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THE PRINCIPLES OF LANGUAGE AND STYLE,
ELEMENTS OF TASTE AND CRITICISM ;
CHIEFLY FROM THE BRITISH CLASSICS,
FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, OR PRIVATE INSTRUCTION.
BY ALEXANDER JAMIESON, LL. D.
19th Edition, stereotyped.
& co., AND GRIGG & ELLIOTT, PHILADELPHIA.
THIS Grammar of Rhetoric is designed to succeed, in the course of education, the study of English Grammar. At that period, the young student is most likely to enter with vigour upon the study of a branch of education, which has been deemed essential, in our public seminaries, to form the mind for engaging in the active concerns of life. ' It is then that he should be taught, that a minute and trifling study of words alone, and an ostentatious and deceitful display of ornament and pomp of expression, must be exploded from his compositions, if he would value substance rather than show, and good sense as the foundation of all good writing. The principles of sound reason, must then be employed to tame the impetuosity of youthful feeling, and direct the attention to simplicity, as essential to all true ornament.
· In prosecution of this plan, the Author has, throughout this work, first laid down the principles or rules of legitimate Rhetoric; he has then given popular illustrations of these principles or rules; he has next confirmed his views, in the illustrations, by appropriate examples; and, finally, as these examples, or illustrations, furnished analyses or corollaries, he has endeavoured to make them tend to the improvement of the student's good taste, and of true ornament in composition.
Rhetoricians have usually introduced their pupils to a . knowledge of their art, by some history of the origin and progress of language. Accordingly, in this volume, the Author has followed a precedent, which the world has long approved. The FIRST BOOK treats of the origin and structure of those external signs, which are used, as names, attributes, or actions of objects; or to denote the various operations of the mental faculties, with which it is our business to become acquainted.
The SECOND BOOK treats of the principles of GENERAL GRAMMAR; or, in other words, of the principles upon which philosophical grammarians have attempted to discriminate and classify the component parts of human speech, whether spoken or written. An examination of THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF THE USE WHICH GIVES LAW TO LANGUAGE, naturally followed the “ Principles of General Grammar," and led to the development of THE NATURE AND USE OF VERBAL CRITICISM, with its principal rules, or canons, by which, in all our decisions, we ought to be directed. And in this branch of the subject, the object has been to exercise the understanding and natural sensibility of the pupil, by the exhibition of what has pleased or displeased ritics, in the perusal of the best models of literary
composition. It is presumed, that young minds will thus begin to think and feel for themselves; and, by the directions they receive, acquire confidence in their own powers, of approving or disapproving whatever falls under their general reasonings, in the higher qualities of composition. True criticism will teach the student how he may escape those errors and mistakes, to which he may be exposed, either from not understanding, or froin misapplying, her established rules. But to render her assistance most effectual, the Author has dwelt very fully on the principles of GRAMMATICAL PURITY, as it respects barbarisms, solecisms, idiotisms, vulgarisms, impropriety in phrases, and as it teaches .precision of expression in speech or writing.
THE NATURE AND STRUCTURE OF SENTENCES, THE GEN
ERAL PRINCIPLES OF PERSPICUITY, AND THE HARMONY OF PERIODS, which are illustrated in BOOK THIRD, have unfolded numerous errors to be avoided in the structure of sentences, and the arrangement of single words. The qualities of Unity and STRENGTH, in the structure of sentences, have gathered around them a series of rules, which, if applied to the exercises that the pupil should be required to write, cannot fail to enlighten his mind, and govern his judgment, in the principles and practice of composition. It was, necessary, however, to show how much PERSPICUITY of LANGUAGE and STYLE contributed to the elegance of classical compositions and eloquence; and, accordingly, this mat-ter is treated precisely as Dr. Campbell has treated it, in