Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?
“The majority will be wholly at fault, will shew that they do not understand the question, and will return an answer altogether from the purpose.”
wholly at fault = wholly in the wrong = wholly mistaken
altogether from the purpose = of little or no avail, ineffective
“One in a hundred perhaps, perhaps in a still less proportion, will reply in a laudable manner, and convey his ideas in perspicuous and spirited language.”
laudable = praiseworthy
perspicuous = clearly expressed or presented; easy to understand
Thank you for your efforts.
Perspicacious is much more common than perspicuous.