"I was obliged to admit the force of his reasoning; for though I cannot from memory repeat his words, his eloquence was of that overpowering nature, that the subtility of other men sunk before it"
The Temptation of Eve, c. 1750. Satan’s temptation of Eve characterises him as a silver-tongued manipulator - Credit: Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre
Robert’s response to Gil-Martin’s speech highlights the temporal divide between Hogg and his fictional fanatic. As a pre-Enlightenment
thinker, Robert accepts that Gil-Martin’s verbal fluency is more or less synonymous with reasoning. Hogg, as a post-Enlightenment writer, sees this position as ridiculous. It is also significant that rhetorical flair is often a gift with which Satan is credited.