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Accordingly, many are generally acknowledged to be forcible writers, to whom no one would give the credit of elegance; and many others, who are allowed to be elegant, are yet by no means reckoned among the vigorous and energetic.

When the two excellences of style are at variance, the general rule to be observed by the orator is to prefer the energetic to the elegant. Sometimes, indeed, a plain, or even a somewhat homely expression, may have even a more energetic effect from that very circumstance, than one of more studied refinement; since it may convey the idea of the speaker's being thoroughly in earnest, and anxious to convey his sentiments where he uses an expression that can have no other recommendation; whereas a strikingly elegant expression may sometimes convey a suspicion that it was introduced for the sake of its elegance; which will greatly diminish the force of what is said.

Universally, a writer or speaker should endeavor to maintain the appearance of expressing himself, not, as if he wanted to say something, but as if he had something to say: that is, not as if he had a subject set him, and was anxious to compose the best essay or declamation on it that he could, but as if he had some ideas to which he was anxious to give utterance; not as if he wanted to compose, for in. stance, a sermon, and was desirous of performing that task satisfactorily, but as if there was something in his mind which he was desirous of communicating to his hearers. This is probably what Bishop Butler means when he speaks of a man's writing “with simplicity and in earnest.” His manner has this advantage, though it is not only inelegant, but often obscure. Dr. Paley's is equally earnest, and very perspicuous; and though often homely, is more impressive than that of many of our most polished writers. It is easy to discern the prevalence of these two different manners in different authors, respectively, and to perceive the very different effects produced by them ; it is not so easy for one who is not really writing with simplicity and in earnest,» to assume the appearance of it. But certainly nothing is more adverse to this appearance than over-refinement. Any expression, indeed, that is vulgar, in bad taste, and unsuitable to the dignity of the subject, or of the occasion, is to be avoided; since, though it might have, with some hearers, an energetic effect, this would be more than counterbalanced by the disgust produced in others; and where a small accession of energy is to be gained at the expense of great sacrifice of elegance, the latter will demand a preference. But still, the general rule is not to be lost sight of by him who is in earnest aiming at the true ultimate end of the orator, to which all others are to be made subservient, viz., not the amusement of his hearers, nor their admiration of himself, but their conviction or persuasion. It is from this view of the subject that I have dwelt most on that quality of style which seems most especially adapted to that object. Perspicuity is required in all compositions; and may even be considered as the ultimate end of a scientific writer, considered as such; he may, indeed, practically increase his utility by writing so as to excite curiosity, and recommend his subject to general attention; but in doing so, he is, in some degree, superadding the office of the orator to his own; as a philosopher, he may assume the existence in his reader of a desire for knowledge, and has only to convey that knowledge in language that may be clearly understood. Of the style of the orator (in the wide sense in which I have been using this appellation, as including all who are aiming at conviction), the appropriate object is to impress the meaning strongly upon men's minds. Of the poet, as such, the ultimate end is to give pleasure ; and accordingly elegance or beauty, in the most extensive sense of those terms, will be the appropriate qualities of his language.


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VE advantage of the natural manner (that is, the manner which one naturally falls

into who is really speaking in earnest, and with a mind exclusively intent on

what he has to say), may be estimated from this consideration; that there are few who do not speak so as to give effect to what they are saying. Some, indeed, do this much better than others; some have, in ordinary conversation, an indistinct or incorrect pronunciation, an embarrassed and hesitating utterance, or a bad choice of words; but hardly anyone fails to deliver, when speaking earnestly, what he does say so as to convey the sense and the force of it much more completely than even a good reader would, if those same words were written down and read. The latter might, indeed, be more approved; but that is not the present question, which is, concerning the impression made on the hearers' minds. It is not the polish of the blade that is to be considered, or the grace with which it is brandished, but the keenness of the edge, and the weight of the stroke.

On the contrary, it can hardly be denied that the elocution of most readers, when delivering their own compositions, is such as to convey the notion, at the very best, not that the preacher is expressing his own real sentiments, but that he is making known to his audience what is written in the book before him; and, whether the composition be professedly the reader's own or not, the usual mode of delivery, though grave and decent, is so remote from the energetic style of real natural speech as to furnish, if one may so speak, a kind of running comment on all that is uttered, which says: “I do not mean, think, or feel, all this; I only mean to recite it with propriety and decorum; and what is usually called fine reading only superadds to this (as has been above remarked) a kind of admonition to the hearers that they ought to believe, to feel, and to admire, what is read.

The principles here laid down may help to explain a remarkable fact which is usually attributed to other than the true causes. The powerful effects often produced by some fanatical preachers, not superior in pious and sincere zeal, and inferior in learning, in good sense, and in taste, to men who are listened to with comparative apathy, are frequently considered as a proof of superior eloquence, though an eloquence tarnished by barbarism and extravagant mannerism. But may not such effects result, not from any superior powers in the preacher, but merely from the intrinsic beauty and sublimity, and the measureless importance of the subject? Why, then, it may be replied, does not the other preacher, whose subject is the very same, produce the same effect? The answer is, because he is but half attended to. The ordinary measured cadence of reading is not only in itself dull, but is what men are familiarly accustomed to. Religion itself, also, is a subject so familiar, in a certain sense (familiar, that is, to the ear), as to be trite, even to those who know and think little about it. Let but the attention be thoroughly roused, and intently fixed on such a stupendous subject, and that subject itself will produce the most overpowering emotion. And not only unaffected earnestness of manner, but, perhaps, even still more, any uncouth oddity, and even ridiculous extravagance, will, by the stimulus of novelty, have the effect of thus rousing the hearers from their ordinary lethargy. So that a preacher of little or no real eloquence will sometimes, on such a subject; produce the effects of the greatest eloquence by merely forcing the hearers (often, even by the excessively glaring faults of his style and delivery) to attend to a subject which no one can really attend to unmoved.

From the (Elements of Rhetoric.”

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IS well known to Mirabeau's admirers that he wiis one of the ugliest men in France. The portrait designed by Hall is a standard likeness, but it may be suspected of flattering him.

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