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Greece and Rome. Under fome former LE CT. reigns, the high hand of arbitrary power bore a violent sway; and in latter times, ministerial influence has generally prevailed. The power of Speaking, though always confiderable, yet has been often found too feeble to counterbalance either of thefe; and, of course, has not been ftudied with fo much zeal and fervour, as where its effect on bufinefs was irrefiftible and certain.

Ar the Bar, our disadvantage, in comparison of the Antients, is great. Among them, the judges were generally numerous; the laws were few and fimple; the decifion of caufes was left, in a great measure, to equity and the fenfe of mankind. Here was an ample field for what they termed Judicial Eloquence. But among the Moderns, the cafe is quite altered. The fyftem of law is become much more complicated. The knowledge of it is thereby rendered fo laborious an attainment, as to be the chief object of a lawyer's education, and, in a manner, the study of his life. The Art of Speaking is but a fecondary accomplishment, to which he can afford to devote much lefs of his time and labour. The bounds of Eloquence, befides, are now much circumfcribed at the Bar; and, except in a few cafes, reduced to arguing from ftrict law, ftatute, or precedent; by which means knowVOL. II. ledge,


LECT. ledge, much more than Oratory, is become the principal requifite.

WITH regard to the Pulpit, it has certainly been a great difadvantage, that the practice of reading Sermons, instead of repeating them from memory, has prevailed in England. This may, indeed, have introduced accuracy; but it has done great prejudice to Eloquence; for a Difcourfe read, is far inferior to an Oration fpoken. It leads to a different fort of compofition, as well as of delivery; and can never have an equal effect upon any audience. Another circumftance, too, has been unfortunate. The fectaries and fanatics, before the Restoration, adopted a warm, zealous, and popular manner of preaching; and those who adhered to them in after-times, continued to diftinguish themselves by fomewhat of the fame manner. The odium of these fects drove the established church from that warmth which they were judged to have carried too far, into the oppofite extreme of a ftudied coolness, and compofure of manner. Hence, from the art of perfuafion, which preaching ought always to be, it has paffed in England, into mere reasoning and inftruction; which not only has brought down the Eloquence of the Pulpit to a lower tone than it might juftly affume; but has produced this farther effect, that, by accuftoming the Public ear to fuch cool and



dispaffionate Discourses, it has tended to fashion LECT. other kinds of Public Speaking upon the fame model.

THUS I have given fome view of the state of Eloquenee in modern times, and endeavoured to account for it. It has, as we have feen, fallen below that fplendor which it maintained in antient ages; and from being fublime and vehement, has come down to be temperate and cool. Yet ftill, in that region which it occupies, it admits great fcope; and, to the defect of zeal and application, more than to the want of capacity and genius, we may afcribe its not having hitherto attained higher diftinction. It is a field where there is much honour yet to be reaped. It is an inftrument which may be employed for purposes of the highest importance. The antient models may ftill, with much advantage, be fet before us for imitation; though in that imitation, we must, doubtlefs, have fome regard to what modern taste and modern manners will bear; of which I fhall afterwards have occafion to say more.

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FTER the preliminary views which have been given of the nature of Eloquence in general, and of the ftate in which it has fubfifted in different ages and countries, I am now to enter on the confideration of the different kinds of Public Speaking, the diftinguishing characters of each, and the rules which relate to them, The antients divided all Orations into three kinds: the Demonstrative, the Deliberative, and the Judicial. The fcope of the Demonstrative was to praise or to blame; that of the Deliberative to advise or to dif fuade; that of the Judicial, to accufe or to defend. The chief fubjects of Demonftrative Eloquence, were Panegyrics, Gratulatory and Funeral Orations.

The De-

liberative was employed in matters of public concern, agitated in the Senate, or before the Affemblies

Affemblies of the People.


The Judicial is LECT. the fame with the Eloquence of the Bar, employed in addreffing Judges, who have power to abfolve or to condemn. This divifion runs through all the antient Treatifes on Rhetoric; and is followed by the moderns who copy them. It is a divifion not inartificial; and comprehends moft, or all of the matters which can be the fubject of Public Difcourfe. It will, however, fuit our purpose better, and be found, I imagine, more ufeful, to follow that divifion, which the train of Modern Speaking naturally points out to us, taken from the three great fcenes of Eloquence, Popular Affemblies, the Bar, and the Pulpit; each of which has a distinct character, that particularly fuits it. This divifion coincides in part with the antient one. The Eloquence of the Bar is precisely the fame with what the antients called the Judicial. The Eloquence of Popular Affemblies, though mostly of what they term the Deliberative Species, yet admits alfo of the Demonftrative. The Eloquence of the Pulpit is altogether of a diftinct nature, and cannot be properly reduced under any of the heads of the antient Rhetoricians.

To all the three, Pulpit, Bar, and Popular Affemblies, belong, in common, the rules, concerning the conduct of a difcourfe in all its parts. Of these rules I purpose after

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