Elocution is " that art of clothing and adorning that thought so found and varied, in apt, significant, and sounding word."

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

Elocution is " that art of clothing and adorning that thought so found and varied, in apt, significant, and sounding word."
Metaphor in Context
The composition of all poems is or ought to be of wit, and wit in the poet, or wit writing (if you will give me leave to use a school distinction), is no other than the faculty of imagination in the writer, which, like a nimble spaniel, beats over and ranges through the field of memory, till it springs the quarry it hunted after; or, without metaphor, which searches over all the memory for the species or ideas of those things which it designs to represent. Wit written, is that which is well defined the happy result of thought, or product of that imagination. But to proceed from wit in the general notion of it to the proper wit of an heroic or historical poem, I judge it chiefly to consist in the delightful imaging of persons, actions, passions, or things.'Tis not the jerk or sting of an epigram, nor the seeming contradiction of a poor antithesis (the delight of an ill-judging audience in a play of rhyme), nor the jingle of a more poor paranomasia: neither is it so much the morality of a grave sentence, affected by Lucan, but more sparingly used by Virgil; but it is some lively and apt description, dressed in such colours of speech, that it sets before youre eyes the absent object as perfectly and more delightfully than nature. so then, the first happiness of the poet's imagination is properly invention, or finding of the thought; the second is fancy or the variation, driving or moulding of that thought, as the judgement represents it proper to the subject; the third is elocution, or that art of clothing and adorning that thought so found and varied, in apt, significant, and sounding words: the quickness of the imagination is seen in the invention, the fertility in the fancy, and the accuracy in the expression. For the two first of these Ovid is famous amongst the poets, for the latter Virgil. Ovid images more often the movements and affections of the mind, either combating between two contrary passions, or extremely discomposed by one: his words therefore are the least part of his care, for he pictures nature in disorder, with which the study and choice of words is inconsistent. This is the proper wit of dialogue or discourse, and consequently, of the drama, where all that is said is to be supposed the effect of sudden thought; which, though it excludes not the quickness of wit in repartees, yet admits not a too curious election of words, too frequent allusions, or use of tropes, or, in fine, anything that shows remoteness of thought, or labour in the writer. On the other side, Virgil speaks not so often to us in the person of another, like Ovid, but in his own; he relates almost all things as from himself, and thereby gains more liberty than the other to express his thoughts with all the graces of elocution, to write more figuratively, and to confess as well the labour as the force of his imagination.
(pp. 26-7 in Walker's edition)
John Dryden. "Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders, 1666." John Dryden: A Critical Edition of the Major Works. Ed. Keith Walker. Oxford: OUP, 1987. pp. 23-70.
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.