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and in moving, especially the softer paf- ftraints from the fide of decorum; but, fions, he is very successful. No man, that even after these allowances made, Cicero's ever wrote, knew the power and force of oftentation of himself cannot be wholly words better than Cicero. He rolls them palliated ; and his orations, indeed all his along with the greatest beauty and pomp; works, leave on our minds the impression and in the stracture of his sentences, is of a good man, but withal, of a vain man. curious and exact to the highest degree. The defects which we have now taken He is always full and Aowing, never ab. notice of in Cicero's eloquence, were not tapt. He is a great amplifier of every unobserved by his own cotemporaries. sobje&; magnificent, and in his senti- This we learn from Quinctilian, and from ments highly moral. His manner is on the author of the dialogue, “ de Causis the whole diffuse, yet it is often happily “ Corruptæ Eloquentiæ.” Brutus we varied, and suited to the subject. In his are informed called him, “ fractum et four orations, for instance, against Cati- “elumbem,” broken and enervated. line, the tone and style of each of them,
“ Suorum temporum
homines," says particularly the first and laft, is very dif- Quintilian, « incessere audebant eum ut ferent, and accommodated with a great “ tumidiorem & Asianum, et redundandeal of judgment to the occasion, and the “ tem, et in repetitionibus nimium, et in situation in which they were spoken. When " falibus aliquandò frigidum, & in coma great public object roused his mind, and " pofitione fractum et exultantem, & pedemanded indignation and force, he de- “ nè viro molliorem *." These censures parts confiderably from that loose and de- were undoubtedly carried too far; and saclamatory manner to which he inclines at vour of malignity and personal enmity. other times, and becomes exceedingly co- They saw his defects, but they aggravated gent and vehement. This is the case in them; and the source of these aggravahis orations against Anthony, and in those tions can be traced to the difference which too against Verres and Catiline. Blair. prevailed in Rome, in Cicero's days, be
tween two great parties, with respect to 72. Defeats of CICERO.
eloquence, the “ Attici," and the “ ATogether with those high qualities “ siani." The former, who called theme which Cicero possesses, he is not exempt selves the Attics, were the patrons of what from certain defects, of which it is necel- they conceived to be the chaste, simple, sary to take notice. For the Ciceronian and natural style of eloquence; from which Eloquence is a pattern fo dazzling by its they accused Cicero as having departed, beauties, that, if not examined with ac. and as leaning to the florid Afiatic manner. curacy and judgment, it is apt to betray In several of his rhetorical works, partithe unwary into a faulty imitation; and cularly in his “ Orator ad Brutum, Ci. I am of opinion, that it has sometimes cero, in his turn, endeavours to expose produced this effect. In most of his ora- this fect, as substituting a frigid and jejune tions, especially those composed in the manner, in place of the true Attic elo. earlier part of his life, there is too much quence; and contends, that his own comart; even carried the length of oftentation. position was formed upon the real Attic There is too visible a parade of eloquence. Style. In the tenth Chapter of the last He seems often to aim at obtaining ad- Book of Quinctilian's Institutions, a full acmiration, rather than at operating con- count is given of the disputes between viction, by what he says. Hence, on these two parties; and of the Rhodian, or Some occasions, he is howy, rather than middle manner between the Attics and the folid; and diffuse, where he ought to have Asiaties. Quin&ilian himself declares on been pressing. His sentences are, at all Cicero's side; and, whether, it be Attimes, round and sonorous; they cannot tic or Afiatic, prefers the full
, the copious, be accused of monotony, for they possess and the amplifying style. He concludes variety of cadence; but, from too great with this very just observation: “ Plures a ftudy of magnificence, he is sometimes « sunt eloquentiæ facies; fed ftultiffimum deficient in strength. On all occasions, where there is the least room for it, he is
" His cotemporaries ventured to reproach full of himself. His great actions, and the
« him as swelling, redundant, and Asiatic ; too real services which he had performed to
« frequent in repetitions ; in his attempts to
it wards wit fometimes cold ; and, in the strain his country, apologize for this in part; “ of his compofition, feebles defultory, and more ancient manners, too, imposed fewer re- “ effeminate than became a man."
“ eft quærere, ad quam recturus se fit ora- ther all the qualities, without the least ex. “ tor; cum omnis species, quæ modo recta ception, that form a perfect orator, and to “ est, habeat ufum. - Uretur eniin, ut res excel equally in each of those qualities, is
exiget, omnibus ; nec pro causa modò, not to be expected from the limited powers “ fed pro partibus caufæ
Blair. of human genius. The highest degree of
strength is, i fefpect, never found united $ 73. Comparison of CICERO and with the highest degree of smoothness and DEMOSTHENES.
ornament: equal attentions to both are On the subject of comparing Cicero incompatible ; and the genius that carries and Demofthenes, much has been said by such a kind, as can excel as much in vi
ornament to its utmost length, is not of critical writers. The different manners of these two princes of eloquence, and the terifical difierence between these two ce
gour. For there plainly lies the characdiitinguishing charaâers of cach, are folebrated orators. strongly marked in their writings, that the
It is a disadvantage to Demosthenes, comparison is, in many respects, obvious that, befides his conciseness, which fomeand easy. The character of Demofthenes times produces obfeurity, the language, is vigour and austerity; that of Cicero is in which he writes, is less familiar to moit gentleness and insinuation. In the one, of us than the Latin, and that we are less you find more manliness; in the other, acquainted with the Greek antiquities than more ornament. The one is more harsh,
we are with the Roman. We read Cicebut more fpirited and cogent; the other
ro with more ease, and of course with more more agreeable, but withal, looser and pleasure. Independent of this circumitance weaker.
too, he is no doubt, in himself, a more To account for this difference, without agreeable writer than the other. But notany prejudice to Cicero, it has been faid, withstanding this advantage, I am of opithat we must look to the nature of their nion, that were the state in danger, or some different auditories ; that the refined Athenians followed with ease the concise and the serious attention of men, an oration in
great public interest at stake, which drew convincing eloquence of Demosthenes ; but the spirit and strain of Demosthenes would that a manner more popular, more flowery, have
more weight, and produce greater efand declamatory, was requisite in fpeaking fects, than one in the Ciceronian manner. to the Romans, a people less acute, and Were Demosthenes's Philippics spoken in lefs acquainted with the arts of speech. a British allembly, in a similar conjuncture But this is not satisfactory. For we must of affairs, they would convince and perobserve, that the Greek orator spoke much fuade at this day. The rapid style, the oftener before a mixed multitude, than the vehement reasoning, the disdain, anger, Roman. Almost all the public business of boldness, freedom, which perpetually Athens was transacted in popular assemblies. animate them, would render their fucThe common people were his hearers, and cels infallible over any modern affembly. his judges. Whereas Cicero generally ad; I question whether the same can be said of dressed himself to the “ Patres Conscripti,” Cicero's orations; whole eloquence, howor, in criminal trials, to the Prætor, and ever beautiful, and however well suited to the Select Judges; and it cannot be ima, the Roman taite, yet borders oftener on gined, that the persons of highest rank and declaination, and is more remote from the beit education in Rome, required a more
manner in which we now expect to hear diffuse manner of pleading than the com- real business and causes of importance mon citizens of Athens, in order to make
treated * them understand the cause, or relish the
In comparing Demofthenes and Cicero, speaker. Perhaps we shall come nearer most of the French critics incline to give the truth, by oblerving, that to unite toge the preference to the latter. P. Rapin the * “ Eloquence admits of many different forms; between some of the most eminent Greek
Jesuit, in the parallels which he has drawn “ and nothing can be niore foolish than to en" quire, by which of them an orator is to regul“late his composition ; since every form, which * In this judgment I concur with Mr. David “ is in itself just, has its own place and use. Hume, in his Elly upon Eloquence. He gives “ The Orator, according as circumstances re- it as his opinion, that, of all human productions, "quire, will employ them all; fuiting them not the Orations of Demosthenes pretent to us the “ only to the cause or subject of wlich he treats, models which approach the nearest to perfec" but to the diferent parts of that subject.”
and Roman writers, uniformly decides in the juftest ideas on the subject, that are favour of the Roman. For the preference to be met with in any modern critical which he gives to Cicero, he assigns, and writer.
Blair. lays itress on one reason of a pretty extraordinary nature; viz. that Demofthenes $74. On the Means of improving in could not possibly have so complete an in
ELOQUENCE fight as Cicero into the manners and pal- Next to moral qualifications, what, in hons of men ; Why? --Because he had not the second place, is most necessary to an the advantage of perusing Ariitotle's trea- orator, is a fund of knowledge. Much is tile of Rhetoric, wherein, says our critic, this inculcated by Cicero and Quinctilian: he has fully laid open that mystery: and, « Quod omnibus disciplinis et artibus deto support this weighty arguinent, he en- “ bet effe inítructus Orator.” By which ters into a controversy with A. Gellius, in
they mean, that he ought to have what order to prove that Aristotlc's Rhetoric
we call a Liberal Education; and to be was not published till after Demosthenes formed by a regular ftudy of philofophy, bad spoken, at least, his moit considerable and the polite arts. We muit never fororations. Nothing can be more childish. Such orators as Cicero and Demosthenes, derived their knowledge of the human Scribendi rectè, fapere eft & principium & fons, pallions, and their power of moving them, from higher sources than any treatise of Good sense and knowledge are the foun. Thetoric. One French critic has indeed dation of all good speaking. There is no departed from the common track; and, art that can teach one to be eloquent, in after bestowing on Cicero thofe juit praises, any sphere, without a sufficient acquaintto which the consent of so many ages
ance with what belongs to that sphere; or Thews him to be entitled, concludes, howe if there were an art that made such preever, with giving the palm to Demosthe- tensions, it would be mere quackery, like nes. This is Fenelon, the famous arch- the pretensions of the sophists of old, to bihop of Cambray, and author of Tele: teach their disciples to speak for and against machus ; himself, surely, no enemy to all every subject; and would be defervedly the graces and flowers of composition. It exploded by all wise men. Attention to is in his Reflections on Rhetoric and Poe- style, to composition, and all the arts of try, that he gives this judgment; a small speech, can only aflilt an orator in setting tract, commonly published along with his off, to advantage, the stock of materials Dialogues on Eloquence. There dia- which he polleftes; but the stock, the malogues and reflections are particularly terials themselves, must be brought from worthy of perusal, as containing, I think, other quarters than from rhetoric. He who
is to plead at the bar, must make himself As his expressions are remarkably happy thoroughly matter of the knowledge of the anal beautiful, the partage here referred to de- law; of all the learning and experience ferves to he inserted. "Je ne crains pas dire, that can be useful in his profession, for sup
que Demofthene me paroit fupérieur a Cicépon. Je proteite que personne n'admire plus porting a cause, or convincing a judge.
Cicéron que je fais. Il embellit tout ce qu'il He who is to speak from the palpit, must "touche. il fait honneur à la parole. Il fait apply himfelf closely to the itudy of divie des mots ce qu'un autre n'en fauroit faire. Il nity, of practical religion, of morals, of hu“ a je ne sai combien de fortes d'esprits. Il est
man nature; that he may be rich in all rieme court, & vehement, toutes les fois qu'il the topics both of instruction and of percontre Antoine. Mais on remarque quelque suasion. He who would fit himself for be
parure dans sons discours. L'art y est merveil. ing a member of the supreme council of " leux; mais on l'entrevoit. L'orateur en pen- the nation, or of any public assembly, must 5 sant au faiut de ia république, ne s'oublie pas, be thoroughly acquainted with the business
et ne se laisse pas oublier: Demosthene par that belongs to such assembly; he must roit sortir de loi, et ne voir que la patrie. 11
ne cherche point le beau ; il le fait, fans y “penser. Il est au-dessus de l'admiration. Il se “ roles. On le perd de vue. On n'est occupé " lert de la parole, comme un homme modeste que de Philippe qui envahit tout. " de son habit, pour le couvrir. Il tonne ; il
« charmé de ces deux orateurs : mais j'avoue que foudroye. C'est un torrent qui entraine tout, " je suis moins touché de l'art infini, & de la * On ne peut le critiquer, parcequ'on eft fasi. “ magnifique éloquence de Cicéron, que de la * On pense aux choses qu'il dit, & non à ses pa
“ rapide fimplicité de Demofthene.''
study the forms of court, the course of pro- wise law of our nature it is; for industry cedure ; and must attend minutely to all is, in truth, the great Condimentum, the facts that may be the subject of ques- the seasoning of every pleasure; without tion or deliberation.
which life is doomed to languifh. Nothing Besides the knowledge that properly be- is so great an enemy both to honourable longs to that profession to which he ad- attainments, and to the real, to the brikk, diás himself, a public speaker, if ever he and spirited enjoyment of life, as that reexpects to be eminent, must make himself laxed Itate of mind which arises from inacquainted, as far as his necessary occupa- dolence and diflipation. One that is deftions allow, with the general circle of po. tined to excel in any art, especially in the lite literature. The study of poetry may arts of speaking and writing, will be known be useful to him on many occasions, for by this more than by any other mark embellishing his style, for suggesting lively whatever, an enthusiasm for that art; an images, or agreeable allusions. The study of enthusiasm, which, firing his mind with the history may be still more useful to him; as object he has in view, will dispose him to the knowledge of facts, of eminent charac relish every labour which the means reters, and of the course of human affairs, finds quire, It was this that characterised the place on many occasions. There are few great men of antiquity; it is this, which great occasions of public speaking, in which must distinguish the moderns who would one will not derive assistance from culti- tread in their steps. This honourable envated taste, and extensive knowledge. thusiasm, it is highly neceffary for such as They will often yield him materials for are studying oratory to cultivate. If youth proper ornament; sometimes, for argu- wants it, manhood will fiag miserably. ment and real use. A deficiency of know
Ibid. ledge, even in subjects that belong not directly to his own profession, will expofc $76. Attention to the bes Models recomhim to many disadvantages, and give bet
mended to the Student in Eloquence. ter qualified rivals a great superiority over Attention to the best models will contri, him.
bute greatly towards improvement. Every
one who speaks or writes should, indeed, $75. A Habit of Industry recommended to endeavour to have somewhat that is his the intended Speaker.
own, that is peculiar to himself, and that Allow me to recommend, in the third characterises his composition and style. place, not only the attainment of useful Slavish imitation depresses genius, or raknowledge, but a habit of application and ther betrays the want of it. But withal, industry. Without this, it is impoflible to
there is no genius so original, but may be excel in any thing. We must not ima
profited and allisted by the aid of proper gine, that it is by a sort of mushroom examples, in style, compofition, and deli. growth, that one can rise to be a diftin. very. They always open some new ideas; guished pleader, or preacher, or speaker they serve to enlarge and correct our own. in any affembly. It is not by starts of ap. They quicken the current of thought, and plication, or by a few years preparation of excite emulation.
Ibid. ftudy afterwards discontinued, that eminence can be attained. No; it can be at
$77. Caution necesary in choosing Motained only by means of regular industry,
dels. grown up into a habit, and ready to be ex- Much, indeed, will depend upon the erted on every occasion that calls for in- right choice of models which we purpose dustry. This is the fixed law of our na- to imitate ; and fuppofing them rightly ture; and he must have a very high opi- chosen, a farther care is requisite, of not nion of his own genius indeed, that can being seduced by a blind universal admibelieve himself an exception to it. A very ration. For, “decipit exemplar, vitüs imi.
" tabile.” Even in the most finished mo. * “ Imprimis verò, abundare debet Orator ex- dels we can select, it must not be forgotten, “ emplorum copiâ, cum veterum, tum etiam no- that there are always some things impro* vorum ; adeò ut non inodò quæ conscripta funt per for imitation. We should study to ac
dita, quæque quotidie aguntur, debeat nôre'; quire a just conception of the peculiar cha“ verùm ne ea quidem quæ a clarioribus poëtis racteristic beauties of any writer, or public * sunt hićta negligere.” QUINCT. L. xii. Cap.4. speaker, and imitate these only. One
ought ought never to attach himself too closely common discourse, ftudy to acquit himself to any single model: for he who does 10, with propriety. I do not at all mean, that is almost iure of being seduced into a faul- he is never to write, or to speak a word, ty and affected imitation. His business but in elaborate and artificial language. hould be, to draw froin several the pro- This would form him to a stiffness and per ideas of perfection.
Blair. affectation, worse, by ten thousand degrees,
than the greatest negligence. But it is to $78. Og ike Style of BOLINGBROKE be observed, that there is, in every thing, and Swift.
a manner which is becoming, and has proSome authors there are, whose manner priety; and opposite to it, there is a clum. of writing approaches nearer to the style sy and faulty performance of the same of speaking than others; and who, there-thing. The becoming manner is very offore, can be imitated with more safety. ten the most light, and seemingly careless In this class, among the English authors, manner; but it requires taste and attention are Dean Swift, and Lord Bolingbroke. to seize the just idea of it. That idea, The Dean, throughout all his writings, in when acquired, we should keep in our eye, the midit of much corre&ness, maintains and formn upon it whatever we write or the easy natural manner of an unaffected say.
Ibid. speaker; and this is one of his chief excellencies. Lord Bolingbroke's style is $ 80. Of what Use the Study of critical and more splendid, and more declamatory than
rhetorical Writers be.
may Dean Swift's; but still it is the style of It now only remains to enquire, of what one who speaks, or rather who harangues. use may the ftudy of critical and rhetorical Indeed, all his political writings (for it is writers be, for improving one in the practo them only, and not to his philosophical tice of eloquence These are certainly not ones, that this observation can be applied) to be neglected; and yet, I dare not say carry much more the appearance of one that much is to be expected from them. declaiming with warmth in a great aliem- For profesed writers on public speaking, bly, than of one writing in a closet, in or- we must look chiefly among the ancients. der to be read by others. They have all the In modern times, for reasons which were copiousness, the fervour, the inculcating before given, popular eloquence, as an art, method, that is allowable and graceful in has never been very much the object of an orator; perhaps too much of it for a study; it has not the same powerful effect writer: and it is to be regretted, as I have among us that it had in more democratical furmerly observed, that the matter con- ftates; and therefore has not been cultitained in them should have been so trivial vated with the same care.
Among the or to false; for, from the manner and style, moderns, though there has been a great considerable advantage might be reaped. deal of good criticism on the different kinds
Ibid, of writing, yet much has not been attempt
ed on the subject of eloquence, or public $ 79. Frequent Exercise in composing and discourse ; and what has been given us of speaking neceffury for Improvement in that kind, has been drawn mostly from the Elsquence.
ancients. Such a writer as Joannes GerarBesides attention to the best models, dus Vossius, who has gathered into one frequent exercise, both in composing and heap of ponderous lumber, all the triling, speaking, will be admitted to be a necer- as well as the useful things, that are to sary mean of improvement. That fort be found in the Greek and Roman writers, of composition is, doubtless, most useful, is enough to disgust one with the ftudy of which relates to the profession, or kind eloquence. Among the French, there of public speaking, to which persons addia has been more attempted, on this subject, themselves. This they fhould keep ever than among the English. The Bishop of in their eye, and be gradually inuring Cambray's writings on eloquence, I before themselves to it. But let me also advise mentioned with honour. Rollin, Batteux, them, not to allow themselves in negligent Crevier, Gibert, and several other French composition of any kind. He who has it critics, have also written on oratory; but for his aim to write, or to speak correctly, though some of them may be useful, none Mould, in the most trivial kind of compo- of them are so considerable as to deserve buion, in writing a letter, nay, even in particular recommendation. Ibid.