Imágenes de páginas

agreeable objects, from the feeling of his subject, naturally runs into smooth, liquid, and flowing numbers :

Namque ipsa decoram
Cæsariem nato genetrix, lumenque juventue
Purpureum, et lætos oculis afflarat honores.

En. L


Devenere locos lætos et amæna vireta
Fortunatorum, memorum, sedesque beatas;
Largior hic campos æther, et lumine vestit
Purpureo, solemque suum, sua sidera norant.

Æn. VI. Brisk and lively sensations, exact quicker and more animated numbers :

Juvenum manus emicat ardens
Littus in Hesperium.

Ær. VII. Melancholy and gloomy subjects, naturally express themselves in slow measures, and long words :

In those deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heavenly pensive contemplation dwells.

Et caligantem nigra formidine lucum. I have now given sufficient openings into this subject: a moderate acquaintance with the good poets, either ancient or modern, will suggest many instances of the same kind. And with this I finish the discussion of the structure of sentences : having fully considered them under all the heads I mentioned; of perspicuity, unity, strength, and musical arrangement.


How have we hitherto considered. Among words of any length, which sentences; and how are we now to are the most musical; and what exconsider them? Of sound, what is ob- amples are given? Of the next head, served ; and why must it not be disre- what is observed ; and why? In the garded? What remark follows ? What harmonious structure and disposition is their effect on the imagination of periods, who excelled all other wriWhat says Quintilian? How extensive ters? What is said of him; and what is the power of music over mankind ? example is given? In English, from Of what, therefore, may language be whom is a sentence selected ; and what rendered capable ; and of what must is it? What is said of it? The structhis heighten our ideas ? What remark ture of periods being susceptible oto follows? In the harmony of periods, very considerable melody, what is our what two things may be considered ? next inquiry? Were we to follow the Of them, respectively, what is obser-ancient rhetoricians upon this subject, ved ? First, then, what shall we consi-! why would it be easy to give a great der; and to what shall we confine our-variety of rules? What do they hold; selves ? This beauty of musical con- and how far do they go? What, construction in prose, will depend upon what sequently, follows ? Who are full of two things? With what does our au- this? What qualities do they handle thor begin; and on this head, what is slightly; and where are they copious ? observed ? What words, is it evident, Or Dionysius of Halicarnassus, what is are most agreeable to the ear? What observed; and what has he done? In may always be assumed as a principle? what four things does he make the exWhat do vowels and consonants, re-cellence of a sentence to consist ? On spectively, give to the sound of a word? all these points, how does he write; What does the music of language re- and what follows? Of this whole subquire; and what will be the effect of ject of musical structure of discourse, an excess in either? Which are most what is observed? Why will it be neagreeable to the ear ? By what do cessary to give the reasons for this? they please it; and what follows ?| What is the first reason assigned ; and

why? What is the next reason assign-, what is observed; and to this sort of ed? Of music, among them, what is Mowing measure, what must be attriobserved ? What have several learned buted? What must, however, at the men clearly proved; and what fol- same time be observed ? lows? How was all sort of declama- What is the next thing to be attendtion and public speaking carried on by ed to? What says Quintilian on this them; and to what did it approach ? subject ? When we aim at dignity, Among the Athenians, what existed ? what is the only important rule that Among the Roinans, what noted story can be given ? What example of this prevails? What remark follows? Of is given? Hence, of what must every Quintilian, what is here observed ?| reader be sensible? Why does a fallHence, what do we find marked upon ing off at the end injure the melody of the Greek syllables; and for what pur- a senience? What is here more than pose ? Of the Romans, what is here probable; and for what reason? To observed ? What is one clear reason illustrate this remark, what example why the Greeks and Romans paid is given; and how might it be correctmuch greater attention to the musical ed? In general, what seems to hold construction of their sentences than we true ? Under what circumstances only, do? What is further known, as an- do short syllables conclude a sentence other reason why it deserved to be more harmoniously? What sentences is it studied ? What does Cicero tell us ; necessary, however, to observe, give a and what does he give ? By means of discourse the tone of declamation; and the sound of which, alone, what effect why? If we would keep up the attendoes he tell us was produced ? Though tion of the reader or hearer, what is it be true that Carbo's sentence is ex-requisite? What does this equally retremely musical, yet, what cannot our gard ? What sentences should never author believe; why; and what fol- follow one another ? Why should short lows ? For these reasons, of what is it sentences be intermixed with long ones; in vain to think? What has the doc- and even what have sometimes a good trine of the Greeks and Romans, on effect? Of monotony, what is observed; this head, misled some to imagine ? On what writers are apt to fall into it; this subject, what is first remarked; and and what follows? How are a very why? What is the next remark ? And vulgar ear, and a just and correct one, lastly, of this whole doctrine, what is here contrasted ? Though attention to remarked ? Of the attention of the an- the music of sentences must not be cients to the melody of discoursc, what neglected, yet why must it be kept is further observed ? If we consult Ci- in proper bounds? What are great cero's Orator, what shall we see? | blemishes in writing; and why? As Why is it not possible to give precise sense has its own harmony, as well as rules concerning this matter, in any sound, what follows? To what conclulanguage ? Notwithstanding this musi-sion does Quintilian, aster all the labour cal arrangement cannot be reduced which he bestows to regulate the into any system, yet what is our au- measure of prose, come? What is here thor far from thinking ? On the con- said of Cicero; and what must we obtrary, what does he hold; and what serve in his defence ? Among the few follows ? What, in this, must chiefly English classical writers, what is redirect him; and why? On what two marked of Milton, and of the writers of things does the music of a sentence the age in which he lived ? Of Lord chiefly depend? In the proper distri- Shaftesbury, what is observed; and bution of the several members of a sen- also of Mr. Addison, Sir William Temtence, what is it of importance to observe? ple, Archbishop Tillotson, Bishop AtWhile the period is going on, what terbury, and Dean Swist? Hitherto, of does the termination of each of its mem- what has our author discoursed; and bers form; and how should these rests what yet remains ? How are these conbe distributed ? By what example will trasted ? What are the two degrees of this be best illustrated ? Why is there it, which we may remark? With what not, in this sentence, any harmony ? have sounds a correspondence; and On the other hand, what shall we ob- hence, what happens ? What is the serve? Of what is he speaking ? Re-effect of sentences constructed alter the peat the passage. Of this passage, Ciceronian fulness; a :/ why? Wha

do they not suit ; and what do these is given? Of Homer and Virgil, what is require? What, therefore, follows? | here observed ? What happy inetance How is this illustrated; and what were is given in English? In what does the absurd? Of the sentence here intro-third set of objects, which the sounds of duced from Cicero, what is remarked ? words are capable of representing, conTo have used the same periods where, sist? What remark follows? What, would have been laughable; and cannot this be called ; and why? But hence, what is requisite? What must what follows? What is here admitted ? this general idea direct ? What may it What follows; and what examples are be proper here to remark? What do given? Without much study, what grave, solemn, and majestic subjects, may a poet do? Of brisk and lively, require? Where are examples of this and also of melancholy sensations, to be found ; and what, naturally runs what is observed ? What is the closing into numbers of this kind? But, in the remark? next place, what is remarked ? Where can this, sometimes, be accomplished; but where is it to be chiefly looked

ANALYSIS for; and why? What three classes of Harmony. objects may sounds of words be em- 1. Sounds without reference to sense. ployed to represent ? First, by a proper A. The choice of words. choice of words, what may be pro B. The arrangement of words and duced ; and why? How is this illus

members of periods. trated ? Here, what assists him; and a. The advantages of the Greeks • why? What examples are given? and Romans. What remarkable example of this b. The proper distribution of the beauty is produced from Milton ? Re members of a sentence. peat the passages. What other beauti-| c. The close or cadence of the ful passage is given for the same pur

whole. pose? In the second place, what diffe- 2. Sounds adapted to the sense. rent kinds of motion are imitated by A. Adapted to the tenour of a dissounds of words? What observation

course. follows; and, therefore, here, what is B. Resemblance between the sound in the poet's power? What impression and the object described. do long eyllables give; of which, what a. Other sounds. example have we? What is the effect

b. Motion. of short syllables; and what example' c. Emotions and passions.



Having now finished what related to the construction of sentences, I proceed to other rules concerning style. My general division of the qualities of style, was into perspicuity and ornament. Perspicuity, both in single words and in sentences, I have considered. Ornament, as far as it arises from a graceful, strong, and melodious construction of words, has also been treated of. Another, and a great branch of the ornament of style, is, figurative language ; which is now to be the subject of our consideration, and will require a full discussion.

Our first inquiry must be, what is meant by figures of speech ?*

In general, they always imply some departure from simplicity of * On the subject of figures of speech, all the writers who treat of rhetoric or composi.ion, have insisted largely. To make references, therefore, on this subject, were endless. On the foundations of figurative language, in general, one of the most sensible and instructive writers appears to me to be M. Marsais, in his Traite des Tropes pour servir d'Iniroduction a la Rhetorique et a la Logique. For observations on particular figures, he Elemenis of Criticism may be consulted, where the subject is fully handled, and ilustrated hy a great variety of examples.

expression; the idea which we intend to convey, not only enunciated to others, but enunciated, in a particular manner, and with some circumstance added, which is designed to render the impression more strong and vivid. When I say, for instance, That a good man enjoys comfort in the midst of adversity;' I just express my thought in the simplest manner possible. But when I say, “To the upright there ariseth light in darkness;' the same sentiment is expressed in a figurative style; a new circumstance is introduced ; light is put in the place of comfort, and darkness is used to suggest the idea of adversity. In the same manner, to say, 'It is impossible, by any search we can make, to explore the divine nature fully,' is to make a simple proposition. But when we say, 'Canst thou, by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? It is high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know?' This introduces a figure into style; the proposition being not only expressed, but admiration and astonishment being expressed together with it.

But, though figures imply a deviation from what may be reckoned the most simple form of speech, we are not thence to conclude, that they imply any thing uncommon, or unnatural. This is so far from being the case, that, on very many occasions, they are both the most natural, and the most common method of uttering our sentiments. It is impossible to compose any discourse without using them often; nay, there are few sentences of any length, in which some expression or other, that may be termed a figure, does not occur. From what causes this happens, shall be afterwards explained. The fact, in the mean time, shows, that they are to be accounted part of that language which nature dictates to men. They are not the inventions of the schools, nor the mere product of study: on the contrary, the most illiterate speak in figures, as often as the most learned. Whenever the imaginations of the vulgar are much awakened, or their passions inflamed against one another, they will pour fourth a torrent of figurative language as forcible as could be employed by the most artificial declaimer.

What then is it, which has drawn the attention of critics and rhetoricians so much to these forms of speech? It is this: They remarked, that in them consists much of the beauty and the force of language; and found them always to bear some characters, or distinguishing marks, by the help of which they could reduce them under separate classes and heads. To this, perhaps, they owe their name of figures. As the figure, or shape of one body, distinguishes it from another, so these forms of speech have, each of them, a cast or turn peculiar to itself, which both distinguishes it from the rest, and distinguishes it from simple expression. Simple expression just makes our idea known to others; but figurative language, over and above, bestows a particular dress upon that idea; a dress, which both makes it to be remarked, and adorns it. Hence, this sort of language became early a capital object of attention to those who studied the powers of speech.

Figures, in general, may be described to be that language, which

is prompted either by the imagination, or by the passions. The justness of this description will appear, from the more particular account I am afterwards to give of them. Rhetoricians commonly divide them into two great classes; figures of words, and figures of thought. The former, figures of words, are commonly called tropes, and consist in a word's being employed to signify something that is different from its original and primitive meaning; so that if you alter the word, you destroy the figure. Thus, in the instance I gave before; · Light ariseth to the upright in darkness. The trope consists in ‘light and darkness' being not meant literally, but substituted for comfort and adversity, on account of some resemblance or analogy which they are supposed to bear to these conditions of life. The other class, termed figures of thought, supposes the words to be used in their proper and literal meaning, and the figure to consist in the turn of the thought; as is the case in exclamations, interrogations, apostrophes, and comparisons; where, though you vary the words that are used, or translate them from one language into another, you may, nevertheless, still preserve the same figure in the thought. This distinction, however, is of no great use, as nothing can be built upon it in practice; neither is it always very clear. It is of little importance, whether we give to some particular mode of expression the name of a trope, or of a figure; provided we remember, that figurative language always imports some colouring of the imagination, or from some emotion of passion, expressed in our style:and, perhaps, figures of imagination, and figures of passion, might be a more useful distribution of the subject. But without insisting on any artificial divisions, it will be more useful, that I inquire into the origin and the nature of figures. Only, before I proceed to this, there are two general observations which it may be proper to premise.

The first is, concerning the use of rules with respect to figurative language. I admit, that persons may both speak and write with propriety, who know not the names of any of the figures of speech, nor ever studied any rules relating to them. Nature, as was before observed, dictates the use of figures; and, like Mons. Jourdain, in Moliere, who had spoken for forty years in prose, without ever knowing it, mary a one uses metaphorical expressions to good purpose, without any idea of what a metaphor is. It will not, however, follow thence, that rules are of no service. All science arises from observations on practice. Practice has always gone before method and rule; but method and rule have afterwards improved and perfected practice in every art. We every day meet with persons who sing agreeably without knowing one note of the gamut. Yet, it has been found of importance to reduce these notes to a scale, and to form an art of music; and it would be ridiculous to pretend, that the art is of no advantage, because the practice is founded in nature. Propriety and beauty of speech, are certainly as improveable as the ear or the voice; and to know the principles of this beauty, or the reasons which render one figure, or one manner of speech, preferable to another, cannot fail to assist and direct a proper choice.

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