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THE

PAR T. I.

DECLAMATION.

CHARACTER OF TRUE ELOQUENCE.

When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable, in speech, farther, than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness, are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but they will toil in vain. Words and phrases may be marshaled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire after it — they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force. The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments, and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then, words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities. Then, patriotism is eloquent; then, self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, outrunning the deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, 'right onward to his object — this, this is eloquence; or rather, it is something greater and higher than all eloquence,—it is action, noble, sublime, godlike action.

[Webster.

PHILLIPS ON THE POLICY OF ENGLAND.

But what has England done for Europe ? what has she achieved for man? Have morals been ameliorated ? Has liberty been strengthened? Has any one improvement in politics or philosophy been produced ? Let us see how. You have restored to Portugal a prince of whom we know nothing, except that, when his dominions were invaded, his people distracted, his crown in danger, and all that could interest the highest energies of man at issue, he left his cause to be combated by foreign bayonets, and fled with a dastard precipitation to the shameful security of a distant hemisphere! You have restored to Spain a wretch of even worse than proverbial princely ingratitude; who filled his dungeons, and fed his rack with the heroic reinnant that braved war, and famine, and massacre beneath his banners; who rewarded patriotism with the prison, fidelity with the torture, heroism with the scaffold, and piety with the Inquisition; whose royalty was published by the signature of his death-warrants, and whose religion evaporated in the embroidering of petticoats for the Blessed Virgin! You have forced upon France a family to whom misfortune could teach no mercy, or experience wisdom; vindictive in prosperity, servile in defeat, timid in the field, vacillating in the cabinet; suspicion amongst themselves, discontent amongst their followers; their memories tenacious but of the punishments they had provoked, their piety active but in subserviency to their priesthood, and their power passive but in the subjugation of their people! Such are the dynasties you have conferred on Europe. In the very act, that of enthroning three individuals of the same family, you have committed in politics a capital error; but Providence has countermined the ruin you were preparing, and whilst the impolicy presents the chance, their impotency precludes the danger of a coalition.

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AMERICANS! you have a country vast in extent, and embracing all the varieties of the most salubrious climes; held not by charters wrested from unwilling kings, but the bountiful gift of the Author of nature. The exuberance of your population is daily divesting the gloomy wilderness of its rude attire, and splendid cities rise to cheer the dreary desert. You have a gov. ernment deservedly celebrated “as giving the sanctions of law to the precepts of reason;" presenting, instead of the rank luxuriance of natural licentiousness, the corrected sweets of civil liberty. You have fought the battles of freedom, and enkindled that sacred flame which now glows with vivid fervor through the greatest empire in Europe. We indulge the sanguine hope, that

her equal laws and virtuous conduct will hereafter afford examples of imitation to all surrounding nations ; that the blissful period will soon arrive when man shall be elevated to his primitive character; when illuminated reason and regulated liberty shall once more exhibit him in the image of his Maker; when all the inhabitants of the globe shall be freemen and fellowcitizens, and patriotism itself be lost in universal philanthropy. Then shall volumes of incense incessantly roll from altars inscribed to liberty. Then shall the innumerable varieties of the human race unitedly “worship in her sacred temple, whose pillars shall rest on the remotest corners of the earth, and whose arch will be the vault of heaven.”

[Phillips.

IRELAND. IRELAND, with her imperial crown, now stands before you. You have taken her Parliament from her, and she appears in her own person, at your bar. Will you dismiss a kingdom without a hearing? Is this your answer to her zeal, to her faith, to the blood that has so profusely graced your march to victory,—to the treasures that have decked your strength in peace? Is her name nothing her fate indifferent ? are her contributions insignificant,-her six millions revenue,–her ten millions tråde,-her two millions absentee,-her four millions loan? Is such a country not worth a hearing? Will you, can you dismiss her abruptly from your bar? You can not do it,—the instinct of England is against it. We may be outnumbered now and again; but in calculating the amount of the real sentiments of the people,

the ciphers that swell the evanescent majorities of an evanescent minister go for nothing.

Can Ireland forget the memorable era of 1788? Can others forget the munificent hospitality with which she then freely gave to her chosen hope all that she had to give? Can Ireland forget the spontaneous and glowing cordiality with which her favors were then received ? Never! Never! Irishmen grew justly proud in the consciousness of being the subjects of a gracious predilection,-a predilection that required no apology, and called for no renunciation,-a predilection that did equal honor to him who felt it, and to those who were the objects of it. It laid the grounds of a great and fervent hope,-all a nation's wishes crowding to a point, and looking forward to one event, as the great coming, at which every wound was to be healed, every tear to be wiped away. The hope of that hour beamed with a cheering warmth and a seductive brilliancy. Ireland followed it with all her heart,-a leading light through the wilderness, and brighter in its gloom. She followed it over a wide and barren waste: it has charmed her through the desert; and now, that it has led her to the confines of light and darkness,-now, that she is on the borders of the promised land, is the prospect to be sudderly obscured, and the fair vision of princely faith to vanish forever!—I will not believe it,- I require an act of Parliament to vouch its credibility,-nay nore, I demand a miracle to convince me that it is possible !

[Grattan.

SPEECH OF PATRICK HENRY, Before the Virginia Convention of Ddegates, March, 1775. MR. PRESIDENT, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes

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