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[96] the literary quality becomes predominant, and absolute success as high as it is rare comes only from the nice balance of the two essential ingredients. This balance and combination are found in Demosthenes and Isocrates, although one may venture to think that those two great masters, as they have come down to us, lean, if at all, too much to the literary side. In Cicero, although in matter and manner the best judges would rank him below the Greek masters, the combination is quite perfect. One of his most famous speeches, it is said, was never delivered at all and none the less it is a speech and nothing else, instinct with life and yet with the impalpable literary feeling all through it, the perfect production of a very beautiful and subtle art. Among English orators Burke undoubtedly comes nearest to a complete union of the two qualities, and while the words of Fox and Pitt are unread and unquoted, except by historians, Burke's gorgeous sentences are recited and repeated and his philosophic discussion of great general principles are studied and admired by successive generations. Yet there is no doubt that Burke erred somewhat on the literary side, and we find the proof of this in the fact that he often spoke to empty benches, and that Goldsmith could say of him:

Too deep for his hearers still went on refining,
And thought of convincing while they thought of dining.

Burke was a literary man as well as an orator and a statesman; Webster, as has just been said, was not a literary man at all. He was an orator pure and simple; his speeches, good, bad, or indifferent, are speeches—never essays or anything but speeches—and yet upon all alike is the literary touch. In all, certainly in all the great speeches, is the fine literary quality, always felt, never seen, ever present, never obtrusive. He had the combination of Shakespeare's Brutus or Antony, of Demosthenes or Cicero, and when he rose to his greatest heights he reached a place beyond the fear of rivalry. The practical proof and exhibition of this fact is apparent if we turn to any serious and large debate in Congress, for there we shall find Webster quoted, as he is in every session, twenty times as often as any other public man in our history. He said many profound, many luminous, many suggestive things;

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