The Art of Public Speaking

The Art of Public Speaking















Copyright 1915





Table of Contents
THINGS TO THINK OF FIRST--A FOREWORD                           IX
CHAPTER II--THE SIN OF MONOTONY                                10
CHAPTER VI--PAUSE AND POWER                                    55
CHAPTER IX--FORCE                                              87
CHAPTER X--FEELING AND ENTHUSIASM                             101
CHAPTER XII--THE VOICE                                        125
CHAPTER XIII--VOICE CHARM                                     134
CHAPTER XV--THE TRUTH ABOUT GESTURE                           156
CHAPTER XVI--METHODS OF DELIVERY                              171
CHAPTER XXI--INFLUENCING BY NARRATION                         249
CHAPTER XXV--INFLUENCING THE CROWD                            308
CHAPTER XXVI--RIDING THE WINGED HORSE                         321
CHAPTER XXVII--GROWING A VOCABULARY                           334
CHAPTER XXVIII--MEMORY TRAINING                               343



=Things to Think of First=


The efficiency of a book is like that of a man, in one important
respect: its attitude toward its subject is the first source of its
power. A book may be full of good ideas well expressed, but if its
writer views his subject from the wrong angle even his excellent advice
may prove to be ineffective.

This book stands or falls by its authors' attitude toward its subject.
If the best way to teach oneself or others to speak effectively in
public is to fill the mind with rules, and to set up fixed standards for
the interpretation of thought, the utterance of language, the making of
gestures, and all the rest, then this book will be limited in value to
such stray ideas throughout its pages as may prove helpful to the
reader--as an effort to enforce a group of principles it must be
reckoned a failure, because it is then untrue.

It is of some importance, therefore, to those who take up this volume
with open mind that they should see clearly at the out-start what is the
thought that at once underlies and is builded through this structure. In
plain words it is this:

Training in public speaking is not a matter of externals--primarily; it
is not a matter of imitation--fundamentally; it is not a matter of
conformity to standards--at all. Public speaking is public utterance,
public issuance, of the man himself; therefore the first thing both in
time and in importance is that the man should be and think and feel
things that are worthy of being given forth. Unless there be something
of value within, no tricks of training can ever make of the talker
anything more than a machine--albeit a highly perfected machine--for the
delivery of other men's goods. So self-development is fundamental in our

The second principle lies close to the first: The man must enthrone his
will to rule over his thought, his feelings, and all his physical
powers, so that the outer self may give perfect, unhampered expression
to the inner. It is futile, we assert, to lay down systems of rules for
voice culture, intonation, gesture, and what not, unless these two
principles of having something to say and making the will sovereign have
at least begun to make themselves felt in the life.

The third principle will, we surmise, arouse no dispute: No one can
learn _how_ to speak who does not first speak as best he can. That may
seem like a vicious circle in statement, but it will bear examination.

Many teachers have begun with the _how_. Vain effort! It is an ancient
truism that we learn to do by doing. The first thing for the beginner in
public speaking is to speak--not to study voice and gesture and the
rest. Once he has spoken he can improve himself by self-observation or
according to the criticisms of those who hear.

But how shall he be able to criticise himself? Simply by finding out
three things: What are the qualities which by common consent go to make
up an effective speaker; by what means at least some of these qualities
may be acquired; and what wrong habits of speech in himself work against
his acquiring and using the qualities which he finds to be good.

Experience, then, is not only the best teacher, but the first and the
last. But experience must be a dual thing--the experience of others must
be used to supplement, correct and justify our own experience; in this
way we shall become our own best critics only after we have trained
ourselves in self-knowledge, the knowledge of what other minds think,
and in the ability to judge ourselves by the standards we have come to
believe are right. "If I ought," said Kant, "I can."

An examination of the contents of this volume will show how consistently
these articles of faith have been declared, expounded, and illustrated.
The student is urged to begin to speak at once of what he knows. Then he
is given simple suggestions for self-control, with gradually increasing
emphasis upon the power of the inner man over the outer. Next, the way
to the rich storehouses of material is pointed out. And finally, all the
while he is urged to speak, _speak_, _SPEAK_ as he is applying to his own
methods, in his own _personal_ way, the principles he has gathered from
his own experience and observation and the recorded experiences of

So now at the very first let it be as clear as light that methods are
secondary matters; that the full mind, the warm heart, the dominant will
are primary--and not only primary but paramount; for unless it be a full
being that uses the methods it will be like dressing a wooden image in
the clothes of a man.

JANUARY 1, 1915.


    Sense never fails to give them that have it, Words enough to
    make them understood. It too often happens in some
    conversations, as in Apothecary Shops, that those Pots that are
    Empty, or have Things of small Value in them, are as gaudily
    Dress'd as those that are full of precious Drugs.

    They that soar too high, often fall hard, making a low and level
    Dwelling preferable. The tallest Trees are most in the Power of
    the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune. Buildings
    have need of a good Foundation, that lie so much exposed to the




    There is a strange sensation often experienced in the presence
    of an audience. It may proceed from the gaze of the many eyes
    that turn upon the speaker, especially if he permits himself to
    steadily return that gaze. Most speakers have been conscious of
    this in a nameless thrill, a real something, pervading the
    atmosphere, tangible, evanescent, indescribable. All writers
    have borne testimony to the power of a speaker's eye in
    impressing an audience. This influence which we are now
    considering is the reverse of that picture--the power _their_
    eyes may exert upon him, especially before he begins to speak:
    after the inward fires of oratory are fanned into flame the eyes
    of the audience lose all terror.

    --WILLIAM PITTENGER, _Extempore Speech_.

Students of public speaking continually ask, "How can I overcome
self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an audience?"

Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some horses feed
near the track and never even pause to look up at the thundering cars,
while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a farmer's wife will be
nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as the train goes by?

How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars--graze him in a
back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or
drive or pasture him where he would frequently see the machines?

Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear:
face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop
shying. You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a
treatise. A book may give you excellent suggestions on how best to
conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or later you must get wet,
perhaps even strangle and be "half scared to death." There are a great
many "wetless" bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever
learns to swim in them. To plunge is the only way.

Practise, _practise_, _PRACTISE_ in speaking before an audience will tend
to remove all fear of audiences, just as practise in swimming will lead
to confidence and facility in the water. You must learn to speak by

The Apostle Paul tells us that every man must work out his own
salvation. All we can do here is to offer you suggestions as to how best
to prepare for your plunge. The real plunge no one can take for you. A
doctor may prescribe, but _you_ must take the medicine.

Do not be disheartened if at first you suffer from stage-fright. Dan
Patch was more susceptible to suffering than a superannuated dray horse
would be. It never hurts a fool to appear before an audience, for his
capacity is not a capacity for feeling. A blow that would kill a
civilized man soon heals on a savage. The higher we go in the scale of
life, the greater is the capacity for suffering.

For one reason or another, some master-speakers never entirely overcome
stage-fright, but it will pay you to spare no pains to conquer it.
Daniel Webster failed in his first appearance and had to take his seat
without finishing his speech because he was nervous. Gladstone was often
troubled with self-consciousness in the beginning of an address.
Beecher was always perturbed before talking in public.

Blacksmiths sometimes twist a rope tight around the nose of a horse, and
by thus inflicting a little pain they distract his attention from the
shoeing process. One way to get air out of a glass is to pour in water.

_Be Absorbed by Your Subject_

Apply the blacksmith's homely principle when you are speaking. If you
feel deeply about your subject you will be able to think of little else.
Concentration is a process of distraction from less important matters.
It is too late to think about the cut of your coat when once you are
upon the platform, so centre your interest on what you are about to
say--fill your mind with your speech-material and, like the infilling
water in the glass, it will drive out your unsubstantial fears.

Self-consciousness is undue consciousness of self, and, for the purpose
of delivery, self is secondary to your subject, not only in the opinion
of the audience, but, if you are wise, in your own. To hold any other
view is to regard yourself as an exhibit instead of as a messenger with
a message worth delivering. Do you remember Elbert Hubbard's tremendous
little tract, "A Message to Garcia"? The youth subordinated himself to
the message he bore. So must you, by all the determination you can
muster. It is sheer egotism to fill your mind with thoughts of self when
a greater thing is there--_TRUTH_. Say this to yourself sternly, and
shame your self-consciousness into quiescence. If the theater caught
fire you could rush to the stage and shout directions to the audience
without any self-consciousness, for the importance of what you were
saying would drive all fear-thoughts out of your mind.

Far worse than self-consciousness through fear of doing poorly is
self-consciousness through assumption of doing well. The first sign of
greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great. Before
you can call yourself a man at all, Kipling assures us, you must "not
look too good nor talk too wise."

Nothing advertises itself so thoroughly as conceit. One may be so full
of self as to be empty. Voltaire said, "We must conceal self-love." But
that can not be done. You know this to be true, for you have recognized
overweening self-love in others. If you have it, others are seeing it in
you. There are things in this world bigger than self, and in working for
them self will be forgotten, or--what is better--remembered only so as
to help us win toward higher things.

_Have Something to Say_

The trouble with many speakers is that they go before an audience with
their minds a blank. It is no wonder that nature, abhorring a vacuum,
fills them with the nearest thing handy, which generally happens to be,
"I wonder if I am doing this right! How does my hair look? I know I
shall fail." Their prophetic souls are sure to be right.

It is not enough to be absorbed by your subject--to acquire
self-confidence you must have something in which to be confident. If you
go before an audience without any preparation, or previous knowledge of
your subject, you ought to be self-conscious--you ought to be ashamed to
steal the time of your audience. Prepare yourself. Know what you are
going to talk about, and, in general, how you are going to say it. Have
the first few sentences worked out completely so that you may not be
troubled in the beginning to find words. Know your subject better than
your hearers know it, and you have nothing to fear.

_After Preparing for Success, Expect It_

Let your bearing be modestly confident, but most of all be modestly
confident within. Over-confidence is bad, but to tolerate premonitions
of failure is worse, for a bold man may win attention by his very
bearing, while a rabbit-hearted coward invites disaster.

Humility is not the personal discount that we must offer in the presence
of others--against this old interpretation there has been a most healthy
modern reaction. True humility any man who thoroughly knows himself must
feel; but it is not a humility that assumes a worm-like meekness; it is
rather a strong, vibrant prayer for greater power for service--a prayer
that Uriah Heep could never have uttered.

Washington Irving once introduced Charles Dickens at a dinner given in
the latter's honor. In the middle of his speech Irving hesitated, became
embarrassed, and sat down awkwardly. Turning to a friend beside him he
remarked, "There, I told you I would fail, and I did."

If you believe you will fail, there is no hope for you. You will.

Rid yourself of this I-am-a-poor-worm-in-the-dust idea. You are a god,
with infinite capabilities. "All things are ready if the mind be so."
The eagle looks the cloudless sun in the face.

_Assume Mastery Over Your Audience_

In public speech, as in electricity, there is a positive and a negative
force. Either you or your audience are going to possess the positive
factor. If you assume it you can almost invariably make it yours. If you
assume the negative you are sure to be negative. Assuming a virtue or a
vice vitalizes it. Summon all your power of self-direction, and remember
that though your audience is infinitely more important than you, the
truth is more important than both of you, because it is eternal. If your
mind falters in its leadership the sword will drop from your hands. Your
assumption of being able to instruct or lead or inspire a multitude or
even a small group of people may appall you as being colossal
impudence--as indeed it may be; but having once essayed to speak, be
courageous. _BE_ courageous--it lies within you to be what you will.
_MAKE_ yourself be calm and confident.

Reflect that your audience will not hurt you. If Beecher in Liverpool
had spoken behind a wire screen he would have invited the audience to
throw the over-ripe missiles with which they were loaded; but he was a
man, confronted his hostile hearers fearlessly--and won them.

In facing your audience, pause a moment and look them over--a hundred
chances to one they want you to succeed, for what man is so foolish as
to spend his time, perhaps his money, in the hope that you will waste
his investment by talking dully?

_Concluding Hints_

Do not make haste to begin--haste shows lack of control.

Do not apologize. It ought not to be necessary; and if it is, it will
not help. Go straight ahead.

Take a deep breath, relax, and begin in a quiet conversational tone as
though you were speaking to one large friend. You will not find it half
so bad as you imagined; really, it is like taking a cold plunge: after
you are in, the water is fine. In fact, having spoken a few times you
will even anticipate the plunge with exhilaration. To stand before an
audience and make them think your thoughts after you is one of the
greatest pleasures you can ever know. Instead of fearing it, you ought
to be as anxious as the fox hounds straining at their leashes, or the
race horses tugging at their reins.

So cast out fear, for fear is cowardly--when it is not mastered. The
bravest know fear, but they do not yield to it. Face your audience
pluckily--if your knees quake, _MAKE_ them stop. In your audience lies
some victory for you and the cause you represent. Go win it. Suppose
Charles Martell had been afraid to hammer the Saracen at Tours; suppose
Columbus had feared to venture out into the unknown West; suppose our
forefathers had been too timid to oppose the tyranny of George the
Third; suppose that any man who ever did anything worth while had been a
coward! The world owes its progress to the men who have dared, and you
must dare to speak the effective word that is in your heart to
speak--for often it requires courage to utter a single sentence. But
remember that men erect no monuments and weave no laurels for those who
fear to do what they can.

Is all this unsympathetic, do you say?

Man, what you need is not sympathy, but a push. No one doubts that
temperament and nerves and illness and even praiseworthy modesty may,
singly or combined, cause the speaker's cheek to blanch before an
audience, but neither can any one doubt that coddling will magnify this
weakness. The victory lies in a fearless frame of mind. Prof. Walter
Dill Scott says: "Success or failure in business is caused more by
mental attitude even than by mental capacity." Banish the fear-attitude;
acquire the confident attitude. And remember that the only way to
acquire it is--_to acquire it_.

In this foundation chapter we have tried to strike the tone of much that
is to follow. Many of these ideas will be amplified and enforced in a
more specific way; but through all these chapters on an art which Mr.
Gladstone believed to be more powerful than the public press, the note
of _justifiable self-confidence_ must sound again and again.


1. What is the cause of self-consciousness?

2. Why are animals free from it?

3. What is your observation regarding self-consciousness in children?

4. Why are you free from it under the stress of unusual excitement?

5. How does moderate excitement affect you?

6. What are the two fundamental requisites for the acquiring of
self-confidence? Which is the more important?

7. What effect does confidence on the part of the speaker have on the

8. Write out a two-minute speech on "Confidence and Cowardice."

9. What effect do habits of thought have on confidence? In this
connection read the chapter on "Right Thinking and Personality."

10. Write out very briefly any experience you may have had involving the
teachings of this chapter.

11. Give a three-minute talk on "Stage-Fright," including a (kindly)
imitation of two or more victims.



    One day Ennui was born from Uniformity.


Our English has changed with the years so that many words now connote
more than they did originally. This is true of the word _monotonous_.
From "having but one tone," it has come to mean more broadly, "lack of

The monotonous speaker not only drones along in the same volume and
pitch of tone but uses always the same emphasis, the same speed, the
same thoughts--or dispenses with thought altogether.

Monotony, the cardinal and most common sin of the public speaker, is not
a transgression--it is rather a sin of omission, for it consists in
living up to the confession of the Prayer Book: "We have left undone
those things we ought to have done."

Emerson says, "The virtue of art lies in detachment, in sequestering one
object from the embarrassing variety." That is just what the monotonous
speaker fails to do--he does _not_ detach one thought or phrase from
another, they are all expressed in the same manner.

To tell you that your speech is monotonous may mean very little to you,
so let us look at the nature--and the curse--of monotony in other
spheres of life, then we shall appreciate more fully how it will blight
an otherwise good speech.

If the Victrola in the adjoining apartment grinds out just three
selections over and over again, it is pretty safe to assume that your
neighbor has no other records. If a speaker uses only a few of his
powers, it points very plainly to the fact that the rest of his powers
are not developed. Monotony reveals our limitations.

In its effect on its victim, monotony is actually deadly--it will drive
the bloom from the cheek and the lustre from the eye as quickly as sin,
and often leads to viciousness. The worst punishment that human
ingenuity has ever been able to invent is extreme monotony--solitary
confinement. Lay a marble on the table and do nothing eighteen hours of
the day but change that marble from one point to another and back again,
and you will go insane if you continue long enough.

So this thing that shortens life, and is used as the most cruel of
punishments in our prisons, is the thing that will destroy all the life
and force of a speech. Avoid it as you would shun a deadly dull bore.
The "idle rich" can have half-a-dozen homes, command all the varieties
of foods gathered from the four corners of the earth, and sail for
Africa or Alaska at their pleasure; but the poverty-stricken man must
walk or take a street car--he does not have the choice of yacht, auto,
or special train. He must spend the most of his life in labor and be
content with the staples of the food-market. Monotony is poverty,
whether in speech or in life. Strive to increase the variety of your
speech as the business man labors to augment his wealth.

Bird-songs, forest glens, and mountains are not monotonous--it is the
long rows of brown-stone fronts and the miles of paved streets that are
so terribly same. Nature in her wealth gives us endless variety; man
with his limitations is often monotonous. Get back to nature in your
methods of speech-making.

The power of variety lies in its pleasure-giving quality. The great
truths of the world have often been couched in fascinating stories--"Les
Miserables," for instance. If you wish to teach or influence men, you
must please them, first or last. Strike the same note on the piano over
and over again. This will give you some idea of the displeasing, jarring
effect monotony has on the ear. The dictionary defines "monotonous" as
being synonymous with "wearisome." That is putting it mildly. It is
maddening. The department-store prince does not disgust the public by
playing only the one tune, "Come Buy My Wares!" He gives recitals on a
$125,000 organ, and the pleased people naturally slip into a buying

_How to Conquer Monotony_

We obviate monotony in dress by replenishing our wardrobes. We avoid
monotony in speech by multiplying our powers of speech. We multiply our
powers of speech by increasing our tools.

The carpenter has special implements with which to construct the several
parts of a building. The organist has certain keys and stops which he
manipulates to produce his harmonies and effects. In like manner the
speaker has certain instruments and tools at his command by which he
builds his argument, plays on the feelings, and guides the beliefs of
his audience. To give you a conception of these instruments, and
practical help in learning to use them, are the purposes of the
immediately following chapters.

Why did not the Children of Israel whirl through the desert in
limousines, and why did not Noah have moving-picture entertainments and
talking machines on the Ark? The laws that enable us to operate an
automobile, produce moving-pictures, or music on the Victrola, would
have worked just as well then as they do today. It was ignorance of law
that for ages deprived humanity of our modern conveniences. Many
speakers still use ox-cart methods in their speech instead of employing
automobile or overland-express methods. They are ignorant of laws that
make for efficiency in speaking. Just to the extent that you regard and
use the laws that we are about to examine and learn how to use will you
have efficiency and force in your speaking; and just to the extent that
you disregard them will your speaking be feeble and ineffective. We
cannot impress too thoroughly upon you the necessity for a real working
mastery of these principles. They are the very foundations of successful
speaking. "Get your principles right," said Napoleon, "and the rest is a
matter of detail."

It is useless to shoe a dead horse, and all the sound principles in
Christendom will never make a live speech out of a dead one. So let it
be understood that public speaking is not a matter of mastering a few
dead rules; the most important law of public speech is the necessity for
truth, force, feeling, and life. Forget all else, but not this.

When you have mastered the mechanics of speech outlined in the next few
chapters you will no longer be troubled with monotony. The complete
knowledge of these principles and the ability to apply them will give
you great variety in your powers of expression. But they cannot be
mastered and applied by thinking or reading about them--you must
practise, _practise_, _PRACTISE_. If no one else will listen to you,
listen to yourself--you must always be your own best critic, and the
severest one of all.

The technical principles that we lay down in the following chapters are
not arbitrary creations of our own. They are all founded on the
practices that good speakers and actors adopt--either naturally and
unconsciously or under instruction--in getting their effects.

It is useless to warn the student that he must be natural. To be natural
may be to be monotonous. The little strawberry up in the arctics with a
few tiny seeds and an acid tang is a natural berry, but it is not to be
compared with the improved variety that we enjoy here. The dwarfed oak
on the rocky hillside is natural, but a poor thing compared with the
beautiful tree found in the rich, moist bottom lands. Be natural--but
improve your natural gifts until you have approached the ideal, for we
must strive after idealized nature, in fruit, tree, and speech.


1. What are the causes of monotony?

2. Cite some instances in nature.

3. Cite instances in man's daily life.

4. Describe some of the effects of monotony in both cases.

5. Read aloud some speech without paying particular attention to its
meaning or force.

6. Now repeat it after you have thoroughly assimilated its matter and
spirit. What difference do you notice in its rendition?

7. Why is monotony one of the worst as well as one of the most common
faults of speakers?



    In a word, the principle of 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_AP_olis, 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? White, 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

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

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

    --_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

    I intended to _BUY_ a house this Spring (instead of renting as

    I intended to buy a _HOUSE_ this Spring (and not an automobile).

    I intended to buy a house _THIS_ Spring (instead of next

    I intended to buy a house this _SPRING_ (instead of in the

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 aeroplanes, 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


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


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

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



    Speech is simply a modified form of singing: the principal
    difference being in the fact that in singing the vowel sounds
    are prolonged and the intervals are short, whereas in speech the
    words are uttered in what may be called "staccato" tones, the
    vowels not being specially prolonged and the intervals between
    the words being more distinct. The fact that in singing we have
    a larger range of tones does not properly distinguish it from
    ordinary speech. In speech we have likewise a variation of
    tones, and even in ordinary conversation there is a difference
    of from three to six semi-tones, as I have found in my
    investigations, and in some persons the range is as high as one

    --WILLIAM SCHEPPEGRELL, _Popular Science Monthly_.

By pitch, as everyone knows, we mean the relative position of a vocal
tone--as, high, medium, low, or any variation between. In public speech
we apply it not only to a single utterance, as an exclamation or a
monosyllable (_Oh!_ or _the_) but to any group of syllables, words, and
even sentences that may be spoken in a single tone. This distinction it
is important to keep in mind, for the efficient speaker not only changes
the pitch of successive syllables (see Chapter VII, "Efficiency through
Inflection"), but gives a different pitch to different parts, or
word-groups, of successive sentences. It is this phase of the subject
which we are considering in this chapter.

_Every Change in the Thought Demands a Change in the Voice-Pitch_

Whether the speaker follows the rule consciously, unconsciously, or
subconsciously, this is the logical basis upon which all good voice
variation is made, yet this law is violated more often than any other by
_public_ speakers. A criminal may disregard a law of the state without
detection and punishment, but the speaker who violates this regulation
suffers its penalty at once in his loss of effectiveness, while his
innocent hearers must endure the monotony--for monotony is not only a
sin of the perpetrator, as we have shown, but a plague on the victims as

Change of pitch is a stumbling block for almost all beginners, and for
many experienced speakers also. This is especially true when the words
of the speech have been memorized.

If you wish to hear how pitch-monotony sounds, strike the same note on
the piano over and over again. You have in your speaking voice a range
of pitch from high to low, with a great many shades between the
extremes. With all these notes available there is no excuse for
offending the ears and taste of your audience by continually using the
one note. True, the reiteration of the same tone in music--as in pedal
point on an organ composition--may be made the foundation of beauty, for
the harmony weaving about that one basic tone produces a consistent,
insistent quality not felt in pure variety of chord sequences. In like
manner the intoning voice in a ritual may--though it rarely
does--possess a solemn beauty. But the public speaker should shun the
monotone as he would a pestilence.

_Continual Change of Pitch is Nature's Highest Method_

In our search for the principles of efficiency we must continually go
back to nature. Listen--really listen--to the birds sing. Which of these
feathered tribes are most pleasing in their vocal efforts: those whose
voices, though sweet, have little or no range, or those that, like the
canary, the lark, and the nightingale, not only possess a considerable
range but utter their notes in continual variety of combinations? Even a
sweet-toned chirp, when reiterated without change, may grow maddening to
the enforced listener.

The little child seldom speaks in a monotonous pitch. Observe the
conversations of little folk that you hear on the street or in the home,
and note the continual changes of pitch. The unconscious speech of most
adults is likewise full of pleasing variations.

Imagine someone speaking the following, and consider if the effect would
not be just about as indicated. Remember, we are not now discussing the
inflection of single words, but the general pitch in which phrases are

(High pitch) "I'd like to leave for my vacation tomorrow,--(lower)
still, I have so much to do. (Higher) Yet I suppose if I wait until I
have time I'll never go."

Repeat this, first in the pitches indicated, and then all in the one
pitch, as many speakers would. Observe the difference in naturalness of

The following exercise should be spoken in a purely conversational
tone, with numerous changes of pitch. Practise it until your delivery
would cause a stranger in the next room to think you were discussing an
actual incident with a friend, instead of delivering a memorized
monologue. If you are in doubt about the effect you have secured, repeat
it to a friend and ask him if it sounds like memorized words. If it
does, it is wrong.


    Jack, I hear you've gone and done it.--Yes, I know; most fellows
    will; went and tried it once myself, sir, though you see I'm
    single still. And you met her--did you tell me--down at Newport,
    last July, and resolved to ask the question at a _soirée_? So
    did I.

    I suppose you left the ball-room, with its music and its light;
    for they say love's flame is brightest in the darkness of the
    night. Well, you walked along together, overhead the starlit
    sky; and I'll bet--old man, confess it--you were frightened. So
    was I.

    So you strolled along the terrace, saw the summer moonlight pour
    all its radiance on the waters, as they rippled on the shore,
    till at length you gathered courage, when you saw that none was
    nigh--did you draw her close and tell her that you loved her? So
    did I.

    Well, I needn't ask you further, and I'm sure I wish you joy.
    Think I'll wander down and see you when you're married--eh, my
    boy? When the honeymoon is over and you're settled down, we'll
    try--What? the deuce you say! Rejected--you rejected? So was


The necessity for changing pitch is so self-evident that it should be
grasped and applied immediately. However, it requires patient drill to
free yourself from monotony of pitch.

In natural conversation you think of an idea first, and then find words
to express it. In memorized speeches you are liable to speak the words,
and then think what they mean--and many speakers seem to trouble very
little even about that. Is it any wonder that reversing the process
should reverse the result? Get back to nature in your methods of

Read the following selection in a nonchalant manner, never pausing to
think what the words really mean. Try it again, carefully studying the
thought you have assimilated. Believe the idea, desire to express it
effectively, and imagine an audience before you. Look them earnestly in
the face and repeat this truth. If you follow directions, you will note
that you have made many changes of pitch after several readings.

    It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you
    can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust
    upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the
    machinery but the friction.


_Change of Pitch Produces Emphasis_

This is a highly important statement. Variety in pitch maintains the
hearer's interest, but one of the surest ways to compel attention--to
secure unusual emphasis--is to change the pitch of your voice suddenly
and in a marked degree. A great contrast always arouses attention. White
shows whiter against black; a cannon roars louder in the Sahara silence
than in the Chicago hurly burly--these are simple illustrations of the
power of contrast.

"What is Congress going to do next?
(High pitch)                      |
                                  | I do not know."
                                    (Low pitch)

By such sudden change of pitch during a sermon Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis
recently achieved great emphasis and suggested the gravity of the
question he had raised.

The foregoing order of pitch-change might be reversed with equally good
effect, though with a slight change in seriousness--either method
produces emphasis when used intelligently, that is, with a common-sense
appreciation of the sort of emphasis to be attained.

In attempting these contrasts of pitch it is important to avoid
unpleasant extremes. Most speakers pitch their voices too high. One of
the secrets of Mr. Bryan's eloquence is his low, bell-like voice.
Shakespeare said that a soft, gentle, low voice was "an excellent thing
in woman;" it is no less so in man, for a voice need not be blatant to
be powerful,--and _must_ not be, to be pleasing.

In closing, let us emphasize anew the importance of using variety of
pitch. You sing up and down the scale, first touching one note and then
another above or below it. Do likewise in speaking.

Thought and individual taste must generally be your guide as to where to
use a low, a moderate, or a high pitch.


1. Name two methods of destroying monotony and gaining force in

2. Why is a continual change of pitch necessary in speaking?

3. Notice your habitual tones in speaking. Are they too high to be

4. Do we express the following thoughts and emotions in a low or a high
pitch? Which may be expressed in either high or low pitch? Excitement.
Victory. Defeat. Sorrow. Love. Earnestness. Fear.

5. How would you naturally vary the pitch in introducing an explanatory
or parenthetical expression like the following:

    He started--_that is, he made preparations to start_--on
    September third.

6. Speak the following lines with as marked variations in pitch as your
interpretation of the sense may dictate. Try each line in two different
ways. Which, in each instance, is the more effective--and why?

    What have I to gain from you? Nothing.

    To engage our nation in such a compact would be an infamy.

    Note: In the foregoing sentence, experiment as to where the
    change in pitch would better be made.

    Once the flowers distilled their fragrance here, but now see the
    devastations of war.

    He had reckoned without one prime factor--his conscience.

7. Make a diagram of a conversation you have heard, showing where high
and low pitches were used. Were these changes in pitch advisable? Why or
why not?

8. Read the selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38, paying careful
attention to the changes in pitch. Reread, substituting low pitch for
high, and vice versa.

_Selections for Practise_

Note: In the following selections, those passages that may best be
delivered in a moderate pitch are printed in ordinary (roman) type.
Those which may be rendered in a high pitch--do not make the mistake of
raising the voice too high--are printed _in italics_. Those which might
well be spoken in a low pitch are printed in _CAPITALS_.

These arrangements, however, are merely suggestive--we cannot make it
strong enough that you must use your own judgment in interpreting a
selection. Before doing so, however, it is well to practise these
passages as they are marked.

    _Yes, all men labor. RUFUS CHOATE AND DANIEL WEBSTER_ labor, say
    the critics. But every man who reads of the labor question knows
    that it means the movement of the men that earn their living
    with their hands; _THAT ARE EMPLOYED, AND PAID WAGES: are
    gathered under roofs of factories, sent out on farms, sent out
    on ships, gathered on the walls._ In popular acceptation, the
    working class means the men that work with their hands, for
    wages, so many hours a day, employed by great capitalists; that
    work for everybody else. Why do we move for this class? "_Why_,"
    asks a critic, "_don't you move FOR ALL WORKINGMEN?" BECAUSE,
    MEXICAN CLAIMS, there is no need of anybody's moving for him.
    MAKING ONE ARGUMENT TO A JURY, there is no need of moving for
    him, or for the men that work with their brains_,--that do
    highly disciplined and skilled labor, invent, and write books.
    The reason why the Labor movement confines itself to a single
    class is because that class of work _DOES NOT GET PAID, does not
    get protection. MENTAL LABOR is adequately paid_, and _MORE THAN
    ADEQUATELY protected. IT CAN SHIFT ITS CHANNELS; it can vary
    according to the supply and demand_.

    _IF A MAN FAILS AS A MINISTER, why, he becomes a railway
    conductor. IF THAT DOESN'T SUIT HIM, he goes West, and becomes
    governor of a territory. AND IF HE FINDS HIMSELF INCAPABLE OF
    EITHER OF THESE POSITIONS, he comes home, and gets to be a city
    editor_. He varies his occupation as he pleases, and doesn't
    BUSINESS,--they are the men whose inadequate protection, whose
    unfair share of the general product, claims a movement in their


    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

    NOT RELUCTANTLY THEN, but eagerly_, not with _faint hearts BUT
    STRONG, do we now advance upon the enemies of the people. FOR
    THE CALL THAT COMES TO US is the call that came to our fathers_.
    As they responded so shall we.

    "_HE HATH SOUNDED FORTH A TRUMPET that shall never call retreat.
    HE IS SIFTING OUT THE HEARTS OF MEN before His judgment seat.
        Our God is marching on_."


Remember that two sentences, or two parts of the same sentence, which
contain changes of thought, cannot possibly be given effectively in the
same key. Let us repeat, every big change of thought requires a big
change of pitch. What the beginning student will think are big changes
of pitch will be monotonously alike. Learn to speak some thoughts in a
very high tone--others in a _very_, _very_ low tone. _DEVELOP RANGE._ It
is almost impossible to use too much of it.

    PRESS NEW ENGLAND'S HISTORIC SOIL and my eyes to the knowledge
    of her beauty and her thrift._ Here within touch of Plymouth
    Rock and Bunker Hill--_WHERE WEBSTER THUNDERED and Longfellow
    OF AMERICAN LETTERS and almost of American liberty,_ I hasten to
    make the obeisance that every American owes New England when
    first he stands uncovered in her mighty presence. _Strange
    apparition!_ This stern and unique figure--carved from the ocean
    and the wilderness--its majesty kindling and growing amid the
    storms of winter and of wars--until at last the gloom was
    broken, _ITS BEAUTY DISCLOSED IN THE SUNSHINE, and the heroic
    workers rested at its base_--while startled kings and emperors
    gazed and marveled that from the rude touch of this handful cast
    on a bleak and unknown shore should have come the _embodied
    genius of human government AND THE PERFECTED MODEL OF HUMAN
    LIBERTY!_ God bless the memory of those immortal workers, and
    prosper the fortunes of their living sons--and perpetuate the
    inspiration of their handiwork....

    Far to the South, Mr. President, separated from this section by
    a line--_once defined in irrepressible difference, once traced
    in fratricidal blood, AND NOW, THANK GOD, BUT A VANISHING
    SHADOW--lies the fairest and richest domain of this earth. It is
    the home of a brave and hospitable people. THERE IS CENTERED ALL
    fertile soil_ yields to the husbandman every product of the
    temperate zone.

    There, by night _the cotton whitens beneath the stars,_ and by
    same field the clover steals the fragrance of the wind, and
    tobacco catches the quick aroma of the rains. _THERE ARE
    primeval;_ and rivers that, _tumbling or loitering, run wanton to
    the sea._ Of the three essential items of all industries--cotton,
    iron and wood--that region has easy control. _IN COTTON, a fixed
    monopoly--IN IRON, proven supremacy--IN TIMBER, the
    reserve supply of the Republic._ From this assured and
    permanent advantage, against which artificial conditions cannot
    much longer prevail, has grown an amazing system of industries.
    Not maintained by human contrivance of tariff or capital, afar
    off from the fullest and cheapest source of supply, but resting
    in divine assurance, within touch of field and mine and forest--not
    set amid costly farms from which competition has driven the
    farmer in despair, but amid cheap and sunny lands, rich with
    agriculture, to which neither season nor soil has set a limit--this
    system of industries is mounting to a splendor that shall dazzle
    and illumine the world. _THAT, SIR, is the picture and the promise
    yet but fit setting in its material excellence for the loyal and
    gentle quality of its citizenship._

    This hour little needs the _LOYALTY THAT IS LOYAL TO ONE SECTION
    and yet holds the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement._
    Give us the _broad_ and _perfect loyalty that loves and trusts
    GEORGIA_ alike with _Massachusetts_--that knows no _SOUTH_, no
    _North_, no _EAST_, no _West_, but _endears with equal and
    patriotic love_ every foot of our soil, every State of our

    of us to-night to lose in patriotic consecration WHATEVER

    _WE, SIR, are Americans--AND WE STAND FOR HUMAN LIBERTY!_ The
    uplifting force of the American idea is under every throne on
    earth. _France, Brazil--THESE ARE OUR VICTORIES. To redeem the
    earth from kingcraft and oppression--THIS IS OUR MISSION! AND WE
    SHALL NOT FAIL._ God has sown in our soil the seed of His
    millennial harvest, and He will not lay the sickle to the
    ripening crop until His full and perfect day has come. _OUR
    HISTORY, SIR, has been a constant and expanding miracle, FROM
    PLYMOUTH ROCK AND JAMESTOWN,_ all the way--aye, even from the
    hour when from the voiceless and traceless ocean a new world
    rose to the sight of the inspired sailor. As we approach the
    fourth centennial of that stupendous day--when the old world
    will come to _marvel_ and to _learn_ amid our gathered
    treasures--let us resolve to crown the miracles of our past with
    the spectacle of a Republic, _compact, united INDISSOLUBLE IN
    THE BONDS OF LOVE_--loving from the Lakes to the Gulf--the
    wounds of war healed in every heart as on every hill, _serene
    GLORY, blazing out the path and making clear the way up which
    all the nations of the earth, must come in God's appointed

    --HENRY W. GRADY, _The Race Problem_.

    _ ... 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

    --Wendell Phillips, _Toussaint l'Ouverture_.

Drill on the following selections for change of pitch: Beecher's
"Abraham Lincoln," p. 76; Seward's "Irrepressible Conflict," p. 67;
Everett's "History of Liberty," p. 78; Grady's "The Race Problem," p.
36; and Beveridge's "Pass Prosperity Around," p. 470.



    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 baseball 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 everyday 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

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


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.

    _to_ DO ANYTHING _but is first of all in_ RIGHT EARNEST _about
    it--what I call_ A SINCERE _man. I should say_ SINCERITY, _a_
    _of a man in any way_ HEROIC. _Not the sincerity that_ CALLS
    _itself sincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matter indeed_--A
    _mainly. The_ GREAT MAN'S SINCERITY _is of a kind he_ CANNOT

    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_

4. To get a natural effect, where would you use slow and where fast
tempo in the following?


    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.


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
    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

    _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

    _Write a poem to thrill human hearts with pleasure_, AND THE MOB
    THROUGH THE STREETS. _Invent a machine to save labor_ AND THE
    MOB WILL DECLARE YOU ITS ENEMY. _Less than a hundred years ago a
    furious rabble smashed Thimonier's invention, the sewing

    _and the mob will call you a fool_. A MOB LINED THE SHORES OF
    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

    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.

    SOCRATES PUT TO DEATH _and he was sentenced to the hemlock cup._
    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
    thousand years ago the mob yelled_, "_RELEASE UNTO US

    --_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


_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 named 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 honey-bees; 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, an 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


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

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?


    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.



    [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

    "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.




    The true business of the literary artist is to plait or weave
    his meaning, involving it around itself; so that each sentence,
    by successive phrases, shall first come into a kind of knot, and
    then, after a moment of suspended meaning, solve and clear

    --GEORGE SAINTSBURY, on _English Prose Style_, in _Miscellaneous

    ... pause ... has a distinctive value, expressed in silence; in
    other words, while the voice is waiting, the music of the
    movement is going on ... To manage it, with its delicacies and
    compensations, requires that same fineness of ear on which we
    must depend for all faultless prose rhythm. When there is no
    compensation, when the pause is inadvertent ... there is a sense
    of jolting and lack, as if some pin or fastening had fallen out.

    --JOHN FRANKLIN GENUNG, _The Working Principles of Rhetoric_.

Pause, in public speech, is not mere silence--it is silence made
designedly eloquent.

When a man says: "I-uh-it is with profound-ah-pleasure that-er-I have
been permitted to speak to you tonight and-uh-uh-I should say-er"--that
is not pausing; that is stumbling. It is conceivable that a speaker may
be effective in spite of stumbling--but never because of it.

On the other hand, one of the most important means of developing power
in public speaking is to pause either before or after, or both before
and after, an important word or phrase. No one who would be a forceful
speaker can afford to neglect this principle--one of the most
significant that has ever been inferred from listening to great orators.
Study this potential device until you have absorbed and assimilated it.

It would seem that this principle of rhetorical pause ought to be easily
grasped and applied, but a long experience in training both college men
and maturer speakers has demonstrated that the device is no more readily
understood by the average man when it is first explained to him than if
it were spoken in Hindoostani. Perhaps this is because we do not eagerly
devour the fruit of experience when it is impressively set before us on
the platter of authority; we like to pluck fruit for ourselves--it not
only tastes better, but we never forget that tree! Fortunately, this is
no difficult task, in this instance, for the trees stand thick all about

One man is pleading the cause of another:

    "This man, my friends, has made this wonderful sacrifice--for
    you and me."

Did not the pause surprisingly enhance the power of this statement? See
how he gathered up reserve force and impressiveness to deliver the words
"for you and me." Repeat this passage without making a pause. Did it
lose in effectiveness?

Naturally enough, during a premeditated pause of this kind the mind of
the speaker is concentrated on the thought to which he is about to give
expression. He will not dare to allow his thoughts to wander for an
instant--he will rather supremely center his thought and his emotion
upon the sacrifice whose service, sweetness and divinity he is
enforcing by his appeal.

_Concentration_, then, is the big word here--no pause without it can
perfectly hit the mark.

Efficient pausing accomplishes one or all of four results:

_1. Pause Enables the Mind of the Speaker to Gather His Forces Before
Delivering the Final Volley_

It is often dangerous to rush into battle without pausing for
preparation or waiting for recruits. Consider Custer's massacre as an

You can light a match by holding it beneath a lens and concentrating the
sun's rays. You would not expect the match to flame if you jerked the
lens back and forth quickly. Pause, and the lens gathers the heat. Your
thoughts will not set fire to the minds of your hearers unless you pause
to gather the force that comes by a second or two of concentration.
Maple trees and gas wells are rarely tapped continually; when a stronger
flow is wanted, a pause is made, nature has time to gather her reserve
forces, and when the tree or the well is reopened, a stronger flow is
the result.

Use the same common sense with your mind. If you would make a thought
particularly effective, pause just before its utterance, concentrate
your mind-energies, and then give it expression with renewed vigor.
Carlyle was right: "Speak not, I passionately entreat thee, till thy
thought has silently matured itself. Out of silence comes thy strength.
Speech is silvern, Silence is golden; Speech is human, Silence is

Silence has been called the father of speech. It should be. Too many of
our public speeches have no fathers. They ramble along without pause or
break. Like Tennyson's brook, they run on forever. Listen to little
children, the policeman on the corner, the family conversation around
the table, and see how many pauses they naturally use, for they are
unconscious of effects. When we get before an audience, we throw most of
our natural methods of expression to the wind, and strive after
artificial effects. Get back to the methods of nature--and pause.

_2. Pause Prepares the Mind of the Auditor to Receive Your

Herbert Spencer said that all the universe is in motion. So it
is--and all perfect motion is rhythm. Part of rhythm is rest.
Rest follows activity all through nature. Instances: day and night;
spring--summer--autumn--winter; a period of rest between breaths; an
instant of complete rest between heart beats. Pause, and give the
attention-powers of your audience a rest. What you say after such
a silence will then have a great deal more effect.

When your country cousins come to town, the noise of a passing car will
awaken them, though it seldom affects a seasoned city dweller. By the
continual passing of cars his attention-power has become deadened. In
one who visits the city but seldom, attention-value is insistent. To him
the noise comes after a long pause; hence its power. To you, dweller in
the city, there is no pause; hence the low attention-value. After riding
on a train several hours you will become so accustomed to its roar that
it will lose its attention-value, unless the train should stop for a
while and start again. If you attempt to listen to a clock-tick that is
so far away that you can barely hear it, you will find that at times you
are unable to distinguish it, but in a few moments the sound becomes
distinct again. Your mind will pause for rest whether you desire it to
do so or not.

The attention of your audience will act in quite the same way. Recognize
this law and prepare for it--by pausing. Let it be repeated: the thought
that follows a pause is much more dynamic than if no pause had occurred.
What is said to you of a night will not have the same effect on your
mind as if it had been uttered in the morning when your attention had
been lately refreshed by the pause of sleep. We are told on the first
page of the Bible that even the Creative Energy of God rested on the
"seventh day." You may be sure, then, that the frail finite mind of your
audience will likewise demand rest. Observe nature, study her laws, and
obey them in your speaking.

_3. Pause Creates Effective Suspense_

Suspense is responsible for a great share of our interest in life; it
will be the same with your speech. A play or a novel is often robbed of
much of its interest if you know the plot beforehand. We like to keep
guessing as to the outcome. The ability to create suspense is part of
woman's power to hold the other sex. The circus acrobat employs this
principle when he fails purposely in several attempts to perform a
feat, and then achieves it. Even the deliberate manner in which he
arranges the preliminaries increases our expectation--we like to be kept
waiting. In the last act of the play, "Polly of the Circus," there is a
circus scene in which a little dog turns a backward somersault on the
back of a running pony. One night when he hesitated and had to be coaxed
and worked with a long time before he would perform his feat he got a
great deal more applause than when he did his trick at once. We not only
like to wait but we appreciate what we wait for. If fish bite too
readily the sport soon ceases to be a sport.

It is this same principle of suspense that holds you in a Sherlock
Holmes story--you wait to see how the mystery is solved, and if it is
solved too soon you throw down the tale unfinished. Wilkie Collins'
receipt for fiction writing well applies to public speech: "Make 'em
laugh; make 'em weep; make 'em wait." Above all else make them wait; if
they will not do that you may be sure they will neither laugh nor weep.

Thus pause is a valuable instrument in the hands of a trained speaker to
arouse and maintain suspense. We once heard Mr. Bryan say in a speech:
"It was my privilege to hear"--and he paused, while the audience
wondered for a second whom it was his privilege to hear--"the great
evangelist"--and he paused again; we knew a little more about the man he
had heard, but still wondered to which evangelist he referred; and then
he concluded: "Dwight L. Moody." Mr. Bryan paused slightly again and
continued: "I came to regard him"--here he paused again and held the
audience in a brief moment of suspense as to how he had regarded Mr.
Moody, then continued--"as the greatest preacher of his day." Let the
dashes illustrate pauses and we have the following:

    "It was my privilege to hear--the great evangelist--Dwight L.
    Moody.--I came to regard him--as the greatest preacher of his

The unskilled speaker would have rattled this off with neither pause nor
suspense, and the sentences would have fallen flat upon the audience. It
is precisely the application of these small things that makes much of
the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful speaker.

_4. Pausing After An Important Idea Gives it Time to Penetrate_

Any Missouri farmer will tell you that a rain that falls too fast will
run off into the creeks and do the crops but little good. A story is
told of a country deacon praying for rain in this manner: "Lord, don't
send us any chunk floater. Just give us a good old drizzle-drazzle." A
speech, like a rain, will not do anybody much good if it comes too fast
to soak in. The farmer's wife follows this same principle in doing her
washing when she puts the clothes in water--and pauses for several hours
that the water may soak in. The physician puts cocaine on your
turbinates--and pauses to let it take hold before he removes them. Why
do we use this principle everywhere except in the communication of
ideas? If you have given the audience a big idea, pause for a second or
two and let them turn it over. See what effect it has. After the smoke
clears away you may have to fire another 14-inch shell on the same
subject before you demolish the citadel of error that you are trying to
destroy. Take time. Don't let your speech resemble those tourists who
try "to do" New York in a day. They spend fifteen minutes looking at the
masterpieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, ten minutes in the
Museum of Natural History, take a peep into the Aquarium, hurry across
the Brooklyn Bridge, rush up to the Zoo, and back by Grant's Tomb--and
call that "Seeing New York." If you hasten by your important points
without pausing, your audience will have just about as adequate an idea
of what you have tried to convey.

Take time, you have just as much of it as our richest multimillionaire.
Your audience will wait for you. It is a sign of smallness to hurry. The
great redwood trees of California had burst through the soil five
hundred years before Socrates drank his cup of hemlock poison, and are
only in their prime today. Nature shames us with our petty haste.
Silence is one of the most eloquent things in the world. Master it, and
use it through pause.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the following selections dashes have been inserted where pauses may
be used effectively. Naturally, you may omit some of these and insert
others without going wrong--one speaker would interpret a passage in one
way, one in another; it is largely a matter of personal preference. A
dozen great actors have played Hamlet well, and yet each has played the
part differently. Which comes the nearest to perfection is a question
of opinion. You will succeed best by daring to follow your own
course--if you are individual enough to blaze an original trail.

    A moment's halt--a momentary taste of being from the well amid
    the waste--and lo! the phantom caravan has reached--the nothing
    it set out from--Oh make haste!

    The worldly hope men set their hearts upon--turns ashes--or it
    prospers;--and anon like snow upon the desert's dusty
    face--lighting a little hour or two--is gone.

    The bird of time has but a little way to flutter,--and the bird
    is on the wing.

You will note that the punctuation marks have nothing to do with the
pausing. You may run by a period very quickly and make a long pause
where there is no kind of punctuation. Thought is greater than
punctuation. It must guide you in your pauses.

    A book of verses underneath the bough,--a jug of wine, a loaf of
    bread--and thou beside me singing in the
    wilderness--Oh--wilderness were paradise enow.

You must not confuse the pause for emphasis with the natural pauses that
come through taking breath and phrasing. For example, note the pauses
indicated in this selection from Byron:

    But _hush!_--_hark!_--that deep sound breaks in once more,
    And _nearer!_--_clearer!_--_deadlier_ than before.
    _Arm_, ARM!--it is--it is the cannon's opening roar!

It is not necessary to dwell at length upon these obvious distinctions.
You will observe that in natural conversation our words are gathered
into clusters or phrases, and we often pause to take breath between
them. So in public speech, breathe naturally and do not talk until you
must gasp for breath; nor until the audience is equally winded.

A serious word of caution must here be uttered: do not overwork the
pause. To do so will make your speech heavy and stilted. And do not
think that pause can transmute commonplace thoughts into great and
dignified utterance. A grand manner combined with insignificant ideas is
like harnessing a Hambletonian with an ass. You remember the farcical
old school declamation, "A Midnight Murder," that proceeded in grandiose
manner to a thrilling climax, and ended--"and relentlessly murdered--a

The pause, dramatically handled, always drew a laugh from the tolerant
hearers. This is all very well in farce, but such anti-climax becomes
painful when the speaker falls from the sublime to the ridiculous quite
unintentionally. The pause, to be effective in some other manner than in
that of the boomerang, must precede or follow a thought that is really
worth while, or at least an idea whose bearing upon the rest of the
speech is important.

William Pittenger relates in his volume, "Extempore Speech," an instance
of the unconsciously farcical use of the pause by a really great
American statesman and orator. "He had visited Niagara Falls and was to
make an oration at Buffalo the same day, but, unfortunately, he sat too
long over the wine after dinner. When he arose to speak, the oratorical
instinct struggled with difficulties, as he declared, 'Gentlemen, I have
been to look upon your mag--mag--magnificent cataract, one hundred--and
forty--seven--feet high! Gentlemen, Greece and Rome in their palmiest
days never had a cataract one hundred--and forty--seven--feet high!'"


1. Name four methods for destroying monotony and gaining power in

2. What are the four special effects of pause?

3. Note the pauses in a conversation, play, or speech. Were they the
best that could have been used? Illustrate.

4. Read aloud selections on pages 50-54, paying special attention to

5. Read the following without making any pauses. Reread correctly and
note the difference:

    Soon the night will pass; and when, of the Sentinel on the
    ramparts of Liberty the anxious ask: | "Watchman, what of the
    night?" his answer will be | "Lo, the morn appeareth."

    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. |

    Not reluctantly, then, | but eagerly, | not with faint hearts, |
    but strong, do we now advance upon the enemies of the people. |
    For the call that comes to us is the call that came to our
    fathers. | As they responded, so shall we.

    "He hath sounded forth a trumpet | that shall never call retreat,
    He is sifting out the hearts of men | before His judgment seat.
    Oh, be swift | our souls to answer Him, | be jubilant our feet,
    Our God | is marching on."

    --ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE, _From his speech as temporary chairman of
    Progressive National Convention, Chicago, 1912_.

6. Bring out the contrasting ideas in the following by using the pause:

    Contrast now the circumstances of your life and mine, gently and
    with temper, Ęschines; and then ask these people whose fortune
    they would each of them prefer. You taught reading, I went to
    school: you performed initiations, I received them: you danced
    in the chorus, I furnished it: you were assembly-clerk, I was a
    speaker: you acted third parts, I heard you: you broke down, and
    I hissed: you have worked as a statesman for the enemy, I for my
    country. I pass by the rest; but this very day I am on my
    probation for a crown, and am acknowledged to be innocent of all
    offence; while you are already judged to be a pettifogger, and
    the question is, whether you shall continue that trade, or at
    once be silenced by not getting a fifth part of the votes. A
    happy fortune, do you see, you have enjoyed, that you should
    denounce mine as miserable!


7. After careful study and practice, mark the pauses in the following:

    The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the
    great struggle for national life. We hear the sounds of
    preparation--the music of the boisterous drums, the silver
    voices of heroic bugles. We see thousands of assemblages, and
    hear the appeals of orators; we see the pale cheeks of women and
    the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all
    the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers. We lose sight
    of them no more. We are with them when they enlist in the great
    army of freedom. We see them part from those they love. Some are
    walking for the last time in quiet woody places with the maiden
    they adore. We hear the whisperings and the sweet vows of
    eternal love as they lingeringly part forever. Others are
    bending over cradles, kissing babies that are asleep. Some are
    receiving the blessings of old men. Some are parting from those
    who hold them and press them to their hearts again and again,
    and say nothing; and some are talking with wives, and
    endeavoring with brave words spoken in the old tones to drive
    from their hearts the awful fear. We see them part. We see the
    wife standing in the door, with the babe in her arms--standing
    in the sunlight sobbing; at the turn of the road a hand
    waves--she answers by holding high in her loving hands the
    child. He is gone--and forever.

    --ROBERT J. INGERSOLL, _to the Soldiers of Indianapolis_.

8. Where would you pause in the following selections? Try pausing in
different places and note the effect it gives.

    The moving finger writes; and having writ moves on: nor all your
    piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all
    your tears wash out a word of it.

    The history of womankind is a story of abuse. For ages men beat,
    sold, and abused their wives and daughters like cattle. The
    Spartan mother that gave birth to one of her own sex disgraced
    herself; the girl babies were often deserted in the mountains to
    starve; China bound and deformed their feet; Turkey veiled their
    faces; America denied them equal educational advantages with
    men. Most of the world still refuses them the right to
    participate in the government and everywhere women bear the
    brunt of an unequal standard of morality.

    But the women are on the march. They are walking upward to the
    sunlit plains where the thinking people rule. China has ceased
    binding their feet. In the shadow of the Harem Turkey has opened
    a school for girls. America has given the women equal
    educational advantages, and America, we believe, will
    enfranchise them.

    We can do little to help and not much to hinder this great
    movement. The thinking people have put their O.K. upon it. It is
    moving forward to its goal just as surely as this old earth is
    swinging from the grip of winter toward the spring's blossoms
    and the summer's harvest.[1]

9. Read aloud the following address, paying careful attention to pause
wherever the emphasis may thereby be heightened.


    ... At last, the Republican party has appeared. It avows, now,
    as the Republican party of 1800 did, in one word, its faith and
    its works, "Equal and exact justice to all men." Even when it
    first entered the field, only half organized, it struck a blow
    which only just failed to secure complete and triumphant
    victory. In this, its second campaign, it has already won
    advantages which render that triumph now both easy and certain.
    The secret of its assured success lies in that very
    characteristic which, in the mouth of scoffers, constitutes its
    great and lasting imbecility and reproach. It lies in the fact
    that it is a party of one idea; but that is a noble one--an idea
    that fills and expands all generous souls; the idea of equality
    of all men before human tribunals and human laws, as they all
    are equal before the Divine tribunal and Divine laws.

    I know, and you know, that a revolution has begun. I know, and
    all the world knows, that revolutions never go backward. Twenty
    senators and a hundred representatives proclaim boldly in
    Congress to-day sentiments and opinions and principles of
    freedom which hardly so many men, even in this free State, dared
    to utter in their own homes twenty years ago. While the
    government of the United States, under the conduct of the
    Democratic party, has been all that time surrendering one plain
    and castle after another to slavery, the people of the United
    States have been no less steadily and perseveringly gathering
    together the forces with which to recover back again all the
    fields and all the castles which have been lost, and to confound
    and overthrow, by one decisive blow, the betrayers of the
    Constitution and freedom forever.

    --W.H. SEWARD.


[Footnote 1: From an editorial by D.C. in _Leslie's Weekly_, June 4,
1914. Used by permission.]



    How soft the music of those village bells,
    Falling at intervals upon the ear
    In cadence sweet; now dying all away,
    Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
    Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
    With easy force it opens all the cells
    Where Memory slept.


Herbert Spencer remarked that "Cadence"--by which he meant the
modulation of the tones of the voice in speaking--"is the running
commentary of the emotions upon the propositions of the intellect." How
true this is will appear when we reflect that the little upward and
downward shadings of the voice tell more truly what we mean than our
words. The expressiveness of language is literally multiplied by this
subtle power to shade the vocal tones, and this voice-shading we call

The change of pitch _within_ a word is even more important, because more
delicate, than the change of pitch from phrase to phrase. Indeed, one
cannot be practised without the other. The bare words are only so many
bricks--inflection will make of them a pavement, a garage, or a
cathedral. It is the power of inflection to change the meaning of words
that gave birth to the old saying: "It is not so much what you say, as
how you say it."

Mrs. Jameson, the Shakespearean commentator, has given us a penetrating
example of the effect of inflection; "In her impersonation of the part
of Lady Macbeth, Mrs. Siddons adopted successively three different
intonations in giving the words 'We fail.' At first a quick contemptuous
interrogation--'We fail?' Afterwards, with the note of admiration--'We
fail,' an accent of indignant astonishment laying the principal emphasis
on the word 'we'--'_we_ fail.' Lastly, she fixed on what I am convinced
is the true reading--_We fail_--with the simple period, modulating the
voice to a deep, low, resolute tone which settles the issue at once as
though she had said: 'If we fail, why then we fail, and all is over.'"

This most expressive element of our speech is the last to be mastered in
attaining to naturalness in speaking a foreign language, and its correct
use is the main element in a natural, flexible utterance of our native
tongue. Without varied inflections speech becomes wooden and monotonous.

There are but two kinds of inflection, the rising and the falling, yet
these two may be so shaded or so combined that they are capable of
producing as many varieties of modulation as maybe illustrated by either
one or two lines, straight or curved, thus:

    [Illustration of each line]

    Sharp rising

    Long rising


    Long falling

    Sharp falling

    Sharp rising and falling

    Sharp falling and rising


These may be varied indefinitely, and serve merely to illustrate what
wide varieties of combination may be effected by these two simple
inflections of the voice.

It is impossible to tabulate the various inflections which serve to
express various shades of thought and feeling. A few suggestions are
offered here, together with abundant exercises for practise, but the
only real way to master inflection is to observe, experiment, and

For example, take the common sentence, "Oh, he's all right." Note how a
rising inflection may be made to express faint praise, or polite doubt,
or uncertainty of opinion. Then note how the same words, spoken with a
generally falling inflection may denote certainty, or good-natured
approval, or enthusiastic praise, and so on.

In general, then, we find that a bending upward of the voice will
suggest doubt and uncertainty, while a decided falling inflection will
suggest that you are certain of your ground.

Students dislike to be told that their speeches are "not so bad," spoken
with a rising inflection. To enunciate these words with a long falling
inflection would indorse the speech rather heartily.

Say good-bye to an imaginary person whom you expect to see again
tomorrow; then to a dear friend you never expect to meet again. Note the
difference in inflection.

"I have had a delightful time," when spoken at the termination of a
formal tea by a frivolous woman takes altogether different inflection
than the same words spoken between lovers who have enjoyed themselves.
Mimic the two characters in repeating this and observe the difference.

Note how light and short the inflections are in the following brief
quotation from "Anthony the Absolute," by Samuel Mervin.

    _At Sea--March 28th_.

    This evening I told Sir Robert What's His Name he was a fool.

    I was quite right in this. He is.

    Every evening since the ship left Vancouver he has presided over
    the round table in the middle of the smoking-room. There he sips
    his coffee and liqueur, and holds forth on every subject known
    to the mind of man. Each subject is _his_ subject. He is an
    elderly person, with a bad face and a drooping left eyelid.

    They tell me that he is in the British Service--a judge
    somewhere down in Malaysia, where they drink more than is good
    for them.

Deliver the two following selections with great earnestness, and note
how the inflections differ from the foregoing. Then reread these
selections in a light, superficial manner, noting that the change of
attitude is expressed through a change of inflection.

    When I read a sublime fact in Plutarch, or an unselfish deed in
    a line of poetry, or thrill beneath some heroic legend, it is no
    longer fairyland--I have seen it matched.


    Thought is deeper than all speech,
       Feeling deeper than all thought;
    Souls to souls can never teach
       What unto themselves was taught.


It must be made perfectly clear that inflection deals mostly in subtle,
delicate shading _within single words_, and is not by any means
accomplished by a general rise or fall in the voice in speaking a
sentence. Yet certain sentences may be effectively delivered with just
such inflection. Try this sentence in several ways, making no
modulation until you come to the last two syllables, as indicated,

  And yet I told him dis-
          (high)          |  tinctly.

  And yet I told him dis- |   (high)

Now try this sentence by inflecting the important words so as to bring
out various shades of meaning. The first forms, illustrated above, show
change of pitch _within a single word_; the forms you will work out for
yourself should show a number of such inflections throughout the

One of the chief means of securing emphasis is to employ a long falling
inflection on the emphatic words--that is, to let the voice fall to a
lower pitch on an _interior_ vowel sound in a word. Try it on the words
"every," "eleemosynary," and "destroy."

Use long falling inflections on the italicized words in the following
selection, noting their emphatic power. Are there any other words here
that long falling inflections would help to make expressive?


    This, sir, is my case. It is the case not merely of that humble
    institution; it is the case of _every_ college in our land. It
    is _more_; it is the case of _every eleemosynary_ institution
    throughout our country--of _all_ those great charities founded
    by the piety of our ancestors to alleviate human misery and
    scatter blessings along the pathway of life. Sir, you may
    _destroy_ this little institution--it is _weak_, it is in your
    hands. I know it is one of the lesser lights in the literary
    horizon of our country. You may put it out. But if you do you
    must carry through your work; you must extinguish, one after
    another, _all_ those great lights of science which, for more
    than a century, have thrown their radiance over our land!

    It is, sir, as I have said, a small college, and yet--there are
    those who _love_ it!

    Sir, I know not how others may feel, but as for myself when I
    see my alma mater surrounded, like Cęsar in the senate house,
    by those who are reiterating _stab_ after _stab_, I would not
    for this right hand have her turn to me and say, And _thou,
    too_, my son!


Be careful not to over-inflect. Too much modulation produces an
unpleasant effect of artificiality, like a mature matron trying to be
kittenish. It is a short step between true expression and unintentional
burlesque. Scrutinize your own tones. Take a single expression like "Oh,
no!" or "Oh, I see," or "Indeed," and by patient self-examination see
how many shades of meaning may be expressed by inflection. This sort of
common-sense practise will do you more good than a book of rules. _But
don't forget to listen to your own voice._


1. In your own words define (a) cadence, (b) modulation, (c) inflection,
(d) emphasis.

2. Name five ways of destroying monotony and gaining effectiveness in

3. What states of mind does falling inflection signify? Make as full a
list as you can.

4. Do the same for the rising inflection.

5. How does the voice bend in expressing (_a_) surprise? (_b_) shame?
(_c_) hate? (_d_) formality? (_e_) excitement?

6. Reread some sentence several times and by using different inflections
change the meaning with each reading.

7. Note the inflections employed in some speech or conversation. Were
they the best that could be used to bring out the meaning? Criticise and

8. Render the following passages:

    Has the gentleman done? Has he completely done?

    And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

9. Invent an indirect question and show how it would naturally be

10. Does a direct question always require a rising inflection?

11. Illustrate how the complete ending of an expression or of a speech
is indicated by inflection.

12. Do the same for incompleteness of idea.

13. Illustrate (_a_) trembling, (_b_) hesitation, and (_c_) doubt by
means of inflection.

14. Show how contrast may be expressed.

15. Try the effects of both rising and falling inflections on the
italicized words in the following sentences. State your preference.

    Gentlemen, I am _persuaded_, nay, I am _resolved_ to speak.

    It is sown a _natural_ body; it is raised a _spiritual_ body.


In the following selections secure emphasis by means of long falling
inflections rather than loudness.

Repeat these selections, attempting to put into practise all the
technical principles that we have thus far had; emphasizing important
words, subordinating unimportant words, variety of pitch, changing
tempo, pause, and inflection. If these principles are applied you will
have no trouble with monotony.

Constant practise will give great facility in the use of inflection and
will render the voice itself flexible.


    We charge him with having broken his coronation oath; and we are
    told that he kept his marriage vow! We accuse him of having
    given up his people to the merciless inflictions of the most
    hot-headed and hard-hearted of prelates; and the defence is,
    that he took his little son on his knee and kissed him! We
    censure him for having violated the articles of the Petition of
    Right, after having, for good and valuable consideration,
    promised to observe them; and we are informed that he was
    accustomed to hear prayers at six o'clock in the morning! It is
    to such considerations as these, together with his Vandyke
    dress, his handsome face, and his peaked beard, that he owes, we
    verily believe, most of his popularity with the present

    --T.B. MACAULAY.


    We needed not that he should put on paper that he believed in
    slavery, who, with treason, with murder, with cruelty infernal,
    hovered around that majestic man to destroy his life. He was
    himself but the long sting with which slavery struck at liberty;
    and he carried the poison that belonged to slavery. As long as
    this nation lasts, it will never be forgotten that we have one
    martyred President--never! Never, while time lasts, while
    heaven lasts, while hell rocks and groans, will it be forgotten
    that slavery, by its minions, slew him, and in slaying him made
    manifest its whole nature and tendency.

    But another thing for us to remember is that this blow was aimed
    at the life of the government and of the nation. Lincoln was
    slain; America was meant. The man was cast down; the government
    was smitten at. It was the President who was killed. It was
    national life, breathing freedom and meaning beneficence, that
    was sought. He, the man of Illinois, the private man, divested
    of robes and the insignia of authority, representing nothing but
    his personal self, might have been hated; but that would not
    have called forth the murderer's blow. It was because he stood
    in the place of government, representing government and a
    government that represented right and liberty, that he was
    singled out.

    This, then, is a crime against universal government. It is not a
    blow at the foundations of our government, more than at the
    foundations of the English government, of the French government,
    of every compact and well-organized government. It was a crime
    against mankind. The whole world will repudiate and stigmatize
    it as a deed without a shade of redeeming light....

    The blow, however, has signally failed. The cause is not
    stricken; it is strengthened. This nation has dissolved,--but in
    tears only. It stands, four-square, more solid, to-day, than any
    pyramid in Egypt. This people are neither wasted, nor daunted,
    nor disordered. Men hate slavery and love liberty with stronger
    hate and love to-day than ever before. The Government is not
    weakened, it is made stronger....

    And now the martyr is moving in triumphal march, mightier than
    when alive. The nation rises up at every stage of his coming.
    Cities and states are his pall-bearers, and the cannon beats the
    hours with solemn progression. Dead--dead--dead--he yet
    speaketh! Is Washington dead? Is Hampden dead? Is David dead? Is
    any man dead that ever was fit to live? Disenthralled of flesh,
    and risen to the unobstructed sphere where passion never comes,
    he begins his illimitable work. His life now is grafted upon the
    Infinite, and will be fruitful as no earthly life can be. Pass
    on, thou that hast overcome! Your sorrows O people, are his
    peace! Your bells, and bands, and muffled drums sound triumph in
    his ear. Wail and weep here; God makes it echo joy and triumph
    there. Pass on, victor!

    Four years ago, O Illinois, we took from your midst an untried
    man, and from among the people; we return him to you a mighty
    conqueror. Not thine any more, but the nation's; not ours, but
    the world's. Give him place, ye prairies! In the midst of this
    great Continent his dust shall rest, a sacred treasure to
    myriads who shall make pilgrimage to that shrine to kindle anew
    their zeal and patriotism. Ye winds, that move over the mighty
    places of the West, chant his requiem! Ye people, behold a
    martyr, whose blood, as so many inarticulate words, pleads for
    fidelity, for law, for liberty!



    The event which we commemorate is all-important, not merely in
    our own annals, but in those of the world. The sententious
    English poet has declared that "the proper study of mankind is
    man," and of all inquiries of a temporal nature, the history of
    our fellow-beings is unquestionably among the most interesting.
    But not all the chapters of human history are alike important.
    The annals of our race have been filled up with incidents which
    concern not, or at least ought not to concern, the great company
    of mankind. History, as it has often been written, is the
    genealogy of princes, the field-book of conquerors; and the
    fortunes of our fellow-men have been treated only so far as they
    have been affected by the influence of the great masters and
    destroyers of our race. Such history is, I will not say a
    worthless study, for it is necessary for us to know the dark
    side as well as the bright side of our condition. But it is a
    melancholy study which fills the bosom of the philanthropist and
    the friend of liberty with sorrow.

    But the history of liberty--the history of men struggling to be
    free--the history of men who have acquired and are exercising
    their freedom--the history of those great movements in the
    world, by which liberty has been established and perpetuated,
    forms a subject which we cannot contemplate too closely. This is
    the real history of man, of the human family, of rational
    immortal beings....

    The trial of adversity was theirs; the trial of prosperity is
    ours. Let us meet it as men who know their duty and prize their
    blessings. Our position is the most enviable, the most
    responsible, which men can fill. If this generation does its
    duty, the cause of constitutional freedom is safe. If we
    fail--if we fail--not only do we defraud our children of the
    inheritance which we received from our fathers, but we blast the
    hopes of the friends of liberty throughout our continent,
    throughout Europe, throughout the world, to the end of time.

    History is not without her examples of hard-fought fields, where
    the banner of liberty has floated triumphantly on the wildest
    storm of battle. She is without her examples of a people by whom
    the dear-bought treasure has been wisely employed and safely
    handed down. The eyes of the world are turned for that example
    to us....

    Let us, then, as we assemble on the birthday of the nation, as
    we gather upon the green turf, once wet with precious blood--let
    us devote ourselves to the sacred cause of constitutional
    liberty! Let us abjure the interests and passions which divide
    the great family of American freemen! Let the rage of party
    spirit sleep to-day! Let us resolve that our children shall have
    cause to bless the memory of their fathers, as we have cause to
    bless the memory of ours!




    Attention is the microscope of the mental eye. Its power may be
    high or low; its field of view narrow or broad. When high power
    is used attention is confined within very circumscribed limits,
    but its action is exceedingly intense and absorbing. It sees but
    few things, but these few are observed "through and through" ...
    Mental energy and activity, whether of perception or of thought,
    thus concentrated, act like the sun's rays concentrated by the
    burning glass. The object is illumined, heated, set on fire.
    Impressions are so deep that they can never be effaced.
    Attention of this sort is the prime condition of the most
    productive mental labor.

    --DANIEL PUTNAM, _Psychology_.

Try to rub the top of your head forward and backward at the same time
that you are patting your chest. Unless your powers of coördination are
well developed you will find it confusing, if not impossible. The brain
needs special training before it can do two or more things efficiently
at the same instant. It may seem like splitting a hair between its north
and northwest corner, but some psychologists argue that _no_ brain can
think two distinct thoughts, absolutely simultaneously--that what seems
to be simultaneous is really very rapid rotation from the first thought
to the second and back again, just as in the above-cited experiment the
attention must shift from one hand to the other until one or the other
movement becomes partly or wholly automatic.

Whatever is the psychological truth of this contention it is undeniable
that the mind measurably loses grip on one idea the moment the attention
is projected decidedly ahead to a second or a third idea.

A fault in public speakers that is as pernicious as it is common is that
they try to think of the succeeding sentence while still uttering the
former, and in this way their concentration trails off; in consequence,
they start their sentences strongly and end them weakly. In a
well-prepared written speech the emphatic word usually comes at one end
of the sentence. But an emphatic word needs emphatic expression, and
this is precisely what it does not get when concentration flags by
leaping too soon to that which is next to be uttered. Concentrate all
your mental energies on the present sentence. Remember that the mind of
your audience follows yours very closely, and if you withdraw your
attention from what you are saying to what you are going to say, your
audience will also withdraw theirs. They may not do so consciously and
deliberately, but they will surely cease to give importance to the
things that you yourself slight. It is fatal to either the actor or the
speaker to cross his bridges too soon.

Of course, all this is not to say that in the natural pauses of your
speech you are not to take swift forward surveys--they are as important
as the forward look in driving a motor car; the caution is of quite
another sort: _while speaking one sentence do not think of the sentence
to follow_. Let it come from its proper source--within yourself. You
cannot deliver a broadside without concentrated force--that is what
produces the explosion. In preparation you store and concentrate thought
and feeling; in the pauses during delivery you swiftly look ahead and
gather yourself for effective attack; during the moments of actual
speech, _SPEAK--DON'T ANTICIPATE_. Divide your attention and you divide
your power.

This matter of the effect of the inner man upon the outer needs a
further word here, particularly as touching concentration.

"What do you read, my lord?" Hamlet replied, "Words. Words. Words." That
is a world-old trouble. The mechanical calling of words is not
expression, by a long stretch. Did you ever notice how hollow a
memorized speech usually sounds? You have listened to the ranting,
mechanical cadence of inefficient actors, lawyers and preachers. Their
trouble is a mental one--they are not concentratedly thinking thoughts
that cause words to issue with sincerity and conviction, but are merely
enunciating word-sounds mechanically. Painful experience alike to
audience and to speaker! A parrot is equally eloquent. Again let
Shakespeare instruct us, this tune in the insincere prayer of the King,
Hamlet's uncle. He laments thus pointedly:

    My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
    Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

The truth is, that as a speaker your words must be born again every time
they are spoken, then they will not suffer in their utterance, even
though perforce committed to memory and repeated, like Dr. Russell
Conwell's lecture, "Acres of Diamonds," five thousand times. Such
speeches lose nothing by repetition for the perfectly patent reason
that they arise from concentrated thought and feeling and not a mere
necessity for saying something--which usually means anything, and that,
in turn, is tantamount to nothing. If the thought beneath your words is
warm, fresh, spontaneous, a part of your _self_, your utterance will
have breath and life. Words are only a result. Do not try to get the
result without stimulating the cause.

Do you ask _how_ to concentrate? Think of the word itself, and of its
philological brother, _concentric_. Think of how a lens gathers and
concenters the rays of light within a given circle. It centers them by a
process of withdrawal. It may seem like a harsh saying, but the man who
cannot concentrate is either weak of will, a nervous wreck, or has never
learned what will-power is good for.

You must concentrate by resolutely withdrawing your attention from
everything else. If you concentrate your thought on a pain which may be
afflicting you, that pain will grow more intense. "Count your blessings"
and they will multiply. Center your thought on your strokes and your
tennis play will gradually improve. To concentrate is simply to attend
to one thing, and attend to nothing else. If you find that you cannot do
that, there is something wrong--attend to that first. Remove the cause
and the symptom will disappear. Read the chapter on "Will Power."
Cultivate your will by willing and then doing, at all costs.
Concentrate--and you will win.


1. Select from any source several sentences suitable for speaking aloud;
deliver them first in the manner condemned in this chapter, and second
with due regard for emphasis toward the close of each sentence.

2. Put into about one hundred words your impression of the effect

3. Tell of any peculiar methods you may have observed or heard of by
which speakers have sought to aid their powers of concentration, such as
looking fixedly at a blank spot in the ceiling, or twisting a watch

4. What effect do such habits have on the audience?

5. What relation does pause bear to concentration?

6. Tell why concentration naturally helps a speaker to change pitch,
tempo, and emphasis.

7. Read the following selection through to get its meaning and spirit
clearly in your mind. Then read it aloud, concentrating solely on the
thought that you are expressing--do not trouble about the sentence or
thought that is coming. Half the troubles of mankind arise from
anticipating trials that never occur. Avoid this in speaking. Make the
end of your sentences just as strong as the beginning. _CONCENTRATE._


    The last of the savage instincts is war. The cave man's club
    made law and procured food. Might decreed right. Warriors were

    In Nazareth a carpenter laid down the saw and preached the
    brotherhood of man. Twelve centuries afterwards his followers
    marched to the Holy Land to destroy all who differed with them
    in the worship of the God of Love. Triumphantly they wrote "In
    Solomon's Porch and in his temple our men rode in the blood of
    the Saracens up to the knees of their horses."

    History is an appalling tale of war. In the seventeenth century
    Germany, France, Sweden, and Spain warred for thirty years. At
    Magdeburg 30,000 out of 36,000 were killed regardless of sex or
    age. In Germany schools were closed for a third of a century,
    homes burned, women outraged, towns demolished, and the untilled
    land became a wilderness.

    Two-thirds of Germany's property was destroyed and 18,000,000 of
    her citizens were killed, because men quarrelled about the way
    to glorify "The Prince of Peace." Marching through rain and
    snow, sleeping on the ground, eating stale food or starving,
    contracting diseases and facing guns that fire six hundred times
    a minute, for fifty cents a day--this is the soldier's life.

    At the window sits the widowed mother crying. Little children
    with tearful faces pressed against the pane watch and wait.
    Their means of livelihood, their home, their happiness is gone.
    Fatherless children, broken-hearted women, sick, disabled and
    dead men--this is the wage of war.

    We spend more money preparing men to kill each other than we do
    in teaching them to live. We spend more money building one
    battleship than in the annual maintenance of all our state
    universities. The financial loss resulting from destroying one
    another's homes in the civil war would have built 15,000,000
    houses, each costing $2,000. We pray for love but prepare for
    hate. We preach peace but equip for war.

      Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
      Were half the wealth bestowed on camp and court
      Given to redeem this world from error,
      There would be no need of arsenal and fort.

    War only defers a question. No issue will ever really be settled
    until it is settled rightly. Like rival "gun gangs" in a back
    alley, the nations of the world, through the bloody ages, have
    fought over their differences. Denver cannot fight Chicago and
    Iowa cannot fight Ohio. Why should Germany be permitted to fight
    France, or Bulgaria fight Turkey?

    When mankind rises above creeds, colors and countries, when we
    are citizens, not of a nation, but of the world, the armies and
    navies of the earth will constitute an international police
    force to preserve the peace and the dove will take the eagle's

    Our differences will be settled by an international court with
    the power to enforce its mandates. In times of peace prepare for
    peace. The wages of war are the wages of sin, and the "wages of
    sin is death."

    --_Editorial by D.C., Leslie's Weekly; used by permission._



    However, 'tis expedient to be wary:
    Indifference, certes, don't produce distress;
    And rash enthusiasm in good society
    Were nothing but a moral inebriety.

--BYRON, _Don Juan_.

You have attended plays that seemed fair, yet they did not move you,
grip you. In theatrical parlance, they failed to "get over," which means
that their message did not get over the foot-lights to the audience.
There was no punch, no jab to them--they had no force.

Of course, all this spells disaster, in big letters, not only in a stage
production but in any platform effort. Every such presentation exists
solely for the audience, and if it fails to hit them--and the expression
is a good one--it has no excuse for living; nor will it live long.

_What is Force?_

Some of our most obvious words open up secret meanings under scrutiny,
and this is one of them.

To begin with, we must recognize the distinction between inner and outer
force. The one is cause, the other effect. The one is spiritual, the
other physical. In this important particular, animate force differs from
inanimate force--the power of man, coming from within and expressing
itself outwardly, is of another sort from the force of Shimose powder,
which awaits some influence from without to explode it. However
susceptive to outside stimuli, the true source of power in man lies
within himself. This may seem like "mere psychology," but it has an
intensely practical bearing on public speaking, as will appear.

Not only must we discern the difference between human force and mere
physical force, but we must not confuse its real essence with some of
the things that may--and may not--accompany it. For example, loudness is
not force, though force at times may be attended by noise. Mere roaring
never made a good speech, yet there are moments--moments, mind you, not
minutes--when big voice power may be used with tremendous effect.

Nor is violent motion force--yet force may result in violent motion.
Hamlet counseled the players:

    Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use
    all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say)
    whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a
    temperance, that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to
    the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a
    passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the
    groundlings[2]; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing
    but inexplicable dumb show, and noise. I would have such a
    fellow whipped for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod.
    Pray you avoid it.

    Be not too tame, neither, but let your discretion be your tutor:
    suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this
    special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature;
    for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose
    end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as
    'twere, the mirror up to Nature, to show Virtue her own feature,
    Scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his
    form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though
    it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious
    grieve; the censure of the which one must, in your allowance,
    o'erweigh a whole theater of others. Oh, there be players that I
    have seen play--and heard others praise, and that highly--not to
    speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of
    Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, or man, have so
    strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's
    journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated
    humanity so abominably.[3]

Force is both a cause and an effect. Inner force, which must precede
outer force, is a combination of four elements, acting progressively.
First of all, _force arises from conviction_. You must be convinced of
the truth, or the importance, or the meaning, of what you are about to
say before you can give it forceful delivery. It must lay strong hold
upon your convictions before it can grip your audience. Conviction

_The Saturday Evening Post_ in an article on "England's T.R."--Winston
Spencer Churchill--attributed much of Churchill's and Roosevelt's public
platform success to their forceful delivery. No matter what is in hand,
these men make themselves believe for the time being that that one thing
is the most important on earth. Hence they speak to their audiences in a
Do-this-or-you-_PERISH_ manner.

That kind of speaking wins, and it is that virile, strenuous, aggressive
attitude which both distinguishes and maintains the platform careers of
our greatest leaders.

But let us look a little closer at the origins of inner force. How does
conviction affect the man who feels it? We have answered the inquiry in
the very question itself--he _feels_ it: _Conviction produces emotional
tension_. Study the pictures of Theodore Roosevelt and of Billy Sunday
in action--_action_ is the word. Note the tension of their jaw muscles,
the taut lines of sinews in their entire bodies when reaching a climax
of force. Moral and physical force are alike in being both preceded and
accompanied by in-_tens_-ity--tension--tightness of the cords of power.

It is this tautness of the bow-string, this knotting of the muscles,
this contraction before the spring, that makes an audience
_feel_--almost see--the reserve power in a speaker. In some really
wonderful way it is more what a speaker does _not_ say and do that
reveals the dynamo within. _Anything_ may come from such stored-up force
once it is let loose; and that keeps an audience alert, hanging on the
lips of a speaker for his next word. After all, it is all a question of
manhood, for a stuffed doll has neither convictions nor emotional
tension. If you are upholstered with sawdust, keep off the platform, for
your own speech will puncture you.

Growing out of this conviction-tension comes _resolve to make the
audience share that conviction-tension_. Purpose is the backbone of
force; without it speech is flabby--it may glitter, but it is the
iridescence of the spineless jellyfish. You must hold fast to your
resolve if you would hold fast to your audience.

Finally, all this conviction-tension-purpose is lifeless and useless
unless it results in _propulsion_. You remember how Young in his
wonderful "Night Thoughts" delineates the man who

    Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve,
    Resolves, and re-resolves, and dies the same.

Let not your force "die a-borning,"--bring it to full life in its
conviction, emotional tension, resolve, and propulsive power.

_Can Force be Acquired?_

Yes, if the acquirer has any such capacities as we have just outlined.
How to acquire this vital factor is suggested in its very analysis: Live
with your subject until you are convinced of its importance.

If your message does not of itself arouse you to tension, _PULL_
yourself together. When a man faces the necessity of leaping across a
crevasse he does not wait for inspiration, he _wills_ his muscles into
tensity for the spring--it is not without purpose that our English
language uses the same word to depict a mighty though delicate steel
contrivance and a quick leap through the air. Then resolve--and let it
all end in actual _punch_.

This truth is worth reiteration: The man within is the final factor. He
must supply the fuel. The audience, or even the man himself, may add the
match--it matters little which, only so that there be fire. However
skillfully your engine is constructed, however well it works, you will
have no force if the fire has gone out under the boiler. It matters
little how well you have mastered poise, pause, modulation, and tempo,
if your speech lacks fire it is dead. Neither a dead engine nor a dead
speech will move anybody.

Four factors of force are measurably within your control, and in that
far may be acquired: _ideas_, _feeling about the subject_, _wording_, and
_delivery_. Each of these is more or less fully discussed in this
volume, except wording, which really requires a fuller rhetorical study
than can here be ventured. It is, however, of the utmost importance that
you should be aware of precisely how wording bears upon force in a
sentence. Study "The Working Principles of Rhetoric," by John Franklin
Genung, or the rhetorical treatises of Adams Sherman Hill, of Charles
Sears Baldwin, or any others whose names may easily be learned from any

Here are a few suggestions on the use of words to attain force:

_Choice of Words_

PLAIN words are more forceful than words less commonly used--_juggle_
has more vigor than _prestidigitate_.

SHORT words are stronger than long words--_end_ has more directness than

SAXON words are usually more forceful than Latinistic words--for force,
use _wars against_ rather than _militate against_.

SPECIFIC words are stronger than general words--_pressman_ is more
definite than _printer_.

CONNOTATIVE words, those that suggest more than they say, have more
power than ordinary words--"She _let_ herself be married" expresses more
than "She _married_."

EPITHETS, figuratively descriptive words, are more effective than direct
names--"Go tell that _old fox_," has more "punch" than "Go tell that
_sly fellow_." ONOMATOPOETIC words, words that convey the sense by the
sound, are more powerful than other words--_crash_ is more effective
than _cataclysm_.

_Arrangement of words_

Cut out modifiers.

Cut out connectives.

Begin with words that demand attention.

"End with words that deserve distinction," says Prof. Barrett Wendell.

Set strong ideas over against weaker ones, so as to gain strength by the

Avoid elaborate sentence structure--short sentences are stronger than
long ones.

Cut out every useless word, so as to give prominence to the really
important ones.

Let each sentence be a condensed battering ram, swinging to its final
blow on the attention.

A familiar, homely idiom, if not worn by much use, is more effective
than a highly formal, scholarly expression.

Consider well the relative value of different positions in the sentence
so that you may give the prominent place to ideas you wish to emphasize.

"But," says someone, "is it not more honest to depend the inherent
interest in a subject, its native truth, clearness and sincerity of
presentation, and beauty of utterance, to win your audience? Why not
charm men instead of capturing them by assault?"

_Why Use Force?_

There is much truth in such an appeal, but not all the truth.
Clearness, persuasion, beauty, simple statement of truth, are all
essential--indeed, they are all definite parts of a forceful
presentment of a subject, without being the only parts. Strong
meat may not be as attractive as ices, but all depends on the
appetite and the stage of the meal.

You can not deliver an aggressive message with caressing little strokes.
No! Jab it in with hard, swift solar plexus punches. You cannot strike
fire from flint or from an audience with love taps. Say to a crowded
theatre in a lackadaisical manner: "It seems to me that the house is on
fire," and your announcement may be greeted with a laugh. If you flash
out the words: "The house's on fire!" they will crush one another in
getting to the exits.

The spirit and the language of force are definite with conviction. No
immortal speech in literature contains such expressions as "it seems to
me," "I should judge," "in my opinion," "I suppose," "perhaps it is
true." The speeches that will live have been delivered by men ablaze
with the courage of their convictions, who uttered their words as
eternal truth. Of Jesus it was said that "the common people heard Him
gladly." Why? "He taught them as one having _AUTHORITY_." An audience
will never be moved by what "seems" to you to be truth or what in your
"humble opinion" may be so. If you honestly can, assert convictions as
your conclusions. Be sure you are right before you speak your speech,
then utter your thoughts as though they were a Gibraltar of
unimpeachable _truth_. Deliver them with the iron hand and confidence of
a Cromwell. Assert them with the fire of _authority_. Pronounce them as
an _ultimatum_. If you cannot speak with conviction, be silent.

What force did that young minister have who, fearing to be too dogmatic,
thus exhorted his hearers: "My friends--as I assume that you are--it
appears to be my duty to tell you that if you do not repent, so to
speak, forsake your sins, as it were, and turn to righteousness, if I
may so express it, you will be lost, in a measure"?

Effective speech must reflect the era. This is not a rose water age, and
a tepid, half-hearted speech will not win. This is the century of trip
hammers, of overland expresses that dash under cities and through
mountain tunnels, and you must instill this spirit into your speech if
you would move a popular audience. From a front seat listen to a
first-class company present a modern Broadway drama--not a comedy, but a
gripping, thrilling drama. Do not become absorbed in the story; reserve
all your attention for the technique and the force of the acting. There
is a kick and a crash as well as an infinitely subtle intensity in the
big, climax-speeches that suggest this lesson: the same well-calculated,
restrained, delicately shaded force would simply _rivet_ your ideas in
the minds of your audience. An air-gun will rattle bird-shot against a
window pane--it takes a rifle to wing a bullet through plate glass and
the oaken walls beyond.

_When to Use Force_

An audience is unlike the kingdom of heaven--the violent do not always
take it by force. There are times when beauty and serenity should be the
only bells in your chime. Force is only one of the great extremes of
contrast--use neither it nor quiet utterance to the exclusion of other
tones: be various, and in variety find even greater force than you could
attain by attempting its constant use. If you are reading an essay on
the beauties of the dawn, talking about the dainty bloom of a
honey-suckle, or explaining the mechanism of a gas engine, a vigorous
style of delivery is entirely out of place. But when you are appealing
to wills and consciences for immediate action, forceful delivery wins.
In such cases, consider the minds of your audience as so many safes that
have been locked and the keys lost. Do not try to figure out the
combinations. Pour a little nitro glycerine into the cracks and light
the fuse. As these lines are being written a contractor down the street
is clearing away the rocks with dynamite to lay the foundations for a
great building. When you want to get action, do not fear to use

The final argument for the effectiveness of force in public speech is
the fact that everything must be enlarged for the purposes of the
platform--that is why so few speeches read well in the reports on the
morning after: statements appear crude and exaggerated because they are
unaccompanied by the forceful delivery of a glowing speaker before an
audience heated to attentive enthusiasm. So in preparing your speech you
must not err on the side of mild statement--your audience will
inevitably tone down your words in the cold grey of afterthought. When
Phidias was criticised for the rough, bold outlines of a figure he had
submitted in competition, he smiled and asked that his statue and the
one wrought by his rival should be set upon the column for which the
sculpture was destined. When this was done all the exaggerations and
crudities, toned by distances, melted into exquisite grace of line and
form. Each speech must be a special study in suitability and proportion.

Omit the thunder of delivery, if you will, but like Wendell Phillips put
"silent lightning" into your speech. Make your thoughts breathe and your
words burn. Birrell said: "Emerson writes like an electrical cat
emitting sparks and shocks in every sentence." Go thou and speak
likewise. Get the "big stick" into your delivery--be forceful.


1. Illustrate, by repeating a sentence from memory, what is meant by
employing force in speaking.

2. Which in your opinion is the most important of the technical
principles of speaking that you have studied so far? Why?

3. What is the effect of too much force in a speech? Too little?

4. Note some uninteresting conversation or ineffective speech, and tell
why it failed.

5. Suggest how it might be improved.

6. Why do speeches have to be spoken with more force than do

7. Read aloud the selection on page 84, using the technical principles
outlined in chapters III to VIII, but neglect to put any force behind
the interpretation. What is the result?

8. Reread several times, doing your best to achieve force.

9. Which parts of the selection on page 84 require the most force?

10. Write a five-minute speech not only discussing the errors of those
who exaggerate and those who minimize the use of force, but by imitation
show their weaknesses. Do not burlesque, but closely imitate.

11. Give a list of ten themes for public addresses, saying which seem
most likely to require the frequent use of force in delivery.

12. In your own opinion, do speakers usually err from the use of too
much or too little force?

13. Define (a) bombast; (b) bathos; (c) sentimentality; (d) squeamish.

14. Say how the foregoing words describe weaknesses in public speech.

15. Recast in twentieth-century English "Hamlet's Directions to the
Players," page 88.

16. Memorize the following extracts from Wendell Phillips' speeches, and
deliver them with the of Wendell Phillips' "silent lightning" delivery.

    We are for a revolution! We say in behalf of these hunted
    lyings, whom God created, and who law-abiding Webster and
    Winthrop have sworn shall not find shelter in Massachusetts,--we
    say that they may make their little motions, and pass their
    little laws in Washington, but that Faneuil Hall repeals them in
    the name of humanity and the old Bay State!

       *       *       *       *       *

    My advice to workingmen is this:

    If you want power in this country; if you want to make
    yourselves felt; if you do not want your children to wait long
    years before they have the bread on the table they ought to
    have, the leisure in their lives they ought to have, the
    opportunities in life they ought to have; if you don't want to
    wait yourselves,--write on your banner, so that every political
    trimmer can read it, so that every politician, no matter how
    short-sighted he may be, can read it, "_WE NEVER FORGET!_ If you
    launch the arrow of sarcasm at labor, _WE NEVER FORGET!_ If
    there is a division in Congress, and you throw your vote in the
    wrong scale, _WE NEVER FORGET!_ You may go down on your knees,
    and say, 'I am sorry I did the act'--but we will say '_IT WILL
    NEVER!_'" So that a man in taking up the labor question will
    know he is dealing with a hair-trigger pistol, and will say, "I
    am to be true to justice and to man; otherwise I am a dead

       *       *       *       *       *

    In Russia there is no press, no debate, no explanation of what
    government does, no remonstrance allowed, no agitation of public
    issues. Dead silence, like that which reigns at the summit of
    Mont Blanc, freezes the whole empire, long ago described as "a
    despotism tempered by assassination." Meanwhile, such despotism
    has unsettled the brains of the ruling family, as unbridled
    power doubtless made some of the twelve Cęsars insane; a madman,
    sporting with the lives and comfort of a hundred millions of
    men. The young girl whispers in her mother's ear, under a ceiled
    roof, her pity for a brother knouted and dragged half dead into
    exile for his opinions. The next week she is stripped naked and
    flogged to death in the public square. No inquiry, no
    explanation, no trial, no protest, one dead uniform silence, the
    law of the tyrant. Where is there ground for any hope of
    peaceful change? No, no! in such a land dynamite and the dagger
    are the necessary and proper substitutes for Faneuil Hall.
    Anything that will make the madman quake in his bedchamber, and
    rouse his victims into reckless and desperate resistance. This
    is the only view an American, the child of 1620 and 1776, can
    take of Nihilism. Any other unsettles and perplexes the ethics
    of our civilization.

    Born within sight of Bunker Hill--son of Harvard, whose first
    pledge was "Truth," citizen of a republic based on the claim
    that no government is rightful unless resting on the consent of
    the people, and which assumes to lead in asserting the rights of
    humanity--I at least can say nothing else and nothing less--no
    not if every tile on Cambridge roofs were a devil hooting my

For practise on forceful selections, use "The Irrepressible Conflict,"
page 67; "Abraham Lincoln," page 76, "Pass Prosperity Around," page 470;
"A Plea for Cuba," page 50.


[Footnote 2: Those who sat in the pit or the parquet.]

[Footnote 3: _Hamlet_, Act III, Scene 2.]



    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

_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

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

When Sarah Bernhardt plays a difficult role 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 rōles, 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 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 all men 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 the kind he cannot speak of--is not
conscious of."


It is one thing to convince the would-be speaker that he ought to put
feeling into his speeches; often it is quite another thing for him to do
it. The average speaker is afraid to let himself go, and continually
suppresses his emotions. When you put enough feeling into your speeches
they will sound overdone to you, unless you are an experienced speaker.
They will sound too strong, if you are not used to enlarging for
platform or stage, for the delineation of the emotions must be enlarged
for public delivery.

1. Study the following speech, going back in your imagination to the
time and circumstances that brought it forth. Make it not a memorized
historical document, but feel the emotions that gave it birth. The
speech is only an effect; live over in your own heart the causes that
produced it and try to deliver it at white heat. It is not possible for
you to put too much real feeling into it, though of course it would be
quite easy to rant and fill it with false emotion. This speech,
according to Thomas Jefferson, started the ball of the Revolution
rolling. Men were then willing to go out and die for liberty.



    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions
    of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth,
    and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us to
    beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and
    arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the
    number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear
    not, the things which so nearly concern our temporal salvation?
    For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am
    willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to
    provide for it.

    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the
    lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future
    but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what
    there has been in the conduct of the British Ministry for the
    last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have
    been pleased to solace themselves and the House? Is it that
    insidious smile with which our petition has been lately
    received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your
    feet. Suffer not yourselves to be "betrayed with a kiss"! Ask
    yourselves, how this gracious reception of our petition comports
    with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and
    darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of
    love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to
    be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our
    love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the
    implements of war and subjugation, the last "arguments" to which
    kings resort.

    I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its
    purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign
    any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in
    this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of
    navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us;
    they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and
    to rivet upon us those chains which the British Ministry have
    been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall
    we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten
    years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing.
    We have held the subject up in every light of which it is
    capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to
    entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which
    have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir,
    deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that
    could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We
    have petitioned, we have remonstrated, we have supplicated, we
    have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored
    its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Ministry
    and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our
    remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our
    supplications have been disregarded, and we have been spurned
    with contempt from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these
    things, may we indulge in the fond hope of peace and
    reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish
    to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable
    privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean
    not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been
    so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to
    abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be
    obtained, we must fight; I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An
    appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us!

    They tell us, sir, that we are weak--"unable to cope with so
    formidable an adversary"! But when shall we be stronger? Will it
    be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are
    totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in
    every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and
    inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by
    lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of
    hope, until our enemies have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are
    not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God
    of Nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people,
    armed in the holy cause of Liberty, and in such a country as
    that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our
    enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our
    battles alone. There is a just Power who presides over the
    destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our
    battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it
    is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have
    no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too
    late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in
    submission and slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking
    may be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable; and
    let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come! It is in vain, sir,
    to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry "Peace, peace!" but
    there is no peace! The war is actually begun! The next gale that
    sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of
    resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why
    stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would
    they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be
    purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it,
    Almighty Powers!--I know not what course others may take; but as
    for me, give me liberty or give me death!

2. Live over in your imagination all the solemnity and sorrow that
Lincoln felt at the Gettysburg cemetery. The feeling in this speech is
very deep, but it is quieter and more subdued than the preceding one.
The purpose of Henry's address was to get action; Lincoln's speech was
meant only to dedicate the last resting place of those who had acted.
Read it over and over (see page 50) until it burns in your soul. Then
commit it and repeat it for emotional expression.

3. Beecher's speech on Lincoln, page 76; Thurston's speech on "A Plea
for Cuba," page 50; and the following selection, are recommended for
practise in developing feeling in delivery.

    A living force that brings to itself all the resources of
    imagination, all the inspirations of feeling, all that is
    influential in body, in voice, in eye, in gesture, in posture,
    in the whole animated man, is in strict analogy with the divine
    thought and the divine arrangement; and there is no
    misconstruction more utterly untrue and fatal than this: that
    oratory is an artificial thing, which deals with baubles and
    trifles, for the sake of making bubbles of pleasure for
    transient effect on mercurial audiences. So far from that, it is
    the consecration of the whole man to the noblest purposes to
    which one can address himself--the education and inspiration of
    his fellow men by all that there is in learning, by all that
    there is in thought, by all that there is in feeling, by all
    that there is in all of them, sent home through the channels of
    taste and of beauty.


4. What in your opinion are the relative values of thought and feeling
in a speech?

5. Could we dispense with either?

6. What kinds of selections or occasions require much feeling and
enthusiasm? Which require little?

7. Invent a list of ten subjects for speeches, saying which would give
most room for pure thought and which for feeling.

8. Prepare and deliver a ten-minute speech denouncing the (imaginary)
unfeeling plea of an attorney; he may be either the counsel for the
defense or the prosecuting attorney, and the accused may be assumed to
be either guilty or innocent, at your option.

9. Is feeling more important than the technical principles expounded in
chapters III to VII? Why?

10. Analyze the secret of some effective speech or speaker. To what is
the success due?

11. Give an example from your own observation of the effect of feeling
and enthusiasm on listeners.

12. Memorize Carlyle's and Emerson's remarks on enthusiasm.

13. Deliver Patrick Henry's address, page 110, and Thurston's speech,
page 50, without show of feeling or enthusiasm. What is the result?

14. Repeat, with all the feeling these selections demand. What is the

15. What steps do you intend to take to develop the power of enthusiasm
and feeling in speaking?

16. Write and deliver a five-minute speech ridiculing a speaker who uses
bombast, pomposity and over-enthusiasm. Imitate him.



    Animis opibusque parati--Ready in mind and resources.

    --_Motto of South Carolina_.

    In omnibus negotiis prius quam aggrediare, adhibenda est
    pręparatio diligens--In all matters before beginning a diligent
    preparation should be made.

    --CICERO, _De Officiis_.

Take your dictionary and look up the words that contain the Latin stem
_flu_--the results will be suggestive.

At first blush it would seem that fluency consists in a ready, easy use
of words. Not so--the flowing quality of speech is much more, for it is
a composite effect, with each of its prior conditions deserving of
careful notice.

_The Sources of Fluency_

Speaking broadly, fluency is almost entirely a matter of preparation.
Certainly, native gifts figure largely here, as in every art, but even
natural facility is dependent on the very same laws of preparation that
hold good for the man of supposedly small native endowment. Let this
encourage you if, like Moses, you are prone to complain that you are not
a ready speaker.

Have you ever stopped to analyze that expression, "a ready speaker?"
Readiness, in its prime sense, is preparedness, and they are most ready
who are best prepared. Quick firing depends more on the alert finger
than on the hair trigger. Your fluency will be in direct ratio to two
important conditions: your knowledge of what you are going to say, and
your being accustomed to telling what you know to an audience. This
gives us the second great element of fluency--to preparation must be
added the ease that arises from practise; of which more presently.

_Knowledge is Essential_

Mr. Bryan is a most fluent speaker when he speaks on political problems,
tendencies of the time, and questions of morals. It is to be supposed,
however, that he would not be so fluent in speaking on the bird life of
the Florida Everglades. Mr. John Burroughs might be at his best on this
last subject, yet entirely lost in talking about international law. Do
not expect to speak fluently on a subject that you know little or
nothing about. Ctesiphon boasted that he could speak all day (a sin in
itself) on any subject that an audience would suggest. He was banished
by the Spartans.

But preparation goes beyond the getting of the facts in the case you are
to present: it includes also the ability to think and arrange your
thoughts, a full and precise vocabulary, an easy manner of speech and
breathing, absence of self-consciousness, and the several other
characteristics of efficient delivery that have deserved special
attention in other parts of this book rather than in this chapter.

Preparation may be either general or specific; usually it should be
both. A life-time of reading, of companionship with stirring thoughts,
of wrestling with the problems of life--this constitutes a general
preparation of inestimable worth. Out of a well-stored mind, and--richer
still--a broad experience, and--best of all--a warmly sympathetic heart,
the speaker will have to draw much material that no _immediate_ study
could provide. General preparation consists of all that a man has put
into himself, all that heredity and environment have instilled into him,
and--that other rich source of preparedness for speech--the friendship
of wise companions. When Schiller returned home after a visit with
Goethe a friend remarked: "I am amazed by the progress Schiller can make
within a single fortnight." It was the progressive influence of a new
friendship. Proper friendships form one of the best means for the
formation of ideas and ideals, for they enable one to practise in giving
expression to thought. The speaker who would speak fluently before an
audience should learn to speak fluently and entertainingly with a
friend. Clarify your ideas by putting them in words; the talker gains as
much from his conversation as the listener. You sometimes begin to
converse on a subject thinking you have very little to say, but one idea
gives birth to another, and you are surprised to learn that the more you
give the more you have to give. This give-and-take of friendly
conversation develops mentality, and fluency in expression. Longfellow
said: "A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better
than ten years' study of books," and Holmes whimsically yet none the
less truthfully declared that half the time he talked to find out what
he thought. But that method must not be applied on the platform!

After all this enrichment of life by storage, must come the special
preparation for the particular speech. This is of so definite a sort
that it warrants separate chapter-treatment later.


But preparation must also be of another sort than the gathering,
organizing, and shaping of materials--it must include _practise_, which,
like mental preparation, must be both general and special.

Do not feel surprised or discouraged if practise on the principles of
delivery herein laid down seems to retard your fluency. For a time, this
will be inevitable. While you are working for proper inflection, for
instance, inflection will be demanding your first thoughts, and the flow
of your speech, for the time being, will be secondary. This warning,
however, is strictly for the closet, for your practise at home. Do not
carry any thoughts of inflection with you to the platform. There you
must _think_ only of your subject. There is an absolute telepathy
between the audience and the speaker. If your thought goes to your
gesture, their thought will too. If your interest goes to the quality of
your voice, they will be regarding that instead of what your voice is

You have doubtless been adjured to "forget everything but your subject."
This advice says either too much or too little. The truth is that while
on the platform you must not _forget_ a great many things that are not
in your subject, but you must not _think_ of them. Your attention must
consciously go only to your message, but subconsciously you will be
attending to the points of technique which have become more or less
_habitual by practise_.

A nice balance between these two kinds of attention is important.

You can no more escape this law than you can live without air: Your
platform gestures, your voice, your inflection, will all be just as good
as your _habit_ of gesture, voice, and inflection makes them--no better.
Even the thought of whether you are speaking fluently or not will have
the effect of marring your flow of speech.

Return to the opening chapter, on self-confidence, and again lay its
precepts to heart. Learn by rules to speak without thinking of rules. It
is not--or ought not to be--necessary for you to stop to think how to
say the alphabet correctly, as a matter of fact it is slightly more
difficult for you to repeat Z, Y, X than it is to say X, Y, Z--habit has
established the order. Just so you must master the laws of efficiency in
speaking until it is a second nature for you to speak correctly rather
than otherwise. A beginner at the piano has a great deal of trouble with
the mechanics of playing, but as time goes on his fingers become trained
and almost instinctively wander over the keys correctly. As an
inexperienced speaker you will find a great deal of difficulty at first
in putting principles into practise, for you will be scared, like the
young swimmer, and make some crude strokes, but if you persevere you
will "win out."

Thus, to sum up, the vocabulary you have enlarged by study,[4] the ease
in speaking you have developed by practise, the economy of your
well-studied emphasis all will subconsciously come to your aid on the
platform. Then the habits you have formed will be earning you a splendid
dividend. The fluency of your speech will be at the speed of flow your
practise has made habitual.

But this means work. What good habit does not? No philosopher's stone
that will act as a substitute for laborious practise has ever been
found. If it were, it would be thrown away, because it would kill our
greatest joy--the delight of acquisition. If public-speaking means to
you a fuller life, you will know no greater happiness than a well-spoken
speech. The time you have spent in gathering ideas and in private
practise of speaking you will find amply rewarded.


1. What advantages has the fluent speaker over the hesitating talker?

2. What influences, within and without the man himself, work against

3. Select from the daily paper some topic for an address and make a
three-minute address on it. Do your words come freely and your sentences
flow out rhythmically? Practise _on the same topic_ until they do.

4. Select some subject with which you are familiar and test your fluency
by speaking extemporaneously.

5. Take one of the sentiments given below and, following the advice
given on pages 118-119, construct a short speech beginning with the last
word in the sentence.

    Machinery has created a new economic world.

    The Socialist Party is a strenuous worker for peace.

    He was a crushed and broken man when he left prison.

    War must ultimately give way to world-wide arbitration.

    The labor unions demand a more equal distribution of the wealth
    that labor creates.

6. Put the sentiments of Mr. Bryan's "Prince of Peace," on page 448,
into your own words. Honestly criticise your own effort.

7. Take any of the following quotations and make a five-minute speech on
it without pausing to prepare. The first efforts may be very lame, but
if you want speed on a typewriter, a record for a hundred-yard dash, or
facility in speaking, you must practise, _practise_, _PRACTISE_.

    There lives more faith in honest doubt,
    Believe me, than in half the creeds.

    --TENNYSON, _In Memoriam_.

    Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
      'Tis only noble to be good.
    Kind hearts are more than coronets,
      And simple faith than Norman blood.

    --TENNYSON, _Lady Clara Vere de Vere_.

    'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view
    And robes the mountain in its azure hue.

    --CAMPBELL, _Pleasures of Hope_.

    His best companions, innocence and health,
    And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.

    --GOLDSMITH, _The Deserted Village_.

    Beware of desperate steps! The darkest day,
    Live till tomorrow, will have passed away.

    --COWPER, _Needless Alarm_.

    My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

    --PAINE, _Rights of Man_.

    Trade it may help, society extend,
    But lures the pirate, and corrupts the friend:
    It raises armies in a nation's aid,
    But bribes a senate, and the land's betray'd.

    --POPE, _Moral Essays_.[5]

    O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal
    away their brains!

    --SHAKESPEARE, _Othello_.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

    --HENLEY, _Invictus_.

    The world is so full of a number of things,
    I am sure we should all be happy as kings.

    --STEVENSON, _A Child's Garden of Verses_.

    If your morals are dreary, depend upon it they are wrong.

    --STEVENSON, _Essays_.

    Every advantage has its tax. I learn to be content.

    --EMERSON, _Essays_.

8. Make a two-minute speech on any of the following general subjects,
but you will find that your ideas will come more readily if you narrow
your subject by taking some specific phase of it. For instance, instead
of trying to speak on "Law" in general, take the proposition, "The Poor
Man Cannot Afford to Prosecute;" or instead of dwelling on "Leisure,"
show how modern speed is creating more leisure. In this way you may
expand this subject list indefinitely.


Woman's Suffrage.
Initiative and Referendum.
A Larger Navy.
Foreign Immigration.
The Liquor Traffic.
Labor Unions.
Single Tax.
The Far East.
Child Labor.
The Theater.
Public Speaking.
The Most Dramatic Moment of My Life.
My Happiest Days.
Things Worth While.
What I Hope to Achieve.
My Greatest Desire.
What I Would Do with a Million Dollars.
Is Mankind Progressing?
Our Greatest Need.


[Footnote 4: See chapter on "Increasing the Vocabulary."]

[Footnote 5: Money.]



    Oh, there is something in that voice that reaches
    The innermost recesses of my spirit!

--LONGFELLOW, _Christus_.

The dramatic critic of The London _Times_ once declared that acting is
nine-tenths voice work. Leaving the message aside, the same may justly
be said of public speaking. A rich, correctly-used voice is the greatest
physical factor of persuasiveness and power, often over-topping the
effects of reason.

But a good voice, well handled, is not only an effective possession for
the professional speaker, it is a mark of personal culture as well, and
even a distinct commercial asset. Gladstone, himself the possessor of a
deep, musical voice, has said: "Ninety men in every hundred in the
crowded professions will probably never rise above mediocrity because
the training of the voice is entirely neglected and considered of no
importance." These are words worth pondering.

There are three fundamental requisites for a good voice:

_1. Ease_

Signor Bonci of the Metropolitan Opera Company says that the secret of
good voice is relaxation; and this is true, for relaxation is the basis
of ease. The air waves that produce voice result in a different kind of
tone when striking against relaxed muscles than when striking
constricted muscles. Try this for yourself. Contract the muscles of your
face and throat as you do in hate, and flame out "I hate you!" Now relax
as you do when thinking gentle, tender thoughts, and say, "I love you."
How different the voice sounds.

In practising voice exercises, and in speaking, never force your tones.
Ease must be your watchword. The voice is a delicate instrument, and you
must not handle it with hammer and tongs. Don't _make_ your voice
go--_let_ it go. Don't work. Let the yoke of speech be easy and its
burden light.

Your throat should be free from strain during speech, therefore it is
necessary to avoid muscular contraction. The throat must act as a sort
of chimney or funnel for the voice, hence any unnatural constriction
will not only harm its tones but injure its health.

Nervousness and mental strain are common sources of mouth and throat
constriction, so make the battle for poise and self-confidence for which
we pleaded in the opening chapter.

But _how_ can I relax? you ask. By simply _willing_ to relax. Hold your
arm out straight from your shoulder. Now--withdraw all power and let it
fall. Practise relaxation of the muscles of the throat by letting your
neck and head fall forward. Roll the upper part of your body around,
with the waist line acting as a pivot. Let your head fall and roll
around as you shift the torso to different positions. Do not force your
head around--simply relax your neck and let gravity pull it around as
your body moves.

Again, let your head fall forward on your breast; raise your head,
letting your jaw hang. Relax until your jaw feels heavy, as though it
were a weight hung to your face. Remember, you must relax the jaw to
obtain command of it. It must be free and flexible for the moulding of
tone, and to let the tone pass out unobstructed.

The lips also must be made flexible, to aid in the moulding of clear and
beautiful tones. For flexibility of lips repeat the syllables,
_mo_--_me_. In saying _mo_, bring the lips up to resemble the shape of
the letter O. In repeating _me_ draw them back as you do in a grin.
Repeat this exercise rapidly, giving the lips as much exercise as

Try the following exercise in the same manner:


After this exercise has been mastered, the following will also be found
excellent for flexibility of lips:

Memorize these _sounds_ indicated (not the _expressions_) so that you
can repeat them rapidly.

| A as in  May. | E as in Met.  | U as in Use.
| A   "    Ah.  | I   "   Ice.  | Oi  "   Oil.
| A   "    At.  | I   "   It.   | Ou  "   Our.
| O   "    No.  | O   "   No.   | OO  "   Ooze.
| A   "    All. | OO  "   Foot. | A   "   Ah.
| E   "    Eat. | OO  "   Ooze. | E   "   Eat.

All the activity of breathing must be centered, not in the throat, but
in the middle of the body--you must breathe from the diaphragm. Note the
way you breathe when lying flat on the back, undressed in bed. You will
observe that all the activity then centers around the diaphragm. This is
the natural and correct method of breathing. By constant watchfulness
make this your habitual manner, for it will enable you to relax more
perfectly the muscles of the throat.

The next fundamental requisite for good voice is

_2. Openness_

If the muscles of the throat are constricted, the tone passage partially
closed, and the mouth kept half-shut, how can you expect the tone to
come out bright and clear, or even to come out at all? Sound is a series
of waves, and if you make a prison of your mouth, holding the jaws and
lips rigidly, it will be very difficult for the tone to squeeze through,
and even when it does escape it will lack force and carrying power. Open
your mouth wide, relax all the organs of speech, and let the tone flow
out easily.

Start to yawn, but instead of yawning, speak while your throat is open.
Make this open-feeling habitual when speaking--we say _make_ because it
is a matter of resolution and of practise, if your vocal organs are
healthy. Your tone passages may be partly closed by enlarged tonsils,
adenoids, or enlarged turbinate bones of the nose. If so, a skilled
physician should be consulted.

The nose is an important tone passage and should be kept open and free
for perfect tones. What we call "talking through the nose" is not
talking through the nose, as you can easily demonstrate by holding your
nose as you talk. If you are bothered with nasal tones caused by
growths or swellings in the nasal passages, a slight, painless operation
will remove the obstruction. This is quite important, aside from voice,
for the general health will be much lowered if the lungs are continually
starved for air.

The final fundamental requisite for good voice is

_3. Forwardness_

A voice that is pitched back in the throat is dark, sombre, and
unattractive. The tone must be pitched forward, but do not _force_ it
forward. You will recall that our first principle was ease. _Think_ the
tone forward and out. Believe it is going forward, and allow it to flow
easily. You can tell whether you are placing your tone forward or not by
inhaling a deep breath and singing _ah_ with the mouth wide open, trying
to feel the little delicate sound waves strike the bony arch of the
mouth just above the front teeth. The sensation is so slight that you
will probably not be able to detect it at once, but persevere in your
practise, always thinking the tone forward, and you will be rewarded by
feeling your voice strike the roof of your mouth. A correct
forward-placing of the tone will do away with the dark, throaty tones
that are so unpleasant, inefficient, and harmful to the throat.

Close the lips, humming _ng_, _im_, or _an_. Think the tone forward. Do
you feel it strike the lips?

Hold the palm of your hand in front of your face and say vigorously
_crash, dash, whirl, buzz_. Can you feel the forward tones strike
against your hand? Practise until you can. Remember, the only way to
get your voice forward is to _put_ it forward.

_How to Develop the Carrying Power of the Voice_

It is not necessary to speak loudly in order to be heard at a distance.
It is necessary only to speak correctly. Edith Wynne Matthison's voice
will carry in a whisper throughout a large theater. A paper rustling on
the stage of a large auditorium can be heard distinctly in the
furthermost seat in the gallery. If you will only use your voice
correctly, you will not have much difficulty in being heard. Of course
it is always well to address your speech to your furthest auditors; if
they get it, those nearer will have no trouble, but aside from this
obvious suggestion, you must observe these laws of voice production:

Remember to apply the principles of ease, openness and forwardness--they
are the prime factors in enabling your voice to be heard at a distance.

Do not gaze at the floor as you talk. This habit not only gives the
speaker an amateurish appearance but if the head is hung forward the
voice will be directed towards the ground instead of floating out over
the audience.

Voice is a series of air vibrations. To strengthen it two things are
necessary: more air or breath, and more vibration.

Breath is the very basis of voice. As a bullet with little powder behind
it will not have force and carrying power, so the voice that has little
breath behind it will be weak. Not only will deep breathing--breathing
from the diaphragm--give the voice a better support, but it will give
it a stronger resonance by improving the general health.

Usually, ill health means a weak voice, while abundant physical vitality
is shown through a strong, vibrant voice. Therefore anything that
improves the general vitality is an excellent voice strengthener,
provided you _use_ the voice properly. Authorities differ on most of the
rules of hygiene but on one point they all agree: vitality and longevity
are increased by deep breathing. Practise this until it becomes second
nature. Whenever you are speaking, take in deep breaths, but in such a
manner that the inhalations will be silent.

Do not try to speak too long without renewing your breath. Nature cares
for this pretty well unconsciously in conversation, and she will do the
same for you in platform speaking if you do not interfere with her

A certain very successful speaker developed voice carrying power by
running across country, practising his speeches as he went. The vigorous
exercise forced him to take deep breaths, and developed lung power. A
hard-fought basketball or tennis game is an efficient way of practising
deep breathing. When these methods are not convenient, we recommend the

Place your hands at your sides, on the waist line.

By trying to encompass your waist with your fingers and thumbs, force
all the air out of the lungs.

Take a deep breath. Remember, all the activity is to be centered in the
_middle_ of the body; do not raise the shoulders. As the breath is taken
your hands will be forced out.

Repeat the exercise, placing your hands on the small of the back and
forcing them out as you inhale.

Many methods for deep breathing have been given by various authorities.
Get the air into your lungs--that is the important thing.

The body acts as a sounding board for the voice just as the body of the
violin acts as a sounding board for its tones. You can increase its
vibrations by practise.

Place your finger on your lip and hum the musical scale, thinking and
placing the voice forward on the lips. Do you feel the lips vibrate?
After a little practise they will vibrate, giving a tickling sensation.

Repeat this exercise, throwing the humming sound into the nose. Hold the
upper part of the nose between the thumb and forefinger. Can you feel
the nose vibrate?

Placing the palm of your hand on top of your head, repeat this humming
exercise. Think the voice there as you hum in head tones. Can you feel
the vibration there?

Now place the palm of your hand on the back of your head, repeating the
foregoing process. Then try it on the chest. Always remember to think
your tone where you desire to feel the vibrations. The mere act of
thinking about any portion of your body will tend to make it vibrate.

Repeat the following, after a deep inhalation, endeavoring to feel all
portions of your body vibrate at the same time. When you have attained
this you will find that it is a pleasant sensation.

    What ho, my jovial mates. Come on! We will frolic it like
    fairies, frisking in the merry moonshine.

_Purity of Voice_

This quality is sometimes destroyed by wasting the breath. Carefully
control the breath, using only as much as is necessary for the
production of tone. Utilize all that you give out. Failure to do this
results in a breathy tone. Take in breath like a prodigal; in speaking,
give it out like a miser.

_Voice Suggestions_

Never attempt to force your voice when hoarse.

Do not drink cold water when speaking. The sudden shock to the heated
organs of speech will injure the voice.

Avoid pitching your voice too high--it will make it raspy. This is a
common fault. When you find your voice in too high a range, lower it. Do
not wait until you get to the platform to try this. Practise it in your
daily conversation. Repeat the alphabet, beginning A on the lowest scale
possible and going up a note on each succeeding letter, for the
development of range. A wide range will give you facility in making
numerous changes of pitch.

Do not form the habit of listening to your voice when speaking. You will
need your brain to think of what you are saying--reserve your
observation for private practise.


1. What are the prime requisites for good voice?

2. Tell why each one is necessary for good voice production.

3. Give some exercises for development of these conditions.

4. Why is range of voice desirable?

5. Tell how range of voice may be cultivated.

6. How much daily practise do you consider necessary for the proper
development of your voice?

7. How can resonance and carrying power be developed?

8. What are your voice faults?

9. How are you trying to correct them?



    A cheerful temper joined with innocence will make beauty
    attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured.

    --JOSEPH ADDISON, _The Tattler_.

Poe said that "the tone of beauty is sadness," but he was evidently
thinking from cause to effect, not contrariwise, for sadness is rarely a
producer of beauty--that is peculiarly the province of joy.

The exquisite beauty of a sunset is not exhilarating but tends to a sort
of melancholy that is not far from delight The haunting beauty of deep,
quiet music holds more than a tinge of sadness. The lovely minor
cadences of bird song at twilight are almost depressing.

The reason we are affected to sadness by certain forms of placid beauty
is twofold: movement is stimulating and joy-producing, while quietude
leads to reflection, and reflection in turn often brings out the tone of
regretful longing for that which is past; secondly, quiet beauty
produces a vague aspiration for the relatively unattainable, yet does
not stimulate to the tremendous effort necessary to make the dimly
desired state or object ours.

We must distinguish, for these reasons, between the sadness of beauty
and the joy of beauty. True, joy is a deep, inner thing and takes in
much more than the idea of bounding, sanguine spirits, for it includes a
certain active contentedness of heart. In this chapter, however the
word will have its optimistic, exuberant connotation--we are thinking
now of vivid, bright-eyed, laughing joy.

Musical, joyous tones constitute voice charm, a subtle magnetism that is
delightfully contagious. Now it might seem to the desultory reader that
to take the lancet and cut into this alluring voice quality would be to
dissect a butterfly wing and so destroy its charm. Yet how can we induce
an effect if we are not certain as to the cause?

_Nasal Resonance Produces the Bell-tones of the Voice_

The tone passages of the nose must be kept entirely free for the bright
tones of voice--and after our warning in the preceding chapter you will
not confuse what is popularly and erroneously called a "nasal" tone with
the true nasal quality, which is so well illustrated by the voice work
of trained French singers and speakers.

To develop nasal resonance sing the following, dwelling as long as
possible on the _ng_ sounds. Pitch the voice in the nasal cavity.
Practise both in high and low registers, and develop range--_with

    Sing-song. Ding-dong. Hong-kong. Long-thong.

Practise in the falsetto voice develops a bright quality in the normal
speaking-voice. Try the following, and any other selections you choose,
in a falsetto voice. A man's falsetto voice is extremely high and
womanish, so men should not practise in falsetto after the exercise
becomes tiresome.

    She perfectly scorned the best of his clan, and declared the
    ninth of any man, a perfectly vulgar fraction.

The actress Mary Anderson asked the poet Longfellow what she could do to
improve her voice. He replied, "Read aloud daily, joyous, lyric poetry."

The joyous tones are the bright tones. Develop them by exercise.
Practise your voice exercises in an attitude of joy. Under the influence
of pleasure the body expands, the tone passages open, the action of
heart and lungs is accelerated, and all the primary conditions for good
tone are established.

More songs float out from the broken windows of the negro cabins in the
South than from the palatial homes on Fifth Avenue. Henry Ward Beecher
said the happiest days of his life were not when he had become an
international character, but when he was an unknown minister out in
Lawrenceville, Ohio, sweeping his own church, and working as a carpenter
to help pay the grocer. Happiness is largely an attitude of mind, of
viewing life from the right angle. The optimistic attitude can be
cultivated, and it will express itself in voice charm. A telephone
company recently placarded this motto in their booths: "The Voice with
the Smile Wins." It does. Try it.

Reading joyous prose, or lyric poetry, will help put smile and joy of
soul into your voice. The following selections are excellent for

_REMEMBER_ that when you first practise these classics you are to give
sole attention to two things: a joyous attitude of heart and body, and
bright tones of voice. After these ends have been attained to your
satisfaction, carefully review the principles of public speaking laid
down in the preceding chapters and put them into practise as you read
these passages again and again. _It would be better to commit each
selection to memory._



    Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
    Jest, and youthful Jollity,
    Quips and Cranks and wanton Wiles,
    Nods and Becks, and wreathčd Smiles,
    Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
    And love to live in dimple sleek,--
    Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
    And Laughter holding both his sides.

    Come, and trip it as ye go
    On the light fantastic toe;
    And in thy right hand lead with thee
    The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty:
    And, if I give thee honor due,
    Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
    To live with her, and live with thee,
    In unreprovčd pleasures free;

    To hear the lark begin his flight,
    And singing, startle the dull Night
    From his watch-tower in the skies,
    Till the dappled Dawn doth rise;
    Then to come in spite of sorrow,
    And at my window bid good-morrow
    Through the sweetbrier, or the vine,
    Or the twisted eglantine;
    While the cock with lively din
    Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
    And to the stack, or the barn-door,
    Stoutly struts his dames before;

    Oft listening how the hounds and horn
    Cheerly rouse the slumbering Morn,
    From the side of some hoar hill,
    Through the high wood echoing shrill;
    Sometime walking, not unseen,
    By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
    Right against the eastern gate,
    Where the great Sun begins his state,
    Robed in flames and amber light,
    The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
    While the plowman near at hand
    Whistles o'er the furrowed land,
    And the milkmaid singing blithe,
    And the mower whets his scythe,
    And every shepherd tells his tale,
    Under the hawthorn in the dale.


    The sea, the sea, the open sea,
    The blue, the fresh, the fever free;
    Without a mark, without a bound,
    It runneth the earth's wide regions round;
    It plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies,
    Or like a cradled creature lies.
    I'm on the sea, I'm on the sea,
    I am where I would ever be,
    With the blue above and the blue below,
    And silence wheresoe'er I go.
    If a storm should come and awake the deep,
    What matter? I shall ride and sleep.

    I love, oh! how I love to ride
    On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
    Where every mad wave drowns the moon,
    And whistles aloft its tempest tune,
    And tells how goeth the world below,
    And why the southwest wind doth blow!
    I never was on the dull, tame shore
    But I loved the great sea more and more,
    And backward flew to her billowy breast,
    Like a bird that seeketh her mother's nest,--
    And a mother she was and is to me,
    For I was born on the open sea.

    The waves were white, and red the morn,
    In the noisy hour when I was born;
    The whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
    And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
    And never was heard such an outcry wild,
    As welcomed to life the ocean child.
    I have lived, since then, in calm and strife,
    Full fifty summers a rover's life,
    With wealth to spend, and a power to range,
    But never have sought or sighed for change:
    And death, whenever he comes to me,
    Shall come on the wide, unbounded sea!


    The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the
    wide world's joy. The lonely pine upon the mountain-top waves
    its sombre boughs, and cries, "Thou art my sun." And the little
    meadow violet lifts its cup of blue, and whispers with its
    perfumed breath, "Thou art my sun." And the grain in a thousand
    fields rustles in the wind, and makes answer, "Thou art my sun."
    And so God sits effulgent in Heaven, not for a favored few, but
    for the universe of life; and there is no creature so poor or so
    low that he may not look up with child-like confidence and say,
    "My Father! Thou art mine."



        Bird of the wilderness,
        Blithesome and cumberless,
    Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
        Emblem of happiness,
        Blest is thy dwelling-place:
    Oh, to abide in the desert with thee!

        Wild is thy lay, and loud,
        Far in the downy cloud,--
    Love gives it energy; love gave it birth.
        Where, on thy dewy wing
        Where art thou journeying?
    Thy lay is in heaven; thy love is on earth.

        O'er fell and fountain sheen,
        O'er moor and mountain green,
    O'er the red streamer that heralds the day;
        Over the cloudlet dim,
        Over the rainbow's rim,
    Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!

        Then, when the gloaming comes,
        Low in the heather blooms,
    Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
        Emblem of happiness,
        Blest is thy dwelling-place.
    Oh, to abide in the desert with thee!


In joyous conversation there is an elastic touch, a delicate stroke,
upon the central ideas, generally following a pause. This elastic touch
adds vivacity to the voice. If you try repeatedly, it can be sensed by
feeling the tongue strike the teeth. The entire absence of elastic touch
in the voice can be observed in the thick tongue of the intoxicated man.
Try to talk with the tongue lying still in the bottom of the mouth, and
you will obtain largely the same effect. Vivacity of utterance is gained
by using the tongue to strike off the emphatic idea with a decisive,
elastic touch.

Deliver the following with decisive strokes on the emphatic ideas.
Deliver it in a vivacious manner, noting the elastic touch-action of the
tongue. A flexible, responsive tongue is absolutely essential to good
voice work.


    What have you done with that brilliant France which I left you?
    I left you at peace, and I find you at war. I left you
    victorious and I find you defeated. I left you the millions of
    Italy, and I find only spoliation and poverty. What have you
    done with the hundred thousand Frenchmen, my companions in
    glory? They are dead!... This state of affairs cannot last long;
    in less than three years it would plunge us into despotism.

Practise the following selection, for the development of elastic touch;
say it in a joyous spirit, using the exercise to develop voice charm in
_all_ the ways suggested in this chapter.


    I come from haunts of coot and hern,
        I make a sudden sally,
    And sparkle out among the fern,
        To bicker down a valley.

    By thirty hills I hurry down,
        Or slip between the ridges;
    By twenty thorps, a little town,
        And half a hundred bridges.

    Till last by Philip's farm I flow
        To join the brimming river;
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I chatter over stony ways,
        In little sharps and trebles,
    I bubble into eddying bays,
        I babble on the pebbles.

    With many a curve my banks I fret,
        By many a field and fallow,
    And many a fairy foreland set
        With willow-weed and mallow.

    I chatter, chatter, as I flow
        To join the brimming river;
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I wind about, and in and out,
        With here a blossom sailing,
    And here and there a lusty trout,
        And here and there a grayling,

    And here and there a foamy flake
        Upon me, as I travel,
    With many a silvery water-break
        Above the golden gravel,

    And draw them all along, and flow
        To join the brimming river,
    For men may come and men may go,
        But I go on forever.

    I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
        I slide by hazel covers,
    I move the sweet forget-me-nots
        That grow for happy lovers.

    I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
        Among my skimming swallows;
    I make the netted sunbeam dance
        Against my sandy shallows,

    I murmur under moon and stars
        In brambly wildernesses,
    I linger by my shingly bars,
         I loiter round my cresses;

    And out again I curve and flow
         To join the brimming river;
    For men may come and men may go,
         But I go on forever.


The children at play on the street, glad from sheer physical vitality,
display a resonance and charm in their voices quite different from the
voices that float through the silent halls of the hospitals. A skilled
physician can tell much about his patient's condition from the mere
sound of the voice. Failing health, or even physical weariness, tells
through the voice. It is always well to rest and be entirely refreshed
before attempting to deliver a public address. As to health, neither
scope nor space permits us to discuss here the laws of hygiene. There
are many excellent books on this subject. In the reign of the Roman
emperor Tiberius, one senator wrote to another: "To the wise, a word is

"The apparel oft proclaims the man;" the voice always does--it is one of
the greatest revealers of character. The superficial woman, the brutish
man, the reprobate, the person of culture, often discloses inner nature
in the voice, for even the cleverest dissembler cannot entirely prevent
its tones and qualities being affected by the slightest change of
thought or emotion. In anger it becomes high, harsh, and unpleasant; in
love low, soft, and melodious--the variations are as limitless as they
are fascinating to observe. Visit a theatrical hotel in a large city,
and listen to the buzz-saw voices of the chorus girls from some
burlesque "attraction." The explanation is simple--buzz-saw lives.
Emerson said: "When a man lives with God his voice shall be as sweet as
the murmur of the brook or the rustle of the corn." It is impossible to
think selfish thoughts and have either an attractive personality, a
lovely character, or a charming voice. If you want to possess voice
charm, cultivate a deep, sincere sympathy for mankind. Love will shine
out through your eyes and proclaim itself in your tones. One secret of
the sweetness of the canary's song may be his freedom from tainted
thoughts. Your character beautifies or mars your voice. As a man
thinketh in his heart so is his voice.


1. Define (_a_) charm; (_b_) joy; (_c_) beauty.

2. Make a list of all the words related to _joy_.

3. Write a three-minute eulogy of "The Joyful Man."

4. Deliver it without the use of notes. Have you carefully considered
all the qualities that go to make up voice-charm in its delivery?

5. Tell briefly in your own words what means may be employed to develop
a charming voice.

6. Discuss the effect of voice on character.

7. Discuss the effect of character on voice.

8. Analyze the voice charm of any speaker or singer you choose.

9. Analyze the defects of any given voice.

10. Make a short humorous speech imitating certain voice defects,
pointing out reasons.

11. Commit the following stanza and interpret each phase of delight
suggested or expressed by the poet.

    An infant when it gazes on a light,
        A child the moment when it drains the breast,
    A devotee when soars the Host in sight,
        An Arab with a stranger for a guest,
    A sailor when the prize has struck in fight,
        A miser filling his most hoarded chest,
    Feel rapture; but not such true joy are reaping
    As they who watch o'er what they love while sleeping.

--BYRON, _Don Juan_.



    In man speaks God.

    --HESIOD, _Words and Days_.

    And endless are the modes of speech, and far
    Extends from side to side the field of words.

    --HOMER, _Iliad_.

In popular usage the terms "pronunciation," "enunciation," and
"articulation" are synonymous, but real pronunciation includes three
distinct processes, and may therefore be defined as, _the utterance of a
syllable or a group of syllables with regard to articulation,
accentuation, and enunciation_.

Distinct and precise utterance is one of the most important
considerations of public speech. How preposterous it is to hear a
speaker making sounds of "inarticulate earnestness" under the contented
delusion that he is telling something to his audience! Telling? Telling
means communicating, and how can he actually communicate without making
every word distinct?

Slovenly pronunciation results from either physical deformity or habit.
A surgeon or a surgeon dentist may correct a deformity, but your own
will, working by self-observation and resolution in drill, will break a
habit. All depends upon whether you think it worth while.

Defective speech is so widespread that freedom from it is the exception.
It is painfully common to hear public speakers mutilate the king's
English. If they do not actually murder it, as Curran once said, they
often knock an _i_ out.

A Canadian clergyman, writing in the _Homiletic Review_, relates that in
his student days "a classmate who was an Englishman supplied a country
church for a Sunday. On the following Monday he conducted a missionary
meeting. In the course of his address he said some farmers thought they
were doing their duty toward missions when they gave their 'hodds and
hends' to the work, but the Lord required more. At the close of the
meeting a young woman seriously said to a friend: 'I am sure the farmers
do well if they give their hogs and hens to missions. It is more than
most people can afford.'"

It is insufferable effrontery for any man to appear before an audience
who persists in driving the _h_ out of happiness, home and heaven, and,
to paraphrase Waldo Messaros, will not let it rest in hell. He who does
not show enough self-knowledge to see in himself such glaring faults,
nor enough self-mastery to correct them, has no business to instruct
others. If he _can_ do no better, he should be silent. If he _will_ do
no better, he should also be silent.

Barring incurable physical defects--and few are incurable nowadays--the
whole matter is one of will. The catalogue of those who have done the
impossible by faithful work is as inspiring as a roll-call of warriors.
"The less there is of you," says Nathan Sheppard, "the more need for you
to make the most of what there is of you."


Articulation is the forming and joining of the elementary sounds of
speech. It seems an appalling task to utter articulately the third-of-a
million words that go to make up our English vocabulary, but the way to
make a beginning is really simple: _learn to utter correctly, and with
easy change from one to the other, each of the forty-four elementary
sounds in our language_.

The reasons why articulation is so painfully slurred by a great many
public speakers are four: ignorance of the elemental sounds; failure to
discriminate between sounds nearly alike; a slovenly, lazy use of the
vocal organs; and a torpid will. Anyone who is still master of himself
will know how to handle each of these defects.

The vowel sounds are the most vexing source of errors, especially where
diphthongs are found. Who has not heard such errors as are hit off in
this inimitable verse by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

    Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
    The careless lips that speak of s[)o]ap for s[=o]ap;
    Her edict exiles from her fair abode
    The clownish voice that utters r[)o]ad for r[=o]ad;
    Less stern to him who calls his c[=o]at, a c[)o]at
    And steers his b[=o]at believing it a b[)o]at.
    She pardoned one, our classic city's boast.
    Who said at Cambridge, m[)o]st instead of m[=o]st,
    But knit her brows and stamped her angry foot
    To hear a Teacher call a r[=oo]t a r[)oo]t.

The foregoing examples are all monosyllables, but bad articulation is
frequently the result of joining sounds that do not belong together.
For example, no one finds it difficult to say _beauty_, but many persist
in pronouncing _duty_ as though it were spelled either _dooty_ or
_juty_. It is not only from untaught speakers that we hear such slovenly
articulations as _colyum_ for _column_, and _pritty_ for _pretty_, but
even great orators occasionally offend quite as unblushingly as less
noted mortals.

Nearly all such are errors of carelessness, not of pure ignorance--of
carelessness because the ear never tries to hear what the lips
articulate. It must be exasperating to a foreigner to find that the
elemental sound _ou_ gives him no hint for the pronunciation of _bough_,
_cough_, _rough_, _thorough_, and _through_, and we can well forgive
even a man of culture who occasionally loses his way amidst the
intricacies of English articulation, but there can be no excuse for the
slovenly utterance of the simple vowel sounds which form at once the
life and the beauty of our language. He who is too lazy to speak
distinctly should hold his tongue.

The consonant sounds occasion serious trouble only for those who do not
look with care at the spelling of words about to be pronounced. Nothing
but carelessness can account for saying _Jacop_, _Babtist_, _sevem_,
_alwus_, or _sadisfy_.

"He that hath yaws to yaw, let him yaw," is the rendering which an
Anglophobiac clergyman gave of the familiar scripture, "He that hath
ears to hear, let him hear." After hearing the name of Sir Humphry Davy
pronounced, a Frenchman who wished to write to the eminent Englishman
thus addressed the letter: "Serum Fridavi."


Accentuation is the stressing of the proper syllables in words. This it
is that is popularly called _pronunciation_. For instance, we properly
say that a word is mispronounced when it is accented _in'-vite_instead
of _in-vite'_, though it is really an offense against only one form of

It is the work of a lifetime to learn the accents of a large vocabulary
and to keep pace with changing usage; but an alert ear, the study of
word-origins, and the dictionary habit, will prove to be mighty helpers
in a task that can never be finally completed.


Correct enunciation is the complete utterance of all the sounds of a
syllable or a word. Wrong articulation gives the wrong sound to the
vowel or vowels of a word or a syllable, as _doo_ for _dew_; or unites
two sounds improperly, as _hully_ for _wholly_. Wrong enunciation is the
_incomplete_ utterance of a syllable or a word, the sound omitted or
added being usually consonantal. To say _needcessity_ instead of
_necessity_ is a wrong articulation; to say _doin_ for _doing_ is
improper enunciation. The one articulates--that is, joints--two sounds
that should not be joined, and thus gives the word a positively wrong
sound; the other fails to touch all the sounds in the word, and _in that
particular way_ also sounds the word incorrectly.

"My tex' may be foun' in the fif' and six' verses of the secon' chapter
of Titus; and the subjec' of my discourse is 'The Gover'ment of ar

What did this preacher do with his final consonants? This slovenly
dropping of essential sounds is as offensive as the common habit of
running words together so that they lose their individuality and
distinctness. _Lighten dark_, _uppen down_, _doncher know_,
_partic'lar_, _zamination_, are all too common to need comment.

Imperfect enunciation is due to lack of attention and to lazy lips. It
can be corrected by resolutely attending to the formation of syllables
as they are uttered. Flexible lips will enunciate difficult combinations
of sounds without slighting any of them, but such flexibility cannot be
attained except by habitually uttering words with distinctness and
accuracy. A daily exercise in enunciating a series of sounds will in a
short time give flexibility to the lips and alertness to the mind, so
that no word will be uttered without receiving its due complement of

Returning to our definition, we see that when the sounds of a word are
properly articulated, the right syllables accented, and full value given
to each sound in its enunciation, we have correct pronunciation. Perhaps
one word of caution is needed here, lest any one, anxious to bring out
clearly every sound, should overdo the matter and neglect the unity and
smoothness of pronunciation. Be careful not to bring syllables into so
much prominence as to make words seem long and angular. The joints must
be kept decently dressed.

Before delivery, do not fail to go over your manuscript and note every
sound that may possibly be mispronounced. Consult the dictionary and
make assurance doubly sure. If the arrangement of words is unfavorable
to clear enunciation, change either words or order and do not rest until
you can follow Hamlet's directions to the players.


1. Practise repeating the following rapidly, paying particular attention
to the consonants.

    "Foolish Flavius, flushing feverishly, fiercely found fault with
    Flora's frivolity.[7]"

    Mary's matchless mimicry makes much mischief.

    Seated on shining shale she sells sea shells.

    You youngsters yielded your youthful yule-tide yearnings

2. Sound the _l_ in each of the following words, repeated in sequence:

    Blue black blinkers blocked Black Blondin's eyes.

3. Do you say a _bloo_ sky or a _blue_ sky?

4. Compare the _u_ sound in _few_ and in _new_. Say each aloud, and
decide which is correct, _Noo York_, _New Yawk_, or _New York_?

5. Pay careful heed to the directions of this chapter in reading the
following, from Hamlet. After the interview with the ghost of his
father, Hamlet tells his friends Horatio and Marcellus that he intends
to act a part:

    _Horatio_. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

    _Hamlet_. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    But come;
    Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
    How strange or odd so'er I bear myself,--
    As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
    To put an antic disposition on,--
    That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
    With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake,
    Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
    As "Well, well, we know," or "We could, an if we would,"
    Or "If we list to speak," or "There be, an if there might,"
    Or such ambiguous giving-out, to note
    That you know aught of me: this not to do,
    So grace and mercy at your most need help you,

--_Act I. Scene V._

6. Make a list of common errors of pronunciation, saying which are due
to faulty articulation, wrong accentuation, and incomplete enunciation.
In each case make the correction.

7. Criticise any speech you may have heard which displayed these faults.

8. Explain how the false shame of seeming to be too precise may hinder
us from cultivating perfect verbal utterance.

9. Over-precision is likewise a fault. To bring out any syllable unduly
is to caricature the word. Be _moderate_ in reading the following:


    The enemies of the Republic call me tyrant! Were I such they
    would grovel at my feet. I should gorge them with gold, I should
    grant them immunity for their crimes, and they would be
    grateful. Were I such, the kings we have vanquished, far from
    denouncing Robespierre, would lend me their guilty support;
    there would be a covenant between them and me. Tyranny must have
    tools. But the enemies of tyranny,--whither does their path
    tend? To the tomb, and to immortality! What tyrant is my
    protector? To what faction do I belong? Yourselves! What
    faction, since the beginning of the Revolution, has crushed and
    annihilated so many detected traitors? You, the people,--our
    principles--are that faction--a faction to which I am devoted,
    and against which all the scoundrelism of the day is banded!

    The confirmation of the Republic has been my object; and I know
    that the Republic can be established only on the eternal basis
    of morality. Against me, and against those who hold kindred
    principles, the league is formed. My life? Oh! my life I abandon
    without a regret! I have seen the past; and I foresee the
    future. What friend of this country would wish to survive the
    moment when he could no longer serve it,--when he could no
    longer defend innocence against oppression? Wherefore should I
    continue in an order of things, where intrigue eternally
    triumphs over truth; where justice is mocked; where passions the
    most abject, or fears the most absurd, over-ride the sacred
    interests of humanity? In witnessing the multitude of vices
    which the torrent of the Revolution has rolled in turbid
    communion with its civic virtues, I confess that I have
    sometimes feared that I should be sullied, in the eyes of
    posterity, by the impure neighborhood of unprincipled men, who
    had thrust themselves into association with the sincere friends
    of humanity; and I rejoice that these conspirators against my
    country have now, by their reckless rage, traced deep the line
    of demarcation between themselves and all true men.

    Question history, and learn how all the defenders of liberty, in
    all times, have been overwhelmed by calumny. But their traducers
    died also. The good and the bad disappear alike from the earth;
    but in very different conditions. O Frenchmen! O my countrymen!
    Let not your enemies, with their desolating doctrines, degrade
    your souls, and enervate your virtues! No, Chaumette, no! Death
    is not "an eternal sleep!" Citizens! efface from the tomb that
    motto, graven by sacrilegious hands, which spreads over all
    nature a funereal crape, takes from oppressed innocence its
    support, and affronts the beneficent dispensation of death!
    Inscribe rather thereon these words: "Death is the commencement
    of immortality!" I leave to the oppressors of the People a
    terrible testament, which I proclaim with the independence
    befitting one whose career is so nearly ended; it is the awful
    truth--"Thou shalt die!"


[Footnote 6: _School and College Speaker_, Mitchell.]

[Footnote 7: _School and College Speaker_, Mitchell.]



    When Whitefield acted an old blind man advancing by slow steps
    toward the edge of the precipice, Lord Chesterfield started up
    and cried: "Good God, he is gone!"

    --NATHAN SHEPPARD, _Before an Audience_.

Gesture is really a simple matter that requires observation and common
sense rather than a book of rules. Gesture is an outward expression of
an inward condition. It is merely an effect--the effect of a mental or
an emotional impulse struggling for expression through physical avenues.

You must not, however, begin at the wrong end: if you are troubled by
your gestures, or a lack of gestures, attend to the cause, not the
effect. It will not in the least help matters to tack on to your
delivery a few mechanical movements. If the tree in your front yard is
not growing to suit you, fertilize and water the soil and let the tree
have sunshine. Obviously it will not help your tree to nail on a few
branches. If your cistern is dry, wait until it rains; or bore a well.
Why plunge a pump into a dry hole?

The speaker whose thoughts and emotions are welling within him like a
mountain spring will not have much trouble to make gestures; it will be
merely a question of properly directing them. If his enthusiasm for his
subject is not such as to give him a natural impulse for dramatic
action, it will avail nothing to furnish him with a long list of rules.
He may tack on some movements, but they will look like the wilted
branches nailed to a tree to simulate life. Gestures must be born, not
built. A wooden horse may amuse the children, but it takes a live one to
go somewhere.

It is not only impossible to lay down definite rules on this subject,
but it would be silly to try, for everything depends on the speech, the
occasion, the personality and feelings of the speaker, and the attitude
of the audience. It is easy enough to forecast the result of multiplying
seven by six, but it is impossible to tell any man what kind of gestures
he will be impelled to use when he wishes to show his earnestness. We
may tell him that many speakers close the hand, with the exception of
the forefinger, and pointing that finger straight at the audience pour
out their thoughts like a volley; or that others stamp one foot for
emphasis; or that Mr. Bryan often slaps his hands together for great
force, holding one palm upward in an easy manner; or that Gladstone
would sometimes make a rush at the clerk's table in Parliament and smite
it with his hand so forcefully that D'israeli once brought down the
house by grimly congratulating himself that such a barrier stood between
himself and "the honorable gentleman."

All these things, and a bookful more, may we tell the speaker, but we
cannot know whether he can use these gestures or not, any more than we
can decide whether he could wear Mr. Bryan's clothes. The best that can
be done on this subject is to offer a few practical suggestions, and let
personal good taste decide as to where effective dramatic action ends
and extravagant motion begins.

_Any Gesture That Merely Calls Attention to Itself Is Bad_

The purpose of a gesture is to carry your thought and feeling into the
minds and hearts of your hearers; this it does by emphasizing your
message, by interpreting it, by expressing it in action, by striking its
tone in either a physically descriptive, a suggestive, or a typical
gesture--and let it be remembered all the time that gesture includes
_all_ physical movement, from facial expression and the tossing of the
head to the expressive movements of hand and foot. A shifting of the
pose may be a most effective gesture.

What is true of gesture is true of all life. If the people on the street
turn around and watch your walk, your walk is more important than you
are--change it. If the attention of your audience is called to your
gestures, they are not convincing, because they _appear_ to be--what
they have a doubtful right to be in reality--studied. Have you ever seen
a speaker use such grotesque gesticulations that you were fascinated by
their frenzy of oddity, but could not follow his thought? Do not smother
ideas with gymnastics. Savonarola would rush down from the high pulpit
among the congregation in the _duomo_ at Florence and carry the fire of
conviction to his hearers; Billy Sunday slides to base on the platform
carpet in dramatizing one of his baseball illustrations. Yet in both
instances the message has somehow stood out bigger than the gesture--it
is chiefly in calm afterthought that men have remembered the _form_ of
dramatic expression. When Sir Henry Irving made his famous exit as
"Shylock" the last thing the audience saw was his pallid, avaricious
hand extended skinny and claw-like against the background. At the time,
every one was overwhelmed by the tremendous typical quality of this
gesture; now, we have time to think of its art, and discuss its
realistic power.

Only when gesture is subordinated to the absorbing importance of the
idea--a spontaneous, living expression of living truth--is it
justifiable at all; and when it is remembered for itself--as a piece of
unusual physical energy or as a poem of grace--it is a dead failure as
dramatic expression. There is a place for a unique style of walking--it
is the circus or the cake-walk; there is a place for surprisingly
rhythmical evolutions of arms and legs--it is on the dance floor or the
stage. Don't let your agility and grace put your thoughts out of

One of the present writers took his first lessons in gesture from a
certain college president who knew far more about what had happened at
the Diet of Worms than he did about how to express himself in action.
His instructions were to start the movement on a certain word, continue
it on a precise curve, and unfold the fingers at the conclusion, ending
with the forefinger--just so. Plenty, and more than plenty, has been
published on this subject, giving just such silly directions. Gesture is
a thing of mentality and feeling--not a matter of geometry. Remember,
whenever a pair of shoes, a method of pronunciation, or a gesture calls
attention to itself, it is bad. When you have made really good gestures
in a good speech your hearers will not go away saying, "What beautiful
gestures he made!" but they will say, "I'll vote for that measure." "He
is right--I believe in that."

_Gestures Should Be Born of the Moment_

The best actors and public speakers rarely know in advance what gestures
they are going to make. They make one gesture on certain words tonight,
and none at all tomorrow night at the same point--their various moods
and interpretations govern their gestures. It is all a matter of impulse
and intelligent feeling with them--don't overlook that word
_intelligent_. Nature does not always provide the same kind of sunsets
or snow flakes, and the movements of a good speaker vary almost as much
as the creations of nature.

Now all this is not to say that you must not take some thought for your
gestures. If that were meant, why this chapter? When the sergeant
despairingly besought the recruit in the awkward squad to step out and
look at himself, he gave splendid advice--and worthy of personal
application. Particularly while you are in the learning days of public
speaking you must learn to criticise your own gestures. Recall them--see
where they were useless, crude, awkward, what not, and do better next
time. There is a vast deal of difference between being conscious of self
and being self-conscious.

It will require your nice discrimination in order to cultivate
spontaneous gestures and yet give due attention to practise. While you
depend upon the moment it is vital to remember that only a dramatic
genius can effectively accomplish such feats as we have related of
Whitefield, Savonarola, and others: and doubtless the first time they
were used they came in a burst of spontaneous feeling, yet Whitefield
declared that not until he had delivered a sermon forty times was its
delivery perfected. What spontaneity initiates let practise complete.
Every effective speaker and every vivid actor has observed, considered
and practised gesture until his dramatic actions are a sub-conscious
possession, just like his ability to pronounce correctly without
especially concentrating his thought. Every able platform man has
possessed himself of a dozen ways in which he might depict in gesture
any given emotion; in fact, the means for such expression are
endless--and this is precisely why it is both useless and harmful to
make a chart of gestures and enforce them as the ideals of what may be
used to express this or that feeling. Practise descriptive, suggestive,
and typical movements until they come as naturally as a good
articulation; and rarely forecast the gestures you will use at a given
moment: leave something to that moment.

_Avoid Monotony in Gesture_

Roast beef is an excellent dish, but it would be terrible as an
exclusive diet. No matter how effective one gesture is, do not overwork
it. Put variety in your actions. Monotony will destroy all beauty and
power. The pump handle makes one effective gesture, and on hot days that
one is very eloquent, but it has its limitations.

_Any Movement that is not Significant, Weakens_

Do not forget that. Restlessness is not expression. A great many useless
movements will only take the attention of the audience from what you are
saying. A widely-noted man introduced the speaker of the evening one
Sunday lately to a New York audience. The only thing remembered about
that introductory speech is that the speaker played nervously with the
covering of the table as he talked. We naturally watch moving objects. A
janitor putting down a window can take the attention of the hearers from
Mr. Roosevelt. By making a few movements at one side of the stage a
chorus girl may draw the interest of the spectators from a big scene
between the "leads." When our forefathers lived in caves they had to
watch moving objects, for movements meant danger. We have not yet
overcome the habit. Advertisers have taken advantage of it--witness the
moving electric light signs in any city. A shrewd speaker will respect
this law and conserve the attention of his audience by eliminating all
unnecessary movements.

_Gesture Should either be Simultaneous with or Precede the Words--not
Follow Them_

Lady Macbeth says: "Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue."
Reverse this order and you get comedy. Say, "There he goes," pointing at
him after you have finished your words, and see if the result is not

_Do Not Make Short, Jerky Movements_

Some speakers seem to be imitating a waiter who has failed to get a tip.
Let your movements be easy, and from the shoulder, as a rule, rather
than from the elbow. But do not go to the other extreme and make too
many flowing motions--that savors of the lackadaisical.

Put a little "punch" and life into your gestures. You can not, however,
do this mechanically. The audience will detect it if you do. They may
not know just what is wrong, but the gesture will have a false
appearance to them.

_Facial Expression is Important_

Have you ever stopped in front of a Broadway theater and looked at the
photographs of the cast? Notice the row of chorus girls who are supposed
to be expressing fear. Their attitudes are so mechanical that the
attempt is ridiculous. Notice the picture of the "star" expressing the
same emotion: his muscles are drawn, his eyebrows lifted, he shrinks,
and fear shines through his eyes. That actor _felt_ fear when the
photograph was taken. The chorus girls felt that it was time for a
rarebit, and more nearly expressed that emotion than they did fear.
Incidentally, that is one reason why they _stay_ in the chorus.

The movements of the facial muscles may mean a great deal more than the
movements of the hand. The man who sits in a dejected heap with a look
of despair on his face is expressing his thoughts and feelings just as
effectively as the man who is waving his arms and shouting from the
back of a dray wagon. The eye has been called the window of the soul.
Through it shines the light of our thoughts and feelings.

_Do Not Use Too Much Gesture_

As a matter of fact, in the big crises of life we do not go through many
actions. When your closest friend dies you do not throw up your hands
and talk about your grief. You are more likely to sit and brood in
dry-eyed silence. The Hudson River does not make much noise on its way
to the sea--it is not half so loud as the little creek up in Bronx Park
that a bullfrog could leap across. The barking dog never tears your
trousers--at least they say he doesn't. Do not fear the man who waves
his arms and shouts his anger, but the man who comes up quietly with
eyes flaming and face burning may knock you down. Fuss is not force.
Observe these principles in nature and practise them in your delivery.

The writer of this chapter once observed an instructor drilling a class
in gesture. They had come to the passage from Henry VIII in which the
humbled Cardinal says: "Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness."
It is one of the pathetic passages of literature. A man uttering such a
sentiment would be crushed, and the last thing on earth he would do
would be to make flamboyant movements. Yet this class had an
elocutionary manual before them that gave an appropriate gesture for
every occasion, from paying the gas bill to death-bed farewells. So they
were instructed to throw their arms out at full length on each side and
say: "Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness." Such a gesture
might possibly be used in an after-dinner speech at the convention of a
telephone company whose lines extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
but to think of Wolsey's using that movement would suggest that his fate
was just.


The physical attitude to be taken before the audience really is included
in gesture. Just what that attitude should be depends, not on rules, but
on the spirit of the speech and the occasion. Senator La Follette stood
for three hours with his weight thrown on his forward foot as he leaned
out over the footlights, ran his fingers through his hair, and flamed
out a denunciation of the trusts. It was very effective. But imagine a
speaker taking that kind of position to discourse on the development of
road-making machinery. If you have a fiery, aggressive message, and will
let yourself go, nature will naturally pull your weight to your forward
foot. A man in a hot political argument or a street brawl never has to
stop to think upon which foot he should throw his weight. You may
sometimes place your weight on your back foot if you have a restful and
calm message--but don't worry about it: just stand like a man who
genuinely feels what he is saying. Do not stand with your heels close
together, like a soldier or a butler. No more should you stand with them
wide apart like a traffic policeman. Use simple good manners and common

Here a word of caution is needed. We have advised you to allow your
gestures and postures to be spontaneous and not woodenly prepared
beforehand, but do not go to the extreme of ignoring the importance of
acquiring mastery of your physical movements. A muscular hand made
flexible by free movement, is far more likely to be an effective
instrument in gesture than a stiff, pudgy bunch of fingers. If your
shoulders are lithe and carried well, while your chest does not retreat
from association with your chin, the chances of using good
extemporaneous gestures are so much the better. Learn to keep the _back_
of your neck touching your collar, hold your chest high, and keep down
your waist measure.

So attention to strength, poise, flexibility, and grace of body are the
foundations of good gesture, for they are expressions of vitality, and
without vitality no speaker can enter the kingdom of power. When an
awkward giant like Abraham Lincoln rose to the sublimest heights of
oratory he did so because of the greatness of his soul--his very
ruggedness of spirit and artless honesty were properly expressed in his
gnarly body. The fire of character, of earnestness, and of message swept
his hearers before him when the tepid words of an insincere Apollo would
have left no effect. But be sure you are a second Lincoln before you
despise the handicap of physical awkwardness.

"Ty" Cobb has confided to the public that when he is in a batting slump
he even stands before a mirror, bat in hand, to observe the "swing" and
"follow through" of his batting form. If you would learn to stand well
before an audience, look at yourself in a mirror--but not too often.
Practise walking and standing before the mirror so as to conquer
awkwardness--not to cultivate a pose. Stand on the platform in the same
easy manner that you would use before guests in a drawing-room. If your
position is not graceful, make it so by dancing, gymnasium work, and _by
getting grace and poise in your mind_.

Do not continually hold the same position. Any big change of thought
necessitates a change of position. Be at home. There are no rules--it is
all a matter of taste. While on the platform forget that you have any
hands until you desire to use them--then remember them effectively.
Gravity will take care of them. Of course, if you want to put them
behind you, or fold them once in awhile, it is not going to ruin your
speech. Thought and feeling are the big things in speaking--not the
position of a foot or a hand. Simply _put_ your limbs where you want
them to be--you have a will, so do not neglect to use it.

Let us reiterate, do not despise practise. Your gestures and movements
may be spontaneous and still be wrong. No matter how natural they are,
it is possible to improve them.

It is impossible for anyone--even yourself--to criticise your gestures
until after they are made. You can't prune a peach tree until it comes
up; therefore speak much, and observe your own speech. While you are
examining yourself, do not forget to study statuary and paintings to see
how the great portrayers of nature have made their subjects express
ideas through action. Notice the gestures of the best speakers and
actors. Observe the physical expression of life everywhere. The leaves
on the tree respond to the slightest breeze. The muscles of your face,
the light of your eyes, should respond to the slightest change of
feeling. Emerson says: "Every man that I meet is my superior in some
way. In that I learn of him." Illiterate Italians make gestures so
wonderful and beautiful that Booth or Barrett might have sat at their
feet and been instructed. Open your eyes. Emerson says again: "We are
immersed in beauty, but our eyes have no clear vision." Toss this book
to one side; go out and watch one child plead with another for a bite of
apple; see a street brawl; observe life in action. Do you want to know
how to express victory? Watch the victors' hands go high on election
night. Do you want to plead a cause? Make a composite photograph of all
the pleaders in daily life you constantly see. Beg, borrow, and steal
the best you can get, _BUT DON'T GIVE IT OUT AS THEFT_. Assimilate it
until it becomes a part of you--then _let_ the expression come out.


1. From what source do you intend to study gesture?

2. What is the first requisite of good gestures? Why?

3. Why is it impossible to lay down steel-clad rules for gesturing?

4. Describe (_a_) a graceful gesture that you have observed; (_b_) a
forceful one; (_c_) an extravagant one; (_d_) an inappropriate one.

5. What gestures do you use for emphasis? Why?

6. How can grace of movement be acquired?

7. When in doubt about a gesture what would you do?

8. What, according to your observations before a mirror, are your faults
in gesturing?

9. How do you intend to correct them?

10. What are some of the gestures, if any, that you might use in
delivering Thurston's speech, page 50; Grady's speech, page 36? Be

11. Describe some particularly appropriate gesture that you have
observed. Why was it appropriate?

12. Cite at least three movements in nature that might well be imitated
in gesture.

13. What would you gather from the expressions: _descriptive_ gesture,
_suggestive_ gesture, and _typical_ gesture?

14. Select any elemental emotion, such as fear, and try, by picturing in
your mind at least five different situations that might call forth this
emotion, to express its several phases by gesture--including posture,
movement, and facial expression.

15. Do the same thing for such other emotions as you may select.

16. Select three passages from any source, only being sure that they are
suitable for public delivery, memorize each, and then devise gestures
suitable for each. Say why.

17. Criticise the gestures in any speech you have heard recently.

18. Practise flexible movement of the hand. What exercises did you find

19. Carefully observe some animal; then devise several typical gestures.

20. Write a brief dialogue between any two animals; read it aloud and
invent expressive gestures.

21. Deliver, with appropriate gestures, the quotation that heads this

22. Read aloud the following incident, using dramatic gestures:

    When Voltaire was preparing a young actress to appear in one of
    his tragedies, he tied her hands to her sides with pack thread
    in order to check her tendency toward exuberant gesticulation.
    Under this condition of compulsory immobility she commenced to
    rehearse, and for some time she bore herself calmly enough; but
    at last, completely carried away by her feelings, she burst her
    bonds and flung up her arms. Alarmed at her supposed neglect of
    his instructions, she began to apologize to the poet; he
    smilingly reassured her, however; the gesture was _then_
    admirable, because it was irrepressible.

    --REDWAY, _The Actor's Art_.

23. Render the following with suitable gestures:

    One day, while preaching, Whitefield "suddenly assumed a
    nautical air and manner that were irresistible with him," and
    broke forth in these words: "Well, my boys, we have a clear sky,
    and are making fine headway over a smooth sea before a light
    breeze, and we shall soon lose sight of land. But what means
    this sudden lowering of the heavens, and that dark cloud arising
    from beneath the western horizon? Hark! Don't you hear distant
    thunder? Don't you see those flashes of lightning? There is a
    storm gathering! Every man to his duty! The air is dark!--the
    tempest rages!--our masts are gone!--the ship is on her beam
    ends! What next?" At this a number of sailors in the
    congregation, utterly swept away by the dramatic description,
    leaped to their feet and cried: "The longboat!--take to the

    --NATHAN SHEPPARD, _Before an Audience_.



    The crown, the consummation, of the discourse is its delivery.
    Toward it all preparation looks, for it the audience waits, by
    it the speaker is judged.... All the forces of the orator's life
    converge in his oratory. The logical acuteness with which he
    marshals the facts around his theme, the rhetorical facility
    with which he orders his language, the control to which he has
    attained in the use of his body as a single organ of expression,
    whatever richness of acquisition and experience are his--these
    all are now incidents; _the fact_ is the sending of his message
    home to his hearers.... The hour of delivery is the "supreme,
    inevitable hour" for the orator. It is this fact that makes lack
    of adequate preparation such an impertinence. And it is this
    that sends such thrills of indescribable joy through the
    orator's whole being when he has achieved a success--it is like
    the mother forgetting her pangs for the joy of bringing a son
    into the world.

    --J.B.E., _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_.

There are four fundamental methods of delivering an address; all others
are modifications of one or more of these: reading from manuscript,
committing the written speech and speaking from memory, speaking from
notes, and extemporaneous speech. It is impossible to say which form of
delivery is best for all speakers in all circumstances--in deciding for
yourself you should consider the occasion, the nature of the audience,
the character of your subject, and your own limitations of time and
ability. However, it is worth while warning you not to be lenient in
self-exaction. Say to yourself courageously: What others can do, I can
attempt. A bold spirit conquers where others flinch, and a trying task
challenges pluck.

_Reading from Manuscript_

This method really deserves short shrift in a book on public speaking,
for, delude yourself as you may, public reading is not public speaking.
Yet there are so many who grasp this broken reed for support that we
must here discuss the "read speech"--apologetic misnomer as it is.

Certainly there are occasions--among them, the opening of Congress, the
presentation of a sore question before a deliberative body, or a
historical commemoration--when it may seem not alone to the "orator" but
to all those interested that the chief thing is to express certain
thoughts in precise language--in language that _must_ not be either
misunderstood or misquoted. At such times oratory is unhappily elbowed
to a back bench, the manuscript is solemnly withdrawn from the capacious
inner pocket of the new frock coat, and everyone settles himself
resignedly, with only a feeble flicker of hope that the so-called speech
may not be as long as it is thick. The words may be golden, but the
hearers' (?) eyes are prone to be leaden, and in about one instance out
of a hundred does the perpetrator really deliver an impressive address.
His excuse is his apology--he is not to be blamed, as a rule, for some
one decreed that it would be dangerous to cut loose from manuscript
moorings and take his audience with him on a really delightful sail.

One great trouble on such "great occasions" is that the essayist--for
such he is--has been chosen not because of his speaking ability but
because his grandfather fought in a certain battle, or his constituents
sent him to Congress, or his gifts in some line of endeavor other than
speaking have distinguished him.

As well choose a surgeon from his ability to play golf. To be sure, it
always interests an audience to see a great man; because of his eminence
they are likely to listen to his words with respect, perhaps with
interest, even when droned from a manuscript. But how much more
effective such a deliverance would be if the papers were cast aside!

Nowhere is the read-address so common as in the pulpit--the pulpit, that
in these days least of all can afford to invite a handicap. Doubtless
many clergymen prefer finish to fervor--let them choose: they are rarely
men who sway the masses to acceptance of their message. What they gain
in precision and elegance of language they lose in force.

There are just four motives that can move a man to read his address or

1. Laziness is the commonest. Enough said. Even Heaven cannot make a
lazy man efficient.

2. A memory so defective that he really cannot speak without reading.
Alas, he is not speaking when he is reading, so his dilemma is
painful--and not to himself alone. But no man has a right to assume that
his memory is utterly bad until he has buckled down to memory
culture--and failed. A weak memory is oftener an excuse than a reason.

3. A genuine lack of time to do more than write the speech. There are
such instances--but they do not occur every week! The disposition of
your time allows more flexibility than you realize. Motive 3 too often
harnesses up with Motive 1.

4. A conviction that the speech is too important to risk forsaking the
manuscript. But, if it is vital that every word should be so precise,
the style so polished, and the thoughts so logical, that the preacher
must write the sermon entire, is not the message important enough to
warrant extra effort in perfecting its delivery? It is an insult to a
congregation and disrespectful to Almighty God to put the phrasing of a
message above the message itself. To reach the hearts of the hearers the
sermon must be delivered--it is only half delivered when the speaker
cannot utter it with original fire and force, when he merely repeats
words that were conceived hours or weeks before and hence are like
champagne that has lost its fizz. The reading preacher's eyes are tied
down to his manuscript; he cannot give the audience the benefit of his
expression. How long would a play fill a theater if the actors held
their cue-books in hand and read their parts? Imagine Patrick Henry
reading his famous speech; Peter-the-Hermit, manuscript in hand,
exhorting the crusaders; Napoleon, constantly looking at his papers,
addressing the army at the Pyramids; or Jesus reading the Sermon on the
Mount! These speakers were so full of their subjects, their general
preparation had been so richly adequate, that there was no necessity for
a manuscript, either to refer to or to serve as "an outward and visible
sign" of their preparedness. No event was ever so dignified that it
required an _artificial_ attempt at speech making. Call an essay by its
right name, but never call it a speech. Perhaps the most dignified of
events is a supplication to the Creator. If you ever listened to the
reading of an original prayer you must have felt its superficiality.

Regardless of what the theories may be about manuscript delivery, the
fact remains that it does not work out with efficiency. _Avoid it
whenever at all possible._

_Committing the Written Speech and Speaking from Memory_

This method has certain points in its favor. If you have time and
leisure, it is possible to polish and rewrite your ideas until they are
expressed in clear, concise terms. Pope sometimes spent a whole day in
perfecting one couplet. Gibbon consumed twenty years gathering material
for and rewriting the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." Although
you cannot devote such painstaking preparation to a speech, you should
take time to eliminate useless words, crowd whole paragraphs into a
sentence and choose proper illustrations. Good speeches, like plays, are
not written; they are rewritten. The National Cash Register Company
follows this plan with their most efficient selling organization: they
require their salesmen to memorize verbatim a selling talk. They
maintain that there is one best way of putting their selling arguments,
and they insist that each salesman use this ideal way rather than employ
any haphazard phrases that may come into his mind at the moment.

The method of writing and committing has been adopted by many noted
speakers; Julius Cęsar, Robert Ingersoll, and, on some occasions,
Wendell Phillips, were distinguished examples. The wonderful effects
achieved by famous actors were, of course, accomplished through the
delivery of memorized lines.

The inexperienced speaker must be warned before attempting this method
of delivery that it is difficult and trying. It requires much skill to
make it efficient. The memorized lines of the young speaker will usually
_sound_ like memorized words, and repel.

If you want to hear an example, listen to a department store
demonstrator repeat her memorized lingo about the newest furniture
polish or breakfast food. It requires training to make a memorized
speech sound fresh and spontaneous, and, unless you have a fine native
memory, in each instance the finished product necessitates much labor.
Should you forget a part of your speech or miss a few words, you are
liable to be so confused that, like Mark Twain's guide in Rome, you will
be compelled to repeat your lines from the beginning.

On the other hand, you may be so taken up with trying to recall your
written words that you will not abandon yourself to the spirit of your
address, and so fail to deliver it with that spontaneity which is so
vital to forceful delivery.

But do not let these difficulties frighten you. If committing seems best
to you, give it a faithful trial. Do not be deterred by its pitfalls,
but by resolute practise avoid them.

One of the best ways to rise superior to these difficulties is to do as
Dr. Wallace Radcliffe often does: commit without writing the speech,
making practically all the preparation mentally, without putting pen to
paper--a laborious but effective way of cultivating both mind and

You will find it excellent practise, both for memory and delivery, to
commit the specimen speeches found in this volume and declaim them, with
all attention to the principles we have put before you. William Ellery
Channing, himself a distinguished speaker, years ago had this to say of
practise in declamation:

"Is there not an amusement, having an affinity with the drama, which
might be usefully introduced among us? I mean, Recitation. A work of
genius, recited by a man of fine taste, enthusiasm, and powers of
elocution, is a very pure and high gratification. Were this art
cultivated and encouraged, great numbers, now insensible to the most
beautiful compositions, might be waked up to their excellence and

_Speaking from Notes_

The third, and the most popular method of delivery, is probably also the
best one for the beginner. Speaking from notes is not ideal delivery,
but we learn to swim in shallow water before going out beyond the ropes.

Make a definite plan for your discourse (for a fuller discussion see
Chapter XVIII) and set down the points somewhat in the fashion of a
lawyer's brief, or a preacher's outline. Here is a sample of very simple



  Attention indispensable to the performance of any
    great work. _Anecdote_.


  1. From common observation.

  2. From the lives of great men {Carlyle, Robert E. Lee.}


  1. Reason.

  2. Imagination.

  3. Memory.

  4. Will. _Anecdote_.


  1. Involuntary attention.

  2. Voluntary attention. _Examples_.


  The consequences of inattention and of attention.

Few briefs would be so precise as this one, for with experience a
speaker learns to use little tricks to attract his eye--he may
underscore a catch-word heavily, draw a red circle around a pivotal
idea, enclose the key-word of an anecdote in a wavy-lined box, and so on
indefinitely. These points are worth remembering, for nothing so eludes
the swift-glancing eye of the speaker as the sameness of typewriting, or
even a regular pen-script. So unintentional a thing as a blot on the
page may help you to remember a big "point" in your brief--perhaps by
association of ideas.

An inexperienced speaker would probably require fuller notes than the
specimen given. Yet that way lies danger, for the complete manuscript is
but a short remove from the copious outline. Use as few notes as

They may be necessary for the time being, but do not fail to look upon
them as a necessary evil; and even when you lay them before you, refer
to them only when compelled to do so. Make your notes as full as you
please in preparation, but by all means condense them for platform use.

_Extemporaneous Speech_

Surely this is the ideal method of delivery. It is far and away the most
popular with the audience, and the favorite method of the most efficient

"Extemporaneous speech" has sometimes been made to mean unprepared
speech, and indeed it is too often precisely that; but in no such sense
do we recommend it strongly to speakers old and young. On the contrary,
to speak well without notes requires all the preparation which we
discussed so fully in the chapter on "Fluency," while yet relying upon
the "inspiration of the hour" for some of your thoughts and much of your
language. You had better remember, however, that the most effective
inspiration of the hour is the inspiration you yourself bring to it,
bottled up in your spirit and ready to infuse itself into the audience.

If you extemporize you can get much closer to your audience. In a sense,
they appreciate the task you have before you and send out their
sympathy. Extemporize, and you will not have to stop and fumble around
amidst your notes--you can keep your eye afire with your message and
hold your audience with your very glance. You yourself will feel their
response as you read the effects of your warm, spontaneous words,
written on their countenances.

Sentences written out in the study are liable to be dead and cold when
resurrected before the audience. When you create as you speak you
conserve all the native fire of your thought. You can enlarge on one
point or omit another, just as the occasion or the mood of the audience
may demand. It is not possible for every speaker to use this, the most
difficult of all methods of delivery, and least of all can it be used
successfully without much practise, but it is the ideal towards which
all should strive.

One danger in this method is that you may be led aside from your subject
into by-paths. To avoid this peril, firmly stick to your mental outline.
Practise speaking from a memorized brief until you gain control. Join a
debating society--talk, _talk_, _TALK_, and always extemporize. You may
"make a fool of yourself" once or twice, but is that too great a price
to pay for success?

Notes, like crutches, are only a sign of weakness. Remember that the
power of your speech depends to some extent upon the view your audience
holds of you. General Grant's words as president were more powerful than
his words as a Missouri farmer. If you would appear in the light of an
authority, be one. Make notes on your brain instead of on paper.

_Joint Methods of Delivery_

A modification of the second method has been adopted by many great
speakers, particularly lecturers who are compelled to speak on a wide
variety of subjects day after day; such speakers often commit their
addresses to memory but keep their manuscripts in flexible book form
before them, turning several pages at a time. They feel safer for having
a sheet-anchor to windward--but it is an anchor, nevertheless, and
hinders rapid, free sailing, though it drag never so lightly.

Other speakers throw out a still lighter anchor by keeping before them a
rather full outline of their written and committed speech.

Others again write and commit a few important parts of the address--the
introduction, the conclusion, some vital argument, some pat
illustration--and depend on the hour for the language of the rest. This
method is well adapted to speaking either with or without notes.

Some speakers read from manuscript the most important parts of their
speeches and utter the rest extemporaneously.

Thus, what we have called "joint methods of delivery" are open to much
personal variation. You must decide for yourself which is best for you,
for the occasion, for your subject, for your audience--for these four
factors all have their individual claims.

Whatever form you choose, do not be so weakly indifferent as to prefer
the easy way--choose the _best_ way, whatever it cost you in time and
effort. And of this be assured: only the practised speaker can hope to
gain _both_ conciseness of argument and conviction in manner, polish of
language and power in delivery, finish of style and fire in utterance.


1. Which in your judgment is the most suitable of delivery for you? Why?

2. What objections can you offer to, (_a_) memorizing the entire speech;
(_b_) reading from manuscript; (_c_) using notes; (_d_) speaking from
memorized outline or notes; (_e_e) any of the "joint methods"?

3. What is there to commend in delivering a speech in any of the
foregoing methods?

4. Can you suggest any combination of methods that you have found

5. What methods, according to your observation, do most successful
speakers use?

6. Select some topic from the list on page 123, narrow the theme so as
to make it specific (see page 122), and deliver a short address,
utilizing the four methods mentioned, in four different deliveries of
the speech.

7. Select one of the joint methods and apply it to the delivery of the
same address.

8. Which method do you prefer, and why?

9. From the list of subjects in the Appendix select a theme and deliver
a five-minute address without notes, but make careful preparation
without putting your thoughts on paper.

NOTE: It is earnestly hoped that instructors will not pass this stage of
the work without requiring of their students much practise in the
delivery of original speeches, in the manner that seems, after some
experiment, to be best suited to the student's gifts. Students who are
studying alone should be equally exacting in demand upon themselves.
One point is most important: It is easy to learn to read a speech,
therefore it is much more urgent that the pupil should have much
practise in speaking from notes and speaking without notes. At this
stage, pay more attention to manner than to matter--the succeeding
chapters take up the composition of the address. Be particularly
insistent upon _frequent_ and _thorough_ review of the principles of
delivery discussed in the preceding chapters.



    Providence is always on the side of the last reserve.


    So mightiest powers by deepest calms are fed,
    And sleep, how oft, in things that gentlest be!

    --BARRY CORNWALL, _The Sea in Calm_.

What would happen if you should overdraw your bank account? As a rule
the check would be protested; but if you were on friendly terms with the
bank, your check might be honored, and you would be called upon to make
good the overdraft.

Nature has no such favorites, therefore extends no credits. She is as
relentless as a gasoline tank--when the "gas" is all used the machine
stops. It is as reckless for a speaker to risk going before an audience
without having something in reserve as it is for the motorist to essay a
long journey in the wilds without enough gasoline in sight.

But in what does a speaker's reserve power consist? In a well-founded
reliance on his general and particular grasp of his subject; in the
quality of being alert and resourceful in thought--particularly in the
ability to think while on his feet; and in that self-possession which
makes one the captain of all his own forces, bodily and mental.

The first of these elements, adequate preparation, and the last,
self-reliance, were discussed fully in the chapters on "Self-Confidence"
and "Fluency," so they will be touched only incidentally here; besides,
the next chapter will take up specific methods of preparation for public
speaking. Therefore the central theme of this chapter is the second of
the elements of reserve power--Thought.

_The Mental Storehouse_

An empty mind, like an empty larder, may be a serious matter or not--all
will depend on the available resources. If there is no food in the
cupboard the housewife does not nervously rattle the empty dishes; she
telephones the grocer. If you have no ideas, do not rattle your empty
_ers_ and _ahs_, but _get_ some ideas, and don't speak until you do get

This, however, is not being what the old New England housekeeper used to
call "forehanded." The real solution of the problem of what to do with
an empty head is never to let it become empty. In the artesian wells of
Dakota the water rushes to the surface and leaps a score of feet above
the ground. The secret of this exuberant flow is of course the great
supply below, crowding to get out.

What is the use of stopping to prime a mental pump when you can fill
your life with the resources for an artesian well? It is not enough to
have merely enough; you must have more than enough. Then the pressure of
your mass of thought and feeling will maintain your flow of speech and
give you the confidence and poise that denote reserve power. To be away
from home with only the exact return fare leaves a great deal to

Reserve power is magnetic. It does not consist in giving the idea that
you are holding something in reserve, but rather in the suggestion that
the audience is getting the cream of your observation, reading,
experience, feeling, thought. To have reserve power, therefore, you must
have enough milk of material on hand to supply sufficient cream.

But how shall we get the milk? There are two ways: the one is
first-hand--from the cow; the other is second-hand--from the milkman.

_The Seeing Eye_

Some sage has said: "For a thousand men who can speak, there is only one
who can think; for a thousand men who can think, there is only one who
can see." To see and to think is to get your milk from your own cow.

When the one man in a million who can see comes along, we call him
Master. Old Mr. Holbrook, of "Cranford," asked his guest what color
ash-buds were in March; she confessed she did not know, to which the old
gentleman answered: "I knew you didn't. No more did I--an old fool that
I am!--till this young man comes and tells me. 'Black as ash-buds in
March.' And I've lived all my life in the country. More shame for me not
to know. Black; they are jet-black, madam."

"This young man" referred to by Mr. Holbrook was Tennyson.

Henry Ward Beecher said: "I do not believe that I have ever met a man
on the street that I did not get from him some element for a sermon. I
never see anything in nature which does not work towards that for which
I give the strength of my life. The material for my sermons is all the
time following me and swarming up around me."

Instead of saying only one man in a million can see, it would strike
nearer the truth to say that none of us sees with perfect understanding
more than a fraction of what passes before our eyes, yet this faculty of
acute and accurate observation is so important that no man ambitious to
lead can neglect it. The next time you are in a car, look at those who
sit opposite you and see what you can discover of their habits,
occupations, ideals, nationalities, environments, education, and so on.
You may not see a great deal the first time, but practise will reveal
astonishing results. Transmute every incident of your day into a subject
for a speech or an illustration. Translate all that you see into terms
of speech. When you can describe all that you have seen in definite
words, you are seeing clearly. You are becoming the millionth man.

De Maupassant's description of an author should also fit the
public-speaker: "His eye is like a suction pump, absorbing everything;
like a pickpocket's hand, always at work. Nothing escapes him. He is
constantly collecting material, gathering-up glances, gestures,
intentions, everything that goes on in his presence--the slightest look,
the least act, the merest trifle." De Maupassant was himself a millionth
man, a Master.

"Ruskin took a common rock-crystal and saw hidden within its stolid
heart lessons which have not yet ceased to move men's lives. Beecher
stood for hours before the window of a jewelry store thinking out
analogies between jewels and the souls of men. Gough saw in a single
drop of water enough truth wherewith to quench the thirst of five
thousand souls. Thoreau sat so still in the shadowy woods that birds and
insects came and opened up their secret lives to his eye. Emerson
observed the soul of a man so long that at length he could say, 'I
cannot hear what you say, for seeing what you are.' Preyer for three
years studied the life of his babe and so became an authority upon the
child mind. Observation! Most men are blind. There are a thousand times
as many hidden truths and undiscovered facts about us to-day as have
made discoverers famous--facts waiting for some one to 'pluck out the
heart of their mystery.' But so long as men go about the search with
eyes that see not, so long will these hidden pearls lie in their shells.
Not an orator but who could more effectively point and feather his
shafts were he to search nature rather than libraries. Too few can see
'sermons in stones' and 'books in the running brooks,' because they are
so used to seeing merely sermons in books and only stones in running
brooks. Sir Philip Sidney had a saying, 'Look in thy heart and write;'
Massillon explained his astute knowledge of the human heart by saying,
'I learned it by studying myself;' Byron says of John Locke that 'all
his knowledge of the human understanding was derived from studying his
own mind.' Since multiform nature is all about us, originality ought not
to be so rare."[8]

_The Thinking Mind_

Thinking is doing mental arithmetic with facts. Add this fact to that
and you reach a certain conclusion. Subtract this truth from another and
you have a definite result. Multiply this fact by another and have a
precise product. See how many times this occurrence happens in that
space of time and you have reached a calculable dividend. In
thought-processes you perform every known problem of arithmetic and
algebra. That is why mathematics are such excellent mental gymnastics.
But by the same token, thinking is work. Thinking takes energy. Thinking
requires time, and patience, and broad information, and clearheadedness.
Beyond a miserable little surface-scratching, few people really think at
all--only one in a thousand, according to the pundit already quoted. So
long as the present system of education prevails and children are taught
through the ear rather than through the eye, so long as they are
expected to remember thoughts of others rather than think for
themselves, this proportion will continue--one man in a million will be
able to see, and one in a thousand to think.

But, however thought-less a mind has been, there is promise of better
things so soon as the mind detects its own lack of thought-power. The
first step is to stop regarding thought as "the magic of the mind," to
use Byron's expression, and see it as thought truly is--_a weighing of
ideas and a placing of them in relationships to each other_. Ponder this
definition and see if you have learned to think efficiently.

Habitual thinking is just that--a habit. Habit comes of doing a thing
repeatedly. The lower habits are acquired easily, the higher ones
require deeper grooves if they are to persist. So we find that the
thought-habit comes only with resolute practise; yet no effort will
yield richer dividends. Persist in practise, and whereas you have been
able to think only an inch-deep into a subject, you will soon find that
you can penetrate it a foot.

Perhaps this homely metaphor will suggest how to begin the practise of
consecutive thinking, by which we mean _welding a number of separate
thought-links into a chain that will hold_. Take one link at a time, see
that each naturally belongs with the ones you link to it, and remember
that a single missing link means _no chain_.

Thinking is the most fascinating and exhilarating of all mental
exercises. Once realize that your opinion on a subject does not
represent the choice you have made between what Dr. Cerebrum has written
and Professor Cerebellum has said, but is the result of your own
earnestly-applied brain-energy, and you will gain a confidence in your
ability to speak on that subject that nothing will be able to shake.
Your thought will have given you both power and reserve power.

Someone has condensed the relation of thought to knowledge in these
pungent, homely lines:

    "Don't give me the man who thinks he thinks,
       Don't give me the man who thinks he knows,
    But give me the man who knows he thinks,
       And I have the man who knows he knows!"

_Reading As a Stimulus to Thought_

No matter how dry the cow, however, nor how poor our ability to milk,
there is still the milkman--we can read what others have seen and felt
and thought. Often, indeed, such records will kindle within us that
pre-essential and vital spark, the _desire_ to be a thinker.

The following selection is taken from one of Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis's
lectures, as given in "A Man's Value to Society." Dr. Hillis is a most
fluent speaker--he never refers to notes. He has reserve power. His mind
is a veritable treasure-house of facts and ideas. See how he draws from
a knowledge of fifteen different general or special subjects: geology,
plant life, Palestine, chemistry, Eskimos, mythology, literature, The
Nile, history, law, wit, evolution, religion, biography, and
electricity. Surely, it needs no sage to discover that the secret of
this man's reserve power is the old secret of our artesian well whose
abundance surges from unseen depths.


    Each Kingsley approaches a stone as a jeweler approaches a casket to
    unlock the hidden gems. Geikie causes the bit of hard coal to unroll
    the juicy bud, the thick odorous leaves, the pungent boughs, until
    the bit of carbon enlarges into the beauty of a tropic forest. That
    little book of Grant Allen's called "How Plants Grow" exhibits trees
    and shrubs as eating, drinking and marrying. We see certain date
    groves in Palestine, and other date groves in the desert a hundred
    miles away, and the pollen of the one carried upon the trade winds
    to the branches of the other. We see the tree with its strange
    system of water-works, pumping the sap up through pipes and mains;
    we see the chemical laboratory in the branches mixing flavor for the
    orange in one bough, mixing the juices of the pineapple in another;
    we behold the tree as a mother making each infant acorn ready
    against the long winter, rolling it in swaths soft and warm as wool
    blankets, wrapping it around with garments impervious to the rain,
    and finally slipping the infant acorn into a sleeping bag, like
    those the Eskimos gave Dr. Kane.

   At length we come to feel that the Greeks were not far wrong in
   thinking each tree had a dryad in it, animating it, protecting it
   against destruction, dying when the tree withered. Some Faraday
   shows us that each drop of water is a sheath for electric forces
   sufficient to charge 800,000 Leyden jars, or drive an engine from
   Liverpool to London. Some Sir William Thomson tells us how
   hydrogen gas will chew up a large iron spike as a child's molars
   will chew off the end of a stick of candy. Thus each new book
   opens up some new and hitherto unexplored realm of nature. Thus
   books fulfill for us the legend of the wondrous glass that showed
   its owner all things distant and all things hidden. Through books
   our world becomes as "a bud from the bower of God's beauty; the
   sun as a spark from the light of His wisdom; the sky as a bubble
   on the sea of His Power." Therefore Mrs. Browning's words, "No
   child can be called fatherless who has God and his mother; no
   youth can be called friendless who has God and the companionship
   of good books."

   Books also advantage us in that they exhibit the unity of
   progress, the solidarity of the race, and the continuity of
   history. Authors lead us back along the pathway of law, of
   liberty or religion, and set us down in front of the great man in
   whose brain the principle had its rise. As the discoverer leads
   us from the mouth of the Nile back to the headwaters of Nyanza,
   so books exhibit great ideas and institutions, as they move
   forward, ever widening and deepening, like some Nile feeding many
   civilizations. For all the reforms of to-day go back to some
   reform of yesterday. Man's art goes back to Athens and Thebes.
   Man's laws go back to Blackstone and Justinian. Man's reapers and
   plows go back to the savage scratching the ground with his forked
   stick, drawn by the wild bullock. The heroes of liberty march
   forward in a solid column. Lincoln grasps the hand of Washington.
   Washington received his weapons at the hands of Hampden and
   Cromwell. The great Puritans lock hands with Luther and

   The unbroken procession brings us at length to Him whose Sermon
   on the Mount was the very charter of liberty. It puts us under a
   divine spell to perceive that we are all coworkers with the great
   men, and yet single threads in the warp and woof of civilization.
   And when books have related us to our own age, and related all
   the epochs to God, whose providence is the gulf stream of
   history, these teachers go on to stimulate us to new and greater
   achievements. Alone, man is an unlighted candle. The mind needs
   some book to kindle its faculties. Before Byron began to write he
   used to give half an hour to reading some favorite passage. The
   thought of some great writer never failed to kindle Byron into a
   creative glow, even as a match lights the kindlings upon the
   grate. In these burning, luminous moods Byron's mind did its best
   work. The true book stimulates the mind as no wine can ever
   quicken the blood. It is reading that brings us to our best, and
   rouses each faculty to its most vigorous life.

We recognize this as pure cream, and if it seems at first to have its
secondary source in the friendly milkman, let us not forget that the
theme is "The Uses of Books and Reading." Dr. Hillis both sees and

It is fashionable just now to decry the value of reading. We read, we
are told, to avoid the necessity of thinking for ourselves. Books are
for the mentally lazy.

Though this is only a half-truth, the element of truth it contains
is large enough to make us pause. Put yourself through a good
old Presbyterian soul-searching self-examination, and if
reading-from-thought-laziness is one of your sins, confess it. No one
can shrive you of it--but yourself. Do penance for it by using your
own brains, for it is a transgression that dwarfs the growth of thought
and destroys mental freedom. At first the penance will be trying--but
at the last you will be glad in it.

Reading should entertain, give information, or stimulate thought. Here,
however, we are chiefly concerned with information, and stimulation of

What shall I read for information?

The ample page of knowledge, as Grey tells us, is "rich with the spoils
of time," and these are ours for the price of a theatre ticket. You may
command Socrates and Marcus Aurelius to sit beside you and discourse of
their choicest, hear Lincoln at Gettysburg and Pericles at Athens, storm
the Bastile with Hugo, and wander through Paradise with Dante. You may
explore darkest Africa with Stanley, penetrate the human heart with
Shakespeare, chat with Carlyle about heroes, and delve with the Apostle
Paul into the mysteries of faith. The general knowledge and the
inspiring ideas that men have collected through ages of toil and
experiment are yours for the asking. The Sage of Chelsea was right: "The
true university of these days is a collection of books."

To master a worth-while book is to master much else besides; few of us,
however, make perfect conquest of a volume without first owning it
physically. To read a borrowed book may be a joy, but to assign your own
book a place of its own on your own shelves--be they few or many--to
love the book and feel of its worn cover, to thumb it over slowly, page
by page, to pencil its margins in agreement or in protest, to smile or
thrill with its remembered pungencies--no mere book borrower could ever
sense all that delight.

The reader who possesses books in this double sense finds also that his
books possess him, and the volumes which most firmly grip his life are
likely to be those it has cost him some sacrifice to own. These
lightly-come-by titles, which Mr. Fatpurse selects, perhaps by proxy,
can scarcely play the guide, philosopher and friend in crucial moments
as do the books--long coveted, joyously attained--that are welcomed into
the lives, and not merely the libraries, of us others who are at once
poorer and richer.

So it is scarcely too much to say that of all the many ways in which an
owned--a mastered--book is like to a human friend, the truest ways are
these: A friend is worth making sacrifices for, both to gain and to
keep; and our loves go out most dearly to those into whose inmost lives
we have sincerely entered.

When you have not the advantage of the test of time by which to judge
books, investigate as thoroughly as possible the authority of the books
you read. Much that is printed and passes current is counterfeit. "I
read it in a book" is to many a sufficient warranty of truth, but not to
the thinker. "What book?" asks the careful mind. "Who wrote it? What
does he know about the subject and what right has he to speak on it? Who
recognizes him as authority? With what other recognized authorities does
he agree or disagree?" Being caught trying to pass counterfeit money,
even unintentionally, is an unpleasant situation. Beware lest you
circulate spurious coin.

Above all, seek reading that makes you use your own brains. Such reading
must be alive with fresh points of view, packed with special knowledge,
and deal with subjects of vital interest. Do not confine your reading to
what you already know you will agree with. Opposition wakes one up. The
other road may be the better, but you will never know it unless you
"give it the once over." Do not do all your thinking and investigating
in front of given "Q.E.D.'s;" merely assembling reasons to fill in
between your theorem and what you want to prove will get you nowhere.
Approach each subject with an open mind and--once sure that you have
thought it out thoroughly and honestly--have the courage to abide by the
decision of your own thought. But don't brag about it afterward.

No book on public speaking will enable you to discourse on the tariff if
you know nothing about the tariff. Knowing more about it than the other
man will be your only hope for making the other man listen to you.

Take a group of men discussing a governmental policy of which some one
says: "It is socialistic." That will commend the policy to Mr. A., who
believes in socialism, but condemn it to Mr. B., who does not. It may be
that neither had considered the policy beyond noticing that its
surface-color was socialistic. The chances are, furthermore, that
neither Mr. A. nor Mr. B. has a definite idea of what socialism really
is, for as Robert Louis Stevenson says, "Man lives not by bread alone
but chiefly by catch words." If you are of this group of men, and have
observed this proposed government policy, and investigated it, and
thought about it, what you have to say cannot fail to command their
respect and approval, for you will have shown them that you possess a
grasp of your subject and--to adopt an exceedingly expressive bit of
slang--_then_ some.


1. Robert Houdin trained his son to give one swift glance at a shop
window in passing and be able to report accurately a surprising number
of its contents. Try this several times on different windows and report
the result.

2. What effect does reserve power have on an audience?

3. What are the best methods for acquiring reserve power?

4. What is the danger of too much reading?

5. Analyze some speech that you have read or heard and notice how much
real information there is in it. Compare it with Dr. Hillis's speech on
"Brave Little Belgium," page 394.

6. Write out a three-minute speech on any subject you choose. How much
information, and what new ideas, does it contain? Compare your speech
with the extract on page 191 from Dr. Hillis's "The Uses of Books and

7. Have you ever read a book on the practise of thinking? If so, give
your impressions of its value.

NOTE: There are a number of excellent books on the subject of thought
and the management of thought. The following are recommended as being
especially helpful: "Thinking and Learning to Think," Nathan C.
Schaeffer; "Talks to Students on the Art of Study," Cramer; "As a Man
Thinketh," Allen.

8. Define (_a_) logic; (_b_) mental philosophy (or mental science);
(_c_) psychology; (_d_) abstract.


[Footnote 8: _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_, J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 9: Used by permission.]



      Suit your topics to your strength,
    And ponder well your subject, and its length;
    Nor lift your load, before you're quite aware
    What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear.

--BYRON, _Hints from Horace_.

    Look to this day, for it is life--the very life of life. In its
    brief course lie all the verities and realities of your
    existence: the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the
    splendor of beauty. For yesterday is already a dream and
    tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well lived, makes every
    yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of
    hope. Look well, therefore, to this day. Such is the salutation
    of the dawn.

    --_From the Sanskrit_.

In the chapter preceding we have seen the influence of "Thought and
Reserve Power" on general preparedness for public speech. But
preparation consists in something more definite than the cultivation of
thought-power, whether from original or from borrowed sources--it
involves a _specifically_ acquisitive attitude of the whole life. If you
would become a full soul you must constantly take in and assimilate, for
in that way only may you hope to give out that which is worth the
hearing; but do not confuse the acquisition of general information with
the mastery of specific knowledge. Information consists of a fact or a
group of facts; knowledge is _organized_ information--knowledge knows a
fact in relation to other facts.

Now the important thing here is that you should set all your faculties
to take in the things about you with the particular object of
correlating them and storing them for use in public speech. You must
hear with the speaker's ear, see with the speaker's eye, and choose
books and companions and sights and sounds with the speaker's purpose in
view. At the same time, be ready to receive unplanned-for knowledge. One
of the fascinating elements in your life as a public speaker will be the
conscious growth in power that casual daily experiences bring. If your
eyes are alert you will be constantly discovering facts, illustrations,
and ideas without having set out in search of them. These all may be
turned to account on the platform; even the leaden events of hum-drum
daily life may be melted into bullets for future battles.

_Conservation of Time in Preparation_

But, you say, I have so little time for preparation--my mind must be
absorbed by other matters. Daniel Webster never let an opportunity pass
to gather material for his speeches. When he was a boy working in a
sawmill he read out of a book in one hand and busied himself at some
mechanical task with the other. In youth Patrick Henry roamed the fields
and woods in solitude for days at a time unconsciously gathering
material and impressions for his later service as a speaker. Dr. Russell
H. Conwell, the man who, the late Charles A. Dana said, had addressed
more hearers than any living man, used to memorize long passages from
Milton while tending the boiling syrup-pans in the silent New England
woods at night. The modern employer would discharge a Webster of today
for inattention to duty, and doubtless he would be justified, and
Patrick Henry seemed only an idle chap even in those easy-going days;
but the truth remains: those who take in power and have the purpose to
use it efficiently will some day win to the place in which that
stored-up power will revolve great wheels of influence.

Napoleon said that quarter hours decide the destinies of nations. How
many quarter hours do we let drift by aimlessly! Robert Louis Stevenson
conserved _all_ his time; _every_ experience became capital for his
work--for capital may be defined as "the results of labor stored up to
assist future production." He continually tried to put into suitable
language the scenes and actions that were in evidence about him. Emerson
says: "Tomorrow will be like today. Life wastes itself whilst we are
preparing to live."

Why wait for a more convenient season for this broad, general
preparation? The fifteen minutes that we spend on the car could be
profitably turned into speech-capital.

Procure a cheap edition of modern speeches, and by cutting out a few
pages each day, and reading them during the idle minute here and there,
note how soon you can make yourself familiar with the world's best
speeches. If you do not wish to mutilate your book, take it with
you--most of the epoch-making books are now printed in small volumes.
The daily waste of natural gas in the Oklahoma fields is equal to ten
thousand tons of coal. Only about three per cent of the power of the
coal that enters the furnace ever diffuses itself from your electric
bulb as light--the other ninety-seven per cent is wasted. Yet these
wastes are no larger, nor more to be lamented than the tremendous waste
of time which, if conserved would increase the speaker's powers to their
_nth_ degree. Scientists are making three ears of corn grow where one
grew before; efficiency engineers are eliminating useless motions and
products from our factories: catch the spirit of the age and apply
efficiency to the use of the most valuable asset you possess--time. What
do you do mentally with the time you spend in dressing or in shaving?
Take some subject and concentrate your energies on it for a week by
utilizing just the spare moments that would otherwise be wasted. You
will be amazed at the result. One passage a day from the Book of Books,
one golden ingot from some master mind, one fully-possessed thought of
your own might thus be added to the treasury of your life. Do not waste
your time in ways that profit you nothing. Fill "the unforgiving minute"
with "sixty seconds' worth of distance run" and on the platform you will
be immeasurably the gainer.

Let no word of this, however, seem to decry the value of recreation.
Nothing is more vital to a worker than rest--yet nothing is so vitiating
to the shirker. Be sure that your recreation re-creates. A pause in the
midst of labors gathers strength for new effort. The mistake is to pause
too long, or to fill your pauses with ideas that make life flabby.

_Choosing a Subject_

Subject and materials tremendously influence each other.

"This arises from the fact that there are two distinct ways in which a
subject may be chosen: by arbitrary choice, or by development from
thought and reading.

"Arbitrary choice ... of one subject from among a number involves so
many important considerations that no speaker ever fails to appreciate
the tone of satisfaction in him who triumphantly announces: 'I have a

"'Do give me a subject!' How often the weary school teacher hears that
cry. Then a list of themes is suggested, gone over, considered, and, in
most instances, rejected, because the teacher can know but imperfectly
what is in the pupil's mind. To suggest a subject in this way is like
trying to discover the street on which a lost child lives, by naming
over a number of streets until one strikes the little one's ear as
sounding familiar.

"Choice by development is a very different process. It does not ask,
What shall I say? It turns the mind in upon itself and asks, What do I
think? Thus, the subject may be said to choose itself, for in the
process of thought or of reading one theme rises into prominence and
becomes a living germ, soon to grow into the discourse. He who has not
learned to reflect is not really acquainted with his own thoughts;
hence, his thoughts are not productive. Habits of reading and reflection
will supply the speaker's mind with an abundance of subjects of which he
already knows something from the very reading and reflection which gave
birth to his theme. This is not a paradox, but sober truth.

"It must be already apparent that the choice of a subject by development
savors more of collection than of conscious selection. The subject
'pops into the mind.' ... In the intellect of the trained thinker it
concentrates--by a process which we have seen to be induction--the facts
and truths of which he has been reading and thinking. This is most often
a gradual process. The scattered ideas may be but vaguely connected at
first, but more and more they concentrate and take on a single form
until at length one strong idea seems to grasp the soul with
irresistible force, and to cry aloud, 'Arise, I am your _theme_!
Henceforth, until you transmute me by the alchemy of your inward fire
into vital speech, you shall know no rest!' Happy, then, is that
speaker, for he has found a subject that grips him.

"Of course, experienced speakers use both methods of selection. Even a
reading and reflective man is sometimes compelled to hunt for a theme
from Dan to Beersheba, and then the task of gathering materials becomes
a serious one. But even in such a case there is a sense in which the
selection comes by development, because no careful speaker settles upon
a theme which does not represent at least some matured thought."[10]

_Deciding on the Subject Matter_

Even when your theme has been chosen for you by someone else, there
remains to you a considerable field for choice of subject matter. The
same considerations, in fact, that would govern you in choosing a theme
must guide in the selection of the material. Ask yourself--or someone
else--such questions as these:

What is the precise nature of the occasion? How large an audience may be
expected? From what walks of life do they come? What is their probable
attitude toward the theme? Who else will speak? Do I speak first, last,
or where, on the program? What are the other speakers going to talk
about? What is the nature of the auditorium? Is there a desk? Could the
subject be more effectively handled if somewhat modified? Precisely how
much time am I to fill?

It is evident that many speech-misfits of subject, speaker, occasion and
place are due to failure to ask just such pertinent questions. _What_
should be said, by _whom_, and _in what circumstances_, constitute
ninety per cent of efficiency in public address. No matter who asks you,
refuse to be a square peg in a round hole.

_Questions of Proportion_

Proportion in a speech is attained by a nice adjustment of time. How
fully you may treat your subject it is not always for you to say. Let
ten minutes mean neither nine nor eleven--though better nine than
eleven, at all events. You wouldn't steal a man's watch; no more should
you steal the time of the succeeding speaker, or that of the audience.
There is no need to overstep time-limits if you make your preparation
adequate and divide your subject so as to give each thought its due
proportion of attention--and no more. Blessed is the man that maketh
short speeches, for he shall be invited to speak again.

Another matter of prime importance is, what part of your address
demands the most emphasis. This once decided, you will know where to
place that pivotal section so as to give it the greatest strategic
value, and what degree of preparation must be given to that central
thought so that the vital part may not be submerged by non-essentials.
Many a speaker has awakened to find that he has burnt up eight minutes
of a ten-minute speech in merely getting up steam. That is like spending
eighty percent of your building-money on the vestibule of the house.

The same sense of proportion must tell you to stop precisely when you
are through--and it is to be hoped that you will discover the arrival of
that period before your audience does.

_Tapping Original Sources_

The surest way to give life to speech-material is to gather your facts
at first hand. Your words come with the weight of authority when you can
say, "I have examined the employment rolls of every mill in this
district and find that thirty-two per cent of the children employed are
under the legal age." No citation of authorities can equal that. You
must adopt the methods of the reporter and find out the facts underlying
your argument or appeal. To do so may prove laborious, but it should not
be irksome, for the great world of fact teems with interest, and over
and above all is the sense of power that will come to you from original
investigation. To see and feel the facts you are discussing will react
upon you much more powerfully than if you were to secure the facts at
second hand.

Live an active life among people who are doing worth-while things, keep
eyes and ears and mind and heart open to absorb truth, and then tell of
the things you know, as if you know them. The world will listen, for the
world loves nothing so much as real life.

_How to Use a Library_

Unsuspected treasures lie in the smallest library. Even when the owner
has read every last page of his books it is only in rare instances that
he has full indexes to all of them, either in his mind or on paper, so
as to make available the vast number of varied subjects touched upon or
treated in volumes whose titles would never suggest such topics.

For this reason it is a good thing to take an odd hour now and then to
browse. Take down one volume after another and look over its table of
contents and its index. (It is a reproach to any author of a serious
book not to have provided a full index, with cross references.) Then
glance over the pages, making notes, mental or physical, of material
that looks interesting and usable. Most libraries contain volumes that
the owner is "going to read some day." A familiarity with even the
contents of such books on your own shelves will enable you to refer to
them when you want help. Writings read long ago should be treated in the
same way--in every chapter some surprise lurks to delight you.

In looking up a subject do not be discouraged if you do not find it
indexed or outlined in the table of contents--you are pretty sure to
discover some material under a related title.

Suppose you set to work somewhat in this way to gather references on
"Thinking:" First you look over your book titles, and there is
Schaeffer's "Thinking and Learning to Think." Near it is Kramer's "Talks
to Students on the Art of Study"--that seems likely to provide some
material, and it does. Naturally you think next of your book on
psychology, and there is help there. If you have a volume on the human
intellect you will have already turned to it. Suddenly you remember your
encyclopedia and your dictionary of quotations--and now material fairly
rains upon you; the problem is what _not_ to use. In the encyclopedia
you turn to every reference that includes or touches or even suggests
"thinking;" and in the dictionary of quotations you do the same. The
latter volume you find peculiarly helpful because it suggests several
volumes to you that are on your own shelves--you never would have
thought to look in them for references on this subject. Even fiction
will supply help, but especially books of essays and biography. Be aware
of your own resources.

To make a general index to your library does away with the necessity for
indexing individual volumes that are not already indexed.

To begin with, keep a note-book by you; or small cards and paper
cuttings in your pocket and on your desk will serve as well. The same
note-book that records the impressions of your own experiences and
thoughts will be enriched by the ideas of others.

To be sure, this note-book habit means labor, but remember that more
speeches have been spoiled by half-hearted preparation than by lack of
talent. Laziness is an own-brother to Over-confidence, and both are your
inveterate enemies, though they pretend to be soothing friends.

Conserve your material by indexing every good idea on cards, thus:



Progress of S., Env. 16
S. a fallacy, 96/210
General article on S., Howells', Dec. 1913
"Socialism and the Franchise," Forbes
"Socialism in Ancient Life," Original Ms.,
       Env. 102


On the card illustrated above, clippings are indexed by giving the
number of the envelope in which they are filed. The envelopes may be of
any size desired and kept in any convenient receptacle. On the foregoing
example, "Progress of S., Envelope 16," will represent a clipping, filed
in Envelope 16, which is, of course, numbered arbitrarily.

The fractions refer to books in your library--the numerator being the
book-number, the denominator referring to the page. Thus, "S. a fallacy,
96/210," refers to page 210 of volume 96 in your library. By some
arbitrary sign--say red ink--you may even index a reference in a public
library book.

If you preserve your magazines, important articles may be indexed by
month and year. An entire volume on a subject may be indicated like the
imaginary book by "Forbes." If you clip the articles, it is better to
index them according to the envelope system.

Your own writings and notes may be filed in envelopes with the clippings
or in a separate series.

Another good indexing system combines the library index with the
"scrap," or clipping, system by making the outside of the envelope serve
the same purpose as the card for the indexing of books, magazines,
clippings and manuscripts, the latter two classes of material being
enclosed in the envelopes that index them, and all filed alphabetically.

When your cards accumulate so as to make ready reference difficult under
a single alphabet, you may subdivide each letter by subordinate guide
cards marked by the vowels, A, E, I, O, U. Thus, "Antiquities" would be
filed under _i_ in A, because A begins the word, and the second letter,
_n_, comes after the vowel _i_ in the alphabet, but before _o_. In the
same manner, "Beecher" would be filed under _e_ in B; and "Hydrogen"
would come under _u_ in H.

_Outlining the Address_

No one can advise you how to prepare the notes for an address. Some
speakers get the best results while walking out and ruminating, jotting
down notes as they pause in their walk. Others never put pen to paper
until the whole speech has been thought out. The great majority,
however, will take notes, classify their notes, write a hasty first
draft, and then revise the speech. Try each of these methods and choose
the one that is best--_for you_. Do not allow any man to force you to
work in _his_ way; but do not neglect to consider his way, for it may be
better than your own.

For those who make notes and with their aid write out the speech, these
suggestions may prove helpful:

After having read and thought enough, classify your notes by setting
down the big, central thoughts of your material on separate cards or
slips of paper. These will stand in the same relation to your subject as
chapters do to a book.

Then arrange these main ideas or heads in such an order that they will
lead effectively to the result you have in mind, so that the speech may
rise in argument, in interest, in power, by piling one fact or appeal
upon another until the climax--the highest point of influence on your
audience--has been reached.

Next group all your ideas, facts, anecdotes, and illustrations under the
foregoing main heads, each where it naturally belongs.

You now have a skeleton or outline of your address that in its polished
form might serve either as the brief, or manuscript notes, for the
speech or as the guide-outline which you will expand into the written
address, if written it is to be.

Imagine each of the main ideas in the brief on page 213 as being
separate; then picture your mind as sorting them out and placing them in
order; finally, conceive of how you would fill in the facts and examples
under each head, giving special prominence to those you wish to
emphasize and subduing those of less moment. In the end, you have the
outline complete. The simplest form of outline--not very suitable for
use on the platform, however--is the following:


What prosperity means.--The real tests of prosperity.--Its basis in the
soil.--American agricultural progress.--New interest in
farming.--Enormous value of our agricultural products.--Reciprocal
effect on trade.--Foreign countries affected.--Effects of our new
internal economy--the regulation of banking and "big business"--on
prosperity.--Effects of our revised attitude toward foreign markets,
including our merchant marine.--Summary.

Obviously, this very simple outline is capable of considerable expansion
under each head by the addition of facts, arguments, inferences and

Here is an outline arranged with more regard for argument:


    I. FACT AS CAUSE: Many immigrants are practically paupers.
    (Proofs involving statistics or statements of authorities.)

    II. FACT AS EFFECT: They sooner or later fill our alms-houses
    and become public charges. (Proofs involving statistics or
    statements of authorities.)

    III. FACT AS CAUSE: Some of them are criminals. (Examples of
    recent cases.)

    IV. FACT AS EFFECT: They reėnforce the criminal classes.
    (Effects on our civic life.)

    V. FACT AS CAUSE: Many of them know nothing of the duties of
    free citizenship. (Examples.)

    VI.FACT AS EFFECT: Such immigrants recruit the worst element in
    our politics. (Proofs.)

A more highly ordered grouping of topics and subtopics is shown in the


    I. INTRODUCTION: Why the subject is timely. Influences
    operative against this contention today.


    1. First practical discovery by a Christian explorer. Columbus
    worshiped God on the new soil.

    2. The Cavaliers.

    3. The French Catholic settlers.

    4. The Huguenots.

    5. The Puritans.


    1. Christian character of Washington.

    2. Other Christian patriots.

    3. The Church in our Revolutionary struggle. Muhlenberg.

    ATTITUDE. Examples of dealings with foreign nations show
    Christian magnanimity. Returning the Chinese Indemnity;
    fostering the Red Cross; attitude toward Belgium.


    1. The use of the Bible in public ways, oaths, etc.

    2. The Bible in our schools.

    3. Christian chaplains minister to our law-making bodies, to our
    army, and to our navy.

    4. The Christian Sabbath is officially and generally recognized.

    5. The Christian family and the Christian system of morality are
    at the basis of our laws.

    CHRISTIANITY. Charities, education, etc., have Christian


    VIII. CONCLUSION: The attitude which may reasonably be
    expected of all good citizens toward questions touching the
    preservation of our standing as a Christian nation.

_Writing and Revision_

After the outline has been perfected comes the time to write the speech,
if write it you must. Then, whatever you do, write it at white heat,
with not _too_ much thought of anything but the strong, appealing
expression of your ideas.

The final stage is the paring down, the re-vision--the seeing again, as
the word implies--when all the parts of the speech must be impartially
scrutinized for clearness, precision, force, effectiveness, suitability,
proportion, logical climax; and in all this you must _imagine yourself
to be before your audience_, for a speech is not an essay and what will
convince and arouse in the one will not prevail in the other.

_The Title_

Often last of all will come that which in a sense is first of all--the
title, the name by which the speech is known. Sometimes it will be the
simple theme of the address, as "The New Americanism," by Henry
Watterson; or it may be a bit of symbolism typifying the spirit of the
address, as "Acres of Diamonds," by Russell H. Conwell; or it may be a
fine phrase taken from the body of the address, as "Pass Prosperity
Around," by Albert J. Beveridge. All in all, from whatever motive it be
chosen, let the title be fresh, short, suited to the subject, and likely
to excite interest.


1. Define (_a_) introduction; (_b_) climax; (_c_) peroration.

2. If a thirty-minute speech would require three hours for specific
preparation, would you expect to be able to do equal justice to a speech
one-third as long in one-third the time for preparation? Give reasons.

3. Relate briefly any personal experience you may have had in conserving
time for reading and thought.

4. In the manner of a reporter or investigator, go out and get
first-hand information on some subject of interest to the public.
Arrange the results of your research in the form of an outline, or

5. From a private or a public library gather enough authoritative
material on one of the following questions to build an outline for a
twenty-minute address. Take one definite side of the question, (_a_)
"The Housing of the Poor;" (_b_) "The Commission Form of Government for
Cities as a Remedy for Political Graft;" (_c_) "The Test of Woman's
Suffrage in the West;" (_d_) "Present Trends of Public Taste in
Reading;" (_e_) "Municipal Art;" (_f_) "Is the Theatre Becoming more
Elevated in Tone?" (_g_) "The Effects of the Magazine on Literature;"
(_h_) "Does Modern Life Destroy Ideals?" (_i_) "Is Competition 'the Life
of Trade?'" (_j_) "Baseball is too Absorbing to be a Wholesome National
Game;" (_k_) "Summer Baseball and Amateur Standing;" (_l_) "Does College
Training Unfit a Woman for Domestic Life?" (_m_) "Does Woman's
Competition with Man in Business Dull the Spirit of Chivalry?" (_n_)
"Are Elective Studies Suited to High School Courses?" (_o_) "Does the
Modern College Prepare Men for Preeminent Leadership?" (_p_) "The
Y.M.C.A. in Its Relation to the Labor Problem;" (_q_) "Public Speaking
as Training in Citizenship."

6. Construct the outline, examining it carefully for interest,
convincing character, proportion, and climax of arrangement.

NOTE:--This exercise should be repeated until the student shows facility
in synthetic arrangement.

7. Deliver the address, if possible before an audience.

8. Make a three-hundred word report on the results, as best you are able
to estimate them.

9. Tell something of the benefits of using a periodical (or cumulative)

10. Give a number of quotations, suitable for a speaker's use, that you
have memorized in off moments.

11. In the manner of the outline on page 213, analyze the address on
pages 78-79, "The History of Liberty."

12. Give an outline analysis, from notes or memory, of an address or
sermon to which you have listened for this purpose.

13. Criticise the address from a structural point of view.

14. Invent titles for any five of the themes in Exercise 5.

15. Criticise the titles of any five chapters of this book, suggesting
better ones.

16. Criticise the title of any lecture or address of which you know.


[Footnote 10: _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_, J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 11: Adapted from _Competition-Rhetoric_, Scott and Denny, p.



    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

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

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

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

    "To master the process of exposition is to become a clear
    thinker. 'I know, when you do not ask me,'[13] 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."[14]

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.[15] 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

    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

=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_.[16]

=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

    --LORD BACON, _The Advancement of Learning_.[16A]

=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.[17]

=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_.[18]

    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?


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

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


[Footnote 12: Argumentation will be outlined fully in subsequent

[Footnote 13: _The Working Principles of Rhetoric_, J.F. Genung.]

[Footnote 14: _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_, J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 15: On the various types of definition see any college manual
of Rhetoric.]

[Footnote 16: Quoted in _The Working Principles of Rhetoric_, J.F.

[Footnote 16A: Quoted in _The Working Principles of Rhetoric_, J.F.

[Footnote 17: G.C.V. Holmes, quoted in _Specimens of Exposition_, H.

[Footnote 18: _Effective Speaking_, Arthur Edward Phillips. This work
covers the preparation of public speech in a very helpful way.]



    The groves of Eden vanish'd now so long,
    Live in description, and look green in song.

    --ALEXANDER POPE, _Windsor Forest_.

    The moment our discourse rises above the ground-line of familiar
    facts, and is inflamed with passion or exalted thought, it
    clothes itself in images. A man conversing in earnest, if he
    watch his intellectual processes, will find that always a
    material image, more or less luminous, arises in his mind,
    contemporaneous with every thought, which furnishes the vestment
    of the thought.... This imagery is spontaneous. It is the
    blending of experience with the present action of the mind. It
    is proper creation.

    --RALPH WALDO EMERSON, _Nature_.

Like other valuable resources in public speaking, description loses its
power when carried to an extreme. Over-ornamentation makes the subject
ridiculous. A dust-cloth is a very useful thing, but why embroider it?
Whether description shall be restrained within its proper and important
limits, or be encouraged to run riot, is the personal choice that comes
before every speaker, for man's earliest literary tendency is to depict.

_The Nature of Description_

To describe is to call up a picture in the mind of the hearer. "In
talking of description we naturally speak of portraying, delineating,
coloring, and all the devices of the picture painter. To describe is to
visualize, hence we must look at description as a pictorial process,
whether the writer deals with material or with spiritual objects."[19]

If you were asked to describe the rapid-fire gun you might go about it
in either of two ways: give a cold technical account of its mechanism,
in whole and in detail, or else describe it as a terrible engine of
slaughter, dwelling upon its effects rather than upon its structure.

The former of these processes is exposition, the latter is true
description. Exposition deals more with the _general_, while description
must deal with the _particular_. Exposition elucidates _ideas_,
description treats of _things_. Exposition deals with the _abstract_,
description with the _concrete_. Exposition is concerned with the
_internal_, description with the _external_. Exposition is
_enumerative_, description _literary_. Exposition is _intellectual_,
description _sensory_. Exposition is _impersonal_, description

If description is a visualizing process for the hearer, it is first of
all such for the speaker--he cannot describe what he has never seen,
either physically or in fancy. It is this personal quality--this
question of the personal eye which sees the things later to be
described--that makes description so interesting in public speech. Given
a speaker of personality, and we are interested in his personal
view--his view adds to the natural interest of the scene, and may even
be the sole source of that interest to his auditors.

The seeing eye has been praised in an earlier chapter (on "Subject and
Preparation") and the imagination will be treated in a subsequent one
(on "Riding the Winged Horse"), but here we must consider the
_picturing mind_: the mind that forms the double habit of seeing things
clearly--for we see more with the mind than we do with the physical
eye--and then of re-imaging these things for the purpose of getting them
before the minds' eyes of the hearers. No habit is more useful than that
of visualizing clearly the object, the scene, the situation, the action,
the person, about to be described. Unless that primary process is
carried out clearly, the picture will be blurred for the

In a work of this nature we are concerned with the rhetorical analysis
of description, and with its methods, only so far as may be needed for
the practical purposes of the speaker.[20] The following grouping,
therefore, will not be regarded as complete, nor will it here be
necessary to add more than a word of explanation:

_Description for Public Speakers_

Objects    { Still
  " "      { In motion

Scenes     { Still
  " "      { Including action

Situations { Preceding change
  " "      { During change
  " "      { After change

Actions    { Mental
  " "      { Physical

Persons    { Internal
  " "      { External

Some of the foregoing processes will overlap, in certain instances, and
all are more likely to be found in combination than singly.

When description is intended solely to give accurate information--as to
delineate the appearance, not the technical construction, of the latest
Zeppelin airship--it is called "scientific description," and is akin to
exposition. When it is intended to present a free picture for the
purpose of making a vivid impression, it is called "artistic
description." With both of these the public speaker has to deal, but
more frequently with the latter form. Rhetoricians make still further

_Methods of Description_

In public speaking, _description should be mainly by suggestion_, not
only because suggestive description is so much more compact and
time-saving but because it is so vivid. Suggestive expressions connote
more than they literally say--they suggest ideas and pictures to the
mind of the hearer which supplement the direct words of the speaker.
When Dickens, in his "Christmas Carol," says: "In came Mrs. Fezziwig,
one vast substantial smile," our minds complete the picture so deftly
begun--a much more effective process than that of a minutely detailed
description because it leaves a unified, vivid impression, and that is
what we need. Here is a present-day bit of suggestion: "General Trinkle
was a gnarly oak of a man--rough, solid, and safe; you always knew where
to find him." Dickens presents Miss Peecher as: "A little pin-cushion, a
little housewife, a little book, a little work-box, a little set of
tables and weights and measures, and a little woman all in one." In his
"Knickerbocker's" "History of New York," Irving portrays Wouter van
Twiller as "a robustious beer-barrel, standing on skids."

Whatever forms of description you neglect, be sure to master the art of

_Description may be by simple hint._ Lowell notes a happy instance of
this sort of picturing by intimation when he says of Chaucer: "Sometimes
he describes amply by the merest hint, as where the Friar, before
setting himself down, drives away the cat. We know without need of more
words that he has chosen the snuggest corner."

_Description may depict a thing by its effects._ "When the spectator's
eye is dazzled, and he shades it," says Mozley in his "Essays," "we form
the idea of a splendid object; when his face turns pale, of a horrible
one; from his quick wonder and admiration we form the idea of great
beauty; from his silent awe, of great majesty."

_Brief description may be by epithet._ "Blue-eyed," "white-armed,"
"laughter-loving," are now conventional compounds, but they were fresh
enough when Homer first conjoined them. The centuries have not yet
improved upon "Wheels round, brazen, eight-spoked," or "Shields smooth,
beautiful, brazen, well-hammered." Observe the effective use of epithet
in Will Levington Comfort's "The Fighting Death," when he speaks of
soldiers in a Philippine skirmish as being "leeched against a rock."

_Description uses figures of speech._ Any advanced rhetoric will discuss
their forms and give examples for guidance.[21] This matter is most
important, be assured. A brilliant yet carefully restrained figurative
style, a style marked by brief, pungent, witty, and humorous comparisons
and characterizations, is a wonderful resource for all kinds of platform

_Description may be direct._ This statement is plain enough without
exposition. Use your own judgment as to whether in picturing you had
better proceed from a general view to the details, or first give the
details and thus build up the general picture, but by all means BE

Note the vivid compactness of these delineations from Washington
Irving's "Knickerbocker:"

    He was a short, square, brawny old gentleman, with a double
    chin, a mastiff mouth, and a broad copper nose, which was
    supposed in those days to have acquired its fiery hue from the
    constant neighborhood of his tobacco pipe.

    He was exactly five feet six inches in height, and six feet five
    inches in circumference. His head was a perfect sphere, and of
    such stupendous dimensions, that Dame Nature, with all her sex's
    ingenuity, would have been puzzled to construct a neck capable
    of supporting it; wherefore she wisely declined the attempt, and
    settled it firmly on the top of his backbone, just between the
    shoulders. His body was of an oblong form, particularly
    capacious at bottom; which was wisely ordered by Providence,
    seeing that he was a man of sedentary habits, and very averse to
    the idle labor of walking.

The foregoing is too long for the platform, but it is so good-humored,
so full of delightful exaggeration, that it may well serve as a model
of humorous character picturing, for here one inevitably sees the inner
man in the outer.

Direct description for platform use may be made vivid by the _sparing_
use of the "historical present." The following dramatic passage,
accompanied by the most lively action, has lingered in the mind for
thirty years after hearing Dr. T. De Witt Talmage lecture on "Big
Blunders." The crack of the bat sounds clear even today:

    Get ready the bats and take your positions. Now, give us the
    ball. Too low. Don't strike. Too high. Don't strike. There it
    comes like lightning. Strike! Away it soars! Higher! Higher!
    Run! Another base! Faster! Faster! Good! All around at one

Observe the remarkable way in which the lecturer fused speaker,
audience, spectators, and players into one excited, ecstatic whole--just
as you have found yourself starting forward in your seat at the delivery
of the ball with "three on and two down" in the ninth inning. Notice,
too, how--perhaps unconsciously--Talmage painted the scene in Homer's
characteristic style: not as having already happened, but as happening
before your eyes.

If you have attended many travel talks you must have been impressed by
the painful extremes to which the lecturers go--with a few notable
exceptions, their language is either over-ornate or crude. If you would
learn the power of words to make scenery, yes, even houses, palpitate
with poetry and human appeal, read Lafcadio Hearn, Robert Louis
Stevenson, Pierre Loti, and Edmondo De Amicis.

    Blue-distant, a mountain of carven stone appeared before
    them,--the Temple, lifting to heaven its wilderness of chiseled
    pinnacles, flinging to the sky the golden spray of its

    --LAFCADIO HEARN, _Chinese Ghosts_.

    The stars were clear, colored, and jewel-like, but not frosty. A
    faint silvery vapour stood for the Milky Way. All around me the
    black fir-points stood upright and stock-still. By the whiteness
    of the pack-saddle I could see Modestine walking round and round
    at the length of her tether; I could hear her steadily munching
    at the sward; but there was not another sound save the
    indescribable quiet talk of the runnel over the stones.

    --ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, _Travels with a Donkey_.

    It was full autumn now, late autumn--with the nightfalls gloomy,
    and all things growing dark early in the old cottage, and all
    the Breton land looking sombre, too. The very days seemed but
    twilight; immeasurable clouds, slowly passing, would suddenly
    bring darkness at broad noon. The wind moaned constantly--it was
    like the sound of a great cathedral organ at a distance, but
    playing profane airs, or despairing dirges; at other times it
    would come close to the door, and lift up a howl like wild

    --PIERRE LOTI, _An Iceland Fisherman_.

    I see the great refectory,[22] where a battalion might have
    drilled; I see the long tables, the five hundred heads bent
    above the plates, the rapid motion of five hundred forks, of a
    thousand hands, and sixteen thousand teeth; the swarm of
    servants running here and there, called to, scolded, hurried, on
    every side at once; I hear the clatter of dishes, the deafening
    noise, the voices choked with food crying out: "Bread--bread!"
    and I feel once more the formidable appetite, the herculean
    strength of jaw, the exuberant life and spirits of those far-off

    --EDMONDO DE AMICIS, _College Friends_.

_Suggestions for the Use of Description_

Decide, on beginning a description, what point of view you wish your
hearers to take. One cannot see either a mountain or a man on all sides
at once. Establish a view-point, and do not shift without giving notice.

Choose an attitude toward your subject--shall it be idealized?
caricatured? ridiculed? exaggerated? defended? or described impartially?

Be sure of your mood, too, for it will color the subject to be
described. Melancholy will make a rose-garden look gray.

Adopt an order in which you will proceed--do not shift backward and
forward from near to far, remote to close in time, general to
particular, large to small, important to unimportant, concrete to
abstract, physical to mental; but follow your chosen order. Scattered
and shifting observations produce hazy impressions just as a moving
camera spoils the time-exposure.

Do not go into needless minutię. Some details identify a thing with its
class, while other details differentiate it from its class. Choose only
the significant, suggestive characteristics and bring those out with
terse vividness. Learn a lesson from the few strokes used by the poster

In determining what to describe and what merely to name, seek to read
the knowledge of your audience. The difference to them between the
unknown and the known is a vital one also to you.

Relentlessly cut out all ideas and words not necessary to produce the
effect you desire. Each element in a mental picture either helps or
hinders. Be sure they do not hinder, for they cannot be passively
present in any discourse.

Interruptions of the description to make side-remarks are as powerful to
destroy unity as are scattered descriptive phrases. The only visual
impression that can be effective is one that is unified.

In describing, try to call up the emotions you felt when first you saw
the scene, and then try to reproduce those emotions in your hearers.
Description is primarily emotional in its appeal; nothing can be more
deadly dull than a cold, unemotional outline, while nothing leaves a
warmer impression than a glowing, spirited description.

Give a swift and vivid general view at the close of the portrayal. First
and final impressions remain the longest. The mind may be trained to
take in the characteristic points of a subject, so as to view in a
single scene, action, experience, or character, a unified impression of
the whole. To describe a thing as a whole you must first see it as a
whole. Master that art and you have mastered description to the last



    I went to Washington the other day, and I stood on the Capitol
    Hill; my heart beat quick as I looked at the towering marble of
    my country's Capitol and the mist gathered in my eyes as I
    thought of its tremendous significance, and the armies and the
    treasury, and the judges and the President, and the Congress and
    the courts, and all that was gathered there. And I felt that the
    sun in all its course could not look down on a better sight than
    that majestic home of a republic that had taught the world its
    best lessons of liberty. And I felt that if honor and wisdom and
    justice abided therein, the world would at last owe to that
    great house in which the ark of the covenant of my country is
    lodged, its final uplifting and its regeneration.

    Two days afterward, I went to visit a friend in the country, a
    modest man, with a quiet country home. It was just a simple,
    unpretentious house, set about with big trees, encircled in
    meadow and field rich with the promise of harvest. The fragrance
    of the pink and hollyhock in the front yard was mingled with the
    aroma of the orchard and of the gardens, and resonant with the
    cluck of poultry and the hum of bees.

    Inside was quiet, cleanliness, thrift, and comfort. There was
    the old clock that had welcomed, in steady measure, every
    newcomer to the family, that had ticked the solemn requiem of
    the dead, and had kept company with the watcher at the bedside.
    There were the big, restful beds and the old, open fireplace,
    and the old family Bible, thumbed with the fingers of hands long
    since still, and wet with the tears of eyes long since closed,
    holding the simple annals of the family and the heart and the
    conscience of the home.

    Outside, there stood my friend, the master, a simple, upright
    man, with no mortgage on his roof, no lien on his growing crops,
    master of his land and master of himself. There was his old
    father, an aged, trembling man, but happy in the heart and home
    of his son. And as they started to their home, the hands of the
    old man went down on the young man's shoulder, laying there the
    unspeakable blessing of the honored and grateful father and
    ennobling it with the knighthood of the fifth commandment.

    And as they reached the door the old mother came with the sunset
    falling fair on her face, and lighting up her deep, patient
    eyes, while her lips, trembling with the rich music of her
    heart, bade her husband and son welcome to their home. Beyond
    was the housewife, busy with her household cares, clean of heart
    and conscience, the buckler and helpmeet of her husband. Down
    the lane came the children, trooping home after the cows,
    seeking as truant birds do the quiet of their home nest.

    And I saw the night come down on that house, falling gently as
    the wings of the unseen dove. And the old man--while a startled
    bird called from the forest, and the trees were shrill with the
    cricket's cry, and the stars were swarming in the sky--got the
    family around him, and, taking the old Bible from the table,
    called them to their knees, the little baby hiding in the folds
    of its mother's dress, while he closed the record of that
    simple day by calling down God's benediction on that family and
    that home. And while I gazed, the vision of that marble Capitol
    faded. Forgotten were its treasures and its majesty and I said,
    "Oh, surely here in the homes of the people are lodged at last
    the strength and the responsibility of this government, the hope
    and the promise of this republic."



    One thing in life calls for another; there is a fitness in
    events and places. The sight of a pleasant arbor puts it in our
    mind to sit there. One place suggests work, another idleness, a
    third early rising and long rambles in the dew. The effect of
    night, of any flowing water, of lighted cities, of the peep of
    day, of ships, of the open ocean, calls up in the mind an army
    of anonymous desires and pleasures. Something, we feel, should
    happen; we know not what, yet we proceed in quest of it. And
    many of the happiest hours in life fleet by us in this vain
    attendance on the genius of the place and moment. It is thus
    that tracts of young fir, and low rocks that reach into deep
    soundings, particularly delight and torture me. Something must
    have happened in such places, and perhaps ages back, to members
    of my race; and when I was a child I tried to invent appropriate
    games for them, as I still try, just as vainly, to fit them with
    the proper story. Some places speak distinctly. Certain dank
    gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be
    haunted; certain coasts are set aside for shipwreck. Other spots
    again seem to abide their destiny, suggestive and impenetrable,
    "miching mallecho." The inn at Burford Bridge, with its arbours
    and green garden and silent, eddying river--though it is known
    already as the place where Keats wrote some of his _Endymion_
    and Nelson parted from his Emma--still seems to wait the coming
    of the appropriate legend. Within these ivied walls, behind
    these old green shutters, some further business smoulders,
    waiting for its hour. The old Hawes Inn at the Queen's ferry
    makes a similar call upon my fancy. There it stands, apart from
    the town, beside the pier, in a climate of its own, half inland,
    half marine--in front, the ferry bubbling with the tide and the
    guard-ship swinging to her anchor; behind, the old garden with
    the trees. Americans seek it already for the sake of Lovel and
    Oldbuck, who dined there at the beginning of the _Antiquary_.
    But you need not tell me--that is not all; there is some story,
    unrecorded or not yet complete, which must express the meaning
    of that inn more fully.... I have lived both at the Hawes and
    Burford in a perpetual flutter, on the heel, as it seemed, of
    some adventure that should justify the place; but though the
    feeling had me to bed at night and called me again at morning in
    one unbroken round of pleasure and suspense, nothing befell me
    in either worth remark. The man or the hour had not yet come;
    but some day, I think, a boat shall put off from the Queen's
    ferry, fraught with a dear cargo, and some frosty night a
    horseman, on a tragic errand, rattle with his whip upon the
    green shutters at the inn at Burford.

    --R.L. STEVENSON, _A Gossip on Romance_.


    Clang! Clang! Clang! the fire-bells! Bing! Bing! Bing! the
    alarm! In an instant quiet turns to uproar--an outburst of
    noise, excitement, clamor--bedlam broke loose; Bing! Bing! Bing!
    Rattle, clash and clatter. Open fly the doors; brave men mount
    their boxes. Bing! Bing! Bing! They're off! The horses tear down
    the street like mad. Bing! Bing! Bing! goes the gong!

    "Get out of the track! The engines are coming! For God's sake,
    snatch that child from the road!"

    On, on, wildly, resolutely, madly fly the steeds. Bing! Bing!
    the gong. Away dash the horses on the wings of fevered fury. On
    whirls the machine, down streets, around corners, up this avenue
    and across that one, out into the very bowels of darkness,
    whiffing, wheezing, shooting a million sparks from the stack,
    paving the path of startled night with a galaxy of stars. Over
    the house-tops to the north, a volcanic burst of flame shoots
    out, belching with blinding effect. The sky is ablaze. A
    tenement house is burning. Five hundred souls are in peril.
    Merciful Heaven! Spare the victims! Are the engines coming? Yes,
    here they are, dashing down the street. Look! the horses ride
    upon the wind; eyes bulging like balls of fire; nostrils wide
    open. A palpitating billow of fire, rolling, plunging, bounding
    rising, falling, swelling, heaving, and with mad passion
    bursting its red-hot sides asunder, reaching out its arms,
    encircling, squeezing, grabbing up, swallowing everything before
    it with the hot, greedy mouth of an appalling monster.

    How the horses dash around the corner! Animal instinct say you?
    Aye, more. Brute reason.

    "Up the ladders, men!"

    The towering building is buried in bloated banks of savage,
    biting elements. Forked tongues dart out and in, dodge here and
    there, up and down, and wind their cutting edges around every
    object. A crash, a dull, explosive sound, and a puff of smoke
    leaps out. At the highest point upon the roof stands a dark
    figure in a desperate strait, the hands making frantic gestures,
    the arms swinging wildly--and then the body shoots off into
    frightful space, plunging upon the pavement with a revolting
    thud. The man's arm strikes a bystander as he darts down. The
    crowd shudders, sways, and utters a low murmur of pity and
    horror. The faint-hearted lookers-on hide their faces. One woman
    swoons away.

    "Poor fellow! Dead!" exclaims a laborer, as he looks upon the
    man's body.

    "Aye, Joe, and I knew him well, too! He lived next door to me,
    five flights back. He leaves a widowed mother and two wee bits
    of orphans. I helped him bury his wife a fortnight ago. Ah, Joe!
    but it's hard lines for the orphans."

    A ghastly hour moves on, dragging its regiment of panic in its
    trail and leaving crimson blotches of cruelty along the path of

    "Are they all out, firemen?"

    "Aye, aye, sir!"

    "No, they're not! There's a woman in the top window holding a
    child in her arms--over yonder in the right-hand corner! The
    ladders, there! A hundred pounds to the man who makes the

    A dozen start. One man more supple than the others, and reckless
    in his bravery, clambers to the top rung of the ladder.

    "Too short!" he cries. "Hoist another!"

    Up it goes. He mounts to the window, fastens the rope, lashes
    mother and babe, swings them off into ugly emptiness, and lets
    them down to be rescued by his comrades.

    "Bravo, fireman!" shouts the crowd.

    A crash breaks through the uproar of crackling timbers.

    "Look alive, up there! Great God! The roof has fallen!"

    The walls sway, rock, and tumble in with a deafening roar. The
    spectators cease to breathe. The cold truth reveals itself. The
    fireman has been carried into the seething furnace. An old
    woman, bent with the weight of age, rushes through the fire
    line, shrieking, raving, and wringing her hands and opening her
    heart of grief.

    "Poor John! He was all I had! And a brave lad he was, too! But
    he's gone now. He lost his own life in savin' two more, and
    now--now he's there, away in there!" she repeats, pointing to
    the cruel oven.

    The engines do their work. The flames die out. An eerie gloom
    hangs over the ruins like a formidable, blackened pall.

    And the noon of night is passed.



1. Write two paragraphs on one of these: the race horse, the motor boat,
golfing, tennis; let the first be pure exposition and the second pure

2. Select your own theme and do the same in two short extemporaneous

3. Deliver a short original address in the over-ornamented style.

4. (_a_) Point out its defects; (_b_) recast it in a more effective
style; (_c_) show how the one surpasses the other.

5. Make a list of ten subjects which lend themselves to description in
the style you prefer.

6. Deliver a two-minute speech on any one of them, using chiefly, but
not solely, description.

7. For one minute, look at any object, scene, action, picture, or
person you choose, take two minutes to arrange your thoughts, and then
deliver a short description--all without making written notes.

8. In what sense is description more _personal_ than exposition?

9. Explain the difference between a scientific and an artistic

10. In the style of Dickens and Irving (pages 234, 235), write five
separate sentences describing five characters by means of
suggestion--one sentence to each.

11. Describe a character by means of a hint, after the manner of Chaucer
(p. 235).

12. Read aloud the following with special attention to gesture:

    His very throat was moral. You saw a good deal of it. You looked
    over a very low fence of white cravat (whereof no man had ever
    beheld the tie, for he fastened it behind), and there it lay, a
    valley between two jutting heights of collar, serene and
    whiskerless before you. It seemed to say, on the part of Mr.
    Pecksniff, "There is no deception, ladies and gentlemen, all is
    peace, a holy calm pervades me." So did his hair, just grizzled
    with an iron gray, which was all brushed off his forehead, and
    stood bolt upright, or slightly drooped in kindred action with
    his heavy eyelids. So did his person, which was sleek though
    free from corpulency. So did his manner, which was soft and
    oily. In a word, even his plain black suit, and state of
    widower, and dangling double eye-glass, all tended to the same
    purpose, and cried aloud, "Behold the moral Pecksniff!"

    --CHARLES DICKENS, _Martin Chuzzlewit_.

13. Which of the following do you prefer, and why?

    She was a blooming lass of fresh eighteen, plump as a partridge,
    ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father's


    She was a splendidly feminine girl, as wholesome as a November
    pippin, and no more mysterious than a window-pane.

    --O. HENRY.

    Small, shining, neat, methodical, and buxom was Miss Peecher;
    cherry-cheeked and tuneful of voice.


14. Invent five epithets, and apply them as you choose (p. 235).

15. (_a_) Make a list of five figures of speech; (_b_) define them;
(_c_) give an example--preferably original--under each.

16. Pick out the figures of speech in the address by Grady, on page 240.

17. Invent an original figure to take the place of any one in Grady's

18. What sort of figures do you find in the selection from Stevenson, on
page 242?

19. What methods of description does he seem to prefer?

20. Write and deliver, without notes and with descriptive gestures, a
description in imitation of any of the authors quoted in this chapter.

21. Reėxamine one of your past speeches and improve the descriptive
work. Report on what faults you found to exist.

22. Deliver an extemporaneous speech describing any dramatic scene in
the style of "Midnight in London."

23. Describe an event in your favorite sport in the style of Dr.
Talmage. Be careful to make the delivery effective.

24. Criticise, favorably or unfavorably, the descriptions of any travel
talk you may have heard recently.

25. Deliver a brief original travel talk, as though you were showing

26. Recast the talk and deliver it "without pictures."


[Footnote 19: _Writing the Short-Story_, J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 20: For fuller treatment of Description see Genung's _Working
Principles of Rhetoric_, Albright's _Descriptive Writing_, Bates' _Talks
on Writing English_, first and second series, and any advanced

[Footnote 21: See also _The Art of Versification_, J. Berg Esenwein and
Mary Eleanor Roberts, pp. 28-35; and _Writing the Short-Story_, J. Berg
Esenwein, pp. 152-162; 231-240.]

[Footnote 22: In the Military College of Modena.]

[Footnote 23: This figure of speech is known as "Vision."]



    The art of narration is the art of writing in hooks and eyes.
    The principle consists in making the appropriate thought follow
    the appropriate thought, the proper fact the proper fact; in
    first preparing the mind for what is to come, and then letting
    it come.

    --WALTER BAGEHOT, _Literary Studies_.

    Our very speech is curiously historical. Most men, you may
    observe, speak only to narrate; not in imparting what they have
    thought, which indeed were often a very small matter, but in
    exhibiting what they have undergone or seen, which is a quite
    unlimited one, do talkers dilate. Cut us off from Narrative, how
    would the stream of conversation, even among the wisest,
    languish into detached handfuls, and among the foolish utterly
    evaporate! Thus, as we do nothing but enact History, we say
    little but recite it.

    --THOMAS CARLYLE, _On History_.

Only a small segment of the great field of narration offers its
resources to the public speaker, and that includes the anecdote,
biographical facts, and the narration of events in general.

Narration--more easily defined than mastered--is the recital of an
incident, or a group of facts and occurrences, in such a manner as to
produce a desired effect.

The laws of narration are few, but its successful practise involves more
of art than would at first appear--so much, indeed, that we cannot even
touch upon its technique here, but must content ourselves with an
examination of a few examples of narration as used in public speech.

In a preliminary way, notice how radically the public speaker's use of
narrative differs from that of the story-writer in the more limited
scope, absence of extended dialogue and character drawing, and freedom
from elaboration of detail, which characterize platform narrative. On
the other hand, there are several similarities of method: the frequent
combination of narration with exposition, description, argumentation,
and pleading; the care exercised in the arrangement of material so as to
produce a strong effect at the close (climax); the very general practise
of concealing the "point" (dénouement) of a story until the effective
moment; and the careful suppression of needless, and therefore hurtful,

So we see that, whether for magazine or platform, the art of narration
involves far more than the recital of annals; the succession of events
recorded requires a _plan_ in order to bring them out with real effect.

It will be noticed, too, that the literary style in platform narration
is likely to be either less polished and more vigorously dramatic than
in that intended for publication, or else more fervid and elevated in
tone. In this latter respect, however, the best platform speaking of
today differs from the models of the preceding generation, wherein a
highly dignified, and sometimes pompous, style was thought the only
fitting dress for a public deliverance. Great, noble and stirring as
these older masters were in their lofty and impassioned eloquence, we
are sometimes oppressed when we read their sounding periods for any
great length of time--even allowing for all that we lose by missing the
speaker's presence, voice, and fire. So let us model our platform
narration, as our other forms of speech, upon the effective addresses of
the moderns, without lessening our admiration for the older school.

_The Anecdote_

An anecdote is a short narrative of a single event, told as being
striking enough to bring out a point. The keener the point, the more
condensed the form, and the more suddenly the application strikes the
hearer, the better the story.

To regard an anecdote as an illustration--an interpretive picture--will
help to hold us to its true purpose, for a purposeless story is of all
offenses on the platform the most asinine. A perfectly capital joke will
fall flat when it is dragged in by the nape without evident bearing on
the subject under discussion. On the other hand, an apposite anecdote
has saved many a speech from failure.

"There is no finer opportunity for the display of tact than in the
introduction of witty or humorous stories into a discourse. Wit is keen
and like a rapier, piercing deeply, sometimes even to the heart. Humor
is good-natured, and does not wound. Wit is founded upon the sudden
discovery of an unsuspected relation existing between two ideas. Humor
deals with things out of relation--with the incongruous. It was wit in
Douglass Jerrold to retort upon the scowl of a stranger whose shoulder
he had familiarly slapped, mistaking him for a friend: 'I beg your
pardon, I thought I knew you--but I'm glad I don't.' It was humor in the
Southern orator, John Wise, to liken the pleasure of spending an
evening with a Puritan girl to that of sitting on a block of ice in
winter, cracking hailstones between his teeth."[24]

The foregoing quotation has been introduced chiefly to illustrate the
first and simplest form of anecdote--the single sentence embodying a
pungent saying.

Another simple form is that which conveys its meaning without need of
"application," as the old preachers used to say. George Ade has quoted
this one as the best joke he ever heard:

    Two solemn-looking gentlemen were riding together in a railway
    carriage. One gentleman said to the other: "Is your wife
    entertaining this summer?" Whereupon the other gentleman
    replied: "Not very."

Other anecdotes need harnessing to the particular truth the speaker
wishes to carry along in his talk. Sometimes the application is made
before the story is told and the audience is prepared to make the
comparison, point by point, as the illustration is told. Henry W. Grady
used this method in one of the anecdotes he told while delivering his
great extemporaneous address, "The New South."

    Age does not endow all things with strength and virtue, nor are
    all new things to be despised. The shoemaker who put over his
    door, "John Smith's shop, founded 1760," was more than matched
    by his young rival across the street who hung out this sign:
    "Bill Jones. Established 1886. No old stock kept in this shop."

In two anecdotes, told also in "The New South," Mr. Grady illustrated
another way of enforcing the application: in both instances he split
the idea he wished to drive home, bringing in part before and part after
the recital of the story. The fact that the speaker misquoted the words
of Genesis in which the Ark is described did not seem to detract from
the burlesque humor of the story.

    I bespeak the utmost stretch of your courtesy tonight. I am not
    troubled about those from whom I come. You remember the man
    whose wife sent him to a neighbor with a pitcher of milk, who,
    tripping on the top step, fell, with such casual interruptions
    as the landings afforded, into the basement, and, while picking
    himself up, had the pleasure of hearing his wife call out:

    "John, did you break the pitcher?

    "No, I didn't," said John, "but I be dinged if I don't."

    So, while those who call to me from behind may inspire me with
    energy, if not with courage, I ask an indulgent hearing from
    you. I beg that you will bring your full faith in American
    fairness and frankness to judgment upon what I shall say. There
    was an old preacher once who told some boys of the Bible lesson
    he was going to read in the morning. The boys, finding the
    place, glued together the connecting pages. The next morning he
    read on the bottom of one page: "When Noah was one hundred and
    twenty years old he took unto himself a wife, who was"--then
    turning the page--"one hundred and forty cubits long, forty
    cubits wide, built of gopher wood, and covered with pitch inside
    and out." He was naturally puzzled at this. He read it again,
    verified it, and then said, "My friends, this is the first time
    I ever met this in the Bible, but I accept it as an evidence of
    the assertion that we are fearfully and wonderfully made." If I
    could get you to hold such faith to-night, I could proceed
    cheerfully to the task I otherwise approach with a sense of

Now and then a speaker will plunge without introduction into an
anecdote, leaving the application to follow. The following illustrates
this method:

    A large, slew-footed darky was leaning against the corner of the
    railroad station in a Texas town when the noon whistle in the
    canning factory blew and the hands hurried out, bearing their
    grub buckets. The darky listened, with his head on one side
    until the rocketing echo had quite died away. Then he heaved a
    deep sigh and remarked to himself:

    "Dar she go. Dinner time for some folks--but jes' 12 o'clock fur

    That is the situation in thousands of American factories, large
    and small, today. And why? etc., etc.

Doubtless the most frequent platform use of the anecdote is in the
pulpit. The sermon "illustration," however, is not always strictly
narrative in form, but tends to extended comparison, as the following
from Dr. Alexander Maclaren:

    Men will stand as Indian fakirs do, with their arms above their
    heads until they stiffen there. They will perch themselves upon
    pillars like Simeon Stylites, for years, till the birds build
    their nests in their hair. They will measure all the distance
    from Cape Comorin to Juggernaut's temple with their bodies along
    the dusty road. They will wear hair shirts and scourge
    themselves. They will fast and deny themselves. They will build
    cathedrals and endow churches. They will do as many of you do,
    labor by fits and starts all thru your lives at the endless task
    of making yourselves ready for heaven, and winning it by
    obedience and by righteousness. They will do all these things
    and do them gladly, rather than listen to the humbling message
    that says, "You do not need to do anything--wash." Is it your
    washing, or the water, that will clean you? Wash and be clean!
    Naaman's cleaning was only a test of his obedience, and a token
    that it was God who cleansed him. There was no power in Jordan's
    waters to take away the taint of leprosy. Our cleansing is in
    that blood of Jesus Christ that has the power to take away all
    sin, and to make the foulest amongst us pure and clean.

One final word must be said about the introduction to the anecdote. A
clumsy, inappropriate introduction is fatal, whereas a single apt or
witty sentence will kindle interest and prepare a favorable hearing. The
following extreme illustration, by the English humorist, Captain Harry
Graham, well satirizes the stumbling manner:

    The best story that I ever heard was one that I was told once in
    the fall of 1905 (or it may have been 1906), when I was visiting
    Boston--at least, I think it was Boston; it may have been
    Washington (my memory is so bad).

    I happened to run across a most amusing man whose name I
    forget--Williams or Wilson or Wilkins; some name like that--and
    he told me this story while we were waiting for a trolley car.

    I can still remember how heartily I laughed at the time; and
    again, that evening, after I had gone to bed, how I laughed
    myself to sleep recalling the humor of this incredibly humorous
    story. It was really quite extraordinarily funny. In fact, I can
    truthfully affirm that it is quite the most amusing story I have
    ever had the privilege of hearing. Unfortunately, I've forgotten

_Biographical Facts_

Public speaking has much to do with personalities; naturally, therefore,
the narration of a series of biographical details, including anecdotes
among the recital of interesting facts, plays a large part in the
eulogy, the memorial address, the political speech, the sermon, the
lecture, and other platform deliverances. Whole addresses may be made up
of such biographical details, such as a sermon on "Moses," or a lecture
on "Lee."

The following example is in itself an expanded anecdote, forming a link
in a chain:


    The peculiar sublimity of the Roman mind does not express
    itself, nor is it at all to be sought, in their poetry. Poetry,
    according to the Roman ideal of it, was not an adequate organ
    for the grander movements of the national mind. Roman sublimity
    must be looked for in Roman acts, and in Roman sayings. Where,
    again, will you find a more adequate expression of the Roman
    majesty, than in the saying of Trajan--_Imperatorem oportere
    stantem mori_--that Cęsar ought to die standing; a speech of
    imperatorial grandeur! Implying that he, who was "the foremost
    man of all this world,"--and, in regard to all other nations,
    the representative of his own,--should express its
    characteristic virtue in his farewell act--should die _in
    procinctu_--and should meet the last enemy as the first, with a
    Roman countenance and in a soldier's attitude. If this had an
    imperatorial--what follows had a consular majesty, and is almost
    the grandest story upon record.

    Marius, the man who rose to be seven times consul, was in a
    dungeon, and a slave was sent in with commission to put him to
    death. These were the persons,--the two extremities of exalted
    and forlorn humanity, its vanward and its rearward man, a Roman
    consul and an abject slave. But their natural relations to each
    other were, by the caprice of fortune, monstrously inverted: the
    consul was in chains; the slave was for a moment the arbiter of
    his fate. By what spells, what magic, did Marius reinstate
    himself in his natural prerogatives? By what marvels drawn from
    heaven or from earth, did he, in the twinkling of an eye, again
    invest himself with the purple, and place between himself and
    his assassin a host of shadowy lictors? By the mere blank
    supremacy of great minds over weak ones. He _fascinated_ the
    slave, as a rattlesnake does a bird. Standing "like Teneriffe,"
    he smote him with his eye, and said, "_Tune, homo, audes
    occidere C. Marium?_"--"Dost thou, fellow, presume to kill Caius
    Marius?" Whereat, the reptile, quaking under the voice, nor
    daring to affront the consular eye, sank gently to the
    ground--turned round upon his hands and feet--and, crawling out
    of the prison like any other vermin, left Marius standing in
    solitude as steadfast and immovable as the capitol.


Here is a similar example, prefaced by a general historical statement
and concluding with autobiographical details:


    One raw morning in spring--it will be eighty years the 19th day
    of this month--Hancock and Adams, the Moses and Aaron of that
    Great Deliverance, were both at Lexington; they also had
    "obstructed an officer" with brave words. British soldiers, a
    thousand strong, came to seize them and carry them over sea for
    trial, and so nip the bud of Freedom auspiciously opening in
    that early spring. The town militia came together before
    daylight, "for training." A great, tall man, with a large head
    and a high, wide brow, their captain,--one who had "seen
    service,"--marshalled them into line, numbering but seventy, and
    bade "every man load his piece with powder and ball. I will
    order the first man shot that runs away," said he, when some
    faltered. "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they want to
    have a war, let it begin here."

    Gentlemen, you know what followed; those farmers and mechanics
    "fired the shot heard round the world." A little monument covers
    the bones of such as before had pledged their fortune and their
    sacred honor to the Freedom of America, and that day gave it
    also their lives. I was born in that little town, and bred up
    amid the memories of that day. When a boy, my mother lifted me
    up, one Sunday, in her religious, patriotic arms, and held me
    while I read the first monumental line I ever saw--"Sacred to
    Liberty and the Rights of Mankind."

    Since then I have studied the memorial marbles of Greece and
    Rome, in many an ancient town; nay, on Egyptian obelisks have
    read what was written before the Eternal raised up Moses to lead
    Israel out of Egypt; but no chiseled stone has ever stirred me
    to such emotion as these rustic names of men who fell "In the
    Sacred Cause of God and their Country."

    Gentlemen, the Spirit of Liberty, the Love of Justice, were
    early fanned into a flame in my boyish heart. That monument
    covers the bones of my own kinsfolk; it was their blood which
    reddened the long, green grass at Lexington. It was my own name
    which stands chiseled on that stone; the tall captain who
    marshalled his fellow farmers and mechanics into stern array,
    and spoke such brave and dangerous words as opened the war of
    American Independence,--the last to leave the field,--was my
    father's father. I learned to read out of his Bible, and with a
    musket he that day captured from the foe, I learned another
    religious lesson, that "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to
    God." I keep them both "Sacred to Liberty and the Rights of
    Mankind," to use them both "In the Sacred Cause of God and my


_Narration of Events in General_

In this wider, emancipated narration we find much mingling of other
forms of discourse, greatly to the advantage of the speech, for this
truth cannot be too strongly emphasized: The efficient speaker cuts
loose from form for the sake of a big, free effect. The present analyses
are for no other purpose than to _acquaint_ you with form--do not allow
any such models to hang as a weight about your neck.

The following pure narration of events, from George William Curtis's
"Paul Revere's Ride," varies the biographical recital in other parts of
his famous oration:

    That evening, at ten o'clock, eight hundred British troops,
    under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, took boat at the foot of the
    Common and crossed to the Cambridge shore. Gage thought his
    secret had been kept, but Lord Percy, who had heard the people
    say on the Common that the troops would miss their aim,
    undeceived him. Gage instantly ordered that no one should leave
    the town. But as the troops crossed the river, Ebenezer Dorr,
    with a message to Hancock and Adams, was riding over the Neck to
    Roxbury, and Paul Revere was rowing over the river to
    Charlestown, having agreed with his friend, Robert Newman, to
    show lanterns from the belfry of the Old North Church--"One if
    by land, and two if by sea"--as a signal of the march of the

The following, from the same oration, beautifully mingles description
with narration:

    It was a brilliant night. The winter had been unusually mild,
    and the spring very forward. The hills were already green. The
    early grain waved in the fields, and the air was sweet with the
    blossoming orchards. Already the robins whistled, the bluebirds
    sang, and the benediction of peace rested upon the landscape.
    Under the cloudless moon the soldiers silently marched, and Paul
    Revere swiftly rode, galloping through Medford and West
    Cambridge, rousing every house as he went spurring for Lexington
    and Hancock and Adams, and evading the British patrols who had
    been sent out to stop the news.

In the succeeding extract from another of Mr. Curtis's addresses, we
have a free use of allegory as illustration:


    There is a modern English picture which the genius of Hawthorne
    might have inspired. The painter calls it, "How they met
    themselves." A man and a woman, haggard and weary, wandering
    lost in a somber wood, suddenly meet the shadowy figures of a
    youth and a maid. Some mysterious fascination fixes the gaze and
    stills the hearts of the wanderers, and their amazement deepens
    into awe as they gradually recognize themselves as once they
    were; the soft bloom of youth upon their rounded cheeks, the
    dewy light of hope in their trusting eyes, exulting confidence
    in their springing step, themselves blithe and radiant with the
    glory of the dawn. Today, and here, we meet ourselves. Not to
    these familiar scenes alone--yonder college-green with its
    reverend traditions; the halcyon cove of the Seekonk, upon which
    the memory of Roger Williams broods like a bird of calm; the
    historic bay, beating forever with the muffled oars of Barton
    and of Abraham Whipple; here, the humming city of the living;
    there, the peaceful city of the dead;--not to these only or
    chiefly do we return, but to ourselves as we once were. It is
    not the smiling freshmen of the year, it is your own beardless
    and unwrinkled faces, that are looking from the windows of
    University Hall and of Hope College. Under the trees upon the
    hill it is yourselves whom you see walking, full of hopes and
    dreams, glowing with conscious power, and "nourishing a youth
    sublime;" and in this familiar temple, which surely has never
    echoed with eloquence so fervid and inspiring as that of your
    commencement orations, it is not yonder youths in the galleries
    who, as they fondly believe, are whispering to yonder maids; it
    is your younger selves who, in the days that are no more, are
    murmuring to the fairest mothers and grandmothers of those

    Happy the worn and weary man and woman in the picture could they
    have felt their older eyes still glistening with that earlier
    light, and their hearts yet beating with undiminished sympathy
    and aspiration. Happy we, brethren, whatever may have been
    achieved, whatever left undone, if, returning to the home of our
    earlier years, we bring with us the illimitable hope, the
    unchilled resolution, the inextinguishable faith of youth.



1. Clip from any source ten anecdotes and state what truths they may be
used to illustrate.

2. Deliver five of these in your own language, without making any

3. From the ten, deliver one so as to make the application before
telling the anecdote.

4. Deliver another so as to split the application.

5. Deliver another so as to make the application after the narration.

6. Deliver another in such a way as to make a specific application

7. Give three ways of introducing an anecdote, by saying where you heard
it, etc.

8. Deliver an illustration that is not strictly an anecdote, in the
style of Curtis's speech on page 259.

9. Deliver an address on any public character, using the forms
illustrated in this chapter.

10. Deliver an address on some historical event in the same manner.

11. Explain how the sympathies and viewpoint of the speaker will color
an anecdote, a biography, or a historical account.

12. Illustrate how the same anecdote, or a section of a historical
address, may be given two different effects by personal prejudice.

13. What would be the effect of shifting the viewpoint in the midst of a

14. What is the danger of using too much humor in an address? Too much


[Footnote 24: _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_, J. Berg Esenwein.]



    Sometimes the feeling that a given way of looking at things is
    undoubtedly correct prevents the mind from thinking at all....
    In view of the hindrances which certain kinds or degrees of
    feeling throw into the way of thinking, it might be inferred
    that the thinker must suppress the element of feeling in the
    inner life. No greater mistake could be made. If the Creator
    endowed man with the power to think, to feel, and to will, these
    several activities of the mind are not designed to be in
    conflict, and so long as any one of them is not perverted or
    allowed to run to excess, it necessarily aids and strengthens
    the others in their normal functions.

    --NATHAN C. SCHAEFFER, _Thinking and Learning to Think_.

When we weigh, compare, and decide upon the value of any given ideas, we
reason; when an idea produces in us an opinion or an action, without
first being subjected to deliberation, we are moved by suggestion.

Man was formerly thought to be a reasoning animal, basing his actions on
the conclusions of natural logic. It was supposed that before forming an
opinion or deciding on a course of conduct he weighed at least some of
the reasons for and against the matter, and performed a more or less
simple process of reasoning. But modern research has shown that quite
the opposite is true. Most of our opinions and actions are not based
upon conscious reasoning, but are the result of suggestion. In fact,
some authorities declare that an act of pure reasoning is very rare in
the average mind. Momentous decisions are made, far-reaching actions
are determined upon, primarily by the force of suggestion.

Notice that word "primarily," for simple thought, and even mature
reasoning, often follows a suggestion accepted in the mind, and the
thinker fondly supposes that his conclusion is from first to last based
on cold logic.

_The Basis of Suggestion_

We must think of suggestion both as an effect and as a cause. Considered
as an effect, or objectively, there must be something in the hearer that
predisposes him to receive suggestion; considered as a cause, or
subjectively, there must be some methods by which the speaker can move
upon that particularly susceptible attitude of the hearer. How to do
this honestly and fairly is our problem--to do it dishonestly and
trickily, to use suggestion to bring about conviction and action without
a basis of right and truth and in a bad cause, is to assume the terrible
responsibility that must fall on the champion of error. Jesus scorned
not to use suggestion so that he might move men to their benefit, but
every vicious trickster has adopted the same means to reach base ends.
Therefore honest men will examine well into their motives and into the
truth of their cause, before seeking to influence men by suggestion.

Three fundamental conditions make us all susceptive to suggestion:

_We naturally respect authority._ In every mind this is only a question
of degree, ranging from the subject who is easily hypnotized to the
stubborn mind that fortifies itself the more strongly with every
assault upon its opinion. The latter type is almost immune to

One of the singular things about suggestion is that it is rarely a fixed
quantity. The mind that is receptive to the authority of a certain
person may prove inflexible to another; moods and environments that
produce hypnosis readily in one instance may be entirely inoperative in
another; and some minds can scarcely ever be thus moved. We do know,
however, that the feeling of the subject that authority--influence,
power, domination, control, whatever you wish to call it--lies in the
person of the suggester, is the basis of all suggestion.

The extreme force of this influence is demonstrated in hypnotism. The
hypnotic subject is told that he is in the water; he accepts the
statement as true and makes swimming motions. He is told that a band is
marching down the street, playing "The Star Spangled Banner;" he
declares he hears the music, arises and stands with head bared.

In the same way some speakers are able to achieve a modified hypnotic
effect upon their audiences. The hearers will applaud measures and ideas
which, after individual reflection, they will repudiate unless such
reflection brings the conviction that the first impression is correct.

A second important principle is that _our feelings, thoughts and wills
tend to follow the line of least resistance_. Once open the mind to the
sway of one feeling and it requires a greater power of feeling, thought,
or will--or even all three--to unseat it. Our feelings influence our
judgments and volitions much more than we care to admit. So true is this
that it is a superhuman task to get an audience to reason fairly on a
subject on which it feels deeply, and when this result is accomplished
the success becomes noteworthy, as in the case of Henry Ward Beecher's
Liverpool speech. Emotional ideas once accepted are soon cherished, and
finally become our very inmost selves. Attitudes based on feelings alone
are prejudices.

What is true of our feelings, in this respect, applies to our ideas: All
thoughts that enter the mind tend to be accepted as truth unless a
stronger and contradictory thought arises.

The speaker skilled in moving men to action manages to dominate the
minds of his audience with his thoughts by subtly prohibiting the
entertaining of ideas hostile to his own. Most of us are captured by the
latest strong attack, and if we can be induced to act while under the
stress of that last insistent thought, we lose sight of counter
influences. The fact is that almost all our decisions--if they involve
thought at all--are of this sort: At the moment of decision the course
of action then under contemplation usurps the attention, and conflicting
ideas are dropped out of consideration.

The head of a large publishing house remarked only recently that ninety
per cent of the people who bought books by subscription never read them.
They buy because the salesman presents his wares so skillfully that
every consideration but the attractiveness of the book drops out of the
mind, and that thought prompts action. _Every_ idea that enters the
mind will result in action unless a contradictory thought arises to
prohibit it. Think of singing the musical scale and it will result in
your singing it unless the counter-thought of its futility or absurdity
inhibits your action. If you bandage and "doctor" a horse's foot, he
will go lame. You cannot think of swallowing, without the muscles used
in that process being affected. You cannot think of saying "hello,"
without a slight movement of the muscles of speech. To warn children
that they should not put beans up their noses is the surest method of
getting them to do it. Every thought called up in the mind of your
audience will work either for or against you. Thoughts are not dead
matter; they radiate dynamic energy--the thoughts all tend to pass into
action. "Thought is another name for fate." Dominate your hearers'
thoughts, allay all contradictory ideas, and you will sway them as you

Volitions as well as feelings and thoughts tend to follow the line of
least resistance. That is what makes habit. Suggest to a man that it is
impossible to change his mind and in most cases it becomes more
difficult to do so--the exception is the man who naturally jumps to the
contrary. Counter suggestion is the only way to reach him. Suggest
subtly and persistently that the opinions of those in the audience who
are opposed to your views are changing, and it requires an effort of the
will--in fact, a summoning of the forces of feeling, thought and
will--to stem the tide of change that has subconsciously set in.

But, not only are we moved by authority, and tend toward channels of
least resistance: _We are all influenced by our environments_. It is
difficult to rise above the sway of a crowd--its enthusiasms and its
fears are contagious because they are suggestive. What so many feel, we
say to ourselves, must have some basis in truth. Ten times ten makes
more than one hundred. Set ten men to speaking to ten audiences of ten
men each, and compare the aggregate power of those ten speakers with
that of one man addressing one hundred men. The ten speakers may be more
logically convincing than the single orator, but the chances are
strongly in favor of the one man's reaching a greater total effect, for
the hundred men will radiate conviction and resolution as ten small
groups could not. We all know the truism about the enthusiasm of
numbers. (See the chapter on "Influencing the Crowd.")

Environment controls us unless the contrary is strongly suggested. A
gloomy day, in a drab room, sparsely tenanted by listeners, invites
platform disaster. Everyone feels it in the air. But let the speaker
walk squarely up to the issue and suggest by all his feeling, manner and
words that this is going to be a great gathering in every vital sense,
and see how the suggestive power of environment recedes before the
advance of a more potent suggestion--if such the speaker is able to make

Now these three factors--respect for authority, tendency to follow lines
of least resistance, and susceptibility to environment--all help to
bring the auditor into a state of mind favorable to suggestive
influences, but they also react on the speaker, and now we must consider
those personally causative, or subjective, forces which enable him to
use suggestion effectively.

_How the Speaker Can Make Suggestion Effective_

We have seen that under the influence of authoritative suggestion the
audience is inclined to accept the speaker's assertion without argument
and criticism. But the audience is not in this state of mind unless it
has implicit confidence in the speaker. If they lack faith in him,
question his motives or knowledge, or even object to his manner they
will not be moved by his most logical conclusion and will fail to give
him a just hearing. _It is all a matter of their confidence in him._
Whether the speaker finds it already in the warm, expectant look of his
hearers, or must win to it against opposition or coldness, he must gain
that one great vantage point before his suggestions take on power in the
hearts of his listeners. Confidence is the mother of Conviction.

Note in the opening of Henry W. Grady's after-dinner speech how he
attempted to secure the confidence of his audience. He created a
receptive atmosphere by a humorous story; expressed his desire to speak
with earnestness and sincerity; acknowledged "the vast interests
involved;" deprecated his "untried arm," and professed his humility.
Would not such an introduction give you confidence in the speaker,
unless you were strongly opposed to him? And even then, would it not
partly disarm your antagonism?

    Mr. President:--Bidden by your invitation to a discussion of the
    race problem--forbidden by occasion to make a political
    speech--I appreciate, in trying to reconcile orders with
    propriety, the perplexity of the little maid, who, bidden to
    learn to swim, was yet adjured, "Now, go, my darling; hang your
    clothes on a hickory limb, and don't go near the water."

    The stoutest apostle of the Church, they say, is the missionary,
    and the missionary, wherever he unfurls his flag, will never
    find himself in deeper need of unction and address than I,
    bidden tonight to plant the standard of a Southern Democrat in
    Boston's banquet hall, and to discuss the problem of the races
    in the home of Phillips and of Sumner. But, Mr. President, if a
    purpose to speak in perfect frankness and sincerity; if earnest
    understanding of the vast interests involved; if a consecrating
    sense of what disaster may follow further misunderstanding and
    estrangement; if these may be counted to steady undisciplined
    speech and to strengthen an untried arm--then, sir, I shall find
    the courage to proceed.

Note also Mr. Bryan's attempt to secure the confidence of his audience
in the following introduction to his "Cross of Gold" speech delivered
before the National Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1896. He asserts
his own inability to oppose the "distinguished gentleman;" he maintains
the holiness of his cause; and he declares that he will speak in the
interest of humanity--well knowing that humanity is likely to have
confidence in the champion of their rights. This introduction completely
dominated the audience, and the speech made Mr. Bryan famous.

    Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: I would be
    presumptuous indeed to present myself against the distinguished
    gentlemen to whom you have listened if this were a mere
    measuring of abilities; but this is not a contest between
    persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the
    armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of
    error. I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as
    the cause of liberty--the cause of humanity.

Some speakers are able to beget confidence by their very manner, while
others can not.

_To secure confidence, be confident._ How can you expect others to
accept a message in which you lack, or seem to lack, faith yourself?
Confidence is as contagious as disease. Napoleon rebuked an officer for
using the word "impossible" in his presence. The speaker who will
entertain no idea of defeat begets in his hearers the idea of his
victory. Lady Macbeth was so confident of success that Macbeth changed
his mind about undertaking the assassination. Columbus was so certain in
his mission that Queen Isabella pawned her jewels to finance his
expedition. Assert your message with implicit assurance, and your own
belief will act as so much gunpowder to drive it home.

Advertisers have long utilized this principle. "The machine you will
eventually buy," "Ask the man who owns one," "Has the strength of
Gibraltar," are publicity slogans so full of confidence that they give
birth to confidence in the mind of the reader.

It should--but may not!--go without saying that confidence must have a
solid ground of merit or there will be a ridiculous crash. It is all
very well for the "spellbinder" to claim all the precincts--the official
count is just ahead. The reaction against over-confidence and
over-suggestion ought to warn those whose chief asset is mere bluff.

A short time ago a speaker arose in a public-speaking club and asserted
that grass would spring from wood-ashes sprinkled over the soil, without
the aid of seed. This idea was greeted with a laugh, but the speaker was
so sure of his position that he reiterated the statement forcefully
several times and cited his own personal experience as proof. One of
the most intelligent men in the audience, who at first had derided the
idea, at length came to believe in it. When asked the reason for his
sudden change of attitude, he replied: "Because the speaker is so
confident." In fact, he was so confident that it took a letter from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture to dislodge his error.

If by a speaker's confidence, intelligent men can be made to believe
such preposterous theories as this where will the power of self-reliance
cease when plausible propositions are under consideration, advanced with
all the power of convincing speech?

Note the utter assurance in these selections:

    I know not what course others may take, but as for me give me
    liberty or give me death.


    I ne'er will ask ye quarter, and I ne'er will be your slave;
    But I'll swim the sea of slaughter, till I sink beneath its wave.


    Come one, come all. This rock shall fly
    From its firm base as soon as I.



    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever Gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud;
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.


_Authority is a factor in suggestion._ We generally accept as truth, and
without criticism, the words of an authority. When he speaks,
contradictory ideas rarely arise in the mind to inhibit the action he
suggests. A judge of the Supreme Court has the power of his words
multiplied by the virtue of his position. The ideas of the U.S.
Commissioner of Immigration on his subject are much more effective and
powerful than those of a soap manufacturer, though the latter may be an
able economist.

This principle also has been used in advertising. We are told that the
physicians to two Kings have recommended Sanatogen. We are informed that
the largest bank in America, Tiffany and Co., and The State, War, and
Navy Departments, all use the Encyclopedia Britannica. The shrewd
promoter gives stock in his company to influential bankers or business
men in the community in order that he may use their examples as a
selling argument.

If you wish to influence your audience through suggestion, if you would
have your statements accepted without criticism or argument, you should
appear in the light of an authority--and _be_ one. Ignorance and
credulity will remain unchanged unless the suggestion of authority be
followed promptly by facts. Don't claim authority unless you carry your
license in your pocket. Let reason support the position that suggestion
has assumed.

Advertising will help to establish your reputation--it is "up to you" to
maintain it. One speaker found that his reputation as a magazine writer
was a splendid asset as a speaker. Mr. Bryan's publicity, gained by
three nominations for the presidency and his position as Secretary of
State, helps him to command large sums as a speaker. But--back of it
all, he _is_ a great speaker. Newspaper announcements, all kinds of
advertising, formality, impressive introductions, all have a capital
effect on the attitude of the audience. But how ridiculous are all these
if a toy pistol is advertised as a sixteen-inch gun!

Note how authority is used in the following to support the strength of
the speaker's appeal:

    Professor Alfred Russell Wallace has just celebrated his 90th
    birthday. Sharing with Charles Darwin the honor of discovering
    evolution, Professor Wallace has lately received many and signal
    honors from scientific societies. At the dinner given him in
    London his address was largely made up of reminiscences. He
    reviewed the progress of civilization during the last century
    and made a series of brilliant and startling contrasts between
    the England of 1813 and the world of 1913. He affirmed that our
    progress is only seeming and not real. Professor Wallace insists
    that the painters, the sculptors, the architects of Athens and
    Rome were so superior to the modern men that the very fragments
    of their marbles and temples are the despair of the present day
    artists. He tells us that man has improved his telescope and
    spectacles, but that he is losing his eyesight; that man is
    improving his looms, but stiffening his fingers; improving his
    automobile and his locomotive, but losing his legs; improving
    his foods, but losing his digestion. He adds that the modern
    white slave traffic, orphan asylums, and tenement house life in
    factory towns, make a black page in the history of the twentieth

    Professor Wallace's views are reinforced by the report of the
    commission of Parliament on the causes of the deterioration of
    the factory-class people. In our own country Professor Jordan
    warns us against war, intemperance, overworking, underfeeding of
    poor children, and disturbs our contentment with his "Harvest of
    Blood." Professor Jenks is more pessimistic. He thinks that the
    pace, the climate, and the stress of city life, have broken down
    the Puritan stock, that in another century our old families will
    be extinct, and that the flood of immigration means a Niagara of
    muddy waters fouling the pure springs of American life. In his
    address in New Haven Professor Kellogg calls the roll of the
    signs of race degeneracy and tells us that this deterioration
    even indicates a trend toward race extinction.


    From every side come warnings to the American people. Our
    medical journals are filled with danger signals; new books and
    magazines, fresh from the press, tell us plainly that our people
    are fronting a social crisis. Mr. Jefferson, who was once
    regarded as good Democratic authority, seems to have differed in
    opinion from the gentleman who has addressed us on the part of
    the minority. Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us
    that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank, and
    that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I
    stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he
    did, that the issue of money is a function of government, and
    that the banks ought to go out of the governing business.


Authority is the great weapon against doubt, but even its force can
rarely prevail against prejudice and persistent wrong-headedness. If any
speaker has been able to forge a sword that is warranted to piece such
armor, let him bless humanity by sharing his secret with his platform
brethren everywhere, for thus far he is alone in his glory.

There is a middle-ground between the suggestion of authority and the
confession of weakness that offers a wide range for tact in the speaker.
No one can advise you when to throw your "hat in the ring" and say
defiantly at the outstart, "Gentlemen, I am here to fight!" Theodore
Roosevelt can do that--Beecher would have been mobbed if he had begun in
that style at Liverpool. It is for your own tact to decide whether you
will use the disarming grace of Henry W. Grady's introduction just
quoted (even the time-worn joke was ingenuous and seemed to say,
"Gentlemen, I come to you with no carefully-palmed coins"), or whether
the solemn gravity of Mr. Bryan before the Convention will prove to be
more effective. Only be sure that your opening attitude is well thought
out, and if it change as you warm up to your subject, let not the change
lay you open to a revulsion of feeling in your audience.

_Example is a powerful means of suggestion._ As we saw while thinking of
environment in its effects on an audience, we do, without the usual
amount of hesitation and criticism, what others are doing. Paris wears
certain hats and gowns; the rest of the world imitates. The child mimics
the actions, accents and intonations of the parent. Were a child never
to hear anyone speak, he would never acquire the power of speech, unless
under most arduous training, and even then only imperfectly. One of the
biggest department stores in the United States spends fortunes on one
advertising slogan: "Everybody is going to the big store." That makes
everybody want to go.

You can reinforce the power of your message by showing that it has been
widely accepted. Political organizations subsidize applause to create
the impression that their speakers' ideas are warmly received and
approved by the audience. The advocates of the commission-form of
government of cities, the champions of votes for women, reserve as their
strongest arguments the fact that a number of cities and states have
already successfully accepted their plans. Advertisements use the
testimonial for its power of suggestion.

Observe how this principle has been applied in the following selections,
and utilize it on every occasion possible in your attempts to influence
through suggestion:

    The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the
    North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. Our
    brethren are already in the field. Why stand ye here idle?


    With a zeal approaching the zeal which inspired the Crusaders
    who followed Peter the Hermit, our silver Democrats went forth
    from victory unto victory until they are now assembled, not to
    discuss, not to debate, but to enter up the judgment already
    rendered by the plain people of this country. In this contest
    brother has been arrayed against brother, father against son.
    The warmest ties of love, acquaintance, and association have
    been disregarded; old leaders have been cast aside when they
    refused to give expression to the sentiments of those whom they
    would lead, and new leaders have sprung up to give direction to
    this cause of truth. Thus has the contest been waged, and we
    have assembled here under as binding and solemn instructions as
    were ever imposed upon representatives of the people.


_Figurative and indirect language has suggestive force_, because it does
not make statements that can be directly disputed. It arouses no
contradictory ideas in the minds of the audience, thereby fulfilling one
of the basic requisites of suggestion. By _implying_ a conclusion in
indirect or figurative language it is often asserted most forcefully.

Note that in the following Mr. Bryan did not say that Mr. McKinley would
be defeated. He implied it in a much more effective manner:

    Mr. McKinley was nominated at St. Louis upon a platform which
    declared for the maintenance of the gold standard until it can
    be changed into bimetallism by international agreement. Mr.
    McKinley was the most popular man among the Republicans, and
    three months ago everybody in the Republican party prophesied
    his election. How is it today? Why, the man who was once pleased
    to think that he looked like Napoleon--that man shudders today
    when he remembers that he was nominated on the anniversary of
    the battle of Waterloo. Not only that, but as he listens he can
    hear with ever-increasing distinctness the sound of the waves as
    they beat upon the lonely shores of St. Helena.

Had Thomas Carlyle said: "A false man cannot found a religion," his
words would have been neither so suggestive nor so powerful, nor so long
remembered as his implication in these striking words:

    A false man found a religion? Why, a false man cannot build a
    brick house! If he does not know and follow truly the properties
    of mortar, burnt clay, and what else he works in, it is no house
    that he makes, but a rubbish heap. It will not stand for twelve
    centuries, to lodge a hundred and eighty millions; it will fall
    straightway. A man must conform himself to Nature's laws, be
    verily in communion with Nature and the truth of things, or
    Nature will answer him, No, not at all!

Observe how the picture that Webster draws here is much more emphatic
and forceful than any mere assertion could be:

    Sir, I know not how others may feel, but as for myself when I
    see my _alma mater_ surrounded, like Cęsar in the senate house,
    by those who are reiterating stab after stab, I would not for
    this right hand have her turn to me and say, "And thou, too, my


A speech should be built on sound logical foundations, and no man should
dare to speak in behalf of a fallacy. Arguing a subject, however, will
necessarily arouse contradictory ideas in the mind of your audience.
When immediate action or persuasion is desired, suggestion is more
efficacious than argument--when both are judiciously mixed, the effect
is irresistible.


1. Make an outline, or brief, of the contents of this chapter.

2. Revise the introduction to any of your written addresses, with the
teachings of this chapter in mind.

3. Give two original examples of the power of suggestion as you have
observed it in each of these fields: (_a_) advertising; (=b=) politics;
(_c_) public sentiment.

4. Give original examples of suggestive speech, illustrating two of the
principles set forth in this chapter.

5. What reasons can you give that disprove the general contention of
this chapter?

6. What reasons not already given seem to you to support it?

7. What effect do his own suggestions have on the speaker himself?

8. Can suggestion arise from the audience? If so, show how.

9. Select two instances of suggestion in the speeches found in the

10. Change any two passages in the same, or other, speeches so as to use
suggestion more effectively.

11. Deliver those passages in the revised form.

12. Choosing your own subject, prepare and deliver a short speech
largely in the suggestive style.



    Common sense is the common sense of mankind. It is the product
    of common observation and experience. It is modest, plain, and
    unsophisticated. It sees with everybody's eyes, and hears with
    everybody's ears. It has no capricious distinctions, no
    perplexities, and no mysteries. It never equivocates, and never
    trifles. Its language is always intelligible. It is known by
    clearness of speech and singleness of purpose.

    --GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE, _Public Speaking and Debate_.

The very name of logic is awesome to most young speakers, but so soon as
they come to realize that its processes, even when most intricate, are
merely technical statements of the truths enforced by common sense, it
will lose its terrors. In fact, logic[25] is a fascinating subject, well
worth the public speaker's study, for it explains the principles that
govern the use of argument and proof.

Argumentation is the process of producing conviction by means of
reasoning. Other ways of producing conviction there are, notably
suggestion, as we have just shown, but no means is so high, so worthy of
respect, as the adducing of sound reasons in support of a contention.

Since more than one side of a subject must be considered before we can
claim to have deliberated upon it fairly, we ought to think of
argumentation under two aspects: building up an argument, and tearing
down an argument; that is, you must not only examine into the stability
of your structure of argument so that it may both support the
proposition you intend to probe and yet be so sound that it cannot be
overthrown by opponents, but you must also be so keen to detect defects
in argument that you will be able to demolish the weaker arguments of
those who argue against you.

We can consider argumentation only generally, leaving minute and
technical discussions to such excellent works as George P. Baker's "The
Principles of Argumentation," and George Jacob Holyoake's "Public
Speaking and Debate." Any good college rhetoric also will give help on
the subject, especially the works of John Franklin Genung and Adams
Sherman Hill. The student is urged to familiarize himself with at least
one of these texts.

The following series of questions will, it is hoped, serve a triple
purpose: that of suggesting the forms of proof together with the ways in
which they may be used; that of helping the speaker to test the strength
of his arguments; and that of enabling the speaker to attack his
opponent's arguments with both keenness and justice.



  1. _Is it clearly stated?_

    (_a_) Do the terms of statement mean the same to each
disputant? (For example, the meaning of the term "gentleman" may not
be mutually agreed upon.)

    (_b_) Is confusion likely to arise as to its purpose?

  2. _Is it fairly stated?_

    (_a_) Does it include enough?

    (_b_) Does it include too much?

    (_c_) Is it stated so as to contain a trap?

  3. _Is it a debatable question?_

  4. _What is the pivotal point in the whole question?_

  5. _What are the subordinate points?_


  1. _The witnesses as to facts_

    (_a_) Is each witness impartial? What is his relation to the
subject at issue?

    (_b_) Is he mentally competent?

    (_c_) Is he morally credible?

    (_d_) Is he in a position to know the facts? Is he an

    (_e_) Is he a willing witness?

    (_f_) Is his testimony contradicted?

    (_g_) Is his testimony corroborated?

    (_h_) Is his testimony contrary to well-known facts or general

    (_i_) Is it probable?

  2. _The authorities cited as evidence_

    (_a_) Is the authority well-recognized as such?

    (_b_) What constitutes him an authority?

    (_c_) Is his interest in the case an impartial one?

    (_d_) Does he state his opinion positively and clearly?

    (_e_) Are the non-personal authorities cited (books, etc.)
reliable and unprejudiced?

  3. _The facts adduced as evidence_

    (_a_) Are they sufficient in number to constitute proof?

    (_b_) Are they weighty enough in character?

    (_c_) Are they in harmony with reason?

    (_d_) Are they mutually harmonious or contradictory?

    (_e_) Are they admitted, doubted, or disputed?

  4. _The principles adduced as evidence_

    (_a_) Are they axiomatic?

    (_b_) Are they truths of general experience?

    (_c_) Are they truths of special experience?

    (_d_) Are they truths arrived at by experiment?
      Were such experiments special or general?
      Were the experiments authoritative and conclusive?


  1. _Inductions_

    (_a_) Are the facts numerous enough to warrant accepting the
generalization as being conclusive?

    (_b_) Do the facts agree _only_ when considered in the
light of this explanation as a conclusion?

    (_c_) Have you overlooked any contradictory facts?

    (_d_) Are the contradictory facts sufficiently explained when
this inference is accepted as true?

    (_e_) Are all contrary positions shown to be relatively

    (_f_) Have you accepted mere opinions as facts?

  2. _Deductions_

    (_a_) Is the law or general principle a well-established one?

    (_b_) Does the law or principle clearly include the fact you
wish to deduce from it, or have you strained the inference?

    (_c_) Does the importance of the law or principle warrant so
important an inference?

    (_d_) Can the deduction be shown to prove too much?

  3. _Parallel cases_

    (_a_) Are the cases parallel at enough points to warrant an
inference of similar cause or effect?

    (_b_) Are the cases parallel at the vital point at issue?

    (_c_) Has the parallelism been strained?

    (_d_) Are there no other parallels that would point to a
stronger contrary conclusion?

  4. _Inferences_

    (_a_) Are the antecedent conditions such as would make the
allegation probable? (Character and opportunities of the accused, for

    (_b_) Are the signs that point to the inference either clear
or numerous enough to warrant its acceptance as fact?

    (_c_) Are the signs cumulative, and agreeable one with the other?

    (_d_) Could the signs be made to point to a contrary conclusion?

  5. _Syllogisms_

    (_a_) Have any steps been omitted in the syllogisms?
(Such as in a syllogism _in enthymeme_.) If so, test any such by
filling out the syllogisms.

    (_b_) Have you been guilty of stating a conclusion that really
does not follow? (A _non sequitur_.)

    (_c_) Can your syllogism be reduced to an absurdity?
(_Reductio ad absurdum._)


1. Show why an unsupported assertion is not an argument.

2. Illustrate how an irrelevant fact may be made to seem to support an

3. What inferences may justly be made from the following?

    During the Boer War it was found that the average Englishman did
    not measure up to the standards of recruiting and the average
    soldier in the field manifested a low plane of vitality and
    endurance. Parliament, alarmed by the disastrous consequences,
    instituted an investigation. The commission appointed brought in
    a finding that alcoholic poisoning was the great cause of the
    national degeneracy. The investigations of the commission have
    been supplemented by investigations of scientific bodies and
    individual scientists, all arriving at the same conclusion. As a
    consequence, the British Government has placarded the streets
    of a hundred cities with billboards setting forth the
    destructive and degenerating nature of alcohol and appealing to
    the people in the name of the nation to desist from drinking
    alcoholic beverages. Under efforts directed by the Government
    the British Army is fast becoming an army of total abstainers.

    The Governments of continental Europe followed the lead of the
    British Government. The French Government has placarded France
    with appeals to the people, attributing the decline of the birth
    rate and increase in the death rate to the widespread use of
    alcoholic beverages. The experience of the German Government has
    been the same. The German Emperor has clearly stated that
    leadership in war and in peace will be held by the nation that
    roots out alcohol. He has undertaken to eliminate even the
    drinking of beer, so far as possible, from the German Army and

    --RICHMOND PEARSON HOBSON, _Before the U.S. Congress_.

4. Since the burden of proof lies on him who attacks a position, or
argues for a change in affairs, how would his opponent be likely to
conduct his own part of a debate?

5. Define (_a_) syllogism; (_b_) rebuttal; (_c_) "begging the question;"
(_d_) premise; (_e_) rejoinder; (_f_) sur-rejoinder; (_g_) dilemma;
(_h_) induction; (_i_) deduction; (_j_) _a priori_; (_k_) _a
posteriori_; (_l_) inference.

6. Criticise this reasoning:

    Men ought not to smoke tobacco, because to do so is contrary to
    best medical opinion. My physician has expressly condemned the
    practise, and is a medical authority in this country.

7. Criticise this reasoning:

    Men ought not to swear profanely, because it is wrong. It is
    wrong for the reason that it is contrary to the Moral Law, and
    it is contrary to the Moral Law because it is contrary to the
    Scriptures. It is contrary to the Scriptures because it is
    contrary to the will of God, and we know it is contrary to
    God's will because it is wrong.

8. Criticise this syllogism:

  MAJOR PREMISE: All men who have no cares are happy.
  MINOR PREMISE: Slovenly men are careless.
  CONCLUSION: Therefore, slovenly men are happy.

9. Criticise the following major, or foundation, premises:

    All is not gold that glitters.

    All cold may be expelled by fire.

10. Criticise the following fallacy (_non sequitur_):

  MAJOR PREMISE: All strong men admire strength.
  MINOR PREMISE: This man is not strong.
  CONCLUSION: Therefore this man does not admire strength.

11. Criticise these statements:

    Sleep is beneficial on account of its soporific qualities.

    Fiske's histories are authentic because they contain accurate
    accounts of American history, and we know that they are true
    accounts for otherwise they would not be contained in these
    authentic works.

12. What do you understand from the terms "reasoning from effect to
cause" and "from cause to effect?" Give examples.

13. What principle did Richmond Pearson Hobson employ in the following?

    What is the police power of the States? The police power of the
    Federal Government or the State--any sovereign State--has been
    defined. Take the definition given by Blackstone, which is:

        The due regulation and domestic order of the Kingdom,
        whereby the inhabitants of a State, like members
        of a well-governed family, are bound to conform their
        general behavior to the rules of propriety, of neighborhood
        and good manners, and to be decent, industrious,
        and inoffensive in their respective stations.

    Would this amendment interfere with any State carrying on the
    promotion of its domestic order?

    Or you can take the definition in another form, in which it is
    given by Mr. Tiedeman, when he says:

        The object of government is to impose that degree of
        restraint upon human actions which is necessary to a
        uniform, reasonable enjoyment of private rights. The
        power of the government to impose this restraint is
        called the police power.

    Judge Cooley says of the liquor traffic:

        The business of manufacturing and selling liquor is one
        that affects the public interests in many ways and leads
        to many disorders. It has a tendency to increase
        pauperism and crime. It renders a large force of peace
        officers essential, and it adds to the expense of the
        courts and of nearly all branches of civil administration.

    Justice Bradley, of the United States Supreme Court, says:

        Licenses may be properly required in the pursuit of
        many professions and avocations, which require peculiar
        skill and training or supervision for the public welfare.
        The profession or avocation is open to all alike who will
        prepare themselves with the requisite qualifications or
        give the requisite security for preserving public order.
        This is in harmony with the general proposition that the
        ordinary pursuits of life, forming the greater per cent of
        the industrial pursuits, are and ought to be free and
        open to all, subject only to such general regulations,
        applying equally to all, as the general good may demand.

        All such regulations are entirely competent for the
        legislature to make and are in no sense an abridgment
        of the equal rights of citizens. But a license to do that
        which is odious and against common right is necessarily
        an outrage upon the equal rights of citizens.

14. What method did Jesus employ in the following:

    Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his
    savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for
    nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

    Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they
    reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth
    them. Are ye not much better than they?

    And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the
    field; how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And
    yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not
    arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass
    of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the
    oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

    Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he
    give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a
    serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
    unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in
    heaven give good things to them that ask him?

15. Make five original syllogisms[26] on the following models:

    MAJOR PREMISE: He who administers arsenic gives poison.
    MINOR PREMISE: The prisoner administered arsenic to the victim.
    CONCLUSION: Therefore the prisoner is a poisoner.

    MAJOR PREMISE: All dogs are quadrupeds.
    MINOR PREMISE: This animal is a biped.
    CONCLUSION: Therefore this animal is not a dog.

16. Prepare either the positive or the negative side of the following
question for debate: _The recall of judges should be adopted as a
national principle_.

17. Is this question debatable? _Benedict Arnold was a gentleman._ Give
reasons for your answer.

18. Criticise any street or dinner-table argument you have heard

19. Test the reasoning of any of the speeches given in this volume.

20. Make a short speech arguing in favor of instruction in public
speaking in the public evening schools.

21. (_a_) Clip a newspaper editorial in which the reasoning is weak.
(_b_) Criticise it. (_c_) Correct it.

22. Make a list of three subjects for debate, selected from the monthly

23. Do the same from the newspapers.

24. Choosing your own question and side, prepare a brief suitable for a
ten-minute debating argument. The following models of briefs may help


RESOLVED: _That armed intervention is not justifiable on the part of any
nation to collect, on behalf of private individuals, financial claims
against any American nation._[27]


        First speaker--Chafee

Armed intervention for collection of private claims from any American
nation is not justifiable, for

  1. _It is wrong in principle_, because

    (_a_) It violates the fundamental principles of international law for a
very slight cause

    (_b_) It is contrary to the proper function of the State, and

    (_c_) It is contrary to justice, since claims are exaggerated.

        Second speaker--Hurley

  2. _It is disastrous in its results_, because

    (_a_) It incurs danger of grave international complications

    (_b_) It tends to increase the burden of debt in the South American

    (_c_) It encourages a waste of the world's capital, and

    (_d_) It disturbs peace and stability in South America.

        Third speaker--Bruce

  3. _It is unnecessary to collect in this way_, because

    (_a_) Peaceful methods have succeeded

    (_b_) If these should fail, claims should be settled by The Hague

    (_c_) The fault has always been with European States when force has
been used, and

    (_d_) In any case, force should not be used, for it counteracts the
movement towards peace.


        First speaker--Branch

Armed intervention for the collection of private financial claims
against some American States is justifiable, for

  1. _When other means of collection have failed, armed intervention
against any nation is essentially proper_, because

    (_a_) Justice should always be secured

    (_b_) Non-enforcement of payment puts a premium on dishonesty

    (_c_) Intervention for this purpose is sanctioned by the best
international authority

    (_d_) Danger of undue collection is slight and can be avoided
entirely by submission of claims to The Hague Tribunal before

        Second speaker--Stone

  2. _Armed intervention is necessary to secure justice in tropical
America_, for

    (_a_) The governments of this section constantly repudiate just debts

    (_b_) They insist that the final decision about claims shall rest with
their own corrupt courts

    (_c_) They refuse to arbitrate sometimes.

        Third speaker--Dennett

3. _Armed intervention is beneficial in its results_, because

    (_a_) It inspires responsibility

    (_b_) In administering custom houses it removes temptation to

    (_c_) It gives confidence to desirable capital.

Among others, the following books were used in the preparation of the

N. "The Monroe Doctrine," by T.B. Edgington. Chapters 22-28.

  "Digest of International Law," by J.B. Moore. Report of Penfield of
proceedings before Hague Tribunal in 1903.

  "Statesman's Year Book" (for statistics).

A. Minister Drago's appeal to the United States, in Foreign Relations of
United States, 1903.

  President Roosevelt's Message, 1905, pp. 33-37.

And articles in the following magazines (among many others):

  "Journal of Political Economy," December, 1906.

  "Atlantic Monthly," October, 1906.

  "North American Review," Vol. 183, p. 602.

All of these contain material valuable for both sides, except those
marked "N" and "A," which are useful only for the negative and
affirmative, respectively.

NOTE:--Practise in debating is most helpful to the public speaker, but
if possible each debate should be under the supervision of some person
whose word will be respected, so that the debaters might show regard for
courtesy, accuracy, effective reasoning, and the necessity for careful
preparation. The Appendix contains a list of questions for debate.

25. Are the following points well considered?


A. Does not strike at the root of the evil

  1. _Fortunes not a menace in themselves_ A fortune of $500,000 may
be a greater social evil than one of $500,000,000

  2. _Danger of wealth depends on its wrong accumulation and use_

  3. _Inheritance tax will not prevent rebates, monopoly,
discrimination, bribery, etc._

  4. _Laws aimed at unjust accumulation and use of wealth furnish the
true remedy._

B. It would be evaded

  1. _Low rates are evaded_

  2. _Rate must be high to result in distribution of great fortunes._

26. Class exercises: Mock Trial for (_a_) some serious political
offense; (_b_) a burlesque offense.


[Footnote 25: McCosh's _Logic_ is a helpful volume, and not too
technical for the beginner. A brief digest of logical principles as
applied to public speaking is contained in _How to Attract and Hold an
Audience_, by J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 26: For those who would make a further study of the syllogism
the following rules are given: 1. In a syllogism there should be only
three terms. 2. Of these three only one can be the middle term. 3. One
premise must be affirmative. 4. The conclusion must be negative if
either premise is negative. 5. To prove a negative, one of the premises
must be negative.

_Summary of Regulating Principles_: 1. Terms which agree with the same
thing agree with each other; and when only one of two terms agrees with
a third term, the two terms disagree with each other. 2. "Whatever is
affirmed of a class may be affirmed of all the members of that class,"
and "Whatever is denied of a class may be denied of all the members of
that class."]

[Footnote 27: All the speakers were from Brown University. The
affirmative briefs were used in debate with the Dartmouth College team,
and the negative briefs were used in debate with the Williams College
team. From _The Speaker_, by permission.]



                       She hath prosperous art
    When she will play with reason and discourse,
    And well she can persuade.

    --SHAKESPEARE, _Measure for Measure_.

    Him we call an artist who shall play on an assembly of men as a
    master on the keys of a piano,--who seeing the people furious,
    shall soften and compose them, shall draw them, when he will, to
    laughter and to tears. Bring him to his audience, and, be they
    who they may,--coarse or refined, pleased or displeased, sulky
    or savage, with their opinions in the keeping of a confessor or
    with their opinions in their bank safes,--he will have them
    pleased and humored as he chooses; and they shall carry and
    execute what he bids them.

    --RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Essay on _Eloquence_.

More good and more ill have been effected by persuasion than by any
other form of speech. _It is an attempt to influence by means of appeal
to some particular interest held important by the hearer._ Its motive
may be high or low, fair or unfair, honest or dishonest, calm or
passionate, and hence its scope is unparalleled in public speaking.

This "instilment of conviction," to use Matthew Arnold's expression, is
naturally a complex process in that it usually includes argumentation
and often employs suggestion, as the next chapter will illustrate. In
fact, there is little public speaking worthy of the name that is not in
some part persuasive, for men rarely speak solely to alter men's
opinions--the ulterior purpose is almost always action.

The nature of persuasion is not solely intellectual, but is largely
emotional. It uses every principle of public speaking, and every "form
of discourse," to use a rhetorician's expression, but argument
supplemented by special appeal is its peculiar quality. This we may best
see by examining

_The Methods of Persuasion_

High-minded speakers often seek to move their hearers to action by an
appeal to their highest motives, such as love of liberty. Senator Hoar,
in pleading for action on the Philippine question, used this method:

    What has been the practical statesmanship which comes from your
    ideals and your sentimentalities? You have wasted nearly six
    hundred millions of treasure. You have sacrificed nearly ten
    thousand American lives--the flower of our youth. You have
    devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the
    people you desire to benefit. You have established
    reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their
    harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other
    thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable
    lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in
    the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in
    Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and
    of the horror of the water torture. Your practical statesmanship
    which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or
    the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models,
    has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I
    believe--nay, I know--that in general our officers and soldiers
    are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare
    with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty.

    Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a
    people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the
    garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who
    thronged after your men, when they landed on those islands, with
    benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable
    enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries cannot eradicate.

    Mr. President, this is the eternal law of human nature. You may
    struggle against it, you may try to escape it, you may persuade
    yourself that your intentions are benevolent, that your yoke
    will be easy and your burden will be light, but it will assert
    itself again. Government without the consent of the
    governed--authority which heaven never gave--can only be
    supported by means which heaven never can sanction.

    The American people have got this one question to answer. They
    may answer it now; they can take ten years, or twenty years, or
    a generation, or a century to think of it. But will not down.
    They must answer it in the end: Can you lawfully buy with money,
    or get by brute force of arms, the right to hold in subjugation
    an unwilling people, and to impose on them such constitution as
    you, and not they, think best for them?

Senator Hoar then went on to make another sort of appeal--the appeal to
fact and experience:

    We have answered this question a good many times in the past.
    The fathers answered it in 1776, and founded the Republic upon
    their answer, which has been the corner-stone. John Quincy Adams
    and James Monroe answered it again in the Monroe Doctrine, which
    John Quincy Adams declared was only the doctrine of the consent
    of the governed. The Republican party answered it when it took
    possession of the force of government at the beginning of the
    most brilliant period in all legislative history. Abraham
    Lincoln answered it when, on that fatal journey to Washington in
    1861, he announced that as the doctrine of his political creed,
    and declared, with prophetic vision, that he was ready to be
    assassinated for it if need be. You answered it again yourselves
    when you said that Cuba, who had no more title than the people
    of the Philippine Islands had to their independence, of right
    ought to be free and independent.


Appeal to the things that man holds dear is another potent form of

Joseph Story, in his great Salem speech (1828) used this method most

    I call upon you, fathers, by the shades of your ancestors--by
    the dear ashes which repose in this precious soil--by all you
    are, and all you hope to be--resist every object of disunion,
    resist every encroachment upon your liberties, resist every
    attempt to fetter your consciences, or smother your public
    schools, or extinguish your system of public instruction.

    I call upon you, mothers, by that which never fails in woman,
    the love of your offspring; teach them, as they climb your
    knees, or lean on your bosoms, the blessings of liberty. Swear
    them at the altar, as with their baptismal vows, to be true to
    their country, and never to forget or forsake her.

    I call upon you, young men, to remember whose sons you are;
    whose inheritance you possess. Life can never be too short,
    which brings nothing but disgrace and oppression. Death never
    comes too soon, if necessary in defence of the liberties of your

    I call upon you, old men, for your counsels, and your prayers,
    and your benedictions. May not your gray hairs go down in sorrow
    to the grave, with the recollection that you have lived in vain.
    May not your last sun sink in the west upon a nation of slaves.

    No; I read in the destiny of my country far better hopes, far
    brighter visions. We, who are now assembled here, must soon be
    gathered to the congregation of other days. The time of our
    departure is at hand, to make way for our children upon the
    theatre of life. May God speed them and theirs. May he who, at
    the distance of another century, shall stand here to celebrate
    this day, still look round upon a free, happy, and virtuous
    people. May he have reason to exult as we do. May he, with all
    the enthusiasm of truth as well as of poetry, exclaim, that here
    is still his country.


The appeal to prejudice is effective--though not often, if ever,
justifiable; yet so long as special pleading endures this sort of
persuasion will be resorted to. Rudyard Kipling uses this method--as
have many others on both sides--in discussing the great European war.
Mingled with the appeal to prejudice, Mr. Kipling uses the appeal to
self-interest; though not the highest, it is a powerful motive in all
our lives. Notice how at the last the pleader sweeps on to the highest
ground he can take. This is a notable example of progressive appeal,
beginning with a low motive and ending with a high one in such a way as
to carry all the force of prejudice yet gain all the value of patriotic

    Through no fault nor wish of ours we are at war with Germany,
    the power which owes its existence to three well-thought-out
    wars; the power which, for the last twenty years, has devoted
    itself to organizing and preparing for this war; the power which
    is now fighting to conquer the civilized world.

    For the last two generations the Germans in their books,
    lectures, speeches and schools have been carefully taught that
    nothing less than this world-conquest was the object of their
    preparations and their sacrifices. They have prepared carefully
    and sacrificed greatly.

    We must have men and men and men, if we, with our allies, are to
    check the onrush of organized barbarism.

    Have no illusions. We are dealing with a strong and
    magnificently equipped enemy, whose avowed aim is our complete
    destruction. The violation of Belgium, the attack on France and
    the defense against Russia, are only steps by the way. The
    German's real objective, as she always has told us, is England,
    and England's wealth, trade and worldwide possessions.

    If you assume, for an instant, that the attack will be
    successful, England will not be reduced, as some people say, to
    the rank of a second rate power, but we shall cease to exist as
    a nation. We shall become an outlying province of Germany, to be
    administered with that severity German safety and interest

    We are against such a fate. We enter into a new life in which
    all the facts of war that we had put behind or forgotten for the
    last hundred years, have returned to the front and test us as
    they tested our fathers. It will be a long and a hard road,
    beset with difficulties and discouragements, but we tread it
    together and we will tread it together to the end.

    Our petty social divisions and barriers have been swept away at
    the outset of our mighty struggle. All the interests of our life
    of six weeks ago are dead. We have but one interest now, and
    that touches the naked heart of every man in this island and in
    the empire.

    If we are to win the right for ourselves and for freedom to
    exist on earth, every man must offer himself for that service
    and that sacrifice.

From these examples it will be seen that the particular way in which the
speakers appealed to their hearers was _by coming close home to their
interests, and by themselves showing emotion_--two very important
principles which you must keep constantly in mind.

To accomplish the former requires a deep knowledge of human motive in
general and an understanding of the particular audience addressed. What
are the motives that arouse men to action? Think of them earnestly, set
them down on the tablets of your mind, study how to appeal to them
worthily. Then, what motives would be likely to appeal to _your_
hearers? What are their ideals and interests in life? A mistake in your
estimate may cost you your case. To appeal to pride in appearance would
make one set of men merely laugh--to try to arouse sympathy for the Jews
in Palestine would be wasted effort among others. Study your audience,
feel your way, and when you have once raised a spark, fan it into a
flame by every honest resource you possess.

The larger your audience the more sure you are to find a universal basis
of appeal. A small audience of bachelors will not grow excited over the
importance of furniture insurance; most men can be roused to the defense
of the freedom of the press.

Patent medicine advertisement usually begins by talking about your
pains--they begin on your interests. If they first discussed the size
and rating of their establishment, or the efficacy of their remedy, you
would never read the "ad." If they can make you think you have nervous
troubles you will even plead for a remedy--they will not have to try to
sell it.

The patent medicine men are pleading--asking you to invest your money in
their commodity--yet they do not appear to be doing so. They get over on
your side of the fence, and arouse a desire for their nostrums by
appealing to your own interests.

Recently a book-salesman entered an attorney's office in New York and
inquired: "Do you want to buy a book?" Had the lawyer wanted a book he
would probably have bought one without waiting for a book-salesman to
call. The solicitor made the same mistake as the representative who made
his approach with: "I want to sell you a sewing machine." They both
talked only in terms of their own interests.

The successful pleader must convert his arguments into terms of his
hearers' advantage. Mankind are still selfish, are interested in what
will serve them. Expunge from your address your own personal concern
and present your appeal in terms of the general good, and to do this you
need not be insincere, for you had better not plead any cause that is
_not_ for the hearers' good. Notice how Senator Thurston in his plea for
intervention in Cuba and Mr. Bryan in his "Cross of Gold" speech
constituted themselves the apostles of humanity.

_Exhortation_ is a highly impassioned form of appeal frequently used by
the pulpit in efforts to arouse men to a sense of duty and induce them
to decide their personal courses, and by counsel in seeking to influence
a jury. The great preachers, like the great jury-lawyers, have always
been masters of persuasion.

Notice the difference among these four exhortations, and analyze the
motives appealed to:

    Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor

    --SHAKESPEARE, _Julius Cęsar_.

        Strike--till the last armed foe expires,
    Strike--for your altars and your fires,
    Strike--for the green graves of your sires,
        God--and your native land!

    --FITZ-GREENE HALLECK, _Marco Bozzaris_.

    Believe, gentlemen, if it were not for those children, he would
    not come here to-day to seek such remuneration; if it were not
    that, by your verdict, you may prevent those little innocent
    defrauded wretches from becoming wandering beggars, as well as
    orphans on the face of this earth. Oh, I know I need not ask
    this verdict from your mercy; I need not extort it from your
    compassion; I will receive it from your justice. I do conjure
    you, not as fathers, but as husbands:--not as husbands, but as
    citizens:--not as citizens, but as men:--not as men, but as
    Christians:--by all your obligations, public, private, moral,
    and religious; by the hearth profaned; by the home desolated; by
    the canons of the living God foully spurned;--save, oh: save
    your firesides from the contagion, your country from the crime,
    and perhaps thousands, yet unborn, from the shame, and sin, and
    sorrow of this example!

    --CHARLES PHILLIPS, _Appeal to the jury in behalf of Guthrie._

    So I appeal from the men in silken hose who danced to music made
    by slaves and called it freedom, from the men in bell-crown hats
    who led Hester Prynne to her shame and called it religion, to
    that Americanism which reaches forth its arms to smite wrong
    with reason and truth, secure in the power of both. I appeal
    from the patriarchs of New England to the poets of New England;
    from Endicott to Lowell; from Winthrop to Longfellow; from
    Norton to Holmes; and I appeal in the name and by the rights of
    that common citizenship--of that common origin, back of both the
    Puritan and the Cavalier, to which all of us owe our being. Let
    the dead past, consecrated by the blood of its martyrs, not by
    its savage hatreds, darkened alike by kingcraft and
    priestcraft--let the dead past bury its dead. Let the present
    and the future ring with the song of the singers. Blessed be the
    lessons they teach, the laws they make. Blessed be the eye to
    see, the light to reveal. Blessed be tolerance, sitting ever on
    the right hand of God to guide the way with loving word, as
    blessed be all that brings us nearer the goal of true religion,
    true republicanism, and true patriotism, distrust of watchwords
    and labels, shams and heroes, belief in our country and
    ourselves. It was not Cotton Mather, but John Greenleaf
    Whittier, who cried:

    Dear God and Father of us all,
    Forgive our faith in cruel lies,
    Forgive the blindness that denies.

    Cast down our idols--overturn
    Our Bloody altars--make us see
    Thyself in Thy humanity!

    --HENRY WATTERSON, _Puritan and Cavalier_.

Goethe, on being reproached for not having written war songs against
the French, replied, "In my poetry I have never shammed. How could I
have written songs of hate without hatred?" Neither is it possible
to plead with full efficiency for a cause for which you do not feel
deeply. Feeling is contagious as belief is contagious. The speaker
who pleads with real feeling for his own convictions will instill
his feelings into his listeners. Sincerity, force, enthusiasm, and
above all, feeling--these are the qualities that move multitudes
and make appeals irresistible. They are of far greater importance
than technical principles of delivery, grace of gesture, or polished
enunciation--important as all these elements must doubtless be
considered. _Base_ your appeal on reason, but do not end in the
basement--let the building rise, full of deep emotion and noble


1. (_a_) What elements of appeal do you find in the following? (_b_) Is it
too florid? (_c_) Is this style equally powerful today? (_d_) Are the
sentences too long and involved for clearness and force?

    Oh, gentlemen, am I this day only the counsel of my client? No,
    no; I am the advocate of humanity--of yourselves--your
    homes--your wives--your families--your little children. I am
    glad that this case exhibits such atrocity; unmarked as it is by
    any mitigatory feature, it may stop the frightful advance of
    this calamity; it will be met now, and marked with vengeance. If
    it be not, farewell to the virtues of your country; farewell to
    all confidence between man and man; farewell to that
    unsuspicious and reciprocal tenderness, without which marriage
    is but a consecrated curse. If oaths are to be violated, laws
    disregarded, friendship betrayed, humanity trampled, national
    and individual honor stained, and if a jury of fathers and of
    husbands will give such miscreancy a passport to their homes,
    and wives, and daughters,--farewell to all that yet remains of
    Ireland! But I will not cast such a doubt upon the character of
    my country. Against the sneer of the foe, and the skepticism of
    the foreigner, I will still point to the domestic virtues, that
    no perfidy could barter, and no bribery can purchase, that with
    a Roman usage, at once embellish and consecrate households,
    giving to the society of the hearth all the purity of the altar;
    that lingering alike in the palace and the cottage, are still to
    be found scattered over this land--the relic of what she
    was--the source perhaps of what she may be--the lone, the
    stately, and magnificent memorials, that rearing their majesty
    amid surrounding ruins, serve at once as the landmarks of the
    departed glory, and the models by which the future may be

    Preserve those virtues with a vestal fidelity; mark this day, by
    your verdict, your horror of their profanation; and believe me,
    when the hand which records that verdict shall be dust, and the
    tongue that asks it, traceless in the grave, many a happy home
    will bless its consequences, and many a mother teach her little
    child to hate the impious treason of adultery.


2. Analyze and criticise the forms of appeal used in the selections from
Hoar, Story, and Kipling.

3. What is the type of persuasion used by Senator Thurston (page 50)?

4. Cite two examples each, from selections in this volume, in which
speakers sought to be persuasive by securing the hearers' (_a_) sympathy
for themselves; (_b_) sympathy with their subjects; (_c_) self-pity.

5. Make a short address using persuasion.

6. What other methods of persuasion than those here mentioned can you

7. Is it easier to persuade men to change their course of conduct than
to persuade them to continue in a given course? Give examples to support
your belief.

8. In how far are we justified in making an appeal to self-interest in
order to lead men to adopt a given course?

9. Does the merit of the course have any bearing on the merit of the
methods used?

10. Illustrate an unworthy method of using persuasion.

11. Deliver a short speech on the value of skill in persuasion.

12. Does effective persuasion always produce conviction?

13. Does conviction always result in action?

14. Is it fair for counsel to appeal to the emotions of a jury in a
murder trial?

15. Ought the judge use persuasion in making his charge?

16. Say how self-consciousness may hinder the power of persuasion in a

17. Is emotion without words ever persuasive? If so, illustrate.

18. Might gestures without words be persuasive? If so, illustrate.

19. Has posture in a speaker anything to do with persuasion? Discuss.

20. Has voice? Discuss.

21. Has manner? Discuss.

22. What effect does personal magnetism have in producing conviction?

23. Discuss the relation of persuasion to (_a_) description; (_b_)
narration; (_c_) exposition; (_d_) pure reason.

24. What is the effect of over-persuasion?

25. Make a short speech on the effect of the constant use of persuasion
on the sincerity of the speaker himself.

26. Show by example how a general statement is not as persuasive as a
concrete example illustrating the point being discussed.

27. Show by example how brevity is of value in persuasion.

28. Discuss the importance of avoiding an antagonistic attitude in

29. What is the most persuasive passage you have found in the selections
of this volume. On what do you base your decision?

30. Cite a persuasive passage from some other source. Read or recite it

31. Make a list of the emotional bases of appeal, grading them from low
to high, according to your estimate.

32. Would circumstances make any difference in such grading? If so, give

33. Deliver a short, passionate appeal to a jury, pleading for justice
to a poor widow.

34. Deliver a short appeal to men to give up some evil way.

35. Criticise the structure of the sentence beginning with the last line
of page 296.



   Success in business, in the last analysis, turns upon touching
   the imagination of crowds. The reason that preachers in this
   present generation are less successful in getting people to want
   goodness than business men are in getting them to want motorcars,
   hats, and pianolas, is that business men as a class are more
   close and desperate students of human nature, and have boned down
   harder to the art of touching the imaginations of the crowds.

   --GERALD STANLEY LEE, _Crowds_.

In the early part of July, 1914, a collection of Frenchmen in Paris, or
Germans in Berlin, was not a crowd in a psychological sense. Each
individual had his own special interests and needs, and there was no
powerful common idea to unify them. A group then represented only a
collection of individuals. A month later, any collection of Frenchmen or
Germans formed a crowd: Patriotism, hate, a common fear, a pervasive
grief, had unified the individuals.

The psychology of the crowd is far different from the psychology of the
personal members that compose it. The crowd is a distinct entity.
Individuals restrain and subdue many of their impulses at the dictates
of reason. The crowd never reasons. It only feels. As persons there is a
sense of responsibility attached to our actions which checks many of our
incitements, but the sense of responsibility is lost in the crowd
because of its numbers. The crowd is exceedingly suggestible and will
act upon the wildest and most extreme ideas. The crowd-mind is
primitive and will cheer plans and perform actions which its members
would utterly repudiate.

A mob is only a highly-wrought crowd. Ruskin's description is fitting:
"You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be--usually are--on
the whole, generous and right, but it has no foundation for them, no
hold of them. You may tease or tickle it into anything at your pleasure.
It thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a
cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild
about, when the fit is on, nothing so great but it will forget in an
hour when the fit is past."[28]

History will show us how the crowd-mind works. The medieval mind was not
given to reasoning; the medieval man attached great weight to the
utterance of authority; his religion touched chiefly the emotions. These
conditions provided a rich soil for the propagation of the crowd-mind
when, in the eleventh century, flagellation, a voluntary self-scourging,
was preached by the monks. Substituting flagellation for reciting
penitential psalms was advocated by the reformers. A scale was drawn up,
making one thousand strokes equivalent to ten psalms, or fifteen
thousand to the entire psalter. This craze spread by leaps--and crowds.
Flagellant fraternities sprang up. Priests carrying banners led through
the streets great processions reciting prayers and whipping their bloody
bodies with leathern thongs fitted with four iron points. Pope Clement
denounced this practise and several of the leaders of these processions
had to be burned at the stake before the frenzy could be uprooted.

All western and central Europe was turned into a crowd by the preaching
of the crusaders, and millions of the followers of the Prince of Peace
rushed to the Holy Land to kill the heathen. Even the children started
on a crusade against the Saracens. The mob-spirit was so strong that
home affections and persuasion could not prevail against it and
thousands of mere babes died in their attempts to reach and redeem the
Sacred Sepulchre.

In the early part of the eighteenth century the South Sea Company was
formed in England. Britain became a speculative crowd. Stock in the
South Sea Company rose from 128-1/2 points in January to 550 in May, and
scored 1,000 in July. Five million shares were sold at this premium.
Speculation ran riot. Hundreds of companies were organized. One was
formed "for a wheel of perpetual motion." Another never troubled to give
any reason at all for taking the cash of its subscribers--it merely
announced that it was organized "for a design which will hereafter be
promulgated." Owners began to sell, the mob caught the suggestion, a
panic ensued, the South Sea Company stock fell 800 points in a few days,
and more than a billion dollars evaporated in this era of frenzied

The burning of the witches at Salem, the Klondike gold craze, and the
forty-eight people who were killed by mobs in the United States in 1913,
are examples familiar to us in America.

_The Crowd Must Have a Leader_

The leader of the crowd or mob is its determining factor. He becomes
self-hynoptized with the idea that unifies its members, his enthusiasm
is contagious--and so is theirs. The crowd acts as he suggests. The
great mass of people do not have any very sharply-drawn conclusions on
any subject outside of their own little spheres, but when they become a
crowd they are perfectly willing to accept ready-made, hand-me-down
opinions. They will follow a leader at all costs--in labor troubles they
often follow a leader in preference to obeying their government, in war
they will throw self-preservation to the bushes and follow a leader in
the face of guns that fire fourteen times a second. The mob becomes
shorn of will-power and blindly obedient to its dictator. The Russian
Government, recognizing the menace of the crowd-mind to its autocracy,
formerly prohibited public gatherings. History is full of similar

_How the Crowd is Created_

Today the crowd is as real a factor in our socialized life as are
magnates and monopolies. It is too complex a problem merely to damn or
praise it--it must be reckoned with, and mastered. The present problem
is how to get the most and the best out of the crowd-spirit, and the
public speaker finds this to be peculiarly his own question. His
influence is multiplied if he can only transmute his audience into a
crowd. His affirmations must be their conclusions.

This can be accomplished by unifying the minds and needs of the audience
and arousing their emotions. Their feelings, not their reason, must be
played upon--_it is "up to" him to do this nobly_. Argument has its
place on the platform, but even its potencies must subserve the
speaker's plan of attack to _win possession_ of his audience.

Reread the chapter on "Feeling and Enthusiasm." It is impossible to make
an audience a crowd without appealing to their emotions. Can you imagine
the average group becoming a crowd while hearing a lecture on Dry Fly
Fishing, or on Egyptian Art? On the other hand, it would not have
required world-famous eloquence to have turned any audience in Ulster,
in 1914, into a crowd by discussing the Home Rule Act. The crowd-spirit
depends largely on the subject used to fuse their individualities into
one glowing whole.

Note how Antony played upon the feelings of his hearers in the famous
funeral oration given by Shakespeare in "Julius Cęsar." From murmuring
units the men became a unit--a mob.

    Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Cęsar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones:
    So let it be with Cęsar! The Noble Brutus
    Hath told you Cęsar was ambitious.
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Cęsar answered it.
    Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest--
    For Brutus is an honorable man,
    So are they all, all honorable men--
    Come I to speak in Cęsar's funeral.
    He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
    But Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honorable man.
    He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
    Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Cęsar seem ambitious?
    When that the poor have cried, Cęsar hath wept;
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honorable man.
    You all did see, that, on the Lupercal,
    I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
    Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
    Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And sure, he is an honorable man.
    I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love him once, not without cause;
    What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
    Oh, judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason!--Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Cęsar,
    And I must pause till it come back to me. [_Weeps._

    _1 Plebeian._ Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

    _2 Ple._ If thou consider rightly of the matter,
    Cęsar has had great wrong.

    _3 Ple._ Has he, masters?
    I fear there will a worse come in his place.

    _4 Ple._ Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
    Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.

    _1 Ple._ If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

    _2 Ple._ Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

    _3 Ple._ There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

    _4 Ple._ Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

    _Ant._ But yesterday, the word of Cęsar might
    Have stood against the world: now lies he there,
    And none so poor to do him reverence.
    Oh, masters! if I were dispos'd to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
    I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
    Who, you all know, are honorable men.
    I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
    To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
    Than I will wrong such honorable men.
    But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cęsar;
    I found it in his closet; 'tis his will:
    Let but the commons hear this testament--
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read--
    And they would go and kiss dead Cęsar's wounds,
    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
    And, dying, mention it within their wills,
    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
    Unto their issue.

    _4 Ple._ We'll hear the will: Read it, Mark Antony.

    _All._ The will! the will! we will hear Cęsar's will.

    _Ant._ Have patience, gentle friends: I must not read it;
    It is not meet you know how Cęsar lov'd you.
    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
    And, being men, hearing the will of Cęsar,
    It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
    'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
    For if you should, oh, what would come of it!

    _4 Ple._ Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony!
    You shall read us the will! Cęsar's will!

    _Ant._ Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
    I have o'ershot myself, to tell you of it.
    I fear I wrong the honorable men
    Whose daggers have stab'd Cęsar; I do fear it.

    _4 Ple._ They were traitors: Honorable men!

    _All._ The will! the testament!

    _2 Ple._ They were villains, murtherers! The will! Read the will!

    _Ant._ You will compel me then to read the will?
    Then, make a ring about the corpse of Cęsar,
    And let me shew you him that made the will.
    Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?

    _All._ Come down.

    _2 Ple._ Descend. [_He comes down from the Rostrum_.

    _3 Ple._ You shall have leave.

    _4 Ple._ A ring; stand round.

    _1 Ple._ Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

    _2 Ple._ Room for Antony!--most noble Antony!

    _Ant._ Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.

    _All._ Stand back! room! bear back!

    _Ant._ If you have tears, prepare to shed them now;
    You all do know this mantle: I remember
    The first time ever Cęsar put it on;
    'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
    That day he overcame the Nervii.
    Look, in this place, ran Cassius' dagger through:
    See, what a rent the envious Casca made:
    Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stab'd;
    And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
    Mark how the blood of Cęsar follow'd it!--
    As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd
    If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
    For Brutus, as you know, was Cęsar's angel:
    Judge, O you Gods, how Cęsar lov'd him!
    This was the most unkindest cut of all!
    For when the noble Cęsar saw him stab,
    Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
    Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
    And in his mantle muffling up his face,
    Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
    Which all the while ran blood, great Cęsar fell.
    Oh what a fall was there, my countrymen!
    Then I and you, and all of us, fell down,
    Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
    Oh! now you weep; and I perceive you feel
    The dint of pity; these are gracious drops.
    Kind souls! what, weep you, when you but behold
    Our Cęsar's vesture wounded? Look you here!
    Here is himself, mar'd, as you see, by traitors.

    _1 Ple._ Oh, piteous spectacle!

    _2 Ple._ Oh, noble Cęsar!

    _3 Ple._ Oh, woful day!

    _4 Ple._ Oh, traitors, villains!

    _1 Ple._ Oh, most bloody sight!

    _2 Ple._ We will be reveng'd!

    _All._ Revenge; about--seek--burn--fire--kill--day!--Let not
    a traitor live!

    _Ant._ Stay, countrymen.

    _1 Ple._ Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.

    _2 Ple._ We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.

    _Ant._ Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
    To such a sudden flood of mutiny:
    They that have done this deed are honorable:
    What private griefs they have, alas! I know not,
    That made them do it; they are wise, and honorable,
    And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
    I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts;
    I am no orator, as Brutus is;
    But as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
    That love my friend, and that they know full well
    That gave me public leave to speak of him:
    For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
    Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
    To stir men's blood. I only speak right on:
    I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
    Show your sweet Cęsar's wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths,
    And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,
    And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
    Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
    In every wound of Cęsar, that should move
    The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

    _All._ We'll mutiny!

    _1 Ple._ We'll burn the house of Brutus.

    _3 Ple._ Away, then! Come, seek the conspirators.

    _Ant._ Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.

    _All._ Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony.

    _Ant._ Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
    Wherein hath Cęsar thus deserv'd your loves?
    Alas! you know not!--I must tell you then.
    You have forgot the will I told you of.

    _Ple._ Most true;--the will!--let's stay, and hear the will.

    _Ant._ Here is the will, and under Cęsar's seal.
    To every Roman citizen he gives,
    To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

    _2 Ple._ Most noble Cęsar!--we'll revenge his death.

    _3 Ple._ O royal Cęsar!

    _Ant._ Hear me with patience.

    _All._ Peace, ho!

    _Ant._ Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
    His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
    On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
    And to your heirs forever, common pleasures,
    To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
    Here was a Cęsar! When comes such another?

    _1 Ple._ Never, never!--Come, away, away!
    We'll burn his body in the holy place,
    And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
    Take up the body.

    _2 Ple._ Go, fetch fire.

    _3 Ple._ Pluck down benches.

    _4 Ple._ Pluck down forms, windows, anything.
                                      [_Exeunt Citizens, with the body._

    _Ant._ Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
    Take thou what course thou wilt!

To unify single, auditors into a crowd, express their common needs,
aspirations, dangers, and emotions, deliver your message so that the
interests of one shall appear to be the interests of all. The conviction
of one man is intensified in proportion as he finds others sharing his
belief--_and feeling_. Antony does not stop with telling the Roman
populace that Cęsar fell--he makes the tragedy universal:

    Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
    Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.

Applause, generally a sign of feeling, helps to unify an audience. The
nature of the crowd is illustrated by the contagion of applause.
Recently a throng in a New York moving-picture and vaudeville house had
been applauding several songs, and when an advertisement for tailored
skirts was thrown on the screen some one started the applause, and the
crowd, like sheep, blindly imitated--until someone saw the joke and
laughed; then the crowd again followed a leader and laughed at and
applauded its own stupidity.

Actors sometimes start applause for their lines by snapping their
fingers. Some one in the first few rows will mistake it for faint
applause, and the whole theatre will chime in.

An observant auditor will be interested in noticing the various devices
a monologist will use to get the first round of laughter and applause.
He works so hard because he knows an audience of units is an audience of
indifferent critics, but once get them to laughing together and each
single laugher sweeps a number of others with him, until the whole
theatre is aroar and the entertainer has scored. These are meretricious
schemes, to be sure, and do not savor in the least of inspiration, but
crowds have not changed in their nature in a thousand years and the one
law holds for the greatest preacher and the pettiest stump-speaker--you
must fuse your audience or they will not warm to your message. The
devices of the great orator may not be so obvious as those of the
vaudeville monologist, but the principle is the same: he tries to strike
some universal note that will have all his hearers feeling alike at the
same time.

The evangelist knows this when he has the soloist sing some touching
song just before the address. Or he will have the entire congregation
sing, and that is the psychology of "Now _every_body sing!" for he knows
that they who will not join in the song are as yet outside the crowd.
Many a time has the popular evangelist stopped in the middle of his
talk, when he felt that his hearers were units instead of a molten mass
(and a sensitive speaker can feel that condition most depressingly) and
suddenly demanded that everyone arise and sing, or repeat aloud a
familiar passage, or read in unison; or perhaps he has subtly left the
thread of his discourse to tell a story that, from long experience, he
knew would not fail to bring his hearers to a common feeling.

These things are important resources for the speaker, and happy is he
who uses them worthily and not as a despicable charlatan. The difference
between a demagogue and a leader is not so much a matter of method as of
principle. Even the most dignified speaker must recognize the eternal
laws of human nature. You are by no means urged to become a trickster on
the platform--far from it!--but don't kill your speech with dignity. To
be icily correct is as silly as to rant. Do neither, but appeal to those
world-old elements in your audience that have been recognized by all
great speakers from Demosthenes to Sam Small, and see to it that you
never debase your powers by arousing your hearers unworthily.

It is as hard to kindle enthusiasm in a scattered audience as to build a
fire with scattered sticks. An audience to be converted into a crowd
must be made to appear as a crowd. This cannot be done when they are
widely scattered over a large seating space or when many empty benches
separate the speaker from his hearers. Have your audience seated
compactly. How many a preacher has bemoaned the enormous edifice over
which what would normally be a large congregation has scattered in
chilled and chilling solitude Sunday after Sunday! Bishop Brooks himself
could not have inspired a congregation of one thousand souls seated in
the vastness of St. Peter's at Rome. In that colossal sanctuary it is
only on great occasions which bring out the multitudes that the service
is before the high altar--at other times the smaller side-chapels are

Universal ideas surcharged with feeling help to create the
crowd-atmosphere. Examples: liberty, character, righteousness, courage,
fraternity, altruism, country, and national heroes. George Cohan was
making psychology practical and profitable when he introduced the flag
and flag-songs into his musical comedies. Cromwell's regiments prayed
before the battle and went into the fight singing hymns. The French
corps, singing the Marseillaise in 1914, charged the Germans as one man.
Such unifying devices arouse the feelings, make soldiers fanatical
mobs--and, alas, more efficient murderers.


[Footnote 28: _Sesame and Lilies_.]



   To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men
   of genius--the men of reasoning and the men of imagination.

   --ISAAC DISRAELI, _Literary Character of Men of Genius_.

    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.

--SHAKESPEARE, _Midsummer-Night's Dream_.

It is common, among those who deal chiefly with life's practicalities,
to think of imagination as having little value in comparison with direct
thinking. They smile with tolerance when Emerson says that "Science does
not know its debt to the imagination," for these are the words of a
speculative essayist, a philosopher, a poet. But when Napoleon--the
indomitable welder of empires--declares that "The human race is governed
by its imagination," the authoritative word commands their respect.

Be it remembered, the faculty of forming _mental images_ is as efficient
a cog as may be found in the whole mind-machine. True, it must fit into
that other vital cog, pure thought, but when it does so it may be
questioned which is the more productive of important results for the
happiness and well-being of man. This should become more apparent as we
go on.


Let us not seek for a definition, for a score of varying ones may be
found, but let us grasp this fact: By imagination we mean either the
faculty or the process of forming mental images.

The subject-matter of imagination may be really existent in nature, or
not at all real, or a combination of both; it may be physical or
spiritual, or both--the mental image is at once the most lawless and the
most law-abiding child that has ever been born of the mind.

First of all, as its name suggests, the process of imagination--for we
are thinking of it now as a process rather than as a faculty--is memory
at work. Therefore we must consider it primarily as

_1. Reproductive Imagination_

We see or hear or feel or taste or smell something and the sensation
passes away. Yet we are conscious of a greater or lesser ability to
reproduce such feelings at will. Two considerations, in general, will
govern the vividness of the image thus evoked--the strength of the
original impression, and the reproductive power of one mind as compared
with another. Yet every normal person will be able to evoke images with
some degree of clearness.

The fact that not all minds possess this imaging faculty in anything
like equal measure will have an important bearing on the public
speaker's study of this question. No man who does not feel at least some
poetic impulses is likely to aspire seriously to be a poet, yet many
whose imaging faculties are so dormant as to seem actually dead do
aspire to be public speakers. To all such we say most earnestly: Awaken
your image-making gift, for even in the most coldly logical discourse it
is sure to prove of great service. It is important that you find out at
once just how full and how trustworthy is your imagination, for it is
capable of cultivation--as well as of abuse.

Francis Galton[29] says: "The French appear to possess the visualizing
faculty in a high degree. The peculiar ability they show in
pre-arranging ceremonials and fźtes of all kinds and their undoubted
genius for tactics and strategy show that they are able to foresee
effects with unusual clearness. Their ingenuity in all technical
contrivances is an additional testimony in the same direction, and so is
their singular clearness of expression. Their phrase _figurez-vous_, or
_picture to yourself_, seems to express their dominant mode of
perception. Our equivalent, of 'image,' is ambiguous."

But individuals differ in this respect just as markedly as, for
instance, the Dutch do from the French. And this is true not only of
those who are classified by their friends as being respectively
imaginative or unimaginative, but of those whose gifts or habits are not
well known.

Let us take for experiment six of the best-known types of imaging and
see in practise how they arise in our own minds.

By all odds the most common type is, (a) _the visual image_. Children
who more readily recall things seen than things heard are called by
psychologists "eye-minded," and most of us are bent in this direction.
Close your eyes now and re-call--the word thus hyphenated is more
suggestive--the scene around this morning's breakfast table. Possibly
there was nothing striking in the situation and the image is therefore
not striking. Then image any notable table scene in your experience--how
vividly it stands forth, because at the time you felt the impression
strongly. Just then you may not have been conscious of how strongly the
scene was laying hold upon you, for often we are so intent upon what we
see that we give no particular thought to the fact that it is impressing
us. It may surprise you to learn how accurately you are able to image a
scene when a long time has elapsed between the conscious focussing of
your attention on the image and the time when you saw the original.

(b) _The auditory image_ is probably the next most vivid of our recalled
experiences. Here association is potent to suggest similarities. Close
out all the world beside and listen to the peculiar wood-against-wood
sound of the sharp thunder among rocky mountains--the crash of ball
against ten-pins may suggest it. Or image (the word is imperfect, for it
seems to suggest only the eye) the sound of tearing ropes when some
precious weight hangs in danger. Or recall the bay of a hound almost
upon you in pursuit--choose your own sound, and see how pleasantly or
terribly real it becomes when imaged in your brain.

(c) _The motor image_ is a close competitor with the auditory for second
place. Have you ever awakened in the night, every muscle taut and
striving, to feel your self straining against the opposing football
line that held like a stone-wall--or as firmly as the headboard of your
bed? Or voluntarily recall the movement of the boat when you cried
inwardly, "It's all up with me!" The perilous lurch of a train, the
sudden sinking of an elevator, or the unexpected toppling of a
rocking-chair may serve as further experiments.

(d) _The gustatory image_ is common enough, as the idea of eating lemons
will testify. Sometimes the pleasurable recollection of a delightful
dinner will cause the mouth to water years afterward, or the "image" of
particularly atrocious medicine will wrinkle the nose long after it made
one day in boyhood wretched.

(e) _The olfactory image_ is even more delicate. Some there are who are
affected to illness by the memory of certain odors, while others
experience the most delectable sensations by the rise of pleasing
olfactory images.

(f) _The tactile image_, to name no others, is well nigh as potent. Do
you shudder at the thought of velvet rubbed by short-nailed finger tips?
Or were you ever "burned" by touching an ice-cold stove? Or, happier
memory, can you still feel the touch of a well-loved absent hand?

Be it remembered that few of these images are present in our minds
except in combination--the sight and sound of the crashing avalanche are
one; so are the flash and report of the huntman's gun that came so near
"doing for us."

Thus, imaging--especially conscious reproductive imagination--will
become a valuable part of our mental processes in proportion as we
direct and control it.

_2. Productive Imagination_

All of the foregoing examples, and doubtless also many of the
experiments you yourself may originate, are merely reproductive.
Pleasurable or horrific as these may be, they are far less important
than the images evoked by the productive imagination--though that does
not infer a separate faculty.

Recall, again for experiment, some scene whose beginning you once saw
enacted on a street corner but passed by before the dénouement was ready
to be disclosed. Recall it all--that far the image is reproductive. But
what followed? Let your fantasy roam at pleasure--the succeeding scenes
are productive, for you have more or less consciously invented the
unreal on the basis of the real.

And just here the fictionist, the poet, and the public speaker will see
the value of productive imagery. True, the feet of the idol you build
are on the ground, but its head pierces the clouds, it is a son of both
earth and heaven.

One fact it is important to note here: Imagery is a valuable mental
asset in proportion as it is controlled by the higher intellectual power
of pure reason. The untutored child of nature thinks largely in images
and therefore attaches to them undue importance. He readily confuses the
real with the unreal--to him they are of like value. But the man of
training readily distinguishes the one from the other and evaluates each
with some, if not with perfect, justice.

So we see that unrestrained imaging may produce a rudderless steamer,
while the trained faculty is the graceful sloop, skimming the seas at
her skipper's will, her course steadied by the helm of reason and her
lightsome wings catching every air of heaven.

The game of chess, the war-lord's tactical plan, the evolution of a
geometrical theorem, the devising of a great business campaign, the
elimination of waste in a factory, the dénouement of a powerful drama,
the overcoming of an economic obstacle, the scheme for a sublime poem,
and the convincing siege of an audience may--nay, indeed must--each be
conceived in an image and wrought to reality according to the plans and
specifications laid upon the trestle board by some modern imaginative
Hiram. The farmer who would be content with the seed he possesses would
have no harvest. Do not rest satisfied with the ability to recall
images, but cultivate your creative imagination by building "what might
be" upon the foundation of "what is."


By this time you will have already made some general application of
these ideas to the art of the platform, but to several specific uses we
must now refer.

_1. Imaging in Speech-Preparation_

(a) _Set the image of your audience before you while you prepare._
Disappointment may lurk here, and you cannot be forearmed for every
emergency, but in the main you must meet your audience before you
actually do--image its probable mood and attitude toward the occasion,
the theme, and the speaker.

(b) _Conceive your speech as a whole while you are preparing its parts_,
else can you not see--image--how its parts shall be fitly framed

(c) _Image the language you will use_, so far as written or
extemporaneous speech may dictate. The habit of imaging will give you
choice of varied figures of speech, for remember that an address without
_fresh_ comparisons is like a garden without blooms. Do not be content
with the first hackneyed figure that comes flowing to your pen-point,
but dream on until the striking, the unusual, yet the vividly real
comparison points your thought like steel does the arrow-tip.

Note the freshness and effectiveness of the following description from
the opening of O. Henry's story, "The Harbinger."

    Long before the springtide is felt in the dull bosom of the
    yokel does the city man know that the grass-green goddess is
    upon her throne. He sits at his breakfast eggs and toast, begirt
    by stone walls, opens his morning paper and sees journalism
    leave vernalism at the post.

    For whereas Spring's couriers were once the evidence of our
    finer senses, now the Associated Press does the trick.

    The warble of the first robin in Hackensack, the stirring of the
    maple sap in Bennington, the budding of the pussy willows along
    the main street in Syracuse, the first chirp of the blue bird,
    the swan song of the blue point, the annual tornado in St.
    Louis, the plaint of the peach pessimist from Pompton, N.J., the
    regular visit of the tame wild goose with a broken leg to the
    pond near Bilgewater Junction, the base attempt of the Drug
    Trust to boost the price of quinine foiled in the House by
    Congressman Jinks, the first tall poplar struck by lightning and
    the usual stunned picknickers who had taken refuge, the first
    crack of the ice jamb in the Allegheny River, the finding of a
    violet in its mossy bed by the correspondent at Round
    Corners--these are the advanced signs of the burgeoning season
    that are wired into the wise city, while the farmer sees nothing
    but winter upon his dreary fields.

    But these be mere externals. The true harbinger is the heart.
    When Strephon seeks his Chloe and Mike his Maggie, then only is
    Spring arrived and the newspaper report of the five foot rattler
    killed in Squire Pettregrew's pasture confirmed.

A hackneyed writer would probably have said that the newspaper told the
city man about spring before the farmer could see any evidence of it,
but that the real harbinger of spring was love and that "In the Spring a
young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."

_2. Imaging in Speech-Delivery_

When once the passion of speech is on you and you are "warmed
up"--perhaps by striking _till_ the iron is hot so that you may not fail
to strike _when_ it is hot--your mood will be one of vision.

Then (a) _Re-image past emotion_--of which more elsewhere. The actor
re-calls the old feelings every time he renders his telling lines.

(b) _Reconstruct in image the scenes you are to describe._

(c) _Image the objects in nature whose tone you are delineating_, so
that bearing and voice and movement (gesture) will picture forth the
whole convincingly. Instead of merely stating the fact that whiskey
ruins homes, the temperance speaker paints a drunkard coming home to
abuse his wife and strike his children. It is much more effective than
telling the truth in abstract terms. To depict the cruelness of war, do
not assert the fact abstractly--"War is cruel." Show the soldier, an arm
swept away by a bursting shell, lying on the battlefield pleading for
water; show the children with tear-stained faces pressed against the
window pane praying for their dead father to return. Avoid general and
prosaic terms. Paint pictures. Evolve images for the imagination of your
audience to construct into pictures of their own.


You remember the American statesman who asserted that "the way to resume
is to resume"? The application is obvious. Beginning with the first
simple analyses of this chapter, test your own qualities of
image-making. One by one practise the several kinds of images; then
add--even invent--others in combination, for many images come to us in
complex form, like the combined noise and shoving and hot odor of a
cheering crowd.

After practising on reproductive imaging, turn to the productive,
beginning with the reproductive and adding productive features for the
sake of cultivating invention.

Frequently, allow your originating gifts full swing by weaving complete
imaginary fabrics--sights, sounds, scenes; all the fine world of fantasy
lies open to the journeyings of your winged steed.

In like manner train yourself in the use of figurative language. Learn
first to distinguish and then to use its varied forms. _When used with
restraint_, nothing can be more effective than the trope; but once let
extravagance creep in by the window, and power will flee by the door.

All in all, master your images--let not them master you.


1. Give original examples of each kind of reproductive imagination.

2. Build two of these into imaginary incidents for platform use, using
your productive, or creative, imagination.

3. Define (_a_) phantasy; (_b_) vision; (_c_) fantastic; (_d_)
phantasmagoria; (_e_) transmogrify; (_f_) recollection.

4. What is a "figure of speech"?

5. Define and give two examples of each of the following figures of
speech[30]. At least one of the examples under each type would better be
original. (_a_) simile; (_b_) metaphor; (_c_) metonymy; (_d_)
synecdoche; (_e_) apostrophe; (_f_) vision; (_g_) personification; (_h_)
hyperbole; (_i_) irony.

6. (_a_) What is an allegory? (_b_) Name one example. (_c_) How could a
short allegory be used as part of a public address?

7. Write a short fable[31] for use in a speech. Follow either the
ancient form (Ęsop) or the modern (George Ade, Josephine Dodge Daskam).

8. What do you understand by "the historical present?" Illustrate how it
may be used (_ONLY_ occasionally) in a public address.

9. Recall some disturbance on the street, (_a_) Describe it as you would
on the platform; (_b_) imagine what preceded the disturbance; (_c_)
imagine what followed it; (_d_) connect the whole in a terse, dramatic
narration for the platform and deliver it with careful attention to all
that you have learned of the public speaker's art.

10. Do the same with other incidents you have seen or heard of, or read
of in the newspapers.

NOTE: It is hoped that this exercise will be varied and expanded until
the pupil has gained considerable mastery of imaginative narration. (See
chapter on "Narration.")

11. Experiments have proved that the majority of people think most
vividly in terms of visual images. However, some think more readily in
terms of auditory and motor images. It is a good plan to mix all kinds
of images in the course of your address for you will doubtless have all
kinds of hearers. This plan will serve to give variety and strengthen
your effects by appealing to the several senses of each hearer, as well
as interesting many different auditors. For exercise, (_a_) give several
original examples of compound images, and (_b_) construct brief
descriptions of the scenes imagined. For example, the falling of a
bridge in process of building.

12. Read the following observantly:

    The strikers suffered bitter poverty last winter in New York.

    Last winter a woman visiting the East Side of New York City saw
    another woman coming out of a tenement house wringing her hands.
    Upon inquiry the visitor found that a child had fainted in one
    of the apartments. She entered, and saw the child ill and in
    rags, while the father, a striker, was too poor to provide
    medical help. A physician was called and said the child had
    fainted from lack of food. The only food in the home was dried
    fish. The visitor provided groceries for the family and ordered
    the milkman to leave milk for them daily. A month later she
    returned. The father of the family knelt down before her, and
    calling her an angel said that she had saved their lives, for
    the milk she had provided was all the food they had had.

In the two preceding paragraphs we have substantially the same story,
told twice. In the first paragraph we have a fact stated in general
terms. In the second, we have an outline picture of a specific
happening. Now expand this outline into a dramatic recital, drawing
freely upon your imagination.


[Footnote 29: _Inquiries into Human Faculty_.]

[Footnote 30: Consult any good rhetoric. An unabridged dictionary will
also be of help.]

[Footnote 31: For a full discussion of the form see, _The Art of
Story-Writing_, by J. Berg Esenwein and Mary D. Chambers.]



    Boys flying kites haul in their white winged birds;
    You can't do that way when you're flying words.
    "Careful with fire," is good advice we know,
    "Careful with words," is ten times doubly so.
    Thoughts unexpressed many sometimes fall back dead;
    But God Himself can't kill them when they're said.

--WILL CARLETON, _The First Settler's Story_.

The term "vocabulary" has a special as well as a general meaning. True,
_all_ vocabularies are grounded in the everyday words of the language,
out of which grow the special vocabularies, but each such specialized
group possesses a number of words of peculiar value for its own objects.
These words may be used in other vocabularies also, but the fact that
they are suited to a unique order of expression marks them as of special
value to a particular craft or calling.

In this respect the public speaker differs not at all from the poet, the
novelist, the scientist, the traveler. He must add to his everyday
stock, words of value for the public presentation of thought. "A study
of the discourses of effective orators discloses the fact that they have
a fondness for words signifying power, largeness, speed, action, color,
light, and all their opposites. They frequently employ words expressive
of the various emotions. Descriptive words, adjectives used in _fresh_
relations with nouns, and apt epithets, are freely employed. Indeed,
the nature of public speech permits the use of mildly exaggerated words
which, by the time they have reached the hearer's judgment, will leave
only a just impression."[32]

_Form the Book-Note Habit_

To possess a word involves three things: To know its special and broader
meanings, to know its relation to other words, and to be able to use it.
When you see or hear a familiar word used in an unfamiliar sense, jot it
down, look it up, and master it. We have in mind a speaker of superior
attainments who acquired his vocabulary by noting all new words he heard
or read. These he mastered and _put into use_. Soon his vocabulary
became large, varied, and exact. Use a new word accurately five times
and it is yours. Professor Albert E. Hancock says: "An author's
vocabulary is of two kinds, latent and dynamic: latent--those words he
understands; dynamic--those he can readily use. Every intelligent man
_knows_ all the words he needs, but he may not have them all ready for
active service. The problem of literary diction consists in turning the
latent into the dynamic." Your dynamic vocabulary is the one you must
especially cultivate.

In his essay on "A College Magazine" in the volume, _Memories and
Portraits_, Stevenson shows how he rose from imitation to originality in
the use of words. He had particular reference to the formation of his
literary style, but words are the raw materials of style, and his
excellent example may well be followed judiciously by the public
speaker. Words _in their relations_ are vastly more important than words
considered singly.

    Whenever I read a book or a passage that particularly pleased
    me, in which a thing was said or an effect rendered with
    propriety, in which there was either some conspicuous force or
    some happy distinction in the style, I must sit down at once and
    set myself to ape that quality. I was unsuccessful, and I knew
    it; and tried again, and was again unsuccessful, and always
    unsuccessful; but at least in these vain bouts I got some
    practice in rhythm, in harmony, in construction and coördination
    of parts.

    I have thus played the sedulous ape to Hazlitt, to Lamb, to
    Wordsworth, to Sir Thomas Browne, to Defoe, to Hawthorne, to

    That, like it or not, is the way to learn to write; whether I
    have profited or not, that is the way. It was the way Keats
    learned, and there never was a finer temperament for literature
    than Keats'.

    It is the great point of these imitations that there still
    shines beyond the student's reach, his inimitable model. Let him
    try as he please, he is still sure of failure; and it is an old
    and very true saying that failure is the only highroad to

_Form the Reference-Book Habit_

Do not be content with your general knowledge of a word--press your
study until you have mastered its individual shades of meaning and
usage. Mere fluency is sure to become despicable, but accuracy never.
The dictionary contains the crystallized usage of intellectual giants.
No one who would write effectively dare despise its definitions and
discriminations. Think, for example, of the different meanings of
_mantle_, or _model_, or _quantity_. Any late edition of an unabridged
dictionary is good, and is worth making sacrifices to own.

Books of synonyms and antonyms--used cautiously, for there are few
_perfect_ synonyms in any language--will be found of great help.
Consider the shades of meanings among such word-groups as _thief,
peculator, defaulter, embezzler, burglar, yeggman, robber, bandit,
marauder, pirate_, and many more; or the distinctions among _Hebrew,
Jew, Israelite, and Semite_. Remember that no book of synonyms is
trustworthy unless used with a dictionary. "A Thesaurus of the English
Language," by Dr. Francis A. March, is expensive, but full and
authoritative. Of smaller books of synonyms and antonyms there are

Study the connectives of English speech. Fernald's book on this title is
a mine of gems. Unsuspected pitfalls lie in the loose use of _and, or,
for, while_, and a score of tricky little connectives.

Word derivations are rich in suggestiveness. Our English owes so much to
foreign tongues and has changed so much with the centuries that whole
addresses may grow out of a single root-idea hidden away in an ancient
word-origin. Translation, also, is excellent exercise in word-mastery
and consorts well with the study of derivations.

Phrase books that show the origins of familiar expressions will surprise
most of us by showing how carelessly everyday speech is used. Brewer's
"A Dictionary of Phrase, and Fable," Edwards' "Words, Facts, and
Phrases," and Thornton's "An American Glossary," are all good--the last,
an expensive work in three volumes.

A prefix or a suffix may essentially change the force of the stem, as
in _master-ful_ and _master-ly_, _contempt-ible_ and _contempt-uous,
envi-ous_ and _envi-able_. Thus to study words in groups, according to
their stems, prefixes, and suffixes is to gain a mastery over their
shades of meaning, and introduce us to other related words.

_Do not Favor one Set or Kind of Words more than Another_

"Sixty years and more ago, Lord Brougham, addressing the students of the
University of Glasgow, laid down the rule that the native (Anglo-Saxon)
part of our vocabulary was to be favored at the expense of that other
part which has come from the Latin and Greek. The rule was an impossible
one, and Lord Brougham himself never tried seriously to observe it; nor,
in truth, has any great writer made the attempt. Not only is our
language highly composite, but the component words have, in De Quincey's
phrase, 'happily coalesced.' It is easy to jest at words in _-osity_ and
_-ation_, as 'dictionary' words, and the like. But even Lord Brougham
would have found it difficult to dispense with _pomposity_ and

The short, vigorous Anglo-Saxon will always be preferred for passages of
special thrust and force, just as the Latin will continue to furnish us
with flowing and smooth expressions; to mingle all sorts, however, will
give variety--and that is most to be desired.

_Discuss Words With Those Who Know Them_

Since the language of the platform follows closely the diction of
everyday speech, many useful words may be acquired in conversation with
cultivated men, and when such discussion takes the form of disputation
as to the meanings and usages of words, it will prove doubly valuable.
The development of word-power marches with the growth of individuality.

_Search Faithfully for the Right Word_

Books of reference are tripled in value when their owner has a passion
for getting the kernels out of their shells. Ten minutes a day will do
wonders for the nut-cracker. "I am growing so peevish about my writing,"
says Flaubert. "I am like a man whose ear is true, but who plays falsely
on the violin: his fingers refuse to reproduce precisely those sounds of
which he has the inward sense. Then the tears come rolling down from the
poor scraper's eyes and the bow falls from his hand."

The same brilliant Frenchman sent this sound advice to his pupil, Guy de
Maupassant: "Whatever may be the thing which one wishes to say, there is
but one word for expressing it, only one verb to animate it, only one
adjective to qualify it. It is essential to search for this word, for
this verb, for this adjective, until they are discovered, and to be
satisfied with nothing else."

Walter Savage Landor once wrote: "I hate false words, and seek with
care, difficulty, and moroseness those that fit the thing." So did
Sentimental Tommy, as related by James M. Barrie in his novel bearing
his hero's name as a title. No wonder T. Sandys became an author and a

Tommy, with another lad, is writing an essay on "A Day in Church," in
competition for a university scholarship. He gets on finely until he
pauses for lack of a word. For nearly an hour he searches for this
elusive thing, until suddenly he is told that the allotted time is up,
and he has lost! Barrie may tell the rest:

    Essay! It was no more an essay than a twig is a tree, for the
    gowk had stuck in the middle of his second page. Yes, stuck is
    the right expression, as his chagrined teacher had to admit when
    the boy was cross-examined. He had not been "up to some of his
    tricks;" he had stuck, and his explanations, as you will admit,
    merely emphasized his incapacity.

    He had brought himself to public scorn for lack of a word. What
    word? they asked testily; but even now he could not tell. He had
    wanted a Scotch word that would signify how many people were in
    church, and it was on the tip of his tongue, but would come no
    farther. Puckle was nearly the word, but it did not mean so many
    people as he meant. The hour had gone by just like winking; he
    had forgotten all about time while searching his mind for the

       *       *       *       *       *

    The other five [examiners] were furious.... "You little tattie
    doolie," Cathro roared, "were there not a dozen words to wile
    from if you had an ill-will to puckle? What ailed you at manzy,

    "I thought of manzy," replied Tommy, woefully, for he was
    ashamed of himself, "but--but a manzy's a swarm. It would mean
    that the folk in the kirk were buzzing thegither like bees,
    instead of sitting still."

    "Even if it does mean that," said Mr. Duthie, with impatience,
    "what was the need of being so particular? Surely the art of
    essay-writing consists in using the first word that comes and
    hurrying on."

    "That's how I did," said the proud McLauchlan [Tommy's
    successful competitor]....

    "I see," interposed Mr. Gloag, "that McLauchlan speaks of there
    being a mask of people in the church. Mask is a fine Scotch

    "I thought of mask," whimpered Tommy, "but that would mean the
    kirk was crammed, and I just meant it to be middling full."

    "Flow would have done," suggested Mr. Lonimer.

    "Flow's but a handful," said Tommy.

    "Curran, then, you jackanapes!"

    "Curran's no enough."

    Mr. Lorrimer flung up his hands in despair.

    "I wanted something between curran and mask," said Tommy,
    doggedly, yet almost at the crying.

    Mr. Ogilvy, who had been hiding his admiration with difficulty,
    spread a net for him. "You said you wanted a word that meant
    middling full. Well, why did you not say middling full--or fell

    "Yes, why not?" demanded the ministers, unconsciously caught in
    the net.

    "I wanted one word," replied Tommy, unconsciously avoiding it.

    "You jewel!" muttered Mr. Ogilvy under his breath, but Mr.
    Cathro would have banged the boy's head had not the ministers

    "It is so easy, too, to find the right word," said Mr. Gloag.

    "It's no; it's difficult as to hit a squirrel," cried Tommy, and
    again Mr. Ogilvy nodded approval.

       *       *       *       *       *

    And then an odd thing happened. As they were preparing to leave
    the school [Cathro having previously run Tommy out by the neck],
    the door opened a little and there appeared in the aperture the
    face of Tommy, tear-stained but excited. "I ken the word now,"
    he cried, "it came to me a' at once; it is hantle!"

    Mr. Ogilvy ... said in an ecstasy to himself, "He _had_ to think
    of it till he got it--and he got it. The laddie is a genius!"


1. What is the derivation of the word _vocabulary_?

2. Briefly discuss any complete speech given in this volume, with
reference to (_a_) exactness, (_b_) variety, and (_c_) charm, in the use
of words.

3. Give original examples of the kinds of word-studies referred to on
pages 337 and 338.

4. Deliver a short talk on any subject, using at least five words which
have not been previously in your "dynamic" vocabulary.

5. Make a list of the unfamiliar words found in any address you may

6. Deliver a short extemporaneous speech giving your opinions on the
merits and demerits of the use of unusual words in public speaking.

7. Try to find an example of the over-use of unusual words in a speech.

8. Have you used reference books in word studies? If so, state with what

9. Find as many synonyms and antonyms as possible for each of the
following words: Excess, Rare, Severe, Beautiful, Clear, Happy,
Difference, Care, Skillful, Involve, Enmity, Profit, Absurd, Evident,
Faint, Friendly, Harmony, Hatred, Honest, Inherent.


[Footnote 32: _How to Attract and Hold an Audience_, J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 33: A book of synonyms and antonyms is in preparation for this
series, "The Writer's Library."]

[Footnote 34: _Composition and Rhetoric_, J.M. Hart.]



    Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain,
    Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain;
    Awake but one, and lo! what myriads rise!
    Each stamps its image as the other flies!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Hail, memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
    From age to age unnumber'd treasures shine!
    Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
    And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!

--SAMUEL ROGERS, _Pleasures of Memory_.

Many an orator, like Thackeray, has made the best part of his speech to
himself--on the way home from the lecture hall. Presence of mind--it
remained for Mark Twain to observe--is greatly promoted by absence of
body. A hole in the memory is no less a common complaint than a
distressing one.

Henry Ward Beecher was able to deliver one of the world's greatest
addresses at Liverpool because of his excellent memory. In speaking of
the occasion Mr. Beecher said that all the events, arguments and appeals
that he had ever heard or read or written seemed to pass before his mind
as oratorical weapons, and standing there he had but to reach forth his
hand and "seize the weapons as they went smoking by." Ben Jonson could
repeat all he had written. Scaliger memorized the Iliad in three weeks.
Locke says: "Without memory, man is a perpetual infant." Quintilian and
Aristotle regarded it as a measure of genius.

Now all this is very good. We all agree that a reliable memory is an
invaluable possession for the speaker. We never dissent for a moment
when we are solemnly told that his memory should be a storehouse from
which at pleasure he can draw facts, fancies, and illustrations. But can
the memory be trained to act as the warder for all the truths that we
have gained from thinking, reading, and experience? And if so, how? Let
us see.

Twenty years ago a poor immigrant boy, employed as a dish washer in New
York, wandered into the Cooper Union and began to read a copy of Henry
George's "Progress and Poverty." His passion for knowledge was awakened,
and he became a habitual reader. But he found that he was not able to
remember what he read, so he began to train his naturally poor memory
until he became the world's greatest memory expert. This man was the
late Mr. Felix Berol. Mr. Berol could tell the population of any town in