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efficacious in this respect than a sense of justice, a sense of public utility, a sense of glory; and nothing conduceth more to operate on these, than the sentiments of sages whose wisdom we venerate, the example of heroes, whose exploits we admire. I shall conclude what relates to the exciting of passion, when I have remarked, that pleading the importance and the other pathetic circumstances, or pleading the authority of opinions or precedents, is usually considered, and aptly enough, as being likewise a species of reasoning.
This concession, however, doth not imply, that by any reasoning we are ever taught that such an object ought to awaken such a passion. This we must learn originally from feeling, not from argument. No speaker attempts to prove it; though he sometimes introduceth moral considerations, in order to justify the passion when raised, and to prevent the hearers from attempting to suppress it. Even when he is enforcing their regard to the pathetic circumstances above mentioned, it is not so much his aim to show that these circumstances ought to augment the passion, as that these circumstances are in the object. The effect upon their minds he commonly leaves to nature ; and is not afraid of the conclusion, if he can make every aggravating circumstance be, as it were, both perceived and felt by them. In the enthymeme, (the syllogism of orators, as Quintilian* terms it,) employed in such cases, the sentiment that such a quality or circumstance ought to rouse such a passion, though the foundation of all, is generally assumed without proof, or even without mention. This forms the major proposition, which is suppressed as obvious. His whole art is exerted in evincing the minor, which is the antecedent in his argument, and which maintains the reality of those attendant circumstances in the case in hand. A careful attention to
of time; as to other local connexions, No. 2, “in provincia populi Romani, in oppido fæderatorum.” Fourthly, personal relation ; first of the perpetrator, No. 2, “ab eo qui beneficio," &c. his crime therefore more atrocious and ungrateful, the most sacred rights violated by one who ought to have protected them ; next of the sufferer, No. 2,“ civis Romanus.” This is most pathetically urged, and by a comparison introduced, greatly heightened, No. 13, 14. Fifthly, the interest; which, not the hearers only, but all who bear the Roman name, have, in the consequences, No. 15, 16. We see in the above example, with what uncommon address and delicacy those circumstances ought to be sometimes blended, sometimes but insinuated, sometimes on the contrary, warmly urged, sometimes shaded a little, that the art may be concealed ; and in brief, the whole conducted so as that nothing material may be omitted, that every sentiment may easily follow that which precedes, and usher that which follows it, and that every thing said may appear to be the language of pure nature. The art of the rhetorician, like that of the philosopher, is analytical ; the art of the orator is synthetical. The former acts the part of the skilful anatomist, who, by removing the teguments, and nicely separating the parts, presents us with views at once naked, distinct, and hideous, now of the structure of the bones, now of the muscles and tendons, now of the arteries and veins, now of the bowels, now of the brain and nervous system. The latter imitates Nature in the constructing of her work, who, with wonderful symmetry, unites the various crgans, adapts them to their respective uses, and covers all with a decent veil, the skin. Thus, though she hide entirely the more minute and the interior parts, and show not to equal advantage even the articulations of the limbs, and the adjustment of the larger members, adds inexpressible beauty, and strength, and energy to the whole.
* Instit. I. i. c. 9.
the examples of vehemence in the first chapter, and the quotation in the foregoing note, will sufficiently illustrate this remark.
HOW AN UNFAVOURABLE PASSION MUST BE CALMED.
I come now to the second question on the subject of passion. How is an unfavourable passion, or disposition, to be calmed? The answer is, either, first, by annihilating, or at least diminishing, the object which raised it ; or, secondly, by exciting some other passion which may counterwork it.
By proving the falsity of the narration, or the utter incredibility of the future event, on the supposed truth of which the passion was founded, the object is annihilated. It is diminished by all such circumstances as are contrary to those by which it is increased. These are, improbability, implausibility, insignificance, distance of time, remoteness of place, the persons concerned such as we have no connexion with, the consequences such as we have no interest in. The method recommended by Gorgias, and approved by Aristotle, though peculiar in its manner, is, in those cases wherein it may properly be attempted, coincident in effect with that now mentioned. It was a just opinion of Gorgias, that the serious argument of an adversary should be confounded by ridicule, and his ridicule by serious argument."* For this is only endeavouring, by the aid of laughter and contempt to diminish, or even quite undo, the unfriendly emotions that have been raised in the minds of the hearers ; or, on the contrary, by satisfying them of the seriousness of the subject, and of the importance of its consequences, to extinguish the contempt, and make the laughter which the antagonist wanted to excite, appear, when examined, no better than madness.
The second way of silencing an unfavourable passion or disposition is, by conjuring up some other passion or diposition which may overcome it. With regard to conduct, whenever the mind deliberates, it is conscious of contrary motives impelling it in opposite directions ; in other words, it finds that acting thus would gratify one passion ; not acting, or acting otherwise, would gratify another. To take such a step, I perceive, would promote my interest, but derogate from my honour. Such another will gratisy my resentment, but hurt my interest. When this is the case, as the speaker can be at no loss to discover the conflicting passions, he must be sensible, that whatever force he adds to the disposition that favours his design, is in fact so much subtracted from the disposition that opposeth it, and conversely ; as in the two scales of a balance, it is equal in regard
to the effect, whether you add so much weight to one scale, or take it from the other.
Thus we have seen in what manner passion to an absent object may be excited by eloquence, which, by enlivening and invigorating the ideas of imagination, makes them resemble the impressions of sense and the traces of memory; and in this respect hath an effect on the mind similar to that produced by a telescope on the sight ; things remote are brought near, things obscure rendered conspicuous. We have seen also in what manner a passion already excited may be calmed : how by the oratorical magic, as by inverting the telescope, the object may be again removed and diminished..
It were endless to enumerate all the rhetorical figures that are adapted to the pathetic. Let it suffice to say, that most of those already named may be successfully employed here. Of others the principal are these, correction, climax, vision, exclamation, apostrophe, and interrogation. The three first, correction, climax, and vision, tend greatly to eliven the ideas, by the implicit, but animated comparison, and opposition, conveyed in them. Implicit and indirect comparison is more suitable to the disturbed state of mind required by the pathetic, than that which is explicit and direct. The latter implies leisure and tranquillity, the former rapidity and fire. Exclamation and apostrophe operate chiefly by sympathy, as they are the most ardent expressions of perturbation in the speaker. It at first sight appears more difficult to account for the effect of interrogation, which, being an appeal to the hearers, though it might awaken a closer attention, yet could not, one would imagine, excite in their minds any new emotion that was not there before. This, nevertheless, it doth excite, through an oblique operation of the same principle. Such an appeal implies in the orator the strongest confidence in the rectitude of his sentiments, and in the concurrence of every reasonable being. The auditors, by sympathizing with this frame of spirit, find it impracticable to withhold an assent which is so confidently depended on. But there will be occasion afterwards for discussing more particularly the rhetorical tropes and figures, when we come to treat of elocution.
Thus I have finished the consideration which the speaker ought to have of his hearers as men in general ; that is, as thinking beings endowed with understanding, imagination, memory, and passions, such as we are conscious of in ourselves, and learn from the experience of their effects to be in others. I have pointed out the arts to be employed by himn in engaging all those faculties in his service, that what he advanceth may not only be understood, not only command attention, not only be remembered, but, which is the chief point of all, may interest the heart.
OF THE CONSIDERATION WHICH THE SPEAKER OUGHT TO HAVE OF
THE HEARERS, AS SUCH MEN IN PARTICULAR.
It was remarked in the beginning of the preceding chapter, that the hearers ought to be considered in a twofold view, as men in general, and as such men in particular. The first consideration I have despatched, I now enter on the second.
When it is affirmed that the hearers are to be considered as such men in particular, no more is meant, than that regard ought to be had by the speaker, to the special character of the audience, as composed of such individuals ; that he may suit himself to them, both in his style and in his arguments.* Now the difference between one audience and another is very great, not only in intellectual, but in moral attainments. It may be clearly intelligible to a House of Commons, which would appear as if spoken in an unknown tongue to a conventicle of enthusiasts. It may kindle fury in the latter, which would create no emotion in the former, but laughter and contempt. The most obvious difference that appears in different auditories, results from the different cultivation of the understanding ; and the influence which this, and their manner of life, have both upon the imagination and upon the memory.
But even in cases wherein the difference in education and moral culture hath not been considerable, different habits afterwards contracted, and different occupations in life, give different propensities, and make one incline more to one passion, another to another. They consequently afford the intelligent speaker an easier passage to the heart, through the channel of the favourite passion. Thus liberty and independence will ever be prevalent motives with republicans, pomp and splendour with those attached to monarchy. In mercantile states, such as Carthage among the ancients, or Holland among the moderns, interest will always prove the most cogent argument ; in states solely or chiefly composed of soldiers, such as Sparta and ancient Rome, no inducement will be found a counterpoise to glory. Similar differences are also to be made in addressing different classes of men. With men of genius the most successful topic will be fame; with men of industry, riches ; with men of fortune, pleasure.
But as the characters of audiences may be infinitely diversified, and as the influence they ought to have respectively upon the speaker, must be obvious to a person of discernment, it is sufficient here to have observed thus much in the general concerning them.
* He must be “ Orpheus in sylvis, inter delphinas Arion.”
OF THE CONSIDERATION WHICH THE SPEAKER OUGHT TO HAVE OF
The last consideration I mentioned, is that which the speaker ought to have of himself. By this we are to understand, not that estimate of himself which is derived directly from consciousness or selfacquaintance, but that which is obtained reflexively from the opinion entertained of him by the hearers, or the character which he bears with them. Sympathy is one main engine by which the orator operates on the passions.
" With them who laugh, our social joy appears ;
With them who mourn, we sympathize in tears;
Whatever therefore weakens that principle of sympathy, must do the speaker unutterable prejudice in respect of his power over the passions of his audience, but not in this respect only. One source at least of the primary influence of testimony on faith, is doubtless to be attributed to the same communicative principle. At the same time it is certain, as was remarked above, that every testimony doth not equally attach this principle ; that in this particular the reputation of the attestor hath a considerable power. Now the speaker's apparent conviction of the truth of what he advanceth, adds to all his other arguments an evidence, though not precisely the same, yet near a-kin to that of his own testimony.Ť This hath some weight even with the wisest hearers, but is every thing with the vulgar. Whatever therefore lessens sympathy, must also impair belief.
Sympathy in the hearers to the speaker may be lessened several ways, chiefly by these two; by a low opinion of his intellectual abilities, and by a bad opinion of his morals. The latter is the more prejudicial of the two. Men generally will think themselves in less danger of being seduced by a man of weak understanding but of distinguished probity, than by a man of the best understanding who is of a profligate life. So much more powerfully do the qualities of the heart attach us, than those of the head. This preference, though it may be justly called untaught and instinctive, arising purely from the original frame of the mind, reason, or the knowledge of mankind ac
* Ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adfluent
Hor. De Arte Poet. † Ne illud quidem præteribo, quantam afferat fidem expositioni, narrantis auctoritas.
QUINT. lib. iv. cap. 2.