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deficient in strength. On all occasions these two parties; and of the Rhodian, or where there is the least room for it, he is middle manner between the Attics and the full of himself. His great actions, and the Asiatics. Quinctilian himself declares on real services which he had performed to Cicero's side; and, whether it be Attic his country, apologize for this in part; or Asiatic, prefers the full, the copious, ancient manners, too, imposed fewer re- and the amplifying style. He concludes straints from the side of decorum; but, with this very just observation : “ Plures even after these allowances made, Cicero's sunt eloquentiæ facies; sed stultissimum ostentation of himself cannot be wholly quærere,
ad quam recturus se sit orapalliated; and his orations, indeed all his “tor; cum omnis species, quæ modò recta works, leave on our minds the impression est, habeat usum.--Utetur enim, ut res of a good man, but withal, of a vain man. exiget, omnibus; nec pro causa modò,
The defects which we have now taken “ sed pro partibus causæt.” notice of in Cicero's eloquence, were not
Blair. unobserved by his own contemporaries. This we learn from Quinctilian, and from $75. Comparison of Cicero and Dethe author of the dialogue, “ de Causis
MOSTHENES. “ Corruptæ Eloquentiæ.'
On the subject of comparing Cicero are informed called him, “ fractum et and Demosthenes, much has been said by
elumbem,” broken and enervated. critical writers. The different manners of “ Suorum temporum homines,” says these two princes of eloquence, and the Quinctilian, “ incessere audebant eum et distinguishing characters of each, are so “ tumidiorem & Asianum, et redundan- strongly marked in their writings, that the “ tem, et in repetitionibus nimium, et in comparison is, in many respects, obvious “ salibus aliquandò frigidum, & in com- and easy. The character of Demosthenes “ positione fractum et exultantem, & pe- is vigour and austerity; that of Cicero is “ nè viro molliorem*.” These censures gentleness and insinuation. In the one, were undoubtedly carried too far; and sa- you find more manliness; in the other vour of malignity and personal enmity. more ornament. The one is more harsh, They saw his defects, but they aggravated but more spirited and cogent; the other them; and the source of these aggrava- niore agreeable, but withal, looser and tions can be traced to the difference which weaker. prevailed in Rome, in Cicero's days, be. To account for this difference, without tween two great parties, with respect to any prejudice to Cicero, it has been said, eloquence, the “ Attici," and the Asi- that we must look to the nature of their “ ani.” The former, who called them- different auditories; that the refined Atheselves the Attics, were the patrons of what nians followed with ease the concise and they conceived to be the chaste, simple, convincing eloquence of Demosthenes; but and natural style of eloquence; from which that a manner more popular, more flowery, they accused Cicero as having departed, and declamatory, was requisite in speaking and as leading to the florid Asiatic manner. to the Romans, a people less acute, and In several of his rhetorical works, parti- less acquainted with the arts of speech. cularly in his “Orator ad Brutum," Ci- But this is not satisfactory. For we must cero, in his turn, endeavours to expose observe, that the Greek orator spoke much this sect, as substituting a frigid and jejune oftener before a mixed multitude, than the manner in place of the true Attic elo- Roman. Almost all the public business of quence; and contends, that his own com- Athens was transacted in popular assemposition was formed upon the real Attic blies. The common people were his hearStyle. In the tenth Chapter of the lasters, and his judges. Whereas Cicero Book of Quinctilian's Institutions, a full generally addressed himself to the “ Paaccount is given of the disputes between tres Conscripti," or, in criminal trials, to
* “ His contemporaries ventured to reproach him as swelling, redundant, and Asiatic; too fre
quent in repetitions; in his attempts towards wit sometimes cold ; and, in the strain of his com“ position, feeble, desultory, and more effeminate than became a man."
* “ Eloquence admits of many different forms; and nothing can be more foolish than to inquire " by which of them an orator is to regulate his composition ; since every form, which is in itself "just, has its own place and use. The Orator, according as circumstances require, will employ " them all; suiting them not only to the cause or subject of which he treats, but to the different “ parts of that subject."
the Prætor, and the Select Judges; and I question whether the same can be said of it cannot be imagined, that the persons of Cicero's orations; whose eloquence, howhighest rank and best education in Rome, ever beautiful, and however well suited to required a more diffuse manner of plead- the Roman taste, yet borders oftener on ing than the common citizens of Athens, declamation, and is more remote from the in order to make them understand the manner in which we now expect to hear cause, or relish the speaker. Perhaps real business and causes of importance we shall come nearer the truth, by ob- treated *. serving, that to unite together all the qua- In comparing Demosthenes and Cicero, lities, without the least exception, that most of the French critics incline to give form a perfect orator, and to excel equally the preference to the latter. P. Rapin the in each of those qualities, is not to be ex- Jesuit, in the parallels which he has drawn pected from the limited powers of human between some of the most eminent Greek genius. The highest degree of strength and Roman writers, uniformly decides in is, I suspect, never found united with the favour of the Roman. For the preference highest degree of smoothness and orna- which he gives to Cicero, he assigns, and ment: equal attentions to both are in- lays stress on one reason of a pretty extracompatible; and the genius that carries ordinary nature; viz. that Demosthenes ornament to its utmost length, is not of could not possibly have so complete an insuch a kind, as can excel as much in vi- sight as Cicero into the manners and pasgour. For there plainly lies the charac- sions of men; Why?-Because he had not teristical difference between these two ce- the advantage of perusing Aristotle's trealebrated orators.
tise of Rhetoric, wherein, says our critic, It is a disadvantage to Demosthenes, he has fully laid open that mystery; and, , that, besides his conciseness, which some- to support this weighty argument, he entimes produces obscurity, the language. ters into a controversy with A. Gellius, in in which he writes, is less familiar to most order to prove that Aristotle's Rhetoric of us than the Latin, and that we are less was not published till after Demosthenes acquainted with the Greek antiquities than had spoken, at least, his most considerable we are with the Roman. We read Cicero orations. Nothing can be more childish. with more ease, and of course with more Such orators as Cicero and Demosthenes pleasure. Independent of this circumstance derived their knowledge of the human too, he is no doubt, in himself, a more passions and their power of moving them, agreeable writer than the other. But not- from higher motives than any treatise of withstanding this advantage, I am of opi- rhetoric. One French critic' has indeed nion, that were the state in danger, or some departed from the common track; and, great public interest at stake, which drew after bestowing on Cicero those just praises, the serious attention of men, an oration in to which the consent of so many ages the spirit and strain of Demosthenes would shews him to be entitled, concludes, howhave more weight, and produce greater ef- ever, with giving the palm to Demosfects, than one in the Ciceronian manner. thenes. This is Fenelon, the famous arch. Were Demosthenes's Philippics spoken in bishop of Cambray, and author of Telea British assembly, in a similar conjuncture machus; himself, surely, no enemy to all of affairs, they would convince and per- the graces and flowers of composition. It suade at this day. The rapid style, the is in his Reflections on Rhetoric and Poevehement reasoning, the disdain, anger, try, that he gives this judgment; a small boldness, freedom, which perpetually tract, commonly published along with his animate them, would render their suc. Dialogues on Eloquencet. These diacess infallible over any modern assembly, logues and reflections are particularly
* In this judgment I concur with Mr. David Hume, in his Essay upon Eloquence. He gives it as his opinion, that of all human productions, the Orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach the nearest to perfection.
† As his expressions are remarkably happy and beautiful, the passage here referred to deserves to be inserted. “ Je ne crains pas dire, que Demosthene me paroit supérieur à Cicéron. Je pro“ teste que personne n'admire plus Cicéron que je fais. Il embellit tout ce qu'il touche. Il fait “ honneur à la parole. Il fait des mots ce qu'un autre n'en sauroit faire. Il a je ne sais combien “ de sortes d'esprits. Il est même court, et vehement, toutes les fois qu'il veut l'estre; contre 6. Catiline, contre Verres, contre Antoine. Mais on remarque quelque parure dans son discours. “ L'art y est merveilleux, mais on l'entrevoit. L'orateur en pensant au salut de la république, “ ne s'oublie pas, et ne se laisse pas oublier. Demosthene paroit sortir de soi, et ne voir que la
worthy of perusal, as containing, I think, being a member of the supreme council of the justest ideas on the subject, that are to the nation, or of any public assembly, be met with in any modern critical writer. must be thoroughly acquainted with the
Blair. business that belongs to such assembly; he
must study the forms of court, the course $76. On the Means of improving
of procedare; and must attend minutely Eloquence.
to all the facts that may be the subject of Next to moral qualifications, what, in question or deliberation. the second place, is most necessary to an Besides the knowledge that properly beorator, is a fund of knowledge. Much is longs to that profession to which he adthis inculcated by Cicero and Quincti- dicts himself, a public speaker, if ever he lian: “ Quod omnibus disciplinis et ar- expects to be eminent, must make himself “ tibus debet esse instructus Orator.” By acquainted, as far as his necessary occupawhich they mean, that he ought to have tions allow, with the general circle of powhat we call a Liberal Education; and to lite literature. The study of poetry may be formed by a regular study of philoso- be useful to him on many occasions, for phy, and the polite arts. We must never embellishing his style, for suggesting lively forget that,
images, or agreeable allusions. The study Scribendi rectè, sapere est et principium et fons. of history may be still more useful to him;
as the knowledge of facts, of eminent chaGood sense and knowledge are the foun- racters, and of the course of human afdation of all good speaking. There is no fairs, finds place on many occasions*. art that can teach one to be eloquent, in There are few great occasions of public any sphere, without a sufficient acquaint- speaking in which one will not derive asance with what belongs to that sphere; or sistance from cultivated taste, and extenif there were an art that made such pre- sive knowledge. They will often yield him tensions, it would be mere quackery, like materials for proper ornament; sometimes the pretensions of the sophists of old, to for argument and real use. A deficiency teach their disciples to speak for and against of knowledge, even in subjects that belong every subject; and would be deservedly not directly to his own profession, will exexploded by all wise men. Attention to pose him to many disadvantages, and give style, to composition, and all the arts of better qualified rivals a great superiority speech, can only assist an orator in setting over him.
Ibid. off, to advantage, the stock of materials which he possesses; but the stock, the materials themselves, must be brought from $ 77. A Habil of Industry recommended
to the intended Speaker. other quarters than from rhetoric. He who is to plead at the bar, must make himself Allow me to recommend, in the third thoroughly master of the knowledge of place, not only the attainment of useful the law; of all the learning and experience knowledge, but a habit of application and
a that can be useful in his profession, for industry. Without this, it is impossible supporting a cause, or convincing a judge. to excel in any thing. We must not imaHe who is to speak from the pulpit must gine that it is by a sort of mushroom apply himself closely to the study of divi- growth, that one can rise to be a distinnity, of practical religion, of morals, of guished pleader, or preacher, or speaker human nature; that he may be rich in all in any assembly. It is not by slarts of apthe topics both of instruction and of per- plication, or by a few years' preparation of suasion. He who would fit himself for study afterwards discontinued, that emi
“ patrie. Il ne cherche point le beau ; il le fait, sans y penser. Il est au-dessus de l'admiration. "11 se sert de la parole, comme un homme modeste de son habit, pour se couvrir. Il tonne; il “ foudroye. C'est un torrent qui entraine tout. On ne peut le critiquer, parcequ'on est saisi. “ On pense aux choses qu'il dit, et non à ses paroles. On le perd de vue. On n'est occupé que “ de Philippe qui envahit tout. Je suis charmé de ces deux orateurs: mais j'avoue que je suis moins “ touché de l'art infini, et de la magnifique éloquence de Cicéron, que de la rapide simplicité de De“ mosthene."
*" Imprimis verò, abundare debet Orator exemplorum copia, cum veterum, tum etiam norn"rum; adeò ut non modò quæ conscripta sunt historiis, aut serinonibus velut per manus tradita, " quæque quotidie aguptur, debeat nòsse ; verùm ue ea quidem quæ a clarioribus poëtis sunt ficta " negligere.” Quinct. L. xii. Cap. 4.
nence can be attained. No; it can be at- “tabile.” Even in the most finished motained only by means of regular industry, dels we can select, it must not be forgotten, grown up into a habit, and ready to be ex- that there are always some things improerted on every occasion that calls for in- per for imitation. We should study to acdustry. This is the fixed law of our na- quire a just conception of the peculiar chature; and he must have a very high opi- racteristic beauties of any writer, or public nion of his own genius indeed, that can be- speaker, and imitate these only. lieve himself an exception to it. A very ought never to attach himself too closely wise law of our nature it is ; for industry to any single model: for he who does so, is, in truth, the great “Condimentum, is almost sure of being seduced into a faulty the seasoning of every pleasure; without and affected imitation. His business should which life is doomed to languish. Nothing be, to draw from several the proper ideas is so great an enemy both to honourable of perfection.
Ibid. attainments, and to the real, to the brisk, and spirited enjoyment of life, as that re- $ 80. On the Style of BOLINGBROKE and
Swift. laxed state of mind which arises from indolence and dissipation. One that is des- Some authors there are, whose manner tined to excel in any art, especially in the of writing approaches nearer to the style of arts of speaking and writing, will be speaking than others; and who, therefore, known by this more than by any other can be imitated with more safety. In this mark whatever,-an enthusiasm for that class, among the English authors, are art; an eathusiasm, which, firing his mind Dean Swift, and Lord Bolingbroke. The with the object he has in view, will dis- Dean, throughout all his writings, in the pose him to relish every labour which the midst of much correctness, maintains the means require. It was this that character- easy natural manner of an unaffected ised the great men of antiquity; it is this, speaker: and this is one of his chief exwhich must distinguish the moderns who cellencies. Lord Bolingbroke's style is would tread their steps. This honourable more splendid, and more declamatory than enthusiasm, it is highly necessary for such Dean Swift's; but still it is the style of as are studying oratory to cultivate. If one who speaks, or rather who harangues. youth wants it, manhood will flag miser- Indeed, all his political writings (for it is ably.
Blair. to them only, and not to his philosophical
ones, that this observation can be applied) $ 78. Altenlion to the best Models recommended to the Student in Eloquence.
carry much more the appearance of one
declaiming with warmth in a great assemAttention to the best models will contri- bly, than of one writing in a closet, in order bute greatly towards improvement. Every to be read by others. They have all the one who speaks or writes should, indeed, copiousness, the fervour, the inculcating endeavour to have somewhat that is his method, that is allowable and graceful in own, that is peculiar to himself, and that an orator; perhaps too much of it for a characterises his composition and style. writer : and it is to be regretted, as I have Slavish imitation depresses genius, or ra- formerly observed, that the matter conther betrays the want of it. But withal, tained in them should have been so trivial there is no genius so original, but may be or so false; for, from the manner and profited and assisted by the aid of proper style, considerable advantage might be examples in style, composition, and deli- reaped.
Ibid. very. They always open some new ideas; they serve to enlarge and correct our own.
§ 81. Frequent Exercise in composing and They quicken the current of thought, and
speaking necessary for Improvement in excite emulation.
Besides attention to the best models, $ 79. Caution necessary in choosing
frequent exercise, both in composing and Models.
speaking, will be admitted to be a necesMuch, indeed, will depend upon the sary mean of improvement. That sort of right choice of models which we purpose composition is, doubtless, most useful, to imitate; and supposing them rightly which relates to the profession, or kind of chosen, a farther care is requisite, of not public speaking, to which persons addict being seduced by a blind universal admi- themselves. This they should keep ever ration, For,“ décipit exemplar, vitiis iini- in their eye, and be gradually inuring
themselves to it. But let me also advise also written on oratory; but though some them, not to allow themselves in negligent of them may be useful, none of them are composition of any kind. He who has it so considerable as to deserve particular for his aim to write or to speak correctly, recommendation.
Ibid. should, in the most trivial kind of compo- $ 83. Recourse must chiefly be had to the sition, in writing a letter, nay even in com
original Writers. mon discourse, study to acquit himself with It is to the original ancient writers that propriety. I do not at all mean, that he is we must chiefly have recourse; and it is a never to write, or to speak a word, but in reproach to any one, whose profession calls elaborate and artificial language. This him to speak in public, to be unacquainted would form him to a stiffness and affecta- with them. In all the ancient rhetorical tion, worse, by ten thousand degrees, than writers, there is, indeed, this defect, that the greatest negligence. But it is to be ob- they are too systematical, as I formerly served, that there is, in every thing, a man- shewed; they aim at doing too much; at ner which is becoming, and has propriety; reducing rhetoric to a complete and perand opposite to it, there is a clumsy and fect art, which may even supply invention faulty performance of the same thing. The with materials on every subject; insomuch becoming manner is very often the most that one would imagine they expected to light, and seemingly careless manner; but form an orator by rule, in as mechanical it requires taste and attention to seize the a manner as one would form a carpenter, just idea of it. That idea, when acquired, Whereas, all that can in truth be done, is we should keep in our eye, and form upon give openings for assisting and enlightit whatever we write or say..
Blair. ening taste, and for pointing out to genius § 82. Of what Use the Study of critical the course it ought to hold.
Aristotle laid the foundation for all that and rhetorical Writers may be.
was afterwards written on the subject. It now only remains to inquire, of what That amazing and comprehensive genius, use may the study of critical and rhetorical which does honour to human nature, and writers be, for improving one in the prac. which gave light into so many different tice of eloquence? These are certainly not sciences, has investigated the principles of to be neglected ; and yet I dare not say rhetoric with great penetration. Aristotle that much is to be expected from them. appears to have been the first who took For professed writers on public speaking, rhetoric out of the hands of the sophists, we must look chiefly among the ancients. and introduced reasoning and good sense In modern times, for reasons which were into the art. Some of the profoundest before given, popular eloquence, as an art, things which have been written on the has never been very much the object of passions and manners of men, are to be study; it has not the same powerful effect found in his Treatise on Rhetoric: though among us that it had in more democratical in this, as in all his writings, his great states; and therefore has not been culti- brevity often renders him obscure. Sucvated with the same care. Among the mo- ceeding Greek rhetoricians, most of whom derns, though there has been a great deal are now lost, improved on the foundation of good criticism on the different kinds of which Aristotle had laid. Two of them writing, yet much has not been attempted still remain, Demetrius Phalereus, and on the subject of eloquence, or public dis. Dionysius of Halicarnassus; both write on course; and what has been given us of that the construction of sentences, and deserve kind has been drawn mostly from the an- to be perused; especially Dionysius, who cients. Such a writer as Joannes Gerardus is a very accurate and judicious critic. Vossius, who has gathered into one heap I need scarcely recommend the rhetoof ponderous lumber, all the trifling, as well rical writings of Cicero. Whatever, on as the useful things that are to be found in the subject of eloquence, comes from so the Greek and Roman writers, is enough great an orator, must be worthy of attento disgust one with the study of eloquence. tion. His most considerable work on this Among the French, there has been more subject is that De Oralore, in three books. attempted on this subject, than among the None of Cicero's writings are more highly English. The Bishop of Cambray's writ- finished than this treatise. The dialogue ings on eloquence, I before mentioned with is polite; the characters are well support. honour. Rollin, Batteux, Crevier, Gibert, ed, and the conduct of the whole is beauand several other French critics, have tiful and agreeable. It is, indeed, full of