Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/26

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something which we have already seen. Illustrations may be drawn from two sources — nature and literature — and of the two, those from nature have the greater weight. All learning is valuable; all history is useful. By knowing what has been we can better judge the future; by knowing how men have acted heretofore we can understand how they will act again in similar circumstances. But people know nature better than they know books, and the illustrations drawn from every-day life are the most effective.

If the orator can seize upon something within the sight or hearing of his audience — something that comes to his notice at the moment and as if not thought of before — it will add to the effectiveness of the illustration. For instance, Paul's speech to the Athenians derived a large part of its strength from the fact that he called attention to an altar near by, erected "to the Unknown God," and then proceeded to declare unto them the God whom they ignorantly worshiped.

Classical allusions ornament a speech, their value being greater of course when addressed to