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growth of that popular intelligence which is the only element in which the noblest eloquence is nurtured. Rhetoricians were banished from the country as late as the year of the city 592. A few years subsequent to this period, the study of Oratory was introduced from Athens ; and it at length found a zealous disciple and a consummate master in Cicero, whose fame is second only to that of his Athenian predecessor. The main causes to which the extraordinary perfection of ancient Oratory is to be ascribed are the great pains bestowed on the education of the young in this most difficult art, and the practice among speakers of preparing nearly all their finest orations before delivery.
In modern times, Oratory has not been cultivated with so much care as among the ancients. The diffusion of opinions and arguments by means of the Press has, perhaps, contributed in some degree to its neglect. A speaker is now mainly known to the public through the Press, and it is often more important to him to be read than heard. Still, the power of Oratory in republican countries must always be immense, and the importance of its cultivation must be proportionate. We see it flourish or decay according to the degree of freedom among the people, and it is a bad sign for a republic when Oratory is slighted or undervalued. It was not till France began to throw off the trammels of her monarchical system, that she produced a Mirabeau. Her parliamentary annals will show that the eloquence of her National Assembly has been in proportion to the predominance of the element of constitutional freedom in her government.
The struggle against incipient despotism in England, which resulted in the execution of King Charles the First, was productive of some great bursts of eloquence from Vane, Pym, Eliot, and other champions of popular rights ; whose speeches, however, have been strangely slighted by the majority of English critics. The latter part of the eighteenth century was illumined by the genius of Chatham, Pitt, Burke, Fox, Sheridan, and Grattan ; all of whom were roused to some of their most brilliant efforts by the arbitrary course of government towards our ancestors of the American colonies. Ireland is well represented in this immortal list. Her sons have ever displayed a true genius for Oratory.
The little opportunity afforded for the cultivation of forensic or senatorial eloquence by the different governments of Germany has almost entirely checked its growth in that country ; and we may say the same of Italy, Spain and Portugal, and most of the other countries of Europe. To the pulpit Oratory of France, the illustrious names of Bossuet, Bourdaloue and Massillon, have given enduring celebrity ; and in forensic and senatorial eloquence, France has not been surpassed by any modern nation. But it is only in her intervals of freedom that her senatorial eloquence reaches its high note.
The growth of eloquence in the United States has been such as to inspire the hope that the highest triumphs of Oratory are here to be achieved. Already we have produced at least two orators, Patrick Henry and Daniel Webster, to whom none, since Demosthenes, in the authority, majesty and amplitude, of their eloquence, can be pronounced superior. În proportion to the extent of our cultivation of Oratory as an art worthy our entire devotion, must be our success in enriching it with new and precious contributions. And of the power of a noble Oratory, beyond its immediate circle of hearers, who can doubt? “Who doubts?” asks Mr. Webster, “ that, in our own struggle for freedom and independence, the majestic eloquence of Chatham, the profound reasoning of Burke, the burning satire and irony of Barré, had influence on our fortunes in America ? They tended to diminish the confidence of the British ministry in their hopes to subject us. There was not a reading man who did not struggle more boldly for his rights when those exhilarating sounds, uttered in the two houses of Parliament, reached him from across the seas."
SUCCESS IN ORATORY,
For the attainment of the highest and most beneficent triumphs of the orator, no degree of labor can be regarded as idly bestowed. Attention, energy of will, daily practice, are indispensable to success in this high art. The author of " Self-Formation” remarks: “Suppose a man, by dint of med. itation on Oratory, and by his consequent conviction of its importance, to have wrought himself up to an energy of will respecting it, - this is the life and soul of his enterprise. To carry this energy into act, he should begin with a few sentences from any speech or sermon ; he should commit them thoroughly, work their spirit into his mind, and then proceed to evolve that spirit by recitation. Let him assume the person of the original speaker,– put himself in his place, to all intents and purposes. Let him utter every sentence, and every considerable member of it, - if it be a jointed one,- - distinctly, sustainedly, and unrespiringly ; suiting, of course, everywhere his tone and emphasis to the spirit of the composition. Let him do this till the exercise shall have become a habit, as it were, a second nature, till it shall seem unnatural to him to do otherwise, and he will then have laid his corner-stone."
Quintilian tells us that it is the good man only who can become a great orator. Eloquence, the selectest boon which Heaven has bestowed on man, can never ally itself, in its highest moods, with vice. The speaker must be himself thoroughly sincere, in order to produce a conviction of his sincerity in the minds of others. His own sympathies must be warm and genial, if he would reach and quicken those of his hearers. Would he denounce oppression? His own heart must be free from every quality that contributes to make the tyrant. Would he invoke mercy in behalf of a client? He must himself be humane, generous and forgiving. Would he lash the guilty ? His own life and character must present no weak points, to which the guilty may point in derision. And not only the great orator, but the pupil who would fittingly interpret the great orator, and declaim what has fallen from his lips, must aim at similar qualifications of mind and heart.
DIVISIONS OF ORATORY.
The Greeks divided discourses according to their contents, as relating to precept, manners, and feelings ; and as therefore intended to instruct, to please and to move. But, as various styles may oftentimes be introduced into the same discourse, it is difficult to make a strictly accurate classification. The modern division, into the eloquence of the Pulpit, the Bar, and the Senate, is hardly more convenient and comprehensive.
Oratory comprehends the four following divisions : invention, disposition, elocution, and delivery. The first has reference to the character of the sentiments employed ; the second, to their arrangement, and the diction in which they are clothed; the third and fourth, to the utterance and action with which they are communicated to the hearer. It is the province of rhetoric to give rules for the invention and disposition of a discourse. It is with the latter two divisions of Oratory that we have to deal in the present treatise.
II. ELOCUTION. ELOCUTION is that pronunciation which is given to words when they are arranged into sentences, and form discourse. It includes the tones of voice, the utterance, and enunciation of the iker, with the proper accompaniments of countenance and gesture. The art of elocution may therefore be defined to be that system of rules which teaches us to pronounce written or extemporaneous composition with justness, energy, variety and ease ; and, agreeably to this definition, good reading or speaking may be considered as that species of delivery which not only expresses the sense of the words so as to be barely understood, but at the same time gives them all the force, beauty and variety, of which they are susceptible.
ELOCUTION AMONG THE ANCIENTS.
The Greeks and Romans paid great attention to the study of elocution. They distinguished the different qualities of the voice by such terms as hard, smooth, sharp, clear, hoarse, full, slender, flowing, flexible, shrill, and rigid. They were sensible to the alternations of heavy and light in syllabic utterance ; they knew the time of the voice, and regarded its quantities in pronunciation ; they gave to loud and soft appropriate places in speech ; they perceived the existence of pitch, or variation of high and low; and noted further that the rise and fall in the pronunciation of individual syllables are made hy a concrete or continuous slide of the voice, as distinguished from the discrete notes produced on musical instruments. They designated the pitch of vocal sounds by the term accent ; making three kinds of accents, the acute ((), the grave (), and the circumflex(^), which signified severally the rise, the fall, and the turn of the voice, or union of acute and grave on the same syllable. •
MODERN THEORIES OF ELOCUTION.
THE MEASURE OF SPEECH.
For the modern additions to elocutionary analysis, we are indebted mainly to the labors of Steele, Walker, and Dr. James Rush of Philadelphia.
The measure of speech is elaborately explained by Mr. Steele, in his “ Prosodia Rationalis.” According to his analysis, measure, as applied to speech, consists of a heavy or accented portion of syllabic sound, and of a light or unaccented portion, produced by one effort of the human voice. In forming the heavy or accented syllable, the organs make a stroke or beat, and, however instantaneous, are placed in a certain position, from which they must be removed before they make another stroke. Thus, in the repetition of fast, fast, there must be two distinct pulsations ; and a pause must occur betwixt the two, to enable the organs to recover their position. But the time of this pause may be filled up with a light syllable, or one under remission ; thus, faster, faster, occupy the same time in the pronunciation as fast, fast. This remiss or light action of the voice may extend to two and three syllables, as in circumstance, infinitely, &c. The stroke or pulsative effort of the voice, then, can only be on one syllable ; the remission of the voice can give several syllables after the pulsation. This pulsation and remission have been illustrated by the planting and raising of the foot in walking ; hence the Thesis and Arsis of the Greeks. The first is the pulsative, the second the remiss action. Now, apart from the pauses of passion and connection, there must be frequent pauses arising from the nature of the organs of speech ; these are denoted in examples marked, according to Steele's system, by the figure 7, and the pulsative and remiss syllables by ... and ... It has been said that the pulsative effort can be made only on one syllable ; if the syllable have extended quantity, it may be pronounced both with the pulsative effort and die away in the remission ; but if it is short in quantity, a pause must occur before the pronun, ciation of the next syllable. One syllable, then, may occupy what is called a measure, the voice being either prolonged, or the time being made up with a pause. This pause, as already remarked, is denoted by the figure 7; a' repetition of the same figure is used to denote the longer pauses,
which are determined by passion, or the in nacy and remotenes of the sense. Steele's system has been adopted by several teachers of elocution ; by Mr. Chapman,
in his Rhythmical Grammar, and by Mr. Barber, in his Grammar of Elocution. The following lines are marked according to Mr. Steele's plan :
Hail | holy | light | offspring of | Heaven / first I born. I
WALKER'S ELEMENTS OF ELOCUTION. — INFLECTIONS OF THE VOICE.
Towards the close of the last century, Mr. John Walker, author of the excellent “ Critical Pronouncing Dictionary” which bears his name, promulgated his analysis of vocal inflection. He showed that the primary division of speaking sounds is into the upward and downward slide of the voice; and, that whaterer other diversity of time, tone or force, is added to speaking, it must necessarily be conveyed by these two slides or inflections, which are, therefore, the axis, as it were, on which the power, variety, and harmony of speaking turn. In the following sentence : -“As trees and plants necessarily arise from seeds, so are you, Antony, the seed of this most calamitous war,
- the voice slides up at the end of the first clause, as the sense is not perfected, and slides down at the completion of the sense at the end of the sentence. The rising slide raises expectancy in the mind of the hearer, and the ear remains unsatisfied without a cadence. Walker adopted the acute accent () to denote the rising inflection, and the grave accent () to denote the falling inflection ; as thus
Does Casar deserve fame' or blame'? Every pause, of whatever kind, must necessarily adopt one of these two inflections, or continue in a monotone. Thus, when we ask a question without the contrasted interrogative words, we naturally adopt the rising inflection on the last word ; as,
Can Cæsar deserve blame' ? Impossible'! Here blame - the last word of the question — has the rising inflection, contrary to the inflection on that word in the former instance ; and impossible, with the note of admiration, the falling. Besides the rising and falling inflection, Walker gives the voice two complete sounds, which he terms circumflexes : the first, which he denominates the rising circumflex, begins with the falling and ends with the rising on the same syllable ; the second begins with the rising and ends with the falling on the same syllable. The rising circumfler is marked thus, Y; the falling, thus, The monotone, thus marked,
---, denotes that there is no inflection, and no change of key,
Having explained the inflections, Walker proceeds to deduce the law of delivery from the structure of sentences, which he divides into compact, loose, direct periods, inverted periods, &c. By the term series, he denotes an enumeration of particulars. If the enumeration consists of single words, it is called a simple series; if it consists of clauses, it is called a compound series. When the sense requires that there should be a rising slide on the last particular, the series is called a commencing series; and when the series requires the falling slide on the last particular, it is termed a concluding series. The simple commencing series is illustrated in the following sentence, having two (192) members :
“Honor' and shame' from no condition rise." The simple concluding series is illustrated in the following sentence of four (1'2' 3' 4") members : “Remember that virtue alone is honor', glory', wealth', and happiness'.”
Among the Rules laid down by Walker and his followers are the following, which we select as the most simple. The pupil must not take them, however, as an infallible guide. Some are obvious enough ; but to others the exceptions are numerous, — so numerous, indeed, that they would be a burthensome charge to the memory. The Rules, however, may be serviceable in cases where the reader desires another's judgment in regard to the inflection of voice that is most appropriate :
RULE I. When the sense is finished, the falling inflection takes place; as, “Nothing valuable can be gained without labor!"
II. In a compact sentence, the voice slides up where the meaning begins to be formed; as, “Such is the course of nature', that whoever lives long, must outlive those whom he loves and honors.”
There are many exceptions to this rule. For instance, when an emphatic word is contained in the first part of the compact sentence, the falling intiection takes place; as, “ He is a traitor to his country', he is a traitor to the human kind', he is a traitor to Heaven', who abuses the talents which God has given him.”
III. In a loose sentence, the falling inflexion is required ; as, “It is of the last importance to season the passions of a child with devo'tion ; which seldom dies in a mind that has received an early tincture of it.”
IV. In a compound commencing series, the falling inflection takes place on every member but the last ; as, “ Our disordered hearts', our guilty passions', our violent prejudices', and misplaced desires', are the instruments of the trouble which we endure.”
V. In a compound concluding series, the falling inflection takes place on every member except the one before the last; as, " Chaucer most frequently describes things as they are'; Spenser, as we wish them to be ; Shakspeare, as they would be ; and Milton, as they ought' to be.”
VI. In a series of commencing members forming a climax, the last member, being strongly emphatic, takes a fall instead of a rise ; as, “ A youth', a boy', a child', might understand it.”
VII. Literal interrogations asked by pronouns or adverbs (or questions requiring an immediate answer) end with the falling inflection; as, “Where are you going'? What is your name'?" Questions asked by verbs require the rising inflection, when a literal question is asked ; as, coming? Do you hear'?"
To these rules the exceptions are numerous, however. Emphasis breaks through them continually ; as,
Was ever woman in this humor wooed'?
Was ever woman in this humor won'? VIII. The inflection which terminates an exclamation is regulated by the common rules of inflection. This rule is, of course, broken through by passion, which has slides and notes of its own. As a ge rule, it may be stated that exclamations of surprise and indignation take a rising slide in a loud tone ; those of sorrow, distress, pity and love, the rising slide in a gentle tone; and those of adoration, awe and despair, the falling inflection.
IX. Any intermediate clause affecting the sense of the sentence (generally termed the modifying clause) is pronounced in a different key from that in which the rest of the sentence is spoken. As the intermediate words are frequently the pivot on which the sense of the sentence turns, the mind is directed to it by a change of voice. The voice sinks at the beginning of the clause, but rises gradually towards the conclusion; as, Age, in a virtuous' person, carries in it an authority which makes it preferable to all the pleasures of youth.”
X. The Pai is an intermediate clause, not necessary to the sense. It is pronounced in a different key from that in which the sentence is pro