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XII. It will be noticed that the inflection in any clause comes upon the emphatic word of that clause. Let this principle be fully tested.
XIV. A correct use of inflections is exceedingly important. An unskillful application of them often effectually conceals the meaning. “He does not hălf perform his work,” means that he performs it well. “He does not half perform his work," means that he does it very imperfectly. “Edward would run the greatest risks to please his făvorite.” Here the circumflex implies that he would do very little to please others. The following is frequently quoted: “A man who is in the daily use of ardent spirits, if he does not become a drunkard, is in danger of losing his health and character.” The falling circumflex on “ drunkard” gives the correct meaning. The opposite declares that only by being a drunkard can one preserve his health and character. " The dog would have died if they had not cut off his head.” The rising circumflex on “ died” makes good sense here. The opposite makes cutting off his head necessary to saving his life.
In endeavoring to escape monotony, many readers fall into the habit of excessive inflection,--that is, of frequent and sharp turns of the voice. Too much of this makes the reading harsh and angular.
ANALYTICAL FIFTH READER.
EXERCISES FOR ELOCUTIONARY DRILL.
I.-POLISH WAR SONG.
JAMES G. PERCIVAL. Poland was, for a time, one of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe. By a combination of forces, Russia, Austria, and Prussia succeeded in utterly overthrowing the kingdom, and in dividing its territory among themselves. The Poles defended their nationality with great heroism, though unsuccessfully, and the American poet Percival gives expression to their courage and patriotism in the following spirited lines. They require great force, with clear, ringing, pure tones :
Freedom calls you! Quick, be ready,
Freedom calls ! ye brave !
Grasp the sword !-its edge is keen ;
Onward, onward! Freedom cries,
By the souls of patriots gone,
Rise, and front the despot czar;
Freedom calls you ! Quick, be ready,
On, and let the watchwords be,
OLIVER W. HOLMES. The following brief poem was written by Dr. O. W. Holmes, when it was proposed to dismantle the celebrated United States War Ship, “The Constitution.” On account of her remarkable success in escaping from the attacks of hostile fleets, she was popularly called “Old Ironsides.” Most of the lines require full, round, pure, ringing tones :
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
That banner in the sky;
And burst the cannon's roar ;
Shall sweep the clouds no more!
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
And waves were white below,
Or know the conquered knee ;
The eagle of the sea !
O, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave!
And there should be her grave!
Set every threadbare sail,
The lightning and the gale !
HENRY WILSON. A South Carolina member of the United States Senate, Mr. Hammond, had spoken contemptuously of the laboring classes in the Northern States. Mr. Wilson, of Massachusetts, replied to him, using the following vigorous expressions. The majority in the Senate at that time sympathized with Mr. Hammond. The extract requires great force, with medium speed and pitch :
Sir : Should the Senator and his agitators and lecturers come to Massachusetts, on a mission to teach our “hireling class of manual laborers,” our “ slaves," the “tremendous secret of the ballot-box," and to help “combine and lead them,” these stigmatized “hirelings ” would reply to the Senator and his associates ! “We are freemen; we are the peers of the gifted and the wealthy ; we know the tremendous secret of the ballot-box'; and we mold and fashion these institutions that bless and adorn our free Commonwealth! These public schools are ours, for the education of our children ; these libraries, with their accumulated treasures, are ours; these multitudinous and varied pursuits of life, where intelligence and skill find their reward, are ours. Labor is here honored and respected, and great examples incite us to action.
“Our eyes glisten and our hearts throb over the radiant pages of our history, that record the deeds of patriotism of the sons of New England who sprang from our ranks and wore the badges of toil. While the names of Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Nathaniel Greene, and Paul Revere live on the brightest pages of our history, the mechanics of Massachusetts and New England will never want