He was educated at the seminary of Quebec, where he developed the gift of declamatory and persuasive oratory.
On first coming to live at Montaigne he edited the works of his deceased friend Etienne de la Boetie, who had been the comrade of his youth, who died early, and who, with poems of real promise, had composed a declamatory and school-boyish theme on republicanism, entitled the Contr' un, which is one of the most over-estimated books in literature.
Though vigorous in thought and in some passages clear and eloquent, the style of the Systeme is diffuse and declamatory, and asserts rather than proves its statements.
7, I), by separating the declamatory (E7rt6ELKTLK011) from the deliberative (bjwjyoptcOv, av,u ovXEVTLKOV) and judicial (SLKavtKOV); whereas his rival Isocrates had considered that laudation and vituperation, which Aristotle elevated into species of declamation, run through every kind (Quintilian iv.
But the author of this rhetoric most certainly recognized three genera (T pia 'y v71), since, besides the deliberative and judicial, the declamatory genus constantly appears in the work (chaps.
Its style, though in the main rather unnatural and declamatory, is at its best spontaneous, dignified and rhythmical; the book is valuable for occasional facts and for its picture of the times, and it did much to make Mather the most eminent American writer of his day.
The best-known specimen of Pitt's eloquence, his reply to the sneers of Horatio Walpole at his youth and declamatory manner,which has found a place in somanyhandbooks of elocution, is evidently, in form at least, the work, not of Pitt, but of Dr Johnson, who furnished the report to the Gentleman's Magazine.
Modern literature has nothing nobler, nothing more harmonious in the declamatory style than these three patriotic effusions.