Excerpt from Rudiments of Gesture, Comprising Illustrations of Common Faults in Attitude and Action: With Engravings, and an Appendix Designed for Practical Exercise in Declamation
Education, as the great agent in human improve ment, aims not at a local, or particular, but an idea] and general excellence, in man. Early culture, therefore, should be so directed as to free the mental habits, and their external traces, from the injurious inﬂuences of imperfect or erroneous example, and to give the youthful powers that free and generous scope, which their full development requires. The standard of perfection in delivery, should be formed on no views limited merely by the arbitrary customs of a commu nity, - perhaps by the corrupting inﬂuence of neglect or perversion, as regards the discipline of imagination and taste. The genuine style of eloquence is that, surely, which gives the strongest, freest, and truest expression to the natural blendings of thought and emotion within the human breast 3 - breaking through all arbitrary restraint, and submitting only to the guidance of reason, - or, rather, listening intuitively to its suggestions.
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