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had existed, he pronounces him, as we have seen, absolutely perfect, and declares that what he (Cicero) was attempting, Demosthenes had achieved.'-I • Vides perfectò illum multa perficere,-nos multa conari ;-illum posse, nos velle quocunque modo Causa postulet, dicere.' Upon one occasion, he goes farther, and declares, as a reason for his preference, that Demosthenes had formed himself upon a model of imaginary excellence, and not of what had been known to exist in any person.'- . Recordor me longè omnibus unum anteferre Demosthenem, qui vim accommodaret ad eam, quam sentiam, Eloquentiam, non ad cam quam in aliquo esse agnoverim.'. Elsewhere, he does indeed complain, and it is with a sort of apology for his own unreasonableness, -' that he is so severe a critic, and so difficult to be pleased, as not even to be satisfied by Demosthenes himself; who, though he admits him to be above all competition in every species of oratory, did not, as it seems, always fill his ears;--so greedy and capacious were they, and always longing after something immense and infinite.'-Tantùm abest ut nostra miremur, ut usque eò difficiles ac morosi sumus, ut nobis non satisfaciat ipse Demosthenes; qui quanquam unus emineat in omni genere dicendi, tamen non semper implet aures meas: ità sunt avidæ et capaces, et semper aliquod immensum infinitumg, desiderent.' || It seems then that this wonderful man, by his unwearied diligence,-his everlasting application to one single object--by constant reflexion and endless efforts;- in the Senate, --in the Forum,--at Athens--at Tusculum, had been able to frame to himself, with difficulty nevertheless, a possible excellence,-an imaginary perfection, a beau ideal, beyond the performances even of Demosthenes.--Just as no degree of dignity or of loveliness can be supposed to exist, beyond which art may not be supposed to reach ; (the Olympian Jupiter was, we are told, a sort of concentrated Majesty,

and the Coan Venus a quintessence of Beauty);—or as in Geometry, no point, however remote, can be assigned, beyond which another may not be assumed in the vast and boundless regions of absolute space.

To Dionysius of Halicarnassus we refer the more willingly; because, though inferior to none in powers of composition himself, or of forming a judgment on others, he is, for some reason or other, less known and admired than he deserves. This distinguished Critic, as many of our readers are aware, commences his Treatise on • The Oratorical Power of Demosthenes,' with a general definition of style, of which he (as does Ci

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cero) makes three kinds; which are usually called, the Austere, the Florid, and the Middle. Having discussed the general subject, he proceeds to examine, with much acuteness and sagacity, the respective properties and merits of Lysias, Thucydides, Isocrates, and 'Plato. He then comes to Demosthenes, on whose account, he observes, the preliminary observations and criticisms had been introduced, and begins his notice of him by the following (to us, at least, we know not what M. Planche may think), untranslateable passage.

Τοιάντην δη καταλαβών την πολιθικήν λέξιν ο Δημοσθένης, έτω ακινημένην σοικίλως, και 1ηλικέτoις επεισελθών ανδράσιν, ενος έθενος ήξίωσε γενέσθαι ζηλωτής, έτε χαρακτήρες, έτι ανδρος: ήμιέργες Λινάς άπανίας οιόμενος αναι και αλελείς: εξ απάλων δ' αυλών όσα κράτισα και χρησιμώτατα ην, εκλεγομένος, συνύφαννε, και μιάν εκ πολλών διάλεκον ασέθέλει,-μεγαλοπρεπή, λιλήν·-περιττήν, απέριττον-εξηλλαγμένην, συνήθη – πανηγυρικήν, αληθίνην· αυστηράν, ιλαράν: συνονον, ανιμένην·-ήδειαν, πικράν·--- 19ίκην, παθητικήν εδεν διαλλάττεσαν 18 μεμυθευμένα παρά ιούς αρχαίας ποιηλαίς Πρωτέως: ες άπασαν ιδέαν μορφής αμογελέ με έλαμβανεν· ατε θεός και δαίμων τις εκάνος άρα ήν, σαρακρεόμενος όψεις Πας ανθρωπίνας είτε διαλέκτε ποικίλων δή χρήμα έν ανδρί σοφώ, πάσης απαλήλον ακοής» και μάλλον άν τις εικάσειεν. 'Εγώ μεν Ποιάυτην τινά δόξαν υπέρ της Δημοθένες λέξεως έχω, και το χαρακτήρα τέτου αποδίδωμι αυίω, τ" εξ απασης μικίον

ιδέας. *

• Demosthenes, then, finding the art of public speaking in this state,-so skilfully improved, and coming, as he did, after men of such excellence, did not condescend to become an imitator of any one style or person,-conceiving them all to be half-artists and incomplete ;-but, selecting from all whatever was the best and the most useful in each, he combined and, out of the many, made up a species of composition, --sublime, yet simple, --redundant, yet concise,-refined, yet idiomatic, declamatory, yet natural, -austere, yet lively,—nervous, yet flowing, --soft, yet pungent,—temperate, yet passionate,-differing, in no respect, from Proteus, celebrated by the poets of old for being able to assume, without effort, every kind of shape ;-whether he was some God or Dæmon who deceived the vision of mankind, or, as one wou'd rather guess, some gifted person, accomplished in the power of speech, by which he imposed upon the senses of every hearer. Some such notion have I of the oratory of Demosthenes; and this description I give of it, that it is composed of every species.'

In another part, he selects a passage (and a very beautiful one) from the Funeral Oration of Plato, and then one from that part of the Oration for the Crown, which includes the celebrated Apostrophe, and places them side by side. He then proceeds thus,

* Dion, Hal. Vol. 2. p. 273. Oxford Edition. Fol.

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• There is surely no one, who has even a moderate skill in co position, and is not determined to wrangle and dispute, who m not readily admit, that the latter specimen as much exceeds former, as the arms of warfare are superior to those which are u in Shows and Spectacles,-as real figures to shadows,—or, as the dies of men trained up in air and exercise are to those which h been rocked and dandled in confinement and luxury.'

Ουθάς έσιν ος ουχ ομολογήσεις και μονον έχοι μελείαν αισθησιν περί λόγες, μής βάσκανος, ή μήτε δυσερίς τις, έτω διαφέρει την αρτίως παραίεθσαν της προθέρας, όσω διαλλάττει πολεμιστήρια μεν όπλα πομπεύθηρίων, αλης δε όψεως αδύλων, έν ήλιω δε και πόνους Πέραμμένα σώματα των σκίας και σας. διωκόνων. *

The preference here given, our readers will observe, is o no less a writer than the one, of whom it has been said, t if the Gods spoke Greek, which, if we had any faith in the lytheism of antiquity, we should believe they did, with doubt Jupiter would adopt his style. Again, and it shall our last extract), after saying, that when he reads Isocrates feels himself in a composed and tranquil state, not unlike which is induced by soft music, he goes on thus.

"Ολαν δε Δημοσθένες Πινα λάβω λόγων, ενθεσιώ τε, και δεύρο κακείσε άγο, πάθος έτερον εξ ετέρε μεταλαμβάνων-απισών, αγωνιών, δεδιώς, καλάφg μισών, ελεών ευνοών, οργιζόμενος, φθονών, «άπανα Τα πάθη μελαλαμβάνων, κραιών ανθρωπίνης γνώμης. +

• But when I take up one of the orations of Demosthenes, I wrought up to a pitch of enthusiasm, and am hurried backwards forwards, and assume one passion after another,—distrusting,bouring-fearing,--despising-hating, --now moved with com sion, now with good-will, --sometimes with anger, and someti with envy,—taking up, in succession, every passion that sways human breast.'

We cannot go farther. Our readers will, at once, cognise in the description which this admirable writer, is worthy of being a Commentator on Demosthenes, gives his own hurried and varied emotions, the very effects wl Cicero, in his glowing panegyric upon Eloquence, ascribe the power of speech. Dionysius concludes by asking, if such a distance of time from the transactions themselves, wher interest has long ago subsided, such marvellous impress are made by the bare perusal,—What must have been effect upon the contemporary Athenians and strangers flocked to hear the Orator defend his own and his count cause,—and that, too, with a force and energy of action w

* Dion. Hal. Vol. 2. p. 298. Oxford Edition. Fol.

Ibid. 288.

is admitted to have been foremost, if possible, amidst his numerous and transcendent qualificatsons ? *_ What,' said Æschines to the Rhodians, applauding the recital of the speech which caused his banishment, - What if you had heard the monster himself?' Ti di, si évtő rð Ingir axnxócils !

After perusing these testimonials, to which addition might be made at pleasure, from persons of the highest authority,—themselves at once judges and masters of composition, it such ever existed, the first question which suggests itself is,—where are discoverable these astonishing properties,—these dispensations of the Divinity

?-In what part of the Speech does the thunderbolt reside? By what peculiar arrangement--by what laborious and artificial structure—by what display of ornament, has the Orator contrived to attract such unbounded and passionate commendation ?-To which our classical readers are aware that we must answer, that these praises have been bestowed upon compositions remarkable for simplicity, in the whole of which, we will venture to say, not one single ornament (for its own sake) is to be found; in which there are no splendid patches; where a vulgar appetite for tropes, figures and metaphors (no matter how introduced) must remain unsatisfied;--where, though the composition is so highly wrought, that one of the critics, to whom we have referred, bestows a whole page upon a sentence of a dozen words, to show the delicacy of its structure, and the disorder which would ensue upon the slightest alteration or transposition of any of its parts, yet would no one suppose that to the mind of Demosthenes was ever present more than one idea,-bis subject, and nothing but his subject. Not that we would be supposed as flying in the face of such a body of criticism :~We perfectly agree with it, and are aware that, when apparently unadorned, he is adorned the most; but we notice this general abstemiousness observable in the manner of Demosthenes, not merely as peculiar to his character, but, in some degree, as illustrative of his powers. The less imposing and attractive he is upon a superficial observation, the more of substance must there be to justify such commendations from such judges. The truth is, that this vigour,--this tension,—this sublimity, of which we read so much, is not discoverable in detached parts--in striking and brilliant passages, but in the effect of the whole. The Spirit and Power and Rapidity, which are so justly celebrated, and which, in the peruşal of his Orations, we as

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* Demosthenem ferunt ei, qui quæsivisset quid primum esset in dicendo,-actionem,--quid secundum, idem,-et idem tertium respondisse. Cic. de Cl. Orat.

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suredly perceive and feel, are the Soul, which dwells in no par. ticular part, but which pervades and vivifies the whole Mass.

Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus

Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet. Æn. 6. To judge fairly, we must take the whole piece. The ex ped Herculem'--if ever an admissible rule of criticism in the cas to which it is applied, which we much doubt, assuredly fur nishes no means of judging of the merits of Demosthenes. At attempt to give the effect of any oration by a selection, or th merit of the whole by splendid passages, would be as hopeles as to produce an adequate idea of the bounding elasticity,—th matchless symmetry and etherial attitude of the entire Apollo by the production of a finger or an ear.

Some of the smaller Orations of Demosthenes,-and those to which have contributed not a little to his reputation (the Philip pics we mean), might be selected, in which not one orname (in the ordinary sense of the word) or figure of speech is di coverable. A certain studied temperance and downright home liness of manner, and a choice of matter illustrating and enfor ing his view of the subject, -and never above it, pervade t whole,-mixed up, indeed, with an earnestness, zeal, force an passion, which account for their celebrity.--Even in the Or tion for the Crown,—the most perfect, undoubtedly, and con prehending in it the excellencies of the rest, though every sp cies of weapon in the oratorical armoury is employed,-poetic description,-indignant exaggeration,-inflammatory declam tion, and bold apostrophe, yet is there not an instance, we w venture to say, (and we appeal to those of our readers the mo confidently who have studied him best), in which they appe to be ostentatiously introduced, or in which they are not si tained by the surrounding passages of the Speech. They, i deed, more nearly resemble an occasional and accidental flammation of the fervid and electric torrent which the orator pouring on his hearers, than foreign and adventitious lig brought forward for mere purposes of shining and displ The sublime appeal to the manes of the heroes of Marath and Platæa, to which we shall not be suspected of referring, order to bestow, for the thousandth time, unnecessary comme dation, or to compare it, as we have seen Dionysius did, w any effort of human composition, we notice for a different ject. It is, perhaps, one of the boldest and most excessive, a from the constant reference to it, we must suppose, one of most successful of his Figures. Those, however, who will t up the speech at that part where Demosthenes describes

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