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PHILOSOPHY OF RHETORIC.
GEORGE CAMPBELL. D.D. F.R.S. Edin.
PRINCIPAL OF THE MARISCHAL COLLEGE, ABERDEEN.
Certo sciant homines, artes inveniendi solidas et veras adolescere et incrementa sumere cum
Bac. De Augm. Scient. l. v. c. 3.
THERE are several reasons which have induced the author of the following sheets to give the public some account of their origin and progress, previously to their coming under its examination. They are a series of Essays closely connected with one another, and written on a subject, in the examination of which, he has at intervals employed himself for a considerable part of his life. Considered separately, each may justly be termed a whole, and complete in itself; taken together, they are constituent parts of one work. The author entered on this inquiry as early as the year 1750; and it was then that the two first chapters of the first book were composed. These he intended as a sort of groundwork to the whole. And the judicious reader will perceive, that, in raising the superstructure, he has entirely conformed to the plan there delineated. That first outline he showed soon after to several of his acquaintance, some of whom are still living. In the year 1757, it was read to a private literary society, of which the author had the honour to be a member. It was a difference in his situation at that time, and his connexion with the gentlemen of that society, some of whom have since honourably distinguished themselves in the republic of letters, that induced him to resume a subject, which he had so long laid aside. The three following years all the other chapters of that book, except the third, the sixth, and the tenth, which have been but lately added, (rather as illustrations and confirmations of some parts of the work, than as essential to it, were composed, and submitted to the judgment of the same ingenious friends. All that follows on the subject of Elocution hath also undergone the same review. Nor has there been any material alteration made on these, or any addition to them, except in a few instances of notes, examples, and verbal corrections, since they were composed.