Imágenes de páginas

sou with


the dignity with which he filled it. I have dozen men-men of education, erudition-ask bien appointed to succeed him.

them to read a piece of animated composition; My first duty is, to bear testimony to the you will be fortunate if you find one in the accomplishments of my predecessor; to his dozen, that can raise, or depress, bis voice- loqnence, his disinterestedness, and his inflect or modulate it, as the variety of the alress. My next duty regariis myself; and subject requires. What has become of the calls upon me to declare my seuse of the inflections, the cadences, and the modulation, honor I enjoy; in having been appointed to of the infant? They have not been exercised; this station. My last duty-and one that I they have been neglected; they have never discharge with great diffidence-is, to present been put into the hands of the artist, that he

tew observations that have might apply them to their proper use; they reierence to the occasion of your beins have been laid aside, spoiled, abused; and, ten assembled.

to one, they will never be good for any thing! You are assembled, gentlemen, to discuss Oratory is highly useful to him that excels the merits of a man, whose actions are con- in it. In common conversation, observe the nected with some of the most interesting advantage which the fluent speaker enjoys events in Roman story. You have given the over the man that hesitates, and stumbles in subject due cousideration. You come pre-discourse. With half his information, he has pared for the contest; and I shall not presume twice his importance; he commands the to offer any opinion, respecting the ground respect of his auditors; he instructs and which either side ought to take. My remarks gratifies them. In the general transactions shall be confined to the study of Oratory; and, of business, the same superiority attends bin. ailow me to say, I consider Oratory to be the He communicates his views with clearness, second end of our academic labors, of which precision, and effect; he arries his point the first end is, to render us enlightened, by his mere readiness; he concludes his useful, and virtuous.

treaty, before another kind of man would have The principal means of communicating our well set about it. Does he plead the cause ideas are two-speech and writing. The of frieudship? how happy is bis friend! On former is the parent of the latter; it is the charity? how fortunate is the distressed ? more important, and its highest efforts are should he enter the Senate of his country, he called Oratory

gives strength to the party which he espouses; If we consider the very early period at should he be independent of party, he is a which we begin to exercise the faculty of party in himself. If he advocates the cause speech, and the frequency with which we of liberty, he deserves to be the people's exercise it, it must be a subject of surprise, champion; if he defends their rights, he that so few excel in Oratory. In any enlight. approves himself the people's bulwark ! przed community, you will find numbers who

That you will persevere in the pursuit of so ar? highly skilled in some particular art or useful a study, as that of Oratory, I confi. science, to the study of which they did not dently hope. That your progress has been, apply themselves, till they bad almost arrived hitherto, considerable, I am about to receive at the stage of manhood. Yet, with regard to a proof. the powers oi speech-- those powers which Gentlemen, the question for debate, is-Was the very second year of our existence generCÅSAR A GREAT MAN? ally cails into action, the exercise of which J. G. Sir, to bespeak your indulgence, is a goes on at our sports, our studies, our walks, duty, in posed. no less, by a knowledge of our very meals; and which is never long your desert, than by a consciousness of my suspenried, except at the hour of refreshing deficiency. I am unpractised in the orator's sleep; with regard to those powers, how few art; nor can I boost that native energy of surpass their fellow-creatures of common talent, which asks not the tempering of information and moderate attainments! how experience; but, by its single force, effects very few deserve distinction!, how rarely what seems the proper arhievement of labors, dues one attain to eminence!

and of years. Let me, then, hope, that you The causes are various; but we must not will excel in favor, as much as I shall fall attempt, here, to investigate them. I shall short in merit. Let me presume, that the simply state, that one cause of our not performance of what I undertake with difli generally excelling in Oratory, is, onr neglect. dence, will be regarded by you with allowance. ing to cultivate the art of speaking-of Let me anticipate, thai failure will not be speaking our own language. We acquire imputed as a crime, to him, who dares not the power of expressing our ideas, almost hope success. insensibly; we consider it as a thing that is · Was Cæsar a great man ?” What revo natural to us; we do not regard it is an art: lution has taken place in the first appoinied it is an art-a difficult art-an intricate art-government of the universe; what new and and our ignorance of that circumstance, or our opposite principle has begun to direct tho omitting to give it due consideration, is the operations of nature; what refutation of their cause of onr deficiercy.

long established precepts, has deprived Reason in the infant, just beginning to articulate, of ler sceptre, and Virtue of ber throne, that, you will observe every inflection that is a character, which forms the poblest thenie recognized in the most accurate treatise on that ever Merit gave to Fame, should now elocution; you will observe, further, an exact become a question for debate ? proportion in its several cadences, and No painter of human excellence, if he speaking expression in its tones. Select a would draw the features of that hero's


onararter, nec's sindly a favorable light, or the Ælui. winning to the support of his arms, 67kin attitude I: every posture, it has the strength tin had been employed to over. majesty; ani le lineemenis ol its beauty are

power the it.

He governs his province with promiscut in every point of view. Do you such equily, and wisdom, as add a milder, but ask ine", " Ru Cesar genius?"

He was an it fairer lustre to his glory; and, by their orator! had Cesar judgment ?'' He was fame, prepare the Roman people for his happy a politician!" lid ('ipsar valor ?"

He was

yoke. Upon the very eve of his rupture with a conqueror! - Hlad Cesar feeling?" He Pumpey, 'he sends back, on deiannd, the was a friend!

boriowed legions, covering with rewards the it is a generally received opinion, that soldiers that may no longer serve him; and un common curcumstances make uncommon whose weapons, on the morrow, may be

Cesar wis an uncommon man, in turned against his breast-presenting, bere, a cominou circumstances. The colossal mind noble example of his respect of right; and Canonunds yo'ır almiration, no less in the of that maznanimity, which maintains that punte's captive, than in the victor of Phar. gratitude should not cease, though benefits salia. Who, but the first of his race, could are discontinued. When be reigns scle have made vassals of his savage masters, master of the Roman world, how temperate mocked them into reverence of his superior is his triunph! how scrupulous his respect Dature, ani threatened, with impuguity the for the very fornis of the laws! He discounte. mwer that held him at its mercy ? Of all the nances the profligacy of the patricians, and striking incidents of Cresar's life, had history endeavors to preserve the virtue of the preserver for as but this sinzle one, it would state, by laying wholesome restraints upon have been suficient to make us fancy all the luxury. He encouraces the arts and sciences, rect; at lea t, we shond have said, "Such a patronizes genius and talent. respects religion m in was born to conquest, and to empire!" and justice, and puts in practice every means

To aspatiate on Cæsar's powers of oratory, that can contribute to the welfare, the happi. would only be io add one poor eulogium to the ress, and the stability of the enpiri'. testimony of the first historians. Cicero, To you, sir, who are so fully versed in the bimself, grants him the palm of almost pre page of history, it must be unnecessary to emin nt meril; and seems at a loss for words recount the military exploits of Cæsar. Why to express his admiration of him. His voice should I compel your at ention to follow was musical, his delivery energetic, bis him, for the hundredih time, through hostilo ianguage chasto and rich, appropriate and myriads, yieldins, at every encounter, to the peculiar. Aniit is well presurned, that, had he force of his invincible arus. Full often, sir, au lied the art of public speaking, with as save your calculations besitated to credit the mach industry as he studied the art of war, celerity of his marches; your belief reciled he would have been the first of orators. at the magnitude of his operations; and your Quintilian says, he would have been the wonder re-perused the retuief his successive only man, capable of combatting Cicero; but, victories, following upon the shouts of one granting them to have been equal in ability, another. As a captain, he was the fir-t of what equal contest could the timid Cicero- warriorz; nor were liis valor and skill more whose n'rves fail luin, and whose tongue admirable, than his abstinence and watchful. falters, when the forum glitters with arms ness; his disregard of case and his endurance -- what cqual contest could be bave held with of labor; his moderation and bis inercy. tho man, whose vigor chastised the Belge, Perhaps, indeed, this last quality forms the and annihilated the Nervii, that maintained most prominert feature in liis character; and their ground, till they were hewn to pieces proves, by the consequences of its excess, on the spot!

that virtue itself requires restraint, and has His abilitics, as master of composition, its proper bounts, which it ought not to were, uundoubtxily, of the first order. How exceed; for Crsa's moderation was his ruin! admirable is the structure of his Commen. That Cusar had a heat susceptible of taries! what perspicuity and animation are friendship, un alive to the finest touches There in the details! You fancy yourself of humanity, is questionable. Why does apon the field of action! You follow the lhe attempt, so «ftion, lo avert the storm of development of his plans, with the liveliest civil war! Why doe: lic pause so long upon cariosity! You looks on with unwearied the brink of the Rub cou? Why does he alient on, as he fortifies his camp, or invests weep when he belobis the heart of his unforhis enemy, or crosses the impetrious torrent! tanate rival? Why does lie deliglie in Yon bboll bis legione, as they move forward, parloning his enemies; even those very men from different points, to the line of battle; you hit hail deserted him! bear the slout of the onset, and the crusli of It seems as if he liied the lover of mankind, the encounter; and breathles with suspense, and tell as the Band esprosses it-vanmark cvery fluctuation of the awtul tide quislied, not so much by the weapous, as by of war!

tie ingratitude, of his murderers. As a politician, how consommate was his If, sir, a combination of the most splendid address! How are lis projections! How talents for war, with the most incred 'love of happy the execation of los meas!ır 's! 13 prace---if the most illustrious public virtue, coinpe's the vilicuishe dovetii to rebuild with the most enilearios private word-of their towns and pilares; kizz his enemis the most wyieldin's courare, with the most the guards, ils it were of his froutier. He accessibile mo leration, may constituto a great aptivates, by lui, clemency !!'c Anverni, and I man--that title must be Cæsar's!

Wondeun. 21


F. M. Sir. I come to the discussion of this of his domestic honor: sheltered the incen question, with something more than the diary! abetted treason! flattered the people anxiety and hesitation, with something less into their own undoing ! assailed the liberties than the ardor and the hope, of a novice. of his country, and bawled into silence every When the man that has not proved his virtuous patriot that struggled to uphold them! strength, is brought to the test, how much He would have been a greater orator that Boever he may seem to doubt himself, be still Cicero! I question the assertion; I deny feels a secret trust that he shall succeed; and, that it is correct; I revolt from it; I will not even while he apparently shrinks from the suffer it! He would have been a greater trial, views himselt, in the anticipating mirror orator than Cicero! Well! let it pass; he of expectation, crowned with the need of might have been a greater orator, bui tie applause. Besides, his very inexperience is never could have been so great a & source of confidence; for, in the eye of the Which way soever he bad directed bir severest judge, he shall not merit condemna talents, the same inordinate ambition would tion, who fails upon his first attempt. From have led to the same results; and, bad bie what source shall I derive the bope, that I devoted himself to the study of ora:ory, his shall not expose myself to the coutempt, wongue had produced the sanie effects as bir which the man, who fails in the performance sword; and equally desolated the human of wliat be undertakes, deserves ? From your kingdom. sorbearance? Yes, sir; allow me to presume Bit Caesar is to be admired as a politician! upon that, as a source of contidence; allow I do not pretend to define the worthy speakers me to trust, that you will not exercise a idea of a politiciau ; but I shall aitempt, Mr. rigorous judgment with respect to him, who, Chairinan, to put you in possession of unive'. if lie answer not the expectation which the By a politician, I understand a man who chairman of this assembly has a right to form studies the laws of prudence and of justic, of ihose who aspire to his notice, possesses, as they are applicable to the wise and bappy still, the humble merit of acknowledging his government of a people, and the reciprocal liability to that mislortune, and the prudence obligations of states. Now, sir, how far was to guard you against disappointment.

Caesar to be admired as a politiciant Ho No change, sir, has taken place in the first makes war upon the innocent Spaniards, that nppointed government of the universe. The his military talents may not suller fryn operations of nature ncknowledge, now, the inaction. This was a ready way to preserve same principle that they did in the beginning the peace of his province, and to secure its Reason still holds her sceptre, Virtue still lills loyalty and affection! That he

maV ber throne, and the epithet of great does not recorded as the first Roman that had ever belong to Cesar!

crossed the Rhine, in a hostile manner, lo I would lay it down, sir, as an unquestion. invades the unoflending Germans lavs waste able position, that the worth of talents is to be their territories with fire, and plunders and estimated, only by the use we make of them. sacks the country of the Sicambri and Lion If we employ them in the cause of virtue, Suevi. Here was a noble policy! that planted their value is great. If we employ them in

in the minds of a brave and formidable peophy the cause of vicc, they are less than worth the fatal seeds of that revenge and liaires, less-they are pernicios and vile. Now, sir, which finally assisted in necomplisling liste let us examine (insar's talents by this prin- destruction of the Roman Empire! In short. ciple, and we shall find, that, neither as an sir, Cæsar's views were not of that enlarseed orator, nor as a politician-neither as a warrior, nature, which could entitle ivim to the nare nor as a friend-was Casar a great man. of a great politician; for he studied, not the

11 I were asked, “What was the first, the happiness and interest of a community, bra second, and the last principle of the virtuous merely his own advancement, which die mud?" I should reply, It was the love of accomplished, by violating the laws, and rountry." Sir, it is the love of parent, brother, destroying the liberties, of his country. friend! the love of MAN! the love of honor, That Caesar was a great conqueror. I viue, und religion! the love of every good do not care to dispute His admirers tre and virtuous deed! I say, sir, if I were welcome to all the advantages that resro nskel. * What was the first, the second, and from such a position. I will not subtractive the last principle of the virtuous mind ?" | victim from the hosts, that perished for bus I should reply, “It was the love of country !" | fame; nor abate, by a single groan, the Withont it, inan is the busest of bis kind! sufferings of his vanquished enemies, from liin & Selfish, cuuning narrow speculator! a first great battle in Gaul, to his last victoire trader in the dearest interests of his species ! under the walls of Munda; but I will avoke reckless of every tie of nature, sentiment, it to be my opinion, that the character of u afection! a Marius; a Sylla; a Crassus; a great conqueror does not necessarily cons?i. Cataline ; a Cæsar! What, sir, was Casar's tute that of a great man; nor can the recital oratory? How far did it prove him to be of Cæsar's many victories produce any other nctuated by the love of country? I'll tell impressior upon my mind, thin what pro you, sir; I'll show you this great Carsar increds from the conteinplation of tisse convab euch a light and posture, as shall present nosions of the earth, which, in a moment, air of majesty, or lineament of beanty. How I inundate, with ruin, the plains of fertility and far, I say, sir, vid Carsar's oratory prove binile boules of peace; or, at one shork, convert to be actuated by the love of country? 11 whole cties into the graves of their living ja tified, for political interest, the invader populasion.

a name.

But Consar's munificence, bis clemency, of anarchy, as rendered it expedient that the his mo leration, and his attectionate nature, power of the empire should be vested in one constitute him a great man! What was his inan, whose influence and talents could munilicence, his clemency, or his moderation? | coinmand party. and control faction. The autumaton of bis ambition ! 1: knew no The erroneous ideas that we have formed aspiration from the Deity. It was a thing concerning Roman liberty, have induced us fron the hands of a mechanician! an ingenious to pass a severe judgment on the actions of mockery of nature! Its action seemed spon. many an illustrious man. The admirers lineous--its look argued a soul-but all the of that liberty will not expect to be told, that virtoe lay in the finger of the operator. He it was little better than

True could posstss no real munificence, moderation, liberty, sir, could never have been enjoyed by or clemency, who ever expected his gilis to a people, who were the slaves of continual be doubled by return; who never abstained, tamulis and cabals ; whose magistrates were but with a view to excess; nor spared, but the mere echoes of a crowd, and anong for the indulgence of rapacity.

whom, virtue itself, had no protection from Of the saine nature, sir, were his affections. popular caprice, or state intrigue.

By the He was, indeed, a man of exquisite artifice; ierin liberty, I understand a freedom froin all but the deformity of his character was too responsibility, except what morality, virtue, prominent; bo dress could thoroughly hide it; and religion impose. That is the only liberty, nay, sir, the very attempt to conceal, served which is consonant with the true interests of only to discover the magnitude of the dis. man; the only liberty, that renders his tortion. Heatones to the violated and association with his fellows permanent and murdered laws, by doing homage to their bappy; the only liberty, that places him in wames; and expiates the massacre of thou a peaceful, honorable, and prosperous comfants, by dropping a tear or two into an ocean munity; the only liberty that makes him the of blood!

son of a land, that he would inhabit till his R. P. Sir, if it is necessary for talent and deaill, and the subject oť a state, that he desert to bespeak indulgence, what shall would defend with his property and luis blood! encourage bimwho cannot boast of talent All other liberty is but a counterfeit--the and desert? With how much diffidence did stamp a cheat, and the metal base-turbulence, the gentlemen that have preceded me, present insolence, licentiousness, party ferrent, selfish themselves to your notice; how cautions were domination, anarchy-such anarchy as i.eeded they to prepare you for something that might more than mortal talents to restrain it; and exercise your patience, and stand in need of found them in a Cæsar. your forbearance; and yet, with how much I hold it to be an unquestionable posi'iou, enersy, ease, and address, have they acquitted that they, who duly appreciate the blessings themselves! I must consess, I hardly think of liberty, revolt as much from the idea of it just to profess a deticiency, which we do exercising, as from that of enduring, oppresnot feel; it exhausts, needlessly, the stock of sion. How far this was the case with the benevolence, and leaves the really neces. Romans, you may inquire of those patious that sitous without assistance or relief; it is like surrounded them. Ask them, What insolent a rich man's assuming the garb of a mendicant, guard paraded before their gates, and invested and drawing upon the treasury of commisera their strong holds!" They will answer. " A tion for those sighs, and that solace, which Roman legionary." Demand of them, “ What are the proper alms of penury and distress. greedy extortioner fattened by their poverty,

For my part, sir, I sball so far profit by the and clothed himself by their wakeilness?" example of those gentlemen, as not to bespeak | They will inform you, "A Roman Questor. your excuse, lest I should thereby excite your Inquire of them, “Wbat imperious stranger expectation; and shall, accordingly, proceed issued to them his mandales of imprisonment to consider the question, without apology, or or confiscation, of banishment or death?'' further preface.

They will reply to you, “A Roman Cousul.'' To form accurate idea of Cesar's Question them, “What haughty cougueror character, it is necessary that we should led, through his city, their nobles and kings in consider the nature of the times in which he chains, and exhibited their countrymen, boy lived; for the conduct of public men cannot be thousands, in gladiators' shows, for the amuse duly estimated, without a knowledge of the ment of his fellow citizens ?" They will tell circumstances under which they have acted you, "A Roman General." Require of them. The happiness of a community resembles the "What tyrants imposed the heaviest yoke? health of the body. As it is not always the enforced the most rigorous exactions ! intl ct di same regimen that can preserve, or the same the most savage punishments, and showed medicine that can restore, the latter; 60, the the greatest gust for blood and torture ?" former is not always to be maintained by the They will exclaim to you, The Roman same measures, or recovered by the same people." corrections. There was a time, when kingly Yes, sir, that people, so jealons of what power had grown to so enormous an excess, they called their liberties, lo gratify an insa as rendered its abolition necessary for the tinte thirst for conquest, invaded the liberties salvation of the Roman people.

Let us

of every other nation; and on what spot examine whether the times, in which Corsar soever they set their tyrant foot, the fair and lived, did not call for, and justify, the measures happy soil of the freenian withered at their which he adopted; whether the liberty of the stamp! But the retributive justice of Heaven republic had not degenerated into such a state ordained, that their rapacity should be the


means of its own punishment. As their disobeyed the order of the senate, from wbon territories extended, their armies rejuired to be held his power; be, who seduced from be enlargd. and their campaigns became their duty, the soldiers whom he commanded, protracted. Hence, the citizen lost, in the iu trust, for the republic; he, who passed the camp, that independence which he had been Rubicon, though, by thai step, he knew he tangiit in the city: and, being long accus. must inundate his country with blood; he, umed to obey, implicitly, the voice of bis who plundered the public treasury, that general, from having been sent forth the hope, he might indulge a scitish and rapacious returned the terror of his country. Hence, ambition; ho, against whom the virtuous 247, their generals forgot, in foreign parts, the Cato ranked himself, whose very mercy the r. publican principles which they had imbibed virtuous Cato deemed a dishonor, to which in the forum ; and, long habituated to unlimited death was preferable—was not a great man. command, from being despots abroad, learned "Cæsar erected himselt into a tyrant, that to be traitors ai home. Hence, sir, Marius he might prevent a repetition of those atrocities returned the salutations of his fellow-citizens which had been committed by Marius and with the daggers of assassins ; and, with cool Sylla!" What does the gentlemau mean by ferocity, marched to the Capitol, amidst the such an assertion? Cæsar pursues the side Crous of his butchered countrymen, expiring measures that Marius and Sylla did- Why? on each side of him; hence, Sylla's bloody -to prevent the recurrence of the effects, proscript on, that turned Rome into shambles; which those measures producet! He keeps trat tore its victims from the altars of the his eye steadfastly fixed upon them; follows gods; that made it death for a man to shelter them in the same track ; treads in their very il person proscribed, though it were his son, foot prints? Why? That he may arrive at his brother, or his father; and never suffered a different point oi destination! What flimsy the esecutioners to take breath, till senators, arguments are these! What were Sylla and kuights, and citizens, to the number of nine Marius, that Cæsar was not? If they were thousand, had been inhumanly murdered! ambitious, was not he ambitious? Ir they

Such, sir, were the events that characterized were treacherous, was not be treacherous? the times in which Cinear lived. To such If they rebelled, did dot he rebel?

If they atrocities were the Roman people subject, usurped, did not be usurp? If they were while the rivalry of their leading men was tyrants, was not be a tyrant? at liberty to create divisions in the state. You were told, the people, from their long Hal you, sir, lived in those times, what would continued service in the anny, gradually lost you have clied the man, that would have the spirit of independence. and that the stepperi forward to secure your country against calamities of the state arose from that cause. the repetition of those horrid scenes. Wund Granted; it follows, then, that a spirit of yon uut have styled him a friend to his independence was necessary for the prosperity Country-a benciucior to the world-a great of the state ; and, consequently, that the way mln-a deni voi? Was not Casar such a to put a stop to its calamities, was to reviva character? Observe what use he makes of that spirit. Did Cæsar do this! The gentle. his power

He does not employ it to gratify mun says, he had the happiness of his country revenge, or to awe his countrymen; on the at beari. From biis owni argument, it follows, contrary, the whole of his conduct encourages that this was the way to secure the happiness confidence and freedom; while he reformas of his country. Did Crsar adopt it? Was it the government, and enacts the wisest law's, to revive, in his countrymen, the spirit of for the preservation of order, and for the independence, that he audaciously stepped happiness of the community. They who from the rank of their servuut, to that of their object to the character of Cæsar, condemn it, , inaster? Was it to preserve the intevrity. principally; upon the score of his having which fosters that spirit, that he cortuyted erected himself into the sole governor of the the virtue of all that came in contact with republic; but let it be remembered, that the lion, and that he dared w tempt? Way it for happiness of a state dves not depend so much, the regeneration of the republic, that he con upon the form of its government, as upon the verted it into a tyranny ? Was it to reswre manner in which that government is adminis. the government to its ancient health and tered. A country might be as prosperous soundness, that be filled all the offices of the and free, under what was anciently called a state with his own creatures--the instruments tyranny, as where the chief power was vested of his usurpation? Was it to re-animate the in the people,

people with the sense of their own dignity, In short, sir, when Carsar created himself that he called them brud and Cumai-that dictaior, and thereby destroyed, virtually, the is, bensts and fools-when they applauded republican form of government, he usurped the tribunes, for having stripped his statues no more than the people did, when they of tlie royal diadems, with which his Hatierers orected themselves into a republic, and there had dressed them? These were the acts by destroyed the monarchy; and the existing of Cæsar. Did they tend to restore the circumstances, which revered the act of the ancient virtue of the Roman people? No, latter expedient, were not more urgent than sir; they tended to annihilate the chance of those', which gave rise to the conduct of the its restoration; to sink the people into a viler furmer.

abaseincat; to rub them of the very nincs of Cerar, sir, was a great man!

mena. R. G., Sen. Ciesir, sir, vas mo! a great But the gentleman bas brought forward a Dan. lle, who, for his own private views, very curious argument, for the purpose of

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