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nounced, in order to distinguish it from the body of the sentence; and it is pronounced more quickly, that the hearer may not be diverted by it from forgetting the connection of the sentence. It generally terminates with the inflection of the clause preceding it. When it contains a strongly emphatic word, the falling inflection is necessary:
Let us (since life can little more supply
A mighty maze! but not without a plan. XI. An echo, or the repetition of a word or thought introductory to some particulars, requires the high rising inflection, and a long pause after it. This is frequently the language of excitement; the mind recurs to the exciting idea, and acquires fresh intensity from the repetition of it; as, Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and duty as to give its sanction to measures thus obtruded and forced upon it? — Measures', my Lords, which hare reduced this late flourishing Kingdom to scorn and contempt.”
XII. When words are in contradistinction to other words, either expressed or understood, they are pronounced with emphatic force; when the contradistinction is not expressed, the emphasis must be strong, so as to suggest the word in contradistinction; as, “How beautiful is nature in her wildest' scenes !” That is, not merely in her soft scenes, but even in her wildest scenes. “ It is deplorable when age' thus errs." Not merely youth, but age.
XIII. A climax must be read or pronounced with the voice progressively ascending to the last member ; accompanied with the increasing energy, animation or pathos, corresponding with the nature of the subject.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow!
RUSH'S PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN VOICE.
Dr. Rush, whose “ Philosophy of the Human Voice” presents the most minute and scientific analysis of the subject that has yet appeared, adopts an arrangement of the elementary sounds of our language into tonics, subtonics, atonics and aspirates. He distinguishes the qualities of the voice under the following heads : the Orotund, which is fuller in volume than the common voice ; the Tremor ; the Aspiration ; the Guttural; the Falsette ; and the Whisper. The complex movement of the voice occasioned by the union of the rising and falling slides on the same long syllable he calls a wave. It is termed by Steele and Walker the circumflex accent. Dr. Rush illustrates the slides of the voice by reference to the Diatonic scale, consisting of a succession of eight sounds, either in an ascending or descending series, and embracing seven proximate intervals, five of which are Tones, and two Semitones. Each sound is called a Note; and the changes of pitch from any one note to another are either Discrete or Concrete, and may be either rising or falling. Concrete changes of Pitch are called slides ; and of these movements there are appropriated to speech the slides through five different intervals, the Semitone, the Second, the Third, the Fifth, and the Octave. By a careful analysis of the speaking voice, Dr. Rush shows that its movements can be measured and set to the musical scale ; and that, however various the combinations of these vocal movements may at first appear, they may readily be reduced to six, called Phrases of Melody. These are the Monotone, the Rising and Falling Ditone, the Rising and Falling Tritone, and the Alternate Phrase. By a more careful analysis, we ascertain that some of the simpler styles of delivery take their character from the predominance of some one of these phrases of melody. Thus we have the Diatonic Melody, the Melody of the Monotone, of the Alternate Phrase, and of the Cadence; and to these are added the Chromatic Melody which arises from the predominance of the Semitone, and the Broken Melody.
INSUFFICIENCY OF ARBITRARY SYSTEMS OF ELOCUTION. It would be impossible, in the space we have given to the subject, to do justice to any one of these ingenious analyses; and it would be quite unprofitable to enumerate the many systems that have been deduced from them up to the present time. The important question is, Do they establish, severally or collectively, a positive science of elocution, which will justify the pupil in laboring to master it in its details, and to accomplish himself according to its rules of practice? We believe there are very few students, who have given much time and attention to the subject, who will not render a negative reply. The shades of expression in language are often so delicate and undistinguishable, that intonation will inevitably vary according to the temperament of the speaker, his appreciation of the sense, and the intensity with which he enters into the spirit of what he utters. It is impossible to establish rules of matbematical precision for utterance, any more than for dancing. Take the first line of Mark Antony's harangue :
Friends,, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears ! An ingenious speaker will give, at one time, the falling inflection, and at another the rising, to the word countrymen; and both modes shall seem equally expressive and appropriate. Nay, he will at one moment place the .chief stress upon lend, and the next upon ears; and he will make either mode of rendering the verse appear appropriate and expressive. We do not deny that there are passages in regard to which there can be little doubt as to the inflection and emphasis to be employed; but these are precisely the passages in reference to which rules are not needed, so obvious is the sense to every intelligent reader, and so unerringly does nature guide us.
“ Probably not a single instance," says Archbishop Whately, “could be found, of any one who has attained, by the study of any system of instruction that has appeared, a really good delivery; but there are many probably nearly as many as have fully tried the experiment — who have by this means been totally spoiled.” There is one principle, he says, radically erroneous, which must vitiate every system founded on it, — the principle, " that, in order to acquire the best style of delivery, it is requisite to study analytically the emphasis, tones, pauses, degrees of loudness, &c., which give the proper effect to each passage that is well delivered; to frame Rules founded on the observation of these; and then, in practice, deliberately and carefully to conform the utterance to these rules, so as to form a complete artificial system of Elocution." “To the adoption of any such artificial scheme there are three weighty objections : first, that the proposed system must necessarily be imperfect ; secondly, that if it were perfect, it would be a circuitous path to the object in view; and thirdly, that even if both these objections were removed, the object would not be effectually obtained.”
The first of those objections, which is not denied by the most strenuous advocates of the artificial systems, would seem to be all-sufficient. Any number of Rules must needs leave the subject incomplete, inasmuch as the analysis of sentences, in their structure, and their relations to vocal inflection, may be carried to almost any extent. Few Rules can be laid down to which many unforeseen exceptions cannot be made. Mr. Walker, in his “ Rhetorical
Grammar,” published some years after his “ Elements of Elocution” had been before the public, admits the practical failure of the systems founded on his analysis. “The sanguine expectations I had once entertained,” he says, “ that this Analysis of the Human Voice would be received by the learned with avidity, are now over.” And, his imagination kindling at a ray of hope, he alus: “It is not improbable that the active genius of the French, who are so remarkably attentive to their language, may tirst adopt this vehicle” of instruction in reading and speaking. But more than forty years have passed since this suggestion was thrown out; and the French, so quick to adopt improvements based on scientific analysis, have been as backward as Walker's own countrymen in applying to practical uses his discovery. But although the Science of Europe has weighed these artificial systems in the balance, and found them wanting for practical purposes of instruction, the hope seems to be entertained that Young America will not yet a while concur in the judg
" It is surely a circuitous path,” says Archbishop Whately, “when the learner is directed first to consider how each passage ought to be read (that is, what mode of delivering each part of it would spontaneously occur to him, if he were attending exclusively to the matter of it); then to observe all the modulations, &c., of voice, which take place in such a delivery; then to note these down, by established marks, in writing ; and, lastly, to pronounce according to these marks." “ Such instruction is like that bestowed by Molière's pedantic tutor upon his Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who was taught, to his infinite surprise and delight, what configurations of the mouth he employed in pronouncing the several letters of the alphabet, which he had been accustomed to utter, all his life, without knowing how.”
The labors of Steele, Walker and Rush, are important, and their analyses of vocal expression may always be studied with profit. But the attempt to establish a practical system of elocutionary rules, which may be a consistent and reliable guide to the pupil in ronding aloud and in declamation, has been continually bafiled. The subject is not one that, in its nature, admits of a resolution into rigid analytical rules. Thought and language being as various as the minds of men, the intlections of the human voice must partake of their plastic quality; and passion and genuine emotion must break through all the rules which theorists can frame. Anatomy is a curious and a profitable study; but what if we were to tell the pugilist that, in order to give a blow with due effect, he ought to know how the muscles depend for their powers of contraction and relaxation on the nerves, and how the nerves issue from the brain and the spinal marrow, with similar facts, requiring, perhaps, a lifetime of study for their proper comprehension, — would he not laugh at us for our advice? And yet, even more unreasonable is it to say, that, to accomplish ourselves in reading and speaking, we must be able to classify a sentence under the head of " loose” or “compact," and their subdivisions, and then to glibly enunciate it according to some arbitrary rule, to which, the probability is, there are many unsurmised exceptions. When Edmund Kean thrilled the heart of a great audience with the tones of indescribable pathos which he imparted to the words,
“ Othello's occupation 's gone,” it would have puzzled him to tell whether the sentence was a “simple declarative” or an - imperfect loose.” He knew as little of “ intensive slides,” “ bends," "sweeps,” and “closes," as Cribb, the boxer, did of osteology. He studied the intonation which most touched his own heart ; and he gave it, reckless of rules, or, rather, guided by that paramount rule, which seeks the highest triumphs of art in elocution in the most genuine utterances of nature.
Attention is the secret of success in speaking, as in other departments of human effort. Sir Isaac Newton was one day asked how he had discovered the true system of the universe. He replied, “ By continually thinking upon it.” He was frequently heard to declare that, “ if he had done the world any services, it was due to nothing but industry and patient thought; that he kept the subject under consideration constantly before him, and waited till the first dawning opened gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light.” Attention to the meaning and full effect of what we utter in declamation will guide us, better than any system of marks, in a right disposition of emphasis and inflection. By attention, bad habits are detected and repudiated, and happy graces are seized and adopted. Demosthenes had a habit of raising one shoulder when he spoke. He corrected it by suspending a sword, so that the point would pierce the offending member when unduly elevated. He had a defective utterance, and this he amended by practising declamation with pebbles in his mouth.
Practice in elocution, under the guidance, if possible, of an intelligent instructor, will lead to more solid results than the most devoted endeavors to learn, by written rules, what is above all human attempt at “circumscription and confine.” Possess your mind fully with the spirit of what you have to utter, and the right utterance will come by practice. If it be a political speech of % remarkable character, acquaint yourself * with the circumstances under which it was originally uttered; with the history and peculiarities of the speaker; and with the interests which were at stake at the time. Enter, with all the warmth of your imaginative faculty, into the speaker's feelings; lose yourself in the occasion; let his words be stamped on your memory; and do not tire in repeating them aloud, with such action and emphasis as attention will suggest and improve, until you have acquired that facility in the utterance which is essential to an effective delivery before an audience. If it be a poem which you have to recite, study to partake the enthusiasm which the author felt in the composition. Let the poetical element in your nature be aroused, and give it full play in the utterance of “ thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."
The practice of frequent public declamation in schools cannot be too much commended. The advantages of such training, if not immediate, will be recognized later in life. In awakening attention, inspiring confidence, acquainting the pupil with the selectest models of Oratory, compelling him to try his voice before an audience, and impressing him with a sense of the importance of elocutionary culture, the benefits which accrue from these exercises are inestimable. The late John Quincy Adams used to trace to his simple habit of reciting, in obedience to his father, Collins' little ode, “How sleep the brave,” &c., the germ of a patriotic inspiration, the effects of which he feit throughout his public career ; together with the early culture of a taste for elocution, which was of great influence in shaping his future pursuits.
DIVISIONS OF ELOCUTION. Elocution is divided into Articulation and Pronunciation ; Inflection and Modulation ; Emphasis ; Gesture.
ARTICULATION AND PRONUNCIATION. Correct articulation is the most important exercise of the voice, and of the organs of speech. A public speaker, possessed only of a moderate voice, if he articulate correctly, will be better understood, and heard with greater pleasure, than one who vociferates, without judgment. The voice of the latter may, indeed, extend to a considerable distance, but the sound is dissipated in con
* As an assistance to the pupil in carrying out this recommendation, the author has, in many instances, appended illustrative notes, or brief biogi hical sketches, to the extracts from the specches of great orators.
fusion. Of the former voice, not the smallest vibration is wasted; every stroke is perceived at the utmost distance to which it reaches, and hence it may often appear to penetrate even further than one which is loud, but badly articulated. “In just articulation,” says Austin, the words are not hurried over, nor precipitated syllable over syllable. They are delivered out from the lips, as beautiful coins, newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, sharp, in due succession, and of due weight.”
Pronunciation points out the proper sounds of vowels and consonants, and the distribution of accent on syllables. Articulation has a reference to the positions and movements of the organs which are necessary to the production of those sounds with purity and distinctness; it also regulates the proportion of the sounds of letters in words, and of words in sentences. Articulation and pronunciation may thus be said to form the basis of elocution. An incorrect or slovenly pronunciation of words should be carefully avoided. The most eloquent discourse may be marred by the mispronunciation of a word, or by & vicious or provincial accent. The dictionaries of Worcester or Webster, in which the pronunciation is based mainly on the accepted standard of Walker, should be carefully consulted by the pupil, wherever he is doubtful in regard to the pronunciation of a word, or the accent of a syllable. These dictionaries also contain ample rules for the guidance and practice of the reader in the attainment of a correct pronunciation of the rudimental sounds of the vowels and consonants. They should be carefully studied. A speaker who continually violates the ear of taste by his mispronunciation must never hope to make a favorable impression upon an educated audience.
DEFECTS IN PRONUNCIATION. The omission to sound the final g in such words as moving, rising, - as if they were spelled movin, risin, — is one of the most frequent defects which inattentive readers exhibit. A habit also prevails of slurring the full sound of the italicised letter in such words as belief, polite, political, whisper, which; several, every, deliverer, traveller; history, memorable, melody, philosophy; society, variety, &c.; also of muffling the r in such words as alarm, reform, arrest, warrior; omitting the e in the last syllable of sudden, mitten, &c.; corrupting the a in musical, social, whimsical, metal, &c.; the i in certainly, fountain, &c.; the last o in Boston, notion, &c.; giving e the sound of u in momentary, insolent, and the like; and a the same sound in jubilant, arrogant, &c.; giving the sound of er to the final termination of such words as fellow, potato, follow, hallow; giving to r in war, warlike, partial, &c., the sound of w; prolonging the sound of w in law, flaw, as if there were an r tacked on at the end of the words; in such words as nature, creature, legislature, &c., failing to give the full sound to the u and e of the last syllable, As they are sounded in pure, sure, &c.; giving to the a in scarce the sound of u in purse ; slurring the final o in occasion, invention, condition, &c.; giving the sound of u to the a in Indian; giving the sound of um to the final m in chasm, patriotism, &c.; the sound of i to the e in goodness, matchless; the sound of fe to the ful of awful, beautiful, and the like. The e in the first syllable of such words as terminate, mercy, perpetrate, &c., ought, according to the stricter critics in elocution, to have the sound of e in merit, terror, &c. A habit of speaking through the nose, in the utterance of such words as now, cow, is prevalent in New England, and should be overcome by all who would not make themselves ridiculous in educated society. Other common defects in pronunciation are thus satirized by Holmes :
“ Learning condemns, beyond the reach of hope,