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The following terms denote the time, or degree of rapidity or slowness of movement, to be adopted: adagio.
.very slow-for solemn delivery.
.middle time, and distinct.
..slowly, with fullness of tone. moderato. in ordinary or middle time. retard..
..slackening the time. accelerando... ...quickening the time.
Using these terms and abbreviations, the same passage will be thus marked for expression, in addition to the previous marks of pause, &c. Largo p.
allo, m. S. M As Cæsar loved me,
:7 I weep for him ; as he was fortu
nate," I rejoice at it; as he was valiant," I honor him; but as
f.b he was ambitious, – I slew him. There is tears for his love,
joy for his fortune ;-– honor for his valor, and death- for his
In narration, what force, what reality can be given to description by a speaker who, as it were, throws himself into the scene, and by the vivacity and energy of his delivery brings the action graphically before your eyes, hurries you into the heat of it, and makes you feel as if personally engaged in what is so stirringly related to you.
As in that beautiful description, in Shakspeare's Henry IV. of the gallant Prince Henry and his comrades armed for battle:
Andante, con spirito,
All furnish’d, all in arms,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm’d, -
Ánd vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship!
Unless this description, full of poetic imagination and coloring as it is, be delivered with warmth, energy, and the pitch or tone of enthusiasm, it will fall very short of its due impression; and thus the poet will be deprived, by the speaker's coldness, of the full appreciation, by the hearer, of the exquisite beauty of the picture. The reader must catch the spirit of the language, in order to be a fit interpreter of the poet's conception ; as he proceeds, he must warm and kindle with the glowing coloring of the picture, till the finishing touch is given to it, in the closing, crowning line.
But the force of his elocution must be greatly increased, and the expression must become impassioned, and rise almost to fierceness, to produce the full effect of Hotspur's heroic and inspiring answer: which breathes the highest enthusiasm of confident and daring valor, undaunted resolution, and impatient thirst of glory,
HOTSPUR'S EAGERNESS FOR BATTLE.
All hot, and bleeding, will we offer them!
b Up to the ears in blood. I am on fire,
To hear this rich reprisal is so nigh,
retard. b f. Meet, and ne'er part“ till one drop down a corse! Thus we see that Pitch, Force, and Time constitute expression: united, with just discrimination and in perfect keeping, they reach the climax of the power of Elocution, the acme of its art,-Passion.
The mimicry of Passion, by the simultaneous expression of voice, gesture, face, and attitude, is the Actor's study. It is not my design to form a theatrical style ; but it is desirable that the student should make himself master of certain tones and variations of expression, a judicious use of which will add much to the beauty and power of his declamation, and is, in fact, absolutely necessary to be attained before he can aspire to the high character of a perfect ORATOR.
With a view to assist him in this object, I have prepared the PRACTICE which follows.
THE THIRD DIVISION.
EXERCISE ON INTONATION.
Begin in a deep tone, and gather force and volume in progressing.
B Ye Elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves ;
And ye that on the sands with printless foot,
bolt: the strong-bas'd promontory
808. f. c
Pluck'd up the pine and cedar: graves at my command
But this rough magic
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
I'll drown my book.
THE DEATH OF SAMSON.-Milton.
This being narrative, does not admit of so solemn a tone as the preceding :
M The building was a spacious theatre,
Half-round, on two main pillars vaulted high,