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sentence; so that the concluding word or words cannot be distinctly heard.
The following lines illustrate the three most common faults:
1. The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
2. The wise in heart shall be called prudent.
3. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness
. In the first instance, the voice is lowered at the commencement of the concluding member of the sentence, and diminished until it is lost with the last word.
In the second, the voice is dropped and lost at the last word.
In the third, it is lost at the concluding syllables.
The pupil should be strongly impressed with the importance of being able to keep up his voice to the end of a sentence, so as to read every word and syllable distinctly, and to make the concluding words distinctly heard.
In the following exercises the pupil is to read every word distinctly, and keep up his voice well to the end of the sentence.
The teacher may draw upon the black-board a straight line of uniform thickness, thus
may then explain that this line indicates the uniform sustentation of the voice (allowance being made for accents), from the beginning to the end of the sentence. In any case where the pupil drops his voice improperly, it may be useful to point him to the uniform thickness of the straight line.
INDIVIDUAL PRACTICE. 1. Honour thy father and mother, both in word and deed, that their blessing may come upon
thee. 2. My son, help thy father in his age, and grieve him not as long as he liveth.
3. Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack and remiss.
4. My son, gather instruction from thy youth up : so shalt thou find wisdom till thine old age.
5. Be not slow to visit the sick : for that shall make thee to be beloved.
6. Whatsoever thou takest in hand, remember the end, and thou shalt never do amiss.
7. Open not thine heart to every man, lest he requite thee a shrewd turn.
8. Strive not in a matter that concerneth thee not.
9. He that can rule his tongue, shall live without strife.
10. Better is he that hideth his folly, than a man that hideth his wisdom.
11. It is the rudeness of a man to hearken at the door: but a wise man will be grieved with the disgrace.
12. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword : but not so many as have fallen by the tongue.
NotE.-As a further exercise, the 12th chapter of PROVERBS may be read.
VIII.—The Natural Pitch of the Voice. The natural pitch of the voice is that particular elevation of sound in which a person naturally and generally speaks, and which is, consequently, most easily sustained.
It is capable of different degrees of loudness,* force, * The teacher may illustrate this on a note of music; and explain the accordance between the different degrees of loud. ness of the same note, and the like variations of the ordinary voice
and modulation, without essentially affecting its fundamental character; but when a higher pitch than is natural is adopted, it occasions fatigue, and not unfrequently fails of effect.
When too high a pitch is attained, a kind of scream or shriek is produced, and a return to the lower and natural pitch becomes very difficult.
The use of too high a pitch is a common fault, and requires to be carefully guarded against.
Within the natural compass of the voice, the pitch itself may
be varied, if the sentiment so require. It is sometimes convenient, in commencing an address, to use a pitch rather lower than the natural, and rise to it gradually; but this is an exceptional practice, and not to be regarded as a rule.
IX.–Suspension of the Voice, and Pause. To be able to sustain the voice to the end of a sentence, and enunciate every word distinctly, has been already shown to be very important; but the power of sustaining the voice is not all that is required in good reading
Pauses are sometimes required in the middle, and even between the members, of a sentence, to give effect to the meaning and sentiment of the writer.
Such pauses (useful also for drawing breath) must be introduced with judgment, and with due regard to
They require the voice to be suspended in such manner as to indicate the sense is incomplete ; but their length must depend on the nature of the subject.
In ordinary cases, the suspension should be short and slight.
Many rules have been given in relation to pauses; but the exceptions are so numerous, that, probably, it is the best course to be guided only by observation, discretion, and common sense.
The following Exercises will show the necessity of introducing the Pause in its right place :
EXAMPLES. (To be read by selected pupils.) The Hyphen (-) denotes the SUSPENDING PAUSE. 1.-Read the examples, as the suspending pauses are marked; and in the instances intended for comparison, state which of the two appears to convey the author's meaning :1. These - emmets how - little they - are in - our eyes !
We- tread them - to dust, and - a troop of - them dies. These emmets, - how little - they are, in our eyes ! We tread them to dust - and - a troop of them dies.
2. In works - of labour, - or of - skill,
I would be - busy - too;
For i- dle hands - to do.
In works of labour, - or of skill
I - would be busy - too -
For idle hands - to do.
3. Though - God is not - a hard, he is - an exact Master. His service, though not a severe,
is reasonable service.
Though God is not a hard - he is an exact - Master. His service - though not severe, is a reasonable service.
II.-Read the following as marked ; and afterwards omit the suspending pauses, and note the difference:
(The whole class in turn.) 1. It shows, first - that true devotion is rational, and well-founded ; - next, - that it is of the highest importance to every other part of religion and virtue; and, lastly - that it is more conducive to our happiness.
2. In the tomb, - the man of business forgets all his favourite schemes, - and discontinues the pursuits of gain.
3. Hitherto - may they go, - but no further.
4. Homer claims our attention as the father, - not only of epic poetry - but, in some measure, of poetry itself.
5. It is not - that I love Cæsar - less - but, Rome more. 6. Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown:
0, - grant me honest fame - or grant me none.
7. By foreign hands, - thy dying eyes were closed,
By foreign hands, - thy decent limbs composed, -
Pope. 8. Help the poor, - for the commandments' sake; and turn him not away - because of his poverty.
9. Blessed is the man that doth meditate good things, in wisdom, - and that reasoneth of holy things, by understanding 10. Once - in the flight of ages past There lived a man;
and who was he? Mortal - howe'er thy lot be cast,
That man - resembled thee.