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Let, then, the Orator avoid, as most dangerous rocks, those insnaring sallies which would diminish the impetuosity of his ardour. Without pity on his productions, and without ever regretting the apparent sacrifices which it will cost him, let him, as he proceeds, retrench this heap of flourishes which stifles his Eloquence instead of embellishing it, and which hurries him on forcibly, rather than gracefully, towards his maïn design.
If the hearer find himself continually where he was; if he discover the enlargement, the return of the same ideas, or the playing upon words, he is no more transported with the admiration of a vehement Orator; it is a florid declaimer whom he hears without effect. He does not even hear him long. He also, like the Orator, makes idle reflections on every word. He is continually losing sight of the thread of the discourse amidst those digressions of the Rhetorician who is aiming to shine while his subject languishes. At length, tired with this redundancy of words, he feels his exhausted attention ready to expire with
Mistaken man of genius! wert thou acquainted with the true method of attaining Eloquence, instead of disgusting thy hearer with thy insipid - antithesis, his attention would not be at liberty
to be diverted. He would partake of your emotions. He would become all that you mean to describe. He would imagine that he himself could discover the plain and striking arguments which
laid before him, and in some measure compose your discourse along with you. His satisfaction would be at its height, as would be your glory. And you would find that it is the delight of him who hears, whch always ensures the triumph of him who speaks*
* What formed the distinct character of Father MAS. SILLONs Eloquence was, that all his strokes aimed direct. • ly at the heart, so that what was simply reason and proof
in others, was feeling in his mouth. He not only convinced, he affected, moved, and melted his hearers. He did
not confine himself to discover only the injustice and un* reasonableness of vice ; he shewed it in such a hideous
and hateful light, that you could no longer suffer yourself "to be under the empire of such a cruel tyrant; you could. no longer consider it in any other light than that of a sworn enemy
of your felicity. Entering into a holy indignation * against yourself, you would appear to yourself so blind, so Sunjust, so miserable, that you would see no other remedy .than that of falling into the arms of virtue. Sermons com
posed in this taste cannot fail of being heard with extreme • attention ; every one sees himself in the lively and natural
pictures in which the preacher paints the human heart, and discovers its most secret springs of action. Every • one imagines the discourse is addressed to him, and thinks “the Orator meant him only. Hence the remarkable effects • of his instructions : nobody after hearing him, stopped to
praise, or criticise his sermon Each auditor retired in a * pensive silence, with a thoughtful air, downcast eyes, and composed countenance, carrying away the arrow which • the Christian Orator had fastened in his heart. These si.
• A good judge of the Art of Oratory,' says CICERO, need not hear an Orator in order to
judge of his merits. He passes on ; he observes - the judges conversing together-restless on
their seats-frequently inquiring in the middle • of a pleading whether it be not time to close the trial and break up the court.
This is enough · for him. He perceives at once that the cause is not pleaded by a man of Eloquence who can command every mind, as a musician can pro• duce harmonious strains by touching the strings of his instrument."
But if he perceive, as he passes on, the same judges attentive-their heads erect-their looks
* lent suffrages exceed the loudest applauses When Fa. ther MASSILLON had preached his first advent at Ver.
sailles, Louis XIV. said these remarkable words to him : • Father, I have heard many fine Orators in my chapel, and
have been much pleased with them ; but as for you, always . when I have heard you, I have been very much displeased with myself. A finished encomium, which does equal honour to the taste and piety of the monarch, and the talents of the preacher.'-Preface to Massillon's Sermons.
As aconfirmation of this account of Massillon's Eloquence, Voltaire tells us that when he was preaching that sermon entitled “the small number of the elect," and which he considers as equal to any thing of which either ancient or mod. ern times can boast, towards the close of the discourse the whole Assembly were moved ; by a sort of involuntary mo. tion they started up from their seats ; and such indications of surprise and acclamations were manifested as disconcerted the Speaker, while they imparted an increased effect ta his discourse. ENCYCLOPEDIE, Art. Eloquence.
engaged, and apparently struck with admiration of the speaker, as a bird is charmed with the sweet sounds of music; if above all, he discover them most passionately affected by pity, by hatred, or by any strong emotion of the heart ; if, I say, as he passes on, he perceive these effects, though he hear not a word of the Oration, he immediately concludes that a real Orator is in * this assembly, and that the work of Eloquence proceeds, or rather is already accomplished*.'
OF THE ELOQUENCE OF THE BAR.
that rhetorical propagation to ideas, which is one of the most difficult secrets in the art of Oratory
Itaque intelligens dicendi existimator non assidens et attentè audiens, sed uno adspectu et præteriens de Oratore sæpè judicat. Videt oscitantem Judicem, loquentem cum altero, nonnunquàm etiam circulantem, mittentem adhoram ; quæsitorem ut dimittat rogantem ; intelligit Oratorem in er causâ non adesse qui possit animis Judicum admovere orationem tanquàm fidibus manum. Idem si præteriens adspexerit, erectos intuentes Judices, ut avem cantu aliquo, sic illos viderit oratione quasi suspensos teneri ; aut id quod moximè opus est, misericordiâ, odio, motu animi aliquo pertur. batos esse vehementiùs : da si præteriens, ut dixi, adspexerit, si nihil audierit, tamen Oratorem versari in illo judicio, et oratorium fieri aut perfectum jam esse profecto intelliget.
I have attended the Courts: I have heard some eloquent Advocates, and a great number of those flippant Orators, whom Cicero styles not Orators, but practitioners of a great volubility of speech*.?
I acknowledge, however, that I have often ad, mired Advocates, indifferent enough in other respects, who possessed, in the highest degree, the valuable talent of arranging their proofs methodically, and of imparting progressive energy to the reasoning. This kind of merit, as usual at the Bar as it is scarce every where else, is also much less remarked there ; whether it be reser ved to gentlemen of the profession to be thoroughly sensible of its value in the opening of a cause; or whether it be that arguments
becoming more gradually forcible in juridical discussions, an adherence to the natural order is sufficient for the pleader to state them to advantage to
* Non Oratores, sed operarios linguâ celeri et exercitatâ. Brutus, 18, 83.
'The best advice,' says M. ROLLIN, that can be given to young people who are designed for the Bar, is to take for the model of their style, the solid foundation of • Demosthenes, embellished with the graces of Cicero, so " that the severity of the former may be softened by the graces of the latter; and that the conciseness and vivacity of Demosthenes may correct the luxuriancy, and perhaps "the too loose way of writing with which Cicero is re