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EDWIN Dubois shurter 

Associate Professor of Public Speaking in the 
University of Texas 



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Copyright, 1908 

6 10. 1 



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This book, the result of practical experience in the 
class room, has been prepared to supply a treatise on 
extempore speaking, primarily for school and college 
students. The general principles of the science and 
art of extempore speech were fully treated by Quintilian 
and others in ancient times, and are also set forth in 
such modem books as Bautain's **Art of Extempore 
Speaking,*' Pittenger's "Extempore Speech,** Buckley's 
** Extemporaneous Oratory,** Thomas Wentworth Hig- 
ginson*s " Hints on Writing and Speech-Making,** and 
Brander Matthews* "Notes on Speech-Making.** While 
these authors have been freely consulted in the prepa- 
ration of this book, their treatises are not adaptable 
for use' as text-books. The present volume aims to 
present the subject in a manner adapted to the needs of 
both teachers and students, by reclassifying principles 
and methods, making the methods as specific in treat- 
nlent as possible, and by adding, at the end of each 
chapter and in the Appendix, suggestions and topics 
for class exercises. A large number of modem speeches 
have also been incorporated, in order that there might 

be no lack of illustrative material. 

E. D. S. 

The University of Texas 



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The Desirability of Training Students in Extempore Speech 
— Extempore Speaking for Preparatory and High Schools — 
Can the Extempore Method be Acquired? — Testimony and 
Experiences of Noted Orators. 


Distinguished from Memoriter and Impromptu — Exercises 
— Examples : Speeches by Sargent S. Prentiss, Joseph 
Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and 
William J. Bryan. 


Reading from Manuscript — Speaking Memoriter — Writing 
in Part and Extemporizing in Part — Extempore Speaking — 
Impromptu Speaking — Exercises — Examples : Speeches 
by George William Curtis, Francis M. Finch, Edward Everett 
Hafe, Fitzhugh Lee, Richard Oglesby, Theodore L. Cuyler, 
Henry Watterson, and John Hay. 

S1>EAKING 61-70 

Cultivation of the Mental Faculties — Relation of Speaker 
and Hearers — Adaptation to the Occasion — Personal Grap- 
ple with the Audience — Exercises. 


A General Preparation — Gathering Speech Material — 
Reading — Writing — Acquiring a Vocabulary — Practice — 


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Analysis of the Subject — Reading for Amplification — Out- 
line of the Speech — Methods of Outlining — The Final 
Outline to be Memorized — Silent Speaking — Exercises — 
Examples: Speeches by St. Clair McKelway, Henry W. 
Grady, Theodore L. Cuyler, Benjamin Harrison, and Henry 
van Dyke. 


Unity — Clearness — Concreteness — Proportion — Move- \ 

ment — Leaving Definite Impressions — Improvement \ 

through Practice and Review — Exercises — Examples : 1 

Speeches by Wendell Phillips, Theodore L. Cuyler, Carl / 
Schurz, George Cary Eggleston, and Phillips Brooks. 


As to Length and Style — Adaptation to Audience and 
Occasion — Examples of Different Styles — Exercises. 

EXERCISES 155-176 

INDEX 177-178 


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Writing on the education of an orator, in his " Insti- 
tutes of Oratory/' Quintilian says that "the richest 
fruit of all our study, and the most ample recompense 
for the extent of our labor, is the faculty of speaking 
extempore, . . . There arise indeed innumerable occa- 
sions where it is absolutely necessary to speak on the 
instant. What system of pleading will allow of an orator 
being unprepared for sudden calls ? What is to be done 
when we have to reply to an opponent ? What profit 
does much writing, constant reading, and a long period 
of life spent in study, bring us, if there remains with us 
the same difficulty in speaking that we felt at first ? . . . 
Not that I make it an object that an orator should prefer 
to speak extempore ; I only wish that he should be able 
to do so." 

If " the faculty of speaking extempore " — of thinking 
on one's feet — was a need in Quintilian's time, how 
much more frequent arid constant is the demand at the 
present time, under the conditions of American life and 
government. What are the schools and colleges doing 
to meet this demand ? Of those institutions where any 
instruction at all is offered in public speaking, the vast 


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•'. fe:.-: •/:•*•••:: bx^teMpore speaking 

majority, probably, carry the student no farther than 
practice in speaking declamations and memorized ora- 
tions. But the training of the student for practical 
life, — training him in the power of rising before an 
audience and expressing his thoughts in his own lan- 
guage, — this is rarely attempted. True, there has 
been some change in recent years. The revival of 
intercollegiate debating, and the increased attention 
being given in schools and colleges to instruction and 
practice in debate, are significant departures from the 
old-time school and college oratory ; and an. openly 
avowed movement in the same direction is the pro- 
posed organization of state universities for the pur- 
pose of holding contests in extempore speaking. In 
their preliminary announcement the promoters of this 
movement say : 

" We are conceiving of the cultivation of oratory not 
as an acquisition of arts of rhetoric and elocution alone, 
but rather as including also development of all the intel- 
lectual and personal powers required for the work of the 
public speaker in dealing with living problems ; and we 
propose a radical departure from the present method in 
oratorical contests, and approve the plan suggested by 
Professor Edgar George Frazier, head of the department 
of public speaking at the University of Kansas, in ac- 
cordance with which memorized declamations shall be 
replaced by the discussion of some question of great 
import, upon which the contestants shall have made 
thorough preparation, while the particular phase of 
the subject to which any one speaker in a contest 
shall confine himself shall be unknown until the day 
of competition.*' 


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These words may well be heeded by every teacher of 
public speaking. How often do we find that the school 
or college graduate who has won prizes with memorized 
orations is handicapped in the actual contents of after life, 
when he finds that memorized speeches will not always 
avail him. On the other hand, his classmate who failed 
to win prizes with set speeches, but who has learned to 
think on his feet, carries causes and wins verdicts. 


The question may be raised. Can extempore speak- 
ing be advantageously taught to pupils in preparatory 
and high schools ? Unquestionably yes ; but of course 
any plan adopted must be suited to the ages of the 

Every thoughtful teacher must certainly admit that 
the results of such efforts as are at present made to 
teach pubUc speaking in the schools are unsatisfactory. 
And these unsatisfactory results — there are doubtless 
many exceptions, but speaking generally — are due not 
so much to lack of time as to wrong methods. Though 
there has been general improvement in recent years, we 
are still too much under the influence of the traditional 
elocutionist. The teachers who are trained at all to teach 
public speaking come largely from schools where the idea 
of entertainment — not conviction or persuasion — is 
paramount. There is no true conception of the sort of j ^ 
public speaking that students need. The practical needs 
of the future citizen are lost sight of, and much of the 
instruction given is fitted only to the clown or the actor. 


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If a boy or girl can, with approved screechings and contor- 
tions, present "The Midnight Ride of Jennie McNeal," 
or " Curfew Shall Not Ring To-Night," or can render 
a story or poem in dialect, the teacher's ambition is ful- 
filled and the parent's cup of joy is full, however excru- 
ciating the performance to the average hearer. Hence 
the general prejudice among educators against elocu- 
tionary training ; and not until we eliminate the sort of 
training above described can we hope — or deserve — 
to see this prejudice removed. I would not be under- 
stood to decry all reciting or declaiming. If a girl recites 
from the standard poets or other good literature, or the 
boy declaims selections from good speeches on questions 
of the day, the practice is valuable in many ways. But 
in the schools generally, is there not too much mere 
declaiming? Cannot instruction in public speaking be 
made more practical ? Why not give pupils training in 
that sort of speaking they will be called upon to practice 
in actual life ? 

Let the pupils have practice in telling what they 
know, without memorizing the language in advance. 
They do this in a way, to be sure, in class-room recita- 
/ . tions ; and let the extempore exercises be in the nature 
/ of a class recitation, without questions or interruptions 
i by the teacher. Thus will the pupils learn to ta/k in the 
presence of an audience, and that is the very sort of 
speaking they should learn. This plan has the further 
advantage of requiring no special training on the part 
of the teacher. How the plan can be adapted in a par- 
ticular school is, of course, for the individual teacher 
to work out. Some general suggestions, however, may 
Ipful. Whenever the curriculum provides for 



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instruction in public speaking, by all means let some 
time, especially with advanced students, be devoted to 
class exercises in speaking extempore. When no regu- 
lar instruction is provided, let fifteen, twenty, or thirty 
minutes be set aside on two, three, or even the five days 
of the school week, and immediately following the open- 
ing exercises, for what may be termed " morning talks." 
At first let the teacher announce some general subject, 
and assign topics on this subject to a certain number 
of the more advanced pupils. Several mornings, for 
example, might be devoted respectively to Shakespeare, 
Emerson, Longfellow, and other noted authors. Let one 
pupil give a brief biographical sketch, another a history 
of a certain play, or poem, or book, another a quotation 
therefrom, and so on with other productions of the author. 
With a view to leading up to extempore speaking proper, 
several more mornings might well be devoted to calling 
for miscellaneous quotations from standard authors, two 
or three such periods, perhaps, being assigned to the 
class in English literature. And then a large number 
of exercises could be devoted to talks, each about three 
minutes in length, on current events and questions of 
the day. The exercises could occasionally be varied by 
having debates, preferably on questions of local interest, 
assigning in advance the affirmative and negative leaders 
and their respective colleagues. 

In conducting these exercises, eliminate, so far as 
possible, the horror which the average pupil feels to- 
ward rhetorical exercises. Do not call the speakers to 
the platform, let them simply rise from their seats and 
speak with the audience about them, as they would in 
a class recitation. Aside from requiring pupils to speak 


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1 distinctly enough to be heard, do not, especially in the 
earlier efforts, stimulate self-consciousness by criticising 
their delivery. The interest should chiefly center in what 
they say, and the aim should be to direct the pupils' 
minds to this point of view. 

If the schedule of recitations will not permit these 
morning talks, substitute similar exercises, at least 
occasionally, for the Friday afternoon rhetoricals. In 
order to allow more, or all, of the pupils to take part, 
the school may be divided into as many sections as 
there are teachers, each teacher meeting one of the 
sections in his or her recitation room. 

The individual teacher will, of course, devise other 
means and ways to meet local conditions. In any event, 
some such informal talks as have been suggested will be 
found a vast improvement, in interest and in practical 
results, over the usual school rhetorical. The author has 
observed ^ the ** morning talks " above described during 
several years* trial, and can testify to their practicability, 
their interest, and their efficiency in dej^elopkig in boys 
and girls the ability to think on their feet ; not the origi- 
nal thinking, to be sure, that we expect of minds more 
mature, but such practice, during the formative period, 
is a long stride in the right direction. 


Again, the question arises. Can we learn to speak 
extempore .? Is it a thing that can be taught at all .? 
Is it an art natural to some, but incapable of acquire- 
ment by others ? In answer to these queries, let us 

1 At the Ithaca (N.Y.) High School. 


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take encouragement from the testimony and experi- 
ences of some noted orators. 

Pericles, the greatest of Greek statesmen, was also 
according to tradition the greatest orator of his day. 
Though a note to Plutarch's ** Life of Pericles '* says that 
the latter " wrote down his orations before he pronounced 
them in public, and indeed, was the first who did so," 
yet Professor Bredif, in his " Political Eloquence of 
Greece," declares : *' Pericles never wrote his orations. 
Like Aristides, Themistocles, and the ancient orators, 
he improvised after laborious meditation. The impres- 
sion produced was immediate and lasting ; * he left the 
goad in the minds of his hearers.' " 

Concerning the two preeminent orators of the ancient 
world, Demosthenes and Cicero, there is much conflict- 
ing testimony. Doubtless most of their orations that 
have come down to us were carefully written out in 
advance. So manifest was the preparation of Demos- 
thenes that other envious orators ridiculed him, saying 
that all his arguments "smelled of the lamp." "Yet," 
says Plutarch, "while he chose not often to trust the 
success of his powers to fortune, he did not absolutely 
neglect the reputation which may be acquired by speak- 
ing on a sudden occasion." Lord Brougham contends 
that Demosthenes' reported orations are in the form as 
prepared for delivery, but that he added much to them 

When time permitted, Cicero's orations were usually 
written and delivered from memory, but when pressed 
for time he spoke extempore, and with the vanity natural 
to him he commended some of his extemporized speeches 
as superior to his written productions. 


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Passing by such celebrated extemporizers as St. Paul, 
Chrysostom, Peter the Hermit, Savonarola, Bossuet, and 
Martin Luther, let uS take two or three examples from 
the orators of the eighteenth century. 

Mirabeau, ugly but powerful, is typical as an orator 
of the French Revolution. Most of his famous speeches 
were written out in advance, but he never was confined 
to his prepared text. It is said that he would receive 
notes as he ascended the tribune and weave them, with- 
out apparent reflection, into the texture of his discourse. 
Powerful as Mirabeau was in his premeditated discourse, 
his extempore utterance was irresistible. " He roared, 
he stamped, he shook his shock of hair, and trod the 
tribune with the imperial air of a king. His habitual 
grave and solemn tones were gone, and in their place 
rang out accents of thunder and heartrending pathos, 
and all without losing his self-control. But these im- 
provised efforts were short, and wisely ended when the 
blow was struck. He was not subject to the common 
infirmity of extemporaneous speakers, not knowing when 
to stop and how." ^ 

Of the group of famous parliamentary orators in 
England during the eighteenth century, William Pitt, 
Lord Mansfield, and Charles James Fox will serve as 

In his speaking Pitt habitually employed the extempore 
method. Along with his gifts, natural and acquired, he 
had a marked susceptibility for being aroused by the 
occasion. His overwhelming spontaneity and high per- 
sonal character swept everything before him. It is said 
that such was the excitement when he spoke that it was 
1 Sears, ** History of Oratory," 245. 


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impossible to report him, and the speech which in its 
delivery and publication overthrew Walpole's ministry 
was reduced to writing by Dr. Johnson. 

Mansfield was preeminent as an extempore speaker. 
At an early age he gave promise of that ready com- 
mand of his mother tongue which was later shown in 
his speeches. This was secured by a constant trans- 
lation and retranslation of Greek and Roman orators, 
which also gave him a knowledge of the principles of 
eloquence, a study which he began to pursue with all 
diligence upon his entry into the university. This he 
continued after beginning his law studies, especially in 
the practice of extempore speaking, for which he pre- 
pared himself with such fullness and accuracy that his 
notes were useful to him in after life, both at the bar 
and on the bench. 

The fame of Fox as a parliamentary orator and de- 
bater is well known, although he began awkwardly and 
abounded in repetitions. He was an extempore speaker 
solely. Oratorically Fox's ambition was to become a 
powerful debater, **one who goes out in all weathers," 
instead of carrying with him to the House a set speech 
drawn up beforehand. In this course he persevered 
until he became the acknowledged leader of the Whig 
party in* the House of Commons. He answered well to 
his own definition of an orator, — ** one who can give 
immediate, instantaneous expression to his thoughts." 
He mastered his subject and accumulated facts. As 
to how he should use these facts he depended upon 
the mood of the assembly he rose tp address. Burke 
affirmed him to be " the most brilliant and accomplished 
debater the world ever saw." Macaulay says of him : 


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" At his first appearance in Parliament he showed him- 
self superior to all his contemporaries in command of 
language. He co^ild pour forth a long succession of 
round and stately periods without premeditation, with- 
out ever pausing for a word, without ever repeating a 
word. . . . He was at once the only man who could, 
without notes, open a budget, and the only man who, 
as Windham said, could speak that most elaborately 
effusive and unmeaning of human compositions, a 
king's speech, without premeditation.*' 

Of English parliamentary orators in more modem 
times two illustrious examples should be mentioned, — 
John Bright and William E. Gladstone. 

Probably no modern orator in England has surpassed 
Bright in mastery of. his audience and in leaving a per- 
manent personal impress. He began his public career 
by committing his speeches to memory, but, says one 
of his contemporaries, ** he soon abandoned so clumsy 
and exhausting a method of address. Instead of memor- 
iter reproductions, he held impromptu rehearsals at odd 
hours in his father's mill before Mr. Nuttall, an intelli- 
gent workman and unsparing critic ; but even now his 
perorations are written out with the greatest care." An: 
swering an inquiry as to his method, Bright himself said : 

"As to modes of preparation, it seems to me that 
every man would readily discover what suits him best. 
To write speeches and then commit them to memory 
is a double slavery which I could not bear. To speak 
without preparation, especially on great and solemn 
topics, is rashness, and cannot be recommended. When 
I intend to speak on anything that seems to me impor- 
tant, I consider what it is I wish to impress upon my 


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audience. I do not write my facts or my arguments, 
but make notes on two or three or four slips of note 
paper, giving the line of argument and the facts as they 
occur to my mind, and I leave the words to come at call 
while I am speaking. There are occasionally short pas- 
sages which for accuracy I may write down, as sometimes 
also — almost invariably — the con cluding w ords^r sen- 
tences may be written down. The advantage of this plan 
is that while it. leaves a certain and sufficient freedom to 
the speaker, it keeps him within the main line of the 
original plan upon which the speech was framed, and 
what he says, therefore, is likely to be more compact, 
and not wandering and diffuse." 

Probably the most wonderful purely extempore speaker 
of the modern English-speaking world was William E. 
Gladstone. Possessed of " the most omnivorous and un- 
tiring brain in England, perhaps in the whole world," 
he was able to extemporize in a fascinating manner and 
hold an audience for hours while he discussed compli- 
cated questions of diplomacy and legislation. In reply 
to an inquiry as to the best method of preparing public 
discourses, Gladstone wrote : 

" I should certainly found myself on a double basis, 
compounded as follows : first, of a wide and thorough 
general education . . . ; second, of the habit of constant 
and searching reflection on the subject of any proposed 
discourse. Such reflection will naturally clothe itself 
in words, and of the phrases it supplies many will rise 
spontaneously to the lips. I will not say that no other 
forms of preparation can be useful, but I know little of 
them, and it is on these, beyond all doubt, that I should 
advise the young principally to rely." 


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Turning now to American orators, we find that the 
most famous representative of the early period of 
our history, Patrick Henry, never wrote a line of his 
speeches. The sparks of his eloquence flew hot from 
the anvil of his thought. . He owed his success to early 
practice in conversation and public speaking, and 'to the 
courage and readiness with which he met a crisis. 

We are apt to think of the great triumvirate — 
Calhoun, Clay, and Webster — as less ready in purely 
extemporaneous speech than the average legislator of 
to-day, and yet each of these three great orators showed 
a gradual development in facility as extempore speakers. 
Calhoun cultivated extempore speaking with great suc- 
cess while in the law school at Litchfield, and he pur- 
sued this method in the ** iron logic " of his speeches 
in Congress. Clay, too, early practiced the extempore 
method in a debating club at Richmond, and his yet 
earlier practice with cornfield or woods as an audience 
is well known. The testimony of Webster, quoted in 
Chapter H (p. 41), might at first glance appear adverse 
to the extempore method, but he referred to the prepara- 
tion of the matter, not the lahguage. Webster was not 
as ready a man as Calhoun or Clay. He usually wrote 
out or thought out in sentences his set orations, but his 
arguments in court and most of his speeches in the Sen- 
ate were extemporaneous. Edward Everett says that 
when Webster made his trip at the opening of the 
Erie Railroad, he showed his power in extempore 
speech in the proper sense of the term. " He made 
eleven speeches," says Everett, "distinguishing between 
speeches and mere snatches of remarks at stations. They 
were made when he was well advanced in years, and 


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probably every one of them was extemporaneous. He 
could not have known when he went out of the cars to 
the platform what he was going to say, and yet every 
one df them was singularly adapted to the place and 
occasion ; indeed, each speech was so complete that, if 
he had intended only to make any one, and had carefully 
prepared it, it could not have been improved. Every 
one of those eleven speeches — and I have read them 
carefully ■— r would have added greatly to the reputation 
of any other man in the United States." n 

In any account of extempore oratory in America the 
name of Sargent S. Prentiss should not be omitted. 
" The most eloquent of all Southerners,'' says Wendell 
Phillips, ** he wielded a power few men ever had." A 
single example of his power must suffice. At the dinner 
given to Daniel Webster in Faneuil Hall in 1838, when 
Prentiss was but twenty-nine years of age, he was pre- 
ceded by a long list of speakers, including Webster and 
Everett. The latter subsequently described Prentiss's 
speech as follows : 

** Such was the lateness of the hour that, not having 
had the fortune to hear Mr. Prentiss, I must own that 
I feared he would find himself obliged, after a few sen- 
tences of customary acknowledgment, to give up the 
idea of addressing the company at length. But he was 
from the outset completely successful. He took posses- 
sion of the audience from the first sentence, and carried 
them along with unabated interest, I think, for about an 
hour. It seemed to me the most wonderful specimen of 
a sententious fluency which I had ever witnessed. The 
,words poured from his lips in a torrent, but the sentences 
were correctly formed, the matter grave and important, 


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the train of thought distinctly pursued, the illustrations 
wonderfully happy, drawn from a wide range of reading 
and aided by a brilliant imagination. That it was a care- 
fully prepared speech no one could believe for a moment. 
. . . Sitting by Mr. Webster, I asked him if he had ever 
heard anything like it. He answered, * Never, except 
from Prentiss himself.' " 

Wendell Phillips, who has been characterized as ** a 
Vesuvius in full eruption in the calm of a summer day,*' 
and as " an infernal machine set to music,'' habitually 
spoke extempore. His first great success, at Faneuil 
Hall, was a purely extemporaneous address. With the 
single exception mentioned in Chapter H (p. 34), Phillips 
never used a pen in the preparation of his speeches. Even 
his great lectures, such as " The Lost Arts " and " Daniel 
O'Connell," though carefully prepared, were never writ- 
ten out. His method was thus stated by himself : " The 
chief thing I aim at is the mastery of my subject. Then 
I earnestly try to get the audience to think as I do." 

Henry Ward Beecher developed the extempore method 
gradually. Early in his ministry his sermons were gen- 
erally delivered from quite full manuscripts, but during 
the last twenty years of his life he took into the pulpit 
a mere skeleton brief of his discourse, sometimes jotting 
down brief notes on the margins of newspapers. " My 
own experience teaches me," he said, " that my sermons 
should sometimes be written, but more often unwritten. 
. . . However much you may write, the tendency of all 
such mechanical preparation should be towards the ideal 
of the unwritten sermon, and throughout your early train- 
ing and your after labor you should reach out after that 
higher and broader form of preaching." 


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From numberless examples that might be adduced, 
let us note some bits of testimony^ from yet more 
modem American speakers. 

Hon. Cushman K. Davis, late United States senator 
from Minnesota: "The method I employ in preparing 
a speech is this : Research, mastery of all material facts, 
and a desd of hard thinking upon the subject. I never 
write speeches, although I sometimes thus prepare a 
formal address." 

Hon. William P. Frye, United States senator from 
Maine : ** I have never read a speech, address, or oration, 
but have occasionally, early in my career, written care- 
fully, partially committed, then thrown the manuscript 

Dr. David Starr Jordan, President of Stanford Uni- 
versity : ** I lay out a line of argument, or more usually 
of exposition, and talk to it as straight, as strikingly, 
and as concisely as I can." 

Hon. A. W. Terrell, ex-United States Minister to 
Turkey : ** I seldom ever reduce to writing what I pro- 
pose to say, although I have done so a few times in 
preparing formal addresses. In important law cases, 
for example, I try to master in advance all the facts, 
and usually trust the inspiration of the moment to 
supply the argument." 

Hon. B. R. Tillman, United States Senator from 
South Carolina : ** I get chock full of ideas and facts, 
and then turn loose without much thought or prepara- 
tion. I very often think over what I am going to say, 
and then, when I get on my feet, never think of what I 

* From a thesis on Modem Methods of Training for Public Speak- 
ing, by E. T. Moore, Esq., of El Paso, Texas. 


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intended to say. Practice has enabled me to speak with 
more ease and without getting excited, but I doubt if 
my speeches are as effective as when they are belched 
forth like lava from a volcano/* 

Hon. William J. Bryan : ** I first read all I can on the 
subject to be discussed^ examining the question from all 
standpoints ; then prepare an outline dividing the subject 
into heads and subheads ; then fill in the details. I sel- 
dom write a speech complete. Where I have the subject 
thoroughly in hand, it is easier to use the language which 
comes at the moment than to remember set phraseology.'* 

But the student may say : " Most of the foregoing 
speakers were, or are, distinguished orators ; what of 
the rank and file } ** You may console yourself with the 
fact that there are a far greater number of public 
speakers than orators; that while not every one can 
become an orator, almost any one can, by training and 
practice, become an effective public speaker. But even 
so, can the neophyte learn to speak extempore, to talk 
ten, twenty, or thirty minutes, improvising his language ? 
Yes ; if he can talk, in ordinary conversation, in a clear 
and connected manner, he can learn to carry on the un- 
interrupted and stronger talk of extempore speaking. It 
is an art that can be acquired, and it is mainly due to 
the nonrecognition of this fact that such raw and crude 
attempts are often made at the bar, in the pulpit, or on 
the platform, to do effectively what men have never been 
instructed to do at all. Practice is the main thing, and 
if this be had during the training period of school or col- 
lege, all the better. To be sure, the first attempts may 
result in speeches that are not marvels of fluency. I 
have seen many a student who, in his first efforts, would 


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forget the outline of his intended speech, ** hem and haw ** 
at frequent pauses while mentally searching for words, 
stumble considerably, and occasionally fall down ; and 
yet this same student, by continued practice, would 
develop a coordination of brain and tongue, a readiness 
and fluency, that were at once surprising and gratifying. 
Mijbum, for some time the ** blind but eloquent " chap- 
lain of the House of. Representatives, says that he de- 
voted four years of his life to acquiring the power of 
speaking correctly and easily without the previous use 
of the pen, and that he considers the time well spent. 
** Most men can be trained to think upon their feet,'* 
says Beecher, ** but by disuse many lose the power God 
has given them. Though a man be born to genius, a 
natural orator and a natural reasoner, these endowments 
give him but the outlines of himself. The filling up 
demands incessant, painstaking, steady work." 


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At the outset let us get a clear idea, of what extem- 
pore speaking is, as the term will be used in this book. 

The word extempore is used both as an adjective and 
as an adverb. As an adjective its simpler form is usu- 
ally preferable to the equivalents, extemporaneous and 
extemporary^ and as an adverb it is likewise preferable 
to extemporarily. In its origin extempore is an adverbial 
phrase, being derived from the Latin preposition ex^ 
meaning ** out of " or ** from," and tempore^ the ablative of 
tempus^ meaning *' time " or ** moment "; hence ** out of 
the moment," " on the spur of the moment," ** offhand," 
and thus opposed to "prepared," ** premeditated," 
" deliberate." 

Formerly the word referred to unpremeditated speak- . 
ing, both as to thought and language. Shakespeare 
satirizes such speaking in ** Midsummer Night's Dream " 
(Act I, Scene 2) : ** * Have you the lion's part written ? 
Pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.' 
' You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.' " 

But, like many other words in our language, extem- 
pore has- changed its meaning, although such change 
has not' yet, perhaps, become firmly fixed in popular 
usage. Unpremeditated, impromptu, or the colloquial 
offhand at present signify what was originally the 
sole meaning of extempore, as applied to public speech, 


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The better usage now is to apply the' term to that 
which is unprepared only in form. In this sense, extem- 
pore speaking is carefully prepared in thought, arrange- 
ment, etc., only the choice of words and phraseology 
beitig left to the inspiration of the moment. It regards 
the mode, not the matter, of the discourse. Although 
the speaker may have prepared everything but language 
and form, if the speech be neither read nor recited, it is 
classed as extempore. As far back as the seventeenth 
century we find that this idea is identical with that of 
* Fenelon, the celebrated French orator, who thus describes 
an extempore preacher : 

** A man who is well instructed and who has a great 
facility of expressing himself ; a man who has meditated 
deeply in all their bearings the principles of the subject 
which he is to treat ; who has conceived that subject in 
his intellect, and arranged his arguments in the clearest 
manner ; who has prepared a certain number of striking 
figures and of touching sentiments which may render it 
sensible and bring it home to his hearers ; who knows 
perfectly all that he ought to say, and the precise place 
in which to say it, so that nothing remains at the 
moment of delivery but to find words in which to express 

So Beecher, in his** Yale Lectures on Preaching,", says, 
" It is only the form, like the occasion, that is extempo- 

The distinction, then, between extempore and im- 
promptu speaking is : extempore speaking implies thought- 
preparation in advance ; impromptu speaking implies 
no advance preparation of either thought or language. 
In applying this distinction to particular speeches it 


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may be admitted that the line of cleavage is often not 
distinct, but to attempt to trace the dividing line in 
given instances would be both unnecessary and unprofit- 
able for our present purpose. We will devote our atten- 
tion, in the subsequent consideration of methods, only 
to those public addresses which are to be delivered 
before a certain audience, on a particular day and sub- 
ject, with a view to achieving a certain result, and with 
time^ for preparation. The main point is, extempore 
speaking does not consist in speaking without prepara- 
tion, but rather in such thorough preparation that ideas, 
previously thought out and arranged, rush to the brain 
in such well-marshaled array as to overcome bondage 
to any set form of words. 


Analyze the following speeches, and determine which was 
probably memorized, which was impromptu,(and which extem-^ 
pore. ^ 


Extract from the plea cf Sargent S. Prentiss in defense 
of Judge Wilkinson 

Gentlemen of the jury, this is a case of no ordinary char- 
acter, and possesses no ordinary interest. Three of the most 
respectable citizens of the state of Mississippi stand before you 
indicted for the crime of murder, the highest offense known to 
the laws of the land. I ask for these defendants no sympathy, 
nor do they wish it. I ask only for justice — such justice as 
you would demand if you occupied their situation and they 

The ground of their defense is simple. They assert that 
they did not do the act voluntarily or maliciously ; that they 


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committed it froili stem and imperative necessity, by virtue of 
the broad and universal law of self-defense; and they deny 
that they violated thereby the ordinances of God or man. 

The principles of self-defense do not require that action 
should be withheld until it can be of no avail. When the rattle- 
snake gives warning of his fatal purpose, the wary traveler waits 
not for the poisonous blow, but plants upon his head his armed 
heel and crushes out at once his venom and his strength. When 
the hunter hears the rustling in the jungle and beholds the 
large green eyes of the spotted tiger glaring upon him, he waits 
not for the deadly spring, but sends at once through the Jbrain 
of his crouching enemy the swift and leaden death. If war was 
declared against our coimtry by an insulting foe, would you 
wait till your sleeping cities were awakened by the terrible 
music of the bursting bomb ? till your green fields were trampled 
by the hoofs of the invader, and made red with the blood of 
your brethren? No ! You W9uld send forth fleets and armies ; 
you would unloose upon the broad ocean your keen falcons ; 
and the thunder of your guns would arouse stem echoes along 
the hostile coast. Yet this would be national defense, and 
authorized by the same principle of protection which applies 
no less to individuals than to nations. 

But Judge Wilkinson had no right to interfere in defense'of 
his brother ! so says the commonwealth's attomey. Go, gentle- 
men, and ask your mothers arid sisters if that be law. I refer 
you to no musty tomes, but to the living volumes of nature. 
What ! a man not permitted to defend his brother against 
conspirators, against assassins, who are crushing out the very 
life of their bruised and powerless victim ? Why, he who would 
govern his conduct by such a principle does not deserve to 
have a brother or a friend. To fight for self is but the result 
of an honest instinct which we have with the brutes. To defend 
those who are dear to us is the highest exercise of the principle 
of self-defense. It nourishes all the noblest social qualities, and 
constitutes the very germ of patriotism itself. 

Kentucky has no law which precludes a man from defend- 
ing himself, his brother, or his friend. Better for Judge Wilkin- 
son had he never lived than that he should have failed in his 


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duty on such an occasion. Had he acted otherwise than he did, 
he would have been ruined in his own estimation and blasted 
in the opinions of the world. 



Speech of Joseph Jefferson at a dinner given by the Authors'* Club, 
• New York, February 28, i8gj 

I need not say, gentlemen, how I thank you for this gener- 
ous greeting. I am very glad that your worthy chairman has 
defined my position. I knew I was a guest, but I did not know 
I was an author. However, I will begin my remarks here 
because I think it is appropriate at an Authors' Club to quote 
from so able and so lovely a man as Charles Lamb. Charles 
Lamb has said that the world is divided into two classes, those 
who are born to borrow and those who are bom to lend, and 
if you happen to be of the latter class, why do it cheerfully. 
Now the world seems to be divided into two other classes, those 
who are always anxious to make speeches and those who are 
not. If of the latter one, you are rather uncertain of yourself, 
as I am now, and if you have to make a speech, why make it 

J cheerfully. 

^ Making a speech cheerfully and making a cheerful speech 
are two very different matters.^ You know how dangerous it is 
for any man to wander away from the legitimate paths of his 
profession. I fear I have been over-impertinent ; I have even 
been rude enough to exhibit my pictures, impertinent enough to 
write a book. I have become an author of one book, and the 
authors have kindly admitted me and invited me to their board. 
To-morrow night, o^ after to-morrow night, I presume that the 
orators will invite me to their board. I am almost ashamed of 
my presumption, and it would serve me very right if I failed 
to-morrow night. That will teach me better and I shall extend 
the field of my operation no further, I assure you. 

But it is curious that there is one path in which the actor 
always wanders — he always likes to be a landowner. Follow- 
ing and emulating the example of my illustrious predecessors, 
I bought a farm in New Jersey. I went out first to examine 


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the soil. I told the honest farmer who was about to sell me 
this place that I thought the soil looked rather thin ; there was 
a good deal of gravel. He told me that the gravel was the 
finest thing for drainage in the world. I told him I had heard 
that, but I had always presumed that if the gravel was under- 
neath it would answer the purpose better. He said : " Not at 
all ; this soil is of that character that it will drain both ways," 
by what he termed, I think, " caterpillary " attraction. I bought 
the farm and set myself to work to increase the breadth of my 
shoulders, to help my appetite, and so forth, about work of a 
farm. I even went so far as to emulate the example set by 
Mr. Burroughs, and split the wood. I did not succeed at that. 
Of course, as Mr. Burroughs wisely remarks, the heat comes 
at both ends ; it comes when you split the wood and again 
when you burn it. But as I only lived at my farm during the 
summer time, it became quite unnecessary in New Jersey to 
split wood in July, and my farming operations were not 

•^We bought an immense quantity of chickens and they all 
turned out to be roosters ; but I resolved — I presume as 
William Nye says about the farm — to carry it on ; I -would 
carry on that farm as long as my wife's money lasted. A great 
mishap was when my Alderney bull got into the greenhouse. 
There was nothing to stop him but the cactus. He tossed the 
flowerpots right and left. Talk about the flowers that bloom 
in the spring, — why, I never saw such a wreck, and I am fully 
convinced that there is nothing that will stop a thoroughly 
well-bred bull but a full-bred South American cactus. I went 
down to look at the ruins and the devastation that this animal 
had made, and I found him quietly eating black Hamburg 
grapes. I don't know anything finer than black Hamburg 
grapes for Alderney bulls. A friend of mine, who was chaffing 
me about my farming proclivities, said : "I see you have got 
in some confusion here. It looks to me as though you were 
trying to raise early bulls under glass." ^ . ^' 

Well, I will not tire you with these experiences. I can only 
congratulate Mr. Burroughs upon his success, and I beg that 
you will sympathize with me upon my failure ; and now then 


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allow me to conclude my crude remarks by thanking you for 
the very kind manner in which you have listened to my remarks 
and my experiences. I assure you, they are all of them true. 
And I thank you, sir, for your kind introduction, which I am 
afraid I do not deserve. And so, gentlemen, I wish you success 
and happiness, and long life to your honorable club. 


Speech of Abraham Lincoln in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 
February 22, 1861 ^ 

I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing in 
this place, where were collected the wisdom, the patriotism, 
the devotion to principle from which sprang the institutions 
under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in 
my hands is the task of restoring peace to our distracted country. 
• I can say in return, sirs, that all the political sentiments I enter- 
tain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, 
from the sentiments which originated in and were given to the 
world from this hall. I have never had a feeling, politically, 
that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Decla- 
ration of Independence. I have often pondered over the 
dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here 
and framed and adopted that Declaration. I have pondered 
over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of 
the army who achieved that independence. I have often in- 
quired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept 
this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter 
of separation of the colonies from the mother land, but that 
sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave 
liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all 
the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise 
that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders 
of all men and that all should have an equal chance. This is 
the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. 
Now, my friends, can this country be saved on that basis ? If 

1 Nicolay and Hay, " Abraham Lincoln : a History," III, 299. 

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it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the 
world if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved on that 
principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be 
saved^othout giving up that principle^ was about to say I / 
would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. . 
Now, in my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is ho 
need of bloodshed and war. There is no necessity for it. I am 
not in favor of such a course ; and I may say in advance that 
there will be no bloodshed unless it be forced upon the govern- 
ment. The government will not use force, unless force is used 
against it. 

My friends, this is wholly an unprepared speech. I did not 
expect to be called upon to say a word when I came here. I 
supposed it was merely to do something toward raising a flag 
— I may, . therefore, have said something indiscreet. But I 
have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, if it 
be the pleasure of Almighty God, die by. . 

Speech of President Roosevelt at Oyster Bay^ N. K, July 4, igo6 

Mr. Chairman and you, my old friends and neighbors, you 
among whom I was brought up, and with whom I have lived 
for so many years, it is real and glorious pleasure to have the 
chance of being with you to-day, to say a few words of greet- 
ing to you, and in a sense to give an account of my steward- 
ship. I say ** in a sense," friends, because, after all, the steward- 
ship really has to give an account of itself. If a man needs to 
explain overmuch what he has done, it is pretty sure proof that 
he ought to have done it a little differently, and so as regards 
most of what I have done I must let it speak for itself. 

But there are two or three things about which I want to talk 
to you to-day, and if, in the presence of the dominies, I may 
venture to speak from a text, I shall take as my text the words 
of Abraham Lincoln which he spoke in a remarkable little ad- 
dress delivered to a band of people who were serenading him 
at the White House just after his reelection to the Presidency. 
He said (I quote from memory only) : ** In any great national 


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trial hereafter, the men of that day as compared with those of 
this will be as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad 
and as good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this as 
philosophy from which to learn wisdom, and not as wrong to 
be avenged." And he added later in the speech a touching and 
characteristic expression of his, saying, " So long as I have been 
here I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's breast.** 

It is in just that spirit that we, as a nation, if we possess the 
power of learning aright the lessons to be taught us by Lincoln's 
life, will approach problems of to-day. We have not got the 
same problems nor as great problems as thos^ with which the 
men of Lincoln's generation were brought face to face, and yet 
our problems are real and great, and upon the way in which we 
solve them will depend whether or not our children have cause 
to feel pride or shame as American citizens. If Lincoln and the 
men of his generation, the men who followed Grant in the field, 
who upheld the statesmanship of Lincoln himself in the council 
chamber — if these men had not done their full duty, not a 
man here would carry his head high as an American citizen. 

We have heard a great deal during the past year or two of 
the frightful iniquities in our politics and our business life, the 
frightful wrongdoing in our social life. Now there is plenty of 
iniquity, in business, in politics, in our social life. There is 
every warrant for our acknowledging these great evils. 

But there is no warrant for growing hysterical about them. 
It is a poor trick to spend nine tenths of the time in saying 
that there never was such iniquity as is shown in this nation ; 
and the remaining tenth in saying that we are the most remark- 
able nation that ever existed. We want to be more careful in 
blaming ourselves and more careful in praising ourselves. Over- 
emphasis in praise, as well as overemphasis in blame, is apt to 
overreach itself : just as the man who promises too much — 
especially on the stump — is apt to strike the balance by per- 
forming too little. It is true that there is much evil ; but in 
speaking about it do not let us lose our heads ; and, above all, 
let us avoid the wild vindictiveness preached by certain dema- 
gogues — the vindictiveness as far as the poles asunder from 
the wise charity of Abraham Lincoln. 


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The poorest of all emotions for any American citizen to feel 
is the emotion of hatred toward his fellows. Let him feel a 
just and righteous indignation where that just and righteous 
indignation is called for ; let him not hesitate to inflict punish- 
ment where the punishment is needed in the interest of the 
public, but let him beware of demanding mere vengeance, and 
above all of inviting the masses of the people to such demand. 
Such a demand is alike unchristian and un-American, and the 
man who makes it is false to the highest duties, principles, and 
privileges of American citizenship. 

There is wrong and enough to fight. Fight it, cut it out, 
and, having cut it out, go your ways without either hatred or 
exultation over those at whose expense it has been necessary 
that it should be cut out. There are plenty of wrongs done by 
men of great means, and there are plenty of wrongs done by 
men of small means. Another sentence of Abraham Lincoln*s 
which it is well to remember is, " There is a deal of human 
nature in mankind.** If a man possesses a twisted morality, he 
will show that twisted morality wherever he happens to be. If 
he is not a man of really twisted morals, but an ordinary happy- 
go-lucky individual who does not think very deeply, he will 
often do what ought not to be done, if nobody brings home his 
duty to him, and if the chances are such as to render easy 

This year in Congress our chief task has been to carry the 
government forward along the course which I think it might 
follow consistently for a number of years to come — that is, in 
the direction of seeking on behalf of the people as a whole, 
through the national government, which represents the people 
as a whole, to exercise a measure of supervision, control, and 
restraint over the individuals, and especially over the corpora- 
tions, of great wealth, in so far as the business use of that 
wealth brings it within the reach of the federal government. 
We have accomplished a fair amount, and the reason that we 
have done so has been, in the first place, because we have not 
tried to do too much, and, in the next place, because we have 
approached the task absolutely free from any spirit of rancor 
or hatred. 


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When it becomes necessary to curb a great corporation, curb 
it. I will do my best to help you, but 1 will do it in no spirit 
of anger or hatred to the men who own or control that corpora- 
tion, and if any seek in their turn to do wrong to the men of 
means, to do wrong to the men who own these corporations, 
I will turn around and fight for them in defense of their rights 
just as hard as I fight against them when I think they are 
doing wrong. 

Distrust as a demagogue the man who talks only of the wrong 
done by the men of wealth. Distrust as a demagogue the man 
who measures iniquity by the purse. Measure iniquity by the 
heart, whether a man*s purse be full or empty, partly full or 
partly empty. If the man is a decent man, whether well off or 
not, stand by him ; if he is not a decent man, stand against 
him, whether he be rich or poor. Stand against him in no 
spirit of vengeance, but only with the resolute purpose to make 
him act as decent citizens must act if this republic is to be 
and to become what it should. 


Extract from an address by William J. Bryan before the American 
Society y London^ July 4, igo6 

Our English friends, under whose flag we meet to-night, re- 
calling that this is the anniversary of our nation*s birth, would 
doubtless pardon us if our rejoicing contained something of 
self-congratulation, for it is at such times as this that we are 
wont to review those national achievements which have given 
to the United States its prominence among the nations. 

But I hope I shall not be thought lacking in patriotic spirit 
if, instead of drawing a picture of the past, bright with heroic 
deeds and unparalleled in progress, I summon you rather to a 
serious consideration of the responsibility resting upon those 
nations which aspire to premiership. This line of thought is 
suggested by a sense of propriety as well as by recent experi- 
ences — by a sense of propriety because such a subject will 
interest the Briton as well as the American, and by recent ex- 
periences because they have impressed me not less with our 


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national duty than with the superiority of Western over Eastern 

Asking your attention to such a theme, it is not unfitting to 
adopt a phrase coined by a poet to whom America as well as 
England can lay some claim, and take for my text " The White 
Man's Burden." 

Take up the White Man's burden — 
In patience to abide, 
To veil the threat of terror 
And check the show of pride. 
By open speech and simple, 

An hundred times made plain. 
To seek another's profit, 

And work another's gain. 


Thus sings Kipling, and, with the exception of the third line 
(of the meaning of which I am not quite sure), the stanza em- 
bodies the thought which is uppermost in my mind to-night. 
No one can travel among the dark-skinned races of the Orient 
without feeling that the white man occupies an especially fa- 
vored position among the children of men, and the recognition 
of this fact is accompanied by the conviction that thera is a 
duty inseparably connected with the advantages enjoyed. There 
is a white man's burden — a burden which the white man should 
not shirk even if he could, a" burden which he could not shirk 
even if he would. That no one " liveth unto himself or dieth 
unto himself " has a national as well as an individual applica- • 
tion. Our destinies are so interwoven that each exerts an in- 
fluence directly or indirectly upon all others. 

Among the blessings which the Christian nations are at this 
time able — and in duty bound — to carry to the rest of the 
world, I may mention five : education, knowledge of the 
science of government, arbitration as a substitute for war, 
appreciation of the dignity of labor, and a high conception 
of life. 

In India, in the Philippines, in Egypt, and even in Turkey 
statistics show a gradual extension of education, and I trust I 
will be pardoned if I say that neither the armies nor the navies, 

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nor yet the commerce of our nations, have given us so just a 
claim to the gratitude of the people of Asia as have our school- 
teachers, sent, many gf them, by private rather than by public 

The Christian nations must lead the movement for the pro- 
motion of peace not only because they are enlisted under the 
banner of the Prince of Peace, but also because they have at- 
tained such a degree of intelligence that they can no longer 
take pride in a purely physical victory. 

Our country has reason to congratulate itself upon the suc- 
cess of President Roosevelt in hastening peace between Russia 
and Japan. Through him our nation won a moral victory more 
glorious than a victory in war. King Edward has also shown 
himself a promoter of arbitration, and a large number of mem- 
bers of Parliament are enlisted in the same work. It means 
much that the two great English-speaking nations are thus 
arrayed on the side of peace. 

Society has passed through a period of aggrandizement, the 
nations taking what they had the strength to take and holding 
what they had the power to hold. But we are already entering 
a second era — an era in which the nations discuss not merely 
what they can do, but what they should do, considering justice 
to be more important than physical prowess. In tribunals like 
that of The Hague the chosen representatives of the nations 
weigh questions of right and wrong, and give a small nation an 
equal hearing with great and a decree according to conscience. 
This marks an immeasurable advance. 

But is another step yet to be taken ? Justice after all is cold 
and pulseless, a negative virtue. The world needs something 
warmer, more generous. Harmlessness is better than harmful- 
ness, but positive helpfulness is vastly superior to harmlessness, 
and we still have before us a larger, higher destiny of service. 

Even now there are signs of the approach of this third era, 
not so much in the actions of governments as in the growing 
tendency of men and women in many lands to contribute their 
means, in some cases their lives, to the intellectual, moral 
awakening of those who sit in darkness. Nowhere are these 
signs more abundant than in our own beloved land. Before 


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the sun sets on one of these new centers of civilization it arises 
upon another. 

While in America and in Europe there is much to be cor- 
rected and abundant room for improvement, there has never 
been so much altruism in the world as there is to-day — never 
so many who acknowledge the indissoluble tie that binds each 
to every other member of the race. I have felt more pride in 
my own countrymen than ever before as I have visited the cir- 
cuit of schools, hospitals, and churches which American money 
has built around the world. The example of the Christian 
nations, though but feebly reflecting the light of the Master, 
is gradually reforming society. 

On the walls of the temple at Karnak an ancient artist carved 
a picture of an Egyptian king. He is represented as holding 
a group of captives by the hair — one hand raising a club as if 
to strike them. No king would be willing to confess himself 
so cruel to-day. In some of the capitals of Europe there are 
monuments built from, or ornamented with, cannon taken in 
war. That form of boasting is still tolerated, but let us hope 
that it will in time give way to some emblem of victory which 
will imply helpfulness rather than slaughter. 


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AVhen a man is called upon to speak in public, — 

whether he fortunately has something to say or unfor- 

tiinately has to say something, — there are five ways of 

making a speech for him to select from. 

/ I. He may write out his speech in full and read it 

/from the manuscript. 

/ 2. He may write it in full and commifr it to memory. 
/ 3. He may write out the introductory and closing 
/ sentences, and such other salient passages as he wishes 
/ to make sure of, while extemporizing the rest. 

. 4. He may think out the main points of his speech, 
noting these either in his mind or on paper, and wholly 
extemporize the language for the expression of his 

5. He may speak without any previous preparation, 
either of thought or language. 

Let us note some of the advantages and disadvantages 
of these various methods. 

I. Reading from manuscript. 1"his method may some- 
times be best for a given occasion or individual. For an 
address of some length upon a formal occasion, especially 
if the speaker has not acquired by practice the pow^jt 
of extemporaneous expression, a lecture or sermon, for 
example, may best be given by reading boldly from a 

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manuscript. For an inexperienced or timid speaker 
this method is probably the most advisable, as it is the 
easiest. It is certainly better than a rambling and halt- 
ing extemporaneous address. Again, in those cases 
where exactness is specially sought, and misreporting 
is to be guarded against, a written address is desirable. 
And, too, if the speaker, in composing his address, has 
kept the audience in mind, conceiving the discourse as 
a speech to be heard and not as an essay to be read, and 
if he makes himself familiar with its contents, so that 
in reading it he is not too closely confined to the manu- 
script, some of the disadvantages of this method may 
be lessened. But reading is not speaking, and reading 
from manuscript, even if ever so well done, detracts 
more or less from the interest of the speech, and impairs 
the sympathetic relation between the speaker and his 
audience. Surely no one who expects to speak much — 
or well — in public will rely on this method alone. 

2. Speaking memoriter. For attaining combined fin- 
ish and fluency this is the safest method of all, and may 
well be employed by the speaker in his earlier efforts, 
and by the student in the earlier stages of his training. 
A slavish reliance, however, upon a set form of words 
for the expression of thought presents many obvious 
disadvantages. In the first place, it is an enormous tax 
ujpon the memory ; especially so, if the memory has not 
been early trained in this method. Again, it requires 
much skill and practice to attain the power to lend ease 
and lightness to what is really cut and dried. Without 
mich power, the sympathetic relation, again, between the 
audience and the speaker, is destroyed ; for the result 
is either wholly disastrous, or at best only a partial 


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success, when the audience suspects that the speaker is 
relying on his memory and that his impassioned appeals 
have been prepared at leisure. But an accomplished 
craftsman, who can write as he would like to speak, and 
who can deliver the memorized words as though they 
were the spontaneous generation of the moment, can 
often attain by this method a fluency and polish which 
he could not attain in a purely extemporized speech. 

This method has been adopted by many noted speakers, 
— by many more, indeed, than we sometimes suspect. 
However, the practice was doubtless more general in 
former times than at present. Plutarch relates that, 
when the friends of Catiline were on trial, " Caesar, 
then rising up to speak, made an oration (penned and 
premeditated before) in favor of lenity." Webster wrote 
and committed to memory his orations at Plymouth and 
Bunker Hill, and the eulogy on Adams and Jefferson. 
Everett wrote his orations and, as he said, impressed 
them simultaneously on the paper and on his memory. 
Colonel Thomas Went worth Higginson, in his " Hints on 
Writing and Speech Making," records that after hearing 
the Phi Beta Kappa oration of Wendell Phillips, **in 
which he had so carried away a conservative and crit- 
ical audience that they found themselves applauding 
tyrannicide before they knew it, I said to him, *This 
could not have been written out beforehand,' and he 
said, *It is in type in the \iciverttser 'officii* *' And 
Henry W. Grady's famous Boston speech was carefully 
written out and memorized in advance. 

Successful speakers of to-day, however, rarely depend 
solely on the memoriter method, — neither did Webster, 
or Phillips, or Grady, — and they usually grow away 


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from it. Besides the disadvantages referred to, the \ 
method has obvious limitations, for time will not always 
permit such preparation, and further, circumstances are 
bound to arise when the memorized address must be cast 
aside. The student of speaking, therefore, should not be 
content to confine his efforts to training in this method. 

3. Writing in part and extemporizing in part. This is 
really a compromise between the second method and the 
fourth, and may oftentimes be the best for a speaker 
who cannot trust himself wholly to extemporizing. Its 
advantages are twofold. First, it is a guard against 
undue discursiveness in a speech as a whole, enabling 
the speaker to make sure that he will say exactly what 
he wants to say, no more and no less. Secondly, it pro- 
motes exactness and vividness in the expression of the 
more important parts of a speech.^ In those cases where 
nicety and precision in the selection of words are re- 
quired, as in an argumentative speech, or when grand, 
vivid, or picturesque words need to be used, as in many 
kinds of address, it is often well to choose beforehand 
the very words of the important passages, especially of 
the closing sentences. 

On the other hand, the disadvantages of this method 
are also twofold. Cpirst, it places an added burden on 
the memory, when the speaker needs the free play of 
all his mental faculties, if he is to hold the attention of 
the audience. Secondly,^ requires great skill for the 
speaker to pass from the extemporized to the memorized 
portions Of his speech gracefully and forcefully. Transi- 
tions of style are usually obvious. It is difficult to keep 
the tone of passages spoken extempore on the same key 
as those, delivered memoriter, and unless this be done 


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the attention of the audience is called to the point of 
junction. Hence the incongruous effect produced by a 
speaker who delivers the first part of his speech, say, in 
a colloquial diction and offhand manner, and then soars 
suddenly to a peroration stiff with lofty rhetoric. 

This method, however, has been successfully employed 
by speakers of the first rank. Quintilian testifies that 
it was the general practice among pleaders' ** to write ' 
only the most essential parts, and especially the com- 
mencements, of their speeches ; to fix the other portions 
in their memory by meditation; and to meet any un- 
foreseen attacks with extemporaneous replies. Cicero 
adopted this method, as is evident from his own memo- 
randa." John Bright used to write out certain parts of 
his more important speeches, and so, but less frequently, 
did Mr. Gladstone. This was also occasionally the prac- * 
tice of that many-sided man, H,enry Ward Beecher. 

Akin to the method now under consideration is the 
practice of some speakers who first write an address, 
wholly or in part, then cast the manuscript aside, and 
depend upon delivering a speech substantially in the form 
in which it was written. The success of this method 
depends, again, upon the individual. By practice the 
memory in this regard is susceptible of a high degree 
of cultivation. Many preachers habitually adopt this 
method with great success. The writing in advance 
promotes orderly arrangement of ideas and argfuments, 
and secures condensation, accuracy of expression, choice 
of language, and finish of style. And the act of writing 
tends to wear a groove in the brain, from which one does 
not readily depart when he comes to speak. But while 
this plan is a step in advance of memorizing by rote, yet 

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it lacks the freedom and spontaneity of extemporization. 
The danger in this method, as Quintilian remarks, is 
that ** our thoughts fix us to the studied portions of our 
speech, and do not allow us to try the fortune of the 
moment. Thus the mind hangs in suspense and perplex- 
ity between the two, having lost sight of what was 
written, and yet not being able to imagine anything new." 

. After all, the mixed memoriter and extenipore method 
is, as was said at the outset, a compromise. It may 
well be employed at times, no doubt, by one who cannot 
fully trust himself, but he who continues to practice it 
can never know the courage and perfect freedom of the 
speaker who burns all the bridges behind him. "The 
highest gift of extemporization is usually like a spirited 
steed, which cannot be driven double, or like a jealous 

.maiden, who will not brook divided attentions." 

4. Extempore speaking. Since the advantages of this 
method is the subject of the next chapter, attention is 
here called only to its possible disadvantages. Dr. 
Lyman Abbott, in an open letter in The Outlook^ answer- 
ing a correspondent who asked for counsel on speech- 
making, says : 

**The purely extemporaneous method seems to me 
the best and the worst. It is like Longfellow's little 
girl, — * When it is good, it is very, very good ; and 
when it is bad, it is horrid.* The extemporaneous speech 
is apt to be ill-prepared, ill-digested, imperfectly thought 
out, repetitious, and sometimes to make up in * sound 
and fury, signifying nothing,' what it lacks in real and 
tempered feehng. . . . The best manuscript address is 
more admired ; the best extemporaneous address is 
most effective." 


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But the ** ill-prepared " speech should be avoided. 
Ample preparation is a duty the speaker owes both to 
himself and to his audiehce ; and ample preparation for 
extempore speaking, as we shall see, requires quite as 
much time and labor as any of the other preceding 

5. Impromptu speaking. This method might at the 
outset be dismissed by saying that there is no purely 
impromptu speaking which is worthy of the attention 
of any audience. But the phrases, ** speaking on the 
spur of the moment," or **from the inspiration of the 
occasion," are often so alluring to the student that^some 
further discussion of this method — or lack of method — 
may be helpful. 

As above remarked, every speaker owes it to himself 
and to his audience to make the best possible preparation 
for an address. No speaker has the moral right to 
inflict unorganized and diluted thought upon any audi- 
ej;ice. Of course there are frequent occasions, such as 
the exigencies of debate at the bar or in deliberative 
bodies, when premeditation is impossible, but under 
such circumstances the subject, be it a case in court 
or a pending bill or motion, is one which the speaker 
has ordinarily mastered by previous study and thought, 
and he has simply to decide quickly *upon his line of 
argument. Such a speech is really extempore rather 
than impromptu. Again, upon more formal occasions a 
man may sometimes be called upon to speak without 
notice ; but if. he says anything worth listening to, he 
must ordinarily be a man accustomed to much speaking, 
and his address must be on a subject mastered by pre- 
vious meditation, he having only to determine quickly 


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upon the method of treatment. But deliver us from 
the driveling delivery of the merely voluble speaker ! He 
is the speaker from whom the hearer's mind shrinks 
when the body cannot well escape. He has what Bis- 
marck used to call ** the fatal gift of eloquence '' ; what 
Bautain^ calls **that fatal facility, a thousand times 
worse than hesitation or than silence, which drowns 
thought in a flood of words or in a torrent of copious- 
ness, sweeping away good earth and leaving behind 
sand and stones alone. Heaven keep us from those 
interminable talkers, such as are often to be found in 
southern countries, who deluge you, relatively to any- 
thing and to nothing, with a shower of dissertation and 
downpouring of their eloquence ! During nine tenths of 
the time there is not one rational thought in the whole 
of this twaddle, carrying along in its course every kind 
of nibbish and platitude." 

No speaker, then, unless compelled by circumstances, 
should depend upon the impromptu method. Speaking 
from " the inspiration of the moment " may sound well 
in theory, but suppose the moment fails to inspire ? 
To provide against this contingency one should fortify 
himself by a thorough preparation in advance. Such 
preparation sholild not — and need not — prevent a quick 
and fortunate use of unforeseen incidents, of the remarks 
of others, and of ideas that spring unbidden to the lips, 
— ideas that will come betimes, when a speaker becomes 
really inspired by the occasion. Moreover, the more 
there has been of mental preparation for the occasion, 
the more any occasion will yield in the way of inspira- 
tion and suggestion ; and, excepting the veteran speaker 

1 " Art of Extempore Speaking," 68. 


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or an extraordinary occasion, a speech that has not been 
thought out in advance by the speaker is not likely to 
be thought of afterwards by the hearer. And even with 
veteran speakers, the impromptu method is much rarer 
than we sometimes think. " The best improvisations are 
improvised beforehand. The best impromptu speeches 
are committed to memory.'* In confirmation of this. Hon- 
orable John D. Long, in an article in The Writer^ says :. 
**Few men make speeches without carefully prepar- 
ing them beforehand. It is rather amusing that so many 
speakers try to produce the impression that they speak 
without having made ready. Sometimes it is by begin- 
ning with the conventional statement that the call upon 
them is unexpected, or that they have been absorbed 
with other demands upon their time. Sometimes in the 
opening or close, which has been so carefully fixed in the 
memory that the speaker is secure of it, he injects a word 
or reference caught from the pending occasion, thus giv- 
ing the impression that the whole thing is a present in- 
spiration. Then, too, not to put too fine a point on the 
matter, there are some who, on this subject, do, with the 
most unconscionable abandonment, verify the Scripture 
that all men are liars. I remember a most distinguished 
man telling me that a long speech of his at a public meet- 
ing was extemporaneous, when I read it the evening be- 
fore set up in cold type for the forthcoming morning 
paper. Some of the best stump speakers very wisely 
repeat the same speech as they go from place to place, 
as you will learn when you go with them. Some of these 
frankly acknowledge this method ; others will so emphat- 
ically assure you that they never speak twice alike that 
you are bound to credit them with an honest delusion." 


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Peter Harvey, in his " Reminiscences of Daniel Web- 
ster/' says that Webster said to him that no man who was 
not inspired could make a good speech without prepara- 
tion ; that if there were any of that sort of people he had 
never met them. He added that his reply to Hayne, the 
most famous of his speeches, was based upon full notes 
that he had made for another speech upon the same gen- 
eral subject. " If he had tried to make a speech to fit 
my notes, he could not have hit it better. No man is in- 
spired by the occasion ; I never was." Again he said, 
** The materials for that speech had been lying in my 
mind for eighteen months, though I had never- com- 
mitted my thoughts to paper, or arranged them in 
my memory." When questioned by a young clergyman 
about speaking " on the spur of the moment," Webster 
opened his large eyes with apparent surprise, and re- 
plied, ** Young man, there is no such thing as extempo- 
raneous acquisition." 

We may therefore conclude that the impromptu 
method is never to be relied upon unless necessity 
compels ; that it is rarely employed by experienced and 
successful speakers, and that the successful few, who 
really speak ably **on the wing of occasion," have 
learned to do so through the discipline of prepared 

From the foregoing discussion of the various methods 
of speech making it is apparent that (disregarding the 
last mentioned) there are advantages and disadvantages 
in all ; that the method to be adopted -for a particular 
address must depend, first, upon the occasion, and sec- 
ondly, upon the temperament and experience of the indi- 
vidual speaker. There can be no doubt, however, that 


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the extempore plan, when well carried out, not only 
represents the highest form of public speaking, but it 
is the best in general effectiveness. It is therefore the 
goal which the student of speaking, who is passing 
through the period of training, should aim to reach. 


1. Let each student present a topic on which he would 
undertake to prepare a short address, employing either the 
memoriter, the mixed memoriter and extempore, or the purely 
extempore method (for the purpose of this exercise, the other 
methods being disregarded), the addresses to be delivered to 
the class at the next meeting, and the members to determine 
the method probably employed in each case. 

2. Let the class analyze the speeches that follow, and deter- 
mine which one of the five methods treated of in this chapter 
was probably employed. 


Speech of George William Curtis at the annual banquet of the 
New England Society of the City of New York^ December 22^ 
i8y6. The conclusion of this speech contains one of the earli- 
est suggestions of the eventual solution of the Tilden-Hayes 
presidential-election controversy. In the opinion of Edward 
Everett Hale, Curtis at this time " spoke the word which was 
most needed to save the nation from terrible calamity. ^"^ 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the New England Society r 
It was Izaak Walton in his " Angler ** who said that Dr. Botelier 
was accustomed to remark " that doubtless God might have 
made a better berry than the strawberry, but doubtless He 
never did.** And I suppose I speak the secret feeling of this 
festive company when I say that doubtless there might have 
been a better place to be born in than New England, but doubt- 
less no such place exists. And if any skeptic should reply that 
our very presence here would seem to indicate that doubtless, 


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also, New England is as good a place to leave as to stay in, I 
should reply to him that, on the contrary, our presence is but 
an added glory of our mother. It is an illustration of that 
devout, missionary spirit, of the willingness in which she has 
trained us to share with others the blessings that we have re- 
ceived, and to circle the continent, to girdle the globe, with 
the strength of New England character and the purity of New 
England principles. Even the Knickerbockers, Mr. President — 
in whose stately and splendid city we are at this moment assem- 
bled, and assembled of right because it is our home — even they 
would doubtless concede that much of the state and splendor of 
this city is due to the enterprise, the industry, and the genius 
of those whom their first historian describes as " losel Yankees." 
Sir, they grace our feast with their presence ; they will enliven 
it, I am sure, with their eloquence and wit. Our tables are rich 
with the flowers grown in their soil ; but there is one flower that 
we do not see, one flower whose perfume fills a continent, which 
has blossomed for more than two centuries and a half with ever- 
increasing and deepening beauty — a flower which blooms at 
this moment, on this wintry night, in never-fading freshness in 
a million of true hearts, from the snow-clad Katahdin to the 
warm Golden Gate of the South Sea, and over its waters to the 
isles of the East and the land of Prester John — the flower of 
flowers, the Pilgrim's ** Mayflower." 

Well, sir, holding that flower in my hand at this moment, I 
say that the day we celebrate commemorates the introduction 
upon this continent of the master principle of its civilization. 
I do not forget that we are a nation of many nationalities. I 
do not forget that there are gentlemen at this board who wear 
the flower of other nations close upon their hearts. I remem- 
ber the forget-me-nots of Germany, and I know that the race 
which keeps " watch upon the Rhine " keeps watch also upon 
the Mississippi and the Lakes. I recall — how could I forget? 
— the delicate shamrock ; for there " came to this beach a poor 
exile of Erin," and on this beach, with his native modesty, 
" he still sings his bold anthem of Erin go Bragh." I remem- 
ber sir, the lily — too often the tiger-lily — of France and the 
thistle of Scotland ; I recall the daisy and the rose of England ; 


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and, sir, in Switzerland, high upon the Alps, on the very edge 
of the glacier, the highest flower that grows in Europe is the 
rare edelweis. It is in Europe ; we are in America. And here 
in America, higher than shamrock or thistle, higher than rose, 
lily, or daisy, higher than the highest, blooms the perennial may- 
flower. For, sir and gentlemen, it is the English-speaking race 
that has molded the destiny of this continent ; and the Puritan 
influence is the strongest influence that has acted upon it. 

I am surely not here to assert that the men who have repre- 
sented that influence have always been men whose spirit was 
blended of sweetness and light. I confess truly their hardness, 
their prejudice, their narrowness. All this I know : Charles 
Stuart could bow more blandly, could dance more gracefully 
than John Milton ; and the cavalier king could look out from 
the canvas of Vandyke with a more romantic beauty of flowing 
lovelocks than hung upon the brows. of Edward Winslow, the 
only Pilgrim father whose portrait comes down to us. But, sir, 
we estimate the cause beyond the man^ Not even is the gra- 
cious spirit of Christianity itself measured by its confessors. If 
we would see the actual force, the creative power of the Pilgrim 
principle, we are not to look at the company who came over 
in the cabin of the Mayflower ; we are to look upon the forty mil- 
lions who fill this continent from sea to sea. The Mayflower, 
sir, brought seed and not a harvest. In a century and a half the 
religious restrictions of the Puritans had grown into absolute 
religious liberty, and in two centuries it had burst beyond the 
limits of New England, and John Carver, of the Mayflower, had 
ripened into Abraham Lincoln of the Illinois prairie. 

Why, gentlemen, if you would see the most conclusive proof 
of the power of this principle, you have but to observe that the 
local distinctive title of New Englanders has now become that 
of every man in the country. Every man who hears me, from 
whatever state in the Union, is, to Europe, a Yankee, and to- 
day the United States are but the " Universal Yankee Nation." 
Do you ask me, then, what is this Puritan principle? Do you 
ask me whether it is as good for to-day as for yesterday ; whether 
it is good for every national emergency ; whether it is good for 
the situation of this hour? I think we need neither doubt nor 


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fear. The Puritan principle in its essence is simply individual 
freedom. From that springs religious liberty and political 
equality. The free state, the free church, the free school — 
these are the triple armor of American nationality, of Amer- 
ican security. But the Pilgrims, while they have stood above 
all men for their idea of liberty, have always asserted liberty 
under law and have never separated it from law. John Robin- 
son, in the letter that he wrote the Pilgrims when they sailed, 
said these words, that well, sir, might be written in gold around 
the cornice of that future banqueting hall to which you have 
alluded : " You know that the image of the Lord's dignity and 
authority which the magistry beareth is honorable in how mean 
person soever.** This is the Puritan principle. Those men 
stood for liberty under the law. They had tossed long upon 
a wintry sea; their minds were full of images derived from 
their voyage; they knew that the will of the people alone is 
but a gale smiting a rudderless and sailless ship, and hurling 
it a mass of ruins upon the rocks. But the will of the people, 
subject to law, is the same gale filling the trim canvas of a ship 
that minds the helm, bearing it ovfer yawning and awful abysses 
of ocean safely to port. 

Now, gentlemen, in this country the Puritan principle in its 
development has advanced to this point, that it provides us a 
lawful remedy for every emergency that may arise. I stand here 
as a son of New England. In every fiber of my being am I a 
child of the Pilgrims. The most knightly of all the gentlemen 
at Elizabeth's court said to the young poet, when he would 
write an immortal song, " Look into your own heart and write.** 
And I, sir and brothers, if, looking into my own heart at this 
moment, I might dare to think that what I find written there 
is written also upon the heart of my mother, clad in her snows 
at home, her voice in this hour would be a message spoken from 
the land of the Pilgrims to the capital of this nation — a mes- 
sage like that which Patrick Henry sent from Virginia to Massa- 
chusetts when he heard of Concord and Lexington : " I iam 
not a Virginian, I am an American.** And so, gentlemen, at 
this hour, we are not Republicans, we are not Democrats, we 
are Americans. 


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The voice of New England, I believe, going to the capital, 
would be this, that neither is the Republican Senate to insist 
upon its exclusive partisan way, nor is the Democratic House 
to insist upon its exclusive partisan way, but Senate and House, 
representing the American people and the American people 
only, in the light of the Constitution and by the authority of 
the law, are to provide a way over which a President, be he 
Republican or be he Democrat, shall pass unchallenged to his 
chair. Think not, Mr. President, that I am forgetting the occa- 
sion or its amenities. I am remembering the Puritans ; I am 
remembering Plymouth Rock, and the virtues that made it illus- 
trious. But we, gentlemen, are to imitate those virtues, as our 
toast says, only by being greater than the men who stood upon 
that rock. As this gay and luxurious banquet to their scant 
and severe fare, so must our virtues, to be worthy of them, be 
greater and richer than theirs. And as we are three centuries 
older, so should we be three centuries wiser than they. 

Sons of the Pilgrims, you are not to level forests, you are 
not to war with savage men and savage beasts, you are not to 
tame a continent, nor even found a state. Our task is nobler, 
is diviner. Our task, sir, is to reconcile a nation. It is to curb 
the fury of party spirit. It is to introduce a loftier and manlier 
tone everywhere into our political life. It is to educate every 
boy and every girl, and then leave them perfectly free to go 
from any schoolhouse to any church. Above all, sir, it is to 
protect absolutely the equal rights of the poorest and the rich- 
est, of the most ignorant and the most intelligent citizen, and 
it is to stand forth, brethren, as a triple wall of brass, around 
our native land, against the mad blows of violence or the fatal 
dry rot of fraud. And at this moment, sir, the grave and august 
shades of the forefathers whom we invoke bend over us in 
benediction as they call us to this sublime task. This, brothers 
and friends, this is to imitate the virtues of our forefathers; 
this is to make our day as glorious as theirs. 


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speech of Francis M. Finch on assuming the presidency of the 
New York State Bar Association^ at their annual dinner^ 
Albany^ N.V., fanuary //, igoo 

Gentlemen : I regard it as a very great honor to be called 
upon to preside over the work of this Association for the 
coming year. I do not know of any other temptation that 
would have drawn me away from the quiet of my ordinary life 
into an arena so public and so open to critical observation. 
It is entirely natural that one who has crossed the line of three- 
score and ten should covet a life of rest, or at least some rest- 
ful work which makes no heavy demand upon brain and nerves, 
but I have received from the Bar of the state of New York so 
much kindness and courtesy, so much of that encouragement 
and generous approval which makes the hardest work a pleasure 
and happiness, that it seemed to me almost ungrateful and un- 
gracious to refuse the duty which was sought to be imposed 
upon me, and so I have surrendered, with such grace as \ may, 
and will endeavor, to the best of my ability, to push forward 
the work of this Association. 

I wished to confine what I had to say to-night simply to these 
words of acknowledgment, but the thought comes to me, and 
I think I must give it expression, that there never was a year 
in the history of this nation when the work of the intelligent, 
of the able, and of the scholarly lawyer was more imperatively 
demanded in the interest of the nation and of the race, than 
this year which now opens before us. I have long been of the 
conviction that the law never leads civilization, but always 
follows in its wake ; that its purpose and its object is to regu- 
late and control the relations of men with each other, and their 
relations to the state ; but those relations must first come, must 
first be established before there is anything for the law to regu- 
late. Progress goes on ; new inventions are made ; new rela- 
tions between men occur, and it is the office and the purpose 
of the law to march behind them, to regulate and order and 
systematize them, and produce, if need be, justice out of 
injustice ; and to-day, beyond the questions of taxation, which 


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are almost an insoluble problem, we have already the begin- 
nings in the metropolis of the state of an underground rail- 
way, likely to open and introduce questions as difficult and 
as remarkable as those which attended the elevated railways. 
We have a mass of colossal trusts, as they are called, — combi- 
nations of capital, in an extraordinary degree, with which some 
of you have already been wrestling, and others of you will be 
called upon to confront or defend. Beyond that the student 
of international law is about to be obliged to look away from 
home and reconsider his foimdations, to reflect anew upon the 
conclusions to which he has come in the application of the 
questions of what is contraband and what js not in the light of 
an extending commerce. And, beyond that still, the nation 
itself stands to-day at the parting o| the ways ; stands to-day 
upon the verge of a new and most uhexpected and remarkable 
destiny, and, I repeat, that there never was, I think, there 
never will be, gentlemen, another year in which the labor and 
the study and the thought of the scholarly and intelligent and 
learn^ lawyer could be more needed or more in demandf 


Speech of Edward Everett Hale at the annual banquet of the New 
England Society in the City of New, York, December 22^ i8y6 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : You seem to have a very 
frank way of talking about each other among yourselves here. 
I observe that I am the first stranger who has crossed the river 
which, I recollect Edward Winslow says, divides the continent 
of New England from the continent of America, and, as a 
stranger, it is my pleasure and duty at once to express the 
thanks and congratulations of the invited guest here for the 
distinguished care which has been taken on this occasion out- 
doors to make us feel entirely at home. As I came down in 
the snowstorm, I could not help feeling that Elder Brewster, 
and William Bradford, and Carver, and Winslow could not 
have done better than this in Plymouth ; and indeed, as I ate 
my pork and beans just now, 1 felt that the gospel of New 
England is extending beyond the Connecticut to other nations, 


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and that what is good to eat and drink in Boston is good to 
eat and drink even here on this benighted point at Delmonico's. 
When you talk to us about " culture," that is rather a danger- 
ous wofd. I am always a little afraid of the word " culture.*' 
I recollect the very brightest squib that I read in the late 
election campaign — and, as the President says, gentlemen, I 
am going to respect the proprieties of the occasion. It was 
sent to one of the journals from the Western Reserve; and 
the writer was descanting on the Chinook vocabulary, in which 
a Chinook calls an Englishman a Chinchog to this day, in 
memory of King George. And this writer says that when they 
have a young chief whose war paint is very perfect, whose 
blanket is thoroughly embroidered, whose leggings are tied with 
exactly the right colors, and who has the right kind of star 
upon his forehead and cheeks, but who never took a scalp, 
never fired an arrow, and never smelled powder, but was always 
found at home in the lodges whenever there was anything that 
scented of war — he says the Chinooks call that man by the 
name of "Boston Cultus." Well, now, gentlemen, what are 
you laughing at? Some of you had Boston fathers, and more 
of you had Boston mothers. Why do you laugh? Ah ! You 
have seen these people, as I have seen them, as everybody has 
seen them — people who sat in Parker's and discussed every 
movement of the campaign in the late war, and told us that it 
was all wrong, that we were going to the bad, but who never 
shouldered a musket. They are people who tell us that the 
emigration, that the Pope of Rome, or the (jerman element, 
or the Irish element, is going to play the dogs with our social 
system, and yet they never met an emigrant on the wharf or 
had a word of comfort to say to a foreigner. We have those 
people in Boston. You may not have them in New York, and 
I am very glad if you have not ; but if you are so fortunate, it 
is the only place on God's earth where I have not found such 
people. But there is another kind of culture which began even 
before there was any Boston — for there was such a day as 
that. There were ten years in the history of this world, ten 
long years, too, before Boston existed, and those are the years 
between Plymouth Rock and the day when some imfortunate 


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men, not able to get to Plymouth Rock, stopped and founded 
that city. This earlier culture is a culture not of the school- 
house, or of the tract, but a culture as well of the church, of 
history, of the town meeting, as John Adams says; that nobler 
culture to which my friend on the right has alluded when he 
says that it is bom of the spirit of God — the culture which 
has made New England, which is bom of God, and which it 
is our mission to carry over the world. ... 

They tell me there are more men of New England descent 
in San Francisco than in Boston to-day. All those carried with 
them their mother's lessons, and they mean their mother's les- 
sons shall bear fruit away out in Oregon, in Calif omia, in South 
Carolina, in Louisiana. They have those mother's lessons to 
teach them to do something of what we are trying to do at 
home in this matter. We have been so fortimate that we are 
able to consecrate the old South Meetinghouse in Boston to 
the cause of fostering the Pilgrim principle, that it may be 
from this time forward a monument, not of one branch of the 
Christian religion, but of that universal religion, that universal 
patriotism, which has made America, and which shall main- 
tain America. 

Let me say, in one word, what purposes it is proposed this 
great monument shall serve, for I think they are entirely in 
line with what we are to consider to-night. We propose to 
establish here what I might fairly call a university for the 
study of the true history of this country. And we propose, 
in the first place, to make that monument of the past a great 
Santa Croce, containing the statues and portraits of the men 
who have made this country what it is. Then we propose to 
establish an institute for the people of America from Maine 
to San Francisco, — the people of every nationality and every 
name. . . . For we believe that the great necessity of this 
hour is that higher education in which this people shall know 
God's work with man. We mean by the spoken voice and the 
most popular printed word, circulated everywhere, to instill 
into this land that old lesson of New England culture. We 
stand by the side of those of you who believe in compulsory 
education. We desire, in looking to the future, that the 


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determination shall be made here by us, as it has been in 
England, that every child born on American soil shall learn 
to read and write. 

But there is a great deal more to be taught than that. There 
is a great deal which the common school does not teach and 
cannot teach, when it teaches men to read. We not only want 
to teach them to read, but we want to teach them what is 
worth reading. And we want to instil the principles by which 
the nation lives. We have got to create in those who came 
from the pther side of the water the same loyalty to the whole 
of American principles that each man feels to his native 

What is this Constitution for which we have been fighting? 
It is a most delicate mutual adjustment of the powers and 
rights of a nation, among and because of the powers and rights 
of thirty or forty states. It exists because they exist. That it 
may stand, you need all their mutual rivalries, you need every 
sentiment of local pride, you need every symbol and laurel of 
their old victories and honors. You need just this homestead 
feeling which to-night we are cherishing. 

But that balance is lost, that whole system is thrown out of 
gear, if the seven million people of foreign parentage here are 
indifferent to the record of New York as they are to that of 
Illinois, to that of Illinois as to that of Louisiana, to that of 
Louisiana as to that of Maine ; if they have no local pride ; if 
to them the names of Montgomery, of John Hancock, of Sam- 
uel Adams, have no meaning, no association with the past. 
Unless they also acquire this local feeling, unless they share 
the pride and reverence of the native American for the state 
in which he was born, for the history which is his glory, all 
these delicate balances and combinations are worthless, all 
your revolving planets fall into your sun ! It is the national 
education in the patriotism of the fathers, an education ad- 
dressing itself to every man, woman, and child from Katahdin 
to the Golden Gate — it is this, and only this, which will insure 
the perpetuity of your republic. 


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Speech of Fitzhugh Lee at a dinner given by the Hibernian Society 
of Philadelphia^ September J'/ ^ 1887 

Mr, Chairman and Gentlemen of the Hibernian Society : 
I am very glad, indeed, to have the honor of being present in 
this Society once more, as it was my good fortune to enjoy a 
most pleasant visit here and an acquaintance with the members 
of your Society last year. My engagements were such to-day 
that I could not get here earlier ; and just as I was coming in 
Governor Beaver was making his excuses because, as he said, 
he had to go to pick up a visitor whom he was to escort to the 
entertainment to be given this evening at the Academy of 
Music. I am the visitor whom Governor Beaver is looking for. 
He could not capture me during the war, but he has captured 
me now. I am a Virginian and used to ride a pretty fast horse, 
and he could not get close enough to me. 

By the way, you have all heard of " George Washington and 
his little hatchet." The other day I heard a story that was a 
little variation upon the original, and I am going to take up 
your time for a minute by repeating it to you. It was to this 
effect : Old Mr. Washington and Mrs. Washington, the parents 
of George, found on one occasion that their supply of soap for 
the use of the family at Westmoreland had been exhausted, 
and so they decided to make some family soap. They made 
the necessary arrangements and gave the requisite instructions 
to the family servant. After an hour or so the servant returned 
and reported to them that he could not make that soap. "Why 
not," he was asked ; " have n't you all the materials? " " Yes," 
he replied ; " but there is something wrong." The old folks 
proceeded to investigate, and they found they had actually 
got the ashes of the little cherry tree that George had cut 
down with his hatchet, and there was no lye in it. 

Now, I assure you, there is no " lie " in what I say to you 
this afternoon, and that is, that I thank God for the sun of the 
Union which, once obscured, is now again in the full stage of 
its glory ; and that its light is shining over Virginia as well as 
over the rest of this country. We have had our differences. I 


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do not see, upon reading history, how they could well have 
been avoided, because they resulted from different construc- 
tions of the Constitution, which was the helm of the ship of 
the Republic. Virginia construed it one way. Pennsylvania 
construed it in another, and they could not settle their differ- 
ences; so they went to war, and Pennsylvania, I think, prob- 
ably got a little the best of it. 

The sword, at any rate, settled the controversy. But that is 
^behind us. We have now a great and glorious future in front 
of us, and it is Virginia's duty to do all that she can to promote 
the honor and glory of this country. We fought to the best of 
our ability for four years ; and it would be a great mistake to 
assum^ that you could bring men from their cabins, from their 
plows, from their houses, and from their families to make 
them fight as they fought in that contest unless they were fight- 
ing for a belief. Those men believed that they had the right 
construction of the Constitution, and that a state that volun- 
tarily entered the Union could voluntarily withdraw from it. 
They did not fight for Confederate money. It was not worth 
ten cents a yard. They did not fight for Confederate rations — 
you would have had to curtail the demands of your appetite to 
make it correspond with the size and quality of those rations. 
They fought for what they thought was a proper construction 
of the Constitution. They were defeated. They acknowledged 
their defeat. They came back to their father's house, and there 
they are going to stay. But if we are to continue prosperous, 
if this country, stretching from the Gulf to the Lakes and from 
ocean to ocean, is to be mindful of its own best interests, in 
the future we will have to make concessions and compliances, 
we will have to bear with each other and respect each other's 
opinions. Then we will find that that harmony will be secured 
which is as necessary for the welfare of states as it is for the 
welfare of individuals. 

I have become acquainted with Governor Beaver — I met 
him in Richmond. You could not make me fight him now. If 
I had known him before the war, perhaps we would not have 
got at it. If all the governors had known each other, and if 
all the people had been known to each other, or had been 


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thrown together in business or social communication, the fact 
would have been recognized at the outset, as it is to-day, that 
there are just as good men in Maine as there are in Texas, 
and just as good men in Texas as there are in Maine. Human 
nature is everywhere the same; and when intestine strifes 
occur we will doubtless always be able by a conservative, 
pacific course to pass smoothly over the rugged, rocky edges, 
and the old Ship of State will be brought into a safe, commo- 
dious. Constitutional harbor with the flag of the Union flying 
over her, and there it shall remain. 


speech of Richard Oglesby at the banquet of the Fellowship Club, 
Chicago, September p, i8g4, on the occasion of the Harvest- 
Home Festival. The toast assigned each speaker was, " What 
I know About Farming!'"' In the report by Volney W. Foster, 
member of the club, it is recorded that " the governor rose slowly, 
after being called upon by the toastmaster, and was seemingly 
waiting for an inspiration. He looked deliberately upon the 
harvest decorations of the room and finally his eyes seemed to rest 
upon the magnificent stalks of corn that acbrned the walls. He 
then slowly and impressively paid the following impromptu [I] 
tribute to the cornP 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : The corn, the corn, the 
com, that in its first beginning and its growth has furnished 
aptest illustration of the tragic announcement of the chief est 
hope of man. If he die, he shall surely live again. Planted in 
the friendly but somber bosom of the mother earth jt dies. 
Yea, it dies the second death, surrendering up each trace of 
form and earthly shape until the outward tide is stopped by 
the reacting vital germ which, breaking all the bonds and cere- 
ments of its sad decline, comes bounding, laughing into life 
and light, the fittest of all the symbols that make certain 
promise of the fate of man. And so it died and then it lived 
again. And so my people died. By some unknown, uncertain, 
and unfriendly fate I found myself taking my first journey into 
life from conditions as lowly as those surrounding that awaken- 
ing, dying, living, infant germ. It was in those days when I, 


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a simple boy, had wandered from Indiana to Springfield, that 
I there met the father of this good man [Joseph Jefferson] 
whose kind and gentle words to me were as water to a thirsty 
soul, as the shadow of a rock to weary man. I loved his father 
then, I love the son now. Two full generations have been 
taught by his gentleness and smiles, and tears have quickly 
answered to the command of his artistic mind. Long may he 
live to make us laugh and cry, and cry and laugh by turns, as 
he may choose to move us. 

But now again my mind turns to the glorious com. See it ! 
Look on its ripening, waving field ! See how it wears a crown, 
prouder than monarch ever wore, sometimes jauntily ; and 
sometimes after the storm the dignified survivors of the tem- 
pest seem to view a field of slaughter and to pity a fallen foe. 
And see the pendant caskets of the cornfield filled with the 
wine of life, and see the silken fringes that set a form for 
fashion and for art. And now the evening comes, and some- 
thing of a time to rest and listen. The scudding clouds con- 
ceal the half and then reveal the whole of the moonlit beauty 
of the night, and then the gentle winds make heavenly har- 
monies on a thousand-thousand harps that hang upon the 
borders and the edges and the middle of the field of ripening 
com, until my very heart seems to beat responsive to the ris- 
ing and the falling of the long melodious refrain. The melan- 
choly clouds sometimes make shadows on the field and hide 
its aureate wealth, and now they move, and slowly into sight 
comes the golden glow of promise for an industrious land. 
Glorious com, that more than all the sisters of the field wears 
tropic garments ! Nor on the shore of Nilus or of Ind does 
nature dress her forms more splendidly. My God, to live 
again that time when for me half the world was good and the 
other half unknown ! And now again, the com, that in its 
kemel holds the strength that shall (in the body of the man 
refreshed) subdue the forest and compel response from every 
stubbom field, or, shining in the eye of beauty, make blossoms 
of her cheeks and jewels of her lips, and thus make for man 
the greatest inspiration to welldoing, the hope of companion- 
ship of that sacred, warm, and well-embodied soul, a woman ! 


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Aye, the com, the royal corn, within whose yellow heart 
there is of health and strength for all the nations ! The com 
triumphant, that with the aid of man hath made victorious 
procession across the tufted plain and laid foundation for the 
social excellence that is and is to be! This glorious plant, 
transmuted by the alchemy of God, sustains the warrior in 
battle, the poet in song, and strengthens everywhere the thou- 
sand arms that work the purposes of life. Oh that I had the 
voice of song, or skill to translate into tones the harmonies, 
the symphonies, and oratorios that roll across my soul, when 
standing sometimes by day and sometimes by night upon the 
borders of this verdant sea, I note a world of promise, and then 
before one half the year is gone I view its full fmition and see 
its heaped gold await the need of man ! Majestic, f raitful, won- 
drous plant ! Thou greatest among the manifestations of the 
wisdom and love of God, that may be seen in all the fields or 
upon the hillsides or in the valleys ! 


Extract from a speech by -Theodore L. Cuyler to an audience of 
workingfnen, at Glasgow, Scotland^ 

Your brawny arms make " Glasgow flourish." Yonder sweat 
drives the looms of Paisley and Dundee. I see in our harbor 
of New York the splendid steamer you launched on the Clyde. 
Yet the great mass of you have a hard pull to live, and but very 
few ever grow rich. And the simple cause of most of this poverty 
is that the bottle bums a hole in your pockets. You cannot 
support your own families and a liquor seller besides. Scotland 
is the birthplace of savings banks. How much did you deposit 
in them during the year just closed ? Your cities and villages 
are full of banks for losings in which every depositor gains a 
loss. Nothing is paid out but disease and dmnkenness and 
disgrace and death. The best savings bank for your money is 
a total abstinence pledge. The best savings bank for your 
affections is a pure woman's heart. The best savings bank for 

1 " Thoughts for the Occasion — Patriotic and Secular," 575. 


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your soul is a trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I wish that every 
young woman in Scotland would resolve never to offer a glass 
of strong drink to a friend, and never to marry any young man 
who is not a teetotaler. 


Extract from a speech by Henry U^atterson at the opening exer- 
cises of Old Home Week^ Lexington^ Kentucky ^ June^ igo6 

Once a Kentuckian, always a Kentuckian. From the cradle 
to the grave, the arms of the mother land, stretched forth in 
mother love — the bosom of the mother land, immortal as the 
ages, yet mortal in maternal affection, warmed by the rich, red 
blood of Virginia — the voice of the mother land, reaching the 
farthest corners of the earth in tones of heavenly music — sum- 
mon the errant to the roof tree's shade and bid the wanderer 
home. What wanderer yet was ever loath to come? Whether 
upon the heights of fortune and fame, or down amid the shadows 
of the valley of death and despair, the true Kentuckian, seeing 
the shining eyes and hearing the mother call, sends back the 
answering refrain : 

Where'er I roam, whatever realms I see, 

My heart, untraveled, fondly turns to thee. . . . 

Home ! There may be words as sweet, words as tender, words 
more resonant and high, but, within our language round, is there 
one word so all-embracing as that simple word home? Home, 
"be it never so humble there's no place like home," — the Old 
Kentucky Home ; the home of your fathers, and of mine ; of 
innocent childhood, of happy boyhood, of budding manhood; 
when all the world seemed bright and fair, and hearts were full 
and strong; when life was a fairy tale, and the wind, as it 
breathed upon the honeysuckle about the door, whispered 
naught but of love and fame ; and glory strode the sunbeams ; 
and there was no such music as the low of cattle, the whir of 
the spinning wheel, the call of the dinner horn, and the creak- 
ing of the barnyard gate. Home — 


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Take the bright shell 

From its home on the lea, 
And wherever it goes 

It will sing of the sea. 
So take the fond heart 

From its home by the hearth, 
'Twill sing of the loved ones 

To the ends of the earth. 

For it*s " Home, Home, Home,'* sighs the exile on the beach ; 
and it's " Home, Home, Home," cries the hunter from the hills 
and the hero from the wars — 

Hame to my ain countree, 

always home, whether it be tears or trophies we bring ; whether 
we come with laurels crowned, or bent with anguish and sorrow 
and failure, having none other shelter in the wide, wide world 
beside, the prodigal along with the victor — often in his dreams, 
yet always in his hope — turns him home ! 

You, too, friends and brothers — Kentuckians each and 
every one — you, too, home again ; this your castle, Kentucky's 
flag, not wholly hid beneath the folds of the nation's above 
it ; this your cottage, Kentucky-like, the latchstring upon the 
outer side; but, whether castle or cottage, an altar and a 
shrine for faithful hearts and hallowed memories. Be sure 
from yonder skies they look down upon us this day; the 
immortal ones who built this commonwealth and left it con- 
secrate, a rich inheritance and high responsibility to you and 
me ; who, like the father of Daniel Webster, shrank from no 
danger, no toil, no sacrifice, to serve their country and raise 
their children to a condition better than their own. In God's 
name, and in Kentucky's name, I bid you something more than 
welcome. I bid you know and feel, and carry yourselves, as 
if you knew and felt that you are no longer dreaming; that 
this is actually God's country, your native soil ; that, standing 
knee-deep in blue grass, you stand full length in all our homes 
and all our hearts ! 


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Speech of John Hay at a dinner of the Omar Khayyam Club^ 
London^ December <?, i8gy 

Gentlemen : I cannot sufficiently thank you for the high 
and unmerited honor you have done me to-night. I feel 
keenly that on such an occasion, with such company, my 
place is below the salt, but as you kindly invited me it was 
not in human nature for me to refuse. Although in knowledge 
and comprehension of the two great poets whom you are met 
to commemorate I am the least among you, there is no one 
who regards them with greater admiration or reads them with 
more enjoyment than myself. I can never forget my emo- 
tions when I first saw Fitzgerald's translation of the Quat- 
rains. Keats, in his sublime ode on Chapman's Homer, has 
described the sensation once for all : 

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies, 
When a new planet swims into his ken. 

The exquisite beauty, the faultless form, the singular grace 
of those amazing stanzas, were not more wonderful than the 
depth and grace of their profound philosophy, their knowledge 
of life, their dauntless courage, their serene facing of the ulti- 
mate problems of life and death. 

Of course the doubt did not spare me, which has assailed 
many as ignorant as I was of the literature of the East, whether 
it was the poet or his translator to whom was due this splendid 
result. Was it, in fact, a reproduction of a new song, or a 
mystification of a great modem, careless of fame and scorn- 
ful of his time ? Could it be possible that in the eleventh 
century, so far away as Korassan, so accomplished a man of 
letters lived, with such distinction, such breadth, such insight, 
such calm disillusion, such cheerful and jocund despair ? Was 
this Weltschmertz, which we thought a malady of our day, 
endemic in Persia in iioo? My doubt lasted only till I came 
upon a literal translation of the Rubaiyat, and I saw that not 
the least remarkable quality of Fitzgerald's was its fidelity to 
the original. In short, Omar was a Fitzgerald before the 

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latter, or Fitzgerald was a reincarnation of Omar. It is not to 
the disadvantage of the later poet that he followed so closely 
in the footsteps of the earlier. A man of extraordinary genius 
had appeared in the world ; had sung a song of incomparable 
beauty and power in an environment no longer worthy of him, 
in a language of narrow range ; for many generations the song 
was virtually lost ; then by a miracle of creation, a poet, a twin 
brother in the spirit to the first, was born, who took up the for- 
gotten poem and sung it anew with all its original melody and 
force, and all the accumulated refinement of ages of art. 

It seems to me idle to ask which was the greater master ; 
each seems greater than his work. The song is like an instru- 
ment of precious workmanship and marvelous tone, which is 
worthless in common hands, but when it falls, at long intervals, 
into the hands of the supreme master, it yields a melody of 
transcendent enchantment to all that have ears to hear. If we 
look at the sphere of influence of the two poets, there is no 
longer any comparison. Omar sang to a half-barbarous prov- 
ince ; Fitzgerald to the world. Wherever the English speech 
is spoken or read, the Rubaiyat have taken their place as a 
classic. There is not a hill post in. India, nor a village in 
India, where there is not a coterie to whom Omar Khayyam 
is a familiar friend and a bond of union. In America he has 
an equal following, in many regions and conditions. , . . 

Certainly our poet can never be numbered among the great 
popular writers of all times. He has told no story ; he has never 
unpacked his heart in public ; he has never thrown his rein on 
the neck of the winged horse, and let his imagination carry him 
where it listed. The many cannot but resent that air of lofty 
intelligence, that pale and subtle smile. But he will hold a place 
forever among that limited number who, like Lucretius and Epi- 
curus, — without rage or defiance, even without unbecoming 
mirth,— look deep into the tangled mysteries of things ;" refuse 
credence to the absurd, and allegiance to the arrogant authority, 
sufficiently conscious of fallibility to be tolerant of all opinions ; 
with a faith too wide for doctrine and a benevolence untram- 
meled by creed, too wise to be wholly poets and yet too surely 
poets to be implacably wise. 

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Among the advantages of the extempore method we 
may say that (i) it meets the needs and demands of the 
times, (2) it cultivates those mental faculties which are 
necessary for effective speaking, (3) it promotes a sym- 
pathetic relation between the speaker and his hearers, 
(4) it allows the speaker to adapt his address to the 
occasion, and (5) it permits a personal grapple with 
the audience. 

I. Extempore speaking meets the needs of the times 
in which we are living, because, as compared with former 
times, occasions nowadays are far less numerous when 
a long, formal, set speech is required, and are far more 
numerous when a short, business-like, straight-from-the- 
shoulder speech is required. We bewail the lack of the 
cultivation of oratory among our public men, as com- 
pared with the days of Demosthenes and Cicero, and 
perhaps properly so. But it should be borne in mind 
that the orator of classical times was poet, essayist, his- 
torian, novelist, and newspaper reporter in one. With 
the invention of the printing press many of these' func- 
tions disappeared. Even in Webster's time the modem 
magazine and daily newspaper were practically unknown. 
So that people are now slow to flock to hear an address 
the original or equivalent of which they can read in a 
book or magazine; they are not so concerned about 


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missing a long discourse which they can read at their 
leisure in the next morning's paper. Not that occa- 
sions are lacking fop^the elaborate, formal address, or 
will be lacking in the future, but such occasions are less 
frequent than formerly. On the other hand, the extem- 
pore speech is in more constant demand. In deliberative 
assemblies, for example, whereas in the times of Burke, 
Pitt, and Fox in Parliament, or of Webster, Clay, and 
Calhoun in Congress, questions of state were threshed 
out in long debates before the body as a whole, this work 
in modern legislatures is largely done in the committee 
rooms, where pointed, extempore speeches are required. 
So of various other occasions where the public .speaker, 
is in demand. The argument in support of an applica- 
tion for a franchise or other privilege before a city council, 
the presentation of an engineering or financial scheme to 
a board of directors, the exposition of plans and methods 
before any one of the various modern associations, — on 
all such occasions the demand is for ideas rather than 
form, conciseness rather than elaborateness. A speaker 
on such occasions would cut. a sorry figure if he \yere 
unable to defend and reenforce his speech by answering 
extempore any objection, rejoinder, or discussion of any 
kind that might be interposed. It is obvious that the 
lawyer and teacher must constantly practice extempore 
speech ; likewise the preacher, aside from the method 
he may adopt for the weekly sermons. But outside of 
the professions, such are the conditions of American 
citizenship that any one must hold himself in readiness 
to ** improve the occasion,*' and he who has the ability 
to speak extempore has a most effective instrument and 
an indispensable prerequisite for leadership. 


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Extempore speaking is not only needed under modern 
conditions, but the modern audience demands it. There 
is a general prejudice against the cut-and-dried oratioh. 
Hence the public speaker of to-day, as Mr. Long points 
out in the extract previously quoted, usually attempts 
to hide his preparation, especially if his speech be memo- 
rized. It is generally felt to be essential to impressive- 
ness that the fact of verbal premeditation should be 
kept out of sight, and, even when such preparation is 
notorious, it is considered more courteous, on the part 
of the hearers, to ignore it. There is *' the habitual pre- 
sumption that the speech is extemporary," says Prof essor 
Jebb in his '* Attic Orators," discussing the differences 
between ancient arid modern oratory. The reasons for 
this presumption, he says, are that while speech in ancient 
times was required to be artistic, in modern times it 
must be convincing; that the ancient world compared 
the orator with the poet, the modern world compares 
him with the prophet ; hence ** it becomes a preposses- 
sion that the true adviser, the true warner, in all the 
gravest situations, on all the most momentous subjects, 
is one to whom it will in that hour be given what he 
shall speak, . . . and a contempt is generated for those 
who deign to labor beforehand on words that should come 
straight from the heart"; and further, that ** debate, in 
our sense, is a modern institution, its unforeseen ex- 
igencies claiming a large margin in the most careful pre- 
meditation, and hence, in the principal field of oratory, 
an insurmountable barrier is at once placed to any real 
assimilation between the ancient and the modern modes." 

2. Extempore speaking calls into play those mental 
faculties that are conducive to effectiveness in public 


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speech. First, as compared with the memoriter method, 
there is cultivated a memory for ideas rather than for 
words. Reference has previously been made to the 
enormous burden placed upon the memory in memori- 
ter delivery. Memory in this regard is notoriously 
treacherous, and bridging over the gaps is a trying and 
dangerous process. If a connecting word or sentence 
be lost, all may be lost. No words can describe the ex- 
cruciating sense of loss when the speaker, sailing before 
a favorable breeze, suddenly finds that his mind is a per- 
fect blank. The trouble is, of course, that the mind is 
being taxed to recall words merely, rather than the ideas 
which the words are intended to convey. In good me- 
moriter delivery the ideas should be mentally re-created 
along with their expression, but the danger is that this 
will not be done. And this leads to a common fault in 
delivery — ''speaking by rote." There is apt to be a 
mere parrotlike, phonographic recitation. /The mind 
being engaged solely in recalling the form, the thought 
content of his words are not re-created by the speaker, 
and hence no vital relation of thought to language is con- 
veyed to his hearers ; and this fault, in turn, often gives 
rise to another — a stilted, ''oratoricar' delivery. 

With the memory left free, in extempore speech, for 
recalling ideas only, other mental faculties are. allowed 
freer play. Increased mental activity and alertness are 
engendered. There is increased vitality of thought. It 
is thought generating thought, for the mind grows 
by what it feeds on. The self-reliance, alertness, and 
thought vitality that comes from practice in extempore 
speaking are in time developed and strengthened into 
fixed habits. It is doubtful, indeed, if there is, within 


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the same period of time, a higher form of mental exer- 
cise than that of facing an audience and attaining 
self-expression in extempore speech. It is the most 
concentrated and telling of all forms of mental action, 
the most stimulating to those who hear it, and, by reflex^ 
action, to the speaker himself. *' No^riter^has any echo 
so intoxicating as the applause of a visible audience ; no 
writer can elicit from himself sparks so brilliant as those 
which seem to be struck out between your eyes and the 
answering eyes of your hearers." 

3. The extempore method promotes a sympathetic re- 
lation between speaker and hearers. They are brought 
nearer together. Confidence begets confidence, and self- . 
reliance begets sympathy. When it is seen that the 
speaker is not depending for his words on manuscript 
or memory, the audience instinctively want to help hinv 
along. His speech becomes a heart-to-heart talk. The 
chord struck by the speaker is reechoed by the hearers, 
so that there results an interplay of sympathy and in- 
spiration. Says Beecher, in his ** Yale Lectures on 
Preaching" (I, 214) : 

** One's message to his hearers should be so delivered 
as to bring his personaUty to bear upon them. He should 
be in free communion with his audience, and receive 
from them as well as give to them. ... There are cer- 
tain states of mind of transcendent importance in preach- 
ing, which never come to a preacher except when he 
stands at the focal point of his audience and feels their 
concentrated sympathy. No man who is tied to written 
lines can, in any emergency, throw the whole power of 
his manhood upon an audience. There is a freedom, a 
swiftness, a versatility, and a spiritual rush which comes 


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to no man but him whose thoughts are free from tram- 
mels, and who, like the eagle, far above thicket and 
forest, and in the full sunlight, has the whole wide air 
in which to make his flight. ... A written sermon is 
apt to reach out to people like a gloved hand ; an un- 
written sermon reaches out the warm and glowing palm, 
bared to the touch." 

4. Facility in the adaptation of a speech to an occa- 
sion or audience is one of the greatest advantages of 
the extempore method. Almost every one has experi- 
enced the incongruity of a formally prepared address 
which was unfitted to the occasion or to the audience. 
If a speaker, under such circumstances, has the ability 
to recast iht language of his address, while retaining, it 
may be, his prepared line of thought, he can master the 
situation. The genuine extemporizer, indeed, is rarely 
the same on two occasions. He may frequently discuss 
the same subject, but seldom repeats verbatim. He 
takes advantage of occurrences of the moment. . His 
language, too, is instinctively adapted to the particular 
audience he is addressing. If he is speaking to a cul- 
tured audience, his diction, by a reflex influence, will be 
elevated to their height; if to a mixed or ** popular" 
audience, he may without conscious effort so speak that 
they will hear him gladly because they will understand 
him. The extempore speaker is therefore prepared gen- 
erally for any occasion. 

When a manuscript or memorized address has been 
prepared, masters of the art of speech sometimes find 
that in order to reach that particular audience, the form 
of the prepared address must be cast aside. Fortunate 
that speaker who is able to do this. It is related of 


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Lyman Beecher that on one occasion a part of the manu- 
script from which he was reading slipped away from 
him. A gentleman attempting to return the sheets was 
met with the exclamation, ** Let them alone ; they have 
been a trouble to me all the time ; this bottle won't hold 
the wine of this press." A characteristic of all of Grady's 
speeches, it is said, was the ease and felicity with which 
he seized on suggestions born of the moment and grow- 
ing out of his immediate surroundings. He was pre- 
vailed on to prepare his Dallas speech in advance. It 
was put in type in the Constitution office, carefully re- 
vised, and proof slips sent to a number of newspapers. 
Immediately following the delivery of the speech Grady 
telegraphed the Constitution : ** Suppress 'speech. It 
has been entirely changed. Notify other papers." 

Without at all qualifying what has previously been 
said regarding impromptu speaking, the height of elo- 
quence is frequently reached in the extemporaneous ex- 
pression of thoughts born of the occasion. Says Oliver 
Wendell Holmes : '' The orator only becomes our master 
at the moment when he himself is surpassed, captured, 
taken possession of, by a sudden rush of fresh inspira- 
tion. How well we know the flash of the eye, the thrill 
of the voice, which are the signal and the symbol of 
nascent thought — thought just emerging into conscious- 
ness, in which condition, as is the case with the chemist's 
elements, it has a combining force at other times wholly 
unknown ! " ** The best things in any speech," says Colo- 
nel Higginson, **are almost always the sudden flashes 
and the thoughts not dreamed of before. Indeed, the 
best hope that any orator can have is to rise at favored 
moments to some height of enthusiasm that shall make 


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all his previous structure of preparation superfluous ; as 
the ship in launching glides from the ways, and scatters 
cradle timbers and wedges on the waters that are hence- 
forth to be her home/' 

5. Lastly, and most importaiit of all, the extempore 
method permits a personaj grapple with the audience. 
Nothing intervenes between that direct, personal con- 
tact with the hearers which is so necessary for the most 
effective public speaking. In reading a discourse the 
manuscript intervenes. In speaking from memory the 
mental attitude is. apt to be subjective rather than objec- 
tive, and this hinders directness in delivery ; the speaker 
is looking within for his words rather than without to 
see the effect of his words ; he is unwinding rather than 
weaving. Complete sympathy with an audience is at- 
tained only by the extempore speaker. His mind is 
wholly free for spontaneous action in expression. He 
keeps in present personal touch with his audience. He 
is not only speaking to them, but conversing with them. 
He is not occupied in thinking of something to say ; he 
has previously familiarized himself with his subject by 
much meditation, and has in mind the plan of his speech. 
He is not occupied in recalling the words for the ex- 
pression of his ideas ; for that he depends upon the in- 
spiration of the moment. He is occupied only with the 
problem, how to get his thought into the thought of his 
hearers ; how to convince them of his convictions, to per- 
suade them of his beUefs, to impel them to act as he 
would have them. He is constantly studying his audi- 
ence. He gets a response from the hearers^ eyes, notes 
their agreement or disagreement, and proceeds accord- 
ingly. Thus is his thought cast in the mold offered 


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to him by the mind of his hearers. Though he has a 
definite line of thought to develop, he can give due 
elasticity to its development ; he drops those ideas which 
he sees his hearers have accepted, and elaborates those 
which he sees they have not accepted. He gets directly 
at his audience and wrestles with them. And the speaker's 
power in this personal grapple will be the measure of his 

William Pitt, when accused of unduly exciting the 
people, repHed : ** Eloquence is not in the man ; it is in 
the assembly." A friend once said to Sargent S. Pren- 
tiss, "You always mesmerize me when you speak.*' 
** Then it is an affair of reciprocity," said Prentiss, "for 
a multitude always electrifies me." 


1. Assign topics requiring members of the class to speak 
extempore to a specified audience. Suggested topics : {a) 
Imagine yourself a committee of one appointed to recommend 
a graduation gift to be left by the class to this college (or 
school). What will you recommend, why, and what means will 
you employ to secure the acceptance of your recommendation ? 
(p) Assuming that the class constitutes a committee for recom- 
mending football reforms in this institution, present a resolu- 
tion for adoption by the class, which you are ready to argue 
and defend, {c) Suppose the class is a Students' Council em- 
powered to make recommendations to the authorities. Let four 
or six members of the class be prepared to debate, affirmatively 
and negatively, as respectively assigned or chosen, some such 
proposition as. The fraternities (or sororities) at this school 
should be abolished. 

2. Let each one of a given number of the class be assigned to 
speak at the next meeting on some topic which, in the speak- 
er's opinion, possesses the possibility of "personal grapple" 


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with the class as the audience. Suggested topics : Responsibil- 
ity for Electing Studies ; Midweek Parties ; Cheating in Exami- 
nations; The Evils of College (or school) Politics; "Cutting" 
Classes ; Should the Curriculum of this School be Changed, and 
Why? Ways of Engendering more College Spirit in this Insti- 
tution ; Ways of Developing more real Fellowship among our 
Students; A Great Need of this Institution which the Class 
could help in Securing. 

3. Select speeches from those appended to Chapters I, II, 
V, and VI, and assign to members of the class for extempora- 
neous reproduction. 


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Every speech is a composite of thought and language. 
The extempore speaker requires (i) a fund of facts and 
ideas, (2) a fund of language for the expression of his 
thoughts, and (3) the power to use this language accu- 
rately and readily. So while special preparation for a 
given occasion is important, it is yet more important 
that there be a general preparation for every occasion. 

Analyzing still further the foregoing requisites for 
extempore speech, we may say th^t general preparation 
should include (i) a good general education, (2) forming 
the habit of gathering speech material, (3) reading the 
best authors and orators, (4) practice in writing, (5) the 
acquirement of a vocabulary, and (6) practice in extem- 
pore speaking. 

I. A general education. To those who have been 
swayed by the rude eloquence of an uneducated orator, 
it may appear that an education is not a prime essential 
for the public speaker. But here again we must distin- 
guish between the orator and the public speaker. We 
are concerned primarily with the latter, — the man who, 
when a call comes, goes out in all sorts of weather. 
Furthermore, the occasional and transient success of 
the oratorical genius who, though uneducated, knows 
his particular subject for a particular occasion, and is 
consumed by earnestness in presenting it, is one of the 

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cases where the exception proves the rule. There are 
in these days too many failures by the would-be orator 
whose fund of thought is in inverse proportion to his 
flow of words. Hence " oratory " has, in popular thought, 
a certain disrepute. 

The need, then, of a good general education for the 
successful extempore speaker is stressed at the outset 
because, if he is to be really successful, he must be 
something more than a voluble automaton. As civili- 
zation advances, matter is stressed more than manner. 
The average audience of to-day wants to be fedl and 
there must be thought preparation to make a speech 
palatable. The speaker may nor know /everything, but 
the one thing spoken of in a given speech he must know 
at least a little better than the ^erage of his audience. 
He must be grounded in at least the fundamentals of 
the Various branches of knowledge, for all knowledge 
is of use to the speaker, whether it be employed in a 
particular speech or not ; it tends to give certainty, 
catholicity, and scope to his views. The education 
required need not, of course, be gotten in the schools, 
but better so, if possible, since the training of school 
and college is apt to be more economical in point of 
time, more systematic, and more thorough. But how- 
ever secured, this much — a good general education — is 
essential for the highest success in public speaking, just 
as it is essential for the highest success in any of the 

The extempore speaker needs to know, at least in 
broad outline, the natural sciences, not only for the 
facts, but also for training in the scientific method of 
reasoning; he needs to know history, and of this not 


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the facts alone, but also the biography of those men 
whose ideas have largely made history ; he should be 
familiar with the main outlines of ancient and modern 
philosophy ; he should be a logician, practical rather 
than theoretical, but able to make use of the laws of 
thought ; he should be thoroughly trained in the use of 
the English language, and, as an accessory to this, in 
other languages also, the more the better; above all, 
he should know the institutions of his own country, and 
to this end should study elementary law, political science, 
and sociology. And so we might go on, enumerating all 
the branches of knowledge. -v 

Aside from the mental disc ipline^ derived, a general 
education furnishes the speaker, first, with facts, and 
secondly, with examples, analogies, and the like, for use 
in speech construction, — wherein he brings his mental 
powers to bear upon his acquired knowledge. Methods 
for aiding the memory in recalling the results of his 
study and reflection are suggested under the next 

2. Gathering speech material. The intending public 
speaker should early form the habit of making his mind 
a storehouse of facts and ideas for subsequent use as 
speech material. A speaker must of course be a thinker, 
but more : he must learn to think as a speaker, — to 
have an audience constantly in mind. He must. Dickens- 
like, have an eye for seeing everything, and a knack 
for turning everything to account. He must cultivate a 
keen sense for material, as the hound has for game. To 
this end he should be an alert observer, and assimilate 
his impressions by constant reflection. This has ever 
been a characteristic habit of successful public speakers. 


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Daniel Webster, for example, had stored his capacious 
memory with arguments and illustrations that might be 
there for years ready for his use. He told a friend that 
the famous figure of the British *' drumbeat following 
the sun and keeping company with. the hours," which 
was utilized so effectively in his speech on Jackson's 
Protest, had come to him one summer evening at Quebec 
as the sunset gun was fired on the citadel, and that he 
had put it on paper at once, sitting on a cannon. 

In his *' Yale Lectures on Preaching " (I, 205), Henry 
Ward Beecher says that he had found it impracti- 
cable to determine the themes of his weekly sernions 
long beforehand ; that he prepared them *' mostly oh 
Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon." ** But then," 
he adds, **you must recollect that this was accompanied 
by another habit, — that of regular study and continual 
observation. I do not believe that I ever met a man on 
the street that I did not get from him some element for 
a sermon. I never see anything in nature which does 
not work toward that for which I give the strength of 
my life. The material for my sermons is all the time 
following me and swarming up around me. I am tracing 
out analogies, which I afterward take pains to verify, to 
see whether my views of certain truths were correct. I 
follow them out in my study, and see how such things 
are taught by others. . . . These things I do not always 
at the time formulate for use ; but it is a process of 

Contemporaries of Wendell Phillips testify that, in 
the preparation of his speeches he relied almost solely 
on his general preparation ; that for years he cultivated 
the habit of thinking on the platform and off ; that he 


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was always preparing and storing his memory with facts, 
pursuing fallacies, linking chains of argument that seemed 
to have no weakest link, gathering anecdotes, culling 
illustrations that found their own places when and where 
they were wanted ; and that his accumulated store of 
points and illustrations was so inexhaustible that he did 
not need to do anything more than simply draw upon 
it when the time came. 

Senator Frye writes of his own method : ** When I 
knew I was to deliver an address, I have kept the sub- 
ject continually in mind, storing away everything I 
thought might be of interest, talking to myself in my 
walks, excursions, in the attic and cellar, until I thought 
myself fairly well prepared. ... In speaking, apt illus- 
trations are very effective, and my habit has been to 
make of memory a storehouse of such, drawn from every 
available source, subject to call at any time." 

And so with every intending speaker. In observ- 
ing things and people, in reflection, in reading, — no 
matter what, — he is mentally saying. This is a good 
point, or a good illustration, that I can use on such 
an occasion. 

Now, in accumulating this store of facts, ideas, illus- 
trations, etc., — this speech material, — one may or may 
not depend wholly upon the memory. That will depend 
upon the individual. When once the habit is formed, 
the memory is capable of a high degree of cultivation 
in this respect, and should be so cultivated. And yet, 
few can hold in the memory, ** subject to call at any 
time," all the matter gleaned from reading, observation, 
and reflection. It may be doubted if Mr. Frye does. 
It is certain that all beginners cannot do it, or learn to 


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do it. If the memory cannot — and perhaps should not 
— be made a general index rerum^ some system of note 
taking should early be adopted. The speech material 
must be registered either in the mind or where the mind 
can get at it when needed, for next to knowing a thing 
is to know where to find it when you want it. 

How, then, can the memory be aided } Any one of 
several methods might be used, so there be some method. 
One of the best, and the one strongly recommended, is 
the use of a card catalogue, now so generally adopted by 
writers, speakers, and business men. Blank and index 
cards, with a filing cabinet, can be bought at a small 
expense, or you can have the blank cards and indices 
cut to order (three by five inches is the usual size) and 
make your own receptacle for filing. The arrangement 
of the index will, of course, vary with individual lines of 
study and thought. General headings for a student might 
be : Athletics, Biography, Current Events and Topics, 
Education, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, etc. 
Under the general heading of Speech Material might 
come the subtitles of Analogies, Anecdotes, Facts, 
Ideas, Illustrations, and so on. New headings can of 
course be added from time to time* for one great advan- 
tage of this sort of an index rerum is that it allows free 
expansion. Another advantage is, that one can always 
carry with him some of the blank cards for note taking. 
When anything is found or thought of that is wanted, 
jot it down on one of these cards, and file for future 
reference. If the matter wanted is too long to copy in 
full, note the book or magazine, with volume and page, 
where it may be found. Following such a plan, you will 
be surprised to find how, in course of time, references, 


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newspaper clippings, epigrams, quotations, ideas, etc., 
will furnish an accumulated store of speech material that 
can be drawn upon for various subjects and occasions. 

3. Reading, He who speaks much — or little — must 
be a diligent reader, for reading is the principal source 
both of information and ideas. Then, too, the speaker] 
will be known by the company he keeps. Let the intend-j 
ing speaker seek out good speakers and writers. Let 
him live in their society and feel their excellence. Thus 
will his diction and his power of expression be improved 
by an influence more or less unconscious, but none the 
less helpful, — for the mind grows by what it feeds upon. 
** One who reads the great authors with care and judg- 
ment appropriates unconsciously their purer language, 
their deeper thought, their nobler expresision, and their 
animating spirit." 

Wide reading, including the practice of reading aloud, 
or repeating fVom memory, selections from literary or 
oratorical models, has been frequently resorted to by 
great speakers. John Bright used regularly, during the 
session of Parliament, to read aloud the last thing at 
night from one of the standard poets, usually Milton, 
whose majestic lines he frequently quoted. 

Lord Brougham, advocating the study of good liter- 
ary models, in a letter to the father of Macaulay, says : 
'* I do earnestly entreat your son to set daily and nightly 
before him the Greek models. First of all he may look 
to the best modern speeches. . . . His taste will im- 
prove every time he reads and repeats to himself (for 
he should have the finer passages by heart), and he will 
learn how much may be done by a skillful use of a few 
words, and a rigorous rejection of all superfluities." 

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The reading should of course be judicious, systematic, 
and thorough : judicious, so that time be not wasted, or 
worse than wasted ; systematic, so that economy and 
accomplishment be insured ; and thorough, so that it 
becomes part of the reader's mental equipment. With- 
out entering upon a dissertation on reading, one or two 
further suggestions are offered to the intending public 
speaker, which are ordinarily not contained in treatises 
on rhetoric and Hterature. 

First, there should be some time regularly devoted 
to reading aloud, preferably daily, and to some hearer or 
hearers. One great advantage of this method over silent 
reading is that, while in silent reading the mind is fixed 
almost solely on the ideas, in oral reading the words and 
modes of expression obtrude themselves upon the atten- 
tion. And, too, much of the best literature cannot find/^ 
adequate expression, or be duly appreciated, without 
oral interpretation. Especially is this true of oratorical 
literature, which, first addressed to hearers, must obvi- 
ously be heard to be fully appreciated. Only by reading 
aloud can the rhythm and balance of an oratorical sen- 
tence be comprehended. Thus both vocabulary and 
style are aided. 

Along with practice of reading aloud, form the habit 
of memorizing fine passages~"in the poetry and oratory 
which you read. This practice, if persisted in, will not 
only cultivate your vocabulary and style, but it will 
afford a rich store of speech material that can be drawn 
upon continually ; it will furnish a stock of facts and a 
stock of words. 

Much of the reading for the speaker, as distinguished 
from the writer, should be oratorical literature. The 


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productions of great orators constitute a literature worthy 
of all the study and praise which has been given to the 
productions of great authors. In English and American 
oratory, the orations of Burke, Webster, and Curtis, 
for example, not only moved their immediate audiences, 
but they are, as Curtis said of Burke's orations, ** splen- 
did possessions of literature." In legal literature, for 
example, the lawyer should read such books as Sny- 
der's ** Great Speeches by Great Lawyers" or **Veeder's 
Legal Masterpieces " ; the preacher, such a volume as 
Fiske's ** Pulpit Eloquence of the Nineteenth Century " ; 
and such larger works as Brewer's ** The World's Best 
Orations," Reed's ** Modern Eloquence," or Bryan's 
** The World's Famous Orations," a student of speak- 
ing should, if possible, have in his Hbrary. 
Ar^4. Writing. The best extempore speaking can rarely f 
be attained unless it has been preceded by long and! 
careful practice in reducing one's thoughts to writing. 
Writing conduces to orderliness, clearness, accuracy,! 
terseness, and finish. It is strongly recommended byl 
Cicero, and the teaching and experience of eminent 
speakers recommend such practice. The speaker need 
not — and usually should not — write out a speech that 
is to be spoken extempore, but he should write some- 
thing else, and write with care, with careful weighing 
and study of words, with careful rewriting of sentences 
to improve their form, clearness, compactness, rhythm, 
and cadence. This practice in writing should go along 
with the reading of oratorical models, for one must 
write a great deal in imitation of those who know how, 
and under their guidance. It is a school process, but 
the basis for oral composition should be laid in a thorough 


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training in written composition. It will tend to guard 
against the dangers — the looseness and prolixity — of 
extempore speech. It furnishes the very best sort of 
discipline in the analysis of a subject and the unfolding 
of a theme. ** You should begin by learning to write," 
says Bautain, ** in order to give yourself a right account 
of your own thoughts, before you venture yourself to 
speak. They who have not learned this first, speak in 
general badly and with difficulty." 

5. Acquiring a vocabulary. Ideas and words are the 
materials with which the speaker has to work. Since 
words are the medium of expression, manifestly a large, 
accurate, and ready vocabulary is a prime necessity for 
the extempore speaker. In the study of the English 
language much attention should be paid to its resources 
in words, for our language, beyond another, is an organ 
with many pipes and stops of expression and harmony, 
and it requires study and practice to master it. 

The speaker should make a systematic effort to 
increase his vocabulary, particularly by acquiring the 
synonyms of the words he already uses. Milton, it is 
said, employed eight thousand words, while Shakespeare 
leads by a long way the list of English authors with a 
vocabulary of fifteen thousand words. Many cultivated 
people, and even many speakers, have a surprisingly 
limited vocabulary. Dean Trench thought that the 
vocabulary of an English laborer did not exceed three 
hundred words, and it has been claimed that the vocab- 
ulary of most people who really possess some degree 
of education and culture does not exceed two thousand 
words. The public speaker needs a large vocabulary, 
not for purposes of display, but of use. Most men are 


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unable, when speaking, to command sufficient words to 
express their thoughts clearly and effectively. A large 
vocabulary is needed to enable the speaker to express y 
shades of meaning and to insure variety in expression/^ 
" Why, then, do we hesitate to swell our words to meet 
our needs ? It is a nonsense question. There is no 
reason. We are simply lazy ; too lazy to make ourselves 
comfortable. We let our vocabularies be limited, and 
get along rawly without the refinements of human inter- 
course, without refinements in our own thoughts; for 
thoughts are almost as dependent oh words as words 
on thoughts. For example, all exasperations we lump 
together as * aggravating,' not considering whether they 
may not rather be displeasing, annoying, offensive, dis- 
gusting, irritating, or even maddening; and without 
observing, too, that in our reckless usage we have burned 
up a word which might be convenient when we should 
need to mark some shading of the word * increase.' Like 
the bad cook, we seize the frying pan whenever we 
need to fry, broil, roast, or stew, and then we wonder 
why all our dishes taste alike while in- the next house 
the food is appetizing. It is all unnecessary. Enlarge 
the vocabulary. Let any one who wants to see himself 
grow, resolve to adopt two new words each week. It 
will not be long before the endless and enchanting 
variety of the world will begin to reflect itself in his 
speech, and in his mind as well. I know that when we 
use a word for the first time we are startled, as if a fire- 
cracker went off in our neighborhood. We look about 
hastily, to see if any one has noticed. But finding that 
no one has, we may be emboldened. A word used three 
times slips off the tongue with entire naturalness. Then 


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it is ours forever, and with it some phase of Hfe which 
had been lacking hitherto. For each word presents its 
own point of view, discloses a special aspect of things, 
reports some little importance not otherwise conveyed, 
and so contributes its small emancipation to our tied-up 
minds and tongues." ^ 

But it is not so much a question of a large vocabulary, 
desirable as that is, as the mastery of the vocabulary 
that we have — or think we have. It has been. claimed, 
and perhaps upon reasonable grounds, that three fourths 
who speak English have no distinct idea of three fourths 
of the words employed. The average college graduate 
appears to better advantage in almost every other 
department than in English speech. Let the student 
ask himself how many words he has read or heard, and 
perhaps uses frequently, of which he does not, after all, 
know the exact meaning. Such words are not, strictly 
speaking, in one's vocabulary. An heroic effort should 
be made to turn this dead lumber into working material, 
for a vocabulary should above all be a live one — it 
should be usably. 

The reading and writing previously recommended will 
of course help in acquiring a vocabulary. When a new 
word is found in reading, look it up and make a note of 
it. In your card catalogue a special division of the 
index may well be given to Words, and the notes there- 
under should be frequently reviewed until these words 
are incorporated in your vocabulary. Then test yourself 
on these words by aiming to make appropriate use of 
them in writing and speaking ; for after one has taken 
the trouble to use a word it is so much more a real 

1 Palmer, "Self-Cultivation in English," 1S-19. 


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thing than when it exists as a mere mental impression, 

For the acquisition of what Cicero calls a flumen . 
verborum the translation of a foreign language is invalu- 
able. This practice, requiring nice distinctions in choos- 
ing words to express different shades of meaning, fixes 
those distinctions in the mind, while at the same time it 
shows the basic significations of English derivatives. 
Both ancient and modern orators testify, from their own 
experience, to the value of translation. Cicero, Quintil- 
ian, and the Younger Pliny enjoin this practice as indis- 
pensable to any proficiency in speaking. Regarding his 
remarkably copious flow of language, Pitt says : " I have 
always thought that what little command of language I 
have came from a practice I had of daily translating, 
after tea, some passage of Livy or Cicero." Translating 
from the classics was a lifelong habit with Gladstone. 
** Translation," says Rufus Choate, renowned in his day 
for his wonderful vocabulary, ** should be pursued to 
bring to mind, and to employ, all the words you already 
own, and to tax and torment invention and discovery, 
and the very deepest memory for additional, rich, and 
admirably expressive words. In translating, the student 
should not put down a word until he has thought of at 
least six synonyms, or varieties of expression, for the 
idea. I would have him fastidious and eager enough to 
go, not unfrequently, half round his library pulling down 
books to hunt up a word — the word." 

Another supplemental aid in the acquirement of a, 
vocabulary which must not be overlooked is the use of 
a dictionary. By this is meant not its use as a reference 
book alone, but it should be studied, just as you would [ 


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Study a text-book. For this purpose an abridged edition 
of a standard dictionary is perhaps the best. A certain 
portion, say a page or a half page, should be read each 
day. Check and carefully study unfamiliar words, and 
review them until perfectly mastered. Two or more stu- 
dents working together can of course mutually aid each 
other. This practice, far from being tedious, will prove 
exceedingly interesting, as well as helpful. If but one 
new word a day were to be added to your vocabulary, 
think of what this means in terms of years. Daniel 
Webster, when asked what books he intended to study 
during the recess of Congress, replied, ** The Diction- 
ary.** The story is told that Chief Justice Shaw, when 
informed that a new dictionary was published contain- 
ing ten thousand additional words, cried out, ** Keep it 
from Choate, for if he gets it, all the rest of us must 
have it." 

6. Practice. Finally, as a general preparation, sys- 
tematic practice should be had in speaking extempore. 
To quote the well-known aphorism of Bacon, " Reading 
maketh a full man, writing an exact man, and conference 
[speaking] a ready man.*' The readiness which comes 
from speaking is developed and improved through prac- 
tice. It is true that public speaking, especially amateur 
public speaking, may become a public nuisance, and yet 
that facility and confidence which is necessary for flu- 
ency in speech — that coordination of the tongue and 
the brain which characterizes the ready man — must 
come from practice in one way or another. It may be 
by conversation, by telling to yourself or to a friend, in 
more sustained discourse, something you have read, by 
practice in a debating or literary society; or by speaking 


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on assigned topics in class exercises. In any event, 
Edward Everett Hale's two following ** rules " for 
speaking may well be heeded : " First, speak whenever 
any one asks you ; and secondly, no one will ever make 
a speaker until he is ready to make a fool of himself for 
the sake of his subject." 

Lord Brougham, in the letter previously quoted from 
(p. TJ)^ says further : " The beginning of the art is to 
acquire a habit of easy speaking, and in whatever way 
this can be done, it must be had. ... I say, let him 
[Macaulay], first of all, learn to speak easily and fluently, 
as well and as sensibly as he can, no doubt, but at any 
rate let him learn to speak. It is the requisite founda- 
tion, and on it you must build ... to acquire which 
everything else must, for the present, be sacrificed." 

It was a cardinal principle with Fox that to reach and 
maintain perfection it was necessary to speak constantly ; 
and referring to this he said, ** During five whole sessions 
I spoke every night but one, and I regret that I did not 
speak that night too ! " 

Henry Clay, handicapped in his youth by an imperfect 
education, attributed his success in life to the habit of 
daily reading and speaking the contents of some histor- 
ical or scientific book. ** It is to this early practice of 
the art of all arts," he used to say, ** that I am indebted 
for the primary and leading impulses that stimulated my 
progress and have shaped and molded my entire destiny." 

Sargent S. Prentiss testifies that he owed more to early" 
practice in a debating society than to any other form of 
discipline. In a letter to his brother he wrote : " Let me 
particularly recommend you to cultivate the faculty of 
expressing your own ideas in the best and most effective 

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manner. . . . There are hundreds and perhaps thou- 
sands of men in the United States who exceed Henry 
Clay in information on all subjects ; but his superiority 
consists in the power and adroitness with which he brings 
his information to bear. I would again praise before any' 
other acquisition that of. expressing forcibly and with ease 
any idea which the mind may contain. This faculty is 
attained with difficulty in after-life, but with ease at 
college, and nowhere so well as in the debating socie- 
ties of such institutions." 

Other elements contribute to one's general prepara- 
tion for extempore speaking, but at least those that have 
been discussed are essential : — a good general educa- 
tion, an acquired habit of gathering speech material, 
wide and careful reading, drill in English composition, 
the acquirement of a usable vocabulary, and preliminary 
practice in expressing thought in informal, extempora- 
neous speech. Thus equipped, one is prepared generally 
for the various occasions when he is called upon to 
speak. The question of special preparation for a given 
occasion will be considered in the next chapter. 


1. Let each student outline to the class what general knowl- 
edge and education would be necessary for the complete treat- 
ment of some proposition with which he is familiar and which 
is in the line of his major study. 

2. Require each student to. make at least one complete 
bibliography of an assigned topic. Exercises XXIV-XXIX, 
inclusive, in the Appendix, could be used for this purpose. 

3. Let each student furnish one or more valuable quota- 
tions, and show how they might be used to advantage in dis- 
cussing a. given proposition. 


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4. For an exercise in vocabulary building exactness, choice, 
and taste in the use of words may be tested by discussing with 
the class some such list ^ of synonyms as is given below. Assign 
a certain portion of the following list to each member of the 
class, and at the next exercise let each be prepared to give the 
distinction in the meaning of the assigned words, with examples 
illustrating their correct use. 

It is to be noted that the words of each series following, in 
one, two, three order, are respectively of Saxon, Romanic, and 
Latin derivation; and that, for the most part, the words of 
each series are not exact equivalents. 

Anger, fury, indignation ; ask, inquire; interrogate ; bait, al- 
lurement, temptation ; begin, commence, initiate ; bewail, 
lament, deplore ; bewitch, enchant, fascinate ; bid, offer, pro- 
pose ; birth, nobility, aristocracy ; blessing, benison, benedic- 
tion ; bloody, murderous, sanguinary ; blue, azure, cerulean ; 
body, company, corporation ; bold, brave, resolute ; boldness, 
courage, fortitude ; boldness, impudence, audacity ; bough, 
branch, ramification ; bow, obeisance, salutation ; breed, en- 
gender, propagate; bright, luminous, incandescent; bright, 
brilliant, effulgent ; bright, cheerful, animated ; brink, verge, 
margin ; bulk, size, magnitude ; burdensome, oppressive, oner- 
ous; busy, engaged, occupied ; care, anxiety, solicitude ; choice, 
preference, predilection ; cold, indifferent, apathetic ; craft, 
subtlety, artifice ; dear, precious, valuable ; deem, surmise, ap- 
prehend ; downfall, destruction, demolition ; draw, allure, at- 
tract ; dread, dismay, consternation ; dull, stupid, obtuse ; 
dwell, reside, inhabit ; earnings, wages, remuneration ; empty, 
void, vacant ; end, close, termination ; enough, suffice, suffi- 
cient ; fall, decline, decadence ; fatherly, paternal, parental ; 
fearful, terrible, formidable ; fellow, comrade, associate ; feud, 
enmity, hostility ; fight, battle, conflict ; filch, embezzlement, 
malversation ; find out, discover, detect ; fire, flame, con- 
flagration ; fit, proper, appropriate ; flat, level, horizontal ; 
flat, insipid, vapid ; flood, deluge, cataclysm ; follow, pursue, 
prosecute ; footmark, trace, vestige ; forbid, prohibit, veto ; 

1 Adapted from a much longer list in Earless ** English Prose," 3-36. 

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forestall, prevent, anticipate ; forgive, pardon, condone ; freak, 
caprice, vagary; frighten, alarm, terrify ; fullness, plenty, abun- 
dance ; game, sport, diversion ; gap, space, interval ; give, 
grant, confer ; giver, donor, benefactor ; greatness, grandeur, 
magnificence ; greedy, covetous, mercenary ; growth, herbage, 
vegetation ; guess, surmise, conjecture ; hard, laborious, diffi- 
cult ; harmful, injurious, deleterious ; heed, caution, attention ; 
height, summit, elevation ; hide, conceal, elude ; hint, sugges- 
tion, innuendo ; hire, payment, remuneration ; home, domicile, 
residentiary ; hopeful, sanguine, ardent ; idleness, indolence, 
inactivity ; keep, observe, celebrate ; kind, amiable, affection- 
ate ; lasting, enduring, perpetual ; law, rule, canc)n ; lessen, 
diminish, extenuate ; lie, falsehood, mendacity ; likelihood, 
probability, verisimilitude ; likeness, resemblance, similarity ; 
loud, sounding, sonorous; low, base, abject; luck, chance, 
accident ; madness, frenzy, insanity ; match, rival, compete ; 
meaning, sense, signification ; meed, reward, remuneration ; 
meeting, assembly, congregation ; mouth, entrance, aperture ; 
needful, necessary, requisite ; neighborhood, vicinage, vicinity ; 
old, antique, archaic ; open, frank, ingenuous ; outlandish, 
foreign, external ; outskirts, frontier, limit ; pat, suitable, ap- 
posite ; praiseworthy, commendable, laudable ; put off, defer, 
procrastinate; rash, sudden, instantaneous; rife, general, 
prevalent ; sameness, uniformity, monotony ; seek, search, 
scrutinize ; shorten, abridge, abbreviate ; skill, discernment, 
discrimination ; sly, subtle, clandestine ; small, petty, insignifi- 
cant ; speed, celerity, alacrity*; strife, quarrel, contention ; 
take, receive, appropriate ; take down, humble, suppress ; tak- 
ing, alluring, attractive ; timely, seasonable, opportune ; undo, 
annul, annihilate ; uneven, unequal, irregular ; warning, notice, 
notification ; way, course, direction ; • wholly, entirely, abso- 
lutely ; winnow, purge, expurgate ; wonder, astonishment, ad- 
miration ; work, effort, operation ; worry, harass, irritate ; yield, 
grant, concede. 

Again, there is a large class of words expressing nearly or 
quite equivalent meanings, and it becomes necessary tp choose 
between an old word and a modem one, between a general 
expression and a more specific one. Following are a few 


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examples of this duplicate choice. The first words of the several 
series are domesticated old words of Romanesque origin, and 
the last words are Latin and Greek derivatives of recent and 
scholastic introduction. Let each student be assigned a part 
or all of this list and (i) state the distinction, if any, in the 
meaning of each duplicate, (2) decide which word is prefer- 
able, and (3) bring in sentences either choosing between the 
two words or using both in the same sentence. 

Adroitness, dexterity ; agreed, unanimous ; aim, scope ; as- 
sail, impugn ; banishment, exile ; box, chest ; calm, quiet ; 
calumny, defamation ; chainj concatenation ; change, altera- 
tion ; comfort, console ; company, society ; copy, transcribe ; 
decay, decadence ; discern, discriminate ; discovery, detection ; 
dissemble, dissimulation ; envious, invidious ; exact, extort ; 
exact, precise ; feign, simulate ; guerdon, remuneration ; 
haughty, supercilious ; inquest, inquisition ; invective, dia- 
tribe ; leisure, vacation ; mean, pusillanimous ; number, enu- 
merate ; plot, conspiracy ; poison, venom ; porch, vestibule ; 
praise, eulogy (or panegyric) ; pray, supplicate ; reproach, 
opprobrium ; restrain, inhibit ; revere, venerate ; revolt, re- 
bellion ; sample, example ; sense, consciousness ; silent, reti- 
cent (or taciturn) ; slander, defamation ; training, discipline ; 
try, attempt ; unavoidable, inevitable ; valid, conclusive ; van- 
ishing, evanescent ; variety, diversification ; venal, mercenary ; 
vex, irritate ; vie, emulate ; voluble, fluent ; wait, attend. 


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You have to deliver an extempore speech upon a 
given occasion. What is the best method of preparing 
it ? It might be answered that there is no best method ; 
it may vary with the subject, the occasion, and the in- 
dividual. The point to be insisted upon is, there must 
be sonie method. Moreover, the theories of writers on 
the subject, and the testimony of experienced speakers, 
are in practical accord as to the main points. With school 
and college classes it is obvious that both for the sake 
of uniformity and for the training of the student in some 
one method of procedure, a definite plan — so it does 
not destroy the student's power in initiative — should 
be adopted and uniformly followed. 

In special preparation the following five steps are 

1. Analyze your subject, and draw up a tentative out- 
line of your speech. 

2. Read for ampUfication, when necessary. 

3. Prepare a final outline. 

4. Memorize the outline. 

5. With the final outline as a guide, silently think 
out your speech. 

I. Analysis of the subject. Assuming now that your 
subject has been prescribed by the occasion, or other- 
wise, the first thing to be done is to make a preliminary 

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analysis. I put this before preliminary reading because 
an independent analysis will mark the bounds and direc- 
tion of any subsequent reading on the subject, and is 
also much more apt to give an original stamp to the 
speech. The first impulse of the average student, when 
assigned a subject for the preparation of a speech, is to 
ask, ** How would you treat this subject ? Where can I 
find some book or article relating to it .? " Now such 
questions as these, before any considerable thought has 
been given to the subject, indicate a wrong mental atti- 
tude. How would yoti treat the subject } For if it is to 
be your speech, it is your thought and feeling that are 
to go into it. Further, no one ordinarily can, at a 
moment's notice, suggest a method of treatment that 
would be worth your serious consideration. And as to 
the second question, — the reading of references, — read 
your own mind first. Take an inventory of the stock on 
hand. What do you know about the subject } What . 
ideas have you regarding it } On many subjects, though 
not all by any means, you will need to read for the 
acquirement of facts, and also, it may be, for the sug- 
gestion of ideas. But the point is, do not make reading 
a substitute for thinking. If you do, the result will be 
an encyclopedic speech, a mere compilation of things 
read, and therefore ** stale, flat, and unprofitable." 

Our first step, indeed, involves a consideration of 
the primary requisite of a good speech. .What is that 1 
Briefly, that the hearers get something out of it. Whether 
the speech be in the nature of narration, exposition, argu- 
ment, or appeal, or mayhap all combined, it should leave 
some definite impression upon the minds of the hearers. 
That is the sort of ** oratory" that the times demand. 

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and not merely a jumble of pretty rhetoric to tickle the 
sensibilities. How many a speech have we heard regard- 
ing which the common remark was, **That sounded well, 
but what did it mean ? " '* Fame of voice or of rhetoric," 
says Emerson, ** will carry people a few times to hear a 
speaker, but they soon begin to ask, * What is he driv- 
ing at ? ' and if this man does not stand for anything, 
he will be deserted." A desultory talk does not make 
a speech. To ramble along, saying ** something about " 
your subject, even though this be done in a manner suffi- 
ciently interesting to command attention, is yet no real 
discourse. If a hearer is impelled to ask, ** What was all 
this about ? What end did the speaker have in view.? " 
it is a fatal condemnation. A speech should come to 
the hearers with a sense of personal import. ** I always 
aim at somebody in my audience," Beecher once said ; 
** I may not always hit him, but I try to hit something." 
The analysis of your subject involves asking yourself 
such questions as, ** What knowledge and convictions 
have I regarding this subject ? What purpose is to be sub- 
served, what object is to be attained, by this speech } " 
Your answers to these questions will determine the 
general plan of your speech, and will mark out the 
course to be followed in perfecting the preparation. 
To determine the object of a speech is the initial step, 
for the object is always to be deduced from the subject, 
and carefully determined. The subject is what you ^re 
to speak about, the object is the motive impelling you 
to speak. The object of the lawyer is to win his case ; 
of the legislator, to carry his measure ; of the campaign 
speaker, to elect his candidate ; and every speech that 
is at all worth while must have some definite object. 


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The object of your speech having been determined, 
the next thing is to work out a plan for the accomplish- 
ment of this object, that is, to decide upon a method 
of treatment. After calling to mind all the information, 
ideas, opinions, and convictions that you have on the 
subject, — it is sometimes well to write them down in 
such order ais they occur to you, — proceed to make a 
tentative outline of your speech, planned, of course, to 
accomplish your object.>^ say a tentative outline, because! 
subsequent thought and reading — and sometimes read- 
ing may need to precede even the tentative outline — 
will often lead you to revise this outline. The writing 
of an outline will be discussed under step 3 (p. 96), so 
suffice it to say here that this inijtial outline may be as 
full of detail as you like, only try to get your line of 
thought arranged in a clear and orderly way, with the 
main headings and subheadings plainly denoted. Another 
important point : do not outline too broad a treatment 
of your subject. Narrow it to a single, definite theme. 
Always remember that a single point well made is bet- 
ter than several points imperfectly treated. Have your 
object clearly in view and aim at it alone. Do not dissi- 
pate your energy. Do not try to cover too much terri- 
tory. In a ten-minute or even in a half-hour speech, 
do not begin with the Garden of Eden aud swing along 
down through the centuries. Bear ever in mind that a 
definite impress is the thing to be aimed at. 

2. Reading for amplification, Reading for the pur- 
pose of filling out your tentative outline will usually be 
necessary, but should not be resorted to until it is found 
necessary. Your card catalogue will naturally first be 
consulted for any points or references. Then, if you 


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fortunately have access to a good library, its catalogue 
would be consulted for general treatises on the subject 
under investigation. Usually such treatises have leading 
chapters, or parts of chapters, where the subject is 
treated in brief, or where your particular phase of the 
subject is treated. These chapters should of course be 
read, and the gist of the matter noted for future use. 
For the investigation of common and current topics the 
following bibliography is subjoined. It is suggestive 
rather than complete, and will serve as a guide to the 
student until he becomes familiar with the catalogues, 
finding lists, and bibliographies in the particular library 
to which he has access. 

A modern, standard encyclopedia will be helpful in 
gaining a general view of many biographical, political, 
historical, and scientific subjects, but ordinarily an en- 
cyclopedia^ treats a subjept only in its broad outlines. 
The World and Tribune almanacs, issued annually, con- 
tain many detailed facts relating to national and state 
governments, to general, commercial, industrial, and 
political statistics, and to abstracts of current events 
and legislation. The Congressional Record gives the 
proceedings of Congress, and Jones's " Finding List ** 
shows where, in the various government publications, 
different subjects are discussed. On questions of the 
day, Poole's ** Index to Periodical Literature " should 
be consulted for references to magazine articles, etc. ; 
the "Cumulative Index to Periodical Literature" con- 
tains titles of leading review and magazine articles for 
the previous month ; and Jones's ** Index to Legal 
Periodical Literature " contains titles on legal, political, 
and constitutional subjects. 


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In the field of history Larned's " History for Ready 
Reference and Topical Reading " is a very useful compi- 
lation of historical and biographical topics ; and Channing 
and Hart's ** Guide to the Study of American History *' 
contains a complete bibliography of United States his- 
tory, together with suggestions to aid the investigator 
in his search for books pertaining to his subject. 

References in the fields of politics, economics, and 
sociology are Bowker and lies' " Readers' Guide in 
Economic, Social, and Political Science," a classified 
bibliography of American, English, French, and Ger- 
man works, with descriptive notes ; " The Annual Regis- 
ter," a review of public events at home and abroad, 
containing summaries of foreign politics ; ** The States- 
man's Year-Book," a statistical and historical annal of 
the states of the world ; McPherson's " Handbook of 
Politics," a record, issued biennially, of important politi- 
cal action, legislative and executive, national and state ; 
and Bliss' " Encyclopedia of Social Reforms," an exposi- 
tion of the leading social questions of the day. 

In addition to the foregoing, desired statistics on 
commerce, banks, debts, shipping, taxes, etc., may be 
found in the " Statistical Abstract of the United States," 
issued annually by the Bureau of Statistics, Washington ; 
Poor's ** Manual of Railroads " gives statistics of steam 
and electric railways and railway corporations in the 
United States and Canada ; and Mulhall's ** Dictionary 
of Statistics " is a standard compilation of statistics for 
the world. 

In going through a mass of material the student must 
learn to discriminate quickly as to what should be read 
and what should be passed over, — to note at a glance 


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what he wants and what he does not want, and so to 
economize time and labor. Some method in note taking 
should be followed. An excellent plan is to take the 
notes on one side of slips of paper, uniform, in size, 
then later sort these slips and fit them into your tenta- 
tive outline (which may now be revised) by labeling each 
slip to correspond with the particular, heading to which 
it belongs in the outline. 

3. The final outline. The general plan of the speech 
having been formulated, the next step, by using such 
new material as you have accumulated by subsequent 
thought and reading, is to draw up a final outline. A 
clear outline can always be deduced from every effect- 
ive speech. Cicero's second requisite . for " effective 
oratory" is to "arrange the order*' of what one has to 
say. Even a man who has no gift for oratory can make 
an effective speech if he knows exactly what he wants 
to say, then says that and no more. But his speech will 
be worse than ineffective if he does not know what he 
wants to say, and if he talks forever in the vain hope of 
happening upon it by accident. A good speech, like a 
house, must be built from a plan, and no part of the 
speaker's work is more important than, that of con- 
structing a good plan. 

Since the plan of a given speech must depend upon 
the particular subject, the occasion, and the individual 
point of view, we must needs discuss plan making in 
more or less general terms, with suggestions of things 
to be avoided. 

However detailed your tentative outline may have 
been, the final outline — which might well be called a 
skeleton outline — should be brief, only the main points 


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being written down, for this final outline j as we shall 
see, is to be memorized. And the main points to be 
made, to be illustrated, and to be enforced, should be 
few in number, simple, and orderly : few in number for 
the sake of emphasis ; simple, that they may be easy of 
comprehension both for the audience and for yourself ; 
and orderly, both for the sake of clearness and for ease 
in recalling them, each point suggesting the next. The 
outline is not to supply the thought, but it is to show 
how to bring the thought forth in regular succession. It 
should in some way be so drawn that the headings will 
float on the surface of the memory, to be recalled with- 
out effort, in due order. To attempt thus to carry in 
the memory a detailed outline would be more of a hin- 
drance than a help. Dr. Richard S. Storrs, one of the 
most noted pulpit orators and after-dinner speakers of 
the past generation, and who passed through many sore 
trials in attaining the power of speaking extempore, says 
that in' his first efforts he made the mistake of over- 
preparing in detail; that he wrote out heads, subdivisions, 
sub-subdivisions, and even some passages or paragraphs 
in full, that he might be certain to have material enough. 
He declares this to have been the poorest possible plan, 
as the intervals were not long enough for his mind to get 
** freely, freshly, vigorously at work," the speech becom- 
ing **a series of jerks.'* 

Ordinarily there should not be more than two to four 
main headings in the final outline, and not more than 
two or three subheadings under each main heading. Sub- 
subheadings are generally inadvisable ; that is, let this 
skeleton outline state clearly but briefly the succession 
and connection of your points, and then trust yourself to 


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build your speech from this supporting scaffold. Again, 
aim to arrange the outline so that the memory is to 
recall not words primarily, but rather the ideas which 
the words represent. Associated ideas will often be 
found helpful in recalling the thought sequence, but 
elaborate schemes of mnemonics usually represent wasted 
energy. Beware of using mere catchwords which, if 
forgotten, break the thread of the discourse. Let each 
heading be a single proposition, and one only, so that, 
if the particular form of statement be forgotten, the idea 
contained in the proposition may be recalled. 

A subject will often be of such a nature that the plan 
of treatment will readily arrange itself. More often, 
however, such will not be the case. By a preliminary 
analysis you will need to choose some one phase of the 
general subject, to decide upon some one course through 
a wide field by which you may reach your object. Any- 
how, plan making for a particular speech is always an 
individual task. Beware of the conventional, regulation 
plans that are laid down in the books, for there is no one 
proper plan. A glance at the following types may, how- 
ever, be suggestive. 

First, there is the narrative method, familiar from its 
exposition in treatises on rhetoric. This method is most 
frequently employed when certain events — a statement 
of historical facts — form the principal part of the dis- 
course. Certain leading events, following the order of 
time or grouped together according to their nature, fur- 
nish the main divisions. The order of time is the most 
obvious plan of procedure, but this plan should be de- 
parted from whenever the story can otherwise be better 
and more dramatically told. If the events are already 


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more or less familiar to the hearers, aim to give the nar- 
rative in a new way, to throw some side lights on it, and 
thus to incite fresh interest. 

To give a narrative in a manner at once clear and 
interesting is an art requiring much skill. What is called 
the opening statement in a trial at law consists in almost 
pure narrative, — a statement of the facts on which the 
plaintiff or defendant relies in the action. It includes, 
of course, references to the evidence by which the 
attorney hopes to prove his case, but argument or appeal 
can properly come only after the witnesses in the case 
have been heard. The power of clear and intelligible 
statement in opening his case is no small asset of the 
successful advocate, for nine tenths of our lawsuits, it 
has been calculated, turn upon questions of fact, and not 
upon questions of law. ** Yet how very differently is 
this opening statement made by different speakers ! In 
the hands of one it is a confused jumble of assertions, 
which it is hopeless to unravel or understand, and we 
await the story of the witnesses to discover what it 
all means. In the case of another it is clear, so far as it 
goes, but neither coherent nor convincing ; wanting in 
proportion, perhaps, and, for some indefinable reason, 
by no means calculated to make that good first impres- 
sion which it should be the opener's aim to achieve. In 
the hands of the accomplished advocate, however, this 
plain and simple statement becomes in a great case a 
supreme work of art. The most complicated issues are 
made clear, the driest details are made intelligible, if 
not interesting, each fact or document or circumstance 
finds its appropriate place, and the good order of the 
whole constitutes in itself a presumption in favor of the 


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client, though no formal argument has been advanced 
from beginning to end." ^ 

Speaking generally, whenever the subject allows a 
departure from the purely narrative method, this should 
be done, for in public speaking narration is usually em- 
ployed only as a means to conviction or persuasion. 
Take, for example, a biographical subject. If a student 
is assigned the name of some great man as a subject for 
a ten-minute speech, the temptation is — moving along the 
line of least resistance — to read a sketch of the man's 
life in some biography or in an encyclopedia, and prepare 
an abstract of this for his speech. In such case the 
student's outline (and this is not an imaginary case) runs 
something like this : (i) his birth and parentage ; (2) boy- 
hood ; (3) middle life ; (4) old age ; (5) death. Now 
a speech from such an outline, aside from being a mere 
compilation, can be of no earthly interest to any one. 
Of what interest to the average hearer are the particular 
place and date of a man's birth, an account of his child- 
hood diseases and behavior at school, or the details of 
his last sickness .? To come back to our stock inquiry. 
What is the object of this speech ? If a great man, what 
did he stand for ? What was the ruling purpose of his 
life, and was this purpose commendable ? What is the 
lesson of his life ? What constitute the marks of his 
greatness ? You might say, in answer to the last question, 
that he was great as a statesman, or as an orator, or as 
a patriot, or as a man. Very well, then your object should 
be to show that he was great, and why, in some one of 
these respects, — for any one would be sufficient, no 
doubt, for a ten-minute speech, ^ — and in every such case 

1 Power, " The Making of an Orator," 25. 


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it is always best to confine your energies to the produc- 
tion of a single impression. Thus you have both narrowed 
your subject to a single object, and also changed your 
narrative, "encyclopedic*' method to one embodying 
some purpose and interest. 

A .second method is the textual. The sermon is a 
familiar example. In this method a verse from the Bible, 
a motto, a line of poetry, a proverb, or some striking 
epigram affords a basis for each part of the discourse. 
The speeches entitled " Smashed Crockery '* and ** A 
Shot at the Decanter," to be found among the examples 
at the end of this chapter, might be cited as examples 
of the textual method. When the text itself is well 
known, an outline based upon it has the advantage of 
assisting the memory both of speaker and hearer by 
suggesting each part of the discourse at the proper 

A third method may be termed the topical. This 
method is used in those cases where the speaker aims 
to present only particular features, or phases, of his 
subject. He selects certain topics, say three, related to 
the subject and to each other, and confines his efforts to 
enforcing the three points selected, — to making three 
definite impressions upon the surface of his subject 
and upon the. minds of his hearers ; for example, the 
speech of Edward Everett Hale (Chap. H, p. 48). This 
method, which evolves a plan by the process of exclu- 
sion, may of course be employed in connection with 
another method, for none of these methods are exclusive 
of each other. 

A fourth method is the logical. It is adapted to the 
unfolding of some abstruse subject, to the demonstration 


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/iq^'''^':: - ..^^TfCMPORE SPEAKING 

jof some great truth, or to the proof of some proposition 
which the speaker wishes the audience to accept. It 
allows the most symmetrical plan of any of the methods 
so far suggested. The subject is unfolded with all the 
precision of a proposition in geometry. The main head- 
ings should be propositions reading as reasons for the 
truth to be unfolded or proved, the subheadings should 
read as reasons for their respective main headings, and 
together all should lead forward to the conclusion. This 
is the method peculiarly adapted for debate. The speech 
of Carl Schurz (Chap. VI, p. 138) would be, in part, an 

Finally, a fifth method we will call, for want of a better 
term, the single-minded. The speaker decides that some 
central thought; lodged in the minds of his hearers, will 
best accomplish his object in speaking. This central 
thought is then analyzed into two or three propositions, 
the enforcement and illustration of which will serve to 
fasten in the minds of the hearers the central thought, - 
and so to secure the desired result. Or, to put the 
method in military terms, the thought is organized like 
an army, and this organization is effected with a view 
of a particular point of attack. For example, Herbert 
Spencer, in his "Philosophy of Style," uses what we have 
termed the single-minded method. His whole treatise is 
grouped about this proposition as the central thought : 
the economy of the. reader's or hearer's attention deter- 
mines all rules of composition. Another example of this 
method may be found in the speech by Mr. Eggleston on 
"Southern Literature" (Chap. VI, p. 139). This method 
is a most effective one, and should be used whenever the 
subject lends itself to such treatment. Its singleness 

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of purpose always tends to make a strong, because a 
single, impression upon the minds of the hearers. 

Whatever may be the method employed in outlining 
a particular speech, it is best, since every speech must 
have a beginning, a greater or less continuance, and an 
ending, to start out with the threefold divisions of Intro- 
duction, Discussion, and Conclusion. The function of 
the introduction is to get on good terms with your audi- 
ence, to secure their interest and attention, so that they 
will be receptive to what follows. The discussion is the 
main part of the speech ; in this your line of thought is 
unfolded and enforced. The conclusion should reenforce 
the discussion, all new matter or digressions being 
avoided. It may consist in a general summary of the 
main points, or an appeal that naturally follows from 
your discussion, or a general statement, argument, or 
quotation that contains the gist of thq^ whole speech ; 
or it may be a combination. of any two or all three of 
these. In any event, always aim in the conclusion to 
gather up the main thoughts that have been presented, 
and mass their appropriateness and their force. 

By way of summary of our third step, there follows a 
blank outline showing the general plan to be followed. 
In class work the author has found it advantageous to 
have printed blanks, similar to that given below, for dis- 
tribution to students ; to have each student write the 
outline of his speech on this blank, and hand it to the 
instructor when called upon to speak. It is to be under- 
stood, of course, that in drawing up a particular outline 
all the blank spaces need not necessarily be filled. A 
given subject, for example, will require little or no intro- 
duction, especially if a preceding speaker has supplied 


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one. The discussion may require but one main heading, 
and under any main heading but one, two, or three sub- 
heads — or none — may be used. Rarely, however, for 
the reasons previously urged, should more headings be 
employed than the following blank provides. 





Blank Outline of Speech 







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4. The final outline to be memorized. Now that the 
final plan of the speech has been written out, what shall 
be done with it ? By all means, burn it into your 
memory, and when you come to deliver the speech 
appear without the written outline. This of course 
requires courage, but sooner or later the speaker should 
learn to walk without crutches. Of the two or three 
occasions when Wendell Phillips spoke with notes one 
of his biographers says, " It was like an eagle walking." 
True, many good speakers have their notes for reference, 
but at the best it is a makeshift plan, a compromise 
between the reading and extempore method, and how- 
ever little the speaker may be confined to his notes, 
they detract from his force and directness in delivery, 
from that personal grapple with the audience which we 
saw was one great advantage of the extempore method. 
The prayer of the Presbyterian deacon in the presence 
of his note-using pastor, ** O Lord ! teach thy servants 
to speak from the heart to the heart, and not from a 
little piece of paper, as the mariner of some is,'* no 
doubt expresses the unuttered feelings of hearers when 
they see the speaker turn from them to his notes. In 
his ** Hints on Writing and Speech Making,'* Colonel 
Higginson says : 

** Never carry a scrap of paper before an audience. If 
you read your address altogether, that is very different. 
. . . It is the combination that injures. So long as a 
man is absolutely without notes, he is not merely thrown 
on his own resources, but his hearers see and know that 
he is ; their sympathy goes along with him ; they wish 
him to go triumphantly through. But if they once see 
that he is relying partly on the stilts and leading strings 


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of his memoranda, their sympathy languishes. It is like 
the difference between a man who walks a tight rope 
boldly, trusting wholly to his balance pole, and the man 
who is looking about every moment for something by 
which to steady himself. What is the aim of your notes ? 
You fear that without them you may lose your thread, 
or your logical connection, or some valuable fact or 
illustration. But you may be sure that neither thread 
nor logic nor fact nor argument is so important to the 
audience as that they should be kept in entire sympathy 
with yourself, that the magnetic contact, or whatever 
we call it, should be unbroken. The chances are that 
nobody will miss what you leave out, if you forget any- 
thing ; but you will lose much if you forego the contin- 
uous and confiding attention given to a speaker who is 
absolutely .free. ^4 • 1| 

**The late Judge B. R. Curtis once lost a (Mse in 
court of which he felt very sure — one in which John P. 
Hale of New Hampshire, a man not to be compared 
with him as a lawyer, was his successful antagonist. 
When asked the reason, he said : * It was very curious. 
I had all the law and all the evidence, but that fellow 
Hale somehow got so intimate with the jury that he won 
the case.' To be intimate with your audience is half the 
battle, and nothing so restricts and impedes that intimacy 
as the presence of a scrap of paper.'* 

5. Silent speaking. The final outline having been 
prepared and memorized, the last step in preparation 
for delivery is to silently think out the speech. This 
requires what has been called " mental vision,*' and it, 
like other qualities of mind, can be cultivated by prac- 
tice. Aim first to see the line of thought as a whole, — 

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the object you are to aim to reach, and the road you are 
to traverse in reaching it. Your main outHne headings 
represent so many stages in your course; see if you 
can pass from one to the other readily and smoothly. 
In this thinking-out process, if you find any gaps in the 
thought, study how to close these up, or to bri(Jge them 
over. The main headings, again, are units in the thought 
development ; mentally develop these seriatim, deciding 
how each can be most clearly and strikingly presented by 
the concrete statement of a fact, by an illustration, by 
an anecdote, weaving in, at the proper time, the material 
previously gathered and not noted in the outline. 

The idea of silent thinking has purposely been stressed, 
because it is a necessary prerequisite for thinking while 
speaking. Having silently thought out the speech, it 
may often be a good plan, as an aid to fixing the ideas 
in the memory, to tell them to yourself, or to an imagi- 
nary audience, or to a friend. But in no case should 
you consciously memorize the form of expression or 
write out in advance any part of your speech. Only 
by following this advice strictly can you make real prog- 
ress in real extempore speaking. 


1 . Select one or more of the exercises in the Appendix, and 
let each student prepare a topic for an extempore speech 
according to the text. Discuss with the class the results of 
each student's work in {a) the analysis of his subject, (p) the 
readings for amplification, (c) the full outline of the proposed 
speech, and (^) the short final outline for memorizing. 

2. Let each student deduce an outline from one of the 
following speeches, and then reproduce the speech extempo- 
raneously from such outline to the class as an audience. 

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Speech of St. Clair McKelway before the National Society of China 
Importers^ New York City^ February 6^ i8g6 

Mr. Chairman and Friends : The china I buy abroad is 
marked " Fragile '* in shipment. That which I buy at home is 
marked "Glass — This side up with care." The foreign word 
of caution is fact. The American note of warning is fiction 
— with a moral motive. The common purpose of both is 
protection from freight factors and baggage smashers. The 
European appeals to knowledge. The American addresses the 
imagination. The one expresses the truth. The other extends 
it. Neither is entirely successful. The skill and care of shippers 
cannot always victoriously cope with the innate destructiveness 
of fallen human nature. There is a great deal of smashed 
crockery in the world. 

You who are masters in the art of packing things and we 
whose vocation is the art of putting things, both have reason 
to know that no pains of placing or of preparation will guaran- 
tee freight or phrases, plates or propositions, china of any kind 
or principles of any sort, from the dangers of travel or from 
the tests of time. Your goods and our wares have to take 
their chances in their ways across the seas, throughout the 
land and around the world. You lose some of yours merely in 
handling. The defects of firing cannot be always foreseen. The 
intrusion of inferior clay cannot be always prevented. The 
mere friction of contact may produce bad, nicks. Nor is 
the fineness nor excellence of the product an insurance against 
mishaps. From your factories or stores your output is at the 
mercy of carriers without compunction, and in our homes it is 
exposed to the heavy hands of servants without sentiment. 
The pleasure of many a dinner is impaired by the fear or the 
consciousness that inapt peasants are playing havoc with the 
treasures of art on which the courses are served. 

If, however, the ceramic kingdom is strewn with smashed 
crockery, how much more so are the worlds of theology, medi- 
cine, politics, society, law, and the like. No finer piece of 

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plate was ever put ' forth than the one inscribed : " I will 
believe only what I know." It was for years agreeable to the 
pride and vanity of the race. It made many a fool feel as if 
his forehead was lifted as high as the heavens, and that at .every 
step he knocked out a star. When, however, the discovery 
was made that this assumption to displace deity amounted to 
a failure to comprehend nature, some disappointment was 
admitted. He who affected by searching to find out and to 
equal God could not explain the power by which a tree pumps 
its sap from roots to leaves, or why a baby rabbit rejects the 
grasses that would harm it, or why a puling infant divines its 
mother among the motley and multitudinous mass of sibilant 
saints at a sewing society which is discussing the last wedding 
and the next divorce. He " who admits only what he under- 
stands " would have to look on himself as a conundrum and 
then give the conundrum up. He would have the longest 
doubts and the shortest creed on record. Agnosticism is part 
of the smashed crockery of the moral universe. 

Nor is the smug and confident contention, " Medicine is a 
science, one and indivisible," so impressive and undented as 
it was. Sir Astley Cooper in his plain, blunt way is reported 
to have described his own idea of his own calling as " a science 
founded on conjecture and improved by murder." Medical 
intolerance cannot be legislated out of existence, but it has no 
further recognition in legislation. The claim that men and 
women must die secundum artem in order to have any permit 
to live here or to live hereafter, has gone to the limbo of 
smashed crockery in the realm of therapeutics. The arrogant 
pretension that men must die secundum artem has been 
adjourned — sine die. And the state which prescribes uniform 
qualifications among the schools will yet require uniform con- 
sultations between them in the interest of the people whom 
they impartially prod and concurrently purge with diversity of 
methods, but with parity of price. 

Other long impressive and long pretty plaques haye also 
been incontinently smashed. One was lovingly lettered : 
"Once a Democrat, always a Democrat." Another was in- 
scribed : " Unconditional Republicanism." In the white light 


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of to-day the truth that an invariable partisan is an occasional 
lunatic becomes impressively apparent. Party, under increas- 
ing civilization, is a factor, not a fetish. It is a means, not an 
end. It is an instrument, not an idol. Man is its master, not 
its slave. Not that men will cease to act on party lines. Party 
lines are the true divisional boundary between schools of 
thought. No commission is needed to discover or to establish 
those lines. They have made their own route or course in 
human nature. The bondage from which men will free them- 
selves is bondage to party organizations. Those organizations 
are combinations for power and spoils. They are feudal in 
their form, predatory in their spirit, military in their methods, 
but they necessarily bear no more relations to political prin- 
ciples than Italian banditti do to Italian unity, or the men who 
hold up railway trains do to the laws of transportation. Party 
slavery is a bad and disappearing form of smashed crockery. 

The smashed crockery of society and of law could also be 
remarked. Our fathers' dictum, that it is the only duty of 
women to be charming, deserves to be sent into retirement. 
It is no more their duty to be charming than it is the duty of 
the sun to light, or the rose to perfume, or the trees to cast a 
friendly shade. A function is not a duty. In the right sense 
of the word it is a nature or a habit. It is the property of 
women and it is their prerogative to be charming, but if they 
made it a duty, the effort would fail, for the intention would 
be apparent and the end would impeach the means. Indeed, 
the whole theory of the eighteenth century about women has 
gone into the limbo of smashed crockery. It has been found 
that education does not hurt her. It has been discovered that 
learning strengthens her like a tonic and becomes her like a 
decoration. It has been discovered that she can compete with 
men in the domain of lighter labor, in several of the profes- 
sions, and in not a few of the useful arts. The impression of 
her as a pawn, a property, or a plaything came down from 
paganism to Christianity and was too long retained by the 
Christian world. There is even danger of excess in the liber- 
ality now extended to her. The toast, "Woman, Once Our 
Superior and Now Our Equal," is not without satire as well as 


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significance. There must be a measurable reaction against the 
ultra tendency in progress which has evolved the New Woman, 
as the phrase is. I never met one and I hope I never shall. 
The women of the present, the girls of the period, the sex 
up to date, will more than suffice to double our joys and to 
treble our expenses. The new fads, as well as the old fallacies, 
can be thrown among the smashed crockery of demolished 
and discarded misconceptions. 

I intended to say much about the smashed crockery of the 
lawyers. I intended to touch upon the exploded claim that 
clients are their slaves, witnesses theirs for vivisection, courts 
their playthings, and juries their dupes. More mummery has 
thrived in law than in even medicine or theology. The dis- 
enchanting and discriminating tendency of a realistic age 
has, however, somewhat reformed the bar. Fluency, without 
force, is discounted in our courts. The merely smart practi- 
tioner finds his measure quickly taken, and that the conscien- 
tious members of his calling hold him at arm's length. 
Judges are learning that they are not rated wise when they 
are obscure, or profound when they are stupid, or mysterious 
when they are reserved. Publicity is abating many abuses 
both of the bench and the bar. It will before long, even in 
this judicial department, require both rich and poor to stand 
equal before the bar of justice. The still-continuing scandals 
of partitioning refereeships among the family relatives of judges 
will soon be stopped, and the shame and scandal of damage 
suits or of libel suits, without cause, maintained by procured 
and false testimony and conducted on sheer speculation, will 
be brought to an end. The law is full of rare crockery, but it 
is also replete with crockery that ought to be smashed. Much 
bad crockery in it has been smashed and much more will be, 
if necessary, by the press, which is itself not without consider- 
able ceramic material that could be pulverized with signal bene- 
fit to the public and to the fourth estate. 

But why am I talking about smashed crockery when I am 
told that it is the very life of your trade? Were crockery im- 
perishable this would be the last dinner of your association. 
Your members would be eating cold victuals at area doors. 


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passed to you on the plates you have made, by the domestics 
whose free-and-easy carelessness is really the foundation of 
your fortunes. You want crockery to be smashed, because the 
more smash the more crockery, and the more crockery the more 
output, and the more output the more revenue, and the more 
revenue the more Waldorf dinners, and the more Waldorf din- 
ners the more opportunity for you to make the men of other 
callings stand and deliver those speeches, which I like to hear, 
and in the hope of hearing which I now give way. 


Extract from a speech by Henry IV. Grady before the Bay 
State Cluby Boston, i88g 

Mr, President and Gentlemen : I am confident you will not 
expect a speech from me this afternoon, especially as my voice 
is in such a condition that I can hardly talk. I am free to say 
that it is not a lack of ability to talk, because I am a talker by 
inheritance. I come by it honestly. My father was an Irish- 
man, my mother was a woman. 

Now, I do not intend to make a political speech, although 
when Mr. Cleveland expressed some surprise at seeing me here, 
I said : " Why I am at home now ; I was out visiting last night." 
I was visiting mighty clever folks, but still I was visiting. Now I 
am at home. 

It is the glory and the promise of democracy, it seems to 
me, that its success means more than partisanship can mean. 
I have been told that what I said helped the Democratic party 
in this state. Well, the chief joy that I feel at that, and that 
you feel, is that, beyond that and above it, it helped those 
larger interests of the republic, and those essential interests 
of humanity that for seventy years the Democratic party has 
stood for, being the guarantor and defender. 

It is the pride, I believe, of the South, with her simple faith 
and her homogeneous people, that we elevate there the citizen 
above the party, and the citizen above everything. We teach 
a man that his best guide at last is his own conscience, that his 
sovereignty rests beneath his hat, that his own right arm and 


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his own stout heart are his best dependence ; that he should 
rely on his state for nothing that he can do for himself, and on 
his government for nothing that his state can do for him ; but 
that he should stand upright and self-respecting, dowering his 
family in the sweat of his brow, loving to his state, loyal to his 
republic, earnest in his allegiance wherever it rests, but build- 
ing at last his altars above his own hearthstone and shrining 
his own liberty in his own heart. That is a sentiment that I 
would not have been afraid to avow last night. And yet it is 
mighty good democratic doctrine, too. 

I went to Washington the other day, and I stood on the 
Capitol hill, and my heart beat quick as I looked at the tower- 
ing marble of my country's Capitol, and a mist gathered in 
my eyes as I thought of its tremendous significance, of the 
armies and the treasury, and the judges and the President, 
and the Congress and the courts, and all that was gathered 
there ; and I felt that the sun in all its course could not look 
down on a better sight than that majestic home of a republic 
that has taught the world its best lessons of liberty. And I 
felt that if honor and wisdom and justice abided therein, the 
world would at last owe that great house, in which the ark of 
the covenant of my country is lodged, its final uplifting and 
its regeneration. 

But a few days afterwards I went to visit a friend in the 
country, a modest man, with a quiet country home. It was 
just a simple, unpretentious house, set about with great trees 
and encircled in meadow and field rich with the promise of 
harvest ; the fragrance of the pink and the hollyhock in the 
front yard was mingled with the aroma of the orchard and the 
garden, and the resonant clucking of poultry and the hum of 
bees. Inside was quiet, cleanliness, thrift, and comfort. 

Outside there stood my friend, the master, — a simple, in- 
dependent, upright man, with no mortgage on his roof, no lien 
on his growing crops, — master of his land and master of him- 
self. There was the old father, an aged and trembling man, 
but happy in the heart and home of his son. And, as he started 
to enter his home, the hand of the old man went down on the 
yoimg man's shoulder, laying there the imspeakable blessing of 


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an honored and honorable father, and ennobling it with the 
knighthood of the fifth commandment. And as we approached 
the door the mother came, a happy smile lighting up her face, 
while with the rich music of her heart she bade her husband 
and her son welcome to their home. Beyond was the house- 
wife, busy with her domestic affairs, the loving helpmate of 
her husband. Down the lane came the children after the 
cows, singing sweetly, as like birds they sought the quiet of 
their rest. 

So the night came down on that house, falling gently as the 
wing of an unseen dove. And the old man, while a startled bird 
called from the forest and the trees thrilled with the cricket's 
cry, and the stars were falling from the sky, called the family 
around him and took the Bible from the table and called them 
to their knees. The little baby hid in the folds of its mother's 
dress while he closed the record of that day by calling down 
God's blessing on that simple home. While I gazed, the vision 
of the marble Capitol faded ; forgotten were its treasuries and 
its majesty ; and I said : " Surely here in the homes of the 
people lodge at last the strength and the responsibility of this 
government, the hope and the promise of this republic." 

My friends, that is the democracy of the South ; that is the 
democratic doctrine we preach; a doctrine, sir, that is writ 
above our hearthstones. We aim to make our homes, poor 
as they are, self-respecting and independent. We try to make 
them temples of refinement, in which our daughters may learn 
that woman's best charm and strength is her gentleness and 
her grace, and temples of liberty in which our sons may learn 
that no power can justify and no treasure repay for the sur- 
render of the slightest right of a free individual American 

You want to know about the South. My friends, we repre- 
sentative men will tell you about it. I just want to say that 
we have had a hard time down there. 

I attended a funeral once in Pickens county in my state. 
A funeral is not usually a cheerful object to me unless I could 
select the subject. I think I could, perhaps, without going a 
hundred miles from here, find the material for one or two 


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cheerful funerals. Still, this funeral was peculiarly sad. It 
was a poor "one gallus" fellow, whose breeches struck him 
under the armpits and hit him at the* other end about the knee 

— he didn*t believe in d^collet^ clothes. They buried him in 
the midst of a marble quarry ; they cut through solid marble 
to make his grave, and yet a little tombstone they put above 
him was from Vermont. They buried him in the heart of a 
pine forest, and yet the pine coffin was imported from Cincin- 
nati. They buried him within touch of an iron mine, and yet 
the nails in his coffin and the iron in the shovel that dug his 
grave were imported from Pittsburg. They buried him by the 
side of the best sheep- grazing country on the earth, and yet 
the wool in the coffin bands and the coffin bands themselves 
were brought from the North. The South didn't furnish a 
thing on earth for that funeral but the corpse and the hole in 
the ground. There they put him away and the clods rattled 
down on his coffin, and they buried him in a New York coat 
and a Boston pair of shoes and a pair of breeches from Chicago 
and a shirt from Cincinnati, leaving him nothing to carry into 
the next world with him to remind him of the country in which 
he lived and for which he fought for four years, but the chilled 
blood in his veins and the marrow in his bones. 

Now we have improved on that. We have got the biggest 
marble-cutting establishment on earth within a hundred yards 
of the grave. We have got a half dozen woolen mills right around 
it, and iron mines, and iron furnaces, and iron factories. We 
are coming to meet you. We are going to take a noble revenge, 
as my friend, Mr. Carnegie, said last night, by invading every 
inch of your territory with iron, as you invaded ours twenty- 
nine years ago. 

We bring to you, from hearts that yearn for your confidence 
and for your love, the message of fellowship from our homes. 
This message comes from consecrated ground. The fields in 
which I played were the battlefields of this republic, hallowed 
to you with the blood of your soldiers who died in victory, and 
doubly sacred to us with the blood of ours who died undaunted 
in defeat. All around my home are set the hills of Kenesaw, 

— all aroimd the mountains and hills down which the gray flag 


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fluttered to defeat, and through which American soldiers from 
either side charged like demigods ; and I do not think I could 
bring you a false message from those old hills and those sacred 
fields — witnesses twenty years ago, in their red desolation, of 
the deathless valor of American arms and the quenchless bravery 
of American hearts, and in their white peace and tranquillity 
to-day of the imperishable Union of the American states and 
the indestructible brotherhood of the American people. 

It is likely that I will not again see Bostonians assembled 
together. I therefore want to take this occasion to thank you, 
and my excellent friends of last night and those friends who 
accompanied us this morning, for all that you have done for 
us since we have been in your city, and to say that whenever 
any of you come South just speak your name, and remember 
that Boston or Massachusetts is the watchword, and we will 
meet you at the gates. 

The monarch may forget the crown 

That on his head so late hath been ; 
The bridegroom may forget the bride 
Was made his own but yester e'en ; 
The mother may forget the babe 

That smiled so sweetly on her knee ; 
But forget thee will I ne'er, Glencairn, 
And all that thou hast done for me. 

Extract from an address by Theodore L. Cuyler'^ 

There is a current story that a Quaker once discovered a 
thief in his house ; and, taking his grandfather's old fowling 
piece, he quietly said, "Friend, thee had better get out of the 
way, for I intend to fire this gun right where thee stands, ^^ 

With the same considerate spirit we warn certain good people 
that they had better take the decanter off their table, for we 
intend to aim a Bible truth right where that decanter stands. 
It is in the wrong place. It has no more business to be there 
at all than the thief had to be in the honest Quaker's house. 
1 " Thoughts for the Occasion — Patriotic and Secular," 573. 


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We are not surprised to find a decanter of alcoholic poison on 
the counter of a dramshop whose keeper is " licensed " to sell 
death by measure. But we are surprised to find it on the table 
or the sideboard of one who professes to be guided by the spirit 
and the teachings of God's Word. That bottle stands right 
in the range of these inspired words of St. Paul : " It is good 
neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby 
thy brother stumble th^ This text must either go out of the 
Christian's Bible, or the bottle go off the Christian's table. The 
text will not move, and the bottle must. 


Speech of Benjamin Harrison at a dinner of the New England 
Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, i8gj 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : Your cordial welcome to- 
night crowns three days of most pleasurable stay in this good 
city of Philadelphia. The days have been a little crowded ; I 
think there have been what our friends of the Four Hundred 
would probably call " eight distinct functions " ; but your cordi- 
ality and the kind words of your presiding officer quite relieve 
my fatigue and suggest to me that I shall rightly repay your 
kindness by making a very short speech. 

I dread this function which I am now attempting to dis- 
charge more than.any other that confronts me in life* The 
after-dinner speaker, unlike the poet, is not born, — he is made. 
I am frequently compelled to meet in disastrous competition 
about some dinner table gentlemen who have already had their 
speeches set up in the newspaper offices. They are given to 
you as if they were fresh from the lip ; you are served with 
what they would have you believe to be ** impromptu boned 
turkey " ; and yet, if you could see into the recesses of their 
intellectual kitchen, you would see the days of careful prepara- 
tion which have been given to these spontaneous utterances. 
The after-dinner speaker needs to find somewhere some un- 
worked joker's quarry, where some jokes have been left with- 
out a label on them ; he needs to acquire the art of seeming 
to pluck, as he goes along in the progress of his speech, as by 


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the wayside, some flower of rhetoric. He seems to have passed 
it and to have plucked it casually, but it is a boutonni^re with 
tin foil around it. You can see, upon close inspection, the 
mark of the planer on his well-turned sentences. Now, the 
competition with gentlemen who are so cultivated is severe 
upon one who must speak absolutely upon the impulse of the 
occasion. It is either incapacity or downright laziness that has 
kept me from competing in the field I have described. 

It occurred to me to-day to inquire why you had to associ- 
ate six states in order to get up a respectable society. If you 
would adopt the liberal charter method of the Ohio Society, I 
have no doubt you could subdivide yourselves into six good 
societies. The Ohio Society admits to membership everybody 
who has lived voluntarily six months in Ohio. No involuntary 
resident is permitted to come in. 

But the association of these states and the name " New 
England " is a part of an old classification of the states which 
we used to find in the geography, and all of that classification 
has gone except New England and the South. " The West " 
has disappeared, and the " Middle States " cannot be identi- 
fied. Where is "the West"? Why, just now it is the point 
of that long chain of islands that puts off from the Alaska 
coast. . : . I fancy it will not be long until you enjoy the 
distinction of being the only great subdivision of the states; 
for, my fellow-citizens, whatever barriers prejudice may raise, 
whatever obstruction the interests of men may interpose, what- 
ever may be the outrages of cruelty to stay the march of men, 
that which made the subdivision called " the Southern States," 
and all that separated them from the states of the West and 
of the North, will be obliterated. 

I am not sure, though the story runs so, that I have a New 
England strain. The fact is that I have recently come to the 
conclusion that my family was a little overweighted with ances- 
try, and I have been looking after posterity. But the New 
England character and the influence of New England men 
and women have made their impress upon the whole country. 
The love of education, the resolve that it should be general, 
the love of home with all the pure and sacred influences that 


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cluster about it, are elements in the New England character 
that have a saving force which is incalculable in this great 
nation in which we live. Your civil institutions have been free, 
high, and clean. From the old town-meeting days till now, 
New England has believed in and practiced the free election 
and the fair count. But, gentlemen, I cannot enumerate all 
your virtues — time is brief, the catalogue long. Will you per- 
mit m^ to thank you and your honored President for your 
gracious reception of me to-night ? 


Speech of Henry van Dyke at the fifth annual banquet of the 
Holland Society of New York ^ January 10^ i8go 

Mr, President and Members of the Holland Society : Who 
is the typical Dutchman ? Rembrandt, the splendid artist ; 
Erasmus, the brilliant scholar ; Coster, the inventor of printing ; 
Leuwenhoek, the profound scientist; Grotius, the great lawyer; 
Barendz, the daring explorer ; De Witt, the skillful statesman ; 
Van Tromp, the trump of admirals ; William the Silent, heroic 
defender of liberty against a world of tyranny ; William III, the 
emancipator of England, whose firm, peaceful hand, just two 
centuries ago, set the Anglo-Saxon race free to fulfill its mighty 
destiny — what hero, artist, philosopher, discoverer, lawgiver, 
admiral, general, or monarch shall we choose from the long list 
of Holland's illustrious dead to stand as the typical Dutchman ? 

Nay, not one of these men, famous as they were, can fill the 
pedestal of honor to-night. For though their glorious achieve- 
ments have lent an undying luster to the name of Holland, the 
qualities that really created her and made her great, lifted her 
in triumph from the sullen sea, massed her inhabitants like a 
living bulwark against oppression, filled her cities with the light 
of learning and her homes with arts of peace, covered the ocean 
with her ships and the islands with her colonies, — the qualities 
that made Holland great were the qualities of the common peo- 
ple. The ideal character of the Dutch race is not an exceptional 
genius, but a plain, brave, straightforward, kind-hearted, liberty- 
loving, law-abiding citizen, — a man with a healthy conscience. 


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a good digestion, and a cheerful determination to do his duty 
in the sphere of life to which God has called him. Let me try 
to etch the portrait of such a man in few and simple lines. 
Grant me but six strokes for the picture^ 

The typical Dutchman is an honest man, and that's the 
noblest work of God. Physically he may be, and if he attends 
these dinners he probably will be, more or less round. But 
morally he must be square. And surely in this age of sham, 
when there is so much plated ware that passes itself off for 
solid silver, and so much work done at half measure and charged 
at full price, so many doctors who buy diplomas, and lawyers 
whose names should be Necessity, because they know no 
law, and preachers who insist on keeping in their creeds doc- 
trines which they do not profess to believe — surely in this 
age, in which skyrockets are so plentiful and well-seasoned fire- 
wood is so scarce, the man who is most needed is not the 
genius, the discoverer, the brilliant sayer of new things, but- 
simply the honest man, who speaks the truth, pays his debts, 
does his work thoroughly, and is satisfied with what he has 

The typical Dutchman is a free man. Liberty is his passion, 
and has been since the days of Leyden and Alkmaar. It runs 
in the blood. A descendant of the old Batavian who fought 
against Rome is boimd to be free at any cost ; he hates tyranny 
in every form. 

I honor the man who is willing to sink 

Half his present repute for the freedom to think ; 

And when he has thought, be his cause strong or weak, 

Will sink t'other half for the freedom to speak, 

Caring naught for what vengeance the mob has in store, 

Let that mob be the upper ten thousand, or lower. 

This is the spirit of the typical Dutchman. Never has it 
been more needed than it is to-day ; to guard our land against 
the oppression of the plutocrat on the one hand, and the dema- 
gogue on the other hand ; to prevent a government of the parties 
by the bosses for the spoils ; and to preserve a government of 
the people, by the people, for the people. 


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The typical Dutchman is a prudent man. He will be free 
to choose for himself ; but he generally chooses to do nothing 
rash. He does not admire those movements which are like 
the Chinaman's description of the toboggan slide, "Whiz! Walk 
a mile ! " He prefers a one-story ground rent to a twelve-story 
mortgage with an elevator. He has a constitutional aversion 
to unnecessary risks. In society, in philosophy, in commerce, 
he sticks to the old way until he knows that the new one is 
better. On the train of progress he usually sits in the middle 
car, sometimes in the smoker, but never on the cow-catcher. 
And yet he arrives at his destination all the same. 

The typical Dutchman is a devout man. He could not 
respect himself if he did not reverence God. Religion was at 
the center of Holland's most glorious life, and it is impossible 
to understand the sturdy heroism and cheerful industry of our 
Dutch forefathers without remembering that whether they ate 
or drank or labored or prayed or fought or sailed or farmed, 
they did all to the glory of God. The only difference between 
New Amsterdam and JSfew England was this : the Puritans 
founded a religious community with commercial principles ; the 
Dutchman founded a commercial community with religious 
principles. Which was the better I do not say ; but every one 
knows which was the happier to live in. 

The typical Dutchman is a liberal man. H6 believes, but 
he does not persecute. He says, in the immortal words of 
William IH, " Conscience is God's province." So it came to 
pass that New Amsterdam became an asylum for the oppressed 
in the New World, as old Amsterdam had been in the Old 
World. No witches burned ; no Quakers flogged ; peace and 
fair chances for everybody ; love God as much as you can, and 
don't forget to love your neighbor as yourself. How excellent 
the character in which piety and charity are joined ! 

But one more stroke remains to be added to the picture. 
The typical Dutchman is a man of few words. Perhaps I ought 
to say he was; for in this talkative age, even in the Holland 
Society, a degenerate speaker will forget himself so far as not 
to keep silence when he talks about the typical Dutchman. 
But those old companions who came to this country previous 


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to the year 1675, as Dutch citizens, under the Dutch flag, and 
holding their tongues in the Dutch language, — ah, they under- 
stood their business. Their motto yfzs facta non verba. They 
are the men we praise to-night in our song of The Typical 
Dutchman : 

They sailed from the shores of the Zuider Zee 

Across the stormy ocean, 
To build for the world a new country 

According to their notion ; 
A land where thought should be free as air, 

And speech be free as water ; 
Where man to man should be just and fair. 
And law be liberty's daughter. 
They were brave and kind, 
And of simple mind, 
And the world has need of such men ; 
So we say with pride 
(On the father's side), 
They were typical Dutchmen. . . . 

They held their faith without offense. 
And said their prayers on Sunday ; 
But they never could see a bit of sense 

In burning a witch on Monday. 
They loved their God with a love so true, 

And with a head so level, 
That they could afford to love men too. 
And not be afraid of the devil. 
They kept their creed 
In word and deed, 
And the world has need of such men ; 
So we say with pride 
(On the father's side), 
They were typical Dutchmen. 


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We come now to the moment of delivery. It is not 
my purpose to deal with the technique of delivery ; this 
belongs to a more elementary treatise. With primary 
reference, then, to the presentation of the subject-matter 
of a speech, what should be its leading characteristics .? 
From the ordinary faults of extempore speaking, as they 
have appeared in the efforts of students first practicing 
this method, we may deduce the. following points. A 
speech should have (i) unity; (2) clearness; (3) con- 
creteness ; (4) proportion; (5) movement; (6) it should 
produce a single definite impression, or, at the most, two 
or three definite impressions ; and (7) it should be a 
lesson for improvement in succeeding efforts. 

Let us consider these points seriatim. Some of them 
— since the final outline is the guide for the oral presen- 
tation — have been noticed in the preceding chapter. 
Our discussion now will therefore necessarily be partly 
a repetition, but in such cases the points will, by reason 
of their importance, bear repetition. 

I. Unity, The finished speech should stand forth as 
a complete whole, not as a motley of disjointed parts. 
The object of the speech should always loom up promi- 
nently both to the speaker and to his audience. This 
object may, as we have seen, often be expressed by a 
central thought. Then let all parts of the speech revolve 


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about this central thought, adhering to it by the law of 
affinity, so that a hearer cannot think of a division of 
the speech without at the same time thinking of the 
speech as a whole. 

2. Clearness, Essential in written discourse, clearness 
is absolutely indispensable in spoken discourse. If the 
thought is not apparent on first reading, the reader may 
go back and review. The hearer cannot do this; he 
must get the thought as the speaker proceeds, else not 
get it at all. This fact the speaker should always keenly 
realize, and not make the mistake of assuming the same 
knowledge of his subject on the part of the audience, 
no matter how intelligent they may be, as he himself 
has. When due preparation has been made for a speech, • 
the speaker is thereby, a specialist, for that occasion, on 
his particular subject, and he should err on the side of 
over-explicitness, rather than run the risk of not making 
his thought readily apparent to an attentive listener. 

Clear expression is, of course, the result of clear think- 
ing. If your ideas are muddy, you cannot hope to make 
them clear to your audience. The necessity for a thought- 
basis for every speech has been discussed in the pre- 
ceding chapter. Now the mental process of thinking 
out your speech must be repeated at the moment of 
delivery. Extempore speaking is also extempore think- 
ing, or, as we say, thinking on the feet. The ideas, as 
previously outlined, must be clearly grasped as the 
speech is developed point by point. Sir William Hamil- 
ton declared that "clear thinking, distinct thinking, and 
connected thinking are the virtues of the intellect'*; 
and they are certainly indispensable aids to effective 
extempore speaking. 


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3. Concreteness. Necessary as it is to have a speech 
clearly outlined, the outline must be filled out in the 
oral presentation. And this must be done, not by recit- 
ing the parts of your skeleton outline, and then filling 
in with a dry statement of subsidiary parts ;. the skele- 
ton must be attractively clothed, — it must be filled out 
with flesh and blood. A fit subject for a speech is no 
fit subject for an autopsy ; so do not exhibit the skele- 
ton. Do not, at the outset, weary and discourage your 
hearers by telling them that you will divide your speech 
into such and such divisions ; that after you have done 
so and so, you will then do so and so, and finally, and in 
conclusion, so and so. Go on and do it. This firstly, 
secondly, thirdly method was the bane of the old-time 
sermon. In an argument it is oftentimes helpful to give 
briefly a partition of your lines of proof in order to aid 
the hearers in following you, but otherwise a formal 
partition should usually be avoided. By this is meant a 
partition of the whole discourse at the outset. It does 
not mean that the points of your outline, as you come 
to them, should never be stated, for frequently a point 
may properly be named in the opening sentence of a 
transition in the thought, as the text of a new paragraph. 
This will of course depend on whether or not you wish 
to tell your audience in advance the point you wish to 
make. In any event, as a general proposition, do not 
protrude your outline in the oral presentation, but let 
your presentation be such that the hearer may readily 
deduce it. 

In this connection the matter of transitions from one 
division of your speech to the next demands particular 
care. In the progress of your speech you will say to 



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yourself, " I have developed this division of my outline ; 
I now wish to take up this point"; but usually guard 
against saying this aloud. In passing from one part of 
the outline to the other, it is a great art to hit a new 
idea at just the right angle ; to have the opening words 
of each division echo the thought just uttered and point 
forward to the thought that is to follow, without at the 
same time laying bare the framework of your speech. 

Concreteness should characterize the speech as a 
whole. Without it no speech can come very close to the 
hearts of §Ln audience. A speech that is prevailingly 
abstract is notoriously dry. Many an audience has been 
won by a single illustration or anecdote, aptly used and 
well told, when an abstract argument would utterly fail 
to reach them. While there must be an intellectual 
basis for every speech, while the points must be pur- 
poseful and clear, yet points alone are not enough. You 
must hold your hearers, and in order to do this you 
must appeal not only to their intellects but also to 
their sense of humor, their imagination, and their feel- 
ings. The hearers want food, but they want it pala- 
table, well flavored, and seasoned. A little spice, too, in 
the way of humor, if it be refined and not too frequent, 
is excellent to help relieve monotony. James Russell 
Lowell used to say that a good after-dinner speech ought 
to contain a platitude, a quotation, and an anecdote, 
and then end. Dr. Lyman Abbott says that a speaker 
should have " some illustrations or concrete statements ** 
of each one of his main propositions. And Colonel 
Higginson gives as his fifth rule for speech making : 
" Plan beforehand for at least one good fact and one good 
illustration or atiecdote under each head of your speech.'' 


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This rule every beginner should follow literally. ** You 
will thus make sure,'* says Colonel Higginson, **of dis- 
tributing your reason and your relief all through the 
speech, and will not put all the dough in one pan and 
all the yeast in another/' 

4. Proportion. The parts of a discourse should be 
well balanced. The introduction should not be too long, 
the discussion should be, relatively, neither too long nor 
too short, and the conclusion should not be unduly pro- 
longed. Of how many a speaker are the hearers impelled 
to ask, ** Is he never going to begin ? " or, " Is he never 
going to end } " Again, many a speech consists in 
a long discussion of the first point, and is therefore 

It is important that you learn to divide your time 
among your points according to their importance. You 
will often be tempted to dwell upon the points in which 
you are personally interested, and not upon that which 
is most important to your theme. But if you are to 
accomplish your end, to drive home a certain point, and 
to win the conviction of your audience, the time devoted 
to each division of your outline must be proportioned 
not according to youj own pleasure, but according to its 
importance in relation to the accomplishment of your 
end. And as a corollary to this, time should not be 
wasted in digressions. Having previously foreseen re- 
sults, having decided how those results might be accom- 
plished, the speaker should hold himself rigorously to 
the course marked out in the written plan; for there 
are many temptations for the mind to wander from the 
path it has laid down, — to go off into bypaths and end 
nowhere. Of course the experienced speaker may, when 


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the occasion demands it, depart from his written plan, 
but these words are addressed primarily to the inexperi- 
enced speaker ; and for such the invariable rule should 
be : Stick to your outline. You will have enough to do 
to carry out your plan. Indeed, the best results in 
speaking come when the speaker feels the necessity of 
compacting his thought. Conciseness aids in securing 
unity, clearness, and force. If due preparation has been 
made, the question uppermost in the speaker's mind 
should be not, " How can I speak for the allotted 
time ? " but rather, " How can I say all I wish to say 
in the allotted time ? *' And if this latter question be 
uppermost, there will be much less danger of wandering 
and loiteVing ; the speaker will see the shortest course 
to his object, and take it. 

Not only should a speech have proportion as to its 
parts, but its length should be proportioned to the sub- 
ject and to the occasion. Generally speaking, it should 
be as short as possible. For this reason, as well as to 
meet the practical demands of a class exercise, a student 
should rarely be allowed to take longer than ten minutes 
in speaking on a given topic. And if this time limit 
were observed by speakers generally, it would give a 
fresh impetus to public speaking and be a blessing to 
mankind. Only to the rare speaker will people listen 
patiently to a long speech. The recent agitation for the 
ten-minute sermon is a sign of the times. The average 
American audience nowadays not only wants a speaker 
to have something to say, but wants him to say it and 
then stop. We are told that the five-minute speeches 
with which Judge Hoar year after year delighted the 
Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa contained ** but one 


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original idea, clearly stated, and but one fresh story well 
told." Worthy of emulation as this plan is, how few 
speakers will take the trouble to copy it ! Indeed, the 
speaker is comparatively rare who knows how to hit the 
purpose of an occasion in a brief speech. How many a 
speaker will ramble and amble along, taking ten minutes 
to get started, then half an hour passing a given point, 
and then at least ten minutes more in concluding, and 
saying withal, it may be, nothing in particular. But to 
say the same thing, or more, — to deliver a pregnant 
message, — in five or ten minutes, this is an attainment 
as unusual as the self-restraint and discipline that com- 
pass it. 

The two main causes of this universal tendency to 
speak too long are vanity and a lack of consciousness 
of time. As to the first cause, when a man so enjoys 
hearing himself talk that he fails to consider the enjoy- 
ment of his hearers, the case is hopeless, and may as 
well be dismissed. A great many speakers, however, 
who have not trained themselves in acquiring a sense of 
the passage of time, simply have no time consciousness. 
Speakers generally, indeed, think they have occupied a 
very short time. Edward Everett Hale says that if you 
ride home with six'or eight people who have just spoken 
from the same platform, and consult each one separately, 
each man will think he made the shortest speech. The 
student of speaking, then, should cultivate a sense of 
the time he is consuming, for, like any other sense, it 
can be cultivated. Experience has shown that students, 
when told in advance that they would be allowed five, 
eight, or ten minutes, as the case might be, in which to 
speak on an assigned topic, would gradually learn to 


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make their plan and its final execution tally very closely. 
Of course when a speech given within such a time limit 
is well conceived and executed, the introduction is brief 
and pointed, the discussion proceeds in due order and 
without needless repetition, and the conclusion is not 
dragged out to wearisomeness. It proceeds in accord- 
ance with Professor Monroe's "laws" of extempore speak- 
ing : (i) Have something to say ; (2) say it ; (3) stop. 

5. Movement, A good speech, in its delivery, must have 
that vigor, energy, wide-awakeness, vivacity, which collec- 
tively we may term movement. Its basis is earnestness, 
and earnestness will go far toward making any ^eech 
good, for it covers a multitude of sins. But it must be 
an earnestness that makes itself felt. On the mental 
side the thought should show life and progress; This 
imposes the necessity of thinking vigorously and quickly ; 
it requires the cultivation and practice of mental alert- 
ness. And then, on the oral side, the speech should 
move along in keeping with the mental activity. Rapid- 
ity of utterance is always relative to the individual, but 
your speech should have some "go" to it. To be sure, 
there is no use in attempting to deliver one hundred 
and fifty words a minute when the brain is producing 
only seventy-five words a minute. It is a great art to 
exactly time the expression to the thought. When the 
tongue outruns the brain, a speech must needs be filled 
with such common vocalizations as "uh," "ah," " why- 
ah," "er-er," "as I was saying," etc. Padding speech 
with such meaningless expletives is a habit — not un- 
common with even experienced speakers — which should 
be guarded against by a more deliberate deHvery — 
ut tamen deliberate^ non hesitare videatur. If ideas 


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fail to come, pause. Remember that pauses in speech, 
especially at transitions, are perfectly natural, and rarely 
seem as long to a hearer as they do to a speaker. Tris- 
tram Burgess, when speaking in Congress at one time, 
fixed his eagle eye upon his opponent and pointed his 
finger at him, pausing in his speech for a long time. 
A friend afterward said to him, ** That pccuse was ter- 
rible." ** Not so terrible to my opponent as it. was 
to me,*' replied Burgess; "for I did not know what 
to say next.'* 

However, the extempore speaker should develop the 
power of knowing what to say next. Proper movement 
requires that the speaker should ever have a perspective 
of his thought. His mind should always be moving a 
little ahead of his words. Lord Brougham defined ora- 
tory, in the sense in which he excelled in it, as " the 
power of seeing, when you begin a sentence, all through 
it, and of knowing at the opening what the end is to 
be.'* To attain this power, make your sentences as 
simple and short as may be necessary. Beware of a 
multiplicity of qualifying clauses, and of such involved 
constructions that your sentences double back upon 
themselves and cannot be straightened out. Do not, 
simply because you are ** making a speech," essay an 
over-formal style of expression, foreign to your ordinary 
mode. Express yourself idiomatically, in the best lan- 
guage you can, of course, but make your speaking 
direct, strong talk. And do not halt unduly for over- 
niceties in expression. "If we would have our speech 
forcible, we shall need to put into it quite as much of 
audacity as we do of precision, terseness, or simplicity. 
Accuracy alone is not a thing to be sought, but accuracy 


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and dash. . . . We must give our thought its head, and 
not drive it with too tight a rein, nor grow timid when 
it begins to prance a bit. Of course we must retain 
coolness in courage, applying the results of our previous 
discipline in accuracy ; but we need not move so slowly 
as to become formal. Pedantry is worse than blundering. 
If we care for grace and flexible beauty of languagie, we 
must learn to let our thought run. Would it, then, be 
too much of an Irish bull to say that in acquiring Eng- 
lish we need to cultivate spontaneity ? The uncultivated 
kind is not worth much ; it is wild and haphazard stuff, 
unadjusted to its uses. On the other hand, no speech 
is of much account, however just, which lacks the ele- 
ment of courage. Accuracy and dash, then, the combi- 
nation of the two, must be our difficult aim ; and we 
must not rest satisfied so long as either dwells with us 
alone." ^ The story is told that a stenographer once pro- 
posed to Henry Ward Beecher that he be allowed extra 
pay for reporting the latter' s sermons in consideration 
of correcting the grammatical errors. " And how many 
errors did you find in this speech of mine ? " asked the 
great preacher. On being told that there were "just 
two hundred and sixteen," Beecher said solemnly, 
'* Young man, when the English language gets in my 
way, it doesn't stand a chance." Noav an illustration 
usually illustrates but a single point, and the foregoing 
is no exception. Ungrammatical language is of course 
undesirable, but do not let a speech drag in order to 
attain grammatical perfection; do not allow hair-split- 
ting differences in construction and expression to inter- 
fere with the on-movement of the thought. 

1 Palmer, " Self -Cultivation in English," 15-16. 


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6. Definite impressions, A speech should produce in 
the minds of the hearers a single definite impression, or, 
at the most, two or three imprints which contain the gist 
of the discourse. In the oral presentation always remem- 
ber that your primary aim should be, not to have the 
audience admire you, but to follow you. The audience 
should get something more from a speech than a merely 
general impression, though it may be a pleasant one. 
The main point or points should be so stressed as to 
make the strongest impress upon the hearers* minds. 
To that end, as a general proposition, stick closely to 
your written plan, as has previously been urged. In- 
deed, this topic has already been fully discussed, but 
it is repeated here both for completeness in classifi- 
cation and for emphasis. 

7. Improvement through systematic practice and 
review. The delivery of a given speech should be 
followed by careful review and self-criticism. Vou 
should ask yourself. Did I accomplish my purpose } 
What points were omitted } In what respects did I 
fail ? Compare what you did with what you planned to 
do, and then aim to correct faults and omissions the 
next time. In the earlier efforts you are likely to be 
oppressed with a sense of loss of the good things you 
omitted. Thackeray used to say that he thought of 
his best things in the cab on his way home from his 
speech, while during the speech he could not recall 
them to save his life. By systematic review, along 
with continued practice, you will find that the power 
to remember, at the proper time, the things you have 
planned to say, will become easier. It is said of Lincoln 
that he had the habit of invariably reflecting upon his 


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own speeches after delivery, to ascertain by what means 
he succeeded, or to note why he failed or might have 
made a deeper impression. 

To attain real improvement, a high standard must 
be set and constantly maintained. Do not allow your- 
self to lapse in thought and expression. No occasion 
is ever too trivial for your best effort. There is neither 
time nor place for the relaxation of the faculties. Public 
speaking should be so elevated in public regard as to 
make it impossible for dullards or ranters to obtain a* 
hearing. To this end, always magnify your theme, and 
never speak upon a subject that has no persofial import 
to you. In class exercises or in the literary society, also, 
in all ways avoid playing at the high and complex art 
of public speech. Hence the plan of calling for purely 
impromptu speeches js, I believe, generally a bad prac- 
tice. It tends to reduce the object of a speech to the 
low conception of speaking just for the sake of speak- 
ing, and to encourage the shallowness and tediousness 
of mere volubility. A single principle stated by Sargent 
S. Prentiss, and made the rule of his life, should be writ 
large as the motto of every public speaker : // is impos- 
sible to speak too well to an audience. And to speak 
well, remember — by way of summary and conclusion 
— that a good speech consists in a sound, wholesome 
array of facts, thought, or argument, planned with a 
definite object in view ; relieved in tlie treatment by 
concreteness, — an illustration, a touch of humor, or a 
play of fancy or sentiment ; and delivered with all the 
strength, feeling, and approval that you would put into 
a struggle for your life. 


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Analyze the following extempore speeches for the excellen- 
cies — or lack of excellencies — discussed in this chapter. 


Extract from a speech by Wendell Phillips at a mass meeting 
called to protest against the threatened demolition of the Old 
South Meetinghouse in Boston 

A hundred years ago our fathers announced this sublime, 
and as it then seemed, foolhardy declaration, that God in His 
wisdom intended all men to be free and equal ; all men — 
without restriction, without qualification, without limit. 

A hundred years have rolled away since that venturous 
declaration, and to-day, with a territory that joins ocean to 
ocean, with forty millions of people, with two wars behind her, 
the great republic launches into the second century of her 
existence. The history of the world has no such chapter in 
its breadth, its depth, its significance, its bearing on future 

If, then, this is the sober record, without exaggeration, 
with what tender and loyal reverence may we not cherish and 
guard from desecration the spots where this marvelous gov- 
ernment began ; the roof under which its first councils were 
held, where the air still trembles and burns with the words 
of James Otis and Samuel Adams, — the Old South Church ? 
Its arches will speak to us as long as they stand of the sub- 
lime and sturdy enthusiasm of Adams, of Otis* passionate elo- 
quence and single-hearted devotion, of Warren in his young 
genius and enthusiasm, of a plain, unaffected, but high-souled 
people who ventured all for a principle. 

Is there any more sacred or memorable place than the 
cradle of such a principle? Athens has her Acropolis, but 
the Greek can point to no such results. London has her 
palace and Tower and St. Stephen's Chapel, but the human 
race owes her no such memories. France has spots marked 

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by the sublimest devotion, but the pilgrimage and the Mecca 
of the man who would be inspired by hopes for the human 
race is not to Paris. It is to the seaboard cities of the great 
Republic. When the flag was assailed, when the merchant 
waked up from his gain and the scholar from his studies, and 
the regiments marched one by one through these streets, 
which were the pavements that thrilled under their footsteps? 
What walls did they salute as the regimental flags floated by 
to Gettysburg and Antietam? These ! Our boys carried with 
them down to the scenes of battle the memory of State Street, 
Faneuil Hall, and the Old South Church. 


By a^^ very worthy gentleman " described in Edward. Everett 
Hale's " How To Do It^' page 72 

My dear young friends, I do not know that I have anything 
to say to you, but I am very much obliged to your teachers 
for asking me to address you this beautiful morning. The 
morning is so beautiful after the refreshment of the night, 
that as I walked to church, and looked around and breathed 
the fresh air, I felt more than ever what a privilege it is to live 
in so wonderful a world. For the world, dear children, has 
been all contrived and set in order for us by a Power so much 
higher than our own, that we might enjoy our own lives, and 
live for the happiness and good of our brothers and sisters. 
Our brothers and sisters they are indeed, though some of them 
are in distant lands, and beneath other skies, and parted from 
us by the broad oceans. These oceans, indeed, do not so much 
divide the world as they unite it. They make it one. The 
winds which blow over them, and the currents which move 
their waters, — all are ruled by a higher law, that they may 
contribute to commerce and to the good of man. 


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Adapted from an address by Theodore L. Cuyler 

At the outset we lay down the fundamental proposition, 
that no man has a moral right to do anything the influence of 
which is certainly and inevitably hurtful to his neighbor. 

I have a legal right to do many things which as a Christian 
I cannot do. I have a legal right to take arsenic or swallow 
strychnine, but I have no moral right to commit this self- 
destruction. I have a legal right to drink liquor, but I have 
no moral right to do so. The inherent wrong of using intoxi- 
cating drinks is twofold: first, it exposes to danger the man 
who tampers with it, for no man was ever positively assured by 
his Creator that he could play with the " adder '* that lies coiled 
in a wine cup without being stung by it ; secondly, it puts a 
stumbling-block in the way of him whom we are commanded 
to love as ourselves. 

Again, I have a legal right to attend the theater. No police- 
man stands at the door to exclude me, or dares to eject me 
while my conduct is orderly and becoming. But I have no 
moral right to go there; not merely because I may see and 
hear much that may soil my memory for days and months, but 
because that whole garnished and glittering establishment, with 
its sensuous attractions, is to many a young person the yawning 
maelstrom of perdition. The dollar which I gave at the box 
office is my contribution toward sustaining an establishment 
whose dark foundations rest on the murdered souls of thousands 
of my fellow-men. Their blood stains its walls, and from that 
" pit " they have gone down to another pit where no sounds 
of mirth ever come. Now, I ask, what right have I to enter a 
place where tragedies that are played off before me by painted 
women and dissolute men are as nothing to the tragedies of 
lost souls that are enacted in some parts of that house every 
night? What right have I to give my money and my presence 
to sustain that moral slaughterhouse, and by walking into the 
theater myself to aid in decoying others to follow me ? 


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Excerpt from a speech by Carl Schurz^ delivered in the United 
States Senate y January 30 ^ 1872, in favor of a bill for removing 
the political disabilities imposed by the third section of the Four- 
teenth Amendment to the Constitution 

The senator from Connecticut [Mr. Buckingham], when he 
opened this debate, endeavored to fortify his theory by an 
illustration borrowed from the Old Testament, and I am willing 
to take that illustration off his hands. He asked, if Absalom 
had lived after his treason, and had been excluded from his 
father's table, would he have had a just reason to complain of 
an unjust deprivation of rights? It seems to me that story of 
Absalom contains a most excellent lesson, which the Senate 
of the United States ought to read correctly. For the killing 
of his brother, Absalom had lived in banishment, from which 
the king, his father, had permitted him to return ; but the 
wayward son was but half pardoned, for he was not permitted 
to see his father's face. And it was for that reason, and then, 
that he went among the people to seduce them into a rebellion 
against his royal father's authority. Had he survived that 
rebellion, King David, as a prudent statesman, would either 
have killed his son Absalom or he would have admitted him 
to his table, in order to make him a good son again by unstinted 
fatherly love. But he would certainly not have permitted his 
son Absalom to run at large, capable of doing mischief, and at 
the same time, by small measures of degradation, inciting him 
to do it. And that is just the policy we have followed. We have 
permitted the late rebels to run at large, capable of doing 
mischief, and then by small measures of degradation ^ utterly 
useless for any good purpose, we incited them to do it. Look- 
ing at your political disabilities with an impartial eye, you will 
find that, as a measure of punishment, they did not go far 
enough ; as a measure of policy they went much too far. We 
were far too generous to subjugate the hearts of our late ene- 
mies by terror ; and we mixed our generosity with just enough 
of bitterness to prevent it from bearing its full fruit. I repeat, 


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we can make the policy of generosity most fruitful only by 
making it most complete. What objection, then, can stand 
against this consideration of public good ? . . . . 

I do not, indeed, indulge in the delusion that this act alone 
will remedy all the evils which we now deplore. No, it will 
not ; but it will be a powerful appeal to the very best instincts 
and impulses of human nature ; it will, like a warm ray of sun- 
shine in springtime, quicken and call to light the germs of 
good intention wherever they exist ; it will give courage, confi- 
dence, and inspiration to the well-disposed ; it will weaken the 
power of the mischievous ; it will light anew the beneficent 
glow of fraternal feeling and of national spirit ; for, sir, your 
good sense as well as your heart must tell you that when this 
is truly a people of citizens equal in their political rights, it will 
then be easier to make it also a people of brothers. 


speech of George Cary Eggleston at a banquet of the New York 
Southern Society^ February 22^ 188 j 

Mr, President: I have cheered myself so hoarse that I do 
not think I can make a speech at all. I will say a word or two 
if my voice holds out. It is patriotically hoarse. 

If I manage to make a speech, it will be the one speech of 
the evening which was most carefully prepared. The prepara- 
tions were all made, arrangements were completed, and it was 
perfectly understood that I should not make it. The name set 
down under this toast is that of John Randolph Tucker, and 
the wild absurdity of asking a writer who does not make 
speeches, to take the place of John Randolph Tucker would 
seem to be like asking a seasick landlubber to take the 
captain's place upon the bridge of the ocean steamer in a 
storm ; and there is another reason why I am peculiarly unfit 
to speak in response to the toast, " Southern Literature,** and 
that is, that I am firmly convinced that there is no South- 
em literature, that there never was a Southern literature, 
that there never will be a Southern literature, and that there 
never ought to be a Southern literature. Some very great and 


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noble work in literature has been produced by men of Southern 
lineage and birth and residence. John Marshall, if he had not 
been the greatest of American jurists, would have been counted, 
because of his " Life of Washington," the greatest of biogra- 
phers. I might name an extended list of workers in this field, 
all of Southern birth : Sims ; my dead friend, John Esten 
Cooke ; his brother, Philip Gooke ; Cable, who is married to 
New England; the gifted wom^ who calls herself Charles 
Egbert Craddock ; and a host of others, including that noble 
woman now going blind in Lexington, who has done some of 
the sweetest work in American poetry, Margaret J. Preston. I 
might go further and claim Howells, every drop of whose blood 
is Virginian. If it were not ge'tting personal and becoming a 
family affair, I might mention the fact that the author of the 
"Hoosier Schoolmaster," with whom I used to play on the 
hills of the Ohio River, was of direct Southern descent ; that 
he was bom, as I was, exactly on Mason and Dixon's line, and 
one of us fell over on one side and the other on the other 
when the trouble came. 

Notwithstanding all this, I hold that there can be no such 
thing as a Southern literature, because literature is never 
provincial ; and to say of any literature that it is Southern or 
Western or Northern or Eastern is to say that it is a provincial 
utterance and not a literature. The work to which I have 
referred is American literature. It is work of which American 
literature is proud and will ever be proud. Whatever is worthy 
in literature or in achievement of any kind in any part of the 
country goes ultimately in the common fund of American litera- 
ture or of American achievement ; and that is the joy I have 
had in being here to-night, when I ought to have been at home. 
The joy I have had to-night has been that this sentiment of 
Americanism has seemed to be all around me, and to run 
through and through everything that has been said here 
to-night — a sentiment which was taken out of my mouth, as 
it were, by the President this evening, that our first devotion 
above all is to what I call the American idea. It seems to me 
that we are sometimes forgetting what idea it is that has made 
this country great ; what it is that has made of it a nation of 


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free men and educated men — a nation in which the common- 
est laborer has the school open to him, as well as the work- 
shop ; in which the commonest laborer can sit down three 
times a day to a bountiful table. We sometimes forget the 
idea on which our country was founded ; the idea which 
prompted Jefferson, as a young man, to stand up in the legis- 
lature of Virginia and fight through three bills directly affect- 
ing mere questions of law, but determining the future of this 
country more largely than any other acts, — even the acts of 
Washington himself. Of those three bills, one provided for 
the separation of Church and State, one for the abolition of 
primogeniture, and a third for the abolition of entail. The 
idea that ran through that time was the idea of equal indi- 
vidual manhood — of the supremacy of the man to all else, 
to the state itself, to government and society ; that the 
individual man was the one thing to be taken care of ; that 
it is the sole business of the government to give him rights 
of manhood, to protect him in his personal freedom, and 
then to let him alone. ... It seems to me that one lesson 
we here to-night should take most to heart is that lesson 
taught by the whole history of our country, that the American 
idea — the idea of the individuality and manhood of man, the 
idea of a government formed simply to protect men, as indi- 
viduals in their rights, and leave them free in their action and 
mode of thought — is the idea that has made this country 
great. And it is by that idea that we shall continue great, if 
we are so to continue. 

Condensed from an address to young men^ by Phillips Brooks'^ 

There are three directions or dimensions of human life 
to which we may fitly give these three names. Length and 
Breadth and Height. The length of a life, in this meaning 
of it, is, of course, not its duration. It is rather the reaching 
on and out of a man, in the line of activity and thought and 
self-development, which is indicated and prophesied by the 

1 Shurter, "Public Speaking," 251. 


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character which is natural within him, by the special ambitions 
which spring up out of his special powers. It is the push of 
a life forward to its own personal ends and ambitions. The 
breadth of a life, on the other hand, is its outreach laterally, 
if we may say so. It is the. constantly diffusive tendency which 
is always drawing a man outward into sympathy with other men. 
And the height of a life is its upward reach towards God ; its 
sense of childhood ; its consciousness of a Divine Life over it, 
with whjch it tries to live in love, communion, and obedience. 
These are the three dimensions of a life, — its length and 
breadth and height, — without the due development of all of 
which no life becomes complete. The life which has only 
length, only intensity of ambition, is narrow. The life which 
has length and breadth, intense ambition and broad humanity, 
is thin ; it is like a great, flat plain, of which one wearies, and 
which sooner or later wearies of itself. The life which to its 
length and breadth adds height, which to its personal ambition 
and s)rmpathy with men adds the love and obedience of God, 
completes itself into the cube of the eternal city and is the life 

Think for a moment of the life of the great apostle, the 
manly, many-sided Paul. " I press toward the mark for the 
prize of my high calling,'* he writes to the Philippians. That is 
the length of life for him. " I will gladly spend and be spent 
for you," he writes to the Corinthians. There is the breadth 
of life for him. "God hath raised us up and made us sit 
together in high places in Christ Jesus," he writes to the Ephe- 
sians. There is the height of life for him. You can add noth- 
ing to these three dimensions when you try to account to 
yourself for the impression of completeness which comes to 
you out of his simple, lofty story. 

We need not stop with him. Look at the Lord of Paul. See 
how in Christ the same symmetrical manhood shines yet more 
complete. See what intense a.nbition to complete His work, 
what tender sympathy with every struggling brother at his side, 
and at the same time what a perpetual dependence on his 
Father, is in Him. " For this cause came J into the world.' ' 
" For their sakes I sanctify myself," ** Now, O Father, glorify 


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Thou me.'' Leave either of those out and you have not the 
perfect Christ, not the entire symmetry of manhood. 

If we try to gather into shape some picture of what the 
perfect man of heaven is to be, still we must keep the sym- 
metry of these his three dimensions. It must be that forever 
before each glorified spirit in the other life there shall be set 
one goal of peculiar ambition, his goal, after which he is pecu- 
liarly to strive. And yet it must be that as each soul strives 
towards his own attainment he shall be knit forever into closer 
and closer union with all the other countless souls which are 
striving after theirs. And the inspiring power of it all, the 
source of all the energy and all the love, must then be clear 
beyond all doubt ; the ceaseless flood of light forever pouring 
forth from the self-living God to fill and feed the open lives of 
His redeemed who lived by Him. There is the symmetry of 
manhood perfect. There, in redeemed and glorified human 
nature, is the true heavenly Jerusalem. 

I hope that we are all striving and praying now that we may 
come to some such symmetrical completeness. This is the 
glory of a young man's life. Do not dare to live without some 
clear intention toward which your living shall be bent. Mean 
to do something with all your might. Do not add act to act 
and day to day in perfect thoughtlessness, never asking your- 
self whither the growing line is leading. But at the same time 
do not dare to be so absorbed in your own life, so wrapped up in 
listening to the sound of your own hurrying heels, that all this 
vast pathetic music, made up of the mingled joy and sorrow of 
your fellow-men, shall not find out your heart and claim it and 
make you rejoice to give yourself for them. And yet, all the 
while, keep the upward windows open. Do not dare to think 
that a child of God can worthily work out his career or worthily 
serve God's other children unless he does both in the love and 
fear of God their Father. Be sure that ambition and charity 
will both grow mean unless they are both inspired and exalted 
by religion. Energy, love, faith, these make the perfect man. 
And Christ, who is the perfectness of all of them, gives them 
all three to any young man who, at the very outset of his life, 
gives up himself to Him. 


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So far we have been cdnsidering the extempore 
method generally, as applied to all sorts of speeches, 
while attention has been paid more particularly to the 
relatively short, pointed address ; yet the principles and 
methods set forth apply equally to a long, formal address 
and to a brief, informal speech. There are, however, dif- 
ferent types of extempore. speeches, varying in length 
and style with the subject and the occasion. 

As to length, we • have seen that a speech should 
always be made as short as possible. It is obvious, 
however, that many subjects could not be adequately 
treated in ten, fifteen, or even thirty minutes. In such 
cases the speaker must plan his subject-matter to tally 
with the time at his disposal, and make his outline ac- 
cordingly. A preacher, for example, would needs plan 
to make a prayer-meeting or Sunday-schOol address 
more restricted and less exhaustive in treatment than 
he would in the case of a sermon. 

Again, the style of one's speech will vary with the occa- 
sion and the audience. Generally speaking, the style of 
the extempore speaker, as we have previously observed, 
should be that of his best conversation. Now, one's con- 
versational style will vary with the formality of the occa- 
sion and the intelligence of the hearer or hearers. And 
so it is in public speaking — and especially in extempore 


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speaking. ' * Personal grapple ' ' with an audience demands 
a style suited to that particular audience. Hence the 
power of adaptability needs to be developed. This 
cannot be attained through rules, but the student 
should, so far as possible, practice adapting himself to 
different audiences. The danger of the over-academic 
style, which frequently prevents the college-bred man 
from reaching the popular ear, should be sedulously 
guarded against. 

By the idea of adaptation here urged is not meant that 
a man be a weathercock, veering with every wind that 
blows ; it has reference to style rather than to substance, 
to sympathy rather than to character ; it simply means 
that if a speaker is to carry conviction to a particular 
audience, he must get in touch with that audience. To 
put the matter in another way : always speak on a level 
with your audience ; not down to, or up to, but on a 
level with — as complete an adaptation as possible. The 
preacher, for example, who makes a successful after- 
dinner speech will not deliver a sermon. He will have 
the purpose of his address in mind, in the one case as 
well as in the other, but the same style would ordinarily 
be unsuited to both types of address. The unimpas- 
sioned argument that a lawyer might properly deliver 
to a court would fail to reach the average jury. The 
scientist addressing a body of fellow-scientists would 
naturally use a diction ill adapted to speaking on the 
same subject to a popular audience. The style of a 
Sunday-school address would rarely be suited to that 
of a political speech. And so we might go on multiply- 
ing illustrations, for they are as numerous as the audi- 
ences one may be called upon to address. 


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Aside from practice, how shall this quality of adapta- 
tion be appreciated ? We can do no better, perhaps, 
than to append four examples of extempore speeches, 
the first two prepared for delivery to two different im- 
aginary audiences, and the latter two actually delivered 
by Henry Ward Beecher upon different occasions. 

The first example represents a colorless, unimpas- 
sioned .argument, addressed primarily to the intellect ; 
the second example is the same argument adapted for 
delivery to a popular audience. As will be seen, these 
two examples illustrate the two extremes of style. The 
first is methodical, but '*dry"; the second much less 
orderly, but more colloquial and ** popular" in style. 
For the average mixed audience, probably a better 
style than either of these two extremes would be one 
embodying the merits of both. 

The third and fourth examples illustrate adaptation 
to different occasions and audiences. Number III is an 
extract from Beecher's speech at Liverpool during the 
storm and stress of our Civil War. The speaker was 
addressing a strange audience in a strange hall, his com- 
ing heralded by scurrilous placards and threats* against 
his life, and he was compelled to fight for even the privi- 
lege of speaking at all. An appeal for ** fair play " was 
therefore highly appropriate. The speech also furnishes 
an excellent illustration of adaptation to the character 
and previous opinions of an audience. The audience 
being largely composed of laboring men, their standard 
of value was wages. Beecher accordingly adapted his 
appeal to the level of this standard, and spoke in a style 
suited to reach and stir that particular audience. On 
the other hand, the occasion of the sermon (extract IV) 


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was a quiet Sabbath day, with all the surroundings and 
influences tending to put his hearers in a worshipful 
and attentive attitude. Matter and style were therefore 
very different from the Liverpool speech. Imagine 
Beecher in his sermon appealing to his audience for 
**fair play"! In short, here again is illustrated the 
keyword of this chapter, — adaptation. 


It is charged that the deportation of negroes by the 
United States government would be unjust. Now, justice 
is not an abstract quality, but **must inhere in some 
sensible object." The object, in this case, is the peopl? 
of the United States, and as applied to the question 
under discussion, where would the injustice, if any, lie ? 
There are two parties, or classes, involved, — the blacks 
and the whites. 

First, then, deportation would be just to the negroes 
themselves. They were originally brought here against 
their will, and placed in the midst of a people with whom 
they can never assimilate. Assimilation being impos- 
sible, only two. alternatives for them remain: to con- 
tinue as an acknowledgedly inferior race, in a condition 
of semi-slavery, or to be pushed to the wall and even- 
tually exterminated. But either of these alternatives is 
unjust to the negroes, for compulsory self-abasement 
or self-extermination must always be unjust. Would 
not more justice be effected were the United States 
government (adjusting equitably, of course, all property 
rights) to deport the negroes to an environment where 
they could attain a personal freedom and self-develop- 
ment to a degree far beyond that which can ever be 
possible if they remain in this country ? 

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Secondly, justice to our white citizens demands negro 
deportation. The presence of the negroes in our midst 
constitutes a political, an economic, and a social menace. 

The negroes are a political menace because, wherever 
they are present in considerable numbers, they attempt 
to govern the whites. This was actually the case in Re- 
construction times, and under our system of government 
by majority the possibility of its recurrence is always 
threatening, and thus the whites are compelled to adopt 
questionable methods to prevent it. New England theo- 
rizers to the contrary notwithstanding, the whites will 
never again permit the blacks to participate in govern- 
ment as a controlling force. This being true, it is but 
simple justice to the whites in a large section of our 
country that the negroes be removed, and so allow our 
white citizens a normal political action and development. 

The negroes are an economic menace in that they are 
as a class lazy, shiftless, thriftless, addicted to petty thiev- 
ing, and hence unproductive and unreliable. Further, 
their standard of living is far below that of the average 
white laborer ; thus is the white laborer degraded. 

Again, the negroes are a social menace. There is a 
social antipathy between whites and blacks which is felt 
wherever the two races come in contact. This gives rise, 
among other evils, to class distinctions. The standard 
of morality among the negroes is low, and this inevitably 
has a deleterious influence on the whites. The terrible 
and terrorizing effect of unbridled passion has led the 
whites, in many communities, to avenge inhuman crimes 
by modes of punishment shocking to human sensibilities ; 
thus the moral sensibilities of the whites are blunted. 

Since, then, deportation would be just to the negroes 
themselves, because assimilation with the whites is im- 
possible, and because continued semi-slavery or gradual 


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extermination is unjust ; and since deportation would be 
just to the whites for the political, economic, and social 
reasons that I have shown, — therefore the deportation 
of the negroes accords with the demands of justice. 


The foregoing argument in a more '''-popular " style 

You say that to deport the negroes from this country 
would be unjust. Unjust to whom ? You talk about 
justice to the negroes. But is it not about time we 
heard something about justice to the whites ? Is ours 
a government of black men, and is it to be one for 
black men.? If so, let us at least be honest, and let 
Congress pass a law entitled, ** An act to take' the 
children's bread and give it to the dogs.** Let's be 
done with this everlasting cant about injustice to the 
negro, and get down to common sense. 

One thing is certain. The whites and blacks cannot 
live in the same community in this country peaceably 
and contentedly. Does any one doubt this } If there is 
anywhere in America a good New England, " humani- 
tarian" community, whose citizens think they could live 
contentedly in a community with about an equal number 
of negroes, let them make themselves known, and there 
are many communities in the South that would gladly 
furnish negro colonists in almost any number -7- the 
more the better. Now, if these New Englanders wouldn't 
be sick of their bargain inside of a month, then truth is 
a liar and injustice is negro deportation. These people 
would soon discover that seeing a negro once in a while, 
and living with considerable numbers of them, are 
two quite different propositions. Talk about peace and 
contentment where men dare not leave their wives 


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and daughters unguarded for a single moment ! Some 
negroes are intelligent and respectable — oh, yes ! But if 
a negro is a doctor, is he yotir family physician ? Would 
you have him for your pastor or for your children's 
teacher ? Would you want him for judge of your county 
court, or governor of your state, or President of the 
United States ? In short, all this talk about equal social 
or political rights is just plumb foolishness. 

And why would it be unjust to the negroes to deport 
them ? It would only start them again where they left 
off, with all the help the whites may have meanwhile 
given them. They are much better off by themselves, 
anyway. They could by themselves work out their own 
salvation without the whites to interfere with them, as 
at present. The negroes ought to welcome this deporta- 
tion plan as being an act of greater justice than they 
have ever received from the United States, or ever can 
receive ; and whites and blacks ought to unite in a 
mighty shout of ** All aboard ! '* 


It is a matter of very little consequence to me, per- 
sonally, whether I speak here to-night or not. But one 
thing is very certain, if you do permit me to speak here 
to-night, you will hear very plain talking. You will not 
find me to be a man that dared to speak about Great 
Britain three thousand miles off, and then is afraid to 
speak to Great Britain when he stands on her shores. 
And if I do not mistake the tone and temper of Eng- 
lishmen, they had rather have a man who opposes them 
in a manly way than a sneak that agrees with, them in 
an unmanly way. Now, if I can carry you with me by 
sound convictions, I shall be immensely glad ; but if I 


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cannot carry you with me by facts and sound arguments, 
I do not wish you to go with me at all ; and all that I 
ask is simply fair play. 

Those of you who are kind enough to wish to favor 
my speaking, — and you will observe that my voice is 
slightly husky, from having spoken almost every night 
in succession for some time past, — those who wish to 
hear me will do me the kindness simply to sit still and 
to keep still ; and I and my friends the Secessionists 
will make all the noise. . . . 

The power to create riches is just as much a part of 
the Anglo-Saxon virtues as the power to create good 
order and social safety. The things required for pros- 
perous labor, prosperous manufactures, and prosperous 
commerce are three ; first, liberty ; second, liberty ; 
third, liberty. . . . There must be freedom among pro- 
ducers ; there must be freedom among the distributors ; 
there must be freedom among the customers. It may 
not have occurred to you that it makes any difference 
what one's customers are, but it does in all regular and 
prolonged business. The condition of the customer de- 
termines how much he will buy, determines of what sort 
he will buy. Poor and ignorant people buy little, and 
that of the poorest kind. The richest and the intelli- 
gent, having the more means to buy, buy the most and 
always buy the best. It is a necessity of every manu- 
facturing and commercial people that their customers 
should be very wealthy and intelligent. Let us put the 
subject before you in the familiar light of your own local 
experience. To whom do the tradesmen of Liverpool sell 
the most goods at the highest profits } To the ignorant 
and poor, or to the educated and prosperous .? The poor 
man buys simply for his body; he buys food, he buys 
clothing, he buys fuel, he buys lodging. His rule is to buy 


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the least and the cheapest that he can ; he brings away 
as httle as he can ; and he buys for the least he can. . . . 
A savage is a man of one story, and that one story a 
cellar. When a man begins to be civilized he raises 
another story. When you christianize and civilize the 
man, you put story upon story, for you develop faculty 
after faculty, and you have to supply every story with 
your productions. The savage is a man one story deep ; 
the civilized man is thirty stories deep. Now, if you go 
to a lodging house where there are three or four men, 
your sales to them may, no doubt, be worth something ; 
but if you go to a lodging house like some of those which 
I saw in Eklinburgh, which seemed to contain about twenty 
stories, every story of which is full, and all who occupy 
buy of you, which is the better customer, the man who 
is drawn out or the man who is pinched up .? . . . When 
depressed and backward people demand that they may 
have a chance to rise, it is a duty for humanity's sake, 
it is a duty for the highest moral motives, to sympathize 
with them ; but besides all these there is a material and 
an interested reason why you should sympathize with 
them. Pounds and pence join with conscience and with 
honor in this design. ... It is said that your chief 
want is cotton. I deny it. Your chief want is custom- 
ers. You could turn out fourfold as much as you do, 
if you only had the market to sell in. That nation is the 
best customer that is freest, because freedom works 
prosperity, industry, and wealth. Great Britain, then, 
aside from moral considerations, has a direct commer- 
cial and pecuniary interest in the liberty, civilization, 
and wealth of every nation on the globe. 


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We are children of God in proportion as we are in 
sympathy with those who are round about us, and in 
proportion as we bear with each other. How sacred is 
man, for whom Christ died ! And how ruthlessly do we 
treat him! Oh, my brother; oh, my sister; oh, father 
and mother ; you are of me and I am of you ! We have 
the same temptations. We are walking to the same 
sounds. We are upon the same journey, out of dark- 
ness toward light ; out of bondage toward liberty ; out 
of sin toward holiness ; out of earth toward heaven ; 
out of self toward God. Let us clasp hands. Let us 
cover each other's faults. Let us pray more and criti- 
cise less. Let us love more and hate less. Let us bear 
more and smite less. And by and by, when we stand 
in the unthralled land, in pure light, made as the angels 
of God, we will pity ourselves for every stone that we 
threw, but we shall not be sorry for any tear that we 
shed, or any hour of patien^^ndurance that we experi- 
enced for another. Not the songs that you sang, not 
the verses that you wrote, not the monuments that you 
built, not the money that you amassed, but what you 
did for one of Christ's little ones, in that hour will be 
your joy and your glory above everything else. 

Brethren, this is a sermon that ought to have an 
application to-day, on your way home, in your houses, 
and in your business to-morrow. From this time forth, 
see that you are better men yourselves, and see that 
your betterment is turned to the account of somebody 
else. And consider yourselves as growing in 'grace in 

1 The conclusion of a sermon. " Plymouth Pulpit," 245, E^hth 
Series, March-September, 1872. 


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proportion as you grow in patience and in helpfulness. 
Consider yourselves as growing in piety and as growing 
toward God in proportion as you grow in sympathy for 


Assign subjects for the preparation of speeches to different 
audiences. For this practice it would perhaps be best to have 
the speeches written out in advance, and then read and criti- 
cised before the class. Following are suggested subjects and 
occasions (other subjects adapted to local conditions will natu- 
rally be supplied by the individual teacher), (i) Prepare an 
argument of about one thousand words, to be made before a 
convention of business men, on the proposition that the tariff 
on steel rails should be abolished ; then adapt the same argu- 
ment for delivery to a popular audience in a presidential 
campaign. (2) Prepare a speech for delivery to the class in 
which you favor a legislative appropriation for an astronomical 
observatory (or other improvement) for this college. Then 
suppose you were to speak on the same subject at a political 
barbecue or at a country picnic ; how would you change your 
first speech? (3) Prepare a speech for a political campaign in 
which you are interested, to be delivered before a mass meet- 
ing of members of your own party. Now suppose you had an 
opportunity to make the speech to a mass meeting of the 
opposite party; how would you revise the first speech? 


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To the Teacher. The following subjects and topics for class 
exercises are chiefly intended for fairly mature students, and 
have been tested, for the most part, with college classes. In 
any event, they may be found suggestive. The individual 
teacher will of course add exercises on subjects of local interest, 
and those adapted to the needs of a particular class. The 
exercises first in order are purposely planned to require largely 
the narrative form of discourse, and to have the students give 
oral expression to knowledge gained from reading. Exercises 1, 
II, and III being a general review of the text. 

In conducting class exercises the following suggestions are 
offered as the result of much experience and experiment. 
When practicable, divide the students into as many sections as 
the class meets times a week, one section speaking at each 
exercise. This plan has the advantage of having at least a 
portion of the audience listeners only, their attention not being 
diverted by thought on their own speeches. Assign topics at 
least one week in advance. Require an outline of the plan of 
the speech to be written out, following the plan of the blank 
on page 104, space being left at the bottom of each outline for 
noting criticisms and suggestions, and have each speaker hand 
his outline to the instructor at the commencement of the exer- 
cise, or when called upon to speak. Insist upon the student's 
speaking without notes or other prompting. Allow each 
speaker from five to ten minutes, proportioned to the number 
participating in an exercise. When necessary, give a speaker 
notice, by a warning bell or otherwise, that he must conclude 
his speech in one minute. At the close of the programme, when 



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time permits, a review of the speeches by the teacher, with 
criticisms and suggestions, may sometimes be helpful to the 
class as a whole. However, each student will soon leam to 
recognize his own and others* leading faults, and the criticisms 
and suggestions noted on each outline will generally be suffi- 
cient. A good speech being the happy conjunction of speaker, 
subject, and occasion, encourage the students to make each 
exercise a real occasion. To this end, let the class now and 
then be organized into a convention, or other body, with 
a chairman to announce the programme and introduce the 
speakers. Some of the following exercises, it will be seen, are 
planned with this in view. 

Subject : Extempore Speaking 

1 . What is Extempore Speaking ? 

2. The Different Ways of Preparing and Delivering an Address. 

3. Advantages of the Extempore Method. 

4. Can Extempore Speaking be Acquired? 

a. Examples of Great Orators of the Past.^ 

b. Testimony of Contemporary Speakers.^ 

5. General Preparation for Extempore Speaking. 

a. A Good General Education. 

b. Gathering Speech Material. 

c. Reading. 

d. Writing. 

e. Acquiring a Vocabulary. 

/. Practice in Extempore Speaking. 

1 See Introduction. 


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Subject : Special Preparation for Extempore Speaking 

1. Analysis of the Subject. 

a. The Primary Requisite of a Good Speech. 

b. Steps in Analysis and the Tentative Outline. 

2. Reading for Amplification. 

a. Methods in Reading. 

b. Finding Lists available in Our Library. 

3. The Final Outline. 

a. Discuss Generally. 

b. Types of Outlines. 

4. Memorizing the Outline. 

5. Silent Speaking. 

Subject : Extemporaneous Delivery 

1 . Unity and Clearness. 

2. Concreteness. 

3. Proportion. 

a. As to the Parts of the Speech. 

b. As to Length. 

4. Movement. 

5. Leaving Definite Impressions. 

6. Improvement in Extempore Speaking. 

a. Through Self-Criticism and Review. 

b. Maintaining a High Standard. 


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Occasion: A Meeting of the Students^ Oratorical Association 
Subject : Famous Incidents in the History of Oratory 

1 . Address of Chairman : What is Oratory ? 

2. Demosthenes* "On the Crown." 

3. Cicero against Catiline. 

4. Antony at Caesar*s Funeral. 

5. Luther at the Diet of Worms. 

6. Savonarola at the Church of St. Mark. 

7. The Last Speech of Robert Emmet. 

8. Burke*s Impeachment of Warren Hastings. 

9. O'Connell at thejiill of Tara. 

10. James Otis at the Old Statehouse, Boston : Speech in 

Opposition to the Writs of Assistance. 

11. Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Occasion and Subject: Same as preceding 

1. Webster*s Reply to Hayne. 

2. The First Joint Debate between Lincoln and Douglas. 

3. Lamar's Eulogy of Charles Sumner. 

4. Prentiss at New Orleans. 

5. Phillips at Faneuil Hall. 

6. Beecher at Liverpool. 

7. Curtis at Philadelphia. 

8. IngersolPs Nomination of Blaine. 

9. Blaine's Eulogy of Garfield. 

10. Grady in New York : His " New South " Speech. 

1 1 . Bryan at Chicago. 


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Occasion : A Meeting of the Students* Historical Club 
Subject : Historical Scenes and Incidents 

1. Address of Chairman ; Advantages and Methods in the 

Study of History. 

2. Xerxes' Invasion of Greece. 

3. The Fall of Rome. 

4. The Securing of the Magna Charta. 

5. The Securing of the Bill of Rights. 

6. The Passage of the Corn Laws. 

7. The " Field of the Cloth of Gold." 

8. The Storming of the Bastile. 

9. The Defense of the Alamo. 
10. The Founding of Plymouth. 

Occasion and Subject: Same as preceding 

1. The Signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

2. The Texas Declaration of Independence. 

3. The Surrender of Cornwallis. 

4. The Surrender of Santa Anna. 

5. The Surrender of Lee. 

6. The Hague Peace Conference. 

7. Trip of the Battleship Oregon about Cape Horn. 

8. The Pacific Cruise of the American Fleet. 

9. The Relief of Ladysmith. 

10. The Siege of Port Arthur. 

11. The Treaty of Portsmouth. 


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Subject: Makers of History 

1. Pericles. 

2. Caesar. 

3. Charlemagne. 

4. Louis XIV. 

5. Henry VIII. 

6. Peter the Great. 

7. Napoleon. 

8. Bismarck. 

9. Gladstone. 

10. Abraham Lincoln. 

Subject : Great American Orators 

1. Webster. 

2. Beecher. 

3. Prentiss. 

4. Phillips. 

5. Curtis. 

6. Grady. 

7. IngersoU. 

8. Bryan. 

9. Beveridge. 
10. Bailey. 


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Subject : Great Names in American History 

1. Washington. 

2. Franklin. 

3. Hamilton. 

4. Jefferson. 

5. Webster. 

6. Lincoln. 

7. Lee. 

8. Grant. 

9. Mann. 
10. Edison. 


Subject : American Statesmen 

1. Samuel Adams. 

2. John Adams. 

3. John Hancock. 

4. Calhoun. 

5. Clay. 

6. Sumner. 

7. Cleveland. 

8. McKinley. 

9. Bryan. 
10. Roosevelt. 


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Occasion : A Non-partisan Mass Meeting 
Subject: The Presidential Campaign of ig — 

1 . Address of Chairman : Party Government in America. 

2. The Republican and Democratic Platforms Compared. 

3. The Prohibition and Populist Platforms Compared. 

4. The Issues of the Campaign. 

5. The Candidate of the Republican Party. 

6. The Candidate of the Democratic Party. 

7. The Candidate of the Prohibition Party. 

8. The Candidate of the Populist Party. 

9. The Candidate of the Socialist-Labor Party. 
10. A Prophecy of the Result. 


Occasion : A Meeting of the Young Men's Political Club 
Subject : The Presidential Campaign of ig 

1 . Address of Chairman : Election Day and the Returns. 

2. Elements of Strength in the Victorious Party. 

3. Elements of Weakness in the Victorious Party. 

4. Elements of Weakness in the Defeated Party. 

5. Elements of Strength in the Defeated Party. 

6. The Result as affected by the Vote of Other Parties. 

7. Spectacular Features of the Campaign. 

8. The Future of the Prohibition Party. 

9. The Future of the Democratic Party. 
10. The Future of the Republican Party. 


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Occasion : A Meeting of the Athletic Association 
Subject : Athletics for University Students 

1 . Address of Chairman : The Athletic Movement and its 


2. The National Game of Baseball. 

3. The Spread of Football among the Colleges. 

4. The Dangers of Football. 

5. The Advantages of Football. 

6. The Reform of Football. 

7. The Professional Spirit. 

8. The Management of our Athletics. 

9. Athletics for Women. 

10. Victories and Defeats of the Past Season and the Lessons 


11. The Future of Athletics in American Colleges and Univer- 

sities. ^ 


Occasion : Educational Conference 
Subject : The Teaching of Public Speaking 

1 . Address of Chairman : The Demand for Public Speakers. 

2. The Distinction between Public Speaking and Oratory. 

3. Public Speaking for the Lawyer. 

4. Public Speaking for the Politician. 

5. Public Speaking for the Minister. 

6. Public Speaking for the Teacher. 

7. Public Speaking for the Engineer. 

8. Public Speaking for the Non -Professional Man. 

9. The Public Speaker for To-Day. 

10. Question : What is the Best Training for the Public 


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Occasion : Educational Conference 
Subject : Ideals in Higher Education 

Address of Chairman : What is Education ? 
What is a College? 
What is a University ? 
A National University. 
Elective vs. Prescribed Courses of Study. 
Should the Academic Department of a College or Univer- 
sity grant but a Single Degree? 
The Government of Students. 
The Honor System in Examinations. 
The Question of Coeducation. 
" College Spirit.*^ 

Occasion : Meeting of the Finance School 

1 . Address of Chairman : Money and its Uses. 

2. An Explanation of i6 to i, with the History of Bimetallism 

in the United States to 1873. 

3. The History of Bimetallism since 1873. 

4. The Immediate Free Coinage of Silver. 

5. A Gold Standard. 

6. International Bimetallism. 

7. Greenbacks. 

8. Panics : Their Causes. 

9. The Parity of Silver with Gold. 

10. The Currency Question as affected by Events since 1896. 

11. Needed Changes in our Banking Laws. 


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Subject : Economic Conditions 

Signs of Discontent. 

Causes of Discontent. 

The Industrial Revolution as a Cause. 

An Optimistic View of the Industrial Revolution. 

The Bad Side of the Industrial Revolution. 

The Complaint of the Farmer. 

The Complaint of the Consumer. 

The Complaint of the Workingman. 


The New Social Spirit. 

Subject : American Industry 


1 . The Merits of Labor Organizations. 

2. The Evils of Labor Organizations. 

3. Convict Labor. 

4. The Housing of the Poor. 
Mimicipal Aid for the Unemployed. 
The Eight-hour Day. 
General Booth's Employment System. 
American Wages. 
American Workingmen. 
Needed Reforms in Industrial Methods. 


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Occasion : Labor Day 

1. Labor Day and Holidays. 

2. The Labor Problem. 

3. Labor Organizations. 

4. The Courts and Labor Organizations. 

5. Free Labor. 

6. Labor and Capital. 

7. The Rights of Laboring Men. 

8. Legitimate Strike Methods. 

9. The Discontent of the Times. 
10. Socialism of our Times. 

Occasion : Thanksgiving Day 

1. Address of Chairman : National Holidays. 

2. The History of Thanksgiving (see Mag, Am, Hist, XIV, 

556; XVI, 505). 

3. The President's Thanksgiving Proclamation. 

4. Matters for National Thanksgiving. 

5. The Usual Observance of Thanksgiving Day. 

6. How should Thanksgiving be Observed ? 

7. Thanksgiving Dinner. 

8. Thanksgiving Football. 

9. The Turkey and Thanksgiving. 

10. Mr. Dooley on Thanksgiving (Harper's Weekly, XLIV, 


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Subject : The Christmas Holidays 

1. The Origin and History of Christmas. 

2. The Puritan's Christmas. 

3. The Cavalier's Christmas. 

4. The Observance of Christmas in Foreign Countries. 

5. The Observance of Christmas in America. 

a. In the North. 

b. In the South. 

6. Christmas Presents. 

7. Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." 

8. The Christmas Spirit. 

9. The Significance and Observance of New Year's Day. 
10. New Year's Resolutions. 

Occasion : Washington's Birthday 

/ I. Address of Chairman : The Day and its Observance. 
/ 2. Washington the Man. 

I 3. Washington and the Beginning of the War for Independ- 
i ence. 

I 4. Washington as a Soldier. 
\ 5. Washington as President. 

t 6. His Farewell Address. 

7. National Isolation : The Reason for its Advocacy by 


8. Washington as Father of the Monroe Doctrine. 

9. Washington and Imperialism. 

**' 10. The Traditional vs. the Real Washington. 


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Occasion : Arbor Day 

1. The Origin and Signification of Arbor Day. 

2. How the Day is usually Observed. 

3. How it should be Observed. 

4. The Dangers involved in the Destruction of our Forests. 

5. Vegetafion and Rainfall. • 

6. The German Method of Forest Cultivation. 

7. The American Method of Forest Cultivation. 

8. Schools of Forestry. 

9. Tree Planting desirable in this State. 
10. Tree Planting desirable in this Locality. 

Subject : The Liquor Problem 

' 1 . Historical Sketch of the Temperance Movement in America. 

2. The Good Templars. 

3. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union. 

4. The Career of John B. Gough. 

5. The Maine Liquor Law. 

6. Prohibition in Vermont. 

7. Prohibition in Kansas. 

8. The South Carolina Dispensary System. 

9. The New York State High License System. 
10. The Army Canteen. 

.11. The Solution of the Liquor Problem. 


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Subject: The Constitution of the United States 

1. Its Origin and Coitipromise Character. 

2. The Nature of the Federal Government. 

3. Its Merits and Possible Defects. 

4. As Compared with the English System. 

5. State Rights and Centralization. 

6. Checks and Balances. 

7. Amendments. 

8. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. 

9. Does the Constitution "follow the Flag?" 
10. Needed Changes and Amendments. 

Subject : The Monroe Doctrine 

1. The Holy Alliance. 

2. The Doctrine as Promulgated by President Monroe and 

the Effect in England. 

3. Reception in the United States and Growth of the Idea. 

4. Application to Mexico and Panama. 

5. Application to Hawaii and Cuba. 

6. Application to Venezuela. 

7. Interpretation by President Cleveland and Attitude of 

England in the Venezuela Case. 

8. Application to the Philippines. 

9. Legislation concerning the Doctrine. 

10. Present Attitude of Foreign Nations toward the Doctrine. 


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Subject : The Spirit of Liberty in American Institutions 

1. Civil Liberty. 

2. Growth of Liberty among the Colonies. 

3. The Free Institutions cherished by the Colonies. 

4. Liberty in the Declaration of Independence. 

5. Our Heritage of Freedom in the Constitution. 

6. Freedom of Thought. 

7. Freedom of Speech. 

8. Freedom of the Press. 

9. The Ballot and the Duties of Citizenship. 
10. Dangers to our Free Institutions. 

Subject : Religious Liberty 

1. Freedom of Conscience. 

2. Religious Liberty in Rhode Island and Maryland. 

3. First Amendment to the Constitution. 

4. Separation of Church and State. 

5. Sectarian Schools and Colleges. 

6. American Churches : Causes of division ; church unity. 

7. Religious Forces and Population in the United States. 

8. The Evangelical and Non-evangelical Elements. 

9. Characteristics of American Christianity. 
10. How the Churches affect Society. 


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Subject : National Probh 


Restriction of Immigration. 


A Pension Policy. 


Increase of the Navy. 


The Care of the Indians. 


The Exclusion of the Chinese. 


The Exclusion of the Japanese. 


Disfranchisement of the Negroes. 


Suffrage for Women. 


Restrictive Qualifications for Suffrage. 


Federal Control of Railway Rates. 


Subject : National Problems 

1. Home Rule for Cities. 

2. Municipal Reform. 

3. Municipal Ownership of Public Franchises. 

4. The Commission System of City Government. 

5. Educated Men and Politics. 

6. Federal Aid to Education. 

7. A National Divorce Law. 

8. Annexation. 

9. Expansion. 

10. Trusts and Monopolies. 


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Subject : Law and Lawyers 

1. What is Law? 

2. The Three Principal Modes of Laying Down the Law in 

this Country. 

3. The Courts of this State and their Jurisdiction. 

4. The Duty of the Lawyers in Criminal Actions. 

5 . The Duty of the Lawyer to his Client in Civil Actions. 

6. The Lawyer in Public Life. 

a. As Politician. 

b. As Legislator. 

c. As Judge. 

7. The Popular Estimate of the Legal Profession. 

8. Elements of Success in the Legal Profession. 

Subject : The Training of the Lawyer 

1 . Need of a Liberal Education. 

a. In History and Political Science. 

b. In Constitutional Law. 

c. In International Law. 

d. In the Sciences. 

e. In Foreign Languages. 

/. In English Language and Literature. 
g. In Public Speaking. 

2. Advantages of Study in a Law Office. 

3. Advantages of Study in a Law School. 

4. Case vs. Text-book Method of Instruction. 


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Subject : Famcms Legal Arguments 

1. Lord Mansfield : Answer to the Prussian Memorial.^ 

2. Thomas Erskine. 

a. Defense of Lord George Gordon.^ 

b. Defense of John Stockdale.^ 

c. For the Prosecution, in the Proceedings against 

Thomas Williams.* 

3. Alexander Hamilton : On the Constitutionality of a Bank 

of the United States.^ 

4. Chief Justice Marshall. 

a. Judicial Opinion in the Case of McCulloch against 

the State of Maryland.^ 

b. Judicial Opinion in the Case of Gibbons against Ogden.^ 

5. William Wirt: Argument in the Case of Gibbons against 


6. Patrick Henry : The Right of a State, during the Revolu- 

tion, to confiscate British Debts.* 

7. William Pinkney : Defense of John Hodges.* 

Subject : Famous Legal Arguments 

1. Lord Brougham : Defense of John A. Williams.^ 

2. Horace Binney : The Girard Will Case.^ 

3. Sir Alexander Cockbum : Defense of Daniel McNaughton.^ 

4. Benjamin R. Curtis : 

a. Defense of President Johnson.^ 

b. Judicial Opinion in the Case of Dred Scott against 


c. Charge to the Jury in the Case of the United States 

against McGlue.^ 

d. Argument in the Case of Gamett against the United 


5. Charles O'Connor. 

a. Case of the Brig-of-War General Armstrong.^' * 

b. Case of Ormsby against Douglass.^ 

c. Argument before the Electoral Commission, 1877.^ 

1 See Veeder, " Legal Masterpieces." 

2 See Snyder, "Great Speeches by Great Lawyers." 

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Subject : Famous Legal Arguments 

1. Daniel Webster. 

a. Case of Ogden against Saunders.* 

b. Dartmouth College Case.^ 

c. Against John F. Knapp.^ • 

d. Case of Luther against Borden.* 

2. Case of Massy against the Marquis of Headfort.* 

a. Statement of Facts. 

b. Opening for Plaintiff, by Bartholomew Hoar. 

c. Opening for Defendant, by Thomas Quin. 

d. Closing for Defendant, by George Ponsonby. 

e. Closing for Plaintiff, by John Philpot Curran. 
/. Baron Smith's Charge to the Jury. 

' Subject : Famous Legal Arguments 

1. Wendell Phillips : On the Removal of Judge Loring.^^ 

2. Richard Henry Dana: Brief of Prize Cases.* 

3. Jeremiah Black : In Behalf of Lambdin P. Milligan.*** 

4. David Dudley Field : In Behalf of William H. McCardle.** * 

5. William M. Evarts. 

a. The Lemmon Slave Case.* 

b. On Behalf of the United States, before the Tribunal 

of Arbitration at Geneva.* 

6. James C. Carter. 

a. On Behalf of the United States, in the Fur-Seal 


b. For the Constitutionality of the United States Income 


7. Joseph H. Choate : Against the Constitutionality of the 

Income Tax. 

1 See Snyder, " Great Speeches by Great Lawyers." 

2 See Veeder, ** Legal Masterpieces." 

* See also Shurter, " Masterpieces of Modem Oratory," 61-128. 

* See also Phillips, "Speeches, Lectures, and Addresses," First 
Series, 154. 


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Subject : Famous Legal Arguments 

1. Sargent S. Prentiss : Defense of Hon. Edward, C. Wilkin- 


2. David Paul Brown : Defense of Alexander W. Holmes.^ 

3. William H. Seward : Defense of William Freeman.^ 

4. Edwin M. Stanton : Defense of Hon. Daniel E. Sickles.^ 

5. William A. Beach : Defense of Samuel North and Others.^ 

6. Case of the " Savannah Privateers." ^ 

a. Statement of Facts. 

b» Argument of William M. Evarts for the Prosecution. 

c. Argument of James T. Brady for the Defense. 


Subject : Famous Legal Arguments 

1. Judicial Opinions of Lord Bowen.* 

a. The Mogul Steamship Company against McGregor. 

b. Ratcliffe against Evans. 

c. Maxim-Nordenfeld Guns and Ammunition Company 

against Nordenfelt. 

d. Allcard against Skinner. 

2. Case of Rex against Forbes and Others.* 

a. Statement of Facts. 

b. Opening for the Crown, by William C. Plunket. 

c. Opening for the Defense, by John Henry North. 

3. John K. Porter : Metropolitan Bank against Van Dyck.* 

4. Rufus Choate : The Dalton Divorce Case.* 

1 See Snyder, " Great Speeches by Great Lawyers." 
* See Veeder, " Legal Masterpieces." 


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Subject : Current Topics (to be supplied) 






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Abbott, Lyman, quoted, 37, 126 
Address, ways of preparing and 
delivering an, 32-42 

Beecher, Henry Ward, 14, 17; 

quoted, 65, 74; story of, 132; 

speech by, 150, 153 
Bright, quoted, 10 
Brooks, Phillips, speech by, 141 
Brougham, quoted, 77, 85 
Bryan, William J., quoted, 16; 

speech by, 28 

Calhoun, 12 

Choate, Ruf us, quoted, 83 

Cicero, 7 

Clay, 12; quoted, 85 

Clearness, 124 

Concreteness, 125 

Curtis, George William, speech Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 

by, 42 quoted, 67, 105, 126 

Cuyler, Theodore L., speeches by. Holmes, Oliver Wendell, quoted, 

3-6; acquisition of, 6-17; de- 
fined, 18-20; advantages of, 
61-69; general preparation for, 
71-86; special preparation for, 

Finch, Francis M., speech by, 47 

Fox, quoted, 9, 85 

Frye, William P., quoted, 15, 75 

Gladstone, quoted, 11 

Grady, Henry W., speech by, 112 

Hale, Edward Everett, speech by, 
48 ; quoted, 85 ; selection from 
his " How To Do It," 136 

Harrison, Benjamin, speech by, 

Henry, Patrick, 12 

56,116, 137 

Davis, Cushman K., quoted, 15 
Demosthenes, as an extempo- 
rizer, 7 

Eggleston, George Cary, speech 

by, 139 
Everett, Edward, quoted, 12, 13 
Extempore speaking, 37; desira- 


Jebb, quotation from his "Attic 

Orators," 63 
Jefferson, Joseph, speech by, 22 
Jordan, David Starr, quoted, 15 

Lee, Fitzhugh, speech by, 52 
Lincoln, speech by, 24 
Long, John D., quoted, 40 

bility of training in, 1-3 ; for Lowell, James Russell, quoted, 
preparatory and high schools, 126 

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Mansfield, as an eztemporizer, 9 
McKelway, St. Clair, speech by, 108 
Memoriter speaking, 33 
Mirabean, as an eztemporizer, 8 
Movement, 130 

Proportion, 127 
Quintilian, quoted, i, 36 

Oglesby, Richard, speech by, 54 
Outline, 96 ; narrative^ 98 ; textual^ 
loi; topical^ loi ; logical^ loi ; 
single-minded ^ 102; blank out- 
line of speech, 104 

Palmer, quotations from his **Self- 
Cultivation in English," 81, 132 

Pericles, as an extemporizer, 7 

Phillips, Wendell, as an extempo- 
rizer, 14, 74; speech by, 135 

Pitt, as an eztemporizer, 8; quoted, 


Prentiss, Sargent S., as an ex- 
temporizer, 13; speech by, 20; 
quoted, 69, 85 

Roosevelt, Theodore, speech by, 

Schurz, Carl, speech by, 138 

Terrell, A. W., quoted, 15 
Tillman, B. R., quoted, 15 

Unity, 123 

Van Dyke, Henry, speech by, 119 
Vocabulary, acquiring a, 80-84, 


Watterson, Henry, speech by, 

Webster, as an extemporizer, 12; 
quoted, 41 


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By EDWIN DuBOIS SHURTER, Associate Professor of Public Speaking m the 
University of Texas 

i2mo. Cloth. 178 pages. List price, 90 cents ; mailing price, 95 cents 

THERE is a constant opportunity to exercise the gift of concise ex- 
pression depending on words born of the moment. Thus the desir- 
ability of -training students in extempore speech — the art of thinking on 
their feet — must be apparent to any thoughtful observer. A pioneer in 
its line, Professor Shurter*s new book will be a welcome aid to teachers 
and students alike, providing, as it does, specific examples, exercises, and 
a scholarly analysis of this difficult subject. It is a book distinctly modem 
in treatment, although of a scope so broad as to draw much valuable knowl- 
edge from the rich fund of material in classical and modem literature. 

Edgar G. Frazier, Assistant Professor of Public Sneaking and 
Debate, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.: Professor Shurter's 
Extempore Speaking is admirable. He has done what should have been 
done long ago, — given the teacher a simple and common-sense method for 
teaching boys and girls to speak extempore. Nor iS' it necessary for the 
teacher to be a specialist. Indeed, the book in the hands of any intelli- 
gent instructor must prove a thoroughly practical class-room text. 


By EDWIN DuBOIS SHURTER, Associate Professor of Public Speaking in the 
University of Texas 

i2mo. Cloth. 369 pages. List price, $1.00; mailing price, $1.10 

FIFTEEN orations intended to furnish models for students of oratory, 
argumentation, and debate are here presented. The orators repre- 
sented are Burke, Webster, Lincoln, Phillips, Curtis, Grady, Watterson, 
Daniel, Porter, Reed, Beveridge, Cockran, Schurz, Spalding, and Van 
Dyke. The orations are edited with introductions and notes and, in 
most cases, are given without abridgmeiit. 

John C. French, Instructor in English, Johns Hopkins University : 
Shurter's Masterpieces of Modem Oratory is the most satisfactory col- 
lection of modern speeches that I have seen. The selections are wisely 
chosen and well annotated. 




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Introduction and Notes by Henry Hudson. Edited and Revised 
by £. Charlton Black, Professor of English Literature in Boston 
University, with the cooperation of Andrew J. Gborgb, late of the 
Department of English in the Hig^ School, Newton, Mass., and M. 
Grant Danibll, formerly Principal of Chauncy-Hall School, Boston 

DR. HUDSON'S great work as a Shakespeare editor and in- 
terpreter still remains, in all the elements of aesthetic criti- 
cism, the most significant yet produced in America. Since his 
time, however, there have been interesting and significant develop- 
ments in the study of Elizabethan literature, language, and pros- 
ody ; and the careful research of scholars in Europe and America 
has made available much new and important matter bearing 
directly upon Shakespeare criticism and comment. 

In the New Hudson Shakespeare the results of the latest research 
and scholarship are incorporated with the introductions, notes, 
and critical apparatus which have given the old edition its com- 
manding place. The following distinctive "features characterize 
the new edition: 

1. A new te3ct, based directly upon that of the First Folio. 

2. The modernization of the spelling and punctuation of the text. 

3. Two sets of notes at the foot of a page, — one giving textual vari- 
ants, and the other a brief philological explanation of unusual words 
and constructions. 

4. A brief essay on versification and an analysis of the dramatic con- 
struction of each play. 

5. An authentic portrait of a facsimile of an important page of a 
Quarto or a Folio to illustrate each play. 

6. The insertion of line numbers and the giving of the names of the 
characters everywhere in full. 

7. A chronological chart. 

8. Large, clear type from new plates. 

We shall be glad to send to any address a descriptive pam- 
phlet giving sample pages and further information relating to 
this new edition. 




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ENGLISH POETRY (1170-1892) 

Selected by JOHN MATTHEWS MANLY, Professor and Head of the Depart- 
ment of English in The University of Chicago 

8vo. Cloth, xxviii +5^0 pages. List price, $1.50 

'V TO other single volume equal in range and price to Manly's " English 
-*- ^ Poetry " has yet been placed before the teaching public. Professor 
Manly has brought together not merely as many poems as a teacher 
could expect his class to read in a course on English literature, but prac- 
tically all from which any teacher choosing those most in harmony with 
his own taste and best suited to the special needs of his students would 
wish to Select. The book includes some fifty thousand lines of poetry, 
ranging in date from the beginning of the Middle-English period to the 
death of Tennyson. Two principles have determined the choice of the 
poems, — - their intrinsic worth and beauty, and their special significance 
in the history of English literature. The selections are unencumbered 
by notes, and historical and critical information has largely been omitted. 
Explanatory footnotes make clear the extracts from Middle or Early 
Modern English. 

ENGLISH PROSE (1137-1890) 

By JOHN MATTHEWS MANLY, Professor and Head of the Department of 
English in The University of Chicago 

8vo. Cloth, xix -f 544 pages. List price, $1.50 ; mailing price, $1.70 

'T^HIS book is a companion volume to Manly's "English Poetry," and, 
•*- like it, is intended primarily for use in a general survey of English 
literature. It contains so much material, however, that it will be found 
well adapted also for use in many special courses. The aim in both of 
these books has been to afford the teacher an opportunity to make his 
own selection for class use. Long selections (usually whole pieces) 
showing sustained power and control of organic structure have been 
chosen in preference to short bits of writing, however brilliant. 




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College Entrance Requirements in English 

IN point of excellence and appropriateness of editorial 
matter the Standard English Classics Series is un- 

The books are well made and therefore durable, which 
is not true of most low-priced books, and they are, more- 
over, attractive in appearance. The introduction and 
notes which accompany each volume have been prepared 
by the best scholars with the purpose of making them 
as illuminating and helpful as possible to the pupil. | 
These combined advantages have won for the series a j 
multitude of friends. ' 

Most important of all English texts are the works 
required for entrance to college. The Standard English ' 
Classics Series provides all the books demanded by the ' 
College Entrance Requirements in English, new books i 
being added each year as the requirements change. ( 

We shall be glad to send to any address a pamphlet 
containing the college entrance requirements for 1909— 
191 5 together with a list of the books in this series. 




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