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We must not rest satisfied with admiring the celebrated orators of Greece and Rome. Oratory, that most sublime of all arts, must not be neglected, while every other useful and ornamental art speeds swiftly toward perfection.

American eloquence should be raised above all Greek, above all Roman fame. To our young readers, especially, we would repeat the words of Adams:

"Is it your intention to devote the labours of your maturity to the cause of justice; to defend the persons, the property, and the fame of your fellow-citizens from the open assaults of violence, and the secret encroachments of fraud? Fill the fountains of your eloquence from inexhaustible sources, that their streams, when they shall begin to flow, may themselves prove inexhaustible.

"Is there among you a youth whose bosom burns with. the fires of honourable ambition; who aspires to immortalise his name by the extent and importance of his services to his country; whose visions of futurity glow with the hope of presiding in her councils, of directing her affairs, of appearing to future ages, on the rolls of fame, as her ornament and pride? Let him catch from the relics of ancient oratory those unresisted powers which mould the mind of a man to the will of the speaker, and yield the guidance of a nation to the dominion of the voice.

"Under governments purely republican, where every citizen has a deep interest in the affairs of the nation, and, in some form of public assembly or other, has the means and opportunity of delivering his opinions, and of communicating his sentiments by speech,-where government itself has no arms but those of persuasion,-where prejudice has not acquired an uncontrolled ascendancy, and faction is yet confined within the barriers of peace, the voice of eloquence will not be heard in vain.

"March then with firm, with steady, with undeviating step to the prize of your high calling. Gather fragrance from the whole paradise of science, and learn to distil from your lips all the honeys of persuasion. Consecrate, above all, the faculties of your life to the cause of truth, of freedom,

and of humanity. So shall your country ever gladden at the sound of your voice, and every talent, added to your accomplishments, become another blessing to mankind."

The advance of civilisation is great, and the engines of force are mighty, but man is greater than that which he produces. Unspeakably great and useful is the Press, and the voice is its most important auxiliary. There is work for both. It has been said that our greatest orators have not been trained. This is not true. On the contrary, the most successful forensic and political orators of ancient and modern times have been diligent students of oratory from the time of Demosthenes to the present, and including that great forensic orator, Hon. Joseph H. Choate, the most successful advocate of the present day.

Henry Clay, by his own exertions, chiefly, became an accomplished and cultured orator, and it is said that Daniel Webster was studious of everything he did, even to the selection of the buttons for his coat.

He who does not believe that industry is necessary to the attainment of eloquence, should read the following extract from the works of an able writer upon the subject:

"The history of the world is full of testimony to prove how much depends upon industry. Not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that every one must be content to remain just what he may happen to be. Thus, multitudes, who come forward as teachers and guides, suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most indifferent attainments, and a miserable mediocrity, without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, much less, making any attempt to rise. For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship and would be ashamed to practise it in public before they had learned it. If any one would sing, he attends a master, and is drilled in the very elementary principles; and it is only after the most laborious process that he dares to exercise his voice in public. This he does,

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though he has scarcely anything to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible forms before the eye. But the extempore speaker, who is to invent, as well as to utter, to carry on an operation of the mind, as well as to produce sound, enters upon the work without preparatory discipline, and then wonders that he fails! If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, how many hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, and in attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution!"

The author cannot commend too highly the following comparison between ancient and modern oratory by John Quincy Adams:

"At the revival of letters in modern Europe, Eloquence, together with her sister muses, awoke, and shook the poppies from her brow. But their torpors still tingled in her veins. In the interval her voice was gone; her favourite languages were extinct; her organs were no longer attuned to harmony, and her hearers could no longer understand her speech. The discordant jargon of feudal anarchy had banished the musical dialects, in which she had always delighted. The theatres of her former triumphs were either deserted, or they were filled with the babblers of sophistry and chicane. She shrunk intuitively from the forum, for the last object she remembered to have seen. there was the head of her darling Cicero, planted upon the rostrum. She ascended the tribunals of justice; there she found her child, Persuasion, manacled and pinioned by the letter of the law; there she beheld an image of herself, stam'mering in barbarous Latin, and staggering under the lumber of a thousand volumes. Her heart fainted within her. She lost all confidence in herself. Tegether with her irre sistible powers, she lost proportionably the consideration of the world, until, instead of comprising the whole system of public education, she found herself excluded from the circle of sciences, and declared an outlaw from the realms of learning. She was not, however, doomed to eternal silence. With the progress of freedom and of liberal science, in vari

ous parts of modern Europe, she obtained access to mingle in the deliberations of their parliaments. With labour and difficulty she learned their languages, and lent her aid in giving them form and polish. But she has never recovered the graces of her former beauty, nor the energies of her ancient vigour.

"The immeasurable superiority of ancient over modern oratory is one of the most remarkable circumstances which offer themselves to the scrutiny of reflecting minds, and it is in the languages, the institutions, and the manners of modern Europe, that the solution of a phenomenon so extraordinary must be sought. The assemblies of the people, of the select councils, or of the senate in Athens and Rome, were held for the purpose of real deliberation. The fate of measures was not decided before they were proposed. Eloquence produced a powerful effect, not only upon the minds of the hearers, but upon the issue of the deliberation. In the only countries of modern Europe, where the semblance of deliberative assemblies has been preserved, corruption, here in the form of executive influence, there in the guise of party spirit, by introducing a more compendious mode of securing decisions, has crippled the sublimest efforts of oratory, and the votes upon questions of magnitude to the interest of nations are all told, long before the questions themselves are submitted to discussion. Hence those nations, which for ages have gloried in the devotion to literature, science, and the arts, have never been able to exhibit a specimen of deliberative oratory that can bear a comparison with those transmitted down to us from antiquity.

"Religion indeed has opened one new avenue to the career of eloquence. Amidst the sacrifices of paganism to her three hundred thousand gods, amidst her sagacious and solemn consultations in the entrails of slaughtered brutes, in the flight of birds, and the feeding of fowls, it had never entered her imagination to call upon the pontiff, the haruspex, or the augur, for discourses to the people, on the nature of their duties to their Maker, their fellow-mortals, and themselves. This was an idea, too august to be mingled

with the absurd and ridiculous, or profligate and barbarous rites of her deplorable superstition. It is an institution, for which mankind are indebted to Christianity; introduced by the Founder himself of this divine religion, and in every point of view worthy of its high original. Its effects have been to soften the tempers and purify the morals of mankind; not in so high a degree as benevolence could wish, but enough to call forth our strains of warmest gratitude to that good Being, who provides us with the means of promoting our own felicity, and gives us power to stand, though leaving us free to fall. Here then is an unbounded and inexhaustible field for eloquence, never explored by the ancient orators; and here alone have the modern Europeans cultivated the art with much success. In vain should we enter the halls of justice, in vain should we listen to debates of senates for strains of oratory worthy of remembrance beyond the duration of the occasion which called them forth. The art of embalming thought by oratory, like that of embalming bodies by aromatics, would have perished, but for the exercises of religion. These alone have in the latter ages furnished discourses which remind us that eloquence is yet a faculty of the human mind.

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Among the causes which have contributed thus to depress the oratory of modern times, must be numbered the indifference with which it has been treated as an article of education. The ancients had fostered an opinion, that this talent was in a more than usual degree the creature of discipline; and it is one of the maxims handed down to us as a result of their experience, that men must be born to poetry, and bred to eloquence; that the bard is always the child of nature, and the orator always the issue of instruction. The doctrine seems to be not entirely without foundation, but was by them carried in both its parts to an extravagant


"The foundations for the oratorical talent, as well as those of the poetical faculty, must be laid in the bounties of nature; and as the muse in Homer, impartial in her distribution of good and evil, struck the bard with blindness,

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