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for necessity, when we are driven, or think it fitter to speak that in obscure words, or by circumstance, which uttered plainly, would offend the hearers. Or to avoid obsceneness, or sometimes for pleasure and variety; as travellers turn out of the highway drawn either by the commodity of a foot path, or the delicacy or freshness of the fields. And all this is called cryinualiopevn, or figured language.
Language most shews a man: speak, that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired and inmost parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true, as his speech. Nay, it is likened to a man; and as we consider feature, and composition in a man, so words in language; in the greatness, aptness, sound, structure, and harmony of it. Some men are tall and big ; so some language is high
Then the words are chosen, their sound ample, the composition full, the absolution plenteous, and poured out, all grave, sinewy, and strong. Some are little and dwarfs; so of speech, it is humble and low; the words poor and flat; the members and periods thin and weak, without knitting or number. The middle are of a just stature. There the language is plain and pleasing: even without stopping, round without swelling ; all well-turned, composed, elegant, and accurate. The vicious language
is vast and gaping, swelling and irregular ; when it contends to be high, full of rock, mountain, and pointedness: as it affects to be low, it is abject, and creeps, full of bugs and holes. And according to their subject, these styles vary and lose their names : for that which is high and lofty, declaring excellent matter, becomes vast and tumorous, speaking of petty and inferior things; so that which was even and apt, in a mean and plain subject, will appear most poor and humble in a high argument. Would you not laugh to meet a great councellor of state in a flat cap, with his trunk hose, and a hobby-horse cloak, his gloves under his girdle; and yond habers dasher in a velvet gown, furred with sables? There is a certain latitude in these things, by which we find the degrees.
The next thing to the stature, is the figure and fea> ture in language: that is, whether it be round and strait, which consists of short and succinct periods, numerous and polished; or square and firm, which is to have equal and strong parts, every thing ans swerable, and weighed.
The third is the skin and coat, which rests in the well-joining, cementing, and coagmentation of words ; when as it is smooth, gentle, and sweet ; like a table upon which you may run your finger without rubs, and your nail cannot find a joint; nor horrid, rough,
wrinkled, gaping, or chapt: after these, the flesh, blood, and bones come in question. We say it is a fleshy, style, when there is much periphrases, and circuit of word; and when, with more than enough, it grows fat and corpulent; Arvina orationis, full of suet and tallow. It hath blood and juice, when the words are proper and apt, their sound sweet, and the phrase neat and picked. Oratio uncta et bene pusta. But where there is redundancy, both the blood and juice are faulty' and vicious.
Redundat sanguine, quia multò plus dicit quàm necesse est. Juice in language is somewhat less than blood; for if the words be but becoming, and signifying, and the sense gentle, there is juice ; but where that wanteth, tlie language is thin, flagging, poor, starved; scarce covering the bone, and shews like stones in a sack. Some men, to avoid redundancy, run into that; and while they strive to have no ill blood, or juice, they lose their good. There be some styles again, that have not less blood, but less flesh and corpulence. These are bony and sinewy: Ossa, habent et nervos.
Ben. Jonson's works complete were published, 1716, in 6 vols, Svo. and in 1756, in 7 vols, Svo. Dryden, in his Essay on Dramatic
Poesy, stiles Ben. Jonson the greatest man of the last age; meaning as a dramatic writer ; but the moderns are by no means disposed to award him applause so pre-eminent. It is unfortunate for the fame of Jonson, that he is almost inevitably viewed in connection with Shakespeare, in comparison with whom, a giant may sink into a pigmy. But the observation and judgment discovered in the above remarks, prove him to have possessed a mind of no ordinary stamp.
Sir Robert Cotton, antiquarian and historian, son of Thomas Cotton, Esq. was descended of an ancient family, and born at Denton in Huntingdonshire, in 1570. He was of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he proceeded B. A. in 1585.
His inclination was directed early to antiquities; and removing to London, he was soon admitted into the society of antiquaries, which improved his opportunities for prosecuting his favorite studies. On the accession of James 1. he was created a knight, and during the whole of that reign, his authority was deservedly very high relative to points of history and antiquity. Sir Robert distinguished himself, too, by promoting the project of creating a new order of knights, stiled baronets, which was one of the expedients resorted to by king