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reasoning to the attention and approbation of his audience than any other part of his address; because on its strength or weakness the influence of his oration must in a considerable degree depend. And as the nature of confirmation is almost infinite in its variety, by the introduction of description, quotation, testimony, &c. so must also be the manner in which they are communicated.
5. The Refutation, or as it is by some called the Confutation, is an answer to all our adversary's arguments, and destroys the force of his objections whether probable or absolutely offered, showing them to be absurd, false, or inconsistent; and this may be done either by contradicting them or by showing some mistake in the reasoning, or by pointing out their invalidity when granted.
In refuting the arguments of the adverse party, firmness of manner and distinctness of pronunciation should be observed, that you may not appear to endeavour to concealor evade them, or to be intimidated by their force. If Irony be employed, which is frequently the case, a sarcastic look, and such action and intonation as may tend to excite ridicule and contempt, must be assumed by the speaker. But great caution should be used in the exercise of this mode; for if an argument of real weight be treated in a ludicrous instead of a serious manner the defendant will be more exposed thereby than the assailant.
6. The Peroration, or Conclusion, should consist of two parts, i. e. Recapitulation and an address to the passions of his audience; the first being a summary acco nt of the strongest arguments, brought into one view and condensed into a narrow compass in order to refresh the memory of his hearers; and the latter to affect the heart and bring those passions into action which are particularly connected with the nature of the subject. Thus in demonstrative orations, when in honour of an individual in commendation of a principle or theory-or commemoration of an event-love, admiration and emulation are generally excited; but in invectives or satire--hatred, envy and contempt. In deliberative subjects, either the hope of gratifying some desire, or the fear of some impending evil. And in judicial discourses al
most all the passions are called into action ; but more especially resentment and pity.
The Peroration is generally the most impressive, and of course the most important part of the oration : the Exordium being intended merely to conciliate the hearers, and to gain their attention; the Narration, Proposition, Confirmation and Refutation to inform them but the Peroration to agitate, to influence, to carry them away captive.” Hence, says Quinctilian Here (in the Peroration) all the springs of eloquence are to be opened; it is here we secure the minds of the hearers, if what went before was well managed. Now that we are past the rocks and shallows, all the sails may be hoisted. And as the greater part of the conclusion consists in illustration, the most energetic language and strongest figures have place here," and consequently here the orator has an ample field for the display of his powers, the utmost energy of eloquence both with respect to diction and action being required. If a recapitulation of arguments be necessary it should be done in a sprightly and confident manner to excite a conviction of the goodness of the cause,
and that nothing has been offered in its defence but what is consistent with the soundest reason and the purest truth. If the passions be addressed the looks, the tones, the gestures must be accommodated to their nature, but, says professor Ward in his system of oratory, an orator should always keep within those bounds which nature seems to have prescribed for him. Some are better fitted for action than others, and most for some partieular actions rather than others, for what fits well upon one would appear very awkward in another.
Every one therefore should first endeavour to know his own talents and act accordingly. Though in most cases nature may be much assisted and improved by art and exercise. It is impossible however to gain a just pronunciation and expression of voice and gesture without practice and an imitation of correct example : which shows the wisdom of the ancients in training up their youth to it, by the assistance of masters to form both their speech and action.”
These are the constituent parts of a regularly composed discourse; but as we do not generally reason by regular and com
plete sylogisms but by enthymems, where one only of the premises and tlie conclusion are used, so in a public address whether in the pulpit, in the senate, or at the bar, a strict observance of all the parts is seldom attended to; nor indeed does either the nature of the subject always require, or the prevailing habits of modern elocution permit, so precise and formal a mode of address. I do not at present recollect a more concise and eloquent exemplification of the observance of them in their order, than in the highly finished, though brief address of the eloquent and accomplished apostle Paul to king Agrippa which I shall now recite to you, marking as I proceed, its respective parts.
Exordium. “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day, before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
Narration. My manner of life from my youth; which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem know all the Jews,
Who knew me from the beginning (if they would testify) that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a pharisee.
And now I stand, and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers :
Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night hope to come: for which hope's sake, king Agrippa,
I am accused of the Jews.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead ?
I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Which thing I also did in Jerusalem : and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death I gave my voice against them.
And I punished them oft in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Whereupon as I went to Damascus, with authority and commission from the chief priests ;
At midday O King! I saw in the way a light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and those who journied with me.
And when we
were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And I said, who art thou, Lord ? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee,
Delivering thee from the people, and from the gentiles, to whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Proposition. Whereupon, O King Agrippa! I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision : But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
For these causes, the Jews caught me in the temple and went about to kill me.
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which Moses and the Prophets did say
should come. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people and the Gentiles.
And as he thus spoke for himself, Festus said, with a loud voice, Paul thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad.
But he said I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
Confirmation. For the King knoweth of these things before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these
things are hidden from him ; for this thing was not done in a cor
Refutation. King Agrippa: believest thou the Prophets ? I know that thou believest.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Peroration. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."
To this exemplification of the prescribed form, the fastidious critic perhaps may object that the Narration is unjustifiably long -that what called the Confirmation and Refutation contain neither a series of arguments in defence of the Proposition, nor an exposition of the error of those which might have been brought. And that the Peroration contains no recapitulation of preceding arguments, nor elaborate appeal to the passions.
But let it be considered that the form of an address with respect to the observance of the particular, prescribed parts should always be accommodated to the circumstances under which it is delivered. In the present instance the narration necessarily constituted the largest part of the address, as the speaker was required by Agrippa to give an account of himself. And as he was called before Festus, not to undergo a trial, but merely to gratify the curiosity of his royal guest, Paul with great propriety dwelt principally upon the extraordinary circumstances of his conversion to Christianity, and his consequent change of character from a furious persecutor into that of a zealous preacher of the Gospel.
The urbanity of the prisoner induced him to rest his Confirmation upon a simple appeal to the King's knowledge of the facts without entering upon any reasoning, or adducing any testimony in their support. And his Refutation of what might be suggested against them upon an equally polite and respectful appeal to the conscience and faith of the King. Had he, as when before Felix, entered into a statement of the doctrines of Christianity and “reasoned about Righteousness, Temperance, and a Judgment to come,” he unquestionably would have been more elaborate under both of these heads, as well as in his Peroration which requiring neither a recapitulation of argument, nor an appeal to