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Mystery of this whole Art, he engages Antonius to undertake it, who had compos'd a Tract to this purpose, and who accordingly enters upon the Subject in the Second Book. What he fays, is much the fame with that which Aristotle delivers in his fecond Book of Rhetorick, concerning the Knowledge of Humane Nature, and the entring into Man's Heart by the way of his Paffions, Inclinations and Manners, which he defcribes with the utmost Advantage. He proceeds to the other Qualities neceffary to accomplish an Orator: And then enters into the particular Defcription of the five Parts of an Oration, each of which he touches with very masterly Strokes. Here he recites in brief all that Train of Precepts which are wont to be dictated in the Schools of Rhetorick: And while he is expreffing his Dislike of thefe, he falls at the fame time into the almost infinite Variety of Court Business and Questions of Law: And tho' this may seem the drieft and leaft entertaining Enquiry, in all the Compafs of Eloquence, he has yet manag'd it agreeably, and like a Gentleman. In the fame fine manner he paints out the feveral Ways of establishing, or overthrowing, the Proofs and Arguments in Pleading, which he reduces under common Heads; and fo leads thofe, who are born with a Talent for publick Speaking, to the true Source and Fountain of Oratory: Still artfully excufing himself, as not prefuming to give Rules, but barely to deliver what he had learnt by Experience of Business, and Course of Years. In the last place he illuftrates the pathetick Part, after a new Way, and with a different Turn from all other Authors; efpecially by his own Example in the Cafe of Norbanus and Cæpio, which he reports at large, and then teaches the Art of moving the Affetions according to the Rules of Ariftotle. After which he engages Cæfar, who is fuppos'd to fall into the Company during this Conference, and who had the Reputation of farpassing all others in the Delicacy


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and Fineness of Raillery, to fpeak of that Part as one of the brightest Ornaments of Difcourse, when erformed with Decency and good Grace. Cæfar having ended this Task, Antonius returns to the Management of the four Branches of an Oration, the Exordium, the Narration, the Confirmation, and the Conclufion. He gives a fummary View of the Rules of Panegyrick; and having explain'd the Invention and Difpofition of Speech, he only adds a Word about Memory, and leaves Craffus to treat of Elocution.

Craflus, in the third Book undertakes this Part, and makes all the Secret of it to confift in two Things; firft, in fpeaking finely, or ornamentally, fo as to give Dignity to a Difcourfe; and fecondly, in fpeaking agreeably to the Subject, by the Choice of Words, the Structure, Harmony and Cadence of Periods. There are, fays he, two Kinds of Ornaments of Speech: The firft Kind is diffus'd thro' the whole Body of an Oration, rendring it Noble and Majestick, fit to attract the publick Admiration, to strike the Heart, and move the Spirits: The fecond Kind arifes from the Figures of Senfe and Diction; which that they may look well, must always be fet in their proper place. Upon this latter Kind depends the Art of Amplification and Diminution; to aggrandize or leffen Things, as there is occafion, which alone may challenge all the Grace and all the Power of Oratory, when skilfully perform'd. He proceeds to the Compofition of Style, by the framing of the Expreffion, the Turn of Period, and all the Harmony of Speech, which must be adjusted, even to the Nicery of Syllables, that by charming the Ear, we may win and engage the Soul. He concludes with giving the Rules for Action, which he extols, not only as the principal and most important Part, but as the very Life and Spirit of true Eloquence. Thus by tracing Cicero in his Three Books, we fhail find the Footsteps of the Three Books of Ariftotle, without finding the fame Drywefs and Severity of Style.

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Style. And therefore I cannot come into the Sentiments of Angelus Politian, who in his Preface to Quintilian, takes upon him to cenfure the Rhetarical Pieces of Tully, as inaccurate, and immethodical. Whereas they have really a fecret Thread, and a latent Method, which is therefore only laid out of fight, that this Artifice may render the Work more curious, and more agreeable.


I shall not stay to go thro' the other Pieces of this great Orator on the Subject of Eloquence. That which he addreffes to Brutus, his particular Friend, and a great Admirer of this Art, is a Lift of the Grecian and Roman Orators, with an Hiftory of the Times in which they flourish'd, and an Account of their different Characters, the most inftructive imaginable. That which is intituled Orator, and infcribd to the fame Gentleman, is an Effay of the most excellent Manner of Speaking, and most perfect Kind of Eloquence, among that Multitude of great Mafters who bad fignalized themselves in all Ages. The Topicks, the Partitions, the Books of Invention, and thofe inferib'd to Herennius, are fo many particular Tracts, chiefly fram'd to regulate the Difpofition of sommon Places; but fuch as are not without their Beauty and their Ufe.


As for Quintilian, he has chofen a quite different Track, from that of Ariftotle and Cicero. He takes his young Orator out of the very Cradle and the Arms of his Nurse, to train him up for the Bar, and to conduct him Step by Step thro' the feveral Parts of Knowledge that are neceffary to his ProfeffiIn the first Book he puts him into the Hands of good Mafter, to form his Tongue by the initial Elements of Pronunciation and Grammar. In the Second he brings him to the publick Schools of Rhetorick, explains the Nature of this Study, with its feveral Parts and their mutual Relation and Dependence. In the Third Book he enters upon the Subject of EloB 4



cution, and purfues it to the End of the fixth. In the feventh Book he treats of the Difpofition and Oeconomy of Difcourfe, which he carries on thro' the four Books that follow. In the twelfth and laft, he defcribes all that belongs to the Perfon of an Orator, he gives the finishing Strokes to his Mind and his Behaviour, and invefts him with all the good Qualities of a Man of Honour and Vertue. This is the fhort of Ariftotle, Cicero and Quintilian in their feveral Methods.

But after all, if we would speak the Truth, we must confefs, that whatever Advantage Eloquence may have receiv'd from the Inftructions of fo incomparable Mafters, there is still lefs of Art than of Genius in it; and moft Subjects that come into the Province of an Orator, are of fuch a kind, as to depend much nore, in their Power and Efficacy, on the Opinion of the Hearers, than on the Knowledge and Capacity of the Speaker. We are to difcourfe before Assemblies where Ignorance has a large Majority: The Multitude indeed, is almost perpetually the Fudge of Speech: And we find Men of all Profeffions, who really speak well, and have a Title to the Praife of Eloquence, tho' they are utter Strangers to its Rules. But ftill Art is ferviceable in fupplying the Defects of Genius; and he that would be compleat in Eloquence, muft joyn the Improvements of the one to the Talents of the other; as I hope to make appear in the following Reflexions.









HOUGH true Eloquence bears a more abfolute Empire, than either Authority, or Force, to which we commonly fubmit, no other wife than

in Decency, or by Constraint; yer this Empire, like others, is fubject to Revolutions, and Decays, by means of certain evil Taftes, which from time to time, impofe upon the World, and during the Impofition, pafs for good. It was thus that Eloquence began to decline under Tiberius and his Succeffors; and the Fall of the Roman Polity, which was the most general Caufe of the Ruin of this Art, did, foon after, fo confound all the Ideas of it, that we are greatly at a lofs in these our Days, to recover any Mark or Footstep of the Power which it exercis'd over the

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