The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie - HTML preview
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
syllogism there should be only three terms. 2. Of these three only one can be the middle term. 3. One premise must be affirmative. 4. The conclusion must be negative if either premise is negative. 5. To prove a negative, one of the premises must be negative.
Summary of Regulating Principles: 1. Terms which agree with the same thing agree with each other; and when only one of two terms agrees with a third term, the two terms disagree with each other. 2. "Whatever is affirmed of a class may be affirmed of all the members of that class," and "Whatever is denied of a class may be denied of all the members of that class."]
[Footnote 27: All the speakers were from Brown University. The affirmative briefs were used in debate with the Dartmouth College team, and the negative briefs were used in debate with the Williams College team.
From The Speaker, by permission.]
INFLUENCING BY PERSUASION
She hath prosperous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.
--SHAKESPEARE, Measure for Measure.
Him we call an artist who shall play on an assembly of men as a master on the keys of a piano,--who seeing the people furious, shall soften and compose them, shall draw them, when he will, to laughter and to tears.
Bring him to his audience, and, be they who they may,--coarse or refined, pleased or displeased, sulky or savage, with their opinions in the keeping of a confessor or with their opinions in their bank safes,--he will have them pleased and humored as he chooses; and they shall carry and execute what he bids them.
--RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Essay on Eloquence.
More good and more ill have been effected by persuasion than by any other form of speech. It is an attempt to influence by means of appeal to some particular interest held important by the hearer. Its motive may be high or low, fair or unfair, honest or dishonest, calm or passionate, and hence its scope is unparalleled in public speaking.
This "instilment of conviction," to use Matthew Arnold's expression, is naturally a complex process in that it usually includes argumentation and often employs suggestion, as the next chapter will illustrate. In fact, there is little public speaking worthy of the name that is not in some part persuasive, for men rarely speak solely to alter men's opinions--the ulterior purpose is almost always action.
The nature of persuasion is not solely intellectual, but is largely emotional. It uses every principle of public speaking, and every "form of discourse," to use a rhetorician's expression, but argument supplemented by special appeal is its peculiar quality. This we may best see by examining The Methods of Persuasion
High-minded speakers often seek to move their hearers to action by an appeal to their highest motives, such as love of liberty. Senator Hoar, in pleading for action on the Philippine question, used this method: What has been the practical statesmanship which comes from your ideals and your sentimentalities? You have wasted nearly six hundred millions of treasure. You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives--the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture. Your practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe--nay, I know--that in general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty.
Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men, when they landed on those islands, with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries cannot eradicate.
Mr. President, this is the eternal law of human nature. You may struggle against it, you may try to escape it, you may persuade yourself that your intentions are benevolent, that your yoke will be easy and your burden will be light, but it will assert itself again. Government without the consent of the governed--authority which heaven never gave--can only be supported by means which heaven never can sanction.
The American people have got this one question to answer. They may answer it now; they can take ten years, or twenty years, or a generation, or a century to think of it. But will not down. They must answer it in the end: Can you lawfully buy with money, or get by brute force of arms, the right to hold in subjugation an unwilling people, and to impose on them such constitution as you, and not they, think best for them?
Senator Hoar then went on to make another sort of appeal--the appeal to fact and experience: We have answered this question a good many times in the past. The fathers answered it in 1776, and founded the Republic upon their answer, which has been the corner-stone. John Quincy Adams and James Monroe answered it again in the Monroe Doctrine, which John Quincy Adams declared was only the doctrine of the consent of the governed. The Republican party answered it when it took possession of the force of government at the beginning of the most brilliant period in all legislative history. Abraham Lincoln answered it when, on that fatal journey to Washington in 1861, he announced that as the doctrine of his political creed, and declared, with prophetic vision, that he was ready to be assassinated for it if need be. You answered it again yourselves when you said that Cuba, who had no more title than the people of the Philippine Islands had to their independence, of right ought to be free and independent.
--GEORGE F. HOAR.
Appeal to the things that man holds dear is another potent form of persuasion.
Joseph Story, in his great Salem speech (1828) used this method most dramatically: I call upon you, fathers, by the shades of your ancestors--by the dear ashes which repose in this precious soil--by all you are, and all you hope to be--resist every object of disunion, resist every encroachment upon your liberties, resist every attempt to fetter your consciences, or smother your public schools, or extinguish your system of public instruction.
I call upon you, mothers, by that which never fails in woman, the love of your offspring; teach them, as they climb your knees, or lean on your bosoms, the blessings of liberty. Swear them at the altar, as with their baptismal vows, to be true to their country, and never to forget or forsake her.
I call upon you, young men, to remember whose sons you are; whose inheritance you possess. Life can never be too short, which brings nothing but disgrace and oppression. Death never comes too soon, if necessary in defence of the liberties of your country.
I call upon you, old men, for your counsels, and your prayers, and your benedictions. May not your gray hairs go down in sorrow to the grave, with the recollection that you have lived in vain. May not your last sun sink in the west upon a nation of slaves.
No; I read in the destiny of my country far better hopes, far brighter visions. We, who are now assembled here, must soon be gathered to the congregation of other days. The time of our departure is at hand, to make way for our children upon the theatre of life. May God speed them and theirs. May he who, at the distance of another century, shall stand here to celebrate this day, still look round upon a free, happy, and virtuous people.
May he have reason to exult as we do. May he, with all the enthusiasm of truth as well as of poetry, exclaim, that here is still his country.
The appeal to prejudice is effective--though not often, if ever, justifiable; yet so long as special pleading endures this sort of persuasion will be resorted to. Rudyard Kipling uses this method--as have many others on both sides--in discussing the great European war. Mingled with the appeal to prejudice, Mr. Kipling uses the appeal to self-interest; though not the highest, it is a powerful motive in all our lives. Notice how at the last the pleader sweeps on to the highest ground he can take. This is a notable example of progressive appeal, beginning with a low motive and ending with a high one in such a way as to carry all the force of prejudice yet gain all the value of patriotic fervor.
Through no fault nor wish of ours we are at war with Germany, the power which owes its existence to three well-thought-out wars; the power which, for the last twenty years, has devoted itself to organizing and preparing for this war; the power which is now fighting to conquer the civilized world.
For the last two generations the Germans in their books, lectures, speeches and schools have been carefully taught that nothing less than this world-conquest was the object of their preparations and their sacrifices. They have prepared carefully and sacrificed greatly.
We must have men and men and men, if we, with our allies, are to check the onrush of organized barbarism.
Have no illusions. We are dealing with a strong and magnificently equipped enemy, whose avowed aim is our complete destruction. The violation of Belgium, the attack on France and the defense against Russia, are only steps by the way. The German's real objective, as she always has told us, is England, and England's wealth, trade and worldwide possessions.
If you assume, for an instant, that the attack will be successful, England will not be reduced, as some people say, to the rank of a second rate power, but we shall cease to exist as a nation. We shall become an outlying province of Germany, to be administered with that severity German safety and interest require.
We are against such a fate. We enter into a new life in which all the facts of war that we had put behind or forgotten for the last hundred years, have returned to the front and test us as they tested our fathers. It will be a long and a hard road, beset with difficulties and discouragements, but we tread it together and we will tread it together to the end.
Our petty social divisions and barriers have been swept away at the outset of our mighty struggle. All the interests of our life of six weeks ago are dead. We have but one interest now, and that touches the naked heart of every man in this island and in the empire.
If we are to win the right for ourselves and for freedom to exist on earth, every man must offer himself for that service and that sacrifice.
From these examples it will be seen that the particular way in which the speakers appealed to their hearers was by coming close home to their interests, and by themselves showing emotion--two very important principles which you must keep constantly in mind.
To accomplish the former requires a deep knowledge of human motive in general and an understanding of the particular audience addressed. What are the motives that arouse men to action? Think of them earnestly, set them down on the tablets of your mind, study how to appeal to them worthily. Then, what motives would be likely to appeal to your hearers? What are their ideals and interests in life? A mistake in your estimate may cost you your case. To appeal to pride in appearance would make one set of men merely laugh--to try to arouse sympathy for the Jews in Palestine would be wasted effort among others. Study your audience, feel your way, and when you have once raised a spark, fan it into a flame by every honest resource you possess.
The larger your audience the more sure you are to find a universal basis of appeal. A small audience of bachelors will not grow excited over the importance of furniture insurance; most men can be roused to the defense of the freedom of the press.
Patent medicine advertisement usually begins by talking about your pains--they begin on your interests. If they first discussed the size and rating of their establishment, or the efficacy of their remedy, you would never read the "ad." If they can make you think you have nervous troubles you will even plead for a remedy--they will not have to try to sell it.
The patent medicine men are pleading--asking you to invest your money in their commodity--yet they do not appear to be doing so. They get over on your side of the fence, and arouse a desire for their nostrums by appealing to your own interests.
Recently a book-salesman entered an attorney's office in New York and inquired: "Do you want to buy a book?" Had the lawyer wanted a book he would probably have bought one without waiting for a book-salesman to call. The solicitor made the same mistake as the representative who made his approach with: "I want to sell you a sewing machine." They both talked only in terms of their own interests.
The successful pleader must convert his arguments into terms of his hearers' advantage. Mankind are still selfish, are interested in what will serve them. Expunge from your address your own personal concern and present your appeal in terms of the general good, and to do this you need not be insincere, for you had better not plead any cause that is not for the hearers' good. Notice how Senator Thurston in his plea for intervention in Cuba and Mr. Bryan in his "Cross of Gold" speech constituted themselves the apostles of humanity.
Exhortation is a highly impassioned form of appeal frequently used by the pulpit in efforts to arouse men to a sense of duty and induce them to decide their personal courses, and by counsel in seeking to influence a jury.
The great preachers, like the great jury-lawyers, have always been masters of persuasion.
Notice the difference among these four exhortations, and analyze the motives appealed to: Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!
--SHAKESPEARE, Julius Cæsar.
Strike--till the last armed foe expires, Strike--for your altars and your fires, Strike--for the green graves of your sires, God--and your native land!
--FITZ-GREENE HALLECK, Marco Bozzaris.
Believe, gentlemen, if it were not for those children, he would not come here to-day to seek such remuneration; if it were not that, by your verdict, you may prevent those little innocent defrauded wretches from becoming wandering beggars, as well as orphans on the face of this earth. Oh, I know I need not ask this verdict from your mercy; I need not extort it from your compassion; I will receive it from your justice. I do conjure you, not as fathers, but as husbands:--not as husbands, but as citizens:--not as citizens, but as men:--not as men, but as Christians:--by all your obligations, public, private, moral, and religious; by the hearth profaned; by the home desolated; by the canons of the living God foully spurned;--save, oh: save your firesides from the contagion, your country from the crime, and perhaps thousands, yet unborn, from the shame, and sin, and sorrow of this example!
--CHARLES PHILLIPS, Appeal to the jury in behalf of Guthrie.
So I appeal from the men in silken hose who danced to music made by slaves and called it freedom, from the CHAPTER XXIV
men in bell-crown hats who led Hester Prynne to her shame and called it religion, to that Americanism which reaches forth its arms to smite wrong with reason and truth, secure in the power of both. I appeal from the patriarchs of New England to the poets of New England; from Endicott to Lowell; from Winthrop to Longfellow; from Norton to Holmes; and I appeal in the name and by the rights of that common citizenship--of that common origin, back of both the Puritan and the Cavalier, to which all of us owe our being. Let the dead past, consecrated by the blood of its martyrs, not by its savage hatreds, darkened alike by kingcraft and priestcraft--let the dead past bury its dead. Let the present and the future ring with the song of the singers. Blessed be the lessons they teach, the laws they make. Blessed be the eye to see, the light to reveal. Blessed be tolerance, sitting ever on the right hand of God to guide the way with loving word, as blessed be all that brings us nearer the goal of true religion, true republicanism, and true patriotism, distrust of watchwords and labels, shams and heroes, belief in our country and ourselves. It was not Cotton Mather, but John Greenleaf Whittier, who cried:
Dear God and Father of us all, Forgive our faith in cruel lies, Forgive the blindness that denies.
Cast down our idols--overturn Our Bloody altars--make us see Thyself in Thy humanity!
--HENRY WATTERSON, Puritan and Cavalier.
Goethe, on being reproached for not having written war songs against the French, replied, "In my poetry I have never shammed. How could I have written songs of hate without hatred?" Neither is it possible to plead with full efficiency for a cause for which you do not feel deeply. Feeling is contagious as belief is contagious.
The speaker who pleads with real feeling for his own convictions will instill his feelings into his listeners.
Sincerity, force, enthusiasm, and above all, feeling--these are the qualities that move multitudes and make appeals irresistible. They are of far greater importance than technical principles of delivery, grace of gesture, or polished enunciation--important as all these elements must doubtless be considered. Base your appeal on reason, but do not end in the basement--let the building rise, full of deep emotion and noble persuasion.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. ( a) What elements of appeal do you find in the following? ( b) Is it too florid? ( c) Is this style equally powerful today? ( d) Are the sentences too long and involved for clearness and force?
Oh, gentlemen, am I this day only the counsel of my client? No, no; I am the advocate of humanity--of yourselves--your homes--your wives--your families--your little children. I am glad that this case exhibits such atrocity; unmarked as it is by any mitigatory feature, it may stop the frightful advance of this calamity; it will be met now, and marked with vengeance. If it be not, farewell to the virtues of your country; farewell to all confidence between man and man; farewell to that unsuspicious and reciprocal tenderness, without which marriage is but a consecrated curse. If oaths are to be violated, laws disregarded, friendship betrayed, humanity trampled, national and individual honor stained, and if a jury of fathers and of husbands will give such miscreancy a passport to their homes, and wives, and daughters,--farewell to all that yet remains of Ireland! But I will not cast such a doubt upon the character of my country. Against the sneer of the foe, and the skepticism of the foreigner, I will still point to the domestic virtues, that no perfidy could barter, and no bribery can purchase, that with a Roman usage, at once embellish and consecrate households, giving to the society of the hearth all the purity of the altar; that lingering alike in the palace and the cottage, are still to be found scattered over this land--the relic of what she was--the source perhaps of what she may be--the lone, the stately, and magnificent memorials, that rearing their majesty amid surrounding ruins, serve at once as the landmarks of the departed glory, and the models by which the future may be erected.
Preserve those virtues with a vestal fidelity; mark this day, by your verdict, your horror of their profanation; and believe me, when the hand which records that verdict shall be dust, and the tongue that asks it, traceless in the grave, many a happy home will bless its consequences, and many a mother teach her little child to hate the CHAPTER XXIV
impious treason of adultery.
2. Analyze and criticise the forms of appeal used in the selections from Hoar, Story, and Kipling.
3. What is the type of persuasion used by Senator Thurston (page 50)?
4. Cite two examples each, from selections in this volume, in which speakers sought to be persuasive by securing the hearers' ( a) sympathy for themselves; ( b) sympathy with their subjects; ( c) self-pity.
5. Make a short address using persuasion.
6. What other methods of persuasion than those here mentioned can you name?
7. Is it easier to persuade men to change their course of conduct than to persuade them to continue in a given course? Give examples to support your belief.
8. In how far are we justified in making an appeal to self-interest in order to lead men to adopt a given course?
9. Does the merit of the course have any bearing on the merit of the methods used?
10. Illustrate an unworthy method of using persuasion.
11. Deliver a short speech on the value of skill in persuasion.
12. Does effective persuasion always produce conviction?
13. Does conviction always result in action?
14. Is it fair for counsel to appeal to the emotions of a jury in a murder trial?
15. Ought the judge use persuasion in making his charge?
16. Say how self-consciousness may hinder the power of persuasion in a speaker.
17. Is emotion without words ever persuasive? If so, illustrate.
18. Might gestures without words be persuasive? If so, illustrate.
19. Has posture in a speaker anything to do with persuasion? Discuss.
20. Has voice? Discuss.
21. Has manner? Discuss.
22. What effect does personal magnetism have in producing conviction?
23. Discuss the relation of persuasion to ( a) description; ( b) narration; ( c) exposition; ( d) pure reason.
24. What is the effect of over-persuasion?
25. Make a short speech on the effect of the constant use of persuasion on the sincerity of the speaker himself.
26. Show by example how a general statement is not as persuasive as a concrete example illustrating the point being discussed.
27. Show by example how brevity is of value in persuasion.
28. Discuss the importance of avoiding an antagonistic attitude in persuasion.
29. What is the most persuasive passage you have found in the selections of this volume. On what do you base your decision?
30. Cite a persuasive passage from some other source. Read or recite it aloud.
31. Make a list of the emotional bases of appeal, grading them from low to high, according to your estimate.
32. Would circumstances make any difference in such grading? If so, give examples.
33. Deliver a short, passionate appeal to a jury, pleading for justice to a poor widow.
34. Deliver a short appeal to men to give up some evil way.
35. Criticise the structure of the sentence beginning with the last line of page 296.
INFLUENCING THE CROWD
Success in business, in the last analysis, turns upon touching the imagination of crowds. The reason that preachers in this present generation are less successful in getting people to want goodness than business men are in getting them to want motorcars, hats, and pianolas, is that business men as a class are more close and desperate students of human nature, and have boned down harder to the art of touching the imaginations of the crowds.
--GERALD STANLEY LEE, Crowds.
In the early part of July, 1914, a collection of Frenchmen in Paris, or Germans in Berlin, was not a crowd in a psychological sense. Each individual had his own special interests and needs, and there was no powerful common idea to unify them. A group then represented only a collection of individuals. A month later, any collection of Frenchmen or Germans formed a crowd: Patriotism, hate, a common fear, a pervasive grief, had unified the individuals.
The psychology of the crowd is far different from the psychology of the personal members that compose it.
The crowd is a distinct entity. Individuals restrain and subdue many of their impulses at the dictates of reason.
The crowd never reasons. It only feels. As persons there is a sense of responsibility attached to our actions which checks many of our incitements, but the sense of responsibility is lost in the crowd because of its numbers. The crowd is exceedingly suggestible and will act upon the wildest and most extreme ideas. The crowd-mind is primitive and will cheer plans and perform actions which its members would utterly repudiate.
A mob is only a highly-wrought crowd. Ruskin's description is fitting: "You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be--usually are--on the whole, generous and right, but it has no foundation for them, no hold of them. You may tease or tickle it into anything at your pleasure. It thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild about, when the fit is on, nothing so great but it will forget in an hour when the fit is past."
History will show us how the crowd-mind works. The medieval mind was not given to reasoning; the medieval man attached great weight to the utterance of authority; his religion touched chiefly the emotions.
These conditions provided a rich soil for the propagation of the crowd-mind when, in the eleventh century, flagellation, a voluntary self-scourging, was preached by the monks. Substituting flagellation for reciting penitential psalms was advocated by the reformers. A scale was drawn up, making one thousand strokes equivalent to ten psalms, or fifteen thousand to the entire psalter. This craze spread by leaps--and crowds.
Flagellant fraternities sprang up. Priests carrying banners led through the streets great processions reciting prayers and whipping their bloody bodies with leathern thongs fitted with four iron points. Pope Clement denounced this practise and several of the leaders of these processions had to be burned at the stake before the frenzy could be uprooted.
All western and central Europe was turned into a crowd by the preaching of the crusaders, and millions of the followers of the Prince of Peace rushed to the Holy Land to kill the heathen. Even the children started on a crusade against the Saracens. The mob-spirit was so strong that home affections and persuasion could not prevail against it and thousands of mere babes died in their attempts to reach and redeem the Sacred Sepulchre.
In the early part of the eighteenth century the South Sea Company was formed in England. Britain became a speculative crowd. Stock in the South Sea Company rose from 128-1/2 points in January to 550 in May, and scored 1,000 in July. Five million shares were sold at this premium. Speculation ran riot. Hundreds of companies were organized. One was formed "for a wheel of perpetual motion." Another never troubled to CHAPTER XXV
give any reason at all for taking the cash of its subscribers--it merely announced that it was organized "for a design which will hereafter be promulgated." Owners began to sell, the mob caught the suggestion, a panic ensued, the South Sea Company stock fell 800 points in a few days, and more than a billion dollars evaporated in this era of frenzied speculation.
The burning of the witches at Salem, the Klondike gold craze, and the forty-eight people who were killed by mobs in the United States in 1913, are examples familiar to us in America.
The Crowd Must Have a Leader
The leader of the crowd or mob is its determining factor. He becomes self-hynoptized with the idea that unifies its members, his enthusiasm is contagious--and so is theirs. The crowd acts as he suggests. The great mass of people do not have any very sharply-drawn conclusions on any subject outside of their own little spheres, but when they become a crowd they are perfectly willing to accept ready-made, hand-me-down opinions. They will follow a leader at all costs--in labor troubles they often follow a leader in preference to obeying their government, in war they will throw self-preservation to the bushes and follow a leader in the face of guns that fire fourteen times a second. The mob becomes shorn of will-power and blindly obedient to its dictator. The Russian Government, recognizing the menace of the crowd-mind to its autocracy, formerly prohibited public gatherings. History is full of similar instances.
How the Crowd is Created
Today the crowd is as real a factor in our socialized life as are magnates and monopolies. It is too complex a problem merely to damn or praise it--it must be reckoned with, and mastered. The present problem is how to get the most and the best out of the crowd-spirit, and the public speaker finds this to be peculiarly his own question. His influence is multiplied if he can only transmute his audience into a crowd. His affirmations must be their conclusions.
This can be accomplished by unifying the minds and needs of the audience and arousing their emotions. Their feelings, not their reason, must be played upon-- it is "up to" him to do this nobly. Argument has its place on the platform, but even its potencies must subserve the speaker's plan of attack to win possession of his audience.
Reread the chapter on "Feeling and Enthusiasm." It is impossible to make an audience a crowd without appealing to their emotions. Can you imagine the average group becoming a crowd while hearing a lecture on Dry Fly Fishing, or on Egyptian Art? On the other hand, it would not have required world-famous eloquence to have turned any audience in Ulster, in 1914, into a crowd by discussing the Home Rule Act. The crowd-spirit depends largely on the subject used to fuse their individualities into one glowing whole.
Note how Antony played upon the feelings of his hearers in the famous funeral oration given by Shakespeare in "Julius Cæsar." From murmuring units the men became a unit--a mob.
ANTONY'S ORATION OVER CÆSAR'S BODY Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears; I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones: So let it be with Cæsar! The Noble Brutus Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Cæsar answered it. Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest-- For Brutus is an honorable man, So are they all, all honorable men-- Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome, Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept; Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says, he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man. You all did see, that, on the Lupercal, I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And CHAPTER XXV
sure, he is an honorable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause; What cause withholds you then to mourn for him? Oh, judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason!--Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar, And I must pause till it come back to me. [ Weeps.
1 Plebeian. Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
2 Ple. If thou consider rightly of the matter, Cæsar has had great wrong.
3 Ple. Has he, masters? I fear there will a worse come in his place.
4 Ple. Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown; Therefore, 'tis certain, he was not ambitious.
1 Ple. If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
2 Ple. Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
3 Ple. There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
4 Ple. Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
Ant. But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might Have stood against the world: now lies he there, And none so poor to do him reverence. Oh, masters! if I were dispos'd to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honorable men. I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you, Than I will wrong such honorable men.
But here's a parchment, with the seal of Cæsar; I found it in his closet; 'tis his will: Let but the commons hear this testament-- Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-- And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds, And dip their napkins in his sacred blood; Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto their issue.
4 Ple. We'll hear the will: Read it, Mark Antony.
All. The will! the will! we will hear Cæsar's will.
Ant. Have patience, gentle friends: I must not read it; It is not meet you know how Cæsar lov'd you. You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; And, being men, hearing the will of Cæsar, It will inflame you, it will make you mad: 'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs; For if you should, oh, what would come of it!
4 Ple. Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony! You shall read us the will! Cæsar's will!
Ant. Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile? I have o'ershot myself, to tell you of it. I fear I wrong the honorable men Whose daggers have stab'd Cæsar; I do fear it.
4 Ple. They were traitors: Honorable men!
All. The will! the testament!
2 Ple. They were villains, murtherers! The will! Read the will!
Ant. You will compel me then to read the will? Then, make a ring about the corpse of Cæsar, And let me shew you him that made the will. Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?
All. Come down.
2 Ple. Descend. [ He comes down from the Rostrum.
3 Ple. You shall have leave.
4 Ple. A ring; stand round.
1 Ple. Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
2 Ple. Room for Antony!--most noble Antony!
Ant. Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.
All. Stand back! room! bear back!
Ant. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now; You all do know this mantle: I remember The first time ever Cæsar put it on; 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, That day he overcame the Nervii. Look, in this place, ran Cassius' dagger through: See, what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stab'd; And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away, Mark how the blood of Cæsar follow'd it!-- As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no; For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel: Judge, O you Gods, how Cæsar lov'd him! This was the most unkindest cut of all! For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart; And in his mantle muffling up his face, Even at the base of Pompey's statue, Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell. Oh what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I and you, and all of us, fell down, Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us. Oh! now you weep; and I perceive you feel The dint of pity; these are gracious drops. Kind souls! what, weep you, when you but behold Our Cæsar's vesture wounded? Look you here! Here is himself, mar'd, as you see, by traitors.
1 Ple. Oh, piteous spectacle!
2 Ple. Oh, noble Cæsar!
3 Ple. Oh, woful day!
4 Ple. Oh, traitors, villains!
1 Ple. Oh, most bloody sight!
2 Ple. We will be reveng'd!
All. Revenge; about--seek--burn--fire--kill--day!--Let not a traitor live!
Ant. Stay, countrymen.
1 Ple. Peace there! Hear the noble Antony.
2 Ple. We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.
Ant. Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny: They that have done this deed are honorable: What private griefs they have, alas! I know not, That made them do it; they are wise, and honorable, And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. I come not, friends, to steal away your CHAPTER XXV
hearts; I am no orator, as Brutus is; But as you know me all, a plain blunt man, That love my friend, and that they know full well That gave me public leave to speak of him: For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men's blood. I only speak right on: I tell you that which you yourselves do know; Show your sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths, And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus, And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue In every wound of Cæsar, that should move The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.
All. We'll mutiny!
1 Ple. We'll burn the house of Brutus.
3 Ple. Away, then! Come, seek the conspirators.
Ant. Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.
All. Peace, ho! Hear Antony, most noble Antony.
Ant. Why, friends, you go to do you know not what. Wherein hath Cæsar thus deserv'd your loves? Alas! you know not!--I must tell you then. You have forgot the will I told you of.
Ple. Most true;--the will!--let's stay, and hear the will.
Ant. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal. To every Roman citizen he gives, To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
2 Ple. Most noble Cæsar!--we'll revenge his death.
3 Ple. O royal Cæsar!
Ant. Hear me with patience.
All. Peace, ho!
Ant. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, His private arbours, and new-planted orchards, On this side Tiber; he hath left them you, And to your heirs forever, common pleasures, To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves. Here was a Cæsar! When comes such another?
1 Ple. Never, never!--Come, away, away! We'll burn his body in the holy place, And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. Take up the body.
2 Ple. Go, fetch fire.
3 Ple. Pluck down benches.
4 Ple. Pluck down forms, windows, anything. [ Exeunt Citizens, with the body.
Ant. Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt!
To unify single, auditors into a crowd, express their common needs, aspirations, dangers, and emotions, deliver your message so that the interests of one shall appear to be the interests of all. The conviction of one man is intensified in proportion as he finds others sharing his belief-- and feeling. Antony does not stop with telling the Roman populace that Cæsar fell--he makes the tragedy universal: CHAPTER XXV
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
Applause, generally a sign of feeling, helps to unify an audience. The nature of the crowd is illustrated by the contagion of applause. Recently a throng in a New York moving-picture and vaudeville house had been applauding several songs, and when an advertisement for tailored skirts was thrown on the screen some one started the applause, and the crowd, like sheep, blindly imitated--until someone saw the joke and laughed; then the crowd again followed a leader and laughed at and applauded its own stupidity.
Actors sometimes start applause for their lines by snapping their fingers. Some one in the first few rows will mistake it for faint applause, and the whole theatre will chime in.
An observant auditor will be interested in noticing the various devices a monologist will use to get the first round of laughter and applause. He works so hard because he knows an audience of units is an audience of indifferent critics, but once get them to laughing together and each single laugher sweeps a number of others with him, until the whole theatre is aroar and the entertainer has scored. These are meretricious schemes, to be sure, and do not savor in the least of inspiration, but crowds have not changed in their nature in a thousand years and the one law holds for the greatest preacher and the pettiest stump-speaker--you must fuse your audience or they will not warm to your message. The devices of the great orator may not be so obvious as those of the vaudeville monologist, but the principle is the same: he tries to strike some universal note that will have all his hearers feeling alike at the same time.
The evangelist knows this when he has the soloist sing some touching song just before the address. Or he will have the entire congregation sing, and that is the psychology of "Now every body sing!" for he knows that they who will not join in the song are as yet outside the crowd. Many a time has the popular evangelist stopped in the middle of his talk, when he felt that his hearers were units instead of a molten mass (and a sensitive speaker can feel that condition most depressingly) and suddenly demanded that everyone arise and sing, or repeat aloud a familiar passage, or read in unison; or perhaps he has subtly left the thread of his discourse to tell a story that, from long experience, he knew would not fail to bring his hearers to a common feeling.
These things are important resources for the speaker, and happy is he who uses them worthily and not as a despicable charlatan. The difference between a demagogue and a leader is not so much a matter of method as of principle. Even the most dignified speaker must recognize the eternal laws of human nature. You are by no means urged to become a trickster on the platform--far from it!--but don't kill your speech with dignity. To be icily correct is as silly as to rant. Do neither, but appeal to those world-old elements in your audience that have been recognized by all great speakers from Demosthenes to Sam Small, and see to it that you never debase your powers by arousing your hearers unworthily.
It is as hard to kindle enthusiasm in a scattered audience as to build a fire with scattered sticks. An audience to be converted into a crowd must be made to appear as a crowd. This cannot be done when they are widely scattered over a large seating space or when many empty benches separate the speaker from his hearers. Have your audience seated compactly. How many a preacher has bemoaned the enormous edifice over which what would normally be a large congregation has scattered in chilled and chilling solitude Sunday after Sunday!
Bishop Brooks himself could not have inspired a congregation of one thousand souls seated in the vastness of St. Peter's at Rome. In that colossal sanctuary it is only on great occasions which bring out the multitudes that the service is before the high altar--at other times the smaller side-chapels are used.
Universal ideas surcharged with feeling help to create the crowd-atmosphere. Examples: liberty, character, righteousness, courage, fraternity, altruism, country, and national heroes. George Cohan was making psychology practical and profitable when he introduced the flag and flag-songs into his musical comedies.
Cromwell's regiments prayed before the battle and went into the fight singing hymns. The French corps, singing the Marseillaise in 1914, charged the Germans as one man. Such unifying devices arouse the feelings, make soldiers fanatical mobs--and, alas, more efficient murderers.
[Footnote 28: Sesame and Lilies.]
RIDING THE WINGED HORSE
To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men of genius--the men of reasoning and the men of imagination.
--ISAAC DISRAELI, Literary Character of Men of Genius.
And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.
--SHAKESPEARE, Midsummer-Night's Dream.
It is common, among those who deal chiefly with life's practicalities, to think of imagination as having little value in comparison with direct thinking. They smile with tolerance when Emerson says that "Science does not know its debt to the imagination," for these are the words of a speculative essayist, a philosopher, a poet.
But when Napoleon--the indomitable welder of empires--declares that "The human race is governed by its imagination," the authoritative word commands their respect.
Be it remembered, the faculty of forming mental images is as efficient a cog as may be found in the whole mind-machine. True, it must fit into that other vital cog, pure thought, but when it does so it may be questioned which is the more productive of important results for the happiness and well-being of man. This should become more apparent as we go on.
I. WHAT IS IMAGINATION?
Let us not seek for a definition, for a score of varying ones may be found, but let us grasp this fact: By imagination we mean either the faculty or the process of forming mental images.
The subject-matter of imagination may be really existent in nature, or not at all real, or a combination of both; it may be physical or spiritual, or both--the mental image is at once the most lawless and the most law-abiding child that has ever been born of the mind.
First of all, as its name suggests, the process of imagination--for we are thinking of it now as a process rather than as a faculty--is memory at work. Therefore we must consider it primarily as 1. Reproductive Imagination
We see or hear or feel or taste or smell something and the sensation passes away. Yet we are conscious of a greater or lesser ability to reproduce such feelings at will. Two considerations, in general, will govern the vividness of the image thus evoked--the strength of the original impression, and the reproductive power of one mind as compared with another. Yet every normal person will be able to evoke images with some degree of clearness.
The fact that not all minds possess this imaging faculty in anything like equal measure will have an important bearing on the public speaker's study of this question. No man who does not feel at least some poetic impulses is likely to aspire seriously to be a poet, yet many whose imaging faculties are so dormant as to seem actually dead do aspire to be public speakers. To all such we say most earnestly: Awaken your image-making gift, for even in the most coldly logical discourse it is sure to prove of great service. It is important that you find out at once just how full and how trustworthy is your imagination, for it is capable of cultivation--as well as of abuse.
Francis Galton says: "The French appear to possess the visualizing faculty in a high degree. The peculiar ability they show in pre-arranging ceremonials and fêtes of all kinds and their undoubted genius for tactics and strategy show that they are able to foresee effects with unusual clearness. Their ingenuity in all technical contrivances is an additional testimony in the same direction, and so is their singular clearness of expression.
Their phrase figurez-vous, or picture to yourself, seems to express their dominant mode of perception. Our equivalent, of 'image,' is ambiguous."
But individuals differ in this respect just as markedly as, for instance, the Dutch do from the French. And this is true not only of those who are classified by their friends as being respectively imaginative or unimaginative, but of those whose gifts or habits are not well known.
Let us take for experiment six of the best-known types of imaging and see in practise how they arise in our own minds.
By all odds the most common type is, (a) the visual image. Children who more readily recall things seen than things heard are called by psychologists "eye-minded," and most of us are bent in this direction. Close your eyes now and re-call--the word thus hyphenated is more suggestive--the scene around this morning's breakfast table. Possibly there was nothing striking in the situation and the image is therefore not striking. Then image any notable table scene in your experience--how vividly it stands forth, because at the time you felt the impression strongly. Just then you may not have been conscious of how strongly the scene was laying hold upon you, for often we are so intent upon what we see that we give no particular thought to the fact that it is impressing us. It may surprise you to learn how accurately you are able to image a scene when a long time has elapsed between the conscious focussing of your attention on the image and the time when you saw the original.
(b) The auditory image is probably the next most vivid of our recalled experiences. Here association is potent to suggest similarities. Close out all the world beside and listen to the peculiar wood-against-wood sound of the sharp thunder among rocky mountains--the crash of ball against ten-pins may suggest it. Or image (the word is imperfect, for it seems to suggest only the eye) the sound of tearing ropes when some precious weight hangs in danger. Or recall the bay of a hound almost upon you in pursuit--choose your own sound, and see how pleasantly or terribly real it becomes when imaged in your brain.
(c) The motor image is a close competitor with the auditory for second place. Have you ever awakened in the night, every muscle taut and striving, to feel your self straining against the opposing football line that held like a stone-wall--or as firmly as the headboard of your bed? Or voluntarily recall the movement of the boat when you cried inwardly, "It's all up with me!" The perilous lurch of a train, the sudden sinking of an elevator, or the unexpected toppling of a rocking-chair may serve as further experiments.
(d) The gustatory image is common enough, as the idea of eating lemons will testify. Sometimes the pleasurable recollection of a delightful dinner will cause the mouth to water years afterward, or the "image" of particularly atrocious medicine will wrinkle the nose long after it made one day in boyhood wretched.
(e) The olfactory image is even more delicate. Some there are who are affected to illness by the memory of certain odors, while others experience the most delectable sensations by the rise of pleasing olfactory images.
(f) The tactile image, to name no others, is well nigh as potent. Do you shudder at the thought of velvet rubbed by short-nailed finger tips? Or were you ever "burned" by touching an ice-cold stove? Or, happier memory, can you still feel the touch of a well-loved absent hand?
Be it remembered that few of these images are present in our minds except in combination--the sight and sound of the crashing avalanche are one; so are the flash and report of the huntman's gun that came so near
"doing for us."
Thus, imaging--especially conscious reproductive imagination--will become a valuable part of our mental processes in proportion as we direct and control it.
2. Productive Imagination
All of the foregoing examples, and doubtless also many of the experiments you yourself may originate, are merely reproductive. Pleasurable or horrific as these may be, they are far less important than the images evoked by the productive imagination--though that does not infer a separate faculty.
Recall, again for experiment, some scene whose beginning you once saw enacted on a street corner but passed by before the dénouement was ready to be disclosed. Recall it all--that far the image is reproductive. But what followed? Let your fantasy roam at pleasure--the succeeding scenes are productive, for you have more or less consciously invented the unreal on the basis of the real.
And just here the fictionist, the poet, and the public speaker will see the value of productive imagery. True, the feet of the idol you build are on the ground, but its head pierces the clouds, it is a son of both earth and heaven.
One fact it is important to note here: Imagery is a valuable mental asset in proportion as it is controlled by the higher intellectual power of pure reason. The untutored child of nature thinks largely in images and therefore attaches to them undue importance. He readily confuses the real with the unreal--to him they are of like value.
But the man of training readily distinguishes the one from the other and evaluates each with some, if not with perfect, justice.
So we see that unrestrained imaging may produce a rudderless steamer, while the trained faculty is the graceful sloop, skimming the seas at her skipper's will, her course steadied by the helm of reason and her lightsome wings catching every air of heaven.
The game of chess, the war-lord's tactical plan, the evolution of a geometrical theorem, the devising of a great business campaign, the elimination of waste in a factory, the dénouement of a powerful drama, the overcoming of an economic obstacle, the scheme for a sublime poem, and the convincing siege of an audience may--nay, indeed must--each be conceived in an image and wrought to reality according to the plans and specifications laid upon the trestle board by some modern imaginative Hiram. The farmer who would be content with the seed he possesses would have no harvest. Do not rest satisfied with the ability to recall images, but cultivate your creative imagination by building "what might be" upon the foundation of "what is."
II. THE USES OF IMAGING IN PUBLIC SPEAKING
By this time you will have already made some general application of these ideas to the art of the platform, but to several specific uses we must now refer.
1. Imaging in Speech-Preparation