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official honours of the state. Want of competition, and the formation of luxurious habits, however, caused him gradually to relax that assiduity which had contributed so largely to his success. The growing fame of Cicero, however, stimulated him to renew his exertions. He never, however, recovered his former reputation. Cicero partly accounts for this decline from the peculiar nature and genius of his oratory. His oratory was Asiatic in character, being full of brilliant thought and sparkling expressions, and was much more florid and ornamental than that of Cicero himself.

This glowing style of oratory, though lacking in deficiency and weight, was not unsuitable in a young man, and being further recommended by a beautiful cadence, met with the greatest applause. Hortensius, as he advanced in years, retained the florid style of oratory which he had acquired in his youth. The grave fathers of the senatorial order thought his glittering phraseology totally inconsistent with his advanced age and consular dignity, consequently his reputation diminished with increase of years.

The orations of Hortensius, it has been said, suffered much when transferred to paper, as his chief excellence consisted in delivery.

As the speeches of Hortensius have not been preserved, his oratorical character rests almost entirely upon the opinion of his great, but unprejudiced rival, Cicero. The friendship and friendly rivalry of Hortensius and Cicero presents an agreeable contrast to the bitter enmity of Æschines and Demosthenes. Hortensius also was free from any feeling of that envy which is such an infallible mark of an ignoble mind. Cicero has certainly done the oratorical talents of Hortensius ample justice, representing him as endowed with nearly all the qualities necessary to form a great orator, as has been said. Macrobius, however, says that, on account of his affected gestures, he was much ridiculed by some of his contemporaries. His adversaries accused him of being too theatrical in his gestures. It seems that in pleading it was his custom to keep his hands almost constantly in motion. Roscius, the celebrated Roman actor, often attended his

pleadings to catch his gestures and imitate them on the stage. According to Valerius Maximus, his exertion in action was so great that it was commonly said that it could not be determined whether people went to hear or to see him. Like Demosthenes, he chose and put on his dress with the most studied care and neatness. He also is said to have bathed himself in odoriferous waters, and to have daily perfumed himself with the most precious essences. The only blemishes in his oratorical character appear to have been this minute attention to his person and his gesticulation. His moral conduct was not free from blame, because of his practice of sometimes corrupting the judges of the causes in which he appeared, when he could do so with impunity-unfortunately, in his time, there were many defects in the judicial system of Rome, and corruption of the courts was one of the greatest evils of the age.

It would be unfair to omit all mention of Hortensia, the daughter of Hortensius, for she inherited something of the spirit and eloquence of her father, and Valerius Maximus tells us that when the triumvirs Octavius, Lepidus, and Antony had imposed a tax upon the Roman matrons, and the advocates of the day were too cowardly to accept the perilous task of speaking on their behalf against the obnoxious law, Hortensia came forward as the champion of her sex, and made such an eloquent and effective speech that the greatest part of the tax was remitted. Quintillian says of Hortensia that her speech was well worthy of perusal without taking into account the sex of the speaker.

Mention ought also to be made of another Roman lady, Amasia Sentia, who appeared in her own behalf in an action which had been brought against her. Attracted by the novelty of the spectacle, an immense crowd had gathered in court to hear her. She pleaded her cause with such eloquence that she received at once an almost unanimous judgment in her favour.

Afrania, the wife of Licinius Buccio, a Senator, sometimes pleaded her own causes in person out of sheer impudence. She was a quarrelsome and litigious dame, and was perpetu

ally getting into legal scrapes. Her voice was so harsh and unmusical that it was compared to the yelp of a dog. After a while at Rome to be called an Afrania was a reproach amongst the women of the city.


Licinius Calvus was considered as the rival of Hortensius in eloquence, but his style of speaking was the reverse of that of Hortensius. The orations of Lysias were his models. 'Hence that correct and slender delicacy at which he so studiously aimed, and which he conducted with great skill and elegance; but, from being too much afraid of the faults of redundance and unsuitable ornament, he refined and attenuated his discourse till it lost. its raciness and spirit. He compensated, however, for his sterility of language and diminutive figure, by his force of elocution and vivacity of action." Says Quintillian: "I have met with persons who preferred Calvus to all our orators; and others who were of opinion that the too great rigor which he exercised on himself, in point of precision, had debilitated his oratorical talents. Nevertheless, his speeches, though chaste, grave, and correct, are frequently also vehement. His taste of writing was Attic; and his untimely death was an injury to his reputation, if he designed to add to his compositions, and not to retrench them. He delivered his most noted oration against Votinius when he was twenty years of age. Votinius, overpowered and alarmed, interrupted him by exclaiming to the judges: "Must I be condemned because he is eloquent ?

Calvus died at the early age of thirty. He left behind him twenty-one books of orations. Pliny, the younger,

made these orations his models.

Calidius merits a short notice. He is said to have been different from all other orators-chiefly on account of "the soft and polished language in which he arrayed his exquisitely delicate sentiments."


Nothing could be more easy, pliable, and ductile than the turn of his periods; his words flowed like a pure and limpid stream, without anything hard or muddy to impede or pollute their course; his action was genteel, his mode of

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address sober and calm, his arrangement the perfection of art. Cicero says, while discussing the merits of Calidius: The three great objects of an orator are to instruct, delight, and move.' Two of these he admirably accomplished. He rendered the most abstruse subject clear by illustration, and enchained the minds of his hearers with delight. But the third praise of moving and exciting the soul must be denied him; he had no force, pathos, or animation."

These were the greatest orators who preceded Cicero, or who were contemporaries with him. It is said that at Rome, in the time of Cicero, "the organisation of the judicial tribunals was wretched, and their practice scandalous. The Senate, Prætors, and Comitia, all partook of the legislative and judicial power, and had a sort of reciprocal right of opposition and reversal, which they exercised to gratify their avarice or prejudices, and not with any view to the ends of justice. But however injurious this system might be to those who had claims to urge, or rights to defend, it afforded the most ample fields for the excursions of eloquence. The Prætors, though the supreme judges, were not men bred to the law, advanced in years, familiarised with precedents, secure of independence, and fixed in their stations for life. They were young men of little experience, who held the office for a season, and proceeded, through it, to what were considered as the most important situations of the republic. Though their procedure was strict in some trivial points of preliminary form, devised by the ancient jurisconsults, they enjoyed in more essential matters a perilous latitude. On the dangerous pretext of equity, they eluded the law by various subtilties or fictions; and thus, without being endued with legislative authority, they abrogated ancient enactments according to caprice. It was worse, when, in civil cases, the powers of the Prætors were intrusted to the judges; or when, in criminal trials, the jurisdiction was assumed by the whole people. The inexperience, ignorance, and popular prejudices of those who were to decide them, rendered litigations extremely uncertain, and dependent, not on any fixed law or principle, but on the opinions or pas

sions of tumultuary judges, which were to be influenced and moved by the arts of oratory. This furnished ample scope for displaying all that interesting and various eloquence with which the pleadings of the ancient orators abounded. The means to be employed for success were conciliating favour, rousing attention, removing or fomenting prejudice, but, above all, exciting compassion. Hence we find that, in the defence of a criminal, while a law or precedent was seldom mentioned, everything was introduced which could serve to gain the favour of the judges or move their pity. The accused, as soon as the day of trial was fixed, assumed an apparently neglected garb; and although allowed, whatever was the crime, to go at large till sentence was pronounced, he usually attended in court surrounded by his friends, and sometimes accompanied by his children, in order to give a more piteous effect to the lamentations and exclamations of his counsel, when he came to that part of the oration in which the fallen and helpless state of his client was to be suitably bewailed. Piso, justly accused of oppression toward the allies, having prostrated himself on the earth in order to kiss the feet of his judges, and having risen with his face defiled with mud, obtained an immediate acquittal. Even where the cause was good, it was necessary to address the passions, and to rely on the judge's feelings of compassion, rather than on his perceptions of right. Rutilius prohibited all exclamations and entreaties to be used in his defence. He even forbade the accustomed and expected excitement of invocations, and stamping with the feet; and "he was condemned," says Cicero, "though the most virtuous of the Romans, because his counsel was compelled to plead for him as he would have done in the Republic of Plato." It thus appears that it was dangerous to trust to innocence alone, and that the judges were the capricious arbiters of the fate of their fellow-citizens, and not (as their situation so urgently required) the inflexible interpreters of the laws of their exalted country.

"But if the manner of treating causes was favourable to the exertions of eloquence, much also must be allowed for the

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