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concatenation is intended, and this colourless link-word seems invested with a meaning which recalls to mind what the and of the Hebrew is able to do in the subtle department of the conjunction. Indeed, we may say that we are coming back in regard to our conjunctions to a simplicity such as that from which the Hebrew language never departed. The Book of Proverbs abounds in examples of the versatility of the Hebrew and Our but, as a conjunction, covers the ground of two German conjunctions, somberm and aber. If we look at Proverbs x. there is a but in the middle of nearly every verse, equivalent to somberm. These are all expressed in Hebrew by and. If we look at i. 25, 33; ii. 22 ; iv. 18, we see but in the weightier sense of aber, and here also the same simple and in the Hebrew. In the close of the following quotation, the and is equivalent to ‘and yet' or ‘and at the same time.’ “In Mecklenburg, Pommern, Pommerellen, are still to be seen physiognomies of a Wendish or Vandalic type (more of cheek than there ought to be, and less of brow; otherwise good enough physiognomies of their kind): but the general mass, tempered with such admixtures, is of the Platt-Deutsch, Saxon, or even Anglish character we are familiar with here at home. A
patient stout people; meaning considerable things, and very incapable of speaking what it means.”—Thomas Carlyle, Frederick the Great, Bk. II. ch. iv.
In conversation we omit the relative conjunction very usually, and poetry often does the same with great gain of ease and simplicity: “For I am he am born to tame you Kate.’
Taming of the Shrew, ii. I.
“Where is it mothers learn their love?' John Keble.
But in proportion as conjunctions are less the vogue in recent times, they are employed with wider effect. See the expanse both ways over which, in the following quotation, we perceive the radiance of the conjunction
“The children attending these [parochial schools in Ireland] are, for the most part, clothed in rags, and fed upon the scanty and homely fare afforded in the cabin of an Irish peasant. In the charter schools, on the contrary, the children are comfortably lodged, well clad, and abundantly fed. No pains are spared to preserve their health. On the first appearance of disease, medical aid is procured; and their teachers are in all cases equal, and generally far superior, to those employed in the daily and parochial schools. Yet I was invariably struck with the vast superiority in health, in appearance, in vivacity, and in intelligence, of the half-naked, and one almost would suppose half-starved, children who lived in their parents' cabins, over those so well-maintained and so carefully instructed in the charter schools. The reasons of this striking fact it might not be difficult to assign. In the charter schools all social and family affections are dried up; children once received into them are, as it were, the children, the brothers, the sisters, the relations of nobody They have no vacation—they know not the feeling of home; and hence it is primarily, whatever concomitant causes there may be, that they are so frequently stunted in body, mind, and heart.” —Quoted by Florence Hill in Contemporary Review, September, 1870.
‘You may paint with a very big brush, and yet not be a great painter.”— Thomas Carlyle, Frederick the Great, Bk. I. ch. i.
CHA PTE R X.
SYNTAX is a Greek word, signifying the order or array of words in a sentence. The study of this subject may be approached in two opposite ways. Either we may start with parts of speech as with a store of material, and out of these we may build up our syntax constructively. This is the method which is followed in grammatical exercises. The other way is to regard the sentence as the thing given, a growth or product of nature, and to proceed by the light of its sense, known to us as we know our mother tongue, to resolve it into its component parts, and so get at our syntax by a process of analysis. That this is the actual order of things we may see by a moment's reflection on the number of people who not only talk, but who daily read their newspaper, without the slightest notion of the parts of speech. This then is the natural, and consequently the philological, method.
Syntax will accordingly mean the resolution of the sentence into its component parts, with a view of tracing by what contrivances it is made to produce a continuous and consistent signification. And we shall find that there are three kinds of instrumentality which are the most active in the production of this effect. The first of these is collocation, or the relative position of words. So far as this agency is exerted, the parts of a sentence tell their function by the mere order of their arrangement. This sort of syntax we call Flat. The second is where the functions of the members of the sentence are shewn by modifications in the forms of words. This is the Flexional Syntax. The third is where the same relations are expressed by symbolic words. This is the Phrasal Syntax. The analytical action of syntax resolves the sentence not merely into words, but into parts of speech. The knowledge of words as parts of speech is the sum total of the doctrine of syntax. And it happens quite naturally that many of the details which are ordinarily comprised under the head of syntax have already been disposed of in the foregoing chapters on the parts of speech. Accordingly, we have in the present chapter only to attend to the salient points, and those which are of the most essential value in the mechanism of the sentence; and these are comprised in the above division, which will therefore constitute the plan of this chapter.
I. OF FLAT or ColloCATIVE SYNTAx.
How important an element mere position is in the structure of the English sentence, may readily be seen by the contrast which appears if we consider how unimportant, or at least secondary the same element is in Latin. If we have to say that men seek victual, the words by which this would be expressed in Latin are so unaffected by the order of their
arrangement that it is impossible to dislocate the sentence.
Victum quaerunt homines.
All these variations are possible, because each word has its inflection, and that inflection determines the relative office of each word and its contribution towards the meaning of the whole. But in English the sense depends upon the arrangement, and therefore the order of the English sentence cannot be much altered without detriment to the sense:—
Men seek victual.
Cats like fish.
Boys love play.
Fools hate knowledge.
Horses draw carts.
Diamonds flash light.
These examples present us with the simplest scheme of a sentence; and in these examples we see that the sense requires the arrangement of the words in a certain order of collocation.
Each of these three words is capable of amplification. In the first place the subject may be amplified by an adjective;
Wise men desire truth. Healthy boys love play. This adjective has its proper collocation. We have no
choice whether we will say hungry men or men hungry. The latter is inadmissible, unless it were for some special exigency