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gures vanish; but let never fo much alteration be made as to the words in Figures of fentiment, the Figures will still continue; for as the Figures reft upon the ideas, it is impossible that they fhould be destroyed by a mutation of language *. The firft clafs of Figures is only the body, the laft is the very foul of our compositions t•
§ 4. As to the necefsity and use of Figures, Ifhall only for the present transiently obferve, that they are of great férvice to animate, adorn, entertain, and illustrate. "It is of great importance, fays "the ingenious Mr ROLLIN, to make youth ob66' ferve, in reading good Authors, the ufe which
true eloquence makes of Figures, and the as"siftance it draws from them, not only to please, "but to perfuade, and move the affections ; "and that without them exprefsion is weak, and “falls into a kind of monotony, and is almoft "like a body without a foul t." QUINTILIAN gives a very just idea of the power of Figures by a very natural comparison; "The Statuary's art, fays he, is very little feen in an upright body, "when
Formantur autem & verba & fententiæ pœne innumerabiles, quod fatis fcio notum effe vobis; fed inter conformationem verborum & fententiarum hoc intereft, quod verborum tollitur, fi verba mutaris; fententiarum permanet, quibufconverbis uti velis, CICER. de Orat. lib. iii. p. 52. que
+ Sunt igitur Schemata feu Figuræ duplicis generis, ut à plerifque ftatuuntur, dictionis, & fententiæ. Illæ ad mate riam, ac veluti corpus orationio pertinent; hæ vero ad formam & quafi animam, hoc eft, ad fententiam. GLASS11 Philalog. Sacra, P. 1422
ROLLIN on the Belles Lettres, vol. ii. p. 141.
« when the face is made direct, when the hands "hang down, when the feet are set close toge«ther, and when a ftiff air prevails over the "whole image from head to foot. The grace"ful bending, and, as I may call it, the motion «of a statue, gives life to it. The hands are "formed in different poftures, and the counte"nance is infinitely varied. And the fame beauty "and pleafure which strike us in the works of "the Statuary, ftrike us alfo in the Figures of "the Rhetorician +.'
§ 5. Before I finish my difcourfe on the general nature of Figures, I fhall give a few directions as to the proper management of them.
(1) Let our difcourfes be founded upon reafon, and let us establish every thing we advance with folid and convincing arguments. We are first to labour to enlighten the understanding, and inform the judgment, and then introduce our Figures to affect and engage the pafsions, and thereby fecure a complete triumph over our audience. It is a kind of infult to the reafon of a man to endeavour to excite his passions, before he is fatisfied of the truth and juftice of our de caufe;
+ Nam reati quidem corporis vel minima gratia eft." Neque enim adversa fit facies, & demiffa brachia, & juncti pedes," & à fummis ad ima rigens corpus. Flexus ille, &, ut fic dixerim, motus dat actum quendam effectis. Ideo nec ad onom modum formatæ manus, & în vultu mille fpecies Quam : quidem gratiam & delectationem afferunt Figutæ, quæque in fenfibus, quæque in verbis funt. QUINTIL. lib.i. cap. 14.
caufe; but when he is once thoroughly convinced by the clear light of argument, he is prepared to catch the flame, and our eloquence and pathetic addrefs, which consift fo much in the ufe of Figures, will scarce fail to have a commanding efficacy and prevalence over his foul, at least this is the proper place for employing them.
(2) Let us be fparing in the ufe of Figures. We fhould not needlefsly multiply them, and teem in our difcourfes over-wrought, and, as I might fay, encumbered with Figures, as if we had fet ourselves in the vain-glory of our hearts to difplay all the riches of our imagination, while we fhould be inftructing our hearers, and making a rational progrefs towards the conqueft of their pafsions. Never let our Figures have place in our arguments, except for illustration. Let our reafoning be clear and concife, and as void of rhetorical embellishment as pofsible. Never let us hide or difguife the chain of truth by the pomp of Rhetoric, or varnish our difcourfes with fuch kind of ornaments as we fee in the windows of Gothic cathedrals, whofe gaudy paintings injure the pure light of the day, which would otherwife be tranfmitted in a gentle and unsullied luftre. And Figures, even in their proper situation, as a reinforcement to reafon and evidence, fhould not in general be lavishly expended, but discreetly and moderately used; "for, as Mr BLACKWALL "well obferves, a passion defcribed in a multi<tude of words, and carried on to a dispropor
tionate length, fails of the end proposed, and extires inftead of pleasing. Contract your force, fays that ingenious Writer, into a moderate compass, and be nervous rather than copious. But if at any time there be occasion for you to indulge a copioufnefs of ftile, beware it does not run into loofenefs and luxu"riance *.” "An Author, fays the Arch* bishop of CAMBRAY, is not fatisfied with plain “ reason, native graces, and lively fentiments, which are the true perfection of a discourse. *Self-love makes him overfhoot the mark.
They who have a juft tafte, avoid excefs in Sievery thing even in wit itfelf. He fhews [most wit who knows when to check its fallies, 35 that he may adapt himself to peoples capaci Stigs, and fmooth the way for them. --- I would
havena i fublime fo familiar, fo fweet, and fo Sisimple, that at firft every Reader would be apt
to think he could easily have hit on it himself, though few are capable of attaining it t."
3) Let not our Figures be too much adorned and refined into too nice an exactness. The lefs art the better. And it becomes an Orator, even when he employs it, to conceal it as much as pofsible, that he may not appear ambitious to make a parade of his abilities, when he should Inflame the pafsions; and may not be neglected and traduced as a trifler, when he is treating upon
BLACKWALL'S Introduction to the Claffics, page 187,
Letter to the French Academy, p. 247, 248.
upon momentous, and interefting fubjects Let us feel our fubject in all its importance let it glow, like a living coal, at our hearts; and dee the Figures we make use of be as it were the powerful and fpontaneous flanges of this internal fire. Nature and vehement fenfation will admit of no affectation or artifice; and there is as much difference between the Orator who nicely adjufts his fentences, and delicately contrives and polifhes his Figures, and the Orator who speaks in the pathos and transport of his foul, as there is between a painted flame and a real conflagration, or between an artificial fountain spouting up its little ftreams into the air, and the ftrong majestic cur rent of a river haftening to pour its ample trea fures into the ocean. When a perfon is powerfully possessed with the passion he would infpire into others, he delivers himself with spirit and energy; he naturally breaks out into lively and bold figures, and all the fuitable exprefsions of a ftrong and commanding eloquence. I have admired that paragraph (not wholly foreign to our purpose) in Mr POPE's Preface to his transla tion of HOMER'S Iliad; though perhaps the characters of the feveral great Writers he inftances are not perfectly juft. In the passage we may both obferve the great excellency of a Writer, I mean this internal ardor, and how Mr POPE,, in his various defcriptions of feveral Authors, has beautifully exemplified the very excellency he describes.. “ It is remarkable, fays he, that
"HOMER'S fancy, which is every where vigo