Demosthenes essentially manifold.
Isaeos influenced Demosthenes directly and decisively in the forensic province, and, through this, in the deliberative also. But Demosthenes himself is manifold; it is his very distinction that he is of no one character, the exclusive disciple of no one master1
; he excels the elder ‘lofty’ school in clearness, the ‘plain’ school in nerve, in gravity, in penetrating and pungent force, the ‘middle’ school in variety, in symmetry, in felicity, in pathos,—above all, in true propriety and in effectual strength2
; taught by nature and practice, he saw that the crowds who flow together to festivals or schools demand another style than the audiences in a law-court or in the ekklesia; that, for the former, there is need of glitter and of entrancement; for the latter, of exposition and help; that too much pedantry is as little suited to epideictic speaking, as a style too diffuse or too florid to practical oratory3
accordingly, he has slowly-moving and spacious periods; sometimes his periods are close and compact; sometimes he stings, sometimes he soothes, the mind of the listener, sometimes he appeals to êthos, sometimes to passion4
; in Deliberative Speeches, he makes most use of the ‘stately harmonies;’ in Forensic, of the ‘smooth;’ yet, here again, in differing measures according as it is a public or a private cause, and with this further discrimination, that simplicity and grace predominate in proem and narrative, dignity and more austere power in proof and epilogue5
. Even in that single field of private
Various colouring of his Private Speeches.
causes which Isaeos and Demosthenes share, Demosthenes proves the compass of his resources. The logical fineness of the two speeches Against Onetor, the moral dignity of the defence For Phormio, the vivid delineations of character in the speeches Against Pantaenetos and Konon, could have met in no other man of the age.