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By this art, circumstances which would have made no figure in a detail, and have even given an idea of the poorness of a cause in which they were minutely insisted on, may contribute very considerably to the success of an oration. They are hereby seen in their most favourable light, and exposed to view no longer than they will bear it.

Thus Demosthenes, in recounting the victories of Philip, fays, “ I say nothing of his expeditions ' against the Illyrians, and Pannonians, against “ Arymbas, and others, with which every body

is acquainted.” Thus also Cicero, in one of his invectives, “ I do not mention my adversary's “ fcandalous gluttony and drunkenness, I take no “ notice of his brutal lusts, I say not a syllable of “ his treachery, malice, and cruelty.” And, in his defence of Sextius, “ I might say many things “ of his liberality, kindness to his domestics, his “ command in the army, and moderation during “ his office in the province; but the honour of “ the state presents itself to my view, and, calling

me to it, advises me to omit these lesser matแ ters.”

When an orator speaks of himself, this slight mention or pretended omission of many particulars hath another advantage, that it carries the appearance of modesty, and on that account contributes not a little to recommend the speaker to the favourable opinion of his audience.

This flight mention of circumstances hath an uncommonly-fine effect when, out of a delicacy of sentiment, and a tenderness, to those he is addressing, a person declines insisting upon what are, in reality, his strongest arguments. Was it poslible for Philemon to insist upon Onesimus's paying what he owed him, after reading the following delicate and moving passage in Saint Paul's letter to him. “ If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that to mine account. I Paul have * written it with mine own hand, I will repay it. “ Albeit I do not say to thee, how thou owest

unto me, even thine own self besides.” Phil.

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xviii. 19.

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The fame Saint Paul, speaking of himself and the churches of his planting, hath the following exquisite passage, in his epistle to the Corinthians, who had listened to fome unfavourable accounts of him. “ In nothing am I behind the


chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs “ of an apostle were wrought among you, in all “ patience, in figns and wonders, and mighty “ deeds. For what is it wherein ye were inferior “ to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this

i Cor. xii. 11, 12, 13. It is easy to conceive how, upon many occasions, it may be of advantage not to say, or at least to seem vt to say, all we might upon a subject, but leave part to be supplied by the hearer or


6 wrong.”

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reader. This employs his faculties, and fets his imagination strongly and effectually at work. When an orator expresses himself in such a manner as to make his hearers believe he could say more, and when his known situation makes it probable that he might have sufficient reason, for pushing his argument no farther than he doth (as when a person speaks or writes in defence of new and obnoxious opinions) in this case, the imagination of the hearer will never suggest too little. That suppression, joined with our concern to see a perfon, of whom we have conceived a favourable opinion, in a situation which obliges him to conceal the truth, inflames the passions more than any thing that could have been said, though ever so convincing and satisfactory, upon the subject.

The circumstances in which Marc Antony delivered Cæsar's funeral oration, were peculiarly favourable to his views of exciting compassion and resentment. Broken hints and silence would have a greater effect in his situation, than speaking openly could have had in any other. For the same reason it would, no doubt, be for the advantage of christianity, if unbelievers had nothing to fear from proposing all their objections to it in the most open and public manner. fent circumstances, infidelity is often successfully propagated by insinuations, obscure hints, and affected sneers; whereas, if all pretence for these artifices were cut off, by an unrestrained indul



In our pre

gence of free inquiry and debate, no other method could be found by which it could be so conveniently propagated. In common life, is it not well known that scandal is always most effectually propagated by hints and whispers ?

Let it, however, be remembered, as a caution against the improper use of this method of promoting any cause, that silence is ridiculous when no reason can be imagined, either from fear, modesty, tenderness, or any other cause, why a person should not speak out.

Lastly, nothing more effectually conduces to gain belief, than the appearance of candour and impartiality in the orator, and his willingness to be convinced if he have fallen into an error. An opinion maintained with so much modesty, by a person so diffident of his own judgment, and who appears to have no motive to bias him in favour of falsehood, is sure to be attended to without prejudice. We cannot help sympathizing with such a speaker, and assuming his impartiality and candid disposition.

We show our candour when we appear to be in doubt, and discuss our own doubts; when we freely allow as much weight as poslible to the objections of our adversaries; and particularly when we frankly retract what we acknowledge we had too hastily advanced; also when, seeming to forget our own particular situation, as advocates for


one side of a question, we consult with our hearers, our judge, or our adversaries, as if persons on all sides were equally impartial, and intent uponi finding out the truth. This is paying a compliment to our audience, and to our adversaries, which is generally returned with advantage. A decision of a question, after such a candid and impartial difcußion, hath the appearance of being the unanimous determination of all parties. It is no longer one party only that we are attending to, but we almost fancy such a candid opinion to be the result of the consultation of all persons concerned.

In this case, the determination should be indeed impartial, and what every person, who hears it, will think it right that all parties should adopt.

We have a fine picture of doubt in Cicero's defence of Cluentius. “ I know not which way “ to turn myself,” &c.; and a good example of an impartial and fair appeal to an adversary, in his accusation of Verres, “ Now I desire your opi“nion," &c.; and again, in his defence of Rabirius, “ What could you have done in such a - cafe?" &c.


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