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< Let qur orator then reject every ex- ( noble our age with the most refined • pression that is oblolete; and grown eloquence. It is with infinite fatis
rufty, as it were, by age: let him • faction, Meffalla, l observe, that you « be careful not to weaken the force of lingle out the most florid among the " his sentiments by a heavy and inarti- antients for
model. And you, I ficial combination of words, like our 'my other two ingenious friends *, so « dull compilers of annals: let him happily unite strength of sentiment • avoid all low and insipid raillery; in ' with beauty of expression; fuch a ( a word, let him vary the structure of pregnancy of imagination, such a fym. • his periods, nor end every sentence metry of ordonnance distinguish your ( with the same uniform close.
' speeches; fo copious or so concise is I will not expose the meanness of your elocution, as different occasions · Cicero's conceits, nor his affectation require; such an inimitable graceful. • of concluding almost every other pe. nels of style, and such an easy flow • riod with, as it sould seem, instead of of wit, adorn and dignify your com• pointing them with lome lively and positions: in a word, lo absolutely • spirited turn. I mention even these you command the passions of your au.
with reluctance, and pass over many dience, and to happily temper your • others of the same injudicious cast. It own, that, however the envy and ma' is fingly, however, in little affecta- lignity of the present age may withold • tions of this kind, that they who are " that applause which is so justly your • pleased to style themselves antient ora- • due, posterity, you may rely upon it,
tors seem to admire and imitate himn. • will speak of you in the advantageous ! I shall content myself with describing terms which you well deserve,' • their characters, without mentioning When Aper had thus finished - It " their names: but, you are sensible, ( must be owned,' faid Maternus, 'our
there are certain pretenders to talle friend has spoken with much force and
who prefer Lucilius to Horace, and • spirit. What a torrent of learning ! Lucretius to Virgil; who hold the ' and eloquence has he poured forth in
eloquence of your favourite Bassus or defence of the moderns! and how « Nonianus in the utmolt contempt, compleatly vanquished the antients ' when compared with that of Sisenna ' with those very weapons which he For Varro; in a word, who despise the borrowed from them! However,'con• productions of our modern rhetori. tinued he, applying himself to Meffalla, <cians, yet are in raptures with thote ' you must not recede from your en• of Calvus. These curious orators gagement. Not that we expect you
prate in the courts of judicature after • ihould enter into a defence of the an. • the manner of the antients, (as they 'tients, or suppose (however Aper is o call it) till they are deleted by the pleased to compliment) that any of us I whole audience, and are scarce fup- can ttand in competition with them.
portable even to their very clienis. • Aper himself does not incerely think • The truth of it is, that foundness of • fo, I dare say; but takes the opposite
eloquence which they so much boast, ' fide in the debate, merely in imitation
is but an evidence of the natural • of the celebrated manner of antiquity. * weakness of their genius, as it is the 'We do not defire you, therefore, to ! effeet alone of tame and cautious art. • entertain us with a panegyric upon • No physician would pronounce a man “the antients: their well-established re' to enjoy a proper constitution, whole putation places them far above the ' health proceeled entirely from a stu- want of our encomiums. But what • died and abstemious regimen. To " we request of you is, to account for
be only not indisposed, is but a small our having so widely departed from • acquisition; it is fpirits, vivacity, and that noble fpecies of eloquence which ' vigour, that I require: whatever comes they displayed: especially fince we are 'fhort of this, is but one remove from not, according to Aper's calculation, • imhecillity
more than a hundred and twenty years • Be it then (as with great ease it may, • distant from Cicero.' ' and in fact is) the glorious distinction • I shall endeavour,' returned Mef.
of you, my illustrious friends, to en- Salia, 'to pursue the plan you have laid
* Maternus and Secundus.
• down to me.
I shall not enter into ' He should envy Cicero, who does not • the question with Aper, (though in- a seem to have envied even Cæsar him.
deed he is the first that ever made it felf? As to Galba, Lælius, and some one) whether those who flourished • others of the antients, whom Aper above a century before us, can pro- Ilias thought proper to condemn, I am perly be itykd antients. I am not "willing to admit that they have some diljolei to conteni abont words: les detesis, which must be ascribed to a their be called an:ients, or anceitors, growing and yet immature eloquence. or wh tever other name he plealis, to . After all, it we inust relinquish the it be allowed their oratory was supe- nobler kind of oratory, and adopt rior to ours. I admit too, what he ' fome lower species, I Mould certainly just now advanced, that there art va- prefer the impetuosty of Gracchus, rious kinds of cioquence diaranible in or the incorrectness of Crafsus, to the
the fanne perio'iz much more in dif- ' ftudied feppery of Mæcenas, or the “ferent ages. But as among the Atric chidith jingl: of Galtio: so much ra.
orators, Deinortheles is piacot in the other would I fecioquerce cioathed first rank, then chines, Hyperides in the molt rude and negligent garb, rext, and af er hin Lysias and Ly- than decked out wi'h the falle colours curgu; on ära, which on all hanits of affected ornament! There is soine. is artis iubire been the prime featon 'thing in our prevent manner of elocu. of 01.11!: fo amorgit us, Cicero is tion, izbich is for tror being oratoby univen i content pri ferred to all his 'rical, that it is not even inanly; and coul.mpor ies; as atier him, C3,1us, one would imagine our modern pleadAlins, Cælur, Coinus, and Brnius, ers, by the levity of their wit, the af. are juriy acknowledged to have ex- "fected smoothness of their periods, and ceiled all our pieceding or subsequent
licentiousness of teir tyle, had a view oraturs. Nor is it of any importance ' to the itage in all their compofi:ions. to the present argument, that they difa ! Accordingly, some of them are not fer in manner, fuce dev agree in • athamed to boast (which one can scarce kind. The compontions
ns of Calvus, erin mintion with it a blush) that it is conferred, are distinguished by 'their species are adapted to the loft their remarkable concisene's; as those m. vulation of stare ir vlic. It is this of Atinius are by the harmonious flow depravily of rafte which has given rile of his language. Brilliancy of fenti. to the very indecent and prepost.mus, ment is Cæfar's characteriitic; as though very frequens, (*pretion, that poignancy of wit is theref Celius. fuch an orator ipmaks smoothly, and Solidity recommends the speeches of • fich a dancer mores eloquently. I am Brunius; while copiou fels, strength, willing to admit, therefore, that Caland vehemence, are the predominant ' fius Severus, (the fingie modern whom qualities in Cicero. Each of thein, • Arer has thought proper to name)
However, di plays an equal foundiness: ' when compared to theie isis degenerate " of eloquence; and one may easily lil- I fucceflors, may jurtly be deeire an
cover a general resemblance and kind- orat l'; thoug!, it is certain, in the Ted likencis run through their several greater part of his compositions there works, thoughi diverfitiel, indeed, ac- alpear's fai mare ftrength than fjirit. cording to their respective peninles. "I wis the first who neglected chattity That they inutually detracted from of thie, and propriety of method. Ineach other, ( is it must be owned there expert in the use of thefe very we?ase come rsmunirs traces of malignity pons with which he er gages, in their letters) is not to be impured • lays himself open to a thout, by al
to them as oraturs, but as men. Cal. wa's endeavouiing to attack; and one vis, Afinius, and even Cicero him
much mole properly lay of him, felt, were liable, no doubt, to be in. 'thath pothes at random, ihan that ! f cted with jealouly, as weil as with 'he comporis hink If according to the ! 0:er human frallies and impertic- just rules of reguler combar. Never
lives. Bruus, howevri, I will inely lihtliis, he is greatly fuperior, as I ç except from all inputations of inzig- sobierved before, in the variety of his
niin, as I am perfuaded he fpirke the learning, the agreeableness of his wit, « lincere and inpartial fer.timents of • ansiile strength of his genius, to those • his heart: for can it be fupposed that who succeeded hiin: not one of whom,
however, has Aper ventured to bring 'rest of this company. For is it not • into the field. Í imagined, that after “obvious that Eloquence, together with • having depoted Alinius, and Cælius, the rest of the politer arts, has fallen ' and Calvus, he would have fubiti. " from her antient glory, not for want ! tuted another set of orators in their I of admirers, but through the dillo.
place, and that he had numbers to • lutenets of our vouth, the negligence
produce in oppontion to Cic-ro, 10 • of parents, the ignorance of precep· Cæfar, and the rest whom he rejected; "tors, and the universal difregard of ' or at least, one lival to each of them. 'antient manners? Evils, which derived ' On the contrary, he has diktinctly and ' their source from Rome, and thence • fepararely cenfured all the antients, 'spread themselves through Italy, and 6 while he has ventured to commend • over all the provinces; though the mif• the moderns in general only. He " chief, indeed, is molt obfervable with
thought, perhaps, if he fingled out ' in our own walls. I Mall take notice, • fome, he shovid draw upon himself • therefore, of those vices to which the • the retentment of all the reit: for every youth of this city are more peculiarly • declaimer among them modut'y ank's exposed; which rise upon them in • himielf, in his own fund opinion, before number as they increase in years. But • Cicero, though indeed alter Gabinia- • before I enter farther into this subject,
But what Aper was not hardy 'ler me premnise an observation or two • enough to undertake, I will be bold ' concerning the judicious method of
to execute for bion; and draw out his discipline practifed by our arcestors, • Oratorical heroes in full view, that it in training up their children.
may appear by what d grees the spirit • In the first place, then, the virtuous • and vigour of antient eloquence was 'matrons of those wiser ages did not impaired and broken.'
• abandon their infants to the mean Let me jather intreat you,' said " hovels of mercenary nurses, but tenMaternus, interrupting him,"
derly reared thein up at their own • without any farther preface, upon the ' breatls; etteeming the careful regula• difaculty you first wuderivok to clear., 'tion of their children and domettic • That we are interior to the antients in concerns as the highest point of fe
point of eloquence, I by no means male merit. It was cufiomary with
want to have proved, being entirely "them likewise to chure out some el• of that opinion; but my present en
derly female relation, of approved conquiry is how to account for our link- • duct, with whom the family in general
ing to far below them? A queltion, o entrusted the care of their respective • it feems, you have examinid, and I children, during their i fant years. ' which I am persuaded you would dif- • This venerable person strictly regulat'cuss with much caimness, it Aper's red, not oniy their more serious pur' unmerciful attack upon your favourite ' suits, but even their very amulements; • orators had not a little di composed reitiaining them, by her respected pre
you.'-' lan rothing offended, re- • sence, from saying or acting any thing turned Viella ja, 'with the fentiments contrary to decency and good man. ' which Aper has advanced; neither ners. In this manner, we are inform'ought you, mny frie::ds, remembering "ed, Cornelia the mother of the two 'always'it as it is an eitablished law in 'Gracchi, as also Aurelia and Attia, to • debates of this kind, that every man I whom Julius and Augustus Cæfar ' may with entire fecurity diclofe his I owed their respective births,, under' unreserved opinion.'-' Proceed then, I took this office of family educati n, ' I beseech you,' replied Maternus, ' to ' and trained up those several noble
the examination of this point concern- • youths to whom they were related.
ing the antients, with a freedom equal This me hod of discipline was attend' to theirs : from which I suspect, alas! red with one very Ingular advantage: • we have more widely degenerated, the minds of young men were conduct. • than even from their eloquence.' red found and untsinted to the study of
• The caule,' said Meflalla, resuming the noble arts. Accordingly, whathis discourse, does not lie very remote; ever profession they determined upon, ! and, though vou are pleate i to call I whether that of arins, eloquence, or ! upop me to afsign it, is well known, ' law, they entirely devoted themielves " I boube noi, both to you and to the to that single puriuit, and with undif
• fipated application, possessed the whole • scheme of discipline which the antient • compass of their chosen science. orators practised; of whose amazing
• But, in the present age, the little ' industry and unwearied application to • boy is delegated to the care of some every branch of the polite arts, we meet
paltry Greek chamber-maid, in con- ' with many remarkable accounts in junction with two or three other fer- • their own writings.
vants, (and even those generally of • I need not inform you, that Cicero, • the worit kind) who are abiolutely un- " in the latter end of his treatise intitled ' fit for every rational and serious of- Brutus, (the former part of which is
fice. From the idle tales and gross ' employed in commemorating the an. • absurdities of these worthless people, ' tient orators) gives a sketch of the ( the tender and uninstructed mind is ' several progressive steps by which he • suffered to receive it's earliest impres- ! formed his eloquence. He there ac« fions. It cannot, indeed, be supposed, quaints us, that he studied the civil ' that any caution should be oblerved . law under Q. Mucius; that he was in
anong the domeftics; fince the parents structed in the leveral branches of phia • themselves are so far from training lofophy by Philo the Academic, and • their young families to virtue and mo- • Diodorus the Stoic; that not satisfied • delty, that they let them the first ex- with attending the lectures of those • amples of luxury and licentiousness. eminent matters, of which there were • Thus our youth gradually acquire a at that time great numbers in Rome, • confirmed habit of impudence, and a "he made a voyage into Greece and total disregard of that reve
everence they ' Alia, in order to enlarge bis know(owe both to theinselves and to others. . ledge, and embrace the whole circle • To say truth, it seems as it a tonnels of sciences. Accordingly he appears ' for horses, actors, and gladiators, the ' by his writings to have been master
peculiar and diftinguithing folly of ' of logic, erhics, astronomy, and na· this our city, was imprefled up in 'toral philosophy, betides being well " them even in thit womb; and when • versed in geometry, mulic, grammar,
once a paffion of this contemprible ' and, in Thort, in every one of the fine • fort has seized and engaged the mind,
For thus it is, my worthy ' what opening is there left for the noble friends; from deep learning and the « arts?'
united contiuence of the arts and · All converfation in general is in- Sciences, the reliftless torrent of tha: 'fected with topics of this kind; as amazing eloquence derived it's strength
they are the conftant fubie ts of dif- " and rapidity: ' course, not only amongit cur youth
"The faculties of the orator are not in their acadeinjes, but even of their exercitel, indeed, as in other sciences, tutors themielves. For it is not by ' within certain precise and determinate establishing a ttrict discipline, or by • limits : on the contrary, eloquence is giving pro'sts of their genius, that this the most comprehentive of the whole
order of ten gain pupils: it is by the circle of arts. Thus he alone can • meanest compliances and most tervile . justly be deemed an orator, who ' flattery. Not to mention how ill in- • knows how to employ the inost per+ structed our youth are ir. the very ele. • fuafive arguments upon every ques
ments of literature, fufficient pains ' tion; who can exprets himself suitably ' is by no means taken in brmginginem to the dignity of his subject, with all
acquainted with the bait auhors, or • the powers of grace and harmony; in ' in giving thein a proper notion of build a word, who can penetrate into every
fory, together wiili a knowleys of 'minute circumitance, and manage the
nien ant things. The whole that teens whole train of incidents to the great' to be considered in their education, ing' ' est advantage of his caufe. Such, at
to find oui a person for their chilei ? ' least, was the high idea which the an. « Rhetorician. I Thall take occalion jina tients formed of this illustrious cha'meliately, to give you some account of • racter. In order however to aitain • the rise and progress of this proiettion " this eminent qualification, they did ' in Rome, and thew you with what • not think it neceffary to declain in the
contempt it was received hy our an- • Ichools, and idlywaite their breath upcestors. But it will be necisary to ' on feigned or frivolous controversies. lay before you a previous view of that " It was their wiler method, to apply
themselves to the study of fuch useful The Academics will inspire him with arts as concern life and manners, as ' a becoming warmth: Plato with fub"treat of moral good and evil, of justice • limity of sentiments, and Xenophon . and injustice, of the decent and the • with an easy and elegant diction.
unbecoming in actions. And, indeed, · Even the exclamatory manner of Epi. it is upon points of this nature that the ' curus, or Metrodorus, may be found,
business of the orator principally turns. ' in some circumstances, not altogether 'For example, in the judiciary kind it ' unferviceable. In a word, what the relates to matters of equity; as in the • Stoics pretend of their wise man, deliberate it is employed in determin- 'ought to be verified in our orator; and ing the fit and the expedient: Itill, he should actually possess all human however, these two branches are not knowledge. Accordingly, the an"lo abfolutely diftinet, but that they are tients who applied themselves to elo. 'frequently blended with each other. quence, not only studied the civil laws, Now it is impossible, when questions ' but also grammar, poetry, music, and of this kind fall under the confidera- • geometry.
Indeed, there are few 'tion of an orator, to enlarge upon 'causes (perhaps I might justly fay
them in all the elegant and enlivening " there are none) wherein a skill in the 'spirit of an efficacious eloquence, un- « first is not absolutely neceffary; as
leis he is perfectly well acquainted • there are many in which an acquaintwith human nature; unless he under- ance with the last mentioned sciences is "stands the power and extent of moral • highly requisite.
duties, and can distinguish thote ac- • If it should be objected, that “Elotions which do not partake either of quence is the single science requisite 'vice or virtue.
« for the orator; as an occasional re. "Fiom the same fource, likewise, he " course to the others will be sufficient "mult derive his influence over the pain “ for all his purposes:" I answer; in ' lions, For if he is killed, for instance, the first place, there will always be a ' in the nature of indignation, he will . remarkable difference in the manner be so much the more capable of footh. • of applying what we take up, as it ing or enfiaming the breasts of his were, upon loan, and what we properjuoges: if he knows wherein compal- • ly poffefs; so that it will ever be mani. ' lion consilts, and by what workings of • feit, whether the orator is indebted to " the heart it is moved, he will the more • others for what he produces, or de
easily raise that tender affection of the 'rives it from his own unborrowed ' foul. An orator trained up in tbis dir- • fund. And in the next, the sciences
cipline, and practiced in thete arts, ' throw an inexpressible grace over our will have full command over the compositions, even where they are not
breasts of his audience, in whatever immediately concerned; as their ef. disposition it may he his chance to find • fects are discernible where we least exthem: and thus furnished with all the pect to find them. This powerful numberless powers of persuasion, will
• charm is not only distinguished by the judiciously vary and accommodate his • learned and the judicious, but strikes eloquence, as particular circumstances even the moit common and popular and conjunctures thall require. There • class of auditors; insomuch that one
are some, we find, who are most ftruck may frequently hear them applauding ' with that inanner of elocution, where the a speaker of this improved kind, as a
arguments are drawn up in a short and man of genuine erudition; as enriched close ftyle: upon fach an occasion the s. with the whole treasures of eloquence; orator will experience the great advan- " and, in one word, acknowledge the tage of being conversant in logic. ' complete orator. But I will take the Others, on the contrary, admire flow. ' liberty to affirm, that no man ever did, ing and diffufive periods, where the 'nor indeed ever can, maintain that exa illustrations are borrowed from the or. ' alted character, unless he enters the dinary and familiar images of common • forum supported by the full strength obfervation: here the Peripatetic writ. of the united arts. Accomplishments, ers will give him some assistance; as < however, of this sort, are now so toindeed they will, in general, supply "tally neglected, that the pleadings of him with many useful hints in all the our orators are debased by the lowest different methods of popular address. • expressions; as a general ignorance