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In this extract, the part spoken by Cassius, should be read in an elevated and hurried tone of voice, indicative of impatience and vexation,—that spoken by Brutus, in a heavy tone, expressive of defiance.
4. Those tones of voice should be assumed, which are best adapted to personate with propriety the different individuals introduced into dialogue. To ascertain these, regard must be had to the character of each, and the parts which they respectively sustain, For example, if it be a conversation between a father and child, the latter would be represented by a high, sprightly tone of voice, and the former by a low, heavy tone.
5. The following extract from Sir Walter Scott, may serve as an example, in the reading of which, the pitch and quantity of voice, calculated to represent each, are somewhat similar. The first would be personated by a heavy, commanding tone, -the second, by a tone somewhat higher, and not so full at first, but increasing in quantity toward the close, expressive of defiance.
In dréad, in dánger, and alone,
He brings to aid his murderous hand.” 6. Care should be taken on the part of the reader, lest in varying the voice, he assumes an unnatural whining tone, to which there is great liability, especially in reading and speaking on a high key, Much skill is requisite in modulating the voice with ease and gracefulness, and much practice necessary to represent properly the various characters introduced in dialogues. It is therefore particularly recommended, that each scholar
may be required to read the various parts in connection, which will afford the most efficient means of acquiring the art of personating with propriety.
Another subject, which may properly be classed under this head, is
EXPRESSION. 1. EXPRESSION includes all those peculiarities in the modulation of the voice, attendant on expressing the emotions of the mind.
2. The language of every motion is expressed in its own peculiar style, to determine which the good taste and judgment of the reader must be consulted. For example, the common question, "What are you doing ?” may be asked in a style, expressing feelings of kindness or displeasure. These peculiarities of the voice, are as various as the emotions of the mind itself, and can not be defined by specific rules. Sometimes it should be grave,—sometimes lively,--sometimes it should express ridicule and contempt,-sometimes pity and compassion. No one, certainly, having a just sense of propriety, would read examples expressing all these emotions with the same tone of voice. Indeed, nature, as far as art is able to do it, should be imitated.
QUESTIONS.-1. What is personation? 2. How may it be regarded ? 3. How do the voices of different individuals vary? 4. How may the voices of two or more individuals be generally represented ? 5. What is said of reading dialogues in one uniform tone of voice? 6. Read the example, and show how the voice should be varied. 7. What tones of voice should be assumed in personating ? 8. How can you ascertain these ? 9. Give an example. 10. How should the extract from Sir Walter Scott be read ? ii. Against what is the reader cautioned in varying the voice? 12. What is recommended in acquiring the art of personating properly ?-13. What is understood by expression ? 14. What is said of the peculiarities of the voice, and how should it be varied ?
1. RHETORICAL PAUSES are those which are frequently required by the voice in reading and speaking, although the construction of the passage admits of no grammatical pause.
2. These pauses are as manifest to the ear, as those which are made at the comma, semicolon, or other grammatical pauses, though not commonly denoted in like manner by visible signs. For the present convenience they may be marked thus (1)
1. In the beginning! God created the heavens and the earth. 2. Hypocrisyll is an homagell that vicell pays to virtue. 3. Man's chief goodil is an upright mind. 4. No legacyıl is so rich as honesty. 3. This pause is frequently made before or after the utterance of some important word, or clause, on which it is especially desired to fix the attention. In such cases, it is usually denoted by the use of the dash (-).
1. What I say unto you, I say unto all-Watch.
But left him-alone with his glory!
What 'tis to be an orphan boy. - 5. But that the dread of something after death,
That undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns:--puzzles the will. 6. The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is-spotless reputation. 4. In order that the attention may be more intently fixed on the important word or clause, the voice, in its utterance, is usually changed to a lower tone than that, in which other portions are read.
5. In a rapid flow of utterance, a sudden pause arrests the attention; and it is mainly on this account, if skillfully employed, that it often produces the most happy effect. It has a tendency to excite expectation, and fix the entire attention on what is subsequently expressed.
6. As to the length of this, or the common grammatical pauses, the correct taste of the reader must decide, as no definite rule can be given. The common rule that the voice should rest at a comma while counting one, at a semicolon while counting two, and thus on, may serve a good purpose in giving some idea of the relation wbich they bear to one another, in the grammatical construction of a sentence, but it is a rule that rarely, if ever, should be observed in the reading. For the voice should sometimes rest longer at the
same pause in one situation than in another. Thus, the pause made at the end of a paragraph, should be longer, and more clearly marked, than that which is ordinarily made at a period. So, also, at the commas in the following couplet,
Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor;
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich," the voice is suspended less time, than at those in the following sentence:
“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears."
QUESTIONS.-1. What are Rhetorical Pauses? 2. How do these compare with grammatical pauses ? 3. How may it be denoted ? 4. Where is it frequently made ?' 5. How is it then denoted ? 6. In what tone of voice are the important words and clauses usually read ? 7. What effect is often produced by the use of this pavse? 8. How is the reader to decide as to the length of this or the grammatical pauses ? 9. Does the voice always rest the same length of time on the same grammatical
THE READING OF POETRY. 1. POETRY requires to be read with a peculiar grace of expression. Its characteristic delicacy of sentiment, and beauty of language, as well as the sense and metrical flow, must be regarded. To execute this in all respects with propriety, requires the exercise of no ordinary skill and judgment.
2. English verse consists in a succession of accented and unaccented syllables, usually occurring at regular intervals. The lines generally have a given number of syllables, and in far the largest portion, the accented syllable is the second, fourth, sixth, &c. The long or accented syllable is denoted thus ( - ), the short or unaccented, thus (-).
-To hěavenly thēmes subliměr strāins bělong. 3. It must be borne in mind, that the occurrence of metria cal accent, is far from being uniform, as it is often varied by the sense and established pronunciation. Thus,
1. Thě soul ăscēnds above the sky,
And triumphs In her liběrtý.
Hów swēet whěn läbörs close,
The curtain of rěpõse. 4. This change of the accent from its regular occurrence, is often attended with fine effect in the reading. Thus,
O’ēr thě glād wātěrs of the dark blue sēa,
Sūrvēy our empire, and běhöld our home. 5. An immediate succession of several accented syllables, is read as the monotone, as at the end of the first line in the preceding example.
6. Besides this succession of accented syllables, there is another characteristic worthy of notice in the reading of poetry, which is the occurrence of pauses.
These are different in character from the grammatical pauses, though they frequently coincide with them. They are generally regarded as two in number; namely, the final pause, and the cesural pause ; the former occurring at the end of a line, and the latter, in or near the middle, being found only in certain kinds of verse.
There is a land. Il of every land the pride,
That land thy country,ll and that spot thy home. 7. There is still another pause, which sometimes occurs, called the demi-cesura, which subdivides each division of the line, already made by the cesura. Denoted thus (I).