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ness, I prefer Perspicuity, when I cannot be both short and clear,
To illustrate and confirm our Author's Notions I have adorn'd this Translation with many inftru&ive, beautiful Passages, collected froin some of the finest Writers both Antient, and Modern; which are not in the French Edition. I have likewise added some few Passages of another kind, The Quotations themselves, and the placing of the Marks of Reference, clearly point-out the View with which each Passage is quoted. If, for this Purpose, I had every-wliere added introductory Notes of my own, the Reader wou'd have had reason to com
my distrusting his Judgment. SOME Criticks will think I have too often neglected such connecting Particles as For, But, Seeing, dic. There's a peculiar Beauty in this Omission : and I Thou'd have left-out many more, if I had closely follow'd our Author's Example, or my own Judgment. But too much must not be attempted at once,
THROUGHOUT the following Sheets perhaps there are still too
Marks of Inaccuracy. I wish they may pass for Instances of that affeeted Negligence our
Author recommends. His LETTER plainly shews that he wou'd not always avoid every little Defect: nor ought it to be expected of his Translator, if he cou'd. An elaborate Stile, and a scrupulous Exactness, are inconsistent with the familiar Strain of a DIALOGUE. It were easy to prove that the free, and seemingly careless Manner which might be blameable in other Pieces, is really beautiful here; as being a juft Imitation of Nature But I will not lengthen this Advertisement into a Preface,
P R E F A C E.
OTH the Antients and the Moderns have treat
ed of Eloquence, with B
different Views, and in different Ways; as Logicians, as Grainınarians,
and as Criticks : but we ftill wanted an Author who fou'd handle this delicate Subject as a Philofopher, and a Christian: and this the late Archbishop of CAMBRAY has done in the following Dialogues.
In the antient Writers we find many folid Precepts of Rhetorick, and very just Rules laid down with
great Exactness : but they are oftimes too numerous, too dry; and in fine, rather
curious than useful. Our judicious Author reduces the essential Rules of this wonderful Art, to these three Points; proving, painting, and moving the Passions.
To qualify his Orator for proving, or establishing any Truth, He wou'd have him a Philosopher ; who knows how to enlighten the Understanding, while be moves the Paffions, and to act at once upon all the powers of the Mind ; not only by placing the Truth in so clear a Light as to gain Attention and Asent; but likewise by moving all the secret Springs of the Soul, to make it love that Truth it is convinc'd of. In one word, Our Author wou'd have his Orator's Mind fill'd with bright, useful Truths, and the most noble exalted Views.
That he may be able to paint, or den fcribe well, he jou'd have a Poetick kind of Enthufiafm; and know how to employ beautiful Figures, lively Images, and bold Touches, when the Subject requires them. But this Art ought to be entirely conceald: or, if it must appear ; it fhou'd seem to be a just Copy of Nature. Wherefore our ingenious Author reject's all such falfe
Ornaments as ferve only to please the Ear, with harmonious Sounds; and the Imagination, with Ideas that are more gay and sparkling, than just and folid.
To move the Pasions our eloquent Author wou'd have an Orator set every Truth in its proper Place; and fo connect them that the First may make way for the Second ; and the next support the former: So that the Discourse hall gradually advance in Strength and Clearness, till the Hearers perceive the whole Weight and Force of the Truth. And then he ought to display it in the livelyest Images ; and both in his Words and Gesture use all those affecting Movements that are proper to express the Passions he wou'd excite.
It is by reading the Antients that we must form our Taste, and learn the Art of Eloquence in all its Extent, But seeing that some of the Antients themselves have their Defects, we must read them with Caution and Judgment. Our Learned Author distinguishes the genuine Beauties of the purest Antiquity, from the faise Ornaments us’d in After-Ages; he points out what is excellent, and what is faulty, both in