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The ingenious Dr. Knox has the following sensible observations on the pathetic style, particularly as it is io be found in scripture, and in the works of STERNE :
• There must be a charm added by the creative power of 'genius, which no didactic rules can teach, which cannot • be adequately described, but which is powerfully felt by
tire vibrations of the heart strings, and which causes an “ irresistible overlowing of the Δακρυων πηγαι, the sacri 'fontes lachrymarum.
• Florid diction and pompous declamation are, indeed, • found to be the least adapted of all modes of address to * affect the finer sensibilities of nature. Plain words, without epithets, without metaphors, without similies, have oftener excited emotions of the tenderest sympathy, than the most laboured composition of Corneille. A few words • of simple pathos will penetrate the soul to the quick, when
a hundred lines of declamation shall assail it as feebly • and ineffectually, as a gentle gale the mountain of Plin• limmon.
"A writer of taste and genius may avail himself greatly • in pathetic compositions, by adopting the many words and phrases, remarkable for their beautiful simplicity, which ' are interspersed in that pleasing, as well as venerable • book, the Holy Bible. Besides its astonishing simplicity, • it has many a passage exquisitely tender and pathetic.
• Throughout all the works of STERNE, there are inter• spersed exquisite touches of the pathetic. His pathetic • stories are greatly admired. The pathetic was the chief • excellence of his writings ; his admirers will be displeased • if we were to add, that it is the only one which admits of unalloyed applause.'-Knox's Essays, No. 145.
STERNE, who, though he is justly condemned for his libertinism, possessed an uncommon talent for the pathe• tic, bas availed himself greatly of the scriptural language,
. In all his most affecting passages, he has imitated the 'turn, style, manner, and simplicity, of the sacred writers,
and in many of them has transcribed whole sentences. He • found no language of his own could equal the finely ex
pressive diction of our common translation. I will quote only one or two instances of his imitations of scripture, ta• ken from the most admired pieces in the tender style
Maria, though not tall, was, nevertheless, of the first order 6 of fine forms. Afiction had touched her looks with some. • thing that was scarce earthly, and so much was there about her of all that the heart wishes, or the eye looks for in
woman, that could the traces be ever worn out of her • brain, or those of Eliza out of mine, she should not only • eat of my bread, and drink of my cup, but Maria should • lie in my bosom, and be unto me as a daughter.'-'Adieu, poor luckless maiden! imbibe the oil and wine, which the compassion of a stranger, as he sojourneth on his way, now pours into thy wounds. The Being, who has twice • bruised thee, can only bind them up for ever. Again, in • his description of the captive, “As I darkened the little • light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, " then cast it down, shook his head, and went on with his • work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he “ turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh. I saw the iron enter into his soul.-It
would be easy to adduce many other instances, in which a • writer, who eminently excelled in the power of moving • the affections, felt himself unequal to the task of advancing • the style of pathos to its highest perfection, and sought as• sistance of the Bible,'-Knox's Essays, No. 154.
For more instances of the pathetic sort, the reader is rer ferred to Sterne's well known story of ‘Le Fevre', in which is that beautiful passage, “The accusing spirit, which flew? up to heaven's chancery with the oath, blushed as he gave it in ; and the recording angel, as he took it down, dropped a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever'- Tristrany
Shandy, vol. III. c. 49. To this may be added the story of . Maria,' in do. vol. IV. c. 83 ; and the affecting and beautiful story of “La Roche,' in the Mirror, vol. II. p. 39–62, also, the story of Mercator,' in the Adventurer.
To these may not be improperly added a specimen of af. fecting eloquence in an American Indian. 'I may chal• lenge,' says Mr. Jefferson, the whole Orations of Demost.
henes and Cicero, and of any more eminent Orators, if Eu. rope bas furnished more eminent, to produce a single pas
sage superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to • lord Dunmore, when governor of Virginia. The following • incidents that occurred in the spring of the year 1774, were 'the occasion of it. A robbery and murder had been committed ' on the inhabitants of the frontiers of Virginia, by two Indi. • ans. The neighbouring whites, according to their custom, .undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. A
party was collected, and proceeded in quest of vengeance. • Unfortunately, a canoe of women and children, with one
man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, un. armed, and unsuspecting an hostile attack from the whites.
Thejmoment the canoe reached the shore, the white party, • who had been concealed, singled out their objects, and, at
one fire, killed every person in it. This happened to be • the family of Logan, who had been long distinguished as
friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked . his vengeance. He accordingly signalized himself in the
war which ensued. A decisive battle was soon afterwards fought, in which the Indians were defeated, and sued for peace. Logan, however, disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But lest the sincerity of a treaty should be disa • trusted, from which so distinguished a chief absented him
self, he sent by a messenger the following speech, to be . delivered to lord Dunmore:
* I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logaui's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he (came cold and naked, and he clothed him not.
• During the course of the last long and bloody war, Lo• gan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace.• Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen
pointed, as they passed, and said, 'Logan is the friend of • white men.' I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last
spring, in cold blood, murdered all the relations of Logan, • not sparing even my women and children. There runs ' not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature.
This called on me for revenge. I have sought it : I have • killed many! I have glutted my vengeance. For my coun
try, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbour a " thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt-fear. - He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there "to mourn for Logan ?--No one.'--JEFFERSON'S History of Virginia.
OF THE PERORATION.
it is undoubtedly in the Peroration. There, the Orator ought to set in motion all the springs of sensibility, and to strike the greatest strokes of Eloquence.
All moral subjects tend to pathetic conclusions. The attention of the auditory, which always revives towards the close of the sermon, invites the Christian minister to finish instruction by moving and energetic representations, which may powerfully affect the conscience, and leave an indelible impression upon every mind.
Some rhetoricians have laid it down as an established maxim in the art of Oratory, to recapitulate, in this part of the discourse, the principal arguments, and to offer an analysis of them.
I make bold to object to this method, which neither Demosthenes nor Cicero ever followed.
If this recapitulation of the proofs ought to terminate a discourse, ought it not especially to be adopted at the Bar ?