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I add another error against perfpicuity; which I mention the rather because with fome writers it paffes for a beauty. It is the giving different names to the fame object, mentioned oftener than once in the fame period. Example: Speaking of the English adventurers who first attempted the conqueft of Ireland," and inftead of re

claiming the natives from their uncultivated manners, they were gradually affimilated to the antient inhabi"tants, and degenerated from the customs of their own "nation." From this mode of expreffion, one would think the author meant to diftinguish the antient inhabitants from the natives; and we cannot discover otherwife than from the sense, that these are only different names given to the fame object for the fake of variety, But perfpicuity ought never to be facrificed to any other beauty, which leads me to think that the paffage may be improved as follows:" and degenerating from the "cuftoms of their own nation, they were gradually af"fimilated to the natives, inftead of reclaiming them "from their uncultivated manners."

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The rule next in order, becaufe next in importance, is, That the language ought to correfpond to the fubject: heroic actions or fentiments require elevated language; tender fentiments ought to be expreffed in words. foft and flowing; and plain language devoid of ornament, is adapted to fubjects grave and didactic. Language may be confidered as the drefs of thought; and where the one is not fuited to the other, we are fenfible of incongruity, in the fame manner as where a judge is dreffed like a fop, or a peafant like a man of quality. Where the impreffion made by the words refembles the impreffion made by the thought, the fimilar emotions mix fweetly in the mind, and double the pleasure *; but where the impreffions made by the thought and the words are diffimilar, the unnatural union they are forc'd into is difagreeable †.

This concordance between the thought and the words has been obferved by every critic, and is fo well undertood as not to require any illuftration. But there is a concordance

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concordance of a peculiar kind that has been fcarcely touched in works of criticism, though it contributes greatly to neatnefs of compofition. It is what follows.

In a thought of any extent, we feldom mifs to find fome parts intimately united, fome flightly, fome difjoined, and fome directly oppofed to each other. To find these conjunctions and disjunctions imitated in the expreffion, is a great beauty: becaufe fuch imitation makes the words concordant with the fenfe. This doc. trine may be illuftrated by a familiar example: when we have occafion to mention the intimate connection that the foul hath with the body, the expreffion ought to be, the foul and body; because the particle the, relative to both, makes a connection in the expreflion, refembling in fome degree the connection in the thought: but when the foul is diftinguished from the body, it is better to fay the foul and the body; because the disjunction in the words refembles the disjunction in the thought. I proceed to other examples, beginning with conjunctions.

Conftituit agmen et expedire tela animofque, equi tibus juffis, &c. [Livy, l. 38. § 25. Here the words that exprefs the connected ideas are artificially connected by fubjecting them both to the regimen of one verb. And the two following are of the fame kind.

Quum ex paucis quotidie aliqui eorum caderent aut vulnerarentur, et qui fuperarent, feffi et corporibus et animis effent, &c. [Livy, 1. 38. § 29.

Poft acer Mneftheus adducto conftitit arcu,
Alta petens, pariterque oculos telumque tetendit.
Eneid, v. 507.

But to juftify this artificial connection among the words, the ideas they exprefs ought to be intimately connected; for otherwife that concordance which is required between the fenfe and the expreffion will be impaired. In that view a paffage from Tacitus is exceptionable; where words that fignify ideas very little connected, are however forc'd into an artificial union. Here is the paffage: Germania omnis a Galliis, Rhætiifque, et Pannoniis, Rheno

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Rheno et Danubio fluminibus; a Sarmatis Dacifque, mutuo metu aut montibus feparatur. De moribus Ĝer


Upon the fame account, I esteem the following paffage equally exceptionable.

-The fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted fcale aloft; nor more, but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fled the fhades of night.
Paradife loft, b. 4. at the end.

There is no natural connection between a perfon's flying or retiring, and the fucceffion of day-light to darkness; and therefore to connect artificially the terms that fignify these things cannot have a fweet effect.


Two members of a thought connected by their relation to the fame action, will naturally be expreffed by two members governed by the fame verb; in which case these members, in order to improve their connection, ought to be constructed in the fame manner. This beauty is fo common among good writers as to have been little attended to; but the neglect of it is remarks: ably disagreeable: For example, He did not mention "Leonora, nor that her father was dead." Better thus: " He did not mention Leonora, nor her father's "death."


Where two ideas are fo connected as to require but a copulative, it is pleafant to find a connection in the words that exprefs thefe ideas, were it even fo flight as where both begin with the fame letter :

The peacock, in all his pride, does not difplay half the colour that appears in the garments of a British lady, when he is either dreffed for a ball or a birth-day. Spectator, N° 265,

Had not my dog of a fteward run away as he did, without making up his accounts, I had ftill been im merfed in fin and fea-coal. [Ibid. N° 530.

My life's companion, and my bofom friend,
One faith, one fame, one fate fhall both attend.
Dryden, Tranflation of the Æneid.


There is obviously a fenfible defect in neatnefs when uniformity in this cafe is totally neglected; witness the following example, where the conftruction of two members connected by a copulative is unneceffarily varied.

For it is confidently reported, that two young gentlemen of real hopes, bright wit, and profound judgment, who upon a thorough examination of caufes and effects, and by the mere force of natural abilities, without the leaft tincture of learning, have made a discovery that there was no God, and generously communicating their thoughts for the good of the public, were fome time ago, by an unparallelled feverity, and upon I know not what obfolete law, broke for blafphemy t. [Better thus] :—having made a discovery that there was no God, and having generously communicated their thoughts for the good of the public, were some time ago, &c.

He had been guilty of a fault, for which his master would have put him to death, had he not found an opportunity to escape out of his hands, and fed into the deferts of Numidia. [Guardian, N° 139.

If all the ends of the revolution are already obtained, it is not only impertinent to argue for obtaining any of them, but fadious defigns might be imputed, and the name of incendiary be applied with fome colour, perhaps, to any one who should perfift in preffing this point. Differtation upon parties, Dedication.

Next as to examples of disjunction and oppofition in. the parts of the thought, imitated in the expreflion; an imitation that is diftinguished by the name of antithefis.

Speaking of Coriolanus folliciting the people to be made conful:

With a proud heart he wore his humble weeds.

Coriolanus. Had you rather Cæfar were living, and die all flaves,. than

* See Girard's French Grammar, discourse 12.
An argument againft abolishing Chriftianity. Swift.

than that Cæfar were dead, to live all free men?

Julius Cafar.

He hath cool'd my friends and heated mine enemies. Shakespear.

An artificial connection among the words, is undoubtedly a beauty when it reprefents any peculiar connec tion among the conftituent parts of the thought; but where there is no fuch connection, it is a positive deformity, as above obferved, because it makes a difcordance between the thought and expreffion. For the fame reafon, we ought alfo to avoid every artificial oppofition of words where there is none in the thought. This last, termed verbal antithefts, is ftudied by low writers, because of a certain degree of liveliness in it. They do not confider how incongruous it is, in a grave compofition, to cheat the reader, and to make him expect a contraft in the thought, which upon examination is not found there...

A light wife doth make a beavy husband.

Merchant of Venice.

Here is a ftudied oppofition in the words, not only without any oppofition in the fenfe, but even where there is a very intimate connection, that of caule and effect; for it is the levity of the wife that torments the hufband.

-Will maintain

Upon his bad life to make all this good.

King Richard II. ad 1. fc. 2. Lucetta. What, fhall these papers lie like tell-tales here? Julia. If thou respect them, beft to take them up. Lucetta. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down. Two Gentlemen of Verona, act 1. fc 3.

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A fault directly oppofite to that haft mentioned, is to conjoin artificially words that exprefs ideas opposed to each other in the thought. This is a fault too grofs to be in common practice; and yet writers are guilty of it in fome degree, when they conjoin by a copulative things tranfacted at different periods of time. Hence a want of neatness in the following expreffion.


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