« AnteriorContinuar »
poetry, or the animated language of the passions ?
In performing these exercises, the learner should daily read aloud by himself, and, as often as he has opportunity, under the correction of an InItructor or Friend. He should also frequently recite compositions memoriter. This method has several advantages: it obliges the speaker to dwell upon
the ideas which he is to express, and hereby enables him to discern their particular meaning and force, and gives him a previous knowledge of the several inflexions, emphases, and tones which the words require. And by taking off his eye from the book, it in part relieves him from the influence of the school-boy habit of reading in a different key and tone from that of conversation; and gives him greater liberty to attempt the expresion of the countenance and geffure.
Ir were much to be wished, that all public speakers would deliver their thoughts and sentiments, either from memory or immediate conception; for, besides that there is an artificial uni, formity, which almost always distinguishes read, ing froin speaking, the fixed posture, and the
bending bending of the head which reason requires, are inconsistent with the freedom, ease, and variety of just elocution. But if this is too much to be expected, especially from Preachers, who have fo much to compose, and are so often called upon to speak in public; it is however extremely desirable that they should make themselves so well acquainted with their discourse, as to be able, with a single glance of the eye, to take in several claufes, or the whole, of a sentence*.
I have only to add, that after the utmost pains have been taken to acquire a just elocution, and this with the greatest success, there is some difficulty in carrying the art of speaking out of the school, or chamber, to the bar, the fenate, or the pulpit. A young man who has been accustomed to perform frequent exercises in this art in private, cannot easily persuade himself, when he
ap: pears before the public, to consider the business he has to perform in any other light, than as a trial of skill, and a display of oratory. Hence it is, that the character of an Orator has of late often been treated with ridicule, sometimes with contempt. We are pleased with the easy and
* See Dean Swift's advice on this head in his Letter to a young Clergyman.
graceful movements which the true gentleman has acquired by having learnt to dance; but we are offended by the coxcomb, who is always exhibiting his formal dancing-bow, and minuetstep. So, we admire the manly eloquence and noble ardour of a British Legislator, rising up in defence of the rights of his country; the quick recollection, the forcible reasoning, and the ready utterance of the accomplished Barrister; and the sublime devotion, genuine dignity, and unaffected earnestness of the sacred Orator: but when a man, in either of these capacities, fo far forgets the ends, and degrades the consequence of his profession, as to set himself forth to public view under the character of a Spouter, and to parade it in the ears of the vulgar with all the pomp of artificial eloquence, though the unskilful may gaze and applaud, the judicious cannot but be grieved and difgusted. Avail yourself, then, of your skill in the Art of Speaking, but always employ your powers of elocution with caution and modesty; remembering, that though it be desirable to be admired as an eminent Orator, it is of much more importance to be respected, as a wise Statefman, an able Lawyer, or a useful Preacher.
C Ο Ν Τ со
Ν Τ Ε Ν Τ S.
I. The Dervise.
ibid. ibid. ibid. World.
B 0 0 K III.
Page III. On Sincerity,
Tillotson. 68 IV. On Honour.
72 V. On Good Humour.
Lord Cbesterfield. 80 VIII. On Good Sense.
Sterne. XI. Hamlet's Instructions to the Players. Sbakespear. 87 XII. The present Condition of Man vindicated.
88 XIII. On the Order of Nature.
go XIV. The Origin of Superstition and Tyranny. ibid.
92 XV. On Happiness.
95 XVI. On Virtue.
97 XVII. On Versification.
ibid. 100 XVIII. Lessons on Wisdom.
Armstrong. JOI XIX. Against Indolence; an Epistle.
104 XX. Elegy to a young Nobleman.
Mafon. 107 XXI. On the Miseries of Human Life.
Thomson. 109 XXII. Reflections on a Future State.
JIO XXIII. On Procrastination.
Young XXIV. The Pain arising from Virtuous. Emotions attended with Pleasure.
Akenfide. 113 XXV. On Taste.
ibid. XXVI. The Pleasures arising from a cultivated Imagination. ibid. 119
Junius Brutus over the dead Body of Lucretia. Livy. 136
him General in the Expedition againit jugurtha, merely