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Great Speeches Heard By Few

Great Speeches Heard By Few image
Parent Issue
Day
21
Month
August
Year
1896
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

It is a, curieus fact that many of t!ie great speeches whieh gave imniortality to the orators v.ho made lhem were delivered in coniparatively eraall rooms and to small audiccces. When Webster made. his great irgnment in the Dartinouth college oase. aside from the bar and the oficiala in charge of the roem, .there were uol .": persons present, and yet many bclieve that he spoke to listeuing senators and other high officials. When we read of Patrick Henry's wouderf ui display of eloquence, we see m our mind's eye a spaeious room and au immense crowd of people listening to his burning worda with aJmost breathless attention. Bnt, in tmth, tnany of these speeches which quickeued or changed the march of eveiits were delivered in a small room aud to a few hearers - uever more than 150. "Couid it have been here, in'this oaken chapel of 60 pews, ': wrote Hosmer, .the gifted author of "Sprondro, " "that Patrick Henry delivered the greatest and best known of all his speeches? Was it here that he nttered those words óf doom so unexpected, and theu so unwelcome, 'We must ñght?' Even here. But the words were spoken in a tone and manner worthy the men to whoin they were addressed, and who were so impressed with them that for several moments they were almost awestricken. It was only when the voice of Bichard Henry Lee, that other matchless Virginia orator, who rose to second the words of Henry, rang through the room that they were called back to theruselves. " Sevvard's speech in defense of William Freeraan was undoubtedly the greatest and most brilliaut efford of his professional life. It did for him more, perhaps, than the conduct of auy case has given aíiy other in the state of New York iu perpetuating his name. And yet the audience that iistened to him was less than 120 in number. A friend expressed some surprise that an argument of so much power, learning and eJoquence should have attracted so few listeners. "My dear sir, " said Seward, "my audience was in no sense limited. The civilized world was my audience. Posterity will hear it, and generations unborn v?ill praise or censure it frorn the different standpoints in which they will view it. I did not make it for a part of 'the madding crowd's ignoble strife. ' " Horace Greeley said, "Seward's speech in defense of William Freeman is one of the masterpieces in the history of oratory, reason, logio and humanity. "

Article

Subjects
Ann Arbor Argus
Old News