Obrazy na stronie
PDF

after having reigned twelve years (from B.C. 162 to B.C. 150). His death was avenged, however, by his son and successor Demetrius Nicator. (Polyb., 31, 12.—Id., 31, 19.-Ids, 32, 4, seqq.—Id., 33, 14, seqq. —Justin, 34, 3–Id., 35, 1.)—V. Son of the preceding, was surnamed Nicator, or “the Conqueror.” He drove out Alexander Bala, with the aid of Ptoleiny Philometor, who had given him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage, though she was already the wife of Bala. He ascended the throne B.C. 146, but soon abandoned himself to a life of indolence and debauchery, leaving the reins of government in the hands of Lasthenes, his favourite, an unprincipled and violent man. The disgust to which his conduct gave rise induced Tryphon, who had been governor of Antioch under Bala, to revolt, and place upon the throne Antiochus Dionysius, son of Bala and Cleopatra, a child only four years of age. A battle ensued, in which Demetrius was defeated, and Antiochus, now receiving the surname of Theos, was conducted by the victors to Antioch, and proclaimed king of Syria. He reigned, however, only in name. The actual monarch was Tryphon, who put him to death at the end of about two years, and caused himself to be proclaimed in his stead. Demetrius, meanwhile, held his court at Seleucia. Thinking that the crimes of Tryphon would soon make him universally detested, he turned his arms in a different direction, and marched against the Parthians, in the hope that, if he returned victorious, he would be enabled the more easily to rid himself of his Syrian antagonist. After some successes, however, he was entrapped and made prisoner by the Parthian monarch Mithradates, and his army was attacked and cut to pieces. His captivity among the Parthians was an honourable one, and Mithradates made him espouse his daughter Rhodoguna. The intelligence of this marriage so exasperated Cleopatra, that she gave her hand to Antiochus Sidetes, her brother-in-law, who thereupon ascended the throne. Sidetes having been slain in a battle with the Parthians after a reign of several years, Demetrius escaped from the hands of Mithradates and remounted the throne. His subjects, however, unable any longer to endure his pride and cruelty, requested from Ptolemy Physcon, a king of the race of the Seleucidae to govern them. Ptolemy sent Alexander Zebina. Demetrius, driven out by the Syrians, came to Ptolemais, where Cleopatra, his first wife, then held sway, but the gates were shut against him. He then took refuge in Tyre, but was put to death by the governor of the city. Zebina recompensed the Tyrians for this act, by permitting them to live according to their own laws, and from this period commences what is called by chronologists the era of the independence of Tyre, which was still subsisting at the time of the council of Chalcedon, 574 years after this event. (Joseph, Ant. Jud., 13, 9–1d. ib., 13, 12.-Id. ib., 13, 17–Justin, 36, 1.-Id., 39, 1.L'Art de verifier les Dates, vol. 2, p. 331.)—VI. Surnamed Eucaerus (Eixaspoo), “the Seasonable” or “Fortunate,” was the fourth son of Antiochus Grypus. He was proclaimed king at Damascus, and, in conjunction with his brother Philip, to whom a part of Syria remained faithful, drove out Antiochus Eusebes from that country, compelling him to take refuge among the Parthians. The two brothers then divided Syria between them, Antioch being the capital of Philip, and Damascus that of Demetrius. The latter afterward marched to the aid of the Jews, who had revolted from their king Alexander Janneus. He was recalled, however, to his own dominions by the news of an invasion on the part of his own brother Philip. He took Antioch, and besieged Philip in Beroea; but the latter being succoured by the Parthians and Arabians, Demetrius was besieged in his own camp, and at length taken prisoner. #. was brought to the King of Parthia, who treated him with great distinction, and sent

him into Upper Asia. He reigned a little over six years. The Abbé Belley has written a learned dissertation on the reign of this monarch, illustrated by medals. (Mem. de l'Acad, des. Inscr., vol. 29.)—WII. Pepagomenus, a medical writer, who flourished during the reign of Michael VIII. (Palaeologus). By the order of this monarch, he wrote a work on the Gout (repi IIočáypas). We have two treatises under his name; but it is extremely doubtful whether he was indeed their author. The first is on the art of training falcons; the second, on the mode of breaking and training dogs. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 7, p. 265.) The best edition of the treatise on the gout is that of Bernhard, Amst., 1753, 8vo.—VIII. Phalèreus (three syllables—Pańmpetic), a native of Phalèrum in Attica, and the last of the more distinguished orators of Greece. He was the son of a person who had been slave to Timotheus and Conon. (Compare Ælian, War. Hist., 12, 43, and the remarks of Perizonius, ad loc.) But, though born in this low condition, he soon made himself distinguished by his talents, and was already a conspicuous individual in the public assemblies when Antipater became master of Athens; for he was obliged to save himself by flight from the vengeance of the Macedonian partv. He was compelled to quit the city a second time, when Polysperchon took possession of it through his son. Subsequently named by Cassander as governor of Athens (B.C. 312), he so gained the affections of his countrymen, that, during the ten years in which he filled this of. fice, they are said to have raised to him three hundred and sixty statues. Athenaeus, however, on the authority of Duris, a Samian writer, reproaches him with luxurious and expensive habits, while he prescribed, at the same time, frugality to his fellow-citizens, and fixed limits for their expenditures. It is thought, however, that Duris, or else Athenæus in copying him, erred with respect to the name; since what the latter relates of Demetrius Phalereus, AElian mentions of Demetrius Poliorcetes. (War. Hist., 9, 19.) After the death of his protector, Demetrius was driven from Athens by Antigonus and Demetrius Poliorcetes (B.C. 306). The people of that city, always fickle, always ungrateful, always the sport of the demagogues who ruled them, overthrew the numerous statues they had erected to him, although he had been their benefactor and idol, and even condemned him to death. Demetrius, upon this, retired to the court of Alexandrea, where he lived upward of twenty years. It is generally supposed that he was the individual who gave Ptolemy the advice to found the Museum and famous library. This prince consulted him also as to the choice of a successor. Demetrius was in favour of the monarch's eldest son, but the king eventually decided for the son whom he had by his second wife Berenice. When Ptolemy II., therefore, came to the throne, he revenged himself on the unlucky counsellor by exiling him to a distant province in Upper Egypt, where Demetrius put an end to his own life by the bite of an asp (B.C. 284.—Compare the dissertation of Bonamy, on the life of Demetrius Phalereus, Mem. de l'Acad, des. Inscr. et Belles Lettres, vol. 7, p. 157, seqq.). Cicero describes Demetrius as a polished, sweet, and graceful speaker, but deficient in energy and power. (De Orat., 2, 23–Brut., 9.) Quintilian assigns to him much of talent and fluency. (Inst. Or., 10, 1, 80.) Both writers, however, agree that he was the first who deviated in a marked degree from the character that previously belonged to Attic eloquence. We cannot form any opinion of our own respecting the merits of this writer, because his historical, political, and philosophical writings are all lost. In the number of these was a treatise “On the Ionians,” and another “On the Laws of Athens,” two pieces, the acquisition of which would prove of great value to us. Plutarch cites his treatise “On Socrates,” which appears to have contained also “a Life of Aristides.” We have said that the works of Demetrius are lost: there exists, it is true, under his name “A Treatise on Elocution” (rept "Epunveias), a work full of ingenious observations; but critics agree in making it of later origin. It appears that the copyists have confounded Demetrius Phalereus with Demetrius of Alexandrea, who flourished under Marcus Aurelius, and was, perhaps, the author of the work in question. Besides the treatise on Elocution, there exists a small work On the Apophthegms of the Seven Sages, which Stobaeus has inserted in his third discourse, as being the production of Demetrius Phalereus.—The best editions of the treatise on Elocution are, that of Gale, Oxon., 1676, 8vo, re-edited by Fischer, Lips., 1773, 8vo, and that of J. G. Schneider, Alten., 1779, 8vo. This last is printed with but little care; yet it is critical, and supplied with an excellent coinmentary. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 3, p. 241, seqq.)—IX. A Cynic philosopher, who flourished at Corinth in the first century. 1juring the reign of Caligula, he taught philosophy at Rome, where he obtained the highest reputation for wisdom and virtue. He was banished from Rome in the time of Nero, for his free censure of public manners. After the death of this emperor he returned to Rome; but the boldness of his language soon offended Vespasian, and again subjected him to the punishment of exile. Apollonius, with whom he had contracted a friendship, prevailed on Titus to recall him; but under Domitian he shared the common fate of philosophers, and withdrew to Puteoli. Seneca, who was intimately acquainted with him, speaks in the highest terms of his masculine eloquence, sound judgment, intrepid sortitude, and inflexible integrity. (Seneca, de Vat. Beat., 25.) Democłdes, a celebrated physician of Crotona, son of Callphon, and intimate with Polycrates. He was carried as a prisoner from Samos to Darius, king of Persia, where he acquired great riches and much reputation by two cures which he performed, one on the king, and the other on Atossa. Always desirous of returning to his native country, he pretended to enter into the views and interests of the Persians, and procured himself to be sent with some nobles to explore the coast of Greece, and to ascertain in what parts it might be attacked with the greatest probability of success. Stopping at Tarentum, the Persians were seized as spies, and Democedes escaped to Crotona, whither the Persians followed him, and demanded, but in vain, that he should be restored. He settled there, and married the daughter of Milo. (AElian, W. H., 8, 18. —Herodot., 3, 124, &c.) DEMockirus, a celebrated philosopher, born at Abdera, about 490 or 494 B.C., but according to some, 460 or 470 B.C. His father was a man of noble family and of great wealth, and contributed largely towards the entertainment of the army of Xerxes, on his return to Asia. As a reward for this service, the Persian monarch made him and the other Abderites rich resents, and left among them several Chaldasan Magi. }. according to Diogenes Laertius, was instructed by these Eastern sages in astronomy and theology. After the death of his father, he determined to travel in search of wisdom ; and devoted to this purpose the portion which fell to him, amounting to one hundred talents. He is said to have visited Egypt and Ethiopia, the Persian Magi, and, according to some, even the Gymnosophists of India. Whether, in the course of his travels, he visited Athens or attended upon Anaxagoras, is uncertain. There can be little doubt, however, that, during some part of his life, he was instructed in the Pythagorean school, and particularly that he was a disciple of Leucippus. After a long course of years thus spent in travelling, Democritus returned to Abdera, richly stored with the treasures of philosophy, but destitute even of the necessary

means of subsistence. His brother Damosis, however, received him kindly, and liberally supplied all his wants. It was a law in Abdera, that whoever should waste his patrimony, should be deprived of the rites of sepulture. Democritus, desiring to avoid this dis. grace, gave public lectures to the people, chiefly from his larger Diacosmus, the most valuable of his writings; in return, he received from his hearers many valuable presents, and other testimonies of respect, which relieved him from all apprehension of suffering public censure as a spendthrift. Democritus, by his learning and wisdom, and especially by his acquaintance with natural phenomena, acquired great fame, and excited much admiration among the ignorant Abderites. By giving previous notices of unexpected changes in the weather, and by other artifices, he had the address to make them believe that he possessed a power of predicting future events, and they not only looked upon him as something more than mortal, but even proposed to invest him with the direction of their public affairs. From inclination and habit, however, he preferred a contemplative to an active life, and therefore declined these public honours, and passed the remainder of his days in solitude. It is said that from this time he spent his days and nights in caverns and sepulchres; and some even relate, that, in order to be more perfectly master of his intellectual faculties, he deprived himself, by means of a burning-glass, of the organs of sight. The story, however, is utterly incredible, since the writers who mention it affirm that Democritus employed his leisure in writing books, and in dissecting the bodies of animals, neither of which could well have been effected without eyes. Nor is greater credit due to the tale that Democritus spent his leisure hours in chemical researches after the philosopher's stone, the dream of a later age; or to the story of his conversation with Hippocrates, grounded upon letters which are said to have passed between the father of medicine and the people of Abdera, on the supposed madness of Democritus, but which are so evidently spurious that it would require the credulity of the Abderites themselves to suppose them genuine. The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from these and other marvellous tales, is, that Democritus' was, what he is commonly represented to have been, a man of lofty genius and penetrating judgment, who, by a long course of study and observation, became an eminent master of speculative and physical science; the natural consequence of which was, that, like Roger Bacon in a later period, he astonished and imposed upon his ignorant and credulous countrymen. Petronius relates, that he was perfectly acquainted with the virtues of herbs, plants, and stones, and that he spent his life in making experiments upon natural bodies.— Democritus has been commonly known under the appellation of “The Laughing Philosopher;” and it is gravely related by Seneca (De Ira, 2, 10–De Tranq., 15), that he never appeared in public without expressing his contempt of the follies of mankind by laughter. But this account is wholly inconsistent with what has been related concerning his fondness for a life of gloomy solitude and profound contemplation; and with the strength and elevation of mind which his philosophical researches must have required, and which are ascribed to him by the general voice of antiquity. Thus much, however, may be easily admitted on the credit of Ælian (W. H., 4, 20) and Lucian (Wit. Auct., vol. 3, p. 112, ed. Bip.), that a man so superior to the generality of his contemporaries, and whose lot it was to live among a race of men who were stupid to a proverb, might frequently treat their follies with ridicule and contempt. Accordingly, we find that, among his fellow-citizens, he obtained the appellation of yežadivor, or the “Derider.” Democritus appears to have been in his morals chaste and temperate; and his sobriety was repaid by a healthy old age. He o and en

[blocks in formation]

infinitum ; and from the difficutly of assigning a commencement of time, he argued the eternity of existing nature, of void space, ...; of motion. He supposed the atoms, originally similar, to be endowed with certain properties, such as impenetrability, and a density proportionate to their volume. He referred every active and passive affection to motion, caused by impact, limited by the principle he assumed, that like can only act on like. He drew a distinction between primary motion and secondary; impulse and reaction; from a combination of which he produced rotatory motion. Herein consists the law of necessity, by which all things in nature are ruled. From the endless multiplicity of atoms have resulted the worlds which we behold, with all the properties of immensity, resemblance, and dissimilitude which belong to them. The soul consists (such is his doctrine) of globular atoms of fire, which impart movement to the body. Maintaining his atomic theory throughout, Democritus introduced the hypothesis of images (tiôoza), a species of emanation from external objects, which make an im[. on our senses, and from the influence of which e deduced sensation (alathmatc) and thought (vámaic). He distinguished between a rude, imperfect, and therefore false perception, and a true one. In the same manner, consistently with his theory, he accounted for the popular notions of the Deity; partly through our incapacity to understand fully the phenomena of which we are witnesses, and partly from the impressions communicated by certain beings (elów?a) of enormous stature, and resembling the human figure, which inhabit the air. To these he ascribed dreams, and the causes of divination. He carried his theory into practical philosophy also, laying down that happiness consisted in an equability of temperament (eithuia), whence he deduced his moral principles and prudential maxims. It was from Democritus that Epicurus borrowed the principal features of his metaphysics. (Enfield's History of Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 423, seqq. —Ritter, Hist. #. vol. 1, p. 544, seqq.—Tenne‘mann's Manual, p. 79.) DeModócus, I. a musician at the court of Alcinotis, who sang in the presence of Ulysses. (Hom, Od., 8, 44.—Plut., de Mus.)—II. A Trojan chief, who came with Æneas into Italy, where he was killed. (Virg., AEm., 10, 413.) DeMoléon, I. a centaur, killed by Theseus at the nuptials of Pirithotis. (Ovid, Met., 12, 356.)—II. A son of Antenor, killed by Achilles. (Hom., Il., 20,395.) DeMöNAx, a Cynic philosopher, of excellent character, contemporary with Lucian, who relates his history. He was a native of Cyprus, of wealthy parents, and is described by Lucian as having been the best philosopher he ever knew. Demonax resided at Athens, attained to the age of nearly 90 years, and was honoured at his death with a public funeral. (Lucian, Wit. Demonact., vol. 5, p. 231, seqq., ed. Bip.) DemophēoN or DEMöphon. Vid. Phyllis. DeMosthéNEs, I. a celebrated Athenian orator, a native of the borough of Paeania, in the tribe Pandionis. His father, Demosthenes, was a citizen of rank and opulence, and the proprietor of a manufactory of arms; not a common blacksmith, as the language of Juvenal (10, 130) would lead us to believe. The son was born in the fourth year of the 98th Olympiad, B.C. 385, and lost his father at the early age of seven years, when he was lest to the care of his mother, Cleobule. The guardians to whom his father had intrusted the administration of a large property proving faithless to their charge, and wasting a large partion of his patrimony, the orator's early studies were

seriously impeded by the want of sufficient means, to say nothing of the over-anxious fears of maternal tenderness, and the delicate state of his own health. When Demosthenes was about sixteen years of age, his curiosity was attracted by a trial in which Callistratus pleaded, and won a cause of considerable importance. The eloquence which procured, and the acclamations which followed, his success, so inflamed the ambition of the young Athenian, that he determined to devote himself thenceforward to the assiduous study of oratory. He chose Isaeus as his master rather than Isocrates (either because this plan was less expensive, or because the style of the latter was not sufficiently nervous and energetic): from Plato, also, he imbibed much of the richness and the grandeur which characterized the writings of that mighty master. At the age of seventeen he appeared before the public tribunals, and pronounced against his faithless guardians, and against a debtor to his father's estate, five orations, which were crowned with complete success. These discourses, in all probability, had received the finishing hand from Isaeus, under whom Demosthenes continued to study for the space of four years after he had reached his majority. An opening so brilliantly successful imboldened the young orator, as may well be supposed, to speak before the people; but, when he made the attempt, his feeble and stammering voice, his interrupted respiration, his ungraceful gestures, and his ill-arranged periods, brought upon him general ridicule. Returning home in the utmost distress, he was reanimated by the kind aid of the actor Satyrus, who, having requested Demosthenes to repeat some passage from a dramatic poet, pronounced the same extract after him with so much correctness of enunciation, and in a manner so true to nature, that it appeared to the young orator to be quite a different passage. Convinced, thereupon, how much grace and persuasive power a proper enunciation and manner add to the best oration, he resolved to correct the deficiencies of his youth, and accomplished this with a zeal and perseverance which have passed into a proverb. How deeply he commands our respect and admiration by his struggles to overcome his natural infirmities, and remove the impressions produced by his first appearance before his assembled countrymen He was not indebted for the glory he acquired either to the bounty of nature or to the favour of circumstances, but to the inherent strength of his own unconquerable will. To free himself from stammering, he spoke with pebbles in his mouth, a story resting on the authority of Demetrius Phalereus, his contemporary. It also appears that he was unable to articulate clearly the letter R.; but he vanquished that difficulty most perfectly; for Cicero says, “exercitatione fecisse ut plenissime diceret.” He removed the distortion of features, which accompanied his utterance, by watching the movements of his countenance in a mirror; and a naked sword was suspended over his left shoulder while he was declaiming in private, to prevent its rising above the level of the right. That his enunciation might be loud and full of emphasis, he frequently ran up the steepest and most uneven walks, an exercise by which his voice acquired both force and energy; and on the seashore, when the waves were violently agitated, he declaimed aloud, to accustom himself to the noise and tumult of a public assembly. He constructed a subterranean study, where he would often stay for two or three months together, shaving one side of his head, that, in case he should wish to go abroad, the shame of appearing in that condition might keep him within. In this solitary retreat, by the light of his lamp, he copied and recopied, ten times at least, the orations scattered throughout the history of Thucydides, for the purpose of moulding his own style after so pure a model.—Whatever may be the truth of these several stories, Demosthenes got credit for the most indefatigable labour in the acquisition of his art. His enemies, at a subsequent period of his career, attempted to ridicule this extraordinary industry, by remarking that all his arguments “smelt of the lamp,” and they eagerly embraced the opportunity of denying him the possession of natural talents. A malicious opinion like this would easily find credit; and, in fact, a similar mistake is very frequently made; for, since it is acknowledged on all hands, that all successful men who are naturally dull must be industrious, the converse of the proposition grows into repute, and it is inferred that all men who are industrious must necessarily be dull. The accusation against Demosthenes seems to have rested chiefly on his known reluctance to speak without preparation. The fact is, that, though he could exert the talent of extemporaneous speaking, he avoided rather than sought such occasions, partly from deference to his audience, and partly from apprehending the possibility of a failure. Plutarch, who mentions this reluctance of the orator, speaks at the same time of the great merit of his extemporaneous effusions.-Demosthenes reappeared in public, after the rigorous discipline of private study, at the age of 25 years, and pronounced two orations against Leptines, the author of a law which imposed on every citizen of Athens, except the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogiton, the exercise of certain burdensome functions. The second of these discourses, entitled “Of Immunities,” is regarded as one of his happiest efforts. After this he became much engaged with the business of the bar, and these professional labours, added to the scanty portion of his patrimony which he had recovered from his guardians, appear to have formed his only means of support. But, whatever may have been the distinction and the advantages which Demosthenes acquired by his practice at the bar, his principal glory is derived from his political discourses. At the period when he engaged in public affairs, the state was a mere wreck. Public spirit was at the lowest ebb; the laws had lost their authority, the austerity of early manxers had yielded to the inroads of luxury, activity to indolence, probity to venality, and the people were far advanced upon the route which conducts a nation to irremediable servitude. Of the virtues of their forefathers there remained to the Athenians naught save an attachment, carried almost to enthusiasm, for their native soil, for that country the possession of which had been contested even by the gods. On the slightest occasion this feeling of patriotism was sure to display itself; thanks to this sentiment, the people of Athens were still capable of making the most strenuous efforts for the preservation of their freedom. No one knew better than Demosthenes the art of exciting and keeping alive this enthusiasm. Mis penetration enabled him easily to divine the ambitious plans of Philip of Macedon, from the very outset of that monarch's operations, and he resolved to counteract them. His whole public career, indeed, had but one object in view, and that was, war with Philip. For the space of fourteen years did this monarch find the Athenian orator continually in his path, and every attempt proved unavailing to corrupt so formidable an adversary. These fourteen years, which immediately preceded the fall of Grecian freedom, constitute the brightest period in the history of Demosthenes. And yet his courage was political rather than military. At Chaeronea he fled from the field of battle, though in the Athenian assembly no private apprehensions could check his eloquence or influence his conduct. But, though overpowered in the contest with the enemy of Athenian independence, he received after his defeat the most glorious recom. pense, which, in accordance with Grecian customs, a grateful country could bestow upon a virtuous son. Athens decreed him a crown of gold. The reward was opposed by Eschines. The combat of eloquence which arose between the two orators, attracted to Athens an

immense concourse of spectators. Demosthenes triumphed, and his antagonist, not having received the fifth part of the votes, was, in conformity with the existing law, compelled to retire into exile. A short time after this splendid victory, Demosthenes was condemned for having suffered himself to be bribed by Harpalus, a Macedonian governor, who, dreading the anger of Alexander, had come to Athens to hide there the fruit of his extortion and rapine, and had bar. gained with the popular leaders of the day for the protection of the republic. Demosthenes, having escaped from imprisonment, fled to AEgina, whence he could behold the shores of his beloved country, and earnestly and constantly protested his innocence. After the death of Alexander he was restored, and his entry into Athens was marked by every demonstration of joy. A new league was formed among the Grecian cities against the Macedonians, and Demosthenes was the soul of it. But the confederacy was broken up b

Antipater, and the death of the orator was decreed. He retired thereupon from Athens to the island of Calauria, off the coast of Argolis, and, being still pursued by the satellites of Antipater, terminated his life there by poison, in the temple of Neptune, at the age of above sixty years-Before the time of Demosthenes there existed three distinct styles of eloquence: that of Lysias, mild and persuasive, quietly engaged the attention, and won the assent of an audience; that of Thucydides, bold and animated, awakened the feelings and powerfully forced conviction on the mind; while that of Isocrates was, as it were, a combination of the two former. Demosthenes can scarcely be said to have proposed any individual as a model, although he bestowed so much untiring labour on the historian of the Peloponnesian war. e rather culled all that was valuable from the various styles of his great predecessors, working them up, and blending them into one harmonious whole : not, however, that there is such a uniformity or mannerism in his works as prevents him from applying himself with versatility to a variety of subjects; on the contrary, he seems to have had the power of carrying each individual style to perfection, and of adapting himself with equal excellence to each successive topic. In the general structure of many of his sentences, he resembles Thucydides; but he is more simple and perspicuous, and better calculated to be quickly comprehended by an audience. On the other hand, his clearness in narration, his elegance and purity of diction, and (to borrow a metaphor from a sister art) his correct keeping, remind the reader of Lysias. But the argumentative parts of the speeches of Lysias are often deficient in vigour; whereas earnestness, power, zeal, rapidity, and passion, all exemplified in plain, unornamented language, and a strain of close, business-like reasoning, are the distinctive characteristics of Demosthenes. The general tone of his oratory, indeed, was admirably adapted to an Athenian audience, constituted as it was of those whose habits of life were mechanical, and of those whom ambition or taste had led to the cultivation of literature. The former were captivated by sheer sense, urged with masculine force and inextinguishable spirit, and by the forcible application of plain truths; and yet there was enough of grace and variety to please more learned and fastidious auditors. “His style,” as Hume well observes, “is rapid harmony, exactly adjusted to the sense: it is vehement reasoning, without any appearance of art: it is disdain, anger, boldness, freedom, involved in a continued stream of argument; and, of all human productions, the orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach the nearest to perfection.” Another very remarkable excellence of Demosthenes is the collocation of his words. The arrangement of sentences in such a manner that their cadences should be harmonious, and, to a certain degree, rhythmical, was a study much in use among the great *. of Greeian composition. Plato passed the latter years of his life in correcting his dialogues; and that very simplicity remarkable in the structure of the periods of Demosthenes is itself the result of art.—The question has often been raised as to the secret of the success of Demosthenes. How is it that he attained to his astonishing pre-eminence? How is it that, in a faculty which is common to the whole species, that of communicating our thoughts and feelings in language, the palm is conceded to him alone by the unanimous and willing consent of all nations and ages And this universal approbation will appear the more extraordinary to a reader who for the first time peruses his unrivalled orations. They do not exhibit any of that ostentatious declatnation, on which loosely hangs the same of so many pretenders to eloquence. There appears no deep reflection to indicate a more than ordinary penetration, or any philosophical remarks to prove the extent of his acquaintance with the great moral writers of his county. He affects no learning, and he displays none. He asins at no elegance; he seeks no glaring ornaments; he rarely touches the heart with a soft or melting appeal, and when he does, it is only with an effect in which a third-rate artist would have surpassed him. He had no wit, no humour, no vivacity, in our acceptance of these terms, qualities which contribute so much to the formation of a modern orator. He wanted all these undeniable attributes of eloquence, and yet who rivals him 1–The secret of his power is simple: it lies essentially in this, that his political principles were interwoven with his very spirit; they were not assumed to serve an interested purpose, to be laid aside when he descended from the Bema, and resumed when he sought to accomplish an object. No; they were deeply seated in his heart, and emanated from its profoundest depth. The more his country was environed by dangers, the more steady was his resolution. Nothing ever impaired the truth and integrity of his feelings, or weakened his generous conviction. It was his undeviating firmness, his disdain of all compromise, that made him the first of statesmen and orators; in this lay the substance of his power, the primary foundation of his superiority; the rest was merely secondary. The mystery of his mighty influence, then, lay in his honesty; and it is this that gave warmth and tone to his feelings, an energy to his language, and an impression to his manner, before which every imputation of insincerity must have immediately vanished.—We may hence perceive the meaning of Demosthenes himself, when, to one who asked him what was the first requisite in an orator, he merely replied, “Delivery” (iTóxptaic); and when asked what were the second and third requisites, gave the same answer as at first. (Plut, Vit. X. Orat., p. 845) His idea was this: a lifeless manner on the part of a public speaker, shows that his own feelings are not enlisted in the cause which he is advocating, and it is idle for him, therefore, to seek to make converts of others, when he has failed in making one of himself. On the other hand, when the tone of voice, the gesture, the look, the whole manner of the orator, display the powerful feelings that agitate him, his emotion is communicated to his hearers, and success is inevitable. It was not, therefore, mere “action” that Demosthenes required in an orator, an error into which some have fallen from a mistranslation of the Latin rhetorical term “actio,” as employed by Cicero (Brut., 37) in mentioning this incident; but it was an attention to the whole manner of delivery, the look, the tone, the every movement, as so many unerring indications of internal emotion, and of the honesty and sincerity of the speaker. (Compare Quintilian, Inst.

Or., 11, 3, init)—A comparison has often been drawn

between Demosthenes and Cicero; but by no writer

has it been done more successfully than by the cele

brated Longinus. “The sublimity of the one,” he

remarks, “consists in his abruptness, that of the other in his diffuseness. Our countryman (Demosthenes), from the force, the fire, the mighty vehemence with which he bears down all before him, may be compared to a tempest or thunderbolt; while Cicero, like a wide-spreading conflagration, devours and rolls onward in every direction, ever maintaining its destructive energy, and nourished and supported from time to time by the fuel of various kinds with which it is continually supplied in its progress.” (Longnus, ) 12.) Cicero's eloquence is like a consular triumph; he is himself the most conspicuous figure in the procession, which is swollen with the grandeur and riches of conquered provinces. Demosthenes is the terrible sweep of a vast body of cavalry. Cicero's oratory was local, fitted only to the audience; in Athens it would not have been tolerated. Demosthenes was for the whole earth, and at all times. In Rome he would have been as resistless as in Athens; and his eloquence would be as convincing now as it was in the popular assemblies of old. – Of the orations of Demosthenes we have sixty-one remaining, and sixty-five Introductions, or spoofula ómumyopiad. In confining ourselves to the classification adopted by the ancient rhetoricians, we may arrange all these discourses under one of three heads. 1. Deliberative discourses (26).ot avubovaetoriko), treating of political topics, and delivered either before the senate or the assembly of the people. 2. Judicial speeches (26×ot dukávakov), having for their object accusation or defence. 3. Studied or set speeches (26).ot *rudeiktikot), intended to censure or praise.—Seventeen of the orations of Demosthenes belong to the first of these classes, fortv-two to the second, and two to the third. (Compare Becker, Demosthenes als Staatsmann und Redner, Halle, 1815, 2 vols. 8vo.)—Of the seventeen discourses which compose the first class, five treat of various subjects connected with the republic, and twelve of the quarrels between the state and King Philip. Our limits, of course, allow an examination of only a few of these, that are most important in their character. Of the twelve harangues that turn upon the quarrels of the republic with King Philip, the first was pronounced in the first year of the 107th Olympiad, B.C. 352; the second, third, and fourth, in ther fourth year of the same Olympiad, B.C. 349; the fifth in the second year of the 108th Olympiad, B.C. 347; the sixth in the third of the same Olympiad, B.C. 346; the seventh in the first year of the 109th Olympiad, B.C. 344; the eighth in the second year of the same Olympiad, B.C. 343; the ninth in the third year of the same Olympiad, B.C., 342 ; the tenth and eleventh in the fourth year of the same Olympiad, B.C. 341 ; andethe twelfth in the first year of the 110th Olympiad, B.C. 340—The order here given is taken from Dionysius of Halicarnassus ; but no manuscript and no editions observe it...The manuscripts give the 1st, 2d, 10th, and 11th Philippics of Dionysius by name, and regard his fifth as forming the conclusion of the first. They give the title of 2d, 3d, and 1st Olynthiacs to his 2d, 3d, and 4th. The remaining four (6th, 8th, 9th, 12th) have the following titles: “Of Peace,” “Of Halonesus,” “Of the Chersonese,” and “On the letter of Philip.” We will now speak of them in chronological order. 1st and 2d, IIpog positrov Žáyo; Tooroo, “First Philippic.” Demosthenes here exhorts his fellowcitizens to prosecute the war with the greatest vigour against Philip. This monarch had, after the defeat of the Phocians, assumed a threatening attitude, as if wishing to establish himself in their country. The discourse we are now considering has been divided into two parts, which, according to Dionysius of Halicarmassus, were pronounced at different times; but this opinion is contradicted by most critics.-3d, 4th. 5th, '02 w8takoç A. B. T. The three Olynthiacs. Their

« PoprzedniaDalej »