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which in the most perfect manner answers its end.

The several beauties of language above mentioned, being of different kinds and diftinguishable from each other, ought to be handled separately. I thall begin with those beauties of language which arise from found; after which will follow the beauties of language confidered as fignificant. This or der appears natural; for the found of a word is attended to, before we confider its fignification. In a third fection come those fingular beauties of language that are derived from a resemblance betwixt found and fignification. The beauties of verse 1 propose to handle in the last fection. For though the foregoing beauties are found in verfe as well as in profe; yet verfe has many peculiar beauties, which for the fake of perfpicuity must be brought under one view. And verfification, at any rate, is a fubject of fo great importance, as to deserve a place by itself.

SECT.

SECT. I

Beauty of language with respect to found.

Propose to handle this fubject in the following order, which appears the most The founds of the different letters

natural.

come first.

in fyllables.

Next, thefe founds as united

Third, fyllables united in words. Fourth, words united in a period. And in the last place, periods united in a discourse.

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With respect to the first article, every vowel is founded by a fingle expiration of air from the wind-pipe through the cavity of the mouth; and by varying this cavity, the different vowels are founded. The air in paffing through cavities differing in fize, produceth various founds, fome high or fharp, fome low or flat. A small cavity occafions a high found, a large cavity a low found. The five vowels accordingly, pronounced with the fame extenfion of the

And if it be

wind-pipe, but with different openings of the mouth, form a regular series of founds, descending from high to low, in the following order, i, e, a*, o, u. Each of these founds is agreeable to the ear. inquired which of them is the most agreeable, it is perhaps the fafeft fide to hold, that there is no univerfal preference of any one before the reft. Probably those vowels which are fartheft removed from the extremes, will generally be the most relished. This is all I have to remark upon the first article. For confonants being letters which of themselves have no found, have no other power but to form articulate founds in conjunction with vowels; and every fuch articulate found being a fyllable, confonants come naturally under the second article. To which therefore we proceed.

All confonants are pronounced with a less cavity than any of the vowels; and confequently they contribute to form a found ftill more sharp than the sharpest vowel pronounced fingle. Hence it follows, that

*Here the German a is understood.

every

every articulate found into which a confonant enters, muft neceffarily be double, though pronounced with one expiration of air, or with one breath as commonly expressed. The reafon is, that though two founds readily unite; yet where they differ in tone, both of them must be heard if neither of them be fuppreffed. For the fame reafon, every fyllable muft be compofed of as many founds as there are letters, fuppofing every letter to be diftinctly pronounced.

"We next inquire, how far articulate founds into which confonants enter, are agreeable to the ear. With refpect to this point, there is a noted obfervation, that all founds of dif ficult pronunciation are to the ear harsh in proportion. Few tongues are fo polished as entirely to have rejected founds that are pronounced with difficulty; and such sounds muft in fome meafure be difagreeable. But with refpect to agreeable founds, it appears, that a double found is always more agreeable than a fingle found. Every one who has an ear must be fenfible, that the diphthongs of or ai are more agreeable than any of these vowels pronounced fingly.

And

And the fame holds where a confonant en

ters into the double found. The fyllable le has a more agreeable found than the vowel e or than any vowel. And in fupport of experience, a fatisfactory argument may be drawn from the wisdom of Providence. Speech is bestowed upon man, to qualify him for fociety. The provision he hath of articulate founds, is proportioned to the ufe he hath for them. But if founds that are agreeable fingly were not alfo agreeable in conjunction, the neceffity of a painful felection would render language intricate and difficult to be attained in any perfection. And this felection, at the fame time, would tend to abridge the number of useful founds, so as perhaps not to leave fufficient for an→ fwering the different ends of language..

In this view, the harmony of pronuncia tion differs widely from that of mufic properly fo called. In the latter are discovered many founds fingly agreeable, that in conjunction are extremely difagreeable; none but what are called concordant founds having a good effect in conjunction. In the former, all founds fingly agreeable are in conH h junction

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VOL. II.

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