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destroyed. The designs of the king are but too manifest the danger is great and imminent. Already has the herald, according to custom, called on those who have any thing to offer in the present emergency, to come forward and give their advice. Already has age uttered its warning voice, and eloquence painted in glowing colors the magnitude and difficulty of a war with Philip. The timid, the prudent, and the venal, have united in magnifying the power and clemency of the monarch ; in portraying the weakness of the republic, and in urging the necessity of conciliation and submission. There are evident indications that the advice is not unwelcome to the indolent and pleasure-loving sons of Athens.Dares any, under these circumstances, offer a contrary opinion ? Considering the fearful odds, and the great uncertainty, will any venture to propose a war with Philip, knowing that should the measure be adopted, and prove unsuccessful, the author of such advice may be put to death by the laws of his country? But lo! Demosthenes ascends the rostrum. Self-possessed, unassuming, yet conscious of his powers, it is his purpose to stem the tide which he sees advancing ; to roll back the current; to operate, in other words, on this mighty mass of mind, and bend, and melt, and mould it to his own. He spends no breath in labored introduction, but enters at once on his subject. In terms of cutting severity, he chides the supineness and false security of his countrymen. Yet so unquestioned is his integrity ; such the sincerity of his patriot ardor; so evidently good his motive, that he awakens no resentment, excites no feelings but those of shame. He allows, indeed, that much is lost, but much still remains. He suffers no despondence. He unfolds the resources of the state, and convinces his countrymen that nothing is even now needed but resolution and perseverance. Above all, he portrays with vivid brightness the injustice and the designs of Philip. The ambitious monarch, the unprin. cipled man, is set before us. Every winding of his crooked policy is unravelled ; every latent motive set in the blaze of day. As he proceeds, indignation glows in every breastquivers on the lip- kindles in the eve.
Finally, he calls up the images of the past. The earlier glories of Athens; the spirit of their fathers, who preferred death to ignominy ; that renown, beyond the reach even of envy, which they won; the institutions which they bequeathed, and the monuments of their taste and glory still clustering thick around, are touched with equal rapidity and power. One victory, at least, is gained-the victory of the orator. Ten thousand minds feel and acknowledge the mastery of one. Yet such is the charm of his eloquence, that they think not of him—they think not of themselves. High thoughts of country fill every soul. At his Caducean touch, irresolution and pusillanimity have vanished. Philip is no longer dreaded ; the Macedonian phalanx is no longer invincible. Marathon and Platæa are before them. Mars once more wooes them to his fierce embrace, and Minerva, their own Minerva, marshals them to victory.
The jarring States obsequious now
View the Patriot's hand on high,
Lightning flashing from his eye!
To arms! to ARMS! to ARMS! they cry.
Let us conquer him, or die!
In Rome, eloquence was a plant of late growth and of short duration. The art of persuasion could hardly expect the patronage of a people, who chose to convince all opponents vi et armis. It is a remarkable fact that the first public notice we have of any thing connected with our subject, is a decree of the Roman Senate passed in the 592d year of the Republic • banishing all philosophers and rhetoricians from Rome.' Such was the jealousy with which, at first, an unlearned and warlike people was disposed to regard those accomplishments of the subjugated Greeks, in which they could not but feel that the vanquished were superior to the victors. But this feeling gradually subsided, until at length rhetoric and oratory became elementary branches of a liberal education. It was unfortunate, perhaps, for Roman eloquence, that the instruction in these branches was long given by Greek Professors, and in the Grecian tongue. It was not until about the time of Cicero, that the Latin language had become sufficiently refined, and the general learning and taste of the nation sufficiently enlightened, to appreciate and encourage the higher efforts of oratorical art. With the patronage of fair opportunity, and under the com
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bined influence of freedom and taste, eloquence re-appeared in all her native beauty.
It is not a little remarkable that Roman eloquence like' that of Greece, should have been illustrated by a single name, so transcendently brilliant, that in the effulgence, which surrounds it, predecessors and contemporaries seem merged and lost. If the fame of Demosthenes rests upon a rock, that of his great pupil has a substratum equally solid, and still broader, for his eloquence, learning and philosophy, have charmed and instructed countless thousands, to whom the orations of the former were but as a sealed book. « Cicero," it has sometimes and not extravagantly been said, " is only another name for Eloquence." And for what department of deep research and elegant literature then open to the human mind, is not Cicero another name? Where else shall we look for such a combination of all the elements of greatness? He was at once a rhetorician and orator-a philosopher and statesman-a man of profound erudition, and lively wit. He lived and died a spotless patriot--and both in precept and example, was only less than a Christian moralist.
These considerations must not be deemed out of place, though our object be to speak of Cicero as an orator. They suggest the main source of his acknowledged superiority., Others may have equalled or surpassed him possibly in single qualities, but who else ever drew the perennial streams of eloquence from a fountain so inexhaustible? He has indeed one great competitor, whose transcendent merits he has himself acknowledged and portrayed with equal candor and ability. The names of Cicero and Demosthenes have long been coupled, and must ever shine like twin stars in the sky. Yet, let us say it reverently, “they differ in glory.” While Demosthenes is brief and compact, Cicero is almost always diffuse. With the former, ornament is rare, and of secondary consideration ;—with the latter, abundant and evidently valued. Both abound in thought-but in one it is prominent and angular, like the muscular frame of Hercules, while in the other it is rotund and beautiful, as the Belvidere Apollo. Each makes use of consummate art: but while one conceals, the other displays it. The style of Demosthenes is nervous, that of Cicero flowing and graceful. The latter kindles the fancy-warms the passions—awakens the admi
ration of his hearers—but the former, with a giant's grasp seizes their understandings and wills and bends them to his purpose. Both added to their powers as orators the knowledge and abilities of the statesman-as both administered for a time the government of their respective countries. In fine, to the Grecian orator we concede the superiority on great occasions—the spirit and the energy which could rouse a nation from apathy; but for him of Rome, we claim a higher praise as the orator of all occasions—the delight and wonder of humanity.
The biography of both is replete with instruction and interest. Few men have lived who owed more to nature ; none, we may confidently say, who trusted less. Their great talents were surpassed by their greater industry. Natural impediments to success as speakers, which most men would have found insuperable, were encountered and overcome by both. By their eloquence mainly they raised themselves to the highest station in the state, and discharged their trusts with great ability and fidelity.
Not less remarkable were the periods in which they flourished. Those periods were crises in the affairs of their countries. It was their lot to be engaged in the last great struggle of free institutions with corruption and tyranny. It was their melancholy but high privilege to raise the last warning note of Freedom-to call and cheer her sons to the rescue-to fan with unavailing breath her flickering and expiring flame. But their mission came too late. The generous zeal, which could not prevent their countries' fall, hastened and ensured their own
But who can estimate the debt which the world owes to their eloquent voices, and great example ? How often have their tongues of fire roused the courage of their posthumous disciples—and their teachings pointed others to a victory, which their own eyes alas! were not permitted to behold ! Who can tell how much of our own precious birthright of liberty and law is due to Demosthenes and Cicero? Had the frail manuscripts containing the writings of the free spirits of Greece and Rome all perished amid the damps and darkness of that long night, which settled on the worldhad the vestal flame which in them still burns undimmed, been extinguished then; who can say that “the Promethean
heat, which could that light rekindle” had even now been found. - Civic eloquence disappeared with Cicero. In the courts of autocratic princes, she had no vocation, and during the ages of barbarism, which followed the downfall of Rome, her very name was forgotten. Even after the revival of let. ters, it was long before the vernacular languages of Europe had become sufficiently polished, or the taste of those communities where a good degree of freedom was enjoyed, such as to admit and encourage the exercise of this noble art. To call forth the highest efforts of oratory, a combination of important circumstances seems to be necessary. There must be, for instance, a general diffusion of knowledge and taste--the period must be one of stirring events - and there must be men of extraordinary abilities, ready to take advantage of the opportunity. Nay more—it is our belief, that the master-pieces of the art, are never produced, when it is known that the efforts of the orator are to perish with the occasion, or at most, to live only in the memories of those who hear them. In other words, great speeches will be made, only when there is a certainty of final publication. To prompt to the highest exertion of industry and talent, the orator requires, at least the prospect, of a wider field and a more lasting remembrance, than is to be found in the listless or the hungry ears, which fill the places of public business or resort. Anciently this want was met, in perhaps the best possible way; for it was the universal custom of Greek and Roman orators to write out and publish their speeches. The labor-saving propensities of modern ingenuity have devised an easier method of giving speeches to the world.
It seems necessary to take into view all these considerations, to account for the late development of modern eloquence. Notwithstanding the general intelligence of the British nation-the refinement of its great metropolis, and the concentration of talent in its House of Commons-nay, what is more, notwithstanding the freedom of speech and debate, which with few exceptions has been enjoyed in that body for two hundred years;—the era of Parliamentary Eloquence can be dated back no farther than the time of the elder Pitt. Regular reporting indeed did not begin until after his day. All that we have of his speeches, we owe to