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is conclusively proved by the specimens of eloquence which we find recorded in the oldest writings extant.

Like their poetry, the oratory of the Hebrews was short and sententious, but in the speeches of Moses, and Samuel, and in the Book of Job, we have many beautiful examples of the sublime and pathetic in oratory.

The speeches in Homer are worthy of study. It is said that these speeches were composed by Homer, and are not to be ascribed to the characters from whose mouths they are supposed to issue, nor to the period in which they existed. This may be true, but the Iliad is known to be a dramatic representation of the age in which the poet lived; hence two inferences will follow-that it was then customary to address public assemblies in the manner of the heroes of Homer-and that no inconsiderable progress must have been made in eloquence as an art.

Eloquence is only to be looked for in free states, and free states are only to be found where eloquence is assiduously cultivated. Longinus, in his treatise on the sublime, says that liberty is the nurse of true genius; it animates the spirit and invigorates the hopes of men; excites honorable emulation, and a desire of excelling in every art.

In tracing the rise of oratory it is needless to go too far back in the early ages of the world, or delve for it among the monuments of Eastern or Egyptian antiquity. There was eloquence of a certain kind in those ages, but it was more like poetry than oratory. Philologists believe that the language of the first ages was passionate and metaphorical, owing to the small stock of words then known, and to the tincture which language naturally takes from the barbarous and uncultivated state of men, agitated by unrestrained passions, and struck by events, the causes of which, to them, were unknown. Rapture and enthusiasm, the parents of poetry, had an ample field in this state.

While the intercourse between different countries was unfrequent, when the words stranger and enemy were synonymous, and force and strength were the chief means employed in deciding controversies, the arts of oratory were compara

tively unknown. The Assyrian and Egyptian empires, the first that arose, were despotic in character, and the people were led, or driven, not persuaded, and none of those refinements of society which make public speaking an object of importance were as yet introduced.

One of the earliest accounts of a trial is that which Homer has given us in his description of the shield made by Hephæstion, at the request of Thetis, for Achilles. The parties. are represented as pleading themselves before the judges.

"The people thronged the forum, where arose

The strife of tongues, and two contending stood:
The one asserting that he had paid the mulct,
The price of blood for having slain a man;
The other claiming still the fine as due.

Both eager to the judges made appeal.

The crowds, by heralds scarce kept back, with shouts
And cheers applauded loudly each in turn.
On smooth and polished stones, a sacred ring,
The elders sat, and in their hands their staves
Of office held, to hear and judge the cause;
While in the midst two golden talents lay,

The prize of him who should most justly plead."

From the time of Homer to the age of Pericles, there are no authentic orations on record.

The eloquence of Pericles must have been of a high order, for by his eloquence and his policy his influence was supreme in Athenian affairs for many years.

It is said that Pericles was the first Athenian who composed, and put into writing, an oration designed for the public. The golden age of Grecian eloquence extended from the time of Solon (about 600 B.C.) to that of Alexander (B.C. 336). Within this space the most renowned orators flourished. This was the brightest period in the history of Greece, at the close of which her sun went down in clouds, and never rose again in its native, dazzling splendour. It is said that Anaxagoras instructed Pericles in the sublimest sciences, and that Pericles acquired from him not only an

elevation of sentiment, but a loftiness and purity of style far superior to that of any of his cotemporaries. Pericles was also noted for a remarkable gravity of countenance which never relaxed into laughter, a firm and even tone of voice, an easy deportment, and a decency of dress which no vehemence of speaking ever put into disorder.

These things and others of a like nature excited the admiration of his countrymen. In commenting upon the character of this wonderful man, Plutarch says: "The beauty of goodness has an attractive power; it kindles in us at once an active principle; it forms our manners, and influences our desires, not only when represented in a living example, but even in an historical description."

When the name of Pericles is mentioned to a lover of liberty, a crowd of glorious associations is called up. The splendid funeral oration over those who fell in the Peloponnesian war, is one of the grandest productions of antiquity. It exhibits a strong and ardent attachment to country, which true patriots always feel, and an undaunted courage in its defence, and willingness to pledge everything for the maintenance of civil liberty. Many portions of this peerless oration are almost as applicable to America as to Athens when delivered, but if the merits of the martyrs and heroes of the American Revolution could be justly set forth by an orator equal to the task, the renowned oration of Pericles would be eclipsed.

The author cannot forbear quoting a few passages from that celebrated address:

"I shall begin, first, with our ancestors, to whom it is at once just and becoming, on such an occasion as the present, that this honour of our commemoration should be paid; for the country which was ever their own home, they have handed down in the line of their successors to the present day, free, through their valour. Both they indeed are worthy of our praise, and still more our own fathers; for having, in addition to what they inherited, acquired, not without hardship, the dominion which we possess, they have transmitted it to us.

"The greater portion of it indeed we ourselves, who are yet at the meridian of life, have still further augmented, till we have placed the city in all things in such a state of preparation that it is all-sufficient in itself for war and for peace.

"The warlike deeds by which all this has been effected, either by ourselves or by our fathers, in strenuously resisting the invasions, whether of barbarians or of Greeks, I omit, not wishing to enlarge upon them before the well informed; but by what conduct we have come to this condition, by what policy and by what manners these great results have been brought about, these I will set forth before the eulogy of the deceased, deeming these things not inappropriate to be spoken on this occasion; and that it will be beneficial to the whole assembly of strangers and citizens to listen to them.

"For we enjoy a form of government not emulating the laws of neighbouring states, being ourselves rather a model to others than copying from them. It has been called by the name of Democracy, as being the government not of the few but of the majority. It secures to all, under the laws, equality in their private controversies,-in proportion as a citizen is in any respect in good repute, he is preferred above others, not more on account of the class to which he may belong than his own merit; while, on the other hand, as to poverty, no one qualified to serve the state is prevented from doing so by the obscurity of his condition. We perform our public duties on these liberal principles; and as to mutual supervision in reference to the daily course of life, we take no offence at our neighbour for following his own inclination, nor do we subject ourselves to the annoyance of austerities which are painful, if not injurious. In this panegyric of the state of things in Athens there is a constant, though tacit contrast with the Spartan institutions and character.

"While our private intercourse, therefore, is without offence in our public concerns, we mainly fear to act illegally, ever obeying the magistrates for the time being and

the laws, especially such of them as are passed for the protection of the oppressed, and such, though unwritten, as cannot be broken without acknowledged shame.

Having displayed our power in noble manifestations, and most assuredly not without witnesses, we shall be the admiration of the present age and of posterity, not needing in addition the eulogy of Homer, or of any other poet, whose descriptions will charm the ear at the time, but whose conceptions of deeds is at variance with the truth; but having forced every sea and every land to be accessible to our enterprise, and having everywhere planted, together with our settlements, eternal monuments of injuries and of benefits. Combating therefore generously for such a city, and thinking it unjust that it should be wrested from them, these men laid down their lives; and, of those who survive, it behooves every one to labour and suffer for it.

"Such, then, as became the city, were the departed. As for those who remain, you may desire indeed a safer career, but you must not deign to cherish a spirit in any degree less resolute toward the enemy;-having regard not merely to the words of persons not wiser than yourselves, who may harangue you upon the honour of gallant resistance to the foe, but rather daily contemplating indeed the power of the state, till you become enamoured of it; and when you have come to perceive its greatness, reflecting that brave men knowing their duty, and in their deeds shrinking from dishonour, have achieved it,-men who, even though they might fail in an enterprise, still felt that they ought not to deprive the country of the benefit of their valour, but lavished upon it the most precious offering. Thus giving their lives to the public they received individually the praise that grows not old, and a most distinguished sepulchre, not so much that in which their bodies lie, as that in which their glory-on every occasion of word or deed-shall be left in everlasting remembrance.

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