Imagens das páginas


cies of Oratory from that of popular assemblies, both in matter and delivery. In the latter the Speaker has a much wider range. He is seldom confined to any precise rule; he can fetch his topics from a greater variety of quarters, and employ every illustration which his fancy or imagination can suggest. Here he is at liberty to embellish his delivery with every thing that is elegant, graceful and animated. But at the Bar, the field of speaking is limited to precise law and statute. Imagination is not allowed to take its scope. The advocate has always before him the line, the square and the compass. These it is his business to be continually applying to the subjects under the debate. His delivery, therefore, is considerably circumscribed, when compared with that of the popular orator. It should be adapted to the nature of his composition, accurate, precise and impressive. The ancients took a much larger range in their pleadings than the moderns. The judicial Orations of Demosthenes and Cicero are, therefore, not exact models of the manner of speaking which is adapted to the present state of the Bar. For although these were pleadings spoken in civil or criminal causes, yet, in fact, the nature of the bar anciently, both in Greece and Rome, allowed a much nearer approach to Popular Eloquence, than what it now does. This will evidently appear from the different specimens of ancient. and modern pleading which are annexed.

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Section I.


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Impressive dignity-awful elevation-sublime enthu siasm solemn, but decisive fortitude. The acknowledgement of former habits of persecution should be marked with a tone and manner expressive of ingenuous, but by no means abject contrition. The recapitulation of the words of the heavenly vi sion, demands the mingled expressions of supernatu ral awe, and a restrained, but conscious exultation.

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I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because 1 shall answer for myself this day before thee, touching all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews; especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews;, whereof I beseech thee hear me patiently......

My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among my own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; who knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify,) that after the most rigorous 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 this hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible to 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 things I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did shut up in prison; 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 mid-day, O king! I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me, and them that journeyed 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? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads." And I said, "Who art thou, lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest; but arise 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 thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from this people, and from the Gentiles, unto 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 which are sanctified by faith that is in me." Whereupon, O king Agrippa! I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, but shewed first to 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 the prophets and Moses did say should come,that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto this people, and to the Gentiles.

And as he thus spake 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: 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 corner. King Agrippa! believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." 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.

Section II.


John Slater, you have been convicted, by a Jury of your country, of the wilful murder of your own slave; and I am sorry to say, the short, impressive, uncontradictory testimony, on which that conviction was founded, leaves but too little room to doubt its propriety.

The annals of human depravity might be safely challenged, for a parallel to this unfeeling, bloody, and diabolical transaction.

You caused your unoffending, unresisting slave to be bound hand and foot, by a refinement in cruelty, compelled his companion, perhaps, the friend of his heart, to chop off his head with an axe; and to cast his body, yet convulsed with the agonies of death into the water! And this deed you dared to perpetrate in the harbour of Charleston, within a few yards of the shore, unblushingly in the face of open day.

Had your murderous arm been raised against your equal, whom the laws of self-defence, and the more

efficacious laws of the land, unite to protect, your erime would not have been without precedent, and would have seemed less horrid. Your personal risque would at least have proved, that though a murderer you were no coward. But, you too well knew, that this unfortunate man, whom chance had subjected to your caprice, had not, like yourself, chartered to him by the laws of the land, the sacred rights of nature; and that a stern but necessary policy, had disarmed him of the rights of self-defence: Too well you knew, that to you alone he could look for protection, and that your arm alone could shield him from insult, or avenge his wrongs; yet that arm you cruelly stretched out for his destruction.

The counsel, who generously volunteered his services in your behalf, shocked at the enormity of your offence, endeavoured to find a refuge, as well for his own feelings, as for those of all who heard your trial, in a derangement of your intellect. Several witnesses were examined to establish this fact, but the result of their testimony, it is apprehended, was as little satisfactory to his mind, as to those of the Jury, to whom it was addressed: I sincerely wish this defence had proved successful; not from any desire to save you from the punishment which awaits you, and which you so richly merit; but from the desire of saving my country from the foul reproach, of having in its bosom so great a monster.

From the peculiar situation of this country, our fathers felt themselves justified, in subjecting to a very slight punishment, the man who murders a slave Whether the present state of society requires a continuation of this policy, so opposite to the apparent rights of humanity, it remains for a subsequent legislature to decide. Their attention, would long ere this have been directed to this subject; but, for the honour of human nature, such hardened sinners as yourself, are rarely found, to disturb the repose of society; the grand Jury of this district, deeply impressed with your daring outrage against the laws

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