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A COMPLETE DRILL BOOK
FOR PRACTICE OF THE
PRINCIPLES OF VOCAL PHYSIOLOGY,
AND FOR ACQUIRING THE ART OF
ELOCUTION AND ORATORY
COMPRISING ALL THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF
VOCAL DELIVERY AND GESTURE,
WITH ALL THE LATER SELECTIONS FOR PUBLIC RECITALS,
SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, THE PULPIT. PRIVATE LEARNERS, ELOCUTIONISTS
AND PUBLIC READERS.
BY ALLEN AYRAULT GRIFFITH, M.A.,
LATE PROFESSOR OF ELOCUTION IN STATE NORMAL SCHOOL, MICHIGAN, NOW PRESIDENT
A DRILL Book, for training in Elocution and Oratory, should be practical rather than theoretical. It should furnish concise definitions, as acknowledged by the best authorities, with brief and varied examples for individual and class practice, by which an interest in the general subject may be excited, the taste formed, and the mind of the student led to just conclusions as to what is right and appropriate in the delivery of extemporaneous or written dis. course. We do not intend to say that instruction or drill in elocution can create the essential powers of a speaker, but it can and will improve and direct those powers.
From a well-devised practical system of Elocution, we look for no more chan we are every day receiving from established arts. All men speak and reason; for these acts, as far as we know, are as natural as passion ; but the arts of Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, and Elocution, teach us to do those things in the best manner. For, the systematizing of the principles of art signifies the teaching of the best manner of execution in said art.
There is a will in man, with a system of muscles, which the common calls of exercise render obedient to that will, and which thereby produces motion in every direction not forbiden by nature. Now, there is scarcely a boy of any physical activity or enterprise, who does not, on seeing an accomplished skater, desire to imitate him ; to catch and keep the center of gravity through all the varieties of balance and motion. Yet, this will not prevent his fall, on a first trial, however natural the tie between his will and all his muscles may be. The truth is, that without long experience, he knows not what is to be done ; or, if he knows, he is unable to effect it. With some analogy to this case, there are many persons, not destitute of feeling or passion, who have a pretty fine command of the voice on the common occasions of life, but who betray a faltering tongue if they attempt to imitate the varied powers of the long-practiced speaker. When the voice is prepared by elementary training