Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/20

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INTRODUCTION

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The age of oratory has not passed; nor will it pass. The press, instead of displacing the orator, has given him a larger audience and enabled him to do a more extended work. As long as there are human rights to be defended; as long as there are great interests to be guarded; as long as the welfare of nations is a matter for discussion, so long will public speaking have its place.

There have been many definitions of eloquence. Daniel Webster has declared that it consists in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. No one can question the truth of his statement. Without the man, the subject and the occasion are valueless, but it is equally true that, without a great subject and a proper occasion, a man speaks without effect. The speaker, moreover, is eloquent in proportion as he knows what he is talking about and means what he says. In

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