Through his interest in fine acting, he became one of the best judges of oratory, and it was always interesting to listen to him on that subject.
He considered Wendell Phillips the perfection of form and delivery, and sometimes very brilliant, but much too rash in his statements.
Everett was also good, but lacked warmth and earnestness.
Choate was purely a legal pleader, and outside of the court-room not very effective.
He thought Webster one of the greatest of orators, fully equal to Cicero; but they both lacked the poetical element.
Sumner's sentences were florid and his delivery rather mechanical, but he made a strong impression owing to the evident purity of his motives.
The general public, however, had become suspicious of oratory, so that it was no longer as serviceable as formerly.
After all, he would say, the main point for a speaker is to have a good cause.
Then, if he is thoroughly in earnest, we enjoy hearing him.
He once illustrated his subject by the story of