« PreviousContinue »
far as he knows, is to be received from any one Book in our Language.
In order to render his Work of greater service, he has generally referred to the Books which he consulted, as far as he remembers them; that the Readers might be directed to any farther illustration which they afford. But, as such a length of time has elapsed since the first Composition of his Lectures, he may, perhaps, have adopted the sentiments of some Author into whose Writings he had then looked, without now remembering whence he derived them.
In the opinions which he has delivered concerning such a variety of Authors, and of literary matters, as come under his confideration, he cannot expect that all his Readers will concur with him. The subjects are of such a nature, as allow room for much diversity of taste and sentiment: and the Author will respectfully submit to the judgment of the Public.
RETAINING the simplicity of the Lecturing Style, as best fitted for conveying
instruction, instruction, he has aimed, in his Language, at no more than perspicuity. If, after the liberties which it was necessary for him to take, in criticising the Style of the most eminent Writers in our Language, his own Style shall be thought open to reprehension, all that he can say, is, that his Book will add one to the many proofs already afforded to the world, of its being much easier to give instruction, than to set example.
FIRST V O L U M E.
III. Criticism — Genius - Pleasures of
Taste-Sublimity in Obje&ts.
NE of the most distinguished privi- É É C T. leges which Providence has conferred
upon mankind, is the power of communicating their thoughts to one another. Deftitute of this power, Reason would be a folitary, and, in some measure, an unavailing principle. Speech is the great instrument by which man becomes beneficial to man: and it is to the intercourse and transmission of thought, by means of speech, that we are chiefly indebted for the improvement of thought itself. Small are the advances which a single unaffifted individual can make towards perfecting any of his powers. What we call human reason, is not the effort or ability of one, so much as it is the result of the reason of many, arising from lights mutually comVol. I.