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admiied, as it thanld not appear to de. poetry

for the future, or (which I rive any of it's lustre from the acquisesk rather hope) will be a fanction for my arts.

..quitting that confined species of oraWe found Maternus, when we en- tory, in which, met inks, I have suftered his apartment, with the trage jy inficiently laboured, and authorize the his hand which he had recited the day devoting myself to the more enlarged before. “ Are you, then,' said Secuna and tacred eloquence of the Mules.' dus, addressing himself to him, “ so lite · Give me leave,' interposed Secun• dle discouraged with the malicious in, dus, before Aper takes exception to "nuations of thele ill-natured centures, his judge, to say, what all honest ones

as ftill to cherish this obnoxious tra- cufually do in the saine circumttances, gedy of yours? Oi, perhaps, you are " that I delire to be excused from sitting revising it, in order to expunge the ex. ' in judgment upon a cause, wherein T

ceptionavle passages; and purpose to ' mult acknowledge myself bailed in ' lend your Cato into the world, I will ' favour of party concerned. And the • not say with fuperior charms, but, at ( world is fenfible of that strict friend.

leaft, with greater fecurity than in it's I thip which has long lubtitted between

original form?'- You may peruse ? me and that excellent man, as well as iit, returned he, if you please; you great poet, Saleius Balfus. To which ' will find it remains just in the same " let me adal, if the Mules are to be ar' lituation as when you heard it read. “ raigned, I know of none who can of

I intend, however, that Thyeltes shall • fer more prevailing bribes.' * iupply the defects of Cato: for I am " I have nothing to alledge againit

incuitating a tragedy upon that füb- Baffus,'returneu Aper, or any other ject, and have already, indeal, form- man, who, not having talents for the ed the plan. I am hastening, there. bar, chuses to establish a reputation of fore, the publication of this play in my " the poetical kind. Nur hall I suffer

hand, that I may apply inyfeif entirely • Maternus (tor I am willing to join iso 'to my new design. - Are you, then, • file with him before you) to evade my • in good earnett,' replied Aper, “fo charge by drawing others into his * enamoured of dramatic poetry, as to party. My accufation is levelled

renounce the business of oratory, in • fingly againit him; who, formed as

order to consecrate your whole leisure he is by nature with a moit masculine "to-Medea, I think, it was before, and and truly oratorical genius, chutes to ' now, it seems, to Thyeftes? when the suffer so noble a faculty to lie waste 'causes of so many worthy friends, the and uncultivated. I must remind him; ? interests of so many powerful commu. • however, that hy the exercise of this 'nities, demand you in the forum: a ' commanding talent, he might at once • talk more than fufficient to employ ' both acquire and fupport the most im

your attention, though neither Catoportant friend tips, and have the glory

nor Domitius had any hare of it; ' to fee whole provinces and nations rank " though you were not continually " themselves under his patronage: a ta• turning from one dramatic perform · lent, of all others, the most advanta• ance to another, and adding the tales geous,

whether considered with respect of Greece to the history of Rome.' " to interest, or to honours; a talent, in . I bould be concerned,' answered • Thort, that affords the most illustrious Maternus, ' at the severity of your re• means of propagating a reputation,

buke, if the frequency of our debates not only within our own walls, but

upon this fubicct had not rendered it throughout the whole compass of the ' somewhat familiar to me. But now,' • Roman empire, and, indeed, to the added he, smiling, ' can you accuse me e most distani nations of the globe.

of deserting the business of my pro- • If utility ought to be the governing * feffion, when I am every day engaged motive of every action and every dein defending poetry against your accu- ! sign of our lives; can we possibly he

fations? And I am glad,' continued a einployed to better purpole, than in he, looking towards Secundus,' that . the exercise of an art, which enables a

we have now an opportunity of dir. ' man, upon all occasions, to support cussing this point before so competent " the interest of his friend, to protect the a judge. His decifion will either de. rights of the stranger, to detend the terminę me to renounce all pretensions 'cause of the injured that not only

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renders him the terror of his open and • crowd of clients conducting the ora• fecret adversaries, but secures him, as tor from his house, and attending him

it were, by the most firm and perma- in his return; think of the glorious nent guard?

appearance he makes in public, the • The particular usefulness, indeed, of dittinguishing respect that is paid to • this profession is evidently manifelted • him in the courts of judicature, the

in the opportunities it fupplies of exultation of heart when he vises up < serving others, though we should have before a full audience, hushed in foc (no occasion to exert it in our own be- lemn silence, and fixed attention, prel« half: but Mould we, upon any occur. 'fing round the admired speaker, and (rence, be ourselves attacked, the sword ' receiving every passion he deems proper, ! and buckler is not a more powerful to raise! Yet there are but the ordi• defence in the day of battle, than 'nary joys of eloquence, and visible to « Oratory in the dangerous season of every common observer. There are

public arraignment. What had Mar- others, and those far fuperior, of a

cellus lately to oppose to the united more concealed and delicate kind, and • resentment of the whole senate, but " of which the orator bimclf can alone • his eloquence? Yet, supported by that • be sensible. Does he stand forth pre' formidable auxiliary, he stood firm • pared with a studied harangue? As • and unmoved, amidit all the affaults • The compolition, so the pleasure, in • of the artful Helvidius; who, not- " this instance, is more solid and eqral. • withitanding he was a man of sense • If, on the other hand, he rises in a new • and elocution, was totally inexpert in ' and unexpected debate, the previous

the management of this sort of con- • solicitude, which he feels upon such 6 tests. But I need not inliit farther on • occafions, recommends and improves < this head; well perfuaded as I am, • the pleasure of his fuccess; as indeed Sihat Maternus will not controvert so. " the inoit exquisite latisfaction of this • chear a truth. Rather let me observe • kind is, when he boldly hazards the • the pleasure which attends the exer- ' unpremeditated speech. For it is in • cife of the persuasive art: a pleasure, " the productions of genius, as in the

which does not arise only once, per- • fruits of the carth; ihole which anile - haps, in a whole life, but fws in ' spontaneously are ever the most agree

a perpetual kries of gratitications. cable. If I may venture to mention • Whai can be more agreeable to a li- myself, I must acknowledge, that nei• heral and ingenuous mind, formed other the fatisfaction I received when • wish a relish of rational enjoyments, " I was first invested with the laticlare, ! than to fre one's levée crouded with nor even when I entered upon the le• a concourte of the most illustrious per- « veral high posts in the state; though • fonages; not as followers of your in- " the pleasure was heightened to me, not • terett or your power; not because you oniy as those honours une e new to my

are rich and destitute of heirs; but family, but as I was born in a city by fingly in consideration of your fupe- no inean's favourable to my pretenrior qualifications. It is not unusual, • fons:-he warm trinfporis, I say,

upon these occasions, to ohíerve the ' which I felt at those times, were tar • wealthy, the powerful, and the child- inferior to the joy which has glowed • lefs, addresling themselves to a young ' in my breast, when I have successfully

man (and probably no rich one) in ' exerted my humble talents in defence

favour of themselves or their friends. of those causes and clients committed • Tell me, now, has authority or wealth to my care. To say truth, I imagined ! a charm, equal to the satisfaction of myself, at such teasuns, to be raised

thus beholding persons of the higheit above the highelt dignities, and in the • dignity, venerable by their age, or • pofleffion of fomething far more valu

powerful by their credit, in the full able, ihan either the farour of the Senjovinent of every external advan- grcat, or the bounty of the wealthy,

tage, courting your flittance, and ta- can ever bestow. ciily acknowledging, that, great and Of all the arts or sciences, there is

etistingeiler as they are, there is nu one, which crou nsii's votaries with * something still wanting to them more a reputation in any degree comparable

valuable than all their potentions: Re- • to that of eloquence. It is not only pretent to yourself the honour abie those of a more exalted rank in the

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fate, who are witnesses of the orator's · favourites are distinguished only as ' fame; it is extended to the observa. ? they are the objects of his munificence; ' tion even of our very youth of any · the supplies of which he can easily I hopes or merit. Whole example, for I raise, and with the same facility con'inttance, do parents more frequently ' fer on others. Whereas Crispus and " recommend to their sons? or who are Marcellus recommended themselves to

more the gaze and admiration of the his notice by advantages which no people in general? whilst every straná earthly potentate either did, or could,

ger that arrives, is curious of seeing 'bertow. The truih of it is, inscrip(the man, of whose character he has « tions, and statues, and enligns of dig.

heard such honourable report. I will nity, could claim but the lowest rank, ( venture to affirm, that Marcellus, amidst their more illustrious diftinca ' whom I just now mentioned, and Vi. tions. Not that they are unpossessed

bius, (for I chuse to produce my in- • of honours of this kind, any more

ftances from modern times, rather than they are destitute of wealth or • than from those more remote) are as power: advantages, much oftener af

wellknown in the most diftant corners . fectedly depreciated than fincerely dee

of the empire, as they are at Capua ' or Vercellæ, the places, it is said, of • Such, my friends, are the orna. ! their respective nativity: an honour, ments, and such the rewards of an ' for which they are by no means in- early application to the business of the " debted to their immense riches. On • forum, and the arts of oratory! Buc

the contrary, their wealth may juhly, · Poetry, to which Maternus wishes to • it thould seem, be ascribed to their • devote his days,(for it, was that which eloquence. Every age, indeed, can gave rise to our debate) confers neia

pro luce persons of genius, who, by ther dignity to her followers in parti' means of this powerful talent, have 'cular, nor advantage to fociety in ge• raised themselves to the most exalted neral. The whole amount of her pre« Ration. But the initances I juít now • tensions is nothing more than the tran6 mentioned, are not drawn from dif- ' fient pleasure of a vain and fruitless "tant times: they fail within the ob: applause. Perhaps what I have al

fervation of our own eyes. Now the ready laid, and am going to add, may

more obscure the original extraction not be very agreeable to my friend • of those illustrious persons was, the • Maternus: however, I will venture to

mere humble the patrimony to which • aik him, what avails the eloquence of they were born, so much stronger proof • his Jafun or Agamemnon? what morfhey afford of the great advantage of Ital does it either defend or oblige? the oratorical arts. Accordingly, with- " Who is it that courts the patronage, or out the recommendation of family or 'joins the train, of Bassus, that ingeni. fortune, without any thing very ex

ous, (or, if

you think the term more ' traordinary in their virtues, (and one of honourable) that illuftrious poet? "them rather contemptible in his ad- Eminent as he may be, if his friend, • dress) they have for many years main- • his relation, or himself, were involved stained the highest credit and authority ' in any litigated transactions, he would

among their fellow.citizens. Thus, • be under the necessity of having re• from being chiefs in the forum, where course to Secundus, or, perhaps, to

they preserved their distinguiihed eini- you, iny friend*: but by no means,

nence as long as they thought proper; ' however, as you are a poet, and in or. • they have pased on to the enjoyinent • der to folicit you to bestow some verses

of the same high rank in Vespasian's ' upon him: for verses he can compose

favour, whose efteem for them seems • himself, fair, it seems, and goodly, 6 to be mixed even with a degree of re- Yet, after all, when he hås, at the cost

verence: as indeed they both support of much time, and many a laboured • and conduct the whole weight of nis • lucubration, spun out a single canto, • adminiftration. That excellent and he is obliged to traverse the whole

venerable prince (whose fingular cha-town in order to collect an audience,

racter it is, that he can endure to hear Nor can he procure even this compliq * truth, well knows that the rest of his ment, light as it is, witliout actually • Maternus,

. purchasing

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purchasing it: for the hiring a room, • of Poetry in those who have no talents • erecting a stage, and dispersing his • for Oratory; if happily they can, by wrickets, are articles which must necef. " that means, amuse their leisure and • sarily be attended with some expence. o establish a juft character. I look upon • And let us suppose his poem is ap- every species of Eloquence as venerable

proved: the whole adıniration is over and sacred; and prefer her, in what. ' in a day or two, like that of a fine ever guise the may think proper to ap. fower which dies away without pro- pear,

before

e any other of her filter-arts: • ducing any fıuit. In a word, it fe- not only, Maternus, when she exhi.

cuies to him neither friend nor patron, í bits herself in your choten, favourite, I nor confers even the inost inconfider- ! the folema tragedy, or lofty heroic, able favour upon a fingle creature. but 'even in the plealant lyric, the ! The whole amount of his humble wanton elegy, the severc iambic, the

gains is the ficering pleasure of a cla- wirty epigram, or, in one word, in (inorous appiauie! We looked upon it, whatever other habit she is pleased to • lately, as an uncommon instance of

I assume. But (I repeat it again) my ! generosity in Vespatian, that he pie- complaint is levelled fingly againit • Tinted Baffus with fifty thouiand le- you; who, designed as you are by na

terces*. Honourable, I grant, it is, ture for the moit exalted rank ot eloto postess a genius which merits the quence, chuse to detert your Iturion, imperial bounty: but how much more and deviate into a lower order. Had glorious (if a man's circumitances will

you

been endued with the athletic vi. admit of it) to exhibit in one's own gour of Nicostratus, and born in perfon an example of munificence and Greece, where arts of that fort are liberality? Let it he remembered like. • efteemned not unworthy of the most re

wise, if you would fucceed in your fined characters; as I could not pa• poetical labours, and produce any tiently have suffered that uncommon I thing of real werth in that art, you • strength of arm, formed for the nobler • must retire, as the poets express them- combat, to have idly spent itself in lelves,

throwing the javelin, or tosling the “To filent grortoes and fequefer'd groves."

' coit: lo I now call you forth from

rehearsals and theatres, to the forum, that is, you must enounce the conver- • and business, and high debate; clpe

fation of your friends, and every civil 'cially fince you cannot vrge the same • duty of life, to be concealed in gloomy - plea for engaging in poetry which is and unprofitable folitude.

now generally alledged, that it is less "If we contider the votaries of this i liable to give offence than oratory. idle art with relpect to fame, that For the ardency of your genius has single recompence which they pretend • already famed forth, and you have to derive, or indeed to leek, tiom their • incurred the displeasure of our fupeitudies; we Mall find, they do not by ' riors: not, indeed, for the fake of a

any means enjoy an equal proportion ! friend; that would have been far less i of it with the fons of Oratory. For · dangerous; but in support, truly, of

even the best poets fall within the no. Cato! Nor can you offer in excuse, • tice of but a very linall proportion of sither the duty of your profeffion, juf• mankind; whilst indifferent ones are tice to your client, or the unguarded ' universally diliegarded. Tell me, i heat of debate. You fixed, it thould • Maternus, did ever the reputation of • leem, upon this illuflrious and popular

the inuft approved rehearsal of the po. subject with deliberate design, and as i etical kind reach the cognizance eyen a character that would give weight and

of half the town ; much leis extend ' authority to your sentiments. You itself to datant provinces? Did ever ' will reply, I am aware" It was any foreigner, upon his arrival here, “ that very circumstance which gained

enquire after Ballus ? Or if he did, it you such universal applause, and renI was merely as he would after a pieture “ dered you the general topic of disFor a itatue; jutt to look upon him, and " course." Talk no more then, I be"pals on. I would in no fort be un, seech you, of security and repote,

derstood as discouraging the pursuit . whilft you thus industrioudy raise up

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" to yourself fo potent an adversary,

" it one of the great privileges of poetry, • For my own part, at lealt, I am con- " that it is not carried on in the noile ' tented with engaging in questions of a " and tumult of the world, amidst the

more modern and private nature ; painful importunity of anxious luitors, ' wherein, if in defence of a friend I am and the atfecting rears of distrefieri • under a neceflity of taking liberties i criminals. On the contrary, a mind • unacceptable, perhaps, to my supe enamoured of the Mules retires into ' riors, the honest freedom of my zeal • scenes of innocence and repose, and " will, I trust, not only be excused but enjoys the sacred haunts of filence and applauded.'

contemplation. Here genuine EloAper having delivered this with his

quence received her birth, and bere ufual warmth and earneliness, 'I ain pre- · the fixed her sacred and fequeitered • pared, replied Maternus, in a iniider

habitation. 'Twas here, in decent tone and with an air of pleatantry, " and becoming garb, the recommended • draw up a charge, against the orators, herself to the early notice of mortals, ( no less copious than my friend's pane- inspiring the breaits of the blamelels

gyric in their behalf. I fufpected, " and the good : bere firit the voice din • indeed, he would turn out of his road, 'vine of oracles was heard. But foe sin orier to attack the poets : though, ' of modern growth, offspring of lucre ( I muft own at the same time, he has' and contention, was born in evil davs, • foinewhat softened the severity of his and employed (ax Aper very justly • fatire, by certain concessions he is • expresled it) inttead of weapon: whilit • pleased to make in their favour. He happier times, or, in the language ' is willing, I perceive, to allow thofe of the Muses, the golden age, free

whose genius does not point to ora- alike froin orators and from crimes,

tory, to apply themselves to poetry. abounded with inspired poets, who • Nevertheless, I do not scruple to ac- • exerted their noble talents, not in de• knowlelge, that with some talents, fending the guilty, but in celebrating • perhaps, for the forum, I chufe to

the good. Accordingly no charac• build my reputation on dramatic poe- ter was ever more eminently diftin. • try. The firit attempt I made for ' guished, or more auguftly honoured: • this purpose, was by exposing the • first by the gods themlelves, to whom • dangerous power of Varinius: a power the poets were supposed to serve as

which even Nero himself disapproved, o ministers at their feasts, and meffent• ard which that infamous favourite gers of their high behefts; and after: abusel, to the prophanation of the "wards by that lacred offspring of the • Sacred Mules. And I am persuaded, gods, the first venerable race of legir(if I enjoy any share of fanie, it is to Jators. In that glorious lift we read

poetry rather than to oratory that I 'the names, not of orators indeed, but · am indebted for the acquisition. It is ' of Orpheus, and Linus, or, if we are ' my fixed purpose, therefore, entirely to • incline to trace che illustrious roll still ' withdraw myself from the fatigue of higher, even of Apollo himself. « the bar. I am by no means ambiti- But these, perhaps, will be treated • ous of that fplendid concourse of clin by Aper as héroes of Romance. He

ents, which Aper has represented in cannot however deny, that Homer has • such pompous colours, any more than • received as signal honours from potte• I am of thole sculptured honours riry, as Deinosthenes; or that the fame ' which he mentioned; though I must ' of Sophocies or Euripides is as exten

contess they have made their way into ' five as that of Lyfiás or Hyperides; • my family, notwithstanding iny ina that Cicero's merit is less universally i clinations to the contrary. Innocence • confessed than Virgil's; or that not • is, now at least, a furer guard than one of the compositions of Alinius or • eloquence; and I am in no apprehen- ' Meffala is in so much request as the « lion I shall ever have occasion to open • Medea of Ovid, or the Thyestes of

my lips in the senate, unless, perhaps, · Varius. I will advance even farther, i in defence of a friend.

• and venture to compare the unenvied • Woods and groves and solitude, the • fortune and happy felf-converse of the • objects of Aper's invective, afford me,

with the anxious and busy life • I will own to him, the most exquifite • of the orator; notwith tanding the ha' fatisfa&tion. Accordingly, I esteemi zardous contentions of the latter may

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