Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/24

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


ness, his speech can he made more effective by the addition of clearness, brevity and apt illustrations.

Clearness of statement is of very great importance. It is not sufficient to say that there are certain self-evident truths; it is more accurate to say that all truth is self-evident. Because truth is self-evident, the best service that one can render a truth is to state it so clearly that it can be comprehended; for a truth once comprehended needs no argument in its support. In debate, therefore, one's first effort should be to state his own side so clearly and concisely as to make the principles involved easily understood. His second object should be so to divest his opponent's argument of useless verbiage as to make it stand forth clearly; for as truth is self-evident, so error bears upon its face its own condemnation. Error needs only to be exposed to be overthrown.

Brevity of statement also contributes to the force of a speaker. It is possible so to enfold a truth in long-drawn-out sentences as practi-