Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

"avarice to injure and violate *" So again, "All wish, says the fame Author, to arrive at "old age; and yet when they have attained it, they are disgusted with it: fuch is the levity "and perverseness of folly †.”

VIRGIL, after he has given us a view of the difficulties and dangers of the ancestors of the Romans, makes this reflexion,

So vaft the toil to found the Roman state ‡.

MILTON represents the obduracy of the rebellious angels, upon the march of the Son of GOD against them, in the following verses;

This faw his hapless foes, but ftood obdur'd,
And to rebellious fight rallied their pow'rs
Infenfate, hope conceiving from despair;

And then the Poet adds this remark,

In heav'nly sp'rits could fuch perverseness dwell!

}

Mr COBB, in his pindaric ode, intitled, the Female Reign, occasioned by the wonderful fuccefs of the arms of Queen ANNE and her allies, has these lines :

What

* Qua ex re intelligi facile potuit, nullum effe officium tam fanctum, atque folemne, quod non avaritia comminuere, atque violare foleat. CICER. pro QUINT. n.6.

+ Quo in genere in primis eft fenectus, quam ut adipiscantur, omnes optant; eandem accufant adeptam : tanta eft inconftantia ftultitiæ atque perverfitas! CICER, de Senectute, n.2. Tante molis crat Romanam condere gentem! Eneid. lib. i. ver. 37.

[ocr errors]

What treble ruin pious ANNA brings
On falfe Electors, perjur'd Kings,
Let the twice fugitive Bavarian tell;
Who from his airy hope of better state,
By luft of fway irregularly great,
Like an apoftate angel fell.

He, by imperial favour rais'd,

In highest rank of glory blaz'd,

And had till now unrivall'd fhone

More than a King contented with his own:

But Lucifer's bold steps he trod,

Who durft affault the throne of God;

And, for contended realms of blissful light,
Gain'd the fad privilege to be

The first in folid mifery,

Monarch of hell, and woes, and endless night.

Immediately the Poet as it were fufpends his poem, to make room for the following reflexions;

Corruption of the beft is worft:

And foul ambition, like an evil wind,
Blights the fair blossoms of a noble mind;
And if a seraph fall, he's doubly curs'a.

§ 3. We fhall next produce fome instances of the Epiphonema from the facred Writings. After the account of ABIMELECH'S wickedness in slaying his father GIDEON'S fons, threescore and ten perfons, of his being wounded by a piece of a mill-ftone caft upon his head by a woman, and of his being thrust through and dying by the fword of his armour-bearer, the facred Hifto

rian fays, " Thus GOD rendered the wickedness s of ABIMELECH, which he did unto his father, " in slaying his seventy brethren *."s

So the royal Pfalmift, after he had defcribed his danger from his enemies, and his confidence in God for his deliverance, fays, "Salvation belongs unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy " people +."

58

In like manner our blefsed LORD, after he had delivered his parable of the marriage-fupper, and had represented the man that appeared without a wedding-garment, and his tremendous doom, fays, " For many are called, but few are schofen . And,

SS

After the facred Writer had told us, that Many that believed, came, and confessed, and "fhewed their deeds; and that many of them ss which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men; ss and that they counted the price of them, and ss found it fifty thousand pieces of silver;" he adds this remark, "So mightily grew the Word " of GOD, and prevailed ||."

35

$5

§ 4. As to the use of this Figure, it is evident,

(1) That it gives a variety to our discourses; and by variety attention is undoubtedly kept alive, and

* Judges ix. 56.
Matt. xxii. 14.

+ Pfalm iii. 8.

Hh

Aas xix. 18-20.

and confequently we may hope the deeper impressions by the means will be made upon our readers or auditors.

(2) The Epiphonema may be very serviceable as a kind of moral, or general improvement and ufe of the fubject we have been discoursing upon; and thus our hearers or readers may receive inftruction, and fubftantial and durable benefit.

(3) The genius or skill of the writer or speaker may be fhewn by a pertinent and ufeful Epiphonema, which, though it may naturally be deduced from our subject, yet might not be obvious to all, and fo may be an evidence of our wisdom in deriving it from our preceding dif courfe.

$5. As to directions concerning the Epiphonema, it may not be improper to observe,

(1) That it fhould not be too frequent. Should this be the cafe, our difcourfes might be liable to be cenfured as formal and affected, and too frequently checked in what should be a strong impetuous current, for the fake of fage and moral reflexions. Though the Epiphonema may diversify our fpeeches or compositions, yet, by being too often used, we may abate our force, and reftrain that fire, which after all is the orator's or writer's beft recommendation, and fuprême glory.

(2) Our reflexions fhould not only contain fome plain and evident truth, but should also naturally spring from the difcourfe from whence we

derive them from, otherwise we may render our design in making them abortive and vain.

(3) Let our Epiphonemas, in general at least, be short. Let them be like mafsy, weighty bullion, instead of being expanded into a vast amplification, while their ideas by the means become jejune and languid. Remarks upon what we have faid, fhould, like an arrow or thunderbolt, ftrike at once; and fuccefs is to be expected from compacted force, rather than a weak and fubtile diffusion.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »