Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/25

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INTRODUCTION


cally to conceal it. The epigram is powerful because it is full of meat and short enough to be remembered. To know when to stop is almost as important as to know where to begin and how to proceed. The ability to condense great thoughts into small words and brief sentences is an attribute of genius. Often one lays down a book with the feeling that the author has "said nothing with elaboration," while in perusing another book one finds a whole sermon in a single sentence, or an unanswerable argument couched in a well-turned phrase.

The interrogatory is frequently employed by the orator, and when wisely used is irresistible. What dynamic power, for instance, there is in that question propounded by Christ, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" Volumes could not have presented so effectively the truth that he sought to impress upon his hearers.

The illustration has no unimportant place in the equipment of the orator. We understand a thing more easily when we know that it is like

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