Imatges de pÓgina

of Violence, by all possible Ways from their Body, from their Head, from their Life ; you cannot judge this to be a criminal and wicked ACtion, but at the same time you must judge that all Persons, who fall amongst Robbers and Bravoes, must either perish by their Weapons, or your Sentence. An Orator in the Heat of his Engagement, in the Vehemence of his Indignation against an insolent and unreasonable Adversary, and his earnest Concern for the Preservation of a dear Friend in Danger, exerts the utmost Power of his Eloquence, redoubles his Strokes, and eagerly pushes on all his Advantages.

12. CIRCUMLOCUTION, Periphrafis, uses more, and sometimes less plain Words, to avoid fome Inconvenience and ill Effects, which would proceed from expressing a Thing in fewer ar:d plainer Words.


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When Tully * could not deny the Death of Clodius, and was defending Milo charged with his Murder, he fays, Milo's Servants, without the Command, Knowledge, or Presence of their Master, did what every Mafter would expect his Servants should do in the like Cafe. He avoids the Word kill'd or stabb’d, for fear of offending the People. This Method of treating a Subject gives the Audience a good Opinion of the Prudence and Modesty of the Pleader : One unguarded and distasteful Word, has sometimes lost the Speaker the Fa. vour of the Audience, before wellinclin'd to him ; and ruin'd a promising Cause. After Homer, in his fourteenth Iliad ||, has represented Jupiter extremely infiam'd with Love for Juno, and rerir’d to sleep in her Arms; he, with wonderful Address and Decency, diverts the Imagination of the Reader from following them into their awful Privacies; and amuses him, by describing Nature at that time in a very gay Humour. He feigns the Earth producing a new Crop of Hyacinth and Crocus, and forms a golden Cloud diftilling ambrosialDew.

* Orat. pro Mil. G. 6. p. 316. l Ver. 347, &c. K 6


Very often Circumlocution is us’d, not merely out of Prudence or Neceflity to conceal a Secret, or cover an Indecency; but for Variety and Ornament, to give Pomp and Dignity to our Expressions, to inrich a Discourse with new Thoughts, and to multiply the Graces of a Description :

The Night's bright Empress, in her golden Car, Darting full Glories from her lovely Face, Kindles fresh Beauties in the Eye of Hesper.

Which Lines, I believe, hit the Sense, tho' I am sure they don't reach the Beauties of that admirable Peria phrafis of Pindar *.

* 'On. 3. v. 35, 36. p. 138.


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Διχόμηνις όλον χρυσαρμα1G. Εσπέρας οφθαλμών ανέφλεξε Μήνα..

§. 13. AMPLIFICATION is when every chief Expreson in a Period adds Strength and Advantage to what went before ; and so the Sense all along heightens, till the Period be vigorously and agreeably clos’d.

'Tis pleasant to be virtuous and good, because that is to excel many others : 'Tis pleasant to grow better, because that is to excel ourselves :: Nay, 'tis pleasant even to mortify and subdue our Lusts, because that is Victory : 'Tis pleasant to command our Appetites and Passions, and to keep them in due Order, within the Bounds of Reason and Religion, because this is Empire * When an Author thus improves upon us in his Discourse, we are extremely pleas’d and attentive while he continues it; and perfectly

* Archbishop Tillotson, Serm, 12. p. 138. 1

satisfy'd satisfy'd when he concludes.

We are edify'd and charm'd with the Instruction of one, whom we find to be complete Master of his Subject. What Reputation must it be to the Writer, what Pleasure to the Reader, when the one says every Thing in the best manner it can be said ; and the other is entertain'd with every Thing that can be desir'd ? But 'tis the utmost Reproach to an Author, and a most intolerable Disappointment to the Reader, when the one flags and faulters every Step; and so the other is fatigued and mortify'd, with a continual Series of heavy and lifeless Periods. There are various Ways of contriving and forming this Figure, which have great Force and Elegance ; tho' perhaps they cannot nicely be adapted to every Part of the Definition. I shall name three very lively Ways of expressing an Amplification.

1. We amplify or raise a Discourse by selecting a Number of the most emphatical aud strongest Words of


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