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producing conviction; he must confider man LECT. as a creature moved by many different fprings, and must act upon them all. He muft address himself to the paffions; he muft paint to the fancy, and touch the heart; and, hence, befides folid argument, and clear method, all the conciliating and interefting arts, both of Compofition and Pronunciation, enter into the idea of Eloquence.

AN objection may, perhaps, hence be formed against Eloquence; as an Art which may be employed for perfuading to ill, as well as to good. There is no doubt that it may; and fo reafoning may also be, and too often is employed, for leading men into error. But who would think of forming an argument from this against the cultivation of our reasoning powers? Reason, Eloquence, and every Art which ever has been ftudied among mankind, may be abused, and may prove dangerous in the hands of bad men; but it were perfectly childish to contend, that, upon this account, they ought to be abolished. Give truth and virtue the fame arms which you give vice and falsehood, and the former are likely to prevail. Eloquence is no invention of the fchools. Nature teaches every man to be eloquent, when he is much in earneft. Place him in fome critical Situation; let him have fome great intereft at stake, and you will fee him lay hold of the most



LECT. effectual means of perfuafion. The Art of Ora tory proposes nothing more than to follow out that track which Nature has firft pointed out. And the more exactly that this track is pursued, the more that Eloquence is properly studied, the more shall we be guarded against the abuse which bad men make of it, and enabled the better to diftinguish between true Eloquence and the tricks of Sophiftry.

We may distinguish three kinds, or degrees of Eloquence. The firft, and lowest, is that which aims only at pleafing the hearers. Such, generally, is the Eloquence of panegyrics, inaugural orations, addreffes to great men, and other harangues of this fort. This ornamental fort of Compofition is not altogether to be rejected. It may innocently amufe and entertain the mind; and it may be mixed, at the fame time, with very useful fentiments. But it must be confeffed, that where the Speaker has no farther aim than merely to fhine and to please, there is great danger of Art being ftrained into oftentation, and of the Composition becoming tirefome and languid.

A SECOND and a higher degree of Eloquence is when the Speaker aims not merely to please, but alfo to inform, to inftruct, to convince : when his Art is exerted in removing prejudices against himself and his caufe, in chufing



the most proper arguments, ftating them with LECT. the greatest force, arranging them in the beft order, expreffing and delivering them with propriety and beauty; and thereby difpofing us to pass that judgment, or embrace that fide of the cause, to which he feeks to bring us. Within this compafs, chiefly, is employed the Eloquence of the bar.

BUT there is a third, and ftill higher degree of Eloquence, wherein a greater power is exerted over the human mind; by which we are not only convinced, but are interested, agitated, and carried along with the Speaker; our paffions are made to rife together with his we enter into all his emotions; we love, we detest, we resent, according as he inspires us; and are prompted to refolve, or to act, with vigour and warmth. Debate, in popular affemblies, opens the most illuftrious field to this. fpecies of Eloquence; and the pulpit, also, admits it.

I AM here to obferve, and the obfervation is of confequence, that the high Eloquence which I have last mentioned, is always the offspring of paffion. By paffion, I mean that ftate of the mind in which it is agitated, and fired, by some object it has in view. A man may conothers to act, by But that degree

vince, and even perfuade mere reafon and argument. VOL. II. N


LECT. of Eloquence which gains the admiration of


mankind, and properly denominates one an Orator, is never found without warmth, or paffion. Paffion, when in fuch a degree as to rouse and kindle the mind, without throwing it out of the poffeffion of itself, is univerfally found to exalt all the human powers. It renders the mind infinitely more enlightened, more penetrating, more vigorous and masterly, than it is in its calm moments. A man, actuated by a strong paffion, becomes much greater than he is at other times. He is confcious of more ftrength and force; he utters greater fentiments, conceives higher designs, and executes them with a boldness and a felicity, of which, on other occafions, he could not think himself capable. But chiefly, with respect to perfuafion, is the power of paffion felt. Almoft every man, in paffion, is eloquent. Then, he is at no lofs for words and arguments. He tranfmits to others, by a fort of contagious fympathy, the warm fentiments which he feels; his looks and geftures are all perfuafive; and Nature here fhows herself infinitely more powerful than art. This is the foundation of that juft and noted rule: "Si vis me flere, "dolendum eft primum ipfi tibi."

THIS principle being once admitted, that all high Eloquence flows from paffion, several confequences follow, which deferve to be at


For hence, the


tended to; and the mention of which will ferve L E C T. to confirm the principle itself. univerfally acknowledged effect of enthufiafin, or warmth of any kind, in Public Speakers, for affecting their audience. Hence all laboured declamation, and affected ornaments of Style, which fhew the mind to be cool and unmoved, are so inconfiftent with perfuafive Eloquence. Hence all ftudied prettineffes, in gesture or pronunciation, detract fo greatly from the weight of a Speaker. Hence a difcourfe that is read, moves us lefs than one that is spoken, as having less the appearance of coming warm from the heart. Hence, to call a man cold, is the fame thing as to say, that he is not eloquent. Hence a fceptical man, who is always in fufpenfe, and feels nothing strongly; or a cunning mercenary man, who is fufpected rather to affume the appearance of paffion than to feel it; have fo little power over men in Public Speaking. Hence, in fine, the neceffity of being, and being believed to be, disinterested, and in earnest, in order to perfuade.

THESE are some of the capital ideas which have occurred to me, concerning Eloquence in general; and with which I have thought proper to begin, as the foundation of much of what I am afterwards to fuggeft. From what I have already said, it is evident that Eloquence

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