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here, and will only explain the principles of it, without being very particular.
I am sensible that every company and every court have their particular usages and customs in reporting cales. But all have the same foundation ; and the ftile, on these occasions, mụft be the same every where. There is a sort of eloquence peculiar to this kind of discourse, which consists, if I am not mistaken, in speaking with perspicuity and elegance.
The end proposed by a person who reports cases, is, to inform the judges, his collegues, of the affair, upon which they are to give judgment in conjunction with bim. He is charged, in their names, with the examination of it. He becomes, on that occasion, the eye, as it were, of the company. He communicates to them all the lights and informations possible. But to do this effectually, the subjects he undertakes to treat must be methodized in such a manner, the several facts and proofs so disposed, and the whole so perspicuous and clear, that all may easily comprehend the report. All things must conspire to this perspicuity, the thoughts, the expressions, the turns, and even the utterance, which must be distinct, easy and calm.
I observed, that to beauty must be joined perspicuity, because we must often please in order to instruct. Judges are but men, and though they are attached to truth and justice, abstracted from all other considerations, it is however proper to attach them ftill more strongly to them by something taking and delightful. Causes which are generally obscure and full of difficulties, occasion tediousness and disgust, if the person who makes the report does not take care to render it agreeable by a certain elegance and delicacy of wit, which strikes us without affecting to display itself, and by a certain charm and grace, awakens and excites the attention of the hearers.
Addresses to the passions, wherein the greatest forcę of eloquence consists in other cases, are here absolutely prohibited. The person who makes the report does
not speak as an advocate but as a judge. In this view, he maintains one of the characteristics of the law, which, while it is serene and calm itself, points out the rule and duty; and as he himself is commanded to be free from passions, he is not allowed to attempt to excite them in others.
This manner of speaking, which is not supported either by the beauty of thoughts and expressions, by the boldness of figures, or by the pathos of the passions, but which has only an easy, fimple and natural air and turn in it, is the only one fit for reports, and at the same time not so easy to attain as may be imagined.
I would willingly apply what Tully says of Scaurus's eloquence to that of one who makes reports. This orator tells us, that it did not suit the vivacity of plead. ing, but was very well adapted to the gravity of a senator, who was more considerable for his folidity and dignity, than for pomp and thew; and whose consummate prudence, joined to the highest sincerity, forced the auditors to give their consent. For on this occasion, the reputation of a judge constitutes part of his eloquence, and the idea we entertain of his integrity adds great weight and authority to his discourse. * In Scauri oratione, fapientis hominis & reéti, gravitas fumma & naturalis quædam inerat auctoritas : non ut caufàm, fed ut teftimonium dicere putares, cùm pro reo diceret. Hoc dicendi genus ad patrocinia mediocriter aptum videbatur ; ad senatoriam verò fententiam, cujus erat ille princeps, vel maximè: significabat enim non prudentiam folùm, fed, quod maximè rem continebat, fidem.
It is therefore manifeft, that those who would fucceed in Reports must carefully study the first, or fimple kind of eloquence; must enter thoroughly into the genius and taste of it, and copy from the best models; must use the second species of eloquence, viz. the flowery and mediate kind, very sparingly borrow only
u Brur, n. 111. & 112.
a few touches and beauties from it, with a wise circumspection, and that very rarely ; but as to the third kind, (the sublime ftile) they must absolutely never make use of it.
The practice of the universities, especially in the classes of rhetoric and philosophy, may be very useful to young people, in preparing them for making reports. After explaining one of Tully's orations, the pupils are obliged to give an account of it, to display its several parts, to distinguish the various proofs, and make remarks upon such passages as are strong or weak. In philosophy likewise, it is the custom after reading some excellent treatises of that kind to them, such as Descartes and Malbranche, to discuss them thoroughly, to reduce arguments, which often are very long and abstracted, to some conciseness and perspicuity, to set the difficulties and objections in their full light, and to subjoin the solutions deduced from them. I have heard young lawyers own, that of all the university exercises this was the most advantageous, and of the greatest use to them in reports.
ARTICLE II. How Youth may prepare themselves for Pleading:
A S Demosthenes and Cicero arrived at pefection in A eloquence, they are the most proper to point out the path which youth must follow to attain it, I shall therefore give a short relation of what we are told concerning their tender years, their education, the different exercises by which they prepared themselves for pleading, and what formed their greatest merit, and established their reputation. Thus, these two great orators will serve at the same time for mo. dels and guides to youth. I do not however pretend
to say; they muft or can imitate them in every thing; but should they follow them only at a distance, they would find great advantages from it.
DEMOSTHENES. Demoftthenes having lost his father, at the age of 1 seven years, and falling into the hands of selfish and avaricious guardians, who were wholly bent upon plundering his estate ; was not educated with the care which so excellent a genius as his deserved : not to mention that the delicacy of his conftitution, his ill ftate of health, and the exceffive fondness of his mother, did not allow his masters to urge him in regard to his studies.
Demofthenes hearing them one day speak of a famous cause that was to be pleaded, and which made a great noise in the city, importuned them very much to carry him with them to the bar, in order to hear the pleadings. The orator whose name was Calliftratus, was heard with great attention, and having been very successful, was conducted home, in a ceremoni: ous manner, amidst a croud of illustrious citizens, who expressed the highest satisfaction. Demosthenes was strongly affected with the honours which were paid the orator, and still more with the absolute and despotic power which eloquence has over the mind. Demosthenes himself was sensible of its force, and unable to resist its charms; he from that day devoted himselfentirely to it, and immediately laid aside every other pleasure and study.
Isocrates's school, which formed so many great Orators, was at that time the most famous in Athens. But whether the fordid avarice of Demosthenes's tutors hinder'd him from improving under a master who
w Plur. in Vita Demosth.
* I fociates . . . . cujus è ludo, tanquam ex equo Trojano, innu
meri principes exierunt. 2. de Orale n.94:
made his pupils pay very dear for their instruction, or whether, the gentle or calm eloquence of Isocrates was not then suitable to his taste, he was placed under Isæus , whose eloquence was forcible and vehement, He found, however, an opportunity to procure the precepts of rhetoric, as taught by Isocrates. Plato indeed contributed most to the forming of Demosthenes. a And we plainly discover the noble and sublime stile of the master, in the writings of the pupil. .
His first essay of eloquence was against his guardians, whom he obliged to restore part of his fortune. Encouraged by this good success, he ventured to speak, before the people; but acquitted himself very ill on that occasion. Demosthenes had a faint voice, stammered in his speech, and had a very short breath; and yet his periods were so long, that he was often obliged to pause, in order to take breath. He therefore was hisled by the whole audience, and thereupon went home quite dejected, and determined to abandon for ever a profession to which he imagined himself unequal. But one of his hearers, who perceived an excellent genius amidst his faults, and an eloquence which came very near that of Pericles, encouraged him, by the strong remonftrances he made, and the falutary advice he gave him.
He therefore appeared a second time before the people, but with no better success than before. As he was going home with down-cast eyes, and full of confufion, he was met by his friend Satyrus, one of the best actors of the age; who being informed of the cause of his chagrin, told Demosthenes, that the misfortune was not without remedy, nor so desperate as he imagined. He desired Demosthenes only to repeat some of Euripides or Sophocles's verses to him ; which he immediately
y Ten minæ, or five hundred Marathone ac Salamine propugna. French livres.
tores reipublicæ fatis manifesto do. 2 Sermo promptus, & Ifæo tor. cet præceptorem ejus Piatonem fu-, rentior. Juven.
iffe. Quintil. I. 12. C, 10. * Illud jusjurandum per cæsos in VOL. II.