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Title: Public Speaking
Author: Stratton, Clarence, 1880-1951
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Public Speaking" ***

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                            PUBLIC SPEAKING

                       CLARENCE STRATTON; PH.D.

                          DIRECTOR OF ENGLISH
                            IN HIGH SCHOOL


                               NEW YORK
                        HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1920
                        HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
                            _January, 1924_







Importance of Speech. There never has been in the history of the world
a time when the spoken word has been equaled in value and importance
by any other means of communication. If one traces the development of
mankind from what he considers its earliest stage he will find that
the wandering family of savages depended entirely upon what its
members said to one another. A little later when a group of families
made a clan or tribe the individuals still heard the commands of the
leader, or in tribal council voiced their own opinions. The beginnings
of poetry show us the bard who recited to his audiences. Drama, in all
primitive societies a valuable spreader of knowledge, entertainment,
and religion, is entirely oral. In so late and well-organized
communities as the city republics of Greece all matters were discussed
in open assemblies of the rather small populations.

Every great epoch of the world's progress shows the supreme importance
of speech upon human action--individual and collective. In the Roman
Forum were made speeches that affected the entire ancient world.
Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom-loving
England, revolutionary France, all experienced periods when the power
of certain men to speak stirred other men into tempestuous action.

The history of the United States might almost be written as the
continuous record of the influence of great speakers upon others. The
colonists were led to concerted action by persuasive speeches. The
Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were dominated by
powerful orators. The history of the slavery problem is mainly the
story of famous speeches and debates. Most of the active
representative Americans have been leaders because of their ability to
impress their fellows by their power of expressing sentiments and
enthusiasms which all would voice if they could. Presidents have been
nominated and candidates elected because of this equipment.

During the Great War the millions of the world were as much concerned
with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other
leaders were doing.[1]

Speech in Modern Life. There is no aspect of modern life in which the
spoken work is not supreme in importance. Representatives of the
nations of the world deciding upon a peace treaty and deliberating
upon a League of Nations sway and are swayed by speech. National
assemblies--from the strangely named new ones of infant nations to the
century-old organizations--speak, and listen to speeches. In state
legislatures, municipal councils, law courts, religious organizations,
theaters, lodges, societies, boards of directors, stockholders'
meetings, business discussions, classrooms, dinner parties, social
functions, friendly calls--in every human relationship where two
people meet there is communication by means of speech.

[Footnote 1: See _Great American Speeches_, edited by Clarence
Stratton, Lippincott and Company.]

Scientific invention keeps moving as rapidly as it can to take
advantage of this supreme importance. Great as was the advance marked
by the telegraph, it was soon overtaken and passed by the convenience
of the telephone. The first conveys messages at great distance, but it
fails to give the answer at once. It fails to provide for the rapid
_interchange_ of ideas which the second affords. Wireless telegraphy
has already been followed by wireless telephony. The rapid intelligent
disposal of the complicated affairs of our modern world requires more
than mere writing--it demands immediate interchange of ideas by means
of speech.

Many people who in their habitual occupations are popularly said to
write a great deal do nothing of the sort. The millions of typists in
the world do no writing at all in the real sense of that word; they
merely reproduce what some one else has actually composed and
dictated. This latter person also does no actual writing. He speaks
what he wants to have put into writing. Dictating is not an easily
acquired accomplishment in business--as many a man will testify.
Modern office practice has intensified the difficulty. It may be
rather disconcerting to deliver well-constructed, meaningful sentences
to an unresponsive stenographer, but at any rate the receiver is
alive. But to talk into the metallic receiver of a mechanical
dictaphone has an almost ridiculous air. Men have to train themselves
deliberately to speak well when they first begin to use these
time-saving devices. Outside of business, a great deal of the material
printed in periodicals and books--sometimes long novels--has been
delivered orally, and not written at all by its author. Were anything
more needed to show how much speech is used it would be furnished by
the reports of the telephone companies. In one table the number of
daily connections in 1895 was 2,351,420. In 1918 this item had
increased to 31,263,611. In twenty-three years the calls had grown
fifteen times as numerous. In 1882 there were 100,000 subscriber
stations. In 1918 this number had swelled to 11,000,000.

Subordinates and executives in all forms of business could save
incalculable time and annoyance by being able to present their
material clearly and forcefully over the telephone, as well as in
direct face-to-face intercourse.

The Director of high schools in a large municipality addressed a
circular letter to the business firms of the city, asking them to
state what is most necessary in order to fit boys for success in
business. Ninety-nine per cent laid stress on the advantage of being
able to write and speak English accurately and forcibly.

Testimony in support of the statement that training in speaking is of
paramount importance in all careers might be adduced from a score of
sources. Even from the seemingly far-removed phase of military
leadership comes the same support. The following paragraph is part of
a letter issued by the office of the Adjutant-General during the
early months of the participation of this country in the Great War.

    "A great number of men have failed at camp because of
    inability to articulate clearly. A man who cannot impart his
    idea to his command in clear distinct language, and with
    sufficient volume of voice to be heard reasonably far, is not
    qualified to give command upon which human life will depend.
    Many men disqualified by this handicap might have become
    officers under their country's flag had they been properly
    trained in school and college. It is to be hoped therefore
    that more emphasis will be placed upon the basic principles
    of elocution in the training of our youth. Even without
    prescribed training in elocution a great improvement could be
    wrought by the instructors in our schools and colleges,
    regardless of the subjects, by insisting that all answers be
    given in a loud, clear, well rounded voice which, of course,
    necessitates the opening of the mouth and free movement of
    the lips. It is remarkable how many excellent men suffer from
    this handicap, and how almost impossible it is to correct
    this after the formative years of life."

Perhaps the most concise summary of the relative values of exercise in
the three different forms of communication through language was
enunciated by Francis Bacon in his essay entitled _Studies_, published
first in 1597: "Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and
writing an exact man."

Speech and Talk. The high value here placed upon speech must not be
transferred to mere talk. The babbler will always be justly regarded
with contempt. Without ideas, opinions, information, talk becomes the
most wasteful product in the world, wasteful not only of the time of
the person who insists upon delivering it, but more woefully and
unjustifiably wasteful of the time and patience of those poor victims
who are forced to listen to it. Shakespeare put a man of this
disposition into _The Merchant of Venice_ and then had his discourse
described by another.

    "Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any
    man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid
    in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day 'ere you find
    them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search."

But the man who has ideas and can best express them is a leader
everywhere. He does the organizing, he makes and imparts the plans, he
carries his own theories and beliefs into execution, he is the
intrusted agent, the advanced executive. He can act for himself. He
can influence others to significant and purposeful action. The
advantages that come to men who can think upon their feet, who can
express extempore a carefully considered proposition, who can adapt
their conversation or arguments to every changing condition, cannot be
emphasized too strongly.

Speech an Acquired Ability. We frequently regard and discuss speech as
a perfectly natural attribute of all human beings. In some sense it
is. Yet an American child left to the care of deaf-mutes, never
hearing the speech of his own kind, would not develop into a speaker
of the native language of his parents. He doubtless would be able to
imitate every natural sound he might hear. He could reproduce the cry
or utterance of every animal or bird he had ever heard. But he would
no more speak English naturally than he would Arabic. In this sense,
language is not a natural attribute as is hunger. It is an imitative
accomplishment acquired only after long years of patient practice and
arduous effort. Some people never really attain a facile mastery of
the means of communication. Some mature men and women are no more
advanced in the use of speech than children of ten or fifteen. The
practice is life-long. The effort is unceasing.

A child seems to be as well adapted to learning one language as another.
There may be certain physical formations or powers inherited from a race
which predispose the easier mastery of a language, but even these
handicaps for learning a different tongue can be overcome by imitation,
study, and practice. Any child can be taught an alien tongue through
constant companionship of nurse or governess. The second generation of
immigrants to this country learns our speech even while it may continue
the tongue of the native land. The third generation--if it mix
continuously with speakers of English--relinquishes entirely the
exercise of the mother tongue. The succeeding generation seldom can
speak it, frequently cannot even understand it.

Training to Acquire Speech Ability. The methods by which older persons
may improve their ability to speak are analogous to those just
suggested as operative for children, except that the more mature the
person the wider is his range of models to imitate, of examples from
which to make deductions; the more resources he has within himself and
about him for self-development and improvement. A child's vocabulary
increases rapidly through new experiences. A mature person can create
new surroundings. He can deliberately widen his horizon either by
reading or association. The child is mentally alert. A man can keep
himself intellectually alert. A child delights in his use of his
powers of expression. A man can easily make his intercourse a source
of delight to himself and to all with whom he comes in contact. A
child's imagination is kept stimulated continually. A man can
consciously stimulate either his imagination or his reason. In the
democracy of childhood the ability to impress companions depends to a
great extent upon the ability to speak. There is no necessity of
following the parallel any farther.

Good speakers, then, are made, not born. Training counts for as much
as natural ability. In fact if a person considers carefully the
careers of men whose ability to speak has impressed the world by its
preeminence he will incline to the conclusion that the majority of
them were not to any signal extent born speakers at all. In nearly all
cases of great speakers who have left records of their own progress in
this powerful art their testimony is that without the effort to
improve, without the unceasing practice they would have always
remained no more marked for this so-called gift than all others.

Overcoming Drawbacks. According to the regularly repeated tradition
the great Greek orator, Demosthenes, overcame impediments that would
have daunted any ordinary man. His voice was weak. He lisped, and his
manner was awkward. With pebbles in his mouth he tried his lungs
against the noise of the dashing waves. This strengthened his voice
and gave him presence of mind in case of tumult among his listeners.
He declaimed as he ran uphill. Whether these traditions be true or
not, their basis must be that it was only by rigorous training that he
did become a tolerable speaker. The significant point, however, is
that with apparent handicaps he did develop his ability until he
became great.

Charles James Fox began his parliamentary career by being decidedly
awkward and filling his speeches with needless repetitions, yet he
became renowned as one of Great Britain's most brilliant speakers and

Henry Clay clearly describes his own exercises in self-training when
he was quite a grown man.

    "I owe my success in life to one single fact, namely, at the
    age of twenty-seven I commenced, and continued for years, the
    practice of daily reading and speaking upon the contents of
    some historical or scientific book. These offhand efforts
    were made sometimes in a corn field, at others in the
    forests, and not infrequently in some distant barn with the
    horse and ox for my auditors. It is to this early practice in
    the art of all arts that I am indebted to the primary and
    leading impulses that stimulated me forward, and shaped and
    molded my entire destiny."

Abraham Lincoln never let pass any opportunity to try to make a
speech. His early employers, when called upon after his fame was won
to describe his habits as a young man, admitted that they might have
been disposed to consider him an idle fellow. They explained that he
was not only idle himself but the cause of idleness in others. Unless
closely watched, he was likely to mount a stump and, to the intense
delight of his fellow farm hands, deliver a side-splitting imitation
of some itinerant preacher or a stirring political harangue.

The American whose reputation for speech is the greatest won it more
through training than by natural gift.

    "I could not speak before the school," said Daniel Webster.
    ... "Many a piece did I commit to memory and rehearse in my
    room over and over again, but when the day came, and the
    schoolmaster called my name, and I saw all eyes turned upon
    my seat, I could not raise myself from it.... Mr. Buckminster
    always pressed and entreated, most winningly, that I would
    venture, but I could never command sufficient resolution.
    When the occasion was over I went home and wept bitter tears
    of mortification."

Results of Training. The significance of all these illustrations is
that no great speaker has come by his ability without careful and
persistent training. No molder of the world's destinies springs fully
equipped from the welter of promiscuous events. He has been training
for a long time. On the other hand the much more practical lesson to
be derived from these biographical excerpts is that these men started
from ordinary conditions to make themselves into forceful thinkers
with powers of convincing expression. They overcame handicaps. They
strengthened their voices. They learned how to prepare and arrange
material. They made themselves able to explain topics to others. They
knew so well the reasons for their own belief that they could convince

In a smaller way, to a lesser degree, any person can do the same
thing, and by the same or similar methods. Barring some people who
have physical defects or nervous diseases, any person who has enough
brains to grasp an idea, to form an opinion, or to produce a thought,
can be made to speak well. The preceding sentence says "barring some
people who have physical defects" because not all so handicapped at
the beginning need despair of learning to improve in speaking ability.
By systems in which the results appear almost miraculous the dumb are
now taught to speak. Stutterers and stammerers become excellent
deliverers of speeches in public. Weak voices are strengthened.
Hesitant expressions are made coherent. Such marvels of modern science
belong, however, to special classes and institutions. They are cited
here to prove that in language training today practically nothing is
impossible to the teacher with knowledge and patience in educating
students with alertness and persistence.

Practical Help. This book attempts to provide a guide for such
teachers and students. It aims to be eminently practical. It is
intended to help students to improve in speech. It assumes that those
who use it are able to speak their language with some facility--at
least they can pronounce its usual words. That and the realization
that one is alive, as indicated by a mental openness to ideas and an
intellectual alertness about most things in the universe, are all that
are absolutely required of a beginner who tries to improve in
speaking. Practically all else can be added unto him.

As this volume has a definite aim it has a simple practical basis. It
will not soar too far above the essentials. It tries not to offer an
elaborate explanation of an enthymeme when the embryonic speaker's
knees are knocking together so loudly that he can not hear the
instructor's correcting pronunciation of the name. It takes into
account that when a beginner stands before an audience--and this is
true not only the first time--even his body is not under his control.
Lips grow cold and dry; perspiration gushes from every pore of the
brow and runs down the face; legs grow weak; eyes see nothing; hands
swell to enormous proportions; violent pains shoot across the chest;
the breath is confined within the lungs; from the clapper-like tongue
comes only a faint click. Is it any wonder that under such physical
agonies the mind refuses to respond--rather, is incapable of any
action whatever?

Speech Based on Thought and Language. Every speech is a result of the
combination of thought and language, of material and expression. It
would be quite possible to begin with considerations of the thought
content of speeches--the material; but this book begins with the
other;--the language, the expression. If this order have no other
advantage, it does possess this one;--that during the informal
discussions and expressions of opinion occasioned by the early
chapters and exercises, members of the class are attaining a feeling
of ease in speaking among themselves which will later eradicate a
great deal of the nervousness usually experienced when speaking
_before_ the class. In addition, some attention to such topics as
voice, tone, pronunciation, common errors, use of the dictionary,
vocabulary, may instil habits of self-criticism and observation which
may save from doubt and embarrassing mistakes later.


1. Recall some recent speech you heard. In parallel columns make lists
of its excellences and deficiencies.

2. Give the class an account of the occasion, the purpose of the
speaker, and his effect upon his audience, or upon you.

3. Explain how children learn to speak.

4. From your observation give the class an account of how young
children enlarge their vocabularies.

5. Using the material of this chapter as the basis of your remarks,
show the value of public speaking.

6. Of what value is public speaking to women?

7. What effects upon speeches by women will universal suffrage have?

8. Choose some profession--as law, engineering--and show how an
ability to speak may be of value in it.

9. Choose some business position, and show how an ability to speak is
a decided advantage in it.

10. What is the best method of acquiring a foreign language? For
example, how shall the alien learn English?

11. Choose some great man whom you admire. Show how he became a
speaker. Or give an account of one of his speeches.

12. Show the value of public speaking to a girl--in school; in
business; in other careers.

13. Explain the operation of a dictaphone.

14. How can training in public speaking help an applicant for a

15. Explain the sentence quoted from Bacon's essay on studies.



Organs of Speech. Although the effects produced by the human voice are
myriad in their complexity, the apparatus involved in making the
sounds which constitute speech is extremely simple. In construction it
has been usually compared to an organ pipe, a comparison justifiable
for imparting a non-technical understanding of its operation.

An organ pipe is a tube in which a current of air passing over the
edge of a piece of metal causes it to vibrate, thus putting into
motion the column of air in the pipe which then produces a note. The
operating air is forced across the sounding piece of metal from a
bellows. The tube in which the thin sounding plate and the column of
air vibrate acts as a resonator. The resulting sound depends upon
various sizes of the producing parts. If the tube is quite long the
sound is low in pitch. If the tube is short the sound is high.
Stopping the end of the pipe or leaving it open alters the pitch. A
stopped pipe gives a note an octave lower than an open pipe of the
same length. The amount of the vibrating plate which is allowed to
move also determines the pitch of a note. If the air is under great
pressure the note is loud. If the air is under little pressure the
note is soft.

It is quite easy to transfer this explanation to the voice-producing
apparatus in the human body.

To the bellows correspond the lungs from which the expelled air is
forced upwards through the windpipe. The lungs are able to expel air
regularly and gently, with no more expense of energy than ordinary
breathing requires. But the lungs can also force air out with
tremendous power--power enough to carry sound over hundreds of yards.
In ordinary repose the outward moving breath produces no sound
whatever, for it meets in its passage no obstruction.

Producing Tone. At the upper end of the windpipe is a triangular
chamber, the front angle of which forms the Adam's apple. In this are
the vocal cords. These cords are two tapes of membrane which can be
brought closely together, and by muscular tension stretched until
passing air causes them to vibrate. They in turn cause the air above
them to vibrate, much as the air in an organ pipe vibrates. Thus tone
is produced.

The air above the vocal cords may fill all the open spaces above the
larynx--the throat, the mouth, the nasal cavity in the head, the
nostrils. This rather large amount of air, vibrating freely, produces
a sound low in pitch. The larger the cavities are made the lower the
pitch. You can verify this by producing a note. Then place your finger
upon your Adam's apple. Produce a sound lower in pitch. Notice what
your larynx does. Sing a few notes down the scale or up to observe the
same principle of the change of pitch in the human voice.

Producing Vowels. If the mouth be kept wide open and no other organ be
allowed to modify or interrupt the sound a vowel is produced. In
speech every part of the head that can be used is brought into action
to modify these uninterrupted vibrations of vocal cords and air. The
lips, the cheeks, the teeth, the tongue, the hard palate, the soft
palate, the nasal cavity, all coöperate to make articulate speech.

As in its mechanism, so in the essence of its modifications, the human
voice is a marvel of simplicity. If the mouth be opened naturally and
the tongue and lips be kept as much out of the way as in ordinary
breathing, and then the vocal cords be made to vibrate, the resulting
sound will be the vowel _a_ as in _father_. If now, starting from that
same position and with that same vowel sound, the tongue be gradually
raised the sound will be modified. Try it. The sound will pass through
other vowels. Near the middle position it will sound like _a_ in
_fate_; and when the tongue gets quite close to the roof of the mouth
without touching it the vowel will be the _e_ of _feet_. Others--such
as the _i_ of _it_--can be distinguished clearly.

Starting again from that same open position and with that same vowel
sound, _ah_, if the tongue be allowed to lie flat, but the lips be
gradually closed and at the same time rounded, the sound will pass
from _ah_ to the _o_ of _hope_, then on to the _oo_ of _troop_. The
_oa_ of _broad_ and other vowels can be distinguished at various

By moving lips and tongue at the same time an almost infinite variety
of vowel sounds can be made.

Producing Consonants. In order to produce consonant sounds the other
parts of the speaking apparatus are brought into operation. Everyone
of them has some function in the formation of some consonant by
interrupting or checking the breath. A student, by observing or
feeling the motions of his mouth can easily instruct himself in the
importance of each part if he will carefully pronounce a few times all
the various consonant sounds of the language.

The lips produce the sounds of _p_, _b_, _wh_, and _w_. The lips and
teeth produce the sounds of _f_, _v_. The tongue and teeth together
make the sounds of _th_ and _dh_. The tongue in conjunction with the
forward portion of the hard palate produces several sounds--_t_, _d_,
_s_, _z_, _r_, and _l_. The tongue operating against or near the rear
of the hard palate pronounces _ch_, _j_, _sh_, _zh_, and a different
_r_. To make the consonant _y_ the tongue, the hard palate, and the
soft palate operate. The tongue and soft palate make _k_ and _g_. A
strong breathing makes the sound of _h_. By including the nasal
passages in conjunction with some of the other parts here listed the
so-called nasals, _m_, _n_, and _ng_, are made. According to the organ
involved our consonant sounds are conveniently grouped as labials
(lips), dentals (teeth), linguals (tongue), palatals (palate), and
nasals (nose).

The correct position and action of the vocal organs are of supreme
importance to all speakers. Many an inveterate stammerer, stutterer,
or repeater can be relieved, if not cured, of the embarrassing
impediment by attention to the position of his speech organs and by
careful, persistent practice in their manipulation. In fact every
speaker must be cognizant of the placement of these parts if he
desires to have control over his speech. Frequently it is such correct
placement rather than loud noise or force which carries expressions
clearly to listeners.

While it is true that singing will strengthen the lungs and help in
control of breath, it is not always the fact--as might be
expected--that singing will develop the speaking voice. Not every
person who can sing has a pleasant or forceful voice in ordinary
discourse. In singing, to secure purity of musical tone, the vowels
are likely to be disproportionately dwelt upon. Thus we have the
endless _la-la-la_ and _ah-ah_ of so many vocal show-pieces. The same
practice leads to the repeated criticism that it makes no difference
whether a song be in English or a foreign language--the listeners
understand just as much in either case.

In speaking effectively the aim and method are the exact opposite.
When a man speaks he wants to be listened to for the meaning of what
he is uttering. There are so many words in the language with the same
or similar vowel sounds that only the sharpest discrimination by means
of consonants permits of their being intelligible. The speaker,
therefore, will exercise the greatest care in pronouncing consonants
distinctly. As these sounds usually begin and end words, and as they
are produced by rather sudden checks or interruptions, they can be
made to produce a wave motion in the air which will carry the entire
word safely and clearly beyond the ear into the understanding. In
public speaking no amount of care and attention bestowed upon
pronouncing consonants can be spared.

Tone. The most marked quality of a person's voice is its tone. It will
be enough for the purposes of this manual to assert that the tone
should be both clear and agreeable. In public speaking the first of
these is all important, though an absence of the second qualification
may almost neutralize all the advantages of the first. Clearness may
be impaired by several causes. The speaker may feel that his throat
closes up, that he becomes choked. His tongue may become stiff and
"cleave to the roof of his mouth"--as the feeling is popularly
described. He may breathe so energetically that the escaping or
entering air makes more noise than the words themselves. He may be
more or less conscious of all these. The others he may not discover
for himself. The instructor or members of the class will inform him of
their presence. Set jaws will prevent him from opening his mouth wide
enough and operating his lips flexibly enough to speak with a full
tone. A nasal quality results mainly from lack of free resonance in
the head and nose passages. Adenoids and colds in the head produce
this condition. It should be eradicated by advice and practice.

Usually whatever corrections will make the tone clearer will also make
it more agreeable. The nasal pessimistic whine is not a pleasant
recommendation of personality. High, forced, strident tones produce
not only irritation in the listener but throat trouble for the

Articulate--that is, connected--speech may be considered with
reference to four elements, all of which are constantly present in any
spoken discourse.

Speed. First, there is the speed of delivery. An angry woman can utter
more words in a minute than any one wants to hear. The general
principle underlying all speech delivery is that as the audience
increases in number the rapidity of utterance should be lessened.
Those who are accustomed to addressing large audiences, or to speaking
in the open air, speak very slowly. A second consideration is the
material being delivered. Easily grasped narrative, description, and
explanation, simply phrased and directly constructed, may be delivered
much more rapidly than involved explanation, unfamiliar phraseology,
long and intricate sentence constructions, unusual material, abstract
reasoning, and unwelcome sentiments. The beginnings of speeches move
much more slowly than later parts. A speaker who intends to lead an
audience a long distance, or to hold the attention for a long time,
will be extremely careful not to speak at the beginning so rapidly
that he leaves them far behind.

This does not mean that a speaker must drawl his words. One of our
national characteristics is that we shorten our words in pronouncing
them--_ing_ generally loses the _g, does not_ has become _doesn't_ and
quite incorrectly _don't, yes_ is _yeeh_, etc. In many cases nothing
more is required than the restoration of the word to its correct form.
Some words can easily be lengthened because of the significance of
their meanings. Others must be extended in order to carry. The best
method of keeping down the rate of delivery is by a judicious use of
pauses. Pauses are to the listener what punctuation marks are to the
reader. He is not conscious of their presence, but he would be left
floundering if they were absent. Some of the most effective parts of
speeches are the pauses. They impart clearness to ideas, as well as
aiding in emphasis and rhythm.

Pitch. A second quality of speech is its pitch. This simply means its
place in the musical scale. Speaking voices are high, medium, or low.
Unfortunate tendencies of Americans seem to be for women to pitch
their voices too high, with resultant strain and unpleasantness, and
for men to pitch their voices too low, with resultant growls and
gruffness. The voices of young children should be carefully guarded in
this respect; so should the changing voices of growing boys. To secure
a good pitch for the speaking voice the normal natural pitch of usual
conversation should be found. Speech in that same pitch should be
developed for larger audiences. Frequently a better pitch can be
secured by slightly lowering the voice. If the natural pitch be too
low for clearness or agreeableness it should be slightly raised--never
more than is absolutely necessary.

No connected group of words should be delivered in a monotonously
level pitch. The voice must rise and fall. These changes must answer
intelligently to the meaning of the material. Such variations are
called inflections. The most disagreeable violations of required
inflections are raising the voice where it should fall--as at the
completion of an idea, and letting it drop where it should remain
up--as before the completion of an idea, frequently answering to a
comma. Other variations of pitch depend upon emphasis.

Emphasis. Emphasis is giving prominence to a word or phrase so that
its importance is impressed upon a listener. This result is most
easily secured by contrast. More force may be put into its delivery
than the rest of the speech. The word may be made louder or not so
loud. The voice may be pitched higher or lower. The word may be
lengthened. Pauses will make it prominent. In speaking, combinations
of these are employed to produce emphasis.

While all qualities of speech are important, emphasis is of cardinal
value. Listeners will never recall everything that a speaker has said.
By a skilful employment of emphasis he will put into their
consciousness the main theme of his message, the salient arguments of
his contention, the leading motives of action. Here again is that
close interdependence of manner and material referred to in the
preceding chapter. In later chapters will be discussed various methods
of determining and securing emphasis of larger sections than mere
words and phrases.

Phrasing. Somewhat related to emphasis is phrasing. This is the
grouping together of words, phrases, clauses, and other units so that
their meaning and significance may be easily grasped by a listener. As
has been already said, pauses serve as punctuation marks for the
hearer. Short pauses correspond to commas, longer ones to colons and
semi-colons, marked ones to periods. Speakers can by pauses clearly
indicate the conclusions of sections, the completion of topics, the
passage from one part of the material to another, the transfer of
attention from one subject to its opposite. Within smaller range
pauses can add delightful variety to delivery as they can signally
reinforce the interpretation. No speaker should fall into the habit of
monotonously letting his pauses mark the limit of his breath capacity,
nor should he take any regular phrase, clause, or sentence length to
be indicated by pauses. In this as in all other aspects variety is the
charm of speech.

Enunciation. No matter what handicaps a person may have he may
overcome them to secure a distinct, agreeable enunciation. Care in
enunciating words will enable a speaker to be heard almost anywhere.
It is recorded that John Fox, a famous preacher of South Place Chapel,
London, whose voice was neither loud nor strong, was heard in every
part of Covent Garden Theatre, seating 3500, when he made
anti-corn-law orations, by the clearness with which he pronounced the
final consonants of the words he spoke.

One of the orators best known to readers is Edmund Burke, whose
speeches are studied as models of argumentative arrangement and style.
Yet in actual speech-making Burke was more or less a failure because
of the unfortunate method of his delivery. Many men markedly inferior
in capacity to Burke overcame disadvantageous accidents, but he was
frequently hurried and impetuous. Though his tones were naturally
sonorous, they were harsh; and he never divested his speech of a
strong Irish accent. Then, too, his gestures were clumsy. These facts
will explain to us who read and study leisurely these masterpieces
why they failed of their purpose when presented by their gifted but
ineffective author.

Pronunciation. Enunciation depends to a great degree upon
pronunciation. The pronunciation of a word is no fixed and
unchangeable thing. Every district of a land may have its peculiar
local sounds, every succeeding generation may vary the manner of
accenting a word. English people today pronounce _schedule_ with a
soft _ch_ sound. _Program_ has had its accent shifted from the last to
the first syllable. Many words have two regularly heard
pronunciations--_neither, advertisement, Elizabethan, rations,
oblique, route, quinine_, etc. Fashions come and go in pronunciation
as in all other human interests. Some sounds stamp themselves as
carelessnesses or perversions at once and are never admitted into
educated, cultured speech. Others thrive and have their day, only to
fade before some more widely accepted pronunciation. The first rule in
pronunciation is to consult a good dictionary. This will help in most
cases but not in all, for a dictionary merely records all accepted
sounds; only partly can it point out the better of disputed sounds by
placing it first. Secondly, speech is a living, growing, changing
thing. Dictionaries drop behind the times surprisingly rapidly. The
regularly accepted sound may have come into general use after the
dictionary was printed. New activities, unusual phases of life may
throw into general conversation thousands of unused, unheard words.
This was true of the recent Great War, when with little or no
preparation thousands of military, industrial, naval, and
aeronautical terms came into daily use. Discussions still flutter
mildly around _cantonment_ and _rations_, and a score of others.

Next to authoritative books, the best models are to be secured from
the speech of authorities in each branch to which the term
specifically belongs. Thus the military leaders have made the
pronunciation of _oblique_ with the long _i_ the correct one for all
military usages. The accepted sound of _cantonments_ was fixed by the
men who built and controlled them. As it is not always possible for
the ordinary person to hear such authorities deliver such terms in
discourse one can merely say that a familiarity with correct
pronunciation can be secured only like liberty--at the price of
eternal vigilance.

Constant consultation of the dictionary and other books of recognized
reference value, close observance of the speech of others, scrutiny of
one's own pronunciation, mental criticism of others' slips, and
determination to correct one's own errors, are the various methods of
attaining certainty of correct delivery of word sounds.

Poise. When a speaker stands before an audience to address its members
he should be perfectly at ease. Physical ease will produce an effect
upon the listeners. Mental ease because of mastery of the material
will induce confidence in the delivery. Bodily eccentricities and
awkwardness which detract from the speech itself should be eradicated
by strenuous practice. Pose and poise should first command respectful
attention. The body should be erect, but not stiff. Most of the
muscles should be relaxed. The feet should be naturally placed, not
so far apart as to suggest straddling, not so close together as to
suggest the military stand at "attention."

What should be done with the hands? Nothing. They should not be
clasped; they should not be put behind the back; they should not be
jammed into pockets; the arms should not be held akimbo; they should
not be folded. Merely let the arms and hands hang at the sides

Gestures. Should a speaker make gestures? Certainly never if the
gesture detracts from the force of an expression, as when a preacher
pounds the book so hard that the congregation cannot hear his words.
Certainly yes, when the feeling of the speaker behind the phrase makes
him enforce his meaning by a suitable movement. In speaking today
fewer gestures are indulged in than years ago. There should never be
many. Senseless, jerky, agitated pokings and twitchings should be
eradicated completely. Insincere flourishes should be inhibited.
Beginners should beware of gestures until they become such practised
masters of their minds and bodies that physical emphasis may be added
to spoken force.

A speaker should feel perfectly free to change his position or move
his feet during his remarks. Usually such a change should be made to
correspond with a pause in delivery. In this way it reinforces the
indication of progress or change of topic, already cited in discussing

Delivery. A speaker should never begin to talk the very instant he has
taken his place before his audience. He should make a slight pause to
collect the attention before he utters his salutation (to be
considered later) and should make another short pause between it and
the opening sentences of his speech proper. After he has spoken the
last word he should not fling away from his station to his seat. This
always spoils the effect of an entire address by ruining the
impression that the last phrase might have made.

As for the speech itself, there are five ways of delivering it:

1. To write it out in full and read it.

2. To write it out in full and commit it to memory.

3. To write out and memorize the opening and closing sentences and
other especially important parts, leaving the rest for extempore

4. To use an outline or a brief which suggests the headings in logical

5. To speak without manuscript or notes.

Reading the Speech. The first of these methods--to read the speech
from a prepared manuscript--really changes the speech to a lecture or
reading. True, it prevents the author from saying anything he would
not say in careful consideration of his topic. It assures him of
getting in all he wants to say. It gives the impression that all his
utterances are the result of calm, collected thinking. On the other
hand, so few people can read from a manuscript convincingly that the
reproduction is likely to be a dull, lifeless proceeding in which
almost anything might be said, so little does the material impress the
audience. This method can hardly be considered speech-making at all.

Memorizing the Speech. The second method--of repeating memorized
compositions--is better. It at least seems alive. It has an appearance
of direct address. It possesses the other advantages of the first
method--definite reasoning and careful construction. But its dangers
are grave. Few people can recite memorized passages with the personal
appeal and direct significance that effective spoken discourse should
have. Emphasis is lacking. Variety is absent. The tone becomes
monotonous. The speech is so well committed that it flows too easily.
If several speakers follow various methods, almost any listener can
unerringly pick the memorized efforts. Let the speaker in delivery
strive for variety, pauses, emphasis; let him be actor enough to
simulate the feeling of spontaneous composition as he talks, yet no
matter how successful he may be in his attempts there will still be
slight inconsistencies, trifling incongruities, which will disturb a
listener even if he cannot describe his mental reaction. The secret
lies in the fact that written and spoken composition differ in certain
details which are present in each form in spite of the utmost care to
weed them out.

Memorizing Parts. The third manner can be made effective if the
speaker can make the gap just described between written and spoken
discourse extremely narrow. If not, his speech will appear just what
it is--an incongruous patchwork of carefully prepared, reconsidered
writing, and more or less spontaneously evolved speaking.

Speaking from Outline or Brief. The fourth method is by far the best
for students training themselves to become public speakers. After a
time the brief or outline can be retained in the mind, and the speaker
passes from this method to the next. A brief for an important law case
in the United States Supreme Court is a long and elaborate instrument.
But a student speaker's brief or outline need not be long.

Directions, models, and exercises for constructing and using outlines
will be given in a later chapter.

The Best Method. The last method is unquestionably the best. Let a man
so command all the aspects of a subject that he fears no breakdown in
his thoughts, let him be able to use language so that he need never
hesitate for the best expression, let him know the effect he wants to
make upon his audience, the time he has to do it in, and he will know
by what approaches he can best reach his important theme, what he may
safely omit, what he must include, what he may hurry over, what he
must slowly unfold, what he may handle lightly, what he must treat
seriously; in short, he will make a great speech. This manner is the
ideal towards which all students, all speakers, should strive.

Attributes of the Speaker. Attributes of the speaker himself will aid
or mar his speech. Among those which help are sincerity, earnestness,
simplicity, fairness, self-control, sense of humor, sympathy. All
great speakers have possessed these traits. Reports upon significant
speakers describing their manner emphasize them. John Bright, the
famous English parliamentarian of the middle of the last century, is
described as follows:

    His style of speaking was exactly what a conventional
    demagogue's ought not to be. It was pure to austerity; it was
    stripped of all superfluous ornament. It never gushed or
    foamed. It never allowed itself to be mastered by passion.
    The first peculiarity that struck the listener was its superb
    self-restraint. The orator at his most powerful passages
    appeared as if he were rather keeping in his strength than
    taxing it with effort.

    JUSTIN MCCARTHY: _History of Our Own Time_

In American history the greatest speeches were made by Abraham
Lincoln. In Cooper Union, New York, he made in 1860 the most powerful
speech against the slave power. The _New York Tribune_ the next day
printed this description of his manner.

Mr. Lincoln is one of nature's orators, using his rare powers solely
to elucidate and convince, though their inevitable effect is to
delight and electrify as well. We present herewith a very full and
accurate report of this speech; yet the tones, the gestures, the
kindling eye, and the mirth-provoking look defy the reporter's skill.
The vast assemblage frequently rang with cheers and shouts of
applause, which were prolonged and intensified at the close. No man
ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a New York

Shakespeare's Advice. Some of the best advice for speakers was written
by Shakespeare as long ago as just after 1600, and although it was
intended primarily for actors, its precepts are just as applicable to
almost any kind of delivered discourse. Every sentence of it is full
of significance for a student of speaking. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,
is airing his opinions about the proper manner of speaking upon the


Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on
the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as
lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much
with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent,
tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must
acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it
offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear
a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the
groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but
inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped
for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor.
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special
observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything
so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the
first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to
nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the
very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this
overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh,
cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one
must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theater of others. Oh, there
be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that
highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of
Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted
and bellowed that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made
men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

Oh, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns speak no
more than is set down for them; for there be of them that will
themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to
laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary question of the play
be then to be considered. That's villainous, and shows a most pitiful
ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.


1. 'Neath our feet broke the brittle bright stubble like chaff.

2. The first sip of love is pleasant; the second, perilous; the third,

3. Our ardors are ordered by our enthusiasms.

4. She's positively sick of seeing her soiled, silk, Sunday dress.

5. The rough cough and hiccough plowed me through.

6. She stood at the gate welcoming him in.

7. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion.

8. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers: if Peter Piper picked
a peck of pickled peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers that
Peter Piper picked?

9. Theophilus Thistle, the thistle-sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted
thistles. If Theophilus Thistle, the thistle-sifter, sifted a sieve of
unsifted thistles, where is the sieve of unsifted thistles that
Theophilus Thistle, the thistle-sifter, sifted?

10. Alone, alone, all, all alone,
      Alone on a wide, wide sea!

11. The splendor falls on castle walls,
      And snowy summits old in story.

12. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time.

13. The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
    And murmurings of innumerable bees.

14. The Ladies' Aid ladies were talking about a conversation they had
overheard, before the meeting, between a man and his wife.

"They must have been at the Zoo," said Mrs. A.; "because I heard her
mention 'a trained deer.'"

"Goodness me!" laughed Mrs. B. "What queer hearing you must have! They
were talking about going away, and she said, 'Find out about the
train, dear.'"

"Well, did anybody ever!" exclaimed Mrs. C. "I am sure they were
talking about musicians, for she said, 'a trained ear,' as distinctly
as could be."

The discussion began to warm up, and in the midst of it the lady
herself appeared. They carried the case to her promptly, and asked for
a settlement.

"Well, well, you do beat all!" she exclaimed, after hearing each one.
"I'd been out in the country overnight and was asking my husband if it
rained here last night."

15. Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
    The careless lips that speak of s[)o]ap for soap;
    Her edict exiles from her fair abode
    The clownish voice that utters r[)o]ad for road;
    Less stern to him who calls his coat a c[)o]at,
    And steers his boat believing it a b[)o]at.
    She pardoned one, our classic city's boast,
    Who said at Cambridge, m[)o]st instead of most,
    But knit her brows and stamped her angry foot
    To hear a Teacher call a root a r[)o]ot.

16.        Hear the tolling of the bells--
               Iron bells!
    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
           In the silence of the night,
           How we shiver with affright
    At the melancholy menace of their tone!
    For every sound that floats
    From the rust within their throats
        Is a groan.
    And the people--ah, the people--
    They that dwell up in the steeple,
            All alone,
      And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
        In that muffled monotone,
      Feel a glory in so rolling
        On the human heart a stone--
They are neither man nor woman--
They are neither brute nor human--
          They are Ghouls:
    And their king it is who tolls;
    And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
      A Paean from the bells!
    And his merry bosom swells
    With the paean of the bells!
    And he dances, and he yells;
    Keeping time, time, time,
    In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the paean of the bells--
         Of the bells.

17. Collecting, projecting,
    Receding and speeding,
    And shocking and rocking,
    And darting and parting.
    And threading and spreading,
    And whizzing and hissing,
    And dripping and skipping,
    And hitting and splitting,
    And shining and twining,
    And rattling and battling,
    And shaking and quaking,
    And pouring and roaring,
    And waving and raving,
    And tossing and crossing,
    And flowing and going,
    And running and stunning,
    And foaming and roaming,
    And dinning and spinning,
    And dropping and hopping,
    And working and jerking,
    And guggling and struggling,
    And heaving and cleaving,
    And moaning and groaning;

    And glittering and frittering,
    And gathering and feathering,
    And whitening and brightening,
    And quivering and shivering,
    And hurrying and skurrying,
    And thundering and floundering;

    Dividing and gliding and sliding,
    And falling and brawling and sprawling,
    And driving and riving and striving,
    And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
    And sounding and bounding and rounding,
    And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
    And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
    And clattering and battering and shattering;

    Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
    Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
    Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
    Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling,
    And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
    And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
    And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
    And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
    And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
    And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
    And so never ending, but always descending,
    Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending,
    All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar;
    And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

18.   Sister Susie's sewing shirts for soldiers,
    Such skill at sewing shirts our shy young
              Sister Susie shows.
        Some soldiers send epistles
        Say they'd rather sleep in thistles
    Than the saucy, soft, short shirts for soldiers
              Sister Susie sews.



Vocabularies. The collection of words a person can command either in
use or understanding is a vocabulary. Every person has three distinct
ones: his reading vocabulary, his writing vocabulary, his speaking
vocabulary. Of these, the reading vocabulary is the largest. There are
thousands of words he recognizes in reading and although he might not
be able to construct a dictionary definition for everyone, he has a
sufficiently clear idea to grasp the meaning. In this rude
approximation to sense he is aided by the context, but for all
practical purposes he understands the word. If he were writing,
carefully taking time to note exactly what he was expressing, he might
recall that word and so consciously put it into a sentence. He might
use it in exactly the same sense in which he had seen it in print. But
never in the rush of ideas and words in spoken discourse would he risk
using a word he knew so slightly. If nothing more, he would beware of

Thus a person could easily deduce from his reading that a _hangar_ is
a building to house airplanes. He might--to avoid repeating the word
_shed_ too frequently--use it in writing. But until he was absolutely
certain of its significance and its sound he would hardly venture to
say it to other men.

Spoken discourse is so alive, it moves so rapidly, that it is never so
precise, so varied in its choice of words, as written material. The
phraseology of written discourse sounds slightly or markedly stilted,
bookish, if repeated by the tongue. This difference--though it may
appear almost trifling--is apparent to everyone. Its recognition can
be partly illustrated by the fact that after President Lowell and
Senator Lodge had debated on the topic, the League of Nations, in
Boston and were shown the reports of their speeches, each made changes
in certain expressions. The version for print and reading is a little
more formal than the delivered sentences. The Senator said, "I want"
but preferred to write "I wish"; then he changed "has got to be" into
"must," and "nothing to see" into "nothing visible."

One might say that all three vocabularies should correspond, but there
is no real need of this. So long as people read they will meet
thousands of words for which they have no need in speaking. Everybody
must be able to understand the masterpieces of the past with their
archaic (old-fashioned) words like _eftsoons_ or _halidom_, but no one
need use such expressions now. So there is no discredit in the fact
that one's speaking vocabulary is more restricted than his reading

New Ideas, New Words. It is true, however, that an educated person
should never rest content with the size of his usable speaking
vocabulary. The addition of every new word is likely to indicate the
grasp of a new idea. Likewise, every new idea is almost certain to
require its individual terms for expression. An enlarging vocabulary
is the outward and visible sign of an inward and intellectual growth.
No man's vocabulary can equal the size of a dictionary, the latest of
which in English is estimated to contain some 450,000 words. Life may
be maintained upon a surprisingly meager group of words, as travelers
in foreign lands can testify. Shakespeare's vocabulary is said to have
included as many as 15,000 words. Figures for that of the average
person vary considerably.

Increasing the Vocabulary. The method of increasing a vocabulary is a
quite simple process. Its procedure is a fascinating exercise. It
covers four steps. When a new word is encountered it should be noticed
with keen attention. If heard, its pronunciation will be fixed upon
the ear. If seen, its spelling should be mastered at once. The next
step is to consult a dictionary for either spelling or pronunciation.
Then all its meanings should be examined. Still the word is not yours
until you have used it exactly. This you should do at the first
opportunity. If the opportunity seems long in coming make it for
yourself by discussing with some one the topic with which it was used
or frankly discuss the word itself. How many unfamiliar words have you
heard or seen recently? How many do you easily use now in your own
remarks? You might find it a good plan to take a linguistic inventory
every night. A little practice in this will produce amazingly
interesting and profitable results in both use and understanding. A
keenness for words will be rapidly developed. Word-lists of all kinds
will take on entirely new meanings. A spontaneous receptivity will
develop into permanent retention of words and phrases.


1. Tell of some new word you have added to your vocabulary recently.
Explain when you met it, how it happened to impress you, what you
learned of it.

2. In studying a foreign language how did you fix in your mind the
words which permanently stuck there?

3. Look over a page in a dictionary. Report to the class on some
interesting material you find.

4. Make a list of ten slang or technical expressions. Explain them in
exact, clear language.

5. Find and bring to class a short printed passage, which because of
the words, you cannot understand. Unusual books, women's fashion
magazines, technical journals, books of rules for games, financial
reports, contain good examples.

6. How much do you know about any of the following words?

chassis      fuselage   orthodox    sable
comptometer  germicide  plebescite  self-determination
covenant     layman     purloin     soviet
ethiopian    morale     querulous   vers libre
farce        nectar     renegade    zoom

7. Comment on the words in the following extracts:

    "Of enchanting crimson brocade is the slipover blouse which
    follows the lines of the French cuirasse. Charmingly simple,
    this blouse, quite devoid of trimming, achieves smartness by
    concealing the waistline with five graceful folds."

    "The shift bid consists in bidding a suit, of which you have
    little or nothing, with the ultimate object of transferring
    later to another declaration, which is perfectly sound. The
    idea is to keep your adversaries from leading this suit up
    to your hand, which they will likely avoid doing, thinking
    that you are strong in it."

    "While sentiment is radically bearish on corn there is so
    little pressure on the market other than from shorts that a
    majority of traders are inclined to go slow in pressing the
    selling side on breaks until the situation becomes more
    clearly defined. The weekly forecast for cool weather is
    regarded as favorable for husking and shelling, and while
    there was evening up on the part of the pit operators for the
    double holiday, some of the larger local professionals went
    home short expecting a lower opening Tuesday."

8. Make a list of ten new words you have learned recently.

Suffixes and Prefixes. Definite steps for continuous additions can be
mapped out and covered. Careful attention to prefixes and suffixes
will enlarge the vocabulary.


1. a = on, in, at, to; _abed, aboard, afield, afire_

2. ab (a, abs) = from, away; _absent, abstract, abdicate_

3. ad, etc. = to, in addition to; _adapt, admit, adduce_

4. ante = before, _anteroom, antebellum_

5. anti = against, opposite; _anticlimax, antipodes, antipathy_

6. bi= two; _bicycle, biennial, biped, biplane_

7. circum = around, about; _circumnavigate, circumscribe,

8. con (col, com, co, cor, etc.) = with, together; _consent,
collect, coördinate, composite, conspiracy_

9. contra (counter) = against; _contradict, counteract, countermand_

10. de = down, from, away; _depose, desist, decapitate,

11. demi, hemi, semi = half; _demi-tasse, hemisphere, semiannual,

12. di (dis) = twice, double; _dissyllable_

13. dis (di, dif) = apart, away, not; _distract, diverge, diversion,

14. en (em) = in, on, into; _engrave, embody, embrace_

15. extra = beyond; _extraordinary, extravagant_

16. hyper = above; _hypercritical_

17. in (il, im, ir) = in, into, not; _inclose, illustrate, irrigate,
inform, illiterate, impious, irregular_

18. ex (e, ec, ef) = out of, from, beyond, thoroughly, formerly
but not now; _exclude, excel, ex-senator._

19. inter = between, among; _intercede, interchange, interfere,
interurban, interlude_

20. mis = wrongly, badly; _miscalculate, misspell, misadventure_

21. mono = one; _monoplane_

22. per = through, thoroughly, by; _perchance, perfect, per-adventure_

23. poly = many; _polygon, polytheism_

24. post = behind, after; _postgraduate, post-mortem, postlude_,
_postscript, post-meridian_ (P.M.)

25. pre = before (in time, place, or order); _preëminent, predict,
prefer, prefix, prejudge, prejudice_

26. preter = beyond; _preternatural_

27. pro = before, forth, forward; _proceed, prosecute_

28. pro = siding with; _pro-ally_

29. re = back, again; _recover, renew, recall_

30. sub, etc. = under; _submerge, subscribe, subterranean,

31. super (sur) = over, above; _superintend, supercargo_

32. trans (tra) = across; _translate, transmit, transfer_

33. vice (vis) = instead of; _vice-president, vice-admiral_


1. ee, er = one who; _absentee_, _profiteer_, _mower_

2. ard, art= term of disparagement; _drunkard_, _braggart_

3. esque = like; _statuesque_

4. ism = state of being; _barbarism_, _atheism_

5. et, let = little; _brooklet_, _bracelet_, _eaglet_

6. ling = little, young; _duckling_, _gosling_

7. kin = little; _lambkin_, _Peterkin_

8. stead = a place; _bedstead_, _homestead_, _instead_

9. wright = a workman; _wheelwright_

Thesaurus. Besides frequently consulting a good modern dictionary a
student speaker should familiarize himself with a _Thesaurus_ of words
and phrases. This is a peculiarly useful compilation of expressions
according to their meaning relations. A dictionary lists words, then
gives their meanings. A Thesaurus arranges meanings, then gives the
words that express those ideas. The value of such a book can be best
illustrated by explaining its use.

Suppose a speaker is going to attack some principle, some act, some
party. He knows that his main theme will be denunciation of something.
In the index of a Thesaurus he looks under _denunciation_, finding two
numbers of paragraphs. Turning to the first he has under his eye a
group of words all expressing shades of this idea. There are further
references to other related terms. Let us look at the first group,
taken from Roget's _Thesaurus_.

MALEDICTON, curse, imprecation, denunciation, execration, anathema,
ban, proscription, excommunication, commination, fulmination.

Cursing, scolding, railing, Billingsgate language.

_V_. To curse, accurse, imprecate, scold, rail, execrate.

To denounce, proscribe, excommunicate, fulminate.

_Adj_. Cursing, &c, cursed, &c.

THREAT, menace, defiance, abuse, commination, intimidation.

_V_. To threaten, menace, defy, fulminate; to intimidate.

_Adj_. Threatening, menacing, minatory, abusive.

The second reference leads us farther. It presents the expressions
dealing with the methods and results of _denunciation_, providing
hundreds of words and phrases to use in various ways. It does even
more, for in a parallel column it gives a list of opposites for the
words indicating _condemnation_. This more than doubles its value.
Finally having reached the word _punishment_ it lists its cognates
until the idea _penalty_ is reached, where it balances that idea with
_reward_ and its synonyms. A portion of this section follows.

LAWSUIT, suit, action, cause, trial, litigation.

Denunciation, citation, arraignment, persecution, indictment,
impeachment, apprehension, arrest, committal, imprisonment.

Pleadings, writ, summons, plea, bill, affidavit, &c.

Verdict, sentence, judgment, finding, decree, arbitrament,
adjudication, award.

_V_. To go to law; to take the law of; to appeal to the law; to join
issue; file a bill, file a claim.

To denounce, cite, apprehend, arraign, sue, prosecute, bring to trial,
indict, attach, distrain, to commit, give in charge or custody; throw
into prison.

To try, hear a cause, sit in judgment.

To pronounce, find, judge, sentence, give judgment; bring in a
verdict; doom, to arbitrate, adjudicate, award, report.

ACQUITTAL, absolution, _see_ Pardon, 918, clearance, discharge,
release, reprieve, respite.

Exemption from punishment; impunity.

_V_. To acquit, absolve, clear, discharge, release, reprieve, respite.

_Adj_. Acquitted, &c.

Uncondemned, unpunished, unchastised.

CONDEMNATION, conviction, proscription; death warrant.

Attainder, attainment.

_V_. To condemn, convict, cast, find guilty, proscribe.

_Adj_. Condemnatory, &c.

PUNISHMENT, chastisement, castigation, correction, chastening,
discipline, infliction, etc.

An observer will see at once just how far these lists go and what must
supplement them. They do not define, they do not discriminate, they do
not restrict. They are miscellaneous collections. A person must
consult the dictionary or refer to some other authority to prevent
error or embarrassment in use. For instance, under the entry
_newspaper_ occurs the attractive word _ephemeris_. But one should be
careful of how and where he uses that word.

Another exercise which will aid in fixing both words and meanings in
the mind and also help in the power of recalling them for instant use
is to make some kind of word-list according to some principle or
scheme. One plan might be to collect all the words dealing with the
idea of _book_. Another might be to take some obvious word root and
then follow it and other roots added to it through all its forms,
meanings, and uses. One might choose _tel_ (distant) and _graph_
(record) and start with _telegraph_. _Telephone_ will introduce
_phone_, _phonograph_; they will lead on to _dictaphone_,
_dictagraph_; the first half links with _dictation_; that may lead as
far away as _dictatorial_. In fact there is no limit to the extent,
the interest, and the value of these various exercises. The single aim
of all of them should be, of course, the enlargement of the speaking
vocabulary. Mere curiosities, current slang, far-fetched metaphors,
passing foreign phrases, archaisms, obsolete and obsolescent terms,
too new coinages, atrocities, should be avoided as a plague.

Consistent, persistent, insistent word-study is of inestimable value
to a speaker. And since all people speak, it follows that it would
benefit everybody.


1. Explain what is meant by each entry in the foregoing list.

2. List some verbal curiosities you have met recently. Examples: "Mr.
Have-it-your-own-way is the best husband." "He shows a great deal of

3. What should be the only condition for using foreign expressions?
Can you show how foreign words become naturalized? Cite some foreign
words used in speech.

4. Are archaic (old-fashioned), obsolete (discarded), and obsolescent
(rapidly disappearing) terms more common in speech or books? Explain
and illustrate.

Synonyms. As has already been suggested, a copious vocabulary must not
be idle in a person's equipment. He must be able to use it. He must be
able to discriminate as to meaning. This power of choosing the exact
word results from a study of synonyms. It is a fact that no two words
mean _exactly_ the same thing. No matter how nearly alike the two
meanings may appear to be, closer consideration will unfailingly show
at least a slight difference of dignity, if nothing more--as _red_ and
_crimson_, _pure_ and _unspotted_. Synonyms, then, are groups of words
whose meanings are almost the same. These are the words which give so
much trouble to learners of our language. A foreigner is told that
_stupid_ means _dull_, yet he is corrected if he says _a stupid
knife_. Many who learn English as a native tongue fail to comprehend
the many delicate shades of differences among synonyms.

In this matter, also, a dictionary goes so far as to list synonyms,
and in some cases, actually adds a discussion to define the various
limits. For fuller, more careful discrimination a good book of
synonyms should be consulted. Except for some general consideration of
words which everyone is certain to use or misuse, it is better to
consult a treatise on synonyms when need arises than to study it
consecutively. In consultation the material will be fixed by instant
use. In study it may fade before being employed; it may never be

The subjoined paragraphs show entries in two different volumes upon

    Adjacent, adjoining, contiguous. Adjacent, in Latin,
    _adjiciens_, participle of _adjicio_, is compounded of _ad_
    and _jacio_, to lie near. _Adjoining_, as the word implies,
    signifies being joined together. Contiguous, in French
    _contigu_, Latin _contiguus_, comes from _contingo_, or
    _con_ and _tango_, signifying to touch close.

    What is _adjacent_ may be separated altogether by the
    intervention of some third object; what is _adjoining_ must
    touch in some part; and what is _contiguous_ must be fitted
    to touch entirely on one side. Lands are _adjacent_ to a
    house or town; fields are _adjoining_ to each other; and
    houses _contiguous_ to each other.

    CRABBE: _English Synonyms_

    Victory: Synonyms: achievement, advantage, conquest, mastery,
    success, supremacy, triumph. _Victory_ is the state resulting
    from the overcoming of an opponent or opponents in any
    contest, or from the overcoming of difficulties, obstacles,
    evils, etc., considered as opponents or enemies. In the
    latter sense any hard-won _achievement_, _advantage,_ or
    _success_ may be termed a victory. In _conquest_ and
    _mastery_ there is implied a permanence of state that is not
    implied in _victory_. _Triumph_, originally denoting the
    public rejoicing in honor of a _victory_, has come to signify
    also a peculiarly exultant, complete, and glorious _victory_.
    Compare _conquer_. Antonyms: defeat, destruction,
    disappointment, disaster, failure, frustration, miscarriage,
    overthrow, retreat, rout.

    FERNALD: _English Synonyms, Antonyms and Prepositions_

Antonyms. Notice that this second paragraph adds a new
word-list--_antonyms_. To reinforce the understanding of what a thing
is, it is desirable to know what it is not, or what its opposite is.
This kind of explanation or description is especially valuable to a
speaker. He can frequently impress an audience more definitely by
explaining the opposite of what he wants them to apprehend. At times
the term is not the extreme opposite; it is merely the negative of the
other. Logically the other side of _white_ is _not white_, while the
antonym is the extreme _black_. Trained speakers use with great effect
the principle underlying such groups of words. When Burke argued
before the House of Commons for a plan to secure harmony with the
American colonies he described the scheme he considered necessary by
showing what it should not be. "No partial, narrow, contracted,
pinched, occasional system will be at all suitable to such an object."
Describing the peace he hoped would be secured he used this principle
of opposites. "Not peace through the medium of war; not peace to be
hunted through the labyrinth of intricate and endless negotiations,
not peace to arise out of universal discord, fomented from principle
in all parts of the empire; not peace to depend on the juridical
determination of perplexing questions, or the precise marking the
shadowy boundaries of a complex government."

We are told by an investigator that one of the reasons for a
Frenchman's keen insight into the capabilities of his language is the
early training received in schools covering differences among words.
This continual weighing of the meaning or the suitability of an
expression is bound to result in a delicate appreciation of its value
as a means of effective communication. In all mental action the sense
of contrast is an especially lively one. In a later chapter this
principle, as applied to explanation and argument, will be discussed.
Just here, the point is that the constant study of contrasts will
sharpen the language sense and rapidly enlarge the vocabulary.


1. Put down a group of five words having similar meanings. Explain the
differences among them.

2. Choose any word. Give its exact opposite.

3. From any short paragraph copy all the nouns. In a parallel column
put opposites or contrasts.

4. Do the same for the adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

5. Write down all the common nouns which correspond to _a man_, _a
girl_, _a leader_, _a house_, _a costume_, _a crime_.

Composition of the English Language. Turning now from the means of
improving the speaker's language equipment let us pass to some remarks
upon his use of words. The English language is the largest, the most
varied in the universe. Almost entirely free from difficulties of
inflection and conjugation, with a simplified grammar, and a great
freedom of construction, it suffers from only two signal
drawbacks--its spelling and its pronunciation. While it has preserved
to a great degree its original Anglo-Saxon grammar, it has enriched
its vocabulary by borrowings from everywhere. Its words have no
distinctive forms, so every foreign word can usually be naturalized by
a mere change of sound. No matter what their origin, all belong to one
family now; _gnu_ is as much English as _knew_, _japan_ as _pogrom_,
_fête_ as _papoose_, _batik_ as _radii_, _ohm_ as _marconigram_,
_macadamized_ as _zoomed_. Most of the modern borrowings--as just
illustrated--were to serve for new things or ideas. But there was one
time when a great reduplication of the vocabulary occurred. After the
French conquered England in 1066, English and Norman-French were
spoken side by side. The resultant tongue, composed of both, offered
many doubles for the same idea. In some instances the fashionable and
aristocratic French word marked a difference of meaning as is clearly
indicated by such pairs as _beef_ and _ox_, _veal_ and _calf, mutton_
and _sheep_, _pork_ and _pig_. In many other cases words of French and
English origin are separated by differences less distinct. Such are
_love_ and _affection_, _worship_ and _adoration_. A speaker must take
thought of such groups, and consciously endeavor to use the more
appropriate for his purpose.

Anglo-Saxon and Romance. It may help him to remember that the
Anglo-Saxon words are the more homely, the closer to our everyday
feelings and experiences, the expression of our deepest ideas and
sentiments, the natural outspoken response to keen emotion. On the
other hand, the Romance words--as they are called, whether from the
French or directly from the Latin--are likely to be longer; they
belong generally to the more complicated relationships of society and
government; they are more intellectual in the sense that they
represent the operations of the brain rather than the impulses of the
heart. They deal with more highly trained wills, with more abstruse
problems; they reason, they argue, they consider; they are
philosophical, scientific, legal, historical. Listen to a soldier
relate his war experiences. What will his vocabulary be? Listen to a
diplomat explaining the League of Nations. What will his vocabulary
be? Have you ever heard a speaker who gave you the impression that all
his words ended in _tion_? This was because his vocabulary was
largely Romance.

The inferences from the foregoing are perfectly plain. Subject and
audience will determine to a large extent what kinds of words a
speaker will choose. The well-equipped speaker will be master of both
kinds; he will draw from either as occasion offers. He will not insult
one audience by talking below their intelligence, nor will he bore
another by speaking over their heads.

General and Specific Terms. Effective speaking depends to a large
extent upon the inclusion of specific terms as contrasted with general
terms. "Glittering generalities" never make people listen. They mean
nothing because they say too much. Study the following selections to
see how the concrete phraseology used makes the material more telling,
how it enforces the meaning. Pick out the best expressions and explain
why they are better than more general terms. In the first, note how
the last sentence drives home the meaning of the first two. Listeners
may understand the first two, they remember the last.

    Civil and religious liberty in this country can be preserved
    only through the agency of our political institutions. But
    those institutions alone will not suffice. It is not the ship
    so much as the skilful sailing that assures the prosperous

    GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: _The Public Duty of Educated
    Men_, 1877

Describe the significance of the best expressions in the following
speech made in Parliament by Thomas Babington Macaulay.

    All those fierce spirits whom you hallooed on to harass us
    now turn round and begin to worry you. The Orangeman raises
    his war-whoop; Exeter Hall sets up its bray; Mr. Macneill
    shudders to see more costly cheer than ever provided for the
    Priest of Baal at the table of the Queen; and the Protestant
    operatives of Dublin call for impeachments in exceedingly bad
    English. But what did you expect? Did you think when, to
    serve your turn, you called the devil up that it was as easy
    to lay him as to raise him? Did you think when you went on,
    session after session, thwarting and reviling those whom you
    knew to be in the right, and flattering all the worst
    passions of those whom you knew to be in the wrong, that the
    day of reckoning would never come? It has come. There you
    sit, doing penance for the disingenuousness of years.

Why was the style of the extract below especially good for the evident
purpose and audience? Why did the author use names for the candidates?

    When an American citizen is content with voting merely, he
    consents to accept what is often a doubtful alternative. His
    first duty is to help shape the alternative. This, which was
    formerly less necessary, is now indispensable. In a rural
    community such as this country was a hundred years-ago,
    whoever was nominated for office was known to his neighbors,
    and the consciousness of that knowledge was a conservative
    influence in determining nominations. But in the local
    elections of the great cities of today, elections that
    control taxation and expenditure, the mass of the voters vote
    in absolute ignorance of the candidates. The citizen who
    supposes that he does all his duty when he votes, places a
    premium upon political knavery. Thieves welcome him to the
    polls and offer him a choice, which he has done nothing to
    prevent, between Jeremy Diddler and Dick Turpin. The party
    cries for which he is responsible are: "Turpin and Honesty,"
    "Diddler and Reform." And within a few years, as a result of
    this indifference to the details of public duty, the most
    powerful politicians in the Empire State of the Union was
    Jonathan Wild, the Great, the captain of a band of

    GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: _The Public Duty of Educated
    Men_, 1877

Appropriate Diction. The final test of any diction is its
appropriateness. The man who talks of dignified things as he would of
a baseball game--unless he is doing it deliberately for humor,
caricature, or burlesque--is ruining his own cause. The man who
discusses trifles in the style of philosophy makes himself an
egregious bore. As Shakespeare said, "Suit the action to the word, the
word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep
not the modesty of nature."

Beware of the flowery expression; avoid metaphorical speech; flee from
the lure of the overwrought style. In the first place it is so
old-fashioned that audiences suspect it at once. It fails to move
them. It may plunge its user into ridiculous failure. In the
excitement of spontaneous composition a man sometimes takes risks. He
may--as Pitt is reported to have said he did--throw himself into a
sentence and trust to God Almighty to get him out. But a beginner had
better walk before he tries to soar. If he speaks surely rather than
amazingly his results will be better. The temptation to leave the
ground is ever present in speaking.

A Parliamentary debater describing the Church of England wound up in a
flowery conclusion thus: "I see the Church of England rising in the
land, with one foot firmly planted in the soil, the other stretched
toward Heaven!"

An American orator discussing the character of Washington discharged
the following.

    The higher we rise in the scale of being--material,
    intellectual, and moral--the more certainly we quit the
    region of the brilliant eccentricities and dazzling contrasts
    which belong to a vulgar greatness. Order and proportion
    characterize the primordial constitution of the terrestrial
    system; ineffable harmony rules the heavens. All the great
    eternal forces act in solemn silence. The brawling torrent
    that dries up in summer deafens you with its roaring
    whirlpools in March; while the vast earth on which we dwell,
    with all its oceans and all its continents and its thousand
    millions of inhabitants, revolves unheard upon its soft axle
    at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and rushes
    noiselessly on its orbit a million and a half miles a day.
    Two storm-clouds encamped upon opposite hills on a sultry
    summer's evening, at the expense of no more electricity,
    according to Mr. Faraday, than is evolved in the
    decomposition of a single drop of water, will shake the
    surrounding atmosphere with their thunders, which, loudly as
    they rattle on the spot, will yet not be heard at the
    distance of twenty miles; while those tremendous and
    unutterable forces which ever issue from the throne of God,
    and drag the chariot wheels of Uranus and Neptune along the
    uttermost path-ways of the solar system, pervade the
    illimitable universe in silence.

Of course, today, nobody talks like that. At least no one should.

Trite Expressions. Less easily guarded against is the delivery of
trite expressions. These are phrases and clauses which at first were
so eloquent that once heard they stuck in people's minds, who then in
an endeavor themselves to be emphatic inserted continually into their
speeches these overworked, done-to-death expressions, which now
having been used too frequently have no real meaning. One of the most
frequently abused is "of the people, by the people, for the people."
Others are words and phrases made popular by the war. Many are no more
than jargon--meaningless counterfeits instead of the legal tender of
real speech. It is amazing to notice how persistently some of them
recur in the remarks of apparently well-trained men who should know
better than to insert them. The following were used by a prominent
United States political leader in a single speech. He could; easily
have replaced them by living material or dispensed with them entirely.

Jot or tittle; the plain unvarnished truth; God forbid; the jackal
press; that memorable occasion; tooth and nail; the God of our
fathers; the awful horrors of Valley Forge; the blood-stained heights
of Yorktown; tell it not in Gath; proclaim it not in the streets of
Askalon; peace with honor; the Arabian Nights; Munchausen; the
fathers; our globe-encircling domain; I am a Democrat; the pirates of
the Barbary Coast; Democratic gospel pure and undefiled; Janus-faced
double; Good Lord, good devil; all things to all men; God-fearing
patriots; come what may; all things are fair in love or war; the
silken bowstring; the unwary voter; bait to catch gudgeons; to live by
or to die by; these obsequious courtiers; Guttenburg; rubber stamp; at
all hazards; the most unkindest cut of all.

With the artificiality, the stiltedness of the foregoing contrast the
simplicity, the sincerity of these two extracts from Abraham Lincoln.

    And now, if they would listen--as I suppose they will not--I
    would address a few words to the Southern people.

    I would say to them: You consider yourselves a reasonable and
    a just people; and I consider that in the general qualities
    of reason and justice you are not inferior to any other
    people. Still, when you speak of us Republicans, you do so
    only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no
    better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or
    murderers, but nothing like it to "Black Republicans." In all
    your contentions with one another, each of you deems an
    unconditional condemnation of "Black Republicanism" as the
    first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of
    us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite--license, so to
    speak--among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all.
    Now can you or not be prevailed upon to pause and to consider
    whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves?
    Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be
    patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

    _Cooper Union Speech_, 1860

    My Friends: No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my
    feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the
    kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived
    a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an
    old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried.
    I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return,
    with a task before me greater than that which rested upon
    Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who
    ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I
    cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain
    with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope
    that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I
    hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an
    affectionate farewell.

    _Farewell Address at Springfield_, 1861

Kinds of Sentences. What kinds of sentences shall a speaker construct
as he speaks? That there is a difference between those a person
composes when he writes and those the same person is likely to evolve
when he speaks is realized by everyone. We hear that a speaker is
"booky," or conversational, that he is stilted or lively, that he is
too formal, that his discourse is dull and flat. To a great degree
these criticisms are based upon the sentence structure.

The Simple Sentence. The simple sentence contains only one subject and
one predicate. The complex sentence contains one independent clause
and at least one subordinate clause. The compound sentence contains
two or more independent clauses. It would be good advice to urge the
employment of the simple sentence were it not for the fact that a long
succession of sentences constructed exactly alike, making the same
impression of form and sound and length, is likely to produce a deadly
monotony of emphasis and pause, an impression of immaturity on the
part of the speaker and of lack of skill in molding his phrases. Yet,
in the main, the simple sentence is a valuable kind to know how to
deliver. Containing but a single thought it is likely to make a
definite impression upon a listener. It offers him not too much to
grasp. It leads him a single step along the way. It speaks clearly,
concisely. Its advantages follow from its qualities. At the beginning
of addresses it is especially efficient in leading the audience at the
same rate--slowly, it should be--as the speaker. In intricate
explanation, in close reasoning, in matters of paramount importance,
it should be employed.

Management of the short, simple sentence in written prose is
difficult. In spoken discourse, as well, it is so easy to fall into
the First Primer style that while the advantages of the use of the
simple sentence are great, the ability to produce good sentences in
succession must be developed.

The Complex Sentence. The complex sentence offers a good form for
introducing pertinent, minor details, which are necessary, yet which
do not merit inclusion in the general level of the speech. Aided by
proper pitch and inflection of the voice, they can be skilfully
subordinated to main ideas, yet introduced so adroitly that they at
times relieve attention, at others briefly explain, at others keep
adding up in a series the effect of which is a large total. Frequently
such sentences indicate clearly the progress of the discussion. A
topic introduced in a subordinate clause may later be raised to more
importance without abruptness, for hearers are already familiar with
it. A topic already treated may be recalled by citation in a later
clause. So various parts of a speech may be closely knit together to
present a coherent, progressive, unified whole.

In easily grasped general, descriptive, narrative, explanatory
material, complex sentences will allow the covering of a wide field,
or a long time, in short order by condensing facts into the few words
of subordinate clauses.

The Compound Sentence. Somewhat like the use of complex sentences for
general material is the use of compound ones for informal topics,
familiar discourse, easy address, lighter material. Valuable, too, is
this form for the speaker who knows accurately the meaning of
conjunctions, who can avoid the stringing together of what should be
simple sentences by a dozen senseless _ands_. A good rule for the
beginner is to allow no _ands_ in his speeches except those so
imbedded in phrases--husband and wife, now and then, principal and
interest--that he cannot avoid them. Let him never speak such
sentences as, "I came to this meeting and discovered only when I got
here that I was scheduled to speak." Let him be careful of beginning
sentence's with _and_ after he has made a pause.

The Exclamatory Sentence. Many speakers yield to the temptation to
strive for effect by delivering exclamatory sentences--sometimes only
clauses and phrases so enunciated. The disposition to do this is born
of the desire to be emphatic. Strong feeling makes one burst out in
ejaculation. Used sparingly this form may be extremely effective. Used
too frequently it reduces a speech to a mere series of ejaculations of
little more value than a succession of grunts, groans, and sobs.
Exclamatory sentences seldom convey much meaning. They indicate
emotion. But a speech, to be worth listening to, must convey ideas.

The Interrogative Sentence. A second sentence which may be classed
with the preceding is the interrogative. There is a disposition on the
part of speakers to ask direct questions of the audience. Frequently
the rhetorical question--which is one asked because the answer is the
quite apparent fact the speaker wants to impress upon his hearers--is
an effective method of making a seemingly personal appeal to sluggish
intellects or lazy wills. The interrogative form has the same
disadvantage as the exclamatory. Except when its answer is perfectly
plain it transfers no meaning. It would be easily possible for a
speaker with no ideas at all, no knowledge of a topic, to engage time
and attention by merely constructing a series of questions. At the
conclusion the audience would wonder why in the world he spoke, for he
had so little to say.

Long and Short Sentences. So far as long and short sentences are
concerned some general rules have already been hinted at in dealing
with other kinds. The advantages of the short sentence are mainly
those of clearness, directness, emphasis. Its dangers are monotony,
bareness, over-compactness. The advantages of the long--that is, quite
long--sentence, are rather difficult to comprehend. A wordy sentence
is likely to defeat its own purpose. Instead of guiding it will lose
its hearer. Somewhat long sentences--as already said--will serve in
general discussions, in rapidly moving descriptive and narrative
passages, in rather simple explanation and argument. No one can state
at just what number of words a short sentence becomes medium, and when
the division of medium becomes long. Yet there must be some limits. A
sentence in _Les Misérables_ includes nearly one thousand words in
both French original and English translation. John Milton produced
some extraordinarily long sentences. But these are in written
discourse. Some modern speakers have come dangerously near the limit.
In one printed speech one sentence has four hundred ten words in it; a
later one goes to five hundred forty. This second would fill about
half a column of the usual newspaper. Surely these are much too long.
A speaker can frequently make a long sentence acceptable by breaking
it up into shorter elements by sensible pauses. Yet the general
direction must surely be: avoid sentences which are too long.

Variety. The paramount rule of sentence structure in speech-making is
certainly: secure variety. Long, medium, short; declarative,
exclamatory, interrogative; simple, loose, periodic; use them all as
material permits and economy of time and attention prescribes. With
the marvelous variety possible in English sentence structure, no
person with ideas and language at command need be a monotonous


1. Criticize this selection for its diction and sentence structure.
What excellences has it? What can you find fault with? Does its date
explain it?

    "The books in the library, the portraits, the table at which
    he wrote, the scientific culture of the land, the course of
    agricultural occupation, the coming-in of harvests, fruit of
    the seed his own hand had scattered, the animals and
    implements of husbandry, the trees planted by him in lines,
    in copses, in orchards by thousands, the seat under the noble
    elm on which he used to sit to feel the southwest wind at
    evening, or hear the breathings of the sea, or the not less
    audible music of the starry heavens, all seemed at first
    unchanged. The sun of a bright day from which, however,
    something of the fervors of midsummer were wanting, fell
    temperately on them all, filled the air on all sides with the
    utterances of life, and gleamed on the long line of ocean.
    Some of those whom on earth he loved best, still were there.
    The great mind still seemed to preside; the great presence to
    be with you; you might expect to hear again the rich and
    playful tones of the voice of the old hospitality. Yet a
    moment more, and all the scene took on the aspect of one
    great monument, inscribed with his name, and sacred to his
    memory. And such it shall be in all the future of America!
    The sensation of desolateness, and loneliness, and darkness,
    with which you see it now, will pass away; the sharp grief of
    love and friendship will become soothed; men will repair
    thither as they are wont to commemorate the great days of
    history; the same glance shall take in, and same emotions
    shall greet and bless, the Harbor of the Pilgrims and the
    Tomb of Webster."

    RUFUS CHOATE: _A Discourse Commemorative of Daniel
    Webster_, 1853

2. What is the effect of the questions in the following? Are the
sentences varied? If the occasion was momentous, what is the style?

    "And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been
    in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten
    years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been
    pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that
    insidious smile with which our petition has been lately
    received? Trust it not, Sir; it will prove a snare to your
    feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask
    yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition
    comports with those warlike preparations which cover our
    water and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to
    a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so
    unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to
    win back our love?"

    PATRICK HENRY: _Speech in the Virginia Convention_,

3. List the concrete details given below. What effect have they? What
elements give the idea of the extent of the Colonies' fisheries? Are
the sentences long or short? Does their success justify them?

    "Look at the manner in which the people of New England have
    of late carried on the whale fishery. Whilst we follow them
    among the tumbling mountains of ice, and behold them
    penetrating into the deepest frozen recess of Hudson's Bay
    and Davis' Straits, whilst we are looking for them beneath
    the arctic circle, we hear that they have pierced into the
    opposite region of polar cold, that they are at the
    antipodes, and engaged under the frozen Serpent of the South.
    Falkland Islands, which seemed too remote and romantic an
    object for the grasp of national ambition, is but a stage and
    resting-place in the progress of their victorious industry.
    Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging to them than
    the accumulated winter of both the poles. We know that whilst
    some of them draw the line and strike the harpoon on the
    coast of Africa, others run the longitude and pursue their
    gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is
    vexed by their fisheries; no climate that is not witness to
    their toil. Neither the perseverance of Holland, nor the
    activity of France, nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of
    English enterprise ever carried this most perilous mode of
    hardy industry to the extent to which it has been pushed by,
    this recent people; a people who are still, as it were, but
    in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of

    EDMUND BURKE: _Conciliation with America_, 1775

4. Is the following clear? What kind of sentence is it? What minor
phrase? Is this phrase important? Why? Why did Lincoln repeat this
sentence, practically with no change, twelve times in a single speech?

    "The sum of the whole is that of our thirty-nine fathers who
    framed the original Constitution, twenty-one--a clear
    majority of the whole--certainly understood that no proper
    division of local from Federal authority, nor any part of the
    Constitution, forbade the Federal Government to control
    slavery in the Federal Territories."

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Cooper Union Speech_, 1860

5. Is the following well phrased? What makes it so? Is any expression
too strong? Do you object to any? How many of the words would you be
likely not to use?

    "It is but too true that there are many whose whole scheme of
    freedom is made up of pride, perverseness, and insolence.
    They feel themselves in a state of thraldom; they imagine
    that their souls are cooped and cabined in, unless they have
    some man, or some body of men, dependent on their mercy. The
    desire of having some one below them descends to those who
    are the very lowest of all; and a Protestant cobbler, debased
    by his poverty, but exalted by his share of the ruling
    church, feels a pride in knowing it is by his generosity
    alone that the peer, whose footman's instep he measures, is
    able to keep his chaplain from a gaol. This disposition is
    the true source of the passion which many men, in very humble
    life, have taken to the American war. Our subjects in
    America; our colonies; our dependents. This lust of party
    power is the liberty they hunger and thirst for; and this
    Siren song of ambition has charmed ears that we would have
    thought were never organized to that sort of music."

    EDMUND BURKE: _Speech at Bristol_, 1780

6. Describe the effects of the questions in the next. How is sentence
variety secured? What effects have the simple, declarative sentences?

    "And from what have these consequences sprung? We have been
    involved in no war. We have been at peace with all the world.
    We have been visited with no national calamity. Our people
    have been advancing in general intelligence, and, I will add,
    as great and alarming as has been the advance of political
    corruption among the mercenary corps who look to government
    for support, the morals and virtue of the community at large
    have been advancing in improvement. What, I again repeat, is
    the cause?"

    JOHN C. CALHOUN: _Speech on the Force Bill_, 1833

7. What quality predominates in the following? Does it lower the tone
of the passage too much? Is the interrogative form of the last
sentence better than the declarative? Why? Has the last observation
any close connection with the preceding portion? Can it be justified?

    "Modesty is a lovely trait, which sets the last seal to a
    truly great character, as the blush of innocence adds the
    last charm to youthful beauty. When, on his return from one
    of his arduous campaigns in the Seven Years' War, the Speaker
    of the Virginia Assembly, by order of the House, addressed
    Colonel Washington in acknowledgment of his services, the
    youthful hero rose to reply; but humility checked his
    utterance, diffidence sealed his lips. 'Sit down, Colonel
    Washington,' said the Speaker; 'the House sees that your
    modesty is equal to your merit, and that exceeds my power of
    language to describe.' But who ever heard of a modest
    Alexander or a modest Caesar, or a modest hero or statesman
    of the present day?--much as some of them would be improved
    by a measure of that quality."

    EDWARD EVERETT: _Character of Washington_, 1858

8. Look up the meaning of every unfamiliar expression in this extract.
Is the quotation at the end in good taste? Give reasons for your
answer. For what kinds of audiences would this speech be fitting?

    "The remedy for the constant excess of party spirit lies, and
    lies alone, in the courageous independence of the individual
    citizen. The only way, for instance, to procure the party
    nomination of good men, is for every self-respecting voter to
    refuse to vote for bad men. In the medieval theology the
    devils feared nothing so much as the drop of holy water and
    the sign of the cross, by which they were exorcised. The evil
    spirits of party fear nothing so much as bolting and
    scratching. _In hoc signo vinces_. If a farmer would reap a
    good crop, he scratches the weeds out of his field. If we
    would have good men upon the ticket, we must scratch bad men
    off. If the scratching breaks down the party, let it break:
    for the success of the party, by such means would break down
    the country. The evil spirits must be taught by means that
    they can understand. 'Them fellers,' said the captain of a
    canal-boat of his men, 'Them fellers never think you mean a
    thing until you kick 'em. They feel that, and understand.'"

    GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: _The Public Duty of Educated
    Men_, 1877

9. Describe the quality of the next extract. What is its style? Are
repetitions allowable? What then of variety? Point out contrasts of
words and phrases.

    "What, then it is said, would you legislate in haste? Would
    you legislate in times of great excitement concerning matters
    of such deep concern? Yes, Sir, I would; and if any bad
    consequences should follow from the haste and excitement, let
    those be answerable who, when there was no need to haste,
    when there existed no excitement, refused to listen to any
    project of reform; nay, made it an argument against reform
    that the public mind was not excited.... I allow that hasty
    legislation is an evil. But reformers are compelled to
    legislate fast, just because bigots will not legislate early.
    Reformers are compelled to legislate in times of excitement,
    because bigots will not legislate in times of tranquillity."

    THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY: _On the Reform Bill_,

10. Describe the diction of the next extract. Describe the prevailing
kind of sentences. Do you approve of these in such an instance?
Explain your answer. Does it remind you--in tone--of any other passage
already quoted in this book? What is your opinion of the style?

    "There has been a change of government. It began two years
    ago, when the House of Representatives became Democratic by a
    decisive majority. It has now been completed. The Senate
    about to assemble will also be Democratic. The offices of
    President and Vice-President have been put into the hands of
    Democrats. What does the change mean? That is the question
    that is uppermost in our minds today. That is the question I
    am going to try to answer in order, if I may, to interpret
    the occasion.

    "This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication.
    Here muster, not the forces of party, but the forces of
    humanity. Men's hearts wait upon us; men's lives hang in the
    balance; men's hopes call upon us to say what we will do. Who
    shall live up to the great trust? Who dares fail to try? I
    summon all honest men, all patriotic, all forward-looking men
    to my side. God helping me, I will not fail them, if they
    will but counsel and sustain me."

    WOODROW WILSON: _Inaugural_, 1918

11. Consider sentence length in the following: Which words are
significant? How is concreteness secured?

    "Ours is a government of liberty by, through, and under the
    law. No man is above it and no man is below it. The crime of
    cunning, the crime of greed, the crime of violence, are all
    equally crimes, and against them all alike the law must set
    its face. This is not and never shall be a government either
    of plutocracy or of a mob. It is, it has been, and it will be
    a government of the people; including alike the people of
    great wealth, of moderate wealth, the people who employ
    others, the people who are employed, the wage worker, the
    lawyer, the mechanic, the banker, the farmer; including them
    all, protecting each and everyone if he acts decently and
    squarely, and discriminating against any one of them, no
    matter from what class he comes, if he does not act squarely
    and fairly, if he does not obey the law. While all people are
    foolish if they violate or rail against the law, wicked as
    well as foolish, but all foolish--yet the most foolish man in
    this Republic is the man of wealth who complains because the
    law is administered with impartial justice against or for
    him. His folly is greater than the folly of any other man who
    so complains; for he lives and moves and has his being
    because the law does in fact protect him and his property."

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Spokane, 1903



Speech-making a Formal Matter. Every speech is more or less a formal
affair. The speaker standing is separated from the other persons
present by his prominence. He is removed from them by standing while
they sit, by being further away from them than in ordinary
conversation. The greater the distance between him and his listeners
the more formal the proceeding becomes. When a person speaks "from the
floor" as it is called, that is, by simply rising at his seat and
speaking, there is a marked difference in the manner of his delivery
and also in the effect upon the audience. In many gatherings, speeches
and discussions "from the floor" are not allowed at all, in others
this practice is the regular method of conducting business. Even in
the schoolroom when the student speaks from his place he feels less
responsibility than when he stands at the front of the room before his
classmates. As all formal exercises have their regular rules of
procedure it will be well to list the more usual formulas for
beginnings of speeches.

The Salutation. In all cases where speeches are made there is some
person who presides. This person may be the Vice-President of the
United States presiding over the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme
Court, the president of a city board of aldermen, the judge of a
court, the president of a corporation, of a lodge, of a church
society, of a club, the pastor of a church, the chancellor or provost
or dean of a college, the principal of a school, the chairman of a
committee, the toastmaster of a banquet, the teacher of a class. The
first remark of a speaker must always be the recognition of this
presiding officer.

Then there are frequently present other persons who are distinct from
the ordinary members of the audience, to whom some courtesy should be
shown in this salutation. Their right to recognition depends upon
their rank, their importance at the time, some special peculiar reason
for separating them from the rest of the audience. The speaker will
have to decide for himself in most cases as to how far he will
classify his hearers. In some instances there is no difficulty.
Debaters must recognize the presiding officer, the judges if they be
distinct from the regular audience, the members of the audience
itself. Lawyers in court must recognize only the judge and the
"gentlemen of the jury." In a debate on the first draft for the League
of Nations presided over by the Governor of Massachusetts, Senator
Lodge's salutation was "Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, My
Fellow Americans." The last was added unquestionably because patriotic
feeling was so strong at the time that reference to our nationality
was a decidedly fitting compliment, and also perhaps, because the
speaker realized that his audience might be slightly prejudiced
against the view he was going to advance in criticizing the League
Covenant. At times a formal salutation becomes quite long to include
all to whom recognition is due. At a university commencement a speaker
might begin: "Mr. Chancellor, Members of the Board of Trustees,
Gentlemen of the Faculty, Candidates for Degrees, Ladies and

Other salutations are Your Honor, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Madame
President, Madame Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Stevenson, Sir, Mr.
Toastmaster, Mr. Moderator, Honorable Judges, Ladies, Gentlemen,
Fellow Citizens, Classmates, Fellow Workers, Gentlemen of the Senate,
Gentlemen of the Congress, Plenipotentiaries of the German Empire, My
Lord Mayor and Citizens of London; Mr. Mayor, Mr. Secretary, Admiral
Fletcher and Gentlemen of the Fleet; Mr. Grand Master, Governor
McMillan, Mr. Mayor, My Brothers, Men and Women of Tennessee.

The most important thing about the salutation is that it should never
be omitted. To begin to speak without having first recognized some
presiding officer and the audience stamps one immediately as
thoughtless, unpractised, or worse still--discourteous.

Having observed the propriety of the salutation the speaker should
make a short pause before he proceeds to the introduction of his
speech proper.

Length of the Introduction. There was a time when long elaborate
introductions were the rule, and textbooks explained in detail how to
develop them. The main assumption seems to have been that the farther
away from his topic the speaker began, the longer and more indirect
the route by which he approached it, the more sudden and surprising
the start with which it was disclosed to the audience, the better the
speech. Such views are no longer held. One of the criticisms of the
speeches of the English statesman, Burke, is that instead of coming at
once to the important matter under consideration--and all his speeches
were upon paramount issues--he displayed his rhetorical skill and
literary ability before men impatient to finish discussion and provide
for action by casting their votes. If a student will read the
beginning of Burke's famous _Speech on Conciliation_ he will readily
understand the force of this remark, for instead of bringing forward
the all-important topic of arranging for colonial adjustment Burke
uses hundreds of words upon the "flight of a bill for ever," his own
pretended superstitiousness and belief in omens. So strong is the
recognition of the opposite practice today that it is at times
asserted that speeches should dispense with introductions longer than
a single sentence.

Purpose of the Introduction. So far as the material of the speech is
concerned the introduction has but one purpose--to bring the topic of
the succeeding remarks clearly and arrestingly before the audience. It
should be clearly done, so that there shall be no misunderstanding
from the beginning. It should be arrestingly done, so that the
attention shall be aroused and held from this announcement even until
the end. A man should not declare that he is going to explain the
manufacture of paper-cutters, and then later proceed to describe the
making of those frames into which rolls of wrapping paper are fitted
underneath a long cutting blade, because to most people the
expression "paper-cutters" means dull-edged, ornamental knives for
desks and library tables. His introduction would not be clear. On the
other hand if a minister were to state plainly that he was going to
speak on the truth that "it is more blessed to give than to receive"
his congregation might turn its attention to its own affairs at once
because the topic promises no novelty. But if he declares that he is
going to make a defense of selfishness he would surely startle his
hearers into attention, so that he could go on to describe the
personal satisfaction and peace of mind which comes to the doers of
good deeds. A speaker could arrest attention by stating that he
intended to prove the immorality of the principle that "honesty is the
best policy," if he proceeded to plead for that virtue not as a
repaying _policy_ but as an innate guiding principle of right, no
matter what the consequences. In humorous, half-jesting, ironical
material, of course, clearness may be justifiably sacrificed to
preserving interest. The introduction may state the exact opposite of
the real topic.

When nothing else except the material of the introduction need be
considered, it should be short. Even in momentous matters this is
true. Notice the brevity of the subjoined introduction of a speech
upon a deeply moving subject.

    Gentlemen of the Congress:

    The Imperial German Government on the 31st day of January
    announced to this Government and to the Governments of the
    other neutral nations that on and after the 1st day of
    February, the present month, it would adopt a policy with
    regard to the use of submarines against all shipping seeking
    to pass through certain designated areas of the high seas, to
    which it is clearly my duty to call your attention.


The following, though much longer, aims to do the same thing--to
announce the topic of the speech clearly. Notice that in order to
emphasize this endeavor to secure clearness the speaker declares that
he has repeatedly tried to state his position in plain English. He
then makes clear that he is not opposed to _a_ League of Nations; he
is merely opposed to the terms already submitted for the one about to
be formed. This position he makes quite clear in the last sentence
here quoted.

    Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, My Fellow Americans:

    I am largely indebted to President Lowell for this
    opportunity to address this great audience. He and I are
    friends of many years, both Republicans. He is the president
    of our great university, one of the most important and
    influential places in the United States. He is also an
    eminent student and historian of politics and government. He
    and I may differ as to methods in this great question now
    before the people, but I am sure that in regard to the
    security of the peace of the world and the welfare of the
    United States we do not differ in purposes.

    I am going to say a single word, if you will permit me, as to
    my own position. I have tried to state it over and over
    again. I thought I had stated it in plain English. But there
    are those who find in misrepresentation a convenient weapon
    for controversy, and there are others, most excellent people,
    who perhaps have not seen what I have said and who possibly
    have misunderstood me. It has been said that I am against
    any League of Nations. I am not; far from it. I am anxious to
    have the nations, the free nations of the world, united in a
    league, as we call it, a society, as the French call it, but
    united, to do all that can be done to secure the future peace
    of the world and to bring about a general disarmament.

    SENATOR HENRY CABOT LODGE in a debate in Boston,

The Introduction and the Audience. When we turn from the material of
the introduction or the speech we naturally consider the audience.
Just as the salutations already listed in this chapter indicate how
careful speakers are in adapting their very first words to the special
demands of recognition for a single audience, so a study of
introductions to speeches which have been delivered will support the
same principle. A speech is made to affect a single audience,
therefore it must be fitted as closely as possible to that audience in
order to be effective. A city official invited to a neighborhood
gathering to instruct citizens in the method of securing a children's
playground in that district is not only wasting time but insulting the
brains and dispositions of his listeners if he drawls off a long
introduction showing the value of public playgrounds in a crowded
city. His presence before that group of people proves that they accept
all he can tell them on that topic. He is guilty of making a bad
introduction which seriously impairs the value of anything he may say
later concerning how this part of the city can induce the municipal
government to set aside enough money to provide the open space and the
apparatus. Yet this speech was made in a large American city by an
expert on playgrounds.

People remembered more vividly his wrong kind of opening remarks than
they did his advice concerning a method of procedure.

Effect of the Introduction upon the Audience. Many centuries ago a
famous and successful Roman orator stipulated the purpose of an
introduction with respect to the audience. Cicero stated that an
introduction should render its hearers "_benevolos, attentos,
dociles_"; that is, kindly disposed towards the speaker himself,
attentive to his remarks, and willing to be instructed by his
explanations or arguments. Not everyone has a pleasing personality
but he can strive to acquire one. He can, perhaps, not add many
attributes to offset those nature has given him, but he can always
reduce, eradicate, or change those which interfere with his reception
by others. Education and training will work wonders for people who are
not blessed with that elusive quality, charm, or that winner of
consideration, impressiveness. Self-examination, self-restraint,
self-development, are prime elements in such a process. Great men have
not been beyond criticism for such qualities. Great men have
recognized their value and striven to rid themselves of hindrances and
replace them by helps.

Every reader is familiar with Benjamin Franklin's account of his own
method as related in his _Autobiography_, yet it will bear quotation
here to illustrate this point:

    While I was intent on improving my language, I met with an
    English Grammar (I think it was Greenwood's), at the end of
    which there were two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric
    and logic, the latter "finishing with a specimen of a
    dispute in the Socratic method; and soon after I procured
    Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates, wherein there are
    many instances of the same method. I was charmed with it,
    adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive
    argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer and doubter....
    I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing
    to those against whom I used it; therefore I took a delight
    in it, practised it continually, and grew very artful and
    expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into
    concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee,
    entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not
    extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither
    myself nor my cause always deserved. I continued this method
    some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the
    habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence;
    never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly be
    disputed, the words _Certainly, Undoubtedly_, or any others
    that give the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather
    say, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be so and so; it
    appears to me, or _I should think it so or so_, for such and
    such reasons; or _I imagine it to be so_; or _it is so if I
    am not mistaken_. This habit, I believe, has been of great
    advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my
    opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been
    from time to time engaged in promoting; and as the chief ends
    of conversation are to _inform_ or to be _informed_, to
    _please_ or to _persuade_, I wish well-meaning, sensible men
    would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive,
    assuming manner, that seldom fails to disgust, tends to
    create opposition, and to defeat everyone of those purposes
    for which speech was given to us, to wit, giving or receiving
    information or pleasure. For if you would inform, a positive
    and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may
    provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention. If you
    wish information and improvement from the knowledge of
    others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly
    fixed in your present opinions, modest, sensible men who do
    not love disputation will probably leave you undisturbed in
    the possession of your error. And by such a manner you can
    seldom hope to recommend yourself in _pleasing_ your hearers,
    or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire. Pope says,

        "Men should be taught as if you taught them not,
         And things unknown propos'd as things forgot;"

    farther recommending to us

        "To speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence."

Of course an audience must be induced to listen. The obligation is
always with the speaker. He is appealing for consideration, he wants
to affect the hearers, therefore he must have at his command all the
resources of securing their respectful attention. He must be able to
employ all the legitimate means of winning their attention. A good
speaker will not stoop to use any tricks or devices that are not
legitimate. A trick, even when it is successful, is still nothing but
a trick, and though it secure the temporary attention of the lower
orders of intellect it can never hold the better minds of an audience.
Surprises, false alarms, spectacular appeals, may find their
defenders. One widely reputed United States lawyer in speaking before
audiences of young people used to advance theatrically to the edge of
the stage, and, then, pointing an accusing finger at one part of the
audience, declare in loud ringing tones, "You're a sneak!" It is
questionable whether any attempt at arousing interest could justify
such a brusque approach. Only in broadly comic or genuinely humorous
addresses can it be said that the end justifies the means.

When the audience has been induced to listen, the rest should be easy
for the good speaker. Then comes into action his skill at explanation,
his ability to reason and convince, to persuade and sway, which is the
speaker's peculiar art. If they will listen to him, he should be able
to instruct them. The introduction must, so far as this last is
concerned, clear the way for the remainder of the speech. The methods
by which such instruction, reasoning, and persuasion are effected best
will be treated later in this book.

Having covered the preceding explanation of the aims and forms of
introductions, let us look at a few which have been delivered by
regularly practising speech-makers before groups of men whose
interest, concern, and business it was to listen. All men who speak
frequently are extremely uneven in their quality and just as irregular
in their success. One of the best instances of this unevenness and
irregularity was Edmund Burke, whose career and practice are bound to
afford food for thought and discussion to every student of the power
and value of the spoken word. Some of Burke's speeches are models for
imitation and study, others are warnings for avoidance. At one time
when he felt personally disturbed by the actions of the House of
Commons, because he as a member of the minority could not affect the
voting, he began a speech exactly as no man should under any
circumstances. No man in a deliberative assembly can be excused for
losing control of himself. Yet Burke opened his remarks with these
plain words.

    "Mr. Speaker! I rise under some embarrassment occasioned by a
    feeling of delicacy toward one-half of the House, and of
    sovereign contempt for the other half."

This is childish, of course. A man may not infrequently be forced by
circumstances to speak before an audience whose sentiments, opinions,
prejudices, all place them in a position antagonistic to his own. How
shall he make them well-disposed, attentive, willing to be instructed?
The situation is not likely to surround a beginning speaker, but men
in affairs, in business, in courts, must be prepared for such
circumstances. One of the most striking instances of a man who
attempted to speak before an antagonistic group and yet by sheer power
of his art and language ended by winning them to his own party is in
Shakespeare's _Julius Caesar_ when Mark Antony speaks over his dead
friend's body. Brutus allows it, but insists on speaking to the people
first that he may explain why he and his fellow conspirators
assassinated the great leader. It was a mistake to allow a person from
the opposite party to have the last word before the populace, but that
is not the point just here. Brutus is able to explain why a group of
noble Romans felt that for the safety of the state and its
inhabitants, they had to kill the rising favorite who would soon as
King rule them all. When he ceases speaking, the citizens approve the
killing. Mark Antony perceives that, so at the beginning of his speech
he seems to agree with the people. Caesar was his friend, yet Brutus
says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man. Thus the
skilful orator makes the populace well-disposed towards him, then

Having secured those things he proceeds slowly and unobtrusively to
instruct them. It takes only a few lines until he has made them
believe all he wants them to; before the end of his oration he has
them crying out upon the murderers of their beloved Caesar, for whose
lives they now thirst. Yet only ten minutes earlier they were loudly
acclaiming them as deliverers of their country. The entire scene
should be analyzed carefully by the student. It is the second scene of
the third act of the play.

In actual life a man would hardly have to go so far as seemingly to
agree with such opposite sentiments as expressed in this situation
from a stage tragedy. It is general knowledge that during the early
years of the American Civil War England sympathized with the southern
states, mainly because the effective blockade maintained by the North
prevented raw cotton from reaching the British mills. Henry Ward
Beecher attempted to present the union cause to the English in a
series of addresses throughout the country. When he appeared upon the
platform in Liverpool the audience broke out into a riot of noise
which effectively drowned all his words for minutes. The speaker
waited until he could get in a phrase. Finally he was allowed to
deliver a few sentences. By his patience, his appeal to their English
sense of fair play, and to a large degree by his tolerant sense of
humor, he won their attention. His material, his power as a speaker
did all the rest.

    It is a matter of very little consequence to me, personally,
    whether I speak here tonight or not. [_Laughter and cheers._]
    But one thing is very certain, if you do permit me to speak
    here tonight, you will hear very plain talking. [_Applause
    and hisses_.] You will not find me to be a man that dared to
    speak about Great Britain three thousand miles off, and then
    is afraid to speak to Great Britain when he stands on her
    shores. [_Immense applause and hisses_.] And if I do not
    mistake the tone and temper of Englishmen they had rather
    have a man who opposes them in a manly way [_applause from
    all parts of the hall_] than a sneak that agrees with them in
    an unmanly way. [_Applause and "Bravo!"_] Now, if I can carry
    you with me by sound convictions, I shall be immensely glad
    [_applause_]; but if I cannot carry you with me by facts and
    sound arguments, I do not wish you to go with me at all; and
    all that I ask is simply fair play. [_Applause, and a voice:
    "You shall have it too."_.]

    Those of you who are kind enough to wish to favor my
    speaking--and you will observe that my voice is slightly
    husky, from having spoken almost every night in succession
    for some time past--those who wish to hear me will do me the
    kindness simply to sit still and to keep still; and I and my
    friends the Secessionists will make the noise. [_Laughter._]

    HENRY WARD BEECHER, in speech at Liverpool, 1863

The beginning of one of Daniel Webster's famous speeches was a triumph
of the deliverer's recognition of the mood of an audience. In the
Senate in 1830 feeling had been running high over a resolution
concerning public lands. Innocent enough in its appearance, this
resolution really covered an attempt at the extension of the slavery
territory. Both North and South watched the progress of the debate
upon this topic with almost held breath. Hayne of South Carolina had
spoken upon it during two days when Webster rose to reply to him. The
Senate galleries were packed, the members themselves were stirred up
to the highest pitch of keen intensity. Nearly the entire effect of
Webster's statement and argument for the North depended upon the
effect he could make upon the Senators at the very opening of his

Webster began in a low voice, with a calm manner, to speak very
slowly. In a second he had soothed the emotional tension, set all the
hearers quite at ease, and by the time the Secretary had read the
resolution asked by Webster, he had them in complete control. His task
was to make them attentive, but more especially, ready to be

    Mr. President: When the mariner has been tossed for many days
    in thick weather and on an unknown sea, he naturally avails
    himself of the first pause in the storm, the earliest glance
    of the sun, to take his latitude and ascertain how far the
    elements have driven him from his true course. Let us imitate
    this prudence; and, before we float farther on the waves of
    this debate, refer to the point from which we departed, that
    we may, at least, be able to conjecture where we now are. I
    ask for the reading of the resolution before the Senate.

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _Reply to Hayne_, 1830

Linking the Introduction to Preceding Speeches. So many speeches are
replies to preceding addresses that many introductions adapt
themselves to their audiences by touching upon such utterances. In
debates, in pleas in court, in deliberative assemblies, this is more
usually the circumstance than not. The following illustrates how
courteously this may be done, even when it serves merely to make all
the clearer the present speaker's position. In moments of tensest
feeling great speakers skilfully move from any one position or
attitude to another as Patrick Henry did. While you are regarding
these paragraphs as an example of introduction do not overlook their
vocabulary and sentences.

    Mr. President: No man thinks more highly than I do of the
    patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy
    gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different
    men often see the same subject in different lights; and,
    therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to
    those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a
    character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my
    sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for
    ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful
    moment to the country. For my own part, I consider it as
    nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. And in
    proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the
    freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can
    hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility
    which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my
    opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I
    should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my
    country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of
    Heaven, which I revere above all earthly things.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the
    illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a
    painful truth, and listen to the song of that Siren till she
    transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men,
    engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we
    disposed to be of the number of those who having eyes see
    not, and having ears hear not, the things which so nearly
    concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever
    anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole
    truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.

    PATRICK HENRY in the Virginia Convention, 1775

Difficulties of Introductions. People who are scheduled to make
speeches are heard to declare that they know exactly what they want to
say but they do not know how to begin. Another way they have of
expressing this is that they do not know how to bring their material
before their hearers. Undoubtedly the most difficult parts of speeches
are the beginnings and conclusions. In Chapter II one of the methods
of preparing for delivery recognized this difference by recording that
one way is to memorize the beginning and ending, the opening and
closing sentences. Practised speakers are more likely not to fix too
rigidly in their minds any set way for starting to speak. They realize
that a too carefully prepared opening will smack of the study. The
conditions under which the speech is actually delivered may differ so
widely from the anticipated surroundings that a speaker should be able
to readjust his ideas instantly, seize upon any detail of feeling,
remark, action, which will help him into closer communication with his
audience. Many practised speakers, therefore, have at their wits' ends
a dozen different manners, so that their appearance may fit in best
with the circumstances, and their remarks have that air of easy
spontaneity which the best speaking should have. Thus, sometimes, the
exactly opposite advice of the method described above and in Chapter
II is given. A speaker will prepare carefully his speech proper, but
leave to circumstances the suggestion of the beginning he will use.
This does not mean that he will not be prepared--it means that he will
be all the more richly furnished with expedients. A speaker should
carefully think over all the possibilities under which his speech will
be brought forward, then prepare the best introduction to suit each

Spirit of the Introduction. The combination of circumstances and
material will determine what we shall call the spirit of the
introduction. In what spirit is the introduction treated? There are as
many different treatments as there are human feelings and sentiments.
The spirit may be serious, informative, dignified, scoffing,
argumentative, conversational, startling, humorous, ironic. The
student should lengthen this list by adding as many other adjectives
as he can.

The serious treatment is always effective when it is suitable. There
is a conviction of earnestness and sincerity about the speech of a man
who takes his subject seriously. Without arousing opposition by too
great a claim of importance for his topic he does impress its
significance upon listeners. This seriousness must be justified by the
occasion. It must not be an attempt to bolster up weakness of ideas or
commonplaceness of expression. It must be straightforward, manly,
womanly. Notice the excellent effect of the following which
illustrates this kind of treatment.

    MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOR: I was desired by one of
    the court to look into the books, and consider the question
    now before them concerning Writs of Assistance. I have
    accordingly considered it, and appear not only in obedience
    to your order, but likewise in behalf of the inhabitants of
    this town, who have presented another petition, and out of
    regard to the liberties of the subject. And I take this
    opportunity to declare, that whether under a fee or not (for
    in such a cause as this I despise a fee) I will to my dying
    day oppose with all the powers and faculties God has given
    me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and
    villainy on the other, as this Writ of Assistance is.

    It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the
    most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental
    principles of law, that ever was found in an English

    JAMES OTIs: _On Writs of Assistance_, 1761

Informative and argumentative introductions are quite usual. They
abound in legislative bodies, business organizations, and courts of
law. Having definite purposes to attain they move forward as directly
and clearly as they can. In such appearances a speaker should know how
to lead to his topic quickly, clearly, convincingly. Introductions
should be reduced to a minimum because time is valuable. Ideas count;
mere talk is worthless.

Attempts at humorous speeches are only too often the saddest
exhibitions of life. The mere recital of "funny stories" in succession
is in no sense speech-making, although hundreds of misguided
individuals act as though they think so. Nor is a good introduction
the one that begins with a comic incident supposedly with a point pat
to the occasion or topic, yet so often miles wide of both. The funny
story which misses its mark is a boomerang. Even the apparently
"sure-fire" one may deliver a disturbing kick to its perpetrator. The
grave danger is the "o'er done or come tardy off" of Hamlet's advice
to the players. Humor must be distinctly marked off from the merely
comic or witty, and clearly recognized as a wonderful gift bestowed on
not too many mortals in this world. The scoffing, ironic introduction
may depend upon wit and cleverness born in the head; the humorous
introduction depends upon a sympathetic instinct treasured in the
heart. Look back at the remarks made by Beecher to his turbulent
disturbers in Liverpool. Did he help his cause by his genial
appreciation of their sentiments?

The student should study several introductions to speeches in the
light of all the preceding discussions so that he may be able to
prepare his own and judge them intelligently. Printed speeches will
provide material for study, but better still are delivered remarks. If
the student can hear the speech, then see it in print, so much the
better, for he can then recall the effect in sound of the phrases.

Preparing and Delivering Introductions. Actual practice in preparation
and delivery of introductions should follow. These should be delivered
before the class and should proceed no farther than the adequate
introduction to the hearers of the topic of the speech. They need not
be so fragmentary as to occupy only three seconds. By supposing them
to be beginnings of speeches from six to fifteen minutes long these
remarks may easily last from one to two minutes.

Aside from the method of its delivery--pose, voice, speed, vocabulary,
sentences--each introduction should be judged as an actual
introduction to a real speech. Each speaker should keep in mind these
questions to apply during his preparation. Each listener should apply
them as he hears the introduction delivered.

Is the topic introduced gracefully?
Is it introduced clearly?
Is the introduction too long?
Does it begin too far away from the topic?
Is it interesting?
Has it any defects of material?
Has it any faults of manner?
Can any of it be omitted?
Do you want to hear the entire speech?
Can you anticipate the material?
Is it adapted to its audience?
Is it above their heads?
Is it beneath their intelligences?

Topics for these exercises in delivering introductions should be
furnished by the interests, opinions, ideas, experiences, ambitions of
the students themselves. Too many beginning speakers cause endless
worry for themselves, lower the quality of their speeches, bore their
listeners, by "hunting" for things to talk about, when near at hand in
themselves and their activities lie the very best things to discuss.
The over-modest feeling some people have that they know nothing to
talk about is usually a false impression. In Elizabethan England a
young poet, Sir Phillip Sidney, decided to try to tell his sweetheart
how much he loved her. So he "sought fit words, studying inventions
fine, turning others' leaves, to see if thence would flow, some fresh
and fruitful showers upon my sunburnt brain." But "words came halting
forth" until he bit his truant pen and almost beat himself for spite.
Then said the Muse to him, "Fool, look in thy heart and write." And
without that first word, this is the advice that should be given to
all speakers. "Look in your heart, mind, life, experiences, ideas,
ideals, interests, enthusiasms, and from them draw the material of
your speeches--_yours_ because no one else could make that speech, so
essentially and peculiarly is it your own."

The following may serve as suggestions of the kind of topic to choose
and the various methods of approaching it. They are merely hints, for
each student must adapt his own method and material.


1. By a rapid historical survey introduce the discussion that women
will be allowed to vote in the United States.

2. By a historical survey introduce the topic that war will cease upon
the earth.

3. Using the same method introduce the opposite.

4. Using some history introduce the topic that equality for all men is

5. Using the same method introduce the opposite.

6. Starting with the amount used introduce an explanation of the
manufacture of cotton goods. Any other manufactured article may be

7. Starting with an incident to illustrate its novelty, or speed, or
convenience, or unusualness, lead up to the description or explanation
of some mechanical contrivance.

Adding machine
Wireless telegraph
Knitting machine
Moving picture camera
Moving picture machine
Egg boiler
Newspaper printing press
Power churn
Bottle-making machine
Voting machine
Storm in a play
Pneumatic tube
Periscope, etc.

8. Describe some finished product (as a cup of tea, a copper cent) as
introduction to an explanation of its various processes of

9. Start with the opinion that reading should produce pleasure to
introduce a recommendation of a book.

10. Start with the opinion that reading should impart information to
introduce a recommendation of a book.

11. Start with the money return a business or profession offers to
introduce a discussion advising a person to follow it or not.

12. Beginning with the recent war lead up to the topic that military
training should be a part of all regular education.

13. Beginning from the same point introduce the opposite.

14. Beginning with an item--or a fictitious item--from a newspaper
recounting an accident lead up to workmen's compensation laws, or
preventive protective measures in factories, or some similar topic.

15. Using a personal or known experience introduce some topic dealing
with the survival of superstitions.

16. Choosing your own material and treatment introduce some theme
related to the government, or betterment of your community.

17. Introduce a topic dealing with the future policy of your city,
county, state, or nation.

18. Lead up to the statement of a change you would like to recommend
strongly for your school.

19. In as interesting a manner as possible lead up to a statement of
the business or profession you would like to follow.

20. Introduce a speech in which you intend to condemn something, by
dealing with your introductory material ironically.

21. Imagine that you are presiding at a meeting of some club, society,
or organization which has been called to discuss a definite topic.
Choose the topic for discussion and deliver the speech bringing it
before the session.

22. You have received a letter from a member of some organization who
suggests that a society to which you belong join with it in some kind
of contest or undertaking. Present the suggestion to your society.

23. You believe that soma memorial to the memory of some person should
be established in your school, lodge, church, club. Introduce the
subject to a group of members so that they may discuss it

24. Introduce some topic to the class, but so phrase your material
that the announcement of the topic will be a complete surprise to the
members. Try to lead them away from the topic, yet so word your
remarks that later they will realize that everything you said applies
exactly to the topic you introduce.

25. Lead up to the recital of some mystery, or ghostly adventure.

26. Lead up to these facts. "For each 10,000 American-born workmen in
a steel plant in eight years, 21 were killed; and for each non-English
speaking foreign born, 26 were killed. Non-English speaking show 65
permanently disabled as compared with 28 who spoke English. Of
temporarily disabled only 856 spoke English as compared with 2035 who
did not."

27. Introduce the topic: Training in public speaking is valuable for
all men and women.

28. In a genial manner suitable to the season's feelings introduce
some statement concerning New Year's resolutions.

29. Frame some statement concerning aviation. Introduce it.

30. Introduce topics or statements related to the following:

The eight-hour day.
The principles of Socialism.
Legitimate methods of conducting strikes.
Extending the Monroe Doctrine.
Studying the classics, or modern languages.
Private fortunes.
College education for girls.
Direct presidential vote.
A good magazine.
Some great woman.
Sensible amusements.
Business practice.
Minimum wages.
Equal pay for men and women.



Preparing the Conclusion. No architect would attempt to plan a
building unless he knew the purpose for which it was to be used. No
writer of a story would start to put down words until he knew exactly
how his story was to end. He must plan to bring about a certain
conclusion. The hero and heroine must be united in marriage. The
scheming villain must be brought to justice. Or if he scorn the usual
ending of the "lived happily ever after" kind of fiction, he can plan
to kill his hero and heroine, or both; or he can decide for once that
his story shall be more like real life than is usually the case, and
have wickedness triumph over virtue. Whatever he elects to do at the
conclusion of his story, whether it be long or short, the principle of
his planning is the same--he must know what he is going to do and
adequately prepare for it during the course of, previous events.

One other thing every writer must secure. The ending of a book must be
the most interesting part of it. It must rise highest in interest. It
must be surest of appeal. Otherwise the author runs the risk of not
having people read his book through to its conclusion, and as every
book is written in the hope and expectation that it will be read
through, a book which fails to hold the attention of its readers
defeats its own purpose.

The foregoing statements are self-evident but they are set down
because their underlying principles can be transferred to a
consideration of the preparation of conclusions for speeches.

Is a Conclusion Necessary? But before we use them let us ask whether
all speeches require conclusions.

There are some people--thoughtless, if nothing worse--who habitually
end letters by adding some such expression as "Having nothing more to
say, I shall now close." Is there any sense in writing such a
sentence? If the letter comes only so far and the signature follows,
do not those items indicate that the writer has nothing more to say
and is actually closing? Why then, when a speaker has said all he has
to say, should he not simply stop and sit down? Will that not indicate
quite clearly that he has finished his speech? What effect would such
an ending have?

In the first place the speaker runs the risk of appearing at least
discourteous, if not actually rude, to his audience. To fling his
material at them, then to leave it so, would impress men and women
much as the brusque exit from a group of people in a room would or the
slamming of a door of an office.

In the second place the speaker runs the graver risk of not making
clear and emphatic the purpose of his speech. He may have been quite
plain and effective during the course of his explanation or argument
but an audience hears a speech only once. Can he trust to their
recollection of what he has tried to impress upon them? Will they
carry away exactly what he wants them to retain? Has he made the main
topics, the chief aim, stand out prominently enough? Can he merely
stop speaking? These are quite important aspects of a grave

In the third place--though this may be considered less important than
the preceding--the speaker gives the impression that he has not
actually "finished" his speech. No one cares for unfinished articles,
whether they be dishes of food, pieces of furniture, poems, or
speeches. Without unduly stressing the fact that a speech is a
carefully organized and constructed product, it may be stated that it
is always a profitable effort to try to round off your remarks. A good
conclusion gives an impression of completeness, of an effective
product. Audiences are delicately susceptible to these impressions.

Twenty-two centuries ago Aristotle, in criticizing Greek oratory,
declared that the first purpose of the conclusion was to conciliate
the audience in favor of the speaker. As human nature has not changed
much in the ages since, the statement still holds true.

Speakers, then, should provide conclusions for all their speeches.

Although the entire matter of planning the speech belongs to a later
chapter some facts concerning it as they relate to the conclusion must
be set down here.

Relation of the Conclusion to the Speech. The conclusion should
reflect the purpose of the speech. It should enforce the reason for
the delivery of the speech. As it emphasizes the purpose of the speech
it should be in the speaker's mind before he begins to plan the
development of his remarks. It should be kept constantly in his mind
as he delivers his material. A train from Chicago bound for New York
is not allowed to turn off on all the switches it meets in its
journey. A speaker who wants to secure from a jury a verdict for
damages from a traction company does not discuss presidential
candidates. He works towards his conclusion. A legislator who wants
votes to pass a bill makes his conclusion and his speech conform to
that purpose. In all likelihood, his conclusion plainly asks for the
votes he has been proving that his fellow legislators should cast. A
school principal pleading with boys to stop gambling knows that his
conclusion is going to be a call for a showing of hands to pledge
support of his recommendations. A labor agitator knows that his
conclusion is going to be an appeal to a sense of class prejudice, so
he speaks with that continually in mind. An efficiency expert in shop
management knows that his conclusion is going to enforce the saving in
damages for injury by accident if a scheme of safety devices be
installed, so he speaks with that conclusion constantly in his mind.
In court the prosecuting attorney tells in his introduction exactly
what he intends to prove. His conclusion shows that he has proved what
he announced.

One is tempted to say that the test of a good speech, a well-prepared
speech, is its conclusion. How many times one hears a speaker
floundering along trying to do something, rambling about, making no
impression, not advancing a pace, and then later receives from the
unfortunate the confession, "I wanted to stop but I didn't know how to
do it." No conclusion had been prepared beforehand. It is quite as
disturbing to hear a speaker pass beyond the place where he could have
made a good conclusion. If he realizes this he slips into the state of
the first speaker described in this paragraph. If he does not realize
when he reaches a good conclusion he talks too long and weakens the
effect by stopping on a lower plane than he has already reached. This
fault corresponds to the story teller whose book drops in interest at
the end. The son of a minister was asked whether his father's sermon
the previous Sunday had-not had some good points in it. The boy
replied, "Yes, three good points where he should have stopped."

Length of the Conclusion. It must not be inferred from anything here
stated concerning the importance of the conclusion that it need be
long. A good rule for the length of the conclusion is the same rule
that applies to the length of the introduction. It should be just long
enough to do best what it is intended to do. As in the case of the
introduction, so for the conclusion, the shorter the better, if
consistent with clearness and effect. If either introduction or
conclusion must deliberately be reduced the conclusion will stand the
most compression. A conclusion will frequently fail of its effect if
it is so long that the audience anticipates its main points. It fails
if it is so long that it adds nothing of clearness or emphasis to the
speech itself. It will end by boring if it is too long for the
importance of its material. It will often produce a deeper, more
lasting impression by its very conciseness. Brevity is the soul of
more than mere humor. A brief remark will cut deeper than a long
involved sentence. The speaker who had shown that the recent great
war fails unless the reconstruction to be accomplished is worthy
needed no more involved conclusion than the statement, "It is what we
do tomorrow that will justify what we did yesterday."

Coupled with this matter of effect is the length of the speech itself.
Short speeches are likely to require only short conclusions. Long
speeches more naturally require longer conclusions.

Consider the following conclusions. Comment upon them. It would be
interesting to try to decide the length of the speeches from which
they are taken, then look at the originals, all of which are easily
procurable at libraries.

    That is in substance my theory of what our foreign policy
    should be. Let us not boast, not insult any one, but make up
    our minds coolly what it is necesary to say, say it, and then
    stand to it, whatever the consequences may be.

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Waukesha, 1903

The foregoing is quite matter-of-fact. It contains no emotional appeal
at all. Yet even a strong emotional feeling can be put into a short
conclusion. From the date and the circumstances surrounding the next
the reader can easily picture for himself the intense emotion of the
audience which listened to these words from the leader of the free
states against the South.

    Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false
    accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of
    destruction to the government, nor of dungeons to ourselves.
    Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith
    let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Cooper Union Speech_, 1860

While the student planning his own speech must determine exactly what
he shall put into his conclusion--depending always upon his material
and his purpose--there are a few general hints which will help him.

The Retrospective Conclusion. A conclusion may be entirely
retrospective. This means merely that it may refer back to the remarks
which have been delivered in the body of the speech. A speaker does
this to emphasize something he has already discussed by pointing out
to his audience that he wants them to remember that from what he has
said. Conclusions of this kind usually have no emotional appeal. They
are likely to be found in explanatory addresses, where the clearness
of the exposition should make hearers accept it as true. If a man has
proven a fact--as in a law court--he does not have to make an appeal
to feeling to secure a verdict. Juries are supposed to decide on the
facts alone. This kind of conclusion emphasizes, repeats, clarifies,
enforces. The first of the following is a good illustration of one
kind of conclusion which refers to the remarks made in the speech
proper. Notice that it enforces the speaker's opinions by a calm
explanation of his sincerity.

    I want you to think of what I have said, because it
    represents all of the sincerity and earnestness that I have,
    and I say to you here, from this platform, nothing that I
    have not already stated in effect, and nothing I would not
    say at a private table with any of the biggest corporation
    managers in the land.

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Fitchburg, 1902

The next, while it is exactly the same kind in material, adds some
elements of stronger feeling. Yet in the main it also enforces the
speaker's opinion by a clear explanation of his action. From this
conclusion alone we know exactly the material and purpose of the
entire speech.

    Sir, I will detain you no longer. There are some parts of
    this bill which I highly approve; there are others in which I
    should acquiesce; but those to which I have now stated my
    objections appear to me so destitute of all justice, so
    burdensome and so dangerous to that interest which has
    steadily enriched, gallantly defended, and proudly
    distinguished us, that nothing can prevail upon me to give it
    my support.

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _The Tariff_, 1824

The Anticipatory Conclusion. Just as a conclusion may be
retrospective, so it may be anticipatory. It may start from the
position defined or explained or reached by the speech and look
forward to what may happen, what must be done, what should be
instituted, what should be changed, what votes should be cast, what
punishment should be inflicted, what pardons granted. The student
should make a list of all possible things in the future which could be
anticipated in the conclusions of various speeches. If one will think
of the purposes of most delivered speeches he will realize that this
kind of conclusion is much more frequent than the previous kind as so
many speeches anticipate future action or events. Dealing with
entirely different topics the three following extracts illustrate this
kind of conclusion. Washington was arguing against the formation of
parties in the new nation, trying to avert the inevitable.

    There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful
    checks upon the administration of the government, and serve
    to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain
    limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical
    cast, patriotism may look with indulgence if not with favor
    upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular
    character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not
    to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain
    there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary
    purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the
    effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and
    assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform
    vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead
    of warming, it should consume.

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: _Farewell Address_, 1796

With the dignity and the calmness of the preceding, contrast the
Biblical fervor of the next--the magnanimous program of the reuniter
of a divided people.

    With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness
    in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive
    on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's
    wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and
    for his widow and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and
    cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with
    all nations.

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Second Inaugural_, 1865

In totally different circumstances the next conclusion was delivered,
yet it bears the same aspect of anticipation. There is not a single
hint in it of the material of the speech which preceded it, it takes
no glance backward, it looks forward only. Its effectiveness comes
from the element of leadership, that gesture of pointing the way for
loyal Americans to follow.

    No nation as great as ours can expect to escape the penalty
    of greatness, for greatness does not come without trouble and
    labor. There are problems ahead of us at home and problems
    abroad, because such problems are incident to the working out
    of a great national career. We do not shrink from them. Scant
    is our patience with those who preach the gospel of craven
    weakness. No nation under the sun ever yet played a part
    worth playing if it feared its fate overmuch--if it did not
    have the courage to be great. We of America, we, the sons of
    a nation yet in the pride of its lusty youth, spurn the
    teachings of distrust, spurn the creed of failure and
    despair. We know that the future is ours if we have in us the
    manhood to grasp it, and we enter the new century girding our
    loins for the contest before us, rejoicing in the struggle,
    and resolute so to bear ourselves that the nation's future
    shall even surpass her glorious past.

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Philadelphia, 1902

Grave times always make men look into the future. All acts are judged
and justified after they are performed. All progress depends upon this
straining the vision into the darkness of the yet-to-be. Upon the eve
of great struggles anticipation is always uppermost in men's minds. In
the midst of the strife it is man's hope. In the next extract, only
one sentence glances backward.

     For us there is but one choice. We have made it. Woe be to
     the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way in
     this day of high resolution when every principle we hold
     dearest is to be vindicated and made secure for the
     salvation of the nations. We are ready to plead at the bar
     of history, and our flag shall wear a new luster. Once more
     we shall make good with our lives and fortunes the great
     faith to which we were born, and a new glory shall shine in
     the face of our people.

     WOODROW WILSON: _Flag Day Address_, 1917

Retrospective and Anticipatory Conclusion. While it does not occur so
frequently as the two kinds just illustrated it is possible for a
conclusion to be both retrospective and anticipatory--to look both
backward and forward. The conclusion may enforce what the speech has
declared or proved, then using this position as a safe starting point
for a new departure, look forward and indicate what may follow or what
should be done. The only danger in such an attempt is that the dual
aspect may be difficult to make effective. Either one may neutralize
the other. Still, a careful thinker and master of clear language may
be able to carry an audience with him in such a treatment. The
division in the conclusion between the backward glance and the forward
vision need not be equal. Here again the effect to be made upon the
audience, the purpose of the speech, must be the determining factor.
Notice how the two are blended in the following conclusion from a much
read commemorative oration.

    And now, friends and fellow-citizens, it is time to bring
    this discourse to a close.

    We have indulged in gratifying recollections of the past, in
    the prosperity and pleasures of the present, and in high
    hopes for the future. But let us remember that we have
    duties and obligations to perform, corresponding to the
    blessings which we enjoy. Let us remember the trust, the
    sacred trust, attaching to the rich inheritance which we have
    received from our fathers. Let us feel our personal
    responsibility, to the full extent of our power and
    influence, for the preservation of the principles of civil
    and religious liberty. And let us remember that it is only
    religion, and morals, and knowledge, that can make men
    respectable, under any form of government....

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _Completion of Bunker Hill
    Monument_, 1843

Conclusions are classified in general under three headings: 1.
Recapitulation; 2. Summary; 3. Peroration.

The Recapitulation. The first of these--recapitulation--is exactly
defined by the etymology of the word itself. Its root is Latin
_caput_, head. So recapitulation means the repetition of the heads or
main topics of a preceding discussion. Coming at the end of an
important speech of some length, such a conclusion is invaluable. If
the speaker has explained clearly or reasoned convincingly his
audience will have been enlightened or convinced. Then at the end, to
assure them they are justified in their knowledge or conviction, he
repeats in easily remembered sequence the heads which he has treated
in his extended remarks. It is as though he chose from his large
assortment a small package which he does up neatly for his audience to
carry away with them. Frequently, too, the recapitulation corresponds
exactly to the plan as announced in the introduction and followed
throughout the speech. This firmly impresses the main points upon the
brains of the hearers.

A lawyer in court starts by announcing that he will prove a certain
number of facts. After his plea is finished, in the conclusion of his
speech, he recapitulates, showing that he has proved these things. A
minister, a political candidate, a business man, a social worker--in
fact, every speaker will find such a clear-cut listing an informative,
convincing manner of constructing a conclusion. This extract shows a
clear, direct, simple recapitulation.

    To recapitulate what has been said, we maintain, first, that
    the Constitution, by its grants to Congress and its
    prohibitions on the states, has sought to establish one
    uniform standard of value, or medium of payment. Second,
    that, by like means, it has endeavored to provide for one
    uniform mode of discharging debts, when they are to be
    discharged without payment. Third, that these objects are
    connected, and that the first loses much of its importance,
    if the last, also, be not accomplished. Fourth, that, reading
    the grant to Congress and the prohibition on the States
    together, the inference is strong that the Constitution
    intended to confer an exclusive power to pass bankrupt laws
    on Congress. Fifth, that the prohibition in the tenth section
    reaches to all contracts, existing or future, in the same way
    that the other prohibition, in the same section, extends to
    all debts, existing or future. Sixth, that, upon any other
    construction, one great political object of the Constitution
    will fail of its accomplishment.

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _Ogden vs. Saunders_, 1827

The Summary. The second kind--a summary--does somewhat the same thing
that the recapitulation does, but it effects it in a different matter.
Note that the recapitulation _repeats_ the main headings of the
speech; it usually uses the same or similar phrasing.

The summary does not do this. The summary condenses the entire
material of the speech, so that it is presented to the audience in
shortened, general statements, sufficient to recall to them what the
speaker has already presented, without actually repeating his previous
statements. This kind of conclusion is perhaps more usual than the
preceding one. It is known by a variety of terms--summing up, resume,
epitome, review, precis, condensation.

In the first of the subjoined illustrations notice that the words
"possible modes" contain practically all the speech itself. So the
four words at the end, "faction, corruption, anarchy, and despotism,"
hold a great deal of the latter part of the speech. These expressions
do not repeat the heads of divisions; they condense long passages. The
extract is a summary.

    I have thus presented all possible modes in which a
    government founded upon the will of an absolute majority will
    be modified; and have demonstrated that, in all its forms,
    whether in a majority of the people, as in a mere democracy,
    or in a majority of their representatives, without a
    constitution, to be interpreted as the will of the majority,
    the result will be the same: two hostile interests will
    inevitably be created by the action of the government, to be
    followed by hostile legislation, and that by faction,
    corruption, anarchy, and despotism.

    JOHN C. CALHOUN: _Speech on the Force Bill, 1833_

From the following pick out the expressions which summarize long
passages of the preceding speech. Amplify them to indicate what they
might cover.

    I firmly believe in my countrymen, and therefore I believe
    that the chief thing necessary in order that they shall work
    together is that they shall know one another--that the
    Northerner shall know the Southerner, and the man of one
    occupation know the man of another occupation; the man who
    works in one walk of life know the man who works in another
    walk of life, so that we may realize that the things which
    divide us are superficial, are unimportant, and that we are,
    and must ever be, knit together into one indissoluble mass by
    our common American brotherhood.

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Chattanooga, 1902

The Peroration. A peroration is a conclusion which--whatever may be
its material and treatment--has an appeal to the feelings, to the
emotions. It strives to move the audience to act, to arouse them to an
expression of their wills, to stir them to deeds. It usually comes at
the end of a speech of persuasion. It appeals to sentiments of right,
justice, humanity, religion. It seldom merely concludes a speech; it
looks forward to some such definite action as casting a vote, joining
an organization or movement, contributing money, going out on strike,
returning to work, pledging support, signing a petition.

These purposes suggest its material. It is usually a direct appeal,
personal and collective, to all the hearers. Intense in feeling,
tinged with emotion, it justifies itself by its sincerity and honesty
alone. Its apparent success is not the measure of its merit. Too
frequently an appeal to low prejudices, class sentiment and prejudice,
base motives, mob instincts will carry a group of people in a certain
direction with as little sense and reason as a flock of sheep display.
Every student can cite a dozen instances of such unwarranted and
unworthy responses to skilful perverted perorations. Answering to its
emotional tone the style of a peroration is likely to rise above the
usual, to become less simple, less direct. In this temptation for the
speaker lies a second danger quite as grave as the one just indicated.
In an attempt to wax eloquent he is likely to become grandiloquent,
bombastic, ridiculous. Many an experienced speaker makes an unworthy
exhibition of himself under such circumstances. One specimen of such
nonsense will serve as a warning.

When the terms for the use of the Panama Canal were drawn up there
arose a discussion as to certain kinds of ships which might pass
through the canal free of tolls. A treaty with Great Britain prevented
tolls-exemption for privately owned vessels. In a speech in Congress
upon this topic one member delivered the following inflated and
inconsequential peroration. Can any one with any sanity see any
connection of the Revolutionary War, Jefferson, Valley Forge, with a
plain understanding of such a business matter as charging tolls for
the use of a waterway? To get the full effect of this piece of
"stupendous folly"--to quote the speaker's own words--the student
should declaim it aloud with as much attempt at oratorical effect as
its author expended upon it.

    Now, may the God of our fathers, who nerved 3,000,000
    backwoods Americans to fling their gage of battle into the
    face of the mightiest monarch in the world, who guided the
    hand of Jefferson in writing the charter of liberty, who
    sustained Washington and his ragged and starving army amid
    the awful horrors of Valley Forge, and who gave them complete
    victory on the blood-stained heights of Yorktown, may He
    lead members to vote so as to prevent this stupendous
    folly--this unspeakable humiliation of the American republic.

When the circumstances are grave enough to justify impassioned
language a good speaker need not fear its effect. If it be suitable,
honest, and sincere, a peroration may be as emotional as human
feelings dictate. So-called "flowery language" seldom is the medium of
deep feeling. The strongest emotions may be expressed in the simplest
terms. Notice how, in the three extracts here quoted, the feeling is
more intense in each succeeding one. Analyze the style. Consider the
words, the phrases, the sentences in length and structure. Explain the
close relation of the circumstances and the speaker with the material
and the style. What was the purpose of each?

    Sir, let it be to the honor of Congress that in these days of
    political strife and controversy, we have laid aside for once
    the sin that most easily besets us, and, with unanimity of
    counsel, and with singleness of heart and of purpose, have
    accomplished for our country one measure of unquestionable

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _Uniform System of Bankruptcy_, 1840

Lord Chatham addressed the House of Lords in protest against the
inhumanities of some of the early British efforts to suppress the
American Revolution.

    I call upon that right reverend bench, those holy ministers
    of the Gospel, and pious pastors of our Church--I conjure
    them to join in the holy work, and vindicate the religion of
    their God. I appeal to the wisdom and law of this learned
    bench, to defend and support the justice of their country. I
    call upon the Bishops to interpose the unsullied sanctity of
    their lawn; upon the learned Judges, to interpose their
    purity upon the honor of your Lordships, to reverence the
    dignity of your ancestors and to maintain your own. I call
    upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the
    national character. I invoke the genius of the Constitution.
    From the tapestry that adorns these walls the immortal
    ancestor of this noble Lord frowns with indignation at the
    disgrace of his country....

    I again call upon your Lordships, and the united powers of
    the state, to examine it thoroughly and decisively, and to
    stamp upon it an indelible stigma of the public abhorrence.
    And I again implore those holy prelates of our religion to do
    away with these iniquities from among us! Let them perform a
    lustration; let them purify this House, and this country,
    from this sin.

    My Lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable to say
    more; but my feelings and indignation were too strong to have
    said less. I could not have slept this night in my bed, nor
    reposed my head on my pillow, without giving vent to my
    eternal abhorrence of such preposterous and enormous

At about the same time the same circumstances evoked several famous
speeches, one of which ended with this well-known peroration.

    It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may
    cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually
    begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to
    our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are
    already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that
    gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or
    peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and
    slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course
    others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me

    PATRICK HENRY in the Virginia Convention, 1775

Preparing and Delivering Conclusions. Students cannot very well be
asked to prepare and deliver conclusions to speeches which do not yet
exist, so there is no way of devising conclusions until later. But
students should report upon conclusions to speeches they have recently
listened to, and explain to the class their opinions concerning their
material, methods, treatment, delivery, effect. The following
questions will help in judging and criticizing:

Was the conclusion too long?
Was it so short as to seem abrupt?
Did it impress the audience?
How could it have been improved?
Was it recapitulation, summary, peroration?
Was it retrospective, anticipatory, or both?
What was its relation to the main part of the speech?
Did it refer to the entire speech or only a portion?
What was its relation to the introduction?
Did the speech end where it began?
Did it end as it began?
Was the conclusion in bad taste?
What was its style?
What merits had it?
What defects?
What suggestions could you offer for its improvement?
With reference to the earlier parts of the speech, how was it delivered?

The following conclusions should be studied from all the angles
suggested in this chapter and previous ones. An air of reality will be
secured if they are memorized and spoken before the class.


1.  There are many qualities which we need alike in private
    citizen and in public man, but three above all--three for the
    lack of which no brilliancy and no genius can atone--and
    those three are courage, honesty, and common sense.

    THEODORE ROOSEVELT at Antietam, 1903

2.  Poor Sprat has perished despite his splendid tomb in the
    Abbey. Johnson has only a cracked stone and a worn-out
    inscription (for the Hercules in St. Paul's is
    unrecognizable) but he dwells where he would wish to
    dwell--in the loving memory of men.

    AUGUSTINE BIRRELL: _Transmission of Dr. Johnson's
    Personality_, 1884

3.  So, my fellow citizens, the reason I came away from
    Washington is that I sometimes get lonely down there. There
    are so many people in Washington who know things that are not
    so, and there are so few people who know anything about what
    the people of the United States are thinking about. I have to
    come away and get reminded of the rest of the country. I have
    to come away and talk to men who are up against the real
    thing and say to them, "I am with you if you are with me."
    And the only test of being with me is not to think about me
    personally at all, but merely to think of me as the
    expression for the time being of the power and dignity and
    hope of the United States.

    WOODROW WILSON: _Speech to the American Federation
    of Labor_, 1917

4.  But if, Sir Henry, in gratitude for this beautiful tribute
    which I have just paid you, you should feel tempted to
    reciprocate by taking my horses from my carriage and dragging
    me in triumph through the streets, I beg that you will
    restrain yourself for two reasons. The first reason is--I
    have no horses; the second is--I have no carriage.

    SIMEON FORD: _Me and Sir Henry_ (Irving), 1899

5.  Literature has its permanent marks. It is a connected growth
    and its life history is unbroken. Masterpieces have never
    been produced by men who have had no masters. Reverence for
    good work is the foundation of literary character. The
    refusal to praise bad work or to imitate it is an author's
    professional chastity.

    Good work is the most honorable and lasting thing in the
    world. Four elements enter into good work in literature:--

    An original impulse--not necessarily a new idea, but a new
    sense of the value of an idea.

    A first-hand study of the subject and material.

    A patient, joyful, unsparing labor for the perfection of

    A human aim--to cheer, console, purify, or ennoble the life
    of the people. Without this aim literature has never sent an
    arrow close to the mark.

    It is only by good work that men of letters can justify their
    right to a place in the world. The father of Thomas Carlyle
    was a stone-mason, whose walls stood true and needed no
    rebuilding. Carlyle's prayer was: "Let me write my books as
    he built his houses."

    HENRY VAN DYKE: _Books, Literature and the People_,

6.  All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical
    to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical
    politicians who have no place among us--a sort of people who
    think that nothing exists but what is gross and material; and
    who, therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of
    the great movement of empire, are unfit to turn a wheel in
    the machine. But to men truly initiated and rightly taught,
    these ruling and master principles, which in the opinion of
    such men as I have mentioned have no substantial existence,
    are in truth everything and all in all. Magnanimity in
    politics is not seldom the truest wisdom: and a great empire
    and little minds go ill together. If we are conscious of our
    station, and glow with zeal to fill our places as becomes our
    situation and ourselves, we ought to auspicate all our public
    proceedings on America with the old warning of the church,
    _Sursum corda!_ We ought to elevate our minds to the
    greatness of that trust to which the order of Providence has
    called us. By adverting to the dignity of this high calling,
    our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious
    empire; and have made the most extensive, and the only
    honorable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the
    wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race. Let us
    get an American revenue as we have got an American empire.
    English privileges have made it all that it is; English
    privileges alone will make it all it can be.

    In full confidence of this unalterable truth, I now (_quod
    felix faustumque sit!_) lay the first stone of the Temple of
    Peace; and I move you;--

    That the colonies and plantations of Great Britain in North
    America, consisting of fourteen separate governments, and
    containing two millions and upwards of free inhabitants, have
    not had the liberty and privilege of electing and sending any
    knights and burgesses, or others, to represent them in the
    high court of Parliament.

    EDMUND BURKE: _Conciliation with America_, 1775

7.  Now, Mr. Speaker, having fully answered all the arguments of
    my opponents, I will retire to the cloak-room for a few
    moments, to receive the congratulations of admiring mends.

    JOHN ALLEN in a speech in Congress

8.  Relying then on the patronage of your good will, I advance
    with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever
    you become sensible how much better choice it is in your
    power to make. And may that Infinite Power which rules the
    destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best,
    and give them a favorable issue for your peace and

    THOMAS JEFFERSON, _First Inaugural_, 1801

9.  My friends, this is wholly an unprepared speech. I did not
    expect to be called or to say a word when I came here. I
    supposed I was merely to do something toward raising a flag.
    I may, therefore, have said something indiscreet. But I have
    said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, if it be
    the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by.

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN at Philadelphia, 1861

10. I have spoken plainly because this seems to me the time when
    it is most necessary to speak plainly, in order that all the
    world may know that even in the heat and ardor of the
    struggle and when our whole thought is of carrying the war
    through to its end we have not forgotten any ideal or
    principle for which the name of America has been held in
    honor among the nations and for which it has been our glory
    to contend in the great generations that went before us. A
    supreme moment of history has come. The eyes of the people
    have been opened and they see. The hand of God is laid upon
    the nations. He will show them favor, I devoutly believe,
    only if they rise to the clear heights of His own justice and

    WOODROW WILSON in a speech to Congress, 1917

11. This is what I have to say--ponder it; something you will
    agree with, something you will disagree with; but think about
    it, if I am wrong, the sooner the wrong is exposed the better
    for me--this is what I have to say: God is bringing the
    nations together. We must establish courts of reason for the
    settlement of controversies between civilized nations. We
    must maintain a force sufficient to preserve law and order
    among barbaric nations; and we have small need of an army
    for any other purpose. We must follow the maintenance of law
    and the establishment of order and the foundations of
    civilization with the vitalizing forces that make for
    civilization. And we must constantly direct our purpose and
    our policies to the time when the whole world shall have
    become civilized; when men, families, communities, will yield
    to reason and to conscience. And then we will draw our sword
    Excalibur from its sheath and fling it out into the sea,
    rejoicing that it is gone forever.

    LYMAN ABBOTT: _International Brotherhood_, 1899

12. I give you, gentlemen, in conclusion, this sentiment: "The
    Little Court-room at Geneva--where our royal mother England,
    and her proud though untitled daughter, alike bent their
    heads to the majesty of Law and accepted Justice as a greater
    and better arbiter than Power."

    WILLIAM M. EVARTS: _International Arbitration_, 1872

13. You recollect the old joke, I think it began with Preston of
    South Carolina, that Boston exported no articles of native
    growth but granite and ice. That was true then, but we have
    improved since, and to these exports we have added roses and
    cabbages. Mr. President, they are good roses, and good
    cabbages, and I assure you that the granite is excellent hard
    granite, and the ice is very cold ice.

    EDWARD EVERETT HALE: _Boston_, 1880

14. Long live the Republic of Washington! Respected by mankind,
    beloved of all its sons, long may it be the asylum of the
    poor and oppressed of all lands and religions--long may it be
    the citadel of that liberty which writes beneath the Eagle's
    folded wings, "We will sell to no man, we will deny to no
    man, Right and Justice."

    Long live the United States of America! Filled with the free,
    magnanimous spirit, crowned by the wisdom, blessed by the
    moderation, hovered over by the guardian angel of
    Washington's example; may they be ever worthy in all things
    to be defended by the blood of the brave who know the rights
    of man and shrink not from their assertion--may they be each
    a column, and altogether, under the Constitution, a perpetual
    Temple of Peace, unshadowed by a Caesar's palace, at whose
    altar may freely commune all who seek the union of Liberty
    and Brotherhood.

    Long live our Country! Oh, long through the undying ages may
    it stand, far removed in fact as in space from the Old
    World's feuds and follies, alone in its grandeur and its
    glory, itself the immortal monument of Him whom Providence
    commissioned to teach man the power of Truth, and to prove to
    the nations that their Redeemer liveth.

    JOHN W. DANIEL: _Washington_, 1885

15. When that great and generous soldier, U.S. Grant gave back to
    Lee, crushed, but ever glorious, the sword he had surrendered
    at Appomattox, that magnanimous deed said to the people of
    the South: "You are our brothers." But when the present ruler
    of our grand republic on awakening to the condition of war
    that confronted him, with his first commission placed the
    leader's sword in the hands of those gallant Confederate
    commanders, Joe Wheeler and Fitzhugh Lee, he wrote between
    the lines in living letters of everlasting light the words:
    "There is but one people of this Union, one flag alone for

    The South, Mr. Toastmaster, will feel that her sons have been
    well given, that her blood has been well spilled, if that
    sentiment is to be indeed the true inspiration of our
    nation's future. God grant it may be as I believe it will.

    CLARE HOWELL: _Our Reunited Country_, 1898

16. Two years ago last autumn, we walked on the sea beach
    together, and with a strange and prophetic kind of poetry, he
    likened the scene to his own failing health, the falling
    leaves, the withered sea-weed, the dying grass upon the
    shore, and the ebbing tide that was fast receding from us. He
    told me that he felt prepared to go, for he had forgiven his
    enemies, and could even rejoice in their happiness. Surely
    this was a grand condition in which to step from this world
    across the threshold to the next!

    JOSEPH JEFFERSON: _In Memory of Edwin Booth_, 1893

17. A public spirit so lofty is not confined to other lands. You
    are conscious of its stirrings in your soul. It calls you to
    courageous service, and I am here to bid you obey the call.
    Such patriotism may be yours. Let it be your parting vow that
    it shall be yours. Bolingbroke described a patriot king in
    England; I can imagine a patriot president in America. I can
    see him indeed the choice of a party, and called to
    administer the government when sectional jealousy is fiercest
    and party passion most inflamed. I can imagine him seeing
    clearly what justice and humanity, the national law and the
    national welfare require him to do, and resolved to do it. I
    can imagine him patiently enduring not only the mad cry of
    party hate, the taunt of "recreant" and "traitor," of
    "renegade" and "coward," but what is harder to bear, the
    amazement, the doubt, the grief, the denunciation, of those
    as sincerely devoted as he to the common welfare. I can
    imagine him pushing firmly on, trusting the heart, the
    intelligence, the conscience of his countrymen, healing angry
    wounds, correcting misunderstandings, planting justice on
    surer foundations, and, whether his party rise or fall,
    lifting his country heavenward to a more perfect union,
    prosperity, and peace. This is the spirit of a patriotism
    that girds the commonwealth with the resistless splendor of
    the moral law--the invulnerable panoply of states, the
    celestial secret of a great nation and a happy people.

    GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: _The Public Duty of Educated
    Men_, 1877



The Material of Speeches. So far this book has dealt almost entirely
with the manner of speaking. Now it comes to the relatively more
important consideration of the material of speech. Necessary as it is
that a speaker shall know how to speak, it is much more valuable that
he shall know what to speak. We frequently hear it said of a speaker,
"It wasn't what he said, it was the way he said it," indicating
clearly that the striking aspect of the delivery was his manner; but
even when this remark is explained it develops frequently that there
was some value in the material, as well as some charm or surprise or
novelty in the method of expression. In the last and closest analysis
a speech is valuable for what it conveys to its hearers' minds, what
it induces them to do, not what temporary effects of charm and
entertainment it affords.

Persons of keen minds and cultivated understandings have come away
from gatherings addressed by men famous as good speech-makers and
confessed to something like the following: "I was held spellbound all
the time he was talking, but for the life of me, I can't tell you one
thing he said or one idea he impressed upon me." A student should
judge speeches he hears with such things in mind, so that he can hold
certain ones up as models, and discard others as "horrible examples."

It should be the rule that before a man attempts to speak he should
have something to say. This is apparently not always the case. Many a
man tries to say something when he simply has nothing at all to say.
Recall the description of Gratiano's talk, quoted earlier in this

A speaker then must have material. He must get material. The clergyman
knows that he must deliver about a hundred sermons a year. The lawyer
knows he must go into court on certain days. The lecturer must
instruct his various audiences. The business man must address
executive boards, committees, conventions, customers. The student must
address classes, societies. The beginner in speech training must seize
every opportunity to talk. Certainly the natural reserve stock of
ideas and illustrations will soon be exhausted, or it will grow so
stale that it will be delivered ineffectively, or it will be
unsuitable to every occasion. A celebrated Frenchman, called upon
unexpectedly to speak, excused himself by declaring, "What is suitable
to say I do not know, and what I know is not suitable."

Getting Material. There are three ways of getting material. The first
is by observation, the second by interview, the third by reading.

Observation. The value of securing material by observation is apparent
at first glance. That which you have experienced you know. That which
you have seen with your own eyes you can report correctly. That which
has happened to you you can relate with the aspect of absolute truth.
That which you have done you can teach others to do. That which has
touched you you can explain correctly. That which you know to be the
fact is proof against all attack.

These are the apparent advantages of knowledge gained at first hand.
The faculty of accurate observation is one of the most satisfying that
can enter into a person's mental equipment. It can be trained,
broadened, and made more and more accurate. In some trades and
professions it is an indispensable part of one's everyday ability. The
faculty may be easily developed by exercise and test for accuracy.

Everyone acknowledges the weight and significance of material gained
by observation. In America especially we accord attention and regard
to the reports and accounts made by men who have done things, the men
who have experienced the adventures they relate. There is such a
vividness, a reality, a conviction about these personal utterances
that we must listen respectfully and applaud sincerely. Magazines and
newspapers offer hundreds of such articles for avid readers. Hundreds
of books each year are based upon such material.

With all its many advantages the field of observation is limited. Not
every person can experience or see all he is interested in and wants
to talk about. We must choose presidents but we cannot observe the
candidates themselves and their careers. We must have opinions about
the League of Nations, the Mexican situation, the radical labor
movements, the changing taxes, but we cannot observe all phases of
these absorbing topics. If we restrict speeches to only what we can
observe we shall all be uttering merely trivial personalities based
upon no general knowledge and related to none of the really important
things in the universe.

Nor is it always true that the person who does a thing can report it
clearly and accurately. Ask a woman or girl how she hemstitches a
handkerchief, or a boy how he swims or throws a curve, and note the
involved and inaccurate accounts. If you doubt this, explain one of
these to the class. It is not easy to describe exactly what one has
seen, mainly because people do not see accurately. People usually see
what they want to see, what they are predisposed to see. Witnesses in
court, testifying upon oath concerning an accident, usually produce as
many different versions as there are pairs of eyes. Books upon
psychology report many enlightening and amusing cases of this defect
of accurate observation in people.[1]

The two negative aspects of material secured in this first manner--1,
limited range of observation, 2, inaccuracy of observation--placed
beside the advantages already listed will clearly indicate in what
subjects and circumstances this method should be relied upon for
securing material for speeches.

[Footnote 1: Good cases are related by Swift, E.J.: _Psychology and
the Day's Work_.]


1. Make a list of recent articles based upon observation which you
have seen or read in newspapers and magazines.

2. With what kind of material does each deal?

3. Which article is best? Why?

4. List four topics upon which your observation has given you
material which could be used in a speech.

5. What kind of speech? A speech for what purpose?

6. Consider and weigh the value of your material.

7. Why is it good?

8. What limits, or drawbacks has it?

9. What could be said against it from the other side?

Interview. If a person cannot himself experience or observe all he
wants to use for material his first impulse will be to interview
people who have had experience themselves. In this circumstance the
speaker becomes the reporter of details of knowledge furnished by
others. The value of this is apparent at once. Next to first-hand
knowledge, second-hand knowledge will serve admirably.

Every newspaper and magazine in the world uses this method because its
readers' first query, mental or expressed, of all its informative
articles is "Is this true?" If the author is merely repeating the
experience of an acknowledged expert in the field under discussion,
the value of the interview cannot be questioned. In this case the
resulting report is almost as good as the original testimony or
statement of the man who knows.

The first requisite, therefore, of material gathered in such a manner
is that it be reproduced exactly as first delivered. The man who told
a woman that a critic had pronounced her singing "heavenly" had good
intentions but he was not entirely accurate in changing to that
nattering term the critic's actual adjective "unearthly." The
frequency with which alleged statements published in the daily press
are contradicted by the supposed utterers indicates how usual such
misrepresentation is, though it may be honestly unintentional. The
speaker before an audience must be scrupulously correct in quoting.
This accuracy is not assured unless a stenographic transcript be taken
at the time the information is given, or unless the person quoted
reads the sentiments and statements credited to him and expresses his

Signed statements, personal letters, printed records, photographs,
certified copies, and other exhibits of all kinds are employed to
substantiate material secured from interviews and offered in speeches.
If you notice newspaper accounts of lectures, political speeches,
legislative procedure, legal practice, you will soon become familiar
with such usages as are described by the expressions, filing as part
of the record, taking of a deposition in one city for use in a lawsuit
in another, Exhibit A, photograph of an account book, statement made
in the presence of a third party, as recorded by a dictaphone, etc.

The first danger in securing material by the personal interview is the
natural error of misunderstanding. The second danger is the natural
desire--not necessarily false, at that--to interpret to the user's
benefit, the material so secured, or to the discredit of all views
other than his own. It is so easy, so tempting, in making out a strong
case for one's own opinions to omit the slight concession which may
grant ever so little shade of right to other beliefs. Judicious
manipulation of any material may degenerate into mere juggling for
support. Quotations and reports, like statistics, can be made to prove
anything, and the general intellectual distrust of mere numbers is
cleverly summed up in the remark, "Figures can't lie, but liars can

To have the material accepted as of any weight or value the person
from whom it is secured must be recognized as an authority. He must be
of such eminence in the field for which his statements are quoted as
not only to be accepted by the speaker using his material but as
unqualifiedly recognized by all the opponents of the speaker. His
remarks must have the definiteness of the expert witness whose
testimony in court carries so much weight. To secure due
consideration, the speaker must make perfectly clear to his audience
the position of his authority, his fitness to be quoted, his
unquestioned knowledge, sincerity, and honesty.

Knowledge secured in this manner may be used with signal effect in a
speech, either to supply all the material or to cover certain
portions. If you listen to many speeches (and you should), notice how
often a speaker introduces the result of his interviews--formal or
merely conversational--with persons whose statement he is certain will
impress his audience.


1. Make a list of five topics of which you know so little that you
would have to secure information by interviews.

2. Of these choose two, define your opinion or feeling in each, and
tell to whom you could apply for material.

3. Choose one dealing with some topic of current interest in your
locality; define your own opinion or feeling, and tell to whom you
could apply for material.

4. Explain exactly why you name this person.

5. Prepare a set of questions to bring out material to support your

6. Prepare some questions to draw out material to dispose of other

7. Interview some person upon one of the foregoing topics or a
different one, and in a speech present this material before the class.

8. In general discussion comment on the authorities reported and the
material presented.

Reading. The best way and the method most employed for gathering
material is reading. Every user of material in speeches must depend
upon his reading for the greatest amount of his knowledge. The old
expression "reading law" shows how most legal students secured the
information upon which their later practice was based. Nearly all real
study of any kind depends upon wide and careful reading.

Reading, in the sense here used, differs widely from the entertaining
perusal of current magazines, or the superficial skimming through
short stories or novels. Reading for material is done with a more
serious purpose than merely killing time, and is regulated according
to certain methods which have been shown to produce the best results
for the effort and time expended.

The speaker reads for the single purpose of securing material to serve
his need in delivered remarks. He has a definite aim. He must know how
to serve that end. Not everyone who can follow words upon a printed
page can read in this sense. He must be able to read, understand,
select, and retain. The direction is heard in some churches to "read,
mark, learn, and inwardly digest." This is a picturesque phrasing of
the same principles.

You must know how to read. Have you often in your way through a book
suddenly realized at the bottom of a page that you haven't the
slightest recollection of what your eye has been over? You may have
felt this same way after finishing a chapter. People often read poetry
in this manner. This is not really reading. The speaker who reads for
material must concentrate. If he reaches the bottom of a page without
an idea, he must go back to get it. It is better not to read too
rapidly the first time, in order to save this repetition. The ability
to read is trained in exactly the same way as any other ability.
Accuracy first, speed later. Perhaps the most prevalent fault of
students of all kinds is lack of concentration.

Understanding. After reading comes understanding. To illustrate this,
poetry again might be cited, for any one can _read_ poetry, though
many declare they cannot understand it. The simplest looking prose may
be obscure to the mind which is slow in comprehending. When we read we
get general ideas, cursory impressions; we catch the drift of the
author's meaning. Reading for material must be more thorough than
that. It must not merely believe it understands; it must preclude the
slightest possibility of misunderstanding.

A reader who finds in a printed speech approval of a system of
_representation_ but a condemnation of a system of _representatives_
must grasp at once, or must work out for himself, the difference
between these two: the first meaning a relationship only, the second
meaning men serving as delegates. When he meets an unusual word like
_mandatory_, he must not be content to guess at its significance by
linking it with _command_ and _mandate_, for as used in international
affairs it means something quite definite. To secure this complete
understanding of all his reading he will consult consistently every
book of reference. He should read with a good dictionary at his elbow,
and an atlas and an encyclopedia within easy reach. If he is able to
talk over with others what he reads, explaining to them what is not
clear, he will have an excellent method of testing his own
understanding. The old-fashioned practice of "saying lessons over" at
home contributed to this growth of a pupil's understanding.

Selecting. Third, the reader for material must know how to select. As
he usually reads to secure information or arguments for a certain
definite purpose, he will save time by knowing quickly what not to
read. All that engages his attention without directly contributing to
his aim is wasting time and energy. He must learn how to use books. If
he cannot handle alphabetized collections quickly he is wasting time.
If he does not know how material is arranged he will waste both time
and energy. He must know books.

Every printed production worthy of being called a book should have an
index. Is the index the same as the table of contents? The table of
contents is printed at the beginning of the volume. It is a synopsis,
by chapter headings or more detailed topics, of the plan of the book.
It gives a general outline of the contents of the book. You are
interested in public speaking. You wonder whether a book contains a
chapter on debating. Does this one? You notice that a speaker used a
series of jerky gesticulations. You wonder whether this book contains
a chapter upon gestures. Does it?

The table of contents is valuable for the purposes just indicated. It
appears always at the beginning of a work. If the work fills more than
one volume, the table of contents is sometimes given for all of them
in the first; sometimes it is divided among the volumes; sometimes
both arrangements are combined.

The table of contents is never so valuable as the index. This always
comes at the end of the book. If the work is in more than one volume
the index comes at the _end of the last volume_. What did you learn of
the topic _gestures_ in this book from your reference to the table of
contents? Now look at the index. What does the index do for a topic?
If a topic is treated in various parts of a long work the volumes are
indicated by Roman numerals, the pages by ordinary numerals.

Interpret this entry taken from the index of _A History of the United
States_ by H.W. Elson.

    Slavery, introduced into Virginia, i, 93; in South Carolina,
    122; in Georgia, 133; in New England, 276; in the South, 276;
    during colonial period, iii, 69, 70; in Missouri, 72;
    attacked by the Abolitionists, 142-6; excluded from
    California, 184; character of, in the South, 208 _seq_.;
    population, iv, 82; abolished in District of Columbia, in new
    territories, 208; abolished by Thirteenth Amendment, 320,

Retaining Knowledge. The only valid test of the reader's real
equipment is what he retains and can use. How much of what you read do
you remember? The answer depends upon education, training in this
particular exercise, and lapse of time. What method of remembering do
you find most effective in your own case? To answer this you should
give some attention to your own mind. What kind of mind have you? Do
you retain most accurately what you see? Can you reproduce either
exactly or in correct substance what you read to yourself without any
supporting aids to stimulate your memory? If you have this kind of
mind develop it along that line. Do not weaken its power by letting it
lean on any supports at all. If you find you can do without them, do
not get into the habit of taking notes. If you can remember to do
everything you should do during a trip downtown don't make a list of
the items before you go. If you can retain from a single reading the
material you are gathering, don't make notes. Impress things upon your
memory faculty. Develop that ability in yourself.

Have you a different kind of mind, the kind which remember best what
it tells, what it explains, what it does? Do you fix things in your
brain by performing them? Does information become rooted in your
memory because you have imparted it to others? If so you should secure
the material you gather from your reading by adapting some method
related to the foregoing. You may talk it over with some one else, you
may tell it aloud to yourself, you may imagine you are before an
audience and practise impressing them with what you want to retain.
Any device which successfully fixes knowledge in your memory is
legitimate. You should know enough about your own mental processes to
find for yourself the best and quickest way. It is often said of
teachers that they do not actually feel that they _know_ a subject
until they have tried to teach it to others.

Taking Notes. Another kind of mind recalls or remembers material it
has read when some note or hint suggests all of it. This kind of mind
depends upon the inestimably valuable art of note-taking, a method
quite as worthy as the two just considered if its results justify its
employment. Note-taking does not mean a helter-skelter series of
exclamatory jottings. It means a well-planned, regularly organized
series of entries so arranged that reference to any portion recalls
vividly and exactly the full material of the original. Books and
speeches are well planned. They follow a certain order. Notes based
upon them should reproduce that plan and show the relative value of

When completed, such notes, arranged in outline form, should enable
the maker to reproduce the extended material from which they were
made. If he cannot do that, his reading and his note-taking were to
little purpose. A speaker who has carefully written out his full
speech and delivers it form the manuscript can use that speech over
and over again. But that does not indicate that he really _knows_ much
about the topic he is discussing. He did know about it once. But the
man who from a series of notes can reconstruct material worked up long
before proves that he has retained his knowledge of it. Besides, this
method gives him the chance to adapt his presentation to the changing
conditions and the new audience.

In using this method, when a particularly important bit of information
is met, it should be set down very carefully, usually verbatim, as it
may be quoted exactly in the speech. This copy may be made upon the
paper where the regular notes are being entered so that it may be
found later embodied in the material it supports. Or it may later be
cut from this sheet to be shifted about and finally fixed when
planning the speech, or preparing the outline (discussed in the next
two chapters). Many practised speech-makers copy such material upon
the regularly sized library catalog cards (3 by 5 inches), some
distinguishing by the colors of cards the various kinds of material,
such as arguments supporting a position, opposite arguments,
refutation, statistics, court judgments, etc. The beginner will find
for himself what methods he can use best. Of course he must never let
his discriminating system become so elaborate that he consumes
unjustifiable time and thought in following its intricate plan.

In all cases of quotations--either verbatim or in resume--the
authority must be noted. Author, official title or position, title of
work, circumstances, date, volume, page, etc., should be clearly set
down. In law cases the date is especially important as so frequently
the latest decision reverses all the earlier ones. For convenience of
filing and handling these items are placed at the top of the card.

    Monroe Doctrine--Meaning

    W. Wilson--Hist. Amer. People, V, 245

    The U.S. had not undertaken to maintain an actual formal
    protectorate over the S. Amer. states, but it did frankly
    undertake to act as their nearest friend in the settlement of
    controversies with European nations, and no President,
    whether Rep. or Dem., had hesitated since this critical
    dispute concerning the boundaries of Brit. Guiana arose to
    urge its settlement upon terms favorable to Venezuela.

The following notes were made by a student in preparation for a speech
upon the opposition to the Covenant of the League of Nations. These
excerpts are from the notes upon the newspaper reports of the debate
in Boston in 1919 between Senator Lodge and President Lowell of
Harvard. Notice how accurately they suggest the material of the
original. The numbers represent the paragraph numbers.

    [Sidenote: Monroe Doctrine.]

    35. Monroe Doctrine a fence that cannot be extended by taking
    it down.

    36. Monroe Doctrine a corollary of Washington's foreign

    37. Geographical considerations on which Monroe Doctrine
    rested still obtain.

    38. Systems of morality and philosophy are not transient,
    because they rest on verities.

    39. Monroe Doctrine rests on law of self-preservation.

    40. Offers a larger reservation of Monroe Doctrine as third
    constructive criticism.


    [Sidenote: What a League should provide.]

    3. Wants to consider what such a league must contain.

    4. Must have provision for obligatory arbitration.

    5. Obligation not to resort to war must be compulsory.

    6. Compulsion must be such that no nation will venture to
    incur it.

    7. Nation that does not submit to arbitration must be treated
    as outlaw.

    8. If decisions of arbitrations are clear and generally
    considered just, a nation desiring to wage war should be

    9. Points of contact are not points of friction except when
    made too infrequent.

    10. Travel, intercourse, frequent meetings help amicable

    11. League should provide councils where men can meet and
    talk over differences.

    12. Penalty for violating agreements should be automatic.

    13. All should be obliged to make war on attacking nation.


Using the Library. A reader must know how to use libraries. This means
he must be able to find books by means of the card catalogs. These are
arranged by both authors and subjects. If he knows the author of a
book or its title he can easily find the cards and have the book
handed to him. Very often he will seek information upon topics
entirely new to him. In this case he must look under the entry of the
topic for all the books bearing upon his. From the titles, the brief
descriptions, and (sometimes) the tables of contents upon the cards he
can select intelligently the books he needs. For instance, if he is
searching for arguments to support a new kind of city government he
could discard at once several books cataloged as follows, while he
could pick unerringly the four which might furnish him the material he
wants. These books are listed under the general topic "Cities."

    _The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets. Old English Towns.
    Municipal Administration. The Modern City and its Problems.
    Personality of American Cities. Historic Towns of the
    Southern States. Romantic Germany. Cities of Italy. American
    Municipal Progress_.

Cross references are also valuable. In addition to books cataloged
under the topic consulted, others grouped under other subjects may
contain related information. Here are three actual cross references
taken from a library catalog.

    Land: Ownership, rights, and rent. See also conservation,
    production, agriculture.

    Laboring classes: Morals and habits. See also ethics,
    amusements, Sunday.

    Church. See also church and state, persecutions.

The continual use of a library will familiarize a student with certain
classes of books to which he may turn for information. If he is
permitted to handle the books themselves upon the shelves he will soon
become skilful in using books. Many a trained speaker can run his eye
over titles, along tables of contents, scan the pages, and unerringly
pick the heart out of a volume. Nearly all libraries now are arranged
according to one general plan, so a visitor who knows this scheme can
easily find the class of books he wants in almost any library he uses.
This arrangement is based upon the following decimal numbering and
grouping of subject matter.


000 to 090, _General works_. Bibliography. Library economy.
Cyclopedias. Collections. Periodicals. Societies, museums. Journalism,
newspapers. Special libraries, polygraphy. Book rarities.

100 to 190, _Philosophy_. Metaphysics. Special topics. Mind and body.
Philosophic systems. Mental faculties, psychology. Logic, dialectics.
Ethics. Ancient philosophers. Modern.

200 to 290, _Religion_. Natural Theology. Bible. Doctrinal dogmatics,
theology. Devotional, practical. Homiletic, pastoral, parochial.
Church, institutions, work. Religious history. Christian churches and
sects. Ethnic, non-christian.

300 to 390, _Sociology_. Statistics. Political science. Political
economy. Law. Administration. Associations, institutions. Education.
Commerce, communication. Customs, costumes, folklore.

400 to 490, _Philology_. Comparative. English. German. French.
Italian. Spanish. Latin. Greek. Minor literatures.

500 to 590, _Natural science_. Mathematics, Astronomy. Physics.
Chemistry. Geology. Paleontology. Biology. Botany. Zoölogy.

600 to 690, _Useful arts_. Medicine. Engineering. Agriculture.
Domestic economy. Communication, commerce. Chemic technology.
Manufactures. Mechanic trades. Building.

700 to 790, _Fine arts_. Landscape gardening. Architecture. Sculpture.
Drawing, decoration, design. Painting. Engraving. Photography. Music.

800 to 890, _Literature_ (same order as under _Philology_, 400).

900 to 990, _History_. Geography and travels. Biography. Ancient
history. Modern Europe. Asia. Africa. North America. South America.
Oceanica and polar regions.

M. DEWEY: _Decimal Classification_

Using Periodicals. In the section on taking notes the direction was
given that in citing legal decisions the latest should be secured.
Why? That same principle applies to citing any kind of information in
a speech. Science, history, politics, government, international
questions, change so rapidly in these times that the fact of yesterday
is the fiction of today, and _vice versa._ A speaker must be up to
date in his knowledge. This he can be only by consulting current
periodicals. He cannot read them all so he must use the aids provided
for him. The best of these is the _Reader's Guide to Periodical
Literature_ issued every month and kept in the reference room of all
libraries. In it, arranged under both subject and author's name, are
listed the articles which have appeared in the various magazines. The
December issue contains the entries for the entire year. A group of
topics from a recent monthly issue will show its value to the speaker
securing material.

    Eastern Question. British case in the East. H. Sidebotham,
    Asia 19:261-1263 Mr '19.--England and her eastern policy. H.
    Sidebotham. Asia, 19:158-161. F '19.--Khanates of the Middle
    East. Ikbal Ali Shah. Contemp. 115:183-187 F '19.--More
    secret treaties in the Near East. L. Stoddard. Maps. World's
    Work. 37: 589-591. Mr '19.--Part of the United States in the
    Near East. R of Rs 59:305-306 Mr '19.--Should America act as
    trustee of the Near East? Asia, 19:141-144 F'19.

By this time the student speaker will have that mental alertness
referred to early in this book. He will be reading regularly some
magazine--not to pass the time pleasantly--but to keep himself posted
on current topics and questions of general interest, in which the
articles will direct him to other periodicals for fuller treatment of
the material he is gathering. The nature of some of these is suggested

    _The Outlook_, "An illustrated weekly journal of current

    _Current Opinion_, Monthly. Review of the World, Persons in
    the Foreground, Music and Drama, Science and Discovery,
    Religion and Social Ethics, Literature and Art, The
    Industrial World, Reconstruction.

    _The Literary Digest_, Weekly. Topics of the Day, Foreign
    Comment, Science and Invention, Letters and Art, Religion and
    Social Service, Current Poetry, Miscellaneous, Investments
    and Finance.

    _The Independent_, an illustrated weekly.


1. Describe to the class the contents of a recent issue of a magazine.
Concentrate upon important departments, articles, or policies, so that
you will not deliver a mere list.

2. Tell how an article in some periodical led you to read more widely
to secure fuller information.

3. Explain why you read a certain periodical regularly.

4. Speak upon one of the following topics:

Freak magazines.
My magazine.
Policies of magazines.
Great things magazines have done.
Technical magazines.
Adventures at a magazine counter.
Propaganda periodicals.

5. Explain exactly how you study.

6. How would you secure an interview with some person of prominence?

7. Is the "cramming" process of studying a good one?

8. Is it ever justifiable?

9. Explain how, why, and when it may be used by men in their

10. Give the class an idea of the material of some book you have read

11. Explain how reading a published review or hearing comments on a
book induced you to read a volume which proved of value to you.

12. Can you justify the reading of the last part only of a book?
Consider non-fiction.

13. For preserving clippings, notes, etc., which method is
better--cards filed in boxes or drawers, scrap-books, or slips and
clippings grouped in envelopes?

14. Report to the class some information upon one of the following.
Tell exactly how and where you secured your information.

Opium traffic in China.
Morphine habit in the United States.
Women in literature.
A drafted army as compared with a volunteer army.
Orpheum as a theater name.
Prominent business women.
War time influence of D'Annunzio.
Increasing cost of living.
Secretarial courses.
The most beautiful city of the American continent.
Women surgeons.
The blimp.
Democracy in Great Britain compared with that of the United States.
The root of the Mexican problem.
San Marino.
Illiteracy in the United States.
How women vote.

(NOTE.--The teacher should supply additions, substitutes, and



Selecting Material. It can be assumed, by the time you have reached
this point in the study and practice of making speeches, that you have
words to express your thoughts and some fair skill of delivery, that
you know something about preparing various kinds of introductions and
conclusions, that you know how your own mind operates in retaining new
information, and that you know how to secure material for various
purposes. Either clearly assimilated in your brain or accurately noted
upon paper you have all the ideas that are to appear in your speech.

The Length of the Speech. Look over this material again. Consider it
carefully in your thoughts, mentally deciding how long a time or how
many words you will devote to each topic or entry. Can you from such a
practical consideration determine how long in time your speech will
be? Are you limited by requirements to a short time as were the Four
Minute Speakers? Have you been allotted a half hour? Will you hold
your audience longer?

These may appear simple things, but they cover the first essential of
planning any speech. It should be just the correct length--neither too
long nor too short. Many beginners--timid, hesitant, untrained--will
frequently fill too short a time, so that they must drill themselves
into planning longer productions. On the other hand, it may be stated,
as a general criticism, that many speakers talk too long.

A United States Senator, in order to block the vote on a bill he was
opposing, decided to speak until Congress had to adjourn, so he
deliberately planned to cover a long time. He spoke for some
twenty-two hours. Of course he did not say much, nor did he talk
continuously; to get rests, he requested the clerk to call the roll,
and while the list was being marked, he ate and drank enough to
sustain him. Technically his speech was uninterrupted, for he still
had the floor. Though we may not approve of such methods of
legislative procedure we must see that for this speech the first
element of its plan was its length.

Keep this consideration of time always in mind. Speakers always ask
how long they are to speak, or they stipulate how much time they
require. Legislative bodies frequently have limiting rules. Courts
sometimes allow lawyers so much time. A minister must fit his sermon
to the length of the service. A business man must not waste his
hearers' time. A lecturer must not tire his audience. In Congress
members must be given chances to eat. In Parliament, which meets in
the evening, men grow anxious for bed.

Making the Speech too Long. The rule is fundamental, yet it is
violated continually. I have known of instances when four men, asked
to present material in a meeting announced months in advance as
lasting two hours, have totally disregarded this fact, and prepared
enough material to consume over an hour each. In such cases the
presiding officer should state to each that he will be allowed exactly
thirty minutes and no more. He may tap on the table after twenty-five
have elapsed to warn the speaker to pass to his conclusion, and at the
expiration of the time make him bring his remarks to a close and give
way to the next speaker. There is no unfairness in this. The real
offense is committed by the speaker who proves himself so
inconsiderate, so discourteous of the conditions that he places
himself in such an embarrassing circumstance. He deserves only justice
tempered by no mercy. I have heard the first of two speakers who were
to fill an hour of a commemorative service in a church talk on for an
hour and ten minutes, boring the congregation to fidgety restlessness
and completely preventing the second speaker--the more important--from
delivering a single word.

Mark Twain tells how he went to church one hot night to hear a city
mission worker describe his experiences among the poor people of the
crowded districts who, though they needed help, were too modest or
proud to ask for it. The speaker told of the suffering and bravery he
found. Then he pointed out that the best gifts to charity are not the
advertised bounties of the wealthy but the small donations of the less
fortunate. His appeals worked Mark Twain up to great enthusiasm and
generosity. He was ready to give all he had with him--four hundred
dollars--and borrow more. The entire congregation wanted to offer all
it had. But the missionary kept on talking. The audience began to
notice the heat. It became hotter and hotter. They grew more and more
uncomfortable. Mark's generosity began to shrink. It dwindled to less
and less as the speech lengthened until when the plate did finally
reach him, he stole ten cents from it. He adds that this simply proves
how a little thing like a long-winded speech can induce crime.

Plan your speech so that it will be the proper length.

Discarding Material. This first consideration very likely indicates to
you that you have much more material than you can use in the time
allowed or assigned you. You must discard some. Strange as it may
seem, this is one of the must difficult directions to carry out. It
seems such a waste of time and material to select for actual
presentation so small a part of all you have carefully gathered. There
is always the temptation to "get it all in somehow." Yet the direction
must remain inflexible. You can use only part of it. You must
carefully select what will serve your purpose. What is the purpose of
your speech? What is the character of your audience? These two things
will determine to a large extent, what and how much you must
relinquish. Your finished speech will be all the better for the
weeding-out process. Better still, in all your preliminary steps for
subsequent speeches you will become skilful in selecting while you are
gathering the material itself. Finally you will become so practised
that you will not burden yourself with waste, although you will always
secure enough to supply you with a reserve supply for assurance and

Relation of Material to the Purpose of the Speech. A few examples will
show the wide application of this principle. A boy who has explained
to his father the scholarship rules of his school concerning athletes
will discard a great deal of that material when he addresses a student
gathering. A speaker on child labor in a state where women have voted
for a long time will discard much of the material presented in a
neighboring state where general franchise has just been granted. If in
a series of remarks you want to emphasize the thrilling experience you
have had with a large fish which jerked you out of a boat, you would
not include such material as the trip on the train to the lake where
you had your adventure. Why not?

These are humble instances, but the principle of selection is the same
for all speeches.

A man who was asked to lecture on Mark Twain knew the contents of the
thirty published volumes written by him, all the biographies,
practically every article written about him; he had conversed with
people who had known him; he had visited scenes of his life; yet when
he planned to talk for an hour he had to reject everything except two
striking periods of his life with their effects upon his writing.

Burke, in one great effort, declared he had no intention of dealing
with the _right_ of taxation; he confined himself merely to the
_expediency_ of Great Britain's revenue laws for America. Other great
speakers have--in their finished speeches--just as clearly indicated
the plans they have decided to follow. Such definite announcements
determine the material of many introductions.

    My task will be divided under three different heads: first,
    The Crime Against Kansas, in its origin and extent; secondly,
    The Apologies for the Crime; and, thirdly, The True Remedy.

    CHARLES SUMNER: _The Crime against Kansas_, 1856

    Mr. President and Fellow Citizens of New York:

    The facts with which I shall deal this evening are mainly old
    and familiar; nor is there anything new in the general use I
    shall make of them. If there shall be any novelty, it will be
    in the mode of presenting the facts, and the inferences and
    observations following that presentation. In his speech last
    autumn at Columbus, Ohio, as reported in the _New York
    Times_, Senator Douglas said: "Our fathers, when they framed
    the government under which we live, understood this question
    just as well, and even better, than we do now."

    I fully indorse this, and I adopt it as a text for this
    discourse. I so adopt it because it furnishes a precise and
    an agreed starting-point for a discussion between Republicans
    and that wing of the Democracy headed by Senator Douglas. It
    simply leaves the inquiry: What was the understanding those
    fathers had of the question mentioned?

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Cooper Union Speech_, 1860

Indicating the Plan in the Speech. In some finished and long speeches
parts of the plan are distributed to mark the divisions in the
progress of the development. The next quotation shows such an

    And now sir, against all these theories and opinions, I

    1. That the Constitution of the United States is not a
    league, confederacy, or compact between the people of the
    several States in their sovereign capacities; but a
    government proper, founded on the adoption of the people, and
    creating direct relations between itself and individuals.

    2. That no State authority has power to dissolve these
    relations; that nothing can dissolve them but revolution; and
    that, consequently, there can be no such thing as secession
    without revolution.

    3. That there is a supreme law, consisting of the
    Constitution of the United States, and acts of Congress
    passed in pursuance of it, and treaties; and that, in cases
    not capable of assuming the character of a suit in law or
    equity, Congress must judge of, and finally interpret, this
    supreme law so often as it has occasion to pass acts of
    legislation; and in cases capable of assuming, and actually
    assuming, the character of a suit, the Supreme Court of the
    United States is the final interpreter.

    4. That an attempt by a State to abrogate, annul, or nullify
    an act of Congress, or to arrest its operation within her
    limits, on the ground that, in her opinion, such law is
    unconstitutional, is a direct usurpation on the just powers
    of the general Government, and on the equal rights of other
    States; a plain violation of the Constitution, a proceeding
    essentially revolutionary in its character and tendency.

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _The Constitution Not a Compact
    between Sovereign States_, 1833

Such a statement to the audience is especially helpful when the
speaker is dealing with technical subjects, or material with which
most people are not usually and widely conversant. Scientific
considerations always become clearer when such plans are simply
constructed, clearly announced, and plainly followed.

    So far as I know, there are only three hypotheses which ever
    have been entertained, or which well can be entertained,
    respecting the past history of Nature. I will, in the first
    place, state the hypotheses, and then I will consider what
    evidence bearing upon them is in our possession, and by what
    light of criticism that evidence is to be interpreted. Upon
    the first hypothesis, the assumption is, that phenomena of
    Nature similar to those exhibited by the present world have
    always existed; in other words, that the universe has existed
    from all eternity in what may be broadly termed its present

    The second hypothesis is, that the present state of things
    has had only a limited duration; and that, at some period in
    the past, a condition of the world, essentially similar to
    that which we now know, came into existence, without any
    precedent condition from which it could have naturally
    proceeded. The assumption that successive states of Nature
    have arisen, each without any relation of natural causation
    to an antecedent state, is a mere modification of this second

    The third hypothesis also assumes that the present state of
    things has had but a limited duration; but it supposes that
    this state has been evolved by a natural process from an
    antecedent state, and that from another, and so on; and, on
    this hypothesis, the attempt to assign any limit to the
    series of past changes is, usually, given up.

    THOMAS H. HUXLEY: _Lectures on Evolution_, 1876


1. According to what methods are the foregoing plans arranged? Which
division in Sumner's speech was the most important? Was he trying to
get his listeners to do anything? What do you think that object was?

2. In Lincoln's speech do you think he planned the material
chronologically? Historically? What reasons have you for your answer?

3. Which of Webster's four parts is the most important? Give reasons
for your answer.

4. Which hypothesis (what does the word mean?) did Huxley himself
support? What induces you to think thus? Is this plan in any respect
like Sumner's? Explain your answer.

5. Make a list of the ways in which material of speeches may be

Arrangement. Importance. If you have several topics to cover in a
single speech where would you put the most important? First or last?
Write upon a piece of paper the position you choose. You have given
this plan some thought so you doubtlessly put down the correct
position. What did you write? First? That is usually the answer of
nine pupils out of every ten. Are you with the majority? If you wrote
that the most important topic should be treated first, you are wrong.
The speech would be badly planned. Think for a moment. Which should be
the most important part of a story or a play? The beginning or the
ending? If it is the early part, why should any one read on to the end
or stay for the curtain to come down the last time? So in speeches the
importance of topics should always increase as the speech proceeds.
This, then, is a principle of planning. Arrange your topics in an
ascending order of importance. Work up to what is called the climax.

The list you made in response to direction 5 given above should now be
presented to the class and its contents discussed. What kind of
material is likely to be arranged according to each of your
principles? You have put down the chronological order, or the order of
time, or some similar phrase. Just what do you mean by that? Do you
mean, begin with the earliest material and follow in chronological
order down to the latest? Could the reverse order ever be used? Can
you cite some instance? Is contrast a good order to follow in
planning? Cite material which could be so arranged. Would an
arrangement from cause to effect be somewhat like one based on time?
Explain your answer. Under what circumstances do you think the
opposite might be used--from effect to cause?

While there are almost countless methods of arrangements--for any one
used in one part of a speech may be combined with any other in some
different portion--the plan should always be determined by three
fundamental matters; the material itself, the audience to which it is
to be presented, and the effect the speaker wants to produce.

Even during this preliminary planning of the speech the author must be
careful that when his arrangement is decided upon it possesses the
three qualities necessary to every good composition. These three are
unity, coherence, and emphasis.

Unity. Unity explains itself. A speech must be about one single thing.
A good speech produces one result. It induces action upon one single
point. It allows no turning aside from its main theme. It does not
stray from the straight and narrow road to pick flowers in the
adjacent fields, no matter how enticing the temptation to loiter may
be. In plain terms it does not admit as part of its material anything
not closely and plainly connected with it. It does not step aside for
everything that crops into the speaker's mind. It advances steadily,
even when not rapidly. It does not "back water." It goes somewhere.

To preserve unity of impression a speaker must ruthlessly discard all
material except that which is closely associated with his central
intention. He must use only that which contributes to his purpose. The
same temptation to keep unrelated material--if it be good in
itself--will be felt now as when the other unsuitable material was set

This does not prevent variety and relief. Illustrative and interesting
minor sections may be, at times must be, introduced. But even by their
vividness and attractiveness they must help the speech, not hinder it.
The decorations and ornaments must never be allowed to detract from
the utility of the composition.

Unity may be damaged by admitting parts not in the direct line of the
theme. It may be violated by letting minor portions become too long.
The illustration may grow so large by the introduction of needless
details that it makes the listeners forget the point it was designed
to enforce. Or it may be so far-fetched as to bear no real relation to
the thread of development. Here lies the pitfall of the overworked
"funny," story, introduced by "that reminds me." Too often it is not
humorous enough to justify repetition; or--what is worse--it does not
fit into the circumstances. Another fault of many speakers is
over-elaboration of expression, not only for non-essentials, but in
the important passages as well. Involved language demands explanation.
The attempts to clear up what should have been simply said at first
may lead a speaker to devote too many words to a single point.

This matter of unity must not be misunderstood as prohibiting the
inclusion of more than one topic in a speech. A legislator in urging
the repeal of a law might have several topics, such as how the law was
passed, its first operations, its increasing burdens upon people, the
disappearance of the necessity for it, better methods of securing the
same or better results, etc., yet all grouped about the motivating
theme of securing the repeal of the law. To emphasize the greatness of
a man's career a speaker might introduce such topics as his obscure
origin, his unmarked youth, the spur that stimulated his ambition, his
early reverses, provided that they contribute to the impression
intended, to make vivid his real achievements.

In early attempts at delivering speeches don't be afraid to pause at
certain places to consider whether what you are about to say really
contributes to the unity or destroys it. Aside from helping you to
think upon your feet, this mental exercise will help your speech by
making you pause at times--a feature of speaking often entirely
disregarded by many persons.

Coherence. The second quality a finished composition should have is
coherence. If you know what _cohere_ and _cohesion_ mean (perhaps you
have met these words in science study) you have the germ of the term's
meaning. It means "stick-together-itive-ness." The parts of a speech
should be so interrelated that every part leads up to all that
follows. Likewise every part develops naturally from all that goes
before, as well as what immediately precedes. There must be a
continuity running straight through the material from start to finish.
Parts should be placed where they fit best. Each portion should be so
placed--at least, in thought--that all before leads naturally and
consistently up to it, and it carries on the thread to whatever
follows. This prevents rude breaks in the development of thought.
Skilfully done, it aids the hearer to remember, because so easily did
the thought in the speech move from one point to another, that he can
carry the line of its progression with him long after. So the
attainment of coherence in a speech contributes directly to that
desired end--a deep impression.

Incoherent speeches are so mainly because of absence of plan, whether
they be short or long, conversational or formal.

Emphasis. The third quality a speech should have is emphasis. Applied
to a connected sequence of words this means that what is of most
importance shall stand out most forcefully; that what is not so
important shall show its subordinate relation by its position, its
connection with what goes before and after; that what is least
important shall receive no emphasis beyond its just due. Such
manipulation requires planning and rearranging, careful weighing of
the relative importance of all portions. Recall what was said of the
place of the most important part.

Throughout the speech there must also be variety of emphasis. It would
not be fitting to have everything with a forceful emphasis upon it. To
secure variation in emphasis you must remember that in speeches the
best effects will be made upon audiences by offering them slight
relief from too close attention or too impressive effects. If you
observe the plans finally followed by good speakers you will be able
to see that they have obeyed this suggestion. They have the power to
do what is described as "swaying the audience." In its simplest form
this depends upon varying the emphasis.

In making an appeal for funds for destitute portions of Europe a
telling topic would surely be the sufferings of the needy. Would it be
wise to dwell upon such horrors only? Would a humorous anecdote of the
happy gratitude of a child for a cast-off toy be good to produce
emphasis? Which would make the most emphatic ending--the absolute
destitution, the amount to be supplied, the relief afforded, or the
happiness to donors for sharing in such a worthy charity? You can see
how a mere mental planning, or a shuffling of notes, or a temporary
numbering of topics will help in clearing up this problem of how to
secure proper and effective emphasis.

Making the First Plan. It would be a helpful thing at this point in
the planning to make a pencil list of the topics to be included. This
is not a final outline but a mere series of jottings to be changed,
discarded, and replaced as the author considers his material and his
speech. It is hardly more than an informal list, a scrap of paper. In
working with it, don't be too careful of appearances. Erase, cross
out, interline, write in margins, draw lines and arrows to carry
portions from one place to another, crowd in at one place, remove from
another, cut the paper sheets, paste in new parts, or pin slips
together. Manipulate your material. Mold it to suit your purposes.
Make it follow your plan. By this you will secure a good plan. If
this seems a great deal to do, compare it with the time and energy
required to learn how to swim, how to play a musical instrument, how
to "shoot" in basketball, how to act a part in a play.

Knowing how to speak well is worth the effort. Every time you plan a
speech these steps will merge into a continuous process while you are
gathering the material. In informal discussion upon topics you are
familiar with, you will become able to arrange a plan while you are
rising to your feet.

Transitions. As this preliminary plan takes its form under your
careful consideration of the material you will decide that there are
places between topics or sections which will require bridging over in
order to attain coherence and emphasis. These places of division
should be filled by transitions. A transition is a passage which
carries over the meaning from what precedes to what follows. It serves
as a connecting link. It prevents the material from falling apart. It
preserves the continuity of ideas. A transition may be as short as a
single word, such as _however_, _consequently_, _nevertheless_. It may
be a sentence. It may grow into a paragraph.

The purpose of transitions--to link parts together--may induce
beginners to consider them as of little importance since they
manifestly add no new ideas to the theme. This opinion is entirely
erroneous. Even in material for reading, transitions are necessary. In
material to be received through the ear they are the most valuable
helps that can be supplied to have the listener follow the
development. They mark the divisions for him. They show that a
certain section is completed and a new one is about to begin. They
show the relation in meaning of two portions.

The shorter forms of transitions--words and phrases--belong rather to
the expression, the language, of the speech than to this preliminary

A speaker should never fail to use such phrases as _on the other
hand_, _continuing the same line of reasoning_, _passing to the next
point_, _from a different point of view_, because they so clearly
indicate the relation of two succeeding passages of a speech.

In planning, the speaker frequently has to consider the insertion of
longer transitions--paragraphs or even more extended passages. Just
how such links appear in finished speeches the following extracts
show. In the first selection Washington when he planned his material
realized he had reached a place where he could conclude. He wanted to
add more. What reason should he offer his audience for violating the
principle discussed in the chapter on conclusions? How could he make
clear to them his desire to continue? We cannot assert that he
actually did this, but he might have jotted down upon the paper
bearing a first scheme of his remarks the phrase, "my solicitude for
the people." That, then, was the germ of his transition paragraph.
Notice how clearly the meaning is expressed. Could any hearer fail to
comprehend? The transition also announces plainly the topic of the
rest of the speech.

    Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your
    welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the
    apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me
    on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn
    contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some
    sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no
    inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me
    all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people.
    These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you
    can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting
    friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his
    counsels. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your
    indulgent reception of my sentiment on a former and not
    dissimilar occasion.

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: _Farewell Address_, 1796

The next selection answers to a part of the plan announced in a
passage already quoted in this chapter. Notice how this transition
looks both backward and forward: it is both retrospective and
anticipatory. If you recall that repetition helps to emphasize facts,
you will readily understand why a transition is especially valuable if
it adheres to the same language as the first statement of the plan. In
a written scheme this might have appeared under the entry, "pass from
1 to 2; list 4 apologies for crime." This suggests fully the material
of the passage.

    And with this exposure I take my leave of the Crime against
    Kansas. Emerging from all the blackness of this Crime, where
    we seem to have been lost, as in a savage wood, and turning
    our backs upon it, as upon desolation and death, from which,
    while others have suffered, we have escaped, I come now to
    the Apologies which the Crime has found....

    They are four in number, and fourfold in character. The first
    is the Apology tyrannical; the second, the Apology imbecile;
    the third, the Apology absurd; and the fourth, the Apology
    infamous. That is all. Tyranny, imbecility, absurdity, and
    infamy all unite to dance, like the weird sisters, about this

    The Apology tyrannical is founded on the mistaken act of
    Governor Reeder, in authenticating the Usurping Legislature,

    CHARLES SUMNER: _The Crime against Kansas_, 1856

The beginning speaker should not hesitate to make his transitions
perfectly clear to his audience. When they add to the merely bridging
use the additional value of serving as short summaries of what has
gone before and as sign posts of what is to follow, they are trebly
serviceable. The attempt to be clear will seldom be waste of time or
effort. The obvious statements of the preceding selections, the use of
figures, are excellent models for speakers to imitate. With practice
will come skill in making transitions of different kinds, in which the
same purposes will be served in various other ways, in what may be
considered more finished style. The next extracts represent this kind
of transition.

    Sir, like most questions of civil prudence, this is neither
    black nor white, but gray. The system of copyright has great
    advantages and great disadvantages; and it is our business to
    ascertain what these are, and then to make an arrangement
    under which the advantages may be as far as possible secured,
    and the disadvantages as far as possible excluded. The charge
    which I bring against my honorable and learned friend's bill
    is this, that it leaves the advantages nearly what they are
    at present, and increases the disadvantages at least

    THOMAS B. MACAULAY: _Copyright Bill_, 1841

    One-third of the population of the South is of the Negro
    race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral
    welfare of this section can disregard this element of our
    population and reach the highest success. I but convey to
    you, Mr. President and Directors, the sentiment of the masses
    of my race when I say that in no way have the value and
    manhood of the American Negro been more fittingly and
    generously recognized than by the managers of this
    magnificent Exposition at every stage of its progress. It is
    a recognition that will do more to cement the friendship of
    the two races than any occurrence since the dawn of our

    BOOKER T. WASHINGTON in a speech at the Atlanta
    Exposition, 1895

Thinking before You Speak. While students may feel that the steps
outlined here demand a great deal of preparation before the final
speech is delivered, the explanation may be given that after all, this
careful preparation merely carries out the homely adage--think before
you speak. If there were more thinking there would be at once better
speaking. Anybody can talk. The purpose of studying is to make one a
better speaker. The anticipation of some relief may be entertained,
for it is comforting to know that after one has followed the processes
here explained, they move more rapidly, so that after a time they may
become almost simultaneous up to the completion of the one just
discussed--planning the speech. It is also worth knowing that none of
this preliminary work is actually lost. Nor is it unseen. It appears
in the speech itself. The reward for all its apparent slowness and
exacting deliberation is in the clearness, the significance of the
speech, its reception by the audience, its effect upon them, and the
knowledge by the speaker himself that his efforts are producing
results in his accomplishments.

All speakers plan carefully for speeches long in advance.

A famous alumnus of Yale was invited to attend a banquet of Harvard
graduates. Warned that he must "speak for his dinner" he prepared more
than a dozen possible beginnings not knowing of course, in what manner
the toastmaster would call upon him. The remainder of his speech was
as carefully planned, although not with so many possible choices. Note
that from each possible opening to the body of the speech he had to
evolve a graceful transition.

Edmund Burke, in his great speech on conciliation with the American
colonies, related that some time before, a friend had urged him to
speak upon this matter, but he had hesitated. True, he had gone so far
as to throw "my thoughts into a sort of parliamentary form"--that is,
he made a plan or an outline, but the passage of a certain bill by the
House of Commons seemed to have taken away forever the chance of his
using the material. The bill, however, was returned from the House of
Lords with an amendment and in the resulting debate he delivered the
speech he had already planned.

Daniel Webster said that his reply to Hayne had been lying in his desk
for months already planned, merely waiting the opportunity or need for
its delivery.

Henry Ward Beecher, whose need for preliminary preparation was reduced
to its lowest terms, and who himself was almost an instantaneous
extemporizer, recognized the need for careful planning by young
speakers and warned them against "the temptation to slovenliness in
workmanship, to careless and inaccurate statement, to repetition, to
violation of good taste."

Slovenliness in planning is as bad as slovenliness in expression.


Choose any topic suggested in this book. Make a short preliminary plan
of a speech upon it. Present it to the class. Consider it from the
following requirements:

1. Does it show clearly its intention?

2. How long will the speech be?

3. Too long? Too short?

4. For what kind of audience is it intended?

5. Has it unity?

6. Has it coherence?

7. Where are transitions most clearly needed?

8. What suggestions would you make for rearranging any parts?

9. What reasons have you for these changes?

10. Is proper emphasis secured?



Orderly Arrangement. A speech should have an orderly arrangement. The
effect upon an audience will be more easily made, more deeply
impressed, more clearly retained, if the successive steps of the
development are so well marked, so plainly related, that they may be
carried away in a hearer's understanding. It might be said that one
test of a good speech is the vividness with which its framework is
discernible. Hearers can repeat outlines of certain speeches. Those
are the best. Of others they can give merely confused reports. These
are the badly constructed ones.

The way to secure in the delivered speech this delight of orderly
arrangement is by making an outline or brief. Most pupils hate to make
outlines. The reason for this repugnance is easily understood. A
teacher directs a pupil to make an outline before he writes a
composition or delivers a speech. The pupil spends hours on the list
of entries, then submits his finished theme or address. He feels that
the outline is disregarded entirely. Sometimes he is not even required
to hand it to the instructor. He considers the time he has spent upon
the outline as wasted. It is almost impossible to make him feel that
his finished product is all the better because of this effort spent
upon the preliminary skeleton, so that in reality his outline is not
disregarded at all, but is judged and marked as embodied in the
finished article. Most students carry this mistaken feeling about
outlines to such an extent that when required to hand in both an
outline and a finished composition they will write in haphazard
fashion the composition first, and then from it try to prepare the
outline, instead of doing as they are told, and making the outline
first. It is easier--though not as educating or productive of good
results--to string words together than it is to do what outline-making
demands--to think.

Professional Writers' Use of Outlines. Professional writers realize
the helpfulness of outline-making and the time it saves. Many a
magazine article has been sold before a word of the finished
manuscript was written. The contributor submitted an outline from
which the editor contracted for the finished production. Many a play
has been placed in the same form. Books are built up in the same
manner. The ubiquitous moving-picture scenario is seldom produced in
any other manner.

Macaulay advised a young friend who asked how to keep his brain active
to read a couple of solid books, making careful outlines of their
material at the same time. One of these should be--if possible--a work
in a foreign tongue, so that the strangeness of the language would
necessitate slow, careful reading and close thinking. All good
students know that the best way to prepare for an examination is to
make outlines of all the required reading and study.

It is just because the making of the outline demands such careful
thinking that it is one of the most important steps in the production
of a speech.

The Outline in the Finished Speech. If the outline really shows in the
finished speech, let us see if we can pick the entries out from a
portion of one. Edmund Burke in 1775 tried to prevent Great Britain
from using coercive measures against the restive American colonies.
Many Englishmen were already clamoring for war when Burke spoke in
Parliament upon conciliating the Colonies.

    I am sensible, Sir, that all which I have asserted in my
    detail, is admitted in the gross; but that quite a different
    conclusion is drawn from it. America, gentlemen say, is a
    noble object. It is an object well worth fighting for.
    Certainly it is, if fighting a people be the best way of
    gaining them. Gentlemen in this respect will be led to their
    choice of means by their complexions and their habits. Those
    who understand the military art, will of course have some
    predilection for it. Those who wield the thunder of the
    state, may have more confidence in the efficacy of arms. But
    I confess, possibly for want of this knowledge, my opinion is
    much more in favor of prudent management, than of force;
    considering force not as an odious, but a feeble instrument,
    for preserving a people so numerous, so active, so growing,
    so spirited as this, in a profitable and subordinate
    connexion with us.

    First, Sir, permit me to observe, that the use of force alone
    is but _temporary_. It may subdue for a moment; but it does
    not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is
    not governed which is perpetually to be conquered.

    My next objection is its _uncertainty_. Terror is not always
    the effect of force; and an armament is not a victory. If you
    do not succeed, you are without resource; for, conciliation
    failing, force remains; but, force failing, no further hope
    of reconciliation is left. Power and authority are sometimes
    bought by kindness; but they can never be begged as alms by
    an impoverished and defeated violence.

    A further objection to force is, that you _impair the object_
    by your very endeavors to preserve it. The thing you fought
    for is not the thing which you recover; but depreciated,
    sunk, wasted, and consumed in the contest. Nothing less will
    content me, than _whole America_. I do not choose to consume
    its strength along with our own; because in all parts it is
    the British strength that I consume. I do not choose to be
    caught by a foreign enemy at the end of this exhausting
    conflict, and still less in the midst of it. I may escape;
    but I can make no assurance against such an event. Let me
    add, that I do not choose wholly to break the American
    spirit; because it is the spirit that has made the country.

    Lastly, we have no sort of _experience_ in favor of force as
    an instrument in the rule of our colonies. Their growth and
    their utility has been owing to methods altogether different.
    Our ancient indulgence has been said to be pursued to a
    fault. It may be so. But we know if feeling is evidence that
    our fault was more tolerable than our attempt to mend it; and
    our sin far more salutary than our penitence.

    These, Sir, are my reasons for not entertaining that high
    opinion of untried force, by which many gentlemen, for whose
    sentiments in other particulars I have great respect, seem to
    be so greatly captivated. But there is still behind a third
    consideration concerning this object, which serves to
    determine my opinion on the sort of policy which ought to be
    pursued in the management of America, even more than its
    population and its commerce, I mean its _temper and

    EDMUND BURKE: _Conciliation with America_, 1775

Reconstructing the Outline. In the preliminary arrangement Burke knew
that he was going to give his reasons against the use of military
force. In his first plan he may not have decided just where he was
going to place his four arguments. So they very likely appeared as
four topic entries:

Against use of force.
  1. temporary
  2. uncertain
  3. damages America
  4. no experience

Notice that these are jottings to suggest the germs of the arguments.
When Burke revised this section he may have changed the expression to
indicate more certainty.

Force should not be used against the colonies, because:
  1. it is only temporary
  2. it is uncertain in its results
  3. it would damage the wealth of the colonies
  4. it is based on no experience of Great Britain with

Of course, a practised statesman would not have to analyze farther,
perhaps not so far, but to illustrate for a student how he might build
up his outline, let us analyze one degree farther. Just what is meant
by such terms as _temporary, uncertain?_ Under each statement, then,
might be added a detailed explanation. The finished part of the
outline would then appear somewhat like this.

Force should not be used against the colonies, because:
  1. it is only temporary, for
    _a._ though it subdue for a time, it would have to
       be used again.

    2. it is uncertain in its results, for
       _a._ Great Britain might not subdue the colonies.

    3. it would damage the wealth of the colonies, for
       _a._ we would fight to retain a wealthy land, yet
         after the war we should have a ruined one.

    4. it is based on no experience of Great Britain with
       colonies, for
       _a._ Great Britain has always been indulgent
          rather than severely strict.

Speaking or writing from such a detailed outline as this, consider how
much thinking has already been done. With these entries under his eye
the speaker need think only of the phrasing of his remarks. He would
feel perfectly certain that he would not wander from his theme. Notice
how the ideas can be emphasized. The suggestion of damage can be
expressed in _impair the object_, and in _depreciated, sunk, wasted,

So far this outline--though it covers all its own material--does not
indicate the place at which it shall be used in the speech. It could
be used near the conclusion where Burke planned to answer all the
supporters of plans other than his own. That would be a good place for
it. But Burke found a better one. He separated this from his other
remarks against his opponents, and brought it in much earlier, thereby
linking it with what it most concerned, emphasizing it, and disposing
of it entirely so far as his speech was concerned. He had just
enumerated the wealth of the colonies as represented by their
commerce. He knew that the war party would argue, "If America is so
wealthy, it is worth fighting for." That was the place, then, to
refute them. To introduce his material he had to make clear the
transition from the colonial wealth to his arguments. Notice how
plainly the first paragraph quoted here does this. Having given his
four reasons against the use of force, notice that he must bring his
audience back to the theme he has been discussing. The last paragraph
does this in a masterly manner. He has cited two facts about the
colonies. To make understanding doubly certain he repeats
them--population and commerce--and passes to the next, plainly
numbering it as the third.

This recital of the process is not an account of what actually took
place in Burke's preparation, but it will give to the student the
method by which great speakers _may_ have proceeded; we do know that
many did follow such a scheme. No amateur who wants to make his
speeches worth listening to should omit this helpful step of outline
or brief making. Whether he first writes out his speeches in full, or
composes them upon his feet, every speaker should prepare an outline
or brief of his material. This is a series of entries, so condensed
and arranged as to show the relative significance of all the parts of
the speech in the proper order of development.

Outline, Brief, Legal Brief. An outline contains entries which are
merely topics, not completed statements or sentences.

A brief contains completed statements (sentences).

A legal brief is a formally prepared document (often printed)
submitted to a certain court before a case is tried, showing the
material the lawyer intends to produce, citing all his authorities,
suggesting interpretations of laws and legal decisions to support his
contentions, and giving all his conclusions. It is prepared for the
use of the court, to reduce the labor in examining records, etc.
Practice in the drawing up of such briefs is an important phase of
legal study.

The Outline. An outline may recall to a person's mind what he already
has learned, but it is seldom definite and informative enough to be as
helpful as a brief. A good distinction of the two--besides the one
respecting the forms already given--is that the outline represents the
point of view of the speaker while the brief represents that of the
hearer. Consider again the analyses of Burke in this chapter. Notice
that the first list does not give nearly so clear an idea of what
Burke actually said as the third. A person seeing only the first might
_guess_ at what the speaker intended to declare. A person who looked
at the third could not fail to _know exactly_ the opinions of the
speaker and the arguments supporting them.

Pupils frequently make this kind of entry:


The main objections to such an outline are that it tells nothing
definite, and that it might fit a thousand compositions. Even an
outline should say more than such a list does.

In one edition of Burke's speech the page from which the following is
quoted is headed "Brief." Is it a brief?

Part II. How to deal with America.

  A. Introduction.
  B. First alternative and objections.
  C. Second alternative and objections.
  D. Third alternative.
  E. Introduction.
  F. Considerations.

      1. Question one of policy, not of abstract right.
      2. Trade laws.
      3. Constitutional precedents.
      4. Application of these.

The Brief. One of the shortest briefs on record was prepared by
Abraham Lincoln for use in a suit to recover $200 for the widow of a
Revolutionary veteran from an agent who had retained it out of $400
pension money belonging to her. It formed the basis of his speech in

    No contract.--Not professional services.--Unreasonable
    charge.--Money retained by Def't not given to
    Pl'ff.--Revolutionary War.--Describe Valley Forge
    privations.--Pl'ff's husband.--Soldier leaving for
    army.--_Skin Def't_.--Close.

The following will give some idea of the form and definiteness of
briefs for debate.


_Resolved:_ That capital punishment should be abolished.[1]

_Brief for the Affirmative_

I. Capital punishment is inexpedient.
  (_a_) It is contrary to the tendency of civilization.
  (_b_) It fails to protect society.
      (1) It does not prevent murder.
      (2) New crimes follow hard on executions.
  (_c_) It makes punishment uncertain.
      (1) Many criminals are acquitted who would
          be convicted if the penalty were imprisonment.
  (_d_) It is not reformatory.

II. Capital punishment is immoral.
  (_a_) It rests on the old idea of retribution.
  (_b_) It tends to weaken the sacredness of human life.
  (_c_) It endangers the lives of innocent people.
  (_d_) Executions and the sensational newspaper
        accounts which follow have a corrupting influence.

III. Capital punishment is unjust.
  (_a_) Its mistakes are irremediable.
  (_b_) Many men are criminals from force of
      (1) From heredity.
      (2) From environment.
  (_c_) Inequalities in administration are marked.
      (1) In some states men are hung, in others
        imprisoned for the same crime.

[Footnote 1: Taken from Brookings and Ringwalt: _Briefs for Debate_,
Longmans, Green and Co., where specific references of material for
many of the topics are given, as well as general references for the
entire subject.]

      (2) Many jurors have conscientious scruples
        against condemning a man to death.
      (3) Men of wealth and influence are rarely

IV. The abolition of capital punishment has been followed
    by satisfactory results,
  (_a_) In Europe.
      (1) Russia.
      (2) Switzerland.
      (3) Portugal.
      (4) Belgium.
      (5) Holland.
      (6) Finland.
  (_b_) In the United States.
      (1) Michigan.
      (2) Rhode Island.
      (3) Maine.
      (4) Wisconsin.

_Brief for the Negative_

I. Capital punishment is permissible.
  (_a_) It has the sanction of the Bible.
      (1) Genesis ix, 2-6.
  (_b_) It has the sanction of history.
      (1) It has been in vogue since the beginning
        of the world.
  (_c_) It has the sanction of reason.
      (1) The most fitting punishment is one equal
        and similar to the injury inflicted.

II. Capital punishment is expedient.
  (_a_) It is necessary to protect society from anarchy
      and private revenge.
      (1) Death is the strongest preventative of
  (_b_) No sufficient substitute has been offered.
      (1) Life imprisonment is a failure.
      (2) Few serve the sentence.
  (_c_) Its abolition has not been successful.
      (1) In Rhode Island.
      (2) In Michigan.
III. The objections made to capital punishment are not
  (_a_) Prisons are not reformatory.
  (_b_) The fact that crimes have decreased in some
      places where executions have stopped is
      not a valid argument.
      (1) All causes which increase the moral well-being
        of the race decrease crime.
  (_c_) The objection that the innocent suffer is not
      (1) The number of innocent thus suffering is
        inconsiderable when compared with the
        great number of murders prevented.
  (_d_) The objection that the penalty is uncertain may
      be overcome by making it certain.

A few paragraphs back it was said that an outline or brief shows the
relative significance of all the parts of a speech. This is done by a
systematic use of margins and symbols. From the quoted forms in this
chapter certain rules can easily be deduced.

Margins. The speech will naturally divide into a few main parts. These
can be designated by spaces and general titles such as introduction,
body, development, main argument, answer to opposing views,
conclusion. Other captions will be suggested by various kinds of
material. Main topics next in importance are placed the farthest to
the left, making the first margin. A reader can run his eye down this
line and pick out all the main topics of equal importance. Entries
just subordinate to these are put each on a separate line, starting
slightly to the right. This separation according to connection and
value is continued as long as the maker has any minor parts to
represent in the brief. It should not be carried too far, however, for
the purpose of the entries is to mark clearness and accuracy. If the
helping system becomes too elaborate and complicated it destroys its
own usefulness.

It is perfectly plain that such an outline might be made and be quite
clear, without the addition of any symbols at all, especially if it
was short.

Discrimination in the use of words is secured by

The study of synonyms
and care in employing them.

Symbols. Some scheme of marking the entries is a great help. There is
no fixed system. Every student may choose from among the many used. If
there are many main topics it might be a mistake to use Roman numerals
(I, XVIII) as few people can read them quickly enough to follow their
sequence. Capital letters may serve better to mark the sequences, but
they do not indicate the numerical position. For instance, most of us
do not know our alphabets well enough to translate a main topic marked
N into the fourteenth point. By combinations of Roman numerals,
capitals, usual (Arabic) numerals, small letters, parentheses, enough
variety to serve any student purpose can easily be arranged.

The following are samples of systems used.

            _Specimen_ 1



            _Specimen_ 2


            _Specimen_ 3


Tabulations. With unusual kinds of material and for special purposes
there may be value in evolving other forms of outlines. A technically
trained person accustomed to reading tabulated reports with hosts of
figures to interpret might find a statistical statement at times
better suited to his needs. Such tabulations are not any easier to
prepare than the regular brief. In fact to most people they are
infinitely more difficult to get into form and almost beyond speedy
comprehension afterwards. The following is a good illustration of a
simple one well adapted to the speaker's purpose--a report of the
objections to the first published covenant of the League of Nations.
He knew the material of his introduction and conclusion so well that
he did not represent them in his carefully arranged sheet. The form
was submitted as regular work in a public speaking class and was
spoken from during more than forty minutes.


1.--Draft indefinite and loosely written. Lg Lo Sp Tt Br Hu
2.--Should have clause-limiting powers
        to those specifically granted.       Lo
3.--Proportion of votes required for
        action of Council not generally
        stated--should be unanimous.      Lg    Sp Tt    Hu
4.--Should have clause reserving the
        Monroe Doctrine.                  Lg Lo Sp Tt Br Hu
5.--Should state that no nation can be
        required to become a mandatory
        without its consent.              Lg Lo       Br Hu
6.--Should have provision for
        withdrawals.                      Lg Lo Sp Tt    Hu
7.--Jurisdiction of League over internal
        affairs (immigration, tariffs,
        coastwise trade) should be
        expressly excluded.               Lg          Br Hu
8.--Terms of admission of other nations
        too strict.                                   Br
9.--Basis of representation not fair.                 Br
10.--Provision should be made for
        expansion of nations by peaceable
        means.                                        Br
11.--Each nation should have right to
        decide whether it will follow
        advice of Council as to use of
        force.                                        Br
12.--Each nation should have right to
        determine whether it will boycott
        delinquent nations.                           Br
     Note:--items 11 and 12 are apparently
        directed against Art.
        XVI containing the Ipso Facto
        clause and Art. X.
13.--Should not guarantee the integrity
        and independence of all members
        of the league.                    Lg             Hu

Above criticisms taken from published statements of

  Messrs. Lodge
(denoted respectively Lg, Lo, Sp, Tt, Br and Hu).

Authorities in the Brief. Authorities for the statements made in the
brief may be put into parentheses, if they are to be included. Such
further devices will suggest themselves to students. In addition to
such markings as here listed, some men who use many outlines emphasize
upon them details which they may have to find quickly by underlining
the symbol or first word with colored pencil. Such a device is
especially valuable to a technical expert whose system could be
uniform through the outlines of all his reports, etc. Or a lecturer
with so much time to fill may mark upon the outline 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, to
indicate to himself that his material is being covered at a proper
rate to correspond with the time. He might put in _15 min._ or _30
min._ or _45 min._ if he was to speak for an hour. The first division
is the better, for he might be required to condense a twenty-minute
speech to ten.

Selections for Briefing. Before the student makes many briefs of his
own he should work in the other direction by outlining material
already in existence so that he can be assured he knows main topics
from minor ones, important issues from subordinate reasons, headings
from examples. If all the members of the class outline the same
material the resulting discussion will provide additional exercise in
speaking in explanation or support of an interpretation. After the
teacher and class together have made one, the students should work


Besides the extracts quoted here others should be supplied. Editorials
from a single issue of a newspaper can easily be secured by the entire
class for this work. A chapter from a book may be assigned.


    An expert before the President's street railway commission of
    inquiry testified that he disapproved of public ownership and
    operation theoretically, but approved it practically, because
    it was the quickest and surest way of making people sick of
    it. Otherwise he thought that education of the public out of
    its favor for high costs and low profits by public utilities
    would require a generation, and the present emergency calls
    for prompt relief.

    New York City has just resolved to build with its own funds a
    Coney Island bathhouse, and has on file an offer to build it
    with private money at a cost of $300,000, with a guarantee of
    15-cent baths. Accepting no responsibility for the merits of
    the private bidder's proposal, it does not appear likely that
    the city can supply cheaper baths or give more satisfaction
    to bathers than a management whose profits were related to
    its efforts to please patrons. On the other hand, it is sure
    that the city's financial embarrassment is due to supplying
    many privileges at the cost of the taxpayers, which might
    have been supplied both more cheaply and better by private
    enterprise with profit than by the city without profit, and
    with the use of ill-spared public funds.

    New York does not stand alone in these misadventures, which
    are warnings against trading by either local or national
    government. Take, for example, the manner in which the army
    is disposing of its surplus blankets, as reported from
    Boston. A Chicago firm which wished to bid was permitted to
    inspect three samples of varying grades, but a guarantee that
    the goods sold would correspond to the samples was refused.
    The bales could neither be opened nor allowed to be opened,
    nor would information be given whether the blankets in the
    bales were cotton, wool, or mixed, whether single or double,
    whether bed blankets or regulation army blankets. The
    likelihood that the Government will get the worth of its
    blankets is small. There may be unknown reasons for such
    uncommercial procedure, but what shall be said of the fact
    that at the same time that these blankets are being sold the
    Interior Department is asking for bids to supply 10,000
    blankets for the Indians? The reason for buying more when
    there is an embarrassing over-supply is that the
    specifications call for the words "Interior Department" to be
    woven into the blankets. To an outsider it would seem that
    the words might be indelibly stamped on the old blankets of
    similar description, and that the departure from custom would
    be better than the loss on the old blankets and the increased
    expenditure for the new blankets.

    The reason for mentioning such incidents is that there are so
    many more of which the public never hears. Their combined
    educative effect would be great, but it is wasted without
    publicity. Since the public is not unanimous against public
    ownership and operation, there must be a considerable number
    of persons who are proof against anything but a catastrophe
    greater than the prostration of the railway and utility
    industries. That is an expansive way of education, but
    perhaps Dr. Cooley, Dean of the University of Michigan, is
    right in his view that the method is necessary to prevent a
    greater calamity by persistence in the error.

    _New York Times_, July 21, 1919

2.  Fourscore and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth on
    this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and
    dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that
    nation or any nation so conceived or so dedicated, can long
    endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We
    have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final
    resting place for those who here gave their lives that that
    nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that
    we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate--we cannot
    consecrate--we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men,
    living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far
    above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little
    note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
    forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather,
    to be here dedicated to the unfinished work which they who
    fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for
    us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before
    us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
    to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of
    devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall
    not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall
    have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the
    people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from
    the earth.

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Gettysburg Address_, 1865

3.  Every thoughtful and unprejudiced mind must see that such an
    evil as slavery will yield only to the most radical
    treatment. If you consider the work we have to do, you will
    not think us needlessly aggressive, or that we dig down
    unnecessarily deep in laying the foundations of our
    enterprise. A money power of two thousand millions of
    dollars, as the prices of slaves now range, held by a small
    body of able and desperate men; that body raised into a
    political aristocracy by special constitutional provisions;
    cotton, the product of slave labor, forming the basis of our
    whole foreign commerce, and the commercial class thus
    subsidized; the press bought up, the pulpit reduced to
    vassalage, the heart of the common people chilled by a bitter
    prejudice against the black race; our leading men bribed, by
    ambition, either to silence or open hostility;--in such a
    land, on what shall an Abolitionist rely? On a few cold
    prayers, mere lip-service, and never from the heart? On a
    church resolution, hidden often in its records, and meant
    only as a decent cover for servility in daily practice? On
    political parties, with their superficial influence at best,
    and seeking ordinarily only to use existing prejudices to the
    best advantage? Slavery has deeper root here than any
    aristocratic institution has in Europe; and politics is but
    the common pulse-beat, of which revolution is the
    fever-spasm. Yet we have seen European aristocracy survive
    storms which seemed to reach down to the primal strata of
    European life. Shall we, then, trust to mere politics, where
    even revolution has failed? How shall the stream rise above
    its fountain? Where shall our church organizations or parties
    get strength to attack their great parent and moulder, the
    slave power? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed
    it, Why hast thou made me thus? The old jest of one who
    tried to lift himself in his own basket, is but a tame
    picture of the man who imagines that, by working solely
    through existing sects and parties, he can destroy slavery.
    Mechanics say nothing, but an earthquake strong enough to
    move all Egypt can bring down the pyramids.

    Experience has confirmed these views. The Abolitionists who
    have acted on them have a "short method" with all
    unbelievers. They have but to point to their own success, in
    contrast with every other man's failure. To waken the nation
    to its real state, and chain it to the consideration of this
    one duty, is half the work. So much have we done. Slavery has
    been made the question of this generation. To startle the
    South to madness, so that every step she takes, in her
    blindness, is one step more toward ruin, is much. This we
    have done. Witness Texas and the Fugitive Slave Law.

    WENDELL PHILLIPS: _The Abolition Movement_, 1853

4.  Until just a few years ago flying was popularly regarded as a
    dangerous hobby and comparatively few had faith in its
    practical purposes. But the phenomenal evolutions of the
    aircraft industry during the war brought progress which would
    otherwise have required a span of years. With the cessation
    of hostilities considerable attention has been diverted to
    the commercial uses of aircraft, which may conveniently be
    classified as mail-and passenger-service.

    Men who first ventured the prediction that postal and express
    matter would one day be carried through the air were branded
    as dreamers. Parts of that dream became a reality during
    1918, and a more extensive aerial-mail program will be
    adopted this year. The dispatch with which important
    communications and parcels are delivered between large cities
    has firmly established its need.

    Large passenger-carrying aircraft are now receiving
    pronounced attention. Lately developed by the Navy is a
    flying-boat having a wing area of 2,400 square feet, equipped
    with three Liberty motors and weighing 22,000 pounds with a
    full load. It is the largest seaplane in the world, and on a
    recent test-trip from Virginia to New York carried fifty-one
    passengers. At the present moment the public is awaiting the
    thrilling details of the first flight between Europe and
    America, which has just occurred as a result of the keen
    international rivalry involved between the various entrants.

    The British are now constructing a super-triplane fitted with
    six 500 horse-power engines. Originally intended to carry
    10,000 pounds of bombs and a crew of eight over a distance of
    1,200 miles, the converted machine is claimed to be able to
    carry approximately one hundred passengers. It has a wing
    span of 141 feet and a fuselage length of 85 feet.

    What about the power plants of the future aircraft? Will the
    internal-combustion engine continue to reign supreme, or will
    increasing power demands of the huge planes to come lead to
    the development of suitable steam-engines? Will the use of
    petroleum continue to be one of the triumphs of aviation, or
    will the time come when substitutes may be successfully

    For aerial motive-power, the principal requirements are:
    great power for weight with a fairly high factor of safety,
    compactness, reliability of operation under flying
    conditions, and safety from fire. Bulk and weight of
    steam-driven equipment apparently impose severe restrictions
    upon its practical development for present aircraft purposes,
    but who is willing to classify its future use as an

    Steam operation in small model airplanes is no innovation.
    Langley, in 1891-1895, built four model airplanes, one driven
    by carbonic-acid gas and three by steam-engines. One of the
    steam-driven models weighed thirty pounds, and on one
    occasion flew a distance of about three thousand feet. In
    1913 an Englishman constructed a power plant weighing about
    two pounds which consisted of a flash boiler and
    single-acting engine. This unit employed benzolin, impure
    benzine, as fuel, and propelled a model plane weighing five

    _Power Plant Engineering_, Chicago, June 1, 1919

Making a Brief. The next step after making outlines or briefs of
material already organized is to make your own from material you
gather. Speeches you have already prepared or considered as fit for
presentation will supply you with ideas if you cannot work up new
material in a short time. At first you will be more concerned with the
form than the meaning of the entries, but even from the first you
should consider the facts or opinions for which each topic or
statement stands. Weigh its importance in the general scheme of
details. Consider carefully its suitability for the audience who may
be supposed to hear the finished speech. Discard the inappropriate.
Replace the weak. Improve the indefinite. Be sure your examples and
illustrations are apt.

Be wary about statistics. In listening to an address many people begin
to distrust as soon as figures are mentioned. Statistics will
illustrate and prove assertions, but they must be used judiciously. Do
not use too many statistics. Never be too detailed. In a speech,
$4,000,000 sounds more impressive than $4,232,196.96. Use round
numbers. Never let them stand alone. Show their relationship. Burke
quotes exact amounts to show the growth of the commerce of
Pennsylvania, but he adds that it had increased fifty fold. A hearer
will forget the numbers; he will remember the fact.

Similar reasons will warn you concerning the use of too many dates.
They can be easily avoided by showing lapses of time--by saying,
"fifty years later," or "when he was forty-six years old," or "this
condition was endured only a score of months."

The chapters on introductions, conclusions, and planning material will
have suggested certain orders for your briefs. Glance back at them for
hints before you attempt to make the general scheme. Let two factors
determine your resultant development--the nature of the material
itself and the effect you want to produce.

In argumentative speeches a usual, as well as excellent, order is

1. Origin of the question. The immediate cause for discussion.

2. History of the question.

3. Definition of terms.

4. Main arguments.

5. Conclusion.

Why is the proposition worth discussing at this present time? Why do
you choose it? Why is it timely? What is its importance? Why is a
settlement needed? Any of these would fall under the first heading.

Has the matter engaged attention prior to the present? Has it changed?
Was any settlement ever attempted? What was its result?

Are any of the words and phrases used likely to be misunderstood? Are
any used in special senses? Do all people accept the same meaning?
Good illustrations of this last are the ideas attached to _socialism_,
_anarchist_, _soviet_, _union_.

To illustrate: the question of woman suffrage was brought into public
interest once more by the advance woman has made in all walks of life
and by the needs and lessons of the great war. To make clear how its
importance had increased a speaker might trace its history from its
first inception. As applied to women, what does "suffrage" mean
exactly--the right to vote in all elections, or only in certain ones?
Does it carry with it the right to hold office? Would the voting
qualifications be the same for women as for men? Then would follow the

How could this scheme be used for a discussion of the Monroe Doctrine?
For higher education? For education for girls? For child working laws?
For a league of nations? For admitting Asiatic laborers to the United
States? For advocating the study of the sciences? For urging men to
become farmers? For predicting aerial passenger service? For a
scholarship qualification in athletics? For abolishing railroad grade
crossings? For equal wages for men and women?


Make the completed brief for one or more of the preceding.

Briefs should be made for propositions selected from the following

1. The President of the United States should be elected by the direct
vote of the people.

2. The States should limit the right of suffrage to persons who can
read and write.

3. The President of the United States should be elected for a term of
seven years, and be ineligible to reëlection.

4. A great nation should be made the mandatory over an inferior

5. Students should be allowed school credit for outside reading in
connection with assigned work, or for editing of school papers, or for
participation in dramatic performances.

6. This state should adopt the "short ballot."

7. The present rules of football are unsatisfactory.

8. Coaching from the bench should be forbidden in baseball.

9. Compulsory military drill should be introduced into all educational

10. Participation in athletics lowers the scholarship of students.

11. Pupils should receive credit in school for music lessons outside.

12. The United States should abandon the Monroe Doctrine.

13. In jury trials, a three-fourths vote should be enough for the
rendering of a verdict.

14. Strikes are unprofitable.

15. Commercial courses should be offered in all high schools.

16. Employers of children under sixteen should be required to provide
at least eight hours of instruction a week for them.

17. Current events should be studied in all history or civics courses.

18. The practice of Christmas giving should be discontinued.

19. School buildings should be used as social centers.

20. Bring to class an editorial and an outline of it. Put the outline
upon the board, or read it to the class. Then read the editorial.

Speaking from the Brief. Now that the brief is finished so that it
represents exactly the material and development of the final speech,
how shall it be used? To use it as the basis of a written article to
be memorized is one method. Many speakers have employed such a method,
many today do. The drawbacks of such memorizing have already been
hinted at in an early chapter. If you want to grow in mental grasp,
alertness, and power as a result of your speech training avoid this
method. No matter how halting your first attempts may be, do not get
into the seemingly easy, yet retarding habit of committing to memory.
Memorizing has a decided value, but for speech-making the memory
should be trained for larger matters than verbal reproduction. It
should be used for the retention of facts while the other brain
faculties are engaged in manipulating them for the best effect and
finding words to express them forcefully. Memory is a helpful faculty.
It should be cultivated in connection with the powers of understanding
and expression, but it is not economical to commit a speech verbatim
for delivery. The remarks will lack flexibility, spontaneity, and
often direct appeal. There is a detached, mechanical air about a
memorized speech which helps to ruin it.

With the outline before you, go over it carefully and slowly, mentally
putting into words and sentences the entries you have inserted. You
may even speak it half aloud to yourself, if that fixes the treatment
more firmly in your mind. Then place the brief where you can reach it
with your eye, and speak upon your feet. Some teachers recommend doing
this before a mirror, but this is not always any help, unless you are
conscious of awkward poses or gestures or movements, or facial
contortions. Say the speech over thus, not only once but several
times, improving the phraseology each time, changing where convenient
or necessary, the emphasis, the amount of time, for each portion.

Self-criticism. Try to criticize yourself. This is not easy at first,
but if you are consistent and persistent in your efforts you will be
able to judge yourself in many respects. If you can induce some friend
whose opinion is worth receiving either to listen to your delivery or
to talk the whole thing over with you, you will gain much. In
conference with the teacher before your delivery of the speech such
help will be given. As you work over your brief in this manner you
will be delighted to discover suddenly that you need refer to it less
and less frequently. Finally, the outline will be in your mind, and
when you speak you can give your entire attention to the delivery and
the audience.

Do not be discouraged if you cannot retain all the outline the first
times you try this method. Many a speaker has announced in his
introduction, "I shall present four reasons," and often has sat down
after discussing only three. Until you can dispense entirely with the
brief keep it near you. Speak from it if you need it. Portions which
you want to quote exactly (such as quotations from authorities) may be
memorized or read. In reading be sure you read remarkably well. Few
people can read interestingly before a large audience. Keep your
papers where you can get at them easily. Be careful not to lose your
place so that you will have to shuffle them to get the cue for
continuing. Pauses are not dangerous when they are made deliberately
for effect, but they are ruinous when they betray to the audience
forgetfulness or embarrassment on the part of the speaker. Anticipate
your need. Get your help before you actually need it, so that you can
continue gracefully.

Results. This method, followed for a few months, will develop speaking
ability. It produces results suited to modern conditions of all kinds
of life. It develops practically all the mental faculties and personal
attributes. It puts the speaker directly in touch with his audience.
It permits him to adapt his material to an occasion and audience. It
gives him the opportunity to sway his hearers and used legitimately
for worthy ends, this is the most worthy purpose of any speech.



The part which explanation plays in all phases of life is too apparent
to need any emphasis here. It is to a great extent the basis of all
our daily intercourse, from explaining to a teacher why a lesson has
not been prepared, to painstakingly explaining to a merchant why a
bill has not been paid. An instructor patiently explains a problem to
a class, and a merchant explains the merits of an article or the
operation of a device to his customers. The politician explains why he
should be elected. The financier explains the returns from stock and
bond purchases. The President explains to the Senate the reason for
treaty clauses. The minister explains the teachings of his faith to
his congregation. You can make this list as long as the varied
activities of all life.

Exposition. This kind of discourse, the purpose of which is
explanation, is also called exposition. Has it any relation to the
underlying idea of the term _exposition_ as applied to a great
exhibition or fair? Its purpose is plainly information, the
transmission of knowledge. While description and narration exist
primarily to entertain, exposition exists to convey information.
Description and narration may be classed as literature of
entertainment; exposition as literature of knowledge. It answers such
questions as how? why? for what purpose? in what manner? by what
method? It can sometimes be used to convince a person with opposing
views, for frequently you hear a man to whom the explanation of a
belief has been made, exclaim, "Oh, if that's what you mean, I agree
with you entirely." All instruction, all directions of work, all
scientific literature, are in foundation expository. In its simplest,
most disconnected form, exposition gives its value to that most
essential volume, the dictionary.

Make a list of other kinds of books which are mainly or entirely
expository in character.

Difficulties in Exposition. Such are the purpose and use of
exposition. The difficulty of producing good exposition is evident
from those two factors. As it, exists everywhere, as it purposes to
inform, its first requisite is clearness. Without that quality it is
as nothing. When you direct a stranger how to reach a certain building
in your town, of what value are your remarks unless they are clear?
When a scientist writes a treatise on the topic of the immortality of
man, of what value are his opinions unless his statements are clear?
All the other qualities which prose may and should possess sink into
subordinate value in exposition when compared with clearness. Because
of all three phases of exposition--its universal use, its informative
purpose, its essential clarity--exposition is an all-important topic
for the consideration and practice of the public speaker. In its
demand for clearness lies also its difficulty. Is it easy to tell the
exact truth, not as a moral exercise, but merely as a matter of
exactness? Why do the careless talkers speak so often of "a sort of
pink" or "a kind of revolving shaft" or tack on at the end of phrases
the meaningless "something" or "everything" except that even in their
unthinking minds there is the hazy impression--they really never have
a well-defined idea--that they have not said exactly what they want to

Clear Understanding. Here then is the first requisite for the public
speaker. He must have no hazy impressions, no unthinking mind, no
ill-defined ideas, no inexactness. He must have a clear understanding
of all he tries to tell to others. Without this the words of a speaker
are as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. Or he may deliver a great
roar of words signifying nothing. This is the fault with most
recitations of pupils in school--they do not get a clear understanding
of the material assigned to them for mastery. As a test of the degree
of understanding, the recitation method serves admirably. The lecture
method of instruction--clear though the presentation may be--offers no
manner of finding out, until the final examination, how much the pupil
actually understands. So far, in public speaking, the only way of
learning that the student understands the principles and can apply
them is to have him speak frequently to indicate his ability. Can you
not name among your associates and friends those whose explanations
are lucid, concise, direct, unconfusing, and others whose attempts at
exposition are jumbled, verbose, unenlightening?

Have you not criticized certain teachers by remarking "they may know
their own subjects all right, but they couldn't impart their knowledge
to the class"?

Command of Language. What was lacking in their case? Certainly, to be
charitable, we cannot say they lacked a clear understanding of their
own topic. It must have been something else. That second element,
which is at times almost entirely absent when the first is present, is
the command of language. Many a man knows a great deal but is
incapable of transmitting his knowledge. He lacks the gift of
expression. He has not cultivated it--for it can be cultivated. The
man whose desire or vocation forces him to make the effort to speak
will train himself in methods of communication, until he arrives at
comfort and fluency.

The district manager of a large electric company related that as he
would sit at a meeting of the directors or committee of a large
corporation and realized that the moment was approaching when he would
be called upon to speak he would feel his senses grow confused, a
sinking feeling amounting almost to faintness would sweep over him.
Strong in his determination to do the best he could for his company he
would steady his nerves by saying to himself, "You know more about
this matter than any of these men. That's why you are here. Tell them
what you know so plainly that they will understand as well as you do."
There was, you see, the reassurance of complete understanding of the
subject coupled with the endeavor to express it clearly. These two
elements, then, are of supreme significance to the public speaker.
Even to the person who desires to write well, they are all-important.
To the speaker they are omnipresent. The effect of these two upon the
intellectual development is marked. The desire for clear
understanding will keep the mind stored with material to assimilate
and communicate. It will induce the mind continually to manipulate
this material to secure clarity in presentation. This will result in
developing a mental adroitness of inestimable value to the speaker,
enabling him to seize the best method instantaneously and apply it to
his purposes. At the same time, keeping always in view the use of this
material as the basis of communicating information or convincing by
making explanations, he will be solicitous about his language. Words
will take on new values. He will be continually searching for new ones
to express the exact differences of ideas he wants to convey. He will
try different expressions, various phrases, changed word orders, to
test their efficacy and appropriateness in transferring his meaning to
his hearers. Suggestions offered in the chapter of this book on words
and sentences will never cease to operate in his thinking and
speaking. There will be a direct result in his ability as a speaker
and a reflex result upon his ability as a thinker. What is more
encouraging, he will realize and appreciate these results himself, and
his satisfaction in doing better work will be doubled by the delight
in knowing exactly how he secured the ends for which he strove.

Methods of Explaining. In order to make a matter clear, to convey
information, a speaker has at his disposal many helpful ways of
arranging his material. Not all topics can be treated in all or even
any certain one of the following manners, but if the student is
familiar with certain processes he will the more easily and surely
choose just that one suited to the topic he intends to explain and
the circumstances of his exposition.

Division. One of these methods is by division. A speaker may separate
a topic or term into the parts which comprise it. For instance, a
scientist may have to list all the kinds of electricity; a Red Cross
instructor may divide all bandages into their several kinds; an
athletic coach may have to explain all the branches of sports in order
to induce more candidates to appear for certain events; a banker may
have to divide financial operations to make clear an advertising
pamphlet soliciting new lines of business, such as drawing up of

The ability to do this is a valuable mental accomplishment as well as
an aid to speaking. In dividing, care must be taken to make the
separations according to one principle for any one class. It would not
result in clearness to divide all men according to height, and at the
same time according to color. This would result in confusion. Divide
according to height first, then divide the classes so formed according
to color if needed--as might be done in military formation. Each
group, then, must be distinctly marked off from all other groups. In
scientific and technical matters such division may be carried to the
extreme limit of completeness. Complete division is called

Partition. In non-scientific compositions such completeness is seldom
necessary. It might even defeat the purpose by being too involved, by
including too many entries, and by becoming difficult to remember.
Speakers seldom have need of classification, but they often do have
to make divisions for purposes of explanation. This kind of grouping
is called partition. It goes only so far as is necessary for the
purpose at the time. It may stop anywhere short of being complete and
scientifically exact. All members of the large class not divided and
listed are frequently lumped together under a last heading such as
_all others, miscellaneous, the rest, those not falling under our
present examination_.


1. Classify games. Which principle will you use for your first main
division--indoor and outdoor games, or winter and summer games, or
some other?

2. Classify the races of men. What principle would you use?

3. How would you arrange the books in a private library?

4. Classify the forms of theatrical entertainments. Is your list

5. Classify branches of mathematics. The entries may total over a

6. Classify the pupils in your school.

7. Classify the people in your school. Is there any difference?

8. Classify the following:

The political parties of the country.
Methods of transportation.
The buildings in a city.
Canned goods.

Skill in division is valuable not only as a method of exposition but
it is linked closely with an effective method of proving to be
explained in the next chapter--the method of residues. Can you recall
any extracts given in this book in which some form of division is
used? Is this form of material likely to be more important in
preparation or in the finished speech? Explain your opinion--in other
words, present a specimen of exposition.

Definition. One of the simplest ways of explaining is to define a
term. Dictionary definitions are familiar to everyone. In a great
many instances the dictionary definition is by means of synonyms.
While this is a convenient, easy method it is seldom exact. Why?
Recall what you learned concerning the meanings of synonyms. Do they
ever exactly reproduce one another's meanings? There is always a
slight degree of inaccuracy in definition by synonym, sometimes a
large margin of inexactness. Is the following a good definition?

    A visitor to a school began his address: "This morning,
    children, I propose to offer you an epitome of the life of
    St. Paul. It may be perhaps that there are among you some too
    young to grasp the meaning of the word _epitome_. _Epitome_,
    children, is in its signification synonymous with synopsis!"

    London Tid-Bits

Logical Definition. An exact definition is supplied by the logical
definition. In this there are three parts--the term to be defined,
the class (or genus) to which it belongs, and the distinguishing
characteristics (differentia) which mark it off from all the other
members of that same class. You can represent this graphically by
inclosing the word _term_ in a small circle. Around this draw a larger
circle in which you write the word _class_. Now what divides the term
from the class in which it belongs? Indicate the line around the
_term_ as _distinguishing characteristics_, and you will clearly see
how accurate a logical definition is. The class should be just larger
than the term itself. The main difficulty is in finding exact and
satisfying distinguishing characteristics. There are some terms which
are so large that no classes can be found for them. Others cannot be
marked by acceptable distinguishing characteristics, so it is not
possible to make logical definitions for all terms. Consider such
words as _infinity, electricity, gravity, man_.

The words of the definition should be simple, more readily understood
than the term to be defined.

Term          Class                     Distinguishing characteristics

A biplane     is an airplane             with two sets of supporting

A waitress    is a woman                 who serves meals.

Narration     is that form of discourse  which relates events.

A word        is a combination of        suggesting an idea.
A dictionary  is a book                  of definitions.

A corporal    is an army officer         just higher than a private.


1. Make logical definitions for the following:

A dynamo                A circle        A hammer
A curiosity             Lightning       A trip-hammer
Moving picture camera   Democracy       A lady
Curiosity               An anarchist    A Lady
A door                  A sky-scraper   Man

2. Analyze and comment on the following definitions:

Man is a two-legged animal without feathers.
Life is an epileptic fit between two nothings.
Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.
The picture writings of the ancient Egyptians are called hieroglyphics.
A fly is an obnoxious insect that disturbs you in the morning when you
    want to sleep.
Real bravery is defeated cowardice.
A brigantine is a small, two-masted vessel, square rigged on both
    masts, but with a fore-and-aft mainsail and the mainmast considerably
    longer than the foremast.
A mushroom is a cryptogamic plant of the class _Fungi_; particularly
    the agaricoid fungi and especially the edible forms.
Language is the means of concealing thought.
A rectangle of equal sides is a square.
Hyperbole is a natural exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis.

Amplified Definition. While such definitions are the first positions
from which all interpretations must proceed, in actual speech-making
explanations of terms are considerably longer. Yet the form of the
true logical definition is always imbedded--in germ at least--in the
amplified statement.

    Again, democracy will be, in a large sense, individualistic.
    That ideal of society which seeks a disciplined, obedient
    people, submissive to government and unquestioning in its
    acceptance of orders, is not a democratic ideal. You cannot
    have an atmosphere of "implicit obedience to authority" and
    at the same time and in the same place an atmosphere of
    democratic freedom. There is only one kind of discipline
    that is adequate to democracy and that is self-discipline.
    An observant foreigner has lately remarked, somewhat
    paradoxically, that the Americans seemed to him the best
    disciplined people in the world. In no other country does a
    line form itself at a ticket office or at the entrance to a
    place of amusement with so little disorder, so little delay,
    and so little help from a policeman. In no other country
    would an appeal of the government for self-control in the use
    of food or fuel, for a restriction of hours of business, for
    "gas-less Sundays," have met with so ready, so generous and
    so sufficient a response. Our American lads, alert,
    adaptable, swiftly-trained, self-directed, have been quite
    the equal of the continental soldiers, with their longer
    technical training and more rigorous military discipline. In
    these respects the English, and especially the British
    colonial soldiers have been much like our own. Democracy,
    whether for peace or for war, in America or in England,
    favors individuality. Independence of thought and action on
    the part of the mass of the people are alike the result of
    democracy and the condition of its continuance and more
    complete development, and it is visibly growing in England as
    the trammels of old political and social class control are
    being thrown off.

    EDWARD P. CHEYNEY: _Historical Tests of Democracy_

    What is a constitution? Certainly not a league, compact, or
    confederacy, but a fundamental law. That fundamental
    regulation which determines the manner in which the public
    authority is to be executed, is what forms the constitution
    of a state. Those primary rules which concern the body
    itself, and the very being of the political society, the form
    of government, and the manner in which power is to be
    exercised--all, in a word, which form together the
    constitution of a state--these are the fundamental laws.
    This, Sir, is the language of the public writers. But do we
    need to be informed, in this country, what a constitution
    is? Is it not an idea perfectly familiar, definite, and well
    settled? We are at no loss to understand what is meant by the
    constitution of one of the States; and the Constitution of
    the United States speaks of itself as being an instrument of
    the same nature.

    DANIEL WEBSTER: _The Constitution Not a Compact
    between Sovereign States_, 1833

Particulars of a General Statement. A general statement made at the
beginning of a paragraph or section, serving as the topic sentence,
may then be explained by breaking the general idea up into details and
particulars. This may partake of the nature of both definition and
partition, as the terms may be explained and their component parts
listed. Note that in the following selection the first sentences state
the topic of the passage which the succeeding sentences explain by
discussing the phrase _variety of evils_.

    So likewise a passionate attachment of one nation for another
    produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite
    nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common
    interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and
    infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the
    former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the
    latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It
    leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of
    privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure
    the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting
    with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting
    jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the
    parties from whom equal privileges are withheld, and it gives
    to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote
    themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray, or
    sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium,
    sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances
    of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference
    for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the
    base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption or

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: _Farewell Address_, 1796

Examples. A statement may be explained by giving examples. The speaker
must be sure that his example fits the case exactly; that it is
typical--that is, it must serve as a true instance of all cases under
the statement, not be merely an exception; that it is perfectly clear;
that it impresses the audience as unanswerable. The example may be
either actual or suppositious, but it must illustrate clearly and
accurately. The use of examples is a great aid in explanation. John C.
Calhoun expressed the value very distinctly in one of his speeches.

     I know how difficult it is to communicate distinct ideas on
     such a subject, through the medium of general propositions,
     without particular illustration; and in order that I may be
     distinctly understood, though at the hazard of being
     tedious, I will illustrate the important principle which I
     have ventured to advance, by examples.

By the use of an example he does make himself distinctly understood.

     Let us, then, suppose a small community of five persons,
     separated from the rest of the world; and, to make the
     example strong, let us suppose them all to be engaged in the
     same pursuit, and to be of equal wealth. Let us further
     suppose that they determine to govern the community by the
     will of a majority; and, to make the case as strong as
     possible, let us suppose that the majority, in order to
     meet the expenses of the government, lay an equal tax, say
     of one hundred dollars on each individual of this little
     community. Their treasury would contain five hundred
     dollars. Three are a majority; and they, by supposition,
     have contributed three hundred as their portion, and the
     other two (the minority), two hundred. The three have the
     right to make the appropriations as they may think proper.
     The question is, How would the principle of the absolute and
     unchecked majority operate, under these circumstances, in
     this little community?

     JOHN C. CALHOUN: _Speech on The Force Bill_, 1833

The example should be taken from the same phase of life as the
proposition it explains. As Calhoun was discussing governmental
regulation he supposed an example from majority rule. In the next the
topic is copyright, so the illustration is not taken from patents. In
introducing your own examples avoid the trite, amateurish expression
"take, for instance."

     Now, this is the sort of boon which my honorable and learned
     friend holds out to authors. Considered as a boon to them,
     it is a mere nullity; but, considered as an impost on the
     public, it is no nullity, but a very serious and pernicious
     reality. I will take an example. Dr. Johnson died fifty-six
     years ago. If the law were what my honorable and learned
     friend wishes to make it, somebody would now have the
     monopoly of Dr. Johnson's works. Who that somebody would be
     it is impossible to say; but we may venture to guess. I
     guess, then, that it would have been some bookseller, who
     was the assign of another bookseller, who was the grandson
     of a third bookseller, who had bought the copyright from
     Black Frank, the doctor's servant and residuary legatee, in
     1785 or 1786. Now, would the knowledge that this copyright
     would exist in 1841 have been a source of gratification to
     Johnson? Would it have stimulated his exertions? Would it
     have once drawn him out of his bed before noon? Would it
     have once cheered him under a fit of the spleen? Would it
     have induced him to give us one more allegory, one more life
     of a poet, one more imitation of Juvenal? I firmly believe
     not. I firmly believe that a hundred years ago, when he was
     writing our debates for the _Gentleman's Magazine_, he would
     very much rather have had twopence to buy a plate of shin of
     beef at a cook's shop underground.

     THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY: _Copyright_, 1841

Comparison. Unfamiliar matter may be made plain by showing how it
resembles something already clearly understood by the audience. This
is comparison. It shows how two things are alike. The old geographies
used to state that the earth is an oblate spheroid, then explain that
term by comparison with an orange, pointing out the essential
flattening at the poles. In any use of comparison the resemblance must
be real, not assumed. Many a speaker has been severely criticized for
his facts because he asserted in comparison similarities that did not

Contrast. When the _differences_ between two things are carefully
enumerated the process is termed contrast. This is often used in
combination with comparison, for no two things are exactly alike. They
may resemble each other in nearly all respects, so comparison is
possible and helpful up to a certain limit. To give an exact idea of
the remainder the differences must be pointed out; that requires

In contrast the opposing balance of details does not have to depend
necessarily on a standard familiar to the audience. It may be an
arrangement of opposite aspects of the same thing to bring out more
vividly the understanding. In his _History of the English People_,
Green explains the character of Queen Elizabeth by showing the
contrasted elements she inherited from her mother, Anne Boleyn, and
her father, Henry VIII. Such a method results not only in added
clearness, but also in emphasis. The plan may call for half a
paragraph on one side, the second half on the other; or it may cover
two paragraphs or sections; or it may alternate with every detail--an
affirmative balanced by a negative, followed at once by another pair
of affirmative and negative, or statement and contrast, and so on
until the end. The speaker must consider such possibilities of
contrast, plan for his own, and indicate it in his brief.

Nearly any speech will provide illustrations of the methods of
comparison and contrast. Burke's _Conciliation with America_ has
several passages of each.

Cause to Effect. Explanations based on progressions from cause to
effect and the reverse are admirably suited to operations, movements,
changes, conditions, elections. An exposition of a manufacturing
process might move from cause to effect. A legislator trying to secure
the passage of a measure might explain its operation by beginning with
the law (the cause) and tracing its results (the effect). So, too, a
reformer might plead for a changed condition by following the same
method. A speaker dealing with history or biography might use this
same plan.

Effect to Cause. In actual events, the cause always precedes the
effect, but in discussion it is sometimes better not to follow natural
or usual orders. Many explanations gain in clearness and effect by
working backwards. A voter might begin by showing the condition of a
set of workmen (an effect), then trace conditions backward until he
would end with a plea for the repeal of a law (the cause). A student
might explain a low mark on his report by starting with the grading
(the effect) and tracing backwards all his struggles to an early
absence by which he missed a necessary explanation by the teacher. A
doctor might begin a report by stating the illness of several persons
with typhus; then trace preceding conditions step by step until he
reached the cause--oysters eaten by them in a hotel were kept cool by
a dealer's letting water run over them. This water in its course had
picked up the disease germs--the cause. Many crimes are solved by
moving from effect to cause. A lawyer in his speeches, therefore,
frequently follows this method.

Both these methods are so commonly employed that the student can cite
instances from many speeches he has heard or books he has read.

Time Order. Somewhat similar to the two preceding arrangements of
exposition are the next two based on time. The first of these is the
natural time order, or chronological order. In this the details follow
one another as events happened. It is to be noted, however, that not
any group of succeeding details will make a good exposition of this
sort. The parts must be closely related. They must be not merely
_sequential_ but _consequential_. Dictionary definitions will explain
the difference in meaning of those two words. This method is somewhat
like the order from cause to effect, but it is adapted to other kinds
of topics and other purposes of explanation. It is excellently suited
to historical material, or any related kind. It is the device usually
employed in explaining mechanical or manufacturing processes. In mere
frequency of occurrence it is doubtlessly the most common.

Time Order Reversed. The student who starts to cast his expositions
into this scheme should judge its fitness for his particular purpose
at the time. It will often become apparent upon thought that instead
of the natural chronological order the exact opposite will suit
better. This--time order reversed--explains itself as the arrangement
from the latest occurrence back through preceding events and details
until the earliest time is reached. It is quite like the arrangement
from effect back to cause. It might be used to explain the legal
procedure of a state or nation, to explain treaty relations, to
explain the giving up of old laws. The movements of a man accused of
crime might be explained in this way. An alibi for a person might be
built up thus. The various versions of some popular story told over
and over again through a long period of years might be explained after
such a manner.

Although the time order reversed is not so common as the chronological
order it does occur many times.

Place. Certain material of exposition demands the order of place. This
means that the details of the explanation are arranged according to
the position of objects. If you have written many descriptions you
are familiar with the problems brought up by such an order. A few
illustrations will make it clear. A man on the street asks you how to
reach a certain point in the city. On what plan do you arrange your
directions? According to their place? You start to explain to a friend
the general lay-out of New York, or Chicago, or San Francisco. How do
you arrange the details of your exposition? You attempt to convey to
another person the plan of some large building. What arrangement is
inevitable? How do books on sports explain the baseball field, the
football gridiron, the tennis court, the golf links? When
specifications for a building are furnished to the contractor, what
principle of arrangement is followed? If an inventor gives
instructions to a pattern-maker for the construction of a model, what
plan does he follow? Would a man discussing drawings for a new house
be likely to formulate his explanations on this scheme?

You see, then, how well suited such an arrangement is to a variety of
uses. In such expository passages the transition and connecting words
are mainly expressions of place and relative position such as _to the
right, above, below, to the rear, extending upwards at an angle of
sixty degrees, dividing equally into three sections._ Such indications
must never be slighted in spoken explanations. They keep the material
clear and exact in the hearer's comprehension. The speaker, remember,
can never assume that his audience is bound to understand him. His
task is to be so clear that no single individual can fail to
understand him.

Importance. It has already been stated--in the chapter on
planning--that topics may be arranged in the order of their
importance. This same scheme may be used in delivery of expository
matter. A hearer will follow the explanation if he be led gradually up
the ascent; he will remember most clearly the latter part of the
passage. If this include the prime factor of the information he will
retain it longest and most clearly. You should listen to speeches of
explanations critically to judge whether the plans are good. Should
you make a list of the number of times any of the plans here set down
appears you will be struck by the fact that while other orders are
quite frequent, this last principle of leading up to the most
important outranks all the others. It may be simply a form of one of
the others previously enumerated in which time order, or contrast, or
cause to effect is followed simply because that does bring the most
important last in the discussion. Such an arrangement answers best to
the response made to ideas by people in audiences. It is a principle
of all attempts to instruct them, to appeal to them, to stimulate
them, to move them, that the successive steps must increase in
significance and impressiveness until the most moving details be laid
before them. Analyze for yourself or for the class a few long
explanations you have listened to, and report whether this principle
was followed. Does it bear any relation to concluding a speech with a

Combinations of Methods. While any one of the foregoing methods may be
used for a single passage it is not usual in actual practice to find
one scheme used throughout all the explanatory matter of the speech.
In the first place, the attention of the audience would very likely
become wearied by the monotony of such a device. Certain parts of the
material under explanation seem to require one treatment, other
portions require different handling. Therefore good speakers usually
combine two or more of these plans.

Partition could hardly be used throughout an entire speech without
ruining its interest. It occurs usually early to map out the general
field or scope. Definition also is likely to be necessary at the
beginning of an explanation to start the audience with clear ideas. It
may be resorted to at various times later whenever a new term is
introduced with a meaning the audience may not entirely understand.
Both partition and definition are short, so they are combined with
other forms. Examples, likewise, may be introduced anywhere.

The two most frequently closely combined are comparison and contrast.
Each seems to require the other. Having shown how two things or ideas
are alike, the speaker naturally passes on to secure more definiteness
by showing that with all their likenesses they are not exactly the
same, and that the differences are as essential to a clear
comprehension of them as the similarities. So usual are they that many
people accept the two words as meaning almost the same thing, though
in essence they are opposites.

The other orders cannot be used in such close combinations but they
may be found in varying degrees in many extended speeches of
explanation as the nature of the material lends itself to one
treatment or another. A twelve-hundred word discussion of _The Future
of Food_ uses examples, contrasted examples, effect to cause, cause to
effect (the phrase beginning a paragraph is "there is already evidence
that this has resulted in a general lowering "), while the succeeding
parts grow in significance until the last is the most important. A
great English statesman in a speech lasting some three hours on a
policy of government employed the following different methods at
various places where he introduced expository material--partition (he
claimed it was classification, but he listed for consideration only
three of the essential five choices), contrast, comparison, time,
example, place, cause to effect. Some of these methods of arranging
explanatory matter were used several times.


1. Explain a topic by giving three examples. The class should comment
upon their value.

2. Explain to the class some mechanical operation or device. The class
after listening should decide which method the speaker used.

3. Explain some principle of government or society following the time

4. With a similar topic follow time reversed.

5. With a similar topic use comparison only.

6. Follow an arrangement based on contrast only.

7. In explaining a topic combine comparison and contrast.

8. Explain some proverb, text, or quotation. The class should discuss
the arrangement.

9. Choose some law or government regulation. Condemn or approve it in
an explanation based on cause to effect.

10. With the same or a similar topic use effect to cause.

11. Explain to the class the plan of some large building or group of
buildings. Is your explanation easily understood?

12. Explain why a certain study fits one for a particular vocation.
Use the order of importance.

13. Give an idea of two different magazines, using comparison and

14. Explain some game. Time order?

15. How is a jury trial conducted?

16. Explain the principles of some political party.

17. Speak for four minutes upon exercise in a gymnasium.

18. Tell how a school paper, or daily newspaper, or magazine is

19. What is slang?

20. Explain one of your hobbies.

21. Classify and explain the qualities of a good speaker. Order of

22. Explain some natural phenomenon.

23. Explain the best method for studying.

24. Contrast business methods.

25. From some business (as stock selling) or industry (as automobile
manufacturing) or new vocation (as airplaning) or art (as acting) or
accomplishment (as cooking) choose a group of special terms and
explain them in a connected series of remarks.

26. Why is superstition so prevalent? The class should discuss the
explanations presented.

27. "The point that always perplexes me is this: I always feel that if
all the wealth was shared out, it would be all the same again in a few
years' time. No one has ever explained to me how you can get over
that." Explain clearly one of the two views suggested here.

28. Explain the failure of some political movement, or the defeat of
some nation.

29. Select a passage from some book, report, or article, couched in
intricate technical or specialized phraseology. Explain it clearly to
the class.

30. Ben Jonson, a friend of Shakespeare's, wrote of him, "He was not
of an age, but for all time." What did he mean?



What Argumentation Is. It is an old saying that there are two sides to
every question. Any speaker who supports some opinion before an
audience, who advances some theory, who urges people to do a certain
thing, to vote a certain way, to give money for charitable purposes,
recognizes the opposite side. In trying to make people believe as he
believes, to induce them to act as he advises, he must argue with
them. Argumentation, as used in this book, differs widely from the
informal exchange of opinions and views indulged in across the dinner
table or on the trolley car. It does not correspond with the usual
meaning of argue and argument which both so frequently suggest
wrangling and bickering ending in ill-tempered personal attacks.
Argumentation is the well-considered, deliberate means employed to
convince others of the truth or expediency of the views advocated by
the speaker. Its purpose is to carry conviction to the consciousness
of others. This is its purpose. Its method is proof. Proof is the body
of facts, opinions, reasons, illustrations, conclusions, etc.,
properly arranged and effectively presented which makes others accept
as true or right the proposition advanced by the speaker. Of course,
argumentation may exist in writing but as this volume is concerned
with oral delivery, the word speaker is used in the definition. So
much for the purpose and nature of argumentation.

Use of Argumentation. Where is it used? Everywhere, in every form of
human activity. Argumentation is used by a youngster trying to induce
a companion to go swimming and by a committee of world statesmen
discussing the allotment of territory. In business a man uses it from
the time he successfully convinces a firm it should employ him as an
office boy until he secures the acceptance of his plans for a
combination of interests which will control the world market. Lawyers,
politicians, statesmen, clergymen, live by argumentation. In the life
of today, which emphasizes so markedly the two ideas of individuality
and efficiency, argumentation is of paramount importance.

Any person can argue, in the ordinary sense of stating opinions and
views, in so far as any one can converse. But to produce good,
convincing argumentation is not so easy as that. The expression of
personal preferences, opinions, ideas, is not argumentation, although
some people who advance so far as to become speakers before audiences
seem never to realize that truth, and display themselves as pretending
to offer argumentation when they are in reality doing no more than
reciting personal beliefs and suggestions.

Cite instances of speakers who have indulged in such personal opinions
when they might or should have offered arguments.

While argumentation is not so easily assembled as running conversation
is, it may be made quite as fascinating as the latter, and just as
surely as a person can have his conversational ability developed so
can a person have his argumentative power strengthened.

Conviction. What should be the first requisite of a speaker of
argumentation? Should it be conviction in the truth or right of the
position he takes and the proposition he supports? At first thought
one would answer emphatically "yes." A great deal of discredit has
been brought upon the study of argumentation by the practice of
speakers to pretend to have opinions which in reality they do not
sincerely believe. The practical instance is the willingness of paid
lawyers to defend men of whose guilt they must be sure. Such criticism
does not apply to cases in which there are reasonable chances for
opposing interpretations, nor to those cases in which our law decrees
that every person accused of crime shall be provided with counsel, but
to those practices to which Lincoln referred when he recommended the
lawyer not to court litigation. Nor should this criticism deter a
student of public speaking from trying his skill in defense of the
other side, when he feels that such practice will help him in weighing
his own arguments. In every instance of this highly commendable double
method of preparation which the author has seen in classrooms, the
speaker, after his speech has been commented upon, has always declared
his real position and explained why he advocated the opposite. Even
school and college debating has been criticized in the same way for
becoming not an attempt to discover or establish the truth or right of
a proposition, but a mere game with formal rules, a set of scoring
regulations, and a victory or defeat with consequent good or bad
effects upon the whole practice of undergraduate debating. If such
contests are understood in their true significance, as practice in
training, and the assumption of conviction by a student is not
continued after graduation so that he will in real life defend and
support opinions he really does not believe, the danger is not so
great. The man who has no fixed principles, who can argue equally
glibly on any side of a matter, whose talents are at any man's command
of service, is untrustworthy. Convictions are worthy elements in life.
A man must change his stand when his convictions are argued away, but
the man whose opinions shift with every new scrap of information or
influence is neither a safe leader nor a dependable subordinate.

For the sake of the training, then, a student _may_ present arguments
from attitudes other than his own sincere conviction, but the practice
should be nothing more than a recognized exercise.

Because of its telling influence upon the opinion of others let us,
without further reservation, set down that the first essential of a
good argument is the ability to convince others. Aside from the
language and the manner of delivery--two elements which must never be
disregarded in any speech--this ability to convince others depends
upon the proof presented to them in support of a proposition. The
various kinds and methods of proof, with matters closely related to
them, make up the material of this chapter.

The Proposition. In order to induce argument, there must be a
proposition. A proposition in argument is a statement--a declarative
sentence--concerning the truth or expediency of which there may be
two opinions. Notice that not every declarative statement is a
proposition for argument. "The sun rises" is not a statement about
which there can be any varying opinions. It is not a proposition for
argument. But "Missionaries should not be sent to China," and "John
Doe killed Simon Lee," are statements admitting of different opinions
and beliefs. They are propositions for argument. No sane person would
argue about such a statement as "Missionaries are sent to China," nor
would any one waste time on such a statement as "Some day a man named
John Doe will kill a man named Simon Lee."

Although in common language we speak of arguing a question the student
must remember that such a thing is impossible. You cannot argue about
a question. Nor can you argue about a subject or a topic. The only
expression about which there can be any argument is a proposition. The
question must be answered. The resulting statement is then proved or
disproved. The topic must be given some definite expression in a
declarative sentence before any real argument is possible. Even when
the matter of argument is incorrectly phrased as a topic or question
you will find almost immediately in the remarks the proposition as a
sentence. "Should women vote?" may be on the posters announcing an
address, but the speaker will soon declare, "Women should vote in all
elections in the United States upon the same conditions that men do."
That is the proposition being argued; the question has been answered.

Kinds of Propositions. Certain kinds of propositions should never be
chosen for argumentation. Many are incapable of proof, so any speech
upon them would result in the mere repetition of personal opinions.
Such are: The pen is mightier than the sword; Business men should not
read poetry; Every person should play golf; Ancient authors were
greater than modern authors. Others are of no interest to contemporary
audiences and for that reason should not be presented. In the Middle
Ages scholars discussed such matters as how many angels could stand on
the point of a needle, but today no one cares about such things.

Propositions of Fact. Propositions fall into the two classes already
illustrated by the statements about missionaries in China and the
killing of Simon Lee. The second--John Doe killed Simon Lee--is a
proposition of fact. All argument about it would tend to prove either
the affirmative or the negative. One argument would strive to prove
the statement a fact. The other argument would try to prove its
opposite the actual fact. Facts are accomplished results or finished
events. Therefore propositions of fact refer to the past. They are the
material of argument in all cases at law, before investigation
committees, and in similar proceedings. Lincoln argued a proposition
of fact when he took Douglas's statement, "Our fathers, when they
framed the government under which we live, understood this question
just as well, and even better, than we do now," and then proved by
telling exactly how they voted upon every measure dealing with slavery
exactly what the thirty-nine signers of the Constitution did believe
about national control of the practice. Courts of law demand that
pleadings "shall set forth with certainty and with truth the matters
of fact or of law, the truth or falsity of which must be decided to
decide the case."

Propositions of Policy. Notice that the other proposition--Missionaries
should not be sent to China--is not concerned with a fact at all. It
deals with something which should or should not be done. It deals with
future conduct. It depends upon the value of the results to be secured.
It looks to the future. It deals with some principle of action. It is a
question of expediency or policy. It induces argument to show that one
method is the best or not the best. Propositions of expediency or policy
are those which confront all of us at every step in life. Which college
shall a boy attend? What kind of work shall a woman enter? How large
shall taxes be next year? Which candidate shall we elect? How shall we
better the city government? How shall I invest my money? What kind of
automobile shall I buy? What kind of will shall I make?

The answers to all such questions make propositions of expediency or
policy upon which arguments are being composed and delivered every

In choosing propositions for argument avoid, 1, those which are
obviously truth; 2, those in which some ambiguous word or term covers
the truth; 3, those in which the truth or error is practically
impossible of proof; 4, those involving more than one main issue; 5,
those which do not interest the audience.

Wording the Proposition. The proposition should be accurately worded.
In law if the word _burglary_ is used in the indictment, the defense,
in order to quash the charge, need show merely that a door was
unlocked. The phrasing should be as simple and concise as possible.
The proposition should not cover too wide a field. Although these
directions seem self-evident they should be kept in mind continually.

When the proposition is satisfactory to the maker of the argument he
is ready to begin to build his proof. In actual speech-making few
arguments can be made as convincing as a geometrical demonstration but
a speaker can try to make his reasoning so sound, his development so
cogent, his delivery so convincing, that at the end of his speech, he
can exclaim triumphantly, "Quod erat demonstrandum."

Burden of Proof. Every argument presupposes the opposite side. Even
when only one speaker appears his remarks always indicate the
possibility of opposite views in the minds of some of the hearers. The
affirmative and negative are always present. It is frequently asserted
that the burden of proof is on the negative. This is no more correct
than the opposite statement would be. The place of the burden of proof
depends entirely upon the wording of the proposition and the statement
it makes. In general the burden of proof is upon the side which
proposes any change of existing conditions, the side which supports
innovations, which would introduce new methods. With the passage of
time the burden of proof may shift from one side to the other. There
was a time when the burden of proof was upon the advocates of woman
suffrage; today it is undoubtedly upon the opponents. At one period
the opponents of the study of Latin and Greek had the burden of proof,
now the supporters of such study have it. Other topics upon which the
burden of proof has shifted are popular election of Senators,
prohibition, League of Nations, self-determination of small nations,
the study of vocations, civics, and current topics in schools, an
all-year school term, higher salaries for teachers, the benefits of
labor unions, Americanization of the foreign born.

Evidence. One of the best ways of proving a statement is by giving
evidence of its truth. Evidence is made up of facts which support any
proposition. In court a witness when giving testimony (evidence) is
not allowed to give opinions or beliefs--he is continually warned to
offer only what he knows of the fact. It is upon the facts marshaled
before it that the jury is charged to render its verdict.

Direct Evidence. Evidence may be of two kinds--direct and indirect.
This second, especially in legal matters, is termed circumstantial
evidence. Direct evidence consists of facts that apply directly to the
proposition under consideration. If a man sees a street car passenger
take a wallet from another man's pocket and has him arrested at once
and the wallet is found in his pocket, that constitutes direct
evidence. Outside criminal cases the same kind of assured testimony
can be cited as direct evidence.

Circumstantial Evidence. In most cases in court such direct evidence
is the exception rather than the rule, for a man attempting crime
would shun circumstances in which his crime would be witnessed.
Indirect evidence--circumstantial evidence--is much more usual. It
lacks the certainty of direct evidence, yet from the known facts
presented it is often possible to secure almost the same certainty as
from direct evidence. In serious crimes, such as murder, juries are
extremely cautious about convicting upon circumstantial evidence.
There are many chances of error in making chains of evidence. In
indirect evidence a group of facts is presented from which a
conclusion is attempted. Suppose a boy had trouble with a farmer and
had been heard to threaten to get even. One day the man struck him
with a whip as he passed on the road. That night the farmer's barn was
set on fire. Neighbors declared they saw some one running from the
scene. Next day the boy told his companions he was glad of the loss.
Circumstantial evidence points to the boy as the culprit. Yet what
might the facts be?

In presenting arguments get as much direct evidence as possible to
prove your statements. When direct evidence cannot be secured, link
your indirect evidence so closely that it presents not a single weak
link. Let the conclusion you draw from it be the only possible one.
Make certain no one else can interpret it in any other way.

When you present evidence be sure it completely covers your
contention. Be sure it is clear. Be sure it fits in with all the other
facts and details presented. Do not let it conflict with usual human
experience. Consider the sources of your evidence. If you do not, you
can be certain your audience will. Are your sources reliable? Is the
information authoritative? Is it first-hand material, or merely
hearsay? Is it unprejudiced? Many of the other facts for evidence have
already been suggested in the chapter on getting material.

Two General Methods of Reasoning. Frequently the evidence to be used
in argumentation must be interpreted before it can be of any value,
especially when dealing with propositions of expediency or policy.
There are two general methods of reasoning. One is the inductive
method, the other the deductive.

Inductive Reasoning. When we discover that a certain operation
repeated many times always produces the same result we feel justified
in concluding that we can announce it as a universal law. After
thousands of falling bodies have been measured and always give the
same figures, scientists feel that they may state the law that all
falling bodies acquire an acceleration of 32.2 feet per second. This
illustrates the inductive method of reasoning. In this system we
reason from the specific instance to the general law, from the
particular experiment to the universal theory, from the concrete
instance to the wide principle.

All modern science is based upon this method--the experimental one.
All general theories of any kind today must--to be accepted--be
supported by long and careful consideration of all possible and
probable circumstances. The theory of evolution as applied to the
living things upon the earth is the result of countless observations
and experiments.

Hasty Generalization. The speaker cannot himself examine all the
specific instances, he cannot consider all the illustrations which
might support his position, but he must be careful of a too hasty
generalization. Having talked with a dozen returned soldiers he may
not declare that all American army men are glad to be out of France,
for had he investigated a little further he might have found an equal
number who regret the return to this land. He must base his general
statement on so many instances that his conclusion will convince not
only him, but people disposed to oppose his view. He must be better
prepared to show the truth of his declaration than merely to dismiss
an example which does not fit into his scheme by glibly asserting that
"exceptions prove the rule." He must show that what seems to
contradict him is in nature an exception and therefore has nothing at
all to do with his rule. Beginning speakers are quite prone to this
fault of too hasty generalization.


1. Write down five general theories or statements which have been
established by inductive reasoning.

2. Is there any certainty that they will stand unchanged forever?

3. Under what circumstances are such changes made?

4. Can you cite any accepted laws or theories of past periods which
have been overturned?

Deductive Reasoning. After general laws have been established, either
by human experience or accepted inductive reasoning, they may be cited
as applying to any particular case under consideration. This passing
from the general law to the particular instance is deductive
reasoning. Deductive reasoning has a regular form called the

Major premise. All men are mortal.
Minor premise. Socrates is a man.
Conclusion.    Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

If the three parts of a syllogism are correct it has absolute
convincing power. Most attempts to disprove its statement attack the
first two statements. Although it carries such an air of certainty it
is likely to many errors in use. An error like this is common:

All horses are animals.
All cows are animals.
Therefore, all cows are horses.

Explain the fallacy in this syllogism.

Quite as frequently the incorrect syllogism is of this kind.

The edge of a stream is a bank.
A bank is a financial institution.
Therefore, the edge of a stream is a financial institution.

You will comment upon this that its evident silliness would prevent
any speaker from using such a form in serious argument. But recall
that in the discussion of any idea a term may get its meaning slightly
changed. In that slight change of meaning lurks the error illustrated
here, ready to lead to false reasoning and weakening of the argument.
Certain words of common use are likely to such shifting
meanings--_republic, equality, representative, monarchy, socialistic_.
Any doubtful passage in which such an error is suspected should be
reduced to its syllogistic form to be tested for accuracy.

A representative of the people must vote always as they would vote.
A Congressman is a representative of the people.
Therefore, Congressmen must vote always as the people who elect them
    would vote.

Is not the expression, _representative of the people_, here used in
two different senses?

When an argument is delivered, one of the premises--being a statement
which the speaker assumes everyone will admit as true--is sometimes
omitted. This shortened form is called an enthymeme.

     Smith will be a successful civil engineer for he is a
     superior mathematician.

Supply the missing premise. Which is it?

In the bald, simple forms here set down, the syllogism and enthymeme
are hardly suited to delivery in speeches. They must be amplified,
explained, emphasized, in order to serve a real purpose. The following
represent better the way a speaker uses deductive reasoning.

     The appointing power is vested in the President and Senate;
     this is the general rule of the Constitution. The removing
     power is part of the appointing power; it cannot be
     separated from the rest.

     DANIEL WEBSTER: _The Appointing and Removing
     Power_, 1835

Then Daniel Webster stated in rather extended form the conclusion that
the Senate should share in the removing proceedings.

     Sir, those who espouse the doctrines of nullification
     reject, as it seems to me, the first great principle of all
     republican liberty; that is, that the majority _must_
     govern. In matters of common concern, the judgment of a
     majority _must_ stand as the judgment of the whole.

     DANIEL WEBSTER: _Reply to Calhoun_, 1853

Then, he argues, as these revenue laws were passed by a majority, they
must be obeyed in South Carolina.

Methods of Proof. In extended arguments, just as in detailed
exposition, many different methods of proof may be employed.

Explanation. Often a mere clear explanation will induce a listener to
accept your view of the truth of a proposition. You have heard men
say, "Oh, if that is what you mean, I agree with you entirely. I
simply didn't understand you." When you are about to engage in
argument consider this method of exposition to see if it will suffice.
In all argument there is a great deal of formal or incidental

Authority. When authority is cited to prove a statement it must be
subjected to the same tests in argument as in explanation. Is the
authority reliable? Is he unprejudiced? Does his testimony fit in with
the circumstances under consideration? Will his statements convince a
person likely to be on the opposing side? Why has so much so-called
authoritative information concerning conditions in Europe been so
discounted? Is it not because the reporters are likely to be
prejudiced and because while what they say may be true of certain
places and conditions it does not apply to all the points under
discussion? The speaker who wants the support of authority will test
it as carefully as though its influence is to be used against him--as
indeed, it frequently is.

Examples. Where examples are used in argumentation they must serve as
more than mere illustrations. In exposition an illustration frequently
explains, but that same example would have no value in argument
because while it illustrates it does not prove. A suppositious example
may serve in explanation; only a fact will serve as proof. The more
inevitable its application, the more clinching its effect, the better
its argumentative value. Notice how the two examples given below prove
that the heirs of a literary man might be the very worst persons to
own the copyrights of his writings since as owners they might suppress
books which the world of readers should be able to secure easily.
While these examples illustrate, do they not also prove?

     I remember Richardson's grandson well; he was a clergyman in
     the city of London; he was a most upright and excellent man;
     but he had conceived a strong prejudice against works of
     fiction. He thought all novel-reading not only frivolous but
     sinful. He said--this I state on the authority of one of his
     clerical brethren who is now a bishop--he said that he had
     never thought it right to read one of his grandfather's

     I will give another instance. One of the most instructive,
     interesting, and delightful books in our language is
     Boswell's _Life of Johnson_. Now it is well known that
     Boswell's eldest son considered this book, considered the
     whole relation of Boswell to Johnson, as a blot in the
     escutcheon of the family.

     THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY: _Copyright_, 1841

Analogy. In argument by analogy the speaker attempts to prove that
because certain things are known to be true in something that can be
observed they are likely to be true in something else which in so far
as it can be observed is quite like the first. We continually argue by
analogy in daily life. Lincoln was really using analogy when he
replied to the urging to change his army leaders during the Civil War,
that he didn't think it wise to "swap horses while crossing a
stream." Scientists use this method to draw conclusions when it is
impossible to secure from actual observation or experiment a certain
last step in the reasoning. The planet Mars and the earth are similar
in practically all observable matters; they are about the same
distance from the sun, they have the same surface conditions. The
earth has living creatures upon it. Hence--so goes the reasoning of
analogy--Mars is probably inhabited. Reasoning by analogy is used to
prove that universal suffrage is good for the United States because it
has been good for one particular state. A student may argue by analogy
that the elective system should be introduced into all high schools,
because it has been followed in colleges. It may be asserted that a
leading bank president will make a good university president, because
he has managed one complex institution. The essence of all good
reasoning by analogy is that the two things considered must be so
nearly alike in all that is known that the presumption of belief is
that they must also be alike in the one point the arguer is trying to
establish. This is the test he must apply to his own analogy

     Our community frowns with indignation upon the profaneness
     of the duel, having its rise in this irrational point of
     honor. Are you aware that you indulge the same sentiment on
     a gigantic scale, when you recognize this very point of
     honor as a proper apology for war? We have already seen that
     justice is in no respect promoted by war. Is true honor
     promoted where justice is not?

     CHARLES SUMNER: _The True Grandeur of Nations_,

Residues. The method of residues is frequently employed when the
speaker is supporting a policy to be carried out, a measure to be
adopted, a change to be instituted, or a law to be passed. Granting
the assumption that something must be done he considers all the
various methods which may be employed, disposes of them one by one as
illegal, or unsuited, or clumsy, or inexpedient, leaving only one, the
one he wants adopted, as the one which must be followed.

This is a good practical method of proof, provided the speaker really
considers _all_ the possible ways of proceeding and does show the
undesirability of all except the one remaining.

A speaker pleading for the installation of a commission form of city
control might list all the possible ways of city government, a
business manager, a mayor, a commission. By disposing completely of
the first two, he would have proven the need for the last. A good
speaker will aways go farther than merely to reach this kind of
conclusion. He will, in addition to disproving the unworthy choices,
strongly support his residue, the measure he wants adopted. In
supporting amounts of taxes, assessments, etc., this method may be
used. One amount can be proven so large as to cause unrest, another so
small as to be insufficient, a third to produce a total just large
enough to meet all anticipated expenses with no surplus for
emergencies; therefore the correct amount must be just larger than
this but not reaching an amount likely to produce the result caused by
the first considered. Used in trials of criminal cases it eliminates
motives until a single inevitable remainder cannot be argued away.
This may be the clue to follow, or it may be the last one of all
suspected persons. Burke considered several possible ways of dealing
with the American colonies; one he dismissed as no more than a "sally
of anger," a second could not be operated because of the distance, a
scheme of Lord North's he proved would complicate rather than settle
matters, to change the spirit of America was impossible, to prosecute
it as criminal was inexpedient, therefore but one way remained, to
conciliate the spirit of discontent by letting the colonies vote their
own taxes. It is interesting that what Burke described as the sally of
anger was the way the matter was actually settled--Great Britain had
to give up the American colonies.

This method is also called elimination.

Cause to Effect. Just as the explainer may pass from cause to effect
so may the arguer. Other names for this method are antecedent
probability and _a priori_ argument. In argument from a known cause an
effect is proven as having occurred or as likely to occur. In solving
crime this is the method which uses the value of the motives for crime
as known to exist in the feelings or sentiments of a certain accused
person. A person trying to secure the passage of a certain law will
prove that it as the cause will produce certain effects which make it
desirable. Changed conditions in the United States will be brought
forward as the cause to prove that the Federal government must do
things never contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. Great
military organization as the cause of the recent war is used now in
argument to carry on the plea for the securing of peace by

The main difficulty in reasoning from cause to effect is to make the
relationship so clear and so close that one thing will be accepted by
everybody as the undisputed cause of the alleged effect.

Effect to Cause. In reasoning from effect to cause the reverse method
is employed. This is also termed argument from sign or the _a
posteriori_ method. In it, from some known effect the reasoning proves
that it is the result of a certain specified cause. Statistics
indicating business prosperity might be used as the effect from which
the arguer proves that they are caused by a high protective tariff. A
speaker shows the good effects upon people to prove that certain
laws--claimed as the causes--should be extended in application.
Arguments from effect to cause may be extremely far reaching; as every
effect leads to some cause, which is itself the effect of some other
cause, and so on almost to infinity. The good speaker will use just
those basic causes which prove his proposition--no more.

In actual practice the two forms of reasoning from cause to effect and
from effect to cause are frequently combined to make the arguments all
the more convincing. Grouped together they are termed causal

Persuasion. When a speaker has conclusively proven what he has stated
in his proposition, is his speech ended? In some cases, yes; in many
cases, no. Mere proof appeals to the intellect only; it settles
matters perhaps, but leaves the hearer cold and humanly inactive. He
may feel like saying, "Well, even if what you say is true, what are
you going to do about it?" Mathematical and scientific proofs exist
for mere information, but most arguments delivered before audiences
have a purpose. They try to make people do something. A group of
people should be aroused to some determination of purposeful thought
if not to a registered act at the time. In days of great stress the
appeal to action brought the immediate response in military
enlistments; in enrollment for war work; in pledges of service; in
signing membership blanks and subscription blanks; in spontaneous

Persuasion Produces a Response. The end of most argumentative speaking
is to produce a response. It may be the casting of a vote, the joining
of a society, the repudiation of an unworthy candidate, the
demonstrating of the solidarity of labor, the affiliating with a
religious sect, the changing of a mode of procedure, the purchasing of
a new church organ, the wearing of simpler fashions, or any of the
thousand and one things a patient listener is urged to do in the
course of his usual life.

When the speaker passes on from mere convincing to appealing for some
response he has passed from argumentation to persuasion. Nearly every
argumentative speech dealing with a proposition of policy shows first
what ought to be done, then tries to induce people to do it, by
appealing as strongly as possible to their practical, esthetic, or moral
interests. All such interests depend upon what we call sentiments or
feelings to which worthy--note the word _worthy_--appeals may
legitimately be addressed. Attempts to arouse unworthy motives by
stirring up ignorance and prejudice are always to be most harshly
condemned. Such practices have brought certain kinds of so-called
persuasion into well-deserved contempt. The high sounding spell-binder
with his disgusting spread-eagleism cannot be muzzled by law, but he may
be rendered harmless by vacant chairs and empty halls. Real eloquence is
not a thing of noise and exaggeration. Beginning speakers should avoid
the tawdry imitation as they would a plague.

Elements of Persuasion. What elements may aid the persuasive power of
a speech? First of all, the occasion may be just the right one. The
surroundings may have prepared the audience for the effect the speaker
should make if he knows how to seize upon the opportunity for his own
purpose. The speaker must know how to adapt himself to the
circumstances present. In other cases, he must be able to do the much
more difficult thing--adapt the circumstances to his purpose.

Secondly, the subject matter itself may prepare for the persuasive
treatment in parts. Everyone realizes this. When emotional impulses
are present in the material the introduction of persuasion is
inevitable and fitting, if not overdone.

Thirdly, the essence of persuasion depends upon the speaker. All the
good characteristics of good speaking will contribute to the effect of
his attempts at persuasion. A good speaker is sincere to the point of
winning respect even when he does not carry conviction. He is in
earnest. He is simple and unaffected. He has tact. He is fair to every
antagonistic attitude. He has perfect self-control. He does not lose
his temper. He can show a proper sense of humor. He has genuine
sympathy. And finally--perhaps it includes all the preceding--he has
personal magnetism.

With such qualities a speaker can make an effective appeal by means of
persuasion. If upon self-criticism and self-examination, or from
outside kindly comment, he concludes he is lacking in any one of these
qualities he should try to develop it.


Prepare and deliver speeches upon some of the following or upon
propositions suggested by them. If the speech is short, try to employ
only one method of proof, but make it convincing. Where suitable, add
persuasive elements.

1. Make a proposition from one of the following topics. Deliver an
argumentative speech upon it. The next election. Entrance to college.
Child labor. The study of the classics. The study of science.

2. Recommend changes which will benefit your school, your club or
society, your church, your town, your state.

3. The Japanese should be admitted to the United States upon the same
conditions as other foreigners.

4. Men and women should receive the same pay for the same work done.

5. All church property should be taxed.

6. All laws prohibiting secular employment on Sunday should be

7. The purely protective tariff should be withdrawn from goods the
manufacture of which has been firmly established in this country.

8. Large incomes should be subject to a graduated income tax.

9. Employers should not be forced to recognize labor unions.

10. Immigration into the United States of persons who cannot read or
write some language should be prohibited, except dependents upon such
qualified entrants.

11. An amendment should be added to the Constitution providing for
uniform marriage and divorce laws throughout the entire country.

12. A city is the best place for a college.

13. Military training should be obligatory in all public schools.

14. Colleges and universities should reduce the attention paid to

15. The negro in the South should be disfranchised.

16. The number of Representatives in Congress should be reduced.

17. Moving pictures should be used in schools.

18. Street car systems should be owned and operated by municipalities.

19. Education should be compulsory until the completion of high

20. Athletes whose grade is below 75% should be debarred from all
participation until the marks are raised.

21. The Federal government should own and operate the telegraph and
telephone systems.

22. The state should provide pensions for indigent mothers of children
below the working age.

23. The study of algebra (or some other subject) in the high school
should be elective.

24 The initiative should be adopted in all states.

25. The referendum should be adopted in all states.

26. All governmental officials should be subject to recall.

27. The public should support in all ways the movement of labor to
secure the closed shop system.

28. Railroad crossings should be abolished.

29. The Federal government should pass laws controlling all prices of

30. A trial before a group of competent judges should be substituted
for trial by jury.



Answering the Other Side. It has been said already that even in a
single argumentative speech some account must be taken of the
possibility among the audience of the belief in other views. A speaker
must always assume that people will believe otherwise than he does.
In such cases as debate or questioning after a speech is made, this
opposing side will very clearly be brought out, so that any person
training for any kind of public speaking will give much attention to
the contentions of others in order to strengthen his own convictions
as displayed in his speeches.

A sincere thinker may believe that trial before a group of competent
judges is a better procedure than trial by jury. Were he to speak upon
such a proposition he would realize that he would meet at once the
solid opposition of the general opinion that jury trials, sanctioned
by long practice, are in some mysterious way symbolic of the liberty
and equality of mankind. Before he could expect to arouse sympathetic
understanding he would have to answer all the possible objections and
reasons against his new scheme. This he would do by refutation, by
disproving the soundness of the arguments against his scheme. He could
cite the evident and recorded injustices committed by juries. He could
bring before them the impossibility of securing an intelligent
verdict from a group of farmers, anxious to get to their farms for
harvest, sitting in a case through July, while the days passed in
lengthy examinations of witnesses--one man was on the stand eight
days--and the lawyers bandied words and names like socialist, pagan,
bolsheviki, anarchy, ideal republic, Aristotle, Plato, Herbert
Spencer, Karl Marx, Tolstoi, Jane Addams, Lenin. Then when he felt
assured he had removed all the reasons for supporting the present jury
system he could proceed to advance his own substitute.

Need and Value of Refutation. In all argumentation, therefore,
refutation is valuable and necessary. By it opposing arguments are
reasoned away, their real value is determined, or they are answered
and demolished if they are false or faulty. To acquire any readiness
as a speaker or debater a person must pay a great deal of attention to
refutation. It has also an additional value. It has been stated that
every argumentative speaker must study the other side of every
question upon which he is to speak. One great debater declared that if
he had time to study only one side of a proposition or law case he
would devote that time to the other side. Study your own position from
the point of view of the other side. Consider carefully what arguments
that side will naturally advance. In fact, try to refute your own
arguments exactly as some opponent would, or get some friend to try to
refute your statements. Many a speaker has gained power in reasoning
by having his views attacked by members of his family who would
individually and collectively try to drive him into a corner. In
actual amount, perhaps you will never deliver as much refutation of
an opponent as you will conjure up in your mind against your own
speeches. Perhaps, also, this great amount advanced by you in testing
your own position will prevent your opponents from ever finding in
your delivered arguments much against which they can pit their own
powers of refutation.

In judging your own production you will have to imagine yourself on
the other side, so the methods will be the same for all purposes of
self-help or weakening of an opponent's views.

Contradiction Is Not Refutation. In the first place contradiction is
not refutation. No unsupported fact or statement has any value in
argumentation. Such expressions as "I don't believe, I don't think so,
I don't agree" introduce not arguments, but personal opinions. You
must, to make your refutation valuable, _prove_ your position. Never
allow your attempts at refutation to descend to mere denial or
quibbling. Be prepared to support, to prove everything you say.

Three Phases of Refutation. In general, refutation consists of three

1. The analysis of the opposite side.
2. The classification of the arguments according to importance.
3. The answering of only the strongest points.

Analysis of Opposing Side for Accuracy. In the first analysis, you
will probably examine the opposing statements to test their accuracy.
Mere slips, so evident that they deceive no one, you may disregard
entirely, but gross error of fact or conclusion you should note and
correct in unmistakably plain terms. The kind of statement which
gives insufficient data should be classed in analysis with this same
kind of erroneous statement. A shoe dealer in arguing for increased
prices might quote correctly the rising cost of materials, but if he
stopped there, you in refutation should be able to show that profits
had already risen to 57%, and so turn his own figures against him.
Another class of refutation similar to this is the questioning of
authorities. Something concerning this has already been said. In a
recent trial a lawyer cast doubt upon the value of a passage read from
a book by declaring its author could never have written such a thing.
In refutation the opposing lawyer said, "You will find that passage on
page 253 of his _Essays and Letters."_ Public speakers, realizing that
errors of statement are likely to be the first to be picked out for
correction, and recognizing the damaging effect of such conviction in
error of fact and testimony, are extremely careful not to render
themselves liable to attack upon such points. Yet they may. We are
told by Webster's biographers that in later periods of his life he was
detected in errors of law in cases being argued before the court, and
refuted in statement. To catch such slips requires two things of the
successful speaker. He must be in possession of the facts himself. He
must be mentally alert to see the falsity and know how to answer it.

Begging the Question. The expression "begging the question" is often
heard as a fallacy in argument. In its simplest form it is similar to
inaccurate statement, for it includes assertions introduced without
proof, and the statement of things as taken for granted without
attempting to prove them, yet using them to prove other statements.
Sometimes, also, a careless thinker, through an extended group of
paragraphs will end by taking as proven exactly the proposition he
started out to prove, when close analysis will show that nowhere
during the discussion does he actually prove it. As this is frequent
in amateur debates, students should be on their guard against it.

Ignoring the Question. The same kind of flimsy mental process results
in ignoring the question. Instead of sticking closely to the
proposition to be proved the speaker argues beside the point, proving
not the entire proposition but merely a portion of it. Or in some
manner he may shift his ground and emerge, having proven the wrong
point or something he did not start out to consider. An amateur
theatrical producer whose playhouse had been closed by the police for
violating the terms of his license started out to defend his action,
but ended by proving that all men are equal. In fact he wound up by
quoting the poem by Burns, "A Man's a Man for A' That." Such a
shifting of propositions is a frequent error of speakers. It occurs so
often that one might be disposed to term it a mere trick to deceive,
or a clever though unscrupulous device to secure support for a weak
claim. One of the first ways for the speaker to avoid it is to be able
to recognize it when it occurs. One of the most quoted instances of
its effective unmasking is the following by Macaulay.

     The advocates of Charles, like the advocates of other
     malefactors against whom overwhelming evidence is produced,
     generally decline all controversy about the facts, and
     content themselves with calling testimony to character. He
     had so many private virtues! And had James the Second no
     private virtues! Was Oliver Cromwell, his bitterest enemies
     themselves being judges, destitute of private virtues? And
     what, after all, are the virtues ascribed to Charles? A
     religious zeal, not more sincere than that of his son, and
     fully as weak and narrow-minded, and a few of the ordinary
     household decencies which half the tombstones in England
     claim for those who lie beneath them. A good father! A good
     husband! Ample apologies indeed for fifteen years of
     persecution, tyranny, and falsehood!

     We charge him with having broken his coronation oath; and we
     are told that he kept his marriage vow! We accuse him of
     having given up his people to merciless inflictions of the
     most hot-headed and hard-hearted of prelates; and the
     defence is, that he took his little son on his knee and
     kissed him! We censure him for having violated the articles
     of the Petition of Right, after having, for good and
     valuable consideration, promised to observe them; and we are
     informed that he was accustomed to hear prayers at six
     o'clock in the morning! It is to such considerations as
     these, together with his Vandyke dress, his handsome face,
     and his peaked beard, that he owes, we verily believe, most
     of his popularity with the present generation.

Appealing to Prejudice or Passions. The question is also ignored when
the speaker appeals to the prejudices or passions of his audience
(_argumentum ad populum_). Persons of some intellect resent this as
almost an insult if they are in the audience, yet it is often resorted
to by speakers who would rather produce the effect they desire by the
use of any methods, right or wrong. Its use in court by unscrupulous
lawyers to win decisions is checked by attempts on the part of judges
to counteract it in their charges to the jury, but its influence may
still persist. Mark Antony in Shakespere's play, _Julius Caesar_, used
it in his oration over the dead body of Caesar to further his own

Taking Advantage of Ignorance. Just as a speaker may take advantage of
the prejudices and passions of an audience, so he may take advantage
of their ignorance. Against the blankness of their brains he may hurl
unfamiliar names to dazzle them, cite facts of all kinds to impress
them, show a wide knowledge of all sorts of things, "play up to them"
in every way, until they become so impressed that they are ready to
accept as truth anything he chooses to tell them. Any daily paper will
provide examples of the sad results of the power of this kind of
fallacious reasoning. The get-rich-quick schemes, the worthless stock
deals, the patent medicine quacks, the extravagantly worded claims of
new religions and faddist movements, all testify to the power this
form of seemingly convincing argument has over the great mass of the

The Fallacy of Tradition. In discussing the burden of proof it was
said that such burden rests upon the advocate of change, or novel
introductions, etc. This tendency of the people at large to be rather
conservative in practice links with the fallacy of tradition, the
belief that whatever is, is right. In many cases such a faith is worse
than wrong, it is pernicious. Many of the questions concerning
relations of modern society--as capital and labor--are based upon this
fallacy. Henry Clay was guilty of it when he announced, "Two hundred
years of legislation have sanctioned and sanctified negro slaves as
property." The successful way to dispose of such a fallacy is
illustrated by William Ellery Channing's treatment of this statement.

     But this property, we are told, is not to be questioned on
     account of its long duration. "Two hundred years of
     legislation have sanctioned and sanctified negro slaves as
     property." Nothing but respect for the speaker could repress
     criticism on this unhappy phraseology. We will trust it
     escaped him without thought. But to confine ourselves to the
     argument from duration; how obvious the reply! Is injustice
     changed into justice by the practice of the ages? Is my
     victim made a righteous prey because I have bowed him to the
     earth till he cannot rise? For more than two hundred years
     heretics were burned, and not by mobs, not by lynch law, but
     by the decrees of the councils, at the instigation of
     theologians, and with the sanction of the laws and religions
     of nations; and was this a reason for keeping up the fires,
     that they had burned two hundred years? In the Eastern world
     successive despots, not for two hundred years, but for twice
     two thousand have claimed the right of life and death over
     millions, and, with no law but their own will, have
     beheaded, bowstrung, starved, tortured unhappy men without
     number who have incurred their wrath; and does the lapse of
     so many centuries sanctify murder and ferocious power?

Attacking a Speaker's Character or Principles. Sometimes a speaker who
finds himself unable to attack the truth of a proposition, or the
arguments cited to support it, changes his tactics from the
subject-matter to the opponent himself and delivers an attack upon his
character, principles, or former beliefs and statements. This is
called the _argumentum ad hominem_. In no sense is it really argument;
it is irrelevant attack, and should be answered in a clear accurate
demonstration of its unsuitability to the topic under consideration.
It is unworthy, of course, but it is a tempting device for the speaker
who can combine with it an appeal to the prejudices or passions of his

The author has seen the entire population of Rome agitated because in
a Senatorial debate one speaker attacked the family reputation of one
of his opponents--a matter which, even if true, certainly had nothing
to do with the bill under discussion. Political campaigns used to be
disgraced by a prevalence of such appeals for votes. We may pride
ourselves upon an advance in such matters, but there is still too much
of it to let us congratulate ourselves upon our political good
manners. You cannot ascribe bad faith to a man who argues now from a
different attitude from the one he formerly supported. Changes of
conviction are frequent in all matters. A man must be judged by the
reasons he gives for his position at any one time. Many a person, who
ten years ago would have argued against it, now believes a League of
Nations possible and necessary. Many a person who a few years back
could see no advantage in labor organizations is anxious now to join
an affiliated union.

If you find the suggestion of such an attack in any of your own
speeches, cast it out. If it is ever used against you, refute it by
the strength of arguments you deliver in support of your position.
Remove all assertions which do not relate to the debated topic. Make
your audience sympathize with your repudiation of the remarks of your
opponent, even though he has succeeded in delivering them.

Fallacies of Causal Relationship. The various fallacies that may be
committed under the relation of cause and effect are many. Just
because something happened prior to something else (the effect), the
first may be mistakenly quoted as the cause. Or the reverse may be the
error--the second may be assumed to be the effect of the first. The
way to avoid this fallacy was suggested in the discussion of
explanation by means of cause and effect where the statement was made
that two events must not be merely _sequential_, they must be
_consequential_. In argument the slightest gap in the apparent
relationship is likely to result in poor reasoning, and the consequent
fallacy may be embodied in the speech. When people argue to prove that
superstitions have come true, do they present clear reasoning to show
conclusively that the alleged cause--such as sitting thirteen at
table--actually produced the effect of a death? Do they _establish_ a
close causal relationship, or do they merely _assert_ that after a
group of thirteen had sat at table some one did die? Mathematically,
would the law of chance or probability not indicate that such a thing
would happen a little less surely if the number had been twelve, a
little more surely if fourteen?

Common sense, clear headedness, logical reasoning, and a wide
knowledge of all kinds of things will enable a speaker to recognize
these fallacies, anticipate them, and successfully refute them.

Methods of Refuting. Having found the fallacies in an argument you
should proceed to refute them. Just how you can best accomplish your
purpose of weakening your opponent's position, of disposing of his
arguments, of answering his contentions, must depend always upon the
particular circumstances of the occasion, of the material presented,
of the attitude of the judges or audience, of your opponent himself,
and of the purpose you are striving to accomplish. Practice,
knowledge, skill, will in such cases all serve your end. You should be
able to choose, and effectively use the best. It is impossible to
anticipate and provide for all the possibilities, but a few of the
most common probabilities and the methods of dealing with them can be
here set down.

Courteous Correction. In case of apparent error or over-sight you will
do well to be courteous rather than over-bearing and dictatorial in
your correction. Never risk losing an advantage by driving your
audience into sympathy for your opponent by any manner of your own. A
newspaper discussing the objections made to the covenant of the League
of Nations points out an over-sight in this way: "How did Senator Knox
happen to overlook the fact that his plan for compulsory arbitration
is embodied in Article XII of the proposed covenant?"

Refuting Incorrect Analogy. The caution was given that reasoning from
analogy must show the complete correspondence in all points possible
of the known from which the reasoning proceeds to the conclusion about
the unknown, which then is to be accepted as true. Unless that
complete correspondence is established firmly the speaker is likely to
have his carefully worked out analogy demolished before his eyes.
Notice how such refutation is clearly demonstrated in the following.

     So it does; but the sophistry here is plain enough, although
     it is not always detected. Great genius and force of
     character undoubtedly make their own career. But because
     Walter Scott was dull at school, is a parent to see with joy
     that his son is a dunce? Because Lord Chatham was of a
     towering conceit, must we infer that pompous vanity portends
     a comprehensive statesmanship that will fill the world with
     the splendor of its triumphs? Because Sir Robert Walpole
     gambled and swore and boozed at Houghton, are we to suppose
     that gross sensuality and coarse contempt of human nature
     are the essential secrets of a power that defended liberty
     against tory intrigue and priestly politics? Was it because
     Benjamin Franklin was not college-bred that he drew the
     lightning from heaven and tore the scepter from the tyrant?
     Was it because Abraham Lincoln had little schooling that his
     great heart beat true to God and man, lifting him to free a
     race and die for his country? Because men naturally great
     have done great service in the world without advantages,
     does it follow that lack of advantage is the secret of

     GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: _The Public Duty of Educated
     Men_, 1877

Reducing Proof to Absurdity. A very good way of showing the
unreliability of an opposing argument is to pretend to accept it as
valid, then carrying it on to a logical conclusion, to show that its
end proves entirely too much, or that it reduces the entire chain of
reasoning to absurdity. This is, in fact, called _reductio ad
absurdum_. At times the conclusion is so plainly going to be absurd
that the refuter need not carry its successive steps into actual
delivery. In speaking to large groups of people nothing is better than
this for use as an effective weapon. It gives the hearers the feeling
that they have assisted in the damaging demonstration. It almost
seems as though the speaker who uses it were merely using--as he
really is--material kindly presented to him by his opponent. So the
two actually contribute in refuting the first speaker's position.

     Congress only can declare war; therefore, when one State is
     at war with a foreign nation, all must be at war. The
     President and the Senate only can make peace; when peace is
     made for one State, therefore, it must be made for all.

     Can anything be conceived more preposterous, than that any
     State should have power to nullify the proceedings of the
     general government respecting peace and war? When war is
     declared by a law of Congress, can a single State nullify
     that law, and remain at peace? And yet she may nullify that
     law as well as any other. If the President and Senate make
     peace, may one State, nevertheless, continue the war? And
     yet, if she can nullify a law, she may quite as well nullify
     a treaty.

     DANIEL WEBSTER: _The Constitution Not a Compact
     between Sovereign States_, 1833

Lincoln could always use this method of _reductio ad absurdum_ most
effectively because he seldom failed to accentuate the absurdity by
some instance which made clear to the least learned the force of his
argument. Many of his best remembered quaint and picturesque phrases
were embodied in his serious demolition of some high-handed
presumption of a political leader.

     Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves
     justified to break up this government unless such a court
     decision as yours is shall be at once submitted to as a
     conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will
     not abide the election of a Republican President! In that
     supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and
     then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will
     be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my
     ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I
     shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"

     ABRAHAM LINCOLN: _Cooper Union Speech_, 1860

Amplifying and Diminishing. Finally a good method of refuting the
claim of importance made for an opposing proposition is by amplifying
and diminishing. In plain terms this depends upon contrast in which
you reduce the value of the opposing idea and emphasize the value of
your own. An excellent use for this is as a rapid summary at the end
of your speech, where it will leave in the hearer's mind an impression
of the comparative value of the two views he has heard discussed, with
an inevitable sense of the unquestioned worth of one above the other.
Burke sums up his extended refutations of Lord North's plan for
dealing with America in these telling contrasts.

     Compare the two. This I offer to give you is plain and
     simple; the other full of perplexed and intricate mazes.
     This is mild; that harsh. This found by experience effectual
     for its purposes; the other is a new project. This is
     universal; the other calculated for certain colonies only.
     This is immediate in its conciliatory operation; the other
     remote, contingent, full of hazard. Mine is what becomes the
     dignity of a ruling people--gratuitous, unconditional--and
     not held out as a matter of bargain and sale.

     EDMUND BURKE: _Conciliation with America_, 1775

Position of Refutation in the Speech. The position of refutation in
the finished speech will depend always upon the nature of the
proposition, the exact method of the refutation, and the audience. If
you are making the only speech upon the proposition and you feel that
the audience may have a slight prejudice against what you are about to
urge, you may gain adherents at once by refuting at the beginning the
possible arguments in their minds. By this procedure you will clear
the field for your own operations. To change the figure of speech, you
erase from the slate what is already written there, so that you may
place upon it your own speech and its convictions.

If you are debating and the speaker just before you has evidently made
the judges accept his arguments, again you might remove that
conviction by refutation before you proceed to build up your own side.
If your regular arguments meet his squarely, proceed as you had
planned, but be sure when any reasoning you offer nullifies any he has
delivered, that you call the attention of the audience to the fact
that you have wiped out his score. In this way your constructive
argument and refutation will proceed together. You will save valuable

Constructive Argument Is More Valuable than Refutation. Often the
rebuttal speeches of debate, coming at the close of the regular debate
speeches, seem reserved for all the refutation. This is certainly the
place for much refutation, certainly not all. The last speakers of the
rebuttal speeches should never rest content with leaving only
refutation in the hearers' minds. If they do, the debate may leave the
condition entirely where it was at the beginning, for theoretically
every argument advanced by either side has been demolished by the
other. After the rebuttal the last points left with the judges should
be constructive arguments.

In a single speech the refutation may be delivered in sections as the
demands of coherence and the opportunities for emphasis may suggest.
Here again, always make the last section a constructive one with
arguments in support of your proposition.



The Ideal of Debating. A long time ago so admirable a man as William
Penn stated the high ideal of all real debating whether practised in
the limited range of school interests or in the extended field of
life's activities.

     In all debates let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an
     unjust interest; and endeavor to gain, rather than to expose
     thy antagonist.

The quotation states exactly the true aim of all debating--the
conclusion of the right, the truth rather than the securing of a
decision over an opponent. The same rules which animate the true lover
of sports, the clear distinction which is instilled into all
participants of amateur athletics of the meanings and significance of
the two terms _sportsman_ and _sport_, can be carried over to apply to
school activities in debating. Honest differences of opinion among
people upon countless questions will always furnish enough material
for regular debating so that no one need ever do violence to his

Value of Debate. One of the greatest educational values of practice in
debate is that the ability it develops can be applied instantly in the
life beyond the schoolroom, that it operates in every person's daily
life. There are differences in the manner in which debating is
carried on in the two places, but practice in the earlier will result
in skill and self-confidence in the second.

Debate in Actual Life. The most marked difference between debates in
the two phases of life is the difference of form. In academic circles
debate is a well-regulated game between matched sides. In actual life
only in certain professions are the rules well defined. In most cases
the debating is disguised under different forms, though the essential
purposes and methods are the same.

Debate between lawyers in courts--technically termed pleading--is the
most formal of all professional debating. Its regulations are found in
the stabilized court procedure which every lawyer must master and

Much looser than the formal debate of the court room is the
speech-making of the legislative organization from the lowest township
board meeting up to the Senate of the United States. Of course the
members of such bodies are regulated by certain restrictions, but the
speeches are not likely to be curbed in time as are academic
performances, nor are the speakers likely to follow a prearranged
order, nor are they always equally balanced in number, nor do they
agree so carefully upon "team work." Sometimes in a legislative body
the first speaker may be on the negative side, which is quite contrary
to all the rules of regularly conducted debates. All the speakers may
also be on one side of a measure, the opposing side not deigning to
reply, resting secure in the knowledge of how many votes they can
control when the real test of power comes.

Most informal of all are the general discussions in which business
matters are decided. In these the speeches are never so set as in the
two preceding kinds. The men are less formal in their relations and
addresses to one another. The steps are less marked in their changes.
Yet underneath the seeming lack of regulation there is the framework
of debate, for there is always present the sense of two sides upon
every proposition, whether it be the purchase of new office equipment
for a distant agent, an increase of salary for employees, or the
increase of capitalization. Certain speakers support some proposition.
Others oppose it until they are convinced and won over to the
affirmative side, or until they are out-voted.

Two men seated in an office may themselves be debaters, audience, and
judges of their own argumentative opinions. They may in themselves
fill all the requirements of a real debate. They deliver the speeches
on the affirmative and negative sides. Each listens to the arguments
of his opponent. And finally, the pair together give a decision upon
the merits of the arguments presented.

On all such occasions the speakers need and use just those qualities
which classroom training has developed in them--knowledge of material,
plan of presentation, skill in expression, conviction and persuasion
of manner, graceful acceptance of defeat.

Debating Demands a Decision. Debating goes one step farther than
merely argumentative speaking. Debating demands a decision upon the
case, it requires a judgment, a registered action. Again in this
respect it is like a game.


1. Make a list of propositions which have been debated or might be
debated in a courtroom.

2. Make another list of propositions which have been debated or might
be debated in legislative bodies.

3. Make a list of propositions which might be debated in business.

4. As far as is possible, indicate the decisions upon them.

5. Choose some proposition on which there is considerable difference
of opinion in the class. Make a list of those who favor and those who
oppose. Speak upon the proposition, alternating affirmative and

6. Discuss the speeches delivered in the fifth exercise.

Persons Involved in a Debate. Who are the persons involved in a
regular debate? They are the presiding officer, the speakers
themselves, the audience, the judges.

The Presiding Officer. Every debate has a presiding officer. The
Vice-President of the United States is the presiding officer of the
Senate. The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of
Representatives. If you will refer to Chapter IV on _Beginning the
Speech_ you will see several other titles of presiding officers. In
school debates the head of the institution may act in that capacity,
or some person of note may be invited to preside. In regular classroom
work the instructor may serve as presiding officer, or some member of
the class may be chosen or appointed. The latter method is the
best--after the instructor has shown by example just what the duties
of such a position are.

The presiding officer should announce the topic of debate in a short
introductory speech. He should read the names of the speakers on the
affirmative and those on the negative side. He should stipulate the
terms of the debate--length of each speech, time for rebuttal, order
of rebuttal, method of keeping speakers within time limits, conditions
of judgment (material, presentation, etc.), announce the judges, and
finally introduce the first speaker; then the subsequent speakers. At
the close he might refer to the fact of the debate's being ended, he
might rehearse the conditions of judgment, and request the judges to
retire to consider their decision. Practice varies as to who shall
deliver the decision of the judges to the audience. Sometimes the
chairman elected by the judges announces the decision. Sometimes the
judges hand the decision to the presiding officer who announces it.

The Debaters. Beyond saying that the speakers must do their best,
there is nothing to be added here about their duty in the debate
except to issue one warning to them in connection with the next
personal element to be considered--the audience.

The Audience. Debaters must remember that in practically no
circumstances outside legislative bodies are the audience and the
judges ever the same. Debaters argue to convince the judges--not the
entire audience, who are really as disconnected from the decision of
the debate as are the straggling spectators and listeners in a
courtroom detached from the jury who render the verdict of guilty or
not guilty. The debater must therefore speak for the judges, not for
his audience. Many a debating team has in the course of its speeches
won all the applause only to be bitterly disappointed in the end by
hearing the decision awarded to the other side. Recall the warnings
given in the previous chapters against the tempting fallacies of
appealing to crowd feelings and prejudices.

In classroom debates it is a good distribution of responsibility to
make all the members not participating in the speaking act as judges
and cast votes in rendering a decision. This makes the judges and the
audience one. Moreover it changes the mere listener into a
discriminating judge. If the instructor cares to carry this matter of
responsibility one step farther, he can ask the members of the class
to explain and justify their votes.

The audience, when it is also the judge, has the responsibility of
careful attention, analysis, and comparison. It is too much to expect
usual general audiences to refuse to be moved by unworthy pleas and
misrepresentations, to accord approval only to the best speakers and
the soundest arguments. But surely in a class of public speakers any
such tricks and schemes should be received with stolid frigidity.
Nothing is so damaging to appeals to prejudice, spread-eagleism, and
fustian bombast as an impassive reception.

The Judges. In any debate the judges are of supreme importance. They
decide the merits of the speakers themselves. The judges are of
infinitely more importance than the audience. In interscholastic
debates men of some prominence are invited to act as judges. In the
instructions to them it should be made clear that they are not to
decide which side of a proposition they themselves approve. They are
to decide which group of speakers does the best work. They should try
to be merely the impersonal registers of comparative merit. They
should sink their own feelings as every teacher must when he hears a
good speech from one of his own students supporting something to which
the instructor is opposed. Good judges of debates realize this and
frequently award decisions to speakers who support opposite positions
to their personal opinions. They must not be like the judges in an
interscholastic debate who announced their decision thus, "The judges
have decided that China must not be dismembered." That was an
interesting fact perhaps, but it had nothing to do with their duty as
judges of that debate.

In business, the buyer, the head of the department, the board of
directors, constitute the judges who render the decision. In
legislative assemblies the audience and judges are practically
identical, for after the debate upon a measure is concluded, those who
have listened to it render individual verdicts by casting their votes.
In such cases we frequently see decisions rendered not upon the merits
of the debate, but according to class prejudice, personal opinion, or
party lines. This is why so many great argumentative speeches were
accounted failures at the time of their delivery. Delivered to secure
majority votes they failed to carry conviction to the point of
changing immediate action, and so in the small temporary sense they
were failures. In legal trials the jury is the real judge, although by
our peculiar misapplication of the term a different person entirely is
called judge. In court the judge is in reality more often merely the
presiding officer. He oversees the observance of all the rules of
court practice, keeps lawyers within the regulations, instructs the
jury, receives the decision from them, and then applies the law.
Every lawyer speaks--not to convince the judge--but to convince the
jury to render a decision in his favor.

Scholastic Debating. Choosing the Proposition. In school debating the
proposition may be assigned by the instructor or it may be chosen by
him from a number submitted by the class. The class itself may choose
by vote a proposition for debate. In interscholastic debating the
practice now usually followed is for one school to submit the
proposition and for the second school to decide which side it prefers
to support. In any method the aim should be to give neither side any
advantage over the other. The speakers upon the team may be selected
before the question of debate is known. It seems better, when
possible, to make the subject known first and then secure as speakers
upon both sides, students who have actual beliefs upon the topic. Such
personal conviction always results in keener rivalry.

Time Limits. Since no debate of this kind must last too long, time
restrictions must be agreed upon. In every class, conditions will
determine these terms. Three or four speakers upon each side make a
good team. If each is allowed six minutes the debate should come well
within an hour and still allow some time for voting upon the
presentations. It should be distinctly understood that a time limit
upon a speaker must be observed by him or be enforced by the presiding

The speakers upon one side will arrange among themselves the order in
which they will speak but there should be a clear understanding
beforehand as to whether rebuttal speeches are to be allowed.

Rebuttal Speeches. Rebuttal speeches are additional speeches allowed
to some or all the speakers of a debating team after the regular
argumentative speeches have been delivered. In an extended formal
debate all the speakers may thus appear a second time. In less lengthy
discussions only some of them may be permitted to appear a second
time. As the last speaker has the advantage of making the final
impression upon the judges it is usual to offset this by reversing the
order of rebuttal. In the first speeches the negative always delivers
the last speech. Sometimes the first affirmative speaker is allowed to
follow with the single speech in rebuttal. If the team consist of
three speakers and all are allowed to appear in rebuttal the entire
order is as follows.

_First Part               Rebuttal_

First affirmative           First negative
First negative              First affirmative
Second affirmative          Second negative
Second negative             Second affirmative
Third affirmative           Third negative
Third negative              Third affirmative

If not all the speakers are to speak in rebuttal the team itself
decides which of its members shall speak for all.

Preparation. The proposition should be decided on and the teams
selected long enough in advance to allow for adequate preparation.
Every means should be employed to secure sufficient material in
effective arrangement. Once constituted, the team should consider
itself a unit. Work should be planned in conference and distributed
among the speakers. At frequent meetings they should present to the
side all they are able to find. They should lay out a comprehensive
plan of support of their own side. They should anticipate the
arguments likely to be advanced by the other, and should provide for
disposing of them if they are important enough to require refuting. It
is a good rule for every member of a debating team to know all the
material on his side, even though part of it is definitely assigned to
another speaker.

This preliminary planning should be upon a definite method. A good
outline to use, although some parts may be discarded in the debate
itself, is the following simple one.

  I. State the proposition clearly.
       1. Define the terms.
       2. Explain it as a whole.
 II. Give a history of the case.
       1. Show its present bearing or aspect.
III. State the issues.
 IV. Prove.
  V. Refute.
 VI. Conclude.

Finding the Issues. In debating, since time is so valuable, a speaker
must not wander afield. He must use all his ability, all his material
to prove his contention. It will help him to reject material not
relevant if he knows exactly what is at issue between the two sides.
It was avoiding the issue to answer the charge that Charles I was a
tyrant by replying that he was a good husband. Unless debaters realize
exactly what must be proven to make their position secure, there will
be really no debate, for the two sides will never meet in a clash of
opinion. They will pass each other without meeting, and instead of a
debate they will present a series of argumentative speeches. This
failure to state issues clearly and to support or refute them
convincingly is one of the most common faults of all debating. In
ordinary conversation a frequently heard criticism of a discussion or
speech or article is "But that was not the point at issue at all."
These issues must appear in the preliminary plans, in the finished
brief, and in the debate itself.

     The only point in issue between us is, how long after an
     author's death the State shall recognize a copyright in his
     representatives and assigns; and it can, I think, hardly be
     disputed by any rational man that this is a point which the
     legislature is free to determine in the way which may appear
     to be most conducive to the general good.

     THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY: _Copyright_, 1841

     Mr. President, the very first question that challenges our
     attention in the matter of a league of nations is the
     question of whether a war in Europe is a matter of concern
     to the United States. The ultraopponents of any league of
     nations assert that European quarrels and European battles
     are no concern of ours. If that be true, we may well pause
     before obligating ourselves to make them our concern. Is it

     SENATOR P.J. MCCUMBER: _The League of Nations_,

The best method of finding the issues is to put down in two columns
the main contentions of both sides. By eliminating those entries which
are least important and those which have least bearing upon the
present case the issues may be reduced to those which the debate
should cover. Any possible attempt to cloud the issues on the part of
the opposing side can thus be forestalled. All the speakers on one
side should participate in this analysis of the proposition to find
and state the issues.

The New York _Tribune_, by parallel columns, brought out these chief
points of difference between the Paris plan and Senator Knox's for the
League of Nations.

THE KNOX PLAN                      THE PARIS PLAN

League formed of all, not          Under Article VII it is provided
a portion, of the nations of       that no state shall be
the world.                         admitted unless it is able to
                                   give guaranties of its intention
                                   to observe its international
                                   obligations and conform
                                   to the principles
                                   prescribed by the League
                                   in regard to it's naval and
                                   military forces and armaments.

War to be declared an              Article XVI provides that
international crime, and any       should any of the high
nation engaging in war, except     contracting parties break
in self-defense when               covenants under Article XII
actually attacked, to be punished  (relating to arbitration) it
by the world as an                 shall be deemed to have committed
international criminal.            an act of war against
                                   the League, which undertakes
                                   to exercise economic
                                   pressure; and it is to be the
                                   duty of the executive council
                                   to recommend what military
                                   or naval force the members
                                   of the League shall contribute
                                   to be used to protect
                                   the covenants of the League.

The Monroe Doctrine to             None of these matters is
be safeguarded; also our           mentioned specifically, but
immigration policy and our         President Wilson has said
right to expel aliens.             that the League will "extend
                                   the Monroe Doctrine to the
                                   whole world" and that domestic
                                   and internal questions
                                   are not a concern of the

Our right to maintain military     Article VIII says: "The
and naval establishments           executive council shall also
and coaling stations,              determine for the consideration
and our right to fortify the       and action of the several
Panama Canal and our               governments what military
frontiers to be safeguarded.       equipment and armament is
                                   fair and reasonable and in
                                   proportion to the scale of
                                   forces laid down in the program
                                   of disarmament, and
                                   these limits when adopted
                                   shall not be exceeded without
                                   the permission of the executive

An international court to          Article XIV provides for
be empowered by the League         the establishment of a "permanent
to call upon the signatory         court of international
Powers to enforce its decrees      justice," but its powers are
against unwilling states by        limited to hearing and determining
force, economic pressure, or       "any matter
otherwise. The constitution        which the parties recognize
of the League to provide,          as suitable for submission to
however, that decrees against      it for arbitration" under
an American Power shall be         Article XIII.
enforced by the nations of
this hemisphere, and decrees
against a country of the
eastern hemisphere by the
Powers of that hemisphere.

Team Work. With the plan agreed upon by the speakers, the brief made
out, and the material distributed, each speaker can go to work in
earnest to prepare his single speech. The best method has been
outlined in this book. His notes should be accurate, clear, easily
manipulated. His quotations should be exact, authoritative. By no
means should he memorize his speech. Such stilted delivery would
result in a series of formal declamations. With his mind stocked with
exactly what his particular speech is to cover, yet familiar enough
with the material of his colleagues to use it should he need it, the
debater is ready for the contest.

Manipulating Material. The speakers on a side should keep all their
material according to some system. If cards are used, arguments to be
used in the main debate might be arranged in one place, material for
rebuttal in another, quotations and statistics in still another. Then
if the other side introduces a point not anticipated it should be easy
to find the refuting or explaining material at once to counteract its
influence in the next speech, if it should be disposed of at once. If
slips of paper are used, different colors might indicate different
kinds of material. Books, papers, reports, to be used should always be
within available distance. While a speaker for the other side is
advancing arguments the speaker who will follow him should be able to
change, if necessary, his entire plan of defense or attack to meet the
manoeuver. He should select from the various divisions upon the
table the material he needs, and launch at once into a speech which
meets squarely all the contentions advanced by his predecessor. This
instantaneous commandeering of material is likely to be most usual in
rebuttal, but a good debater must be able to resort to it at a
second's notice.

The First Affirmative Speaker. The first affirmative speaker must
deliver some kind of introduction to the contentions which his side
intends to advance. It is his duty to be concise and clear in this. He
must not use too much time. If the proposition needs defining and
applying he must not fail to do it. He must not give the negative the
opportunity to explain and apply to its own purposes the meaning of
the proposition. He should state in language which the hearers will
remember exactly what the issues are. He can help his own side by
outlining exactly what the affirmative intends to prove. He may
indicate just what portions will be treated by his colleagues. He
should never stop with merely introducing and outlining. Every speaker
must advance proof, the first as well as the others. If the
preliminary statements by the first affirmative speaker are clearly
and convincingly delivered, and if he places a few strong, supporting
reasons before the judges, he will have started his side very well
upon its course of debating. The last sentences of his speech should
drive home the points he has proved.

The First Negative Speaker. The first negative speaker either agrees
with the definitions and application of the proposition as announced
by the first affirmative speaker or he disagrees with them. If the
latter, the mere statement of his disagreement is not sufficient.
Contradiction is not proof. He must refute the definition and
application of the proposition by strong reasoning and ample proof. If
his side does not admit the issues as already presented he must
explain or prove them away and establish in their place the issues his
side sees in the discussion. When the two sides disagree concerning
the issues there is a second proposition erected for discussion at
once and the argument upon this second matter may crowd out the
attempted argument upon the main proposition. To obviate such shifting
many schools have the sides exchange briefs or statements of issues
before the debate so that some agreement will be reached upon

In addition to the matters just enumerated the first negative speaker
should outline the plan his side will follow, promising exactly what
things will be established by his colleagues. If he feels that the
first affirmative speaker has advanced proofs strong enough to require
instant refutation he should be able to meet those points at once and
dispose of them. If they do not require immediate answering, or if
they may safely be left for later refutation in the regular rebuttal,
he may content himself with simply announcing that they will be
answered. He should not allow the audience to believe that his side
cannot meet them.

He must not give the impression that he is evading them. If he has to
admit their truth, let him frankly say so, showing, if possible, how
they do not apply or do not prove all that is claimed for them, or
that though they seem strong in support of the affirmative the
negative side has still stronger arguments which by comparison refute
at least their effect.

The first negative speaker should not stop with mere refutation. If
the first affirmative has advanced proofs, and the first negative
disposes of them, the debate is exactly where it was at the beginning.
The negative speaker must add convincing arguments of his own. It is a
good thing to start with one of the strongest negative arguments in
the material.

The Second Affirmative and Second Negative Speakers. The second
affirmative and the second negative speakers have very much the same
kind of speech to make. Taking the immediate cues from the preceding
speaker each may at first pay some attention to the remarks of his
opponent. Here again there must be quickly decided the question
already brought up by the first negative speech--shall arguments be
refuted at once or reserved for such treatment in rebuttal? When this
decision is made the next duty of each of these second speakers is to
advance his side according to the plan laid down by his first
colleague. He must make good the advance notice given of his team.

Each position of a debater has its peculiar tasks. The middle speaker
must not allow the interest aroused by the first to lag. If anything,
his material and manner must indicate a rise over the opening speech.

He must start at the place where the first speaker stopped and carry
on the contention to the place at which it has been agreed he will
deliver it to the concluding speaker for his side. If this connection
among all the speeches of one side is quite plain to the audience an
impression of unity and coherence will be made upon them. This will
contribute to the effect of cogent reasoning. They will realize that
instead of listening to a group of detached utterances they have been
following a chain of reasoning every link of which is closely
connected with all that precedes and follows.

The Concluding Affirmative Speaker. The concluding affirmative speaker
must not devote his entire speech to a conclusion by giving an
extensive summary or recapitulation. He must present arguments.
Realizing that this is the last chance for original argument from his
side he may be assigned the very strongest argument of all to deliver,
for the effect of what he says must last beyond the concluding speech
of the negative. It would likewise be a mistake for him to do nothing
more than argue in his concluding speech. Several persons have
intervened since his first colleague outlined their side and announced
what they would prove. It is his duty to show that the affirmative has
actually done what it set out to do. By amplifying and diminishing he
may also show how the negative had not carried out its avowed
intention of disproving the affirmative's position and proving
conclusively its own. The concluding speech for the affirmative is an
excellent test of a debater's ability to adapt himself to conditions
which may have been entirely unforeseen when the debate began, of his
keenness in analyzing the strength of the affirmative and exposing
the weakness of the negative, of his power in impressing the arguments
of his colleagues as well as his own upon the audience, and of his
skill in bringing to a well-rounded, impressive conclusion his side's
part in the debate.

The Concluding Negative Speaker. The concluding negative speaker must
judge whether his immediate predecessor, the concluding affirmative
speaker, has been able to gain the verdict of the judges. If he fears
that he has, he must strive to argue that conviction away. He too must
advance proof finally to strengthen the negative side. He must make
his speech answer to his first colleague's announced scheme, or if
some change in the line of development has been necessitated, he must
make clear why the first was replaced by the one the debaters have
followed. If the arguments of the negative have proved what it was
declared they would, the last speaker should emphasize that fact
beyond any question in any one's mind. Finally he should save time for
a fitting conclusion. This brings the debate proper to a close.

Restrictions in Rebuttal. In rebuttal--if it be provided--the main
restrictions are two. The speeches are shorter than the earlier ones.
No new lines of argument may be introduced. Only lines of proof
already brought forward may be considered. Since the speeches are
shorter and the material is restricted there is always the disposition
to use rebuttal speeches for refutation only. This is a mistake.
Refute, but remember always that constructive argument is more likely
to win decisions than destructive. Dispose of as many points of the
opponents as possible, but reiterate the supporting reasons of your
own. Many speakers waste their rebuttals by trying to cover too many
points. They therefore have insufficient time to prove anything, so
they fall back upon bare contradiction and assertion. Such
presentations are mere jumbles of statements. Choose a few important
phases of the opposing side's contention. Refute them. Choose the
telling aspects of your own case. Emphasize them.

Manner in Debating. Be as earnest and convincing in your speeches as
you can. Never yield to the temptation to indulge in personalities.
Recall that other speakers should never be mentioned by name. They are
identified by their order and their side, as "The first speaker on the
affirmative" or "The speaker who preceded me," or "My colleague," or
"My opponent." Avoid using these with tones and phrases of sarcasm and
bitterness. Be fair and courteous in every way. Never indulge in such
belittling expressions as "No one understands what he is trying to
prove. He reels off a string of figures which mean nothing." Never
indulge in cheap wit or attempts at satiric humor.

Prepare so adequately, analyze so keenly, argue so logically, speak so
convincingly, that even when your side loses, your opponents will have
to admit that you forced them to do better than they had any idea they



Speech-making in the Professions. If a student enter a profession in
which speech-making is the regular means of gaining his livelihood--as
in law, religion, or lecturing--he will find it necessary to secure
training in the technical methods applying to the particular kind of
speech-making in which he will indulge. This book does not attempt to
prepare any one for mastery of such special forms. The student will,
however, be helping himself if he examines critically every delivery
of a legal argument, sermon, or lecture he hears, for many of the
rules illustrated by them and the impressions made by their speakers,
can be transferred as models to be imitated or specimens to be avoided
in his own more restricted and less important world.

Speaking upon Special Occasions. Every American may be called upon to
speak upon some special occasion. If he does well at his first
appearance he may be invited or required by circumstances to speak
upon many occasions. The person who can interest audiences by
effective delivery of suitable material fittingly adapted to the
particular occasion is always in demand. Within the narrower confines
of educational institutions the opportunities for the student to
appear before his schoolmates are as numerous as in real life. Some
preliminary knowledge coupled with much practice will produce deep
satisfaction upon successful achievement and result in rapid steps of

Without pretending to provide for all possible circumstances in which
students and others may be called upon to speak, this chapter will
list some of the special occasions for which speeches should be

Speeches of Presiding Officers. On practically all occasions there is
a presiding officer whose chief duty is to introduce to the audience
the various speakers. The one great fault of speeches of introduction
is that they are too long. The introducer sincerely means not to
consume too much time, but in the endeavor to do justice to the
occasion or the speaker he becomes involved in his remarks until they
wander far from his definite purpose. He wearies the audience before
the important speaker begins. An introducer should not become so
unconscious of his real task as to fall into this error. In other
cases the fault is not so innocent. Many a person called upon to
introduce a speaker takes advantage of the chance to express his own
opinions. He drops into the discourtesy of using for his own ends a
condition of passive attention which was not created for him. One
large audience which had assembled to hear a lecturer was kept from
listening to him while for twenty minutes the introducer aired his own
pet theories. Of course members of the audience discussed among
themselves the inappropriateness of such remarks, but it is doubtful
whether any criticism reached the offender.

A newspaper recently had the courage to voice the feelings of

     It seems that a good deal of the time of the audience at the
     Coliseum the other night was taken by those who introduced
     the speakers of the evening. We are told in one account of
     the meeting that the audience was at times impatient of
     these preliminaries and even howled once or twice for those
     it had come to hear.... We are informed that all those
     introducing the speakers said something about not having
     risen to speak at length, and that one of them protested his
     inability to speak with any facility. Both these professions
     are characteristic of those introducing speakers of the
     evening. Yet, strangely enough, the same always happens.
     That is, the preliminaries wear the audience out before the
     people it came to hear can get at it.

In introducing a speaker never be too long-winded. Tactfully,
gracefully, courteously, put before the audience such facts as the
occasion, the reason for the topic of the speech, the fitness and
appropriateness of the choice of the speaker, then present the man or
woman. Be extremely careful of facts and names. A nominating speaker
at a great political convention ruined the effect of a speech by
confusedly giving several first names to a distinguished man. It is
embarrassing to a speaker to have to correct at the very beginning of
his remarks a misstatement made by the presiding officer. But a man
from one university cannot allow the audience to identify him with
another. The author of a book wants its title correctly given. A
public official desires to be associated in people's minds with the
department he actually controls.

The main purpose of a speech of introduction is to do for the
succeeding speaker what the chapter on beginning the speech
suggested--to render the audience attentive and well-disposed, to
introduce the topic, and in addition to present the speaker.

Choosing a Theme. The speaker at a special occasion must choose the
theme with due regard to the subject and the occasion. Frequently his
theme will be suggested to him, so that it will already bear a close
relation to the occasion when he begins its preparation. The next
matter he must consider with extreme care is the treatment. Shall it be
serious, informative, argumentative, humorous, scoffing, ironic? To
decide this he must weigh carefully the significance of the occasion.
Selecting the inappropriate manner of treatment means risking the
success of the speech. Recall how many men and speeches you have heard
criticized as being "out of harmony with the meeting," or "not in
spirit with the proceedings," and you will realize how necessary to
the successful presentation is this delicate adjustment of the speech
to the mood of the circumstances.

The After-dinner Speech. When men and women have met to partake of
good food under charming surroundings and have enjoyed legitimate
gastronomic delights it is regrettable that a disagreeable element
should be added by a series of dull, long-winded, un-appropriate
after-dinner speeches. The preceding adjectives suggest the chief
faults of those persons who are repeatedly asked to speak upon such
occasions. They so often miss the mark. Because after-dinner speaking
is so informal it is proportionally difficult. When called upon, a
person feels that he must acknowledge the compliment by saying
something. This, however, is not really enough. He must choose his
theme and style of treatment from the occasion. If the toastmaster
assign the topic he is safe so far as that is concerned, but he must
still be careful of his treatment.

A speaker at a dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, in which
membership is awarded for rank in cultural as contrasted with
practical, technical studies, seized upon the chance to deliver a
rather long, quite detailed legal explanation of the parole system for
convicted offenders against laws. At a dinner given by the
Pennsylvania Society in a state far from their original homes the
members were praised to the skies for preserving the love of their
native state and marking their identity in a district so distant and
different. This was quite appropriate for an introduction but the
speaker then turned abruptly to one of his political speeches and
berated the foreigner in America for not becoming at once an entirely
made-over citizen. The speech contradicted its own sentiments. A wrong
emphasis was placed upon its material. A disquieting impression was
made upon the Pennsylvanians. At the conclusion they felt that they
were guilty for having kept the love of their native soil; according
to the tone of the speaker they should have accepted their new
residence and wiped out all traces of any early ties.

An after-dinner speaker should remember that dinners are usually marks
of sociability, goodfellowship, congratulation, celebration,
commemoration. Speeches should answer to such motives. The apt
illustration, the clever twist, the really good story or anecdote, the
surprise ending, all have their places here, if they are used with
grace, good humor, and tact. This does not preclude elements of
information and seriousness, but such matters should be introduced
skilfully, discussed sparingly, enforced pointedly.

The Commemorative Speech. Besides dinners, other gatherings may
require commemorative addresses. These speeches are longer, more
formal. The success of a debating team, the successful season of an
athletic organization, the termination of a civic project, the
election of a candidate, the celebration of an historic event, the
tribute to a great man, suggest the kinds of occasions in which
commemorative addresses should be made.

Chosen with more care than the after-dinner speaker, the person on
such an occasion has larger themes with which to deal, a longer time
for their development, and an audience more surely attuned to
sympathetic reception. He has more time for preparation also. In minor
circumstances, such as the first three or four enumerated in the
preceding paragraph, the note is usually congratulation for victory.
Except in tone and length these speeches are not very different from
after-dinner remarks. But when the occasion is more dignified, the
circumstances more significant, addresses take on a different aspect.
They become more soberly judicial, more temperately laudatory, more
feelingly impressive. At such times public speaking approaches most
closely to the old-fashioned idea of oratory, now so rapidly passing
away, in its attempt to impress upon the audience the greatness of the
occasion in which it is participating. The laying of a corner-stone,
the completion of a monument or building, a national holiday, the
birthday of a great man, the date of an epoch-marking event, bring
forth eulogistic tributes like Webster's speech at Bunker Hill,
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Secretary Lane's Flag Day speech.

False Eloquence. The beginner will not have many opportunities of
delivering such remarkable addresses, but in his small sphere he will
have chances to do similar things. He must beware of several faults of
which the unwary are usually guilty. Recognizing the wonderful
eloquence of the masterpieces of such kinds of address he may want to
reproduce its effects by imitating its apparent methods. Nothing could
be worse. The style of the great eulogy, born of the occasion and the
speaker, becomes only exaggerated bombast and nonsense from the lips
of a student. Exaggeration, high sounding terms, flowery language,
involved constructions, do not produce eloquence in the speaker. They
produce discomfort, often smiles of ridicule, in the audience. Many a
student intending to cover himself with glory by eulogizing the
martyred McKinley or the dead Roosevelt has succeeded only in covering
himself with derision. Simplicity, straightforwardness, fair
statement, should be the aims of beginning speakers upon such

Speeches of Presentation and Acceptance. Standing between the two
classes of speeches just discussed are speeches of presentation and
acceptance. In practically all circumstances where such remarks are
suitable there are present mingled feelings of celebration and
commemoration. There is joy over something accomplished, and
remembrance of merit or success. So the person making a speech of
presentation must mingle the two feelings as he and the audience
experience them. Taking his cue from the tone of the occasion he must
fit his remarks to that mood. He may be as bright and sparkling and as
amusing as a refined court jester. He may be as impressive and serious
as a judge. The treatment must be determined by the circumstances.

The speaker who replies must take his cue from the presenter. While
the first has the advantage of carrying out his plan as prepared, the
second can only dimly anticipate the theme he will express. At any
rate he cannot so surely provide his beginning. That must come
spontaneously from the turn given the material by his predecessor,
although the recipient may pass by a transition to the remarks he
prepared in advance.

The observations which obtain in the presentation and acceptance of a
material object--as a book, a silver tea set, a medal, an art
gallery--apply just as well to the bestowal and acceptance of an
honor, such as a degree from a university, an office, an appointment
as head of a committee or as foreign representative, or membership in
a society. Speeches upon such occasions are likely to be more formal
than those delivered upon the transfer of a gift. The bestower may
cite the reasons for the honor, the fitness of the recipient, the
mutual honors and obligations, and conclude with hopes of further
attainments or services. The recipient may reply from a personal
angle, explaining not only his appreciation, but his sense of
obligation to a trust or duty, his methods of fulfilling his
responsibilities, his modestly phrased hope or belief in his ultimate

The Inaugural Speech. In this last-named respect the speech of the
recipient of an honor is closely related to the speech of a person
inaugurated to office. This applies to all official positions to which
persons are elected or appointed. The examples which will spring into
students' minds are the inaugural speeches of Presidents of the United
States. A study of these will furnish hints for the newly installed
incumbent of more humble positions. In material they are likely to be
retrospective and anticipatory. They trace past causes up to present
effects, then pass on to discuss future plans and methods. Every
officer in his official capacity has something to do. Newspaper
articles will give you ideas of what officials should be doing. The
office holder at the beginning of his term should make clear to his
constituency, his organization, his class, his society, his school,
just what he intends to try to do. He must be careful not to
antagonize possible supporters by antagonistic remarks or opinions. He
should try to show reason and expediency in all he urges. He should
temper satisfaction and triumph with seriousness and resolve. Facts
and arguments will be of more consequence than opinions and promises.
The speech should be carefully planned in advance, clearly expressed,
plainly delivered. Its statements should be weighed, as everyone of
them may be used later as reasons for support or attack. To avoid such
consequences the careful politician often indulges in glittering
generalities which mean nothing. A student in such conditions should
face issues squarely, and without stirring up unnecessary antagonism,
announce his principles clearly and firmly. If he has changed his
opinion upon any subject he may just as well state his position so
that no misunderstanding may arise later.

In the exercise of his regular activities a person will have many
opportunities to deliver this kind of speech.

The Nominating Speech. Recommendation of himself by a candidate for
office does not fall within the plan of this book. Students, however,
may indulge in canvassing votes for their favorite candidates, and
this in some instances, leads to public speaking in class and mass
meetings, assemblies, and the like. Of similar import is the
nominating speech in which a member of a society, committee, meeting,
offers the name of his candidate for the votes of as many as will
indorse him. In nominating, it is a usual trick of arrangement to give
first all the qualifications of the person whose election is to be
urged, advancing all reasons possible for the choice, and uttering his
name only in the very last words of the nominating speech. This plan
works up to a cumulative effect which should deeply impress the
hearers at the mention of the candidate's name.

In nominating speeches and in arguments supporting a candidate the
deliverer should remember two things. Constructive proof is better
than destructive attack; assertion of opinion and personal preference
is not proof. If it seems necessary at times to show the fitness of
one candidate by contrast with another, never descend to
personalities, never inject a tone of personal attack, of cheap wit,
of ill-natured abuse. If such practices are resorted to by others,
answer or disregard them with the courteous attention they deserve, no
more. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into any discussion remote
from the main issue--the qualifications of your own candidate. If you
speak frequently upon such a theme--as you may during an extended
campaign--notice which of your arguments make the strongest
impressions upon the hearers. Discard the weaker ones to place more
and more emphasis upon the convincing reasons. Never fail to study
other speakers engaged in similar attempts. American life every day
provides you with illustrations to study.

The Speech in Support of a Measure. When, instead of a candidate, you
are supporting some measure to be adopted, some reform to be
instituted, some change to be inaugurated, your task is easier in one
respect. There will be less temptation to indulge in personal matters.
You will find it easier to adhere to your theme. In such attempts to
mold public opinion--whether it be the collective opinion of a small
school class, or a million voters--you will find opportunities for the
inclusion of everything you know of the particular subject and of all
human nature. Convinced yourself of the worthiness of your cause, bend
every mental and intellectual effort to making others understand as
you do, see as you do. If your reasoning is clear and converting, if
your manner is direct and sincere, you should be able to induce others
to believe as you do.

The Persuasive Speech. In public speaking upon occasions when votes
are to be cast, where reforms are to be instituted, where changes are
to be inaugurated, you have not finished when you have turned the
mental attitude, and done no more. You must arouse the will to act.
Votes must be cast for the measure you approve. The reform you urge
must be financed at once. The change must be registered. To accomplish
such a purpose you must do more than merely prove; you must persuade.

In the use of his power over people to induce them to noble,
high-minded action lies the supreme importance of the public speaker.


1. Choose some recent event which you and your friends might celebrate
by a dinner. As toastmaster, deliver the first after-dinner remarks
drawing attention to the occasion and introducing some one to speak.

2. Deliver the after-dinner speech just introduced.

3. Introduce some other member of the class, who is not closely
connected with the event being celebrated, and who therefore is a

4. Deliver this speech, being careful to make your remarks correspond
to the preceding.

5. A debating team has won a victory. Deliver the speech such a
victory deserves.

6. An athletic team has won a victory. As a non-participant, present
the trophy.

7. An athletic team has finished a season without winning the
championship. Speak upon such a result.

8. The city or state has finished some great project. Speak upon its

9. Address an audience of girls or women upon their right to vote.

10. Speak in approval of some recently elected official in your

11. Choose some single event in the history of your immediate
locality. Speak upon it.

12. Deliver a commemorative address suitable for the next holiday.

13. Bring into prominence some man or woman connected with the past of
your community.

14. An unheralded hero.

15. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

16. "Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war."

17. Deliver the speech to accompany the presentation of a set of

18. Present to your community some needed memorial park, building, or
other monument.

19. Accept the gift for the community.

20. Challenge another class to debate.

21. Urge upon some organization support of some civic measure.

22. As a representative of the students present some request to the

23. A meeting has been called to hear you because of your association
with some organization or movement. Deliver the speech.

24. Some measure or movement is not being supported as it should be. A
meeting of people likely to be interested has been called. Address the

25. Appeal to your immediate associates to support some charitable

26. Some organization has recently started a new project. Speak to it
upon its task.

27. An organization has successfully accomplished a new project.
Congratulate it.

28. Some early associate of yours has won recognition or success or
fame away from home. He is about to return. Speak to your companions
showing why they should honor him.

29. Choose some person or event worthy of commemoration. Arrange a
series of detailed topics and distribute them among members of the
class. Set a day for their presentation.

30. Choose a chairman. On the appointed day have him introduce the
topic and the speakers.



Difference between Public Speaking and Acting. In practically all the
aspects of public speaking you deliver your own thoughts in your own
words. In dramatic presentation you deliver the words already written
by some one else; and in addition, while you are delivering these
remarks you speak as though you were no longer yourself, but a totally
different person. This is the chief distinction between speaking in
public and acting. While you must memorize the lines you deliver when
you try to act like a character other than yourself, speeches in
dramatic production are not like usual memorized selections. Usually a
memorized selection does not express the feelings or opinions of a
certain character, but is likely to be descriptive or narrative. Both
prose and verse passages contain more than the uttered words of a
single person.

As preparation for exercise in dramatics, whether simple or elaborate,
training in memorizing and practice in speaking are extremely
valuable. Memorizing may make the material grow so familiar that it
loses its interest for the speaker. Pupils frequently recite committed
material so listlessly that they merely bore hearers. Such a
disposition to monotony should be neutralized by the ability to speak
well in public.

Naturalness and Sincerity. When you speak lines from a play inject as
much naturalness and sincerity into your delivery as you can command.
Speak the words as though they really express your own ideas and
feelings. If you feel that you must exaggerate slightly because of the
impression the remark is intended to make, rely more upon emphasis
than upon any other device to secure an effect. Never slip into an
affected manner of delivering any speech. No matter what kind of
acting you have seen upon amateur or professional stage, you must
remember that moderation is the first essential of the best acting.
Recall what Shakespeare had Hamlet say to the players.

Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus: but use all
gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind
of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give
it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious,
periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split
the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of
nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise.

Character Delineation. In taking part in a play you must do more than
simply recite words spoken by some one other than yourself. You must
really act like that person. This adds to the simple delivery of
speeches all those other traits by which persons in real life are
different from one another. Such complete identification of your
personality with that of the person you are trying to represent in a
play is termed character delineation, or characterization.

You may believe that you cannot represent an Indian chief or a British
queen, or an Egyptian slave, or a secret service agent, but if you
will recall your childish pastime of day-dreaming you will see at once
that you have quite frequently identified yourself with some one else,
and in that other character you have made yourself experience the
strangest and most thrilling adventures. When you study a rôle in a
scene or play, use your imagination in that same manner. In a short
time it will be easy for you to think as that other character would.
Then you have become identified with him. The first step in your
delineation has been taken.

Visualize in your mind's eye--your imagination--the circumstances in
which that character is placed in the play. See yourself looking,
moving, acting as he would. Then talk as that character would in those
circumstances. Make him react as he would naturally in the situations
in which the dramatist has placed him.

Let us try to make this more definite. Suppose a boy is chosen to act
the part of an old man. An old man does not speak as rapidly as a boy
does. He will have to change the speed of his speech. But suppose the
old man is moved to wrath, would his words come slowly? Would he speak
distinctly or would he almost choke?

The girl who is delineating a foreign woman must picture her accent
and hesitation in speaking English. She would give to her face the
rather vacant questioning look such a woman would have as the English
speech flits about her, too quickly for her to comprehend all of it.

The girl who tries to present a British queen in a Shakespeare play
must not act as a pupil does in the school corridor. Yet if that queen
is stricken in her feelings as a mother, might not all the royal
dignity melt away, and her Majesty act like any sorrowing woman?


You are sitting at a table or desk. The telephone rings. You pick up
the receiver. A person at the other end invites you to dinner. Deliver
your part of the conversation.

1. Speak in your own character.

2. Speak as a busy, quick-tempered old man in his disordered office.

3. Speak as a tired wife who hasn't had a relief for weeks from the
drudgery of house-work.

4. Speak as a young debutante who has been entertained every day for

5. Speak as the office boy.

6. Speak as an over-polite foreigner.

7. Delineate some other kind of person.

Improvisations are here given first because such exercises depend upon
the pupil's original interpretation of a character. The pupil is
required to do so much clear thinking about the character he
represents that he really creates it.

Dialogues. As it is easier to get two people to speak naturally than
where more are involved we shall begin conversation with dialogues.
Each character will find the lines springing spontaneously from the
situation. In dramatic composition any speech delivered by a character
is called a line, no matter how short or long it is.

As you deliver the dialogues suggested by the exercises try to make
your speeches sound natural. Talk as real people talk. Make the
remarks conversational, or colloquial, as this style is also termed.
What things will make conversation realistic? In actual talk, people
anticipate. Speakers do not wait for others to finish. They interrupt.
They indicate opinions and impressions by facial expression and slight
bodily movements. Tone changes as feelings change.

Try to make your remarks convey to the audience the circumstances
surrounding the dialogue. Let the conversation make some point clear.
Before you begin, determine in your own mind the characterization you
intend to present.

Situation. A girl buys some fruit from the keeper of a stand at a
street corner.

What kind of girl? Age? Manner of speaking? Courteous? Flippant?
Well-bred? Slangy? Working girl? Visitor to town?

What kind of man? Age? American? Foreigner? From what country?
Dialect? Disposition? Suspicious? Sympathetic?

Weather? Season of year? Do they talk about that? About themselves?
Does the heat make her long for her home in the country? Does the cold
make him think of his native Italy or Greece? Will her remarks change
his short, gruff answers to interested questions about her home? Will
his enthusiasm for his native land change her flippancy to interest in
far-off romantic countries? How would the last detail impress the
change, if you decide to have one? Might he call her back and force
her to take a gift? Might she deliver an impressive phrase, then dash
away as though startled by her exhibition of sympathetic feeling?

These are mere suggestions. Two pupils might present the scene as
indicated by these questions. Two others might show it as broadly
comic, and end by having the girl--at a safe distance--triumphantly
show that she had stolen a second fruit. That might give him the cue
to end in a tirade of almost inarticulate abuse, or he might stand in
silence, expressing by his face the emotions surging over him. And his
feeling need not be entirely anger, either. It might border on
admiration for her amazing audacity, or pathetic helplessness, or
comic despair, or determination to "get even" next time.

Before you attempt to present any of the following suggestive
exercises you should consider every possibility carefully and decide
definitely and consistently all the questions that may arise
concerning every detail.


1. Let a boy come into the room and try to induce a girl (the mistress
of a house) to have a telephone installed. Make the dialogue realistic
and interesting.

2. Let a girl demonstrate a vacuum cleaner (or some other appliance)
to another girl (mistress of a house).

3. Let a boy apply for a position to a man in an office.

4. Let a boy dictate a letter to a gum-chewing, fidgety, harum-scarum

5. Let this stenographer tell the telephone girl about this.

6. Show how a younger sister might talk at a baseball or football game
to her slightly older brother who was coerced into bringing her with

7. Show a fastidious woman at a dress goods counter, and the tired,
but courteous clerk. Do not caricature, but try to give an air of
reality to this.

8. Show how two young friends who have not seen each other for weeks
might talk when they meet again.

9. Deliver the thoughts of a pupil at eleven o'clock at night trying
to choose the topic for an English composition due the next morning.
Have him talk to his mother, or father, or older brother, or sister.

10. A foreign woman speaking and understanding little English, with a
ticket to Springfield, has by mistake boarded a through train which
does not stop there. The conductor, a man, and woman try to explain to
her what she must do.

11. Let three different pairs of pupils represent the girl and the
fruit seller cited in the paragraphs preceding these exercises.

12. A young man takes a girl riding in a new automobile. Reproduce
parts of the ride.

13. Two graduates of your school meet after many years in a distant
place. Reproduce their reminiscenses.

14. A woman in a car or coach has lost or misplaced her transfer or
ticket. Give the conversation between her and the conductor.

15. Let various pairs of pupils reproduce the conversations of patrons
of moving pictures.

16. Suggest other characters in appropriate situations. Present them
before the class.

Characters Conceived by Others. In all the preceding exercises you
have been quite unrestricted in your interpretation. You have been
able to make up entirely the character you presented. Except for a few
stated details of sex, age, occupation, nature, no suggestions were
given of the person indicated. Delineation is fairly easy to
construct when you are given such a free choice of all possibilities.
The next kind of exercise will involve a restriction to make the
acting a little more like the acting of a rôle in a regular play. Even
here, however, a great deal is left to the pupil's thought and

How much chance there may be for such individual thought and decision
in a finished play written by a careful dramatist may be illustrated
by _Fame and the Poet_ by Lord Dunsany. One of the characters is a
Lieutenant-Major who calls upon a poet in London. Nothing is said
about his costume. In one city an actor asked the British consul. He
said officers of the army do not wear their uniforms except when in
active service, but on the British stage one great actor had by his
example created the convention of wearing the uniform. In another city
at exactly the same time the author himself was asked the same
question. He said that by no means should the actor wear a uniform.

In the next exercises you are to represent characters with whom you
have become acquainted in books. You will therefore know something
about their dispositions, their appearance, and their actions. Your
task will be to give life-like portraits which others will recognize
as true to their opinions of these same people. For all who have read
the books the general outlines will be identical. The added details
must not contradict any of the traits depicted by the authors.
Otherwise they may be as original as you can imagine.

In the _Odyssey_, the great old Greek poem by Homer, the wandering
hero, Odysseus (also called Ulysses), is cast up by the sea upon a
strange shore. Here he meets Nausicaa (pronounced Nau-si'-ca-a) who
offers to show him the way to the palace of her father, the Bang. But
as she is betrothed she fears that if she is seen in the company of an
unknown man some scandalous gossip may be carried to her sweetheart.
So she directs that when they near the town Odysseus shall tarry
behind, allowing her to enter alone. In this naive incident this much
is told in detail by the poet. We are not told whether any gossip does
reach the lover's ears. He does not appear in the story. We are not
told even his name. Nor are we told how either she or he behaved when
they first met, after she had conducted the stranger to the palace.

If you enact this scene of their meeting you will first have to find a
name for him. You are free to create all the details of their behavior
and conversation. Was he angry? Was he cool towards her? Had he heard
a false account?

Before attempting any of the following exercises decide all the
matters of interpretation as already indicated in this chapter.


1. Molly Farren tries to get news of Godfrey Cass from a Stable-boy.
_Silas Marner_.

2. The two Miss Gunns talk about Priscilla Lammeter. _Silas Marner_.

3. The Wedding Guest meets one of his companions. _The Ancient

4. Nausicaa tells her betrothed about Odysseus. _Odyssey_.

5. Reynaldo in Paris tries to get information about Laertes.

6. Fred tells his wife about Scrooge and Crachit. _A Christmas Carol_.

7. Jupiter tells a friend of the finding of the treasure. _The Gold

8. Two women who know David Copperfield talk about his second
marriage. _David Copperfield_.

Memorized Conversations. You can approach still more closely to the
material of a play if you offer in speech before your class certain
suitable portions from books you are reading or have read. These
selections may be made from the regular class texts or from
supplementary reading assignments. In studying these passages with the
intention of offering them before the class you will have to think
about two things. First of all, the author has in all probability,
somewhere in the book, given a fairly detailed, exact description of
the looks and actions of these characters. If such a description does
not occur in an extended passage, there is likely to be a series of
statements scattered about, from which a reader builds up an idea of
what the character is like. The pupil who intends to represent a
person from a book or poem must study the author's picture to be able
to reproduce a convincing portrait.

The audience will pass over mere physical differences. A young girl
described in a story as having blue eyes may be acted by a girl with
brown, and be accepted. But if the author states that under every kind
remark she made there lurked a slight hint of envy, that difficult
suggestion to put into a tone must be striven for, or the audience
will not receive an adequate impression of the girl's disposition.

So, too, in male characters. A boy who plays old Scrooge in _A
Christmas Carol_ may not be able to look like him physically, but in
the early scenes he must let no touch of sympathy or kindness creep
into his voice or manner.

It is just this inability or carelessness in plays attempting to
reproduce literary works upon the stage that annoys so many
intelligent, well-read people who attend theatrical productions of
material which they already know. When _Vanity Fair_ was dramatised
and acted as _Becky Sharp_, the general comment was that the
characters did not seem like Thackeray's creations. This was even more
apparent when _Pendennis_ was staged.

If you analyze and study characters in a book from this point of view
you will find them becoming quite alive to your imagination. You will
get to know them personally. As you vizualize them in your imagination
they will move about as real people do. Thus your reading will take on
a new aspect of reality which will fix forever in your mind all you
glance over upon the printed page.

Climax. The second thing to regard in choosing passages from books to
present before the class is that the lines shall have some point.
Conversation in a story is introduced for three different purposes. It
illustrates character. It exposes some event of the plot. It merely
entertains. Such conversation as this last is not good material for
dramatic delivery. It is hardly more than space filling. The other two
kinds are generally excellent in providing the necessary point to
which dramatic structure always rises. You have heard it called a
climax. So then you should select from books passages which provide

One dictionary defines climax: "the highest point of intensity,
development, etc.; the culmination; acme; as, he was then at the
climax of his fortunes." In a play it is that turning-point towards
which all events have been leading, and from which all following
events spring. Many people believe that all climaxes are points of
great excitement and noise. This is not so. Countless turning-points
in stirring and terrible times have been in moments of silence and
calm. Around them may have been intense suspense, grave fear,
tremendous issues, but the turning-point itself may have been passed
in deliberation and quiet.


1. Choose from class reading--present or recent--some passage in
conversation. Discuss the traits exhibited by the speakers. Formulate
in a single statement the point made by the remarks. Does the interest
rise enough to make the passage dramatic?

2. Several members of the class should read certain passages from
books, poems, etc. The class should consider and discuss the
characterization, interest, point, climax.

3. Read Chapters VI and VII of _Silas Marner_ by George Eliot. Are the
characters well marked? Is the conversation interesting in itself?
Does the interest rise? Where does the rise begin? Is there any
suspense? Does the scene conclude properly? If this were acted upon a
stage would any additional lines be necessary or desirable?

4. Read the last part of Chapter XI of _Silas Marner_. What is the

5. Memorize this dialogue and deliver it before the class. Did the
point impress the class?

6. Consider, discuss, and test passages from any book which the
members of the class know.

7. Present before the class passages from any of the following:

Dickens        _A Christmas Carol_
               _A Tale of Two Cities_
               _David Copperfield_
George Eliot   _Silas Marner_
               _The Mill on the Floss_
Scott          _Ivanhoe_
               _The Lady of the Lake_
Mark Twain     _Huckleberry Finn_
               _The Prince and the Pauper_
O. Henry       _Short Stories_
Thackeray      _Vanity Fair_
               _Henry Esmond_
Kipling        _Captains Courageous_
               _Stalkey and Co_.
Hugo           _Les Misérables_
Tennyson       _Idylls of the King_
               _The Princess_
Arnold         _Sohrab and Rustum_
Stevenson      _Treasure Island_
Gaskell        _Cranford_
Carroll        _Alice in Wonderland_
Kingsley       _Westward Ho!_
Barrie         _Sentimental Tommy_

Characters in Plays. In acting regular plays you may find it necessary
to follow either of the preceding methods of characterization. The
conception of a character may have to be supplied almost entirely by
some one outside the play. Or the dramatist may be very careful to
set down clearly and accurately the traits, disposition, actions of
the people in his plays. In this second case the performer must try to
carry out every direction, every hint of the dramatist. In the first
case, he must search the lines of the play to glean every slightest
suggestion which will help him to carry out the dramatist's intention.
Famous actors of characters in Shakespeare's plays can give a reason
for everything they show--at least, they should be able to do so--and
this foundation should be a compilation of all the details supplied by
the play itself, and stage tradition of its productions.

In early plays there are practically no descriptions of the
characters. Questions about certain Shakespeare characters will never
be solved to the satisfaction of all performers. For instance, how old
is Hamlet in the tragedy? How close to madness did the dramatist
expect actors to portray his actions? During Hamlet's fencing match
with Laertes in the last scene the Queen says, "He's fat, and scant of
breath." Was she describing his size, or meaning that he was out of
fencing trim?

Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Julius Caesar a detailed
description of the appearance and manner of acting of one of the chief
characters of the tragedy.

    Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
       *       *       *       *       *
    Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
    Yet if my name were liable to fear,
    I do not know the man I should avoid
    So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
    He is a great observer, and he looks
    Quite through the deeds of men; he loves no plays,
    As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
    Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
    As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
    That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.

In _As You Like It_ when the two girls are planning to flee to the
forest of Arden, Rosalind tells how she will disguise herself and act
as a man. This indicates to the actress both costume and behavior for
the remainder of the comedy.

                         Were it not better,
    Because that I am more than common tall,
    That I did suit me all points like a man?
    A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
    A boar-spear in my hand; and--in my heart
    Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will--
    We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,
    As many other mannish cowards have
    That do outface it with their semblances.

In many cases Shakespeare clearly shows the performer exactly how to
carry out his ideas of the nature of a man during part of the action.
One of the plainest instances of this kind of instruction is in
_Macbeth_. The ambitious thane's wife is urging him on to murder his
king. Her advice gives the directions for the following scenes.

                              O never
    Shall sun that morrow see!
    Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
    May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
    Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
    Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
    But be the serpent under't. He that's coming
    Must be provided for: and you shall put
    This night's great business into my dispatch;
    Which shall to all our nights and days to come
    Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

Modern dramatists are likely to be much more careful in giving advice
about characterization. They insert a large number of stage directions
covering this matter. Speed of delivery, tone and inflection, as well
as underlying feeling and emotion are minutely indicated.


     Mr. Hopper, I am very angry with you. You have taken Agatha
     out on the terrace, and she is so delicate.


     [_At left of center_] Awfully sorry, Duchess. We went out
     for a moment and then got chatting together.


     [_At center_] Ah, about dear Australia, I suppose?




     Agatha, darling! [_Beckons her over._]


     Yes, mamma!


     [_Aside_] _Did Mr. Hopper definitely--_


     Yes, mamma.


     And what answer did you give him, dear child?


     Yes, mamma.


     [_Affectionately_] My dear one! You always say the right
     thing. Mr. Hopper! James! Agatha has told me everything. How
     cleverly you have both kept your secret.


     You don't mind my taking Agatha off to Australia, then,


     [_Indignantly_] To Australia? Oh, don't mention that
     dreadful vulgar place.


     But she said she'd like to come with me.


     [_Severely_] Did you say that, Agatha?


     Yes, mamma.


     Agatha, you say the most silly things possible.

Descriptions of Characters. In addition to definite directions at
special times during the course of the dialogue, modern writers of
plays describe each character quite fully at his first entrance into
the action. This gives the delineator of each rôle a working basis for
his guidance. Such directions carefully followed out assure the tone
for the whole cast. They keep a subordinate part always in the proper
relation to all others. They make certain the impression of the whole
story as a consistent artistic development. They prevent
misunderstandings about the author's aim. They provide that every
character shall appear to be swayed by natural motives. They remove
from the performance all suggestions of unregulated caprice.

Dramatists vary in the exactness and minuteness of such descriptive
character sketches, but even the shortest and most general is
necessary to the proper appreciation of every play, even if it is
being merely read. When a student is assimilating a rôle for
rehearsing or acting, these additions of the author are as important
as the lines themselves.


Analyze the following. Discuss the suitability of various members of
the class for each part. Which details do you think least essential?

1. He is a tall, thin, gaunt, withered, domineering man of sixty. When
excited or angry he drops into dialect, but otherwise his speech,
though flat, is fairly accurate. He sits in an arm-chair by the empty
hearth working calculations in a small shiny black notebook, which he
carries about with him everywhere, in a side pocket.

2. When the curtain rises a man is seen climbing over the balcony. His
hair is close cut; his shirt dirty and blood-stained. He is followed by
another man dressed like a sailor with a blue cape, the hood drawn
over his head. Moonlight.

3. Enter Dinah Kippen quickly, a dingy and defiant young woman
carrying a tablecloth. She is a nervous creature, driven half-mad by
the burden of her cares. Conceiving life, necessarily, as a path to be
traversed at high speed, whenever she sees an obstacle in her way,
whether in the physical or in the moral sphere, she rushes at it
furiously to remove it or destroy it.

4. Mrs. Rhead, a woman of nearly sixty, is sitting on the sofa,
crocheting some lace, which is evidently destined to trim petticoats.
Her hair is dressed in the style of 1840, though her dress is of the
1860 period.

5. The song draws nearer and Patricia Carleon enters. She is dark and
slight, and has a dreamy expression. Though she is artistically
dressed, her hair is a little wild. She has a broken branch of some
flowering tree in her hand.

6. Enter a Neat-herd, followed by King Alfred, who is miserably clad
and shivering from cold; he carries a bow and a few broken arrows. A
log fire is burning smokily in a corner of the hut.

7. Enter from the right Ito, the cynic philosopher, book in hand.

8. The rising of the curtain discovers the two Miss Wetherills--two
sweet old ladies who have grown so much alike it would be difficult
for a stranger to tell the one from the other. The hair of both is
white, they are dressed much alike, both in some soft lavender colored
material, mixed with soft lace.

9. Newte is a cheerful person, attractively dressed in clothes
suggestive of a successful follower of horse races. He carries a white
pot hat and tasselled cane. His gloves are large and bright. He is
smoking an enormous cigar.

10. She is young, slender, graceful; her yellow hair is in disorder,
her face the color of ruddy gold, her teeth white as the bones of the
cuttle-fish, her eyes humid and sea-green, her neck long and thin,
with a necklace of shells about it; in her whole person something
inexpressibly fresh and glancing, which makes one think of a creature
impregnated with sea-salt dipped in the moving waters, coming out of
the hiding-places of the rocks. Her petticoat of striped white and
blue, torn and discolored, falls only just below the knees, leaving
her legs bare; her bluish apron drips and smells of the brine like a
filter; and her bare feet in contrast with the brown color that the
sun has given her flesh, are singularly pallid, like the roots of
aquatic plants. And her voice is limpid and childish; and some of the
words that she speaks seem to light up her ingenuous face with a
mysterious happiness.

Studying Plays. In nearly every grade of school and college, plays are
either read or studied. The usual method of study is to read the lines
of the play in rotation about the class, stopping at times for
explanations, definitions, impressions, general discussions. Such
minute analysis may extend to the preparation of outlines and
diagrams. The methods used to get pupils to know plays are almost as
varied as teachers. After such analytical study has been pursued it is
always a stimulating exercise to get another impression of the
play--not as mere poetry or literature, but as acted drama.

This may be accomplished in a short time by very simple means. Pupils
should memorize certain portions and then recite them before the
class. Neither costumes nor scenery will be required. All the members
of the class have in their minds the appearances of the surroundings
and the persons. What they need is to _hear_ the speeches the
dramatist put into the hearts and mouths of his characters.

The best presentation would be the delivery of the entire play running
through some four or five class periods. If so much time cannot be
allotted to this, only certain scenes need be delivered. The teacher
might assign the most significant ones to groups of pupils, allowing
each group to arrange for rehearsals before appearing before the
class. In some classes the pupils may be trusted to arrange the entire
distribution of scenes and rôles. When their preliminary planning has
been finished, they should hand to the teacher a schedule of scenes
and participants.

Whenever a play is read or studied, pupils will be attracted more by
some passages than by others. A teacher may dispense with all
assignments. The pupils could be directed merely to arrange their own
groups, choose the scenes they want to offer, and to prepare as they
decide. In such a voluntary association some members of the class
might be uninvited to speak with any group. These then might find
their material in prologue, epilogue, chorus, soliloquy, or inserted
songs. Nearly every play contains long passages requiring for their
effect no second speaker. Shakespeare's plays contain much such
material. All the songs from a play would constitute a delightful
offering. Nothing in all the acted portion of _Henry V_ is any better
than the stirring speeches of the Chorus. _Hamlet_ has three great
soliloquies for boys. _Macbeth_ contains the sleepwalking scene for
girls. Milton's _Comus_ is made up of beautiful poetic passages. Every
drama studied or read for school contains enough for every member of a

Some pupils may object that unless an exact preliminary assignment is
made, two or more groups may choose the same scene. Such a probable
happening, far from being a disadvantage to be avoided, is a decided
advantage worthy of being purposely attempted. Could anything be more
stimulating than to see and hear two different casts interpret a
dramatic situation? Each would try to do better than the other. Each
would be different in places. From a comparison the audience and
performers would have all the more light thrown upon what they
considered quite familiar.

It would be a mistake to have five quartettes repeat the same scene
over and over again. Yet if twenty pupils had unconsciously so chosen,
three presentations might be offered for discriminating observation.
Then some other portion could be inserted and later the first scene
could be gone through twice.

Assigning Rôles. Teacher and pupils should endeavor to secure variety
of interest in rôles. At first, assignments are likely to be
determined by apparent fitness. The quiet boy is not required to play
the part of the braggart. The retiring girl is not expected to
impersonate the shrew. In one or two appearances it may be a good
thing to keep in mind natural aptitude.

Then there should be a departure from this system. Educational
development comes not only from doing what you are best able to do,
but from developing the less-marked phases of your disposition and
character. The opposite practice should be followed, at least once.
Let the prominent class member assume a rôle of subdued personality.
Let the timid take the lead. Induce the silent to deliver the majority
of the speeches. You will be amazed frequently to behold the best
delineations springing from such assignments.

Such rehearsing of a play already studied should terminate the minute
analysis in order to show the material for what it is--actable drama.
It will vivify the play again, and make the characters live in your
memory as mere reading never will. You will see the moving people, the
grouped situations, the developed story, the impressive climax, and
the satisfying conclusion.

In dealing with scenes from a long play--whether linked or
disconnected--pupils will always have a feeling of incompleteness. In
a full-length play no situation is complete in itself. It is part of a
longer series of events. It may finish one part of the action, but it
usually merely carries forward the plot, passing on the complication
to subsequent situations.

Short Plays. To deal with finished products should be the next
endeavor. There are thousands of short plays suitable for class
presentation in an informal manner. Most of them do not require
intensive study, as does a great Greek or English drama, so their
preparation may go on entirely outside the classroom. It should be
frankly admitted that the exercises of delivering lines "in character"
as here described is not acting or producing the play. That will come
later. These preliminary exercises--many or few, painstaking or
sketchy--are processes of training pupils to speak clearly,
interestingly, forcefully, in the imagined character of some other
person. The pupil must not wrongly believe that he is acting.

Though the delivery of a complete short play may seem like a
performance, both participants and audience must not think of it so.
It is class exercise, subject to criticism, comment, improvement,
exactly as all other class recitations are.

Since the entire class has not had the chance to become familiar with
all the short plays to be presented, some one should give an
introductory account of the time and place of action. There might be
added any necessary comments upon the characters. The cast of
characters should be written upon the board.

This exercise should be exactly like the preceding, except that it
adds the elements of developing the plot of the play, creating
suspense, impressing the climax, and satisfactorily rounding off the
play. In order to accomplish these important effects the participants
will soon discover that they must agree upon certain details to be
made most significant. This will lead to discussions about how to make
these points stand out. In the concerted attempt to give proper
emphasis to some line late in the play it will be found necessary to
suppress a possible emphasis of some line early in the action. To
reinforce a trait of some person, another character may have to be
made more self-assertive.

To secure this unified effect which every play should make the persons
involved will have to consider carefully every detail in lines and
stage directions, fully agree upon what impression they must strive
for, then heartily coöperate in attaining it. They must forget
themselves to remember always that "the play's the thing."

The following list will suggest short plays suitable for informal
classroom training in dramatics. Most of these are also general enough
in their appeal to serve for regular production upon a stage before a
miscellaneous audience.

Aldrich, T.B.           _Pauline Pavlovna_
Baring, M.               _Diminutive Dramas_
Butler, E.P.            _The Revolt_
Cannan, G.               _Everybody's Husband_
Dunsany, Lord            _Tents of the Arabs_
                         The Lost Silk Hat
                         Fame and the Poet_
Fenn and Pryce.          _'Op-o-Me-Thumb_
Gale, Z.                 _Neighbors_
Gerstenberg, A.          _Overtones_
Gibson, W. W.            Plays in Collected Works
Gregory, Lady.           _Spreading the News
                         The Workhouse Ward
                         Coats,_ etc.
Houghton, S.             _The Dear Departed_
Jones, H. A.             _Her Tongue_
Kreymborg, A.            _Mannikin and Minnikin_
Moeller, P.              _Pokey_
Quintero, J. and S.A.   _A Sunny Morning_
Rice, C.                 _The Immortal Lure_
Stevens, T.W.            _Ryland_
Sudermann, H.            _The Far-Away Princess_
Tchekoff, A.             _A Marriage Proposal_
Torrence, R.             _The Rider of Dreams_
Walker, S.               _Never-the-Less_
Yeats, W.B.              _Cathleen Ni Houlihan_

Producing Plays. Any class or organization which has followed the
various forms of dramatics outlined thus far in this chapter will find
it an easy matter to succeed in the production of a play before an

The Play. The first thing to decide upon is the play itself. This
choice should be made as far in advance of performance as is possible.
Most of the work of producing a play is in adequate preparation. Up to
this time audiences have been members of the class, or small groups
with kindly dispositions and forbearing sympathies. A general audience
is more critical. It will be led to like or dislike according to the
degree its interest is aroused and held. It will be friendly, but more
exacting. The suitability of the play for the audience must be
regarded. A comedy by Shakespeare which delights and impresses both
performers and audience is much more stimulating and educating than a
Greek tragedy which bores them.

The Stage. The second determining factor is the stage. What is its
size? What is its equipment? Some plays require large stages; others
fit smaller ones better. A large stage may be made small, but it is
impossible to stretch a small one.

Equipment for a school stage need not be elaborate. Artistic ingenuity
will do more than reckless expenditure. The simplest devices can be
made to produce the best effects. The lighting system should admit of
easy modification. For example, it should be possible to place lights
in various positions for different effects. It should be possible to
get much illumination or little.

Scenery. No scenery should be built when the stage is first erected.
If a regular scene painter furnishes the conventional exterior,
interior, and woodland scenery, the stage equipment is almost ruined
for all time. It is ridiculous that a lecturer, a musician, a school
principal, and a student speaker, should appear before audiences in
the same scenery representing a park or an elaborate drawing-room. The
first furnishings for a stage should be a set of beautiful draped
curtains. These can be used, not only for such undramatic purposes as
those just listed, but for a great many plays as well.

No scenery should be provided until the first play is to be presented.
Certain plays can be adequately acted before screens arranged
differently and colored differently for changes. When scenery must be
built it should be strongly built as professional scenery is. It
should also be planned for future possible manipulation. Every
director of school dramatics knows the delight of utilizing the same
material over and over again. Here is one instance. An interior set,
neutral in tones and with no marked characteristics of style and
period, was built to serve in Acts I and V of _A Midsummer Night's
Dream_. Hangings, furniture, costumes gave it the proper appearance.
Later it was used in _Ulysses_. It has also housed Molière's _Doctor
in Spite of Himself_ (_Le Medecin Malgré Lui_) and _The Wealthy
Upstart_ (_Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme_), Carrion and Aza's _Zaragüeta_,
Sudermann's _The Far-Away Princess_, Houghton's _The Dear Departed_.
The wooden frames on the rear side were painted black, the canvas
panels tan, to serve in _Twelfth Night_ for the drinking scene, Act
II, scene 3. With Greek shields upon the walls it later pictured the
first scene of _The Comedy of Errors_. With colorful border designs
attached and oriental furniture it set a Chinese play.

A definite series of dimensions should be decided upon, and all
scenery should be built in relation to units of these sizes. As a
result of this, combinations otherwise impossible can be made.
Beginners should avoid putting anything permanent upon a stage. The
best stage is merely space upon which beautiful pictures may be
produced. Beware of adopting much lauded "new features" such as
cycloramas, horizonts, until you are assured you need them and can
actually use them. In most cases it is wise to consult some one with

In considering plays for presentation you will have to think of
whether your performers and your stage will permit of convincing
production. Remembering that suggestion is often better than realism,
and knowing that beautiful curtains and colored screens are more
delightful to gaze upon than cheap-looking canvas and paint, and
knowing that action and costume produce telling effects, decide what
the stage would have to do for the following scenes.


1. Read scene 2 of _Comus_ by Milton. Should the entire masque be
acted out-of-doors? If presented on an indoors stage what should the
setting be? Inside the palace of Comus? How then do the Brothers get
in? How do Sabrina and her Nymphs arise? From a pool, a fountain?
Might the stage show an exterior? Would the palace be on one side? The
edge of the woods on the other? Would the banks of the river be at the
rear? Would such an arrangement make entrances, exits, acting,
effective? Explain all your opinions.

Read one of the following. Devise a stage setting for it. Describe it
fully. If you can, make a sketch in black and white or in color,
showing it as it would appear to the audience. Or make a working plan,
showing every detail. Or construct a small model of the set, making
the parts so that they will stand. Or place them in a box to reproduce
the stage. Use one-half inch to the foot.

2. _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, scene 1. Interior? Exterior? Color?

3. _Hamlet_, Act I, scene 5. Castle battlements? A graveyard? Open
space in country some distance from castle?

4. _Comus_, scene 3.

5. _The Tempest_, Act I, scene 1.

6. _Twelfth Night_, Act II, scene 3.

7. _Romeo and Juliet_, Act I, scene I.

8. _Julius Caesar_, Act III, scene 2.

9. In a long, high-vaulted room, looking out upon a Roman garden where
the cypresses rise in narrowing shafts from thickets of oleander and
myrtle, is seated a company of men and women, feasting.

WILLIAM SHARP: _The Lute-Player_

10. A room, half drawing-room, half study, in Lewis Davenant's house
in Rockminister. Furniture eighteenth century, pictures, china in
glass cases. An April afternoon in 1860.

GEORGE MOORE: _Elizabeth Cooper_

11. An Island off the West of Ireland. Cottage kitchen, with nets,
oil-skins, spinning wheel, some new boards standing by the wall, etc.

J.M. SYNGE: _Riders to the Sea_

12. Loud music. After which the Scene is discovered, being a
Laboratory or Alchemist's work-house. Vulcan looking at the registers,
while a Cyclope, tending the fire, to the cornets began to sing.

BEN JONSON: _Mercury Vindicated_

13. Rather an awesome picture it is with the cold blue river and the
great black cliffs and the blacker cypresses that grow along its
banks. There are signs of a trodden slope and a ferry, and there's a
rough old wooden shelter where passengers can wait; a bell hung on the
top with which they call the ferryman.

CALTHROP AND BARKER: _The Harlequinade_

Long before any play is produced there should be made a sketch or plan
showing the stage settings. If it is in color it will suggest the
appearance of the actual stage. One important point is to be noted.
Your sketch or model is merely a miniature of the real thing. If you
have a splotch of glaring color only an inch long it will appear in
the full-size setting about two feet long. A seemingly flat surface
three by five inches in the design will come out six by ten feet
behind the footlights.

Casting the Play. When the play is selected, the rôles must be cast.
To select the performers, one of many different methods may be
followed. The instructor of the class or the director of the
production may assign parts to individuals. When this person knows the
requirements of the rôles and the abilities of the members, this
method always saves time and effort. By placing all the responsibility
upon one person it emphasizes care in choosing to secure best results.
At times a committee may do the casting. Such a method prevents
personal prejudice and immature judgments from operating. It splits
responsibility and requires more time than the first method. It is an
excellent method for seconding the opinions of a director who does not
know very well the applicants for parts. The third method is by
"try-outs." In this the applicants show their ability. This may be
done by speaking or reciting before an audience, a committee, or the
director. It may consist of acting some rôle. It may be the delivery
of lines from the play to be acted. It may be in a "cast reading" in
which persons stand about the stage or room and read the lines of
characters in the play. If there are three or four applicants for one
part, each is given a chance to act some scene. In this manner all the
rôles are filled.

There are two drawbacks to this scheme which is the fairest which can
be devised. It consumes a great deal of time. Some member of the class
or organization best fitted to play a rôle may not feel disposed to
try for it. Manifestly he should be the one selected. But it appears
unfair to disregard the three boys who have made the effort while he
has done nothing. Yet every rôle should be acted in the very best
manner. For the play's sake, the best actor should be assigned the
part. A pupil may try for a part for which he is not at all suited,
while he could fill another rôle better than any one who strives to
get it.

In a class which has been trained in public speaking or dramatics as
this book suggests, it should be no difficult task to cast any play,
whether full-length or one act. Performers must always be chosen
because of the possible development of their latent abilities rather
than for assured attainments.

These qualities must be sought for in performers of roles--obedience,
dependableness, mobility, patience, endurance.

Rehearsing. A worthy play which is well cast is an assured success
before its first rehearsal.

The entire group should first study the whole play under the
director's comment. It is best to have each actor read his own part.
The behavior of a minor character in the second act may depend upon a
speech in the first. The person playing that rôle must seize upon that
hint for his own interpretation.

It might be a good thing to have every person "letter perfect," that
is, know all his speeches, at the first rehearsal. Practically, this
never occurs. Reading from the book or the manuscript, a performer
"walks through" his part, getting at the same time an idea of where he
is to stand, how to move, how to speak, what to do, where to enter,
when to cross the stage. All such directions he should jot down upon
his part. Then memorizing the lines will fix these stage directions in
his mind. He will be assimilating at the same time lines and
"business." "Business" on the stage is everything done by a character
except speaking lines.

At all rehearsals the director is in absolute charge. His word is
final law. This does not mean that members of the cast may not discuss
things with him, and suggest details and additions. They must be
careful to choose a proper time to do such things. They should never
argue, but follow directions. Time outside rehearsals may be devoted
to clearing up points. Of course an actor should never lose his
temper. Neither should the director. Both of these bits of advice are
frequently almost beyond observation of living human beings. Yet they
are the rules.

Rehearsals should be frequent rather than long. Acts should be
rehearsed separately. Frequently only separate portions should be
repeated. Combinations should be made so as not to keep during long
waits characters with only a few words. Early portions will have to be
repeated more frequently than later ones to allow the actors to get
into their characterizations. Tense, romantic, sentimental, comic
scenes may have to be rehearsed privately until they are quite good
enough to interest other members of the cast.

The time for preparation will depend upon general ability of the cast,
previous training, the kind of play, the amount of leisure for study
and rehearsing. In most schools a full-length play may be crowded into
four weeks. Six or seven weeks are a better allowance.

During first rehearsals changes and corrections should be made when
needed. Interruptions should be frequent. Later there should be no
interruptions. Comments should be made at the end of a scene and
embodied in an immediate repetition to fix the change in the actors'
minds. Other modifications should be announced before rehearsal, and
embodied in the acting that day.

The acting should be ready for an audience a week before the date set
for the performance. During the last rehearsals, early acts should be
recalled and repeated in connection with later ones, so that time and
endurance may be counted and estimated. During these days rehearsals
must go forward without any attention from the director. He must be
giving all his attention to setting, lighting, costumes, properties,
furniture, and the thousand and one other details which make play
producing the discouraging yet fascinating occupation it is. Such
repetition without constant direction will develop a sense of
independence and coöperation in the actors and assistants which will
show in the enthusiasm and ease of the performance. Stage hands and
all other assistants must be trained to the same degree of reliability
as the hero and heroine. Nothing can be left to chance. Nothing can be
unprovided until the last minute. The dress rehearsal must be exactly
like a performance, except that the audience is not present, or if
present, is a different one. In schools, an audience at the dress
rehearsal is usually a help to the amateur performers.

Results. A performance based on such principles and training as here
suggested should be successful from every point of view.

The benefits to the participants are many. They include strengthening
of the power to memorize, widening of the imagination through
interpretation of character, familiarity with a work of art, training
in poise, utilization of speaking ability, awakening of
self-confidence, and participation in a worthy coöperative effort.

In a broader sense such interest in good, acted plays is an
intellectual stimulus. As better plays are more and more effectively
presented the quality of play production in schools will be improved,
and both pupils and communities will know more and more of the world's
great dramatic literature.



_Additional Exercises in Exposition_

1. The value of public speaking.

2. How Lincoln became a great speaker.

3. Studies in a good school course.

4. Purposes of studying geometry.

5. Explain the reasons for studying some subject.

6. An ideal school.

7. Foreign language study.

8. Forming habits.

9. Sailing against the wind.

10. How to play some game. Give merely the rules or imagine the game
being played.

11. Difference between football in America and in England.

12. Exercise or athletics?

13. Results of military training.

14. The gambling instinct.

15. Parliamentary practice.

16. How to increase one's vocabulary.

17. Is the story of _The Vicar of Wakefield_ too good to be true?

18. The defects of some book.

19. Reading fiction.

20. Magazines in America.

21. Explain fully what a novel is, or a farce, or an allegory, or a

22. Why slang is sometimes justifiable.

23. A modern newspaper.

24. Select two foreign magazines. Compare and contrast them.

25. Essential features of a good short story.

26. Why evening papers offer so many editions.

27. How to find a book in a public library.

28. The difference between public speaking and oratory.

29. Public speaking for the lawyer, the clergyman, the business man.

30. Qualities of a book worth reading.

31. Some queer uses of English.

32. History in the plays of Shakespeare.

33. How to read a play.

34. Mistakes in books or plays.

35. Defects of translations.

36. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

37. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

38. "You never miss the water till the well runs dry."

39. "Penny wise, pound foolish."

40. Select any proverb. Explain it.

41. Choose a short quotation from some poem. Explain it.

42. Explain some technical operation.

43. Explain some mechanical process.

44. A range factory.

45. Making electric bulbs.

46. How moving pictures are made and reproduced.

47. Explain some simple machine.

48. A new application of electricity.

49. Weather forecasting.

50. Scientific or practical value of polar expeditions.

51. Changes of the tide.

52. An eclipse.

53. The principle of some such appliance as the thermometer, the
barometer, the microscope, the air-brake, the block signal.

54. Developing a negative.

55. How the player piano is operated.

56. How the cash register prevents dishonesty.

57. How a new fruit is produced--as seedless orange.

58. Mimeographing.

59. The value of Latin for scientific terms.

60. The value of certain birds, worms, insects.

61. The life history of some queer animal, or insect, or plant.

62. How accuracy is secured.

63. The human eye and the camera.

64. The fireless cooker.

65. Choose some half dozen terms from any trade or business and
explain them. To sell short, margin, bull, bear, lamb. Proscenium,
apron, flies, baby spot, strike. Fold in eggs, bring to a boil,
simmer, percolate, to French. File, post, carry forward, remit,
credit, receivership. Baste, hem, rip, overcast, box pleat, batik,

66. Building a musical program.

67. Commercial art.

68. Catch phrases in advertising.

69. Principles of successful advertising.

70. The Linotype machine.

71. How I made my first appearance as a public speaker.

72. Real conversation.

73. Mere talk.

74. The business woman.

75. A slump in a certain business or industry.

76. The Red Cross in war.

77. The Red Cross in peace.

78. Compare the principles of two political parties.

79. A fire alarm.

80. Why automobiles are licensed.

81. The powers and duties of some city or county official.

82. The advantages that this locality offers for certain industries or
kinds of agriculture.

83. Society fads.

84. The ideal office holder.

85. New systems of government.

86. Various forms of socialism.

87. Collecting a debt by law.

88. Explain some legal procedure as suggested by some term, as
mandamus, injunction, demurrer, habeas corpus, nolle prosequi.

89. Explain the composition and work of the Grand Jury.

90. The efficiency expert.

91. A new profession.

92. The advantages of a trolley car with both entrance and exit at the
front end.

93. Labor-saving devices.

94. A supercargo.

95. Scientific shop management.

96. Hiring and discharging employees.

97. Applying for a business position.

98. Causes of some recent labor strike.

99. A labor union operates as a trust.

100. Efficiency in the kitchen.

101. Speeding up the work.

102. Planning a factory.

103. Making cheap automobiles.

104. Uses of paper.

105. New methods of furnishing houses.

106. Making the home beautiful.

107. New building materials.

108. Designing and building a boat.

109. The lay-out of a shipyard.

110. Rules for planting.

111. City government.

112. Better methods of city government.

113. How a trial is conducted.

114. The juvenile court.

115. Post office savings banks.

116. Geographic advantages of this locality.

117. Results of irrigation.

118. How the farmer controls world prices.

119. Relation between some distant event and the price of some article
in the corner store.

120. New businesses in America with their reasons for existence.

121. The latest improvement in this locality.

122. Why certain cities are destined to increase in population.

123. Model homes.

124. Housing the inhabitants of large cities.

125. The operation of a subway.

126. Automobile trucks instead of freight trains.

127. How Lincoln became President.

128. Why Webster did not become President.

129. The dead-letter office.

130. The Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of
Great Britain.

131. How the United States secured Porto Rico.

132. A free trade policy.

133. Commercial reciprocity.

134. The protective tariff.

135. Explain the application of some tax, as income, single,

136. How the constitutionality of a law is determined.

137. How laws are made by Congress.

138. The Congressional Record.

139. The Monroe Doctrine.

140. The attitude of foreign nations toward the Monroe Doctrine.

141. Differences between the Chinese and the Japanese.

142. The failure of the Hague Tribunal.

143. The part of the United States in a league of nations.

144. Reasons for the conditions in Mexico.

145. Our country's duty toward Mexico.

146. The so-called Yellow Peril.

147. Trans-oceanic air travel.

148. Evolution of the airship.

149. The geodetic survey.

150. The census bureau.


_Additional Exercises in Argumentation_

1. Find in a magazine or newspaper some article in which conviction is
the prime factor.

2. Find in a magazine or newspaper some article in which persuasion is
most used.

3. Give examples from recent observation of discussions which were not
argument as the term is used in this book.

4. Explain how arguments upon a topic of current interest would differ
in material and treatment for three kinds of audiences.

5. The education of the American negro should be industrial not

6. To the Cabinet of the United States there should be added a
Secretary of Education with powers to control all public education.

7. Separate high schools for boys and girls should be maintained.

8. It is better to attend a small college than a large one.

9. Women should be eligible to serve as members of the school board.

10. Pupils should be marked by a numerical average rather than by a
group letter.

11. At least two years of Latin should be required for entrance to

12. The honor system should be introduced in all examinations in high
schools and colleges.

13. The study of algebra should be compulsory in high school.

14. Courses in current topics, based upon material in newspapers,
should be offered in all high schools.

15. Every high school should require the study of local civics or
local industries.

16. Regular gymnastic work is more beneficial than participation in
organized athletics.

17. Girls should study domestic science.

18. The kindergarten should be removed from our educational system.

19. Coeducation in schools and colleges is better than segregation.

20. Secret societies should be prohibited in high schools.

21. A magazine or newspaper which copies material from one in which it
first appears should be required by law to compensate the author.

22. Moving picture exhibitions should be more strictly regulated.

23. An exposition produces decided advantages for the city in which it
is held.

24. A county fair is a decided benefit to a rural community.

25. All young men in this country should receive military training for
a period of one year.

26. This city should provide employment for the unemployed.

27. Motor delivery trucks should be substituted for horse-drawn

28. Labor unions are justified in insisting upon the re-employment of
members discharged for a cause which they deem unjust.

29. Farmers should study scientific agriculture.

30. Capital and labor should be required by law to settle their
disputes by appeals to a legally constituted court of arbitration
whose decisions should be enforced.

31. In time of peace no member of a labor union should be a member of
a regularly organized military force.

32. Overtime work should be paid for at the same rate as regular work.

33. All work should be paid for according to the amount done rather
than by time.

34. Employers are justified in insisting upon the "open shop."

35. Trade unions are justified in limiting the number of persons
allowed to enter a trade.

36. This state should establish a minimum working wage for women.

37. The street railway company should pave and keep in repair all
streets in which its cars are operated.

38. More definite laws concerning the sale of milk should be passed.

39. This city should institute government by a commission.

40. This city should institute and maintain an adequate system of
public playgrounds.

41. This city should provide more free recreations for its citizens.

42. City government should be conducted by a highly paid municipal
expert hired for the purpose of controlling city affairs exactly as he
would a large business organization.

43. A public building for community interests is a better memorial for
a city to erect than the usual monument or statue.

44. Voting machines should be used in all cities.

45. All public utilities should be owned and operated by the city.

46. Judges should not be elected by popular vote.

47. A representative should vote according to the opinions of his

48. This state should provide old-age pensions.

49. Laws should be passed making it impossible to dispose of more than
one million dollars by will.

50. The pure food law should be strictly enforced.

51. Every state should have a state university in which tuition for
its inhabitants should be absolutely free.

52. The Governor of a state should not have the pardoning power.

53. No children below the age of sixteen should be allowed to work in

54. Laws concerning the sale of substitutes for butter should be made
more stringent.

55. Sunday closing laws should be repealed.

56. The railroads of the United States should be allowed to pool their

57. The present method of amending the Constitution of the United
States should be changed.

58. This government should insist upon a strict adherence to the
Monroe Doctrine.

59. The American Indian has been unjustly treated.

60. Railroads should be under private ownership but subject to
government control.

61. An educational test should be required of all persons desiring to
enter this country.

62. The United States should own and control the coal mines of the

63. Members of the House of Representatives should be chosen to
represent industries, workers, and professions, rather than
geographical divisions.

64. Woman suffrage carries with it the right to hold office except
where expressly forbidden in existing laws and constitutions.

65. Instead of an extension of suffrage to all women there should be a
restriction from the previous inclusion of all men.

66. All raw materials should be admitted to this country free of duty.

67. All departments of the government should be under the Civil
Service Act.

68. The Civil War pension policy was a wise one.

69. The United States should build and maintain a large navy.

70. A high protective tariff keeps wages high.

71. Letter postage should be reduced to one cent.

72. Laws governing marriage and divorce should be made uniform by

73. The present restriction upon Chinese immigration should be
modified to admit certain classes.

74. The standing army of the United States should be increased.

75. This government should establish a system of shipping subsidies.

76. Repeated failure to vote should result in the loss of the right of

77. The United States should not enter into any league of nations.

78. The defeated central powers of Europe should be admitted to full
membership in the League of Nations.

79. Japan should be prevented from owning or controlling any territory
upon the continent which belonged to China.

80. Great Britain should establish Egypt as an independent country.

81. Ireland should be organized as a Dominion similar to Canada and

82. The United States should establish a protectorate over Mexico.

83. This country should demand from Germany an indemnity equal to our
expenses in the war.

84. The former Kaiser of Germany and his state officials responsible
for the World War of 1914 should be tried by an international court.

85. All European nations should agree to disarmament.

86. Foreign missions should be discontinued.

87. The Jews of the world should colonize Palestine.

88. Commercial reciprocity should be established between the United
States and South America.

89. This country has no need to fear any aggression from any Asiatic

90. The government system of Great Britain is more truly
representative than that of the United States.

91. A railroad should pay ten thousand dollars to the family of any
employee who meets death by accident while on duty.

92. There is no such thing possible as "Christian warfare."

93. Vivisection should be prohibited.

94. The dead should be cremated.

95. Cigarettes should not be sold to boys under eighteen.

96. Children under fourteen should not be allowed to appear upon the

97. Socialism is the best possible solution of all labor problems.

98. The Soviet system of government has details applicable to certain
conditions in America.

99. No person should be forced to undergo vaccination.

100. Labor interests can be served best by the formation of a separate
political party.


ABBOTT, Lyman, 118

Abolition Movement, The, 185

acceptance, speech of, 284

acquired ability, 6

acting, 291

after-dinner speech, 281

Allen, John, 116

amplified definition, 203

amplifying and diminishing, 255

analogy, 233

analogy, incorrect, 252

analysis, 244

Anglo-Saxon, 51

anticipatory conclusion, 102, 105

Antony, Mark, 81

antonyms, 48

_a posteriori_ argument, 237

appealing to prejudice or passions, 247

appropriate diction, 54

_a priori_ argument, 236

argumentation, 218

_argumentum ad hominem_, 249

_argumentum ad populum_, 247

Aristotle, 97

arrangement, 151, 164

assigning rôles, 312

attacking speaker's character, 249

attributes of speaker, 29

audience in debate, 262

authorities, 180, 232


Beecher, Henry Ward, 82, 83, 162

begging the question, 245

Birrell, Augustine, 114

brief, 28, 170

brief, making a, 187

brief, speaking from the, 191

briefing, selections for, 180

Bright, John, 29

burden of proof, 225

Burke, Edmund, 23, 65, 66, 80, 116,
162, 167, 172, 255

business, 322

CALHOUN, John C., 66, 108, 206

capital punishment, brief, 173

cards, 134-5

casting a play, 320

causal relation, 237

cause to effect, 209, 236

Channing, William Ellery, 249

character delineation, 292

characters, description of, 307

characters in plays, 303

Chatham, Lord, 111

Cheyney, Edward P., 204

Choate, Rufus, 63

choosing a theme, 281

Cicero, 77

circumstantial evidence, 226

classification, 199

Clay, Henry, 249

climax, 301

coherence, 154

commemorative speech, 283

comparison, 208

complex sentence, 59

composition of the English language, 50

compound sentence, 60

conclusion, length, 99

consonants, 17

constructive argument, 256

contradiction, 244

contrast, 208

conversations, memorized, 300

conviction, 220

Crabbe, _English Synonyms_, 48

cross references, 137

Curtis, George William, 52, 54, 67, 120, 253

DANIEL, John W., 119

debaters, 262

debating, 258

decision in debate, 260

deductive reasoning, 229

definition, 201

delineation of character, 292

delivery, 26

delivery of introductions, 89

Demosthenes, 8

description of characters, 307

Dewey, M., 139

dialogue, 294

_differentia_, 201

diminishing, amplifying and, 255

direct evidence, 226

discarding material, 146

division, 199

dramatics, 291

drawbacks, 8

dress rehearsal, 323

Dunsany, Lord, 298

EFFECT to cause, 210, 237

elimination, 236

eloquence, false, 284

Elson, H.W., 131

emphasis, 22, 155

enthymeme, 231

enunciation, 23

Evarts, William M., 118

Everett, Edward, 67

evidence, 226

examples, 206, 232

exclamatory sentence, 60

explaining, 194

explanation, 232

exposition, 194

experience, 122


false eloquence, 284

Fernald, _English Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions_, 48

finding the issues, 267

Ford, Simeon, 114

Fox, Charles James, 9

Fox, John, 23

Franklin, Benjamin, 77

GENERAL terms, 52

genus, 201

gestures, 26

getting material, 122

Gettysburg Address, 183

Gratiano, 6

HALE, Edward Everett, 118

Hamlet's advice to players, 31

hasty generalization, 228

Hayne, 162

Henry, Patrick, 64, 84, 85, 112

Homer, 298

Howell, Clark, 119

Huxley, Thomas H., 150

IDEAS and words, 38

ignoring the question, 246

importance, 212

importance of speech, 1

improvisation, 294

inaugural speech, 285

Incidents of Government Trading, 181

incorrect analogy, 252

increasing the vocabulary, 39

index, 130

inductive reasoning, 228

interrogative sentence, 61

interview, 125

introduction, length, 72

introduction, purpose, 73

introduction and audience, 76

invention and speech, 3

issues, 267

JEFFERSON, Joseph, 120

Jefferson, Thomas, 117

judges, 268

_Julius Caesar_, 81

KINDS of propositions, 822

Knox, Philander, 269

LANGUAGE, 12, 197

League of Nations, 269

legal brief, 170

length of speech, 143

library, 136

library classification, 138

Lincoln, Abraham, 9, 30, 57, 65, 100, 103, 117, 148, 172, 183, 255

list of short plays, 314

long sentences, 61

Lodge, Henry Cabot, 76, 135

logical definition, 201

Lowell, Abbott Lawrence, 136

MACAULAY, Thomas Babington, 52, 68, 160, 208, 233, 246, 268

making a brief, 187

manner in debate, 277

margins, 175

material of speeches, 121

McCumber, P.J., 268

memorized conversations, 300

memorizing, 28, 191

methods of explaining, 198

military leadership, 5


nominating speech, 287

notes, 133


organs of speech, 14

organ pipe, 14

Otis, James, 88

outline, 28,164

PANAMA Canal, 110

particulars of general statement, 205

partition, 199

Penn, William, 258

periodicals, 139

peroration, 109

persuading, 218

persuasion, 237

persuasive speech, 288

Phillips, Wendell, 185

phrasing, 22

pitch, 21

place, 211

plan, 156

plays, characters in, 303

plays, producing, 315

plays, short, 313

plays, studying, 310

poise, 25

pose, 25

_Power Plant Engineering_, 187

prefixes, 41

preparation for debate, 266

preparing introductions, 89

preparing the conclusion, 95

presentation and acceptance, speeches of, 284

presiding officer, 261

presiding officers, 279

producing plays, 315

pronunciation, 24

proof, 232

proposition, 221, 265

propositions of fact, 223

propositions of policy, 223

proving, 218


reading the speech, 27

rebuttal, restrictions, 276

rebuttal speeches, 266

recapitulation, 106

reducing to absurdity, 258

_reductio ad absurdum_, 253

refuting, 242, 251

rehearsing, 321

residues, 234

results of training, 10

retrospective conclusion, 101, 105

Roget's _Thesaurus_, 43

rôles, assigning, 312

Romance, 51

Roosevelt, Theodore, 69, 100, 101, 104, 109, 114


scenery, 816

scholastic debating, 265

selecting material, 130

selections for briefing, 180

self-criticism, 192

sentences, 58

Shakespeare, 304

short plays, 313

short sentences, 61

Sidney, Sir Phillip, 90

simple sentence, 58

sincerity, 292

singing, 18

speakers in debate, 272

speaking from the brief, 191

speaking from the floor, 70

special occasions, speaking upon, 278

specific terms, 52

specimen brief, capital punishment, 173

speech in modern life, 2

speed, 20

stage, 316

statistics, 187

studying plays, 310

suffixes, 43

summary, 107

Sumner, Charles, 148, 160, 234

support of a measure, 288

syllogism, 229

symbols, 176

synonyms, 46

TABLE of contents, 130

tabulations, 178

talk, 5

taking notes, 133

team work, 271

theme, choosing a, 281

Thesaurus, 43

thinking, 161

thought, 12

time limit in debates, 265

time order, 210

time order reversed, 211

tone, 15, 19

tradition, 248

transitions, 157

trite expressions, 55

Twain, Mark, 145


unity, 152

VAN DYKE, Henry, 115

vocabularies, 37

voice, 14

vowels, 16

WASHINGTON, Booker T., 161

Washington, George, 103, 159, 206

Webster, Daniel, 10, 83, 84, 102, 106, 107, 111, 149, 205, 231, 254

Wilson, Woodrow, 69, 75, 105, 114, 117

wording the proposition, 224

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