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Since the aim in speaking Presentative, or propositional, thought is to set it before the hearer clearly and distinctly, so that he may get it into his mind in an orderly fashion, it is necessary (1) to give time enough for him to grasp the thoughts, and (2) to show him the relative importance of the various parts by your faster or slower rate of speaking those parts. This involves a third necessity, namely, presenting the thoughts to him in proper groups. The mind can take in only a certain amount at one glance. The matter presented to it must, therefore, be broken up into small enough groups. A line printed thus would need to be slowly spelled out and re-grouped before the eye could get the meaning:
The letters must be grouped into separate words, with spaces between, and the words gathered by punctuation into larger groups. Just as the eye must have the printed words separated into groups, so the ear also needs to have the spoken words presented to the mind in groups, measurably distinct from each other, and separated by pauses of shorter or longer duration.
But pay no attention to pausing, any more than you pay attention to the spaces between words on the printed page. Attention should be focused upon the groups and not upon the empty pauses that separate the groups. If the student, in speaking, groups the words according to the thought and feeling, the pauses will largely take care of themselves.
The mind can grasp a large body of thought after it has it fully in possession, but it cannot take in very much at a time. The sentence gives the unit of grammatical structure, but the group gives the unit of attention. The group will be small if the thought is new or difficult, and larger if it is easy, familiar, or unimportant. At first it will be easier for the student to group into larger groups, like paragraphs; later he can analyze it more closely, into small groups.
Mark the paragraphs or separate topic-groups in the following:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him. And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written through the prophet. And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, art in no wise least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come forth a governor, Who shall be shepherd of my people Israel. Then Herod privily called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethelhem, and said, Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him. And they, having heard the king, went their way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. Now when they were departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee i’nto Egypt, and be thou there until I tell thee: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. And he arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod.-Matthew 2:1-15.
Group the following into sentences.
And he spake also this parable unto certain 'who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and set all others at naught two men went up into the temple to pray the one a Pharisee and the other a publican the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself God I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men extortioners unjust adulterers or even as this publican I fast twice in the week I give tithes of all that I get but the publican standing afar off would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven but smote his breast saying God be thou merciful to me a sinner I say unto you this man went down to his house
justified rather than the other for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.-Luke 18:9-14.
In the following sentences set off the groups by one, two, or three bars, thus
Johnson || the brother-in-law of Adams | the tailor || came || as soon as he heard the terrible news.
David ||| so great was his interest in the case III returned to the city || on the first train || that left || after he had finished | his necessary business.
I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving; to reach the port of heaven, we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
There is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness in work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works. In idleness alone there is perpetual despair.
The older I grow--and I now stand upon the brink of eternity—the more comes back to me the sentence in the catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper becomes its meaning: "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and to enjoy him forever."
Have a purpose in life, if it is only to kill and divide and sell oxen well, but have a purpose; and having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.
EXERCISES In many cases the tongue seems to All the mouth. It is thus very much in the way. The speaker needs to keep the tongue down and the soft palate raised, that he may have as much room as possible for the forming of sounds. 35. a. Depress the tongue, making it hollow like a spoon,
lift uvula and soft palate; and yawn. b. With the mouth in this condition sing "ah" up
1. Study the selection from Blaine's speech on Garfield,
page 107 until you can see in your imagination
everything he suggests. 2. Separate it into groups as in last lesson. 3. Read it aloud smoothly, without dropping the voice
at the end of the groups as if the thought were complete.
EXERCISES Distinctness in speaking is very important, but articulation should also be easy.
Labored and noticeable ar-tic-u-la-tion is an ugly mannerism.
Practice exercises 30 and 33, then 36. a. Say these syllables distinctly, without puffing out
breath: pa-ba-ma-fa-ta-la-ra-sa. b. Say these distinctly but rapidly, on each degree
of the scale. The main accent is on the first
syllable, a slighter accent on the fifth.
None of the following selections are pure types of Presentation, some of them seem to have no passage that is really Presentation. Yet Presentation is as it were the basement of all the other Moods, and there is a groundwork of grouping underlying the moods of Discrimination, Emotion, and Volition.
Mark the grouping in each of these selections, and by explanatory paraphrases convince the class that your grouping is reasonable.
“I will not believe anything but what I understand!" said a self-confident young man in a hotel one day.
"Nor will I," said another.
"Gentlemen,” said one who sat close by, "do I understand you correctly that you will not believe anything you don't understand?"
"I will not,” said one, and so said each one of the trio.
"Well,” said the stranger, “in my ride this morning I saw some geese in a field eating grass; do you believe that?”
"Certainly,” said the three unbelievers. "I also saw the pigs eating grass; do you believe that?” “Of course," said the three.
“And I also saw sheep and cows eating grass; do you believe that?”
“Of course," was again replied.
"Well, but the grass which they had formerly eaten had, by digestion, turned to feathers on the backs of the geese, to bristles on the backs of the swine, to wool on the sheep, and on the cows hard turned to hair; do you believe that, gentlemen?''
"Certainly," they replied.
“Yes, you believe it," he rejoined, “but do you understand it?"
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
With the dying sun.
And the heart but one;
-F. W. Bourdillon.