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doubtless we also might that of our modern poetry
dication or speech would be composed in a moment, the superiour artist having nothing to do but to put together all the materials. I therefore propose, that there be contrived with all convenient dispatch, at the public expense, a rhetorical chest of drawers consisting of three stories; the highest for the deliberative, the middle for the demonstrative, and the lowest for the judicial. These shall be divided into loci or places, being repositories for matter and argument in the several kinds of oration or writing; and every drawer shall again be subdivided into cells, resembling those of cabinets for rarities. The apartment for peace or war, and that of the liberty of the press, may in a very few days be filled with several arguments perfectly new ; and the vituperative partition will as easily be replenished with a most choice collection, entirely of the growth and manufacture of the present age. Every composer will soon be taught the use of this cabinet, and how to manage all the registers of it, which will be drawn out much in the manner of those in an organ. The keys of it must be kept in honest hands, by some reverend prelate, or valiant officer, of unquestioned loyalty and affection to every present establishment in church and state ; which will sufficiently guard against any mischief, that might otherwise be apprehended from it. And being lodged in such hands, it may be at discretion let out by the day to several great orators in both houses: from whence it is to be hoped much profit and gain will also accrue to our society.
E 2 - CHAP.
How to make dedications, panegyricks or satires, and of the colours of honouralle and dishonourable.
Now of what necessity the foregoing project may prove, will appear from this single consideration, that nothing is of equal consequence to the success of our works, as speed and dispatch. Great pity it is that solid brains are not like other solid bodies, constantly endowed with a velocity in sinking proportioned to their heaviness: for it is with the flowers of the bathos, as with those of nature, which if the careful gardener brings not hastily to market in the morning, must unprofitably perish and wither before night. And of all our productions none is so short-lived as the dedication and panegyrick, which are often but the praise of a day, and become by the next utterly useless, improper, indecent, and false. This is the more to be lamented, inasmuch as these two are the sorts, whereon in a manner depends that profit, which must still be remembered to be the main end of our writers and speakers. We shall therefore employ this chapter in showing the quickest method of composing them; after which we will teach a short way to epic poetry. And these being confessedly the works of molt importance and difficulty, it is presumed we may leave the rest to each author's own learning or practice. First, of panegyrick. Evely man is honourable, who is so by law, custom, or title. The publick are better judges of what is honourable than private men.
The virtues of great men, like those of plants, are inherent in them whether they are exerted or not; and the more strongly inherent, the less they are exerted; as a man is the more rich, the less he spends. All great ministers, without either private or economical virtue, are virtuous by their posts; liberal and generous upon the publick money, provident upon the publick supplies, just by paying publick interest, courageous and magnanimous by the fleets and armies, magnificent upon the publick expenses, and prudent by publick success. They have by their office a right to as hare of the publick stock of virtues; besides, they are by prescription immemorial invested in all the celebrated virtues of their predecessors in the same stations, especially those of their own ancestors. As to what are commonly called the colours of honourable and dishonourable, they are various in different countries: in this they are blue, green, and red. But, forasmuch as the duty we owe to the publick doth often require, that we should put some things in a strong light, and throw a shade over others, I shall explain the method of turning a vicious man into a hero. The first and chief rule is the golden rule of transformation, which consists in converting vices into their bordering virtues. A man who is a spendthrift, and will not pay a just debt, may have his injustice transformed into liberality; cowardice may be me-tamorphosed into prudence ; intemperance into good nature and good fellowship; corruption into patriotism; and lewdness into tenderness and facility. The second is the rule of contraries: it is certain,
the less a man is indued with any virtue, the more E 3 need
need he has to have it plentifully bestowed: especially those good qualities, of which the world generally believes he hath none at all: for who will thank a man for giving him that which he has 2 The reverse of these precepts will serve for satire; wherein we are ever to remark, that whoso loses his place, or becomes out of favour with the government, hath forfeited his share in publick praise and honour. Therefore the truly publick spirited writer ought in duty to strip him, whom the government hath stripped; which is the real poetical justice of this age. For a full collection of topicks and epithets to be used in the praise and dispraise of ministerial and unministerial persons, I refer to our rhetorical cabinet; concluding with an earnest exhortation to all my brethren, to observe the precepts here 1aid down, the neglect of which hath cost some of them their ears in a pillory.
A receipt to make an epick poem.
AN epick poem, the criticks agree, is the greatest work human nature is capable of They have already laid down many mechanical rules for compositions of this sort, but at the same time they cut off almost all undertakers from the possibility of ever performing them; for the first qualification they unanimously require in a poet, is a genius. I shall here endeavour (for the benefit of my countrymen) to
make it manifest, that epick poems may be made without