Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

the subject, the power to pleaseto persuade--to convinceand improved Physical Health.

Pupil. I am very thankful for this instruction. I desire to study and practice an art by which I may arrive at usefulness and honor. But can books alone give me all the instruction I need in this science ?

Teacher. They cannot. Elocution can only be written in part; and Eloquence can never be placed on paper. They exist mostly in spirit, voice and action. The spirit of the sci ence is the living teacher, and its body is the good elocutionary book.

Pupil. What qualifications are important that one may be come a good reader and speaker ?

Teacher. First, a good physical organism ; second, good common sense ; third, a desire to excel; and fourth, perseverance in the cultivation of the powers of the body and mind.

Pupil. Can Elocution make the orator? And what powers must he possess ?

Teacher. The orator can never be made by Elocution; yet it may develop great powers. He must have great natural endowments, great knowledge, and cultivation, such as few men in an age possess or attain. But be encouraged, my young friends, you know not the powers you may possess. This science will reveal them. Some of these young ladies before me, may yet hold thousands in breathless silence and admiration, by a cultivated mind and voice, displayed in reading or speak ing. And, young gentlemen, yours may be the high honor,

" to stem corruption's course, And shake a Senate with a Tully's force.”

LECTURE.

a

1. SPEECH is a faculty peculiar to man.

Much of the enjoyment of rational existence is derived from the means it gives us of fully and freely communicating with our fellows. It must be obvious, therefore, that the more thoroughly that faculty be cultivated, the more pleasure it will yield its possessor and the more influence it will enable him to exert upon others.

2. Speaking brings into combined action the natural and artificial manifestations of thought and emotion.

The voice, looks, and gesture are natural language; words and characters are artificial. The mind is the active agent and performer; the body is the passive agent and instrument. The mind must be cultivated, the emotions of the heart developed, and the voice and body tuned to the service of the mind in speech and action.

3. "Eloquence may be considered the soul or animating principle of discourse; and is dependent on intellectual energy and intellectual attainments.”

4. “ Elocution is the outward form or representative power of Eloquence, dependent upon exterior accomplishments, and on the cultivation of the organs.”

5. “Oratory is the perfect harmony and combination of Elo quence and Elocution."

6. "Logic ascertains the weight of an argument; Eloquence gives it momentum, life and motion.” Elocution is a vehicle in which Eloquence drives his spirit-steeds of action through the Elysian fields of thought and emotion.

a

ELOCUTION AS A SCIENCE.

1. ELOCUTION is the art of communicating thought, knowledge and emotion, by the use of natural and artificial language.

2. It is both a science and an art. The science includes the knowledge of the art; and the art comprises the practice of the science. The perfection of the art enables the speaker to manifest his thoughts and feelings, in the most pleasing, per spicuous, and forcible manner, for the high purpose of making others feel and think as he does.

THE VOICE.

1. The voice is sound produced by vibration of the air in its passage through the larynx—the vocal organ.

2. Common observation shows, that the speaking or singing voice may be rendered powerful and melodious, by scientific training. The voice is susceptible of great cultivation. It is strong in proportion to the development of the larynx, the capacity of the chest, and strength of muscle concerned in its production. It is a great educational motto, that “Exercise strengthens every faculty of the body and mind;" hence, the practicability of developing and tuning the complicated instruments of voice and speech.

THE ORGANS OF VOICE.

1. The larynx, with its appendages, the trachea, bronchi. lungs, diaphragm, intercostal, dorsal, and abdominal muscles, when put in action by the mind, produce that phenomenon of sound called voice.

2. The quality of the voice is dependent upon the cultivation of the organs, the purity of the air used in respiration, tempe rance, the state of the skin, the absence or presence of food in the stomach, and the position of the body.

3. Rest, as well as bathing and friction of the body previvus to speaking, are important. The use of tobacco, ardent spirits, or food, (and especially meat,) immediately before a public effort, acts unfavorably to the freedom and spirit of speech.

THE ORGANS OF SPEECH.

1. The tongue, the palate, the fauces, the uvula, the nasal cavities, the lips, and teeth are properly the organs of speech.

2. Speech is voice modified by the action of these organs into certain forms, called words. Voice is natural, but speech is essentially a creature of education. Hence, the perfection and quality of speech depend almost entirely upon examples for imitation, and upon the amount and kind of training the organs have received.

CAN ELOCUTION BE TAUGHT!

[ocr errors]

1. “This question,” says Dr. Rush, in his “Philosophy of the Human Voice," " has heretofore been asked through ignorance : it shall hereafter be asked only through folly.”

2. Cicero and Demosthenes, history informs us, paid their thousands to masters in Elocution, and spent whole years in its study and practice. Roscius acquired such a wonderful skill in natural language, that he could express as many passions and sentiments by looks and gesture, as Cicero could by words.

3. Lord Mansfield and Lord Chatham studied Elocution in their boyhood, and the result was, that their melodious voices and graceful action held and charmed their auditors. Dean

Kirwan studied closely the principles of delivery, thus convey ing eloquent and devout thought upon the vehicle of a melodi ous voice, and varied, emphatic action. Whitfield, who warmed the religious heart of the New World as well as the Old, by his glowing eloquence, acknowledged with gratitude the benefit he derived from the lessons he took of Garrick, England's great tragedian.

4. The author listened to the reading of a lady in Philadel. phia, who held thousands in breathless silence, or excited their most enthusiastic admiration, by the strangely sweet and eloquent tones of her voice :

“That voice! O how divinely sweet: 't was like the seraph's note: And fairy-like, an angel form seemed in the air to float.”

The secret of that lady's success was, that she had cultivated her literary taste, and her voice and expression, by a long and persevering practice of the art of Elocution, under the instruction of a celebrated master of the science. But we will not stop to note the many and memorable examples of the brilliant success of elocutionary science, not only in ancient, but in modern times.

EXPRESSION.

1. This is the practical application of the principles of Elocution, in such a manner as to produce a natural, clear, full, and forcible expression of thought and emotion, bringing out the whole sense, in the style of good talking.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »