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(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
Despair and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty;
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
To soften, not to wound my heart.
What others are to feel, and know myself a man.
THE OLD MAN AND KRISHNA.
There was once a certain old man, who, whatever he did, used to say, 'Krishna, Krishna, this is thy doing.' One day some paddy had been spread at his door for getting dried in the sun, when a cow came and ate it. The man at once took a stick in his hand and severely beat the poor cow, which consequently fell down and expired. At once the man began to exclaim, Hari-HariKrishna-Krishna. This is thy doing. Just then Rukminî happened with Krishna, and she addressing her Lord said, 'O my Lord, what a sin has now fallen to your account.' Krishna replied, Fear not, my dear, the sin of having killed the cow is the man's, and not mine. You will shortly see how it is so.'
A few days after, the old man was giving a feast to Brahmins when Krishna assuming the guise of a dirty old Brâhmin, entered his house, spat on the ground here and there, and committed diverse acts of nuisance. The
host thereupon began to rebuke him, saying, 'Is this the reward for my charity? Why do you come and disturb the feast which I am holding?' The disguised Krishna replied, Who are you to rebuke me? Are you the real host?" The man got exceedingly angry and said, 'Did I not tell you that I was the host? I will show you who I am :' and so saying, he began to shove him out. At once Krishna showed his real form and said, 'The merit of this feast is yours, while the sin of killing the cow is mine, I suppose! A very fair division to be sure! Let both be yours,' and so saying he disappeared.
Like the old man in this story, how often are we prone to take the merit of our successes and good deeds to ourselves, while ascribing our failures and evil deeds to the Lord.
"THE AWAKENED INDIA."
119. PUBLIC-SPEAKING, ELOQUENCE,
Elocution is the art of speaking out, and of opening the mouth, and of using the organs of speech and their accessories so as to be heard distinctly; and to convey to other minds, and to leave upon each and every of them, a correct intelligence, appreciation, and impression of all we utter. Hence elocution, in a secondary sense comes to mean the art of reading, speaking, and conversing elegantly. The perfection of elocution is oratory.*
Words are the paints; the voice the brush; the mind the painter.
The art which teaches us how to persuade the mind, and touch the heart, must surely deserve the earliest attention. Every man, if he pleases, may choose good words instead of bad ones; may speak properly instead of improperly; may be clear and perspicuous in his recitals instead of dark and muddy; he may have grace instead of awkwardness in his gestures; and, in short, may be a very agreeable instead of a very disagreeable speaker, if he will take care and pains.
The foundation of reading and speaking is good
sense and solid thought.
From Elocution by Pearson and Waithman.
Before a man can speak on any subject, it is necessary to be acquainted with it.
The man who speaks with culture and ability will always command willing listeners.
The three requisites of good speaking are
1. Have something to say.
2. Know how to say it.
3. Sit down when you have said it.
The great objects which every public speaker will naturally have in his eye in forming his Delivery, are first, to speak so as to be fully and easily understood by all who hear him; and next, to speak with grace and force, so as to please and to move his audience.
In order to be fully and easily understood, the four chief requisites are:
A due degree of loudness of voice;
Propriety of pronunciation.
It is a mistake in public speakers to begin in a loud tone, because it cannot be sustained, a spiteful cough will interpose; by beginning in a low tone, and gradually warming up, the physical fatigue is largely diminished, while the voice grows clearer, louder, and stronger.
• From How to Live Long.
-DR. W. W. HALL.
The entire principles of the management of the voice
are contained in these old lines:
"Lack of matter" is often supplied by manner. Indeed it may sometimes be of less consequence what we express than how we express it.*
Air and manner are more expressive than words.
Let your manners be simple, and your speech
Many times we do injury to a cause by dwelling upon trifling arguments.
Without doubt, the best delivery is that which is the most natural, the most free from trick and artifice, and that in which the speaker is most self-forgetful. Never think of yourself when speaking but only of your subject.
A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but sets off every great talent which a
* From William Danby's Ideas and Realities.