Зображення сторінки

Hot in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice ; lest the daughters of the uncircömcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings; for there the shield of the unighty was vilely cast away; the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anomted with oif.” The first of these divisions, expresses sorrow and lamentation ; therefore the note is low. The next contains a spirited command, and should be pronounced much higher. The other sentence, in which he makes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, must be expressed in a note quite different from the two former; Dot so low as the first, nor so high as the second, but in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tone.

The correct and natural language of the emotions is not so difficult to be attained as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the author's sentiments, as well as is to the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied tones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of tones, when they utter their sentiments earnest discourse. And the reason that they have not the same use of them in reading aloud the sentiments of others, may be traced to the very defective and erroneous method in which the art of reading is taught ; whereby ail the various, natural, expressive tones of speech are suppressed ; and a few artificial, urmeaning reading notes, are substituted for them.

But when we recommend to readers, an attentio e tone and language of emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Moderation is pecessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when the reading becomes strictly imitative, it asumes a theatrical manner, and must be highly improper, as well as give offence to the hearers ; because it is inconsistent with that delicacy and modesty which are indispensable on such occasions.

The speaker who delivers his own emotions, must be supposed to be more vivid and animated than would be proper in the person who relates them at second hand.

We shall.conclude this section with the following rule for the tones that indicate the passions and emotions : “In reading, let all your tones of expression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in some degree, more faintly characterized. Let those tones which signify any disagreeable passion of the mind, be still more faint than those which indicate agreeable emotions: and on all occasions preserve yourselves from being so far affected with the subject, as to be unable to proceed through it, with that easy and masterly manner, which has its good effects in this, a well as in evrpy other


Pauses. PAUSES, or rests, in speaking or seading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a preceptible, and, in many cases,' a measurable space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker and time hearer. To the speaker, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delivety; and that he may, by these temporary rests, relieve the organs of speech which otherwise would be soon tired by continued action; to the hearer, that the ear, also, may be relieved from the fatigue which it wouid otherwise endure 'rom a continuity of sound ; and that the understanding may have sufficient áme to mark the distinction of sentences, and their several members.

There are two kinds of pauses; first, emphatical pauses : and next, such as mark the distinctions of sense. An emphatical pause is generally made after something has been said of peculiar moment, and on which we desire to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes, before such a thing is said, we usher it in with a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the same effect as a strong em. phasis ; and are subject to the same rules ; especially to the caution of not repeating them too frequently. For as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise cxpectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully answerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.

But the most frequent and the principai use of pauses, is to mark the divisions of the sense, and at the same time to allow the reader to draw his breath and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauscs, is one of the most nice

and difficult articles of delivery. In all reading, the management of the breath requires a good deal of care, so as not to oblige us to divide words from one another, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pro nounced with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many a sentence is miserably mangled, 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, should be very 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 the intervals of the period, when the voice is suspended only for a moment; and, by this management, one may always have a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.

Pauses in reading must generally be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, sensible conversation; and not upon the stiff arli. ficial manner, which is acquired from reading books according to the common punctuation. It will by no means be sufficient to attend to the points used in printing ; for these are far from marking all the pauses which ought to be made in reading. A mechanical attention to these resting places, has perhaps been one cause of monotony, by leading the reader to a similar tone at every stop, and a uniform cadence at every period. The primary use of points, is to assist the reader in discerning the grammatical construction; and it is only as a secondary object, that they regulate its pronunciation. On this head, the following direction may be of use: “Though in reading, great attention should be paid to the stops, yet a greater should be given to the sense; and their correspondent times occasionally, lengthened beyond what is usual in common speech.

To render pauses pleasing and expressive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the nature of these pauses is intimated, much more than by the length of them, which can seldom be exactly measured. Sometimes it is only a slight and simple suspension of voice that is proper ;. sometimes a degree of cadence in the voice is required; and sometimes that peculiar tone and cadence which denote the sentence to be finished. In all these cases, we are to regulate ourselves by attending to the manner in which nature teaches us to speak, when engaged in real and earnest discourse with others. The following sentence exemplifies the susper.ding and the closing pausos: “Hope, the balm of life, soothes us under every misfortune.” The first and second pauses are accompanied by an inflection of voice, that gives the hearer an expectation of something further to complete the sense: the infection attending the third pause signifies that the sense is completed.

The preceding example is an illustration of the suspending pause, in its simple state: the following instance exhibits that pauso with a degree of cadence in the voice : "If content cannot remove the disquietudes of mankind, it will at least alleviate them.”

The suspending pause is often, in the same sentence, attended with both the rising and the falling inflection of voice; as will be seen in this example: "Moderate exercise', and habitual temperance', strengthen the constitution."*

As the suspending pause may be thus attended with both the rising and the falling inflection, it is the same with regard to the closing pause: it admits of both. The falling inflection generally accompanies it; but it is not unfrequently connected with the rising inflection. Interrogative sentences, for instance, are of.en terminated in this manner : as, “Am I ungrateful'?" "Is he in earnest'?".

But where a sentence is begun by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, it is commonly terminated by the falling inflection. as, “What has he gained by his folly?” “Who will assist him” “Where is the messenger ?• “When did he arrivel?"

When two questions are united in one sentence, and connected by the confunction or, the first takes the rising, the second the falling inflection: as, "Does his conduct support discipline', or destroy it' ?

The rising and falling inflections must not be confounded with emphasis.

* Therising inflection is denoted by the acute; the falling, by the grave accent

Thongh they may often coincide, they are, in their nature, perfectly distinct, Emphasis sometimes controls those intlections.

The regular application of the rising and falling inflections, confers so much beauty on expression, and is so necessary to be studied by the young leader, Osat we shall insort a few more examples, to induce him to pay greater atitntion to the subject. In these instances, all the inflections are not marked. Such only are distinguished, as are most striking, and will best serve to show the reader their utility and importance.

"Blanufactures', trade', and agriculture', certainly employ more than nineteen puts in twenty of the human species."

« fle who resigns the world, has no temptation to envy', hatred, malice, inger-; but is in constant possession of a serene mind; he who follows thé pica sures of it, which are, in their very nature, disappointing, is in constant search of eare, solicitude', remorse', and confusion!"

" To advise the ignorant, relieve the needy', comfort the afflicted', are duces that fall in our way almost every day of our lives."

6. Those cvil spirits, who, by long custom, have contracted in the body hatits of lust

' and sensuality ; malice', and revence'; an aversion to every :iny thin is zond', just, and laudabie', are naturally seasoned and prepared for pain and misery..

"7an persuaded, that neither death', nor life'; rorangels', nor principali26,3, nor powers'; por things present', ..or things to compe'; nor height', nor

'; nor any other creature', shall be able to separate us from the love si God."

The reader who would wish to see a minute and ingenious investigation of the nature of these inflections, and the ru'es by which they are governed, may consuit Waiker's Elements of Elocution.


Manner of reading Verse. WHEN we are reading verse, there is a peculiar difficulty in making the zuscs justly. The difficulty arises from the melody of verse which dictates

the ear puses or rests of its own; and to adjust and compound these proDerly with the pauses of the sense, so as neither to hurt the ear, or offend the understanding, is so very nice a matter, that it is no wonder we so sciou met with good readers of poetry. There are two kinds of pauscs,

Donz to the melody of verse: one is the paise at the end of the line ;

the uther, the cæsaral pause in or near the middle of it. With regard to ile the end of the line, wluich mug that strain or verse to be finishW, Bar renders this always sensible ; and in some measure compels us to

rii in our pronunciation.' In respect to blank verse, we ought also to

U is so as to make every line sensible to the ear; for, what is the use of go to ty, o for what end has the poet composed in verse, if, in reading his ins, we suppress his numbers, by omitting the final pause; and degrade Gom, by our pronunciation, into mere prose? At the same time that we at. and to this pause, every appearance of sing-song and tone, must be carefully

arded against. The close of the line where it makes no pause in the meanin-,0ught not to be marked by such a tone as is used in finishing a sentence;. tut, without either fall or elevation of the voice, it should be denoted only 1," so slight a suspension of sound, as may distinguish the passage from one fine to another, without injuring the meaning.

The other kind of melodious pause, is thüt which falls somewhere about the middle of the verse, and divid.o3 it into two hemistichs; a pause, not so great as birit woich belongs to the close of the line, but still sensible to an ordinary ear. This, which is called the cæsural pause, may fall, in English heroic verse, after We 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th, syllable in the line. Where the verse is so constructed. that t’is cæsural pause coincides with the slightest pause or division in the fuse, the line can be read easily; as in the two first verses of Pope's Messiah :

"Yeni mphs of Solyma"! begin the song;

“ To heav'nly themes'', sublimer strains belong." But if it should happen that words which have so strict and intimate a con nexion, as not to bear even a momentary separation, are divided from one ano ther by this cæsural pause, we thra feel a sort of struggle between the senso

and the sound, which renders it difficult to read such lines harmoniously, The rule of proper pronunciation in such cases, is to regard caly the pause which the sense forms, and to read the line accordingly. The reglect of the cæsural pause may make the line sound somewhat unharmoniously; but the effect would be much worse, if the sense were sacrificed to the sound. For instance, in the following lines of Milton:

_“ What in me is dark,

“ Illumine ; what is low, raise and support.” The sense clearly dictates the pause after illumine, at the end of the 3d syllable, which in reading, ought to be made accordingly, though, if the melody only were to be regarded, illumine should be connected

with what follows, and the pause not made till the fourth or sixth syllable. So in the following line of Pope's Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot.

“ I sit, with sad civility I read." The ear plainly points out the cæsural pause as falling after sad, the 4th syllable. But it would be very bad reading to make any pause there, so as to separate sad and civility. The sense admits of no other pause than after the second syllable sit, which therefore must be the only pause made in reading this part of the sentence.

There is another mode of dividing some verses, by introducing what may be called demi-cæsuras, which require very slight pauses; and which the rea. der should manage with judgment, or he will be apt to fall into an affected sing-song mode of pronouncing verses of this kind." The following lines exemplify the demi-cæsura :

“ Warms' in the sun", refreshes' in the breeze,
« Glows' in the stars, and blossoms' in the trees ;
“ Lives' through all life", extends' through all extent,

“ Spreads' sındivided", operates' unspent.”
Before the conclusion of this introduction, the complier takes the liberty
to recommend to teachers, to exercise their pupils in discovering and explain-
ing the emphatic words and the proper cones and pauses, of every portion as
signed them to read, previously to their beiwg called out to the performance.
These preparatory lessons, in which they should be regularly examined, will
improve their judgment and taste; prevent the practice of reading without
attention to the subject; and establish a habit of readily discovering the meane
ing, force, and beauty of what they peruse.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]






DILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement of time,

are material duties of the young. The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth.

Whatever useful or engaging endowments we possess, virtue is requisite, in order to their shining with proper lustre,

Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accoinplished and flourishing manhond.

Sincerity and truth form the basis of every virtue.

Disappointments and distress are often blessings in disguise.

Change and alteration form the very essence of the world.

True happiness is of a retired nature and an enemy to pomp and noise.

In order to acquire a capacity for happiness, it must be our first study to rectify inward disorders.

Whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart.

From our eagerness to grasp, we strangle and destroy pleasure.

A temperate spirit, and moderate expectations, are excellent safeguards of the mind, in this uncertain and changing state.

There is nothing, except simplicity of intention, and purity

NOTE. - In the first chapter, the compiler has exnibited sentences in a great yariety of construction, and in all the diversity of punctuation. If well practised upon he presumes they will fully prepare the young reader for the various pauses, inflections, and modulations of voice, which the succeeding pieces require


« НазадПродовжити »