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ORATORY AND ORATORS.
WILLIAM MATHEWS, LL.D.,
AUTHOR OF GETTING ON IN THE WORLD," THE GREAT CONVERSERS,"
L'éloquence est le talent d'imprimer avec force, et de faire passer avec
Criticism is nearly useless, unless the critic quotes innumerable examples.
S. C. GRIGGS AND COMPANY,
N saying that his object in writing this book has been to aid in awakening a fresh interest in oratory in this country, the author will probably provoke a smile. from his readers. "What!" he hears some one exclaim, “have we not an excess of public speakers already? Is not the flux de bouche,—which is said to be the epidemic of republics,—one of the greatest evils that can afflict a country? Does not Carlyle declare that 'silence is the eternal duty of man, and that England and America are going to nothing but wind and tongue'?" In reply, we would say that we have no wish to let loose a fresh troop of shallow declaimers upon the country; on the contrary, we feel intensely the social misery which at single declaimer, with a powerful memory, leathern lungs, and a fluent tongue, may inflict on the public. The Roman poet, Horace, speaks of one Novius, an office-holder at Rome, a tribune,-who was elevated to the station he held, chiefly by the force of his lungs. "Has he not a voice," demanded his supporters, "loud enough to drown the noise of two hundred wagons and three funerals meeting in the forum? It is this that pleases us, and we have therefore made him tribune:
***At hic, si plostra ducenta
Concurrantque foro tria funera, magna sonabit
Cornua quod vincatque tubas: saltem tenet hoc nos."""
We fear that the United States has more than one Novius who owes his seat in a state legislature, in Con