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brilliancy if it could be supposed premedi- regards construction—without which a speaktated. But secondly, not only do the fewer can never attain the crown of excellence. apparent exceptions confirm the rule, but, in Still, though speeches need not be composed, fact, there are very rarely any exceptions at for this we contend,—that a speaker, if he all. When a man replies to another, the very would do bimself and his audience justice on fact usually shows that he has already been any great occasion, should give himself to a studying the whole bearings of the subject; preparation so prolonged (probably it would the very arguments of his opponent have demand nearly as large expenditure of time given bim his brief, suggested bis materials, as if every word had been written and comand generally even the order and method of his mitted to memory) that the substance and topics,* while, if there bas been any thing of the method, the matter and order, of the animosity between the men, the very attack thoughts shall be perfectly familiar; further, itself has tended to provoke into uttermost that he shall not only be in complete possesintensity all those energetic passions which sion of sharply defined thoughts, and the sway the intellect and the fancy at their will. precise order in which they shalí be delivered,
We cannot quit this subject without repeat- but that his mind shall glow with them; that ing our earnest wish that the generality of he shall “muse” till “ the fire burns ;" till public speakers were a little more likely to every faculty in the degree in which it may incur the reproach of prolonged preparation. be possessed is fairly kindled. The task is It would be a great saving to the public of not complete till not only the arguments and time and patience : less would be said, and illustrations have been supplied to memory, yet more; more matter in fewer words. Nut, but even (as will be the case in the course of of course, that we plead for carefully written such preparation) the utmost felicitous terms, compositions, and ihe exact delivery thereof the most salient phrases, have been sugfrom memory even to the precise reproduction gested, and are vividly present ; after which of every little beggarly particle and connec they will be almost sure to suggest themtive; nor do we plead, indeed, for written selves at the right moment, recalled by the compositions at all. A servile adherence to matter in which they are embedded, and with manuscript, however pardonable or necessary which they are indissolubly connected by the it may be during early attempts and for å laws of association. In this case the "beg. limited time, is not only a sure method of garly particles," as we have called them, extinguishing all the more pointed character the “buts" and the “ands," and the “ifs," istics of the vivid spoken style, but involves and the other connectives, as well as the little an intolerable bondage, of which a mind of forms of construction and collocation, may be great power will, at the earliest possible pe- disregarded, or left to take care of themselves. riod, seek to rid itself. There is “a more ex- | They will not constitute (as in the case of cellent way” for the experienced speaker, or exact reproduction from written composition) one who has tolerably advanced in the art; an oppressive burden to the memory,-proand it should be his early ambition ultimately ducing, where the effort of memory has not to perfect himself in it. He must write in been quite perfect, a feeling of constraint and deed much at one time or another, and con- frigidity in the delivery, or where it has tinue to write on some subjects or other (and been perfect, the appearance, not less undethat carefully) all his days, if he would attain sirable, of artificiality in the composition. and perpetuate that general accuracy and Such preparation as this, we heartily wish command of language-copious as regards we could trace a little more of, among our the sources of diction, precise as regards the public speakers; and if it be a reproach at selection of terms, and closely articulated as all, that they would graciously incur it. We
should not,' in that case, have to toil so * It is well observed in a recent number of the wearily through arid and sterile deserts of Quarterly Review," of Mr. Disraeli, certainly one of mere verbiage. The House of Commons, in the readiest debaters the House of Commons ever particular, would not have its invaluable time produced—“An ever-ready speaker, his premedi. tated orations, that is to say, those over which he
wasted in listening to negligent and pitiless has had some time--no matter how short-to pon
diffuseness, nor the columns of the “ Times" der, are nevertheless infinitely better than those and the pages of “ Hansard" so often filled prompted by the exigency of the moment. He will with “ vain repetitions." Neither would there sometimes from this cause reply better to the ear- be such sudden hurry just at the close of the lier part of an antagonist's argument than to its close, and his own peroration is seldom so effective
session in carting the legislative harvest, as what, in dramatic language, may be called the
which the House of Lords declares that there crisis of his speech.”
I is no time to gather into the garner, and
leaves to rot on the ground! It cannot, we
about bim, as well as many other fear, be denied that there are numberless qualities, to insure much renown in it. speeches of three or four columns, the whole But the other obstacles binted al is not less substance of which is perfectly reproduced, in Mr. Macaulay's way. The disquisitory and often with great accession of point and character of his intellect better loves the perspicuity, in the little summaries with serener regions of politics-perhaps, we which some of the leading newspapers give ought to say, its less turbulent regions, for the results of a night's debate. Merciful con- which of them is serene? It is evident that densations to a busy world ! How little need he prefers, wherever it is possible, an expothe public envy the long sittings of their sena. sition of his views unfettered by polemical tors, able as they thus are to pluck in ten considerations; and, indeed, he never conminutes the little fruit from amidst the re- tents himself with a mere running fight dundant foliage of the “Collective Wis-through the several topics of an antagonist's dom !”
argument. Admirable as are many of his There is one character in which, it must be replies to previous speakers—and some of confessed, Mr Macaulay has achieved less them are very effective specimens of debatereputation than many other men in every way they have generally been delivered after a his inferiors; much less, we are convinced, little interval for reflection, are for that reason than he might have achieved had he made it couched in a courteous and temperate tone, the object of bis ambition,-we mean as a and as might be expected from the qualities debater. The parliamentary duello, no doubt, of mind on which we have just been insistwhen the talents for this species of contest ing, abound in argument and illustration are of the first order, has a strong tendency which overlap the limits of mere confutation, to bring out, in all their perfection, all the and show how willingly the speaker bounds characteristics of what is then, most literally, away to aspects of his subject independent the "wrestling style." We think that Mr. of party conflict. In one or two places he Macaulay's comparative inferiority for this frankly avows (what his speeches show) how sort of work is easily accounted for; partly little ambitious he is of achieving only a defrom the character of his mind, and partly bater's triumphs. from bis never baving particularly aspired to Though, as we have already said, we cansuccess in it. To take the last first. It can not doubt that a mind so richly endowed hardly be doubted that with such diversified could, by sedulous practice, have obtained a knowledge, accuracy, and promptness of much larger reputation for this species of oramemory, activity of suggestion, fertility of tory, a more than usually lengthened practice imagination, and imperial command of lan- (always indeed a condition,) would probably guage, he might have done far more in this have been necessary in his case; and that way, than he has ever done; since minds of from those very characteristics of mind which far less compass and endowments than his fit him for a more comprehensive treatment own have, with perseverance, made them of political questions. The more large a selves (even after years of comparative failure) man's views, the more ample bis stores of very accomplished debaters. But it is equally knowledge, the more difficult often is it to evident that he has never been very solicitous adjust himself to the rapid movements of of this species of reputation; and we cannot that guerilla warsare in which debaters chiefly blame him. These conflicts are necessarily shine. It is a curious and true observation attended with much that is unpleasant in the of one of our pbilosophic writers, that minds acting, and when party spirit runs high, not of the first order often require longer time for a little that is unpleasant in retrospection. A the acquisition of the habit of adroit adaptamind that is not decidedly “ combative," or tion to the ordinary exigences of life, than that has much sense of dignity, naturally men of far inferior powers, who yet can brilshrinks from the close encounter with indi liantly manoeuvre their more manageable viduals, and prefers the task of expounding forces on a more limited field. The former and defending political views on general are often too fastidious, too solicitous in margrounds, and with the least possible reference shalling their battalions, to do themselves exto opponents. Exciting, no doubt, is this temporaneous justice. They must have their species of intellectual gladiatorship, when conclusions based on the most comprehensive private animosity, and the rivalry of ambition, survey, their method and argumentation sharpen political differences, and the comba- without flaw, their front and their rear alike tants, in fierce personal grapple, shorten their cared for, before they will move-and while swords for a death-blow. But it requires, I they are pausing how to effect the best disperhaps, that a man should have a little of position of their forces, the occasion, which
demanded only a skirmish, is apt to pass , Zealous as Mr. Macaulay was for Reform, the away, and the light-heeled and light-armed whole series of splendid speeches on that eneiny has vanished from the field.
subject everywhere show that he was chiefly We have, of course, looked at this volume anxious for it that it might avert (as it did chiefly in its oratorical character. We have avert) Revolution. They abound with strikdone so because it was a volume of “speeches," ing commentary, enforced by the most enand challenged especial notice in that respect. lightened appeals to historical induction, on Nor is it necessary to dwell on Mr. Macau- that saying of our“greatest” and “wisest,"lay's political views, maintained throughout “ Morosa morum retentio res turbulenta est, life with a very remarkable consistency; with æque ac novitas.” Nowhere are the great singular moderation indeed, but also with lessons of this cautious practical philosophy undliaching courage and decision. They are —which seeks to maintain the equipoise besufficiently known; they are very definite, and tween ardent aspirations for improvement and have been, for the most part, those which just reverence for antiquity, more powerfully have been maintained in this Journal, and taught or more felicitously illustrated than not seldom discussed there by himself. In in these speeches on Reform, which we recombis speeches, in his essays, in bis history, the mend, no less for their wisdom than their same traits appear. Points there are of eloquence, to the attention of our youthful secondary importance, and one or two not countrymen. So long as the principles they secondary, in which many would contest bis unfold animate Englishmen, the progress of opinions; but on all the great occasions on the nation will be steady and safe; there will which he has delivered his votes, there are be no fear lest the continuity of love and now few of his countrymen who would not veneration for institutions should be dissolved; acknowledge that they were given on the that love and veneration which are as essenbetter side. They have been identified with tial to the stability of laws as intrinsic excelall the great reforms, political, social, and lence in the laws; the presence of which will economical, which have signalized our epoch. often make the worst polities strong, and the Ardently attached to liberal opinions, and absence of which must leave the best weak. anxious to make them triumphant, Mr. Ma. We must not close this article without caulay's zeal as a 'reformer has been tempered paying a tribute to the transparent honesty by the cautious maxims which a profound and independence which have ever characpolitical philosophy as well as a most exten- terized Mr. Macaulay's political career both sive survey of history have taught him—that in Parliament and at the hustings. Howreforms to be really beneficial must be lem- ever moderate in his views, they have been perate and timely, and that if, as in the case of most decidedly expressed : in entire indepenthe Reform Bill, they are of necessity large, dence alike of party and faction, of court or because payment of long arrears has become commons, of aristocrat or democrat. With necessary, it is in itself no matter of triumph, his constituents, he has been sometimes but a thing to be deeply deplored. Distrust-charged with being too brusque ; but amidst ful of all theories which cannot plainly the numerous examples of servility at the appeal to the analogies and experience of the hustings, the failing is one which Englishmen past and safely link that past to the present may readily forgive. His independent condistrustful of all changes wbich threaten to duct in his relations with his constituents, is dissolve the continuity of political habit, well worthy of imitation ; and we question feeling, and association-he has never de whether since Burke delivered his celebrated nounced the rankest abuses that ever demand speech at Bristol, any one has ever mure uned reform more vividly than the perilous Ainchingly and thoroughly carried out its and visionary schemes of democratic fanati maxims. He has said bis say to his constitucism. Heartily despising the pedantry of ents on the most critical occasions in the most political philosophy, his speeches, as well downright way. He has been the very Corioas his other productions) are everywhere lanus of the hustings. He has abated nothdeeply imbued with the genuine spirit of that ing, disguised nothing. Though for a short philosophy. In the practical application of time banished from Edinburgh, the result the abstract principles of politics, he con-showed that his constituents could appreciate stantly bears in mind, with Bacon and Burke, the independence and self-respect of one who, that the political art is necessarily akin to tbough deeply sensible of the honor of a grafting rather than planting ; that its task seat in Parliament, could not compromise is to enlarge, repair, and beautify the old anything to gain it; and his unsolicited rerather than build anew; to modify conditions election by that great constituency was always given rather than to create them. equally honorable to him and to themselves.
From Chambers's Journal.
REMARKABLE NAVAL DUELS.
Although it is by no means unfrequent, 1 held a considerable advantage to obtain the during a war between great naval powers, for weather-gage at the commencement, and, actions à l'outrance to be fought by well. | if possible, to retain it throughout the enmatched single ships, it is very rare for a gagement. Of course this is by no means so similar engagement to occur in consequence | important where steamships of war are enof a special mutual agreement to fight-in gaged, as they can change their positions at other words, for two ships of presumably | pleasure ; but no ranged battle has, up to equal force to strive for victory, expressly in this period, occurred between steamers, alconsequence of a challenge having been sent | though it is highly probable that we shall by the captain of the one, and accepted by hear of several during the present war. The the caplain of the other. Such an affair is advantages of securing the weather-gage--that something very different from ordinary casual | is, being to windward of the antagonistare meetings of hostile vessels, and is literally a various. It enables a ship of good sailing ship-duel. Only two notable engagements of qualities to defer engaging, or to bear plump this description, to the best of our knowledge, down on the enemy at once, at option. Morehave occurred within the last sixty years. In over, if the enemy discharge their broadsides both cases, English captains were the chal at a medium range, the weather-ship's side lengers—their antagonists being respectively is less exposed, while the leeward-ship's side French and American. For our own part, is more exposed to shot than would be the we are as much interested by a spirited nar case were they respectively in any other porative of a well-fought single ship action, as sition; and should they go about on a fresh by one of a regular battle on a grand scale tack, the shot-holes of the former will be between large fleets. Take up any popular clear of the water, while those of the latter account of the battle of St. Vincent, or the will possibly prove dangerous leaks. Again, Nile, or Trafalgar, and—unless you happen the windward-ship can bear up and raketo be a professional man, well read in John that is, stand athwart the bow or stern of Clerk of Eldin's Naval Tactics, and able to her adversary, and discharge in succession appreciate and criticise every manæuvre | all the broadside.guns, so as to sweep the the probability is, that long ere the engage- upper-deck from end to end, or desperately ment is brought to a triumphant conclusion, damage the stern, the weakest portion of a you grow rather confused, and finally lay ship. As soon as hostile vessels come in down the book with a hazy sort of conception sight of each other, the drum beats to quarthat it was a very gallant and terrible bat- ters, and the crew prepare for action. The tle, won by British skill and valor—and that tackles of the guns are overhauled ; the tomis all you know and understand. But in read-pions withdrawn; shot of all descriptions ing about a single ship-action you can con- placed ready for use; and the magazines centrate your attention better; and although opened by the gunner and his crew, who you may hardly know the jib-boom from the make ready to serve out cartridges. The spanker boom, you can form a tolerably cor- carpenter prepares his plugs for shot-holes, rect idea of the progress of the fight, and of and his fishes for wounded spars, rigs the the effect of each change of position, and the pumps to prepare for a leak, &c.; the bulkmaterial damage and loss on the part of the heads are knocked down, or triced up to the respective ships. Our limits will permit us beams, as the case may be; the great cabins to give only brief and condensed sketches of are unceremoniously cleared of the officer's the remarkable actions we propose to cite, furniture, &c.; and every deck, fore and aft, and which we will preface by a few general is put in fighting order. The surgeons disremarks,
possess the midshipmen of the cockpit, and In all naval battles, and especially in ac- the erst convivial table is spread with tournitions between single ships, it has ever been quets, forceps, plasters, and amputating instruments, all in sickening array. The board- / first officer in a boat with twelve men to comers have put on their great iron-bound caps, municate some orders, under this erroneous and have stuck pistols in their belts, and hold | impression. The officer seems to have been a keen cutlass or a glittering tomahawk in more mistrustful, or more prudent, than his hand; the marines are drawn up on quarter- superior, for he paused on his way to question deck and poop, with ball-cartridges in their an American pilot-boat. The pilot assured boxes; the clews of the sails have been stop- him that the stranger was veritably a French pered; and, lest the ties should be shot ship-having really been deceived himself away, the yards are slung in chains. Many by a stratagem of Captain Courtenay, who other preparations are made; and in a pro- caused soine of his officers to talk together perly disciplined ship, everything is done in French when the pilot-boat was within without confusion, and in a space of time hearing. So the Embuscade's boat rowed amazingly short. Every man and boy cap- confidently alongside the Boston, and, of able of duty is at his post; and when an course, the crew found themselves prisoners. action is imminent, British tars on the doc- Captain Courtenay told the captured lieutentor's list have frequently been known to drag ant, that he particularly wished to fight the their languid limbs from the sick-bay, to give Embuscade, and would challenge her captain what help they are able to fight Old Eng. to exchange broadsides. The lieutenant reland's battle. The spectacle of a ship cleared plied, that the Embuscade would accept the for action, with the crew at quarters, silent challenge, if he was allowed to write to Capand motionless as their grim guns, is one of tain Bompart by the pilot-boat. To this prothe most impressive in the world. It is at posal, the British captain assented, and sent once terrible and strangely exciting—some his challenge also by a verbal message, to be thing never to be forgotten by whoever has delivered by the pilot. The latter, however, witnessed it. Your blood thrills in every scrupled to deliver it, but had a written copy vein, and your heart throbs heroically as you forthwith posted in a coffee-house of the city; glance along the tiers of black cạnnon, each and thus it soon reached Captain Bompart, with its silent crew of stalwart seamen burn- who promptly accepted the cartel, and put ing for the fray. You know that at a single to sea. Early on the morning of the 31st, word from the commander of this warlike the antagonists met, and the battle comworld, those silent groups will start into life menced soon after 5 A.M.
The British capand activity, and those black guns will thun tain and his lieutenant of marines were killed der forth their iron message of death and by the same cannon-ball, about 6 A.M. ; and destruction; and knowing and feeling this, the two lieutenants of the frigate were sent you can hardly keep in the wild hurra of below severely wounded. One of them came your country. Rely upon it, that every up again when a little recovered, and galof the hairy-chested fellows you see at quar- lantly continued to fight the ship, which, by ters will, the moment the word to fire is given, 7 A.M., was so disabled, as to be glad to stand join in a cheer shaking the very decks ! away before the wind, while the Embuscade,
nearly as crippled, stood after her for a few Have you heard the British cheer, miles, and then put about to the eastward. Fore and aft, fore and aft?
The result was a drawn battle, gallantly Have you heard the British cheer fought on both sides. The Boston had only Fore and aft?
about 200 men and boys on board at the
time, and of these she lost 10 killed and 24 There is nothing like it---nothing to compare wounded. The Embuscade had a crew of to it. What are all the vivas or vive l'emper- fully 300, and is said to have lost 50 killed eurs to the British hurra ringing through the and wounded. The king granted a pension port-holes of a three-decker?
of £500 to Captain Courtenay's widow, and But we must now to our special theme. £50 pension to each of his children. Towards the end of July, 1793, the British The other frigate-action, resulting from a 32-gun frigate Boston, Captain Courtenay, challenge, is one of the most deservedly celecruised off New York, on the look-out for brated affairs in the annals of the navy. the French 36-gun frigate Embuscade, Cap: Soon after the commencement of the war tain Bom part, à frigate which had inflicted with the United States in 1812, the Ameriimmense loss on our commerce by capturing cans successively captured the British frigates scores of merchant vessels. It happened Guerriere, Macedonian, and Java. Each of that the French captain mistook the British these vessels was taken in single action by frigate for a consort of his own, and sent his American frigates—so named and classed,