Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

filled with pity or affection, it uses soft tones. When aroused to resistance or indignation or defiance or denunciation or joy, it speaks in loud tones.

7. The same state of mind that requires moderate force requires also moderate speed. Joy, animated cheerfulness, sport, &c., require fast utterance. If the thoughts are solemn, sad, dignified, or noble, the utterance is slow.

8. The same state of mind that requires moderate force and speed, usually requires medium pitch. Solemnity, sadness, despair, require a low pitch. Joy, lively description, fear, hilarity, are expressed in high tones.

9. Moderate volume is usually required where moderate force, speed, and pitch are demanded. All grand and noble thoughts require full round tones. Trifling utterances need but slight volume of voice.

10. Another difference in tones is usually called Quality.

respect to this, tones may be pure or impure. Impure tones are accompanied, more or less, by unvocalized breath. In pure tones, all the breath emitted is vocalized. Aspirate sounds, as of f, p, s, occur in all compositions, and, so far as they go, always interfere with purity of tone. But the amount of these is never sufficient to destroy the entire effect in a sentence that requires to be uttered in pure tone. Pure tones are used to express elevated and pure thoughts. Impure tones are used in the expression of fear, disgust, hatred, and other evil and unpleasant feelings.

11. Force must not be confounded with volume. A full volume of voice may be heard at only short distances, when a voice of less volume and more force would be heard at much greater distances. Volume is quantity; force is intensity.

EXAMPLES.

An example of full volume is found in the twelfth paragraph, page 220,-" Therefore,' said he, &c."

Of great force, tenth stanza, page 176,—“Fly! &c.

Of unexcited expression, first paragraph, page 74; or any piece of simple narrative or description.

Of the expression of sorrow, sixth stanza, page 143,—"It never thrilled with anguish more, &c.”

page 157.

Of pity, ninth paragraph, page 101, and eleventh stanza,
Of affection, second stanza, page 113, and Exercise LVII.
Of indignation, sixth paragraph, page 128.
Of defiance, sixteenth and seventeenth stanzas, page 216.
Of denunciation, Exercise LXXXVII, page 323.
Of joy, we have an example in the eighth stanza, page 201,
-“Hurrah, they run the field is won!”
Of animated cheerfulness, in the fifth stanza, page 86.

Of dignified and noble thoughts, in the Exercise on page 147.

Of solemnity, in Exercise LXXIX, page 304.

Of fear, in the thirteenth stanza, page 176, also the seventeenth, page 177.

Examples requiring pure tone are found in the Exercises on pages 120, 141, 112, and many others; for impure tone, take the examples of fear, given above.

STRESS AND EMPHASIS.
[Under Force we may consider Stress and Emphasis.]

STRESS.

1. Stress is the application of force to a particular part of an accented syllable. It differs from emphasis and accent, in that it distinguishes the different parts of a single syllable, while emphasis discriminates between the words of a sentence, and accent between the syllables of a word.

2. Anger, defiance, command, call for an explosive utterance of words. The accented syllable is abruptly spoken, the full force coming upon the very beginning of it. Dr. Rush and Prof. Russell call this the radical stress, or the force given to the radical, or opening, part of a syllable. For examples take the two last lines of poetry on page 180.

3. All noble thoughts, -patriotism, reverence, affection, &c., require a flowing and smooth utterance, with a force gradually increasing to the middle of the accented syllable, and then gradually diminishing Force thas applied is called the median stress, because it comes upon the median or middle part of the syllable. The following pages furnish beautiful illustrations of the median stress. Among them may

be

mentioned the poem on page 120. Also the article on page 147.

4. Contempt, scorn, impatience, revenge, &c., require the force to be thrown upon the very last of the accented syllable. It begins gently, swells on towards the close, and ends with a sudden burst or jerk. This is called the vanishing stress. because the force is applied to the vanishing, or closing; part of the syllable. An example occurs on page 99 of the book, fourth paragraph: “Confound your baskets and balls, &c.”

5. In irony, sarcasm, and generally when the circumflex is used, we may hear both the radical and vanishing stress upon the same syllable. That is, both the very beginning and the very close of the syllable are uttered with marked force. This mode of utterance is called the compound stress.

6. In calling to persons at a distance or in military command the same high degree of force is continued through the syllable. This is called the thorough stress, because the force is applied through the entire length of the syllable. One of the best examples of this is Satan's address to his hosts, in Paradise Lost: " Awake! arise! or be forever fallen!”

7. Feeble old age, or excessive grief, joy, tenderness, or admiration, expresses itself in a tremulous succession of swells. This kind of stress is called the tremor.

EMPHASIS.

1. In reading, some words,-those expressing new or important thoughts, -are spoken louder, and are more prolonged than other words. Sometimes this is on account of the absolute importance of the thought, considered by itself; and sometimes on account of some relation that subsists between it and another thought. Examples of the first : “I assure you that the charge is false." "The great object of life is to form a true character.Here the words "false" and

true character” express thoughts in themselves important, and ought, on that account, to be read with more force than the other parts of the sentences. Examples of the second:

Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?Were it not for the relation of "mote” to “beam" and of “brother” to “own,” none of these words would require any unusual degree of force. This mode of distinguishing words by loudness and length of sound is called Emphasis.

[ocr errors]

2. Emphatic words may require any inflection, accord ing to the sentiment of the piece, and the meaning of the word.

3. It often happens that the important thought is contained in a group of words; and, when such is the fact, the group, and not any single word, should be made emphatic. To confine the emphasis to a single word in such cases, gives a bald and angular character to the reading. Successive words are frequently emphatic, each by itself. Examples: “The bank may break, the factory burn.“ Thou art standing on thy legs, above ground, mummy."

4. Many examples might be adduced to show that a misplacement of emphasis may entirely change the meaning of a sentence. Careful attention to it is therefore of the utmost importance.

“You must,” said he,
“Quit your sweet bride and come with me.”
“With you!” the hapless husband cried !
“With you, and quit my Susan's side !

Young as I am,'tis monstrous hard !” If the word “am" is made emphatic with the falling inflection, the implication is, that it is less hard for young persons to die than for others. On the contrary, if the word “young” is emphasized, as it should be, the reverse is implied.

PAUSES

[ Under the head of Speed we may consider Pauses.] 1. Nothing is more efficient in giving expression to reading than a judicious use of the pause.

2. Group the words carefully, in respect to their meaning. This is a very important matter in narrative, didactic, or descriptive prose, as well as in poetry and in more rhetorical prose. To do this well, one must have a thorough mastery of the meaning of what is read. The eye must go in advance of the voice, and thus measure beforehand the sentences that are to be read.

3. Many pauses are required besides the grammatical ones, and the iength of the pause made by the voice at a comma or a period is very different under different circumstances. It is the function of the grammatical pauses to aid the reader in ascertaining the meaning of what is read.

4. In ordinary, matter-of-fact productions, pauses are of moderate length. In

grave, sad, or pathetic pieces, the pauses are long. In joyous, cheerful, stirring, or animated pieces, the pauses are short.

5. It is impossible to give rules that will guide the reader as to the details of every case. The shades of thought and feeling are so infinitely various, and the length of pauses depends upon so many conditions, that the best advice to give the reader is, that he study carefully the meaning of what he reads, and watch the effect, on himself and on others, of pauses of different lengths.

6. After emphatic words, pauses are longer than after other words. Indeed, emphasis depends as much upon the pause as upon force.

Of this fact we often lose sight. 7. Great care is required in reading poetry to make the pauses at the ends of the lines, of the proper length. On the one hand, the pupil must avoid a slavish sacrifice of the sense to the mere rhythm, which is shown by a strongly marked pause at the end of each line; and on the other hand, the poetry must not be read as if it were prose, but the lines must always be marked by some degree of pause, - long and distinct where the sense demands it, -slight and delicate where it does not. 8. Skillful changes in pitch can be made very

effective in the grouping of words and clauses, and in indicating the subordination of one clause to another, or the contrary. Attention to this makes the reading clear and expressive. The third stanza, page 142, should be divided into groups distinguished by a difference of pitch. For the first group take the first four lines. At the beginning of the fifth line, let the pitch become a very little lower; this will, as it were, detach the following from the preceding lines. A similar change may be made on the ninth line, same stanza.

« ForrigeFortsett »