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Eloquence (from Latin eloquentia) is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking in public. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style.
- Does the painter imitate the body correctly if he guides his brush without any method, and if his hand is moved at random and the lines are not drawn with art? In the same way you will not put the sentiment of your mind in front of the others’ eyes unless you use appropriate and distinct words, a fitting arrangement of words and the right order of sentences. For, just as we represent bodies by colours, we represent the sentiment of our mind by speech.
- Philipp Melanchthon, “Praise of eloquence” (1523), Orations on Philosophy and Education, C. Salazar, trans. (1999), p. 63
- You can see for what reason I commend the study of eloquence to you—because we can neither explain what we ourselves want, nor understand the surviving writing written by our ancestors, unless we have thoroughly studied a fixed rule for speaking. For my part, I do not see how there could be others who wish neither to explain what they think, nor to understand what is excellently said.
- Philipp Melanchthon, “Praise of eloquence” (1523), Orations on Philosophy and Education, C. Salazar, trans. (1999), p. 64
- The shadow does not follow the body more closely than eloquence accompanies sagacity.
- Philipp Melanchthon, “Praise of eloquence” (1523), Orations on Philosophy and Education, C. Salazar, trans. (1999), p. 65
- What do you believe was on the mind ancient Romans that they called the arts of speaking humanity? They judged that, indisputably, by the study of these disciplines not only was the tongue refined, but also the wildness and barbarity of people’s minds was amended.
- Philipp Melanchthon, “Praise of eloquence” (1523), Orations on Philosophy and Education, C. Salazar, trans. (1999), p. 66
- A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain.
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act I, scene 1, line 165.
- That aged ears play truant at his tales
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 74.
- Every tongue that speaks
But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597), Act III, scene 2, line 32.
- Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
Then I'll commend her volubility,
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence.
- William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (c. 1593-94), Act II, scene 1, line 175.
- Action is eloquence.
- William Shakespeare, Coriolanus (c. 1607-08), Act III, scene 2, line 76.
- The most eloquent voice of our century uttered, shortly before leaving the world, a warning cry against the "Anglo-Saxon contagion."
- Matthew Arnold, An Essay on Criticism (1709), Second Series. Essay on Milton. First Par. ("Most eloquent voice" said to be Emerson's; claimed for Coleridge and Hugo).
- Discourse may want an animated "No"
To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
But still remember, if you mean to please,
To press your point with modesty and ease.
- William Cowper, Conversation (1782), line 101.
- But while listening Senates hang upon thy tongue,
Devolving through the maze of eloquence
A roll of periods, sweeter than her song.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Autumn (1730).
- But to a higher mark than song can reach,
Rose this pure eloquence.
- William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book VII.
- Denial of one's better self seals the lips or pollutes them. Fidelity to conviction opens them and truth blossoms in eloquence. ... He who aspires to master the art of expression must first of all consecrate himself completely to some great cause.
- Eugene V. Debs, "The Secret of Efficient Expression" (1911)
- The distrust which peasants and children display for glib persons has always preserved the notion of that injustice which made language the servant of gain.
- Max Horkheimer, “The End of Reason,” The Essential Frankfurt School Reader (1982), pp. 38-39
- To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
- Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (1938), Ch. 18: The Taming of Power.
- Eloquence is a republican art, as conversation is an aristocratic one.
- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States (1920), p. 7
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 219-20.
- He adorned whatever subject he either spoke or wrote upon, by the most splendid eloquence.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Character of Bolingbroke.
- Is enim est eloquens qui et humilia subtiliter, et magna graviter, et mediocria temperate potest dicere.
- He is an eloquent man who can treat humble subjects with delicacy, lofty things impressively, and moderate things temperately.
- Cicero, De Oratore, XXIX.
- Il embellit tout qu'il touche.
- He adorned whatever he touched.
- François Fénelon, Lettre sur les Occupations de l'Académie Française, Section IV.
- A good discourse is that from which nothing can be retrenched without cutting into the quick.
- St. Francis de Sales, Letter upon Eloquence.
- L'éloquence est au sublime ce que le tout est à sa partie.
- Eloquence is to the sublime what the whole is to its part.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, Chapter I.
- Eloquence may be found in conversations and in all kinds of writings; it is rarely found when looked for, and sometimes discovered where it is least expected.
- Jean de La Bruyère, The Characters, Chapter I' 55.
- Profane eloquence is transfered from the bar, where Le Maître, Pucelle, and Fourcroy formerly practised it, and where it has become obsolete, to the Pulpit, where it is out of place.
- Jean de La Bruyère, The Characters, Chapter XVI. 2.
- There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the air of a speaker as in his choice of words.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims and Moral Sentences, No. 261.
- True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and nothing but what is necessary.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims and Moral Sentences, No. 262.
- When your crowd of attendants so loudly applaud you, Pomponius, it is not you, but your banquet, that is eloquent.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VI, Epistle 48.
- * * as that dishonest victory
At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
Killed with report that old man eloquent,
[Isocrates, the celebrated orator of Greece.]
- John Milton, Sonnet X.
- In causa facili cuivis licet esse diserto.
- In an easy cause any man may be eloquent.
- Ovid, Tristium, III. 11. 21.
- L'éloquence est une peinture de la pensée.
- Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
- Blaise Pascal, Pensées, XXIV. 88.
- It is with eloquence as with a flame; it requires fuel to feed it, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it burns.
- William Pitt the Younger, Paraphrase of Tacitus.
- Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong.
- Alexander Pope, Imitation of Horace, Book II, Epistle II, line 171.
- Omnium artium domina [eloquentia].
- [Eloquence] the mistress of all the arts.
- Tacitus, De Oratoribus, XXXII.
- Magna eloquentia, sicut flamma, materia alitur, et motibus excitatur et urendo clarescit.
- It is the eloquence as of a flame; it requires matter to feed it, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it burns.
- Tacitus, De Oratoribus, XXXVI.