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lime, passionate, nor sparkling; but such as raises in the reader an emotion of the gentle, placid kind, similar to what is raised by the contemplation of beautiful objects in nature. Q. Who have furnished us with specimens of this?

A. Addison, Fenelon, Virgil, and Cicero.


Q. What else delights the imagination besides sublimity and beauty?

A. Novelty and Imitation.

Q. What is the character of the emotion raised by Novelty ?

A. It is of a more lively and awakening nature than that produced by beauty, but much shorter in its duration.

Q. What passion does it gratify?
A. Curiosity.

Q. To what does Imitation give rise?

A. To the secondary pleasures of the Imagination, which form a very extensive class ; for all imitation affords some pleasure.

Q. Do not the pleasures of Melody and Harmony also belong to Taste?

A. Yes. Every agreeable sensation we receive from Beauty or Sublimity, may be heightened by the power of musical sound. Wit; Humour; and Ridicule, also, open a variety of pleasures to Taste.

Q. To what class of all these pleasures of Taste is that to be referred, which we receive from poetry, eloquence, or fine writing? A. Not to any one, but to them all.

Q. Whence do Eloquence and Poetry derive this power of supplying Taste and Imagination with such a wide circuit of pleasures? A. From their great capacity of Imitation and Description.

Q. Has Discourse been considered as the chief of all the imitative arts?

A. Yes. It has been compared with painting and with sculpture; and, in many respects, justly preferred before them.

Q. Is there any difference between Imitation and Description?

A. There is considerable. Imitation is performed by means of some things which have a natural likeness to the thing imitated; such as statues and pictures. Description is the raising in the mind the conception of an object by means of some arbitrary symbols; such as words and writing.


Q. What is Language?

A. It is the expression of our ideas by certain articulate sounds, which are used as the signs of those ideas.

Q. What is the present state of language? A. Very perfect. It is even made an instrument of the most refined luxury.

Q. How may we well contemplate it? A. With the highest astonishment; but, like the expanse of the firmament, it has become familiar, and we behold it without wonder.

Q. How may we form the best idea of its origin?

A. By contemplating the circumstances of mankind in their earliest and rudest state.

Q. In what condition were they?

A. They were a wandering, scattered race; had no society among them except families ; and this society very imperfect.

Q. In this situation, could they easily form language?

A. No. Great difficulties must have arisen; so that there is no small reason for referring language to divine inspiration.

Q. Suppose a period before any words were known, how would men communicate to others what they felt?

A. By cries of passion, accompanied with expressive motions and gestures.

૨. What then are we to suppose were among the first elements of speech?

A. Interjections.

Q. How can we suppose men to have proceeded in the formation of words?

A. By imitating the nature of the object named. Wind would be said to whistle and

roar; a serpent, to hiss; a fly, to buzz; falling timber, to crash; hail, to rattle.

Q. From the paucity of words, how would the earliest language be pronounced?

A. With more gesticulation, and with more and greater inflexions of voice than we now use.

QWas this musical and gesticulating system, which belongs to the savage state, retained in the Greek and Roman languages?

A. Yes; to a very high degree. Aristotle considers the music of Tragedy, as one of its chief and most essential parts.

Q. Was the case parallel with regard to gestures ?

A. Yes. In the reign of Augustus, the favourite entertainment of the public was pantomime; which was carried on entirely by mute gesticulation.

Q. What put an end to this?

A. The incursions of the Barbarians, who paid no regard to the pomp of declamation or theatrical action.

Q. What modern people retain, to a great degree, the musical system?

A. The Chinese. They vary each word by five different tones; thus making it signify five different things, which gives an appearance of singing to their speech.

Q. Whence is formed the Prosody of language?

A. From the reduction of the original inflexions of voice to smooth and musical sounds. Q. What was the original style of language?

A. Exceedingly figurative.

Q. Have we any striking instance of this? A. Yes. In the style of the American Indians, and of the Old Testament.


Q. How came language, at an early period, to be extremely metaphorical?

A. The want of proper names for every object, obliged men to use one name for many; but few words also, were invented for expressing moral and intellectual ideas.†

Q. Which was the earliest language, Poetry or Prose ?

A. Poetry.

Q. What was the effect of improvement in language?

A. The destruction of the figurative style, and introduction of one more precise and simple.

Q. Who was the earliest Greek Prose writer?

"We are happy in having buried under ground "the red axe, that has so often been dyed with the "blood of our brethren. Now, in this fort, we inter "the axe, and plant the tree of peace. We plant a "tree, whose top will reach the sun, and its branches "spread abroad, so that it shall be seen afar off. May "its growth never be stifled and choaked; but may it "shade both your country and ours with its leaves !" -Treaty of the Five Nations.

In the Old Testament, iniquity is expressed by a spotted garment; misery, by drinking the cup of astonishment; vain pursuits, by feeding on ashes; a sinful life, by a crooked path; prosperity, by the candle of the Lord shining on our head.

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