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Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.


Here the wishful look and expectation of the beggar, naturally leads to a vivid conception of that which was the object of his thoughts, and this conception as naturally displays itself in the very form of the declaration made by the apostle. But as every thing is best judged by comparison, let us contrast with this the same sentence arranged according to the rigid rules of grammar, which render it almost a literal translation of the Italian and French versions quoted in the margin, “ I have no gold and silver ; but I give thee that “ which I have : In the name of —” The import is the same, but the expression is rendered quite exanimate.

Yet the sentences differ chiefly in arrangement, the other difference in composition is inconsiderable. There is another happy transposition in the English version of the passage under review, which, though peculiar to our version, deserves our notice, as it contributes not a little to the energy of the whole. I mean not only the separation of the adjective none from its substantives silver and gold, but the placing it in the end of the clause, which, as it were, rests


“ che ho, io t'el dono : nel nome di Jesu Christo il Nazareo, levati camina.” Le Clerc, Beausobre, “ Je n'ai ni or 'ni argent; mais

; ce que j'ai, je vous le donne : au nom de Jesus Christ de Naza

reth, levez-vous et marchez.” Saci's is the same, except in the last member, where, by transposing the words, “ au nom de Jesus “ Christ de Nazareth,” and putting them after “ levez vous,” he hath altered the sense, and made that a circumstance attending the action of the lame man, which was intended to express the authority whereby the apostle gave the order.

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upon it.

“ Silver and gold have I none." For here, as in several other instances, the next place to the first, in respect of emphasis, is the last. We shall be more sensible of this by making a very small alteration on the composition nd structure of the sentence, and saying, “ Silver and gold are not in my possession,” which is manifestly weaker.

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My fourth example should be one wherein the verb occupies the first place in the sentence, which often happens in the ancient languages with great advantage in point of vivacity. But this cannot frequently obtain in English, without occasioning an ambiguity; the first place when given to the verb, being, by the rules of our syntax, appropriated to distinguish these three things, a command, as “ Stay not here ;" a question, as “ Were they present ?" and a supposition, as “ Had I known,” from an assertion," as “ Ye stay “not here ;" They were present;" and “ I had

I “known.” A few trifling phrases,

A few trifling phrases, as said he, replied they, are the sole exceptions in the simple tenses, at least in prose. In some instances, however, in the compound tenses, the verb may precede without giving rise to any double meaning. In such cases it is not the auxiliary or the substantive verb that begins the sentence, as in supposition and interrogation, but the infinitive of the principal verb in the active voice, and the participle in the passive, as in expressions like these, “ Go I must, whatever may ensue.” “ Avoid it " he could not, by any means."

An instance in the


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Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.

passive voice hath been given already, in the second example. I shall here observe, that in one passage of scripture, our translators, by not attending to this small circumstance, that the import of the passive verb lies in the participle, have, without necessity, not only given up the emphatical arrangement, but, in order to be literal, have copied a figure, which, though forcible in the original, is, in the place assigned it in the translation, rather unnatural and insignificant, The passage alluded to is this : “ Another angel fol“ lowed, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great 4 city *"--Here, as it was the event itself that chief

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* Rev. xiv. 8. Gr. Επεσει, επεσε Βαβυλων, και πολις και μεγαλη. Ας the expression is taken from Isaiah xxi. 9. the same order is found

All the Latin translations that. ,נפלה בבל נפלה ,in the Hebrew


I have


have followed the same order. “ Cecidit, cecidit Ba. “ bylon, urbs, illa magna.” Le Clerc and Saci, in the French, both agree with the arrangement in the English.“ Babylone est tom“ bée; elle est tombée ; cette grande ville.” Beausobre’s version, in that tongue is rather better, as it comes nearer the order of the words in the Greek. He begins with the pronoun, and puts the name after the verb. “ Elle est tombée, elle est tombée, Baby" lone la grande ville.” This, I believe, is as near the original as the idiom of the French will permit. In the Italian, Diodati hath preserved entirely the vivacity resulting both from the disposition of the words, and the reduplication of the yerb, and hath given the passage that turn which the English interpreters might and should have given it: “ Caduta, caduta e Babilonia la gran citta.” It is evident that in this matter the Italian allows more liberty than the French, and the English more than the Italian. The truth of this observation will appear more fully afterwards.

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ly occupied the angel's mind, the verb in the Greek with great propriety begins the proclamation : Again, as it was an event of so surprising a nature, and of such mighty consequence, it was natural to attempt, by repeating the word, to'rivet it in the minds of the hearers, ere he proceeded any further. The words is fallen, in our language, answer to the single word by which the verb is expressed in the original. Our translators were sensible they could not say, “ Is fallen, is fallen, Babylon that great city.” This could convey no meaning, being neither affirmation nor interrogation, hypothesis nor wish.

For this reason they have preferred the colder arrangement, prescribed by grammarians, though by so doing they have also lost the effect of the reduplication. A little attention to the genius of our tongue would have shown them, that all the effect, both of the order and of the figure, would have been preserved by saying,

len, fallen, is Babylon, the great city t."

46 Fal

OFTEN a particle, such as an adverb or preposition belonging to a compound verb (for it matters not in

+ Somewhat similar is the admirable example we have in this passage of Virgil,

Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum. Æn. L. ix.

The emphasis here is even the stronger, that the pronoun so happi. ly begun with and repeated, is perfectly irregular, it being quite detached from the construction of the sentence,

Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words.

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which way you consider it), emphatically begins the sentence, as in that formerly quoted for another purpose. Up goes my grave Impudence to the maid.” In the particle up, that circumstance is denoted, which particularly marks the impudence of the action. By the help of it too, the verb is made to precede the nominative, which otherwise it could not do. In negations it holds very generally, that the negative particle should be joined to the verb. Yet in some cases the expression is greatly enlivened, and consequently the denial appears more determinate, by beginning the sentence with the adverb.

every one,” says our Saviour," that saith unto me, “ Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of hea

ven; but he that doth the will of my Father who " is in heaven *.” Vary but the position of the negative in the first member, and say, “ Every one that “ saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall not enter into the

kingdom of heaven," and you will flatten the expression exceedingly. On so slight a circumstance in the arrangement does the energy of a sentence some


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* Μatt. vii. 21. Gr. Ου πας ο λεγων μοι, Κυριε Κυριε, εισελευσειαι 819 T Garidskov twy ovgarwy. All the Latin translators, however differently they express the sense, agree in beginning with the negative particle. So also doth Diodati in the Italian : “ Non chiun. que

mi dice, Signore, Signore, entrera nel regno de' cieli.”— Not so the French Le Clerc and Beausobre thus: “ Tous ceux " qui me disent, Seigneur Seigneur, n'entreront pas dans le royaume 6 du ciel.”

Saci thus : “ Ceux qui me disent, Seigneur Seigneur, “ n'entreront pas tous dans le royaume des cieux."


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