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proper effect both of thought and language. To be fully convinced how much of the clearness, force, and dignity of style, depends on due pauses, we have only to advert for a moment to the effect of rapid reading on a passage of Milton, and observe what an utter subversion of the characteristic sublimity of the author seems to take place. This instance is, no doubt, a strong and peculiar one. But a similar result, though less striking, may be traced in the hurried reading of any piece of composition characterized by force of thought or dignity of expression.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PRACTICE. When habitual rapidity of voice, and ornission of pause, are difficult to correct, the learner may be required to accompany the teacher's voice in the practice of sentences. This simultaneous reading, if sufficiently long continued, will probably prove effectual for the cure of habitual faults. A second stage of progress may be entered on, when the learner's improvement will warrant it; and he may be permitted to read after the teacher.
Pupils who possess an ear for music, may be taught to observe that there is in reading and speaking a
time,' as distinct and perceptible, and as important, as in singing, or in performing on any instrument; and that pauses are uniformly measured with reference to this time. The poetry of Milton will furnish, in the sonorous flow of its language, the best matter for exercises in regular pausing, that can be found in any English author. But the selection of passages, must, of course, be adapted to the capacity of the reader.
Exercises in simultaneous reading, embracing entire classes, may be useful in teaching large numbers of pupils; as the necessity of timing the movement of the voice, and regulating the duration of pauses, is in such circumstances fully felt; and, not unfrequently, an individual who has little control over the rate of his own voice, when reading alone, will gain a great power over it, when acting under the impulse of sympathy in simultaneous reading. When this form of
practice is adopted, the length of every pause may be determined by a motion of the teacher. *
Pieces for practice may be selected as follows: first, for frequent and long pauses, passages from Ossian, or other authors abounding in grand and gloomy description; secondly, for pauses not so frequent or so long as in the preceding style, but still of considerable length, passages from Thomson's Seasons, or any other descriptive poem to which the capacities of learners may be thought adequate. Declamatory pieces in poetry or in prose, may be taken as the next stage of practice; and didactic discourses, or essays, may succeed to these. In both of these last-mentioned kinds of exercise, however, the selection of matter for practice, will, in the case of young pupils, require much attention, lest, from the thoughts and the language being either unintelligible or uninteresting, the reading may be performed merely as a verbal exercise, and with those uniform and mechanical pauses which form a prominent fault in what is called the school-boy' style. Familiar pieces in the narrative and descriptive styles, should form the last stage of practice in this department.
TONES AND MODULATION. General Observations. The preceding parts of this work refer chiefly to those modifications of voice which are used in the expression of thought, and which are addressed to the understanding, rather than the feelings. The chief use of inflections, emphasis,
* Much time must necessarily be spent in training some pupils to just and discriminating pauses. Carelessness and haste in expression, seem to be natural tendencies of voice, with the young; and early neglect is so prevalent in whatever regards the exercise of speech, that incorrect habit is fully formed, in most instances, long before the learner has become capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and their necessary consequences, in this department of elocution. It becomes important for the teacher, therefore, to conimence and continue his efforts as a reformer rather than an instructor, and to devise and adopt many mechanical expedients which would be unnecessary, but for the existence of erroneous habit
modulation ing to the pity,
and pauses, is to regulate vocal expression, with reference to meaning in general, or the sense of particular words, clauses, and sentences. But there are other qualities of voice to be considered in the full expression of a sentiment,-those which indicate feeling or emotion, rather than intellectual distinctions; and which, though they naturally accompany, with more or less vividness, all our thoughts, yet admit of being considered separately from them, in an analysis or examination of vocal expression. These qualities of voice are comprehended under the name of tones and modulation ; their office is to impart the states of mind corresponding to the emotions of joy, grief, fear, courage, anger, hatred, pity, love, awe, reverence, &c.
In poetical and empassioned language, tones are often the most prominent and the most important qualities of voice; and to give these with propriety, force and vividness, is the chief excellence of good reading or recitation. The language of prose, being generally less imaginative and exciting, does not require the extent and power of tone used in poetry. But as true feeling is, in both cases, the same in kind, though not in degree, and as no sentiment can be uttered naturally without the tone of its appropriate emotion, and no thought, indeed, can arise in the mind without a degree of emotion; a great importance is attached, even in the reading or speaking of prose composition, to those qualities of voice comprehended under the name of tones. Without these, utterance would degenerate into a merely mechanical process of articulation. It is these that give impulse and vitality to thought, and which constitute the chief instruments of eloquence.
DEFINITION. Tones are those qualities of voice which express emotions considered singly. Modulation is the variation of voice in successive tones and consecutive passages.
Note. Tones may be considered individually or singly, as occurring in particular passages, or pervading a whole piece, when the tenor of the language
implies but one prevalent feeling or emotion. Thus, we may take, as an example of a single tone, the strain of utterance prevailing in Milton's L'Allegro, which is that of gaiety, cheerfulness, and mirth, or that of the same author's Il Penseroso, which is in the vein of melancholy, grave musing, and deep contemplation. In either case, the reading or recitation presents to the ear one predominating tone. Compositions, on the other hand, which express a succession of various emotions, call forth a corresponding variety of tones; and the voice may be contemplated in its movements, not only as giving utterance to each of these singly, in an appropriate manner, but as changing itself so as to become adapted to each in succession, and thus assuming, at every stage of feeling, a new character. The varied modulation so produced would be exemplified in Collins's Ode on the Passions, or Dryden's St. Cecilia's Day,-in both of which, the number and variety of emotions introduced, cause a perpetual varying of tone in the reading.
Single Tones. Every tone may have its chief characteristics classed under the three following heads: force, pitch, and rate.
1st. Force, -regarding the impulse of sound, and characterizing a tone as loud, faint, or moderate in utterance. 2d. Pitch,—regarding the strain of voice in which words are uttered as on high, low, or middle notes of the musical scale. 3d. Rate:-regarding the utterance or the articulation as rapid, slow, or moderate.
Forcible and loud tones belong to the following and similar forcible feelings or emotions: joy, courage, admiration, when strongly expressive,-anger, indignation, revenge, terror.
Gentle, soft, or weak tones characterize fear, when not excessive,-pity, love, admiration, in its moderate expression,--tenderness, grief and sorrow, when not excessive,-all of which imply comparative feebleness of feeling. Fear and grief, in excess, become loud.
Low notes, as naturally coinciding with deep feeling, are the appropriate expression of awe, sublimity, solemnity, reverence, amazement, indignation, anger, when grave and deep,--horror.
High notes belong to the extremes of joy, and of grief; they characterize the tone of terror; they prevail, also, in pathetic and tender expression. They occur, sometimes, in violent anger and in scorn.
Slowness characterizes the tones of grave and sedate feeling-awe, sublimity, solemnity, reverence, pity, admiration, and grief, when deep and subdued, rather than violent...
Rapidity marks the tones of excited and agitated feeling, -anger, eagerness, hurry, confusion, fear, terror, joy, and sometimes grief, when strongly expressed.
The various tones of the voice, if classed in the form of a regular scheme, or table, by their prominent characteristics of force, pitch, and rate, may be arranged thus:
Loud, high, rapid; as joy, &c.
Soft, low, slow; as awe, &c. Strong emotion inclines to the extremes of tone, in all these qualities. Thus, if we take the tones of revenge and of pity, as examples of the manner in which the preceding classification is applied to single tones, we shall find the former distinguished by loud utterance, a low pitch, and a rapid articulation; as may be observed in the following passages :
“Revenge! revenge!” Timotheus cries; * * * “Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew!" The tone of pity, on the contrary, has a soft or faint utterance, a high note, and a slow rate. "Swung in his careless hand, she sees
(Poor ewe!) a dead, cold weight, The little one her soft, warm fleece
So fondly cherish'd late." Moderate emotions, or tranquil states of mind, are distinguished by a moderate force, the middle pitch, and a moderate rate; as in the following example: