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« both of the laws of our country and "in Rrong contrast their successful in. ! the acts of the senate, is vifibie "dustry, wili cur unperforming igno' throughout their performances. All rance. But something farther re
knowledge of the rivhts and customs ' mains: and as you have thewn us the of Rome is protetiedly ridiculed, and ' superior acquirements of the orators philosophy feems at prefent to be con. ' in those more improved agas of elo
hidered as something that ought to be quence, as well as the remarkable de« shunned and dreaded. Thus Elva i ficiency of those in our own times, I
querce, like a dethroned potentate, is • should be glad you would proceed to i bani hed her righiful dominions, and acquaint us with the particular exer• confined to barren points and low con- cises by which the youth of those ear• ceits: and the who was once mistress lier days were wont to strengthen and " of the whole circle of scierets, and improve their geniuses. For I dare o charıned every beholder with the
will not deny, that oratory is 'goodiy appearance of her glorious acquired by practice far better than by • train, is now ftripped of all her at- precept: and our other two friends " tendants, (I had almost laid of all her ' here seem willing, I perceive, to ad.
genius) and seems as one of the mean• eit of the mechanic arts. This, there. To which, when Aper and Secundus
fore, I confidler as the firit, and the had signified their asient, Metalla, riprincipal reason of our having to fining his discourse, continued as fol.
greatly declined from the spirit of the lows: (antienis.
• Having, then, as it Mould item, "If I were called upon to support my • disclosed to your fatisfaction the feels opinion by authorities, might I not ' and first principles of antien: elojuitly name, among the Grecians,
quence, by specifying the several kinds • Deniofthenes? who, we are informer, of arts to which the antient orators o constantly attended the lectures of were trained; I mall now lay before • Plalo: as among our own country- you the method they purlued, in order • men, Cicero himself assures us, (and to gain a facility in the exertion of ! in these very words, if I rightly re- eloquence. This, indeed, I have in ! meinber) That he owed whatever ad- ' fome measure anticipateł, by mentien
vances le had made in elcquence, not ing the preparatory arts to which they • to the Rhetoricians, but to the Acade- applied theinfelves: for it is impossible (mic philosophers.
to make any progicis in a compais lo · Other, and very considerable, rea- various and so abitrule, unle is we not ! fons might be produces for the decay "only ftrengthen our knowiedye here• of eloquence. Put I leave them, my Action, but iimprove a general apilfriends, as it is proper I shouli, to be 'tude by frequent exercile.
Tos it • mentioned by you; having performed app-ars that the fame teps mit be • my share in the examination of this
pulued in exering our Owlory, as question: and with a freefreti, which 'in attaining it. But it siis ruth • will give, I imagine, as usual, much hould not be unyertally addinged; if r offence, 12. ure, it loult, it corrain any should think, that Eloquencumna! • of our contemporaries were to be in I bie pefiefied without paying previous • format of what I have linbe maintain. court to her attendant fciericus; mot
tri, I should be told, that in laying it certainly, at lealt, it will not be cle• down as a maxim, Tint a knowledge 'nied, that a mind duly in pregled • both of law and pisituiophy are elin- ' with the polite arts, will emer with lo •tial qualifications in an orato!, I have much the more advantage upon tir de • been fondly purtuing a plantoin of ' exercises peculiar to the oratorical cirmy own inagination.
cus. laI am la far tiom thinking,' replied . Accordingly, our ancettors, when Masernus, you have compicted ihe • then defigned a young man in the put you undertook, that I thould ra
profeflion of Elequence, having pre. • Ther imagine you had only given us ! viously taken due care of his deindt:c
the first general sketch of your dciyn. education, and lealuned his minu will "You have marked out to us, indeed, • uleivi knowleilge, introducert him !? • tioiiciencis wherein the antientori
• the mort einincat oralor inftructed, and have placed Fown that time the youth conunenced
i und or a
his constant follower, attending him • the folemn presence of the judges, and upon all occafions, whether he ap- • the awful evus of a full audience, were peared in the public affenblies of the ' familiar, role at once into affairs, and people, or in the courts of civiljuci- was equal to every cause. 'Hence it
Thus he learned, if I may was that Crassus at the age of nineule the expression, the arts of oratori- teen, Crfar at twenty-one, Pollio at • cal conflict in the very field of battle. twerty-two, and Calvus when he "The advantages which flowed from was but a few years older, pronounced * this method were considerable: it • thote several speeches againt Caibo, "anized the courage and quirkened Dolabella, Cato, and Vatinius, which 6th-ugment of youth, thus to receive we read to this hour with admira. "their initructions in the eye of the
ition. wrid, and in the middle of affairs; . On the other hand, our modern 'when no man could advance an ab. youth receive their education under
ezk argument without be- e certain declaimers calli Rhetoricians: ing reiected by the bench, exposed by a fet of men who made their first ap!!uis atvirtry, and, in a word, de- periance in Rome a little before the
fpiter! by the whole audience. By this • time of Cicero. And that they were mind they imbibed the pure and by no means approved by our ancer11- orrupted treams of genuine elo- tors, plainly appears from their being quice,
But though they chiefly at- • enjoined, under the censorship of Craf• inched themselves to one particular 'fus and Domitius, to ihut up their
ora!or, they heard, likewise, all the '" schools of impudence, as Cicero exrate of their contemporary pleaders, in prefies it. But I was going to say, mily of their relpective debates. we are sent to certain acaderies, where Hence, also, they had an opportunity ' it is hard to determine whether the of acquainting themselves with the va- ' place, the company, or the method of soll, sentinents of the people, and of infraction, is most likely to infect the obierving what pleased or disgusted • minds of young people, and produce a the most in the several orators of the
wrong turn of thought. For nothing, forum. By this means they were fup- certainly, can there be of an affecting plied with an instructor of the best and ' folemnity in an audience, where all ' molt improving kind, exhibiting, nyt • who compole it are of the fame low de. 'the feigned lemblance of Eloquence, gree of understanding; nor any ad' but her real and lively monitettaiion: vantace to be received from their fel.
not a pretended, but a genuine adyer- ' low. students, where a parcel of boys fary, arined in earnett for the combat; ' and raw youths of unripe judgments an nurdience ever fill and ever new, • harangue before each other, without coinpufed of foes as well as friends, • the least fear or danger of criticism. and where not a single expeilion could . And as for their exercises, they are 'fall uncensureil, or unapplauded. For • ridiculous in their very nature. They
you will agree with me, I am well • confilt of two kinds, and are either de. persuaded, when I assert that a solid clamatory or controversial. The first, and laiting reputation of Eloquence as being easier and requiring less skill, must be acquired by the centure of our ' is alligned to the younger lads: the enem es, as well as by the applause of
6 other is the 'ask of more mature years. our friends; or rather, indeed, it is * Bui, good gods! wiih what incredible ' from the former that it derives it's ' absurdity are they composed! The truth Sluiest and nost unquestioned ftrength 'is, the style of their declamations is as "and firmnets. Accordingly, a youth • false and contemptible, as the subjects 'thus formed to the bar, a frequent and are useless and fičitious. Thus, being ' attentive hearer of the most illustrious taught to harangue in a most pompous
orators and debates, initructed by the diction, on the rewards due to tyran. • experience of others, acquainted with nicides, on the election to be made by 'the popular talte, and duly converfant ' deflowered virgins*, on the licentiouf. in the laws of his country; to whom • neis of married women, on the cere.
It was one of the questions vsually debated in these rhetoric schools, whether the party who had been ravished "hould chuse to marry the violator of her chaftity, or rather have kim put to deach.
« monies to be observed in times of " heightened his intereft with the no. • pestilence, with other topics of the 'bles, his authority with the senate, & fame unconcerning kind, which are ' and his reputation with the people in • daily debated in the schools, and scarce . general. The patronage of theie ad
ever at the bar; “ they appear abso'mired orators was courted even by fo. “ lute novices in the affairs of the reign nations; as the feveral magi“ world, and are by much too elevated. ' ftrates of our own endeavoured to re“ for common life.”
i commend themselves to their favour « * Here Meffalla paused: when Se. · and protection, by shewing them the “ cundus, taking his turn in the conver- highest marks of honour whenever “ fation, began with observing, that”- they set out for the adminiftration of • The true and lofty spirit of genuine their respective provinces, and by ftu• eloquence, like that of a clear and yie • dioufly cultivating a friendfhip with
gorous flame, is nourished by proper "them at their return. They were • fuel, excited by agitation, and till ' called upon, without any folicitation
brightens as it burns. . It was in this ' on their own part, to fill up the fu• manner,' said he, that the oratory of “preme dignities of the state. Nor • our ancestors was kindled and spread it. • were they even in a private ftation I telf. The moderns have as much merit . without great power, as hy means of ' of this kind, perhaps, as can be acquired ' the persuasive arts they had a very • under a fettled and peaceable govern- • considerable influence over both the ! ment: but far inferior, no doubt, to ' fenate and the people. The truth is, " that which shone out in the times of • it was an establithed maxin in those • licentiousness and confusion, when He ' days, that without the oratorical ta.
was deemed the noblest orator, who lents, no man could either acquire or • had moit influence orer a restless and maintain any high poit in the gover. 6 ungoverned multitude. To this fi. ' ment. And no wonder, indeed, that • tuation of public affairs was owing " such notion should universally prevail; " those continual debates concerning • fince it was impoflible for any person
the Agrarian laws, and the popularity • endued with this commanding art, to ' confequent thereupon; those long ha. pass his life in obscurity, how much • rangues of the magilirates, those im- • soever it might be agreeable to bis
peachments of the great, those factions own inclinations; fince it was not
of the nobles, those hereditary enmi. • sufficient merely to vote in the se. ! ties in particular families, and, in fine, nate, without supporting that vote
those incessant struggles between the ' with good finse and eloquence; since • fenate and the commons: which, ' in all public impeachments or civil
though each of them prejudicial to the 'caures, the accuied was obliged to ani ftate, yet most certainly contributed to • swer to the charge in his own perion;
produce and encourage that rich vein • fince written depofitions were not ad. • vf Eloquence which discovered itself in 'mitted in judicial matters, but the wit• those tempestuous days. The way to ' nelles were called upon to deliver their
dignities lay directly through the paths evidence in open court. Thus our
of Eloquence. The more a man fig. ' ancestors were eloquent, as much by 'nalized himself by his abilities in this neceffity as by encouragements. To
art, so much the inore easily he open. ( be poffened of the perfualive talents, i ed his road to preferment, and main. was esteemed the highest glory; as the tained an ascendant over his col. ' contrary chatacier was held in the ut. leagues, at the same time that it • most contempt. In a word, they were
The latter par: of Mentilla's discourse, together with what immediately followed it in the original, is lost: the chalın, however, does not feere to be so gocat as forre of the commentators furpe&t. The trar fator therefore has vintured to fill it up in his own way, with those lines which are ditinguished by invertei coama's. He has likewise given the next fubfequent part of the conversation to Secundus, though it does not ap ear in the nriginal to whom it belonge. It would be of no great imprtance in the Eng'ith reader, 10 junify this last article; thougi, perhaps, it would not be very c.ficul, if it we erecefi ry.
To save the reader ine neutile of turning to a seconda mete lor a like cccadon, it is proper to observe in this place, that he will sind the faine invested comma's in $ 118. The words included betweets them are allo an addition of the translator's, and for the fave reason as that jutt now mentio.ed.
incited to the pursuit of Oratory by' a maxim, that it is impossible to shine ' principle of honour as well as by a 'out' in all the powerful lyftre of gė. • view of intereft. They dreaded the 'nuine eloquence, without being in. • disgrace of being considered rather as < Aamed by a suitable importance of • clients tban patrons; of losing those « subject. Thus the speech of Demoft• dependents which their ancestors had • henes against his guardians, scarcely, * cranfmitted to them, and seeing them "I imagine, established his character;
mix in the train of others; in short, as it was not the defence of Archias,
of being looked upon as men of mean or Quinctius, that acquired Cicero the • abilities, and consequently either passed reputation of a confummate orator. It • over in the disposal of high offices, was Catiline, and Milo; and Verres,
or despised in the adminiltration of ' and Mark Antony, that warmed him • them.
* with that noble glow of eloquence, I know not whether those antient hil. which gave the finishing brightness to 'torical pieces, which were lately col. • his unequalled fame. Far am I from • lected and published by Mucianus from • infinuating, that such infamous cháa 'the old libraries where they have bi. 'racters deserve to be tolerated in'a • therto been preserved, have yet fallen • state, in order to supply convenient ' into your hands. This collection con- • matter of oratoryall I contend for • fifts of eleven volumes of the public 'is, that this art flourishes to most ad
journals, and three of epistles; by which vantage in turbulent times. Peace; • it appears that Pompey and Craffus. no doubt, is infinitely preferable to 'gained as much advantage from their war; but it is the latter only that forms eloquence as their arms; that Lucullus, the soldier. It is just the same with Metellus, Lentulus, Curio, and the Eloquence: the oftener the enters, if I
rest of those diftinguished chiefs, de. may so say, the field of battle, the more 'yoted themselves with great applica- . wounds she gives and receives; the ition to this infinuating art: in a word, ' more powerful the adversary withi that not a single person in those times which she contends, so much the more rose to any confiderable degree of • ennobled the appears in the eye of
power, without the allitance of the mankind. For it is the disposition of • Thetorical talents. ;;
• human nature, always to admire whác " To these considerations may be far- .. we fee is attended with danger and 'ther added, that the dignity and in- ' difficulty in others, how much soever
portance of the debates in which the 'we may chufe ease and security for antients were engaged, contributed • ourselves. greatly to advance their eloquence. • Angther advantage which the antient Moit certain, indeed, it is, that an . orators had over the moderns, is, thật orator muft neceffarily find great
dif. • they were not contined in their plead. 'ference with respect to his powers, ings, as we are, to a few hours. On
when he is to harangue only upon I the contrary, they were at liberty to ' come trifling robbery, or a little paltry ' adjourn as often as they thought pro' form of pleading; and when the facuí- per; they were unlimited as to the num':
ties of his mind are warmed and er. • ber of days or of counsel, and every
livened by such interesting and ani- orator might extend his speech to the 'mating topics as bribery at elections, • length most agreeable to himself. Pom' as the oppreilion of our allies, or the pey, in his third confulihip, was the
masacre of our fellow-citizens. Evils • first who curbed the fpirit of eloquence: these, which, beyond all peradventure, • still, however, permitting all caules to it were better could never happent; • be heard, agreeably to the laws, in the and we have reason to rejoice that we . forum and before the Pretors. How live under a government where we are much more confiderable the bufinels strangers to such terrible calamities: • of those magistrates was, than that of
Atill it must be acknowledged, that the Centumvirs, who at present detet. ' wherever they did happen, they were • mine all causes, is evident from this onderful incentives to eloquences circumstance, that not a single oration For the orator's genius rises and ex- • of Cicero, Cælar; or Brutus, or, in . pands itself in proportion to the dig. , ' mort, of anyone celebrated orator, was nity of the occahon upon which it is fonken before these laft, excepting only sxsrted; and I will lay is down as a shore of Pollio in favour of the heirs of
Wibinia. But then it most he remem- ;' arraigning the most considerable pet. 'bered, that there were delivered ahout fonages, and the popularity of fach
the-mildle of the reign of Augustus, ,' impeachments; when the sons of Ora.
when a long and uninterrupted peace tory ipared not even Scipio, Sylla, ôr $ abroad, a perfect tranquillity at home, Pompey; and when, in consequence of
together with the general geod conduct I such acceptable attacks upon iuspected
of that wife prince, hal damped the power, they were fure of being heard ! fi.imes of eloquence as well as those of • by the people with the utmott attention . fedition.
' and regard. How mult theie united . You will finile, perhaps, at what I 'causes contribute to raife the genius, am going to fay, and I mention it for and infpire the eloquence of the antienes!
that purpose: but is there not some- "* Maternus, who, you will remen• thing in the present confined garb of “ ber, was in the midst of his harangae
our orators, that has an ill effect even ***. in favour of Poetry when Meffalla upon their elocution, and makes it ap- “ first entered into the room, finding
pear low and contemptible? May we? “ Secundus was now filent, took that
not suppole, likewise, that much of ." opportunity of resuming his invective • the spirit of Oratory is funk, by that “ against the exercise of the oratorical '.close and despicable scene wherein se arts in general." "That fpecies of of many of our causes are now debated ? 'eloquence,' said he, wherein poetry
For the orator, like a generous steed, is concerned, is calm and peaceable, requires a free and open space wherein. ' moderate and virtuous: whereas that to expariate; otherwise the force of his ' other supreme kind which my two powers is broken, anı half the energy friends here have been describing, is of his talents is checked in their ca. o the offspring of licentiousness, (by
reer. There is another circumstance . fools miscailed liberty) and the com. ", also exceedingly prejudicial to the in- panion of fedition; bold, obstinate, and
terest of Eloquence, as it prevents adue • haughty, unknowing how to yield or attention to ityle: we are now obliged how to obey, an encourager of a law. to enter upon our speech whenever the i less populace, and a ftranger in all judge calls upon us; not to mention ' well-regulated communities. Who the frequent interruptions which arise ever heard of an orator in Lacedaemon by be exainination of witnesies. Be. .. or Crete? cities which exercised the re
lides, the courts of judicature are at ! verelt discipline, and were governed by .. present so unfrequentes, that the ora. • the Itrictelt laws. We have no ac.
for seems to stand alone, and talk to count of Persian or Macedonian elo.? bare walls. Bui Eloquence rejoices in quence, or indeed of that of any other - the clamour of loud applause, and ex- ·ltate which submitted to a regular ad. Iults in a full audience, such as used to • ministration of government. Where
prets sound the antient orators when " as Rhodes and Athens (places of po
the forum Good thronged with nobles; pular rule, where all things lay open I when a numerous retinue of clients, to all meo) Swarmed with orators in. .! when foreign ambassadors, and whole • numerable. In the same manner,
cities, allisted at the debate; and when Rome, while the was under no fertled even Rome herself was concerned in the policy; while he was torn with parevent. The very appearance of that ties, diffentions, and factions; while prodigious concourle of people, which • there was no peace in the forum, no • attended the trials of Bestia, Corne- harmony in the senate, no moderation
lius, Scaurus, Milo, and Vatinius, • in the judges; while there was neither, " must have enflamed the breast of the ' reverence paid to superiors, nor bounds (co!Jelt oratør. Accordingly we find, . prescribed to magistrates-Rome, unthat of all the ancient orations now ex- der there circumitances, produced,
tant, there are none which have more • beyond all dispute, a Itronger and eminently diftinguided their authors, ' brighter vein of eloquence; as fome than shole which were pronounced ui). " valuable plants will flourish even in der, Sci favourable circumstances. • the wildeit foil. But the tongue of
To thele advantages we may farther (the Gracchi did nothing compensate ,add, likewise, the frequent general af. 'the republic for their feditious laws; • lemblies of the people, the privilege of 'nor the superior cloquence of Cicero