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Critical Examination of Mr. Addison's Style.

• A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are not capable of receiving."

The term polite is oftner applied to manners than to the imagination. The use of that instead of which is too common with Mr. Addison. Ex. cept in cases where it is necessary to avoid repetition, which is preferable to that, and is undoubtedly so in the present instance.

“ He can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue. He meets with a secret refreshment in a description ; and often feels a greater satisfaction in the prospect of fields and meadows, than another does in the pos-session. It gives him, indeed, a kind of property in every thing he sees, and makes the most rude uncultivated parts of nature administer to his pleasures : so that he looks upon the world, as it were in another light, and discovers in it a multitude of charms that conceal themselves from the generality of mankind."

This sentence is easy, flowing, and harmonious. We must, however, observe a slight inaccuracy. It gives him a kind of property-o this it there is no antecedent in the whole paragraph. To discover its connexion we must look back to the third sentence preceding, which begins with a man of a polite imagination. This phrase, polite imagination, is the only antecedent to which it can refer; and even this is not a proper antecedent, since it stands in the genitive case as the qualification only of a man.

• There are, indeed, but very few who know how to be idle and innocent, or have a relish of any pleasures that are not criminal ; every diver

Critical Examination of Mr. Addison's Style.

sion they take, is at the expense of some one virtue or another, and their very first step out of business is into vice or folly."

This sentence is truly elegant, musical and correct.

“ A man should endeavour, therefore, to make the sphere of his innocent pleasures as wide as possible, that he may retire into them with safety, and find in them such a satisfaction as a wise man would not blush to take.”

This also is a good sentence, and exposed to no objection.

“Of this nature are those of the imagination, which do not require such a bent of thought as is necessary to our more serious employments: nor, at the same time, suffer the mind to sink into that indolence and remissness which are apt to accompany our more sensual delights: but like a gentle exercise to the faculties, awaken them from sloth and idleness, without putting them upon any labour or difficulty."

The beginning of this sentence is incorrect. of this nature, says he, are those of the imagination. It niight be asked, of what nature? For the preceding sentence had not described the nature of any class of pleasures. Ile had said that it was every man's duty to make the sphere of his innocent pleasures as extensive as possible, that within this sphere he might find a safe retreat and laudable satisfaction. The transition therefore is loosely made. It would have been better if he had said, “this advantage we gain," or “ this satisfaction we enjoy,” by means of the pleasures of the imagination. The rest of the sentence is correct.

Critical Examination of Mr. Addison's Style.

“ We might here add, that the pleasures of the fancy are more conducive to healih than those of the understanding, which are worked out by dint of thinking, and attended with too violent a labour of the brain."

Working out by dint of thinking is a phrase which borders too nearly on the style of common conversation, to be admitted into polished composition.

6 Delightful scenes, whether in nature, paint. ing, or poetry, have a kindly influence on the body, as well as the mind, and not only serve to elear and brighten the imagination, but are able to disperse grief and inelancholy, and to set the animal spirits in pleasing and agreeable motions. For this reason Sir Francis Bacon, in his Essay upon Health, bas not thought it improper to prescribe to his reader a poem or a prospect, where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile disquisitions, and advises him to pursue studies that fill the mind with spendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature.”

In the latter of these two periods a member is out of its place. Where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile disquisitions ought to precede has not thought it improper to prescribe, &c.

“I have in this paper, by way of introduction, settled the notion of those pleasures of the imagination, which are the subject of my present undertaking, and endeavoured, by several considerations to recommend to my readers the pursuit of those pleasures : I shall in my next paper


examine the several sources from whence these pleasures are derived."

These two concluding sentences furnish examples of proper collocation of circumstances. We formerly showed that it is difficult so to dispose them as not to embarrass the principal subject. Had the following incidental circumstances, by way of introduction by several considerations in this paper in the next paper, been placed in any other situation, the sentence would have been neither so neat, nor so clear, as it is on the present construction.



ELOQUENCE is the art of persuasion. Its most essential requisites are solid argument, clear method, and an appearance of sincerity in the speaker, with such graces of style and utterance as command attention. Good sense must be its fonadation. Without this, no man can be truly eloquent; since fools can persuade none but fools. Before we can persuade a man of sense, we must convince him. Convincing and persuading, thougla sometimes confounded, are of very different inport. Conviction affects the understanding only; persuasion the will and the practice. It is the business of a philosopher to convince us of truth; it is that of an orator to persuade us to act conforınably to it by engaging our affections in its favour. Conviction is, however, one avenue to


the heart ; and it is that which an orator must first attempt to gain ; for no persuasion can be stable, which is not founded on conviction. But the orator must not be satisfied with convincing ; he must address himself to the passions ; he must paint to the fancy, and touch the heart. Hence, beside solid argument and clear method, all the conciliating and interesting arts of composition and pronunciation enter into the idea of Eloquence.

Eloquence may be considered as consisting of three kinds or degrees. The first and lowest is that which aims only to please the hearers. Such in general is the eloquence of panegyrics, inaugural orations, addresses to great men, and other harangues of this kind. This ornamental sort of composition may innocently amuse and entertain the mind; and may be mixed at the same time with very useful sentiments. But it must be acknowledged; that, where the speaker aims only to shine and to please, there is great danger of art being strained into ostentation, and of the composition becoming tiresome and insipid.

The second degree of Eloquence is, when the speaker aims not merely to please but also to inform, to instruct, to convince ; when his art is employed in removing prejudices against himself and his cause ; in selecting the most proper arguments, stating them with the greatest force; arranging them in the best order, expressing and delivering them with propriety and beauty: thereby disposing us to pass that judgment, or favor that side of the cause to which he seeks to bring us. Within this degree chiefly is employed : the eloquence of the bar.

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