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It is also proper to observe here, that since transcribing the present work for the press, a manuscript was put into his hands by Doctor Beattie, at the very time that, in order to be favoured with the Doctor's opinion of this performance, the author gave him the first book for his perusal. Doctor Beattie's tract is called An Essay on Laughter and Ludicrous Writing. Whilst the author carefully perused that Essay, it gave him a very agreeable surprise to discover, that on a question so nice and curious, there should without any previous communication, be so remarkable a coincidence of sentiments in every thing wherein their subjects coincide. A man must have an uncommon confidence in his own faculties, (I might have said in his own infallibility,) who is not sensibly more satisfied of the justness of their procedure, especially in abstract matters, when he discovers such a concurrence with the ideas and reasoning of writers of discernment. The subject of that piece is indeed Laughter in general, with an inquiry into those qualities in the object, by which it is excited. The investigation is conducted with the greatest accuracy, and the theory confirmed and illustrated by such a variety of pertinent examples, as enable us to scrutinize his doctrine on every side, and view it in almost every possible light. He does not enter into the specific characters whereby wit and humour are discriminated, which are the chief considerations here. His design leads him to consider rather those particulars wherein they all agree, than those wherein they differ. He treats of ludicrous objects and ludicrous writing, with a view to account for the superior copiousness and refinement of modern ridicule. When philosophical acuteness is happily united with so great richness of fancy and mastery in language, the obscurity in which a subject was formerly involved vanishes entirely, and a reader unacquainted with all other theories and hypotheses, can hardly be persuaded that there was ever any difficulty in the question. But there is reason to think, that the world will soon be favoured with an opportunity of judging for itself, in regard to the merits of that performance.

One reason, though not the only one which the author has for mentioning the manner wherein the composition of this work has been conducted, and the time it has taken, is, not

to enhance its value with the public, but to apologize in some measure for that inequality in the execution and the style, with which, he is afraid, it will be thought chargeable. It is his purpose in this work, on the one hand, to exhibit, he does not say a correct map, but a tolerable sketch of the human mind; and, aided by the lights which the poet and the orator so amply furnish, to disclose its secret movements, tracing its principal channels of perception and action, as near as possible, to their source: and, on the other hand, from the science of human nature, to ascertain, with greater precision, the radical principles of that art, whose object it is, by the use of language, to operate on the soul of the hearer, in the way of informing, convincing, pleasing, moving, or persuading. In the prosecution of a design so extensive, there are two extremes to be shunned. One is, too much abstraction in investigating causes; the other, too much minuteness in specifying effects. By the first, the perspicuity of a performance may be endangered; by the second, its dignity may be sacrificed. The author does not flatter himself so far as to imagine, that he hath succeed. ed perfectly in his endeavours to avoid either extreme. In a work of this kind, it is impossible that every thing should be alike perspicuous to every reader, or that all the parts should be equally elevated. Variety in this respect, as well as in others, is perhaps, on the whole, more pleasing and more instructive, than too scrupulous an uniformity. To the eye the interchange of hill and dale beautifies the prospect: and to the ear there is no music in monotony. The author can truly say, that he has endeavoured, as much as he could, in the most abstruse questions, to avoid obscurity; and in regard to such of his remarks as may be thought too minute and particular, if just, they will not, he hopes, on a re-examination, be deemed of no consequence. Those may serve to illustrate a general observation, which are scarcely worth notice as subjects either of censure or of praise. Nor is there any thing in this book, which, in his opinion, will create even the smallest difficulty to persons accustomed to inquire into the faculties of the mind. Indeed, the much greater part of it will, he is persuaded, be level to the capacity of all those readers (not perhaps the most

numerous class,) who think reflection of some use in reading, and who do not read merely with the intention of killing time.

He begs leave to add, that though his subject be Eloquence, yet, as the nature of his work is didactical, wherein the understanding only is addressed, the style in general admits no higher qualities than purity and perspicuity. These were therefore his highest aim. The best ornaments out of place are not only unbecoming but offensive. Nor can any thing be farther from his thoughts than to pretend to an exemption from such positive faults in expression, as, on the article of elocution, he hath so freely criticised in the best English authors. He is entirely sensible, that an impropriety or other negligence in style will escape the notice of the writer, which hardly escapes that of any body else. Next to the purpose of illustrating the principles and canons which he here submits to the judgment of the public, the two following motives weighed most with the author, in inducing him to use so much freedom in regard to the writings of those for whom he has the highest veneration. One is, to show that we ought in writing, as in other things, carefully to beware of implicit attachment and servile imitation, even when they seem to be claimed by the most celebrated names. The other is, to evince, that we are in danger of doing great injustice to a work, by deciding hastily on its merit from a collection of such oversights. If the critic be rigorous in marking whatever is amiss in this way, what author may abide the trial ? But though such slips are not to be regarded as the sole or even principal test of demerit in literary productions, they ought not to be altogether overlooked. Whatever is faulty in any degree it were better to avoid. And there are consequences regarding the language in general, as well as the success of particular works, which should preserve verbal criticism from being considered as beneath the attention of any author. An author, so far from having reason to be offended, is doubtless obliged to the man who, free from captious petulance, candidly points out his errors of what kind soever they be.

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INTRODUCTION....

......... Page 1

BOOK I.

THE NATURE AND FOUNDATIONS OF ELOQUENCE

CHAP. 1. Eloquence in the largest acceptation defined, its more general forms exhibited,

with their different Objects, Ends, and Characters.......

CHAP. II. Of Wit, Humour, and Ridicule

Sect. I, Of wit......................

Sect. II. Of humour.........

SECT. III. Of ridicule.........

CHAP. III. The Doctrine of the preceding Chapter defended....

... 36

SECT. I. Aristotle's account of the ridiculous explained......

.. ib.

SECT. II. Hobbe's account of laughter examined..............................

CHAP. IV. Of the Relation which Eloquence bears to Logic and to Grammar...

CHAP. V. Of the different sources of Evidence, and the different Subjects to which they

are respectively adapted ..............

SECT. I. Of intuitive evidence..........

.. ib.

Part I. Mathematical axioms.....

. ib.
PARTII. Consciousness.....

.. 46

Part III. Common sense.......

SECT. II. Of deductive evidence........

........... 51

Part I. Division of the subject into scientific and moral, with the principal

tions between them ..........

....... ib.

PART III. The nature and origin of experience......

... 54

PART II. The subdivisions of moral reasoning.....

... 57

1. Experience...........

2. Analogy...................

3. Testimony........ ..................................

4. Calculations of Chances................................

PART IV. The superiority of scientific evidence re-examined.....

CHAP. VI. Of the Nature and Use of the scholastic Art of Syllogizing...........

CHAP. VII. Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of the Hearers as

M en in general ..........................................

SECT. I. As endowed with understanding...

SECT. II. As endowed with imagination....

SECT. III. As endowed with memory.........

SECT. IV. As endowed with passions.....

....... 82

SECT. V. The circumstances that are chiefly instrumental in operating on the passions 86

Part I. Probability.........

.. ib,

Part II. Plausibility....................

Part III. Importance............

Part IV. Proximity of time....................

Part V. Connexion of place...................................

92

Part VI. Relation to the persons concerned.....

Part VII. Interest in the consequences..........

SECT. VI. Other passions, as well as moral sentiments, useful auxiliaries......

SECT. VII. How an unfavourable passion must be calmed.........

CHAP. VIII. Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of the Hearers as

such Men in particular ...................

CHAP. IX. Of the Consideration which the Speaker ought to have of himself......... 100

CHAP. X. The Different kinds of public speaking in use among the moderns, compared

with a view to their different advantages in respect of eloquence.......

Secr. I. In regard to the speaker......

........ ib.

SECT. II. In regard to the persons addressed .....

...... 106

SECT. III. In regard to the subject. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SECT. IV. In regard to the occasion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SECT. V. In regard to the end in view . . .

. .

.

. . . . . . . . 111

CHAP. XI. Of the cause of that pleasure which we receive from objects or representa-

tions that excite pity and other painful feelings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

SECT. I. The different solutions hitherto given by philosophers, examined. . . . . 117

Part I. The first hypothesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part II. The second hypothesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Part . The third hypothesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Part IV. The fourth hypothesis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

Sect. II. The Author's lıypothesis on this subject. . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

BOOK II.

THE FOUNDATIONS AND ESSENTIAL PROPERTIES OF ELOCUTION.

CHAP. I. The Nature and Characters of the use which gives law to language. . . . 141

SECT. I. Reputable use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

SECT. II. National use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

SECT. III. Present use. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

CHAP. II. The Nature and use of Verbal Criticism, with its principal canons..

Sect. I. Good use not always uniform in her decisions. . . .

Canon the first. . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Canon the second. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Canon the third. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . 159

Canon the fourth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ib.

Canon the fifth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

SECT. II. Every thing favoured by good use, not on that account worthy to be retained 161

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99

........... 103

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189

Canon the sixth.......

...... Page 163

Canon the seventh....

165

Canon the eighth.....

..... 166

Canon the ninth......

. ib.

CHAP. III. Of grammatical purity...

170

SECT. I. The barbarism ..............

171

Part I. By the use of obsolete words.....

ib.

Part II. By the use of new words........

.... 172

Part III. By the use of good words new modelled....

..... 174

SECT. II. The solecism.............................

..... 179

SECT. III. The impropriety......................

188

Part I. Impropriety in single words............................................

Part II. Impropriety in phrases...

...... .. 198

CHAP.IV. Some grammatical doubts in regard to English construction stated and examined 202

CHAP. V. Of the qualities of style strictly rhetorical...

.................... 211

CHAP. VI. Of perspicuity.....

213

.....................

SECT. I. The obscure........

214

Part I. From defect..........

ib.

Part II. From bad arrangement............

216

Part III. From using the same word in different senses...........

218

Part IV. From an uncertain reference in pronouns and relatives.

220

Part V. From too artificial a structure of the sentence.

Part VI. From technical terms................

Part VII. From long sentences.......

SECT. II. The double meaning ...

Part I. Equivocation...........

Part II. Ambiguity .........

SECT. III. The unintelligible.............

.237

Part I. From confusion of thought.......

....... 238

Part II. From affectation of excellence....

... 239

Part III. From want of meaning ....

...... 241

Under this the various kinds of nonsense,

1. The puerile.........

212

2. The learned....

243

3. The profound...........

4. The marvellous ......

CHAP. VII. What is the cause that nonsense so often escapes being detected, both by the

writer and by the reader ?............................

SECT. I. The nature and power of signs, both in speaking and in thinking.......

SECT. II. The application of the preceding principles.....................

257

CHAP VIII. The extensive usefulness of perspicuity......

265

Sect. I. When is obscurity apposite, if ever it be apposite, and what kind ?.... ib.

SECT. II. Objections answered .......

269

CHAP. IX. May there not be an excess of perspicuity ?........

BOOK III.

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THE DISCRIMINATING PROPERTIES OF ELOCUTION.

CHAP. I. Of vivacity as depending on the choice of words...........

.... 277

SECT. I. Proper terms.................................

SECT. II. Rhetorical tropes....

284

Part I. Preliminary observations concerning tropes.......

ib.

Part II. The different sorts of tropes conducive to vivacity..

289

1. The less for the more general........

290

2. The most interesting circumstances distinguished ........

291

3. Things sensible for things intelligible............

294

4. Things animate for things lifeless.........

296

Part III. The use of those tropes which are obstructive to vivacity .....

299

Sect. III. Words considered as sounds..

Part 1. What are articulate sounds capable of imitating, and in what degree ?.... 306

Part II. In what esteem ought this kind of imitation to be held, and when ought it

to be attempted ?.......................................... .......

CHAP. II. Of vivacity as depending on the number of the words...

..... 320

Sect. I. This quality explained and exemplified ..............

SECT. II. The principal offences against brevity considered....

324

Part I. Tautology .........

325

Part II. Pleonasm .......

......

Part III. Verbosity................

... ................ 329

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CHAP. III. Of vivacity as depending on the arrangement of the words................ 338

SECT. I. Of the nature of arrangement, and the principal division of sentences..... ib.

SECT. II. Simple sentences.......................................

SECT. III. Complex sentences.................................................... 35%

Part I. Subdivision of these into periods and loose sentences....................

Part II. Observations on periods, and on the use of antithesis in the composition of

sentences.................................................................... 355

Part III. Observations on loose sentences....

364

Part IV. Review of what has been deduced above in regard to arrangement....... 365

CHAP. IV. Of the connectives employed in combining the parts of a sentence....

SECT. I. Of conjunctions...................................................... 368

SECT. II. Of other connectives................

........ 373

SECT. NII. Modern languages compared with Greek and Latin, particularly in regard

to the composition of sentences........

CHAP. V. Of the connectives employed in coinbiming the sentences in a discourse..... 325

SECT. I. The necessity of connectives for this purpose.....

...... ib.

SECT. II. Observations on the manner of using the connectives in combining sentences 380

.


367

........ 380

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