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any material effect on the relative situations of the contending powers. On a fine autumnal afternoon, Ichabod, in pensive mood, sat enthroned on the lofty stool from whence he usually watched all the concerns of his little literary realm. In his hand he swayed a ferule, that sceptre of despotic power; the birch of justice reposed on three nails behind the throne, a constant terror to evil doers. Apparently there had been some appalling act of justice recently inflicted, for his scholars were all busily intent upon their books, or slyly whispering behind them with one eye kept upon the master; and a kind of buzzing stillness reigned throughout the schoolroom. It was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a negro in tow-cloth jacket and trowsers, and mounted on the back of a ragged, wild, half-broken colt, which he managed with a rope by way of halter. He came clattering up to the schooldoor with an invitation to Ichabod to attend a merry-making or “quilting-frolic,” to be held that evening at Mynheer Van Tassel's.
All was now bustle and hubbub in the late quiet schoolroom. Books were flung aside without being put away on the shelves, inkstands were overturned, benches thrown down, and the whole school was turned loose an hour before the usual time, bursting forth like a legion of young imps, yelping and racketing about the green in joy at their early emancipation.
The gallant Ichabod now spent at least an extra half hour at his toilet, brushing and furbishing up his best, and indeed only suit of rusty black, and arranging his locks by a bit of broken looking-glass that hung up in the schoolhouse. That he might make his appearance before his mistress in the true style of a cavalier, he borrowed a horse from the farmer with whom he was domiciliated, a choleric old Dutchman of the name of Hans Van Ripper, and, thus gallantly mounted, issued forth like a knighterrant in quest of adventures. But it is meet I should, in the true spirit of romantic story, give some account of the looks and equipments of my hero and his steed. The animal he bestrode was a broken-down plow-horse, that had outlived almost everything but its viciousness. He was gaunt and shagged, with a ewe neck, and a head like a hammer; his rusty mane and tail were tangled and knotted with burs; one eye had lost its pupil, and was glaring and spectral, but the other had the gleam of a genuine devil in
it. Still he must have had fire and mettle in his day, if we may judge from the name be bore of Gunpowder. He had, in fact, been a favorite steed of his master's, the choleric Van Ripper, who was a furious rider, and had infused, very probably, some of his own spirit into the animal; for, old and broken-down as he looked, there was more of the lurking devil in him than in any young filly in the country.
Ichabod was a suitable figure for such a steed. He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stuck out like grasshoppers'; he carried his whip perpendicularly in his hand, like a sceptre, and as his horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings. A small wool hat rested on the top of his nose, for so his scanty strip of forehead might be called, and the skirts of his black coat fluttered out almost to the horse's tail. Such was the appearance of Ichabod and his steed as they shambled out of the gate of Hans Van Ripper, and it was altogether such an apparition as is seldom to be met with in broad daylight. ?
1 An abridgment of the rest of this story will be found at the end of chapter V, where it has been placed as an exercise in the principles of that chapter.
7. The basis of grouping In purposeful, speech words are combined in groups according to the ideas and images the speaker wishes to communicate. Without clear thinking there can be no accurate grouping, and without clear grouping no clear expression of thought. Attention is limited temporarily to the thought that determines the word group.
To the homeless man — who has no spot on this wide world which he can truly call his own, — there is a momentary feel. ing of something like independence and territorial consequence - when, - after a weary day's travel, — he kicks off his boots, -thrusts his feet into slippers, and stretches himself before an inn fire.
Irving : Stratford-on-Avon. In reading the above selection aloud it will be observed that the words are combined in groups, or “ thought units," and these groups are separated from each other by pause and change of pitch. Furthermore, all words within each group are usually merged and blended by uninterrupted utterance.
1. Pause. Word groups are always set apart by pauses. The length of the interval of silence depends on the relative importance of the ideas, the feeling of the speaker and the conditions under which he speaks. Pauses in the utterance of profound, weighty, and solemn thought tend to be longer than in thought of a lighter and more joyous nature. The number in the audience and the size of the room also influence the length of pauses. Length of pause as determined by the character of the thought is illustrated in the two
following extracts. Note that in the first the pauses are longer than in the second spirited selection.
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths ;
Philip James Bailey : Festus.
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
2. Change of pitch. With change in thought in passing from one group to another there is normally a resultant change in the pitch of the voice. The more vividly images are pictured in the mind and the more definite and vigorous the thinking the more pronounced will be the change in pitch. Monotony is evidence of failure on the part of the speaker to grasp the meaning of the individual ideas or to discover their relative importance. Test the statements by reading aloud the following sentences:1. ; At last
to our journey's end. through deep roads and bad weather 1 It will be observed that the underlined phrases in the illustrations given above carry the principal thought of the sentence. If the utterance is monotonous, read only the main part of the sentence, omitting the explanatory or qualifying phrases. When the principal thought is clearly in mind, read the sentence as a whole, adding the amplifying ideas of the phrases not read before. This exercise often proves helpful in awakening a sense of the thought value of phrases and of their relation to each other. When these values aro understood, the fact will be evident in change of pitch between thought groups and in the variety of utterance characteristic of conversation. The space intervals allowed between sections of the above sentences are meant merely to indicate thought divisions, not definite intervals of pitch.
If you go to-day
I must stay at home.
I come now to consider briefly the true ground of complaint.
but with proper precision
Cromwell was evidently laying the foundation of an
though in an irregular manner admirable system.
3. Uninterrupted utterance. The appearance of words in print, set apart by spaces, leads easily to the idea that they should be separated in speech. One of the most common faults of the beginner is the practice of pausing after each word. In conversation and all ordinary forms of speech, the words of a phrase are bound together and merged into one continuous sound, broken only by stop consonants like t, b, p, k, the enunciation of which slightly obstructs the tone passage. We do not say “How — are you?” but “ Howareyou ?” The truth of this statement will be obvious if the following sentences are spoken, first as separate words, then as one word, with all sounds merged:
1 “No amount of study of the sounds only of a sentence will enable us to recognize the individual words of which it consists." Henry Sweet: Primer of Phonetics.
2 The classification of utterance into “effusive," "expulsive," and "explosive," while it has some justification in fact, has led to a good deal of elocutionary unnaturalness. It is often true that exclamations of alarm, anger, exultation, and the like, and those occasional utterances in which individual words are of great weight- as, for example, Hamlet's last speech, “The rest - is - silence !” - are marked by separate voicing of each word, but it will be observed that such utterance is the result of abnormal states of feeling or of rare and exceptional conditions. The application of the expulsive and explosive utterance to the delivery of orations and declamations is perhaps the cause of much of the disfavor into which elocution has fallen. One can hardly imagine Lincoln as saying, “Fourscore (!) and seven (!) years (!) ago (!) our (I) fathers (!) brought forth (1) upon this continent (!) a new (!) nation (!)”; yet students are still being taught to declaim the speech in this way. An unassuming, simple, conversational style suits the Gettysburg Speech. There is no rant, declamation, expulsiveness, or explosiveness about it. This may be said in general of the unpretentious utterance of all earnest men.