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ARTICLE I. All the ORATIONS of Demosthenes, pronounced to excite the
Athenians against Philip King of Macedon. Translated into English ; digested and conneEted, so as to form a regular History of the Progress of the Macedonian Power : With Notes hiftorical and critical. By Thomas Leland, B.D. Fellow of Tri
nity College, Dublin. 4to. Pr.6 s. in Boards. Johnston. • Yoko gre O animate a people renowned for justice, hu
manity, and valour, yet in many instances, degenerate and corrupted; to warn thern, of
the dangers of luxury, treachery, and bri
* bery; of the ambition and perfidy of a power• ful foreign enemy; to recall the glory of their ancestors to • their thoughts; and to inspire them with resolution, vigour, 6 and unanimity; to correct abuses, to restore discipline, to
revive and enforce the generous sentiments of patriotism and public spirit:- These were the great purposes for which the following Orations were originally pronounced. The subject therefore, may possibly recommend them to a British
reader, even under the disadvantages of a translations by no • means worthy of the famous original. His candor may par. don them; or sometimes, perhaps, they may escape him, if "he suffers his imagination to be possessed with that enthusiasm, which our drator is, of all others, most capable of inipir
ing; and will, for a while, interest himself in the cause of • Athens.'
Thus Thus does Mr. Leland with great modesty and diffidence introduce his translation in a short but sensible preface to it, containing a very useful summary view of the affairs and interests of Greece, and the divisions which had a long time subfifted between its principal states, and on which Philip justly grounded his hopes of success, in his attempts upon their liberties. Our author has likewise briefly characterised the rival powers of Lacedemon, Athens, and Thebes, and given us a short account of the situation in which the Macedonian hero found every one of them. What Mr. Leland, with great truth, observes concerning the Athenians, with whom Philip was chiefly concerned, may well deserve the attention of an Englishman at the present juncture.
• The Athenians (says he) after the death of Epaminondas, ( were now no longer upon their guard, but abandoned them«selves to ease and pleasure. Festivals and public entertain
ments engaged their attention, and a violent passion for the • stage, banished all thoughts of business and glory. Poets, • players, singers and dancers, were received with that esteem 6 and applause, which were due to the commanders who « fought their battles. They were rewarded extravagantly
and their performances exhibited with a magnificence scarce• ly to be conceived. . The treasures which should have main
tained their armies, were applied to purchase seats in their theatres. Instead of that spirit and vigour which they exerted • against the Persian, they were possessed with indolence and
effeminacy; they had no further concern about the affairs
of war, than just to keep a few foreign troops in pay; in • fhort, treachery, corruption, and degeneracy, overspread the < state.'
Few of our Readers, we imagine, will be able to pass over this character of the degenerate Athenians without an applica, tion, but too obvious, and some melancholy reflections on the striking resemblance between them, and a nation now fubfisting, funk into universal corruption and depravity, and perhaps on the very brink of ruin.
Our author proceeds to an account of Philip, and the hiftory of his transactions previous to the subject of these ora, tions, and concludes his prcface with the characters of the
principal orators of the age, as collected from the writings of antiquity, with which we shall present our readers.
• Demades, by his birth and education, seemed destined to meanness and obscurity : but as the Athenian assembly admitted persons of all ranks and occupations, to speak their sentiments; his powers soon recommended him to his countrymen ; and raised him from the low condition of a common mariner, to the administration and direction of public affairs. • His private life was stained with those brutal excesies, which ' frequently attend the want of early culture, and an inter
course with the inferior and least refined part of mankind. • His conduct as a leader and minister, was not actuated by
the principles of delicate honour and integrity : and his eloquence seems to have received a tincture from his original
condition. He appears to have been a strong, bold, and • what we call a blunt speaker; whose manner, rude and dar•ing, and sometimes bordering on extravagance, had osten' times a greater effect than the more corrected style of other • speakers, who confined themselves within the bounds of • decorum and good breeding.
• Hyperides, on the contrary, was blessed with all the graces of refinement: harmonious, elegant, and polite; with a well-bred festivity, and delicate irony: excellent in panegyric; and of great natural abilities for affecting the passions. Yet his eloquence seems rather to have been pleasing than persuasive. He is said to have been not so well fitted for
a popular assembly, and for political debates ; as for private 'causes, and addressing a few select judges. And even here, (when he pleaded the cause of a woman, for whom he had
the tendereft paffion; he was obliged to call the charms of • his mistress to the affistance of his eloquence; and was more • indebted to these for his success, 'than to his own powers. .
Lycurgus had all the advantages which birth and education could afford for forming an orator. He was the hearer of • Plato, and the scholar of Isocrates. He seems to have been * particularly affected by the charms of poetry, and the polite 'arts; nor was he lefs remarkable for diligence and attention ;'
yet his influence in the assembly seems, like that of Phocion, ' to have arisen rather from a respect to his character, and a
general opinion of his virtue and integrity, than froin his • abilities as a speaker.
· Aeschines was an orator, whose style was full, diffusive, and fonorous. He was a stranger to the glowing expreffions 6 and daring figures of Demosthenes, which he treats with con(tempt and ridicule. But tho' more simple, he is less affect
ing: and by being less contracted, has not so much strength ? and energy. Or, as Quinctilian expresses it, carnis plus haļ bet, lacertorum minus. But if we would view his abilities
to the greatest advantage, we must not compare them with those of his rival. Then will his figures appear to want neither beauty nor grandeur. His easy and natural manner, will then be thought highly pleasing: and a just attention will discover a good degree of force and energy in his style, which at first, appears only flowing and harmonious.
• But all the several excellencies of his countrymen and scotemporaries were at least equalled by Demosthenes. His down, no age or nation could attain to. From him, critics
have formed their rules; and all the masters in his own art, « have thought it an honour to imitate him. To enlarge up
on his character, would be to resume a subject already ex« hausted by every critic both antient and modern. Let it be • sufficient to say, that energy and majesty are his peculiar * excellencies. From the gravity of Thucidydes, the pomp and & dignity of Plato, the ease and elegance, the neatness and
fimplicity of the Attic writers, he formed a stile and manner - admirably fitted to his own temper and genius, as well as that
of his hearers. His own severity determined him to the more « forcible methods of astonishing and terrifying, rather than " to the gentle and insinuating arts of persuasion: nor did the • circumstances and dispositions of his countrymen admit of
any but violent expressions. As many of those to whom he s addressed himself were men of low rank and occupations, his • images and expressions are sometimes familiar. As others of « them were themselves eminent in speaking, and could readily o see thro' all the common artifices of oratory; these he affects
to despise : appears only folicitous to be understood ; yet, as it 6 were without design, raises the utmost admiration and delight: such delight as arises from the clearnels of evidence, and the
<fullness of conviction. · And as all, even the lower part of « his hearers, were acquainted with the beauties of poetry, and the force of harmony; he could not admit of any thing
rude or negligent; but with the strictest attention laboured • those compositions, which appear so natural and unadorited. < They have their ornaments; but these are austere and man. oly, and such as are consistent with freedom and sincerity. • A full and regular series of diffusive reasoning would have • been intolerable in an Athenian assembly. He often contents « himself with an imperfect hint: a fentence, a word, even
his filence is sometimes pregnant with meaning. And this « quickness and vehemence flattered a people who valued
themselves on their acuteness and penetration. The impe* tuous torrent that in a moment bears down all before it; the
repeated Aalhes of lightening, which spread universal terror,
and which the strongest eye dares not encounter, are the < images, by which the nature of his eloquence hath been o expressed. ... As a statesman and as a citizen, his conduct was no less
remarkable. If the fire of his eloquence seems at sometimes < abated, his judgment and accuracy and political abilities are ..then conspicuous. The bravery with which he opposed the
passions and prejudices of his countrymen, and the general < integrity of his character (to which Philip himself bare witness) ( are deserving of the highest honour : and. whatever weak<ness he betrayed in his military conduct, his death must be - acknowledged truly heroic. .
We now come to the orations themselves, twelve in number, which our transator has given us in the order of time, and so digested and connected as to form a regular history of the progress of the Macedonian power, as follows:
I. The firft Oration against Philip: pronounced in the archonShip of Aristodemus, in the first year of the hundred and seventh olympiad, and the ninth of Philip's reign..
II. The first Olynihiac Oration : pronounced four years after the first Phillipic, in the archonship of Callimachus, the fourth year of the hundred and seventh olympiad, and the twelfth of Philip's reign.