Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/284

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

GENERAL NOTICES.

The author of Extemporaneous Oratory for Professional and Amateur Speakers[1] is himself one of the most effective orators, especially in debate, of the time. He has embodied in this book the results of ripened thought and successful experience gained in a field in which he is a master, for the instruction and help of those who would follow what he regards as the greatest of all arts, including the elements of all—music in the intonations of the voice, and painting and sculpture in the life, attitudes, and expression of the speaker. It is an art, too, which has wielded a more general and important influence than any other, which is almost universal in its appeals, and which any one may at any time find useful, when it will be of great advantage to him to possess the ability "to speak distinctly to the purpose, gracefully, with genuine fire." Extemporaneous oratory concerns the delivery, in form and language suggested by the occasion, "of ideas previously conceived and adopted with more or less fullness and precision, together with such thoughts and feelings as may arise and obtain utterance." It has many advantages over other methods of oratory, all tending to give the speaker greater power over his audience, and particularly in the fact that the extemporizer is at all times ready to expound, defend, illustrate, and enforce his opinions. The extemporaneous speaker must have a full and fluent command of language, and a full store of facts which he may at any time have to bring to bear upon the subject of his address and in the vindication of his opinions. The first place of importance is given to facts of natural science, which are of increasing utility. "To the educated and uneducated alike, natural science is now the most interesting of themes." Next come the facts of history and biography, those of the special branches bearing on the speaker's theme and purpose, and the great general conceptions included in the thoughts of the learned; and he must have settled opinions. At the basis of Dr. Buckley's treatment of this art and of his advice to those who would perfect themselves in it is the principle that extemporization is evolution after involution. This advice, in which the various phases of the subject are commented upon under a great variety of aspects, concerns the general preparation for the address, the acquisition of effective command of language, the exercise and training of the voice, the intellectual and physical elements that enter into oratory, its accessories, and the factor of the audience—all plainly and practically presented, with a facility of style that makes the reading of the book a pleasure.

Readers of the Popular Science Monthly have already had an opportunity of perusing some of the narrative and observations which Professor Heilprin has embodied in his Alaska and the Klondike[2] In it he has attempted to portray that remarkable region in its true aspects. Professor Heilprin is well able to do so, for he is a keen observer and looks with a scientific eye, and his literary style is free and graphic. He made a summer journey to the region last year (1898), between the end of July and the middle of October, with the object of being "able to determine between fact and fancy, and to obtain a personal knowledge of the region and its varied conditions." What he saw and heard is here presented. While by no means pretending to that degree of accuracy and of proper insight which can only come with more protracted and intimate knowledge, the author believes that he has given a careful and unprejudiced account. Persons whose ideas of the regions about Dawson are associated with visions of arctic severity and sterility may be a little surprised at reading of one's looking from

  1. Extemporaneous Oratory for Professional and Amateur Speakers. By James M. Buckley. New York: Eaton & Mains. Pp. 480. Price, $1.50.
  2. Alaska and the Klondike. A Journey to the New Eldorado. With Hints to the Traveler and Observations on the Physical History and Geology of the Gold Regions, the Condition, and Methods of working the Klondike Placers, and the Laws governing and regulating Mining in the Northwest Territory of Canada. By Angelo Heilprin. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 815. Price, $1.75.