John Adams, writing to Daniel Webster about the speech Webster made at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 22nd, 1820, said: "This oration will be read five hundred years hence with as much rapture as it was heard, It ought to be read at the end of every century, and indeed at the end of every year, forever and ever."
A newspaper reporter, writing of Henry W. Grady's speech, "The New South," given at the New England banquet, wrote: "Henry Grady from the South made me think of an animated aurora with all the variations of a luminous sunset as he managed in twenty minutes to bathe two antagonistic sections in fraternal light."
Plutarch said of Phocion: "Phocion's oratory, like small coin of great value, was to be estimated, not by its bulk, but its intrinsic worth."
Cicero called Aristotle a river of flowing gold, and said of Plato's dialogue, that if Jupiter were to speak, it would be in language like theirs. Cicero said that loud-brawling orators were driven by their weakness to noise, as lame men take to horse.
Tennyson wrote: "Charm us, orator, till the lion look no larger than a cat."
It is narrated that Colonel Breckenridge, meeting Majah Buffo'd on the streets of Lexington one day asked: "What's the meaning, suh, of the conco's befor' the co't house?"
To which the majah replied:
"General Buckneh is making a speech. General Buckneh suh, is a bo'n oratah."
"What do you mean by bo'n oratah?"
"If you or I, suh, were asked how much two and two make, we would reply 'foh.' When this is asked of a bo'n oratah, he replies: 'When in the co'se of human events it becomes necessary to take an integah of the second denomination and add it, suh, to an integah of the same denomination, the result, suh—and I have the science of mathematics to back me up in my judgment—the result, suh, and I say it without feah of successful contradiction, suh-the result is fo'' That's a bo'n oratah."
When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of Oratory, he answered, "Action," and which was the second, he replied, "Action," and which was the third, he still answered "Action."—Plutarch.