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in this spacious temple of the firmament,” though not e striking from its novelty, is yet, from the circumstances
under which it was uttered, happy and truly appropriate.
Whether there be a formal introduction or not, the particular object of the writer should early be brought to view. It is not always necessary, that this object should be stated in the form of a proposition. Often it
is elegantly implied, or left to be inferred from the inthe troductory remarks. Where however any doubt can pit exist as to the object proposed, or there is any danger up that the reader may mistake the design of the writer, tu the precise object of discussion cannot be too distinctly
and formally stated. In the plan, as in the expression
of the thoughts, elegance should always be sacrificed to Ered perspicuity, Half the controversies and differences of ed i opinion among men, arise from their not distinctly unEr derstanding the questions, on which they write and converse.
In the discussion of a subject, which is of an argude mentative nature, the direction is generally given that
the arguments should rise in importance. In this way 3
the attention, excited by novelty at first, may continue to be held, and a full and strong conviction left on the mind at the conclusion of the reasoning. This as a general rule may be observed; but the most obvious connexion between one argument and another, or some other cause, will often require the skilful writer to depart from it.
If it be of importance, that the attention be arrested at first by a well written introduction, and sustained by well connected and inereasingly important arguments, it will be readily allowed, that a happy conclusion is no less desirable. It is then that a decision about to be made, and the mind of the reader should
be left impressed with a favorable opinion of the writer, and with the justness and truth of what has been told him. Here then the writer should exert all his skill, and put forth all his powers.
As an example of a well executed conclusion, the following passage, which is found at the close of an eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, may be cited.
" Their statues are man; living, feeling, intelligent, adoring man; bearing the image of his Maker; having the impress of divinity. Their monuments are the everlasting hills which they have clothed with verdure—their praises, are sounds of health and joy, in vallies which they have made fruitful-to them incense daily rises, in the perfumes of fragrant fields, which they have spread with cultivation -fair cities proclaim their glory-gorgeous mansions speak their munificence—their names are inscribed on the goodly habitations of men ; and on those hallowed temples of God, whose spires ever point to the Heaven, which, we trust, has received them,»
Transitions from one part of a discourse to another, are also important objects of attention. The general direction is often given, that transitions be natural and easy. By this it is meant, that they be in agreement with the common modes of associating the thoughts. In argumentative writings, where the different parts are connected by a common reference to some particular point, which they are designed to establish, this common relationship will be sufficient to prevent the transition from one argument to another from appearing unnatural and abrupt. Still, as has been intimated, there may be skill shewn in the arrangement of the arguments, and one may happily appear to arise from another. But in those species of writing which are not argumentative, much skill may be shewn in the transitions. With the design of exhibiting some happy instances of transitions, and thus shewing what is meant by their being natural and easy, I shall notice those in Goldsmith's Traveller, to which these epithets are often applied. His description of Italy closes with the mention of its inhabitants, feeble and degraded, pleased with low delights and the sports of children. The transition to the Swiss is thus made ;
My soul turn from them ;-turn we to survey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display. The principle on which the transition is here made, is that of contrast. And since the mind is often wont to look at objects as opposed to each other, it naturally, in this way, passes from the Italians to the Swiss.
The transition from Switzerland to France is thus
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast May sit like falcons, cowering on the nest; But all the gentler morals, such as play Through life's more cultured walks and charm the way, These far dispersed, on timorous pinions fly, To sport and flutter in a kinder sky. To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign, I turn-and France displays her bright domain. In this instance, the transition, like that before mentioned, depends in part on the principle of contrast, but seems more immediately to rest on the accidental mention of the words kinder sky. Such accidental associations are frequent, especially in familiar intercourse, and in the easy flow of the thoughts; and though they would not be approved in the grave discussion of a subject, in a descriptive epistle, which is the nature of the production we are examining, they strike us favorably.
The next transition from France to Holland is also founded on contrast and need not be stated.
The transition from Holland to Britain is in the following lines;
how unlike their Belgic sires of old!
Here the principle of transition is that of resemblance. The tracing of a relation of this kind between its thoughts, is a favorite employment of the mind. Hence resemblance is often made the ground of transitions, and such transitions always appear natural and easy.
Cause and effect, contiguity as to time or place, may be mentioned as other principles of association on which transitions are often easily made.
The remarks on the treatment of a subject which have been made in this chapter, are general in their nature. That they may be fully understood, and their importance felt, the student should be led to see them exemplified in the productions of good writers. To aid in the application of them with this view, I shall now direct the attention to examples of several different kinds of writing, as the didactic, the argumentative, the narrative and the descriptive.
The professed design of didactic writing is to convey instruction. This may be done in a preceptive manner, as when a superior gives his directions to those under his authority, or in a persuasive manner, when appeals are made to the good sense and feelings of those who are addressed. Great simplicity and clearness in the plan are essential to this kind of writing. The atteation of the reader should be distinctly fixed on the primary object of the writer ; he should be made fully to understand every part, to see its importance and connexion with the whole. In good examples of the preceptive kind, each part, though suggesting another, is, in itself separate and distinct, and the writer seeks rather to be fully understood, than to assign the reasons of what he says. In examples of didactic writing of the persuasive kind, the writer dwells longer on the different parts of his discourse, and at the same time that he is careful to be fully and rightly understood, he makes such statements and appeals as are suited to interest the feelings, convince the understanding, and influence the will of the reader.
Examples of both kinds of didactic writing are found in the Exercises. (Ex. 1.) (Ex. 2.). * The attention of the student should be particularly directed to the example of the didactic persuasive kind, (Ex. 2.), and in examining this, let him direct his attention to the following enquiries;
1. What is the object which the writer has in view? 2. What division of his subject is made?
3. What is the manner of enlarging under the different heads?
Having thus made an analysis of the Exercise, let him examine it still further, and enquire --whether the proposed object be kept constantly in view,--whether the different heads of the division are distinct, one not including another; and whether all are of like importance, and have a common bearing on the object of the
* Figures thus enclosed by brackets, are designed to reser the student to the Exercises at the latter part of the book, which are numbered in the same manner,