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and with the bridle under his feet, soberly cropping the grass at his master's gate. Ichabod did not make his appearance at break. fast; dinner-hour came, but no Ichabod. The boys assembled at the schoolhouse, and strolled idly about the banks of the brook; but no schoolmaster. Hans Van Ripper now began to feel some uneasiness about the fate of poor Ichabod, and his saddle. An inquiry was set on foot, and after diligent investigation they came upon his traces. In one part of the road leading to the church was found the saddle trampled in the dirt; the tracks of horses' hoofs deeply dented in the road, and evidently at furious speed, were traced to the bridge, beyond which, on the bank of a broad part of the brook, where the water ran deep and black, was found the hat of the unfortunate Ichabod, and close beside it a shattered pumpkin.
The mysterious event caused much speculation at the church on the following Sunday. Knots of gazers and gossips were collected in the churchyard, at the bridge, and at the spot where the hat and pumpkin had been found. The stories of Brouwer, of Bones, and a whole budget of others were called to mind; and when they had diligently considered them all, and compared them with the symptoms of the present case, they shook their heads, and came to the conclusion that Ichabod had been carried off by the Galloping Hessian. As he was a bachelor, and in nobody's debt, nobody troubled his head any more about him; the school was removed to a different quarter of the Hollow, and another pedagogue reigned in his stead.
It is true, an old farmer, who had been down to New York on a visit several years after, and from whom this account of the ghostly adventure was received, brought home the intelligence that Ichabod Crane was still alive; that he had changed his quarters to a distant part of the country; had kept school and studied law at the same time; had been admitted to the bar; turned politician; electioneered ; written for the newspapers ; and finally had been made a justice of the ten pound court. Bröm Bones, too, who, shortly after his rival's disappearance conducted the blooming Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of the pumpkin; which led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he chose to tell.
28. The modulation of vocal energy in speech ONE of the characteristics of expressive utterance is variation in vocal energy, or force,Read aloud the following lines and note the difference in the use of vocal energy between the narrative portion and the words spoken by Berkley.
A moment there was awful pause
T. B. Read: The Rising. Let the reader put himself in imagination in the place of Berkley and utter his speech as a sharp, vigorous protest, and he will find that the words are set out by increased volume of tone and stronger stroke of the voice on the vowels. An indifferent, unimaginative reading of the lines, with a consequent uniformity of vocal force, would convey to the listener no very strong impression of their spirit, for the auditor is not apt to get more meaning out of words than the speaker finds in them and expresses through them. Unvaried vocal force, like monotone, indicates lack of understanding and interest on the part of the speaker, or failure to discriminate between ideas and to respond to their meaning and spirit. Or, to state the matter in a positive way, significant variety in the use of vocal energy is evi. dence of concentration of mental and emotional energy.
The degree and modulation of vocat energy, varying from the whisper of secrecy, alarm, or fear, to the shout of warning, joy, or triumph, are manifold as are the thoughts,
purposes, feelings, and circumstances that prompt speech. According to the motives of the speaker and the conditions under which he speaks, the energy of speech varies in (1) intensity, (2) duration, and (3) stress.
1. Intensity of tone. A certain intensity of tone per. vades all earnest speech. This is true, whether the utterance be loud or soft, excited or calm. It is a common error to associate loudness with strength. It cannot be denied that strong feeling often finds expression in loud tones, but vocal noise is no sure indication of mental or emotional power. More often it gives evidence of lack of self-control. The subdued intense tone is sometimes more potent and effective than a loud one. The whispered “Hark!” of alarm is more impressive than the shouted word would be. “ A soft answer turneth away wrath,” because the man who can control his spirit in the presence of anger shows superior strength. In the well-known quarrel scene between Cassius and Brutus (Julius Cæsar, iv, iii) Brutus replies to the sharp and violent outbursts and threats of Cassius in a quiet, steady voice. Though not loud or vehement, the speech of Brutus is no less intense than that of Cassius. To him there is no terror in the rash and noisy threats of Cassius, but the firm controlled spirit and voice of Brutus brings Cassius to his knees. Intensity and impressiveness of tone, whatever degree of loudness it may have, depend on the clearness and definiteness of the speaker's thought, his motives in speaking, his interest, zeal, enthusiasm, and his self-control.
This aspect of vocal expression is influenced to such an extent by shades of thought and meaning, by kinds and degrees of feeling, by the temperament and speech-habits of the reader, and the particular situation and occasion under which he speaks, that it is not possible to formulate detailed classifications. Nor is it necessary here. But for the purposes of study and practice, the following general principles and suggestions may prove helpful. Ma. In the expression of earnestness and strong conviction, of heroic and martial moods, of emotions of wonder, awe and reverence, and deep solemnity, the utterance is marked by firm, strong strokes of the voice on the accented vowels. As speech becomes fraught with feeling it naturally increases in intensity, but not necessarily in loudness. This quiet, impressive style) is exemplified in the utterance of the best speakers of our time. Loudness, rant, and forced declamation are not highly effective with listeners who know the difference between clear and earnest expression and pretentious noise. The sane and convincing speaker does not shout at the top of his voice, “ Come, let us reason together!” Nor does he bawl out his reasoning or bellow his sentiments. The dignity, beauty, and power of the closing sentences from Webster's Reply to Hayne are best expressed, not by loudness, but by the sustained, firm, vibrant tone consistent with their elevated thought and deep feeling.
While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant, that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind! When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union ; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood ! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as What is all this worth ? nor those other words of delusion and folly, “Liberty first, and Union afterwards but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart
- Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable. (2) 6. In voicing the gentler emotions and sentiments of tenderness, love, resignation, peace, tranquillity, and enjoyment of the beautiful, the tone is naturally quiet, not weak, or lifeless, but at once subdued and intense. I
I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air ;
Whittier: The Eternal Goodness. (3) c. Ordinary conversation and quiet discussion, and, indeed, all grave and thoughtful speech in which the emotions exert no great influence, are characterized by a moderate degree of vocal force. In such reading and speaking, the chief purpose of which is to give information and communicate ideas, one should be careful to avoid two prevalent faults. One is a lax, careless, repressed utterance which renders speech indistinct and listening difficult; the other is undue loudness of voice, as if all listeners were deaf and must be shouted at. A well-modulated voice is a mark of
1 It is difficult to make clear in writing the distinction between quiet, intense tones, and weak ones. But every one recognizes the difference between the soft, ardent voice of a loving mother in speaking to her child, and the flat, lifeless tone of the inefficient salesman who has been discharged and is serving his last day behind the counter and does not care whether he makes sales or not. Both may speak with the same degree of loudness, yet the tone of one pleases and attracts, the other repels ; one is vibrant with emotional energy, the other is the result of mere physical effort sufficient to make the sound.