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114. The following " Rhymes for the Nursery," by Robert Southey, descriptive of the Cataract of Lodore, afford a good exercise in articulation, especially in the participle termination in ing. The voice should be modulated in many places to imitate the motion of the water ; and therfl is even an opportunity, in the expressiveness of many of the words, for Imitative articulation.
"How does the water come down at Lodore 1"
Because I was Laureate * to them and the king,
From its sources which well in the tarn on the fell;
• gee this word and Sonthey In the Explanatory Index.
Here it comes sparkling, and there it lies darkling;
The Cataract strong then plunges along,
Rising and leaping, sinking and creeping, swelling and sweeping.
Confounding, astounding, dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound.
Collecting, projecting, receding and speeding, and shocking and rocking, And darting and parting, and threading and spreading, and whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping, and hitting and spitting, and shining and twining,
And rattling and battling, and shaking and quaking, and pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving, and tossing and crossing, and flowing and going, And running and stunning, and foaming and roaming, and dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping, and working and jerking, and guggling and struggling,
And heaving and oleaving, and moaning and groaning:
And glittering and frittering, and gathering and feathering,
Dividing and gliding and sliding,
And falling and brawling and sprawling,
And driving and riving and striving,
And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
And sounding and bounding and rounding,
And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
And clattering and battering and shattering;
Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting.
Advanoing and pranoing and glancing and dancing,
\nd so never ending, but always descending,
116. Pronunciation includes the consideration not only of articulation and quantity, but of accent. It tells us, for instance, not only how syllables and words ought to be articulated, but on which syllable, if the word be of two or more syllables, the ictus, or principal blow of the voice, ought to fell. Modes of pronouncing are partly the result of usage, and partly fixed by laws founded on the natural genius and tendency of the language. Those modes that are easiest of enunciation, and most satisfactory to the ear, have been generally adopted, except when there is a reason, in the derivation of a word or some other cause, for a departure from the rule that has regard to these objects.
116. The colloquial pronunciation of certain words is, in some few instances, different from that employed in devotional discourse and in poetry. In reading the Scriptures we say blessed; in current speech we gay blest. When the rhyme requires it in verse, we give to the i in wind its long sound, making the word rhyme with mind. Always consult your dictionary for the pronunciation of a doubtful word. A faulty manner of pronouncing mars the effect of the best discourse and the most sympathetic voice. For a person, on a question of pronunciation, to trust to his own judgment, unenlightened by authority and its reasons, is mere presumption.
117. The word modulation is derived from a Latin word signifying to measure off properly, to regulate; and it may be applied to singing and dancing, as well as to speaking. It is not enough that syllables and words are enunciated correctly, and that the marks of punctuation are duly observed. Unless the voice sympathetically adapts itself to the emotion or sentiment, and regulates its pauses accordingly, it will but imperfectly interpret what it utters.
118. The study of pronunciation, in the ancient and most comprehensive sense of' that word, comprised the consideration not only of what syllables of a word ought to be accented, but of what words of a sentence ought to be emphasized. The term Em'phasis, from a Greek word, signifying to point out, or show, is now commonly used to signify the stress to be laid upon certain words in a sentence. It is divided by some writers into emphasis of force, which we lay on almost every significant word • and emphasis of sense, which we lay on particular words, to distinguish them from the rest of the sentence.
119. The importance of emphasis to the right delivery of thoughts in speech must be obvious on the slightest reflection. "Go and ask how old Mrs. Remnant is," said a father to his dutiful son. The latter hurried away, and soon returned with the report that Mrs. Remnant had replied, that" it was none of his business how old she was." The poor man had intended merely to inquire into the state of her health ; but he accident ally put a wrong emphasis on the adjective old.
120. Another instance of misapprehension will illus'trate the import ance of emphasis. A stranger from the country, observing an ordinary roller-rule on a table, took it up, and, on asking what it was used for, was answered, "It is a rule for counting-Aouses." After turning it over and over, and up and down, and puzzling his brain for some time, he at last, in a paroxysm of baffled curiosity, exclaimed, "How in the name of wonder do you count houses with this 1" If his informer had rightly bestowed his emphasis, the misconception of his meaning would not have taken place.
121. Emphasis and intonation must, as Dr. Blair has remarked, be left to the good sense and feeling of the reader. Accumulations of rules on the subject are unprofitable and delusive ; and the cases wherein the rules hold good are often less numerous than the exceptions. If you thoroughly understand and feel what you have to utter, and have your attention concen'trated upon it, you will emphasize better than by attempting to conform your emphasis to any rules or marks dictated by one writer, and perhaps contradicted by another.
122. A boy at his sports is never at a loss how to make his emphasis expressive. If he have to say to a companion, "I want your bat, not your ball," or " I'm going to skate, not to coast," he will not fail to emphasize and inflect the italicized words aright. And why? Simply because he knows what he means, and attends to it. Let the reader study to know what his reading-lesson means, and he will spend his time more profitably than in pondering over marks and rules of disputed application. It is for the teacher, by his o'ral example, to instil a realization of this fact into the minds of the young.
123. Dr. WUately, in his Treatise on Rhetoric, pointedly condemns the artificial system of teaching elocution by marks and rules, as worse than useless. His objections have been disputed, but never answered. They are: first, that the proposed system must necessarily be imperfect; secondly, that, if it were perfect, it would be a circuitous path to the object in view ; and, thirdly, that, even if both these objections were removed, the object would not be effectually obtained.
124. He who not only understands fully what he is reading, but is earnestly occupying his mind with the matter of it, will be likely to read as if he understood it, and thus to make others understand it; and, in like manner, he who not only feels it, but is exclusively absorbed with that feeling, will be likely to read as if he felt it, and communicate bis impression to his hearers.
EXERCISES ON EMPHASIS.
I. In their prosperity, my friends shall never hear of me; in their adversity, always.
II. There is no possibility of speaking properly the language of any passion without feeling it.
III. A book that is to be read requires one sort of style; a man that is to speak must use another.
IV. A sentiment which, expressed diffusely, will barely be admitted to be just, expressed concisely will be admired as spirited.
V. Whatever may have been the origin of pastoral poetry, it is undoubtedly a natural and very agreeable form of poetical composition.
VI. A stream that runs within its banks is a beautiful object; but when it rushes down with the impetuosity and noise of a torrent, it presently bocomes a sublime one.
VII. A French sermon is, for the most part, a warm, animated exhortation; an English one is a piece of cool, instructive reasoning. The French preachers address themselves chiefly to the imagination and the passions; the English, almost solely to the understanding.
VIII. Those who complain of the shortness of life let it slide by them without wishing to seize and make the most of its golden minutes. The more we do, the more we can do ; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
IX. Those who, without knowing us, think ill of us, do us no wrong; it is not ourselves whom they attack, but the phantom of their imaginations.
X. Sound logic is the sinews of eloquenoe. Without solid argument, oratory is empty noise, and the orator is a declaimer or a sophist.
XI. There is hardly anybody good for everything, and there is scarcely anybody who is absolutely good for nothing. A good chemist will extract some spirit or other out of every substance; and a man of sagacity will elicit something worth knowing out of every person with whom he oon verses.
XH Men write their wrongs in marble; He, more just.