« ПретходнаНастави »
but it is now in some degree superseded, by the practice of reasoning in the study of mathematics, by the various branches of philosophy, and by the perusal of the classic authors.
Obs.-The great master of philosophy, Aristotle, divided all science into Theorems formed of Syllogisms, which Syllogisms were composed of Propositions, which propositions were formed of terms; which terms were Words or Sigos of our Ideas of Things. He then considered all things with reference to their Ten Categories, or Predicaments; as Substance, Quality, Quantity, Relation, Action, Passiveness, When, Where, Position, and Habit.
XVIII. Rhetoric. 429. Rhetoric teaches us to affect the passions by suitable illustrations and imagery; and to arrange our arguments to the best advantage, so as to make the deepest impressions on the feelings and judgment of those whom we address.
430. The following are the chief figures of speech.
a. Simile or comparison, is that figure by which we compare one thing with another for the sake of illustration.
b. Metaphor, is a comparison expressed without the signs of comparison; as, when we say of a minister, that he is the pillar of the state, we speak in metaphor; and when we say, that Charles the Twelfth was the lion of the north, we speak metaphorically.
C. Allegory, is a continuation of several metaphors, so connected as to form a kind of parable or fable ; as, in describing the people of Israel under the image of a vine.
d. Irony, is a figure in which we urge one thing, and mean the contrary, in order to give effect to our meaning; as, in describing a notorious cheat, we say, ironically, A mighty honest man truly !
e. Hyperbole, gives us the highest idea of an object, and magnifies it beyond its natural dimensions; as, Achilles was swifter than a stag.
f. Antithesis, is the contrast or opposition of two objects in a sentence; as, If you seek to make a man rich, study not so much to increase his stores, as to diminish his desires.
g. Climax, or gradation, is a figure by which we rise from one circumstance to another, till our idea is raised to the highest.
h. Personification, is a figure by which we attribute life and the use of reason to inanimate objects and irrational creatures.
i. Apostrophe, is a figure by which we address absent persons, or inanimate objects which we personify.
k. Interrogation, is a figure which, by asking a question, gives ardour and energy to our discourse.
l. Exclamation, is a figure that expresses some strong emotion of the mind, and is generally followed by a note of admiration.
431, Rhetorical disposition or arrangement is the placing of the arguments, or the parts of a discourse, oration, or composition, in the most suitable and impressive order.
The parts of a discourse are sometimes five, and sometimes six ; viz. the Exordium, the Narration, the Proposition, the Conformation, the Refutation, and the Peroration.
a. In the Ecordium, or beginning of a discourse, the writer or speaker gives some intimation of his subject, and solicits favour and attention.
). The Narration is a brief recital of the facts connected with the case from the beginning to the end.
c. In the Proposition, is given the true state of the question ; specifying the points maintained, and those in which the writer or speaker differs from the adversary.
d. The Confirmation assembles all the proofs and arguments which can be adduced.
e. In the Refutation, the writer or speaker answers the arguments and objections of his opponent.
f. In the Peroration, he sums up the strong and principle arguments, and endeavours to excite tbe passions in his favour.
432. A distinct and audible delivery is essential to a good orator.
The first rule is, to open the mouth sufficiently, and not to mumble or mutter the words. The second is, to pronounce distinctly every
letter and syllable without hurry.
And the third is, to fill the room with the voice, so that the most distant part of the auditory may hear.
433. In regard to gesture, that which is natural is the best, provided it is not awkward and offensive.
The head should be held up, and the speaker should look those whom he is addressing in the face.
His action should be easy, and should keep pace with his voice and the nature of his discourse.
He should also avoid contortions and vulgar grimaces; ease in delivery being the chief grace of oratory.
XIX. Of Vegetable Nature. 434. Every substance known to man is divisible into three kingdoms, the Mineral, Vegetable, and Arimal. Linnæus thus distinguishes these kingdoms : “ Stones grow;-vegetables grow and live ;-and animals grow, live, and feel."
Obs. For the Mineral Kingdom, see chapter XXI.
435. The existence of all vegetables may be regarded as mechanical, or as similar to that of an animal when asleep, during which time his functions proceed without consciousness. The mechanism of plants is, however, most wonderful; and bespeaks the contrivance of an all-rvise and all-powerful CREATOR.
436. A seed, which is thrown into the earth by the husbandman, is similar in its construction to the egg of an animal. The earth acts upon it, by means as inexplicable to man, as that by which the sitting of a hen on an egg converts it into a chicken.
437. In a few days, the two ends of the seed open; and from one of them issues a green plant, and from the other a number of fibrous threads.
Whatever was the position of the seed, the green sprouts struggle through the soil upward into the air ; and the fibrous shoots strike downward into the ground; and there imbibe, transmit, or pump up, the moisture, as nourishment to the plant.
438. Nothing is more wonderful than the means of nature for the preservation of seeds; and the contrivances by which they are distributed.
Some seeds are provided with downy wings, as the dandelion; others are swallowed by animals, and voided again in distant places; and all are blown about by the winds, and preserved by their coverings, till excited into germination, by the heat of the sun's rays in the following spring.
439. Botanists have divided all plants into 24 classes, and 121 orders; and they have discovered 2,000 genera, 30,000 species, and varieties of the species without number.
Each has its peculiar habitation; and each adapts the nutriment derived from the same earth, so differently, that, by an unknown agency, it produces all the degrees of flavour, odour, poison, and nutriment, which we find in various plants.
Each tree, each plant, from all its branching roots,
Obs. 1.--Of the different distinctions of leaves only, according to their position and form, above one hundred are enumerated. In all of them, one of the offices is, to subtilize and give more spirit to the abundance of nourishing sap, and to convey it to the little buds. There are two orders of veins and nerves in leaves, one belonging to each sråface; and it has been generally observed, that the underside of the leaf, has the ramifications larger, and are capable of admitting a
liquid to pass through them which those of the upper surface will not. The underside of the leaf is supposed to be intended for receiving, preparing, and conveying the moisture imbibed from the rising vapours of the earth, by which trees and plants are generally nourished; so that one principal use of leaves is to perform, in some measure, the samne office for the support of vegetable life, as the lungs of animals do for the subsistence of animal life.
2. Another of the great functions for which the leaves of trees and plants are designed, is that of their footstalks nour. ishing and prepariog the buds of the future shoots, which are always formed at the base of these footstalks, Leaves, moreover, are designed to shade the buds for the future shoots, from the sun ; which would otherwise exhale and dry up all their moisture. Air evidently passes in at the leaves and goes through the whole plant, and out again at the roots. If the leaves have no air, the whole plant will die. This has been proved by experiments with the air pump. And plants not only draw through their leaves sone part of their nourishment from the air, but the leaves also perform the necessary work of altering the water received in at the roots into the nature and juices of the plants ; and hence it is, that the life of the plant depeuds so immediately on its leaves.
440. Every plant consists of a root, buds, a trunk or stem, of leaves, of props or arms, of the inflorescence; and of the parts of fructification.
441. In regard to their bulk, plants are divided into trees, shrubs, under shrubs, and herbs, which last die in the winter.
According to their respective durations, they are annual, lasting one year, and reproduced from their seed; or biennial, when they are produced in one year, and flower the next : perennial, when they last many years, as trees.
442. Plants, in regard to the roots, are bulbous, as in unions or tulips ; tuberous, as in turnips or potatoes; and fibrous, as in grasses.
They are decidious, when their leaves fall in autumn; and ever-green, when they are constantly renewed, as in most resinous trees.
They are said to sleep, when they change the appearance of their leaves or flowers at night.