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and not only serve to clear and brighten the imagination, but are able to disperse grief and melancholy, and to set the animal spirits in pleasing and agreeable motions. For this reason, Sir Francis Bacon, in his Essay upon Health, has not thought it improper to prescribe to his reader a poem or a prospect, where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile disquisitions, and advises him to pursue studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of na
In the latter of these two periods a member is out of its place. Where he particularly dissuades him from knotty and subtile 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 deriv ed.
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 paper, been
placed in any other situation, the sentence would have been neither so neat, nor so clear, as it is on the present construction.
ELOQUENCE. GRECIAN ELOQUENCE. DEMOSTHENES.
ELOQUENCE is the art of persuasion. Its most essential 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 philosopher 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 compo sition 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, agitat
ed, 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 enthusi asm in public speakers for affecting their audience. Hence all studied declamation and laboured ornaments of style, which show the mind to be cool and unmoved, are inconsistent with persuasive eloquence. 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 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 Egyptian antiquity. In those ages, it is true, there was a certain kind of eloquence; but it was more nearly allied to poetry, than what we properly call oratory. While the intercourse of men was infrequent, and force was the principal mean employed in deciding controversies, 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 make public speaking an object of importance, were introduced.
Before the rise of the Grecian Republics we per ceive 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 might cor-.