said I, "who is the person you intend: for I have at least done a service to my young countrymen, by introducing a loftier, and more embellished way of speaking, than was used before: and, perhaps, I have also done some harm, because after mine appeared, the Speeches of our ancestors and predecessors began to be neglected by most people; though never by me, for I can assure you, I always prefer them to my own."—"But you must reckon me," said Brutus, "among the most people; though I now see, from your recommendation, that I have a great many books to read, of which before I had very little opinion."—"But this celebrated Oration," said I, "in the prosecution for incest, is in some places excessively puerile; and what is said in it of the passion of love, the inefficacy of questioning by tortures, and the danger of trusting to common hear-say, is indeed pretty enough, but would be insufferable to the tutored ears of the moderns, and to a people who are justly distinguished for the solidity of their knowledge. He likewise wrote several other pieces, spoke a number of good Orations, and was certainly an eminent pleader; so that I much wonder, considering how long he lived, and the character he bore, that he was never preferred to the Consulship. But I have a man here, [Footnote: He refers, perhaps, to the Works of Gracchus, which he might then have in his hand; or, more probably, to a statue of him, which stood near the place where he and his friends were sitting.] (C. Gracchus) who had an amazing genius, and the warmest application; and was a Scholar from his very childhood: For you must not imagine, my Brutus, that we have ever yet had a Speaker, whose language was richer and more copious than his."—"I really think so," answered Brutus; "and he is almost the only author we have, among the ancients, that I take the trouble to read." "And he well deserves it," said I; "for the Roman name and literature were great losers by his untimely fate. I wish he had transferred his affection for his brother to his country! How easily, if he had thus prolonged his life, would he have rivalled the glory of his father, and grandfather! In Eloquence, I scarcely know whether we should yet have had his equal. His language was noble; his sentiments manly and judicious; and his whole manner great and striking. He wanted nothing but the finishing touch: for though his first attempts were as excellent as they were numerous, he did not live to complete them. In short, my Brutus, he, if any one, should be carefully studied by the Roman youth: for he is able, not only to edge, but to feed and ripen their talents. After him appeared C. Galba, the son of the eloquent Servius, and the son-in-law of P. Crassus, who was both an eminent Speaker, and a skilful Civilian. He was much commended by our fathers, who respected him for the sake of his: but he had the misfortune to be stopped in his career. For being tried by the Mamilian law, as a party concerned in the conspiracy to support Jugurtha, though he exerted all his abilities to defend himself, he was unhappily cast. His peroration, or, as it is often called, his epilogue, is still extant; and was so much in repute, when we were school-boys, that we used to learn it by heart: he was the first member of the Sacerdotal College, since the building of Rome, who was publicly tried and condemned. As to P. Scipio, who died in his Consulship, he neither spoke much, nor often: but he was inferior to no one in the purity of his language, and superior to all in wit and pleasantry. His colleague L. Bestia, who begun his Tribuneship very successfully, (for, by a law which he preferred for the purpose, he procured the recall of Popillius, who had been exiled by the influence of Caius Gracchus) was a man of spirit, and a tolerable Speaker: but he did not finish his Consulship so happily. For, in consequence of the invidious law of Mamilius above-mentioned, C. Galba one of the Priests, and the four Consular gentlemen L. Bestia, C. Cato, Sp. Albinus, and that excellent citizen L. Opimius, who killed Gracchus; of which he was acquitted by the people, though he had constantly sided against them,—were all condemned by their judges, who were of the Gracchan party. Very unlike him in his Tribuneship, and indeed in every other part of his life, was that infamous citizen C. Licinius Nerva; but he was not destitute of Eloquence. Nearly at the same time, (though, indeed, he was somewhat older) flourished C. Fimbria, who was rather rough and abusive, and much too warm and hasty: but his application, and his great integrity and firmness made him a serviceable Speaker in the Senate. He was likewise a tolerable Pleader, and Civilian, and distinguished by the same rigid freedom in the turn of his language, as in that of his virtues. When we were boys, we used to think his Orations worth reading; though they are now scarcely to be met with. But C. Sextius Calvinus was equally elegant both in his taste, and his language, though, unhappily, of a very infirm constitution:—when the pain in his feet intermitted, he did not decline the trouble of pleading, but he did not attempt it very often. His fellow-citizens, therefore, made use of his advice, whenever they had occasion for it; but of his patronage, only when his health permitted. Cotemporary with these, my good friend, was your namesake M. Brutus, the disgrace of your noble family; who, though he bore that honourable name, and had the best of men, and an eminent Civilian, for his father, confined his practice to accusations, as Lycurgus is said to have done at Athens. He never sued for any of our magistracies; but was a severe, and a troublesome prosecutor: so that we easily see that, in him, the natural goodness of the flock was corrupted by the vicious inclinations of the man. At the same time lived L. Caesulenus, a man of Plebeian rank, and a professed accuser, like the former: I myself heard him in his old age, when he endeavoured, by the Aquilian law, to subject L. Sabellius to a fine, for a breach of justice. But I should not have taken any notice of such a low-born wretch, if I had not thought that no person I ever heard, could give a more suspicious turn to the cause of the defendant, or exaggerate it to a higher degree of criminality. T. Albucius, who lived in the same age, was well versed in the Grecian literature, or, rather, was almost a Greek himself. I speak of him, as I think; but any person, who pleases, may judge what he was by his Orations. In his youth, he studied at Athens, and returned from thence a thorough proficient in the doctrine of Epicurus; which, of all others, is the least adapted to form an orator. His cotemporary, Q. Catulus, was an accomplished Speaker, not in the ancient taste, but (unless any thing more perfect can be exhibited) in the finished style of the moderns. He had a plentiful stock of learning; an easy, winning elegance, not only in his manners and disposition, but in his very language; and an unblemished purity and correctness of style. This may be easily seen by his Orations; and particularly, by the History of his Consulship, and of his subsequent transactions, which he composed in the soft and agreeable manner of Xenophon, and made a present of to the poet, A. Furius, an intimate acquaintance of his: but this performance is as little known, as the three books of Scaurus before-mentioned."—"Indeed, I must confess," said Brutus, "that both the one and the other, are perfectly unknown to me: but that is entirely my own fault. I shall now, therefore, request a sight of them from you; and am resolved, in future, to be more careful in collecting such valuable curiosities."—"This Catulus," said I, "as I have just observed, was distinguished by the purity of his language; which, though a material accomplishment, is too much neglected by most of the Roman orators; for as to the elegant tone of his voice, and the sweetness of his accent, as you knew his son, it will be needless to take any notice of them. His son, indeed, was not in the list of Orators: but whenever he had occasion to deliver his sentiments in public, he neither wanted judgment, nor a neat and liberal turn of expression. Nay, even the father himself was not reckoned the foremost in the list of Orators: but still he had that kind of merit, that notwithstanding, after you had heard two or three speakers, who were particularly eminent in their profession, you might judge him inferior; yet, whenever you heard him alone, and without an immediate opportunity of making a comparison, you would not only be satisfied with him, but scarcely wish for a better advocate. As to Q. Metellus Numidicus, and his Colleague M. Silanus, they spoke, on matters of government, with as much eloquence as was really necessary for men of their illustrious character, and of consular dignity. But M. Aurelius Scaurus, though he spoke in public but seldom, always spoke very neatly, and he had a more elegant command of the Roman language than most men. A. Albinus was a speaker of the same kind; but Albinus, the Flamen, was esteemed an orator. Q. Capio too had a great deal of spirit, and was a brave citizen: but the unlucky chance of war was imputed to him as a crime, and the general odium of the people proved his ruin. C. and L. Memmius were likewise indifferent orators, and distinguished by the bitterness and asperity of their accusations: for they prosecuted many, but seldom spoke for the defendant. Sp. Torius, on the other hand, was distinguished by his popular way of speaking; the very same man, who, by his corrupt and frivolous law, diminished [Footnote: By dividing great part of them among the people.] the taxes which were levied on the public lands. M. Marcellus, the father of Aeserninus, though not reckoned a professed pleader, was a prompt, and, in some degree, a practised speaker; as was also his son P. Lentulus. L. Cotta likewise, a man of Praetorian rank, was esteemed a tolerable orator; but he never made any great progress; on the contrary, he purposely endeavoured, both in the choice of his words, and the rusticity of his pronunciation, to imitate the manner of the ancients. I am indeed sensible that in this instance of Cotta, and in many others, I have, and shall again insert in the list of Orators, those who, in reality, had but little claim to the character. For it was, professedly, my design, to collect an account of all the Romans, without exception, who made it their business to excel in the profession of Eloquence: and it may be easily seen from this account, by what slow gradations they advanced, and how excessively difficult it is, in every thing, to rise to the summit of perfection. As a proof of this, how many orators have been already recounted, and how much time have we bestowed upon them, before we could force our way, after infinite fatigue and drudgery, as, among the Greek's, to Demosthenes and Hyperides, so now, among our own countrymen, to Antonius and Crassus! For, in my mind, these were consummate Orators, and the first among the Romans whose diffusive Eloquence rivalled the glory of the Greeks. Antonius discovered every thing which could be of service to his cause, and that in the very order in which it would be most so: and as a skilful General posts the cavalry, the infantry, and the light troops, where each of them can act to most advantage; so Antonius drew up his arguments in those parts of his discourse, where they were likely to have the best effect. He had a quick and retentive memory, and a frankness of manner which precluded any suspicion of artifice. All his speeches were, in appearance, the unpremeditated effusions of an honest heart; and yet, in reality, they were preconcerted with so much skill, that the judges were, sometimes, not so well prepared, as they should have been, to withstand the force of them. His language, indeed, was not so refined as to pass for the standard of elegance; for which reason he was thought to be rather a careless speaker; and yet, on the other hand, it was neither vulgar nor incorrect, but of that solid and judicious turn, which constitutes the real merit of an Orator, as to the choice of his words. For, as to a purity of style, though this is certainly (as before observed) a very commendable quality, it is not so much so for its intrinsic consequence, as because it is too generally neglected. In short, it is not so meritorious to speak our native tongue correctly, as it is scandalous to speak it otherwise; nor is it so much the property of a good Orator, as of a well-bred Citizen. But in the choice of his words (in which he had more regard to their weight than their brilliance) and likewise in the structure of his language, and the compass of his periods, Antonius conformed himself to the dictates of reason, and, in a great measure, to the nicer rules of art: though his chief excellence was a judicious management of the figures and decorations of sentiment. This was likewise the distinguishing excellence of Demosthenes; in which he was so far superior to all others, as to be allowed, in the opinion of the best judges, to be the Prince of Orators. For the figures (as they are called by the Greeks) are the principal ornaments of an able speaker, I mean those which contribute not so much to paint and embellish our language, as to give a lustre to our sentiments. But besides these, of which Antonius had a great command, he had a peculiar excellence in his manner of delivery, both as to his voice and gesture; for the latter was such as to correspond to the meaning of every sentence, without beating time to the words. His hands, his shoulders, the turn of his body, the stamp of his foot, his posture, his air, and, in short, his every motion, was adapted to his language and sentiments: and his voice was strong and firm, though naturally hoarse;—a defect which he alone was capable of improving to his advantage; for in capital causes, it had a mournful dignity of accent, which was exceedingly proper, both to win the assent of the judges, and excite their compassion for a suffering client: so that in him the observation of Demosthenes was eminently verified, who being asked what was the first quality of a good Orator, what the second, and what the third, constantly replied, A good enunciation.
"But many thought that he was equalled, and others that he was even excelled by Lucius Crassus. All, however, were agreed in this, that whoever had either of them for his advocate, had no cause to wish for a better. For my own part, notwithstanding the uncommon merit I have ascribed to Antonius, I must also acknowlege, that there cannot be a more finished character than that of Crassus. He possessed a wonderful dignity of elocution, with an agreeable mixture of wit and pleasantry, which was perfectly genteel, and without the smallest tincture of scurrility. His style was correct and elegant without stiffness or affectation: his method of reasoning was remarkably clear and distinct: and when his cause turned upon any point of law, or equity, he had an inexhaustible fund of arguments, and comparative illustrations. For as Antonius had an admirable turn for suggesting apposite hints, and either suppressing or exciting the suspicions of the hearer; so no man could explain and define, or discuss a point of equity, with a more copious facility than Crassus; as sufficiently appeared upon many other occasions, but particularly in the cause of M. Curius, which was tried before the Centum Viri. For he urged a great variety of arguments in the defence of right and equity, against the literal jubeat of the law; and supported them by such a numerous series of precedents, that he overpowered Q. Scaevola (a man of uncommon penetration, and the ablest Civilian of his time) though the case before them was only a matter of legal right. But the cause was so ably managed by the two advocates, who were nearly of an age, and both of consular rank, that while each endeavoured to interpret the law in favour of his client, Crassus was universally allowed to be the best Lawyer among the Orators, and Scaevola to be the most eloquent Civilian of the age: for the latter could not only discover with the nicest precision what was agreeable to law and equity; but had likewise a conciseness and propriety of expression, which was admirably adapted to his purpose. In short, he had such a wonderful vein of oratory in commenting, explaining, and discussing, that I never beheld his equal; though in amplifying, embellishing, and refuting, he was rather to be dreaded as a formidable critic, than admired as an eloquent speaker."—"Indeed," said Brutus, "though I always thought I sufficiently understood the character of Scaevola, by the account I had heard of him from C. Rutilius, whose company I frequented for the sake of his acquaintance with him, I had not the least idea of his merit as an orator. I am now, therefore, not a little pleased to be informed, that our Republic has had the honour of producing so accomplished a man, and such an excellent genius."—"Really, my Brutus," said I, "you may take it from me, that the Roman State had never been adorned with two finer characters than these. For, as I have before observed, that the one was the best Lawyer among the Orators, and the other the best Speaker among the Civilians of his time; so the difference between them, in all other respects, was of such a nature, that it would almost be impossible for you to determine which of the two you would rather choose to resemble. For, as Crassus was the closest of all our elegant speakers, so Scaevola was the most elegant among those who were distinguished by the frugal accuracy of their language: and as Crassus tempered his affability with a proper share of severity, so the rigid air of Scaevola was not destitute of the milder graces of an affable condescension. Though this was really their character, it is very possible that I may be thought to have embellished it beyond the bounds of truth, to give an agreeable air to my narrative: but as your favourite sect, my Brutus, the Old Academy, has defined all Virtue to be a just Mediocrity, it was the constant endeavour of these two eminent men to pursue this Golden Mean; and yet it so happened, that while each of them shared a part of the other's excellence, he preserved his own entire."—"To speak what I think," replied Brutus, "I have not only acquired a proper acquaintance with their characters from your account of them, but I can likewise discover, that the same comparison might be drawn between you and Serv. Sulpicius, which you have just been making between Crassus and Scaevola." —"In what manner?" said I.—"Because you," replied Brutus, "have taken the pains to acquire as extensive a knowledge of the law as is necessary for an Orator; and Sulpicius, on the other hand, took care to furnish himself with sufficient eloquence to support the character of an able Civilian. Besides, your age corresponded as nearly to his, as the age of Crassus did to that of Scaevola."—"As to my own abilities," said I, "the rules of decency forbid me to speak of them: but your character of Servius is a very just one, and I may freely tell you what I think of him. There are few, I believe, who have applied themselves more assiduously to the art of Speaking than he did, or indeed to the study of every useful science. In our youth, we both of us followed the same liberal exercises; and he afterwards accompanied me to Rhodes, to pursue those studies which might equally improve him as a Man and a Scholar; but when he returned from thence, he appears to me to have been rather ambitious to be the foremost man in a secondary profession, than the second in that which claims the highest dignity. I will not pretend to say that he could not have ranked himself among the foremost in the latter profession; but he rather chose to be, what he actually made himself, the first Lawyer of his time."—"Indeed!" said Brutus: "and do you really prefer Servius to Q. Scaevola?"—"My opinion," said I, "Brutus, is, that Q. Scaevola, and many others, had a thorough practical knowledge of the law; but that Servius alone understood it as science: which he could never have done by the mere study of the law, and without a previous acquaintance with the art which teaches us to divide a whole into its subordinate parts, to, decide an indeterminate idea by an accurate definition: to explain what is obscure, by a clear interpretation; and first to discover what things are of a doubtful nature, then to distinguish them by their different degrees of probability; and lastly, to be provided with a certain rule or measure by which we may judge what is true, and what false, and what inferences fairly may, or may not be deduced from any given premises. This important art he applied to those subjects which, for want of it, were necessarily managed by others without due order and precision."—"You mean, I suppose," said Brutus, "the Art of Logic."—"You suppose very right," answered I: "but he added to it an extensive acquaintance with polite literature, and an elegant manner of expressing himself; as is sufficiently evident from the incomparable writings he has left behind him. And as he attached himself, for the improvement of his eloquence, to L. Lucilius Balbus, and C. Aquilius Gallus, two very able speakers; he effectually thwarted the prompt celerity of the latter (though a keen, experienced man) both in supporting and refuting a charge, by his accuracy and precision, and overpowered the deliberate formality of Balbus (a man of great learning and erudition) by his adroit and dextrous method of arguing: so that he equally possessed the good qualities of both, without their defects. As Crassus, therefore, in my mind, acted more prudently than Scaevola; (for the latter was very fond of pleading causes, in which he was certainly inferior to Crassus; whereas the former never engaged himself in an unequal competition with Scaevola, by assuming the character of a Civilian;) so Servius pursued a plan which sufficiently discovered his wisdom; for as the profession of a Pleader, and a Lawyer, are both of them held in great esteem, and give those who are masters of them the most extensive influence among their fellow-citizens; he acquired an undisputed superiority in the one, and improved himself as much in the other as was necessary to support the authority of the Civil Law, and promote him to the dignity of a Consul."—"This is precisely the opinion I had formed of him," said Brutus. "For, a few years ago I heard him often and very attentively at Samos, when I wanted to be instructed by him in the Pontifical Law, as far as it is connected with the Civil; and I am now greatly confirmed in my opinion of him, by finding that it coincides so exactly with yours. I am likewise not a little pleased to observe, that the equality of your ages, your sharing the same honours and preferments, and the vicinity of your respective studies and professions, has been so far from precipitating either of you into that envious detraction of the other's merit, which most people are tormented with, that, instead of wounding your mutual friendship, it has only served to increase and strengthen it; for, to my own knowlege, he had the same affection for, and the same favourable sentiments of you, which I now discover in you towards him. I cannot, therefore, help regretting very sincerely, that the Roman State has so long been deprived of the benefit of his advice, and of your Eloquence;—a circumstance which is indeed calamitous enough in itself; but must appear much more so to him who considers into what hands that once respectable authority has been of late, I will not say transferred, but forcibly wrested."—"You certainly forget," said Atticus, "that I proposed, when we began the conversation, to drop all matters of State; by all means, therefore, let us keep to our plan: for if we once begin to repeat our grievances, there will be no end, I need not say to our inquiries, but to our sighs and lamentations."—"Let us proceed, then," said I, "without any farther digression, and pursue the plan we set out upon. Crassus (for he is the Orator we were just speaking of) always came into the Forum ready prepared for the combat. He was expected with impatience, and heard with pleasure. When he first began his Oration (which he always did in a very accurate style) he seemed worthy of the great expectations he had raised. He was very moderate in the sway of his body, had no remarkable variation of voice, never advanced from the ground he stood upon, and seldom stamped his foot: his language was forcible, and sometimes warm and pathetic; he had many strokes of humour, which were always tempered with a becoming dignity; and, what is a difficult character to hit, he was at once very florid, and very concise. In a close contest, he never met with his equal; and there was scarcely any kind of causes, in which he had not signalized his abilities; so that he enrolled himself very early among the first Orators of the time. He accused C. Carbo, though a man of great Eloquence, when he was but a youth;—and displayed his talents in such a manner, that they were not only applauded, but admired by every body. He afterwards defended the Virgin Licinia, when he was only twenty-seven years of age; on which occasion he discovered an uncommon share of Eloquence, as is evident from those parts of his Oration which he left behind him in writing. As he was then desirous to have the honour of settling the colony of Narbonne (as he afterwards did) he thought it adviseable to recommend himself, by undertaking the management of some popular cause. His Oration, in support of the act which was proposed for that purpose, is still extant; and discovers a greater maturity of genius than might have been expected at that time of life. He afterwards pleaded many other causes: but his tribuneship was such a remarkably silent one, that if he had not supped with Granius the beadle when he enjoyed that office (a circumstance which has been twice mentioned by Lucilius) we should scarcely have known that a tribune of that name had existed."—"I believe so," replied Brutus: "but I have heard as little of the tribuneship of Scaevola, though I must naturally suppose that he was the colleague of Crassus."—"He was so," said I, "in all his other preferments; but he was not tribune till the year after him; and when he sat in the Rostrum in that capacity, Crassus spoke in support of the Servilian law. I must observe, however, that Crassus had not Scaevola for his colleague in the censorship; for none of the Scaevolas ever sued for that office. But when the last-mentioned Oration of Crassus was published (which I dare say you have frequently read) he was thirty-four years of age, which was exactly the difference between his age and mine. For he supported the law I have just been speaking of, in the very consulship under which I was born; whereas he himself was born in the consulship of Q. Caepio, and C. Laelius, about three years later than Antonius. I have particularly noticed this circumstance, to specify the time when the Roman Eloquence attained its first maturity; and was actually carried to such a degree of perfection, as to leave no room for any one to carry it higher, unless by the assistance of a more complete and extensive knowledge of philosophy, jurisprudence, and history."—"But does there," said Brutus, "or will there ever exist a man, who is furnished with all the united accomplishments you require?"—"I really don't know," said I; "but we have a speech made by Crassus in his consulship, in praise of Q. Caepio, intermingled with a defence of his conduct, which, though a short one if we consider it as an Oration, is not so as a Panegyric;—and another, which was his last, and which he spoke in the 48th year of his age, at the time he was censor. In these we have the genuine complexion of Eloquence, without any painting or disguise: but his periods (I mean Crassus's) were generally short and concise; and he was fond of expressing himself in those minuter sentences, or members, which the Greeks call Colons."—"As you have spoken so largely," said Brutus, "in praise of the two last-mentioned Orators, I heartily wish that Antonius had left us some other specimen of his abilities, than his trifling Essay on the Art of Speaking, and Crassus more than he has: by so doing, they would have transmitted their fame to posterity; and to us a valuable system of Eloquence. For as to the elegant language of Scaevola, we have sufficient proofs of it in the Orations he has left behind him."—"For my part," said I, "the Oration I was speaking of, on Caepio's case, has been my pattern, and my tutoress, from my very childhood. It supports the dignity of the Senate, which was deeply interested in the debate; and excites the jealousy of the audience against the party of the judges and accusers, whose power it was necessary to expose in the most popular terms. Many parts of it are very strong and nervous, many others very cool and composed; and some are distinguished by the asperity of their language, and not a few by their wit and pleasantry: but much more was said than was committed to writing, as is sufficiently evident from several heads of the Oration, which are merely proposed without any enlargement or explanation. But the oration in his censorship against his colleague Cn. Domitius, is not so much an Oration, as an analysis of the subject, or a general sketch of what he had said, with here and there a few ornamental touches, by way of specimen: for no contest was ever conducted with greater spirit than this. Crassus, however, was eminently distinguished by the popular turn of his language: but that of Antonius was better adapted to judicial trials, than to a public debate. As we have had occasion to mention him, Domitius himself must not be left unnoticed: for though he is not enrolled in the list of Orators, he had a sufficient share both of utterance and genius, to support his character as a magistrate and his dignity as a consul. I might likewise observe of C. Caelius, that he was a man of great application, and many eminent qualities, and had eloquence enough to support the private interests of his friends, and his own dignity in the State. At the same time lived M. Herennius, who was reckoned among the middling Orators, whose principal merit was the purity and correctness of their language; and yet, in a suit for the consulship, he got the better of L. Philippus, a man of the first rank and family, and of the most extensive connections, and who was likewise a member of the College, and a very eloquent speaker. Then also lived C. Clodius, who, besides his consequence as a nobleman of the first distinction, and a man of the most powerful influence, was likewise possessed of a moderate share of Eloquence. Nearly of the same age was C. Titius, a Roman knight, who, in my judgment, arrived at as high a degree of perfection as a Roman orator was able to do, without the assistance of the Grecian literature, and a good share of practice. His Orations have so many delicate turns, such a number of well-chosen examples, and such an agreeable vein of politeness, that they almost seem to have been composed in the true Attic style. He likewise transferred his delicacies into his very Tragedies, with ingenuity enough, I confess, but not in the tragic taste. But the poet L. Afranius, whom he studiously imitated, was a very smart writer, and, as you well know, a man of great expression in the dramatic way. Q. Rubrius Varro, who with C. Marius, was declared an enemy by the Senate, was likewise a warm, and a very spirited prosecutor. My relation, M. Gratidius, was a plausible speaker of the same kind, well versed in the Grecian literature, formed by nature for the profession of Eloquence, and an intimate acquaintance of M. Antonius: he commanded under him in Cilicia, where he lost his life: and he once commenced a prosecution against C. Fimbria, the father of M. Marius Gratidianus. There have likewise been several among the Allies, and the Latins, who were esteemed good Orators; as, for instance, Q. Vettius of Vettium, one of the Marsi, whom I myself was acquainted with, a man of sense, and a concise speaker; —the Q. and D. Valerii of Sora, my neighbours and acquaintances, who were not so remarkable for their talent of speaking, as for their skill both in the Greek and Roman literature; and C. Rusticellus of Bononia, an experienced Orator, and a man of great natural volubility. But the most eloquent of all those who were not citizens of Rome, was T. Betucius Barrus of Asculum, some of whose Orations, which were spoken in that city, are still extant: that which he made at Rome against Caepio, is really an excellent one: the speech which Caepio delivered in answer to it, was made by Aelius, who composed a number of Orations, but pronounced none himself. But among those of a remoter date, L. Papirius of Fregellae in Latium, who was almost cotemporary with Ti. Gracchus, was universally esteemed the most eloquent: we have a speech of his in vindication of the Fregellani, and the Latin Colonies, which was delivered before the Senate."—"And what then is the merit," said Brutus, "which you mean to ascribe to these provincial Orators?"—"What else," replied I, "but the very same which I have ascribed to the city-orators; excepting that their language is not tinctured with the same fashionable delicacy?"—"What fashionable delicacy do you mean?" said he.—"I cannot," said I, "pretend to define it: I only know that there is such a quality existing. When you go to your province in Gaul, you will be convinced of it. You will there find many expressions which are not current in Rome; but these may be easily changed, and corrected. But, what is of greater importance, our Orators have a particular accent in their manner of pronouncing, which is more elegant, and has a more agreeable effect than any other. This, however, is not peculiar to the Orators, but is equally common to every well-bred citizen. I myself remember that T. Tineas, of Placentia, who was a very facetious man, once engaged in a repartee skirmish with my old friend Q. Granius, the public crier."—"Do you mean that Granius," said Brutus, "of whom Lucilius has related such a number of stories?"—"The very same," said I: "but though Tineas said as many smart things as the other, Granius at last overpowered him by a certain vernacular gout, which gave an additional relish to his humour: so that I am no longer surprised at what is said to have happened to Theophrastus, when he enquired of an old woman who kept a stall, what was the price of something which he wanted to purchase. After telling him the value of it,—"Honest stranger," said she, "I cannot afford it for less": "an answer which nettled him not a little, to think that he who had resided almost all his life at Athens, and spoke the language very correctly, should be taken at last for a foreigner. In the same manner, there is, in my opinion, a certain accent as peculiar to the native citizens of Rome, as the other was to those of Athens. But it is time for us to return home; I mean to the Orators of our own growth. Next, therefore, to the two capital Speakers above-mentioned, (that is Crassus and Antonius) came L. Philippus,—not indeed till a considerable time afterwards; but still he must be reckoned the next. I do not mean, however, though nobody appeared in the interim who could dispute the prize with him, that he was entitled to the second, or even the third post of honour. For, as in a Chariot-race I cannot properly consider him as either the second, or third winner, who has scarcely got clear of the starting-post, before the first has reached the goal; so, among Orators, I can scarcely honour him with the name of a competitor, who has been so far distanced by the foremost as hardly to appear on the same ground with him. But yet there were certainly some talents to be observed in Philippus, which any person who considers them, without subjecting them to a comparison with the superior merits of the two before-mentioned, must allow to have been respectable. He had an uncommon freedom of address, a large fund of humour, great facility in the invention of his sentiments, and a ready and easy manner of expressing them. He was likewise, for the time he lived in, a great adept in the literature of the Greeks; and, in the heat of a debate, he could sting, and gash, as well as ridicule his opponents. Almost cotemporary with these was L. Gellius, who was not so much to be valued for his positive, as for his negative merits: for he was neither destitute of learning, nor invention, nor unacquainted with the history and the laws of his country; besides which, he had a tolerable freedom of expression. But he happened to live at a time when many excellent Orators made their appearance; and yet he served his friends upon many occasions to good purpose: in short, his life was so long, that he was successively cotemporary with a variety of Orators of different dates, and had an extensive series of practice in judicial causes. Nearly at the same time lived D. Brutus, who was fellow-consul with Mamercus;— and was equally skilled both in the Grecian and Roman literature. L. Scipio likewise was not an unskilful Speaker; and Cnaeus Pompeius, the son of Sextus, had some reputation as an Orator; for his brother Sextus applied the excellent genius he was possessed of, to acquire a thorough knowledge of the Civil Law, and a complete acquaintance with geometry and the doctrine of the Stoics. A little before these, M. Brutus, and very soon after him, C. Bilienus, who was a man of great natural capacity, made themselves, by nearly the same application, equally eminent in the profession of the law;—the latter would have been chosen Consul, if he had not been thwarted by the repeated promotion of Marius, and some other collateral embarrassments which attended his suit. But the eloquence of Cn. Octavius, which was wholly unknown before his elevation to the Consulship, was effectually displayed, after his preferment to that office, in a great variety of speeches. It is, however, time for us to drop those who were only classed in the number of good speakers, and turn our attention to such as were really Orators."—"I think so too," replied Atticus; "for I understood that you meant to give us an account, not of those who took great pains to be eloquent, but of those who were so in reality."—"C. Julius then," said I, (the son of Lucius) was certainly superior, not only to his predecessors, but to all his cotemporaries, in wit and humour: he was not, indeed, a nervous and striking Orator, but, in the elegance, the pleasantry, and the agreeableness of his manner, he has not been excelled by any man. There are some Orations of his still extant, in which, as well as in his Tragedies, we may discover a pleasing tranquillity of expression with very little energy. P. Cethegus, his cotemporary, had always enough to say on matters of civil regulation; for he had studied and comprehended them with the minutest accuracy; by which means he acquired an equal authority in the Senate with those who had served the office of consul, and though he made no figure in a public debate, he was a serviceable veteran in any suit of a private nature. Q. Lucretius Vispillo was an acute Speaker, and a good Civilian in the same kind of causes: but Osella was better qualified for a public harangue, than to conduct a judicial process. T. Annius Velina was likewise a man of sense, and a tolerable pleader; and T. Juventius had a great deal of practice in the same way:—the latter indeed was rather too heavy and unanimated, but at the same time he was keen and artful, and knew how to seize every advantage which was offered by his antagonist; to which we may add, that he was far from being a man of no literature, and had an extensive knowledge of the Civil Law. His scholar, P. Orbius, who was almost cotemporary with me, had no great practice as a pleader; but his skill in the Civil Law was nothing inferior to his master's. As to Titus Aufidius, who lived to a great age, he was a professed imitator of both; and was indeed a worthy inoffensive man, but seldom spoke at the bar. His brother, M. Virgilius, who when he was a tribune of the people, commenced a prosecution against L. Sylla, then advanced to the rank of General, had as little practice as Aufidius. Virgilius's colleague, P. Magius, was more copious and diffusive. But of all the Orators, or rather Ranters, I ever knew, who were totally illiterate and unpolished, and (I might have added) absolutely coarse and rustic, the readiest and keenest, were Q. Sertorius, and C. Gorgonius, the one of consular, and the other of equestrian rank. T. Junius (the son of L.) who had served the office of tribune, and prosecuted and convicted P. Sextius of bribery, when he was praetor elect, was a prompt and an easy speaker: he lived in great splendor, and had a very promising genius; and, if he had not been of a weak, and indeed a sickly constitution, he would have advanced much farther than he did in the road to preferment. I am sensible, however, that in the account I have been giving, I have included many who were neither real, nor reputed Orators; and that I have omitted others, among those of a remoter date, who well deserved not only to have been mentioned, but to be recorded with honour. But this I was forced to do, for want of better information: for what could I say concerning men of a distant age, none of whose productions are now remaining, and of whom no mention is made in the writings of other people? But I have omitted none of those who have fallen within the compass of my own knowledge, or that I myself remember to have heard. For I wish to make it appear, that in such a powerful and ancient republic as ours, in which the greatest rewards have been proposed to Eloquence, though all have desired to be good speakers, not many have attempted the talk, and but very few have succeeded. But I shall give my opinion of every one in such explicit terms, that it may be easily understood whom I consider as a mere Declaimer, and whom as an Orator."
"About the same time, or rather something later than the above-mentioned Julius, but almost cotemporary with each other, were C. Cotta, P. Sulpicius, Q. Varius, Cn. Pomponius, C. Curio, L. Fufius, M. Drusus, and P. Antistius; for no age whatsoever has been distingushed by a more numerous progeny of Orators. Of these, Cotta and Sulpicius, both in my opinion, and in that of the Public at large, had an evident claim to the preference."—"But wherefore," interrupted Atticus, "do you say, _in your own opinion, and in that of the Public at large?_ In deciding the merits of an Orator, does the opinion of the vulgar, think you, always coincide with that of the learned? Or rather does not one receive the approbation of the populace, while another of a quite opposite character is preferred by those who are better qualified to give their judgment?"—"You have started a very pertinent question," said I; "but, perhaps, _the Public at large_ will not approve my answer to it."—"And what concern need _that_ give you," replied Atticus, "if it meets the approbation of Brutus?"— "Very true," said I; "for I had rather my _sentiments_ on the qualifications of an Orator would please you and Brutus, than all the world besides: but as to my _Eloquence_, I should wish _this_ to please every one. For he who speaks in such a manner as to please the people, must inevitably receive the approbation of the learned. As to the truth and propriety of what I hear, I am indeed to judge of this for myself, as well as I am able: but the general merit of an Orator must and will be decided by the effects which his eloquence produces. For (in my opinion at least) there are three things which an Orator should be able to effect; _viz_. to _inform_ his hearers, to _please_ them, and to _move their passions_. By what qualities in the Speaker each of these, effects may be produced, or by what deficiencies they are either lost, or but imperfectly performed, is an enquiry which none but an artist can resolve: but whether an audience is really so affected by an Orator as shall best answer his purpose, must be left to their own feelings, and the decision of the Public. The learned, therefore, and the people at large, have never disagreed about who was a good Orator, and who was otherwise. For do you suppose, that while the Speakers above-mentioned were in being, they had not the same degree of reputation among the learned as among the populace? If you had enquired of one of the latter, _who was the most eloquent man in the city_, he might have hesitated whether to say _Antonius_ or _Crassus_; or this man, perhaps, would have mentioned the one, and that the other. But would any one have given the preference to _Philippus_, though otherwise a smooth, a sensible, and a facetious Speaker?—that _Philippus_ whom we, who form our judgment upon these matters by rules of art, have decided to have been the next in merit? Nobody would, I am certain. For it is the invariable, property of an accomplished Orator, to be reckoned such in the opinion of the people. Though Antigenidas, therefore, the musician, might say to his scholar, who was but coldly received by the Public, Play on, to please me and the Muses;—I shall say to my friend Brutus, when he mounts the Rostra, as he frequently does,— Play to me and the people;—that those who hear him may be sensible of the effect of his Eloquence, while I can likewise amuse myself with remarking the causes which produce it. When a Citizen hears an able Orator, he readily credits what is said;—he imagines every thing to be true, he believes and relishes the force of it; and, in short, the persuasive language of the Speaker wins his absolute, his hearty assent. You, who are possessed of a critical knowledge of the art, what more will you require? The listening multitude is charmed and captivated by the force of his Eloquence, and feels a pleasure which is not to be resisted. What here can you find to censure? The whole audience is either flushed with joy, or overwhelmed with grief;—it smiles, or weeps,—it loves, or hates,—it scorns or envies,—and, in short, is alternately seized with the various emotions of pity, shame, remorse, resentment, wonder, hope, and fear, according as it is influenced by the language, the sentiments, and the action of the speaker. In this case, what necessity is there to await the sanction of a critic? For here, whatever is approved by the feelings of the people, must be equally so by men of taste and erudition: and, in this instance of public decision, there can be no disagreement between the opinion of the vulgar, and that of the learned. For though many good Speakers have appeared in every species of Oratory, which of them who was thought to excel the rest in the judgment of the populace, was not approved as such by every man of learning? or which of our ancestors, when the choice of a pleader was left to his own option, did not immediately fix it either upon Crassus or Antonius? There were certainly many others to be had: but though any person might have hesitated to which of the above two he should give the preference, there was nobody, I believe, who would have made choice of a third. And in the time of my youth, when Cotta and Hortensius were in such high reputation, who, that had liberty to choose for himself, would have employed any other?"—"But what occasion is there," said Brutus, "to quote the example of other speakers to support your assertion? have we not seen what has always been the wish of the defendant, and what the judgment of Hortensius, concerning yourself? for whenever the latter shared a cause with you, (and I was often present on those occasions) the peroration, which requires the greatest exertion of the powers of Eloquence, was constantly left to _you_."—"It was," said I; "and Hortensius (induced, I suppose, by the warmth of his friendship) always resigned the post of honour to me. But, as to myself, what rank I hold in the opinion of the people I am unable to determine: as to others, however, I may safely assert, that such of them as were reckoned most eloquent in the judgment of the vulgar, were equally high in the estimation of the learned. For even Demosthenes himself could not have said what is related of Antimachus, a poet of Claros, who, when he was rehearsing to an audience assembled for the purpose, that voluminous piece of his which you are well acquainted with, and was deserted by all his hearers except Plato, in the midst of his performance, cried out, "I shall proceed notwithstanding_; for Plato alone is of _more consequence to me than many thousands_." "The remark was very just. For an abstruse poem, such as his, only requires the approbation of the judicious few; but a discourse intended for the people should be perfectly suited to their taste. If Demosthenes, therefore, after being deserted by the rest of his audience, had even Plato left to hear him, and no one else, I will answer for it, he could not have uttered another syllable. 'Nay, or could you yourself, my Brutus, if the whole assembly was to leave you, as it once did Curio?"—"To open my whole mind to you," replied he, "I must confess that even in such causes as fall under the cognizance of a few select judges, and not of the people at large, if I was to be deserted by the casual crowd who came to hear the trial, I should not be able to proceed."—"The case, then, is plainly this," said I: "as a flute, which will not return its proper sound when it is applied to the lips, would be laid aside by the musician as useless; so, the ears of the people are the instrument upon which an Orator is to play: and if these refuse to admit the breath he bestows upon them, or if the hearer, like a restive horse, will not obey the spur, the speaker must cease to exert himself any farther. There is, however, the exception to be made; the people sometimes give their approbation to an orator who does not deserve it. But even here they approve what they have had no opportunity of comparing with something better: as, for instance, when they are pleased with an indifferent, or, perhaps, a bad speaker. His abilities satisfy their expectation: they have seen nothing preferable: and, therefore, the merit of the day, whatever it may happen to be, meets their full applause. For even a middling Orator, if he is possessed of any degree of Eloquence, will always captivate the ear; and the order and beauty of a good discourse has an astonishing effect upon the human mind. Accordingly, what common hearer who was present when Q. Scaevola pleaded for M. Coponius, in the cause above- mentioned, would have wished for, or indeed thought it possible to find any thing which was more correct, more elegant, or more complete? When he attempted to prove, that, as M. Curius was left heir to the estate only in case of the death of his future ward before he came of age, he could not possibly be a legal heir, when the expected ward was never born;—what did he leave unsaid of the scrupulous regard which should be paid to the literal meaning of every testament? what of the accuracy and preciseness of the old and established forms; of law? and how carefully did he specify the manner in which the will would have been expressed, if it had intended that Curius should be the heir in case of a total default of issue? in what a masterly manner did he represent the ill consequences to the Public, if the letter of a will should be disregarded, its intention decided by arbitrary conjectures, and the written bequests of plain illiterate men, left to the artful interpretation of a pleader? how often did he urge the authority of his father, who had always been an advocate for a strict adherence to the letter of a testament? and with what emphasis did he enlarge upon the necessity of supporting the common forms of law? All which particulars he discussed not only very artfully, and skilfully; but in such a neat,—such a close,—and, I may add, in so florid, and so elegant a style, that there was not a single person among the common part of the audience, who could expect any thing more complete, or even think it possible to exist. But when Crassus, who spoke on the opposite side, began with the story of a notable youth, who having found a cock-boat as he was rambling along the shore, took it into his head immediately that he would build a ship to it;—and when he applied the tale to Scaevola, who, from the cock-boat of an argument [which he had deduced from certain imaginary ill consequences to the Public] represented the decision of a private will to be a matter of such importance as to deserve he attention of the _Centum-viri_;—when Crassus, I say, in the beginning of his discourse, had thus taken off the edge of the strongest plea of his antagonist, he entertained his hearers with many other turns of a similar kind; and, in a short time, changed the serious apprehensions of all who were present into open mirth and good-humour; which is one of those three effects which I have just observed an Orator should be able to produce. He then proceeded to remark that it was evidently the intention and the will of the testator, that in cafe, either by death, or default of issue, there should happen to be no son to fall to his charge, the inheritance should devolve to Curius:—'that most people in a similar case would express themselves in the same manner, and that it would certainly stand good in law, and always had. By these, and many other observations of the same kind, he gained the assent of his hearers; which is another of the three duties of an Orator. Lastly, he supported, at all events, the true meaning and spirit of a will, against the literal construction: justly observing, that there would be an endless cavilling about words, not only in wills, but in all other legal deeds, if the real intention of the party was to be disregarded: and hinting very smartly, that his friend Scaevola had assumed a most unwarrantable degree of importance, if no person must afterwards presume to indite a legacy, but in the musty form which he himself might please to prescribe. As he enlarged on each of these arguments with great force and propriety, supported them by a number of precedents, exhibited them in a variety of views, and enlivened them with many occasional turns of wit and pleasantry, he gained so much applause, and gave such general satisfaction, that it was scarcely remembered that any thing had been said on the contrary side of the question. This was the third, and the most important duty we assigned to an Orator.
"Here, if one of the people was to be judge, the same person who had heard the first Speaker with a degree of admiration, would, on hearing the second, despise himself for his former want of judgment:—whereas a man of taste and erudition, on hearing Scaevola, would have observed that he was really master of a rich and ornamental style; but if, on comparing the manner in which each of them concluded his cause, it was to be enquired which of the two was the best Orator, the decision of the man of learning would not have differed from that of the vulgar. What advantage, then, it will be said, has the skilful critic over the illiterate hearer? A great and very important advantage; if it is indeed a matter of any consequence, to be able to discover by what means that which is the true and real end of speaking, is either obtained or lost. He has likewise this additional superiority, that when two or more Orators, as has frequently happened, have shared the applauses of the Public, he can judge, on a careful observation of the principal merits of each, what is the most perfect character of Eloquence: since whatever does not meet the approbation of the people, must be equally condemned by a more intelligent hearer. For as it is easily understood by the sound of a harp, whether the strings are skilfully touched; so it may likewise be discovered from the manner in which the passions of an audience are affected, how far the Speaker is able to command them. A man, therefore, who is a real connoisseur in the art, can sometimes by a single glance as he passes through the Forum, and without stopping to listen attentively to what is said, form a tolerable judgment of the ability of the Speaker. When he observes any of the Bench either yawning, or speaking to the person who is next to him, or looking carelessly about him, or sending to enquire the time of day, or teazing the Quaestor to dismiss the court; he concludes very naturally that the cause upon trial is not pleaded by an Orator who understands how to apply the powers of language to the passions of the judges, as a skilful musician applies his fingers to the harp. On the other hand, if, as he passes by, he beholds the judges looking attentively before them, as if they were either receiving some material information, or visibly approved what they had already heard—if he sees them listening to the voice of the Pleader with a kind of extasy like a fond bird to some melodious tune;— and, above all, if he discovers in their looks any strong indications of pity, abhorrence, or any other emotion of the mind;—though he should not be near enough to hear a single word, he immediately discovers that the cause is managed by a real Orator, who is either performing, or has already played his part to good purpose."
After I had concluded these digressive remarks, my two friends were kind enough to signify their approbation, and I resumed my subject.—"As this digression," said I, "took its rise from Cotta and Sulpicius, whom I mentioned as the two most approved Orators of the age they lived in, I shall first return to them, and afterwards notice the rest in their proper order, according to the plan we began upon. I have already observed that there are two classes of good Orators (for we have no concern with any others) of which the former are distinguished by the simple neatness and brevity of their language, and the latter by their copious dignity and elevation: but although the preference must always be given to that which is great and striking; yet, in speakers of real merit, whatever is most perfect of the kind, is justly entitled to our commendation. It must, however, be observed, that the close and simple Orator should be careful not to sink into a driness and poverty of expression; while, on the other hand, the copious and more stately Speaker should be equally on his guard against a swelling and empty parade of words.
"To begin with Cotta, he had a ready, quick Invention, and spoke correctly and freely; and as he very prudently avoided every forcible exertion of his voice on account of the weakness of his lungs, so his language was equally adapted to the delicacy of his constitution. There was nothing in his style but what was neat, compact, and healthy; and (what may justly be considered as his greatest excellence) though he was scarcely able, and therefore never attempted to force the passions of the judges by a strong and spirited elocution, yet he managed them so artfully, that the gentle emotions he raised in them, answered exactly the same purpose, and produced the same effect, as the violent ones which were excited by Sulpicius. For Sulpicius was really the most striking, and, if I may be allowed the expression, the most tragical Orator I ever heard:—his voice was strong and sonorous, and yet sweet, and flowing:—his gesture, and the sway of his body, was graceful and ornamental, but in such a style as to appear to have been formed for the Forum, and not for the stage:—and his language, though rapid and voluble, was neither loose nor exuberant. He was a professed imitator of Crassus, while Cotta chose Antonius for his model: but the latter wanted the force of Antonius, and the former the agreeable humour of Crassus."—"How extremely difficult, then," said Brutus, "must be the art of speaking, when such consummate Orators as these were each of them destitute of one of its principal beauties!"—"We may likewise observe," said I, "in the present instance, that two Orators may have the highest degree of merit, who are totally unlike each other: for none could be more so than Cotta and Sulpicius, and yet both of them were far superior to any of their cotemporaries. It is therefore the business of every intelligent matter to take notice what is the natural bent of his pupil's capacity; and, taking that for his guide, to imitate the conduct of Socrates with his two scholars Theopompus and Ephorus, who, after remarking the lively genius of the former, and the mild and timid bashfulness of the latter, is reported to have said that he applied a spur to the one, and a curb to the other. The Orations now extant, which bear the name of Sulpicius, are supposed to have been written after his decease by my cotemporary P. Canutius, a man indeed of inferior rank, but who, in my mind, had a great command of language. But we have not a single speech of Sulpicius that was really his own: for I have often heard him say, that he neither had, nor ever could commit any thing of the kind to writing. And as to Cotta's speech in defence of himself, called a vindication of the Varian Law, it was composed, at his own request, by L. Aelius. This Aelius was a man of merit, and a very worthy Roman knight, who was thoroughly versed in the Greek and Roman literature. He had likewise a critical knowledge of the antiquities of his country, both as to the date and particulars of every new improvement, and every memorable transaction, and was perfectly well read in the ancient writers;—a branch of learning in which he was succeeded by our friend Varro, a man of genius, and of the most extensive erudition, who afterwards enlarged the plan by many valuable collections of his own, and gave a much fuller and more elegant system of it to the Public. For Aelius himself chose to assume the character of a Stoic, and neither aimed to be, nor ever was an Orator: but he composed several Orations for other people to pronounce; as for Q. Metellus, F. Q. Caepio, and Q. Pompeius Rufus; though the latter composed those speeches himself which he spoke in his own defence, but not without the assistance of Aelius. For I myself was present at the writing of them, in the younger part of my life, when I used to attend Aelius for the benefit of his instructions. But I am surprised, that Cotta, who was really an excellent Orator, and a man of good learning, should be willing that the trifling Speeches of Aelius mould be published to the world as his.
"To the two above-mentioned, no third person of the same age was esteemed an equal: Pomponius, however, was a Speaker much to my taste; or, at least, I have very little fault to find with him. But there was no employment for any in capital causes, excepting for those I have already mentioned; because Antonius, who was always courted on these occasions, was very ready to give his service; and Crassus, though not so compliable, generally consented, on any pressing sollicitation, to give his. Those who had not interest enough to engage either of these, commonly applied to Philip, or Caesar; but when Cotta and Sulpicius were at liberty, they generally had the preference: so that all the causes in which any honour was to be acquired, were pleaded by these six Orators. We may add, that trials were not so frequent then as they are at present; neither did people employ, as they do now, several pleaders on the same side of the question,—a practice which is attended with many disadvantages. For hereby we are often obliged to speak in reply to those whom we had not an opportunity of hearing; in which case, what has been alledged on the opposite side, is often represented to us either falsely or imperfectly; and besides, it is a very material circumstance, that I myself should be present to see with what countenance my antagonist supports his allegations, and, still more so, to observe the effect of every part of his discourse upon the audience. And as every defence should be conducted upon one uniform plan, nothing can be more improperly contrived, than to re-commence it by assigning the peroration, or pathetical part of it, to a second advocate. For every cause can have but one natural introduction and conclusion; and all the other parts of it, like the members of an animal body, will best retain their proper strength and beauty, when they are regularly disposed and connected. We may add, that as it is very difficult in a single Oration of any length, to avoid saying something which does not comport with the rest of it so well as it ought to do, how much more difficult must it be to contrive that nothing shall be said, which does not tally exactly with the speech of another person who has spoken before you? But as it certainly requires more labour to plead a whole cause, than only a part of it, and as many advantageous connections are formed by assisting in a suit in which several persons are interested, the custom, however preposterous in itself, has been readily adopted.
"There were some, however, who esteemed Curio the third best Orator of the age; perhaps, because his language was brilliant and pompous, and because he had a habit (for which I suppose he was indebted to his domestic education) of expressing himself with tolerable correctness: for he was a man of very little learning. But it is a circumstance of great importance, what sort of people we are used to converse with at home, especially in the more early part of life; and what sort of language we have been accustomed to hear from our tutors and parents, not excepting the mother. We have all read the Letters of Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi; and are satisfied, that her sons were not so much nurtured in their mother's lap, as in the elegance and purity of her language. I have often too enjoyed the agreeable conversation of Laelia, the daughter of Caius, and observed in her a strong tincture of her father's elegance. I have likewise conversed with his two daughters, the Muciae, and his granddaughters, the two Liciniae, with one of whom (the wife of Scipio) you, my Brutus, I believe, have sometimes been in company."—"I have," replied he, "and was much pleased with her conversation; and the more so, because she was the daughter of Crassus."—"And what think you," said I, "of Crassus, the son of that Licinia, who was adopted by Crassus in his will?"—"He is said," replied he, "to have been a man of great genius: and the Scipio you have mentioned, who was my colleague, likewise appears to me to have been a good Speaker, and an elegant companion."—"Your opinion, my Brutus," said I, "is very just. For this family, if I may be allowed the expression, seems to have been the offspring of Wisdom. As to their two grandfathers, Scipio and Crassus, we have taken notice of them already: as we also have of their great grandfathers, Q. Metellus, who had four sons,—P. Scipio, who, when a private citizen, freed the Republic from the arbitrary influence of T. Gracchus,—and Q. Scaevola, the augur, who was the ablest and most affable Civilian of his time. And lastly, how illustrious are the names of their next immediate progenitors, P. Scipio, who was twice Consul, and was called the Darling of the People,—and C. Laelius, who was esteemed the wisest of men?"—"A generous stock indeed!" cries Brutus, "into which the wisdom of many has been successively ingrafted, like a number of scions on the same tree!"—"I have likewise a suspicion," replied I, "(if we may compare small things with great) that Curio's family, though he himself was left an orphan, was indebted to his father's instruction, and good example, for the habitual purity of their language: and so much the more, because, of all those who were held in any estimation for their Eloquence, I never knew one who was so totally rude and unskilled in every branch of liberal science. He had not read a single poet, or studied a single orator; and he knew little or nothing either of Public, Civil, or Common law. We might say almost the same, indeed, of several others, and some of them very able Orators, who (we know) were but little acquainted with these useful parts of knowledge; as, for instance, of Sulpicius and Antonius. But this deficiency was supplied in them by an elaborate knowledge of the art of Speaking; and there was not one of them who was totally unqualified in any of the five [Footnote: Invention, Disposition, Elocution, Memory, and Pronunciation.] principal parts of which it is composed; for whenever this is the case, (and it matters not in which of those parts it happens) it intirely incapacitates a man to shine as an Orator. Some, however, excelled in one part, and some in another. Thus Antonius could readily invent such arguments as were most in point, and afterwards digest and methodize them to the best advantage; and he could likewise retain the plan he had formed with great exactness: but his chief merit was the goodness of his delivery, in which he was justly allowed to excel. In some of these qualifications he was upon an equal footing with Crassus, and in others he was superior: but then the language of Crassus was indisputably preferable to his. In the same manner, it cannot be said that either Sulpicius or Cotta, or any other Speaker of repute, was absolutely deficient in any one of the five parts of Oratory. But we may justly infer from the example of Curio, that nothing will more recommend an Orator, than a brilliant and ready flow of expression; for he was remarkably dull in the invention, and very loose and unconnected in the disposition of his arguments. The two remaining parts are Pronunciation and Memory; in each of which he was so poorly qualified, as to excite the laughter and the ridicule of his hearers. His gesture was really such as C. Julius represented it, in a severe sarcasm, that will never be forgotten; for as he was swaying and reeling his whole body from side to side, Julius enquired very merrily, who it was that was speaking from a boat. To the same purpose was the jest of Cn. Sicinius, a very vulgar sort of man, but exceedingly humourous, which was the only qualification he had to recommend him as an Orator. When this man, as Tribune of the people, had summoned Curio and Octavius, who were then Consuls, into the Forum, and Curio had delivered a tedious harangue, while Octavius sat silently by him, wrapt up in flannels, and besmeared with ointments, to ease the pain of the gout;"—"Octavius," said he, "you are infinitely obliged to your colleague; for if he had not tossed and flung himself about to-day, in the manner he did, you would have certainly have been devoured by the flies."—"As to his memory, it was so extremely treacherous, that after he had divided his subject into three general heads, he would sometimes, in the course of speaking, either add a fourth, or omit the third. In a capital trial, in which I had pleaded for Titinia, the daughter of Cotta, when he attempted to reply to me in defence of Serv. Naevius, he suddenly forgot every thing he had intended to say, and attributed it to the pretended witchcraft, and magic artifices of Titinia. These were undoubted proofs of the weakness of his memory. But, what is still more inexcusable, he sometimes forgot, even in his written treatises, what he had mentioned but a little before. Thus, in a book of his, in which he introduces himself as entering into conversation with our friend Pansa, and his son Curio, when he was walking home from the Senate- house; the Senate is supposed to have been summoned by Caesar in his first Consulship; and the whole conversation arises from the son's enquiry what the House had resolved upon. Curio launches out into a long invective against the conduct of Caesar, and, as is generally the custom in dialogues, the parties are engaged in a close dispute on the subject: but very unhappily, though the conversation commences at the breaking up of the Senate which Caesar held when he was first Consul, the author censures those very actions of the same Caesar, which did not happen till the next, and several other succeeding years of his government in Gaul."—"Is it possible then," said Brutus, with an air of surprize, "that any man, (and especially in a written performance) could be so forgetful as not to discover, upon a subsequent perusal of his own work, what an egregious blunder he had committed?"—"Very true," said I; "for if he wrote with a design to discredit the measures which he represents in such an odious light, nothing could be more stupid than not to commence his dialogue at a period which was subsequent to those measures. But he so entirely forgets himself, as to tell us, that he did not choose to attend a Senate which was held in one of Caesar's future consulships, in the very same dialogue in which he introduces himself as returning home from a Senate which was held in his first consulship. It cannot, therefore, be wondered at, that he who was so remarkably defective in a faculty which is the steward of our other intellectual powers, as to forget, even in a written treatise, a material circumstance which he had mentioned but a little before, should find his memory fail him, as it generally did, in a sudden and unpremeditated harangue. It accordingly happened, though he had many connections, and was fond of speaking in public, that few causes were intrusted to his management. But, among his cotemporaries, he was esteemed next in merit to the first Orators of the age; and that merely, as I said before, for his good choice of words, and his uncommon readiness, and great fluency of expression. His Orations, therefore, may deserve a cursory perusal. It is true, indeed, they are much too languid and spiritless; but they may yet be of service to enlarge and improve an accomplishment, of which he certainly had a moderate share; and which has so much force and efficacy, that it gave Curio the appearance and reputation of an Orator, without the assistance of any other good quality.
"But to return to our subject,—C. Carbo, of the same age, was likewise reckoned an Orator of the second class: he was the son, indeed, of the truly eloquent man before-mentioned, but was far from being an acute Speaker himself: he was, however, esteemed an Orator. His language was tolerably nervous, he spoke with ease,—and there was an air of authority in his address that was perfectly natural. But Q. Varius was a man of quicker invention, and, at the same time, had an equal freedom of expression: besides which, he had a bold and spirited delivery, and a vein of elocution which was neither poor, nor coarse and vulgar;—in short, you need not hesitate to pronounce him an Orator. Cn. Pomponius was a vehement, a rousing, and a fierce and eager Speaker, and more inclined to act the part of a prosecutor, than of an advocate. But far inferior to these was L. Fufius; though his application was, in some measure, rewarded by the success of his prosecution against M. Aquilius. For as to M. Drusus, your great uncle, who spoke like an Orator only upon matters of government;—L. Lucullus, who was indeed an artful Speaker, and your father, my Brutus, who was well acquainted with the Common and Civil Law; —M. Lucullus, and M. Octavius, the son of Cnaeus, who was a man of so much authority and address, as to procure the repeal of Sempronius's corn-act, by the suffrages of a full assembly of the people;—Cn. Octavius, the son of Marcus,—and M. Cato, the father, and Q. Catulus, the son;—we must excuse these (if I may so express myself) from the fatigues and dangers of the field,—that is, from the management of judicial causes, and place them in garison over the general interests of the Republic, a duty to which they seem to have been sufficiently adequate. I should have assigned the same post to Q. Caepio, if he had not been so violently attached to the Equestrian Order, as to set himself at variance with the Senate. I have also remarked, that Cn. Carbo, M. Marius, and several others of the same stamp, who would not have merited the attention of an audience that had any taste for elegance, were extremely well suited to address a tumultuous crowd. In the same class, (if I may be allowed to interrupt the series of my narrative) L. Quintius lately made his appearance: though Palicanus, it must be owned, was still better adapted to please the ears of the populace. But, as I have mentioned this inferior kind of Speakers, I must be so just to L. Apuleius Saturninus, as to observe that, of all the factious declaimers since the time of the Gracchi, he was generally esteemed the ablest: and yet he caught the attention of the Public, more by his appearance, his gesture, and his dress, than by any real fluency of expression, or even a tolerable share of good sense. But C. Servilius Glaucia, though the most abandoned wretch that ever existed, was very keen and artful, and excessively humourous; and notwithstanding the meanness of his birth, and the depravity of his life, he would have been advanced to the dignity of a Consul in his Praetorship, if it had been judged lawful to admit his suit: for the populace were entirely at his devotion, and he had secured the interest of the Knights, by an act he had procured in their favour. He was slain in the open Forum, while he was Praetor, on the same day as the tribune Saturninus, in the Consulship of Marius and Flaccus; and bore a near resemblance to Hyperbolus, the Athenian, whose profligacy was so severely stigmatized in the old Attic Comedies. These were succeeded by Sext. Titius, who was indeed a voluble Speaker, and possessed a ready comprehension, but he was so loose and effeminate in his gesture, as to furnish room for the invention of a dance, which was called the Titian jigg: so careful should we be to avoid every oddity in our manner of speaking, which may afterwards be exposed to ridicule by a ludicrous imitation.
"But we have rambled back insensibly to a period which has been already examined: let us, therefore, return to that which we were reviewing a little before. Cotemporary with Sulpicius was P. Antistius,—a plausible declaimer, who, after being silent for several years, and exposed, (as he often was) not only to the contempt, but the derision of his hearers, first spoke with applause in his tribuneship, in a real and very interesting protest against the illegal application of C. Julius for the consulship; and that so much the more, because though Sulpicius himself, who then happened to be his colleague, spoke on the same side of the debate, Antistius argued more copiously, and to better purpose. This raised his reputation so high, that many, and (soon afterwards) every cause of importance, was eagerly recommended to his patronage. To speak the truth, he had a quick conception, a methodical judgment, and a retentive memory; and though his language was not much embellished, it was very far from being low. In short, his style was easy, and flowing, and his appearance rather genteel than otherwise: but his action was a little defective, partly through the disagreeable tone of his voice, and partly by a few ridiculous gestures, of which he could not entirely break himself. He flourished in the time between the flight and the return of Sylla, when the Republic was deprived of a regular administration of justice, and of its former dignity and splendor. But the very favourable reception he met with was, in some measure, owing to the great scarcity of good Orators which then prevailed in the Forum. For Sulpicius was dead; Cotta and Curio were abroad; and no pleaders of any eminence were left but Carbo and Pomponius, from each of whom he easily carried off the palm. His nearest successor in the following age was L. Sisenna, who was a man of learning, had a taste for the liberal Sciences, spoke the Roman language with accuracy, was well acquainted with the laws and constitution of his country, and had a tolerable share of wit; but he was not a Speaker of any great application, or extensive practice; and as he happened to live in the intermediate time between the appearance of Sulpicius and Hortensius, he was unable to equal the former, and forced to yield to the superior talents of the latter. We may easily form a judgment of his abilities from the historical Works he has left behind him; which, though evidently preferable to any thing of the kind which had appeared before, may serve as a proof that he was far below the standard of perfection, and that this species of composition had not then been improved to any great degree of excellence among the Romans. But the genius of Q. Hortensius, even in his early youth, like one of Phidias's statues, was no sooner beheld than it was universally admired! He spoke his first Oration in the Forum in the consulship of L. Crassus and Q. Scaevola, to whom it was personally adressed; and though he was then only nineteen years old, he descended from the Rostra with the hearty approbation not only of the audience in general, but of the two Consuls themselves, who were the most intelligent judges in the whole city. He died in the consulship of L. Paulus and C. Marcellus; from which it appears that he was four-and-forty years a Pleader. We shall review his character more at large in the sequel: but in this part of my history, I chose to include him in the number of Orators who were rather of an earlier date. This indeed must necessarily happen to all whose lives are of any considerable length: for they are equally liable to a comparison with their Elders and their Juniors; as in the case of the poet Attius, who says that both he and Pacuvius applied themselves to the cultivation of the drama under the fame Aediles; though, at the time, the one was eighty, and the other only thirty years old. Thus Hortensius may be paralleled not only with those who were properly his contemporaries, but with me, and you, my Brutus, and with others of a prior date. For he began to speak in public while Crassus was living but his fame increased when he appeared as a joint advocate with Antonius and Philip (at that time in the decline of life) in defence of Cn. Pompeius,— a cause in which (though a mere youth) he distinguished himself above the rest. He may therefore be included in the lift of those whom I have placed in the time of Sulpicius; but among his proper coevals, such as M. Piso, M. Crassus, Cn. Lentulus, and P. Lentulus Sura, he excelled beyond the reach of competition; and after these he happened upon me, in the early part of my life (for I was eight years younger than himself) and spent a number of years with me in pursuit of the same forensic glory: and at last, (a little before his death) he once pleaded with you, in defence of Appius Claudius, as I have frequently done for others. Thus you see, my Brutus, I am come insensibly to yourself, though there was undoubtedly a great variety of Orators between my first appearance in the Forum, and yours. But as I determined, when we began the conversation, to make no mention of those among them who are still living, to prevent your enquiring too minutely what is my opinion concerning each; I shall confine myself to such as are now no more."—"That is not the true reason," said Brutus, "why you choose to be silent about the living."—"What then do you suppose it to be," said I?—"You are only fearful," replied he, "that your remarks should afterwards be mentioned by us in other company, and that, by this means, you should expose yourself to the resentment of those, whom you may not think it worth your while to notice."—"Indeed," answered I, "I have not the least doubt of your secresy."—"Neither have you any reason," said he; "but after all, I suppose, you had rather be silent yourself, than rely upon our taciturnity."—"To confess the truth," replied I, "when I first entered upon the subject, I never imagined that I should have extended it to the age now before us; whereas I have been drawn by a continued series of history among the moderns of latest date." —"Introduce, then," said he, "those intermediate Orators you may think worthy of our notice: and afterwards let us return to yourself, and Hortensius."—"To Hortensius," replied I, "with all my heart; but as to my own character, I shall leave it to other people to examine, if they choose to take the trouble."—"I can by no means agree to that," said he: "for though every part of the account you have favoured us with, has entertained me very agreeably, it now begins to seem tedious, because I am impatient to hear something of yourself: I do not mean the wonderful qualities, but the progressive steps, and advances of your Eloquence; for the former are sufficiently known already both to me, and the whole world."—"As you do not require me," said I, "to sound the praises of my own genius, but only to describe my labour and application to improve it, your request shall be complied with. But to preserve the order of my narrative, I shall first introduce such other Speakers as I think ought to be previously noticed: and I shall begin with M. Crassus, who was contemporary with Hortensius. With a tolerable share of learning, and a very moderate capacity, his application, assiduity, and interest, procured him a place among the ablest Pleaders of the time for several years. His language was pure, his expression neither low nor ungenteel, and his ideas well digested: but he had nothing in him that was florid, and ornamental; and the real ardor of his mind was not supported by any vigorous exertion of his voice, so that he pronounced almost every thing in the same uniform tone. His equal, and professed antagonist C. Fimbria was not able to maintain his character so long; and though he always spoke with a strong and elevated voice, and poured forth a rapid torrent of well-chosen expressions, he was so immoderately vehement that you might justly be surprised that the people should have been so absent and inattentive as to admit a madman, like him, into the lift of Orators. As to Cn. Lentulus, his action acquired him a reputation for his Eloquence very far beyond his real abilities: for though he was not a man of any great penetration (notwithstanding he carried the appearance of it in his countenance) nor possessed any real fluency of expression (though he was equally specious in this respect as in the former)—yet by his sudden breaks, and exclamations, he affected such an ironical air of surprize, with a sweet and sonorous turn of voice, and his whole action was so warm and lively, that his defects were scarcely noticed. For as Curio acquired the reputation of an Orator with no other quality than a tolerable freedom of Elocution; so Cn. Lentulus concealed the mediocrity of his other accomplishments by his action, which was really excellent. Much the same might be said of P. Lentulus, whose poverty of invention and expression was secured from notice by the mere dignity of his presence, his correct and graceful gesture, and the strength and sweetness of his voice: and his merit depended so entirely upon his action, that he was more deficient in every other quality than his namesake. But M. Piso derived all his talents from his erudition; for he was much better versed in the Grecian literature than any of his predecessors. He had, however, a natural keenness of discernment, which he greatly improved by art, and exerted with great address and dexterity, though in very indifferent language: but he was frequently warm and choleric, sometimes cold and insipid, and now and then rather smart and humourous. He did not long support the fatigue, and emulous contention of the Forum; partly, on account of the weakness of his constitution; and partly, because he could not submit to the follies and impertinencies of the common people (which we Orators are forced to swallow) either, as it was generally supposed, from a peculiar moroseness of temper, or from a liberal and ingenuous pride of heart. After acquiring, therefore, in his youth, a tolerable degree of reputation, his character began to sink: but in the trial of the Vestals, he again recovered it with some additional lustre, and being thus recalled to the theatre of Eloquence, he kept his rank, as long as he was able to support the fatigue of it; after which his credit declined, in proportion as he remitted his application.—P. Murena had a moderate genius, but was passionately fond of the study of Antiquity; he applied himself with equal diligence to the Belles Lettres, in which he was tolerably versed; in short, he was a man of great industry, and took the utmost pains to distinguish himself.—C. Censorinus had a good stock of Grecian literature, explained whatever he advanced with great neatness and perspicuity, and had a graceful action, but was too cold and unanimated for the Forum.—L. Turius with a very indifferent genius, but the most indefatigable application, spoke in public very often, in the best manner he was able; and, accordingly, he only wanted the votes of a few Centuries to promote him to the Consulship.—C. Macer was never a man of much interest or authority, but was one of the most active Pleaders of his time; and if his life, his manners, and his very looks, had not ruined the credit of his genius, he would have ranked higher in the lift of Orators. He was neither copious, nor dry and barren; neither eat and embellished, nor wholly inelegant; and his voice, his gesture, and every part of his action, was without any grace: but in inventing and digesting his ideas, he had a wonderful accuracy, such as no man I ever saw either possessed or exerted in a more eminent degree; and yet, some how, he displayed it rather with the air of a Quibbler, than of an Orator. Though he had acquired some reputation in public causes, he appeared to most advantage and was most courted and employed in private ones.—C. Piso, who comes next in order, had scarcely any exertion, but he was a Speaker of a very convertible style; and though, in fact, he was far from being slow of invention, he had more penetration in his look and appearance than he really possessed.—His cotemporary M. Glabrio, though carefully instructed by his grandfather Scaevola, was prevented from distinguishing himself by his natural indolence and want of attention.—L. Torquatus, on the contrary, had an elegant turn of expression, and a clear comprehension, and was perfectly genteel and well-bred in his whole manner.—But Cn. Pompeius, my coeval, a man who was born to excel in every thing, would have acquired a more distinguished reputation for his Eloquence, if he had not been diverted from the pursuit of it by the more dazzling charms of military fame. His language was naturally bold and elevated, and he was always master of his subject; and as to his powers of enunciation, his voice was sonorous and manly, and his gesture noble, and full of dignity. —D. Silanus, another of my cotemporaries, and your father-in-law, was not a man of much application, but he had a very competent share of discernment, and elocution.—Q. Pompeius, the son of Aulus, who had the title of Bithynicus, and was about two years older than myself, was, to my own knowledge, remarkably fond of the study of Eloquence, had an uncommon stock of learning, and was a man of indefatigable industry and perseverance: for he was connected with me and M. Piso, not only as an intimate acquaintance, but as an associate in our studies, and private exercises. His elocution was but poorly recommended by his action: for though the former was sufficiently copious and diffusive, there was nothing graceful in the latter.—His contemporary, P. Autronius, had a very clear, and strong voice; but he was distinguished by no other accomplishment.—L. Octavius Reatinus died in his youth, while he was in full practice: but he ascended the rostra with more assurance, than ability.—C. Staienus, who changed his name into Aelius by a kind of self- adoption, was a warm, an abusive, and indeed a furious speaker; which was so agreeable to the taste of many, that he would have risen to some rank in the State, if it had not been for a crime of which he was clearly convicted, and for which he afterwards suffered.—At the same time were the two brothers C. and L. Caepasius, who, though men of an obscure family, and little previous consequence, were yet, by mere dint of application, suddenly promoted to the Quaestorship, with no other recommendation than a provincial and unpolished kind of Oratory.—That I may not seem to have put a wilful slight on any of the vociferous tribe, I must also notice C. Cosconius Calidianus, who, without any discernment, amused the people with a rapidity of language (if such it might be called) which he attended with a perpetual hurry of action, and a most violent exertion of his voice.—Of much the same cast was Q. Arrius, who may be considered as a second-hand M. Crassus. He is a striking proof of what consequence it is in such a city as ours to devote one's-self to the occasions of the many, and to be as active as possible in promoting their safety, or their honour. For by these means, though of the lowest parentage, having raised himself to offices of rank, and to considerable wealth and influence, he likewise acquired the reputation of a tolerable patron, without either learning or abilities. But as inexperienced champions, who, from a passionate desire to distinguish themselves in the Circus, can bear the blows of their opponents without shrinking, are often overpowered by the heat of the sun, when it is increased by the reflection of the sand; so he, who had hitherto supported even the sharpest encounters with good success, could not stand the severity of that year of judicial contest, which blazed upon him like a summer's sun."
"Upon my word," cried Atticus, "you are now treating us with the very dregs of Oratory, and you have entertained us in this manner for some time: but I did not offer to interrupt you, because I never dreamed you would have descended so low as to mention the Staieni and Autronii!"— "As I have been speaking of the dead, you will not imagine, I suppose," said I, "that I have done it to court their favour: but in pursuing the order of history, I was necessarily led by degrees to a period of time which falls within the compass of our own knowledge. But I wish it to be noticed, that after recounting all who ever ventured to speak in public, we find but few, (very few indeed!) whose names are worth recording; and not many who had even the repute of being Orators. Let us, however, return to our subject. T. Torquatus, then, the son of Titus, was a man of learning, (which he first acquired in the school of Molo in Rhodes,) and of a free and easy elocution which he received from Nature. If he had lived to a proper age, he would have been chosen Consul, without any canvassing; but he had more ability for speaking than inclination; so that, in fact, he did not do justice to the art he professed; and yet he was never wanting to his duty, either in the private causes of his friends and dependents, or in his senatorial capacity.—My townsman too, P. Pontidius, pleaded a number of private causes. He had a rapidity of expression, and a tolerable quickness of comprehension: but he was very warm, and indeed rather too choleric and irascible; so that he often wrangled not only with his antagonist, but (what appears very strange) with the judge himself, whom it was rather his business to sooth and gratify.—M. Messala, who was something younger than myself, was far from being a poor and an abject Pleader, and yet he was not a very embellished one. He was judicious, penetrating, and wary, very exact in digesting and methodizing his subject, and a man of uncommon diligence and application, and of very extensive practice.—As to the two Metelli (Celer and Nepos) these also had a moderate share of employment at the bar; but being destitute neither of learning nor abilities, they chiefly applied themselves (and with some success) to debates of a more popular kind.—But Caius Lentulus Marcellinus, who was never reckoned a bad Speaker, was esteemed a very eloquent one in his Consulship. He wanted neither sentiment, nor expression; his voice was sweet and sonorous; and he had a sufficient stock of humour.—C. Memmius, the son of Lucius, was a perfect adept in the belles lettres of the Greeks; for he had an insuperable disgust to the literature of the Romans. He was a neat and polished Speaker, and had a sweet and harmonious turn of expression; but as he was equally averse to every laborious effort either of the mind or the tongue, his Eloquence declined in proportion as he lessened his application."— "But I heartily wish," said Brutus, "that you would give us your opinion of those Orators who are still living; or, if you are determined to say nothing of the rest, there are two at least, (that is Caesar and Marcellus, whom I have often heard you speak of with the highest approbation) whose characters would give me as much entertainment as any of those you have already specified."—"But why," answered I, "would you expect that I would give you my opinion of men who are as well known to yourself as to me?"—"Marcellus, indeed," replied he, "I am very well acquainted with; but as to Caesar, I know little of him. For I have heard the former very often: but, by the time I was able to judge for myself, the latter had set out for his province."—"Mighty well," said I; "and what think you of him you have heard so often?"—"What else can I think," replied he, "but that you will soon have an Orator, who will