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ing; the unsuccessfulness of his first attempts; his unwearied perseverance in surmounting all the disadvantages that arose from his person and address; his shutting himself up in a cave, that he might study with less distraction; his declaiming by the sea-shore, that he might accustom himself to the noise of a tumultuous assembly, and with pebbles in his mouth, that he might correct a defect in his speech; his practising at home with a naked sword hanging o'er his shoulders that he might check an ungraceful motion, to which he was subject; all those circumstances are very encouraging to such as study Eloquence, as they show how far art and application may avail, for acquiring an excellence which nature seemed unwilling to grant us.
There are two things which must always combine to form an orator. The first is good matter, the second good manner.
Remember that there never has been, that there never will, there never can be, a truly great orator without a great purpose, a great cause behind him.
-RALPH WALDO TRINE.
There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in
the look, and in the choice of his words.
Those orators who give us much noise and many words, but little argument and less wit, and who are most loud when they are the least lucid, should take a
lesson from the great volume of Nature; she often gives us the lightning even without without the thunder, but never the thunder without the lightning.
Trained and experienced orators, venerable old men,
Speak well! if thou speak tardily, what matter?
And cease before they cry "Enough."
By the faculty of speech (it is that) man is superior to the brute.
A brute-beast is better than thou, if thou say not what is right.
Oratory is to be estimated on principles different from those which are applied to other productions. Truth is the object of philosophy and history. Truth is the object even of those works which are peculiarly called works of fiction, but which, in fact, bear the same relation to history, which algebra bears to arithmetic. The merit of poetry in its wildest forms, still consists in its truth,-truth conveyed to the understanding, not directly by the words, but circuitously by means of imaginative associations, which serve as its conductors. The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion. The admiration of the multitude does not make Moore a greater poet than Coleridge, or Beattie a greater philosopher than Berkeley. But the criterion of eloquence is different. A speaker, who exhausts the whole philosophy of a question, who displays every grace of style, yet produces
* Translated by Platts.
no effect on his audience, may be a great essayist, a
great statesman, a great is not an orator. If he
master of composition; but he
miss the mark, it makes no
difference whether he have taken aim too high or too low
the press in destroy this what I call
The effect of the great freedom of England has been, in a great measure, to distinction, and to leave among us little of Oratory Proper. Our legislators, our candidates, on great occasions even our advocates, address themselves less to the audience than to the reporters. They think less of the few hearers than of the innumerable readers.
What we should aim at is, not to admire the speaker but to follow him. The ancient historian tells us this constituted the difference between Cicero, the polished speaker and Domesthenes, the burning orator. After a great speech in Rome, every tongue was loud in the praise of Cicero. But the people who listened to Demosthenes forgot the orator. They went home with hurried stride, lowering brow, clenched fist, muttering in a voice like distant thunder, 'Let us go and fight Philip!'
Philip of Macedon said of Demosthenes on hearing the report of one of his orations: Had I been there, he would have persuaded me to take up arms against myself.'
Scientists tell us that a judicious excercise of the lungs in speaking and singing strengthens the chest. Cuvier said that he would have fallen a victim to con
sumption, if he had not had the good fortune to be appointed to a professorship in which he found the constant delivery of lectures to his students a most beneficial exercise for his lungs. Our doctors often say, "let your girls learn singing, it will expand the chest and strengthen the lungs.
Address in speaking is highly useful, as well as ornamental, even in private life.
He who (1) sedulously attends,
(2) pointedly asks,
(3) calmly speaks,
(4) cooly answers, and
(5) ceases when he has no more to say,
is in possession of some of the best requisites of man.
Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
The poorest arguments will make their way when delivered with firmness and decision.
In answering an opponent, arrange your ideas, but not your words.
CLERGYMAN'S SORE THROAT.
Hoarseness, caused by over-exertion of the organ by singers and public speakers, or by clergymen, is so common in the latter class as to be named clergyman's sore
throat.' It most frequently arises from straining of the voice by too long or too frequent speaking. The stiff bandlike collar many clergymen wear presses on the throat when the head is bent, and produces constriction of the parts. The forward and downward inclination of the head when preaching, necessitated by the position of clergymen, is another cause, for barristers, who from their position when speaking look upwards, rarely suffer.
The only effectual remedy is rest, and then gradually bringing the voice into play, while avoiding the bandlike stock and also looking down as much as possible. But a few days' rest is insufficient, some cases requiring weeks or months. When clergyman's throat' is feared, it is well for the throat to be 'hardened' from the first. While the beard is allowed to grow, as a protection against sudden chills, the throat should be rather exposed to the air than wrapped up in woolen comforters."*
* From A Manual of Family Medicine and Hygiene for India, by Sir William Moore.