Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

THE

PREFACE.

T

HE Ingenious and Reverend Mr ANTHONY BLACKWALL feveral years fince favoured the world with a Treatife, intitled, An Introduction to the Claffics, the fecond part of which contains a Difsertation on the Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric; and fince his publication, Dr JOHN WARD's Syftem of Oratory has been printed, in which there is a particular and judicious confideration of the fame fubjects.

But yet these Writers have not fo entirely gathered the harvest of Rhetoric, as not to leave behind them large fheaves, with which a fucceffor might fill his bofom, and confiderably contribute to the knowledge and entertainment of fuch perfons, who may be defirous of further acquifitions from this very valuable and delightful field of polite literature.

In this fervice the Author of the following fheets has employed his attention and diligence, and has made his researches into ARISTOTLE, CICERO, DIONYSIUS HALICARNASSENSIS, HORACE, SENECA, QUINTILIAN, LONGINUS, HERMOGENES, DIONYSIUS PHALEREUS, and TIBERIUS RHETOR, among the ancients; and into VIDA, CAUSSINUS, GLASSIUS, VOSSIUS, FENELON, ROLLIN, TRAPP, ADDISON, POPE, MELMOTH, SPENCE, and LoWTH, among the moderns.

To thefe Critics he has endeavoured to hold the burning-glafs, and collect the rays, which they have feverally diffused, that they might fhine together in a fingle volume upon the Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric.

A 4

The

The Author of the ensuing Treatife has also beer very liberal in his quotations from the moft celebrated Writers both ancient and modern, of fuitable, and, as they appeared to his judgment, lively and beautiful examples of the several Tropes and Figures upon which he has treated.

As bees, wide-wand'ring thro' the bloffom'd groves,
Freely extract whatever sweets they find;
So we each golden fentiment felect,
T'enrich and dignify our humble page

If the quotations fhould feem profufe, or more than were needful for the Author's purpofe, his apology muft be, that it was difficult for him to deny the infertion of appo-, fite and elegant paffages from Writers of the first reputation; that these paffages may enliven, as well as embellish his Work; and that young perfons, and efpecially fuch who are candidates for the learned profeffions, may, by the citations of fome of the bold and animated Tropes and Figures from the most eminent Authors, both in profe and verse, catch something of their flame, or at least be allured to a more intimate acquaintance with their Works, and especially with the Orations of DEMOSTHENES and CICERO, those diftinguished monuments of the powers of human genius, and which, through all the revolutions of time, will challenge the honours and admiration of mankind.

Next to the famous Orators repair,
Those ancient, whofe refiftlefs eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratie,
Shook th' arfenal, and fulmin'd over Greece,
Ta Macedon and ARTAXERXES' throne t.
Flotiferis ut apes in faltibus omnia fimant,
Omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta.
LUCRET. lib. iii. ver. 11,
MILTON'S Paradife Regained, book iv. line 267.

[ocr errors]

Among the Writings to which the Author has been obliged for pertinent and striking inftances of the Tropes and Figures, he owns himself largely indebted to the facred Scriptures; thofe facred Scriptures, which, while he reveres as the Oracles of GOD, graciously communicated for the inftruction and advantage of mankind in their highest and everlasting interefts, fo he alfo admires, as containing in immenfe variety the moft beautiful flowers, and the most auguft fublimitics of RHETORIC. And not only has he ingrafted great numbers of them into his Work, but he has allo taken the liberty to descant upon several of them, that they might appear in their undiminished excellence and glory.

But after all the obligations the Author of the following pages acknowledges himself to lie under to Writers ancient and modern, Critics, Orators, and Poets, he makes himself refponfible for many difquifitions and ftrictures in the courfe of his Work; and as he has not fpared his pains to collect remarks and obfervations from others, fo he has been far from being defective in his How fuccefsful he has been in his attempts, muft be left with his Readers to determine.

own.

He thinks it not improper to mention, that the tranflations of the paffages from the Greek and Latin Writers he has cited are to be afcribed to himself; and that he is certain, he has hereby fecured this advantage, if there fhould be no other refulting from his labour, that the examples he has produced from thofe Authors are not imperfectly reprefented, as they might have been by tranflators, who had not the inducements of the Rhetorician, to preferve exact and inviolable the Trope or Figure contained in particular words or fentences.

The

The Reader will alfo find a Verfification of the feveral Tropes and Figures, with fuitable, and, under fome of them, various inftances. As they appear in verse, they may be the more easily committed to memory, where they will lie ready for immediate recollection and ufe upon all occafions.

I might here enter upon a general furvey of the excellency and powers of RHETORIC, and largely fhew that its Tropes and Figures are the beauty, the nerves, the life, and foul of Oratory * and Poefy, and that

they

What flatness and languor will unavoidably overspread orations deftitute of Tropes and Figures, and, on the other hand, what amazing spirit and ardor RHETORIC is capable of infufing into our fpeeches, we may learn from the following paffage in CICERO's first Catilinarian.

The Orator attacks in perfon, and before the fenate, the wicked and horrible CATILINE, who defigned nothing lefs than the burning of Rome, and the flaughter of its citizens, and yet at that very juncture dared to take his place in the fenatehoufe. The beginning of the fpeech, ftripped of its Figures, while the fenfe is inviolably preferved, will run in this manner.

"You a long time abuse our patience, CATILINE. Your madness a great while eludes us. We are long infulted by 66 your boundlefs rage. Neither the nocturnal guards of the

palace, nor the watch of the city, nor the general confterna"tion, nor the unanimous confent of the virtuous among us, "nor our affembly in this ftrongly fortified place, nor the

countenances and looks of thefe fathers of Rome, feem to make any impreffion upon you. Your counfels are difco"vered. You see the whole fenate is fully convinced of your "plot. None of us are ignorant what you did last night, "and the night before; at what place you was, what perfons "you convened together, and what meafures were concerted. These are fad times; the age is very corrupt, that the fe

"nate

[ocr errors]

they therefore deferve our first regard and conftant cultivation; or I might trace its improvements from the time of ARISTOTLE to the prefent age, and diftinctly confider the feveral Writers upon the fubject; or I might entreat the candor of the Public to the defects and blemishes that may be too vifible in my Work,

from

"nate should understand this, that the Conful should see this, "and yet that this traitor fhould live, should even appear now "in the fenate, and share in our public councils, while his eyes "mark every one of us for destruction."

May I not fay of this paffage, thus divested of its rhetorical Figures, as MILTON does of the rebellious angels, before the omnipotent thunders and terrors of the MESSIAH expelling them from heaven;

[ocr errors]

Exhausted, spiritlefs, afflicted, fall'n?

But what an inimitable vehemence and force do we find in the very fame paffage, as it appears clothed by the Orator with the Erotefis, Ecphonefis, and Epanaphora?

"How long will you abuse our patience, CATILINE? How "long fhall your madness elude us? How long are we to be "infulted by your boundless rage? Does not the nocturnal guard of the palace; does not the watch of the city; does "not the general confternation; does not the unanimous con"fent of the virtuous; does not our affembling in this strongly "fortified place; do not the countenances and looks of these "fathers of Rome, make any impreffion upon you? Are you "not fenfible that your counfels are discovered? Do you not "fee that the whole fenate is fully convinced of your plot? "Who among us do you imagine is ignorant of what you "the last night, and the night before; at what place you was, "what perfons you convened together, and what measures "were concerted? O times! O manners! The fenate un“derstands this, the Conful fees this, and yet this traitor "lives. Lives! He even appears now in the fenate, shares in "our public councils, and with his eyes marks out every one " of us for destruction."

did

68

« PoprzedniaDalej »