Meaning of periodical essay

You know [it is natural to have recourse to our Friends in our Unhappiness, and I am at present too peevish to converse with any but by Letter] Pope to Ford [bplet].

But when e're they endeavour to rise to any quick turns and counterturns of Plot, as some of them have attempted, since Corneilles Playes have been less in vogue, you see [they write as irregularly as we, though they cover it more speciously] Dryden, Essay on Dramatic Poesie [jdess]. You see , my Lord, how farr you have pushd me; I dare not own the honour you have done me, for feare of showing it to my own disadvantage Dryden to John Wilmot [jdlet]. But I fear it was kidnapped by some privateer, or else you were lazy or forgetful; or, which is full as good, perhaps, it had no need of an answer; and I would not for a good deal, that the former had miscarried, because the inclosed was wonderfully politic, and would have been read to you, as this, I suppose , will, though it be not half so profound Swift to Stearne [aslet].

It is important to note that I did not exclude from consideration expressions that included modals or modifiers in the stance verb phrases or comment clauses. Accordingly, included were expressions such as those illustrated in 5 :. During the Time her Cause was upon Trial, she behaved her self, I warrant you, with such a deep Attention to her Business, took Opportunities to have little Billets handed to her Counsel, then would be in such a pretty Confusion, occasioned, you must know , by acting before so much Company, that not only I but the whole Court was prejudiced in her Favour; Richard Steele, Spectator No.

However it be, I don't know , I say , why this Prejudice, well improved and carried as far as it would go, might not be made to conduce to the Preservation of many innocent Creatures, which are now exposed to all the Wantonness of an ignorant Barbarity Alexander Pope, On Pastorals, The Guardian No. Therefore I should imagine the next animal in size or dignity would do best; either a Mule or a large Ass; particularly if that noble one could be had, whose portraiture makes so great an ornament of the Dunciad, and which unless I am misinformed is yet in the park of a Nobleman near this Alexander Pope, City Of the Poet Laureate , [bpess].

If I must suppose there are great Numbers of Ladys in these narrow circumstances, I will suppose at least one in Twenty of them to be handsome enough to make the rest of their Sex desirous of looking like them Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, The Nonsense of Common-Sense No. Note that the modification includes negation — quite common with know in collocation with the first person. Results and discussion.

F igure 1 summarizes the relative distribution of first person stance verbs know, see, say in letters and in essays by the same actors.


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Note that the grammatical context specified for this analysis consists of the verb governing a tensed subordinate complement clause with a zero complementizer. Figure 3. Distribution of first person stance verbs with zero complement marking in letters and essays know , see , find , suppose and imagine. The figures are quite small overall — unsurprisingly for lexical strings — but the difference between the frequencies for each register is striking. First person verb phrases with know occur nearly three times more often in letters than in essays, first person verb phrases with find occur five times more often in letters than in essays, and first person verb phrases with suppose occur about four times more often in letters than in essays.

However, more striking in light of our discussion about the stylistic positioning of essays in the period as involved and engaged with the reader is the fact that these stance features occur in essays at all. I know. I see. I find. I suppose. I imagine. T able 2: Frequencies of first person subject stance verbs per , words. I know nothing remains for me to do but to sit down pleased and thankful, though I am Eke to be among those who are like to enjoy the least share of the blessing by the Union.

Daniel Defoe, Review Vol. IV, NO. My opinion of satire is that first of all the character should be just, which in these cases can not be pretended; secondly, that the thing satirized be a crime; thirdly, that the language, though keen, be decent-in every one of which these authors are faulty. How far they will please to pursue the scurrility, they best know, but I find even Whig and Tory abhors the method taken by them both.

VIII, No. T he second question for investigation concerned the use of epistemic verbs like suppose , imagine and find in comment clauses with first person subjects, and with second person subjects. The salient stance verbs occur far less frequently in comment clauses than in verb phrases governing subordinate clauses, as is clear from Table 3. Table 3: Frequencies of first person comment clauses per , words. The occurrence of first person comment clauses in letters and essays is summarized in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Distribution of first person comment clauses in letters and essays. Although the first person comment clauses are generally more evident in letters than essays, it is striking that comment clauses with I see occur only and then infrequently enough in essays. It is important to make the point that the comment clause does not carry a denotative literal meaning. In addition, the stance verbs find and imagine occur in first person comment clauses infrequently in both registers, but just slightly less often in essays than in letters.

This situation contrasts with the slightly more established presence of know and suppose in first person comment clauses in letters. The examples in 7 illustrate the range of uses to which the stance verbs are put in first person comment clauses, again, in the essays subcorpus.


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In each case, the effect of the first person comment clause is to express the opinion of the speaker — and thus stamp a perspective or interested position on the presentation of the information conveyed in the essay. Three of the examples, 7a , 7c and 7d , are from periodical essays. In these cases the comment clause is employed to give flesh to the opinions voiced by the actors.

Periodical essay meaning and examples examples

In the case of 7d , the persona is an Italian impresario who proposes to export to England, Italian opera singers and cooks to feed the desires of the British people. To maintain myself by an honest servitude having really no other dependence is what I would gladly accept of, and which I count, by many degrees, a heavenly life to that slavish one I now live; yet even this attempt, I know , will be attended with almost insuperable difficulties Daniel Defoe, Review No.

This, I imagine , was the chief reason why he minded only the clearness of his satire, and the cleanness of expression, without ascending to those heights to which his —own vigour might have carried him John Dryden, A Discourse … Satire [jdess]. Examples 7b and 7d do not invest the speaker with a persona separate from that represented by the author. I t is worth turning to the analysis of the extent to which comment clauses with second person subjects occur in the two registers to ascertain the role of the audience in the two.

Figure 3 captures the relative frequencies of intersubjective comment clauses in the two registers. Figure 5. Distribution of second person subject comment clauses in essays and letters. The distribution of second person comment clauses seems to follow the pattern observed for first person subject comment clauses in the two registers. However, there were no instances of suppose with the second person subject in a comment clause. Indeed, there were no instances of the second person subject with suppose governing a subordinate clause with a zero complementizer in essays, and only negligibly so 0.

Periodical essay

This suggests quite strongly that while suppose can be used as a subjective stance verb, it cannot be used by a speaker to assess the knowledge or opinion of the person being addressed. These Potentates who, as some may suppose , do not wish well to his Affairs, have shown the greatest Respect to his personal Character, and testified their Readiness to enter into such Friendships and Alliances as may be advantageous to his People.

Joseph Addison, Freeholder No. Swift uses the verb as an imperative with a following comment phrase, for Argument sake, and a complement clause marked by that as in 8b.

What Is a Periodical Essay?

Jonathan Swift, Abolishing Christianity , [asess The imperative is arguably a risky rhetorical choice as it might be construed as bullying or hectoring if used in discourse that is markedly polemical or satirical. Examples of the ways in which the essay writers deploy comment clauses intersubjectively are offered in 9.

My Lord, whatever you imagine , this is the advice of a Friend, and one who remembers he formerly had the honour of some profession of Friendship from you Alexander Pope, Letter to a Noble Lord on the occasion of some Libels written and propagated at Court , [bpess]. Turn but your eye to the park: the ladies are not there as usual, the church is thinner than ever, for it is the mode for privy councils, you know , to meet on Sundays Daniel Defoe, Review: Petticoat Government [ddess].

Thus, you see , your Rhyme is uncapable of expressing the greatest thoughts naturally, and the lowest it cannot with any grace: for what is more unbefitting the Majesty of Verse, then to call a Servant, or bid a door be shut in Rhime? And yet you are often forced on this miserable necessity. But Verse, you say , circumscribes a quick and luxuriant fancy, which would extend it self too far on every subject, did not the labour which is required to well turned and polished Rhyme, set bounds to it.

Periodical Essay( Characteristics )

Yet this Argument, if granted, would onely prove that we may write better in Verse, but not more naturally John Dryden, An Essay of Dramatick Poesie [jdess]. In the extract quoted in 9a , Pope explicitly yet ironically acknowledges the possibility that his noble addressee might interpret his comments as hostile, which of course they are.

The effect is withering. Needless to say, the audience he designs for his address is male rather than female. He constructs a dialogue between his reader and himself, attributing attentiveness and understanding you see and opinion you say in an unfolding argument about writing in verse.

Periodical essay definition and examples

The effect of the use of the second person comment clauses is to establish an interactive tone, drawing focus away from the speaker-subject and his stance. L et us now turn to the closer examination of a verb with first and second person subjects in the essays in order to discover whether their functions distinguish them as stylistic options that serve the essay genre. In other words, is it reasonable on the basis of these features to suggest their role in contributing to a nascent essay style that comes to be typical of the periodical essay?

Figure 6. Distribution of know in essays and letters. Fi gure 6 captures the distribution of know with first person singular and plural as well as second person in stance verb phrases with zero complementizers and in comment clauses. Table 4: Frequencies of know per , words. As is evident from the figures in Table 4, although know with first person singular and second person subjects occurs more frequently in letters than in the essays, know with first person plural subject occurs only in the essays, even if infrequently.

Let us examine the ways in which we know is used in the essays, as illustrated in 10 below:. We know the Dutch have perpetually threatened us, that they would enter into separate Measures, of a Peace Jonathan Swift, Conduct of the Allies [asess]. And I am the more inclined to this Opinion, because we know it has been the constant Practice of the Jesuits to send over Emissaries, with Instructions to personate themselves Members of the several prevailing Sects amongst us Jonathan Swift, Abolishing of Christianity [asess].

I think it is not fair to argue from one Instance, perhaps another cannot be produced, yet to the Comfort of all those who may be apprehensive of Persecution Blasphemy we know is freely spoke a Million of times in every Coffee-House and Tavern, or wherever else good Company meet Jonathan Swift, Conduct of the Allies [asess]. Perhaps he was afraid it might give Offence to the Allies, among whom, [ for ought we know] , it may be the Custom of the Country to believe a God Jonathan Swift, Abolishing of Christianity [asess].

The stance phrase seems to be deployed in order to situate the dominant position of the interest group for which the writer speaks. Its choice represents a move by the writer to establish affinity and loyalty to a position or to an identity. In the case of 10a , we and us have the same referent, namely, the English people. In 10b , Swift distinguishes the singular from the plural; he uses the singular I to mark his conscious choice of an opinion on the basis of popular intelligence.

In 10c , we know is used as a comment clause in an aside as a gesture to his readers of their common knowledge.

Mentioned In

Example 10d represents an emerging use in a comment clause, for aught we know , an idiomatic expression also used frequently by Defoe and Dryden with the first person to inject an intersubjective comment into a claim or statement.