F ew species of composition seem so antiquated, so little available for any practical purpose today, as the oratory in which the generation of our grandparents delighted. The type of discourse which they would ride miles in wagons to hear, or would regard as the special treat of some festive occasion, fills most people today with an acute sense of discomfort. Somehow, it makes them embarrassed. They become conscious of themselves, conscious of pretensions in it, and they think it well consigned to the museum. But its very ability to inspire antipathy, as distinguished from indif­ ference, suggests the presence of something interesting.