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Cicero - History of Famous Orators

Cicero - History of Famous Orators

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History of Famous Orators
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, orAccomplished Speaker.by Marcus Tullius Cicero Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright lawsfor your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it.Do not change or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at thebottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the filemay be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to getinvolved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker.Author: Marcus Tullius CiceroRelease Date: January, 2006 [EBook #9776] [This file was first posted on October 15, 2003]Edition: 10
History of Famous Orators1
 
Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, CICERO'S BRUTUS OR HISTORY OFFAMOUS ORATORS; ALSO HIS ORATOR, OR ACCOMPLISHED SPEAKER. ***E-text prepared by Anne Soulard, Ted Garvin, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed ProofreadingTeamCICERO'S BRUTUS,ORHISTORY OF FAMOUS ORATORS:ALSO,HIS ORATOR,ORACCOMPLISHED SPEAKER.Now first translated into English by E. JonesPREFACE.As the following Rhetorical Pieces have never appeared before in the English language, I thought aTranslation of them would be no unacceptable offering to the Public. The character of the Author (MarcusTullius Cicero) is so universally celebrated, that it would be needless, and indeed impertinent, to say any thingto recommend them.The first of them was the fruit of his retirement, during the remains of the
Civil War 
in Africa; and wascomposed in the form of a Dialogue. It contains a few short, but very masterly sketches of all the Speakerswho had flourished either in Greece or Rome, with any reputation of Eloquence, down to his own time; and ashe generally touches the principal incidents of their lives, it will be considered, by an attentive reader, as a
concealed epitome of the Roman history
. The conference is supposed to have been held with Atticus, and theircommon friend Brutus, in Cicero's garden at Rome, under the statue of Plato, whom he always admired, andusually imitated in his dialogues: and he seems in this to have copied even his
double titles
, calling it _Brutus,or the History of famous Orators
. It was intended as a
supplement
 , or 
fourth book_, to three former ones, onthe qualifications of an Orator.The second, which is intitled
The Orator 
, was composed a very short time afterwards (both of them in the 61styear of his age) and at the request of Brutus. It contains a plan, or critical delineation, of what he himself esteemed the most finished Eloquence, or style of Speaking. He calls it
The Fifth Part, or Book 
, designed tocomplete his
Brutus
, and _the former three_ on the same subject. It was received with great approbation; andin a letter to Lepta, who had complimented him upon it, he declares, that whatever judgment he had inSpeaking, he had thrown it all into that work, and was content to risk his reputation on the merit of it. But it isparticularly recommended to our curiosity, by a more exact account of the rhetorical
composition
, or
prosaicharmony
of the ancients, than is to be met with in any other part of his works.
History of Famous Orators2
 
As to the present Translation, I must leave the merit of it to be decided by the Public; and have only toobserve, that though I have not, to my knowledge, omitted a single sentence of the original, I was obliged, insome places, to paraphrase my author, to render his meaning intelligible to a modern reader. My chief aimwas to be clear and perspicuous: if I have succeeded in
that 
, it is all I pretend to. I must leave it to abler pensto copy the
Eloquence
of Cicero.
Mine
is unequal to the task.BRUTUS, OR THE HISTORY OF ELOQUENCE.When I had left Cilicia, and arrived at Rhodes, word was brought me of the death of Hortensius. I was moreaffected with it than, I believe, was generally expected. For, by the loss of my friend, I saw myself for everdeprived of the pleasure of his acquaintance, and of our mutual intercourse of good offices. I likewisereflected, with Concern, that the dignity of our College must suffer greatly by the decease of such an eminentaugur. This reminded me, that
he
was the person who first introduced me to the College, where he attested myqualification upon oath; and that it was
he
also who installed me as a member; so that I was bound by theconstitution of the Order to respect and honour him as a parent. My affliction was increased, that, in such adeplorable dearth of wife and virtuous citizens, this excellent man, my faithful associate in the service of thePublic, expired at the very time when the Commonwealth could least spare him, and when we had the greatestreason to regret the want of his prudence and authority. I can add, very sincerely, that in
him
I lamented theloss, not (as most people imagined) of a dangerous rival and competitor, but of a generous partner andcompanion in the pursuit of same. For if we have instances in history, though in studies of less publicconsequence, that some of the poets have been greatly afflicted at the death of their contemporary bards; withwhat tender concern should I honour the memory of a man, with whom it is more glorious to have disputedthe prize of eloquence, than never to have met with an antagonist! especially, as he was always so far fromobstructing
my
endeavours, or I
his
, that, on the contrary, we mutually assisted each other, with our credit andadvice.But as
he
, who had a perpetual run of felicity, left the world at a happy moment for himself, though a mostunfortunate one for his fellow- citizens; and died when it would have been much easier for him to lament themiseries of his country, than to assist it, after living in it as long as he
could 
have lived with honour andreputation;--we may, indeed, deplore his death as a heavy loss to
us
who survive him. If, however, weconsider it merely as a personal event, we ought rather to congratulate his fate, than to pity it; that, as often aswe revive the memory of this illustrious and truly happy man, we may appear at least to have as muchaffection for him as for ourselves. For if we only lament that we are no longer permitted to enjoy him, it must,indeed, be acknowledged that this is a heavy misfortune to
us
; which it, however, becomes us to support withmoderation, less our sorrow should be suspected to arise from motives of interest, and not from friendship.But if we afflict ourselves, on the supposition that
he
was the sufferer;--we misconstrue an event, which to
him
was certainly a very happy one.If Hortensius was now living, he would probably regret many other advantages in common with his worthyfellow-citizens. But when he beheld the Forum, the great theatre in which he used to exercise his genius, nolonger accessible to that accomplished eloquence, which could charm the ears of a Roman, or a Grecianaudience; he must have felt a pang of which none, or at least but few, besides himself, could be susceptible.Even
am unable to restrain my tears, when I behold my country no longer defensible by the genius, theprudence, and the authority of a legal magistrate,--the only weapons which I have learned to weild, and towhich I have long been accustomed, and which are most suitable to the character of an illustrious citizen, andof a virtuous and well-regulated state.But if there ever was a time, when the authority and eloquence of an honest individual could have wrestedtheir arms from the hands of his distracted fellow-citizens; it was then when the proposal of a compromise of our mutual differences was rejected, by the hasty imprudence of some, and the timorous mistrust of others.Thus it happened, among other misfortunes of a more deplorable nature, that when my declining age, after alife spent in the service of the Public, should have reposed in the peaceful harbour, not of an indolent, and a
History of Famous Orators3

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