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VOLUME THE FIRST,

CONTAINING THE

ORATIONS

FOR MILO.

AGAINST CÆCILIUS.
FOR ARCHIAS.
FOR MARCELLUS.
FOR THE MANILIAN LAW,
FOR LIGARIUS.
AGAINST KATILINE
FOR CÆLIUS.

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PREFACE

TO THE

ORATIONS,

BY THE

TRANSLATOR.

I BELIEVE there is now very little doubt with men of sense and discernment, that the ancients were our superiors, and have been our masters, in those arts of which any specimens have survived the injuries of time and barbarism. The monuments of their sculpture, their drawing, their architecture, and their poetry, which have come to our hands, are, to any but a bigot, so many incontestable proofs of this. The partiality, however, of these latter times, has, in some very few instances, set up rivals to them, in these arts among the moderns, who, if we were to admit the assistance they borrowed from their predecessors to be the effect of their own genius, would seem to leave the palm doubtful. But the prize of eloquence has, I think, remained undisputedly with the ancients; true eloquence being the only art, the practice of which never survived liberty. Tyrants have, in all ages and nations, been known to encourage other arts, because in them they found their vanity agreeably fed, their passions yol. i.

А

soothed,

soothed, their inclinations flattered, their manners recommended, their virtues exaggerated, and their faults disguised. Perhaps ambition itself had a great influence in recommending all other arts to their protection and encouragement, since the most refined degree of this passion, is that of having their characters and persons transmitted to posterity, in such lights as might dazzle and amuse the mind, which might otherwise be busied in exploring the crimes by which they acquired, or the inhumanity with which they exercised, their power. Thus we find the names of the worst men become familiar, nay, pleasing to the ear, when mingling with the bewitching harmony of poetry ; and the persons of those who have been the detestation of their own age, become the delight of a succeeding one, when transmitted on the medal, or in marble wrought by an intelligent artist.

But true eloquence is built upon the love of liberty to attain it, the mind must possess in itself, a consciousness that the tongue labours for the glory and happiness of mankind, and that both, in a great measure, must redound to the orator himself. Without this consciousness, the expression may be just, the disposition artful, and the conclusion rational; but still it must be void of the spirit and strength that characterize a Demosthenes or a Cicero. One may easily conceive what a noble pride these great men must have felt, while surrounded by a whole people, whose reason, passions, and wishes, were guided by their tongue, and controuled by their action.

What a disadvantageous comparison must this idea create in the mind, betwixt either of these orators, and those who have succeeded them! The latter employed their art in the praises of

some

.

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