Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]

To show the use and necessity of tones, we need only observe, that the mind, in communicating its ideas, is in a constant state of activity, emotion, or agitation, from the different effects which those ideas produce in the speaker. Now the end of such communication being not merely to lay open the ideas, but also the different feelings which they excite in him who utters them, there must be other signs than words, to manifest those feelings; as words uttered in a monotonous manner can represent only a similar state of mind, perfectly free from all activity and emotion. As the communication of these internal feelings was of much more consequence in our social intercourse, than the tere conveyance of ideas, the Author of our being did not, as in that con. veyance, leave the invention of the language of emotion to man; but impressed it himself upon our nature, in the saine manner as he has done with regard to the rest of the animal world; all of which express their various feelings, by various tones. Ours, indeed, from the superior rank that we hold, are in a high degree more comprehensive; as there is not an act of the mind, an exertion of the fancy, or an einotion of the heart, which has not its peculiar tone, or note of the voice, by which it is to be expressed ; and which is suited exactly to the degree of internal feeling. It is chiefly in the proper use of these tones, that the life, spirit, beauty, and harmony of delivery consist.

The limits of this introduction do not admit of examples, to illustrate the variety of tones belonging to the different passions and emotions. We shall, however, select one, which is şxtracted from the beautiful lamentation of Da. vid over Saul and Jonathan, and which will, in some degree, elucidate what has been said on this subject." The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high "places; how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in " the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice ; lest the ! daughters of the uncirgumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let " there be no dew nor rain upon you, nor fields of offerings ; for there the "shield of the mighty was vilely cast away; the shield of Saul, as though he " had not been anointed with oil." 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 sen. tence, in which he inakes a pathetic address to the mountains where his friends had been slain, must be expressed in a note quite different from the two former; not so low as the first, nor so high as the second, but in a manly, firm, and yet plaintive tane. The correct and natural language of the

emotions is not so difficult to be at. rained as most readers seem to imagine. If we enter into the spirit of the author's sentiments, as well as into the meaning of his words, we shall not fail to deliver the words in properly varied çones. For there are few people, who speak English without a provincial note, that have not an accurate use of tones, when they utter their sentimeats in 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 wbicia the art of reading is taught; whereby all the various, natural, expressive iones of speech are suppressed; and a few artificial, unmeaning reading notes, are substituted for them.

But when we recommend to readers, an attention to the tone and language of emotions, we must be understood to do it with proper limitation. Modera. tion is necessary in this point, as it is in other things. For when the reading becomes strictly imitative, it assumes 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 lones that indicate the passions and emotions: "In reading, let all your tones of ex

pression be borrowed from those of common speech, but, in some degree, a more faintly characterized. Let those tones which signify any disagreealle Spassion of ihe mind, be still nigie faint than those whiclı 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 mas " terly manner, which has its good effects in this, as well as in every other art."


Pauses. PAUSES, or rests, in speaking or reading, are a total cessation of the voice, during a perceptible, and, in many cases, a measurable space of time. Pauses are equally necessary to the speaker and the hearer.

To the speak er, that he may take breath, without which he cannot proceed far in delive ry; 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 would otherwise endure from a continuity of sound; and that the understanding may have sufficient time 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 expectation, if the importance of the inatter be not fully answerable to such expectation, they occasion disappointment and disgust.

But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses, is to mark the divisions of the sense, and at the saine time to allow the reader to draw his breath; and the proper and delicate adjustment of such pauses, 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 froin one another, which have so intimate a connexion, that they ought to be pronounced with the same breath, and without the least separation. Many a sentence is miserably inangled, 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 ulter. 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 arti. ficial manner,

wbich 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 grainmatical construction; and it is only as a secondary object, that they regulate his 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 our

[ocr errors]

selves by attending to the manner in which nature teaches ue to speak, when engaged in real and earnest discourse with others. The folosing sentence exemplifies the suspending and the closing pauses : “ Hope, the balm of life, fooths us under every niisfortune.” The first and second pauses are accompanied by an inflection of voice, that gives the hearer an expectation of some. thing further to complete the sense : the inflection attending the third pause signifies that the sense is completed.

The prar eding example is an illustration of the suspending pause, in its simple stale : the following instance exhibits that pause 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 fall. ing infection, it is the saine with regard to the closing pause: it adinite of both. The falling inflection generally accompanies it, but it is not unfrequently connected with the rising iuflection. Interrogative sentences, for instance, are often terminated in this manner : as, Am I ungrateful' ?” 6+ Is he in earnest!?"

But where a sentence is begun by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, it is cominonly teriniuated by the falling inflection: as, “What has he gained by his folly." "Who will assist him? “ Where is the messenger ?" « When did he arrive!?"

When two questions are united in one sentence, and connected by the con. junction 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 Though they may often coincide, they are, in their nature, perfectly distinct. Emphasis sometimes controls those inflections.

The regular application of the rising and falling inflections, confers so much heauty on expression, and is so necessary to be studied by the young reader, that we shall' insert a few more examples, to induce him to pay greater attention to the stiliject. In these instances, all the inflections are not marked. Such ouls are distinguished, as are inost striking, and will best serve to show the reader their utility and importance.

" Manufaciures', trade', and agriculture', certainly employ more than nineleen paris in twenty of the human species."

“ He who resigns the world, lias no temptation to envy', hatred', inalice!, anger'; but is in constant possession of a serene mind; he who follows the pleasures of it, which are, in their very nature, disappointing, is in constant search or care, solicitude', remorse', and confusion'."

“ To advise the ignorant', relieve the needy', comfort the aflicted', are du. ties thai fall in our way almost every day of our lives."

" Those evil spirits, who, by long custom, have contracted in the body ha. bits of lust and sensuality'; malice', and revenge'; an aversion to every thing that is good, just', and laudable', are naturally seasoned and prepared for pain and inisery."

"I'am persuaded, that neither death', nor life'; nor angels', nor principalities', nor powers'; nor things present', nor things to come!; nor height', nor depth'; nor any other creature', shall be able to separate us from the love of God."

The reader who would wish to see a minute and ingenious investigation of the pature of these inflections, and the rules by which they are governed, may consult Walker's Elements of Elocution.

SECTION VIII.- Manner of reading Verse. WHEN we are reading verse, there is a peculiar difficulty in making the pavses justly. The difficulty arises from the melody of verse which dictales to the eas pauses or rests of its own, and to adjust and compound these poperly with the pauses of the sense, so as neither to hurt the ear, nor offend the uuderstanding, is so very nice a walter, that it is no wonder we so valdoin meet with good readers of poetry. There are two kinds of pauses that belong to the melody of verse: one is the pause at the end of the line * The rising in fiection is ciencied by the acute; the falling, by the grave accens

and the other, the cæsural pause in or near the middle of it. With regard to the pause at the end of the line, which inarks that strain or verse to be finished, rhyme renders this always sensible, and in some measure compels us to observe it in our pronunciation. In respect to blank verse, we ought also to read it so as to make every line sensible to the ear; for, what is the use of melody, or for what end has the poet composed in verse, if, in reading his lines, we suppress bis numbers, by omitting the final pause; and degrade them, by our pronunciation, into mere prose? At the same time that we at. tend to this pause, every appearance of sing-song and tone, must be carefully guarded against. The close of the line where it makes no pause in the meaning, ought not to be marked by such a tone as is used in finishing a sentence; but, without either fall or elevation of the voice, it should be denoted only by so slight a suspension of sound, as may distinguish the passage from one line to another, without injuring the meaning.

The other kind of melodious pause, is that which falls somewhere about the middle of the verse, and divides it into two henristichs; à pause, not so great as that which 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 the 4tli, 5th, 6th, or 7th syllable in the line. Where the verse is so constructed, that this cæsural pause coincides with the slightest pause or division in the sense, the line can be read easily; as in the two first verses of Pope's Messiah :

"Ye nymphs of Solyma"! begin the song;

“To heav'nly themes'', sublimer strains belong." But if it should happen that words which have só strict and intimatë a con. nexion, as not to bear even a momentary separation, are divided from one another by this cæsural pause, we then feel a sort of struggle between the sense and the sound, which renders it difficult to read such lines harmoniously. The rule of proper pronunciation in such cases, is to regard only the pause which the sense forms; and to read the line 'accordingly. The neglect 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 inade 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 réad.” The ear plainly points out the cæsural pause as falling after sad, the 4th syl. lable. 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 demni-cæsuras, which require yerý 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 ex.. emplify the demi-cæsura :

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

“ Spreads' undivided", operates unspent.' Before the conclusion of this introduction, the compiler takes the liberty to recommend to teachers, to exercise their pupils in discovering and explain. ing the emphatic words, and the proper tones and pauses, of every portion as. signed them to read, previously to their being 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 babit of readily discovering the mean. ing, force, and beauty of what they peruse.






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


lustre. Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood.

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 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

KOTE. In the first chapter, the compiler has exibited sentences in a great variety *f construction, and in all the diversity of punctuation. If well practised upon, he pri names they will fully prepare the young reader for the various pauses, inffections, and modulations of voice, wbich the succeeding pieces require.


« НазадПродовжити »