Page images
[ocr errors]

" Where they encamp, and in their station sand,
66 Entrench'd in Works of Rock, and Lines of Sand."

Of two Armies on the Point of engaging. * " Yon' armies are the Cards which both must play;

66 At least come off a Saver if you may :
Throw boldly at the Sum the Gods have set;

“ These on your fide with all their fortunes bet. All perfectly agreeable to the present Customs and best Fashions of our Metropolis.

But the principal branch of the Alamode is the Pru. RIENT, a Style greatly advanced and honoured of late by the practice of persons of the first Quality; and by the encouragement of the Ladies, not unsuccessfully introduced even into the Drawing-room. Indeed its incredible Progress and Conquests may be compared to those of the great Sefoftris, and are every where known by the Same Marks, the images of the genital parts of men or

It consists wholly of metaphors drawn from two most fruitful sources or springs, the very Bathos of the human body, that is to say, ** * and * * * Hiatus magnus lachrymabilis. * * * * * * * * * * And selling of Bargains and double Entendre, and K.6Cipromos and 'onspevndiquosall derived frarr the said sources,

4. The FINICAL Style, which consists of the most curious, affected, mincing metaphors, and partakes of the alamode,

As this, of a brook dry'd by the Sun. + " Won by the summer's importuning ray,

" Th’eloping stream did from her channel stray, 66 And with enticing sun-beams sole away."

Of an easy Death. " When watchful Death shall on his harvest look, “ And see thee ripe with age, invite the hook; * Lee, Sophon, + Blackm. Job, p. 16. I




| Ibid. p. 23:

t? He'll gently cut thy bending Stalk, and thee Lay kindly in the Grave, his Granary.

Of Trees in a Storm. * « Oaks whose extended arms the winds defy, “ The tempest sees their strength, and fighs, and pases by."

Of Water fimmering over the Fire. * * The sparkling flames raise water to a Smile,

“ Yet the pleas'd liquor pines, and lessens all the while."

5. LASTLY, I shall place the CUMBROUS, which moves heavily under a load of metaphors, and draws after it a long train of words. And the BUSKIN, or Stately, frequently and with great felicity mixed with the former. For as the first is the proper engine to depress what is high, so is the second to raise what is base and low to a ridiculous Visibility: When both these can be done at once, then is the Bathos in perfeétion; as when a man is set with his head downward, and his breech upright, his degradation is complete : One end of him as high as ever, only that end is the wrong one. true lover of the Profound be delighted to behold the most vulgar and low actions of life exalted in the following manner?

Who knocks at the Door? " For whom thus rudely pleads my loud-tongu'd gate, “ That he may enter?”

See who is there? 66 Advance the fringed curtains of thy eyes, 66 And tell me who comes yonder."

Will not every

Shut the Door. " The wooden guardian of our privacy 66 Quick on its axle turn."

* Denn. † Anoa. Tons, Mifs. Part vi. P. 224. Vol. III.


$ Tempo


Bring my Cloaths. “ Bring me what Nature, taylor to the Bear, " To Man himself deny'd : She gave me cold, “ But would not give me Cloaths."

Light the Fire. « Bring forth some remnant of Promethean theft, " Quick to expand th’inclement air congeald " By Boreas' rude breath."

Snuf the Candle. • Yon' Luminary amputation needs, 6. Thus shall you save its half-extinguish'd life.”

Open the Letter. * “ Wax render up thy trust."

Uncork the Bottle, and chip the Bread. “ Apply thine engine to the spungy door, “ Set Bacchus from his glassy prison free, " And strip white Ceres of her nut-brown coat."


A Project for the Advancement of the Bathos.

HUS have I (my dear Countrymen) with incredible

pains and diligence, discovered the hidden sources of the Bathos, or, as I may say, broke open the Abysses of this Great Deep. And having now established good and wholesome Laws, what remains but that all true moderns, with their utmost might, do proceed to put the fame in execution? In order whereto, I think I shall, in the second place, highly deserve of my Country, by proposing such a Scheme, as may facilitate this great end.

[merged small][ocr errors]

As our number is confeffedly far superior to that of the enemy, there seems nothing wanting but Unanimity among ourselves. It is therefore humbly offered, that all and every individual of the Bathos do enter into a firm afsociation, and incorporate into One regular Body, whereof every member, even the meanest, will some way contribute to the support of the whole ? in like manner, as the weakest reeds, when joined in one bundle, become infrangible. To which end our Art ought to be put upon the same foot with other Arts of this Age. The vast improvement of modern manufactures ariseth from their being divided into several branches, and parcelled out to several trades : For instance, in Clock-making one artist makes the balance, another the spring, another the crown-wheels, a fourth the case, and the principal workman puts all together: To this æconomy we owe the perfection of our modern watches, and doubtless we also might that of our modern Poetry and Rhetorick, were the several parts branched out in the like manner.

Nothing is more evident than that divers persons, no other way remarkable, have each a strong disposition to the formation of some particular Trope or Figure. Aristotle faith, that the Hyperbole is an ornament fit for young Men of Quality ; accordingly we find in those Gentlemen a wonderful propensity towards it, which is marvellously improved by Travelling : Soldiers also and Seamen are very happy in the same Figure. The Periphrafis or Circumlocution is the peculiar talent of Country Farmers; the Proverb and Apologue of old men at their clubs; the Ellipsis or Speech by half words of Ministers and Politicians, the Apostopesis of Courtiers, the Litotes or Diminution, of Ladies, Whisperers and Backbiters, and the Anadiplofis of common Criers and Hawkers, who, by redoubling the same words, persuade people to buy their oysters, green haftings, or new ballads. Epithets may be found in great plenty at Billingsgate, Sarcasm and Irony learned upon the Water, and the Epiphonema or Exclama ,

Z 2


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

tion frequently from the Bear-garden, and as frequently from the Hear him of the House of Commons.

Now each man applying his whole time and genius upon his particular Figure, would doubtless attain to perfection; and when each became incorporated and sworn into the Society (as hath been proposed) a Poet or Orator would have no more to do but to send to the particular Traders in each Kind, to the Metaphorif for his Allegories, to the Simile-maker for his Comparisons, to the Ironist for his Sarcasms, to the Apothegmatist for his Sentences, etc. whereby a Dedication or Speech would be composed in a moment, the superior artist having nothing to do but to put together all the Materials.

I therefore propose that there be contrived with all conyenient dispatch, at the public expence, a Rhetorical Chest of Drawers, consisting of three Stories, the highest for the Deliberative, the middle for the Demonstrative, and the lowest for the Judicial. These shall be fubdived into Loci or Places, being repositories for Matter and Argument in the several kinds of oration or writing; and every drawer shall again be subdivided into Cells, resembling those of Cabinets for Rarities. The apartment for Peace or War, and that of the Liberty of the Press, may in a very few days be filled with several arguments perfe&tly new; and the Vituperative Partition will as easily be replenished with a most choice collection, entirely of the growth and manufacture of the present age. Every composer will soon be taught the use of this Cabinet, and how to manage all the Registers of it, which will be drawn out much in the manner of those in an Organ.

The Keys of it must be kept in honeft hands, by fome Reverend Prelate or Valiant Officer, of unquestionable Loyalty and Affection to every present Establishment in Church and State; which will sufficiently guard againft any mischief which might otherwise be apprehended from it.

And being lodged in such hands, it may be at discretion let out by the Day, to several great Orators in both


« PreviousContinue »