Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/23

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other words, knowledge and earnestness are two of the most important requisites of successful speaking.

While oratorical ability has, at times, manifested itself in several generations of one family, it can not be said that heredity is an element of importance, for nearly all the great orators of the world have appeared with little or nothing in a preceding generation to give promise of prominence. An orator is largely a product of his environment. One who is born into a great conflict, or is surrounded by conditions which compel study and investigation, and who becomes enthused with a great purpose, soon attracts attention as a speaker. He is listened to because he has something to say; because he himself feels he makes others feel. Because he conceives that he has a mission, he touches and moves those whom he addresses. Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart.

While it is absolutely necessary for the orator to master his subject and to speak with earnest-