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any man, we ought to begin with his name; and one will be sensible of a degradation, when this rule is neglected, as it frequently is for the fake of verse. 1 give the following examples.
Integer vitæ, fcelerifque purus,
Hor at. Carm. I. 1. ode 22.
Je crains Dieu, eher Abner, et n'ai point d'autre crainte.
In these examples, the name of the person addressed to, makes a mean figure, being like a circumstance slipt into a corner. That this criticism is well founded, we need no other proof than Addifon's transiation of the last example:
D Abner! I fear my God, and I fear none but him.
Guardian, N° JI17.
O father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd,
Paradise Lost, book 2. /. 727.
Every one must be sensible of a dignity in the invocation at the beginning, which that in the middle is far from reaching. I mean not however to censure this passage: on the contrary, it appears beautiful, by distinguishing the respect
that is due to a father from that which is due to a son.
The substance of what is said in this and the foregoing section, upon the method of arranging words in a period, so as to make the deepest impression with respect to sound as well as signification, is comprehended in the following observation. That order of words in a period will always be the most agreeable, where, without obscuring the sense, the most important images, the most sonorous words, and the longest members, bring up the real-.
Hitherto of arranging single words, single members, and single circumstances. But the enumeration of many particulars in the fame period is often necessary; and the question is, In what order they should be placed. It does not seem easy, at first view, to bring a subject apparently so loose under any general rules: but luckily, reflecting upon what is said in the first chapter about order, we find rules laid down to our hand,, so as to leave us no harder task than their application to the present question. And, first, with respect to the enumerating a number of particulars of equal rank, it is laid down in the place cited, that as there is no cause for preferring any one before the rest, it is indifferent to the mind in what order they be viewed. And it is only necessary to be added here, that
for for the same reason, it is indifferent in what order they be >named. 2dly, If a number of objects of the fame kind, differing only in size, are to be ranged along a straight line, the moll agreeable order to the eye is that of an increasing series: in surveying a number of such objects, j beginning at the leasts and proceeding to greater and greater, the mind swells gradually with the successive objects, and in its progress has a very sensible pleasure. Precisely for the same reason, the words expressive of such objects ought to be placed in the fame order. The beauty of this figure, which may be termed a climax insense7 has escaped Lord Bolingbroke in the first member of the following period:
Let but one great, brave, disinterested, active man arise, and he will be received, followed, and almost adored.
The following arrangement has sensibly a better effect:
r Let but one brave, great, active, disinterested man arise, be.
Whether the same rule ought to be followed in enumerating men of different ranks, seems doubtful: on the one hand, a number of persons presented to the eye in form of an increasing series, is undoubtedly the most agreeable order: on the other hand, in every list of names, it is customary ry to set the person of the greatest dignity at the top, and to descend gradually through his inferiors. Where the purpose is to honour the persons named according to their rank, the latter order ought to be followed; but every one who regards himself only, or his reader, will chuse the former order, gdly, As the fense of order directs the eye to descend from the principal to its greatest accessory, and from the whole to its greatest part, and in the fame order through all the parts and accessories till we arrive at the minutest; the fame order ought to be followed in the enumeration of such particulars. I shall give one familiar example. Talking of the parts of a column, viz. the base, the shaft, the capital, these are capable of six different arrangements, and the question is, Which is the best? When we have in view the erection of a column, we are naturally led to express the parts in the order above mentioned; which at the fame time is agreeable by mounting upward. But considering the column as it stands, without reference to its erection, the fense of order, as observed above, requires the chief part to be named first : .for that reason we begin with the sliaft; and the base comes next in order, that we may ascend from it to the capital. Lastly, In tracing the particulars of any natural operation, order requires that we follow the course of nature: historical facts are related in the order of time: we begin at the founder of a family, and proceed from him to his descendents: but in describing a lofty oak, we begin with the trunk, and ascend to the branches.
When force and liveliness of expression are demanded, the rule is, to suspend the thought as long as possible, and to bring it out full and entire at the close: which cannot be done but byinverting the natural arrangement. By introducing a word or member before its time, our curiosity is raised about what is to follow; and it is agreeable to have our curiosity gratified at .the close of the period: such arrangement produceth on the mind an effect similar to a stroke exerted upon the body by the whole collected force of the agent. On the other hand, where a period is so constructed as to admit more than one complete close in the sense, the curiosity of the reader is exhausted at the first close, and what follows appears languid or superfluous: his disappointment contributes also to this appearance, when he finds, contrary to his expectation, that the period is not yet finished. Cicero, and after him Quintilian, recommend the verb to the last place. This method evidently tends to suspend the.sense till the close of the period; for without the verb the sense cannot be complete: and when the verb happens to be the capital word, which is frequently the cafe, it ought at any rate to be. put last, according to another rule, above laid down. I proceed as usual to illustrate this rule