69 )

houses on every important debate and to go over again at home the speeches which he had heard, weighing carefully the arguments on both sides improving the expression and altering the phraseology. Plutarch gives a similar account of Demosthenes 68. To be in request as a doyoypádos at Athens a man must have talent knowledge practice and confidence. Demo sthenes possessed all these at an age often spent in pleasures, his iron industry roused him to work before daybreak, which gave rise afterwards to the sneer of his opponents, that his speeches 'smelt of the lamp Of the speeches which go by his name, the greater part of which are genuine, exclusive of the five made on his own account with reference to his guardians (Loyol éTriTPOTTIKOL)about thirty were composed for private suits (λόγοι δικανικοί ιδιωτικοί), about twelve in state-causes (Nóyou dcKaviko dnuóolol), the first of these being the ypadr mapavóuw against Androtion. It is characteristic of Demosthenes that nearly all his δικανικοί δημόσιοι are for the prosecution” while on the contrary the speeches of Cicero are mostly for the defence. In one of these cases Demosthenes appeared personally: in 354, as advocate (ouvyopos) for Ctesippus son of Chabrias against Leptines, he opposed a law which had been proposed and carried by the latter repealing all grants to deserving men of exemption from the ordinary deltovpyíal of the state. Leptines 68 ibid. c. 8.

69 ibid. c. 8. c. 11. 70 Not from inhumanity, see the story in Rutilius Lupus, ii. 9. Demosthenes, cum ei quidam obiecisset matre Scytha natum, respondit, non miraris igitur quod Scytha matre barbara natus tam bonus et clemens evaserit.

on this occasion represented the pecuniary interests of those liable to serve, whose turns recurred somewhat oftener in consequence of the exemptions: while Demosthenes preferred the honour of the state. The 26 next step was more difficult, from the court of justice to the orators' tribune, and Demosthenes appeared eminently unsuited to become a public speaker. In the first place the difficulty of making oneself readily intelligible to an audience of six thousand or more in the open air necessitated a physical strength which Demosthenes did not seem to possess.

His voice was weak, his breathing short, he was unable to pronounce the letter correctly. Besides his attitudes and gestures were awkward: and as he had not yet attained the power of giving easily-comprehended expression to the depth and overflowing fulness of his thoughts, he was embarrassed in the presence of the people, and his first attempts were drowned in their outcries and laughter. Nor is this wonderful: if we picture to ourselves this motley assemblage, the sovereign people, full of southern vivacity, as easily moved to unseasonable gentleness as to sanguinary outbursts of passion, inordinately fond of jest, spoiled by distinguished actors and orators 73, we can but conclude, that more

71 M. Croiset, des idées morales dans l'eloquence politique de Démosthène, Paris, 1874, p. 51.

72 In the busts of Demosthenes which are considered genuine a peculiar formation is noticeable, especially from a sideview, in the lower lip, which retreats from the upper and appears to adhere closely to the teeth.

73 The Athenians crowded to hear their speeches, for the sake of mere aesthetic enjoyment.

than the strength of a Pericles was required to guide, for any length of time, by the power of oratory alone, these degenerate descendants of the men of Pericles's day. In this Demosthenes succeeded after many efforts and only because his character was essentially. akin 74 to that of Pericles75. The spark that kindled his ambition fell when the young Demosthenes saw the celebrated orator Callistratus plead his own cause in the affair of Oropus with brilliant success before an admiring audience. Not a line of Callistratus is preserved; it is very possible that the manner of his oratory made more impression and lent him greater lustre than the matter. When Demosthenes, discouraged by the failure of his first efforts, almost despaired of becoming a popular leader, an actor is said to have drawn his attention to the effect of oratorical delivery (UTÓKLOS). He took such intense pains to attain this delivery, which he himself called the first, the second and the third thing in eloquence”, that we hear

74 Plut. Dem. c. 6. He shared also Pericles's dislike to extempore speaking. Ps. Plut. Vit. x. Or. p. 848 c.

75 “ Only Pericles and Demosthenes had intellect enough to understand the democracy, and spirit enough never to despair of it. Both knew and both suffered from the faults of their time; but, far from retiring in false pride, or peevishly washing the hands in innocency, they strenuously opposed every deterioration, and found a hearing when proposing bitter and salutary measures, because not even their opponents could gainsay the noble love and manly hopefulness which prompted their endeavours.” Raumer, Letter to Boeckh. [Cf. de Cor. 97.]

76 Arist. Rhet. iii. 1. Dion. Hal. T. τ. λεκτ. Δημ. δειν.

c. 53.

77 Cic. de Or. iii. & 213. Brut. § 142. Or. § 56.

with astonishment of his extraordinary and persistent exertions, but he acquired it perfectly to the marvel of his contemporaries“9. Even with the help of something analogous, a noble piece of tragic acting®, we can scarcely form any conception of the effect of this delivery, or of that strength and modulation of the voice with which Demosthenes in powerful periods twice lowered the tone and twice raised it to its loudest swellol, traversing the whole scale of human feeling in a single breath. For although one dominant tone is heard throughout the oratory of Demosthenes, that of moral indignation, yet this tone is broken, like lightning flashes, in such stormy interchange, that scarcely one sentence is spoken like the next, and even the separate ideas of one sentence require each its special varying emphasis®, until the hearer is carried away by all the sensations of bitterness hate anger pride and pity, and, as was said of Demosthenes himself on the orators' tribune 8, is possessed by a Corybantic enthusi

78 Plut. Dem. cc. 6. 7. 11. Vit. x. Or. p. 844. Cic. de Or. i. § 260. Tusc. iv. § 44, de finn. v. 5.

79 Cic. de Or. iii. & 213. Brut. § 142.

80 Demosthenes himself studied the delivery of great actors. Ps. Plut. p. 845. Quintil. xi. 3. 7.

81 Cic. de Or. i. 261. Quum spiritus eius esset angustior, tantum continenda anima in dicendo est assecutus, ut una continuatione verborum (id quod eius scripta declarant) binae ei contentiones vocis et remissiones continerentur.

82 Quintil. xi. 3. 44. Vitemus igitur illam, quae Graece Movotovla vocatur, una quaedam spiritus ac soni intentio... ibid. 51.

83 Dion. Hal. p. 1022. 84 Plut. Dem. cc. 9. 11.


No one may hope to understand the speeches of Demosthenes until he can understand such a delivery 85; a matter of no easy comprehension for this

very reason, that Demosthenes is always free and far 27 removed from pathetic declamation. I give here in

brief the opinions of some modern critics, who have on the whole justly estimated the main substance of hiş eloquence. Brougham says : “Without any ostentation of profound reflection or philosophical remark, with few attempts at generalization, without the glare and attraction of prominent ornaments, with extremely few, and these not very successful, instances of the tender and pathetic, with a considerable degree of coarseness, and what we should call vulgarity...and absolutely without any pretensions to wit8 or humour, to have acquired the reputation of the greatest orator whom the world has ever produced is a peculiarity which belongs to the character of Demosthenes." He then adopts the positive opinion of Hume: “Demo sthenes's manner is more chaste and austere than that of Cicero; could it be copied, its success would be infallible over a modern assembly. It is rapid harmony exactly adjusted to the sense: it is vehement

86 Isocrates Philipp. § 26. Panathen. 17. Aeschin. Tim. 94. F. L. 49. 85. 156. 157. Ctes. 207, and the story in Pliny, Ep. ii. 3. 10. iv. 51.

86 On the lack of wit see Dion. Hal. a. 7. d. Anu. SELV. C. 54. Longinus nepi üyous C. 34. Cic. Or. 90. Quintil. vi. 3. 2 and 21. (But the sarcasm of Demosthenes is admirable, and some. times very amusing to the reader, whatever it may have been to the audience. See § 36 of Phil. i. and a still better instance, Ol. ii. 4. 5, where note the word kevás.]

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