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by a great train of women-servants, and boys.' He goes on describing the rencounter that followed; Clodius's servants attacking those of Milo, and killing the driver of his carriage; Milo jumping out, throwing off his cloak, and making the best defence he could, while Clodius's servants endeavoured to surround him; and then concludes his narration with a very delicate and happy stroke. He does not say in plain words, that Milo's servants killed Clodius, but that in the midst of the tumult, Milo's servants, without the orders, without the knowledge, without the presence of their master, did what every master would have wished his servants, in like conjuncture, to have done.'*
In sermons, where there is seldom any occasion for narration, explication of the subject to be discoursed on, comes in the place of narration at the bar, and is to be taken up much on the same tone; that is, it must be concise, clear, and distinct: and in a style correct and elegant, rather than highly adorned. To explain the doctrine of the text with propriety; to give a full and perspicuous account of the nature of that virtue or duty which forms the subject of the dis course, is properly the didactic part of preaching; on the right execution of which much depends for all that comes afterwards in the way of persuasion. The great art of succeeding in it, is to meditate profoundly on the subject, so as to be able to place it in a clear and strong point of view. Consider what light other passages of scripture throw upon it; consider whether it be a subject nearly related to some other from which it is proper to distinguish it; consider whether it can be illustrated to advantage by comparing it with, or opposing it to some other thing; by inquiring into causes, or tracing effects; by pointing out examples, or appealing to the feelings of the hearers; that thus, a definite, precise, circumstantial view may be afforded of the doctrine to be inculcated. Let the preacher be persuaded, that by such distinct and apt illustrations of the known truths of religion, he may both display great merit in the way of composition, and, what he ought to consider as far more valuable, render his discourses weighty, instructive, and useful.
* Milo, cùm in senatu fuisset eo die, quoad senatus dimissus est, domum venit. Calceos et vestimenta mutavit; paulisper, dum se uxor (ut fit) comparat, commoratus est; deinde profectus est, id temporis cùm jam Clodius, si quidem eo die Romam venturus erat, redire potuisset. Obviam fit ei Clodius expeditus, in equo, nulla rheda, nullis impedimentis, nullis Græcis comitibus, ut solebat; sine uxore, quod nunquam fece. Cum hic insidiator, qui iter illud ad cædem faciendam apparâsset, cum uxore veheretur in rheda, penulatus, vulgi magno impedimento, ac mulièbri et delicato ancillarum puerorumque comitatu. Fit obviam Clodio ante fundum ejus, hora fere undecima, aut non multo secus. Statim complures cum telis in hunc faciunt de loco superiore impetum : adversi rhedarjum occidunt; cùm autem hic de rheda, rejecta penula desiluisset, seque acri animo defenderet, illi qui erant cum Clodio, gladiis eductis, partim recurrere ad rhedam, ut a tergo Milonem adorirentur; partim, quod hunc jam intcrfectum putarent, cædere incipiunt ejus servos qui post erant ; ex quibus qui animo fideli in dominum et præsenti fuerunt, partim occisi sunt; partim cum ad rhedam pugnare viderent, et domino succurrere prohiberentur, Milonemque occisum etiam ex ipso Clodio audi rent, et ita esse putarent, fecerunt id servi Milonis,(dicam enim non derivandi criminis causâ, sed ut factum est) neque imperante, neque sciente, neque præsente domino, quod suos quisque servos in tali re facere voluisset,'
QUESTIONS. In the four preceding lectures, what|trary course? What remark is made has been considered; and of what is our by Cicero? In the second place, in an author now to treat ? For what was the introduction, what should be carefully previous view given, necessary; and in studied ? What is then the situation of proceeding, what shall be pointed out? the hearers? Why, at the same time, On whatever subject any one intends must too much art be avoided ? What to discourse, what order will he pursue? is the proper character of an introducThis being the natural train of speak- tion ? În the third place, why is moing, what six parts compose a regular desty requisite in an introduction? How formal oration? What is here not should his modesty discover itself; and meant; and why not? There may be why? What should the modesty of an many excellent discourses before the introduction never betray; and what is public, without what? Why then is it of great use to an orator? What does necessary that each of them should be the modesty of an introduction require ? treated of distinctly? With what does What says Horace? What is the geneour author begin; and of this, what is ral rule? What exception is there to observed ? How is this remark illustra-this rule? What might too modest a ted? Of this, what is remarked ? To beginning, then, be like? By the boldconciliate the good will of the hearers, ness and strength of his exordium, and to render them benevolent, whence what must he endeavour to do? Where, may topics in causes at the bar be also, has a magnificent introduction, drawn? What is the second end of an sometimes a good effect? What examintroduction ; and how may this be ef-ple is given from a sermon of Bishop fected? What is the third end, and for Atterbury's? How do the celebrated this purpose, with what must we begin? French writers often begin their disWhen may formal introductions be courses? Of these, what is the effect; omitted; and what remark follows ? but against what, must every speaker Of Demosthenes' and Cicero's introduc- be much on his guard? In the fourth tions, what is observed? What two place, in what manner should an inkinds of introductions did the ancient troduction usually be carried on? Why critics distinguish ; and what is said of is this direction given ? What are the them? Of this latter sort of introduc- exceptions to this rule? What will tion, in what oration have we an admi- either of these justify? What instances rable instance? Who was Rullus, and are given ? Why should such introducwhat did he propose ? Of such laws, tions be hazarded by very few ? Of the what is observed? What is here said of introduction, what is further noticed ? Cicero; and in what manner does he In the beginning, what should the oraintroduce this difficult subject? What tor do? How is this remark illustrated ? evidence does he give that he is not an How is much of the orator's art shown? enemy to Agrarian laws? In all this, What, in the fifth place, is a rule in there is what; and what was the con- introductions? How is this rule fully ilsequence ? Having given this general lustrated ? In the last place, to what view of the nature and end of an in- ought the introduction be proportioned; troduction, to what does our author and of this direction, what illustration proceed? Why are these the more ne- is given ? What does common sense dicessary ? What is always of import- rect? To what are these rules adapted? ance; and what remark is added ? In pleadings at the bar, or speeches in What is the first rule given ? What public assemblies, about what must must always suggest it; and what says particular care be taken? To this inCicero? In introductions, what is too convenience, what introductions are excommon a fault? What introductions | posed; what never fails to give an adare of this kind? What is said of them; versary considerable triumph ? In the and what follows ? What is related of case of replies, what observation does Cicero's introductions; and of his man- Quintilian make? What reason does ner of preparing them ? Of this strange he assign for this? method, what was once a consequence? Of introductions to sermons, what is In order to render an introduction inte-observed? Of the French preachers, resting, what is a good rule? What what was before remarked ? When are will be the consequence of taking a con- introductions always tedjous ? What should be studied in this part of com-| two put together? In pleadings at the position as much as possible; and what bar, of narration, what is observed ? may often be proper? Of explanatory What peculiar difficulty is there in introductions from the context, what is narrations at the bar ? What, here. deremarked ? When has a historical in- mand no small exertion of skill and troduction a happy effect? What comes dexterity? What must he always renext in order after the introduction ? member? What does Quintilian very What only is to be said concerning it ? properly direct? What qualities do To this, what generally succeeds ? critics chiefly require in narration; and What does our author here not mean? of each of these, what is observed ? Of How is this remark illustrated ? What distinctness, what is remarked ? How is essential to every good discourse? is this illustrated ? In order to produce How may this be accomplished ? What distinctness, what does narration reis division in discourse ? In what dis-quire? What is material, in order to be course does this sort of division most probable in narration? Íu order to be commonly take place; and what ques- as concise as the subject will admit, tion has been moved? What is the what is necessary? Who is remarkable opinion of the Archbishop of Cambray? for his talent of narration? What-inOf it, what does he observe? What stance is given ? What does he here effect, in his opinion, has it? Notwith-wish to show? How are all the cirstanding his authority and arguments, cumstances, for rendering this probable, what does our author think ; and why? painted ? What does he give, in relaWhat reason has the practice itself, on ting the manner in which Milo set out its side? What advantages result to from Rome? Repeat the passage. In the hearers, from the division of a ser- sermons, what comes in the place of mon into heads ? On this subject, what narration at the bar; and in what says Quintilian? With regard to break- manner must it be taken up? What is, ing the unity of a discourse, what does properly, the didactic part of preachour author observe ? On the contrary, ing; and on the right execution of it, if the heads be well chosen, what is what depends? What is the great art their effect? In any discourse, where of succeeding with it? How is this fully division is proper, what is the first rule illustrated? Of what should the preachto be observed ? How is this rule illus- er be persuaded ? trated ? Secondly, in division, what or- = der must we follow ? Into what parts |
ANALYSIS. must we divide the subject? Thirdly, 1. The introduction. what should the several members of a A. The ends of an introduction. division do; and why? In the fourth B. The introductions of the ancients. place, of the terms in which our parti-Rules for the composition of an intions are expressed, what is observed ;
troduction. and what remarks follow? What is it a. It should be easy and natural. which chiefly makes the divisions of a b. Correctness of expression should discourse appear neat and elegant ?
be observed. What is the effect of this? In the fifth c. Modesty should be one of its place, what must be avoided ? What
principal characteristics. has always a bad effect in speaking ? d. It should be calmly conducted. Where may it be proper; but what e. It should not anticipate any part effect has it on an oration ? To what
of the subject. member should the heads of a sermon 2. The enunciation of the subject. be limited ? Why should the division 3. The divisions of the discourse. of a sermon, or of a pleading at the A. The parts should be distinct from bar, be studied with much accuracy
each other. and care? What effect will this have?! B. The natural order should be folWhat do the French writers of ser
lowed. mons study much more than we do? c. The members should exhaust the Among the French, however, what
subject. sometimes appears in their divisions?! D. The division should be expressed What examples, from two eminent
with precision. French writers, are here introduced ? E. The heads should not be unnecesWhat was the next constituent part of
sarily extended. a discourse mentioned? Why are these 14. Narration or explication.
CONDUCT OF A DISCOURSE.... THE ARGUMENTATIVE PART....THE PATHETIC PART.... THE
In treating of the constituent parts of a regular discourse or oration, I have already considered the introduction, the division, and the narration or explication. I proceed next to treat of the argumentative or reasoning part of a discourse. In whatever place, or on whatever subject one speaks, this, beyond doubt, is of the greatest consequence. For the great end for which men speak on any serious occasion, is to convince their hearers of something being either true, or right, or good; and, by means of this conviction, to influence their practice. Reason and argument make the foundation, as I have often inculcated, of all manly and persuasive eloquence.
Now, with respect to arguments, three things are requisite. First, the invention of them; secondly, the proper disposition and arrangement of them; and thirdly, the expressing of them in such a style and manner, as to give them their full force.
The first of these, invention, is, without doubt, the most material, and the ground-work of the rest. But, with respect to this, I am afraid it is beyond the power of art to give any real assistance. Art cannot go so far as to supply a speaker with arguments on every cause, and every subject; though it may be of considerable use in assisting him to arrange and express those, which his knowledge of the subject has discovered. For it is one thing to discover the reasons that are most proper to convince men, and another to manage these reasons with the most advantage. The latter is all that rhetoric can pretend to.
The ancient rhetoricians did indeed attempt to go much farther than this. They attempted to form rhetoric into a more complete system; and professed not only to assist public speakers in setting off their arguments to most advantage; but to supply the defect of their invention, and to teach them where to find arguments on every subject and cause. Hence their doctrine of topics, or · Loci Communes,' and · Sedes Argumentorum,' which makes so great a figure in the writings of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. These topics, or loci, were no other than general ideas applicable to a great many different subjects, which the orator was directed to consult, in order to find out materials for his speech. They had their intrinsic and extrinsic loci; some loci, that were common to all the different kinds of public speaking, and some that were peculiar to each. The common or general loci, were such as genus and species, cause and effect, antecedents and consequents, likeness and contrariety, definition, circumstances of time and place; and a great many more of the same kinds. For each of the different kinds of public speaking, they had their • Loci Personarum,' and · Loci Rerum. As in demonstrative orations, for instance, the heads from which any one could be decried or praised; his birth, his country, his education, his kindred, the qualities of his body, the qualities of his mind, the fortune he enjoyed, the stations he had filled, &c.; and in deliberative orations, the topics that might be used in recommending any public measure, or dissuading from it; such as, honesty, justice,
facility, profit, pleasure, glory, assistance from friends, mortification · to enemies, and the like.
The Grecian sophists were the first inventors of this artificial system of oratory; and they showed a prodigious subtilty and fertility in the contrivance of these loci. Succeeding rhetoricians, dazzled by the plan, wrought them up into so regular a system, that one would think they meant to teach how a person might mechanically become an orator, without any genius at all. They gave him receipts for making speeches on all manner of subjects. At the same time, it is evident, that though this study of common places might produce very showy academical declamations, it could never produce discourses on real business. The loci indeed supplied a most exuberant fecundity of matter. One who had no other aim, but to talk copiously and plausibly, by consulting them on every subject, and laying hold of all that they suggested, might discourse without end; and that, too, though he had none but the most superficial knowledge of his subject. But such discourse could be no other than trivial. What is truly solid and persuasive, must be drawn 'ex visceribus causæ, from a thorough knowledge of the subject, and profound meditation on it. They who would direct students of oratory to any other sources of argumentation, only delude them; and by attempting to render rhetoric too perfect an art, they render it, in truth, a trifling and childish study.
On this doctrine, therefore, of the rhetorical loci, or topics, I think it superfluous to insist. If any think that the knowledge of them may contribute to improve their invention, and extend their views, they may consult Aristotle and Quintilian, or what Cicero has written on this head, in his Treatise De Inventione, his Topica, and second book De Oratore. But when they are to prepare a discourse, by which they purpose to convince a judge, or to produce any considerable effect upon an assembly, I would advise them to lay aside their common places, and to think closely of their subject. Demosthenes, I dare say, consulted none of the loci, when he was inciting the Athenians to take arms against Philip; and where Cicero has had recourse to them, his orations are so much the worse on that account.
I proceed to what is of more real use, to point out the assistance that can be given, not with respect to the invention, but with respect to the disposition and conduct of arguments.
Two different methods may be used by orators, in the conduct