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A man in hafte, or under the power of some passion, will naturally omit fome words, that he may deliver his message as quick as possible, or that he may instantly relieve his mind which is impatient of all delay. And a man that is desirous that he may entirely and fully communicate what he feels or means himself to others, will 'naturally deliver himself with a kind of slow deliberation, and take that his ideas are imparted distinct and feparate, rather than in a throng or cluster.
16 The Afyndeton," fays the learned Doctor WARD, « leaves out the connecting particles, to repre“ fent either the celerity of an action, or the “ haste and eagerness of the fpeaker: and the
Polyfyndeton adds a weight and gravity to an “ expression, and makes what is said to appear “ with an air of folemnity; and, by retarding “ the course of the sentence, gives the mind an s opportunity to consider and reflect upon every
part distinctly t."
+ Ward's System of Oratory, vol. ii. p. 50, 55.
$ 1. Oxymoron defined. 2. Examples of it in
common, familiar conversation. § 3. Instances of this Figure from BARROW, Davies, AddiSON, Pope, Young, and Horace. $ 4. Infiances from Scripture. 5. Remarks and cautions as to the Oxymoron.
f!. Xymoron * is a Figure in which the
parts of a period or sentence disagree in sound, but perfe&tly accord with one another in meaning; or, if I may so call it, it is senfe in the masquerade of folly.
$ 2. We may find instances of this kind in the common language of mankind, or that may appear very easy and natural in familiar converfation. A coward dies often, a brave man but once. He is a living death, said of a man in a confumption, or of a malefactor under condemnation. An idiot or a madman is his own grave.
From of us, foars, and pawg, foolish; or ingenuity under the appearance of folly.
No one poorer than that rich man, or he is only a rich beggar, spoken' of a wealthy miser. An hoary-beaded child, the character of a foolish, libidinous old inan. So a Christian may be faid, never to be lefs alone, than when alone, because he then converses with his God. Such a man is unreasonably reasonable, that is, he does not so readily as he ought submit himself to divine sovereignty, but will ever be prying into the reasons of the divine conduct, when God has evidently seen fit impenetrably to conceal them. He is unmercifully merciful; by which character we inean a Prince who does not punish flagitious offenders, in such a manner, as a wise regard to the general good of his subjects requires. And thus we may call the afflictions of a good man, according to that blessed view in which the Scripture represents them, salutary wounds, bealthful diseases, bappy pains, profitable losses, bitter sweets, and _exalting abasements.
§ 3. We may meet with examples of the Oxymoron in some of the finest Writers. - No con“ dition, says Dr Barrow, in effect, can be evil, or fad to a pious man;
his very sorrows are pleasant, his infirmities are wholsome, his “ wants enrich him, his disgraces adorn him t." “ Alas! says Mr Davies, while you are neglect“ ing the one thing needful, what are you do
ing, + Sermon on the Profitableness of Godliness, vol. I. p. 17. Folio edition.
ing, but spending your time and labour in la“ borious idleness, honourably debasing your“ selves, delightfully tormenting yourselves,
wisely befooling yourselves, and frugally impoverishing, and ruining yourselves for ever *."
May we not range under this Figure the last of the following lines of Mr Addison?
Remember what our father oft has told us :
May we not also ascribe to this Figure the following verses of Mr Pope ?
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
Has not Dr YOUNG exemplified the Oxymcrow, when he says,
How poor, how rich, how abject, how auguft,
How • DAVIES's Sermons, vol.ii. page 376. + Addison's Works, vol. ii. page 25. Octavo edition.
Elay on Man, epist. i. line 289.
How passing wonder He, who made him such!
wanders up and down, surpris'd, aghaft,
But there is no Oxymoron that occurs to my mind, so bold and grand as that in Dr Young's piece, intitled, Resignation :
Not angels (hear it, and exult !)
Enjoy a larger thare
His care for all was thrown;
And • Young's Night Thoughis, book i, line 67.