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cealing all appearance of artifice or design, he renders his argument more irresistible, because it is less guarded against. He also enlarges upon every important point, in order to make the truth sink deeper into the mind, and to flash conviction upon the dullest and darkest understanding. In one respect, indeed, a clenched fist may be deemed a just emblem of the logical argument, and an open hand of the oratorical, as the former is more compressed, and the latter more expanded; but though knockdown blows may be necessary to silence a very obstinate disputer, yet general persuasion can only be the result of less alarming appeals to the understanding and the passions.
By way of illustration, let us take our former example of a regular syllogism, and see how eloquence would exhibit the same truth, but with increased attractions :
We should love what makes us happy ;
Therefore we should love virtue. In a work of taste, the order of these propositions would be inverted, and one of them left out. The Orator would begin with what here forms the conclusion, or the thing to be proved; and would bring the proof or the reason after. He would say, we should love virtue, because it makes us happy. But not contented with this change, he would give to what he selected from the Logician's argument, a much more captivating form. Is it possible, he would ask, not to be struck with the loveliness of virtue, which constitutes the distinguishing excellence of man, and is the chief source of his happiness ? Even if he thought it necessary to retain all the three propositions, he would arrange them in a different order, yet so as to heighten their effect; and would not only give greater force and extent to every proposition, but would also place it in the most advantageous point of view. I do not just now recollect any piece of composition, in which the art of the acute logician is more happily concealed under bold strokes of oratory than in HARRIS's beautiful panegyric on virtue, with which I shall conclude the present Chapter:
“I find myself existing upon a little spot, surrounded
4 every way by an immense unknown expansion. Where am I? What sort of place do I inhabit?-Is it exactly accommodated, in every instance, to my convenience? Is there no excess of cold, none of heat, to offend me? Am I never annoyed by animals either of my own kind, or a different? Is every thing subservient to me, as though I had ordered all myself ?--No.--Nothing like it—the farthest from it possible.—The world appears not then originally made for the private convenience of me alone?-It does not.
“But is it not possible so to accommodate it, by my own particular industry ?-If to accommodate man and beast, heaven, and earth ; if this be beyond me, 'tis not possible.What consequence then follows? Or can there be any
other than this-If I seek an interest of my own, detached from that of others : I seek an interest which is chimerical and can never have existence. How then must I determine ? have I no interest at all ?- If I have not, I am a fool for staying here. 'Tis a smoaky house, and the sooner out of it the better. But why no interest ? --Can I be contented with none, but one separate and detached ?Is a social interest joined with others such an absurdity, as not to be admitted ? The bee, the beaver, and the tribes of herding animals, are enough to convince me, that the thing is, somewhere at least, possible. How then am I assured, that 'tis not equally true of man!-Admit it; and what follows ?-If so, then honor and justice are my interest--then the whole train of moral virtues are my interest ; without some portion of which, not even thieves can maintain society.
“ But farther still—I stop not here-I pursue this social interest, as far as I can trace my several relations. I pass from my own flock, my own neighbourhood, my own nation, to the whole race of mankind, as dispersed throughout the earth.Am I not related to them all, by the mutual aids of commerce ; by the general intercourse of arts and letters; by that common nature, of which we all participate?--Again—I must have food and clothing.Without a proper genial warmth, I instantly perish.- Am I not related in this view to the very earth itself? To the distant sun from whose beams I derive vigour? To that stupendous course and order of the infinite host of heaven, by which the times and seasons ever uniformly pass on ?-Were this order once confounded, I could not probably survive a moment; so absolutely do I depend on this common general welfare ?
“What then have I to do, but to enlarge virtue into piety? Not only honor and justice, and what I owe to man is my interest ; but gratitude also, acquiescence, resignation, adoration, and all I owe to this great polity, and its greater governor, our common Parent.
“ But if all these moral and divine habits be my interest, I need not surely seek for a better. I have an interest compatible with the spot on which I live—I have an interest which may exist, without altering the plan of Providence, without mending or marring the general order of events.--I can bear whatever happens with manlike magnanimity ; can be contented; and fully happy in the good which I possess; and can pass through this turbid, this fickle, fleeting period, without bewailings, or envyings, or murmurings, or complaints."
PART THE FIRST.
SPECIMENS OF POPULAR ELOQUENCE.
To the general rules of persuasion already laid down it may be proper to add, for the guidance of the young Orator, a few hints respecting the perspicuity and diffuseness, when he has to speak before a large body or numerous meeting of the people. He cannot want to be told that perspicuity of style is the most essential requisite, as without it the very purpose of speech would be defeated. But though the first object, upon all occasions, is to convey our ideas clearly and fully to the minds of others, yet the importance, or rather the necessity of doing so is increased, when we are addressing a popular assembly, and have no right to expect that our hearers will give themselves any trouble to guess at our confused meaning, or that all of them have quickness and sagacity enough to catch at every little glimpse in the general obscurity of a long harangue. We must therefore, in such cases, take especial care not only that every hearer may understand us, but that it shall be impossible for him not to understand us ;-that our meaning may strike the dullest or the most careless ;-that, to borrow the simile of QUINTILIAN, the perspicuity of our language may rush upon the mind,