Laman utama The Art of Public Speaking: The Original Tool for Improving Public Oration
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CHAPTER III EFFICIENCY THROUGH EMPHASIS AND SUBORDINATION In a word, the principle of emphasis . . . . is followed best, not by remembering particular rules, but by being full of a particular feeling.—C. S. BALDWIN, Writing and Speaking. The gun that scatters too much does not bag the birds. The same principle applies to speech. The speaker that fires his force and emphasis at random into a sentence will not get results. Not every word is of special importance—therefore only certain words demand emphasis. You say Massa CHU setts and Minne A Polis, you do not emphasize each syllable alike, but hit the accented syllable with force and hurry over the unimportant ones. Now why do you not apply this principle in speaking a sentence? To some extent you do, in ordinary speech; but do you in public discourse? It is there that monotony caused by lack of emphasis is so painfully apparent. So far as emphasis is concerned, you may consider the average sentence as just one big word, with the important word as the accented syllable. Note the following: “Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.” You might as well say MASS-A-CHU-SETTS, emphasizing every syllable equally, as to lay equal stress on each word in the foregoing sentences. Speak it aloud and see. Of course you will want to emphasize destiny, for it is the principal idea in your declaration, and you will put some emphasis on not, else your hearers may think you are affirming that destiny is a matter of chance. By all means you must emphasize chance, for it is one of the two big ideas in the statement. Another reason why chance takes emphasis is that it is contrasted with choice in the next sentence. Obviously, the author has contrasted these ideas purposely, so that they might be more emphatic, and here we see that contrast is one of the very first devices to gain emphasis. As a public speaker you can assist this emphasis of contrast with your voice. If you say, “My horse is not black” what color immediately comes into mind? Whit; e, naturally, for that is the opposite of black. If you wish to bring out the thought that destiny is a matter of choice, you can do so more effectively by first saying that “DESTINY is NOT a matter of CHANCE.” Is not the color of the horse impressed upon us more emphatically when you say, “My horse is NOT BLACK. He is WHITE” than it would be by hearing you assert merely that your horse is white? In the second sentence of the statement there is only one important word—choice. It is the one word that positively defines the quality of the subject being discussed, and the author of those lines desired to bring it out emphatically, as he has shown by contrasting it with another idea. These lines, then, would read like this: “DESTINY is NOT a matter of CHANCE. It is a matter of CHOICE.” Now read this over, striking the words in capitals with a great deal of force. In almost every sentence there are a few MOUNTAIN PEAK WORDS that represent the big, important ideas. When you pick up the evening paper you can tell at a glance which are the important news articles. Thanks to the editor, he does not tell about a “hold up” in Hong Kong in the same sized type as he uses to report the death of five firemen in your home city. Size of type is his device to show emphasis in bold relief. He brings out sometimes even in red headlines the striking news of the day. It would be a boon to speech-making if speakers would conserve the attention of their audiences in the same way and emphasize only the words representing the important ideas. The average speaker will deliver the foregoing line on destiny with about the same amount of emphasis on each word. Instead of saying, “It is a matter of CHOICE,” he will deliver it, “It is a matter of choice,” or “IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE”—both equally bad. Charles Dana, the famous editor of The New York Sun, told one of his reporters that if he went up the street and saw a dog bite a man, to pay no attention to it. The Sun could not afford to waste the time and attention of its readers on such unimportant happenings. “But,” said Mr. Dana, “if you see a man bite a dog, hurry back to the office and write the story.” Of course that is news; that is unusual. Now the speaker who says “IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE” is putting too much emphasis upon things that are of no more importance to metropolitan readers than a dog bite, and when he fails to emphasize “choice” he is like the reporter who “passes up” the man’s biting a dog. The ideal speaker makes his big words stand out like mountain peaks; his unimportant words are submerged like stream-beds. His big thoughts stand like huge oaks; his ideas of no especial value are merely like the grass around the tree. From all this we may deduce this important principle: EMPHASIS is a matter of CONTRAST and COMPARISON. Recently the New York American featured an editorial by Arthur Brisbane. Note the following, printed in the same type as given here. We do not know what the President THOUGHT when he got that message, or what the elephant thinks when he sees the mouse, but we do know what the President DID. The words THOUGHT and DID immediately catch the reader’s attention because they are different from the others, not especially because they are larger. If all the rest of the words in this sentence were made ten times as large as they are, and DID and THOUGHT were kept at their present size, they would still be emphatic, because different. Take the following from Robert Chambers’ novel, “The Business of Life.” The words you, had, would, are all emphatic, because they have been made different. He looked at her in angry astonishment. “Well, what do you call it if it isn’t cowardice—to slink off and marry a defenseless girl like that!” “Did you expect me to give you a chance to destroy me and poison Jacqueline’s mind? If I had been guilty of the thing with which you charge me, what I have done would have been cowardly. Otherwise, it is justified.” A Fifth Avenue bus would attract attention up at Minisink Ford, New York, while one of the ox teams that frequently pass there would attract attention on Fifth Avenue. To make a word emphatic, deliver it differently from the manner in which the words surrounding it are delivered. If you have been talking loudly, utter the emphatic word in a concentrated whisper—and you have intense emphasis. If you have been going fast, go very slow on the emphatic word. If you have been talking on a low pitch, jump to a high one on the emphatic word. If you have been talking on a high pitch, take a low one on your emphatic ideas. Read the chapters on “Inflection,” “Feeling,” “Pause,” “Change of Pitch,” “Change of Tempo.” Each of these will explain in detail how to get emphasis through the use of a certain principle. In this chapter, however, we are considering only one form of emphasis: that of applying force to the important word and subordinating the unimportant words. Do not forget: this is one of the main methods that you must continually employ in getting your effects. Let us not confound loudness with emphasis. To yell is not a sign of earnestness, intelligence, or feeling. The kind of force that we want applied to the emphatic word is not entirely physical. True, the emphatic word may be spoken more loudly, or it may be spoken more softly, but the real quality desired is intensity, earnestness. It must come from within, outward. Last night a speaker said: “The curse of this country is not a lack of education. It’s politics.” He emphasized curse, lack, education, politics. The other words were hurried over and thus given no comparative importance at all. The word politics was flamed out with great feeling as he slapped his hands together indignantly. His emphasis was both correct and powerful. He concentrated all our attention on the words that meant something, instead of holding it up on such words as of this, a, of, It’s. What would you think of a guide who agreed to show New York to a stranger and then took up his time by visiting Chinese laundries and boot-blacking “parlors” on the side streets? There is only one excuse for a speaker’s asking the attention of his audience: He must have either truth or entertainment for them. If he wearies their attention with trifles they will have neither vivacity nor desire left when he reaches words of Wall-Street and skyscraper importance. You do not dwell on these small words in your everyday conversation, because you are not a conversational bore. Apply the correct method of everyday speech to the platform. As we have noted elsewhere, public speaking is very much like conversation enlarged. Sometimes, for big emphasis, it is advisable to lay stress on every single syllable in a word, as absolutely in the following sentence: I ab-so-lute-ly refuse to grant your demand. Now and then this principle should be applied to an emphatic sentence by stressing each word. It is a good device for exciting special attention, and it furnishes a pleasing variety. Patrick Henry’s notable climax could be delivered in that manner very effectively: “Give—me—liberty—or—give—me—death.” The italicized part of the following might also be delivered with this every-word emphasis. Of course, there are many ways of delivering it; this is only one of several good interpretations that might be chosen. Knowing the price we must pay, the sacrifice we must make, the burdens we must carry, the assaults we must endure—knowing full well the cost—yet we enlist, and we enlist for the war. For we know the justice of our cause, and we know, too, its certain triumph.—From “Pass Prosperity Around,” by ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE, before the Chicago National Convention of the Progressive Party. Strongly emphasizing a single word has a tendency to suggest its antithesis. Notice how the meaning changes by merely putting the emphasis on different words in the following sentence. The parenthetical expressions would really not be needed to supplement the emphatic words. I intended to buy a house this Spring (even if you did not). I INTENDED to buy a house this Spring (but something prevented). I intended to BUY a house this Spring (instead of renting as heretofore). I intended to buy a HOUSE this Spring (and not an automobile). I intended to buy a house THIS Spring (instead of next Spring). I intended to buy a house this SPRING (instead of in the Autumn). When a great battle is reported in the papers, they do not keep emphasizing the same facts over and over again. They try to get new information, or a “new slant.” The news that takes an important place in the morning edition will be relegated to a small space in the late afternoon edition. We are interested in new ideas and new facts. This principle has a very important bearing in determining your emphasis. Do not emphasize the same idea over and over again unless you desire to lay extra stress on it; Senator Thurston desired to put the maximum amount of emphasis on “force” in his speech on page 50. Note how force is emphasized repeatedly. As a general rule, however, the new idea, the “new slant,” whether in a newspaper report of a battle or a speaker’s enunciation of his ideas, is emphatic. In the following selection, “larger” is emphatic, for it is the new idea. All men have eyes, but this man asks for a LARGER eye. This man with the larger eye says he will discover, not rivers or safety appliances for aëroplanes, but NEW STARS and SUNS. “New stars and suns” are hardly as emphatic as the word “larger.” Why? Because we expect an astronomer to discover heavenly bodies rather than cooking recipes. The words, “Republic needs” in the next sentence, are emphatic; they introduce a new and important idea. Republics have always needed men, but the author says they need NEW men. “New” is emphatic because it introduces a new idea. In like manner, “soil,” “grain,” “tools,” are also emphatic. The most emphatic words are italicized in this selection. Are there any others you would emphasize? Why? The old astronomer said, “Give me a larger eye, and I will discover new stars and suns.” That is what the republic needs today—new men—men who are wise toward the soil, toward the grains, toward the tools. If God would only raise up for the people two or three men like Watt, Fulton and McCormick, they would be worth more to the State than that treasure box named California or Mexico. And the real supremacy of man is based upon his capacity for education. Man is unique in the length of his childhood, which means the period of plasticity and education. The childhood of a moth, the distance that stands between the hatching of the robin and its maturity, represent a few hours or a few weeks, but twenty years for growth stands between man’s cradle and his citizenship. This protracted childhood makes it possible to hand over to the boy all the accumulated stores achieved by races and civilizations through thousands of years. —Anonymous. You must understand that there are no steel-riveted rules of emphasis. It is not always possible to designate which word must, and which must not be emphasized. One speaker will put one interpretation on a speech, another speaker will use different emphasis to bring out a different interpretation. No one can say that one interpretation is right and the other wrong. This principle must be borne in mind in all our marked exercises. Here your own intelligence must guide—and greatly to your profit. QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES. 1. What is emphasis? 2. Describe one method of destroying monotony of thought-presentation. 3. What relation does this have to the use of the voice? 4. Which words should be emphasized, which subordinated, in a sentence? 5. Read the selections on pages 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54, devoting special attention to emphasizing the important words or phrases and subordinating the unimportant ones. Read again, changing emphasis slightly. What is the effect? 6. Read some sentence repeatedly, emphasizing a different word each time, and show how the meaning is changed, as is done on page 22. 7. What is the effect of a lack of emphasis? 8. Read the selections on pages 30 and 48, emphasizing every word. What is the effect on the emphasis? 9. When is it permissible to emphasize every single word in a sentence? 10. Note the emphasis and subordination in some conversation or speech you have heard. Were they well made? Why? Can you suggest any improvement? 11. From a newspaper or a magazine, clip a report of an address, or a biographical eulogy. Mark the passage for emphasis and bring it with you to class. 12. In the following passage, would you make any changes in the author’s markings for emphasis? Where? Why? Bear in mind that not all words marked require the same degree of emphasis—in a wide variety of emphasis, and in nice shading of the gradations, lie the excellence of emphatic speech. I would call him Napoleon, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. “No Retaliation” was his great motto and the rule of his life; and the last words uttered to his son in France were these: “My boy, you will one day go back to Santo Domingo; forget that France murdered your father.” I would call him Cromwell, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down with him into his grave. I would call him Washington, but the great Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest village of his dominions. You think me a fanatic to-night, for you read history, not with your eyes, but with your prejudices. But fifty years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of History will put Phocion for the Greek, and Brutus for the Roman, Hampden for England, Lafayette for France, choose Washington as the bright, consummate flower of our earlier civilization, and John Brown the ripe fruit of our noonday, then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE. —WENDELL PHILLIPS, Toussaint l’Ouverture. Practise on the following selections for emphasis: Beecher’s “Abraham Lincoln,” page 76; Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Speech,” page 50; Seward’s “Irrepressible Conflict,” page 67; and Bryan’s “Prince of Peace,” page 448. CHAPTER V EFFICIENCY THROUGH CHANGE OF PACE Hear how he clears the points o’ Faith Wi’ rattlin’ an’ thumpin’! Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath, He’s stampin’ an’ he’s jumpin’. —ROBERT BURNS, Holy Fair. The Latins have bequeathed to us a word that has no precise equivalent in our tongue, therefore we have accepted it, body unchanged—it is the word tempo, and means rate of movement, as measured by the time consumed in executing that movement. Thus far its use has been largely limited to the vocal and musical arts, but it would not be surprising to hear tempo applied to more concrete matters, for it perfectly illustrates the real meaning of the word to say that an ox-cart moves in slow tempo, an express train in a fast tempo. Our guns that fire six hundred times a minute, shoot at a fast tempo; the old muzzle loader that required three minutes to load, shot at a slow tempo. Every musician understands this principle: it requires longer to sing a half note than it does an eighth note. Now tempo is a tremendously important element in good platform work, for when a speaker delivers a whole address at very nearly the same rate of speed he is depriving himself of one of his chief means of emphasis and power. The base-ball pitcher, the bowler in cricket, the tennis server, all know the value of change of pace—change of tempo—in delivering their ball, and so must the public speaker observe its power. Change of Tempo Lends Naturalness to the Delivery Naturalness, or at least seeming naturalness, as was explained in the chapter on “Monotony,” is greatly to be desired, and a continual change of tempo will go a long way towards establishing it. Mr. Howard Lindsay, Stage Manager for Miss Margaret Anglin, recently said to the present writer that change of pace was one of the most effective tools of the actor. While it must be admitted that the stilted mouthings of many actors indicate cloudy mirrors, still the public speaker would do well to study the actor’s use of tempo. There is, however, a more fundamental and effective source at which to study naturalness—a trait which, once lost, is shy of recapture: that source is the common conversation of any well-bred circle. This is the standard we strive to reach on both stage and platform—with certain differences, of course, which will appear as we go on. If speaker and actor were to reproduce with absolute fidelity every variation of utterance—every whisper, grunt, pause, silence, and explosion—of conversation as we find it typically in every-day life, much of the interest would leave, the public utterance. Naturalness in public address is something more than faithful reproduction of nature—it is the reproduction of those typical parts of nature’s work which are truly representative of the whole. The realistic story-writer understands this in writing dialogue, and we must take it into account in seeking for naturalness through change of tempo. Suppose you speak the first of the following sentences in a slow tempo, the second quickly, observing how natural is the effect. Then speak both with the same rapidity and note the difference. I can’t recall what I did with my knife. Oh, now I remember I gave it to Mary. We see here that a change of tempo often occurs in the same sentence—for tempo applies not only to single words, groups of words, and groups of sentences, but to the major parts of a public speech as well. QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES 1. In the following, speak the words “long, long while” very slowly; the rest of the sentence is spoken in moderately rapid tempo. When you and I behind the Veil are past, Oh but the long, long while the world shall last, Which of our coming and departure heeds, As the seven seas should heed a pebble cast. Note: In the following selections the passages that should be given a fast tempo are in italics; those that should be given in a slow tempo are in small capitals. Practise these selections, and then try others, changing from fast to slow tempo on different parts, carefully noting the effect. 2. No MIRABEAU, NAPOLEON, BURNS, CROMWELL, NO man ADEQUATE to DO ANYTHING but is first of all in RIGHT EARNEST about it—what I call A SINCERE man. I should say SINCERITY, a GREAT, DEEP, GENUINE SINCERITY, is the first CHARACTERISTIC of a man in any way HEROIC. Not the sincerity that CALLS itself sincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matter indeed—A SHALLOW, BRAGGART, CONSCIOUS sincerity, oftenest SELF-CONCEIT mainly. The GREAT MAN’S SINCERITY is of a kind he CANNOT SPEAK OF. Is NOT CONSCIOUS of.—THOMAS CARLYLE. 3. TRUE WORTH is in BEING—NOT SEEMING—in doing each day that goes by SOME LITTLE GOOD, not in DREAMING of GREAT THINGS to do by and by. For whatever men say in their BLINDNESS, and in spite of the FOLLIES of YOUTH, there is nothing so KINGLY as KINDNESS, and nothing so ROYAL as TRUTH.—Anonymous. 4. To get a natural effect, where would you use slow and where fast tempo in the following? FOOL’S GOLD See him there, cold and gray, Watch him as he tries to play; No, he doesn’t know the way— He began to learn too late. She’s a grim old hag, is Fate, For she let him have his pile, Smiling to herself the while, Knowing what the cost would be, When he’d found the Golden Key. Multimillionaire is he, Many times more rich than we; But at that I wouldn’t trade With the bargain that he made. Came here many years ago, Not a person did he know; Had the money-hunger bad— Mad for money, piggish mad; Didn’t let a joy divert him, Didn’t let a sorrow hurt him, Let his friends and kin desert him, While he planned and plugged and hurried On his quest for gold and power. Every single wakeful hour With a money thought he’d dower; All the while as he grew older, And grew bolder, he grew colder. And he thought that some day He would take the time to play; But, say—he was wrong. Life’s a song; In the spring Youth can sing and can fling; But joys wing When we’re older, Like birds when it’s colder. The roses were red as he went rushing by, And glorious tapestries hung in the sky, And the clover was waving ’Neath honey-bees’ slaving; A bird over there Roundelayed a soft air; But the man couldn’t spare Time for gathering flowers, Or resting in bowers, Or gazing at skies That gladdened the eyes. So he kept on and swept on Through mean, sordid years. Now he’s up to his ears In the choicest of stocks. He owns endless blocks Of houses and shops, And the stream never stops Pouring into his banks. I suppose that he ranks Pretty near to the top. What I have wouldn’t sop His ambition one tittle; And yet with my little I don’t care to trade With the bargain he made. Just watch him to-day— See him trying to play. He’s come back for blue skies, But they’re in a new guise— Winter’s here, all is gray, The birds are away, The meadows are brown, The leaves lie aground, And the gay brook that wound With a swirling and whirling Of waters, is furling Its bosom in ice. And he hasn’t the price, With all of his gold, To buy what he sold. He knows now the cost Of the spring-time he lost, Of the flowers he tossed From his way, And, say, He’d pay Any price if the day Could be made not so gray. He can’t play. —HERBERT KAUFMAN. Used by permission of Everybody’s Magazine. Change of Tempo Prevents Monotony The canary in the cage before the window is adding to the beauty and charm of his singing by a continual change of tempo. If King Solomon had been an orator he undoubtedly would have gathered wisdom from the song of the wild birds as well as from the bees. Imagine a song written with but quarter notes. Imagine an auto with only one speed. EXERCISES 1. Note the change of tempo indicated in the following, and how it gives a pleasing variety. Read it aloud. (Fast tempo is indicated by italics, slow by small capitals.) And he thought that some day he would take the time to play; but, say—HE WAS WRONG. LIFE’S A SONG; in the SPRING YOUTH can SING and can FLING; BUT JOYS WING WHEN WE’RE OLDER, LIKE THE BIRDS when it’s COLDER. The roses were red as he went rushing by, and glorious tapestries hung in the sky. 2. Turn to “Fools Gold,” on Page 42, and deliver it in an unvaried tempo: note how monotonous is the result. This poem requires a great many changes of tempo, and is an excellent one for practise. 3. Use the changes of tempo indicated in the following, noting how they prevent monotony. Where no change of tempo is indicated, use a moderate speed. Too much of variety would really be a return to monotony. THE MOB “A MOB KILLS THE WRONG MAN” was flashed in a newspaper headline lately. The mob is an IRRESPONSIBLE, UNTHINKING MASS. It always destroys BUT NEVER CONSTRUCTS. It criticises BUT NEVER CREATES. Utter a great truth AND THE MOB WILL HATE YOU. See how it condemned DANTE to EXILE. Encounter the dangers of the unknown world for its benefit, AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU CRAZY. It ridiculed COLUMBUS, and for discovering a new world GAVE HIM PRISON AND CHAINS. Write a poem to thrill human hearts with pleasure, AND THE MOB WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO HUNGRY: THE BLIND HOMER BEGGED BREAD THROUGH THE STREETS. Invent a machine to save labor AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU ITS EMENY. Less than a hundred years ago a furious rabble smashed Thimonier’s invention, the sewing machine. BUILD A STEAMSHIP TO CARRY MERCHANDISE AND ACCELERATE TRAVEL and the mob will call you a fool. A MOB LINED THE SHORES OF THE HUDSON RIVER TO LAUGH AT THE MAIDEN ATTEMPT OF “FULTON’S FOLLY,” as they called his little steamboat. Emerson says: “A mob is a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves of reason and traversing its work. The mob is man voluntarily descended to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of activity IS NIGHT. ITS ACTIONS ARE INSANE, like its whole constitution. It persecutes a principle—IT WOULD WHIP A RIGHT. It would tar and feather justice by inflicting fire and outrage upon the house and persons of those who have these.” The mob spirit stalks abroad in our land today. Every week gives a fresh victim to its malignant cry for blood. There were 48 persons killed by mobs in the United States in 1913; 64 in 1912, and 71 in 1911. Among the 48 last year were a woman and a child. Two victims were proven innocent after their death. IN 399 B. C. A DEMAGOG APPEALED TO THE POPULAR MOB TO HAVE SOCRATES PUT TO DEATH and he was sentenced to the hemlock cup. FOURTEEN HUNDRED YEARS AFTERWARD AN ENTHUSIAST APPEALED TO THE POPULAR MOB and all Europe plunged into the Holy Land to kill and mangle the heathen. In the seventeenth century a demagog appealed to the ignorance of men AND TWENTY PEOPLE WERE EXECUTED AT SALEM, MASS., WITHIN SIX MONTHS FOR WITCHCRAFT. Two thousand years ago the mob yelled, “RELEASE UNTO US BARABBAS”—AND BARABBAS WAS A MURDERER! —From an Editorial by D. C. in “Leslie’s Weekly,” by permission. Present-day business is as unlike OLD-TIME BUSINESS as the OLD-TIME OX-CART is unlike the present-day locomotive. INVENTION has made the whole world over again. The railroad, telegraph, telephone have bound the people of MODERN NATIONS into FAMILIES. To do the business of these closely knit millions in every modern country GREAT BUSINESS CONCERNS CAME INTO BEING. What we call big business is the CHILD OF THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS OF MANKIND. So warfare to destroy big business IS FOOLISH BECAUSE IT CAN NOT SUCCEED and wicked BECAUSE IT OUGHT NOT TO SUCCEED. Warfare to destroy big business does not hurt big business, which always comes out on top, SO MUCH AS IT HURTS ALL OTHER BUSINESS WHICH, IN SUCH A WARFARE, NEVER COMES OUT ON TOP.—A. J. BEVERIDGE. Change of Tempo Produces Emphasis Any big change of tempo is emphatic and will catch the attention. You may scarcely be conscious that a passenger train is moving when it is flying over the rails at ninety miles an hour, but if it slows down very suddenly to a ten-mile gait your attention will be drawn to it very decidedly. You may forget that you are listening to music as you dine, but let the orchestra either increase or diminish its tempo in a very marked degree and your attention will be arrested at once. This same principle will procure emphasis in a speech. If you have a point that you want to bring home to your audience forcefully, make a sudden and great change of tempo, and they will be powerless to keep from paying attention to that point. Recently the present writer saw a play in which these lines were spoken: “I don’t want you to forget what I said. I want you to remember it the longest day you—I don’t care if you’ve got six guns.” The part up to the dash was delivered in a very slow tempo, the remainder was flamed out at lightning speed, as the character who was spoken to drew a revolver. The effect was so emphatic that the lines are remembered six months afterwards, while most of the play has faded from memory. The student who has powers of observation will see this principle applied by all our best actors in their efforts to get emphasis where emphasis is due. But remember that the emotion in the matter must warrant the intensity in the manner, or the effect will be ridiculous. Too many public speakers are impressive over nothing. Thought rather than rules must govern you while practising change of pace. It is often a matter of no consequence which part of a sentence is spoken slowly and which is given in fast tempo. The main thing to be desired is the change itself. For example, in the selection, “The Mob,” on page 46, note the last paragraph. Reverse the instructions given, delivering everything that is marked for slow tempo, quickly; and everything that is marked for quick tempo, slowly. You will note that the force or meaning of the passage has not been destroyed. However, many passages cannot be changed to a slow tempo without destroying their force. Instances: The Patrick Henry speech on page 110, and the following passage from Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy.” O for boyhood’s time of June, crowding years in one brief moon, when all things I heard or saw, me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, humming-birds and honeybees; for my sport the squirrel played; plied the snouted mole his spade; for my taste the blackberry cone purpled over hedge and stone; laughed the brook for my delight through the day and through the night, whispering at the garden wall, talked with me from fall to fall; mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond; mine the walnut slopes beyond; mine, on bending orchard trees, apples of Hesperides! Still, as my horizon grew, larger grew my riches, too; all the world I saw or knew seemed a complex Chinese toy, fashioned for a barefoot boy!—J. G. WHITTIER. Be careful in regulating your tempo not to get your movement too fast. This is a common fault with amateur speakers. Mrs. Siddons rule was, “Take time.” A hundred years ago there was used in medical circles a preparation known as “the shot gun remedy;” it was a mixture of about fifty different ingredients, and was given to the patient in the hope that at least one of them would prove efficacious! That seems a rather poor scheme for medical practice, but it is good to use “shot gun” tempo for most speeches, as it gives a variety. Tempo, like diet, is best when mixed. QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES 1. Define tempo. 2. What words come from the same root? 3. What is meant by a change of tempo? 4. What effects are gained by it? 5. Name three methods of destroying monotony and gaining force in speaking. 6. Note the changes of tempo in a conversation or speech that you hear. Were they well made? Why? Illustrate. 7. Read selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38, paying careful attention to change of tempo. 8. As a rule, excitement, joy, or intense anger take a fast tempo, while sorrow, and sentiments of great dignity or solemnity tend to a slow tempo. Try to deliver Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech (page 50), in a fast tempo, or Patrick Henry’s speech (page 110), in a slow tempo, and note how ridiculous the effect will be. Practise the following selections, noting carefully where the tempo may be changed to advantage. Experiment, making numerous changes. Which one do you like best? DEDICATION OF GETTYSBURG CEMETERY Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation—or any nation so conceived and so dedicated—can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who have given their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or to detract. The world will very little note nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us: that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. —ABRAHAM LINCOLN. A PLEA FOR CUBA [This deliberative oration was delivered by Senator Thurston in the United States Senate on March 24, 1898. It is recorded in full in the Congressional Record of that date. Mrs. Thurston died in Cuba. As a dying request she urged her husband, who was investigating affairs in the island, to do his utmost to induce the United States to intervene—hence this oration.] Mr. President, I am here by command of silent lips to speak once and for all upon the Cuban situation. I shall endeavor to be honest, conservative, and just. I have no purpose to stir the public passion to any action not necessary and imperative to meet the duties and necessities of American responsibility, Christian humanity, and national honor. I would shirk this task if I could, but I dare not. I cannot satisfy my conscience except by speaking, and speaking now. I went to Cuba firmly believing that the condition of affairs there had been greatly exaggerated by the press, and my own efforts were directed in the first instance to the attempted exposure of these supposed exaggerations. There has undoubtedly been much sensationalism in the journalism of the time, but as to the condition of affairs in Cuba, there has been no exaggeration, because exaggeration has been impossible. Under the inhuman policy of Weyler not less than four hundred thousand self-supporting, simple, peaceable, defenseless country people were driven from their homes in the agricultural portions of the Spanish provinces to the cities, and imprisoned upon the barren waste outside the residence portions of these cities and within the lines of intrenchment established a little way beyond. Their humble homes were burned, their fields laid waste, their implements of husbandry destroyed, their live stock and food supplies for the most part confiscated. Most of the people were old men, women, and children. They were thus placed in hopeless imprisonment, without shelter or food. There was no work for them in the cities to which they were driven. They were left with nothing to depend upon except the scanty charity of the inhabitants of the cities and with slow starvation their inevitable fate. . . . The pictures in the American newspapers of the starving reconcentrados are true. They can all be duplicated by the thousands. I never before saw, and please God I may never again see, so deplorable a sight as the reconcentrados in the suburbs of Matanzas. I can never forget to my dying day the hopeless anguish in their despairing eyes. Huddled about their little bark huts, they raised no voice of appeal to us for alms as we went among them. . . . Men, women, and children stand silent, famishing with hunger. Their only appeal comes from their sad eyes, through which one looks as through an open window into their agonizing souls. The government of Spain has not appropriated and will not appropriate one dollar to save these people. They are now being attended and nursed and administered to by the charity of the United States. Think of the spectacle! We are feeding these citizens of Spain; we are nursing their sick; we are saving such as can be saved, and yet there are those who still say it is right for us to send food, but we must keep hands off. I say that the time has come when muskets ought to go with the food. We asked the governor if he knew of any relief for these people except through the charity of the United States. He did not. We asked him, “When do you think the time will come that these people can be placed in a position of self-support?” He replied to us, with deep feeling, “Only the good God or the great government of the United States will answer that question.” I hope and believe that the good God by the great government of the United States will answer that question. I shall refer to these horrible things no further. They are there. God pity me, I have seen them; they will remain in my mind forever—and this is almost the twentieth century. Christ died nineteen hundred years ago, and Spain is a Christian nation. She has set up more crosses in more lands, beneath more skies, and under them has butchered more people than all the other nations of the earth combined. Europe may tolerate her existence as long as the people of the Old World wish. God grant that before another Christmas morning the last vestige of Spanish tyranny and oppression will have vanished from the Western Hemisphere! . . . The time for action has come. No greater reason for it can exist to-morrow than exists to-day. Every hour’s delay only adds another chapter to the awful story of misery and death. Only one power can intervene—the United States of America. Ours is the one great nation in the world, the mother of American republics. She holds a position of trust and responsibility toward the peoples and affairs of the whole Western Hemisphere. It was her glorious example which inspired the patriots of Cuba to raise the flag of liberty in her eternal hills. We cannot refuse to accept this responsibility which the God of the universe has placed upon us as the one great power in the New World. We must act! What shall our action be? Against the intervention of the United States in this holy cause there is but one voice of dissent; that voice is the voice of the money-changers. They fear war! Not because of any Christian or ennobling sentiment against war and in favor of peace, but because they fear that a declaration of war, or the intervention which might result in war, would have a depressing effect upon the stock market. Let them go. They do not represent American sentiment; they do not represent American patriotism. Let them take their chances as they can. Their weal or woe is of but little importance to the liberty-loving people of the United States. They will not do the fighting; their blood will not flow; they will keep on dealing in options on human life. Let the men whose loyalty is to the dollar stand aside while the men whose loyalty is to the flag come to the front. Mr. President, there is only one action possible, if any is taken; that is, intervention for the independence of the island. But we cannot intervene and save Cuba without the exercise of force, and force means war; war means blood. The lowly Nazarene on the shores of Galilee preached the divine doctrine of love, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Not peace on earth at the expense of liberty and humanity. Not good will toward men who despoil, enslave, degrade, and starve to death their fellow-men. I believe in the doctrine of Christ. I believe in the doctrine of peace; but, Mr. President, men must have liberty before there can come abiding peace. Intervention means force. Force means war. War means blood. But it will be God’s force. When has a battle for humanity and liberty ever been won except by force? What barricade of wrong, injustice, and oppression has ever been carried except by force? Force compelled the signature of unwilling royalty to the great Magna Charta; force put life into the Declaration of Independence and made effective the Emancipation Proclamation; force beat with naked hands upon the iron gateway of the Bastile and made reprisal in one awful hour for centuries of kingly crime; force waved the flag of revolution over Bunker Hill and marked the snows of Valley Forge with blood-stained feet; force held the broken line of Shiloh, climbed the flame-swept hill at Chattanooga, and stormed the clouds on Lookout Heights; force marched with Sherman to the sea, rode with Sheridan in the valley of the Shenandoah, and gave Grant victory at Appomattox; force saved the Union, kept the stars in the flag, made “niggers” men. The time for God’s force has come again. Let the impassioned lips of American patriots once more take up the song:— “In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on.” Others may hesitate, others may procrastinate, others may plead for further diplomatic negotiation, which means delay; but for me, I am ready to act now, and for my action I am ready to answer to my conscience, my country, and my God. —JAMES MELLEN THURSTON. CHAPTER XXX AFTER-DINNER AND OTHER OCCASIONAL SPEAKING The perception of the ludicrous is a pledge of sanity. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Essays. And let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak. —FRANCIS BACON, Essay on Civil and Moral Discourse. Perhaps the most brilliant, and certainly the most entertaining, of all speeches are those delivered on after-dinner and other special occasions. The air of well-fed content in the former, and of expectancy well primed in the latter, furnishes an audience which, though not readily won, is prepared for the best, while the speaker himself is pretty sure to have been chosen for his gifts of oratory. The first essential of good occasional speaking is to study the occasion. Precisely what is the object of the meeting? How important is the occasion to the audience? How large will the audience be? What sort of people are they? How large is the auditorium? Who selects the speakers’ themes? Who else is to speak? What are they to speak about? Precisely how long am I to speak? Who speaks before I do and who follows? If you want to hit the nail on the head ask such questions as these.1 No occasional address can succeed unless it fits the occasion to a T. Many prominent men have lost prestige because they were too careless or too busy or too self-confident to respect the occasion and the audience by learning the exact conditions under which they were to speak. Leaving too much to the moment is taking a long chance and generally means a less effective speech, if not a failure. Suitability is the big thing in an occasional speech. When Mark Twain addressed the Army of the Tennessee in reunion at Chicago, in 1877, he responded to the toast, “The Babies.” Two things in that after-dinner speech are remarkable: the bright introduction, by which he subtly claimed the interest of all, and the humorous use of military terms throughout: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: “The Babies.” Now, that’s something like. We haven’t all had the good fortune to be ladies; we have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground—for we’ve all been babies. It is a shame that for a thousand years the world’s banquets have utterly ignored the baby, as if he didn’t amount to anything! If you, gentlemen, will stop and think a minute—if you will go back fifty or a hundred years, to your early married life, and recontemplate your first baby—you will remember that he amounted to a good deal—and even something over. “As a vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not,” said Demosthenes, “so men are proved by their speeches whether they be wise or foolish.” Surely the occasional address furnishes a severe test of a speaker’s wisdom. To be trivial on a serious occasion, to be funereal at a banquet, to be long-winded ever—these are the marks of non-sense. Some imprudent souls seem to select the most friendly of after-dinner occasions for the explosion of a bomb-shell of dispute. Around the dinner table it is the custom of even political enemies to bury their hatchets anywhere rather than in some convenient skull. It is the height of bad taste to raise questions that in hours consecrated to good-will can only irritate. Occasional speeches offer good chances for humor, particularly the funny story, for humor with a genuine point is not trivial. But do not spin a whole skein of humorous yarns with no more connection than the inane and threadbare “And that reminds me.” An anecdote without bearing may be funny but one less funny that fits theme and occasion is far preferable. There is no way, short of sheer power of speech, that so surely leads to the heart of an audience as rich, appropriate humor. The scattered diners in a great banqueting hall, the after-dinner lethargy, the anxiety over approaching last-train time, the overfull list of over-full speakers—all throw out a challenge to the speaker to do his best to win an interested hearing. And when success does come it is usually due to a happy mixture of seriousness and humor, for humor alone rarely scores so heavily as the two combined, while the utterly grave speech never does on such occasions. If there is one place more than another where secondhand opinions and platitudes are unwelcome it is in the after-dinner speech. Whether you are toast-master or the last speaker to try to hold the waning crowd at midnight, be as original as you can. How is it possible to summarize the qualities that go to make up the good after-dinner speech, when we remember the inimitable serious-drollery of Mark Twain, the sweet southern eloquence of Henry W. Grady, the funereal gravity of the humorous Charles Battell Loomis, the charm of Henry Van Dyke, the geniality of F. Hopkinson Smith, and the all-round delightfulness of Chauncey M. Depew? America is literally rich in such gladsome speakers, who punctuate real sense with nonsense, and so make both effective. Commemorative occasions, unveilings, commencements, dedications, eulogies, and all the train of special public gatherings, offer rare opportunities for the display of tact and good sense in handling occasion, theme, and audience. When to be dignified and when colloquial, when to soar and when to ramble arm in arm with your hearers, when to flame and when to soothe, when to instruct and when to amuse—in a word, the whole matter of APPROPRIATENESS must constantly be in mind lest you write your speech on water. Finally, remember the beatitude: Blessed is the man that maketh short speeches, for he shall be invited to speak again. SELECTIONS FOR STUDY LAST DAYS OF THE CONFEDERACY (Extract) The Rapidan suggests another scene to which allusion has often been made since the war, but which, as illustrative also of the spirit of both armies, I may be permitted to recall in this connection. In the mellow twilight of an April day the two armies were holding their dress parades on the opposite hills bordering the river. At the close of the parade a magnificent brass band of the Union army played with great spirit the patriotic airs, “Hail Columbia,” and “Yankee Doodle.” Whereupon the Federal troops responded with a patriotic shout. The same band then played the soul-stirring strains of “Dixie,” to which a mighty response came from ten thousand Southern troops. A few moments later, when the stars had come out as witnesses and when all nature was in harmony, there came from the same band the old melody, “Home, Sweet Home.” As its familiar and pathetic notes rolled over the water and thrilled through the spirits of the soldiers, the hills reverberated with a thundering response from the united voices of both armies. What was there in this old, old music, to so touch the chords of sympathy, so thrill the spirits and cause the frames of brave men to tremble with emotion? It was the thought of home. To thousands, doubtless, it was the thought of that Eternal Home to which the next battle might be the gateway. To thousands of others it was the thought of their dear earthly homes, where loved ones at that twilight hour were bowing round the family altar, and asking God’s care over the absent soldier boy. —GENERAL J. B. GORDON, C. S. A. WELCOME TO KOSSUTH (Extract) Let me ask you to imagine that the contest, in which the United States asserted their independence of Great Britain, had been unsuccessful; that our armies, through treason or a league of tyrants against us, had been broken and scattered; that the great men who led them, and who swayed our councils—our Washington, our Franklin, and the venerable president of the American Congress—had been driven forth as exiles. If there had existed at that day, in any part of the civilized world, a powerful Republic, with institutions resting on the same foundations of liberty which our own countrymen sought to establish, would there have been in that Republic any hospitality too cordial, any sympathy too deep, any zeal for their glorious but unfortunate cause, too fervent or too active to be shown toward these illustrious fugitives? Gentlemen, the case I have supposed is before you. The Washingtons, the Franklins, the Hancocks of Hungary, driven out by a far worse tyranny than was ever endured here, are wanderers in foreign lands. Some of them have sought a refuge in our country—one sits with this company our guest to-night—and we must measure the duty we owe them by the same standard which we would have had history apply, if our ancestors had met with a fate like theirs. —WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. THE INFLUENCE OF UNIVERSITIES (Extract) When the excitement of party warfare presses dangerously near our national safeguards, I would have the intelligent conservatism of our universities and colleges warn the contestants in impressive tones against the perils of a breach impossible to repair. When popular discontent and passion are stimulated by the arts of designing partisans to a pitch perilously near to class hatred or sectional anger, I would have our universities and colleges sound the alarm in the name of American brotherhood and fraternal dependence. When the attempt is made to delude the people into the belief that their suffrages can change the operation of national laws, I would have our universities and colleges proclaim that those laws are inexorable and far removed from political control. When selfish interest seeks undue private benefits through governmental aid, and public places are claimed as rewards of party service, I would have our universities and colleges persuade the people to a relinquishment of the demand for party spoils and exhort them to a disinterested and patriotic love of their government, whose unperverted operation secures to every citizen his just share of the safety and prosperity it holds in store for all. I would have the influence of these institutions on the side of religion and morality. I would have those they send out among the people not ashamed to acknowledge God, and to proclaim His interposition in the affairs of men, enjoining such obedience to His laws as makes manifest the path of national perpetuity and prosperity—GROVER CLEVELAND, delivered at the Princeton Sesqui-Centennial, 1896. EULOGY OF GARFIELD (Extract) Great in life, he was surpassingly great in death. For no cause, in the very frenzy of wantonness and wickedness, by the red hand of murder, he was thrust from the full tide of this world’s interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, its victories, into the visible presence of death—and he did not quail. Not alone for the one short moment in which, stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through weeks of agony, that was not less agony because silently borne, with clear sight and calm courage, he looked into his open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes, whose lips may tell—what brilliant, broken plans, what baffled, high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, manhood’s friendships, what bitter rending of sweet household ties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation, a great host of sustaining friends, a cherished and happy mother, wearing the full rich honors of her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his; the little boys not yet emerged from childhood’s day of frolic; the fair young daughter; the sturdy sons just springing into closest companionship, claiming every day and every day rewarding a father’s love and care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing power to meet all demand. Before him, desolation and great darkness! And his soul was not shaken. His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound and universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he became the centre of a nation’s love, enshrined in the prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy could not share with him his suffering. He trod the wine press alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin’s bullet he heard the voice of God. With simple resignation he bowed to the Divine decree.—JAMES G. BLAINE, delivered at the memorial service held by the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives. EULOGY OF LEE (Extract) At the bottom of all true heroism is unselfishness. Its crowning expression is sacrifice. The world is suspicious of vaunted heroes. But when the true hero has come, and we know that here he is in verity, ah! how the hearts of men leap forth to greet him! how worshipfully we welcome God’s noblest work—the strong, honest, fearless, upright man. In Robert Lee was such a hero vouchsafed to us and to mankind, and whether we behold him declining command of the federal army to fight the battles and share the miseries of his own people; proclaiming on the heights in front of Gettysburg that the fault of the disaster was his own; leading charges in the crisis of combat; walking under the yoke of conquest without a murmur of complaint; or refusing fortune to come here and train the youth of his country in the paths of duty,—he is ever the same meek, grand, self-sacrificing spirit. Here he exhibited qualities not less worthy and heroic than those displayed on the broad and open theater of conflict, when the eyes of nations watched his every action. Here in the calm repose of civil and domestic duties, and in the trying routine of incessant tasks, he lived a life as high as when, day by day, he marshalled and led his thin and wasting lines, and slept by night upon the field that was to be drenched again in blood upon the morrow. And now he has vanished from us forever. And is this all that is left of him—this handful of dust beneath the marble stone? No! the ages answer as they rise from the gulfs of time, where lie the wrecks of kingdoms and estates, holding up in their hands as their only trophies, the names of those who have wrought for man in the love and fear of God, and in love-unfearing for their fellow-men. No! the present answers, bending by his tomb. No! the future answers as the breath of the morning fans its radiant brow, and its soul drinks in sweet inspirations from the lovely life of Lee. No! methinks the very heavens echo, as melt into their depths the words of reverent love that voice the hearts of men to the tingling stars. Come we then to-day in loyal love to sanctify our memories, to purify our hopes, to make strong all good intent by communion with the spirit of him who, being dead yet speaketh. Come, child, in thy spotless innocence; come, woman, in thy purity; come, youth, in thy prime; come, manhood, in thy strength; come, age, in thy ripe wisdom; come, citizen; come, soldier; let us strew the roses and lilies of June around his tomb, for he, like them, exhaled in his life Nature’s beneficence, and the grave has consecrated that life and given it to us all; let us crown his tomb with the oak, the emblem of his strength, and with the laurel, the emblem of his glory, and let these guns, whose voices he knew of old, awake the echoes of the mountains, that nature herself may join in his solemn requiem. Come, for here he rests, and On this green bank, by this fair stream, We set to-day a votive stone, That memory may his deeds redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone. —JOHN WARWICK DANIEL, on the unveiling of Lee’s statue at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1883. QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES 1. Why should humor find a place in after-dinner speaking? 2. Briefly give your impressions of any notable after-dinner address that you have heard. 3. Briefly outline an imaginary occasion of any sort and give three subjects appropriate for addresses. 4. Deliver one such address, not to exceed ten minutes in length. 5. What proportion of emotional ideas do you find in the extracts given in this chapter? 6. Humor was used in some of the foregoing addresses—in which others would it have been inappropriate? 7. Prepare and deliver an after-dinner speech suited to one of the following occasions, and be sure to use humor: A lodge banquet. A political party dinner. A church men’s club dinner. A civic association banquet. A banquet in honor of a celebrity. A woman’s club annual dinner. A business men’s association dinner. A manufacturers’ club dinner. An alumni banquet. An old home week barbecue. THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING CHAPTER XXXI MAKING CONVERSATION EFFECTIVE In conversation avoid the extremes of forwardness and reserve. —CATO. Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student. —EMERSON, Essays: Circles. The father of W. E. Gladstone considered conversation to be both an art and an accomplishment. Around the dinner table in his home some topic of local or national interest, or some debated question, was constantly being discussed. In this way a friendly rivalry for supremacy in conversation arose among the family, and an incident observed in the street, an idea gleaned from a book, a deduction from personal experience, was carefully stored as material for the family exchange. Thus his early years of practise in elegant conversation prepared the younger Gladstone for his career as a leader and speaker. There is a sense in which the ability to converse effectively is efficient public speaking, for our conversation is often heard by many, and occasionally decisions of great moment hinge upon the tone and quality of what we say in private. Indeed, conversation in the aggregate probably wields more power than press and platform combined. Socrates taught his great truths, not from public rostrums, but in personal converse. Men made pilgrimages to Goethe’s library and Coleridge’s home to be charmed and instructed by their speech, and the culture of many nations was immeasurably influenced by the thoughts that streamed out from those rich well-springs. Most of the world-moving speeches are made in the course of conversation. Conferences of diplomats, business-getting arguments, decisions by boards of directors, considerations of corporate policy, all of which influence the political, mercantile and economic maps of the world, are usually the results of careful though informal conversation, and the man whose opinions weigh in such crises is he who has first carefully pondered the words of both antagonist and protagonist. However important it may be to attain self-control in light social converse, or about the family table, it is undeniably vital to have oneself perfectly in hand while taking part in a momentous conference. Then the hints that we have given on poise, alertness, precision of word, clearness of statement, and force of utterance, with respect to public speech, are equally applicable to conversation. The form of nervous egotism—for it is both—that suddenly ends in flusters just when the vital words need to be uttered, is the sign of coming defeat, for a conversation is often a contest. If you feel this tendency embarrassing you, be sure to listen to Holmes’s advice: And when you stick on conversational burs, Don’t strew your pathway with those dreadful urs. Here bring your will into action, for your trouble is a wandering attention. You must force your mind to persist along the chosen line of conversation and resolutely refuse to be diverted by any subject or happening that may unexpectedly pop up to distract you. To fail here is to lose effectiveness utterly. Concentration is the keynote of conversational charm and efficiency. The haphazard habit of expression that uses bird-shot when a bullet is needed insures missing the game, for diplomacy of all sorts rests upon the precise application of precise words, particularly—if one may paraphrase Tallyrand—in those crises when language is no longer used to conceal thought. We may frequently gain new light on old subjects by looking at word-derivations. Conversation signifies in the original a turn-about exchange of ideas, yet most people seem to regard it as a monologue. Bronson Alcott used to say that many could argue, but few converse. The first thing to remember in conversation, then, is that listening—respectful, sympathetic, alert listening—is not only due to our fellow converser but due to ourselves. Many a reply loses its point because the speaker is so much interested in what he is about to say that it is really no reply at all but merely an irritating and humiliating irrelevancy. Self-expression is exhilarating. This explains the eternal impulse to decorate totem poles and paint pictures, write poetry and expound philosophy. One of the chief delights of conversation is the opportunity it affords for self-expression. A good conversationalist who monopolizes all the conversation, will be voted a bore because he denies others the enjoyment of self-expression, while a mediocre talker who listens interestedly may be considered a good conversationalist because he permits his companions to please themselves through self-expression. They are praised who please: they please who listen well. The first step in remedying habits of confusion in manner, awkward bearing, vagueness in thought, and lack of precision in utterance, is to recognize your faults. If you are serenely unconscious of them, no one—least of all yourself—can help you. But once diagnose your own weaknesses, and you can overcome them by doing four things: 1. WILL to overcome them, and keep on willing. 2. Hold yourself in hand by assuring yourself that you know precisely what you ought to say. If you cannot do that, be quiet until you are clear on this vital point. 3. Having thus assured yourself, cast out the fear of those who listen to you—they are only human and will respect your words if you really have something to say and say it briefly, simply, and clearly. 4. Have the courage to study the English language until you are master of at least its simpler forms. Conversational Hints Choose some subject that will prove of general interest to the whole group. Do not explain the mechanism of a gas engine at an afternoon tea or the culture of hollyhocks at a stag party. It is not considered good taste for a man to bare his arm in public and show scars or deformities. It is equally bad form for him to flaunt his own woes, or the deformity of some one else’s character. The public demands plays and stories that end happily. All the world is seeking happiness. They cannot long be interested in your ills and troubles. George Cohan made himself a millionaire before he was thirty by writing cheerful plays. One of his rules is generally applicable to conversation: “Always leave them laughing when you say good bye.” Dynamite the “I” out of your conversation. Not one man in nine hundred and seven can talk about himself without being a bore. The man who can perform that feat can achieve marvels without talking about himself, so the eternal “I” is not permissible even in his talk. If you habitually build your conversation around your own interests it may prove very tiresome to your listener. He may be thinking of bird dogs or dry fly fishing while you are discussing the fourth dimension, or the merits of a cucumber lotion. The charming conversationalist is prepared to talk in terms of his listener’s interest. If his listener spends his spare time investigating Guernsey cattle or agitating social reforms, the discriminating conversationalist shapes his remarks accordingly. Richard Washburn Child says he knows a man of mediocre ability who can charm men much abler than himself when he discusses electric lighting. This same man probably would bore, and be bored, if he were forced to converse about music or Madagascar. Avoid platitudes and hackneyed phrases. If you meet a friend from Keokuk on State Street or on Pike’s Peak, it is not necessary to observe: “How small this world is after all!” This observation was doubtless made prior to the formation of Pike’s Peak. “This old world is getting better every day.” “Farmer’s wives do not have to work as hard as formerly.” “It is not so much the high cost of living as the cost of high living.” Such observations as these excite about the same degree of admiration as is drawn out by the appearance of a 1903-model touring car. If you have nothing fresh or interesting you can always remain silent. How would you like to read a newspaper that flashed out in bold headlines “Nice Weather We Are Having,” or daily gave columns to the same old material you had been reading week after week? QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES 1. Give a short speech describing the conversational bore. 2. In a few words give your idea of a charming converser. 3. What qualities of the orator should not be used in conversation. 4. Give a short humorous delineation of the conversational “oracle.” 5. Give an account of your first day at observing conversation around you. 6. Give an account of one day’s effort to improve your own conversation. 7. Give a list of subjects you heard discussed during any recent period you may select. 8. What is meant by “elastic touch” in conversation? 9. Make a list of “Bromides,” as Gellett Burgess calls those threadbare expressions which “bore us to extinction”—itself a Bromide. 10. What causes a phrase to become hackneyed? 11. Define the words, (a) trite; (b) solecism; (c) colloquialism; (d) slang; (e) vulgarism; (f) neologism. 12. What constitutes pretentious talk? Table of Contents THINGS TO THINK OF FIRST—A FOREWORD CHAPTER I—ACQUIRING CONFIDENCE BEFORE AN AUDIENCE CHAPTER II—THE SIN OF MONOTONY CHAPTER III—EFFICIENCY THROUGH EMPHASIS AND SUBORDINATION CHAPTER IV—EFFICIENCY THROUGH CHANGE OF PITCH CHAPTER V—EFFICIENCY THROUGH CHANGE OF PACE CHAPTER VI—PAUSE AND POWER CHAPTER VII—EFFICIENCY THROUGH INFLECTION CHAPTER VIII—CONCENTRATION IN DELIVERY CHAPTER IX—FORCE CHAPTER X—FEELING AND ENTHUSIASM CHAPTER XI—FLUENCY THROUGH PREPARATION CHAPTER XII—THE VOICE CHAPTER XIII—VOICE CHARM CHAPTER XIV—DISTINCTNESS AND PRECISION OF UTTERANCE CHAPTER XV—THE TRUTH ABOUT GESTURE CHAPTER XVI—METHODS OF DELIVERY CHAPTER XVII—THOUGHT AND RESERVE POWER CHAPTER XVIII—SUBJECT AND PREPARATION CHAPTER XIX—INFLUENCING BY EXPOSITION CHAPTER XX—INFLUENCING BY DESCRIPTION CHAPTER XXI—INFLUENCING BY NARRATION CHAPTER XXII—INFLUENCING BY SUGGESTION CHAPTER XXIII—INFLUENCING BY ARGUMENT CHAPTER XXIV—INFLUENCING BY PERSUASION CHAPTER XXV—INFLUENCING THE CROWD CHAPTER XXVI—RIDING THE WINGED HORSE CHAPTER XXVII—GROWING A VOCABULARY CHAPTER XXVIII—MEMORY TRAINING CHAPTER XXIX—RIGHT THINKING AND PERSONALITY CHAPTER XXX—AFTER-DINNER AND OTHER OCCASIONAL SPEAKING CHAPTER XXXI—MAKING CONVERSATION EFFECTIVE APPENDIX A—FIFTY QUESTIONS FOR DEBATE APPENDIX B—THIRTY THEMES FOR SPEECHES, WITH SOURCE-REFERENCES APPENDIX C—SUGGESTIVE SUBJECTS FOR SPEECHES; HINTS FOR TREATMENT APPENDIX D—SPEECHES FOR STUDY AND PRACTISE GENERAL INDEX CHAPTER XIX INFLUENCING BY EXPOSITION Speak not at all, in any wise, till you have somewhat to speak; care not for the reward of your speaking, but simply and with undivided mind for the truth of your speaking. —THOMAS CARLYLE, Essay on Biography. A complete discussion of the rhetorical structure of public speeches requires a fuller treatise than can be undertaken in a work of this nature, yet in this chapter, and in the succeeding ones on “Description,” “Narration,” “Argument,” and “Pleading,” the underlying principles are given and explained as fully as need be for a working knowledge, and adequate book references are given for those who would perfect themselves in rhetorical art. The Nature of Exposition In the word “expose”—to lay bare, to uncover, to show the true inwardness of—we see the foundation-idea of “Exposition.” It is the clear and precise setting forth of what the subject really is—it is explanation. Exposition does not draw a picture, for that would be description. To tell in exact terms what the automobile is, to name its characteristic parts and explain their workings, would be exposition; so would an explanation of the nature of “fear.” But to create a mental image of a particular automobile, with its glistening body, graceful lines, and great speed, would be description; and so would a picturing of fear acting on the emotions of a child at night. Exposition and description often intermingle and overlap, but fundamentally they are distinct. Their differences will be touched upon again in the chapter on “Description.” Exposition furthermore does not include an account of how events happened—that is narration. When Peary lectured on his polar discoveries he explained the instruments used for determining latitude and longitude—that was exposition. In picturing his equipment he used description. In telling of his adventures day by day he employed narration. In supporting some of his contentions he used argument. Yet he mingled all these forms throughout the lecture. Neither does exposition deal with reasons and inferences—that is the field of argument. A series of connected statements intended to convince a prospective buyer that one automobile is better than another, or proofs that the appeal to fear is a wrong method of discipline, would not be exposition. The plain facts as set forth in expository speaking or writing are nearly always the basis of argument, yet the processes are not one. True, the statement of a single significant fact without the addition of one other word may be convincing, but a moment’s thought will show that the inference, which completes a chain of reasoning, is made in the mind of the hearer and presupposes other facts held in consideration.1 In like manner, it is obvious that the field of persuasion is not open to exposition, for exposition is entirely an intellectual process, with no emotional element. The Importance of Exposition The importance of exposition in public speech is precisely the importance of setting forth a matter so plainly that it cannot be misunderstood. “To master the process of exposition is to become a clear thinker. ‘I know, when you do not ask me,’1 replied a gentleman upon being requested to define a highly complex idea. Now some large concepts defy explicit definition; but no mind should take refuge behind such exceptions, for where definition fails, other forms succeed. Sometimes we feel confident that we have perfect mastery of an idea, but when the time comes to express it, the clearness becomes a haze. Exposition, then, is the test of clear understanding. To speak effectively you must be able to see your subject clearly and comprehensively, and to make your audience see it as you do.”2 There are pitfalls on both sides of this path. To explain too little will leave your audience in doubt as to what you mean. It is useless to argue a question if it is not perfectly clear just what is meant by the question. Have you never come to a blind lane in conversation by finding that you were talking of one aspect of a matter while your friend was thinking of another? If two do not agree in their definitions of a Musician, it is useless to dispute over a certain man’s right to claim the title. On the other side of the path lies the abyss of tediously explaining too much. That offends because it impresses the hearers that you either do not respect their intelligence or are trying to blow a breeze into a tornado. Carefully estimate the probable knowledge of your audience, both in general and of the particular point you are explaining. In trying to simplify, it is fatal to “sillify.” To explain more than is needed for the purposes of your argument or appeal is to waste energy all around. In your efforts to be explicit do not press exposition to the extent of dulness—the confines are not far distant and you may arrive before you know it. Some Purposes of Exposition From what has been said it ought to be clear that, primarily, exposition weaves a cord of understanding between you and your audience. It lays, furthermore, a foundation of fact on which to build later statements, arguments, and appeals. In scientific and purely “information” speeches exposition may exist by itself and for itself, as in a lecture on biology, or on psychology; but in the vast majority of cases it is used to accompany and prepare the way for the other forms of discourse. Clearness, precision, accuracy, unity, truth, and necessity—these must be the constant standards by which you test the efficiency of your expositions, and, indeed, that of every explanatory statement. This dictum should be written on your brain in letters most plain. And let this apply not alone to the purposes of exposition but in equal measure to your use of the Methods of Exposition The various ways along which a speaker may proceed in exposition are likely to touch each other now and then, and even when they do not meet and actually overlap, they run so nearly parallel that the roads are sometimes distinct rather in theory than in any more practical respect. Definition, the primary expository method, is a statement of precise limits.1 Obviously, here the greatest care must be exercised that the terms of definition should not themselves demand too much definition; that the language should be concise and clear; and that the definition should neither exclude nor include too much. The following is a simple example: To expound is to set forth the nature, the significance, the characteristics, and the bearing of an idea or a group of ideas. —ARLO BATES, Talks on Writing English. Contrast and Antithesis are often used effectively to amplify definition, as in this sentence, which immediately follows the above-cited definition: Exposition therefore differs from Description in that it deals directly with the meaning or intent of its subject instead of with its appearance. This antithesis forms an expansion of the definition, and as such it might have been still further extended. In fact, this is a frequent practise in public speech, where the minds of the hearers often ask for reiteration and expanded statement to help them grasp a subject in its several aspects. This is the very heart of exposition—to amplify and clarify all the terms by which a matter is defined. Example is another method of amplifying a definition or of expounding an idea more fully. The following sentences immediately succeed Mr. Bates’s definition and contrast just quoted: A good deal which we are accustomed inexactly to call description is really exposition. Suppose that your small boy wishes to know how an engine works, and should say: “Please describe the steam-engine to me.” If you insist on taking his words literally—and are willing to run the risk of his indignation at being wilfully misunderstood—you will to the best of your ability picture to him this familiarly wonderful machine. If you explain it to him, you are not describing but expounding it. The chief value of example is that it makes clear the unknown by referring the mind to the known. Readiness of mind to make illuminating, apt comparisons for the sake of clearness is one of the speaker’s chief resources on the platform—it is the greatest of all teaching gifts. It is a gift, moreover, that responds to cultivation. Read the three extracts from Arlo Bates as their author delivered them, as one passage, and see how they melt into one, each part supplementing the other most helpfully. Analogy, which calls attention to similar relationships in objects not otherwise similar, is one of the most useful methods of exposition. The following striking specimen is from Beecher’s Liverpool speech: A savage is a man of one story, and that one story a cellar. When a man begins to be civilized he raises another story. When you christianize and civilize the man, you put story upon story, for you develop faculty after faculty; and you have to supply every story with your productions. Discarding is a less common form of platform explanation. It consists in clearing away associated ideas so that the attention may be centered on the main thought to be discussed. Really, it is a negative factor in exposition, though a most important one, for it is fundamental to the consideration of an intricately related matter that subordinate and side questions should be set aside in order to bring out the main issue. Here is an example of the method: I cannot allow myself to be led aside from the only issue before this jury. It is not pertinent to consider that this prisoner is the husband of a heartbroken woman and that his babes will go through the world under the shadow of the law’s extremest penalty worked upon their father. We must forget the venerable father and the mother whom Heaven in pity took before she learned of her son’s disgrace. What have these matters of heart, what have the blenched faces of his friends, what have the prisoner’s long and honorable career to say before this bar when you are sworn to weigh only the direct evidence before you? The one and only question for you to decide on the evidence is whether this man did with revengeful intent commit the murder that every impartial witness has solemnly laid at his door. Classification assigns a subject to its class. By an allowable extension of the definition it may be said to assign it also to its order, genus, and species. Classification is useful in public speech in narrowing the issue to a desired phase. It is equally valuable for showing a thing in its relation to other things, or in correlation. Classification is closely akin to Definition and Division. This question of the liquor traffic, sirs, takes its place beside the grave moral issues of all times. Whatever be its economic significance—and who is there to question it—whatever vital bearing it has upon our political system—and is there one who will deny it?—the question of the licensed saloon must quickly be settled as the world in its advancement has settled the questions of constitutional government for the masses, of the opium traffic, of the serf, and of the slave—not as matters of economic and political expediency but as questions of right and wrong. Analysis separates a subject into its essential parts. This it may do by various principles; for example, analysis may follow the order of time (geologic eras), order of place (geographic facts), logical order (a sermon outline), order of increasing interest, or procession to a climax (a lecture on 20th century poets); and so on. A classic example of analytical exposition is the following: In philosophy the contemplations of man do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferred to nature, or are reflected or reverted upon himself. Out of which several inquiries there do arise three knowledges: divine philosophy, natural philosophy, and human philosophy or humanity. For all things are marked and stamped with this triple character, of the power of God, the difference of nature, and the use of man. —LORD BACON, The Advancement of Learning.1 Division differs only from analysis in that analysis follows the inherent divisions of a subject, as illustrated in the foregoing passage, while division arbitrarily separates the subject for convenience of treatment, as in the following none-too-logical example: For civil history, it is of three kinds; not unfitly to be compared with the three kinds of pictures or images. For of pictures or images, we see some are unfinished, some are perfect, and some are defaced. So of histories we may find three kinds, memorials, perfect histories, and antiquities; for memorials are history unfinished, or the first or rough drafts of history; and antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time. —LORD BACON, The Advancement of Learning.1 Generalization states a broad principle, or a general truth, derived from examination of a considerable number of individual facts. This synthetic exposition is not the same as argumentative generalization, which supports a general contention by citing instances in proof. Observe how Holmes begins with one fact, and by adding another and another reaches a complete whole. This is one of the most effective devices in the public speaker’s repertory. Take a hollow cylinder, the bottom closed while the top remains open, and pour in water to the height of a few inches. Next cover the water with a flat plate or piston, which fits the interior of the cylinder perfectly; then apply heat to the water, and we shall witness the following phenomena. After the lapse of some minutes the water will begin to boil, and the steam accumulating at the upper surface will make room for itself by raising the piston slightly. As the boiling continues, more and more steam will be formed, and raise the piston higher and higher, till all the water is boiled away, and nothing but steam is left in the cylinder. Now this machine, consisting of cylinder, piston, water, and fire, is the steam-engine in its most elementary form. For a steam-engine may be defined as an apparatus for doing work by means of heat applied to water; and since raising such a weight as the piston is a form of doing work, this apparatus, clumsy and inconvenient though it may be, answers the definition precisely.2 Reference to Experience is one of the most vital principles in exposition—as in every other form of discourse. “Reference to experience, as here used, means reference to the known. The known is that which the listener has seen, heard, read, felt, believed or done, and which still exists in his consciousness—his stock of knowledge. It embraces all those thoughts, feelings and happenings which are to him real. Reference to Experience, then, means coming into the listener’s life.1 The vast results obtained by science are won by no mystical faculties, by no mental processes, other than those which are practised by every one of us in the humblest and meanest affairs of life. A detective policeman discovers a burglar from the marks made by his shoe, by a mental process identical with that by which Cuvier restored the extinct animals of Montmartre from fragments of their bones. Nor does that process of induction and deduction by which a lady, finding a stain of a particular kind upon her dress, concludes that somebody has upset the inkstand thereon, differ in any way from that by which Adams and Leverrier discovered a new planet. The man of science, in fact, simply uses with scrupulous exactness the methods which we all habitually, and at every moment, use carelessly. —THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY, Lay Sermons. Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an increasing belly? is not your voice broken? your wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and every part about you blasted with antiquity? and will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John! —SHAKESPEARE, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Finally, in preparing expository material ask yourself these questions regarding your subject: What is it, and what is it not? What is it like, and unlike? What are its causes, and effects? How shall it be divided? With what subjects is it correlated? What experiences does it recall? What examples illustrate it? QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES 1. What would be the effect of adhering to any one of the forms of discourse in a public address? 2. Have you ever heard such an address? 3. Invent a series of examples illustrative of the distinctions made on pages 232 and 233. 4. Make a list of ten subjects that might be treated largely, if not entirely, by exposition. 5. Name the six standards by which expository writing should be tried. 6. Define any one of the following: (a) storage battery; (b) “a free hand;” (c) sail boat; (d) “The Big Stick;” (e) nonsense; (f) “a good sport;” (g) short-story; (h) novel; (i) newspaper; (j) politician; (k) jealousy; (l) truth; (m) matinée girl; (n) college honor system; (o) modish; (p) slum; (q) settlement work; (r) forensic. 7. Amplify the definition by antithesis. 8. Invent two examples to illustrate the definition (question 6). 9. Invent two analogies for the same subject (question 6). 10. Make a short speech based on one of the following: (a) wages and salary; (b) master and man; (c) war and peace; (d) home and the boarding house; (e) struggle and victory; (f) ignorance and ambition. 11. Make a ten-minute speech on any of the topics named in question 6, using all the methods of exposition already named. 12. Explain what is meant by discarding topics collateral and subordinate to a subject. 13. Rewrite the jury-speech on page 224. 14. Define correlation. 15. Write an example of “classification,” on any political, social, economic, or moral issue of the day. 16. Make a brief analytical statement of Henry W. Grady’s “The Race Problem,” page 36. 17. By what analytical principle did you proceed? (See page 225.) 18. Write a short, carefully generalized speech from a large amount of data on one of the following subjects: (a) The servant girl problem; (b) cats; (c) the baseball craze; (d) reform administrations; (e) sewing societies; (f) coeducation; (g) the traveling salesman. 19. Observe this passage from Newton’s “Effective Speaking:” “That man is a cynic. He sees goodness nowhere. He sneers at virtue, sneers at love; to him the maiden plighting her troth is an artful schemer, and he sees even in the mother’s kiss nothing but an empty conventionality.” Write, commit and deliver two similar passages based on your choice from this list: (a) “the egotist;” (b) “the sensualist;” (c) “the hypocrite;” (d) “the timid man;” (e) “the joker;” (f) “the flirt;” (g) “the ungrateful woman;” (h) “the mournful man.” In both cases use the principle of “Reference to Experience.” 20. Write a passage on any of the foregoing characters in imitation of the style of Shakespeare’s characterization of Sir John Falstaff, page 227. 1 Argumentation will be outlined fully in a subsequent chapter. 1 The Working Principals of Rhetoric, J. F. Genung. 2 How to Attract and Hold an Audience, J. Barg Esenwein. 1 On the various types of definition see any college manual of Rhetoric. 1 Quoted in The Working Principles of Rhetoric, J. F. Genung. 1 Quoted in The Working Principles of Rhetoric, J. F. Genung. 2 G. C. V. Holmes, quoted in Specimens of Exposition, H. Lamont. 1 Effective Speaking, Arthur Edward Phillips. This work covers the preparation of public speech in a very helpful way. CHAPTER X FEELING AND ENTHUSIASM Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit that hovers over the production of genius. —ISAAC DISRAELI, Literary Character. If you are addressing a body of scientists on such a subject as the veins in a butterfly’s wings, or on road structure, naturally your theme will not arouse much feeling in either you or your audience. These are purely mental subjects. But if you want men to vote for a measure that will abolish child labor, or if you would inspire them to take up arms for freedom, you must strike straight at their feelings. We lie on soft beds, sit near the radiator on a cold day, eat cherry pie, and devote our attention to one of the opposite sex, not because we have reasoned out that it is the right thing to do, but because it feels right. No one but a dyspeptic chooses his diet from a chart. Our feelings dictate what we shall eat and generally how we shall act. Man is a feeling animal, hence the public speaker’s ability to arouse men to action depends almost wholly on his ability to touch their emotions. Negro mothers on the auction-block seeing their children sold away from them into slavery have flamed out some of America’s most stirring speeches. True, the mother did not have any knowledge of the technique of speaking, but she had something greater than all technique, more effective than reason: feeling. The great speeches of the world have not been delivered on tariff reductions or post-office appropriations. The speeches that will live have been charged with emotional force. Prosperity and peace are poor developers of eloquence. When great wrongs are to be righted, when the public heart is flaming with passion, that is the occasion for memorable speaking. Patrick Henry made an immortal address, for in an epochal crisis he pleaded for liberty. He had roused himself to the point where he could honestly and passionately exclaim, “Give me liberty or give me death.” His fame would have been different had he lived to-day and argued for the recall of judges. The Power of Enthusiasm Political parties hire bands, and pay for applause—they argue that, for vote-getting, to stir up enthusiasm is more effective than reasoning. How far they are right depends on the hearers, but there can be no doubt about the contagious nature of enthusiasm. A watch manufacturer in New York tried out two series of watch advertisements; one argued the superior construction, workmanship, durability, and guarantee offered with the watch; the other was headed, “A Watch to be Proud of,” and dwelt upon the pleasure and pride of ownership. The latter series sold twice as many as the former. A salesman for a locomotive works informed the writer that in selling railroad engines emotional appeal was stronger than an argument based on mechanical excellence. Illustrations without number might be cited to show that in all our actions we are emotional beings. The speaker who would speak efficiently must develop the power to arouse feeling. Webster, great debater that he was, knew that the real secret of a speaker’s power was an emotional one. He eloquently says of eloquence: “Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire after it; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreak of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force. “The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country hang on the decision of the hour. Then words have lost their power, rhetoric is in vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities. Then patriotism is eloquent, then self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception outrunning the deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his subject—this, this is eloquence; or rather, it is something greater and higher than all eloquence; it is action, noble, sublime, godlike action.” When traveling through the Northwest some time ago, one of the present writers strolled up a village street after dinner and noticed a crowd listening to a “faker” speaking on a corner from a goods-box. Remembering Emerson’s advice about learning something from every man we meet, the observer stopped to listen to this speaker’s appeal. He was selling a hair tonic, which he claimed to have discovered in Arizona. He removed his hat to show what this remedy had done for him, washed his face in it to demonstrate that it was as harmless as water, and enlarged on its merits in such an enthusiastic manner that the half-dollars poured in on him in a silver flood. When he had supplied the audience with hair tonic, he asked why a greater proportion of men than women were bald. No one knew. He explained that it was because women wore thinner-soled shoes, and so made a good electrical connection with mother earth, while men wore thick, dry-soled shoes that did not transmit the earth’s electricity to the body. Men’s hair, not having a proper amount of electrical food, died and fell out. Of course he had a remedy—a little copper plate that should be nailed on the bottom of the shoe. He pictured in enthusiastic and vivid terms the desirability of escaping baldness—and paid tributes to his copper plates. Strange as it may seem when the story is told in cold print, the speaker’s enthusiasm had swept his audience with him, and they crushed around his stand with outstretched “quarters” in their anxiety to be the possessors of these magical plates! Emerson’s suggestion had been well taken—the observer had seen again the wonderful, persuasive power of enthusiasm! Enthusiasm sent millions crusading into the Holy Land to redeem it from the Saracens. Enthusiasm plunged Europe into a thirty years’ war over religion. Enthusiasm sent three small ships plying the unknown sea to the shores of a new world. When Napoleon’s army were worn out and discouraged in their ascent of the Alps, the Little Corporal stopped them and ordered the bands to play the Marseillaise. Under its soul-stirring strains there were no Alps. Listen! Emerson said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Carlyle declared that “Every great movement in the annals of history has been the triumph of enthusiasm.” It is as contagious as measles. Eloquence is half inspiration. Sweep your audience with you in a pulsation of enthusiasm. Let yourself go. “A man,” said Oliver Cromwell, “never rises so high as when he knows not whither he is going.” How are We to Acquire and Develop Enthusiasm? It is not to be slipped on like a smoking jacket. A book cannot furnish you with it. It is a growth—an effect. But an effect of what? Let us see. Emerson wrote: “A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of his form merely,—but, by watching for a time his motion and plays, the painter enters his nature, and then can draw him at will in every attitude. So Roos ‘entered into the inmost nature of his sheep.’ I knew a draughtsman employed in a public survey, who found that he could not sketch the rocks until their geological structure was first explained to him.” When Sarah Bernhardt plays a difficult rôle she frequently will speak to no one from four o’clock in the afternoon until after the performance. From the hour of four she lives her character. Booth, it is reported, would not permit anyone to speak to him between the acts of his Shakesperean rôles, for he was Macbeth then—not Booth. Dante, exiled from his beloved Florence, condemned to death, lived in caves, half starved; then Dante wrote out his heart in “The Divine Comedy.” Bunyan entered into the spirit of his “Pilgrim’s Progress” so thoroughly that he fell down on the floor of Bedford jail and wept for joy. Turner, who lived in a garret, arose before daybreak and walked over the hills nine miles to see the sun rise on the ocean, that he might catch the spirit of its wonderful beauty. Wendell Phillips’ sentences were full of “silent lightning” because he bore in his heart the sorrow of five million slaves. There is only one way to get feeling into your speaking—and whatever else you forget, forget not this: You must actually ENTER INTO the character you impersonate, the cause you advocate, the case you argue—enter into it so deeply that it clothes you, enthralls you, possesses you wholly. Then you are, in the true meaning of the word, in sympathy with your subject, for its feeling is your feeling, you “feel with” it, and therefore your enthusiasm is both genuine and contagious. The Carpenter who spoke as “never man spake” uttered words born out of a passion of love for humanity—he had entered into humanity, and thus became Man. But we must not look upon the foregoing words as a facile prescription for decocting a feeling which may then be ladled out to a complacent audience in quantities to suit the need of the moment. Genuine feeling in a speech is bone and blood of the speech itself and not something that may be added to it or substracted at will. In the ideal address theme, speaker and audience become one, fused by the emotion and thought of the hour. The Need of Sympathy for Humanity It is impossible to lay too much stress on the necessity for the speaker’s having a broad and deep tenderness for human nature. One of Victor Hugo’s biographers attributes his power as an orator and writer to his wide sympathies and profound religious feelings. Recently we heard the editor of Collier’s Weekly speak on short-story writing, and he so often emphasized the necessity for this broad love for humanity, this truly religious feeling, that he apologized twice for delivering a sermon. Few if any of the immortal speeches were ever delivered for a selfish or a narrow cause—they were born out of a passionate desire to help humanity; instances, Paul’s address to the Athenians on Mars Hill, Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech, The Sermon on the Mount, Henry’s address before the Virginia Convention of Delegates. The seal and sign of greatness is a desire to serve others. Self-preservation is the first law of life, but self-abnegation is the first law of greatness—and of art. Selfishness is the fundamental cause of all sin, it is the thing that all great religions, all worthy philosophies, have struck at. Out of a heart of real sympathy and love come the speeches that move humanity. Former United States Senator Albert J. Beveridge in an introduction to one of the volumes of “Modern Eloquence,” says: “The profoundest feeling among the masses, the most influential element in their character, is the religious element. It is as instinctive and elemental as the law of self-preservation. It informs the whole intellect and personality of the people. And he who would greatly influence the people by uttering their unformed thoughts must have this great and unanalyzable bond of sympathy with them.” When the men of Ulster armed themselves to oppose the passage of the Home Rule Act, one of the present writers assigned to a hundred men “Home Rule” as the topic for an address to be prepared by each. Among this group were some brilliant speakers, several of them experienced lawyers and political campaigners. Some of their addresses showed a remarkable knowledge and grasp of the subject; others were clothed in the most attractive phrases. But a clerk, without a great deal of education and experience, arose and told how he spent his boyhood days in Ulster, how his mother while holding him on her lap had pictured to him Ulster’s deeds of valor. He spoke of a picture in his uncle’s home that showed the men of Ulster conquering a tyrant and marching on to victory. His voice quivered, and with a hand pointing upward he declared that if the men of Ulster went to war they would not go alone—a great God would go with them. The speech thrilled and electrified the audience. It thrills yet as we recall it. The high-sounding phrases, the historical knowledge, the philosophical treatment, of the other speakers largely failed to arouse any deep interest, while the genuine conviction and feeling of the modest clerk, speaking on a subject that lay deep in his heart, not only electrified his audience but won their personal sympathy for the cause he advocated. As Webster said, it is of no use to try to pretend to sympathy or feelings. It cannot be done successfully. “Nature is forever putting a premium on reality.” What is false is soon detected as such. The thoughts and feelings that create and mould the speech in the study must be born again when the speech is delivered from the platform. Do not let your words say one thing, and your voice and attitude another. There is no room here for half-hearted, nonchalant methods of delivery. Sincerity is the very soul of eloquence. Carlyle was right: “No Mirabeau, Napoleon, Burns, Cromwell, no ma