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with such an Air of Superiority, as to reprove and filence him. $“ You beg
Life and Safety of OCTAVIUS: (says hre) what Death cou'd be so bad? By this Request you thew that Tyranny is not destroy’d;
and that we «
have only chang'd our Tyrant. Con“ fider' your own Words ; and deny if
you can, that such a Pecition is fit to « be offer'd to none but a King; and “ from a Slave too. You say that you “ ask and expect only one Favour of
# Commendas nostram salutem illi ; quæ morte qua non
Unum ais esse quod ab eo poftuletur, & expectetur, ut eos cives, de quibus viri boni, populusque Romanus bene existimet, salvos velit. Quid fi nolit : non erimus ? atqui non esse, quam esse per illum, præstat. Ego medius fidius non existimo tam omnes Deos aversos efle a salute populi Romani ut Octavius orandus fit
salute cujusquam Civis, non dicam
Liberatoribus orbis terrarum Hoc tu Cicero, poffe fateris Octavium, & illi amicus es? aut, si me carum habes, vis Roma videri ; cum ut ibi effe poffem, commendandus puero illi fuerim ? Cui quid agis gratias fi ut nos falvos esse velit, & patiatur, rogandum putas ? an hoc pro beneficio est habendum, quod fe, quam Antonium, effe maluerit, a quo ifta petenda effent Ifta verò imbecillitas & defperatio, cujus culpa non magis in te residet, quam in omnibus a. lijs, Cæfarem in cupiditatem regni impulit : & Antonio Quod si Romanos nos esse meminiffemus : non audacius dominari cuperent poftremi Homines, quam ut nos prohiberemus. Tu quidem Consularis, & tantorum scelerum yndex (quibus oppressis vereor ne in breve tempus dilata fit abs te pernicies,) qui potes intueri quæ
Apud CICER. Lib. Epift. ad Brut. Ep. xvj.
« him; that he wou'd save the Lives of “ those Citizens who are esteem'd by “ Persons of Worth, and by all the Ro“ man People. What then, unless he “ fhall graciously please, we must not u live? But 'tis better to die, than tơ
owe our Lives to him. No, I can't “ think the Gods are such declar'd Ene
mys to the Safety of Rome, as to be « willing that the Life of any Citizen “ shou'd be beg'd of OCTAVIUS; and “ far less, the Lives of those who are the " Deliverers of the Universe -- O CI
CERO, can you confess that he has “ such Power ; and still be one of his “ Friends? Or if you love me, can you « desire to see me at Rome, when I can
not come thither without obtaining that
Boy's Permission ? For what do you « thank him; if you think that our Life “ must still be beg'd of him as a Favour? “ Must we reckon it a Happiness that he
chuses to have such Favours alk'd rather of hiin than of ANTONY?... “ This Weakness and Despair which o" thers are guilty of as well as you, first “ einboldeni'd CÆSAR to make himself
King But if we remeinber'd that 6. we are ROMANS, the Ambition “ of these base Men to ufurp the Go“ vernment wou'd not have been greater " than our Courage in defending it. I'm
afraid that you who have been Conful “ and aveng' the Publick of so many “ Crimes have thereby only delay'd our « Ruin for a short while. How can you o behold what you have done?” How weak, indecent, and mean must this Discourse have appear’d, if it had been fill'd with Witticisms and quaint Conceits.
But now shall those who ought to speak like Apostles, gather up, with industrious Affectation, thofe Flowers of Rhetorick that DEMOSTHENES, MANĻIUS and BRUTUS trampled on? Shall we unagin that the Ministers of the Gospel have lefs Concern for the eternal Salvation of Souls, than DEMOSTHENES for the Liberty of his Country ; lefs Zeal to do good, than MANLIUS had Ambition to seduce the Multitude ; or less Resolution than BRUTUS, who chose Death rather than to owe his Life to a Tyrant?
I own, that the florid kind of Eloquence has its Beautys : but they are quite milapply'd in those Discourses that ought to be animated with the noblest Passions
3 and wherein there is no room for delicate Turns of Wit. The florid sort of Rhetorick can never come up to the true fublime. What wou'd the Antients have faid of a Tragedy, wherein HĘCUBA
laments her Misfortunes with Points of Wit. True Grief does not talk thus. Or what cou'd we think of a Preacher who shou'd, in the most affected Jingle of Words, shew Sinners the divine Judgment hanging over their Head, and Hell open
under their Feet? There is a * Decency to be observ'd in our Language, as in our Cloaths. A disconfolate Widow does not mourn in Fringes, Ribbons, and Einbroidery. And an Apoftolical Minifter ouglit not to preach the Word of God in a pompous Stile, full of affected Ornaments. The Pagans wou'd not have endur'd to see even a Comedy so ill-acted. Ut ridentibus arrident ita flentibus adsunt Humani vultus. Si vis me flere, dolendum eft v. 101 --.. Primùm ipsi tibi : tunc tua me infortunia ladent Telephe, vel peleu : malè fi mandata loqueris Aut dormitabo, aut ridebo : tristia mæstum Vultum verba decent
We must not judge so unfavourably of Eloquence as to reckon it only a frivolous Art that a Declaimer uses to impose on the weak Imagination of the Multi
* Nunc quid aptum fit, hoc eft, quid maxime deceat in Oratione, videamus : quamquam id quidem perfpicuum eft, non omni caufæ, nec auditori, neque perso, næ, neque tempori congruere orationis unum genus Omnique in re poffe quod deceat facere, artis & naturæ cit; fcire, quid, quandoque deceat, prudentiæ.
CICERO de Orat. lib. iij. §. 35.
tude, and to serve his own Ends. 'Tis a very serious Art; design'd to instruct People; fuppress their Passions; and reform their Manners; to support the Laws direct publick Councils; and to inake Men good and happy. The more Pains an Haranguer takes to dazzle me, by the Artifices of his Discourse, the inore I shou'd despise his Vanity. His Eagerness to display his Wit wou'd in my Judgment render him unworthy of the least Admiration. I love a serious Preacher, who speaks for my fake; and not for his own; who seeks my Salvation, and not his own Vain-glory. He best deserves to be heard who uses Speech only to cloath hịs Thoughts; and his Thoughts only to promote Truth and Virtue, Nothing is more despicable than a profess’t Declaimer, who retails his Discourses, as a Quack does his Medicines.
I am willing this point shou'd be determin'd by the very Heathen, PLATO wou'd not permit in his Republick such effeminate Notes of Musick as the Lydians us'd. The Lacedemonians excluded from theirs all Instruments that were too compounded ; left they shou'd foften the People's Temper. Such Harmony as ferves merely to please the Ear, is an Amusement fit only for soft and idle Persons; and is unworthy of a well-or