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[ Also see Argument Character Conversation Language Loquacity Oratory Preaching Rhetoric Speech Style Talk Talking Tongue Voice Wit Words ]

Here rills of oily eloquence in soft
  Meanders lubricate the course they take.
      - William Cowper

Discourse may want an animated "No"
  To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
    But still remember, if you mean to please,
      To press your point with modesty and ease.
      - William Cowper, Conversation (l. 101)

His words seem'd oracles
  That pierc'd their bosoms; and each man would turn
    And gaze in wonder on his neighbour's face,
      That with the like dumb wonder answer'd him.
        You could have heard
          The beating of your pulses while he spoke.
      - George Croly

Pow'r above pow'rs!
  O heavenly eloquence!
    That with the strong rein of commanding words,
      Dost manage, guide, and master th' eminence
        Of men's affections, more than all their swords!
      - Samuel Daniel

Power above powers! O heavenly eloquence! that, with the strong reign of commanding words, dost manage, guide and master the high eminence of men's affections!
      - Samuel Daniel

Manner, as much as matter, constitutes eloquence.
      - Francois Delsarte

Such was the force of his eloquence, to make the hearers more concerned than h he that spake.
      - Sir John Denham

Eloquence is the child of knowledge. When a mind is full, like a wholesome river, it is also clear.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The art of clothing the thought in apt, significant and sounding words.
      - John Dryden

When he spoke, what tender words he us'd!
  So softly, that like flakes of feather'd snow,
    They melted as they fell.
      - John Dryden

Your Words are like the notes of dying swans,
  Too sweet to last.
      - John Dryden

The charm of eloquence--the skill
  To wake each secret string,
    And from the bosom's chords at will
      Life's mournful music bring;
        The o'ermast'ring strength of mind, which sways
          The haughty and the free,
            Whose might earth's mightiest ones obey
              This charm was given to thee.
      - Emma Catherine Embury

Eloquence is the appropriate organ of the highest personal energy.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eloquence must be grounded on the plainest narrative.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eloquence shows the power and possibility of man.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

In eloquence, the great triumphs of the art are when the orator is lifted above himself; when consciously he makes himself the mere tongue of the occasion and the hour, and says what cannot but be said. Hence the term "abandonment" to describe the self-surrender of the orator. Not his will, but the principle on which he is horsed, the great connection and crisis of events, thunder in the ear of the crowd.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The pleasure of eloquence is in greatest part owing often to the stimulus of the occasion which produces it--to the magic of sympathy, which exalts the feeling of each by radiating on him the feeling of all.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

His eloquent tongue so well seconds his fertile invention that no one speaks better when suddenly called forth. His attention never languishes; his mind is always before his words; his memory has all its stock so turned into ready money that, without hesitation or delay, it supplies whatever the occasion may require.
      - Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus

He adorned whatever he touched.
  [Fr., Il embellit tout qu'il touche.]
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon,
        Lettre sur les Occupations de l'Academie Francaise
         (sec. IV)

No man can make a speech alone. It is the great human power that strikes up from a thousand minds that acts upon him, and makes the speech.
      - James Abram Garfield

Whene'er he speaks, Heaven, how the list'ning throng
  Dwell on the melting music of his tongue!
    His arguments are emblems of his mien,
      Mild but not faint, and forcing, though serene:
        And when the power of eloquence he'd try,
          Here lightning strikes you, there soft breezes sigh.
      - Sir Samuel Garth

Fine declamation does not consist in flowery periods, delicate allusions of musical cadences, but in a plain, open, loose style, where the periods are long and obvious, where the same thought is often exhibited in several points of view.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

This is that eloquence the ancients represented as lightning, bearing down every opposer; this the power which has turned whole assemblies into astonishment, admiration and awe--that is described by the torrent, the flame, and every other instance of irresistible impetuosity.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

His eloquence is classic in its style,
  Not brilliant with explosive coruscations
    Of heterogeneous thoughts, at random caught,
      And scatter'd like a shower of shooting stars,
        That end in darkness: no;--his noble mind
          Is clear, and full, and stately, and serene.
            His earnest and undazzled eye he keeps
              Fix'd on the sun of Truth, and breathes his words
                As easily as eagles cleave the air;
                  And never pauses till the height is won;
                    And all who listen follow where he leads.
      - Mrs. Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale

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