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class, trade, profession, or other occupation, enjoy the same intellectual pursuits, or even the same sports, they will be inclined to agree in all matters. Webster, eulogizing Washington, naturally touches the chord of patriotism; and at the outset of the Monument Address he voices the common feeling as he conceives it. His second paragraph is devoted exclusively to the patriotic note.
While showing good will, however, while seeking to identify himself with his audience, the speaker must not surrender any of his convictions or any of his selfrespect. As Aristotle long ago pointed out, a speaker commends himself chiefly by his good judgment and reasonableness, by his reliance on his own worth and the worth of his message. But modern taste forbids him to assert his good qualities. A speaker's reasonableness, his worth, his virtue, or strength, declare themselves in his treatment of his theme. The personal introduction in political or other controversy, however, is still common, and, indeed, is unavoidable when the speaker has been made the object of criticism and thus has himself become part of the matter at issue. It is used with a fine reticence in Washington's Farewell Address and with solemn effectiveness in Lincoln's Independence Hall address. But, excepting instances of obvious necessity, like those just named, the personal introduction will not often suggest itself in these days as an easy or appropriate method of beginning.
Closely related to the personal introduction, and often employed in connection with it, is the introduction based upon the importance of the subject. As a general rule in modern addresses the importance of the subject is a thing to be assumed rather than directly asserted. The importance of the subject is either self-evident at the outset or is to be made evident by the whole discourse. It should be recognized by the audiences as a result of the speech, rather than declared by the speaker at the beginning.
Probably the easiest and most economical introductions are those which are based on some pertinent remark that has been made by another. An introduction of this kind seems to continue a discussion already begun in people's minds, and offers a point of departure either in harmony with the quoted sentiment or in contrast with it. The introduction by anecdote belongs to this class.
(Whatever the subject matter chosen for the introduction it must, in order to suit the modern taste, bear close relevance to the theme of the discourse.) The irrelevant introduction advocated by some, práctised by many, may be attractive in itself, but it arouses expectations that are destined not to be fulfilled, and its final effect, when it is recalled by a hearer, is to diminish the total influence of the speech. Nowhere is there greater danger, than in the introduction, of violating unity of tone. If the introduction is keyed at too high an elevation of thought or feeling or is too finely finished, the speaker may later find himself unable to maintain the level on which he started and the decline to a lower level is sure to be disappointing. Speakers of experience are usually wary of this danger and prefer to begin on a level from which it will not be difficult to rise as the essential parts of the discourse are taken up. The summit of an inclined plane is not a good point of departure in any discourse. The splendid introductions of Webster must have put many of his first hearers in fear that no man, however great, could begin on so high a plane and maintain himself there for long.
The usual advice to the inexperienced is to prepare the introduction after the body of the discourse has been written. The advice is sound if understood as a warning against a pretentious, a trite, or a far-fetched introduction, or against one that for any reason is out of tune with the prevailing note of the discourse. The further advice that if an appropriate introduction has not suggested itself by the time the body of the discourse is completed, all attempt at introduction should be given up, is also sound. Earlier writers on oratory provided for this very contingency by naming one of their varieties of introduction “the abrupt beginning.” To this advice may be added the reminder, contained in a word of Walter Bagehot's, that excepting in times of great excitement an audience begins to listen in a decidedly “factish” frame of mind. At the outset it prefers the particular rather than the general, facts rather than principles, the specific instance rather than the universal truth, the intellectual rather than the emotional.
2. The Discussion. The main body of an address includes one or more of the following elements: (1) a division or partition of the subject, (2) definition, (3) narration, description, or exposition, (4) proofs and refutation. The order in which these things appear in an address is determined by the nature of the address. One or more of them may in many cases be omitted altogether. Attention to the first will always be necessary.
(1) The division or partition of the material is not often formally announced in the finished address, as was once the custom. When it is so announced it is usually accounted a part of the introduction. Yet it is with the organization of the body of the discourse that the partition is concerned; and, in any event, there must be in the preparation of a discussion a division or par
and most boll the party to the m
tition of the material with a view to orderly presentation. Waiving the question whether the partition is at the end of the introduction or at the beginning of the discussion, we may say that the best division is the simplest and most natural, with each part distinct from the others, yet with all the parts standing in intelligible relationship to one another and to the main idea. In spoken more than in written discourse, the plan must be perfectly clear, because the hearer has no time to think back over the speech in order to consider relationships of ideas. He is occupied with the passing word.
As an illustration of the value of a clear, self-consistent partition, let us study the underlying structure of Webster's Bunker Hill Monument Speech. The speech is of the expository class; there is no debatable proposition; there is only a subject and an occasion requiring a voice to express its dominant mood. The plan which follows fails, of course, to reproduce what is most characteristic and valuable in the speech, the element of personality, the emotional uplift; but it shows the chief ideas in their relationship.
OUTLINE OF THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT ADDRESS.
1. Impressiveness of the occasion (p. 74, 11. 1-8).
spired (p. 74, 1. 9—p. 76, 1. 17).
(p. 74, 1. 9—p. 75, 1. 7).
America (p. 75, 11. 8-23).
III. By the significance to them of colonial history (p.
75, 1. 24–p. 76, 1. 8). IV. By the significance to them of the Revolution (p.
76, 11. 9-17).
A. Purposes of the Society in providing for the Monument
(p. 76, 1. 18—p. 77, l. 2).
our appreciation of the deeds of our ancestors,
(p. 77, 11. 3-26). II. Not to cherish hostility or the military spirit,
but to express our sense of the benefits which have come through the events commemorated
(p. 77, l. 27–p. 78, 1. 29). B. Mighty events in America and Europe since the Revolu
tion (p. 78, 1. 30—p. 80, 1. 18). C. Apostrophe to the survivors of the Revolution (p. 80, 1.
19—p. 81, 1. 20). D. Tribute to the patriotic dead (p. 81, l. 21–p. 82, l. 1),
especially to Warren (p. 82, 1. 2—p. 82, 1. 19). E. Address to the living survivors (p. 82, 1. 20—p. 83, 1. 23). F. The unity of spirit in the Colonies and the effect of the
Battle of Bunker Hill, especially upon La Fayette (p.
83, l. 24–p. 87, 1. 25). G. Eulogy on La Fayette (p. 87, 1. 26—p. 89, 1. 7). H. Improvement in the world since the Battle of Bunker
Hill, especially in politics and government (p. 89, 1. 8). 1. Diffusion of knowledge and community of ideas;
with results (p. 89, 1. 23—p. 90, 1. 33).
and the French Revolution (p. 91, l. 28).
government (p. 92, ll. 4-30).