Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/27

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INTRODUCTION


those who are familiar with their source. Poetry can often be used to advantage, especially when the sentiment is appropriate and is set forth in graceful language. By far the most useful quotations for an orator, however, are those from Holy Writ. The people are more familiar with the Bible than with any other single book, and lessons drawn from it reinforce a speech. The Proverbs of Solomon abound in sentences which aptly express living truths. Abraham Lincoln used scripture quotations very frequently and very powerfully. Probably no Bible quotation, or, for that matter, no quotation from any book ever has had more influence upon a people than the famous quotation made by Lincoln in his Springfield (Ill.) speech of 1858, — "A house divided against itself can not stand." It is said that he had searched for some time for a phrase which would present in the strongest possible way the proposition he intended to advance — namely, that the nation could not endure half-slave and half-free.

The object of public speaking usually is to

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