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fashions have changed in this as in the other arts. The essential worth and dignity of the old classical oratory cannot be questioned; yet its manner would by many be accounted mannerism today. For instance, public taste at the present time is somewhat intolerant of any but the most indirect and carefully disguised attempts at emotional appeal. We want the facts: the facts, we think, carry their own appeal; having the facts, we think that we know how to feel about them. Hence arises the greater share of the intellectual element in the speeches of today as compared with those of former times; and the more scrupulous regard for accuracy of statement. Hence, too, has come about the gradual abandonment of certain fashions that were once prevalent, and the adoption of new fashions. It was once the fashion, for example, for a young lawyer addressing a jury to refer humbly to his youth and inexperience, or to eulogize the jury system. It was once the fashion for a skillful speaker to apologize for a pretended lack of skill. It was once the fashion always to emphasize the importance of the subject, even though every one appreciated its importance. These things were not insincerities; they were the conventions of the moment; they were expected. It is the fashion today to do none of these things, to take much for granted, and (whether intrinsically a good fashion or not) to get speedily to the essential point to be presented, with very little preliminary or introductory matter. The fear of delay, the fear of over-formality, which prevails among speakers today, while generally wholesome, is doubtless the cause of a certain abruptness, nervousness, and undue haste, that are often noticeable in contemporary speaking. We have rid ourselves of indirection, and of tardiness in taking hold of our theme; but we have sacrificed something of ease and grace in the process. To be always relentlessly business-like, direct, and practical in speech, may itself, at some future time, be criticised as a mannerism of the present age. There is, however, in modern speeches, a nicer adjustment of the time-element to the importance of the message. Economy of time has become a paramount consideration. Speakers today usually know, beforehand, how much time they are expected to occupy, and govern themselves accordingly.
METHODS. Not only do oratorical fashions change from age to age, but at any given moment there are marked differences of method. Among the Greeks, for instance, most of the orators and teachers insisted upon elevation of thought and sentiment, with diction to match, as essential to a good speech; but then, as now, there were successful speakers who, like Andocides, professed a contempt for the rules of rhetoric and for any serious study of the art which they themselves practised; who paid little attention to arranging their material in an orderly way; who relied on a fund of good stories to help them in times of need; and who advised speakers to trust to their native gifts, and to the inspiration of the occasion. There were some, like Hyperides, who advocated a conversational manner, the plainest of plain speech, and a large use of colloquialism, in opposition to those who advised the cultivation of a more dignified, stately, or highly ornate diction. Some studied the art of the public actors in order to learn “the outer signs of eloquence” and thus cultivated a theatrical manner of speaking; others, disdaining this as shallow trickery, studied the art of being artless. There were those, however, who advocated
the sound principle that the cultivation of the “inner spirit,”—the systematic and prolonged education of the mind and heart, the achievement of a strong character, -should precede and accompany the study of the "outer signs.” Many followed Æschines in practising written composition assiduously and in studying general literature and philosophy, as essential elements in the education of a speaker. Demosthenes, the greatest of Greek orators, illustrated the value of unremitting and purposeful labor. In order to overcome defects of voice, articulation, breathing, and physical manner, he imposed upon himself arduous exercises through a series of years; he watched the ways of the actors and of other professional speakers, and imitated them in those points which seemed appropriate to his own personality and temperament. He gave seven years of his life to practising written composition and to studies in history, law, and statesmanship. Believing that he could win no lasting success without worthy thinking, he endeavored in all of his studies to find out what was fundamentally right and not merely what was expedient, in order that, throughout his life, he might habitually and unconsciously apply the highest test to every question that he might be called upon to discuss. In thus devoting himself primarily to gaining sound knowledge and to developing moral earnestness, while steadily learning, through practice and a study of models, the approved modes of speech that were suitable to himself as an individual, he set for all time the example of a sound method of training for effective self-communication on any subject of discussion; a method involving first, adequate knowledge of the facts to be discussed ; secondly, the ability and the disposition to apply principles of right and wrong to the facts as ascertained; thirdly, attention to the best way of presenting the matter. The Greek and Latin writers on public speaking devoted a great deal of discussion to the first and second of these points. Later writers have said less about these, devoting their attention almost exclusively to the art of presentation; but always assuming the preëminent importance of knowledge and sincerity.
THE PARTS OF A DISCOURSE.
The usual division of any discourse is into (1) introduction (see pp. 20-23), (2) discussion (pp. 23-34), and (3) conclusion (p. 34). These terms suggest little more than beginning, middle, end. The ancient writers enumerated the following as parts of an address : introduction, the narration or exposition, the proposition, the confirmation, the refutation, the conclusion; and some added the excursus or digression. This minuter division is still useful as indicating certain elements that enter or may enter into the make-up of a speech, certain functions to be performed, or, for good reason, to be consciously left unperformed. In most argumentative discourses, for example, a formal narration or exposition of facts, as a separate part, preliminary to the proposition and the confirmation of proof, is unnecessary: yet the element of narration or exposition will appear at any stage of the discourse as needed. Likewise proof and refutation may or may not constitute the main body of a discourse: in a discourse that is essentially narrative or expository, argument may be absent altogether, while in others there is nothing but argument. The proposition, or, if there be no proposition, the subject, can hardly be considered a part of discourse, yet its enumeration with the parts points clearly to the need
n his discond on any manity for the
of some unifying element in every discourse; and indeed the excursus, or the digression, an element now almost universally condemned as lacking all excuse for being, was originally offered in answer to the human need of relief from too strict an adherence to the logic of the subject and as an opportunity for the speaker to unburden his mind on any matter that logic would exclude from his discourse. We shall adopt as parts of discourse the introduction, the discussion, and the conclusion; and, in the treatment of each, we shall ask what elements may properly enter into its make-up.
1. The Introduction. The work of the introduction is to provide all that is needed by way of preliminary infor- . mation and in order to secure a favorable disposition towards the ideas that are to follow in the discussion. Ancient writers, however, restricted the introduction to the work of gaining the active good will of the audience. They assigned to another part of the discourse the work of giving preliminary information. The chief function of the introduction, they thought, is to overcome hostility in the mind of the audience, should hostility exist; to win attention, and to create an interest in the subject, leaving no hearer in a state of indifference. One of the best recommendations of Aristotle may be stated thus: the way to gain good will is to show good will. In general, good will is made apparent in modern speeches, more often in the tone and spirit of the opening than in any direct statement.
A second method of gaining good will is the appeal, direct or indirect, to community of interest, or to class or party spirit. The tacit assumption in this appeal is that because speaker and audience are of the same nationality, church, political party, school, club, social