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LESSON XVIII

FORCE – Continued

THE AMOUNT TO APPLY

IN Lesson XVII we found that Force is the power we exert in sending out words from the vocal organs. To determine the amount of this force is no easy task, yet in general it may be said that our ordinary force is increased in expressing some sentiments and decreased in expressing others.

But whatever the sentiment, the amount of force used is dependent upon two things:

I. The speaker.

2. The place where he is speaking.

Not all persons are equal in vocal strength. To gain the same effect, one person must oftentimes use several times the force enployed by another. Each person has a scale of his own, and he should not try to imitate that of any other person.

Again, force, as mentioned above, differs with the place of speaking. More force would be needed in a large auditorium than in a small one, and still more would be needed in the open air than in either. What might be a proper amount of force for a large room might be too much in a small room. Nor does the size have all to do with the force that should be used. Sometimes the shape, or the ventilation, affects the amount of force needed.

But taking an average speaker and an average auditorium, each degree of force is suitable for certain senti ments and conditions.

Gentle force is suitable for stillness, tranquil/ity, sadness, solemnity, veneration, awe, etc. Example:

Our way lay from one to another of the most wretched dwellings, reeking with horrible odors, shut out from the sky, shut out from the air, mere pits and dens. In a room in one of these places, where there was an empty porridge pot on the cold hearth, with a ragged woman and some ragged children crouching on the bare ground near it, — where, I remember, as I speak, that the very light, reflected from a high, damp-stained and time-stained house wall, came trembling in, as if the fever which had shaken everything else there had even shaken it, — there lay, in an old egg box which the mother had begged from a shop, a little, feeble, wasted, wan, sick child, with his little wasted face, and his little hot, worn hands folded over his breast, and his little, bright, attentive eyes looking steadily at us. I can see him now as I have seen him for several years; there he lay in his little frail box, which was not at all a bad emblem of the little body from which he was slowly parting — there he lay, quite quiet, quite patient, saying never a word. He seldom cried, the mother said; he seldom complained; “he lay there, seemin' to wonder what it was a about.” God knows, I thought, as I stood looking at him, he had his reasons for wondering. — CHARLES DICKENS, in an After Dinner Speech.

Strong force is suitable for grandeur, patriotism, scorn, hate, revenge, etc. Example:

Now, gentlemen, not to weary you, I am about to present a name for your consideration, — the name of one who was the comrade, associate, and friend of nearly all the noble dead whose faces look down upon us from these walls to-night, a man who began his career of public service twenty-five years ago, - who courageously confronted the slave power in the days of peril on the plains of Kansas, when first began to fall the red drops of that bloody shower which finally swelled into the deluge of gore in the late Rebellion. He bravely stood by young Kansas, and, returning to his seat in the National legislature, his pathway through all the subsequent years has been marked by labors worthily performed in every department of legislation.

You ask for his monument. I point you to twenty-five years of national statutes. Not one great, beneficent law has been placed on our statute books without his intelligent and powerful aid. He aided in formulating the laws to raise the great armies and navies which carried us through the war. His hand was seen in the workmanship of those statutes that restored and brought back “the unity and married calm of States.” His hand was in all that great legislation that created the war currency, and in all the still greater work that redeemed the promises of the government and made the currency equal to gold. When at last he passed from the halls of legislation into high executive office, he displayed that experience, intelligence, firmness, and poise of character which have carried us through a stormy period of three years, with one half the public press crying “Crucify him!” and a hostile Congress seeking to prevent success. In all this he remained unmoved until victory crowned him. The great fiscal affairs of the nation and the vast business interests of the country, he guarded and preserved while executing the law of resumption, and effected its object without a jar, and against the false prophecies of one half of the press and of all the Democratic party. He has shown himself able to meet with calmness the great emergencies of the government. For twenty-five years he has trodden the perilous heights of public duty, and against all the shafts of malice has borne his breast unharmed. He has stood in the blaze of “that fierce light that beats against the throne,” but its fiercest ray has found no flaw in his armor, no stain upon his shield. I do not present him as a better Republican or a better man than thousands of others that we honor; but I present him for your deliberate and favorable consideration. I nominate John Sherman of Ohio. — JAMES A. GARFIELD.

Very strong force is suitable for courage, defiance, alarm, anger, rage, etc. Example:

Has the gentleman done? Has he completely done? He was unparliamentary from the beginning to the end of his speech. There was scarce a word that he uttered that was not a violation of the privileges of the House. But I did not call him to order. Why? Because the limited talents of some men render it impossible for them to be severe without being unparliamentary. But before I sit down I shall show him how to be severe and parliamentary at the same time. On any other occasion, I should think myself justifiable in treating with silent contempt anything which might fall from the honorable member; but there are times when the insignificance of the accuser is lost in the magnitude of the accusation. I know the difficulty the honorable gentleman labored under when he attacked me, conscious that, on a comparative view of our characters, public and private, there is nothing he could say which would injure me. The public would not believe the charge. I despise the falsehood. If such a charge were made by an honest man, I would answer it in the manner I shall do before I sit down. But I shall first reply to it when not made by an honest man.

The right honorable gentleman has called me “an unimpeached traitor.” I ask, why not “traitor,” unqualified by any epithet? I will tell him; it was because he dare not! It was the act of a coward, who raises his arm to strike, but has not the courage to give the blow! I will not call him villain, because it would be unparliamentary, and he is a Privy Councilor. I will not call him fool, because he happens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I say he is one who has abused the privilege of Parliament and freedom of debate, in uttering language, which, if spoken out of the House, I should answer only with a blow. I care not how high his situation, how low his character, how contemptible his speech; whether a privy councilor or a parasite, my answer would be a blow. He has charged me with being connected with the rebels. The charge is utterly, totally, and meanly false! Does the honorable gentleman rely on the report of the House of Lords for the foundation of his assertion? If he does, I can prove to the committee there was a physical impossibility of that report being true. But I scorn to answer any man for my conduct, whether he be a political coxcomb, or whether he brought himself into power by a false glare of courage or not.

I have returned, not, as the right honorable member has said, to raise another storm, - I have returned to discharge an honorable debt of gratitude to my country, that conferred a great reward for past services, which, I am proud to say, was not greater than my desert. I have returned to protect that Constitution, of which I was the parent and founder, from the assassination of such men as the honorable gentleman and his unworthy associates. They are corrupt — they are seditious — and they, at this very moment, are in a conspiracy against their country! I have returned to refute a libel, as false as it is malicious, given to the public under the appellation of a report of the committee of the Lords. Here I stand for impeachment or trial I dare accusation ' I defy the honorable gentleman I defy the Government I defy their whole phalanx – let them come forth ! I tell the ministers I shall neither give them quarter nor take it!

— HENRY GRATTAN (Invective against Mr. Corry).

LESSON XIX

GESTURE

THE OPEN HAND WITH THE PALM DOWN

OFTENTIMES we have occasion to use a pointing gesture, and yet we do not wish it to be as definite as the index hand would make it. To supply this need, we use the open hand with the palm down. See Figure 34. If a stroke were made downward with this hand, it might remind one of a paint brush, with the fingers and thumb representing the flexible part of the brush.

CAUTION No. 1. – When the gesture is finished, that is, after the stroke has been made, the hand should extend straight out from the forearm or be elevated at a slight . angle. Don't let it droop or pitch o, .." downward.

This gesture is used to locate, trace, measure, shape, mold, etc. From these uses it has been extended in one direction to caressing, blessing, and protection, and in another to reproof, suppression, and restraint. In the last division, the hand takes a slight angle with the forearm, and the stroke should be stopped a little before the hand reaches the level of the forearm. Examples:

[graphic]
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