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Probably the greatest example of the effect of long and short syllables is found in , Milton's L'Allegro and Il Penseroso. Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful Jollity, Quips and Cranks and wanton Wiles, Nods and Becks and wreathèd Smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek; Sport that wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides. Come, and trip it as you go, On the light fantastic toe. Come, Pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, steadfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of cypress lawn Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait, And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes. But even if it is impossible to attend to all this in writing, much may be accomplished by delivery. If the long syllables are neglected, the effect will not be so much in accord with the sentiment expressed by those syllables, while the ordinary effect of such a passage may be heightened by an unusual dwelling on them. The same holds true of the short syllables. If they are struck off quickly, they have their correct effect but they must not be prolonged. CAUTION.— The prolonging of short syllables is what is generally known as drawling. Pick out the short syllables, stop prolonging them, and the drawl will disappear.
NoTE. – If attention is paid to prolonging the indefinite syllables, the passage is said to be delivered in long quantity; if the short syllables are given the attention, that is, are given quickly, and the indefinite syllables are slighted, the passage is said to be given in short quantity. If neither of these methods is followed, the passage is probably given in medium quantity.
82. Extend the arms parallel in front, palms down. Depress the wrists. Revolve the hands until the tips of the fingers point down. Now bring the hand back to the shoulder by bending the elbow. Raise the elbows and revolve the hands so the palms are outward. Now push out with the hands. At first do this to a count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, rather jerkily. Soon, however, smooth it down until your counts run together and there is nothing left but a smooth serpentine motion.
83. Repeat Ex. 82, but extend the arms out at the sides.
84. Practice the following sentences in their appropriate quantities:
Move on, thou arm of law.
Pick it up quick, Jack.
Let them try him.
— From FULTON and TRUEBLOOD's Practical Elocution.
MoRE subtle and delicate, and yet perhaps more effective, than any of the means of expression yet described, is what is known as tone color. By this is meant the quality of voice taken on in the manifestation of any particular mood. Of course, as the possibilities of our moods, with their various blendings, are practically infinite, so there are infinite possibilities in tone color, for there is a voice for every emotion ; but a few of the more common of our moods give rise to certain quite plainly distinguished qualities, and it is to every orator's advantage to learn their control and use. For convenience we may classify these into a few large groups.
GROUP I ORDINARY, EVERYDAY, CONVERSATIONAL QUALITIES
The first large group of qualities is that which we use in our everyday life, – the kind we use when we are explaining something to a friend, or reciting a lesson, or telling of some ordinary incident that does not excite us greatly. Examples: A thing of beauty is a joy forever; Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
I am little accustomed, Gentlemen, to the part which I am now attempting to perform. Hardly more than once or twice has it happened to me to be concerned on the side of the government in any criminal prosecution whatever; and never, until the present occasion, in any case affecting life. —WEBSTER in White Murder Trial.
The reign of Napoleon may be defined as the old world reconstructed by a new man. He covered over with glory the threadbare centuries. He was the first among soldiers, but not among statesmen. He was open to the past, but blind to the future. If this judgment be found too harsh, a mere glance will serve to convince one of its justice. Men are judged not by their fortune, but by their work. He had in his hand the greatest force Providence ever placed in the hand of a mortal to create a civilization or a nationality. What has he left? Nothing but a conquered country and an immortal name. — LAMARTINE.
A second well-defined group of qualities is that which we use when our natures expand to their fullest and best. These are larger, stronger, fuller, richer qualities than those we use in our ordinary existence, — they come only in the great moments of life, when one's being is fully roused. They are used in reverence, patriotism, courage, etc. The best way to cultivate these qualities, which are among the most important to the orator, is to take sentiments of a grand, lofty, and sublime nature, and try to fill a large room full of all this grandeur and sublimity, or, still in a large room, you can imagine yourself in the presence of some of Nature's grand scenes, and try to speak as you would if you were to express this grandeur by the very way you said your words. Examples:
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll. — BYRON.
NotE. – Imagine yourself on a great high cliff, with the vast ocean rolling and tossing at your feet, and give this line so that you will suggest all the grandeur of the sea. Get a deep, full voice.
NOTE. — Imagine yourself in the midst of battle, speaking the following in a very impassioned manner to your soldiers:
On, on, you noble English,
— SHAKESPEARE's King Henry V.
Reunited—glorious realization It expresses the thought of my mind and the long-deferred consummation of my heart's desire as I stand in this presence. It interprets the hearty demonstration here witnessed, and is the patriotic refrain of all sections and all lovers of the Republic.
Reunited—one country again and one country forever ! Proclaim it from the press and the pulpit; teach it in the schools; write it across the skies. The world sees it and feels it. It cheers every heart North and South, and brightens the life of every American home. Let nothing ever strain it again. At peace with all the world and with each other, what can stand in the pathway of our progress and prosperity ?