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The EROTESIS Confidered.
§ 1. The definition of an Erotefis. § 2. Inftances from MILTON, THOMSON, TACITUS, and CICERO. § 3. Examples from Scripture. § 4. Obfervations of QUINTILIAN, LONGINUS, and YOUNG upon this Figure. § 5. A method of discovering its excellence and power.
§ 1. Rotefis + is a Figure by which we exprefs the emotion of our minds, and infufe an ardor and energy into our discourses, by proposing questions.
2. MILTON has wonderfully heightened the fpeech of SATAN to EVE, tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit, with a crowd of interrogations, and thereby made the Serpent, if I may fo fay, more ferpentine:
She scarce had said, tho' brief; when now more bold
+ From sewraw, I ask.
Rais'd, as of fome great matter to begin.
O facred, wife, and wisdom-giving plant,
And life more perfect have attain'd than fate
For fuch a petty trespass, and not praise
Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
Or is it envy? and can envy dwell
In heav'nly breasts? These, these, and many more
They are beautiful Interrogations in the fol lowing lines:
MILTON's Paradife Loft, book ix. line 664.
Falfely luxurious, will not man awake;
They are spirited Interrogations of GERMANIcus, in his fpeech to his mutinous foldiers : "What is there in these days that is left unattempted or unprofaned by you? What name, "fhall I give to this afsembly? Shall I call you
foldiers, who have besieged with a trench, and "with your arms, the fon of your Emperor? Or "fhall I call you citizens? you who have fo fhamefully trampled upon the authority of "the fenate; you who have also violated the ¢ justice due to enemies, the fanctity of embassy, and the right of nations †?"
For is there aught in fleep can charm the wife?
The fleeting moments of too short a life?
THOMSON's Summer, line 66.
+ Quid enim per hos dies inaufum, intemeratumve vobis ? Quod nomen huic cœtui dabo? Militefne appellem? qui filium imperatoris veftri vallo, & arma circumfediftis. An cives? quibus tam projeca fenatus auctoritas; hoftium quoque jus, & facra legationis, & fas gentium rupiftis. TACIT. Annal. lib. i. 42.
How does CICERO, as it were, prefs and bear down his adversary by the force of Interrogations, when pleading for PLANCIUS, he thus addresses himself to his accufer? "Choose you any one "tribe, and inform us, as you ought, by what agent it was bribed? If you cannot, which "in my opinion you will not fo much as at"tempt, I will fhew you how he gained it. Is "this a fair conteft? Will you engage on this
footing? it is an open, honourable advance "upon you. Why are you silent? Why do you dissemble? Why do you prevaricate? I, "repeatedly insift upon this point, urge you "to it, prefs it, require it, and even demand "it of you t."
$.3. Interrogations frequently occur in Scripture, and they are used upon very different occasions.
They are used to signify our apprehensions of impofsibility: John vi. 52. The Jews therefore, "ftrove among themselves, faying, How can this ss man give us his flesh to eat? that is, it is moft abfurd to imagine it.
+ Quam tibi commodum eft, unam tribum delige tu: doce id, quod debes, per quem fequeftrem, quo divifore corrupta fit. Ego, fi id facere non potueris, quod, ut opinio mea fert, ne incipies quidem, per quem tulerit docebo. Eftne hæc vera contentio ? placetne fic agi? Non poffum magis pedem conferre, ut aiunt, aut propius accedere. Quid taces? quid diffimulas? quid tergiverfaris? Etiam atque etiam infto, atque urgeo, infector, pofco, atque adeo flagito crimen. CiCER. pro PLANC. § 19.