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nite. The suggestive notation has been limited to such a number of pieces, as seemed requisite to fix the prominent principles of elocution permanently in the memory. But most of the lessons have been left unmarked, in order to have the reader exert his own judgment in applying the rules, with the aid, when necessary, of the teacher.
The propriety and the advantage of any system of notation, for the purposes of study in elocution, have been, by some writers, considered doubtful. On this subject, Dr. Porter has made the following just observations:
"If there could at once spring up in our country a supply of teachers, competent, as living models, to regulate the tones of boys, in the forming age,-nothing more would be needed. But, to a great extent, these teachers are to be themselves formed. And to produce the transformation which the case demands, some attempt seems necessary to go to the root of the evil, by incorporating the principles of spoken language with the written. Not that such a change should be attempted with regard to books generally; but in books of elocution, designed for this single purpose, visible marks may be employed, sufficient to designate the chief points of established correspondence between sentiment and voice. These principles being well settled in the mind of the pupil, may be spontaneously applied, where no such marks are used."
Objections are made by some authors,-whose judgment and taste, on other subjects, are unquestionable,-not only to any system of notation indicating the modifications of voice which characterize appropriate reading, but to any systematic instruction in the rules and principles of elocution themselves.
Persons, even, who admit the use of rules on other subjects, contend, that, in reading and speaking, no rules are necessary; that a correct ear is a sufficient guide, and the only safe one. If, by a 'correct ear,' be meant a vague exercise of feeling or of taste, unfounded on a principle, the guidance will prove to be that of conjecture, fancy, or whim. But if, by a 'correct ear,' be meant an intuitive exercise of judgment or of taste, consciously or unconsciously recognizing a principle, then is there virtually implied a latent rule; and the instructor's express office, is, to aid his pupil in detecting, applying, and retaining that rule.
Systematic rules are not arbitrary; they are founded on observation and experience. No one who is not ignorant of their meaning and application, will object to them, merely because they are systematic, well defined, and easily understood: every reflective student of any art, prefers systematic knowledge to conjectural judgment, and seizes with avidity on a principle, because he knows that it involves those rules which are the guides of practice.
"When a skilful teacher," says Dr. Porter, "has read to his pupils a sentence for their imitation, is there any reason why he should have read it as he did?—or why he or they should read it again in the same manner? Can that reason be made intelligible? Doubtless it may, if it is founded on any stated law. The pupils, then, need not rest in a servile imitation of their teacher's manner, but are entitled to ask why his emphasis, or inflection, or cadence, was so, and not otherwise: and then they may be able to transfer the same principles to other cases."
"Should some still doubt whether any theory of vocal inflections can De adopted, which will not be perplexing, and, on the whole, injurious, especially to the young, I answer, that the same doubt may as well be extended to every department of practical knowledge. To think of the rules of syntax, every sentence we speak, or of the rules of orthography and style, every time we take up our pen to write, would indeed be perplexing. The remedy prescribed by common sense, in all such cases, is, not to discard correct theories, but to make them so familiar as to govern our practice spontaneously, and without reflection."
AMERICAN COMMON-SCHOOL READER AND
PART I.-RULES OF ELOCUTION.
ANALYSIS OF THE VOICE.
THE chief distinctions of the voice, as they are presented in the science of music, are comprehended under the heads of Rhythm', including all the modifications of voice produced by 'time', 'measure', and 'movement;- Dynamics', comprising the various applications and degrees of 'volume', or 'quantity', 'loudness', and force';- Melody', including pitch', 'intonation', or change of 'note', in ascending or descending the musical scale, and modula tion', or change of key' ;- Quality', designating the voice as 'barytone', or grave; 'soprano', or high; tenor', or medium; 'pure', or clear and smooth; 'impure', or the reverse of the last.
The classification of vocal properties, as exhibited in elocution, according to the system developed in Dr. Rush's Philosophy of the Voice, comprises,-Quality', 'Force', 'Pitch', and 'Time',-all used in the same general references, as in music,-and 'Abruptness', -a property of voice which is exhibited in the sudden and instantaneous explosion of forcible sound, as in the tone of violent anger. This quality is properly but one of the modifications of 'force'.
*The analysis of the voice, for the purposes of instruction and practice in reading and declamation, may be extended, in detail, to the following points, which form the essential properties of good style, in reading and speaking.
* The larger type distinguishes those portions of Part I. which are most important to the learner, and which should be, in substance, im pressed on the memory.
§ I. QUALITY OF VOICE.
The chief properties of a good voice, are,
This property of voice is exemplified in that ringing fulness of tone, which belongs to the utterance of animated and earnest feeling, when unobstructed by false habit. It is natural and habitual, in childhood; it is exhibited in all good singing, and in the properly cultivated style of public reading and speaking.
This mode of voice depends, 1. on a true position of the body, as preparatory to the easy and energetic use of the organs of speech; 2. on deep and tranquil respiration, (breathing,) which furnishes a full supply of breath,-the only means of creating a full vocal sound; 3. on energetic expulsion of the breath, or sending it forcibly up to the larynx', or upper part of the throat, by the action of the lower muscles of the trunk,-those, chiefly, which are situated in front, and below the ribs.
The true position of the body, for the function of speech, implies an attitude perfectly upright; the head erect; the shoulders held back and down; the chest well expanded and projected. The cavity of the chest, being thus greatly enlarged, the lungs well supplied with air, and the lower and larger muscles of the trunk, acting powerfully, the voice seems, as it were, to ring clearly in the head, and resound fully in the chest, at the same moment.
A full, deep, round, and ample sound, is thus imparted to the voice. This tone has been termed, by Dr. Rush, the orotund', or round tone. It belongs appropriately to public reading and speaking, as contrasted with familiar talking. One great cause of the feeble, stifled, thin, and imperfect voices, which are heard so often in reading and speaking, is the absence of that vigorous tone of healthful activity, which is indispensable, alike to the free and effective play of the organs of speech, and to that vividness of feeling, which is the true inspiration of the voice. This want of healthy vigor and spirit, leads to stooping postures, a sunken chest, drooping head, and consequently, to suppressed and imperfect tone. Reading aloud becomes, in consequence of these faults, a fatiguing and ex hausting labor, instead of an exhilarating and inspiring exertion.
Practice, in the style of vehement declamation, is the best means of securing a round and full tone.-The following exercise should be repeatedly practised, with the attention closely directed to the management of the organs, in the manner which has just been described, as producing the 'orotund', or resonant quality of voice.
Exercise on the 'Orotund'.
"Who is the man that, in addition to the disgraces and mischiefs of the war, has dared to authorize, and associate to our arms, the tomahawk and scalping knife of the savage?to call into civilized alliance the wild and inhuman inhabitant of the woods?-to delegate to the merciless Indian, the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of this barbarous war, against our brethren?-My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity!-I solemnly call upon your lordships, and upon every order of men in the state, to stamp upon this infamous procedure the indelible stigma of the public abhorrence ! "
2. Smoothness of Voice, or 'Purity' of Tone.
Smoothness of voice, in reading and speaking, is the same quality which, in relation to vocal music, is termed 'purity'
This property of voice consists in maintaining an undisturbed, liquid stream of sound, resembling, to the ear, the effect produced on the eye, by the flow of a clear and perfectly transparent stream of water. It depends, like every other excellence of voice, on a free, upright, and unembarrassed attitude of the body,-the head erect, the chest expanded. It implies natural and tranquil respiration, (breathing;)-full and deep inspiration', (inhaling, or drawing in the breath ;) and gentle expiration', (giving forth the breath ;) a true, and firm, but moderate exercise of the larynx', (or upper part of the throat ;) and a careful avoiding of every motion that produces a jarring, harsh, or grating sound.
'Pure' tone is free from, 1. the heavy and hollow note of the chest;-2. the 'guttural', choked, stifled, or hard sound of the swollen and compressed throat ;-3. the hoarse, husky, 'harsh', 'reedy', and grating, style, which comes from too forcible expiration', and too wide opening of the throat;-4. the nasal twang, which is caused by forcing the breath against the nasal passage, and, at the same time, partially closing it;-5. the wiry, or false ring of the voice, which unites the guttural and the nasal tones;-6. the affected, mincing voice of the mouth, which is caused by not allowing the due proportion of breath to escape through the nose. The natural, smooth, and pure tone of the voice, as exhibited in the vivid utterance natural to healthy childhood, to good vocal music, or to appropriate public speaking, avoids every effect arising from an undue preponderance, or excess, in the action of the muscles of the chest, the throat, or any other organ, and, at the same time, secures all the good qualities resulting from the just and well-proportioned exercise of each. A true and smooth utterance, derives resonance