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simple and impulsive style of conversation has been banished from the pulpit, and, to a certain extent, from general oratory; and in its stead have been substituted inflections, tones, and transitions, which have no foundation in nature, and, when carried to an extreme, have something so singular to the unperverted ear as to excite a strong sensation of the ludicrous. These remarks, however, are not meant to be of general application.

Many preachers are very slightly infected with these peculiarities, others altogether exempt from them; but they are characteristic of the school, and more or less perceptible in the majority of its pupils. Nor is the present generation of speakers to be held responsible for the blemishes of a style which they have not originated but received, and which none can more strongly condemn, or be more anxious to reform, than many of themselves.

The natural style of enunciation being thus abandoned to the stage, has been subjected to much of the prejudice which, in many minds, arises out of that connexion; and the simple and expressive accents of ordinary life, when accompanied with any degree of vivacity, have been stigmatized as theatrical; and it is to be lamented that the bad taste of some popular preachers, who have carried the extreme dramatic style into the pulpit, has given too much plausibility to the imputation. It would seem however that, from some cause or other, possibly from the difficulty of being simple and direct in a highly artificial state of society, the oratory of polished nations has always had a tendency to fall from truth into artifice and false convention. Cicero dwells at considerable length upon this subject, and, in his favourite style of antithesis, charges the Roman orators with having abandoned nature to the actors. “Hæc ego dico pluribus, quod genus hoc totum oratores, qui sunt veritatis ipsius actores, reliquerunt; imitatores autem veritatis histriones occupaverunt."

But any style of delivery, however objectionable, will derive from association a lustre not its own, when adopted by speakers of extraordinary fascination and power. There is a genius of that lofty and gigantic cast which can dispense with manner altogether, or mould any manner into energy and impressiveness, as his very crutch in the hand of Chatham became a powerful instrument of oratory; and there have been men in Scotland, Dr Chalmers for

instance, and there are at this very time, men so highly gifted, and of such extraordinary powers of persuasion, as to throw a dazzling and seductive halo round the most imperfect manner; and these are of all others the most dangerous models to the student, as he is naturally tempted to imitate, not the grandeur of their genius, which is indeed inimitable, but the mere external medium which that genius has elevated and ennobled. Thus early neglect and defective example combine to place the student of ordinary ability in a very painful and embarrassing position.

At an age when his manner is formed, and the organs of speech are hardened into almost inflexible rigidity, he first discovers that something is wrong; he then applies himself in earnest to the study of Elocution, in the absurd expectation of effacing in a few lessons the habits of years, and of acquiring in a short time the mastery of an art which, from the union it requires of judgment, taste, and feeling, with natural qualifications and mechanical skill, is probably surpassed by none in difficulty of acquisition. Hence, when called upon to speak on the real business of life, he exhibits the humiliating spectacle of a person of mature age employed in the minute and puerile task of attending to inflections, tones, and gestures, and hence, too, that discredit is thrown upon the art, which properly belongs to the unskilfulness of the artist.

The obvious remedy for this would be to commence the study of Elocution at an early age under competent masters, and to carry it on simultaneously with other branches of education. The student's proficiency in the art would thus keep pace with his other attainments, and, when called upon to address his fellow-men, correctness of intonation, ease in action, and general propriety of manner, would come as naturally to him as the manners of good society flow unconsciously from the gentleman, or as grammatical accuracy and all the graces of composition wait unbidden on every movement of the practised pen.

But from the pupil who has been the victim of neglect or erroneous instruction, the painful truth must not be concealed, that he has an arduous though by no means an insuperable task before him—to be better he must be worse. His first steps must of necessity be retrograde, for his only path to improvement leads through the transition state, which is always a state of weakness and deformity. Let him labour steadily and perseveringly in private, but cast aside all attention to manner when engaged in addressing an audience—let improvement be the gradựal and unconscious result of previous practice. He will thus avoid all appearance of display, and of a puerile preference of the means to the great ends to be attained by them.

Among the different class-books of Elocution which have been long in use, Ewing's Selection has always enjoyed a large share of popular favour; in proof of which we need only point to the number of editions it has gone through, the present revision being the thirtieth. The book, however, has been so long in the hands of the pupil that its contents have lost much of their freshness and interest, and a renewal of the work has been much wished for by the public. In the present edition, therefore, all such extracts as could be replaced by others of equal, if not superior, merit have been expunged. The selections from Dr Blair's Sermons formed a prominent feature in the previous edition, to the exclusion of many great names: their number therefore is now much reduced, to make room for some specimens of the distinguishing styles of Jeremy Taylor, South, Barrow, Chalmers, Robert Hall, Foster, and others. Dryden's unrivalled Ode on the Feast of Alexander, the picturesque and graceful Ode on the Passions by Collins, Campbell's polished and spirited Lyrics, and other pieces, embracing some of the most splendid specimens of the national language and genius, could not have been omitted without greatly impoverishing the collection by robbing it of its choicest ornainents. These, therefore, have not been disturbed, as the whole range of our literature can furnish nothing worthy to supply their place. They have lost much of their novelty no doubt; it is at once the proof and penalty of their surpassing excellence.




37. Fame, a commendable Passion,


38. The Works of Creation,............


39. Luxury and Avarice..................


40. On Slavery,..


41. On Grieving for the Dead,

42. On Remorse,..


43. On Human Grandeur,.......


44. The Effect of Association of Ideas on the Belief of Mankind,. .152

45. The Encounter of Brave and the Panther,.....


46. St Paul at Athens,.....


47. Dramatic Poets,


48. Security,


49. On the Sublime in Writing,..


1. Our natural Fondness for History, and its true Use,......


2. Character of Francis the First and of Charles the Fifth,


3. Character of William the Third,...


4. Character of Mr Pitt,......


5. Character of Lord Clive,


6. Character of Addison,.


7. Character of James Watt,


8. Character of Hannibal,.


9. Character of Mary, Queen of Scots,



1. St Peter's Chapel in the Tower,


2. The Funeral of the Fisherman's Son, from the Antiquary,


3. Maria.-Part I.,


4. Maria.- Part II.,..



1. The Change produced by Death,


2. Charity,


3. Infidelity,


4. Religious Knowledge a Source of Consolation,..

5. Spiritual Blindness,..


6. The Works and Attributes of the Almighty,


7. The Injustice of War,..........


8. Prayer, ......


9. The State of Man before the Fall,


10. The departed Spirits of the Just are Spectators of our Conduct on



11. Religious Knowledge,


12. The End of the Year,


13. The Promises of Religion to the Young,


14. Autumn, .............



1. The British Monarchy,......


2. Peroration to Sheridan's Speech in the Case of Warren Hastings.....212

3. Extract from Mr Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America, ...... 213

4. Lord Lyttelton's Speech on the Repeal of the Act called the Jew

Bill, A. D. 1753,


5. Arbitrary Power not given to Man,.....


6. Extract from Henry Brougham's Speech at the Liverpool Election,






4. Marcellus's Speech to the Mob,

5. The Burial of Sir John Moore,...


6. The Chameleon,...


7. Roderick Dhu's Vindication of the Predatory Habits of his Clan, .57

8. The Street Musician, ....


9. The Destruction of Sennacherib,.


10. An Epistle to Joseph Hill,....


11. Scene after the Siege of Corinth,


12. Naval Ode,


13. The Town and Country Mouse,


14. Love of Country,


15. Ode to Eloquence,.........


16. Lochinvar, ....


17. Lord Ullin's Daughter,.


18. A Portion of Gray's Bard,


19. Hotspur's Description of a Fop,..


20. Ode on Cecilia's Day,........


21. Brutus's Harangue on the Death of Cæsar, .


22. Marc Antony's Address over the Body of Cæsar,.



1. Virtue,


2. Work,........


3. The Balance of Happiness equal,.


4. The Interview of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, his Sister Nekayah,

and Imlac, with the Hermit,.


5. Observation, .....


6. The Hill of Science,....


7. Patience recommended,.


8. The Planets and Heavenly Bodies,


9. On the Importance of a Classical Education,


10. Westminster Abbey,.


11. Suavity of Manner, .


12. An Interview between an Old Major and a Young Officer,


13. The Nature of Heat,..


14. Remarks on the Swiftness of Time..........


15. The Mountain of Miseries,...


16. On Pronunciation, or Delivery,............


17. Dryden and Pope compared,.


18. On the Love of Nature,


19. The Downfal of Bonaparte,..............


20. On Sublimity, ..........

21. The Koran,


22. The Poor weep unheeded,


23. Sir Roger de Coverley's Visit to the Assizes,.

24. The Business and Qualifications of a Poet,


25. Remarks on some of the best Poets, both Ancient and Modern, ...119

26. On the Iliad of Homer...............


27. On the Odyssey of Homer,


28. On the Beauties of Virgil,


29. Siege and Conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders,


30. The Character of Hamlet,


31. Wit and Humour,.....


32. Field Sports and Agriculture of the Middle Ages,


33. The Ant-hill--A Lesson to Human Pride,.........


34. Invention and Use of Gunpowder,


35. Incentives to Exertion, ..


36. The World made with a bountiful Design,





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