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tive pronoun "these," followed by the word "abuses," which expresses the subject of the former sentence. That the connexion is expressed in the pronoun, is evident from the fact, that if the pronoun be omitted, what remains of the sentence expresses a distinct proposition, without any connexion with what precedes. In some instances, the noun is not repeated after the demonstrative pronoun, and in others, some synonymous word, or some word which brings to view the object of the preceding sentence, is joined to the pronoun. Sometimes also the definite article, or possessive pronoun, is used for the demonstrative pronoun; but in all instances of this nature, the connexion is in the pronoun itself.
"A true aristocracy is not a separate interest in the state, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body, rightly constituted."
Here the personal pronoun it is the connective. Examples of this kind are frequent, and need no comment. "The air, the earth, and the water, teem with delighted existIn a spring noon or a summer's evening, on whichever side we turn our eyes, myriads of happy beings crowd upon our view."
The latter sentence in this example, is intended to be illustrative of the former, and though no connective is expressed, there is one easily supplied. Instances of this kind are also frequent.
"Let not the passions blight the intellect in the spring of its advancement, nor indolence nor vice canker the promise of the heart in the blossom. Then shall the summer of life be adorned with moral beauty."
In this instance, the connecting word is then, which is a particle usually called an adverb, though by some grammarians considered as a conjunction when used, as in this instance, to connect sentences. But by whatever name it may be called, it is evidently one of those words, which, in the improvement of language, are inserted to
save circumlocution, and is here equivalent to the phrase, let this be done. Instances in which adverbs are used as connectives, may be resolved into a phrase containing a demonstrative pronoun.
"I certainly have very good wishes for the place of my birth. But the sphere of my duties is my true country."
The connective in this example is the particle but, which is a conjunction. Should this be resolved, as in the last example, into what it is designed to express, it would be found equivalent to some phrase like the following:-To this superadd. Of this mode of resolving conjunctions, I shall presently speak, and endeavour to show, that where the conjunction is used as a connective, a pronoun is implied.
The examples which have been given, are instances shewing the manner of connecting different sentences. The same means, as well as relative pronouns, are used for connecting the different members and clauses of the same sentence. Of this common use of the relative pronoun no example is needed. From this short view of the nature of connectives, I now proceed to give some cautions to guard against the wrong use of them. 1. Of demonstrative and other pronouns, except the relative.
It has been already remarked, when pronouns of this class are used as connectives, that either the noun, which expresses the subject of the preceding sentence, is repeated, or some synonymous word used. When this is done, there can be little danger of mistake. But when there is an omission of the noun, and the pronoun is left to stand alone, obscurity may arise. In the three following cases it is common to omit the noun:-1. When the word to be supplied, is one which the mind is accustomed to supply in similar instances. 2. When it is the leading word of a discourse. 3. When it is a word that
has just been mentioned, and is thus fully in the view of the reader. An example of each kind is subjoined :
"The citizens of a free government must be enlightened and virtuous. To effect this, schools and the institutions for religious instruction must be supported."
Here the mind readily supplies the word object, referring to what is mentioned in the preceding sentence. "This was not the triumph of France."
The subject of the discourse, from which this sentence is taken, is the removal of Louis XVI. from Versailles to Paris. The mind in reading the passage readily supplies a word or phrase expressing this subject.
"He received the papers from the Secretary. These he is now unwilling to return."
In this example the word papers, having been recently mentioned, is easily supplied after the pronoun.
Excepting in cases similar to those now mentioned, there is danger of obscurity in omitting the noun which is designed to be connected with the pronoun.
2. Of the relative pronoun.
Under this head are included relative pronouns properly so called, and other pronouns used as relatives. The danger of obscurity in the use of this class of pronouns as connectives, arises from uncertainty as to the antecedent. To prevent this, in the construction of sentences, some cautions are now given.
"It is folly to pretend to arm ourselves against the accidents of life by heaping up treasures, which nothing can protect us against, but the good providence of God."
"It is folly to pretend, by heaping up treasures, to arm ourselves against the accidents of life, which nothing can protect us against, but the good providence of God."
In the first form of this example, the mind is led to refer the relative which to the word treasures immediately preceding it. Upon examining the sentence, we per
ceive that the relative is designed to refer to accidents. and that we have been led astray by the intervention of a clause between the antecedent and relative. The position of this clause is different in the corrected form of the sentence, and the true sense is then evident. Hence we infer the following rule :—In arranging the members and clauses of a sentence, the relative should be placed as near as possible to its antecedent.
"But I shall leave this subject to your management, and question not, but that you will throw it into such light, as shall at once entertain and improve your readers."
In this sentence the personal pronoun it, which is here a relative, is removed to some distance from the noun to which it refers. It would be difficult to make any alteration in the sentence, which would place it nearer. Neither is this necessary for the attainment of perspicuity, since we are in no danger of mistaking the right antecedent. Here then we are governed by a different principle from that which has just been mentioned; and this principle is, the rank which different words hold in a sentence. The nominative and accusative, as the agent and object, are of more importance in a sentence, than other nouns which are dependent upon them. In the example given, the word subject is the accusative, and of higher rank in the sentence, than the word management, which is connected with the accusative by a preposition, and thus made dependent upon it. Hence then we in
fer the following rule :-When the sentence cannot be so modelled, that the relative may be placed in close connexion with the antecedent, it should be made to refer to the leading noun of the sentence.
"The orator deserves no credit for those benefits, however important, which result from the subject and occasion, which are often the true cause of that effect, which is generally supposed to be produced by the man himself."
"The orator deserves no credit for those benefits, however impor
tant, which result from the subject and occasion. These are often the true cause of that effect, which is generally supposed to be produced by the man himself."
In the first form of this example, the relative is used three different times, and in each instance with a different antecedent. This causes a want of perspicuity in the sentence. The pronoun is a substitute for the noun, and the effect of using the same relative with different antecedents in the same sentence, is a violation of perspicuity, similar to that which arises from the use of the same word in different senses. The difficulty is removed in the second form of the example by a division of the Hence then we derive the direction :-Avoid using the same relative twice or oftener in the same sentence with different antecedents.
The preceding rules are designed to assist in so constructing the sentence, that no doubt may exist as to the right antecedent of the relative. But cases will occur, when it is impossible to prevent all ambiguity in the use of the relative pronoun. In such cases the noun itself
may be repeated, or a division be made of the sentence, or the use of the pronoun may be avoided in some other way. Sometimes ambiguity, in the use of the relative, may arise from a different source, as is seen in the following example:
"I know that all words, which are signs of complex ideas, furnish matter of mistake and cavil."
"I know that all those words which are signs of complex ideas, furnish matter of mistake and cavil."
In the first form of this example, though the relative is rightly placed in reference to the antecedent, still the true meaning of the author is not conveyed. He did not mean to say, "that all words are signs of complex ideas," which is asserted in the expression used; but his design is, to affirm something of those words which are