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Sometimes when the word with which the last preposition agrees, is single, the comma may be omitted; as, "Many states were in alliance with, and under the protection of Rome."

The same rule and restrictions apply, when two or more nouns refer to the same preposition; as, "He was composed both under the threatening, and at the approach, of a cruel and lingering death;" "He was not only the king, but the father of his people."

5. The words, 66 as, thus, nay, so, hence, again, first, secondly, formerly, now, lastly, once more, above all, on the contrary, in the next place, in short," and all other words and phrases of a similar kind, must generally be separated from the context by a comma; as, "Remember thy best friend; formerly, the supporter of thy infancy; now, the guardian of thy youth;" "He feared want; hence, he overvalued riches;" "So, if youth be trifled away," &c. "Again, we must, have food and clothing;" "Finally, let us


The foregoing rules and examples are sufficient, it is presumed, to suggest to the learner, in all ordinary instances, the proper place for inserting the comma; but in applying these rules, great regard must be paid to the length and meaning of the clauses, and the proportion which they bear to one another.


The semicolon is used for dividing a compound sentence into two or more parts, not so closely connected as those which are separated by a comma, nor yet so little dependent on each other, as those which are distinguished by a colon.

RULE 1. When the preceding member of the sentence does not of itself give complete sense, but depends on the following clause, and sometimes when the sense of that member would be complete without the concluding one, the semicolon is used; as in the following examples: "As the desire of approbation, when it works according to reason, improves the amiable part of our species; so, nothing is more destructive to them, when it is governed by vanity and folly ;" "The wise man is happy, when he gains his own approbation; the fool, when he gains the applause of those around him ;” "Straws swim upon the surface; but pearls lie at the bottom."

Exercises. The path of truth is a plain and safe path that of falsehood a perplexing maze. Heaven is the region of gentleness and friendship hell of fierceness and animosity. As there is a worldly happiness which God per ceives to be no other than disguised misery as there are worldly honours which in his estimation are reproach so there is a worldly wisdom whieh in his sight is foolishness.

But all subsists by elemental strife

And passions are the elements of life.

RULE 2. When an example is introduced to illustrate a rule or proposition, the semicolon may be used before the conjunction as; as in the following instance: Prepositions govern the objective case; as, "She gave the book to him."

NOTE. In instances like the foregoing, many respectable punctuists employ the colon, instead of the semicolon.


The Colon is used to divide a sentence into two or more parts, less connected than those which are separated by a semicolon; but not so independent as separate, distinct sentences.

RULE 1. When a member of a sentence is complete in itself, but followed by some supplemental remark, or further illustration of the subject, the colon may be properly employed; as, "Nature felt her inability to extricate herself from the consequences of guilt: the gospel revealed the plan of divine interposition and aid." "Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance: yonder palace was raised by single stones; yet you see its height and spaciousness.'

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Exercises. The three great enemies to tranquillity are vice superstition and idleness vice which poisons and disturbs the mind with bad passiona superstition which fills it with imaginary terrours idleness which loads it with tediousness and disgust.

When we look forward into the year which is beginning what do we behold there? All my brethren is a blank to our view a dark unknown presents itself.

RULE 2. When a semicolon has preceded, or more than one, and a still greater pause is necessary, in order to mark the connecting or concluding sentiment, the colon should be applied; as, "A divine legislator, uttering his voice from heaven; an almighty governour, stretching forth his arm to punish or reward; informing us of perpetual rest prepared for the righteous hereafter, and of indignation and wrath awaiting the wicked: these are the considerations which overawe the world, which support integrity, and check guilt."


When a sentence is complete, and so independent as not to be connected with the one which follows it, a period should be inserted at its close; as, "Fear God." "Honor the patriot." Respect virtue."


In the use of many of the pauses, there is a diversity of practice among our best writers and grammarians. Compound sentences connected by conjunctions, are sometimes divided by the period; as, "Recreations, though they may be of an innocent kind, require steady government to keep them within a due and limited province. But such as are of an irregular and vicious nature, are not to be governed, but to be banished from every well-regulated mind." "A.


The period should follow abbreviated word; as, D. N. B. U. S. Va. Md. Viz. Col. Mr."


The Dash, though often used improperly by hasty and incoherent writers, may be introduced with propriety, where the sentence breaks off abruptly; where a significant pause is required; or where there is an unexpected turn in the sentiment; as, If thou art he, so much respected once-but, oh! how fallen! how degraded!" "If acting conformably to the will of our Creator ;-if promoting the welfare of mankind around us; -if securing our own happiness ;-are objects of the highest moment then we are loudly called upon to cultivate and extend the great interests of religion and virtue.”


A dash following a stop, denotes that the pause is to be greater than if the stop were alone; and when used by itself, requires a pause of such length as the sense only can determine.

"Here lies the great-False marble, where?

66 Nothing but sordid dust lies here."


The note of interrogation is used at the end of an interrogative sentence; as, "Who adorned the heavens with such exquisite beauty?"

NOTE. The interrogative point should not be employed in cases where it is only said, that a question has been asked; as, "The Cyprians asked me, why I wept,"


The note of exclamation is applied to expressions of sudden emotion, surprise, joy, grief, &c. and sometimes to invocations and addresses; as, "How much vanity in the pursuits of men!" "What is more amiable than virtue !" "My friend! this conduct amazes me !" "Hear me, O Lord! for thy loving kindness

is great!"


A parenthesis is a clause containing some useful remark, which may be omitted without injuring the grammatical construction; as, "To gain a posthumous reputation, is to save a few letters (for what is a name besides ?) from oblivion.”

"Know then this truth, (enough for man to know,)
"Virtue alone is happiness below."

NOTE. The parenthesis generally denotes a moderate depression of the voice; and, as the parenthetical marks do not supply the place of a point, the clause should be accompanied with every stop which the sense would require, if the parenthetical characters were not used. It ought to terminate with the same kind of point which the member has that precedes it; as, "He loves nobly, (I speak of friendship,) who is not jealous when he has partners of love.""

"Or why so long (in life if long can be)

"Lent Heav'n a parent to the poor and me?"

Parentheses, however, containing interrogations or exclamations, form an exception to this rule; as, "If I grant his request, (and who could refuse it ?) I shall secure his esteem and attachment.


The apostrophe is used to abbreviate a word, and also to mark the possessive case of a noun; as, "lis, for it is; tho', for though; o'er, for over;" "A man's poverty."

A Quotation marks a sentence taken in the author's own language; as, "The proper study of mankind is man."

When an author represents a person as speaking, the language of that person should be designated by a quotation; as, At my coming in, he said, "You and the physician are come too late." A quotation contained within another, should be distinguished by two single commas; as, Always remember this ancient maxim: Know thyself.""

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It is proper to begin with a capital,

1. The first word of every sentence.

2. Proper names, the appellations of the Deity, &c.; as, "James, Cincinnati, the Andes, Huron ;" "God, Jehovah, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, Providence, the Holy Spirit."

3. Adjectives derived from proper names, the titles of books, nouns which are used as the subject of discourse, the pronoun I and the interjection O, and every line in poetry; as, "American, Grecian, English, French; Irving's Sketch Book, Percival's Poems; I write; Hear, O earth !"



POETRY is the language of passion, or of enlivened imagination. VERSIFICATION, in English, is the harmonious arrangement of a particular number and variety of accented and unaccented syllables, according to particular laws.

RHYME is the correspondence of the sound of the last syllable in one line, to the sound of the last syllable in another; as, "O'er the glad waters of the dark-blue sea,

"Our thoughts as boundless and our souls as free."

BLANK VERSE Consists in poetical thoughts expressed in regular numbers, but without the correspondence of sound at the end of the lines which constitutes rhyme.

POETICAL FEET consist in a particular arrangement and connexion of a number of accerfted and unaccented syllables.

They are called feet, because it is by their aid that the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse in a measured pace.

All poetical feet consist either of two, or of three syllables; and are reducible to eight kinds; four of two syllables, and four of three, as follows: DISSYLLABLE.

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A Dactyle
An Amphibrach
An Anapaest

A Tribrach v

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A Trochee has the first syllable accented, and the last unac cented; as, Hateful, péttish:

Restless mortals toil for nought.

An Jambus has the first syllable unaccented, and the last accented; as, Betray, consist:

The seas shall waste, the skies in smōke decay.

A Dactyle has the first syllable accented, and the two latter unaccented; as, Labourer, póssible :

From the low pleasures of this fallen näture.

An Anapaest has the first two syllables unaccented, and the last accented; as, Contrăvéne, acquiésce :

At the close of the day when the hamlet is still.

A Spondee; as, The pale mōōn: a Pyrrhick; as, on the tall tree an Amphibrach; as, Delightful: a Tribrach; as, Numěrăblě.


GRAMMAR instructs us how to express our thoughts correctly: RHETORICK teaches us to express them with force and ele


The former is generally confined to the correct application of words in Constructing single sentences. The latter treats of the proper choice of words, of the happiest method of constructing sentences, of their most advanageous arrangement in forming a discourse, and of the various kinds and qualities of composition. The principles of rhetorick are principally based on those unfolded and illustrated in the science of grammar. Hence, an acquaintance with the latter, and, indeed, with the liberal arts, is a prerequisite to the study of rhetorick and belles-lettres.


It may be laid down as a maxim of eternal truth, that good sense is the foundation of all good writing. One who understands a subject well, will scarcely write ill upon it

Rhetorick, or the art of persuasion, requires in a writer, the union of good sense, and a lively and chaste imagination. It is, then, her province to teach him to embellish his thoughts with elegant and appropriate language, vivid imagery, and an agreeable variety of expression. It ought to be his aim, "To mark the point where sense and dulness meet."

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