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recollect, where it can with propriety act alone, in the principal gesture, are these :

First, when the left hand is spoken of in contradistinction from the right; “He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.” Secondly, when there is local allusion to some object on the left of the speaker. For example, if his face is to the north, and he points to the setting sun, it is better perhaps to do it with his left hand, than to turn his body, so as to make it convenient to do it with his right. Thirdly, when two things are contrasted, though without local allusion, if the case requires that one be marked by the action of the right hand, it is often best to mark the antithetic object with the left.

But I would not magnify, by dwelling on it, a question of so small moment. It would have been despatched in a sentence or two, had it not seemed proper to show, that what some are disposed to call an arbitrary and groundless precept of ancient rhetoric, bas its foundation in a general and instinctive feeling of propriety. Still I would say, that when a departure from this precept results, not from affectation, but from emotion, it is far better than any minute observance of propriety, which arises from a coldly correct and artificial babit.

In finishing this chapter, the general remark may be made, as applying to action, and indeed to the whole subject of delivery, that many smaller blemishes are scarcely observed in a speaker, who is deeply interested in his subject; while the affectation of excellence is never excused by judicious hearers. To be a first-rate orator, requires a combination of powers which few men possess ;

and no means of cultivation can ever confer these highest requisites for eloquence, on public speakers generally. But neither is it necessary to eminent usefulness, that these requisites should be possessed by all. Any man, who has good sense, and a warm heart, if his faculties for elocution are not essentially defective, and if he is patient and faithful in the discipline of these faculties, may reuder himself an agreeable and impressive speaker.






THESE Exercises are divided into two parts. The first part consists of selections, which are made expressly to illustrate the principles laid down in the foregoing anALYSIS OF RHETORICAL DELIVERY. The classification of these selections is denoted, in each case, by the number, corresponding with the marginal figures in the Analysis. In using these exercises of the first part, the student may be assisted by the following remarks and directions.

1. When a principle is supposed to be already familiar, the illustrations will be few; in cases of more difficulty, or more importance, they will be extended to greater length.

2. In these examples, a rhetorical notation is applied, to designate inflection, emphasis, and, in some instances, modulation. When a word has but a moderate stress, it will often be distinguished only by the mark of inflection ;

when the stress amounts to decided emphasis, it will be denoted by the Italic type ; and sometimes when strongly intensive, by small capitals. The reader is desired to remember too, that in passages taken from the Scriptures, Italic words are not used as in the English Bible, but simply to express emphasis.

3. This rhetorical notation is applied, only to cases in which my own judgment is pretty clear; though, in many of these cases, I am aware that there is room for diversity of taste. Should this notation be found useful in practice, it may be more extensively applied, in a separate collection of exercises.

4. The principle to be illustrated by any Exercise, should be carefully examined and well understood, in the first place; and, until the student has become quite familiar with this praxis of the voice, he should not attempt to read an example, longer or shorter, without previous attention to it.

5. The reader will observe that only very short examples can be expected to apply exclusively to a single principle. On account of the great labor and difficulty of selecting such examples, longer ones are often chosen, which include other principles besides the one specially in view. It will be deemed sufficient, in such cases, that there is an obvious relation to the point chiefly to be regarded.


1.] Page 27. Difficult articulation from immediate suc

cession of the same or similar sounds. 1. The youth hates study. 2. The wild beasts straggled through the vale. 3. The steadfast stranger in the forests strayed. 4. It was the finest street of the city. 5. When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw. 6. It was the severest storm of the season,

but the masts stood through the gale. 7. That lasts till night.

That last still night.
8. He can debate on either side of the question.

He can debate on neither side of the question.
9. Who ever imagined such an ocean to exist ?

Who ever imagined such a notion to exist ?

2.] Page 28. Difficult succession of consonants without

accent. 1. He has taken 'leave of terrestrial trials and enjoyments, and is laid in the grave, the common receptacle and home of mortals.

2. Though this barbarous chief received us very courteously, and spoke to us very communicatively at the first interview, we soon lost our confidence in the disinterestedness of his motives.

Though there could be no doubt as to the reasonableness of our request, yet he saw fit peremptorily to re

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