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Nothing is more evident than that divers perfons, no other way remarkable, have each a strong disposition to the formation of some particular Trope or Figure. Aristotle faith, that the Hyperbole is an ornament fit for young Men of Quality ; accordingly we find in those Gentlemen a wonderful propensity toward it, which is marvellously improved by Travelling : Soldiers also and Seamen are very happy in the same Figure. The Periphrafis or Circumlocution is the peculiar talent of Country Farmers; the Proverb and Apologue of old Men at their clubs; the Ellitsis or Speech by half words, of Ministers and Politicians, the ApoJiopesis of Courtiers, the Litotes or Diminution of Ladies, Whisperers and Eackbiters, and the Anadiplofis of common Cryers and Hawkers, who, by redoubling the same words, persuade people to buy their oysters, green haftings, or new ballads
Epithets may be found in great plenty at Biilinsgate, Sarcasm and Irony learned upon the Water, and the Epiphonema or Exc'amation frequently from the Beargarden, and as frequently from the Icar him of the House of Commons.
Now each man applying his whole time and genius upon his particular Figure, would doubtless attain to perfection ; and when each became incorporated and sworn into the Society (as hath been proposed) a Poet or Orator would have no more to do but to send to the particular Traders in each Kind, to the Metaphorist for his llegories, to the Simile-maker for his Comparisons, to the Ironisi for his Sarcafis, to the utegratift for his Sentences, etc. whereby a Dedication or speech would be composed in a moment, the superior artist having nothing to do buto put together all the Materials,
I thercfore propose that there be contrived with all convenient dispatch, at the publick expence, a
Rhetorical Chest of Drawers, consisting of three Stories, the highest for the Deliberative, the middle for the Demonstrative, and the lowest for the 71dicial. 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 sub-divided 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 honeft hands, by fome 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 which 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 So. ciety.
CH A P. XIV.
How to make Dedications, Panegyrics, or
Satires, and of the Colours of Honourable and Dishonourable.
OW of what necessity the foregoing Pro
ject may prove, will appear from this single confideration, that nothing is of equal consequence to the success of our Works, as Speed and Difpatch. Great pity it is, that folid 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 Panegyric, 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 forts whereon in a manner depends that Profit, which must still be remembered to be the main end of our IVriters and Speakers.
We shall therefore einploy this chapter in shewing the quickest method of composing them ; after which we will teach a short IV ay to Epic Poetry. And these being confestedly the works of most Importance and Difficulty, it is presumed we may leave the rest to each author's own learning or practice.
First of Panegyric : Every man is horourable, who is so by Law, Custom, or Title. The Publiek 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 Minifters, without either private or oeconomical Virtue, are virtuous by their Posts ; liberal and generous upon the Pullick Money, provident upon Publick Supplies, just by paying Publick Interest, couragious and magnanimous by the Fleets and Armies, magnificent upon the Publick Expences, and prudent by Publick Success. They have by their Office, a right to a share of the Publick Stock of Virtues; besides they are by Prescription immemorial invested in all the celebrated virtues of their Predecesors 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 juít Debt, may have his Injustice transformed into Liberality; Cowardice may be metamorphorsed into Prudence; Intemperance into good Nature and good Fellowfhip; Corruption into Patriotism ; and Lewdness into Tenderness and Facility.
The second is the Rule of Contraries : It is certain, the less a San is endued with any Virtue, the more 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 ?
The Reverse of these Precepts will serve for Satire, wherein we are ever to remark, that whoso loseth 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 laid down, the neglect of which hath cost some of them their Ears in a Pillory.
CH A P. XV.
A Receipt to make an Epic Poem.
N Epic Poem, the Critics agree, is the
greatest work human nature is capable of. 'They have already laid down many mechanical rules for compositions of this fort, 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 à Genius. I shall here endeavour (for the benefit of my Countrymen) to make it manifeft, that Epic Poems may be made without a Genius, nay without Learning or much Reading. This must necessarily be of great use to all those who confcis I P 4