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WE are told, that the great Latin orator very much impaired his health, by the vehemence of action with which he used to deliver himself. The Greek orator was likewise so very famous for this particular in rhetoric, that one of his antagonists, whom he had banifhed from Athens, reading over the oration which had procured his banishment, and feeing his friends admire it, could not forbear afking them, if they were fo much affected by the bare reading of it, how much more they would have been alarmed, had they heard him actually throwing out such a storm of eloquence?
How cold and dead a figure, in comparison of these two great men, does an orator often make at the British bar, holding up his head, with the most infipid ferenity, and ftroking the fides of a long wig that reaches down to his middle? Nothing can be more ridiculous, than the geftures of most of our English speakers: you fee fome of them running their hands into their pockets, as far as ever they can thrust them; and others, looking with great attention on a piece of paper, that has nothing written in it: you may fee many a smart rhetorician, turning his hat in his hands, moulding it into feveral different cocks, examining fometimes the lining of it, and sometimes the button, during the whole course of his harangue. A deaf man would think he was cheapening a beaver, when perhaps he is talking of the fate of the British nation. I remember, when I was a young man, and used to frequent WestminsterHall, there was a counsellor who never pleaded without a piece of pack-thread in his hand, which he used to twift about a thumb or a finger, all the while he was fpeaking: the wags of thofe days ufe to call it the thread of his difcourfe, for he was not able to utter a word without it. One of
his clients, who was more merry than wise, stole it from him one day in the midst of his pleading; but he had better have let it alone, for he loft his cause by the jeft.
I fhall conclude this paper, with recommending the ftudy of delivery to all who have occafion to fpeak in public. Nature has affigned to every emotion of the foul, its peculiar caft of countenance, tone of voice, and manner of gefture; and, without thefe, the beft compofition will, in a great measure, lofe its effect.
IMPORTANCE OF VIRTUE.
IRTUE is of intrinfic value and good defert, and of indifpenfible obligation; not the creature of will, but neceffary and immutable; not local or temporary, but of equal extent and antiquity with the Divine mind; not a mode of fenfation, but everlasting truth; not dependent on power, but the guide of all power. Virtue is the foundation of honour and efteem, and the fource of all beauty, order, and happiness in nature. It is what confers value on all the other endowments and qualities of a reasonable being, to which they ought to be abfolutely fubfervient, and, without which, the more eminent they are, the more hideous deformities, and the greater curfes, they become..>
THE use of it is not confined to any one stage of our existence, or to any particular fituation we can be in; but reaches through all the periods and circumstances of our being. Many of the endowments and talents we now poffefs, and of which we are too apt to be proud, will cease entirely with the prefent ftate; but this will be our ornament and dignity, in every future ftate to which we may be removed. Beauty and wit will die, learning will vanish away, and all the arts of life be foon forgot; but virtue will remain for ever. This unites us to the whole rational creation, and fits us for converfing with any order of fuperior natures, and for a place in any part of God's works. It procures us the approbation and love of all wife and good beings, and renders them our allies and friends. But what is of unfpeakably greater confequence is, that it makes God our friend, affimilates and unites our minds to him, and engages his Almighty power in our defence. Superior beings, of all ranks, are bound by it, no lefs than ourselves. It has the fame authority in all worlds, that it has in this. The further any being is advanced in excellence and perfection, the greater is his attachment to it, and the more is he under its influence. To fay no more; 'Tis the law of the whole universe; it ftands firft in the estimation of the Deity; its original is his nature; and it is the very object that makes him lovely.
SUCH is the importance of virtue. Of what confequence, therefore, is it that we practise it! There is no argument or motive, in any refpect fitted to influence a reasonable mind, which does not call us to this. One virtuous difpofition of foul, is preferable to the greatest natural accomplishments and abilities, and of more value than all the treasures of the world. If you are wife, then, study virtue, and
contemn every thing that can come in competition with it. Remember, that nothing else deferves one anxious thought or wifh. Remember, that this alone is honour, glory, wealth, and happiness. Secure this, and you fecure every thing. Lofe this, and all is loft.
ASTONISHING INSTANCE OF COURAGE.
ORSENA, the moft potent king in Italy, having undertaken to reftore the Tarquins to the throne of Rome, from which they had been banished for their cruelty and oppreffion, fent propofals to the fenate for that purpofe; but, finding they were rejected with fcorn, he advanced towards Rome, in a confident persuasion that he should eafily reduce it. When he came to the bridge, and faw the Romans drawn up in order of battle before the river, he was furprized at their refolution; and, not doubting but he should overpower them with numbers, prepared to fight. The two armies being engaged, fought with great bravery, and long contended for victory. After a great flaughter on both fides, the Romans began to give way, and were quickly put to flight. All fled into the city, over the bridge; which at the fame time, would have afforded a paffage to the enemy, if Rome had not found, in the heroic courage of one of her citizens, a bulwark as ftrong as the higheft walls. Publius Horatius was the man, furnamed Cocles, because he had but one eye, having loft the other in a battle. He was the strongest and most undaunted of all the Romans. He
used every method to stop the flying army; but, perceiving that neither intreaties nor exhortations could overcome their fear, he resolved, however badly fupported he might be, to defend the entrance of the bridge, till it was demolished behind. On the fuccefs of this, depended the prefervation of the city. Standing alone against a whole army, he obliged them to retire, and fave themselves. He even dared to infult his numerous enemies; and caft terrible looks upon the principal Hetrurians: one while, challenged them to fingle combat; and, then, bitterly reproached them all. "Vile flaves !" faid he, Not fatisfied with being unmindful of your own,
ye are come to deprive others of their liberty, "who have had the courage to affume it." Covered with his buckler, he sustained a fhower of darts; and, at laft, when they were all preparing to rufh upon him, the bridge was entirely demolished, and Cocles, throwing himself, with his arms, into the Tyber, fafely fwam over; having performed an action, fays Livy, that will command the admiration, more than the faith, of pofterity. He was received in triumph by the Romans: the people erected him a brazen ftatue, in armour, in the most confpicuous part of the Forum: as much land was given him, as he could furround with a plough in a day; and all the inhabitants, both men and women, contributed to his reward.