« AnteriorContinuar »
with the illustrations, and reasons, and appeals which enforco them.
All these may properly be grouped into one class, because they all should have the same kind of slide in reading.
This class we call • POSITIVE ideas.'
So all the other ideas which do not affirm or enjoin anything positively, which are circumstantial and incomplete, or in open contrast with the positive, all these ideas may be properly grouped into another single class, because they all should have the same kind of slide.
This class we call • NEGATIVE ideas.' Grant to the words positive and negative' the comprehensive meaning here given to them, and let the distinction between the two classes be clearly made in the preparatory analysis, and it will be vastly easier to understand and teach this most complicated and difficult part of elocution, the right use of the rising and fulling slides.
For, then, the one simple principle which follows will take the place, and preclude the use of, all the usual perplexing rules, with their many suicidal exceptions.
PRINCIPLE FOR RISING OR FALLING SLIDES. POSITIVE ideas should have the fulling' slide; NEGATIVE ideas should have the rising'slide.
Examples for the rising and falling slides.
“The war must go on. We must fight it thròugh. And if the war must go on, why put off lònger the declaration of independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad.
“ The càuse will raise up armies; the càuse will create nàvies. The people, the people, if we are true to them, will carry ús, and will carry themselves, gloriously through this struggle. Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased coùrage. Instead of a long and bloody war for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immúnities, held under a British king, sct before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will brcathe into them anèw the breath of lifc.
“Through the thick gloom of the présent, I see the brightness of the fùture, as the sùn in heàven. We shall make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our gráves, out children will hònor it. They will cèlebrate it with thanksgiving. with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminàtions. On its annual retúrn, they will shed tears, còpious, gùshing tears, not of subjéction and slávery, not of ágony and distress, but of exultàtion, of gratitude, and of joy.”
Questions, like other ideas, are negative, or positive, or compound, having one negative and one positive idea.
DIRECT QUESTIONS. The direct question for information affirms nothing. Hence it is read with the rising slide, not because it may be answered by yes or no, but because it is in its nature negative.
The answer is positive, and, for that reason, is read with the falling slide.
“Do you see that beautiful stár?” “Yès;”. “Is n't it splèndid ?”.
The speaker is positive, in the last question, that his friend will agree with him. This, and all such, must be read, therefore, with the falling slide.
“ I said an elder soldier, not a bétter.
Did I say better ? ” “ He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious ?”.
I thrice presented him a kingly crown;
“ Tell me, ye who tread the sods of yon sacred height, is Wárren deád? Can you not still see him, not pále and próstrate, the blood of his gallant heárt pouring out of his ghastly wound, but moving resplendent over the field of lònor, with the rose of heaven upon his cheek, and the fire of liberty in bis eyè ?
“But when shall we be strònger? Will it be the next week, or the next year?”
This reading, with the falling slide on "year,” changes the sense, as it makes one idea positive, and the answer must be "next week,” or “ next year.” But both ideas are negatiro in Henry's speech ; both must have the rising slide, then, according to the principle.
“ Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?”
“ Is this a time to be gloómy and sád,
When our mother Náture laughs around ;
And gládness breathes from the blossoming ground ?”.
“Will you ride, in the carriage, or on hórscback ?' •I prefer to walk.'"
• • Will you reád to us, a piece of próse, or poetry ?' · Allow me to sing instead.'”.
Will you study músic, or French ? "
All the ideas are negative in the last questions. Change che sensc, and make one idea positive in each question, and we have one falling slide in cach.
“ Will you ride in the carriage, or on hòrseback ?”
“When are you going to Europe ?”.
The prominent idea in this, is not the real interrogative, the idea of time in “ when,” but the positive idea, “You are going to Europe.” Hence this, and all such questions must be read with the falling slide.
But if the interrogative is made the prominent and em. phatic idea, (as when, the answer not being heard, the ques tion is repeated,) the rising slide must be given.
“ When are you going to Europe ? ” “ Why is the Fòrum cròwded ? What means this stìr in Rome?”
The address also is positive or negative. It is negative, and read with the rising slide or suspension of the voice, when it is only formal and unemphatic, as “ Friends, I come not here to talk.”
When emphatic it is positive and demands the falling slide, as in the respectful opening address to any deliberative body or public assembly. “Mr. Président,” “ Ladies and Gentlemen.”
POSITIVE ADDRESS AND QUESTIONS. - Tell me, man of military science, in wow many months were the Pilgrims all swept òff by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early limits of New England ? Tell me, politician, how lòng did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, lànguish on the distant coast ? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the abandoned adventures of other times, and find a parallel of this."
“ Was it the winter's stòrm beating upon the houseless heads of women and children ; was it hard làbor and spare meals;
-- Was it disease, — was it the tòmahawk, — was it the deep malady of a blighted hòpe, a ruired enterprise, and a broken
heart, aching in its last moments at the recollection of tho loved, and left beyond the sea; was it some or all of these united that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate?”
These questions must be read with the falling'slide, to give the idea positively that each one of the enumerated causes was sufficient to produce the supposed result. The surprise is thus made all the greater in the next sentence, which must be read as an earnest negative with the long 'rising' slide.
“ And is it possible that néither of these causes, that not áll combined, were able to blást this bud of hópe? Is it possible that from the beginning so feeble, so fràil, so worthy not so much of admirátion as of pity, there has gone forth a prògress so steady, a gròwth so wonderful, an expànsion so àmple, a reality so important, a promise yet to be fulfilled, so glòrious !”
When surprise thus deepens into astonishment, as it frequently does in its climax, the interrogative form should be changed to the exclamatory, which demands the falling slide.
“ Partakers in every peril, in the glory shall we not be permitted to participate ? And shall we be told as a requital that we are estranged from the noble country for whose salvation our life-blood was poured out!”
CONTRASTED SLIDES. When ideas are contrasted in couples, the rising and falling slides must be contrasted in reading them. Contrasted slides may also sometimes be used for greater variety or melody.
EXAMPLE 1. “Sink or swim, líve or die, survíve or perish, I give my hand and heart to this vote.”
“ But, whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured that this declaration will stànd. It may cost treasure, and it may cost bloòd; but it will stànd, and it will richly compensate for bòth.”
“ Suppose that you see, at once, all the hours of the day