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seem borne to us on the very air we breathe, while we perform these dutiful rites. Ye winds, that wafted the Pilgrims to the land of promise, fan in their children's hearts the love of freedom! Blood, which our father's shed, cry from the ground! Echoing arches of this renowned hall, whisper back the voices of other days! Glorious Washington, break the long silence of that votive canvas: speak, speak, marble lips, teach us the love of liberty protected by law."
Nothing but intense feeling in the speaker, shared by the audience, would justify such an appeal, not surpassed by any thing in ancient or modern oratory; but the occasion did justify it, and when Everett uttered those words, the audience, swayed by his power, seemed, while in perfect silence they followed the gesture of the orator, and gazed first upon the portrait and then upon the statue of Washington, to expect every instant to hear the canvas or the marble speak!
77. Remarks by Everett upon Apostrophe.—Some excellent remarks upon this figure of Rhetoric are given by Edward Everett in his review of the speeches of Webster. Speaking of an orator, he says:
"In those portions of his discourse which are purely didactic or narrative, he will not be apt to rise-he will not have occasion to rise-above his notes, though even here new facts, illustrations, and suggestions will spring up before him as he moves on. But when the topic rises, and the strain becomes loftier and bolder, the thick-coming fancies can not be repelled; the whole storehouse of the memory is unlocked, its most hidden shrines fly open-all that has been seen, heard, read, felt, returns in most vivid colors-the cold and premeditated text will no longer suffice for the glow.
*See North American Review, vol. xli. pp. 231-251.
EVERETT ON APOSTROPHE.
ing thought-the stately-balanced phrase gives place to some fresh and graphic expression that rushes unbidden to the lips-the unforeseen locality or incident furnishes an apt and speaking image-and the whole discourse, by a kind of unconscious instinct, transposes itself into a kind of higher key. As the best illustration of our remark, and proof of its justice, we subjoin one of the most eloquent passages that ever dropped from the lips of man, the address [by Daniel Webster] to the survivors of the battle of Bunker Hill, and the apostrophe to Warren. Those were topics of course too obvious and essential, in an address on laying the corner-stone of the monument, to have been omitted in the orator's notes. But the man who supposes that the apostrophe to Warren was elaborated in the closet and committed to memory, may know a great deal about contingent remainders, but his heart must be as dry and hard as a remainder biscuit. He knows nothing of eloquence, or the philosophy of the human mind. We quote it, the rather because in the slight grammatical inaccuracy, produced by passing from the third person to the second in the same sentence, we perceive at once one of the most natural consequences, and a most unequivocal proof of the want of premeditation. When the sentence com. menced, 'But—ah! him,' it was evidently in the mind of the orator to close it by saying, 'how shall I commemorate him?' But in the progress of the sentence, forgetful, unconscious of the words, but glowing and melting with the thought; beholding, as he stood near the spot where the hero fell, his beloved and beauti
⚫ful image rising up from beneath the sod 'with the rose of heaven upon his cheek and the fire of liberty in his eye'-'the blood of his gallant heart still pouring from his wound'-he no longer can speak of him; he must speak to him. The ghost of Samuel did not more distinctly rise before Saul than the image of Warren stood forth to the mental perception of the orator. He no longer attempts to tell his audience what Warren was, but passing from the third person to the second, he can only say, 'How shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the utterance of thy name!' The sorriest pedant alone would have turned away from that touching appeal to Warren himself, present, visible to the mind's eye, on the spot where he fell, because he had commenced the sentence in the third person. But we quote the whole passage:
But, alas, you are not all here! Time and the sword have thinned your ranks. Prescott, Putnam, Stark, Brooks, Read, Pomeroy, Bridge! Our eyes seek for you in vain amid this broken band. You are gathered to your fathers, and live only to your country, in her grateful remembrance and your own bright example. But let us not too much grieve that you have met the common fate of men. You lived at least long enough to know that your work had been nobly and successfully accomplished. You lived to see your country's independence established, and to sheathe your swords from war. On the light of liberty, you saw arise the light of peace, like
Risen on mid-noon ;'"
and the sky on which you closed your eye was cloudless.
"But-ah! Him! the first great martyr in this great cause! Him, the premature victim of his own self-devoting heart! Him, the head of our councils, and the destined leader of our military bands; whom nothing brought hither but the unquenchable fire of his own spirit! Him, cut off by Providence in the hour of overwhelming anxiety and thick gloom; falling ere he saw the star of his country rise; pouring out his generous blood like water before he knew whether it would fertilize a land of freedom or of bondage! How shall I struggle with the emotions that stifle the utterance of thy name! Our poor work may perish, but thine shall endure! This monument may moulder away; the solid ground it rests upon may sink down to a level with the sea; but thy memory shall not fail! Wheresoever among men a heart shall be found that beats to the transports of patriotism and liberty, its aspirations shall be to claim kindred with thy spirit!"
78. When it should be Employed.-Apostrophe is seldom appropriate except in impassioned oratory and poetry. It should be used sparingly and with discrimination.
SERMOCINATIO, OR DIALOGUE.
79. Definition, and Examples.—A FANCIED dialogue carried on in the midst of a speech or other production was called by the Greek rhetoricians simply a Dialogue, and by the Latins Sermocinatio.*
We have no single English word to describe this common figure of speech, which is simply an imagined conversation. It may be carried on with a personified object, with a person absent or deceased, or with some person in the audience who is fancied to converse with the speaker.
Thus Edward Everett, in a speech upon the Bunker Hill Monument, fancies an objector arguing against it. We punctuate the extract so as to show the dialogue clearly, italicizing what the objector says:
"But I am met with the objection, What good will the monument do? *** Does a railroad or a canal do good? 'Yes.'-And how? —' It facilitates intercourse, opens markets, and increases the wealth of
* "Ac sunt quidam, qui has demum πρоσwñоñοïas dicant, in quibus et corpora et verba fingimus; sermones hominum assimulatos dicere διαλογους lunt, quod Latinorum am dixerunt, sermocina
"But some-who call the figure prosopopæia when we imagine both the person and the speech-prefer to call imagined speeches dialogues, which the Latins denominate sermocinatio" (Quintilian, lib. ix. 2, 31).