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pleasing or painful, it is only needful to set before the mind perspicuously the characters, facts, or actions, or thoughts that naturally produce it. The fancy may ornament the description, and figurative language is appropriate. Even a highly ornamented style may not interfere with the impression. But when the passion, painful or pleasing, becomes strong, the language must become more direct. Ornaments will be discarded. Figures only the most abrupt and condensed, and perhaps not strictly correct according to severe rule, will be suggested-mixed metaphors, if ever, are allowable and the sentences are short and strong. Passion discards superfluities and niceties of expression. Strong passion loses self-consciousness. When a man has time to say that he is angry, or is inclined to think whether he is angry or not, his passion is more sentimental than real.
81. How far egotistical References are proper.-Quiet emotion, held under control by the intellect, is more self-conscious, and often leads to egotistical expres*sions. Thus Henry Clay said in an eloquent speech, properly endeavoring to produce emotion that should lead to action:
"I have no desire for office, not even the highest. The most exalted is but a prison, in which the incarcerated incumbent daily receives his cold, heartless visitants, marks his weary hours, and is cut off from the practical enjoyment of all the blessings of genuine freedom. Pass this bill, and I am willing to go home, and renounce pub lic service forever."
So Daniel Webster, in his great speech, full of emotion himself, awakened unselfish appreciation of merit anywhere, and produced a contempt for his opponent,
who had manifested a different sentiment, by exclaim
"When I shall be found, sir, in my place here in the Senate or elsewhere, to sneer at public merit because it happened to spring up beyond the little limits of my own State or neighborhood; when I refuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, to sincere devotion to liberty and the country-if I see extraordinary capacity and virtue in any son of the South-and if, moved by local prejudice, or gangrened by State jealousy, I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and fame, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."
How deep the emotion in the speech of the Irishman Emmett, when about to receive his sentence of death for what was called treason!
"I have but a few words more to say. I am going to my cold and silent grave; my lamp of life is nearly extinguished; my race is run; the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to make at my departure from this world: it is the charity of its silence! Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I am done."
82. Pathos.-What is commonly called Pathos in a speaker or writer is an emotion of pity or deep interest awakened by the suffering of others, generally associated with a respect for their moral character, and perhaps a love of them for some extraordinary excellence. It is a sympathetic pain, not wholly without pleasure. Washington Irving's description of the death of the wife of Emmett on account of her grief, and his description of the burial of a mother, are full of pathos. Dickens's description of the death of Little
Nell, in the "Old Curiosity Shop," is deeply touching. Pathos is a great element of power in the pulpit.
It might be supposed that inasmuch as the passion must exist before it can be expressed, and that if it exists it will naturally clothe itself in appropriate language, no rules of Rhetoric will compass it or help the orator. But if its power is known, and the best examples of its expression are studied, its appropriate expression will become more natural and easy.
83. A common Fault. The great fault of many writers is an attempt to express pathos that they do not feel, and particularly to overload their productions with empty declamation about passion, instead of encouraging the true feeling where it should exist, and expressing it in simple language. In such a case the speaker defeats his own purpose, and excites only disgust.
TASTE, AND ITS CULTIVATION.
84. Definition, and Illustrations.—TASTE is the susceptibility to pleasure from works of art.
The pleasure, however, which is awakened by the utility of a work, is not primarily attributed to the Taste, but particularly the gratification arising from its beauty, or from the qualities which seem designed primarily to please. A house may be strong, durable, in a healthy locality, convenient, and therefore please our judgment on account of its utility; but it may be at the same time ill-shapen, of a disagreeable color, and so placed, with reference to the streets and the Iocalities around, as to offend our sense of the fitness of things. In such a case we say that, though useful, it · is built in poor taste.
A written production or speech ought to please us if it accomplishes its end, and so it does in that respect; but if, in addition to accomplishing its main purposewhatever that may be-it pleases us by its beauty, appropriateness, and conformity to what we think is fitting and proper, it is peculiarly commendable.
Nor is that all: whatever exhibits good taste is thereby so much the more likely to receive attention, and to exert its full force, perhaps indeed more than it
deserves for its intrinsic merit. Beauty is desirable in itself, for its own power to please.
85. Essential Beauty in Composition.-There is undoubtedly essential beauty in well-chosen language, well-constructed sentences, well-arranged arguments, a due admixture of plain and figurative expressions, a proper structure of the entire composition. A good taste recognizes genuine beauty, and also is displeased at its absence, and pained at deformity.
86. Is there any Standard of Taste?—The standard of Taste is inflexible, so far as it regards intrinsic beauty alone, but the mind is influenced by education, so that persons in one age may approve what is disapproved in another age. A nation may have a peculiar standard of Taste on some matters, and to a certain extent. French writers, for instance, usually break up their pages into many paragraphs, and write in a sharp, pointed style; German writers, on the average, make longer paragraphs. This is a mere national fashion, to which there are many exceptions, and in both cases it may prove temporary.
There are so many varieties of beauty, esteemed so variously by different persons, and there are so many artificial or cultivated preferences, that it is a recognized truth that disputes on matters of taste can not be absolutely settled.
87. Criticism. Criticism is the subjecting of the writings and speeches of others to examination according to the rules of Rhetoric and Taste, and the assigning of reasons for their approval or disapproval. It is a healthful practice when not indulged in excess