Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

It is pure when its theme is represented irrespectively of personal modifications, and, accordingly, in its own proper character.

It is mixed, when it is represented as modified by the peculiarities of personal apprehensions and convic. tions.

The Epicurean by Moore is an exemplification of the mixed form of representative discourse, in which but on. mind is introduced by whose personal characteristics thu representation is modified. Ancient life is in it represented through the experience of another, not from the direct perceptions of the author.

Where two or more persons are introduced, the discourse is called a Dialogue. The Dialogues of Plato, of Fontenelle, of Berkeley, are exemplifications of this variety.

§ 33. The highest law of Mixed Representative Discourse is, that the personal characteristics of the speakers introduced, so far as modifying the theme, be carefully exhibited throughout the representation.

The Dialogues of Plato are the most perfectly constructed specimens of the Dialogue, perhaps, that exist, so far as this first law of the discourse is regarded.

If the representation be for the sake of the form, the dis course becomes Poetry. We have, then, the Monologue when but one person is introduced; and the poetic Dialogue when more than one are exhibited. If the representation exhibits an action, it becomes Dramatic.

§ 34. Of the Pure Representative Discourse, several varieties are distinguished according to the character of the subject, as HISTORY, the subject of which is some fact or event,

single or continuous, in nature, as Natural History, or among men, as History Proper;

BIOGRAPHY, the subject of which is facts in individual experience;

TRAVELS, which is but a more specific department of biography, having facts of a specific character in individual experience for its subject;

SCIENTIFIC TREATISES, including the Essay or DISSERTATION, the subject of which is some truth, not mere fact as is the case in History.

It is to be remarked respecting the Pure Representative Discourse, that it easily admits the proper distinguishing characteristic of pure oratory—the opposition of speaker and hearer. Just so far as it does this, the full form of oratory appears; so far, at least, as address to a locally absent mind will allow. It is not unnatural, thus, that the historian begins his history as an addressing mind, and uses the forms of address. As, however, the idea of representing the facts of history for their own sake and not for the sake of the moral effect on other minds begins to rule in his mind, the oratorical forms, as those of the first person, of time instead of space, fall away, and the discourse approaches to the character of the pure representative.

$35. PROPER ORATORICAL DISCOURSE may be distributed into different kinds on either of two different principles, giving rise thus to two distinct sets or classes.

One principle of distribution is found in the specific character of the ultimate end of discourse.

The other is found in the specific character of the immediate end of discourse

$36. The ultimate end of all proper oratory being moral in its character $ 3, there may be three different kinds of discourse according as one or another of the three different forms or phases of the moral element, viz: the right, the good, and the beautiful or noble in character, governs in the discourse.

The three forms of oratory thus given are THE JUDICIAL, THE DELIBERATIVE and THE SACRED.

These denominations are derived from the fields in which the several kinds of oratory respectively predominate. It must not be inferred from the names that the species are con: tined to the respective fields from which the name is taken; that the species of oratory, for instance, in which the idea of right is the governing idca of the discourse, is confined to the Bar. The name in each class is taken from the principal species in each.

$ 37. JUDICIAL ORATORY has the idea of the right for its governing idea. Its chief province is found in the proceedings of Civil Judicature.

§ 38. DELIBERATIVE ORATORY has the idea of the good for its governing idea. It is chiefly found in Legislative Assemblies.

Whenever measures, moreover, are urged on the grounds of their expediency or tendency to promote the well being of men, there is found proper deliberative oratory. Parliamentary eloquence is but one, though the most common and familiar variety

§ 39. SACRED ORATORY has, for its governing idea, the lovely in character. It seeks to effect the perfect in character and is chiefly found in the pulpit.

Under this class is comprehended the panegyric, culogis

tic, or epidictic discourse. Only the lower varieties of this class were known to the ancients. The higher species is given in its perfection only with christianity.

$ 40. Discourse, distributed in reference to the specific character of its immediate end, comprehends the four classes of Explanatory, Argumentative, Pathetic, and Persuasive.

The above classification is founded on the several imme diate ends of discourse as enumerated, $ 54.

CHAPTER V.

OF THE DIVISIONS OF RHETORIC.

41. Rhetoric, as the Art of constructing Discourse, embraces two processes which are in many respects distinct from each other. The one consists in the provision of the thought embracing feeling and the moral state in its proper form, and is founded mainly on Logic. The other consists in the provision of the appropriate language, and rests mainly on Grammar as its foundation.

The two great divisions of the art of Rhetoric, accordingly, are INVENTION and STYLE.

In many of the most popular treatises on Rhetoric in the English language, the first of these processes, invention, has been almost entirely excluded from view. Several causes may be assigned for this deviation from the uniform method of the ancient rhetoricians. The most important one would seem to be the neglect into which logic has fallen,

at least, the discordant and unsettled views of English writers.

Another cause is the change that has taken place in logical science since the times of the Grecian and Roman rhetoricians, which renders their systems of rhetorical invention, founded as they were, to a great extent, on their peculiar logical views, inapplicable to present modes of thought. Their system of topics is, thus, for this and other reasons, wholly unsuited to our times.

The art of invention, moreover, is more essentially modified than style by the particular department of oratory or the kind of discourse to which it is applied. Hence the ancient systems of invention which were constructed in strict reference to the modes of speaking then prevalent, are ill-adapted to present use. The systems of Cicero and Quintilian, for example, are for the most part illustrated from the peculiar practice of the Roman bar. Modern writers on rhetoric, in following the great ancient masters in the art, have hence been reduced to this alternative,-either of leaving out entirely this part of the science, or of constructing an entirely new system. They have, for the most part, in the English language at least, decided on the former branch of the alternative, and have generally excluded almost entirely from their works, the consideration of Invention.

The perversion and abuse of ancient systems in the schools of the middle ages have undoubtedly further contributed to bring this branch of rhetorical science into disrepute and neglect.

It cannot, however, be doubted on a candid consideration of the matter that invention must constitute the very life of an art of rhetoric. It respects the soul and substance of discourse—the thought which is communicated. Quintilian

« VorigeDoorgaan »