neceffarily, a modulation of voice more roundcd, and bordering more upon mufic, than con verfation 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 matt

and dignified converfation. I muft obferve, at the fame time, that the conftant indulgence of a declamatory manner, is not favourable either to good compofition, or good delivery; and is in hazard of betraying public fpeakers into that monotony of tone and cadence," which is fo generally complained of. Whereas, he who forms the general run of his delivery upon a fpeaking manner, is not likely ever to become difagreeable through monotony. He will have the fame natural variety

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 monotony, in the different kinds of modern public fpeaking, especially in the pulpit. Men departed from nature; and fought to give a beauty or force, as they imagined, to their difcourfe, by substituting certain ftudied mufical tones, in the room of the genuine expreffions of fentiment, which the voice carries in natural difcourfe. Let every public fpeaker guard against this error. Whether he fpeak in a private room, or in a great affembly, let him remember that he still speaks. Follow na-in his tones, which a perfon has in converture; confider how the teaches you to utter any fentiment or feeling of your heart. Imagine a fubject of debate ftarted in converfation among grave and wife men, and yourself bearing 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 moft 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.

fation. Indeed, the perfection of delivery requires both thefe different manners, that of fpeaking with livelinefs and cafe, and that of declaiming with statelinefs and dignity, to be poffefled 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 speaker. 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 pronunciation, which they can never vary. But the capital direction, which ought never to be for

I have faid, Let thefe conversation tones be the foundation of public pronunciation: for, on fome occations, folemn public fpeak-gotten, is, to copy the proper tones for exprefIng requires them to be exalted beyond the ftrain of common difcourfe. In a formal, ftudied oration, the elevation of the ftyle, and the harmony of the fentences, prompt, amort

ling every fentiment from thofe which nature dictates to us, in converfation with others; to fpeak always with her voice; and not to forra to ourselves a fantastic public manner, frum


an abfurd fancy of its being more beautiful | common to all men; and there are alfo certain than a natural one *. peculiaritiesof manner which diftinguith every It now remains to treat of Gesture, or what individual. A public speaker must take that is called Action in public difcourfe. Some manner which is moft natural to himself. For nations animate their words in common con- it is here juft as in tones. It is not the bufiverfation, with many more motions of the body nefs of a fpeaker to form to himself a certain than others do. The French and the Italians fet of motions and geftures, which he thinks are in this refpect, much more fprightly than most becoming and agreeable, and to practile we. But there is no nation, hardly any per- thefe in public, without their having any corfon fo phlegmatic, as not to accompany their refpondence to the manner which is natural words with fome actions and gefticulations, to him in private. His gestures and motions on all occafions, when they are much in car-ought all to carry that kind of expreflion net. It is therefore unnatural in a public which nature has dictated to him; and unless fpeaker, it is inconfiftent with that earneftnefs this be the cafe, it is impoffible, by means of and seriousnefs which he ought to thew in all any ftudy, to avoid their appearing stif and affairs of moment, to remain quite unmoved forced. 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 adinit that there is room in, preffion of meaning, or warmth in his gef- this matter for fome ftudy and art. For many perfons are naturally ungraceful in the motions which they make; and this ungracefulnefs might, in part at leaft, be reformed by application and care. The ftudy of action in public fpeaking, confifts chiefly in guarding against 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 advifed by writers on this fubject, to practife 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 gracefuinefs of their own before a mirror, without corrcéting any of his motions: and one may declaim long enough


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 earneftness, 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 theft looks and gestures are

"Loquere," (fays an author of the last century, who has written a Treatife in Verfe, de Geftu et Voce Oratoris)

➡➡“ Loquere; hoc vitium commune, loquatur
“Ut nemo; at tensâ declamaret omnia voce.
"Tu loquere, ut mus eft hominum; Boat &

latrac ille:

"Ille ululat; rudit hic (fari fi talia dignum eft); "Non bominem vox ulla fonat ratione loquen

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JOANNES LUCAS, de Geftu et Voce,
Lib. II. Paris 1975.


good tafte they can truft, will be found of The judgment of a friend, whofe much greater advantage to beginners, than any thirrer they can ufe. With regard to parti cularzules concerning action and getticulation Quintilian has delivered a great many, in the last chapter of the 11th Book of his Inftitutions,

ftitutions; and all the modern writers on this 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*.

raifing one's felf above that timid and bashful 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 saying 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 feveral defects, yet is likely to plcafe; because it shows us a man; becaufe it has the appearance of coming from the

I fhall only add further on this head, that in order to fucceed well in delivery, nothing is more neceffary than for a speaker to guard against a certain flutter of fpirits, which is peculiarly incident to thofe who begin to fpeak in public. He muft endeavour above all things to be recollected, and matter of himself. For this end, he will find nothing of more ufe to him, than to ftudy 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 please moft, when pleating 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 requisite 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 corresponding 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 fullest and freest command of all his motions; graceful; for which reason, motions made with any inclination which is ufed, 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 easily round the audience. motions should be likewife avoided. Earnestness In the motions made with the hands, confifts the can be fully expreffed without them. Shakefchief part of gefture in fpeaking. The Ancientspeare's directions on this head, are full of good Condemned all motions performed by the left hand fenfe; "ufe all gently," fays he," and in the alone; but I am not fenfible, that thefe are always "very torrent and tempeft of paffion, acquire offentive, though it is natural for the right hand to temperance that may give it fmoothness."



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 should not be then employing his attention about his manner, or thinking of his tones and his geftures. If he be fo employed, study 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 fuggest 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 to as to amufe an audience, is a matter not very difficult.. Bus though fome 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 speaking 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, muft concur for carrying this to perfection! Aftrong, 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 fubject, it may be of use to fuggeft is, 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 highest ing, and the most neceffary ftudies for that purpofe.

To be an eloquent fpeaker, in the proper fense of the word, is far from being either a

clafs is, perhaps, fmaller than the number of poets who are foremost in poetic fame; but the ftudy of oratory has this advantage above that of poety, that, in poetry, one must be an


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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 highest in the order of means, is perfonal character and

Non homines, non Dî, non conceffêre co- difpofition. In order to be a truly eloquent


In Eloquence this does not hold. There, one may poffefs a moderate ftation 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 moft to form an orator, is a trifling enquiry. In all attainments whatever, nature must be the

or perfuafive fpeaker, 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


To find any fuch connection between virtue and one of the highest 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, difinterestis requifite for bringing thofe feeds to perfec-ednefs, candour, and other good moral qualition. Nature mult always have done fome-ties of the perfon 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 ftudy 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 your of that fide which he efpoufes. Whereas if though poetry be capable of receiving affittance we entertain a fufpicion of craft and difinfrom critical art, yet a poet, 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 style, 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 fpeaker pleasure, when we think favourably of its fome fubject of importance, the opinion we before our eyes, addreffing us perfonally on entertain of his character, must have a much more powerful effect.

affitances derived from the labour of others.

After thefe preliminary obfervations, let us proceed to the main defign of this lecture;

*For God and man, and lettered poft denies, That poets ever are of middling fize. FRANCIS.

But, left it thould be faid, that this relates only to the character of virtue, which one


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