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ELOQUENCE, objections against considered
observations on American
Walls, singular natural ones on the banks of the Missouri
Lehigh, description of
island of Nooaheeva
Alligators, extraorélinary ferocity of
U. States troops, sufferings of a party of
Independence, declaration of
Dr Benjamin Franklin, life of
Washington Gen. letter of, on accepting the command of the A.
Army, in 1798.
Franklin Dr. letter to John Alleyne, Esq.
to Dr. Mather
to Noah Webster, Esq.
to Gen. Gates
to Gen. Washington
Petit Maitres, a mirror for the
THESE objections are three. First, that rhetoric is a pedantic science, overcharged with scholastic subtleties, and innumerable divisions and subdivisions, burdensome to the meinory, oppressive to genius, and never applicable to any valuable purpose in the business of the world. Second, that it is a frivolous science, substituting childish declamation instead of manly sense, and adapted rather to the pageantry of a public festival, than to the sober concerns of real life. And third, that it is a pernicious science; the purpose of which is to mislearl the judgment by fascinating the imagination. That its tendencies are to subject the reason of men to the control of their passions; to pervert private justice, and to destroy public liberty. These are formidable objections, and unless a sound and satisfactory answer can be given to them all, both your time and mine, my friends, is at this moment very ill employed, and the call I am obliged to make upon your attention, is a trespass upon something more than your patience.
Let me first remark, that the last of these difficulties is not barely at variance with, but in direct hostility to the other two. If rhetoric be a pedantic science, consisting of nothing but a tedious and affected enumeration of the figures of speech, or if it be a frivolous science, teaching only the process of beating up a frothy declamation into secming consistency, at least it cannot