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young, she was beautiful, and she was good.' 'Thou art poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked.' If we would fill up the ellipsis in the last sentence , tliou art ought to be repeated before each of the adjectives.
If, in such enumeration, we choose to point out one property above the rest, that property must be placed last, and the ellipsis supplied : as, 'She is young and beautiful, and she is good.'
'I went to see and hear him ;' that is, 'I went to see him, and I went to hear him.' In this instance, there is not only an ellipsis of the governing verb, I went, but likewise of the sign of the infinitive mode, which is governed by it.
Do, did, have, had, shall, will, may, might, and the rest of the auxiliaries of the compound tenses, are frequently used alone, to spare the repetition of the verb: as, 'He regards his word, but thou dost not:' i. e. 'dost not regard it.' 'We succeeded, but they did not;' 'did not succeed.' 'I have learned my task, but you have not ;' ' have not learned.' 'They must, and they shall be punished;' that is, 'they must be punished.'
The auxiliary verb* are often very properly omitted before the principal verb : as, 'I have seen and heard him frequently ;' not, 'I have heard.' 'He will lose his estate, and incur reproach :' not, 'he will incur.' But when anything is emphatically expressed, or when opposition is denoted, this ellipsis should be avoided: as, 'I have seen, and I have heard him too ;' ' He was admired, but he was not beloved.'
6. The ellipsis of the adverb is used in the following manner. 'He spoke and acted wisely;' that is, 'he spoke wisely, and he acted wisely.' 'Thrice I went and offered my service;' that is, 'thrice I went, and thrice I offered my service.'
7. The ellipsis of the preposition, as well as of the verb, is seen in the following instances: 'He went into the abbeys, halls, and public buildings;' that is, 'he went into the abbeys, he went into the halls, and he went into the public buildings.' 'He also went through all the streets, and lanes of the city ;' that is, 'through all the streets, and through all the lanes,' &.c. 'He spoke to every man and woman there,' that is, ' to every man and to every woman.' ' This day, next month, last year;' that is, ' on this day, in the next month, in the last year.' 'The Lord do that which seemeth him good;' that is, 'which seemeth to him.'
8. The ellipsis of the conjunction is as follows : ' They confess the power, wisdom, goodness, and love, of their Creator ;' i. e. 'the power, and wisdom, and goodness, and love of,' &c. 'Though I love him, I do not flatter him,' that is, 'though I love him, yet I do not flatter him.'
There is a very common ellipsis of the conjunction that: as, ' He told me he would proceed immediately;' 'I desired he would not be too hasty ;' ' I fear it comes too much from the heart;' instead of, 'He told me that he would proceed immediately :' ' I desired that he would not be too hasty :' ' I fear that it comes too much from the heart.'—This ellipsis is tolerable in conversation, and in epistolary writing: but it should be sparingly indulged, in every other species of composition. The French do not use this mode of expression : they avoid the ellipsis on such occasions.
9. The ellipsis of the interjection is not very common: it, however, is sometimes used: as, 'Oh! pity and shame !' that is, ' Oh pity ! Oh shame!'
As the ellipsis occurs in almost every sentence in the English language, numerous examples of it might be given : but only a few more can be admitted here.
In the following instance, there is a very considerable one : ' He will often argue, that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one nation; and if another, from another ;' that is,' he will often argue, that if this part of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one nation, and if another part of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from another nation.'
Sometimes a considerable part of a sentence is preperly omitted, when we presume that the nominative case and its whole regimen may be readily understood: as, 'Nature has given to animals one time to act, and another to rest :' instead of saying : ' nature has given to animals one time to act, and nature has given.^0 animals another time to rest.'
The following instances, though short, contain much of the ellipsis ; 'Wo is me ;' i. e. ' wo is to me.' 'To let blood ;' i. e. 'to let out blood.' 'To let down ;' i. e. 'to let it fall or slide down.' 'To walk a mile ;' i. e. 'to walk through the space of a mile.' 'To sleep all night ;' i. e. ' to sleep through all the night.' 'To go a fishing ;' ' To go a hunting ;' i. e. 'to go on a fishing voyage or business ;' 'to go on a hunting party.' 'I dine at two o'clock ;' i. e. ' at two of the clock.' 'By sea, by land, on shore ;' i. e. ' by the sea, by the land, on the shore.'
It is very frequent, when the word notwithstanding agrees with a number of words, or with an entire clause, to omit the whole except this word : and in this use of notwithstanding, we have a striking proof of the value of abbreviations in language. For example :' Moses said, let no man leave of it till the morning : notwithstanding, they hearkened not unto him.' Here notwithstanding appears without the clause to which it belongs : and to complete the sense in words, it would be necessary to repeat the whole preceding clause, or the substance of it.—' Moses said, let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding this command of Moses, or, notwithstanding Moses said that which has been recUed, they hearkened not unto Moses.'—' Folly meets with success in this world but it is true notwithstanding, that it labors under disadvantages.' This passage, at length, would read thus: 'Folly meets with success in the world : but it is true, notwithstanding folly meets with success in the world, that it labors under disadvantages.'
It is not unusual to apply a pronoun, this, that, which, or what, to represent nearly the whole of a sentence : as, 'Bodies which have no taste, and no power of affecting the skin, may, notwithstanding this, act upon organs which are more delicate.' Here this stands for, 'they have no taste, and no potver to affect the skin.'
In the following example, the pronoun and participle are omitted: 'Conscious of his own weight and importance, the aid of others was not solicited.' Here the words he being are understood ; that is, ' He being coil' scious of his own weight and importance.' This clause constitutes the case absolute, or, the nominative absolute ; which is not so obvious before, as after, the ellipsis is supplied.
10. The examples that follow are produced to show the impropriety of an ellipsis in some particular cases. 'The land was always possessed, during pleasure, by those intrusted with the command ;' it should be, 'those persona intrusted ;' or, 'those who were intrusted.' 'If he had read further, he would have found several of his objections might have been spared ;' that is, ' he would have found that several of his objections,' &c. 'There is nothing men are more deficient in, than knowing their own characters.' It ought to be,' nothing inwhich men;' and, ' than in knowing.' 'I scarcely know any part of natural philosophy would yield more variety and use ;' it should be, ' which would yield,' &c. 'In the temper of mind he was then ;' i. e. 'in which he then was.' 'The little satisfaction and consistency, to be found in most of the systems of divinity I have met with, made me betake myself to the sole reading of the Scriptures :' it ought to be,' which are to be found,' and,' which I have met with.' 'He desired they might go to the altar together, and jointly return their thanks to whom only they were d»e ;v i. e. 'to him to whom,' &c
To determine ths case of a noun, or pronoun, when it follows the conjunctions but, than, and as, attend well to the sense, and supply the ellipsis: as,
'Thou art wiser than I ;' that is, ' than I am.' 'They loved him more than me ;' i. e-. ' more than they loved me.' 'The sentiment is well expressed by Plato, but much better by Solomon than him;' that is, 'than it is expressed by him.'
The propriety or impropriety of many phrases, in the preceding, as well as in some other forms, may be discovered, by supplying the words that are not expressed; which will be evident from the following instances of •rroneous construction. 'He can read better than mc.' 'He is as good as her.' 'Whether I be present or no.' 'Who did this? Me.' By supplying the words understood in each of these phrases, their impropriety and governing rule will appear: as, ' Better than I can read;' 'As good as she is;' 'Present or not present;' 'I did it.'
By not attending to this rule, many errors have been committed: a number of which are subjoined, for further caution and direction. 'Thou art a much greater loser than me by his death.' 'She suffers hourly more than me.' 'We contributed a third more than the Dutch, who were obliged to the same proportion more than us.' 'King Charles, and more than him, the duke and the popish faction, were at liberty to form new schemes.' 'The drift of all his sermons was, to prepare the Jews for the reception of a prophet mightier than him, and whose shoes he was not worthy to bear.' 'It was not the work of so eminent an author, as him to whom it was first imputed.' 'A stone is heavy, and the sand is weighty ; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.' 'If the king give us leave, we may perform the office as well as them that do.' In these passages it Ought to be, 7, we, he, they, respectively.
When the relative who immediately follows than, it must be in the objective case : as, 'Alfred, than whom, a greater king never reigned,' &c. 'Beelzebub, than whom, Satan excepted, none higher sat,' &c. It is remarkable that in such instances, if the personal pronoun were used, it would be in the nominative case : as, 'A greater king never reigned than he,' that is, 'than he was.' 'Beelzebub, than he,' &c.; that is, 'than he sat.' The phrase than whom, is, however, avoided by the best modern writers.
Exercises on Rule IV.
In some respects, we have had as many advantages as them ; but in the article of a good library, they have had a greater privilege than us.
The undertaking was much better executed by his brother than he.
They are much greater gainers than me by this, unexpected event.