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language contains, both in prose and verse, and if he strenuously endeavor to apply to them all the scientific principles which he has learned, there can be no doubt that he will acquire a manner of delivery which will do ample justice to any subject on which he may be called to exercise his vocal powers.
In all reading and public speaking, the management of the breath requires great care, so as not to be obliged to divide words from one another which have so intimate a connection that they ought to be pronounced in the same breath, and without the least separation. Many sentences are marred, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while he is reading or speaking, should be careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to utter. It is a great mistake to imagine that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at intervals of the period, when the voice is only suspended for a moment; and, by this management, we may have always a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.
The importance of a skilful management of the breath in utterance will be made apparent by a little practice. It is a good exercise for the pupil to repeat the cardinal numbers rapidly up to twenty, inhaling a full breath at the commencement. He may, by practice, make his breath hold out till he reaches forty and more, enunciating every syllable distinctly.
It must always be part of a healthful physiological regimen to exercise the voice daily, in reading or speaking aloud. The habit of Demosthenes, of walking by the sea-shore and shouting, was less important, in accustoming him to the sound of a multitude, than in developing and strengthening his vocal organs. The pupil will be astonished to find how much his voice will gain in power by daily exercise. Reading aloud and recitation,” says Andrew Combe, “are more useful and invigorating muscular exercises than is generally imagined; at least, when managed with due regard to the natural powers of the individual, so as to avoid effort and fatigue. Both require the varied activity of most of the muscles of the trunk to a degree of which few are conscious till their attention is turned to it. In forming and undulating the voice, not only the chest, but also the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, are in constant action, and communicate to the stomach and bowels a healthy and agreeable stimulus."
How doubly important does the judicious and methodical exercise of the voice thus become to him who would make it at once an effective instrument of conveying truth to his fellow-men, and of improving his own physical strength and capacity !
The length of a vowel is indicated by a horizontal line (-) over it; as, Latinus. Its shortness is marked by a curve (); as, Regủlus.
If two vowels, which, in ordinary circumstances, form a diphthong, or are likely to be fused together in their utterance, are to be pronounced separately, the second is marked with (); that is, a diæresis; as, aërial. This rule is not always observed in familiar instances.
The acute accent () is employed to indicate that the vowel over which it is placed is not merged in the preceding syllable ; as, blesséd, Tempé; the accent showing that these words are to be pronounced in two syllables. In poetry, the past participle, which in prose is in one llable, often has to be pronounced in two, to preserve the harmony of the verse.
MORAL AND DIDACTIC.
1. TRUTH TIIE OBJECT OF ALL STUDIES. — Original Translation. The supreme want, as well as the supreme blessing of man, is truth; yes, truth in religion, which, in giving us pure and exalted ideas of the Divinity, teaches us, at the same time, to render Him the most worthy and intelligent homage; - truth in morals, which indicates their duties to all classes, at once without rigor and without laxity; — truth in politics, which, in making authority more just and the people more acquiescent, saves governments from the passions of the multitude, and the multitude from the tyranny of governments ; — truth in our legal tribunals, which strikes Vice with consternation, reässures Innocence, and accomplishes the triumph of Justice; -- truth in education, which, bringing the conduct of instructors into accordance with their teaching, exhibits them as the models no less than the masters of infancy and youth ; — truth in literature and in art, which preserves them from the contagion of bad taste, from false ornaments as well as false thoughts ; — truth in the daily commerce of life, which, in banishing fraud and imposture, establishes the common security; — truth in everything, truth before everything, - this is, in effect, what the whole human race, at heart, solicit. Yes, all men have a consciousness, that truth is ever beneficent, and falsehood ever pernicious.
And, indeed, when none but true doctrines shall be universally inculcated, — when they shall have penetrated all hearts, — when they shall animate every order of society, — if they do not arrest all existing evils, they will have, at least, the advantage of arresting a great many. They will be prolific in generous sentiments and virtuous actions; and the world will perceive that truth is, to the body social, a principle of life. But, if, on the other hand, error, in matters of capital import, obtain dominion in the minds of men, — especially of those who are called to serve as guides and models, – it will mislead and confound them, and, in corrupting their thoughts, sentiments and acts, it will become a principle of dissolution and death.
2. IMMORTALITY. - Original Translation from Massillon. JEAN BAPTISTE MASSIllox, one of the most cloquent preachers of any age, was hom in Provence, France, in 1663. He became so celebratel for his eloquence, that he was called to Paris, where he drew crowds of hearers. In 1717, he was made Bishop of Clermont ; and died, 1742.
If we wholly perish with the body, what an imposture is this whole system of laws, manners and usages, on which human society is founded! If we wholly perish with the body, these maxims of charity, patience, justice, honor, gratitude and friendship, which sages have taught and good men have practised, what are they but empty words, possessing no real and binding efficacy? Why should we heed them, if in this life only we have hope ? Speak not of duty. What can we owe to the dead, to the living, to ourselves, if all are, or will be, nothing? Who shall dictate our duty, if not our own pleasures, — if not our own passions ? Speak not of morality. It is a mere chimera, a bugbear of human invention, if retribution terminate with the grave.
If we must wholly perish, what to us are the sweet ties of kindred ? what the tender names of parent, child, sister, brother, husband, wife, or friend? The characters of a drama are not more illusive. We have no ancestors, no descendants; since succession cannot be predicated of nothingness. Would we honor the illustrious dead ? How absurd to honor that which has no existence! Would we take thought for posterity ? How frivolous to concern ourselves for those whose end, like our own, must soon be annihilation ! Have we made a promise? How can it bind nothing to nothing ? Perjury is but a jest. The last injunctions of the dying, - what sanctity have they, more than the last sound of a chord that is snapped, of an instrument that is broken?
To sum up all : If we must wholly perish, then is obedience to the laws but an insensate servitude ; rulers and magistrates are but the phantoms which popular imbecility has raised up; justice is an unwarrantable infringement upon the liberty of men, - an imposition, an usurpation; the law of marriage is a vain scruple; modesty, a prejudice ; honor and probity, such stuff as dreams are made of; and incests, murders, parricides, the most heartless cruelties, and the blackest crimes, are but the legitimate sports of man's irresponsible nature; while the harsh epithets attached to them are merely such as the policy of legislators has invented, and imposed on the credulity of the people.
Here is the issue to which the vaunted philosophy of unbelievers must inevitably lead. Here is that social felicity, that sway son, that emancipation from error, of which they eternally prate, as the fruit of their doctrines. Accept their maxims, and the whole world falls back into a frightful chaos ; and all the relations of life are confounded; and all ideas of vice and virtue are reversed ; and the most inviolable laws of society vanish ; and all moral discipline perishes; and the government of states and nations has no longer any cement to uphold it; and all the harmony of the body politic becomes discord; and the human race is no more than an assemblage of reckless barbarians, shameless, remorseless, brutal, denaturalized, with no other law than force, no other check than passion, no other bond than irreligion, no other God than self! Such would be the world which impiety would make. Such would be this world, were a belief in God and immortality to die out of the human heart.
3. THE UTILITY OF THE BEAUTIFUL. — John Ruskin. Man's use and function — and let him who will not grant me this follow me no further - is to be the witness of the glory of God, and to advance that glory by his reasonable obedience and resultant happiness. Whatever enables us to fulfil this function is, in the pure and first sense of the word, useful to us. And yet people speak, in this working age, as if houses, and lands, and food, and raiment, were alone useful; and, as if sight, thought and admiration, were all profitless : so that men insolently call themselves Utilitarians, who would turn, if they had their way, themselves and their race into vegetables; men who think, as far as such can be said to think, that the meat is more than the life, and the raiment than the body; who look to the earth as a stable, and to its fruit as fodder ; vine-dressers and husbandmen, who love the corn they grind, and the grapes they crush, better than the gardens of the angels upon the slopes of Eden ; hewers of wood and drawers of water, who think that the wood they hew, and the water they draw, are better than the pine-forests that cover the mountains like the shadow of God, and than the great rivers that move like His eternity. And so comes upon us that woe of the preacher, that though God “ hath made everything beautiful in his time, also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
This Nebuchadnezzar curse, that sends us to grass like oxen, seems to follow but too closely on the excess or continuance of national power and peace. In the perplexities of nations, in their struggles for existence, — in their infancy, their impotence, or even their disorganization, - they have higher hopes and nobler passions. Out of the suffering comes the serious mind; out of the salvation, the grateful heart; out of the endurance, the fortitude ; out of the deliverance, the faith. Deep though the causes of thankfulness must be to every people at peace with others and at unity in itself, there are causes of fear also, a fear greater than of sword and sedition, - that dependence on God may be forgotten,
because the bread is given and the water is sure ; that gratitude to Him may cease, because His constancy of protection has taken the semblance of a natural law; that heavenly hope may grow faint amidst the full fruition of the world ; that selfishness may take place of undemanded devotion, compassion be lost in vain-glory, and love in dissimulation ; that enervation may succeed to strength, apathy to patience, and the noise of jesting words and the foulness of dark thoughts to the earnest purity of the girded loins and the burning lamp. Let us beware that our rest become not the rest of stones, which, so long as they are torrent-tossed and thunder-stricken, maintain their majesty, but, when the stream is silent, and the storm passed, suffer the grass to cover them and the lichen to feed on them, and are ploughed down into dust.
4. THE WORLD WITHOUT AND WITHIN. - Thomas Noon Talfourd. EXISTENCE has become almost a different thing since it began with some of us. It then justified its old similitude of a journey, - it quickened with intellect into a march; it is now whirling with science and speculation into a flight. Space is contracted and shrivelled up like a scroll. Time disdains its old relations to distance. The intervals
ween flighty purpose ” and the “deed” are almost annihilated ; and the national mind must either glow with generous excitement, or waste in fitful fever. How important, then, is it, that throughout our land the spiritual agencies should be quickened into kindred activity; that the few minutes of leisure and repose which may be left us should, by the succession of those “ thoughts which wander through eternity,” become hours of that true time which is dialled in Heaven ; that thought, no longer circling in vapid dream, but impelled right onward with divine energy, should not only outspeed the realized miracles of steam, but the divinest visions of atmospheric prophecy, and still “ keep the start of the majestic world”!
Mr. Canning once boasted, of his South American policy, that he had “called a new world into existence, to balance the old.” Be it your nobler endeavor to preserve the balance even between the world within us and the world without us; not vainly seeking to retard the life of action, but to make it steady by Contemplation's immortal freightage. Then may we exult, as the chariot of humanity flies onward, with safety in its speed, — for we shall discover, like Ezekiel of old, in prophetic vision, the spirit in its wheels.
All honor, then, to those who, amid the toils, the cares, and the excitements, of a season of transition and struggle, would rescue the golden hours of the youth around them from debasing pleasures and more debasing sloth, and enable them to set to the world, in a great crisis of its moral condition, this glorious example of intellectual courage and progress!
5. THE MECHANICAL EPOCH. - Hon. John P. Kennedy. The world is now entering upon the Mechanical Epoch. There is nothing in the future more sure than the great triumphs which that epoch is to achieve. It has already advanced to some glorious conquests. What miracles of mechanical invention already crowd upon us! Look abroad, and contemplate the infinite achievements of the