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XXXII.

clufion. Concerning this, it is needlefs to fay ECT. much, because it muft vary fo confiderably, according to the ftrain of the preceding Difcourfe. Sometimes, the whole pathetic part comes in most properly at the Peroration. Sometimes, when the Difcourfe has been entirely argumentative, it is fit to conclude with fumming up the arguments, placing them in one view, and leaving the impreffion of them full and ftrong on the mind of the audience. For the great rule of a Conclufion, and what nature obviously fuggefts, is, to place that laft on which we choose that the strength of our cause fhould rest.

IN Sermons, inferences from what has been faid, make a common Conclufion. With regard to thefe, care fhould be taken, not only, that they rife naturally, but (what is lefs commonly attended to) that they should fo much agree with the ftrain of fentiment throughout the Discourse, as not to break the Unity of the Sermon. For inferences, how justly foever they may be deduced from the doctrine of the text, yet have a bad effect, if, at the Conclufion of a Difcourfe, they introduce fome fubject altogether new, and turn off our attention from the main object to which the Preacher had directed our thoughts. They appear, in this cafe, like excrefcences jutting out from the body, which form an unnatural addition

LE CT.
XXXII.

addition to it; and tend to enfeeble the impreffion which the Compofition, as a whole, is calculated to make.

THE most eloquent of the French, perhaps, indeed, of all modern Orators, Boffuet, Bifhop of Meaux, terminates in a very moving manner, his funeral Oration on the great Prince of Condé, with this return upon himself, and his "Accept, O Prince! thefe laft "efforts of a voice which you once well "knew. With you all my funeral Difcourfes "are now to end. Inftead of deploring the "death of others, henceforth, it fhall be my

old age:

study to learn from you, how my own may "be bleffed. Happy, if warned by thofe

grey hairs, of the account which I must foon "give of my miniftry, I referve, folely for "that flock whom I ought to feed with the "word of life, the feeble remains of a voice " which now trembles, and of an ardor which " is now on the point of being extinct *."

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Agréez ces derniers efforts d'une voix que vous fut 66 connue. Vous mettrez fin à tous ces difcours. Au lieu de déplorer la mort des autres, grand Prince! dorenavant je veux apprendre de vous, à rendre la mienne fainte. "Heureux, fi averti par fes cheveux blancs du compte que je dois rendre de mon adminiftration, je reserve au troupeau que je dois nourrir de la parole de vie, les reftes "d'une voix qui tombe, & d'une ardeur qui s'éteint."There are the laft fentences of that Oration: but the whole

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XXXII.

In all Difcourfes, it is a matter of import- LECT. ance to hit the precife time of concluding, fo as to bring our Difcourfe juft to a point; neither ending abruptly and unexpectedly; nor disappointing the expectation of the hearers, when they look for the clofe; and continuing to hover round and round the Conclufion, till they become heartily tired of us. We should endeavour to go off with a good grace; not to end with a languifhing and drawling fentence; but to close with dignity and spirit, that we may leave the minds of the hearers warm; and difmifs them with a favourable impreffion of the subject and of the Speaker.

of the Peroration from that paffage, "Venez, peuples,

venez maintenant," &c. though it is too long for infertion, is a great mafter-piece of Pathetic Eloquence.

LECTURE XXXIII.

1

XXXIII.

PRONUNCIATION, OR DELIVERY.

H

LECT. AVING treated of several general heads relating to Eloquence, or Public Speaking, I now proceed to another very important part of the subject yet remaining, that is, the Pronunciation, or Delivery of a Difcourfe. How much ftrefs was laid upon this by the moft eloquent of all Orators, Demofthenes, appears from a noted faying of his, related both by Cicero and Quinctilian; when being afked, What was the first point in Oratory? he answered, Delivery; and being asked, What was the fecond? and afterwards, What was the third? he ftill answered, Delivery. There is no wonder that he should have rated this fo high, and that for improving himself in it, he should have employed those affiduous and painful labours, which all the antients take fo much notice of; for, beyond doubt, nothing is of more importance. To fuper

XXXIII.

ficial thinkers, the management of the voice LECT. and gefture, in Public Speaking, may appear to relate to Decoration only, and to be one of the inferior arts of catching an audience. But this is far from being the cafe. It is intimately connected with what is, or ought to be, the end of all Public Speaking, Perfuafion; and therefore deserves the ftudy of the moft grave and ferious Speakers, as much as of those whofe only aim it is to please.

FOR, let it be confidered, whenever we address ourselves to others by words, our inten tion certainly is to make fome impression on those to whom we fpeak; it is to convey to them our own ideas and emotions. Now the tone of our voice, our looks, and geftures interpret our ideas and emotions no less than words do; nay, the impreffion they make on others, is frequently much stronger than any that words can make. We often fee, that an expreffive look, or a paffionate cry, unaccom panied by words, conveys to others more forcible ideas, and roufes within them stronger paffions, than can be communicated by the most eloquent Difcourfe. The fignification of our fentiments, made by tones and gestures, has this advantage above that made by words, that it is the language of nature. It is that method of interpreting our mind which na

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