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tion, or when uncorrupted by bad example and neglect. Instruction and practice, however, are requisite to develop and confirm these natural, good tendencies: but such aids become indispensable when the habits of enunciation have, through unfavorable influences, been stamped with error, or when individuals have commenced a course of study, preparatory to a profession which requires correctness and fluency in public address.
A habit of drawing a full breath has been mentioned as the first prelimi. nary to energetic and distinct enunciation. This point will, perhaps, be more clearly understood, and its value more distinctly perceived, hy adverting to the circumstance, that many speakers (adults, through the influence of neglected habit, and the young, from agitation or embarrassment) begin to speak without a full supply of breath, or an entire inflation of the lungs, and that the mechanical impulse of speaking commonly carries on the action of the voice, without leaving opportunity for a full supply of breath to be drawn in the course of the whole exercise. The lungs are thus exhausted and injured by being required to furnish (what they have not actually received) a volume of air sufficient to create and sustain a strong articulate utterance. The whole style of a speaker's elocution is thus rendered feeble, indistinct, and unimpressive. A due attention to the student's habits of breathing will do much towards enabling him to speak or read with ease and distinctness, as well as to acquire a full and habitual energy of voice, and a permanent vigor of the organs of speech.
The second requisite to distinct articulation is a forcible expulsion of the breath. Animated conversation on subjects interesting to the mind, and especially when a numerous company is addressed, furnishes an idea of what is meant by expulsive or forcible utterance; and the voice of a sick person, – of an individual in health, when fatigued,- of a person overwhelmed with grief, shame, or embarrassment, may serve to illustrate the opposite quality of speech, a faint ineffective mode of expression. The act of public communication by oral address, requires a vigorous exertion of the organs, - a thing equally essential to admiration and interest in the speaker, and to the physical jossibility of his voice being heard, or his words understood by his audience. To produce an energetic and distinct articulation, the breath must be forcibly expelled, as well as freely inhaled ; a full volume of air must be transmitted, with great force, to the minor organs of speech, woich give a definite character to sound.
Where the forcible emission of the breath is neglected, a grave and hollow voice, yet feeble and languid in its execution, is unavoidably contracted, by which the speaker's internal energy is much impaired; and the natural effect of his delivery lost. A strong and adequate utterance, on the contrary, carries the force outward, and causes it to reach with ease and with full effect, over a large space. Expulsive enunciation should receive full attention, as an easy and natural means of strengthening the voice, and rendering it clear and distinct. As a mode of physical exercise it is conducive to inward vigor and to general health ; and as an accomplishment in elocution, it is of the utmost consequence to the appropriate expression of elevated sentiment and natural emotion.
This kind of vocal force, however, must be carefully distinguished from that of calling or vociferation, with which it has little in common, but which is habitually exemplified by some public speakers, who indulge an undisciplined and intemperate energy of feeling or of voice, and by children, generally when reading in a large room. It produces the style of utterance which most persons erroneously adopt in conversing with a deaf person.
Contrasted with a natural and habitual tone, this mode of utterance has a false note, and an effect altogether peculiar to itself; it is the tone of physical effe rt transcending that of mental expression. True force of utterance, on the other hand, keeps the tone of meaning predominant, and preserves the whole natural voice of the individual, while it increases its energy. It differs from the tone of private conversation solely in additional force, and a more deliberate and distinct expression. It is the want of this style of utterance which creates formal and professional tones, or what is not unjustly called a school tone.'
The third constituent of good articulation is to be found in the proper functions of the tongue and the lips. These organs divide and modify the voice into distinct portions of sound, constituting letters and syllables, and consequently require energy and deliberateness, or due force and slowness, together with perfect precision, or exactness in their action.
Energy in the play of these minor organs of speech, is a quality entirely distinct from loudness, or mere force in the emission of the voice. A sound may come from the lungs and the throat with great vehemence, and yet be very obscure in its peculiar character, because not duly modified by the tongue. The voice of a person under the excitement of inebriation, furnishes sometimes a striking illustration of this distinction. Strong emotion and great loudness of speech are, from a cause somewbat similar, not favorable to a clear expression of meaning, but often have a contrary effect; the violence of feeling and of utterance, preventing the true and accurate formation of sound. Energy of articulation, on the other hand, consists in the force with which the constituent sounds of every word are expressed by the exertion of their appropriate organs. It may exist with very little of mere loudness, sometimes giving indescribable fervor to a bare whisper. It is the quality which gives form and character to human speech, and constitutes it the appropriate vehicle of intellect; although from languor and carelessness of habit it is too seldom exemplified in public reading or speaking.
The next point to be observed, in the action of the organs, is deliberateness or due slowness, the medium between hurry and drawling, - faults which are a great hinderance to distinctness; the former prod
be former producing a mass of crowded and confused sounds which make no distinct impression on the ear, and leave no intelligible trace on the mind, - and the latter causing the voice to lag lazily behind the natural movement of the mind's attention, with an unmeaning and disagreeable prolongation of sound, which takes away the spirit and the significance of speech. The degree of slowness required for an accurate and distinct enunciation is such as to leave sufficient time for the true and complete formation of every sound of the voice, and for the deliberate and regular succession of words and syllables ; free, however, from any approach to languor and drawling.
Force and slowness, however, are not the only qualities essential to distinct articulation. There must be, in addition to the right degree of these properties, a due attention, in every instance, to the nature of the sound to be produced, and to that exertion of the organs which is adapted to its exact execution. In other words, articulate utterance requires a constant exercise of discrimination of the mind, and of precision or accuracy in the movements of the organs of speech. A correct articulation, however, is not belabored or artificial in its character. It results from the intuitive and habitual action of a disciplined attention. It is easy, fluent, and natural: but, like the skilful execution of an accomplished musician, it gives forth every sound, even in the most rapid passages, with truth and correctness. A good enunciation gives to every vowel and consonant its just proportion and character; none being omitted, no one blending with another in such a manner as to produce confusion, and none so carelessly executed as to cause mistake in the hearer, by its resemblance to another.” - Russell.
EXTRACT FROM “QUR NATIONAL LIFE.” E. P. Whipple. In order that America may take its due rank in the commonwealth of nations, a literature is needed which shall be the exponent of its higher life. We live in times of turbulence and change. There is a general dissatisfaction, manifesting itself often in rude contests and ruder speech, with the gulf which separates principles from actions. Men are struggling to realize dim ideals of right and truth, and each failure adds to the desperate earnestness of their efforts. Beneath all the shrewdness and selfishness of the American character, there is a smouldering enthusiasm which flames out at the first touch of fire, — sometimes at the hot and hasty words of party; and sometimes at the bidding of great thoughts and unselfish principles. The heart of the nation is easily stirred to its depths; but those who rouse its fiery impulses into action are often men compounded of ignorance and wickedness, and wholly unfit to guide the passions which they are able to excite. There is no country in the world which has nobler ideas embodied in more worthless shapes. All our factions, fanaticisms, reforms, parties, creeds, ridiculous or dangerous though they often appear, are founded on some aspiration or reality which deserves a better form and expression. There is a mighty power in great speech. If the sources of what we call our fooleries and faults were rightly addressed, they would echo more majestic and kindling truths. We want a poetry which shall speak in clear, loud tones to the people; a poetry which shall make us more in love with our native land, by converting its ennobling scenery into the images of lofty thought; which shall give visible form and life to the abstract ideas of our written constitutions; which shall confer upon virtue all the strength of principle, and all the energy of passion; which shall disentangle freedom from cant and senseless liyperbole, and render it a thing of such loveliness and grandeur as to justify all self-sacrifice; which shall make us love man by the new consecrations it sheds on his life and destiny: which shall force through the thin partitions of conventionalism and expediency; vindicate the majesty of reason; give new power to the voice of conscience, and new vitality to human affection; soften and elevate passion; guide enthusiasm in a right. direction; and speak out in the high language of men to a nation of men.
Lord Bacon. Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business; for, expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar; they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience — for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, Aashy things.
CHARACTER. Ralph Waldo Emereon. I have read that those who listened to Lord Chatham felt that there was something finer in the man, than anything which he said. It has been complained of our brilliant English historian of the French Revolution, that when he has told all his facts about Mirabeau, they do not justify his estimate of his genius. The Gracchi, Agis, Cleomenes, and others of Plutarch's heroes, do not in the record of facts equal their own fame. Sir Philip Sidney, the Earl of Essex, Sir Walter Raleigh, are men of great figure, and of few deeds. We cannot find the smallest part of the personal weight of Washington, in the narrative of his exploits. The authority of the name of Schiller is too great for his books. This inequality of the reputation to the works or the anecdotes, is not accounted for by Eaying that the reverberation is longer than the thunder-clap; but somewhat resided in these men which begot an expectation that outran all their performance. The largest part of their power was latent. This is that which we call Character, - & reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means. It is conceived of as a certain undemonstrable force, a Familiar or Genius, by whose impulses the man is guided, but whose counsels he cannot impart; which is company for him, so that such men are often solitary, or if they chance to be social, do not need society, but can entertain themselves very well alone. The purest literary talent appears at one time great, at another time small, but character is of a stellar and undiminishable greatness. What others affect by talent or by eloquence, this man accomplishes by some magnetism. “Half his strength he put not forth.” His victories are by demonstration of superiority, and not by crossing of bayonets. He conquers, because his arrival alters the face of affairs. “O Iole! how didst thou know that Hercules was a god ?” “Because," answered Iole, “I was content the moment my eyes fell on him. When I beheld Theseus, I desired that I might see him offer battle, or at least guide his horses in the chariot-race; but Hercules did not wait for a contest; he conquered whether he stood, or walked, or sat, or whatever thing he did.” Man, ordinarily a pendant to events, only half attached, and that awkwardly, to the world he lives in, in these examples appears to share the life of things, and to be an expression of the same law which controls the tides and the sun, numbers and quantities.
REMINISCENCES OF ARNOLD AND WORDSWORTH.
Rer. F. W. Robertson. It was my lot, during a short university career, to witness a transition and a reaction, or revulsion of public feeling, with respect to two great men. The first of these was one who was every inch a man, -- Arnold, of Rugby. You will all recollect how, in his earlier life, Arnold was covered with suspicion and obloquy, how the wise men of that day charged him with latitudinarianism, and I know not with how many other heresies. But the public opinion altered, and he came to Oxford, and read lectures on modern history.
Such a scene had not been seen in Oxford before. The lectureroom was too small; all adjourned to the Oxford Theatre; and all that was most brilliant, all that was most wise and most distinguished, gathered together there. He walked up to the rostrum with a quick step and manly dignity. Those who had loved him