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Title: A Discourse Being Introductory to his Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language (1759)
Author: Sheridan, Thomas
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Discourse Being Introductory to his Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language (1759)" ***








 _Introduction by_




 William E. Conway, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
 George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_
 Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_


David S. Rodes, _University of California, Los Angeles_


 Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_
 James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_
 Ralph Cohen, _University of Virginia_
 Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_
 Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_
 Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_
 Earl Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_
 Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_
 Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_
 Lawrence Clark Powell, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
 James Sutherland, _University College, London_
 H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_
 Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Edna C. Davis, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Mary Kerbret, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Thomas Sheridan (1718-1788) devoted his life to enterprises within the
sphere of spoken English, and although he achieved more than common
success in all his undertakings, it was his fate to have his reputation
eclipsed by more famous contemporaries and eroded by the passage of
time. On the stage, he was compared favorably with Garrick, but his name
lives in the theatre only through his son Richard Brinsley. A leading
theorist of the elocutionary movement, his pronouncing dictionary ranks
after the works of Dr. Johnson and John Walker, and his entire
contribution dimmed when the movement fell into disrepute.[1]

Sheridan attained his greatest renown through his writing and lecturing
on elocution, and the fervor with which he pursued the study of tones,
looks, and gestures in speaking animates _A Discourse Delivered in the
Theatre at Oxford, in the Senate-House at Cambridge, and at
Spring-Garden in London_. This lecture, "Being Introductory to His
Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language," displays both
the man and the elocutionary movement. Throughout the work, Sheridan
exhibits his missionary zeal, his dedication to "a visionary hypothesis
that dazzled his mind."[2] At the same time, he presents the basic
principles of elocutionary theory and reveals the forces that made the
movement a dominant pattern in English rhetoric.

It is difficult to account for Sheridan's millennial approach to
elocution, but his absorption in language study is most understandable.
His father, Dr. Thomas Sheridan, was a minister and teacher, judged to
be "a good classical scholar, and an excellent schoolmaster."[3] He
supervised his son's early education, and Sheridan was being pointed
toward a career as school master. His exposure to, and interest in,
English were reinforced by his godfather, Dean Swift, who was long an
intimate of the elder Sheridan. In later years, Sheridan was eager to
acknowledge that his attitudes had been profoundly influenced by those
of Swift.

To some degree Sheridan's dedication to language study is evidenced in
his theatrical activities. As an undergraduate, he wrote a play that was
later published; and almost immediately after taking his M.A. at Trinity
College, he made his professional acting debut in Dublin. This was 1743,
and forty years later he was taking part in Attic Entertainments,
performances "consisting of recitation, singing, and music."[4] A
selective chronology suggests his involvement with the stage: 1744,
acting in London with Garrick; 1750, acting and managing in Dublin;
1760, acting in London; 1780, acting manager for his son at Drury Lane.

Successful as an actor, Sheridan appears to have missed greatness
because he could not overcome an inflexibility and obstinacy in
personality; and the same characteristics helped to precipitate a number
of squabbles and riots that marred his managerial efforts. However, much
of his frustration in the theatre must be attributed to the more
compelling attraction to the theory of delivery in speaking. The stage
provided a practical outlet, but Sheridan's fascination with
elocutionary theory dominated and deflected the interest in theatre.

That elocution was his primary concern is demonstrated in his major
publications: _British Education_, 1756; _Lectures on Elocution_, 1762;
_A Plan of Education_, 1769; _Lectures on the Art of Reading_, 1775; and
_A General Dictionary of the English Language_, 1780. In all of these
works the central argument remained unchanged after its initial
statement in the complete title of _British Education_.[5] There,
Sheridan suggested that a revival of the art of speaking would improve
religion, morality, and constitutional government; would undergird a
refining of the language; and would pave the way for ultimate perfection
in all the arts.

Having posited this thesis in 1756, Sheridan was reiterating it still in
the material prefatory to his pronouncing dictionary in 1780, and he
never rested with publication alone. As early as 1757 he lectured on the
principles of education, and he first presented his course of lectures
on elocution in 1758-59 at Oxford and Cambridge. Over the years the
course proved to be both popular and financially rewarding, and Sheridan
sometimes presented the lectures in order to relieve financial
embarassment. Nevertheless, his devotion to the cause was the crucial
factor. His interest in language somehow became an almost blind devotion
to spoken English, and through his course he could carry his message to
influential audiences in England, Ireland, and Scotland; the Edinburgh
Select Society sponsored two series in 1761, and Sheridan was lecturing
on elocution as late as 1785.

The _Discourse_ typifies Sheridan's simplistic interpretation and the
evangelistic ardor with which he addressed his audiences. He was not
content to fault an overemphasis in the study of Latin, nor was he
satisfied to argue that "the support of our establishments, both
ecclesiastical and civil" rests upon public discussion. Many in his
audiences would have agreed, and few would have taken issue with the
contention that the "art of elocution" needed further cultivation. But
Sheridan pressed on to insist that the written language, being an
invention of man, "can have no natural power," and he argued that the
"highest delights" of aesthetic pleasures must wait upon the perfection
of spoken English. He even went so far as to suggest that the study of
"grammar, rhetorick, and oratory" explained the outstanding artistic
achievements of Greece and Rome.

Moreover, "other benefits to society" would add to "the glory of the
nation" and to the "ornament of individuals, and of the state in
general" through a loosing of silent tongues. Sheridan dreamed that the
study of elocution, with a voice "far sweeter than the syren's song,"
would so entrance young students that they would linger long in native
academic groves, avoiding the baneful influence of travel abroad "at the
most unfit and dangerous season of life." Thus, individual and social
perfection had to be predicated upon the study of spoken English, and
Sheridan implied that to slight this study was to offer an affront to
the divine plan for earthly progress.

This panacean outlook prompted Hume to remark that "Mr. Sheridan's
Lectures are vastly too enthusiastic. He is to do every thing by
Oratory."[6] And it is not surprising that the critical, the Johnsons
and Humes, should have been distressed by Sheridan's enthusiasm, an
enthusiasm that permitted him to posit such unlikely goals and to see
himself as the sole authority on elocution. Yet, for every negative
reaction, the elocutionists enlisted countless believers. Sheridan and
other theorists capitalized upon a number of intellectual currents and
social pressures of the era that centered attention upon delivery in
speaking and that helped aggrandize this facet of rhetorical training. A
number of forces can be isolated, but most relate to the classical
inheritance, to the belief that tones, looks, and gestures constitute a
natural language of the passions, and to the methodology of science.[7]

The classical inheritance was important to the elocutionists because of
the impetus given to all language study. Sheridan did no more than echo
a common complaint when he worried over the "many bad consequences"
attending a neglect of the English language; countless writers addressed
themselves to a determination of phonology and pronunciation in the
attempt "to methodize" the language. Furthermore, the example of ancient
oratory spoke loudly to a people striving to perfect both the individual
and social institutions. Any educated man was expected to be able to
express himself well in public, particularly if his vocation found him
"in the pulpit, the senate-house, or at the bar." The pulpit was a
favorite target, and critics regularly lamented the atrocious state of
speaking "in the very service of the Most High." The elocutionists and
others appear to have been convinced that the doubt and scepticism of
the age would be much relieved if only the preachers would learn to
speak properly. Theirs seemed the best of all possible religions, and it
needed but a vitalization through adequate pulpit oratory to transcend
anything accomplished by the Popish devotees on the Continent. Certainly
Sheridan's references to the Continent also reflect a strong overlay of
nationalism, and the same spirit creeps into his worship of Greece and
Rome; but he and the other elocutionists knew that they owed a profound
debt to classical rhetorical theory. Beyond supporting language study
generally and beyond encouraging an interest in public speaking, ancient
rhetoric justified a concentration on delivery.

After centuries of a chameleon-like existence, the complete Ciceronian
rhetoric emerged in England just in time to meet a savage onslaught from
the methods of science and the new epistemology.[8] Eventually,
rhetoricians such as Campbell and Blair were to successfully blend the
old and the new, but the elocutionists found fertile ground in delivery
alone. They began, as Sheridan did, with the testimony of Cicero and
Quintilian because _actio_, or _pronuntiatio_, was one of the five
established canons of classical rhetoric. A favorite citation, though
Sheridan did not use it, was Demosthenes' reputed response when asked to
name the three most important parts of rhetoric: "Actio, actio, actio."
The endorsement of antiquity lent powerful support to the study of
delivery, and this was the one canon that had not been subjected to
regular exhaustive analyses throughout the rhetorical tradition. Here
was a topic ripe for further investigation, and by Sheridan's day, the
tones, looks, and gestures of delivery had achieved commonplace status
in discussions of man's emotions.

Sheridan spoke as if this natural language of the passions were "hardly
ever thought of," but the belief that tones, looks, and gestures were
external signs of internal emotions was firmly established by the middle
of the eighteenth century. The notion has received some attention
throughout western thought, but most speculation appears to date from
Descartes' _Les Passions de l'ame_ in 1650. The increasing concern with
mind-body problems encouraged inquiries into the nature and function of
the natural language in all areas relating directly to man's emotion and
its expression. The topics were as various as religion and physiognomy,
but discussions of the natural language construct centered upon human
communication, particularly in the arts.

The construct became especially significant in analyses of painting and
sculpture. Examples of its impress can be seen in Le Brun's sketches of
the passions,[9] in Hogarth's having embraced "the commonly received
opinion, that the face is the index of the mind,"[10] and in Dryden's
contention that "to express the passions which are seated in the heart,
by outward signs, is one great precept of the painters." Dryden added
that "in poetry, the same passions and motions of the mind are to be
expressed,"[11] and the natural language found its way into most
discussions of tragedy and the epic. Other examples of literary analysis
in which the construct operated include Steele's _Prosodia Rationalis_,
Say's _An Essay on Harmony, Variety, and Power of Numbers_, and Kames'
_Elements of Criticism_. In sum, it was almost universally accepted that
the creative artist was to observe and record the natural language of
the passions. In Sheridan's words, he was to perceive and delineate the
"operations, affections, and energies, of the mind itself ... manifested
and communicated in speech."

The methodology of science was indirectly responsible for giving added
support to this facet of elocutionary rationale. When British empiricism
was pressed to the limit, considerable doubt and scepticism resulted;
and the Scottish common sense philosophy was, in large part, a counter
response. The operation of the natural language became one of the first
principles of common sense; and in their discussions of philosophy,
aesthetics, and rhetoric, the Scots argued for the study of

Science contributed directly to the movement by providing the framework
for analysis. Without the empirical approach and the confidence in
scientific methodology, theorists simply would not have attempted to
isolate and describe the elements in the external signs of the emotions.
Science forced Sheridan to think in terms of empirical observation and
categorization, and science permitted him to call for "sure and
sufficient rules" in order that "the art of speaking like that of
writing ... be reduced to a system." It is even symptomatic that he
should have referred to the design of the "Great Mechanist."

Almost as enthusiastic as Sheridan, a number of other elocutionists
expressed similar views and found their theories invigorated by the same
forces. James Burgh in the _Art of Speaking_ (1761), John Walker in
_Elements of Elocution_ (1781) and a number of other works, and Gilbert
Austin in _Chironomia_ (1806) were among the more influential
elocutionary theorists. Numerous other writers in both England and
America participated in making the study of elocution an established
part of the English rhetorical tradition.

In America, the study gained acceptance at all levels of education, and
the class in elocution became a standard course in colleges and
universities. Elocution centered upon oral reading and public speaking,
and written composition came to be the exclusive province of the
rhetoric class. The resultant distinctions between oral and written
discourse played a significant role in the eventual development of
separate departments of speech and English in American colleges and

Although speech departments grew out of elocutionary studies, elocution
disappeared from the curriculum because of an association with an
excessive emphasis upon performance as performance. Reaction was
compounded by a sophistication in psychology that made early theory seem
naïve, but neither later excesses nor seeming naïvety should be
permitted to distort the main thrust of the elocutionary movement.
Concentrating upon language in use, the elocutionists encouraged and
anticipated analyses now being vigorously pursued in a range extending
from linguistics to nonverbal communication. Their contribution has for
too long been ignored, and it is happily foreshadowed in Thomas
Sheridan's enthusiastic _Discourse_.

University of California,


[Footnote 1: See Wallace A. Bacon, "The Elocutionary Career of Thomas
Sheridan (1718-1788)," _Speech Monographs_, XXXI (1964), 1-53.]

[Footnote 2: John Watkins, _Memoirs of the Right Honorable R. B.
Sheridan_, (London, 1817), I, 43.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid._, p. 39.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid._, pp. 145-146.]

[Footnote 5: _British Education: Or, The Source of the Disorders of
Great Britain. Being An Essay towards proving, that the Immorality,
Ignorance, and false Taste, which so generally prevail, are the natural
and necessary Consequences of the present defective System of Education.
With An Attempt to shew, that a Revival of the Art of Speaking, and the
Study of Our Own Language, might contribute, in a great measure, to the
Cure of those Evils. In Three Parts. I. Of the Use of these Studies to
Religion, and Morality; as also, to the Support of the British
Constitution. II. Their absolute Necessity in order to refine,
ascertain, and fix the English Language. III. Their Use in the
Cultivation of the Imitative Arts: shewing, that were the Study of
Oratory made a necessary Branch of the Education of Youth; Poetry,
Musick, Painting, and Sculpture, might arrive at as high a Pitch of
Perfection in England, as ever they did in Athens or Rome._]

[Footnote 6: James Boswell, _Private Papers of James Boswell_ (Mt.
Vernon, New York, 1928-34), I, 129.]

[Footnote 7: See Frederick W. Haberman, "English Sources of American
Elocution," _History of Speech Education in America_, ed. Karl Wallace
(New York, 1954), pp. 105-126.]

[Footnote 8: See Wilbur Samuel Howell, _Logic and Rhetoric in England,
1500-1700_ (Princeton, 1956).]

[Footnote 9: Charles Le Brun, _Conférence de Monsieur Le Brun sur
l'expression generale & particulière_ (Amsterdam, 1698).]

[Footnote 10: William Hogarth, _Analysis of Beauty_, ed. Joseph Burke
(Oxford, 1955), p. 136.]

[Footnote 11: John Dryden, "A Parallel of Poetry and Painting," in
_Essays_, ed. W. P. Ker (Oxford, 1900), II, 145.]

[Footnote 12: See G. P. Mohrmann, "The Language of Nature and
Elocutionary Theory," _Quarterly Journal of Speech_, LII (1966),

[Footnote 13: See studies reported in _History of Speech Education in


The text of this reprint of Sheridan's _Discourse_
is reproduced from a copy in the
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.










Being Introductory to




Ut enim hominis decus ingenium, fic ingenii ipsius
lumen est eloquentia.

Cic. de Orat.


Printed for A. MILLAR, in The Strand;
J. RIVINGTON and J. FLETCHER, in Pater-noster-Row;
J. DODSLEY, in Pall-Mall; and sold by
J. WILKIE, in St. Paul's Church yard.






The following Discourse

(As a small token of gratitude

For the candour with which they received,

And the generosity with which they encouraged,

His attempt

Towards improving Elocution,

And promoting the study of the ENGLISH Language)


With all humility,

And the most profound respect,


By their

very faithful

and devoted servant,







The Senate-House at CAMBRIDGE,



It has been a long time since all men, who have turned their thoughts to
the subject, have been convinced, that the neglect of studying our own
language, and the art of speaking it in public, has been attended with
many bad consequences; and some of our most eminent writers have freely
delivered their thoughts upon this head to the world. Amongst the
foremost of this number are Milton, Dryden, Clarendon, Locke, Addison,
Berkley, and Swift; besides multitudes of less note. But as they have
only pointed out the evil, without examining into its source, or
proposing an adequate remedy; as they have shewn the good consequences
which would follow from the introduction of those studies, only in
theory, without laying down any probable method, by which their
speculations might be reduced to practice, their endeavours in this way,
however laudable, have hitherto proved but of little benefit to mankind.

Any attempt, therefore, towards a practicable plan, whereby such studies
may be introduced, will well deserve the attention of the best and
wisest men; and, if it should meet with their approbation, will
necessarily also obtain their encouragement and assistance.

This consideration it was, which emboldened me to appear before this
learned assembly; and though, when I reflect on the knowlege, wisdom,
and nice discernment, of my hearers, I am filled with that awe and
reverence which are due to so respectable a body, yet, as candour and
humanity are the inseparable attendants on wisdom and knowlege (for as
the brave are ever the most merciful, so are the wise the most
indulgent), I can have no cause to fear the submitting my opinions to
the decision of such judges as are here assembled. Whatever shall appear
to be founded in reason and truth cannot fail of producing its due
effect in this region of true philosophy: and whatever errors or faults
may be committed, as they cannot escape the penetration, so will they be
corrected and amended by the skill and benevolence of such hearers. A
point to be wished, not dreaded; as to an inquirer after truth, next to
the being right, the thing most to be desired is the being set right. In
either way, a person engaged in a new undertaking is sure to be a
gainer, where honour, and certainty of success, will follow judicious
approbation; where benefit, and the means of succeeding, will attend
just censure.

Encouraged by these reflections, I shall therefore, without farther
preface, enter upon my subject.

That the English are the only civilized people, either of ancient or
modern times, who neglected to cultivate their language, or to methodize
it in such a way, as that the knowlege of it might be regularly
acquired, is a proposition no less strange than true.

That the English are the only free nation recorded in history, possessed
of all the advantages of literature, who never studied the art of
elocution, or founded any institutions, whereby, they who were most
interested in the cultivation of that art; they whose professions
necessarily called upon them to speak in public, might be instructed to
acquit themselves properly on such occasions, and be enabled to deliver
their sentiments with propriety and grace, is also a point as true as it
is strange.

These neglects are the more astonishing, because, upon examination, it
will appear, that there neither is, nor ever was a nation upon earth, to
the flourishing state of whose constitution and government, such studies
were so absolutely necessary. Since it must be obvious to the slightest
enquirer, that the support of our establishments, both ecclesiastical
and civil, in their due vigour, must in a great measure depend upon the
powers of elocution in public debates, or other oratorial performances,
displayed in the pulpit, the senate-house, or at the bar.

But to leave the public interests out of the question; is it not amazing
that these studies have never been established here, even upon selfish
principles, which, in all other cases seldom fail of having their due
force? since it can be shewn, that there never was a state wherein so
many individuals were so necessarily and deeply concerned in the
prosecution of those studies; or where it was the interest, as well as
duty, of such numbers, to display the powers of oratory in their native

There is not a single point, in which the study of oratory was necessary
to the ancients, wherein it is not equally so to us; nor was there any
incitement to the knowlege and practice of that art, whether of
pleasure, profit, or honour, which with us is not of equal strength.

We, as well as the ancients, have councils, senates, and assemblies of
the people (by their representatives) whose deliberations and debates
turn upon matters of as much moment, where oratory has fields as ample,
in which it may exert all its various powers, and where the rewards and
honours, attendant on eloquence are equal. "If we look into the history
of England, for more than a century past, we shall find, that most
persons have made their way to the head of affairs, and got into the
highest employments, not on account of birth or fortune, but by being,
what is commonly called, good speakers."

Nor is oratory less necessary to us at the bar, than it was to the
ancients; nor are the rewards of profit, fame, and preferment, less
attendant on it there; as has been experienced by all in that
profession, who took pains to improve their talents in that way.

But there is one point, a most momentous one, in which oratory is
essentially necessary to us, but was not in the least so to the
ancients. The article I mean, is of the utmost importance to us; it is
the basis of our government, and pillar of our state. It is the
vivifying principle, the soul of our constitution, without which, it
cannot subsist; I mean religion.

"As the religion of the ancients consisted chiefly of rites and
ceremonies, it could derive no assistance from oratory; but there is
not the smallest branch of ours which can be well executed, without
skill in speaking; and the more important parts, calculated to answer
the great ends, evidently require the whole oratorial powers."

Let it be observed, that in this profession alone, there are more
persons employed throughout these realms, than there were citizens of
Athens, at any given period.

Since, therefore, we have so much stronger motives to the cultivation of
this art, what can be the reason that even an attempt towards it has
never hitherto been made? One would imagine, that in a country where the
ancients are admired, revered, nay, almost adored, that we should
certainly follow their example, and adopt all their wise institutions,
so far at least as they coincided with the spirit of our government, and
were of equal necessity to the well being of the state. But on the
contrary, we seem to have made it a law, that we should sit down
contented with seeing and admiring their excellence, but that we should
never attempt to use the means, by which alone we might be enabled to
rival them. If it were difficult to come at the knowlege of those means;
if the method taken by the ancients, in educating their youth to qualify
them for such great performances, had not been handed down to us; or if
there were any thing in the method itself, which would be found
impracticable in these times, there might be some excuse for not taking
the same course. But on the contrary, when many of their most eminent
writers have minutely described to us the precise course of education,
passed through by all who were liberally trained; when they tell us,
that both at Athens and Rome, one of the chief studies was that of their
native language in each country; and that the art most assiduously
sought after, and practised in both, was that of oratory: shall we be
surprised that their languages were more polished and beautiful, and
consequently that all works which depended upon the elegance and charms
of language, should be more finished than those of a people, who never
took any pains in that way? or that oratory, and all the arts dependant
on it, or connected with it, together with all the benefits and
advantages resulting from it, should appear in a more conspicuous
light, in regions, where that art was cultivated with the utmost pains
and labour, than in a country where it has been utterly neglected. Is
there any natural impediment in our way, is there any invincible
obstacle to the pursuit of these studies, and to the attainment of these
arts? Have we not a language to study as well as they? and do we not, on
many accounts, stand in more need of studying that language? Have we not
the same organs of speech, the same features, the same limbs, muscles,
and nerves, that the ancients had? What want we then, but to apply
ourselves to the regulation of these, and to study their true use in
enforcing and adorning our sentiments, when delivered by speech, to
rival or even excel them in their favourite art? How did the ancients
attain this art? By study, and practice. Would not the same means bring
us to the same end? And have we not the advantage of all their lights to
guide us in our enquiries? Have we not the foundation of their
experience to build upon, ready to our hands, whenever we are wise
enough to set about raising the noble edifice? Did the ancients possess
any advantages over us from nature, either in point of intellectual
faculties, or the animal oeconomy? With respect to the mental powers, it
is undoubtedly clear, that we have carried our discoveries much farther
than they did, both in the physical and moral world. And with respect to
the bodily organs, true philosophy must deride any attempts, to shew
that we are not framed exactly in the same manner. In all the
_sciences_, to which we _have_ applied, we have far outdone them; and if
they still excel us in many of the _arts_, it is either because we have
wholly neglected their cultivation, or where we have made the attempt,
we have taken a wrong course; and unwisely deserted the method pointed
out by the ancients towards their attainment, and which, with them, had
been always crowned with success.

In short, the difference between the ancients and us, arises from one
obvious cause. In the course of education, we have pursued most of the
studies, which they did; but some we have wholly omitted. In all
studies, which we followed in common with them, we have far excelled
them: that they have excelled us in those which were peculiar to
themselves, cannot be a matter of wonder. The chief points in which
they differed from us, were the study of their native language, and
oratory. And it can be indisputably shewn, that they possessed no
advantage over us, but what arose, either immediately, or
consequentially from their knowlege, skill, and practice; in grammar,
rhetorick, and oratory. Now, as we have excelled them far, in all the
studies to which we _have_ applied, there can be no good reason
assigned, that with a due degree of attention and pains, we might not
surpass them in these also? On the contrary, I hope, on another
occasion, to be able to prove, that from certain lights furnished by
time, from peculiar advantages arising from our pure and holy religion,
and from the nature of our admirable constitution, we might, with
moderate pains, and in no long space of time, as far surpass them in
those arts, and all that depend upon them, or have a connection with
them, as we have already done in the sciences.

But though, upon trial, we should not find ourselves able to surpass the
ancients, let us not shamefully suffer ourselves to be outdone in those
arts by the moderns. If the Briton should own himself unequal to the
contest with Greeks and Romans, let him not yield the palm to Frenchmen
also. If, in despair of victory, he should say like Mnestheus in Virgil,
"Non jam prima peto," let him add to his countrymen, "extremos pudeat

Believe me, there is no time to be lost. The Italians, the French, and
the Spaniards, are far before you. Their languages and authors are well
known through Europe, whilst yours have got admission only into the
closets of a few. You have but to rouze yourselves from your lethargy,
and to exert your native vigour, soon to outstrip them all. Should you
set about refining and ascertaining your language, with the same spirit
of industry, which you have often exerted on less important occasions,
the work will not be long accomplishing; and you will not only
immediately raise your credit in the eyes of Europe, but hand down to
your posterity, one of the noblest legacies which it is in your power to
bequeath. If the task should be accomplished, how will that posterity
wonder, that their ancestors should have been for more than two
centuries in possession of so rich a jewel, without once examining its
value; and that, merely through a neglect of polishing, they should have
suffered a diamond of the first water and magnitude, to be outshone by
the cut glass, or pebbles, of their poorer, but more industrious

The true source of the neglect of these studies, will, upon examination,
be found to be this; that from the first introduction of letters into
this kingdom, the minds of all trained in the knowlege of them, have to
this hour, from early institution, got a wrong biass with respect to
language: in consequence of which, the universal attention of the
natives of this country, has been turned from the natural, the more
forcible, and more pleasing kind, to that which is artificial, weaker,
and accompanied with no natural delight.

I do not doubt, but that this proposition will excite no small surprise
in my hearers; nor do I suppose, they will easily comprehend my meaning,
till they recollect a distinction, which is hardly ever thought of, and
yet, which ought often to be had in remembrance, that we have two kinds
of language; one which is _spoken_, another which is _written_. Or that
there are two different methods used of communicating our ideas, one
through the channel of the ear, the other through that of the eye.

It is true, that as articulate sounds are by compact symbols of our
ideas, and as written characters are by compact symbols of those
articulate sounds, they may, at first view, seem calculated to
accomplish one and the same end; and from habit, an opinion may be
formed, that it is a matter of indifference which way the communication
is made, as the end will be equally well answered by either.

But, upon a nearer examination, it will appear that this opinion is ill
founded, and that, in whatever country it prevails, so far as to affect
the practice of the people, it must be attended with proportional bad
consequences, both to individuals, and to society in general.

In order to prove this, it will be necessary to shew, that the
difference between these two kinds of language is not more in form,
than in substance; in the means of their communication, than in their
end: that they widely differ from each other, in the nature, degree, and
extent of their power; that they have each their several offices and
limits belonging to them, which they ought never to exceed; and that,
where one encroaches on the province of the other, it can never equally
well discharge its office.

All these points will be made sufficiently clear, only by examining the
nature and constitution, of these two kinds of language.

First, as to that which is spoken. Speech is the universal gift of God
to all mankind. But as in his wise dispensations, in order to excite
industry, and make reward the attendant on service, in the most
excellent things of this life, he has only furnished the materials, and
left it to man to find out, and make a right use of them; so has he laid
down this just law, in regard to the great article of speech; which in
all nations must prove either barbarous, discordant, and defective; or
polished, harmonious, and copious, according to the culture or neglect
of it. As the chief delight and improvement of a social, rational
being, must arise from a communication of sentiments and affections, and
all that passes in the mind of man; the powers of opening such a
communication are furnished in a suitable degree, and with a liberal
hand. In proportion to their acquisition of ideas, men will find no want
of articulate sounds to be their symbols. In proportion to their
progress in knowlege, they will find adequate powers in the organs of
speech, to communicate that knowlege. In proportion to the exertion of
the powers of the intellect, or the imagination, the various emotions of
the mind, the different degrees of sensibility, and all the feelings of
the heart; they will find, upon searching for them, that in the human
frame there are tones, looks, and gestures of such efficacy, as not only
to make all these obvious, but to transfuse all those operations,
energies, and emotions into others: without which, indeed, the mere
communication of ideas would be attended with but little delight.

A wise nation will therefore, above all things, apply themselves to
advance the powers of elocution, to as high a degree as possible; and
they will find their labours well rewarded, not only by opening a
source of one of the highest delights, which the nature of man is
capable of feeling in this life, but also by the extraordinary benefits
and advantages thence resulting to society, which cannot possibly be
procured in any other way. "It has pleased the All-wise Creator to annex
to elocution, when in its perfect state, powers almost miraculous! and
an energy nearly divine! He has given to it tones to charm the ear, and
penetrate the heart: he has joined to it actions, and looks, to move the
inmost soul. By that, attention is kept up without pain, and conviction
carried to the mind with delight. Persuasion is ever its attendant, and
the passions own it for a master. Great as is the force of its powers,
so unbounded is their extent. All mankind are capable of its
impressions, the ignorant as well as the wise, the illiterate as well as
the learned."

Such is the nature, such the constitution, such the effects, of
cultivated speech. Let us now examine the properties of written
language. "That is wholly the invention of man, a mere work of art, and
therefore can contain no natural power. Its use is to give stability to
sound, and permanence to thought; to preserve words that otherwise might
perish as they are spoke, and to arrest ideas that might vanish as they
rise in the mind; to assist the memory in treasuring these up, and to
convey knowlege at distance through the eye, where it could find no
entrance by the ear. In short, it may be considered as a grand
repository of the wisdom of ages, from which the greatest plenty of
materials may be furnished, for the use of speech, and the best supplies
given to the powers of elocution."

Here we may see, that these two kinds of language essentially differ
from each other in their nature and use: and, from this view, we may
plainly perceive the vast superiority which the former must have over
the latter, in the main end aimed at by both, that of communicating all
that passes in the mind of man; inasmuch as the former works by the
whole force of natural, as well as artificial means; the latter, by
artificial means only. In the one case, many hundreds may be made
partakers at one and the same time, of instruction and delight; in the
other, knowlege must be parceled out only to individuals. In the one,
not only the sense of hearing may receive the highest gratification,
from sounds the most pleasing, and congenial to the organs of man; but
the sight also may be delighted with viewing the noblest work of the
Great Mechanist put in motion, to answer the noblest ends: and, whilst
the charmed ear easily admits the words of truth, the faithful eye, even
of the illiterate, can read their credentials, in the legible hand of
Nature, visibly characterized in the countenance and gesture of the
speaker. In the other, none of the senses are in the least gratified.
The eye can have no pleasure in viewing a succession of crooked
characters, however accurately formed; and the ear cannot be much
concerned in silent reading.

If any doubt remains about pre-eminence with regard to these two, the
dispute may, at once, be settled in the same way that Cicero determined
the controversy between oratory and philosophy; "Sin quærimus quid unum
excellat ex omnibus, docto oratori palma danda est: quem si patiuntur
eundem esse philosophum, sublata controversia est. Sin eos disjungent,
hoc erunt inferiores, quod in oratore perfecto, inest omnis illorum
scientia, in philosophorum autem cognitione, non continuo est
eloquentia." In like manner it may be said, in this case, that he who is
master of speaking cannot, on that account, be retarded, though he may
be much advanced thereby in knowlege of written language; whereas he who
is master of the written language only, is by no means advanced thereby
in the art of speaking. Indeed, the one should be considered only as an
handmaid to the other, and employed chiefly in such offices as she
cannot do in her own person.

But should any nation be so unfortunately circumstanced, as from habit,
or institution, to bestow all their labour and pains upon cultivating
the artificial language, the invention of man, to the utter neglect of
that which is natural, and the gift of God, it must be allowed, that
they are in a wrong course; and that they must necessarily lose some of
the greatest blessings that can be enjoyed by rational, social beings,
and which can flow from no other source but that of cultivated speech.
Whether this be not our case, is well worth considering; and the point
may be settled by the establishment of a few facts. In order to this,
let us take a view of the perfections, and imperfections, of each kind
of language; see in which of them we take most pains to attain the one,
and avoid the other; and, in consequence of such pains, which of them is
at this day in the best state amongst us.

The chief object of both, is the communication of ideas and emotions
from mind to mind, but they use different mediums for this purpose.
Speech makes use of sound, and reaches the mind through the ear: writing
makes use of characters, and conveys knowlege through the eye. The ideas
that rise in the mind of the speaker, together with the operations,
affections, and energies, of the mind itself, are manifested and
communicated in speech, by articulate sounds, combined, or separated in
various proportions; by rests of the voice in certain places; by
accents, emphases, and tones. The same is attempted in writing, by
different combinations of letters, according to stated rules, and by
certain points, stops, and lines. But that it cannot be done with equal
success in the latter case, is clear from this, that sound contains in
itself a natural power over the human frame, in rousing the faculties of
man, and exciting the affections, as is clearly proved by the force of

    By the loud trumpet, which our courage aids,
    We learn that sound, as well as sense, persuades.

But written characters have, in themselves, no sort of virtue, nor the
least influence on the mind of man: and the utmost extent of their
artificial power can reach no farther, than that of exciting ideas of
sounds, which belong to spoken words, for which those combinations of
letters stand, and consequently cannot produce equal effects with the
sounds themselves.

To instruct our youth in the arts of reading and writing, there are many
seminaries established every-where throughout this realm; and,
accordingly, all of a liberal education are well versed in them. But who
in these countries ever heard of a master for the improvement of
articulation, for teaching the due proportion of sound and quantity of
syllables in English, and for pointing out to his pupils, by precept and
example, the right use of accents, emphases, and tones, when they read
aloud, or speak in public? If this has never yet been done, surely it is
a great omission, when we reflect of how much more importance the one
art is than the other; how much more nice and subtle in its nature,
which renders it more difficult to be acquired, and consequently demands
more the benefit of instruction. Accordingly, the bad fruits of this
neglect are every day perceived. Each man's experience will tell him,
how few public readers, or speakers, he has heard acquit themselves
well; and even of those few, those very few, who have acquired any name
in that way, it would be found, upon a critical inquiry, that they have,
for the most part, but a comparative excellence; and that their
superiority over others arises from pre-eminence in the natural
faculties of speech, and an happier construction of the organs, rather
than any skill, or mastery, in the art of elocution. It is thus that, in
countries where music is learned by the ear only, they who have the
nicest ear, and most tuneable voices, will pass for the best singers,
and, of course, be accounted excellent. But, when they come to be
compared with those of another country, regularly trained in the art of
music, it will soon be perceived, what amazing advantages such culture
has given to the latter singers over the former; not only in point of
musical skill, and variety of tones, but also in the vast improvement
made in the singing instrument itself, with respect to all its powers of
sweetness, strength, volubility, or expression, which have been
gradually brought forward to their utmost perfection. Could some of the
orators of old arise from the dead, and be confronted with the best of
these times, perhaps the difference would be still more striking.

There cannot be a more flagrant proof of the preference given to the
inferior species of language, over that of the nobler kind; nor, at the
same time, one which will afford a more glaring instance of the
uncontrolable power of fashion, however absurdly founded, than when we
reflect, that it is reckoned a great disgrace for a gentleman to spell
ill, though not to speak or read ill: and yet, if we were to weigh these
defects in the true balance, and consider them only with respect to the
bad consequences which follow from each, the former will appear to be
scarce an object worthy of our attention, and the latter ought to
excite universal indignation.

A gentleman writes a letter to his friend, or upon business (the chief
use which gentlemen in general make of writing); there are many words in
it mis-spelt; this is a great scandal, and lessens him in the eyes of
those who read it: and yet, where is the mighty matter in this! The
unusual manner of placing letters in words, gives no pain to the organs
of sight; the reader can soon correct any error; or, if he should be
puzzled, he can take time to examine and make out the sense by the
context; and then the end of the letter is answered.

On the other hand, a man shall rise up in a public assembly, and,
without the least mark of shame, deliver a discourse to many hundred
auditors, in such disagreeable tones, and unharmonious cadences, as to
disgust every ear; and with such improper and false use of emphasis, as
to conceal or pervert the sense and all this without fear of any
consequential disgrace, "quia defendit numerus." When we consider that
this is often done on the most aweful occasions, in the very service of
the Most High! at times when words, delivered with due force and energy,
might be productive of the noblest consequences to society, afford the
highest delight to the auditory, and give honour and dignity to the
person of the speaker, may we not justly cry out, O custom! thou art
properly called second nature, with respect to the immensity of thy
power; but thou usurpest her place, thou art her tyrant, thou tramplest
her under foot, and with thy scepter of iron, thou swayest the powers of
reason and truth at thy will!

Indeed, nothing but such an uncontrolable power, could possibly have
made a civilized and enlightened people continue, for such a length of
time, in a course so opposite to all the rules of common sense. For upon
farther examination it will appear, that even the written language, to
which they solely apply, can never reach the perfection whereof it is
capable, nor answer its noblest purposes, without the previous
cultivation of that which is spoken.

When it is considered that articulate sounds or words are the types of
ideas, and that written characters are the types of articulate sounds
or words, it is evident that all the qualities of the latter must be
circumscribed by the former, as the type cannot exceed its archetype.
Accordingly we find, that the charms of style, in the writers of all
ages and countries, have arisen from the beauty of the language spoken
in those countries; and the beauty of language arose not from chance,
but culture; for it is not time, but care, that will bring a language to
perfection. If time alone would do, those of the most barbarous nations
in the world, ought to be superior to those of the most civilized, as
they are infinitely more ancient. It was to the constant pains and
labour, the study and application successively given by the choicest
wits, and men of brightest parts in each age, to the improvement and
establishment of their native tongues, that we owe those two glorious
languages of Greece and Rome, which have justly been the wonder of the
world, and which will last to the end of time. And is it not owing to
the excellence of their languages, that the noble works of their writers
have been preserved? Had Demosthenes written his orations in such a
language as High Dutch, or Virgil his poems in such a one as Irish or
Welsh, their names would not long have outlived themselves.

That the state of all the more elegant and beautiful compositions, and
the effects which they are capable of producing, must chiefly depend
upon the art of speaking, may be clearly deduced from considering the
nature and ends of such writings.

By the art of writing, sentiments can be communicated, either through
the eye only, or through the eye and ear together, to individuals; or
through the ear only to numbers; the first of these, by silent reading,
the other two, by reading aloud. In the first instance, ideas of things
are excited by written words, as the symbols of words spoken; and by
association, the idea of the sounds also which accompany those words.
Now at the best, supposing the ideas of the properest sounds, were
always to be associated by the silent reader, the effect of any
composition must be much weaker than if it were spoken, as far as ideas
fall short of realities. But if, through ignorance in the art of
speaking, or through vicious habits, he annexes the ideas of wrong
sounds and tones to the words, it is impossible he can perceive the
true force and beauty of the composition, so far at least as they depend
upon sound and tone.

To trace this custom, therefore, to its original, may not only be a
matter of curiosity, but, by shewing the weakness of its foundation,
tempt us to abolish it, and substitute a nobler one in its room.

When our system of education was first established on the revival of
literature, by means of the introduction of the languages of Greece and
Rome, men's thoughts were wholly turned to books, and consequently to
written language. The English, then poor and barbarous, was soon
supplanted by the richer, and more polished Latin. The service of the
church was in Latin, the laws in Latin. The religious controversies
which embroiled all Europe, after the writings of Luther and Calvin had
appeared, were all carried on in Latin. Men of the brightest parts
throughout Europe, were necessarily engaged in the closest application
to that language, which became the universal vehicle of knowlege, in all
works of genius and learning. No was its use confined to writing only,
but it was also adopted into speech amongst the polite; it revived, in a
manner, from its tomb, and once more became a living tongue. Not,
indeed, in its original beauty and strength; it might rather be
considered as the ghost of the old Roman, haunting different countries
in different shapes. For as the true pronunciation of a dead language
could not be known, each nation gave to it the sounds which belonged to
their own; and consequently it differed as much in point of sound in the
several countries where it was spoken, as the native tongues differed
from each other in that respect. But as they all agreed in one uniform
manner of writing it, for which they had models before them, in the
works of the ancients, we need not wonder that the chief attention was
given to the written language, in preference to that which was spoken,
as they had sure rules to guide them in the one, and none at all in the
other. Latin words, upon paper, were universally intelligible to all
nations, as they all agreed in the _orthography_, or true manner of
writing them, though they were far from agreeing with respect to the
_orthoepy_, or true manner of pronouncing them; in which the difference
was so great, that the people of one country could scarce understand
Latin, or know it to be the same language, when pronounced by those of

This will sufficiently account for the fashion which prevailed in those
days universally, of applying their time chiefly to the acquisition of
skill in letters, not sounds; in writing, not speaking; in words
presented to the eye by the sure pen, not in those offered to the ear by
the uncertain or erroneous tongue.

Afterwards, when some of the nations of Europe wisely set about the
cultivation of their native tongues, in proportion as they grew more
perfect, the Latin fell into disuse; till at last it was reduced to its
former state of a dead language, and confined chiefly to books. But
whilst the Italians, French, and Spaniards were vying with each other,
in the improvements of their several tongues, by giving all manner of
encouragement to so useful a work, by establishing several societies and
academies for the purpose, from whose joint labours excellent grammars
and dictionaries were produced; by the assistance of which, and the
instruction of masters, not only natives, but foreigners might acquire
the most accurate knowlege of those tongues with ease; the English alone
remained in the old track, and never to this hour, either by public or
private encouragement, have taken one step towards regulating or
ascertaining theirs. And yet this seems to have been a point of much
more moment to them, and to which they were in a more peculiar manner,
and much earlier called upon to give their attention, as the church
service, upon the reformation, was performed in their own tongue, which
is not the case to this day in those countries, where Latin still
maintains that post. The refiners of those living languages justly gave
great attention to sound and pronunciation, in the regulations which
they established; the English, who from the nature of their constitution
and public worship, had infinitely more occasion for the refinement and
regulation of their tongue in that respect, left theirs wholly to
chance. Nor are we to wonder at this, when we consider that we have made
no alteration in our institutions, with the alteration of times and
circumstances. Our establishments for training youth, pursue invariably
the same plan, and inculcate only the same studies, which they did
before the reformation, when Latin was the universal language; nor has
any change been made since the English came into general use. At that
time there was no necessity to apply to the study of it; and the
barbarous structure of its words could afford no inducement to try what
might be done in it, by the power of sounds. Accordingly those who
taught English, were amongst the most ignorant of mankind. Their whole
business was only to teach pupils the letters, to spell, and read words,
no matter with what kind of tones, so as they were well acquainted with
the characters, in order to fit them for the Latin school; where the
learned languages only being the object of attention, their farther
progress in English was neglected. Is not this the case at this day? Are
not the rudiments of English now taught by low and ignorant masters, for
wretched stipends, and for the same ends? Is it afterwards any-where
_regularly taught_? Does not Latin still continue to be the chief
language taught in schools, in the same manner as when it was the chief
language used on all the important occasions of life? Only with this
difference, that whilst it was in a manner a living tongue, by being
used in conversation, more care was probably taken with regard to
pronunciation, which at present is chiefly transferred to understanding
and writing it correctly; and whoever has a mind to make himself master
of those points, may have all the guidance of rules, and aid of
preceptors: but with regard to the English, he is left to make his own
way, as well as he can. This will serve as an explanation of many
extraordinary phænomena in this country. Such as, that there are numbers
who understand Latin well, who do not understand their native tongue.
That there are many who can write Latin elegantly, who are remarkably
incorrect in their English style. And that there are many who can
produce excellent compositions both in Latin and English, who can
neither read aloud, or repeat those very compositions with tolerable
propriety, much less with grace. Of these facts, I dare venture to say,
there is not one of my hearers who cannot immediately suggest to himself
sufficient instances. The natural consequence, indeed, of neglecting the
art of elocution, is that of reducing a living language at best to the
state of a dead one. For in just and true elocution alone, consists the
life of language; that which is false or disagreeable, places it below
its dead written state, by the uneasiness and disgust which it
occasions. If language, when spoken, gives no pleasure, if it excites no
emotions, it is in that case, for the mere purpose of information, far
below that which is written; inasmuch as the reader of words can take
his own time to make himself master of their meaning, and consider their
force. But if public speaking in any country should in general rather
give pain than pleasure, occasion satiety, instead of rouzing attention,
and far from illustrating, should render the sentiments obscure, the
people of that country will be necessitated to give their attention to
written language; they must prefer the invention of man, to the gift of
God; and the noblest ends, and highest delights which language can
answer or afford, will be frustrated and lost. Whether we are in that
condition or not, let our army of writers, and scarcity of speakers

They who have seen in the clearest light the fatal consequences of this
course, did not, at the same time, see the only method by which it might
be changed. They did not know how impregnable are the bulwarks which
surround the fortress of custom to all attacks by storm, though they may
easily be reduced by sapping the foundations. And though the tyrant may
be dethroned by reason; yet cannot reason supply his place. His scepter
can be wielded only by one of his own race, and custom alone can succeed
to custom. All that reason can do, is to preside at the election, and
endeavour to fix the choice on the most worthy.

Till a new custom, therefore, shall have opened the way to skill in the
art of speaking, so that it may be as easily and certainly attainable,
by pursuing that road, as skill in the art of writing now is, by
pursuing the others, the latter path must continue to be most
frequented. And nothing can assist the new custom in its progress, but
the same means that brought forward the old. The art of speaking, like
that of writing, must be reduced to a system; it must have sure and
sufficient rules to guide such as apply to the study of it; it must have
masters to teach it, and to enforce the rules by examples. This alone
can ensure success to the studious in that way; and till that be done,
it cannot be expected that many will employ their time in laborious
researches into an intricate, difficult, and obscure subject, without
the least moral certainty of attaining their point, when a clear,
obvious, and certain method lies open to them, of arriving at, what they
imagine to be, the same end. But had they a like certainty of success in
the one way, as in the other, there cannot be any doubt to which the
preference would be given, not only on account of the superior
advantages resulting from it, but also the superior pleasure which would
attend their progress, and the delight which would crown the attainment
of that art. How exquisite that must have been when eloquence was at its
height, may be gathered from the testimony of Cicero, who, in his
Brutus, does not scruple to affirm, "That neither the fruits nor glory
which he derived from eloquence, gave him so much delight as the study
and practice of the art itself." His words are, "Dicendi autem me non
tam fructus & gloria, quam studium ipsum exercitatioque delectat."

The neglect, therefore, to this hour, of so useful, so necessary, so
delightful an art, may well excite wonder and amazement. And, indeed,
it is hardly possible, but that it should long ere this have got some
footing amongst us, had not all, who have pointed out the defect, and
proposed methods of supplying it, agreed in laying the blame at the
wrong door, and consequently pointing to a wrong quarter for redress.
Thus the nation in general, influenced by their sentiments, has, from
year to year, waited like the countryman,

    "---- dum defluat amnis: At ille
    "Labitur, & labetur in omne volubilis ævum."

All writers on this subject have agreed in laying the fault on the
schools and universities, and that the redress can only come from them.
Than which there cannot be any thing more unjust as to the charge, nor
more ill-founded than the conclusion.

Thus the author of the Spectator says----"We must bear with this false
modesty in our young nobility and gentry, till they cease at Oxford and
Cambridge to grow dumb in the study of eloquence." And one of the bishop
of Cloyne's queries is, "Whether half the learning and study of these
kingdoms is not useless, for want of a proper delivery and pronunciation
being taught in our schools and colleges?" Mr. Locke bears hard upon the
masters, for not instructing their pupils in English, as well as Latin
and Greek, in the following passage. "To write and speak correctly,
gives a grace, and gains a favourable attention to what one has to say:
and since it is English that an English gentleman will have constant use
of, that is the language he should chiefly cultivate, and wherein most
care should be taken to polish and perfect his style. This I find
universally neglected, nor no care taken any-where to improve young men
in their own language, that they may thoroughly understand and be
masters of it. If any one among us have a facility or purity more than
ordinary in his mother tongue, it is owing to chance, or his genius, or
any thing, rather than to his education, or any care of his teacher. To
mind what English his pupil speaks or writes, is below the dignity of
one bred up amongst Greek and Latin, though he have but little of them
himself. These are the learned languages, fit only for learned men to
meddle with, and teach; English is the language of the illiterate
vulgar: though yet we see the polity of some of our neighbours hath not
thought it beneath the public care to promote and reward the improvement
of their own language. Polishing and enriching their tongue, is no small
business amongst them; it hath colleges and stipends appointed it; and
there is raised amongst them a great ambition and emulation of writing
correctly: and we see what they are come to by it, and how far they have
spread one of the worst languages possibly in this part of the world, if
we look upon it as it was in some few reigns backwards, whatever it be
now. The great men among the Romans were daily exercising themselves in
their own tongue; and we find yet upon record the names of orators, who
taught some of their emperors Latin, though it were their mother tongue.
'Tis plain the Greeks were yet more nice in theirs: all other speech was
barbarous to them but their own; and no foreign language appears to have
been studied or valued amongst that learned and acute people; though it
be past doubt that they borrowed their learning and philosophy from
abroad." To this Mr. Locke adds, "I am not here speaking against Greek
and Latin; I think they ought to be studied, and the Latin at least
understood well by every gentleman. But whatever foreign languages a
young man meddles with, (and the more he knows, the better) that which
he should critically study, and labour to get a facility, clearness, and
elegancy to express himself in, should be his own; and to this purpose
he should daily be exercised in it."

To the same effect, have many other eminent authors written on this
subject; but surely they must have been under the influence of strong
prejudice, to charge men with neglect of points, which do not at all
belong to their office; and with the omission of studies and arts, which
they never profess to teach. A master of a grammar-school is to teach
grammar, not oratory; he is to teach Latin, and Greek, not English. And
this is what all masters of endowed schools are bound to do; and it is
upon these terms, that all others receive their pay. But it may be said,
that these studies might be added to the others, and taught at the same
time. Surely, they who say so, have not given themselves time to
reflect on the nature of these studies, or the state of our established
mode of education; else they would see that what they expect is an
absolute impossibility. Can any man communicate more knowlege than he is
himself possessed of? Can any man teach an art which he never learned?
Can any man instruct others in a language, in which he never was
instructed? Can either any art or language be regularly taught without a
well digested system of rules? And if no such system has hitherto been
formed, either with respect to the English language, or the art of
speaking it, how shall any man set about teaching them? It will be said,
that it is a shame for a master to be ignorant of these. But why more a
shame for him, than any other gentleman who has been trained exactly in
the same way? or why is more expected from him? Because it would be of
great benefit to his pupils. So it might, but if in his course of
education, previous to his entering upon that employment, he has had no
lights given him as to those points, is he likely to find much leisure
in so laborious an office, to investigate the principles of an
unpractised art, or the rules of an unstudied language? It is probable
that he would make a greater progress in that way, than others of equal
abilities, and equal advantages of education, who have dedicated whole
lives of leisure to those studies, without ever arriving at the end
proposed? But suppose he could teach them, how could he find time to do
it? The low stipend which custom has established, as the pay to masters
of grammar-schools, obliges most of them to take such numbers of
scholars under their care, even to get a tolerable subsistence, that it
is with the utmost difficulty they are at present able to prepare them
for the university, in the usual time allotted for that purpose, by
teaching only Greek and Latin; how is it then possible for them to think
of introducing the study of new things, which would require nearly as
much time and pains, as those which they are bound to teach, and which
they cannot accomplish, without the utmost stretch of application?
Though, indeed, considering the salaries paid by parents to masters of
grammar-schools, that they are near half of what they pay their grooms,
and that they are at least a full fourth, if not a third, of what they
pay to the dancing master or fencing master, the music or riding master,
the teacher of French or Italian, it must be allowed that they have a
just right to expect that those two supernumerary studies should be
thrown into the bargain. Nor would it be at all surprising, if some
parents should also expect of the master of a grammar-school, that he
should teach their sons to dance, because he has legs, and can walk; as
well as that he should teach them the art of speaking, because he has a
tongue, and can talk. If no attention has been given to these points in
the previous part of education, what reason have we to suppose that the
evil can be remedied at the universities? The business of tutors and
professors there, is to finish young gentlemen in such studies as they
had begun at school, or to instruct them in such new arts and sciences,
as they are obliged by their several establishments to teach. If the
English language, and the art of speaking, be not in the number of
those, what reason have we to expect that they should be taught? Whoever
discharges his duty, in what he professes to teach, will find but little
leisure to attend to any thing else; or if a few should attempt it, they
would upon trial find, that they could make so little progress in
instructing others without the help of rules or principles, and they
would meet such obstacles in their way, on account of inveterate bad
habits contracted through early neglect, as would soon make them give up
the voluntary and fruitless labour.

The reason, therefore, that the belles lettres, and philosophy in all
its branches, are the only things now taught in a course of liberal
education, is obvious enough; because it is for those only that
institutions and endowments have been made; by which means they have
been reduced to systems, and are regularly taught; they who have been
regularly instructed themselves, can teach others by the same rules; and
they are induced to take upon them the office of instructing others,
from the rewards and emoluments which attend it. From an opposite cause
it is, that the English language and the art of speaking are not taught;
because there are no institutions or establishments for the purpose; in
consequence of which, they have not been reduced to systems, or taught
by rule; and no one can regularly instruct another in what he has not
regularly acquired himself; nor are there hitherto any rewards or
emoluments annexed to such an office.

That there has been no encouragement given, to this day, for the
establishment and cultivation of two such important articles to all
British subjects, can be accounted for on no other principle, but that
of custom, founded upon the strongest prejudice. From the first time
that a Latin grammar is put into our hands, we are taught to believe,
that a complete knowlege of Latin and Greek will of course give a
complete knowlege of English; that reading the ancient writers upon
oratory will furnish us with all the powers of elocution; that the same
master who instructs pupils in the one, can also teach the other; and
that, therefore, any particular establishments for those purposes would
be unnecessary: and this prepossession has been so early in life, and
with such force stamped upon us, that neither the experience of more
than two centuries, nor daily demonstration to the contrary, are able to
erase it. Nor need we wonder, that the prejudice has been so universal,
when we reflect that some of the most eminent men that these countries
have produced were strongly tinctured with it: nay, when we find, in the
passage before quoted, that the clear-sighted and candid Mr. Locke was
so blinded by it, as not to see that, in the very instance mentioned by
him, with regard to the French, he had attributed our deficiency to a
wrong cause. For though he has laid the whole blame of the want of
culture and improvement in the English tongue, on the masters of
grammar-schools, yet he shews clearly, that the culture and improvement
of the French took their rise from another source; where he says, 'We
see the polity of some of our neighbours hath not thought it beneath the
"public care to promote and reward the improvement of their own
language." Polishing and enriching their tongue is no small business
amongst them; "it hath colleges and stipends appointed it;" and there is
raised amongst them a great ambition and emulation of writing
correctly.' Was it not, therefore, more natural to impute the low state
of English amongst us to the want of such institutions and
encouragement, than to the neglect of masters who do not profess to
teach it? And was it not more rational to expect the improvement of our
tongue from the same methods which brought forward the French; from
public encouragement, from colleges and stipends appointed it, than from
one which never was found to answer, nay, which, in its own nature,
never can answer the end? In like manner, in speaking of elocution, he
has imputed our general deficiency in that point also, to the neglect of
the masters of grammar-schools; though, at the same time, he clearly
points out the only means by which knowlege in that art can be acquired,
in these-words: 'This (speaking of elocution), as all other things of
practice, is to be learned not by a few, or a great many rules given,
but by exercise and application, according to good rules, or rather
patterns, till habits are got, and a facility of doing it well.' Now, if
there be no such system of rules in being, with regard to English
elocution, how can a master give his pupils practice according to good
rules? Or what pattern can he afford them, but in himself? And is such a
model likely to be a perfect one? Is it not probable, that masters of
grammar-schools may have contracted bad habits in that respect, as well
as any others trained in the same way? Will the profession itself
inspire them with propriety of pronunciation, proper management of the
voice, and graceful gesture and deportment? It is time to put an end to
such gross prejudice. After waiting for more than two centuries, to no
purpose, in hopes that things would mend in one way, it is more than
time that another course should be tried. The only method which can be
followed with success, is obvious enough. When Cicero gave a definition
of elocution, he, at the same time, pointed out the means by which it is
to be acquired. His words are these: "Pronunciatio est vocis, et vultus,
et gestus moderatio, cum venustate. Hæc omnia tribus modis assequi
poterimus, arte, imitatione, exercitatione[14]." Here we see that art is
placed first; and, indeed, without that guide our labour would be either
fruitless, or productive of error. Imitation alone can go no farther
than to give us the manner of those whom we imitate; if that be bad, the
imitation of it must be so too; but if it should be good upon the whole,
and faulty only in part, it doth not follow that we shall acquire both
in the same degree; on the contrary, it is generally the case, that the
faulty part only, as being the most easily caught, is the consequence
of imitation without art: and practice grounded upon such imitation, can
only serve to confirm and rivet us in error.

[Footnote 14: "Elocution is the proper and graceful management of the
voice, the countenance and gesture in speaking. These we shall be able
to acquire by three ways, art, imitation, practice."]

Since, therefore, nothing can be done without art, and all art is
founded upon principles, and should be taught by rules, the first
necessary step is, to trace the principles of elocution. Those once
discovered, to establish upon them a system of rules, peculiarly adapted
to the genius of the English tongue, whereby the art of elocution may be
as regularly acquired as any other art now is, and a knowlege of
English, so far as regards elocution, methodically obtained. To shew
that this is far from being impracticable, is one of the chief objects
of the first course of lectures which I propose to give upon these
subjects. In this course I shall endeavour to lay open the principles of
elocution, and the peculiar constitution of the English language, with
regard to the powers of sound and numbers, in a method, which should it
prove to be as rational as it is new, will, I hope, give the author of
these lectures no cause to repent of the time and pains which his
researches into these abstruse subjects have cost him. He hopes also to
see some good fruits immediately produced from this first course; and
that not only the young, but the adult, who should not think these
points below their attention, may, from the knowlege of those
principles, and some general rules deduced from them, have sure lights
to guide them in their future enquiries into those subjects, hitherto
involved in the shades of darkness; or obscurely and falsely viewed
through the mists of error.

Should his principles be allowed to be just, and his system so far meet
with the sanction of men of learning and discernment, he will be
encouraged to proceed from a general, to a more particular course; in
which he hopes to give all necessary lights to assist, not only
speculation, but practice; and by going up to the very first elements,
point out a regular way by which children may be rightly trained in the
art of speaking, and knowlege of their mother tongue, from the earliest
rudiments; instead of being necessarily corrupted and led astray, by the
false principles and rules which at present are laid down to them, from
the moment the primer is put into their hands, and of the bad effects
of which, few ever get the better during the remainder of their lives.

Should it be known in the world, that a design was set on foot at the
universities, of introducing the study of the English language, and the
art of speaking, upon a practicable plan, and in a systematic way, there
would not be wanting all due encouragement to such an undertaking from
many of their grateful offspring. What numbers of their illustrious
sons, when they have entered into life, have had occasion to lament,
that through the neglect of these necessary branches, the chief
advantages of their education have been concealed from the world; and
all their funds of knowlege, like the hoards of misers, shut up in their
own breasts. How many well instructed minds, and honest hearts,
furnished with the means, and most ardent inclination to serve their
country, have sat still in silent indignation, where her interests were
nearly concerned, for want of a practised tongue to disclose what passed
in their minds? How many of our wisest members, in the great national
council, has shame on that score, kept silent like Mr. Addison? And how
many others, after a few attempts, have closed their lips for ever,
from self-disappointment, in not finding their utterance correspond to
their conceptions? The experience of what they have suffered on such
occasions, will teach them to feel, and as far as in them lies, to
prevent the sufferings of others in like circumstances.

Should, therefore, upon a candid examination, the proposed plan be
judged practicable, there cannot be any doubt but that there would be
many found sufficiently jealous of the honour of their country, to
contribute to the support of such an establishment, as might wipe away
that stain of barbarism which still rests upon this nation, of having
left their language hitherto to the guidance of chance: and when it is
considered, that no country ever produced so many instances of private
benefactions for public service, particularly in the seminaries of
learning, it is to be supposed, that, in case of future endowments, a
due attention will be paid to that language which is now solely used on
all public occasions throughout these realms, and whose improved state
must add to the glory of the nation, as well as to that art, which, of
all others, is most likely to contribute to the benefit and ornament of
individuals, and of the state in general.

Here I cannot help observing, how necessary the introduction of these
studies will be to the promoting, and rendering more effectual, the new
institutions, which have been lately adopted by the wisdom of the
university of Oxford. And first, as to the Vinerean endowment for the
study of the law. It has been lately proved, by the strongest and
clearest arguments, that not only they who intend to make that their
profession, but that all gentlemen in general should acquire a competent
knowlege in that branch; but more especially such as have reason to
expect that they shall become members of the legislative body. Would it
not be a strong inducement to such noblemen or gentlemen to apply more
closely to such a study, if, at the same time, they were practised and
perfected in an art, which alone could enable them to display to
advantage their superior knowlege in the constitution and laws of their
country, to their own honour and credit, and support of that
constitution, and those laws? And, with respect to Lord Clarendon's
benefaction for the introduction of the bodily exercises, that
institution may not of itself be found a sufficient inducement to
prolong the stay of young gentlemen at the university beyond the usual
time, or put an end to the custom of going upon their travels at the
most unfit and dangerous season of life (which has proved the chief bane
of our British youth), inasmuch as those exercises can also be acquired
abroad; and, from caprice or fashion, perhaps, it will be thought too in
a more perfect way. But should a critical inquiry into the genius and
powers of their own tongue succeed to their knowlege of Latin and Greek;
should they be regularly instructed and practised in the art of
elocution, in all its various branches; in that case, the most necessary
and ornamental of all accomplishments to British subjects could be had
only in this country, and would of course detain them from all foreign
academies or masters. The very delight which would accompany both the
speculative and practical part of those studies, would hold them by the
surest tie, that of inclination.

Should eloquence, that "regina rerum," establish her throne here, they
would with pleasure pay her homage; they would listen to the voice of
the charmer, far sweeter than the syren's song; nor would they quit the
academic grove, till they were masters of the harmony which reigned
there. Possessed of that, how greedily would they hoard up knowlege of
all kinds, which they might then be enabled to draw forth at will, and
display to the utmost advantage! They would not, in that case, think of
going into life, till they were well qualified to discharge whatever
office they should enter upon. Or such as chose to travel, might then do
it with great benefit to themselves, and to their country. "We should
not then need" (to make use of a passage in Milton) "the Monsieurs of
Paris to take our hopeful youth into their slight and prodigal
custodies, and send them over back again transformed into mimics, apes,
and kickshaws. But if they desire to see other countries at two or
three-and-twenty years of age, not to learn principles, but to enlarge
experience, and make wise observation, they will, by that time, be such
as shall deserve the regard and honour of all men where they pass, and
the society and friendship of those in all places, who are best, and
most eminent. And, perhaps, then other nations will be glad to visit
us for their breeding, or else to imitate us in their own country. Or
whether they be to speak in parliament or council, honour and attention
would be waiting on their lips. There would then also appear in pulpits
other visages, other gestures, and stuff otherwise wrought, than what we
now sit under, oft-times to as great trial of our patience, as any other
that they preach to us."

As the motives to the study of elocution will, probably, be allowed to
be sufficiently strong, it would be no small inducement to set about the
work with vigour, if there were reason to believe, that the speedy
accomplishment of the point would follow the attempt; and that we have
just grounds for such an opinion, we may easily see, by considering the
state of that art in the only country where we can exactly trace its
rise and progress. We know that in Rome, from the time that oratory was
first regularly taught there as an art, it arrived to its maturity in a
very short space; and if it can be shewn, that we enjoy great advantages
over the Romans in all the material points necessary to the perfection
of that art, it is but reasonable to conclude, that its progress here
might be still more rapid.

As this matter has already been discussed in an essay, called,[15]
British Education, and as I shall have sufficient opportunities, in my
course of lectures, to prove all that has been there advanced, it would
be unnecessary, in this place, to expatiate upon this head.

And as I fear that I have already exhausted your patience, I shall
hasten to close, with the same exhortation to the revival of the art of
elocution, which Quintilian used to the Romans, to engage them in the
support of it, when in its declining state.

After having invalidated several objections to the study of that art, he
concludes thus: "Ante omnia sufficit ad exhortationem studiorum, non
cadere in rerum naturam, ut quicquid non est factum, ne fieri quidem
possit: cum omnia quæ magna sunt atque admirabilia, tempus aliquod quo
primum efficerentur, habuerint. Verum etiam si quis summa desperet (quod
cur faciat, cui ingenium, valetudo, facultas, præceptor, non deerunt?)
tamen est (ut Cicero ait) pulchrum in secundis tertiisque consistere.
Adde quod magnos modica quoque eloquentia parit fructus: ac si quis hæc
studia utilitate sola metiatur, pene illi perfectæ par est. Neque erat
difficile, vel veteribus, vel novis exemplis palam facere; non aliunde
majores honores, opes, amicitias, laudem præsentem, futuram, hominibus
contigisse, si tamen dignum literis esset, ab opere pulcherrimo, (cujus
tractatus, atque ipsa possessio, plenissimam studiis gratiam refert)
hanc minorem exigere mercedem, more eorum qui à se non virtutes, sed
voluptatem quæ fit ex virtutibus, peti dicunt. Ipsam igitur orandi
majestatem, qua nihil Dii mortales melius homini dederunt, et qua remota
muta sunt omnia, et luce præsenti et memoria posteritatis carent, toto
animo petamus, nitamurque semper ad optima: quod facientes, aut evademus
in summum, aut certe multos infra nos videbimus."

[Footnote 15: Vide B. I. Ch. xv. B. II. Ch. ix.]



In the following notes, numbers refer to pages and lines in the present
text. All translations from the Latin are from Loeb Classical Library

 6:1-8. Thomas Sheridan, _British Education_ (London, 1756), p. 52.

 6:24-7:7. _Ibid._, p. 53.

 12:4-6. _Aeneid_, V, 194. Trans. H. Ruston Fairclough. "No more do I
 seek the first place ... it were a shame to return last."

 17:7-22. _British Education_, p. 85.

 17:26-18:15. _Ibid._, pp. 85-86.

 19:24-20:5. _De Oratore_, III.xxxv.143. Trans. H. Rackham. "But if on
 the contrary we are trying to find the one thing that stands top of the
 whole list, the prize must go to the orator who possesses the learning.
 And if they allow him also to be a philosopher, that is the end of the
 dispute; but if they keep the two separate, they will come off second
 best in this, that the consummate orator possesses all the knowledge of
 the philosophers, but the range of philosophers does not necessarily
 include eloquence."

 37:22-24. _Brutus_, vi. 23.

 38:11-12. Horace, _Epistles_, I.ii.43. Trans. H. Ruston Fairclough. "...
 waiting for the river to run out: yet on it glides, and on it will
 glide, rolling its flood forever."

 38:20-23. Richard Steele, _Spectator_, 484, 15 September 1712.

 38:25-39:3. George Berkeley, "The Querist," in _Works_, ed. A. A. Luce
  and T. E. Jessop (London, 1948), IV, Query 203.

 39:7-41:11. John Locke, "Some Thoughts Concerning Education," in _Works_
  (London, 1823), IX, 181-182.

 47:10-19. _Ibid._, p. 182.

 48:9-15. _Ibid._, p. 179. Sheridan indicates that Locke is discussing
  elocution, but his topic is writing and speaking.

 49:9-13. _Rhetorica ad Herennium_, I.ii.3.

 56:14-57:3. John Milton, "Of Education," _Works_ (New York, 1931), IV,

 57:3-10. _Ibid._, pp. 286-287.

 58:17-59:23. _Institutio Oratoria_, XII.xi. 25-26, 29-30. Trans. H. E.
 Butler. "To which I reply that sufficient encouragement for study may be
 found in the fact, firstly, that nature does not forbid such achievement
 and it does not follow that, because a thing never has been done, it
 therefore never can be done, and secondly, that all great achievements
 have required time for their first accomplishment.... Finally, whatever
 is best in its own sphere must at some previous time have been
 nonexistent. But even if a man despair of reaching supreme excellence
 (and why should he despair, if he have talents, health, capacity and
 teachers to aid him?), it is none the less a fine achievement, as Cicero
 says, to win the rank of second or even third.... Add to this the
 further consideration that even moderate eloquence is often productive
 of great results and, if such studies are to be measured solely by their
 utility, is almost equal to the perfect eloquence for which we seek. Nor
 would it be difficult to produce either ancient or recent examples to
 show that there is no other source from which men have reaped such a
 harvest of wealth, honour, friendship and glory, both present and to
 come. But it would be a disgrace to learning to follow the fashion of
 those who say that they pursue not virtue, but only the pleasure derived
 from virtue, and to demand this meaner recompense from the noblest of
 all arts, whose practice and even whose possession is ample reward for
 all our labours. Wherefore let us seek with all our hearts that true
 majesty of oratory, the fairest gift of god to man, without which all
 things are stricken dumb and robbed alike of present glory and the
 immortal record of posterity; and let us press forward to whatsoever is
 best, since, if we do this, we shall either reach the summit or at least
 see many others far beneath us."







 16. Henry Nevil Payne, _The Fatal Jealousie_ (1673).

 18. Anonymous, "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No. 10
       (1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to _The Creation_ (1720).


 19. Susanna Centlivre, _The Busie Body_ (1709).

 20. Lewis Theobald, _Preface to the Works of Shakespeare_ (1734).

 22. Samuel Johnson, _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749), and two
       _Rambler_ papers (1750).

 23. John Dryden, _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).


 31. Thomas Gray, _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard_ (1751), and
       _The Eton College Manuscript_.


 41. Bernard Mandeville, _A Letter to Dion_ (1732).


 104. Thomas D'Urfey, _Wonders in the Sun; or, The Kingdom of the Birds_


 110. John Tutchin, _Selected Poems_ (1685-1700).

 111. Anonymous, _Political Justice_ (1736).

 112. Robert Dodsley, _An Essay on Fable_ (1764).

 113. T. R., _An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning_ (1698).

 114. _Two Poems Against Pope_: Leonard Welsted, _One Epistle to Mr. A.
       Pope_ (1730), and Anonymous, _The Blatant Beast_ (1742).


 115. Daniel Defoe and others, _Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal_.

 116. Charles Macklin, _The Covent Garden Theatre_ (1752).

 117. Sir George L'Estrange, _Citt and Bumpkin_ (1680).

 118. Henry More, _Enthusiasmus Triumphatus_ (1662).

 119. Thomas Traherne, _Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation_

 120. Bernard Mandeville, _Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables_


 123. Edmond Malone, _Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to Mr.
        Thomas Rowley_ (1782).

 124. Anonymous, _The Female Wits_ (1704).

 125. Anonymous, _The Scribleriad_ (1742). Lord Hervey, _The Difference
        Between Verbal and Practical Virtue_ (1742).

 126. _Le Lutrin: an Heroick Poem, Written Originally in French by
        Monsieur Boileau: Made English by N. O._ (1682).


 127-128. Charles Macklin, _A Will and No Will, or a Bone for the
      Lawyers_ (1746). _The New Play Criticiz'd, or The Plague of Envy_

 129. Lawrence Echard, Prefaces to _Terence's Comedies_ (1694) and
        _Plautus's Comedies_ (1694).

 130. Henry More, _Democritus Platonissans_ (1646).

 131. John Evelyn, _The History of Sabatai Sevi, The Suppos'd Messiah of
        the Jews_ (1669).

 132. Walter Harte, _An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad_

Publications of the first fifteen years of the Society (numbers 1-90)
are available in paperbound units of six issues at $16.00 per unit, from
the Kraus Reprint Company, 16 East 46th Street, New York, N.Y. 10017.

Publications in print are available at the regular membership rate of
$5.00 yearly. Prices of single issues may be obtained upon request.
Subsequent publications may be checked in the annual prospectus.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California, Los



_General Editors_: William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library; George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles;
Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles

_Corresponding Secretary_: Mrs. Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark
Memorial Library

The Society's purpose is to publish rare Restoration and
eighteenth-century works (usually as facsimile reproductions). All
income of the Society is devoted to defraying costs of publication and

Correspondence concerning memberships in the United States and Canada
should be addressed to the Corresponding Secretary at the William
Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron Street, Los Angeles,
California. Correspondence concerning editorial matters may be addressed
to the General Editors at the same address. Manuscripts of introductions
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Publications of the first fifteen years of the Society (numbers 1-90)
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Make check or money order payable to THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF


 133. John Courtenay, _A Poetical Review of the Literary and Moral
        Character of the Late Samuel Johnson_ (1786). Introduction by
        Robert E. Kelley.

 134. John Downes, _Roscius Anglicanus_ (1708). Introduction by John

 135. Sir John Hill, _Hypochondriasis, a Practical Treatise on the
        Nature and Cure of that Disorder Call'd the Hyp or Hypo_ (1766).
        Introduction by G. S. Rousseau.

 136. Thomas Sheridan, _Discourse ... Being Introductory to His
        Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language_ (1759).
        Introduction by G. P. Mohrman.

 137. Arthur Murphy, _The Englishman From Paris_ (1756).
        Introduction by Simon Trefman. Previously unpublished manuscript.

 138. [Catherine Trotter], _Olinda's Adventures_ (1718).
        Introduction by Robert Adams Day.


_After THE TEMPEST._ Introduction by George Robert Guffey.

Next in the continuing series of special publications by the Society
will be _After THE TEMPEST_, a volume including the Dryden-Davenant
version of _The Tempest_ (1670); the "operatic" _Tempest_ (1674); Thomas
Duffet's _Mock-Tempest_ (1675); and the "Garrick" _Tempest_ (1756), with
an Introduction by George Robert Guffey.

Already published in this series are:

 1. John Ogilby, _The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse_ (1668),
      with an Introduction by Earl Miner.

 2. John Gay, _Fables_ (1727, 1738), with an Introduction by Vinton
      A. Dearing.

 3. Elkanah Settle, _The Empress of Morocco_ (1673) with five
      plates; _Notes and Observations on the Empress of Morocco_ (1674)
      by John Dryden, John Crowne and Thomas Shadwell; _Notes and
      Observations on the Empress of Morocco Revised_ (1674) by Elkanah
      Settle; and _The Empress of Morocco. A Farce_ (1674) by Thomas
      Duffet; with an Introduction by Maximillian E. Novak.

Price to members of the Society, $2.50 for the first copy of each title,
and $3.25 for additional copies. Price to non-members, $4.00. Standing
orders for this continuing series of Special Publications will be
accepted. British and European orders should be addressed to B. H.
Blackwell, Broad Street, Oxford, England.

Transcriber's Note:

The oe ligature has been expanded. Punctuation has been standardised.
Spelling and grammar have been retained as in the original publication.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Discourse Being Introductory to his Course of Lectures on Elocution and the English Language (1759)" ***

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