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Among the Writings to which the Author has been ©bliged for pertinent and striking instances of the Tropes and Figures, he owns himself largely indebted to the lacred Scriptures; those sacred Scriptures, which, while he reveres as the Oracles of God, 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 undiminifhed excellence and glory. »
But aster 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 responsible for many disquisitions and strictures in the course of his Work; and as he has not spared his pains to collect remarks and observations from others, so he has been far from being defective in his own. How successful 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 several Tropes and Figures, with suitable, and, under some 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 use upon all occasions.
I might here enter upon a general survey of the expediency and powers of Rhetoric, and largely shew that its Tropes and Figures are the beauty, the nerves, the life, and soul of Oratory * and Poesy, and that
• What flatness and languor will unavoidably overspread orations destitute of Tropes and Figures, and, on the other hand, what amazing spirit and ardor Rhetor»c is capable of infusing into our speeches, we may learn from the following passage in Cicero's first Catllinartan.
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 slaughter of its citizens, and yet at that very juncture dared to take his place in the senatehouse. The beginning of the speech, stripped of its Figures, while the fense 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 rage. Neither the nocturnal guards of the •« palace, nor the watch of the city, nor the general consterna«* tion, nor the unanimous consent of the virtuous among us, *• nor our assembly in this strongly fortified place, nor the if countenances and looks of these fathers of Rome, seem to "make any impression upon you. Your counsels are disco«« vered. You see the whole senate 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 persons "you convened together, and what measures were concerted. « These are sad times; the age is very corrupt, that the se
they 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 defecta and blemishes that may be too visible in my Work,
"nate should understand this, that the Consul should fee th»j, "and yet that this traitor should live, should even appear now •• in the senate, and (hare in our public councils, while his eyei ** mark every one of us for destruction."
May I not fay of this passage, 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;
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fali'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 Erotejis, Ecfbonesis, and Epanaphora?
"How long will you abuse our patience, Catiline? How "long (hall 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"sent of the virtuous ; does not our assembling in this strongly "fortified place; do not the countenances and looks of these •« fathers of Rome, make any impression upon you? Are you '* not sensible that yoar counsels are discovered? Do you not "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 senate un» derstands this, the Consul see3 this, and yet this traitor
lives. Lives! He even appears now in the senate, (hares in "our public councils, and with his eyes marks out every one «' of us for destruction."
With a Mark upon the several Tropes and Figures,
Chap.2. An Ecphonesis, or Exclamation,