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haustible Store of Knowledge, by the help of indefatigable Study. For all the Variety of Words naturally flows from a Variety, and Abundance of Things : And how should we make others see while we are our selves in the Dark? Who is there now, that can support the Labour of so stubborn Application, so persevering Industry, as is necessary to an Orator, whose Knowledge must not be less than universal ? But here we ought to remember that all this Diligence in the Pursuits of Art can prove effectual to those alone that have the Talents of Nature: Those who have them not, do but fatigue and torture themselves in vain with fcholastick Rules. Nor can the Art of Speaking any more succeed to him that wants a Genius, than the Art of Singing to him that wants a Voice. "Not but that a Man of a good Understanding, and of a well turn'd Head, may be capable of using the Advantage of Precepts, though his Genius be not altogether fo particular and distinguish'd.
True Eloquence being thus difficult in the Acquisition, Men have hop'd to recompence this Defect by the specious Appearance of a false Eloquence, such as was current in the Greek and Roman States, near the Time of their Diffolution, and owes its Existence to the Misfortunes and Servitude of those brave Nations. 'Twas with this Outside of Eloquence that the Sophists, whose Lives are written by Philoftrat us and Eunapins, laid themselves out, in publick, upon loose and empty Harangues ; these Declaimers having scarce any other End but to astonish and amuse the People. But this
Eloquence Eloquence being wholly unnatural, and being weaken'd and oppress'd by its fi&titious Orna. ments, all its Movements were wrong, it néver touch'd the Heart, or made an Entry upon the Soul : All that it could perform, was to entertain the Sense with a thin and tastless Plea. sure, and to afford a Kind of Pastime to the Idle and Impertinent. But true Eloquence commands a Passage to the Heart, it strikes and alarms the Soul, and makes it fensible of its Approach. False Eloquence is but a Chime of Words, that tinkles in the Ear, but never reaches the Understanding. True Elcquence is strong, vigorous, and masculine, not taken up with Flourish and Gaiety, or solicitous of vain Embellishments. For none but counterfeit Beauties stand in need of a borrow'd Complexion ; Those that are genuine and natural carry their own Graces with them. But since we are universally liable to mistake the false for the true, because the former offers it self unfought for to the Mind, while the latter is not to be found but upon strict Search and Study; we ought not to be surpriz’d if the Appearance should pass with us for the Reality, in Eloquence, as in all Things besides. Upon the whole, a man who has any Degree of Sagacity will observe, That there are few accomplim'd in this Profession, and that, generally, what we call a Talent i Oratory, is no more than a Warmth of Fancy, and a Volubility of Speech.
VI. Nulla res tantùm ad dicendum In our Times, Men do not train themselves proficit,
up to Eloquence, by that which is the surest, quintum jcriptio.
and was heretofore the most common Way of Cic. in
arriving at its height, the frequent use of Com- Nulla res position; in which they ought to labour with tantùm ad
dicendum Aliduity and Constancy, if they would improve it into a settled Habit. It was by this proficit, means that Demosthenes and Cicero attained to fcriptio. those Degrees of Perfection, which every one Cic. in sees and admires. Not to speak of the for- Brut. mer, who cloyster'd himself up so many quod minia Years to learn his Art ; 'tis well known of me facithe latter, that he employ’d all his Leisure mus: est and Vacation from Business, in rhetorical enim magExercises ; which gave him occasion to say, ni laboris, that an Orator's best Master is his Style or mus, quamPen.
fcribere. Idem de Orat. Stylus optimus dicendi Magifter. De Orat.
Men do not study to express Things accurately, or to draw the just Pourtraits of them: They are, for the most part, either deficient or redundant: The Medium, which ought always to be observ'd, is what they are seldom acquainted with; as being an imperceptible Point, and lying within the Nicety of a very few Rules, without which it is never to be hit. And as a skilful Painter knows how to give a different Air to the fame Passion in various Subjects, so as not to express the Joy and Complacency of a Prince like that of a Valet, nor the Fierceness of a common Soldier like that of a General : So in the Motions of the Soul there are different Degrees, which an Orator should be able exactly to separate, that he may not confound and blend their Ideas; which Secret, after all, is not to be attain'd but by
one that is Master of his Profession. The want of this Rule, fo little known and pradis'd, is the Reason that Eloquence, when not in Perfection, is wont frequently to lay its Colours, either too weak or too strong. 'Tis of great Importance, out of that multitude of Ideas which present themselves to the Fancy, to make a prudent Choice; without suffering our felves to be impos'd upon by false Appearances; which requires the most accurate Discernment, the justest Observation, and the finest Sense. We ought, especially,
to consider, that in those Extremes, to which In omnibus the Heat of Genius may possibly carry us, too rebus vi- much is always more disgusting than too little: dendum, That Verbosity can never move with so good quatenus : Effect, as a sparing Sobriety of Speech ; and Etfi enim fuus cuiq;
that whatever is exceflive, is, at the same modus est, time, less probable than the contrary. This tamen ma- is what the Roman Orator so often repeats in gis offendit his Books of Rhetorick: For too much is an nimium quan pe
Evidence of Transport and Disorder, which rum. Cic. are Faults; whereas too little is an Argument de clar. of Moderation and Reserve, which are always Orat. Virtues. To be short, whatever is dispropor
tionable is as false in Eloquence, as it is in Morals.
After all, true Eloquence, which proceeds only upon Reality, consists in representing Things as they are. The most natural Turn of Speech is ever the most difficult ; but then 'tis ever the most agreeable : Because this is an Art in which nothing but what is natural can please. And as the truest Penetration is to discern Things as they are in themselves, so
the truest Persuasion is to make them be difcern’d by others, as they ought to be, by the proper Lights and Images of Eloquence. But in as much as Things are wont more forcibly to strike the Mind by their own immediate Prefence, than by their Representations only, these images, (which are no more than rhetorical Figures) ought never to be brought into Play, but when they are stronger and larger, than the Things themselves.
We ought fo to study our own Genius, as that we may be able to follow it without Vio. lence: But this we omit ; either by affecting such a manner as is 'wholly unsuitable to our Genius; or by straining and forcing it, with too rigid Application ; or lastly, by giving it either a greater Port, or a more refined Sub. Phalereus tilty than it will bear, 'Twas thro’ this De-primus ir. fault, that the Athenian Eloquence began to loquentiam
clinaffe Edegenerate from the Grandour which once it dicitur. held under Lyfias, Efchines, and Demofthenes ; Quintil. as Tully and Quintilian obferve, upon Occasion Phalereus of mentioning Demetrius Phalereus, who, they nontàmartell us, aim'd at a nicer Degree of Art, than his palestrâ natural Capacity could sustain, and was more inftitutus. fond of Sweetnefs than of Strength.
Brut. Succus ille & Sanguis incorruptus ufque ad hanc ætatem oratorum fuit, in quâ naturalis effet, non fucatus nitor. Id. ibid.
Suavis videri maluit, quam fortis, fed fuavitate eâ quâ perfunderet animos, non perfringeret. Id. ibid.
Pronunciation, which is one of the most important Parts of Eloquence, is one of those C2