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Certainly not, with any

candid mind. Those pretensions should only be judged by their practical effect, and to this standard I submit without reservation the claims of Ireland to the meed of eloquence.

In the series of great masters, some of whose fragments I have here collected, there will be found evident traces of a common origin. The same lofty sentiment—the same wildness of imagery—the same impassioned declamation—the same power either of the pathetic or the humourous—the same absolute mastery over the human heart, to which, indeed, rather than to the judgment, they frequently apply themselves.

This is one of their undeniable peculiarities-persuasion rather than conviction is their usual object, but both are the legitimate means of oratory, and perhaps if one was compelled to decide between them, the first would be considered both as the more effective and the more natural--much of course depends on the occasion, but on every human topic, man will be found most defenceless on the side of his passions. Such is the too true and pitiable condition of humanity.

Another peculiarity, and one indeed which has been most condemned is, the continual recurrence of imagery. No doubt the abuse of this, like all other abuses, is censurable, but still its exercise, even in the extreme, is very fascinating, and few who have been in the habit of attending public meetings can deny its effect. The untutored heart speaks in imagery-it is the first language of a nation's infancy, and like every thing attached to infancy, it retains a charm-it is the vocabulary of nature, and until man be so hardened and polished that nature's weapons must rebound from him, it will not plead in vain. Indeed the very face of nature itself must be changed ere the genius of Ireland ceases to express itself in imagery-it opens its infant eye upon the wildness of Creation, the romantic and the magnificent identify themselves with its imagination, the mind never can reject their association, and resorts for the illustration of its more matured ideas to the rock, and the torrent, and the mountain with which its childhood had been familiar.

The grand mistake into which our modern critics have fallen, upon the subject of eloquence, has been in subjecting to the same rules the essay composed to be read and the

speech arranged to be delivered. No two things in the world can be more opposite. What might appear extravagant in the one is chaste in the other, and the allusion studiously suited to inflame the delirium of a crowd must appear wild and rhapsodical in the seclusion of the closet. The scene-- the surrounding objects --the materials to be worked—the end to be obtained and the means to be used are all different. The reader, in the silence of retirement, sees nothing but his book and may pause for observation at the close of every period—the hearer, on the contrary, all eye

and ear, hurried away by the rapidity of his feelings, and heated by the sympathy of his associates, has no time to criticise the evanescent image, which, delighting him at the moment, may owe its whole success to the tone in which it is uttered, or the gesture that accompanies it. The critic, therefore, who analyzes a speech ought not, in my mind, to require so much a permanent effect as a momentary attainment. If the object of the orator be answered, his task is ended, and it can detract nothing from his merit to say he has triumphed by means which the cooler judgment cannot sanction. His instrument may be the most fantastic or extravagant-he may terrify by a phantom-delude by a sophism, or mislead by an airy and unsubstantial meteor : the question is not, were they intimidating, visionary and delusive, but were they such as might achieve his victory. This may not square with the rules and ordinances by which, according to closet criticism, perfection is to be adjusted ; but true genius rejects their application, and the literary Procrustes, who would torture it to any prescribed dimensions, will rarely find it survive the operation. The efforts of the orator, like the efforts of the dramatist, tend to the production of a public effect rather than to the satisfaction of a syllable-weighing pedantry.— With such a censor CURRAN is too wild, and Demosthenes too studied, and Shakespeare, speaking with the tongue of nature, a victim to the Unities.

EDMUND BURKE* was born in Dublin on

, the first day of January 1730; commenced his education at Ballytore, in the county of Carlow, and completed it in the University of Dublin. Having finished his academical studies, he applied for the then vacant logic chair of Glasgow, but being disappointed he repaired to London and entered himself as a law student on the books of the Middle Temple. While there, his principal support was derived from his contributions to the periodical publications of the day; however,

* A friend has suggested the possibility of Ireland's being denied the credit of Burke, because he did not reside in the country. Burke was twenty-three years old before he left his native land and regularly visited it once a year for forty years after. However, the idea is ridiculous. We may as well be denied the honour of Barry, because his paintings are confined to the Adelphi, or of Lord Wellington, because his glory was acquired in the Peninsula. Will England resign her claims to Howard and the Duke of Marlborough, or will our Edinborough friends contend that emigration is a bar against nativity ? Alas! if so, upon how few wise men can Scotland calculate. Perhaps, however, there is not, in every point of view, a more unadulterated specimen of the Irish school than Mr. Burke. He

was peculiarly an Irishman.



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