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Original; which yet Men are little acquainted with, by reafon of the little Care they take to follow her Steps, and observe her Conduct. 'Tis therefore of the utmost Necessity, to endeavour after a right Understanding of this great Pattern, and to examine all its Springs and Motions, by a profound Study of Philosophy, and a long Obfervation of Natural Things. For if a Man once goes astray from Nature, All is false and vain in Eloquence : Its warmest Passions have but a false Heat; its brightest Figures, but a false Luftre; its Force and Vehemence of Argument has nothing folid at the Bottom; it is but the Declamation of a Sophist, púre Fallacy and Delusion. Every one should be content to follow the easie Methods of his own Genius, without introducing so much of Subtlety and Refinement. For that Art which is too sollicitous of hiding it felf, is no less falfe, than that which too much labours to be seen. True Eloquence affects neither to appear, nor to lie conceaľd : It proceeds by its own Rules and Principles, without using fo much Form and Ceremony : And true Art is never concern'd, either how to disguise, or how to display, too much of Art.


We find little or no Construction in the Discourses of most of our publick Speakers ; thro' their want of Application to study the Grounds of their own Language. Those who have a Genius for Oratory, find it difficult for them to stoop to these little Cares, which are no less necessary than they ought to be exact : The natural Elevation of their Spirit,

will not be subjected to these cautious Mea- Scribendi fures. And as for those who have not a Ge-re&è sapenius, they are dispos’d to the Fault of Affecta- re eft's tion, in order to the making up with Words principiwhat they want in the Justness and Propriety fons. Hor. of their Thoughts. At the same time 'tis cer- Qui Elotain, that good Speakers are the only Men quentiæ that have a good Taste; and 'tis no less cer- veræ dar tain, that those only who have a good Taste Operam, are capable of being good Judges.

dentia. Cic. in Brut. Dicere nemo bene potest, nifi qui prudenter intelligit. Id. ibid.

dat prue.


The common Source of all that seems vicious in the Expression, which is fo essential a Part of Eloquence, must be own'd to be the natural Fault of the Imagination. The Expression swells into a superfluous and vain Tide of Words, when the Imagination is too warm and sprightly; into far-fetch'd Flowers and obfcure Conceits, when the Imagination is too wide and confus'd, and lastly, into Dryness and Languor, when the Imagination is too cold and unactive. Those who make use of the Quickness of their Imagination, to recompense the Slowness of their Judgment, speak much, but say little. I confess, I love a Difcourse that affords some Exercise to the Thought, and imprints its Ideas so deep, as not to be defaced ; and I prefer that Eloquence which thinks well, and expresses ill, to that which thinks ill, and expresses well.

Men are commonly defe&tive in that just
Temperament which ought to be used in mix-

ing Reason with Authority, Comparison and Similitude with Example and Induction. And when they actually imploy these great Instruments of Perswafion, they do not yet take care to range their Proofs in such a Manner as that their very Order shall give them a mutual Strength and Support. For stronger Reasons ought to succeed weaker, and those which are more folid to those which are less; that the Discourse may not only be able to sustain it felf, but may rise, as it were by degrees, to its last Perfection. And this Point is of so great Consequence, that thro’the bare neglect of it, Reasons of very fufficient Strength and Solidity do yet often prove very ineffe&ual; because indeed they may be quite disabled for want of a due Proportion. And this Proportion consists in never speaking a weak Thing after we have spoken any Thing that is stronger: For the Reason which we urge last, is that which dwells longest upon the Minds of the Hearers, and ought therefore to be the most forcible and convincing. Besides this Disposition of Arguments, the Induction of Particulars will likewise require a judicious Management, to avoid the Indiscretion of multiplying to no purpose. So that an Ora

tor will need that admirable Art which knows - Ambi- how with a generous Severity to prune off the tiofe reciLuxuriances, as well of Things as of Words ; det orns, and to suppress too thick and frequent Orna

ments, without paying any Deference to the Hor.

Heat of Imagination, which would otherwise suffer it self to be carried away with a false Gaiety and Lustre, commonly void of all manly Beauties. Eloquence cannot rightly open her Stores, and successfully imploy the noble Treasures of her Art, without these Precau.


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tions; which appear to be of the last Importance, in that they reduce Things to their natural Condition. And the only Reason why so necessary Rules are seldom practised, is, because they are little understood.


Eloquence that amuses the Head, without Phalereus, affecting the Heart, does not deserve its Name. non tam Such was that of the Grecian Orator, men

inftitutus tion’d by Tully in his Brutus, who always tickled

armis, and pleas’d, but never movid or inflam’d. This frá, dele.

quàm paleis a mere Lesion, and a Trial of Skill, the Use&abat maof which should be confin'd to the Schools. It gis Atbės is then that Eloquence exests its Empire, when nienses it appears in its native Majesty. Instead of flammabat. filling the Eye with useless Wonders, it de-"Cic. in rives a secret Ray into the Soul : It does not Brut. amaze with Prodigies, but it persuades by Reasons; and, insinuating it self by some imperceptible Conveyance into the Minds of the Hearers, it works upon them with so strong an Impression, that they seem to act, not so much by Judgment and Counsel, as by sudden Emotion and Impulse. . Thus whatever Beauties recommend themselves to the Understanding, without making their way to the AffeQions, are not true Beauties. For the Affedions always yield to the Understanding, when they are once content to admit and hearken to its Reasons; and, therefore, they do not hearken to its Reasons, when they refuse to pay their Compliance. That great and noble Air, which Longinus teaches in his Treatise of the Sublimity of Style, is, by his own Confellion, more proper to dazle and confound, than to engage and to convince : Because it



does not force a Passage into the Thoughts and Judgments of those whom it addresses. All great Expressions without great Thoughts to sustain them, may be resembled to Ships that ride without their lading: They float upon the Surface, and cannot poise themselves to a steddy Course.


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In General, that kind of Eloquence which borum de- is so fcrupulous in the ranging of Words, and rogat affe- so nice in all that outward Varnish which sets Etibus fidem, &

a Gloss on the Expression, is scarce ever ubicunque

known to succeed. We are apt to entertain a ars often- Prejudice against whatever is thus strain'd and tatur, ve artificial. The great Orator, Isocrates, who ritas abes. seems to have propos’d no other Aim in his se videtur. Quint.

Writings but to Charm and Please, was really Non ad ju- unfit for Business, and could never have apdiciorum pear’d with Advantage at the Bar, because his certamen, Manner was too refind. The same Manner sed ad voluptatem

was follow'd by those Sophists, whom Socrates aarium rallies so very pleasantly in Plato's Phedrus. scripserat And Longinus blames the too great Artifice of

Locrates. Hyperides, in filling his Discourses with crowdCic.Orat. ed Ornaments and lavish Beauties. 'Tis a great

Perfection to know how to husband and manage these Ornaments, and to dispose them in

their proper Place, when Neceflity obliges us Contextus to use them. All the Art and Power of Elo. virilis fit, quence turns against it self, if it be too bright nec circa flofculos

and glaring: It presently becomes suspicious, Occupatus.

and Men look upon it as a fine Snare laid to Senec. deceive them : Not to say, that whatever Quæq; pa. strikes the Mind, or the Senses, with too much tent vetia vehemence, foon wearies and offends. In a vitat avis. Ovid. Word, the Matter it self must be possess’d of

a large

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