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OF ST. BENEDICT'S COLLEGE,
whose ardent interest in the noble science and art of expression has encouraged us in our labor, and to all s:udents of Elocution, we respectfully dedicate
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
Elocution is a science and an art. When the art absorbs the science, naturalness will be the result, for "art at its highest and nature at its truest are one.
Some professors of this noble art, when asked what method they use, simply reply: "We follow nature." If the question were put to us, our answer would be the
We would, however, make our answer more definite by stating, that to follow nature, is not to follow individual whims and eccentricities, but to speak in a manner worthy of our subject and concordant to its sentiments. The venerable watch-word "Be Natural," thus resolves itself into "Speak Properly."
Thoge that claim to be disciples of nature usually forget the scientific part of elocution, and, hence, discard all rules. Their entire theory consists of two words: “Be natural.” We also say, by all means, he natural: But if there are no rules to teach us how to be natural, how can we acquire this open sesame to the grand domains of expression! How can we determine the line where nature ceases, and affectation begins? If there are no rules governing delivery, we can neither praise a speaker for the highest merits, nor censure him for the grossest defects. Happily, we have rules, which far from making us umatural, guide us back to nature's paths from which we have deviated.
“Those rules of old discover'd not devised
To state anew “those rules of old,” in a comprehensive form, for the benefit of college students, is the object of the present volume. The principles laid down do not claim novelty as a recommendation. Like all principles, they derive their value not from their oldness or newness, but from their truth. They have stood the test of ages, and been the faithful guides of many eloquent speakers.
There are several text-books of elocution deserving high commendation, but they are only adapted to special schools of Elocution and Oratory, where hours each day may be devoted to the subject. They are also illsuited to the intellectual powers of beginners as they deal from the start in technicalities, philosophical anal
It has been our object throughout to retain only essential theory, and even to condense that, to avoid tech. nical terms as far as may be, and to give copious choice examples. All literature, we are justly told,
“Should to one of these four ends conduce:
For wisdom, piety, delight, or use." Each of the four have many select representatives throughout the volume. Most of our examples appear for the first time in an elocution book. They have been chosen largely from Catholic sources. We do not wish,