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ways repaid for his trouble. If correction do not suggest to him the materials of a discourse, it, at least, points out expressions unworthy of the pulpit, which sometimes escape in the ardour of composition ; and this, doubtless, is a valuable advantage in a style wherein we apprehend, justly enough, that one bad word doth oftentimes more injury, than a weak argument.
Correction suggests to the Orator appropriate expressions which render his ideas more striking, and his sentiments more impassioned. In the
same manner,' says Cicero, as clothes, at first ' invented through necessity, have afterwards become ornamental to the human body, so words, created by necessity, impart also beauty to discourse.'
The value of well placed expressions is so striking in the art of Oratory, that the eloquence of a passage sometimes depends upon a single word. Take an example which is deserving of admiration. I select it from an excellent discourse, which the Cardinal de Rohan, Grand Almoner of France, pronounced upon presenting the body of Louis XIV. at the Abbey of St.
• This Lima Labor, must be submitted to by all who would communicate their thoughts with proper advantage to others; and some practice in it will soon sharpen their eye ' to the most necessary objects of attention, and render it a • much more easy and practicable work than might at first • be imagined."-BLAIR's Lectures, vol. 1. p. 404.
Dennis. “The Prince, whose loss we mourn, • leaves, it is true, names celebrated upon earth; . and posterity the most remote, will, like us, admire Louis the Great, the Just, the Con· queror, the Pacific, the Friend of Learning, and the Protector of Kings.'
Had the Cardinal de Rohan said, that this Monarch left
earth a celebrated name, his expression would have been very common; but the same phrase put in the plural, while speaking only of one man, and the enumeration of the several titles of glory of Louis XIV. which at once justifies this bold ascription, appear to me a sublime stroke.
Massillon knew also this secret of the art.
In his writings, a word, which seemed to declare a paradox, often expressed a new thought, and a very weighty and just idea. Such is that admirable Apostrophe, which we read in his sermon,
on the mixture of the righteous and the wicked.' 'Ye great ones of the earth! the in
nocent pleasure of sincerity, without which there is nothing agreeable in the commerce of 'mankind, is denied you, and ye have no mora * friends, because it is too beneficial to be one."
AM fond,' says Montaigne,“ of words cor
responding with the thought.” But, to represent an idea in all its energy, the vulgar expression is frequently insufficient, and then the Metaphor becomes the proper word in rhetorical language.
It is essential to the two objects of which a Metaphor is composed, that their relation to each other be obvious, and that they may be marked by no striking dissimilitude.
Eloquence could not exist without this language of imagination. "Speech,' says Cicero,
ought equally to strike the mind and senses of all men.'* Now, the senses are not moved but by the liveliness of images. Nature herself, which is the original model of art, suggests the most expressive images to savages, to infants, and to the meanest ranks of people, when they are governed by a strong passion.
Oratio hominum sensibus et mentibus accommodata.
De Orat. 12. 55.
DUMARSAIS hath judiciously observed, that more tropes were made use of in the markets, * than in the academies. It is true, those popular Metaphors are often very inaccurate, and a writer ought to express them with exactness, when he means to admit them into elevated language.
That absurd medly of Balthasar Gratian has been quoted with propriety, as a very striking exE ample of the abuse which may be made of figura
tive eloquence: Thoughts flow from the extensive coasts of memory, embark on the sea' of the imagination, arrive at the port of genius, to be registered at the custom-house of the understanding.'*
* Perhaps it may be no unsuitable parellel to the fantas. tical Metaphor of Balthasar Gratian, mentioned by M. Maury, to quote from the Life of Gilpin, that absurd bombast, said to have been addressed by an High Sheriff at Oxford to the students ; • Arriving,' says he, at the • Mount of St. Mary, in the stony stage where I now stand, I have brought you some fine biscuits carefully conserved for the chickens of the church, the sparrows of the spirit,
and the sweet swallows of salvation.'-GIBBON's Rhe. - toric, p. 17.
The Spectator humorously describes the abuse of figurative Eloquence, when he says, • An unskilful author shall
run Metaphors so absurdly into one another, that there * shall be no simile, no agreeable picture, no apt resemblance, but confusion, obscurity, and noise. Thus have There must, doubtless, be imagination in the manner of expression; but, above all, there must be truth and judgment.
The image is false, when there is a contradiction of terms: as in that phrase, I shall ascend
to the foundation of the Cartesian system. It is incoherent, when it describes, on one side, a physical substance, and, on the other, a moral sub
I known an hero compared to a thunderbolt, a lion, and the sea ; all and each of them proper Metaphors for im• petuosity, courage, or force; but by bad management it • hath so happened, that the thunderbolt hath overflowed • its banks, the lion hath darted through the skies, and the billows have rolled out of the Lybian desart.'
The same author presents us with the following letter, as a specimen of the enormous abuse of metaphorical ex. pression- -Sir, After the many heavy lashes that have • fallen from your pen, you may justly expect in return, all the load, that my ink can lay upon your shoulders. You “ have quartered all the foul language upon me that could • be raked out of the air of Billingsgate, without knowing who I am, or whether I deserve to be cupped and scari. fied at this rate. I tell you, once for all, turn your eyes where you please, you shall never smell me out. Do you *think that the panics which you sow about the parish will ever build a monument to your glory? No, Sir, you may fight these battles as long as you will, but when you come • to balance the account, you will find that you have been
fishing in troubled waters, and that an ignis fatuus hath bewildered you, and that indeed you have built upon a
sandy foundation, and brought your hogs to a fair market.'-SPECTATOR, No. 595.