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our duty to love virtue, because we ought to love justice, which is one of its species.
Circumstances have also great weight, when happily chosen in a narrative, or forcibly urged as presumptive evidence in trials at the bar.
« This art to Poets not confin'd alone
I grant, 'tis to the skilfnl Pleader known,
Vida. An Accumulation of thoughts, of facts, of circumstances, heaped one upon the other to overwhelm the hearer by their number, is often introduced with great effect, if the art be concealed, by their appearing to start out of the subject, and to rush unsought for on the speaker's mind. Thus when Cicero enumerates the great qualities of POMPEY :
“ What language can equal the valour of Pompey? What can be said either worthy of him, new to you, or which every one has not heard ? For those are not the only virtues of a general which are commonly thought
It is not courage alone which forms a great leader, but industry in business, intrepidity in dangers, vigour in acting, prudence in concerting, promptness in executing. All which characters appear with greater" lustre in him than in all the other generals we ever saw or heard of.” Pro Leg. Man.
Mr. Addison has a beautiful Accumulation of circumstances rising one above another, when he is describing the treatment of Negroes in the West Indies, who fometimes upon the death of their Masters, or upon changing their service, hang themselves upon the next tree.
" Who can forbear,” says Mr. Addison, “ admiring their fidelity, though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner? What might not that savage greatness of soul, which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raised to, were it rightly cultivated ? And what colour of excuse can there be for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species ? That we should not put them on the common foot of humanity; that we should only set an insignificant fine upon the man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospects of happiness in another world as well as in this, and deny them that which we look upon as the proper means of attaining it.”
The Motive or Cause and its Effects, the circumstances that precede or follow any event with which they are connected, and are called in terms of art the Antecedents and the Consequents, are other common places occasionally useful to the orator.
Thus Cicero, ab Antecedentibus, namely the designs of Clodius, his manner of departure from home, and the rencounter, shews that Milo did not lie in wait for CloDIUS, but Clodius for him.
“ What method,” says the Orator, “ can we take to prove that Clodius lay in wait for Milo? It is sufficient, considering what an audacious abandoned wretch he was, to shew that he lay under a strong temptation to it, that he formed great hopes, and proposed to himself great advantages from Milo's death. Let that question of CasSIUS therefore, Whose interest was it ? be applied to the present case. For though no consideration can prevail upon a good man to be guilty of a base action, yet to a bad man the least prospect of advantage will often be sufficient. By Milo's death, CLODIUS not only gained his point of being Prætor, without that restraint which D 3
his adversary's power as consul would have laid upon his wicked designs, but likewise that of being Prætor under those consuls, by whose connivances at least, if not assistance, he hoped he should be able to betray the state into the mad schemes he had been forming."
And again, a concomitantibus, or from the very circumstances of the facts, Cicero proceeds thus, “ My Lords, every circumstance concurs to prove that it was for Milo's interest that Clodius should live; that, on the contrary, Milo's death was a most desirable event for answering the purposes of CLODIUS; that on the one side, there was a most implacable hatred, on the other, not the least; that the one had been continually employing himself in acts of violence, the other only in opposing them; that the life of Milo was threatened, and his
l death publicly foretold by Clodius, whereas nothing of that kind was ever heard from Milo; that the day fixed for Milo's journey was necessary, but that of Clodius rather the contrary; that Milo made no alteration in his measures, but that Clodius feigned an excuse for altering his; that if Milo had designed to way-lay Clodius he would have waited for him near the city till it was dark, but that Clodius, even if he had been under no apprehensions from Milo, ought to have been afraid of coming to town so late at night.”
All the foregoing Common Places are called internal, because they arise, as the ancients used to say, out of the very bowels of the cause, “ex visceribus rei ;” but there are some common places, suggested by external considerations, particularly in judicial proceedings, such as the Law respecting the point in question ; the nature of the Evidence; Presumptions for or against the fact ; Common Report; and a few other matters of the like kind, which more properly belong to jurisprudence than to eloquence,
OF DISPOSITION, THE SECOND ESSENTIAL
FUNCTION OF THE ORATOR.
FROM what has been said of Invention, it is evident that it must chiefly depend on fertility of genius, though a little aided by an easy reference to those Common Places, above explained. But the arrangement of the materials, furnished by invention, is the work of judgment alone, and must therefore derive great assistance from art. It is of little avail to think of a good thing, unless it be introduced in the place where it may have most effect. The orator, in drawing up his arguments and the various resources of his genius, must imitate the conduct of a skilful general in the field, who posts his cavalry, infantry, and light troops, where each of them can act to the greatest advantage. Cicero makes use of this simile to
CICERO give a clear idea of the elder ANTHONY's consummate skill in the due ordering of whatever could be most serviceable to his cause *.
After the Orator, therefore, has taken a comprehensive view of his subject, and has considered every point which may favor his purpose, or be urged against him, he must endeavour, in the opening of his speech, which is called the Exordium, to secure the attention of his hearers, by impressing upon their minds a just sense of the importance of the subject, and begetting a favorable opinion of his equality to the discussion of it. But this must be done in a modest and insinuating manner, without the least shew of self-confidence, or any pretension to supe
rior merit. A long preface also would be an unpardons able abuse of the time and patience of others, who are never better disposed to listen, than when they are reļieved from the fear of a long harangue by the brevity of the introduction, and by a seemingly artless statement of the point or points upon which the orator means to enlarge. This statement is called the Proposition, and is always immediately accompanied by a Division of the subject into different branches when necessary; that is to say, when what is too complicated to be embraced at one view, is presented in various lights with more clearness, preçision, and force.
Next to the Exordium, the Proposition, and the Divi, sion, the Orator enters upon what is called the Narration, or detail of facts, upon which all his arguments are to be founded. In debate, or when he is to reply to others, he often finds it expedient to proceed to a Refutation of what has been impressively urged by his adversary, before he attempts to tell his own story or to draw any
inferences from it. He must be as concise in his narrative as is consistent with perspicuity, never encumbering it with frivolous circumstances, and, at the same time, omitting nothing of material importance. He softens some: hę heightens others; and forms a striking and well-connected tissue of the whole.
In the arrangement of his arguments and of his occasional addresses to the feelings and passions of his hearers, he must not lose sight of the simile before quoted from Cicero on the judicious marshalling or drawing up of troops in the field. The general rule is to place in the front of the battle men of the greatest strength and courage, as success so often depends upon the first onset: other troops of tried skill and firmness are to be posted in the rear, to turn, by a well-timed and decisive effort, the