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we find this operation, even where the objects are not otherwise related than by juxtapofition of the words that express them. Hence, to elevate or depress an object, one method is, to join it in the expression with another that is naturally high or low : witness the following speech of Eumenes to the Roman senate.
Causam veniendi sibi Roman fuisse, præter cupiditatem visendi deos hominesque, quorum bencfcio in ea fortuna elset, supra quam ne optare quidem auderet, etiam ut coram inoneret fenatum ut Persei conatus obviam iret.
Livy, l. 42. cap. 11. To join the Romans with the gods in the same enun. ciation, is an artful stroke of fiattery, because it tacitly puts them on a level. On the other hand, the degrading or vilifying an object, is done successfully by ranking it with one that is really low:
I hope to have this entertainment in a readiness for the next winter ; and doubt not but it will please more than ihc opera or puppet-fhow.
Spectator, No. 28.
Manifold have been the judgments which Heaven from time to time, for the chastifement of a finful people, has inlicted upon whole nations. For when the degeneracy becomes corrmon, 'tis but just the punishment thould be procral. Of this kind, in our own unfortunate country, was that destructive peftilerce, whose mortality was so fatal as to fiscp away, if Sir William Petty may be believed, five millions of Chriftian souls, besides women and Jews.
God's revenge agains punning. Arbuthnct.
Such al was that dreadful condagration enfuing in this fuimons retropolic of London, which consumed, according to the computation of Sir Samuel Moreland, 100,000 frouios, lut io niention churches and tables. Ibid.
Por: condition it might pass into a lavi, I would gladly empi both lawyers of all ages, subaltern and field officers, young heirs, dancing masters, pickpockets, and players.
An infallible scheme to pay the public debts. Swift.
Sooner let earth, air, fea, to chaos fall,
Ripe of the Lock.
Circumstances in a period resemble small stones in a building, employed to fill up vacuities among those of a larger size. In the arrangement of a period, such under-parts crowded together make a poor figure ; and never are graceful but when interspersed among the capital parts. I illustrate this rule by the following example.
It is likewise urged, that there are, by computation, in this kingdom, above 10,000 parsons, whefe revenues, added to those of my Lords the Bithops, would fuffice to mainlain, &c.
Argument against abolishing Christianity. Swift.
Here two circumstances, viz. by computation and in this kingdom, are crowded together unnecessarily : they make a better appearance feparated in the fóllowing manner :
It is likewise urged, that in this kingdom, there are, by computation, above 10,000 parfons, &c.
If there be room for a choice, the sooner a circumstance is introduced, the better ; because circumstances are proper for that coolness of mind, with which we begin a period as well as a volume : in the progress, the mind warms, and has a greater relish for matters of importance. When a circumstance is placed at the beginning of the period, or near the beginning, the transition from it to the prins D 4
cipal subject is agreeable : it is like ascending, or going upward. On the other hand, to place it late in the period has a bad effect ; for after being engaged in the principal subject, one is with reluctance brought down to give attention to a circumstance. Hence evidently the preference of the following arrangement :
Whether in any country a choice altogether unexceptionable has been made, seeins doubtful. Before this other :
Whether a choice altogether unexceptionable has in any country been made, &c.
For this reason the following period is exceptionable in point of arrangement.
I have considered formerly, with a good deal of attention, the subject upon which you command me to communicate my thoughts to you.
Bolingbroke of the pudy of history, letter 1.
which, with a slight alteration, may be improved thus :
I have formerly, with a good deal of attention, considered the fulsjeet, &c.
Swift speaking of a virtuous and learned education :
And although they may be, and too often are drawn, by the temptations of youth, and the opportunities of a large fortune, into fome irregularities, when they come forward into the great world; it is ever with reluctance and compunction of mind, because their bias to virtue still continues.
The Inielligencer, No. 9.
And although, when they come forward into the great world, they may be, and too often, &c.
The bad effect of placing a circumstance last or late in a period, will appear from the following examples.
Let us endeavour to establish to ourselves an interest in him who holds the reins of the whole creation in his hand.
Spectator, No. 12. Better thus :
Let us endeavour to establish to ourselves an interest in him, who, in his hand, holds the reins of the whole creation.
Virgil, who has cast the whole system of Platonic philofophy, so far as it relates to the soul of man, into beautiful allegories, in the fixth book of his Æneid, gives us the punishment, &c.
Spectator, No. 90.
Virgil, who in the sixth book of his Æneid, has cast, &c.
And Philip the Fourth was obliged at last to conclude a peace on terms repugnant to his inclination, to that of his people, to the intereit of Spain, and to that of all Europe, in the Pyrenean treaty,
Letters on history, vol. 1. let. 6. Bulingbroke. Better thus :
And at last, in the Pyrenean treaty, Philip the Fourth was obliged to conclude a peace, etc.
In arranging a period, it is of importance to determine in what part of it a word makes the greatest figure ; whether at the beginning, during the
course, or at the clofe. The breaking filence rouses the at. tention, and prepares for a deep impression at the beginning : the beginning, however, muft yield to the close ; which being succeeded by a pause, affords time for a word to make its deepest impression.* Hence the following rule, That to give the utmost force to a period, it ought, if possible, to be closed with that word which makes the greatest figure. The opportunity of a pause should not be thrown away upon accessories, but reserved for the principal object, in order that it may make a full impresfion : which is an additional reason against closing a period with a circumstance. There are however periods that admit not such a structure ; and in that case, the capital word ought, if possible, to be placed in the front, which next to the close is the most ad. vantageous for making an impression. Hence, in directing our discourse to a man of figure, we ought to begin with his name ; and one will be sensible of a degradation, when this rule is neglected, as it fre, quently is for the sake of verse. I give the following examples.
Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus,
Horat. Carm. I. 1.
* To give force or elevation to a period, it ought to begin and end with a long fyllable. For a long syllable makes naturally the frongeft impresion; and of all the fyllables in a period, we are chiedy moved with the first and last.
Demetrius Phalercus of Elocution, Je&t. 39.