ISBN: 1147451311 / ISBN-13: 9781147451313
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres
by Hugh Blair
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1866 edition. Excerpt: ...of manliness and strength, which is a powerful instrument of persuasion. Ornament, if they have genius for it, will follow of course: at any rate, it demands only their secondary study: ' Cura sitverborum; solicitu-do rerum.' ' To your expression be attentive; but about your matter be solicitous, ' isan advice of Quintilian, which cannot be too often recollected by all who study oratory. In the next place, in order to be persuasive speakers m a popular assembly, it is, in my opinion, a capital rule, that we be ourselves persuaded of whatever we recommend to others. Never, when it can be avoided, ought we to espouse any side of the argument, but what we believe to be the true and the right one. Seldom or never will a man be eloquent, but when he is in earnest, and uttering his own sentiments. They are only the ' vene voces ab imopectore, ' the un assumed language of the heart or head, that carry the force of conviction. In a former lecture, when enteringon this subject, I observed, that all high eloquence must be the offspring of passion, or warm emotion. It is this which makes every man persuasive; and gives a force to his genius, which it possesses at no other time. Under what disadvantage then is he placed, who, not feeling what he utters, must counterfeit a warmth to which he is a stranger. I know, that young people, on purpose to train themselves to the art of speaking, imagine it useful to adopt that side of the question under debate, which, to themselves, appears the weakest, and to try what figure they can make upon it. But, I am afraid, this is not the most improving education for public speaking; and that it tends to form them to a habit of flimsy and trivial discourse. Such a liberty they should, at no time, allow themselves, ...