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- In letters concerning trade, the subject matter will be constantly kept in view, and the greatest perspicuity and brevity observed by the different correspondents ; and in like manner, these rules may be applied to all other subjects, and conditions of life, namely a comprehensive idea of the subject, and an unaffected simplicity, and modesty, in expression. Nothing more need be added, only, that a constant attention to the above for a few months, will soon convince the learner, that his time has not been spent in vain.
Indeed, an assiduous attention to the study of any art even the most difficult, will enable the learner to surmount every difficulty ; and writing letters to his correspondents becomes equally easy as speaking in company; and, if he carefully avoids affectation, will enable him to write in the language of the present times ; his thoughts will be clear, his sentiments judicious, and his language plain, easy, sensible, ele. gant, and suited to the nature of the subject. As letters are the copies of conversation, just consider what you would say to your friend if he were present, and write down the very words that you would speak, which will render your epistle unaffected and intelligible.
When you sit down to write, call off your thoughts from every thing but the subject you intend to handle; consider it with attention, place it in every point of view, and examine it on every side before you begin. By this means you will lay a plan of it in your mind, which will rise like a well contrived building, beautiful, uniform, and regular ; whereas, if you neglect to form some method of going through the whole, and leave it to be conducted by giddy accident, your thoughts upon any subject can never appear otherwise than as a mere heap of confusion.' Consid. er, you are now to form a style, or, in other words, to learn the way of expressing what you think ; and your doing it well or ill for your whole life, will depend in a great measure, upon the manner you fall into at the beginning. It is of great consequence,
therefore, to be attentive and diligent at first; and an expressive, and easy manner of writing, it is so useful, so engaging a quality, that whatever pains it cost, it will amply repay.
As to the subjects, you are allowed in this way the utmost liberty. Whatever has been done, or thought, or seen, or heard ; your observations on what you know, your inquiries about what you do not know, the time, the place, the weather, every thing around stands ready for your purpose ; and the more variety you intermix, the better. Set discourses require a dignity or formality of style suitable to the subject; whereas letter-writing rejects all pomp of words, and is most agreeable when most familiar. But, though lofty phrases are here improper, the stile must not therefore sink into meanness : and to prevent its doing so, an easy complaisance, an open sincerity, and unaffected good nature, should appear in every place. A letter should wear an honest, cheerful countenance, like one who truly esteems, and is glad to see his friend ; and not look like a fop admiring his own dress, and seeming pleased with nothing but himself,
Express your meaning as briefly as possible : long periods may please the ear, but they perplex the un. derstanding. Let your letters abound with thoughts more than words. A short stile, and plain, strikes the mind, and fixes an impression ; a tedious one is seldom clearly understood, and never long remembered. But there is still something requisite beyond all this, towards the writing a polite and agreeable let. ter, such as a gentleman ought to be distinguished by; and that is, an air of good-breeding and humanity, which ought constantly to appear in every expression, and gives beauty to the whole. By this, I would not be supposed to mean, overstrained or affected compliments, or any thing that way tending ; but an easy, and obliging manner of address, a choice of words which bear the most civil meaning, and a generous and good-natured complaisance..
DIFFERENT KINDS OF PUBLIC
Chapter I. ELOQUENCE OF POPULAR ASSEMBLIES.
The ancients divided all orations into three grand classes, the Demonstrative, the Deliberative, and the Judicial. The scope of the Demonstrative, was to praise or blame : that of the Deliberative, to ad. vise or dissuade ; that of the Judicial, to accuse or defend. The chief subject of Demonstrative Elo. quence, were Panegyrics, Invectives, Gratulatory and Funeral Orations. The Deliberative was employed in matters of public concern agitated in the Senate, or before the assemblies of the people. The Judicial, is the same with the eloquence of the Bar, employed in addressing Judges, who have powers to absolve or condemn. I have in the following selections, preferred that train which Modern speaking points out, rather than the above division laid down by the ancient Rhetoricians. Modern Eloquence is di. vided into three kinds, the Eloquence of popular Assemblies, of the Bar and of the Pulpit ; each of which has a distinct character, which particulariy suits it. This division though in some respects different, yet in others corresponds with the ancient one. The eloquence of the Bar is precisely the same with what the Ancient Rhetoricians called the Judicial. The Eloquence of Popular Assemblies, though mostly
of that kind which they term the Deliberative, yet admits also of the Demonstrative. The Eloquence of the pulpit is altogether of a distinct nature ; and as the ancient Rhetoricians had no such kind of Oratory, it cannot be reduced under any of their divisions.
Imagine to yourselves a Demosthenes addressing the most illustrious assembly in the world, upon a point whereon the fate of the most illustrious of nations depended. How awful such a meeting ! How vast the subject! Is man possessed of talents adequate to the great occasion ? Adequate-yes, superior. By the power of his eloquence, the augustness of the assembly is lost in the dignity of the subject, for a while, superceded, by the admiration of his talents. With what strength of argument, with what powers of the fancy, with what emotions of the heart does he assault and subjugate the whole man, and at once captivate his reason, his imagination, and his passions ! To effect this must be the utmost effort of the most improved state of human nature ! Not a faculty that he possesses, is here unemployed; not a faculty that he possesses, but is here exerted to the highest pitch. All his internal powers are at work ; all his external, testify their energies. Within, the memory, the fancy, the judgment, the passions, all are busy: without, every muscle, every nerve, is exerted ; not a feature, not a limb, but speaks. The organs of the body, attuned to the exertions of the mind, through the kindred organs of the hearers, instantaneously, and as it were with an electric spirit, vibrate those energies from soul to soul. Notwithstanding the di. versity of minds in such a multitude, by the lightning
of eloquence, they are melted into one mass-the whole assembly actuated in one and the same way, become, as it were, but one man, and have but one voice. The universal cry is-Let us march against Philip-let us fight for our liberties—let us conquer, or die!
EULOGIUM OF ANTOINETTE, THE LATE
QUEEN OF FRANCE.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles ; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hard. ly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just began to move in, glittering like the morning star ; full of life, and splendour, and joy.
Oh! what a resolution ! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall.
Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bo. som; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her in a nation of gallant men--in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult-But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded ; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall - We behold that generous logality to rank and sex, that proud submission,--that dignified obedience,