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author replies in the affirmative, and he reiterates his advice to all students of oratory to study faithfully the productions of the great orators of all times. In doing this, the student should be careful not to be a mere copyist; he must not make an echo of himself, repeating the forms of others, but he should study the principles underlying the arts of construction and delivery as employed by the masters who preceded him, and then apply the principles in his own individual manner. A student who is taught parrot fashion — that is, by imitation will never equal his teacher, because he will lack the one great thing of value in every art - individuality; but one who is taught by principle, as well as by example, may far excel his preceptor. Issues and problems change, orators pass into the realm of shade; but the principles of oratory continue practically the same through all climes and ages.
HOW TO CONSTRUCT AND DELIVER
THE APPLICATION OF THE MEANS
HE previous chapter was used to show what means
orators employed in constructing their oratory, and this chapter will be devoted to showing students how to adopt and use those means. It would be of little use to tell students of oratory how others made their effects unless they are shown how they can produce equal results; therefore this chapter will be a chapter of hows. It will consider the proper arrangement of all the forms of creating and delivering the oratorical message, and deal at length with the conveying of the thought by means of the putting together of words and interpreting it through an understanding and an application of inflection and emphasis. It has been shown that oratory, through all its existence, has been created by means of the effective use of negative and positive words, phrases, and sentences; correct application of apposition and opposition; proper grouping of words and phrases in the form of series; the driving home and clinching of points; and many other ways of conveying thought by means of
speech, and that these means have been passed from Gorgias to Isaeus, from Isaeus to Demosthenes, from Demosthenes to Cicero, and from these masters of old transmitted to Webster, Clay, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Bryan, Watterson, and the other able and careful public speakers of our day. Not only will the arrangement of words be thoroughly considered, but their utterance will receive much attention, the aim of the author being to show how, by the inflection, emphasis, and tone of the living voice, thought can be interpreted, and an impression made by the speaker on the minds and actions of others by means of the spoken word. Attention will also be given to getting the mentality into the voice, making the soul of the speaker shine through the medium that is to make the thought apparent to the listener.
What is inflection? Inflection is a bending of the voice.
How many inflections are there? Two. The rising and the falling
What does the rising inflection signify? The rising inflection, in the main, signifies uncertainty. Whatever is uncertain, negative, qualified, conditional, incomplete, or continuous, requires the rising inflection; as,
Uncertainty. A government having at its command the armies, the fleets, and the revenues of Great Britain, might possibly hold Ireland by the sword. . . . But, to govern Great Britain by the sword - so wild a thought has never, I will venture to say, occurred to any public man of any party.
In this example the first sentence is uncertain because Ireland might possibly be held by the sword, but it is not certain that it could be. The second sentence is assertive, and requires the falling inflection.
Negative. He have arbitrary power! My Lords, the East India Company have not arbitrary power to give him; the King has no arbitrary power to give him; your Lordships have not; nor the Commons; nor the whole legislature. We have no arbitrary power to give, because arbitrary power is a thing which neither any man hold nor any man can give.
- BURKE Here is a splendid string of negatives, not demonstratively spoken, but given in the form of clear argumentation, and for that reason every member requires the rising inflection. The opening exclamation, "He have arbitrary power,” should be given the falling inflection because it is a positive denial of his right to possess it. Were this extract spoken vehemently instead of argumentatively, it would take the falling inflection on all its members; but it is clearly intended to be negatively spoken, because the orator immediately follows it with positive statements, thus denoting a contrast. Therefore the exclamation alone is given the falling inflection.
Exception. It should be remembered that only while the thought is negative should the words be given the rising inflection, and that whenever emphasis is placed on the negative word it removes the negative quality and makes the thought positive, thus necessitating the use of the falling inflection. Consequently, whenever a negative
is used in the sense of a contradiction it should be given the falling inflection, because it is just as positive to deny the assertion of a speaker as it is for the speaker to make the assertion; as,
I am charged with being an emissary of France. An emissary of France! and for what end? It is alleged that I wish to sell the independence of my country! and for what end? Was this the object of my ambition; and is this the mode by which a tribunal of justice reconciles contradictions? No! I am no emissary.
ROBERT EMMET The positive statement is, “I am charged with being an emissary of France”; and the contradiction, “No! I am no emissary.” Emphasis being placed on the negative word “no” necessitates the falling inflection being used in order to make the contradiction positive.
Qualified Negative. A negative is qualified when it is restricted in any manner by the use of such words as “only,” “alone,” “ merely,” etc., such words receiving the inflection and being negatived; as,
In reading great orations one not only learns something of the methods and style of the orator, but obtains an epitome of the history of the times.
- WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN Mr. Bryan here states that by means of reading one learns something of the methods and style of the orator, and also gains an epitome of the history of the times; and that he does not only learn the former, but that he also gains the latter. In this sentence everything is positive except the negatived word “only," this being the