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word of a communication should be well remembered ; third, when it is designed to make a strong impression on the mind of a hearer or reader. Hence the Spartans wrote to Philip in the following words : “ The Spartans to Philip: Remember Dionysius at Corinth.” Dionysius had been deposed and exiled, and was living at Corinth. Fourth, when a person in high authority addresses an inferior.
4. The Laconic style, by its nature, admits the requent use of ellipsis, or omission of words, which complete the sense. Care, however, must be had that the words or part of the sentence omitted may be easily supplied by the person addressed.
5. The Laconic style may be properly used in public speeches, before a cultivated audience; on a subject of high importance, and which admits of no delay.
6. The remarks made by Mr. Calhoun in the United States Senate in 1850, on the subject of the admission of California, is an illustration of this :
(4.) What figure of syntax does the Laconic style chiefly
What care must be had ? (5.) May the Laconic style be used in public speeches ? (6.) Give an example from an American speaker.
THE ADMISSION OF CALIFORNIA INTO THE UNION.
" It is time, Senators, that there should be an open and manly avowal on all sides, as to what is intended to be done. If the question is not now settled, it is uncertain whether it ever can hereafter be; and we, as the representatives of the States of this Union, regarded as governments, should come to a distinct understanding as to our respective views, in order to ascertain whether the great question at issue can be settled or not. If you who represent the stronger portion, cannot agree to settle them on the broad principle of justice and duty, say so; and let the States we both represent agree to separate, and peace.
If you are unwilling we should depart in peace, tell us so; and we shall know what to do when you reduce the question to submission or resistance. If you remain silent, you will compel us to infer by your acts what you
intend. In that case California will become the test question. If you admit her, under all difficulties that oppose her admission, you compel us to infer that you intend to exclude us from the whole of the acquired territories, with the intention of destroying irretrievably the equilibrium between the two sections. We would be blind not to pierceive, in that case, that your real objects are power and aggrandizement, and infatuated not to act accordingly. I have now, Senators, done my duty in expressing my opinions fully, freely and candidly, on this solemn occasion."
In the above extract show, first, how the use
of the Laconic style was proper; second, where, and how the style is made concise.
II.-EXERCISE. Find examples of the Laconic style in your Rhetorical Reader, and assign reasons.
III.-EXERCISE. Find examples where the Laconic style should have been used, and has been omitted.
IV.-EXERCISE. Imitate Lincoln's dispatch from Hampton Roads, “All is well with us," by expressing several sentences in the Laconic style.
V.-EXERCISE. Read your composition and show how the style used is concise.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND STYLE, OF ITS
PECULIARITIES AND RELATIVE MERIT COM-
We shall divide this article into three sections. In the first, we shall observe the nature of the English language and style; its peculiarities and relative merit compared with other languages. In the second, we shall give some rules which are to be observed in an English composition. In the third, we shall treat of two important subjects connected with the English language, namely, versification and the modern English and American literature.
OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND STYLE ; ITS PE
CULIARITIES AND RELATIVE MERIT COMPARED
1. It is not our purpose here to enter into a philological dissertation on the English language; our design is simply, in treating of style, which, as we stated, “ is a peculiar mode of expressing ideas in language;" to point out the peculiarities of the English language, or in other words, to show its peculiar nature, called also idiom; and to briefly remark on its prerogatives and defects in comparison with other languages.
2. The peculiarities which characterize the English language are especially three: First, the heterogeneous nature of the words used to express ideas and form sentences; a large number of words, evidently indicating a foreign parentage. Second, the constant uniformity in the arrangement of the principal parts of a sentence, with few exceptions. Third, the frequent use
(2.) What are the chief peculiarities of the English language ?
of prepositions and auxiliary verbs to form sentences and periods, and the singular power which they have in determining the grammatical relations of nouns and verbs; in fixing and increasing their meaning, by joining them to, or separating them from the words to which they relate-a property entirely foreign to other languages.
3. The first peculiarity of the English language, to-wit, the heterogeneousness or different nature of words, is justly attributed to the historical changes of the nation, whereby many words of foreign origin were embodied in the language, such as words from the Greek, Latin, French, and other languages.
4. The predominant element of the language, however, is the Anglo-Saxon; and it is in itself so complete, that it alone can suffice, as Marsh justly observes, to express ideas on any subject, without recourse to the subsidy of foreign languages.
5. Hence, this mixture of alien words in the English language, not only has not deprived it of
(3.) To what is the first peculiarity of the English language,
namely, heterogeneousness of words, to be attributed ? (4.) What is the predominant element of the English lan
guage ? (5.) Has the mixture of foreign words deprivedl the Enzlish
language of its unity as a language ?