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Ask any one man of morals, whether he approves of assassination; he will answer, No. Would you kill your friend and benefactor? No. The question is a horrible insult. Would you practise hypocrisy and smile in his face, while your conspiracy is ripening, to gain his confidence and to lull him into security, in order to take away his life? Every honest man, on the bare suggestion, feels his blood thicken and stagnate at his heart. Yet in this picture we see Brutus. It would, perhaps, be scarcely just to hold him up to abhorrence; it is, certainly, monstrous and absurd to exhibit his conduct to admiration.

He did not strike the tyrant from hatred or ambition; his motives were admitted to be good; but was not the action nevertheless, bad?

To kill a tyrant, is as much murder, as to kill any other man. Besides, Brutus, to extenuate the crime, could have had no rational hope of putting an end to the tyranny; he had foreseen and provided nothing to realize it. The conspirators relied, foolishly enough, on the love of the multitude for liberty-they loved their safety, their ease, their sports, and their demagogue favourites a great deal better. They quietly looked on, as spectators, and left it to the legions of Anthony, and Octavius, and to those of Syria, Macedonia, and Greece, to decide, in the field of Phillippi, whether there should be a republic or not. It was, accordingly, decided in favour of an emperor; and the people sincerely rejoiced in the political calm, that restored the games of the circus, and the plenty of bread.

Those, who cannot bring their judgments to con- · demn the killing of a tyrant, must nevertheless agree that the blood of Cæsar was unprofitably shed. Liberty gained nothing by it, and humanity lost much; for it cost eighteen years of agitation and civil war, before the ambition of the military and popular chieftains had expended its means, and the power was concentred in one man's hands.

Shall we be told, the example of Brutus is a good one, because it will never cease to animate the race of tyrant-killers-But will the fancied usefulness of assassination overcome our instinctive sense of its horror? Is it to become a part of our political morals, that the chief of a state is to be stabbed or poisoned, whenever a fanatick, a malecontent, or a reformer shall rise up and call him a tyrant? Then there would be as little calm in despotism as in liberty.

But when has it happened, that the death of an usurper has restored to the public liberty its departed life? Every successful usurpation creates many competitors for power, and they successively fall in the struggle. In all this agitation, liberty is without friends, without resources, and without hope. Blood enough, and the blood of tyrants too, was shed between the time of the wars of Marius and the death of Anthony, a period of about sixty years, to turn a common grist-mill; yet the cause of the public liberty continually grew more and more desperate. It is not by destroying tyrants, that we are to extinguish tyranny; nature is not thus to be exhausted of her power to produce them. The soil of a republie sprouts with the rankest fertility; it has been sown with dragon's teeth. To lessen the hopes of usurping demagogues, we must enlighten, animate and combine the spirit of freemen; we must fortify and guard the constitutional ramparts about liberty. When its friends become indolent or disheartened, it is no longer of any importance how long-lived are its enemies : they will prove immortal.

Nor will it avail to say, that the famous deed of Brutus will for ever check the audacity of tyrants. Of all passions fear is the most cruel. If new tyrants

dread other Bruti, they will more naturally sooth their jealousy by persecutions, than by the practice of clemency or justice. They will say, the clemency of Cæsar proved fatal to him. They will augment their force and multiply their precautions; and

their habitual dread will degenerate into habitual cruelty.

Have we not then a right to conclude, that the character of Brutus is greatly over-rated, and the fashionable approbation of his example horribly corrupting and pernicious?

Chapter II.


The ends of speaking at the Bar are different from those of Popular Assemblies. In the latter the great object is persuasion; the Orator aims at determining the hearers to some choice or conduct, as good, or fit, or useful. For accomplishing this end, it is incumbent on him to apply himself to all the principles of action in our nature; to the passions and to the heart, as well as to the understanding. But at the former, conviction is the great object. There, it is not the speaker's business to persuade the judges to what is good, or useful, but to shew them what is just and true and of course it is chiefly, or solely to the understanding that his eloquence ought to be addressed. The Speaker at the Bar addresses himself to one or a few Judges, and these too, persons generally of age, gravity, and authority of character. The Speaker who addresses a popular audience has all the advantages, which a mixed and numerous assembly affords for employing, to his advantage, all the arts of Speech. The nature and management of the subjects which belong to the Bar, require, therefore, a different spe

cies of Oratory from that of popular assemblies, both in matter and delivery. In the latter the Speaker has a much wider range. He is seldom confined to any precise rule; he can fetch his topics from a greater variety of quarters, and employ every illustration which his fancy or imagination can suggest. Here he is at liberty to embellish his delivery with every thing that is elegant, graceful and animated. But at the Bar, the field of speaking is limited to precise law and statute. Imagination is not allowed to take its scope. The advocate has always before him the line, the square and the compass. These it is his business to be continually applying to the subjects under the debate. His delivery, therefore, is considerably circumscribed, when compared with that of the popular orator. It should be adapted to the nature of his composition, accurate, precise and impressive. The ancients took a much larger range in their pleadings than the moderns. The judicial Orations of Demosthenes and Cicero are, therefore, not exact models of the manner of speaking which is adapted to the present state of the Bar. For although these were pleadings spoken in civil or criminal causes, yet, in fact, the nature of the bar anciently, both in Greece and Rome, allowed a much nearer approach to Popular Eloquence, than what it now does. This will evidently appear from the different specimens of ancient and modern pleading which are annexed.

V 2

Section I.



Impressive dignity-awful elevation-sublime enthu siasm-solemn, but decisive fortitude. The acknowledgement of former habits of persecution should be marked in a tone and manner expressive of ingenuous, but by no means abject contrition. The recapitulation of the words of the heavenly vision, demands the mingled expressions of supernatural awe, and a restrained, but conscious exultation.

I think myself happy, king. Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews; especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews; whereof I beseech thee hear me patiently.

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My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among my own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; who knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify,) that after the most rigorous sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For this hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible to you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth; which things I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did shut up in prison; and when they were put to death I gave my voice against them; and I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelfed them often to blaspheme; and being exceedingly

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