The Art of Public Speaking eBook (2024)

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The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen Lucas

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DE QUINCEY, THOMAS, 255-256; 338318


The efficiency of a book is like that of a man, inone important respect: its attitude toward itssubject is the first source of its power. A bookmay be full of good ideas well expressed, but if itswriter views his subject from the wrong angle evenhis excellent advice may prove to be ineffective.

This book stands or falls by its authors’ attitudetoward its subject. If the best way to teachoneself or others to speak effectively in public isto fill the mind with rules, and to set up fixed standardsfor the interpretation of thought, the utterance oflanguage, the making of gestures, and all the rest,then this book will be limited in value to such strayideas throughout its pages as may prove helpful tothe reader—­as an effort to enforce a groupof principles it must be reckoned a failure, becauseit is then untrue.

It is of some importance, therefore, to those whotake up this volume with open mind that they shouldsee clearly at the out-start what is the thought thatat once underlies and is builded through this structure.In plain words it is this:

Training in public speaking is not a matter of externals—­primarily;it is not a matter of imitation—­fundamentally;it is not a matter of conformity to standards—­atall. Public speaking is public utterance, publicissuance, of the man himself; therefore the first thingboth in time and in importance is that the man shouldbe and think and feel things that are worthy of beinggiven forth. Unless there be something of valuewithin, no tricks of training can ever make of thetalker anything more than a machine—­albeita highly perfected machine—­for the deliveryof other men’s goods. So self-developmentis fundamental in our plan.

The second principle lies close to the first:The man must enthrone his will to rule over his thought,his feelings, and all his physical powers, so thatthe outer self may give perfect, unhampered expressionto the inner. It is futile, we assert, to laydown systems of rules for voice culture, intonation,gesture, and what not, unless these two principlesof having something to say and making the will sovereignhave at least begun to make themselves felt in thelife.

The third principle will, we surmise, arouse no dispute:No one can learn how to speak who does notfirst speak as best he can. That may seem likea vicious circle in statement, but it will bear examination.

Many teachers have begun with the how.Vain effort! It is an ancient truism that welearn to do by doing. The first thing for thebeginner in public speaking is to speak—­notto study voice and gesture and the rest. Oncehe has spoken he can improve himself by self-observationor according to the criticisms of those who hear.

But how shall he be able to criticise himself?Simply by finding out three things: What arethe qualities which by common consent go to make upan effective speaker; by what means at least some ofthese qualities may be acquired; and what wrong habitsof speech in himself work against his acquiring andusing the qualities which he finds to be good.

Experience, then, is not only the best teacher, butthe first and the last. But experience must bea dual thing—­the experience of others mustbe used to supplement, correct and justify our ownexperience; in this way we shall become our own bestcritics only after we have trained ourselves in self-knowledge,the knowledge of what other minds think, and in theability to judge ourselves by the standards we havecome to believe are right. “If I ought,”said Kant, “I can.”

An examination of the contents of this volume willshow how consistently these articles of faith havebeen declared, expounded, and illustrated. Thestudent is urged to begin to speak at once of whathe knows. Then he is given simple suggestionsfor self-control, with gradually increasing emphasisupon the power of the inner man over the outer.Next, the way to the rich storehouses of materialis pointed out. And finally, all the while heis urged to speak, speak, SPEAK as heis applying to his own methods, in his own personalway, the principles he has gathered from his own experienceand observation and the recorded experiences of others.

So now at the very first let it be as clear as lightthat methods are secondary matters; that the fullmind, the warm heart, the dominant will are primary—­andnot only primary but paramount; for unless it be afull being that uses the methods it will be like dressinga wooden image in the clothes of a man.

J. Berg Esenwein.
Narberth, Pa.,
January 1, 1915.


Sense never fails to give them thathave it, Words enough to make them understood.It too often happens in some conversations, asin Apothecary Shops, that those Pots that are Empty,or have Things of small Value in them, are as gaudilyDress’d as those that are full of preciousDrugs.
They that soar too high, often fallhard, making a low and level Dwelling preferable.The tallest Trees are most in the Power of theWinds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune.Buildings have need of a good Foundation, thatlie so much exposed to the Weather.

—­William Penn.



There is a strange sensation often experiencedin the presence of an audience. It may proceedfrom the gaze of the many eyes that turn uponthe speaker, especially if he permits himself to steadilyreturn that gaze. Most speakers have been consciousof this in a nameless thrill, a real something,pervading the atmosphere, tangible, evanescent,indescribable. All writers have borne testimonyto the power of a speaker’s eye in impressingan audience. This influence which we are nowconsidering is the reverse of that picture—­thepower their eyes may exert upon him, especiallybefore he begins to speak: after the inwardfires of oratory are fanned into flame the eyes ofthe audience lose all terror.

—­William Pittenger,Extempore Speech.

Students of public speaking continually ask, “Howcan I overcome self-consciousness and the fear thatparalyzes me before an audience?”

Did you ever notice in looking from a train windowthat some horses feed near the track and never evenpause to look up at the thundering cars, while justahead at the next railroad crossing a farmer’swife will be nervously trying to quiet her scaredhorse as the train goes by?

How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—­grazehim in a back-woods lot where he would never see steam-enginesor automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he wouldfrequently see the machines?

Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousnessand fear: face an audience as frequently as youcan, and you will soon stop shying. You can neverattain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise.A book may give you excellent suggestions on how bestto conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or lateryou must get wet, perhaps even strangle and be “halfscared to death.” There are a great many“wetless” bathing suits worn at the seashore,but no one ever learns to swim in them. To plungeis the only way.

Practise, practise, PRACTISE in speakingbefore an audience will tend to remove all fear ofaudiences, just as practise in swimming will leadto confidence and facility in the water. You mustlearn to speak by speaking.

The Apostle Paul tells us that every man must workout his own salvation. All we can do here isto offer you suggestions as to how best to preparefor your plunge. The real plunge no one can takefor you. A doctor may prescribe, but youmust take the medicine.

Do not be disheartened if at first you suffer fromstage-fright. Dan Patch was more susceptibleto suffering than a superannuated dray horse wouldbe. It never hurts a fool to appear before anaudience, for his capacity is not a capacity for feeling.A blow that would kill a civilized man soon healson a savage. The higher we go in the scale oflife, the greater is the capacity for suffering.

For one reason or another, some master-speakers neverentirely overcome stage-fright, but it will pay youto spare no pains to conquer it. Daniel Websterfailed in his first appearance and had to take hisseat without finishing his speech because he was nervous.Gladstone was often troubled with self-consciousnessin the beginning of an address. Beecher was alwaysperturbed before talking in public.

Blacksmiths sometimes twist a rope tight around thenose of a horse, and by thus inflicting a little painthey distract his attention from the shoeing process.One way to get air out of a glass is to pour in water.

Be Absorbed by Your Subject

Apply the blacksmith’s homely principle whenyou are speaking. If you feel deeply about yoursubject you will be able to think of little else.Concentration is a process of distraction from lessimportant matters. It is too late to think aboutthe cut of your coat when once you are upon the platform,so centre your interest on what you are about to say—­fillyour mind with your speech-material and, like the infillingwater in the glass, it will drive out your unsubstantialfears.

Self-consciousness is undue consciousness of self,and, for the purpose of delivery, self is secondaryto your subject, not only in the opinion of the audience,but, if you are wise, in your own. To hold anyother view is to regard yourself as an exhibit insteadof as a messenger with a message worth delivering.Do you remember Elbert Hubbard’s tremendouslittle tract, “A Message to Garcia”?The youth subordinated himself to the message he bore.So must you, by all the determination you can muster.It is sheer egotism to fill your mind with thoughtsof self when a greater thing is there—­TRUTH.Say this to yourself sternly, and shame your self-consciousnessinto quiescence. If the theater caught fire youcould rush to the stage and shout directions to theaudience without any self-consciousness, for the importanceof what you were saying would drive all fear-thoughtsout of your mind.

Far worse than self-consciousness through fear ofdoing poorly is self-consciousness through assumptionof doing well. The first sign of greatness iswhen a man does not attempt to look and act great.Before you can call yourself a man at all, Kiplingassures us, you must “not look too good nortalk too wise.”

Nothing advertises itself so thoroughly as conceit.One may be so full of self as to be empty. Voltairesaid, “We must conceal self-love.”But that can not be done. You know this to betrue, for you have recognized overweening self-lovein others. If you have it, others are seeing itin you. There are things in this world biggerthan self, and in working for them self will be forgotten,or—­what is better—­rememberedonly so as to help us win toward higher things.

Have Something to Say

The trouble with many speakers is that they go beforean audience with their minds a blank. It is nowonder that nature, abhorring a vacuum, fills themwith the nearest thing handy, which generally happensto be, “I wonder if I am doing this right!How does my hair look? I know I shall fail.”Their prophetic souls are sure to be right.

It is not enough to be absorbed by your subject—­toacquire self-confidence you must have something inwhich to be confident. If you go before an audiencewithout any preparation, or previous knowledge ofyour subject, you ought to be self-conscious—­youought to be ashamed to steal the time of your audience.Prepare yourself. Know what you are going totalk about, and, in general, how you are going to sayit. Have the first few sentences worked out completelyso that you may not be troubled in the beginning tofind words. Know your subject better than yourhearers know it, and you have nothing to fear.

After Preparing for Success, Expect It

Let your bearing be modestly confident, but most ofall be modestly confident within. Over-confidenceis bad, but to tolerate premonitions of failure isworse, for a bold man may win attention by his verybearing, while a rabbit-hearted coward invites disaster.

Humility is not the personal discount that we mustoffer in the presence of others—­againstthis old interpretation there has been a most healthymodern reaction. True humility any man who thoroughlyknows himself must feel; but it is not a humilitythat assumes a worm-like meekness; it is rather astrong, vibrant prayer for greater power for service—­aprayer that Uriah Heep could never have uttered.

Washington Irving once introduced Charles Dickensat a dinner given in the latter’s honor.In the middle of his speech Irving hesitated, becameembarrassed, and sat down awkwardly. Turning toa friend beside him he remarked, “There, I toldyou I would fail, and I did.”

If you believe you will fail, there is no hope foryou. You will.

Rid yourself of this I-am-a-poor-worm-in-the-dustidea. You are a god, with infinite capabilities.“All things are ready if the mind be so.”The eagle looks the cloudless sun in the face.

Assume Mastery Over Your Audience

In public speech, as in electricity, there is a positiveand a negative force. Either you or your audienceare going to possess the positive factor. Ifyou assume it you can almost invariably make it yours.If you assume the negative you are sure to be negative.Assuming a virtue or a vice vitalizes it. Summonall your power of self-direction, and remember thatthough your audience is infinitely more important thanyou, the truth is more important than both of you,because it is eternal. If your mind falters inits leadership the sword will drop from your hands.Your assumption of being able to instruct or leador inspire a multitude or even a small group of peoplemay appall you as being colossal impudence—­asindeed it may be; but having once essayed to speak,be courageous. BE courageous—­itlies within you to be what you will. MAKE yourselfbe calm and confident.

Reflect that your audience will not hurt you.If Beecher in Liverpool had spoken behind a wire screenhe would have invited the audience to throw the over-ripemissiles with which they were loaded; but he was aman, confronted his hostile hearers fearlessly—­andwon them.

In facing your audience, pause a moment and look themover—­a hundred chances to one they wantyou to succeed, for what man is so foolish as to spendhis time, perhaps his money, in the hope that you willwaste his investment by talking dully?

Concluding Hints

Do not make haste to begin—­haste showslack of control.

Do not apologize. It ought not to be necessary;and if it is, it will not help. Go straight ahead.

Take a deep breath, relax, and begin in a quiet conversationaltone as though you were speaking to one large friend.You will not find it half so bad as you imagined;really, it is like taking a cold plunge: afteryou are in, the water is fine. In fact, havingspoken a few times you will even anticipate the plungewith exhilaration. To stand before an audienceand make them think your thoughts after you is oneof the greatest pleasures you can ever know.Instead of fearing it, you ought to be as anxiousas the fox hounds straining at their leashes, or therace horses tugging at their reins.

So cast out fear, for fear is cowardly—­whenit is not mastered. The bravest know fear, butthey do not yield to it. Face your audience pluckily—­ifyour knees quake, MAKE them stop. In youraudience lies some victory for you and the cause yourepresent. Go win it. Suppose Charles Martellhad been afraid to hammer the Saracen at Tours; supposeColumbus had feared to venture out into the unknownWest; suppose our forefathers had been too timid tooppose the tyranny of George the Third; suppose thatany man who ever did anything worth while had beena coward! The world owes its progress to themen who have dared, and you must dare to speak theeffective word that is in your heart to speak—­foroften it requires courage to utter a single sentence.But remember that men erect no monuments and weaveno laurels for those who fear to do what they can.

Is all this unsympathetic, do you say?

Man, what you need is not sympathy, but a push.No one doubts that temperament and nerves and illnessand even praiseworthy modesty may, singly or combined,cause the speaker’s cheek to blanch before anaudience, but neither can any one doubt that coddlingwill magnify this weakness. The victory liesin a fearless frame of mind. Prof. WalterDill Scott says: “Success or failure inbusiness is caused more by mental attitude even thanby mental capacity.” Banish the fear-attitude;acquire the confident attitude. And remember thatthe only way to acquire it is—­to acquireit.

In this foundation chapter we have tried to strikethe tone of much that is to follow. Many of theseideas will be amplified and enforced in a more specificway; but through all these chapters on an art whichMr. Gladstone believed to be more powerful than thepublic press, the note of justifiable self-confidencemust sound again and again.


1. What is the cause of self-consciousness?

2. Why are animals free from it?

3. What is your observation regarding self-consciousnessin children?

4. Why are you free from it under the stressof unusual excitement?

5. How does moderate excitement affect you?

6. What are the two fundamental requisites forthe acquiring of self-confidence? Which is themore important?

7. What effect does confidence on the part ofthe speaker have on the audience?

8. Write out a two-minute speech on “Confidenceand Cowardice.”

9. What effect do habits of thought have on confidence?In this connection read the chapter on “RightThinking and Personality.”

10. Write out very briefly any experience youmay have had involving the teachings of this chapter.

11. Give a three-minute talk on “Stage-Fright,”including a (kindly) imitation of two or more victims.



One day Ennui was born fromUniformity.


Our English has changed with the years so that manywords now connote more than they did originally.This is true of the word monotonous. From“having but one tone,” it has come to meanmore broadly, “lack of variation.”

The monotonous speaker not only drones along in thesame volume and pitch of tone but uses always thesame emphasis, the same speed, the same thoughts—­ordispenses with thought altogether.

Monotony, the cardinal and most common sin of thepublic speaker, is not a transgression—­itis rather a sin of omission, for it consists in livingup to the confession of the Prayer Book: “Wehave left undone those things we ought to have done.”

Emerson says, “The virtue of art lies in detachment,in sequestering one object from the embarrassing variety.”That is just what the monotonous speaker fails todo—­he does not detach one thoughtor phrase from another, they are all expressed inthe same manner.

To tell you that your speech is monotonous may meanvery little to you, so let us look at the nature—­andthe curse—­of monotony in other spheresof life, then we shall appreciate more fully how itwill blight an otherwise good speech.

If the Victrola in the adjoining apartment grindsout just three selections over and over again, itis pretty safe to assume that your neighbor has noother records. If a speaker uses only a few ofhis powers, it points very plainly to the fact thatthe rest of his powers are not developed. Monotonyreveals our limitations.

In its effect on its victim, monotony is actuallydeadly—­it will drive the bloom from thecheek and the lustre from the eye as quickly as sin,and often leads to viciousness. The worst punishmentthat human ingenuity has ever been able to inventis extreme monotony—­solitary confinement.Lay a marble on the table and do nothing eighteen hoursof the day but change that marble from one point toanother and back again, and you will go insane ifyou continue long enough.

So this thing that shortens life, and is used as themost cruel of punishments in our prisons, is the thingthat will destroy all the life and force of a speech.Avoid it as you would shun a deadly dull bore.The “idle rich” can have half-a-dozen homes,command all the varieties of foods gathered from thefour corners of the earth, and sail for Africa orAlaska at their pleasure; but the poverty-strickenman must walk or take a street car—­he doesnot have the choice of yacht, auto, or special train.He must spend the most of his life in labor and becontent with the staples of the food-market. Monotonyis poverty, whether in speech or in life. Striveto increase the variety of your speech as the businessman labors to augment his wealth.

Bird-songs, forest glens, and mountains are not monotonous—­itis the long rows of brown-stone fronts and the milesof paved streets that are so terribly same. Naturein her wealth gives us endless variety; man with hislimitations is often monotonous. Get back to naturein your methods of speech-making.

The power of variety lies in its pleasure-giving quality.The great truths of the world have often been couchedin fascinating stories—­“Les Miserables,”for instance. If you wish to teach or influencemen, you must please them, first or last. Strikethe same note on the piano over and over again.This will give you some idea of the displeasing, jarringeffect monotony has on the ear. The dictionarydefines “monotonous” as being synonymouswith “wearisome.” That is puttingit mildly. It is maddening. The department-storeprince does not disgust the public by playing onlythe one tune, “Come Buy My Wares!” He givesrecitals on a $125,000 organ, and the pleased peoplenaturally slip into a buying mood.

How to Conquer Monotony

We obviate monotony in dress by replenishing our wardrobes.We avoid monotony in speech by multiplying our powersof speech. We multiply our powers of speech byincreasing our tools.

The carpenter has special implements with which toconstruct the several parts of a building. Theorganist has certain keys and stops which he manipulatesto produce his harmonies and effects. In likemanner the speaker has certain instruments and toolsat his command by which he builds his argument, playson the feelings, and guides the beliefs of his audience.To give you a conception of these instruments, andpractical help in learning to use them, are the purposesof the immediately following chapters.

Why did not the Children of Israel whirl through thedesert in limousines, and why did not Noah have moving-pictureentertainments and talking machines on the Ark?The laws that enable us to operate an automobile,produce moving-pictures, or music on the Victrola,would have worked just as well then as they do today.It was ignorance of law that for ages deprived humanityof our modern conveniences. Many speakers stilluse ox-cart methods in their speech instead of employingautomobile or overland-express methods. They areignorant of laws that make for efficiency in speaking.Just to the extent that you regard and use the lawsthat we are about to examine and learn how to use willyou have efficiency and force in your speaking; andjust to the extent that you disregard them will yourspeaking be feeble and ineffective. We cannotimpress too thoroughly upon you the necessity for areal working mastery of these principles. Theyare the very foundations of successful speaking.“Get your principles right,” said Napoleon,“and the rest is a matter of detail.”

It is useless to shoe a dead horse, and all the soundprinciples in Christendom will never make a live speechout of a dead one. So let it be understood thatpublic speaking is not a matter of mastering a fewdead rules; the most important law of public speechis the necessity for truth, force, feeling, and life.Forget all else, but not this.

When you have mastered the mechanics of speech outlinedin the next few chapters you will no longer be troubledwith monotony. The complete knowledge of theseprinciples and the ability to apply them will giveyou great variety in your powers of expression.But they cannot be mastered and applied by thinkingor reading about them—­you must practise,practise, PRACTISE. If no one elsewill listen to you, listen to yourself—­youmust always be your own best critic, and the severestone of all.

The technical principles that we lay down in the followingchapters are not arbitrary creations of our own.They are all founded on the practices that good speakersand actors adopt—­either naturally and unconsciouslyor under instruction—­in getting their effects.

It is useless to warn the student that he must benatural. To be natural may be to be monotonous.The little strawberry up in the arctics with a fewtiny seeds and an acid tang is a natural berry, butit is not to be compared with the improved varietythat we enjoy here. The dwarfed oak on the rockyhillside is natural, but a poor thing compared withthe beautiful tree found in the rich, moist bottomlands. Be natural—­but improve yournatural gifts until you have approached the ideal,for we must strive after idealized nature, in fruit,tree, and speech.


1. What are the causes of monotony?

2. Cite some instances in nature.

3. Cite instances in man’s daily life.

4. Describe some of the effects of monotony inboth cases.

5. Read aloud some speech without paying particularattention to its meaning or force.

6. Now repeat it after you have thoroughly assimilatedits matter and spirit. What difference do younotice in its rendition?

7. Why is monotony one of the worst as well asone of the most common faults of speakers?



In a word, the principle followed best, not
by remembering particularrules, but by being full of a
particular feeling.

—­C.S. BALDWIN,Writing and Speaking.

The gun that scatters too much does not bag the birds.The same principle applies to speech. The speakerthat fires his force and emphasis at random into asentence will not get results. Not every wordis of special importance—­therefore onlycertain words demand emphasis.

You say Massa_CHU_setts and Minne_AP_olis, you donot emphasize each syllable alike, but hit the accentedsyllable with force and hurry over the unimportantones. Now why do you not apply this principlein speaking a sentence? To some extent you do,in ordinary speech; but do you in public discourse?It is there that monotony caused by lack of emphasisis so painfully apparent.

So far as emphasis is concerned, you may considerthe average sentence as just one big word, with theimportant word as the accented syllable. Notethe following:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance. Itis a matter of choice.”

You might as well say MASS-A-CHU-SETTS, emphasizingevery syllable equally, as to lay equal stress oneach word in the foregoing sentences.

Speak it aloud and see. Of course you will wantto emphasize destiny, for it is the principalidea in your declaration, and you will put some emphasison not, else your hearers may think you areaffirming that destiny is a matter of chance.By all means you must emphasize chance, forit is one of the two big ideas in the statement.

Another reason why chance takes emphasis isthat it is contrasted with choice in the nextsentence. Obviously, the author has contrastedthese ideas purposely, so that they might be more emphatic,and here we see that contrast is one of the very firstdevices to gain emphasis.

As a public speaker you can assist this emphasis ofcontrast with your voice. If you say, “Myhorse is not black,” what color immediatelycomes into mind? White, naturally, for that isthe opposite of black. If you wish to bring outthe thought that destiny is a matter of choice, youcan do so more effectively by first saying that “DESTINYis NOT a matter of CHANCE.”Is not the color of the horse impressed upon us moreemphatically when you say, “My horse is NOTBLACK. He is WHITE” than itwould be by hearing you assert merely that your horseis white?

In the second sentence of the statement there is onlyone important word—­choice.It is the one word that positively defines the qualityof the subject being discussed, and the author of thoselines desired to bring it out emphatically, as hehas shown by contrasting it with another idea.These lines, then, would read like this:

DESTINY is NOT a matter of CHANCE.It is a matter of CHOICE.” Now readthis over, striking the words in capitals with a greatdeal of force.

In almost every sentence there are a few MOUNTAINPEAK WORDS that represent the big, important ideas.When you pick up the evening paper you can tell ata glance which are the important news articles.Thanks to the editor, he does not tell about a “holdup” in Hong Kong in the same sized type as heuses to report the death of five firemen in your homecity. Size of type is his device to show emphasisin bold relief. He brings out sometimes evenin red headlines the striking news of the day.

It would be a boon to speech-making if speakers wouldconserve the attention of their audiences in the sameway and emphasize only the words representing theimportant ideas. The average speaker will deliverthe foregoing line on destiny with about the same amountof emphasis on each word. Instead of saying,“It is a matter of CHOICE,” he willdeliver it, “It is a matter of choice,”or “IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE”—­bothequally bad.

Charles Dana, the famous editor of The New YorkSun, told one of his reporters that if he wentup the street and saw a dog bite a man, to pay noattention to it. The Sun could not afford towaste the time and attention of its readers on suchunimportant happenings. “But,” saidMr. Dana, “if you see a man bite a dog, hurryback to the office and write the story.”Of course that is news; that is unusual.

Now the speaker who says “IT IS A MATTEROF CHOICE” is putting too much emphasisupon things that are of no more importance to metropolitanreaders than a dog bite, and when he fails to emphasize“choice” he is like the reporter who “passesup” the man’s biting a dog. The idealspeaker makes his big words stand out like mountainpeaks; his unimportant words are submerged like stream-beds.His big thoughts stand like huge oaks; his ideas ofno especial value are merely like the grass aroundthe tree.

From all this we may deduce this important principle:EMPHASIS is a matter of CONTRAST andCOMPARISON.

Recently the New York American featured aneditorial by Arthur Brisbane. Note the following,printed in the same type as given here.

=We do not know what the President THOUGHT when hegot that message, or what the elephant thinks whenhe sees the mouse, but we do know what the PresidentDID.=

The words THOUGHT and DID immediatelycatch the reader’s attention because they aredifferent from the others, not especially because theyare larger. If all the rest of the words in thissentence were made ten times as large as they are,and DID and THOUGHT were kept at theirpresent size, they would still be emphatic, becausedifferent.

Take the following from Robert Chambers’ novel,“The Business of Life.” The wordsyou, had, would, are all emphatic,because they have been made different.

He looked at her in angryastonishment.

“Well, what do youcall it if it isn’t cowardice—­to slinkoff
and marry a defenseless girllike that!”

“Did you expect me to give youa chance to destroy me and poison Jacqueline’smind? If I had been guilty of the thingwith which you charge me, what I have done wouldhave been cowardly. Otherwise, it is justified.”

A Fifth Avenue bus would attract attention up at MinisinkFord, New York, while one of the ox teams that frequentlypass there would attract attention on Fifth Avenue.To make a word emphatic, deliver it differently fromthe manner in which the words surrounding it are delivered.If you have been talking loudly, utter the emphaticword in a concentrated whisper—­and youhave intense emphasis. If you have been goingfast, go very slow on the emphatic word. If youhave been talking on a low pitch, jump to a high oneon the emphatic word. If you have been talkingon a high pitch, take a low one on your emphatic ideas.Read the chapters on “Inflection,” “Feeling,”“Pause,” “Change of Pitch,”“Change of Tempo.” Each of these willexplain in detail how to get emphasis through theuse of a certain principle.

In this chapter, however, we are considering onlyone form of emphasis: that of applying forceto the important word and subordinating the unimportantwords. Do not forget: this is one of themain methods that you must continually employ in gettingyour effects.

Let us not confound loudness with emphasis. Toyell is not a sign of earnestness, intelligence, orfeeling. The kind of force that we want appliedto the emphatic word is not entirely physical.True, the emphatic word may be spoken more loudly,or it may be spoken more softly, but the realquality desired is intensity, earnestness. Itmust come from within, outward.

Last night a speaker said: “The curse ofthis country is not a lack of education. It’spolitics.” He emphasized curse, lack,education, politics. The other words werehurried over and thus given no comparative importanceat all. The word politics was flamed outwith great feeling as he slapped his hands togetherindignantly. His emphasis was both correct andpowerful. He concentrated all our attention onthe words that meant something, instead of holdingit up on such words as of this, a, of,It’s.

What would you think of a guide who agreed to showNew York to a stranger and then took up his time byvisiting Chinese laundries and boot-blacking “parlors”on the side streets? There is only one excusefor a speaker’s asking the attention of his audience:He must have either truth or entertainment for them.If he wearies their attention with trifles they willhave neither vivacity nor desire left when he reacheswords of Wall-Street and skyscraper importance.You do not dwell on these small words in your everydayconversation, because you are not a conversationalbore. Apply the correct method of everyday speechto the platform. As we have noted elsewhere,public speaking is very much like conversation enlarged.

Sometimes, for big emphasis, it is advisable to laystress on every single syllable in a word, as absolutelyin the following sentence:

I ab-so-lute-ly refuse togrant your demand.

Now and then this principle should be applied to anemphatic sentence by stressing each word. Itis a good device for exciting special attention, andit furnishes a pleasing variety. Patrick Henry’snotable climax could be delivered in that manner veryeffectively: “Give—­me—­liberty—­or—­give—­me—­death.”The italicized part of the following might also bedelivered with this every-word emphasis. Of course,there are many ways of delivering it; this is onlyone of several good interpretations that might bechosen.

Knowing the price we must pay, the sacrificewe must make, the burdens we must carry, the assaultswe must endure—­knowing full well thecost—­yet we enlist, and we enlist for thewar. For we know the justice of our cause,and we know, too, its certain triumph.

—­From “PassProsperity Around," by ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE,
before the Chicago NationalConvention of the Progressive Party.

Strongly emphasizing a single word has a tendencyto suggest its antithesis. Notice how the meaningchanges by merely putting the emphasis on differentwords in the following sentence. The parentheticalexpressions would really not be needed to supplementthe emphatic words.

I intended to buy ahouse this Spring (even if you did not).

I INTENDED to buy ahouse this Spring (but something

I intended to BUY ahouse this Spring (instead of renting as

I intended to buy a HOUSEthis Spring (and not an automobile).

I intended to buy a houseTHIS Spring (instead of next

I intended to buy a housethis SPRING (instead of in the

When a great battle is reported in the papers, theydo not keep emphasizing the same facts over and overagain. They try to get new information, or a“new slant.” The news that takes animportant place in the morning edition will be relegatedto a small space in the late afternoon edition.We are interested in new ideas and new facts.This principle has a very important bearing in determiningyour emphasis. Do not emphasize the same ideaover and over again unless you desire to lay extrastress on it; Senator Thurston desired to put the maximumamount of emphasis on “force” in his speechon page 50. Note how force is emphasized repeatedly.As a general rule, however, the new idea, the “newslant,” whether in a newspaper report of a battleor a speaker’s enunciation of his ideas, isemphatic.

In the following selection, “larger” isemphatic, for it is the new idea. All men haveeyes, but this man asks for a LARGER eye.

This man with the larger eye says he will discover,not rivers or safety appliances for aeroplanes, butNEW STARS and SUNS. “New starsand suns” are hardly as emphatic as the word“larger.” Why? Because we expectan astronomer to discover heavenly bodies rather thancooking recipes. The words, “Republic needs”in the next sentence, are emphatic; they introducea new and important idea. Republics have alwaysneeded men, but the author says they need NEWmen. “New” is emphatic because itintroduces a new idea. In like manner, “soil,”“grain,” “tools,” are alsoemphatic.

The most emphatic words are italicized in this selection.Are there any others you would emphasize? Why?

The old astronomer said, “Giveme a larger eye, and I will discover newstars and suns.” That is whatthe republic needs today—­newmen—­men who are wise toward thesoil, toward the grains, towardthe tools. If God would only raise upfor the people two or three men like Watt, Fultonand McCormick, they would be worth moreto the State than that treasure boxnamed California or Mexico. Andthe real supremacy of man is based uponhis capacity for education. Manis unique in the length of his childhood,which means the period of plasticityand education. The childhood of a moth,the distance that stands between the hatching of therobin and its maturity, representa few hours or a few weeks, buttwenty years for growth stands between man’scradle and his citizenship. This protractedchildhood makes it possible to hand over to theboy all the accumulated stores achievedby races and civilizations through thousandsof years.


You must understand that there are no steel-rivetedrules of emphasis. It is not always possibleto designate which word must, and which must not beemphasized. One speaker will put one interpretationon a speech, another speaker will use different emphasisto bring out a different interpretation. No onecan say that one interpretation is right and the otherwrong. This principle must be borne in mind inall our marked exercises. Here your own intelligencemust guide—­and greatly to your profit.


1. What is emphasis?

2. Describe one method of destroying monotonyof thought-presentation.

3. What relation does this have to the use ofthe voice?

4. Which words should be emphasized, which subordinated,in a sentence?

5. Read the selections on pages 50, 51, 52, 53and 54, devoting special attention to emphasizingthe important words or phrases and subordinating theunimportant ones. Read again, changing emphasisslightly. What is the effect?

6. Read some sentence repeatedly, emphasizinga different word each time, and show how the meaningis changed, as is done on page 22.

7. What is the effect of a lack of emphasis?

8. Read the selections on pages 30 and 48, emphasizingevery word. What is the effect on the emphasis?

9. When is it permissible to emphasize everysingle word in a sentence?

10. Note the emphasis and subordination in someconversation or speech you have heard. Were theywell made? Why? Can you suggest any improvement?

11. From a newspaper or a magazine, clip a reportof an address, or a biographical eulogy. Markthe passage for emphasis and bring it with you toclass.

12. In the following passage, would you makeany changes in the author’s markings for emphasis?Where? Why? Bear in mind that not all wordsmarked require the same degree of emphasis—­ina wide variety of emphasis, and in nice shading ofthe gradations, lie the excellence of emphatic speech.

I would call him Napoleon, butNapoleon made his way to empire over brokenoaths and through a sea of blood.This man never broke his word. “NoRetaliation” was his great motto and therule of his life; and the last words uttered to hisson in France were these: “My boy,you will one day go back to Santo Domingo; forgetthat France murdered your father.”I would call him Cromwell, but Cromwellwas only a soldier, and the statehe founded went down with him into his grave.I would call him Washington, but the greatVirginian held slaves. This man riskedhis empire rather than permit the slave-tradein the humblest village of his dominions.
You think me a fanatic to-night, foryou read history, not with your eyes,but with your prejudices. But fifty yearshence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Museof History will put Phocion for the Greek,and Brutus for the Roman, Hampdenfor England, Lafayette for France,choose Washington as the bright, consummateflower of our earlier civilization, andJohn Brown the ripe fruit of our noonday,then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will writein the clear blue, above them all, the name ofthe soldier, the statesman, themartyr, TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE.

—­WENDELL PHILLIPS,Toussaint l’Ouverture.

Practise on the following selections for emphasis:Beecher’s “Abraham Lincoln,” page76; Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Speech,”page 50; Seward’s “Irrepressible Conflict,”page 67; and Bryan’s “Prince of Peace,”page 448.



Speech is simply a modified form ofsinging: the principal difference being inthe fact that in singing the vowel sounds areprolonged and the intervals are short, whereas in speechthe words are uttered in what may be called “staccato”tones, the vowels not being specially prolongedand the intervals between the words being moredistinct. The fact that in singing we have alarger range of tones does not properly distinguish*t from ordinary speech. In speech we havelikewise a variation of tones, and even in ordinaryconversation there is a difference of from threeto six semi-tones, as I have found in my investigations,and in some persons the range is as high as one octave.

—­WILLIAM SCHEPPEGRELL,Popular Science Monthly.

By pitch, as everyone knows, we mean the relativeposition of a vocal tone—­as, high, medium,low, or any variation between. In public speechwe apply it not only to a single utterance, as an exclamationor a monosyllable (Oh! or the) but toany group of syllables, words, and even sentencesthat may be spoken in a single tone. This distinctionit is important to keep in mind, for the efficientspeaker not only changes the pitch of successive syllables(see Chapter VII, “Efficiency through Inflection"),but gives a different pitch to different parts, orword-groups, of successive sentences. It is thisphase of the subject which we are considering in thischapter.

Every Change in the Thought Demands a Change inthe Voice-Pitch

Whether the speaker follows the rule consciously,unconsciously, or subconsciously, this is the logicalbasis upon which all good voice variation is made,yet this law is violated more often than any otherby public speakers. A criminal may disregarda law of the state without detection and punishment,but the speaker who violates this regulation suffersits penalty at once in his loss of effectiveness, whilehis innocent hearers must endure the monotony—­formonotony is not only a sin of the perpetrator, aswe have shown, but a plague on the victims as well.

Change of pitch is a stumbling block for almost allbeginners, and for many experienced speakers also.This is especially true when the words of the speechhave been memorized.

If you wish to hear how pitch-monotony sounds, strikethe same note on the piano over and over again.You have in your speaking voice a range of pitch fromhigh to low, with a great many shades between theextremes. With all these notes available thereis no excuse for offending the ears and taste of youraudience by continually using the one note. True,the reiteration of the same tone in music—­asin pedal point on an organ composition—­maybe made the foundation of beauty, for the harmonyweaving about that one basic tone produces a consistent,insistent quality not felt in pure variety of chordsequences. In like manner the intoning voicein a ritual may—­though it rarely does—­possessa solemn beauty. But the public speaker shouldshun the monotone as he would a pestilence.

Continual Change of Pitch is Nature’s HighestMethod

In our search for the principles of efficiency wemust continually go back to nature. Listen—­reallylisten—­to the birds sing. Which ofthese feathered tribes are most pleasing in theirvocal efforts: those whose voices, though sweet,have little or no range, or those that, like the canary,the lark, and the nightingale, not only possess a considerablerange but utter their notes in continual variety ofcombinations? Even a sweet-toned chirp, whenreiterated without change, may grow maddening to theenforced listener.

The little child seldom speaks in a monotonous pitch.Observe the conversations of little folk that youhear on the street or in the home, and note the continualchanges of pitch. The unconscious speech of mostadults is likewise full of pleasing variations.

Imagine someone speaking the following, and considerif the effect would not be just about as indicated.Remember, we are not now discussing the inflectionof single words, but the general pitch in which phrasesare spoken.

(High pitch) “I’d like to leave for myvacation tomorrow,—­(lower) still, I haveso much to do. (Higher) Yet I suppose if I wait untilI have time I’ll never go.”

Repeat this, first in the pitches indicated, and thenall in the one pitch, as many speakers would.Observe the difference in naturalness of effect.

The following exercise should be spoken in a purelyconversational tone, with numerous changes of pitch.Practise it until your delivery would cause a strangerin the next room to think you were discussing an actualincident with a friend, instead of delivering a memorizedmonologue. If you are in doubt about the effectyou have secured, repeat it to a friend and ask himif it sounds like memorized words. If it does,it is wrong.


Jack, I hear you’ve gone and doneit.—­Yes, I know; most fellows will;went and tried it once myself, sir, though you seeI’m single still. And you met her—­didyou tell me—­down at Newport, last July,and resolved to ask the question at a soiree?So did I.
I suppose you left the ball-room, withits music and its light; for they say love’sflame is brightest in the darkness of the night.Well, you walked along together, overhead the starlitsky; and I’ll bet—­old man, confessit—­you were frightened. So wasI.
So you strolled along the terrace, sawthe summer moonlight pour all its radiance onthe waters, as they rippled on the shore, tillat length you gathered courage, when you saw that nonewas nigh—­did you draw her close andtell her that you loved her? So did I.
Well, I needn’t ask you further,and I’m sure I wish you joy. ThinkI’ll wander down and see you when you’remarried—­eh, my boy? When the honeymoonis over and you’re settled down, we’lltry—­What? the deuce you say! Rejected—­yourejected? So was I.


The necessity for changing pitch is so self-evidentthat it should be grasped and applied immediately.However, it requires patient drill to free yourselffrom monotony of pitch.

In natural conversation you think of an idea first,and then find words to express it. In memorizedspeeches you are liable to speak the words, and thenthink what they mean—­and many speakers seemto trouble very little even about that. Is itany wonder that reversing the process should reversethe result? Get back to nature in your methodsof expression.

Read the following selection in a nonchalant manner,never pausing to think what the words really mean.Try it again, carefully studying the thought you haveassimilated. Believe the idea, desire to expressit effectively, and imagine an audience before you.Look them earnestly in the face and repeat this truth.If you follow directions, you will note that you havemade many changes of pitch after several readings.

It is not work that kills men; it isworry. Work is healthy; you can hardly putmore upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rustupon the blade. It is not the revolution thatdestroys the machinery but the friction.


Change of Pitch Produces Emphasis

This is a highly important statement. Varietyin pitch maintains the hearer’s interest, butone of the surest ways to compel attention—­tosecure unusual emphasis—­is to change thepitch of your voice suddenly and in a marked degree.A great contrast always arouses attention. Whiteshows whiter against black; a cannon roars louder inthe Sahara silence than in the Chicago hurly burly—­theseare simple illustrations of the power of contrast.

“What is Congress going to do next?-----------------------------------(High pitch) ||| I do not know.”-----------------(Low pitch)

By such sudden change of pitch during a sermon Dr.Newell Dwight Hillis recently achieved great emphasisand suggested the gravity of the question he had raised.

The foregoing order of pitch-change might be reversedwith equally good effect, though with a slight changein seriousness—­either method produces emphasiswhen used intelligently, that is, with a common-senseappreciation of the sort of emphasis to be attained.

In attempting these contrasts of pitch it is importantto avoid unpleasant extremes. Most speakers pitchtheir voices too high. One of the secrets ofMr. Bryan’s eloquence is his low, bell-like voice.Shakespeare said that a soft, gentle, low voice was“an excellent thing in woman;” it is noless so in man, for a voice need not be blatant tobe powerful,—­and must not be, tobe pleasing.

In closing, let us emphasize anew the importance ofusing variety of pitch. You sing up and downthe scale, first touching one note and then anotherabove or below it. Do likewise in speaking.

Thought and individual taste must generally be yourguide as to where to use a low, a moderate, or a highpitch.


1. Name two methods of destroying monotony andgaining force in speaking.

2. Why is a continual change of pitch necessaryin speaking?

3. Notice your habitual tones in speaking.Are they too high to be pleasant?

4. Do we express the following thoughts and emotionsin a low or a high pitch? Which may be expressedin either high or low pitch? Excitement.Victory. Defeat. Sorrow. Love.Earnestness. Fear.

5. How would you naturally vary the pitch inintroducing an explanatory or parenthetical expressionlike the following:

He started—­thatis, he made preparations to start—­on
September third.

6. Speak the following lines with as marked variationsin pitch as your interpretation of the sense may dictate.Try each line in two different ways. Which, ineach instance, is the more effective—­andwhy?

What have I to gain from you?Nothing.

To engage our nation in sucha compact would be an infamy.

Note: In the foregoingsentence, experiment as to where the
change in pitch would betterbe made.

Once the flowers distilledtheir fragrance here, but now see the
devastations of war.

He had reckoned without oneprime factor—­his conscience.

7. Make a diagram of a conversation you haveheard, showing where high and low pitches were used.Were these changes in pitch advisable? Why orwhy not?

8. Read the selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37and 38, paying careful attention to the changes inpitch. Reread, substituting low pitch for high,and vice versa.

Selections for Practise

Note: In the following selections, those passagesthat may best be delivered in a moderate pitch areprinted in ordinary (roman) type. Those whichmay be rendered in a high pitch—­do not makethe mistake of raising the voice too high—­areprinted in italics. Those which mightwell be spoken in a low pitch are printed in CAPITALS.

These arrangements, however, are merely suggestive—­wecannot make it strong enough that you must use yourown judgment in interpreting a selection. Beforedoing so, however, it is well to practise these passagesas they are marked.

Yes, all men labor. RUFUS CHOATEAND DANIEL WEBSTER labor, say the critics.But every man who reads of the labor question knowsthat it means the movement of the men that earntheir living with their hands; THAT ARE EMPLOYED,AND PAID WAGES: are gathered under roofsof factories, sent out on farms, sent out on ships,gathered on the walls. In popular acceptation,the working class means the men that work withtheir hands, for wages, so many hours a day, employedby great capitalists; that work for everybodyelse. Why do we move for this class? “Why,”asks a critic, “don’t you move FORALL WORKINGMEN?” BECAUSE, WHILE DANIEL WEBSTERGETS FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ARGUING THE MEXICANCLAIMS, there is no need of anybody’s movingfor him. BECAUSE, WHILE RUFUS CHOATE GETSFIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR MAKING ONE ARGUMENTTO A JURY, there is no need of moving for him,or for the men that work with their brains,—­thatdo highly disciplined and skilled labor, invent,and write books. The reason why the Labormovement confines itself to a single class isbecause that class of work DOES NOT GET PAID, doesnot get protection. MENTAL LABOR is adequatelypaid, and MORE THAN ADEQUATELY protected.IT CAN SHIFT ITS CHANNELS; it can vary accordingto the supply and demand.
IF A MAN FAILS AS A MINISTER, why,he becomes a railway conductor. IF THAT DOESN’TSUIT HIM, he goes West, and becomes governor ofa territory. AND IF HE FINDS HIMSELF INCAPABLEOF EITHER OF THESE POSITIONS, he comes home, andgets to be a city editor. He varies hisoccupation as he pleases, and doesn’t needprotection. BUT THE GREAT MASS, CHAINED TO A TRADE,DOOMED TO BE GROUND UP IN THE MILL OF SUPPLY ANDDEMAND, THAT WORK SO MANY HOURS A DAY, AND MUSTRUN IN THE GREAT RUTS OF BUSINESS,—­theyare the men whose inadequate protection, whose unfairshare of the general product, claims a movement intheir behalf.



NOT RELUCTANTLY THEN, buteagerly, not with faint hearts BUT
STRONG, do we now advanceupon the enemies of the people. FOR
THE CALL THAT COMES TO USis the call that came to our fathers
As they responded so shallwe.

HE HATH SOUNDEDFORTH A TRUMPET that shall never call retreat.
HE IS SIFTING OUT THE HEARTSOF MEN before His judgment seat.
OurGod is marching on


Remember that two sentences, or two parts of the samesentence, which contain changes of thought, cannotpossibly be given effectively in the same key.Let us repeat, every big change of thought requiresa big change of pitch. What the beginning studentwill think are big changes of pitch will be monotonouslyalike. Learn to speak some thoughts in a veryhigh tone—­others in a very, verylow tone. DEVELOP RANGE. It is almost impossibleto use too much of it.

HAPPY AM I THAT THIS MISSION HASBROUGHT MY FEET AT LAST TO PRESS NEW ENGLAND’SHISTORIC SOIL and my eyes to the knowledge ofher beauty and her thrift. Here within touch ofPlymouth Rock and Bunker Hill—­WHEREWEBSTER THUNDERED and Longfellow sang, Emersonthought AND CHANNING PREACHED—­HERE IN THECRADLE OF AMERICAN LETTERS and almost of Americanliberty, I hasten to make the obeisance thatevery American owes New England when first hestands uncovered in her mighty presence. Strangeapparition! This stern and unique figure—­carvedfrom the ocean and the wilderness—­itsmajesty kindling and growing amid the storms ofwinter and of wars—­until at last the gloomwas broken, ITS BEAUTY DISCLOSED IN THE SUNSHINE,and the heroic workers rested at its base—­whilestartled kings and emperors gazed and marveledthat from the rude touch of this handful cast ona bleak and unknown shore should have come the embodiedgenius of human government AND THE PERFECTED MODELOF HUMAN LIBERTY! God bless the memory ofthose immortal workers, and prosper the fortunesof their living sons—­and perpetuate theinspiration of their handiwork....
Far to the South, Mr. President, separatedfrom this section by a line—­oncedefined in irrepressible difference, once traced infratricidal blood, AND NOW, THANK GOD, BUT A VANISHINGSHADOW—­lies the fairest and richestdomain of this earth. It is the home of abrave and hospitable people. THERE IS CENTEREDALL THAT CAN PLEASE OR PROSPER HUMANKIND.A PERFECT CLIMATE ABOVE a fertile soil yieldsto the husbandman every product of the temperatezone.
There, by night the cotton whitensbeneath the stars, and by day THE WHEATLOCKS THE SUNSHINE IN ITS BEARDED SHEAF. In thesame field the clover steals the fragrance of thewind, and tobacco catches the quick aroma of therains. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS STORED WITH EXHAUSTLESSTREASURES: forests—­vast and primeval;and rivers that, tumbling or loitering, run wantonto the sea. Of the three essential items ofall industries—­cotton, iron and wood—­thatregion has easy control. IN COTTON, a fixed monopoly—­INIRON, proven supremacy—­IN TIMBER, the reservesupply of the Republic. From this assured andpermanent advantage, against which artificial conditionscannot much longer prevail, has grown an amazingsystem of industries. Not maintained by humancontrivance of tariff or capital, afar off fromthe fullest and cheapest source of supply, but restingin divine assurance, within touch of field andmine and forest—­not set amid costlyfarms from which competition has driven the farmerin despair, but amid cheap and sunny lands, rich withagriculture, to which neither season nor soil hasset a limit—­this system of industriesis mounting to a splendor that shall dazzle andillumine the world. THAT, SIR, is the picture andthe promise of my home—­A LAND BETTERAND FAIRER THAN I HAVE TOLD YOU, and yet but fitsetting in its material excellence for the loyal andgentle quality of its citizenship.
This hour little needs the LOYALTYTHAT IS LOYAL TO ONE SECTION and yet holds theother in enduring suspicion and estrangement.Give us the broad and perfect loyaltythat loves and trusts GEORGIA alike with Massachusetts—­thatknows no SOUTH, no North, no EAST,no West, but endears with equal and patrioticlove every foot of our soil, every State of ourUnion.

of us to-night to lose inpatriotic consecration WHATEVER

WE, SIR, are Americans—­ANDWE STAND FOR HUMAN LIBERTY! The upliftingforce of the American idea is under every throne onearth. France, Brazil—­THESE ARE OURVICTORIES. To redeem the earth from kingcraftand oppression—­THIS IS OUR MISSION!AND WE SHALL NOT FAIL. God has sown in oursoil the seed of His millennial harvest, and Hewill not lay the sickle to the ripening crop untilHis full and perfect day has come. OUR HISTORY,SIR, has been a constant and expanding miracle, FROMPLYMOUTH ROCK AND JAMESTOWN, all the way—­aye,even from the hour when from the voiceless andtraceless ocean a new world rose to the sightof the inspired sailor. As we approach the fourthcentennial of that stupendous day—­when theold world will come to marvel and to learnamid our gathered treasures—­let usresolve to crown the miracles of our past with thespectacle of a Republic, compact, united INDISSOLUBLEIN THE BONDS OF LOVE—­loving fromthe Lakes to the Gulf—­the wounds ofwar healed in every heart as on every hill, sereneand resplendent AT THE SUMMIT OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTAND EARTHLY GLORY, blazing out the path and makingclear the way up which all the nations of theearth, must come in God’s appointed time!

—­HENRY W. GRADY,The Race Problem.

_ ... I WOULD CALL HIM NAPOLEON_,but Napoleon made his way to empire over brokenoaths and through a sea of blood. This man neverbroke his word. “No Retaliation” washis great motto and the rule of his life; ANDTHE LAST WORDS UTTERED TO HIS SON IN FRANCE WERETHESE: “My boy, you will one day go backto Santo Domingo; forget that France murderedyour father.” I WOULD CALL HIM CROMWELL,but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the statehe founded went down with him into his grave.I WOULD CALL HIM WASHINGTON, but the greatVirginian held slaves. THIS MAN RISKEDHIS EMPIRE rather than permit the slave-trade in thehumblest village of his dominions.
YOU THINK ME A FANATIC TO-NIGHT,for you read history, not with your eyes, BUTWITH YOUR PREJUDICES. But fifty years hence,when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of History willput PHOCION for the Greek, and BRUTUSfor the Roman, HAMPDEN for England, LAFAYETTEfor France, choose WASHINGTON as the bright,consummate flower of our EARLIER civilization, ANDJOHN BROWN the ripe fruit of our NOONDAY,then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will writein the clear blue, above them all, the name ofTHE SOLDIER, THE STATESMAN, THE MARTYR, TOUSSAINTL’OUVERTURE.

—­Wendell Phillips,Toussaint l’Ouverture.

Drill on the following selections for change of pitch:Beecher’s “Abraham Lincoln,” p.76; Seward’s “Irrepressible Conflict,”p. 67; Everett’s “History of Liberty,”p. 78; Grady’s “The Race Problem,”p. 36; and Beveridge’s “Pass ProsperityAround,” p. 470.



Hear how he clears the pointso’ Faith
Wi’ rattlin’ an’thumpin’!
Now meekly calm, now wildin wrath,
He’s stampin’an’ he’s jumpin’.

—­ROBERT BURNS, Holy Fair.

The Latins have bequeathed to us a word that has noprecise equivalent in our tongue, therefore we haveaccepted it, body unchanged—­it is the wordtempo, and means rate of movement, asmeasured by the time consumed in executing that movement.

Thus far its use has been largely limited to the vocaland musical arts, but it would not be surprising tohear tempo applied to more concrete matters, for itperfectly illustrates the real meaning of the wordto say that an ox-cart moves in slow tempo, an expresstrain in a fast tempo. Our guns that fire sixhundred times a minute, shoot at a fast tempo; theold muzzle loader that required three minutes to load,shot at a slow tempo. Every musician understandsthis principle: it requires longer to sing ahalf note than it does an eighth note.

Now tempo is a tremendously important element in goodplatform work, for when a speaker delivers a wholeaddress at very nearly the same rate of speed he isdepriving himself of one of his chief means of emphasisand power. The baseball pitcher, the bowler incricket, the tennis server, all know the value ofchange of pace—­change of tempo—­indelivering their ball, and so must the public speakerobserve its power.

Change of Tempo Lends Naturalness to the Delivery

Naturalness, or at least seeming naturalness, as wasexplained in the chapter on “Monotony,”is greatly to be desired, and a continual change oftempo will go a long way towards establishing it.Mr. Howard Lindsay, Stage Manager for Miss MargaretAnglin, recently said to the present writer that changeof pace was one of the most effective tools of theactor. While it must be admitted that the stiltedmouthings of many actors indicate cloudy mirrors,still the public speaker would do well to study theactor’s use of tempo.

There is, however, a more fundamental and effectivesource at which to study naturalness—­atrait which, once lost, is shy of recapture: thatsource is the common conversation of any well-bredcircle. This is the standard we strive to reachon both stage and platform—­with certaindifferences, of course, which will appear as we goon. If speaker and actor were to reproduce withabsolute fidelity every variation of utterance—­everywhisper, grunt, pause, silence, and explosion—­ofconversation as we find it typically in everyday life,much of the interest would leave the public utterance.Naturalness in public address is something more thanfaithful reproduction of nature—­it is thereproduction of those typical parts of nature’swork which are truly representative of the whole.

The realistic story-writer understands this in writingdialogue, and we must take it into account in seekingfor naturalness through change of tempo.

Suppose you speak the first of the following sentencesin a slow tempo, the second quickly, observing hownatural is the effect. Then speak both with thesame rapidity and note the difference.

I can’t recall whatI did with my knife. Oh, now I remember I
gave it to Mary.

We see here that a change of tempo often occurs inthe same sentence—­for tempo applies notonly to single words, groups of words, and groupsof sentences, but to the major parts of a public speechas well.


1. In the following, speak the words “long,long while” very slowly; the rest of the sentenceis spoken in moderately rapid tempo.

When you and I behind theVeil are past,
Oh but the long, long whilethe world shall last,
Which of our coming and departureheeds,
As the seven seas should heeda pebble cast.

Note: In the following selections the passagesthat should be given a fast tempo are in italics;those that should be given in a slow tempo are insmall capitals. Practise these selections, andthen try others, changing from fast to slow tempoon different parts, carefully noting the effect.

2. No MIRABEAU, NAPOLEON, BURNS,CROMWELL, NO man ADEQUATE to DOANYTHING but is first of all in RIGHT EARNESTabout it—­what I call A SINCEREman. I should say SINCERITY, aGREAT, DEEP, GENUINE SINCERITY, is the firstCHARACTERISTIC of a man in any way HEROIC.Not the sincerity that CALLS itselfsincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matterindeed—­A SHALLOW, BRAGGART, CONSCIOUSsincerity, oftenest SELF-CONCEIT mainly.The GREAT MAN’S SINCERITY is of a kindhe CANNOT SPEAK OF. Is NOT CONSCIOUSof.—­THOMAS CARLYLE.
3. TRUE WORTH is in BEING—­NOTSEEMING—­in doing each day that goesby SOME LITTLE GOOD, not in DREAMING ofGREAT THINGS to do by and by. For whatevermen say in their BLINDNESS, and in spiteof the FOLLIES of YOUTH, there is nothingso KINGLY as KINDNESS, and nothing soROYAL as TRUTH.—­Anonymous.

4. To get a natural effect, where would you useslow and where fast tempo in the following?


See him there, cold and gray,
Watch him as he tries to play;
No, he doesn’t knowthe way—­
He began to learn too late.
She’s a grim old hag,is Fate,
For she let him have his pile,
Smiling to herself the while,
Knowing what the cost wouldbe,
When he’d found theGolden Key.
Multimillionaire is he,
Many times more rich thanwe;
But at that I wouldn’ttrade
With the bargain that he made.
Came here many years ago,
Not a person did he know;
Had the money-hunger bad—­
Mad for money, piggish mad;
Didn’t let a joy diverthim,
Didn’t let a sorrowhurt him,
Let his friends and kin deserthim,
While he planned and pluggedand hurried
On his quest for gold andpower.
Every single wakeful hour
With a money thought he’ddower;
All the while as he grew older,
And grew bolder, he grew colder.
And he thought that some day
He would take the time toplay;
But, say—­he waswrong.
Life’s a song;
In the spring
Youth can sing and can fling;
But joys wing
When we’re older,
Like birds when it’scolder.
The roses were red as he wentrushing by,
And glorious tapestries hungin the sky,
And the clover was waving
‘Neath honey-bees’slaving;
A bird over there
Roundelayed a soft air;
But the man couldn’tspare
Time for gathering flowers,
Or resting in bowers,
Or gazing at skies
That gladdened the eyes.
So he kept on and swept on
Through mean, sordid years.
Now he’s up to his ears
In the choicest of stocks.

He owns endless blocks
Of houses and shops,
And the stream never stops
Pouring into his banks.
I suppose that he ranks
Pretty near to the top.
What I have wouldn’tsop
His ambition one tittle;
And yet with my little
I don’t care to trade
With the bargain he made.
Just watch him to-day—­
See him trying to play.
He’s come back for blueskies.
But they’re in a newguise—­
Winter’s here, all isgray,
The birds are away,
The meadows are brown,
The leaves lie aground,
And the gay brook that wound
With a swirling and whirling
Of waters, is furling
Its bosom in ice.
And he hasn’t the price,
With all of his gold,
To buy what he sold.
He knows now the cost
Of the spring-time he lost,
Of the flowers he tossed
From his way,
And, say,
He’d pay
Any price if the day
Could be made not so gray.
He can’t play.

—­HERBERT KAUFMAN.Used by permission of Everybody’s Magazine.

Change of Tempo Prevents Monotony

The canary in the cage before the window is addingto the beauty and charm of his singing by a continualchange of tempo. If King Solomon had been anorator he undoubtedly would have gathered wisdom fromthe song of the wild birds as well as from the bees.Imagine a song written with but quarter notes.Imagine an auto with only one speed.


1. Note the change of tempo indicated in thefollowing, and how it gives a pleasing variety.Read it aloud. (Fast tempo is indicated by italics,slow by small capitals.)

And he thought that some day he wouldtake the time to play; but, say—­HEWAS WRONG. LIFE’S A SONG; in theSPRING YOUTH can SING and can FLING;BUT JOYS WING WHEN WE’RE OLDER, LIKE THEBIRDS when it’s COLDER. The roses werered as he went rushing by, and glorious tapestrieshung in the sky.

2. Turn to “Fools Gold,” on Page42, and deliver it in an unvaried tempo: notehow monotonous is the result. This poem requiresa great many changes of tempo, and is an excellentone for practise.

3. Use the changes of tempo indicated in thefollowing, noting how they prevent monotony.Where no change of tempo is indicated, use a moderatespeed. Too much of variety would really be a returnto monotony.


“A MOB KILLS THE WRONG MAN”was flashed in a newspaper headline lately.The mob is an IRRESPONSIBLE, UNTHINKING MASS. Italways destroys BUT NEVER CONSTRUCTS. Itcriticises BUT NEVER CREATES.
Utter a great truth AND THE MOBWILL HATE YOU. See how it condemned DANTEto EXILE. Encounter the dangers of the unknownworld for its benefit, AND THE MOB WILL DECLAREYOU CRAZY. It ridiculed COLUMBUS, andfor discovering a new world GAVE HIM PRISONAND CHAINS.
Write a poem to thrill human heartswith pleasure, AND THE MOB WILL ALLOW YOUTO GO HUNGRY: THE BLIND HOMER BEGGED BREAD THROUGHTHE STREETS. Invent a machine to save laborAND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU ITS ENEMY. Lessthan a hundred years ago a furious rabble smashedThimonier’s invention, the sewing machine.
Emerson says: “A mob is asociety of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselvesof reason and traversing its work. The mob isman voluntarily descended to the nature of the beast.Its fit hour of activity is NIGHT.ITS ACTIONS ARE INSANE, like its whole constitution.It persecutes a principle—­IT WOULDWHIP A RIGHT. It would tar and feather justiceby inflicting fire and outrage upon the houseand persons of those who have these.”
The mob spirit stalks abroad in ourland today. Every week gives a fresh victimto its malignant cry for blood. There were 48persons killed by mobs in the United States in1913; 64 in 1912, and 71 in 1911. Among the48 last year were a woman and a child. Twovictims were proven innocent after their death.
IN 399 B.C. A DEMAGOG APPEALEDTO THE POPULAR MOB TO HAVE SOCRATES PUT TO DEATHand he was sentenced to the hemlock cup. FOURTEENHUNDRED YEARS AFTERWARD AN ENTHUSIAST APPEALED TO THEPOPULAR MOB and all Europe plunged into theHoly Land to kill and mangle the heathen.In the seventeenth century a demagog appealedto the ignorance of men AND TWENTY PEOPLE WEREEXECUTED AT SALEM, MASS., WITHIN SIX MONTHS FORWITCHCRAFT. Two thousand years ago the mobyelled, “RELEASE UNTO US BARABBAS”—­ANDBARABBAS WAS A MURDERER!

—­From an Editorialby D.C. in “Leslie’s Weekly,” bypermission.

Present-day business is as unlikeOLD-TIME BUSINESS as the OLD-TIME OX-CART is unlikethe present-day locomotive. INVENTION hasmade the whole world over again. The railroad,telegraph, telephone have bound the peopleof MODERN NATIONS into FAMILIES. To do thebusiness of these closely knit millions in everymodern country GREAT BUSINESS CONCERNS CAME INTOBEING. What we call big business is the CHILDOF THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS OF MANKIND. So warfareto destroy big business is FOOLISH BECAUSEIT CAN NOT SUCCEED and wicked BECAUSE ITOUGHT NOT TO SUCCEED. Warfare to destroy big businessdoes not hurt big business, which always comes outon top, SO MUCH AS IT HURTS ALL OTHER BUSINESSWHICH, IN SUCH A WARFARE, NEVER COME OUT ON TOP.


Change of Tempo Produces Emphasis

Any big change of tempo is emphatic and will catchthe attention. You may scarcely be consciousthat a passenger train is moving when it is flyingover the rails at ninety miles an hour, but if it slowsdown very suddenly to a ten-mile gait your attentionwill be drawn to it very decidedly. You may forgetthat you are listening to music as you dine, but letthe orchestra either increase or diminish its tempoin a very marked degree and your attention will bearrested at once.

This same principle will procure emphasis in a speech.If you have a point that you want to bring home toyour audience forcefully, make a sudden and greatchange of tempo, and they will be powerless to keepfrom paying attention to that point. Recentlythe present writer saw a play in which these lineswere spoken:

“I don’t want you to forget what I said.I want you to remember it the longest day you—­Idon’t care if you’ve got six guns.”The part up to the dash was delivered in a very slowtempo, the remainder was named out at lightning speed,as the character who was spoken to drew a revolver.The effect was so emphatic that the lines are rememberedsix months afterwards, while most of the play hasfaded from memory. The student who has powersof observation will see this principle applied by allour best actors in their efforts to get emphasis whereemphasis is due. But remember that the emotionin the matter must warrant the intensity in the manner,or the effect will be ridiculous. Too many publicspeakers are impressive over nothing.

Thought rather than rules must govern you while practisingchange of pace. It is often a matter of no consequencewhich part of a sentence is spoken slowly and whichis given in fast tempo. The main thing to bedesired is the change itself. For example, inthe selection, “The Mob,” on page 46,note the last paragraph. Reverse the instructionsgiven, delivering everything that is marked for slowtempo, quickly; and everything that is marked forquick tempo, slowly. You will note that the forceor meaning of the passage has not been destroyed.

However, many passages cannot be changed to a slowtempo without destroying their force. Instances:The Patrick Henry speech on page 110, and the followingpassage from Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy.”

O for boyhood’s time of June,crowding years in one brief moon, when all thingsI heard or saw, me, their master, waited for.I was rich in flowers and trees, humming-birdsand honey-bees; for my sport the squirrel played;plied the snouted mole his spade; for my tastethe blackberry cone purpled over hedge and stone;laughed the brook for my delight through the dayand through the night, whispering at the gardenwall, talked with me from fall to fall; mine thesand-rimmed pickerel pond; mine the walnut slopesbeyond; mine, an bending orchard trees, apples ofHesperides! Still, as my horizon grew, largergrew my riches, too; all the world I saw or knewseemed a complex Chinese toy, fashioned for abarefoot boy!


Be careful in regulating your tempo not to get yourmovement too fast. This is a common fault withamateur speakers. Mrs. Siddons rule was, “Taketime.” A hundred years ago there was usedin medical circles a preparation known as “theshot gun remedy;” it was a mixture of aboutfifty different ingredients, and was given to the patientin the hope that at least one of them would proveefficacious! That seems a rather poor schemefor medical practice, but it is good to use “shotgun” tempo for most speeches, as it gives avariety. Tempo, like diet, is best when mixed.


1. Define tempo.

2. What words come from the same root?

3. What is meant by a change of tempo?

4. What effects are gained by it?

5. Name three methods of destroying monotonyand gaining force in speaking.

6. Note the changes of tempo in a conversationor speech that you hear. Were they well made?Why? Illustrate.

7. Read selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37, and38, paying careful attention to change of tempo.

8. As a rule, excitement, joy, or intense angertake a fast tempo, while sorrow, and sentiments ofgreat dignity or solemnity tend to a slow tempo.Try to deliver Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech (page50), in a fast tempo, or Patrick Henry’s speech(page 110), in a slow tempo, and note how ridiculousthe effect will be.

Practise the following selections, noting carefullywhere the tempo may be changed to advantage.Experiment, making numerous changes. Which onedo you like best?


Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathersbrought forth upon this continent a new nation,conceived in liberty and dedicated to the propositionthat all men are created equal. Now we are engagedin a great civil war, testing whether that nation—­orany nation so conceived and so dedicated—­canlong endure.
We are met on a great battlefield ofthat war. We are met to dedicate a portionof it as the final resting-place of those who havegiven their lives that that nation might live.It is altogether fitting and proper that we shoulddo this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate,we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground.The brave men, living and dead, who struggledhere, have consecrated it, far above our powerto add or to detract. The world will very littlenote nor long remember what we say here; but itcan never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather, tobe dedicated here to the unfinished work theyhave thus far so nobly carried on. It is ratherfor us to be here dedicated to the great task remainingbefore us: that from these honored dead wetake increased devotion to that cause for whichthey here gave the last full measure of devotion;that we here highly resolve that these dead shallnot have died in vain; that the nation shall, underGod, have a new birth of freedom, and that governmentof the people, by the people, for the people,shall not perish from the earth.



[This deliberative oration was deliveredby Senator Thurston in the United States Senateon March 24, 1898. It is recorded in fullin the Congressional Record of that date.Mrs. Thurston died in Cuba. As a dying requestshe urged her husband, who was investigating affairsin the island, to do his utmost to induce theUnited States to intervene—­hence this oration.]
Mr. President, I am here by commandof silent lips to speak once and for all uponthe Cuban situation. I shall endeavor to be honest,conservative, and just. I have no purpose to stirthe public passion to any action not necessaryand imperative to meet the duties and necessitiesof American responsibility, Christian humanity,and national honor. I would shirk this task ifI could, but I dare not. I cannot satisfy my conscienceexcept by speaking, and speaking now.
I went to Cuba firmly believing thatthe condition of affairs there had been greatlyexaggerated by the press, and my own efforts weredirected in the first instance to the attempted exposureof these supposed exaggerations. There has undoubtedlybeen much sensationalism in the journalism of thetime, but as to the condition of affairs in Cuba,there has been no exaggeration, because exaggerationhas been impossible.
Under the inhuman policy of Weyler notless than four hundred thousand self-supporting,simple, peaceable, defenseless country peoplewere driven from their homes in the agricultural portionsof the Spanish provinces to the cities, and imprisonedupon the barren waste outside the residence portionsof these cities and within the lines of intrenchmentestablished a little way beyond. Their humblehomes were burned, their fields laid waste, theirimplements of husbandry destroyed, their live stockand food supplies for the most part confiscated.Most of the people were old men, women, and children.They were thus placed in hopeless imprisonment,without shelter or food. There was no workfor them in the cities to which they were driven.They were left with nothing to depend upon exceptthe scanty charity of the inhabitants of the citiesand with slow starvation their inevitable fate....
The pictures in the American newspapersof the starving reconcentrados are true.They can all be duplicated by the thousands.I never before saw, and please God I may never againsee, so deplorable a sight as the reconcentradosin the suburbs of Matanzas. I can never forgetto my dying day the hopeless anguish in theirdespairing eyes. Huddled about their little barkhuts, they raised no voice of appeal to us for almsas we went among them....

Men, women, and children standsilent, famishing with hunger.
Their only appeal comes fromtheir sad eyes, through which one
looks as through an open windowinto their agonizing souls.

The government of Spain has not appropriatedand will not appropriate one dollar to save thesepeople. They are now being attended and nursedand administered to by the charity of the UnitedStates. Think of the spectacle! We are feedingthese citizens of Spain; we are nursing theirsick; we are saving such as can be saved, andyet there are those who still say it is rightfor us to send food, but we must keep hands off.I say that the time has come when muskets oughtto go with the food.
We asked the governor if he knew ofany relief for these people except through thecharity of the United States. He did not.We asked him, “When do you think the timewill come that these people can be placed in aposition of self-support?” He replied tous, with deep feeling, “Only the good God orthe great government of the United States willanswer that question.” I hope and believethat the good God by the great government of theUnited States will answer that question.
I shall refer to these horrible thingsno further. They are there. God pityme, I have seen them; they will remain in my mindforever—­and this is almost the twentiethcentury. Christ died nineteen hundred yearsago, and Spain is a Christian nation. Shehas set up more crosses in more lands, beneath moreskies, and under them has butchered more peoplethan all the other nations of the earth combined.Europe may tolerate her existence as long as thepeople of the Old World wish. God grant thatbefore another Christmas morning the last vestige ofSpanish tyranny and oppression will have vanishedfrom the Western Hemisphere!...
The time for action has come. Nogreater reason for it can exist to-morrow thanexists to-day. Every hour’s delay only addsanother chapter to the awful story of misery anddeath. Only one power can intervene—­theUnited States of America. Ours is the onegreat nation in the world, the mother of American republics.She holds a position of trust and responsibilitytoward the peoples and affairs of the whole WesternHemisphere. It was her glorious example whichinspired the patriots of Cuba to raise the flagof liberty in her eternal hills. We cannot refuseto accept this responsibility which the God ofthe universe has placed upon us as the one greatpower in the New World. We must act!What shall our action be?
Against the intervention of the UnitedStates in this holy cause there is but one voiceof dissent; that voice is the voice of the money-changers.They fear war! Not because of any Christian orennobling sentiment against war and in favor of peace,but because they fear that a declaration of war,or the intervention which might result in war,would have a depressing effect upon the stockmarket. Let them go. They do not representAmerican sentiment; they do not represent Americanpatriotism. Let them take their chances asthey can. Their weal or woe is of but littleimportance to the liberty-loving people of the UnitedStates. They will not do the fighting; theirblood will not flow; they will keep on dealingin options on human life. Let the men whoseloyalty is to the dollar stand aside while the menwhose loyalty is to the flag come to the front.
Mr. President, there is only one actionpossible, if any is taken; that is, interventionfor the independence of the island. But wecannot intervene and save Cuba without the exerciseof force, and force means war; war means blood.The lowly Nazarene on the shores of Galilee preachedthe divine doctrine of love, “Peace on earth,good will toward men.” Not peace on earthat the expense of liberty and humanity. Notgood will toward men who despoil, enslave, degrade,and starve to death their fellow-men. I believein the doctrine of Christ. I believe in thedoctrine of peace; but, Mr. President, men must haveliberty before there can come abiding peace.
Intervention means force. Forcemeans war. War means blood. But it willbe God’s force. When has a battle for humanityand liberty ever been won except by force?What barricade of wrong, injustice, and oppressionhas ever been carried except by force?
Force compelled the signature of unwillingroyalty to the great Magna Charta; force put lifeinto the Declaration of Independence and madeeffective the Emancipation Proclamation; forcebeat with naked hands upon the iron gateway of theBastile and made reprisal in one awful hour forcenturies of kingly crime; force waved the flagof revolution over Bunker Hill and marked thesnows of Valley Forge with blood-stained feet; forceheld the broken line of Shiloh, climbed the flame-swepthill at Chattanooga, and stormed the clouds onLookout Heights; force marched with Sherman tothe sea, rode with Sheridan in the valley of theShenandoah, and gave Grant victory at Appomattox;force saved the Union, kept the stars in the flag,made “nigg*rs” men. The timefor God’s force has come again. Let theimpassioned lips of American patriots once moretake up the song:—­
“In the beauty of the lilies,Christ was born across the sea.
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures youand me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to makemen free.

WhileGod is marching on.”

Others may hesitate, others may procrastinate,others may plead for further diplomatic negotiation,which means delay; but for me, I am ready to actnow, and for my action I am ready to answer tomy conscience, my country, and my God.




The true business of the literary artistis to plait or weave his meaning, involving itaround itself; so that each sentence, by successivephrases, shall first come into a kind of knot, andthen, after a moment of suspended meaning, solveand clear itself.

—­GEORGE SAINTSBURY,on English Prose Style, in Miscellaneous

... pause ... has a distinctive value,expressed in silence; in other words, while thevoice is waiting, the music of the movement isgoing on ... To manage it, with its delicaciesand compensations, requires that same finenessof ear on which we must depend for all faultlessprose rhythm. When there is no compensation,when the pause is inadvertent ... there is a senseof jolting and lack, as if some pin or fasteninghad fallen out.

—­JOHN FRANKLINGENUNG, The Working Principles of Rhetoric.

Pause, in public speech, is not mere silence—­itis silence made designedly eloquent.

When a man says: “I-uh-it is with profound-ah-pleasurethat-er-I have been permitted to speak to you tonightand-uh-uh-I should say-er”—­that isnot pausing; that is stumbling. It is conceivablethat a speaker may be effective in spite of stumbling—­butnever because of it.

On the other hand, one of the most important meansof developing power in public speaking is to pauseeither before or after, or both before and after,an important word or phrase. No one who wouldbe a forceful speaker can afford to neglect this principle—­oneof the most significant that has ever been inferredfrom listening to great orators. Study this potentialdevice until you have absorbed and assimilated it.

It would seem that this principle of rhetorical pauseought to be easily grasped and applied, but a longexperience in training both college men and maturerspeakers has demonstrated that the device is no morereadily understood by the average man when it is firstexplained to him than if it were spoken in Hindoostani.Perhaps this is because we do not eagerly devour thefruit of experience when it is impressively set beforeus on the platter of authority; we like to pluck fruitfor ourselves—­it not only tastes better,but we never forget that tree! Fortunately, thisis no difficult task, in this instance, for the treesstand thick all about us.

One man is pleading the cause of another:

“This man, my friends,has made this wonderful sacrifice—­for
you and me.”

Did not the pause surprisingly enhance the power ofthis statement? See how he gathered up reserveforce and impressiveness to deliver the words “foryou and me.” Repeat this passage withoutmaking a pause. Did it lose in effectiveness?

Naturally enough, during a premeditated pause of thiskind the mind of the speaker is concentrated on thethought to which he is about to give expression.He will not dare to allow his thoughts to wander foran instant—­he will rather supremely centerhis thought and his emotion upon the sacrifice whoseservice, sweetness and divinity he is enforcing byhis appeal.

Concentration, then, is the big word here—­nopause without it can perfectly hit the mark.

Efficient pausing accomplishes one or all of fourresults:

1. Pause Enables the Mind of the Speaker toGather His Forces Before Delivering the Final Volley

It is often dangerous to rush into battle withoutpausing for preparation or waiting for recruits.Consider Custer’s massacre as an instance.

You can light a match by holding it beneath a lensand concentrating the sun’s rays. You wouldnot expect the match to flame if you jerked the lensback and forth quickly. Pause, and the lens gathersthe heat. Your thoughts will not set fire tothe minds of your hearers unless you pause to gatherthe force that comes by a second or two of concentration.Maple trees and gas wells are rarely tapped continually;when a stronger flow is wanted, a pause is made, naturehas time to gather her reserve forces, and when thetree or the well is reopened, a stronger flow is theresult.

Use the same common sense with your mind. Ifyou would make a thought particularly effective, pausejust before its utterance, concentrate your mind-energies,and then give it expression with renewed vigor.Carlyle was right: “Speak not, I passionatelyentreat thee, till thy thought has silently matureditself. Out of silence comes thy strength.Speech is silvern, Silence is golden; Speech is human,Silence is divine.”

Silence has been called the father of speech.It should be. Too many of our public speecheshave no fathers. They ramble along without pauseor break. Like Tennyson’s brook, they runon forever. Listen to little children, the policemanon the corner, the family conversation around thetable, and see how many pauses they naturally use,for they are unconscious of effects. When weget before an audience, we throw most of our naturalmethods of expression to the wind, and strive afterartificial effects. Get back to the methods ofnature—­and pause.

2. Pause Prepares the Mind of the Auditorto Receive Your Message

Herbert Spencer said that all the universe is in motion.So it is—­and all perfect motion is rhythm.Part of rhythm is rest. Rest follows activityall through nature. Instances: day and night;spring—­summer—­autumn—­winter;a period of rest between breaths; an instant of completerest between heart beats. Pause, and give theattention-powers of your audience a rest. Whatyou say after such a silence will then have a greatdeal more effect.

When your country cousins come to town, the noiseof a passing car will awaken them, though it seldomaffects a seasoned city dweller. By the continualpassing of cars his attention-power has become deadened.In one who visits the city but seldom, attention-valueis insistent. To him the noise comes after along pause; hence its power. To you, dweller inthe city, there is no pause; hence the low attention-value.After riding on a train several hours you will becomeso accustomed to its roar that it will lose its attention-value,unless the train should stop for a while and startagain. If you attempt to listen to a clock-tickthat is so far away that you can barely hear it, youwill find that at times you are unable to distinguish*t, but in a few moments the sound becomes distinctagain. Your mind will pause for rest whether youdesire it to do so or not.

The attention of your audience will act in quite thesame way. Recognize this law and prepare forit—­by pausing. Let it be repeated:the thought that follows a pause is much more dynamicthan if no pause had occurred. What is said toyou of a night will not have the same effect on yourmind as if it had been uttered in the morning whenyour attention had been lately refreshed by the pauseof sleep. We are told on the first page of theBible that even the Creative Energy of God rested onthe “seventh day.” You may be sure,then, that the frail finite mind of your audiencewill likewise demand rest. Observe nature, studyher laws, and obey them in your speaking.

3. Pause Creates Effective Suspense

Suspense is responsible for a great share of our interestin life; it will be the same with your speech.A play or a novel is often robbed of much of its interestif you know the plot beforehand. We like to keepguessing as to the outcome. The ability to createsuspense is part of woman’s power to hold theother sex. The circus acrobat employs this principlewhen he fails purposely in several attempts to performa feat, and then achieves it. Even the deliberatemanner in which he arranges the preliminaries increasesour expectation—­we like to be kept waiting.In the last act of the play, “Polly of the Circus,”there is a circus scene in which a little dog turnsa backward somersault on the back of a running pony.One night when he hesitated and had to be coaxed andworked with a long time before he would perform hisfeat he got a great deal more applause than when hedid his trick at once. We not only like to waitbut we appreciate what we wait for. If fish bitetoo readily the sport soon ceases to be a sport.

It is this same principle of suspense that holds youin a Sherlock Holmes story—­you wait tosee how the mystery is solved, and if it is solvedtoo soon you throw down the tale unfinished. WilkieCollins’ receipt for fiction writing well appliesto public speech: “Make ’em laugh;make ’em weep; make ’em wait.”Above all else make them wait; if they will not dothat you may be sure they will neither laugh nor weep.

Thus pause is a valuable instrument in the hands ofa trained speaker to arouse and maintain suspense.We once heard Mr. Bryan say in a speech: “Itwas my privilege to hear”—­and he paused,while the audience wondered for a second whom it washis privilege to hear—­“the greatevangelist”—­and he paused again; weknew a little more about the man he had heard, butstill wondered to which evangelist he referred; andthen he concluded: “Dwight L. Moody.”Mr. Bryan paused slightly again and continued:“I came to regard him”—­herehe paused again and held the audience in a brief momentof suspense as to how he had regarded Mr. Moody, thencontinued—­“as the greatest preacherof his day.” Let the dashes illustratepauses and we have the following:

“It was my privilegeto hear—­the great evangelist—­DwightL.
Moody.—­I came toregard him—­as the greatest preacher of his

The unskilled speaker would have rattled this offwith neither pause nor suspense, and the sentenceswould have fallen flat upon the audience. Itis precisely the application of these small thingsthat makes much of the difference between the successfuland the unsuccessful speaker.

4. Pausing After An Important Idea Gives itTime to Penetrate

Any Missouri farmer will tell you that a rain thatfalls too fast will run off into the creeks and dothe crops but little good. A story is told ofa country deacon praying for rain in this manner:“Lord, don’t send us any chunk floater.Just give us a good old drizzle-drazzle.”A speech, like a rain, will not do anybody much goodif it comes too fast to soak in. The farmer’swife follows this same principle in doing her washingwhen she puts the clothes in water—­and pausesfor several hours that the water may soak in.The physician puts cocaine on your turbinates—­andpauses to let it take hold before he removes them.Why do we use this principle everywhere except inthe communication of ideas? If you have giventhe audience a big idea, pause for a second or twoand let them turn it over. See what effect ithas. After the smoke clears away you may haveto fire another 14-inch shell on the same subjectbefore you demolish the citadel of error that you aretrying to destroy. Take time. Don’tlet your speech resemble those tourists who try “todo” New York in a day. They spend fifteenminutes looking at the masterpieces in the MetropolitanMuseum of Arts, ten minutes in the Museum of NaturalHistory, take a peep into the Aquarium, hurry acrossthe Brooklyn Bridge, rush up to the Zoo, and back byGrant’s Tomb—­and call that “SeeingNew York.” If you hasten by your importantpoints without pausing, your audience will have justabout as adequate an idea of what you have tried toconvey.

Take time, you have just as much of it as our richestmultimillionaire. Your audience will wait foryou. It is a sign of smallness to hurry.The great redwood trees of California had burst throughthe soil five hundred years before Socrates drankhis cup of hemlock poison, and are only in their primetoday. Nature shames us with our petty haste.Silence is one of the most eloquent things in the world.Master it, and use it through pause.

* * * * *

In the following selections dashes have been insertedwhere pauses may be used effectively. Naturally,you may omit some of these and insert others withoutgoing wrong—­one speaker would interpreta passage in one way, one in another; it is largelya matter of personal preference. A dozen greatactors have played Hamlet well, and yet each has playedthe part differently. Which comes the nearestto perfection is a question of opinion. You willsucceed best by daring to follow your own course—­ifyou are individual enough to blaze an original trail.

A moment’s halt—­amomentary taste of being from the well amid
the waste—­and lo!the phantom caravan has reached—­the nothing
it set out from—­Ohmake haste!

The worldly hope men set theirhearts upon—­turns ashes—­or it
prospers;—­and anonlike snow upon the desert’s dusty
face—­lighting alittle hour or two—­is gone.

The bird of time has but alittle way to flutter,—­and the bird
is on the wing.

You will note that the punctuation marks have nothingto do with the pausing. You may run by a periodvery quickly and make a long pause where there isno kind of punctuation. Thought is greater thanpunctuation. It must guide you in your pauses.

A book of verses underneaththe bough,—­a jug of wine, a loaf of
bread—­and thoubeside me singing in the
wilderness—­Oh—­wildernesswere paradise enow.

You must not confuse the pause for emphasis with thenatural pauses that come through taking breath andphrasing. For example, note the pauses indicatedin this selection from Byron:

But hush!—­hark!—­thatdeep sound breaks in once more,
And nearer!—­clearer!—­deadlierthan before.
Arm, ARM!—­itis—­it is the cannon’s opening roar!

It is not necessary to dwell at length upon theseobvious distinctions. You will observe that innatural conversation our words are gathered into clustersor phrases, and we often pause to take breath betweenthem. So in public speech, breathe naturally anddo not talk until you must gasp for breath; nor untilthe audience is equally winded.

A serious word of caution must here be uttered:do not overwork the pause. To do so will makeyour speech heavy and stilted. And do not thinkthat pause can transmute commonplace thoughts intogreat and dignified utterance. A grand mannercombined with insignificant ideas is like harnessinga Hambletonian with an ass. You remember the farcicalold school declamation, “A Midnight Murder,”that proceeded in grandiose manner to a thrillingclimax, and ended—­“and relentlesslymurdered—­a mosquito!”

The pause, dramatically handled, always drew a laughfrom the tolerant hearers. This is all very wellin farce, but such anti-climax becomes painful whenthe speaker falls from the sublime to the ridiculousquite unintentionally. The pause, to be effectivein some other manner than in that of the boomerang,must precede or follow a thought that is really worthwhile, or at least an idea whose bearing upon the restof the speech is important.

William Pittenger relates in his volume, “ExtemporeSpeech,” an instance of the unconsciously farcicaluse of the pause by a really great American statesmanand orator. “He had visited Niagara Fallsand was to make an oration at Buffalo the same day,but, unfortunately, he sat too long over the wineafter dinner. When he arose to speak, the oratoricalinstinct struggled with difficulties, as he declared,’Gentlemen, I have been to look upon your mag—­mag—­magnificentcataract, one hundred—­and forty—­seven—­feethigh! Gentlemen, Greece and Rome in their palmiestdays never had a cataract one hundred—­andforty—­seven—­feet high!’”


1. Name four methods for destroying monotonyand gaining power in speaking.

2. What are the four special effects of pause?

3. Note the pauses in a conversation, play, orspeech. Were they the best that could have beenused? Illustrate.

4. Read aloud selections on pages 50-54, payingspecial attention to pause.

5. Read the following without making any pauses.Reread correctly and note the difference:

Soon the night will pass;and when, of the Sentinel on the
ramparts of Liberty the anxiousask: | “Watchman, what of the
night?” his answer willbe | “Lo, the morn appeareth.”

Knowing the price we must pay, | the sacrifice | we must make, |the burdens | we must carry, | the assaults | we must endure, |knowing full well the cost, | yet we enlist, and we enlist | forthe war. | For we know the justice of our cause, | and we know,too, its certain triumph. |
Not reluctantly, then, | but eagerly, | not with faint hearts, |but strong, do we now advance upon the enemies of the people. |For the call that comes to us is the call that came to ourfathers. | As they responded, so shall we.

“He hath sounded fortha trumpet | that shall never call retreat,
He is sifting out the heartsof men | before His judgment seat.
Oh, be swift | our souls toanswer Him, | be jubilant our feet,
Our God | is marching on.”

—­ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE,From his speech as temporary chairman of
Progressive National Convention,Chicago, 1912

6. Bring out the contrasting ideas in the followingby using the pause:

Contrast now the circ*mstances of yourlife and mine, gently and with temper, AEschines;and then ask these people whose fortune they wouldeach of them prefer. You taught reading, I wentto school: you performed initiations, I receivedthem: you danced in the chorus, I furnishedit: you were assembly-clerk, I was a speaker:you acted third parts, I heard you: you brokedown, and I hissed: you have worked as astatesman for the enemy, I for my country.I pass by the rest; but this very day I am on my probationfor a crown, and am acknowledged to be innocent ofall offence; while you are already judged to bea pettifogger, and the question is, whether youshall continue that trade, or at once be silencedby not getting a fifth part of the votes. A happyfortune, do you see, you have enjoyed, that you shoulddenounce mine as miserable!


7. After careful study and practice, mark thepauses in the following:

The past rises before me like a dream.Again we are in the great struggle for nationallife. We hear the sounds of preparation—­themusic of the boisterous drums, the silver voicesof heroic bugles. We see thousands of assemblages,and hear the appeals of orators; we see the palecheeks of women and the flushed faces of men;and in those assemblages we see all the dead whosedust we have covered with flowers. We lose sightof them no more. We are with them when theyenlist in the great army of freedom. We seethem part from those they love. Some are walkingfor the last time in quiet woody places with the maidenthey adore. We hear the whisperings and thesweet vows of eternal love as they lingeringlypart forever. Others are bending over cradles,kissing babies that are asleep. Some are receivingthe blessings of old men. Some are parting fromthose who hold them and press them to their heartsagain and again, and say nothing; and some aretalking with wives, and endeavoring with bravewords spoken in the old tones to drive from theirhearts the awful fear. We see them part.We see the wife standing in the door, with thebabe in her arms—­standing in the sunlightsobbing; at the turn of the road a hand waves—­sheanswers by holding high in her loving hands the child.He is gone—­and forever.

—­ROBERT J. INGERSOLL,to the Soldiers of Indianapolis.

8. Where would you pause in the following selections?Try pausing in different places and note the effectit gives.

The moving finger writes;and having writ moves on: nor all your
piety nor wit shall lure itback to cancel half a line, nor all
your tears wash out a wordof it.

The history of womankind is a storyof abuse. For ages men beat, sold, and abusedtheir wives and daughters like cattle. The Spartanmother that gave birth to one of her own sex disgracedherself; the girl babies were often deserted inthe mountains to starve; China bound and deformedtheir feet; Turkey veiled their faces; Americadenied them equal educational advantages with men.Most of the world still refuses them the right toparticipate in the government and everywhere womenbear the brunt of an unequal standard of morality.
But the women are on the march.They are walking upward to the sunlit plains wherethe thinking people rule. China has ceased bindingtheir feet. In the shadow of the Harem Turkeyhas opened a school for girls. America hasgiven the women equal educational advantages,and America, we believe, will enfranchise them.
We can do little to help and not muchto hinder this great movement. The thinkingpeople have put their O.K. upon it. It is movingforward to its goal just as surely as this old earthis swinging from the grip of winter toward thespring’s blossoms and the summer’sharvest.[1]

9. Read aloud the following address, paying carefulattention to pause wherever the emphasis may therebybe heightened.


... At last, the Republican partyhas appeared. It avows, now, as the Republicanparty of 1800 did, in one word, its faith and itsworks, “Equal and exact justice to all men.”Even when it first entered the field, only halforganized, it struck a blow which only just failedto secure complete and triumphant victory.In this, its second campaign, it has already won advantageswhich render that triumph now both easy and certain.The secret of its assured success lies in thatvery characteristic which, in the mouth of scoffers,constitutes its great and lasting imbecility andreproach. It lies in the fact that it isa party of one idea; but that is a noble one—­anidea that fills and expands all generous souls;the idea of equality of all men before human tribunalsand human laws, as they all are equal before theDivine tribunal and Divine laws.
I know, and you know, that a revolutionhas begun. I know, and all the world knows,that revolutions never go backward. Twenty senatorsand a hundred representatives proclaim boldly in Congressto-day sentiments and opinions and principles of freedomwhich hardly so many men, even in this free State,dared to utter in their own homes twenty yearsago. While the government of the United States,under the conduct of the Democratic party, hasbeen all that time surrendering one plain andcastle after another to slavery, the people of theUnited States have been no less steadily and perseveringlygathering together the forces with which to recoverback again all the fields and all the castleswhich have been lost, and to confound and overthrow,by one decisive blow, the betrayers of the Constitutionand freedom forever.



[Footnote 1: From an editorial by D.C. in Leslie’sWeekly, June 4, 1914. Used by permission.]



How soft the music of thosevillage bells,
Falling at intervals uponthe ear
In cadence sweet; now dyingall away,
Now pealing loud again, andlouder still,
Clear and sonorous, as thegale comes on!
With easy force it opens allthe cells
Where Memory slept.


Herbert Spencer remarked that “Cadence”—­bywhich he meant the modulation of the tones of thevoice in speaking—­“is the runningcommentary of the emotions upon the propositions ofthe intellect.” How true this is will appearwhen we reflect that the little upward and downwardshadings of the voice tell more truly what we meanthan our words. The expressiveness of languageis literally multiplied by this subtle power to shadethe vocal tones, and this voice-shading we call inflection.

The change of pitch within a word is even moreimportant, because more delicate, than the changeof pitch from phrase to phrase. Indeed, one cannotbe practised without the other. The bare wordsare only so many bricks—­inflection willmake of them a pavement, a garage, or a cathedral.It is the power of inflection to change the meaningof words that gave birth to the old saying: “Itis not so much what you say, as how you say it.”

Mrs. Jameson, the Shakespearean commentator, has givenus a penetrating example of the effect of inflection;“In her impersonation of the part of Lady Macbeth,Mrs. Siddons adopted successively three differentintonations in giving the words ‘We fail.’At first a quick contemptuous interrogation—­’Wefail?’ Afterwards, with the note of admiration—­’Wefail,’ an accent of indignant astonishment layingthe principal emphasis on the word ‘we’—­’wefail.’ Lastly, she fixed on what I am convincedis the true reading—­We fail—­withthe simple period, modulating the voice to a deep,low, resolute tone which settles the issue at onceas though she had said: ‘If we fail, whythen we fail, and all is over.’”

This most expressive element of our speech is thelast to be mastered in attaining to naturalness inspeaking a foreign language, and its correct use isthe main element in a natural, flexible utterance ofour native tongue. Without varied inflectionsspeech becomes wooden and monotonous.

There are but two kinds of inflection, the risingand the falling, yet these two may be so shaded orso combined that they are capable of producing asmany varieties of modulation as maybe illustrated byeither one or two lines, straight or curved, thus:

[Illustration of each line]

Sharp rising

Long rising


Long falling

Sharp falling

Sharp rising and falling

Sharp falling and rising


These may be varied indefinitely, and serve merelyto illustrate what wide varieties of combination maybe effected by these two simple inflections of thevoice.

It is impossible to tabulate the various inflectionswhich serve to express various shades of thought andfeeling. A few suggestions are offered here,together with abundant exercises for practise, butthe only real way to master inflection is to observe,experiment, and practise.

For example, take the common sentence, “Oh,he’s all right.” Note how a risinginflection may be made to express faint praise, orpolite doubt, or uncertainty of opinion. Thennote how the same words, spoken with a generally fallinginflection may denote certainty, or good-natured approval,or enthusiastic praise, and so on.

In general, then, we find that a bending upward ofthe voice will suggest doubt and uncertainty, whilea decided falling inflection will suggest that youare certain of your ground.

Students dislike to be told that their speeches are“not so bad,” spoken with a rising inflection.To enunciate these words with a long falling inflectionwould indorse the speech rather heartily.

Say good-bye to an imaginary person whom you expectto see again tomorrow; then to a dear friend you neverexpect to meet again. Note the difference ininflection.

“I have had a delightful time,” when spokenat the termination of a formal tea by a frivolouswoman takes altogether different inflection than thesame words spoken between lovers who have enjoyed themselves.Mimic the two characters in repeating this and observethe difference.

Note how light and short the inflections are in thefollowing brief quotation from “Anthony theAbsolute,” by Samuel Mervin.

At Sea—­March28th.

This evening I told Sir RobertWhat’s His Name he was a fool.

I was quite right in this.He is.

Every evening since the ship left Vancouverhe has presided over the round table in the middleof the smoking-room. There he sips his coffeeand liqueur, and holds forth on every subject knownto the mind of man. Each subject is hissubject. He is an elderly person, with abad face and a drooping left eyelid.

They tell me that he is inthe British Service—­a judge
somewhere down in Malaysia,where they drink more than is good
for them.

Deliver the two following selections with great earnestness,and note how the inflections differ from the foregoing.Then reread these selections in a light, superficialmanner, noting that the change of attitude is expressedthrough a change of inflection.

When I read a sublime factin Plutarch, or an unselfish deed in
a line of poetry, or thrillbeneath some heroic legend, it is no
longer fairyland—­Ihave seen it matched.


Thought is deeper than allspeech,
Feelingdeeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
What untothemselves was taught.


It must be made perfectly clear that inflection dealsmostly in subtle, delicate shading within singlewords, and is not by any means accomplished bya general rise or fall in the voice in speaking asentence. Yet certain sentences may be effectivelydelivered with just such inflection. Try thissentence in several ways, making no modulation untilyou come to the last two syllables, as indicated,

And yet I told him dis-__________________________(high) | tinctly.|___________(low)
tinctly.____________And yet I told him dis- | (high)_________________________|(low)

Now try this sentence by inflecting the importantwords so as to bring out various shades of meaning.The first forms, illustrated above, show change ofpitch within a single word; the forms you willwork out for yourself should show a number of suchinflections throughout the sentence.

One of the chief means of securing emphasis is toemploy a long falling inflection on the emphatic words—­thatis, to let the voice fall to a lower pitch on an interiorvowel sound in a word. Try it on the words “every,”“eleemosynary,” and “destroy.”

Use long falling inflections on the italicized wordsin the following selection, noting their emphaticpower. Are there any other words here that longfalling inflections would help to make expressive?


This, sir, is my case. It is thecase not merely of that humble institution; itis the case of every college in our land.It is more; it is the case of everyeleemosynary institution throughout our country—­ofall those great charities founded by thepiety of our ancestors to alleviate human misery andscatter blessings along the pathway of life.Sir, you may destroy this little institution—­itis weak, it is in your hands. I knowit is one of the lesser lights in the literary horizonof our country. You may put it out. But ifyou do you must carry through your work; you mustextinguish, one after another, all thosegreat lights of science which, for more than acentury, have thrown their radiance over our land!

It is, sir, as I have said,a small college, and yet—­there are
those who love it!

Sir, I know not how others may feel,but as for myself when I see my alma mater surrounded,like Caesar in the senate house, by those whoare reiterating stab after stab, I wouldnot for this right hand have her turn to me andsay, And thou, too, my son!


Be careful not to over-inflect. Too much modulationproduces an unpleasant effect of artificiality, likea mature matron trying to be kittenish. It isa short step between true expression and unintentionalburlesque. Scrutinize your own tones. Takea single expression like “Oh, no!” or“Oh, I see,” or “Indeed,” andby patient self-examination see how many shades ofmeaning may be expressed by inflection. This sortof common-sense practise will do you more good thana book of rules. But don’t forget to listento your own voice.


1. In your own words define (a) cadence, (b)modulation, (c) inflection, (d) emphasis.

2. Name five ways of destroying monotony andgaining effectiveness in speech.

3. What states of mind does falling inflectionsignify? Make as full a list as you can.

4. Do the same for the rising inflection.

5. How does the voice bend in expressing (a)surprise? (b) shame? (c) hate? (d)formality? (e) excitement?

6. Reread some sentence several times and byusing different inflections change the meaning witheach reading.

7. Note the inflections employed in some speechor conversation. Were they the best that couldbe used to bring out the meaning? Criticise andillustrate.

8. Render the following passages:

Has the gentleman done?Has he completely done?

And God said, Let there belight: and there was light.

9. Invent an indirect question and show how itwould naturally be inflected.

10. Does a direct question always require a risinginflection? Illustrate.

11. Illustrate how the complete ending of anexpression or of a speech is indicated by inflection.

12. Do the same for incompleteness of idea.

13. Illustrate (a) trembling, (b)hesitation, and (c) doubt by means of inflection.

14. Show how contrast may be expressed.

15. Try the effects of both rising and fallinginflections on the italicized words in the followingsentences. State your preference.

Gentlemen, I am persuaded,nay, I am resolved to speak.

It is sown a naturalbody; it is raised a spiritual body.


In the following selections secure emphasis by meansof long falling inflections rather than loudness.

Repeat these selections, attempting to put into practiseall the technical principles that we have thus farhad; emphasizing important words, subordinating unimportantwords, variety of pitch, changing tempo, pause, andinflection. If these principles are applied youwill have no trouble with monotony.

Constant practise will give great facility in theuse of inflection and will render the voice itselfflexible.


We charge him with having broken hiscoronation oath; and we are told that he kepthis marriage vow! We accuse him of having givenup his people to the merciless inflictions of the mosthot-headed and hard-hearted of prelates; and thedefence is, that he took his little son on hisknee and kissed him! We censure him for havingviolated the articles of the Petition of Right,after having, for good and valuable consideration,promised to observe them; and we are informed thathe was accustomed to hear prayers at six o’clockin the morning! It is to such considerationsas these, together with his Vandyke dress, hishandsome face, and his peaked beard, that he owes,we verily believe, most of his popularity withthe present generation.



We needed not that he should put onpaper that he believed in slavery, who, with treason,with murder, with cruelty infernal, hovered aroundthat majestic man to destroy his life. He washimself but the long sting with which slavery struckat liberty; and he carried the poison that belongedto slavery. As long as this nation lasts,it will never be forgotten that we have one martyredPresident—­never! Never, while timelasts, while heaven lasts, while hell rocks andgroans, will it be forgotten that slavery, byits minions, slew him, and in slaying him made manifestit* whole nature and tendency.
But another thing for us to rememberis that this blow was aimed at the life of thegovernment and of the nation. Lincoln was slain;America was meant. The man was cast down; thegovernment was smitten at. It was the Presidentwho was killed. It was national life, breathingfreedom and meaning beneficence, that was sought.He, the man of Illinois, the private man, divestedof robes and the insignia of authority, representingnothing but his personal self, might have beenhated; but that would not have called forth themurderer’s blow. It was because he stoodin the place of government, representing governmentand a government that represented right and liberty,that he was singled out.
This, then, is a crime against universalgovernment. It is not a blow at the foundationsof our government, more than at the foundationsof the English government, of the French government,of every compact and well-organized government.It was a crime against mankind. The wholeworld will repudiate and stigmatize it as a deedwithout a shade of redeeming light....
The blow, however, has signally failed.The cause is not stricken; it is strengthened.This nation has dissolved,—­but in tearsonly. It stands, four-square, more solid, to-day,than any pyramid in Egypt. This people areneither wasted, nor daunted, nor disordered.Men hate slavery and love liberty with stronger hateand love to-day than ever before. The Governmentis not weakened, it is made stronger....
And now the martyr is moving in triumphalmarch, mightier than when alive. The nationrises up at every stage of his coming. Citiesand states are his pall-bearers, and the cannon beatsthe hours with solemn progression. Dead—­dead—­dead—­heyet speaketh! Is Washington dead? IsHampden dead? Is David dead? Is anyman dead that ever was fit to live? Disenthralledof flesh, and risen to the unobstructed spherewhere passion never comes, he begins his illimitablework. His life now is grafted upon the Infinite,and will be fruitful as no earthly life can be.Pass on, thou that hast overcome! Your sorrowsO people, are his peace! Your bells, andbands, and muffled drums sound triumph in hisear. Wail and weep here; God makes it echo joyand triumph there. Pass on, victor!
Four years ago, O Illinois, we tookfrom your midst an untried man, and from amongthe people; we return him to you a mighty conqueror.Not thine any more, but the nation’s; not ours,but the world’s. Give him place, yeprairies! In the midst of this great Continenthis dust shall rest, a sacred treasure to myriadswho shall make pilgrimage to that shrine to kindleanew their zeal and patriotism. Ye winds,that move over the mighty places of the West,chant his requiem! Ye people, behold a martyr,whose blood, as so many inarticulate words, pleadsfor fidelity, for law, for liberty!



The event which we commemorate is all-important,not merely in our own annals, but in those ofthe world. The sententious English poet hasdeclared that “the proper study of mankind isman,” and of all inquiries of a temporalnature, the history of our fellow-beings is unquestionablyamong the most interesting. But not all thechapters of human history are alike important.The annals of our race have been filled up withincidents which concern not, or at least oughtnot to concern, the great company of mankind.History, as it has often been written, is the genealogyof princes, the field-book of conquerors; and thefortunes of our fellow-men have been treated onlyso far as they have been affected by the influenceof the great masters and destroyers of our race.Such history is, I will not say a worthless study,for it is necessary for us to know the dark sideas well as the bright side of our condition. Butit is a melancholy study which fills the bosomof the philanthropist and the friend of libertywith sorrow.
But the history of liberty—­thehistory of men struggling to be free—­thehistory of men who have acquired and are exercisingtheir freedom—­the history of those greatmovements in the world, by which liberty has beenestablished and perpetuated, forms a subject whichwe cannot contemplate too closely. This is thereal history of man, of the human family, of rationalimmortal beings....
The trial of adversity was theirs; thetrial of prosperity is ours. Let us meetit as men who know their duty and prize their blessings.Our position is the most enviable, the most responsible,which men can fill. If this generation does itsduty, the cause of constitutional freedom is safe.If we fail—­if we fail—­notonly do we defraud our children of the inheritancewhich we received from our fathers, but we blast thehopes of the friends of liberty throughout ourcontinent, throughout Europe, throughout the world,to the end of time.
History is not without her examplesof hard-fought fields, where the banner of libertyhas floated triumphantly on the wildest stormof battle. She is without her examples of a peopleby whom the dear-bought treasure has been wiselyemployed and safely handed down. The eyesof the world are turned for that example to us....
Let us, then, as we assemble on thebirthday of the nation, as we gather upon thegreen turf, once wet with precious blood—­letus devote ourselves to the sacred cause of constitutionalliberty! Let us abjure the interests and passionswhich divide the great family of American freemen!Let the rage of party spirit sleep to-day!Let us resolve that our children shall have causeto bless the memory of their fathers, as we have causeto bless the memory of ours!




Attention is the microscope of the mentaleye. Its power may be high or low; its fieldof view narrow or broad. When high power isused attention is confined within very circ*mscribedlimits, but its action is exceedingly intenseand absorbing. It sees but few things, butthese few are observed “through and through”... Mental energy and activity, whether ofperception or of thought, thus concentrated, actlike the sun’s rays concentrated by the burningglass. The object is illumined, heated, set onfire. Impressions are so deep that they cannever be effaced. Attention of this sortis the prime condition of the most productivemental labor.

—­DANIEL PUTNAM,Psychology.

Try to rub the top of your head forward and backwardat the same time that you are patting your chest.Unless your powers of cooerdination are well developedyou will find it confusing, if not impossible.The brain needs special training before it can dotwo or more things efficiently at the same instant.It may seem like splitting a hair between its northand northwest corner, but some psychologists arguethat no brain can think two distinct thoughts,absolutely simultaneously—­that what seemsto be simultaneous is really very rapid rotation fromthe first thought to the second and back again, justas in the above-cited experiment the attention mustshift from one hand to the other until one or the othermovement becomes partly or wholly automatic.

Whatever is the psychological truth of this contentionit is undeniable that the mind measurably loses gripon one idea the moment the attention is projecteddecidedly ahead to a second or a third idea.

A fault in public speakers that is as pernicious asit is common is that they try to think of the succeedingsentence while still uttering the former, and in thisway their concentration trails off; in consequence,they start their sentences strongly and end them weakly.In a well-prepared written speech the emphatic wordusually comes at one end of the sentence. Butan emphatic word needs emphatic expression, and thisis precisely what it does not get when concentrationflags by leaping too soon to that which is next to

be uttered. Concentrate all your mental energieson the present sentence. Remember that the mindof your audience follows yours very closely, and ifyou withdraw your attention from what you are sayingto what you are going to say, your audience will alsowithdraw theirs. They may not do so consciouslyand deliberately, but they will surely cease to giveimportance to the things that you yourself slight.It is fatal to either the actor or the speaker tocross his bridges too soon.

Of course, all this is not to say that in the naturalpauses of your speech you are not to take swift forwardsurveys—­they are as important as the forwardlook in driving a motor car; the caution is of quiteanother sort: while speaking one sentence donot think of the sentence to follow. Letit come from its proper source—­within yourself.You cannot deliver a broadside without concentratedforce—­that is what produces the explosion.In preparation you store and concentrate thought andfeeling; in the pauses during delivery you swiftlylook ahead and gather yourself for effective attack;during the moments of actual speech, SPEAK—­DON’TANTICIPATE. Divide your attention and youdivide your power.

This matter of the effect of the inner man upon theouter needs a further word here, particularly as touchingconcentration.

“What do you read, my lord?” Hamlet replied,“Words. Words. Words.” Thatis a world-old trouble. The mechanical callingof words is not expression, by a long stretch.Did you ever notice how hollow a memorized speechusually sounds? You have listened to the ranting,mechanical cadence of inefficient actors, lawyers andpreachers. Their trouble is a mental one—­theyare not concentratedly thinking thoughts that causewords to issue with sincerity and conviction, but aremerely enunciating word-sounds mechanically.Painful experience alike to audience and to speaker!A parrot is equally eloquent. Again let Shakespeareinstruct us, this tune in the insincere prayer of theKing, Hamlet’s uncle. He laments thus pointedly:

My words fly up, my thoughtsremain below:
Words without thoughts neverto heaven go.

The truth is, that as a speaker your words must beborn again every time they are spoken, then they willnot suffer in their utterance, even though perforcecommitted to memory and repeated, like Dr. RussellConwell’s lecture, “Acres of Diamonds,”five thousand times. Such speeches lose nothingby repetition for the perfectly patent reason thatthey arise from concentrated thought and feeling andnot a mere necessity for saying something—­whichusually means anything, and that, in turn, is tantamountto nothing. If the thought beneath your wordsis warm, fresh, spontaneous, a part of your self,your utterance will have breath and life. Wordsare only a result. Do not try to get the resultwithout stimulating the cause.

Do you ask how to concentrate? Think ofthe word itself, and of its philological brother,concentric. Think of how a lens gathersand concenters the rays of light within a given circle.It centers them by a process of withdrawal. Itmay seem like a harsh saying, but the man who cannotconcentrate is either weak of will, a nervous wreck,or has never learned what will-power is good for.

You must concentrate by resolutely withdrawing yourattention from everything else. If you concentrateyour thought on a pain which may be afflicting you,that pain will grow more intense. “Countyour blessings” and they will multiply.Center your thought on your strokes and your tennisplay will gradually improve. To concentrate issimply to attend to one thing, and attend to nothingelse. If you find that you cannot do that, thereis something wrong—­attend to that first.Remove the cause and the symptom will disappear.Read the chapter on “Will Power.”Cultivate your will by willing and then doing, at allcosts. Concentrate—­and you will win.


1. Select from any source several sentences suitablefor speaking aloud; deliver them first in the mannercondemned in this chapter, and second with due regardfor emphasis toward the close of each sentence.

2. Put into about one hundred words your impressionof the effect produced.

3. Tell of any peculiar methods you may haveobserved or heard of by which speakers have soughtto aid their powers of concentration, such as lookingfixedly at a blank spot in the ceiling, or twistinga watch charm.

4. What effect do such habits have on the audience?

5. What relation does pause bear to concentration?

6. Tell why concentration naturally helps a speakerto change pitch, tempo, and emphasis.

7. Read the following selection through to getit* meaning and spirit clearly in your mind.Then read it aloud, concentrating solely on the thoughtthat you are expressing—­do not trouble aboutthe sentence or thought that is coming. Halfthe troubles of mankind arise from anticipating trialsthat never occur. Avoid this in speaking.Make the end of your sentences just as strong as thebeginning. CONCENTRATE.


The last of the savage instinctsis war. The cave man’s club
made law and procured food.Might decreed right. Warriors were

In Nazareth a carpenter laid down thesaw and preached the brotherhood of man.Twelve centuries afterwards his followers marchedto the Holy Land to destroy all who differed with themin the worship of the God of Love. Triumphantlythey wrote “In Solomon’s Porch andin his temple our men rode in the blood of theSaracens up to the knees of their horses.”
History is an appalling tale of war.In the seventeenth century Germany, France, Sweden,and Spain warred for thirty years. At Magdeburg30,000 out of 36,000 were killed regardless of sexor age. In Germany schools were closed fora third of a century, homes burned, women outraged,towns demolished, and the untilled land becamea wilderness.
Two-thirds of Germany’s propertywas destroyed and 18,000,000 of her citizens werekilled, because men quarrelled about the way toglorify “The Prince of Peace.” Marchingthrough rain and snow, sleeping on the ground,eating stale food or starving, contracting diseasesand facing guns that fire six hundred times aminute, for fifty cents a day—­this is thesoldier’s life.
At the window sits the widowed mothercrying. Little children with tearful facespressed against the pane watch and wait. Theirmeans of livelihood, their home, their happiness isgone. Fatherless children, broken-heartedwomen, sick, disabled and dead men—­thisis the wage of war.
We spend more money preparing men tokill each other than we do in teaching them tolive. We spend more money building one battleshipthan in the annual maintenance of all our state universities.The financial loss resulting from destroying one another’shomes in the civil war would have built 15,000,000houses, each costing $2,000. We pray for lovebut prepare for hate. We preach peace butequip for war.

Were half thepower that fills the world with terror,
Were half thewealth bestowed on camp and court
Given to redeemthis world from error,
There would beno need of arsenal and fort.

War only defers a question. Noissue will ever really be settled until it issettled rightly. Like rival “gun gangs”in a back alley, the nations of the world, throughthe bloody ages, have fought over their differences.Denver cannot fight Chicago and Iowa cannot fightOhio. Why should Germany be permitted to fightFrance, or Bulgaria fight Turkey?
When mankind rises above creeds, colorsand countries, when we are citizens, not of anation, but of the world, the armies and naviesof the earth will constitute an international policeforce to preserve the peace and the dove will takethe eagle’s place.
Our differences will be settled by aninternational court with the power to enforceits mandates. In times of peace prepare for peace.The wages of war are the wages of sin, and the “wagesof sin is death.”

—­Editorial byD.C., Leslie’s Weekly; used by permission.



However, ’tis expedientto be wary:
Indifference, certes, don’tproduce distress;
And rash enthusiasm in goodsociety
Were nothing but a moral inebriety.

—­BYRON, Don Juan.

You have attended plays that seemed fair, yet theydid not move you, grip you. In theatrical parlance,they failed to “get over,” which meansthat their message did not get over the foot-lightsto the audience. There was no punch, no jab tothem—­they had no force.

Of course, all this spells disaster, in big letters,not only in a stage production but in any platformeffort. Every such presentation exists solelyfor the audience, and if it fails to hit them—­andthe expression is a good one—­it has noexcuse for living; nor will it live long.

What is Force?

Some of our most obvious words open up secret meaningsunder scrutiny, and this is one of them.

To begin with, we must recognize the distinction betweeninner and outer force. The one is cause, theother effect. The one is spiritual, the otherphysical. In this important particular, animateforce differs from inanimate force—­thepower of man, coming from within and expressing itselfoutwardly, is of another sort from the force of Shimosepowder, which awaits some influence from without toexplode it. However susceptive to outside stimuli,the true source of power in man lies within himself.This may seem like “mere psychology,” butit has an intensely practical bearing on public speaking,as will appear.

Not only must we discern the difference between humanforce and mere physical force, but we must not confuseits real essence with some of the things that may—­andmay not—­accompany it. For example,loudness is not force, though force at times may beattended by noise. Mere roaring never made agood speech, yet there are moments—­moments,mind you, not minutes—­when big voice powermay be used with tremendous effect.

Nor is violent motion force—­yet force mayresult in violent motion. Hamlet counseled theplayers:

Nor do not saw the air too much withyour hand, thus; but use all gently; for in thevery torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwindof your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance,that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends meto the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-patedfellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags,to split the ears of the groundlings[2]; who,for the most part, are capable of nothing butinexplicable dumb show, and noise. I would havesuch a fellow whipped for o’er-doing Termagant;it out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it.
Be not too tame, neither, but let yourdiscretion be your tutor: suit the actionto the word, the word to the action; with this specialobservance, that you o’erstep not the modestyof nature; for anything so overdone is from thepurpose of playing, whose end, both at the first,and now, was, and is, to hold, as ’twere,the mirror up to Nature, to show Virtue her own feature,Scorn her own image, and the very age and bodyof the time his form and pressure. Now, thisoverdone, or come tardy off, though it make theunskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve;the censure of the which one must, in your allowance,o’erweigh a whole theater of others.Oh, there be players that I have seen play—­andheard others praise, and that highly—­notto speak it profanely, that, neither having theaccent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian,pagan, or man, have so strutted and bellowed thatI have thought some of Nature’s journeymenhad made men, and not made them well, they imitatedhumanity so abominably.[3]

Force is both a cause and an effect. Inner force,which must precede outer force, is a combination offour elements, acting progressively. First ofall, force arises from conviction. Youmust be convinced of the truth, or the importance,or the meaning, of what you are about to say beforeyou can give it forceful delivery. It must laystrong hold upon your convictions before it can gripyour audience. Conviction convinces.

The Saturday Evening Post in an article on“England’s T.R.”—­WinstonSpencer Churchill—­attributed much of Churchill’sand Roosevelt’s public platform success to theirforceful delivery. No matter what is in hand,these men make themselves believe for the time beingthat that one thing is the most important on earth.Hence they speak to their audiences in a Do-this-or-you-PERISHmanner.

That kind of speaking wins, and it is that virile,strenuous, aggressive attitude which both distinguishesand maintains the platform careers of our greatestleaders.

But let us look a little closer at the origins ofinner force. How does conviction affect the manwho feels it? We have answered the inquiry inthe very question itself—­he feelsit: Conviction produces emotional tension.Study the pictures of Theodore Roosevelt and of BillySunday in action—­action is the word.Note the tension of their jaw muscles, the taut linesof sinews in their entire bodies when reaching a climaxof force. Moral and physical force are alike inbeing both preceded and accompanied by in-tens-ity—­tension—­tightnessof the cords of power.

It is this tautness of the bow-string, this knottingof the muscles, this contraction before the spring,that makes an audience feel—­almostsee—­the reserve power in a speaker.In some really wonderful way it is more what a speakerdoes not say and do that reveals the dynamowithin. Anything may come from such stored-upforce once it is let loose; and that keeps an audiencealert, hanging on the lips of a speaker for his nextword. After all, it is all a question of manhood,for a stuffed doll has neither convictions nor emotionaltension. If you are upholstered with sawdust,keep off the platform, for your own speech will punctureyou.

Growing out of this conviction-tension comes resolveto make the audience share that conviction-tension.Purpose is the backbone of force; without it speechis flabby—­it may glitter, but it is theiridescence of the spineless jellyfish. You musthold fast to your resolve if you would hold fast toyour audience.

Finally, all this conviction-tension-purpose is lifelessand useless unless it results in propulsion.You remember how Young in his wonderful “NightThoughts” delineates the man who

Pushes his prudent purposeto resolve,
Resolves, and re-resolves,and dies the same.

Let not your force “die a-borning,”—­bringit to full life in its conviction, emotional tension,resolve, and propulsive power.

Can Force be Acquired?

Yes, if the acquirer has any such capacities as wehave just outlined. How to acquire this vitalfactor is suggested in its very analysis: Livewith your subject until you are convinced of its importance.

If your message does not of itself arouse you to tension,PULL yourself together. When a man facesthe necessity of leaping across a crevasse he doesnot wait for inspiration, he wills his musclesinto tensity for the spring—­it is not withoutpurpose that our English language uses the same wordto depict a mighty though delicate steel contrivanceand a quick leap through the air. Then resolve—­andlet it all end in actual punch.

This truth is worth reiteration: The man withinis the final factor. He must supply the fuel.The audience, or even the man himself, may add thematch—­it matters little which, only so thatthere be fire. However skillfully your engineis constructed, however well it works, you will haveno force if the fire has gone out under the boiler.It matters little how well you have mastered poise,pause, modulation, and tempo, if your speech lacksfire it is dead. Neither a dead engine nor a deadspeech will move anybody.

Four factors of force are measurably within your control,and in that far may be acquired: ideas,feeling about the subject, wording, anddelivery. Each of these is more or lessfully discussed in this volume, except wording, whichreally requires a fuller rhetorical study than canhere be ventured. It is, however, of the utmostimportance that you should be aware of precisely howwording bears upon force in a sentence. Study“The Working Principles of Rhetoric,” byJohn Franklin Genung, or the rhetorical treatisesof Adams Sherman Hill, of Charles Sears Baldwin, orany others whose names may easily be learned from anyteacher.

Here are a few suggestions on the use of words toattain force:

Choice of Words

PLAIN words are more forceful than words less commonlyused—­juggle has more vigor thanprestidigitate.

SHORT words are stronger than long words—­endhas more directness than terminate.

SAXON words are usually more forceful than Latinisticwords—­for force, use wars againstrather than militate against.

SPECIFIC words are stronger than general words—­pressmanis more definite than printer.

CONNOTATIVE words, those that suggest more than theysay, have more power than ordinary words—­“Shelet herself be married” expresses morethan “She married.”

EPITHETS, figuratively descriptive words, are moreeffective than direct names—­“Go tellthat old fox,” has more “punch”than “Go tell that sly fellow.”ONOMATOPOETIC words, words that convey the sense bythe sound, are more powerful than other words—­crashis more effective than cataclysm.

Arrangement of words

Cut out modifiers.

Cut out connectives.

Begin with words that demand attention.

“End with words that deserve distinction,”says Prof. Barrett Wendell.

Set strong ideas over against weaker ones, so as togain strength by the contrast.

Avoid elaborate sentence structure—­shortsentences are stronger than long ones.

Cut out every useless word, so as to give prominenceto the really important ones.

Let each sentence be a condensed battering ram, swingingto its final blow on the attention.

A familiar, homely idiom, if not worn by much use,is more effective than a highly formal, scholarlyexpression.

Consider well the relative value of different positionsin the sentence so that you may give the prominentplace to ideas you wish to emphasize.

“But,” says someone, “is it notmore honest to depend the inherent interest in a subject,its native truth, clearness and sincerity of presentation,and beauty of utterance, to win your audience?Why not charm men instead of capturing them by assault?”

Why Use Force?

There is much truth in such an appeal, but not allthe truth. Clearness, persuasion, beauty, simplestatement of truth, are all essential—­indeed,they are all definite parts of a forceful presentmentof a subject, without being the only parts. Strongmeat may not be as attractive as ices, but all dependson the appetite and the stage of the meal.

You can not deliver an aggressive message with caressinglittle strokes. No! Jab it in with hard,swift solar plexus punches. You cannot strikefire from flint or from an audience with love taps.Say to a crowded theatre in a lackadaisical manner:“It seems to me that the house is on fire,”and your announcement may be greeted with a laugh.If you flash out the words: “The house’son fire!” they will crush one another in gettingto the exits.

The spirit and the language of force are definitewith conviction. No immortal speech in literaturecontains such expressions as “it seems to me,”“I should judge,” “in my opinion,”“I suppose,” “perhaps it is true.”The speeches that will live have been delivered bymen ablaze with the courage of their convictions,who uttered their words as eternal truth. OfJesus it was said that “the common people heardHim gladly.” Why? “He taughtthem as one having AUTHORITY.” Anaudience will never be moved by what “seems”to you to be truth or what in your “humble opinion”may be so. If you honestly can, assert convictionsas your conclusions. Be sure you are right beforeyou speak your speech, then utter your thoughts asthough they were a Gibraltar of unimpeachable truth.Deliver them with the iron hand and confidence ofa Cromwell. Assert them with the fire of authority.Pronounce them as an ultimatum. If youcannot speak with conviction, be silent.

What force did that young minister have who, fearingto be too dogmatic, thus exhorted his hearers:“My friends—­as I assume that you are—­itappears to be my duty to tell you that if you do notrepent, so to speak, forsake your sins, as it were,and turn to righteousness, if I may so express it,you will be lost, in a measure”?

Effective speech must reflect the era. This isnot a rose water age, and a tepid, half-hearted speechwill not win. This is the century of trip hammers,of overland expresses that dash under cities and throughmountain tunnels, and you must instill this spiritinto your speech if you would move a popular audience.From a front seat listen to a first-class companypresent a modern Broadway drama—­not a comedy,but a gripping, thrilling drama. Do not becomeabsorbed in the story; reserve all your attentionfor the technique and the force of the acting.There is a kick and a crash as well as an infinitelysubtle intensity in the big, climax-speeches thatsuggest this lesson: the same well-calculated,restrained, delicately shaded force would simply rivetyour ideas in the minds of your audience. Anair-gun will rattle bird-shot against a window pane—­ittakes a rifle to wing a bullet through plate glassand the oaken walls beyond.

When to Use Force

An audience is unlike the kingdom of heaven—­theviolent do not always take it by force. Thereare times when beauty and serenity should be the onlybells in your chime. Force is only one of thegreat extremes of contrast—­use neitherit nor quiet utterance to the exclusion of other tones:be various, and in variety find even greater forcethan you could attain by attempting its constant use.If you are reading an essay on the beauties of thedawn, talking about the dainty bloom of a honey-suckle,or explaining the mechanism of a gas engine, a vigorousstyle of delivery is entirely out of place. Butwhen you are appealing to wills and consciences forimmediate action, forceful delivery wins. Insuch cases, consider the minds of your audience asso many safes that have been locked and the keys lost.Do not try to figure out the combinations. Poura little nitro glycerine into the cracks and lightthe fuse. As these lines are being written a contractordown the street is clearing away the rocks with dynamiteto lay the foundations for a great building.When you want to get action, do not fear to use dynamite.

The final argument for the effectiveness of forcein public speech is the fact that everything mustbe enlarged for the purposes of the platform—­thatis why so few speeches read well in the reports onthe morning after: statements appear crude andexaggerated because they are unaccompanied by theforceful delivery of a glowing speaker before an audienceheated to attentive enthusiasm. So in preparingyour speech you must not err on the side of mild statement—­youraudience will inevitably tone down your words in thecold grey of afterthought. When Phidias was criticisedfor the rough, bold outlines of a figure he had submittedin competition, he smiled and asked that his statueand the one wrought by his rival should be set uponthe column for which the sculpture was destined.When this was done all the exaggerations and crudities,toned by distances, melted into exquisite grace ofline and form. Each speech must be a specialstudy in suitability and proportion.

Omit the thunder of delivery, if you will, but likeWendell Phillips put “silent lightning”into your speech. Make your thoughts breathe andyour words burn. Birrell said: “Emersonwrites like an electrical cat emitting sparks andshocks in every sentence.” Go thou and speaklikewise. Get the “big stick” intoyour delivery—­be forceful.


1. Illustrate, by repeating a sentence from memory,what is meant by employing force in speaking.

2. Which in your opinion is the most importantof the technical principles of speaking that you havestudied so far? Why?

3. What is the effect of too much force in aspeech? Too little?

4. Note some uninteresting conversation or ineffectivespeech, and tell why it failed.

5. Suggest how it might be improved.

6. Why do speeches have to be spoken with moreforce than do conversations?

7. Read aloud the selection on page 84, usingthe technical principles outlined in chapters IIIto VIII, but neglect to put any force behind the interpretation.What is the result?

8. Reread several times, doing your best to achieveforce.

9. Which parts of the selection on page 84 requirethe most force?

10. Write a five-minute speech not only discussingthe errors of those who exaggerate and those who minimizethe use of force, but by imitation show their weaknesses.Do not burlesque, but closely imitate.

11. Give a list of ten themes for public addresses,saying which seem most likely to require the frequentuse of force in delivery.

12. In your own opinion, do speakers usuallyerr from the use of too much or too little force?

13. Define (a) bombast; (b) bathos; (c) sentimentality;(d) squeamish.

14. Say how the foregoing words describe weaknessesin public speech.

15. Recast in twentieth-century English “Hamlet’sDirections to the Players,” page 88.

16. Memorize the following extracts from WendellPhillips’ speeches, and deliver them with theof Wendell Phillips’ “silent lightning”delivery.

We are for a revolution! We sayin behalf of these hunted lyings, whom God created,and who law-abiding Webster and Winthrop havesworn shall not find shelter in Massachusetts,—­wesay that they may make their little motions, andpass their little laws in Washington, but thatFaneuil Hall repeals them in the name of humanityand the old Bay State!

* * * * *

My advice to workingmen isthis:

If you want power in this country; ifyou want to make yourselves felt; if you do notwant your children to wait long years before theyhave the bread on the table they ought to have,the leisure in their lives they ought to have, theopportunities in life they ought to have; if youdon’t want to wait yourselves,—­writeon your banner, so that every political trimmercan read it, so that every politician, no matter howshort-sighted he may be, can read it, “WENEVER FORGET! If you launch the arrow of sarcasmat labor, WE NEVER FORGET! If there isa division in Congress, and you throw your vote inthe wrong scale, WE NEVER FORGET! You maygo down on your knees, and say, ’I am sorryI did the act’—­but we will say ’ITWILL AVAIL YOU IN HEAVEN TO BE SORRY, BUT ON THISSIDE OF THE GRAVE, NEVER!’” Sothat a man in taking up the labor question will knowhe is dealing with a hair-trigger pistol, and willsay, “I am to be true to justice and toman; otherwise I am a dead duck.”

* * * * *

In Russia there is no press, no debate,no explanation of what government does, no remonstranceallowed, no agitation of public issues. Deadsilence, like that which reigns at the summit of MontBlanc, freezes the whole empire, long ago describedas “a despotism tempered by assassination.”Meanwhile, such despotism has unsettled the brainsof the ruling family, as unbridled power doubtlessmade some of the twelve Caesars insane; a madman,sporting with the lives and comfort of a hundredmillions of men. The young girl whispersin her mother’s ear, under a ceiled roof,her pity for a brother knouted and dragged half deadinto exile for his opinions. The next weekshe is stripped naked and flogged to death inthe public square. No inquiry, no explanation,no trial, no protest, one dead uniform silence, thelaw of the tyrant. Where is there ground forany hope of peaceful change? No, no! in sucha land dynamite and the dagger are the necessaryand proper substitutes for Faneuil Hall. Anythingthat will make the madman quake in his bedchamber,and rouse his victims into reckless and desperateresistance. This is the only view an American,the child of 1620 and 1776, can take of Nihilism.Any other unsettles and perplexes the ethics ofour civilization.
Born within sight of Bunker Hill—­sonof Harvard, whose first pledge was “Truth,”citizen of a republic based on the claim thatno government is rightful unless resting on the consentof the people, and which assumes to lead in assertingthe rights of humanity—­I at least cansay nothing else and nothing less—­no notif every tile on Cambridge roofs were a devil hootingmy words!

For practise on forceful selections, use “TheIrrepressible Conflict,” page 67; “AbrahamLincoln,” page 76, “Pass Prosperity Around,”page 470; “A Plea for Cuba,” page 50.


[Footnote 2: Those who sat in the pit or theparquet.]

[Footnote 3: Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2.]



Enthusiasm is that secretand harmonious spirit that hovers over
the production of genius.

—­ISAAC DISRAELI,Literary Character.

If you are addressing a body of scientists on sucha subject as the veins in a butterfly’s wings,or on road structure, naturally your theme will notarouse much feeling in either you or your audience.These are purely mental subjects. But if youwant men to vote for a measure that will abolish childlabor, or if you would inspire them to take up armsfor freedom, you must strike straight at their feelings.We lie on soft beds, sit near the radiator on a coldday, eat cherry pie, and devote our attention to oneof the opposite sex, not because we have reasonedout that it is the right thing to do, but because itfeels right. No one but a dyspeptic chooses hisdiet from a chart. Our feelings dictate whatwe shall eat and generally how we shall act. Manis a feeling animal, hence the public speaker’sability to arouse men to action depends almost whollyon his ability to touch their emotions.

Negro mothers on the auction-block seeing their childrensold away from them into slavery have flamed out someof America’s most stirring speeches. True,the mother did not have any knowledge of the techniqueof speaking, but she had something greater than alltechnique, more effective than reason: feeling.The great speeches of the world have not been deliveredon tariff reductions or post-office appropriations.The speeches that will live have been charged withemotional force. Prosperity and peace are poordevelopers of eloquence. When great wrongs areto be righted, when the public heart is flaming withpassion, that is the occasion for memorable speaking.Patrick Henry made an immortal address, for in anepochal crisis he pleaded for liberty. He hadroused himself to the point where he could honestlyand passionately exclaim, “Give me liberty orgive me death.” His fame would have beendifferent had he lived to-day and argued for the recallof judges.

The Power of Enthusiasm

Political parties hire bands, and pay for applause—­theyargue that, for vote-getting, to stir up enthusiasmis more effective than reasoning. How far theyare right depends on the hearers, but there can beno doubt about the contagious nature of enthusiasm.A watch manufacturer in New York tried out two seriesof watch advertisem*nts; one argued the superior construction,workmanship, durability, and guarantee offered withthe watch; the other was headed, “A Watch tobe Proud of,” and dwelt upon the pleasure andpride of ownership. The latter series sold twiceas many as the former. A salesman for a locomotiveworks informed the writer that in selling railroadengines emotional appeal was stronger than an argumentbased on mechanical excellence.

Illustrations without number might be cited to showthat in all our actions we are emotional beings.The speaker who would speak efficiently must developthe power to arouse feeling.

Webster, great debater that he was, knew that thereal secret of a speaker’s power was an emotionalone. He eloquently says of eloquence:

“Affected passion, intense expression,the pomp of declamation, all may aspire afterit; they cannot reach it. It comes, if it comeat all, like the outbreak of a fountain from the earth,or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, withspontaneous, original, native force.
“The graces taught in the schools,the costly ornaments and studied contrivancesof speech, shock and disgust men, when their ownlives, and the fate of their wives, their children,and their country hang on the decision of the hour.Then words have lost their power, rhetoric isin vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible.Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued,as in the presence of higher qualities. Then patriotismis eloquent, then self-devotion is eloquent.The clear conception outrunning the deductionsof logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve,the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beamingfrom the eye, informing every feature, and urging thewhole man onward, right onward to his subject—­this,this is eloquence; or rather, it is somethinggreater and higher than all eloquence; it is action,noble, sublime, godlike action.”

When traveling through the Northwest some time ago,one of the present writers strolled up a village streetafter dinner and noticed a crowd listening to a “faker”speaking on a corner from a goods-box. RememberingEmerson’s advice about learning something fromevery man we meet, the observer stopped to listento this speaker’s appeal. He was sellinga hair tonic, which he claimed to have discovered inArizona. He removed his hat to show what thisremedy had done for him, washed his face in it todemonstrate that it was as harmless as water, and enlargedon its merits in such an enthusiastic manner that thehalf-dollars poured in on him in a silver flood.When he had supplied the audience with hair tonic,he asked why a greater proportion of men than womenwere bald. No one knew. He explained thatit was because women wore thinner-soled shoes, andso made a good electrical connection with mother earth,while men wore thick, dry-soled shoes that did nottransmit the earth’s electricity to the body.Men’s hair, not having a proper amount of electricalfood, died and fell out. Of course he had a remedy—­alittle copper plate that should be nailed on the bottomof the shoe. He pictured in enthusiastic andvivid terms the desirability of escaping baldness—­andpaid tributes to his copper plates. Strange asit may seem when the story is told in cold print,the speaker’s enthusiasm had swept his audiencewith him, and they crushed around his stand with outstretched“quarters” in their anxiety to be the possessorsof these magical plates!

Emerson’s suggestion had been well taken—­theobserver had seen again the wonderful, persuasivepower of enthusiasm!

Enthusiasm sent millions crusading into the Holy Landto redeem it from the Saracens. Enthusiasm plungedEurope into a thirty years’ war over religion.Enthusiasm sent three small ships plying the unknownsea to the shores of a new world. When Napoleon’sarmy were worn out and discouraged in their ascentof the Alps, the Little Corporal stopped them andordered the bands to play the Marseillaise. Underits soul-stirring strains there were no Alps.

Listen! Emerson said: “Nothing greatwas ever achieved without enthusiasm.”Carlyle declared that “Every great movement inthe annals of history has been the triumph of enthusiasm.”It is as contagious as measles. Eloquence ishalf inspiration. Sweep your audience with youin a pulsation of enthusiasm. Let yourself go.“A man,” said Oliver Cromwell, “neverrises so high as when he knows not whither he is going.”

How are We to Acquire and Develop Enthusiasm?

It is not to be slipped on like a smoking jacket.A book cannot furnish you with it. It is a growth—­aneffect. But an effect of what? Let us see.

Emerson wrote: “A painter told me thatnobody could draw a tree without in some sort becominga tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines ofhis form merely,—­but, by watching for atime his motion and plays, the painter enters hisnature, and then can draw him at will in every attitude.So Roos ‘entered into the inmost nature of hissheep.’ I knew a draughtsman employed ina public survey, who found that he could not sketchthe rocks until their geological structure was firstexplained to him.”

When Sarah Bernhardt plays a difficult role she frequentlywill speak to no one from four o’clock in theafternoon until after the performance. From thehour of four she lives her character. Booth, itis reported, would not permit anyone to speak to himbetween the acts of his Shakesperean roles, for hewas Macbeth then—­not Booth. Dante,exiled from his beloved Florence, condemned to death,lived in caves, half starved; then Dante wrote outhis heart in “The Divine Comedy.”Bunyan entered into the spirit of his “Pilgrim’sProgress” so thoroughly that he fell down onthe floor of Bedford jail and wept for joy. Turner,who lived in a garret, arose before daybreak and walkedover the hills nine miles to see the sun rise on theocean, that he might catch the spirit of its wonderfulbeauty. Wendell Phillips’ sentences werefull of “silent lightning” because hebore in his heart the sorrow of five million slaves.

There is only one way to get feeling into your speaking—­andwhatever else you forget, forget not this: Youmust actually ENTER INTO the character you impersonate,the cause you advocate, the case you argue—­enterinto it so deeply that it clothes you, enthralls you,possesses you wholly. Then you are, in the truemeaning of the word, in sympathy with yoursubject, for its feeling is your feeling, you “feelwith” it, and therefore your enthusiasm is bothgenuine and contagious. The Carpenter who spokeas “never man spake” uttered words bornout of a passion of love for humanity—­hehad entered into humanity, and thus became Man.

But we must not look upon the foregoing words as afacile prescription for decocting a feeling whichmay then be ladled out to a complacent audience inquantities to suit the need of the moment. Genuinefeeling in a speech is bone and blood of the speechitself and not something that may be added to it orsubstracted at will. In the ideal address theme,speaker and audience become one, fused by the emotionand thought of the hour.

The Need of Sympathy for Humanity

It is impossible to lay too much stress on the necessityfor the speaker’s having a broad and deep tendernessfor human nature. One of Victor Hugo’sbiographers attributes his power as an orator and writerto his wide sympathies and profound religious feelings.Recently we heard the editor of Collier’sWeekly speak on short-story writing, and he sooften emphasized the necessity for this broad lovefor humanity, this truly religious feeling, that heapologized twice for delivering a sermon. Fewif any of the immortal speeches were ever deliveredfor a selfish or a narrow cause—­they wereborn out of a passionate desire to help humanity;instances, Paul’s address to the Athenians onMars Hill, Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech, TheSermon on the Mount, Henry’s address beforethe Virginia Convention of Delegates.

The seal and sign of greatness is a desire to serveothers. Self-preservation is the first law oflife, but self-abnegation is the first law of greatness—­andof art. Selfishness is the fundamental causeof all sin, it is the thing that all great religions,all worthy philosophies, have struck at. Outof a heart of real sympathy and love come the speechesthat move humanity.

Former United States Senator Albert J. Beveridge inan introduction to one of the volumes of “ModernEloquence,” says: “The profoundestfeeling among the masses, the most influential elementin their character, is the religious element.It is as instinctive and elemental as the law of self-preservation.It informs the whole intellect and personality of thepeople. And he who would greatly influence thepeople by uttering their unformed thoughts must havethis great and unanalyzable bond of sympathy withthem.”

When the men of Ulster armed themselves to opposethe passage of the Home Rule Act, one of the presentwriters assigned to a hundred men “Home Rule”as the topic for an address to be prepared by each.Among this group were some brilliant speakers, severalof them experienced lawyers and political campaigners.Some of their addresses showed a remarkable knowledgeand grasp of the subject; others were clothed in themost attractive phrases. But a clerk, withouta great deal of education and experience, arose andtold how he spent his boyhood days in Ulster, howhis mother while holding him on her lap had picturedto him Ulster’s deeds of valor. He spokeof a picture in his uncle’s home that showedthe men of Ulster conquering a tyrant and marchingon to victory. His voice quivered, and with ahand pointing upward he declared that if the men ofUlster went to war they would not go alone—­agreat God would go with them.

The speech thrilled and electrified the audience.It thrills yet as we recall it. The high-soundingphrases, the historical knowledge, the philosophicaltreatment, of the other speakers largely failed toarouse any deep interest, while the genuine convictionand feeling of the modest clerk, speaking on a subjectthat lay deep in his heart, not only electrified hisaudience but won their personal sympathy for the causehe advocated.

As Webster said, it is of no use to try to pretendto sympathy or feelings. It cannot be done successfully.“Nature is forever putting a premium on reality.”What is false is soon detected as such. The thoughtsand feelings that create and mould the speech in thestudy must be born again when the speech is deliveredfrom the platform. Do not let your words sayone thing, and your voice and attitude another.There is no room here for half-hearted, nonchalantmethods of delivery. Sincerity is the very soulof eloquence. Carlyle was right: “NoMirabeau, Napoleon, Burns, Cromwell, no man adequateto do anything, but is first of all in right earnestabout it; what I call a sincere man. I shouldsay sincerity, a great, deep, genuine sincerity, isthe first characteristic of all men in any way heroic.Not the sincerity that calls itself sincere; ah no,that is a very poor matter indeed; a shallow braggart,conscious sincerity, oftenest self-conceit mainly.The great man’s sincerity is of the kind hecannot speak of—­is not conscious of.”


It is one thing to convince the would-be speaker thathe ought to put feeling into his speeches; often itis quite another thing for him to do it. Theaverage speaker is afraid to let himself go, and continuallysuppresses his emotions. When you put enough feelinginto your speeches they will sound overdone to you,unless you are an experienced speaker. They willsound too strong, if you are not used to enlargingfor platform or stage, for the delineation of theemotions must be enlarged for public delivery.

1. Study the following speech, going back inyour imagination to the time and circ*mstances thatbrought it forth. Make it not a memorized historicaldocument, but feel the emotions that gave it birth.The speech is only an effect; live over in your ownheart the causes that produced it and try to deliverit at white heat. It is not possible for youto put too much real feeling into it, though of courseit would be quite easy to rant and fill it with falseemotion. This speech, according to Thomas Jefferson,started the ball of the Revolution rolling. Menwere then willing to go out and die for liberty.



Mr. President, it is natural to manto indulge in the illusions of hope. We areapt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, andlisten to the song of that siren, till she transformsus to beasts. Is this the part of wise men,engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?Are we disposed to be of the number of those who,having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not,the things which so nearly concern our temporal salvation?For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it maycost, I am willing to know the whole truth; toknow the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feetare guided; and that is the lamp of experience.I know of no way of judging of the future butby the past. And judging by the past, I wish toknow what there has been in the conduct of theBritish Ministry for the last ten years to justifythose hopes with which gentlemen have been pleasedto solace themselves and the House? Is it thatinsidious smile with which our petition has beenlately received? Trust it not, sir; it willprove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselvesto be “betrayed with a kiss”! Askyourselves, how this gracious reception of ourpetition comports with those warlike preparationswhich cover our waters and darken our land.Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of loveand reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves sounwilling to be reconciled, that force must becalled in to win back our love? Let us notdeceive ourselves, sir. These are the implementsof war and subjugation, the last “arguments”to which kings resort.
I ask gentlemen, sir, what means thismartial array, if its purpose be not to forceus to submission? Can gentlemen assign anyother possible motive for it? Has Great Britainany enemy in this quarter of the world, to callfor all this accumulation of navies and armies?No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us;they can be meant for no other. They are sentover to bind and to rivet upon us those chainswhich the British Ministry have been so long forging.And what have we to oppose to them? Shall wetry argument? Sir, we have been trying that forthe last ten years. Have we anything newto offer upon the subject? Nothing. Wehave held the subject up in every light of which itis capable; but it has been all in vain.Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication?What terms shall we find which have not been alreadyexhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceiveourselves longer. Sir, we have done everythingthat could be done, to avert the storm which isnow coming on. We have petitioned, we haveremonstrated, we have supplicated, we have prostratedourselves before the throne, and have implored itsinterposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of theMinistry and Parliament. Our petitions havebeen slighted; our remonstrances have producedadditional violence and insult; our supplicationshave been disregarded, and we have been spurned withcontempt from the foot of the throne. In vain,after these things, may we indulge in the fondhope of peace and reconciliation. There isno longer any room for hope. If we wish tobe free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimableprivileges for which we have been so long contending;if we mean not basely to abandon the noble strugglein which we have been so long engaged, and whichwe have pledged ourselves never to abandon untilthe glorious object of our contest shall be obtained,we must fight; I repeat it, sir, we must fight!An appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, isall that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak—­“unableto cope with so formidable an adversary”!But when shall we be stronger? Will it bethe next week, or the next year? Will it be whenwe are totally disarmed, and when a British guardshall be stationed in every house? Shallwe gather strength by irresolution and inaction?Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance,by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging thedelusive phantom of hope, until our enemies havebound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak,if we make a proper use of those means which the Godof Nature hath placed in our power. Threemillions of people, armed in the holy cause ofLiberty, and in such a country as that which wepossess, are invincible by any force which our enemycan send against us. Besides, sir, we shall notfight our battles alone. There is a justPower who presides over the destinies of nations,and who will raise up friends to fight our battlesfor us. The battle, sir, is not to the strongalone; it is to the vigilant, the active, thebrave. Besides, sir, we have no election.If we were base enough to desire it, it is now toolate to retire from the contest. There isno retreat, but in submission and slavery.Our chains are forged. Their clanking maybe heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable;and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let itcome! It is in vain, sir, to extenuate thematter. Gentlemen may cry “Peace, peace!”but there is no peace! The war is actuallybegun! The next gale that sweeps from thenorth will bring to our ears the clash of resoundingarms! Our brethren are already in the field!Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemenwish? What would they have? Is lifeso dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchasedat the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it,Almighty Powers!—­I know not what courseothers may take; but as for me, give me libertyor give me death!

2. Live over in your imagination all the solemnityand sorrow that Lincoln felt at the Gettysburg cemetery.The feeling in this speech is very deep, but it isquieter and more subdued than the preceding one.The purpose of Henry’s address was to get action;Lincoln’s speech was meant only to dedicatethe last resting place of those who had acted.Read it over and over (see page 50) until it burnsin your soul. Then commit it and repeat it foremotional expression.

3. Beecher’s speech on Lincoln, page 76;Thurston’s speech on “A Plea for Cuba,”page 50; and the following selection, are recommendedfor practise in developing feeling in delivery.

A living force that brings to itselfall the resources of imagination, all the inspirationsof feeling, all that is influential in body, invoice, in eye, in gesture, in posture, in thewhole animated man, is in strict analogy with the divinethought and the divine arrangement; and there isno misconstruction more utterly untrue and fatalthan this: that oratory is an artificialthing, which deals with baubles and trifles, forthe sake of making bubbles of pleasure for transienteffect on mercurial audiences. So far from that,it is the consecration of the whole man to thenoblest purposes to which one can address himself—­theeducation and inspiration of his fellow men byall that there is in learning, by all that thereis in thought, by all that there is in feeling, byall that there is in all of them, sent home throughthe channels of taste and of beauty.


4. What in your opinion are the relative valuesof thought and feeling in a speech?

5. Could we dispense with either?

6. What kinds of selections or occasions requiremuch feeling and enthusiasm? Which require little?

7. Invent a list of ten subjects for speeches,saying which would give most room for pure thoughtand which for feeling.

8. Prepare and deliver a ten-minute speech denouncingthe (imaginary) unfeeling plea of an attorney; hemay be either the counsel for the defense or the prosecutingattorney, and the accused may be assumed to be eitherguilty or innocent, at your option.

9. Is feeling more important than the technicalprinciples expounded in chapters III to VII?Why?

10. Analyze the secret of some effective speechor speaker. To what is the success due?

11. Give an example from your own observationof the effect of feeling and enthusiasm on listeners.

12. Memorize Carlyle’s and Emerson’sremarks on enthusiasm.

13. Deliver Patrick Henry’s address, page110, and Thurston’s speech, page 50, withoutshow of feeling or enthusiasm. What is the result?

14. Repeat, with all the feeling these selectionsdemand. What is the result?

15. What steps do you intend to take to developthe power of enthusiasm and feeling in speaking?

16. Write and deliver a five-minute speech ridiculinga speaker who uses bombast, pomposity and over-enthusiasm.Imitate him.



Animis opibusque parati—­Readyin mind and resources.

—­Motto of SouthCarolina.

In omnibus negotiis priusquam aggrediare, adhibenda est
praeparatio diligens—­Inall matters before beginning a diligent
preparation should be made.

—­CICERO, DeOfficiis.

Take your dictionary and look up the words that containthe Latin stem flu—­the results willbe suggestive.

At first blush it would seem that fluency consistsin a ready, easy use of words. Not so—­theflowing quality of speech is much more, for it isa composite effect, with each of its prior conditionsdeserving of careful notice.

The Sources of Fluency

Speaking broadly, fluency is almost entirely a matterof preparation. Certainly, native gifts figurelargely here, as in every art, but even natural facilityis dependent on the very same laws of preparation thathold good for the man of supposedly small native endowment.Let this encourage you if, like Moses, you are proneto complain that you are not a ready speaker.

Have you ever stopped to analyze that expression,“a ready speaker?” Readiness, in its primesense, is preparedness, and they are most ready whoare best prepared. Quick firing depends more onthe alert finger than on the hair trigger. Yourfluency will be in direct ratio to two important conditions:your knowledge of what you are going to say, and yourbeing accustomed to telling what you know to an audience.This gives us the second great element of fluency—­topreparation must be added the ease that arises frompractise; of which more presently.

Knowledge is Essential

Mr. Bryan is a most fluent speaker when he speakson political problems, tendencies of the time, andquestions of morals. It is to be supposed, however,that he would not be so fluent in speaking on the birdlife of the Florida Everglades. Mr. John Burroughsmight be at his best on this last subject, yet entirelylost in talking about international law. Do notexpect to speak fluently on a subject that you knowlittle or nothing about. Ctesiphon boasted thathe could speak all day (a sin in itself) on any subjectthat an audience would suggest. He was banishedby the Spartans.

But preparation goes beyond the getting of the factsin the case you are to present: it includes alsothe ability to think and arrange your thoughts, afull and precise vocabulary, an easy manner of speechand breathing, absence of self-consciousness, andthe several other characteristics of efficient deliverythat have deserved special attention in other partsof this book rather than in this chapter.

Preparation may be either general or specific; usuallyit should be both. A life-time of reading, ofcompanionship with stirring thoughts, of wrestlingwith the problems of life—­this constitutesa general preparation of inestimable worth. Outof a well-stored mind, and—­richer still—­abroad experience, and—­best of all—­awarmly sympathetic heart, the speaker will have todraw much material that no immediate studycould provide. General preparation consists ofall that a man has put into himself, all that heredity

and environment have instilled into him, and—­thatother rich source of preparedness for speech—­thefriendship of wise companions. When Schillerreturned home after a visit with Goethe a friend remarked:“I am amazed by the progress Schiller can makewithin a single fortnight.” It was the progressiveinfluence of a new friendship. Proper friendshipsform one of the best means for the formation of ideasand ideals, for they enable one to practise in givingexpression to thought. The speaker who would speakfluently before an audience should learn to speakfluently and entertainingly with a friend. Clarifyyour ideas by putting them in words; the talker gainsas much from his conversation as the listener.You sometimes begin to converse on a subject thinkingyou have very little to say, but one idea gives birthto another, and you are surprised to learn that themore you give the more you have to give. Thisgive-and-take of friendly conversation develops mentality,and fluency in expression. Longfellow said:“A single conversation across the table witha wise man is better than ten years’ study ofbooks,” and Holmes whimsically yet none theless truthfully declared that half the time he talkedto find out what he thought. But that methodmust not be applied on the platform!

After all this enrichment of life by storage, mustcome the special preparation for the particular speech.This is of so definite a sort that it warrants separatechapter-treatment later.


But preparation must also be of another sort thanthe gathering, organizing, and shaping of materials—­itmust include practise, which, like mental preparation,must be both general and special.

Do not feel surprised or discouraged if practise onthe principles of delivery herein laid down seemsto retard your fluency. For a time, this willbe inevitable. While you are working for properinflection, for instance, inflection will be demandingyour first thoughts, and the flow of your speech,for the time being, will be secondary. This warning,however, is strictly for the closet, for your practiseat home. Do not carry any thoughts of inflectionwith you to the platform. There you must thinkonly of your subject. There is an absolute telepathybetween the audience and the speaker. If yourthought goes to your gesture, their thought will too.If your interest goes to the quality of your voice,they will be regarding that instead of what your voiceis uttering.

You have doubtless been adjured to “forget everythingbut your subject.” This advice says eithertoo much or too little. The truth is that whileon the platform you must not forget a greatmany things that are not in your subject, but youmust not think of them. Your attentionmust consciously go only to your message, but subconsciouslyyou will be attending to the points of technique whichhave become more or less habitual by practise.

A nice balance between these two kinds of attentionis important.

You can no more escape this law than you can livewithout air: Your platform gestures, your voice,your inflection, will all be just as good as yourhabit of gesture, voice, and inflection makesthem—­no better. Even the thought ofwhether you are speaking fluently or not will havethe effect of marring your flow of speech.

Return to the opening chapter, on self-confidence,and again lay its precepts to heart. Learn byrules to speak without thinking of rules. Itis not—­or ought not to be—­necessaryfor you to stop to think how to say the alphabet correctly,as a matter of fact it is slightly more difficultfor you to repeat Z, Y, X than it is to say X, Y, Z—­habithas established the order. Just so you must masterthe laws of efficiency in speaking until it is a secondnature for you to speak correctly rather than otherwise.A beginner at the piano has a great deal of troublewith the mechanics of playing, but as time goes onhis fingers become trained and almost instinctivelywander over the keys correctly. As an inexperiencedspeaker you will find a great deal of difficulty atfirst in putting principles into practise, for youwill be scared, like the young swimmer, and make somecrude strokes, but if you persevere you will “winout.”

Thus, to sum up, the vocabulary you have enlargedby study,[4] the ease in speaking you have developedby practise, the economy of your well-studied emphasisall will subconsciously come to your aid on the platform.Then the habits you have formed will be earning youa splendid dividend. The fluency of your speechwill be at the speed of flow your practise has madehabitual.

But this means work. What good habit does not?No philosopher’s stone that will act as a substitutefor laborious practise has ever been found. Ifit were, it would be thrown away, because it wouldkill our greatest joy—­the delight of acquisition.If public-speaking means to you a fuller life, youwill know no greater happiness than a well-spokenspeech. The time you have spent in gathering ideasand in private practise of speaking you will findamply rewarded.


1. What advantages has the fluent speaker overthe hesitating talker?

2. What influences, within and without the manhimself, work against fluency?

3. Select from the daily paper some topic foran address and make a three-minute address on it.Do your words come freely and your sentences flowout rhythmically? Practise on the same topicuntil they do.

4. Select some subject with which you are familiarand test your fluency by speaking extemporaneously.

5. Take one of the sentiments given below and,following the advice given on pages 118-119, constructa short speech beginning with the last word in thesentence.

Machinery has created a neweconomic world.

The Socialist Party is a strenuousworker for peace.

He was a crushed and brokenman when he left prison.

War must ultimately give wayto world-wide arbitration.

The labor unions demand amore equal distribution of the wealth
that labor creates.

6. Put the sentiments of Mr. Bryan’s “Princeof Peace,” on page 448, into your own words.Honestly criticise your own effort.

7. Take any of the following quotations and makea five-minute speech on it without pausing to prepare.The first efforts may be very lame, but if you wantspeed on a typewriter, a record for a hundred-yarddash, or facility in speaking, you must practise,practise, PRACTISE.

There lives more faith inhonest doubt,
Believe me, than in half thecreeds.

—­TENNYSON, InMemoriam.

Howe’er it be, it seemsto me,
’Tis onlynoble to be good.
Kind hearts are more thancoronets,
And simple faiththan Norman blood.

—­TENNYSON, LadyClara Vere de Vere.

’Tis distance lendsenchantment to the view
And robes the mountain inits azure hue.

—­CAMPBELL, Pleasuresof Hope.

His best companions, innocenceand health,
And his best riches, ignoranceof wealth.

—­GOLDSMITH, TheDeserted Village.

Beware of desperate steps!The darkest day,
Live till tomorrow, will havepassed away.

—­COWPER, NeedlessAlarm.

My country is the world, andmy religion is to do good.

—­PAINE, Rightsof Man.

Trade it may help, societyextend,
But lures the pirate, andcorrupts the friend:
It raises armies in a nation’said,
But bribes a senate, and theland’s betray’d.

—­POPE, MoralEssays.[5]

O God, that men should putan enemy in their mouths to steal
away their brains!


It matters not how straitthe gate,
How charged with punishmentthe scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

—­HENLEY, Invictus.

The world is so full of anumber of things,
I am sure we should all behappy as kings.

—­STEVENSON, AChild’s Garden of Verses.

If your morals are dreary,depend upon it they are wrong.

—­STEVENSON, Essays.

Every advantage has its tax.I learn to be content.

—­EMERSON, Essays.

8. Make a two-minute speech on any of the followinggeneral subjects, but you will find that your ideaswill come more readily if you narrow your subjectby taking some specific phase of it. For instance,instead of trying to speak on “Law” ingeneral, take the proposition, “The Poor ManCannot Afford to Prosecute;” or instead of dwellingon “Leisure,” show how modern speed iscreating more leisure. In this way you may expandthis subject list indefinitely.


Woman’s Suffrage.
Initiative and Referendum.
A Larger Navy.
Foreign Immigration.
The Liquor Traffic.
Labor Unions.
Single Tax.
The Far East.
Child Labor.
The Theater.
Public Speaking.
The Most Dramatic Moment of My Life.
My Happiest Days.
Things Worth While.
What I Hope to Achieve.
My Greatest Desire.
What I Would Do with a Million Dollars.
Is Mankind Progressing?
Our Greatest Need.


[Footnote 4: See chapter on “Increasingthe Vocabulary.”]

[Footnote 5: Money.]



Oh, there is something inthat voice that reaches
The innermost recesses ofmy spirit!

—­LONGFELLOW, Christus.

The dramatic critic of The London Times oncedeclared that acting is nine-tenths voice work.Leaving the message aside, the same may justly besaid of public speaking. A rich, correctly-usedvoice is the greatest physical factor of persuasivenessand power, often over-topping the effects of reason.

But a good voice, well handled, is not only an effectivepossession for the professional speaker, it is a markof personal culture as well, and even a distinct commercialasset. Gladstone, himself the possessor of adeep, musical voice, has said: “Ninety menin every hundred in the crowded professions will probablynever rise above mediocrity because the training ofthe voice is entirely neglected and considered of noimportance.” These are words worth pondering.

There are three fundamental requisites for a goodvoice:

1. Ease

Signor Bonci of the Metropolitan Opera Company saysthat the secret of good voice is relaxation; and thisis true, for relaxation is the basis of ease.The air waves that produce voice result in a differentkind of tone when striking against relaxed musclesthan when striking constricted muscles. Try thisfor yourself. Contract the muscles of your faceand throat as you do in hate, and flame out “Ihate you!” Now relax as you do when thinkinggentle, tender thoughts, and say, “I love you.”How different the voice sounds.

In practising voice exercises, and in speaking, neverforce your tones. Ease must be your watchword.The voice is a delicate instrument, and you must nothandle it with hammer and tongs. Don’t makeyour voice go—­let it go. Don’twork. Let the yoke of speech be easy and itsburden light.

Your throat should be free from strain during speech,therefore it is necessary to avoid muscular contraction.The throat must act as a sort of chimney or funnelfor the voice, hence any unnatural constriction willnot only harm its tones but injure its health.

Nervousness and mental strain are common sources ofmouth and throat constriction, so make the battlefor poise and self-confidence for which we pleadedin the opening chapter.

But how can I relax? you ask. By simplywilling to relax. Hold your arm out straightfrom your shoulder. Now—­withdraw allpower and let it fall. Practise relaxation ofthe muscles of the throat by letting your neck andhead fall forward. Roll the upper part of yourbody around, with the waist line acting as a pivot.Let your head fall and roll around as you shift thetorso to different positions. Do not force yourhead around—­simply relax your neck and letgravity pull it around as your body moves.

Again, let your head fall forward on your breast;raise your head, letting your jaw hang. Relaxuntil your jaw feels heavy, as though it were a weighthung to your face. Remember, you must relax thejaw to obtain command of it. It must be freeand flexible for the moulding of tone, and to letthe tone pass out unobstructed.

The lips also must be made flexible, to aid in themoulding of clear and beautiful tones. For flexibilityof lips repeat the syllables, mo—­me.In saying mo, bring the lips up to resemblethe shape of the letter O. In repeating medraw them back as you do in a grin. Repeat thisexercise rapidly, giving the lips as much exerciseas possible.

Try the following exercise in the same manner:


After this exercise has been mastered, the followingwill also be found excellent for flexibility of lips:

Memorize these sounds indicated (not the expressions)so that you can repeat them rapidly.

| A as in May. | E as in Met. | U as in Use.| A " Ah. | I " Ice. | Oi " Oil.| A " At. | I " It. | Ou " Our.| O " No. | O " No. | OO " Ooze.| A " All. | OO " Foot. | A " Ah.| E " Eat. | OO " Ooze. | E " Eat.

All the activity of breathing must be centered, notin the throat, but in the middle of the body—­youmust breathe from the diaphragm. Note the wayyou breathe when lying flat on the back, undressedin bed. You will observe that all the activitythen centers around the diaphragm. This is thenatural and correct method of breathing. By constantwatchfulness make this your habitual manner, for itwill enable you to relax more perfectly the musclesof the throat.

The next fundamental requisite for good voice is

2. Openness

If the muscles of the throat are constricted, thetone passage partially closed, and the mouth kepthalf-shut, how can you expect the tone to come outbright and clear, or even to come out at all?Sound is a series of waves, and if you make a prisonof your mouth, holding the jaws and lips rigidly,it will be very difficult for the tone to squeeze through,and even when it does escape it will lack force andcarrying power. Open your mouth wide, relax allthe organs of speech, and let the tone flow out easily.

Start to yawn, but instead of yawning, speak whileyour throat is open. Make this open-feeling habitualwhen speaking—­we say make becauseit is a matter of resolution and of practise, if yourvocal organs are healthy. Your tone passagesmay be partly closed by enlarged tonsils, adenoids,or enlarged turbinate bones of the nose. If so,a skilled physician should be consulted.

The nose is an important tone passage and should bekept open and free for perfect tones. What wecall “talking through the nose” is nottalking through the nose, as you can easily demonstrateby holding your nose as you talk. If you arebothered with nasal tones caused by growths or swellingsin the nasal passages, a slight, painless operationwill remove the obstruction. This is quite important,aside from voice, for the general health will be muchlowered if the lungs are continually starved for air.

The final fundamental requisite for good voice is

3. Forwardness

A voice that is pitched back in the throat is dark,sombre, and unattractive. The tone must be pitchedforward, but do not force it forward.You will recall that our first principle was ease.Think the tone forward and out. Believeit is going forward, and allow it to flow easily.You can tell whether you are placing your tone forwardor not by inhaling a deep breath and singing ahwith the mouth wide open, trying to feel the littledelicate sound waves strike the bony arch of the mouthjust above the front teeth. The sensation is soslight that you will probably not be able to detectit at once, but persevere in your practise, alwaysthinking the tone forward, and you will be rewardedby feeling your voice strike the roof of your mouth.A correct forward-placing of the tone will do awaywith the dark, throaty tones that are so unpleasant,inefficient, and harmful to the throat.

Close the lips, humming ng, im, or an.Think the tone forward. Do you feel it strikethe lips?

Hold the palm of your hand in front of your face andsay vigorously crash, dash, whirl, buzz.Can you feel the forward tones strike against yourhand? Practise until you can. Remember, theonly way to get your voice forward is to putit forward.

How to Develop the Carrying Power of the Voice

It is not necessary to speak loudly in order to beheard at a distance. It is necessary only tospeak correctly. Edith Wynne Matthison’svoice will carry in a whisper throughout a large theater.A paper rustling on the stage of a large auditoriumcan be heard distinctly in the furthermost seat inthe gallery. If you will only use your voicecorrectly, you will not have much difficulty in beingheard. Of course it is always well to addressyour speech to your furthest auditors; if they getit, those nearer will have no trouble, but aside fromthis obvious suggestion, you must observe these lawsof voice production:

Remember to apply the principles of ease, opennessand forwardness—­they are the prime factorsin enabling your voice to be heard at a distance.

Do not gaze at the floor as you talk. This habitnot only gives the speaker an amateurish appearancebut if the head is hung forward the voice will bedirected towards the ground instead of floating outover the audience.

Voice is a series of air vibrations. To strengthenit two things are necessary: more air or breath,and more vibration.

Breath is the very basis of voice. As a bulletwith little powder behind it will not have force andcarrying power, so the voice that has little breathbehind it will be weak. Not only will deep breathing—­breathingfrom the diaphragm—­give the voice a bettersupport, but it will give it a stronger resonanceby improving the general health.

Usually, ill health means a weak voice, while abundantphysical vitality is shown through a strong, vibrantvoice. Therefore anything that improves the generalvitality is an excellent voice strengthener, providedyou use the voice properly. Authoritiesdiffer on most of the rules of hygiene but on onepoint they all agree: vitality and longevityare increased by deep breathing. Practise thisuntil it becomes second nature. Whenever youare speaking, take in deep breaths, but in such amanner that the inhalations will be silent.

Do not try to speak too long without renewing yourbreath. Nature cares for this pretty well unconsciouslyin conversation, and she will do the same for youin platform speaking if you do not interfere with herpremonitions.

A certain very successful speaker developed voicecarrying power by running across country, practisinghis speeches as he went. The vigorous exerciseforced him to take deep breaths, and developed lungpower. A hard-fought basketball or tennis gameis an efficient way of practising deep breathing.When these methods are not convenient, we recommendthe following:

Place your hands at your sides, on the waist line.

By trying to encompass your waist with your fingersand thumbs, force all the air out of the lungs.

Take a deep breath. Remember, all the activityis to be centered in the middle of the body;do not raise the shoulders. As the breath is takenyour hands will be forced out.

Repeat the exercise, placing your hands on the smallof the back and forcing them out as you inhale.

Many methods for deep breathing have been given byvarious authorities. Get the air into your lungs—­thatis the important thing.

The body acts as a sounding board for the voice justas the body of the violin acts as a sounding boardfor its tones. You can increase its vibrationsby practise.

Place your finger on your lip and hum the musicalscale, thinking and placing the voice forward on thelips. Do you feel the lips vibrate? Aftera little practise they will vibrate, giving a ticklingsensation.

Repeat this exercise, throwing the humming sound intothe nose. Hold the upper part of the nose betweenthe thumb and forefinger. Can you feel the nosevibrate?

Placing the palm of your hand on top of your head,repeat this humming exercise. Think the voicethere as you hum in head tones. Can you feelthe vibration there?

Now place the palm of your hand on the back of yourhead, repeating the foregoing process. Then tryit on the chest. Always remember to think yourtone where you desire to feel the vibrations.The mere act of thinking about any portion of yourbody will tend to make it vibrate.

Repeat the following, after a deep inhalation, endeavoringto feel all portions of your body vibrate at the sametime. When you have attained this you will findthat it is a pleasant sensation.

What ho, my jovial mates.Come on! We will frolic it like
fairies, frisking in the merrymoonshine.

Purity of Voice

This quality is sometimes destroyed by wasting thebreath. Carefully control the breath, using onlyas much as is necessary for the production of tone.Utilize all that you give out. Failure to do thisresults in a breathy tone. Take in breath likea prodigal; in speaking, give it out like a miser.

Voice Suggestions

Never attempt to force your voice when hoarse.

Do not drink cold water when speaking. The suddenshock to the heated organs of speech will injure thevoice.

Avoid pitching your voice too high—­it willmake it raspy. This is a common fault. Whenyou find your voice in too high a range, lower it.Do not wait until you get to the platform to try this.Practise it in your daily conversation. Repeatthe alphabet, beginning A on the lowest scale possibleand going up a note on each succeeding letter, forthe development of range. A wide range will giveyou facility in making numerous changes of pitch.

Do not form the habit of listening to your voice whenspeaking. You will need your brain to think ofwhat you are saying—­reserve your observationfor private practise.


1. What are the prime requisites for good voice?

2. Tell why each one is necessary for good voiceproduction.

3. Give some exercises for development of theseconditions.

4. Why is range of voice desirable?

5. Tell how range of voice may be cultivated.

6. How much daily practise do you consider necessaryfor the proper development of your voice?

7. How can resonance and carrying power be developed?

8. What are your voice faults?

9. How are you trying to correct them?



A cheerful temper joined withinnocence will make beauty
attractive, knowledge delightful,and wit good-natured.


Poe said that “the tone of beauty is sadness,”but he was evidently thinking from cause to effect,not contrariwise, for sadness is rarely a producerof beauty—­that is peculiarly the provinceof joy.

The exquisite beauty of a sunset is not exhilaratingbut tends to a sort of melancholy that is not farfrom delight The haunting beauty of deep, quiet musicholds more than a tinge of sadness. The lovelyminor cadences of bird song at twilight are almostdepressing.

The reason we are affected to sadness by certain formsof placid beauty is twofold: movement is stimulatingand joy-producing, while quietude leads to reflection,and reflection in turn often brings out the tone ofregretful longing for that which is past; secondly,quiet beauty produces a vague aspiration for the relativelyunattainable, yet does not stimulate to the tremendouseffort necessary to make the dimly desired state orobject ours.

We must distinguish, for these reasons, between thesadness of beauty and the joy of beauty. True,joy is a deep, inner thing and takes in much morethan the idea of bounding, sanguine spirits, for itincludes a certain active contentedness of heart.In this chapter, however the word will have its optimistic,exuberant connotation—­we are thinking nowof vivid, bright-eyed, laughing joy.

Musical, joyous tones constitute voice charm, a subtlemagnetism that is delightfully contagious. Nowit might seem to the desultory reader that to takethe lancet and cut into this alluring voice qualitywould be to dissect a butterfly wing and so destroyits charm. Yet how can we induce an effect ifwe are not certain as to the cause?

Nasal Resonance Produces the Bell-tones of theVoice

The tone passages of the nose must be kept entirelyfree for the bright tones of voice—­andafter our warning in the preceding chapter you willnot confuse what is popularly and erroneously calleda “nasal” tone with the true nasal quality,which is so well illustrated by the voice work oftrained French singers and speakers.

To develop nasal resonance sing the following, dwellingas long as possible on the ng sounds.Pitch the voice in the nasal cavity. Practiseboth in high and low registers, and develop range—­withbrightness.

Sing-song. Ding-dong.Hong-kong. Long-thong.

Practise in the falsetto voice develops a bright qualityin the normal speaking-voice. Try the following,and any other selections you choose, in a falsettovoice. A man’s falsetto voice is extremelyhigh and womanish, so men should not practise in falsettoafter the exercise becomes tiresome.

She perfectly scorned thebest of his clan, and declared the
ninth of any man, a perfectlyvulgar fraction.

The actress Mary Anderson asked the poet Longfellowwhat she could do to improve her voice. He replied,“Read aloud daily, joyous, lyric poetry.”

The joyous tones are the bright tones. Developthem by exercise. Practise your voice exercisesin an attitude of joy. Under the influence ofpleasure the body expands, the tone passages open,the action of heart and lungs is accelerated, andall the primary conditions for good tone are established.

More songs float out from the broken windows of thenegro cabins in the South than from the palatial homeson Fifth Avenue. Henry Ward Beecher said thehappiest days of his life were not when he had becomean international character, but when he was an unknownminister out in Lawrenceville, Ohio, sweeping hisown church, and working as a carpenter to help paythe grocer. Happiness is largely an attitude ofmind, of viewing life from the right angle. Theoptimistic attitude can be cultivated, and it willexpress itself in voice charm. A telephone companyrecently placarded this motto in their booths:“The Voice with the Smile Wins.”It does. Try it.

Reading joyous prose, or lyric poetry, will help putsmile and joy of soul into your voice. The followingselections are excellent for practise.

REMEMBER that when you first practise theseclassics you are to give sole attention to two things:a joyous attitude of heart and body, and bright tonesof voice. After these ends have been attainedto your satisfaction, carefully review the principlesof public speaking laid down in the preceding chaptersand put them into practise as you read these passagesagain and again. It would be better to commit eachselection to memory.



Haste thee, Nymph, and bringwith thee
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips and Cranks and wantonWiles,
Nods and Becks, and wreathedSmiles,
Such as hang on Hebe’scheek,
And love to live in dimplesleek,—­
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding bothhis sides.

Come, and trip it as ye go
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand leadwith thee
The mountain nymph, sweetLiberty:
And, if I give thee honordue,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and livewith thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;

To hear the lark begin hisflight,
And singing, startle the dullNight
From his watch-tower in theskies,
Till the dappled Dawn dothrise;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow
Through the sweetbrier, orthe vine,
Or the twisted eglantine;
While the co*ck with livelydin
Scatters the rear of darknessthin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before;

Oft listening how the houndsand horn
Cheerly rouse the slumberingMorn,
From the side of some hoarhill,
Through the high wood echoingshrill;
Sometime walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocksgreen,
Right against the easterngate,
Where the great Sun beginshis state,
Robed in flames and amberlight,
The clouds in thousand liveriesdight,
While the plowman near athand
Whistles o’er the furrowedland,
And the milkmaid singing blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells histale,
Under the hawthorn in thedale.


The sea, the sea, the opensea,
The blue, the fresh, the feverfree;
Without a mark, without abound,
It runneth the earth’swide regions round;
It plays with the clouds,it mocks the skies,
Or like a cradled creaturelies.
I’m on the sea, I’mon the sea,
I am where I would ever be,
With the blue above and theblue below,
And silence wheresoe’erI go.
If a storm should come andawake the deep,
What matter? I shallride and sleep.

I love, oh! how I love toride
On the fierce, foaming, burstingtide,
Where every mad wave drownsthe moon,
And whistles aloft its tempesttune,
And tells how goeth the worldbelow,
And why the southwest winddoth blow!
I never was on the dull, tameshore
But I loved the great seamore and more,
And backward flew to her billowybreast,
Like a bird that seeketh hermother’s nest,—­
And a mother she was and isto me,
For I was born on the opensea.

The waves were white, andred the morn,
In the noisy hour when I wasborn;
The whale it whistled, theporpoise rolled,
And the dolphins bared theirbacks of gold;
And never was heard such anoutcry wild,
As welcomed to life the oceanchild.
I have lived, since then,in calm and strife,
Full fifty summers a rover’slife,
With wealth to spend, anda power to range,
But never have sought or sighedfor change:
And death, whenever he comesto me,
Shall come on the wide, unboundedsea!


The sun does not shine for a few treesand flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.The lonely pine upon the mountain-top waves itssombre boughs, and cries, “Thou art my sun.”And the little meadow violet lifts its cup ofblue, and whispers with its perfumed breath, “Thouart my sun.” And the grain in a thousandfields rustles in the wind, and makes answer, “Thouart my sun.” And so God sits effulgentin Heaven, not for a favored few, but for theuniverse of life; and there is no creature so pooror so low that he may not look up with child-likeconfidence and say, “My Father! Thouart mine.”



Birdof the wilderness,
Blithesomeand cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o’ermoorland and lea!
Emblemof happiness,
Blestis thy dwelling-place:
Oh, to abide in the desertwith thee!

Wildis thy lay, and loud,
Farin the downy cloud,—­
Love gives it energy; lovegave it birth.
Where,on thy dewy wing
Whereart thou journeying?
Thy lay is in heaven; thylove is on earth.

O’erfell and fountain sheen,
O’ermoor and mountain green,
O’er the red streamerthat heralds the day;
Overthe cloudlet dim,
Overthe rainbow’s rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing,away!

Then,when the gloaming comes,
Lowin the heather blooms,
Sweet will thy welcome andbed of love be!
Emblemof happiness,
Blestis thy dwelling-place.
Oh, to abide in the desertwith thee!


In joyous conversation there is an elastic touch,a delicate stroke, upon the central ideas, generallyfollowing a pause. This elastic touch adds vivacityto the voice. If you try repeatedly, it can besensed by feeling the tongue strike the teeth.The entire absence of elastic touch in the voice canbe observed in the thick tongue of the intoxicatedman. Try to talk with the tongue lying stillin the bottom of the mouth, and you will obtain largelythe same effect. Vivacity of utterance is gainedby using the tongue to strike off the emphatic ideawith a decisive, elastic touch.

Deliver the following with decisive strokes on theemphatic ideas. Deliver it in a vivacious manner,noting the elastic touch-action of the tongue.A flexible, responsive tongue is absolutely essentialto good voice work.


What have you done with that brilliantFrance which I left you? I left you at peace,and I find you at war. I left you victoriousand I find you defeated. I left you the millionsof Italy, and I find only spoliation and poverty.What have you done with the hundred thousand Frenchmen,my companions in glory? They are dead!...This state of affairs cannot last long; in lessthan three years it would plunge us into despotism.

Practise the following selection, for the developmentof elastic touch; say it in a joyous spirit, usingthe exercise to develop voice charm in allthe ways suggested in this chapter.


I come from haunts of cootand hern,
Imake a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among thefern,
Tobicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Orslip between the ridges;
By twenty thorps, a littletown,
Andhalf a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip’sfarm I flow
Tojoin the brimming river;
For men may come and men maygo,
ButI go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways,
Inlittle sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
Ibabble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banksI fret,
Bymany a field and fallow,
And many a fairy forelandset
Withwillow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
Tojoin the brimming river;
For men may come and men maygo,
ButI go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
Withhere a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lustytrout,
Andhere and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamyflake
Uponme, as I travel,
With many a silvery water-break
Abovethe golden gravel,

And draw them all along, andflow
Tojoin the brimming river,
For men may come and men maygo,
ButI go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassyplots,
Islide by hazel covers,
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
Thatgrow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows,

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses,
I linger by my shingly bars,
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.


The children at play on the street, glad from sheerphysical vitality, display a resonance and charm intheir voices quite different from the voices thatfloat through the silent halls of the hospitals.A skilled physician can tell much about his patient’scondition from the mere sound of the voice. Failinghealth, or even physical weariness, tells throughthe voice. It is always well to rest and be entirelyrefreshed before attempting to deliver a public address.As to health, neither scope nor space permits us todiscuss here the laws of hygiene. There are manyexcellent books on this subject. In the reignof the Roman emperor Tiberius, one senator wrote toanother: “To the wise, a word is sufficient.”

“The apparel oft proclaims the man;” thevoice always does—­it is one of the greatestrevealers of character. The superficial woman,the brutish man, the reprobate, the person of culture,often discloses inner nature in the voice, for eventhe cleverest dissembler cannot entirely prevent itstones and qualities being affected by the slightestchange of thought or emotion. In anger it becomeshigh, harsh, and unpleasant; in love low, soft, andmelodious—­the variations are as limitlessas they are fascinating to observe. Visit a theatrical

hotel in a large city, and listen to the buzz-sawvoices of the chorus girls from some burlesque “attraction.”The explanation is simple—­buzz-saw lives.Emerson said: “When a man lives with Godhis voice shall be as sweet as the murmur of the brookor the rustle of the corn.” It is impossibleto think selfish thoughts and have either an attractivepersonality, a lovely character, or a charming voice.If you want to possess voice charm, cultivate a deep,sincere sympathy for mankind. Love will shineout through your eyes and proclaim itself in your tones.One secret of the sweetness of the canary’ssong may be his freedom from tainted thoughts.Your character beautifies or mars your voice.As a man thinketh in his heart so is his voice.


1. Define (a) charm; (b) joy; (c)beauty.

2. Make a list of all the words related to joy.

3. Write a three-minute eulogy of “TheJoyful Man.”

4. Deliver it without the use of notes.Have you carefully considered all the qualities thatgo to make up voice-charm in its delivery?

5. Tell briefly in your own words what meansmay be employed to develop a charming voice.

6. Discuss the effect of voice on character.

7. Discuss the effect of character on voice.

8. Analyze the voice charm of any speaker orsinger you choose.

9. Analyze the defects of any given voice.

10. Make a short humorous speech imitating certainvoice defects, pointing out reasons.

11. Commit the following stanza and interpreteach phase of delight suggested or expressed by thepoet.

An infant when it gazes ona light,
Achild the moment when it drains the breast,
A devotee when soars the Hostin sight,
AnArab with a stranger for a guest,
A sailor when the prize hasstruck in fight,
Amiser filling his most hoarded chest,
Feel rapture; but not suchtrue joy are reaping
As they who watch o’erwhat they love while sleeping.

—­BYRON, Don Juan.



In man speaks God.

—­HESIOD, Wordsand Days.

And endless are the modesof speech, and far
Extends from side to sidethe field of words.

—­HOMER, Iliad.

In popular usage the terms “pronunciation,”“enunciation,” and “articulation”are synonymous, but real pronunciation includes threedistinct processes, and may therefore be defined as,the utterance of a syllable or a group of syllableswith regard to articulation, accentuation, and enunciation.

Distinct and precise utterance is one of the mostimportant considerations of public speech. Howpreposterous it is to hear a speaker making soundsof “inarticulate earnestness” under thecontented delusion that he is telling something tohis audience! Telling? Telling means communicating,and how can he actually communicate without makingevery word distinct?

Slovenly pronunciation results from either physicaldeformity or habit. A surgeon or a surgeon dentistmay correct a deformity, but your own will, workingby self-observation and resolution in drill, will breaka habit. All depends upon whether you think itworth while.

Defective speech is so widespread that freedom fromit is the exception. It is painfully common tohear public speakers mutilate the king’s English.If they do not actually murder it, as Curran once said,they often knock an i out.

A Canadian clergyman, writing in the HomileticReview, relates that in his student days “aclassmate who was an Englishman supplied a countrychurch for a Sunday. On the following Monday heconducted a missionary meeting. In the courseof his address he said some farmers thought they weredoing their duty toward missions when they gave their’hodds and hends’ to the work, but theLord required more. At the close of the meetinga young woman seriously said to a friend: ’Iam sure the farmers do well if they give their hogsand hens to missions. It is more than most peoplecan afford.’”

It is insufferable effrontery for any man to appearbefore an audience who persists in driving the hout of happiness, home and heaven, and, to paraphraseWaldo Messaros, will not let it rest in hell.He who does not show enough self-knowledge to seein himself such glaring faults, nor enough self-masteryto correct them, has no business to instruct others.If he can do no better, he should be silent.If he will do no better, he should also besilent.

Barring incurable physical defects—­andfew are incurable nowadays—­the whole matteris one of will. The catalogue of those who havedone the impossible by faithful work is as inspiringas a roll-call of warriors. “The less thereis of you,” says Nathan Sheppard, “themore need for you to make the most of what there isof you.”


Articulation is the forming and joining of the elementarysounds of speech. It seems an appalling taskto utter articulately the third-of-a million wordsthat go to make up our English vocabulary, but theway to make a beginning is really simple: learnto utter correctly, and with easy change from oneto the other, each of the forty-four elementary soundsin our language.

The reasons why articulation is so painfully slurredby a great many public speakers are four: ignoranceof the elemental sounds; failure to discriminate betweensounds nearly alike; a slovenly, lazy use of the vocalorgans; and a torpid will. Anyone who is stillmaster of himself will know how to handle each ofthese defects.

The vowel sounds are the most vexing source of errors,especially where diphthongs are found. Who hasnot heard such errors as are hit off in this inimitableverse by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Learning condemns beyond thereach of hope
The careless lips that speakof s[)o]ap for s[=o]ap;
Her edict exiles from herfair abode
The clownish voice that uttersr[)o]ad for r[=o]ad;
Less stern to him who callshis c[=o]at, a c[)o]at
And steers his b[=o]at believingit a b[)o]at.
She pardoned one, our classiccity’s boast.
Who said at Cambridge, m[)o]stinstead of m[=o]st,
But knit her brows and stampedher angry foot
To hear a Teacher call a r[=oo]ta r[)oo]t.

The foregoing examples are all monosyllables, butbad articulation is frequently the result of joiningsounds that do not belong together. For example,no one finds it difficult to say beauty, butmany persist in pronouncing duty as thoughit were spelled either dooty or juty.It is not only from untaught speakers that we hearsuch slovenly articulations as colyum for column,and pritty for pretty, but even greatorators occasionally offend quite as unblushingly asless noted mortals.

Nearly all such are errors of carelessness, not ofpure ignorance—­of carelessness becausethe ear never tries to hear what the lips articulate.It must be exasperating to a foreigner to find thatthe elemental sound ou gives him no hint forthe pronunciation of bough, cough, rough,thorough, and through, and we can wellforgive even a man of culture who occasionally loseshis way amidst the intricacies of English articulation,but there can be no excuse for the slovenly utteranceof the simple vowel sounds which form at once thelife and the beauty of our language. He who istoo lazy to speak distinctly should hold his tongue.

The consonant sounds occasion serious trouble onlyfor those who do not look with care at the spellingof words about to be pronounced. Nothing butcarelessness can account for saying Jacop, Babtist,sevem, alwus, or sadisfy.

“He that hath yaws to yaw, let him yaw,”is the rendering which an Anglophobiac clergyman gaveof the familiar scripture, “He that hath earsto hear, let him hear.” After hearing thename of Sir Humphry Davy pronounced, a Frenchman whowished to write to the eminent Englishman thus addressedthe letter: “Serum Fridavi.”


Accentuation is the stressing of the proper syllablesin words. This it is that is popularly calledpronunciation. For instance, we properlysay that a word is mispronounced when it is accentedin’-viteinstead of in-vite’,though it is really an offense against only one formof pronunciation—­accentuation.

It is the work of a lifetime to learn the accentsof a large vocabulary and to keep pace with changingusage; but an alert ear, the study of word-origins,and the dictionary habit, will prove to be mighty helpersin a task that can never be finally completed.


Correct enunciation is the complete utterance of allthe sounds of a syllable or a word. Wrong articulationgives the wrong sound to the vowel or vowels of aword or a syllable, as doo for dew; orunites two sounds improperly, as hully forwholly. Wrong enunciation is the incompleteutterance of a syllable or a word, the sound omittedor added being usually consonantal. To say needcessityinstead of necessity is a wrong articulation;to say doin for doing is improper enunciation.The one articulates—­that is, joints—­twosounds that should not be joined, and thus gives theword a positively wrong sound; the other fails totouch all the sounds in the word, and in that particularway also sounds the word incorrectly.

“My tex’ may be foun’ in the fif’and six’ verses of the secon’ chapterof Titus; and the subjec’ of my discourse is’The Gover’ment of ar Homes.’"[6]

What did this preacher do with his final consonants?This slovenly dropping of essential sounds is as offensiveas the common habit of running words together so thatthey lose their individuality and distinctness. Lightendark, uppen down, doncher know,partic’lar, zamination, are alltoo common to need comment.

Imperfect enunciation is due to lack of attentionand to lazy lips. It can be corrected by resolutelyattending to the formation of syllables as they areuttered. Flexible lips will enunciate difficultcombinations of sounds without slighting any of them,but such flexibility cannot be attained except byhabitually uttering words with distinctness and accuracy.A daily exercise in enunciating a series of soundswill in a short time give flexibility to the lipsand alertness to the mind, so that no word will beuttered without receiving its due complement of sound.

Returning to our definition, we see that when thesounds of a word are properly articulated, the rightsyllables accented, and full value given to each soundin its enunciation, we have correct pronunciation.Perhaps one word of caution is needed here, lest anyone, anxious to bring out clearly every sound, shouldoverdo the matter and neglect the unity and smoothnessof pronunciation. Be careful not to bring syllablesinto so much prominence as to make words seem longand angular. The joints must be kept decentlydressed.

Before delivery, do not fail to go over your manuscriptand note every sound that may possibly be mispronounced.Consult the dictionary and make assurance doubly sure.If the arrangement of words is unfavorable to clearenunciation, change either words or order and do notrest until you can follow Hamlet’s directionsto the players.


1. Practise repeating the following rapidly,paying particular attention to the consonants.

“Foolish Flavius, flushingfeverishly, fiercely found fault with
Flora’s frivolity.[7]”

Mary’s matchless mimicrymakes much mischief.

Seated on shining shale shesells sea shells.

You youngsters yielded youryouthful yule-tide yearnings

2. Sound the l in each of the followingwords, repeated in sequence:

Blue black blinkers blockedBlack Blondin’s eyes.

3. Do you say a bloo sky or a bluesky?

4. Compare the u sound in few andin new. Say each aloud, and decide whichis correct, Noo York, New Yawk, or NewYork?

5. Pay careful heed to the directions of thischapter in reading the following, from Hamlet.After the interview with the ghost of his father,Hamlet tells his friends Horatio and Marcellus thathe intends to act a part:

Horatio. O dayand night, but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet. And therefore asa stranger give it welcome. There are morethings in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than aredreamt of in your philosophy. But come;Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, Howstrange or odd so’er I bear myself,—­As I perchance hereafter shall think meet Toput an antic disposition on,—­ Thatyou, at such times seeing me, never shall, Witharms encumber’d thus, or this head-shake, Orby pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, As “Well,well, we know,” or “We could, an if wewould,” Or “If we list to speak,”or “There be, an if there might,” Orsuch ambiguous giving-out, to note That you knowaught of me: this not to do, So grace andmercy at your most need help you, Swear.

—­Act I. Scene V.

6. Make a list of common errors of pronunciation,saying which are due to faulty articulation, wrongaccentuation, and incomplete enunciation. Ineach case make the correction.

7. Criticise any speech you may have heard whichdisplayed these faults.

8. Explain how the false shame of seeming tobe too precise may hinder us from cultivating perfectverbal utterance.

9. Over-precision is likewise a fault. Tobring out any syllable unduly is to caricature theword. Be moderate in reading the following:


The enemies of the Republic call metyrant! Were I such they would grovel atmy feet. I should gorge them with gold, I shouldgrant them immunity for their crimes, and theywould be grateful. Were I such, the kingswe have vanquished, far from denouncing Robespierre,would lend me their guilty support; there wouldbe a covenant between them and me. Tyranny musthave tools. But the enemies of tyranny,—­whitherdoes their path tend? To the tomb, and toimmortality! What tyrant is my protector?To what faction do I belong? Yourselves!What faction, since the beginning of the Revolution,has crushed and annihilated so many detected traitors?You, the people,—­our principles—­arethat faction—­a faction to which I am devoted,and against which all the scoundrelism of the dayis banded!
The confirmation of the Republic hasbeen my object; and I know that the Republic canbe established only on the eternal basis of morality.Against me, and against those who hold kindred principles,the league is formed. My life? Oh! my lifeI abandon without a regret! I have seen thepast; and I foresee the future. What friendof this country would wish to survive the momentwhen he could no longer serve it,—­when hecould no longer defend innocence against oppression?Wherefore should I continue in an order of things,where intrigue eternally triumphs over truth;where justice is mocked; where passions the mostabject, or fears the most absurd, over-ride the sacredinterests of humanity? In witnessing the multitudeof vices which the torrent of the Revolution hasrolled in turbid communion with its civic virtues,I confess that I have sometimes feared that Ishould be sullied, in the eyes of posterity, bythe impure neighborhood of unprincipled men, who hadthrust themselves into association with the sincerefriends of humanity; and I rejoice that theseconspirators against my country have now, by theirreckless rage, traced deep the line of demarcationbetween themselves and all true men.
Question history, and learn how allthe defenders of liberty, in all times, have beenoverwhelmed by calumny. But their traducers diedalso. The good and the bad disappear alike fromthe earth; but in very different conditions.O Frenchmen! O my countrymen! Let notyour enemies, with their desolating doctrines, degradeyour souls, and enervate your virtues! No,Chaumette, no! Death is not “an eternalsleep!” Citizens! efface from the tomb thatmotto, graven by sacrilegious hands, which spreadsover all nature a funereal crape, takes from oppressedinnocence its support, and affronts the beneficentdispensation of death! Inscribe rather thereonthese words: “Death is the commencementof immortality!” I leave to the oppressorsof the People a terrible testament, which I proclaimwith the independence befitting one whose careeris so nearly ended; it is the awful truth—­“Thoushalt die!”


[Footnote 6: School and College Speaker,Mitchell.]

[Footnote 7: School and College Speaker,Mitchell.]



When Whitefield acted an oldblind man advancing by slow steps
toward the edge of the precipice,Lord Chesterfield started up
and cried: “GoodGod, he is gone!”

—­NATHAN SHEPPARD,Before an Audience.

Gesture is really a simple matter that requires observationand common sense rather than a book of rules.Gesture is an outward expression of an inward condition.It is merely an effect—­the effect of a mentalor an emotional impulse struggling for expressionthrough physical avenues.

You must not, however, begin at the wrong end:if you are troubled by your gestures, or a lack ofgestures, attend to the cause, not the effect.It will not in the least help matters to tack on toyour delivery a few mechanical movements. Ifthe tree in your front yard is not growing to suityou, fertilize and water the soil and let the treehave sunshine. Obviously it will not help yourtree to nail on a few branches. If your cisternis dry, wait until it rains; or bore a well.Why plunge a pump into a dry hole?

The speaker whose thoughts and emotions are wellingwithin him like a mountain spring will not have muchtrouble to make gestures; it will be merely a questionof properly directing them. If his enthusiasmfor his subject is not such as to give him a naturalimpulse for dramatic action, it will avail nothingto furnish him with a long list of rules. Hemay tack on some movements, but they will look likethe wilted branches nailed to a tree to simulate life.Gestures must be born, not built. A wooden horsemay amuse the children, but it takes a live one togo somewhere.

It is not only impossible to lay down definite ruleson this subject, but it would be silly to try, foreverything depends on the speech, the occasion, thepersonality and feelings of the speaker, and the attitudeof the audience. It is easy enough to forecastthe result of multiplying seven by six, but it isimpossible to tell any man what kind of gestures hewill be impelled to use when he wishes to show hisearnestness. We may tell him that many speakersclose the hand, with the exception of the forefinger,and pointing that finger straight at the audience pourout their thoughts like a volley; or that others stampone foot for emphasis; or that Mr. Bryan often slapshis hands together for great force, holding one palmupward in an easy manner; or that Gladstone wouldsometimes make a rush at the clerk’s table inParliament and smite it with his hand so forcefullythat D’israeli once brought down the house bygrimly congratulating himself that such a barrier stoodbetween himself and “the honorable gentleman.”

All these things, and a bookful more, may we tellthe speaker, but we cannot know whether he can usethese gestures or not, any more than we can decidewhether he could wear Mr. Bryan’s clothes.The best that can be done on this subject is to offera few practical suggestions, and let personal goodtaste decide as to where effective dramatic actionends and extravagant motion begins.

Any Gesture That Merely Calls Attention to ItselfIs Bad

The purpose of a gesture is to carry your thoughtand feeling into the minds and hearts of your hearers;this it does by emphasizing your message, by interpretingit, by expressing it in action, by striking its tonein either a physically descriptive, a suggestive, ora typical gesture—­and let it be rememberedall the time that gesture includes all physicalmovement, from facial expression and the tossing ofthe head to the expressive movements of hand and foot.A shifting of the pose may be a most effective gesture.

What is true of gesture is true of all life.If the people on the street turn around and watchyour walk, your walk is more important than you are—­changeit. If the attention of your audience is calledto your gestures, they are not convincing, becausethey appear to be—­what they havea doubtful right to be in reality—­studied.Have you ever seen a speaker use such grotesque gesticulationsthat you were fascinated by their frenzy of oddity,but could not follow his thought? Do not smotherideas with gymnastics. Savonarola would rush downfrom the high pulpit among the congregation in theduomo at Florence and carry the fire of convictionto his hearers; Billy Sunday slides to base on theplatform carpet in dramatizing one of his baseballillustrations. Yet in both instances the messagehas somehow stood out bigger than the gesture—­itis chiefly in calm afterthought that men have rememberedthe form of dramatic expression. WhenSir Henry Irving made his famous exit as “Shylock”the last thing the audience saw was his pallid, avaricioushand extended skinny and claw-like against the background.At the time, every one was overwhelmed by the tremendoustypical quality of this gesture; now, we have timeto think of its art, and discuss its realistic power.

Only when gesture is subordinated to the absorbingimportance of the idea—­a spontaneous, livingexpression of living truth—­is it justifiableat all; and when it is remembered for itself—­asa piece of unusual physical energy or as a poem ofgrace—­it is a dead failure as dramaticexpression. There is a place for a unique styleof walking—­it is the circus or the cake-walk;there is a place for surprisingly rhythmical evolutionsof arms and legs—­it is on the dance flooror the stage. Don’t let your agility andgrace put your thoughts out of business.

One of the present writers took his first lessonsin gesture from a certain college president who knewfar more about what had happened at the Diet of Wormsthan he did about how to express himself in action.His instructions were to start the movement on a certainword, continue it on a precise curve, and unfold thefingers at the conclusion, ending with the forefinger—­justso. Plenty, and more than plenty, has been publishedon this subject, giving just such silly directions.Gesture is a thing of mentality and feeling—­nota matter of geometry. Remember, whenever a pairof shoes, a method of pronunciation, or a gesture callsattention to itself, it is bad. When you havemade really good gestures in a good speech your hearerswill not go away saying, “What beautiful gestureshe made!” but they will say, “I’llvote for that measure.” “He is right—­Ibelieve in that.”

Gestures Should Be Born of the Moment

The best actors and public speakers rarely know inadvance what gestures they are going to make.They make one gesture on certain words tonight, andnone at all tomorrow night at the same point—­theirvarious moods and interpretations govern their gestures.It is all a matter of impulse and intelligent feelingwith them—­don’t overlook that wordintelligent. Nature does not always providethe same kind of sunsets or snow flakes, and the movementsof a good speaker vary almost as much as the creationsof nature.

Now all this is not to say that you must not takesome thought for your gestures. If that weremeant, why this chapter? When the sergeant despairinglybesought the recruit in the awkward squad to step outand look at himself, he gave splendid advice—­andworthy of personal application. Particularlywhile you are in the learning days of public speakingyou must learn to criticise your own gestures.Recall them—­see where they were useless,crude, awkward, what not, and do better next time.There is a vast deal of difference between being consciousof self and being self-conscious.

It will require your nice discrimination in orderto cultivate spontaneous gestures and yet give dueattention to practise. While you depend uponthe moment it is vital to remember that only a dramaticgenius can effectively accomplish such feats as wehave related of Whitefield, Savonarola, and others:and doubtless the first time they were used they camein a burst of spontaneous feeling, yet Whitefielddeclared that not until he had delivered a sermon fortytimes was its delivery perfected. What spontaneityinitiates let practise complete. Every effectivespeaker and every vivid actor has observed, consideredand practised gesture until his dramatic actions area sub-conscious possession, just like his abilityto pronounce correctly without especially concentratinghis thought. Every able platform man has possessedhimself of a dozen ways in which he might depict ingesture any given emotion; in fact, the means forsuch expression are endless—­and this isprecisely why it is both useless and harmful to makea chart of gestures and enforce them as the idealsof what may be used to express this or that feeling.Practise descriptive, suggestive, and typical movementsuntil they come as naturally as a good articulation;and rarely forecast the gestures you will use at agiven moment: leave something to that moment.

Avoid Monotony in Gesture

Roast beef is an excellent dish, but it would be terribleas an exclusive diet. No matter how effectiveone gesture is, do not overwork it. Put varietyin your actions. Monotony will destroy all beautyand power. The pump handle makes one effectivegesture, and on hot days that one is very eloquent,but it has its limitations.

Any Movement that is not Significant, Weakens

Do not forget that. Restlessness is not expression.A great many useless movements will only take theattention of the audience from what you are saying.A widely-noted man introduced the speaker of the eveningone Sunday lately to a New York audience. Theonly thing remembered about that introductory speechis that the speaker played nervously with the coveringof the table as he talked. We naturally watchmoving objects. A janitor putting down a windowcan take the attention of the hearers from Mr. Roosevelt.By making a few movements at one side of the stagea chorus girl may draw the interest of the spectatorsfrom a big scene between the “leads.”When our forefathers lived in caves they had to watchmoving objects, for movements meant danger. Wehave not yet overcome the habit. Advertisershave taken advantage of it—­witness themoving electric light signs in any city. A shrewdspeaker will respect this law and conserve the attentionof his audience by eliminating all unnecessary movements.

Gesture Should either be Simultaneous with or Precedethe Words—­not Follow Them

Lady Macbeth says: “Bear welcome in youreye, your hand, your tongue.” Reverse thisorder and you get comedy. Say, “There hegoes,” pointing at him after you have finishedyour words, and see if the result is not comical.

Do Not Make Short, Jerky Movements

Some speakers seem to be imitating a waiter who hasfailed to get a tip. Let your movements be easy,and from the shoulder, as a rule, rather than fromthe elbow. But do not go to the other extremeand make too many flowing motions—­thatsavors of the lackadaisical.

Put a little “punch” and life into yourgestures. You can not, however, do this mechanically.The audience will detect it if you do. They maynot know just what is wrong, but the gesture will havea false appearance to them.

Facial Expression is Important

Have you ever stopped in front of a Broadway theaterand looked at the photographs of the cast? Noticethe row of chorus girls who are supposed to be expressingfear. Their attitudes are so mechanical that theattempt is ridiculous. Notice the picture of the“star” expressing the same emotion:his muscles are drawn, his eyebrows lifted, he shrinks,and fear shines through his eyes. That actor feltfear when the photograph was taken. The chorusgirls felt that it was time for a rarebit, and morenearly expressed that emotion than they did fear.Incidentally, that is one reason why they stayin the chorus.

The movements of the facial muscles may mean a greatdeal more than the movements of the hand. Theman who sits in a dejected heap with a look of despairon his face is expressing his thoughts and feelingsjust as effectively as the man who is waving his armsand shouting from the back of a dray wagon. Theeye has been called the window of the soul. Throughit shines the light of our thoughts and feelings.

Do Not Use Too Much Gesture

As a matter of fact, in the big crises of life wedo not go through many actions. When your closestfriend dies you do not throw up your hands and talkabout your grief. You are more likely to sit andbrood in dry-eyed silence. The Hudson River doesnot make much noise on its way to the sea—­itis not half so loud as the little creek up in BronxPark that a bullfrog could leap across. The barkingdog never tears your trousers—­at leastthey say he doesn’t. Do not fear the manwho waves his arms and shouts his anger, but the manwho comes up quietly with eyes flaming and face burningmay knock you down. Fuss is not force. Observethese principles in nature and practise them in yourdelivery.

The writer of this chapter once observed an instructordrilling a class in gesture. They had come tothe passage from Henry VIII in which the humbled Cardinalsays: “Farewell, a long farewell to allmy greatness.” It is one of the patheticpassages of literature. A man uttering such asentiment would be crushed, and the last thing on earthhe would do would be to make flamboyant movements.Yet this class had an elocutionary manual before themthat gave an appropriate gesture for every occasion,from paying the gas bill to death-bed farewells.So they were instructed to throw their arms out atfull length on each side and say: “Farewell,a long farewell to all my greatness.” Sucha gesture might possibly be used in an after-dinnerspeech at the convention of a telephone company whoselines extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific, butto think of Wolsey’s using that movement wouldsuggest that his fate was just.


The physical attitude to be taken before the audiencereally is included in gesture. Just what thatattitude should be depends, not on rules, but on thespirit of the speech and the occasion. SenatorLa Follette stood for three hours with his weightthrown on his forward foot as he leaned out over thefootlights, ran his fingers through his hair, and flamedout a denunciation of the trusts. It was veryeffective. But imagine a speaker taking thatkind of position to discourse on the development ofroad-making machinery. If you have a fiery, aggressivemessage, and will let yourself go, nature will naturallypull your weight to your forward foot. A manin a hot political argument or a street brawl neverhas to stop to think upon which foot he should throwhis weight. You may sometimes place your weighton your back foot if you have a restful and calm message—­butdon’t worry about it: just stand like aman who genuinely feels what he is saying. Donot stand with your heels close together, like a soldieror a butler. No more should you stand with themwide apart like a traffic policeman. Use simplegood manners and common sense.

Here a word of caution is needed. We have advisedyou to allow your gestures and postures to be spontaneousand not woodenly prepared beforehand, but do not goto the extreme of ignoring the importance of acquiringmastery of your physical movements. A muscularhand made flexible by free movement, is far more likelyto be an effective instrument in gesture than a stiff,pudgy bunch of fingers. If your shoulders arelithe and carried well, while your chest does not retreatfrom association with your chin, the chances of usinggood extemporaneous gestures are so much the better.Learn to keep the back of your neck touchingyour collar, hold your chest high, and keep down yourwaist measure.

So attention to strength, poise, flexibility, andgrace of body are the foundations of good gesture,for they are expressions of vitality, and withoutvitality no speaker can enter the kingdom of power.When an awkward giant like Abraham Lincoln rose tothe sublimest heights of oratory he did so becauseof the greatness of his soul—­his very ruggednessof spirit and artless honesty were properly expressedin his gnarly body. The fire of character, ofearnestness, and of message swept his hearers beforehim when the tepid words of an insincere Apollo wouldhave left no effect. But be sure you are a secondLincoln before you despise the handicap of physicalawkwardness.

“Ty” Cobb has confided to the public thatwhen he is in a batting slump he even stands beforea mirror, bat in hand, to observe the “swing”and “follow through” of his batting form.If you would learn to stand well before an audience,look at yourself in a mirror—­but not toooften. Practise walking and standing before themirror so as to conquer awkwardness—­notto cultivate a pose. Stand on the platform inthe same easy manner that you would use before guestsin a drawing-room. If your position is not graceful,make it so by dancing, gymnasium work, and by gettinggrace and poise in your mind.

Do not continually hold the same position. Anybig change of thought necessitates a change of position.Be at home. There are no rules—­it isall a matter of taste. While on the platform forgetthat you have any hands until you desire to use them—­thenremember them effectively. Gravity will takecare of them. Of course, if you want to put thembehind you, or fold them once in awhile, it is notgoing to ruin your speech. Thought and feelingare the big things in speaking—­not theposition of a foot or a hand. Simply putyour limbs where you want them to be—­youhave a will, so do not neglect to use it.

Let us reiterate, do not despise practise. Yourgestures and movements may be spontaneous and stillbe wrong. No matter how natural they are, itis possible to improve them.

It is impossible for anyone—­even yourself—­tocriticise your gestures until after they are made.You can’t prune a peach tree until it comesup; therefore speak much, and observe your own speech.While you are examining yourself, do not forget tostudy statuary and paintings to see how the greatportrayers of nature have made their subjects expressideas through action. Notice the gestures of thebest speakers and actors. Observe the physicalexpression of life everywhere. The leaves onthe tree respond to the slightest breeze. Themuscles of your face, the light of your eyes, shouldrespond to the slightest change of feeling. Emersonsays: “Every man that I meet is my superiorin some way. In that I learn of him.”Illiterate Italians make gestures so wonderful andbeautiful that Booth or Barrett might have sat at theirfeet and been instructed. Open your eyes.Emerson says again: “We are immersed inbeauty, but our eyes have no clear vision.”Toss this book to one side; go out and watch one childplead with another for a bite of apple; see a streetbrawl; observe life in action. Do you want toknow how to express victory? Watch the victors’hands go high on election night. Do you wantto plead a cause? Make a composite photographof all the pleaders in daily life you constantly see.Beg, borrow, and steal the best you can get, BUTDON’T GIVE IT OUT AS THEFT. Assimilateit until it becomes a part of you—­thenlet the expression come out.


1. From what source do you intend to study gesture?

2. What is the first requisite of good gestures?Why?

3. Why is it impossible to lay down steel-cladrules for gesturing?

4. Describe (a) a graceful gesture thatyou have observed; (b) a forceful one; (c)an extravagant one; (d) an inappropriate one.

5. What gestures do you use for emphasis?Why?

6. How can grace of movement be acquired?

7. When in doubt about a gesture what would youdo?

8. What, according to your observations beforea mirror, are your faults in gesturing?

9. How do you intend to correct them?

10. What are some of the gestures, if any, thatyou might use in delivering Thurston’s speech,page 50; Grady’s speech, page 36? Be specific.

11. Describe some particularly appropriate gesturethat you have observed. Why was it appropriate?

12. Cite at least three movements in nature thatmight well be imitated in gesture.

13. What would you gather from the expressions:descriptive gesture, suggestive gesture,and typical gesture?

14. Select any elemental emotion, such as fear,and try, by picturing in your mind at least five differentsituations that might call forth this emotion, toexpress its several phases by gesture—­includingposture, movement, and facial expression.

15. Do the same thing for such other emotionsas you may select.

16. Select three passages from any source, onlybeing sure that they are suitable for public delivery,memorize each, and then devise gestures suitable foreach. Say why.

17. Criticise the gestures in any speech youhave heard recently.

18. Practise flexible movement of the hand.What exercises did you find useful?

19. Carefully observe some animal; then deviseseveral typical gestures.

20. Write a brief dialogue between any two animals;read it aloud and invent expressive gestures.

21. Deliver, with appropriate gestures, the quotationthat heads this chapter.

22. Read aloud the following incident, usingdramatic gestures:

When Voltaire was preparing a youngactress to appear in one of his tragedies, hetied her hands to her sides with pack thread inorder to check her tendency toward exuberant gesticulation.Under this condition of compulsory immobility shecommenced to rehearse, and for some time she boreherself calmly enough; but at last, completelycarried away by her feelings, she burst her bondsand flung up her arms. Alarmed at her supposedneglect of his instructions, she began to apologizeto the poet; he smilingly reassured her, however;the gesture was then admirable, becauseit was irrepressible.

—­REDWAY, TheActor’s Art.

23. Render the following with suitable gestures:

One day, while preaching, Whitefield“suddenly assumed a nautical air and mannerthat were irresistible with him,” and brokeforth in these words: “Well, my boys, wehave a clear sky, and are making fine headwayover a smooth sea before a light breeze, and weshall soon lose sight of land. But what meansthis sudden lowering of the heavens, and that darkcloud arising from beneath the western horizon?Hark! Don’t you hear distant thunder?Don’t you see those flashes of lightning?There is a storm gathering! Every man tohis duty! The air is dark!—­the tempestrages!—­our masts are gone!—­theship is on her beam ends! What next?”At this a number of sailors in the congregation,utterly swept away by the dramatic description, leapedto their feet and cried: “The longboat!—­taketo the longboat!”

—­NATHAN SHEPPARD,Before an Audience.



The crown, the consummation, of thediscourse is its delivery. Toward it allpreparation looks, for it the audience waits, by itthe speaker is judged.... All the forces of theorator’s life converge in his oratory.The logical acuteness with which he marshals thefacts around his theme, the rhetorical facility withwhich he orders his language, the control to whichhe has attained in the use of his body as a singleorgan of expression, whatever richness of acquisitionand experience are his—­these all arenow incidents; the fact is the sending of hismessage home to his hearers.... The hourof delivery is the “supreme, inevitablehour” for the orator. It is this fact thatmakes lack of adequate preparation such an impertinence.And it is this that sends such thrills of indescribablejoy through the orator’s whole being whenhe has achieved a success—­it is like themother forgetting her pangs for the joy of bringinga son into the world.

—­J.B.E., Howto Attract and Hold an Audience.

There are four fundamental methods of delivering anaddress; all others are modifications of one or moreof these: reading from manuscript, committingthe written speech and speaking from memory, speakingfrom notes, and extemporaneous speech. It isimpossible to say which form of delivery is best forall speakers in all circ*mstances—­in decidingfor yourself you should consider the occasion, thenature of the audience, the character of your subject,and your own limitations of time and ability.However, it is worth while warning you not to be lenientin self-exaction. Say to yourself courageously:What others can do, I can attempt. A bold spiritconquers where others flinch, and a trying task challengespluck.

Reading from Manuscript

This method really deserves short shrift in a bookon public speaking, for, delude yourself as you may,public reading is not public speaking. Yet thereare so many who grasp this broken reed for supportthat we must here discuss the “read speech”—­apologeticmisnomer as it is.

Certainly there are occasions—­among them,the opening of Congress, the presentation of a sorequestion before a deliberative body, or a historicalcommemoration—­when it may seem not aloneto the “orator” but to all those interestedthat the chief thing is to express certain thoughtsin precise language—­in language that mustnot be either misunderstood or misquoted. Atsuch times oratory is unhappily elbowed to a backbench, the manuscript is solemnly withdrawn from thecapacious inner pocket of the new frock coat, andeveryone settles himself resignedly, with only a feebleflicker of hope that the so-called speech may notbe as long as it is thick. The words may be golden,but the hearers’ (?) eyes are prone to be leaden,and in about one instance out of a hundred does theperpetrator really deliver an impressive address.His excuse is his apology—­he is not to beblamed, as a rule, for some one decreed that it wouldbe dangerous to cut loose from manuscript mooringsand take his audience with him on a really delightfulsail.

One great trouble on such “great occasions”is that the essayist—­for such he is—­hasbeen chosen not because of his speaking ability butbecause his grandfather fought in a certain battle,or his constituents sent him to Congress, or his giftsin some line of endeavor other than speaking havedistinguished him.

As well choose a surgeon from his ability to playgolf. To be sure, it always interests an audienceto see a great man; because of his eminence they arelikely to listen to his words with respect, perhapswith interest, even when droned from a manuscript.But how much more effective such a deliverance wouldbe if the papers were cast aside!

Nowhere is the read-address so common as in the pulpit—­thepulpit, that in these days least of all can affordto invite a handicap. Doubtless many clergymenprefer finish to fervor—­let them choose:they are rarely men who sway the masses to acceptanceof their message. What they gain in precisionand elegance of language they lose in force.

There are just four motives that can move a man toread his address or sermon:

1. Laziness is the commonest. Enough said.Even Heaven cannot make a lazy man efficient.

2. A memory so defective that he really cannotspeak without reading. Alas, he is not speakingwhen he is reading, so his dilemma is painful—­andnot to himself alone. But no man has a right toassume that his memory is utterly bad until he hasbuckled down to memory culture—­and failed.A weak memory is oftener an excuse than a reason.

3. A genuine lack of time to do more than writethe speech. There are such instances—­butthey do not occur every week! The dispositionof your time allows more flexibility than you realize.Motive 3 too often harnesses up with Motive 1.

4. A conviction that the speech is too importantto risk forsaking the manuscript. But, if itis vital that every word should be so precise, thestyle so polished, and the thoughts so logical, thatthe preacher must write the sermon entire, is notthe message important enough to warrant extra effortin perfecting its delivery? It is an insult toa congregation and disrespectful to Almighty God toput the phrasing of a message above the message itself.To reach the hearts of the hearers the sermon mustbe delivered—­it is only half delivered whenthe speaker cannot utter it with original fire andforce, when he merely repeats words that were conceivedhours or weeks before and hence are like champagnethat has lost its fizz. The reading preacher’seyes are tied down to his manuscript; he cannot givethe audience the benefit of his expression. Howlong would a play fill a theater if the actors heldtheir cue-books in hand and read their parts?Imagine Patrick Henry reading his famous speech; Peter-the-Hermit,manuscript in hand, exhorting the crusaders; Napoleon,constantly looking at his papers, addressing the armyat the Pyramids; or Jesus reading the Sermon on theMount! These speakers were so full of their subjects,their general preparation had been so richly adequate,that there was no necessity for a manuscript, eitherto refer to or to serve as “an outward and visiblesign” of their preparedness. No event wasever so dignified that it required an artificialattempt at speech making. Call an essay by itsright name, but never call it a speech. Perhapsthe most dignified of events is a supplication tothe Creator. If you ever listened to the readingof an original prayer you must have felt its superficiality.

Regardless of what the theories may be about manuscriptdelivery, the fact remains that it does not work outwith efficiency. Avoid it whenever at all possible.

Committing the Written Speech and Speaking fromMemory

This method has certain points in its favor.If you have time and leisure, it is possible to polishand rewrite your ideas until they are expressed inclear, concise terms. Pope sometimes spent a wholeday in perfecting one couplet. Gibbon consumedtwenty years gathering material for and rewritingthe “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”Although you cannot devote such painstaking preparationto a speech, you should take time to eliminate uselesswords, crowd whole paragraphs into a sentence andchoose proper illustrations. Good speeches, likeplays, are not written; they are rewritten. TheNational Cash Register Company follows this plan withtheir most efficient selling organization: theyrequire their salesmen to memorize verbatim a sellingtalk. They maintain that there is one best wayof putting their selling arguments, and they insistthat each salesman use this ideal way rather than employany haphazard phrases that may come into his mind atthe moment.

The method of writing and committing has been adoptedby many noted speakers; Julius Caesar, Robert Ingersoll,and, on some occasions, Wendell Phillips, were distinguishedexamples. The wonderful effects achieved by famousactors were, of course, accomplished through the deliveryof memorized lines.

The inexperienced speaker must be warned before attemptingthis method of delivery that it is difficult and trying.It requires much skill to make it efficient.The memorized lines of the young speaker will usuallysound like memorized words, and repel.

If you want to hear an example, listen to a departmentstore demonstrator repeat her memorized lingo aboutthe newest furniture polish or breakfast food.It requires training to make a memorized speech soundfresh and spontaneous, and, unless you have a finenative memory, in each instance the finished productnecessitates much labor. Should you forget apart of your speech or miss a few words, you are liableto be so confused that, like Mark Twain’s guidein Rome, you will be compelled to repeat your linesfrom the beginning.

On the other hand, you may be so taken up with tryingto recall your written words that you will not abandonyourself to the spirit of your address, and so failto deliver it with that spontaneity which is so vitalto forceful delivery.

But do not let these difficulties frighten you.If committing seems best to you, give it a faithfultrial. Do not be deterred by its pitfalls, butby resolute practise avoid them.

One of the best ways to rise superior to these difficultiesis to do as Dr. Wallace Radcliffe often does:commit without writing the speech, making practicallyall the preparation mentally, without putting pen topaper—­a laborious but effective way of cultivatingboth mind and memory.

You will find it excellent practise, both for memoryand delivery, to commit the specimen speeches foundin this volume and declaim them, with all attentionto the principles we have put before you. WilliamEllery Channing, himself a distinguished speaker,years ago had this to say of practise in declamation:

“Is there not an amusem*nt, having an affinitywith the drama, which might be usefully introducedamong us? I mean, Recitation. A work ofgenius, recited by a man of fine taste, enthusiasm,and powers of elocution, is a very pure and high gratification.Were this art cultivated and encouraged, great numbers,now insensible to the most beautiful compositions,might be waked up to their excellence and power.”

Speaking from Notes

The third, and the most popular method of delivery,is probably also the best one for the beginner.Speaking from notes is not ideal delivery, but welearn to swim in shallow water before going out beyondthe ropes.

Make a definite plan for your discourse (for a fullerdiscussion see Chapter XVIII) and set down the pointssomewhat in the fashion of a lawyer’s brief,or a preacher’s outline. Here is a sampleof very simple notes:



Attention indispensable to the performanceof any
great work. Anecdote.


1. From common observation.

2. From the lives of great men {Carlyle,Robert E. Lee.}


1. Reason.

2. Imagination.

3. Memory.

4. Will. Anecdote.


1. Involuntary attention.

2. Voluntary attention. Examples.


The consequences of inattention and ofattention.

Few briefs would be so precise as this one, for withexperience a speaker learns to use little tricks toattract his eye—­he may underscore a catch-wordheavily, draw a red circle around a pivotal idea,enclose the key-word of an anecdote in a wavy-linedbox, and so on indefinitely. These points areworth remembering, for nothing so eludes the swift-glancingeye of the speaker as the sameness of typewriting,or even a regular pen-script. So unintentionala thing as a blot on the page may help you to remembera big “point” in your brief—­perhapsby association of ideas.

An inexperienced speaker would probably require fullernotes than the specimen given. Yet that way liesdanger, for the complete manuscript is but a shortremove from the copious outline. Use as few notesas possible.

They may be necessary for the time being, but do notfail to look upon them as a necessary evil; and evenwhen you lay them before you, refer to them only whencompelled to do so. Make your notes as full asyou please in preparation, but by all means condensethem for platform use.

Extemporaneous Speech

Surely this is the ideal method of delivery.It is far and away the most popular with the audience,and the favorite method of the most efficient speakers.

“Extemporaneous speech” has sometimesbeen made to mean unprepared speech, and indeed itis too often precisely that; but in no such sensedo we recommend it strongly to speakers old and young.On the contrary, to speak well without notes requiresall the preparation which we discussed so fully inthe chapter on “Fluency,” while yet relyingupon the “inspiration of the hour” forsome of your thoughts and much of your language.You had better remember, however, that the most effectiveinspiration of the hour is the inspiration you yourselfbring to it, bottled up in your spirit and ready toinfuse itself into the audience.

If you extemporize you can get much closer to youraudience. In a sense, they appreciate the taskyou have before you and send out their sympathy.Extemporize, and you will not have to stop and fumblearound amidst your notes—­you can keep youreye afire with your message and hold your audiencewith your very glance. You yourself will feeltheir response as you read the effects of your warm,spontaneous words, written on their countenances.

Sentences written out in the study are liable to bedead and cold when resurrected before the audience.When you create as you speak you conserve all thenative fire of your thought. You can enlarge onone point or omit another, just as the occasion orthe mood of the audience may demand. It is notpossible for every speaker to use this, the most difficultof all methods of delivery, and least of all can itbe used successfully without much practise, but itis the ideal towards which all should strive.

One danger in this method is that you may be led asidefrom your subject into by-paths. To avoid thisperil, firmly stick to your mental outline. Practisespeaking from a memorized brief until you gain control.Join a debating society—­talk, talk,TALK, and always extemporize. You may“make a fool of yourself” once or twice,but is that too great a price to pay for success?

Notes, like crutches, are only a sign of weakness.Remember that the power of your speech depends tosome extent upon the view your audience holds of you.General Grant’s words as president were morepowerful than his words as a Missouri farmer.If you would appear in the light of an authority,be one. Make notes on your brain instead of onpaper.

Joint Methods of Delivery

A modification of the second method has been adoptedby many great speakers, particularly lecturers whoare compelled to speak on a wide variety of subjectsday after day; such speakers often commit their addressesto memory but keep their manuscripts in flexible bookform before them, turning several pages at a time.They feel safer for having a sheet-anchor to windward—­butit is an anchor, nevertheless, and hinders rapid,free sailing, though it drag never so lightly.

Other speakers throw out a still lighter anchor bykeeping before them a rather full outline of theirwritten and committed speech.

Others again write and commit a few important partsof the address—­the introduction, the conclusion,some vital argument, some pat illustration—­anddepend on the hour for the language of the rest.This method is well adapted to speaking either withor without notes.

Some speakers read from manuscript the most importantparts of their speeches and utter the rest extemporaneously.

Thus, what we have called “joint methods ofdelivery” are open to much personal variation.You must decide for yourself which is best for you,for the occasion, for your subject, for your audience—­forthese four factors all have their individual claims.

Whatever form you choose, do not be so weakly indifferentas to prefer the easy way—­choose the bestway, whatever it cost you in time and effort.And of this be assured: only the practised speakercan hope to gain both conciseness of argumentand conviction in manner, polish of language and powerin delivery, finish of style and fire in utterance.


1. Which in your judgment is the most suitableof delivery for you? Why?

2. What objections can you offer to, (a)memorizing the entire speech; (b) reading frommanuscript; (c) using notes; (d) speakingfrom memorized outline or notes; (ee) any ofthe “joint methods”?

3. What is there to commend in delivering a speechin any of the foregoing methods?

4. Can you suggest any combination of methodsthat you have found efficacious?

5. What methods, according to your observation,do most successful speakers use?

6. Select some topic from the list on page 123,narrow the theme so as to make it specific (see page122), and deliver a short address, utilizing the fourmethods mentioned, in four different deliveries ofthe speech.

7. Select one of the joint methods and applyit to the delivery of the same address.

8. Which method do you prefer, and why?

9. From the list of subjects in the Appendixselect a theme and deliver a five-minute address withoutnotes, but make careful preparation without puttingyour thoughts on paper.

NOTE: It is earnestly hoped that instructorswill not pass this stage of the work without requiringof their students much practise in the delivery oforiginal speeches, in the manner that seems, aftersome experiment, to be best suited to the student’sgifts. Students who are studying alone shouldbe equally exacting in demand upon themselves.One point is most important: It is easy to learnto read a speech, therefore it is much more urgentthat the pupil should have much practise in speakingfrom notes and speaking without notes. At thisstage, pay more attention to manner than to matter—­thesucceeding chapters take up the composition of theaddress. Be particularly insistent upon frequentand thorough review of the principles of deliverydiscussed in the preceding chapters.



Providence is always on theside of the last reserve.


So mightiest powers by deepestcalms are fed,
And sleep, how oft, in thingsthat gentlest be!

—­BARRY CORNWALL,The Sea in Calm.

What would happen if you should overdraw your bankaccount? As a rule the check would be protested;but if you were on friendly terms with the bank, yourcheck might be honored, and you would be called uponto make good the overdraft.

Nature has no such favorites, therefore extends nocredits. She is as relentless as a gasoline tank—­whenthe “gas” is all used the machine stops.It is as reckless for a speaker to risk going beforean audience without having something in reserve asit is for the motorist to essay a long journey inthe wilds without enough gasoline in sight.

But in what does a speaker’s reserve power consist?In a well-founded reliance on his general and particulargrasp of his subject; in the quality of being alertand resourceful in thought—­particularlyin the ability to think while on his feet; and inthat self-possession which makes one the captain ofall his own forces, bodily and mental.

The first of these elements, adequate preparation,and the last, self-reliance, were discussed fullyin the chapters on “Self-Confidence” and“Fluency,” so they will be touched onlyincidentally here; besides, the next chapter willtake up specific methods of preparation for publicspeaking. Therefore the central theme of thischapter is the second of the elements of reserve power—­Thought.

The Mental Storehouse

An empty mind, like an empty larder, may be a seriousmatter or not—­all will depend on the availableresources. If there is no food in the cupboardthe housewife does not nervously rattle the empty dishes;she telephones the grocer. If you have no ideas,do not rattle your empty ers and ahs,but get some ideas, and don’t speak untilyou do get them.

This, however, is not being what the old New Englandhousekeeper used to call “forehanded.”The real solution of the problem of what to do withan empty head is never to let it become empty.In the artesian wells of Dakota the water rushes tothe surface and leaps a score of feet above the ground.The secret of this exuberant flow is of course thegreat supply below, crowding to get out.

What is the use of stopping to prime a mental pumpwhen you can fill your life with the resources foran artesian well? It is not enough to have merelyenough; you must have more than enough. Then thepressure of your mass of thought and feeling willmaintain your flow of speech and give you the confidenceand poise that denote reserve power. To be awayfrom home with only the exact return fare leaves agreat deal to circ*mstances!

Reserve power is magnetic. It does not consistin giving the idea that you are holding somethingin reserve, but rather in the suggestion that theaudience is getting the cream of your observation,reading, experience, feeling, thought. To havereserve power, therefore, you must have enough milkof material on hand to supply sufficient cream.

But how shall we get the milk? There are twoways: the one is first-hand—­from thecow; the other is second-hand—­from the milkman.

The Seeing Eye

Some sage has said: “For a thousand menwho can speak, there is only one who can think; fora thousand men who can think, there is only one whocan see.” To see and to think is to getyour milk from your own cow.

When the one man in a million who can see comes along,we call him Master. Old Mr. Holbrook, of “Cranford,”asked his guest what color ash-buds were in March;she confessed she did not know, to which the old gentlemananswered: “I knew you didn’t.No more did I—­an old fool that I am!—­tillthis young man comes and tells me. ’Blackas ash-buds in March.’ And I’ve livedall my life in the country. More shame for menot to know. Black; they are jet-black, madam.”

“This young man” referred to by Mr. Holbrookwas Tennyson.

Henry Ward Beecher said: “I do not believethat I have ever met a man on the street that I didnot get from him some element for a sermon. Inever see anything in nature which does not work towardsthat for which I give the strength of my life.The material for my sermons is all the time followingme and swarming up around me.”

Instead of saying only one man in a million can see,it would strike nearer the truth to say that noneof us sees with perfect understanding more than afraction of what passes before our eyes, yet this facultyof acute and accurate observation is so importantthat no man ambitious to lead can neglect it.The next time you are in a car, look at those whosit opposite you and see what you can discover of theirhabits, occupations, ideals, nationalities, environments,education, and so on. You may not see a greatdeal the first time, but practise will reveal astonishingresults. Transmute every incident of your dayinto a subject for a speech or an illustration.Translate all that you see into terms of speech.When you can describe all that you have seen in definitewords, you are seeing clearly. You are becomingthe millionth man.

De Maupassant’s description of an author shouldalso fit the public-speaker: “His eye islike a suction pump, absorbing everything; like apickpocket’s hand, always at work. Nothingescapes him. He is constantly collecting material,gathering-up glances, gestures, intentions, everythingthat goes on in his presence—­the slightestlook, the least act, the merest trifle.”De Maupassant was himself a millionth man, a Master.

“Ruskin took a common rock-crystal and saw hiddenwithin its stolid heart lessons which have not yetceased to move men’s lives. Beecher stoodfor hours before the window of a jewelry store thinkingout analogies between jewels and the souls of men.Gough saw in a single drop of water enough truth wherewithto quench the thirst of five thousand souls.Thoreau sat so still in the shadowy woods that birdsand insects came and opened up their secret livesto his eye. Emerson observed the soul of a manso long that at length he could say, ’I cannothear what you say, for seeing what you are.’Preyer for three years studied the life of his babeand so became an authority upon the child mind.Observation! Most men are blind. There area thousand times as many hidden truths and undiscoveredfacts about us to-day as have made discoverers famous—­factswaiting for some one to ’pluck out the heartof their mystery.’ But so long as men goabout the search with eyes that see not, so long willthese hidden pearls lie in their shells. Notan orator but who could more effectively point andfeather his shafts were he to search nature ratherthan libraries. Too few can see ‘sermonsin stones’ and ‘books in the running brooks,’because they are so used to seeing merely sermonsin books and only stones in running brooks. SirPhilip Sidney had a saying, ‘Look in thy heartand write;’ Massillon explained his astute knowledgeof the human heart by saying, ‘I learned itby studying myself;’ Byron says of John Lockethat ’all his knowledge of the human understandingwas derived from studying his own mind.’Since multiform nature is all about us, originalityought not to be so rare."[8]

The Thinking Mind

Thinking is doing mental arithmetic with facts.Add this fact to that and you reach a certain conclusion.Subtract this truth from another and you have a definiteresult. Multiply this fact by another and havea precise product. See how many times this occurrencehappens in that space of time and you have reacheda calculable dividend. In thought-processes youperform every known problem of arithmetic and algebra.That is why mathematics are such excellent mental gymnastics.But by the same token, thinking is work. Thinkingtakes energy. Thinking requires time, and patience,and broad information, and clearheadedness. Beyonda miserable little surface-scratching, few people reallythink at all—­only one in a thousand, accordingto the pundit already quoted. So long as thepresent system of education prevails and children aretaught through the ear rather than through the eye,so long as they are expected to remember thoughtsof others rather than think for themselves, this proportionwill continue—­one man in a million willbe able to see, and one in a thousand to think.

But, however thought-less a mind has been, there ispromise of better things so soon as the mind detectsits own lack of thought-power. The first stepis to stop regarding thought as “the magic ofthe mind,” to use Byron’s expression,and see it as thought truly is—­a weighingof ideas and a placing of them in relationships toeach other. Ponder this definition and seeif you have learned to think efficiently.

Habitual thinking is just that—­a habit.Habit comes of doing a thing repeatedly. Thelower habits are acquired easily, the higher onesrequire deeper grooves if they are to persist.So we find that the thought-habit comes only withresolute practise; yet no effort will yield richerdividends. Persist in practise, and whereas youhave been able to think only an inch-deep into a subject,you will soon find that you can penetrate it a foot.

Perhaps this homely metaphor will suggest how to beginthe practise of consecutive thinking, by which wemean welding a number of separate thought-linksinto a chain that will hold. Take one linkat a time, see that each naturally belongs with theones you link to it, and remember that a single missinglink means no chain.

Thinking is the most fascinating and exhilaratingof all mental exercises. Once realize that youropinion on a subject does not represent the choiceyou have made between what Dr. Cerebrum has writtenand Professor Cerebellum has said, but is the resultof your own earnestly-applied brain-energy, and youwill gain a confidence in your ability to speak onthat subject that nothing will be able to shake.Your thought will have given you both power and reservepower.

Someone has condensed the relation of thought to knowledgein these pungent, homely lines:

“Don’t give methe man who thinks he thinks,
Don’tgive me the man who thinks he knows,
But give me the man who knowshe thinks,
And I havethe man who knows he knows!”

Reading As a Stimulus to Thought

No matter how dry the cow, however, nor how poor ourability to milk, there is still the milkman—­wecan read what others have seen and felt and thought.Often, indeed, such records will kindle within us thatpre-essential and vital spark, the desire tobe a thinker.

The following selection is taken from one of Dr. NewellDwight Hillis’s lectures, as given in “AMan’s Value to Society.” Dr. Hillisis a most fluent speaker—­he never refersto notes. He has reserve power. His mindis a veritable treasure-house of facts and ideas.See how he draws from a knowledge of fifteen differentgeneral or special subjects: geology, plant life,Palestine, chemistry, Eskimos, mythology, literature,The Nile, history, law, wit, evolution, religion,biography, and electricity. Surely, it needsno sage to discover that the secret of this man’sreserve power is the old secret of our artesian wellwhose abundance surges from unseen depths.


Each Kingsley approaches a stone asa jeweler approaches a casket to unlock the hiddengems. Geikie causes the bit of hard coal to unrollthe juicy bud, the thick odorous leaves, the pungentboughs, until the bit of carbon enlarges intothe beauty of a tropic forest. That littlebook of Grant Allen’s called “How PlantsGrow” exhibits trees and shrubs as eating,drinking and marrying. We see certain date grovesin Palestine, and other date groves in the desert ahundred miles away, and the pollen of the onecarried upon the trade winds to the branches ofthe other. We see the tree with its strange systemof water-works, pumping the sap up through pipes andmains; we see the chemical laboratory in the branchesmixing flavor for the orange in one bough, mixingthe juices of the pineapple in another; we beholdthe tree as a mother making each infant acorn readyagainst the long winter, rolling it in swaths softand warm as wool blankets, wrapping it aroundwith garments impervious to the rain, and finallyslipping the infant acorn into a sleeping bag, likethose the Eskimos gave Dr. Kane.
At length we come to feel that the Greekswere not far wrong in thinking each tree had adryad in it, animating it, protecting it againstdestruction, dying when the tree withered. SomeFaraday shows us that each drop of water is a sheathfor electric forces sufficient to charge 800,000Leyden jars, or drive an engine from Liverpoolto London. Some Sir William Thomson tells us howhydrogen gas will chew up a large iron spike asa child’s molars will chew off the end ofa stick of candy. Thus each new book opensup some new and hitherto unexplored realm of nature.Thus books fulfill for us the legend of the wondrousglass that showed its owner all things distantand all things hidden. Through books our worldbecomes as “a bud from the bower of God’sbeauty; the sun as a spark from the light of Hiswisdom; the sky as a bubble on the sea of His Power.”Therefore Mrs. Browning’s words, “No childcan be called fatherless who has God and his mother;no youth can be called friendless who has God andthe companionship of good books.”
Books also advantage us in that theyexhibit the unity of progress, the solidarity ofthe race, and the continuity of history. Authorslead us back along the pathway of law, of libertyor religion, and set us down in front of the greatman in whose brain the principle had its rise.As the discoverer leads us from the mouth of theNile back to the headwaters of Nyanza, so booksexhibit great ideas and institutions, as they moveforward, ever widening and deepening, like someNile feeding many civilizations. For all thereforms of to-day go back to some reform of yesterday.Man’s art goes back to Athens and Thebes.Man’s laws go back to Blackstone and Justinian.Man’s reapers and plows go back to the savagescratching the ground with his forked stick, drawnby the wild bullock. The heroes of liberty marchforward in a solid column. Lincoln grasps thehand of Washington. Washington received hisweapons at the hands of Hampden and Cromwell.The great Puritans lock hands with Luther and Savonarola.
The unbroken procession brings us atlength to Him whose Sermon on the Mount was thevery charter of liberty. It puts us under a divinespell to perceive that we are all coworkers with thegreat men, and yet single threads in the warp andwoof of civilization. And when books haverelated us to our own age, and related all theepochs to God, whose providence is the gulf streamof history, these teachers go on to stimulate usto new and greater achievements. Alone, manis an unlighted candle. The mind needs somebook to kindle its faculties. Before Byron beganto write he used to give half an hour to readingsome favorite passage. The thought of somegreat writer never failed to kindle Byron into a creativeglow, even as a match lights the kindlings upon thegrate. In these burning, luminous moods Byron’smind did its best work. The true book stimulatesthe mind as no wine can ever quicken the blood.It is reading that brings us to our best, and rouseseach faculty to its most vigorous life.

We recognize this as pure cream, and if it seems atfirst to have its secondary source in the friendlymilkman, let us not forget that the theme is “TheUses of Books and Reading.” Dr. Hillis bothsees and thinks.

It is fashionable just now to decry the value of reading.We read, we are told, to avoid the necessity of thinkingfor ourselves. Books are for the mentally lazy.

Though this is only a half-truth, the element of truthit contains is large enough to make us pause.Put yourself through a good old Presbyterian soul-searchingself-examination, and if reading-from-thought-lazinessis one of your sins, confess it. No one can shriveyou of it—­but yourself. Do penancefor it by using your own brains, for it is a transgressionthat dwarfs the growth of thought and destroys mentalfreedom. At first the penance will be trying—­butat the last you will be glad in it.

Reading should entertain, give information, or stimulatethought. Here, however, we are chiefly concernedwith information, and stimulation of thought.

What shall I read for information?

The ample page of knowledge, as Grey tells us, is“rich with the spoils of time,” and theseare ours for the price of a theatre ticket. Youmay command Socrates and Marcus Aurelius to sit besideyou and discourse of their choicest, hear Lincolnat Gettysburg and Pericles at Athens, storm the Bastilewith Hugo, and wander through Paradise with Dante.You may explore darkest Africa with Stanley, penetratethe human heart with Shakespeare, chat with Carlyleabout heroes, and delve with the Apostle Paul intothe mysteries of faith. The general knowledgeand the inspiring ideas that men have collected throughages of toil and experiment are yours for the asking.The Sage of Chelsea was right: “The trueuniversity of these days is a collection of books.”

To master a worth-while book is to master much elsebesides; few of us, however, make perfect conquestof a volume without first owning it physically.To read a borrowed book may be a joy, but to assignyour own book a place of its own on your own shelves—­bethey few or many—­to love the book and feelof its worn cover, to thumb it over slowly, page bypage, to pencil its margins in agreement or in protest,to smile or thrill with its remembered pungencies—­nomere book borrower could ever sense all that delight.

The reader who possesses books in this double sensefinds also that his books possess him, and the volumeswhich most firmly grip his life are likely to be thoseit has cost him some sacrifice to own. Theselightly-come-by titles, which Mr. Fatpurse selects,perhaps by proxy, can scarcely play the guide, philosopherand friend in crucial moments as do the books—­longcoveted, joyously attained—­that are welcomedinto the lives, and not merely the libraries, of usothers who are at once poorer and richer.

So it is scarcely too much to say that of all themany ways in which an owned—­a mastered—­bookis like to a human friend, the truest ways are these:A friend is worth making sacrifices for, both to gainand to keep; and our loves go out most dearly to thoseinto whose inmost lives we have sincerely entered.

When you have not the advantage of the test of timeby which to judge books, investigate as thoroughlyas possible the authority of the books you read.Much that is printed and passes current is counterfeit.“I read it in a book” is to many a sufficientwarranty of truth, but not to the thinker. “Whatbook?” asks the careful mind. “Whowrote it? What does he know about the subjectand what right has he to speak on it? Who recognizeshim as authority? With what other recognized authoritiesdoes he agree or disagree?” Being caught tryingto pass counterfeit money, even unintentionally, isan unpleasant situation. Beware lest you circulatespurious coin.

Above all, seek reading that makes you use your ownbrains. Such reading must be alive with freshpoints of view, packed with special knowledge, anddeal with subjects of vital interest. Do not confineyour reading to what you already know you will agreewith. Opposition wakes one up. The otherroad may be the better, but you will never know itunless you “give it the once over.”Do not do all your thinking and investigating in frontof given “Q.E.D.’s;” merely assemblingreasons to fill in between your theorem and what youwant to prove will get you nowhere. Approacheach subject with an open mind and—­oncesure that you have thought it out thoroughly and honestly—­havethe courage to abide by the decision of your own thought.But don’t brag about it afterward.

No book on public speaking will enable you to discourseon the tariff if you know nothing about the tariff.Knowing more about it than the other man will be youronly hope for making the other man listen to you.

Take a group of men discussing a governmental policyof which some one says: “It is socialistic.”That will commend the policy to Mr. A., who believesin socialism, but condemn it to Mr. B., who does not.It may be that neither had considered the policy beyondnoticing that its surface-color was socialistic.The chances are, furthermore, that neither Mr. A.nor Mr. B. has a definite idea of what socialism reallyis, for as Robert Louis Stevenson says, “Manlives not by bread alone but chiefly by catch words.”If you are of this group of men, and have observedthis proposed government policy, and investigated it,and thought about it, what you have to say cannotfail to command their respect and approval, for youwill have shown them that you possess a grasp of yoursubject and—­to adopt an exceedingly expressivebit of slang—­then some.


1. Robert Houdin trained his son to give oneswift glance at a shop window in passing and be ableto report accurately a surprising number of its contents.Try this several times on different windows and reportthe result.

2. What effect does reserve power have on anaudience?

3. What are the best methods for acquiring reservepower?

4. What is the danger of too much reading?

5. Analyze some speech that you have read orheard and notice how much real information there isin it. Compare it with Dr. Hillis’s speechon “Brave Little Belgium,” page 394.

6. Write out a three-minute speech on any subjectyou choose. How much information, and what newideas, does it contain? Compare your speech withthe extract on page 191 from Dr. Hillis’s “TheUses of Books and Reading.”

7. Have you ever read a book on the practiseof thinking? If so, give your impressions ofits value.

NOTE: There are a number of excellent books onthe subject of thought and the management of thought.The following are recommended as being especiallyhelpful: “Thinking and Learning to Think,”Nathan C. Schaeffer; “Talks to Students on theArt of Study,” Cramer; “As a Man Thinketh,”Allen.

8. Define (a) logic; (b) mentalphilosophy (or mental science); (c) psychology;(d) abstract.


[Footnote 8: How to Attract and Hold an Audience,J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 9: Used by permission.]



Suit your topicsto your strength,
And ponder well your subject,and its length;
Nor lift your load, beforeyou’re quite aware
What weight your shoulderswill, or will not, bear.

—­BYRON, Hints from Horace.

Look to this day, for it is life—­thevery life of life. In its brief course lieall the verities and realities of your existence:the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendorof beauty. For yesterday is already a dream andtomorrow is only a vision; but today, well lived,makes every yesterday a dream of happiness andevery tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well,therefore, to this day. Such is the salutationof the dawn.

—­From the Sanskrit.

In the chapter preceding we have seen the influenceof “Thought and Reserve Power” on generalpreparedness for public speech. But preparationconsists in something more definite than the cultivationof thought-power, whether from original or from borrowedsources—­it involves a specificallyacquisitive attitude of the whole life. If youwould become a full soul you must constantly take inand assimilate, for in that way only may you hopeto give out that which is worth the hearing; but donot confuse the acquisition of general informationwith the mastery of specific knowledge. Informationconsists of a fact or a group of facts; knowledgeis organized information—­knowledgeknows a fact in relation to other facts.

Now the important thing here is that you should setall your faculties to take in the things about youwith the particular object of correlating them andstoring them for use in public speech. You musthear with the speaker’s ear, see with the speaker’seye, and choose books and companions and sights andsounds with the speaker’s purpose in view.At the same time, be ready to receive unplanned-forknowledge. One of the fascinating elements inyour life as a public speaker will be the consciousgrowth in power that casual daily experiences bring.If your eyes are alert you will be constantly discoveringfacts, illustrations, and ideas without having setout in search of them. These all may be turnedto account on the platform; even the leaden eventsof hum-drum daily life may be melted into bulletsfor future battles.

Conservation of Time in Preparation

But, you say, I have so little time for preparation—­mymind must be absorbed by other matters. DanielWebster never let an opportunity pass to gather materialfor his speeches. When he was a boy working ina sawmill he read out of a book in one hand and busiedhimself at some mechanical task with the other.In youth Patrick Henry roamed the fields and woodsin solitude for days at a time unconsciously gatheringmaterial and impressions for his later service as aspeaker. Dr. Russell H. Conwell, the man who,the late Charles A. Dana said, had addressed morehearers than any living man, used to memorize longpassages from Milton while tending the boiling syrup-pansin the silent New England woods at night. Themodern employer would discharge a Webster of todayfor inattention to duty, and doubtless he would bejustified, and Patrick Henry seemed only an idle chapeven in those easy-going days; but the truth remains:those who take in power and have the purpose to useit efficiently will some day win to the place in whichthat stored-up power will revolve great wheels ofinfluence.

Napoleon said that quarter hours decide the destiniesof nations. How many quarter hours do we letdrift by aimlessly! Robert Louis Stevenson conservedall his time; every experience becamecapital for his work—­for capital may bedefined as “the results of labor stored up toassist future production.” He continuallytried to put into suitable language the scenes andactions that were in evidence about him. Emersonsays: “Tomorrow will be like today.Life wastes itself whilst we are preparing to live.”

Why wait for a more convenient season for this broad,general preparation? The fifteen minutes thatwe spend on the car could be profitably turned intospeech-capital.

Procure a cheap edition of modern speeches, and bycutting out a few pages each day, and reading themduring the idle minute here and there, note how soonyou can make yourself familiar with the world’sbest speeches. If you do not wish to mutilateyour book, take it with you—­most of theepoch-making books are now printed in small volumes.The daily waste of natural gas in the Oklahoma fieldsis equal to ten thousand tons of coal. Only aboutthree per cent of the power of the coal that entersthe furnace ever diffuses itself from your electricbulb as light—­the other ninety-seven percent is wasted. Yet these wastes are no larger,nor more to be lamented than the tremendous wasteof time which, if conserved would increase the speaker’spowers to their nth degree. Scientistsare making three ears of corn grow where one grewbefore; efficiency engineers are eliminating uselessmotions and products from our factories: catchthe spirit of the age and apply efficiency to theuse of the most valuable asset you possess—­time.What do you do mentally with the time you spend indressing or in shaving? Take some subject andconcentrate your energies on it for a week by utilizingjust the spare moments that would otherwise be wasted.You will be amazed at the result. One passagea day from the Book of Books, one golden ingot fromsome master mind, one fully-possessed thought of yourown might thus be added to the treasury of your life.Do not waste your time in ways that profit you nothing.Fill “the unforgiving minute” with “sixtyseconds’ worth of distance run” and onthe platform you will be immeasurably the gainer.

Let no word of this, however, seem to decry the valueof recreation. Nothing is more vital to a workerthan rest—­yet nothing is so vitiating tothe shirker. Be sure that your recreation re-creates.A pause in the midst of labors gathers strength fornew effort. The mistake is to pause too long,or to fill your pauses with ideas that make life flabby.

Choosing a Subject

Subject and materials tremendously influence eachother.

“This arises from the fact that there are twodistinct ways in which a subject may be chosen:by arbitrary choice, or by development from thoughtand reading.

“Arbitrary choice ... of one subject from amonga number involves so many important considerationsthat no speaker ever fails to appreciate the toneof satisfaction in him who triumphantly announces:’I have a subject!’

“‘Do give me a subject!’ How oftenthe weary school teacher hears that cry. Thena list of themes is suggested, gone over, considered,and, in most instances, rejected, because the teachercan know but imperfectly what is in the pupil’smind. To suggest a subject in this way is liketrying to discover the street on which a lost childlives, by naming over a number of streets until onestrikes the little one’s ear as sounding familiar.

“Choice by development is a very different process.It does not ask, What shall I say? It turns themind in upon itself and asks, What do I think?Thus, the subject may be said to choose itself, forin the process of thought or of reading one themerises into prominence and becomes a living germ, soonto grow into the discourse. He who has not learnedto reflect is not really acquainted with his own thoughts;hence, his thoughts are not productive. Habitsof reading and reflection will supply the speaker’smind with an abundance of subjects of which he alreadyknows something from the very reading and reflectionwhich gave birth to his theme. This is not aparadox, but sober truth.

“It must be already apparent that the choiceof a subject by development savors more of collectionthan of conscious selection. The subject ‘popsinto the mind.’ ... In the intellect ofthe trained thinker it concentrates—­bya process which we have seen to be induction—­thefacts and truths of which he has been reading andthinking. This is most often a gradual process.The scattered ideas may be but vaguely connected atfirst, but more and more they concentrate and takeon a single form until at length one strong idea seemsto grasp the soul with irresistible force, and tocry aloud, ’Arise, I am your theme!Henceforth, until you transmute me by the alchemy ofyour inward fire into vital speech, you shall knowno rest!’ Happy, then, is that speaker, forhe has found a subject that grips him.

“Of course, experienced speakers use both methodsof selection. Even a reading and reflective manis sometimes compelled to hunt for a theme from Danto Beersheba, and then the task of gathering materialsbecomes a serious one. But even in such a casethere is a sense in which the selection comes by development,because no careful speaker settles upon a theme whichdoes not represent at least some matured thought."[10]

Deciding on the Subject Matter

Even when your theme has been chosen for you by someoneelse, there remains to you a considerable field forchoice of subject matter. The same considerations,in fact, that would govern you in choosing a thememust guide in the selection of the material. Askyourself—­or someone else—­suchquestions as these:

What is the precise nature of the occasion? Howlarge an audience may be expected? From whatwalks of life do they come? What is their probableattitude toward the theme? Who else will speak?Do I speak first, last, or where, on the program?What are the other speakers going to talk about?What is the nature of the auditorium? Is therea desk? Could the subject be more effectivelyhandled if somewhat modified? Precisely how muchtime am I to fill?

It is evident that many speech-misfits of subject,speaker, occasion and place are due to failure toask just such pertinent questions. What shouldbe said, by whom, and in what circ*mstances,constitute ninety per cent of efficiency in publicaddress. No matter who asks you, refuse to bea square peg in a round hole.

Questions of Proportion

Proportion in a speech is attained by a nice adjustmentof time. How fully you may treat your subjectit is not always for you to say. Let ten minutesmean neither nine nor eleven—­though betternine than eleven, at all events. You wouldn’tsteal a man’s watch; no more should you stealthe time of the succeeding speaker, or that of theaudience. There is no need to overstep time-limitsif you make your preparation adequate and divide yoursubject so as to give each thought its due proportionof attention—­and no more. Blessed isthe man that maketh short speeches, for he shall beinvited to speak again.

Another matter of prime importance is, what part ofyour address demands the most emphasis. Thisonce decided, you will know where to place that pivotalsection so as to give it the greatest strategic value,and what degree of preparation must be given to thatcentral thought so that the vital part may not besubmerged by non-essentials. Many a speaker hasawakened to find that he has burnt up eight minutesof a ten-minute speech in merely getting up steam.That is like spending eighty percent of your building-moneyon the vestibule of the house.

The same sense of proportion must tell you to stopprecisely when you are through—­and it isto be hoped that you will discover the arrival ofthat period before your audience does.

Tapping Original Sources

The surest way to give life to speech-material isto gather your facts at first hand. Your wordscome with the weight of authority when you can say,“I have examined the employment rolls of everymill in this district and find that thirty-two percent of the children employed are under the legalage.” No citation of authorities can equalthat. You must adopt the methods of the reporterand find out the facts underlying your argument orappeal. To do so may prove laborious, but it shouldnot be irksome, for the great world of fact teemswith interest, and over and above all is the senseof power that will come to you from original investigation.To see and feel the facts you are discussing will reactupon you much more powerfully than if you were to securethe facts at second hand.

Live an active life among people who are doing worth-whilethings, keep eyes and ears and mind and heart opento absorb truth, and then tell of the things you know,as if you know them. The world will listen, forthe world loves nothing so much as real life.

How to Use a Library

Unsuspected treasures lie in the smallest library.Even when the owner has read every last page of hisbooks it is only in rare instances that he has fullindexes to all of them, either in his mind or on paper,so as to make available the vast number of variedsubjects touched upon or treated in volumes whosetitles would never suggest such topics.

For this reason it is a good thing to take an oddhour now and then to browse. Take down one volumeafter another and look over its table of contentsand its index. (It is a reproach to any author of aserious book not to have provided a full index, withcross references.) Then glance over the pages, makingnotes, mental or physical, of material that looksinteresting and usable. Most libraries containvolumes that the owner is “going to read someday.” A familiarity with even the contentsof such books on your own shelves will enable you torefer to them when you want help. Writings readlong ago should be treated in the same way—­inevery chapter some surprise lurks to delight you.

In looking up a subject do not be discouraged if youdo not find it indexed or outlined in the table ofcontents—­you are pretty sure to discoversome material under a related title.

Suppose you set to work somewhat in this way to gatherreferences on “Thinking:” First youlook over your book titles, and there is Schaeffer’s“Thinking and Learning to Think.”Near it is Kramer’s “Talks to Studentson the Art of Study”—­that seems likelyto provide some material, and it does. Naturallyyou think next of your book on psychology, and thereis help there. If you have a volume on the humanintellect you will have already turned to it.Suddenly you remember your encyclopedia and your dictionaryof quotations—­and now material fairly rainsupon you; the problem is what not to use.In the encyclopedia you turn to every reference thatincludes or touches or even suggests “thinking;”and in the dictionary of quotations you do the same.The latter volume you find peculiarly helpful becauseit suggests several volumes to you that are on yourown shelves—­you never would have thoughtto look in them for references on this subject.Even fiction will supply help, but especially booksof essays and biography. Be aware of your ownresources.

To make a general index to your library does awaywith the necessity for indexing individual volumesthat are not already indexed.

To begin with, keep a note-book by you; or small cardsand paper cuttings in your pocket and on your deskwill serve as well. The same note-book that recordsthe impressions of your own experiences and thoughtswill be enriched by the ideas of others.

To be sure, this note-book habit means labor, butremember that more speeches have been spoiled by half-heartedpreparation than by lack of talent. Lazinessis an own-brother to Over-confidence, and both areyour inveterate enemies, though they pretend to besoothing friends.

Conserve your material by indexing every good ideaon cards, thus:



Progress of S., Env. 16
S. a fallacy, 96/210
General article on S., Howells’, Dec. 1913
“Socialism and the Franchise,” Forbes
“Socialism in Ancient Life,” OriginalMs.,
Env. 102


On the card illustrated above, clippings are indexedby giving the number of the envelope in which theyare filed. The envelopes may be of any size desiredand kept in any convenient receptacle. On theforegoing example, “Progress of S., Envelope16,” will represent a clipping, filed in Envelope16, which is, of course, numbered arbitrarily.

The fractions refer to books in your library—­thenumerator being the book-number, the denominator referringto the page. Thus, “S. a fallacy, 96/210,”refers to page 210 of volume 96 in your library.By some arbitrary sign—­say red ink—­youmay even index a reference in a public library book.

If you preserve your magazines, important articlesmay be indexed by month and year. An entire volumeon a subject may be indicated like the imaginary bookby “Forbes.” If you clip the articles,it is better to index them according to the envelopesystem.

Your own writings and notes may be filed in envelopeswith the clippings or in a separate series.

Another good indexing system combines the libraryindex with the “scrap,” or clipping, systemby making the outside of the envelope serve the samepurpose as the card for the indexing of books, magazines,clippings and manuscripts, the latter two classes ofmaterial being enclosed in the envelopes that indexthem, and all filed alphabetically.

When your cards accumulate so as to make ready referencedifficult under a single alphabet, you may subdivideeach letter by subordinate guide cards marked by thevowels, A, E, I, O, U. Thus, “Antiquities”would be filed under i in A, because A beginsthe word, and the second letter, n, comes afterthe vowel i in the alphabet, but before o.In the same manner, “Beecher” would befiled under e in B; and “Hydrogen”would come under u in H.

Outlining the Address

No one can advise you how to prepare the notes foran address. Some speakers get the best resultswhile walking out and ruminating, jotting down notesas they pause in their walk. Others never putpen to paper until the whole speech has been thoughtout. The great majority, however, will take notes,classify their notes, write a hasty first draft, andthen revise the speech. Try each of these methodsand choose the one that is best—­foryou. Do not allow any man to force you towork in his way; but do not neglect to considerhis way, for it may be better than your own.

For those who make notes and with their aid writeout the speech, these suggestions may prove helpful:

After having read and thought enough, classify yournotes by setting down the big, central thoughts ofyour material on separate cards or slips of paper.These will stand in the same relation to your subjectas chapters do to a book.

Then arrange these main ideas or heads in such anorder that they will lead effectively to the resultyou have in mind, so that the speech may rise in argument,in interest, in power, by piling one fact or appealupon another until the climax—­the highestpoint of influence on your audience—­hasbeen reached.

Next group all your ideas, facts, anecdotes, and illustrationsunder the foregoing main heads, each where it naturallybelongs.

You now have a skeleton or outline of your addressthat in its polished form might serve either as thebrief, or manuscript notes, for the speech or as theguide-outline which you will expand into the writtenaddress, if written it is to be.

Imagine each of the main ideas in the brief on page213 as being separate; then picture your mind as sortingthem out and placing them in order; finally, conceiveof how you would fill in the facts and examples undereach head, giving special prominence to those you wishto emphasize and subduing those of less moment.In the end, you have the outline complete. Thesimplest form of outline—­not very suitablefor use on the platform, however—­is thefollowing:


What prosperity means.—­The real tests ofprosperity.—­Its basis in the soil.—­Americanagricultural progress.—­New interest infarming.—­Enormous value of our agriculturalproducts.—­Reciprocal effect on trade.—­Foreigncountries affected.—­Effects of our newinternal economy—­the regulation of bankingand “big business”—­on prosperity.—­Effectsof our revised attitude toward foreign markets, includingour merchant marine.—­Summary.

Obviously, this very simple outline is capable ofconsiderable expansion under each head by the additionof facts, arguments, inferences and examples.

Here is an outline arranged with more regard for argument:


I. FACT AS CAUSE: Manyimmigrants are practically paupers.
(Proofs involving statisticsor statements of authorities.)

II. FACT AS EFFECT:They sooner or later fill our alms-houses
and become public charges.(Proofs involving statistics or
statements of authorities.)

III. FACT AS CAUSE:Some of them are criminals. (Examples of
recent cases.)

IV. FACT AS EFFECT:They reenforce the criminal classes.
(Effects on our civic life.)

V. FACT AS CAUSE: Manyof them know nothing of the duties of
free citizenship. (Examples.)

VI.FACT AS EFFECT: Suchimmigrants recruit the worst element in
our politics. (Proofs.)

A more highly ordered grouping of topics and subtopicsis shown in the following:


I. INTRODUCTION: Whythe subject is timely. Influences
operative against this contentiontoday.


1. First practical discoveryby a Christian explorer. Columbus
worshiped God on the new soil.

2. The Cavaliers.

3. The French Catholicsettlers.

4. The Huguenots.

5. The Puritans.


1. Christian characterof Washington.

2. Other Christian patriots.

3. The Church in ourRevolutionary struggle. Muhlenberg.

IV. OUR LATER HISTORY HAS ONLYEMPHASIZED OUR NATIONAL ATTITUDE. Examplesof dealings with foreign nations show Christianmagnanimity. Returning the Chinese Indemnity;fostering the Red Cross; attitude toward Belgium.


1. The use of the Biblein public ways, oaths, etc.

2. The Bible in our schools.

3. Christian chaplainsminister to our law-making bodies, to our
army, and to our navy.

4. The Christian Sabbathis officially and generally recognized.

5. The Christian familyand the Christian system of morality are
at the basis of our laws.

CHRISTIANITY. Charities,education, etc., have Christian


VIII. CONCLUSION:The attitude which may reasonably be
expected of all good citizenstoward questions touching the
preservation of our standingas a Christian nation.

Writing and Revision

After the outline has been perfected comes the timeto write the speech, if write it you must. Then,whatever you do, write it at white heat, with nottoo much thought of anything but the strong,appealing expression of your ideas.

The final stage is the paring down, the re-vision—­theseeing again, as the word implies—­whenall the parts of the speech must be impartially scrutinizedfor clearness, precision, force, effectiveness, suitability,proportion, logical climax; and in all this you mustimagine yourself to be before your audience,for a speech is not an essay and what will convinceand arouse in the one will not prevail in the other.

The Title

Often last of all will come that which in a senseis first of all—­the title, the name bywhich the speech is known. Sometimes it will bethe simple theme of the address, as “The NewAmericanism,” by Henry Watterson; or it maybe a bit of symbolism typifying the spirit of theaddress, as “Acres of Diamonds,” by RussellH. Conwell; or it may be a fine phrase taken fromthe body of the address, as “Pass ProsperityAround,” by Albert J. Beveridge. All inall, from whatever motive it be chosen, let the titlebe fresh, short, suited to the subject, and likelyto excite interest.


1. Define (a) introduction; (b)climax; (c) peroration.

2. If a thirty-minute speech would require threehours for specific preparation, would you expect tobe able to do equal justice to a speech one-thirdas long in one-third the time for preparation?Give reasons.

3. Relate briefly any personal experience youmay have had in conserving time for reading and thought.

4. In the manner of a reporter or investigator,go out and get first-hand information on some subjectof interest to the public. Arrange the resultsof your research in the form of an outline, or brief.

5. From a private or a public library gatherenough authoritative material on one of the followingquestions to build an outline for a twenty-minuteaddress. Take one definite side of the question,(a) “The Housing of the Poor;”(b) “The Commission Form of Governmentfor Cities as a Remedy for Political Graft;”(c) “The Test of Woman’s Suffragein the West;” (d) “Present Trendsof Public Taste in Reading;” (e) “MunicipalArt;” (f) “Is the Theatre Becomingmore Elevated in Tone?” (g) “TheEffects of the Magazine on Literature;” (h)“Does Modern Life Destroy Ideals?” (i)“Is Competition ’the Life of Trade?’”(j) “Baseball is too Absorbing to be aWholesome National Game;” (k) “SummerBaseball and Amateur Standing;” (l) “DoesCollege Training Unfit a Woman for Domestic Life?”(m) “Does Woman’s Competition withMan in Business Dull the Spirit of Chivalry?”(n) “Are Elective Studies Suited to HighSchool Courses?” (o) “Does theModern College Prepare Men for Preeminent Leadership?”(p) “The Y.M.C.A. in Its Relation tothe Labor Problem;” (q) “PublicSpeaking as Training in Citizenship.”

6. Construct the outline, examining it carefullyfor interest, convincing character, proportion, andclimax of arrangement.

NOTE:—­This exercise should be repeateduntil the student shows facility in synthetic arrangement.

7. Deliver the address, if possible before anaudience.

8. Make a three-hundred word report on the results,as best you are able to estimate them.

9. Tell something of the benefits of using aperiodical (or cumulative) index.

10. Give a number of quotations, suitable fora speaker’s use, that you have memorized inoff moments.

11. In the manner of the outline on page 213,analyze the address on pages 78-79, “The Historyof Liberty.”

12. Give an outline analysis, from notes or memory,of an address or sermon to which you have listenedfor this purpose.

13. Criticise the address from a structural pointof view.

14. Invent titles for any five of the themesin Exercise 5.

15. Criticise the titles of any five chaptersof this book, suggesting better ones.

16. Criticise the title of any lecture or addressof which you know.


[Footnote 10: How to Attract and Hold an Audience,J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 11: Adapted from Competition-Rhetoric,Scott and Denny, p. 241.]



Speak not at all, in any wise,till you have somewhat to speak;
care not for the reward ofyour speaking, but simply and with
undivided mind for the truthof your speaking.

—­THOMAS CARLYLE,Essay on Biography.

A complete discussion of the rhetorical structureof public speeches requires a fuller treatise thancan be undertaken in a work of this nature, yet inthis chapter, and in the succeeding ones on “Description,”“Narration,” “Argument,” and“Pleading,” the underlying principlesare given and explained as fully as need be for a workingknowledge, and adequate book references are given forthose who would perfect themselves in rhetorical art.

The Nature of Exposition

In the word “expose”—­tolay bare, to uncover, to show the true inwardnessof—­we see the foundation-idea of “Exposition.”It is the clear and precise setting forth of whatthe subject really is—­it is explanation.

Exposition does not draw a picture, for that wouldbe description. To tell in exact terms what theautomobile is, to name its characteristic parts andexplain their workings, would be exposition; so wouldan explanation of the nature of “fear.”But to create a mental image of a particular automobile,with its glistening body, graceful lines, and greatspeed, would be description; and so would a picturingof fear acting on the emotions of a child at night.Exposition and description often intermingle and overlap,but fundamentally they are distinct. Their differenceswill be touched upon again in the chapter on “Description.”

Exposition furthermore does not include an accountof how events happened—­that is narration.When Peary lectured on his polar discoveries he explainedthe instruments used for determining latitude andlongitude—­that was exposition. In picturinghis equipment he used description. In tellingof his adventures day by day he employed narration.In supporting some of his contentions he used argument.Yet he mingled all these forms throughout the lecture.

Neither does exposition deal with reasons and inferences—­thatis the field of argument. A series of connectedstatements intended to convince a prospective buyerthat one automobile is better than another, or proofsthat the appeal to fear is a wrong method of discipline,would not be exposition. The plain facts as setforth in expository speaking or writing are nearlyalways the basis of argument, yet the processes arenot one. True, the statement of a single significantfact without the addition of one other word may beconvincing, but a moment’s thought will showthat the inference, which completes a chain of reasoning,is made in the mind of the hearer and presupposesother facts held in consideration.[12]

In like manner, it is obvious that the field of persuasionis not open to exposition, for exposition is entirelyan intellectual process, with no emotional element.

The Importance of Exposition

The importance of exposition in public speech is preciselythe importance of setting forth a matter so plainlythat it cannot be misunderstood.

“To master the process of expositionis to become a clear thinker. ’I know,when you do not ask me,’[13] replied a gentlemanupon being requested to define a highly complex idea.Now some large concepts defy explicit definition;but no mind should take refuge behind such exceptions,for where definition fails, other forms succeed.Sometimes we feel confident that we have perfectmastery of an idea, but when the time comes to expressit, the clearness becomes a haze. Exposition,then, is the test of clear understanding.To speak effectively you must be able to see yoursubject clearly and comprehensively, and to makeyour audience see it as you do."[14]

There are pitfalls on both sides of this path.To explain too little will leave your audience indoubt as to what you mean. It is useless to arguea question if it is not perfectly clear just what ismeant by the question. Have you never come toa blind lane in conversation by finding that you weretalking of one aspect of a matter while your friendwas thinking of another? If two do not agreein their definitions of a Musician, it is uselessto dispute over a certain man’s right to claimthe title.

On the other side of the path lies the abyss of tediouslyexplaining too much. That offends because itimpresses the hearers that you either do not respecttheir intelligence or are trying to blow a breeze intoa tornado. Carefully estimate the probable knowledgeof your audience, both in general and of the particularpoint you are explaining. In trying to simplify,it is fatal to “sillify.” To explainmore than is needed for the purposes of your argumentor appeal is to waste energy all around. In yourefforts to be explicit do not press exposition tothe extent of dulness—­the confines are notfar distant and you may arrive before you know it.

Some Purposes of Exposition

From what has been said it ought to be clear that,primarily, exposition weaves a cord of understandingbetween you and your audience. It lays, furthermore,a foundation of fact on which to build later statements,arguments, and appeals. In scientific and purely“information” speeches exposition mayexist by itself and for itself, as in a lecture onbiology, or on psychology; but in the vast majorityof cases it is used to accompany and prepare the wayfor the other forms of discourse.

Clearness, precision, accuracy, unity, truth, andnecessity—­these must be the constantstandards by which you test the efficiency of yourexpositions, and, indeed, that of every explanatorystatement. This dictum should be written on yourbrain in letters most plain. And let this applynot alone to the purposes of exposition butin equal measure to your use of the

Methods of Exposition

The various ways along which a speaker may proceedin exposition are likely to touch each other now andthen, and even when they do not meet and actuallyoverlap they run so nearly parallel that the roadsare sometimes distinct rather in theory than in anymore practical respect.

=Definition=, the primary expository method, is astatement of precise limits.[15] Obviously, here thegreatest care must be exercised that the terms ofdefinition should not themselves demand too much definition;that the language should be concise and clear; andthat the definition should neither exclude nor includetoo much. The following is a simple example:

To expound is to set forththe nature, the significance, the
characteristics, and the bearingof an idea or a group of ideas.

—­ARLO BATES, Talkson Writing English.

=Contrast and Antithesis= are often used effectivelyto amplify definition, as in this sentence, whichimmediately follows the above-cited definition:

Exposition therefore differsfrom Description in that it deals
directly with the meaningor intent of its subject instead of
with its appearance.

This antithesis forms an expansion of the definition,and as such it might have been still further extended.In fact, this is a frequent practise in public speech,where the minds of the hearers often ask for reiterationand expanded statement to help them grasp a subjectin its several aspects. This is the very heartof exposition—­to amplify and clarify allthe terms by which a matter is defined.

=Example= is another method of amplifying a definitionor of expounding an idea more fully. The followingsentences immediately succeed Mr. Bates’s definitionand contrast just quoted:

A good deal which we are accustomedinexactly to call description is really exposition.Suppose that your small boy wishes to know howan engine works, and should say: “Pleasedescribe the steam-engine to me.” Ifyou insist on taking his words literally—­andare willing to run the risk of his indignationat being wilfully misunderstood—­you willto the best of your ability picture to him thisfamiliarly wonderful machine. If you explainit to him, you are not describing but expoundingit.

The chief value of example is that it makes clearthe unknown by referring the mind to the known.Readiness of mind to make illuminating, apt comparisonsfor the sake of clearness is one of the speaker’schief resources on the platform—­it is thegreatest of all teaching gifts. It is a gift,moreover, that responds to cultivation. Read thethree extracts from Arlo Bates as their author deliveredthem, as one passage, and see how they melt into one,each part supplementing the other most helpfully.

=Analogy=, which calls attention to similar relationshipsin objects not otherwise similar, is one of the mostuseful methods of exposition. The following strikingspecimen is from Beecher’s Liverpool speech:

A savage is a man of one story, andthat one story a cellar. When a man beginsto be civilized he raises another story. Whenyou christianize and civilize the man, you putstory upon story, for you develop faculty afterfaculty; and you have to supply every story withyour productions.

=Discarding= is a less common form of platform explanation.It consists in clearing away associated ideas so thatthe attention may be centered on the main thoughtto be discussed. Really, it is a negative factorin exposition though a most important one, for itis fundamental to the consideration of an intricatelyrelated matter that subordinate and side questionsshould be set aside in order to bring out the mainissue. Here is an example of the method:

I cannot allow myself to be led asidefrom the only issue before this jury. Itis not pertinent to consider that this prisoner isthe husband of a heartbroken woman and that hisbabes will go through the world under the shadowof the law’s extremest penalty worked upontheir father. We must forget the venerable fatherand the mother whom Heaven in pity took before shelearned of her son’s disgrace. Whathave these matters of heart, what have the blenchedfaces of his friends, what have the prisoner’slong and honorable career to say before this bar whenyou are sworn to weigh only the direct evidencebefore you? The one and only question foryou to decide on the evidence is whether thisman did with revengeful intent commit the murder thatevery impartial witness has solemnly laid at his door.

=Classification= assigns a subject to its class.By an allowable extension of the definition it maybe said to assign it also to its order, genus, andspecies. Classification is useful in public speechin narrowing the issue to a desired phase. Itis equally valuable for showing a thing in its relationto other things, or in correlation. Classificationis closely akin to Definition and Division.

This question of the liquor traffic,sirs, takes its place beside the grave moral issuesof all times. Whatever be its economic significance—­andwho is there to question it—­whatevervital bearing it has upon our political system—­andis there one who will deny it?—­the questionof the licensed saloon must quickly be settledas the world in its advancement has settled thequestions of constitutional government for the masses,of the opium traffic, of the serf, and of the slave—­notas matters of economic and political expediencybut as questions of right and wrong.

=Analysis= separates a subject into its essentialparts. This it may do by various principles;for example, analysis may follow the order of time(geologic eras), order of place (geographic facts),logical order (a sermon outline), order of increasinginterest, or procession to a climax (a lecture on20th century poets); and so on. A classic exampleof analytical exposition is the following:

In philosophy the contemplations ofman do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferredto nature, or are reflected or reverted upon himself.Out of which several inquiries there do arise threeknowledges: divine philosophy, natural philosophy,and human philosophy or humanity. For allthings are marked and stamped with this triplecharacter, of the power of God, the differenceof nature, and the use of man.

—­LORD BACON, TheAdvancement of Learning.[16]

=Division= differs only from analysis in that analysisfollows the inherent divisions of a subject, as illustratedin the foregoing passage, while division arbitrarilyseparates the subject for convenience of treatment,as in the following none-too-logical example:

For civil history, it is of three kinds;not unfitly to be compared with the three kindsof pictures or images. For of pictures orimages, we see some are unfinished, some are perfect,and some are defaced. So of histories we may findthree kinds, memorials, perfect histories, andantiquities; for memorials are history unfinished,or the first or rough drafts of history; and antiquitiesare history defaced, or some remnants of historywhich have casually escaped the shipwreck of time.

—­LORD BACON, TheAdvancement of Learning.[16A]

=Generalization= states a broad principle, or a generaltruth, derived from examination of a considerablenumber of individual facts. This synthetic expositionis not the same as argumentative generalization, whichsupports a general contention by citing instances inproof. Observe how Holmes begins with one fact,and by adding another and another reaches a completewhole. This is one of the most effective devicesin the public speaker’s repertory.

Take a hollow cylinder, the bottom closedwhile the top remains open, and pour in waterto the height of a few inches. Next coverthe water with a flat plate or piston, which fits theinterior of the cylinder perfectly; then applyheat to the water, and we shall witness the followingphenomena. After the lapse of some minutesthe water will begin to boil, and the steam accumulatingat the upper surface will make room for itselfby raising the piston slightly. As the boilingcontinues, more and more steam will be formed,and raise the piston higher and higher, till allthe water is boiled away, and nothing but steamis left in the cylinder. Now this machine, consistingof cylinder, piston, water, and fire, is the steam-enginein its most elementary form. For a steam-enginemay be defined as an apparatus for doing workby means of heat applied to water; and since raisingsuch a weight as the piston is a form of doing work,this apparatus, clumsy and inconvenient though it maybe, answers the definition precisely.[17]

=Reference to Experience= is one of the most vitalprinciples in exposition—­as in every otherform of discourse.

“Reference to experience, as here used, meansreference to the known. The known is that whichthe listener has seen, heard, read, felt, believedor done, and which still exists in his consciousness—­hisstock of knowledge. It embraces all those thoughts,feelings and happenings which are to him real.Reference to Experience, then, means coming intothe listener’s life.[18]

The vast results obtained by scienceare won by no mystical faculties, by no mentalprocesses, other than those which are practisedby every one of us in the humblest and meanest affairsof life. A detective policeman discovers aburglar from the marks made by his shoe, by amental process identical with that by which Cuvierrestored the extinct animals of Montmartre from fragmentsof their bones. Nor does that process of inductionand deduction by which a lady, finding a stainof a particular kind upon her dress, concludesthat somebody has upset the inkstand thereon,differ in any way from that by which Adams and Leverrierdiscovered a new planet. The man of science, infact, simply uses with scrupulous exactness themethods which we all habitually, and at everymoment, use carelessly.


Do you set down your name in the scrollof youth, that are written down old with all thecharacters of age? Have you not a moist eye?a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasingleg? an increasing belly? is not your voice broken?your wind short? your chin double? your wit single?and every part about you blasted with antiquity?and will you yet call yourself young? Fie,fie, fie, Sir John!

—­SHAKESPEARE, TheMerry Wives of Windsor.

Finally, in preparing expository material ask yourselfthese questions regarding your subject:

What is it, and what is it not?
What is it like, and unlike?
What are its causes, and effects?
How shall it be divided?
With what subjects is it correlated?
What experiences does it recall?
What examples illustrate it?


1. What would be the effect of adhering to anyone of the forms of discourse in a public address?

2. Have you ever heard such an address?

3. Invent a series of examples illustrative ofthe distinctions made on pages 232 and 233.

4. Make a list of ten subjects that might betreated largely, if not entirely, by exposition.

5. Name the six standards by which expositorywriting should be tried.

6. Define any one of the following: (a)storage battery; (b) “a free hand;”(c) sail boat; (d) “The Big Stick;”(e) nonsense; (f) “a good sport;”(g) short-story; (h) novel; (i)newspaper; (j) politician; (k) jealousy;(l) truth; (m) matinee girl; (n)college honor system; (o) modish; (p)slum; (q) settlement work; (r) forensic.

7. Amplify the definition by antithesis.

8. Invent two examples to illustrate the definition(question 6).

9. Invent two analogies for the same subject(question 6).

10. Make a short speech based on one of the following:(a) wages and salary; (b) master andman; (c) war and peace; (d) home andthe boarding house; (e) struggle and victory;(f) ignorance and ambition.

11. Make a ten-minute speech on any of the topicsnamed in question 6, using all the methods of expositionalready named.

12. Explain what is meant by discarding topicscollateral and subordinate to a subject.

13. Rewrite the jury-speech on page 224.

14. Define correlation.

15. Write an example of “classification,”on any political, social, economic, or moral issueof the day.

16. Make a brief analytical statement of HenryW. Grady’s “The Race Problem,” page36.

17. By what analytical principle did you proceed?(See page 225.)

18. Write a short, carefully generalized speechfrom a large amount of data on one of the followingsubjects: (a) The servant girl problem;(b) cats; (c) the baseball craze; (d)reform administrations; (e) sewing societies;(f) coeducation; (g) the traveling salesman.

19. Observe this passage from Newton’s“Effective Speaking:”

“That man is a cynic. Hesees goodness nowhere. He sneers at virtue,sneers at love; to him the maiden plighting her trothis an artful schemer, and he sees even in themother’s kiss nothing but an empty conventionality.”

Write, commit and deliver two similar passages basedon your choice from this list: (a) “theegotist;” (b) “the sensualist;”(c) “the hypocrite;” (d)“the timid man;” (e) “thejoker;” (f) “the flirt;”(g) “the ungrateful woman;” (h)“the mournful man.” In both casesuse the principle of “Reference to Experience.”

20. Write a passage on any of the foregoing charactersin imitation of the style of Shakespeare’s characterizationof Sir John Falstaff, page 227.


[Footnote 12: Argumentation will be outlinedfully in subsequent chapter.]

[Footnote 13: The Working Principles of Rhetoric,J.F. Genung.]

[Footnote 14: How to Attract and Hold an Audience,J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 15: On the various types of definitionsee any college manual of Rhetoric.]

[Footnote 16: Quoted in The Working Principlesof Rhetoric, J.F. Genung.]

[Footnote 16A: Quoted in The Working Principlesof Rhetoric, J.F. Genung.]

[Footnote 17: G.C.V. Holmes, quoted in Specimensof Exposition, H. Lamont.]

[Footnote 18: Effective Speaking, ArthurEdward Phillips. This work covers the preparationof public speech in a very helpful way.]



The groves of Eden vanish’dnow so long,
Live in description, and lookgreen in song.

—­ALEXANDER POPE,Windsor Forest.

The moment our discourse rises abovethe ground-line of familiar facts, and is inflamedwith passion or exalted thought, it clothes itselfin images. A man conversing in earnest, if hewatch his intellectual processes, will find thatalways a material image, more or less luminous,arises in his mind, contemporaneous with everythought, which furnishes the vestment of the thought....This imagery is spontaneous. It is the blendingof experience with the present action of the mind.It is proper creation.


Like other valuable resources in public speaking,description loses its power when carried to an extreme.Over-ornamentation makes the subject ridiculous.A dust-cloth is a very useful thing, but why embroiderit? Whether description shall be restrained withinits proper and important limits, or be encouragedto run riot, is the personal choice that comes beforeevery speaker, for man’s earliest literary tendencyis to depict.

The Nature of Description

To describe is to call up a picture in the mind ofthe hearer. “In talking of descriptionwe naturally speak of portraying, delineating, coloring,and all the devices of the picture painter. Todescribe is to visualize, hence we must look at descriptionas a pictorial process, whether the writer deals withmaterial or with spiritual objects."[19]

If you were asked to describe the rapid-fire gun youmight go about it in either of two ways: givea cold technical account of its mechanism, in wholeand in detail, or else describe it as a terrible engineof slaughter, dwelling upon its effects rather thanupon its structure.

The former of these processes is exposition, the latteris true description. Exposition deals more withthe general, while description must deal withthe particular. Exposition elucidates ideas,description treats of things. Expositiondeals with the abstract, description with theconcrete. Exposition is concerned withthe internal, description with the external.Exposition is enumerative, description literary.Exposition is intellectual, description sensory.Exposition is impersonal, description personal.

If description is a visualizing process for the hearer,it is first of all such for the speaker—­hecannot describe what he has never seen, either physicallyor in fancy. It is this personal quality—­thisquestion of the personal eye which sees the thingslater to be described—­that makes descriptionso interesting in public speech. Given a speakerof personality, and we are interested in his personalview—­his view adds to the natural interestof the scene, and may even be the sole source of thatinterest to his auditors.

The seeing eye has been praised in an earlier chapter(on “Subject and Preparation”) and theimagination will be treated in a subsequent one (on“Riding the Winged Horse"), but here we mustconsider the picturing mind: the mindthat forms the double habit of seeing things clearly—­forwe see more with the mind than we do with the physicaleye—­and then of re-imaging these thingsfor the purpose of getting them before the minds’eyes of the hearers. No habit is more useful thanthat of visualizing clearly the object, the scene,the situation, the action, the person, about to bedescribed. Unless that primary process is carriedout clearly, the picture will be blurred for the hearer-beholder.

In a work of this nature we are concerned with therhetorical analysis of description, and with its methods,only so far as may be needed for the practical purposesof the speaker.[20] The following grouping, therefore,will not be regarded as complete, nor will it herebe necessary to add more than a word of explanation:

Description for Public Speakers

Objects { Still" " { In motion

Scenes { Still
" " { Including action

Situations { Preceding change
" " { During change
" " { After change

Actions { Mental
" " { Physical

Persons { Internal
" " { External

Some of the foregoing processes will overlap, in certaininstances, and all are more likely to be found incombination than singly.

When description is intended solely to give accurateinformation—­as to delineate the appearance,not the technical construction, of the latest Zeppelinairship—­it is called “scientific description,”and is akin to exposition. When it is intendedto present a free picture for the purpose of makinga vivid impression, it is called “artistic description.”With both of these the public speaker has to deal,but more frequently with the latter form. Rhetoriciansmake still further distinctions.

Methods of Description

In public speaking, description should be mainlyby suggestion, not only because suggestive descriptionis so much more compact and time-saving but becauseit is so vivid. Suggestive expressions connotemore than they literally say—­they suggestideas and pictures to the mind of the hearer whichsupplement the direct words of the speaker. WhenDickens, in his “Christmas Carol,” says:“In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantialsmile,” our minds complete the picture so deftlybegun—­a much more effective process thanthat of a minutely detailed description because itleaves a unified, vivid impression, and that is whatwe need. Here is a present-day bit of suggestion:“General Trinkle was a gnarly oak of a man—­rough,solid, and safe; you always knew where to find him.”Dickens presents Miss Peecher as: “A littlepin-cushion, a little housewife, a little book, alittle work-box, a little set of tables and weightsand measures, and a little woman all in one.”In his “Knickerbocker’s” “Historyof New York,” Irving portrays Wouter van Twilleras “a robustious beer-barrel, standing on skids.”

Whatever forms of description you neglect, be sureto master the art of suggestion.

Description may be by simple hint. Lowell notesa happy instance of this sort of picturing by intimationwhen he says of Chaucer: “Sometimes hedescribes amply by the merest hint, as where the Friar,before setting himself down, drives away the cat.We know without need of more words that he has chosenthe snuggest corner.”

Description may depict a thing by its effects.“When the spectator’s eye is dazzled,and he shades it,” says Mozley in his “Essays,”“we form the idea of a splendid object; whenhis face turns pale, of a horrible one; from his quickwonder and admiration we form the idea of great beauty;from his silent awe, of great majesty.”

Brief description may be by epithet. “Blue-eyed,”“white-armed,” “laughter-loving,”are now conventional compounds, but they were freshenough when Homer first conjoined them. The centurieshave not yet improved upon “Wheels round, brazen,eight-spoked,” or “Shields smooth, beautiful,brazen, well-hammered.” Observe the effectiveuse of epithet in Will Levington Comfort’s “TheFighting Death,” when he speaks of soldiersin a Philippine skirmish as being “leeched againsta rock.”

Description uses figures of speech. Any advancedrhetoric will discuss their forms and give examplesfor guidance.[21] This matter is most important, beassured. A brilliant yet carefully restrainedfigurative style, a style marked by brief, pungent,witty, and humorous comparisons and characterizations,is a wonderful resource for all kinds of platformwork.

Description may be direct. This statement isplain enough without exposition. Use your ownjudgment as to whether in picturing you had betterproceed from a general view to the details, or firstgive the details and thus build up the general picture,but by all means BE BRIEF.

Note the vivid compactness of these delineations fromWashington Irving’s “Knickerbocker:”

He was a short, square, brawny old gentleman,with a double chin, a mastiff mouth, and a broadcopper nose, which was supposed in those daysto have acquired its fiery hue from the constantneighborhood of his tobacco pipe.
He was exactly five feet six inchesin height, and six feet five inches in circumference.His head was a perfect sphere, and of such stupendousdimensions, that Dame Nature, with all her sex’singenuity, would have been puzzled to constructa neck capable of supporting it; wherefore shewisely declined the attempt, and settled it firmlyon the top of his backbone, just between the shoulders.His body was of an oblong form, particularly capaciousat bottom; which was wisely ordered by Providence,seeing that he was a man of sedentary habits, andvery averse to the idle labor of walking.

The foregoing is too long for the platform, but itis so good-humored, so full of delightful exaggeration,that it may well serve as a model of humorous characterpicturing, for here one inevitably sees the innerman in the outer.

Direct description for platform use may be made vividby the sparing use of the “historicalpresent.” The following dramatic passage,accompanied by the most lively action, has lingeredin the mind for thirty years after hearing Dr. T.De Witt Talmage lecture on “Big Blunders.”The crack of the bat sounds clear even today:

Get ready the bats and take your positions.Now, give us the ball. Too low. Don’tstrike. Too high. Don’t strike.There it comes like lightning. Strike!Away it soars! Higher! Higher! Run!Another base! Faster! Faster! Good!All around at one stroke!

Observe the remarkable way in which the lecturer fusedspeaker, audience, spectators, and players into oneexcited, ecstatic whole—­just as you havefound yourself starting forward in your seat at thedelivery of the ball with “three on and twodown” in the ninth inning. Notice, too,how—­perhaps unconsciously—­Talmagepainted the scene in Homer’s characteristicstyle: not as having already happened, but ashappening before your eyes.

If you have attended many travel talks you must havebeen impressed by the painful extremes to which thelecturers go—­with a few notable exceptions,their language is either over-ornate or crude.If you would learn the power of words to make scenery,yes, even houses, palpitate with poetry and humanappeal, read Lafcadio Hearn, Robert Louis Stevenson,Pierre Loti, and Edmondo De Amicis.

Blue-distant, a mountain of carven stoneappeared before them,—­the Temple, liftingto heaven its wilderness of chiseled pinnacles,flinging to the sky the golden spray of its decoration.

—­LAFCADIO HEARN,Chinese Ghosts.

The stars were clear, colored, and jewel-like,but not frosty. A faint silvery vapour stoodfor the Milky Way. All around me the blackfir-points stood upright and stock-still. By thewhiteness of the pack-saddle I could see Modestinewalking round and round at the length of her tether;I could hear her steadily munching at the sward;but there was not another sound save the indescribablequiet talk of the runnel over the stones.

—­ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON,Travels with a Donkey.

It was full autumn now, late autumn—­withthe nightfalls gloomy, and all things growingdark early in the old cottage, and all the Bretonland looking sombre, too. The very days seemedbut twilight; immeasurable clouds, slowly passing,would suddenly bring darkness at broad noon.The wind moaned constantly—­it was likethe sound of a great cathedral organ at a distance,but playing profane airs, or despairing dirges;at other times it would come close to the door,and lift up a howl like wild beasts.

—­PIERRE LOTI, AnIceland Fisherman.

I see the great refectory,[22] wherea battalion might have drilled; I see the longtables, the five hundred heads bent above theplates, the rapid motion of five hundred forks, ofa thousand hands, and sixteen thousand teeth;the swarm of servants running here and there,called to, scolded, hurried, on every side atonce; I hear the clatter of dishes, the deafeningnoise, the voices choked with food crying out:“Bread—­bread!” and I feelonce more the formidable appetite, the herculean strengthof jaw, the exuberant life and spirits of those far-offdays.[23]

—­EDMONDO DE AMICIS,College Friends.

Suggestions for the Use of Description

Decide, on beginning a description, what point ofview you wish your hearers to take. One cannotsee either a mountain or a man on all sides at once.Establish a view-point, and do not shift without givingnotice.

Choose an attitude toward your subject—­shallit be idealized? caricatured? ridiculed? exaggerated?defended? or described impartially?

Be sure of your mood, too, for it will color the subjectto be described. Melancholy will make a rose-gardenlook gray.

Adopt an order in which you will proceed—­donot shift backward and forward from near to far, remoteto close in time, general to particular, large tosmall, important to unimportant, concrete to abstract,physical to mental; but follow your chosen order.Scattered and shifting observations produce hazy impressionsjust as a moving camera spoils the time-exposure.

Do not go into needless minutiae. Some detailsidentify a thing with its class, while other detailsdifferentiate it from its class. Choose onlythe significant, suggestive characteristics and bringthose out with terse vividness. Learn a lessonfrom the few strokes used by the poster artist.

In determining what to describe and what merely toname, seek to read the knowledge of your audience.The difference to them between the unknown and theknown is a vital one also to you.

Relentlessly cut out all ideas and words not necessaryto produce the effect you desire. Each elementin a mental picture either helps or hinders.Be sure they do not hinder, for they cannot be passivelypresent in any discourse.

Interruptions of the description to make side-remarksare as powerful to destroy unity as are scattereddescriptive phrases. The only visual impressionthat can be effective is one that is unified.

In describing, try to call up the emotions you feltwhen first you saw the scene, and then try to reproducethose emotions in your hearers. Description isprimarily emotional in its appeal; nothing can be moredeadly dull than a cold, unemotional outline, whilenothing leaves a warmer impression than a glowing,spirited description.

Give a swift and vivid general view at the close ofthe portrayal. First and final impressions remainthe longest. The mind may be trained to takein the characteristic points of a subject, so as toview in a single scene, action, experience, or character,a unified impression of the whole. To describea thing as a whole you must first see it as a whole.Master that art and you have mastered description tothe last degree.



I went to Washington the other day,and I stood on the Capitol Hill; my heart beatquick as I looked at the towering marble of mycountry’s Capitol and the mist gathered in myeyes as I thought of its tremendous significance,and the armies and the treasury, and the judgesand the President, and the Congress and the courts,and all that was gathered there. And I felt thatthe sun in all its course could not look downon a better sight than that majestic home of arepublic that had taught the world its best lessonsof liberty. And I felt that if honor and wisdomand justice abided therein, the world would atlast owe to that great house in which the arkof the covenant of my country is lodged, its finaluplifting and its regeneration.
Two days afterward, I went to visita friend in the country, a modest man, with aquiet country home. It was just a simple, unpretentioushouse, set about with big trees, encircled in meadowand field rich with the promise of harvest. Thefragrance of the pink and hollyhock in the frontyard was mingled with the aroma of the orchardand of the gardens, and resonant with the cluckof poultry and the hum of bees.
Inside was quiet, cleanliness, thrift,and comfort. There was the old clock thathad welcomed, in steady measure, every newcomerto the family, that had ticked the solemn requiem ofthe dead, and had kept company with the watcherat the bedside. There were the big, restfulbeds and the old, open fireplace, and the oldfamily Bible, thumbed with the fingers of hands longsince still, and wet with the tears of eyes longsince closed, holding the simple annals of thefamily and the heart and the conscience of thehome.
Outside, there stood my friend, themaster, a simple, upright man, with no mortgageon his roof, no lien on his growing crops, masterof his land and master of himself. There was hisold father, an aged, trembling man, but happyin the heart and home of his son. And asthey started to their home, the hands of the oldman went down on the young man’s shoulder, layingthere the unspeakable blessing of the honoredand grateful father and ennobling it with theknighthood of the fifth commandment.
And as they reached the door the oldmother came with the sunset falling fair on herface, and lighting up her deep, patient eyes,while her lips, trembling with the rich music of herheart, bade her husband and son welcome to theirhome. Beyond was the housewife, busy withher household cares, clean of heart and conscience,the buckler and helpmeet of her husband. Downthe lane came the children, trooping home afterthe cows, seeking as truant birds do the quietof their home nest.
And I saw the night come down on thathouse, falling gently as the wings of the unseendove. And the old man—­while a startledbird called from the forest, and the trees wereshrill with the cricket’s cry, and the starswere swarming in the sky—­got the familyaround him, and, taking the old Bible from the table,called them to their knees, the little baby hidingin the folds of its mother’s dress, whilehe closed the record of that simple day by callingdown God’s benediction on that family and thathome. And while I gazed, the vision of that marbleCapitol faded. Forgotten were its treasuresand its majesty and I said, “Oh, surelyhere in the homes of the people are lodged at lastthe strength and the responsibility of this government,the hope and the promise of this republic.”



One thing in life calls for another;there is a fitness in events and places.The sight of a pleasant arbor puts it in our mindto sit there. One place suggests work, anotheridleness, a third early rising and long ramblesin the dew. The effect of night, of any flowingwater, of lighted cities, of the peep of day,of ships, of the open ocean, calls up in the mind anarmy of anonymous desires and pleasures.Something, we feel, should happen; we know notwhat, yet we proceed in quest of it. And manyof the happiest hours in life fleet by us in this vainattendance on the genius of the place and moment.It is thus that tracts of young fir, and low rocksthat reach into deep soundings, particularly delightand torture me. Something must have happenedin such places, and perhaps ages back, to membersof my race; and when I was a child I tried to inventappropriate games for them, as I still try, justas vainly, to fit them with the proper story.Some places speak distinctly. Certain dank gardenscry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand tobe haunted; certain coasts are set aside for shipwreck.Other spots again seem to abide their destiny,suggestive and impenetrable, “miching mallecho.”The inn at Burford Bridge, with its arbours andgreen garden and silent, eddying river—­thoughit is known already as the place where Keats wrotesome of his Endymion and Nelson partedfrom his Emma—­still seems to wait the comingof the appropriate legend. Within these iviedwalls, behind these old green shutters, some furtherbusiness smoulders, waiting for its hour.The old Hawes Inn at the Queen’s ferry makesa similar call upon my fancy. There it stands,apart from the town, beside the pier, in a climateof its own, half inland, half marine—­infront, the ferry bubbling with the tide and the guard-shipswinging to her anchor; behind, the old garden withthe trees. Americans seek it already for thesake of Lovel and Oldbuck, who dined there atthe beginning of the Antiquary. Butyou need not tell me—­that is not all; thereis some story, unrecorded or not yet complete,which must express the meaning of that inn morefully.... I have lived both at the Hawes andBurford in a perpetual flutter, on the heel, asit seemed, of some adventure that should justifythe place; but though the feeling had me to bedat night and called me again at morning in oneunbroken round of pleasure and suspense, nothing befellme in either worth remark. The man or thehour had not yet come; but some day, I think,a boat shall put off from the Queen’s ferry,fraught with a dear cargo, and some frosty night ahorseman, on a tragic errand, rattle with his whipupon the green shutters at the inn at Burford.

—­R.L. STEVENSON,A Gossip on Romance.


Clang! Clang! Clang! the fire-bells!Bing! Bing! Bing! the alarm! Inan instant quiet turns to uproar—­an outburstof noise, excitement, clamor—­bedlambroke loose; Bing! Bing! Bing! Rattle,clash and clatter. Open fly the doors; brave menmount their boxes. Bing! Bing!Bing! They’re off! The horses teardown the street like mad. Bing! Bing!Bing! goes the gong!

“Get out of the track!The engines are coming! For God’s sake,
snatch that child from theroad!”

On, on, wildly, resolutely, madly flythe steeds. Bing! Bing! the gong.Away dash the horses on the wings of fevered fury.On whirls the machine, down streets, around corners,up this avenue and across that one, out into thevery bowels of darkness, whiffing, wheezing, shootinga million sparks from the stack, paving the pathof startled night with a galaxy of stars. Overthe house-tops to the north, a volcanic burst offlame shoots out, belching with blinding effect.The sky is ablaze. A tenement house is burning.Five hundred souls are in peril. MercifulHeaven! Spare the victims! Are the enginescoming? Yes, here they are, dashing downthe street. Look! the horses ride upon thewind; eyes bulging like balls of fire; nostrils wideopen. A palpitating billow of fire, rolling,plunging, bounding rising, falling, swelling,heaving, and with mad passion bursting its red-hotsides asunder, reaching out its arms, encircling,squeezing, grabbing up, swallowing everything beforeit with the hot, greedy mouth of an appalling monster.

How the horses dash aroundthe corner! Animal instinct say you?
Aye, more. Brute reason.

“Up the ladders, men!”

The towering building is buried in bloatedbanks of savage, biting elements. Forkedtongues dart out and in, dodge here and there,up and down, and wind their cutting edges around everyobject. A crash, a dull, explosive sound,and a puff of smoke leaps out. At the highestpoint upon the roof stands a dark figure in adesperate strait, the hands making frantic gestures,the arms swinging wildly—­and then thebody shoots off into frightful space, plungingupon the pavement with a revolting thud.The man’s arm strikes a bystander as he dartsdown. The crowd shudders, sways, and uttersa low murmur of pity and horror. The faint-heartedlookers-on hide their faces. One woman swoonsaway.

“Poor fellow! Dead!”exclaims a laborer, as he looks upon the
man’s body.

“Aye, Joe, and I knew him well,too! He lived next door to me, five flightsback. He leaves a widowed mother and two wee bitsof orphans. I helped him bury his wife a fortnightago. Ah, Joe! but it’s hard lines forthe orphans.”

A ghastly hour moves on, draggingits regiment of panic in its
trail and leaving crimsonblotches of cruelty along the path of

“Are they all out, firemen?”

“Aye, aye, sir!”

“No, they’re not! There’sa woman in the top window holding a child in herarms—­over yonder in the right-hand corner!The ladders, there! A hundred pounds to theman who makes the rescue!”

A dozen start. One manmore supple than the others, and reckless
in his bravery, clambers tothe top rung of the ladder.

“Too short!” hecries. “Hoist another!”

Up it goes. He mountsto the window, fastens the rope, lashes
mother and babe, swings themoff into ugly emptiness, and lets
them down to be rescued byhis comrades.

“Bravo, fireman!”shouts the crowd.

A crash breaks through theuproar of crackling timbers.

“Look alive, up there!Great God! The roof has fallen!”

The walls sway, rock, and tumble inwith a deafening roar. The spectators ceaseto breathe. The cold truth reveals itself.The fireman has been carried into the seethingfurnace. An old woman, bent with the weightof age, rushes through the fire line, shrieking,raving, and wringing her hands and opening her heartof grief.
“Poor John! He was all Ihad! And a brave lad he was, too! But he’sgone now. He lost his own life in savin’two more, and now—­now he’s there,away in there!” she repeats, pointing to thecruel oven.

The engines do their work.The flames die out. An eerie gloom
hangs over the ruins likea formidable, blackened pall.

And the noon of night is passed.



1. Write two paragraphs on one of these:the race horse, the motor boat, golfing, tennis; letthe first be pure exposition and the second pure description.

2. Select your own theme and do the same in twoshort extemporaneous speeches.

3. Deliver a short original address in the over-ornamentedstyle.

4. (a) Point out its defects; (b) recastit in a more effective style; (c) show howthe one surpasses the other.

5. Make a list of ten subjects which lend themselvesto description in the style you prefer.

6. Deliver a two-minute speech on any one ofthem, using chiefly, but not solely, description.

7. For one minute, look at any object, scene,action, picture, or person you choose, take two minutesto arrange your thoughts, and then deliver a shortdescription—­all without making written notes.

8. In what sense is description more personalthan exposition?

9. Explain the difference between a scientificand an artistic description.

10. In the style of Dickens and Irving (pages234, 235), write five separate sentences describingfive characters by means of suggestion—­onesentence to each.

11. Describe a character by means of a hint,after the manner of Chaucer (p. 235).

12. Read aloud the following with special attentionto gesture:

His very throat was moral. Yousaw a good deal of it. You looked over avery low fence of white cravat (whereof no man hadever beheld the tie, for he fastened it behind),and there it lay, a valley between two juttingheights of collar, serene and whiskerless beforeyou. It seemed to say, on the part of Mr. Pecksniff,“There is no deception, ladies and gentlemen,all is peace, a holy calm pervades me.”So did his hair, just grizzled with an iron gray,which was all brushed off his forehead, and stoodbolt upright, or slightly drooped in kindred actionwith his heavy eyelids. So did his person,which was sleek though free from corpulency.So did his manner, which was soft and oily.In a word, even his plain black suit, and state ofwidower, and dangling double eye-glass, all tendedto the same purpose, and cried aloud, “Beholdthe moral Pecksniff!”

—­CHARLES DICKENS,Martin Chuzzlewit.

13. Which of the following do you prefer, andwhy?

She was a blooming lass offresh eighteen, plump as a partridge,
ripe and melting and rosy-cheekedas one of her father’s


She was a splendidly femininegirl, as wholesome as a November
pippin, and no more mysteriousthan a window-pane.


Small, shining, neat, methodical,and buxom was Miss Peecher;
cherry-cheeked and tunefulof voice.


14. Invent five epithets, and apply them as youchoose (p. 235).

15. (a) Make a list of five figures of speech;(b) define them; (c) give an example—­preferablyoriginal—­under each.

16. Pick out the figures of speech in the addressby Grady, on page 240.

17. Invent an original figure to take the placeof any one in Grady’s speech.

18. What sort of figures do you find in the selectionfrom Stevenson, on page 242?

19. What methods of description does he seemto prefer?

20. Write and deliver, without notes and withdescriptive gestures, a description in imitation ofany of the authors quoted in this chapter.

21. Reexamine one of your past speeches and improvethe descriptive work. Report on what faults youfound to exist.

22. Deliver an extemporaneous speech describingany dramatic scene in the style of “Midnightin London.”

23. Describe an event in your favorite sportin the style of Dr. Talmage. Be careful to makethe delivery effective.

24. Criticise, favorably or unfavorably, thedescriptions of any travel talk you may have heardrecently.

25. Deliver a brief original travel talk, asthough you were showing pictures.

26. Recast the talk and deliver it “withoutpictures.”


[Footnote 19: Writing the Short-Story,J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 20: For fuller treatment of Descriptionsee Genung’s Working Principles of Rhetoric,Albright’s Descriptive Writing, Bates’Talks on Writing English, first and secondseries, and any advanced rhetoric.]

[Footnote 21: See also The Art of Versification,J. Berg Esenwein and Mary Eleanor Roberts, pp. 28-35;and Writing the Short-Story, J. Berg Esenwein,pp. 152-162; 231-240.]

[Footnote 22: In the Military College of Modena.]

[Footnote 23: This figure of speech is knownas “Vision.”]



The art of narration is the art of writingin hooks and eyes. The principle consistsin making the appropriate thought follow the appropriatethought, the proper fact the proper fact; in firstpreparing the mind for what is to come, and then lettingit come.

—­WALTER BAGEHOT,Literary Studies.

Our very speech is curiously historical.Most men, you may observe, speak only to narrate;not in imparting what they have thought, whichindeed were often a very small matter, but in exhibitingwhat they have undergone or seen, which is a quiteunlimited one, do talkers dilate. Cut us offfrom Narrative, how would the stream of conversation,even among the wisest, languish into detachedhandfuls, and among the foolish utterly evaporate!Thus, as we do nothing but enact History, we say littlebut recite it.


Only a small segment of the great field of narrationoffers its resources to the public speaker, and thatincludes the anecdote, biographical facts, and thenarration of events in general.

Narration—­more easily defined than mastered—­isthe recital of an incident, or a group of facts andoccurrences, in such a manner as to produce a desiredeffect.

The laws of narration are few, but its successfulpractise involves more of art than would at firstappear—­so much, indeed, that we cannot eventouch upon its technique here, but must content ourselveswith an examination of a few examples of narrationas used in public speech.

In a preliminary way, notice how radically the publicspeaker’s use of narrative differs from thatof the story-writer in the more limited scope, absenceof extended dialogue and character drawing, and freedomfrom elaboration of detail, which characterize platformnarrative. On the other hand, there are severalsimilarities of method: the frequent combinationof narration with exposition, description, argumentation,and pleading; the care exercised in the arrangementof material so as to produce a strong effect at theclose (climax); the very general practise of concealingthe “point” (denouement) of a story untilthe effective moment; and the careful suppressionof needless, and therefore hurtful, details.

So we see that, whether for magazine or platform,the art of narration involves far more than the recitalof annals; the succession of events recorded requiresa plan in order to bring them out with realeffect.

It will be noticed, too, that the literary style inplatform narration is likely to be either less polishedand more vigorously dramatic than in that intendedfor publication, or else more fervid and elevated intone. In this latter respect, however, the bestplatform speaking of today differs from the modelsof the preceding generation, wherein a highly dignified,and sometimes pompous, style was thought the onlyfitting dress for a public deliverance. Great,noble and stirring as these older masters were intheir lofty and impassioned eloquence, we are sometimesoppressed when we read their sounding periods for anygreat length of time—­even allowing for allthat we lose by missing the speaker’s presence,voice, and fire. So let us model our platformnarration, as our other forms of speech, upon the effectiveaddresses of the moderns, without lessening our admirationfor the older school.

The Anecdote

An anecdote is a short narrative of a single event,told as being striking enough to bring out a point.The keener the point, the more condensed the form,and the more suddenly the application strikes thehearer, the better the story.

To regard an anecdote as an illustration—­aninterpretive picture—­will help to holdus to its true purpose, for a purposeless story isof all offenses on the platform the most asinine.A perfectly capital joke will fall flat when it isdragged in by the nape without evident bearing onthe subject under discussion. On the other hand,an apposite anecdote has saved many a speech fromfailure.

“There is no finer opportunity for the displayof tact than in the introduction of witty or humorousstories into a discourse. Wit is keen and likea rapier, piercing deeply, sometimes even to the heart.Humor is good-natured, and does not wound. Witis founded upon the sudden discovery of an unsuspectedrelation existing between two ideas. Humor dealswith things out of relation—­with the incongruous.It was wit in Douglass Jerrold to retort upon thescowl of a stranger whose shoulder he had familiarlyslapped, mistaking him for a friend: ’Ibeg your pardon, I thought I knew you—­butI’m glad I don’t.’ It was humorin the Southern orator, John Wise, to liken the pleasureof spending an evening with a Puritan girl to thatof sitting on a block of ice in winter, cracking hailstonesbetween his teeth."[24]

The foregoing quotation has been introduced chieflyto illustrate the first and simplest form of anecdote—­thesingle sentence embodying a pungent saying.

Another simple form is that which conveys its meaningwithout need of “application,” as theold preachers used to say. George Ade has quotedthis one as the best joke he ever heard:

Two solemn-looking gentlemen were ridingtogether in a railway carriage. One gentlemansaid to the other: “Is your wife entertainingthis summer?” Whereupon the other gentlemanreplied: “Not very.”

Other anecdotes need harnessing to the particulartruth the speaker wishes to carry along in his talk.Sometimes the application is made before the storyis told and the audience is prepared to make the comparison,point by point, as the illustration is told. HenryW. Grady used this method in one of the anecdoteshe told while delivering his great extemporaneousaddress, “The New South.”

Age does not endow all things with strengthand virtue, nor are all new things to be despised.The shoemaker who put over his door, “JohnSmith’s shop, founded 1760,” was more thanmatched by his young rival across the street whohung out this sign: “Bill Jones.Established 1886. No old stock kept in this shop.”

In two anecdotes, told also in “The New South,”Mr. Grady illustrated another way of enforcing theapplication: in both instances he split the ideahe wished to drive home, bringing in part before andpart after the recital of the story. The factthat the speaker misquoted the words of Genesis inwhich the Ark is described did not seem to detractfrom the burlesque humor of the story.

I bespeak the utmost stretch of yourcourtesy tonight. I am not troubled aboutthose from whom I come. You remember the manwhose wife sent him to a neighbor with a pitcherof milk, who, tripping on the top step, fell,with such casual interruptions as the landingsafforded, into the basem*nt, and, while picking himselfup, had the pleasure of hearing his wife call out:

“John, did you breakthe pitcher?

“No, I didn’t,”said John, “but I be dinged if I don’t.”

So, while those who call to me frombehind may inspire me with energy, if not withcourage, I ask an indulgent hearing from you.I beg that you will bring your full faith in Americanfairness and frankness to judgment upon what Ishall say. There was an old preacher oncewho told some boys of the Bible lesson he wasgoing to read in the morning. The boys, findingthe place, glued together the connecting pages.The next morning he read on the bottom of onepage: “When Noah was one hundred and twentyyears old he took unto himself a wife, who was”—­thenturning the page—­“one hundredand forty cubits long, forty cubits wide, builtof gopher wood, and covered with pitch inside andout.” He was naturally puzzled at this.He read it again, verified it, and then said,“My friends, this is the first time I evermet this in the Bible, but I accept it as an evidenceof the assertion that we are fearfully and wonderfullymade.” If I could get you to hold suchfaith to-night, I could proceed cheerfully tothe task I otherwise approach with a sense of consecration.

Now and then a speaker will plunge without introductioninto an anecdote, leaving the application to follow.The following illustrates this method:

A large, slew-footed darky was leaningagainst the corner of the railroad station ina Texas town when the noon whistle in the canningfactory blew and the hands hurried out, bearing theirgrub buckets. The darky listened, with hishead on one side until the rocketing echo hadquite died away. Then he heaved a deep sighand remarked to himself:

“Dar she go. Dinnertime for some folks—­but jes’ 12 o’clockfur

That is the situation in thousandsof American factories, large
and small, today. Andwhy? etc., etc.

Doubtless the most frequent platform use of the anecdoteis in the pulpit. The sermon “illustration,”however, is not always strictly narrative in form,but tends to extended comparison, as the followingfrom Dr. Alexander Maclaren:

Men will stand as Indian fakirs do,with their arms above their heads until they stiffenthere. They will perch themselves upon pillarslike Simeon Stylites, for years, till the birds buildtheir nests in their hair. They will measureall the distance from Cape Comorin to Juggernaut’stemple with their bodies along the dusty road.They will wear hair shirts and scourge themselves.They will fast and deny themselves. They willbuild cathedrals and endow churches. Theywill do as many of you do, labor by fits and startsall thru your lives at the endless task of makingyourselves ready for heaven, and winning it by obedienceand by righteousness. They will do all these thingsand do them gladly, rather than listen to the humblingmessage that says, “You do not need to doanything—­wash.” Is it your washing,or the water, that will clean you? Wash and beclean! Naaman’s cleaning was only atest of his obedience, and a token that it wasGod who cleansed him. There was no power in Jordan’swaters to take away the taint of leprosy.Our cleansing is in that blood of Jesus Christthat has the power to take away all sin, and tomake the foulest amongst us pure and clean.

One final word must be said about the introductionto the anecdote. A clumsy, inappropriate introductionis fatal, whereas a single apt or witty sentence willkindle interest and prepare a favorable hearing.The following extreme illustration, by the Englishhumorist, Captain Harry Graham, well satirizes thestumbling manner:

The best story that I ever heard wasone that I was told once in the fall of 1905 (orit may have been 1906), when I was visiting Boston—­atleast, I think it was Boston; it may have been Washington(my memory is so bad).

I happened to run across amost amusing man whose name I
forget—­Williamsor Wilson or Wilkins; some name like that—­and
he told me this story whilewe were waiting for a trolley car.

I can still remember how heartily Ilaughed at the time; and again, that evening,after I had gone to bed, how I laughed myselfto sleep recalling the humor of this incredibly humorousstory. It was really quite extraordinarilyfunny. In fact, I can truthfully affirm thatit is quite the most amusing story I have everhad the privilege of hearing. Unfortunately, I’veforgotten it.

Biographical Facts

Public speaking has much to do with personalities;naturally, therefore, the narration of a series ofbiographical details, including anecdotes among therecital of interesting facts, plays a large part inthe eulogy, the memorial address, the political speech,the sermon, the lecture, and other platform deliverances.Whole addresses may be made up of such biographicaldetails, such as a sermon on “Moses,” ora lecture on “Lee.”

The following example is in itself an expanded anecdote,forming a link in a chain:


The peculiar sublimity of the Romanmind does not express itself, nor is it at allto be sought, in their poetry. Poetry, accordingto the Roman ideal of it, was not an adequate organfor the grander movements of the national mind.Roman sublimity must be looked for in Roman acts,and in Roman sayings. Where, again, willyou find a more adequate expression of the Roman majesty,than in the saying of Trajan—­Imperatoremoportere stantem mori—­that Caesarought to die standing; a speech of imperatorialgrandeur! Implying that he, who was “theforemost man of all this world,”—­and,in regard to all other nations, the representativeof his own,—­should express its characteristicvirtue in his farewell act—­should die inprocinctu—­and should meet the lastenemy as the first, with a Roman countenance andin a soldier’s attitude. If this had animperatorial—­what follows had a consularmajesty, and is almost the grandest story uponrecord.
Marius, the man who rose to be seventimes consul, was in a dungeon, and a slave wassent in with commission to put him to death.These were the persons,—­the two extremitiesof exalted and forlorn humanity, its vanward andits rearward man, a Roman consul and an abjectslave. But their natural relations to each otherwere, by the caprice of fortune, monstrously inverted:the consul was in chains; the slave was for amoment the arbiter of his fate. By what spells,what magic, did Marius reinstate himself in hisnatural prerogatives? By what marvels drawn fromheaven or from earth, did he, in the twinklingof an eye, again invest himself with the purple,and place between himself and his assassin a hostof shadowy lictors? By the mere blank supremacyof great minds over weak ones. He fascinatedthe slave, as a rattlesnake does a bird.Standing “like Teneriffe,” he smotehim with his eye, and said, “Tune, hom*o, audesoccidere C. Marium?”—­“Dostthou, fellow, presume to kill Caius Marius?”Whereat, the reptile, quaking under the voice, nordaring to affront the consular eye, sank gentlyto the ground—­turned round upon hishands and feet—­and, crawling out ofthe prison like any other vermin, left Marius standingin solitude as steadfast and immovable as thecapitol.


Here is a similar example, prefaced by a general historicalstatement and concluding with autobiographical details:


One raw morning in spring—­itwill be eighty years the 19th day of this month—­Hanco*ckand Adams, the Moses and Aaron of that Great Deliverance,were both at Lexington; they also had “obstructedan officer” with brave words. British soldiers,a thousand strong, came to seize them and carrythem over sea for trial, and so nip the bud ofFreedom auspiciously opening in that early spring.The town militia came together before daylight,“for training.” A great, tall man,with a large head and a high, wide brow, theircaptain,—­one who had “seen service,”—­marshalledthem into line, numbering but seventy, and bade“every man load his piece with powder and ball.I will order the first man shot that runs away,”said he, when some faltered. “Don’tfire unless fired upon, but if they want to havea war, let it begin here.”
Gentlemen, you know what followed; thosefarmers and mechanics “fired the shot heardround the world.” A little monument coversthe bones of such as before had pledged their fortuneand their sacred honor to the Freedom of America,and that day gave it also their lives. Iwas born in that little town, and bred up amidthe memories of that day. When a boy, my motherlifted me up, one Sunday, in her religious, patrioticarms, and held me while I read the first monumentalline I ever saw—­“Sacred to Libertyand the Rights of Mankind.”
Since then I have studied the memorialmarbles of Greece and Rome, in many an ancienttown; nay, on Egyptian obelisks have read whatwas written before the Eternal raised up Moses to leadIsrael out of Egypt; but no chiseled stone hasever stirred me to such emotion as these rusticnames of men who fell “In the Sacred Causeof God and their Country.”
Gentlemen, the Spirit of Liberty, theLove of Justice, were early fanned into a flamein my boyish heart. That monument coversthe bones of my own kinsfolk; it was their blood whichreddened the long, green grass at Lexington.It was my own name which stands chiseled on thatstone; the tall captain who marshalled his fellowfarmers and mechanics into stern array, and spokesuch brave and dangerous words as opened the war ofAmerican Independence,—­the last to leavethe field,—­was my father’s father.I learned to read out of his Bible, and with a muskethe that day captured from the foe, I learned anotherreligious lesson, that “Rebellion to Tyrantsis Obedience to God.” I keep them both“Sacred to Liberty and the Rights of Mankind,”to use them both “In the Sacred Cause of Godand my Country.”


Narration of Events in General

In this wider, emancipated narration we find muchmingling of other forms of discourse, greatly to theadvantage of the speech, for this truth cannot betoo strongly emphasized: The efficient speakercuts loose from form for the sake of a big, free effect.The present analyses are for no other purpose thanto acquaint you with form—­do notallow any such models to hang as a weight about yourneck.

The following pure narration of events, from GeorgeWilliam Curtis’s “Paul Revere’sRide,” varies the biographical recital in otherparts of his famous oration:

That evening, at ten o’clock,eight hundred British troops, under Lieutenant-ColonelSmith, took boat at the foot of the Common andcrossed to the Cambridge shore. Gage thought hissecret had been kept, but Lord Percy, who had heardthe people say on the Common that the troops wouldmiss their aim, undeceived him. Gage instantlyordered that no one should leave the town.But as the troops crossed the river, Ebenezer Dorr,with a message to Hanco*ck and Adams, was ridingover the Neck to Roxbury, and Paul Revere wasrowing over the river to Charlestown, having agreedwith his friend, Robert Newman, to show lanternsfrom the belfry of the Old North Church—­“Oneif by land, and two if by sea”—­asa signal of the march of the British.

The following, from the same oration, beautifullymingles description with narration:

It was a brilliant night. The winterhad been unusually mild, and the spring very forward.The hills were already green. The early grainwaved in the fields, and the air was sweet with theblossoming orchards. Already the robins whistled,the bluebirds sang, and the benediction of peacerested upon the landscape. Under the cloudlessmoon the soldiers silently marched, and Paul Revereswiftly rode, galloping through Medford and West Cambridge,rousing every house as he went spurring for Lexingtonand Hanco*ck and Adams, and evading the Britishpatrols who had been sent out to stop the news.

In the succeeding extract from another of Mr. Curtis’saddresses, we have a free use of allegory as illustration:


There is a modern English picture whichthe genius of Hawthorne might have inspired.The painter calls it, “How they met themselves.”A man and a woman, haggard and weary, wandering lostin a somber wood, suddenly meet the shadowy figuresof a youth and a maid. Some mysterious fascinationfixes the gaze and stills the hearts of the wanderers,and their amazement deepens into awe as they graduallyrecognize themselves as once they were; the softbloom of youth upon their rounded cheeks, the dewylight of hope in their trusting eyes, exulting confidencein their springing step, themselves blithe andradiant with the glory of the dawn. Today,and here, we meet ourselves. Not to thesefamiliar scenes alone—­yonder college-greenwith its reverend traditions; the halcyon coveof the Seekonk, upon which the memory of RogerWilliams broods like a bird of calm; the historicbay, beating forever with the muffled oars of Bartonand of Abraham Whipple; here, the humming cityof the living; there, the peaceful city of thedead;—­not to these only or chieflydo we return, but to ourselves as we once were.It is not the smiling freshmen of the year, itis your own beardless and unwrinkled faces, thatare looking from the windows of University Halland of Hope College. Under the trees upon thehill it is yourselves whom you see walking, fullof hopes and dreams, glowing with conscious power,and “nourishing a youth sublime;”and in this familiar temple, which surely has neverechoed with eloquence so fervid and inspiring asthat of your commencement orations, it is notyonder youths in the galleries who, as they fondlybelieve, are whispering to yonder maids; it isyour younger selves who, in the days that are no more,are murmuring to the fairest mothers and grandmothersof those maids.
Happy the worn and weary man and womanin the picture could they have felt their oldereyes still glistening with that earlier light,and their hearts yet beating with undiminished sympathyand aspiration. Happy we, brethren, whatevermay have been achieved, whatever left undone,if, returning to the home of our earlier years,we bring with us the illimitable hope, the unchilledresolution, the inextinguishable faith of youth.



1. Clip from any source ten anecdotes and statewhat truths they may be used to illustrate.

2. Deliver five of these in your own language,without making any application.

3. From the ten, deliver one so as to make theapplication before telling the anecdote.

4. Deliver another so as to split the application.

5. Deliver another so as to make the applicationafter the narration.

6. Deliver another in such a way as to make aspecific application needless.

7. Give three ways of introducing an anecdote,by saying where you heard it, etc.

8. Deliver an illustration that is not strictlyan anecdote, in the style of Curtis’s speechon page 259.

9. Deliver an address on any public character,using the forms illustrated in this chapter.

10. Deliver an address on some historical eventin the same manner.

11. Explain how the sympathies and viewpointof the speaker will color an anecdote, a biography,or a historical account.

12. Illustrate how the same anecdote, or a sectionof a historical address, may be given two differenteffects by personal prejudice.

13. What would be the effect of shifting theviewpoint in the midst of a narration?

14. What is the danger of using too much humorin an address? Too much pathos?


[Footnote 24: How to Attract and Hold an Audience,J. Berg Esenwein.]



Sometimes the feeling that a given wayof looking at things is undoubtedly correct preventsthe mind from thinking at all.... In viewof the hindrances which certain kinds or degrees offeeling throw into the way of thinking, it mightbe inferred that the thinker must suppress theelement of feeling in the inner life. Nogreater mistake could be made. If the Creatorendowed man with the power to think, to feel, andto will, these several activities of the mindare not designed to be in conflict, and so longas any one of them is not perverted or allowedto run to excess, it necessarily aids and strengthensthe others in their normal functions.

—­NATHAN C. SCHAEFFER,Thinking and Learning to Think.

When we weigh, compare, and decide upon the valueof any given ideas, we reason; when an idea producesin us an opinion or an action, without first beingsubjected to deliberation, we are moved by suggestion.

Man was formerly thought to be a reasoning animal,basing his actions on the conclusions of natural logic.It was supposed that before forming an opinion ordeciding on a course of conduct he weighed at leastsome of the reasons for and against the matter, andperformed a more or less simple process of reasoning.But modern research has shown that quite the oppositeis true. Most of our opinions and actions arenot based upon conscious reasoning, but are the resultof suggestion. In fact, some authorities declarethat an act of pure reasoning is very rare in theaverage mind. Momentous decisions are made, far-reachingactions are determined upon, primarily by the forceof suggestion.

Notice that word “primarily,” for simplethought, and even mature reasoning, often followsa suggestion accepted in the mind, and the thinkerfondly supposes that his conclusion is from first tolast based on cold logic.

The Basis of Suggestion

We must think of suggestion both as an effect andas a cause. Considered as an effect, or objectively,there must be something in the hearer that predisposeshim to receive suggestion; considered as a cause, orsubjectively, there must be some methods by which thespeaker can move upon that particularly susceptibleattitude of the hearer. How to do this honestlyand fairly is our problem—­to do it dishonestlyand trickily, to use suggestion to bring about convictionand action without a basis of right and truth andin a bad cause, is to assume the terrible responsibilitythat must fall on the champion of error. Jesusscorned not to use suggestion so that he might movemen to their benefit, but every vicious tricksterhas adopted the same means to reach base ends.Therefore honest men will examine well into their motivesand into the truth of their cause, before seekingto influence men by suggestion.

Three fundamental conditions make us all susceptiveto suggestion:

We naturally respect authority. In every mindthis is only a question of degree, ranging from thesubject who is easily hypnotized to the stubborn mindthat fortifies itself the more strongly with everyassault upon its opinion. The latter type is almostimmune to suggestion.

One of the singular things about suggestion is thatit is rarely a fixed quantity. The mind thatis receptive to the authority of a certain personmay prove inflexible to another; moods and environmentsthat produce hypnosis readily in one instance maybe entirely inoperative in another; and some mindscan scarcely ever be thus moved. We do know,however, that the feeling of the subject that authority—­influence,power, domination, control, whatever you wish to callit—­lies in the person of the suggester,is the basis of all suggestion.

The extreme force of this influence is demonstratedin hypnotism. The hypnotic subject is told thathe is in the water; he accepts the statement as trueand makes swimming motions. He is told that aband is marching down the street, playing “TheStar Spangled Banner;” he declares he hearsthe music, arises and stands with head bared.

In the same way some speakers are able to achievea modified hypnotic effect upon their audiences.The hearers will applaud measures and ideas which,after individual reflection, they will repudiate unlesssuch reflection brings the conviction that the firstimpression is correct.

A second important principle is that our feelings,thoughts and wills tend to follow the line of leastresistance. Once open the mind to the swayof one feeling and it requires a greater power of feeling,thought, or will—­or even all three—­tounseat it. Our feelings influence our judgmentsand volitions much more than we care to admit.So true is this that it is a superhuman task to getan audience to reason fairly on a subject on whichit feels deeply, and when this result is accomplishedthe success becomes noteworthy, as in the case of HenryWard Beecher’s Liverpool speech. Emotionalideas once accepted are soon cherished, and finallybecome our very inmost selves. Attitudes basedon feelings alone are prejudices.

What is true of our feelings, in this respect, appliesto our ideas: All thoughts that enter the mindtend to be accepted as truth unless a stronger andcontradictory thought arises.

The speaker skilled in moving men to action managesto dominate the minds of his audience with his thoughtsby subtly prohibiting the entertaining of ideas hostileto his own. Most of us are captured by the lateststrong attack, and if we can be induced to act whileunder the stress of that last insistent thought, welose sight of counter influences. The fact isthat almost all our decisions—­if they involvethought at all—­are of this sort: Atthe moment of decision the course of action then undercontemplation usurps the attention, and conflictingideas are dropped out of consideration.

The head of a large publishing house remarked onlyrecently that ninety per cent of the people who boughtbooks by subscription never read them. They buybecause the salesman presents his wares so skillfullythat every consideration but the attractiveness ofthe book drops out of the mind, and that thought promptsaction. Every idea that enters the mind willresult in action unless a contradictory thought arisesto prohibit it. Think of singing the musicalscale and it will result in your singing it unlessthe counter-thought of its futility or absurdity inhibitsyour action. If you bandage and “doctor”a horse’s foot, he will go lame. You cannotthink of swallowing, without the muscles used in thatprocess being affected. You cannot think of saying“hello,” without a slight movement ofthe muscles of speech. To warn children thatthey should not put beans up their noses is the surestmethod of getting them to do it. Every thoughtcalled up in the mind of your audience will work eitherfor or against you. Thoughts are not dead matter;they radiate dynamic energy—­the thoughtsall tend to pass into action. “Thoughtis another name for fate.” Dominate yourhearers’ thoughts, allay all contradictory ideas,and you will sway them as you wish.

Volitions as well as feelings and thoughts tend tofollow the line of least resistance. That iswhat makes habit. Suggest to a man that it isimpossible to change his mind and in most cases itbecomes more difficult to do so—­the exceptionis the man who naturally jumps to the contrary.Counter suggestion is the only way to reach him.Suggest subtly and persistently that the opinionsof those in the audience who are opposed to your viewsare changing, and it requires an effort of the will—­infact, a summoning of the forces of feeling, thoughtand will—­to stem the tide of change thathas subconsciously set in.

But, not only are we moved by authority, and tendtoward channels of least resistance: We areall influenced by our environments. It isdifficult to rise above the sway of a crowd—­itsenthusiasms and its fears are contagious because theyare suggestive. What so many feel, we say toourselves, must have some basis in truth. Tentimes ten makes more than one hundred. Set tenmen to speaking to ten audiences of ten men each,and compare the aggregate power of those ten speakerswith that of one man addressing one hundred men.The ten speakers may be more logically convincingthan the single orator, but the chances are stronglyin favor of the one man’s reaching a greatertotal effect, for the hundred men will radiate convictionand resolution as ten small groups could not.We all know the truism about the enthusiasm of numbers.(See the chapter on “Influencing the Crowd.”)

Environment controls us unless the contrary is stronglysuggested. A gloomy day, in a drab room, sparselytenanted by listeners, invites platform disaster.Everyone feels it in the air. But let the speakerwalk squarely up to the issue and suggest by all hisfeeling, manner and words that this is going to bea great gathering in every vital sense, and see howthe suggestive power of environment recedes beforethe advance of a more potent suggestion—­ifsuch the speaker is able to make it.

Now these three factors—­respect for authority,tendency to follow lines of least resistance, andsusceptibility to environment—­all help tobring the auditor into a state of mind favorable tosuggestive influences, but they also react on thespeaker, and now we must consider those personallycausative, or subjective, forces which enable him touse suggestion effectively.

How the Speaker Can Make Suggestion Effective

We have seen that under the influence of authoritativesuggestion the audience is inclined to accept thespeaker’s assertion without argument and criticism.But the audience is not in this state of mind unlessit has implicit confidence in the speaker. Ifthey lack faith in him, question his motives or knowledge,or even object to his manner they will not be movedby his most logical conclusion and will fail to givehim a just hearing. It is all a matter of theirconfidence in him. Whether the speaker finds italready in the warm, expectant look of his hearers,or must win to it against opposition or coldness, hemust gain that one great vantage point before hissuggestions take on power in the hearts of his listeners.Confidence is the mother of Conviction.

Note in the opening of Henry W. Grady’s after-dinnerspeech how he attempted to secure the confidence ofhis audience. He created a receptive atmosphereby a humorous story; expressed his desire to speakwith earnestness and sincerity; acknowledged “thevast interests involved;” deprecated his “untriedarm,” and professed his humility. Wouldnot such an introduction give you confidence in thespeaker, unless you were strongly opposed to him?And even then, would it not partly disarm your antagonism?

Mr. President:—­Bidden byyour invitation to a discussion of the race problem—­forbiddenby occasion to make a political speech—­Iappreciate, in trying to reconcile orders with propriety,the perplexity of the little maid, who, bidden tolearn to swim, was yet adjured, “Now, go,my darling; hang your clothes on a hickory limb,and don’t go near the water.”
The stoutest apostle of the Church,they say, is the missionary, and the missionary,wherever he unfurls his flag, will never findhimself in deeper need of unction and address thanI, bidden tonight to plant the standard of a SouthernDemocrat in Boston’s banquet hall, and todiscuss the problem of the races in the home ofPhillips and of Sumner. But, Mr. President, ifa purpose to speak in perfect frankness and sincerity;if earnest understanding of the vast interestsinvolved; if a consecrating sense of what disastermay follow further misunderstanding and estrangement;if these may be counted to steady undisciplined speechand to strengthen an untried arm—­then, sir,I shall find the courage to proceed.

Note also Mr. Bryan’s attempt to secure theconfidence of his audience in the following introductionto his “Cross of Gold” speech deliveredbefore the National Democratic Convention in Chicago,1896. He asserts his own inability to opposethe “distinguished gentleman;” he maintainsthe holiness of his cause; and he declares that hewill speak in the interest of humanity—­wellknowing that humanity is likely to have confidencein the champion of their rights. This introductioncompletely dominated the audience, and the speechmade Mr. Bryan famous.

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention:I would be presumptuous indeed to present myselfa*gainst the distinguished gentlemen to whom youhave listened if this were a mere measuring ofabilities; but this is not a contest between persons.The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad inthe armor of a righteous cause, is stronger thanall the hosts of error. I come to speak toyou in defense of a cause as holy as the causeof liberty—­the cause of humanity.

Some speakers are able to beget confidence by theirvery manner, while others can not.

To secure confidence, be confident. How canyou expect others to accept a message in which youlack, or seem to lack, faith yourself? Confidenceis as contagious as disease. Napoleon rebukedan officer for using the word “impossible”in his presence. The speaker who will entertainno idea of defeat begets in his hearers the idea ofhis victory. Lady Macbeth was so confident ofsuccess that Macbeth changed his mind about undertakingthe assassination. Columbus was so certain inhis mission that Queen Isabella pawned her jewels tofinance his expedition. Assert your message withimplicit assurance, and your own belief will act asso much gunpowder to drive it home.

Advertisers have long utilized this principle.“The machine you will eventually buy,”“Ask the man who owns one,” “Hasthe strength of Gibraltar,” are publicity slogansso full of confidence that they give birth to confidencein the mind of the reader.

It should—­but may not!—­go withoutsaying that confidence must have a solid ground ofmerit or there will be a ridiculous crash. Itis all very well for the “spellbinder”to claim all the precincts—­the officialcount is just ahead. The reaction against over-confidenceand over-suggestion ought to warn those whose chiefasset is mere bluff.

A short time ago a speaker arose in a public-speakingclub and asserted that grass would spring from wood-ashessprinkled over the soil, without the aid of seed.This idea was greeted with a laugh, but the speakerwas so sure of his position that he reiterated thestatement forcefully several times and cited his ownpersonal experience as proof. One of the mostintelligent men in the audience, who at first had deridedthe idea, at length came to believe in it. Whenasked the reason for his sudden change of attitude,he replied: “Because the speaker is soconfident.” In fact, he was so confidentthat it took a letter from the U.S. Departmentof Agriculture to dislodge his error.

If by a speaker’s confidence, intelligent mencan be made to believe such preposterous theoriesas this where will the power of self-reliance ceasewhen plausible propositions are under consideration,advanced with all the power of convincing speech?

Note the utter assurance in these selections:

I know not what course othersmay take, but as for me give me
liberty or give me death.


I ne’er will ask yequarter, and I ne’er will be your slave;
But I’ll swim the seaof slaughter, till I sink beneath its wave.


Come one, come all. Thisrock shall fly
From its firm base as soonas I.



Out of the night that coversme,
Black as the pit from poleto pole,
I thank whatever Gods maybe
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circ*mstance
I have not winced nor criedaloud;
Under the bludgeonings ofchance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrathand tears
Looms but the Horror of theshade,
And yet the menace of theyears
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straitthe gate,
How charged with punishmentsthe scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.


Authority is a factor in suggestion. We generallyaccept as truth, and without criticism, the wordsof an authority. When he speaks, contradictoryideas rarely arise in the mind to inhibit the actionhe suggests. A judge of the Supreme Court hasthe power of his words multiplied by the virtue ofhis position. The ideas of the U.S. Commissionerof Immigration on his subject are much more effectiveand powerful than those of a soap manufacturer, thoughthe latter may be an able economist.

This principle also has been used in advertising.We are told that the physicians to two Kings haverecommended Sanatogen. We are informed that thelargest bank in America, Tiffany and Co., and The State,War, and Navy Departments, all use the EncyclopediaBritannica. The shrewd promoter gives stock inhis company to influential bankers or business menin the community in order that he may use their examplesas a selling argument.

If you wish to influence your audience through suggestion,if you would have your statements accepted withoutcriticism or argument, you should appear in the lightof an authority—­and be one.Ignorance and credulity will remain unchanged unlessthe suggestion of authority be followed promptly byfacts. Don’t claim authority unless youcarry your license in your pocket. Let reasonsupport the position that suggestion has assumed.

Advertising will help to establish your reputation—­itis “up to you” to maintain it. Onespeaker found that his reputation as a magazine writerwas a splendid asset as a speaker. Mr. Bryan’spublicity, gained by three nominations for the presidencyand his position as Secretary of State, helps himto command large sums as a speaker. But—­backof it all, he is a great speaker. Newspaperannouncements, all kinds of advertising, formality,impressive introductions, all have a capital effecton the attitude of the audience. But how ridiculousare all these if a toy pistol is advertised as a sixteen-inchgun!

Note how authority is used in the following to supportthe strength of the speaker’s appeal:

Professor Alfred Russell Wallace hasjust celebrated his 90th birthday. Sharingwith Charles Darwin the honor of discovering evolution,Professor Wallace has lately received many and signalhonors from scientific societies. At the dinnergiven him in London his address was largely madeup of reminiscences. He reviewed the progressof civilization during the last century and madea series of brilliant and startling contrasts betweenthe England of 1813 and the world of 1913.He affirmed that our progress is only seemingand not real. Professor Wallace insists thatthe painters, the sculptors, the architects of Athensand Rome were so superior to the modern men thatthe very fragments of their marbles and templesare the despair of the present day artists.He tells us that man has improved his telescope andspectacles, but that he is losing his eyesight;that man is improving his looms, but stiffeninghis fingers; improving his automobile and hislocomotive, but losing his legs; improving hisfoods, but losing his digestion. He adds thatthe modern white slave traffic, orphan asylums,and tenement house life in factory towns, makea black page in the history of the twentieth century.
Professor Wallace’s views arereinforced by the report of the commission ofParliament on the causes of the deterioration of thefactory-class people. In our own country ProfessorJordan warns us against war, intemperance, overworking,underfeeding of poor children, and disturbs ourcontentment with his “Harvest of Blood.”Professor Jenks is more pessimistic. He thinksthat the pace, the climate, and the stress ofcity life, have broken down the Puritan stock,that in another century our old families will beextinct, and that the flood of immigration means aNiagara of muddy waters fouling the pure springsof American life. In his address in New HavenProfessor Kellogg calls the roll of the signsof race degeneracy and tells us that this deteriorationeven indicates a trend toward race extinction.


From every side come warnings to theAmerican people. Our medical journals arefilled with danger signals; new books and magazines,fresh from the press, tell us plainly that our peopleare fronting a social crisis. Mr. Jefferson,who was once regarded as good Democratic authority,seems to have differed in opinion from the gentlemanwho has addressed us on the part of the minority.Those who are opposed to this proposition tell usthat the issue of paper money is a function ofthe bank, and that the government ought to goout of the banking business. I stand withJefferson rather than with them, and tell them, ashe did, that the issue of money is a functionof government, and that the banks ought to goout of the governing business.


Authority is the great weapon against doubt, but evenits force can rarely prevail against prejudice andpersistent wrong-headedness. If any speaker hasbeen able to forge a sword that is warranted to piecesuch armor, let him bless humanity by sharing hissecret with his platform brethren everywhere, forthus far he is alone in his glory.

There is a middle-ground between the suggestion ofauthority and the confession of weakness that offersa wide range for tact in the speaker. No onecan advise you when to throw your “hat in thering” and say defiantly at the outstart, “Gentlemen,I am here to fight!” Theodore Roosevelt cando that—­Beecher would have been mobbed ifhe had begun in that style at Liverpool. It isfor your own tact to decide whether you will use thedisarming grace of Henry W. Grady’s introductionjust quoted (even the time-worn joke was ingenuousand seemed to say, “Gentlemen, I come to youwith no carefully-palmed coins"), or whether the solemngravity of Mr. Bryan before the Convention will proveto be more effective. Only be sure that youropening attitude is well thought out, and if it changeas you warm up to your subject, let not the changelay you open to a revulsion of feeling in your audience.

Example is a powerful means of suggestion.As we saw while thinking of environment in its effectson an audience, we do, without the usual amount ofhesitation and criticism, what others are doing.Paris wears certain hats and gowns; the rest of theworld imitates. The child mimics the actions,accents and intonations of the parent. Were achild never to hear anyone speak, he would never acquirethe power of speech, unless under most arduous training,and even then only imperfectly. One of the biggestdepartment stores in the United States spends fortuneson one advertising slogan: “Everybody isgoing to the big store.” That makes everybodywant to go.

You can reinforce the power of your message by showingthat it has been widely accepted. Political organizationssubsidize applause to create the impression that theirspeakers’ ideas are warmly received and approvedby the audience. The advocates of the commission-formof government of cities, the champions of votes forwomen, reserve as their strongest arguments the factthat a number of cities and states have already successfullyaccepted their plans. Advertisem*nts use thetestimonial for its power of suggestion.

Observe how this principle has been applied in thefollowing selections, and utilize it on every occasionpossible in your attempts to influence through suggestion:

The war is actually begun.The next gale that sweeps from the
North will bring to our earsthe clash of resounding arms. Our
brethren are already in thefield. Why stand ye here idle?


With a zeal approaching the zeal whichinspired the Crusaders who followed Peter theHermit, our silver Democrats went forth from victoryunto victory until they are now assembled, not todiscuss, not to debate, but to enter up the judgmentalready rendered by the plain people of this country.In this contest brother has been arrayed againstbrother, father against son. The warmestties of love, acquaintance, and association have beendisregarded; old leaders have been cast aside whenthey refused to give expression to the sentimentsof those whom they would lead, and new leadershave sprung up to give direction to this causeof truth. Thus has the contest been waged, andwe have assembled here under as binding and solemninstructions as were ever imposed upon representativesof the people.


Figurative and indirect language has suggestiveforce, because it does not make statements thatcan be directly disputed. It arouses no contradictoryideas in the minds of the audience, thereby fulfillingone of the basic requisites of suggestion. Byimplying a conclusion in indirect or figurativelanguage it is often asserted most forcefully.

Note that in the following Mr. Bryan did not say thatMr. McKinley would be defeated. He implied itin a much more effective manner:

Mr. McKinley was nominated at St. Louisupon a platform which declared for the maintenanceof the gold standard until it can be changed intobimetallism by international agreement. Mr. McKinleywas the most popular man among the Republicans, andthree months ago everybody in the Republican partyprophesied his election. How is it today?Why, the man who was once pleased to think thathe looked like Napoleon—­that man shudderstoday when he remembers that he was nominatedon the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo.Not only that, but as he listens he can hear withever-increasing distinctness the sound of the wavesas they beat upon the lonely shores of St. Helena.

Had Thomas Carlyle said: “A false man cannotfound a religion,” his words would have beenneither so suggestive nor so powerful, nor so longremembered as his implication in these striking words:

A false man found a religion? Why,a false man cannot build a brick house! Ifhe does not know and follow truly the properties ofmortar, burnt clay, and what else he works in, it isno house that he makes, but a rubbish heap.It will not stand for twelve centuries, to lodgea hundred and eighty millions; it will fall straightway.A man must conform himself to Nature’s laws,be verily in communion with Nature and the truthof things, or Nature will answer him, No, notat all!

Observe how the picture that Webster draws here ismuch more emphatic and forceful than any mere assertioncould be:

Sir, I know not how others may feel,but as for myself when I see my alma matersurrounded, like Caesar in the senate house, bythose who are reiterating stab after stab, I wouldnot for this right hand have her turn to me andsay, “And thou, too, my son!”


A speech should be built on sound logical foundations,and no man should dare to speak in behalf of a fallacy.Arguing a subject, however, will necessarily arousecontradictory ideas in the mind of your audience.When immediate action or persuasion is desired, suggestionis more efficacious than argument—­whenboth are judiciously mixed, the effect is irresistible.


1. Make an outline, or brief, of the contentsof this chapter.

2. Revise the introduction to any of your writtenaddresses, with the teachings of this chapter in mind.

3. Give two original examples of the power ofsuggestion as you have observed it in each of thesefields: (a) advertising; (=b=) politics;(c) public sentiment.

4. Give original examples of suggestive speech,illustrating two of the principles set forth in thischapter.

5. What reasons can you give that disprove thegeneral contention of this chapter?

6. What reasons not already given seem to youto support it?

7. What effect do his own suggestions have onthe speaker himself?

8. Can suggestion arise from the audience?If so, show how.

9. Select two instances of suggestion in thespeeches found in the Appendix.

10. Change any two passages in the same, or other,speeches so as to use suggestion more effectively.

11. Deliver those passages in the revised form.

12. Choosing your own subject, prepare and delivera short speech largely in the suggestive style.



Common sense is the common sense ofmankind. It is the product of common observationand experience. It is modest, plain, and unsophisticated.It sees with everybody’s eyes, and hears witheverybody’s ears. It has no capriciousdistinctions, no perplexities, and no mysteries.It never equivocates, and never trifles.Its language is always intelligible. It is knownby clearness of speech and singleness of purpose.

—­GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE,Public Speaking and Debate.

The very name of logic is awesome to most young speakers,but so soon as they come to realize that its processes,even when most intricate, are merely technical statementsof the truths enforced by common sense, it will loseits terrors. In fact, logic[25] is a fascinatingsubject, well worth the public speaker’s study,for it explains the principles that govern the useof argument and proof.

Argumentation is the process of producing convictionby means of reasoning. Other ways of producingconviction there are, notably suggestion, as we havejust shown, but no means is so high, so worthy ofrespect, as the adducing of sound reasons in supportof a contention.

Since more than one side of a subject must be consideredbefore we can claim to have deliberated upon it fairly,we ought to think of argumentation under two aspects:building up an argument, and tearing down an argument;that is, you must not only examine into the stabilityof your structure of argument so that it may both supportthe proposition you intend to probe and yet be sosound that it cannot be overthrown by opponents, butyou must also be so keen to detect defects in argumentthat you will be able to demolish the weaker argumentsof those who argue against you.

We can consider argumentation only generally, leavingminute and technical discussions to such excellentworks as George P. Baker’s “The Principlesof Argumentation,” and George Jacob Holyoake’s“Public Speaking and Debate.” Anygood college rhetoric also will give help on the subject,especially the works of John Franklin Genung and AdamsSherman Hill. The student is urged to familiarizehimself with at least one of these texts.

The following series of questions will, it is hoped,serve a triple purpose: that of suggesting theforms of proof together with the ways in which theymay be used; that of helping the speaker to test thestrength of his arguments; and that of enabling thespeaker to attack his opponent’s arguments withboth keenness and justice.



1. Is it clearly stated?

(a) Do the terms of statement mean thesame to each disputant? (For example, the meaningof the term “gentleman” may not be mutuallyagreed upon.)

(b) Is confusion likelyto arise as to its purpose?

2. Is it fairly stated?

(a) Does it includeenough?

(b) Does it includetoo much?

(c) Is it stated soas to contain a trap?

3. Is it a debatable question?

4. What is the pivotal point in thewhole question?

5. What are the subordinate points?


1. The witnesses as to facts

(a) Is each witness impartial? Whatis his relation to the subject at issue?

(b) Is he mentallycompetent?

(c) Is he morally credible?

(d) Is he in a position to know the facts?Is he an eye-witness?

(e) Is he a willingwitness?

(f) Is his testimonycontradicted?

(g) Is his testimonycorroborated?

(h) Is his testimony contrary to well-knownfacts or general principles?

(i) Is it probable?

2. The authorities cited as evidence

(a) Is the authoritywell-recognized as such?

(b) What constituteshim an authority?

(c) Is his interestin the case an impartial one?

(d) Does he state hisopinion positively and clearly?

(e) Are the non-personal authorities cited(books, etc.) reliable and unprejudiced?

3. The facts adduced as evidence

(a) Are they sufficientin number to constitute proof?

(b) Are they weightyenough in character?

(c) Are they in harmonywith reason?

(d) Are they mutuallyharmonious or contradictory?

(e) Are they admitted,doubted, or disputed?

4. The principles adduced as evidence

(a) Are they axiomatic?

(b) Are they truthsof general experience?

(c) Are they truthsof special experience?

(d) Are they truthsarrived at by experiment?
Were such experimentsspecial or general?
Were the experimentsauthoritative and conclusive?


1. Inductions

(a) Are the facts numerous enough to warrantaccepting the generalization as being conclusive?

(b) Do the facts agree only whenconsidered in the light of this explanation as a conclusion?

(c) Have you overlookedany contradictory facts?

(d) Are the contradictory facts sufficientlyexplained when this inference is accepted as true?

(e) Are all contrary positions shown tobe relatively untenable?

(f) Have you acceptedmere opinions as facts?

2. Deductions

(a) Is the law or generalprinciple a well-established one?

(b) Does the law or principle clearly includethe fact you wish to deduce from it, or have you strainedthe inference?

(c) Does the importance of the law or principlewarrant so important an inference?

(d) Can the deductionbe shown to prove too much?

3. Parallel cases

(a) Are the cases parallel at enough pointsto warrant an inference of similar cause or effect?

(b) Are the cases parallelat the vital point at issue?

(c) Has the parallelismbeen strained?

(d) Are there no other parallels that wouldpoint to a stronger contrary conclusion?

4. Inferences

(a) Are the antecedent conditions suchas would make the allegation probable? (Characterand opportunities of the accused, for example.)

(b) Are the signs that point to the inferenceeither clear or numerous enough to warrant its acceptanceas fact?

(c) Are the signs cumulative,and agreeable one with the other?

(d) Could the signsbe made to point to a contrary conclusion?

5. Syllogisms

(a) Have any steps been omitted in thesyllogisms? (Such as in a syllogism in enthymeme.)If so, test any such by filling out the syllogisms.

(b) Have you been guilty of stating a conclusionthat really does not follow? (A non sequitur.)

(c) Can your syllogism be reduced to anabsurdity? (Reductio ad absurdum.)


1. Show why an unsupported assertion is not anargument.

2. Illustrate how an irrelevant fact may be madeto seem to support an argument.

3. What inferences may justly be made from thefollowing?

During the Boer War it was found thatthe average Englishman did not measure up to thestandards of recruiting and the average soldierin the field manifested a low plane of vitality andendurance. Parliament, alarmed by the disastrousconsequences, instituted an investigation.The commission appointed brought in a findingthat alcoholic poisoning was the great cause of thenational degeneracy. The investigations ofthe commission have been supplemented by investigationsof scientific bodies and individual scientists,all arriving at the same conclusion. As a consequence,the British Government has placarded the streets ofa hundred cities with billboards setting forth thedestructive and degenerating nature of alcoholand appealing to the people in the name of thenation to desist from drinking alcoholic beverages.Under efforts directed by the Government the BritishArmy is fast becoming an army of total abstainers.
The Governments of continental Europefollowed the lead of the British Government.The French Government has placarded France withappeals to the people, attributing the decline of thebirth rate and increase in the death rate to thewidespread use of alcoholic beverages. Theexperience of the German Government has been thesame. The German Emperor has clearly stated thatleadership in war and in peace will be held bythe nation that roots out alcohol. He hasundertaken to eliminate even the drinking of beer,so far as possible, from the German Army and Navy.

—­RICHMOND PEARSONHOBSON, Before the U.S. Congress.

4. Since the burden of proof lies on him whoattacks a position, or argues for a change in affairs,how would his opponent be likely to conduct his ownpart of a debate?

5. Define (a) syllogism; (b) rebuttal;(c) “begging the question;” (d)premise; (e) rejoinder; (f) sur-rejoinder;(g) dilemma; (h) induction; (i)deduction; (j) a priori; (k) aposteriori; (l) inference.

6. Criticise this reasoning:

Men ought not to smoke tobacco,because to do so is contrary to
best medical opinion.My physician has expressly condemned the
practise, and is a medicalauthority in this country.

7. Criticise this reasoning:

Men ought not to swear profanely, becauseit is wrong. It is wrong for the reason thatit is contrary to the Moral Law, and it is contraryto the Moral Law because it is contrary to the Scriptures.It is contrary to the Scriptures because it is contraryto the will of God, and we know it is contrary toGod’s will because it is wrong.

8. Criticise this syllogism:

MAJOR PREMISE: All men who have nocares are happy.
MINOR PREMISE: Slovenly men are careless.
CONCLUSION: Therefore, slovenly menare happy.

9. Criticise the following major, or foundation,premises:

All is not gold that glitters.

All cold may be expelled byfire.

10. Criticise the following fallacy (non sequitur):

MAJOR PREMISE: All strong men admirestrength.
MINOR PREMISE: This man is not strong.
CONCLUSION: Therefore this man doesnot admire strength.

11. Criticise these statements:

Sleep is beneficial on accountof its soporific qualities.

Fiske’s histories are authenticbecause they contain accurate accounts of Americanhistory, and we know that they are true accountsfor otherwise they would not be contained in theseauthentic works.

12. What do you understand from the terms “reasoningfrom effect to cause” and “from causeto effect?” Give examples.

13. What principle did Richmond Pearson Hobsonemploy in the following?

What is the police power ofthe States? The police power of the
Federal Government or theState—­any sovereign State—­hasbeen
defined. Take the definitiongiven by Blackstone, which is:

The due regulation and domesticorder of the Kingdom, whereby the inhabitantsof a State, like members of a well-governedfamily, are bound to conform their generalbehavior to the rules of propriety, of neighborhoodand good manners, and to be decent, industrious,and inoffensive in their respective stations.

Would this amendment interferewith any State carrying on the
promotion of its domesticorder?

Or you can take the definitionin another form, in which it is
given by Mr. Tiedeman, whenhe says:

The object of government is to imposethat degree of restraint upon human actionswhich is necessary to a uniform, reasonableenjoyment of private rights. The powerof the government to impose this restraint is calledthe police power.

Judge Cooley says of the liquortraffic:

The business of manufacturing andselling liquor is one that affects the publicinterests in many ways and leads to many disorders.It has a tendency to increase pauperism andcrime. It renders a large force of peace officersessential, and it adds to the expense of the courtsand of nearly all branches of civil administration.

Justice Bradley, of the UnitedStates Supreme Court, says:

Licenses may be properly requiredin the pursuit of many professions and avocations,which require peculiar skill and trainingor supervision for the public welfare. Theprofession or avocation is open to all alike who willprepare themselves with the requisite qualificationsor give the requisite security for preservingpublic order. This is in harmony withthe general proposition that the ordinarypursuits of life, forming the greater per cent ofthe industrial pursuits, are and ought to befree and open to all, subject only to suchgeneral regulations, applying equally to all,as the general good may demand.
All such regulations are entirelycompetent for the legislature to make andare in no sense an abridgment of the equalrights of citizens. But a license to do thatwhich is odious and against common right isnecessarily an outrage upon the equal rightsof citizens.

14. What method did Jesus employ in the following:

Ye are the salt of the earth;but if the salt have lost his
savour, wherewith shall itbe salted? It is thenceforth good for
nothing but to be cast out,and to be trodden under foot of men.

Behold the fowls of the air;for they sow not, neither do they
reap nor gather into barns;yet your heavenly Father feedeth
them. Are ye not muchbetter than they?

And why take ye thought for raiment?Consider the lilies of the field; how they grow;they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet Isay unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory wasnot arrayed like one of these. Wherefore,if God so clothe the grass of the field, whichtoday is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Or what man is there of you, whom ifhis son ask bread, will he give him a stone?Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?If ye then, being evil, know how to give good giftsunto your children, how much more shall your Fatherwhich is in heaven give good things to them thatask him?

15. Make five original syllogisms[26] on thefollowing models:

MAJOR PREMISE: He whoadministers arsenic gives poison.
MINOR PREMISE: The prisoneradministered arsenic to the victim.
CONCLUSION: Thereforethe prisoner is a poisoner.

MAJOR PREMISE: All dogsare quadrupeds.
MINOR PREMISE: This animalis a biped.
CONCLUSION: Thereforethis animal is not a dog.

16. Prepare either the positive or the negativeside of the following question for debate: Therecall of judges should be adopted as a national principle.

17. Is this question debatable? Benedict Arnoldwas a gentleman. Give reasons for your answer.

18. Criticise any street or dinner-table argumentyou have heard recently.

19. Test the reasoning of any of the speechesgiven in this volume.

20. Make a short speech arguing in favor of instructionin public speaking in the public evening schools.

21. (a) Clip a newspaper editorial in whichthe reasoning is weak. (b) Criticise it. (c)Correct it.

22. Make a list of three subjects for debate,selected from the monthly magazines.

23. Do the same from the newspapers.

24. Choosing your own question and side, preparea brief suitable for a ten-minute debating argument.The following models of briefs may help you:


RESOLVED: That armed intervention is not justifiableon the part of any nation to collect, on behalf ofprivate individuals, financial claims against anyAmerican nation.[27]



Armed intervention for collection of private claimsfrom any American nation is not justifiable, for

1. It is wrong in principle, because

(a) It violates the fundamental principlesof international law for a very slight cause

(b) It is contraryto the proper function of the State, and

(c) It is contraryto justice, since claims are exaggerated.


2. It is disastrous in its results,because

(a) It incurs dangerof grave international complications

(b) It tends to increase the burden ofdebt in the South American republics

(c) It encourages awaste of the world’s capital, and

(d) It disturbs peaceand stability in South America.


3. It is unnecessary to collect inthis way, because

(a) Peaceful methodshave succeeded

(b) If these should fail, claims shouldbe settled by The Hague Tribunal

(c) The fault has always been with EuropeanStates when force has been used, and

(d) In any case, force should not be used,for it counteracts the movement towards peace.



Armed intervention for the collection of private financialclaims against some American States is justifiable,for

1. When other means of collection have failed,armed intervention against any nation is essentiallyproper, because

(a) Justice shouldalways be secured

(b) Non-enforcementof payment puts a premium on dishonesty

(c) Intervention for this purpose is sanctionedby the best international authority

(d) Danger of undue collection is slightand can be avoided entirely by submission of claimsto The Hague Tribunal before intervening.


2. Armed intervention is necessary to securejustice in tropical America, for

(a) The governmentsof this section constantly repudiate just debts

(b) They insist that the final decisionabout claims shall rest with their own corrupt courts

(c) They refuse toarbitrate sometimes.


3. Armed intervention is beneficial in its results,because

(a) It inspires responsibility

(b) In administering custom houses it removestemptation to revolutions

(c) It gives confidenceto desirable capital.

Among others, the following books were used in thepreparation of the arguments:

N. “The Monroe Doctrine,” by T.B.Edgington. Chapters 22-28.

“Digest of International Law,” by J.B.Moore. Report of Penfield of proceedings beforeHague Tribunal in 1903.

“Statesman’s Year Book”(for statistics).

A. Minister Drago’s appeal to the United States,in Foreign Relations of United States, 1903.

President Roosevelt’s Message, 1905,pp. 33-37.

And articles in the following magazines (among manyothers):

“Journal of Political Economy,”December, 1906.

“Atlantic Monthly,” October,1906.

“North American Review,” Vol.183, p. 602.

All of these contain material valuable for both sides,except those marked “N” and “A,”which are useful only for the negative and affirmative,respectively.

NOTE:—­Practise in debating is most helpfulto the public speaker, but if possible each debateshould be under the supervision of some person whoseword will be respected, so that the debaters mightshow regard for courtesy, accuracy, effective reasoning,and the necessity for careful preparation. TheAppendix contains a list of questions for debate.

25. Are the following points well considered?


A. Does not strike at the root of the evil

1. Fortunes not a menace in themselves Afortune of $500,000 may be a greater social evil thanone of $500,000,000

2. Danger of wealth depends on itswrong accumulation and use

3. Inheritance tax will not prevent rebates,monopoly, discrimination, bribery, etc.

4. Laws aimed at unjust accumulation and useof wealth furnish the true remedy.

B. It would be evaded

1. Low rates are evaded

2. Rate must be high to result in distributionof great fortunes.

26. Class exercises: Mock Trial for (a)some serious political offense; (b) a burlesqueoffense.


[Footnote 25: McCosh’s Logic isa helpful volume, and not too technical for the beginner.A brief digest of logical principles as applied topublic speaking is contained in How to Attract andHold an Audience, by J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 26: For those who would make a furtherstudy of the syllogism the following rules are given:1. In a syllogism there should be only threeterms. 2. Of these three only one can be the middleterm. 3. One premise must be affirmative. 4.The conclusion must be negative if either premiseis negative. 5. To prove a negative, one of thepremises must be negative.

Summary of Regulating Principles: 1.Terms which agree with the same thing agree with eachother; and when only one of two terms agrees witha third term, the two terms disagree with each other.2. “Whatever is affirmed of a class maybe affirmed of all the members of that class,”and “Whatever is denied of a class may be deniedof all the members of that class.”]

[Footnote 27: All the speakers were from BrownUniversity. The affirmative briefs were usedin debate with the Dartmouth College team, and thenegative briefs were used in debate with the WilliamsCollege team. From The Speaker, by permission.]



Shehath prosperous art
When she will play with reasonand discourse,
And well she can persuade.

—­SHAKESPEARE, Measurefor Measure.

Him we call an artist who shall playon an assembly of men as a master on the keysof a piano,—­who seeing the people furious,shall soften and compose them, shall draw them,when he will, to laughter and to tears. Bringhim to his audience, and, be they who they may,—­coarseor refined, pleased or displeased, sulky or savage,with their opinions in the keeping of a confessor orwith their opinions in their bank safes,—­hewill have them pleased and humored as he chooses;and they shall carry and execute what he bidsthem.

—­RALPH WALDO EMERSON,Essay on Eloquence.

More good and more ill have been effected by persuasionthan by any other form of speech. It is an attemptto influence by means of appeal to some particularinterest held important by the hearer. Its motivemay be high or low, fair or unfair, honest or dishonest,calm or passionate, and hence its scope is unparalleledin public speaking.

This “instilment of conviction,” to useMatthew Arnold’s expression, is naturally acomplex process in that it usually includes argumentationand often employs suggestion, as the next chapter willillustrate. In fact, there is little public speakingworthy of the name that is not in some part persuasive,for men rarely speak solely to alter men’s opinions—­theulterior purpose is almost always action.

The nature of persuasion is not solely intellectual,but is largely emotional. It uses every principleof public speaking, and every “form of discourse,”to use a rhetorician’s expression, but argumentsupplemented by special appeal is its peculiar quality.This we may best see by examining

The Methods of Persuasion

High-minded speakers often seek to move their hearersto action by an appeal to their highest motives, suchas love of liberty. Senator Hoar, in pleadingfor action on the Philippine question, used this method:

What has been the practical statesmanshipwhich comes from your ideals and your sentimentalities?You have wasted nearly six hundred millions oftreasure. You have sacrificed nearly ten thousandAmerican lives—­the flower of our youth.You have devastated provinces. You have slainuncounted thousands of the people you desire tobenefit. You have established reconcentrationcamps. Your generals are coming home from theirharvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shapeof other thousands of sick and wounded and insaneto drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body andmind. You make the American flag in the eyesof a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christianchurches, and of the burning of human dwellings, andof the horror of the water torture. Your practicalstatesmanship which disdains to take George Washingtonand Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolutionor of the Civil War as models, has looked in somecases to Spain for your example. I believe—­nay,I know—­that in general our officers andsoldiers are humane. But in some cases theyhave carried on your warfare with a mixture ofAmerican ingenuity and Castilian cruelty.
Your practical statesmanship has succeededin converting a people who three years ago wereready to kiss the hem of the garment of the Americanand to welcome him as a liberator, who throngedafter your men, when they landed on those islands,with benediction and gratitude, into sullen andirreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatredwhich centuries cannot eradicate.
Mr. President, this is the eternal lawof human nature. You may struggle againstit, you may try to escape it, you may persuade yourselfthat your intentions are benevolent, that your yokewill be easy and your burden will be light, butit will assert itself again. Government withoutthe consent of the governed—­authoritywhich heaven never gave—­can only be supportedby means which heaven never can sanction.
The American people have got this onequestion to answer. They may answer it now;they can take ten years, or twenty years, or ageneration, or a century to think of it. But willnot down. They must answer it in the end:Can you lawfully buy with money, or get by bruteforce of arms, the right to hold in subjugation anunwilling people, and to impose on them such constitutionas you, and not they, think best for them?

Senator Hoar then went on to make another sort ofappeal—­the appeal to fact and experience:

We have answered this question a goodmany times in the past. The fathers answeredit in 1776, and founded the Republic upon theiranswer, which has been the corner-stone. JohnQuincy Adams and James Monroe answered it againin the Monroe Doctrine, which John Quincy Adamsdeclared was only the doctrine of the consent ofthe governed. The Republican party answered itwhen it took possession of the force of governmentat the beginning of the most brilliant periodin all legislative history. Abraham Lincolnanswered it when, on that fatal journey to Washingtonin 1861, he announced that as the doctrine ofhis political creed, and declared, with propheticvision, that he was ready to be assassinated forit if need be. You answered it again yourselveswhen you said that Cuba, who had no more titlethan the people of the Philippine Islands hadto their independence, of right ought to be freeand independent.


Appeal to the things that man holds dear is anotherpotent form of persuasion.

Joseph Story, in his great Salem speech (1828) usedthis method most dramatically:

I call upon you, fathers, by the shadesof your ancestors—­by the dear asheswhich repose in this precious soil—­by allyou are, and all you hope to be—­resistevery object of disunion, resist every encroachmentupon your liberties, resist every attempt to fetteryour consciences, or smother your public schools,or extinguish your system of public instruction.
I call upon you, mothers, by that whichnever fails in woman, the love of your offspring;teach them, as they climb your knees, or leanon your bosoms, the blessings of liberty. Swearthem at the altar, as with their baptismal vows,to be true to their country, and never to forgetor forsake her.
I call upon you, young men, to rememberwhose sons you are; whose inheritance you possess.Life can never be too short, which brings nothingbut disgrace and oppression. Death never comestoo soon, if necessary in defence of the libertiesof your country.
I call upon you, old men, for your counsels,and your prayers, and your benedictions.May not your gray hairs go down in sorrow to thegrave, with the recollection that you have lived invain. May not your last sun sink in the westupon a nation of slaves.
No; I read in the destiny of my countryfar better hopes, far brighter visions. We,who are now assembled here, must soon be gatheredto the congregation of other days. The time ofour departure is at hand, to make way for ourchildren upon the theatre of life. May Godspeed them and theirs. May he who, at thedistance of another century, shall stand here to celebratethis day, still look round upon a free, happy,and virtuous people. May he have reason toexult as we do. May he, with all the enthusiasmof truth as well as of poetry, exclaim, that hereis still his country.


The appeal to prejudice is effective—­thoughnot often, if ever, justifiable; yet so long as specialpleading endures this sort of persuasion will be resortedto. Rudyard Kipling uses this method—­ashave many others on both sides—­in discussingthe great European war. Mingled with the appealto prejudice, Mr. Kipling uses the appeal to self-interest;though not the highest, it is a powerful motive inall our lives. Notice how at the last the pleadersweeps on to the highest ground he can take.This is a notable example of progressive appeal, beginningwith a low motive and ending with a high one in sucha way as to carry all the force of prejudice yet gainall the value of patriotic fervor.

Through no fault nor wish of ours weare at war with Germany, the power which owesits existence to three well-thought-out wars;the power which, for the last twenty years, has devoteditself to organizing and preparing for this war;the power which is now fighting to conquer thecivilized world.
For the last two generations the Germansin their books, lectures, speeches and schoolshave been carefully taught that nothing less thanthis world-conquest was the object of their preparationsand their sacrifices. They have prepared carefullyand sacrificed greatly.

We must have men and men andmen, if we, with our allies, are to
check the onrush of organizedbarbarism.

Have no illusions. We are dealingwith a strong and magnificently equipped enemy,whose avowed aim is our complete destruction.The violation of Belgium, the attack on France andthe defense against Russia, are only steps by theway. The German’s real objective, asshe always has told us, is England, and England’swealth, trade and worldwide possessions.
If you assume, for an instant, thatthe attack will be successful, England will notbe reduced, as some people say, to the rank ofa second rate power, but we shall cease to exist asa nation. We shall become an outlying provinceof Germany, to be administered with that severityGerman safety and interest require.
We are against such a fate. Weenter into a new life in which all the facts ofwar that we had put behind or forgotten for the lasthundred years, have returned to the front and testus as they tested our fathers. It will bea long and a hard road, beset with difficultiesand discouragements, but we tread it togetherand we will tread it together to the end.
Our petty social divisions and barriershave been swept away at the outset of our mightystruggle. All the interests of our life ofsix weeks ago are dead. We have but one interestnow, and that touches the naked heart of everyman in this island and in the empire.

If we are to win the rightfor ourselves and for freedom to
exist on earth, every manmust offer himself for that service
and that sacrifice.

From these examples it will be seen that the particularway in which the speakers appealed to their hearerswas by coming close home to their interests, andby themselves showing emotion—­two veryimportant principles which you must keep constantlyin mind.

To accomplish the former requires a deep knowledgeof human motive in general and an understanding ofthe particular audience addressed. What are themotives that arouse men to action? Think of themearnestly, set them down on the tablets of your mind,study how to appeal to them worthily. Then, whatmotives would be likely to appeal to your hearers?What are their ideals and interests in life? Amistake in your estimate may cost you your case.To appeal to pride in appearance would make one setof men merely laugh—­to try to arouse sympathyfor the Jews in Palestine would be wasted effort amongothers. Study your audience, feel your way, andwhen you have once raised a spark, fan it into a flameby every honest resource you possess.

The larger your audience the more sure you are tofind a universal basis of appeal. A small audienceof bachelors will not grow excited over the importanceof furniture insurance; most men can be roused to thedefense of the freedom of the press.

Patent medicine advertisem*nt usually begins by talkingabout your pains—­they begin on your interests.If they first discussed the size and rating of theirestablishment, or the efficacy of their remedy, youwould never read the “ad.” If theycan make you think you have nervous troubles you willeven plead for a remedy—­they will not haveto try to sell it.

The patent medicine men are pleading—­askingyou to invest your money in their commodity—­yetthey do not appear to be doing so. They get overon your side of the fence, and arouse a desire fortheir nostrums by appealing to your own interests.

Recently a book-salesman entered an attorney’soffice in New York and inquired: “Do youwant to buy a book?” Had the lawyer wanted abook he would probably have bought one without waitingfor a book-salesman to call. The solicitor madethe same mistake as the representative who made hisapproach with: “I want to sell you a sewingmachine.” They both talked only in termsof their own interests.

The successful pleader must convert his argumentsinto terms of his hearers’ advantage. Mankindare still selfish, are interested in what will servethem. Expunge from your address your own personalconcern and present your appeal in terms of the generalgood, and to do this you need not be insincere, foryou had better not plead any cause that is notfor the hearers’ good. Notice how SenatorThurston in his plea for intervention in Cuba andMr. Bryan in his “Cross of Gold” speechconstituted themselves the apostles of humanity.

Exhortation is a highly impassioned form ofappeal frequently used by the pulpit in efforts toarouse men to a sense of duty and induce them to decidetheir personal courses, and by counsel in seeking toinfluence a jury. The great preachers, like thegreat jury-lawyers, have always been masters of persuasion.

Notice the difference among these four exhortations,and analyze the motives appealed to:

Revenge! About!Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!Let not a traitor

—­SHAKESPEARE, JuliusCaesar.

Strike—­tillthe last armed foe expires,
Strike—­for youraltars and your fires,
Strike—­for thegreen graves of your sires,
God—­andyour native land!


Believe, gentlemen, if it were not forthose children, he would not come here to-dayto seek such remuneration; if it were not that,by your verdict, you may prevent those little innocentdefrauded wretches from becoming wandering beggars,as well as orphans on the face of this earth.Oh, I know I need not ask this verdict from yourmercy; I need not extort it from your compassion;I will receive it from your justice. I do conjureyou, not as fathers, but as husbands:—­notas husbands, but as citizens:—­not ascitizens, but as men:—­not as men, but asChristians:—­by all your obligations,public, private, moral, and religious; by thehearth profaned; by the home desolated; by thecanons of the living God foully spurned;—­save,oh: save your firesides from the contagion,your country from the crime, and perhaps thousands,yet unborn, from the shame, and sin, and sorrowof this example!

—­CHARLES PHILLIPS,Appeal to the jury in behalf of Guthrie.

So I appeal from the men in silken hosewho danced to music made by slaves and calledit freedom, from the men in bell-crown hats wholed Hester Prynne to her shame and called it religion,to that Americanism which reaches forth its armsto smite wrong with reason and truth, secure inthe power of both. I appeal from the patriarchsof New England to the poets of New England; fromEndicott to Lowell; from Winthrop to Longfellow; fromNorton to Holmes; and I appeal in the name andby the rights of that common citizenship—­ofthat common origin, back of both the Puritan andthe Cavalier, to which all of us owe our being.Let the dead past, consecrated by the blood ofits martyrs, not by its savage hatreds, darkenedalike by kingcraft and priestcraft—­letthe dead past bury its dead. Let the presentand the future ring with the song of the singers.Blessed be the lessons they teach, the laws theymake. Blessed be the eye to see, the lightto reveal. Blessed be tolerance, sitting everon the right hand of God to guide the way withloving word, as blessed be all that brings usnearer the goal of true religion, true republicanism,and true patriotism, distrust of watchwords andlabels, shams and heroes, belief in our country andourselves. It was not Cotton Mather, but JohnGreenleaf Whittier, who cried:

Dear God and Father of usall,
Forgive our faith in cruellies,
Forgive the blindness thatdenies.

Cast down our idols—­overturn
Our Bloody altars—­makeus see
Thyself in Thy humanity!

—­HENRY WATTERSON,Puritan and Cavalier.

Goethe, on being reproached for not having writtenwar songs against the French, replied, “In mypoetry I have never shammed. How could I havewritten songs of hate without hatred?” Neitheris it possible to plead with full efficiency for acause for which you do not feel deeply. Feelingis contagious as belief is contagious. The speakerwho pleads with real feeling for his own convictionswill instill his feelings into his listeners.Sincerity, force, enthusiasm, and above all, feeling—­theseare the qualities that move multitudes and make appealsirresistible. They are of far greater importancethan technical principles of delivery, grace of gesture,or polished enunciation—­important as allthese elements must doubtless be considered. Baseyour appeal on reason, but do not end in the basem*nt—­letthe building rise, full of deep emotion and noblepersuasion.


1. (a) What elements of appeal do you findin the following? (b) Is it too florid? (c)Is this style equally powerful today? (d) Arethe sentences too long and involved for clearnessand force?

Oh, gentlemen, am I this day only thecounsel of my client? No, no; I am the advocateof humanity—­of yourselves—­yourhomes—­your wives—­your families—­yourlittle children. I am glad that this caseexhibits such atrocity; unmarked as it is by anymitigatory feature, it may stop the frightful advanceof this calamity; it will be met now, and markedwith vengeance. If it be not, farewell tothe virtues of your country; farewell to all confidencebetween man and man; farewell to that unsuspiciousand reciprocal tenderness, without which marriageis but a consecrated curse. If oaths are tobe violated, laws disregarded, friendship betrayed,humanity trampled, national and individual honorstained, and if a jury of fathers and of husbandswill give such miscreancy a passport to their homes,and wives, and daughters,—­farewell toall that yet remains of Ireland! But I willnot cast such a doubt upon the character of mycountry. Against the sneer of the foe, and theskepticism of the foreigner, I will still pointto the domestic virtues, that no perfidy couldbarter, and no bribery can purchase, that with aRoman usage, at once embellish and consecrate households,giving to the society of the hearth all the purityof the altar; that lingering alike in the palaceand the cottage, are still to be found scatteredover this land—­the relic of what she was—­thesource perhaps of what she may be—­the lone,the stately, and magnificent memorials, that rearingtheir majesty amid surrounding ruins, serve atonce as the landmarks of the departed glory, andthe models by which the future may be erected.
Preserve those virtues with a vestalfidelity; mark this day, by your verdict, yourhorror of their profanation; and believe me, whenthe hand which records that verdict shall be dust,and the tongue that asks it, traceless in thegrave, many a happy home will bless its consequences,and many a mother teach her little child to hatethe impious treason of adultery.


2. Analyze and criticise the forms of appealused in the selections from Hoar, Story, and Kipling.

3. What is the type of persuasion used by SenatorThurston (page 50)?

4. Cite two examples each, from selections inthis volume, in which speakers sought to be persuasiveby securing the hearers’ (a) sympathyfor themselves; (b) sympathy with their subjects;(c) self-pity.

5. Make a short address using persuasion.

6. What other methods of persuasion than thosehere mentioned can you name?

7. Is it easier to persuade men to change theircourse of conduct than to persuade them to continuein a given course? Give examples to support yourbelief.

8. In how far are we justified in making an appealto self-interest in order to lead men to adopt a givencourse?

9. Does the merit of the course have any bearingon the merit of the methods used?

10. Illustrate an unworthy method of using persuasion.

11. Deliver a short speech on the value of skillin persuasion.

12. Does effective persuasion always produceconviction?

13. Does conviction always result in action?

14. Is it fair for counsel to appeal to the emotionsof a jury in a murder trial?

15. Ought the judge use persuasion in makinghis charge?

16. Say how self-consciousness may hinder thepower of persuasion in a speaker.

17. Is emotion without words ever persuasive?If so, illustrate.

18. Might gestures without words be persuasive?If so, illustrate.

19. Has posture in a speaker anything to do withpersuasion? Discuss.

20. Has voice? Discuss.

21. Has manner? Discuss.

22. What effect does personal magnetism havein producing conviction?

23. Discuss the relation of persuasion to (a)description; (b) narration; (c) exposition;(d) pure reason.

24. What is the effect of over-persuasion?

25. Make a short speech on the effect of theconstant use of persuasion on the sincerity of thespeaker himself.

26. Show by example how a general statement isnot as persuasive as a concrete example illustratingthe point being discussed.

27. Show by example how brevity is of value inpersuasion.

28. Discuss the importance of avoiding an antagonisticattitude in persuasion.

29. What is the most persuasive passage you havefound in the selections of this volume. On whatdo you base your decision?

30. Cite a persuasive passage from some othersource. Read or recite it aloud.

31. Make a list of the emotional bases of appeal,grading them from low to high, according to your estimate.

32. Would circ*mstances make any difference insuch grading? If so, give examples.

33. Deliver a short, passionate appeal to a jury,pleading for justice to a poor widow.

34. Deliver a short appeal to men to give upsome evil way.

35. Criticise the structure of the sentence beginningwith the last line of page 296.



Success in business, in the last analysis,turns upon touching the imagination of crowds.The reason that preachers in this present generationare less successful in getting people to want goodnessthan business men are in getting them to want motorcars,hats, and pianolas, is that business men as a classare more close and desperate students of humannature, and have boned down harder to the art oftouching the imaginations of the crowds.


In the early part of July, 1914, a collection of Frenchmenin Paris, or Germans in Berlin, was not a crowd ina psychological sense. Each individual had hisown special interests and needs, and there was nopowerful common idea to unify them. A group thenrepresented only a collection of individuals.A month later, any collection of Frenchmen or Germansformed a crowd: Patriotism, hate, a common fear,a pervasive grief, had unified the individuals.

The psychology of the crowd is far different fromthe psychology of the personal members that composeit. The crowd is a distinct entity. Individualsrestrain and subdue many of their impulses at the dictatesof reason. The crowd never reasons. It onlyfeels. As persons there is a sense of responsibilityattached to our actions which checks many of our incitements,but the sense of responsibility is lost in the crowdbecause of its numbers. The crowd is exceedinglysuggestible and will act upon the wildest and mostextreme ideas. The crowd-mind is primitive andwill cheer plans and perform actions which its memberswould utterly repudiate.

A mob is only a highly-wrought crowd. Ruskin’sdescription is fitting: “You can talk amob into anything; its feelings may be—­usuallyare—­on the whole, generous and right, butit has no foundation for them, no hold of them.You may tease or tickle it into anything at your pleasure.It thinks by infection, for the most part, catchingan opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so littlethat it will not roar itself wild about, when thefit is on, nothing so great but it will forget in anhour when the fit is past."[28]

History will show us how the crowd-mind works.The medieval mind was not given to reasoning; themedieval man attached great weight to the utteranceof authority; his religion touched chiefly the emotions.These conditions provided a rich soil for the propagationof the crowd-mind when, in the eleventh century, flagellation,a voluntary self-scourging, was preached by the monks.Substituting flagellation for reciting penitentialpsalms was advocated by the reformers. A scalewas drawn up, making one thousand strokes equivalent

to ten psalms, or fifteen thousand to the entire psalter.This craze spread by leaps—­and crowds.Flagellant fraternities sprang up. Priests carryingbanners led through the streets great processionsreciting prayers and whipping their bloody bodieswith leathern thongs fitted with four iron points.Pope Clement denounced this practise and several ofthe leaders of these processions had to be burnedat the stake before the frenzy could be uprooted.

All western and central Europe was turned into a crowdby the preaching of the crusaders, and millions ofthe followers of the Prince of Peace rushed to theHoly Land to kill the heathen. Even the childrenstarted on a crusade against the Saracens. Themob-spirit was so strong that home affections andpersuasion could not prevail against it and thousandsof mere babes died in their attempts to reach and redeemthe Sacred Sepulchre.

In the early part of the eighteenth century the SouthSea Company was formed in England. Britain becamea speculative crowd. Stock in the South Sea Companyrose from 128-1/2 points in January to 550 in May,and scored 1,000 in July. Five million shareswere sold at this premium. Speculation ran riot.Hundreds of companies were organized. One wasformed “for a wheel of perpetual motion.”Another never troubled to give any reason at all fortaking the cash of its subscribers—­it merelyannounced that it was organized “for a designwhich will hereafter be promulgated.” Ownersbegan to sell, the mob caught the suggestion, a panicensued, the South Sea Company stock fell 800 pointsin a few days, and more than a billion dollars evaporatedin this era of frenzied speculation.

The burning of the witches at Salem, the Klondikegold craze, and the forty-eight people who were killedby mobs in the United States in 1913, are examplesfamiliar to us in America.

The Crowd Must Have a Leader

The leader of the crowd or mob is its determiningfactor. He becomes self-hynoptized with the ideathat unifies its members, his enthusiasm is contagious—­andso is theirs. The crowd acts as he suggests.The great mass of people do not have any very sharply-drawnconclusions on any subject outside of their own littlespheres, but when they become a crowd they are perfectlywilling to accept ready-made, hand-me-down opinions.They will follow a leader at all costs—­inlabor troubles they often follow a leader in preferenceto obeying their government, in war they will throwself-preservation to the bushes and follow a leaderin the face of guns that fire fourteen times a second.The mob becomes shorn of will-power and blindly obedientto its dictator. The Russian Government, recognizingthe menace of the crowd-mind to its autocracy, formerlyprohibited public gatherings. History is fullof similar instances.

How the Crowd is Created

Today the crowd is as real a factor in our socializedlife as are magnates and monopolies. It is toocomplex a problem merely to damn or praise it—­itmust be reckoned with, and mastered. The presentproblem is how to get the most and the best out ofthe crowd-spirit, and the public speaker finds thisto be peculiarly his own question. His influenceis multiplied if he can only transmute his audienceinto a crowd. His affirmations must be theirconclusions.

This can be accomplished by unifying the minds andneeds of the audience and arousing their emotions.Their feelings, not their reason, must be played upon—­itis “up to” him to do this nobly.Argument has its place on the platform, but even itspotencies must subserve the speaker’s plan ofattack to win possession of his audience.

Reread the chapter on “Feeling and Enthusiasm.”It is impossible to make an audience a crowd withoutappealing to their emotions. Can you imaginethe average group becoming a crowd while hearing alecture on Dry Fly Fishing, or on Egyptian Art?On the other hand, it would not have required world-famouseloquence to have turned any audience in Ulster, in1914, into a crowd by discussing the Home Rule Act.The crowd-spirit depends largely on the subject usedto fuse their individualities into one glowing whole.

Note how Antony played upon the feelings of his hearersin the famous funeral oration given by Shakespearein “Julius Caesar.” From murmuringunits the men became a unit—­a mob.

ANTONY’S ORATION OVER CAESAR’SBODY Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lendme your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praisehim. The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones:So let it be with Caesar! The Noble BrutusHath told you Caesar was ambitious. Ifit were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievouslyhath Caesar answered it. Here, under leaveof Brutus, and the rest—­ For Brutusis an honorable man, So are they all, all honorablemen—­ Come I to speak in Caesar’sfuneral. He was my friend, faithful and justto me: But Brutus says he was ambitious;And Brutus is an honorable man. He hathbrought many captives home to Rome, Whose ransomsdid the general coffers fill: Did this inCaesar seem ambitious? When that the poorhave cried, Caesar hath wept; Ambition shouldbe made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says,he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man.You all did see, that, on the Lupercal, Ithrice presented him a kingly crown, Which hedid thrice refuse. Was this ambition? YetBrutus says he was ambitious; And sure, he isan honorable man. I speak not to disprovewhat Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak whatI do know. You all did love him once, notwithout cause; What cause withholds you then tomourn for him? Oh, judgment, thou art fledto brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason!—­Bearwith me; My heart is in the coffin there withCaesar, And I must pause till it come back tome. [Weeps.

1 Plebeian. Methinksthere is much reason in his sayings.

2 Ple. If thou considerrightly of the matter,
Caesar has had great wrong.

3 Ple. Has he, masters?
I fear there will a worsecome in his place.

4 Ple. Mark’dye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore, ’tis certain,he was not ambitious.

1 Ple. If it be foundso, some will dear abide it.

2 Ple. Poor soul, hiseyes are red as fire with weeping.

3 Ple. There’snot a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

4 Ple. Now mark him,he begins again to speak.

Ant. But yesterday, the wordof Caesar might Have stood against the world:now lies he there, And none so poor to do himreverence. Oh, masters! if I were dispos’dto stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who,you all know, are honorable men. I will notdo them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead,to wrong myself, and you, Than I will wrong suchhonorable men. But here’s a parchment,with the seal of Caesar; I found it in his closet;’tis his will: Let but the commonshear this testament—­ Which, pardonme, I do not mean to read—­ And theywould go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds, Anddip their napkins in his sacred blood; Yea, bega hair of him for memory, And, dying, mentionit within their wills, Bequeathing it as a richlegacy Unto their issue.

4 Ple. We’llhear the will: Read it, Mark Antony.

All. The will! thewill! we will hear Caesar’s will.

Ant. Have patience, gentle friends:I must not read it; It is not meet you know howCaesar lov’d you. You are not wood,you are not stones, but men; And, being men, hearingthe will of Caesar, It will inflame you, it willmake you mad: ’Tis good you know notthat you are his heirs; For if you should, oh,what would come of it!

4 Ple. Read the will;we’ll hear it, Antony!
You shall read us the will!Caesar’s will!

Ant. Will you be patient?Will you stay awhile? I have o’ershotmyself, to tell you of it. I fear I wrongthe honorable men Whose daggers have stab’dCaesar; I do fear it.

4 Ple. They were traitors:Honorable men!

All. The will! thetestament!

2 Ple. They were villains,murtherers! The will! Read the will!

Ant. You will compel me thento read the will? Then, make a ring aboutthe corpse of Caesar, And let me shew you himthat made the will. Shall I descend?And will you give me leave?

All. Come down.

2 Ple. Descend. [Hecomes down from the Rostrum.

3 Ple. You shall haveleave.

4 Ple. A ring; standround.

1 Ple. Stand from thehearse, stand from the body.

2 Ple. Room for Antony!—­mostnoble Antony!

Ant. Nay, press notso upon me; stand far off.

All. Stand back! room!bear back!

Ant. If you have tears, prepareto shed them now; You all do know this mantle:I remember The first time ever Caesar put it on;’Twas on a summer’s evening, in histent, That day he overcame the Nervii. Look,in this place, ran Cassius’ dagger through:See, what a rent the envious Casca made:Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stab’d;And as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,Mark how the blood of Caesar follow’d it!—­As rushing out of doors, to be resolv’dIf Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no; ForBrutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel:Judge, O you Gods, how Caesar lov’d him!This was the most unkindest cut of all! Forwhen the noble Caesar saw him stab, Ingratitude,more strong than traitors’ arms, Quite vanquish’dhim: then burst his mighty heart; And inhis mantle muffling up his face, Even at the baseof Pompey’s statue, Which all the whileran blood, great Caesar fell. Oh what a fallwas there, my countrymen! Then I and you,and all of us, fell down, Whilst bloody treasonflourish’d over us. Oh! now you weep;and I perceive you feel The dint of pity; theseare gracious drops. Kind souls! what, weepyou, when you but behold Our Caesar’s vesturewounded? Look you here! Here is himself,mar’d, as you see, by traitors.

1 Ple. Oh, piteousspectacle!

2 Ple. Oh, noble Caesar!

3 Ple. Oh, woful day!

4 Ple. Oh, traitors,villains!

1 Ple. Oh, most bloodysight!

2 Ple. We will be reveng’d!

All. Revenge; about—­seek—­burn—­fire—­kill—­day!—­Letnot
a traitor live!

Ant. Stay, countrymen.

1 Ple. Peace there!Hear the noble Antony.

2 Ple. We’llhear him, we’ll follow him, we’ll die withhim.

Ant. Good friends, sweet friends,let me not stir you up To such a sudden floodof mutiny: They that have done this deedare honorable: What private griefs they have,alas! I know not, That made them do it; theyare wise, and honorable, And will, no doubt, withreasons answer you. I come not, friends,to steal away your hearts; I am no orator, asBrutus is; But as you know me all, a plain bluntman, That love my friend, and that they know fullwell That gave me public leave to speak of him:For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,To stir men’s blood. I only speak righton: I tell you that which you yourselvesdo know; Show your sweet Caesar’s wounds,poor, poor, dumb mouths, And bid them speak forme. But were I Brutus, And Brutus Antony,there were an Antony Would ruffle up your spirits,and put a tongue In every wound of Caesar, thatshould move The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

All. We’ll mutiny!

1 Ple. We’llburn the house of Brutus.

3 Ple. Away, then!Come, seek the conspirators.

Ant. Yet hear me, countrymen;yet hear me speak.

All. Peace, ho!Hear Antony, most noble Antony.

Ant. Why, friends, you go todo you know not what. Wherein hath Caesarthus deserv’d your loves? Alas! youknow not!—­I must tell you then. Youhave forgot the will I told you of.

Ple. Most true;—­thewill!—­let’s stay, and hear the will.

Ant. Here is the will,and under Caesar’s seal.
To every Roman citizen hegives,
To every several man, seventy-fivedrachmas.

2 Ple. Most noble Caesar!—­we’llrevenge his death.

3 Ple. O royal Caesar!

Ant. Hear me with patience.

All. Peace, ho!

Ant. Moreover, he hath left youall his walks, His private arbours, and new-plantedorchards, On this side Tiber; he hath left themyou, And to your heirs forever, common pleasures,To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?
1 Ple. Never, never!—­Come,away, away! We’ll burn his body inthe holy place, And with the brands fire the traitors’houses. Take up the body.

2 Ple. Go, fetch fire.

3 Ple. Pluck down benches.

4 Ple. Pluck down forms,windows, anything.
[Exeunt Citizens,with the body.

Ant. Now let it work.Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt!

To unify single, auditors into a crowd, express theircommon needs, aspirations, dangers, and emotions,deliver your message so that the interests of oneshall appear to be the interests of all. The convictionof one man is intensified in proportion as he findsothers sharing his belief—­and feeling.Antony does not stop with telling the Roman populacethat Caesar fell—­he makes the tragedy universal:

Then I, and you, and all ofus fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourishedover us.

Applause, generally a sign of feeling, helps to unifyan audience. The nature of the crowd is illustratedby the contagion of applause. Recently a throngin a New York moving-picture and vaudeville house hadbeen applauding several songs, and when an advertisem*ntfor tailored skirts was thrown on the screen someone started the applause, and the crowd, like sheep,blindly imitated—­until someone saw the jokeand laughed; then the crowd again followed a leaderand laughed at and applauded its own stupidity.

Actors sometimes start applause for their lines bysnapping their fingers. Some one in the firstfew rows will mistake it for faint applause, and thewhole theatre will chime in.

An observant auditor will be interested in noticingthe various devices a monologist will use to get thefirst round of laughter and applause. He worksso hard because he knows an audience of units is anaudience of indifferent critics, but once get themto laughing together and each single laugher sweepsa number of others with him, until the whole theatreis aroar and the entertainer has scored. Theseare meretricious schemes, to be sure, and do not savorin the least of inspiration, but crowds have not changedin their nature in a thousand years and the one lawholds for the greatest preacher and the pettiest stump-speaker—­youmust fuse your audience or they will not warm to yourmessage. The devices of the great orator maynot be so obvious as those of the vaudeville monologist,but the principle is the same: he tries to strikesome universal note that will have all his hearersfeeling alike at the same time.

The evangelist knows this when he has the soloistsing some touching song just before the address.Or he will have the entire congregation sing, andthat is the psychology of “Now everybodysing!” for he knows that they who will not joinin the song are as yet outside the crowd. Manya time has the popular evangelist stopped in the middleof his talk, when he felt that his hearers were unitsinstead of a molten mass (and a sensitive speakercan feel that condition most depressingly) and suddenlydemanded that everyone arise and sing, or repeat alouda familiar passage, or read in unison; or perhapshe has subtly left the thread of his discourse totell a story that, from long experience, he knew wouldnot fail to bring his hearers to a common feeling.

These things are important resources for the speaker,and happy is he who uses them worthily and not asa despicable charlatan. The difference betweena demagogue and a leader is not so much a matter ofmethod as of principle. Even the most dignifiedspeaker must recognize the eternal laws of human nature.You are by no means urged to become a trickster onthe platform—­far from it!—­butdon’t kill your speech with dignity. Tobe icily correct is as silly as to rant. Do neither,but appeal to those world-old elements in your audiencethat have been recognized by all great speakers fromDemosthenes to Sam Small, and see to it that you neverdebase your powers by arousing your hearers unworthily.

It is as hard to kindle enthusiasm in a scatteredaudience as to build a fire with scattered sticks.An audience to be converted into a crowd must be madeto appear as a crowd. This cannot be done whenthey are widely scattered over a large seating spaceor when many empty benches separate the speaker fromhis hearers. Have your audience seated compactly.How many a preacher has bemoaned the enormous edificeover which what would normally be a large congregationhas scattered in chilled and chilling solitude Sundayafter Sunday! Bishop Brooks himself could nothave inspired a congregation of one thousand soulsseated in the vastness of St. Peter’s at Rome.In that colossal sanctuary it is only on great occasionswhich bring out the multitudes that the service isbefore the high altar—­at other times thesmaller side-chapels are used.

Universal ideas surcharged with feeling help to createthe crowd-atmosphere. Examples: liberty,character, righteousness, courage, fraternity, altruism,country, and national heroes. George Cohan wasmaking psychology practical and profitable when heintroduced the flag and flag-songs into his musicalcomedies. Cromwell’s regiments prayed beforethe battle and went into the fight singing hymns.The French corps, singing the Marseillaise in 1914,charged the Germans as one man. Such unifyingdevices arouse the feelings, make soldiers fanaticalmobs—­and, alas, more efficient murderers.


[Footnote 28: Sesame and Lilies.]



To think, and to feel, constitutethe two grand divisions of men
of genius—­the men ofreasoning and the men of imagination.

—­ISAAC DISRAELI, LiteraryCharacter of Men of Genius.

And as imagination bodiesforth
The forms of things unknown,the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and givesto airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

—­SHAKESPEARE, Midsummer-Night’sDream.

It is common, among those who deal chiefly with life’spracticalities, to think of imagination as havinglittle value in comparison with direct thinking.They smile with tolerance when Emerson says that “Sciencedoes not know its debt to the imagination,”for these are the words of a speculative essayist,a philosopher, a poet. But when Napoleon—­theindomitable welder of empires—­declares that“The human race is governed by its imagination,”the authoritative word commands their respect.

Be it remembered, the faculty of forming mentalimages is as efficient a cog as may be found inthe whole mind-machine. True, it must fit intothat other vital cog, pure thought, but when it doesso it may be questioned which is the more productiveof important results for the happiness and well-beingof man. This should become more apparent as wego on.


Let us not seek for a definition, for a score of varyingones may be found, but let us grasp this fact:By imagination we mean either the faculty or the processof forming mental images.

The subject-matter of imagination may be really existentin nature, or not at all real, or a combination ofboth; it may be physical or spiritual, or both—­themental image is at once the most lawless and the mostlaw-abiding child that has ever been born of the mind.

First of all, as its name suggests, the process ofimagination—­for we are thinking of it nowas a process rather than as a faculty—­ismemory at work. Therefore we must consider itprimarily as

1. Reproductive Imagination

We see or hear or feel or taste or smell somethingand the sensation passes away. Yet we are consciousof a greater or lesser ability to reproduce such feelingsat will. Two considerations, in general, willgovern the vividness of the image thus evoked—­thestrength of the original impression, and the reproductivepower of one mind as compared with another. Yetevery normal person will be able to evoke images withsome degree of clearness.

The fact that not all minds possess this imaging facultyin anything like equal measure will have an importantbearing on the public speaker’s study of thisquestion. No man who does not feel at least somepoetic impulses is likely to aspire seriously to bea poet, yet many whose imaging faculties are so dormantas to seem actually dead do aspire to be public speakers.To all such we say most earnestly: Awaken yourimage-making gift, for even in the most coldly logicaldiscourse it is sure to prove of great service.It is important that you find out at once just howfull and how trustworthy is your imagination, for itis capable of cultivation—­as well as ofabuse.

Francis Galton[29] says: “The French appearto possess the visualizing faculty in a high degree.The peculiar ability they show in pre-arranging ceremonialsand fetes of all kinds and their undoubted geniusfor tactics and strategy show that they are able toforesee effects with unusual clearness. Theiringenuity in all technical contrivances is an additionaltestimony in the same direction, and so is their singularclearness of expression. Their phrase figurez-vous,or picture to yourself, seems to express theirdominant mode of perception. Our equivalent,of ‘image,’ is ambiguous.”

But individuals differ in this respect just as markedlyas, for instance, the Dutch do from the French.And this is true not only of those who are classifiedby their friends as being respectively imaginativeor unimaginative, but of those whose gifts or habitsare not well known.

Let us take for experiment six of the best-known typesof imaging and see in practise how they arise in ourown minds.

By all odds the most common type is, (a) the visualimage. Children who more readily recall thingsseen than things heard are called by psychologists“eye-minded,” and most of us are bent inthis direction. Close your eyes now and re-call—­theword thus hyphenated is more suggestive—­thescene around this morning’s breakfast table.Possibly there was nothing striking in the situationand the image is therefore not striking. Thenimage any notable table scene in your experience—­howvividly it stands forth, because at the time you feltthe impression strongly. Just then you may nothave been conscious of how strongly the scene waslaying hold upon you, for often we are so intent uponwhat we see that we give no particular thought tothe fact that it is impressing us. It may surpriseyou to learn how accurately you are able to image ascene when a long time has elapsed between the consciousfocussing of your attention on the image and the timewhen you saw the original.

(b) The auditory image is probably the nextmost vivid of our recalled experiences. Hereassociation is potent to suggest similarities.Close out all the world beside and listen to the peculiarwood-against-wood sound of the sharp thunder amongrocky mountains—­the crash of ball againstten-pins may suggest it. Or image (the word isimperfect, for it seems to suggest only the eye) thesound of tearing ropes when some precious weight hangsin danger. Or recall the bay of a hound almostupon you in pursuit—­choose your own sound,and see how pleasantly or terribly real it becomeswhen imaged in your brain.

(c) The motor image is a close competitor withthe auditory for second place. Have you everawakened in the night, every muscle taut and striving,to feel your self straining against the opposing footballline that held like a stone-wall—­or as firmlyas the headboard of your bed? Or voluntarilyrecall the movement of the boat when you cried inwardly,“It’s all up with me!” The perilouslurch of a train, the sudden sinking of an elevator,or the unexpected toppling of a rocking-chair mayserve as further experiments.

(d) The gustatory image is common enough, asthe idea of eating lemons will testify. Sometimesthe pleasurable recollection of a delightful dinnerwill cause the mouth to water years afterward, or the“image” of particularly atrocious medicinewill wrinkle the nose long after it made one day inboyhood wretched.

(e) The olfactory image is even more delicate.Some there are who are affected to illness by thememory of certain odors, while others experience themost delectable sensations by the rise of pleasingolfactory images.

(f) The tactile image, to name no others, iswell nigh as potent. Do you shudder at the thoughtof velvet rubbed by short-nailed finger tips?Or were you ever “burned” by touching anice-cold stove? Or, happier memory, can you stillfeel the touch of a well-loved absent hand?

Be it remembered that few of these images are presentin our minds except in combination—­thesight and sound of the crashing avalanche are one;so are the flash and report of the huntman’sgun that came so near “doing for us.”

Thus, imaging—­especially conscious reproductiveimagination—­will become a valuable partof our mental processes in proportion as we directand control it.

2. Productive Imagination

All of the foregoing examples, and doubtless alsomany of the experiments you yourself may originate,are merely reproductive. Pleasurable or horrificas these may be, they are far less important thanthe images evoked by the productive imagination—­thoughthat does not infer a separate faculty.

Recall, again for experiment, some scene whose beginningyou once saw enacted on a street corner but passedby before the denouement was ready to be disclosed.Recall it all—­that far the image is reproductive.But what followed? Let your fantasy roam at pleasure—­thesucceeding scenes are productive, for you have moreor less consciously invented the unreal on the basisof the real.

And just here the fictionist, the poet, and the publicspeaker will see the value of productive imagery.True, the feet of the idol you build are on the ground,but its head pierces the clouds, it is a son of bothearth and heaven.

One fact it is important to note here: Imageryis a valuable mental asset in proportion as it iscontrolled by the higher intellectual power of purereason. The untutored child of nature thinks largelyin images and therefore attaches to them undue importance.He readily confuses the real with the unreal—­tohim they are of like value. But the man of trainingreadily distinguishes the one from the other and evaluateseach with some, if not with perfect, justice.

So we see that unrestrained imaging may produce arudderless steamer, while the trained faculty is thegraceful sloop, skimming the seas at her skipper’swill, her course steadied by the helm of reason andher lightsome wings catching every air of heaven.

The game of chess, the war-lord’s tactical plan,the evolution of a geometrical theorem, the devisingof a great business campaign, the elimination of wastein a factory, the denouement of a powerful drama,the overcoming of an economic obstacle, the schemefor a sublime poem, and the convincing siege of anaudience may—­nay, indeed must—­eachbe conceived in an image and wrought to reality accordingto the plans and specifications laid upon the trestleboard by some modern imaginative Hiram. The farmerwho would be content with the seed he possesses wouldhave no harvest. Do not rest satisfied with theability to recall images, but cultivate your creativeimagination by building “what might be”upon the foundation of “what is.”


By this time you will have already made some generalapplication of these ideas to the art of the platform,but to several specific uses we must now refer.

1. Imaging in Speech-Preparation

(a) Set the image of your audience before you whileyou prepare. Disappointment may lurk here, andyou cannot be forearmed for every emergency, but inthe main you must meet your audience before you actuallydo—­image its probable mood and attitudetoward the occasion, the theme, and the speaker.

(b) Conceive your speech as a whole while you arepreparing its parts, else can you not see—­image—­howits parts shall be fitly framed together.

(c) Image the language you will use, so faras written or extemporaneous speech may dictate.The habit of imaging will give you choice of variedfigures of speech, for remember that an address withoutfresh comparisons is like a garden without blooms.Do not be content with the first hackneyed figurethat comes flowing to your pen-point, but dream onuntil the striking, the unusual, yet the vividly realcomparison points your thought like steel does thearrow-tip.

Note the freshness and effectiveness of the followingdescription from the opening of O. Henry’s story,“The Harbinger.”

Long before the springtide is felt inthe dull bosom of the yokel does the city manknow that the grass-green goddess is upon herthrone. He sits at his breakfast eggs and toast,begirt by stone walls, opens his morning paperand sees journalism leave vernalism at the post.

For whereas Spring’scouriers were once the evidence of our
finer senses, now the AssociatedPress does the trick.

The warble of the first robin in Hackensack,the stirring of the maple sap in Bennington, thebudding of the puss* willows along the main streetin Syracuse, the first chirp of the blue bird, theswan song of the blue point, the annual tornado inSt. Louis, the plaint of the peach pessimist fromPompton, N.J., the regular visit of the tame wildgoose with a broken leg to the pond near BilgewaterJunction, the base attempt of the Drug Trust toboost the price of quinine foiled in the House byCongressman Jinks, the first tall poplar struckby lightning and the usual stunned picknickerswho had taken refuge, the first crack of the icejamb in the Allegheny River, the finding of a violetin its mossy bed by the correspondent at Round Corners—­theseare the advanced signs of the burgeoning season thatare wired into the wise city, while the farmer seesnothing but winter upon his dreary fields.
But these be mere externals. Thetrue harbinger is the heart. When Strephonseeks his Chloe and Mike his Maggie, then only isSpring arrived and the newspaper report of thefive foot rattler killed in Squire Pettregrew’spasture confirmed.

A hackneyed writer would probably have said that thenewspaper told the city man about spring before thefarmer could see any evidence of it, but that thereal harbinger of spring was love and that “Inthe Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turnsto thoughts of love.”

2. Imaging in Speech-Delivery

When once the passion of speech is on you and youare “warmed up”—­perhaps bystriking till the iron is hot so that you maynot fail to strike when it is hot—­yourmood will be one of vision.

Then (a) Re-image past emotion—­ofwhich more elsewhere. The actor re-calls theold feelings every time he renders his telling lines.

(b) Reconstruct in image the scenes you are todescribe.

(c) Image the objects in nature whose tone youare delineating, so that bearing and voice andmovement (gesture) will picture forth the whole convincingly.Instead of merely stating the fact that whiskey ruinshomes, the temperance speaker paints a drunkard cominghome to abuse his wife and strike his children.It is much more effective than telling the truth inabstract terms. To depict the cruelness of war,do not assert the fact abstractly—­“Waris cruel.” Show the soldier, an arm sweptaway by a bursting shell, lying on the battlefieldpleading for water; show the children with tear-stainedfaces pressed against the window pane praying fortheir dead father to return. Avoid general andprosaic terms. Paint pictures. Evolve imagesfor the imagination of your audience to constructinto pictures of their own.


You remember the American statesman who asserted that“the way to resume is to resume”?The application is obvious. Beginning with thefirst simple analyses of this chapter, test your ownqualities of image-making. One by one practisethe several kinds of images; then add—­eveninvent—­others in combination, for many imagescome to us in complex form, like the combined noiseand shoving and hot odor of a cheering crowd.

After practising on reproductive imaging, turn tothe productive, beginning with the reproductive andadding productive features for the sake of cultivatinginvention.

Frequently, allow your originating gifts full swingby weaving complete imaginary fabrics—­sights,sounds, scenes; all the fine world of fantasy liesopen to the journeyings of your winged steed.

In like manner train yourself in the use of figurativelanguage. Learn first to distinguish and thento use its varied forms. When used with restraint,nothing can be more effective than the trope; but oncelet extravagance creep in by the window, and powerwill flee by the door.

All in all, master your images—­let notthem master you.


1. Give original examples of each kind of reproductiveimagination.

2. Build two of these into imaginary incidentsfor platform use, using your productive, or creative,imagination.

3. Define (a) phantasy; (b) vision;(c) fantastic; (d) phantasmagoria; (e)transmogrify; (f) recollection.

4. What is a “figure of speech”?

5. Define and give two examples of each of thefollowing figures of speech[30]. At least oneof the examples under each type would better be original.(a) simile; (b) metaphor; (c)metonymy; (d) synecdoche; (e) apostrophe;(f) vision; (g) personification; (h)hyperbole; (i) irony.

6. (a) What is an allegory? (b) Nameone example. (c) How could a short allegorybe used as part of a public address?

7. Write a short fable[31] for use in a speech.Follow either the ancient form (AEsop) or the modern(George Ade, Josephine Dodge Daskam).

8. What do you understand by “the historicalpresent?” Illustrate how it may be used (ONLYoccasionally) in a public address.

9. Recall some disturbance on the street, (a)Describe it as you would on the platform; (b)imagine what preceded the disturbance; (c)imagine what followed it; (d) connect the wholein a terse, dramatic narration for the platform anddeliver it with careful attention to all that youhave learned of the public speaker’s art.

10. Do the same with other incidents you haveseen or heard of, or read of in the newspapers.

NOTE: It is hoped that this exercise will bevaried and expanded until the pupil has gained considerablemastery of imaginative narration. (See chapter on“Narration.”)

11. Experiments have proved that the majorityof people think most vividly in terms of visual images.However, some think more readily in terms of auditoryand motor images. It is a good plan to mix allkinds of images in the course of your address foryou will doubtless have all kinds of hearers.This plan will serve to give variety and strengthenyour effects by appealing to the several senses ofeach hearer, as well as interesting many differentauditors. For exercise, (a) give severaloriginal examples of compound images, and (b)construct brief descriptions of the scenes imagined.For example, the falling of a bridge in process ofbuilding.

12. Read the following observantly:

The strikers suffered bitterpoverty last winter in New York.

Last winter a woman visiting the EastSide of New York City saw another woman comingout of a tenement house wringing her hands. Uponinquiry the visitor found that a child had faintedin one of the apartments. She entered, andsaw the child ill and in rags, while the father,a striker, was too poor to provide medical help.A physician was called and said the child had faintedfrom lack of food. The only food in the home wasdried fish. The visitor provided groceriesfor the family and ordered the milkman to leavemilk for them daily. A month later she returned.The father of the family knelt down before her, andcalling her an angel said that she had saved theirlives, for the milk she had provided was all thefood they had had.

In the two preceding paragraphs we have substantiallythe same story, told twice. In the first paragraphwe have a fact stated in general terms. In thesecond, we have an outline picture of a specific happening.Now expand this outline into a dramatic recital, drawingfreely upon your imagination.


[Footnote 29: Inquiries into Human Faculty.]

[Footnote 30: Consult any good rhetoric.An unabridged dictionary will also be of help.]

[Footnote 31: For a full discussion of the formsee, The Art of Story-Writing, by J. Berg Esenweinand Mary D. Chambers.]



Boys flying kites haul intheir white winged birds;
You can’t do that waywhen you’re flying words.
“Careful with fire,”is good advice we know,
“Careful with words,”is ten times doubly so.
Thoughts unexpressed manysometimes fall back dead;
But God Himself can’tkill them when they’re said.

—­WILL CARLETON, The First Settler’sStory.

The term “vocabulary” has a special aswell as a general meaning. True, all vocabulariesare grounded in the everyday words of the language,out of which grow the special vocabularies, but eachsuch specialized group possesses a number of wordsof peculiar value for its own objects. Thesewords may be used in other vocabularies also, but thefact that they are suited to a unique order of expressionmarks them as of special value to a particular craftor calling.

In this respect the public speaker differs not atall from the poet, the novelist, the scientist, thetraveler. He must add to his everyday stock,words of value for the public presentation of thought.“A study of the discourses of effective oratorsdiscloses the fact that they have a fondness for wordssignifying power, largeness, speed, action, color,light, and all their opposites. They frequentlyemploy words expressive of the various emotions.Descriptive words, adjectives used in freshrelations with nouns, and apt epithets, are freelyemployed. Indeed, the nature of public speechpermits the use of mildly exaggerated words which,by the time they have reached the hearer’s judgment,will leave only a just impression."[32]

Form the Book-Note Habit

To possess a word involves three things: To knowits special and broader meanings, to know its relationto other words, and to be able to use it. Whenyou see or hear a familiar word used in an unfamiliarsense, jot it down, look it up, and master it.We have in mind a speaker of superior attainmentswho acquired his vocabulary by noting all new wordshe heard or read. These he mastered and putinto use. Soon his vocabulary became large,varied, and exact. Use a new word accurately fivetimes and it is yours. Professor Albert E. Hanco*cksays: “An author’s vocabulary isof two kinds, latent and dynamic: latent—­thosewords he understands; dynamic—­those hecan readily use. Every intelligent man knowsall the words he needs, but he may not have them allready for active service. The problem of literarydiction consists in turning the latent into the dynamic.”Your dynamic vocabulary is the one you must especiallycultivate.

In his essay on “A College Magazine” inthe volume, Memories and Portraits, Stevensonshows how he rose from imitation to originality inthe use of words. He had particular referenceto the formation of his literary style, but wordsare the raw materials of style, and his excellentexample may well be followed judiciously by the publicspeaker. Words in their relations are vastlymore important than words considered singly.

Whenever I read a book or a passagethat particularly pleased me, in which a thingwas said or an effect rendered with propriety,in which there was either some conspicuous force orsome happy distinction in the style, I must sitdown at once and set myself to ape that quality.I was unsuccessful, and I knew it; and tried again,and was again unsuccessful, and always unsuccessful;but at least in these vain bouts I got some practicein rhythm, in harmony, in construction and cooerdinationof parts.

I have thus played the sedulousape to Hazlitt, to Lamb, to
Wordsworth, to Sir ThomasBrowne, to Defoe, to Hawthorne, to

That, like it or not, is the way tolearn to write; whether I have profited or not,that is the way. It was the way Keats learned,and there never was a finer temperament for literaturethan Keats’.
It is the great point of these imitationsthat there still shines beyond the student’sreach, his inimitable model. Let him tryas he please, he is still sure of failure; and it isan old and very true saying that failure is theonly highroad to success.

Form the Reference-Book Habit

Do not be content with your general knowledge of aword—­press your study until you have masteredits individual shades of meaning and usage. Merefluency is sure to become despicable, but accuracynever. The dictionary contains the crystallizedusage of intellectual giants. No one who wouldwrite effectively dare despise its definitions anddiscriminations. Think, for example, of the differentmeanings of mantle, or model, or quantity.Any late edition of an unabridged dictionary is good,and is worth making sacrifices to own.

Books of synonyms and antonyms—­used cautiously,for there are few perfect synonyms in any language—­willbe found of great help. Consider the shades ofmeanings among such word-groups as thief, peculator,defaulter, embezzler, burglar, yeggman, robber, bandit,marauder, pirate, and many more; or the distinctionsamong Hebrew, Jew, Israelite, and Semite.Remember that no book of synonyms is trustworthy unlessused with a dictionary. “A Thesaurus ofthe English Language,” by Dr. Francis A. March,is expensive, but full and authoritative. Ofsmaller books of synonyms and antonyms there are plenty.[33]

Study the connectives of English speech. Fernald’sbook on this title is a mine of gems. Unsuspectedpitfalls lie in the loose use of and, or, for,while, and a score of tricky little connectives.

Word derivations are rich in suggestiveness.Our English owes so much to foreign tongues and haschanged so much with the centuries that whole addressesmay grow out of a single root-idea hidden away in anancient word-origin. Translation, also, is excellentexercise in word-mastery and consorts well with thestudy of derivations.

Phrase books that show the origins of familiar expressionswill surprise most of us by showing how carelesslyeveryday speech is used. Brewer’s “ADictionary of Phrase, and Fable,” Edwards’“Words, Facts, and Phrases,” and Thornton’s“An American Glossary,” are all good—­thelast, an expensive work in three volumes.

A prefix or a suffix may essentially change the forceof the stem, as in master-ful and master-ly,contempt-ible and contempt-uous, envi-ousand envi-able. Thus to study words in groups,according to their stems, prefixes, and suffixes isto gain a mastery over their shades of meaning, andintroduce us to other related words.

Do not Favor one Set or Kind of Words more thanAnother

“Sixty years and more ago, Lord Brougham, addressingthe students of the University of Glasgow, laid downthe rule that the native (Anglo-Saxon) part of ourvocabulary was to be favored at the expense of thatother part which has come from the Latin and Greek.The rule was an impossible one, and Lord Broughamhimself never tried seriously to observe it; nor,in truth, has any great writer made the attempt.Not only is our language highly composite, but thecomponent words have, in De Quincey’s phrase,‘happily coalesced.’ It is easy tojest at words in _-osity_ and _-ation_, as ‘dictionary’words, and the like. But even Lord Brougham wouldhave found it difficult to dispense with pomposityand imagination."[34]

The short, vigorous Anglo-Saxon will always be preferredfor passages of special thrust and force, just asthe Latin will continue to furnish us with flowingand smooth expressions; to mingle all sorts, however,will give variety—­and that is most to bedesired.

Discuss Words With Those Who Know Them

Since the language of the platform follows closelythe diction of everyday speech, many useful wordsmay be acquired in conversation with cultivated men,and when such discussion takes the form of disputationas to the meanings and usages of words, it will provedoubly valuable. The development of word-powermarches with the growth of individuality.

Search Faithfully for the Right Word

Books of reference are tripled in value when theirowner has a passion for getting the kernels out oftheir shells. Ten minutes a day will do wondersfor the nut-cracker. “I am growing so peevishabout my writing,” says Flaubert. “Iam like a man whose ear is true, but who plays falselyon the violin: his fingers refuse to reproduceprecisely those sounds of which he has the inwardsense. Then the tears come rolling down from thepoor scraper’s eyes and the bow falls from hishand.”

The same brilliant Frenchman sent this sound adviceto his pupil, Guy de Maupassant: “Whatevermay be the thing which one wishes to say, there isbut one word for expressing it, only one verb to animateit, only one adjective to qualify it. It is essentialto search for this word, for this verb, for this adjective,until they are discovered, and to be satisfied withnothing else.”

Walter Savage Landor once wrote: “I hatefalse words, and seek with care, difficulty, and morosenessthose that fit the thing.” So did SentimentalTommy, as related by James M. Barrie in his novel bearinghis hero’s name as a title. No wonder T.Sandys became an author and a lion!

Tommy, with another lad, is writing an essay on “ADay in Church,” in competition for a universityscholarship. He gets on finely until he pausesfor lack of a word. For nearly an hour he searchesfor this elusive thing, until suddenly he is toldthat the allotted time is up, and he has lost!Barrie may tell the rest:

Essay! It was no more an essaythan a twig is a tree, for the gowk had stuckin the middle of his second page. Yes, stuck isthe right expression, as his chagrined teacherhad to admit when the boy was cross-examined.He had not been “up to some of his tricks;”he had stuck, and his explanations, as you will admit,merely emphasized his incapacity.
He had brought himself to public scornfor lack of a word. What word? they askedtestily; but even now he could not tell. He hadwanted a Scotch word that would signify how manypeople were in church, and it was on the tip ofhis tongue, but would come no farther. Pucklewas nearly the word, but it did not mean so many peopleas he meant. The hour had gone by just like winking;he had forgotten all about time while searchinghis mind for the word.

* * * * *

The other five [examiners] were furious....“You little tattie doolie,” Cathroroared, “were there not a dozen words to wilefrom if you had an ill-will to puckle? Whatailed you at manzy, or—­”
“I thought of manzy,” repliedTommy, woefully, for he was ashamed of himself,“but—­but a manzy’s a swarm.It would mean that the folk in the kirk were buzzingthegither like bees, instead of sitting still.”
“Even if it does mean that,”said Mr. Duthie, with impatience, “whatwas the need of being so particular? Surely theart of essay-writing consists in using the firstword that comes and hurrying on.”

“That’s how Idid,” said the proud McLauchlan [Tommy’s
successful competitor]....

“I see,” interposedMr. Gloag, “that McLauchlan speaks of there
being a mask of people inthe church. Mask is a fine Scotch

“I thought of mask,”whimpered Tommy, “but that would mean the
kirk was crammed, and I justmeant it to be middling full.”

“Flow would have done,”suggested Mr. Lonimer.

“Flow’s but ahandful,” said Tommy.

“Curran, then, you jackanapes!”

“Curran’s no enough.”

Mr. Lorrimer flung up hishands in despair.

“I wanted somethingbetween curran and mask,” said Tommy,
doggedly, yet almost at thecrying.

Mr. Ogilvy, who had been hiding hisadmiration with difficulty, spread a net for him.“You said you wanted a word that meant middlingfull. Well, why did you not say middling full—­orfell mask?”

“Yes, why not?”demanded the ministers, unconsciously caught in
the net.

“I wanted one word,”replied Tommy, unconsciously avoiding it.

“You jewel!” mutteredMr. Ogilvy under his breath, but Mr.
Cathro would have banged theboy’s head had not the ministers

“It is so easy, too,to find the right word,” said Mr. Gloag.

“It’s no; it’sdifficult as to hit a squirrel,” cried Tommy,and
again Mr. Ogilvy nodded approval.

* * * * *

And then an odd thing happened.As they were preparing to leave the school [Cathrohaving previously run Tommy out by the neck], thedoor opened a little and there appeared in the aperturethe face of Tommy, tear-stained but excited.“I ken the word now,” he cried, “itcame to me a’ at once; it is hantle!”

Mr. Ogilvy ... said in anecstasy to himself, “He had to think
of it till he got it—­andhe got it. The laddie is a genius!”


1. What is the derivation of the word vocabulary?

2. Briefly discuss any complete speech givenin this volume, with reference to (a) exactness,(b) variety, and (c) charm, in the useof words.

3. Give original examples of the kinds of word-studiesreferred to on pages 337 and 338.

4. Deliver a short talk on any subject, usingat least five words which have not been previouslyin your “dynamic” vocabulary.

5. Make a list of the unfamiliar words foundin any address you may select.

6. Deliver a short extemporaneous speech givingyour opinions on the merits and demerits of the useof unusual words in public speaking.

7. Try to find an example of the over-use ofunusual words in a speech.

8. Have you used reference books in word studies?If so, state with what result.

9. Find as many synonyms and antonyms as possiblefor each of the following words: Excess, Rare,Severe, Beautiful, Clear, Happy, Difference, Care,Skillful, Involve, Enmity, Profit, Absurd, Evident,Faint, Friendly, Harmony, Hatred, Honest, Inherent.


[Footnote 32: How to Attract and Hold an Audience,J. Berg Esenwein.]

[Footnote 33: A book of synonyms and antonymsis in preparation for this series, “The Writer’sLibrary.”]

[Footnote 34: Composition and Rhetoric,J.M. Hart.]



Lulled in the countless chambers ofthe brain,
Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain;
Awake but one, and lo! what myriads rise!
Each stamps its image as the other flies!

* * * * *

Hail, memory, hail! in thy exhaustlessmine
From age to age unnumber’d treasures shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!

—­SAMUEL ROGERS, Pleasures of Memory.

Many an orator, like Thackeray, has made the bestpart of his speech to himself—­on the wayhome from the lecture hall. Presence of mind—­itremained for Mark Twain to observe—­is greatlypromoted by absence of body. A hole in the memoryis no less a common complaint than a distressing one.

Henry Ward Beecher was able to deliver one of theworld’s greatest addresses at Liverpool becauseof his excellent memory. In speaking of the occasionMr. Beecher said that all the events, arguments andappeals that he had ever heard or read or writtenseemed to pass before his mind as oratorical weapons,and standing there he had but to reach forth his handand “seize the weapons as they went smoking by.”Ben Jonson could repeat all he had written. Scaligermemorized the Iliad in three weeks. Locke says:“Without memory, man is a perpetual infant.”Quintilian and Aristotle regarded it as a measureof genius.

Now all this is very good. We all agree thata reliable memory is an invaluable possession forthe speaker. We never dissent for a moment whenwe are solemnly told that his memory should be a storehousefrom which at pleasure he can draw facts, fancies,and illustrations. But can the memory be trainedto act as the warder for all the truths that we havegained from thinking, reading, and experience?And if so, how? Let us see.

Twenty years ago a poor immigrant boy, employed asa dish washer in New York, wandered into the CooperUnion and began to read a copy of Henry George’s“Progress and Poverty.” His passionfor knowledge was awakened, and he became a habitualreader. But he found that he was not able toremember what he read, so he began to train his naturallypoor memory until he became the world’s greatestmemory expert. This man was the late Mr. FelixBerol. Mr. Berol could tell the population ofany town in the world, of more than five thousandinhabitants. He could recall the names of fortystrangers who had just been introduced to him and wasable to tell which had been presented third, eighth,seventeenth, or in any order. He knew the dateof every important event in history, and could notonly recall an endless array of facts but could correlatethem perfectly.

To what extent Mr. Berol’s remarkable memorywas natural and required only attention, for its development,seems impossible to determine with exactness, butthe evidence clearly indicates that, however uselesswere many of his memory feats, a highly retentivememory was developed where before only “a goodforgettery” existed.

The freak memory is not worth striving for, but agood working memory decidedly is. Your poweras a speaker will depend to a large extent upon yourability to retain impressions and call them forth whenoccasion demands, and that sort of memory is likemuscle—­it responds to training.

What Not to Do

It is sheer misdirected effort to begin to memorizeby learning words by rote, for that is beginning tobuild a pyramid at the apex. For years our schoolswere cursed by this vicious system—­viciousnot only because it is inefficient but for the moreimportant reason that it hurts the mind. True,some minds are natively endowed with a wonderful facilityin remembering strings of words, facts, and figures,but such are rarely good reasoning minds; the normalperson must belabor and force the memory to acquirein this artificial way.

Again, it is hurtful to force the memory in hoursof physical weakness or mental weariness. Healthis the basis of the best mental action and the operationof memory is no exception.

Finally, do not become a slave to a system. Knowledgeof a few simple facts of mind and memory will setyou to work at the right end of the operation.Use these principles, whether included in asystem or not, but do not bind yourself to a methodthat tends to lay more stress on the way toremember than on the development of memory itself.It is nothing short of ridiculous to memorize tenwords in order to remember one fact.

The Natural Laws of Memory

Concentrated attention at the time when youwish to store the mind is the first step in memorizing—­andthe most important one by far. You forgot thefourth of the list of articles your wife asked youto bring home chiefly because you allowed your attentionto waver for an instant when she was telling you.Attention may not be concentrated attention.When a siphon is charged with gas it is sufficientlyfilled with the carbonic acid vapor to make its influencefelt; a mind charged with an idea is charged to adegree sufficient to hold it. Too much chargingwill make the siphon burst; too much attention to triflesleads to insanity. Adequate attention, then,is the fundamental secret of remembering.

Generally we do not give a fact adequate attentionwhen it does not seem important. Almost everyonehas seen how the seeds in an apple point, and hasmemorized the date of Washington’s death.Most of us have—­perhaps wisely—­forgottenboth. The little nick in the bark of a tree ishealed over and obliterated in a season, but the gashesin the trees around Gettysburg are still apparentafter fifty years. Impressions that are gatheredlightly are soon obliterated. Only deep impressionscan be recalled at will. Henry Ward Beecher said:“One intense hour will do more than dreamy years.”To memorize ideas and words, concentrate on them untilthey are fixed firmly and deeply in your mind and accordto them their true importance. LISTEN with themind and you will remember.

How shall you concentrate? How would you increasethe fighting-effectiveness of a man-of-war? Onevital way would be to increase the size and numberof its guns. To strengthen your memory, increaseboth the number and the force of your mental impressionsby attending to them intensely. Loose, skimmingreading, and drifting habits of reading destroy memorypower. However, as most books and newspapersdo not warrant any other kind of attention, it willnot do altogether to condemn this method of reading;but avoid it when you are trying to memorize.

Environment has a strong influence upon concentration,until you have learned to be alone in a crowd andundisturbed by clamor. When you set out to memorizea fact or a speech, you may find the task easier awayfrom all sounds and moving objects. All impressionsforeign to the one you desire to fix in your mindmust be eliminated.

The next great step in memorizing is to pick outthe essentials of the subject, arrange them inorder, and dwell upon them intently. Think clearlyof each essential, one after the other. Thinkinga thing—­not allowing the mind to wanderto non-essentials—­is really memorizing.

Association of ideas is universally recognizedas an essential in memory work; indeed, whole systemsof memory training have been founded on this principle.

Many speakers memorize only the outlines of theiraddresses, filling in the words at the moment of speaking.Some have found it helpful to remember an outlineby associating the different points with objects inthe room. Speaking on “Peace,” youmay wish to dwell on the cost the cruelty, and thefailure of war, and so lead to the justice of arbitration.Before going on the platform if you will associatefour divisions of your outline with four objects inthe room, this association may help you to recallthem. You may be prone to forget your third point,but you remember that once when you were speaking theelectric lights failed, so arbitrarily the electriclight globe will help you to remember “failure.”Such associations, being unique, tend to stick inthe mind. While recently speaking on the six kindsof imagination the present writer formed them intoan acrostic—­visual, auditory,motor, gustatory, olfactory, andtactile, furnished the nonsense word vamgot,but the six points were easily remembered.

In the same way that children are taught to rememberthe spelling of teasing words—­separatecomes from separ—­and as an automobiledriver remembers that two C’s and then two H’slead him into Castor Road, Cottman Street, HaynesStreet and Henry Street, so important points in youraddress may be fixed in mind by arbitrary symbolsinvented by yourself. The very work of devisingthe scheme is a memory action. The psychologicalprocess is simple: it is one of noting intentlythe steps by which a fact, or a truth, or even a word,has come to you. Take advantage of this tendencyof the mind to remember by association.

Repetition is a powerful aid to memory.Thurlow Weed, the journalist and political leader,was troubled because he so easily forgot the namesof persons he met from day to day. He correctedthe weakness, relates Professor William James, byforming the habit of attending carefully to nameshe had heard during the day and then repeating themto his wife every evening. Doubtless Mrs. Weedwas heroically longsuffering, but the device workedadmirably.

After reading a passage you would remember, closethe book, reflect, and repeat the contents—­aloud,if possible.

Reading thoughtfully aloud has been found bymany to be a helpful memory practise.

Write what you wish to remember. This is simplyone more way of increasing the number and the strengthof your mental impressions by utilizing allyour avenues of impression. It will help to fixa speech in your mind if you speak it aloud, listento it, write it out, and look at it intently.You have then impressed it on your mind by means ofvocal, auditory, muscular and visual impressions.

Some folk have peculiarly distinct auditory memories;they are able to recall things heard much better thanthings seen. Others have the visual memory; theyare best able to recall sight-impressions. Asyou recall a walk you have taken, are you able toremember better the sights or the sounds? Findout what kinds of impressions your memory retains best,and use them the most. To fix an idea in mind,use every possible kind of impression.

Daily habit is a great memory cultivator.Learn a lesson from the Marathon runner. Regularexercise, though never so little daily, will strengthenyour memory in a surprising measure. Try to describein detail the dress, looks and manner of the peopleyou pass on the street. Observe the room youare in, close your eyes, and describe its contents.View closely the landscape, and write out a detaileddescription of it. How much did you miss?Notice the contents of the show windows on the street;how many features are you able to recall? Continualpractise in this feat may develop in you as remarkableproficiency as it did in Robert Houdin and his son.

The daily memorizing of a beautiful passage in literaturewill not only lend strength to the memory, but willstore the mind with gems for quotation. But whetherby little or much add daily to your memory power bypractise.

Memorize out of doors. The buoyancy of thewood, the shore, or the stormy night on deserted streetsmay freshen your mind as it does the minds of countlessothers.

Lastly, cast out fear. Tell yourself thatyou can and will and do remember.By pure exercise of selfism assert your mastery.Be obsessed with the fear of forgetting and you cannotremember. Practise the reverse. Throw asideyour manuscript crutches—­you may tumbleonce or twice, but what matters that, for you aregoing to learn to walk and leap and run.

Memorizing a Speech

Now let us try to put into practise the foregoingsuggestions. First, reread this chapter, notingthe nine ways by which memorizing may be helped.

Then read over the following selection from Beecher,applying so many of the suggestions as are practicable.Get the spirit of the selection firmly in your mind.Make mental note of—­write down, if you must—­thesuccession of ideas. Now memorize the thought.Then memorize the outline, the order in which thedifferent ideas are expressed. Finally, memorizethe exact wording.

No, when you have done all this, with the most faithfulattention to directions, you will not find memorizingeasy, unless you have previously trained your memory,or it is naturally retentive. Only by constantpractise will memory become strong and only by continuallyobserving these same principles will it remain strong.You will, however, have made a beginning, and thatis no mean matter.


I do not suppose that if you were togo and look upon the experiment of self-governmentin America you would have a very high opinionof it. I have not either, if I just look uponthe surface of things. Why, men will say:“It stands to reason that 60,000,000 ignorantof law, ignorant of constitutional history, ignorantof jurisprudence, of finance, and taxes and tariffsand forms of currency—­60,000,000 peoplethat never studied these things—­arenot fit to rule.” Your diplomacy is as complicatedas ours, and it is the most complicated on earth,for all things grow in complexity as they developtoward a higher condition. What fitness isthere in these people? Well, it is not democracymerely; it is a representative democracy.Our people do not vote in mass for anything; theypick out captains of thought, they pick out themen that do know, and they send them to the Legislatureto think for them, and then the people afterward ratifyor disallow them.
But when you come to the LegislatureI am bound to confess that the thing does notlook very much more cheering on the outside.Do they really select the best men? Yes; intimes of danger they do very generally, but inordinary time, “kissing goes by favor.”You know what the duty of a regular Republican-Democraticlegislator is. It is to get back again nextwinter. His second duty is what? Hissecond duty is to put himself under that extraordinaryprovidence that takes care of legislators’ salaries.The old miracle of the prophet and the meal and theoil is outdone immeasurably in our days, for theygo there poor one year, and go home rich; in fouryears they become moneylenders, all by a trustin that gracious providence that takes care oflegislators’ salaries. Their next duty afterthat is to serve the party that sent them up, andthen, if there is anything left of them, it belongsto the commonwealth. Someone has said verywisely, that if a man traveling wishes to relishhis dinner he had better not go into the kitchen tosee where it is cooked; if a man wishes to respectand obey the law, he had better not go to theLegislature to see where that is cooked.


From a lecture delivered inExeter Hall, London, 1886, when making
his last tour of Great Britain.

In Case of Trouble

But what are you to do if, notwithstanding all yourefforts, you should forget your points, and your mind,for the minute, becomes blank? This is a deplorablecondition that sometimes arises and must be dealt with.Obviously, you can sit down and admit defeat.Such a consummation is devoutly to be shunned.

Walking slowly across the platform may give you timeto grip yourself, compose your thoughts, and staveoff disaster. Perhaps the surest and most practicalmethod is to begin a new sentence with your last importantword. This is not advocated as a method of composinga speech—­it is merely an extreme measurewhich may save you in tight circ*mstances. Itis like the fire department—­the less youmust use it the better. If this method is followedvery long you are likely to find yourself talkingabout plum pudding or Chinese Gordon in the most unexpectedmanner, so of course you will get back to your linesthe earliest moment that your feet have hit the platform.

Let us see how this plan works—­obviously,your extemporized words will lack somewhat of polish,but in such a pass crudity is better than failure.

Now you have come to a dead wall after saying:“Joan of Arc fought for liberty.”By this method you might get something like this:

“Liberty is a sacred privilege for which mankindalways had to fight. These struggles [Platitude—­butpush on] fill the pages of history. History recordsthe gradual triumph of the serf over the lord, theslave over the master. The master has continuallytried to usurp unlimited powers. Power duringthe medieval ages accrued to the owner of the landwith a spear and a strong castle; but the strong castleand spear were of little avail after the discoveryof gunpowder. Gunpowder was the greatest boonthat liberty had ever known.”

Thus far you have linked one idea with another ratherobviously, but you are getting your second wind nowand may venture to relax your grip on the too-evidentchain; and so you say:

“With gunpowder the humblest serf in all theland could put an end to the life of the tyrannicalbaron behind the castle walls. The struggle forliberty, with gunpowder as its aid, wrecked empires,and built up a new era for all mankind.”

In a moment more you have gotten back to your outlineand the day is saved.

Practising exercises like the above will not onlyfortify you against the death of your speech whenyour memory misses fire, but it will also providean excellent training for fluency in speaking. Stockup with ideas.


1. Pick out and state briefly the nine helpsto memorizing suggested in this chapter.

2. Report on whatever success you may have hadwith any of the plans for memory culture suggestedin this chapter. Have any been less successfulthan others?

3. Freely criticise any of the suggested methods.

4. Give an original example of memory by associationof ideas.

5. List in order the chief ideas of any speechin this volume.

6. Repeat them from memory.

7. Expand them into a speech, using your ownwords.

8. Illustrate practically what would you do,if in the midst of a speech on Progress, your memoryfailed you and you stopped suddenly on the followingsentence: “The last century saw marvelousprogress in varied lines of activity.”

9. How many quotations that fit well in the speaker’stool chest can you recall from memory?

10. Memorize the poem on page 42. How muchtime does it require?



Whatever crushes individualityis despotism, by whatever name it
may be called.


Right thinking fits for complete livingby developing the power to appreciate the beautifulin nature and art, power to think the true andto will the good, power to live the life of thought,and faith, and hope, and love.

—­N.C. SCHAEFFER,Thinking and Learning to Think.

The speaker’s most valuable possession is personality—­thatindefinable, imponderable something which sums upwhat we are, and makes us different from others; thatdistinctive force of self which operates appreciablyon those whose lives we touch. It is personalityalone that makes us long for higher things. Robus of our sense of individual life, with its gainsand losses, its duties and joys, and we grovel.“Few human creatures,” says John StuartMill, “would consent to be changed into anyof the lower animals for a promise of the fullest allowanceof a beast’s pleasures; no intelligent humanbeing would consent to be a fool, no instructed personwould be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and consciencewould be selfish and base, even though he should bepersuaded that the fool, or the dunce, or the rascalis better satisfied with his lot than they with theirs....It is better to be a human being dissatisfied thana pig satisfied, better to be a Socrates dissatisfiedthan a fool satisfied. And if the fool or thepig is of a different opinion, it is only becausethey know only their own side of the question.The other party to the comparison knows both sides.”

Now it is precisely because the Socrates type of personlives on the plan of right thinking and restrainedfeeling and willing that he prefers his state to thatof the animal. All that a man is, all his happiness,his sorrow, his achievements, his failures, his magnetism,his weakness, all are in an amazingly large measurethe direct results of his thinking. Thought andheart combine to produce right thinking:“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”As he does not think in his heart so he can neverbecome.

Since this is true, personality can be developed andits latent powers brought out by careful cultivation.We have long since ceased to believe that we are livingin a realm of chance. So clear and exact are nature’slaws that we forecast, scores of years in advance,the appearance of a certain comet and foretell tothe minute an eclipse of the Sun. And we understandthis law of cause and effect in all our material realms.We do not plant potatoes and expect to pluck hyacinths.The law is universal: it applies to our mentalpowers, to morality, to personality, quite as muchas to the heavenly bodies and the grain of the fields.“Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap,”and nothing else.

Character has always been regarded as one of the chieffactors of the speaker’s power. Cato definedthe orator as vir bonus dicendi peritus—­agood man skilled in speaking. Phillips Brookssays: “Nobody can truly stand as a uttererbefore the world, unless he be profoundly living andearnestly thinking.” “Character,”says Emerson, “is a natural power, like lightand heat, and all nature cooperates with it.The reason why we feel one man’s presence, anddo not feel another’s is as simple as gravity.Truth is the summit of being: justice is theapplication of it to affairs. All individual naturesstand in a scale, according to the purity of thiselement in them. The will of the pure runs downinto other natures, as water runs down from a higherinto a lower vessel. This natural force is nomore to be withstood than any other natural force....Character is nature in the highest form.”

It is absolutely impossible for impure, bestial andselfish thoughts to blossom into loving and altruistichabits. Thistle seeds bring forth only the thistle.Contrariwise, it is entirely impossible for continualaltruistic, sympathetic, and serviceful thoughts tobring forth a low and vicious character. Eitherthoughts or feelings precede and determine all ouractions. Actions develop into habits, habits constitutecharacter, and character determines destiny. Thereforeto guard our thoughts and control our feelings isto shape our destinies. The syllogism is complete,and old as it is it is still true.

Since “character is nature in the highest form,”the development of character must proceed on naturallines. The garden left to itself will bring forthweeds and scrawny plants, but the flower-beds nurturedcarefully will blossom into fragrance and beauty.

As the student entering college largely determineshis vocation by choosing from the different coursesof the curriculum, so do we choose our charactersby choosing our thoughts. We are steadily goingup toward that which we most wish for, or steadilysinking to the level of our low desires. Whatwe secretly cherish in our hearts is a symbol of whatwe shall receive. Our trains of thoughts are hurryingus on to our destiny. When you see the flag flutteringto the South, you know the wind is coming from theNorth. When you see the straws and papers beingcarried to the Northward you realize the wind is blowingout of the South. It is just as easy to ascertaina man’s thoughts by observing the tendency ofhis character.

Let it not be suspected for one moment that all thisis merely a preachment on the question of morals.It is that, but much more, for it touches the wholeman—­his imaginative nature, his abilityto control his feelings, the mastery of his thinkingfaculties, and—­perhaps most largely—­hispower to will and to carry his volitions into effectiveaction.

Right thinking constantly assumes that the will sitsenthroned to execute the dictates of mind, conscienceand heart. Never tolerate for an instant the suggestionthat your will is not absolutely efficient. Theway to will is to will—­and the very firsttime you are tempted to break a worthy resolution—­andyou will be, you may be certain of that—­makeyour fight then and there. You cannot affordto lose that fight. You must win it—­don’tswerve for an instant, but keep that resolution ifit kills you. It will not, but you must fightjust as though life depended on the victory; and indeedyour personality may actually lie in the balances!

Your success or failure as a speaker will be determinedvery largely by your thoughts and your mental attitude.The present writer had a student of limited educationenter one of his classes in public speaking. Heproved to be a very poor speaker; and the instructorcould conscientiously do little but point out faults.However, the young man was warned not to be discouraged.With sorrow in his voice and the essence of earnestnessbeaming from his eyes, he replied: “I willnot be discouraged! I want so badly to know howto speak!” It was warm, human, and from thevery heart. And he did keep on trying—­anddeveloped into a creditable speaker.

There is no power under the stars that can defeata man with that attitude. He who down in thedeeps of his heart earnestly longs to get facilityin speaking, and is willing to make the sacrificesnecessary, will reach his goal. “Ask andye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock andit shall be opened unto you,” is indeed applicableto those who would acquire speech-power. Youwill not realize the prize that you wish for languidly,but the goal that you start out to attain with thespirit of the old guard that dies but never surrenders,you will surely reach.

Your belief in your ability and your willingness tomake sacrifices for that belief, are the double indexto your future achievements. Lincoln had a dreamof his possibilities as a speaker. He transmutedthat dream into life solely because he walked manymiles to borrow books which he read by the log-fireglow at night. He sacrificed much to realize hisvision. Livingstone had a great faith in his abilityto serve the benighted races of Africa. To actualizethat faith he gave up all. Leaving England forthe interior of the Dark Continent he struck the deathblow to Europe’s profits from the slave trade.Joan of Arc had great self-confidence, glorified byan infinite capacity for sacrifice. She drovethe English beyond the Loire, and stood beside Charleswhile he was crowned.

These all realized their strongest desires. Thelaw is universal. Desire greatly, and you shallachieve; sacrifice much, and you shall obtain.

Stanton Davis Kirkham has beautifully expressed thisthought: “You may be keeping accounts,and presently you shall walk out of the door thathas for so long seemed to you the barrier of your ideals,and shall find yourself before an audience—­thepen still behind your ear, the ink stains on yourfingers—­and then and there shall pour outthe torrent of your inspiration. You may be drivingsheep, and you shall wander to the city—­bucolicand open-mouthed; shall wander under the intrepid guidanceof the spirit into the studio of the master, and aftera time he shall say, ‘I have nothing more toteach you.’ And now you have become themaster, who did so recently dream of great things whiledriving sheep. You shall lay down the saw andthe plane to take upon yourself the regeneration ofthe world.”


1. What, in your own words, is personality?

2. How does personality in a speaker affect youas a listener?

3. In what ways does personality show itselfin a speaker?

4. Deliver a short speech on “The Powerof Will in the Public Speaker.”

5. Deliver a short address based on any sentenceyou choose from this chapter.



The perception of the ludicrousis a pledge of sanity.


And let him be sure to leaveother men their turns to speak.

—­FRANCIS BACON,Essay on Civil and Moral Discourse.

Perhaps the most brilliant, and certainly the mostentertaining, of all speeches are those deliveredon after-dinner and other special occasions.The air of well-fed content in the former, and of expectancywell primed in the latter, furnishes an audience which,though not readily won, is prepared for the best,while the speaker himself is pretty sure to have beenchosen for his gifts of oratory.

The first essential of good occasional speaking isto study the occasion. Precisely what is theobject of the meeting? How important is the occasionto the audience? How large will the audience be?What sort of people are they? How large is theauditorium? Who selects the speakers’ themes?Who else is to speak? What are they to speak about?Precisely how long am I to speak? Who speaks beforeI do and who follows?

If you want to hit the nail on the head ask such questionsas these.[35] No occasional address can succeed unlessit fits the occasion to a T. Many prominent men havelost prestige because they were too careless or toobusy or too self-confident to respect the occasionand the audience by learning the exact conditionsunder which they were to speak. Leaving toomuch to the moment is taking a long chance and generallymeans a less effective speech, if not a failure.

Suitability is the big thing in an occasional speech.When Mark Twain addressed the Army of the Tennesseein reunion at Chicago, in 1877, he responded to thetoast, “The Babies.” Two things inthat after-dinner speech are remarkable: thebright introduction, by which he subtly claimedthe interest of all, and the humorous use of militaryterms throughout:

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: “TheBabies.” Now, that’s something like.We haven’t all had the good fortune to be ladies;we have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen;but when the toast works down to the babies, westand on common ground—­for we’veall been babies. It is a shame that for a thousandyears the world’s banquets have utterlyignored the baby, as if he didn’t amountto anything! If you, gentlemen, will stop andthink a minute—­if you will go back fiftyor a hundred years, to your early married life,and recontemplate your first baby—­you willremember that he amounted to a good deal—­andeven something over.

“As a vessel is known by the sound, whetherit be cracked or not,” said Demosthenes, “somen are proved by their speeches whether they be wiseor foolish.” Surely the occasional addressfurnishes a severe test of a speaker’s wisdom.To be trivial on a serious occasion, to be funerealat a banquet, to be long-winded ever—­theseare the marks of non-sense. Some imprudent soulsseem to select the most friendly of after-dinner occasionsfor the explosion of a bomb-shell of dispute.Around the dinner table it is the custom of even politicalenemies to bury their hatchets anywhere rather thanin some convenient skull. It is the height ofbad taste to raise questions that in hours consecratedto good-will can only irritate.

Occasional speeches offer good chances for humor,particularly the funny story, for humor with a genuinepoint is not trivial. But do not spin a wholeskein of humorous yarns with no more connection thanthe inane and threadbare “And that reminds me.”An anecdote without bearing may be funny but one lessfunny that fits theme and occasion is far preferable.There is no way, short of sheer power of speech, thatso surely leads to the heart of an audience as rich,appropriate humor. The scattered diners in agreat banqueting hall, the after-dinner lethargy, theanxiety over approaching last-train time, the over-fulllist of over-full speakers—­all throw outa challenge to the speaker to do his best to win aninterested hearing. And when success does comeit is usually due to a happy mixture of seriousnessand humor, for humor alone rarely scores so heavilyas the two combined, while the utterly grave speechnever does on such occasions.

If there is one place more than another where second-handopinions and platitudes are unwelcome it is in theafter-dinner speech. Whether you are toast-masteror the last speaker to try to hold the waning crowdat midnight, be as original as you can. How isit possible to summarize the qualities that go tomake up the good after-dinner speech, when we rememberthe inimitable serious-drollery of Mark Twain, thesweet southern eloquence of Henry W. Grady, the funerealgravity of the humorous Charles Battell Loomis, thecharm of Henry Van Dyke, the geniality of F. HopkinsonSmith, and the all-round delightfulness of ChaunceyM. Depew? America is literally rich in such gladsomespeakers, who punctuate real sense with nonsense,and so make both effective.

Commemorative occasions, unveilings, commencements,dedications, eulogies, and all the train of specialpublic gatherings, offer rare opportunities for thedisplay of tact and good sense in handling occasion,theme, and audience. When to be dignified andwhen colloquial, when to soar and when to ramble armin arm with your hearers, when to flame and when tosoothe, when to instruct and when to amuse—­ina word, the whole matter of APPROPRIATENESS must constantlybe in mind lest you write your speech on water.

Finally, remember the beatitude: Blessed is theman that maketh short speeches, for he shall be invitedto speak again.




The Rapidan suggests another scene towhich allusion has often been made since the war,but which, as illustrative also of the spiritof both armies, I may be permitted to recall in thisconnection. In the mellow twilight of an Aprilday the two armies were holding their dress paradeson the opposite hills bordering the river.At the close of the parade a magnificent brassband of the Union army played with great spirit thepatriotic airs, “Hail Columbia,” and“Yankee Doodle.” Whereupon theFederal troops responded with a patriotic shout.The same band then played the soul-stirring strainsof “Dixie,” to which a mighty responsecame from ten thousand Southern troops. A fewmoments later, when the stars had come out as witnessesand when all nature was in harmony, there camefrom the same band the old melody, “Home,Sweet Home.” As its familiar and patheticnotes rolled over the water and thrilled throughthe spirits of the soldiers, the hills reverberatedwith a thundering response from the united voicesof both armies. What was there in this old, oldmusic, to so touch the chords of sympathy, so thrillthe spirits and cause the frames of brave mento tremble with emotion? It was the thoughtof home. To thousands, doubtless, it wasthe thought of that Eternal Home to which the nextbattle might be the gateway. To thousandsof others it was the thought of their dear earthlyhomes, where loved ones at that twilight hourwere bowing round the family altar, and asking God’scare over the absent soldier boy.




Let me ask you to imagine that the contest,in which the United States asserted their independenceof Great Britain, had been unsuccessful; thatour armies, through treason or a league of tyrantsagainst us, had been broken and scattered; that thegreat men who led them, and who swayed our councils—­ourWashington, our Franklin, and the venerable presidentof the American Congress—­had been drivenforth as exiles. If there had existed atthat day, in any part of the civilized world, a powerfulRepublic, with institutions resting on the same foundationsof liberty which our own countrymen sought to establish,would there have been in that Republic any hospitalitytoo cordial, any sympathy too deep, any zeal for theirglorious but unfortunate cause, too fervent or tooactive to be shown toward these illustrious fugitives?Gentlemen, the case I have supposed is beforeyou. The Washingtons, the Franklins, theHanco*cks of Hungary, driven out by a far worse tyrannythan was ever endured here, are wanderers in foreignlands. Some of them have sought a refuge inour country—­one sits with this companyour guest to-night—­and we must measurethe duty we owe them by the same standard whichwe would have had history apply, if our ancestorshad met with a fate like theirs.




When the excitement of party warfarepresses dangerously near our national safeguards,I would have the intelligent conservatism of ouruniversities and colleges warn the contestantsin impressive tones against the perils of a breachimpossible to repair.
When popular discontent and passionare stimulated by the arts of designing partisansto a pitch perilously near to class hatred orsectional anger, I would have our universities andcolleges sound the alarm in the name of Americanbrotherhood and fraternal dependence.
When the attempt is made to delude thepeople into the belief that their suffrages canchange the operation of national laws, I wouldhave our universities and colleges proclaim that thoselaws are inexorable and far removed from politicalcontrol.
When selfish interest seeks undue privatebenefits through governmental aid, and publicplaces are claimed as rewards of party service,I would have our universities and colleges persuadethe people to a relinquishment of the demand for partyspoils and exhort them to a disinterested and patrioticlove of their government, whose unperverted operationsecures to every citizen his just share of thesafety and prosperity it holds in store for all.
I would have the influence of theseinstitutions on the side of religion and morality.I would have those they send out among the peoplenot ashamed to acknowledge God, and to proclaim Hisinterposition in the affairs of men, enjoiningsuch obedience to His laws as makes manifest thepath of national perpetuity and prosperity

—­GROVER CLEVELAND,delivered at the Princeton
Sesqui-Centennial, 1896.



Great in life, he was surpassingly greatin death. For no cause, in the very frenzyof wantonness and wickedness, by the red hand ofmurder, he was thrust from the full tide of this world’sinterest, from its hopes, its aspirations, itsvictories, into the visible presence of death—­andhe did not quail. Not alone for the one shortmoment in which, stunned and dazed, he could giveup life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but throughdays of deadly languor, through weeks of agony,that was not less agony because silently borne,with clear sight and calm courage, he looked intohis open grave. What blight and ruin met hisanguished eyes, whose lips may tell—­whatbrilliant, broken plans, what baffled, high ambitions,what sundering of strong, warm, manhood’sfriendships, what bitter rending of sweet householdties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation, agreat host of sustaining friends, a cherishedand happy mother, wearing the full rich honorsof her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth,whose whole life lay in his; the little boys notyet emerged from childhood’s day of frolic; thefair young daughter; the sturdy sons just springinginto closest companionship, claiming every dayand every day rewarding a father’s loveand care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing powerto meet all demand. Before him, desolation andgreat darkness! And his soul was not shaken.His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profoundand universal sympathy. Masterful in hismortal weakness, he became the centre of a nation’slove, enshrined in the prayers of a world. Butall the love and all the sympathy could not sharewith him his suffering. He trod the winepress alone. With unfaltering front he faceddeath. With unfailing tenderness he took leaveof life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin’sbullet he heard the voice of God. With simpleresignation he bowed to the Divine decree.

—­JAMES G. BLAINE,delivered at the memorial service held
by the U.S. Senate andHouse of Representatives.



At the bottom of all true heroism isunselfishness. Its crowning expression issacrifice. The world is suspicious of vauntedheroes. But when the true hero has come, andwe know that here he is in verity, ah! how thehearts of men leap forth to greet him! how worshipfullywe welcome God’s noblest work—­thestrong, honest, fearless, upright man. InRobert Lee was such a hero vouchsafed to us andto mankind, and whether we behold him decliningcommand of the federal army to fight the battles andshare the miseries of his own people; proclaimingon the heights in front of Gettysburg that thefault of the disaster was his own; leading chargesin the crisis of combat; walking under the yokeof conquest without a murmur of complaint; or refusingfortune to come here and train the youth of hiscountry in the paths of duty,—­he isever the same meek, grand, self-sacrificing spirit.Here he exhibited qualities not less worthy and heroicthan those displayed on the broad and open theaterof conflict, when the eyes of nations watchedhis every action. Here in the calm reposeof civil and domestic duties, and in the tryingroutine of incessant tasks, he lived a life as highas when, day by day, he marshalled and led histhin and wasting lines, and slept by night uponthe field that was to be drenched again in bloodupon the morrow. And now he has vanishedfrom us forever. And is this all that is leftof him—­this handful of dust beneaththe marble stone? No! the ages answer asthey rise from the gulfs of time, where lie the wrecksof kingdoms and estates, holding up in their handsas their only trophies, the names of those whohave wrought for man in the love and fear of God,and in love—­unfearing for their fellow-men.No! the present answers, bending by his tomb.No! the future answers as the breath of the morningfans its radiant brow, and its soul drinks insweet inspirations from the lovely life of Lee.No! methinks the very heavens echo, as melt intotheir depths the words of reverent love that voicethe hearts of men to the tingling stars.
Come we then to-day in loyal love tosanctify our memories, to purify our hopes, tomake strong all good intent by communion withthe spirit of him who, being dead yet speaketh.Come, child, in thy spotless innocence; come,woman, in thy purity; come, youth, in thy prime;come, manhood, in thy strength; come, age, inthy ripe wisdom; come, citizen; come, soldier; letus strew the roses and lilies of June around histomb, for he, like them, exhaled in his life Nature’sbeneficence, and the grave has consecrated thatlife and given it to us all; let us crown histomb with the oak, the emblem of his strength, andwith the laurel the emblem of his glory, and letthese guns, whose voices he knew of old, awakethe echoes of the mountains, that nature herselfmay join in his solemn requiem. Come, for herehe rests, and

On this green bank, by thisfair stream,
We set to-day a votive stone,
That memory may his deedsredeem?
When, like our sires, oursons are gone.

—­JOHN WARWICK DANIEL,on the unveiling of Lee’s statue at
Washington and Lee University,Lexington, Virginia, 1883.


1. Why should humor find a place in after-dinnerspeaking?

2. Briefly give your impressions of any notableafter-dinner address that you have heard.

3. Briefly outline an imaginary occasion of anysort and give three subjects appropriate for addresses.

4. Deliver one such address, not to exceed tenminutes in length.

5. What proportion of emotional ideas do youfind in the extracts given in this chapter?

6. Humor was used in some of the foregoing addresses—­inwhich others would it have been inappropriate?

7. Prepare and deliver an after-dinner speechsuited to one of the following occasions, and be sureto use humor:

A lodge banquet.
A political party dinner.
A church men’s club dinner.
A civic association banquet.
A banquet in honor of a celebrity.
A woman’s club annual dinner.
A business men’s association dinner.
A manufacturers’ club dinner.
An alumni banquet.
An old home week barbecue.


[Footnote 35: See also page 205.]



In conversation avoid theextremes of forwardness and reserve.


Conversation is the laboratoryand workshop of the student.

—­EMERSON, Essays:Circles.

The father of W.E. Gladstone considered conversationto be both an art and an accomplishment. Aroundthe dinner table in his home some topic of local ornational interest, or some debated question, was constantlybeing discussed. In this way a friendly rivalryfor supremacy in conversation arose among the family,and an incident observed in the street, an idea gleanedfrom a book, a deduction from personal experience,was carefully stored as material for the family exchange.Thus his early years of practise in elegant conversationprepared the younger Gladstone for his career as aleader and speaker.

There is a sense in which the ability to converseeffectively is efficient public speaking, for ourconversation is often heard by many, and occasionallydecisions of great moment hinge upon the tone andquality of what we say in private.

Indeed, conversation in the aggregate probably wieldsmore power than press and platform combined.Socrates taught his great truths, not from publicrostrums, but in personal converse. Men made pilgrimagesto Goethe’s library and Coleridge’s hometo be charmed and instructed by their speech, andthe culture of many nations was immeasurably influencedby the thoughts that streamed out from those richwell-springs.

Most of the world-moving speeches are made in thecourse of conversation. Conferences of diplomats,business-getting arguments, decisions by boards ofdirectors, considerations of corporate policy, allof which influence the political, mercantile and economicmaps of the world, are usually the results of carefulthough informal conversation, and the man whose opinionsweigh in such crises is he who has first carefullypondered the words of both antagonist and protagonist.

However important it may be to attain self-controlin light social converse, or about the family table,it is undeniably vital to have oneself perfectly inhand while taking part in a momentous conference.Then the hints that we have given on poise, alertness,precision of word, clearness of statement, and forceof utterance, with respect to public speech, are equallyapplicable to conversation.

The form of nervous egotism—­for it is both—­thatsuddenly ends in flusters just when the vital wordsneed to be uttered, is the sign of coming defeat,for a conversation is often a contest. If youfeel this tendency embarrassing you, be sure to listento Holmes’s advice:

And when you stick on conversationalburs,
Don’t strew your pathwaywith those dreadful urs.

Here bring your will into action, for your troubleis a wandering attention. You must forceyour mind to persist along the chosen line of conversationand resolutely refuse to be diverted by anysubject or happening that may unexpectedly pop upto distract you. To fail here is to lose effectivenessutterly.

Concentration is the keynote of conversational charmand efficiency. The haphazard habit of expressionthat uses bird-shot when a bullet is needed insuresmissing the game, for diplomacy of all sorts restsupon the precise application of precise words, particularly—­ifone may paraphrase Tallyrand—­in those criseswhen language is no longer used to conceal thought.

We may frequently gain new light on old subjects bylooking at word-derivations. Conversation signifiesin the original a turn-about exchange of ideas, yetmost people seem to regard it as a monologue.Bronson Alcott used to say that many could argue, butfew converse. The first thing to remember inconversation, then, is that listening—­respectful,sympathetic, alert listening—­is not onlydue to our fellow converser but due to ourselves.Many a reply loses its point because the speaker isso much interested in what he is about to say thatit is really no reply at all but merely an irritatingand humiliating irrelevancy.

Self-expression is exhilarating. This explainsthe eternal impulse to decorate totem poles and paintpictures, write poetry and expound philosophy.One of the chief delights of conversation is the opportunityit affords for self-expression. A good conversationalistwho monopolizes all the conversation, will be voteda bore because he denies others the enjoyment of self-expression,while a mediocre talker who listens interestedly maybe considered a good conversationalist because hepermits his companions to please themselves throughself-expression. They are praised who please:they please who listen well.

The first step in remedying habits of confusion inmanner, awkward bearing, vagueness in thought, andlack of precision in utterance, is to recognize yourfaults. If you are serenely unconscious of them,no one—­least of all yourself—­canhelp you. But once diagnose your own weaknesses,and you can overcome them by doing four things:

1. WILL to overcome them, and keep on willing.

2. Hold yourself in hand by assuring yourselfthat you know precisely what you ought to say.If you cannot do that, be quiet until you are clearon this vital point.

3. Having thus assured yourself, cast out thefear of those who listen to you—­they areonly human and will respect your words if you reallyhave something to say and say it briefly, simply, andclearly.

4. Have the courage to study the English languageuntil you are master of at least its simpler forms.

Conversational Hints

Choose some subject that will prove of general interestto the whole group. Do not explain the mechanismof a gas engine at an afternoon tea or the cultureof hollyhocks at a stag party.

It is not considered good taste for a man to barehis arm in public and show scars or deformities.It is equally bad form for him to flaunt his own woes,or the deformity of some one else’s character.The public demands plays and stories that end happily.All the world is seeking happiness. They cannotlong be interested in your ills and troubles.George Cohan made himself a millionaire before he wasthirty by writing cheerful plays. One of hisrules is generally applicable to conversation:“Always leave them laughing when you say goodbye.”

Dynamite the “I” out of your conversation.Not one man in nine hundred and seven can talk abouthimself without being a bore. The man who canperform that feat can achieve marvels without talkingabout himself, so the eternal “I” is notpermissible even in his talk.

If you habitually build your conversation around yourown interests it may prove very tiresome to your listener.He may be thinking of bird dogs or dry fly fishingwhile you are discussing the fourth dimension, orthe merits of a cucumber lotion. The charmingconversationalist is prepared to talk in terms ofhis listener’s interest. If his listenerspends his spare time investigating Guernsey cattleor agitating social reforms, the discriminating conversationalistshapes his remarks accordingly. Richard WashburnChild says he knows a man of mediocre ability whocan charm men much abler than himself when he discusseselectric lighting. This same man probably wouldbore, and be bored, if he were forced to converseabout music or Madagascar.

Avoid platitudes and hackneyed phrases. If youmeet a friend from Keokuk on State Street or on Pike’sPeak, it is not necessary to observe: “Howsmall this world is after all!” This observationwas doubtless made prior to the formation of Pike’sPeak. “This old world is getting betterevery day.” “Fanner’s wivesdo not have to work as hard as formerly.”“It is not so much the high cost of living asthe cost of high living.” Such observationsas these excite about the same degree of admirationas is drawn out by the appearance of a 1903-modeltouring car. If you have nothing fresh or interestingyou can always remain silent. How would you liketo read a newspaper that flashed out in bold headlines“Nice Weather We Are Having,” or dailygave columns to the same old material you had beenreading week after week?


1. Give a short speech describing the conversationalbore.

2. In a few words give your idea of a charmingconverser.

3. What qualities of the orator should notbe used in conversation.

4. Give a short humorous delineation of the conversational“oracle.”

5. Give an account of your first day at observingconversation around you.

6. Give an account of one day’s effortto improve your own conversation.

7. Give a list of subjects you heard discussedduring any recent period you may select.

8. What is meant by “elastic touch”in conversation?

9. Make a list of “Bromides,” asGellett Burgess calls those threadbare expressionswhich “bore us to extinction”—­itselfa Bromide.

10. What causes a phrase to become hackneyed?

11. Define the words, (a) trite; (b)solecism; (c) colloquialism; (d) slang;(e) vulgarism; (f) neologism.

12. What constitutes pretentious talk?




1. Has Labor Unionism justified its existence?

2. Should all church printing be brought outunder the Union Label?

3. Is the Open Shop a benefit to the community?

4. Should arbitration of industrial disputesbe made compulsory?

5. Is Profit-Sharing a solution of the wage problem?

6. Is a minimum wage law desirable?

7. Should the eight-hour day be made universalin America?

8. Should the state compensate those who sustainirreparable business loss because of the enactmentof laws prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicatingdrinks?

9. Should public utilities be owned by the municipality?

10. Should marginal trading in stocks be prohibited?

11. Should the national government establisha compulsory system of old-age insurance by taxingthe incomes of those to be benefited?

12. Would the triumph of socialistic principlesresult in deadening personal ambition?

13. Is the Presidential System a better formof government for the United States than the ParliamentalSystem?

14. Should our legislation be shaped toward thegradual abandonment of the protective tariff?

15. Should the government of the larger citiesbe vested solely in a commission of not more thannine men elected by the voters at large?

16. Should national banks be permitted to issue,subject to tax and government supervision, notes basedon their general assets?

17. Should woman be given the ballot on the presentbasis of suffrage for men?

18. Should the present basis of suffrage be restricted?

19. Is the hope of permanent world-peace a delusion?

20. Should the United States send a diplomaticrepresentative to the Vatican?

21. Should the Powers of the world substitutean international police for national standing armies?

22. Should the United States maintain the MonroeDoctrine?

23. Should the Recall of Judges be adopted?

24. Should the Initiative and Referendum be adoptedas a national principle?

25. Is it desirable that the national governmentshould own all railroads operating in interstate territory?

26. Is it desirable that the national governmentshould own interstate telegraph and telephone systems?

27. Is the national prohibition of the liquortraffic an economic necessity?

28. Should the United States army and navy begreatly strengthened?

29. Should the same standards of altruism obtainin the relations of nations as in those of individuals?

30. Should our government be more highly centralized?

31. Should the United States continue its policyof opposing the combination of railroads?

32. In case of personal injury to a workman arisingout of his employment, should his employer be liablefor adequate compensation and be forbidden to setup as a defence a plea of contributory negligence onthe part of the workman, or the negligence of a fellowworkman?

33. Should all corporations doing an interstatebusiness be required to take out a Federal license?

34. Should the amount of property that can betransferred by inheritance be limited by law?

35. Should equal compensation for equal labor,between women and men, universally prevail?

36. Does equal suffrage tend to lessen the interestof woman in her home?

37. Should the United States take advantage ofthe commercial and industrial weakness of foreignnations, brought about by the war, by trying to wrestfrom them their markets in Central and South America?

38. Should teachers of small children in thepublic schools be selected from among mothers?

39. Should football be restricted to colleges,for the sake of physical safety?

40. Should college students who receive compensationfor playing summer baseball be debarred from amateurstanding?

41. Should daily school-hours and school vacationsboth be shortened?

42. Should home-study for pupils in grade schoolsbe abolished and longer school-hours substituted?

43. Should the honor system in examinations beadopted in public high-schools?

44. Should all colleges adopt the self-governmentsystem for its students?

45. Should colleges be classified by nationallaw and supervision, and uniform entrance and graduationrequirements maintained by each college in a particularclass?

46. Should ministers be required to spend a termof years in some trade, business, or profession, beforebecoming pastors?

47. Is the Y.M.C.A. losing its spiritual power?

48. Is the church losing its hold on thinkingpeople?

49. Are the people of the United States moredevoted to religion than ever?

50. Does the reading of magazines contributeto intellectual shallowness?



With Source References for Material.

“The State,” WoodrowWilson.

“The Popular Initiative andReferendum,” O.M. Barnes.

Article in Independent, 53:2874; article in North
American Review
, 178: 205.

Book of same title, M.M. Ballou.

Lecture by John Lord, in “BeaconLights of History.”
NOTE: This set of books containsa vast store of
material for speeches.

Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Henry vanDyke, reported
in the New York Tribune,February 25, 1895.

Part III, Annual Report of the Secretaryof Internal
Affairs, Pennsylvania, 1912.

“Americans or Aliens?”Howard B. Grose.

“The Drama Today,” CharltonAndrews.

“Curiosities of PopularCustom,” William S. Walsh.

“Old Age Deferred,”Arnold Lorand.

Article in Century,28: 41.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde,” R.L. Stevenson.

“The Panacea for Poverty,”Madison Peters.

“A Christian’sHabits,” Robert E. Speer.

“Jesus the Jew,”Harold Weinstock.

Article by J. Berg Esenweinin “The Theatre of
Science,” Robert Grau.

“Books and Reading,”R.C. Gage and Alfred

“The Technique of theNovel,” Charles F. Home.

Article in Lippincott’s,October, 1907.

“The Real Mexico,”Hamilton Fyfe.

Article in Woman’sHome Companion, December, 1914.

Article in Literary Digest,November 28, 1914.

“The Science of Happiness,”Jean Finot.

“The Job, the Man, andthe Boss,” Katherine
Blackford and Arthur Newcomb.

Article in Current Opinion,November, 1914.

“A Young man’sReligion,” N. McGee Waters.

Article in Current Opinion,November, 1914.

Article in Literary Digest,November 28, 1914.

Article in Literary Digest,November 14, 1914.



With Occasional Hints on Treatment


The essence of truth-tellingand lying. Lies that are not so
considered. The subtletiesof distinctions required. Examples of
implied and acted lies.

Benefits that have arisenout of floods, fires, earthquakes, wars,

How the speed mania is bornof a vain desire to enjoy a leisure
that never comes or, on thecontrary, how the seeming haste of
the world has given men shorterhours off labor and more time for
rest, study, and pleasure.

Truths from the Epistles pertinentto the great cities of today.


How many men have been contentuntil, losing all, they exerted their
best efforts to regain success,and succeeded more largely than



The cost of collecting fundsfor, and administering help to, the
needy. The weakness oforganized philanthropy as compared with
the giving that gives itself.

The other side of the picture.

The true forces that hurtfullycontrol too many newspapers are not
those of arbitrary governmentsbut the corrupting influences of
moneyed and political interests,fear of the liquor power, and the
desire to please sensation-lovingreaders.


A study of the reasons underlyingthe movement.

In ridicule of the pessimistwho is never surprised at seeing failure.

Value of direct training comparedwith the policy of laying broader
foundations for later building.How the two theories work out in
practise. Each plan canbe especially applied in cases that seem to
need special treatment.

A humorous, yet serious, discussionof the flopping, wind-mill

Herbert Spencer’s theoryas discussed in “The Data of Ethics.”

Economic perils in massedpopulation. Show also the other side.
Signs of the problem’sbeing solved.

A comparison of the work ofGalsworthy, Masefield and Kipling with
that of some earlier poets.


How men are coming to seethe economic advantages of smaller

Its relation to morals andart. Its difficulties and its benefits.

Mordecai’s expressionand its application to opportunities in modern
woman’s life.




How great men not only mademomentous decisions but created means
to carry them out. Aspeech full of historical examples.




Revert to the original meaningof the word. Build the speech around
one man as the chief example.

Leadership and “cannonfodder”—­a protest against war in itseffect
on the common people.

A dispassionate examinationof the claims of the British militant

The difference between thenude and the naked in art.

False patriotism and true,with examples of popularly-hated patriots.

An analysis of our presentpolitical system and the movement toward




A eulogy.

Should all men be compelledto contribute to the support of
universities and professionalschools?

Is Eugenics a science?And is it practicable?

Is a strongly paternal governmentbetter for the masses than a much
larger freedom for the individual?

The tendency to swallow reviewsinstead of forming one’s own views.

A study of which form of aristocracymust eventually prevail, that
of blood or that of talent.

Based on many examples ofwhat has been accomplished by those who
have not “let well-enoughalone.”

A study of the relation ofthe apathetic voter to vicious government.




Destiny vs. choice.


Doubt not mere unbelief.True grounds for doubt. What doubt has led
to. Examples. Theweakness of mere doubt. The attitude of the
wholesome doubter versusthat of the wholesale doubter.

A message from the life ofThomas Jefferson.

The dangers of specializingwithout first possessing broad
knowledge. The eye tooclose to one object. Balance is a vital
prerequisite for specialization.


What conditions in the history,temperament and environment of our
Southern people indicate abright literary future.



In praise of the Sunday-school.

How the ever-new baby holdsmankind in unselfish courses and saves
us all from going lastinglywrong.

His trials and problems.

A lesson from the bee.

Examples from history.

Horace Walpole’s cynicalremark is not true now, nor was it true
even in his own corrupt era.Of what sort are the men who cannot
be bought? Examples.

Examples in American life.

There is a key for every lock.No difficulty so great, no truth so
obscure, no problem so involved,but that there is a key to fit the
lock. The search forthe right key, the struggle to adjust it, the
vigilance to retain it—­theseare some of the problems of success.


Influence of the woman graduateof fifty years before on the college
girl who lives in the roomonce occupied by the distinguished
“old grad.”

The importance of weighingfacts relatively.



A fair-minded examinationof the uses and abuses of the political




























[Footnote 36: It must be remembered that thephrasing of the subject will not necessarily servefor the title.]





Delivered in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., October18, 1914. Used by permission.

Long ago Plato made a distinction between the occasionsof war and the causes of war. The occasions ofwar lie upon the surface, and are known and read ofall men, while the causes of war are embedded in racialantagonisms, in political and economic controversies.Narrative historians portray the occasions of war;philosophic historians, the secret and hidden causes.Thus the spark of fire that falls is the occasionof an explosion, but the cause of the havoc is therelation between charcoal, niter and saltpeter.The occasion of the Civil War was the firing uponFort Sumter. The cause was the collision betweenthe ideals of the Union presented by Daniel Websterand the secession taught by Calhoun. The occasionof the American Revolution was the Stamp Tax; thecause was the conviction on the part of our forefathersthat men who had freedom in worship carried also thecapacity for self-government. The occasion ofthe French Revolution was the purchase of a diamondnecklace for Queen Marie Antoinette at a time whenthe treasury was exhausted; the cause of the revolutionwas feudalism. Not otherwise, the occasion ofthe great conflict that is now shaking our earth wasthe assassination of an Austrian boy and girl, butthe cause is embedded in racial antagonisms and economiccompetition.

As for Russia, the cause of the war was her desireto obtain the Bosphorus—­and an open seaport,which is the prize offered for her attack upon Germany.As for Austria, the cause of the war is her fear ofthe growing power of the Balkan States, and the progressiveslicing away of her territory. As for France,the cause of the war is the instinct of self-preservation,that resists an invading host. As for Germany,the cause is her deep-seated conviction that everycountry has a moral right to the mouth of its greatestriver; unable to compete with England, by roundaboutsea routes and a Kiel Canal, she wants to use the routethat nature digged for her through the mouth of theRhine. As for England, the motherland is fightingto recover her sense of security. During theNapoleonic wars the second William Pitt explained thequadrupling of the taxes, the increase of the navy,and the sending of an English army against France,by the statement that justification of this proposedwar is the “Preservation of England’ssense of security.” Ten years ago Englandlost her sense of security. Today she is not seekingto preserve, but to recover, the lost sense of security.She proposes to do this by destroying Germany’sironclads, demobilizing her army, wiping out her forts,and the partition of her provinces. The occasionsof the war vary, with the color of the paper—­“white”and “gray” and “blue”—­butthe causes of this war are embedded in racial antagonismsand economic and political differences.


Tonight our study concerns little Belgium, her people,and their part in this conflict. Be the reasonswhat they may, this little land stands in the centerof the stage and holds the limelight. Once moreDavid, armed with a sling, has gone up against tenGoliaths. It is an amazing spectacle, this, oneof the smallest of the States, battling with the largestof the giants! Belgium has a standing army of42,000 men, and Germany, with three reserves, perhaps7,000,000 or 8,000,000. Without waiting for anyassistance, this little Belgium band went up against2,000,000. It is as if a honey bee had decidedto attack an eagle come to loot its honeycomb.It is as if an antelope had turned against a lion.Belgium has but 11,000 square miles of land, less thanthe States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.Her population is 7,500,000, less than the singleState of New York. You could put twenty-two Belgiumsin our single State of Texas. Much of her soilis thin; her handicaps are heavy, but the industryof her people has turned the whole land into one vastflower and vegetable garden. The soil of Minnesotaand the Dakotas is new soil, and yet our farmers thereaverage but fifteen bushels of wheat to the acre.Belgium’s soil has been used for centuries,but it averages thirty-seven bushels of wheat to theacre. If we grow twenty-four bushels of barley

on an acre of ground, Belgium grows fifty; she produces300 bushels of potatoes, where the Maine farmer harvests90 bushels. Belgium’s average populationper square mile has risen to 645 people. If Americanspractised intensive farming; if the population ofTexas were as dense as it is in Belgium—­100,000,000of the United States, Canada and Central America couldall move to Texas, while if our entire country wasas densely populated as Belgium’s, everybodyin the world could live comfortably within the limitsof our country.


And yet, little Belgium has no gold or silver mines,and all the treasures of copper and zinc and leadand anthracite and oil have been denied her.The gold is in the heart of her people. No otherland holds a race more prudent, industrious and thrifty!It is a land where everybody works. In the winterwhen the sun does not rise until half past seven,the Belgian cottages have lights in their windows atfive, and the people are ready for an eleven-hourday. As a rule all children work after 12 yearsof age. The exquisite pointed lace that has madeBelgium famous, is wrought by women who fulfill thetasks of the household fulfilled by American women,and then begins their task upon the exquisite lacesthat have sent their name and fame throughout theworld. Their wages are low, their work hard, buttheir life is so peaceful and prosperous that fewBelgians ever emigrate to foreign countries.Of late they have made their education compulsory,their schools free. It is doubtful whether anyother country has made a greater success of theirsystem of transportation. You will pay 50 centsto journey some twenty odd miles out to Roslyn, onour Long Island railroad, but in Belgium a commuterjourneys twenty miles in to the factory and back againevery night and makes the six double daily journeysat an entire cost of 37-1/2 cents per week, less thanthe amount that you pay for the journey one way fora like distance in this country. Out of thishas come Belgium’s prosperity. She has themoney to buy goods from other countries, and she hasthe property to export to foreign lands. Lastyear the United States, with its hundred millions ofpeople, imported less than $2,000,000,000, and exported$2,500,000,000. If our people had been as prosperousper capita as Belgium, we would have purchased fromother countries $12,000,000,000 worth of goods andexported $10,000,000,000.

So largely have we been dependent upon Belgium thatmany of the engines used in digging the Panama Canalcame from the co*ckerill works that produce two thousandsof these engines every year in Liege. It is oftensaid that the Belgians have the best courts in existence.The Supreme Court of Little Belgium has but one Justice.Without waiting for an appeal, just as soon as a decisionhas been reached by a lower Court, while the mattersare still fresh in mind and all the witnesses and

facts readily obtainable, this Supreme Justice reviewsall the objections raised on either side and withouta motion from anyone passes on the decision of theinferior court. On the other hand, the lowercourts are open to an immediate settlement of disputesbetween the wage earners, and newsboys and fishermenare almost daily seen going to the judge for a decisionregarding a dispute over five or ten cents. Whenthe judge has cross-questioned both sides, withoutthe presence of attorneys, or the necessity of servinga process, or raising a dollar and a quarter, as here,the poorest of the poor have their wrongs righted.It is said that not one decision out of one hundredis appealed, thus calling for the existence of anattorney.

To all other institutions organized in the interestof the wage earner has been added the national savingsbank system, that makes loans to men of small means,that enables the farmer and the working man to buya little garden and build a house, while at the sametime insuring the working man against accident andsickness. Belgium is a poor man’s country,it has been said, because institutions have been administeredin the interest of the men of small affairs.


But the institutions of Belgium and the industrialprosperity of her people alone are not equal to theexplanation of her unique heroism. Long ago,in his Commentaries, Julius Caesar said that Gaul wasinhabited by three tribes, the Belgae, the Aquitani,the Celts, “of whom the Belgae were the bravest.”History will show that Belgians have courage as theirnative right, for only the brave could have survived.The southeastern part of Belgium is a series of rockplains, and if these plains have been her good fortunein times of peace, they have furnished the battlefieldsof Western Europe for two thousand years. NorthernFrance and Western Germany are rough, jagged and wooded,but the Belgian plains were ideal battlefields.For this reason the generals of Germany and of Francehave usually met and struggled for the mastery on thesewide Belgian plains. On one of these groundsJulius Caesar won the first battle that is recorded.Then came King Clovis and the French, with their campaigns;toward these plains also the Saracens were hurryingwhen assaulted by Charles Martel. On the Belgianplains the Dutch burghers and the Spanish armies,led by Bloody Alva, fought out their battle.Hither, too, came Napoleon, and the great mound ofWaterloo is the monument to the Duke of Wellington’svictory. It was to the Belgian plains, also,that the German general, last August, rushed his troops.Every college and every city searches for some levelspot of land where the contest between opposing teamsmay be held, and for more than two thousand yearsthe Belgian plain has been the scene of the great battlesbetween the warring nations of Western Europe.

Now, out of all these collisions there has come ahardy race, inured to peril, rich in fortitude, loyalty,patience, thrift, self-reliance and persevering faith.For five hundred years the Belgian children and youthhave been brought up upon the deeds of noble renown,achieved by their ancestors. If Julius Caesarwere here today he would wear Belgium’s braverylike a bright sword, girded to his thigh. Andwhen this brave little people, with a standing armyof forty-two thousand men, single-handed defied twomillions of Germans, it tells us that Ajax has comeback once more to defy the god of lightnings.


Perhaps one or two chapters torn from the pages ofBelgium history will enable us to understand her present-dayheroism, just as one golden bough plucked from theforest will explain the richness of the autumn.You remember that Venice was once the financial centerof the world. Then when the bankers lost confidencein the navy of Venice they put their jewels and goldinto saddle bags and moved the financial center ofthe world to Nuremburg, because its walls were sevenfeet thick and twenty feet high. Later, about1500 A.D., the discovery of the New World turned allthe peoples into races of sea-going folk, and the Englishand Dutch captains vied with the sailors of Spainand Portugal. No captains were more prosperousthan the mariners of Antwerp. In 1568 there were500 marble mansions in this city on the Meuse.Belgium became a casket filled with jewels. Thenit was that Spain turned covetous eyes northward.Sated with his pleasures, broken by indulgence andpassion, the Emperor Charles the Fifth resigned hisgold and throne to his son, King Philip. Findinghis coffers depleted, Philip sent the Duke of Alva,with 10,000 Spanish soldiers, out on a looting expedition.Their approach filled Antwerp with consternation,for her merchants were busy with commerce and notwith war. The sack of Antwerp by the Spaniardsmakes up a revolting page in history. Within threedays 8,000 men, women and children were massacred,and the Spanish soldiers, drunk with wine and blood,hacked, drowned and burned like fiends that they were.The Belgian historian tells us that 500 marble residenceswere reduced to blackened ruins. One incidentwill make the event stand out. When the Spaniardsapproached the city a wealthy burgher hastened theday of his son’s marriage. During the ceremonythe soldiers broke down the gate of the city and crossedthe threshold of the rich man’s house. Whenthey had stripped the guests of their purses and gems,unsatisfied, they killed the bridegroom, slew themen, and carried the bride out into the night.The next morning a young woman, crazed and half clad,was found in the street, searching among the deadbodies. At last she found a youth, whose headshe lifted upon her knees, over which she crooned hersongs, as a young mother soothes her babe. A Spanishofficer passing by, humiliated by the spectacle, ordereda soldier to use his dagger and put the girl out ofher misery.


Having looted Antwerp, the treasure chest of Belgium,the Spaniards set up the Inquisition as an organizedmeans of securing property. It is a strange factthat the Spaniard has excelled in cruelty as othernations have excelled in art or science or invention.Spain’s cruelty to the Moors and the rich Jewsforms one of the blackest chapters in history.Inquisitors became fiends. Moors were starved,tortured, burned, flung in wells, Jewish bankers hadtheir tongues thrust through little iron rings; thenthe end of the tongue was seared that it might swell,and the banker was led by a string in the ring throughthe streets of the city. The women and the childrenwere put on rafts that were pushed out into the MediterraneanSea. When the swollen corpses drifted ashore,the plague broke out, and when that black plague spreadover Spain it seemed like the justice of outragednature. The expulsion of the Moors was one ofthe deadliest blows ever struck at science, commerce,art and literature. The historian tracks Spainacross the continents by a trail of blood. WhereverSpain’s hand has fallen it has paralyzed.From the days of Cortez, wherever her captains havegiven a pledge, the tongue that spake has been mildewedwith lies and treachery. The wildest beasts arenot in the jungle; man is the lion that rends, manis the leopard that tears, man’s hate is theserpent that poisons, and the Spaniard entered Belgiumto turn a garden into a wilderness. Within oneyear, 1568, Antwerp, that began with 125,000 people,ended it with 50,000. Many multitudes were putto death by the sword and stake, but many, many thousandsfled to England, to begin anew their lives as manufacturersand mariners; and for years Belgium was one quakingperil, an inferno, whose torturers were Spaniards.The visitor in Antwerp is still shown the rack uponwhich they stretched the merchants that they mightyield up their hidden gold. The Painted Ladymay be seen. Opening her arms, she embraces thevictim. The Spaniard, with his spear, forced themerchant into the deadly embrace. As the ironarms concealed in velvet folded together, one spikepassed through each eye, another through the mouth,another through the heart. The Painted Lady’slips were poisoned, so that a kiss was fatal.The dungeon whose sides were forced together by screws,so that each day the victim saw his cell growing lessand less, and knew that soon he would be crushed todeath, was another instrument of torture. Literallythousands of innocent men and women were burned alivein the market place.

There is no more piteous tragedy in history than thestory of the decline and ruin of this superbly prosperous,literary and artistic country, and yet out of theashes came new courage. Burned, broken, the Belgiansand the Dutch were not beaten. Pushed at lastinto Holland, where they united their fortunes withthe Dutch, they cut the dykes of Holland, and letin the ocean, and clinging to the dykes with theirfinger tips, fought their way back to the land; butno sooner had the last of the Spaniards gone thanout of their rags and poverty they founded a universityas a monument to the providence of God in deliveringthem out of the hands of their enemies. For, theSixteenth Century, in the form of a brave knight,wears little Belgium and Holland like a red rose uponhis heart.


But some of you will say that the Belgian people musthave been rebels and guilty of some excess, and thathad they remained quiescent, and not fomented treason,that no such fate could have overtaken them at thehands of Spain. Very well. I will take ayouth who, at the beginning, believed in Charles theFifth, a man who was as true to his ideals as theneedle to the pole. One day the “BloodyCouncil” decreed the death of Egmont and Horn.Immediately afterward, the Duke of Alva sent an invitationto Egmont to be the guest of honor at a banquet inhis own house. A servant from the palace thatnight delivered to the Count a slip of paper, containinga warning to take the fleetest horse and flee thecity, and from that moment not to eat or sleep withoutpistols at his hand. To all this Egmont respondedthat no monster ever lived who could, with an invitationof hospitality, trick a patriot. Like a braveman, the Count went to the Duke’s palace.He found the guests assembled, but when he had handedhis hat and cloak to the servant, Alva gave a sign,and from behind the curtains came Spanish musqueteers,who demanded his sword. For instead of a banquethall, the Count was taken to a cellar, fitted up asa dungeon. Already Egmont had all but died forhis country. He had used his ships, his trade,his gold, for righting the people’s wrongs.He was a man of a large family—­a wife andeleven children—­and people loved him asto idolatry. But Alva was inexorable. Hehad made up his mind that the merchants and burghershad still much hidden gold, and if he killed theirbravest and best, terror would fall upon all alike,and that the gold he needed would be forthcoming.That all the people might witness the scene, he tookhis prisoners to Brussels and decided to behead themin the public square. In the evening Egmont receivedthe notice that his head would be chopped off the nextday. A scaffold was erected in the public square.That evening he wrote a letter that is a marvel ofrestraint.

“Sire—­I have learned this eveningthe sentence which your majesty has been pleased topronounce upon me. Although I have never had athought, and believe myself never to have done a deed,which would tend to the prejudice of your service,or to the detriment of true religion, neverthelessI take patience to bear that which it has pleased thegood God to permit. Therefore, I pray your majestyto have compassion on my poor wife, my children andmy servants, having regard to my past service.In which hope I now commend myself to the mercy ofGod. From Brussels, ready to die, this 5th ofJune, 1568.


Thus died a man who did as much probably for Hollandas John Eliot for England, or Lafayette for France,or Samuel Adams for this young republic.


And now out of all this glorious past comes the woeof Belgium. Desolation has come like the whirlwind,and destruction like a tornado. But ninety daysago and Belgium was a hive of industry, and in thefields were heard the harvest songs. Suddenly,Germany struck Belgium. The whole world has butone voice, “Belgium has innocent hands.”She was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Whenthe lover of Germany is asked to explain Germany’sbreaking of her solemn treaty upon the neutrality ofBelgium, the German stands dumb and speechless.Merchants honor their written obligations. Truecitizens consider their word as good as their bond;Germany gave treaty, and in the presence of God andthe civilized world, entered into a solemn covenantwith Belgium. To the end of time, the Germanmust expect this taunt, “as worthless as a Germantreaty.” Scarcely less black the two orthree known examples of cruelty wrought upon nonresistingBelgians. In Brooklyn lives a Belgian woman.She planned to return home in late July to visit afather who had suffered paralysis, an aged motherand a sister who nursed both. When the Germansdecided to burn that village in Eastern Belgium, theydid not wish to burn alive this old and helpless man,so they bayonetted to death the old man and woman,and the daughter that nursed them.

Let us judge not, that we be not judged. Thisis the one example of atrocity that you and I mightbe able personally to prove. But every loyalGerman in the country can make answer: “Thesesoldiers were drunk with wine and blood. Suchan atrocity misrepresents Germany and her soldiers.The breaking of Germany’s treaty with Belgiumrepresents the dishonor of a military ring, and notthe perfidy of 68,000,000 of people. We ask thatjudgment be postponed until all the facts are in.”But, meanwhile, the man who loves his fellows, at midnightin his dreams walks across the fields of broken Belgium.All through the night air there comes the sob of Rachel,weeping for her children, because they are not.In moods of bitterness, of doubt and despair the heart

cries out, “How could a just God permit suchcruelty upon innocent Belgium?” No man knows.“Clouds and darkness are round about God’sthrone.” The spirit of evil caused thiswar, but the Spirit of God may bring good out of it,just as the summer can repair the ravages of winter.Meanwhile the heart bleeds for Belgium. For Brussels,the third most beautiful city in Europe! ForLouvain, once rich with its libraries, cathedrals,statues, paintings, missals, manuscripts—­nowa ruin. Alas! for the ruined harvests and thesmoking villages! Alas, for the Cathedral thatis a heap, and the library that is a ruin. Wherethe angel of happiness was there stalk Famine andDeath. Gone, the Land of Grotius! Perishedthe paintings of Rubens! Ruined is Louvain.Where the wheat waved, now the hillsides are billowywith graves. But let us believe that God reigns.Perchance Belgium is slain like the Saviour, that militarismmay die like Satan. Without shedding of innocentblood there is no remission of sins through tyrannyand greed. There is no wine without the crushingof the grapes from the tree of life. Soon Liberty,God’s dear child, will stand within the sceneand comfort the desolate. Falling upon the greatworld’s altar stairs, in this hour when wisdomis ignorance, and the strongest man clutches at dustand straw, let us believe with faith victorious overtears, that some time God will gather broken-heartedlittle Belgium into His arms and comfort her as a Fathercomforteth his well-beloved child.




Eight years ago tonight, there stood where I am standingnow a young Georgian, who, not without reason, recognizedthe “significance” of his presence here,and, in words whose eloquence I cannot hope to recall,appealed from the New South to New England for a unitedcountry.

He is gone now. But, short as his life was, itsheaven-born mission was fulfilled; the dream of hischildhood was realized; for he had been appointedby God to carry a message of peace on earth, good willto men, and, this done, he vanished from the sightof mortal eyes, even as the dove from the ark.

Grady told us, and told us truly, of that typicalAmerican who, in Dr. Talmage’s mind’seye, was coming, but who, in Abraham Lincoln’sactuality, had already come. In some recent studiesinto the career of that man, I have encountered manystartling confirmations of this judgment; and fromthat rugged trunk, drawing its sustenance from gnarledroots, interlocked with Cavalier sprays and Puritanbranches deep beneath the soil, shall spring, is springing,a shapely tree—­symmetric in all its parts—­underwhose sheltering boughs this nation shall have thenew birth of freedom Lincoln promised it, and mankindthe refuge which was sought by the forefathers whenthey fled from oppression. Thank God, the ax,the gibbet, and the stake have had their day.They have gone, let us hope, to keep company with thelost arts. It has been demonstrated that greatwrongs may be redressed and great reforms be achievedwithout the shedding of one drop of human blood; thatvengeance does not purify, but brutalizes; and thattolerance, which in private transactions is reckoneda virtue, becomes in public affairs a dogma of themost far-seeing statesmanship.

So I appeal from the men in silken hose who dancedto music made by slaves—­and called it freedom—­fromthe men in bell-crowned hats, who led Hester Prynneto her shame—­and called it religion—­tothat Americanism which reaches forth its arms to smitewrong with reason and truth, secure in the power ofboth. I appeal from the patriarchs of New Englandto the poets of New England; from Endicott to Lowell;from Winthrop to Longfellow; from Norton to Holmes;and I appeal in the name and by the rights of thatcommon citizenship—­of that common origin—­backof both the Puritan and the Cavalier—­towhich all of us owe our being. Let the dead past,consecrated by the blood of its martyrs, not by itssavage hatreds—­darkened alike by kingcraftand priestcraft—­let the dead past buryits dead. Let the present and the future ringwith the song of the singers. Blessed be the lessonsthey teach, the laws they make. Blessed be theeye to see, the light to reveal. Blessed be Tolerance,sitting ever on the right hand of God to guide theway with loving word, as blessed be all that bringsus nearer the goal of true religion, true Republicanism,and true patriotism, distrust of watchwords and labels,shams and heroes, belief in our country and ourselves.It was not Cotton Mather, but John Greenleaf Whittier,who cried:—­

“Dear God and Fatherof us all,
Forgive our faith in cruellies,
Forgive the blindness thatdenies.

“Cast down our idols—­overturn
Our bloody altars—­makeus see
Thyself in Thy humanity!”




Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pa., November 3, 1904.

What is so hard as a just estimate of the events ofour own time? It is only now, a century and ahalf later, that we really perceive that a writerhas something to say for himself when he calls Wolfe’sexploit at Quebec the turning point in modern history.And to-day it is hard to imagine any rational standardthat would not make the American Revolution—­aninsurrection of thirteen little colonies, with a populationof 3,000,000 scattered in a distant wilderness amongsavages—­a mightier event in many of itsaspects than the volcanic convulsion in France.Again, the upbuilding of your great West on this continentis reckoned by some the most important world movementof the last hundred years. But is it more importantthan the amazing, imposing and perhaps disquietingapparition of Japan? One authority insists thatwhen Russia descended into the Far East and pushedher frontier on the Pacific to the forty-third degreeof latitude that was one of the most far-reachingfacts of modern history, tho it almost escaped theeyes of Europe—­all her perceptions thenmonopolized by affairs in the Levant. Who cansay? Many courses of the sun were needed beforemen could take the full historic measures of Luther,

Calvin, Knox; the measure of Loyola, the Council ofTrent, and all the counter-reformation. The centerof gravity is forever shifting, the political axisof the world perpetually changing. But we arenow far enough off to discern how stupendous a thingwas done when, after two cycles of bitter war, oneforeign, the other civil and intestine, Pitt and Washington,within a span of less than a score of years, plantedthe foundations of the American Republic.

What Forbes’s stockade at Fort Pitt has grownto be you know better than I. The huge triumphs ofPittsburg in material production—­iron, steel,co*ke, glass, and all the rest of it—­canonly be told in colossal figures that are almost ashard to realize in our minds as the figures of astronomicaldistance or geologic time. It is not quite clearthat all the founders of the Commonwealth would havesurveyed the wonderful scene with the same exultationas their descendants. Some of them would havedenied that these great centers of industrial democracyeither in the Old World or in the New always standfor progress. Jefferson said, “I view greatcities as pestilential to the morals, the health, andthe liberties of man. I consider the class ofartificers,” he went on, “as the pandersof vice, and the instrument by which the libertiesof a country are generally overthrown.”In England they reckon 70 per cent. of our populationas dwellers in towns. With you, I read that only25 per cent. of the population live in groups so largeas 4,000 persons. If Jefferson was right ouroutlook would be dark. Let us hope that he waswrong, and in fact toward the end of his time qualifiedhis early view. Franklin, at any rate, would,I feel sure, have reveled in it all.

That great man—­a name in the forefrontamong the practical intelligences of human history—­oncetold a friend that when he dwelt upon the rapid progressthat mankind was making in politics, morals, and thearts of living, and when he considered that each oneimprovement always begets another, he felt assuredthat the future progress of the race was likely tobe quicker than it had ever been. He was neverwearied of foretelling inventions yet to come, andhe wished he could revisit the earth at the end ofa century to see how mankind was getting on.With all my heart I share his wish. Of all themen who have built up great States, I do believe thereis not one whose alacrity of sound sense and single-eyedbeneficence of aim could be more safely trusted thanFranklin to draw light from the clouds and pierce theeconomic and political confusions of our time.We can imagine the amazement and complacency of thatshrewd benignant mind if he could watch all the giantmarvels of your mills and furnaces, and all the apparatusdevised by the wondrous inventive faculties of man;if he could have foreseen that his experiments withthe kite in his garden at Philadelphia, his tubes,his Leyden jars would end in the electric appliancesof to-day—­the largest electric plant inall the world on the site of Fort Duquesne; if hecould have heard of 5,000,000,000 of passengers carriedin the United States by electric motor power in a year;if he could have realized all the rest of the magician’stale of our time.

Still more would he have been astounded and elatedcould he have foreseen, beyond all advances in materialproduction, the unbroken strength of that politicalstructure which he had so grand a share in rearing.Into this very region where we are this afternoon,swept wave after wave of immigration; English fromVirginia flowed over the border, bringing Englishtraits, literature, habits of mind; Scots, or Scots-Irish,originally from Ulster, flowed in from Central Pennsylvania;Catholics from Southern Ireland; new hosts from Southernand East Central Europe. This is not the Fourthof July. But people of every school would agreethat it is no exuberance of rhetoric, it is only sobertruth to say that the persevering absorption and incorporationof all this ceaseless torrent of heterogenous elementsinto one united, stable, industrious, and pacific Stateis an achievement that neither the Roman Empire northe Roman Church, neither Byzantine Empire nor Russian,not Charles the Great nor Charles the Fifth nor Napoleonever rivaled or approached.

We are usually apt to excuse the slower rate of liberalprogress in our Old World by contrasting the obstructivebarriers of prejudice, survival, solecism, anachronism,convention, institution, all so obstinately rooted,even when the branches seem bare and broken, in anold world, with the open and disengaged ground of thenew. Yet in fact your difficulties were at leastas formidable as those of the older civilizationsinto whose fruitful heritage you have entered.Unique was the necessity of this gigantic task ofincorporation, the assimilation of people of diversfaiths and race. A second difficulty was moreformidable still—­how to erect and work apowerful and wealthy State on such a system as tocombine the centralized concert of a federal systemwith local independence, and to unite collective energywith the encouragement of individual freedom.

This last difficulty that you have so successfullyup to now surmounted, at the present hour confrontsthe mother country and deeply perplexes her statesmen.Liberty and union have been called the twin ideas ofAmerica. So, too, they are the twin ideals ofall responsible men in Great Britain; altho responsiblemen differ among themselves as to the safest pathon which to travel toward the common goal, and thothe dividing ocean, in other ways so much our friend,interposes, for our case of an island State, or ratherfor a group of island States, obstacles from whicha continental State like yours is happily altogetherfree.

Nobody believes that no difficulties remain.Some of them are obvious. But the common-sense,the mixture of patience and determination that hasconquered risks and mischiefs in the past, may be trustedwith the future.

Strange and devious are the paths of history.Broad and shining channels get mysteriously siltedup. How many a time what seemed a glorious highroad proves no more than a mule track or mere cul-de-sac.Think of Canning’s flashing boast, when he insistedon the recognition of the Spanish republics in SouthAmerica—­that he had called a new world intoexistence to redress the balance of the old. Thisis one of the sayings—­of which sort manyanother might be found—­that make the fortuneof a rhetorician, yet stand ill the wear and tear oftime and circ*mstance. The new world that Canningcalled into existence has so far turned out a sceneof singular disenchantment.

Tho not without glimpses on occasion of that heroismand courage and even wisdom that are the attributesof man almost at the worst, the tale has been toomuch a tale of anarchy and disaster, still leavinga host of perplexities for statesmen both in Americaand Europe. It has left also to students of aphilosophic turn of mind one of the most interestingof all the problems to be found in the whole fieldof social, ecclesiastical, religious, and racial movement.Why is it that we do not find in the south as we findin the north of this hemisphere a powerful federation—­agreat Spanish-American people stretching from theRio Grande to Cape Horn? To answer that questionwould be to shed a flood of light upon many deep historicforces in the Old World, of which, after all, thesemovements of the New are but a prolongation and moremanifest extension.

What more imposing phenomenon does history presentto us than the rise of Spanish power to the pinnacleof greatness and glory in the sixteenth century?The Mohammedans, after centuries of fierce and stubbornwar, driven back; the whole peninsula brought undera single rule with a single creed; enormous acquisitionsfrom the Netherlands of Naples, Sicily, the Canaries;France humbled, England menaced, settlements madein Asia and Northern Africa—­Spain in Americabecome possessed of a vast continent and of more thanone archipelago of splendid islands. Yet beforea century was over the sovereign majesty of Spain underwenta huge declension, the territory under her sway wascontracted, the fabulous wealth of the mines of theNew World had been wasted, agriculture and industrywere ruined, her commerce passed into the hands ofher rivals.

Let me digress one further moment. We have avery sensible habit in the island whence I come, whenour country misses fire, to say as little as we can,and sink the thing in patriotic oblivion. It israther startling to recall that less than a centuryago England twice sent a military force to seize whatis now Argentina. Pride of race and hostile creedvehemently resisting, proved too much for us.The two expeditions ended in failure, and nothingremains for the historian of to-day but to wonderwhat a difference it might have made to the temperateregion of South America if the fortune of war had

gone the other way, if the region of the Plata hadbecome British, and a large British immigration hadfollowed. Do not think me guilty of the heinouscrime of forgetting the Monroe Doctrine. Thatmomentous declaration was not made for a good manyyears after our Gen. Whitelocke was repulsed at BuenosAyres, tho Mr. Sumner and other people have alwaysheld that it was Canning who really first startedthe Monroe Doctrine, when he invited the United Statesto join him against European intervention in SouthAmerican affairs.

The day is at hand, we are told, when four-fifthsof the human race will trace their pedigree to Englishforefathers, as four-fifths of the white people inthe United States trace their pedigree to-day.By the end of this century, they say, such nationsas France and Germany, assuming that they stand apartfrom fresh consolidations, will only be able to claimthe same relative position in the political world asHolland and Switzerland. These musings of themoon do not take us far. The important thing,as we all know, is not the exact fraction of the humanrace that will speak English. The important thingis that those who speak English, whether in old landsor new, shall strive in lofty, generous and never-ceasingemulation with peoples of other tongues and other stockfor the political, social, and intellectual primacyamong mankind. In this noble strife for the serviceof our race we need never fear that claimants forthe prize will be too large a multitude.

As an able scholar of your own has said, Jeffersonwas here using the old vernacular of English aspirationsafter a free, manly, and well-ordered political life—­avernacular rich in stately tradition and noble phrase,to be found in a score of a thousand of champions inmany camps—­in Buchanan, Milton, Hooker,Locke, Jeremy Taylor, Roger Williams, and many anotherhumbler but not less strenuous pioneer and confessorof freedom. Ah, do not fail to count up, and countup often, what a different world it would have beenbut for that island in the distant northern sea!These were the tributary fountains, that, as timewent on, swelled into the broad confluence of moderntime. What was new in 1776 was the transformationof thought into actual polity.

What is progress? It is best to be slow in thecomplex arts of politics in their widest sense, andnot to hurry to define. If you want a platitude,there is nothing for supplying it like a definition.Or shall we say that most definitions hang betweenplatitude and paradox? There are said, tho Ihave never counted, to be 10,000 definitions of religion.There must be about as many of poetry. There canhardly be fewer of liberty, or even of happiness.

I am not bold enough to try a definition. I willnot try to gauge how far the advance of moral forceshas kept pace with that extension of material forcesin the world of which this continent, conspicuous beforeall others, bears such astounding evidence. This,of course, is the question of questions, because asan illustrious English writer—­to whom,by the way, I owe my friendship with your founder manylong years ago—­as Matthew Arnold said inAmerica here, it is moral ideas that at bottom decidethe standing or falling of states and nations.Without opening this vast discussion at large, manya sign of progress is beyond mistake. The practiseof associated action—­one of the master keysof progress—­is a new force in a hundredfields, and with immeasurable diversity of forms.There is less acquiescence in triumphant wrong.Toleration in religion has been called the best fruitof the last four centuries, and in spite of a fewbigoted survivals, even in our United Kingdom, andsome savage outbreaks of hatred, half religious, halfracial, on the Continent of Europe, this glorious gainof time may now be taken as secured. Perhapsof all the contributions of America to human civilizationthis is greatest. The reign of force is not yetover, and at intervals it has its triumphant hours,but reason, justice, humanity fight with success theirlong and steady battle for a wider sway.

Of all the points of social advance, in my countryat least, during the last generation none is moremarked than the change in the position of women, inrespect of rights of property, of education, of accessto new callings. As for the improvement of materialwell-being, and its diffusion among those whose laboris a prime factor in its creation, we might grow satedwith the jubilant monotony of its figures, if we didnot take good care to remember, in the excellent wordsof the President of Harvard, that those gains, likethe prosperous working of your institutions and theprinciples by which they are sustained, are in essencemoral contributions, “being principles of reason,enterprise, courage, faith, and justice, over passion,selfishness, inertness, timidity, and distrust.”It is the moral impulses that matter. Where theyare safe, all is safe.

When this and the like is said, nobody supposes thatthe last word has been spoken as to the conditionof the people either in America or Europe. Republicanismis not itself a panacea for economic difficulties.Of self it can neither stifle nor appease the accentsof social discontent. So long as it has no rootin surveyed envy, this discontent itself is a tokenof progress.

What, cries the skeptic, what has become of all thehopes of the time when France stood upon the top ofgolden hours? Do not let us fear the challenge.Much has come of them. And over the old hopestime has brought a stratum of new.

Liberalism is sometimes suspected of being cold tothese new hopes, and you may often hear it said thatLiberalism is already superseded by Socialism.That a change is passing over party names in Europeis plain, but you may be sure that no change in namewill extinguish these principles of society whichare rooted in the nature of things, and are accreditedby their success. Twice America has saved liberalismin Great Britain. The War for Independence inthe eighteenth century was the defeat of usurpingpower no less in England than here. The War forUnion in the nineteenth century gave the decisiveimpulse to a critical extension of suffrage, and anera of popular reform in the mother country.Any miscarriage of democracy here reacts against progressin Great Britain.

If you seek the real meaning of most modern disparagementof popular or parliamentary government, it is no morethan this, that no politics will suffice of themselvesto make a nation’s soul. What could be moretrue? Who says it will? But we may dependupon it that the soul will be best kept alive in anation where there is the highest proportion of thosewho, in the phrase of an old worthy of the seventeenthcentury, think it a part of a man’s religionto see to it that his country be well governed.

Democracy, they tell us, is afflicted by mediocrityand by sterility. But has not democracy in mycountry, as in yours, shown before now that it wellknows how to choose rulers neither mediocre nor sterile;men more than the equals in unselfishness, in rectitude,in clear sight, in force, of any absolutist statesman,that ever in times past bore the scepter? IfI live a few months, or it may be even a few weekslonger, I hope to have seen something of three elections—­onein Canada, one in the United Kingdom, and the otherhere. With us, in respect of leadership, andapart from height of social prestige, the personagecorresponding to the president is, as you know, theprime minister. Our general election this time,owing to personal accident of the passing hour, maynot determine quite exactly who shall be the primeminister, but it will determine the party from whichthe prime minister shall be taken. On normaloccasions our election of a prime minister is as directand personal as yours, and in choosing a member ofParliament people were really for a whole generationchoosing whether Disraeli or Gladstone or Salisburyshould be head of the government.

The one central difference between your system andours is that the American president is in for a fixedtime, whereas the British prime minister depends uponthe support of the House of Commons. If he losesthat, his power may not endure a twelvemonth; if onthe other hand, he keeps it, he may hold office fora dozen years. There are not many more interestingor important questions in political discussion thanthe question whether our cabinet government or yourpresidential system of government is the better.This is not the place to argue it.

Between 1868 and now—­a period of thirty-sixyears—­we have had eight ministries.This would give an average life of four and a halfyears. Of these eight governments five lastedover five years. Broadly speaking, then, ourexecutive governments have lasted about the lengthof your fixed term. As for ministers swept awayby a gust of passion, I can only recall the overthrowof Lord Palmerston in 1858 for being thought too subservientto France. For my own part, I have always thoughtthat by its free play, its comparative fluidity, itsrapid flexibility of adaptation, our cabinet systemhas most to say for itself.

Whether democracy will make for peace, we all haveyet to see. So far democracy has done littlein Europe to protect us against the turbid whirlpoolsof a military age. When the evils of rival states,antagonistic races, territorial claims, and all theother formulas of international conflict are feltto be unbearable and the curse becomes too great tobe any longer borne, a school of teachers will perhapsarise to pick up again the thread of the best writersand wisest rulers on the eve of the revolution.Movement in this region of human things has not allbeen progressive. If we survey the European courtsfrom the end of the Seven Years’ War down tothe French Revolution, we note the marked growth ofa distinctly international and pacific spirit.At no era in the world’s history can we findso many European statesmen after peace and the goodgovernment of which peace is the best ally. Thatsentiment came to violent end when Napoleon arose toscourge the world.




The success of the Abolitionists and their allies,under the name of the Republican party, has producedits logical results already. They have for longyears been sowing dragons’ teeth and have finallygot a crop of armed men. The Union, sir, is dissolved.That is an accomplished fact in the path of this discussionthat men may as well heed. One of your confederateshas already wisely, bravely, boldly confronted publicdanger, and she is only ahead of many of her sistersbecause of her greater facility for speedy action.The greater majority of those sister States, underlike circ*mstances, consider her cause as their cause;and I charge you in their name to-day: “Touchnot Saguntum."[37] It is not only their cause, butit is a cause which receives the sympathy and willreceive the support of tens and hundreds of honestpatriot men in the nonslaveholding States, who havehitherto maintained constitutional rights, and whor*spect their oaths, abide by compacts, and love justice.

And while this Congress, this Senate, and this Houseof Representatives are debating the constitutionalityand the expediency of seceding from the Union, andwhile the perfidious authors of this mischief areshowering down denunciations upon a large portion ofthe patriotic men of this country, those brave menare coolly and calmly voting what you call revolution—­aye,sir, doing better than that: arming to defendit. They appealed to the Constitution, they appealedto justice, they appealed to fraternity, until theConstitution, justice, and fraternity were no longerlistened to in the legislative halls of their country,and then, sir, they prepared for the arbitrament ofthe sword; and now you see the glittering bayonet,and you hear the tramp of armed men from your capitolto the Rio Grande. It is a sight that gladdensthe eyes and cheers the hearts of other millions readyto second them. Inasmuch, sir, as I have laboredearnestly, honestly, sincerely, with these men toavert this necessity so long as I deemed it possible,and inasmuch as I heartily approve their present conductof resistance, I deem it my duty to state their caseto the Senate, to the country, and to the civilizedworld.

Senators, my countrymen have demanded no new government;they have demanded no new Constitution. Lookto their records at home and here from the beginningof this national strife until its consummation in thedisruption of the empire, and they have not demandeda single thing except that you shall abide by theConstitution of the United States; that constitutionalrights shall be respected, and that justice shall bedone. Sirs, they have stood by your Constitution;they have stood by all its requirements, they haveperformed all its duties unselfishly, uncalculatingly,disinterestedly, until a party sprang up in this countrywhich endangered their social system—­a partywhich they arraign, and which they charge before theAmerican people and all mankind with having made proclamationof outlawry against four thousand millions of theirproperty in the Territories of the United States; withhaving put them under the ban of the empire in allthe States in which their institutions exist outsidethe protection of federal laws; with having aidedand abetted insurrection from within and invasion fromwithout with the view of subverting those institutions,and desolating their homes and their firesides.For these causes they have taken up arms.

I have stated that the discontented States of thisUnion have demanded nothing but clear, distinct, unequivocal,well-acknowledged constitutional rights—­rightsaffirmed by the highest judicial tribunals of theircountry; rights older than the Constitution; rightswhich are planted upon the immutable principles ofnatural justice; rights which have been affirmed bythe good and the wise of all countries, and of allcenturies. We demand no power to injure any man.We demand no right to injure our confederate States.We demand no right to interfere with their institutions,either by word or deed. We have no right to disturbtheir peace, their tranquillity, their security.We have demanded of them simply, solely—­nothingelse—­to give us equality, security andtranquillity. Give us these, and peace restoresitself. Refuse them, and take what you can get.

What do the rebels demand? First, “thatthe people of the United States shall have an equalright to emigrate and settle in the present or anyfuture acquired Territories, with whatever propertythey may possess (including slaves), and be securelyprotected in its peaceable enjoyment until such Territorymay be admitted as a State into the Union, with orwithout slavery, as she may determine, on an equalitywith all existing States.” That is ourTerritorial demand. We have fought for this Territorywhen blood was its price. We have paid for itwhen gold was its price. We have not proposedto exclude you, tho you have contributed very littleof blood or money. I refer especially to New England.We demand only to go into those Territories upon termsof equality with you, as equals in this great Confederacy,to enjoy the common property of the whole Union, andreceive the protection of the common government, untilthe Territory is capable of coming into the Union asa sovereign State, when it may fix its own institutionsto suit itself.

The second proposition is, “that property inslaves shall be entitled to the same protection fromthe government of the United States, in all of itsdepartments, everywhere, which the Constitution confersthe power upon it to extend to any other property,provided nothing herein contained shall be construedto limit or restrain the right now belonging to everyState to prohibit, abolish, or establish and protectslavery within its limits.” We demand ofthe common government to use its granted powers toprotect our property as well as yours. For thisprotection we pay as much as you do. This veryproperty is subject to taxation. It has beentaxed by you and sold by you for taxes.

The title to thousands and tens of thousands of slavesis derived from the United States. We claim thatthe government, while the Constitution recognizesour property for the purposes of taxation, shall giveit the same protection that it gives yours.

Ought it not to be so? You say no. Everyone of you upon the committee said no. Your senatorssay no. Your House of Representatives says no.Throughout the length and breadth of your conspiracyagainst the Constitution there is but one shout ofno! This recognition of this right is the priceof my allegiance. Withhold it, and you do notget my obedience. This is the philosophy of thearmed men who have sprung up in this country.Do you ask me to support a government that will taxmy property: that will plunder me; that willdemand my blood, and will not protect me? I wouldrather see the population of my native State laidsix feet beneath her sod than they should support forone hour such a government. Protection is theprice of obedience everywhere, in all countries.It is the only thing that makes government respectable.Deny it and you can not have free subjects or citizens;you may have slaves.

We demand, in the next place, “that personscommitting crimes against slave property in one State,and fleeing to another, shall be delivered up in thesame manner as persons committing crimes against otherproperty, and that the laws of the State from whichsuch persons flee shall be the test of criminality.”That is another one of the demands of an extremistand a rebel.

But the nonslaveholding States, treacherous to theiroaths and compacts, have steadily refused, if thecriminal only stole a negro and that negro was a slave,to deliver him up. It was refused twice on therequisition of my own State as long as twenty-twoyears ago. It was refused by Kent and by Fairfield,governors of Maine, and representing, I believe, eachof the then federal parties. We appealed thento fraternity, but we submitted; and this constitutionalright has been practically a dead letter from thatday to this. The next case came up between usand the State of New York, when the present seniorsenator [Mr. Seward] was the governor of that State;and he refused it. Why? He said it was notagainst the laws of New York to steal a negro, andtherefore he would not comply with the demand.He made a similar refusal to Virginia. Yet theseare our confederates; these are our sister States!There is the bargain; there is the compact. Youhave sworn to it. Both these governors sworeto it. The senator from New York swore to it.The governor of Ohio swore to it when he was inaugurated.You can not bind them by oaths. Yet they talkto us of treason; and I suppose they expect to whipfreemen into loving such brethren! They will havea good time in doing it!

It is natural we should want this provision of theConstitution carried out. The Constitution saysslaves are property; the Supreme Court says so; theConstitution says so. The theft of slaves is acrime; they are a subject-matter of felonious asportation.By the text and letter of the Constitution you agreedto give them up. You have sworn to do it, andyou have broken your oaths. Of course, those whohave done so look out for pretexts. Nobody expectedthem to do otherwise. I do not think I ever sawa perjurer, however bald and naked, who could not inventsome pretext to palliate his crime, or who could not,for fifteen shillings, hire an Old Bailey lawyer toinvent some for him. Yet this requirement ofthe Constitution is another one of the extreme demandsof an extremist and a rebel.

The next stipulation is that fugitive slaves shallbe surrendered under the provisions of the FugitiveSlave Act of 1850, without being entitled either toa writ of habeas corpus, or trial by jury, or othersimilar obstructions of legislation, in the Stateto which he may flee. Here is the Constitution:

“No person held to service orlabor in one State, under the laws thereof, escapinginto another, shall, in consequence of any law orregulation therein, be discharged from such serviceor labor, but shall be delivered up on claim ofthe party to whom such service or labor may bedue.”

This language is plain, and everybody understood itthe same way for the first forty years of your government.In 1793, in Washington’s time, an act was passedto carry out this provision. It was adopted unanimouslyin the Senate of the United States, and nearly so in

the House of Representatives. Nobody then hadinvented pretexts to show that the Constitution didnot mean a negro slave. It was clear; it was plain.Not only the federal courts, but all the local courtsin all the States, decided that this was a constitutionalobligation. How is it now? The North soughtto evade it; following the instincts of their naturalcharacter, they commenced with the fraudulent fictionthat fugitives were entitled to habeas corpus, entitledto trial by jury in the State to which they fled.They pretended to believe that our fugitive slaveswere entitled to more rights than their white citizens;perhaps they were right, they know one another betterthan I do. You may charge a white man with treason,or felony, or other crime, and you do not requireany trial by jury before he is given up; there is nothingto determine but that he is legally charged with acrime and that he fled, and then he is to be deliveredup upon demand. White people are delivered upevery day in this way; but not slaves. Slaves,black people, you say, are entitled to trial by jury;and in this way schemes have been invented to defeatyour plain constitutional obligations.

Senators, the Constitution is a compact. It containsall our obligations and the duties of the federalgovernment. I am content and have ever been contentto sustain it. While I doubt its perfection, whileI do not believe it was a good compact, and whileI never saw the day that I would have voted for itas a proposition de novo, yet I am bound toit by oath and by that common prudence which wouldinduce men to abide by established forms rather thanto rush into unknown dangers. I have given toit, and intend to give to it, unfaltering support andallegiance, but I choose to put that allegiance onthe true ground, not on the false idea that anybody’sblood was shed for it. I say that the Constitutionis the whole compact. All the obligations, allthe chains that fetter the limbs of my people, arenominated in the bond, and they wisely excluded anyconclusion against them, by declaring that “thepowers not granted by the Constitution to the UnitedStates, or forbidden by it to the States, belongedto the States respectively or the people.”

Now I will try it by that standard; I will subjectit to that test. The law of nature, the law ofjustice, would say—­and it is so expoundedby the publicists—­that equal rights inthe common property shall be enjoyed. Even ina monarchy the king can not prevent the subjects fromenjoying equality in the disposition of the publicproperty. Even in a despotic government thisprinciple is recognized. It was the blood andthe money of the whole people (says the learned Grotius,and say all the publicists) which acquired the publicproperty, and therefore it is not the property ofthe sovereign. This right of equality being, then,according to justice and natural equity, a right belongingto all States, when did we give it up? You sayCongress has a right to pass rules and regulationsconcerning the Territory and other property of theUnited States. Very well. Does that excludethose whose blood and money paid for it? Does“dispose of” mean to rob the rightful owners?You must show a better title than that, or a bettersword than we have.

What, then, will you take? You will take nothingbut your own judgment; that is, you will not onlyjudge for yourselves, not only discard the court,discard our construction, discard the practise of thegovernment, but you will drive us out, simply becauseyou will it. Come and do it! You have sappedthe foundations of society; you have destroyed almostall hope of peace. In a compact where there isno common arbiter, where the parties finally decidefor themselves, the sword alone at last becomes thereal, if not the constitutional, arbiter. Yourparty says that you will not take the decision ofthe Supreme Court. You said so at Chicago; yousaid so in committee; every man of you in both Housessays so. What are you going to do? You saywe shall submit to your construction. We shalldo it, if you can make us; but not otherwise, or inany other manner. That is settled. You maycall it secession, or you may call it revolution;but there is a big fact standing before you, readyto oppose you—­that fact is, freemen witharms in their hands.




MY FELLOW CITIZENS:—­No people on earthhave more cause to be thankful than ours, and thisis said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness inour own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver ofGood, Who has blessed us with the conditions whichhave enabled us to achieve so large a measure of well-beingand happiness.

To us as a people it has been granted to lay the foundationsof our national life in a new continent. We arethe heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to payfew of the penalties which in old countries are exactedby the dead hand of a bygone civilization. Wehave not been obliged to fight for our existence againstany alien race; and yet our life has called for thevigor and effort without which the manlier and hardiervirtues wither away.

Under such conditions it would be our own fault ifwe failed, and the success which we have had in thepast, the success which we confidently believe thefuture will bring, should cause in us no feeling ofvainglory, but rather a deep and abiding realizationof all that life has offered us; a full acknowledgmentof the responsibility which is ours; and a fixed determinationto show that under a free government a mighty peoplecan thrive best, alike as regard the things of thebody and the things of the soul.

Much has been given to us, and much will rightfullybe expected from us. We have duties to othersand duties to ourselves—­and we can shirkneither. We have become a great nation, forcedby the fact of its greatness into relation to theother nations of the earth, and we must behave asbeseems a people with such responsibilities.

Toward all other nations, large and small, our attitudemust be one of cordial and sincere friendship.We must show not only in our words but in our deedsthat we are earnestly desirous of securing their goodwill by acting toward them in a spirit of just andgenerous recognition of all their rights.

But justice and generosity in a nation, as in an individual,count most when shown not by the weak but by the strong.While ever careful to refrain from wronging others,we must be no less insistent that we are not wrongedourselves. We wish peace; but we wish the peaceof justice, the peace of righteousness. We wish*t because we think it is right, and not because weare afraid. No weak nation that acts rightly andjustly should ever have cause to fear, and no strongpower should ever be able to single us out as a subjectfor insolent aggression.

Our relations with the other powers of the world areimportant; but still more important are our relationsamong ourselves. Such growth in wealth, in population,and in power, as a nation has seen during a centuryand a quarter of its national life, is inevitably accompaniedby a like growth in the problems which are ever beforeevery nation that rises to greatness. Power invariablymeans both responsibility and danger. Our forefathersfaced certain perils which we have outgrown. Wenow face other perils the very existence of which itwas impossible that they should foresee.

Modern life is both complex and intense, and the tremendouschanges wrought by the extraordinary industrial developmentof the half century are felt in every fiber of oursocial and political being. Never before havemen tried so vast and formidable an experiment as thatof administering the affairs of a continent underthe forms of a democratic republic. The conditionswhich have told for our marvelous material well-being,which have developed to a very high degree our energy,self-reliance, and individual initiative, also havebrought the care and anxiety inseparable from theaccumulation of great wealth in industrial centers.

Upon the success of our experiment much depends—­notonly as regards our own welfare, but as regards thewelfare of mankind. If we fail, the cause offree self-government throughout the world will rockto its foundations, and therefore our responsibilityis heavy, to ourselves, to the world as it is to-day,and to the generations yet unborn.

There is no good reason why we should fear the future,but there is every reason why we should face it seriously,neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problemsbefore us, nor fearing to approach these problemswith the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve themaright.

Yet after all, tho the problems are new, tho the tasksset before us differ from the tasks set before ourfathers, who founded and preserved this Republic,the spirit in which these tasks must be undertakenand these problems faced, if our duty is to be welldone, remains essentially unchanged. We knowthat self-government is difficult. We know thatno people needs such high traits of character as thatpeople which seeks to govern its affairs aright throughthe freely expressed will of the free men who composeit.

But we have faith that we shall not prove false tomemories of the men of the mighty past. Theydid their work; they left us the splendid heritagewe now enjoy. We in our turn have an assured confidencethat we shall be able to leave this heritage unwastedand enlarged to our children’s children.

To do so, we must show, not merely in great crises,but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualitiesof practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood,and endurance, and, above all, the power of devotionto a lofty ideal, which made great the men who foundedthis Republic in the days of Washington; which madegreat the men who preserved this Republic in the daysof Abraham Lincoln.



In our modern industrial civilization there are manyand grave dangers to counterbalance the splendorsand the triumphs. It is not a good thing to seecities grow at disproportionate speed relatively tothe country; for the small land owners, the men whoown their little homes, and therefore to a very largeextent the men who till farms, the men of the soil,have hitherto made the foundation of lasting nationallife in every State; and, if the foundation becomeseither too weak or too narrow, the superstructure,no matter how attractive, is in imminent danger offalling.

But far more important than the question of the occupationof our citizens is the question of how their familylife is conducted. No matter what that occupationmay be, as long as there is a real home and as longas those who make up that home do their duty to oneanother, to their neighbors and to the State, it isof minor consequence whether the man’s tradeis plied in the country or in the city, whether itcalls for the work of the hands or for the work ofthe head.

No piled-up wealth, no splendor of material growth,no brilliance of artistic development, will permanentlyavail any people unless its home life is healthy,unless the average man possesses honesty, courage,common sense, and decency, unless he works hard andis willing at need to fight hard; and unless the averagewoman is a good wife, a good mother, able and willingto perform the first and greatest duty of womanhood,able and willing to bear, and to bring up as they shouldbe brought up, healthy children, sound in body, mind,and character, and numerous enough so that the raceshall increase and not decrease.

There are certain old truths which will be true aslong as this world endures, and which no amount ofprogress can alter. One of these is the truththat the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker,the breadwinner for his wife and children, and thatthe primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmate,the housewife, and mother. The woman should haveample educational advantages; but save in exceptionalcases the man must be, and she need not be, and generally

ought not to be, trained for a lifelong career asthe family breadwinner; and, therefore, after a certainpoint, the training of the two must normally be differentbecause the duties of the two are normally different.This does not mean inequality of function, but itdoes mean that normally there must be dissimilarityof function. On the whole, I think the duty ofthe woman the more important, the more difficult, andthe more honorable of the two; on the whole I respectthe woman who does her duty even more than I respectthe man who does his.

No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard oras responsible as the work of a woman who is bringingup a family of small children; for upon her time andstrength demands are made not only every hour of theday but often every hour of the night. She mayhave to get up night after night to take care of asick child, and yet must by day continue to do allher household duties as well; and if the family meansare scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidaystaking her whole brood of children with her.The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women.Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the strugglingwives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plainpeople, and whom he so loved and trusted; for thelives of these women are often led on the lonely heightsof quiet, self-sacrificing heroism.

Just as the happiest and most honorable and most usefultask that can be set any man is to earn enough forthe support of his wife and family, for the bringingup and starting in life of his children, so the mostimportant, the most honorable and desirable task whichcan be set any woman is to be a good and wise motherin a home marked by self-respect and mutual forbearance,by willingness to perform duty, and by refusal tosink into self-indulgence or avoid that which entailseffort and self-sacrifice. Of course there areexceptional men and exceptional women who can do andought to do much more than this, who can lead andought to lead great careers of outside usefulness inaddition to—­not as substitutes for—­theirhome work; but I am not speaking of exceptions; Iam speaking of the primary duties, I am speaking ofthe average citizens, the average men and women whomake up the nation.

Inasmuch as I am speaking to an assemblage of mothers,I shall have nothing whatever to say in praise ofan easy life. Yours is the work which is neverended. No mother has an easy time, the most mothershave very hard times; and yet what true mother wouldbarter her experience of joy and sorrow in exchangefor a life of cold selfishness, which insists uponperpetual amusem*nt and the avoidance of care, andwhich often finds its fit dwelling place in some flatdesigned to furnish with the least possible expenditureof effort the maximum of comfort and of luxury, butin which there is literally no place for children?

The woman who is a good wife, a good mother, is entitledto our respect as is no one else; but she is entitledto it only because, and so long as, she is worthyof it. Effort and self-sacrifice are the law ofworthy life for the man as for the woman; tho neitherthe effort nor the self-sacrifice may be the samefor the one as for the other. I do not in theleast believe in the patient Griselda type of woman,in the woman who submits to gross and long continuedill treatment, any more than I believe in a man whotamely submits to wrongful aggression. No wrong-doingis so abhorrent as wrong-doing by a man toward thewife and the children who should arouse every tenderfeeling in his nature. Selfishness toward them,lack of tenderness toward them, lack of considerationfor them, above all, brutality in any form toward them,should arouse the heartiest scorn and indignation inevery upright soul.

I believe in the woman keeping her self-respect justas I believe in the man doing so. I believe inher rights just as much as I believe in the man’s,and indeed a little more; and I regard marriage asa partnership, in which each partner is in honor boundto think of the rights of the other as well as ofhis or her own. But I think that the duties areeven more important than the rights; and in the longrun I think that the reward is ampler and greaterfor duty well done, than for the insistence upon individualrights, necessary tho this, too, must often be.Your duty is hard, your responsibility great; butgreatest of all is your reward. I do not pityyou in the least. On the contrary, I feel respectand admiration for you.

Into the woman’s keeping is committed the destinyof the generations to come after us. In bringingup your children you mothers must remember that whileit is essential to be loving and tender it is no lessessential to be wise and firm. Foolishness andaffection must not be treated as interchangeable terms;and besides training your sons and daughters in thesofter and milder virtues, you must seek to give themthose stern and hardy qualities which in after lifethey will surely need. Some children will gowrong in spite of the best training; and some willgo right even when their surroundings are most unfortunate;nevertheless an immense amount depends upon the familytraining. If you mothers through weakness bringup your sons to be selfish and to think only of themselves,you will be responsible for much sadness among thewomen who are to be their wives in the future.If you let your daughters grow up idle, perhaps underthe mistaken impression that as you yourselves havehad to work hard they shall know only enjoyment, youare preparing them to be useless to others and burdensto themselves. Teach boys and girls alike thatthey are not to look forward to lives spent in avoidingdifficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties.Teach them that work, for themselves and also for others,is not curse but a blessing; seek to make them happy,to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make themface life with the steadfast resolution to wrest successfrom labor and adversity, and to do their whole dutybefore God and to man. Surely she who can thustrain her sons and her daughters is thrice fortunateamong women.

There are many good people who are denied the supremeblessing of children, and for these we have the respectand sympathy always due to those who, from no faultof their own, are denied any of the other great blessingsof life. But the man or woman who deliberatelyforegoes these blessings, whether from viciousness,coldness, shallow-heartedness, self-indulgence, ormere failure to appreciate aright the difference betweenthe all-important and the unimportant,—­why,such a creature merits contempt as hearty as any visitedupon the soldier who runs away in battle, or uponthe man who refuses to work for the support of thosedependent upon him, and who tho able-bodied is yetcontent to eat in idleness the bread which othersprovide.

The existence of women of this type forms one of themost unpleasant and unwholesome features of modernlife. If any one is so dim of vision as to failto see what a thoroughly unlovely creature such a womanis I wish they would read Judge Robert Grant’snovel “Unleavened Bread,” ponder seriouslythe character of Selma, and think of the fate thatwould surely overcome any nation which developed itsaverage and typical woman along such lines. Unfortunatelyit would be untrue to say that this type exists onlyin American novels. That it also exists in Americanlife is made unpleasantly evident by the statisticsas to the dwindling families in some localities.It is made evident in equally sinister fashion bythe census statistics as to divorce, which are fairlyappalling; for easy divorce is now as it ever has been,a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menaceto the home, an incitement to married unhappinessand to immorality, an evil thing for men and a stillmore hideous evil for women. These unpleasanttendencies in our American life are made evident byarticles such as those which I actually read not longago in a certain paper, where a clergyman was quoted,seemingly with approval, as expressing the generalAmerican attitude when he said that the ambition ofany save a very rich man should be to rear two childrenonly, so as to give his children an opportunity “totaste a few of the good things of life.”

This man, whose profession and calling should havemade him a moral teacher, actually set before othersthe ideal, not of training children to do their duty,not of sending them forth with stout hearts and readyminds to win triumphs for themselves and their country,not of allowing them the opportunity, and giving themthe privilege of making their own place in the world,but, forsooth, of keeping the number of children solimited that they might “taste a few good things!”The way to give a child a fair chance in life is notto bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has thekind of training that will give it strength of character.Even apart from the vital question of national life,and regarding only the individual interest of thechildren themselves, happiness in the true sense is

a hundredfold more apt to come to any given memberof a healthy family of healthy-minded children, wellbrought up, well educated, but taught that they mustshift for themselves, must win their own way, andby their own exertions make their own positions ofusefulness, than it is apt to come to those whoseparents themselves have acted on and have trained theirchildren to act on, the selfish and sordid theorythat the whole end of life is to “taste a fewgood things.”

The intelligence of the remark is on a par with itsmorality; for the most rudimentary mental processwould have shown the speaker that if the average familyin which there are children contained but two childrenthe nation as a whole would decrease in populationso rapidly that in two or three generations it wouldvery deservedly be on the point of extinction, sothat the people who had acted on this base and selfishdoctrine would be giving place to others with braverand more robust ideals. Nor would such a resultbe in any way regrettable; for a race that practisedsuch doctrine—­that is, a race that practisedrace suicide—­would thereby conclusivelyshow that it was unfit to exist, and that it had bettergive place to people who had not forgotten the primarylaws of their being.

To sum up, then, the whole matter is simple enough.If either a race or an individual prefers the pleasureof more effortless ease, of self-indulgence, to theinfinitely deeper, the infinitely higher pleasuresthat come to those who know the toil and the weariness,but also the joy, of hard duty well done, why, thatrace or that individual must inevitably in the endpay the penalty of leading a life both vapid and ignoble.No man and no woman really worthy of the name can carefor the life spent solely or chiefly in the avoidanceof risk and trouble and labor. Save in exceptionalcases the prizes worth having in life must be paidfor, and the life worth living must be a life of workfor a worthy end, and ordinarily of work more forothers than for one’s self.

The woman’s task is not easy—­no taskworth doing is easy—­but in doing it, andwhen she has done it, there shall come to her the highestand holiest joy known to mankind; and having doneit, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture;for her husband and her children, yes, and all peoplewho realize that her work lies at the foundation ofall national happiness and greatness, shall rise upand call her blessed.



From a speech opening the National Democratic Conventionat Baltimore, Md., June, 1912.

It is not the wild and cruel methods of revolutionand violence that are needed to correct the abusesincident to our Government as to all things human.Neither material nor moral progress lies that way.We have made our Government and our complicated institutionsby appeals to reason, seeking to educate all our peoplethat, day after day, year after year, century aftercentury, they may see more clearly, act more justly,become more and more attached to the fundamental ideasthat underlie our society. If we are to preserveundiminished the heritage bequeathed us, and add toit those accretions without which society would perish,we shall need all the powers that the school, thechurch, the court, the deliberative assembly, andthe quiet thought of our people can bring to bear.

We are called upon to do battle against the unfaithfulguardians of our Constitution and liberties and thehordes of ignorance which are pushing forward onlyto the ruin of our social and governmental fabric.

Too long has the country endured the offenses of theleaders of a party which once knew greatness.Too long have we been blind to the bacchanal of corruption.Too long have we listlessly watched the assemblingof the forces that threaten our country and our firesides.

The time has come when the salvation of the countrydemands the restoration to place and power of menof high ideals who will wage unceasing war againstcorruption in politics, who will enforce the law againstboth rich and poor, and who will treat guilt as personaland punish it accordingly.

What is our duty? To think alike as to men andmeasures? Impossible! Even for our greatparty! There is not a reactionary among us.All Democrats are Progressives. But it is inevitablyhuman that we shall not all agree that in a singlehighway is found the only road to progress, or eachmake the same man of all our worthy candidates hisfirst choice.

It is impossible, however, and it is our duty to putaside all selfishness, to consent cheerfully thatthe majority shall speak for each of us, and to marchout of this convention shoulder to shoulder, intoningthe praises of our chosen leader—­and thatwill be his due, whichever of the honorable and ablemen now claiming our attention shall be chosen.



At the National Democratic Convention, Baltimore,Maryland, June, 1912.

The New Jersey delegation is commissioned to representthe great cause of Democracy and to offer you as itsmilitant and triumphant leader a scholar, not a charlatan;a statesman, not a doctrinaire; a profound lawyer,not a splitter of legal hairs; a political economist,not an egotistical theorist; a practical politician,who constructs, modifies, restrains, without disturbanceand destruction; a resistless debater and consummatemaster of statement, not a mere sophist; a humanitarian,not a defamer of characters and lives; a man whosemind is at once cosmopolitan and composite of America;a gentleman of unpretentious habits, with the fearof God in his heart and the love of mankind exhibitedin every act of his life; above all a public servantwho has been tried to the uttermost and never foundwanting—­matchless, unconquerable, the ultimateDemocrat, Woodrow Wilson.

New Jersey has reasons for her course. Let usnot be deceived in our premises. Campaigns ofvilification, corruption and false pretence have losttheir usefulness. The evolution of national energyis towards a more intelligent morality in politicsand in all other relations. The situation admitsof no compromise. The temper and purpose of theAmerican public will tolerate no other view. Theindifference of the American people to politics hasdisappeared. Any platform and any candidate notconforming to this vast social and commercial behestwill go down to ignominious defeat at the polls.

Men are known by what they say and do. They areknown by those who hate and oppose them. Manyyears ago Woodrow Wilson said, “No man is greatwho thinks himself so, and no man is good who doesnot try to secure the happiness and comfort of others.”This is the secret of his life. The deeds ofthis moral and intellectual giant are known to allmen. They accord, not with the shams and falsepretences of politics, but make national harmony withthe millions of patriots determined to correct thewrongs of plutocracy and reestablish the maxims ofAmerican liberty in all their regnant beauty and practicaleffectiveness. New Jersey loves Woodrow Wilsonnot for the enemies he has made. New Jersey loveshim for what he is. New Jersey argues that WoodrowWilson is the only candidate who can not only makeDemocratic success a certainty, but secure the electoralvote of almost every State in the Union.

New Jersey will indorse his nomination by a majorityof 100,000 of her liberated citizens. We arenot building for a day, or even a generation, butfor all time. New Jersey believes that there isan omniscience in national instinct. That instinctcenters in Woodrow Wilson. He has been in politicallife less than two years. He has had no organization;only a practical ideal—­the reestablishmentof equal opportunity. Not his deeds alone, nothis immortal words alone, not his personality alone,not his matchless powers alone, but all combined compelnational faith and confidence in him. Every crisisevolves its master. Time and circ*mstance haveevolved Woodrow Wilson. The North, the South,the East, and the West unite in him. New Jerseyappeals to this convention to give the nation WoodrowWilson, that he may open the gates of opportunityto every man, woman, and child under our flag, by reformingabuses, and thereby teaching them, in his matchlesswords, “to release their energies intelligently,that peace, justice and prosperity may reign.”New Jersey rejoices, through her freely chosen representatives,to name for the presidency of the United States thePrinceton schoolmaster, Woodrow Wilson.



Delivered at the annual banquet of the Boston Merchants’Association, at Boston, Mass., December 12, 1889.

MR. PRESIDENT:—­Bidden by your invitationto a discussion of the race problem—­forbiddenby occasion to make a political speech—­Iappreciate, in trying to reconcile orders with propriety,the perplexity of the little maid, who, bidden tolearn to swim, was yet adjured, “Now, go, mydarling; hang your clothes on a hickory limb, and don’tgo near the water.”

The stoutest apostle of the Church, they say, is themissionary, and the missionary, wherever he unfurlshis flag, will never find himself in deeper need ofunction and address than I, bidden to-night to plantthe standard of a Southern Democrat in Boston’sbanquet hall, and to discuss the problem of the racesin the home of Phillips and of Sumner. But, Mr.President, if a purpose to speak in perfect franknessand sincerity; if earnest understanding of the vastinterests involved; if a consecrating sense of whatdisaster may follow further misunderstanding and estrangement;if these may be counted upon to steady undisciplinedspeech and to strengthen an untried arm—­then,sir, I shall find the courage to proceed.

Happy am I that this mission has brought my feet atlast to press New England’s historic soil andmy eyes to the knowledge of her beauty and her thrift.Here within touch of Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill—­whereWebster thundered and Longfellow sang, Emerson thoughtand Channing preached—­here, in the cradleof American letters and almost of American liberty,I hasten to make the obeisance that every Americanowes New England when first he stands uncovered inher mighty presence. Strange apparition!This stern and unique figure—­carved fromthe ocean and the wilderness—­its majestykindling and growing amid the storms of winter andof wars—­until at last the gloom was broken,its beauty disclosed in the sunshine, and the heroicworkers rested at its base—­while startledkings and emperors gazed and marveled that from therude touch of this handful cast on a bleak and unknownshore should have come the embodied genius of humangovernment and the perfected model of human liberty!God bless the memory of those immortal workers, andprosper the fortunes of their living sons—­andperpetuate the inspiration of their handiwork.

Two years ago, sir, I spoke some words in New Yorkthat caught the attention of the North. As Istand here to reiterate, as I have done everywhere,every word I then uttered—­to declare thatthe sentiments I then avowed were universally approvedin the South—­I realize that the confidencebegotten by that speech is largely responsible formy presence here to-night. I should dishonormyself if I betrayed that confidence by uttering oneinsincere word, or by withholding one essential elementof the truth. Apropos of this last, let me confess,Mr. President, before the praise of New England hasdied on my lips, that I believe the best product ofher present life is the procession of seventeen thousandVermont Democrats that for twenty-two years, undiminishedby death, unrecruited by birth or conversion, havemarched over their rugged hills, cast their Democraticballots and gone back home to pray for their unregenerateneighbors, and awake to read the record of twenty-sixthousand Republican majority. May the God of thehelpless and the heroic help them, and may their sturdytribe increase.

Far to the South, Mr. President, separated from thissection by a line—­once defined in irrepressibledifference, once traced in fratricidal blood, andnow, thank God, but a vanishing shadow—­liesthe fairest and richest domain of this earth.It is the home of a brave and hospitable people.There is centered all that can please or prosper humankind.A perfect climate above a fertile soil yields to thehusbandman every product of the temperate zone.There, by night the cotton whitens beneath the stars,and by day the wheat locks the sunshine in its beardedsheaf. In the same field the clover steals thefragrance of the wind, and tobacco catches the quickaroma of the rains. There are mountains storedwith exhaustless treasures; forests—­vastand primeval; and rivers that, tumbling or loitering,run wanton to the sea. Of the three essentialitems of all industries—­cotton, iron andwood—­that region has easy control.In cotton, a fixed monopoly—­in iron, provensupremacy—­in timber, the reserve supplyof the Republic. From this assured and permanentadvantage, against which artificial conditions cannotmuch longer prevail, has grown an amazing system ofindustries. Not maintained by human contrivanceof tariff or capital, afar off from the fullest andcheapest source of supply, but resting in divine assurance,within touch of field and mine and forest—­notset amid costly farms from which competition has driventhe farmer in despair, but amid cheap and sunny lands,rich with agriculture, to which neither season norsoil has set a limit—­this system of industriesis mounting to a splendor that shall dazzle and illuminethe world. That, sir, is the picture and thepromise of my home—­a land better and fairerthan I have told you, and yet but fit setting in itsmaterial excellence for the loyal and gentle qualityof its citizenship. Against that, sir, we haveNew England, recruiting the Republic from its sturdyloins, shaking from its overcrowded hives new swarmsof workers, and touching this land all over with itsenergy and its courage. And yet—­whilein the Eldorado of which I have told you but fifteenper cent of its lands are cultivated, its mines scarcelytouched, and its population so scant that, were itset equidistant, the sound of the human voice couldnot be heard from Virginia to Texas—­whileon the threshold of nearly every house in New Englandstands a son, seeking, with troubled eyes, some newland in which to carry his modest patrimony, the strangefact remains that in 1880 the South had fewer northern-borncitizens than she had in 1870—­fewer in’70 than in ’60. Why is this?Why is it, sir, though the section line be now buta mist that the breath may dispel, fewer men of theNorth have crossed it over to the South, than whenit was crimson with the best blood of the Republic,or even when the slaveholder stood guard every inchof its way?

There can be but one answer. It is the very problemwe are now to consider. The key that opens thatproblem will unlock to the world the fairest halfof this Republic, and free the halted feet of thousandswhose eyes are already kindling with its beauty.Better than this, it will open the hearts of brothersfor thirty years estranged, and clasp in lasting comradeshipa million hands now withheld in doubt. Nothing,sir, but this problem and the suspicions it breeds,hinders a clear understanding and a perfect union.Nothing else stands between us and such love as boundGeorgia and Massachusetts at Valley Forge and Yorktown,chastened by the sacrifices of Manassas and Gettysburg,and illumined with the coming of better work and anobler destiny than was ever wrought with the swordor sought at the cannon’s mouth.

If this does not invite your patient hearing to-night—­hearone thing more. My people, your brothers in theSouth—­brothers in blood, in destiny, inall that is best in our past and future—­areso beset with this problem that their very existencedepends on its right solution. Nor are they whollyto blame for its presence. The slave-ships ofthe Republic sailed from your ports, the slaves workedin our fields. You will not defend the traffic,nor I the institution. But I do here declarethat in its wise and humane administration in liftingthe slave to heights of which he had not dreamed inhis savage home, and giving him a happiness he hasnot yet found in freedom, our fathers left their sonsa saving and excellent heritage. In the stormof war this institution was lost. I thank Godas heartily as you do that human slavery is gone foreverfrom American soil. But the freedman remains.With him, a problem without precedent or parallel.Note its appalling conditions. Two utterly dissimilarraces on the same soil—­with equal politicaland civil rights—­almost equal in numbers,but terribly unequal in intelligence and responsibility—­eachpledged against fusion—­one for a centuryin servitude to the other, and freed at last by adesolating war, the experiment sought by neither butapproached by both with doubt—­these arethe conditions. Under these, adverse at everypoint, we are required to carry these two races inpeace and honor to the end.

Never, sir, has such a task been given to mortal stewardship.Never before in this Republic has the white race dividedon the rights of an alien race. The red man wascut down as a weed because he hindered the way ofthe American citizen. The yellow man was shutout of this Republic because he is an alien, and inferior.The red man was owner of the land—­the yellowman was highly civilized and assimilable—­butthey hindered both sections and are gone! Butthe black man, affecting but one section, is clothedwith every privilege of government and pinned to thesoil, and my people commanded to make good at any hazard,and at any cost, his full and equal heirship of American

privilege and prosperity. It matters not thatevery other race has been routed or excluded withoutrhyme or reason. It matters not that whereverthe whites and the blacks have touched, in any eraor in any clime, there has been an irreconcilableviolence. It matters not that no two races, howeversimilar, have lived anywhere, at any time, on the samesoil with equal rights in peace! In spite ofthese things we are commanded to make good this changeof American policy which has not perhaps changed Americanprejudice—­to make certain here what haselsewhere been impossible between whites and blacks—­andto reverse, under the very worst conditions, the universalverdict of racial history. And driven, sir, tothis superhuman task with an impatience that brooksno delay—­a rigor that accepts no excuse—­anda suspicion that discourages frankness and sincerity.We do not shrink from this trial. It is so interwovenwith our industrial fabric that we cannot disentangleit if we would—­so bound up in our honorableobligation to the world, that we would not if we could.Can we solve it? The God who gave it into ourhands, He alone can know. But this the weakestand wisest of us do know: we cannot solve itwith less than your tolerant and patient sympathy—­withless than the knowledge that the blood that runs inyour veins is our blood—­and that, whenwe have done our best, whether the issue be lost orwon, we shall feel your strong arms about us and hearthe beating of your approving hearts!

The resolute, clear-headed, broad-minded men of theSouth—­the men whose genius made gloriousevery page of the first seventy years of Americanhistory—­whose courage and fortitude youtested in five years of the fiercest war—­whoseenergy has made bricks without straw and spread splendoramid the ashes of their war-wasted homes—­thesem*n wear this problem in their hearts and brains,by day and by night. They realize, as you cannot,what this problem means—­what they owe tothis kindly and dependent race—­the measureof their debt to the world in whose despite they defendedand maintained slavery. And though their feetare hindered in its undergrowth, and their march cumberedwith its burdens, they have lost neither the patiencefrom which comes clearness, nor the faith from whichcomes courage. Nor, sir, when in passionate momentsis disclosed to them that vague and awful shadow,with its lurid abysses and its crimson stains, intowhich I pray God they may never go, are they struckwith more of apprehension than is needed to completetheir consecration!

Such is the temper of my people. But what ofthe problem itself? Mr. President, we need notgo one step further unless you concede right herethat the people I speak for are as honest, as sensibleand as just as your people, seeking as earnestly asyou would in their place to rightly solve the problemthat touches them at every vital point. If youinsist that they are ruffians, blindly striving with

bludgeon and shotgun to plunder and oppress a race,then I shall sacrifice my self-respect and tax yourpatience in vain. But admit that they are menof common sense and common honesty, wisely modifyingan environment they cannot wholly disregard—­guidingand controlling as best they can the vicious and irresponsibleof either race—­compensating error with frankness,and retrieving in patience what they lost in passion—­andconscious all the time that wrong means ruin—­admitthis, and we may reach an understanding to-night.

The President of the United States, in his late messageto Congress, discussing the plea that the South shouldbe left to solve this problem, asks: “Arethey at work upon it? What solution do they offer?When will the black man cast a free ballot? Whenwill he have the civil rights that are his?”I shall not here protest against a partisanry that,for the first time in our history, in time of peace,has stamped with the great seal of our governmenta stigma upon the people of a great and loyal section;though I gratefully remember that the great dead soldier,who held the helm of State for the eight stormiestyears of reconstruction, never found need for sucha step; and though there is no personal sacrificeI would not make to remove this cruel and unjust imputationon my people from the archives of my country!But, sir, backed by a record, on every page of whichis progress, I venture to make earnest and respectfulanswer to the questions that are asked. We giveto the world this year a crop of 7,500,000 bales ofcotton, worth $450,000,000, and its cash equivalentin grain, grasses and fruit. This enormous cropcould not have come from the hands of sullen and discontentedlabor. It comes from peaceful fields, in whichlaughter and gossip rise above the hum of industry,and contentment runs with the singing plough.It is claimed that this ignorant labor is defraudedof its just hire, I present the tax books of Georgia,which show that the negro twenty-five years ago aslave, has in Georgia alone $10,000,000 of assessedproperty, worth twice that much. Does not thatrecord honor him and vindicate his neighbors?

What people, penniless, illiterate, has done so well?For every Afro-American agitator, stirring the strifein which alone he prospers, I can show you a thousandnegroes, happy in their cabin homes, tilling theirown land by day, and at night taking from the lipsof their children the helpful message their Statesends them from the schoolhouse door. And theschoolhouse itself bears testimony. In Georgiawe added last year $250,000 to the school fund, makinga total of more than $1,000,000—­and thisin the face of prejudice not yet conquered—­ofthe fact that the whites are assessed for $368,000,000,the blacks for $10,000,000, and yet forty-nine percent of the beneficiaries are black children; andin the doubt of many wise men if education helps, orcan help, our problem. Charleston, with her taxable

values cut half in two since 1860, pays more in proportionfor public schools than Boston. Although it iseasier to give much out of much than little out oflittle, the South, with one-seventh of the taxableproperty of the country, with relatively larger debt,having received only one-twelfth as much of publiclands, and having back of its tax books none of the$500,000,000 of bonds that enrich the North—­andthough it pays annually $26,000,000 to your sectionas pensions—­yet gives nearly one-sixth tothe public school fund. The South since 1865 hasspent $122,000,000 in education, and this year ispledged to $32,000,000 more for State and city schools,although the blacks, paying one-thirtieth of the taxes,get nearly one-half of the fund. Go into our fieldsand see whites and blacks working side by side.On our buildings in the same squad. In our shopsat the same forge. Often the blacks crowd thewhites from work, or lower wages by their greaterneed and simpler habits, and yet are permitted, becausewe want to bar them from no avenue in which theirfeet are fitted to tread. They could not therebe elected orators of white universities, as theyhave been here, but they do enter there a hundreduseful trades that are closed against them here.We hold it better and wiser to tend the weeds in thegarden than to water the exotic in the window.

In the South there are negro lawyers, teachers, editors,dentists, doctors, preachers, multiplying with theincreasing ability of their race to support them.In villages and towns they have their military companiesequipped from the armories of the State, their churchesand societies built and supported largely by theirneighbors. What is the testimony of the courts?In penal legislation we have steadily reduced feloniesto misdemeanors, and have led the world in mitigatingpunishment for crime, that we might save, as far aspossible, this dependent race from its own weakness.In our penitentiary record sixty per cent of the prosecutorsare negroes, and in every court the negro criminalstrikes the colored juror, that white men may judgehis case.

In the North, one negro in every 185 is in jail—­inthe South, only one in 446. In the North thepercentage of negro prisoners is six times as greatas that of native whites; in the South, only four timesas great. If prejudice wrongs him in Southerncourts, the record shows it to be deeper in Northerncourts. I assert here, and a bar as intelligentand upright as the bar of Massachusetts will solemnlyindorse my assertion, that in the Southern courts,from highest to lowest, pleading for life, libertyor property, the negro has distinct advantage becausehe is a negro, apt to be overreached, oppressed—­andthat this advantage reaches from the juror in makinghis verdict to the judge in measuring his sentence.

Now, Mr. President, can it be seriously maintainedthat we are terrorizing the people from whose willinghands comes every year $1,000,000,000 of farm crops?Or have robbed a people who, twenty-five years fromunrewarded slavery, have amassed in one State $20,000,000of property? Or that we intend to oppress thepeople we are arming every day? Or deceive them,when we are educating them to the utmost limit ofour ability? Or outlaw them, when we work sideby side with them? Or re-enslave them under legalforms, when for their benefit we have even imprudentlynarrowed the limit of felonies and mitigated the severityof law? My fellow-countrymen, as you yourselvesmay sometimes have to appeal at the bar of human judgmentfor justice and for right, give to my people to-nightthe fair and unanswerable conclusion of these incontestablefacts.

But it is claimed that under this fair seeming thereis disorder and violence. This I admit.And there will be until there is one ideal communityon earth after which we may pattern. But how widelyis it misjudged! It is hard to measure with exactnesswhatever touches the negro. His helplessness,his isolation, his century of servitude,—­thesedispose us to emphasize and magnify his wrongs.This disposition, inflamed by prejudice and partisanry,has led to injustice and delusion. Lawless menmay ravage a county in Iowa and it is accepted as anincident—­in the South, a drunken row isdeclared to be the fixed habit of the community.Regulators may whip vagabonds in Indiana by platoonsand it scarcely arrests attention—­a chancecollision in the South among relatively the same classesis gravely accepted as evidence that one race is destroyingthe other. We might as well claim that the Unionwas ungrateful to the colored soldier who followedits flag because a Grand Army post in Connecticutclosed its doors to a negro veteran as for you togive racial significance to every incident in the South,or to accept exceptional grounds as the rule of oursociety. I am not one of those who becloud Americanhonor with the parade of the outrages of either section,and belie American character by declaring them to besignificant and representative. I prefer to maintainthat they are neither, and stand for nothing but thepassion and sin of our poor fallen humanity.If society, like a machine, were no stronger than itsweakest part, I should despair of both sections.But, knowing that society, sentient and responsiblein every fiber, can mend and repair until the wholehas the strength of the best, I despair of neither.These gentlemen who come with me here, knit into Georgia’sbusy life as they are, never saw, I dare assert, anoutrage committed on a negro! And if they did,no one of you would be swifter to prevent or punish.It is through them, and the men and women who thinkwith them—­making nine-tenths of every Southerncommunity—­that these two races have beencarried thus far with less of violence than would havebeen possible anywhere else on earth. And intheir fairness and courage and steadfastness—­morethan in all the laws that can be passed, or all thebayonets that can be mustered—­is the hopeof our future.

When will the blacks cast a free ballot? Whenignorance anywhere is not dominated by the will ofthe intelligent; when the laborer anywhere casts avote unhindered by his boss; when the vote of the pooranywhere is not influenced by the power of the rich;when the strong and the steadfast do not everywherecontrol the suffrage of the weak and shiftless—­then,and not till then, will the ballot of the negro befree. The white people of the South are banded,Mr. President, not in prejudice against the blacks—­notin sectional estrangement—­not in the hopeof political dominion—­but in a deep andabiding necessity. Here is this vast ignorantand purchasable vote—­clannish, credulous,impulsive, and passionate—­tempting everyart of the demagogue, but insensible to the appealof the stateman. Wrongly started, in that it wasled into alienation from its neighbor and taught torely on the protection of an outside force, it cannotbe merged and lost in the two great parties throughlogical currents, for it lacks political convictionand even that information on which conviction mustbe based. It must remain a faction—­strongenough in every community to control on the slightestdivision of the whites. Under that division itbecomes the prey of the cunning and unscrupulous ofboth parties. Its credulity is imposed upon,its patience inflamed, its cupidity tempted, its impulsesmisdirected—­and even its superstition madeto play its part in a campaign in which every interestof society is jeopardized and every approach to theballot-box debauched. It is against such campaignsas this—­the folly and the bitterness andthe danger of which every Southern community has drunkdeeply—­that the white people of the Southare banded together. Just as you in Massachusettswould be banded if 300,000 men, not one in a hundredable to read his ballot—­banded in raceinstinct, holding against you the memory of a centuryof slavery, taught by your late conquerors to distrustand oppose you, had already travestied legislationfrom your State House, and in every species of follyor villainy had wasted your substance and exhaustedyour credit.

But admitting the right of the whites to unite againstthis tremendous menace, we are challenged with thesmallness of our vote. This has long been flippantlycharged to be evidence and has now been solemnly andofficially declared to be proof of political turpitudeand baseness on our part. Let us see. Virginia—­astate now under fierce assault for this alleged crime—­castin 1888 seventy-five per cent of her vote; Massachusetts,the State in which I speak, sixty per cent of her vote.Was it suppression in Virginia and natural causes inMassachusetts? Last month Virginia cast sixty-nineper cent of her vote; and Massachusetts, fightingin every district, cast only forty-nine per cent ofhers. If Virginia is condemned because thirty-oneper cent of her vote was silent, how shall this Stateescape, in which fifty-one per cent was dumb?

Let us enlarge this comparison. The sixteen SouthernStates in ’88 cast sixty-seven per cent of theirtotal vote—­the six New England States butsixty-three per cent of theirs. By what fair ruleshall the stigma be put upon one section while theother escapes? A congressional election in NewYork last week, with the polling place in touch ofevery voter, brought out only 6,000 votes of 28,000—­andthe lack of opposition is assigned as the naturalcause. In a district in my State, in which anopposition speech has not been heard in ten years andthe polling places are miles apart—­underthe unfair reasoning of which my section has beena constant victim—­the small vote is chargedto be proof of forcible suppression. In Virginiaan average majority of 12,000, unless hopeless divisionof the minority, was raised to 42,000; in Iowa, inthe same election, a majority of 32,000 was wiped outand an opposition majority of 8,000 was established.The change of 40,000 votes in Iowa is accepted aspolitical revolution—­in Virginia an increaseof 30,000 on a safe majority is declared to be proofof political fraud.

It is deplorable, sir, that in both sections a largerpercentage of the vote is not regularly cast, butmore inexplicable that this should be so in New Englandthan in the South. What invites the negro to theballot-box? He knows that of all men it has promisedhim most and yielded him least. His first appealto suffrage was the promise of “forty acresand a mule;” his second, the threat that Democraticsuccess meant his re-enslavement. Both have beenproved false in his experience. He looked fora home, and he got the Freedman’s Bank.He fought under promise of the loaf, and in victorywas denied the crumbs. Discouraged and deceived,he has realized at last that his best friends are hisneighbors with whom his lot is cast, and whose prosperityis bound up in his—­and that he has gainednothing in politics to compensate the loss of theirconfidence and sympathy, that is at last his best andenduring hope. And so, without leaders or organization—­andlacking the resolute heroism of my party friends inVermont that make their hopeless march over the hillsa high and inspiring pilgrimage—­he shrewdlymeasures the occasional agitator, balances his littleaccount with politics, touches up his mule, and jogsdown the furrow, letting the mad world wag as it will!

The negro voter can never control in the South, andit would be well if partisans at the North would understandthis. I have seen the white people of a Stateset about by black hosts until their fate seemed sealed.But, sir, some brave men, banding them together, wouldrise as Elisha rose in beleaguered Samaria, and, touchingtheir eyes with faith, bid them look abroad to seethe very air “filled with the chariots of Israeland the horsem*n thereof.” If there is anyhuman force that cannot be withstood, it is the powerof the banded intelligence and responsibility of a

free community. Against it, numbers and corruptioncannot prevail. It cannot be forbidden in thelaw, or divorced in force. It is the inalienableright of every free community—­the just andrighteous safeguard against an ignorant or corruptsuffrage. It is on this, sir, that we rely inthe South. Not the cowardly menace of mask orshotgun, but the peaceful majesty of intelligence andresponsibility, massed and unified for the protectionof its homes and the preservation of its liberty.That, sir, is our reliance and our hope, and againstit all the powers of earth shall not prevail.It is just as certain that Virginia would come backto the unchallenged control of her white race—­thatbefore the moral and material power of her people oncemore unified, opposition would crumble until its lastdesperate leader was left alone, vainly striving torally his disordered hosts—­as that nightshould fade in the kindling glory of the sun.You may pass force bills, but they will not avail.You may surrender your own liberties to federal electionlaw; you may submit, in fear of a necessity that doesnot exist, that the very form of this government maybe changed; you may invite federal interference withthe New England town meeting, that has been for ahundred years the guarantee of local government inAmerica; this old State—­which holds inits charter the boast that it “is a free andindependent commonwealth”—­may deliverits election machinery into the hands of the governmentit helped to create—­but never, sir, willa single State of this Union, North or South, be deliveredagain to the control of an ignorant and inferior race.We wrested our state governments from negro supremacywhen the Federal drumbeat rolled closer to the ballot-box,and Federal bayonets hedged it deeper about than willever again be permitted in this free government.But, sir, though the cannon of this Republic thunderedin every voting district in the South, we still shouldfind in the mercy of God the means and the courageto prevent its reestablishment.

I regret, sir, that my section, hindered with thisproblem, stands in seeming estrangement to the North.If, sir, any man will point out to me a path downwhich the white people of the South, divided, may walkin peace and honor, I will take that path, thoughI take it alone—­for at its end, and nowhereelse, I fear, is to be found the full prosperity ofmy section and the full restoration of this Union.But, sir, if the negro had not been enfranchised theSouth would have been divided and the Republic united.His enfranchisem*nt—­against which I enterno protest—­holds the South united and compact.What solution, then, can we offer for the problem?Time alone can disclose it to us. We simply reportprogress, and ask your patience. If the problembe solved at all—­and I firmly believe itwill, though nowhere else has it been—­itwill be solved by the people most deeply bound in interest,most deeply pledged in honor to its solution.

I had rather see my people render back this questionrightly solved than to see them gather all the spoilsover which faction has contended since Cataline conspiredand Caesar fought. Meantime we treat the negrofairly, measuring to him justice in the fulness thestrong should give to the weak, and leading him inthe steadfast ways of citizenship, that he may nolonger be the prey of the unscrupulous and the sportof the thoughtless. We open to him every pursuitin which he can prosper, and seek to broaden his trainingand capacity. We seek to hold his confidenceand friendship—­and to pin him to the soilwith ownership, that he may catch in the fire of hisown hearthstone that sense of responsibility the shiftlesscan never know. And we gather him into that allianceof intelligence and responsibility that, though itnow runs close to racial lines, welcomes the responsibleand intelligent of any race. By this course, confirmedin our judgment, and justified in the progress alreadymade, we hope to progress slowly but surely to theend.

The love we feel for that race, you cannot measurenor comprehend. As I attest it here, the spiritof my old black mammy, from her home up there, looksdown to bless, and through the tumult of this nightsteals the sweet music of her croonings as thirtyyears ago she held me in her black arms and led mesmiling to sleep. This scene vanishes as I speak,and I catch a vision of an old Southern home with itslofty pillars and its white pigeons fluttering downthrough the golden air. I see women with strainedand anxious faces, and children alert yet helpless.I see night come down with its dangers and its apprehensions,and in a big homely room I feel on my tired head thetouch of loving hands—­now worn and wrinkled,but fairer to me yet than the hands of mortal woman,and stronger yet to lead me than the hands of mortalman—­as they lay a mother’s blessingthere, while at her knees—­the truest altarI yet have found—­I thank God that she issafe in her sanctuary, because her slaves, sentinelin the silent cabin, or guard at her chamber door,put a black man’s loyalty between her and danger.

I catch another vision. The crisis of battle—­asoldier, struck, staggering, fallen. I see aslave, scuffing through the smoke, winding his blackarms about the fallen form, reckless of hurtling death—­bendinghis trusty face to catch the words that tremble onthe stricken lips, so wrestling meantime with agonythat he would lay down his life in his master’sstead. I see him by the weary bedside, ministeringwith uncomplaining patience, praying with all his humbleheart that God will lift his master up, until deathcomes in mercy and in honor to still the soldier’sagony and seal the soldier’s life. I seehim by the open grave—­mute, motionless,uncovered, suffering for the death of him who in lifefought against his freedom. I see him, when themold is heaped and the great drama of his life is closed,

turn away and with downcast eyes and uncertain stepstart out into new and strange fields, faltering,struggling, but moving on, until his shambling figureis lost in the light of this better and brighter day.And from the grave comes a voice, saying, “Followhim! put your arms about him in his need, even ashe put his about me. Be his friend as he was mine.”And out into this new world—­strange tome as to him, dazzling, bewildering both—­Ifollow! And may God forget my people—­whenthey forget these!

Whatever the future may hold for them, whether theyplod along in the servitude from which they have neverbeen lifted since the Cyrenian was laid hold uponby the Roman soldiers, and made to bear the cross ofthe fainting Christ—­whether they find homesagain in Africa, and thus hasten the prophecy of thepsalmist, who said, “And suddenly Ethiopia shallhold out her hands unto God”—­whetherforever dislocated and separate, they remain a weakpeople, beset by stronger, and exist, as the Turk,who lives in the jealousy rather than in the conscienceof Europe—­or whether in this miraculousRepublic they break through the caste of twenty centuriesand, belying universal history, reach the full statureof citizenship, and in peace maintain it—­weshall give them uttermost justice and abiding friendship.And whatever we do, into whatever seeming estrangementwe may be driven, nothing shall disturb the love webear this Republic, or mitigate our consecration toits service. I stand here, Mr. President, toprofess no new loyalty. When General Lee, whoseheart was the temple of our hopes, and whose arm wasclothed with our strength, renewed his allegiance tothis Government at Appomattox, he spoke from a hearttoo great to be false, and he spoke for every honestman from Maryland to Texas. From that day to thisHamilcar has nowhere in the South sworn young Hannibalto hatred and vengeance, but everywhere to loyaltyand to love. Witness the veteran standing atthe base of a Confederate monument, above the gravesof his comrades, his empty sleeve tossing in the Aprilwind, adjuring the young men about him to serve asearnest and loyal citizens the Government againstwhich their fathers fought. This message, deliveredfrom that sacred presence, has gone home to the heartsof my fellows! And, sir, I declare here, if physicalcourage be always equal to human aspiration, thatthey would die, sir, if need be, to restore this Republictheir fathers fought to dissolve.

Such, Mr. President, is this problem as we see it,such is the temper in which we approach it, such theprogress made. What do we ask of you? First,patience; out of this alone can come perfect work.Second, confidence; in this alone can you judge fairly.Third, sympathy; in this you can help us best.Fourth, give us your sons as hostages. When youplant your capital in millions, send your sons thatthey may know how true are our hearts and may helpto swell the Caucasian current until it can carry

without danger this black infusion. Fifth, loyaltyto the Republic—­for there is sectionalismin loyalty as in estrangement. This hour littleneeds the loyalty that is loyal to one section andyet holds the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement.Give us the broad and perfect loyalty that loves andtrusts Georgia alike with Massachusetts—­thatknows no South, no North, no East, no West, but endearswith equal and patriotic love every foot of our soil,every State of our Union.

A mighty duty, sir, and a mighty inspiration impelsevery one of us to-night to lose in patriotic consecrationwhatever estranges, whatever divides. We, sir,are Americans—­and we stand for human liberty!The uplifting force of the American idea is underevery throne on earth. France, Brazil—­theseare our victories. To redeem the earth from kingcraftand oppression—­this is our mission!And we shall not fail. God has sown in our soilthe seed of His millennial harvest, and He will notlay the sickle to the ripening crop until His fulland perfect day has come. Our history, sir, hasbeen a constant and expanding miracle, from PlymouthRock and Jamestown, all the way—­aye, evenfrom the hour when from the voiceless and tracelessocean a new world rose to the sight of the inspiredsailor. As we approach the fourth centennial ofthat stupendous day—­when the old world willcome to marvel and to learn amid our gathered treasures—­letus resolve to crown the miracles of our past withthe spectacle of a Republic, compact, united, indissolublein the bonds of love—­loving from the Lakesto the Gulf—­the wounds of war healed inevery heart as on every hill, serene and resplendentat the summit of human achievement and earthly glory,blazing out the path and making clear the way up whichall the nations of the earth must come in God’sappointed time!



Delivered at the World’s Fair, Buffalo, N.Y.,on September 5, 1901, the day before he was assassinated.

I am glad again to be in the city of Buffalo and exchangegreetings with her people, to whose generous hospitalityI am not a stranger, and with whose good will I havebeen repeatedly and signally honored. To-day Ihave additional satisfaction in meeting and givingwelcome to the foreign representatives assembled here,whose presence and participation in this Expositionhave contributed in so marked a degree to its interestand success. To the commissioners of the Dominionof Canada and the British Colonies, the French Colonies,the Republics of Mexico and of Central and South America,and the commissioners of Cuba and Porto Rico, whoshare with us in this undertaking, we give the handof fellowship and felicitate with them upon the triumphsof art, science, education and manufacture which theold has bequeathed to the new century.

Expositions are the timekeepers of progress.They record the world’s advancement. Theystimulate the energy, enterprise and intellect of thepeople, and quicken human genius. They go intothe home. They broaden and brighten the dailylife of the people. They open mighty storehousesof information to the student. Every exposition,great or small, has helped to some onward step.

Comparison of ideas is always educational and, assuch, instructs the brain and hand of man. Friendlyrivalry follows, which is the spur to industrial improvement,the inspiration to useful invention and to high endeavorin all departments of human activity. It exactsa study of the wants, comforts, and even the whimsof the people, and recognizes the efficacy of highquality and low prices to win their favor. Thequest for trade is an incentive to men of businessto devise, invent, improve and economize in the costof production. Business life, whether among ourselves,or with other peoples, is ever a sharp struggle forsuccess. It will be none the less in the future.

Without competition we would be clinging to the clumsyand antiquated process of farming and manufactureand the methods of business of long ago, and the twentiethwould be no further advanced than the eighteenth century.But tho commercial competitors we are, commercial enemieswe must not be. The Pan-American Exposition hasdone its work thoroughly, presenting in its exhibitsevidences of the highest skill and illustrating theprogress of the human family in the Western Hemisphere.This portion of the earth has no cause for humiliationfor the part it has performed in the march of civilization.It has not accomplished everything; far from it.It has simply done its best, and without vanity orboastfulness, and recognizing the manifold achievementsof others it invites the friendly rivalry of all thepowers in the peaceful pursuits of trade and commerce,and will cooperate with all in advancing the highestand best interests of humanity. The wisdom andenergy of all the nations are none too great for theworld work. The success of art, science, industryand invention is an international asset and a commonglory.

After all, how near one to the other is every partof the world. Modern inventions have broughtinto close relation widely separated peoples and makethem better acquainted. Geographic and politicaldivisions will continue to exist, but distances havebeen effaced. Swift ships and fast trains arebecoming cosmopolitan. They invade fields whicha few years ago were impenetrable. The world’sproducts are exchanged as never before and with increasingtransportation facilities come increasing knowledgeand larger trade. Prices are fixed with mathematicalprecision by supply and demand. The world’sselling prices are regulated by market and crop reports.We travel greater distances in a shorter space of timeand with more ease than was ever dreamed of by thefathers. Isolation is no longer possible or desirable.The same important news is read, tho in differentlanguages, the same day in all Christendom.

The telegraph keeps us advised of what is occurringeverywhere, and the Press foreshadows, with more orless accuracy, the plans and purposes of the nations.Market prices of products and of securities are hourlyknown in every commercial mart, and the investmentsof the people extend beyond their own national boundariesinto the remotest parts of the earth. Vast transactionsare conducted and international exchanges are madeby the tick of the cable. Every event of interestis immediately bulletined. The quick gatheringand transmission of news, like rapid transit, areof recent origin, and are only made possible by thegenius of the inventor and the courage of the investor.It took a special messenger of the government, withevery facility known at the time for rapid travel,nineteen days to go from the City of Washington toNew Orleans with a message to General Jackson thatthe war with England had ceased and a treaty of peacehad been signed. How different now! We reachedGeneral Miles, in Porto Rico, and he was able throughthe military telegraph to stop his army on the firingline with the message that the United States and Spainhad signed a protocol suspending hostilities.We knew almost instanter of the first shots fired atSantiago, and the subsequent surrender of the Spanishforces was known at Washington within less than anhour of its consummation. The first ship of Cervera’sfleet had hardly emerged from that historic harborwhen the fact was flashed to our Capitol, and the swiftdestruction that followed was announced immediatelythrough the wonderful medium of telegraphy.

So accustomed are we to safe and easy communicationwith distant lands that its temporary interruption,even in ordinary times, results in loss and inconvenience.We shall never forget the days of anxious waiting andsuspense when no information was permitted to be sentfrom Pekin, and the diplomatic representatives ofthe nations in China, cut off from all communication,inside and outside of the walled capital, were surroundedby an angry and misguided mob that threatened theirlives; nor the joy that thrilled the world when asingle message from the government of the United Statesbrought through our minister the first news of thesafety of the besieged diplomats.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there wasnot a mile of steam railroad on the globe; now thereare enough miles to make its circuit many times.Then there was not a line of electric telegraph; nowwe have a vast mileage traversing all lands and seas.God and man have linked the nations together.No nation can longer be indifferent to any other.And as we are brought more and more in touch with eachother, the less occasion is there for misunderstandings,and the stronger the disposition, when we have differences,to adjust them in the court of arbitration, whichis the noblest forum for the settlement of internationaldisputes.

My fellow citizens, trade statistics indicate thatthis country is in a state of unexampled prosperity.The figures are almost appalling. They show thatwe are utilizing our fields and forests and mines,and that we are furnishing profitable employment tothe millions of workingmen throughout the United States,bringing comfort and happiness to their homes, andmaking it possible to lay by savings for old age anddisability. That all the people are participatingin this great prosperity is seen in every Americancommunity and shown by the enormous and unprecedenteddeposits in our savings banks. Our duty in thecare and security of these deposits and their safeinvestment demands the highest integrity and the bestbusiness capacity of those in charge of these depositoriesof the people’s earnings.

We have a vast and intricate business, built up throughyears of toil and struggle in which every part ofthe country has its stake, which will not permit ofeither neglect or of undue selfishness. No narrow,sordid policy will subserve it. The greatest skilland wisdom on the part of manufacturers and producerswill be required to hold and increase it. Ourindustrial enterprises, which have grown to such greatproportions, affect the homes and occupations of thepeople and the welfare of the country. Our capacityto produce has developed so enormously and our productshave so multiplied that the problem of more marketsrequires our urgent and immediate attention. Onlya broad and enlightened policy will keep what we have.No other policy will get more. In these timesof marvelous business energy and gain we ought tobe looking to the future, strengthening the weak placesin our industrial and commercial systems, that wemay be ready for any storm or strain.

By sensible trade arrangements which will not interruptour home production we shall extend the outlets forour increasing surplus. A system which providesa mutual exchange of commodities is manifestly essentialto the continued and healthful growth of our exporttrade. We must not repose in the fancied securitythat we can forever sell everything and buy littleor nothing. If such a thing were possible itwould not be best for us or for those with whom wedeal. We should take from our customers suchof their products as we can use without harm to ourindustries and labor. Reciprocity is the naturaloutgrowth of our wonderful industrial developmentunder the domestic policy now firmly established.

What we produce beyond our domestic consumption musthave a vent abroad. The excess must be relievedthrough a foreign outlet, and we should sell everywherewe can and buy wherever the buying will enlarge oursales and productions, and thereby make a greaterdemand for home labor.

The period of exclusiveness is past. The expansionof our trade and commerce is the pressing problem.Commercial wars are unprofitable. A policy ofgood will and friendly trade relations will preventreprisals. Reciprocity treaties are in harmonywith the spirit of the times; measures of retaliationare not. If, perchance, some of our tariffs areno longer needed for revenue or to encourage and protectour industries at home, why should they not be employedto extend and promote our markets abroad? Then,too, we have inadequate steamship service. Newlines of steamships have already been put in commissionbetween the Pacific coast ports of the United Statesand those on the western coasts of Mexico and Centraland South America. These should be followed upwith direct steamship lines between the western coastof the United States and South American ports.One of the needs of the times is direct commerciallines from our vast fields of production to the fieldsof consumption that we have but barely touched.Next in advantage to having the thing to sell is tohave the conveyance to carry it to the buyer.We must encourage our merchant marine. We musthave more ships. They must be under the Americanflag; built and manned and owned by Americans.These will not only be profitable in a commercial sense;they will be messengers of peace and amity whereverthey go.

We must build the Isthmian canal, which will unitethe two oceans and give a straight line of water communicationwith the western coasts of Central and South Americaand Mexico. The construction of a Pacific cablecan not be longer postponed. In the furtheranceof these objects of national interest and concernyou are performing an important part. This Expositionwould have touched the heart of that American statesmanwhose mind was ever alert and thought ever constantfor a larger commerce and a truer fraternity of therepublics of the New World. His broad Americanspirit is felt and manifested here. He needs noidentification to an assemblage of Americans anywhere,for the name of Blaine is inseparably associated withthe Pan-American movement which finds here practicaland substantial expression, and which we all hopewill be firmly advanced by the Pan-American Congressthat assembles this autumn in the capital of Mexico.The good work will go on. It can not be stopped.Those buildings will disappear; this creation of artand beauty and industry will perish from sight, buttheir influence will remain to “make it livebeyond its too short living with praises and thanksgiving.”Who can tell the new thoughts that have been awakened,the ambitions fired and the high achievements thatwill be wrought through this Exposition?

Gentlemen, let us ever remember that our interestis in concord, not conflict; and that our real eminencerests in the victories of peace, not those of war.We hope that all who are represented here may be movedto higher and nobler efforts for their own and theworld’s good, and that out of this city maycome not only greater commerce and trade for us all,but, more essential than these, relations of mutualrespect, confidence and friendship which will deepenand endure. Our earnest prayer is that God willgraciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peaceto all our neighbors, and like blessings to all thepeoples and powers of earth.



From his memorial address at a joint session of theSenate and House of Representatives on February 27,1903.

For the third time the Congress of the United Statesare assembled to commemorate the life and the deathof a president slain by the hand of an assassin.The attention of the future historian will be attractedto the features which reappear with startling samenessin all three of these awful crimes: the uselessness,the utter lack of consequence of the act; the obscurity,the insignificance of the criminal; the blamelessness—­sofar as in our sphere of existence the best of men maybe held blameless—­of the victim. Notone of our murdered presidents had an enemy in theworld; they were all of such preeminent purity of lifethat no pretext could be given for the attack of passionalcrime; they were all men of democratic instincts,who could never have offended the most jealous advocatesof equity; they were of kindly and generous nature,to whom wrong or injustice was impossible; of moderatefortune, whose slender means nobody could envy.They were men of austere virtue, of tender heart,of eminent abilities, which they had devoted withsingle minds to the good of the Republic. If evermen walked before God and man without blame, it wasthese three rulers of our people. The only temptationto attack their lives offered was their gentle radiance—­toeyes hating the light, that was offense enough.

The stupid uselessness of such an infamy affrontsthe common sense of the world. One can conceivehow the death of a dictator may change the politicalconditions of an empire; how the extinction of a narrowingline of kings may bring in an alien dynasty. Butin a well-ordered Republic like ours the ruler mayfall, but the State feels no tremor. Our belovedand revered leader is gone—­but the naturalprocess of our laws provides us a successor, identicalin purpose and ideals, nourished by the same teachings,inspired by the same principles, pledged by tenderaffection as well as by high loyalty to carry to completionthe immense task committed to his hands, and to smitewith iron severity every manifestation of that hideouscrime which his mild predecessor, with his dying breath,forgave. The sayings of celestial wisdom haveno date; the words that reach us, over two thousandyears, out of the darkest hour of gloom the worldhas ever known, are true to life to-day: “Theyknow not what they do.” The blow struckat our dear friend and ruler was as deadly as blindhate could make it; but the blow struck at anarchywas deadlier still.

How many countries can join with us in the communityof a kindred sorrow! I will not speak of thosedistant regions where assassination enters into thedaily life of government. But among the nationsbound to us by the ties of familiar intercourse—­whocan forget that wise and mild autocrat who had earnedthe proud title of the liberator? that enlightenedand magnanimous citizen whom France still mourns? thatbrave and chivalrous king of Italy who only livedfor his people? and, saddest of all, that lovely andsorrowing empress, whose harmless life could hardlyhave excited the animosity of a demon? Againstthat devilish spirit nothing avails,—­neithervirtue nor patriotism, nor age nor youth, nor consciencenor pity. We can not even say that education isa sufficient safeguard against this baleful evil,—­formost of the wretches whose crimes have so shockedhumanity in recent years were men not unlettered,who have gone from the common schools, through murderto the scaffold.

The life of William McKinley was, from his birth tohis death, typically American. There is no environment,I should say, anywhere else in the world which couldproduce just such a character. He was born intothat way of life which elsewhere is called the middleclass, but which in this country is so nearly universalas to make of other classes an almost negligible quantity.He was neither rich nor poor, neither proud nor humble;he knew no hunger he was not sure of satisfying, noluxury which could enervate mind or body. Hisparents were sober, God-fearing people; intelligentand upright, without pretension and without humility.He grew up in the company of boys like himself, wholesome,honest, self-respecting. They looked down on nobody;they never felt it possible they could be looked downupon. Their houses were the homes of probity,piety, patriotism. They learned in the admirableschool readers of fifty years ago the lessons of heroicand splendid life which have come down from the past.They read in their weekly newspapers the story ofthe world’s progress, in which they were eagerto take part, and of the sins and wrongs of civilizationwith which they burned to do battle. It was aserious and thoughtful time. The boys of thatday felt dimly, but deeply, that days of sharp struggleand high achievement were before them. They lookedat life with the wondering yet resolute eyes of ayoung esquire in his vigil of arms. They felta time was coming when to them should be addressedthe stern admonition of the Apostle, “Quit youlike men; be strong.”

The men who are living to-day and were young in 1860will never forget the glory and glamour that filledthe earth and the sky when the long twilight of doubtand uncertainty was ending and the time for actionhad come. A speech by Abraham Lincoln was anevent not only of high moral significance, but offar-reaching importance; the drilling of a militiacompany by Ellsworth attracted national attention;the fluttering of the flag in the clear sky drew tearsfrom the eyes of young men. Patriotism, whichhad been a rhetorical expression, became a passionateemotion, in which instinct, logic and feeling werefused. The country was worth saving; it couldbe saved only by fire; no sacrifice was too great;the young men of the country were ready for the sacrifice;come weal, come woe, they were ready.

At seventeen years of age William McKinley heard thissummons of his country. He was the sort of youthto whom a military life in ordinary times would possessno attractions. His nature was far different fromthat of the ordinary soldier. He had other dreamsof life, its prizes and pleasures, than that of marchesand battles. But to his mind there was no choiceor question. The banner floating in the morningbreeze was the beckoning gesture of his country.The thrilling notes of the trumpet called him—­himand none other—­into the ranks. Hisportrait in his first uniform is familiar to you all—­theshort, stocky figure; the quiet, thoughtful face;the deep, dark eyes. It is the face of a lad whocould not stay at home when he thought he was neededin the field. He was of the stuff of which goodsoldiers are made. Had he been ten years olderhe would have entered at the head of a company andcome out at the head of a division. But he didwhat he could. He enlisted as a private; he learnedto obey. His serious, sensible ways, his prompt,alert efficiency soon attracted the attention of hissuperiors. He was so faithful in little thingsthat they gave him more and more to do. He wasuntiring in camp and on the march; swift, cool andfearless in fight. He left the army with fieldrank when the war ended, brevetted by President Lincolnfor gallantry in battle.

In coming years when men seek to draw the moral ofour great Civil War, nothing will seem to them soadmirable in all the history of our two magnificentarmies as the way in which the war came to a close.When the Confederate army saw the time had come, theyacknowledged the pitiless logic of facts and ceasedfighting. When the army of the Union saw it wasno longer needed, without a murmur or question, makingno terms, asking no return, in the flush of victoryand fulness of might, it laid down its arms and meltedback into the mass of peaceful citizens. Thereis no event since the nation was born which has soproved its solid capacity for self-government.Both sections share equally in that crown of glory.They had held a debate of incomparable importance andhad fought it out with equal energy. A conclusionhad been reached—­and it is to the everlastinghonor of both sides that they each knew when the warwas over and the hour of a lasting peace had struck.We may admire the desperate daring of others who preferannihilation to compromise, but the palm of commonsense, and, I will say, of enlightened patriotism,belongs to the men like Grant and Lee, who knew whenthey had fought enough for honor and for country.

So it came naturally about that in 1876—­thebeginning of the second century of the Republic—­hebegan, by an election to Congress, his political career.Thereafter for fourteen years this chamber was hishome. I use the word advisedly. Nowhere inthe world was he so in harmony with his environmentas here; nowhere else did his mind work with suchfull consciousness of its powers. The air of debatewas native to him; here he drank delight of battlewith his peers. In after days, when he droveby this stately pile, or when on rare occasions hisduty called him here, he greeted his old haunts withthe affectionate zest of a child of the house; duringall the last ten years of his life, filled as theywere with activity and glory, he never ceased to behomesick for this hall. When he came to the presidency,there was not a day when his congressional servicewas not of use to him. Probably no other presidenthas been in such full and cordial communion with Congress,if we may except Lincoln alone. McKinley knewthe legislative body thoroughly, its composition,its methods, its habit of thought. He had theprofoundest respect for its authority and an inflexiblebelief in the ultimate rectitude of its purposes.Our history shows how surely an executive courts disasterand ruin by assuming an attitude of hostility or distrustto the Legislature; and, on the other hand, McKinley’sfrank and sincere trust and confidence in Congresswere repaid by prompt and loyal support and cooeperation.During his entire term of office this mutual trustand regard—­so essential to the public welfare—­wasnever shadowed by a single cloud.

When he came to the presidency he confronted a situationof the utmost difficulty, which might well have appalleda man of less serene and tranquil self-confidence.There had been a state of profound commercial andindustrial depression from which his friends had saidhis election would relieve the country. Our relationswith the outside world left much to be desired.The feeling between the Northern and Southern sectionsof the Union was lacking in the cordiality which wasnecessary to the welfare of both. Hawaii hadasked for annexation and had been rejected by thepreceding administration. There was a state ofthings in the Caribbean which could not permanentlyendure. Our neighbor’s house was on fire,and there were grave doubts as to our rights and dutiesin the premises. A man either weak or rash, eitherirresolute or headstrong, might have brought ruinon himself and incalculable harm to the country.

The least desirable form of glory to a man of hishabitual mood and temper—­that of successfulwar—­was nevertheless conferred upon himby uncontrollable events. He felt it must come;he deplored its necessity; he strained almost to breakinghis relations with his friends, in order, first toprevent and then to postpone it to the latest possiblemoment. But when the die was cast, he laboredwith the utmost energy and ardor, and with an intelligencein military matters which showed how much of the soldierstill survived in the mature statesman, to push forwardthe war to a decisive close. War was an anguishto him; he wanted it short and conclusive. Hismerciful zeal communicated itself to his subordinates,and the war, so long dreaded, whose consequences wereso momentous, ended in a hundred days.

Mr. McKinley was reelected by an overwhelming majority.There had been little doubt of the result among well-informedpeople, but when it was known, a profound feelingof relief and renewal of trust were evident amongthe leaders of capital and industry, not only in thiscountry, but everywhere. They felt that the immediatefuture was secure, and that trade and commerce mightsafely push forward in every field of effort and enterprise.

He felt that the harvest time was come, to garnerin the fruits of so much planting and culture, andhe was determined that nothing he might do or sayshould be liable to the reproach of a personal interest.Let us say frankly he was a party man; he believedthe policies advocated by him and his friends countedfor much in the country’s progress and prosperity.He hoped in his second term to accomplish substantialresults in the development and affirmation of thosepolicies. I spent a day with him shortly beforehe started on his fateful journey to Buffalo.Never had I seen him higher in hope and patriotic confidence.He was gratified to the heart that we had arrangeda treaty which gave us a free hand in the Isthmus.In fancy he saw the canal already built and the argosiesof the world passing through it in peace and amity.He saw in the immense evolution of American tradethe fulfilment of all his dreams, the reward of allhis labors. He was, I need not say, an ardentprotectionist, never more sincere and devoted thanduring those last days of his life. He regardedreciprocity as the bulwark of protection—­nota breach, but a fulfilment of the law. The treatieswhich for four years had been preparing under his personalsupervision he regarded as ancillary to the generalscheme. He was opposed to any revolutionary planof change in the existing legislation; he was carefulto point out that everything he had done was in faithfulcompliance with the law itself.

In that mood of high hope, of generous expectation,he went to Buffalo, and there, on the threshold ofeternity, he delivered that memorable speech, worthyfor its loftiness of tone, its blameless morality,its breadth of view, to be regarded as his testamentto the nation. Through all his pride of countryand his joy of its success runs the note of solemnwarning, as in Kipling’s noble hymn, “LestWe Forget.”

The next day sped the bolt of doom, and for a weekafter—­in an agony of dread, broken by illusiveglimpses of hope that our prayers might be answered—­thenation waited for the end. Nothing in the gloriouslife we saw gradually waning was more admirable andexemplary than its close. The gentle humanityof his words when he saw his assailant in danger ofsummary vengeance, “Do not let them hurt him;”his chivalrous care that the news should be brokengently to his wife; the fine courtesy with which heapologized for the damage which his death would bringto the great Exhibition; and the heroic resignation

of his final words, “It is God’s way;His will, not ours, be done,” were all the instinctiveexpressions of a nature so lofty and so pure that pridein its nobility at once softened and enhanced thenation’s sense of loss. The Republic grievedover such a son,—­but is proud forever ofhaving produced him. After all, in spite of itstragic ending, his life was extraordinarily happy.He had, all his days, troops of friends, the cheerof fame and fruitful labor; and he became at last,

“On fortune’scrowning slope,
The pillar of a people’shope,
The center of a world’sdesire.”


I offer no apology for speaking upon a religious theme,for it is the most universal of all themes. Iam interested in the science of government, but Iam interested more in religion than in government.I enjoy making a political speech—­I havemade a good many and shall make more—­butI would rather speak on religion than on politics.I commenced speaking on the stump when I was onlytwenty, but I commenced speaking in the church sixyears earlier—­and I shall be in the churcheven after I am put of politics. I feel sureof my ground when I make a political speech, but Ifeel even more certain of my ground when I make areligious speech. If I addrest you upon the subjectof law I might interest the lawyers; if I discustthe science of medicine I might interest the physicians;in like manner merchants might be interested in commentson commerce, and farmers in matters pertaining to agriculture;but no one of these subjects appeals to all. Eventhe science of government, tho broader than any professionor occupation, does not embrace the whole sum of life,and those who think upon it differ so among themselvesthat I could not speak upon the subject so as to pleasea part of the audience without displeasing others.While to me the science of government is intenselyabsorbing, I recognize that the most important thingsin life lie outside of the realm of government andthat more depends upon what the individual does forhimself than upon what the government does or cando for him. Men can be miserable under the bestgovernment and they can be happy under the worst government.

Government affects but a part of the life which welive here and does not deal at all with the life beyond,while religion touches the infinite circle of existenceas well as the small arc of that circle which we spendon earth. No greater theme, therefore, can engageour attention. If I discuss questions of governmentI must secure the cooeperation of a majority beforeI can put my ideas into practise, but if, in speakingon religion, I can touch one human heart for good,I have not spoken in vain no matter how large themajority may be against me.

Man is a religious being; the heart instinctivelyseeks for a God. Whether he worships on the banksof the Ganges, prays with his face upturned to thesun, kneels toward Mecca or, regarding all space asa temple, communes with the Heavenly Father accordingto the Christian creed, man is essentially devout.

There are honest doubters whose sincerity we recognizeand respect, but occasionally I find young men whothink it smart to be skeptical; they talk as if itwere an evidence of larger intelligence to scoff atcreeds and to refuse to connect themselves with churches.They call themselves “Liberal,” as ifa Christian were narrow minded. Some go so faras to assert that the “advanced thought of theworld” has discarded the idea that there isa God. To these young men I desire to addressmyself.

Even some older people profess to regard religionas a superstition, pardonable in the ignorant butunworthy of the educated. Those who hold thisview look down with mild contempt upon such as giveto religion a definite place in their thoughts andlives. They assume an intellectual superiorityand often take little pains to conceal the assumption.Tolstoy administers to the “cultured crowd”(the words quoted are his) a severe rebuke when hedeclares that the religious sentiment rests not upona superstitious fear of the invisible forces of nature,but upon man’s consciousness of his finitenessamid an infinite universe and of his sinfulness; andthis consciousness, the great philosopher adds, mancan never outgrow. Tolstoy is right; man recognizeshow limited are his own powers and how vast is theuniverse, and he leans upon the arm that isstronger than his. Man feels the weight of hissins and looks for One who is sinless.

Religion has been defined by Tolstoy as the relationwhich man fixes between himself and his God, and moralityas the outward manifestation of this inward relation.Every one, by the time he reaches maturity, has fixtsome relation between himself and God and no materialchange in this relation can take place without a revolutionin the man, for this relation is the most potent influencethat acts upon a human life.

Religion is the foundation of morality in the individualand in the group of individuals. Materialistshave attempted to build up a system of morality uponthe basis of enlightened self-interest. They wouldhave man figure out by mathematics that it pays himto abstain from wrong-doing; they would even injectan element of selfishness into altruism, but the moralsystem elaborated by the materialists has severaldefects. First, its virtues are borrowed frommoral systems based upon religion. All thosewho are intelligent enough to discuss a system ofmorality are so saturated with the morals derived fromsystems resting upon religion that they cannot framea system resting upon reason alone. Second, asit rests upon argument rather than upon authority,the young are not in a position to accept or reject.Our laws do not permit a young man to dispose of realestate until he is twenty-one. Why this restraint?Because his reason is not mature; and yet a man’slife is largely moulded by the environment of his youth.Third, one never knows just how much of his decision

is due to reason and how much is due to passion orto selfish interest. Passion can dethrone thereason—­we recognize this in our criminallaws. We also recognize the bias of self-interestwhen we exclude from the jury every man, no matterhow reasonable or upright he may be, who has a pecuniaryinterest in the result of the trial. And, fourth,one whose morality rests upon a nice calculation ofbenefits to be secured spends time figuring that heshould spend in action. Those who keep a bookaccount of their good deeds seldom do enough goodto justify keeping books. A noble life cannotbe built upon an arithmetic; it must be rather likethe spring that pours forth constantly of that whichrefreshes and invigorates.

Morality is the power of endurance in man; and a religionwhich teaches personal responsibility to God givesstrength to morality. There is a powerful restraininginfluence in the belief that an all-seeing eye scrutinizesevery thought and word and act of the individual.

There is wide difference between the man who is tryingto conform his life to a standard of morality abouthim and the man who seeks to make his life approximateto a divine standard. The former attempts to liveup to the standard, if it is above him, and down toit, if it is below him—­and if he is doingright only when others are looking he is sure to finda time when he thinks he is unobserved, and then hetakes a vacation and falls. One needs the innerstrength which comes with the conscious presence ofa personal God. If those who are thus fortifiedsometimes yield to temptation, how helpless and hopelessmust those be who rely upon their own strength alone!

There are difficulties to be encountered in religion,but there are difficulties to be encountered everywhere.If Christians sometimes have doubts and fears, unbelievershave more doubts and greater fears. I passedthrough a period of skepticism when I was in collegeand I have been glad ever since that I became a memberof the church before I left home for college, forit helped me during those trying days. And thecollege days cover the dangerous period in the youngman’s life; he is just coming into possessionof his powers, and feels stronger than he ever feelsafterward—­and he thinks he knows more thanhe ever does know.

It was at this period that I became confused by thedifferent theories of creation. But I examinedthese theories and found that they all assumed somethingto begin with. You can test this for yourselves.The nebular hypothesis, for instance, assumes thatmatter and force existed—­matter in particlesinfinitely fine and each particle separated from everyother particle by space infinitely great. Beginningwith this assumption, force working on matter—­accordingto this hypothesis—­created a universe.Well, I have a right to assume, and I prefer to assume,a Designer back of the design—­a Creatorback of the creation; and no matter how long you draw

out the process of creation, so long as God standsback of it you cannot shake my faith in Jehovah.In Genesis it is written that, in the beginning, Godcreated the heavens and the earth, and I can standon that proposition until I find some theory of creationthat goes farther back than “the beginning.”We must begin with something—­we must startsomewhere—­and the Christian begins withGod.

I do not carry the doctrine of evolution as far assome do; I am not yet convinced that man is a linealdescendant of the lower animals. I do not meanto find fault with you if you want to accept the theory;all I mean to say is that while you may trace yourancestry back to the monkey if you find pleasure orpride in doing so, you shall not connect me with yourfamily tree without more evidence than has yet beenproduced. I object to the theory for severalreasons. First, it is a dangerous theory.If a man links himself in generations with the monkey,it then becomes an important question whether he isgoing toward him or coming from him—­andI have seen them going in both directions. I donot know of any argument that can be used to provethat man is an improved monkey that may not be usedjust as well to prove that the monkey is a degenerateman, and the latter theory is more plausible than theformer.

It is true that man, in some physical characteristicsresembles the beast, but man has a mind as well asa body, and a soul as well as a mind. The mindis greater than the body and the soul is greater thanthe mind, and I object to having man’s pedigreetraced on one-third of him only—­and thatthe lowest third. Fairbairn, in his “Philosophyof Christianity,” lays down a sound propositionwhen he says that it is not sufficient to explainman as an animal; that it is necessary to explainman in history—­and the Darwinian theorydoes not do this. The ape, according to thistheory, is older than man and yet the ape is stillan ape while man is the author of the marvelous civilizationwhich we see about us.

One does not escape from mystery, however, by acceptingthis theory, for it does not explain the origin oflife. When the follower of Darwin has tracedthe germ of life back to the lowest form in which itappears—­and to follow him one must exercisemore faith than religion calls for—­he findsthat scientists differ. Those who reject the ideaof creation are divided into two schools, some believingthat the first germ of life came from another planetand others holding that it was the result of spontaneousgeneration. Each school answers the argumentsadvanced by the other, and as they cannot agree witheach other, I am not compelled to agree with either.

If I were compelled to accept one of these theoriesI would prefer the first, for if we can chase thegerm of life off this planet and get it out into spacewe can guess the rest of the way and no one can contradictus, but if we accept the doctrine of spontaneous generationwe cannot explain why spontaneous generation ceasedto act after the first germ was created.

Go back as far as we may, we cannot escape from thecreative act, and it is just as easy for me to believethat God created man as he is as to believethat, millions of years ago, He created a germ of lifeand endowed it with power to develop into all thatwe see to-day. I object to the Darwinian theory,until more conclusive proof is produced, because Ifear we shall lose the consciousness of God’spresence in our daily life, if we must accept thetheory that through all the ages no spiritual forcehas touched the life of man or shaped the destiny ofnations.

But there is another objection. The Darwiniantheory represents man as reaching his present perfectionby the operation of the law of hate—­themerciless law by which the strong crowd out and killoff the weak. If this is the law of our developmentthen, if there is any logic that can bind the humanmind, we shall turn backward toward the beast in proportionas we substitute the law of love. I prefer tobelieve that love rather than hatred is the law ofdevelopment. How can hatred be the law of developmentwhen nations have advanced in proportion as they havedeparted from that law and adopted the law of love?

But, I repeat, while I do not accept the Darwiniantheory I shall not quarrel with you about it; I onlyrefer to it to remind you that it does not solve themystery of life or explain human progress. I fearthat some have accepted it in the hope of escapingfrom the miracle, but why should the miracle frightenus? And yet I am inclined to think that it isone of the test questions with the Christian.

Christ cannot be separated from the miraculous; Hisbirth, His ministrations, and His resurrection, allinvolve the miraculous, and the change which His religionworks in the human heart is a continuing miracle.Eliminate the miracles and Christ becomes merely ahuman being and His gospel is stript of divine authority.

The miracle raises two questions: “CanGod perform a miracle?” and, “Would Hewant to?” The first is easy to answer. AGod who can make a world can do anything He wantsto do with it. The power to perform miraclesis necessarily implied in the power to create.But would God want to perform a miracle?—­thisis the question which has given most of the trouble.The more I have considered it the less inclined I amto answer in the negative. To say that God wouldnot perform a miracle is to assume a more intimateknowledge of God’s plans and purposes than Ican claim to have. I will not deny that God doesperform a miracle or may perform one merely becauseI do not know how or why He does it. I find itso difficult to decide each day what God wants donenow that I am not presumptuous enough to attempt todeclare what God might have wanted to do thousandsof years ago. The fact that we are constantlylearning of the existence of new forces suggests thepossibility that God may operate through forces yet

unknown to us, and the mysteries with which we dealevery day warn me that faith is as necessary as sight.Who would have credited a century ago the storiesthat are now told of the wonder-working electricity?For ages man had known the lightning, but only tofear it; now, this invisible current is generated bya man-made machine, imprisoned in a man-made wireand made to do the bidding of man. We are evenable to dispense with the wire and hurl words throughspace, and the X-ray has enabled us to look throughsubstances which were supposed, until recently, toexclude all light. The miracle is not more mysteriousthan many of the things with which man now deals—­itis simply different. The miraculous birth ofChrist is not more mysterious than any other conception—­itis simply unlike it; nor is the resurrection of Christmore mysterious than the myriad resurrections whichmark each annual seed-time.

It is sometimes said that God could not suspend oneof His laws without stopping the universe, but dowe not suspend or overcome the law of gravitationevery day? Every time we move a foot or lift aweight we temporarily overcome one of the most universalof natural laws and yet the world is not disturbed.

Science has taught us so many things that we are temptedto conclude that we know everything, but there isreally a great unknown which is still unexplored andthat which we have learned ought to increase our reverencerather than our egotism. Science has disclosedsome of the machinery of the universe, but sciencehas not yet revealed to us the great secret—­thesecret of life. It is to be found in every bladeof grass, in every insect, in every bird and in everyanimal, as well as in man. Six thousand yearsof recorded history and yet we know no more aboutthe secret of life than they knew in the beginning.We live, we plan; we have our hopes, our fears; andyet in a moment a change may come over anyone of usand this body will become a mass of lifeless clay.What is it that, having, we live, and having not, weare as the clod? The progress of the race andthe civilization which we now behold are the workof men and women who have not yet solved the mysteryof their own lives.

And our food, must we understand it before we eatit? If we refused to eat anything until we couldunderstand the mystery of its growth, we would dieof starvation. But mystery does not bother usin the dining-room; it is only in the church thatit is a stumbling block.

I was eating a piece of watermelon some months agoand was struck with its beauty. I took some ofthe seeds and dried them and weighed them, and foundthat it would require some five thousand seeds to weigha pound; and then I applied mathematics to that forty-poundmelon. One of these seeds, put into the ground,when warmed by the sun and moistened by the rain,takes off its coat and goes to work; it gathers fromsomewhere two hundred thousand times its own weight,

and forcing this raw material through a tiny stem,constructs a watermelon. It ornaments the outsidewith a covering of green; inside the green it putsa layer of white, and within the white a core of red,and all through the red it scatters seeds, each onecapable of continuing the work of reproduction.Where does that little seed get its tremendous power?Where does it find its coloring matter? How doesit collect its flavoring extract? How does itbuild a watermelon? Until you can explain a watermelon,do not be too sure that you can set limits to thepower of the Almighty and say just what He would door how He would do it. I cannot explain the watermelon,but I eat it and enjoy it.

The egg is the most universal of foods and its usedates from the beginning, but what is more mysteriousthan an egg? When an egg is fresh it is an importantarticle of merchandise; a hen can destroy its marketvalue in a week’s time, but in two weeks moreshe can bring forth from it what man could not findin it. We eat eggs, but we cannot explain anegg.

Water has been used from the birth of man; we learnedafter it had been used for ages that it is merelya mixture of gases, but it is far more important thatwe have water to drink than that we know that it isnot water.

Everything that grows tells a like story of infinitepower. Why should I deny that a divine hand feda multitude with a few loaves and fishes when I seehundreds of millions fed every year by a hand whichconverts the seeds scattered over the field into anabundant harvest? We know that food can be multipliedin a few months’ time; shall we deny the powerof the Creator to eliminate the element of time, whenwe have gone so far in eliminating the element ofspace? Who am I that I should attempt to measurethe arm of the Almighty with my puny arm, or to measurethe brain of the Infinite with my finite mind?Who am I that I should attempt to put metes and boundsto the power of the Creator?

But there is something even more wonderful still—­themysterious change that takes place in the human heartwhen the man begins to hate the things he loved andto love the things he hated—­the marveloustransformation that takes place in the man who, beforethe change, would have sacrificed a world for hisown advancement but who, after the change, would givehis life for a principle and esteem it a privilegeto make sacrifice for his convictions! What greatermiracle than this, that converts a selfish, self-centeredhuman being into a center from which good influencesflow out in every direction! And yet this miraclehas been wrought in the heart of each one of us—­ormay be wrought—­and we have seen it wroughtin the hearts and lives of those about us. No,living a life that is a mystery, and living in themidst of mystery and miracles, I shall not allow eitherto deprive me of the benefits of the Christian religion.If you ask me if I understand everything in the Bible,I answer, no, but if we will try to live up to whatwe do understand, we will be kept so busy doing goodthat we will not have time to worry about the passageswhich we do not understand.

Some of those who question the miracle also questionthe theory of atonement; they assert that it doesnot accord with their idea of justice for one to diefor all. Let each one bear his own sins and thepunishments due for them, they say. The doctrineof vicarious suffering is not a new one; it is asold as the race. That one should suffer for othersis one of the most familiar of principles and we seethe principle illustrated every day of our lives.Take the family, for instance; from the day the mother’sfirst child is born, for twenty or thirty years herchildren are scarcely out of her waking thoughts.Her life trembles in the balance at each child’sbirth; she sacrifices for them, she surrenders herselfto them. Is it because she expects them to payher back? Fortunate for the parent and fortunatefor the child if the latter has an opportunity torepay in part the debt it owes. But no childcan compensate a parent for a parent’s care.In the course of nature the debt is paid, not to theparent, but to the next generation, and the next—­eachgeneration suffering, sacrificing for and surrenderingitself to the generation that follows. This isthe law of our lives.

Nor is this confined to the family. Every stepin civilization has been made possible by those whohave been willing to sacrifice for posterity.Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom ofconscience and free government have all been won forthe world by those who were willing to labor unselfishlyfor their fellows. So well established is thisdoctrine that we do not regard anyone as great unlesshe recognizes how unimportant his life is in comparisonwith the problems with which he deals.

I find proof that man was made in the image of hisCreator in the fact that, throughout the centuries,man has been willing to die, if necessary, that blessingsdenied to him might be enjoyed by his children, hischildren’s children and the world.

The seeming paradox: “He that saveth hislife shall lose it and he that loseth his life formy sake shall find it,” has an application widerthan that usually given to it; it is an epitome ofhistory. Those who live only for themselves livelittle lives, but those who stand ready to give themselvesfor the advancement of things greater than themselvesfind a larger life than the one they would have surrendered.Wendell Phillips gave expression to the same ideawhen he said, “What imprudent men the benefactorsof the race have been. How prudently most mensink into nameless graves, while now and then a fewforget themselves into immortality.”We win immortality, not by remembering ourselves, butby forgetting ourselves in devotion to things largerthan ourselves.

Instead of being an unnatural plan, the plan of salvationis in perfect harmony with human nature as we understandit. Sacrifice is the language of love, and Christ,in suffering for the world, adopted the only meansof reaching the heart. This can be demonstratednot only by theory but by experience, for the storyof His life, His teachings, His sufferings and Hisdeath has been translated into every language and everywhereit has touched the heart.

But if I were going to present an argument in favorof the divinity of Christ, I would not begin withmiracles or mystery or with the theory of atonement.I would begin as Carnegie Simpson does in his bookentitled, “The Fact of Christ.” Commencingwith the undisputed fact that Christ lived, he pointsout that one cannot contemplate this fact withoutfeeling that in some way it is related to those nowliving. He says that one can read of Alexander,of Caesar or of Napoleon, and not feel that it isa matter of personal concern; but that when one readsthat Christ lived, and how He lived and how He died,he feels that somehow there is a cord that stretchesfrom that life to his. As he studies the characterof Christ he becomes conscious of certain virtues whichstand out in bold relief—­His purity, Hisforgiving spirit, and His unfathomable love.The author is correct, Christ presents an example ofpurity in thought and life, and man, conscious ofhis own imperfections and grieved over his shortcomings,finds inspiration in the fact that He was temptedin all points like as we are, and yet without sin.I am not sure but that each can find just here a wayof determining for himself whether he possesses thetrue spirit of a Christian. If the sinlessnessof Christ inspires within him an earnest desire toconform his life more nearly to the perfect example,he is indeed a follower; if, on the other hand, heresents the reproof which the purity of Christ offers,and refuses to mend his ways, he has yet to be bornagain.

The most difficult of all the virtues to cultivateis the forgiving spirit. Revenge seems to benatural with man; it is human to want to get evenwith an enemy. It has even been popular to boastof vindictiveness; it was once inscribed on a man’smonument that he had repaid both friends and enemiesmore than he had received. This was not the spiritof Christ. He taught forgiveness and in that incomparableprayer which He left as model for our petitions, Hemade our willingness to forgive the measure by whichwe may claim forgiveness. He not only taughtforgiveness but He exemplified His teachings in Hislife. When those who persecuted Him brought Himto the most disgraceful of all deaths, His spiritof forgiveness rose above His sufferings and He prayed,“Father, forgive them, for they know not whatthey do!”

But love is the foundation of Christ’s creed.The world had known love before; parents had lovedtheir children, and children their parents; husbandshad loved their wives, and wives their husbands; andfriend had loved friend; but Jesus gave a new definitionof love. His love was as wide as the sea; itslimits were so far-flung that even an enemy couldnot travel beyond its bounds. Other teachers soughtto regulate the lives of their followers by rule andformula, but Christ’s plan was to purify theheart and then to leave love to direct the footsteps.

What conclusion is to be drawn from the life, theteachings and the death of this historic figure?Reared in a carpenter shop; with no knowledge of literature,save Bible literature; with no acquaintance with philosophersliving or with the writings of sages dead, when onlyabout thirty years old He gathered disciples aboutHim, promulgated a higher code of morals than theworld had ever known before, and proclaimed Himselfthe Messiah. He taught and performed miraclesfor a few brief months and then was crucified; Hisdisciples were scattered and many of them put to death;His claims were disputed, His resurrection deniedand His followers persecuted; and yet from this beginningHis religion spread until hundreds of millions havetaken His name with reverence upon their lips andmillions have been willing to die rather than surrenderthe faith which He put into their hearts. Howshall we account for Him? Here is the greatestfact of history; here is One who has with increasingpower, for nineteen hundred years, moulded the hearts,the thoughts and the lives of men, and He exerts moreinfluence to-day than ever before. “Whatthink ye of Christ?” It is easier to believeHim divine than to explain in any other way what hesaid and did and was. And I have greater faith,even than before, since I have visited the Orientand witnessed the successful contest which Christianityis waging against the religions and philosophies ofthe East.

I was thinking a few years ago of the Christmas whichwas then approaching and of Him in whose honor theday is celebrated. I recalled the message, “Peaceon earth, good will to men,” and then my thoughtsran back to the prophecy uttered centuries before Hisbirth, in which He was described as the Prince ofPeace. To reinforce my memory I re-read the prophecyand I found immediately following a verse which I hadforgotten—­a verse which declares that ofthe increase of His peace and government there shallbe no end, And, Isaiah adds, that He shall judge Hispeople with justice and with judgment. I had beenreading of the rise and fall of nations, and occasionallyI had met a gloomy philosopher who preached the doctrinethat nations, like individuals, must of necessityhave their birth, their infancy, their maturity andfinally their decay and death. But here I readof a government that is to be perpetual—­agovernment of increasing peace and blessedness—­thegovernment of the Prince of Peace—­and itis to rest on justice. I have thought of thisprophecy many times during the last few years, andI have selected this theme that I might present someof the reasons which lead me to believe that Christhas fully earned the right to be called The Princeof Peace—­a title that will in the yearsto come be more and more applied to Him. If hecan bring peace to each individual heart, and if Hiscreed when applied will bring peace throughout theearth, who will deny His right to be called the Princeof Peace?

All the world is in search of peace; every heart thatever beat has sought for peace, and many have beenthe methods employed to secure it. Some havethought to purchase it with riches and have laboredto secure wealth, hoping to find peace when they wereable to go where they pleased and buy what they liked.Of those who have endeavored to purchase peace withmoney, the large majority have failed to secure themoney. But what has been the experience of thosewho have been eminently successful in finance?They all tell the same story, viz., that theyspent the first half of their lives trying to get moneyfrom others and the last half trying to keep othersfrom getting their money, and that they found peacein neither half. Some have even reached the pointwhere they find difficulty in getting people to accepttheir money; and I know of no better indication ofthe ethical awakening in this country than the increasingtendency to scrutinize the methods of money-making.I am sanguine enough to believe that the time willyet come when respectability will no longer be soldto great criminals by helping them to spend theirill-gotten gains. A long step in advance willhave been taken when religious, educational and charitableinstitutions refuse to condone conscienceless methodsin business and leave the possessor of illegitimateaccumulations to learn how lonely life is when oneprefers money to morals.

Some have sought peace in social distinction, butwhether they have been within the charmed circle andfearful lest they might fall out, or outside, andhopeful that they might get in, they have not foundpeace. Some have thought, vain thought, to findpeace in political prominence; but whether officecomes by birth, as in monarchies, or by election, asin republics, it does not bring peace. An officeis not considered a high one if all can occupy it.Only when few in a generation can hope to enjoy anhonor do we call it a great honor. I am glad thatour Heavenly Father did not make the peace of thehuman heart to depend upon our ability to buy it withmoney, secure it in society, or win it at the polls,for in either case but few could have obtained it,but when He made peace the reward of a consciencevoid of offense toward God and man, He put it withinthe reach of all. The poor can secure it as easilyas the rich, the social outcasts as freely as the leaderof society, and the humblest citizen equally withthose who wield political power.

To those who have grown gray in the Church, I neednot speak of the peace to be found in faith in Godand trust in an overruling Providence. Christtaught that our lives are precious in the sight ofGod, and poets have taken up the thought and wovenit into immortal verse. No uninspired writerhas exprest it more beautifully than William CullenBryant in his Ode to a Waterfowl. After followingthe wanderings of the bird of passage as it seeksfirst its southern and then its northern home, heconcludes:

Thou art gone; the abyss ofheaven
Hathswallowed up thy form, but on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lessonthou hast given,
Andshall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,
Guidesthrough the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I musttread alone,
Willlead my steps aright.

Christ promoted peace by giving us assurance thata line of communication can be established betweenthe Father above and the child below. And whowill measure the consolations of the hour of prayer?

And immortality! Who will estimate the peacewhich a belief in a future life has brought to thesorrowing hearts of the sons of men? You maytalk to the young about death ending all, for lifeis full and hope is strong, but preach not this doctrineto the mother who stands by the death-bed of her babeor to one who is within the shadow of a great affliction.When I was a young man I wrote to Colonel Ingersolland asked him for his views on God and immortality.His secretary answered that the great infidel wasnot at home, but enclosed a copy of a speech of Col.Ingersoll’s which covered my question. Iscanned it with eagerness and found that he had expresthimself about as follows: “I do not saythat there is no God, I simply say I do not know.I do not say that there is no life beyond the grave,I simply say I do not know.” And from thatday to this I have asked myself the question and havebeen unable to answer it to my own satisfaction, howcould anyone find pleasure in taking from a humanheart a living faith and substituting therefor thecold and cheerless doctrine, “I do not know.”

Christ gave us proof of immortality and it was a welcomeassurance, altho it would hardly seem necessary thatone should rise from the dead to convince us thatthe grave is not the end. To every created thingGod has given a tongue that proclaims a future life.

If the Father deigns to touch with divine power thecold and pulseless heart of the buried acorn and tomake it burst forth from its prison walls, will heleave neglected in the earth the soul of man, madein the image of his Creator? If he stoops togive to the rose bush, whose withered blossoms floatupon the autumn breeze, the sweet assurance of anotherspringtime, will He refuse the words of hope to thesons of men when the frosts of winter come? Ifmatter, mute and inanimate, tho changed by the forcesof nature into a multitude of forms, can never die,will the imperial spirit of man suffer annihilationwhen it has paid a brief visit like a royal guestto this tenement of clay? No, I am sure thatHe who, notwithstanding his apparent prodigality, creatednothing without a purpose, and wasted not a singleatom in all his creation, has made provision for afuture life in which man’s universal longingfor immortality will find its realization. I amas sure that we live again as I am sure that we liveto-day.

In Cairo I secured a few grains of wheat that hadslumbered for more than thirty centuries in an Egyptiantomb. As I looked at them this thought came intomy mind: If one of those grains had been plantedon the banks of the Nile the year after it grew, andall its lineal descendants had been planted and replantedfrom that time until now, its progeny would to-daybe sufficiently numerous to feed the teeming millionsof the world. An unbroken chain of life connectsthe earliest grains of wheat with the grains thatwe sow and reap. There is in the grain of wheatan invisible something which has power to discard thebody that we see, and from earth and air fashion anew body so much like the old one that we cannot tellthe one from the other. If this invisible germof life in the grain of wheat can thus pass unimpairedthrough three thousand resurrections, I shall not doubtthat my soul has power to clothe itself with a bodysuited to its new existence when this earthly framehas crumbled into dust.

A belief in immortality not only consoles the individual,but it exerts a powerful influence in bringing peacebetween individuals. If one actually thinks thatman dies as the brute dies, he will yield more easilyto the temptation to do injustice to his neighbor whenthe circ*mstances are such as to promise securityfrom detection. But if one really expects tomeet again, and live eternally with, those whom heknows to-day, he is restrained from evil deeds by thefear of endless remorse. We do not know whatrewards are in store for us or what punishments maybe reserved, but if there were no other it would besome punishment for one who deliberately and consciouslywrongs another to have to live forever in the companyof the person wronged and have his littleness andselfishness laid bare. I repeat, a belief in immortalitymust exert a powerful influence in establishing justicebetween men and thus laying the foundation for peace.

Again, Christ deserves to be called The Prince ofPeace because He has given us a measure of greatnesswhich promotes peace. When His disciples quarreledamong themselves as to which should be greatest inthe Kingdom of Heaven, He rebuked them and said:“Let him who would be chiefest among you bethe servant of all.” Service is the measureof greatness; it always has been true; it is trueto-day, and it always will be true, that he is greatestwho does the most of good. And how this old worldwill be transformed when this standard of greatnessbecomes the standard of every life! Nearly allof our controversies and combats grow out of the factthat we are trying to get something from each other—­therewill be peace when our aim is to do something for eachother. Our enmities and animosities arise largelyfrom our efforts to get as much as possible out ofthe world—­there will be peace when ourendeavor is to put as much as possible into the world.The human measure of a human life is its income; thedivine measure of a life is its outgo, its overflow—­itscontribution to the welfare of all.

Christ also led the way to peace by giving us a formulafor the propagation of truth. Not all of thosewho have really desired to do good have employed theChristian method—­not all Christians even.In the history of the human race but two methods havebeen used. The first is the forcible method,and it has been employed most frequently. A manhas an idea which he thinks is good; he tells hisneighbors about it and they do not like it. Thismakes him angry; he thinks it would be so much betterfor them if they would like it, and, seizing a club,he attempts to make them like it. But one troubleabout this rule is that it works both ways; when aman starts out to compel his neighbors to think ashe does, he generally finds them willing to acceptthe challenge and they spend so much time in tryingto coerce each other that they have no time left todo each other good.

The other is the Bible plan—­“Be notovercome of evil but overcome evil with good.”And there is no other way of overcoming evil.I am not much of a farmer—­I get more creditfor my farming than I deserve, and my little farmreceives more advertising than it is entitled to.But I am farmer enough to know that if I cut downweeds they will spring up again; and farmer enoughto know that if I plant something there which hasmore vitality than the weeds I shall not only get ridof the constant cutting, but have the benefit of thecrop besides.

In order that there might be no mistake in His planof propagating the truth, Christ went into detailand laid emphasis upon the value of example—­“Solive that others seeing your good works may be constrainedto glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”There is no human influence so potent for good asthat which goes out from an upright life. A sermonmay be answered; the arguments presented in a speechmay be disputed, but no one can answer a Christianlife—­it is the unanswerable argument infavor of our religion.

It may be a slow process—­this conversionof the world by the silent influence of a noble example—­butit is the only sure one, and the doctrine appliesto nations as well as to individuals. The Gospelof the Prince of Peace gives us the only hope thatthe world has—­and it is an increasing hope—­ofthe substitution of reason for the arbitrament offorce in the settlement of international disputes.And our nation ought not to wait for other nations—­itought to take the lead and prove its faith in theomnipotence of truth.

But Christ has given us a platform so fundamentalthat it can be applied successfully to all controversies.We are interested in platforms; we attend conventions,sometimes traveling long distances; we have wordywars over the phraseology of various planks, and thenwe wage earnest campaigns to secure the endorsem*ntof these platforms at the polls. The platformgiven to the world by The Prince of Peace is more far-reachingand more comprehensive than any platform ever written

by the convention of any party in any country.When He condensed into one commandment those of theten which relate to man’s duty toward his fellowsand enjoined upon us the rule, “Thou shalt lovethy neighbor as thyself,” He presented a planfor the solution of all the problems that now vexsociety or may hereafter arise. Other remediesmay palliate or postpone the day of settlement, butthis is all-sufficient and the reconciliation whichit effects is a permanent one.

My faith in the future—­and I have faith—­andmy optimism—­for I am an optimist—­myfaith and my optimism rest upon the belief that Christ’steachings are being more studied to-day than ever before,and that with this larger study will come a largerapplication of those teachings to the everyday lifeof the world, and to the questions with which we deal.In former times when men read that Christ came “tobring life and immortality to light,” they placedthe emphasis upon immortality; now they are studyingChrist’s relation to human life. Peopleused to read the Bible to find out what it said ofHeaven; now they read it more to find what light itthrows upon the pathway of to-day. In former yearsmany thought to prepare themselves for future blissby a life of seclusion here; we are learning thatto follow in the footsteps of the Master we must goabout doing good. Christ declared that He camethat we might have life and have it more abundantly.The world is learning that Christ came not to narrowlife, but to enlarge it—­not to rob it ofits joy, but to fill it to overflowing with purpose,earnestness and happiness.

But this Prince of Peace promises not only peace butstrength. Some have thought His teachings fitonly for the weak and the timid and unsuited to menof vigor, energy and ambition. Nothing could befarther from the truth. Only the man of faithcan be courageous. Confident that he fights onthe side of Jehovah, he doubts not the success of hiscause. What matters it whether he shares in theshouts of triumph? If every word spoken in behalfof truth has its influence and every deed done forthe right weighs in the final account, it is immaterialto the Christian whether his eyes behold victory orwhether he dies in the midst of the conflict.

“Yea, tho thou lie uponthe dust,
Whenthey who helped thee flee in fear,
Die full of hope and manlytrust,
Likethose who fell in battle here.

Another hand thy sword shallwield,
Anotherhand the standard wave,
Till from the trumpet’smouth is pealed,
Theblast of triumph o’er thy grave.”

Only those who believe attempt the seeminglyimpossible, and, by attempting, prove that one, withGod, can chase a thousand and that two can put tenthousand to flight. I can imagine that the earlyChristians who were carried into the coliseum to makea spectacle for those more savage than the beasts,were entreated by their doubting companions not toendanger their lives. But, kneeling in the centerof the arena, they prayed and sang until they weredevoured. How helpless they seemed, and, measuredby every human rule, how hopeless was their cause!And yet within a few decades the power which theyinvoked proved mightier than the legions of the emperorand the faith in which they died was triumphant o’erall the land. It is said that those who went tomock at their sufferings returned asking themselves,“What is it that can enter into the heart ofman and make him die as these die?” They weregreater conquerors in their death than they couldhave been had they purchased life by a surrender oftheir faith.

What would have been the fate of the church if theearly Christians had had as little faith as many ofour Christians of to-day? And if the Christiansof to-day had the faith of the martyrs, how long wouldit be before the fulfilment of the prophecy that “everyknee shall bow and every tongue confess?”

I am glad that He, who is called the Prince of Peace—­whocan bring peace to every troubled heart and whoseteachings, exemplified in life, will bring peace betweenman and man, between community and community, betweenState and State, between nation and nation throughoutthe world—­I am glad that He brings courageas well as peace so that those who follow Him maytake up and each day bravely do the duties that tothat day fall.

As the Christian grows older he appreciates more andmore the completeness with which Christ satisfiesthe longings of the heart, and, grateful for the peacewhich he enjoys and for the strength which he hasreceived, he repeats the words of the great scholar,Sir William Jones:

“Before thy mystic altar,heavenly truth,
Ikneel in manhood, as I knelt in youth,
Thus let me kneel, till thisdull form decay,
Andlife’s last shade be brightened by thy ray.”



Delivered at Dartmouth College, July 27, 1853.

Webster possessed the element of an impressive character,inspiring regard, trust and admiration, not unmingledwith love. It had, I think, intrinsically a charmsuch as belongs only to a good, noble, and beautifulnature. In its combination with so much fame,so much force of will, and so much intellect, it filledand fascinated the imagination and heart. Itwas affectionate in childhood and youth, and it wasmore than ever so in the few last months of his longlife. It is the universal testimony that he gaveto his parents, in largest measure, honor, love, obedience;that he eagerly appropriated the first means whichhe could command to relieve the father from the debtscontracted to educate his brother and himself; thathe selected his first place of professional practicethat he might soothe the coming on of his old age.

Equally beautiful was his love of all his kindredand of all his friends. When I hear him accusedof selfishness, and a cold, bad nature, I recall himlying sleepless all night, not without tears of boyhood,conferring with Ezekiel how the darling desire of bothhearts should be compassed, and he, too, admittedto the precious privileges of education; courageouslypleading the cause of both brothers in the morning;prevailing by the wise and discerning affection ofthe mother; suspending his studies of the law, andregistering deeds and teaching school to earn themeans, for both, of availing themselves of the opportunitywhich the parental self-sacrifice had placed withintheir reach; loving him through life, mourning himwhen dead, with a love and a sorrow very wonderful,passing the sorrow of woman; I recall the husband,the father of the living and of the early departed,the friend, the counselor of many years, and my heartgrows too full and liquid for the refutation of words.

His affectionate nature, craving ever friendship,as well as the presence of kindred blood, diffuseditself through all his private life, gave sincerityto all his hospitalities, kindness to his eye, warmthto the pressure of his hand, made his greatness andgenius unbend themselves to the playfulness of childhood,flowed out in graceful memories indulged of the pastor the dead, of incidents when life was young andpromised to be happy,—­gave generous sketchesof his rivals,—­the high contention nowhidden by the handful of earth,—­hours passedfifty years ago with great authors, recalled for thevernal emotions which then they made to live and revelin the soul. And from these conversations offriendship, no man—­no man, old or young—­wentaway to remember one word of profaneness, one allusionof indelicacy, one impure thought, one unbelievingsuggestion, one doubt cast on the reality of virtue,of patriotism, of enthusiasm, of the progress of man,—­onedoubt cast on righteousness, or temperance, or judgmentto come.

I have learned by evidence the most direct and satisfactorythat in the last months of his life, the whole affectionatenessof his nature—­his consideration of others,his gentleness, his desire to make them happy andto see them happy—­seemed to come out inmore and more beautiful and habitual expressions thanever before. The long day’s public taskswere felt to be done; the cares, the uncertainties,the mental conflicts of high place, were ended; andhe came home to recover himself for the few yearswhich he might still expect would be his before heshould go hence to be here no more. And there,I am assured and duly believe, no unbecoming regretspursued him; no discontent, as for injustice sufferedor expectations unfulfilled; no self-reproach for anythingdone or anything omitted by himself; no irritation,no peevishness unworthy of his noble nature; but instead,love and hope for his country, when she became thesubject of conversation, and for all around him, the

dearest and most indifferent, for all breathing thingsabout him, the overflow of the kindest heart growingin gentleness and benevolence—­paternal,patriarchal affections, seeming to become more natural,warm, and communicative every hour. Softer andyet brighter grew the tints on the sky of partingday; and the last lingering rays, more even than theglories of noon, announced how divine was the sourcefrom which they proceeded; how incapable to be quenched;how certain to rise on a morning which no night shouldfollow.

Such a character was made to be loved. It wasloved. Those who knew and saw it in its hourof calm—­those who could repose on that softgreen—­loved him. His plain neighborsloved him; and one said, when he was laid in his grave,“How lonesome the world seems!” Educatedyoung men loved him. The ministers of the gospel,the general intelligence of the country, the massesafar oft, loved him. True, they had not foundin his speeches, read by millions, so much adulationof the people; so much of the music which robs thepublic reason of itself; so many phrases of humanityand philanthropy; and some had told them he was loftyand cold—­solitary in his greatness; butevery year they came nearer and nearer to him, andas they came nearer, they loved him better; they heardhow tender the son had been, the husband, the brother,the father, the friend, and neighbor; that he wasplain, simple, natural, generous, hospitable—­theheart larger than the brain; that he loved littlechildren and reverenced God, the Scriptures, the Sabbath-day,the Constitution, and the law—­and theirhearts clave unto him. More truly of him thaneven of the great naval darling of England might itbe said that “his presence would set the churchbells ringing, and give schoolboys a holiday, wouldbring children from school and old men from the chimney-corner,to gaze on him ere he died.” The great andunavailing lamentations first revealed the deep placehe had in the hearts of his countrymen.

You are now to add to this his extraordinary powerof influencing the convictions of others by speech,and you have completed the survey of the means ofhis greatness. And here, again I begin by admiringan aggregate made up of excellences and triumphs,ordinarily deemed incompatible. He spoke withconsummate ability to the bench, and yet exactly as,according to every sound canon of taste and ethics,the bench ought to be addressed. He spoke withconsummate ability to the jury, and yet exactly as,according to every sound canon, that totally differenttribunal ought to be addressed. In the halls ofCongress, before the people assembled for politicaldiscussion in masses, before audiences smaller andmore select, assembled for some solemn commemorationof the past or of the dead—­in each of these,again, his speech, of the first form of ability, wasexactly adapted, also, to the critical propertiesof the place; each achieved, when delivered, the mostinstant and specific success of eloquence—­someof them in a splendid and remarkable degree; and yet,stranger still, when reduced to writing, as they fellfrom his lips, they compose a body of reading in manyvolumes—­solid, clear, rich, and full ofharmony—­a classical and permanent politicalliterature.

And yet all these modes of his eloquence, exactlyadapted each to its stage and its end, were stampedwith his image and superscription, identified by characteristicsincapable to be counterfeited and impossible to bemistaken. The same high power of reason, intentin every one to explore and display some truth; sometruth of judicial, or historical, or biographicalfact; some truth of law, deduced by construction,perhaps, or by illation; some truth of policy, forwant whereof a nation, generations, may be the worse—­reasonseeking and unfolding truth; the same tone, in all,of deep earnestness, expressive of strong desire thatwhat he felt to be important should be accepted astrue, and spring up to action; the same transparent,plain, forcible, and direct speech, conveying hisexact thought to the mind—­not somethingless or more; the same sovereignty of form, of brow,and eye, and tone, and manner—­everywherethe intellectual king of men, standing before you—­thatsame marvelousness of qualities and results, residing,I know not where, in words, in pictures, in the orderingof ideas, infelicities indescribable, by means whereof,coming from his tongue, all things seemed mended—­truthseemed more true, probability more plausible, greatnessmore grand, goodness more awful, every affection moretender than when coming from other tongues—­theseare, in all, his eloquence.

But sometimes it became individualized and discriminatedeven from itself; sometimes place and circ*mstances,great interests at stake, a stage, an audience fittedfor the highest historic action, a crisis, personalor national, upon him, stirred the depths of that emotionalnature, as the anger of the goddess stirs the sea onwhich the great epic is beginning; strong passionsthemselves kindled to intensity, quickened every facultyto a new life; the stimulated associations of ideasbrought all treasures of thought and knowledge withincommand; the spell, which often held his imaginationfast, dissolved, and she arose and gave him to chooseof her urn of gold; earnestness became vehemence,the simple, perspicuous, measured and direct languagebecame a headlong, full, and burning tide of speech;the discourse of reason, wisdom, gravity, and beautychanged to that superhuman, that rarest consummateeloquence—­grand, rapid, pathetic, terrible;the aliquid immensum infinitumque that Ciceromight have recognized; the master triumph of man inthe rarest opportunity of his noble power.

Such elevation above himself, in congressional debate,was most uncommon. Some such there were in thegreat discussions of executive power following theremoval of the deposits, which they who heard themwill never forget, and some which rest in the traditionof hearers only. But there were other fieldsof oratory on which, under the influence of more uncommonsprings of inspiration, he exemplified, in still otherforms, an eloquence in which I do not know that hehas had a superior among men. Addressing masses

by tens of thousands in the open air, on the urgentpolitical questions of the day, or designed to leadthe meditations of an hour devoted to the remembranceof some national era, or of some incident markingthe progress of the nation, and lifting him up toa view of what is, and what is past, and some indistinctrevelation of the glory that lies in the future, orof some great historical name, just borne by the nationto his tomb—­we have learned that then andthere, at the base of Bunker Hill, before the corner-stonewas laid, and again when from the finished column thecenturies looked on him; in Faneuil Hall, mourningfor those with whose spoken or written eloquence offreedom its arches had so often resounded; on the Rockof Plymouth; before the Capitol, of which there shallnot be one stone left on another before his memoryshall have ceased to live—­in such scenes,unfettered by the laws of forensic or parliamentarydebate, multitudes uncounted lifting up their eyesto him; some great historical scenes of America around;all symbols of her glory and art and power and fortunethere; voices of the past, not unheard; shapes beckoningfrom the future, not unseen—­sometimes thatmighty intellect, borne upward to a height and kindledto an illumination which we shall see no more, wroughtout, as it were, in an instant a picture of vision,warning, prediction; the progress of the nation; thecontrasts of its eras; the heroic deaths; the motivesto patriotism; the maxims and arts imperial by whichthe glory has been gathered and may be heightened—­wroughtout, in an instant, a picture to fade only when allrecord of our mind shall die.

In looking over the public remains of his oratory,it is striking to remark how, even in that most soberand massive understanding and nature, you see gatheredand expressed the characteristic sentiments and thepassing time of our America. It is the strongold oak which ascends before you; yet our soil, ourheaven, are attested in it as perfectly as if it werea flower that could grow in no other climate and inno other hour of the year or day. Let me instancein one thing only. It is a peculiarity of someschools of eloquence that they embody and utter, notmerely the individual genius and character of the speaker,but a national consciousness—­a nationalera, a mood, a hope, a dread, a despair—­inwhich you listen to the spoken history of the time.There is an eloquence of an expiring nation, suchas seems to sadden the glorious speech of Demosthenes;such as breathes grand and gloomy from visions ofthe prophets of the last days of Israel and Judah;such as gave a spell to the expression of Grattanand of Kossuth—­the sweetest, most mournful,most awful of the words which man may utter, or whichman may hear—­the eloquence of a perishingnation.

There is another eloquence, in which the nationalconsciousness of a young or renewed and vast strength,of trust in a dazzling certain and limitless future,an inward glorying in victories yet to be won, soundsout as by voice of clarion, challenging to contestfor the highest prize of earth; such as that in whichthe leader of Israel in its first days holds up tothe new nation the Land of Promise; such as that whichin the well-imagined speeches scattered by Livy overthe history of the “majestic series of victories”speaks the Roman consciousness of growing aggrandizementwhich should subject the world; such as that throughwhich, at the tribunes of her revolution, in the bulletinsof her rising soldiers, France told to the world herdream of glory.

And of this kind somewhat is ours—­cheerful,hopeful, trusting, as befits youth and spring; theeloquence of a state beginning to ascend to the firstclass of power, eminence, and consideration, and consciousof itself. It is to no purpose that they tellyou it is in bad taste; that it partakes of arroganceand vanity; that a true national good breeding wouldnot know, or seem to know, whether the nation is oldor young; whether the tides of being are in theirflow or ebb; whether these coursers of the sun aresinking slowly to rest, wearied with a journey ofa thousand years, or just bounding from the Orientunbreathed. Higher laws than those of taste determinethe consciousness of nations. Higher laws thanthose of taste determine the general forms of the expressionof that consciousness. Let the downward age ofAmerica find its orators and poets and artists toerect its spirit, or grace and soothe its dying; beit ours to go up with Webster to the Rock, the Monument,the Capitol, and bid “the distant generationshail!”

Until the seventh day of March, 1850, I think it wouldhave been accorded to him by an almost universal acclaim,as general and as expressive of profound and intelligentconviction and of enthusiasm, love, and trust, asever saluted conspicuous statesmanship, tried by manycrises of affairs in a great nation, agitated everby parties, and wholly free.



Delivered as Temporary Chairman of Progressive NationalConvention, Chicago, Ill., June, 1911.

We stand for a nobler America. We stand for anundivided Nation. We stand for a broader liberty,a fuller justice. We stand for a social brotherhoodas against savage individualism. We stand foran intelligent cooeperation instead of a recklesscompetition. We stand for mutual helpfulnessinstead of mutual hatred. We stand for equal rightsas a fact of life instead of a catch-word of politics.We stand for the rule of the people as a practicaltruth instead of a meaningless pretense. We standfor a representative government that represents thepeople. We battle for the actual rights of man.

To carry out our principles we have a plain programof constructive reform. We mean to tear downonly that which is wrong and out of date; and wherewe tear down we mean to build what is right and fittedto the times. We harken to the call of the present.We mean to make laws fit conditions as they are andmeet the needs of the people who are on earth to-day.That we may do this we found a party through whichall who believe with us can work with us; or, rather,we declare our allegiance to the party which the peoplethemselves have founded.

For this party comes from the grass roots. Ithas grown from the soil of the people’s hardnecessities. It has the vitality of the people’sstrong convictions. The people have work to bedone and our party is here to do that work. Abusewill only strengthen it, ridicule only hasten itsgrowth, falsehood only speed its victory. Foryears this party has been forming. Parties existfor the people; not the people for parties. Yetfor years the politicians have made the people do thework of the parties instead of the parties doing thework of the people—­and the politiciansown the parties. The people vote for one partyand find their hopes turned to ashes on their lips;and then to punish that party, they vote for the otherparty. So it is that partisan victories havecome to be merely the people’s vengeance; andalways the secret powers have played their game.

Like other free people, most of us Americans are progressiveor reactionary, liberal or conservative. Theneutrals do not count. Yet to-day neither ofthe old parties is either wholly progressive or whollyreactionary. Democratic politicians and officeseekers say to reactionary Democratic voters thatthe Democratic party is reactionary enough to expressreactionary views; and they say to progressive Democratsthat the Democratic party is progressive enough toexpress progressive views. At the same time,Republican politicians and office seekers say thesame thing about the Republican party to progressiveand reactionary Republican voters.

Sometimes in both Democratic and Republican Statesthe progressives get control of the party locallyand then the reactionaries recapture the same partyin the same State; or this process is reversed.So there is no nation-wide unity of principle in eitherparty, no stability of purpose, no clear-cut and sincereprogram of one party at frank and open war with anequally clear-cut and sincere program of an opposingparty.

This unintelligent tangle is seen in Congress.Republican and Democratic Senators and Representatives,believing alike on broad measures affecting the wholeRepublic, find it hard to vote together because ofthe nominal difference of their party membership.When, sometimes, under resistless conviction, theydo vote together, we have this foolish spectacle:legislators calling themselves Republicans and Democratssupport the same policy, the Democratic legislatorsdeclaring that that policy is Democratic and Republicanlegislators declaring that it is Republican; and atthe very same time other Democratic and Republicanlegislators oppose that very same policy, each of themdeclaring that it is not Democratic or not Republican.

The condition makes it impossible most of the time,and hard at any time, for the people’s legislatorswho believe in the same broad policies to enact theminto logical, comprehensive laws. It confusesthe public mind. It breeds suspicion and distrust.It enables such special interests as seek unjust gainat the public expense to get what they want.It creates and fosters the degrading boss system inAmerican politics through which these special interestswork.

This boss system is unknown and impossible under anyother free government in the world. In its verynature it is hostile to general welfare. Yetit has grown until it now is a controlling influencein American public affairs. At the present momentnotorious bosses are in the saddle of both old partiesin various important States which must be carriedto elect a President. This Black Horse Cavalryis the most important force in the practical workof the Democratic and Republican parties in the presentcampaign. Neither of the old parties’ nomineesfor President can escape obligation to these old-partybosses or shake their practical hold on many and powerfulmembers of the National Legislature.

Under this boss system, no matter which party wins,the people seldom win; but the bosses almost alwayswin. And they never work for the people.They do not even work for the party to which they belong.They work only for those anti-public interests whosepolitical employees they are. It is these intereststhat are the real victors in the end.

These special interests which suck the people’ssubstance are bi-partisan. They use both parties.They are the invisible government behind our visiblegovernment. Democratic and Republican bosses alikeare brother officers of this hidden power. Nomatter how fiercely they pretend to fight one anotherbefore election, they work together after election.And, acting so, this political conspiracy is able todelay, mutilate or defeat sound and needed laws forthe people’s welfare and the prosperity of honestbusiness and even to enact bad laws, hurtful to thepeople’s welfare and oppressive to honest business.

It is this invisible government which is the realdanger to American institutions. Its crude workat Chicago in June, which the people were able tosee, was no more wicked than its skillful work everywhereand always which the people are not able to see.

But an even more serious condition results from theunnatural alignment of the old parties. To-daywe Americans are politically shattered by sectionalism.Through the two old parties the tragedy of our historyis continued; and one great geographical part of theRepublic is separated from other parts of the Republicby an illogical partisan solidarity.

The South has men and women as genuinely progressiveand others as genuinely reactionary as those in otherparts of our country. Yet, for well-known reasons,these sincere and honest southern progressives andreactionaries vote together in a single party, whichis neither progressive nor reactionary. Theyvote a dead tradition and a local fear, not a livingconviction and a national faith. They vote notfor the Democratic party, but against the Republicanparty. They want to be free from this condition;they can be free from it through the National Progressiveparty.

For the problems which America faces to-day are economicand national. They have to do with a more justdistribution of prosperity. They concern theliving of the people; and therefore the more directgovernment of the people by themselves.

They affect the South exactly as they affect the North,the East or the West. It is an artificial anddangerous condition that prevents the southern manand woman from acting with the northern man and womanwho believe the same thing. Yet just that iswhat the old parties do prevent.

Not only does this out-of-date partisanship cut ourNation into two geographical sections; it also robsthe Nation of a priceless asset of thought in workingout our national destiny. The South once was famousfor brilliant and constructive thinking on nationalproblems, and to-day the South has minds as brilliantand constructive as of old. But southern intellectcannot freely and fully aid, in terms of politics,the solving of the Nation’s problems. Thisis so because of a partisan sectionalism which hasnothing to do with those problems. Yet theseproblems can be solved only in terms of politics.

The root of the wrongs which hurt the people is thefact that the people’s government has been takenaway from them—­the invisible governmenthas usurped the people’s government. Theirgovernment must be given back to the people.And so the first purpose of the Progressive partyis to make sure the rule of the people. The ruleof the people means that the people themselves shallnominate, as well as elect, all candidates for office,including Senators and Presidents of the United States.What profiteth it the people if they do only the electingwhile the invisible government does the nominating?

The rule of the people means that when the people’slegislators make a law which hurts the people, thepeople themselves may reject it. The rule ofthe people means that when the people’s legislatorsrefuse to pass a law which the people need, the peoplethemselves may pass it. The rule of the peoplemeans that when the people’s employees do notdo the people’s work well and honestly, thepeople may discharge them exactly as a business mandischarges employees who do not do their work welland honestly. The people’s officials arethe people’s servants, not the people’smasters.

We progressives believe in this rule of the peoplethat the people themselves may deal with their owndestiny. Who knows the people’s needs sowell as the people themselves? Who so patientas the people? Who so long suffering, who sojust? Who so wise to solve their own problems?

Today these problems concern the living of the people.Yet in the present stage of American development theseproblems should not exist in this country. For,in all the world there is no land so rich as ours.Our fields can feed hundreds of millions. We havemore minerals than the whole of Europe. Inventionhas made easy the turning of this vast natural wealthinto supplies for all the needs of man. One workertoday can produce more than twenty workers could producea century ago.

The people living in this land of gold are the mostdaring and resourceful on the globe. Coming fromthe hardiest stock of every nation of the old worldtheir very history in the new world has made Americansa peculiar people in courage, initiative, love of justiceand all the elements of independent character.

And, compared with other peoples, we are very fewin numbers. There are only ninety millions ofus, scattered over a continent. Germany has sixty-fivemillions packed in a country very much smaller thanTexas. The population of Great Britain and Irelandcould be set down in California and still have morethan enough room for the population of Holland.If this country were as thickly peopled as Belgiumthere would be more than twelve hundred million insteadof only ninety million persons within our borders.

So we have more than enough to supply every humanbeing beneath the flag. There ought not to bein this Republic a single day of bad business, a singleunemployed workingman, a single unfed child. Americanbusiness men should never know an hour of uncertainty,discouragement or fear; American workingmen nevera day of low wages, idleness or want. Hungershould never walk in these thinly peopled gardens ofplenty.

And yet in spite of all these favors which providencehas showered upon us, the living of the people isthe problem of the hour. Hundreds of thousandsof hard-working Americans find it difficult to getenough to live on. The average income of an Americanlaborer is less than $500 a year. With this hemust furnish food, shelter and clothing for a family.

Women, whose nourishing and protection should be thefirst care of the State, not only are driven intothe mighty army of wage-earners, but are forced towork under unfair and degrading conditions. Theright of a child to grow into a normal human beingis sacred; and yet, while small and poor countries,packed with people, have abolished child labor, Americanmills, mines, factories and sweat-shops are destroyinghundreds of thousands of American children in body,mind and soul.

At the same time men have grasped fortunes in thiscountry so great that the human mind cannot comprehendtheir magnitude. These mountains of wealth arefar larger than even that lavish reward which no onewould deny to business risk or genius.

On the other hand, American business is uncertainand unsteady compared with the business of other nations.American business men are the best and bravest inthe world, and yet our business conditions hamper theirenergies and chill their courage. We have no permanencyin business affairs, no sure outlook upon the businessfuture. This unsettled state of American businessprevents it from realizing for the people that greatand continuous prosperity which our country’slocation, vast wealth and small population justifies.

We mean to remedy these conditions. We mean notonly to make prosperity steady, but to give to themany who earn it a just share of that prosperity insteadof helping the few who do not earn it to take an unjustshare. The progressive motto is “Pass prosperityaround.” To make human living easier, tofree the hands of honest business, to make trade andcommerce sound and steady, to protect womanhood, savechildhood and restore the dignity of manhood—­theseare the tasks we must do.

What, then, is the progressive answer to these questions?We are able to give it specifically and concretely.The first work before us is the revival of honestbusiness. For business is nothing but the industrialand trade activities of all the people. Men growthe products of the field, cut ripe timber from theforest, dig metal from the mine, fashion all for humanuse, carry them to the market place and exchange themaccording to their mutual needs—­and thisis business.

With our vast advantages, contrasted with the vastdisadvantages of other nations, American businessall the time should be the best and steadiest in theworld. But it is not. Germany, with shallowsoil, no mines, only a window on the seas and a populationmore than ten times as dense as ours, yet has a sounderbusiness, a steadier prosperity, a more contentedbecause better cared for people.

What, then, must we do to make American business better?We must do what poorer nations have done. Wemust end the abuses of business by striking down thoseabuses instead of striking down business itself.We must try to make little business big and all businesshonest instead of striving to make big business littleand yet letting it remain dishonest.

Present-day business is as unlike old-time businessas the old-time ox-cart is unlike the present-daylocomotive. Invention has made the whole worldover again. The railroad, telegraph, telephonehave bound the people of modern nations into families.To do the business of these closely knit millionsin every modern country great business concerns cameinto being. What we call big business is the childof the economic progress of mankind. So warfareto destroy big business is foolish because it cannot succeed and wicked because it ought not to succeed.Warfare to destroy big business does not hurt big business,which always comes out on top, so much as it hurtsall other business which, in such a warfare, nevercomes out on top.

With the growth of big business came business evilsjust as great. It is these evils of big businessthat hurt the people and injure all other business.One of these wrongs is over capitalization which taxesthe people’s very living. Another is themanipulation of prices to the unsettlement of allnormal business and to the people’s damage.Another is interference in the making of the people’slaws and the running of the people’s governmentin the unjust interest of evil business. Gettinglaws that enable particular interests to rob the people,and even to gather criminal riches from human healthand life is still another.

An example of such laws is the infamous tobacco legislationof 1902, which authorized the Tobacco Trust to continueto collect from the people the Spanish War tax, amountingto a score of millions of dollars, but to keep thattax instead of turning it over to the government, asit had been doing. Another example is the shamefulmeat legislation, by which the Beef Trust had themeat it sent abroad inspected by the government sothat foreign countries would take its product and yetwas permitted to sell diseased meat to our own people.It is incredible that laws like these could ever geton the Nation’s statute books. The invisiblegovernment put them there; and only the universal wrathof an enraged people corrected them when, after years,the people discovered the outrages.

It is to get just such laws as these and to preventthe passage of laws to correct them, as well as tokeep off the statute books general laws which willend the general abuses of big business that these fewcriminal interests corrupt our politics, invest inpublic officials and keep in power in both partiesthat type of politicians and party managers who debaseAmerican politics.

Behind rotten laws and preventing sound laws, standsthe corrupt boss; behind the corrupt boss stands therobber interest; and commanding these powers of pillagestands bloated human greed. It is this conspiracyof evil we must overthrow if we would get the honestlaws we need. It is this invisible governmentwe must destroy if we would save American institutions.

Other nations have ended the very same business evilsfrom which we suffer by clearly defining businesswrong-doing and then making it a criminal offense,punishable by imprisonment. Yet these foreignnations encourage big business itself and foster allhonest business. But they do not tolerate dishonestbusiness, little or big.

What, then, shall we Americans do? Common senseand the experience of the world says that we oughtto keep the good big business does for us and stopthe wrongs that big business does to us. Yet wehave done just the other thing. We have struckat big business itself and have not even aimed tostrike at the evils of big business. Nearly twenty-fiveyears ago Congress passed a law to govern Americanbusiness in the present time which Parliament passedin the reign of King James to govern English businessin that time.

For a quarter of a century the courts have tried tomake this law work. Yet during this very timetrusts grew greater in number and power than in thewhole history of the world before; and their evilsflourished unhindered and unchecked. These greatbusiness concerns grew because natural laws made themgrow and artificial law at war with natural law couldnot stop their growth. But their evils grew fasterthan the trusts themselves because avarice nourishedthose evils and no law of any kind stopped avaricefrom nourishing them.

Nor is this the worst. Under the shifting interpretationof the Sherman law, uncertainty and fear is chillingthe energies of the great body of honest Americanbusiness men. As the Sherman law now stands, notwo business men can arrange their mutual affairsand be sure that they are not law-breakers. Thisis the main hindrance to the immediate and permanentrevival of American business. If German or Englishbusiness men, with all their disadvantages comparedwith our advantages, were manacled by our Shermanlaw, as it stands, they soon would be bankrupt.Indeed, foreign business men declare that, if theircountries had such a law, so administered, they couldnot do business at all.

Even this is not all. By the decrees of our courts,under the Sherman law, the two mightiest trusts onearth have actually been licensed, in the practicaloutcome, to go on doing every wrong they ever committed.Under the decrees of the courts the Oil and TobaccoTrusts still can raise prices unjustly and alreadyhave done so. They still can issue watered stockand surely will do so. They still can throttleother business men and the United Cigar Stores Companynow is doing so. They still can corrupt our politicsand this moment are indulging in that practice.

The people are tired of this mock battle with criminalcapital. They do not want to hurt business, butthey do want to get something done about the trustquestion that amounts to something. What gooddoes it do any man to read in his morning paper thatthe courts have “dissolved” the Oil Trust,and then read in his evening paper that he must thereafterpay a higher price for his oil than ever before?What good does it do the laborer who smokes his pipeto be told that the courts have “dissolved”the Tobacco Trust and yet find that he must pay thesame or a higher price for the same short-weight packageof tobacco? Yet all this is the practical resultof the suits against these two greatest trusts inthe world.

Such business chaos and legal paradoxes as Americanbusiness suffers from can be found nowhere else inthe world. Rival nations do not fasten legalball and chain upon their business—­no, theyput wings on its flying feet. Rival nations donot tell their business men that if they go forwardwith legitimate enterprise the penitentiary may betheir goal. No! Rival nations tell theirbusiness men that so long as they do honest businesstheir governments will not hinder but will help them.

But these rival nations do tell their business menthat if they do any evil that our business men do,prison bars await them. These rival nations dotell their business men that if they issue wateredstock or cheat the people in any way, prison cellswill be their homes.

Just this is what all honest American business wants;just this is what dishonest American business doesnot want; just this is what the American people proposeto have; just this the national Republican platformof 1908 pledged the people that we would give them;and just this important pledge the administration,elected on that platform, repudiated as it repudiatedthe more immediate tariff pledge.

Both these reforms, so vital to honest American business,the Progressive party will accomplish. Neitherevil interests nor reckless demagogues can swerveus from our purpose; for we are free from both andfear neither.

We mean to put new business laws on our statute bookswhich will tell American business men what they cando and what they cannot do. We mean to make ourbusiness laws clear instead of foggy—­tomake them plainly state just what things are criminaland what are lawful. And we mean that the penaltyfor things criminal shall be prison sentences thatactually punish the real offender, instead of moneyfines that hurt nobody but the people, who must paythem in the end.

And then we mean to send the message forth to hundredsof thousands of brilliant minds and brave hearts engagedin honest business, that they are not criminals buthonorable men in their work to make good businessin this Republic. Sure of victory, we even nowsay, “Go forward, American business men, andknow that behind you, supporting you, encouragingyou, are the power and approval of the greatest peopleunder the sun. Go forward, American businessmen, and feed full the fires beneath American furnaces;and give employment to every American laborer whoasks for work. Go forward, American business men,and capture the markets of the world for Americantrade; and know that on the wings of your commerceyou carry liberty throughout the world and to everyinhabitant thereof. Go forward, American businessmen, and realize that in the time to come it shallbe said of you, as it is said of the hand that roundedPeter’s Dome, ‘he builded better than heknew.’”

The next great business reform we must have to steadilyincrease American prosperity is to change the methodof building our tariffs. The tariff must be takenout of politics and treated as a business questioninstead of as a political question. Heretofore,we have done just the other thing. That is whyAmerican business is upset every few years by unnecessarytariff upheavals and is weakened by uncertainty inthe periods between. The greatest need of businessis certainty; but the only thing certain about ourtariff is uncertainty.

What, then, shall we do to make our tariff changesstrengthen business instead of weakening business?Rival protective tariff nations have answered thatquestion. Common sense has answered it. Nextto our need to make the Sherman law modern, understandableand just, our greatest fiscal need is a genuine, permanent,non-partisan tariff commission.

Five years ago, when the fight for this great businessmeasure was begun in the Senate the bosses of bothparties were against it. So, when the last revisionof the tariff was on and a tariff commission mighthave been written into the tariff law, the administrationwould not aid this reform. When two years laterthe administration supported it weakly, the bi-partisanboss system killed it. There has not been andwill not be any sincere and honest effort by the oldparties to get a tariff commission. There hasnot been and will not be any sincere and honest purposeby those parties to take the tariff out of politics.

For the tariff in politics is the excuse for thosesham political battles which give the spoilers theiropportunity. The tariff in politics is one ofthe invisible government’s methods of wringingtribute from the people. Through the tariff inpolitics the beneficiaries of tariff excesses arecared for, no matter which party is “revising.”

Who has forgotten the tariff scandals that made PresidentCleveland denounce the Wilson-Gorman bill as “aperfidy and a dishonor?” Who ever can forgetthe brazen robberies forced into the Payne-Aldrichbill which Mr. Taft defended as “the best evermade?” If everyone else forgets these thingsthe interests that profited by them never will forgetthem. The bosses and lobbyists that grew richby putting them through never will forget them.That is why the invisible government and its agentswant to keep the old method of tariff building.For, though such tariff “revisions” maymake lean years for the people, they make fat yearsfor the powers of pillage and their agents.

So neither of the old parties can honestly carry outany tariff policies which they pledge the people tocarry out. But even if they could and even ifthey were sincere, the old party platforms are in erroron tariff policy. The Democratic platform declaresfor free trade; but free trade is wrong and ruinous.The Republican platform permits extortion; but tariffextortion is robbery by law. The Progressive partyis for honest protection; and honest protection isright and a condition of American prosperity.

A tariff high enough to give American producers theAmerican market when they make honest goods and sellthem at honest prices but low enough that when theysell dishonest goods at dishonest prices, foreigncompetition can correct both evils; a tariff high enoughto enable American producers to pay our workingmenAmerican wages and so arranged that the workingmenwill get such wages; a business tariff whose changeswill be so made as to reassure business instead ofdisturbing it—­this is the tariff and themethod of its making in which the Progressive partybelieves, for which it does battle and which it proposesto write into the laws of the land.

The Payne-Aldrich tariff law must be revised immediatelyin accordance to these principles. At the sametime a genuine, permanent, non-partisan tariff commissionmust be fixed in the law as firmly as the InterstateCommerce Commission. Neither of the old partiescan do this work. For neither of the old partiesbelieves in such a tariff; and, what is more serious,special privilege is too thoroughly woven into thefiber of both old parties to allow them to make sucha tariff. The Progressive party only is freefrom these influences. The Progressive party onlybelieves in the sincere enactment of a sound tariffpolicy. The Progressive party only can changethe tariff as it must be changed.

These are samples of the reforms in the laws of businessthat we intend to put on the Nation’s statutebooks. But there are other questions as importantand pressing that we mean to answer by sound and humanelaws. Child labor in factories, mills, minesand sweat-shops must be ended throughout the Republic.Such labor is a crime against childhood because itprevents the growth of normal manhood and womanhood.It is a crime against the Nation because it preventsthe growth of a host of children into strong, patrioticand intelligent citizens.

Only the Nation can stop this industrial vice.The States cannot stop it. The States never stoppedany national wrong—­and child labor is anational wrong. To leave it to the State aloneis unjust to business; for if some States stop itand other States do not, business men of the formerare at a disadvantage with the business men of thelatter, because they must sell in the same marketgoods made by manhood labor at manhood wages in competitionwith goods made by childhood labor at childhood wages.To leave it to the States is unjust to manhood labor;for childhood labor in any State lowers manhood laborin every State, because the product of childhood laborin any State competes with the product of manhoodlabor in every State. Children workers at thelooms in South Carolina means bayonets at the breastsof men and women workers in Massachusetts who strikefor living wages. Let the States do what theycan, and more power to their arm; but let the Nationdo what it should and cleanse our flag from this stain.

Modern industrialism has changed the status of women.Women now are wage earners in factories, stores andother places of toil. In hours of labor and allthe physical conditions of industrial effort they mustcompete with men. And they must do it at lowerwages than men receive—­wages which, inmost cases, are not enough for these women workersto live on.

This is inhuman and indecent. It is unsocialand uneconomic. It is immoral and unpatriotic.Toward women the Progressive party proclaims the chivalryof the State. We propose to protect women wage-earnersby suitable laws, an example of which is the minimumwage for women workers—­a wage which shallbe high enough to at least buy clothing, food andshelter for the woman toiler.

The care of the aged is one of the most perplexingproblems of modern life. How is the workingmanwith less than five hundred dollars a year, and withearning power waning as his own years advance, to providefor aged parents or other relatives in addition tofurnishing food, shelter and clothing for his wifeand children? What is to become of the familyof the laboring man whose strength has been sappedby excessive toil and who has been thrown upon theindustrial scrap heap? It is questions like thesewe must answer if we are to justify free institutions.They are questions to which the masses of people arechained as to a body of death. And they are questionswhich other and poorer nations are answering.

We progressives mean that America shall answer them.The Progressive party is the helping hand to thosewhom a vicious industrialism has maimed and crippled.We are for the conservation of our natural resources;but even more we are for the conservation of humanlife. Our forests, water power and minerals arevaluable and must be saved from the spoilers; butmen, women and children are more valuable and they,too, must be saved from the spoilers.

Because women, as much as men, are a part of our economicand social life, women, as much as men, should havethe voting power to solve all economic and socialproblems. Votes for women are theirs as a matterof natural right alone; votes for women should betheirs as a matter of political wisdom also.As wage-earners, they should help to solve the laborproblem; as property owners they should help to solvethe tax problem; as wives and mothers they shouldhelp to solve all the problems that concern the home.And that means all national problems; for the Nationabides at the fireside.

If it is said that women cannot help defend the Nationin time of war and therefore that they should nothelp to determine the Nation’s destinies intime of peace, the answer is that women suffer andserve in time of conflict as much as men who carrymuskets. And the deeper answer is that thosewho bear the Nation’s soldiers are as much theNation’s defenders as their sons.

Public spokesmen for the invisible government saythat many of our reforms are unconstitutional.The same kind of men said the same thing of everyeffort the Nation has made to end national abuses.But in every case, whether in the courts, at the ballotbox, or on the battlefield, the vitality of the Constitutionwas vindicated.

The Progressive party believes that the Constitutionis a living thing, growing with the people’sgrowth, strengthening with the people’s strength,aiding the people in their struggle for life, libertyand the pursuit of happiness, permitting the peopleto meet all their needs as conditions change.The opposition believes that the Constitution is adead form, holding back the people’s growth,shackling the people’s strength but giving afree hand to malign powers that prey upon the people.The first words of the Constitution are “We thepeople,” and they declare that the Constitution’spurpose is “to form a perfect Union and to promotethe general welfare.” To do just that isthe very heart of the progressive cause.

The Progressive party asserts anew the vitality ofthe Constitution. We believe in the true doctrineof states’ rights, which forbids the Nationfrom interfering with states’ affairs, and alsoforbids the states from interfering with nationalaffairs. The combined intelligence and compositeconscience of the American people is as irresistibleas it is righteous; and the Constitution does notprevent that force from working out the general welfare.

From certain sources we hear preachments about thedanger of our reforms to American institutions.What is the purpose of American institutions?Why was this Republic established? What does theflag stand for? What do these things mean?

They mean that the people shall be free to correcthuman abuses.

They mean that men, women and children shall not bedenied the opportunity to grow stronger and nobler.

They mean that the people shall have the power tomake our land each day a better place to live in.

They mean the realities of liberty and not the academicsof theory.

They mean the actual progress of the race in tangibleitems of daily living and not the theoretics of barrendisputation.

If they do not mean these things they are as soundingbrass and tinkling cymbals.

A Nation of strong, upright men and women; a Nationof wholesome homes, realizing the best ideals; a Nationwhose power is glorified by its justice and whosejustice is the conscience of scores of millions ofGod-fearing people—­that is the Nation thepeople need and want. And that is the Nationthey shall have.

For never doubt that we Americans will make good thereal meaning of our institutions. Never doubtthat we will solve, in righteousness and wisdom, everyvexing problem. Never doubt that in the end, thehand from above that leads us upward will prevailover the hand from below that drags us downward.Never doubt that we are indeed a Nation whose God isthe Lord.

And, so, never doubt that a braver, fairer, cleanerAmerica surely will come; that a better and brighterlife for all beneath the flag surely will be achieved.Those who now scoff soon will pray. Those whonow doubt soon will believe.

Soon the night will pass; and when, to the Sentinelon the ramparts of Liberty the anxious ask: “Watchman,what of the night?” his answer will be “Lo,the morn appeareth.”

Knowing the price we must pay, the sacrifice we mustmake, the burdens we must carry, the assaults we mustendure—­knowing full well the cost—­yetwe enlist, and we enlist for the war. For we knowthe justice of our cause, and we know, too, its certaintriumph.

Not reluctantly then, but eagerly, not with fainthearts but strong, do we now advance upon the enemiesof the people. For the call that comes to usis the call that came to our fathers. As theyresponded so shall we.

“He hath sounded fortha trumpet that shall never call retreat,
He is sifting out the heartsof men before His judgment seat.
Oh, be swift our souls toanswer Him, be jubilant our feet,
OurGod is marching on.”



I am astonished that so many people should care tohear this story over again. Indeed, this lecturehas become a study in psychology; it often breaksall rules of oratory, departs from the precepts ofrhetoric, and yet remains the most popular of anylecture I have delivered in the forty-four years ofmy public life. I have sometimes studied for ayear upon a lecture and made careful research, andthen presented the lecture just once—­neverdelivered it again. I put too much work on it.But this had no work on it—­thrown togetherperfectly at random, spoken offhand without any specialpreparation, and it succeeds when the thing we study,work over, adjust to a plan, is an entire failure.

The “Acres of Diamonds” which I have mentionedthrough so many years are to be found in Philadelphia,and you are to find them. Many have found them.And what man has done, man can do. I could notfind anything better to illustrate my thought thana story I have told over and over again, and whichis now found in books in nearly every library.

In 1870 we went down the Tigris River. We hireda guide at Bagdad to show us Persepolis, Nineveh andBabylon, and the ancient countries of Assyria as faras the Arabian Gulf. He was well acquainted withthe land, but he was one of those guides who loveto entertain their patrons; he was like a barber thattells you many stories in order to keep your mindoff the scratching and the scraping. He told meso many stories that I grew tired of his telling themand I refused to listen—­looked away wheneverhe commenced; that made the guide quite angry.I remember that toward evening he took his Turkishcap off his head and swung it around in the air.The gesture I did not understand and I did not darelook at him for fear I should become the victim ofanother story. But, although I am not a woman,I did look, and the instant I turned my eyes uponthat worthy guide he was off again. Said he,“I will tell you a story now which reserve formy particular friends!” So then, counting myselfa particular friend, I listened, and I have alwaysbeen glad I did.

He said there once lived not far from the River Indusan ancient Persian by the name of Al Hafed. Hesaid that Al Hafed owned a very large farm with orchards,grain fields and gardens. He was a contented andwealthy man—­contented because he was wealthy,and wealthy because he was contented. One daythere visited this old farmer one of those ancientBuddhist priests, and he sat down by Al Hafed’sfire and told that old farmer how this world of ourswas made. He said that this world was once amere bank of fog, which is scientifically true, andhe said that the Almighty thrust his finger into thebank of fog and then began slowly to move his fingeraround and gradually to increase the speed of his fingeruntil at last he whirled that bank of fog into a solidball of fire, and it went rolling through the universe,burning its way through other cosmic banks of fog,

until it condensed the moisture without, and fellin floods of rain upon the heated surface and cooledthe outward crust. Then the internal flames burstthrough the cooling crust and threw up the mountainsand made the hills of the valley of this wonderfulworld of ours. If this internal melted mass burstout and copied very quickly it became granite; thatwhich cooled less quickly became silver; and lessquickly, gold; and after gold diamonds were made.Said the old priest, “A diamond is a congealeddrop of sunlight.”

This is a scientific truth also. You all knowthat a diamond is pure carbon, actually depositedsunlight—­and he said another thing I wouldnot forget: he declared that a diamond is thelast and highest of God’s mineral creations,as a woman is the last and highest of God’s animalcreations. I suppose that is the reason why thetwo have such a liking for each other. And theold priest told Al Hafed that if he had a handfulof diamonds he could purchase a whole country, andwith a mine of diamonds he could place his childrenupon thrones through the influence of their greatwealth. Al Hafed heard all about diamonds andhow much they were worth, and went to his bed thatnight a poor man—­not that he had lost anything,but poor because he was discontented and discontentedbecause he thought he was poor. He said:“I want a mine of diamonds!” So he layawake all night, and early in the morning sought outthe priest. Now I know from experience that apriest when awakened early in the morning is cross.He awoke that priest out of his dreams and said tohim, “Will you tell me where I can find diamonds?”The priest said, “Diamonds? What do youwant with diamonds?” “I want to be immenselyrich,” said Al Hafed, “but I don’tknow where to go.” “Well,”said the priest, “if you will find a river thatruns over white sand between high mountains, in thosesands you will always see diamonds.” “Doyou really believe that there is such a river?”“Plenty of them, plenty of them; all you haveto do is just go and find them, then you have them.”Al Hafed said, “I will go.” So hesold his farm, collected his money at interest, lefthis family in charge of a neighbor, and away he wentin search of diamonds. He began very properly,to my mind, at the Mountains of the Moon. Afterwardshe went around into Palestine, then wandered on intoEurope, and at last when his money was all spent,and he was in rags, wretchedness and poverty, he stoodon the shore of that bay in Barcelona, Spain, whena tidal wave came rolling through the Pillars of Herculesand the poor afflicted, suffering man could not resistthe awful temptation to cast himself into that incomingtide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, neverto rise in this life again.

When that old guide had told me that very sad story,he stopped the camel I was riding and went back tofix the baggage on one of the other camels, and Iremember thinking to myself, “Why did he reservethat for his particular friends?” Thereseemed to be no beginning, middle or end—­nothingto it. That was the first story I ever heard toldor read in which the hero was killed in the firstchapter. I had but one chapter of that storyand the hero was dead. When the guide came backand took up the halter of my camel again, he wentright on with the same story. He said that AlHafed’s successor led his camel out into thegarden to drink, and as that camel put its nose downinto the clear water of the garden brook Al Hafed’ssuccessor noticed a curious flash of light from thesands of the shallow stream, and reaching in he pulledout a black stone having an eye of light that reflectedall the colors of the rainbow, and he took that curiouspebble into the house and left it on the mantel, thenwent on his way and forgot all about it. A fewdays after that, this same old priest who told AlHafed how diamonds were made, came in to visit hissuccessor, when he saw that flash of light from themantel. He rushed up and said, “Here isa diamond—­here is a diamond! Has AlHafed returned?” “No, no; Al Hafed hasnot returned and that is not a diamond; that is nothingbut a stone; we found it right out here in our garden.”“But I know a diamond when I see it,” saidhe; “that is a diamond!”

Then together they rushed to the garden and stirredup the white sands with their fingers and found othersmore beautiful, more valuable diamonds than the first,and thus, said the guide to me, were discovered thediamond mines of Golconda, the most magnificent diamondmines in all the history of mankind, exceeding theKimberley in its value. The great Kohinoor diamondin England’s crown jewels and the largest crowndiamond on earth in Russia’s crown jewels, whichI had often hoped she would have to sell before theyhad peace with Japan, came from that mine, and whenthe old guide had called my attention to that wonderfuldiscovery he took his Turkish cap off his head againand swung it around in the air to call my attentionto the moral. Those Arab guides have a moral toeach story, though the stories are not always moral.He said, had Al Hafed remained at home and dug inhis own cellar or in his own garden, instead of wretchedness,starvation, poverty and death in a strange land, hewould have had “acres of diamonds”—­forevery acre, yes, every shovelful of that old farmafterwards revealed the gems which since have decoratedthe crowns of monarchs. When he had given themoral to his story, I saw why he had reserved thisstory for his “particular friends.”I didn’t tell him I could see it; I was not goingto tell that old Arab that I could see it. Forit was that mean old Arab’s way of going arounda thing, like a lawyer, and saying indirectly whathe did not dare say directly, that there was a certainyoung man that day traveling down the Tigris Riverthat might better be at home in America. I didn’ttell him I could see it.

I told him his story reminded me of one, and I toldit to him quick. I told him about that man outin California, who, in 1847, owned a ranch out there.He read that gold had been discovered in Southern California,and he sold his ranch to Colonel Sutter and startedoff to hunt for gold. Colonel Sutter put a millon the little stream in that farm and one day hislittle girl brought some wet sand from the racewayof the mill into the house and placed it before thefire to dry, and as that sand was falling throughthe little girl’s fingers a visitor saw thefirst shining scales of real gold that were ever discoveredin California; and the man who wanted the gold hadsold this ranch and gone away, never to return.I delivered this lecture two years ago in California,in the city that stands near that farm, and they toldme that the mine is not exhausted yet, and that aone-third owner of that farm has been getting duringthese recent years twenty dollars of gold every fifteenminutes of his life, sleeping or waking. Why,you and I would enjoy an income like that!

But the best illustration that I have now of thisthought was found here in Pennsylvania. Therewas a man living in Pennsylvania who owned a farmhere and he did what I should do if I had a farm inPennsylvania—­he sold it. But beforehe sold it he concluded to secure employment collectingcoal oil for his cousin in Canada. They firstdiscovered coal oil there. So this farmer inPennsylvania decided that he would apply for a positionwith his cousin in Canada. Now, you see, thisfarmer was not altogether a foolish man. He didnot leave his farm until he had something else todo. Of all the simpletons the stars shine on thereis none more foolish than a man who leaves one jobbefore he has obtained another. And that hasespecial reference to gentlemen of my profession,and has no reference to a man seeking a divorce.So I say this old farmer did not leave one job untilhe had obtained another. He wrote to Canada,but his cousin replied that he could not engage himbecause he did not know anything about the oil business.“Well, then,” said he, “I will understandit.” So he set himself at the study of thewhole subject. He began at the second day ofthe creation, he studied the subject from the primitivevegetation to the coal oil stage, until he knew allabout it. Then he wrote to his cousin and said,“Now I understand the oil business.”And his cousin replied to him, “All right, then,come on.”

That man, by the record of the county, sold his farmfor eight hundred and thirty-three dollars—­evenmoney, “no cents.” He had scarcelygone from that farm before the man who purchased itwent out to arrange for the watering the cattle andhe found that the previous owner had arranged thematter very nicely. There is a stream runningdown the hillside there, and the previous owner hadgone out and put a plank across that stream at anangle, extending across the brook and down edgewise

a few inches under the surface of the water. Thepurpose of the plank across that brook was to throwover to the other bank a dreadful-looking scum throughwhich the cattle would not put their noses to drinkabove the plank, although they would drink the wateron one side below it. Thus that man who had goneto Canada had been himself damming back for twenty-threeyears a flow of coal oil which the State Geologistof Pennsylvania declared officially, as early as 1870,was then worth to our State a hundred millions ofdollars. The city of Titusville now stands onthat farm and those Pleasantville wells flow on, andthat farmer who had studied all about the formationof oil since the second day of God’s creationclear down to the present time, sold that farm for$833, no cents—­again I say, “no sense.”

But I need another illustration, and I found thatin Massachusetts, and I am sorry I did, because thatis my old State. This young man I mention wentout of the State to study—­went down to YaleCollege and studied Mines and Mining. They paidhim fifteen dollars a week during his last year fortraining students who were behind their classes inmineralogy, out of hours, of course, while pursuinghis own studies. But when he graduated they raisedhis pay from fifteen dollars to forty-five dollarsand offered him a professorship. Then he wentstraight home to his mother and said, “Mother,I won’t work for forty-five dollars a week.What is forty-five dollars a week for a man with abrain like mine! Mother, let’s go out toCalifornia and stake out gold claims and be immenselyrich.” “Now,” said his mother,“it is just as well to be happy as it is tobe rich.”

But as he was the only son he had his way—­theyalways do; and they sold out in Massachusetts andwent to Wisconsin, where he went into the employ ofthe Superior Copper Mining Company, and he was lostfrom sight in the employ of that company at fifteendollars a week again. He was also to have aninterest in any mines that he should discover for thatcompany. But I do not believe that he has everdiscovered a mine—­I do not know anythingabout it, but I do not believe he has. I knowhe had scarcely gone from the old homestead beforethe farmer who had bought the homestead went out todig potatoes, and as he was bringing them in in alarge basket through the front gateway, the ends ofthe stone wall came so near together at the gate thatthe basket hugged very tight. So he set the basketon the ground and pulled, first on one side and thenon the other side. Our farms in Massachusettsare mostly stone walls, and the farmers have to beeconomical with their gateways in order to have someplace to put the stones. That basket hugged sotight there that as he was hauling it through he noticedin the upper stone next the gate a block of nativesilver, eight inches square; and this professor ofmines and mining and mineralogy, who would not workfor forty-five dollars a week, when he sold that homestead

in Massachusetts, sat right on that stone to makethe bargain. He was brought up there; he had goneback and forth by that piece of silver, rubbed it withhis sleeve, and it seemed to say, “Come now,now, now, here is a hundred thousand dollars.Why not take me?” But he would not take it.There was no silver in Newburyport; it was all awayoff—­well, I don’t know where; hedidn’t, but somewhere else—­and hewas a professor of mineralogy.

I do not know of anything I would enjoy better thanto take the whole time to-night telling of blunderslike that I have heard professors make. Yet Iwish I knew what that man is doing out there in Wisconsin.I can imagine him out there, as he sits by his fireside,and he is saying to his friends, “Do you knowthat man Conwell that lives in Philadelphia?”“Oh, yes, I have heard of him.” “Anddo you know that man Jones that lives in that city?”“Yes, I have heard of him.” And thenhe begins to laugh and laugh and says to his friends,“They have done the same thing I did, precisely.”And that spoils the whole joke, because you and Ihave done it.

Ninety out of every hundred people here have madethat mistake this very day. I say you ought tobe rich; you have no right to be poor. To livein Philadelphia and not be rich is a misfortune, andit is doubly a misfortune, because you could havebeen rich just as well as be poor. Philadelphiafurnishes so many opportunities. You ought tobe rich. But persons with certain religious prejudicewill ask, “How can you spend your time advisingthe rising generation to give their time to gettingmoney—­dollars and cents—­the commercialspirit?”

Yet I must say that you ought to spend time gettingrich. You and I know there are some things morevaluable than money; of course, we do. Ah, yes!By a heart made unspeakably sad by a grave on whichthe autumn leaves now fall, I know there are somethings higher and grander and sublimer than money.Well does the man know, who has suffered, that thereare some things sweeter and holier and more sacredthan gold. Nevertheless, the man of common sensealso knows that there is not any one of those thingsthat is not greatly enhanced by the use of money.Money is power. Love is the grandest thing onGod’s earth, but fortunate the lover who hasplenty of money. Money is power; money has powers;and for a man to say, “I do not want money,”is to say, “I do not wish to do any good tomy fellowmen.” It is absurd thus to talk.It is absurd to disconnect them. This is a wonderfullygreat life, and you ought to spend your time gettingmoney, because of the power there is in money.And yet this religious prejudice is so great that somepeople think it is a great honor to be one of God’spoor. I am looking in the faces of people whothink just that way. I heard a man once say ina prayer meeting that he was thankful that he wasone of God’s poor, and then I silently wonderedwhat his wife would say to that speech, as she took

in washing to support the man while he sat and smokedon the veranda. I don’t want to see anymore of that land of God’s poor. Now, whena man could have been rich just as well, and he isnow weak because he is poor, he has done some greatwrong; he has been untruthful to himself; he has beenunkind to his fellowmen. We ought to get richif we can by honorable and Christian methods, andthese are the only methods that sweep us quickly towardthe goal of riches.

I remember, not many years ago a young theologicalstudent who came into my office and said to me thathe thought it was his duty to come in and “laborwith me.” I asked him what had happened,and he said: “I feel it is my duty to comein and speak to you, sir, and say that the Holy Scripturesdeclare that money is the root of all evil.”I asked him where he found that saying, and he saidhe found it in the Bible. I asked him whetherhe had made a new Bible, and he said, no, he had notgotten a new Bible, that it was in the old Bible.“Well,” I said, “if it is in myBible, I never saw it. Will you please get thetext-book and let me see it?” He left the roomand soon came stalking in with his Bible open, withall the bigoted pride of the narrow sectarian, whofounds his creed on some misinterpretation of Scripture,and he put the Bible down on the table before me andfairly squealed into my ear, “There it is.You can read it for yourself.” I said tohim, “Young man, you will learn, when you geta little older, that you cannot trust another denominationto read the Bible for you.” I said, “Now,you belong to another denomination. Please readit to me, and remember that you are taught in a schoolwhere emphasis is exegesis.” So he tookthe Bible and read it: “The loveof money is the root of all evil.” Thenhe had it right. The Great Book has come backinto the esteem and love of the people, and into therespect of the greatest minds of earth, and now youcan quote it and rest your life and your death on itwithout more fear. So, when he quoted right fromthe Scriptures he quoted the truth. “Thelove of money is the root of all evil.”Oh, that is it. It is the worship of the meansinstead of the end, though you cannot reach the endwithout the means. When a man makes an idol ofthe money instead of the purposes for which it maybe used, when he squeezes the dollar until the eaglesqueals, then it is made the root of all evil.Think, if you only had the money, what you could dofor your wife, your child, and for your home and yourcity. Think how soon you could endow the TempleCollege yonder if you only had the money and the dispositionto give it; and yet, my friend, people say you andI should not spend the time getting rich. Howinconsistent the whole thing is. We ought to berich, because money has power. I think the bestthing for me to do is to illustrate this, for if Isay you ought to get rich, I ought, at least, to suggesthow it is done. We get a prejudice against rich

men because of the lies that are told about them.The lies that are told about Mr. Rockefeller becausehe has two hundred million dollars—­so manybelieve them; yet how false is the representationof that man to the world. How little we can tellwhat is true nowadays when newspapers try to selltheir papers entirely on some sensation! The waythey lie about the rich men is something terrible,and I do not know that there is anything to illustratethis better than what the newspapers now say aboutthe city of Philadelphia. A young man came tome the other day and said, “If Mr. Rockefeller,as you think, is a good man, why is it that everybodysays so much against him?” It is because hehas gotten ahead of us; that is the whole of it—­justgotten ahead of us. Why is it Mr. Carnegie iscriticised so sharply by an envious world? Becausehe has gotten more than we have. If a man knowsmore than I know, don’t I incline to criticisesomewhat his learning? Let a man stand in a pulpitand preach to thousands, and if I have fifteen peoplein my church, and they’re all asleep, don’tI criticise him? We always do that to the manwho gets ahead of us. Why, the man you are criticisinghas one hundred millions, and you have fifty cents,and both of you have just what you are worth.One of the richest men in this country came into myhome and sat down in my parlor and said: “Didyou see all those lies about my family in the paper?”“Certainly I did; I knew they were lies whenI saw them.” “Why do they lie aboutme the way they do?” “Well,” I saidto him, “if you will give me your check forone hundred millions, I will take all the lies alongwith it.” “Well,” said he, “Idon’t see any sense in their thus talking aboutmy family and myself. Conwell, tell me frankly,what do you think the American people think of me?”“Well,” said I, “they think youare the blackest-hearted villain that ever trod thesoil!” “But what can I do about it?”There is nothing he can do about it, and yet he isone of the sweetest Christian men I ever knew.If you get a hundred millions you will have the lies;you will be lied about, and you can judge your successin any line by the lies that are told about you.I say that you ought to be rich. But there areever coming to me young men who say, “I wouldlike to go into business, but I cannot.”“Why not?” “Because I have no capitalto begin on.” Capital, capital to beginon! What! young man! Living in Philadelphiaand looking at this wealthy generation, all of whombegan as poor boys, and you want capital to beginon? It is fortunate for you that you have no capital.I am glad you have no money. I pity a rich man’sson. A rich man’s son in these days ofours occupies a very difficult position. Theyare to be pitied. A rich man’s son cannotknow the very best things in human life. He cannot.The statistics of Massachusetts show us that not oneout of seventeen rich men’s sons ever die rich.They are raised in luxury, they die in poverty.Even if a rich man’s son retains his father’smoney even then he cannot know the best things oflife.

A young man in our college yonder asked me to formulatefor him what I thought was the happiest hour in aman’s history, and I studied it long and cameback convinced that the happiest hour that any manever sees in any earthly matter is when a young mantakes his bride over the threshold of the door, forthe first time, of the house he himself has earnedand built, when he turns to his bride and with an eloquencegreater than any language of mine, he sayeth to hiswife, “My loved one, I earned this home myself;I earned it all. It is all mine, and I divideit with thee.” That is the grandest momenta human heart may ever see. But a rich man’sson cannot know that. He goes into a finer mansion,it may be, but he is obliged to go through the houseand say, “Mother gave me this, mother gave methat, my mother gave me that, my mother gave me that,”until his wife wishes she had married his mother.Oh, I pity a rich man’s son. I do.Until he gets so far along in his dudeism that hegets his arms up like that and can’t get themdown. Didn’t you ever see any of them astrayat Atlantic City? I saw one of these scarecrowsonce and I never tire thinking about it. I wasat Niagara Falls lecturing, and after the lectureI went to the hotel, and when I went up to the deskthere stood there a millionaire’s son from NewYork. He was an indescribable specimen of anthropologicpotency. He carried a gold-headed cane underhis arm—­more in its head than he had inhis. I do not believe I could describe the youngman if I should try. But still I must say thathe wore an eye-glass he could not see through; patentleather shoes he could not walk in, and pants he couldnot sit down in—­dressed like a grasshopper!Well, this human cricket came up to the clerk’sdesk just as I came in. He adjusted his unseeingeye-glass in this wise and lisped to the clerk, becauseit’s “Hinglish, you know,” to lisp:“Thir, thir, will you have the kindness to fuhnishme with thome papah and thome envelopehs!” Theclerk measured that man quick, and he pulled out adrawer and took some envelopes and paper and cast themacross the counter and turned away to his books.You should have seen that specimen of humanity whenthe paper and envelopes came across the counter—­hewhose wants had always been anticipated by servants.He adjusted his unseeing eye-glass and he yelled afterthat clerk: “Come back here, thir, comeright back here. Now, thir, will you order athervant to take that papah and thothe envelopes andcarry them to yondah dethk.” Oh, the poormiserable, contemptible American monkey! He couldn’tcarry paper and envelopes twenty feet. I supposehe could not get his arms down. I have no pityfor such travesties of human nature. If you haveno capital, I am glad of it. You don’t needcapital; you need common sense, not copper cents.

A.T. Stewart, the great princely merchant ofNew York, the richest man in America in his time,was a poor boy; he had a dollar and a half and wentinto the mercantile business. But he lost eighty-sevenand a half cents of his first dollar and a half becausehe bought some needles and thread and buttons to sell,which people didn’t want.

Are you poor? It is because you are not wantedand are left on your own hands. There was thegreat lesson. Apply it whichever way you willit comes to every single person’s life, youngor old. He did not know what people needed, andconsequently bought something they didn’t wantand had the goods left on his hands a dead loss.A.T. Stewart learned there the great lesson ofhis mercantile life and said, “I will never buyanything more until I first learn what the people want;then I’ll make the purchase.” Hewent around to the doors and asked them what they didwant, and when he found out what they wanted, he investedhis sixty-two and a half cents and began to supply“a known demand.” I care not whatyour profession or occupation in life may be; I carenot whether you are a lawyer, a doctor, a housekeeper,teacher or whatever else, the principle is preciselythe same. We must know what the world needs firstand then invest ourselves to supply that need, andsuccess is almost certain. A.T. Stewartwent on until he was worth forty millions. “Well,”you will say, “a man can do that in New York,but cannot do it here in Philadelphia.”The statistics very carefully gathered in New Yorkin 1889 showed one hundred and seven millionairesin the city worth over ten millions apiece. Itwas remarkable and people think they must go thereto get rich. Out of that one hundred and sevenmillionaires only seven of them made their money inNew York, and the others moved to New York after theirfortunes were made, and sixty-seven out of the remaininghundred made their fortunes in towns of less than sixthousand people, and the richest man in the countryat that time lived in a town of thirty-five hundredinhabitants, and always lived there and never movedaway. It is not so much where you are as whatyou are. But at the same time if the largenessof the city comes into the problem, then rememberit is the smaller city that furnishes the great opportunityto make the millions of money. The best illustrationthat I can give is in reference to John Jacob Astor,who was a poor boy and who made all the money of theAstor family. He made more than his successorshave ever earned, and yet he once held a mortgageon a millinery store in New York, and because thepeople could not make enough money to pay the interestand the rent, he foreclosed the mortgage and took possessionof the store and went into partnership with the manwho had failed. He kept the same stock, did notgive them a dollar capital, and he left them aloneand went out and sat down upon a bench in the park.Out there on that bench in the park he had the mostimportant, and to my mind, the pleasantest part ofthat partnership business. He was watching theladies as they went by; and where is the man that wouldn’tget rich at that business? But when John JacobAstor saw a lady pass, with her shoulders back andher head up, as if she did not care if the whole worldlooked on her, he studied her bonnet; and before that

bonnet was out of sight he knew the shape of the frameand the color of the trimmings, the curl of the—­somethingon a bonnet. Sometimes I try to describe a woman’sbonnet, but it is of little use, for it would be outof style to-morrow night. So John Jacob Astorwent to the store and said: “Now, put inthe show window just such a bonnet as I describe toyou because,” said he, “I have just seena lady who likes just such a bonnet. Do not makeup any more till I come back.” And he wentout again and sat on that bench in the park, and anotherlady of a different form and complexion passed himwith a bonnet of different shape and color, of course.“Now,” said he, “put such a bonnetas that in the show window.” He didn’tfill his show window with hats and bonnets which drivepeople away and then sit in the back of the storeand bawl because the people go somewhere else to trade.He didn’t put a hat or bonnet in that show windowthe like of which he had not seen before it was madeup.

In our city especially there are great opportunitiesfor manufacturing, and the time has come when theline is drawn very sharply between the stockholdersof the factory and their employes. Now, friends,there has also come a discouraging gloom upon thiscountry and the laboring men are beginning to feelthat they are being held down by a crust over theirheads through which they find it impossible to break,and the aristocratic money-owner himself is so farabove that he will never descend to their assistance.That is the thought that is in the minds of our people.But, friends, never in the history of our country wasthere an opportunity so great for the poor man toget rich as there is now in the city of Philadelphia.The very fact that they get discouraged is what preventsthem from getting rich. That is all there is toit. The road is open, and let us keep it openbetween the poor and the rich. I know that thelabor unions have two great problems to contend with,and there is only one way to solve them. Thelabor unions are doing as much to prevent its solvingas are the capitalists to-day, and there are positivelytwo sides to it. The labor union has two difficulties;the first one is that it began to make a labor scalefor all classes on a par, and they scale down a manthat can earn five dollars a day to two and a halfa day, in order to level up to him an imbecile thatcannot earn fifty cents a day. That is one ofthe most dangerous and discouraging things for theworking man. He cannot get the results of hiswork if he do better work or higher work or work longer;that is a dangerous thing, and in order to get everylaboring man free and every American equal to everyother American, let the laboring man ask what he isworth and get it—­not let any capitalistsay to him: “You shall work for me forhalf of what you are worth;” nor let any labororganization say: “You shall work for thecapitalist for half your worth.” Be a man,be independent, and then shall the laboring man find

the road ever open from poverty to wealth. Theother difficulty that the labor union has to consider,and this problem they have to solve themselves, isthe kind of orators who come and talk to them aboutthe oppressive rich. I can in my dreams recitethe oration I have heard again and again under suchcirc*mstances. My life has been with the laboringman. I am a laboring man myself. I haveoften, in their assemblies, heard the speech of theman who has been invited to address the labor union.The man gets up before the assembled company of honestlaboring men and he begins by saying: “Oh,ye honest, industrious laboring men, who have furnishedall the capital of the world, who have built all thepalaces and constructed all the railroads and coveredthe ocean with her steamships. Oh, you laboringmen! You are nothing but slaves; you are grounddown in the dust by the capitalist who is gloatingover you as he enjoys his beautiful estates and ashe has his banks filled with gold, and every dollarhe owns is coined out of the hearts’ blood ofthe honest laboring man.” Now, that isa lie, and you know it is a lie; and yet that is thekind of speech that they are all the time hearing,representing the capitalists as wicked and the laboringmen so enslaved. Why, how wrong it is! Letthe man who loves his flag and believes in Americanprinciples endeavor with all his soul to bring thecapitalist and the laboring man together until theystand side by side, and arm in arm, and work for thecommon good of humanity.

He is an enemy to his country who sets capital againstlabor or labor against capital.

Suppose I were to go down through this audience andask you to introduce me to the great inventors wholive here in Philadelphia. “The inventorsof Philadelphia,” you would say, “Why wedon’t have any in Philadelphia. It is tooslow to invent anything.” But you do havejust as great inventors, and they are here in thisaudience, as ever invented a machine. But theprobability is that the greatest inventor to benefitthe world with his discovery is some person, perhapssome lady, who thinks she could not invent anything.Did you ever study the history of invention and seehow strange it was that the man who made the greatestdiscovery did it without any previous idea that hewas an inventor? Who are the great inventors?They are persons with plain, straightforward commonsense, who saw a need in the world and immediatelyapplied themselves to supply that need. If youwant to invent anything, don’t try to find itin the wheels in your head nor the wheels in yourmachine, but first find out what the people need, andthen apply yourself to that need, and this leads toinvention on the part of the people you would notdream of before. The great inventors are simplygreat men; the greater the man the more simple theman; and the more simple a machine, the more valuableit is. Did you ever know a really great man?His ways are so simple, so common, so plain, that youthink any one could do what he is doing. So itis with the great men the world over. If youknow a really great man, a neighbor of yours, you cango right up to him and say, “How are you, Jim,good morning, Sam.” Of course you can,for they are always so simple.

When I wrote the life of General Garfield, one ofhis neighbors took me to his back door, and shouted,“Jim, Jim, Jim!” and very soon “Jim”came to the door and General Garfield let me in—­oneof the grandest men of our century. The greatmen of the world are ever so. I was down in Virginiaand went up to an educational institution and was directedto a man who was setting out a tree. I approachedhim and said, “Do you think it would be possiblefor me to see General Robert E. Lee, the Presidentof the University?” He said, “Sir, I amGeneral Lee.” Of course, when you meetsuch a man, so noble a man as that, you will find hima simple, plain man. Greatness is always justso modest and great inventions are simple.

I asked a class in school once who were the greatinventors, and a little girl popped up and said, “Columbus.”Well, now, she was not so far wrong. Columbusbought a farm and he carried on that farm just as Icarried on my father’s farm. He took a hoeand went out and sat down on a rock. But Columbus,as he sat upon that shore and looked out upon theocean, noticed that the ships, as they sailed away,sank deeper into the sea the farther they went.And since that time some other “Spanish ships”have sunk into the sea. But as Columbus noticedthat the tops of the masts dropped down out of sight,he said: “That is the way it is with thishoe handle; if you go around this hoe handle, the fartheroff you go the farther down you go. I can sailaround to the East Indies.” How plain itall was. How simple the mind—­majesticlike the simplicity of a mountain in its greatness.Who are the great inventors? They are ever thesimple, plain, everyday people who see the need andset about to supply it.

I was once lecturing in North Carolina, and the cashierof the bank sat directly behind a lady who wore avery large hat. I said to that audience, “Yourwealth is too near to you; you are looking right overit.” He whispered to his friend, “Well,then, my wealth is in that hat.” A littlelater, as he wrote me, I said, “Wherever thereis a human need there is a greater fortune than amine can furnish.” He caught my thought,and he drew up his plan for a better hat pin than wasin the hat before him, and the pin is now being manufactured.He was offered fifty-five thousand dollars for hispatent. That man made his fortune before he gotout of that hall. This is the whole question:Do you see a need?

I remember well a man up in my native hills, a poorman, who for twenty years was helped by the town inhis poverty, who owned a wide-spreading maple treethat covered the poor man’s cottage like a benedictionfrom on high. I remember that tree, for in thespring—­there were some roguish boys aroundthat neighborhood when I was young—­in thespring of the year the man would put a bucket thereand the spouts to catch the maple sap, and I rememberwhere that bucket was; and when I was young the boys

were, oh, so mean, that they went to that tree beforethat man had gotten out of bed in the morning, andafter he had gone to bed at night, and drank up thatsweet sap. I could swear they did it. Hedidn’t make a great deal of maple sugar fromthat tree. But one day he made the sugar so whiteand crystalline that the visitor did not believe itwas maple sugar; thought maple sugar must be red orblack. He said to the old man: “Whydon’t you make it that way and sell it for confectionery?”The old man caught his thought and invented the “rockmaple crystal,” and before that patent expiredhe had ninety thousand dollars and had built a beautifulpalace on the site of that tree. After forty yearsowning that tree he awoke to find it had fortunes ofmoney indeed in it. And many of us are rightby the tree that has a fortune for us, and we ownit, possess it, do what we will with it, but we donot learn its value because we do not see the humanneed, and in these discoveries and inventions thisis one of the most romantic things of life.

I have received letters from all over the countryand from England, where I have lectured, saying thatthey have discovered this and that, and one man outin Ohio took me through his great factories last spring,and said that they cost him $680,000, and said he,“I was not worth a cent in the world when Iheard your lecture ‘Acres of Diamonds;’but I made up my mind to stop right here and makemy fortune here, and here it is.” He showedme through his unmortgaged possessions. And thisis a continual experience now as I travel throughthe country, after these many years. I mentionthis incident, not to boast, but to show you thatyou can do the same if you will.

Who are the great inventors? I remember a goodillustration in a man who used to live in East Brookfield,Mass. He was a shoemaker, and he was out of work,and he sat around the house until his wife told himto “go out doors.” And he did whatevery husband is compelled by law to do—­heobeyed his wife. And he went out and sat downon an ash barrel in his back yard. Think of it!Stranded on an ash barrel and the enemy in possessionof the house! As he sat on that ash barrel, helooked down into that little brook which ran throughthat back yard into the meadows, and he saw a littletrout go flashing up the stream and hiding under thebank. I do not suppose he thought of Tennyson’sbeautiful poem:

“Chatter, chatter, asI flow,
To jointhe brimming river,
Men may come, and menmay go,
But I goon forever.”

But as this man looked into the brook, he leaped offthat ash barrel and managed to catch the trout withhis fingers, and sent it to Worcester. They wroteback that they would give him a five dollar bill foranother such trout as that, not that it was worththat much, but they wished to help the poor man.So this shoemaker and his wife, now perfectly united,that five dollar bill in prospect, went out to get

another trout. They went up the stream to itssource and down to the brimming river, but not anothertrout could they find in the whole stream; and so theycame home disconsolate and went to the minister.The minister didn’t know how trout grew, buthe pointed the way. Said he, “Get Seth Green’sbook, and that will give you the information you want.”They did so, and found all about the culture of trout.They found that a trout lays thirty-six hundred eggsevery year and every trout gains a quarter of a poundevery year, so that in four years a little trout willfurnish four tons per annum to sell to the marketat fifty cents a pound. When they found that,they said they didn’t believe any such storyas that, but if they could get five dollars apiecethey could make something. And right in thatsame back yard with the coal sifter up stream and windowscreen down the stream, they began the culture oftrout. They afterwards moved to the Hudson, andsince then he has become the authority in the UnitedStates upon the raising of fish, and he has been nextto the highest on the United States Fish Commissionin Washington. My lesson is that man’swealth was out there in his back yard for twenty years,but he didn’t see it until his wife drove himout with a mop stick.

I remember meeting personally a poor carpenter ofHingham, Massachusetts, who was out of work and inpoverty. His wife also drove him out of doors.He sat down on the shore and whittled a soaked shingleinto a wooden chain. His children quarreled overit in the evening, and while he was whittling a secondone, a neighbor came along and said, “Why don’tyou whittle toys if you can carve like that?”He said, “I don’t know what to make!”There is the whole thing. His neighbor said tohim: “Why don’t you ask your own children?”Said he, “What is the use of doing that?My children are different from other people’schildren.” I used to see people like thatwhen I taught school. The next morning when hisboy came down the stairway, he said, “Sam, whatdo you want for a toy?” “I want a wheelbarrow.”When his little girl came down, he asked her whatshe wanted, and she said, “I want a little doll’swashstand, a little doll’s carriage, a littledoll’s umbrella,” and went on with a wholelot of things that would have taken his lifetime tosupply. He consulted his own children right therein his own house and began to whittle out toys toplease them. He began with his jack-knife, andmade those unpainted Hingham toys. He is therichest man in the entire New England States, if Mr.Lawson is to be trusted in his statement concerningsuch things, and yet that man’s fortune was madeby consulting his own children in his own house.You don’t need to go out of your own house tofind out what to invent or what to make. I alwaystalk too long on this subject.

I would like to meet the great men who are here to-night.The great men! We don’t have any greatmen in Philadelphia. Great men! You say thatthey all come from London, or San Francisco, or Rome,or Manayunk, or anywhere else but here—­anywhereelse but Philadelphia—­and yet, in fact,there are just as great men in Philadelphia as in anycity of its size. There are great men and womenin this audience. Great men, I have said, arevery simple men. Just as many great men here asare to be found anywhere. The greatest errorin judging great men is that we think that they alwayshold an office. The world knows nothing of itsgreatest men. Who are the great men of the world?The young man and young woman may well ask the question.It is not necessary that they should hold an office,and yet that is the popular idea. That is theidea we teach now in our high schools and common schools,that the great men of the world are those who holdsome high office, and unless we change that very soonand do away with that prejudice, we are going to changeto an empire. There is no question about it.We must teach that men are great only on their intrinsicvalue, and not on the position that they may incidentallyhappen to occupy. And yet, don’t blame theyoung men saying that they are going to be great whenthey get into some official position. I ask thisaudience again who of you are going to be great?Says a young man: “I am going to be great.”“When are you going to be great?” “WhenI am elected to some political office.”Won’t you learn the lesson, young man; thatit is prima facie evidence of littleness tohold public office under our form of government?Think of it. This is a government of the people,and by the people, and for the people, and not forthe office-holder, and if the people in this countryrule as they always should rule, an office-holderis only the servant of the people, and the Bible saysthat “the servant cannot be greater than hismaster.” The Bible says that “he thatis sent cannot be greater than him who sent him.”In this country the people are the masters, and theoffice-holders can never be greater than the people;they should be honest servants of the people, butthey are not our greatest men. Young man, rememberthat you never heard of a great man holding any politicaloffice in this country unless he took that office atan expense to himself. It is a loss to everygreat man to take a public office in our country.Bear this in mind, young man, that you cannot be madegreat by a political election.

Another young man says, “I am going to be agreat man in Philadelphia some time.” “Isthat so? When are you going to be great?”“When there comes another war! When weget into difficulty with Mexico, or England, or Russia,or Japan, or with Spain again over Cuba, or with NewJersey, I will march up to the cannon’s mouth,and amid the glistening bayonets I will tear downtheir flag from its staff, and I will come home with

stars on my shoulders, and hold every office in thegift of the government, and I will be great.”“No, you won’t! No, you won’t;that is no evidence of true greatness, young man.”But don’t blame that young man for thinkingthat way; that is the way he is taught in the highschool. That is the way history is taught in college.He is taught that the men who held the office didall the fighting.

I remember we had a Peace Jubilee here in Philadelphiasoon after the Spanish war. Perhaps some of thesevisitors think we should not have had it until nowin Philadelphia, and as the great procession was goingup Broad street I was told that the tally-ho coachstopped right in front of my house, and on the coachwas Hobson, and all the people threw up their hatsand swung their handkerchiefs, and shouted “Hurrahfor Hobson!” I would have yelled too, becausehe deserves much more of his country than he has everreceived. But suppose I go into the High Schoolto-morrow and ask, “Boys, who sunk the Merrimac?”If they answer me “Hobson,” they tellme seven-eighths of a lie—­seven-eighthsof a lie, because there were eight men who sunk theMerrimac. The other seven men, by virtue of theirposition, were continually exposed to the Spanishfire, while Hobson, as an officer, might reasonablybe behind the smoke-stack. Why, my friends, inthis intelligent audience gathered here to-night Ido not believe I could find a single person that canname the other seven men who were with Hobson.Why do we teach history in that way? We oughtto teach that however humble the station a man mayoccupy, if he does his full duty in his place, heis just as much entitled to the American people’shonor as is a king upon a throne. We do teachit as a mother did her little boy in New York whenhe said, “Mamma, what great building is that?”“That is General Grant’s tomb.”“Who was General Grant?” “He wasthe man who put down the rebellion.” Isthat the way to teach history?

Do you think we would have gained a victory if ithad depended on General Grant alone? Oh, no.Then why is there a tomb on the Hudson at all?Why, not simply because General Grant was personallya great man himself, but that tomb is there becausehe was a representative man and represented two hundredthousand men who went down to death for their nationand many of them as great as General Grant. Thatis why that beautiful tomb stands on the heights overthe Hudson.

I remember an incident that will illustrate this,the only one that I can give to-night. I am ashamedof it, but I don’t dare leave it out. Iclose my eyes now; I look back through the years to1863; I can see my native town in the Berkshire Hills,I can see that cattle-show ground filled with people;I can see the church there and the town hall crowded,and hear bands playing, and see flags flying and handkerchiefsstreaming—­well do I recall at this momentthat day. The people had turned out to receive

a company of soldiers, and that company came marchingup on the Common. They had served out one termin the Civil War and had reenlisted, and they werebeing received by their native townsmen. I wasbut a boy, but I was captain of that company, puffedout with pride on that day—­why, a cambricneedle would have burst me all to pieces. AsI marched on the Common at the head of my company,there was not a man more proud than I. We marchedinto the town hall and then they seated my soldiersdown in the center of the house and I took my placedown on the front seat, and then the town officersfiled through the great throng of people, who stoodclose and packed in that little hall. They cameup on the platform, formed a half circle around it,and the mayor of the town, the “chairman ofthe Selectmen” in New England, took his seatin the middle of that half circle. He was an oldman, his hair was gray; he never held an office beforein his life. He thought that an office was allhe needed to be a truly great man, and when he cameup he adjusted his powerful spectacles and glancedcalmly around the audience with amazing dignity.Suddenly his eyes fell upon me, and then the goodold man came right forward and invited me to come upon the stand with the town officers. Invitedme up on the stand! No town officer ever tooknotice of me before I went to war. Now, I shouldnot say that. One town officer was there whoadvised the teacher to “whale” me, butI mean no “honorable mention.” SoI was invited up on the stand with the town officers.I took my seat and let my sword fall on the floor,and folded my arms across my breast and waited tobe received. Napoleon the Fifth! Pride goethbefore destruction and a fall. When I had gottenmy seat and all became silent through the hall, thechairman of the Selectmen arose and came forward withgreat dignity to the table, and we all supposed hewould introduce the Congregational minister, who wasthe only orator in the town, and who would give theoration to the returning soldiers. But, friends,you should have seen the surprise that ran over thataudience when they discovered that this old farmerwas going to deliver that oration himself. Hehad never made a speech in his life before, but hefell into the same error that others have fallen into,he seemed to think that the office would make himan orator. So he had written out a speech andwalked up and down the pasture until he had learnedit by heart and frightened the cattle, and he broughtthat manuscript with him, and taking it from his pocket,he spread it carefully upon the table. Then headjusted his spectacles to be sure that he might seeit, and walked far back on the platform and then steppedforward like this. He must have studied the subjectmuch, for he assumed an elocutionary attitude; herested heavily upon his left heel, slightly advancedthe right foot, threw back his shoulders, opened theorgans of speech, and advanced his right hand at anangle of forty-five. As he stood in that elocutionaryattitude this is just the way that speech went, thisis it precisely. Some of my friends have askedme if I do not exaggerate it, but I could not exaggerateit. Impossible! This is the way it went;although I am not here for the story but the lessonthat is back of it:

“Fellow citizens.” As soon as heheard his voice, his hand began to shake like that,his knees began to tremble, and then he shook all over.He coughed and choked and finally came around to lookat his manuscript. Then he began again:“Fellow citizens: We—­are—­weare—­we are—­we are—­Weare very happy—­we are very happy—­weare very happy—­to welcome back to theirnative town these soldiers who have fought and bled—­andcome back again to their native town. We are especially—­weare especially—­we are especially—­weare especially pleased to see with us to-day thisyoung hero (that meant me)—­this young herowho in imagination (friends, remember, he said “imagination,”for if he had not said that, I would not be egotisticalenough to refer to it)—­this young herowho, in imagination, we have seen leading his troops—­leading—­wehave seen leading—­we have seen leading histroops on to the deadly breach. We have seenhis shining—­his shining—­we haveseen his shining—­we have seen his shining—­hisshining sword—­flashing in the sunlightas he shouted to his troops, ‘Come on!’”

Oh, dear, dear, dear, dear! How little that good,old man knew about war. If he had known anythingabout war, he ought to have known what any soldierin this audience knows is true, that it is next toa crime for an officer of infantry ever in time ofdanger to go ahead of his men. I, with my shiningsword flashing in the sunlight, shouting to my troops:“Come on.” I never did it. Doyou suppose I would go ahead of my men to be shotin the front by the enemy and in the back by my ownmen? That is no place for an officer. Theplace for the officer is behind the private soldierin actual fighting. How often, as a staff officer,I rode down the line when the Rebel cry and yell wascoming out of the woods, sweeping along over the fields,and shouted, “Officers to the rear! Officersto the rear!” and then every officer goes behindthe line of battle, and the higher the officer’srank, the farther behind he goes. Not becausehe is any the less brave, but because the laws of warrequire that to be done. If the general came upon the front line and were killed you would lose yourbattle anyhow, because he has the plan of the battlein his brain, and must be kept in comparative safety.I, with my “shining sword flashing in the sunlight.”Ah! There sat in the hall that day men who hadgiven that boy their last hard-tack, who had carriedhim on their backs through deep rivers. But somewere not there; they had gone down to death for theircountry. The speaker mentioned them, but theywere but little noticed, and yet they had gone downto death for their country, gone down for a causethey believed was right and still believe was right,though I grant to the other side the same that I askfor myself. Yet these men who had actually diedfor their country were little noticed, and the heroof the hour was this boy. Why was he the hero?Simply because that man fell into that same foolishness.

This boy was an officer, and those were only privatesoldiers. I learned a lesson that I will neverforget. Greatness consists not in holding someoffice; greatness really consists in doing some greatdeed with little means, in the accomplishment of vastpurposes from the private ranks of life; that is truegreatness. He who can give to this people betterstreets, better homes, better schools, better churches,more religion, more of happiness, more of God, he thatcan be a blessing to the community in which he livesto-night will be great anywhere, but he who cannotbe a blessing where he now lives will never be greatanywhere on the face of God’s earth. “Welive in deeds, not years, in feeling, not in figureson a dial; in thoughts, not breaths; we should counttime by heart throbs, in the cause of right.”Bailey says: “He most lives who thinks most.”

If you forget everything I have said to you, do notforget this, because it contains more in two linesthan all I have said. Bailey says: “Hemost lives who thinks most, who feels the noblest,and who acts the best.”



Delivered at the Funeral of Balzac, August 20, 1850.

Gentlemen: The man who now goes down into thistomb is one of those to whom public grief pays homage.

In one day all fictions have vanished. The eyeis fixed not only on the heads that reign, but onheads that think, and the whole country is moved whenone of those heads disappears. To-day we havea people in black because of the death of the manof talent; a nation in mourning for a man of genius.

Gentlemen, the name of Balzac will be mingled in theluminous trace our epoch will leave across the future.

Balzac was one of that powerful generation of writersof the nineteenth century who came after Napoleon,as the illustrious Pleiad of the seventeenth centurycame after Richelieu,—­as if in the developmentof civilization there were a law which gives conquerorsby the intellect as successors to conquerors by thesword.

Balzac was one of the first among the greatest, oneof the highest among the best. This is not theplace to tell all that constituted this splendid andsovereign intelligence. All his books form butone book,—­a book living, luminous, profound,where one sees coming and going and marching and moving,with I know not what of the formidable and terrible,mixed with the real, all our contemporary civilization;—­amarvelous book which the poet entitled “a comedy”and which he could have called history; which takesall forms and all style, which surpasses Tacitus andSuetonius; which traverses Beaumarchais and reachesRabelais;—­a book which realizes observationand imagination, which lavishes the true, the esoteric,the commonplace, the trivial, the material, and whichat times through all realities, swiftly and grandlyrent away, allows us all at once a glimpse of a mostsombre and tragic ideal. Unknown to himself,whether he wished it or not, whether he consentedor not, the author of this immense and strange workis one of the strong race of Revolutionist writers.Balzac goes straight to the goal.

Body to body he seizes modern society; from all hewrests something, from these an illusion, from thosea hope; from one a catch-word, from another a mask.He ransacked vice, he dissected passion. He searchedout and sounded man, soul, heart, entrails, brain,—­theabyss that each one has within himself. And bygrace of his free and vigorous nature; by a privilegeof the intellect of our time, which, having seen revolutionsface to face, can see more clearly the destiny of humanityand comprehend Providence better,—­Balzacredeemed himself smiling and severe from those formidablestudies which produced melancholy in Moliere and misanthropyin Rousseau.

This is what he has accomplished among us, this isthe work which he has left us,—­a work loftyand solid,—­a monument robustly piled inlayers of granite, from the height of which hereafterhis renown shall shine in splendor. Great menmake their own pedestal, the future will be answerablefor the statue.

His death stupefied Paris! Only a few monthsago he had come back to France. Feeling thathe was dying, he wished to see his country again,as one who would embrace his mother on the eve of adistant voyage. His life was short, but full,more filled with deeds than days.

Alas! this powerful worker, never fatigued, this philosopher,this thinker, this poet, this genius, has lived amongus that life of storm, of strife, of quarrels andcombats, common in all times to all great men.To-day he is at peace. He escapes contention andhatred. On the same day he enters into gloryand the tomb. Thereafter beyond the clouds, whichare above our heads, he will shine among the starsof his country. All you who are here, are younot tempted to envy him?

Whatever may be our grief in presence of such a loss,let us accept these catastrophes with resignation!Let us accept in it whatever is distressing and severe;it is good perhaps, it is necessary perhaps, in anepoch like ours, that from time to time the great deadshall communicate to spirits devoured with skepticismand doubt, a religious fervor. Providence knowswhat it does when it puts the people face to facewith the supreme mystery and when it gives them deathto reflect on,—­death which is supreme equality,as it is also supreme liberty. Providence knowswhat it does, since it is the greatest of all instructors.

There can be but austere and serious thoughts in allhearts when a sublime spirit makes its majestic entranceinto another life, when one of those beings who havelong soared above the crowd on the visible wings ofgenius, spreading all at once other wings which wedid not see, plunges swiftly into the unknown.

No, it is not the unknown; no, I have said it on anothersad occasion and I shall repeat it to-day, it is notnight, it is light. It is not the end, it isthe beginning! It is not extinction, it is eternity!Is it not true, my hearers, such tombs as this demonstrateimmortality? In presence of the illustrious dead,we feel more distinctly the divine destiny of thatintelligence which traverses the earth to suffer andto purify itself,—­which we call man.


[Footnote 37: Saguntum was a city of Iberia (Spain)in alliance with Rome. Hannibal, in spite ofRome’s warnings in 219 B.C., laid siege to andcaptured it. This became the immediate cause ofthe war which Rome declared against Carthage.]

[Footnote 38: From his speech in Washington onMarch 13, 1905, before the National Congress of Mothers.Printed from a copy furnished by the president forthis collection, in response to a request.]

[Footnote 39: Used by permission.]

[Footnote 40: Reported by A. Russell Smith andHarry E. Greager. Used by permission.

On May 21, 1914, when Dr. Conwell delivered this lecturefor the five thousandth time, Mr. John Wanamaker saidthat if the proceeds had been put out at compoundinterest the sum would aggregate eight millions ofdollars. Dr. Conwell has uniformly devoted hislecturing income to works of benevolence.]


Names of speakers and writers referred to are setin CAPITALS. Other references are printed in“lower case,” or “small,” type.Because of the large number of fragmentary quotationsmade from speeches and books, no titles are indexed,but all such material will be found indexed underthe name of its author.


Accentuation, 150.



After-Dinner Speaking, 362-370.

Analogy, 223.

Analysis, 225.

Anecdote, 251-255; 364.

Anglo-Saxon words, 338.

Antithesis, 222.

Applause, 317.

Argument, 280-294.


Articulation, 148-149.

Association of ideas, 347, 348.

Attention, 346, 347.

Auditory images, 324, 348, 349.


BACON, FRANCIS, 225, 226, 362.



BALDWIN, C.S., 16, 92.

BARRIE, JAMES M., 339-341.

BATES, ARLO, 222-223.

BEECHER, HENRY WARD, 3, 6, 31, 76-78;
113, 139, 186, 188, 223, 265, 275, 343,346, 351-352.



BEVERIDGE, ALBERT, J., 22, 35, 46, 67, 107, 470-483.




Books, 191-197; 207-210.

Breathing, 129-131.

Briefs, 177, 210-214, 290-294.




BRYAN, WILLIAM JENNINGS, 32, 60, 116, 157, 269, 273-277,302, 448-464.




BYRON, LORD, 64, 87, 145, 188, 189, 199.





CARLYLE, THOMAS, 42, 57, 105, 109, 194, 218, 249,277-278.

CATO, 356, 372.


Change of pace, 39-49.

Character, 357-358.


Charm, 134-144.


CHOATE, RUFUS, 464-469.


CICERO, 115.

Classification, 224.





COMFORT, W.L., 235.

Comparison, 19.

Conceit, 4.

Concentration, 3, 57, 80-84; 346-347; 374.

Confidence, 1-8; 184, 263-275; 350, 358-360.

Contrast, 19, 222.

Conversation, 372-377.

CONWELL, RUSSELL, 200, 483-503.

CORNWALL, BARRY, 138, 184.




Crowd, Influencing the, 262-278; 308-320.

Ctesiphon, 116.



DANA, CHARLES, 18, 200.


DANTE, 106.


Debate, Questions for, 290, 379-382.

Definition, 222, 224.

Delivery, methods of, 171-181.




DE QUINCEY, THOMAS, 255-256; 338

Description, 231-247.

DICKENS, CHARLES, 5, 234, 246, 247.

Discarding, 224.

DISRAELI, ISAAC, 101, 321.

Distinctness, 146-152.

Division, 224, 225.


Egotism, 376.

EMERSON, RALPH WALDO, 10, 97, 103, 104, 105, 122,144, 168, 188, 201, 231, 295, 321, 357, 362, 372.

Emphasis, 16-24; 31-32; 47, 73.

Enthusiasm, 101-109; 267, 304, 311.

Enunciation, 150-152.


Example, 223.

Exposition, 218-228.

Extemporaneous Speech, 179.


Facial Expression, 163.

Feeling, 101-109; 240, 264-265; 295-305; 312, 317,320.

Figures of speech, 235, 277, 331.


Fluency, 115-123; 179, 184-197, 354, 373.

Force, 87-97.




Generalization, 226.

GENUNG, JOHN FRANKLIN, 55, 92, 220, 226, 281.


Gesture, 150-168.


GLADSTONE, WILLIAM E., 2, 8, 124, 157, 372.

GOETHE, J.W. VON, 117, 372.


GORDON, G.B., 365-366.

GOUGH, JOHN B., 188.

GRADY, HENRY W., 38, 240-242; 252-253; 268, 365, 425-438.


Gustatory images, 325, 348.


Habit, 190, 349.


HAMLET, 88-89; 152-153.

HANco*ck, PROF. ALBERT E., 335.

HART, J.M., 338.

HAY, JOHN, 443-448.



HENRY, O., 247, 328-329.

HENRY, PATRICK, 22, 102, 103, 107, 110-112; 201, 271,276.

HESIOD, 146.

HILL, A.S., 92, 281.

HILLIS, NEWELL DWIGHT, 24, 32, 191-193; 273-274; 394-402.

HOAR, GEORGE, 296-297.

HOBSON, RICHMOND PEARSON, 285-286; 287-289.


HOLMES, G.C.V., 226.



HOMER, 146, 235.



HUGO, VICTOR, 107, 503-505.

Humor, 251-255; 363-365.

HUXLEY, T.H., 227.


Imagination, 321-333.

Imitation, 335-336.

Inflection, 69-74.


IRVING, WASHINGTON, 5, 235, 236, 246.









KIPLING, RUDYARD, 4, 299-300.





Library, Use of a, 207-210.

LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, 50, 107, 166.


LOCKE, JOHN, 188, 343.

LONGFELLOW, H.W., 117, 124, 136.







MCKINLEY, WILLIAM, Last Speech, 438-442;
Tribute to, by John Hay, 443.


Memory, 343-354.





Monotony, Evils of, 10-12;
How to conquer, 12-14; 44.

MORLEY, JOHN, 403-410.

MOSES, 115.

Motor images, 324, 348.




NAPOLEON, 13, 104, 141, 184, 321.

Narration, 249-260.

Naturalness, 14, 29, 58, 70.

Notes, see Briefs.


Observation, 167-168; 186-188; 206-207; 223, 227,350.

Occasional speaking, 362-370.

Olfactory images, 325, 348.

Outline of speech, 212-214.


Pace, Change of, 30-49.





PAUL, 2, 107.

Pause, 55-64.

Personality, 355-360.

Persuasion, 295-307.



PHILLIPS, WENDELL, 25-26; 34-35; 38, 72, 97, 99-100.

Pitch, change of, 27-35;
low, 32, 69.


Platitudes, 376, 377.

POPE, ALEXANDER, 122, 175, 231.

Posture, 165.

Practise, Necessity for, 2, 14, 118.

Precision of utterance, 146-152.

Preparation, 4-5; 179, 184-215; 362-365.


Proportion, 205.





Reading, 191-197.

REDWAY, 170.

Reference to Experience, 226.

Repetition in memorizing, 348.

Reserve power, 184-197.

Right thinking, 355-360.



ROOSEVELT, THEODORE, 275, 416-422.

RUSKIN, JOHN, 89, 90, 188.



SAVONAROLA, 158, 161.


SCHAEFER, NATHAN C., 262, 355.


SCHILLER, J.C.F., 117.



Self-confidence, See Confidence.

Self-consciousness, 1-8.

SEWARD, W.H., 65-68.

SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM, 22, 32, 82, 88-89; 122, 152-153;161, 164, 227, 295, 302, 312-317; 321.

SHEPPARD, NATHAN, 147, 156, 170.

SIDDONS, MRS., 48, 70.


Sincerity, 109.



Stage fright, 1-8.

STEVENSON, R.L., 122, 196, 201, 238, 242-243; 335-336.


Subject, Choosing a, 201-204.

Subjects for speeches and debates, 121-123; 379-393.

Suggestion, 262-278; 308-320.

SUNDAY, “BILLY,” 90, 158.

Suspense, 59-61.

Syllogism, 286.


Tactile images, 325, 348.


Tempo, 39-49.

TENNYSON, ALFRED, 121, 141-143.


THOREAU, H.D., 188.

Thought, 184-197; 265, 347, 355-360.


Titles, 215.

TOOMBS, ROBERT, 410-415.

TWAIN, MARK, 343, 363, 365.



Visualizing, 323, 348, 349.

Vocabulary, 334-341.

Voice, 32, 124-144.



WATTERSON, HENRY, 303, 402-403.

WEBSTER, DANIEL, 2, 73, 103, 109, 201, 278;
Eulogy of, by Rufus Choate, 464-469.



WESCOTT, JOHN W., 424-425.



Will power, 356-359; 373, 375.

Words, 92, 93, 336-341; 374.



The Art of Public Speaking eBook (2024)


How many people have glossophobia? ›

Glossophobia is a social anxiety disorder where someone fears public speaking. It is a common condition, affecting 15–30% of people globally. Those with glossophobia may experience various symptoms, both physical or more psychological.

What is the art of public speaking summary? ›

Brief summary

"The Art of Public Speaking" by Dale Carnegie and J.B. Esenwein is a guidebook for improving public speaking skills. It provides practical tips for overcoming nervousness, engaging the audience, and delivering effective speeches.

How long does it take to master public speaking? ›

If I have time to explain, then I say: It takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. However, to advance your career, your income, or your business, you don't need to be a master of public speaking – all you need to be is good at it, and that takes far fewer hours than the 10,000.

Is public speaking a talent or a skill? ›

Public speaking is an important skill. It lends itself to leadership, influence and is sought-after in the art of communication. It is also quite a rare skill to possess, and in an age of ever-increasing digital technology, not many people intentionally nurture it.

What is the #1 rule of public speaking? ›

Focus on the audience

When you are preparing your speech and when you're giving your speech, it's important to focus on your audience. Your speech should be tailored to the group you're speaking to, their interest in your topic and the general level of knowledge they have about the topic.

What is the golden rule of public speaking? ›

The Golden Rule: Respect Your Audience.

Is public speaking a hard skill? ›

And here's the rub: Public speaking skills are just as much about ability as hard skills are AND are learned through schooling and experience on the job. The process of learning soft skills vs. hard skills is the SAME. And measuring success is just as palpable in both.

What is hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia? ›

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia refers to the phobia or fear of long words. Feelings of shame or fear of ridicule for mispronouncing long words may cause distress or anxiety. Phobia isn't officially recognized as a diagnosis, so more research is needed.

Why am I so scared of public speaking? ›

Speaking to an audience makes us vulnerable to rejection, much like our ancestors' fear. A common fear in public speaking is the brain freeze. The prospect of having an audience's attention while standing in silence feels like judgment and rejection.

What is it called when you hate being alone? ›

Autophobia, or monophobia, makes you feel extremely anxious when you're alone. This fear of being alone can affect your relationships, social life and career. You may also have a fear of abandonment that stems from a traumatic childhood experience.

How to master the art of public speaking? ›

Preparation is key: Thoroughly prepare your speech or presentation, and rehearse it multiple times. This will boost your confidence and reduce anxiety by making you more familiar with the content. 3. Visualize success: Imagine yourself delivering a successful speech.

Is public speaking an art or a skill? ›

It is an art because to be effective you have to craft and deliver your presentation extremely mindfully and very creatively. Great communication doesn't just happen, it has to be thought about very carefully and prepared, structured and expressed with excellence and eloquence.


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