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"Oh, my memory stands all a tip-toe on one burning point!"


"Kay, dear little Kay! at last I have found you!" "Alas! how I have loitered!' said little Gerda." "O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,'

Or but a wandering Voice?"

"O my sweet child!"

"O easy access to the hearer's grace

When Dorian shepherds sang to Proserpine!"

"Avaunt! and quit my sight!”

"Come, my Corinna! come, let's go a-Maying."

"So, thou wouldst place thyself on a level with princes!"

"All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!" "All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!"

"But ah, of our poor Thames she never heard!” "How graceful was he! how unguarded!"

"O Life! how pleasant in thy morning,

Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!"

"Imagine the author of the excellent piece of advice, 'Know thyself,' never alluding to that sentiment again during the course of a protracted existence!

Why, the truths a man carries about with him are his tools."

"Hurrah! - hurrah! -the west wind

Comes freshening down the bay,

The rising sails are filling,

Give way, my lads, give way!"

1 Notice that the interjection "O" is not immediately followed by any point of punctuation. "Oh" should be followed by an exclamation point, or, when an exclamation point closes the sentence, by a comma.


1. The semicolon may be used to separate clauses when these clauses are themselves subdivided by commas, or when the pause between them is greater than that indicated by the comma.


"From Rome I drifted on to other cities, dimly heard of - Damascus, Brighton (Aunt Eliza's ideal), Athens, and Glasgow, whose glories the gardener sang; but there was a certain sameness in my conception of all of them."

"I do not speak of this lightly, because I love Samoa and her people. I love the land, I have chosen it to be my home while I live, and my grave after I am dead; and I love the people and have chosen them to be my people to live and die with."

"Yes, this Shakespeare is ours; we produced him; we speak and think by him; we are of one blood and kind with him."

"Joseph is thrown into the pit and sold to the merchants, and his blood-stained coat is carried by his brothers to Jacob; Jacob is then left alone, weeping and bewailing himself; the angel Gabriel enters, and reproves him for his want of faith and constancy."

". . . I beheld a main

Of mighty billows, and a smoke ascend,
A horrid murmur hearing. Ev'ry friend
Astonished sat; from ev'ry hand his oar
Fell quite forsaken; with the dismal roar

Were all things there made echoes; stone-still stood
Our ship itself."


PUNCTUATION (Continued).


2. The semicolon may be used between independent clauses, when the second clause expresses an idea which is (a) in contrast to the idea expressed in the first clause, or (b) a repetition or an explanation of it, or (c) the consequence or result of it.


a. Difference or Contrast.

"Excellence is not common and abundant; on the contrary, as the Greek poet long ago said, excellence dwells among rocks hardly accessible, and a man must almost wear his heart out before he can reach her."

"There is a working class, strong and happy, among both rich and poor; there is an idle class, weak, wicked, and miserable, among both rich and poor."

"Rashly and angrily I promised; but patiently and cunningly will I perform."

b. Repetition or Explanation.

"He brings into the talk other thoughts than those which he expresses; you are conscious that he keeps an eye on something else, that he does not shake off the world, or quite forget himself."

"Let me add that I do not wish wholly to break the American spirit; because it is the spirit that has made the country."

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""Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die."

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"The officers of the British army . had been invited to a masqued ball; for it was the policy of Sir William Howe to hide the distress and danger of the period. . . under an ostentation of festivity."

"It was the beginning of a great century for France, the seventeenth; men's minds were working, the French language was forming."

The semicolon used alone above replaces some such connecting words as that is to say, for, or since.

c. Consequence or Result.

"Do you not remember that one of the shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Land? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; wherefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober."

"He himself had a noble passion for letters and for all fine culture; he was interested by what he heard of the nascent society."

The semicolon used alone above replaces some such connecting word as therefore, consequently.

3. The semicolon may be used between dependent phrases or clauses when these have a like dependence upon or relation to another phrase or clause at the beginning or end of the sentence.1

1 If this governing clause comes at the end of the sentence, a comma and a dash usually precede it; or, if the pause before it seems sufficiently marked, a semicolon and a dash may be used.


"You cannot persuade them to burn their books of curious science; to banish their lawyers from their courts of laws; or to quench the lights of their assemblies, by refusing to choose those persons who are best read in their privileges."

"But remember, when you have completed your system of impoverishment, that nature still proceeds in her ordinary course; that discontent will increase with misery; and that there are critical moments in the fortune of all states, when they who are too weak to contribute to your prosperity, may be strong enough to complete your ruin."

"It seems as if the day was not wholly profane, in which we have given heed to some natural object. The fall of snowflakes in a still air, preserving to each crystal its perfect form; the blowing of sleet over a wide sheet of water and over plains; the waving rye-field; the mimic waving of acres of houstonia, whose innumerable florets whiten and ripple before the eye; the reflections of trees and flowers in glassy lakes; the musical, steaming, odorous south-wind, which converts all trees to wind-harps; the crackling and spurting of hemlock in the flames, or of pine logs, which yield glory to the walls and faces in the sitting-room; - these are the music and pictures of the most ancient religion."

4. A semicolon should be used before as, viz., i.e., e.g., and other such words or abbreviations formally introducing a series of examples or an explanation. A conima should follow the word of introduction. Sometimes this word is understood, and the semicolon stands alone.

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