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&::ched out a plan of it, which, short make his character ridiculous wherever it as it is, seems to be the best that can be lay open to them ; hence flowed that performed for the design of a perfect history. petual raillery which sublitls to this day,

" He d.clarcs it to be the firit and on his famous veries: a fundamental law of history, that it * should neither dare to say any thing that Cedant arma togæ, concedat laurea linguæ, " was fulie, or fear to say any thing that

O fortunatam natam me Contuie Romam. * was true, nor give any just lipicion eia trer of favour or ditafection; that in the And two bad lines picked out by the ma“ relacion of things, the writer should ob- lice of enemies, and transmitted to por. " serve the order of time, and add also terity as a 1pecimen of the reit, have served “ the description of places : that in all to damn many thousands of good ones.

great and memorable transactions he For Plutarch reckons him among the mojt “ Tould first explain the councils, then eminent of the Roman Poets; and Pliny the " the acts, lalily the events; that in coun- younger was proud of emulating him in "cils he should interpole his own judg. his poeric character; and Quintilian feems "ment, or the merit of them; in the acts, to charge the cavils of his censurers to a

should relate not only what was done, principle of malignity. But his own verles but how it was done; in the events carry the fureit proof of his merit, being

should thew, what share chance, or rah- written in the best manner of that age in “ness, or prudence had in them; that in which he lived, and in the itile of Lu"regard to perfons, he should describe cretius, whose poem he is faid to have " put only their particular actions, but the revised and correled for its publication, " lives and characters of all those who after Lucretius's death. This however is “ bear an eminent part in the story; that certain, that he was the constant friend

he should illuftrate the whole in a clear, and generous patron of all the celebrated "easy, natural ftile, flowing with a per- posts of his time; of Acc'us, Archias, " petual smoothness and equability, fiee Chiljus, Lucretius, Catullus, who pays his " from the affectation of points and sen- thanks to him in the following lines, for " tences, or the roughness of judicial foine favour that he had received from pleadings."

him :We have no remains likewise of his

Tully, most eloquent by far poetry, except fome fragments occafion. Oi ail, who have been or who are, ally interspersed through his other writ- Or who still to come ings; yet there, as I have before observed,

Shall rise of all the tons of Rome,

To thee ('atuilus grateful rends are futiicient to convince us, that his poe- His warmeft thanks, and recommends tical genius, if it had been cultivated with His bumble mule, as much below the fame care, would not have been inferior All other poets he, as thou to his oratorial. The two arts are so nearly

Allothar patrons doft excel, allied, that an excellence in the one seems

In power of words and speaking well. to imply a capacity for the other, the fame qualities being effential to them But poetry was the amusement only, and both; a sprightly fancy, fertile in vention, relief of his other studies; eloquence was his flowing and numerous diction. It was in distinguished talent, his sovereign attriCicero's time, that the old rusticity of the bute : to this he devoted all the faculties Latin mufe firit began to be polithed by of his foul, aud attained to a degree of perthe ornaments of. dress, and the harmony fellion in it, that no mortal ever surpailed; of numbers; but the height of perte&tion so that, as a polite historian observes, Rome to which it was carried after his death by had but few orators before him, whom it the fucceeding generation, as it left no could praise ; none whom it could admire. room for a mediocrity in poetry, so it quite Demosthenes was the pattern by which he eclipsed the fame of Cicero. For the formed himself; whom he emulated with world always judges of things by com- such success, as to merit what St. Jerom parison, and becaule he was not fu great a

calls that beautiful eloge : Demosthenes has poet as Virgil and Horace, he was decried snatched from thee the glory of being the first: az none at all; especially in the courts of thou from Demofthenes, that of being the only Actony and Auguftos, where it was orator. The genius, the capacity, the stile compliment to the sovereign, and a falhion and manner of them both were much the coniequently among their flatterets, to fame; their eloquence of that great, sub4




lime, and comprehensive kind, which dig- could imitate; and though their way of nified every subject, and gave it all the speaking, he says, might please the car of force and beauty of which it was capable; a critic or a scholar, yet it was not of that it was that roundness of speaking, as the an- sublime and fonorous kind, whose end was cients call it, where there was nothing not only to inftruet, but to move an audience; either redundant or deficient; nothing ei- an eloquence, born for the multitude; ther to be added or retrenched: their per- whose merit was always shewn by its ef. fections were in all points fo transcendent, fects of exciting admiration, and extorting and yet so fimilar, that the critics are not fhouts of applause; and on which there agreed on which fide to give the pre. never was any difference of judgment ference. Quintillian indeed, the most ju between the learned and the populace. dicious of them, has given it on the whole This was the genuine eloquence that to Cicero; but if, as others have thought, prevailed in Rome as long as Cicero lived: Cicero had not all the nerves, the energy, his were the only speeches that were reor, as he himself calls it, the thunder of lished or admited by the city; while those Demofthenes, he excelled him in the co- attic orators, as they called themselves

, piousness and elegance of his diction, the were generally despised, and frequently variety of his sentiments, and, above all, in deserted by the audience, in the midit of the vivacity of his wit, and finartress of bis their harangues. But after Cicero's death, raillerys Demosthenes had nothing jocaje and the ruin of the republic, the Roman or facetions in him; yet, by attempting oratory funk of course with its liberty, and sometimes to jest, fewed, that the thing a false {pecies universally prevailed; when itself did not displease

, but did not belong to instead of that elate, copious, and lowing bim : for, as Longinus says, wherever he eloquence, which launched out freely into affected to be pleasant, he made himself ridi- every subject, there succeeded a guarded, culous; and if he happened to raise a laugh, dry, fententious kind, full of laboured it was chiefly upon himself. Whereas Cicero, turns and studied points ; and proper only from a perpetual fund of wit and ridicule, for the occasion on which it was employed, had the power always to please, when he the making panegyrics and servile.comfound himself unable to convince, and pliments to their tyrants. This change of could put his judges into good humour, Itile may be observed in all their writers, when he had cause to be afraid of their from Cicero's time to the younger Pliny; severity; so that, by the opportunity of a who carried it to its utmost perfection, in well-timed joke, he is said to have preserved his celebrated panegyric on the emperor many of his clients from manifest ruin. Trajan; which, as it is justly admired for

Yet in all this height and fame of his the elegance of diction, the beauty of sen. eloquence, there was another set of orators timents, and the delicacy of its compliat the same time in Rome, men of parts ments, so it is become in a manner the and learning, and of the first quality; who, standard of fine fpeaking to modern times, while they acknowledged the superiority where it is common to hear the pretendo of his genius, yet censured his diction, as ers to criticism, descanting on the tedious not truly attic or claffical; fome calling it length and spiritless exuberance of the loose and languid, others timid and exube- Ciceronian periods. But the superiority of rant. These men affected a minute and Cicero's eloquence, as it was acknows fastidious correĉiness, pointed fentences, ledged by the politest age of free Rome, short and concise periods, without a fylla. so it has received the most authentic conble to spare in them, as if the perfection of firmation that the nature of things can oratory consisted in a frugality of words, admit, from the concurrent sense of na.

and in crowding our sentiments into the tions; which neglecting the productions narroweft compars. The chief patrons of of his rivals and contemporaries, have this taste were M. Brutus, Licinius, Calvus, preserved to us his inestimable remains, Asinius, Pollio, and Sallast, whom Seneca as a specimen of the most perfect manseems to treat as the anthor of the obscure, ner of speaking, to which the language of abrupt, and sententious ftile. Cicero often mortals can be exalted : so that, As Quinridicules these pretenders to attic elegance, tilian declared of him even in that early as judging of elequerce zot by the force age, he has acquired such fame with pol. of ihe ars, but their own weakness; and terity, that Cicero is not reckoned fo resolving to decry what they could not at- much the name of a man, as of eloquence tain, and io admire nothing but what they itself.

But we have hitherto been con Gdering the name of Peripatetics, or the Walking the exterior part of Cicero's character, Philosophers. These two sects, though difand thall now attempt to penetrate the re. fering in name, agreed generally in things, cesses of his mind, and discover the real or in all the principal points of their phifource and principle of his actions, from a losophy: they placed the chief happiness view of that philosophy which he pro- of man in virtue, with a competency of exfeļied to follow, as the general rule of his ternal goods ; taught the existence of a God, life. This, as he often declares, was a providence, the immortality of the foul, and drawn from the academic fost; which de- a future state of rewards and punishments. rived its origin from Socrates, and its This was the itate of the academic name from a celebrated gymnasium, or school under five successive matters, who place of exercise in the suburbs of Athens, governed it after Plato; Speusippus, Xecalled the Academy, where the profesors nocrates, Polemo, Crates, Crantor; till of that school used to hold their lectures Arcesilas the fixth discarded at once all and philosophical disputations. Socrates the fvitens of his predecessors, and reHas the firit who banished physics out of vived the Socratic way, of affirming noihing, philone by, which till his time had been doubting of all things, and exposing the vathe sole object of it, and drew it off from nity of the reigning opinions. He al. the obscure and intricate inquiries into ledged the necesity of making this ierornature, and the constitution of the hea. mation, from that obscurity of things, which venly bodies, to questions of morality; of had reduced Socrates, and all the ancients more immediate use and importance to before him, to a confelfon of their ignorance :

the happiness of man, concerning the true he observed, as they had all likewise done, - notions of virtue and vice, and the natural that the senses were narrow, reason infirm,

Ference of good and ill; and as he found life short, truth immersed in the deip, opinion the world generally prepossessed with false and custom every where predominani, and notions on those subjects, so his method all things involved in darkness. He taught R 25 not to affert any opinion of his own, but therefore, “ That there was no certain is refute tbe opinions of others, and attack “ knowledge or perception of any thing the errors in vogue; as the first step to- “ in nature, nor any infallible criterion of wards preparing men for the reception of “ truth and falsehood; that nothing was so truth, or what came the nearest to it, pro- “ detestable 'as rashness, nothing so fcanbability. While he himself therefore profef- “ dalous to a philosopher, as to profess fed to know nothing, he used to lift out the ~ what was either false or unknown to feveral doctrines of all the pretenders to sci- «him; that we ought to assert nothing ence, and then tease them with a series of dogmatically, but in all cases to fure quettions, so contrived as to reduce them, “pend our assent; and instead of pretend. by the course of their answers, to an evi- “ing to certainty, content ourselves with dent absurdity, and the impoffibility of de- “ opinion, grounded on probability, which fending what they had at first aifirmed. was all that a rational mind had to ac

But Plato did not ftri&tly adhere to the quiesce in.”' 'This was called the now method of his master Socrates, and his academy, in distinction from the Platonic, or followers wholly deserted it: for instead the old : which maintained its credit down of the Socratic modesty of affirming no- to Cicero's time, by a succession of able thing, and examining every thing, they masters; the chief of whom was Carturned philosophy, as it were, into an art, neades, the fourth from Arcehlas, who and formed a system of opinions, which carried it to its atmoft height of glory, they delivered to their difciples, as the and is greatly celebrated by antiquity for peculiar tenets of their sect. Plato's ne. the vivacity of his wit, and force of his Prew Speafippus, who was left the heir eloquence. of his school, continued his lectures, as We must not however imagine, that his fuccellors also did in the academy, these academics continued doubting and and preserved the name of academics; Aluctuating all their lives in fcepticism and whilft Aristotle, the mott eminent of Plato's irresolution, without any precise opinions, fcholars

, retired to another gymnasium, or settled principle of judging and acting called the Lyceum; where, from a custom no; their role was as certain and confitwhich he and his followers observed, of ent as that of any other fedt, as it is freteaching and difpating as they walked in quently explained by Cicero, in many parts Els portico's of the place, they obtained of his works. “ We are not of that fort,"

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says says he,” whose mind is perpetually wan- taining all of them to be equally uncertain;

dering in error, without any particular and that we could not affirm of any thing, " end or object of its pursuit: for what that it was this or that, since there was as “ would such a mind or such a life indeed much reason 10 take it for the one as for “ be worth, which had no determinate the other, or for neither of them; and “ rule or method of thinking and acting? wholly indifferent which of them we But the difference between us and the thought it to be : thus they lived, without “reft is, that whereas they call some ever engaging themselves on any side of a

things certain, and others uncertain; we question, directing their lives in the mean 6 call the one probable, the other improba- time by natural affections, and the laws u ble. For what reason then, should not and customs of their country. But the “ i pursue the probabie, reject the contrary, acadeinics, by adopting the probabie in“and. declining the arrogance of affirming, stead of the certain, kept the balance in “ avoid the imputation of rahness, which an equal poife beiween the two extremes, “ of all things is the farthest removed making it their general principle to ob“ from wisdom?” Again; “wedo not pre- serve a moderation in all their opinions ; “ tend to say that there is no such thing and as Plutarch, who was one of them, “ as truth; but that all truths have some tells us, paying a great regard always to “ faliehood annexed to them, of so near a that old maxim, “ resemblance and fimilitude, as to afford “no certain note of distinction, whereby

Muun 2do;-:e guid nimis. “ to determine our judgment and assent: As this school then was in no particular “ whence it follows also of course, that opposition to any, but an equal adversary to “ there are many things probable ; which, all, or rather to dogmatical philosophy in “ though not perfectly comprehended, yet general, so every other feet, next to itself

, " on account of their attractive and spe- readily gave it the preference to the reit; “ cious appearance, are sufficient to go- which universal concellion of the second “ vern the life of a wise man.” In another place, is commonly thought to infer a right place, there is no difference, says he, to the first: and if we reflect on the itate « berween us, and those who pretend to of the heathen world, and what they thein• know things; but that they never doubt felves fo often complain of, the darkness “ of the truth of what they maintain: that surrounded them, and the infinite dif" whereas we have many probabilities, fenfons of the best and wiselt on the fun. which we readily embrace, but dare damental questions of religion and mora“not ailirm. By this we preserve our lity, we must necesarily allow, that the “ judgment free and unprejudiced, and acadeinic manner of philosophizing was “ are under no necesity of defending what of all others the most rational and modeft

, is prefcribed and enjoined to us ; where, and the best adapted to the discovery of " as in other feds, men are tied down to truth, whose peculiar character it was “ certain doéirines, before they are capa- to encourage enquiry ; to lift every quel« ble of judging what is the helt; and in tion to the bottom; to try the force of “ the most infirm part of life, drawn every argument, till it had found its real “ either by the authority of a friend, os moment, or the precise quantity of its “ charmed with the first matter whom weight, " they happen to dear, they form a judg. This it was that induced Cicero, in his “ment of things unknown to them; and advanced life and ripened judgment, to

to whatever school they chance to be desert the old academy, and declare for the “ driven by the vide, cleave to it as fast as new; when, from a long experience of the the oyster to the rock.”

vanity of those sects who called them. • Thus the academy held the proper me. felves the proprietors of truth, and the dium berween the rigid hoic, and the in- sole guides of life, and through a despair ditference of the sceptic: the tłoics em. of finding any thing certain, he was glad, braced all their doctrines, as so many fixed after all his pains, to take up with the proend immutable truths, from which it was bable. But the genius and general chainfamous to depart; and by making this racter of both the academies was in some their point of honour, held all their disciples measure still the same: for the old, though in an inviolable attachment to them. The it professed to teach a peculiar fydlem of fceptics, on the other hand, observed a per- doctrines, yet it was ever diffident and felt neutrality towards all opinions ; main. cautious of affirming; and the new, only

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the more fcrupulous and sceptical of the veral writings, that perplexes the genetwo; this appears from the writings of rality of his readers: for wherever they Plato, the firit master of the old, in which, as dip into his works, they are apt to fancy Cicero observes, nothing is absolutely af. themselves poffefied of his sentiments, and firmed, nothing delivered for certain, but to quote them indifferently as such, wheall things freely inquired into, and both ther from his Orations, his Dialogues, or fides of the queition impartially discussed. his Letters, without attending to the peYet there was another reason that recom- culiar nature of the work, or the different mended this philosophy in a peculiar man. person that he assumes in it. ner to Cicero, its being, of all others, the His orations are generally of the judi. best suited to the profession of an orator; cial kind; or the pleadings of an advofince by its practice of disputing for and cate, whose bufiness it was to make the against every opinion of the other sects, it belt of his cause; and to deliver, not so much gave him the belt opportunity of perfect what was true, as what was useful to his cli ing his oratorical faculty, and acquiring a ent; the patronage of truth belonging in habit of speaking readily upon all subjects. such cases to the judge, and not to the He calls it therefore the parent of elegance pleader. It would be absurd therefore to reand copiousness; and declares, that he owed quire a scrupulous veracity, or strict declaraall be fame of his eloquence, not to the me- tion of his sentiments in them: the thing chanic rules of the rhetoricians, but to the does not admit of it; and he himself forcalarged and generous principles of the aca- bids us to expect it ; and in one of those demy.

orations frankly declares the true nature of This school, however, was almost desertthem all.-" That man," says he, “is much ed in Greece, and had but few disciples “ mistaken, who thinks, that in these juat Rome, when Cicero undertook its pa- “ dicial pleadings, he has an authentic tronage, and endeavoured to revive its “ specimen of our opinions; they are the drooping credit. The reason is obvious : “ speeches of the causes and the times; it impoled a hard task upon its scholars, of “ not of the men or the advocates: if the disputing against every sect, and on every “ causes could speak of themselves, no question in philofophy; and if it was dif. body would employ an orator; but we ficult

, as Cicero says, 10 be moster of any are employed to speak, not what we out, how much more of them all ? which was

“ would undertake to affirm upon our auincumbent on those who professed them- “thority, but what is suggelted by the felves academics. No wonder then that it cause and the thing itselt.” Agreeably lot ground every where, in proportion as to this notion, Quintilian tells us, “ that ease and luxury prevailed, which naturally " those who are truly wise, and bave spent disposed people to the doctrine of Epicu- “ their time in public affairs, and not in rus; in relation to which there is a smart “ idle disputes, though they have resolved saying recorded of Arcesilas, who being « with themselves to be friet and honest a ked, wby so many of all seets went over to « in all their actions, yet will not scruple the Epicureans, but none ever came back from “ to use every argument that can be of them, replied, that men might be made “ service to the cause which they have eunuchs, but eunucks could never be made men “ undertaken to defend." In his oraagain.

tions, therefore, where we often meet with This general view of Cicero's philofo- the sentences and maxims of philosophy, phy, will help us to account, in some mea- we cannot always take them for his own, fure

, for that difficulty which people fie- but as topics applied to move his auquently complain of'in discovering his dience, or add an air of gravity and proreal sentiments, as well as for the mis- bability to his speech. takes which they are apt to fall into in that His letters indeed to familiar friends, Search; since it was the distinguishing prin- and especially those to Atticus, place the ciple of the academy to refuse the opinions real man before us, and lay open his very of others, rather than declare any of their heart; yet in these some distinction must own. Yet the chief difficulty does not lie necessarily be observed; for in letters of here ; for Cicero was not scrupulous on compliments condolence, or recommen. that head, nor affected any obscurity in dation, or where he is soliciting any point the delivery of his thoughts, when it was of importance, he adapts his arguments his business to explain them; but it is the to the occafion; and uses such as would variety and different characters of his fe. induce his friend the most readily to grant

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