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of the present generation, in the name of your country, in the name of liberty, to thank you !—WEBSTER, Bunker Hill Oration.
34. By singing Ex. 13, determine the compass of your voice. After this is done, take the sentence, “Ring the alarm bell !” and give it on every half note from the middle of your compass to its highest note. Likewise take the sentence, “'Tis midnight's holy hour,” and give it from your middle note to your lowest note. Do not sing the sentences, but speak them upon the keynote.
35. Taking an octave that is easily within your compass, practice Ex. 13, first sliding or slurring up the octave, and then, immediately after, before taking the next syllable, sliding or slurring down again. Your course will then somewhat resemble the following diagram :
You may increase the slide, if you wish. First take the slides slowly; afterwards you may give them faster.
PROBABLY nothing is more noticeable to the ordinary listener than the rate at which an orator speaks. “He speaks so fast,” we often hear people say, or “Didn't he speak slowly ” Some people naturally speak faster than others, but no matter whether a person naturally speaks slowly or fast, he should not always speak at the same rate. There are times when he should speak slowly (for him) and times at which he should speak faster. This is governed by laws which are given below.
There are three rates: rapid, medium, and slow. There are, of course, no hard and fast lines. The different rates blend into one another.
Rapid rate is used for gayety, joy, excitement, alarm, picturing rapid action, etc. Examples:
A hurry of hoofs in the village street,
Now you see the water foaming all around. See how fast you pass that point Up with the helm Now turn! Pull hard Quick : quick quick | Pull for your lives | Pull till the blood starts from your nostrils, and the veins stand like whipcords on your brow ! Set the mast in the socket hoist the sail : Ah! ah! it is too late! Shrieking, cursing, howling, blaspheming, over they go! — John B. Gough.
Across the valley the Southern line of attack is forming, — a splendid column three miles long, their silken banners unfurled to the breeze, a bristling mass of bayonets glittering in the sunlight. With majestic movement the veteran army advances on the Union line. Their cannon cease firing. Instantly the deserted guns are manned. The whole line of Federal batteries pour shot and shell into the advancing ranks. Awful gaps are made, but quickly closed, and the long line comes swiftly on. The Union infantry have hurriedly re-formed along the summit of the ridge. Up the slopes come the Southern ranks. Their lines of glistening steel sweep on like waves of death and destruction. They hurl back the Union advance. On they come toward the main line. A flash of smoky flame, a deafening roar, and twenty thousand Union guns pour forth a flood of leaden death. The Southern ranks go down under that awful fire like fields of grain swept by the tornado's blast. Flesh and blood cannot face such carnage. Whole companies rush into the Union lines and throw down their arms. The remnant of that splendid eighty thousand hurries in full retreat back across the valley, shattered and broken. The Confederacy has reached its height! Slavery has fallen I Victory is with democracy — College Oration.
Medium rate is used for conversation, and all speaking where there are no unusual emotions. Example:
The people always conquer. They always must conquer. Armies may be defeated, kings may be overthrown, and new dynasties imposed, by foreign arms, on an ignorant and slavish race, that care not in what language the covenant of their subjection runs, nor in whose name the deed of their barter and sale is made out. But the people never invade; and when they rise against the invader, are never subdued.
Slow rate is used to express devotion, solemnity, reverence, awe, veneration, dread, amazement, etc. Examples:
Sunset and evening star,
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
As the end drew near, his early craving for the sea returned. The stately mansion of power had been to him the weary hospital of pain, and he begged to be taken from its prison walls, from its oppressive stifling air, from its homelessness and its hopelessness. Gently, silently, the love of a great people bore the pale sufferer to the longedfor healing of the sea, to live or to die, as God should will. Within sight of its heaving billows, within sound of its manifold voices, with wan, fevered face, tenderly lifted to the cooling breeze, he looked out wistfully upon the ocean's changing wonders, on its far sails whitening in the morning light, on its restless waves rolling shoreward to break and die beneath the noonday sun, on the red clouds of evening arching low to the horizon, on the serene and shining pathway of the stars. Let us think that his dying eyes read a mystic meaning, which only the rapt and parting soul may know. Let us believe that, in the silence of the receding world, he heard the great wave breaking on a farther shore, and felt already on his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning.—JAMES G. BLAINE.
An example of the combination of rapid rate with slow rate is found in the following:
There came a dark night when Columbus stood at the lookout alone. Before and behind him stretched the black waters in limitless expanse. The admiral's white head was bent with care. Already they had sailed farther than he had ever dreamed that ship could sail, - and yet no land. What would be the end? What would come of the murmurings and the black looks on every side? Did failure stare him in the face? But, as he raised his head, he thought he caught a glimpse of a light carried by an unseen hand on a distant shore. He shouted, “A light! A light!” He woke the crew. Cries of “Land! Land!” rang from ship to ship. Not an eye was closed again that night. All was excitement, and as the day dawned, land stretched before them! Christopher Columbus had reached his goal. His idea was vindicated, his dream fulfilled ! On the virgin soil of a new world, he knelt and gave thanks to God.— College Oration.
IN addition to the general law for pauses, mentioned in Lesson XI, it may be well for the student to note a few of the specific cases that fall within that law.
CASE I. — Pause to separate clauses and words in a series.
This case obviously comes very directly under the general law. A clause, by its very name, incloses, or contains, a single thought, and should therefore be separated from the clauses that are before and after it. Likewise, in a series of words, each word contains a single idea, and should therefore be treated in a similar manner. Example of pause between clauses:
If, then, the power of speech is a gift as great as any that can be named, /—if the origin of language is by many philosophers even considered to be nothing short of divine, / —if by means of words the secrets of the heart are brought to light, / pain of soul is relieved, / hidden grief is carried off, / sympathy conveyed, / counsel imparted, / experience recorded, / and wisdom perpetuated, / — if by great authors the many are drawn up into unity, / national character is fixed, / a people speaks, / the past and the future, the East and the West, are brought into communication with each other, / —if such men are, in a word, the spokesmen and prophets of the human family, / — it will not answer to make light of Literature or to neglect its study; / rather we may be sure / that, in proportion as we master it in whatever language, / and imbibe its spirit, / we shall ourselves become in our own measure the ministers of like benefits to others, / be they many or few, / be they in the obscurer or the more distinguished walks of life, / — who are united to us by social ties, / and are within the sphere of our personal influence.
— CARDINAL NEWMAN.