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Sect. VII. How at unfavourable passion must be cal-ed.
his design, is in fact so much subtracted from the disposition that opposeth it, and conversely; as in the two scales of a balance, it is equal in regard to the effect, whether you add so much weight to one scale, or take it from the other.
THUS we have seen in what manner passion to an absent object may be excited by eloquence, which, by enlivening and invigorating the ideas of imagina-. tion, makes them resemble the impressions of sense and the traces of memory; and in this respect hath an effect on the mind similar to that produced by a telescope on the sight; things remote are brought near, things obscure rendered conspicuous. We have seen also in what manner a passion already excited may be calmed; how by the oratorical magic, as by inverting the telescope, the object may be again removed and diminished.
IT were endless to enumerate all the rhetorical figures that are adapted to the pathetic. Let it suffice to say, that most of those already named may be successfully employed here. Of others, the principal are these, correction, climax, vision, exclamation, apostrophe, and interrogation. The three first, correction, climax, and vision, tend greatly to enliven the ideas, by the implicit, but animated comparison, and opposition, conveyed in them. Implicit and indirect comparison is more suitable to the disturbed state of mind required by the pathetic, than that
Sect. VII. How an unfavourable passion must be calmed.
which is explicit and direct. The latter implies leisure and tranquillity, the former rapidity and fire. Exclamation and apostrophe operate chiefly by sympathy, as they are the most ardent expressions of perturbation in the speaker. It at first sight appears more difficult to account for the effect of interrogation, which, being an appeal to the hearers, though it might awaken a closer attention, yet could not, one would imagine, excite in their minds any new emotion that was not there before This, nevertheless, it doth excite, through an oblique operation of the same principle. Such an appeal implies in the orator the strongest confidence in the rectitude of his
sentiments, and in the concurrence of every reason
able being. The auditors, by sympathizing with this frame of spirit, find it impracticable to withhold an assent which is so confidenthy depended on. But there will be occasion afterwards for discussing more particularly the rhetorical tropes and figures, when we come to treat of elocution. i
THUS I have finished the consideration which the speaker ought to have of his hearers as men in general; that is, as thinking beings endowed with under. standing, imagination, memory, and passions, such as we are conscious of in ourselves, and learn from the experience of their effects to be in others. I have pointed out the arts to be employed by him in engaging all those faculties in his service, that what he ad
vanceth may not only be understood, not only com
Of the consideration which the speaker ought to have
mand attention, not only be remembered, but, which is the chief point of all, may interest the heart.
Of the consideration which the Speaker ought to have of the Hearers, as such Men in particular.
IT was remarked, in the beginning of the preceding chapter, that the hearers ought to be considered in a twofold view, as men in general, and as such men in particular. The first consideration I have dispatched, I now enter on the second.
WHEN it is affirmed that the hearers are to be considered as such men in particular, no more is meant, than that regard ought to be had by the speaker, to the special character of the audience, as composed of such individuals; that he may suit himself to them, both in his style and in his arguments *. Now the difference between one audience and another is very great, not only in intellectual, but in moral attainments. It may be clearly intelligible to a House of Commons, which would appear as if spoken in an
* He must be “Orpheus in sylvis, inter delphinas Arion.”
of the hearers, as such men in particular.
unknown tongue, to a conventicle of enthusiasts. It may kindle fury in the latter, which would create no emotion in the former, but laughter and contempt. The most obvious difference that appears in different auditories, results from the different cultivation of the understanding ; and the influence which this, and their manner of life, have both upon the imagination and upon the memory.
BUT even in cases wherein the difference in education and moral culture hath not been considerable, different habits afterwards contracted, and different occupations in life, give different propensities, and make one incline more to one passion, another to another. They consequently afford the intelligent speaker an easier passage to the heart, through the channel of the favourite passion. Thus liberty and independence will ever be prevalent motives with republicans, pomp and splendour with those attached to monarchy. In mercantile states, such as Carthage among the ancients, or Holland among the moderns, interest will always prove the most cogent argument; in states solely or chiefly composed of soldiers, such as Sparta and ancient Rome, no inducement will be found a counterpoise to glory. Similar differences are also to be made in addressing different classes of men. With men of genius, the most successful topic will be fame; with men of industry, riches; with men of fortune, pleasure.
Of the consideration which the speake, ought to have of himself.
BUT as the character of audiences may be infinitely diversified, and as the influence they ought to have respectively upon the speaker, must be obvious to a person of discernment, it is sufficient here to have observed thus much in the general concerning them.
Of the consideration which the speaker ought to have of himself.
THE last consideration I mentioned, is that which the speaker ought to have of himself. By this we are to understand, not that estimate of himself which is derived directly from consciousness or self-acquaintance, but that which is obtained reflexively from the opinion entertained of him by the hearers, or the character which he bears with them. Sympathy is one main engine by which the orator operates on the pasSIOIlS.
With them who laugh, our social joy appears;
Humani vultus. Si vis me flere, dolendum est
Primum ipsi tibi; tunctua me infortunia laedent.
- - HoR. De Arte Poet.