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pressive, and easy manner of writing, it is so useful, so engaging a quality, that whatever pains it costs, it amply will repay.
As to the subjects, you are allowed in this way the utmost liberty. Whatever has been done, or thought, or seen, or heard; your observations on what you know, your inquiries about what you do not know, the time, the place, the weather, every thing around stands ready for your purpose; and the more variety you intermix, the better. Set discourses require a dignity or formality of style suitable to the subject; whereas letter-writing rejects all pomp of words, and is most agreeable when most familiar. But, tho' lofty phrases are here improper, the stile must not therefore sink into meanness : and to prevent its doing so, an easy complaisance, an open sincerity, and unaffected good nature, should appear in every place. A letter should wear an honest, cheerful countenance, like one who truly esteems, and is glad to see his friend; and not look like a fop admiring his own dress, and seemingly pleased with nothing but himself.
Express your meaning as briefly as possible; long periods may please the ear, but they perplex the understanding. Let your letters abound with thoughts more than words. A short stile, and plain, strikes the mind, and fixes an impression; a tedious one is seldom clearly understood, and never long remembered. But there is still something requisite beyond all this, towards the writing a polite and agreeable letter, such as a gentleman ought to be distinguished by; and that is, an air of good-breeding and humanity, which ought constantly to appear in every expression, and give a beauty to the whole. By this, I would not be supposed to mean, overstrained or affected compliments, or any thing that way tending ; but an easy, and obliging manner of address, a choice of words which bear the most civil meaning, and a generous and good natured complaisance.
Eloquence of Popular Assemblies.
THE ancients divided all orations into three grand classes, the Demonstrative, the Deliberative, and the Judicial. The scope of the Demonstrative, was to praise or blame; that of the Deliberative, to advise or dissuade; that of the Judicial, to accuse or defend. The chief subjects of Demonstrative Eloquence, were Panegyrics, Invectives, Gratulatory, and Funeral Orations. The Deliberative was employed in matters of Public concern agitated in the Senate, or before the assemblies of the people. The Judicial, is the same with the eloquence of the Bar, employed in addressing Judges, who have powers to absolve or condemn. I have in the following selections, preferred that train which Modern speaking points out, rather than the above division laid down by the ancient Rhetoricians. Modern Eloquence is divided into three kinds, the Eloquence of Popular Assemblies, of the Bar and of the Pulpit; each of which has a distinct character, which particularly suits it. This division though in some respects different, yet in others, corresponds with the ancient one. The eloquence of the Bar is pecisely the same with what the Ancient Rhetoricians called the Judicial.
Eloquence of Popular Assemblies, though mostly of that kind which they term the Deliberative, yet admits also of the Demonstrative. The Eloquence of the Pulpit is altogether of a distinct nature; and as the ancient Rhetoricians had no such kind of Oratory, it cannot be reduced under any of their divisions.
The Eulogium of the perfect Speaker.
IMAGINE to yourselves a Demosthenes addressing the most illustrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the fate of the most illustrious of nations depended.-How awful such a meeting! How vast the subject?-Is man possessed of talents adequate to the great occasion? Adequate-yes, superior. By the power of his eloquence, the augustness of the assembly is lost in the dignity of the subject, for a while, superceded, by the admiration of his talents. With what strength of argument, with what powers of the fancy, with what emotions of the heart, does he assault and subjugate the whole man, and at once captivate his reason, his imagination, and his passions! To effect this must be the utmost effort of the most improved state of human nature !— Not a faculty that he possesses, is here unemployed; not a faculty that he possesses, but is here exerted to its highest pitch. All his internal powers are at work; all his external, testify their energies. Within, the memory, the fancy, the judgment, the passions, all are busy; without, every muscle every nerve, is exerted; not a feature, not a limb, but speaks. The organs of the
body, attuned to the exertions of the mind, through the kindred organs of the hearers, instantaneously, and as it were with an electrical spirit, vibrate those energies from soul to soul.-Notwithstanding the diversity of minds in such a multitude, by the lightning of eloquence, they are melted into one mass-the whole assembly, actuated in one and the same way, become, as it were, but one man, and have but one voice. The universal cry is-Let us march against Philip-let us fight. for our liberties-let us conquer -or die !
Eulogium of Antoinette, the late Queen of France.
IT is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just began to move in,-glittering like the morning star; full of life, and splendor, and joy.
Oh! what a revolution !-and what a heart must I have, to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall!
Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bo som;-little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men,-in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult-But the age of chi
valry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, --that proud submission,--that dignified obedience, --that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone,--that sensibility of principle,--that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound,-which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched; and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness..
Panegyric on the British Constitution.
By a constitutional policy working after the pattern of nature, we receive, we hold, we transmit our government, and our privileges, in the same manner in whic we enjoy and transmit our property and lives. The institutions of policy, the goods of fortune, the gifts of providence, are handed down to us and from us, in the same course and order. Our political system is placed in a just correspondence and symmetry with the order of the world, and with the mode of existence decreed to a permanent body composed of transitory parts; wherein, by the disposition of stupendous wisdom, moulding together the great mysterious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at one time, is never old, or middle-aged, or young; but, in a condition of unchangeable constancy, moves on through the varied tenor of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and progression. Thus, by