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LESSON XL.

FORCE.

Force is a general name for that quality, or rather combination of qualities, which causes discourse to make a deep impression on the mind. Force is therefore the cause of impressiveness.

This quality manifests itself in a great variety of forms or degrees, and is therefore conveniently known by a variety of terms. Those most commonly used are, Strength, Energy, Vigor, Vivacity, Liveliness, Animation, Brilliancy, Grandeur, Magnificence, Loftiness, Sublimity.

Force applies to language addressed to the emotions as well as to that which informs the intellect; hence, partly, its complexity.

In order that discourse may be forcible there must be —

1. A vigorous and skilful use of that part of our vocabulary which expresses power, physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional.

2. A clear and full representation of the object or thought. For example, a description of Niagara Falls might fail to awaken emotions of awe or sublimity if feebly or inadequately given.

3. While the central object or thought must be kept prominently before the mind, the supports and surroundings must be made to harmonize.

4. Striking features or points must have prominence, and details must be kept in due subordination, or omitted.

5. Young people are inclined to think that “ big words” and dazzling figures of speech are the great cause of force. At times they may be, but simplicity in language and in the structure of sentences is often most effective. If the mind labors to get the meaning, it will be less impressed. What could be more effective than, " A world of waters wide and deep”?

6. Force may be gained by dividing a general term into its chief parts, and stating, or, it may be, describing each part separately; as, “ Neither love, sorrow, fame, ambition, nor strife (for

no feelings) can cut his heart with the keen edge of silent, sharp endurance."

7. Impressiveness, the outcome of force, is assured by building an argument on a generally accepted basis ; e.g., if a person builds a logical argument on such a basis as “the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,” he will be sure to carry strong conviction to the minds of his readers.

8. One source of force is the author's vivid conception of the subject, accompanied by strong and deep emotion. As an example, take this definition of history : “History is a mighty drama, enacted upon the theatre of time, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background."

9. Whatever contributes to perspicuity contributes likewise to force. Hence simplicity, concreteness, and transparent clearness of arrangement are of vital importance.

10. Force may sometimes be given by the form of the sentence. For example, vigor is sometimes gained by a number of short sentences, by inversion of the order, or by turning the expression into the form of an exclamation or an interrogation.

be obtained by a repetition of the same thought in various forms or under various figures; as, “How soon man is forgotten. History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal.”

12. One of the most effective means of adding force is the use of appropriate and original figures of speech. This has already been seen in preceding Lessons.

13. As was shown in discussing Strength, there are in the use of language many devices that increase the force of style. All these may be employed to intensify the effect.

14. One great source of force is originality. This may show itself in the form, as in Carlyle ; in the conception, as in Newton.

15. Force, as well as other qualities of style, may be increased by comparing the subject with some other whose impressive grandeur is well known. For example, a writer renders his portrayal

II.

Force may

of the destruction done by the locusts more vivid by saying, “The ocusts have done what the winds and the lightnings could not do; and the whole promise of the vintage, leaves and all, is gone."

PATHOS.

The quality of style that awakens tender emotions is usually called Pathos, or Feeling. It is the power of producing in the mind by means of language an effect similar to that which the scenes or incidents would themselves have created.

Pathos is awakened by descriptions or relations of

1. The love of parents for their children, of children for their parents, or of persons of one sex for those of the other.

2. True friendship or self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of others. See the story of Damon and Pythias.

3. Tender sentiments, humane actions, or whatever else tends to increase human happiness or lessen human woe.

4. Scenes of suffering, misery, or distress. Those are all the more touching when prominence is given to the heroism, meekness, patience, or whatever serves to exhibit the nobility of the character of the sufferer.

As style is only form of expression, we should distinguish clearly between Pathos of subject and Pathos of style. Pathos of subject is always the same, though it may affect different persons differently, or even the same persons differently at different times; but the pathos of style varies according to the manner in which the subject is presented. In the statements that follow, pathos of style only is considered.

Pathos may be increased

1. By a clear and impressive presentation of the subject. For example, a scene of distress may affect us but little if it is so described as to give us but an imperfect idea of it.

Here, then, is room for the employment of all the devices that contribute to perspicuity, picturesqueness, and force. Attention should be given to what has been said under each of these heads; our feelings are reached through our intellect.

2. By giving judicious care to the choice of such language and imagery as, by their own power or by means of association, most effectually touch the tender chords of our common human nature.

3. By having the circumstances and surroundings such as har monize with the scene. This implies that

a. All discordant matter must be kept out.
b. Distracting particulars are to be avoided.
6. Only salient and essential features are to be dealt with.
d. All over-straining is to be eschewed.
c. Such particulars be chosen as really intensify the effect.
f. The natural scenery should be suitable.

g. Orators and poets often represent nature as being in sym. pathy with the men and women of their story.

4. By introducing such associated circumstances as tend to heighten the effect. This may be done –

a. By such epithets and phrases as tend to heighten the effect; as, " That beautiful child of tender years."

b. By the incidental mention of touching features.

C. By a fuller statement, or from viewing a circumstance from different standpoints. For example, the pain of personal bereave. ment is made more impressive by dwelling on the graces and excellences of the departed, the pang of separation, the void left in the heart of the living, the difficulty of forming new friendships when the warmth of youth is gone, or on the desolateness of life without companionship.

EXERCISE LXXXIV.

FORCE AND PATHOS. DIRECTION. – Examine these paragraphs. Point out the various devices on which the force or pathos of the style depends.

1. I spoke boldly, freely, — in a word, I spoke with passion. I concealed nothing - nothing even of my weakness.

2. Oh, but, my friend ! to think what a blow I am to give to all her future prospects. How I am to strike her very soul to the

earth, by telling her that her husband is a beggar; that she is to forego all the elegancies of life — all the pleasures of society to shrink with me into indigence and obscurity.

3. The heart is woman's world; it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure ; she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless — for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.

4. When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow. When I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.

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