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neceffarily, a modulation of voice more roundcd, and bordering more upon music, than converfation admits. This gives rife to what is called the Declaiming Manner. But though this mode of pronunciation runs confiderably beyond ordinary difcourfe, yet ftill it muit
ner? Nothing can be more abfurd than to imagine, that as foon as one mounts a pulpit, or rifes in a public affembly, he is inftantly to Jay afide the voice with which he expreffes himself in private ; to affume a new, ftudied tone, and a cadence altogether foreign to his natural manner. This has vitiated all deli-have, for its bafis, the natural tones of grave very this has given rife to cant and tedious and dignified converfation. I muft obferve, monotony, in the different kinds of modern at the fame time, that the conftant indulgence public fpeaking, efpecially in the pulpit. Men of a declamatory manner, is not favourable departed from nature; and fought to give a (either to good compofition, or good delivery; beauty or force, as they imagined, to their dif- and is in hazard of betraying public speakers courfe, by fubftituting certain ftudied mufical into that monotony of tone and cadence, tones, in the room of the genuine expreffions which is fo generally complained of. Whereof fentiment, which the voice carries in natu- as, he who forms the general run of his deral difcourfe. Let every public fpeaker guard livery upon a fpeaking manner, is not likely against this error. Whether he fpeak in a ever to become difagreeable through mono- . private room, or in a great affembly, let him tony. He will have the fame natural variety remember that he still speaks. Follow na- in his tones, which a perfon has in converture; confider how the teaches you to utter fation. Indeed, the perfection of delivery any fentiment or feeling of your heart. Ima-requires both thefe different manners, that of gine a fubject of debate started in converfation fpeaking with livelinefs and cafe, and that of among grave and wife men, and yourich bear-declaiming with ftatelinefs and dignity, to be ing a thare in it. Think after what manner, with what tones and inflexions of voice, you would on fuch an occafion exprefs yourfelf, when you were most in earnest, and fought most to be listened to. Carry thefe with you to the bar, to the pulpit, or to any public affembly, let thefe be the foundation of your manner of pronouncing there; and you will take the fureft method of rendering your delivery both agreeable and perfuafive.
poffeffed by one man; and to be employed by him, according as the different parts of his difcourfe require either the one or the other. This is a perfection which is not attained by many; the greateft part of public speakers allowing their delivery to be formed altogether accidentally, according as fome turn of voice appears to them most beautiful, or fome artificial model has caught their fancy; and acquiring, by this means, a habit of pronunI have faid, Let these conversation tones ciation, which they can never vary. But the be the foundation of public pronunciation : capital direction, which ought never to be forfor, on fome occations, folemn public fpeak-gotten, is, to copy the proper tones for exprefing requires them to be exalted beyond thefing every fentiment from thofe which nature frain of cominon difcourfe. In à formal, dictates to us, in conversation with others; to studied oration, the elevation of the ftyle, and speak always with her voice; and not to forma the harmony of the fentences, prompt, aimoit to ourselves a fantastic public manner, from
an abfurd fancy of its being more beautiful
common to all men; and there are alfo certain peculiaritiesof manner which diftinguith every individual. A public speaker must take that manner which is moft natural to himself. For it is here just as in tones. It is not the bufinefs of a fpeaker to form to himself a certain fet of motions and geftures, which he thinks moft becoming and agreeable, and to practise thefe in public, without their having any correfpondence to the manner which is natural to him in private. His gestures and motions ear-ought all to carry that kind of expreflion which nature has dictated to him; and unless this be the cafe, it is impoffible, by means of any ftudy, to avoid their appearing ftif and forcéd.
It now remains to treat of Gefture, or what is called Action in public difcourfe. Some nations animate their words in common converfation, with many more motions of the body than others do. The French and the Italians are in this refpect, much more fprightly than we. But there is no nation, hardly any perfon fo phlegmatic, as not to accompany their words with fome actions and gefticulations, on all occafions, when they are much in neft. It is therefore unnatural in a public fpeaker, it is inconfiftent with that earneftnefs and seriousness which he ought to fhew in all affairs of moment, to remain quite unmoved in his outward appearance; and to let the However, although nature must be the words drop from his mouth, without any ex-ground-work, I admit that there is room in, preffion of meaning, or warmth in his gef- this matter for fome study and art. For many perfons are naturally ungraceful in the motions which they make; and this ungracefulnefs might, in part at least, be reformed by application and care. The ftudy of action in public speaking, confifts chiefly in guarding againft awkward and difagreeable motions, and in learning to perform fuch as are natural tothe fpeaker, in the moft becoming manner. For this end, has been advised by writers on this fubject, to practise before a mirror, where one may fee, and judge of his own gestures. But I am afraid, perfons are not always the beft judges of the gracefulness of their own motions: and one may declaim long enough before a mirror, without correcting any of his
The fundamental rule as to propriety of action, is undoubtedly the fame with what I gave as to propriety of tone. Attend to the looks and geftures, in which earnestnefs, indignation, compaffion, or any other emotion, difcovers itfelf to moft advantage in the common intercourfe of men; and let thefe be your model. Some of thefe looks and geftures are
"Loquere," (fays an author of the laft
——“ Loquere; hoc vitium commune, loquatur
Ille ululat; rudit hic (fari fi talia dignum eft);
"Non hominem vox ulla fonat ratione loquen
JOANNES LUCAS, de Geftu et Voce,
good tafte they can truft, will be found of The judgment of a friend, whose mirror they can ufe. With regard to parti much greater advantage to beginners, than any cularzules concerning action and getticulation Quintilian has delivered a great many, in the laft chapter of the 11th Book of his In
ftitutions; and all the modern writers on this | raifing one's felf above that timid and bashful
fubject have done little elfe but tranflate them. I am not of opinion, that fuch rules, delivered either by the voice or on paper, can be of much ufe, unless perfons faw them exemplifed before their eyes*.
regard to an audience, which is fo ready to difconcert a fpeaker, both as to what he is to fay, and as to his manner of faying it.
I cannot conclude, without an earnest admonition to guard against all affectation, which is the certain ruin of good delivery. Let your manner, whatever it is, be your own; neither imitated from another, nor affumed upon fome imaginary model, which is unnatural to you. Whatever is native, even though accompanied with several defects, yet is likely to pleafe; because it shows us a man; because it has the appearance of coming from the
I fhall only add further on this head, that in order to fuccced well in delivery, nothing is more neceffary than for a speaker to guard against a certain flutter of fpirits, which is peculiarly incident to those who begin to fpeak in public. He muft endeavour above all things to be recollected, and matter of bimfelf. For this end, he will find nothing of more use to him, than to study to become wholly en-heart. Whereas a delivery attended with gaged in his fubject; to be poffeffed with a fenfe of its importance or ferioufnefs; to be concerned much more to perfuade than to pleafe. He will generally pleafe moft, when pleafing is not his fole nor chief aim. This is the only rational and proper method of
feveral acquired graces and beauties, if it be not eafy and free, if it betray the marks of art and affectation, never fails to difguft. To attain any extremely correct, and perfectly graceful delivery, is what few can expect; fo many natural talents being requifite to concur
* The few following hints only I shall adven-be more frequently employed. Warm emotions ture to throw out, in cafe they may be of any fer-demand the motion of both hands correfponding vice. When fpeaking in public, one should ftudy together. But whether one gefticulates with one to preferve as much dignity as poffible in the or with both hands, it is an important rule, that whole attitude of the body. An erect pofture is all his motions should be free and cafy. Narrow generally to be chofen: standing firm, fo as to have and straightened movements are generally unthe fulleft and freest command of all his motions; graceful; for which reafon, motions made with any inclination which is used, should be forwards the hands are directed to proceed from the shoultowards the hearers, which is a natural expreffion der, rather than from the elbow, Perpendicular of earnestness. As for the countenance, the chief movements too with the hands, that is, in the rule is, that it should correspond with the nature ftraight line up and down, which Shakespeare,in of the difcourfe, and when no particular emotion | Hamlet, calls, fawing the air with the hand," is expreffed, a ferious and manly look is always are feldom good. Oblique motions are, in genethe best. The eyes should never be fixed clofe on ral, the moft graceful. Too fudden and nimble any one object, but move eafily round the audience. motions should be likewife avoided. Earneft nefs In the motions made with the hands, confifts the can be fully expreffed without them. Shakefchief part of gefture in fpeaking. The Ancients peare's directions on this head, are full of good Condemned all motions performed by the left hand fente; "ufe all gently," fays he, " and in the alone; but I am not fenfible, that there are always very torrent and tempeft of paffion, acquire a offentive,though it is natural for the right hand to ¦ “ temperance that may give it smoothneis.
in forming it. But to attain, what as to the effect is very little inferior, a forcible and perfuafive manner, is within the power of moft perfons: if they will only unlearn falfe and corrupt habits; if they will allow themselves to follow nature, and will speak in public, as they do in private, when they speak in earneft, and from the heart. If one has naturally any grofs defects in his voice or geftures, he begins at the wrong end, if he attempts at reforming them only when he is to speak in public: he fhould begin with rectifying them in his private manner of speaking; and then carry to the public the right habit he has formed. For when a fpeaker is engaged in a public difcourfe, he fhould not be then employing his attention about his manner, or thinking of his tones and his geftures. If he be fo employed, ftudy and affectation will appear. He ought to be then quite in earneft: wholly occupied with his fubject and his fentiments; leaving nature, and previously formed habits, to prompt and fuggeft his manner of delivery.
Means of improving in Eloquence.
common or an eafy attainment. Indeed, to compofe a florid harangue on fome popular topic, and to deliver it fo as to amufe an audience, is a matter not very difficult.. But though some praise be due to this, yet the idea, which I have endeavoured to give of eloquence, is much higher. It is a great exertion of the human powers. It is the art of being perfuafive and commanding; the art, not of pleafing the fancy merely, but of fpeaking both to the understanding and to the heart; of interefting the hearers in fuch a degree, as to feize and carry them along with us; and to leave them with a deep and strong impreffion of what they have heard. How many talents, natural and acquired, must concur for carrying this to perfection! A ftrong, lively, and warm imagination; quick fentibility of heart, joined with folid judgment, good fenfe, and prefence of mind; all improved by great and long attention to ftyle and compofition: and fupported alfo by the exterior, yet important qualifications, of a graceful manner, a prefence not ungainly, and a full and tuneable voice. How little reafon to wonder, that a perfect and accomplished orator fhould be one of the characters that is most rarely to be found!
Let us not defpair, however. Between mediocrity and perfection there is a very wide I have now treated fully of the different interval. There are many intermediate spaces, kinds of public speaking, of the compofition, which may be filled up with honour; and the and of the delivery of a difcourfe. Before more rare and difficult that complete perfection I finish the subject, it may be of ufe to fuggeftis, the greater is the honour of approaching to fome things concerning the propereft means it, though we do not fully attain it. The of improvement in the art of public fpeak-number of orators who ftand in the higheft ing, and the most necessary studies for that purpofe.
To be an eloquent fpeaker, in the proper fenfe of the word, is far from being either a
clafs is, perhaps, smaller than the number of poets who are foremost in poetic fame; but the ftudy of oratory has this advantage above that of poet.y, that, in poetry, one must be an
eminently good performer, or he is not fup- to treat of the means to be used for improveportable; ment in eloquence.
-Mediocribus effe poëtis
In the first place, what ftands higheft in the order of means, is perfonal character and
Non homines, non Dî, non conceffere co- difpofition. In order to be a truly eloquent
In Eloquence this does not hold. There, one may poffefs a moderate station with dignity. Eloquence admits of a great many different forms; plain and fimple, as well as high and pathetic; and a genius that cannot reach the latter, may thine with much reputation and
ufefulness in the former.
Whether nature or art contribute most to form an orator, is a trifling enquiry. In all attainments whatever, nature must be the
or perfuafive speaker, nothing is more neceffary than to be a virtuous man. This was a favourite pofition among the ancient rhetoricians: "Non poffe oratorem effe nifi virum "bonum." To find any fuch connection between virtue and one of the higheft liberal arts, mufe give pleasure; and it can, I think, be clearly fhewn, that this is not a mere topic of declamation, but that the connection here alledged, is undoubtedly found in truth and reafon.
For, confider firft, Whether any thing conprime agent. She muft beftow the original tributes more to perfuafion, than the opinion talents. She muft fow the feeds; but culture which we entertain of the probity, difintereftis requifite for bringing thofe feeds to perfec-ednefs, candour, and other good moral qualition. Nature must always have done fone-ties of the person who endeavours to perfuade? what; but a great deal will always be left to Thefe give weight and force to every thing be done by art. This is certain, that study which he utters; nay, they add a beauty to and difcipline are more neceifary for the im- it; they difpofe us to liften with attention and provement of natural genius in oratory, than pleafure; and create a fecret partiality in fathey are in poetry. What I mean is, that vour of that fide which he efpoufes. Whereas though poetry be capable of receiving affittance if we entertain a fufpicion of craft and difinfrom critical art, yet a poct, without any aid genuity, of a corrupt, or a bafe mind. in the from art, by the force of genius alone, can fpeaker, his eloquence lofes all its real effect. rife higher than a public speaker can do, who it may entertain and amufe; but it is viewed has never given attention to the rules of ftyle, as artifice, as trick, as the play only of competition, and delivery. Homer formed fpeech; and, viewed in this light, whom can himfelf; Demofthenes and Cicero were formed it perfuade? We even read a book with more by the help of much labour, and of many author; but when we have the living speaker pleasure, when we think favourably of its affittances derived from the labour of others. fome fubject of importance, the opinion we before our eyes, addreffing us perfonally on entertain of his character, mat have a much more powerful effect.
After thefe preliminary obfervations, let us proceed to the main defign of this lecture;
For God and man, and lettered poft denies,
But, left it thould be faid, that this relates only to the character of virtue, which one