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Dustin B. Fletcher, A.M., LL.JB.,
TO WHOM, AS ARTIST, TEACHER, AND FRIEND, I OWE
MUCH MORE THAN THIS SIMPLE
TRIBUTE CAN REPAY.
This little work is intended for beginners in expression. It gives, in as simple language as the writer can command, the elements of the art. The order in which the lessons are given is in accordance with the author's experience in teaching classes of the grade for which it is designed. Teachers of wider experience may find another arrangement preferable; if so, it is an easy matter to assign the lessons as they please. The difficulty has been to select only such exercises and rules as are absolutely essential for young students. It cannot be expected that all will agree with the author's judgment in this particular; nevertheless, the satisfactory results obtained by adhering strictly to the matter contained herein have convinced him that while much of importance might easily have been added, nothing that was absolutely necessary has been omitted. Suggestions looking toward improvement will, however, be thankfully received.
Toward the end, the lessons are more difficult and longer than in the beginning. Since the book was planned to cover at least a school-year of ordinary elocutionary training, the latter part, it is hoped, will be found to have but kept pace with the mental and artistic development of the pupil. The chapters on pantomimic expression may, however, be subdivided or reserved for a second year's course, if deemed advisable. Many pupils will, of course, go over the whole ground very quickly. I do not advocate memorizing the lessons. The
constant necessity for applying the instructions to the practical work of expression will soon fix in the pupil's mind all that is of importance. Discuss thoroughly each chapter, multiplying the illustrations and trying to lead the pupil to work out for himself, if possible, the solution of the problems under consideration.
Exercises relating to a particular subject are numbered consecutively throughout the book without regard to other exercises that may intervene. For instance, under Breathing, Exercises 1, 2, and 3 will be found in Lesson IV., and 4, 5, 6, and 7 in Lesson XIX. This will, it is believed, aid in keeping each subject more completely apart from the others than if the ordinary method of numbering were followed.
Little will be found here relating to emotional expression; such work belongs to a later period of mental development than was contemplated in preparing this manual. The painful exhibition of precocious, hot-house passion has no part in the author's scheme of education. Even those of more mature years who may find this manual useful are advised to thoroughly master its precepts before essaying higher flights. The great essential is a solid foundation of conversational delivery. Emotion that is genuine will find its own outlet, if the channels of expression are free.
It is hard to specify each case of the author's indebtedness to others. Little can be claimed for the book on the score of originality except in arrangement and selection of material. Much of its contents is the common property of all good teachers; the few things that are not, the author has paid well for either in money or in hard work.
XVI. For Independence of the Legs—The Vowels,