Page images

"For me, readers, although I can not say that I am utterly untrained in those rules which best rhetoricians have given, or unacquainted with those examples which the prime authors of eloquence have written in any learned tongue; yet true eloquence I find to be none but the serious and hearty love of truth; and that whose mind soever is fully possessed with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, when such a man would speak, his words (by what I can express), like so many nimble and airy servitors, trip about him at command, and in well-ordered files, as he would wish, fall aptly into their own places."

30. Extemporaneous Speaking.-Here may be a proper place again to urge the value of extemporaneous speaking. Reading should not encroach upon the domain of oratory. Good extemporaneous speaking requires thorough preparation. It is well, in the process of training for it, to write out, in full, passages, if not entire addresses, to be spoken, and thoroughly to commit them to memory. Soon it will be easy to commit to memory the thoughts and facts, leaving the language to be at least partly spontaneous, and also to interpolate entirely extemporaneous passages. Thus the art can be acquired by study and practice.

Extemporaneous speakers will be likely occasionally to fail, and often to fall below their desires and what they believe to be their ability, but the joys and influence of success will more than compensate for these disappointments.

Too great facility in extemporaneous speech often



defeats the highest success. Naturally easy speakers, as they are termed, who extemporize volubly without study, are usually narrow in their range, shallow in their thoughts, and repetitious, and bring a reproach on their art. Speakers who discard the use of the manuscript before the audience should spend more labor in preparation than would be necessary previously to write out their addresses.

31. Practical Rules of Flocution. The following rules embrace the most valuable general principles of Elocution:

(1.) Be thoroughly prepared for the work which you intend to perform. If to read the production of another person, let it be studied beforehand, so that you are sure of comprehending and feeling fully the thoughts and emotions of the author. If to read your own production, be as independent as possible of the manuscript. If to speak from memory, let it be so well committed as to require no conscious effort to recall it. If to speak extemporaneously, be sure that you have an abundant supply of material on hand, with the general arrangement or order thoroughly at command. Whoever faithfully obeys this rule, when possible, will be ready to make an efficient speech, even when he has no opportunity to prepare for it.

(2.) As far as possible be unwearied, and in good physical and mental condition, and be deliberate and self-possessed, remembering that if you have a right to speak, it is too late when on the floor to entertain any doubts about the matter, and that self-possession is a prime requisite of successful oratory.

(3.) Enunciate distinctly and loud enough, in all you say, to be heard by all whom you wish to ad dress, and do not allow yourself to speak for a long time with such excessive energy of voice and manner as to react on yourself, and loosen your hold upon the audience, and remember the advantage of speaking with fully inflated lungs.

(4.) Be thoroughly in earnest. Avoid unnecessary repetitions, and seek brevity.

(5.) Though entirely absorbed in the subject, and unconscious of rules, except only so far as to prevent you from glaringly violating them, still persistently oppose and break up any known evil habit of posi tion, gesture, or intonation.

[blocks in formation]

Byron, Lord, illustrates Personifica- | Dickens quoted, to illustrate Vision,

[blocks in formation]

Caird, Rev. Dr., illustration of Com-
parison, 89.

Callimachus, epigram from, 120.
Campbell, Dr., on Antithesis, 121.
Carlyle, Thomas, Apostrophe from,

on earnestness, 243.

on rapid writing, 242.
Chesterfield, Lord, on proverbs, 232.
Choate, Rufus, choice of words, 47.
,hyperbole, from, 134.
long sentence from, 199.
period from, 206.

, style of Erskine, 41.
Choice of subjects, 315.

Cicero, figurative language, 106.
Climax, 209.

Coleridge, S. T., illustration of Alle-
gory, 126.
Comparisons, 87.

combined with antitheses, 119.
Construction of Sentences, 195.
Corwin, illustration of Irony, 144.
Coultas, H., illustration of Redun-
dancy, 58.

Cowper, illustration of Personifica-
tion, 148.

illustration of Idiomatic Style,

Curran, illustration of Wit, 175.


Deaf and dumb, language of, 20.
Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), quoted,

Demosthenes, simplicity of style,

Derzhavin, comparison from, 88.
Description, Invention in, 316.
Dialogues, 279.

in History, 282.

Diaries, 276.


Didactic productions, 256.

Discussion, rules for, 333.

Doddridge, epigram quoted, 179.


Earnestness, 243.
Egotism, 248.

Elocution, advantage of practice in

an art, 352.
defined, 351.

intellectual character of, 366.
mechanical elements of, 355.
opinion of Whately on, 352.
opinion of Webster on, 371.
-, practical rules of, 373.
defined by Bolingbroke, 344.
Milton, 345, 372.

requires a good character, 370.
Emerson, R. W., on short words, 44.
on Tropes, 82.

Emmett, Pathos illustrated, 249.
Emotion, 244.

Emphatic Pauses, 368.

English Language, elasticity of, 217.
euphony of, 216.

not learned from dictionaries,
Epigram, 120.

Epistolary Composition, 268.
Erasmus, quoted by Bacon, 184.
Erskine, language of, 42.
Essays, 271.

Everett, Edward, Apostrophe ex
plained, 158.

Apostrophe illustrated from,


Historical Present illustrated


choice sentence from, 198.

Personification, 153.

Sermocinatio, 162.

Exaggeration, 254.

Exclamations, 209.

Extemporaneous speaking, 261, 265,


« PreviousContinue »