« VorigeDoorgaan »
THEMES FOR EXERCISE IN INVENTION.
PAGI 291 293 293 294 295 296 297 297 299 800 800 800
§ 1. The object of the Art of Rhetoric is TO DE
VELOP AND GUIDE THE FACULTY OF DISCOURSE.
An art is essentially distinguished from a science by the cir. cumstance that, while the latter proposes truths and principles only as subjects of knowledge, the former carries them out in application to practice. An art, accordingly, always contemplates the exertion of some power or faculty; and proposes to point out the means and furnish the occasion of developing and regulating that faculty in the best manner. The art of Music, thus, addresses itself to the faculty of song; and unfolds the principles and affords, in suitable exercises, the mcans by which that faculty is to be cultivated and regulated. Arithmetic, or the art of computation, teaches the principles by which we must compute, and, also, presents cxamples for exercise, with a view to render the learner dexterous and accurate in computing. In like manner, the art of rhetoric proposes to explain the principles by which we discourse or communicate thought and feeling to other minds, and to furnish the means of acquiring a skill and dexterity in the use of this power.
The more particular determination and development of this general notion of rhetoric will be exhibited in the chapters of the Introduction that immediately follow.*
* It will be observed that the term " discourse" is used here in its more generic import of communication of thought by means of language.' It is used by earlier writers to denote the faculty or attribute itself of thought: as
It adds to my calamity that I have
Reason is her being,
Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours.--Milton.
The vanquished party with the victors joined
Nor wanted sweet discourse, the banquet of the mind. It is in this sense the term is used in the definition.
The use of the term to signify the product of the exercise is so familiar as to need no illustration.
OF THE LIMITS AND RELATIONS OF THE ART OF
§ 2. As the various arts are distinguished from each other by the particular faculty or power which they respectively call into exercise, the art of rhetoric has its nature and essential character determined at once from its being founded on the faculty of discourse, or the capacity in man of communicating his own mental states to other minds, by means of language.
Various names are in current use for the designation of this art, conveying, however, slightly different shades of meaning. The term eloquence turns the mind on the source, and is equivalent to the phrase verbal expression, having no direct reference to the object of speaking. Oratory, on the other hand, fixes the attention on the hearer or person addressed, and directly suggests the idea of an effect on his mind. Rhetoric, the art of the speaker, expresses the thing itself, speaking, with no such reference either to the source or to the effect.
§ 3. Inasmuch as Discourse, in its proper and original import, respects an effect on another mind, and all intentional operations of one mind on another come under the control of moral principles; and, in so far, moreover, as it expresses moral states or aims to excite them, rhetoric bears a close affinity to ETHICS.
The ancient rhetoricians, as for instance, Aristotle, regarded rhetoric as but a specific development and application of ethical science. So, likewise, it is now regarded by some German writers, particularly, by Theremin. This