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more original than Quintilian, and more suggestive of profound thought, it has not the comprehensiveness or the lucidity of the later Roman Master of the Art. But it ought to be earnestly studied; and the recent edition of it by Mr. Cope, with introduction, analysis, and illustrative notes, enables us now to study it with greatly increased facility and advantage. With regard to the other Greek writers on Rhetoric, as I am bound to be sparing in my demands on the time of my Propositus, I will refer him to the frequent extracts from them, and the excellent comments on them in Professor Jebb's lately published volumes on the “Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isæus”; a work, which I shall have to recommend for other reasons.
I have yet to mention one modern work on Rhetoric, small in bulk, but ample in suggestiveness, which is now, I believe, very little known; but which may teach a great deal; more, in fact, than an honest man would care to learn with a view of practising it himself, though it may be well to be forewarned of the risk of such practices being employed against him. I mean the “ Parliamentary Logic ” of the Hon. Gerard Hamilton, commonly called “Single-speech Hamilton," but most inaccuratcly, inasmuch as he made many good speeches in the English Parliament, and was afterwards for several sessions a regular debater in the Irish House of Commons. Hamilton gives precepts for obtaining success, with as complete a disregard to any distinction between “Fas" and "Nefas," as you will find in the worst passages which Plato puts into the mouths of the Greek Sophists, or in the speeches of the Athenian envoys in the Melian dialogue, or in the Principe of Machiavelli. But all the weapons, which he recommends, are not thus tainted; and no one can read him without owning his insight into character, his knowledge of how to say the right thing at the right time, how to make the most of an advantage, and how to mitigate or disguise the effect of having the sense and the merits of the case dead against you. Frequent reference to him will be found in the little sketch of Rhetorical rules, which I am about to lay before the reader: a sketch, which in no way pretends to give a full and thorough view of a very large and complex subject; but which may help a student, by giving him hints to be used in the construction of a Rhetorical manual for himself: one of the most useful exercises which he can possibly engage in, and in which his interleaved Quintilian will do him yeoman's service.
The definition of Rhetoric has been already considered. It is the Art of influencing by words men's wills, feelings, and opinions. I believe that modern writers do well in retaining the old Aristotelian divisions of Rhetoric into three branches, " a division which is determined by the characters of the several kinds of audiences which the orator has to address, and by the end, which he has consequently to keep in view in each case."* The three branches are--Ist, the Demonstrative, in which you pre-suppose that your audience already hold the opinions which you promote; so that no real issue is at stake, although you may wish to intensify their faith in opinions, and to procure an emphatic expression of their zeal in favour of them.t 2nd. Next comes the Deliberative, which is principally employed in addressing assemblies, more or less popular, on yet undetermined matters of public interest. The third branch (with which we are chiefly concerned) is Judicial or Forensic speaking, “ Judiciale aut Forense genus.” This is far the most complex. It pre-supposes, also, a trained adversary, whom you must credit with skill enough to make your task as difficult as possible ; and it pre-supposes a judge, or a body of judges, free to decide according to his or their reasons, belief, impulse, caprice, favour, or prejudices, on the cases, which you and your adversary can set up on either side.
* Cope's Aristotle, Rhetoric, p. 118. + This, the Demonstrative branch, is often treated as more show-work and as little deserving of study. I do not think so. A speech of very great importance may be made in support of Resolutions at a meeting convened avowedly for a specific purpose, and composed entirely of persons pledged to certain views. Most, also, of what I would call “ The Oratory of Private Life," and whioh every man ought to be able to go through creditably and plausibly, belongs to the Demonstrative Branoh.
As a rule, the partition of a Forensic Oration is fivefold. There should be the Proemium, the Narration, the Confirma. tion, the Refutation, and the Peroration. But there is no inflexible routine in these things; and all parade of formality should be carefully avoided. Everything should be made to appear natural, even when most artificial. Ars summa est celare artem. But, at the same time, you must not run the risk of offending the tribunal by seeming to take things too easy, and to have neglected proper preparation. Quintilian truly says that “Odit Judex ferè litigantis securitatem.” The special use of the Proemium is to conciliate the favour of those whose verdict or decision you hope to gain ;-to make your hearer “benevolum, attentum, docilem." This, indeed, is to be an object throughout your speech ; for, as Campbell remarks, "without some gratification in listening, the attention must inevitably flag." But it is most important to win favour on first introduction. For this purpose learn beforehand, if possible, the prevalent bias of your judge : watch acutely what kind of language, and what line of action seems to interest and please him, and what, on the other hand, seems to fall unheeded by him, or to be regarded with displeasure. As Sir James Scarlett phrased an old maxim, “Study the atmosphere of the Court." Yet, keep up always a show of firmness, and (as Quintilian warns you,) never betray any distrust of the goodness of your cause. A Proemium is not always necessary; and, if your case is frivolous or very frail, the less preface you cumber it with, the better. In such instances, you may often usefully take a starting-point from some incident that may have occurred in Court, or from any extraneous little event that you can humorously, and not ungracefully, connect with the work in hand.*
* See the De Inventione, i. 17.
The Narrative of the main facts of the case comes next in regular order. This should be lucid, brief, and have an air of probability (" lucida, brevis, verisimilis "). I may add that it should be given in a calm, though earnest manner. This is not the most showy part of a speech ; but it is one of the most effective. I well remember hearing Sir William Follett open the case for the defence in Bogle v. Lawson, an action for libel brought against the proprietors of The Times newspaper, in which a most daring and elaborate scheme for circulating forged Bank of England notes on the continent had been exposed. Follett traced before the jury, in sentences of apparent simplicity, but of consummate skill, every step in the movements of the conspirators, every artifice and manœuvre towards the execution of their plan, the main incidents which had aroused suspicion in various quarters, and every proof of guilt, which the sagacity and energy of the English journalists had obtained by costly researches made in every capital in Europe. Little facts (that is, little if taken separately), and seemingly unconnected, were brought together by the never hasting, never hesitating, never inconsistent speaker, and they were made to throw terrible light on each other. All this was done with almost judicial calmness, which gave tenfold weight to the words. All who heard it, felt that if the witnesses anything like sustained the opening and from the fairness of the Counsel's manner all felt sure that such would be the case), the discomfiture of the Plaintiff and his comrades was an accomplished fact. We (I mean the barristers in Court not employed in the case) listened at the time like the lay audience, absorbed in the interest of the story, and forgetful of the advocate ; though we afterwards often admiringly talked over that exhibition of forensic excellence by the “ Optimus omnium Patronus." There was another Counsel, whom of course I do not rank with Sir William Follett, but who was truly formidable for his skill in opening facts in a complicated and difficult criminal case. This was the late Sir William
Bodkin. He, too, was calm in manner, clear in expression, apparently frank and plain, but really most subtle in connecting circumstances, so that inferences fatal to the side which he spoke against were inevitable. When he prosecuted, he never alienated the jury, and he never gave his opponent an opportunity for an appeal to them by reason of any exaggeration or any display of zeal on the part of the Crown for a conviction. I say this from experience: for I have several times defended against him; and I know how I used to feel the ground cut away from under my feet, while he was speaking, and was quietly making good point after point, which destroyed all chance of my being able to establish the points, on which I had hoped to rear an effective though declamatory case for the prisoner.
Facts are proverbially stubborn things; but a skilled Rhetorician can often make them to a considerable extent subserve his will, by the manner in which he arranges them. Hamilton bids his pupil, in “ Parliamentary Logic," " attend to the gradations of fact or of argument. The same things differently disposed have a very different effect.” He warns him that “ By speaking of events in the order in which they did not happen, you may change not only the appearance but the nature of them.” Indeed there are cases in which it is an Advocate's interest to make his narrative as little natural as possible. It must often be slurred; though this should seem to be done accidentally. It must sometimes be given piece-meal, and mixed up with other parts of the speech, so that the mention of each unfavourable fact, which cannot be concealed and which cannot be qualified by arrangement, may be followed at once by the best apology for it that is possible (ut vulneri præstò medicamentum sit, et odium statim defensio mitiget.*) Indeed this mixture of statement and comment-narratio and confirmatio~is sometimes practised in fair but complicated cases. It was the general system of
* See the De Inventione.