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feelings of our nature may be said to resemble those of a deeper cast.

2. The rapid torrent, or boiling whirlpool, naturally suggests the idea of furious rage; the placid lake, or gliding stream, gentleness of disposition.

3. Yesterday all was bright and beautiful; to-day all is dark and dreary, &c.


The following are models for imitation, like those above given :


[Several concessions or admissions,-a conclusion.]


1. If his moral character be as good as it is represented-if it be proved that his habits are such as will recommend him to this office—and if his knowledge of the subject be sufficiently extensive and accurate there is every reason to expect that his application will be successful.

2. If the weather should prove fine-if your uncle arrive in time—and if the whole party be in good health, we shall probably start for the Continent on the twelfth of next month.

3. Fully admitting the power of his eloquence, and aware of the extensive knowledge of the subject displayed in his speech, I am still unconvinced by his arguments, and my opinion on this question remains unaltered, &c.


The explanatory sentence:a proposition followed by others, explaining its meaning.


1. Every station has its duties; from the prince to the peasant, we are all responsible for our actions; and though our duties differ in the different relations of life, there is no condition exempt from them.

2. Nature does nothing in vain; the Creator has appointed everything to a certain use and purpose, and determined it to a settled course and sphere of action, from which if it in the least deviates, it becomes unfit to answer those ends for which it was designed.

3. Shakspere had not the advantage of high birth; he came to London a needy adventurer, and lived for a time by very mean employments, &c.


The negative sentence:-several negative propositions; the second, third, &c., explanatory of the first.


1. Never had the nation been so prosperous; never had the middle classes of society been more thriving, or the poor more free from the pressure of privation.

2. No longer do we now perceive the former ardour of the Romans; no longer do we meet with that firmness in danger, and constancy under reverses, which had for so many ages characterised that extraordinary people.


3. Nothing could have been more ingeniously contrived than this plan; nothing better calculated to conciliate all parties, and effect the end which its originator had in view.


1. What is an idea?

2. By what means are ideas originally conveyed to the mind? 3. What is a word?

4. Do words, of necessity, represent ideas?

5. In what respect are words imperfect?

6. Give some examples of words having a variety of meanings.

7. What mean the terms' concrete' and 'abstract?'

8. Explain the power of the mind called 'abstraction.'

9. What is meant by 'generalisation?'

10. Upon what principle are some nouns called 'common' in grammar?

11. What is the use of proper nouns ?

12. Show the difference between the primary and the secondary meaning of a word.

13. Explain the principle of analogy.

14. Whence is the noun 'thing' derived?

15. What is a proposition?


16. Of how many, and what parts does a proposition consist? 17. Explain the meaning of the terms subject,' ' copula,' and 'predicate,' as applied to a proposition.

18. Of how many kinds are propositions?

19. Explain these forms.

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20. How may subjects' be expressed?

21. What is meant by the term 'complement,' as applied to a proposition?

22. Mention some forms of complements.

23. What are complementary propositions?

24. How may complementary propositions be classified?

25. How does a determinative differ from an explanatory pro







A DEFINITION is the explanation of a word according to certain principles.

Every definition consists of three parts: 1. the subject; 2. the genus; and 3. the species.

1. The subject is the word to be defined.

2. The genus shows to what class of beings or things the subject belongs.

3. The species shows how the subject differs from others of the same genus, thus:




(Justice) is (the virtue) (of giving to every man his due).

Here 'justice' is the subject defined: the word 'virtue' is the genus, that is, it shows to what class

The word 'definition' is derived from the Latin verb definire, which signifies to lay down the boundary or extent of the meaning of a word.

of things the subject, 'justice,' belongs: and lastly, 'of giving to every man his due' expresses the species of that genus; it specifies the virtue, and shows how this virtue (justice) differs from other virtues.

The learner must here be cautioned against several errors into which he is likely to fall in writing definitions.

1. Never define by a single term.

As every definition must consist of three parts, and as defining a subject by a single term will give but two, to do so is obviously an error. Besides, it may be laid down as a principle, that no one word will ever define another. Thus, to say that 'courage is fortitude' would be wrong; for though these terms are very like each other in meaning, they are not identical.

2. Never define by a negative.

The reason why a negative definition is faulty, is that in such a case the required information is not given; as when one would say 'courage is not cowardice,' or 'joy is not sorrow,' we are in no way enlightened as to the nature of these subjects; we are told what they are not, and not what they are; hence, such a form of definition is faulty and unsatisfactory.

3. Never define by a derivative.

It is obviously wrong to use a derivative from the subject in the definition; for, as the object of a definition is to inform, we clearly defeat our purpose by employing terms of the same etymology as the subject itself. Whoever wishes for a definition of the term 'malice,' will not gain his end by hearing that it is ‘a malicious feeling.' Again, to define history as historical account of a nation,' would be open to the same objection.

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