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CONTROVERSY cannot cease. Inquiry is natural to man. Inquiry implies the possibility of affirming or denying. “If,” says Whately, “it were asked what is to be regarded as the most appropriate intellectual occupation of man, as man, what would be the answer ? The Statesman is engaged with political affairs; the Soldier with military; the Mathematician with the properties of numbers and magnitudes; the Merchant with commercial concerns, &c.; bat in what are all and each of these employed ?-employed, I mean, as men; for there are many modes of exercise of the faculties, mental as well as bodily, which are in great measure common to us with the lower animals. They are all occupied in deducing, well or ill, conclusions from premises; each is evidently engaged in reasoning concerning the subject of his own particular business." Now the greater part of reasoning is discursive. Thought does not go on always in a straight and linear path. We are constantly coming to bifurcations in our way, and at least a twofold possibility of progress opens before us. If there is any systematic way of deciding on the right path, it must be by some sort of controversial proceeding-some balancing of reason against reason, until that has been discovered which is of greatest weight and efficacy. Truth and falsehood lie before man always, act upon his mind continually, ply him on every side with suggestions and limitations. In this conflict of thought controversy is our only resource.
After the fight peace may come; before it even compromise will be ineffectgal. The way to truth is through controversy.
For upwards of fourteen years now the conductors of this periodical have been engaged in the labour of popularizing controversy as an educative agent as a beneficial training for the great business of life and thought. They have not regarded controversy as in itself an ultimate good, but as a means to an end, and that end the attainment of truth, relative, if not absolute. Yet even as an energy of mind, controversy has charms for man, whose position in this life is so much that assigned to him by Plato-a hunter of truth,
“ Hunter of shadows, though himself a shade." Nor is controversy all vain toil and fruitless expenditure of ingenuity.
Non inutiles,” says Bacon, “scientiæ existimandæ sunt quarum in se nullus est usus, si ingenia acuant et ordinent” (Intellectual pursuits which have no attainable end of their own are not to be thought aseless, if they sharpen and regulate the intellect). Controversy is the best gymnastic of the mind, and by the cultare of
the noblest capacities of the soul, it gives the mind the vigour that conduces to victory. It supplies, too, the best means of forcibly impressing the thoughtfal mind; for
“Truth's like a torch--the more it's shook, it shines.”
Under impressions faintly indicated in these few words they have superintended once again the contests of able disputants who have met to urge their thoughts upon each other and on those who feel interested in the subjects. The present volume will, it is believed, for controversial interest, bear comparison with its predecessors in worth of topics and in style of treatment, in ability of statement, mode of argument, and matter of debates.
The other departments have received the best attention of the condactors. The leading papers are farnished, as heretofore, and for so long a time, by an anthor than whom, a critic has said, "few men alive have done more to spur into active exertion the youthful intellect of England." The Essayist has had the aid of several able pens. The value of the Reviewer has been enhanced, both in the kind. of books noticed and in the principles of criticism employed. The Topic might, we again suggest, receive more of our subscribers' attention, if they would use and improve " the day of small things." The Poetic Critique and the Societies' Section give variety and add interest to the contents of this volume. The Inquirer is still growing in importance and valae. It contains much useful and special information. Our Collegiate Course and the Societies' Section, however, do not give the conductors unalloyed satisfaction. They feel that both might be improved if their readers would help them in their labour-which is far more arduous than many would imagine--by study, correspondence, interest, &a Our Literary Notes keep pace with the growing and ever-shifting history of books and their authors.
We halt now, amid the leafy luxuriance” of Jane, only to go on again "unhastingly, unrestingly." We throw behind us a look of gladness, and before us a glance of hope. Around us we cast our eyes in thanks for past help and favour, while we ask for more earnest endeavour both to lighten and to utilize our labour from our friends and allies. Readers, we seek not yours, but your advancement, and we wish the pathway of human progress both lengthened and widened. In the spirit of the great poet of our own day we say,
“Forward, forward let us range,
amid all changes may we attain to the Changeless—having Him and his as ours. May Truth's search and Trath's gain indeed be ours in the hereafter.
FORENSIC Eloquence is annually the arbiter of the joy or sorrow of multitudes. Its effects are felt in almost every phase and form of social life. The power of suasion which it exerts, affects daily the privileges, rights, reputation, property, liberty, or life of many. And hence, directly or indirectly, it is influencive for great results upon the whole ongoings of humanity. Justice every day dispenses her awards, and Law gives forth her mandates, practically, at the suggestion, instigation, or prompting of legal pleaders; whose skilful expositions, cogent statements, earnest appeals, and eager, passionate, or ingenious advocacy, touch the nicely poised balances, and give them that decisive inclination or turn to which the occupants of our judicial benches are so attentive and sensitive. To know the true worth, use, and method of this energy so subtly intertextured with all the concerns of existence, to estimate its quality, and to acquire a little information regarding its rules and processes, seem matters likely to be of some interest to general readers; while an exposition of the main principles, on which successful pleading depends, may not only gratify a legitimate curiosity regarding one of the most common yet sing’lar phenomena of life, but may also supply instruction to those who wish to use this potent influenco for professional purposes. All readers are now,
more or less, accustomed to peruse in newspaper reports the chief efforts of forensic debaters; and many constitute themselves critics of the sweeping rhetoric, or the trenchant dialectics they display. It may, therefore, be conducive to the educative efficacy of the thoughtful reader to have a brief, reasoned-out view of the pleader's art, i. e., forensic eloquence, presented to their minds and it may not be altogether valueless to the aspirant after legal honours or usefulness to learn the philosophic principles which underlie and form the foundations of those splendid efforts by which the great pleaders have acquired their fame-efforts too frequently supposed to be the results of a happy knack, or a rare sagacity; and too seldom attributed to their true cause, a diligent and careful employment of all the mental capacities upon the matters of fact, thought, evidence, or argument which cases yield. 1864.
1 Mere speech is not eloquence; it is often only verbiage. Eloquence is the development of the involutions of a subject in such a way as to affect at once the intellect, the will, and the emotions. It is not more an endowment than an attainment. Labour and learning are both requisite to form a finished orator. Nature and opportunity do much, but they cannot do all. The long results of earnest labour gleam out of every multitude-moving oration. Words, phrases, facts, arguments, marshalled by chance, and hurried together extempore, lose the main element of effectiveness -order and unity of purpose. The grand aggregate of logical consecutiveness, definite arrangement, adequate expression, and 'soul-stirring energy, is manageable only when the masterful might of the mind's whole capability is exerted to secure submission, and maintain subordination. In the presence of a great crowd under the excitement of popular feeling; in the balls of legislation in the heat of a notable debate; in the pulpit stirred by the sacred fire of the mighty message proclaimed-thought, invigorated by the pulsings of passion, and dashing, with a giant's strength, from a mind full to trembling with the might of a great truth-may move with the efficacy of eloquence a listening audience. But he who would trust himself at the bar to the mere chances of having his thoughts lit up by the attrition of circumstances, and depend upon deriving thence the vivid metaphor, the graphic illustration, the scathing utterance of scorn, the fierce invective, the soul-subduing plea, the winning, persuasiveness, the sarcastic irony, or the striking apostrophe of which his case might stand in need, would find his triumphs few, his success short-lived, and the duration of his notoriety
“Brief as the lightning of the collied night." The art of advocacy is not attained by inspiration ; nor are its honours gained by some rare chance or “ lucky hit.” The secret of forensic success is the world-old one-thoughtful industry applied to the management of the veriest trifle connected with the accomplishment of the main design.
A persistent course of patient, long-continued, and severe mental discipline is necessary to the formation of the legal character. The tangled complexity of technicalities, the tortuous intricacies of procedure, the subtleties of argument, the methods of correct statement, the principles of right reasoning, the means of managing quibbles, and of handling casuistry, must all be known, mastered, and overcome by persevering intellectual effort. The mind must be inured to labour, and habituated to activity. It must be able to employ the whole armoury of its acquirements without pedantry, and free from display. A sort of instantaneity of logical thought and rhetorical speech must be industriously attained ; and the power of tracing out a thought to all its possible conclusions must be so trained and practised as to become at last as much to be relied on as the activity and sagacity of an instinct. Mere learning, observation, or reflection will not accomplish it. Practice,