of boldness

it is a trivial grammar school text, but yet worthy a wise man’s consideration. question was asked of demosthenes; what was the chief part of an orator? he answered.

action; what next? action; what next again? action. he said it, that knew it best; and had by nature, himself, no advantage in that he commended. a strange thing, that that part of an orator, which is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed so high, above those other noble parts, of invention, elocution, and the rest: nay almost alone, as if it were all in all. but the reason is plain. there is in human nature, generally, more of the fool than of the wise, and therefore those faculties, by whic Hong Kong weather the foolish part of men’s minds is taken, are most potent wonderful like is me case of boldness in civil business; what first? boldness; what second, and third? boldness. and yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts. but nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot, those that are either shallow in judgment, or weak in courage, which are the greatest part; yea, and prevaileth with wise men, at weak times. therefore, we see it hath done wonders, in popular states; but with senates and princes less; and more ever upon the first entrance of bold persons into action, man soon after, for boldness is an ill keeper of promise.