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breast, even the rudest ; you will touch them simply by the force of sympathy. The just and the right will bring down applause, even from those who seldom do right or practise justice. Generous sentiments will be welcomed with hearty cheers ; righteous indignation will make the most sluggish bosom heave, and the dullest eye flash. If
If you doubt this, go to any public assembly and mark what most wins the ear and stirs the heart. Enter a theatre, and note what the galleries are the first to perceive and the heartiest to applaud. Not the wit, , nor the wisdom, nor the loftiest flights of poetry; but the generous sentiment, the noble deed, the true word, the honest indignation. Think of this when
your audience cold and unsympathising. Be then assured that the fault is in yourself ; that you have not measured them aright; that they are not of intelligence sufficiently large and lofty for the height of your great argument. But bethink you also that they are men, and, if they have not minds, they assuredly have hearts. Cease to talk to the intellect and appeal to the feelings, and you will certainly succeed-if to succeed be
your ambition. And that is the purpose of speaking. The object of oratory is to move your audience. If you desire to persuade the distant or the future, you appeal to them • through the
and the printing press. after both effects, you will probably fail in both, for the manner of address is different. You will never carry an audience with you by a spoken essay ; you will never captivate a reader by a printed oration. The utmost that can be said of a recited discourse is, “How
clever! The utmost you can say of an oration you read is,
How that would have moved me if I had heard it!"
If you strive
Have, then, these maxims ever before you :
That the one purpose of oratory is to persuade your audience.
That an appeal to the sentiments and feelings of a mised audience is always more effective than an appeal to their reason.
That to kindle emotions in your hearers you must yourself be moved.
But you must not begin your practice of written composition by writing speeches. Begin with a plain narrative in the plainest words. Eschew fine writing. Do not think it necessary to adopt a new language because you have
you. The fit words will come when you have clear thoughts and they have learned to flow freely. Take courage-and it does require some courage at first—to call a spade by its proper name, "a spade ; that name will give a more correct idea of the thing you wished to say than any possible periphrasis. By way of beginning, relate some incident you may have witnessed ; resolve to describe it precisely as you saw it, and as you would have told it to a friend in the street, with no more effort as to the manner of telling it. You will be surprised to find how difficult this is.
Nevertheless go on ; say something. Do it as well as you can. Having done it, read it aloud. You will doubtless be ashamed of the senseless jumble. But you may spare your blushes ; you have failed in common with many of unquestioned capacity. In truth, the thing you have been striving to do is the most difficult achievement in composition-the last to which experience attains. To say what you have to say in few but simple words is the highest accomplishment of the art. Be not therefore disheartened; correct the work you have done ; or, better still, if you have a practised friend, ask him to go through it with you, point out your faults, and make you correct it in his presence, correction upon correction, until the work assumes a decent shape. And in the performance of this process, write each improved edition below the former one, so that you may compare the last with the first, and any one with any other, and trace the march of improvement and learn the faults to be avoided.
From plain narrative proceed to essay, to argument, to declamation, to poetry—very necessary to accustom you to give the glow of colour to your thoughts and music to your words. It matters not that your prose and your poetry are equally unfit for publication ; that is not your object. Think not of it as such, but solely as a lesson which you may thrust into the fire as soon as it is finished. Indeed, better that you do so, and then it will never cause you to be put to shame through the vanity of appearing in print with them. Write as many lines to Celia and Delia as you please; the more of them the better for your education in oratory; but have the courage to burn them before the ink is dry. At last, when you are well practised, when you can write with tolerable fluency and correctness, with some thoughts in what you write,-not stifled in a cloud of fine words, or disguised in roundabout phrases, or the nouns buried beneath the adjectives,—begin to write imaginary speeches in a modest way.
To do this rightly you must surround yourself with an ideal audience, and you may further become, in fancy, any orator of fame; or, what is better, imagine yourself an orator, winning the ears and moving the hearts of an excited and admiring multitude. Choose for your theme some topic of the day that may
have interested you, and upon which you have feelings, and
, perhaps believe that you have decided opinions, large and liberal. Before you begin to write, close your eyes, not to go to sleep, but the better to bring the picture before the eye of the mind, and then think what you would say to charm such an audience as your fancy has conjured up. You will experience a rush of fine thoughts and eloquent words. Seize your pen instantly, and set them down. Why do you pause before half-a-dozen words are inscribed, -bite your pen,-write another word or two,-pause again,—draw your pen through the writing, write another word, erase that—and then close your eyes and address yourself again to thought ! Wherefore are not the thoughts that came so quickly before you began to write as quickly caught and fixed upon the paper ; and where are the words that then flowed so richly? Ah! when you come to put them into shape, you learn how merely fanciful they were ; how unsubstantial the ideas, how chaotic the language ! It was to teach you this truth that you were recommended to write. It is the surest means of learning the lesson of your incapacity, and it is at the same time its best remedy. The first step is now taken, and a most important one it is. You have learned that an ordinary array of thoughts clothed in appropriate language is not attained without diligent study, long labour, and much practice. The path is now cleared of the obstruction of self-confidence; you know your weakness, and what you have really to acquire, and therefore you are in a condition to begin the work of self-teaching. You will commence with an attempt to write a speech.
THE FIRST LESSON-WRITING A SPEECH.
Do not be discouraged by the difficulties : all that is worth having is difficult to be pursued at first. In despite of pauses, pen-bitings and obliterations, still, I say, persevere. Every successive sentence will be easier to compose than was its predecessor. Yet, I repeat again and again, remember that you must have something to say. Be assured that you have really a distinct and definite conception in your mind of an idea which you desire to convey to other minds.
So long as you are merely thinking, you cannot be sure that your thought is clear. Is it an argument,-often you jump at the conclusion without regarding the intermediate steps; your sentiments are still more frequently but indistinct emotions, which you mistake for thoughts ; and the imperfections in your narrative do not force themselves upon your attention until you are compelled to put it into shape. Hence, at the beginning, it is necessary that you should test yourself by trial in private, before you risk the chance of learning your defects by a public failure. The best gauge of your power to think