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hands are to be employed, in expressing the paffions, must, in my apprehenfion, be weak and ineffectual. And, perhaps, the only instruction which can be given with advantage on this head, is this general one: Observe in what manner the several emotions or pasfions are expressed in real life, or by those who have with great labour and taste acquired a power of imitating nature ? and accustom yourself either to follow the great original itself, or the best copies you meet with; always, however," with this special ob« servance, that you o’ERSTEP NOT THE MODESTY S OF NATURE."
In the application of these rules to practice, in order to acquire a just and graceful elocution, it will be necefiary to go through a regular course of exercises ; beginning with such as are most easy, and proceeding by flow steps to such as are more difficult. In the choice of these, the practitioner should pay a particular attention to his prevailing defects, whether they regard articulation, command of voice, emphasis, or cadence: and he should content himself with reading and speaking with an immediate view to the correcting of his fundamental faults, before he aims at any thing higher. This may be irk. fome and disagreeable; it may require much patience and resolution; but it is the only way to succeed. For, if a man cannot read simple sentences, or plain
narrative or didactic pieces, with distinct articulation, just emphasis, and proper tones, how can he: expect to do justice to the sublime descriptions of 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 hasopportunity, under the correction of an Instructor or Friend. He should also frequently recite compofitions 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, emphasis, 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 con-. versation; and gives him greater liberty to attempt the expression of the countenance and gesture.
IT were much to bę wished, that all public speakers would deliver their thoughts and sentiments, either from memory or immediate conception; for, besides that there is an artificial uniformity, which almost always distinguishes reading from speaking, the fixed posture, and the bending of the head which reading 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 fingle glance of the eye, to take in several clauses, 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 fuccefs, 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 appears 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 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 minuet-step.
fot, hich king, -hich dom, cafe,
* See Dean Swift's advice on this head in his Letter to a young Clergyman.
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, so 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 disgusted. 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 Statesman, an able Lawyer, or a useful Preacher.
CHAP. I. To be ever active in laudable pursuits, is the distinguishing characteristic of a man of merit.
There is an heroic innocence, as well as an heroic courage.
There is a mean in all things. Even virtue itself hath its stated limits; which not being strictly observed, it ceases to be virtue.
It is wiser to prevent a quarrel beforehand, than to reyenge it afterwards.
It is much better to reprove, than to be angry secretly.
No revenge is more heroic, than that which torments envy, by doing good.
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
MONEY, like manure, does no good till it is spread. There is no real use of riches, except in the distribution: The rest is all conceit,