ページの画像
PDF
ePub

almost the only significant words which we have for such ideas.

MURRAY.

The melody of a language depends greatly upon its vowel terminations. In English not more than a dozen common words end in a; about two dozen end in 0. In y we have no less than 4,900 words, about an eighth part of our language ; our words amounting to about 39,000.

HERON'S LETTERS.

ON ELOQUENCE.

ELOQUENCE is the art of speaking and writing with elegance and dignity, in order to please, instruct, and persuade. ELEGANCE consists in the purity and perspicuity of language. Purity may be acquired by studying authors of established reputation, conversing with the best company, and by the frequent practice of composition. PERSPICUITY consists in making

use of clear and intelligible expressions, in avoiding ambiguous words, affected brevity, long and perplexed periods, and confused metaphors. If a composition be perspicuous, the sense of it will strike the mind, in the same manner as the light of the sun does the eyes, even if you do not look attentively at the sun itself. DigNITY arises from sublime thoughts, and noble and elevated tropes and figures.

It may be thought unreasonable to fetter the mind by systems, and to restrain the flights of eloquence by rules. But it is evident, from experience and observation, that rules may greatly assist genius, provided they point out the right road, without confining the learner to a single track, from which he is told it is unlawful to deviate. They are undoubtedly necessary, before practice gives that ease which may enable him to trust his own well regulated exertions, and to proceed without a guide.

KETT'S ELEMENTS, VOL. I. P. 192.

AA

THE

PRINCIPAL FIGURES OF SPEECH

BRIEFLY EXPLAINED AND ILLUSTRATED,

IN PROSE AND VERSE.

The prose explanations extracted, partly, from Kett's

Elements.

The most common, and the most beautiful of tropes, is the METAPHOR. It combines one idea with another which resembles it in some particular, for the sake of making a more lively and forcible impression on the mind. Thus the Psalmist

« 前へ次へ »