Four Early Pamphlets

Four Early Pamphlets

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Excerpt: ...temptation of gain to spur men on to the profession of an author. An industrious modern will produce twenty volumes, in the time that Socrates employed to polish one oration. Another argument flows from the simple circumstance of their writing in a different language. Of all the requisites to the attainment either of a style of our own, or a discernment in that of others, the first is grammar. Without this, our ideas must be always vague and desultory. Respecting the delicacies of composition, we may guess, but we can never decide and demonstrate. Now, of the minutiae of grammar, scarcely any man ever attained a just knowledge, who was acquainted with only one language. And if the study of others be the surest, I will venture also to pronounce it the easiest method for acquiring a mastery in philology. From what has been said, I shall consider this conclusion as sufficiently established, that the languages ought at some time to be learned by him who would form to himself a perfect character. I proceed to my second enquiry, at what time the study of them should be commenced? And here I think this to be the best general answer: at the age of ten years. In favour of so early a period one reason may be derived from what I have just been mentioning. The knowledge of more languages than one, is almost an indispensible prerequisite to the just understanding either of the subject of grammar in particular, or of that of style in general. Now if the cultivation of elegance and propriety be at all important, it cannot be entered upon too soon, provided the ideas are already competent to the capacity of the pupil. The Roman Cornelia, who never suffered a provincial accent, or a grammatical barbarism in the hearing of her children, has always been cited with commendation; and the subsequent rhetorical excellence of the Gracchi has been in a great degree ascribed to it. Fluency, purity and ease are to be acquired by insensible degrees: and against habits of this...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 46 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 100g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236710177
  • 9781236710178