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quent antitheses are introduced ; and argumentative pieces, or such as abound with interrogatives.
Accompany the Emotions and Perions which
your words express, by correspondent tones, looks, and gestures. HERE is the language of emotions and
passions, as well as of ideas. To express the latter is the peculiar province of words ; to express the former, nature teaches us to make use of tones, looks, and gestures. When anger, fear, joy, grief, love, or any other active passion arises in our minds, we naturally discover it by the particular manner in which we utter our words by the features of the countenance, and by other well-known signs. And even when we speak without
of the more violent emotions, some kind of feeling usually accompanies our words, and this, whatever it be, hath its proper external expression. Expreflion hath indeed been so little ftudied in public speaking, that we seem almost to have forgotten the language of nature, and are ready to consider every attempt to recover it as the laboured and affected effort of art. But Nature is always the same; and every judicious imitation of it will always be pleasing. Nor
can any one deserve the appellation of a good speaker, much less of a complete orator, till to distinct articulation, a good command of voice, and just emphasis, he his able to add the various expressions of emotion and passion.
To enumerate these expressions, and describe them in all their variations, is impra&icable. Attempts have been made with some fuccess to analyse the language of ideas; but the language of sentiment and emotion has never yet been analyfed ; and perhaps it is not within the reach of human ability, to write a Philosophical Grammar of the Passions. Or, if it were possible in any degree to excute this design, I cannot think, that from such a grammar it would be possible for any one to instruct himself in the use of the language. All endeavours therefore to make men Orators by describing to them in words the manner in which their voice, countenance, and hands are to be employed, in expressing the passions, must in my apprehension, be weak and ineffectual : And, perhaps, the only instruction which can be given with advantage on this head, is this general one : Observe in what manner the several emotions or pasions are expressed in real life, or by those who have with great labour and taste acquired a power of imi
tating nature ; and accustom yourself either to follow the great original itself, or the best copies you meet with ; always, however, “ with this special observance, that you o’ERSTEP NOT THE MODESTY OF NATURE."
In the application of thefe rules to practice, in order to acquire ajust and graceful elocution, it will be necessary to go through a regular course of exercises : beginning with such as are most easy, and proceeding by flow steps to such as are more difficult. In the choice of these, the
practitioner should pay a particular attention to bis prevailing defects, whether they regard articulation, command of voice, emphasis, or cadence : and he should content himself with reading, and speaking with an immediate view to the correct. ing of his fundamental faults, before he aims at any thing higher. This may be irksome and disagreeable ; it may require much patience and resolution; but it is the only way to succeed. For if a man cannot read simple sentences, or plain narrative or didactic pieces, with distinct articulation, just emphasis, and proper tones, how can he expect to do justice to the sublime descriptions of poetry, or the animated language of the passions ?
In performing these exercises the learner should daily read aloud by himself; and, as of tenhe as has opportunity,under the correctono
an Instructor or Friend. He should also frequently recite compositions from memory.
This method has several advantages: it obliges the speaker to dwell upon the ideas which he is to express, and hereby enables him to discern their particular meaning and force, and gives him a previous knowledge of the several inflexions, emphafes, and tones which the words require. And by taking off his eye from the book, it in him from the influence of the school-boy habit of reading in a different key and tone from that of conversation ; and gives him greater liberty to attempt the expression of the countenance and gesture.
It were much to be wished, that all public speakers would deliver their thoughts and sentiments either from memory or immediate conception ; for, besides that there is an artificial uniformity, which almost always diftinguishes reading from speaking, the fixed pofture, and the bending of the head which reading requires are inconsistent with the freedom, ease, and variety of just elocution. But if this is too much to be expected, especially from Preachers, who have so much to compose, and are so often called upon to speak in public ; it is however extremely desirable that they should make themselves fa
well acquainted with their discourse, as to be able, with a single glance of the eye, to take in several clauses, or the whole of a sentence*.
I have only to add, that after the utmost pains have been taken to acquire a just elocution, and this with the greatest success, there is some difficulty in carrying the art of speaking out of the school, or chamber, to the bar, the senate, or the pulpit. A young man who has been accustomed to perform frequent exercises in this art in private, cannot easily persuade himself, when he appears before the public, to consider the business he has to perform, in any other liglit, than as a trial of skill, and a display of oratory. Hence it is, that the character of an Orator has of late often been treated with ridicule, sometimes with contempt. We are pleased with the easy and graceful movements which the true gentleman has acquired by having learnt to dance; but we are offended by the coxcomb, who is always ex-. hibiting his formal dancing-bow, and minuetstep. So, we admire the manly eloquence and noble ardour of a British Legislator, rising up in defence of the rights of his country ; the
* See Dean Swift's advice on this head in his Letter to a young Clergyman.