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FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS, OR PRIVATE INSTRUCTION.
BY ALEXANDER JAMIESON.
THE FIRST AMERICAN, FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY A. H. MALTBY & co.
THIS Grammar of Rhetoric is designed to succeed, in the course of education, the study of English Grammar. At that period, the young student is most likely to enter with vigour upon the study of a branch of education, which has been deemed essential, in our public seminaries, to form the miod for engaging in the active copcerns of life.
It is then that he should be laught, that a minute and trifling study of words alone, and an ostentatious and deceitful display of ornament and pomp of expression, must be exploded from his compositions, if he would value substance rather than show, and good sense as the foundation of all good writing. The principles of sound reason, must then be employed to tame the impetuosity of youthful feeling, and direct the attention to simplicity, as essential to all true ornament.
In prosecution of this plan, the Author has, throughout this work, first laid down the principles or rules of legitimate Rhetoric ; he has then given popular illustrations of these principles or rules; he has next confirmed his views, in the illustrations, by appropriate examples; and, finally, as these examples, or illustrations, furnished analyses or corollaries, he has endeavoured to make them tend to the improvement of the student's good taste, and of true ornament in composition.
Rietoricians have usually introduced their pupils to a knowledge of their art, by some history of the origin and progress of language. Accordingly, in this volume, the Author has followed a precedent, which the world has long approved. The FIRST BOOK treats of the origin and structure of those external signs, which are used, as names, attributes, or actions of objects; or to denote the various operations of the mental faculties, with which it is our business to become acquainted.
The SECOND BOOK treats of the principles of GENERAL GRAMMAR ; or, in other words, of the principles upon which philosophical grammarians have attempted to discriminate and classify the component parts of human speech, whether spoken or written.
An examination of THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF THE USE WHICII GIVES LAW TO LANGUAGE, naturally fallowed the “ Principles of General Grammar," and led to the development of THE NATURE AND USE OF VERBAL CRITICISM, with its principal rules or canons, by which, in all our decisions, we oughi to be directed. And in this branch of the subject, the object has been to exercise the understanding and natural sensibility of the pupil, by the exhibition of what has
pleased or displeased critics in the perusal of the best models of literary composition. It is presumed, that young minds will thus begin to think and feel for themselves; and, by the directions they receive, acquire confidence in their own powers, of approving or disapproving whatever falls under their general reasonings, in the higher qualities of composition. True criticism will teach the student, how he may escape those errors and mistakes, to which he may be exposed, either from not understanding, or froin misapplying her established rules. But to render her assistance most efiictual, the Author has dwelt very fully on the principles of GRAMMATICAL PURITY, as it respects barbarisms, selecisms, idictisins, vulgarisms, impropriety in phruses, and as it teaches precision of expression in speech or writing.
THE NATURE AND STRUCTUP. E OF SENTENCES, THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PERSPICUITY, AND THE HARMONY OF PERIODS, which are illustrated in BOOK THIRD, have unfolded 14merous errors to be avoided in the structure of sentences, and the are rangement of sigle words. The qualities of UNITY and STRENGTH, in the structure of sentences, have gathered around then a series of rules, which, if applied to the exercises that the pupil should be required to write, cannot fail to enlighten his mind, and govern his judgment, in the principles and practice of composition. It was necessary, however, to show, how much PERSPICUITY of LANGUAGE and STYLE contributed to the elegance of classical compositions and eloquence ; and, accordingly, this matter is treated precisely as Dr. Campbell has treated it, in his “ Philosophy of Rhetoric.? No writer has yet excelled Dr. Blair, in luminous views of the “ Harmony of Periods ;?? and these views we have embodied in this Graminar.
In BOOK FOURTH, the principal“ Rhetorical Figures,” are treated at great length, and illustrated by copious examples, without, however, encumbering the mind of the pupil with catalogues from the ancient critics, of other figures partly grammatical and partly rhetorical, which would have furnished little instruction, and less amusement. For it is, perhaps, not the least task on the part of the instructors of youth, to render their precepts engaging, by vivacity of imagination, and the charms of genuine ornament. This, however, is an inferior merit, when compared with the chasteness and morality which should distinguish examples and illustrations, selected for youth. The principles of virlue and honour, of delicacy and refined taste, are, it is hoped, inculcated throughout these examples, with that assiduity, which will entitle the Author to the humble reputation of having laboured to improve in those for whom he wrote, the important habits of a religious education.
In BOOK FIFTH, the NATURE OF TASTE, and THE SOURCES OF ITS PLEASURES, compiled parıly from Dr. Blair's Lectures, partly from Lord Kames's Elements of Criticism, and agreeabiy to Alison's 5. Essays on Taste," have been set in such lights, as may enable the youthful mind to aitain some practical acquaintance with the pro. ductions of genius, in Poetry, Sculpture, or Painting. A correct
perception of the excellencies of composition and eloquence, is closely connected with a knowledge of the productions in the fine arts. The young student, on being made acquainted with the priociples which regulate the standard of taste, so far from learning to suspend the exercise of his own judgment, is taught to investigate the grounds upon which those principles are supported, and in comparing them with the simple dictates of his own mind, to form, from the various sources which reading and rejection may afford him, the elements of rearing for himself a standard of taste, to which, in more matured life, he may refer such productions of the fine arts, or of polite literature, as fall under his observation.
BOOK SIXTH, appropriated to the general characters of style, treats, first, of the diffuse and concise styles of composition ; secondly, of the dry, plain, neat, elegant, and flowing styles ; thirdly, of the simple, affected, and vehement styles ; and then, gives directions for forming style. Of what importance the illustrations and examples of these several styles must be in the composition of themes, it is superfluous here to speak. The remaining chapters of Book VI. are devoted to “ The Conduct of a Discourse in all its Parts ;": to “ Historical Writing," Annals,"'-- Memoirs,". raphy,
—“Philosophical Writing,"_" Dialogue," and " Episto lary Correspondence.”
In BOOK SEVENTH, the origin and different kinds of Poetry are handled more with a view to form the pupil's taste for the study of Poetry, than to inspire him with the thirst of reaping fame in the doubtful field of poetic composition. Yet, to those whose genius may lead them that way, the principles of poetic composition, of its several styles, and of the ornaments which it admits, cannot fail to
The conclusion of the work treats of pronunciation, or delivery, as it respects, chiefly, public speaking; and here, as in Book VI. and VII. the labours of the Author's predecessors have chiefly furnisbed priociples and illustrations.
London, August 24, 1818.