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Persuasion, or Oratory, is that kind of composition whose object is to move the will by presenting motives for action.
The Ends of Oratory. - In Exposition and Argumentation we appeal entirely to man's intellectual nature ; we seek to inform his understanding, and then allow him to act as he pleases. Oratory goes further : it would not only convince the judgment, but change the will and rouse to action. It presupposes an opposition between the speaker and his audience, and then sets to work to remove this opposition, to induce the latter to accept the views of the former and to act upon them.
Classification. The usual forms of persuasion are, - Orations, Addresses, Lectures, Sermons.
1. ORATIONS are ornate formal compositions, elaborately prepared for special occasions. Their object is not to persuade, but to pronounce a panegyric on some person or event. They are elevated, forcible, brilliant, and aim at pleasing the imagination and stirring the passions.
2. ADDRESSES are less formal than orations. They may be of almost any length and on almost any subject. They need not be labored examinations of any subject, but must be clear, and adapted to the character and circumstances of the persons addressed.
3. SPEECHES are still less formal than addresses. They are almost unlimited in variety ; they may be on the gravest questions of public policy or on the commonest affairs in social life. In the higher sense they consist of an analytical investigation of some great political, social, or economic question ; while in the humbler view they may be made on the ordinary concerns of everyday life. Speeches should be ready, fluent, and pleasing. The object
is by explanation, argument, or illustration to lead the hearer to accept the views of the speaker.
4. A LECTURE is a learned discussion of some subject of importance or interest. The lecturer is expected to have a special acquaintance with his subject, and to be able to explain it in a clear and methodical manner, so that his hearers may be able to comprehend the meaning.
5. SERMONS are carefully prepared expositions of religious truths. They are generally based on texts of Scripture, and, besides their expository qualities, usually contain appeals to the listener to accept the views enunciated or to act on the admonitions given.
Means of Persuasion. — Among the means employed to move the will and rouse to action are :
a. To lay before the mind a full and clear description of the object, circumstances, or scene. See pages 237 and 245.
b. To narrate in a vivid manner the incident or story that is intended to induce the will to act. Such an explanation as enables one clearly to understand a case or situation may move him to sympathy.
These may be called the pictorial methods of persuasion.
6. To present cogent reasons to convince the judgment and then to apply them to prove to the listener his advantage, or to move him by the higher motives of duty. Such arguments must be simple and direct. Every point must be fully illustrated. See page 236.
d. To state objections fairly and then answer them fully and convincingly. Omission or weakness here is fatal.
e. To appeal directly to the feelings by dwelling on the points likely to arouse sympathy, or by infusing the hearer with the speaker's own enthusiasm.
Style. — In Oratory, the chief qualities of style required are clearness and force, but the other qualities are scarcely less requisite. Here all the beauties of prose composition are in place, and nothing low or trivial should be admitted. The language should always be elevated and refined. Illustrations shculd be freely
introduced, and when possible the main idea should be clothed in original imagery.
In oratory there is more than language; the speaker is present with his personal influence to weaken or strengthen the effect of his words. The movements of the body, the expression of the countenance, the flash of the eye, the whole bearing, may be made to tell in favor of the speaker's views. To rouse his audience, he must himself be deeply impressed with his subject. He need not show all his feelings; indeed, if they seem to overcome him and break out against his will, they are all the more likely to touch the listeners.
The speaker must know his audience and must adapt his subject, style, and language to their capacity. With uneducated people, he must be plain, pathetic, and humorous; with a cultured assembly, he should appeal more to the judgment and sympathy, and should employ only such language as is grateful to their ear.
Theme : Work while you may.
I. INTRODUCTION : We are all disposed to procrastinate. Illus
1. Life is short and uncertain. Illustrate.
may not be in a position to embrace them. Illustrate.
Support by quotations and incidents. III. CONCLUSION: A summing up and exhortation.
DIRECTION. — Construct the framework of a theme on each of the following topics; write out each theme in full.
1. Silent Influence. 2. The Habit of Reading. 3. The Value of Character. 4. The Power of Kindness. 5. The Power of Habit. 6. No Place like Home. 7. The Vanity of Riches. 8. Do not despise Poverty. 9. Live within your Means. 10. The Dress is not the Man. II. Influence of Good Manners. 12. The Baseness of Ingratitude. 13. Poverty develops the Character better than Riches. 14. He is Rich who desires Nothing. 15. A Good Conscience is better than Wealth. 16. We should have an Object in Life. 17. No Pains, no Gains. 18. Forgiveness is the Noblest Revenge. 19. Keep your Honor Bright. 20. Yout! is the Time for Preparation. 21. We should be Courteous. 22. Young People should learn to be Punctual. 23. We must obey the Laws of our Country. 24. We should value the good Opinion of Others. 25. Youth should reverence Age. 26. We should cultivate Self-Reliance. 27. We must practise Honesty.
Poetry differs from prose in form, diction, and object. Its vorm is Verse - that is, composition arranged in lines of a fixed number of regularly recurring accented and unaccented syllables ; its diction, as we have already seen, is usually more archaic, picturesque, and euphonious” than that of prose; while its object is to please rather than to instruct. Of these, the first only is essential. The diction of poetry and that of prose shade off insensibly into each other so that it is impossible to draw any distinct line of separation; and though the primary object of poetry may be to give pleasure, yet much that bears the name and assumes the form does not hesitate to attempt other ends.
MATERIALS OF POETRY.
Since poetry has the definite object of giving pleasure, chiefly by gratifying our fine-art emotions, it is restricted to such subjects and to such a manner of handling as will secure that end.
The chief sources from which the poet draws his materials, that is, his subjects and his illustrations, are :
1. External Nature. — Its majesty — mountain and forest, vaulted sky and pealing thunder ; its movements - the flowing river and the purling brook, the heaving ocean and the foaming cataract, the bounding stag and the pursuing hound; its sounds — the song of the bird, the moaning of the wind, the raging of the tempest, the roaring of the waterfall ; its colors — the plumage of the bird, the tints of the rose, the brown heath, the green sward, the flush of health, the purpling east and the glowing west, the silver moon and the golden stars, all these, with ten thousand other beauties, detected by the poet's eye and ear, supply material for