Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

F4

concernd for his own Fame, than for the Justice of his Cause. And this will always be the Case when People employ one to plead for thein, who regards their Business no farther than as it gives him an Opportunity of distinguishing himself, and of shining in his Profession. Thus we find that among

the Romans their Pleading at the Bar, was oft-times nothing else but a pompous Declamation. After all, we inust own that Tully's * youthful and inost elaborate Orations shew a great deal of his moving and perswalive Art. But to forin a just Notion of it, we must observe the Harangues he made in his more advanc'd Age, for the Neceflities of the Republick. For then, the Experience he had in the weightiest Affairs, the Love of Liberty, and the Fear of those Calamities that hung over his Head, made him display the utmost Efforts of his Eloquence. When he endeavour'd to support and revive expiring Liberty, and to aniinate the Cominonwealth against ANTONY his Enemy; you do not see him use Points of Wit and quaint Antitheses : He's then truly eloquent. Every thing seems artless, as it ought to be when one is veheinent. With a negligent Air he delivers the most natural and affecting Sentiments ; and says every thing that can move and animate the Passions.

most * Nunc causa perorata, res ipfa & periculi magnitudo, C. Aquilli, cogere videtur, ut te, atque eos, qui tibi in consilio funt, obfecret, obtesteturque P. Quintius per senectutem ac solitudinem suam, nihil aliud, nisi ut vestræ naturæ, bonitatique obfequamini : ut, cum veritas hæc faciat, plus hujus inopia pofsit ad misericordiam quam illius opes ad crudelitatem Si quæ pudore ornamenta fibi peperit, Navi, ea poteft contra petulantiam, te defendente, obtinere ; fpes eft & hunc miserum atque in. felicem aliquando tandem poffe confiftere. Sin poterit Nevius id quod libet ; & ei libebit, quod non licet; quid agendum eft ? Qui Deus appellandus est ? cujus hominis fides imploranda ? --- ab ipfo (Navio] repudiatus, ab amicis ejus non sublevatus; ab omni magistratu agitatus atque perterritus, quem præter te appellet, (C. Aquilli] habet neminem : Tibi se, tibi suas omnes opes fortunasque commendat : tibi committit existimationem ac fpem reliquæ vitæ. Multis vexatus contumelijs, plurimis jactatus injurijs non turpis ad te, fed miser confugit; e fundo ornatislimo dejectus, ignominijs omnibus appetitus --- Itaque te hoc obsecrat, C. Aquilli, ut quam existimationem, quam honestatem in judicium tuum, prope acta jam ætate decursaque attulit, eam liceat ei fecum ex hoc loco efferre ; ne is, de cujus officio nemo unquam dubitavit, fexagefimo denique anno, dedecore, macula, turpissimaque ignominia notetur : ne ornamentis ejus omnibus, Sex. Navius pro fpolijs abutatur : ne per te ferat, quo minus, quæ existimatio P. Quintium usque ad senectutem perduxit, eadem ufque ad rogum prosequatur, Cic. Orat. pro P. Quintio.

C. You have often spoke of witty Conceits and quaint Turns. Pray, what do you mean by these Expressions ? For I can scarce distinguish those witty Turns from the other Crnaments of Discourse. In my Opinion, all the Embellishments of Speech flow from Wit, and a vigorous Fancy.

A. But Tully thinks, there are inany Expressions that owe all their Beauty and Ornament to their Force and Pro

priety;

[ocr errors]

priety; and to the Nature of the Subje& they are apply'd to.

C. I dori't exactly understand these Terins: be pleas’d to shew ine in a familiar way, how I may readily distinguish betwixt a Flash of Wit, (or quaint Turn,) and a solid Ornament, or noble delicate Thought.

A. Reading, and Observation will teach you beft: there are a hundred different sorts of witty Conceits,

C. But pray, Sir, tell me at least some general Mark by which I may know thein: Is it Affectation ?

A. Not every kind of Affectation: but a fond Desire to please, and shew one's Wit.

C. This gives me fome little Light: but I want still some distinguishing Marks, to direct

my Judgment. A. I'll give you one then, which perhaps will satisfy you. We have seen that Eloquence consists not only in giving clear convincing Proofs; but likewise in the Art

of

True WIT is Nature to advantage dress't,
What oft' was thought, but ne'er so well express't ;
Something, whose Truth convinc'd at sight we find,
That gives us back the Image of our Mind.
As Shades more sweetly recommend the Light :
So modest Plainness fet's-off sprightly Wit.
For Works

may

have more Wit than does them good ; As Bodies perish through Excess of Blood.

Mr. POPE's Essay on Criticism. p. 23,

of moving the Passions. Now in order to move them, we must be able to paint thein well; with their various Objects, and Effects. So that I think the whole Art of Oratory may be reduc'd to proving, painting, and raising the Pasions. Now all those pretty, sparkling, quaint Thoughts that do not tend to one of these Ends, are only witty Conceits.

C. What do you mean by Painting? I never heard that Term apply'd to Rhe

torick. Il See Lon- A. To || paint, is not only to describe ginus f.xv. Things; but to represent the Circuin

stances of 'em, in such a * lively sensible manner, that the Hearer shall fancy he almost fees them with his Eyes. For instance : if a dry Historian were to give an Account of Dodo's Death, he wou'd only say ; She was overwhelin'd with Sorrow after the Departure of ÆNE AS; and that she grew weary of her Life: So up top of her Palace; and

lying

she went

to the

* Plus eft evidentia, vel ut alij dicunt, REPRÆSENTATIO, quam perfpicuitas : & illud quidem patet : hæc fe quodammodo oftendit Magna virtus est, res de quibus loquimur, clarè atque ut cerni videantur, enunciare. Non enim satis efficit, neque ut debet plenè dominatur oratio, si usque ad aures volet, atque ea fibi judex de quibus cognoscit, narrari credit, non exprimi, & oculis mentis ostendi ---- Atque hujus fummx, judicio quidem ineo, virtutis facillima est via. Naturam intucamur, hanc fequamar

QUINTIL, lib, viij, c. 3, ÆNEAS

do not

lying down on her Funeral-Pile, she stab'd herself. Now these Words wou'd inform

you

of the Fact ; but you see it. When you read the Story in * VIRGIL, he sets it before your Eyes. When he represents all the Circumstances of Dino’s Dispair; describes her wild Rage ; and Death already staring in her Aspect; when he makes her speak at the Sight of the Picture and Sword that

* Talia dicentem jamdudum aversa tuetur,

Huc illuc volvens oculos, totumque pererrat
Luminibus tacitis, & fic accensa profatur :
Heu! furijs incenfa feror
Tum vero infelix fatis exterrita Dido,
Mortem orat : tædet cæli convexa tueri.
Ergo ubi concepit furias, evicta dolore,
Decrevitque mori ; tempus secum ipfa modumque
Exigit ---
At Regina pyrâ, penetrali in fede, fub auras
Erecta ingenti, tædis atque

ilice secta
Intenditque locum fertis, & fronde coronát
Funerea : super exuvias, ensemque relictum,
Effigiemque toro locat & crines effusa facerdos
Tercentum tonat ore Deos
Ipsa mola, manibusque pijs, altaria juxta
Unum exuta pedem vinclis, in veste recincta
Testatur moritura Deos, & conscia fati
Sidera : tum, si quod non æquo fædere amantes
Curæ Numen habet, juftumque memorque precatur.

NOX erat : & placidum carpebant festa soporem Corpora per terras; silvæque & fæva quierant Æquora : cum medio volvuntur fidera lapsu : Cum tacet omnis ager ; pecudes, pictæque volucres, Quæque lacus late liquidos, quæque aspera dumis Rura tenent, somno pofitæ sub nocte filenti Lenibant curas, & corda oblita laborum. At non infelix animi Phænissa ; neque unquam Solvitur in somnos, oculisve aut pectore noctem Accipit : ingeminant curæ, rurfusque resurgens Sæyit amor, magnoque irarum Auctuat æstu,

« ZurückWeiter »