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But what deserves particular attention is, the difference between the style of poetry and of prose. As the poets in a manner paint what they describe, they employ various epithets, repetitions, and turns of expression, which are not admitted in prose.
The first virtue of style (virtus orationis) is perspicuity, or that it be easily understood. This requires, in the choice of the words, 1. Purity, in opposition to barbarous, obsolete, or new coined words, and to errors in Syntax: 2. Propriety, or the selection of the best expressions, in opposition to vulgarisms or low expressions : 3. Precision, in opposition to superfluity of words, or a loose style.
The things chiefly to be attended to in the structure of a sentence, or in the disposition of its parts, are, 1. Clearness, in opposition to ambiguity and obscurity : 2. Unity and Strength, in opposition to an unconnected, intricate, and feeble sentence: 3. Harmony, or musical arrangement, in opposition to harshness of sound.
The most common defects of style (vitia orationis) are distinguished by various
1. A BARBARISM is when a foreign or strange word is made use of; as, croftus, for agellus ; rigorosus, for rigidus or severus ; alterare, for mutare, &c. Or when the rules of Orthography, Etymology, or Prosody are transgressed; as, charus, for carus ; stavi, for steti ; tibicen, for tibicen.
2. A SOLECISM is when the rules of Syntax are transgressed; as, Dicit libros lectos iri, for lectum iri. A barbarism may consist in one word, but a solecism requires several words.
3. An IDIOTISM is when the manner of expression peculiar to one language is used in another; as an Anglicism in Latin, thus, I am to write, Ego sum scriběre, for ego sum scripturus ; It is I, Est ego, for Ego sum: Or a Latinism in English, thus, Est sapientior me, He is wiser than me, for than I; Quem dicunt me esse? Whom do they say that I am ? for who, &c.
4. TAUTOLOGY is when we either uselessly repeat the same words, or repeat the same sense in different words.
5. BOMBAST is when high sounding words are used without meaning, or upon a trifling occasion.
.6. AMPHIBOLOGY is when, by the ambiguity of the construction, the meaning may be taken in two different senses; as in the answer of the oracle to Pyrrhus, Aio te, Æacide, Romanos vincere posse. But the English is not so liable to this as the Latin.
V. FIGURES OF RHETORIC. Certain modes of speech are termed Figurative, because they convey our meaning under a borrowed form, or in a particular dress.
Figures (figuræ or schemăta) are of two kinds; figures of words, (figuræ verborum,) and figures of thought, (figuræ sententiarum.) The former are properly called Tropes ; and if the word be changed, the figure is lost.
1. TROPES, OR FIGURES OF WORDS. A Trope (conversio) is an elegant turning of a word from its proper signification.
Tropes take their rise partly from the barrenness of language, but more from the influence of the imagination and passions. They are founded on the relation which one object bears to another, chiefly that of resemblance or similitude. The principal
tropes are the Metaphor, Metonymy, Synecdoche, and Irony. 1. METAPHOR (translatio) is when a word is transferred from that to which it properly belongs, to express something to which it is only applied from similitude or resemblance; as, a hard heart; a soft temper; he bridles his anger; a joyful crop ; ridet ager, the field smiles, &c. A metaphor is nothing else but a short comparison.
We likewise call that a metaphor, when we substitute one object in the place of another, on account of the close resemblance between them; as when, instead of youth, we say, the morning or spring time of life; or when, in speaking of a family connected with a common parent, we use the expressions which properly belong to a tree, whose trunk and branches are connected with a common root. When this allusion is carried on through several sentences, or through a whole discourse, and the principal subject kept out of view, so that it can only be discovered by its resem
blance to the subject described, it is called an ALLEGORY. An example of this we have in Horace, book 1. ode 14. where the republic is described under the allusion of a ship.
AN ALLEGORY is only a continued metaphor. This figure is much the same with the Parable, which so often occurs in the sacred scriptures, and with the Fable, such as those of Æsop. The Ænigma or Riddle is also considered as a species of the Allegory; as likewise are many Proverbs, Proverbia vel Adagia; thus, In sylvam ligna ferre, Horat.
Metaphors are improper when they are taken from low objects; when they are forced or far-fetched; when they are mixed or too far pursued; and when they have not a natural and sensible resemblance; or are not adapted to the subject of discourse, or to the kind of composition, whether poetry or prose.
When a word is very much turned from its proper signification, it is called Çatachrēsis, (abusio ;) as, a leaf of paper, of gold, &c. the empire flourished; parricida, for any murderer; Vir gregi ipse caper, Virg Altum ædificant caput, Juv. Hunc vobis deridendum propino, for trado, Ter. Eurus per Siculas equitavit undas, Hor.
When a word is taken in two senses in the same phrase, the one proper and the other metaphorical, it is called Syllepsis, (comprehensio;) as, Galatēa thymo mihi dulcior Hybla, Virg. Ego Sardois videar tibi amarior herbis, Id.
2. METONYMY (mutatio nominis) is the putting of one name for another. In which sense it includes all other tropes ; but it is commonly restricted to the following particulars :-1. When the cause is put for the effect; or the inventor, for the thing invented; or the author for his works; as, Boum labores, for corn; Mars, for war ; thus, Æquo marte pugnatum est, with equal advantage, Liv. Ceres, for grain, or bread; Bacchus, for wine; Venus, for love; Vulcanus, for fire ; thus, Sine Cerere, et Baccho, friget Venus, Ter. Furit Vulcanus, Virg. So a general is put for his army, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, for their works ; Moses and the Prophets for their books, a beautiful Raphael, Titian, Guido, Rheni, Rembrant, Reubens, Vandyke, &c. for their pictures.-2. When the effect is put for the cause; as, Pallida mors, Pale death, because it makes pale; atra cura, &c.--3. The container for what is containcd, and sometimes the contrary; as, Hausit pateram, for vinum, Virg. He loves his bottle, for drink: Secundam mensam servis dispertiit, i. e. fercula in mensa, Nep.. So Roma, for Romani ; Europe, for the Europeans ; Heaven, for the Supreme Being ; Secernit Europen ab Afro, for Africa; In arduos tollor Sabinos, for in agrum Sabinorum ; Incolumi Jove, for Capitolio ; Janus, for the temple of Janus, Hor. Proximus ardet Ucalēgon, for domus Ucalegontis, Virg. So Sergestus, for
his ship, Id. Æn. v. 272.–4. The sign for the thing signified; as, The crown, for royal authority ; palma or laurus, for victory;
cedant arma toga, that is, as Cicero himself explains it, bellum concedat paci. Ferri togæque consilia, consultations about war and peace, Stat. Sylv. v. 1. 82.-5. An abstract, for the concrete; as, Scelus, for scelestus, Ter. Audacia, for audax, Cic. Custodia, for custodes, Virg. Servitus, for servi; nobilitas, for nobiles; juventus, for juvenes ; vicinia, for vicini; vires, for strong men, Hor. Furta, for stolen oxen, Ovid. Fast. i. 560.-6. The parts of the body, for certain passions or sentiments, which were supposed to reside in them; thus, cor, for wisdom or address; as, habet cor, vir cordatus, a man of sense, Plaut. But with us the heart is put for courage or affection, and the head for wisdom ; thus, a stout heart ; a warm heart; a sound head, &c. So, to have a well hung tongue, for to speak with ease, &c.
When we put what follows to express what goes before, or the contrary, it is called Metalepsis, (transmutatio ;) thus, desiderari, to be desired or regretted, for to be dead, lost, or absent : So Fuimus Troes, et ingens gloria Dardani, i. e. are no more, Virg. Æn. ü325.
3. SYNECDOCHE (comprehensio or conceptio) is a trope by which a word is made to signify more or less than in its proper sense ; as, 1. When a genus is put for a species, or a whole for a part, and the contrary; thus, Mortales, for homines ; summa arbor, for summa pars arboris ; priusquam pabula gustássent Troja, Xanthumque bibissent, for partem pabuli, and fluminis Xanthi, Virg Nat uncta carina, for navis : centum puppes, a hundred sail, or a hundred ships; tectum, the roof, for the
whole house; capita or animæ, for homines ; ungula, for equus or equi, Horat. Sat. i. 1. 114; the door, or even the threshold, for the house or temple, tum foribus divæ, for in templo dive, Virg. Tempe, for any beautiful vale, &c. 2. When a singular is put for a plural, and the contrary; thus, Hostis, miles, pedes, eques, for hostes, &c. millies, a thousand times, for many times. 3. When the materials are put for the things made of them; as, Æs or argentum, for money; ara, for vases of brass trumpets, arms, &c. ferrum, for a sword; taurus, for a bull's hide, Virg.
When a common name is put for a proper name, or the contrary, it is called Antonomasia, (pronominatio ;) as, the Philosopher, for Aristotle; the Orator, for Demosthenes or Cicero; the Poet, for Homer or Virgil ; the Wise man, for Solomon ; Astu, for Athens ; Urbs, the city or town, for the capital of any country; Pænus, for Hannibal ; Nero, for a cruel prince; Mæcēnas, for a patron of learning; as, Sint Mæcenates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones, i. e. sint munifici patroni, non deerunt boni poetæ. Martial. viii. 56, 5.
An Antonomasia is often made by a Periphrăsis ; as, Pelopis parens, for Tantalus ; Anýti reus, for Socrates ; Trojani belli scriptor, for Homer; Chironis Alumnus, for Achilles ; Potor Rhodăni, for Gallus ; Jubæ tellus, for Mauritania, Horat. &c. or by a patronymic noun ; as, Anchisides, for Æneas; Tyndăris, idis, for Helēna, &c.-or by an epithet ; as, Impius reliquit, for Æneas, Virg.sometimes with the noun added; as, Fatalis et incestus judex, famosus hospes, for Paris, Hor.
4. IRONY is when one means the contrary of what is said; as, when we say of a bad poet, he is a Virgil; or of a profligate person, Tertius a Cælo cecidit Cato.
When any thing is said by way of bitter raillery, or in an insulting manner, it is called a SARCASM; as, Satia te sanguine, Cyre, Justin. Italiam metire jacens, Virg.
When an affirmation is expressed in a negative form, it is called LITÕTES; as, He is no fool, for he is a man of sense ; Non humilis mulier, for nobilis or superba ; non indecoro pulvere, for decoro, Horat. When a word has a meaning contrary to its original sense, it is called Antiphrăsis ; as, aurī sacra fames, for execrabilis, Virg. Pontus Euxini falso nomine dictus, i. e. hospitalis, Ovid.
When any thing sad or offensive is expressed in more gentle terms, it is called EUPHEMISMUS; as, Vitå functus, for mortuus ; conclamare suos, to give up for lost, Liv. Valeant, for abeunt; mactare, or ferire, for occidere; Fecerunt id servi Milonis, quod suos quisque servos in tali re facere voluisset, i. e. Clodium interfecerunt, Cic. This figure is often the same with the Periphrasis.
The Periphrăsis, or Circumlocution, is when several words are employed to express what might be expressed in fewer. This is done either from necessity, as in translating from one language into another; or to explain what is obscure, as in definitions ; or for the sake of ornament, particularly in poetry, as in the descriptions of evening and morning, &c.
When after explaining an obscure word or sentence by a periphrasis, one enlarges on the thought of the author, it is called a Paraphrase.
When a word imitates the sound of the thing signified, it is called Onomatopæïa, (nominis fictio;) as, the whistling of winds, purling of streams, buz and hum of insects, hiss of serpents, &c. But this figure is not properly a trope.
It is sometimes difficult to ascertain to which of the above-mentioned 'tropes certain expressions ought to be referred. But in such cases minute exactness is needless. It is sufficient to know in general that the expression is figurative.
There are a great many tropes peculiar to every language, which cannot be literally expressed in any other. These, therefore, if possible, must be rendered by other figurative expressions equivalent; and if this cannot be done, their meaning should be conveyed in simple language; thus, Interiore notâ Falerni, with a glass of old Falernian wine : Ad umbilicum ducere, to bring to a conclusion, Horat. These, and other such figurative expressions, cannot be properly explained without understanding the particular customs to which they refer.
2. REPETITION OF WORDS. Various repetitions of words are employed for the sake of elegance or force, and are therefore also called Figures of words. Rhetoricians have distinguished them by different names, according to the part of the sentence in which they take place.
When the same verb is repeated in the beginning of any member of a sentence, it is called ANAPHORA; as, Nihilne te nocturnum præsidium palatii, nihil urbis vigiliæ, &c. Cic. Te dulcis conjux, te solo in littore secum, Te veniente die, te descendente canebat, Virg:
When the repetition is made in the end of the member, it is called EPISTROPHE, or conversio; as, Pænos Populus Romanus justitia vicit, armis vicit, liberalitate vicit, Cic. Sometimes both the former occur in the same sentence, and then it is called SYMPLOCE, or Complecio; as, Quis legem tulit ? Rullus. Quis, &c. Rullus, Cic.
When the same word is repeated in the beginning of the first clause of a sentence, and in the end of the latter, it is called EPANALEPSIS; as, Vidimus victoriam tuam præliorum exitu terminatam ; gladium vagind vacuum in urbe non vidimus, Cic. pro Marcello.
The reverse of the former is called ANADAPLOSIS, or Reduplicatio; as, Hic tamen vivit : vivil! imò in senatum venit, Cic.
When that which is placed first in the foregoing member, is repeated last in the following, and the contrary, it is called EPANODOS, or Regressio; as, Crudelis tu quoque mater ; Crudelis mater magis an puer improbus ille ? Improbus ille puer, crudelis tu quoque mater, Virg.
The passionate repetition of the same word in any part of a sentence, is called EPIZEUXIS ; as, Ercitate, excitate eum ab inferis, Cic. Fuit, fuit ista virtus, &c. Id. Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum, Virg. Bella, horrida bella, Id. Ibimus, ibimus, Hor.
When we proceed from one thing to another, so as to connect by the same word the subsequent part of a sentence with the preceding, it is called CLIMAX, or Gradatio; as, Africano virtutem industria, virtus gloriam, gloria æmulos comparavit, Cic.
When the same word is repeated in various cases, moods, genders, numbers, &c. it is called POLYPTOTON; as, Pleni sunt omnes libri, plenæ sapientium voces, plena exemplorum vetustas, Cic. Littora littoribus contraria, fluctibus undas imprecor, arma armis, Virg. To this is usually referred what is called SYNONYMIA, or the using of words of the same import, to express a thing more strongly; as, Non feram, non patiar, non sinam, Cic. Promitto, recipio, spondeo, Id. And also EXPOLITIO, which repeats the same thought in different lights.
When a word is repeated the same in sound, but not in sense, it is called ANTANACLASIS; as, Amari jucundum est, si curetur ne quid insit amari, Cic. But this is reckoned a defect in style, rather than a beauty. Nearly allied to this figure is the PARONOMASIA, or Agnominatio, when the words only resemble one another in sound; as, Civem bonarum artium, bonarum partium ; Consul pravo animo et parvo ; De oratore arator factus, Cic. Amantes sunt amentes, Ter. This is also called a PUN.
When two or more words are joined in any part of a sentence in the same cases or tenses, it is called HOMOIOPTOTON, i. e. similiter cadens; as, Pollet auctoritate, circumfluit opibus, abundat amicis, Cic. If the words have only a similar termination, it is called HOMOIOTELEUTON, i.e. similiter desinens; as, Non ejusdem est facere fortiter, et vivere turpiter, Cic.
3. FIGURES OF THOUGHT. It is not easy to reduce figures of thought to distinct classes, because the same figure is employed for several different purposes. The principal are the Hyperbole, Prosopopëia, Apostrophe, Simile, Antithěsis, &c.
1. HYPERBOLE is when a thing is magnified above the truth; as, when Virgil, speaking of Polyphemus, says, Ipse arduus, altaque pulsat sidera. So Contracta pisces æquora sentiunt, Hor. When an object is diminished below the truth, it is called Tapeinosus. The use of extravagant Hyperboles forms what is called Bombast.
2. PROSOPOPEIA, or Personification, is when we ascribe life, sentiments, or actions, to inanimate beings, or to abstract qualities; as, Quo (patria) tecum, Catilina, sic agit, &c. Cic. Virtus sumit aut ponit secures, Hor.. Arbore nunc aquas culpante, Id.
3. APOSTROPHE, or Address, is when the speaker breaks off from the series of his discourse, and addresses himself to some person present or absent, living or dead, or to inanimate nature, as if endowed with sense and reason. This figure is nearly allied to the former, and therefore often joined with it; as, Trojaque nunc stares, Priamique arx alta maneres, Virg.
4. SIMILE, or Comparison, is when one thing is illustrated or heightened by comparing it to another; as, Alexander was as bold as a lion.
5. ANTITHESIS, or Opposition, is when things contrary or different are contrasted, to make them appear in the most striking light; as, Hannibal. was ounning, but Fabius was cautious. Cæsar beneficiis ac munificentiá magnus habebatur, integritate vitæ, Cato, &c. Sąll. Cat. 54. E. hac parte pudor pugnat, illinc petulantia,
&c. Cic. Similar to this figure is the Oxumoron, i. e. acutè dictum; as, Amici absentes adsunt, &c. Cic. Impietate pia est, Ovid. Num capti potuere capi, Virg
6. INTERROGATION, (Græc. Erotēsis,) is a figure whereby we do not simply ask a question, but express some strong feeling or affection of the mind in that form; as, Quousque tandem, &c. Cic. Creditis avectos hostes? Virg. Heu! quæ me æquora possunt accipere, Id. Sometimes an answer is returned, in which case it is called Subjectio; as, Quid ergo? audacissimus ego ex omnibus? minimè, Cic. Nearly allied to this is Expostulation, when a person pleads with offenders to return to their duty.
7. EXCLAMATION, (Ecphonēsis,) as, O nomen dulce libertatis ! &c. Cic. o tempora, O mores ! Id. Opatria! O Divům domus Ilium! &c. Virg.
8. DESCRIPTION, or Imagery, (Hypotypõsis, when any thing is painted in a lively manner, as if done before our eyes. Hence it is also called Vision; as, Videor mihi hanc urbem videre, &c. Cic. in Cat. iv. 6. Videre magnos jam videor duces, Non indecoro pulvere sordidos, Hor. Here a change of tense is often used, as the present for the past, and conjunctions omitted, &c. Virg. xi. 637. &c.
9. EMPHASIS is when a particular stress laid on some word in a sentence; as, Hannibal, peto pacem, Liv. Proh! Jupiter ibit Hic! Virg.
10. EPANARTHOSIS, or Correction, is when the speaker either recalls or corrects what he had last said; as, Filium habui, ah ! quid dixi habere me? imò habui, Ter.
11. PARALEPSIS, or omission, is when one pretends to omit or pass by, what he at the same time declares.
12. APARITHMēsis, or Enumeration, is when what might be expressed in a few words, is branched out into several parts.
13. SYNATHROISMUS, or Coacervatio, is the crowding of many particulars together ; as,
-Faces in castra tulissem,
Cum genere extinxem, memet super ipsa dedissem. Virg. 14. Incrementum, or CLIMAX in sense, is when one number rises above another to the highest; as, Facinus est vincire civem Romanum, scelus verberare, parricidium necare, Cic. When all the circumstances of an object or action are artfully exaggerated, it is called Auxēsis, or Amplification. But this is properly not one figure, but the skilful employment of several, chiefly of the Simile and the Climax.
15. TRANSITION (metabăsis) is when a speech is abruptly introduced; or when a writer suddenly passes from one subject to another; as, Horat. Od. ii. 13. 13. In strong passion, a change of person is sometimes used; as, Virg. Æn. iv. 365, &c. xi. 406, &c.
16. SUSPENSIO, or Sustentatio, is when the mind of the hearer is long kept in sus. pense; to which the Latin inversion of words is often made subservient.
17. CONCESSIO is the yielding of one thing to obtain another; as, Sit fur, sit sacrilegus, &c. at est bonus imperator, Cic. in Verrem, v. 1. PROLEPSIS, Prevention or Anticipation, is when an objection is started and answered. Anacoinosis, or Communication, is when the speaker deliberates with the judges or hearers; which is also called Diaporēsis or Addubitatio. LICENTIA, or the pretending to assume more freedom than is proper, is used for the sake of admonishing, rebuking, and also flattering; as, Vide quàm non reformidem, &c. Cic. pro Ligario. AposIOPēsis, or Concealment, leaves the sense incomplete ; as, Quos ego sed præstat motos componere fluctus, Virg.
18. SENTENTIA, (gnome,) a sentiment, is a general maxim concerning life or manners, which is expressed in various forms; as, Otium sine literis mors est, Seneca. Adeo in teneris assuescere multum est, Virg. Probitas laudatur & alget ; Misera est magni, custodia censús; Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus, Juv.
As most of these figures are used by orators, and some of them only in certain parts of their speeches, it will be proper that the learner know the parts into which a regular formal oration is commonly divided. These are, 1. The Introduction, the Exordium or Proæmium, to gain the good will and attention of the hearers : 2. The Narration or Explication : 3. The argumentative part, which includes Confirmation or proof.