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5. The Refutation.* In the Refutation, the writer or speaker answers the arguments and objections of his opponent, showing them to be absurd, false, trifling, irrelevant, or inconsistent, as the case may be.
6. The Peroration, or Conclusion. In the Peroration, he sums up the strongest and principal arguments, and endeavors also to excite the passions in his favor.
EXAMPLE OF AN ORATION DIVIDED INTO PARTS.
I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because I 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: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
My manner of life from my youth, which was at first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews, which knew me from the beginning (if they would testify) that, after the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged, for the hope of the promise made by God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come: for which hope's sake, King Arippa, I am accused by the Jews.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with 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 thing I also did in Jerusalem and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; 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 around me, and them which 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 persecuteth thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goads." And I said, "Who art thou Lord ?" And he said, "I am *This division properly applies to forensic discussions.
Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, unto whom I now 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 through that faith which is in me." Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision; but shewed, first unto them of Damascus, and afterwards to those of Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent of their sins and turn to God, performing deeds worthy of that repentance which they profess.
For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me with their own hands. 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 have declared should come; that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
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. I would to God that not only thee, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
OUTLINE OF A DEBATE.
Are fictitious writings beneficial?
Fictions are productions of the most brilliant imaginations, the magnificent pictures of fancy, enchanting descriptions of vast fortunes acquired by building castles in the air, wonderful adventures of lovers, hair breadth escapes of knight-errants, and glorious exploits of conquerors. Stories to fascinate the young and amuse the aged.
There should be an intimation of the conclusion of an address, for the attention of the audience generally revives towards its close, and it is at this point that the orator should make his boldest flights, and most powerful efforts to leave an indelible impression on every mind.
2. By fictitious writings we mean novels and romances, unreal painting which tickle the fancy, and as proof of their transcendent utility in enchaining the mind of youth and creating habits of reading, it is only necessary to examine the captivating and alluring style in which they are, as a whole, always written. Many, especially young ladies, peruse them merely for curiosity, or amusement, and thus form a taste for reading which in all probability they never would have done were it not for productions of fiction. Novels and romances are illustrated with engravings, and are so cheap as to be within the reach of all, and tend to create a taste for the fine arts.
3. But their vast benefits are not confined to the young alone, they enter the home of all who have been unfortunate in business, and employ the time of disconsolate wives and heart-broken husbands. Many families spend happy hours in reading and discussing the merits of the last novels of European writers, for it is to be regretted that we have, as yet, few if any in that department who equal those of England and France.
4. As a proof of the great benefits of novels we need only allude to the fact that many thousands derive their support from their sales. Not a railroad car comes in or goes out of any city or village, of any note, in this country, but has in it some poor youth, perhaps the child of a dissipated father, or which, we believe, is more generally the case of a widowed mother, who is loaded with romances, or what amounts to the same thing, newspapers and periodicals which contain mostly extracts from those works of delightful amusement and recreation.
5. There is not a steam boat that plies on the waters of this free republic from Maine to California but has on board its venders of novels and romances. We have already said enough to convince every reasonable and intelligent mind of the vast benefits of works of fiction, yet we deem it necessary, before closing, to clinch the nail and settle forever this heretofore mooted question. It has been found by statistics* of England and France that the publication of works of fiction employs more persons, gives support to more venders than all the works on religion, law, and medicine; than all the religious, scientific and literary magazines, all the religious newspapers and all the other dry literature of those countries combined.
26. It is to be regretted that in the United States we have no statistics of the kind, but I am sure the observations of all present will bear us out in the assertion that America is not behind the old world in appreciating the great benefits of the works of fiction. In all our railroad cars, and on all our steamboats to which we have alluded, comparatively speaking no other writings are read. The people almost
*See Edinburgh Magazine for 1850.
unanimously see and acknowledge the benefits of fictitious writings, for they patronize no other books in all our public thoroughfares, and vox populi vox DEI. *
7. In works of fiction virtue is decked in all its beauty and loveliness, and vice is held up in such horrible deformity that it need only be depicted to be shunned. The reader is taught to enter the bowers of paradise created by the former, and enticed from the miseries of the latter.
28. Many novels, and particularly Sir Walter Scott's, are founded on facts, and in them are interwoven all the important historical information that is necessary for any one to know. Again, are not fables fictitious? and what is more, are not the parables of our Saviour fictitious? With these overwhelming arguments we rest our cause.
1. Before endeavoring to reply to the arguments of our opponents, we give them full credit for doing all that skill and ability can accomplish, they have labored with an enthusiasm worthy of a better cause, and their reasonings if permitted to go unrefuted, would doubtless be productive of much evil.
2. The parables of our Saviour are not fictitious, all his parables are facts introduced to represent truths, that is, He makes use of earthly things to illustrate heavenly realities, and this is done in order to make his instructions understood. Fables are modes of illustrating truth, and are symbolical facts, and therefore are not fictitious.
23. As far as the novels of Scott are facts or histories, they are not fictitious, and hence, have no bearing on the subject, and all those parts of his novels which are fictitious, have a tendency to mislead and deceive the reader, and are positively injurious. How melancholy it is to reflect that the brilliant intellect of Scott was squandered in amusing instead of instructing mankind; that he labored to please men instead of aiding them to do substantial good and glorify their Creator.
24. Works of fiction do not, as a general rule, clothe virtue in all its loveliness, and vice in all its deformity. They familiarize the mind with all that is corrupting and depraved, by administering to the sensual appetites, enervating and stultifying the intellectual powers. The very reverse of the assertion of our opponents, is generally true. For vice depicted by the tinsel of the novelist, is "first dreaded, then pitied, then embraced."
5. In real history alone is the true line of demarkation drawn; there you see the difference between virtue and vice practically illustrated in the lives of Arnold and Washington, Nero and Marcus Aurelius, Jo
* The voice of the people is the voice of God.
seph and his brethren, Judas and our Savior. Our opponents regret that we have no statistics to prove, as they have done with England and France, that the sales of novels exceed that of all the other books of the country combined. Startling as is this information in regard to Europe, we will show the sophistry of their conclusions in reference to America. It is true that all our public thoroughfares and cities are flooded with novels; because this happens to be the fact, does it follow that they are beneficial? These same places abound with all manner of intoxicating drinks, but does this prove that they are productive of good? Where are the most crimes committed? Where prowls the libertine? the gambler? the thief? the incendiary? the robber? the murderer? the enemies of rational liberty and of human progress? In the very places where novels are the most abundant; and it is a well established fact that the most heinous criminals read, exclusively, works of fiction, and decry everything of a moral and religious tendency. Truly, "by their fruits shall ye know them." As for the benefits of novels in comforting and sustaining those who have been unfortunate in business, the very reverse is true. Novels engaged the attention of the young wife; she neglected her domestic duties, read late at night, became fretful and peevish because her husband had not millions at his command, because he was not a senator, governor, president, duke, king, or emperor; she unconsciously neglected her children, made her home intolerable, and drove her husband to the intoxicating bowl, or chased him, by her petulance, to a premature grave, and the poor tatterdemalion orphans so pathetically described by our opponents, were made such, through the pernicious influence of novels. We admit that many may derive their entire livelihood by selling works of fiction; but is that beneficial which supports or enriches one or a dozen, and ruins thousands? Is it beneficial for a person to sell apparel which scatters contagious diseases, sickness, and death, and fills the land with gloom and misery? Is that benficial which makes us see things through a false medium? Is that right which has the mass of the people on its side? Then is heathenism and idolatry more beneficial than christianity. Then was the banishment of the pure and noble Aristides, by the vox populi, just. The arguments of vox populi, so strongly relied on by our opponents, reminds us of the discussion of an Irishman and an itinerant minister about theatres : "And sure," said the former, "theatres must be beneficial for we have in their favor the king of England, the king of France, the king of Spain, and all the kings, and all the nobility besides, and you, poor devils, have nobody on your side except GOD ALMIGHTY." But to return to the subject. The great and the wise of our own country totally disregard the sickening tales of newspapers and periodicals, that editors insert for silly and weak minds. Are the most eminent lawyers, judges, doctors, teachers, and ministers,