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the diguity with which he filled it. I have | dozen men-men of education. erudition-ask been 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 coe in the accomplishments of my predecessor'; to his dozen, that can raise, or depress, bis voiceeloquence, his . disinterestedness, and his inflect or modulate it, as the variety of the address. My next duty regards myself; and subject requires. What has become of the calls upon me to declare my serise of the inflections, the cadences, and the modulation, honor 1 enjoy, in having been appointed to of the infant? They have not been exercised; this station. My lest duty-and one that I they have been neglected; they have never discharge with great disidence-is, to present been put into the hands of the artist, that he you is a tew observations that have might apply them to their proper use; they reference to the occasion of your' being have been laid aside, spoiled, abused; and, ten assemble i.
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 fuent speaker enjoys events in Rozan story. You have given the over the man that hesitates, and stumbles in subject due consideration. 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 bim. allow 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 carries 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 friendship ? how happy is his friend! Of 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, be 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 s 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, be that so few excel in Oratory. In any enlight- approves himself the people's bulwark ! ened community, you will find numbers who That you will persevere in the pursuit of so are highly skilled in some particular art or useful a study, as that of Oratory, I confiscience, to the study of which they did not dently hope. That your progress has been, apply themselves, till they had 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 gener. CÆSAR A GREAT MAN? ally calls 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, imposed, no less, by a knowledge of our very meals; and which is never long your desert, than by a consciousness of my suspended, 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 boast that native energy of surpass their fellow-creatures of commo* calent, which asks not the tempering of information and moderate attainments! how experience; but, by its single force, etfects very few deserve distinction! how rarely what seems the proper achievement of labors, does 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 slate, that one cause of our not performance of what I undertake with difti generally excelling in Oratory, is, our neglect. dence, will be regarded by you with allowance. ing to cultivate the art of speaking-of Let me anticipate, that failure will not be speaking our own language. We acquire imputed as a crime, to him, who dares pot the power of expressing our ideas, almost hope success. insensibly; we consider it as a thing that is “Was Cæsar a great man?" What rero natural to us; we do not regard it as an art: lution bas taken place in the first appointed 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 the omitting to give it due consideration, is the operations of nature ; what refutation of their cause of our deficiency.
long established precepts, has deprived Reaso-3 In the infant, just beginning to articulate, of her sceptre, and Virtue of her throne, that you will observe every inflection that is a character, which forms the noblest theme 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 a No painter of human excellence, if he speaking expression in its tones. Select a would draw the features of that hero's
chararter, needs study a favorable light, or the Ædui, winning to me support of his arms, Etriking attitude. In every posture, it has the strength that had been employed to over. majesty; and the lineanents of its beauty are power them. He governs his province witb prorainent in every point of view. Do you such equity, and wisdom, as add a milder, but Esk me, “ Had Cæsar genius ?" He was an a fairer lustre to bis glory; and, by their orator! “ Had Cæsar judgment?" He was fame, prepare the Roman people for his liappy a politician! “ Had Caesar valor ?" He was yoke. Upon the very eve of his rupture with a conqueror! “ Had Cisar feeling ?" He Pompey, he sends back, on deinand, the was a friend!
borrowed legions, covering with rewards the It is a generally received opinion, that soldiers that may no longer serve him ; and ca common circumstances make uncommon whose weapons, on the morrow, may be
Caesar was uncommon man, in turned against his breast-presenting, here, & ccamon circumstances. The colossal mind noble example of his respect of right; and commands your admiration, no less in the of that magnanimity, which maintains that pirate's captive, than in the victor of Phar. gratitude should not cease, though benefits calia. Who, but the first of his race, could are discontinued. When he reigns sole have made vassals of his savage masters, master of the Roman world, how temperate mocked them into reverence of his superior is his triumph! how scrupulous his respect nature, and threatened, with impugnity the for the very forms of the laws! He discountepower that held him at its mercy? Of all the nances the profligacy of the patricians, and striking incidents of Cesar's life, had history endeavors to preserve the virtue of the preserved for us but this single one, it would state, by laying wholesome restraints upon have been sufficient to make us fancy all the luxury: He encourages the arts and sciences, rest; at least, we should have said, “Such a patronizes genius and talent, respects religion man was born to conquest, and 10 empire!" apd justice, and puts in practice every means
To expatiate on Cæsar's powers of oratory, that can contribute to the welfare, the happi. would only be to add one poor eulogium to the ness, and the stability of the empire. testimony of the first historians. Cicero, To you, sir, who are so fully versed in the himself, grants him the palm of almost pre- page of history, it must be unnecessary to eminent merit; aud 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 atiention to follow was musical, his delivery energetic, his him, for the hundredth time, through hostile ‘anguage chaste and rich, appropriate and myriads, yielding, at every encounter, to the peculiar. And it is well presumed, that, had he force of his invincible arms. Full often, sir, studied the art of public speaking, with as have your calculations hesitated to credit the mach industry as he studied the art of war, celerity of his marches; your belief recoiled he would have been the first of orators. at the inagnitude of his operations; and your Quintilian says, he would have been the wonder re-perused the detail of 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 first of what equal contest could the timid Cicero - warriors; nor were his valor and skill more whose nerves fail him, and whose tongue admirable, than his abstinence and watchful. feliers, when the forum glitters with arms ness; his disregard of ease and his endurance -what equal contest could he have held with of labor ; his moderation and his mercy. the man, whose vigor chastised the Belge, Perhaps, indeed, this last quality forms the and annihilated the Nervii, that maintained most prominert feature in his character; and their ground, till they were hewn to pieces proves, by the consequences of its excesa, on the spot!
that virtue itself requires restraint, and has His abilities, as a master of composition, its proper bounds, which it ought not to were, undoubtedly, of the first order. How exceed; for Cæsar's moderation was his rain! admirable is the structure of his Commen- That Cæsar had a heart susceptible of iaries! what perspicuity and animation are friendship, and alive to the finest touches there in the details! You fancy yourself of humanity, is unquestionable. Why does upon the field of action! You follow the he attempt, so often, to avert the storm of development of his plans, with the liveliest civil war? Why does he pause so long upon curiosity! You look on with unwearied the brink of the Rubicon? Why docs he aliention, as he fortifies his carnp, or invests weep when he beholds the head of his unfor. his eneniy, or crosses the impetnous torrent ! tunate rival ? Why does lie delight in Yoa behold his legions, as they move forward, pardoning his enemies ; even those very men from ditferent points, to the line of battle ; you ihat bad deserted him? hear the shout of the onset, and the crash of It seems as if he lized the lover of mankind, the encounter: and, breathless with suspense, and fell-as the Bari expresses it-van. mark every fluctuation of the awful tide quished, not so much by the weapons, as by of war!
the ingratitude, of his murderers. As a olitician, how consommate was his If. sir, a combination of the most splendid address! How grand lis projections! How talents for war, with the most sacred love of huppy the execution of his measures! He peace-of the most illustrious public virtue, compels the vanquished Helvetii to rebuild with the most endearing private worth-of their towns and villages; making his enemies the most unyielding courage, with tho most we guards, as it were, of his frontier. He accessible nioderation, may constitate a great capuvates, by liis clemency, the Arverni, and man-that title must be Cæsar's !
F. M. Sir, I come to the discussion of this, of his domestic honor: sheltered the inced question, with something more than the diary! abetted treason! flattered the people Anxiety and besitation, 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 than soever he may seem to doubt himself, he 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 himself, in the anticipating mirror orator than Cicero! Well! let it pass; be of expectation, crowned with the meed of might have been a greater orator, but he applause. Besides, his very inexperience is never could have been so great a man. a source of confidence; for, in the eye of the Which way soever he had directed his 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, had he what source shall I derive the hope, that I devoted himself to the study of ora'ory, his shall not expose myself to the contempt, tongue had produced the same effects as his which the man, who fails in the performance sword; and equally desolated the human of what he undertakes, deserves ? From your kingdom. forbearance? Yes, sir; allow me to presume But Cæsar is to be admired as a politician! upon that, as a source of confidence; allow I do not pretend to define the worthy speaker's me wo trust, that you will not exercise a idea of a politician ; but I shall attempt, Mr. rigorous judgment with respect to bim, who, Chairman, to put you in possession of mine. if he answer not the expectation which the By a politician, I understand a man wlio chairman of this assembly has a right to form studies the laws of prudence and of justict, of those who aspire to his notice, possesses, as they are applicable to the wise and happy still, the humble merit of acknowledging his government of a people, and the reciprocal liability to that misfortune, and the prudence obligations of states. Now, sir, how far was to guard you against disappointment.
Cæsar to be admired as a politician? He No change, sir, has taken place in the first makes war upon the innocent Spaniards, that appointed government of the universe. The his military talents may not suffer from operations of nature acknowledge, 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 bolds her sceptre, Virtue still fills loyalty and affection! That he may be her throne, and the epithet of great does not recorded as the first Roman that had ever belong to Cæsar!
crossed the Rhine, in a hostile manner, he I would lay it down, sir, as an unquestion. invades the unoffending Germans, lays 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 the 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 people, the cause of vice, they are less than worth the fatal seeds of that revenge and hatred. less-they are pernicious and vile. Now, sir, which finally assisted in accomplishing the let us examine Cæsar's talents by this prin destruction of the Roman Empire! Ja short, ciple, and we shall find, that, neither as an sir, Cæsar's views were not of that enlarge orator, nor as a politician-neither as a warrior, nature, which could entitle him to the name nor as a friend-was Cæsar a great man.. of a great politician; for he studied, not the
If I were asked, “What was the first, the happiness and interest of a community, but second, and the last principle of the virtuous merely his own advancement, which be mind ?" I should reply, “ It was the love of accomplished, by violating the laws, and country." Sir, it is the love of parent, brother, destroying the liberties, of his country. friend! the love of man! the love of honor, That Cæsar was a great conqueror, I virtue, and religion! the love of every good do not care to dispate. His admirers are and virtuous deed! I say, sir, if I were welcome to all the advantages that result asked, “ What was the first, the second, and from such a position. I will not subtract one the last principle of the virtuous mind ?" victim from the hosts, that perished for his I should reply, “It was the love of country!" | fame; nor abate, by a single groan, the Without it, man is the babest of his kind! sufferings of his vanquished enemies, from his a selfish, canning, narrow speculator! a first great battle in Gaul, to his last victory trader in the dearest interests of his species ! under the walls of Munda; but I will avow reckless of every tie of nature, sentiment, it to be my opinion, that the character of a affection! a Marius ; a Sylla; a Crassus; a great conqueror does not necessarily cons:i. Cataline ; a Cæsar! What, sir, was Cæsar's tute that of a great man; dor can the recital oratory? How far did it prove him to be of Cæsar's many victories produce any other actuated by the love of antry? I'll tell impression upon my mind, than what pro you, sir ; I'll show you this great Cæsar in ceeds from the contemplation of those convul. such a light and posture, as shall present no sions of the earth. which, in a moment, air of majesty, or lineament of beauty. How inundate, with ruin, the plains of fertility and far, I say, sir, did Cæsar's oratory prove him the abodes of peace; or, at one shock, convert to be actuated by the love of country? It whole cities into the graves of their living justified, for political interest, the invader population.
Hut Cæsar's munificence, his clemency, of anarchy, as rendered it expedient, that the 6 moderation, and his atfectionate nature, power of the empire should be vested in one prostitate him a great man! What was bis man, whose influence and talents could Droificence, his clemency, or his moderation command party, and control faction. Fte automaton of his ambition! It knew no The erroneous ideas that we have formed Expiration from the Deity. was a thing concerning Roman liberty, have induced us trom 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 laneous—its look argued a soul-but all the of that liberty will not expect to be told, that virtue lay in the finger of the operator. He it was little better than a name. True could possess no real munificence, moderation, liberty, sir, could never have been enjoyed by or clemency, who ever expected his gifts to a people, who were the slaves of continual be doubled by return; who never abstained, tamolts and cabals ; whose magistrates were bat with a view to excess; nor spared, Mut the mere echoes of a. crowd, and among for the indulgence of rapacity.
whom, virtue itself, had no protection from Of the same nature, sir, were his affections. popular caprice, or state intrigue. By the He was, indeed, a man of exquisite artifice; term liberty, I understand a freedom from all but the deformity of his character was too responsibility, except what morality, virtue, prominent; no 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. He atones 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 Dames; and expiates the massacre of thou a peaceful, honorable, and prosperous comsands, 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 bis R. P. Sir, if it is necessary for talent and death, and the subject of a state, that he desert to bespeak indulgence, what shall would defend with his property and his blood ! encourage him, who 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 ferment, selfish themselves to your notice; how cautious were domination, anarchy-such anarchy as needed 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 position, energy, ease, and address, have they acquitted that they, who duly appreciate the blessings themselves! I must confess, I hardly think of liberty, revolt as much from the idea of it just to profess a deficiency, 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, yon may inquire of those nations that eitous 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 shall so far profit by the and clothed himself by their nakedness?" example of those gentlemen, as not to bespeak They will inform you, "A Roman Quæstor." your excuse, lest I should thereby excite your Inquire of them, - What imperious stranger expectation; and shall, accordingly, proceed issued to them his mandates of imprisonment to consider the question, without apology, or or confiscation, of banishment or death ?" further preface.
They will reply to you, A Roman Consul." To form an accurate idea of Cæsar's Question them, What haughty conqueror 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, by 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 ander which they have acted. you, "A Roman General.” Require of them, The happiness of a community resembles the “What tyrants imposed the heaviest yoke ? tealth of the body. As it is not always the enforced the most rigorous exactions ? inflicted same regimen that can preserve, or the same the most savage punishments, and showed moedicine that can restore, the latter; so, 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 jealous of what power had grown to so enormous an excess, they called their liberties, to gratify an insaas rendered its abolition necessary for the tiate 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 Cæsar soover they set their tyrant foot, the fair and lived. did not call for, and justify, the measures happy soil of the freeman withered at their which be adopted; whether the liberty of the stamp! But the retributive justice of Heaven reprblic 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 whort. territories extended, their armies required to he held his power; he, who seduced from be enlarged, and their campaigns became their duty, the soldiers whom he commanded. protracted. Hence, the citizen lost, in the in trust, for the republic; he, who passed in camp, that independence which he had been Rubicon, though, by that step, he knew ob taught in the city: and, being long accus- must inundate his country with blood; he womed to obey, implicitly, the voice of his who plandered the public treasury, thaz general, from having been sent forth the hope, he might indulge & selfish and rapacious returned the terror of his country. Hence, ambition; he, against whom the virtuosis sir, their generals forgot, in foreign parts, the Cato ranked himself, whose very mercy the epublican principles which ibey 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 himself into a tyrant, that to be traitors at home. Hence, sir, Marius be might prevent a repetition of those atrocities terarned the salutations of his fellow-citizens which had been committed by Marius an with the daggers of assassins; and, with cool Sylla!" . What does the gentleman mean by ferocity, marched to the Capitol, amidst the such an assertion ? Cæsar pursues the same groans 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, proscription, that turned Rome into shambles; wbich those measures produced! He keeps that tore its victims from the altars of the his eye steadfastly tixed upon them; follows gods; that made it death for a man to shelter them in the same track ; treads in their very a person proscribed, though it were his son, foot-prints? Why? That he may arrive ai his brother, or his father; and never suffered a different point of destination! What flimsy the executioners to take breath, till senators, arguments are these! What were Sulla and knights, and citizens, to the namber of nine Marius, that Cæsar was not? If they were thousand, had been inhumanly murdered ! ambitious, was not he ambitious ? if they
Such, sir, were the events that characterized were treacherous, was not he treacherous ? the times in which Cæsar lived. To such If they rebelled, did dot lie rebel? If they atrocities were the Roman people subject, usurped, did not he usurp? It they were while the rivalry of their leading meu was tyrants, was not be a tyrant? at liberty to create divisions in the state. You were told, the people, from their long Had you, sir, lived in those times, what would continued service in the army, gradually lost you have called the man, that would have the spirit of independence, and that the stepped forward to secure your country against calamities of the state arose from that cause. the repetition of those horrid scenes. Would Granted; it follows, then, that a spirit of you not have styled him a friend to his independence was necessary for the prosperity country-a benetactor to the world—a great of the state ; and, consequently, that the way man-a demi-zod? Was not Cæsar such a to put a stop to its calamities, was to revive character? Observe what use he makes of that spirit. Did Cæsar do this? The gentie. his power.
He does not employ it to gratify man says, he had the happiness of his country revenge, or to awe his countrymen; on the
From his own argument, it follows, contrary, the whole of his conduct encourages that this was the way to secure the happiness contidence and freedom; while he reforms of his country. Did Cæsar adopt it! Was it the government, and enacts the wisest laws, 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 servant, to that of their object to the character of Cæsar, condemn it, master? Was it to preserve the integrity; principally, upon the score of his having which fosters that spirit, that he corrupied 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 him, and that he dared to tempt? Was it tur happiness of a state does not depend so much the regeneration of the republic, that be conupon the form of its government, as upon the verted it into a tyranny ? Was it to restore manner in which that government is adminis. the government to its ancient health and tered. A country might be as prosperous soundness, that he filled all the offices of the and free, under what was auciently cailed 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 diguity In short, sir, when Cæsar created himself that he called them Bruti and Cumart-thi: dictator, and thereby destroyed, virtually, the is, beasts and fools-when they applauded republican form of government, he usurped the tribunes, for having stripped his statnes no more than the people did, when they of the royal diadems, with whiclı his flatterers erected 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 rendered the act of the ancient virtue of the Roman people ? No. latter expedient, were not more urgent than sir; they tended to annibilate the chance of those, which gave rise to the conduct of the its restoration; to sink the people into a riler Cormer.
abasement; to rob them of the very names of Cesar, sir, was a great man! R G., Sen. Cæsar. sir, was not a great But the gentleman bas brought forward a
lle, who. for his own private views, 1 very curious argament, for the purpose of