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T HE Ingenious and Reverend Mr ANTHONY
BLACKWALL several years since favoured the
world with a Treatise, intitled, An Introduction to the Classics, the second part of which contains a Differtation 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 large sheaves, with which a successor might fill his bofom, 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 shine together in a single volume upon the Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric.
The 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 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 sentiment select, . T'enrich and dignify our humble page *. If the quotations fhould feem 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, fite 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 especially such who are candidates for the learned professions, inay, by the citations of some of the bold and animated Tropes and Figures from the most eminent Authorsg both in próse and verse, catch something of their fame, or at least be allured to a more intimate acquaintance with their Works, and especially with the Orations of DEMOSTHENÉS and CICERO, those diftinguished mom numents of the powers of humani genius, and which, through all the revolutions of time, will challenge the honours and admiration of mankind.
Next to the famous Orators repairs
Ta Macedon.and AR TÀXERXES' throne f.
. Lucret. lib. iii. ver. 11. sit 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 facred 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 fola 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 spared his pains to collect remarks and observations from others, so 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 fentences.
The Reader will also find a Versification of the feveral 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 ụse upon all occasions.
I might here enter upon a general survey of the ex* cellency 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
they • What fatness and languor will unavoidably overspread orations destitute of Tropes and Figures, and, on the other hand, what amazing spirit and ardor Ruetoroc is capable of infufing 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 4 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 affembly in this strongly fortified place, nor the ás countenances and looks of these fathers of Rome, seem to • make any impreffion 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 fad times ; the age is very corrupt, that the se
fay of this parlame rebellious ang siad expelling
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 defects and blemishes that may be too visible in my Work,
from « pate should understand this, that the Consul fhould 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 destruclion."
May I not say 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, amicted, fall'n?
" How long will you abuse our patience, CATILINE ? How