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Sweat, writhings, anguish, laboring of the lungs
Tennyson: The Passing of Arthur.
Hamlet. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many
your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,
whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwigpated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise : I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it.
Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that neither having the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Shakespeare: Hamlet, III, ii.
I. GENERAL SUGGESTIONS
EXERCISES IN EXTEMPORANEOUS AND IMPROMPTU
EXTEMPORANEOUS and impromptu speaking will add much to the interest and effectiveness of a course in oral reading and, whenever practicable, it should be introduced as a part of the regular work. Occasional short talks will provide a pleasant change from the regular reading lesson; they will give the student the ability to think on his feet without thinking too much about them, and they will help him to relate himself easily and directly to others. “Conversation,” said Emerson, " is the laboratory and work-shop of the student. The affection and sympathy help. The wish to speak to another mind assists to clear your own. Every time we say a thing in conversation we get a mechanical advantage in detaching it well."
The talks may be on subjects relating to the text assignments, such, for example, as those suggested in lessons of the program, or on topics of local or general public concern, or they may be drawn from the student's own experience. Whatever the subject, it should be one in which the student's interest is keen and fresh.
So far as possible, the principles of the chapter under discussion, or last assigned, should be observed in the speeches. Thus, the first round of talks mentioned in the program, and relating to Irving and his work, may be criticized principally for clearness of thought and expression, the second round, for principles of grouping, the third for conversational variety and directness, and so on.
Outlines of extemporaneous speeches should be carefully