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for an opportunity of declaring his passion, when languages have been formed before grammar. N Cupid, as if willing to indulge his happiness, ture renders men eloquent in great interests, or brought the charming young couple by mere acci- great passions. He that is sensibly touched, sees dent to an arbour, where every prying eye but love things with a very different eye from the rest of was absent. Orlandino talked of the sincerity of mankind. All nature to him becomes an je his passion, and mixed flattery with his addresses; of comparison and metaphor, without attending te but it was all in vain. The nymph was pre-en- it; he throws life into all, and inspires his audience gaged, and had long devoted to Heaven those with a part of his own enthusiasm.
charms for which he sued. "My dear Orlandino," It has been remarked, that the lower parts of said she, "you know I have long been dedicated mankind generally express themselves most figure to St. Catharine, and to her belongs all that lies tively, and that tropes are found in the most erő- 1 below my girdle; all that is above, you may freely nary forms of conversation. Thus, in every lan possess, but farther I can not, must not comply.guage, the heart burns; the courage is roused; the The vow is passed; I wish it were undone, but eyes sparkle; the spirits are cast down; passion in now it is impossible." You may conceive, my flames; pride swells, and pity sinks the soul. No companions, the embarrassment our young lovers ture every where speaks in those strong images, felt upon this occasion. They kneeled to St. Ca- which, from the frequency, pass unnoticed. tharine, and though both despaired, both implored Nature it is which inspires those rapturous enher assistance. Their tutelar saint was entreated thusiasms, those irresistible turns; a strong passion, to show some expedient, by which both might con- a pressing danger, calls up all the imagination, and tinue to love, and yet both be happy. Their peti- gives the orator irresistible force. Thus a captain tion was sincere. St. Catharine was touched with of the first caliphs, seeing his soldiers fly, cried out, compassion; for lo, a miracle! Lucretia's girdle" Whither do you run? the enemy are not there! unloosed, as if without hands; and though before You have been told that the caliph is dead; but bound round her middle, fell spontaneously down God is still living. He regards the brave, and will to her feet, and gave Orlandino the possession of all reward the courageous. Advance!" those beauties which lay above it."
THE BEE, No. VII.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1759.
A man, therefore, may be called eloquent, who transfers the passion or sentiment with which he is moved himself into the breast of another; and this definition appears the more just, as it comprehends the graces of silence and of action. An intimate persuasion of the truth to be proved, is the sentiment and passion to be transferred; and who effects this, is truly possessed of the talent of eloquence.
I have called eloquence a talent, and not an art, as so many rhetoricians have done, as art is acOr all kinds of success, that of an orator is the quired by exercise and study, and eloquence is the most pleasing: Upon other occasions, the applause gift of nature. Rules will never make either a we deserve is conferred in our absence, and we are work or a discourse eloquent; they only serve to insensible of the pleasure we have given; but in prevent faults, but not to introduce beauties; to cloquence, the victory and the triumph are insepa-prevent those passages which are truly eloquent rable. We read our own glory in the face of every and dictated by nature, from being blended with spectator; the audience is moved; the antagonist others which might disgust, or at least abate our is defeated; and the whole circle bursts into un-passion.
solicited applause. What we clearly conceive, says Boileau, we can The rewards which attend excellence in this clearly express. I may add, that what is felt with way are so pleasing, that numbers have written emotion is expressed also with the same moveprofessed treatises to teach us the art; schools have ments; the words arise as readily to paint our emo been established with no other intent; rhetoric has tions, as to express our thoughts with perspicuity. taken place among the institutions, and pedants The cool care an orator takes to express passions have ranged under proper heads, and distinguished which he does not feel, only prevents his rising with long learned names, some of the strokes of na-into that passion he would seem to feel. In a ture, or of passion, which orators have used. I say word, to feel your subject thoroughly, and to speak only some; for a folio volume could not contain all without fear, are the only rules of eloquence, prothe figures which have been used by the truly elo-perly so called, which I can offer. Examine a quent; and scarcely a good speaker or writer, but makes use of some that are peculiar or new. Eloquence has preceded the rules of rhetoric, as
writer of genius on the most beautiful parts of his work, and he will always assure you, that such passages are generally those which have given him
the least trouble, for they came as if by inspiration. | over our heads; that time was passed, and eternity To pretend that cold and didactic precepts will begun; that Jesus Christ in all his glory, that man make a man eloquent, is only to prove that he is of sorrows in all his glory, appeared on the tribunal, incapable of eloquence. and that we were assembled here to receive our
But, as in being perspicuous it is necessary to final decree of life or death eternal! Let me ask, have a full idea of the subject, so in being eloquent impressed with terror like you, and not separating it is not sufficient, if I may so express it, to feel by my lot from yours, but putting myself in the same halves. The orator should be strongly impressed, situation in which we must all one day appear be which is generally the effect of a fine and exquisite fore God, our judge; let me ask, if Jesus Christ sensibility, and not that transient and superficial should now appear to make the terrible separation emotion which he excites in the greatest part of his of the just from the unjust, do you think the greataudience. It is even impossible to affect the hear- est number would be saved? Do you think the ers in any great degree without being affected our number of the elect would even be equal to that of selves. In vain it will be objected, that many the sinners? Do you think, if all our works were writers have had the art to inspire their readers examined with justice, would we find ten just perwith a passion for virtue, without being virtuous sons in this great assembly? Monsters of ingratithemselves; since it may be answered, that senti- tude! would he find one?" Such passages as these ments of virtue filled their minds at the time they are sublime in every language. The expression were writing. They felt the inspiration strongly, may be less speaking, or more indistinct, but the while they praised justice, generosity, or good-na-greatness of the idea still remains. In a word, we ture; but, unhappily for them, these passions might may be cloquent in every language and in every have been discontinued, when they laid down the style, since elocution is only an assistant, but not pen. In vain will it be objected again, that we a constituter of eloquence. can move without being moved, as we can convince without being convinced. It is much easier to deceive our reason than ourselves; a trifling defect in reasoning may be overseen, and lead a man astray, for it requires reason and time to detect the falsehood; but our passions are not easily imposed upon, our eyes, our ears, and every sense, are watchful to detect the imposture.
Of what use then, will it be said, are all the precepts given us upon this head both by the ancients and moderns? I answer, that they can not make us eloquent, but they will certainly prevent us from becoming ridiculous. They can seldom procure a single beauty, but they may banish a thousand faults. The true method of an orator is not to attempt always to move, always to affect, to be conNo discourse can be eloquent that does not cle- tinually sublime, but at proper intervals to give rest vate the mind. Pathetic eloquence, it is true, has both to his own and the passions of his audience. for its only object to affect; but I appeal to men of In these periods of relaxation, or of preparation sensibility, whether their pathetic feelings are not rather, rules may teach him to avoid any thing accompanied with some degree of elevation. We low, trivial, or disgusting. Thus criticism, properinay then call eloquence and sublimity the same ly speaking, is intended not to assist those parts thing, since it is impossible to possess one without which are sublime, but those which are naturally feeling the other. Hence it follows, that we may mean and humble, which are composed with coolbe eloquent in any language, since, no language ness and caution, and where the orator rather enrefuses to paint those sentiments with which we deavours not to offend, than attempts to please. are thoroughly impressed. What is usually called I have hitherto insisted more strenuously on that sublimity of style, seems to be only an error. Elo- eloquence which speaks to the passions, as it is a quence is not in the words but in the subject; and species of oratory almost unknown in England. in great concerns, the more simply any thing is At the bar it is quite discontinued, and I think with expressed, it is generally the more sublime. True justice. In the senate it is used but sparingly, as eloquence does not consist, as the rhetoricians as- the orator speaks to enlightened judges. But in sure us, in saying great things in a subline style, the pulpit, in which the orator should chiefly adbut in a simple style; for there is, properly speak-dress the vulgar, it seems strange that it should be ing, no such thing as a sublime style, the sublimity entirely laid aside. lies only in the things; and when they are not so, the language may be turgid, affected, metaphorical, but not affecting.
The vulgar of England are, without exception, the most barbarous and the most unknowing of any in Europe. A great part of their ignorance What can be more simply expressed than the fol- may be chiefly ascribed to their teachers, who, with lowing extract from a celebrated preacher, and yet the most pretty gentleman-like serenity, deliver what was ever more sublime? Speaking of the their cool discourses, and address the reason of men small number of the elect, he breaks out thus among who have never reasoned in all their lives. They his audience: "Let me suppose that this was the are told of cause and effect, of beings self-existent, last hour of us all; that the heavens were opening and the universal scale of beings. They are in
formed of the excellence of the Bangorian contro-long and obvious; where the same thought is often versy, and the absurdity of an intermediate state. exhibited in several points of view; all this strong The spruce preacher reads his lucubration without sense, a good memory, and a small share of experi lifting his nose from the text, and never ventures ence, will furnish to every orator; and without to earn the shame of an enthusiast.
By this means, though his audience feel not one word of all he says, he earns, however, among his acquaintance, the character of a man of sense; among his acquaintance only did I say? nay, even with his bishop.
these a clergyman may be called a fine preacher, a judicious preacher, and a man of good sense; he may make his hearers admire his understandingbut will seldom enlighten theirs.
When I think of the Methodist preachers arnong us, how seldom they are endued with common The polite of every country have several motives sense, and yet how often and how justly they affect to induce them to a rectitude of action; the love of their hearers, I can not avoid saying within myself, virtue for its own sake, the shame of offending, and had these been bred gentlemen, and been endued the desire of pleasing. The vulgar have but one, with even the meanest share of understanding, the enforcements of religion; and yet those who what might they not effect! Did our bishops, who should push this motive home to their hearts, are can add dignity to their expostulations, testify the basely found to desert their post. They speak to same fervour, and entreat their hearers, as well the 'squire, the philosopher, and the pedant; but as argue, what might not be the consequence! the poor, those who really want instruction, are The vulgar, by which I mean the bulk of mankind, left uninstructed. would then have a double motive to love religion, first from seeing its professors honoured here, and next from the consequences hereafter. At present the enthusiasms of the poor are opposed to law; did law conspire with their enthusiasms, we should not only be the happiest nation upon earth, but the wisest also.
I have attended most of our pulpit orators, who, it must be owned, write extremely well upon the text they assume. To give them their due also, they read their sermons with elegance and propriety; but this goes but a very short way in true eloquence. The speaker must be moved. In this, in this alone, our English divines are deficient. Enthusiasm in religion, which prevails only Were they to speak to a few calm dispassionate among the vulgar, should be the chief object of hearers, they certainly use the properest methods politics A society of enthusiasts, governed by of address; but their audience is chiefly composed reason among the great, is the most indissoluble, of the poor, who must be influenced by motives of the most virtuous, and the most efficient of its own reward and punishment, and whose only virtues decrees that can be imagined. Every country, poslie in self-interest, or fear. sessed of any degree of strength, have had their How then are such to be addressed? not by enthusiasms, which ever serve as laws among the studied periods or cold disquisitions; not by the la- people. The Greeks had their Kalokagathia, the bours of the head, but the honest spontaneous dic- Romans their Amor Patria, and we the truer and tates of the heart. Neither writing a sermon with firmer bond of the Protestant Religion. The regular periods and all the harmony of elegant ex- principle is the same in all; how much then is it pression; neither reading it with emphasis, pro- the duty of those whom the law has appointed priety, and deliberation; neither pleasing with teachers of this religion, to enforce its obligations, metaphor, simile, or rhetorical fustian; neither and to raise those enthusiasms among people, by arguing coolly, and untying consequences united in which alone political society can subsist. a priori, nor bundling up inductions a posteriori;| From eloquence, therefore, the morals of our neither pedantic jargon, nor academical trifling, people are to expect emendation; but how little can can persuade the poor: writing a discourse coolly they be improved by men, who get into the pulpit in the closet, then getting it by memory, and de- rather to show their parts than convince us of the livering it on Sundays, even that will not do. truth of what they deliver; who are painfully cor What then is to be done? I know of no expedient rect in their style, musical in their tones; where to speak, to speak at once intelligibly, and feeling- every sentiment, every expression seems the result ly except to understand the language. To be con- of meditation and deep study? vinced of the truth of the object, to be perfectly ac- Tillotson has been commended as the model of quainted with the subject in view, to prepossess pulpit eloquence; thus far he should be imitated, yourself with a low opinion of your audience, and where he generally strives to convince rather than to do the rest extempore: by this means strong ex- to please; but to adopt his long, dry, and somepressions, new thoughts, rising passions, and the times tedious discussions, which serve to amuse true declamatory style, will naturally ensue. only divines, and are utterly neglected by the gene
Fine declamation does not consist in flowery rality of mankind; to praise the intricacy of his periods, delicate allusions, or musical cadences; but periods, which are too long to be spoken; to conin a plain, open, loose style, where the periods are tinue his cool phlegmatic manner of enforcing
every truth, is certainly erroneous. As I said be- | Custom, or the traditional observance of the practice fore, the good preacher should adopt no model, of their forefathers, was what directed the Romans write no sermons, study no periods; let him but as well in their public as private determinations. understand his subject, the language he speaks, Custom was appealed to in pronouncing sentence and be convinced of the truth he delivers. It is against a criminal, where part of the formulary was amazing to what heights eloquence of this kind more majorum. So Sallust, speaking of the expulmay reach! This is that eloquence the ancients re-sion of Tarquin, says, mutato more, and not lege presented as lightning, bearing down every op- mutato; and Virgil, pacisque imponere morem. So poser; this the power which has turned whole as- that, in those times of the empire in which the semblies into astonishment, admiration, and awe; people retained their liberty, they were governed by that is described by the torrent, the flame, and every other instance of irresistible impetuosity.
custom; when they sunk into oppression and tyranny, they were restrained by new laws, and the laws of tradition abolished.
But to attempt such noble heights belongs only to the truly great, or the truly good. To discard As getting the ancients on our side is half a victhe lazy manner of reading sermons, or speaking tory, it will not be amiss to fortify the argument sermons by rote; to set up singly against the op- with an observation of Chrysostom's; "That the position of men who are attached to their own er- enslaved are the fittest to be governed by laws, rors, and to endeavour to be great, instead of being and free men by custom." Custom partakes of the prudent, are qualities we seldom see united. A nature of parental injunction; it is kept by the minister of the Church of England, who may be people themselves, and observed with a willing possessed of good sense, and some hopes of prefer- obedience. The observance of it must therefore ment, will seldom give up such substantial advan-be a mark of freedom; and, coming originally to tages for the empty pleasure of improving society. a state from the reverenced founders of its liberty, By his present method, he is liked by his friends, admired by his dependants, not displeasing to his bishop; he lives as well, eats and sleeps as well, as if a real orator, and an eager assertor of his mission: he will hardly, therefore, venture all this to be called perhaps an enthusiast; nor will he depart from customs established by the brotherhood, when, by such a conduct, he only singles himself out for their contempt.
CUSTOM AND LAWS COMPARED.
will be an encouragement and assistance to it in the defence of that blessing: but a conquered people, a nation of slaves, must pretend to none of this freedom, or these happy distinctions; having by degeneracy lost all right to their brave forefathers' free institutions, their masters will in a policy take the forfeiture; and the fixing a conquest must be done by giving laws, which may every moment serve to remind the people enslaved of their conquerors; nothing being more dangerous than to trust a late subdued people with old customs, that presently upbraid their degeneracy, and provoke them to revolt..
WHAT, say some, can give us a more contempti- The wisdom of the Roman republic in their ble idea of a large state than to find it mostly gov-veneration for custom, and backwardness to introerned by custom; to have few written laws, and no duce a new law, was perhaps the cause of their boundaries to mark the jurisdiction between the long continuance, and of the virtues of which they senate and the people? Among the number who have set the world so many examples. But to show speak in this manner is the great Montesquieu, in what that wisdom consists, it may be proper to who asserts that every nation is free in proportion observe, that the benefit of new written laws is to the number of its written laws, and seems to merely confined to the consequences of their obserhint at a despotic and arbitrary conduct in the pre-vance; but customary laws, keeping up a venerasent king of Prussia, who has abridged the laws tion for the founders, engage men in the imitation of his country into a very short compass.
of their virtues as well as policy. To this may be As Tacitus and Montesquieu happen to differ ascribed the religious regard the Romans paid to in sentiment upon a subject of so much importance their forefathers' memory, and their adhering for (for the Roman expressly asserts that the state is so many ages to the practice of the same virtues, generally vicious in proportion to the number of its which nothing contributed more to efface than the laws,) it will not be amiss to examine it a little introduction of a voluminous body of new laws over more minutely, and see whether a state which, like the neck of venerable custom.
England, is burdened with a multiplicity of written | The simplicity, conciseness, and antiquity of laws; or which, like Switzerland, Geneva, and custom, give an air of majesty and immutability some other republics, is governed by custom and that inspires awe and veneration; but new laws the determination of the judge, is best. are too apt to be voluminous, perplexed, and inde
And to prove the superiority of custom to writ- terminate, whence must necessarily arise neglect, ten law, we shall at least find history conspiring. contempt, and ignorance.
to the races, gaming-tables, brothels, and all public diversions this fashionable town affords.
As every human institution is subject to gross by the prodigious numbers of mechanics who flock imperfections, so laws must necessarily be liable to the same inconveniencies, and their defects soon discovered. Thus, through the weakness of one part, all the rest are liable to be brought into contempt. But such weaknesses in a custom, for very obvious reasons, evade an examination; besides, a friendly prejudice always stands up in their favour.
You shall see a grocer, or a tallow-chandler, sneak from behind the counter, clap on a laced coat and a bag, fly to the E O table, throw away fifty pieces with some sharping man of quality; while his industrious wife is selling a pennyworth of sugar, or a pound of candles, to support her fashionable spouse in his extravagances.
But let us suppose a new law to be perfectly equitable and necessary; yet if the procurers of it I was led into this reflection by an odd adven have betrayed a conduct that confesses by-ends and ture which happened to me the other day at Epsom private motives, the disgust to the circumstances races, whither I went, not through any desire, I do f disposes us, unreasonably indeed, to an irreverence assure you, of laying bets or winning thousands, 1. of the law itself; but we are indulgently blind to but at the earnest request of a friend, who had the most visible imperfections of an old custom. long indulged the curiosity of seeing the sport, Though we perceive the defects ourselves, yet we very natural for an Englishman. When we had remain persuaded, that our wise forefathers had arrived at the course, and had taken several turns good reason for what they did; and though such to observe the different objects that made up this motives no longer continue, the benefit will still go whimsical group, a figure suddenly darted by us, along with the observance, though we do not know mounted and dressed in all the elegance of those how. It is thus the Roman lawyers speak: Non polite gentry who come to show you they have a omnium, que a majoribus constituta sunt, ratio reddi protest, et ideo rationes corum que constituuntur inquiri non oportet, alioquin multa ex his quæ certa sunt subvertuntur.
little money, and, rather than pay their just debts at home, generously come abroad to bestow it on gamblers and pickpockets. As I had not an opportunity of viewing his face till his return, I gently walked after him, and met him as he came back, when, to my no small surprise, I beheld in
Those laws which preserve to themselves the greatest love and observance, must needs be best; but custom, as it executes itself, must be necessari- this gay Narcissus the visage of Jack Varnish, a ly superior to written laws in this respect, which are to be executed by another. Thus, nothing can be more certain, than that numerous written laws are a sign of a degenerate community, and are frequently not the consequences of vicious morals in a state, but the causes.
Hence we see how much greater benefit it would be to the state, rather to abridge than increase its laws. We every day find them increasing acts and reports, which may be termed the acts of judges, are every day becoming more voluminous, and loading the subject with new penalties.
Laws ever increase in number and severity, until they at length are strained so tight as to break themselves. Such was the case of the latter empire, whose laws were at length become so strict, that the barbarous invaders did not bring servitude but liberty.
OF THE PRIDE AND LUXURY OF THE
MIDDLING CLASS OF PEOPLE.
humble vender of prints. Disgusted at the sight, I pulled my friend by the sleeve, pressed him to return home, telling him all the way, that I was so enraged at the fellow's impudence that I was resolved never to lay out another penny with him.
And now, pray sir, let me beg of you to give this a place in your paper, that Mr. Varnish may understand he mistakes the thing quite, if he imagines horse-racing recommendable in a tradesman; and that he who is revelling every night in the arms of a common strumpet (though blessed with an indulgent wife), when he ought to be minding his business, will never thrive in this world. He will find himself soon mistaken, his finances decrease, his friends shun him, customers fall off, and himself thrown into a gaol. I would earnestly recommend this adage to every mechanic in London, "Keep your shop, and your shop will keep you." A strict observance of these words will, I am sure, in time gain them estates. Industry is the road to wealth, and honesty to happiness; and he who strenuously endeavours to pursue them both, may never fear the critic's lash, or the sharp cries of penury and want.
Or all the follies and absurdities under which this great metropolis labours, there is not one, I believe, that at present appears in a more glaring and ridiculous light, than the pride and luxury of the middling class of people. Their eager desire of being seen in a sphere far above their capacities In a fair, rich, and flourishing country, whose and circumstances, is daily, nay hourly instanced, cliffs are washed by the German Ocean, lived Sa
SABINUS AND OLINDA.