Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/381

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365
EDITOR'S TABLE.

obliged to read over each one; and he was not assured of the sequence until the mass had been examined by another.

Some writers fasten their best thoughts when penning with the greatest haste. Their manuscript, like that of many careful authors, contains either neglected or erased words—terminations that appear perfectly inexcusable. Think of a scholar tracing with a rush fixed, and then adding tion, or satisfying himself with hermeticly; and yet, in overlooking thousands of pages of copy prepared by authors who would have a delirium if the slightest typographical error appeared in the "revise," I have stricken out countless terminations and intermediate syllables and letters—not specimens of bad spelling, so called—that looked like grammatical refugees, so far were they from their proper place.

Again, in writing, the pen does apparently just what the organs of speech do when certain words are to be produced. In the most delightful stage of composition, when the brain and the pen jog on comfortably together, it will often be found, on looking back a few lines, that a stranger has turned up who the author is positive has no right in such company. There it is, winking at a clever trick that the subject cannot explain.

Here the writer possesses the memory of words and the memory of how to use words. But, while the mind is being tickled with the successful unfolding of a pet theory, or the attractive draping of an important idea, the pen surreptitiously lets in an unblushing beggar.

In writing, the brain will order the pen to inscribe a certain word, and, with voluminous authors, that nimble servant will frequently transfix an unsuspected one before the outrage is detected.

Now, as in the case above, the author possesses the knowledge of the exact word that is desired; but an incorrect one appears. Neither the memory is lost, nor the ability of utilizing it. Think of the results, when the proof-reader strides through the idea, and buries a still more uncongenial word in the prettiest passage.

Recognized carelessness causes omission of words, curtailment of words, and often-times incorrect spelling. It is only the carelessness that is not recognized that takes a fancy to giving a word more letters than it craves, changing favorite words at birth, and placing before the eye a stone when bread is wanted.

G. J. Hagar.

New York, August, 1875.

 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

THE CASE OF GUIBORD.

ALL over the world, in all times of which we know any thing, and among tribes of men of every grade, the most intense and powerful feelings of human nature have gathered around the dead, the graves where they are buried, and the rites of sepulture. Besides the ties of affection that are sundered by death, and which are often so deep and strong that their rapture leaves life a desolation, the imagination is also brought into exalted activity, and religious hopes, fears, and anxieties, and the terrors of superstition regarding a future life, combine to heighten the solemn interest of the occasion. As men are ruled through their feelings, and as the more powerful the feelings the more complete is their subjection to those who can skillfully work upon them, it is not to be supposed that these potent emotions concerning the dead would remain unutilized by parties ambitious of influence over the consciences and conduct of men. It is an important part of the polity of the Roman Catholic Church to use the powerful sentiments that are associated with death, the dead body, and the grave in which it rests, for the promotion of the objects of ecclesiastical ambition. That corporation assumes the prerogative of consecrating or cursing the ground to be