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them fo readily as they could wifh. To fuch persons the following directions and obfervations may not be unuseful.

RECOLLECTION comprehends whatever is proper to be said upon any subject; that is, all the thoughts or fentiments that make up the body of a discourse. These, which may be called the nerves and finews of a compofition, may all be confidered as arguments in proof of what is advanced. Now every argument that can with propriety be brought as a proof of a propofition, fhould bear fome kind of relation to both the terms of it. For, according to logicians, every propofition afferts the agreement or disagreement of two ideas, or things, which are called the fubject and predicate, or attribute of the propofition. If the agreement or disagreement of these do not appear at first view, we make use of another idea, called a middle term, which, being feverally applied to them both, will, by informing us of the relation they both bear to it, enable us to judge of the relation they both bear to one another. But unless this third idea bear fome relation to both the others, it will be impoffible to compare them together by the help of it.

I fhall illuftrate thefe obfervations by the example of the following propofition: Every good man is a wife man. It may not be apparent, at first view, that the Subject and attribute of this propofition


proposition do really coincide, as is asserted in it. In order to show that, notwithstanding this, they really do agree, I introduce another idea, viz. the making use of the means of happiness; and by considering that a good man is one who lives and acts in such a manner as will secure his greatest happiness, which is also the object of the truest wisdom; I see that the description of a good man intirely agrees with that of a wise man, and that they are the same person, which the proposition asserts. But I could not have made use of this intermediate idea, in order to shew the relation of the terms to one another, unless it had borne fome relation to them both, and had thereby been capable of being compared with them.

In this case, the relation that means of happiness bears to goodness is that of effect; goodness being the source of those actions which tend to produce true happiness; as the relation that the idea of the means of happiness bears to wisdom is that of means, or instrument, which wisdom employs to effect her purpose. And it is not improbable but that if a person had considered the natural effects of virtue and goodness, and what course of actions a wise man would be led to adopt, he would have hit upon this idea, which furnishes so clear an argument in proof of the proposition in question. Or again, the fame idea might have occurred to a person who had carefully considered


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the definitions of the terms of his propofitions; fince he would have found that property of goodness connected with thofe ideas which form the characteristic of wisdom. So that either the relation of cause and effect, that of means and end, or the definition of terms might have led the mind of the composer to the idea he wanted. These are called COMMON PLACES, TOPICS, or GENERAL HEADS, under which arguments of all kinds may be claffed, and an attention to them may fuggeft the arguments that fall under them.

It belongs to the art of oratory to point out these topics, common places, or general heads to which all arguments may be reduced; that, whenever we undertake to prove any thing, by running over the titles of them in our minds, our thoughts may be directed to what fuits our purpofe. To make the use of these topics ftill more intelligible and eafy, I fhall illuftrate each of them by an example or two.


All propofitions, or things to be proved, metaphyfically confidered, may be reduced to the fame form; as being a declaration of the coincidence of the subject and attribute of them. Thus, if I fay, that man is mortal, I mean that my idea of man coincides with my idea of a mortal being, or a being fubject to death; or if I fay, Alexander conquered Darius, I mean that my idea of Alexander, and of the person who conquered Darius, are the fame.

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fame. We shall, however, find it most convenient, in the business of popular oratory, to quit this general idea, and consider all propositions, or subjects of discourse, as subdivided into two kinds, viz. universal, and particular propositions.

Universal propositions are those which have no relation to particular persons, times, or places, but are at all times, in all places, and with regard to all persons, true or false ; as these, man is mortal; virtue makes the happiness of man; the three angles of every right-lined triangle are equal to two rectangles. This head includes all metaphysical and mathematical subjects.

Particular propositions are those which have relation to, and are limited by, particular persons, times, or places; as Alexander conquered Darius ; France is larger than England ; Carthage was founded before Rome, &c. This head comprehends all hiftorical debates, geographical, and chronological knowledge, consultations about the interest of particular states at particular times, judicial enquiries into the actions of particular persons, and all

personal panegyric, or invective.

I divide all subjects of discourse into these two kinds, because the topics of argument suited to each are very considerably distinct; though things which relate to particular persons, times, or places, may often, with propriety, be introduced into a discourse upon a proposition that is universally true,


or universally false, without respect to any particular person, time, or place; and, since every thing that is particular is comprehended in that which is universal, arguments relating to particular persons, places, and times, may be fetched from those topics, which are peculiarly adapted to universal propositions.

Convenient topics for universal propositions are the following: Definition, Adjunets, Antecedents, Consequents, Means, Analogy, Contrariety, Example and Authority.

Before I explain these topics, I would observe, that it is not very material, with respect to the real use of them, whether the distribution be metaphysically exact ; particularly, whether some of them, strictly speaking, be not superfluous, as being comprised under others; as, for example, whether it might not have been sufficient to have comprised example under the head of consequents. It is sufficient if, by attending to them, the mind be led to proper arguments. The table may be too scanty, but can hardly be too full. Notwithstanding this, a great deal of the redundancy of other tables is retrenched in this.


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