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THE NEW YORK
R 1934 L
Printed and Bound by DONOHUE & HENNEBERRY, Chicago.
To be a good speaker or a good reader is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. The attempt to teach what is called “the art of Elocution” has signally failed, from the fact that elocution cannot be taught. The greatest orators never had a lesson in elocution. The orator, like the poet, is born, not made. Professors of elocution have each their pet theories and systems, but the utmost they have ever accomplished has been to drill their pupils to a point where the mechanism is painfully apparent. The gift of effective speech is not very common, mainly because it is a gift. The ring of genuine oratory is not frequently heard, but when it is heard it has all the power of an inspiration. It is very true that we cannot all be orators, but we may all be intelligible and, to some extent, effective speakers or readers if we will read or speak with naturalness. The secret of all good speaking is to be natural. The lack of this one element accounts fully for the affectations of the stage and the solemn drone of the pulpit. The mightiest men in the pulpit, on the platform and the stage are the men who are most natural ; who, independent of all technical rules and theories, enter so fully into the subject in hand that their personality is often lost sight of, and their audiences are swayed as with the wand of an enchanter. There are not wanting instances among living orators in which this enthusiastic naturalness has not only covered defects, such as a weak voice, a broken dialect, or inelegant modes of action, but has transformed these very defects into elements of power. The one essential condition
of good speaking is natural enthusiasm. The heart of all oratory is naturalness.
PROGRAMME NO. 3.
The following pages have been compiled with a view of providing speakers and readers with a well-tested selection of pieces suitable for platform, school and home. Every selection in this volume has been tested by repeated readings before numerous audiences. Great care has been exercised in gathering from an enormous quantity of material only that which is best. Special attention has been paid to the arrangement of these pieces. The experience of twenty years of public speaking and reading has suggested the necessity of care in the arrangement of the programmes. Many an evening's entertainment has been utterly spoiled by injudiciously reading the right piece at the wrong time. Audiences are
. often thought to be exceedingly capricious when in fact they are acting most naturally. It is not reasonable to expect that a company of men and women who have just been convulsed with laughter at some intensely humorous reading will be prepared without a moment's pause to listen appreciatingly to some story of pathos. The programmes of this Model Speaker have been carefully arranged with a view to the best order of subjects for an evening's entertainment, beginning generally with some historic or pastoral story, leading on to some pathetic strain, leaving the humor invariably to the end of the programme. The programmes are divided conveniently so that there are practically twenty-four programmes. Selections suitable for Juvenile Gatherings will be found at the end of the book, with a number of brief pieces to be used as answers to encores. A series of speeches appropriate for special occasions, and a list of Themes suitable for essays or debate, close the volume. A detailed index to contents will render reference easy.