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duty to wish for, or, when a man is thoroughly persuaded that he ought not to pursue any thing but what actually his duty, to pursue ; it is not in the power of seasons, to diminish his value, and it is not in the power of persons, to diminish his value, or, it is not in the power of accidents to diminish his value.
Addison's Spect. The following instances are produced to shew the impropriety of ellipsis, in some particular cąses.
That learned gentleman, if he had read my essay quite through, would have found seve“ral of his objections might have been spared.”
It should have been~would have found, that, several of his objections, &c.
“ I scarce know any part of natural philo. sophy would yield more variety and use."
--Any part of natural philosophy, which, would yield more variet; and use.
66 You and I cannot be of two opinions, nor, “ I think, any two men, used to think with ( freedom."
Norc, Or, which occurs twice in the elliptical sentence above, is rather an impropriety; it should have been nor,
--- Nor, I think, any two men, who are, used to think with freedom,
Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux. Some sentences, which seem to differ from the common forms of construction, accounted for on the supposition of ellipsisa
“ By preaching repentance. By the preaching of repentance.”
Both these are supposed to be proper and synonymous expressions, and I cannot but think, the former is an ellipsis of the latter, in which the article and the preposition are both suppressed by custom.
By preaching of repentance, and by the preaching repentance, are both judged to be improper. These sentences are partly elliptical, and partly not so, and from hence the im. propriety seems to arise. Preaching, in either form, is a substantive distinguished by the sense, and a preposition prefixed to it: nor is the noun following governed by the supposed verbal force of the word, preaching, but by the preposition expressed or understood.
66 Well is him. Wo is me. Wo unto you."
These sentences are all elliptical, and partly explain each other.
Well is it for him. Wo is to me. Wo is unto you,
To have recourse to a supposed dative case is therefore quite unnecessary.
" My father is greater than 1. She loves 66 him better thần me."?
My father is greater than I am. She loves him better than she loves me.
" To let blood. To let down."
To let out blood; or, to let blood run out. To let it fall or slide down,
* To go a fishing. To go a hunting.”
To go a fishing voyage. To go on a hunt. ing party.
" To walk a mile. To sleep all night.”
To walk through the space of a mile. To sleep through all the night.
“ A hundred sheep. A thousand men.'
A flock of one hundred sheep. A company of one thousand men,
" That man has a hundred a year."!
That man has an income of a hundred pounds in a year. "A few men.
A great many men.”
be considered as collective nouus, and distin. guished as such by the singular article,
A few (i. e. a small number) of men. А great many (i. e. a great number) of men.
" He is the better for you. The deeper the well, the clearer the water.”
An article seems, for the most part, to be the sign of a noun either expressed or ánder. stood; and the above sentences may be re. solved thus:
He is the better man for you. The deeper well, the well is, the clearer water, the water is.
“ He descending, the doors being shut.”
This is commonly called the case or state ab. solute, and, in English, the pronoun must be in the nominative. The sentence seems to be el. liptical, and the meaning is,
While he was descending, while the doors
“ He came into this world of ours." “I am justified in publishing any letters of Mr. Locke's."
In the first of these instances the genitive case of the pronoun comes after the preposi
tion, but cannot be governed by it, for then it would be the accusative : it must therefore be governed by some other word understood in the sentence.
He came into this world of our dwelling, habitation, &c.
And then omitting the noun it will be, this world of ours, by the common rules of construction,
The other sentence may be explained after the same manner.
I am justified in publishing any letters of Mr. Locke's writing, correspondence, &c. i. e. of the writing or correspondence of Mr. Locke.
The use of the genitive case, in such in. stances, seems to be a little uncouth. And here I cannot but observe, that though, on some occasions, the genitive has its propriety and elegance, yet it should, in the general, be used with caution, and much more sparingly, perhaps, thau spme authors have done.