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his Philosophy of Rhetoric.” No writer has yet excelled Dr. Blair, in luminous views of the Harmony of Periods;" and these views we have embodied in this Gram


In BOOK FOURTH, the principal " Rhetorical Figures are treated at great length, and illustrated by copious examples, without, however, encumbering the mind of the pupil with catalogues from the ancient critics, of other figures, partly grammatical and partly rhetorical, which would have furnished little instruction, and less amusement. For it is, perhaps, not the least task on the part of the instructors of youth, to render their precepts engaging, by vivacity of inaagination, and the charms of genuine ornament. This, however, is an inferior merit, when compared with the chasteness and morality which should distinguish examples and illustrations selected for youth. The principles of virtue and honour, of delicacy and refined taste, are, it is hoped, inculcated throughout these examples, with that assiduity which will entitle the Author to the humble reputation of having laboured to improve, in those for whom he wrote, the important habits of a religious education.

In BOOK FIFTH, the NATURE OF TASTE, and the SOURCES OF ITS PLEASURES, compiled partly from Dr. Blair's Lectures, partly from Lord Kames's Elements of Criticism, and agreeably to Alison's " Essays on Taste," have been set in such lights, as may enable the youthful mind to attain some practical acquaintance with the productions of genius, in Poetry, Sculpture, or Painting. A correct perception of the excellences of composition and eloquence, is closely connected with a knowledge of the productions in the fine arts. The young student, on being made acquainted with the principles which regulate the standard of taste, so far from learning to suspend the exercise of his own judgment, is taught to investigate the grounds upon which those principles are supported, and in comparing them with the simple dictates of his own mind, to form, from the various sources which reading and reflection may afford him, the elements of rearing for himself a standard of taste, to which, in more matured life, he may refer such productions of the fine arts, or of polite literature, as fall under his observation.

BOOK SIXTH, appropriated to the general characters of style, treats, first, of the diffuse and concise styles of composition; secondly, of the dry, plain, neat, elegant, and flowing styles ; thirdly, of the simple, affected, and vehement styles; and then gives directions for forming style. Of what importance the illustrations and examples of these several styles must be in the composition of themes, it is superfluous here to speak. The remaining chapters of Book VI. are devoted to “ The Conduct of a Discourse ir all its Parts ;"—to “ Historical Writing, "_" Annals," Memoirs,”—“ Biography,”—Philosophical Writing," _" Dialogue,” and “ Epistolary Correspondence.”

In BOOK SEVENTH, the origin and different kinds of Poetry are handled more with a view to form the pupil's taste for the study of Poetry, than to inspire him with the thirst of reaping fame in the doubtful field of poetic composition. Yet, to those whose genius may lead them that way, the principles of poetic composition, of its several styles, and of the ornaments which it admits, cannot fail to prove useful.

The conclusion of the work treats of pronunciation, or delivery, as it respects, chiefly, public speaking; and here, as in Book VI. and VII., the labours of the Author's predecessors have chiefly furnished principles and illustrations.

London, August 24, 1818.






CHAPTER II.-The Nature and Character of the Use which

gives Law to Language


Language mainly a Species of Fashion..


Use, or the Custom of Speaking, the sole original Standard of

Conversation, as far as respects the Expression; and the Cus-

tom of Writing the chief Standard of Style


Reputable Use




Authors of Reputation


National Use


The English Language, properly so called


Professional Dialects.


National Use, as opposed to Foreign


Present Use


CHAPTER III.—The Nature and Use of verbal Criticism, with

its principal Rules or Canons, by which, in all our Decisions,

we ought to be directed


Good Use


The divided Use


Canon the First, when Use is divided as to any particular Word

or Phrase


Canon the Second. In doabtful Cases, regard ought to be had,

in our Decisions, to the Analogy of the Language


Canon the Third, prefers what is most agreeable to the Ear 57

Canon the Fourth, allows Simplicity to determine our Choice.... 58

Canon the Fifth, prefers what is most conformable to ancient



Every Thing favoured by good Use, is not, on that Account, worthy

to be retained


Canon the Sixth, points out such Words and Phrases as merit



Criteria, by which we may discriminate the objectionable Words

from all others


Canon the Seventh, points to Words that require dismission. 61

Canon the Eighth, respects Words become obsolete


Canon the Ninth, enables us to detect Solecisms and idiomatical



Canon the Tenth, regards the Suppression of a significant Term,

which hath come into good Use


CHAPTER IV. Of Grammatical Purity


Pure English Composition


The Reproach of Barbarism may be incurred in three different

Ways : 1st, By the Use of Words entirely obsolete ; 2dly, By

the Use of Words entirely new; or, 3dly, By new Forma-

tions and Compositions from simple and primitive Words in pre-

sent Use..


By the Use of obsolete Words..


The Use of new Words inundates a Language


By the Use of good Words new modelled


The Solecism..


The Impropriety


Of Improprieties arising from a Similitude in Sense


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