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mentative-no finery-no affected graces-nothing introduced to tickle the ear, or amuse the fancy-but to soften prejudices, to command the passions, and carry irresistible conviction to the understanding. The Debates in our own Senate will furnish examples of this kind, in no respect inferior to the most admired productions of ancient Greece or Rome.
Speeches at the Bar are said to be of the judicial kind, and are directed to the purposes of accusation or defence -to prove or disprove a matter of fact-w establish or overturn a question of right-to settle or controvert a point of law. Perspicuity and force, fair reasoning and demonstrative evidence, would seem here to be the only essential requisites.
But however plausible those distinctions may appear, they are so far from being accurate that all the three dif ferent kinds, the demonstrative, the deliberative, and the judicial are blended together in almost every speech, and upon every subject. What are panegyrics and invectives but exhortations to virtue, and dissuasives from vice. Can any argument more powerfully tend to kindle the flame of patriotism in the bosom of a good sovereign than HUME's character of ALFRED, or to excite a stronger detestation of royal vices than the same writer's historical exposure of the cowardice, inactivity, folly, levity, licentiousness, ingratitude, treachery, tyranny, and cruelty of King JOHN? On the other hand, when we are deliberating on any subject, the necessity, for instance, of a vigorous prosecution of the war against our present enemy, shall we not draw some arguments from his character, from his treachery, his disregard of treaties, his implacable spirit of revenge, his insatiate rapacity and boundless ambition? And will not the demonstrative be thus introduced into the deliberative? Even in those speeches which are of the judicial kind, do not the demonstrative and the deliberative often form very important parts, as
when the loveliness of innocence or the deformity of guilt is to be depicted, or when the suspended opinion of the judge and the jury is to be wrought upon by the pleadings of counsel, and inclined in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant?
Thus then we see, that the boasted classification of all possible orations under three heads, and the long details of precepts and of common places annexed to each of them are at best so many ingenious frivolities, more showy than solid, more amusing than instructive. But there is another distinction founded in the nature of things, in the very essence of language, and therefore entitled to the most serious regard-I mean the distinction of three characters in good speaking, or rather of three sorts of style, the masterly command of which forms the perfect orator. The importance of this part of the subject may be easily conceived from the extraordinary pains with which CICERO has endeavoured to convey clear ideas of it. What an easy and delightful task it is to copy the observations of so great a master! But I must prefix to his remarks on style a short account of the ornaments of language both in single words, and in words as they stand connected with each other. These are what Rhetoricians make so much noise about, under the title of Tropes and Figures.
Tropes are changes in the use of words from their primitive and ordinary meaning to another signification which is not strictly proper, yet so nearly allied as to be easily understood, while it affords a new and beautiful idea. The principal tropes are five, and have distinct names assigned to them, Metaphor, Metonymy, Synecdoche, Irony, and Hyperbole. To these are added in books of rhetoric many others, which are merely pedantic subtilties, or abuses rather than ornaments of language.
A Metaphor uses a concealed likeness instead of the proper term; as when we call a courageous man a lion in
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battle, a thunderbolt of war; or when we say, a harvest of glory, a torrent of eloquence; none of which expressions is taken in its literal sense, but by an aptness of similitude, as CICERO says, conveys and transports the mind from object to object, and hurries it backwards and forwards through a pleasing variety of images-a motion, he adds, which, in its own nature, as being full of life and action, can never fail to be highly delightful*, The images, however, must neither be too bold, nor too mean; and if the metaphors be continued in more words or more sentences, which are then said to form an Allegory, strict regard must be paid to perfect consistency in all the images. This is what is called a just preservation of metaphor, without which your attempt at fine language would betray ignorance and false taste, and produce only a jumble of incoherences. Such are the faults, which QUINTILIAN SO justly censures in so many writers, who, as he says, begin their metaphor with a tempest, and end in a conflagration t. The beautiful allegory in the eightieth Psalm, where the people of Israel are represented under the image of a vine, has often been quoted as a fine example of metaphorical language. "Thou has brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it thou madest room for it; and when it had taken root, it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it; and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedar trees. She stretched out her branches unto ⚫ the sea, and her boughs unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down 'her hedge, that all they that go by pluck off her grapes? The wild boar out of the wood doth root it up; and the wild beasts of the field devour it. Turn thee again thou God of Hosts: look down from
* Orator ad Brutum.
Id imprimis est custodiendum, ut quo genere cæperis translationis hoc finias. Multi autem, cum initium a tempestate sumpserunt, incen, dio aut ruina finiunt, quæ est inconsequentia rerum tædissima.
heaven; behold and visit this vine; and the place of the vineyard that thy right hand hath planted; and the branch that thou madest so strong for thyself."
In maritime countries, and in England more, perhaps, than in any other, Poets and Orators borrow many of their metaphors, allegories, and similies, from the sea and various naval objects. Thus we speak of the winds, the waves, the boisterous elements of human passion. "There is a tide," says SHAKESPEARE
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
"Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
"Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
HORACE'S Ode to the Roman Commonwealth under the image of a ship at sea has been justly admired: yet no part of it equals in poetical beauty the following allegory in "The Bard," by GRAY:
"Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows,
While, proudly rising o'er the azure realm,
"In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,
"Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
"Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
"That hush'd in grim repose, expects his ev'ning prey."
"Metonymy employs the name of the inventor or author of the invention, or the works of either, as when we say he devotes all his leisure-hours to the Muses, i. e. to the fine arts-he is studying BLACKSTONE, i. e. that excellent writer's Commentaries on the laws of England: the cause for the effect, as Death is in his hands: the effect for the cause, as pale famine: the container for the thing contained, as, he quaffed off the poisoned bowl; with many other similar substitutions of one word for another, to which it has some obvious relation.
Synecdoche approaches very nearly to the former in several respects it takes the whole for a part, or a part for the whole; the year for any of the seasons, or any of these
for a year; a General for his Army; the Orator for his language or eloquence, &c.
Irony is a form of speech, in which the meaning is precisely the reverse of the words. Thus we affect to praise a man for his wisdom, his talents, or his virtues, when we would insinuate his total want of them all. It is the happiest form that can be assumed by genteel mockery, or fine satire, tickling, while it gently probes the woundex. What a charming Orator! Surely he is another CICERO! In speaking, the tone of voice, or some gesture commonly furnishes a key to the concealed meaning; but, in writing, some little word is introduced, to shew that we are not in earnest ; such as, no doubt,—every body must be sensible I should suppose, or some other sly expression, to prevent the words from being taken literally.
Hyperbole is not employed like Irony, in stating the very reverse of the truth, but in magnifying or diminishing it. Thus a man is said to fly swifter than the wind, or to creep along more imperceptibly than a snail: the prick of a pin is represented as a deadly wound, and the thrust of a sword as a slight scratch. Poets and orators are very fond of hyperboles; but great care must be taken, that, in heightening the image or expression, we do not carry it to extravagance.-SHAKESPEARE abounds with beautiful hyperboles.-How admirably does CASSIUS describe Cæsar's boundless power and ambition!
"Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Hear RICHARD descanting upon his deformity
"I that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,