An Essay on Man: In Four Epistles to H. St. John, Lord Bolingbroke (Classic Reprint)

Fb&c Limited, 12 de mar. de 2018 - 72 páginas
Excerpt from An Essay on Man: In Four Epistles to H. St. John, Lord Bolingbroke

This I might have done in prose; but I chose verse, and even rhyme, for two reasons. The one will appear obvi ous that principles, maxims, or precepts, so written, both strike the reader more strongly at first, and are more easily retained by him afterward. The other may seem odd, but it is true; I found I could express them more shortly this way than in prose itself! And nothing is more certain than that much of the force, as Well as grace of arguments or instructions, depends on their conciseness. I was unable to treat this part of my subject more in detail, without becoming dry and tedious; or more poetically, without sacrificing perspicuity to ornament, without wandering flow the precision, or breaking the chain of reasoning. If any man can unite all these without diminution of any of them, I freely confess he will compass a, thing above my capacity.

What is now published, is only to be considered as a general Map of Man, marking out no more than the greater parts, their extent, their limits, and their connex ion but leaving the particular to be more fully delineated in the charts which are to follow. Consequently, these Epistles in their progress (if I have health and leisure to make any progress) will be less dry, and more susceptible of poetical ornament. I am here only opening the foun tains and clearing the passage: to deduce the rivers, to follow them in their course, and to observe their effects, may be a task more agreeable.

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