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His first division includes utterances of immediate practical utility, utterances that deal with affairs and that deal with affairs mainly on the matter-of-fact basis; beginning with commerce, but rising successively to the larger interests involved in manufacturing, in the railroad problem, in education. His second division includes those utterances that touch our political interests. It is higher than the first because here we have to deal not merely with matters of fact, but with matters of national sentiment and aspiration; consequently there is here offered a broader field for the element of advice and persuasion. His third division includes those utterances that deal with man's most vital interests, speeches of which the end is to render science, art, or religion most serviceable,—to make them a part of the life of every man. Here the field for the element of persuasion is widest. It is clear that Emerson's classification will apply equally well to written discourse and that it covers the field. It is as specific also as a classification of so many species can be made and remain a true classification. It would not be difficult to place any speech in one of Emerson's three divisions. · A classification on an entirely different principle was made by Aristotle. His principle of classification is the attitude of the audience toward the speech. Audiences, he says, are either judges of things done in the past, as are legal judges and juries; or they are judges of things proposed for the future, as are legislative or political assemblies; or they are judges of the speech itself considered merely as a work of art. Hence Aristotle classifies oratory as (1) judicial, or the oratory of the bar, the aim of which is the securing or protecting of personal rights by convincing and persuading judges and juries; (2) deliberative, or the oratory before con
st, as are legal judo the future, as are
ventions, assemblies, legislatures, and public meetings, political, religious, commercial, or educational; and (3) epideictic, or the oratory of display, now more frequently called occasional oratory, under which heading modern writers who follow Aristotle have put practically all secular speaking that is not easily classified as judicial or deliberative,—the eulogy, the anniversary address, the dedicatory address, the popular lecture, the commencement address, the after-dinner speech, etc. To all this it is necessary to add (4) pulpit oratory, a species that has appeared since Aristotle wrote. The mere statement of this classification reveals its remoteness from modern life and its insufficiency as a classification of the multifarious public speaking of our day. The basis of the Aristotelian division is the mental attitude of the audience. But the psychology of audiences is not so simple a matter as this four-fold division assumes it to be. Emerson once called attention to the undoubted fact that every audience is composed of many audiences; that the speaker finds himself addressing now one, now another, of these lesser audiences; that very rarely, if ever, may a homogeneous state of mind be presumed in all listeners; that the very same listener may be successively in several mental attitudes during the same address. The principle by which orations are to be classified cannot, then, be a principle based solely upon a homogeneous state of mind which probably does not exist. It is clear, too, that the state of mind appealed to by a deliberative oration may be, perversely enough, that which this classification assigns exclusively to judicial oratory. Modern pulpit oratory, also, may be, and often is, judicial or deliberative in spirit; it may look either to the past or to the future. The epideictic was thought by the Greeks to be best illustrated in the eulogy and the invective; but surely it is not just to regard these as forms of display and to judge them solely by artistic considerations. Even the modern oratorical contest, which is most often accused of being purely epideictic, rejects as inadequate this basis of judgment and demands a judgment based upon the value of the thought as well as upon the style and the delivery. In spite of all this, the psychological fact on which Aristotle based his classification remains true,—that a speaker must consider his audience and must try to adapt his material to what he supposes the mental state of a majority of his listeners to be. The ideal standard of speech thus becomes not mere self-expression, for self-expression implies no thought of the audience; but rather self-communication, which implies a constant effort to carry our ideas over to those who listen to us. This ideal standard we owe to Aristotle.
A third classification divides spoken discourse, as written discourse is usually divided, into descriptive, narrative, expository, and argumentative. The principle of division here is the rhetorical process employed. This classification makes no attempt to describe a eulogy, or a sermon, or a speech at the bar, or an after-dinner speech, or any other kind of speech, as a distinct species having a quality of its own that no other species possesses. It assumes that the vital characteristic of any utterance is not indicated by its popular class label. It assumes that eulogies, sermons, and the rest, differ so widely in variety and method, that no class characteristic that is at once useful and true can be found for each of them. But every speech may be examined for its rhetorical process, and this examination will show the fundamental types of oral discourse. This classification,
speech, or ability of its owne vital charac
too, is imperfect; for a speech that is descriptive may use, as accessory to its purpose, narration, exposition, or argument, as it needs; and so with the others. The truth is that we must keep in mind all three of the systems of classification when studying any speech,-Emerson's, Aristotle's, and that of the rhetoricians,-if we would arrive at anything like a complete judgment; for (1) we must think of the importance of the subject-matter as Emerson thought of it; (2) we must think of the speech as an effort at communication with a certain audience, as Aristotle thought of it; and (3) we must think of the effectiveness of the process employed, as the rhetoricians enjoin.
THE ORÁL QUALITY. Whatever their classification, most successful speeches have one marked characteristic in common. Even when reduced to print, they appeal primarily not to the eye but to the ear. The attentive reader feels called upon in imagination to hear a speech as he reads it. If his mind is active he images also the speaker, the audience, the occasion; and is impelled to find out as much as possible about the feelings that ruled the hearts of men when it was delivered. He is ready to make concessions to cover the loss which the spoken sentence may suffer when printed. A printed extemporaneous address when read critically will usually show faults of phrasing that were doubtless overlooked by those listeners who shared the speaker's feelings. Speech has an excellence of its own, entirely apart from its literary quality. Moreover, in the leisure of reading, we often take pleasure in a certain subtlety and fineness of statement; we like to make our own inferences; we accept mere hints of what we are expected to think, and we have time to suspend
reading, if need be, in order to make sure of our ground. In spoken discourse, there is no time for this. The speaker must move forward to his conclusion by a simple plan and a directness of statement that leaves no doubts pending. A speech may have all of the literary virtues and may yet fail for lack of simplicity of structure and the easy intelligibility which comes from direct idiomatic statement. Having these latter, together with energy and insight into the meaning of the occasion, a speech will be effective, though it lack grace, suggestiveness, refinement, and even strict grammatical accuracy. We prize in a speech certain of the qualities of good conversation,—unpretentiousness, short and pointed phrasing—but not its waywardness; in a speech we look for the straight-forward march to partial and complete conclusions. These characteristics of speech, which may be called the oral (or, equally well, the aural) quality, are forced upon the speaker by the immediate presence of his audience. Some writers, too, are keenly conscious, while composing, of those whom they are addressing; they hear each sentence as they put it on paper. Their writing is essentially oral although it may never be spoken. Many an open letter or newspaper editorial, sometimes even a state paper, has this oral quality. Some spoken discourses lack it; they are essays rather than speeches, addressed to the eye rather than to the ear.
FASHIONS IN PUBLIC ADDRESS. While the notion of addressing a specific audience, with its resultant (the cultivation of the oral quality) has persisted since the days of Aristotle, and is, indeed, the explanation of the present ideal of public speech, — effective self-communication,-it is equally true that