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part of the oration be made to the passions of the audience, it seldom fails of a happy effect. But the subject should completely authorize it, for nothing is more truly disguating than affected pathos; and it should not be abruptly introduced, but should be a continuation of something of the same description which preceded. Bishop Sherlock is very happy in his perorations; and I do not know a finer passage than that which is quoted by Bishop Lowth in his Grammar, and afterwards by Dr. Blair, as an example of the prosopopæia--"Go to your natural religion," &c.

Dr. Ogden has also displayed a happy talent in this as well as in every branch of the rhetorical art. I transcribe almost at random the conclusion of his thirteenth sermon on the Articles of the Christian Faith.

« Let this suffice. Embrace the offer of life; fly from the wrath to come. You know not the plan of infinite government, what the order of God's universe admits, what eternal wisdom counsels, or supreme rectitude requires. Say not within yourselves, If he desires that I should be happy, he can make me so. He can do every thing that is right and fit to be done ;

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and nothing more. He desires you to be happy, and it is therefore he does so much, and, for any thing you know, all he can do, to effect it. He is your friend and your father : but, in this respect, like your parents upon earth; he can only lament over your calamities, if you resist his goodness, and are resolved to perish in spite of all the efforts of omnipotence.

6 For your own sake, and for the sake of those who love you, not only on earth, but above, the blessed angels, the Holy Trinity, return to yourself, to a sound mind, to the exercise of piety, and the practice of all virtue : there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” i I cannot however give you a finer instance of a spirited peroration, than the conclusion of Mr. Burke's address on the bustings at Bristol, when be declined the election in 1780, and with this I shall conclude my letter; only adding one observation, that the short address from which it is extracted is one of the most precious specimens of eloquence that antient or modern times have recorded

“ It has been usual for a candidate who de

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clines, to take his leave by a letter to the she. riffs; but I received your trust in the face of day, and in the face of day I accept your dis. mission. I am not-I am not at all ashamed to look upon you; nor can my presence discompose the order of business here. I humbly and respectfully take my leave of the sheriffs, the candidates, and the electors, wishing heartily that the choice may be for the best, at a time which calls, if ever time did call, for the ser. vice that is not nominal. It is no plaything you are about. I tremble when I consider the trust I bave presumed to ask. I confided perhaps too much in my intentions. They were really fair and upright; and I am bold to say, that I ask no ill thing for you, when, on parting from this place, I pray, that whoever you choose to succeed me, may resemble me ex. actly in all things, excepting my abilities to serve, and my fortune to please you."

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1

LETTER XVII.

Different kinds of Oratory.-Eloquence of the

Senate.- Of the Bar.

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MY DEAR JOHN, ALL orations may be arranged under two di. visions. Ist. Those which are precomposed, and delivered either from memory, or read aloud to the audience; and 2dly, those which are spoken on the occasion, with little of previous study, at least with respect to the style or language,

and this kind of eloquence is what we call extempore.

We have reason to believe that the most finished orations of the antients were precom" posed, and committed to memory. We have the frank acknowledgment of Pliny the younger, that their ornamental eloquence, their panegyrics, come under this description ; and we

l find from the same authority, that it was even common to read them, previous to their delivery, to a select company of friends, for the benefit of their criticisms. The confession of Cicero* that, be had by him a volume of Ex. ordiums ready precomposed, from which he was accustomed to select, leads me to suspect that many

of his orations were in the same predicament. If I am not mistaken, the pleadings before the French parliament were always precomposed, and read by the advocates. The form of their trials, in which the evidence was all reduced to writing, and taken before notaries previous to the pleading before the court, en. tirely favoured this kind of eloquence. The French preachers also committed their sermons to memory; and I have been assured that in the national assembly, and the convention, many, even of the first orators, either read their speeches or delivered them from memory.

A modern writer (Mr. Hume) has instituted a comparison between antient and modern eloquence, infinitely indeed to the disadvantage of the latter. I suspect he was scarcely sufficient master of the languages to read the antients with that kind of relish that results from fami. liarity, and therefore incautiously took their

* Ad Atticuin, lib. xvi, ess. 6.

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