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How many examples of the bravest men have the Greek and Latin writers left us,-not only to contemplate but to imitate! These illustrious models I have always set before me in the government of the state, and have formed my conduct by contemplating their virtues.
But it will be asked, were those great men who are celebrated in history distinguished for that kind of learning which you so highly extol? It would be difficult, I grant, to prove this of them all; but what I shall answer is nevertheless certain. I own, then, that there have been many men of excellent dispositions, and distinguished virtue, who, without learning, and by the almost divine force of nature herself, have attained to great wisdom and worth; nay, farther, I will allow that nature without learning is of greater efficacy towards the attainment of glory and virtue, than learning without nature; but then I affirm, that when to an excellent natural disposition are added the embellishments of learning, there always results from this union something astonishingly great and extraordinary.
Before the prolepsis in this passage, as generally in every other where it occurs, the voice falls into a low tone, as having concluded some branch of the discourse this gives it a better opportunity of striking into the higher tone proper to the objection; and when this is pronounced, the voice falls into a lower tone, as it begins the answer, and rises again gradually with the importance of the subject.
We have a beautiful instance of this figure in Cato:
But, grant that others can with equal glory,
The two first lines of this passage require a plain, high, open tone of voice; and the two last a lower tone, accompanied with a slight expression of reproach for supposing any one could be equal to Cato.
Pope affords us another instance of this figure:
You think this cruel. Take it for a rule,-
The words "You think this cruel" must be pronounced in a high, loud tone of voice, and the rest in a lower and softer tone.
We have a striking instance of this figure in Pope, where, speaking of the daring flights of the ancients, he says,
I know there are to whose presumptuous thoughts
Which but proportion'd to their light or place,
Essay on Criticism, v. 169.
The objection and answer in this passage are so little distinguished by the author, that unless we dis'tinguish them by a different tone of voice, an auditor would not well conceive where the objection ends and the answer begins. In reading this passage, therefore, we must pronounce the two first lines in a high, open, declarative tone of voice, and commence the third in a low, concessive tone, approaching to a monotone; this monotone must continue till near the end of the fifth line, when the voice is to adopt the rising inflection in a somewhat higher tone at the end; and to commence the sixth line in a still higher tone, pause with the rising inflection at distance, and finish the line with the voice going gradually lower to the end.
Synchoresis, or Concession, is a figure by which we grant or yield up something, in order to gain a point, which we could not so well secure without it.
This figure with respect to its pronunciation, seems the reverse of the former. For in that, as we must
commence in an open, elevated tone, and drop into a low and firm one, so in this, we must pronounce the concessive part of the figure in a low, light tone, as if what we allowed our adversary was of no great importance, and then assume the argument in a strong elevated tone, as if we had acquired a double force from the concession we had made. Thus Ciceroy pleading for Flaccus, in order to invalidate the testimony of the Greeks, who were witnesses against his client, allows them every quality but that which was necessary to make them credited.
This, however, I say concerning all the Greeks,-I grant them learn. ing, the knowledge of many sciences; I do not deny that they have wit, fine genius, and eloquence: nay, if they lay claim to many other excellencies, I shall not contest their title: but this I must say, that nation never paid a proper regard to the religious sanctity of public evidence; and are total strangers to the obligation, authority, and importance of truth.
The first part of this passage, which forms the concession, should be spoken in a slight, easy manner, and in a tone rather below that of common conversation; but the assertion in the latter part should rise into a somewhat higher tone, and assume a strength and firmness expressive of the force of the argument. It may not be improper to remark to those who understand the two inflections of the voice, that the several members of the concession seem to require the rising inflection.
Nothing more confounds an adversary than to grant him his whole argument, and at the same time either to show that it is nothing to the purpose, or to offer something else that may invalidate it, as in the following example:
I allow that nobody was more nearly related to the deceased than you ; I grant that he was under some obligations to you; nay, that you have always been in friendly correspondence with each other: but what is all this to the last will and testament?
The concession in this passage must be pronounced in a moderate, conciliating tone of voice but the question at the end must rise into a higher, louder, and more forcible tone.
There is an uncommon force in a passage of Cato's speech concerning the punishment of the traitors in Catiline's conspiracy, which manifestly arises from the figure upon which we are treating.
Let them, since our manners are so corrupted, be liberal out of the fortunes of our allies; let them be compassionate to the robbers of the public treasury but let them not throw away our blood, and, by sparing a few abar.doned villains, make way for the destruction of all good men.
In this example the tone of voice, with respect to height, is nearly the same throughout: but the second member assumes a much stronger and firmer, though rather lower tone, and necessarily ends with the rising inflection.
Epanorthosis, or Correction, is a figure by which we retract or recall what we have spoken, for the sake of substituting something stronger or more suitable in its place.
The use of this figure lies in the unexpected interruption it gives to the current of our discourse, by turning the stream as it were back upon itself, and then returning it upon the auditor with redoubled force and precision. The nature of this figure dictates its pronunciation; it is somewhat akin to the parenthesis. What we correct should be so pronounc
ed as to seem the immediate effusion of the moment; for which purpose it does not only require a separation from the rest of the sentence, by an alteration of the voice into a lower tone, but an abrupt discontinuance of the member immediately preceding. This, however, is one of the most difficult things to execute in the whole art of speaking, and must be managed nicely, not to have the appearance of affectation: for which reason it would be better for the generality of readers to consider this figure merely as a parenthesis, and to pronounce it accordingly. Cicero makes use of this figure in his oration for Milo:
Can you be ignorant, among the conversation of this city, what lawsif they are to be called laws, and not rather the firebrands of Rome and the plagues of the commonwealth-this Clodius designed to fasten and fix upon us?
The figure in this passage may be read like a parenthesis the voice should break short at laws; at if it should assume a lower, swifter, and more indignant tone; at commonwealth it should slide upwards into what is called a suspension; and at this assume the tone with which the sentence commenced. The same directions may be applied to the interjected member, in the following passage of Cicero, in his defence of Plancius :
For what greater blow could those judges-if they are to be called judges, and not rather parricides of their country-have given to the state, than when they banished that very man, who, when prætor, deliv. ered the republic from a neighbouring, and who, when consul, saved it from a civil war.
Sometimes this figure comes after the sense is completed, and then the preceding member closes without the break; but in this case we may make a pause after the first words of the correction, as if to demur and to correct ourselves, in order to rectify an over