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The perception of the ludicrous is a pledge of sanity.
--RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Essays.
And let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak.
--FRANCIS BACON, Essay on Civil and Moral Discourse.
Perhaps the most brilliant, and certainly the most entertaining, of all speeches are those delivered on after-dinner and other special occasions. The air of well-fed content in the former, and of expectancy well primed in the latter, furnishes an audience which, though not readily won, is prepared for the best, while the speaker himself is pretty sure to have been chosen for his gifts of oratory.
The first essential of good occasional speaking is to study the occasion. Precisely what is the object of the meeting? How important is the occasion to the audience? How large will the audience be? What sort of people are they? How large is the auditorium? Who selects the speakers' themes? Who else is to speak? What are they to speak about? Precisely how long am I to speak? Who speaks before I do and who follows?
If you want to hit the nail on the head ask such questions as these. No occasional address can succeed unless it fits the occasion to a T. Many prominent men have lost prestige because they were too careless or too busy or too self-confident to respect the occasion and the audience by learning the exact conditions under which they were to speak. Leaving too much to the moment is taking a long chance and generally means a less effective speech, if not a failure.
Suitability is the big thing in an occasional speech. When Mark Twain addressed the Army of the Tennessee in reunion at Chicago, in 1877, he responded to the toast, "The Babies." Two things in that after-dinner speech are remarkable: the bright introduction, by which he subtly claimed the interest of all, and the humorous use of military terms throughout:
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: "The Babies." Now, that's something like. We haven't all had the good fortune to be ladies; we have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground--for we've all been babies. It is a shame that for a thousand years the world's banquets have utterly ignored the baby, as if he didn't amount to anything! If you, gentlemen, will stop and think a minute--if you will go back fifty or a hundred years, to your early married life, and recontemplate your first baby--you will remember that he amounted to a good deal--and even something over.
"As a vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not," said Demosthenes, "so men are proved by their speeches whether they be wise or foolish." Surely the occasional address furnishes a severe test of a speaker's wisdom. To be trivial on a serious occasion, to be funereal at a banquet, to be long-winded ever--these are the marks of non-sense. Some imprudent souls seem to select the most friendly of after-dinner occasions for the explosion of a bomb-shell of dispute. Around the dinner table it is the custom of even political enemies to bury their hatchets anywhere rather than in some convenient skull. It is the height of bad taste to raise questions that in hours consecrated to good-will can only irritate.
Occasional speeches offer good chances for humor, particularly the funny story, for humor with a genuine point is not trivial. But do not spin a whole skein of humorous yarns with no more connection than the inane and threadbare "And that reminds me." An anecdote without bearing may be funny but one less funny that fits theme and occasion is far preferable. There is no way, short of sheer power of speech, that so surely leads to CHAPTER XXX
the heart of an audience as rich, appropriate humor. The scattered diners in a great banqueting hall, the after-dinner lethargy, the anxiety over approaching last-train time, the over-full list of over-full speakers--all throw out a challenge to the speaker to do his best to win an interested hearing. And when success does come it is usually due to a happy mixture of seriousness and humor, for humor alone rarely scores so heavily as the two combined, while the utterly grave speech never does on such occasions.
If there is one place more than another where second-hand opinions and platitudes are unwelcome it is in the after-dinner speech. Whether you are toast-master or the last speaker to try to hold the waning crowd at midnight, be as original as you can. How is it possible to summarize the qualities that go to make up the good after-dinner speech, when we remember the inimitable serious-drollery of Mark Twain, the sweet southern eloquence of Henry W. Grady, the funereal gravity of the humorous Charles Battell Loomis, the charm of Henry Van Dyke, the geniality of F. Hopkinson Smith, and the all-round delightfulness of Chauncey M.
Depew? America is literally rich in such gladsome speakers, who punctuate real sense with nonsense, and so make both effective.
Commemorative occasions, unveilings, commencements, dedications, eulogies, and all the train of special public gatherings, offer rare opportunities for the display of tact and good sense in handling occasion, theme, and audience. When to be dignified and when colloquial, when to soar and when to ramble arm in arm with your hearers, when to flame and when to soothe, when to instruct and when to amuse--in a word, the whole matter of APPROPRIATENESS must constantly be in mind lest you write your speech on water.
Finally, remember the beatitude: Blessed is the man that maketh short speeches, for he shall be invited to speak again.
SELECTIONS FOR STUDY
LAST DAYS OF THE CONFEDERACY
The Rapidan suggests another scene to which allusion has often been made since the war, but which, as illustrative also of the spirit of both armies, I may be permitted to recall in this connection. In the mellow twilight of an April day the two armies were holding their dress parades on the opposite hills bordering the river. At the close of the parade a magnificent brass band of the Union army played with great spirit the patriotic airs, "Hail Columbia," and "Yankee Doodle." Whereupon the Federal troops responded with a patriotic shout. The same band then played the soul-stirring strains of "Dixie," to which a mighty response came from ten thousand Southern troops. A few moments later, when the stars had come out as witnesses and when all nature was in harmony, there came from the same band the old melody, "Home, Sweet Home." As its familiar and pathetic notes rolled over the water and thrilled through the spirits of the soldiers, the hills reverberated with a thundering response from the united voices of both armies. What was there in this old, old music, to so touch the chords of sympathy, so thrill the spirits and cause the frames of brave men to tremble with emotion? It was the thought of home. To thousands, doubtless, it was the thought of that Eternal Home to which the next battle might be the gateway. To thousands of others it was the thought of their dear earthly homes, where loved ones at that twilight hour were bowing round the family altar, and asking God's care over the absent soldier boy.
--GENERAL J.B. GORDON, C.S.A.
WELCOME TO KOSSUTH
Let me ask you to imagine that the contest, in which the United States asserted their independence of Great Britain, had been unsuccessful; that our armies, through treason or a league of tyrants against us, had been broken and scattered; that the great men who led them, and who swayed our councils--our Washington, our Franklin, and the venerable president of the American Congress--had been driven forth as exiles. If there had existed at that day, in any part of the civilized world, a powerful Republic, with institutions resting on the same foundations of liberty which our own countrymen sought to establish, would there have been in that Republic any hospitality too cordial, any sympathy too deep, any zeal for their glorious but unfortunate cause, too fervent or too active to be shown toward these illustrious fugitives? Gentlemen, the case I have supposed is before you. The Washingtons, the Franklins, the Hancocks of Hungary, driven out by a far worse tyranny than was ever endured here, are wanderers in foreign lands. Some of them have sought a refuge in our country--one sits with this company our guest to-night--and we must measure the duty we owe them by the same standard which we would have had history apply, if our ancestors had met with a fate like theirs.
--WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
THE INFLUENCE OF UNIVERSITIES
When the excitement of party warfare presses dangerously near our national safeguards, I would have the intelligent conservatism of our universities and colleges warn the contestants in impressive tones against the perils of a breach impossible to repair.
When popular discontent and passion are stimulated by the arts of designing partisans to a pitch perilously near to class hatred or sectional anger, I would have our universities and colleges sound the alarm in the name of American brotherhood and fraternal dependence.
When the attempt is made to delude the people into the belief that their suffrages can change the operation of national laws, I would have our universities and colleges proclaim that those laws are inexorable and far removed from political control.
When selfish interest seeks undue private benefits through governmental aid, and public places are claimed as rewards of party service, I would have our universities and colleges persuade the people to a relinquishment of the demand for party spoils and exhort them to a disinterested and patriotic love of their government, whose unperverted operation secures to every citizen his just share of the safety and prosperity it holds in store for all.
I would have the influence of these institutions on the side of religion and morality. I would have those they send out among the people not ashamed to acknowledge God, and to proclaim His interposition in the affairs of men, enjoining such obedience to His laws as makes manifest the path of national perpetuity and prosperity
--GROVER CLEVELAND, delivered at the Princeton Sesqui-Centennial, 1896.
EULOGY OF GARFIELD
Great in life, he was surpassingly great in death. For no cause, in the very frenzy of wantonness and wickedness, by the red hand of murder, he was thrust from the full tide of this world's interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, its victories, into the visible presence of death--and he did not quail. Not alone for the one short moment in which, stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through weeks of agony, that was not less agony because silently borne, with clear CHAPTER XXX
sight and calm courage, he looked into his open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes, whose lips may tell--what brilliant, broken plans, what baffled, high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, manhood's friendships, what bitter rending of sweet household ties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation, a great host of sustaining friends, a cherished and happy mother, wearing the full rich honors of her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his; the little boys not yet emerged from childhood's day of frolic; the fair young daughter; the sturdy sons just springing into closest companionship, claiming every day and every day rewarding a father's love and care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing power to meet all demand. Before him, desolation and great darkness! And his soul was not shaken. His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound and universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he became the centre of a nation's love, enshrined in the prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy could not share with him his suffering. He trod the wine press alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin's bullet he heard the voice of God. With simple resignation he bowed to the Divine decree.
--JAMES G. BLAINE, delivered at the memorial service held by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
EULOGY OF LEE
At the bottom of all true heroism is unselfishness. Its crowning expression is sacrifice. The world is suspicious of vaunted heroes. But when the true hero has come, and we know that here he is in verity, ah! how the hearts of men leap forth to greet him! how worshipfully we welcome God's noblest work--the strong, honest, fearless, upright man. In Robert Lee was such a hero vouchsafed to us and to mankind, and whether we behold him declining command of the federal army to fight the battles and share the miseries of his own people; proclaiming on the heights in front of Gettysburg that the fault of the disaster was his own; leading charges in the crisis of combat; walking under the yoke of conquest without a murmur of complaint; or refusing fortune to come here and train the youth of his country in the paths of duty,--he is ever the same meek, grand, self-sacrificing spirit. Here he exhibited qualities not less worthy and heroic than those displayed on the broad and open theater of conflict, when the eyes of nations watched his every action. Here in the calm repose of civil and domestic duties, and in the trying routine of incessant tasks, he lived a life as high as when, day by day, he marshalled and led his thin and wasting lines, and slept by night upon the field that was to be drenched again in blood upon the morrow. And now he has vanished from us forever. And is this all that is left of him--this handful of dust beneath the marble stone? No! the ages answer as they rise from the gulfs of time, where lie the wrecks of kingdoms and estates, holding up in their hands as their only trophies, the names of those who have wrought for man in the love and fear of God, and in love--unfearing for their fellow-men.
No! the present answers, bending by his tomb. No! the future answers as the breath of the morning fans its radiant brow, and its soul drinks in sweet inspirations from the lovely life of Lee. No! methinks the very heavens echo, as melt into their depths the words of reverent love that voice the hearts of men to the tingling stars.
Come we then to-day in loyal love to sanctify our memories, to purify our hopes, to make strong all good intent by communion with the spirit of him who, being dead yet speaketh. Come, child, in thy spotless innocence; come, woman, in thy purity; come, youth, in thy prime; come, manhood, in thy strength; come, age, in thy ripe wisdom; come, citizen; come, soldier; let us strew the roses and lilies of June around his tomb, for he, like them, exhaled in his life Nature's beneficence, and the grave has consecrated that life and given it to us all; let us crown his tomb with the oak, the emblem of his strength, and with the laurel the emblem of his glory, and let these guns, whose voices he knew of old, awake the echoes of the mountains, that nature herself may join in his solemn requiem. Come, for here he rests, and
On this green bank, by this fair stream, We set to-day a votive stone, That memory may his deeds redeem?
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
--JOHN WARWICK DANIEL, on the unveiling of Lee's statue at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1883.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. Why should humor find a place in after-dinner speaking?
2. Briefly give your impressions of any notable after-dinner address that you have heard.
3. Briefly outline an imaginary occasion of any sort and give three subjects appropriate for addresses.
4. Deliver one such address, not to exceed ten minutes in length.
5. What proportion of emotional ideas do you find in the extracts given in this chapter?
6. Humor was used in some of the foregoing addresses--in which others would it have been inappropriate?
7. Prepare and deliver an after-dinner speech suited to one of the following occasions, and be sure to use humor:
A lodge banquet. A political party dinner. A church men's club dinner. A civic association banquet. A banquet in honor of a celebrity. A woman's club annual dinner. A business men's association dinner. A manufacturers'
club dinner. An alumni banquet. An old home week barbecue.
[Footnote 35: See also page 205.]
MAKING CONVERSATION EFFECTIVE
In conversation avoid the extremes of forwardness and reserve.
Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student.
--EMERSON, Essays: Circles.
The father of W.E. Gladstone considered conversation to be both an art and an accomplishment. Around the dinner table in his home some topic of local or national interest, or some debated question, was constantly being discussed. In this way a friendly rivalry for supremacy in conversation arose among the family, and an incident observed in the street, an idea gleaned from a book, a deduction from personal experience, was carefully stored as material for the family exchange. Thus his early years of practise in elegant conversation prepared the younger Gladstone for his career as a leader and speaker.
There is a sense in which the ability to converse effectively is efficient public speaking, for our conversation is often heard by many, and occasionally decisions of great moment hinge upon the tone and quality of what we say in private.
Indeed, conversation in the aggregate probably wields more power than press and platform combined.
Socrates taught his great truths, not from public rostrums, but in personal converse. Men made pilgrimages to Goethe's library and Coleridge's home to be charmed and instructed by their speech, and the culture of many nations was immeasurably influenced by the thoughts that streamed out from those rich well-springs.
Most of the world-moving speeches are made in the course of conversation. Conferences of diplomats, business-getting arguments, decisions by boards of directors, considerations of corporate policy, all of which influence the political, mercantile and economic maps of the world, are usually the results of careful though informal conversation, and the man whose opinions weigh in such crises is he who has first carefully pondered the words of both antagonist and protagonist.
However important it may be to attain self-control in light social converse, or about the family table, it is undeniably vital to have oneself perfectly in hand while taking part in a momentous conference. Then the hints that we have given on poise, alertness, precision of word, clearness of statement, and force of utterance, with respect to public speech, are equally applicable to conversation.
The form of nervous egotism--for it is both--that suddenly ends in flusters just when the vital words need to be uttered, is the sign of coming defeat, for a conversation is often a contest. If you feel this tendency embarrassing you, be sure to listen to Holmes's advice:
And when you stick on conversational burs, Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
Here bring your will into action, for your trouble is a wandering attention. You must force your mind to persist along the chosen line of conversation and resolutely refuse to be diverted by any subject or happening that may unexpectedly pop up to distract you. To fail here is to lose effectiveness utterly.
Concentration is the keynote of conversational charm and efficiency. The haphazard habit of expression that uses bird-shot when a bullet is needed insures missing the game, for diplomacy of all sorts rests upon the precise application of precise words, particularly--if one may paraphrase Tallyrand--in those crises when CHAPTER XXXI
language is no longer used to conceal thought.
We may frequently gain new light on old subjects by looking at word-derivations. Conversation signifies in the original a turn-about exchange of ideas, yet most people seem to regard it as a monologue. Bronson Alcott used to say that many could argue, but few converse. The first thing to remember in conversation, then, is that listening--respectful, sympathetic, alert listening--is not only due to our fellow converser but due to ourselves.
Many a reply loses its point because the speaker is so much interested in what he is about to say that it is really no reply at all but merely an irritating and humiliating irrelevancy.
Self-expression is exhilarating. This explains the eternal impulse to decorate totem poles and paint pictures, write poetry and expound philosophy. One of the chief delights of conversation is the opportunity it affords for self-expression. A good conversationalist who monopolizes all the conversation, will be voted a bore because he denies others the enjoyment of self-expression, while a mediocre talker who listens interestedly may be considered a good conversationalist because he permits his companions to please themselves through self-expression. They are praised who please: they please who listen well.
The first step in remedying habits of confusion in manner, awkward bearing, vagueness in thought, and lack of precision in utterance, is to recognize your faults. If you are serenely unconscious of them, no one--least of all yourself--can help you. But once diagnose your own weaknesses, and you can overcome them by doing four things:
1. WILL to overcome them, and keep on willing.
2. Hold yourself in hand by assuring yourself that you know precisely what you ought to say. If you cannot do that, be quiet until you are clear on this vital point.
3. Having thus assured yourself, cast out the fear of those who listen to you--they are only human and will respect your words if you really have something to say and say it briefly, simply, and clearly.
4. Have the courage to study the English language until you are master of at least its simpler forms.
Choose some subject that will prove of general interest to the whole group. Do not explain the mechanism of a gas engine at an afternoon tea or the culture of hollyhocks at a stag party.
It is not considered good taste for a man to bare his arm in public and show scars or deformities. It is equally bad form for him to flaunt his own woes, or the deformity of some one else's character. The public demands plays and stories that end happily. All the world is seeking happiness. They cannot long be interested in your ills and troubles. George Cohan made himself a millionaire before he was thirty by writing cheerful plays.
One of his rules is generally applicable to conversation: "Always leave them laughing when you say good bye."
Dynamite the "I" out of your conversation. Not one man in nine hundred and seven can talk about himself without being a bore. The man who can perform that feat can achieve marvels without talking about himself, so the eternal "I" is not permissible even in his talk.
If you habitually build your conversation around your own interests it may prove very tiresome to your listener. He may be thinking of bird dogs or dry fly fishing while you are discussing the fourth dimension, or the merits of a cucumber lotion. The charming conversationalist is prepared to talk in terms of his listener's interest. If his listener spends his spare time investigating Guernsey cattle or agitating social reforms, the discriminating conversationalist shapes his remarks accordingly. Richard Washburn Child says he knows a CHAPTER XXXI
man of mediocre ability who can charm men much abler than himself when he discusses electric lighting. This same man probably would bore, and be bored, if he were forced to converse about music or Madagascar.
Avoid platitudes and hackneyed phrases. If you meet a friend from Keokuk on State Street or on Pike's Peak, it is not necessary to observe: "How small this world is after all!" This observation was doubtless made prior to the formation of Pike's Peak. "This old world is getting better every day." "Fanner's wives do not have to work as hard as formerly." "It is not so much the high cost of living as the cost of high living." Such observations as these excite about the same degree of admiration as is drawn out by the appearance of a 1903-model touring car. If you have nothing fresh or interesting you can always remain silent. How would you like to read a newspaper that flashed out in bold headlines "Nice Weather We Are Having," or daily gave columns to the same old material you had been reading week after week?
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. Give a short speech describing the conversational bore.
2. In a few words give your idea of a charming converser.
3. What qualities of the orator should not be used in conversation.
4. Give a short humorous delineation of the conversational "oracle."
5. Give an account of your first day at observing conversation around you.
6. Give an account of one day's effort to improve your own conversation.
7. Give a list of subjects you heard discussed during any recent period you may select.
8. What is meant by "elastic touch" in conversation?
9. Make a list of "Bromides," as Gellett Burgess calls those threadbare expressions which "bore us to extinction"--itself a Bromide.
10. What causes a phrase to become hackneyed?
11. Define the words, ( a) trite; ( b) solecism; ( c) colloquialism; ( d) slang; ( e) vulgarism; ( f) neologism.
12. What constitutes pretentious talk?
FIFTY QUESTIONS FOR DEBATE
1. Has Labor Unionism justified its existence?
2. Should all church printing be brought out under the Union Label?
3. Is the Open Shop a benefit to the community?
4. Should arbitration of industrial disputes be made compulsory?
5. Is Profit-Sharing a solution of the wage problem?
6. Is a minimum wage law desirable?
7. Should the eight-hour day be made universal in America?
8. Should the state compensate those who sustain irreparable business loss because of the enactment of laws prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating drinks?
9. Should public utilities be owned by the municipality?
10. Should marginal trading in stocks be prohibited?
11. Should the national government establish a compulsory system of old-age insurance by taxing the incomes of those to be benefited?
12. Would the triumph of socialistic principles result in deadening personal ambition?
13. Is the Presidential System a better form of government for the United States than the Parliamental System?
14. Should our legislation be shaped toward the gradual abandonment of the protective tariff?
15. Should the government of the larger cities be vested solely in a commission of not more than nine men elected by the voters at large?
16. Should national banks be permitted to issue, subject to tax and government supervision, notes based on their general assets?
17. Should woman be given the ballot on the present basis of suffrage for men?
18. Should the present basis of suffrage be restricted?
19. Is the hope of permanent world-peace a delusion?
20. Should the United States send a diplomatic representative to the Vatican?
21. Should the Powers of the world substitute an international police for national standing armies?
22. Should the United States maintain the Monroe Doctrine?
23. Should the Recall of Judges be adopted?
24. Should the Initiative and Referendum be adopted as a national principle?
25. Is it desirable that the national government should own all railroads operating in interstate territory?
26. Is it desirable that the national government should own interstate telegraph and telephone systems?
27. Is the national prohibition of the liquor traffic an economic necessity?
28. Should the United States army and navy be greatly strengthened?
29. Should the same standards of altruism obtain in the relations of nations as in those of individuals?
30. Should our government be more highly centralized?
31. Should the United States continue its policy of opposing the combination of railroads?
32. In case of personal injury to a workman arising out of his employment, should his employer be liable for adequate compensation and be forbidden to set up as a defence a plea of contributory negligence on the part of the workman, or the negligence of a fellow workman?
33. Should all corporations doing an interstate business be required to take out a Federal license?
34. Should the amount of property that can be transferred by inheritance be limited by law?
35. Should equal compensation for equal labor, between women and men, universally prevail?
36. Does equal suffrage tend to lessen the interest of woman in her home?
37. Should the United States take advantage of the commercial and industrial weakness of foreign nations, brought about by the war, by trying to wrest from them their markets in Central and South America?
38. Should teachers of small children in the public schools be selected from among mothers?
39. Should football be restricted to colleges, for the sake of physical safety?
40. Should college students who receive compensation for playing summer baseball be debarred from amateur standing?
41. Should daily school-hours and school vacations both be shortened?
42. Should home-study for pupils in grade schools be abolished and longer school-hours substituted?
43. Should the honor system in examinations be adopted in public high-schools?
44. Should all colleges adopt the self-government system for its students?
45. Should colleges be classified by national law and supervision, and uniform entrance and graduation requirements maintained by each college in a particular class?
46. Should ministers be required to spend a term of years in some trade, business, or profession, before becoming pastors?
47. Is the Y.M.C.A. losing its spiritual power?
48. Is the church losing its hold on thinking people?
49. Are the people of the United States more devoted to religion than ever?
50. Does the reading of magazines contribute to intellectual shallowness?
THIRTY THEMES FOR SPEECHES
With Source References for Material.
1. KINSHIP, A FOUNDATION STONE OF CIVILIZATION. "The State," Woodrow Wilson.
2. INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM. "The Popular Initiative and Referendum," O.M. Barnes.
3. RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA. Article in Independent, 53: 2874; article in North American Review, 178: 205.
4. IS MANKIND PROGRESSING? Book of same title, M.M. Ballou.
5. MOSES THE PEERLESS LEADER. Lecture by John Lord, in "Beacon Lights of History." NOTE: This set of books contains a vast store of material for speeches.
6. THE SPOILS SYSTEM. Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Henry van Dyke, reported in the New York Tribune, February 25, 1895.
7. THE NEGRO IN BUSINESS. Part III, Annual Report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, Pennsylvania, 1912.
8. IMMIGRATION AND DEGRADATION. "Americans or Aliens?" Howard B. Grose.
9. WHAT IS THE THEATRE DOING FOR AMERICA? "The Drama Today," Charlton Andrews.
10. SUPERSTITION. "Curiosities of Popular Custom," William S. Walsh.
11. THE PROBLEM OF OLD AGE. "Old Age Deferred," Arnold Lorand.
12. WHO IS THE TRAMP? Article in Century, 28: 41.
13. TWO MEN INSIDE. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," R.L. Stevenson.
14. THE OVERTHROW OF POVERTY. "The Panacea for Poverty," Madison Peters.
15. MORALS AND MANNERS. "A Christian's Habits," Robert E. Speer.
16. JEW AND CHRISTIAN. "Jesus the Jew," Harold Weinstock.
17. EDUCATION AND THE MOVING PICTURE. Article by J. Berg Esenwein in "The Theatre of Science,"
18. BOOKS AS FOOD. "Books and Reading," R.C. Gage and Alfred Harcourt.
19. WHAT IS A NOVEL? "The Technique of the Novel," Charles F. Home.
20. MODERN FICTION AND MODERN LIFE. Article in Lippincott's, October, 1907.
21. OUR PROBLEM IN MEXICO. "The Real Mexico," Hamilton Fyfe.
22. THE JOY OF RECEIVING. Article in Woman's Home Companion, December, 1914.
23. PHYSICAL TRAINING VS. COLLEGE ATHLETICS. Article in Literary Digest, November 28, 1914.
24. CHEER UP. "The Science of Happiness," Jean Finot.
25. THE SQUARE PEG IN THE ROUND HOLE. "The Job, the Man, and the Boss," Katherine Blackford and Arthur Newcomb.
26. THE DECAY OF ACTING. Article in Current Opinion, November, 1914.
27. THE YOUNG MAN AND THE CHURCH. "A Young man's Religion," N. McGee Waters.
28. INHERITING SUCCESS. Article in Current Opinion, November, 1914.
29. THE INDIAN IN OKLAHOMA. Article in Literary Digest, November 28, 1914.
30. HATE AND THE NATION. Article in Literary Digest, November 14, 1914.
SUGGESTIVE SUBJECTS FOR SPEECHES
With Occasional Hints on Treatment
1. MOVIES AND MORALS.
2. THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING. The essence of truth-telling and lying. Lies that are not so considered. The subtleties of distinctions required. Examples of implied and acted lies.
3. BENEFITS THAT FOLLOW DISASTERS. Benefits that have arisen out of floods, fires, earthquakes, wars, etc.
4. HASTE FOR LEISURE. How the speed mania is born of a vain desire to enjoy a leisure that never comes or, on the contrary, how the seeming haste of the world has given men shorter hours off labor and more time for rest, study, and pleasure.
5. ST. PAUL'S MESSAGE TO NEW YORK. Truths from the Epistles pertinent to the great cities of today.
6. EDUCATION AND CRIME.
7. LOSS IS THE MOTHER OF GAIN. How many men have been content until, losing all, they exerted their best efforts to regain success, and succeeded more largely than before.
8. EGOISM vs. EGOTISM.
9. BLUNDERS OF YOUNG FOGYISM.
10. THE WASTE OF MIDDLE-MEN IN CHARITY SYSTEMS. The cost of collecting funds for, and administering help to, the needy. The weakness of organized philanthropy as compared with the giving that gives itself.
11. THE ECONOMY OF ORGANIZED CHARITY. The other side of the picture.
12. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The true forces that hurtfully control too many newspapers are not those of arbitrary governments but the corrupting influences of moneyed and political interests, fear of the liquor power, and the desire to please sensation-loving readers.
13. HELEN KELLER: OPTIMIST.
14. BACK TO THE FARM. A study of the reasons underlying the movement.
15. IT WAS EVER THUS. In ridicule of the pessimist who is never surprised at seeing failure.
16. THE VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL. Value of direct training compared with the policy of laying broader foundations for later building. How the two theories work out in practise. Each plan can be especially applied in cases that seem to need special treatment.
17. ALL KINDS OF TURNING DONE HERE. A humorous, yet serious, discussion of the flopping, wind-mill character.
18. THE EGOISTIC ALTRUIST. Herbert Spencer's theory as discussed in "The Data of Ethics."
19. HOW THE CITY MENACES THE NATION. Economic perils in massed population. Show also the other side. Signs of the problem's being solved.
20. THE ROBUST NOTE IN MODERN POETRY. A comparison of the work of Galsworthy, Masefield and Kipling with that of some earlier poets.
21. THE IDEALS OF SOCIALISM.
22. THE FUTURE OF THE SMALL CITY. How men are coming to see the economic advantages of smaller municipalities.
23. CENSORSHIP FOR THE THEATRE. Its relation to morals and art. Its difficulties and its benefits.
24. FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS. Mordecai's expression and its application to opportunities in modern woman's life.
25. IS THE PRESS VENAL?
26. SAFETY FIRST.
27. MENES AND EXTREMES.
28. RUBICONS AND PONTOONS. How great men not only made momentous decisions but created means to carry them out. A speech full of historical examples.
29. ECONOMY A REVENUE.
30. THE PATRIOTISM OF PROTEST AGAINST POPULAR IDOLS.
31. SAVONAROLA, THE DIVINE OUTCAST.
32. THE TRUE POLITICIAN. Revert to the original meaning of the word. Build the speech around one man as the chief example.
33. COLONELS AND SHELLS. Leadership and "cannon fodder"--a protest against war in its effect on the common people.
34. WHY IS A MILITANT? A dispassionate examination of the claims of the British militant suffragette.
35. ART AND MORALS. The difference between the nude and the naked in art.
36. CAN MY COUNTRY BE WRONG? False patriotism and true, with examples of popularly-hated patriots.
37. GOVERNMENT BY PARTY. An analysis of our present political system and the movement toward reform.
38. THE EFFECTS OF FICTION ON HISTORY.
39. THE EFFECTS OF HISTORY ON FICTION.
40. THE INFLUENCE OF WAR ON LITERATURE.
41. CHINESE GORDON. A eulogy.
42. TAXES AND HIGHER EDUCATION. Should all men be compelled to contribute to the support of universities and professional schools?
43. PRIZE CATTLE VS. PRIZE BABIES. Is Eugenics a science? And is it practicable?
44. BENEVOLENT AUTOCRACY. Is a strongly paternal government better for the masses than a much larger freedom for the individual?
45. SECOND-HAND OPINIONS. The tendency to swallow reviews instead of forming one's own views.
46. PARENTAGE OR POWER? A study of which form of aristocracy must eventually prevail, that of blood or that of talent.
47. THE BLESSING OF DISCONTENT. Based on many examples of what has been accomplished by those who have not "let well-enough alone."
48. "CORRUPT AND CONTENTED." A study of the relation of the apathetic voter to vicious government.
49. THE MOLOCH OF CHILD-LABOR.
50. EVERY MAN HAS A RIGHT TO WORK.