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P R E F A C E.
HE Ingenious and Reverend Mr ANTHONY
BLACKWALL several years since favoured the
world with a Treatise, intitled, An Introduction to the Clasics, the second part of which contains a Dirsertation on the Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric ; and since his publication, Dr JOHN WARD's System of Oratory has been printed, in which there is a particular and judicious consideration of the same subjects.
But yet these Writers have not so entirely gathered the harvest of Rhetoric, as not to leave behind them l'arge leaves, with which a successor might fill his bosom, and considerably contribute to the knowledge and entertainment of such persons, who may be defirous of further acquisitions from this very valuable and delightful field of polite literature,
In this service the Author of the following sheets 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 these Critics he has endeavoured to hold the burning-glass, and collect the rays, which they have severally diffused, that they might thine together in a single volume upon the Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric. A4
The Author of the ensuing Treatise has also beeri very liberal in his quotations from the most celebrated Writers both ancient and modern, of suitable, and, as they appeared to his judgment, lively and beautiful ex. amples of the several Tropes and Figures upon which he has treated.
As bees, wide-wand'ring thro’ the blofom'd groves,
T'enrich and dignify our humble page * If the quotations fhould seem profuse, or more than were needful for the Author's purpose, his apology must be, that it was difficult for him to deny the insertion of appo-, fîte and elegant passages from Writers of the first reputation; that these passages may enliven, as well as embellish his Work; and that young persons, and espe.. çially such who are candidates for the learned profesions, inay, by the citations of some 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 humani genius, and which, through all the revolutions of time, will challenge she honours and admiration of mankind.
Next to the famous Orators repair,
Ta Macedon and AR TÁXÉRXES throne
Lucrer. lib. iii. ver. 11. Milton's Paradise Regained, book iv. line 267.
Among the Writings to which the Author has been obliged for pertinent and Atriking instances of the Tropes and Figures, he owns himself largely indebted to the sacred Scriptures; those facred Scriptures, which, while he reveres as the Oracles of Gov, graciously communicated for the instruction and advantage of mankind in their highest and everlasting interests, so he also admires, as containing in immense variety the most beautiful flowers, and the most august sublimities of Rhetoric. And not only has he ingrafted great numbers of them into his Work, but he has also 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 fole lowing pages acknowledges himself to lie under to Writers ancient and modern, Critics, Orators, and Poets, he makes himself responsible for many disquisitions and ftrictures in the course of his Work; and as he has not (pared his pains to collect remarks and observations from others, fo he has been far from being defective in his own.
How fuccessful he has been in his attempts, must be left with his Readers to determine.
He thinks it not improper to mention, that the translations of the passages from the Greek and Latin Writers he has cited are to be ascribed to himself; and that he is certain, he has hereby secured this advantage, if there should be no other resulting from his labour, that the examples he has produced from those Authors are not imperfectly represented, as they might have been by translators, who had not the inducements of the Rhetorician, to preserve exact and inviolable the Trope or Figure contained in particular words or sentences.
The Reader will also find a Versification of the feveral Tropes and Figures, with suitable, and, under fome of them, various instances. As they appear in verse, they may be the more easily committed to memory, where they will lie ready for immediate recollection and
I might here enter upon a general survey of the excellency and powers of Rhetoric, and largely thew that its Tropes and Figures are the beauty, the nerves, the life, and soul of Oratory * and Poesy, and that
they . What Alatness and languor will unavoidably overspread orations deftitute of Tropes and Figures, and, on the other hand, what amazing spirit and ardor Ruetorc is capable of infui. ing into our speeches, we may learn from the following passage in Cicero's first Catilinarian.
The Orator attacks in person, and before the senate, the wicked and horrible CATILINE, who designed nothing less than the burning of Rome, and the flaughter of its citizens, and yet at that very juncture dared to take his place in the senate. house. The beginning of the speech, stripped of its Figures, while the sense is inviolably preserved, will run in this manner.
" You a long time abuse our patience, Catiline. Your « madness a great while eludes us. We are long insulted by your boundless
Neither the nocturnal guards of the palace, nor the watch of the city, nor the general confterna. o tion, nor the unanimous consent of the virtuous among us, “nor our affembly in this strongly fortified place, nor the ás countenances and looks of these fathers of Rome, seem to “ make any impreflion upon you. Your counsels are disco«« vered. You see the whole senate is fully convinced of your they
plot. None of us are ignorant what you did last night, " and the night before ; at what place you was, what persons “ you convened together, and what measures were concerted. « These are sad times ; the age is very corrupt, that the se
therefore deserve our first regard and constant cultivation ; or I might trace its improvements from the time of ARISTOTLE to the present age, and distinctly consider the several Writers upon the subject; or I might entreat the candor of the Public to the defects and blemishes that may be too visible in my Work,
* pate should understand this, that the Consul mould see thi, " and yet that this traitor should live, should even appear now " in the senate, and share in our public councils, while his eyes " mark every one of us for destruction."
May I not say of this passage, thus divested of its rhetorical T'igures, as Milton does of the rebellious angels, before the omnipotent thunders and terrors of the Messiah expelling them from heaven;
Exhausted, spiritless, ami&ed, fall'n? But what an inimitable vehemence and force do we find in the very
fame passage, as it appears clothed by the Orator with the Erotesis, Ecpbonesis, and Epanaphora?
“ How long will you abuse our patience, CATILINE ? How " long Tall your
madness elude us ? How long are we to be “ insulted by your boundless rage? Does not the nocturnal
guard of the palace; does not the watch of the city ; does “ not the general consternation; does not the unanimous con. is sent of the virtuous ; does not our assembling in this strongly o fortified place; do not the countenances and looks of these 56 fathers of Rome, make any impression upon you? Are you • not sensible that your counsels are discovered ? Do you not o see that the whole senate is fully convinced of your plot ? • Who among us do you imagine is ignorant of what you did “ the last night, and the night before ; at what place you was, “ what persons you convened together, and what measures
were concerted ? O times ! O manners! The fenate un“ derstands this, the Consul sees this, and yet this traitor or lives. Lives ! He even appears now in the senate, shares in • our public councils, and with his eyes masks out every one « of us for destruction,"