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of life, to be concealed in gloomy and unprofitable folitude.
If we confider the votaries of this idle art with respect to fame, that fingle recompence which they pretend to derive, or indeed to feek, from their ftüdies; we shall find, they do not by any means enjoy an equal proportion of it with the fons of Oratory. For even the best poets fall within the notice of but a very small proportion of mankind; whilft indifferent ones are univerfally difregarded. Tell me, Maternus, did ever the reputation of the most approved rehearsal of the poetical kind, reach the cognizance even of half the town; much lefs extend itself to distant provinces? Did ever any foreigner, upon his arrival here, inquire after Baffus? Or if he did, it was merely as he would after a picture or a statue; just to look upon him, and pass on. I would in no fort be understood as difcouraging the pursuit of poetry, in those who have no talents for oratory; if happily they can by that means amuse their leifure and establish a just character. I look upon every species of Eloquence as venerable and sacred; and give her the preference in whatever C & 2 guife
guife she may think proper to appear, to any
nius has already flamed forth, and you have incurred the displeasure of our superiors: not, indeed, for the fake of a friend; That would have been far lefs dangerous; but in fupport, truly, of Cato! Nor can you offer in excuse, either the duty of your profeffion, justice to your client, or the unguarded heat of debate. You fixed, it should feem, upon this illuftrious and popular fubject with deliberate defign, and as a character that would give weight and authority to your fentiments. You will reply (I am aware)" it was that very circumstance "which gained you fuch univerfal applause, "and rendered you the general topic of dif "courfe," Talk no more then, I befeech you, of fecurity and repofe, whilst you thus industrioufly raise up to yourself fo potent an adverfary. For my own part, at least, I am contented with engaging in queftions of a more modern and private nature; wherein, if in defence of a friend I am under a neceffity of taking liberties unacceptable, perhaps, to my fuperiors, the honeft freedom of my zeal will, I truft, not only be excused but applauded.
AFTER having delivered this with his
ufual warmth and earnestnefs; I am prepar`d
bar. I am by no means ambitious of that fplendid concourse of clients, which Aper has reprefented in fuch pompous colors, any more than I am of those sculptured honors which he mentioned; tho' I must confess, they have made their way into my family, notwithstanding my inclinations to the contrary. Innocence is, now at least, a furer guard than eloquence; and I am in no apprehenfion I shall ever have occafion to open my lips in the fenate, unless, perhaps, in defence of a friend.
WOODS and groves and folitude, the objects of Aper's invective, afford me, I will own to him, the most exquifite fatisfaction. Accordingly, I esteem it one of the great privileges of poetry, that it is not carried on in the noife and tumult of the world, amidst the painful importunity of anxious fuitors, and the affecting tears of diftreffed criminals. On the contrary, a mind enamored of the Mufes, retires into fcenes of innocence and repofe, and enjoys the facred haunts of filence and contempla-. tion. Here genuine Eloquence received her birth, and here the fixed her facred and fequestered manfion. 'Twas here, in deCC 4