George Granville Bradley.

Aids to writing Latin prose, with exercises online

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standing prejudice. In the case of my client it is at once
unpleasQjit and difficult to act as the advocate of a perfectly
innocent client in the teeth of the views, if not of men of
sense, at all events of the uninstructed mass of society,^
and of all who take their tone from the uninstructed. So
unfavourable, indeed, had been the decisions which on two
former occasions had been pronounced, whether fairly or
unfairly, on his case, that the feeling against him had reached
such a pitch, that, but for the holding of this fresh trial, and
but for the late yet entire confidence in his cause with which
a reliance on overwhelming evidence inspired myself and
others, my client could never have ventured to show his face
in any respectable circle of Englishmen.

67. ^ 104. 3 Think of the meaning, and cp. 30.

* 0^. 5 34.

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Exercise XCVIL

It is not my intention^ to set before you some theatrical or
romantic standard of perfection, such as we see^ on the stage
or read of in romances, but such a measure of goodness as is
compatible with human nature, and attainable by any of us
poor sons of Adam^; for he of whom I am to speak was
no perfect or ideal being, but one of those specimens of
humanity who meet us in flesh and blood, one of the characters
familiar alike to modem life and human history^; and it
is on instances of this class that we must base our induc-
tion^ if we are to lay down any general law^ that affects our

Bear in mind the direct and literal tendency of Latin as compared
with English (Introd. pp. 7, 34).

^ 67. 2 118.

* 86, B.

^ Think of the meaning, and cp. 80.
^ 80, 88. « 80, 41.

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Exercise XCVIII.

1. A mind like Scipio's, working its way under the
peculiar influences of his time and country^, cannot but
move irregularly; it cannot but be full of contradictions.
Two hundred years later the mind of the dictator Caesar
acquiesced contentedly in Epicureanism^; he retained no
more of enthusiasm than was inseparable from the intensity
of his intellectual power, and the fervour of his courage,
even amidst his utter moral degradation. But Scipio could
not be like Caesar. His mind rose above the state of things
around him; his' spirit^ was solitary and kingly; he was
cramped by living among those as his equals whom he felt
fitted to guide as from some higher sphere ; and he retired
at last to Litemum to breathe freely, to enjoy the simplicity
of childhood, since he could not fill his natural calling to be a
hero-king. 3

2. So far he stood apart from his countrymen, admired,
reverenced, but not loved. But he could not shake off all
the influences of his time: the virtue, public and private,
which still existed at Rome, the reverence paid by the wisest
and best men to the religion of their fathers, were elements
too congenial to his nature not to retain their hold on it:
they cherished that nobleness of soul in him, and that faith
in the invisible and divine, which two centuries of growing
unbelief rendered* almost impossible in the days of Caesar.

1 28. 2 35^ B 8 41 . cp. 35, B.

* Two centuries . . . rendered impossible: see 32.

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Yet how strange must the conflict be when faith is combined
with the highest intellectual power, and its a^^ointed object
is no better than^ Paganism ?

Exercise XGIX.

But I find that I have unconsciously assumed a tone of
dictation quite different to my original purpose in addressing
you. Why should I lay down rules for one ^ whom I know to
be, above all in matters of the present kind, my equal in
knowledge, n^y superior in experience f Yet, for all this, I
suspect that you will feel more enjoyment in any course
which you pursue, if you find it stamped with my approvaL

To express myself shortly, you will find essential a firmness
and dipmity of demeanour tiiat wiH be proof, not only against
partiality, but against the faintest breath ^ of suspicion. Tou
must show yourself also a kindly and ready listener ; for the
purest spirit of justice may wear an air of austerity and harsh-
ness, unless softened and toned down by a due admixture oi
the swftets of courtesy.

Kemeiijuer too, day by day, that your authority is given
you not in fee, but in trust ^; that it emanates from laws
which must be your standard ; in shorty that you are respon-
sible for it before God. For myself^, I cannot but think that the
one rule ^ of those who are in authority should be the happi-
ness ^ of those whom they govern, and I rejoice to feel thai
this is and has been your very first consideration. For it is
surely the duty of all who rule, whether over Englishmen at
home, or over natives in our dependencies, to strive for the
welfare and interest ^ of those who^ are subject to their

For the genend tone and style see Cicero, Ad Quintum Frairem, i.
£^. 1.

^ It8 appointed object is no better than : i.e. the only condition of
religious belief is acceptance of such fictions ; see 105.

« US. * 30.

4 Think of the meaning* and beware of any attempt at literal trans-
lation, ^ 180. • 104. ' 33, 41. • 170. » J13.

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Exercise C.

But let us return to the earth our habitation ; and we shall
see this happy tendency ^ of virtue, by imagining an instance
not so vast and remote \ by supposing a kingdom or society
of men upon it perfectly virtuous for a succession of many
ages; to which, if you please, may be given a situation
advantageous for universal monarchy. 2 In such a state there
would be no such thing as faction ^ ; but men of the greatest
capacity would of course all along have the chief direction 2
of affairs willingly yielded to them : and they would share
it among themselves without envy. Each of those would
have the part assigned him to which his genius was peculiarly
adapted ; and others who had not any distinguished genius
would be safe, and think themselves very happy by being
under the protection and guidance of those who had.

Exercise CI.

Dishonesty and fraud are discountenanced alike by the legal
code and by systematic morality. But the moralist and the
legislator strike at fraud by different methods. Law deals
only with what is tangible and palpable ; the range of Ethics
is co-extensive with that of the reason and understanding.
Now reason requires us never to act in a designing, hypocri-
tical, or fraudulent spirit.* Such acts are, I am quite aware,
thanks to our lowered moral tone, too often but faintly
reprobated by the public opinion ^ of our age, and entail no
penalty at either common law or equity.^ But not the less
are they condemned by the law of conscience.^ And yet
how few will you find who, if they can look forward to
escape exposure and punishment, are capable of refraining
from wrong-doing. There are times, indeed, when^ duty

1 42. 2 86, A. 8 170. « 53. « 34.

« Thjert art times when : use an adverb, a»d express the emphasis hj
position ; see 7-12,

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and expediency are apparently at variance. It is not really
so. The law of conscience is also the law of utiUty. And
the " righteous man," he whom we feel instinctively to be the
ideally good and perfect type of our race, will not dare to put
asunder things which Grod and Nature have joined together.
He will not allow himself a thought^, far less an act, which he
dare not avow. But I will not pursue the subject further.

This Exercise illustrates the treatment of abstract terms in Latin and
English. See Introd. 88, 40, 168-168 ; and cp. Exercises iv., v.

Exercise CII.

Early in life he attached himself to the school of the Stoics,
and became an ardent champion of their system and doctrines.
He never could induce himself to ^ become an atheist ^ ; and
the Epicureans, and those who maintained that the world *
and all else came into being through a fortuitous combination
of molecules, always moved him either to ridicule or scorn.
A genuine votary of science^ he found a charm in pure study
and in thought, and shrunk from all idea of entering upon
politics® or active life. He always made it his aim^ to
insist on a scientific treatment, not only of the study of nature,
but also of modem and ancient history : it may be '' that, in
applying on too rigid a logical system the laws of natural
science ® to subjects which fall within the domain of moral
and practical life, he fell into the error of those who demand
demonstration and mathematical evidence where such reason-
ing is quite inadmissible.

On the rendering of abstract and philosophical terms, see Introd.
88, 86, B ; 168-168.

^ 41. 2 104^ 8 Atheist : render the meaning.

* 28. 6 84, 166. « 36, A ; 176. ' 166. » 34.

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Exercise GUI.

For myself, of all the blessings which I owe to Nature or
to Fortune, I know of none whidi I can place beside his
friendship. Sympathy in politics^, guid^uice in my private
aSlurs, a repose from either that was always delightful,
were all comprised in that one precious gift. I never gave
him pain, so far as I was aware, in the merest trifle. I
never heard from his Hps a word that I could have' wished
recalled. We lived beneath the same roof, we partook in
happy partnership of the same fare. War, travel, rural
retirement, found us side by side. It were idle to dwell on
the passion for study' and for knowledge, for the sake of
which we shunned the gaze of the public, and to which we
devoted every moment of our leisure. Ahi had these
memories and associations passed away with him whom they
recall, the loss of the most sympathetic, the most affectionate,
of friends, would be a burden too heavy for me to endure.

Exercise CTV.

He was a man of dngular force of temperament and
character, one of those who* seem destined^, in whatever
r«ik they ^iter Ufe, to carve^ for themaelves a care^. An
adept in all tira requirements aUke of statesmandiip and
of business, he united in himsdf the able city ftmetionary
and the «kilful agriculturist. The heigbis of offioe^ are
scaled by different paths ^; legal lore, eloquence, military
fame, al^e lead their votaries to eminence. We have in him
one whose happy genius followed every track with like
success ; the employment of the hour seemed the one purpose
which had called him into being. A gallant soldier in the
field and the hero^ of a hundred encounters, no sooner' had

* U3.

1 86,








• 67.













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h« won hk way to a higher rank than he was unrivalled as a
general. In ^^ pursuits of peace be was at once the most
erudite authority on a legal question and the most effective
pleads before a jury. Nor can can it be said of him that,
powerful as was his oratory in his lifetime, he has left no
enduring record of his gifts. His eloquence is still a living
power, enshrined in writings of universal range.

Exercise CV.

His ridicule on the poetry is misplaced, on the manners is
inelegant. Euripides was not less wise than Socrates, nor
less tender than Sappho. There is a tenderness which ^
elevates the genius ; there is also a tenderness which corrupts
the heart. Tte latter, like every impurity^, is easy to
communicate; the former is difficult to conceive. Strong
minds alone possess it ; virtuous minds alone value it. I hold
it abominable to turn into derision what is excellent. To
render' undesirable what ought to be desired is the most
mischievous and diabolical of malice. To exhibit him as
contemptible, who ought, accordrug to the conscience of the
exhibitor, to be respected and revered, is a crime the more
odious, as it can be committed only by* violence to his feelings,
against* the reclamations of Justice, and among* the struggles
of Virtue.

Exercise CVI.

1. I always find a strange and mysterious charm ^ in
reading the life of this prince ; indeed his character seems to
me to deserve universal honour at the hands of posterity i
not only because at the height of his triumphs and successes
he added the jewal^ of mercy to the laurel^ of military glory,
and, abhorring cruelty himself, held back his followers to the

1 113. 2 8», *D. * 10«. * 99. » 41,

^ Jewel, laurel, etc. : avoid literal translatioxis, and see 80.

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utmost of his power from all severe retaliation ; but because,
from the moment that he mounted the heights of power and
state, he not only refused to water the grave ^ of his murdered
brother — ^murdered with every accompaniment of torture and
insult — with the blood of his deadliest enemies, a course which
would have involved no diflSculty, no infraction of either law
or honour^, and no shock to public opinion^; but was content to
be subject to the same laws as the meanest of his countr3rmen,
and to measure everything by the standard of the national^
good, rather than of his own passions or interests.

2. Nor must we forget that, tracing his descent from an
obscure and foreign source, and bom in lowliness and indi-
gence, denied also in youth every advantage of culture and
education, he showed himself as proof against the charges of
flattery and wealth as agunst those of power. He suffered
neither the influence and caresses of the great, nor his own
popularity with the masses, to seduce him to consent either
to a change of laws which he felt to be essential to the
constitution of which he regarded himself as the trustee, or
to the hounding on of the populace, maddened with the
craving to avenge its own wrongs, to massacres and violence.
He aimed rather at throwing oil^ on the waters that were
still heaving with the recent storm^ of civil strife and warfare.

Nor did he so bury himself in the administration of ^ the
state as to release himself from the responsibilities of family
life. He saw carefully to the initiating of his son, not in
frivolous and unprofitable pursuits, but in all honourable
employments and princely habits ; and it is to him that we
must trace the dawn aUke of our present national^ tranquillity
and material prosperity, which siupasses the hopes and even
the dreams of the last^ generation.

This Exercise illustrates the use of the ablative case in Latin ; see
Arnold, rev. ed., Exx. xxxiii.-xxxv. Exercise cix. may be em-
ployed as a preliminary exercise upon the same point.

^ Jewelf laurel, etc. : avoid literal translations, and see 80.

'84. » 84, 85. * 81. " a«, a.

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Exercise CVII.

I must repeat once more, what I have already stated more
than once. There is a social bond, to use the word in its
widest sense, which exists between man and man, as between
fellow-creatures ] within this is a bond which unites those
who are of the same race ; a closer tie binds tbgether members
of the same nation ^. In accordance with this principle our
forefathers drew a broad line between international and
municipal law. The enactments of the latter do not necessarily
extend to the former ; but any principle which holds good in
the larger sphere should be recognised in the smaller. We
however possess no solid and clearly defined ideal of true law
and absolute justice ; we have but a vague and shadowy out-
line ; well would it be did we make this our model, for it
reflects the highest types of conscience ^ and of truth.

Exercise CVIII.

I never knew any one who at all came within the circle of
successful speakers so absolutely untrained in every branch of
a liberal education \ He was profoundly ignorant of poetry ;
he had never read an orator; he had amassed no store of
historical* knowledge; law in all its branches was a sealed
book^ to him. His language, too, was barely grammatical,
quite unfit for any cultivated circle ; his gestures and action a
constant theme for caricature ; his style a strange medley of
tropes and figures'^, pathos^ and absurdities. Yet somehow or
other, though when he held his first briefs his words were
almost drowned in the titters of his audience, by degrees he
so won upon the feelings alike of the jury and of the bystanders,
that he could scarcely have been more successful had he been*

^ 36, 182. 3 84. ' 86, B ; 179. « 80.

* Greek rpSroi, irxAfMrcL, • 40.

7 Think of the meaning of this English phrase. ' 188.

A. w. L. p. S

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the most finished orator whom the world has seen. He had
a wonderful knack of gaining the confidence of the educated,
and touching the hearts of the ignorant ; and he deserves all
honour for this, that in spite of ^ his humble origin he never
stooped 2, even on the hustings ^, to the bitter personalities*
in vogue with those who court the favour of mobs. He was
a character indebted wholly to himself for his fame, without
ancestry, without patrons ^, rough, untaught, uncouth, yet for
all that deservedly respected.

Exercise CIX.

1. I rescued him in his infancy with my own hand from a
burning and stranded vessel ; I gave the shelter of my roof
and all hospitable entertainment, as far as the circumstances
permitted, to himself and those of his relations who had
survived that terrible night ; I supplied him in boyhood with
all the necessaries of life, and had him carefully trained in all
the branches of a liberal education ; discharged, in fact, the
whole duty, nominally of host, really of an affectionate
guardian, or rather, of a father. To-day he sails before the
favouring breeze^ of fortune, enjoys what some call the height
of human happiness, rolls in weath, has abundance of resources,
and wastes his energies in costly banquets, and wallows in every
form of luxury and pleasure. I, by whose aid he was snatched
from the stormy sea and threatening destiny, have suffered
shipwreck in my career and my hopes, am denied almost my
daily bread, while I live on no resources of my own, but on
the compassicm of others.

2. If ^ at the commencement of your tenure of office you
suffered such heavy afflictions that you would gladly have®
bartered rank and power for privacy and obscurity, while
now your industry, energy, and courage have enabled you

^ 116, 146. ^ Avoid a literal translation, and see 104.

^ Think of the meaning of this English phrase. * 40.

" 34. « 30. 7 i3g^ 189. 8 $7,

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Pt rV.] EXERCISES. 275

to surmount innumerable perils, and feel the ground so safe
under you that, free henceforth from apprehension, and
able to disregard your enemies, you believe the seals ^ of
the highest office to be within your grasp, what possible need
can you have of my advice ? I would have you follow your
own judgment, walk in your owii course ; only show yourself
as proof against success as against failure.

This Exercise illustrates the uses of the Latin Ablative ;
see note to Ex. cv.

Exercise GX.

1. If we estimate the character of a sovereign by the test
of popular affection, we must rank Edward among the best
princes of his time. The goodness of his heart was adored
by his subjects, who lamented his death with tears 2 of undis-
sembled grief, and bequeathed his memory as an object of
veneration to 'their posterity. The blessings of his reign are
the constant theme of our ancient writers : not, indeed, that ^
he displayed any of those brilliant qualities which attract
admiration while they inflict misery. He could not boast of
the victories which he had won, or of the conquests which he
had achieved : but he exhibited the interesting spectacle of a
king, negligent of his private interests, and totally devoted
to the welfare of his people. To him the principle * that the
king can do no wrong was literally applied by the gratitude
of 5ie people, who, if they occasionally ^ complained of the
measures of the Government, attributed the blame, not to the
monarch himself, of whose benevolence they entertained no
doubt, but to the ministers ^ who had abused his confidence,
or deceived his credulity.

2. It was, however, a fortunate circumstance for the
memory of Edward, that writers were induced to view his

^ Seals of office : think of the meaning, and see 80, 84, 85.

2 48. * 114, 3. * 160. « 72, 189. « 84.


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character with more partiality from the hatred with which
they looked on his successors and predecessors. They were ^
foreigners, he was a native : they held the crown by conquest,
he by descent : they ground to the dust ^ the slaves whom
they had made, he became known to his countrymen only by
his benefits. Hence he appeared to shine with a purer light
amid the gloom ^ with which he was surrounded \ and when-
ever* the people under the despotism of the Norman kings
had an opportunity of expressing their real wishes^, they
constantly called for the " laws and customs of the good king

Exercise CXI.

It always strikes me, often as I have observed the fact,
with fresh wonder, that the very men who, when the seas are ®
calm, allege their incapacity^ to act as steersmen, from®
having neither learned the art nor ever cared to study it,
are yet ready and eager to volunteer their services at the
helm when® the winds of some political hurricane^ are at
their wildest and the waves at their highest. But, surrounded
as I am by state-quacks and nostrum-mongers ^<^, I feel confi-
dent that I have in you one whose ^^ judgment and insight
I should accept as final, even in preference to my own. I
therefore repeat the request which I urged upon you in a
former letter, that if in these darkest of days ^^ you can dis-
cern any course which you think I ought to take, you will
give me a friendly intimation.

^ 130 ad fin,, 106. '^ Avoid a literal rendering, and see 04.

3 Cp. 81, 164. ^ 72, 139. ^ 42. « 99. ^ 41.

B Use a causal conjunction, and see 114. * 31.

*® State-qaachs and nostrum'mongers : render the meaning of these
phrases. ^^ 118. " 81, 164.

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Exercise CXII.

In youth he attached himself passionately to the popular
side, and was for some time a strong opponent of the aris-
tocracy ; but he never condescended to become a demagogue
or a flatterer of the populace, nor would it be easy to find in
his whole career a single unconstitutional word or act. At
the moment^ of his entering political life the government was
in the hands of a narrow and powerful oligarchy, and the rest
of the community were denied all equality in law or voice in
public policy. For himself he made no secret of his prefer-
ence, as compared with all other forms of government, for a
republic, in which all legislative, judicial, and executive
authority should rest either immediately or ultimately in the
hands of the people. But perceiving ^ that such a form of
government was not to be realised in his own days or his own
country, he made it his aim to ^ replace on the throne ^ the
banished sovereign, and to establish a mixed form of govern-
ment, removed alike from the excesses of democracy and the
tyranny either of despotism or oligarchy. To accomplish
this required not only a true patriot, but a heaven-bom
genius ; and though he was far the first man of his nation^ in
judgment, in power of expression, and in influence, yet he
attempted a work too great for his own capacity or the con-
dition of his countrymea

On the expression of political terms and ideas, see Introd. 86, A ;
169-184 : and cp. Ex. iii.

Exercise CXIII.

1. It is impossible for our ideal and perfect orator to be
formed without scientific training. Without it the processes
of classification, definition, division ^ are beyond our reach ;


. 84 and 116. ^ 98. ^ ^04. « 81. « ^^ 35^ x82.

be meaning of these abstract terms must be thought out and
rendered ; see 88, 41, etc

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we cannot distinguish the true from the false ; we cannot see
either what follows froi^ our arguments or what is fatal to
them, nor can we detect a verbal fallacy. I need not speak
of the physical sciences, and the wide fields of matter ^ which
they open to the orator. Nor again of practical life, moral
duties, virtues, habits. A very considerable training in these
subjects is essential to the mastery^ of either the principles or
the practice of oratory.

Nor is this formidable list exhaustive. In addition

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Online LibraryGeorge Granville BradleyAids to writing Latin prose, with exercises → online text (page 21 of 24)