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man can be possessed of. It heightens all the virtues which it accompanies, like the shades in paintings; it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more beautiful, though not so glaring as they would be without it.
Never will a man speak well, but when he understands, feels, and is in earnest.
Always look at those whom you are talking to, never at those whom you are talking of.
Generally, assume an easy manner on making your appearance, and guard against all feelings of timidity. If your subject be a melancholy one, look grave and thoughtful; if cheerful, let your countenance be lit up with a smile; if merry, you may advance to a grin.
Survey your audience confidingly but not rudely ; and be careful not to pick out any particular person or persons in the audience for your remarks, but speak to all equally.*
A speaker never with grace speaks in the line immediately in front of him, but either to the right or to the left.*
In order that respiration be properly performed during vocal exercise, it is essential that there should be no constriction at the waist. The waist-coat of the male, and the corsage of the female should be sufficiently loose to permit of free abdominal respiration. Close
From Elocution by Pearson and Waithman.
fitting, or tight corsets, therefore, interfere mechanically with efficient respiration, and impair the vocal powers correspondingly.
An easy position of the body should be assumed during public use of the voice or during vocal practice. The erect position is the best, with the book, manuscript or score at an easy reading distance, at about the level of the neck or chin, so that the head need not be depressed, and thus interfere with easy utterance and intonation. The body must not be turned too much to the right or left of the middle line, as that prevents distinct hearing by the audience at the opposite side of the room. There is hardly any public hall which permits equal facility of hearing in every part of it. It is proper, therefore, to address the central portion of the audience; by which plan those at the two sides are placed under equal advantages. Addresses first to one side of the room, and then to the other deprive those at each side, successively of the remarks which are being made to the people at the opposite side of the house.*
The general health should be carefully maintained, and indigestion in particular most warily guarded against. Indigestion is, without exception, elocution's worst enemy. Persons suffering from chronic diseases of the respiratory organs should never attempt to aggravate their cases by any vigorous or prolonged public speaking, or by speaking for any length of time in ill-ventilated rooms. Notwithstanding, they may attain to pleasing utterance and enunciation in conversation by a cultivation of the art of elocution.†
* From Ward and Lock's Long Life Series, edited by George Black.
From Elocution by Pearson and Waithman.
Mr. Bright was of opinion that extemporaneous speaking must be resorted to by a man, who knows his subject, and has a good hold of it, otherwise writing is necessary. He (Mr. Bright) wrote out the most important and highly worked passages, and got them by heart. The rest he filled in as he went along. Mr. Gladstone used notes only for facts, and the order of his points; and trusted exclusively to the moment for his words. Lord Palmerston always spoke extemporaneously, and scarcely ever referred to a paper. Mr. Disraeli only used notes for dates and figures. He prepared his speeches with great care, grouping his points artistically, and polishing up his epigrams. Lord Granville and Earl Russell both spoke off-hand.
A man may be called eloquent, who transfers the passion or sentiment with which he is moved himself, into the breast of another.
Eloquence is the best speech of the best soul; the right eloquence needs no bell to call the people together, and no constable to keep them.
True eloquence is the art of placing truth in the most advantageous light for convincing and persuading men. -SHERIDAN.
Eloquence may sometimes effect its object by means of splendid images and sublime expressions, but that alone which springs from the heart takes the certain road to success.
Discretion of speech is superior to eloquence.
All eloquence, which is affected or over-laboured or merely imitative, though otherwise excellent, carries with it an air of servility, nor is it free to follow its own impulses.
In pulpit eloquence, the grand difficulty lies here; to give the subject all the dignity it so fully deserves, without attaching any importance to ourselves.
True eloquence consists in saying all that is proper and nothing more.
That which eloquence ought to reach is not a particular skill in telling a story, or neatly summing up evidence, or arguing logically, or dexterously addressing the prejudice of a company, no, but a taking sovereign possession of the audience. Him we call an artist who shall play on an assembly of men as a master on the keys of the piano-who, seeing the people furious, shall soften and compose them, shall draw them when he will to laughter and to tears. Bring him to his audience, and be they who they may, coarse or refined, pleased or displeased, sulky or savage, with their opinions in the keeping of a confessor, or with their opinions in their bank-safes, he shall have them pleased and humoured as he chooses, and they shall carry and execute that which he bids them. Such is the despotic power, which those who are truly eloquent wield.
Considering the word (eloquence) in its ordinary sense, what are its essentials?
I.—Without truth and moral dignity in the background, nothing can be graceful, nothing can prevail. This is the soul of eloquence.
II. You must have fact.
This is the substance. It is always a good rule, never to attempt to say anything unless you have something positive to say.
III.-You must have the power of expression. This is the action of eloquence, and herein are comprised all the artificial graces of delivery which we have to learn by culture.
There is one thing in eloquence which art can seldom supply-a good voice.*
"THE CENTRAL HINDU COLLEGE MAGAZINE."
The poet is born such; the orator is made such.
It is said that a man must be born a Poet; but that make himself an Orator. Nascitur Poeta, fit Orator. This means, that to be a poet, one must be born with a certain degree of strength and vivacity of mind; but that attention, reading, and labour are sufficient to form an orator.
I shall not spend any time upon the circumstances of Demosthenes' life; they are well-known. The strong ambition which he discovered to excel in the art of speak
*From a Communication by An Erode, F. T. S.