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that are most neglected. It is this which brings down Eloquence to the Sense and Capacity of the Vulgar, by exterior Management and Address; and which has the Art of deceiving by Appearances, when it cannot move by real Effects. If the Virtue of this be fo great as to make an Impression upon Mens Minds, in the fi&titious and fabulous Subjects of the Stage, what must it make when applied to the truest Subjects, and the justeft Occasions? And yet this noble Benefit is grown almost useless to those who speak in Publick, by reason of the little Care they take to attain, or improve it. Indeed, it seems chiefly to consist in a natural Ability; yet in case this be wanting, the Defect may be supplied by Application, and such an Application as depends rather upon Exercise than upon Art. The Eloquence of Demosthenes was rendred admirable by his Pronunciation; tho' he had no Talent of Nature in this Respect, and ow'd all his Success to the Constraint that he put upon himself
. But because Men are commonly uneasie under fuch Constraints, and cannot bring themfelves to fupport the necessary Fatigue of fo laborious an Exercise, they lose the mighty Advantage which Elocution gives an Orator, by those passionate Expressions, and that living. Language, which it inspirés into his Eyes, his Countenance, and all his Mien and Bebaviour, to make it self the better understood.' Tis imposible to say how much this contributes to the animating of a Discourse. Nor is there any greater Obstacle to the common Effect and Power of Eloquence, than the neglect of this outward Deportment, in which every Failure is so much the more sensible, as the Delight which Men seek from Eloquence is more
nice and delicate : For this being an Art, whose Business and Profession is to please, nothing can be more opposite to it, than what is harsh or disagreeable in A&ion. Among the Authors who have written on this part, none has so fully evinced its great Importance, as Quintilian in the third Chapter of his eleventh Book, which seems the brightest Place in all his Institutions, and which alone is sufficient to, shew the Use and Necessity of Pronunciation to an Orator.
Men that follow the Profession of speaking Pofitum fit in Publick, are not careful enough as to the imprimis, Use of Logick, either out of pure Negligence, fine Philoin not learning its Rules, or thro’ a natural fophiâ non Incapacity to put them in Practice; or, lastly, quem quæby an evil Affectation of giving themselves no rimus elomanner of trouble in this Affair. Tho' Lo-quentem. gick may indeed seem deficient, as to Dif. Cic.Orat. courses of pure Ceremony, in which neither the Interests of State, nor those of Religion are concern'd; and which seldom rise to a higher Subject, than Fashion and Dress'; yet is it the great Rule of Conversation, the universal Instrument of rational Speech. To dircourse without this Instrument, is properly but to beat the Air, or to make a Sound without Sense: Nothing judicious, nor even tolerable can be utter'd, where its Aslistance is wanting. And yet how many are there, that wholly decline, or abandon this study? And how many Abuses and Extravagances are put upon it by those who would seem to practise it? either, by too streight and scholastick a Method ; or by confus'd and embarassing Terms ; or by the
Notion they have entertain?d of certain false Reasonings, to supply the Place of true Reafon, which can only be found in a clear, ajust, and a penetrating Wit. This Character being so very rare, 'tis no wonder that the Art of Oratory should appear thus maim'd and imperfect in the Generality of its Professors; because the Reasonings upon which they ground it, are either too dry and barren, or else too crude and immature, or sometimes merely false and sophistical. And, upon a close Examination of Things, it will be evident, that one of the most essential Defaults of modern Eloquence is the Want of a good Talent at Reasoning, of which there are but few that study to be Masters. Nor is this to be acquired so much by the philosophical Course in the University, as by the Reading of Aristotle's Rhetorick, and the frequent Converse with other good Books, which imprints on the Understanding a Solidity and Justness of Sense, not otherwise attainable. Good Sense, tho' many times purely the Gift of Na-i ture, is yet often supplied by Books and Study. But then 'tis necessary that we distinguish with great Caution in this Matter: Because there are Books, which, instead of re&ifying the Judgment, may corrupt and debauch it. Here, then, we ought to take the Advice of more skilfúl Persons, when we are not fit to be our own Counsellors; as very few are, especially of the younger Sort, whose Head is not yet settled by Experience, and the Knowledge of the World. But let this be as it will, we may affirm that Logick is the Ground work of Elo- quence ; because 'tis that which first ranges in the Mind the perfect Analysis and Disposition of Things; which feparates the Efentials of
any Subject from its Accidents; and which teaches the Method of rightly circumstantiating any Discourse. This is a Secret, which nothing but the Rules of Logick can indeed let us into. A Man is, in effect, an Orator, when he commences a Logician ; because he then knows the full Extent and Series of Things, by a thorough View of the Circumftances with which they are cloathed. But tho' the want of Logick be one of the most common Defaults of our publick Speakers, yet we must acknowledge that 'tis one of the fafeft: Because none but Men of Parts and Judgment, who never make a Majority in the World, are capable of discovering it. Not but that the Multitude may well enough apprehend the natural Method of a Discourse, and may feel the Logick which they never learnt. But then their Sagacity does not reach so far, as to discern a Flaw in Reasoning, or a Fai. lure in the Ordinance of a Design. In which Regard, we may suppose three Clases, or Orders of Judges; the first confifting of those who take up
with bare Words, and are content to spend their whole Verdict on the Beauties, or Defects of Style: The second, of those who proceed to judge of the Thought and Invention; the third, of those who still go farther, and pass a Judgment, as well on the general Design, as on the Proportion, Symmetry, and Dependence of its Parts, which is the fole Privilege of the Learned and Intelligent. He must be very sharp-lighted that can spy out a logical Defect in an Oration. And, besides, there are some Orators, who, by surprizing their Audience with a certain Charm of Words and Thoughts, divert them from going to the Bottom of Things, or nicely canvafling what
they assert: As there are others, who prevent the like critical Examination, by the agreeable manner of their Gesture and Delivery. Yet, after all, there is a kind of minute and captious Logick, which Quintilian will not saffer'in the Art of Éloquence ; as serving only to en feeble and emaciate, to exhaust the Life, and dry up the Blood of a Discourse.
Those who apply themselves to the Study of Eloquence, are wont too frequently to miscarry in it, by the false Measures which they take, either in respect of themselves, their Subject, or their Audience: And this Fault seems to be no less common, than that which we but now considered. An Orator of high and elevated Parts, sometimes loses himself by the too great Complacency which he takes in following his own Genius, without accommodating it to the Proportion of his Matter, and the Capacity of his Hearers. It is much easier for a Man thus to give the Reins to Fancy, and to be hurried away by the Impetuosity of his Genius, than it is to recollect and govern himself according to the present Circumstan
ces and Occasions of Speaking: Because the - one is purely the Effect of Imagination, where
as the other proceeds from strict Judgment, a Privilege much more rarely enjoy'd. No Wonder, therefore, if such as speak in Publick are so very liable to this Disorder : Whence arise those absurd Indecencies, and offensive Incongruities, so often to be found in their Harangues ; as, the representing things beyond their natural Dimensions, and