Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

RIGHT HONOURABLE

FRANCIS WILLIAM

EARL OF CHARLEMONT,

ONE OF THE EARLIEST OF HIS PUPILS IN HIS AFFECTION

AND RESPECT,

THIS WORK IS INSCRIBED,

ASA

MEMORIAL OF HIS PRECEPTS ON AN IMPORTANT BRANCH OF

ORATORY,

AND AS AN

EXPRESSION OF HIS GRATITUDE FOR THE EARLY AND CONTINUED

PATRONAGE OF HIS LORDSHIP'S FAMILY,

BY

HIS LORDSHIP'S

FORMER PRECEPTOR, FAITHFUL FRIEND,

AND

-MUCH OBLIGED HUMBLE SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR.

Woodville, near Dublin,

5th May, 1806.

[ocr errors][merged small]

PREFACE.

Tule work here submitted to the judgment of the public will be found to be constructed of materials, some of which have been long in their possession, and some of which are new. As to the reception of the former, provided I shall be found to have selected and arranged them with any degree of judgment, I cannot doubt that it will be favourable; they have been al. ways approved, however not always duly observed : as to the latter, I should hope, that not only their novelty' but also their utility in an important department of literature may serve as their recommendation.' In venturing thus to call the public attention to my speculations, I feel it my duty to anticipate every just and reasonable enquiry; and for this purpose I shall enter into a brief explanation of the origin, the progress, and the objects of the work.

* As to the novelty of part of my work, I believe it to be new both in its plan and execution. I do not know, at least, of any writer who has undertaken to describe gesture by symbols. I shall, however, shelter myself under the modest declaration of the ancient critic: εγώ γεν έδεμία τοιαύτη περιτυχών διδα γραφή, πολλήν ζήτησιν αυτών ποιησάμενος. Ο μεν δη διαβεβαιαμάι γε, ως δή και σαφώς ειδώς τάχα γαρ αν έιέν τινες αι έμε διαλανθάνεσαι τοιαυται γραφαί. . περί μεν έν τέτων ουδέν έχω, καθάπερ έφην, διαβεβαισθαι. Dion. Halicarnass. de Antiquis Orat. p. 6. Edit. Oxon.

I have met with the following reference to books which I have not been able to procure ; the reader may possibly possess or obtain them; in their object they bear some resemblance to my work, but most probably none in the execution.

Gesner's Isagoge.
Ille decor etiam pronuntiationem actionemque omnem dirigit unicè.

Habemus quidem de hoc quoque præcepta libris proposita: extat Petri Francii Eloquentia exterior, ubi non dedit modo præcepta, sed illa accommodavit etiam exemplis : addidit Ciceronis Orationes duas, pro Marcello, et Archia poeta; ostenditque, quomodo singula sint pronuncianda ; quomodo, et ubi, movenda manus vel dextra, vel sinistra ; temperanda vox; et hujus generis reliqua.--Ante eum jam simile quid tentatum est in Gallia a Coirarto: Conrart Traité de l'Action de l’Orateur, Paris, 1686. 12. Et nuper vir doctissimus

The laborious duty of teaching declamation, as I have stated in another place, incited me first to devise some permanent marks, by means of which I might be enabled to record, and to communicate in writing, with brevity and precision, my own ideas as to the manner of delivery proper to be adopted on certain occasions. Having, as I conceive, fallen upon a fertile principle, as will be found explained in the work, I succeeded by considerable labour in the invention and arrangement of a notation applicable to my purposes; and proved its advantages by the test of my own experience. In the course of my investigation I was also induced, and, by means of the permanent marks, in some measure enabled to examine more minutely the various requisites for perfect rhetorical delivery. And no

Wernsdorfius Gedanensis Gymnasii professor, quum celebraret Gymnasium bisæculare Jubilæum, de eadem re egit in programmate suo: sed neque hic præcepta dari possunt satis universalia. (* Alias : oplimum est exempla intueri bona et imitari.) Oportet videre, quid deceat. Et inter dicendum non semper cogitari potest de præceptis. Ille ipse decor naturalis, assuetudo, mentis ardor, inter dicendum, nobis non sentientibus dictat omnia. Jo. Díatthæi Gesneri prima lineæ Isagoges in Eruditionem universalem. Leipsiæ, 1784. Vol. I. p. 331. Art. 383.

I do not altogether agree with the learned author in the latter part of this observation, my reasons will be seen in the work. He proceeds, after what is here quoted, to praise Mosheim for the eloquence of his orations, but says he failed in the graces of delivery. The example makes against bis own observation.

« PreviousContinue »