Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

A friend cannot be known in prosperity; an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.

He raised a mortal to the skies,

She drew an angel donn. Sometimes the emphasis changes the accent to another syllable to show the contrast.

EXAMPLES.
What is done, cannot be undone.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
There is a difference between giving and forgiving.
What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ?
He that ascended is the same that descended.
One may have sensibility without showing irritability.

Some pernicious writers strive to obliterate the distinctions between decency and indecency, between morality and immorality.

For certain objects, plausibility is of more avail than probability.
Thought and language act and react on each other.

Religion raises men among the angels; irreligion sinks them beneath the brutes.

There is no great convenience without some inconvenience.
Are not my ways equal ? Are not your ways unequal ?

This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

To do and to undo is the common business of men.

Sometimes the emphatic word, besides receiving greater stress by prolongation of sound, is pronounced in a higher pitch.

EX A MPLES. Tyranny is detestable in every shape; but in none so formidable as when assumed and exercised by a number of tyrants.

Frown indignantly upon the first dawning of an attempt to alienate any portion of this Union from the rest.

A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,

Is worth a whole eternity of bondage.
He woke to hear his sentries shriek,

To arms, They come, the GREEK, the GREEK ! " I would say to the inhabitants, WAKE from your false security!

Emphasis is now and then rendered more impressive, by depressing the voice to the key note, and pronouncing the word or phrase in a monotone.

EXAMPLES.
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty,

Is worth a whole eternity of bondage.
So frowned the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown.

If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop remained in my country, I never would lay down my arms

REVET - never - never.

The cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, roasting, and eating, — literally, my lords, eating, — the mangled victims of his barbarous battles.

There was a time, then, my fellow-citizens, when the Lacedæmonians were sovereign masters by sea and land; while this nation had not one ship- not one wall.

The emphatic word is often made still more prominent by an impressive pause just before or after it.

EXAMPLES.
Nathan said unto David - Thou - art the man.

He gave to misery all he had — a tear ;
He gained from heaven —'t was all he wished — a friend.
Juba. Better to die ten thousand deaths

Than wound my honor.

Syphax. Rather say your love.
To err is human; to forgive - divine.

Grasp the shield, and draw the sword,
Lead us to Philippi's lord,

Let us conquer him - or die.
O touch the soul, touch all her chords,
With all the omnipotence of words,

And point the way to heaven - to God. I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me— death.

EXPRESSION. The “expression" of a piece is the general effect or tone it exhibits. The “expression” of a word or phrase is the effect given to it by the mode of utterance.

All dull, formal, monotonous, cold, heartless delivery, whether in reading or speaking, is summed up in the word "inexpressive.”

In adapting the voice to the proper utterance of a piece or of a word, nature and good taste must guide, in a great degree. Cultivation aims chiefly to confer the ability of expressing fully the conceptions of the mind.

The quickness of utterance is one element of expression. Solemnity and grief require a slow movement. Narrative requires a moderate movement; if it is humorous, the movement should be lively. A rapid movement expresses haste, extreme joy or fear, &c.

Force of voice is an important element of expression. Force is not exactly the same with loudness, for there may be great force in the utterance of even a whisper. All the shades of earnestness, from a whispered narrative or common conversation, to the most vociferous shouting, should be practised by the class.

Expression is varied by the manner in which the stress is laid upon a word or syllable. If the voice breaks abruptly upon the full sound, it gives a tone of distinctness and decision. If the voice swells gradually and then declines, throwing the force upon the middle of the syllable, the utterance is more suited to the expression of a solemn or pathetic sentiment. If the stress commences softly and ends abruptly and strongly, it is suited to express obstinate determination.

It will help to a perfect command of all the elements of expression, if the teacher will exercise the class, both collectively and separately, on such specimens as the following: giving minute instructions and examples of every one, and requiring them to follow, until they can give the most correct and forcible expression to every sentence.

It should be an indispensable preliminary, that every pupil should first commit the selections to memory; and perseverance must conquer all difficulties. Remember the motto

HAS DONE, MAN CAN
All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, should not you ?
Only keep this rule in view -

TRY, TRY AGAIN.

WHAT MAN

DO.

STRESS OF VOICE.

In the following passages, the stress is on the first part of the word; the voice breaks forth abruptly in full force. As when Sempronius, animated with Roman courage, urges the Senate to defend their liberties :

Gods! can a Roman Senate long debate
Which of the two to choose, slavery or death ?
No! let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
ATTACK the foe, break through the thick array

Of his thronged legions, and CHARGE HOME upon him. So where the little lord expresses his passionate displeasure at the ploughboy :

His little lordship furious grew,
For he was proud and hasty too -

“I'LL BREAK YOUR BONES!” he rudely cries. In expressing pathos or solennity, the stress is on the middle of the syllable -- that is, the voice commences soft, swells, and then ends soft. Read the sailor boy's tender description of his parting from home for his first voyage :

« Farewell! farewell !”

Ah! who can tell -
Save those, who've loved, as I, -

A mother dear,

What 't is to hear,

And say to her “Good-by.
So the description of the death of the Old Year, by Tennyson :

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,

And the winter winds are wearily sighing;
Toll ye the church-bell — sad — and slow –

For the Old Year lies a-dying. Intense emotions, especially of a bold character, require a stress sustained through the whole syllable. As in the exclamation

ON! YE BRAVE!
Who rush to glory or the grave !
BLAZE, with your serried columns,
I WILL NOT bend the knee.

SHOUTING AND CALLING. Shakspeare represents the conspirators, after Cæsar's assassination, as running forth and proclaiming the deliverance, in terms which require to be uttered in the loudest tones of which the voice is capable, and the notes prolonged on all the principal words : Cinna. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!

Run hence! proclaim! cry it about the streets ! Cassius. Some to the common pulpits ! and cry out,

LIBERTY! FREEDOM! AND ENFRANCHISEMENT! The sentry's cry, in the following lines, should answer the poet's description, as well as the impulse of nature, and be uttered with the loudest and shrillest shriek.

An hour passed on; the Turk awoke ;-
That bright dream - was his last.

He woke — to hear his sentry shriek

“ TO ARMS!- they come! THE GREEK! THE GREEK!" In the same piece, Bozzaris is represented as cheering on his soldiers in the heat of battle, in words which require to be read as one would speak who wished to be heard and to have his words thrill through the hearts of a whole army.

STRIKE! till the last armed foe expires !
STRIKE! for your altars and your fires !
STRIKE! for the green graves of your sires!
GOD! and your native land!

TRANSITION OF VOICE. To acquire the ability to change your pitch of voice at will, from one note to another, even a whole octave up or down, requires much practice. Try to give us the two voices of “Orator Puff,” in the second line of the following verse — one high and the other low.

Mr. Orator Puff — had two tones - in his voice ;
The one- squeaking thus - the other down so;
In each sentence he uttered, he gave you your choice,

For one half was “Balt” — - and the rest “ G below." Read the following description of Patrick Henry's adroitness in escaping from the charge of treason, by changing the pitch of his voice.

As Patrick Henry, in his celebrated speech before the House of Burgesses of Virginia, in 1765, descanted on the oppressiveness of the Stamp Act, he exclaimed, in a loud tone: “ Cæsar — had his Brutus ; Charles the First — his Cromwell; and George the Third”

“ Treason !” cried the speaker. Treason! TREASON! TREASON!” reëchoed from every part of the house ; when Mr. Henry, rising to a loftier attitude, and flashing his eye upon the speaker, suddenly lowered his tone" may profit by their example: if that be treason, make the most of it."

VARIATION AND EASY TRANSITION.

There are many pieces of conversational poetry, well adapted to practise upon, for acquiring an easy variation of the voice. In the following extract from Gay's fable of the cameleon, there may be great freedoin of expression, and sudden transitions from the tone of admir. ing narration to that of bitter sneering and violent disputation.

« AnteriorContinuar »