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their attention ; which he can never do without the help of Oratory. It is not enough to speak the language, he speaks in, in its utmost purity, and according to the rules of Grammar; but he must speak it elegantly, that is, he must choose the best and most expressive words, and put them in the best order. He should likewise adorn what he says by proper metaphors, similes, and other figures of Rhetoric *; and he should enliven it, if he can, by quick and sprightly turns of wit. For example: suppose you had a mind to persuade Mr. MATTAIREt to give you a holyday, would you bluntly say to him, Give me a holyday? That would certainly not be the way to persuade him to it. But you should endeavour first to please him, and gain his attention, by telling him, that your experience of his goodness and indulgence encouraged you to ask a favor of him ; that, if he should not think proper to grant it, at least you hoped he would not take it ill that you asked it. Then
should tell him what it was that you wanted; that it was a holyday; for which you should give your reasons, as that you had such or such a thing to do, or such a place to go to. Then you might urge some arguments why he should not refuse you; as that you have seldom asked that favor, and that you seldom will; and that the mind may sometimes require a little rest from labor, as well as the body. This you may illustrate by a simile ; and say, that, as the bow is the stronger for being sometimes unstrung and unbent, so the mind will be capable of more attention, for being now and then easy and relaxed.
“ This is a little Oration, fit for such a little Orator as you; but, however, it will make you understand what is mcant by Oratory and Eloquence; which is, to persuade.
His Lordship had explained the nature of those figures of Rhetoric in a former letter, which the Editor of the Collection could not find.
† The child's Tutor.
I hope you will have that talent hereafter in great mat
It requires but little experience in the practice of teaching to be convinced that such a mode of communicating instruction must always prove the most effectual and impressive. Nothing gives so much vigour to application in any pursuit, as a lively sense of the pleasure or advantage to be derived from it. Boys are idle and inattentive at school, only because the benefit expected from what they are ordered to learn is often too remote, and of a nature which they cannot comprehend. Let them but once feel its immediate utility, or rather subserviency to their gratification, and from that moment they are restless till they become masters of it. Shew them the irresistible powers of persuasive language and of a graceful address, in obtaining any favor from their teachers or their friends ; and
you will find them ready to crowd about you when giving lessons on oratory, provided your precepts are few, very simple, very concise, and well illustrated, as in the above instance, by examples suited to their capacity, taste, and character.
As changes in any established system will have less prejudices to combat, if we can bring them about by degrees, I would retain a few of the most familiar terms of art, as well as the general heads to which precepts in Rhetoric have been usually referred; but would carefully retrench the endless subdivisions, and, above all, the vocabulary of hard names given not only to the real ornaments of speech, but to many of its greatest defects, to puns, to witticisms, to silly conceits, to the jingle of sounds, and the prettiness of affectation, all which derive a sanction from the imposing title of tropes and figures.
In the first place, it is proper to explain to your pupil what art you are going to teach him, the art of speaking well, that is to say, the art of speaking in such a manner as to make others listen to us, and to persuade those who do listen. For this purpose, the Orator must examine his subject in various points of view, and find out such topics as may be most proper to enlarge upon : he is next to dispose or arrange his arguments and remarks in those parts of his discourse where they are most likely to have the best effect : and, lastly, he must clothe the whole in suitable language, heightened by a just, graceful and impressive mode of delivery. CICERO's summary of the duties of a public speaker is equally admirable for its force and conciseness: he should well consider what he is to say, in what order, and how“ Quid dicat, et quo loco, et quomodo.” The union of these requisites is indispensible; for, as the same writer observes, it is of little consequence to discover what is proper to be said, unless you are able to express it in an easy and agreeable manner ; and even that will be insufficient, if not recommended by the voice, the look, and the gesture*. Hence Invention, Disposition, Elocution, and Pronunciation are considered by Rhetoricians as the four essential functions of an Orator, and, of course, as the four grand objects, to which all the rules of art must be directedt. Let us see what they prescribe respecting each of them.
OF IN VENTION.
By oratorical Invention is meant the discovery of what may be most serviceable to the cause in hand, or most conducive to the end aimed at, which is persuasion. For this purpose we must find out such arguments as are most
* CICERO de claris Orat.
† Some add a fifth function, namely Memory, which is merely a faculty of the mind, and therefore not to be classed with the former any more than Judgment, Fancy, Genius, or any other mental Pow
likely to convince the understanding, and such affecting touches as may find their way to the heart. The latter are often of greater consequence than the former ; for it will not always be enough to place the truth in the clearest light, unless we can also render it interesting and attractive. Prejudice and obstinacy will often resist the demonstrations of fair reasoning. We must therefore call in the passions, to the aid of reason, and not content with making men cool approvers of our advice, endeavour to set their souls on fire to carry it into execution.
“Que dans tous vos discours la passion émue
Aille chercher le cæur, l'échauffe, et le remue.
BOILEAT. All the old books of Rhetoric are nearly filled with rules respecting those grand instruments of persuasion, Arguments, and the passions; but though youthful genius may derive some little aid from their remarks concerning the former, a knowledge and masterly command of the latter are not to be acquired by metaphysical subtilties, but by a diligent study of the best dramatic compositions, under the guidance of a good master.
As to the invention of Arguments, the Rhetoricians fancied they had reduced that to a sort of practical system. They disposed in due order the leading points of view, in which any subject might be examined either internally, or externally, and led genius as it were by the hand, to find out with ease all sorts of arguments in the different places to which it was thus conducted. By the word places, therefore, or common places, we are to understand certain general repertories, or magazines, containing all the riches which are the objects of invention. The young orator will find it worth his while to take a glance at the most important of them.
The first is Definition ; by which the speaker finds in the very nature of his subject a strong argument in support of his opinions. Thus Mr. Fox, in order to recommend his famous East India bill, gives a clear and forcible definition of the liberty which it tended to establish, and of the despotism which it meant to destroy. “ Freedom,” says he, “ consists in the safe and sacred possession of a man's property, governed by laws defined and certain ; with many personal privileges, natural, civil, and religious, which he cannot surrender without ruin to himself, and of which to be deprived by any other power is despotism. This bill, instead of subverting, is destined to stabilitate those principles ;-instead of narrowing the basis of freedom, it tends to enlarge it ;-instead of suppressing, its object is to infuse and circulate the spirit of liberty. What is the most odious species of tyranny ? Precisely that which this bill is meant to annihilate. That a handful of men, free themselves, should exercise the most base and abominable despotism over millions of their fellow-creatures; that innocence should be the victim of oppression ; that industry should toil for rapine ; that the harmless labourer should sweat, not for his own benefit, but for the luxury and rapacity of tyrannic depredation ; in a word, that thirty millions of men, gifted by Providence with the ordinary endowments of humanity, should groan under a system of despotism unmatched in all the histories of the world.”
Here you may point out to your pupil the difference between an oratorical and a logical definition. If you ask a Logician, what is History, he will tell you that it is a narrative of facts and events.
But how will the Orator