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knotty and sublile disquisitions, ought to precede has not thought it improper to prescribe, &c.
“ I have in this paper, by way of introduction, settled the notion of those pleasures of the imagination, which are the subject of my present undertaking; and endeavoured, by several considerations, to recommend to my readers the pursuit of those pleasures : I shall in my next paper examine the several sources from whence these pleasures are derived."
These two concluding sentences furnish examples of proper collocation of circumstances. We formerly showed that it is difficult so to dispose them as not to embarrass the principal subject. Had the following incidental circumstances, by way of introduction by several considerations in this paper in the next pa. per, been placed in any o:her situation, the sentence would have been neither so neat, nor so clear, as it is on the present construction.
ELOQUENCE...ORIGIN OF ELOQUENCE....GRECIAN ELO
ELOQUENCE is the art of persuasion. Its most es. sential requisites are solid argument, clear method, and an appearance of sincerity in the speaker, with such graces of style and utterance as command attention. Good sense must be its foundation. Without this, no man can be truly eloquent;, since fools can persuade none but fools. Before we can persuade a man of sense, we must convince him. Convincing and persuading, though sometimes confounded, are of very different import. Conviction affects the understanding only ; persuasion, the will and the practice. It is the business of a plilosopher to convince us of truth ; it is that of an orator to persuade us to act conformably to it, by engaging our affections in its favour. Conviction is, however, one avenue to the heart; and it is that which an orator must first attempt to gain ; for no persuasion can be stable, which is not founded on conviction, But
the orator must not be satisfied with convincing ; he · must address himself to the passions ; he must paint to the fancy, and touch the heart. Hence, beside solid argument and clear method, all the conciliating and interesting arts of composition and pronunciation enter into the idea of eloquence.
Eloquence may be considered as consisting of three kinds, or degrees. The first and lowest is that which aims only to please the hearers. Such in general is the eloquence of panegyrics, inaugural orations, addresses to great men, and other harangues of this kind. This ornamental sort of composition may innocently amuse and entertain the mind; and may be mixed at the same time with very useful sentiments. But it must be acknowledged, that where the speaker aims only to shine and to please, there is great danger of art being strained into ostentation, and of the composition becoming tiresome and insipid.
The second degree of eloquence is, when the speaker aims not merely to please, but also to inform, to instruct, to convince ; when his art is employed in removing prejudices against himself and his cause; in selecting the most proper arguments, stating them with the greatest force, arranging them in the best order, expressing and delivering them with propriety and beauty; thereby disposing us to pass that judgment, or favour that side of the cause to which he seeks to bring us. Within this degree chiefly is employed the eloquence of the bar.
The third and highest degree of eloquence is that by which we are not only convinced, but interested, agitated, and carried along with the speaker ; our passions rise with his ; we share all his emotions ; we love, we hate, we resent, as he inspires us ; and are prompted to resolve, or to act with vigour and warmth. Debate in popular assemblies opens the most extensive field to this species of eloquence ; and the pulpit also admits it.
This high species of eloquence is always the offspring of passion. By passion we mean that state of mind in which it is agitated and fired by some object
in view. Hence the universally acknowledged power of enthusiasm in public speakers for affecting their audience. Hence all studied exclamation and laboured ornaments of style, which show the mind to be cool and unmoved, are inconsistent with persuasive ele. quence. Hence every kind of affectation in gesture and pronunciation detracts so much from the weight of a speaker. Hence the necessity of being, and of being believed to be, disinterested and in earnest, in order to persuade.
In tracing the origin of eloquence, it is not necessary to go far back into the early ages of the world, or to search for it among the monuments of Eastern or Egyp:ian antiquity. In those ages, it is true, there was a certain kind of eloquence, but it was more nearly allied to poetry, than to what we properly call oratory. While the intercourse of men was infrequent, and force was the principal mean employed in deciding coniroversies, the arts of oratory and persuasion, of reasoning and debate, could be little known. The first empires were of the despotic kind. A single person, or at most a few, held the reins of government. The multitude were accustomed to blind obedience; they were driven, not persuaded. Consequently none of those refinements of society, which made public speaking an object of importance, were introduced.
Before the rise of the Grecian republics, we perceive no remarkable appearances of eloquence, as the art of persuasion ; and these gave it such a field, as it never had before, and perhaps has never had again since that time. Greece was divided into many little states, These were governed at first by kings; who being, for their tyranny, successively expelled from their dominions, there sprung up a multitude of democratical governments, founded nearly upon the same plan, animated by the same high spirit of freedom, mutually jealous, and rivals of each other. Among these, Athens was most noted for arts of every kind, but especially for eloquence. We shall pass over the orators, who flourished in the early period of this republic, and take a view of the great Demosthenes, in
whom eloquence shone with unrivalled splendour. Not formed by nature either to please or persuade, he struggled with and surmounted the most formidable impediments. He shut himself up in a cave, that he might study with less distraction. He declaimed by the sea-shore, that he might be used to the noise of a tumultuous assembly; and with pebbles in his mouth, that he m correct defect in his speech. He prac. tised at home with a naked sword hanging over his shoulder, that he might check an ungraceful motion to which he was subject. Hence the example of this great man affords the highest encouragement to every student of eloquence ; since it shows how far art and application availed for acquiring an excellence, which nature appeared willing to deny.
No orator had ever a finer field than Demosthenes in his Olynthiacs and Philippics, which are his capital orations, and undoubtedly to the greatness of the subject, and to that integrity and public spirit, which breathe in them, they owe much of their merit. The object is to rouse the indignation of his countrymen against Philip of Macedon, the public enemy of the liberties of Greace; and to guard them against the insidious measures by which that crafty prince endeavo oured to lay them asleep to danger. To attain this end, we see him using every proper mean to animate a people, distinguished by justice, humanity, and valour ; but in many instances become corrupt and degenerate. He boldly accuses them of venality, indolence, and indifference to the public cause, while at the same time he reminds them of the glory of their ancestors, and of their present resources. His cotemporary orators, who were bribed by Philip, and persuaded the people to peace, he openly reproaches, as traitors to their coun. try.
He not only prompts to vigorous measures, but lays down the plan of execution.
His orations are strongly animated, and full of the impetuosity and fire of public spirit. His composition is not distinguished by ornament and splendour. It is energy of thought, peculiarly his own, which forms his character, and sets him above all others. He seems not to attend to words, but to things. We forget the orator, and think of the subject. He has no parade ; no studied introductions ; but is like a man full of his subject, who, af. ter preparing his audience by a sentence or two for hearing plain truths, enters directly on business.
The style of Demosthenes is strong and concise, though sometimes harsh and abrupt. His words are very expressive and his arrangement firm and manly. Negligent of graces, he aims at that sublime which lies in the sentiment. His action and pronunciation were uncommonly vehement and ardent. His character is of the austere, rather than of the gentle kind." He is always grave, serious, passionate ; never degrading himself, nor attempting any thing like pleasantry. If his admirable eloquence be in any respect faulty, it is in this, he sometimes borders on the hard and dry. He may be thought to want smoothness and grace ; which is attributed to his imitating too closely the manner of Thucydides, who was his great model for style, and whose history he transcribed eight times with his own hand. But these defects are more than compensated by that masterly force of masculine eloquence, which, as it overpowered all who heard it, cannot in the present day be read without emotion.
ROMAN ELOQUENCE....CICERO....MODERN ELOQUENCE,
HAVING treated of eloquence among the Greeks, we now proceed to consider its progress among the Romans ; - where we shall find one model at least of eloquence in its most splendid form. The Romans derived their eloquence, poetry, and learning, from the Greeks; and were far inferior to them in genius for all these accomplishments. They had neither their vivacity, nor sensibility ; their passions were not so ea. sily moved, nor their conceptions so lively; in comparison with them they were a phlegmatic people. Their language resembled their character ; it was regular, firm and stately; but wanted that expressive simplicity,