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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OP STYLE. The fundamental properties of good discourse are as distinct, and distinguishable, as those of matter. Many secondary qualities enter into it, but its primary and indispensable characteristics are reducible to three: viz., plainness, force, and beauty. We propose, in this chapter, to define and illustrate these essential properties of style; and while the analysis will be founded in the general principles of rhetoric and oratory, it will also have a special reference to sacred eloquence, and the wants of the pulpit. 1. It is agreed among all writers upon rhetoric, that the first property in style is that by virtue of which it is intelligible. The understanding is the avenue to the man. No one is affected by truth who does not apprehend it. Discourse must, therefore, first of all be plain. This property was termed perspicuitas, by the Latin rhetoricians. It is transparency in discourse, as the etymology denotea The word evdpyeia, which the Greek rhetoriciansemployed to mark this same characteristic, signifies distinctness of outline. The adjective hap/fa is applied by Homer to the gods, when actually appearing to human vision in their own bright forms j when, like Apollo, they broke through the dim ether that ordinarily veiled them from mortal eyes, and stood out on the edge of the horizon distinctly defined, radiant, and splendid.1 Vividness seems to have been the ruling conception for the Greek, in this property of style, and fcan.spareney for the Latin. The English and French rhetoricians have transferred the Latin perspicuitas, to designate this quality of intelligibility in discourse. The Germans have not transferred the Latin word, because the remarkable flexibility of their language relieves them from the necessity of tr...
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