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cannot be done without reading and examining their works. Those of Cicero are in every one's hands,
and therefore well enough known.' But 'tis not To with Demofthenes's orations; and in an age fo learned and polite as ours, it must seem astonishing, that fince Greece has been always considered as the first and most perfect school of eloquence and good taste, we should be so careless, especially with regard to the bar, in consulting the great masters she has given us in that kind; and that in case it was not thought necessary to bestow much time upon their excellent lessons, that we should not, at least, have the curiosity to take but a cursory view of them; and hear them,
were, at a distance, in order to examine ourfelves if it be true, that the eloquence of those famous orators is as admirable as it is declared to be; and if it fully answers the reputation they have acquired.
In order to enable young people, and those who have. not studied Greek, to form some idea of Demosthenes's stile, I shall here transcribe several passages from his orations, which indeed will not be sufficient to exhibit that great orator in the glorious light he ought to be shewn, nor perhaps to give models of his eloquence in all its kinds; but they will contribute at least to display some part of him, and his principal characteristicks. . I mall add to this, fome passages from the harangue which Æschines, his competitor and rival, pronounced against him, and borrow M. Tourreil's
I mean the last, which is much more laboured, and more correct than the former ones. I shall however sometimes take the liberty to make a few small alterations, because on one hand, there are a great number of low and trivial ? expressions in it,
and Ego idem existimavi pecudis tamen excipere voces eorum, & ele, non hominis, cùm cantas res procul quid narrarent, atcendere. Græci fusciperent, profiterentur, i. de Orat. . 153. agerent ... non admovere aurem, ? Ce que nous demandions cous nec, si palam audire eus non au- & à cor & à cri...... Le soin deres, ne minueres apud tuos cives qu'ils ont devous corner aux oauctoritatem suam, fubauscultando reilles.. Si vous continuez à fainé.
and on the other, the stile is sometimes too swelling and bombastic a; faults directly contrary to the character of Demofthenes, whose eloquence was at the same time very fimple and very magnificent. M. de Maucroy has translated some of his orations. His version, though less correct in some passages, seems to me more agreeable to the genius of the Greek orator. I partly make use of it in the first extract I here give, which is taken from the first Philippic. anter .... Vous vous comportez au ficiles dans vos assemblees : vous rebours de tous les autres hommes voulez y être-flatés, & qu'on ne ... Vous ne cessez de m'affafliner vous cienne que des propos agréa. de clabauderies éternelles ..... bles. Cependant cette delicatesse Ils vous escamoteront les dix ta- vous a conduits sur le bord du prélens ... Vous amuser de fariboles cipice. Ce qui a trompé M. de .... Il le ménagea un prompt Tourreil est le mot spuqar, qui rapatriement... Que si le coeur signifie ordinairement, deliciis a. vous en dit, je vous cede la tri- bundare, difflaere, in deliciis vivere. bune ... Mais tout compté, tout Quand il auroit eu ici ce sens, il rabatu. ..... Non, en dusliez- n'auroit pas falu l'exprimer par vous creyer à force de l'assurer fauf
ces pompeux: Vous vous endormez sement ..... Vous vomissez des tranquillement entre les bras de la charetés d'injures., . . Je raporte volupté : qui joints aux précédens, cepeu d'exemples entre beaucoup au bruit 'Aateur d'une adulation d'autres, pour avertir ceux qui continuelle, forment un itile tout liront cette traduction, très efti- oppose à celui ce Démofthene, mable d'ailleurs, de ne point im- dont l'eloquence mâle & austere puter à l'orateur Grec de pareils ne souffre point de ces fortes défauts d'expression.
d'ornemens. Mais les délices & Je ne citerai qu'un endroit, la yolupté n'étoient point alors le tiré de la troisiéme Ph lippique. caractére des Athéniens : & d'ail. De la il arrive que dans vos af- leurs quel raport pouvoient-elles semblées, au bruit flateur d'une avo'r aux assemblées publiques a lulation continuelle, vous vous Au liru qu'il étoit très naturel endormez tranquiilement entre que les Athéniens, enfiés par les bras de la volupté : mais que éloges continuels que les orateurs dans les conjonctures & dans les faisoient de leur grande puissance, évenemens vous courez les der- de leur mérite supérieur, des exniers périls. Voici le texte de la ploits de leurs arcê:res, & ac. premiere partie, qui leule f:juffre coutumés depuis lon-tems à de quelque difficulté: 5:09 por ouple telles Asteries, d'un côté fiffent 15. Snuev ir TOÚTeu év pièr tais enxin- les importans dans leurs allemσίαις τριφαίν καινολατεύεσθαι πάντα blées, & y prident des airs fers Trpos foris exotcutir: Volfius le & dédaigneux pour un ennemi traduit ains: Unde id confequimini, qu'ils méprisoient : & de l'autre ut in concionibus faftidiatis, asen- . fussent venus à ce point de délitationibus deliniti, da omnia, qua vo- careffe de ne pouvoir souffrir que Luptati sunt, audiatis. Ce qui est le leursorateurs leurs differt la verité. véritable sens, & M. de Maucroy Car je croi qu'ici zfura peut avoir l'a suivi. Vous vous rendez dif- ce double fens.
FROM DEMOSTHENES AND
FROM THE FIRST PHILIPPIC OF DE
M. Tourreil places this harangue at the head of
EMOSTHENES, in this oration, ani
mates the Athenians with hopes of better success hereafter in the war against Philip, in case they will follow his example, by applying themselves feriously to the management of their affairs. “ If you resolve, says he, to imitate Philip, which
you have not done hitherto; if every one will act “ with sincerity for the publick good; the wealthy
by contributing part of their estates, and the young men by their swords; in a word, if you will depend on yourselves only, and suppress that indolent disposition which ties up your hands, in expecta
tion of some foreign succours; you then will soon, " by the affiftance of the Gods, retrieve your losses, " and atone for your faults, and will be revenged of
your enemies. For, do not think, gentlemen,
that Philip is a God who enjoys immutable felicity: “He is dreaded, hated and envied by those who are "best affected to his interest; and indeed, we must
presume they have like passions with the rest of mankind. But all these sentiments seem at present
extinguished, and that because your sow and indo" lent conduct gives them no opportunity of exerting themselves; and it is to this you must apply a remedy..
which is not to overthrow and carry away every thing, as it were, by main force; but to affect and foften, by insinuating itself gently into the most inward recesses of the auditors hearts. These passions are natural to those who are united in some strict u. nion; a Prince and his subjects, a father and his children, a tutor and his pupils, a benefactor, and those who receive the effects of his beneficence. Those passions consist, with superiors who have been injured, in a certain character of mildness, goodness, humanity, and patience, which is without gall and bitterness, can bear injuries, and forget them, and which cannot resist prayers and tears: and with the culpable, in a readiness in being made sensible of their faults, acknowledging them, testifying their grief for them, humbling and submitting themselves, and giving all the satisfaction that can be desired. All this must be done after a plain and natural manner, without study and affectation; the air, the outward behaviour, the gesture, tone of voice, stile, and every thing, must rumque blandum & humanum & mens, incensum, in citatum, quo audientibus amabile acque jucune caufæ eripiuntur : quod cùm ra. dum. In quo exprimendosumma pidè fertur, fuftineri nullo pacto yirtus ea est, ut fuere omnia ex poteft. Orat. n. 128. natura rerum hominumque vide- Non semper fortis oratio quæriantur, quo mores dicentis ex ora- tur, fed fæpe plac da, fummilla, ţione pelluceant & quodammodo lenis, quæ maximè commendat agnoscantur. Quod eft fine dubio réos ....Horum igitur exprimere inter conjunctas maximè personas, mores oratione, juftos, integros, quoties perferimus, ignoscimus, fa- religiosos, timidos, perferentes intisfacimus, monemus, procul ab ira, juriarum, mirum quiddam valet : procul ab odio ... Hoc omne bo- & hoc vel in principiis, vel in num & comem virum poscit. re natranda, vel in perorando tanQuintil, 1. 6. C. 3.
tam babet vim, si est suaviter & Duo funt, quæ bene tractata ab cum sensu tra&atum, ut sæpe plus oratore admirabilem eloquenciam quàm causa valeat. Tantum autem faciunt: quorum alterum eft quod efficitur sensu quodam ac ratione Græci vidixò vocant, ad naturam, dicendi: ut qual mores orationis & ad mores, & ad omnem vitæ effingat oracio.
Genere enim consuetudinem accommodatum : quodam sententiarum, & genere alterum quod idem ta Artinór no- verborum, adbibita etiam actione minant, quo perturbantur animi & leni facilitateque significandi, efconcitantur, in quo uno regnat ficitur ut probi, ut bene morati oracio. Illud fuperius come, ju uc boni viri effe videantur, 2. de cundum, ad benevolentiam conci- Orat. n. 183, 184. liandam comparacum ; hoc, vehe
breathe something inexpressibly soft and tender, which proceeds from the heart, and goes directly to it. The manners of the person who speaks muft shew themfelves in his discourse without his observing it. 'Tis well known, that nothing is more amiable than such a character, not only for eloquence, but in the ordinary commerce of life ; and we cannot prompt youth too much to be attentive to it, to study and imitate it.
* We find a beautiful example of this in a homily of St. John Chryfoftom to the people of Antioch. As this passage is very eloquent, and very fit to form the taste of youth, fuffer me to expatiate a little more upon it, than perhaps the matter I am now discussing requires ; and to make a kind of an analysis and epitome of it.
The Emperor Theodofius had sent some officers and soldiers to Antioch, in order to punish that rebellious city for a fedition, in which his own ftatues and those of his deceased confort Flaccilla were thrown down. Flavian, Bishop of Antioch, notwithstanding the inclemency of the season, notwiths standing his very advanced age, and though his sister was dying when he left her, set out immediately to implore that Prince's clemency in favour of his people. Being come to the palace, and admitted into the Emperor's presence, he no sooner perceived that Prince, but he stopped at a distance, with down-caft eyes, shedding tears, covering his face, and standing silent as though himself had been guilty. This is an artful exordium, and this silence is infinitely more eloquent than all the expressions he could use. And indeed St. Chryfoftom observes, that by this mournful and pathetick exterior, his design was to prepare the way for his oration, and to infinuate himself into the Emperor's heart insensibly, in order that fentiments of lenity and compassion, which his cause required, might succeed to those of anger and vengeance. * H: mil. 20.