My question is related to the Irish orator, politician, lawyer and judge, John Philpot Curran (24 July 1750 – 14 October 1817)
Source: p 54-55, The Art of the Advocate (1993) by Richard Du Cann QC (called to the Bar of England and Wales).
Here he [Curran] attacks the English idea of freedom which gives liberty to its colonial subjects immediately they land on English soil but keeps them in their own subjugated territory in a state akin to slavery:
CURRAN: No matter in what language his doom may have been pronounced; no matter what complexion incompatible with English freedom an African or Indian sun may have burnt upon him; no matter in what disastrous battle his liberty may have been cloven down; no matter with what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery, the first moment he touches the soil of Britain, the altar and the God sink together in the dust; his soul walks abroad in his own majesty; his body swells beyond the measure of the chains that burst from round him, and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled by the irresistible genius of universal emancipation.
This is eloquence
of a very high order and of another age. [1.] There is not an advocate in practice at the Bar today who could formulate and then deliver a sentence of this kind.
[End of 1.] John Buchan recognized that eloquence is rarely found in those who practise law.
In [1.] the modal auxiliary verb 'could' appears ambiguous. Does the author intend that advocates lack the intellectual linguistic capacity to produce eloquent speech, or they are restrained somehow (e.g. Judges in the 21st century disfavour long speeches, or lay juries nowadays cannot follow)?
What rhetorical devices did Curran use in his speech?
How would Anglophones in 2016 rate or view the rhetoric I cited above? Writing in 1993, the author judges it favourably because he describes this as
of a very high order and of another age.