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decent, argumentative maintainers even of the most erroneous opinions.
To the examples introduced by way of illustration, and to the incidental remarks on several points, I have now made (1846) some additions, the chief part of which have been also printed separately, for the use of those who possess earlier editions. To some readers the work may appear to be, even yet, too scanty in this respect; while others, again, may have thought even the former editions too full, and too digressive. Rhetoric having, as I have elsewhere observed, (like Logic,) no proper subject-matter of its own, it is manifestly impossible to draw the line precisely between what does, and what does not, strictly appertain to it. I have endeavored to introduce whatever may appear, to the majority of students, relevant, interesting, and instructive.
I have only to add my acknowledgments to many kind friends, to whose judicious suggestions and careful corrections I am indebted, both in the original composition of the Work, and in the subsequent revisions and enlargements of it.
OF THE ADDRESS TO THE UNDERSTANDING, WITH A VIEW TO
OF THE ADDRESS TO THE WILL, OR PERSUASION.
CHAP. I. Of Perspicuity of Style . .
OF ELOCUTION, OR DELIVERY.
C. Extract from Lecture V. on Political Economy, concern-
D. Grounds of men's belief in the genuineness of the sacred
G. Extract from the London Review, of a comparison which
L. On unmeaning expressions escaping detection; from Dr.
M. Extract from Benson's Hulsean Lectures
1. OF Rhetoric various definitions have been given by different writers; who, however, seem not so much to have disagreed in their conceptions of the nature of the same thing, as to have had different things in view while they employed the same term. Not only the word Rhetoric itself, but also those used in defining it, have been taken in various senses; as may be observed with respect to the word "Art" in Cic. de Orat., where a discussion is introduced as to the applicability of that term to Rhetoric; manifestly turning on the different senses in which "Art" may be understood.
To enter into an examination of all the definitions that have been given, would lead to much uninteresting and uninstructive verbal controversy. It is sufficient to put the reader on his guard against the common error of supposing that a general term has some real object, properly corresponding to it, independent of our conceptions; that, consequently, some one definition in every case is to be found which will
Various definitions of Rhet
comprehend every thing that is rightly designated by that term; and that all others must be erroneous: whereas, in fact, it will often happen, as in the present instance, that both the wider, and the more restricted sense of a term, will be alike sanctioned by use, (the only competent authority,) and that the consequence will be a corresponding variation in the definitions employed; none of which perhaps may be fairly chargeable with error, though none can be framed that will apply to every acceptation of the term.
It is evident that in its primary signification, Rhetoric had reference to public Speaking alone, as its etymology implies. But as most of the rules for Speaking are of course applicable equally to Writing, an extension of the term naturally took place; and we find even Aristotle, the earliest systematic writer on the subject whose works have come down to us, including in his Treatise rules for such compositions as were not intended to be publicly recited.* And even as far as relates to Speeches, properly so called, he takes, in the same Treatise, at one time, a wider, and at another, a more restricted view of the subject; including under the term Rhetoric, in the opening of his work, nothing beyond the finding of topics of Persuasion, as far as regards the matter of what is spoken; and afterwards embracing the consideration of Style, Arrangement, and Delivery.
The Invention of Printing,t by extending the sphere of
*Aristot. Rhet. Book III.
† Or rather of Paper; for the invention of printing is too obvious not to have speedily followed, in a literary nation, the introduction of a paper sufficiently cheap to make the art available. Indeed the seals of the ancients seem to have been a kind of stamps with which they in fact printed their names. But the high price of books, caused by the dearness of paper, precluded the sale of copies except in so