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- Eloquence defined... its more general forms exhibited....
rial things. Accordingly, in all tongues, perhaps without exception, the ordinary terms, which are considered as literally expressive of the latter, are also used promiscuously to denote the former. Now admiration, when thus applied, doth not require to its production, as the passions generally do, any reflex view of motives or tendencies, or of any relation either to private interest, or to the good of others; and ought therefore to be numbered among those original feelings of the mind, which are denominated by some the reflex senses, being of the same class with a taste for beauty, an ear for music, or our moral sentiments. Now the immediate view of whatever is directed to the imagination (whether the subject be things inanimate or animal forms, whether characters, actions, incidents, or manners) terminates in the gratification of some internal taste; as a taste for the wonderful, the fair, the good; for elegance, for novelty, or for grandeur. BUrit is evident, that this creative faculty, the fancy, frequently lends her aid in promoting still nobler ends. From her exuberant stores most of those tropes and figures are extracted, which, when properly employed, have such a marvellous efficacy in rousing the passions, and by some secret, sudden, and inexplicable association, awakening all the tenderest emotions of the heart. In this case, the address of the orator is not ultimately intended to astonish by the loftiness of his images, or to delight by the beauteous resemblance which his painting bears to nature; nay, it will not permit the hearers even a moment’s leisure for making the com
...with their different objects...ends....and characters.
parison, but, as it were, by some magical spell, hurries them, ere they are aware, into love, pity, grief, terror, desire, aversion, fury, or hatred. It therefore assumes the denomination of pathetic *, which is the characteristic of the third species of discourse, that addressed to the passions.
FINALLY, that kind, the most complex of all, which is calculated to influence the will, and persuade to a certain conduct, as it is in reality an artful mixture of that which proposes to convince the judgment, and that which interests the passions, its distinguishing excellency results from these two, the argumentative and the pathetic incorporated together. These acting with united force, and, if I may so express myself, in concert, constitute that passionate eviction, that vehemence of contention, which is admirably fitted for persuasion, and hath always been regarded as the Supreme qualification in an orator #. It is this which bears down
* I am sensible that this word is commonly used in a more limited sense, for that only which excites commiseration. Perhaps the word impassioned would answer better.
+ This animated reasoning the Greek rhetolicians termed ouvéloz, which, from signifying the principal excellency in an orator, came at length to denote oratory itself. And as vehemence and eloquence became synonymous, the latter, suitable to this way of thinking, was sometimes defined the art of persuasion. But that this definition is defective, appears even from their own writings, since, in a consistency with it, their rhetorics could not have comprehended those orations called demonstrative, the design of which was not to
persuade, but to please. Yet it is easy to discover the origin of this - defect, defect, and that both from the nature of the thing, and from the customs which obtained among both Greeks and Romans. First, from the nature of things; for to persuade, presupposes in some degree, and therefore may be understood to imply, all the other talents of an orator, to enlighten, to evince, to paint, to astonish, to inflame: but this doth not hold universally ; one may explain with clearness, and prove with energy, who is incapable of the sublime, the pathetic, and the vehement; besides, this power of persuasion, or, as Cicero calls it, “posse voluntates hominum impellere quo velis, unde “velis, deducere,” as it makes aman master of his hearers, is the most considerable in respect of consequences. Secondly, from ancient customs. All their public orations were ranked under three classes, the demonstrative, the judiciary, and the deliberative. In the two last, it was impossible to rise to eminence, without that important talent, the power of persuasion. These were in much more frequent use than the first, and withal the surest means of advancing both the fortune and the fame of the orator; for, as on the judiciary the lives and estates of private persons depended, on the deliberative hung the resolves of senates, the fate of kingdoms, nay of the most renowned republics the world ever knew. Consequently, to excel in these, must have been the direct road to riches, honours, and preferment. No wonder, then, that persuasion should almost wholly engross the rhetorician's notice.
Eloquence defined...its more general forms exhibited.
every obstacle, and procures the speaker an irresistible power over the thoughts and purposes of his audience. It is this which hath been so justly celebrated as giving one man an ascendant over others, superior even to what despotism itself can bestow; since by the latter the more ignoble part, only the body and its members, are enslaved; whereas, from the dominion of the former nothing is exempted, neither judgment nor affection, not even the inmost recesses, the most latent movements of the soul. What opposition is he not pre
...with their different objects...ends....and characters.
pared to conquer, on whose arms reason hath conferred solidity and weight, and passion such a sharpness, as enables them, in defiance of every obstruction, to open a speedy passage to the heart.
IT is not, however, every kind of pathos, which will give the orator so great an ascendancy over the minds of his hearers. All passions are not alike capable of producing this effect. Some are naturally inert and torpid; they deject the mind, and indispose it for enterprise. Of this kind are sorrow, fear, shame, humility. . Others, on the contrary, elevate the soul, and stimulate to action. Such are hope, patriotism, ambition, emulation, anger. These, with the greatest facility, are made to concur in direction with arguments exciting to resolution and activity; and are, consequently, the fittest for producing, what, for want of a better term in our language, I shall henceforth denominate the vehement. There is, besides, an intermediate kind of passions, which do not so congenially and directly either restrain us from acting, or incite us to act; but, by the art of the speaker, can, in an oblique manner, be made conducive to either. Such are joy, love, esteem, compassion. Nevertheless, all these kinds may find a place in suasory discourses, or such as are intended to operate on the will. The first is the properest for dissuading; the second, as hath been already hinted, for persuading ; the third is equally accommodated to both.
GUIDED by the above reflections, we may easily
Eloquence defined...its more general forms exhibited....
trace that connection in the various forms of eloquence, which was remarked, on distinguishing them by their several objects. The imagination is charmed by a finished picture, wherein even drapery and ornament are not neglected; for here the end is pleasure. Would we penetrate farther, and agitate the soul, we must exhibit only some vivid strokes, some expressive features, not decorated as for show (all qstentation being both despicable and hurtful here), but such as appear the natural exposition of those bright and deep impressions, made by the subject upon the speaker's mind; for here the end is not pleasure, but emotion. Would we not only touch the heart, but win it entirely to cooperate with our views, those affecting lineaments must be so interwoven with our argument, as that, from the passion excited, our reasoning may derive importance, and so be fitted for commanding attention; and, by by the justness of the reasoning, the passion may be more deeply rooted and enforced ; and that thus, both may be made to conspire in effectuating that persuasion which is the end proposed. For here, if I may adopt the schoolmen's language, we do not argue to gain barely the assent of the understanding, but, which is infinitely more important, the consent of the will “.
To prevent mistakes, it will not be beside my pur
* This subordination is beautifully and concisely expressed by Hersan in Rollin. “Je conclus que la veritable eloquence est celle “qui persuade; qu’ellene persuade ordinairement qu'on touchant; “ qu’elle ne touche que par des choses et par des idées palpables.”