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name is given to that manner, you must accept it without shame, or resign the objects you are seeking. But though the name of “Mob Orator” is of ill repute, the evil is in name only ; there is nothing in the character necessarily dishonourable, or degrading. The art is an honest art, provided only that it be not applied to dishonest ends. No man has cause to be ashamed of swaying the minds of his fellow-men, even though called “mob.” Persuasion is as permissible an instrument as argument, and an appeal to the feelings as an address to the reason. If the utterance of sentiment and emotion is not so lofty an exercise of the intellect as the putting forth of logic, there is in it nothing degrading, either to the mind that speaks or to the ear that listens. It is simply an adaptation of means to the end.

Understand me, that I use the word “mob” only for brevity's sake, and because I can find no other word that so nearly expresses my meaning. But you must not read it in quite the popular sense of it. As commonly used, it implies a disorderly assembly: I use it as describing a miscellaneous gathering of all classes, but in which the lower classes predominate. The tone of such a meeting is therefore necessarily given by the most numerous section of it; and although the most cultivated minds leaven it more or less, according to the proportion they bear to the whole crowd, the general character of the mass will always be caught from the character of the predominant class.

Here it is that you may witness the most striking proofs of the power of sympathy. No observant and reflecting man can doubt the presence and potency of this influence of mind upon mind, operating through some unknown medium within certain undefined limits. The

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proofs are rife in the records of the past, and may be seen around us continually. It is an influence to which,

appears to me, sufficient importance has not been given by historians or philosophers, and its presence would probably be found to solve many problems otherwise inexplicable. That influence seems to be exercised by mere contact, without communication through the five senses, and to be multiplied by numbers, so that the emotions of all are imparted to each. This would explain the entire series of those perplexing phenomena which are seen in popular phrenzies, delusions and manias, and of which a panic will offer the most intelligible explanation. It is a fact that fear is thus communicated by some imperceptible influence. An incident that would not cause a nerve of one man to quiver, will make ten men turn pale, annihilate the courage of twenty men, cause a hundred men to run away, and deprive a thousand men of reason. What is this, but fear operating by multiplication of fear? The small fright felt by each influences all the rest by sympathy and the result is the accumulated fear of the entire mass imparting itself to each one and causing the terror that is not the less real because it is unfounded. Precisely the same operation that causes panic is ever at work in all mixed assemblies, influencing them by other emotions, and so great is it, that even the most powerful intellects, habitually under the sway of reason, find it difficult to be resisted.

I have enlarged upon this subject because the knowledge of it will conduce greatly to success upon the platform. This fact is the foundation of mob-oratory ; you will not sway a mixed assembly, unless you take into account that power of sympathy. You will, I hope,

clearly understand what I mean by it when the term is here used.

What, then, is the character of the assembly thus strangely influenced ?

In the first place, it is almost wholly impulsive. It is governed entirely by its feelings. Reason has scarcely a perceptible control over it. Argument, such as the trained intellect recognises and obeys, is of no avail.

Consequently, you must address yourself to its emotions. What is their character ?

To the honour of human nature be it said, that the emotions of a multitude of men in masses—are almost always right, as their judgment is almost always wrong. Even if they fall into wrong acts, these are usually the results of right feelings. Some generous or noble sentiment will be found to underlie emotions that bear the aspect of malevolence, and to be the parent of passions that are demoniacal in their issues.

It has been noticed in the penny theatres, frequented by the population that feeds our gaols, that a noble, a generous, or an honest sentiment never fails to evoke a burst of applause. Vice receives no honour even from the vicious, who cheer the virtue they will not practise. A play that did not end with the punishment of vice and the reward of virtue would be hooted from the boards patronised by the criminal class !

A mob has a large measure of self-esteem-as if proud of the power of numbers. The humblest person feels his self-importance swell by association; he is not conscious of his individual insignificance in the crowd.

An English mob possesses, to a marked degree, the English sense of humour. It is readily tickled to laughter, and often its swelling wrath may be turned

for one

aside by a judicious jest. But it is by humour, not by wit, that a mob is moved. The keenest wit would be unappreciated, because it is not understood. Humour never fails.

A mob is usually good-tempered, perhaps always so, save where the very object of the meeting is to give expression to evil emotions previously engendered. Beware, then, how you run counter to the passion of the moment. If

you would avert it, you must fall in with it, that you may guide it. Admit the grievance, acknowledge the justice of that indignation, but suggest some other redress. Perfect good-temper on your part will go far to ensure good-temper on the part of your audience. Let no provocation induce you moment to lose your temper. Meet hootings with a smile and parry abuse with a jest; if there is disturbance, be calm and composed, fold your arms, and await patiently the return of order, without the slightest expression of vexation or alarm. Soon you will find the majority of the meeting enlisted in your support and compelling the disorderly minority to silence or expulsion. I have never known this to fail, even amid the tempest that usually rages around the hustings at an election.

If there is a show of violence, make no show of fear. A mob is very cowardly ; it is wholly wanting in moral courage, and it can boast but of little physical courage, because it has no cohesion or mutual reliance. Happily, the multiplication of emotion, which makes its passions so formidable, does not extend to its acts. It wants the elements for action : it has no cohesion, no organisation, no mutual reliance ; it is disintegrated, and each individual atom of which it is composed is compelled to look


only to himself, not being assured whether his neighbours will not desert him in his need. A firm front, a bold eye, a brave bearing on your part, not only strike a kind of awe into the offenders, but certainly command the respect of the many, who feel a strong sympathy with them wherever shown, and will enlist a support that will effectually protect you from the threatened violence. They will even shame the furious from their intent. I have seen the mob drop the stones they had lifted to throw, and greet with an enthusiastic cheer the man whom they had failed to terrify.

This being the characteristic of an English mob, such as you will have to encounter at political gatherings, and especially at elections, you will readily learn how to deal with it.

The inexperienced imagine that a mob will prefer an orator who descends to its own level, and talks to it after its own fashion. This is a grave mistake. A mob likes best the speaker who stands above his audience, and keeps above them. To talk down to them is condescension, than which nothing is more obnoxious. The loftier the orator the more gratifying to the assembly is his deference to them. Moreover, an English mob has the English love of aristocracy: as a mob they do not relish orators of their own class; they prefer to listen to a gentleman, and if he bears a title, so much the more is he welcome. Successful mob-oratory, therefore, by

, no means implies vulgarity, or coarseness of speech or of manner. On the contrary, put on your grandest manner, and speak in your loftiest style ; but with this proviso, that your language is not too fine. In the progress of these epistles I have had such frequent occasion to urge upon you the avoidance of learned language, and

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