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so arranged as at once to answer the purposes of modest concealment and judicious display."

As a model of purity of style the Bible offers an incomparable text. In combining simplicity of expression and sublimity of thought what outside of its holy pages can equal this: "Let there be light: and there was light!" And yet according to the style of some speakers, this would be rendered, as William Matthews says: "Let there be light, and there was a solar illumination!" In all the noted lists of "One hundred best books" the Bible is given first place. Archbishop Fénelon says: "The Scripture surpasses the most ancient Greek authors vastly in native simplicity, loveliness, and grandeur. Homer himself never reached the sublimity of Moses' songs. Never did any ode, either Greek or Latin, come up to the loftiness of the Psalms. Neither Homer nor any other great poet equalled Isaiah, describing the majesty of God. What is there in antiquity that can be compared to the lamentations of Jeremiah, when he tenderly deplores the misery of his country, or the prophecy of Nahum, when he foresees in the spirit the proud Nineveh fall under the rage of an invisible army? Everything is painted in such a lively manner as strikes the imagination: the prophet far outdoes Homer. Read likewise Daniel denouncing to Belshazzar the divine vengeance ready to overwhelm him, and try if you can find anything in the most sublime original of antiquity that can be compared to those passages of Sacred Writ. As for the rest of Scripture, every portion of it is uniform and constant, every part bears the peculiar character that becomes it. In short, there is as much difference between the heathen poet and the prophets as there is between a false enthusiasm and the true."

Sympathy, simplicity, enthusiasm, vitality, power, loftiness of spirit, love of truth, and other such qualities in the public speaker should first characterize his thinking habits, that they may naturally reflect themselves in the personality of his English style. Daily practise in writing stimulates the mental faculties, promotes accuracy and precision, and tends to make one systematic and logical. The prudent writer or speaker will avoid all attempts at "flowers of rhetoric," "fine writing," and "perfumed fancy" as having a tendency to impoverish his natural expression.


The public speaker should write for the ear as well as for the eye. He will summon his audience before him, gather the people around him in imagination, and mentally voice his thoughts to them as he writes. He should frequently stop writing and read aloud what he has written to determine whether it fits the mouth and "speaks well." Otherwise he may be composing a very good essay but a very poor speech. The ear is the most exacting critic in this matter. It is quick to detect a word out of place, an inharmonious combination of sounds, or other infelicity of speech.

The public speaker will have a scholarly care about his habits of conversation. He will not only avoid loose and incorrect speech, but will constantly aim to express himself at his best, without resorting to pedantry or stiltedness.

"We must write as carefully, and as much as we can,' says Quintilian; "for as the ground, by being dug to a great depth, becomes more fitted for fructifying and nourishing seeds, so improvement of the mind, acquired from more than mere superficial cultivation, pours forth the fruits of study in richer abundance, and retains them with greater fidelity. For without this precaution, the very

faculty of speaking extempore will but furnish us with empty loquacity, and words born on the lips. In writing are the roots, in writing are the foundations of eloquence; by writing resources are stored up, as it were, in a sacred repository, whence they may be drawn forth for sudden emergencies, or as circumstances require.

The constant aim of the writer and speaker should be toward simplicity. He should prefer the short Saxon word, whenever possible, instead of the usually ponderous importation from some other language. Simplicity begets clearness, and clearness of thought and expression are the fundamental qualities for deeply impressing an audience. Particularly should the student guard against a style like the following:

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"All external objects are in their truest sense visible embodiments or incarnations of divine ideas which are roughly sculptured in the hard granite that underlies the living and breathing surface of the world above; penciled in delicate tracery upon each bark-flake that encompasses the tree-trunk, each leaf that trembles in the breeze, each petal that fills the air with fragrant effluence; assuming a living and breathing existence in the rhythmic throbbings of the heart-pulse that urges the life-stream through the body of every animated being; and attaining their greatest perfection in man, who is thereby bound by the very fact of his existence to outspeak and outact the divine ideas which are the true instincts of humanity, before they are crusht or paralyzed by outward circumstances."

The student is not recommended to devote himself too exclusively to any one writer. It is better to give some time

1 Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory, or, Education of an Orator, Vol. 2; translated by Rev. John Selby Watson. George Bell & Sons.

to each of the recognized stylists. For simplicity he will study the Bible, Bunyan, Addison, and Lincoln; for elegance and resourcefulness, John Henry Newman, Washington Irving, and James Martineau; for rhetorical style, Macaulay; for narrative and character delineation, Dickens; for harmony, Ruskin and Hawthorne; for epigrammatic style, Emerson and Stephen Crane; for condensation, Bacon; for energy, Wendell Phillips, Edmund Burke, and Daniel Webster; for oratorical style, Edward Everett, William Ewart Gladstone, and other great political and pulpit speakers.

The following exercises will be found helpful:

1. Read daily two or more pages of a master of style, some of whose names have already been suggested. Do this systematically. Carefully note the selection and arrangement of words, the structure of sentences and paragraphs, the felicitous turns of expression, and other characteristics of the writer.


Copy in your own handwriting daily at least one page of some master stylist, carefully observing, as in your reading in the last-named exercise, special qualities in thought, word, and arrangement. Learn to "brood" over this exercise.

3. Read aloud daily two or more pages of some great oration. Take in as many words or phrases as you can with a quick glance of the eye, and speak the words to an imaginary audience. This will help you to cultivate a speaking rather than a reading style.

4. Read a page or a paragraph from some stylist, then close the book and write out the thought in your own words. Compare with the original, and note your faults.

5. As often as convenient, copy in your own handwri

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ting some portion of a great poem by Milton, Tennyson, Byron, Wordsworth, Cowper, Bryant, or other poet.

6. Write original compositions, both in essay and oratorical form, comparing them with the work of other writers and speakers, and subjecting them to the severest criticism. Earnestly endeavor to strengthen the weak points in your style. Remember that results worth while come only from long and laborious practise.

Many excellent specimens for study, both in prose and poetry, will be found at the back of this volume. Begin your work with the following short extracts:

1. The perfect loveliness of a woman's countenance can only consist in that majestic peace which is founded in the memory of happy and useful years, full of sweet records; and from the joining of this with that yet more majestic childishness, which is still full of change and promise-opening always—modest at once, and bright, with the hope of better things to be won, and to be bestowed. There is no old age where there is still that promise.

Thus, then, you have first to mold her physical frame, and then as the strength she gains will permit you, to fill and temper her mind with all knowledge and thoughts which tend to confirm its natural instincts of justice and refine its natural tact of love.

All such knowledge should be given her as may enable her to understand, and even to aid, the work of men; and yet it should be given, not as knowledge—not as if it were, or could be, for her an object to know, but only to feel, and to judge. It is of no moment, as a matter of pride or perfectness in herself, whether she knows many languages or one; but it is of the utmost that she should be able to show kindness to a stranger, and to understand the sweetness of a stranger's tongue. It is of no moment to her own worth or dignity that she should be acquainted with this science or that; but it is of the highest that she should be trained in habits of accurate thought; that

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