&hd sonorous, strong and forcible, and animated by bold artd expressive sigures. On the contrary, the Northern languages are desicient in these respects, arid gerierally partake of the cold influence of their climate, Irt the former the warmth of imagination predominates; in the latter there is more of the strictness and correctness of judgment .

The principal distinctions Of style arise froln the diversity Of subjects. The fame mode of expression would be as inconsistent upon different occasions, as the fame' dress for persons of different ranks, or for different seasons of the year. Propriety, therefore, requires expression to be adapted to the nature of the subject. Style is sometimes divided into three kinds, the low or plain; the middle or temperate', and the lofty or sublime. Asj however, these three divisions may be found, upon examination, to be too theoretical, it may be better to adopt a more striking and more marked distinctioo, by separating stile into the plain and the grand.

A plain style is that of which the words are direct and strictly proper; it sinks not to those which are vulgar, nor does it rise to those which are lofty. As it is employed to describe things correctly and clearly, . its proper subjects are letters, essays, narratives, works of science and philosophy, or any -other topics that require little or no ornament, or addresses to the passions. Simplicity and ease are its peculiar beauties; and the choicest examples of it are to be

o 3 found found in the works of Xenophon and Cæsar, and the sermons of Seeker and Wilson.

They are

Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp os dress x

The grand style belongs to those subjects which admit all the splendour, force, and dignity of composition. It is the foil which is favourable to the growth of the fairest flowers of eloquence. Here the most felect words, flowing periods, and bright and animated tropes and sigures, sind their proper place. The dialogues of Plato, the speeches of Livy, and the molt admired orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, afford the best examples.

As it is a matter of importance that the style should be adapted to the subject, this care is in no respect more indispensable than in the sublime and the pathetic.

The Sublime includes the grandest thoughts which the mind is capable of forming. Such thoughts relate either to divine subjects, to the works of nature, or such expressions, or actions, as are esteemed the noblest and the best. The sublime shines by its own native light, and far from soliciting, rejects the assistance of ornament; for when the mind is

* Thomsou's Seasons.

elevated elevated to the utmost extent of its powers by a noble idea, it attends not to the niceties of language; but, from its own vigorous and lively conception of things, expresses them in terms the most emphatic, and best adapted to their nature. Dignity and majesty are the proper qualities of this species of style, both as to the thought and expression; as may be best illustrated by numerous passages in the holy Scriptures, the Iliad of Homer,. and the Paradise Lost of Milton.

The sublime often relates to subjects which the mind cannot fully comprehend, and therefore derives part of its effect from obscurity. Thus in surveying the prospects of nature, we are more struck with a view of such mountains as Snowden, or Benlomond, when their summits are enveloped in clouds, than when they are completely visible. A cataract partly concealed by trees, and which is more heard than seen, produces the fame effect. Lightning and Thunder increase their terrour from happening when the sky is black with clouds, or during the night.

No passages are more sublime than some in scripture, which combine the terrisic with the obscure. Such is the description given in the Psalms, of the manifestation of the Almighty. There went a smoke out in his presence; and a consuming fire out os his mouth, so that coals were kindled at it. He bowed the heavens also and came down: and it was dark under his feet. He rode upon the dievubims, and did fly: he came flying upon the wings • Q3 of of the wind. He made darkness his secret place? his pavilion round about him with dark water, and thick clouds to cover him. And again,—rThe. waters saw thee, 0 God, the waters saw thee, and were afraid: the depths also were troubled, she clouds poured out water, the air {hundred; and thine arrows went abroad. 1"he voice of thy. thunder was heard round about; the lightning Jhone upon the ground; the earth was moved and shook withal. Thy way is in the sea, and thy paths, in the great waters, and thy footjieps are not known.

The noblest example is recorded by Moses in the Book of Genesis, when he describes the Almighty commencing his work of Creation. And God said let there be lightand there was light. Every other instance, whether antient or modern, whether taken from an historian, orator, poet, or philosopher, sinks insinitely below this. So tha,fc with good reason did Longinus, who had all the works of antiquity before him, pronounce his high approbation of this passage ^.

With the sublime is properly classed the pathetic of composition, wherein the greatest power is exerted over the passions. Here we are interested, agitated, and carried along with the Speaker or Writer, wherever he chooses to lead us; our passions are made to rife in unison with his; we love, detest, admire, resent, as he inspires us; and are

y De Sublim. Sect. ix.

prompted prompted to feel with fervour, and to act: with energy, in obedience to the particular impulse, which he gives to our minds. Quintilian with great propriety calls this power of moving the passions, the foul and spirit of his art; as the proper use of the passions is not to blind or to counteract the exercise of reason, but to move in conformity to jt; if an improper impulse be sometimes given to them, it is not the fault of the art, but 9s the artist. The pulpit admits this species of eloquence, as is clear from the Sermons of Maffilson and Isourdaloue: but the sictitious scenes of Tragedy dpen the most extensive sield for its display.

The diction of an orator may include various kinds of style. As he speaks sometimes to prove and instruct, sometimes to entertain and delight, and sometimes to rouse, animate, and astonish, he must be occasionally plain, manly, sigurative, pathetic, or sublime. All this variety, however, is rarely necessary upon the fame occasion. l)ue regard must be paid to the nature of the subject, the dispositions of the audience, the time, the place, and all other circumstances.

III. The Ornaments of a Composition,

The most antient languages, such as the Hebrew and the Arabic, are highly sigurative; and so are those which are spoken by the Mild tribes of Indians and Americans. "We have planted the tree of peace," said an American orator, "and we

o 4 have

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