« PreviousContinue »
FROM THE SECOND VOLUME OF LORD MULGRAVE'S ESSAYS ON ELOQUENCE, LATELY PUBLISHED.
"We now come to speak of Tropes. Trope comes from the Greek word Trepo, to turn. I believe that tropes can only exist in a vocal language, for I do not recollect to have met with any among the savages near the Pole, who converse only by signs; or if they used any, I did not understand them. Aristotle is of opinion that horses have not the use of tropes.Dean Swift seems to be of a contrary opinion; but be this as it may, tropes are of very great importance in Parliament, and I cannot enough recommend them to my young readers.
Tropes are of two kinds; 1st, such as tend to illustrate our meaning; and 2dly, such as tend to render it obscure. The first are of great use in the sermo pedestris; the second in the sublime. They give the os magna sonans; or, as the same poet says in another place, the ore rotundo; an expression, which shows, by the bye, that it is
as necessary to round your mouth, as to round your periods.-But of this more hereafter, when I come to treat of mouthing, or, as the Latins call it, elocutio.
In the course of my reflections on tropes, I have frequently lamented the want of these embellishments in our modern logbooks. Strabo says they were frequently employed by the ancient sailors; nor can we wonder at this difference, since our young seamen are such bad scholars: not so in other countries; for I have seen children at the Island of Zanti, who knew more of Greek than any First Lieutenant. First Lieutenant. Now to return to Tropes, and of their use in Parliament. I will give you some examples of the most perfect kind in each species, and then quit the subject; only observing, that the worst kind of tropes are puns; and that tropes, when used in controversy, ought to be very obscure; for many people do not know how to answer what they do not understand. Suppose I was desirous of pressing forward any measure, and that I apprehended that the opposite party wished to delay it, I should personify procrastination by one of the following manners:
1. "This measure appears to be filtered through the drip-stone of procrastination.” This beautiful phrase was invented by a near relation of mine, whose talents bid fair to make a most distinguished figure in the
2. “This is another dish cooked up by the procrastinating spirit." The boldness of this figure, which was invented by Mr. Drake, cannot be too much admired.
3. "This appears to be the last hair in the tail of procrastination."
"The Master of the Rolls, who first used this phrase, is a most eloquent speaker; but I think the two former instances much more beautiful, inasmuch as the latter personification is drawn from a dumb creature, which is not so fine a source of metaphor as a Christian.
Having thus exhausted the subject of metaphors, I shall say a few words concerning similes, the second of tropical figures, in point of importance."
As nothing which relates to this great man can be indiffe rent to the public, we are happy in laying before our readers the following particulars, the truth of which may be depended on:
MR. PITT rises about mine, when the weather is clear; but if it should rain, Dr. PRETTYMAN advises him to lie about an hour longer. The first thing he does is to eat no breakfast, that he may have a better appetite for his dinner. About fen he generally blows his nose and cuts his toenails; and while he takes the exercise of his bidet, Dr. PRETTYMAN reads to him the different petitions and memorials that have been presented to him. About eleven his valet brings in Mr. ATKINSON and a WARM SHIRT, and they talk over the New Scrip, and other matters of finance. Mr. ATKINSON has said to his confidential friends round 'Change, that Mr. PITT always speaks to him with great affability. At twelve Mr. PITT retires to a water-closet, adjoining to which is a small cabinet, from whence Mr.
JENKINSON Confers with him on the secret instructions from BUCKINGHAM-HOUSE. After this, Mr. PITT takes a long lesson of dancing; and Mr. GALLINI says, that if he did not turn in his toes, and hold down his head, he would be a very good dancer. At two Mr. WILBERFORCE comes in, and they both play with Mr. PITT's black dog, whom they are very fond of, because he is like Lord MULGRAVE in the face, and barks out of time to the organs that pass in the street. After this Mr. Prrr rides. We are credibly informed, that he often pats his horse; and, indeed, he is remarkably fond of all dumb creatures both in and out of Parliament. At four he sleeps.-Mr. PITT eats very heartily, drinks one bottle of port, and two when he speaks; so that we may hope that Great Britain will long be blessed with the superintendence of this virtuous and able