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days of Euripides, like equals trying by the arts of rhetoric to persuade their fellows; this is putopixõs; and that is one of the many reasons why Homer gives a truer representation of the state of heroic society than Euripides. Demosthenes, Æschines, and the crowd of oratorical statesmen who thronged the bema of the Pnyx knew too well their audience and their own position among people who all thought themselves equal to the orators, to attempt the sententious style of the old statesmen, and addressed themselves to persuade by all the arts of rhetoric. Oratory in the true sense of the term as the art of persuasion, did not come into practice in Athens till the time of Pericles, and every one conversant with Grecian history will accede to the remark of Aristotle, that in his day eloquence had greater power than in the early ages of Greek history.

In Roman history the story is the same. The Scipios and the Leliuses and the elder Cato expressed themselves with order and good judgment, but they never used, or as they would have said, descended to the arts which Cicero thought it not degrading to practise. Cicero himself deemed meanly of the oratorical efforts of the ancient aristocrats of Rome. He read the speech which Appius made at the deliberation of the Senate, respecting the treaty with Pyrrhus, and found it unpleasing, for it was framed no doubt after the model of judicial eloquence. Appius being of opinion that it was important for the public good that the Senate should know what Appius thought upon the subject, and the reasons that led him to that conclusion, Appius, as part of his public duty, expressed this conclusion and his reasons without much care whether the Senate acceded to it or not, and certainly without descending to move their passions, or appeal to their prejudices, or use entreaty, flattery, or tears, which omissions would naturally give Cicero the idea that the speech was very bald and defective as a work of art. The animated oratory of which he was so consummate a master was introduced not many years before his birth by the

two Gracchi and Sulpitius, and Cicero thought it not unworthy to weep in the presence of the whole Senate in order by his own emotion to move theirs, a situation in which the hauteur of the old warriors would never have allowed them to place themselves.

The old Spanish grandees were as little disposed to descend to oratory as the Scipios and Leliuses and Homeric chieftains, and this hauteur of theirs is well sketched in a book called “ Newes from Spayne,” published in 1620. A council is supposed to be opened at Monzon in 1618. The Duke of Lerma entered and said : “The king, my master holding it more honourable to doe than to discourse, to take from you the expectation of oratorie, used rather in schools and pulpits than in counsels, hath appointed me president of this holy, wise, learned, and noble assembly, a man naturally of slow speech, and not desirous to quicken it by art or industrie, as holding action only proper to a Spaniard as I am by birth, to a souldier as I am by profession, to a king as I am by representation ; take this therefore briefly for declaration, both of the cause of this meeting and my master's further pleasure.”

And so the three great Flemish nobles, Orange, Egmont and Horn, in their correspondence with the king of Spain, excuse themselves for the simplicity of their letters; for, said they, we are not by nature suited for making orations and harangues, we are more accustomed to do good actions than good talking, as is better becoming people of our quality.*

In France all the attributes of a refined aristocracy were brought to a greater development than they have been in any other country, and in French history we find that the aristocratic style of eloquence arrived at a pitch of elegance and grace unapproached elsewhere. The principal cha


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sommes point de nature grans orateurs ou harangueurs, et plus accoustumez à bien faire que à bien dire, comme aussy il est mieulx-séant à gens de notre qualité."-Correspondance de Guillaume le Tacit. Cited, Motley's History of the Dutch Republic, i. 385.

racteristic of this style is the tone of authority in which the orator speaks. He speaks as one whose opinion is of such importance that its expression is sure to command attention merely because it is his opinion. He is a judge delivering his solemn sentence with the few brief but well-considered reasons which have led him to his conclusion; not an advocate who first winning attention by his arts then goes on to prove himself right, and not content with that, shows independently the absurdity of his adversaries' case, and finds it necessary all the while to keep open the ears of his audience by impassioned apostrophes and purple patches. The aristocratic statesman lives in the age when to moral authority so much power and influence is allowed, that one placed by birth or weight of character in a position where he possesses this authority can speak like a judge and not an advocate. French society, from the time of Louis XIV. to the middle of the seventeenth century, was remarkable for the prevalence of this spirit of authority* which, being joined to classical taste and refinement, produced not the rugged yet noble sentences of Homer's orators, of Appius, of Milton in his prose works, of Selden and his great contemporaries in England--the rough and noble fruits of the principle of authority; nor, on the other hand, produced the fervent, impassioned, histrionic eloquence of Demosthenes, and still more Cicero, but produced a style of speaking in their pulpit, on their judicial bench, in the rostrum of their Academy, unexampled elsewhere, because

* Sainte-Beuve (Port Royal, i. 23) speaking of the Port Royal, says, “ Moralement et sans tant s'inquiéter des rapports historiques, des comparaisons lointaines, le fruit direct est encore grand à tirer. Le trait le plus saillant de ces saints caractères me semble l'autorité. Cette autorité morale, qu'on sait particulière aux grands personnages du temps de Louis XIV, est singulièrement propre à ceux de Port Royal entre tous. Cette qualité, cette vertu manque tellement de nos jours aux plus grands talents, à ceux même qui en parâitraient le plus dignes, qu'il devient précieux de l'étudier, comme dans son principe chez les maîtres."

it was the product of the principle of authority rendered classical and refined, and yet remaining purely aristocratic.

In the age of Louis XIV. the eloquence of the pulpit had arrived at a pitch it perhaps never can exceed. Bossuet and Fléchier brought to its perfection one species of the eloquence of authority. The eloquence of the judicial bench was likewise considerable, while that of the advocate hardly existed ; for the advocate had to win attention by putting himself in a position whence he could speak with authority. Consequently in France, before the days of D’Aguesseau, the French advocate began by a ponderous display of recondite learning having often no connection with the matter in hand, but inspiring those who heard him with the high respect due to a man possessed of such prodigious lore. Then when he came to the pinch of his case, he used not merely his reasoning powers, but brought to bear in favour of his client the weight of his opinion, made the more respected because his display of learning had given him a right to speak with authority. Another species of the eloquence of aristocracy was the eloquence of the Academy. The member admitted to that distinguished body was always of such great eminence, that in the discourse which it was expected that he should deliver upon his admission, he spoke as one having authority, nor needing any meretricious arts to conciliate the attention of the brilliant assemblage who came to hear his oration. He used no vehement or pathetic gestures, he aimed not to overwhelm and command attention by the rapidity of his utterance, the fluency of his words, or the harmony of his voice, but speaking as to those whom he knew would attend to him, he spoke with majesty and dignity, in courtly and polished language, the opinions which he held, and the reasons that led him to hold them. Buffon, in one of the noblest of these orations, contrasts the style of the Academy* with what he calls popular eloquence, such

* " La véritable éloquence suppose l'exercice du génie et la culture de l'esprit. Elle est bien différente de cette facilité naturelle de parler, qui n'est qu'un talut, une qualité accordée à tous ceux dont les passions sont fortes, les organes souples et l'imagination prompte. Ces hommes sentent vivement, s'affectent de même, le marquent fortement au dehors, et par une impression purement méchanique, ils transmettent aux autres leur enthousiasme et leurs affections. C'est le corps qui parle au corps; tous les mouvemens, tous les signes concourent et servent également. Que faut-il pour émouvoir la multitude et l'entraîner ? Que faut-il pour ébranler la plupart des autres hommes et les persuader ? Un ton véhément et pathétique, des gestes expressifs et fréquens, des paroles rapides et sonnantes.”Discours de Bufion lors de sa réception à l'Académie Française.


as that of the great orator to whom “ Actio, actio, actio " is attributed as the means by which he

“ Fulmin'd over Greece To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne." But aristocracy and every characteristic and accompaniment of it lasted too long in France. As their literature degenerated into memoir-writing, so their academic eloquence often stooped to fulsome panegyric and flattery. While the democratic element arose, there gradually rose an animated style of impassioned oratory. The eloquence of the bar began with D’Aguesseau in the eighteenth century* ; and his oratory is remarkable for combining the eloquence of an advocate with a tone of conviction inspiring respect for and giving authority to the speaker; he seems to seek to persuade only of that of which he is convinced.† Afterwards forensic eloquence partook more of the character of rhetoric; and then arose for the first time popular eloquence in France, for it was reserved to Mirabeau to find an audience whose passions he could inflame, whose reason he could lead captive by the charms of eloquence, and who, deeming themselves the equals of the speaker, and caring nothing for authority, rendered the art of the orator necessary to those who would command them. Mirabeau did not despise to address the French people with the tricks of rhetoric, for he placed before them what to him appeared the noblest of

* Euvres d'Aguesseau, i. xvi. sqq. f Ibid. i. xxii.

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