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the honour of being esteemed the great master and improver of Roman eloquence, even to the glory of many triumphs.

Beauty of composition tends to heighten the native charms of truth ; it therefore ought uever to be regarded as an object of small importance. But it may be alleged that truth requires not the foreign aid of orna-, ment. It is not indeed necessary that she should be exhibited in a glaring habit; but she ought certainly to be clothed with decency and propriety. A beautiful woman in careless and sordid apparel, can never appear to great advantage.

To Locke, Cudworth, Clarke, and Butler, philosoply owes the most serious obligations: but would those great authors have diminished the utility of their literary labours by employing more smooth and polished language? Never, indeed, does the force of reason more effectually subdue the human mind, than when she is supporced by the powerful assistance of manly eloquence; as, on the contrary, the most legitimate arguments may be rendered unavailing by being attended with a feeble and unanimated expression. There is as much difference between comprehending a thought clothed in the language of Cicero, and that of an ordinary writer, as there is between viewing an object by the light of the sun and by the light of a taper.

Malebrancbe has assuredly tallen into a very strange conceit when he insinuates, that the pleasure arising from the perusal of a beautiful composition is of a crimipal wature, and has its source in the weakness and effeminacy of the human mind. That man must pos

, sess a very uncommon severity of temper, who can find



any thing to condemn in the practice of embellishing
truth with additional charms, and winning the heart by
captivating the ear; in uniting roses with the thorns of
science, and joining pleasure with instruction. The
mind is delighted with a fine style, upon the same
principle that it prefers regularity to confusion, and
beauty to deformity. A taste for the beauties of com-
position is so far from being a mark of any depravity
of our nature, that I should rather be inclined to con-
sider it as arr evidence of the moral rectitude of our
mental constitution, since it furnishes a direct proof
that we retain some relish of order and harmony.
*2 No object has ever appeared of greater importance
to wise men, than to tincture the young and suscep-
tible mind with an early relish for the pleasures of
taste. Easy in gevieral is the transition from the pur-
suit of these to the discharge of the bigher and more
important duties of human life. Sanguine hopes may
be entertained of those whose minds have this liberal
and elegant turn. It is favourable to the growth of
many virtues : whereas to be devoid of taste for the
fine arts, is justly regarded as an unpromising symptom
in youth, and raises suspicions of their being prone to
low gratifications, or destined to drudge in the more
vulgar and illiberal pursuits of life. There are few
good dispositions of any kind with which the improve!
ment of this faculty is not in some degree connected.
A cultivated taste increases sensibilty to all the tender
and humane passions, by giving them frequent exer-
cise; while, on the other hand, it tends to weaken the
more violent and fierce émotions, by exciting in as a
lively sense of decorum.


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From these observations it will appear that the charge of Malebranche is not only ill founded, but absolutely, ridiculous. One would however be apt to suspect that certain writers among us had considered the subject in the same gloomy point of view: or at least that they had studiously avoided every refinement in style, as unbecoming a lover of truth and wisdom. Their sen.

a timents are debased by the lowest expressions; they seem condemned to the curse of creeping upon the ground all the days of their life.

But there is another extreme, which ought also to be. carefully avoided. Language may be too pompons, as well as too mean, Some authors mistake pomp for dignity; and with the view of raising their expressions above vulgar language, elevate them above common apprehension. They seem to consider it as a mark of their genius that it requires some ingenuity to discover their meaning, but when their meaning is discevered, it seldom repays the labour of the searches

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STYLE has been defined to be the peculiar manner

in which a man expresses his conceptions through the medium of language. It differs from mere language or words. Though the words which an author employs be unexceptionable, yet his style may be

, chargeable with great faults; it may

may be dry,

dry, stiff, feeble, affected. The style of an author is always intimately connected with his manner of thinking : it

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is a picture of the ideas which arise in his mind, and of the manner in which they do arise. Hence the difficulty of drawing an exact line of separation between the style and the sentiment.

All that can be required of language is to convey our ideas clearly to the mind of others, and, at the same time, to clothe them in an advantageous dress. The two general heads of perspicuity and ornament, therefore, comprehend all the qualities of a good style. Perspicuity demands our chief care ; for, without this quality, the richest ornaments of language only glimmer through the dark; and puzzle, instead of pleasing, the reader. An author's meaning ought always to he obvious, even to the most careless and inattentive reader; so that it may strike his mind, as the light of the sun strikes our eyes, though they are not directed towards it. We must study, not only that every reader may understand us, but that it shall be impossible for him not to understand us. If we are obliged to follow a writer with much care, to pause, and to read over his sentences a second time, in order to comprehend them fully, he will never please us long. Mankind are too indolent to relish so much labour. They may pretend to "adınire the author's depth, after they have discovered his meaning ; but they will seldom be inclined to bestow upon his work a second perusal.

In treating of perspicuity of style, it will be proper, in the first place, to direct our attention to single words and phrases, and afterwards to the construction of sentences. Perspicuity, considered with respect to words and


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phrases, require the qualities of purity, propriety, and precision. The two first of these are often confounded with each other; and, indeed, they are very nearly allied. A distinction, however, obtains between them. Purity of style consists in the use of such words, and such constructions, as belong to the idiom of the language which we use; in opposition to words and phrases which are imported from other languages, or that are obsolete, or new-coined, or used without proper authority. Propriety of style consists in the selection of such words, as the best and most established usage has appropriated to those ideas which we employ them to express. It implies the correct and happy application of them, according to that usage, in opposition to vulgarisms, or low expressious; and to words and phrases that would be less siguificant of the ideas which we intend to convey. Style may be pure, that is, it may be strictly English, without Scoticisms or Gallicisms, or ungrammatical and unwarranted expressions of any kind, and may nevertheless be deficient in propriety. The words may be unskilfully chosen, not adapted to the subject, nor fully expressive of the author's sentiments. He

He may have taken his words and phrases from the general mass of the English language ; but his selection may happen to be injudicious.

Purity may justly be denominated grammatical truth, li consists in the conformity of the expression to the sentiment which the writer intends to convey; as moral truth consists in the conformity of the sentiment intended to be couveyed, to the sentiment actually entertained; and logical truth in the conformity of


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