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Sect. II. Men considered as endowed with imagination.

gaged. Attention is prerequisite to every effect of speaking, and without some gratification in hearing, there will be no attention, at least of any continuance. Those qualities in ideas which principally gratify the fancy, are vivacity, beauty, sublimity, novelty. Nothing contributes more to vivacity than striking resemblances in the imagery, which convey, besides, an additional pleasure of their own,

* BUT there is still a further end to be served by pleasing the imagination, than that of awakening and preserving the attention, however important this purpose alone ought to be accounted. I will not Say, with a late subtile metaphysician *, that “Belief con“sisteth in the liveliness of our ideas.” That this doctrine is erroneous, it would be quite foreign to my purpose to attempt here to evince #. Thus much however is indubitable, that belief commonly enlivens our ideas; and that lively ideas have a stronger influence than faint ideas to induce belief. But so far are these two from being coincident, that even this connexion between them, though common, is not ne– cessary. Vivacity of ideas is not alway accompanied with faith, nor is faith always able to produce vivacity. The ideas raised in my mind by the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles, or the Lear of Shakespeare, are incomparably more lively than those excited by a cold but

* The author of, A Treatise of Human Nature, in 3 vols. + If one is desirous to see a refutation of this principle, let him consult Reid's Inquiry, Ch. ii, Scot. 5.

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Sect. II. Men considered as endowed with imagination.

faithful historiographer. Yet I may give full credit to the languid narrative of the latter, though I believe not a single sentence in those tragedies. If a proof were asked of the greater vivacity in the one case than in the other (which, by the way, must be finally determined by consciousness) let these effects serve for arguments. The ideas of the poet give greater pleasure, command closer attention, operate more strongly on the passions, and are longer remembered. If these be not sufficient evidences of greater vivacity, I own I have no apprehension of the meaning which that author affixes to the term. The connexion, however, that generally subsisteth between vivacity and belief will appear less marvellous, if we reflect that there is not so great a difference between argument and illustration, as is usually imagined. The same ingenious writer says, concerning moral reasoning, that it is but a kind of comparison. The truth of this assertion any one will easily be convinced of, who considers the preceding observations on that subject.

WHERE then lies the difference between addressing the judgment, and addressing the fancy and what hath given rise to the distinction between ratiocination and imagery The following observations wiłł serve for an answer to this query. It is evident, that though the mind receives a considerable pleasure from the discovery of resemblance, no pleasure is received when the resemblance is Óf such a nature as is fami. liar to every body. Such are those resemblances which result from the specific and generic qualities of

Sect. II. Men considered as endowed with inlagiration.

ordinary objects. What gives the principal delight to the imagination, is the exhibition of a strong likeness, which escapes the notice of the generality of people. The similitude of man to man, eagle to eagle, sea to sea, or, in brief, of one individual of the same species, affects not the fancy in the least. What poet would ever think of comparing a combat between two of his heroes to a combat between other two 2 Yet no-where else will he find so strong a resemblance. Indeed, to the faculty of imagination this resemblance appears rather under the notion of identity; although it be the foundation of the strongest reasoning from experience. Again, the similarity of one species to another of the same genus, as of the lion to the tiger, of the alder to the oak, though this too be a considerable fund of argumentation, hardly strikes the fancy more than the preceding, inasmuch as the generical properties, whereof every species participates, are also obvious. But if from the experimental reasoning we descend to the analogical, we may be said to come upon a common to which reason and fancy have an equal claim. “A comparison,” says Quintilian *, “ hath almost the effect of an example.” But what are rhetorical comparisons, when brought to illustrate any point inculcated on the hearers, (what are they, I say) but arguments from analogy 2 In proof of this let us borrow an instance from the forementioned rhetorician, “Would you be convinced of the neces

* Instit. lib. v. cap. 1 1. Proximas exempli vires habet simili

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Sect. III. Men considered as endowed with memory.

“sity of education for the mind, consider of what ims “ portance culture is to the ground: the field which, “cultivated, produceth a plentiful crop of useful fruits; “if neglected, will be over-run with briars and bram“bles, and other useless or noxious weeds #.” It would be no better than trifling to point out the ar. gument couched in this passage. Now, if comparison, which is the chief, hath so great an influence upon conviction, it is no wonder that all those other oratorical tropes and figures addressed to the imagination, which are more or less nearly related to comparison, should derive hence both light and efficacy +. Even antithesis implies comparison. Simile is a comparison in epitome f. Metaphor is an allegory in miniature. Allegory and prosopopeia are comparisons conveyed under a particular form.

SECT. III.....Men considered as endowed with
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FURTHER, vivid ideas are not only more powerful than languid ideas, in commanding and preserving at

* Ibid. . Ut si animum dicas excolendum, similitudine utaris terræ, quae neglecta sentes atque dumos, exculta fructus creat.

+ Praeterea, nescia quomodo etiam credit facilius, quae audienti jucunda sunt, et voluptate ad fidem ducitur. QUINT. L. iv. c. 2.

f Similé and comparison are in common language frequently confounded. The difference is this: Similé is no more than a comparison suggested in a word or two ; as, He fought like a lion; His face shone as the sun. Comparison is a simile circumstantiated, and included in one or more separate sentences.

Vol. I. L

Sect. III. Men considered as endowed with memory.

tention, they are not only more efficacious in producing conviction, but they are also more easily retained. Those several powers, understanding, imagination, memory, and passion, are mutually subservient to one another. That it is necessary for the orator to engage the help of memory, will appear from many reasons, particularly from what was remarked above, on the fourth difference between moral reasoning and demonstrative *. It was there observed, that in the former the credibility of the fact is the sum of the evidence of all the arguments, often independent of one another, brought to support it. And though it was shewn that demonstration itself, without the assistance of this faculty, could never produce convic

tion; yet here, it must be owned, that the natural.

connexion of the several links in the chain renders the remembrance easier. Now, as nothing can operate on the mind, which is not in some respect present to it, care must be taken by the orator, that, in introducing new topics, the vestiges left by the former on the minds of the hearers, may not be effaced. it is the sense of this necessity which hath given rise to the rules of composition.

SoME will perhaps consider it as irregular, that I speak here of addressing the memory, of which no mention at all was made in the first chapter, wherein I considered the different forms of eloquence, classing them by the different faculties of the mind addressed.

* Chap. V. Sect. ii. P. 1,

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