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voice, an agreeable action, and an exquisite utterance, were extremely pleasing in a young man, and at first engrossed the applause of all men. But afterwards this kind of gay eloquence became unseasonable, because the weight of the public employments he had passed through, and the maturity of his years, required something more grave and serious. He was always the same orator, had always the same stile, but not the same success. Besides, as his ardor for study was very much abated, and he did not take so much pains as formerly, the thoughts which till then had brightned his pieces, having no longer their former embellishment, but appearing with a negligent air, lost most of their splendor, and by that means made the orator fink very much in his reputation.
Upon what has been said on this subject. The bare relation I have made of the conduct of the greatest orators of antiquity, will sufficiently point out to youth designed for the bar, the path they are to follow, if they propose to attain the same end.
1. The firft and principal thing they must do, is to form a grand idea of their profession. For though it does not now lead to the chief employments in the state, as formerly at Athens and at Rome ; yet what esteem does it not gain thofe who distinguish themselves in it, either in pleading or giving counsel? Can
f Quid eft præclarius, quàm honoribus &e reip. muneribus perfun&tum Senem, poffe fuo jure dicere idem, apud Ennium dicat ille Pythius A. pollo, se eum efle, UNDE fibi, fi non POPULI ET REGES, at omnes fui cives CONSILIUM EXPE.
TANT, SUARUM RERUM INCERTI : QUOS EGO MEA OPE EX
INCERTIS CERTOS, COMPOTESQUE CONSILI DIMITTO, UT NE RES TEMERE TRACTENT TURBIDAS Eft enim fine dubio domus jurisconsulti totius oraculum civitatis. 1. de Orar. 1. 166, 200.
Ulla-ne canta ingentium opum ac magnæ potentiæ voluptas, quàm fpe&are homines veteres & fenes & totius urbis gratia subnixos, in lumma omnium rerum abundantia confitentes id quod optimum fic fe non habere. Dialog. de Orat. p. 6,
any thing delight a private man more, than to see his house frequented by persons of the greatest rank, and even by Princes, who in all their doubts and necessities resort to him as to an oracle, to pay homage to his profession and extraordinary abilities, and to acknowledge a superiority of learning and 'prudence which riches and grandeur cannot bestow. Is there any finer fight than to see a numerous auditory attentive, immoveable, and, as it were, hanging on the lips of a pleader, who manages speech, seemingly common to all, with so much art, that he charms and ravishes the minds of his hearers, and makes himself absolute master over them? But befides this glory, which would be triAing enough, were there no other motive; what folid joy is it for a virtuous man to think he has received a talent from God which makes him the sanctuary of the unfortunate, the protector of justice; and enables him to defend the lives, fortunes, and honours of his brethren?
2. A natural consequence of this first reflection is, that those designed for the bar should prepare themselves for a profession of such great importance, and imitate, at least at a distance, the passion and indefatigable warmth of Demosthenes and Cicero. I am convinced, that a genius is the first and most necessary quality for a pleader; but I am also as certain, that study is of great service. 'Tis like a second nature, and if it does not impart a genius to him who had none before, it, however, rectifies, polishes, improves, and invigorates it. And Cicero had great reason to insist very much upon this article, and to assert, that every thing in eloquence depends on the care, the pains, the application and vigilance of the orator.
8 Cùm ad inveniendum in die nihil eft quod non affequatur .... cendo tria fint, acumen, ratio, Reliqua sunt in cura, attentione diligentia : non possum equidem animi, cogitatione, vigilantia, afli. non ingenio primas concedere : duitate, labore: complectar uno sed tamen ipsum ingenium dili- verbo, quo fæpè jam uli sumus, di. gentia etiam ex tarditate incitat. ligentiâ ; qua una virtute omnes ... Hæc præcipuè colenda eft no- vircuces reliquæ continentur. 2. de bis: hæc semper adbibenda : hæc Orat. n. 147, 148, 150.
3. The knowledge of the law, and its different customs, form properly the science of the lawyer; and to pretend to plead without those advantages, is to attempt the raising of a great building, without laying a foundation.
4. The talent of speaking constitutes an orator; it is, as it were, the instrument which enables him to make use of all the rest. But in my opinion, it is not enough cultivated. Whether it be the effect of idleness, or a confidence in ourselves, we generally think genius alone will enable us to excel in it. But Cicero is of another opinion. His endeavours to attain perfection in this particular, would seem incredible, did not he himself attest it in several places. He should be the model to youth in this and every thing else. To imbibe rhetoric from the very fountain, to consult able masters, to read carefully the ancients and moderns, to be constantly employed in composing and translating, and to make his language a particular ftudy: these were the exercises which Cicero thought necessary to form the great orator.
5. But of all the qualifications of an orator, action and utterance are the most neglected; and yet nothing contributes more towards giving success to speeches. + That external eloquence, as Cicero calls it, which is adapted to the capacities of all auditors, in regard it speaks to the senses only, has something so enchanting and dazzling, that it often supplies the place of every other merit, and sets a lawyer of no great parts above those of the greatest abilities. i Every one has heard the celebrated answer of Demosthenes, concerning the qualification which he thought most necessary in an
n Eft actio quasi corporis quæ- effe in numero nullo poteft: medam eloquentia. Nam et infantes, diocris, hac instructus, summos actionis dignitate, eloquentiæ fæ fæpè fuperare. Huic primas dedifle pæ fructum tulerunt: & diserti, Demofthenes dicitur, cùm rogaredeformitate agendi, multi infantes tur quid in dicendo esset primum: putati funt. Orat. n. 55,56. huic secundas, huic tertias. 3. de
i A&tio in dicendo una domi- Orat. n. 213. matur. Sine hac summus oracos
orator, the want whereof could least be concealed, and which at the same time was beft adapted to conceal the rest. This induced him to make incredible efforts to fucceed in it. Cicero imitated him in that, as in every thing else; and he was in some measure obliged to it, from the desire he had to equal Hortenfius, who excelled in that particular. The example of both ought to have great weight with young lawyers.
6. A great many of these, in my opinion, want a certain quintessence of polite literature, and erudition, which embellish however, and enrich the understanding vaftly, and diffufe a delicacy and beauty over discourse, which it can have from no other source. The reading of ancient authors, the Greeks especially, is very much neglected. How closely did Cicero ftudy them! Orators, poets, historians, philosophers, he was acquainted with them all, and made them all of service to him; and the latter more than the rest. Young lawyers ought not to attempt pleading too foon, but should employ their time, at their first setting out, in acquiring a valuable and necessary fund of knowledge, which cannot be attained afterwards. I own the practice of the bar is the best master, and most capable of making them great lawyers : but it should not consist, at first, in frequent pleading. There we listen affiduously to great orators, we study their genius, we observe their action, we are attentive to the opinions which the learned give of them ; and thus we endeavour to improve equally by their perfections and defects.
7. If it should be asķed, what is the proper age for being called to the bar, and pleading at it? I answer, that 'tis a thing which cannot be brought to any fixed rule ; and Quintilian's advice upon this matter is very prudent. “* A medium, fays he, must be oba
“ seryed ;
k Medus mihi videtur quidam tenendus, ut neque præproperè dic
ftringatur immatura frons, & quicquid eft illud adhuc acerbum
ç served ; so that youth should not expose himself in pub* « lick before he is capable of doing it with advantage;
nor make a parade of his knowledge, whilst 'tis “ crude and undigested, if I may use the expression:
for by that means he will despise pains and study ; « imprudence takes deep root in him; and, what is 5. a greater misfortune, confidence and boldness pre66. cede vigour and strength. But he must not, on " the other hand, wait till he grows old, for then he " will grow more timid every day; and the longer « he delays, the more fearful he will be to venture to « speak in publick: so that, whilst he is deliberat« ing whether it is time to begin, he finds it is too 6 late."
8. It were very much to be wished, that the custom, observed formerly among the Romans, should také place among us; and that the houses of old lawyers should be, as it were, the school of the youth designed for the bar. What can be more worthy a great orator, than to conclude the glorious course of his pleading, by so honourable a function? 'We shall see, says Quintilian, a whole company of studious young people frequenting his house, and consulting him upon the proper methods of speaking. He forms them, as though he were the father of eloquence ; and, like an old experienced pilot, points out to them the course they are to steer, and the rocks they must Ihun, when he sees them ready to set sail.
proferatur. Nam inde & con. Frequentabunt ejus domum tempius operis in nascitur, & fun- optimi juvenes more veterum; & damenta jaciuntur impudentiæ, & veram dicendi viam velut ex ora(quod eft ubique perniciofiffimum) culo petent. Hos ille formabit prævenit vires fiducia. Nec rur- quasi eloquentiæ parens, &, ut sus diffcrendum eft tyrocinium in vetus gubernator, littora, & porfenectutem. Nam quot.die metus tus, & quæ tempeftatum figna, crescit, majusque fic femper quod quod secundis Aatibus. quid advers ausuri sumus : &, dum deliberamus sis ratis pofcar, docebit. Quint. I. quando incipiendum fit, incipere 12, c. 11. jam ferum est. Quiptil, lib. 12, cap. 6.