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bigger than the Life; the assuming an Air of Refers Grandour in petty Affairs; the Affectation of cognoscere
qui fint lofty Expressions upon low Subjects; the De.
audienti fire of surprizing the Multitude with the Bril- um mores, lancy of their Wit; the Pretence to Warmth qu& publice and Passion, upon Subje&ts that won't bear recepti them out in it; the astonishing and over-bearpersuafio
Quint. ing weaker Auditors, by strong Periods, or profound Speculations. Eloquence forfeits its true Character, when its Lights and Graces do not prove commensurate to the Apprehensions of those to whom they are address'd : Because it can never gain an entrance into the Mind, bat by the agreeableness of those Reasons in which it conveys it felf. The Diversity of Ages Conditioand Sexes, of Fortunes and Conditions, of ne tempo.. Abilities, whether natural or acquir’d, should "um, ac dioblige an Orator to different Manners, in com- aurium, pliance with these different Estates. Regard formam omust be had to Time, Place, and Persons ;
rationis or this Decorum, which is so necessary to Lam. Dial. good Speaking, can never be preserved. In de Orar. conclusion, an Orator ought likewise to have regard to himself; he ought to consider his own Age, his Rank and Station in the World, the Opinion that Men entertain of his Abilities, his stock of Credit and Authority ::For all these Particulars will demand their juft Weight and proper Influence on his Discourse. XIII,
natori ad It is necessary we should know, in general, tempestahow to distinguish the various Characters of tum, fic eEloquence, that we may apply them to Use, genti ad according to the Nature and Exigency of our varietatem Subject, and may never confound, or mif- caufarum place them: 'Tis impollible to be guilty of tenda.
Tenues this Fault with Impunity; because Eloquence caufa, te is so nice an Art that it can bear nothing out nuè dicen. di flum
of Place and Season. The great and lofty Air requirunt, must be for great Places and great Assemblies, Cic.Orat. for Multitude and Concourse. For the People
must be entertain'd with a Stateliness of Manner, a Length and Copiousness of Speech, and a Grandour of Expression. This Character must likewise be applied to all noble or important Subjects; whereas Subjects of little Weight or Dignity require a Style that is na
tural, simple, and perspicuous. In PanegyOratio
rick the Style should be elevated and diffused pofcitur In Accusations it must be close and fevere. austera fi criminal Cases will not be treated of like Ciaccufesz., vil, nor grand Affairs like petty Concerns. In des. Quin. short; as Eloquence must appear grave and
majestick on Points of State and Ceremony,
simple and modest on familiar, or instructive Loquendi Subjects, so it will arrive at its last Perfection, accurata if it has the Secret of rightly proportioning fine
Words to Things, and of preserving an Elemoleftiâ diligens gance that is not studied, and an Exactness elegantia. that is not superstitious. In which respect, Cic. in there are two Extremes with the utmost CauBrut. tion to be avoided, the frigid, and the boyish
Style: Of which the former renders a Difcourse dry and insipid, by a Bafeness and Languor of Expression; the latter renders it ungrateful and shocking, by vain Tumor, and affected Amplification.
Tho' Longinus speaks of these two Styles which we but now mentioned, as in some fort coincident with each other ; yet they seem capable of being thus distinguished : Those who
affect the frigid Style, imploy great Expresfions, when the Subject requires little ; and those that affect the boyish Style, make use of little Expreßions, when the Subject requires great. But our Language is become so modest, fo reserved, and so fcrupulous, as to ręckon too strong, or too Mining Expressions, too bold and hardy Metaphors, and too frequent Points, under the frigid Style ; as un, der the Boyish, Humour and Pleasantry in ferious Subjects, too loose and languishing Repetition in those parts of a Discourse which ought to be compact and concise, too violent Exaggerations, and too laborious Figures.
'Tis impossible for any Man to succeed in the true Sublimity of Style, unless he be intirely persuaded, that he must owe this Sublimity rather to the Things of which he treats, to the noble Ideas which he forms of them, and to the Elevation of his Genius, than to the Boldness of Expression, or the Pomp and Splendor of Words, or the Equipage of farfetch'd Circumlocutions. Whensoever the lofty Style ceases to be natural, it degenerates into the low and vulgar Character : For all its Support, and all its State, must be in it self. Pindar and Sophocles sometimes take so high a Flight, by the Advantage of their Noble Phrase, that the Reader is at a loss to follow them : But being unable to sustain this Elevation, (which cannot be natural, because 'tis not always in the Things themselves ;) they fometimes again fall to the very Ground, and are no longer known to be the faine Persons. This is a Fault which the World will never
pardon: Because 'tis an Act of Presumption in any one, to affect a Shew of Greatness, when
he wants the Reality, and to attempt to rise, Oratio without Wings to bear him up. The true fententiis Secret, is to study a just Conception of Things, deber ele so as to use no other words, but what are quam ver- suited to the Dignity of the Subject. A great bis. Quint. Subject will ever furnish out great Thoughts ;
and great Thoughts are naturally fruitful in
Majori 4- As the usual Fault of great Genius's, is mielies me their neglect of proportioning themselves. to eft elo- the Measure of their Subject, or the Capacity quentia, of their Audience; so the Fáult of little Gea corpore valet, ungues polire, & capillum reponere, ad fuam curam per. tinere non existimat. Quint.
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nius's is their too scrupulous' Care, and affected Diligence, in labouring more than they ought to finish some particular Pieces in their Work, of which they are more enamored than of others. 'Tis a manifest Indication of Little ness of Spirit, for an Author thus to spend his Pains in adorning one Part only of his Subject, as not having Force enough to carry on a just and regular Design. Eloquence, which is the true Art of pleasing, never succeeds better, than when it imitates Nature : Nor can it be a good Method of Persuasion, to afcribe too much to the Succours of Art. As those who follow the latter way, certainly act upon a false Maxim ; fo by a childish Adherence to the Rules they learnt at School, they form to themselves a very dishonourable Idea of Eloquence. We need only consult Agamemnon in
EloquenPetronius, to apprehend the ridiculous manner tiæ, ficut of this unnatural Eloquence, which mistakes reliquarum external Ornaments for the most effential rerum, fumBeauties. It is in the Heart, in the Genius, sapientia.
damentum in the Thoughts, says Quintilian, that Elo. Cic.Orat. quence properly consists: Its true Source and Pedus eft, Principle can be nothing but good Senfe. And quod diferas good Sense is the most necessary Talent for cum fuit,
Quinc. a publick Speaker, and at the same time the most uncommon, no Wonder we should meet with fo few accomplished Orators. Perfect Masters of Oratory are not to be formed but in happy. Ages, and among People of exquisite Tast and Judgment, as heretofore at Athens,
and at Rome.
The Sovereign Art of Eloquence, is to adbere ftrictly to Nature, the first and great