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sound. Such words as th' Eternal, for the Eternal; dang’rous, for dangerous; t' inspect, for to inspect; and all those crabbed expedients to which prosodians resort, will, by this inartificial process, disappear.
ON THE READING OF VERSE.
98. Verse, or metrical composition, consists of sense in connection with the music of rhythm, or the consonance of syllables. The reader's business is to express the sense—by uniting or separating words exactly as in reading prose. In strictly following the sense, there should be no discord between the reader's voice and the poet's rhythm. If any want of harmony exist, the poet is in fault. One rule is common to both poet and reader, “Make the sound an echo to the sense.” The reader must often accommodate his pronunciation to suit the rhythmical necessities,—but he should never sacrifice the sense for the sake of ill-adapted melody.
RHETORICAL PUNCTUATION. 99. Grammatical Punctuation marks to the eye the different divisions which the construction requires : Rhetorical Punctuation subdivides for the judgment and the ear; considering pauses only as adjuncts to distinct and expressive delivery.
100. The principle of grouping into Oratorical words may be thus briefly comprehended :—No words should be united, between which a grammatical government or mutual relation, does not subsist; and no such grammatically related words should be separated (See pars. 39, 44).
101. The duration of pauses cannot be fixed by any rule; because the style of an author, his subject, and the particular expression which it requires; as well as the purport of the speaker, his acquired habits of utterance, the varying shades of passion or of emotion that he would portrayall materially contribute to vary the frequency and time of Rhetorical Punctuation : but, though the absolute quantity of every group is at the will of the speaker, there must at all times be a relative duration, partly dependent on the nature of the composition, and partly on the speaker's powers of conception and expression.
102. The following musical pauses may be introduced as guides to the student during his initiatory exercises.
The Quaver, or shortest pause, marked thus :
The Semibreve, or longest pause, 103. The shortest pause (4) is necessarily introduced at the end of
every oratorical word; the middle pause () at the end of any
distinct part of a proposition; the long pause (-) at the termination of a proposition; and the longest pause () at the termination of an important division of a discourse. The rhetorical sense, not the grammatical expression, determines the relative situation and length of each pause.
RULES FOR RHETORICAL PAUSES.
Pause and replenish the lungs with breath-
important word. A pause after a pronoun in the nominative case
is only admissible when it is emphatic. Before and after all parenthetic, explanatory, and intermediate clauses. After words in apposition or in opposition. Before relative pronouns. Before and after clauses introduced by prepositions. Between the several members of a series. Before all conjunctions; and after all conjunctions which introduce
important words, clauses, or sentences. After all nouns and pronouns that are nominatives to a verb, or that
are governed by a verb; after all adjectives (except the last) which qualify a noun ; and all adverbs (except the last) which qualify
either verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. Before the infinitive mood, when not preceded by a modifying word. Wherever an ellipsis takes place. Between the object and the modifying word in an inverted order. Generally before and after emphatic words.
X. GESTURE AND GENERAL EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION.
104. It is not the province of this Introduction to enter on this comprehensive subject. For a brief yet extremely practical view, the student is referred to Bell's “Standard Elocutionist.”
MISCELLANEOUS DIRECTIONS FOR READING. 105. Hold the book in the left hand, and use the right to turn the pages.
106. Keep the book flatly open, so as not to cover the face; and hold the book sufficiently high to secure perfect vision without any bending of the neck or body.
107. Open the mouth gently-raise the chest before beginning, and take breath silently at every pause.
08. Pronounce one thought at a time; and do not run together clauses that have not a mutual reference.
109. When the sense is not clear, endeavour to ascertain it by mentally paraphrasing the passage.
110. The words expressive of each member of a sentence, -Subject, Predicate, or Circumstance,-should be accentually united, and the members themse ves kept distinct.
111. Do not keep the eye constantly fixed on the page, but carry the words of a clause in your mind, and address the eye to your hearers. 112. Do not pronounce the last word or clause of a page, until
you have turned over the leaf, lest you sever words connected in sense.
113. At all times read earnestly, but naturally. Read verse without monotony, chanting, or rhyming melody. Do not pause at the end of a line unless the sense requires it.
114. To a Speaker, the thought precedes and dictates the words ; and words or clauses are instinctively grouped and accented so as to express the thought. But to a Reader, the words precede and dictate the thought; and constant care and discernment are necessary to discover precisely the thought intended to be expressed, and go to collocate the words as neither to separate those which should be accontually associated, nor to unite those which are unconnected in sense. The most important grammatical words are not necessarily the principal or emphatic words in a sentence.
MISCELLANEOUS DIRECTIONS FOR RECITATION. 115. In committing to memory, make yourself acquainted with the general bearing and grammatical structure of the whole passage : then mentally divide it into parts that have a logical sequence, or unity of time, place, or action. Afterwards, study each portion separately, learning the first sentence, then the second; then going back to join the former to the latter, and so on to the end.
116. Do not stand up hurriedly, or consequentially, or be in haste to begin, but take your position with leisurely grace; pause before commencing. A few deep inspirations, slowly taken, especially through the nostrils, will assist in subduing nervous agitation.
117. Surround yourself by the imagery of your snbject, and take no further thought of your auditors until the close. Then leisurely retire.
118. Never turn your back to your hearers. Arrange your gesticulativo pictures, as far as possible, neither behind you, nor directly in front, nor in the line of the shoulders, but to right and left of the centre before you.
AMUSING AND DIDACTIC POETRY
[The prosaic mode of arrangement has been employed in printing many of the following extracts. This mode, first introduced by Mr. Bell, has been of late very extensively adopted for the purpose of obviating the too rhythmical delivery which is often associated with metrically printed LINES, and as an assistance to the habitual use of pauses and tones in strict accordance with the sense.” Small figures are introduced to denote the order of the stanzas. )
1.-THE LITTLE MAIDEN AND THE LITTLE BIRD.-Anon.
“ Little bird ! little bird ! come to me!
8.—THE CHILD'S WISH IN JUNE.-Mrs. Gilman. Mother, mother, the winds are at play; pr’ythee let me be idle to-day! Look, dear mother, the flowers all lie languidly under the bright blue sky. See how slowly the streamlet glides ; look how the violet roguishly hides ; even the butterfly rests on the rose, and scarcely sips the sweets as he goes. 2 Poor Tray is asleep in the noon-day sun, and the flies go about him one by one; and pussy
near, with a sleepy grace, without ever thinking of washing her face. There flies a bird to a neighbouring tree, but very lazily flieth he; and he sits and twitters a gentle note, that scarcely ruffles his little throat. 3 You bid me be busy; but, mother, hear how the hum-drum grasshopper soundeth near; and the soft west wind is so light in its play, it scarcely moves a leaf on the spray. I wish, oh, I wish I was yonder cloud that sails about in its misty shroud ; books and work I no more should see—and I'd come and float, dear mother, o'er thee !
4.-THE BEGGAR-MAN.-Mrs. Barbauld. Around the fire, one wintry night, the Farmer's rosy children sat ; the fagot lent its blazing light, and jokes went round and careless chat. 2 When, hark! a gentle hand they hear, low-tapping at the bolted door; and thus, to gain their willing ear, a feeble voice did aid implore:
3« Cold blows the blast across the moor, the sleet drives hissing in the wind; yon toilsome mountain lies before,-a dreary, treeless waste behind. *My eyes are weak and dim with age; no road, no path, can I descry; and these poor rags ill stand the rage of such a keen inclement sky. “So faint I am, these tottering feet no more my feeble frame can bear; my sinking heart forgets to beat, and drifting snows my tomb prepare.
Open your hospitable door, and shield me from the biting blast: cold, cold it blows across the moor—the weary moor that I have passed I”