« PreviousContinue »
classes, which will be definite enough for all ordinary purposes in teaching elocution, and which can be easily recognized by any one who can distinguish joy from sorrow, or a mere matter-of-fact idea from impassioned sentiment.
As appropriate answers to our first question in analysis, let pupils become familiar with some such simple and comprehen sive classes as the following:
DIFFERENT KINDS OR CLASSES OF EMOTIONS.
1. Unemotional,' or matter-of-fact, (whether didactic, narrative, or descriptive).
2. Bold,' (including the very emphatic passages in the first class, and all declamatory pieces).
3. Animated or joyous,' (including all lively, happy, or beautiful ideas).
4. Subdued or pathetic,' (including all gentle, tender, o sad ideas).
5. Noble,' (including all ideas that are great, grand, sublime, or heroic).
Grave,' (including the deep feelings of solemnity, reverence, &c.).
7. 'Ludicrous or sarcastic,' (including jest, raillery, ridicule, mockery, irony, scorn, or contempt).
8. 'Impassioned,' (including all very bold pieces and such violent passions as anger, defiance, revenge, &c.).
When selections are of a mixed character,- some passages "matter-of-fact,' some bold,' some noble,' &c., the first question must be asked as often as there is a marked change.
Having clearly analyzed any given example, we are ready intelligently to ask and answer the first elocutionary question, viz., How can we read the same so as to express with the voice the general spirit' and the individual ideas' with the relative importance' of each? subject of,
This brings us to the
Before analyzing the elements of vocal expression, let pupils be made to understand, as clearly as possible, this broad, general principle, viz., that EXPRESSION in Nature or Art depends on some kinds of lights and shades, as of color, or form, or sound.
Let them see that the clean white wall or the blackboard, has no expression, just because it has but one shade of one color, while the painted map on the wall expresses something, because it has different shades of various colors.
They will then the more clearly understand that the true expression of thoughts and feelings in reading depends on using the right lights and shades of the voice. That a monotonous tone gives no more expression to the ear than the one monotonous color does to the eye.
All our lights and shades of expression in elocution are to be made out of the following: —
1. 6 Force,' with all its natural variety, from moderate to louder or softer.
2. Time,' with its changes from moderate to faster or slower movement, also with its longer or shorter quantity and pauses. 3. 'Slides,' 'rising' and 'falling,' and 'circumflex,' and all these as moderate, or longer or shorter.
4. Pitch,' with its variety of 'key-note,' 'compass,' and
5. Volume,' with more or less 'fulness' of tone.
6. Stress,' or the different kinds of force, as abrupt,' or
'smooth,' or as given to different parts of a syllable.
7. Quality,' as 'pure' and resonant, or impure' and aspirated.
ELEMENTS OF VOCAL EXPRESSION.
Let us now study and practice the principles for the right use of each one of these elements of vocal expression, in Part IL
PRINCIPLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE ELE MENTS OF VOCAL EXPRESSION.
As in our analysis of the spirit and sense of each passage, we have always two quite different questions to ask, viz., What is the general spirit, and what the relative importance of the individual ideas? so in our analysis of each one of the elements of vocal expression, we have the same general and individual inquiries to make:
1. What general degree of force will best express the 'general spirit' of the piece?
2. Taking this general force as our 'standard' degree of loudness or softness to be given to the unemphatic words, how much additional force must we give to the emphatic words, in order to bring out, in our reading, the relative importance of the different ideas?
PRINCIPLE FOR STANDARD FORCE.
Determine the standard force' for the unemphatic words by the kind' or general spirit' of the piece. unemotional,' the standard force is
If the kind is 'moderate.'
If the kind is
If the kind is force is soft.'
bold,' the standard force is loud.'
pathetic or subdued,' the standard
PRINCIPLE FOR RELATIVE OR EMPHATIC FORCE.
Taking the standard force' for the unemphatic words, give additional force to the emphatic ideas, according to their relative importance.
"Learning is better than wealth;
The general spirit' or 'kind' is unemotional.' The 'standard force' is, therefore, moderate.' The words "better" and "wealth" in the first line must have just enough additional force to distinguish them from the unemphatic words "is" and " than." 66 Learning" is more important than 'wealth," and must have enough more force than “wealth” to express its relative importance. Culture" is more important than "learning," and must therefore be read with more force. "Wisdom" is still more important than "culture," and must be read with still more force, to distinguish it as the most important of all.
Hence, to read this simple paragraph naturally, that is, to express distinctly the general spirit and the relative importance of the different ideas, we need five distinct degrees of force.
Let us mark the least degree of emphatic force by italics, the second by small capitals, the third by large capitals, the fourth by larger capitals, and express the same in reading.
"LEARNING is better than wealth;
CULTURE is better than LEARNING;
WISDOM is better than CULTURE."
'Unemotional' examples for moderate' standard force.
1. "I am charged with ambition.
The charge is true, and I GLORY in its truth. Who ever achieved anything GREAT in letters, arts, or arms, who was NOT ambitious?
not more ambitious than Cicero. It was but in another way. ALL GREATNESS is born of ambition. Let the ambition be a NOBLE one, and who shall blame it?"
2. "The plumage of the mocking-bird, though none of the homeliest, has nothing gaudy or brilliant in it; and had he nothing else to recommend him, would scarcely entitle him to notice; but his figure is well-proportioned, and even HANDSOME. The ease, elegance, and rapidity of his movements, the anima tion of his eye, and the INTELLIGENCE he displays in listening, and laying up lessons from almost every species of the feathered creation within his hearing, are really SURPRISING and mark the peculiarity of his genius."
3. "Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn:
The first in MAJESTY of thought surpassed;
5. "In every period of life, the acquisition of knowledge 's one of the most pleasing employments of the human mind. But in youth, there are circumstances which make it produc
* Some examples under Force, Time, and Slides are given without elɔ. Gutionary marks, that teachers and pupils may exercise their own judgment and taste in analyzing and reading them according to the principles,