« 前へ次へ »
The design of this Third Part of thie Grama
' matical Institute of the English Language, is to furnish schools with a variety of exercises for Reading and Speaking ; and I have endeuvoured to make such a collection of essays as ' should form the morals as well as improve the knowledge of youth.
In the choice of pieces, I have been attentive to the political interest of America. I consider it as a capital fault in all our schools, that the books generally used contain subjects wholly uninteresting to our youth ; while the writings that marked the revolution, which are perhaps not inferior to the orations of Cicero and Demosthenes, and which are calculated to impress interesting truths upon young minds, lie neglected and forgotten. Several of those inaste:ly addresses of Congress, written at the commencement of the late revolution, contain such noble sentiments of liberty and patriotism, that I cannot help wishing to transfuse them into the breasts of the rising generation.
FOR READING AND SPEAKING.
GOOD articulation consists in giving every letter
and syllable its proper pronunciation of found. Let each fyllable, and the letters which compose it, be pronounced with a clear voice, without whining drawling, lifping, stammering, mumbling in the throat, or speaking through the nole. Avoid equally a dull drawling babit, and too much rapidity of pronunciation for each of thefe faults destroys a distinct articuiation.
RULE II. Observe the Stops, and mark the proper Pauses, but make
no pause wbere tbe sense requires none. The characters we use as stops are extremely 'arbitrary and do not always marka suspenfion of the voice. On the contrary, they are often employed to feparate the several members of a period, and show the grammatical construction. Nor when they are designed to mark pauses, do they always deterinine the length of thofe pauses; for this depends much on the fenle aud the nature of the subject. A semicolon, for example, requires a longer pause in a grave discourse, than in a lively and spirited declamation. However, as children are incapable of nice distinctions, it may be best to adopt, at first, fome general rule with respect to the paufes*, and teach them to pay the same attention to these characters as they do to the words. They should be cautioned likewise against pausing in the midst of a meinber of a sentence, where the sense requires the words to be clofely connected in pronunciation.
* See First Part of the Institute, where the proportion of the commá, semicolon, colon, and period, is fixed at one, two, foui and six,
Rule III. Puy the strictest attention to Accent, Emplafis, and Ca
dence. Let the accented syllables be pronounced with a proper stress of voice; the unaccented, with little Arefs of voice, but diftinctly.
The importan: part of a sentence, which I call naturally emphatical, have a claim to a considerable force of voice; but particles, such as of, to, as, and, &c. require no force of utterance, unless they happen to be emphatical, which is rarely the case. No person can read or speak well unless he understands what he reads; and the sense will always determine whiat words are emphatical. It is a matter of the highest consequence, there. fore, that a speaker should clearly camprehend the meaning of what he delivers, that he may know where to lay the emphasis. This may be illustrated by a single example. This short question, Will you ride to town to day? is capable of frur different meanings, and consequently of four different answers, according to the placing of the emphasis. If the emphasis is laid upon you, the question is whether you will ride to town or anotber person: If the emphasis is laid on ride, the question is, whether you will ride or go on foot. If the emphasis is Jaid on town, the question is, whether you will ride to town or to anotber place. If the emphasis is laid on to day, the question is whether you will ride to day or some other day. Thus the whole meaning of a phrase often depends on the emphasis; and it is absolutely necessaJy that it should be laid on the proper words.
Cadence is a falling of the voice in pronouncing the elosing syllable of a period*. This ought not to be uniform, but different at the close of different sentences.
But in interrogative sentences, the sense often requires
* We may observe that good speakers always pronounce upon a certain key; for altho they modulate the voice according to the various ideas they express, yet ihey retain the same pitch of yoice. Accent and Einphasis rcquiie no elevation of the voice; but a more torcible expression on ihe same key. Calence respects the last syllable only of the sentence, which s;llable is aciually pronounce ed with a lower tone of voice; but, when words of several sylla. bles cause a period, all the syllables but the last are pronounced in he same key as the rest of the seater.cc.