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Art. 35. The Protestant Preacher, being a select Collection
of Sermons and Discourses, by the most distinguished British Divines, from the Reformation to the present Period, on the most im. porcant and interesting Subjects, to the Exclusion of all Specu. lation and Controversy : with several valuable Originals now first published: the Whole comprehending a complete system of Prac.
tical Divinity. 8vo. 2. Vols., Richardson and Urquhart. teto S bounct 1780. ' In the present collection, the sermons are given without methodical arrangement, and at full length. The Authors from which these two
volumes are extracted are, Clark, Sherlock, Tilloifon, Doddridge, " Butler, Atterbury, Evans, Foster, Swift, Blackall, Seed, Sterne, Far. · qubar, Price, Leechman, Jennings, Leigbton, Fleetwood, Willis. From
this list of names the Reader will eahly perceive, that little care has
Monheur Cejar de Mify un des Chapelains Francois de fa Majesté Britan.
Most of these discourses were delivered by the Author extempore, and are preserved by one of his hearers, who copied them from his memory, immediately after he had heard them. The manuscripts came afterwards into the hands of the Preacher, who was so well satisfied with the judgment and fidelity with which they had been taken down, that he formed the design of reviewing them for the press. This design he in part executed, but was prevented from completing it by illness and death. In this present imperfect state, however, they are a faithful transcript of the Author's sentiments and manner. They every where abound with that animation which the French writers style on&tion, and bear evident marks of a ready invention, lively feel. jogs, and an honest heart. But those who have formed their talte for fermons on the English model, will probably think them too dife fuse and declamatory, and perhaps too much tinctured with enthu. siasm. There are in the collection nine sermons on Evil-Speaking, drawn up at length by the Author, which discover much ingenuity and knowledge of the world.
Mr. Capel Lofft, concerning the account we gave in the last month's Review of his Principia Juris Universalis. That Gentleman, we hope, will not impute to us any want of respect for bim, or for the subject, if we beg leave to decline entering into a controversy relating to it: nor will he imagine it is a matter of great surprise to us, if our opinion of the merits of a publication (either as to the plan or the execution), and the opinion of the Auihor himself, do not always happen exactly to coincide. - Of a work like Mr. Lofft's, oot aspiring to originality, but extracted from other writers, the principal merit must arise from the judgment that is shewn in the selection, and the order observed in the disposition of the materials. In the latter of these articles Mr. Lofft appears to us to have failed, and to have failed considerably; and we doubt noi that, in a little time, when the paternal tenderness of an author has abaced, Mr. Lofft himself will contemplate his Principia with less complacency than he seems to do at present. He has indeed goiten together inuch good stone from the quarry, but we find no traces of the kill of an architect; nothing of that lucidus ordo ; of that masterly arrangement, which cafts light and grace on the different parts of a system, while it strengthens the force and impression of the whole. If this be thought full as much an object of taste as of judgment, we answer that they may both have their Share. Except the elegant Commentator on the Laws of England; few writers of Mr. Loffi's profesion have attended to this point, and though Mr. Loft has adopted Sir William Blackstone's arrangement in one part of his work (which perhaps was sufficiently extensive for the whole), yet he has crouded together such a variety of other general citles and divisions, and all are so strangely connected by their sender relation to an alphabetical distribucion (which is in some letters ftri&ly, in others very laxly pursued), that the whole appears to be a most confused and embarrassed system, if it has any pretenfions to the name of one (for it looks more like four or five systems inarti. ficially pieced together), or at beft it comes forth under a very aukward and’ungainly shape,
“ If Thape it may be called, that Shape has none
“ Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb.” Milt. Mr. Lofft's allucion to the method observed in Cyclopaedias where the systematic and alphabetical arrangements are blended, is certainly very inapplicable, unless he can show that in a dictionary of that sort, all that relates to the sciences is comprized under the letter S (verbo SCIENCE), or all that relates to the arts under the letter A (verbo ARTS), io the same manner, as he hath allotted full two-thirds of his work to the word REGULÆ under the letter R, and to the word jus under the letter I. There is this further defect in Mr. Loffi's arrangement, that all that appears under each of these titles might change places without any apparent confusion : for all that comes within the scope of the former, or Regulæ, might be referred to the latter as Regulæ Juris; or vice versa, che latter might, as far as they are really connected with a work of jurisprudence, be included under the word jus: and both titles have been absorbed in the letter P, in verbo PRINCIPIA, as being Principia Juris. So loose and ill compacted is this same alphabetical order! of which Mr. Lofft was too fond, totally to reject, even when he felt its inconveniences; or mott we repeat our infinuation, that the business of new modelling his work, was too mortifying to be submitted to; and yet it might not have been beneath his abilities, any more than the humble and dull office of superintending the press in its progress to publication, which would have saved the necessity of subjoining one of the longest lists of Errala we ever remember to have seen in a work of this fize.--We were perhaps guilty of a little inaccuracy in applying the phrase
of an heap of maxims to Mr. Lofft's book, if confidered in respect of its bulk; but we did it (with some impropriety we con fels) in respect of the confusion in which they were presented to the Reader, without any lights to thew their dependance upon each other, or any friendly aid to reconcile disagreeing, or any teit to decide between contradic. tory, positions.
Mr. Lofft appears to be equally indignant at our commendations and our censure. When we used the epichers of learned and laborious, we had none of those insidious meanings which Mr. Lofft has discovered by the help of his own ingenuity. We rather described if we held up any description) a student of the laws eager in his pursuit of letters, resorting, with a generous enthusiasm, to the principles of jurisprudence; and laying up in his common-place-book che mining or useful passages he meets with, for future service. Did chis imply censure ? or where is the ridicule? But it is certainly advancing a Itep further, when the fruits of these studies are to be made the matė. rials of publication; and we apprehend some kill is necessary to bring these splendid fragments into one uniform, coberent system, where the relation and dependence of the parts is to be observed, wbat is obscure is to be illustrated, and what is defective supplied : for this, we infinuated more time is necessary than Mr. Lofft seems to have employed ; not greater abilities than he appears to possess. He himself best knows, “ quid ferre recusent, quid valeant humeri.”
We pronounced the work was protruded in a state of immaturity, and we bad his own authority for saying it was unfinished, and that he meant to complete his design in a future work. We have no intention to depreciate Mr. Lofft's merit: we are not conscious of mentioning him with disrespect: we only with he would not defraud himself of the reputation he might orherwise acquire, by precipitara ing his writings too haitily into the world.
. Mr. Roberts's Letter concerning the rot in sheep, muft, in course, be referred to the Gentleman who reviewed the agricultural papers of the Bath Society, who is at present at fo great a dilance from the capital, that his opinion of Mr. Roberts's observations could not be obtained foon enough for a more particular acknowledgment of this correspondent's favour in this month's Review.
+++ The Volunteer Review of Mr. H.'s book did not arrive foon enough to prevent an account of that well-approved work from being drawn up by one of our associates, who had been applied to for that purpose. We are, nevertheless, obliged to Impartialis (for so this correspondent styles himself) for his very proper remarks ---Our article, on the subject here referred to, is intended for the next Numai ber of the Review.
Art. I. Elements of Elocution ; being the Substance of a Course of
Lectures on the Art of Reading, delivered at several Colleges in the University of Oxford. By J. Walker, Author of the Rhyming and Pronouncing Dictionary, &c. &c. 8vo. 2 Vols. 12 s. bound.
Printed for the Author, and sold by Becket, &c. 1781. IT seems to be a prevalent idea among those who have not I paid a particular attention to the subject of elocution, that speech is of too fleeting and unsettled a nature, to be capable of being subjected to rule; and that, therefore, all attempts to teach the art of speaking by other means than imitation, must be ineffectual. Some difficulty, it must be confessed, there is in conveying ideas of vocal sound by written characters, with such distinctness and precision as shall be necessary to form useful rules for practice. Yet this has been done with so much success in music, that there appears to be some ground for supposing, that it may be done in elocution. And if the thing be practicable, it is certainly desirable; fince, without this, elocution can never be reduced to any settled principles as an art; and fince general rules (such, for instance, as, that the reader or speaker thould follow nature, or imitate the tones of conversation) can be but of little use, without some certain method of applying them to particular cases,
For these reasons we cannot but approve of the pains which those who have lately written on this subject have taken, to teach the art of elocution by plain practical rules, delivered in a methodical form. The Author of these Elements appears to us, to have been particularly successful in his altempt to reduce the principles and rules of elocution into a fyftem; and, in the course of his work, to have advanced many things, which merit attention on account of their originality as well as their utility. Vol. LXV,
applying here rede lately on by
Considering it as the first object in the art of reading, to con vey the sense of the writer, Mr. Walker begins his Elements with some observations on punctuation, as it is intended to elucidate the meaning of what is written, and as it may direct to such pauses, elevations, and depresions of the voice as shall communicate that meaning, with clearness, in speaking. In explaining the nature of punctuation, he nearly follows the judicious theory of Dr. Lowth in his English grammar, and gives examples of the use of the several points in fimple and complex fentences. He then remarks, that fimple sentences, or clauses of sentences, are often so long, that it is impossible to pronounce them with force and ease without drawing in the breath ; and that therefore a pause is often necessary in speaking, when the grammatical construction does not require or admit of a point. In order to determine where such pauses may be best introduced, he lays down this general rule; That the only kinds of words which seem too intimately connected to admit a pause are, the article and subsantive, the substantive and adjective in their natu· sal order, and the preposition and the noun it governs : thus, a pause may be introduced after the several words marked with Italics in the following sentence :
“ A violent passion for universal admiration produces the most ridiculous circumstances in the general behaviour of women of the most excellent understandings.”
But no pause can be admitted after the words universal, the, of.
Farther, to explain the principles of pause in speaking, our Author says,
6 It may be observed, that pausing is regulated by two circumfances, one is, conveying ideas distinctly, by separating such as are distinct, and uniting such as are associated; the other is, forming the words that convey there ideas into such claffes, or portions, as may be forcibly and easily pronounced; for this reason, when the words, from their signification, require to be distinctly pointed out, that is, to convey objects distinguished from each other, however frequent and numerous the pufes may be, they are necessary; but if words connected in sense, continue to a greater exient than can be easily pronounced together, and at the Same time have no such distinct parts as immediately suggest where we ought to pause, the only rule ihat can be given is, not to separate such words as are more united than those we do not separate.
• But it may be demanded, how shall we know the several degrees of union between words, so as to enable us to divide them properly?
To this it may be answered, that all words may be diftinguished into those that modify, and those that are modified *; the words that are modified are the nominative, and the verb it governs; every other word may be said to be a modifier of these words; the noun and
• Buffier Grammaire, p. 60,