an ardent wish, admiration, or any other strong emotion; after interjections, words used as interjections, or clauses containing them ; and after terms or expressions in an address, corresponding to the vocative case in Latin, when emphatic.

EXAMPLE S.

1. Would that we had maintained our humble state, and continued to live in

peace and poverty! 2. How sweet are the slumbers of him who can lie down on his pillow, and

review the transactions of every day, without condemning himself! 8. What a fearful handwriting upon the walls that surround the deeds of

darkness, duplicity, and sensual crime! 4. Bah! that's the third umbrella gone since Christmas. What were you to

do! Why, let him go home in the rain, to be sure. 5. Away, all ye Cæsars and Napoleons! to your own dark and frightful

domains of slaughter and misery! 6. Friends, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent that

you may hear.

REMARKS.

a. With the exception of the dash, there is probably no point respecting which more vague and inaccurate conceptions are entertained than in regard to the applying of the note of exclamation. Some writers freely make use of this mark where the sentiments do not contain one iota of emotion, and foist it in on every possible occasion, sometimes in a twofold or a triplicate form; thus vainly trying to hide their lack of pathos or of passion by a bristling array of dagger-like points. Others, again, indulge a questionable taste for the same mark, by using it wherever their diction is capable of conveying emotion to others, but where neither the structure of the expressions employed, nor the tones or inflections of the voice required in reading, will admit of the point. On this subject, we quote the judicious remarks of the Rev. Joseph Robertson, in his “Essay on Punctuation,” third edition, Lond. 1791, p. 113: “It may not be improper to caution the young and inexperienced writer against the immoderate use of exclamations. Whenever we see a page in prose profusely interspersed with points of admiration, we generally find it full of unnatural reveries, rant, and bombast. The Sacred Writings, and particularly the Psalms, abound with expressions of the warmest piety, and the most elevated descriptions of the Divine nature; .. but our translators, in conformity to the sober majesty of the original, have seldom introduced the note of admiration."

6. Generally speaking, only those sentences, clauses, or phrases should have the note of exclamation, which demand a fervid, passionate mode of delivery; or which commence with any of the interjections; with verbs in the imperative mood, adverbs, or prepositions, uttering a stern command or forcibly calling attention; with the adverbs how, what, unless they denote affirmation or inquiry; or with the case of address, when used in a solemn style, or emphasized by the use of the word 0.

c. Between the interjections 0 and oh there exists an esseutial difference, which is frequently neglected even by some of our best writers. The former is properly prefixed to an expression in a direct address; but the latter ought never to be so employed. O should be used without the mark of exclamation immediately after it; but oh, sometimes with and sometimes without it, according to the construction and sense of the passage in which the word occurs. The following sentences will illustrate the difference spoken of, and the true mode of punctuation:

1. The heavens and earth, O Lord! proclaim thy boundless power. 2. When, 0 my countrymen! will you begin to exert your vigor? 3. O blessed spirit, who art freed from earth! rejoice. 4. Oh! nothing is further from iny thoughts than to deceive you. 5. Oh, what a glorious part you may act on the theatre of humanity!

6. Oh that all classes of society were both enlightened and virtuous ! In the first three examples, the particle O may be justly regarded as the sign of the case of address, which with its assistance conveys a feeling of greater emphasis or passion than it usually does without the sign: the note of exclamation being, in the first instance, pat after the vocative word; in the second, after the vocative phrase; and, in the third, after the vocative clause. In the last three examples, the interjection, according to the form adopted (oh) and the manner in which it is applied, is obviously a different word. In the example numbered 4, the word oh is followed immediately by the

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mark denoting exclamation, because it is independent of the next expression, which closes merely with a period, there being nothing characteristic of emotion in the structure of the language used. In the fifth example, the interjection is pointed with a comma, because this word is grammatically separable from the part of the sentence beginning with “ what;" but the note of exclamation, which would have been put after oh if the following expression had been simply affirmative, is placed at the end of all, to show the unity of strong feeling which runs throughout. In the sixth and last example, the interjection is not separated by any point from the conjunction “that," on account of its intimate relation to what follows; and the mark denoting an ardent wish is therefore, as in the preceding exanple, placed at the close of the sentence.

d. In accordance with the mode of punctuation adopted in the examples illustrating Remark c, it is recommended, that wherever interjections, or any other words indicative of deep emotion or fervid passion, are not meant to be significant in themselves, but to form part of a phrase, clause, or sentence, the mark of exclamation be put not after each of these words, but only at the end of each expression; as, " Ah me!” – “Alas, my noble boy! that thou shouldst die!”. “ All hail, ye patriots brave!” -“ Rouse, ye Romans! rouse, ye slaves !” This simple style of pointing seems much preferable to “Ah! me!” “ Alas! my noble boy! that thou shouldst die!” &c.; is sufficiently expressive for all the purposes of animated composition; and tends to preclude, what every author must dread, the charge of affectation or of quackery.

e. A remark similar to what is applied to the note of interrogation, p. 156, Remark f, may be made here. When expressions which were assertive in their original state are quoted, and used in an exclamatory manner, the point indicating astonishment, irony, or any other feeling, should be put after the marks of quotation; as,

“It is perfectly allowable,” says Lord Suffolk, “to use all the means which God and nature have put into our hands." .... My lords, we are called upon, as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity. “That God and nature have put into our hands"! What ideas of God and nature that noble lord may entertain, 1 know not; but I know that such detestable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. This is evidently the fair mode of pointing such extracts; the notes of interrogation and exclamation denoting sentiments quite different from those felt by the persons to whom the words quoted belong.

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