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unpolish't Medly of other Tongues of a quite different kind : As ill-digested Food adds to the Mass of Blood, an unfutable Mixture of Parts that rather corrupt, than recruit it. But we must remember, that we have but just thrown-off that unciviliz'd Manner which was as antient as our Nation.
Sed in longum tamen avum Manferunt, hodieque manent vestigia ruris. Serus enim Græcis admovit acumina chartis,
Some will perhaps object that the ACADEMY has not Power to make a new Term current; and that the Publick may oppose it. I remember the Instance of TIBERIUS, that forinidable Master of the Roman's Lives; wlio made himself ridiculous by affecting to introduce the Word Monopolium. However, I believe that the Publick wou'd readily shew a Deference to such a discreet Authority as the Academy wou'd use. Why might not we effect what the English do every day: When ye find the Want of a Word, chufe one that found's sweetly, and is not in the least ambiguous; one that is agreeable to our Language, and will help to abridge Discourse: Every-one will perceive the Convenience of such a Word. Let four or five Persons use it inodestly in familiar Conversation; others will re
peat it, through a love of Novelty : and then it becomes fashionable. Thus a Path that one opens in a Field, foon becomes a beaten Way, when the old Path is rugged and farthest about.
Besides new and simple Words, we want some compounded ones, and Phrases : in which the Art of joining Words together, that were always usd a-part, might produce a graceful Novelty.
Dixeris egregiè, notum fi callida verbum
Reddiderit junctura novum Thus the Latins said Velivolum in one Word compos'd of two: and of two diftinct Words they made Phrases ; such as Remigium alarum, Lubricus afpici. But in this Point we must be sparing and cau
tenuis autufque ferendis. The Nations that live in a mild Climate relish strong and bold Metaphors less than the People of hot Countrys do. Our Language wou'd soon become copious, if those who are in greatest Repute for Politeness endeavour'd to introduce such Expressions, (either simple, or figurative) as we have hitherto wanted.
S. IV. $. IV. An excellent * RHETORICK wou'd be far more valuable than a Grammar, or any other Project that tends only to bring a Language to greater Perfection. He who wou'd undertake this Work, shou'd collect into it all the finest Precepts of ARISTOTLE, CICERO, QUINTILIAN, LUCIAN, LONGINUS, and other famous Authors. The Passages he might quote from them, wou'd be the Ornaments of his Work. By taking only the choicest Parts of the purest Antiquity, he wou'd make a short, curious, delicate Treatise.
I am very far froin preferring the Genius of the ancient Orators, to that of the Moderns, in all Refpects. I think the Comparison that has been lately made on this Subject is very just. For, as
Nor wou'd I have this new ENGLISH AC A. DEMY confin'd only to the weighing Words, and Letters: there may be also greater Works found out for it. By many Signs we may guess that the Wits of our Nation are not inferiour to any other ; and that they have an excellent mixture of the Spirit of the French, and the Spaniard : and I am confident that we only want a few more standing Examples, and a little more Familiarity with the Antients to excel all the Moderns. Now the best Means that can be devis’d to bring that about, is to settle a fixt and impartial COURT of ELOQUENCE ; according to whose Cenfure all Books, or Authors, Mou'd either stand, or fall -The ROYAL SOCIETY is so far from being like to put a stop to such a Business, that I know many of its MEMBERS who are as able as any others to assist in the bringing it into Practice.
History of the Royal Society, p. 42, 43.
Trees have now the same Form, and bear the saine kind of Fruit, that they had a thousand Years ago; so Men continue to produce the fame Thoughts. But there are two Things I must here take the Freedom to suggest. The first is, that fome Climates are more happy than others, for foine particular Talents, as well as for certain kinds of Fruit. For instance, Languedoc and Provence produce Raisins and Figs of a better Taste, than Normandy, or the Netherlands. So the Arcadians had a Genius fitter for polite Arts than the Scythians. The Sicilians have a better Taste of Musick than the Laplanders. We find likewife that the * Athenians had a more quick and sprightly Wit than the Beotians. The fecond Thing I observe, is, that the Greeks had a kind of long Tradition that we want. Eloquence was more cultivated
among them, than it can be in our Nation. Among the Greeks all Things depended on the People: and the People were influencil by Haranguing. In their Forin of Government, Fortune, Reputation, and Authority, were obtain’d by perswading the People. Artful vehement
* Athenis tenue cælum, ex quo acutiores etiam putantur Attici ; crassum Thebis Cic. de Fato. 8. 4.
Beotum in craffo jurares aëre natum. HOR.
Declaimers sway'd them as they pleasid: and Oratory was the great Spring of Affairs both in Peace, and War. Hence come those numerous Harangues mention'd in History, which we reckon incredible ; because they are so intirely different from our Manners. DIODORUS the Sicilian tells us that NicoLAUS and GYSIPPUS by turns influenc'd the Syracufians. The one prevaild with them at first to pardon some Athenian Prisoners : and the next Moment, the other perswaded thein to put those very Prisoners to death.
RHETORICK has no such Influence now among us. Publick Assemblys meet only for Shows, and Cereinonys. We have scarce any Remains of a powerful Eloquence, either of our Old Parliaments, or our General States, or our Assemblys of * Chief Persons. Every thing is determin'd secretly in Cabinet-Councils, or in some particular Negotiation. So that our People have no Encouragement to use such Application as the Greeks did, to raise themselves by the Art of Perswasion. The publick Use of Eloquerice is now almost confin'd to the Pulpit, and the Bar.
* De Notables,