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

Method, we are aware, is an essential ingredient in every discourse designed for the instruction of mankind; but it ought never to force itself on the attention as an object--never appear to be an end instead of an instrument; or beget a suspicion of the sentiments being introduced for the sake of the method, not the method for the sentiments.
      - Robert Hall

The spell is thins that reaches
  The heart, and makes the wisest head its sport;
    And there's one rare, strange virtue in thy speeches,
      The secret of their mastery--they are short.
      - Fitz-Greene Halleck

Many are ambitious of saying grand things, that is, of being grandiloquent. Eloquence is speaking out a * * * quality few esteem, and fewer aim at.
      - Augustus William Hare

O Eloquence! thou violated fair, how thou art wooed and won to either bed of right or wrong!
      - William Havard

Silence that wins, where eloquence is vain.
      - William Hayley

Honesty is one part of eloquence. We persuade others by being in earnest ourselves.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

In oratory affectation must be avoided; it being better for a man by a native and clear eloquence to express himself than by those words which may smell either of the lamp or inkhorn.
      - Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury

Eloquence, when in its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection.
      - David Hume

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.
      - Ben Jonson

The art of saying well what one thinks is different from the faculty of thinking. The latter may be very deep and lofty and far-reaching, while the former is altogether wanting.
      - Joseph Joubert

Great eloquence we cannot get, except from human genius.
      - Thomas Starr King

Gentlemen, do you know what is the finest speech that I ever in my life heard or read? It is the address of Garibaldi to his Roman soldiers, when he told them: "Soldier, what I have to offer you is fatigue, danger, struggle and death; the chill of the cold night in the free air, and heat under the burning sun; no lodgings, no munitions, no provisions, but forced marches, dangerous watchposts and the continual struggle with the bayonet against batteries;--those who love freedom and their country may follow me." That is the most glorious speech I ever heard in my life.
      - Louis Kossuth

Eloquence is to the sublime what the whole is to the part.
  [Fr., L'eloquence est au sublime ce que le tout est a sa partie.]
      - Jean de la Bruyere, Les Caracteres (ch. I)

Eloquence may be found in conversations and in all kinds of writings; it is rarely found when looked for, and sometimes discovered where it is least expected.
      - Jean de la Bruyere, The Characters
         (ch. I, 55)

Profane eloquence is transfered from the bar, where Le Maitre, Pucelle, and Fourcroy formerly practised it, and where it has become obsolete, to the Pulpit, where it is out of place.
      - Jean de la Bruyere, The Characters
         (ch. XVI, 2)

Eloquence dwells quite as much in the hearts of the hearers as on the lips of the orator.
      - Alphonse de Lamartine

There is no eloquence which does not agitate the soul.
      - Walter Savage Landor

There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the air of a speaker as in his choice of words.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld,
        Maxims and Moral Sentences (no. 261)

True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and nothing but what is necessary.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld,
        Maxims and Moral Sentences (no. 262)

He has oratory who ravishes his hearers while he forgets himself.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

When your crowd of attendants so loudly applaud you, Pomponius, it is not you, but your banquet, that is eloquent.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. VI, ep. 48)

How often in the halls of legislation does eloquence unmask corruption, expose intrigue, and overthrow tyranny! In the cause of mercy it is omnipotent. It is bold in the consciousness of its superiority, fearless and unyielding in the purity of its motives. All opposition it destroys; all power it defies.
      - Henry Melville

Eloquence the soul, song charms the senses.
      - John Milton

His tongue dropt manna, and could make the worse appear the better reason.
      - John Milton

. . . as that dishonest victory
  At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty,
    Killed with report that old man eloquent,
      [Isocrates, the celebrated orator of Greece.]
      - John Milton, Sonnet X

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