« НазадПродовжити »
deficient without them. Corld every school in the country be under the instruction of a master of Elocution, the necessity would in a measure cease to exist
. But this, unhappily, is not the case. Many of those who engage in the instruction of youth, require themselvis the instruction they are expected to give, and have perhaps ny other means of acquiring it, than from these elementary books from which is would be withheld.
In this stereotype edition, some few alterations have heen made; but the hook contains as much matter as the former edition, and its use with it will not be found very inconvenient. It is not offered to the public ir. a punanent shape; and from the very favorable reception of the first sicion, it will, I trust, continue to receive a patronage come mensjn.d win its value.
UPOX TUE PRIXCIPLES OF GOOD READING.
Ay ability to read in a correct anıl interesting manner, has become indispensably requisite for all who would hold a respectable station in swiety; and not only should iis acquisition be considered as a plite accociplishinent, but as a talent, subservient to the purposes of busines, and of rational enjoyment.
There are indeed but few persons in this country, who are unable to reari with some degree of correctness; yet those who may be culent good reuiors, are less frequently met with than is generally imainel. Perfection in the art of reading, requires a natural talent, joined to the most persevering industry; and although it is a point to which few if any are ever able to arrive, yet every approach to it is of comparative value, and worth the effort required for its attainment.
Perhaps there cannot be a more unerring standard fixed for realmy, than to adopt the same easy and natural mode that we would in umuon contrrsation. In the latter our object is to communicate our in thoughts; in the former to communicate the thouvhts of others;-. nie in both we wish to do it in the manner calculated to make us bert inderstand. By this remark we do not design to recommend to those', who have alosted a careless manner of conversation, the alloption of similar one in reading; but the same rules which serve to improve icone, may, loy their application, have the saine happy eflect upon it other. But let it be siistinctly understool, that my rules can be iven for the managen:ent of the voice in trading, which, independent ; 1.1veling, can insure the oloject elesired. “Emotion," says a distinuished writer, " is the thing. One tiush of passion on the cheek, ne beam of ficäng from the eye, one thrilling note of' sensibility frora .!ze tongue, have a thousand times more value than any exemplification of mere rules, where feeling is absent."
The olservations which we shall make upon the principles of realag, or mamer ví delivery, will be comprised under the following beads : Articularios, ACCENT, Emphasis, INFLECTION, Monorons, and MODULATION, with a few remarks upon the READING OF VERSE.
1. Articulation. A GOOD articulation consists in a clear and distinct utterance of the diferent suunds of the language; and is one of the most important articulars to be considered. No matter upon what subject, or upon vhat cxcasion a man may read or speak to his fellow mien, he never i'! le listened to for any length of time, unless he be distinctly heari, nd that without effort on the part of his learers. No interest of the ubjoct can excus a rapid and indistinct utterance. Many there are
who fail in this particular. Some persons have natural impediments, which render the utterance of certain sounds quite difficult; but an indistinct articulation more frequently arises from a want of care to avoid it, and from a too much indulged disposition in children when learning to read, to hurry over their lessons with a rapidity which renders them unable to articulate, distinctly, the unaccented syllables.And it may here be observed, that teachers cannot too sedulously guard their pupils against this practice a practice which, if toleratel in the young reader, will soon become a confirmed habit--an uncompromising barrier to a good delivery.
Those who have been accustomed to converse with persons partially deaf, can well appreciate the importance of distinct" utterance. A moderate voice with a clear articulation, is much more readily hear:/ by such persons, than an indistinct one however loud; and it is from the same cause that a man with but a feeble voice, can make himself better understood by a large assembly, than the possessor of a powerful one without an observance of a just articulation.-It was to a dofect in his articulation that Demosthenes attributed the failure which attended his first efforts in public speaking; and to his success in surmounting this difficulty, we may attribute his elevation from an uninteresting speaker, to one of the most renowned orators of any age.
One of the sources of an indistinct articulation, may be traced to an inattention in giving the proper sounds to the unaccented rovel: In many words, by a careless articulation one vowel is subsiituted !i another; thus,-for educate, we hear ed-e-cate ; for calculate, cal-hie late; for populous, pop-c-lous ; &c. In some words the vowel is near ly or quite suppressed; as, for the word, prevail, we hear pr-rail;
fi j.redict, pr-dict ; for propose, pr-pose; for provide, pr-ride, &c. Th: acæented vowels, too, in words which are followed by the same or s milar sounds, are often but indistinctly uttered, as may be seen by th: following example:
"Tho oft the ear the open vowels tire." But the greatest source of detective articulation, lies in the circuni stance that it depends mostly upon the consonant sounds, many ! which require some effort to articulate. The vowel sounds arc easil expressed; but many of the consonants, under certain arrangemene of letters, are hard of utterance, and are often not articulated at This is particularly the case where the termination of one word , syllable, with one or more consonants, is succeeded by a similar a rangement in the syllable or word next following, as was the case wit the vowels in the above example. Thus,-in syllablos,-atteinpt, ai empt ; afflict, af-lict; ennoble, en-oble ; tyranny, ty-ran-y; appeal ap-cal, &c. In words,
The youth hates stuly.
The youth bates tudy.
The steadfas tranger in the ivies trayed.
leacliers ought to prove his work ;"_and whether to understand that * his teachers ought to prove;" ur,“ his teacher sought to prove;" or, “ his teachers ought to approve;" night le a subject of unsatisfico anxiety. In the following, the sense is entirely perverted by not utlering a consonant distinctly:
The horse performs well on neither side.
The !10r8e performs well on either side. Teachers seldom pay sufficient attention to this branch of clocution, in instructing their pupils. It is the basis, upon which all the other properties of a good delivery rest; and it will be in vain to press pupils forwand, in the hope of their becomin: good readers, until they first forin a habit of distinct utterance. Those who have acquire a habit of indistinct articulation, should be made to read slow, and with a reference solely to this defect; and this practice should be continuod, until a correct habit ve formed.
Whoever will listen to the rcauling or speaking of others, may 0 serve that a bad articulation is not unfrequent. Letters, words, and sonetimes parts of sentences, are often so nearly suppressed, or blendod together, as almost to baftie all effort to apprehend the meaning. To prevent this, requires nothing inore than practice upon the elementary sounds of the language; and a daily exercise upon them, exclusively, in reading and conversation, would be attended with the most protitable results to all who are defective in this important attainment. The following exercises present some of the most difficult sentences to articulate :-In reading them, let every word be arat and distinctly articulated :
The finest strect in Naples.
slie authoritatively led us, and disinterestedly labored for us; and we un licsitalingly adiniited her rousonableness.
Austin, a modern writer on delivery, says: “In just articulation the words are not to be hurried over, nor precipitated, syllable over syllable; nor, as it were, melted together in a mass of confusion. They should neither be abridged, nor prolonged; nor swallowed, nor forced; they should not be trailed, nor drawled, nor let to slip out carelessly, so as to drop unfinished. They are to be delivered out from she lips as beautiful coins, newly issued from the mint ; deeply and accurately impressed; perfectly finished; neatly struck by the proper organs; distinct; in due succession, and of due weight."
II. Accent. Although under the head of articulation we have urged the distinct utterance of all the syllables of a sentence, yet every word of more than one syllable, requires a greater stress of the voice upon some one of its syllables than upon the rest, which stress is denominated accent. The syllable on which the accent is placed, is in most words established by custoin, and the sense is not dependent upon it: but in some few words the meaning is established by the accent. This may be the ca:e while the word is the same part of speech; as, desert, (a wildernesey desert, (inerit)—to conjure, to conjure, &c. The accent also distinguishes between the same word used as a noun and an adjective; as, minute, ininute ; compact, compact ; and it also distinguishes between the noun and the verb; as, conduct, to conduct ; insult, to insult, &e. Accent is sometimes controlled by emphasis; and in words which have a sameness of form, but are contrasted in sense, it frequently falls upos syllables, to which, did not the emphasis require it, it would not be long; as, He shall increase, but I shall decrease; there is a difference between giving, and forgiving: Although the meaning of comparatively but few words is affected by the accent, its proper use tends to promote the harmony of utterance, and should be governed by the most approved usage and taste.
III. Emphasis. EMPnAsis is the forcible, and peculiar utterance of those words of a wntence, upon which the meaning depends. On the right use of emphasis, rest the whole beauty and intelligence of delivery. When it is not used at all, discourse becomes heavy and insipid; and if it be used wrong, it must be at the expense of the meaning of the authur, whose ideas it is the object of reading to attain.
To give rules lıy which the proper use of emphasis may be learned, without entering into the meaning and spirit of the composition, is noi possible. It is governed by the sentiment, and is inseparably associated with thought and emotion. The right use of emphasis indeed requires, not only an understanding of the author's meaning, but a corresponding feeling on the part of the reader: for, although by an understanding of the meaning of a sentence we may be able to point out the emphatic worus, yet withont entering, to a certain extent, into the same feeling which dictated the sentiment, that peculiar modulation of emphasis which constitutes the beauty of delivery, and which alone can express the true meaning, and the whole meaning of the author, can not be exercised.
Strong emphasis is sometimes required upon words in consideration of their absolute iinportance; but its principal use is to enforce particular ideas, in contradistinction from others, which are supposed to have becu 'hitherto entertained, or which, it is feared, may be at prese'rit received. The learner will observe that in almost every case, where a word requires emphasis, there is some other idea suggeriet in opposition to that expressed by the word emphasized, and from which the emphasis invites the particular distinction. In some sentences this opposite or antithetic idea is expressed in words, but more fre. quently it is not. When it is expres.::d, the words forming both parts of the antithesis receive the cmphasis, and there can be no difficulty in discovering them, -as in the fòllowing couplet from Pope:
'Tis hard to say is groater want of skill
Appear in writing, or in judging ill. But when the word or words in opposition are not expressed, reliance is placed upon the understanding to supply them. Brutus, in Shaks. peare's Julius Cesar, says to Cassius, - You wronged yourself to write in such a case.
.:: -Here but one part of the antithesis is expressed, and the jwgment of the rcader inust discover the other hy the sunse, or the emphasis will not be rightly placed. Let us look for the