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his speech ready written. It lay on the desk before him, but he never looked at it.'

"That seems to me,' I said, 'very difficult. It is like swimming with corks. One would be always tempted to look down on the paper.'

'It is almost equally difficult,' said Tocqueville, 'to make a speech of which the words are prepared. There is a struggle between the invention and the memory. You trust thoroughly to neither, and therefore are not served thoroughly by either.'

• Yet that,' said Marcet, 'is what our Swiss pastors are required to do. They are forbidden to read, and forbidden to extemporise, and by practice they speak from memory-some well, all tolerably.'

Brougham,' said Lord Granville, 'used to introduce his most elaborately prepared passages by a slight hesitation. When he seemed to pause in search of thoughts, or of words, we knew that he had a sentence ready cut and dried!'

Who,' I asked Sumner, 'are your best speakers in America ?'

'The best,' he said, 'is Seward ; after him perhaps comes Winthrop.'

*I should have thought it difficult,' I said, 'to speak well in the Senate, to only fifty or at most sixty members.'

You do not speak,' answered Sumner, 'to the Senators. You do not think of them. You know that their minds are made up. Except as to mere executive questions, such as the approval of a public functionary,



Public Speaking in America.


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or the acceptance or modification of a treaty, every senator comes in pledged to a given, or to an assumed, set of opinions and measures. You speak to the public. You speak in order that 500,000 copies of what you say, as was the case with my last speech, may be scattered over the whole Union.'

'That,' I said, 'must much affect the character of your oratory. A speech meant to be read must be a different thing from one meant to be heard. Your speeches must in fact be pamphlets, and that I suppose accounts for their length.

• That is true,' replied Sumner. “But when you hear that we speak for a day, or for two days, or, as I have sometimes done, for three days, you must remember that our days are days of only three hours each.'

How long,' I asked, 'was your last speech ?' ‘About five hours,' he answered. *Three hours the first day and two hours the second.'

• That,' I said, “is not beyond our remotest limit. Brougham indeed, on the amendment of the law, spoke for six hours, during the greater part of the time to an audience of three. The House was filled with fog, and there is an H. B. which represents him gesticulating in the obscurity and the solitude.'.

· He,' said Lord Granville, ‘put his speech on the Reform Bill at the top.'

“The speech,' I said, “at the end of which he knelt to implore the Peers to pass the bill, and found it difficult to rise.'

Tuesday, April 14.-Z., Sumner, Lord Granville,

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Tocqueville, M. Circourt, St.-Hilaire, and Corcelle breakfasted with us.

The conversation took the same turn as yesterday.

“May I venture,' said Lord Granville to Z., 'to ask whom of your opponents you feared the most ?'

'Beyond all comparison,' answered Z., 'Thicrs.' *Was not D.,' I asked, “very formidable ?'

*Certainly,' said Z. • But he had not the wit, or the entraînement of Thiers. His sentences were like his action. He had only one gesture, raising and sinking his right arm, and every time that right arm fell, it accompanied a sentence adding a link to a chain of argument, massive and well tempered, without a particle of dross, which coiled round his adversary like a boa constrictor.'

‘And yet,' said M., he was always languid and embarrassed at starting ; it took him ten minutes to get en train.'

• That defect,' said Lord Granville, ‘belonged to many of our good speakers--to Charles Fox- to Lord Holland. Indeed Fox required the excitement of serious business to become fluent. He never made a tolerable afterdinner speech.'

Among the peculiarities of D.,' said M., are his perfect tact and discretion in the tribune, and his awkwardness in ordinary life. In public and in private he is two different men.'

It is impossible,' said Tocqueville, 'to deny that D. was great in a deliberative body, but his real scene of action is the bar. He was only among the best




speakers in the Constituent Assembly. He is the greatest advocate at the bar.'

Although,' said M'at the bar, where he represents only his client, one of the elements of his parliamentary success, his high moral character, does not assist him. Do you remember how, on the debate of the Roman expedition, he annihilated by one sentence Jules Favre who had ventured to assail him? “Les injures,” he said, “ sont comme les corps pesants, dont la force dépend de la hauteur d'où ils tombent.”

• One man,' said Z., ‘who enjoys a great European reputation, I could never think of as a serious adversary, that is Lamartine.

*He appeared to me to treat the sad realities of political life as materials out of which he could compose strange and picturesque scenes, or draw food for his imagination and his vanity. He seemed always to be saying to himself: “How will the future dramatist or poet, or painter, represent this event, and what will be my part in the picture, or in the poem, or on the



'Il cherchait toujours à poser.-He could give pleasure, he could give pain—he could amuse, and he could irritate,—but he seldom could persuade, and he never could convince. Even before the gate of the Hôtel de Ville, the most brilliant hour of his life, he owed his success rather to his tall figure, his fine features, attractive as well as commanding, his voice, his action—in short, to the assemblage of qualities which the Greeks called Útópious, than to his eloquence.'

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Was not,' I said, ' his contrast between the red flag and the tricolor eloquent?'

It was a fine bit of imagery,' said Z., and admirably adapted to the occasion. I do not deny to him the

I power of saying fine things—perhaps fine speeches, but he never made a good speech-a speech which it was difficult to answer.'

'If anyone,' he continued, 'ever takes the trouble to look into our Parliamentary debates, Lamartine will hold a higher comparative rank than he is really entitled to. Most of us were too busy to correct the reports for the “Moniteur." Lamartine not only corrected them but inserted whole passages.'

* He inserted,' said M., not only passages but facts. Such as “applaudissements," "vive émotion,hilarité,often when the speech had been received in silence, or unattended to.'

'I remember,' said Corcelle, an insertion of that kind in the report of a speech which was never delivered. It was during the Restoration, when written speeches were read, and sometimes were sent to the “Moniteur" in anticipation of their being read. Such had been the case with respect to the speech in question. The intended orator had inserted, like Lamartine, "vifs applaudissements," " profonde sensation," and other notices of the effect of his speech. The House adjourned unexpectedly before it was delivered, and he forgot to withdraw the report.'

'Could a man like Lord Althorp,' I asked, “whom it


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