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having chewed and digested your subject beforehand. Remember that the pen is the corrector of vagueness of thought and expression. 'Always prepare, investigate, compose a speech,' said Rufus Choate to a student, pen in hand. Webster always wrote when he could get a chance.' In his journal, May, 1843, he wrote:

I am not to forget that I am, and must be, if I would live, a student of forensic rhetoric. . . . A wide and anxious survey of that art and that science teaches me that careful, constant writing is the parent of ripe speech. It has no other. But that writing must always be rhetorical writing, that is, such as might in some parts of some speech be uttered to a listening audience. It is to be composed as in and for the presence of an audience. So it is to be intelligible, perspicuous, pointed, terse; with image, epithet, turn; advancing and impulsive; full of generalizations, maxims, illustrating the sayings of the wise.

'My dear fellow,' said Curran to Philips, 'the day of inspiration has gone by. Everything I ever said, which was worth remembering-my de bene esses, my white horses, as I call them were all carefully prepared.' Demosthenes was so diligent in his preparation, that his enemies said his orations smelt of the lamp. Brougham declares the perfection of public speaking to consist in introducing a prepared passage with effect. On this point, all that can be wisely said perhaps is summed up in the subjoined passage:

While speeches should not, except in rare cases, be written out and memorized entire, yet important passages, we think, should be; and, in every case where one is to speak on an important occasion, he should make himself so completely master of his theme by patient thought and frequent use of the pen, that the substance and the method, the matter and the order, of his ideas shall be perfectly familiar to him. Nor is it enough that he possess himself of sharply defined thoughts, and the precise order of their delivery; he must brood over them hour by hour till the fire burns,' and the mind glows with them-till not only the arguments and illustrations have been supplied to the memory, but the most felicitous terms, the most

vivid, pregnant, and salient phrases, have been suggested, which he will recall to an extent that will surprise him, by the matter in which they are imbedded, and with which they are connected by the laws of association. Proceeding in this way, he will unite, in a great measure, the advantage of the written and the spoken styles. Avoiding the miserable bondage of the speaker who servilely adheres to manuscript—a procedure which produces, where the effort of memory has not been perfect, a feeling of constraint and frigidity in the delivery, and where it has been perfect, an appearance of artificiality in the composition - he will weave into his discourse the passages which he has polished to the last degree of art, and he will introduce also anything that occurs during the inspiration of delivery.1

Yet again, do not fear to be seen in your own proper figure, and remember always that the body is more than raiment. Be concerned, first and supremely, to be intelligible; then to be interesting, attractive. Few that have listened to the eloquence of the late Bishop Simpson would have dreamed that the master-speaker who stood before them was, in his early youth, marked out from his fellows by his lack of power to speak attractively. Yet so it was. And the Bishop's words, in telling of that period and of the way in which he acquired the power which in his subsequent life was so markedly his, are so suggestive that they are worth repeating here. At school,' he says, 'the one thing I could not do was to speak. It cost me unspeakable effort to bring myself to attempt it, and I was invariably mortified by my failures. At length, having felt called to the ministry, I sought to forget myself as far as possible, and, banishing all thoughts of oratory, to give myself absolutely to the task of saying things so that people could readily understand them. And that is the fundamental secret of all true eloquence.

1 Dr. Mathews.



God to his untaught children sent

Law, order, knowledge, art, from high,

And ev'ry heav'nly favour lent,

The world's hard lot to qualify.

They knew not how they should behave,

For all from Heav'n stark-naked came;

But Poetry their garments gave,

And then not one had cause for shame.-GOETHE.

The sense of beauty enters into the highest philosophy, as in Plato. The highest poet must be a philosopher, accomplished like Dante, or intuitive like Shakespeare.--GLADSTONE.


HE world lives backward in memory as well as forward in hope. In the past are the heart's dead kindred. There are the great who rule our spirits from their urns; there our joys reappear as purer and more brilliant than they were experienced. There sorrow loses its bitterness, and is changed into a sort of pleasing recollection. I love everything that's old,' says Goldsmith; and Sir William Temple, alluding to the charm of antiquity, quotes the king of Aragon as saying: 'Among so many things as are by men possessed or pursued in the whole course of their lives, all the rest are baubles beside old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to converse with, and old books to read.'

That distance thus quickens the play of the imagination is the chief reason why you may observe in the poets, as already exemplified, a certain infusion of the antique element, which in ordinary modern prose is either unknown or quite exceptional-'thou,' 'thy,' 'a-weary,'

‘a-gone,' 'ken,' 'dire,' 'ire,' 'list,' 'ere,' 'surcease,' 'whilom,' 'wight,' 'sooth,' 'sith,' 'erst,' etc.

You have also observed the marked distinction between the prose writer and the poet in the latter's use of enallage the constant use, for instance, of the adjective for the adverb, as in

A braying ass

Did sing most loud and clear.-Cowper.

The sower stalks

With measur'd step, and liberal throws the grain.—


The poet's partiality for terse and euphonious compounds can hardly have escaped your attention. How forceful and beautiful are Longfellow's care-encumbered men,' Milton's 'young-eyed cherubim,' Shakespeare's black-browed night,' Homer's 'cloud-compelling Jove,' 'far-darting Apollo,' 'silver-footed Thetis,' 'many-sounding sea.' These, indeed, are only a more resonant variety of those descriptive and qualifying expressions known, in general, as epithets, which, while exhibited in their full splendor and harmony in our most vigorous prose, as Carlyle's, are most frequent in poetical composition, and happily so. You are familiar with Gray's oft-quoted


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.

Now consider how much is lost by a critic's proposed omission of the epithets:

The curfew tolls the knell of day,

The herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his way,
And leaves the world to me.

Now fades the landscape on the sight,
And all the air a stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his flight,

And tinklings lull the folds.

In this respect Shelley surpasses all poets since the age of Elizabeth:

Beneath is a wide plain of billowy mist,

Encinctured by the dark and blooming forests,
Dim twilight lawns and stream-illumined caves,
And wind-enchanted shapes of wandering mist;
And far on high the keen sky-cleaving mountains
From icy spires of sun-light radiance fling

The dawn.

All epithets may be said to illustrate a more or less spontaneous device of the mind to call up some image that shall carry the dry fact into the heart with compact, rose-tinted vividness. The prose statement is condemned as 'over-florid' and 'affected' long before it displays that profusion of imagery which is allowed in the poetic. The more spiritual and sympathetic the insight, the richer will be the colors, the more uplifting the life, the finer the æsthetic glow. Let the following suffice for further illustration:

And winter, slumbering in the open air,

Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring.—Coleridge.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music

Creep into our ears; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

Sit, Jessica: look how the floor of heaven

Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;

There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings,

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim.—Shakespeare.

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