the best investigation of the subject, and it at least explains. We may now add that the treatment of the three styles in the seventeenth century tends to confirm it, because it shows a similar solution of the problem by men placed in a situation strikingly like that of the ancient theorists.

The aim of the founders of seventeenth-century prose style was to domesticate a genus humile. The movement inaugurated by the Anti-Ciceronian leaders, Bacon, Montaigne, Lipsius, was like that of Plato and Socrates and their followers in that it was meant to make and legalize a breach between oratory and philosophy, and to establish in general use a style meant to express reality more acutely and intimately than oratory can hope to do. And the form of oratory which was present to their eyes in the usage of their own age was, as we have seen, the same Isocratean form that the founders of the ancient genus humile had before them. But the seventeenth century could not sacrifice its love of grandeur and nobility to its love of philosophic truth any more than the Athens of the fourth century could. It was, indeed, an age that for peculiar reasons, affected solemnity, a kind of somber magnificence, in all the forms of its artistic expression. It was the immediate heir of the Renaissance, for one thing, and came naturally by a taste for pomp and grandiosity; but, furthermore, the peculiar political and religious temper of the time, especially as it came under Catholic and Anglo-Catholic influence, tended to strengthen these inclinations and to give them a special character. "Persuade the King in greatness," said Bacon in the confidence of his private journal; and the words might be taken as an index of the temper in which some of the most representative art of his age was produced. It was the age of the Baroque in sculpture and architecture; of the intense and profound Catholicism of El Greco; of the conscious Romanization of moral ideals; of the dogma and ceremony of absolutism; and of the elaboration, in sermon and essay, of a sombre liturgy of Death.

Such an age could not be satisfied with the intimate and dialectic uses of prose alone. It needed them and made the most of them; but its rhetorical preceptors must also hold up before it the image of a great and noble oratory, greater and nobler even than the Ciceronian, but as free from Cicero's 'Asianism,' as 'Attic,' as their own philosphical essay-style. They need not actually achieve this style, it is true, in their own practise; but even though it

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should prove to be far beyond its powers, the seventeenth century demanded the contemplation of such a model as the ideal form to "persuade it in greatness." The name of Demosthenes therefore appears in the writings of the Anti-Ciceronian rhetoricians from the beginning of the century to the end as the symbol of the genus grande in the Attic manner. Bacon, in a letter written in the name of Essex, says that if one must study oratory, Demosthenes (not Cicero) is the model to be imitated." Fénelon, opposing the Isocrateanism of preaching style-which had been revived in the eloquence of Bossuet and his followers eloquently proclaims the superiority of the greater Attic orator." And between these two great critics there are many that utter the same sentiment. But it was Balzac who made the name of Demosthenes his trademark or heraldic device. The sum and substance of his writings on the subject of style is that he aims to produce a union of Attic quality with the grand manner of a "heroic" oratory, to combine the virtue of Brutus's style, as he says in one place, with that of Cicero's, the naturalism, that is, of the one with the eloquence of the other. For the purposes of this program the authors who served as the models of his own style Seneca, Tacitus, and Tertullian-were ill-adapted, and he publicly repudiated them-with a disingenuousness which was justified perhaps by a lofty purposeas inferior and debased Attics, professing to find the only model of the true heroic style in Demosthenes, or perhaps in the late 'Attic' orations of Cicero against Antony."

Balzac took all this program with a grand seriousness worthy of it. It expressed a genuine will toward la grande éloquence. But judged by his practise, or that of any one else of his time, it

"Compare with this phrase of Bacon's one of Balzac's, wholly characteristic of him. In his later works, he says, he has written most on political themes, and his aim in these productions has been to express himself "de ce qu'il y a de plus magnifique et de plus pompeux en la vie active.” "Spedding's Life and Letters, 11, 21-26.

"Dialogues sur l'Eloquence I, near the beginning, II, near the end. Lipsius, in his Judicium supra Senecam, prefixed to his edition of Seneca (1605), anticipates Balzac's theory. See also the same use of Demosthenes’ name and credit in Caussin's Eloquentia Sacra et Humana (1619), ¤, chapter on the Anti-Cicerones.

"Avant-propos to his Socrate Chrétien, and Paraphrase, ou de la Grande Eloquence; also the attack of an enemy in the Lettres de Phyllarque à Ariste, and Ogier's answer in his Apologie pour M. Balsac.

has as much significance as a flare of trumpets or a pyrotechnic display. The kind of Attic practised in the seventeenth century could not combine with the magnificence of oratory to advantage, and the bizarre effects so common in the sermons and panegyrics of the first half of the century are the monstrous births that proceeded from the unnatural union between them. The taste of the age was not equal to the Athenian feat of being simple and grand at once; and when Bossuet turned from his early studies in Attic ingenuity and point to the reform of oratorical style, it was not the example of Demosthenes or Lysias that served his turn, but the old conventional oratorical model of Isocrates, and the medieval preachers.

The professed study of Demosthenes' oratory, in short, had but little practical effect upon seventeenth-century prose; and the same thing is true of all other Hellenistic programs of style in France and England during the period of Balzac and the generation that immediately followed him. Some of them were important as indicating new turns of thought and a widening of literary horizons; but none of them and not all of them taken together, had a decisive influence on the form of vernacular style, or provided models that could be effectively imitated. Concerning the first half of the seventeenth century and the generation that preceded it a much stronger statement than this must be made. The truth about this period can only be expressed by saying that it was anti-Greek. The study of Hellenistic culture had become associated with the ornamental learning, the flowery science, of the humanists. "The wisdom of the Greeks," said Bacon, "was rhetorical; it expended itself upon words, and had little to do with the search after truth." This statement has a strange sound in modern ears; and in fact Bacon would have expressed the opinion of his age better if he had made it more carefully. We could not object if he had said that the Greeks were speculative and rhetorical; and the age of Bacon, Montaigne, and Descartes was equally averse to disinterested speculation and disinterested rhetorical beauty. The new rationalists were incapable, in short, of understanding the value of Greek culture; and even though they had been able to form a juster estimate of it, they would still have rejected it merely on the practical ground that it was too remote, too ancient, conveyed in a language too foreign to their own. It is thus that we are to explain the bravado of Burton and Descartes, and several other

great scholars of the time, who professed that they knew no Greek or had forgotten what little they had been taught

The culture of the period from 1575 to 1650 is almost wholly Latinistic; and we must seek for the models on which it chiefly formed its style in the forms of Latin prose which it considered Attic.

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The history of Latin prose-style during the classical period displays the same constant tendency to a rivalry and opposition between two great characters of style that prevailed in Greece; and indeed from the time that the facts begin to be clear enough for exact historical statement this rivalry is conducted under the direct influence of Greek theory and largely in imitation of it. But there was a difference, due to a difference in the characters of the two races, which manifests itself especially in the associations that attached themselves to the genus humile. In Greece, as we have seen, this character' of style originated in philosophy and arose, later than the other, out of a protest against the emptiness and unreality of oratory. In Rome, on the other hand, it had its roots in the very beginnings of Roman life, and was originally the expression of the practical and unphilosophical nature of the Roman people. In its first phases it was certainly not a literary style at all, or at least owed nothing to formal rhetorical method; and the beauties that were later seen or imagined in it were merely the natural expressions the soldierly and rustic character of the early Roman gentlemen, the accidental effects of art that sometimes arise spontaneously from a Spartan or Puritan contempt of art.

So at least we may suppose. Almost nothing remains to show what it actually was, and we cannot say with assurance how much of the character attributed to it was due to the philosophic theories of the days when Roman thought had already been profoundly affected by the Stoicism of later Greek culture. Probably there is general truth in the idea then prevalent that there had been a

"Montaigne's reason for not reading Greek is characteristic of the period; "I am not satisfied with a half-understanding" (II, 10; see also I, 26). On the Latinization of culture in this age see an excellent passage by Nisard, La Litt. Fr., I, 429-30; also Brunetière, l'Evolution des Genres, p. 53; Spingarn, Literary Criticism in the Renaissance, p. 186.

severe early Roman prose expressive of the national character; and whether there was or was not the belief in it had its effects upon the later prose, and the genus humile at Rome took from it • associations of virility and sturdy practical purpose, associations with primitive and archaic forms of virtue, which always made it something different from its Greek counterpart even after Roman culture had been generally Hellenized. To these associations the genus humile owed part of its great success during the Empire, largely because they transported the men of that age to a different world from their own; and it had the same value once again in the seventeenth century to those who were reviving at that time "Roman" and Stoic conceptions of literary style. But even in a somewhat simpler and more classical period than either of these, in the pre-Augustan age of Cicero and Brutus, the genus humile was already supposed to have a peculiarly Roman and primitive character. In the style of the Commentaries of Cæsar, as manly and efficient, men have always said, as his legionaries themselves, it was believed that the national genius still survived, though Cæsar had in fact studied rhetoric assiduously in the schools; and in Brutus' treatise De Virtute-whose non-survival was the occasion of many Stoic tears in the seventeenth century-we might be able to behold an image of the early Roman through all the sophistication of a philosophical and rhetorical theory."

We cannot in fact tell when or how the native tendencies of Latin style blended with foreign influences, or what forms of national prose they might have produced if they had been left to exfoliate in their own manner. What we do know is that Roman rhetoric became outwardly well Hellenized during the last century of the Republic, that the theory of the rhetorical genera was established in the same form that it had then come to have in Greek practise, and that henceforward the history of the genus humile in Latin prose-like that of its rival, the grand oratorical style of Cicero has to be written chiefly in terms of Greek rhetorical theory. The Greek genus humile was not now, however, what it had been in the time of Aristotle; during the two centuries that had intervened it had undergone important changes in its technique and had acquired

"Norden identifies Roman "Atticism" with the archaizing movement. With all deference to his authority, the reader is compelled to feel he has made his point only as regards the second century, and has introduced new confusion into the history of the term Attic.

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