Imatges de pàgina

ties. Every Thing contain’d in them is hambly submitted to the Correction of advanc'd Scholars and Masters in the Classics; zebo will find no greater Faults than I hope may be aton'd for, by the Diligence they will see I have used in collecting proper Materials, and the Care I have taken to dispose 'em in a clear and useful Method.

As to the First Part ; I might posibly have said more in Praise of my Authors, but believe I have said enough to few that it is a confiderable Disadvantage to any Scholar to neglect the Study of them.

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As to the second Part, ny Design was to reform Rhetoric from the Rubbish and Barbarisma which it lies under in the common Books; and to reduce it to a liberal and rational Science. As we have it in those dry and trifling Systems of it in fome Schools, it is little better than a Heap of hard Words of ill Sound, of Definitions without Meaning, and Divisions without any Diftinétion. I have thrown afide all little Alterations and Figures purely Grammatical, and struck out of the List of beautiful Schemes of Speech all Puns and


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Quibbles, all childish Fingle of Sound, and vain Amusement of Words ; and have only selected the nobleft Tropes and Figures, which give real Strength and Grace to Language ;

which beighten and improve our Notions ; and are of excellent Use to persuade and please. With respect to the Passages I have quoted, and the Accounts and Characters I have any-where given of Authors, I have very, rarely taken them upon Trust, but have inform’d myself froni the Originals, leaving it as the peculiar Happiness of vast and very forward Wits to criticise


upon Languages they don't una derstand, and give formal Chao racters of Authors they never read. The Quotation of some Latin and Greek Paffages will easily be excus’d, because the judicious Reader will see the Neceffity of it. And when there is Occasion, 'tis as much Conceit and Pedantry superftitiously to avoid citing Greek or Latin, as 'tis to be pompous and profuse in those Citations, when there is no Occasion. A Man may run into one Species of Superstition and Vanity, by injudicio usly shunning another.


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In short, I hope I have in the Book come up pretty near to what the Title promises į and therefore shall not plead Want of Time, Helps, or Abilities: Since those must be sorry Excuses for a Man's Writing but indifferently, which are Arong Reasons why he floould not have written at all. If way Reader be pleas’d and satisfy’d, there needs no Apology ; if he be not, 'tis certain none will be admitted.


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