be universally believed, and what he is perfectly patient with the world for not believing yet
. There is no gesticulation, no increased animation at important passages, no glow got up for the closing paragraphs; no aiming at any sort of effect whatever; no warmth of personal feeling against opponents.
There is a shrewd humor in the man, however, and his hits excite occasional bursts of laughter; but there is no bitterness in his humor, not the faintest approach to it. An impressive or pathetic passage now and then, which loses none of its effect from the simple, plaintive way in which it is uttered, deepens the silence which prevails in the hall, at the end eliciting warm and general applause, which the speaker ‘improves’ by drinking a little water.
The attention of the audience never flags, and the lecture concludes amid the usual tokens of decided approbation.
is, indeed, no orator.
Yet some who value oratory less than any other kind of bodily labor, and whom the tricks of elocution offend, except when they are performed on the stage, and even there they should be concealed, have expressed the opinion that Mr. Greeley
is, strictly speaking, one of the best
speakers this metropolis can boast.
A man, they say, never does a weaker, an unworthier, a more self-demoralizing thing than when he speaks for effect; and of this vice Horace is less guilty than any speaker we are in the habit of hearing, except Ralph Waldo Emerson
Not that he does not make exaggerated statements; not that he does not utter sentiments which are only half true; not that he does not sometimes indulge in language which, when read
, savor of the high-flown.
What I mean is, that his public speeches are literally transcripts of the mind whence they emanate.
At public meetings and public dinners Mr. Greeley
is a frequent speaker.
His name usually comes at the end of the report, introduced with ‘Horace Greeley
being loudly called for, made a few remarks to the following purport.’
The call is never declined; nor does he ever speak without saying something; and when ho has said it he resumes his seat.
He has a way, particularly of late years, of coming to a meeting when it is nearly over, delivering one of his short, enlightening addresses, and then embracing the first opportunity that offers of taking an unobserved departure.
A few words with regard to the subjects upon which Horace