Зображення сторінки

in that quarter? Was he not to attend with due precaution, to the importation of corn, that this trade might be protected through all its progress, up to our own harbor ? Was he not to cover those districts which we commanded, by seasonable detachments at Tenedos? tu exert himself in the assembly for this purpose? while with equal zeal he labored to gain others to our interest? Was he not to cut off the best and most important resources of our enemies, and to supply those in which our country was defective? And all this you gained by my counsels, and my administration.


Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourself on Cassius;
For Cassius is aweary of the world;
Hated by one he loves, braved by his brother,
Checked by a bondsman, all his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learned and conned by rote,
To cast into his teeth.


3. O ye judges ! it was not by human counsel, nor by any thing less than the immediate care of the immortal Gods, that this event has taken place. The very divinities themselves who beheld that monster fall, seemed to be moved and to have inflicted their vengeance upon him. I appeal to, I call to witness you, O ye hills and groves of Alba ! you, the demolished Alban altars ! ever accounted holy by the Romans, and coeval with our religion, but which Clodius, in his mad fury, having first cut down and leveled the most sacred groves, had sunk under heaps of common buildings; I appeal to you; I call you to witness, whether your altars, your divinities, your powers, which he had polluted with all kinds of wickedness, did not avenge themselves when this wretch was extirpated? And thou, oh holy Jupiter! from the hight of thy sacred mount, whose lakes, groves, and boundaries, he had so often contaminated with his detestable impurities; and you, the other deities, whom he had insulted, at length opened your eyes, to punish this enormous offender. By you, by you, and in your sight, was the slow, but the righteous and merited vengeance executed

upon him.

II. FULLNESS AND ROTUNDITY OF VOICE. By this term is meant that quality of voice, to which the Romans gave the name of “ore rotundo," because the sounds are formed with a “round, open mouth.” It is exemplified in the

a hailing of a ship, “ship aho-y;" in the reply of the sailor, when, in the roar of the storm, he answers his captain, “ay~


or “ ha


” and in the command of the officer to his troops, when, amid the thunder of artillery, he gives the order, ma—rch,”

-It.This fullness or roundness of tone is secured, by dwelling on the rowel sound, and indefinitely protracting it. The mouth should be opened wide, the tongue kept down, and the aperture left as round, and as free for the voice as possible.

It is this artificial rotundity, which, in connection with a distinct articulation, enables the field orator, or one who speaks in a very large apartment, to send his voice to the most distant point. It is a certain degree of this quality, which distinguishes declamatory, or public speaking or reading, from private conversation, and no one can accomplish much, as a public speaker, without cultivating it. It must be carefully distinguished from the “high tone, which is an elevation of pitch, and from “ loudness,” or “strength" of voice, both which qualities have been treated of, in the preceding article.


(Let the pupil practice upon examples liko the following, dwelling upon the sounds of the italicized vowels.]

(Loud and Full.)
O righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave,
Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save?
Where was thine arm, O vengeance? where thy rod,
That smote the foes of Zion and of God ?


He said, he would not ransom Mortimer;
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him, when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I'll halioon MORTIMER !
I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but MORTIMER, and give it him.
Woe! woe! woe! to the inhabitants of Jerusalem!



(Low, Soft, and Full.)
O swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.



O sailor boy! woe to thy dream of delight!
O sailor boy! sailor boy! never again
Shall home, love, or kindred, thy wishes repay,
Unblessed, and unhonored, down deep in the main,
Full many a score fathom, thy frame shall dery.




On this subject we can do nothing better than lay before the student an extract from Mr. Walker's excellent “ Rhetorical Grammar."

“ As the voice naturally slides into a higher tone, when we want to speak louder, but not so easily into a lower tone, when we want to speak more softly, the first care of every reader and speaker ought to be, to acquire the power of lowering the voice when it is got too high. Experience shows us that we can raise our voice at pleasure, to any pitch it is capable of; but the same experience tells us, that it requires infinite art and practice to bring the voice to a lower key, when it is once raised too high. It ought, therefore, to be a first principle with all public readers and speakers, rather to begin under the common level of the voice, than above it.

“Every one, therefore, who would acquire a variety of tone, in public reading or speaking, must avoid, as the greatest evil, a loud and vociferous beginning; and, for this purpose, it would be prudent in a reader or speaker, to adapt his voice as if only to be heard by the person nearest to him. If his voice has natural strength, and the subject any thing impassioned in it, a higher and louder tone will insensibly steal on him, and his greatest address must be directed to keep it within bounds. For this purpose, it will be frequently necessary for him to recall his voice, as it were, from the extremities of his auditory, and direct it to those who are nearest to him. Nothing will so powerfully work on the voice, as supposing ourselves conversing at different intervals, with different parts of the auditory.

“ If, in the course of reading, the voice should slide into a higher tonc, and this tone too often recur, care must be taken to throw in a variety, by beginning subsequent sentences in a lower tone, and (if the subject will admit of it) in a monotone; for the monotone, it is presumed, is the most efficacious means of bringing the voice from high to low, and of altering it when it has been too long in the same key.”

With regard to those changes of tone which are required by the character of the sentiment uttered, such as a sudden transition from high to low, or the contrary, plaintiveness or expressiveness of voice, a slow or quick delivery, and other things of a like nature, rules seem to be unnecessary, and even to impede improvement. The general principle, that we must be governed by the promptings of nature, is the only rule here applicable. Such changes, however, will be marked in the examples given under the appropriate head.


& Rhetorical Grammar, pp. 249–50.

QUESTIONS.- What, with regard to the voice, is an important object of every speaker's attention? What key ought le most diligently to improve? What is meant by the natural pitch ? How may this be cultivated ? What difficulty is there in doing this? What is the best method of obviating this difficulty? How may the lower tones of the voice be strengthened? How may high tones of voice be acquired ? Is it easier to ruise the voice, or to lower it? In what tone ought a speaker to commence? What is especially to be avoided in the beginning ? In what way may the voice, if it has got too high, be brought down ?



It is not designed, in this book, to give a minute system of rules and instructions on the subject of Gesture. That would be a difficult task without the assistance of plates; and even with their aid, any directions must be very imperfect, without the example and illustrations of the living teacher, as the speaking model. It will be sufficient to give some general hints, by means of which the student may form rules, or pursue a discipline for himself.

Gesture is that part of the speaker's manner, which pertains to his attitude, to the use and carriage of his person, and the movement of his limbs in delivery.

Every person, in beginning to speak, feels the natural embarrassment resulting from his new position. The novelty of the situation destroys his self-possession, and, with the loss of that, he becomes awkward, his arms and hands hang clumsily, and now, for the first time, seem to him worse than superfluous members. This embarrassment will be overcome gradually, as the speaker becomes familiar with his position; and it is sometimes overcome at once, by a powerful exercise of the attention upon the matter of the speech. When that fills and possesses the mind, the orator insensibly takes the attitude which is becoming, and, at least, easy and natural, if not graceful.

1st. The first general direction that should be given to the speaker is, that he should stand erect and firm, and in that posture that gives an expanded chest, and full play to the organs of respiration and utterance.

2d. Let the attitude be such that it can be shifted with ease, and without shuffling and hitching the limbs. The student will find, by trial, that no attitude is so favorable to this end, as that in which the weight of the body is thrown upon one limb, leaving the other free to be advanced or thrown back, as fatigue or the proper action of delivery may require.

The student, who has any regard to grace or elegance, will of course avoid all the gross faults which are so common among public speakers, such as resting one foot upon stools and benches, or throwing the body lazily forward upon the support of the rostrum.

3d. Next to attitude, come the movements of the person and limbs. In these, two objects are to be observed, and, if possible, combined, viz. propriety and grace. There is expression in the extended


the clinched hand, the open palm, and the smiting of the breast. But let no gesture be made that is not in harmony with the thought or sentiment that is uttered; for it is this harmony which constitutes propriety. As far as possible, let there be a correspondence between the style of action and the strain of thought. Where the thought flows on calmly and sweetly, let there be the same graceful and easy flow of gesture and action. Where the style is sharp and abrupt, there is propriety in the quick, short, and abrupt gesticulation. Especially avoid that ungraceful sawing of the air with the arms, into which an ill-regulated fervor betrays many young speakers.

What is called a graceful manner, can only be obtained by those who have some natural advantages of person.

So far as it is in the reach of study or practice, it seems to depend chiefly upon the general cultivation of manners, implying freedom from all embarrassment, and entire self-possession. We do not expect to see grace in the movements of a man whose figure is bent, or whose limbs are stiff and rigid with labor or the infirmities of age. Every one understands the difference between the man whose figure moves to and fro with the alternate emotions of his bosom, and the man who is bolt upright, or the one who changes his attitude with a jerk or convulsion. Every one understands the difference between the motion of the arm that moves in a graceful curve, and one that is thrust forward in a straight line. The whole secret, then, of acquiring a graceful style of gesture, we apprehend, lies in the habitual practice, not only when speaking, but at all times, of free and graceful movements of the limbs.

There is no limb nor feature, which the accomplished speaker will not employ with effect, in the course of a various and animated delivery. But the arms are the chief reliance of the orator in gesture; and it will not be amiss to give a hint or two, in reference to their proper use.

And first ;-It is not an uncommon fault to use one arm exclusively, and to give that a uniform movement. Such movement may, sometimes, have grown habitual from one's profession or employment. But in learners, also, there is often a predisposition to this fault.

Secondly It is not unusual to see a speaker use only the lower half of his arm.

This always gives a stiff and constrained manner

« НазадПродовжити »