« PreviousContinue »
may maintain, without being at bottom a But, befides this confideration, there is truly worthy man, I muft obferve farther, another of till higher importance, though I that befides the weight which it adds to cha- am not fure of its being attended to as much racter, real virtue operates alfo in other as it deferves; namely, that from the founways, to the advantage of cloquence. tain of real and genuine virtue, are drawn First, nothing is fo favourable as virtue to thofe fentiments which will ever be moft the profecution of honourable ftudies. It powerful in affecting the hearts of others. prompts a generous emulation to excel; it Bad as the world is, nothing has fo great and inures to induftry; it leaves the mind vacant univerfal a command over the minds of men and free, mafter of itfelf, difencumbered of as virtue. No kind of language is fo generally those bad paffions, and difengaged from thofe understood, and fo powerfully felt, as the na mean purfuits, which have ever been found tive language of worthy and virtuous feelings. the greatest enemies to true proficiency. He only, therefore, who poffeffes thefe full Quinctilian has touched this confideration and ftrong, can speak properly, and in its very properly: On all great "Quod fi agrorum nimia own language, to the heart. cura, et follicitior rei familiaris diligentia, fubjects and occafions, there is a dignity, ❝et venandi voluptas, et dati fpectaculis dies, there is an energy in noble fentiments, which "multum ftudiis auferunt, quid putamus is overcoming and irrefiftible. They give an "facturas cupiditatem, avaritiam, invidiam ardour and a flame to one's difcourfe, which "Nihil enim eft tam occupatum, tam multi-feldom fails to kindle a like flame in those who "forme, tot ac tam variis affectibus conci"fum, atque laceratum, quam mala ac im"proba mens. Quis inter hæc, literis, aut "ulli bonæ artî, locus? Non hercle magis quam frugibus, in terra fentibus ac rubis occupata."
hear; and which, more than any other caufe, beftows on eloquence that power, for which it is famed, of feizing and tranfporting an au dience. Here art and imitation will not avail. An affumed character conveys nothing of this powerful warmth. It is only a native and unaffected glow of feeling, which can tranfmit the emotion to others. Hence the moft re
"If the management of an estate, if an"xious attention to domestic economy, a paf-nowned orators, fuch as Cicero and Demof"fion for hunting, or whole days given up to thenes, were no lefs diftinguished for fome of "public places and amufements, confume fo the high virtues, as public fpirit and zeal for "much time that is due to ftudy, how much their country, than for eloquence. Beyond greater waste must be occafioned by licentious doubt, to thefe virtues their cloquence owed "defires, avarice, or envy? Nothing is fo much "hurried and agitated, fo contradictory to its much of its effect; and thofe orations of "felf, or to viclently torn and fhattered by theirs, in which there breathes mtf the thofe "conflicting paflions, as a bad heart. Amidit virtuous and magnanimous fpirit "the diftraction which it produces, what room which have most attracted the animation of "is left for the cultivation of letters, or the ages. purfuit of any honourable art? No more "affuredly, than there is for the growth of corn in a field that is over-run with thorns "and brambles,"
Nothing, therefore, is more neceffar for those who would excel in any of the higher kinds of oratory, than to cultivate habits of
great and high objects which mankind are
the feveral virtues, and to refine and improve
Toygen Life; ana necellary in Bulinefs, Time, &c.