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Dr. Gooch and Dr. Whitchot are as cold and languid performances as were ever, perhaps, produced upon fuch an animating fubject. One cannot indeed but regret, that he, who abounds with fuch noble and generous fentiments, fhould want the art of fetting them off with all the advantage they deferve; that the fublime in morals fhould not be attended with a fuítable elevation of language. The truth however is, his words are frequently ill chofen, and almost always ill placed; his periods are both tedious and unharmonious; as his metaphors are generally mean, and often ridiculous. It were ealy to produce numberless inftances in fupport of this affertion. Thus in his fermonpreached before Queen Anne, when she was Princess of Denmark, he talks of fqueezing a parable, thrusting religion by, driving a ftrict bargain with God, fharking Shifts, &c. and fpeaking of the day of judgment, he describes the world as cracking about our ears. I cannot however but acknowledge, in juftice to the oratorical character of this moft valuable prelate, that there is a noble fimplicity in fome few of
his fermons; as his excellent difcourfe on fincerity deferves to be mentioned with particular applaufe.
BUT to fhew his deficiency in the article I am confidering at prefent, the following ftricture will be fufficient, among many others that might be cited to the fame purpose. "One might be apt," fays he, "to "think at firft view, that this parable was "over done, and wanted fomething of a due "decorum; it being hardly credible, that "a man, after he had been fo mercifully "and generoufly dealt withal, as upon his "humble request to have fo huge a debt fo
freely forgiven, fhould, whilft the me"mory of fo much mercy was frefh upon " him, even in the very next moment, "handle his fellow-fervant, who had made "the fame humble request to him which "he had done to his lord, with fo much roughness and cruelty, for fo inconfider"able a fum."
THIS whole period (not to mention other objections which might justly be raifed against it) is unmufical throughout; but the concluding members, which ought to have been particularly flowing, are most miferably loofe and disjointed. If the de
licacy of Tully's ear was fo exquifitely refined, as not always to be fatisfied even when he red Demofthenes; how would it have been offended at the harshness and diffonance of fo unharmonious a sentence?
NOTHING, perhaps, throws our eloquence at a greater diftance from that of the antients, than this Gothic arrangement; as those wonderful effects, which sometimes attended their elocution, were in all probability, chiefly owing to their skill in mufical concords. It was by the charm of numbers, united with the ftrength of reason, that Tully confounded the audacious Catiline, and filenced the eloquent Hortenfius. It was. this that deprived Curio of all power of recollection, when he rose up to oppofe that. great master of enchanting rhetoric: it was this, in a word, made even Cæfar himself. tremble a; nay, what is yet more extraordi-, nary, made Cæfar alter his determined purpofe, and acquit the man he had refolved to condemn.
You will not fufpect that I attribute too much to the power of numerous compofition, when you recollect the instance which
* See Tully's Letters, vol. ii. p. 365. not. 9.
Tully produces of its wonderful effect. He informs us, you may remember, in one of his rhetorical treatifes, that he was himself a witness of its influence as Carbo was once haranguing to the people. When that orator pronounced the following sentence, patris dictum fapiens, temeritas filii compröbāvēt, it was astonishing, fays he, to observe the general applause which followed that harmonious clofe. A modern ear, perhaps, would not be much affected upon this occafion; and, indeed, it is more than probable, that we are ignorant of the art of pronouncing that period with its genuine emphasis and cadence. We are certain, however, that the mufic of it confifted in the dichoree with which it is terminated: for Cicero himself affures us, that if the final measure had been changed, and the words placed in a different order, their whole effect would have been abfolutely destroyed.
THIS art was firft introduced among the Greeks by Thrafimachus, tho some of the admirers of Ifocrates attributed the invention to that orator. It does not appear to have been obferved by the Romans till near
the times of Tully, and even then it was by no means univerfally received. The antient and lefs numerous manner of compofition, had still many admirers, who were fuch enthufiafts to antiquity as to adopt her very defects. A difpofition of the fame kind may, perhaps, prevent its being received with us; and while the archbishop shall maintain his authority as an orator, it is not to be expected that any great advancement will be made in this fpecies of eloquence. That ftrength of understanding likéwife, and folidity of reafon, which is fo eminently our national characteristic, may add fomewhat to the difficulty of reconciling us to a ftudy of this kind; as at first glance it may feem to lead an orator from his grand and principal aim, and tempt him to make a facrifice of fenfe to found. It must be acknowledged, indeed, that in the times which fucceeded the diffolution of the Roman republic, this art was so perverted from its true end as to become the fingle ftudy of their enervated orators. Pliny the younger often complains of this contemptible affectation; and the polite author of that elegant dialogue which, with little probability, is attributed either to