The Standard Speaker

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 656 ページ
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: THE STANDARD SPEAKER. INTRODUCTORY TREATISE. I. ORATORY. Oratory, which has its derivation from the Latin verb oro, signifying to plcud, to beseech, may be defined the art of producing persuasion or conviction by means of spoken discourse. The word eloquence, in its primary signification, as its etymology implies, had a single reference to public speaking; but it is applied by Aristotle, as well as ly modern writers, to compositions not intended for public delivery. A similar extension of meaning has been given to the word rhetoric, which, in its etymological sense, means the art of the orator, but now comprehends the art of prose composition generally. ORATORY AMONG T1IE ANCIENTS. It is apparent, from the speeches attributed by Homer to the chiefs of the Iliad, as well as by the commendations which he bestows on Nestor and Ulysses for their eloquence, that the art of Oratory was early understood and honored in Greece. But it was not till Demosthenes appeared that Grecian eloquence reached its perfection. Demosthenes, who, by the consent of ill antiquity, was the prince of orators, still maintains his preeminence. Of his style, Hume has happily said: It ia rapid harmony, exactly adjusted to .he sense; it is vehement reasoning, without any appearance of art; it is lisdain, anger, boldness, freedom, involved in a continued stream of argument; and of all human productions, the orations of Demosthenes present to is the models which approach the nearest to perfection. It is related of Jiis great orator, that, in his first address to the people, he was laughed at iind interrupted by their clamors. He had a weakness of voice and a stam- ccring propensity which rendered it difficult for him to be understood. By immense labor, and an undaunted perseverance, he ove...

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