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wings, if soaring too high, we shall doubt the fact: if we look to the speeches themselves, the assertion will become somewhat more credible. Persuasion was the very soul of Lysias's oratory, and speeches seem to have dropt from his pen as the pearls did from the eastern prince's hair, with no other trouble than that of drawing a comb through it. His very physiognomy* has all the marks of a pleader perpetually triumphant. A secret satisfaction plays round the lips. The beard and close dipt locks have a certain versute and crafty air about them. Of his two eyes, the one contracts itself as if penetrating every nook and corner of the subject submitted to it; while the other, open and enlarged, has the very look which should ensure confidence in the court, when the orator had taken his part!—we can almost see the hands below the bust, weighing the gold, that was to determine in which scale the aid of his powerful talents should be thrown. The great critic of Halicarnassus is fond of comparing Lysias with an orator whom we once before brought under the reader's notice, Isaeus; but, with submission, the comparison does not appear to be conducted with the utmost judgment; or, to speak more guardedly, the superiority of Lysias is not set in that full light which his partisans had a right to expect, and which the critic evidently intended.
The most palpable distinction between these two orators lies in their different manner of opening and concluding a speech. Isanis enters at once upon his subject, and sometimes so abruptly, that a reader of the speech is almost led to conclude that its opening has been lost. Lysias, on the contrary, makes his strong impression at the outset; he flings himself at once with admirable gallantry on the most unpromising part of his subject, and by his consummate skill, the weapon's point, which was meant to pierce himself, finds its way into his adversary's bosom. As Lysias excelled in his openings, Isaeus excelled in the conclusion of his speeches; in summing up his points at the end, or repeating them at intervals. While we cannot wholly agree with Dionysius in allowing Isaeus a superiority of narrative and arrangement, both in the whole and in parts over Lysias, we readily acknowledge that little home-touches are to be found in him, which it would also be desirable to find in the compositions of Lysias;—he handles the infirmities of human nature more delicately than his rival—he has a greater deference for the feelings of consanguinity, and we cannot but have a high sense of a speaker's own honourable mind, who has such high ideas of the workings of shame on others. The Greek dicast, it has been seen, decided equally
* Marmor Lysire spud Fulvium Ursinum.
upon upon the issue of fact, and issue of law. Had the provinces been divided as with us, Isaeus would have addressed himself more to the judge, Lysias to the jury. The first would have relied upon precedents, the second would have found his strength in appeals to the feelings. And when the ear once came into play as the arbiter, Lysias was omnipotent. We enter into almost all the enthusiasm of Dionysius, when he describes the style of Lysias; and when we fail, we are perfectly sensible that the failure arises from our own deficiency, and from the deficiencies naturally attached to reading a dead language, and not from any exaggeration in the critic. The style of Lysias has in it, as Dionysius observes, all that delight, which is analogous to gracefulness in motion, to melody in a series of sounds, and to beauty in the most beautiful of all visible objects, the human form. He is the most perfect specimen of that Attic roundness in oratory, to which nothing could be added, and from which nothing could be removed without destroying its justness and symmetry; and of which those who assist their mental operations by material helps, will have the best idea by taking into their hands a sample of the finest grain. Handling every branch, as he successively did, of ancient eloquence, he brought into each such a felicity of performance, that, as Johnson said of Goldsmith, he always seemed to do best that which he was doing. To bring ourselves more within the compass of general readers—had Lysias written commentaries on the laws of Athens, they would in their style have resembled, we think, the Commentaries of Blackstone—possessing the equable flow of language, where the words do not take off from the ideas, and where ideas are not consulted to the absolute exclusion of words, where gentle metaphors, like little knolls upon a rich champain, relieve the driest details—and where the arrangement is so masterly, that every former part gives strength to that which follows, and every latter brings some light to all that precedes. That he would have reached the higher praises of Blackstone, that love of his country's antiquities, which, ridiculous as it may sound, throws us back into the days of our ancestors with almost as much success as the pages of Ivanhoe; or that he could, with so much niceness, have observed the balance between liberty and prerogative, the sovereign and the subject, we are not so ready to admit.
We indulge the more confidently in these praises of Lysias, because the speech which we have now to notice, will not impose upon us much task of justifying them. It is a speech drawn up for a man, who in taking that vengeance which the Athenian laws allowed against adultery, had made use of his own arm, but who, in an accusation which grew out of the proceeding, thought it
most most prudent to borrow the practised pen of Lysias. Dramatically considered, the pleading seems to have been adapted* to the character of a plain straightforward man, keenly sensible of the dishonour done him, but who, having avenged his disgrace, did not think it incumbent on him to let his good spirits be subdued by his bad fortunes.
The speaker, commencing with a request, that the dicasts would put themselves into his own condition, asserts, that adultery was the only crime throughout Greece, for which, under every species of government, the punishment was the same, and where the highest and the lowest had equally the power of inflicting that punishment. In a few but comprehensive words, he shows in what the enormity of this offence consisted, and asserts the purity and uncorruptness of the motives, which had made him visit the offence in his own case as he had done. The exordium thus dispatched, the narrative commences with a little piece of confession, which we cannot refuse to our readers. '1 shall lose now no time in explaining the whole of this business, being fully persuaded, that my best means of security lie in a fair and candid detail, without omission, reserve or exaggeration. Having determined upon matrimony, I took myself a wife, and from that moment I determined to regulate my conduct towards her by the following rules: on the one hand, not to be too rough and severe; and on the other, not to allow her too great a latitude, but to keep a close and steady eye upon her behaviour, and to direct my own accordingly. As soon, however, as she had made me a father, I began to extend my confidence, placing all my affairs in her hands, as conceiving that there could be no surer and closer bond of friendship between us than such a mark of trust.' The lady's conduct answered the trust reposed in her, and she was considered by her husband as a model in all those virtues, which an Athenian most looked to in his wife, being a good economist and an admirable manager. Things continued in this pleasing train, till the death of the defendant's mother. In paying the last duties to his parent, the defendant's wife formed part of the procession; and to see Pamphila was, it appears, to love her. One Eratosthenes was accordingly stricken, and the usual course of proceedings commenced: a maid-servant was gained, access was procured to the lady, and
• For this skill of adaptation Lysias is more than once warmly commended by Quintilian: Neque enim minus vitiosa est oratio, si ab homine, quam si a re, cui accommodari debuit, dissidet. Ideoque Lysias optime videtur in iis qua? scribebat indoctis, servasse vcritatis (idem. Lib. iii. c. 8. Nam nequc illud in Lysia dicendi textura tenue atque rarum, taetioribus numeris corrumpendum erat. Perdidisset enim gratiatn, qua? in eo maxima est, simplicis atque inatieetati colons: perdidisset lidem quoque. Nam scribebat aliis, non ipse dicebat; ut oportuerit esse ilia rudibus et incompositis similia; quod ipsum compositio est. Lib. ix. e. 4.
what what the easiness of woman and the audacity of man have made to take place in every other country, took place also in Athens.
The plaintiff (Euphiletus) had promised the dicasts to be very communicative, and it cannot be said that he breaks his word. He enters into all his family arrangements; and discovers the se-: crets of the gynecaeum with a minuteness which no doubt found its account with the dicasts, and as the ancient critics considered this detail as a sort of model of the Kt^wv in oratory, we suppose we must not consult our own feelings by abridging it.
'To make this business more intelligible, it will be necessary to give a description of my humble mansion. It is one of those, gentlemen, which consist of two floors, the upper and lower compartments being exactly similar; the female part of my establishment possessed the one and the male part the other, and thus things continued till the birth of my first child. As his mother undertook all the offices of a nurse, both suckling and dressing him, and there was some danger in descending from the upper to the lower floor, I endeavoured to obviate this inconvenience by changing my domestic arrangements; myself accordingly removed to the upper apartments, while my wife and the women were disposed of below. From this arrangement it grew into a custom, for the child's mother to pass whole nights in the apartment below, for the purpose of satisfying the child's appetite, and stilling his cries—and all this without the remotest suspicion on my part: nay, so simple and besotted was I, that of all the women in the city I looked upon my wife as a paragon of virtue, and who,in point of chastity, left all others behind her. Time, however, cured me of this opinion. It was my fortune, gentlemen, to have left town, whither however I returned unexpectedly •in the evening. After the last meal, the child began to cry and show other symptoms of uneasiness, and as I afterwards discovered, not without reason; the dishonourer of my bed was at that moment within my doors, and the child's cries proceeded from the intended provocations of the maid-servant, to give my wife a pretext for leaving me: that excuse was soon furnished her. Disturbed by the child's noise, I desired his mother to go below, and, by giving him the breast, to still his sobbing. At first she refused: "how could she quit my side, she who had not been blest with my presence for such a length of time!" When I repeated my commands, and not without considerable show ofpassion,— "O doubtless," said she, " my absence will be very agreeable—our little waiting-maid has a pretty face, and I have not forgotten what took place in your last elevations!" A laugh was all the answer I made to this trifling. The lady meantime gets up, and as she left the room, drew the door to her, as if in pleasantly, and put the key into her pocket. This proceeding excited no suspicion, nor indeed a reflection in me; the fatigue of my journey soon threw me into a sweet sleep. Towards day-break my wife returned and opened the door. My first inquiry was, whence the noise and clapping of doors had proceeded during the night. Her answer was, that the lamp which hung near the child's bed had gone out, and that she had sent to a neighbour's to have it replen
Vol. xxix. No. tvm. z ished. ishfil. As I had no reason to doubt the truth of this, I had of course nothing further to remark. Still to my eyes, gentlemen, it appeared, that there was white lead upon her cheeks; and as her brother had been buried within the month, this was an appearance of ornament for which I could not account. Still, however, I did not think it worth noticing, and accordingly I left the house without making a single observation upon it.'
The time, however, was now come, when the defendant's misfortune was to be made pretty certain to him. The lover of Pamphila had other intrigues upon his hands, nor was love, it appears, an empty pleasure with him. Prototypes of Fielding's Lady Bellaston were to be found even at Athens, and the funds, upon which this precious fellow subsisted, were derived from their gratitude and liberality. His female friends therefore had a double claim upon his devotions; and the jealous eye of one of them observed that those devotions had somewhat abated in their warmth. The cause of this relaxation was soon discovered, and the discovery was as quickly made to come to the ears of Pamphila's husband. For the effective part, where Euphiletus becomes the insurer, instead of the injured party, we may again have recourse to the orator.
'I had a friend (and in fact there were ties of blood as well as friendship between us) of the name of Sostratus. It was our fortune to happen upon each other one day towards sunset, he being on his way to town from bis farm. As it was too late in the day for him to meet with suitable accommodation at home, I desired him to take his evening meal with me, and the offer was accepted. Having reached my little mansion, we ascended to the upper apartment, and proceeded to our repast. My guest made himself comfortable and happy, (mt&ti h xa\u< avru <>x") left me for his own house, and I fell fast asleep. Good: At this moment enters Eratosthenes: and at the same moment the servant, whom 1 had gained to my interest, wakes me and communicates the intelligence. My first order to her was to guard the door; my next step was to descend with all possible caution, quit the house, and call upon such and such a person, friends, who I thought might be of service. Some I found at home; others, as might be expected, were out of the way. Collecting, however, as many as I could under the circumstances, I proceeded to business. Lights we procured from a neighbouring tavern: the servant, as directed, had left the door open—in we go. A violent push throws open the door of the sleeping room: the first who enter (and the person who now addresses you was among the number) see Eratosthenes sleeping by the side of my wife; the last beheld him standing upright on the bed, and without clothing. My first proceeding was a blow, which beat him to the ground: I then forced his handV'be" hind him, and made them fast with a rope: my next question was, how he dared to bring disgrace and dishonour into my house. The insolence and injustice of his conduct he readily admitted; but he adjured me by