The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie - HTML preview

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I intended to buy a house this Spring (even if you did not).

I INTENDED to buy a house this Spring (but something prevented).

I intended to BUY a house this Spring (instead of renting as heretofore).

I intended to buy a HOUSE this Spring (and not an automobile).



I intended to buy a house THIS Spring (instead of next Spring).

I intended to buy a house this SPRING (instead of in the Autumn).

When a great battle is reported in the papers, they do not keep emphasizing the same facts over and over again. They try to get new information, or a "new slant." The news that takes an important place in the morning edition will be relegated to a small space in the late afternoon edition. We are interested in new ideas and new facts. This principle has a very important bearing in determining your emphasis. Do not emphasize the same idea over and over again unless you desire to lay extra stress on it; Senator Thurston desired to put the maximum amount of emphasis on "force" in his speech on page 50. Note how force is emphasized repeatedly. As a general rule, however, the new idea, the "new slant," whether in a newspaper report of a battle or a speaker's enunciation of his ideas, is emphatic.

In the following selection, "larger" is emphatic, for it is the new idea. All men have eyes, but this man asks for a LARGER eye.

This man with the larger eye says he will discover, not rivers or safety appliances for aeroplanes, but NEW

STARS and SUNS. "New stars and suns" are hardly as emphatic as the word "larger." Why? Because we expect an astronomer to discover heavenly bodies rather than cooking recipes. The words, "Republic needs"

in the next sentence, are emphatic; they introduce a new and important idea. Republics have always needed men, but the author says they need NEW men. "New" is emphatic because it introduces a new idea. In like manner, "soil," "grain," "tools," are also emphatic.

The most emphatic words are italicized in this selection. Are there any others you would emphasize? Why?

The old astronomer said, "Give me a larger eye, and I will discover new stars and suns." That is what the republic needs today-- new men--men who are wise toward the soil, toward the grains, toward the tools. If God would only raise up for the people two or three men like Watt, Fulton and McCormick, they would be worth more to the State than that treasure box named California or Mexico. And the real supremacy of man is based upon his capacity for education. Man is unique in the length of his childhood, which means the period of plasticity and education. The childhood of a moth, the distance that stands between the hatching of the robin and its maturity, represent a few hours or a few weeks, but twenty years for growth stands between man's cradle and his citizenship. This protracted childhood makes it possible to hand over to the boy all the accumulated stores achieved by races and civilizations through thousands of years.

-- Anonymous.

You must understand that there are no steel-riveted rules of emphasis. It is not always possible to designate which word must, and which must not be emphasized. One speaker will put one interpretation on a speech, another speaker will use different emphasis to bring out a different interpretation. No one can say that one interpretation is right and the other wrong. This principle must be borne in mind in all our marked exercises.

Here your own intelligence must guide--and greatly to your profit.


1. What is emphasis?

2. Describe one method of destroying monotony of thought-presentation.

3. What relation does this have to the use of the voice?

4. Which words should be emphasized, which subordinated, in a sentence?



5. Read the selections on pages 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54, devoting special attention to emphasizing the important words or phrases and subordinating the unimportant ones. Read again, changing emphasis slightly. What is the effect?

6. Read some sentence repeatedly, emphasizing a different word each time, and show how the meaning is changed, as is done on page 22.

7. What is the effect of a lack of emphasis?

8. Read the selections on pages 30 and 48, emphasizing every word. What is the effect on the emphasis?

9. When is it permissible to emphasize every single word in a sentence?

10. Note the emphasis and subordination in some conversation or speech you have heard. Were they well made? Why? Can you suggest any improvement?

11. From a newspaper or a magazine, clip a report of an address, or a biographical eulogy. Mark the passage for emphasis and bring it with you to class.

12. In the following passage, would you make any changes in the author's markings for emphasis? Where?

Why? Bear in mind that not all words marked require the same degree of emphasis-- in a wide variety of emphasis, and in nice shading of the gradations, lie the excellence of emphatic speech.

I would call him Napoleon, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. "No Retaliation" was his great motto and the rule of his life; and the last words uttered to his son in France were these: "My boy, you will one day go back to Santo Domingo; forget that France murdered your father." I would call him Cromwell, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down with him into his grave. I would call him Washington, but the great Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest village of his dominions.

You think me a fanatic to-night, for you read history, not with your eyes, but with your prejudices. But fifty years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of History will put Phocion for the Greek, and Brutus for the Roman, Hampden for England, Lafayette for France, choose Washington as the bright, consummate flower of our earlier civilization, and John Brown the ripe fruit of our noonday, then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

--WENDELL PHILLIPS, Toussaint l'Ouverture.

Practise on the following selections for emphasis: Beecher's "Abraham Lincoln," page 76; Lincoln's

"Gettysburg Speech," page 50; Seward's "Irrepressible Conflict," page 67; and Bryan's "Prince of Peace," page 448.





Speech is simply a modified form of singing: the principal difference being in the fact that in singing the vowel sounds are prolonged and the intervals are short, whereas in speech the words are uttered in what may be called "staccato" tones, the vowels not being specially prolonged and the intervals between the words being more distinct. The fact that in singing we have a larger range of tones does not properly distinguish it from ordinary speech. In speech we have likewise a variation of tones, and even in ordinary conversation there is a difference of from three to six semi-tones, as I have found in my investigations, and in some persons the range is as high as one octave.

--WILLIAM SCHEPPEGRELL, Popular Science Monthly.

By pitch, as everyone knows, we mean the relative position of a vocal tone--as, high, medium, low, or any variation between. In public speech we apply it not only to a single utterance, as an exclamation or a monosyllable ( Oh! or the) but to any group of syllables, words, and even sentences that may be spoken in a single tone. This distinction it is important to keep in mind, for the efficient speaker not only changes the pitch of successive syllables (see Chapter VII, "Efficiency through Inflection"), but gives a different pitch to different parts, or word-groups, of successive sentences. It is this phase of the subject which we are considering in this chapter.

Every Change in the Thought Demands a Change in the Voice-Pitch Whether the speaker follows the rule consciously, unconsciously, or subconsciously, this is the logical basis upon which all good voice variation is made, yet this law is violated more often than any other by public speakers. A criminal may disregard a law of the state without detection and punishment, but the speaker who violates this regulation suffers its penalty at once in his loss of effectiveness, while his innocent hearers must endure the monotony--for monotony is not only a sin of the perpetrator, as we have shown, but a plague on the victims as well.

Change of pitch is a stumbling block for almost all beginners, and for many experienced speakers also. This is especially true when the words of the speech have been memorized.

If you wish to hear how pitch-monotony sounds, strike the same note on the piano over and over again. You have in your speaking voice a range of pitch from high to low, with a great many shades between the extremes. With all these notes available there is no excuse for offending the ears and taste of your audience by continually using the one note. True, the reiteration of the same tone in music--as in pedal point on an organ composition--may be made the foundation of beauty, for the harmony weaving about that one basic tone produces a consistent, insistent quality not felt in pure variety of chord sequences. In like manner the intoning voice in a ritual may--though it rarely does--possess a solemn beauty. But the public speaker should shun the monotone as he would a pestilence.

Continual Change of Pitch is Nature's Highest Method

In our search for the principles of efficiency we must continually go back to nature. Listen--really listen--to the birds sing. Which of these feathered tribes are most pleasing in their vocal efforts: those whose voices, though sweet, have little or no range, or those that, like the canary, the lark, and the nightingale, not only possess a considerable range but utter their notes in continual variety of combinations? Even a sweet-toned chirp, when reiterated without change, may grow maddening to the enforced listener.



The little child seldom speaks in a monotonous pitch. Observe the conversations of little folk that you hear on the street or in the home, and note the continual changes of pitch. The unconscious speech of most adults is likewise full of pleasing variations.

Imagine someone speaking the following, and consider if the effect would not be just about as indicated.

Remember, we are not now discussing the inflection of single words, but the general pitch in which phrases are spoken.

(High pitch) "I'd like to leave for my vacation tomorrow,--(lower) still, I have so much to do. (Higher) Yet I suppose if I wait until I have time I'll never go."

Repeat this, first in the pitches indicated, and then all in the one pitch, as many speakers would. Observe the difference in naturalness of effect.

The following exercise should be spoken in a purely conversational tone, with numerous changes of pitch.

Practise it until your delivery would cause a stranger in the next room to think you were discussing an actual incident with a friend, instead of delivering a memorized monologue. If you are in doubt about the effect you have secured, repeat it to a friend and ask him if it sounds like memorized words. If it does, it is wrong.


Jack, I hear you've gone and done it.--Yes, I know; most fellows will; went and tried it once myself, sir, though you see I'm single still. And you met her--did you tell me--down at Newport, last July, and resolved to ask the question at a soirée? So did I.

I suppose you left the ball-room, with its music and its light; for they say love's flame is brightest in the darkness of the night. Well, you walked along together, overhead the starlit sky; and I'll bet--old man, confess it--you were frightened. So was I.

So you strolled along the terrace, saw the summer moonlight pour all its radiance on the waters, as they rippled on the shore, till at length you gathered courage, when you saw that none was nigh--did you draw her close and tell her that you loved her? So did I.

Well, I needn't ask you further, and I'm sure I wish you joy. Think I'll wander down and see you when you're married--eh, my boy? When the honeymoon is over and you're settled down, we'll try--What? the deuce you say! Rejected--you rejected? So was I.

-- Anonymous.

The necessity for changing pitch is so self-evident that it should be grasped and applied immediately.

However, it requires patient drill to free yourself from monotony of pitch.

In natural conversation you think of an idea first, and then find words to express it. In memorized speeches you are liable to speak the words, and then think what they mean--and many speakers seem to trouble very little even about that. Is it any wonder that reversing the process should reverse the result? Get back to nature in your methods of expression.

Read the following selection in a nonchalant manner, never pausing to think what the words really mean. Try it again, carefully studying the thought you have assimilated. Believe the idea, desire to express it effectively, and imagine an audience before you. Look them earnestly in the face and repeat this truth. If you follow directions, you will note that you have made many changes of pitch after several readings.



It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more upon a man than he can bear. Worry is rust upon the blade. It is not the revolution that destroys the machinery but the friction.


Change of Pitch Produces Emphasis

This is a highly important statement. Variety in pitch maintains the hearer's interest, but one of the surest ways to compel attention--to secure unusual emphasis--is to change the pitch of your voice suddenly and in a marked degree. A great contrast always arouses attention. White shows whiter against black; a cannon roars louder in the Sahara silence than in the Chicago hurly burly--these are simple illustrations of the power of contrast.

"What is Congress going to do next? ----------------------------------- (High pitch) | | | I do not know."

----------------- (Low pitch)

By such sudden change of pitch during a sermon Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis recently achieved great emphasis and suggested the gravity of the question he had raised.

The foregoing order of pitch-change might be reversed with equally good effect, though with a slight change in seriousness--either method produces emphasis when used intelligently, that is, with a common-sense appreciation of the sort of emphasis to be attained.

In attempting these contrasts of pitch it is important to avoid unpleasant extremes. Most speakers pitch their voices too high. One of the secrets of Mr. Bryan's eloquence is his low, bell-like voice. Shakespeare said that a soft, gentle, low voice was "an excellent thing in woman;" it is no less so in man, for a voice need not be blatant to be powerful,--and must not be, to be pleasing.

In closing, let us emphasize anew the importance of using variety of pitch. You sing up and down the scale, first touching one note and then another above or below it. Do likewise in speaking.

Thought and individual taste must generally be your guide as to where to use a low, a moderate, or a high pitch.


1. Name two methods of destroying monotony and gaining force in speaking.

2. Why is a continual change of pitch necessary in speaking?

3. Notice your habitual tones in speaking. Are they too high to be pleasant?

4. Do we express the following thoughts and emotions in a low or a high pitch? Which may be expressed in either high or low pitch? Excitement. Victory. Defeat. Sorrow. Love. Earnestness. Fear.

5. How would you naturally vary the pitch in introducing an explanatory or parenthetical expression like the following:

He started-- that is, he made preparations to start--on September third.

6. Speak the following lines with as marked variations in pitch as your interpretation of the sense may dictate.

Try each line in two different ways. Which, in each instance, is the more effective--and why?



What have I to gain from you? Nothing.

To engage our nation in such a compact would be an infamy.

Note: In the foregoing sentence, experiment as to where the change in pitch would better be made.

Once the flowers distilled their fragrance here, but now see the devastations of war.

He had reckoned without one prime factor--his conscience.

7. Make a diagram of a conversation you have heard, showing where high and low pitches were used. Were these changes in pitch advisable? Why or why not?

8. Read the selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38, paying careful attention to the changes in pitch. Reread, substituting low pitch for high, and vice versa.

Selections for Practise

Note: In the following selections, those passages that may best be delivered in a moderate pitch are printed in ordinary (roman) type. Those which may be rendered in a high pitch--do not make the mistake of raising the voice too high--are printed in italics. Those which might well be spoken in a low pitch are printed in CAPITALS.

These arrangements, however, are merely suggestive--we cannot make it strong enough that you must use your own judgment in interpreting a selection. Before doing so, however, it is well to practise these passages as they are marked.

Yes, all men labor. RUFUS CHOATE AND DANIEL WEBSTER labor, say the critics. But every man who reads of the labor question knows that it means the movement of the men that earn their living with their hands; THAT ARE EMPLOYED, AND PAID WAGES: are gathered under roofs of factories, sent out on farms, sent out on ships, gathered on the walls. In popular acceptation, the working class means the men that work with their hands, for wages, so many hours a day, employed by great capitalists; that work for everybody else. Why do we move for this class? " Why," asks a critic, " don't you move FOR ALL


ARGUING THE MEXICAN CLAIMS, there is no need of anybody's moving for him. BECAUSE, WHILE

RUFUS CHOATE GETS FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR MAKING ONE ARGUMENT TO A JURY, there is no need of moving for him, or for the men that work with their brains,--that do highly disciplined and skilled labor, invent, and write books. The reason why the Labor movement confines itself to a single class is because that class of work DOES NOT GET PAID, does not get protection. MENTAL LABOR is adequately paid, and MORE THAN ADEQUATELY protected. IT CAN SHIFT ITS CHANNELS; it can vary according to the supply and demand.

IF A MAN FAILS AS A MINISTER, why, he becomes a railway conductor. IF THAT DOESN'T SUIT HIM, he goes West, and becomes governor of a territory. AND IF HE FINDS HIMSELF INCAPABLE OF EITHER OF

THESE POSITIONS, he comes home, and gets to be a city editor. He varies his occupation as he pleases, and doesn't need protection. BUT THE GREAT MASS, CHAINED TO A TRADE, DOOMED TO BE GROUND UP


THE GREAT RUTS OF BUSINESS,--they are the men whose inadequate protection, whose unfair share of the general product, claims a movement in their behalf.





CARRY, THE ASSAULTS WE MUST ENDURE--KNOWING FULL WELL THE COST--yet we enlist, and we enlist for the war. FOR WE KNOW THE JUSTICE OF OUR CAUSE, and we know, too, its certain triumph.

NOT RELUCTANTLY THEN, but eagerly, not with faint hearts BUT STRONG, do we now advance upon the enemies of the people. FOR THE CALL THAT COMES TO US is the call that came to our fathers. As they responded so shall we.

" HE HATH SOUNDED FORTH A TRUMPET that shall never call retreat. HE IS SIFTING OUT THE


JUBILANT OUR FEET, Our God is marching on."


Remember that two sentences, or two parts of the same sentence, which contain changes of thought, cannot possibly be given effectively in the same key. Let us repeat, every big change of thought requires a big change of pitch. What the beginning student will think are big changes of pitch will be monotonously alike. Learn to speak some thoughts in a very high tone--others in a very, very low tone. DEVELOP RANGE. It is almost impossible to use too much of it.


HISTORIC SOIL and my eyes to the knowledge of her beauty and her thrift. Here within touch of Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill-- WHERE WEBSTER THUNDERED and Longfellow sang, Emerson thought AND

CHANNING PREACHED--HERE IN THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN LETTERS and almost of American liberty, I hasten to make the obeisance that every American owes New England when first he stands uncovered in her mighty presence. Strange apparition! This stern and unique figure--carved from the ocean and the wilderness--its majesty kindling and growing amid the storms of winter and of wars--until at last the gloom was broken, ITS BEAUTY DISCLOSED IN THE SUNSHINE, and the heroic workers rested at its base--while startled kings and emperors gazed and marveled that from the rude touch of this handful cast on a bleak and unknown shore should have come the embodied genius of human government AND THE

PERFECTED MODEL OF HUMAN LIBERTY! God bless the memory of those immortal workers, and prosper the fortunes of their living sons--and perpetuate the inspiration of their handiwork....

Far to the South, Mr. President, separated from this section by a line-- once defined in irrepressible difference, once traced in fratricidal blood, AND NOW, THANK GOD, BUT A VANISHING SHADOW--lies the fairest and richest domain of this earth. It is the home of a brave and hospitable people. THERE IS CENTERED ALL

THAT CAN PLEASE OR PROSPER HUMANKIND. A PERFECT CLIMATE ABOVE a fertile soil yields to the husbandman every product of the temperate zone.

There, by night the cotton whitens beneath the stars, and by day THE WHEAT LOCKS THE SUNSHINE IN

ITS BEARDED SHEAF. In the same field the clover steals the fragrance of the wind, and tobacco catches the quick aroma of the rains. THERE ARE MOUNTAINS STORED WITH EXHAUSTLESS TREASURES: forests--vast and primeval; and rivers that, tumbling or loitering, run wanton to the sea. Of the three essential items of all industries--cotton, iron and wood--that region has easy control. IN COTTON, a fixed monopoly--IN IRON, proven supremacy--IN TIMBER, the reserve supply of the Republic. From this assured and permanent advantage, against which artificial conditions cannot much longer prevail, has grown an amazing system of industries. Not maintained by human contrivance of tariff or capital, afar off from the fullest and cheapest source of supply, but resting in divine assurance, within touch of field and mine and forest--not set amid costly farms from which competition has driven the farmer in despair, but amid cheap and sunny lands, rich with agriculture, to which neither season nor soil has set a limit--this system of industries is mounting to a splendor that shall dazzle and illumine the world. THAT, SIR, is the picture and the promise of my home--A LAND BETTER AND FAIRER THAN I HAVE TOLD YOU, and yet but fit setting in its material CHAPTER IV


excellence for the loyal and gentle quality of its citizenship.

This hour little needs the LOYALTY THAT IS LOYAL TO ONE SECTION and yet holds the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement. Give us the broad and perfect loyalty that loves and trusts GEORGIA alike with Massachusetts--that knows no SOUTH, no North, no EAST, no West, but endears with equal and patriotic love every foot of our soil, every State of our Union.

A MIGHTY DUTY, SIR, AND A MIGHTY INSPIRATION impels every one of us to-night to lose in patriotic consecration WHATEVER ESTRANGES, WHATEVER DIVIDES.

WE, SIR, are Americans--AND WE STAND FOR HUMAN LIBERTY! The uplifting force of the American idea is under every throne on earth. France, Brazil--THESE ARE OUR VICTORIES. To redeem the earth from kingcraft and oppression--THIS IS OUR MISSION! AND WE SHALL NOT FAIL. God has sown in our soil the seed of His millennial harvest, and He will not lay the sickle to the ripening crop until His full and perfect day has come. OUR HISTORY, SIR, has been a constant and expanding miracle, FROM PLYMOUTH ROCK

AND JAMESTOWN, all the way--aye, even from the hour when from the voiceless and traceless ocean a new world rose to the sight of the inspired sailor. As we approach the fourth centennial of that stupendous day--when the old world will come to marvel and to learn amid our gathered treasures--let us resolve to crown the miracles of our past with the spectacle of a Republic, compact, united INDISSOLUBLE IN THE BONDS

OF LOVE--loving from the Lakes to the Gulf--the wounds of war healed in every heart as on every hill, serene and resplendent AT THE SUMMIT OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT AND EARTHLY GLORY, blazing out the path and making clear the way up which all the nations of the earth, must come in God's appointed time!

--HENRY W. GRADY, The Race Problem.

... I WOULD CALL HIM NAPOLEON, but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word. "No Retaliation" was his great motto and the rule of his life; AND THE LAST WORDS UTTERED TO HIS SON IN FRANCE WERE THESE: "My boy, you will one day go back to Santo Domingo; forget that France murdered your father." I WOULD CALL HIM CROMWELL, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded went down with him into his grave. I WOULD CALL

HIM WASHINGTON, but the great Virginian held slaves. THIS MAN RISKED HIS EMPIRE rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest village of his dominions.

YOU THINK ME A FANATIC TO-NIGHT, for you read history, not with your eyes, BUT WITH YOUR

PREJUDICES. But fifty years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of History will put PHOCION for the Greek, and BRUTUS for the Roman, HAMPDEN for England, LAFAYETTE for France, choose WASHINGTON as the bright, consummate flower of our EARLIER civilization, AND JOHN BROWN the ripe fruit of our NOONDAY, then, dipping her pen in the sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, the name of THE SOLDIER, THE STATESMAN, THE MARTYR, TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

--Wendell Phillips, Toussaint l'Ouverture.

Drill on the following selections for change of pitch: Beecher's "Abraham Lincoln," p. 76; Seward's

"Irrepressible Conflict," p. 67; Everett's "History of Liberty," p. 78; Grady's "The Race Problem," p. 36; and Beveridge's "Pass Prosperity Around," p. 470.





Hear how he clears the points o' Faith Wi' rattlin' an' thumpin'! Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath, He's stampin' an' he's jumpin'.

--ROBERT BURNS, Holy Fair.

The Latins have bequeathed to us a word that has no precise equivalent in our tongue, therefore we have accepted it, body unchanged--it is the word tempo, and means rate of movement, as measured by the time consumed in executing that movement.

Thus far its use has been largely limited to the vocal and musical arts, but it would not be surprising to hear tempo applied to more concrete matters, for it perfectly illustrates the real meaning of the word to say that an ox-cart moves in slow tempo, an express train in a fast tempo. Our guns that fire six hundred times a minute, shoot at a fast tempo; the old muzzle loader that required three minutes to load, shot at a slow tempo. Every musician understands this principle: it requires longer to sing a half note than it does an eighth note.

Now tempo is a tremendously important element in good platform work, for when a speaker delivers a whole address at very nearly the same rate of speed he is depriving himself of one of his chief means of emphasis and power. The baseball pitcher, the bowler in cricket, the tennis server, all know the value of change of pace--change of tempo--in delivering their ball, and so must the public speaker observe its power.

Change of Tempo Lends Naturalness to the Delivery

Naturalness, or at least seeming naturalness, as was explained in the chapter on "Monotony," is greatly to be desired, and a continual change of tempo will go a long way towards establishing it. Mr. Howard Lindsay, Stage Manager for Miss Margaret Anglin, recently said to the present writer that change of pace was one of the most effective tools of the actor. While it must be admitted that the stilted mouthings of many actors indicate cloudy mirrors, still the public speaker would do well to study the actor's use of tempo.

There is, however, a more fundamental and effective source at which to study naturalness--a trait which, once lost, is shy of recapture: that source is the common conversation of any well-bred circle. This is the standard we strive to reach on both stage and platform--with certain differences, of course, which will appear as we go on. If speaker and actor were to reproduce with absolute fidelity every variation of utterance--every whisper, grunt, pause, silence, and explosion--of conversation as we find it typically in everyday life, much of the interest would leave the public utterance. Naturalness in public address is something more than faithful reproduction of nature--it is the reproduction of those typical parts of nature's work which are truly representative of the whole.

The realistic story-writer understands this in writing dialogue, and we must take it into account in seeking for naturalness through change of tempo.

Suppose you speak the first of the following sentences in a slow tempo, the second quickly, observing how natural is the effect. Then speak both with the same rapidity and note the difference.

I can't recall what I did with my knife. Oh, now I remember I gave it to Mary.

We see here that a change of tempo often occurs in the same sentence--for tempo applies not only to single words, groups of words, and groups of sentences, but to the major parts of a public speech as well.




1. In the following, speak the words "long, long while" very slowly; the rest of the sentence is spoken in moderately rapid tempo.

When you and I behind the Veil are past, Oh but the long, long while the world shall last, Which of our coming and departure heeds, As the seven seas should heed a pebble cast.

Note: In the following selections the passages that should be given a fast tempo are in italics; those that should be given in a slow tempo are in small capitals. Practise these selections, and then try others, changing from fast to slow tempo on different parts, carefully noting the effect.

2. No MIRABEAU, NAPOLEON, BURNS, CROMWELL, NO man ADEQUATE to DO ANYTHING but is first of all in RIGHT EARNEST about it--what I call A SINCERE man. I should say SINCERITY, a GREAT, DEEP, GENUINE SINCERITY, is the first CHARACTERISTIC of a man in any way HEROIC.

Not the sincerity that CALLS itself sincere. Ah no. That is a very poor matter indeed--A SHALLOW, BRAGGART, CONSCIOUS sincerity, oftenest SELF-CONCEIT mainly. The GREAT MAN'S SINCERITY


3. TRUE WORTH is in BEING--NOT SEEMING-- in doing each day that goes by SOME LITTLE GOOD, not in DREAMING of GREAT THINGS to do by and by. For whatever men say in their BLINDNESS, and in spite of the FOLLIES of YOUTH, there is nothing so KINGLY as KINDNESS, and nothing so ROYAL as TRUTH.-- Anonymous.

4. To get a natural effect, where would you use slow and where fast tempo in the following?


See him there, cold and gray, Watch him as he tries to play; No, he doesn't know the way-- He began to learn too late. She's a grim old hag, is Fate, For she let him have his pile, Smiling to herself the while, Knowing what the cost would be, When he'd found the Golden Key. Multimillionaire is he, Many times more rich than we; But at that I wouldn't trade With the bargain that he made. Came here many years ago, Not a person did he know; Had the money-hunger bad-- Mad for money, piggish mad; Didn't let a joy divert him, Didn't let a sorrow hurt him, Let his friends and kin desert him, While he planned and plugged and hurried On his quest for gold and power. Every single wakeful hour With a money thought he'd dower; All the while as he grew older, And grew bolder, he grew colder. And he thought that some day He would take the time to play; But, say--he was wrong. Life's a song; In the spring Youth can sing and can fling; But joys wing When we're older, Like birds when it's colder. The roses were red as he went rushing by, And glorious tapestries hung in the sky, And the clover was waving 'Neath honey-bees' slaving; A bird over there Roundelayed a soft air; But the man couldn't spare Time for gathering flowers, Or resting in bowers, Or gazing at skies That gladdened the eyes.

So he kept on and swept on Through mean, sordid years. Now he's up to his ears In the choicest of stocks. He owns endless blocks Of houses and shops, And the stream never stops Pouring into his banks. I suppose that he ranks Pretty near to the top. What I have wouldn't sop His ambition one tittle; And yet with my little I don't care to trade With the bargain he made. Just watch him to-day-- See him trying to play. He's come back for blue skies. But they're in a new guise-- Winter's here, all is gray, The birds are away, The meadows are brown, The leaves lie aground, And the gay brook that wound With a swirling and whirling Of waters, is furling Its bosom in ice. And he hasn't the price, With all of his gold, To buy what he sold. He knows now the cost Of the spring-time he lost, Of the flowers he tossed From his way, And, say, He'd pay Any price if the day Could be made not so gray. He can't play.

--HERBERT KAUFMAN. Used by permission of Everybody's Magazine.



Change of Tempo Prevents Monotony

The canary in the cage before the window is adding to the beauty and charm of his singing by a continual change of tempo. If King Solomon had been an orator he undoubtedly would have gathered wisdom from the song of the wild birds as well as from the bees. Imagine a song written with but quarter notes. Imagine an auto with only one speed.


1. Note the change of tempo indicated in the following, and how it gives a pleasing variety. Read it aloud.

(Fast tempo is indicated by italics, slow by small capitals.)

And he thought that some day he would take the time to play; but, say--HE WAS WRONG. LIFE'S A SONG; in the SPRING YOUTH can SING and can FLING; BUT JOYS WING WHEN WE'RE OLDER, LIKE THE

BIRDS when it's COLDER. The roses were red as he went rushing by, and glorious tapestries hung in the sky.

2. Turn to "Fools Gold," on Page 42, and deliver it in an unvaried tempo: note how monotonous is the result.

This poem requires a great many changes of tempo, and is an excellent one for practise.

3. Use the changes of tempo indicated in the following, noting how they prevent monotony. Where no change of tempo is indicated, use a moderate speed. Too much of variety would really be a return to monotony.


"A MOB KILLS THE WRONG MAN" was flashed in a newspaper headline lately. The mob is an IRRESPONSIBLE, UNTHINKING MASS. It always destroys BUT NEVER CONSTRUCTS. It criticises BUT NEVER CREATES.

Utter a great truth AND THE MOB WILL HATE YOU. See how it condemned DANTE to EXILE.

Encounter the dangers of the unknown world for its benefit, AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU

CRAZY. It ridiculed COLUMBUS, and for discovering a new world GAVE HIM PRISON AND CHAINS.

Write a poem to thrill human hearts with pleasure, AND THE MOB WILL ALLOW YOU TO GO

HUNGRY: THE BLIND HOMER BEGGED BREAD THROUGH THE STREETS. Invent a machine to save labor AND THE MOB WILL DECLARE YOU ITS ENEMY. Less than a hundred years ago a furious rabble smashed Thimonier's invention, the sewing machine.


ATTEMPT OF "FULTON'S FOLLY," as they called his little steamboat.

Emerson says: "A mob is a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves of reason and traversing its work. The mob is man voluntarily descended to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of activity is NIGHT. ITS

ACTIONS ARE INSANE, like its whole constitution. It persecutes a principle--IT WOULD WHIP A RIGHT. It would tar and feather justice by inflicting fire and outrage upon the house and persons of those who have these."

The mob spirit stalks abroad in our land today. Every week gives a fresh victim to its malignant cry for blood.

There were 48 persons killed by mobs in the United States in 1913; 64 in 1912, and 71 in 1911. Among the 48

last year were a woman and a child. Two victims were proven innocent after their death.




DEATH and he was sentenced to the hemlock cup. FOURTEEN HUNDRED YEARS AFTERWARD AN

ENTHUSIAST APPEALED TO THE POPULAR MOB and all Europe plunged into the Holy Land to kill and mangle the heathen. In the seventeenth century a demagog appealed to the ignorance of men AND


WITCHCRAFT. Two thousand years ago the mob yelled, " RELEASE UNTO US BARABBAS"--AND


-- From an Editorial by D.C. in "Leslie's Weekly," by permission.

Present-day business is as unlike OLD-TIME BUSINESS as the OLD-TIME OX-CART is unlike the present-day locomotive. INVENTION has made the whole world over again. The railroad, telegraph, telephone have bound the people of MODERN NATIONS into FAMILIES. To do the business of these closely knit millions in every modern country GREAT BUSINESS CONCERNS CAME INTO BEING. What we call big business is the CHILD OF THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS OF MANKIND. So warfare to destroy big business is FOOLISH BECAUSE IT CAN NOT SUCCEED and wicked BECAUSE IT OUGHT NOT TO

SUCCEED. Warfare to destroy big business does not hurt big business, which always comes out on top, SO




Change of Tempo Produces Emphasis

Any big change of tempo is emphatic and will catch the attention. You may scarcely be conscious that a passenger train is moving when it is flying over the rails at ninety miles an hour, but if it slows down very suddenly to a ten-mile gait your attention will be drawn to it very decidedly. You may forget that you are listening to music as you dine, but let the orchestra either increase or diminish its tempo in a very marked degree and your attention will be arrested at once.

This same principle will procure emphasis in a speech. If you have a point that you want to bring home to your audience forcefully, make a sudden and great change of tempo, and they will be powerless to keep from paying attention to that point. Recently the present writer saw a play in which these lines were spoken:

"I don't want you to forget what I said. I want you to remember it the longest day you--I don't care if you've got six guns." The part up to the dash was delivered in a very slow tempo, the remainder was named out at lightning speed, as the character who was spoken to drew a revolver. The effect was so emphatic that the lines are remembered six months afterwards, while most of the play has faded from memory. The student who has powers of observation will see this principle applied by all our best actors in their efforts to get emphasis where emphasis is due. But remember that the emotion in the matter must warrant the intensity in the manner, or the effect will be ridiculous. Too many public speakers are impressive over nothing.

Thought rather than rules must govern you while practising change of pace. It is often a matter of no consequence which part of a sentence is spoken slowly and which is given in fast tempo. The main thing to be desired is the change itself. For example, in the selection, "The Mob," on page 46, note the last paragraph.

Reverse the instructions given, delivering everything that is marked for slow tempo, quickly; and everything that is marked for quick tempo, slowly. You will note that the force or meaning of the passage has not been destroyed.

However, many passages cannot be changed to a slow tempo without destroying their force. Instances: The Patrick Henry speech on page 110, and the following passage from Whittier's "Barefoot Boy."



O for boyhood's time of June, crowding years in one brief moon, when all things I heard or saw, me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, humming-birds and honey-bees; for my sport the squirrel played; plied the snouted mole his spade; for my taste the blackberry cone purpled over hedge and stone; laughed the brook for my delight through the day and through the night, whispering at the garden wall, talked with me from fall to fall; mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond; mine the walnut slopes beyond; mine, an bending orchard trees, apples of Hesperides! Still, as my horizon grew, larger grew my riches, too; all the world I saw or knew seemed a complex Chinese toy, fashioned for a barefoot boy!


Be careful in regulating your tempo not to get your movement too fast. This is a common fault with amateur speakers. Mrs. Siddons rule was, "Take time." A hundred years ago there was used in medical circles a preparation known as "the shot gun remedy;" it was a mixture of about fifty different ingredients, and was given to the patient in the hope that at least one of them would prove efficacious! That seems a rather poor scheme for medical practice, but it is good to use "shot gun" tempo for most speeches, as it gives a variety.

Tempo, like diet, is best when mixed.


1. Define tempo.

2. What words come from the same root?

3. What is meant by a change of tempo?

4. What effects are gained by it?

5. Name three methods of destroying monotony and gaining force in speaking.

6. Note the changes of tempo in a conversation or speech that you hear. Were they well made? Why?


7. Read selections on pages 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38, paying careful attention to change of tempo.

8. As a rule, excitement, joy, or intense anger take a fast tempo, while sorrow, and sentiments of great dignity or solemnity tend to a slow tempo. Try to deliver Lincoln's Gettysburg speech (page 50), in a fast tempo, or Patrick Henry's speech (page 110), in a slow tempo, and note how ridiculous the effect will be.

Practise the following selections, noting carefully where the tempo may be changed to advantage. Experiment, making numerous changes. Which one do you like best?


Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation--or any nation so conceived and so dedicated--can long endure.

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who have given their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave CHAPTER V


men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or to detract. The world will very little note nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us: that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.



[This deliberative oration was delivered by Senator Thurston in the United States Senate on March 24, 1898.

It is recorded in full in the Congressional Record of that date. Mrs. Thurston died in Cuba. As a dying request she urged her husband, who was investigating affairs in the island, to do his utmost to induce the United States to intervene--hence this oration.]

Mr. President, I am here by command of silent lips to speak once and for all upon the Cuban situation. I shall endeavor to be honest, conservative, and just. I have no purpose to stir the public passion to any action not necessary and imperative to meet the duties and necessities of American responsibility, Christian humanity, and national honor. I would shirk this task if I could, but I dare not. I cannot satisfy my conscience except by speaking, and speaking now.

I went to Cuba firmly believing that the condition of affairs there had been greatly exaggerated by the press, and my own efforts were directed in the first instance to the attempted exposure of these supposed exaggerations. There has undoubtedly been much sensationalism in the journalism of the time, but as to the condition of affairs in Cuba, there has been no exaggeration, because exaggeration has been impossible.

Under the inhuman policy of Weyler not less than four hundred thousand self-supporting, simple, peaceable, defenseless country people were driven from their homes in the agricultural portions of the Spanish provinces to the cities, and imprisoned upon the barren waste outside the residence portions of these cities and within the lines of intrenchment established a little way beyond. Their humble homes were burned, their fields laid waste, their implements of husbandry destroyed, their live stock and food supplies for the most part confiscated. Most of the people were old men, women, and children. They were thus placed in hopeless imprisonment, without shelter or food. There was no work for them in the cities to which they were driven.

They were left with nothing to depend upon except the scanty charity of the inhabitants of the cities and with slow starvation their inevitable fate....

The pictures in the American newspapers of the starving reconcentrados are true. They can all be duplicated by the thousands. I never before saw, and please God I may never again see, so deplorable a sight as the reconcentrados in the suburbs of Matanzas. I can never forget to my dying day the hopeless anguish in their despairing eyes. Huddled about their little bark huts, they raised no voice of appeal to us for alms as we went among them....

Men, women, and children stand silent, famishing with hunger. Their only appeal comes from their sad eyes, through which one looks as through an open window into their agonizing souls.

The government of Spain has not appropriated and will not appropriate one dollar to save these people. They are now being attended and nursed and administered to by the charity of the United States. Think of the spectacle! We are feeding these citizens of Spain; we are nursing their sick; we are saving such as can be CHAPTER V


saved, and yet there are those who still say it is right for us to send food, but we must keep hands off. I say that the time has come when muskets ought to go with the food.

We asked the governor if he knew of any relief for these people except through the charity of the United States. He did not. We asked him, "When do you think the time will come that these people can be placed in a position of self-support?" He replied to us, with deep feeling, "Only the good God or the great government of the United States will answer that question." I hope and believe that the good God by the great government of the United States will answer that question.

I shall refer to these horrible things no further. They are there. God pity me, I have seen them; they will remain in my mind forever--and this is almost the twentieth century. Christ died nineteen hundred years ago, and Spain is a Christian nation. She has set up more crosses in more lands, beneath more skies, and under them has butchered more people than all the other nations of the earth combined. Europe may tolerate her existence as long as the people of the Old World wish. God grant that before another Christmas morning the last vestige of Spanish tyranny and oppression will have vanished from the Western Hemisphere!...

The time for action has come. No greater reason for it can exist to-morrow than exists to-day. Every hour's delay only adds another chapter to the awful story of misery and death. Only one power can intervene--the United States of America. Ours is the one great nation in the world, the mother of American republics. She holds a position of trust and responsibility toward the peoples and affairs of the whole Western Hemisphere. It was her glorious example which inspired the patriots of Cuba to raise the flag of liberty in her eternal hills.