ELOQUENCE OR ORATORY
ELOQUENCE OR ORATORY. The act or art of speaking well upon any subject with a view to persuade. It comprehends a good elocution, correct and appropriate expressions uttered. with fluency, animation and suitable action. The principal rules of the art, which must be sought for in other works, are summarily expressed in the following lines:
" Be brief, be pointed; let your matter stand Lucid in order, solid, and at hand; Spend not your words on trifles, but condense; Strike with the mass of thoughts, not drops of sense; Press to the close with vigor once begun, And leave, (how hard the task!) leave off when done; Who draws a labor'd length of reasoning out, Put straws in lines for winds to whirl about; Who draws a tedious tale of learning o'er, Counts but the sands on ocean's boundless shore; Victory in law is gain'd as battle's fought, Not by the numbers, but the forces brought; What boots success in skirmishes or in fray, If rout and ruin following close the day? What worth a hundred Posts maintained with skill, If these all held, the foe is victor still? He who would win his cause, with power must frame Points of support, and look with steady aim: Attack the weak, defend the strong with art, Strike but few blows, but strike them to the heart; All scatter'd fires but end in smoke and noise, The scorn of men, the idle play of boys. Keep, then, this first great precept ever near, Short be your speech, your matter strong and clear, Earnest your manner, warm and rich your style, Severe in taste, yet full of grace the while; So may you reach the loftiest heights of fame, And leave, when life is past, a deathless name."