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· If we censure those writers who represent perfons as speaking in a manner unsuitable to their fituation, with much more reason may we censure those who represent persons as thinking and speaking in a manner unsuitable to any character, or any circumstances whatever? Among these unnatural sentiments we may rank the avowing, or open undisguised proposal, of wicked purposes : becaufe human nature is so constituted, that direct vice and wickedness is universally shocking. For this reason men seldom entertain the thought of it in their own minds, much less propose it to others, but either under the appearance of virtue, or of fome great advantage, and with some salvo ferthe immorality of it,
With admirable propriety doth King John hint to Hubert how much he would oblige him if he would remove prince Arthur out of his way. But the following soliloquy of the Bastard Falconbridge, in the same play, is certainly unnatural.
Well, while I am a beggar I will rail,
KING JOHN, Act II. Scene 6.
In a much more unnatural and extravagant manner is Lady Macbeth represented talking to herself when she is projecting the death of the king: Macbeth, Act: 1. Scene 7.
and acquainted with every thing that can be advanced for or against the question in debate; who is possessed even of a redundancy of proof for what he advances; and who is, moreover, perfectly candid and unprejudiced, willing to allow all the weight he can to the pleas of his adversaries.
From the principle of sympathy, which is natural to the human mind, we universally feel ourselves disposed to conform to the feelings, the sentiments, and every thing belonging to the situation of those we converse with, and particularly of all those persons who engage much of our attention, If, therefore, no prejudice intervene, we always feel ourselves more or less disposed to adopt the opinions of those persons with whom we have frequent intercourse. Consequently, we are, in all cases, more disposed to give our assent to any proposition, if we perceive that the person who contends for it is really in earnest, and believes it himself. Indeed, prior to our hearing any arguments, we are naturally inclined to suppose, that a strong conviction and persuasion in other persons could not be produced without a fufficient cause; from being sensible that a like strong persuasion is founded upon sufficient reasons in ourselves. The ideas of strong perfuafion and of truth being, on this account, intimately associated together, the one will introduce the other, so that whatever manner of address tends to demonstrate that the advocate
for any opinion is really convinced of it himself,
A person shews that he is fully persuaded of the
It hath still a stronger effect of the same kind when an orator breaks out into an exclamation, expresling his wonder, astonishịnent, and indignation, that his opinion should be controverted, or his cause opposed; and a stronger still, when not only visible but invisible powers, when not only rational beings, but things inanimate are invoked, to atteft the truth of what is advanced. All pasions are communicative, and are universally propagated by the genuine expressions of them.
Many happy instances of these forms of address are found in the orations of Cicero, particularly in his invectives against Verres, Catiline, and Antony. The very first words of his first oration against Catiline, which was delivered in the senate, when
Instances of the most absurd rant, and such extravagance as is incompatible with every character, and with every passion, abound in Dryden's plays, particularly in the part of Almanzor in the Conquest of Granada. : It is impossible not to smile when Moliere makes Harpagus (when he is about to examine upon the rack all his family, servants, fons, and daughters) say he would apply the torture to himself, “et a moi aussi.”
Very extravagant likewise is the following speech, which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Ligarius:
Now bid me run,
JULIUS CASAR, A& II. Scene 3.
Of Forms of Address adapted to gain Belief; and, first, of thise that imply present THOUGHT, and an UNPŘEMEDITATED EXPRESSION.
AVING observed what I think most important relating to the pasions, I proceed to consider what relates to the judgment, in assenting to what is proposed to it.
Independent of the power of arguments, there are several forms of address adapted to engage belief, which abound in the works of orators. These it is in the power of every speaker to adopt at pleasure, as they are, each of them, nothing more than a different manner in which arguments may be introduced and expressed. Since, however, they do contribute greatly to the success of an orator, I shall enumerate the principal and most striking of them, and endeavour to Thew the cause of the influence which they have upon our minds.
Every art of persuasion founded upon nature, and really tending to engage belief, muft confift of such forms of address as are natural to a person who is himself strongly convinced of the truth and importance of what he contends for; who is coriscious that he is perfectly master of his subject,