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9. No self-plumed vanity || was there,
With fancy's consequence || elate;
That means to speak || superior state.
And bid the main-flood || bate his usual hight;
11. Now the hungry | lion roars,
And the wolf || behowls the moon;
With his weary || task foredone. 12. Now the wasted || brands do glow,
While the screech-owl || screeching loud,
In remembrance || of his shroud.
The piercing steel, || with reeking purple dyed :
A Simile, in poetry, should be read in a lower tone of voice, than other parts of the passage.
(The Similes are put in Italics.)
That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved,
In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed,
2. Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form.
- felt the envenomed robe, and tore
Each at the head,
To join the dark encounter, in mid-air:
4. Then pleased and thankful, from the porch they go,
And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe:
5. While o’er the foam, the ship impetuous flies,
The attentive pilot still the helm applies ;
QUESTIONS.—What is the difference between the inflection proper in prose and in verse ? What is the principal difficulty in reading poetry correctly? How may this difficulty be overcome? If there should be doubt as to the proper inflection, how may the inflection be determined ? If the poetical accent or emphasis conflicts with the common and authorized pronunciation, which should yield ? How may the difficulty sometimes be compromised ? Illustrate this by examples. What pauses are peculiar to poetry? What danger is there with regard to poetical pauses? How is it to be avoided? What caution should be observed with regard to the cesura ? How should a simile be read in poetry?
CULTIVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE VOICE.
I. STRENGTH AND COMPASS.
“The first object of every speaker's attention, is to have a smooth, even, full tone of voice. If nature has not given him such a voice, he must endeavor, as much as possible, to acquire it; nor ought he to despair; for such is the force of exercise upon the organs of speech, that constant practice will strengthen the voice in any key to which we accustom it. That key, therefore, which is the most natural, and which we have the greatest occasion to use, should be the key we ought the most diligently to improve.
Every one has a certain pitch of voice in which he can speak most easily to himself and most agreeably to others; this may be called the natural pitch; this is the pitch in which we converse ; and this must be the basis of every improvement we acquire from art and exercise. In order, therefore, to strengthen this middle tone, we ought to read and speak in it, as loud as possible, without suffering the voice to rise into a higher key. This, however, is no easy operation. It is not very difficult to be loud in a high tone, but to be loud and forcible without raising the voice into a higher key, requires great practice and management.
The best method of acquiring this power of voice, is to praetice reading and speaking some strong, animated passages, in a small room, and to persons placed at as small a distance as possible; for, as we naturally raise our voice to a higher key, when we speak to people at a great distance, so we naturally lower our key, as those, to whom we speak, come nearer. When, therefore, we have no idea of being heard at a distance, the voice will not be so apt to rise into a higher key, when we wish to be forcible; and, consequently, exerting as much force as we are able, in a small room, and to people near us, will tend to swell and strengthen the voice, in the middle tone."*
Low Tones of Voice, May be acquired and strengthened, by practice on such pieces as naturally require a pitch a little below the natural or conversational tone; such, for example, as contain the expression of hatred, scorn, or reproach, as well as those of a very grave and solemn character. When the student can pronounce such pieces with ease and force, let him practice them on a little lower note, and so on, until the voice has been sufficiently cultivated in that direction.
O, proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fears :
2. Thou slave! thou wretch! thou coward !
Thou little valiant, great in villainy !
Upon my party! thou cold-blooded slave. 3.
Poison be their drink,
* Wilker's Rhetorical Grammar. p. 215.
Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees !
And boding screech-owls make the concert full. 4. God! thou art mighty! At thy footstool bound,
Lie, gazing to thee, Chance, and Life, and Death;
Then take my spirit, all omnipotent, to thee. 5.
Has not been dazzled by thy majesty ?
High Tones of Voice, May be acquired by a process similar to that just described. Select such passages as require a high key, and read them with the utmost possible force. Then pitch the voice a little higher, at each successive reading, and so on until the end is accomplished. Speaking in the open air, at the very top of the voice, is an exercise admirably adapted to strengthen the voice and give it compass, and should be frequently practiced.
EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE. 1. What was the part of a faithful citizen? of a prudent, active. and honest minister? Was he not to secure Euboea, as our defense against all attacks by sea ? Was he not to make Boeotia our barrier on the mid-land side ? the cities bordering on Peloponnesus our bulwarks