If the reason should afterwards be sought, why the greatest geniuses
who have been incorporated into that body have sometimes made the
worst speeches, I answer, that it is wholly owing to a strong
propension, the gentlemen in question had to shine, and to display a
thread-bare, worn-out subject in a new and uncommon light. The
necessity of saying something, the perplexity of having nothing to
say, and a desire of being witty, are three circumstances which
alone are capable of making even the greatest writer ridiculous.