Изображения страниц

Did you say plain, or playing cards ?
Wastes and deserts ; waste sand deserts.

He could pay nobody; he could pain nobody. It was the severest storm of the season, but the masts stood through the gale.

He spoke communicatively, disinterestedly, reasonably, particularly, peremptorily, authoritatively, unhesitatingly, extemporarily and unconscionably.

The best government of all governments in this governed world is a republican government.

The heights, depths, breadths and length of the thing.

Theopholus Thistle, the successful thistle sister, in sifting a sieve full of unsifted thistles, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb; if then Theopholus Thistle, the successful thistle sifter, in sifting a sieve full of those unsifted thistles, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb, sce that thou in sifting a sieve full of unsisted thistles, dost not thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of thy thumb. Here's a health to the sifting of the successful thistle sifter.

Peter Piping Piper, the pickle picker, picked three pecks of pickled peppers. If then Peter Piping Piper, the pickle picker, picked three pecks of pickled peppers, point a pin to the three pecks of pickled peppers that Peter Piping Pi. per, the pickle picker, picked.

When a twister, a-twisting, will twist him a twist, for twisting his twist he three twines doth intwist, but if one of the twines of the twist do untwist, the twine that untwisteth untwisteth the twist.

Six long slim slick saplings. Hereditary health helps the student. Right round the rough rock the ragged, raging rascal ran.

Peter Prickle. Prandle, the pear picker, picked three pecks of prickly pears from three prickly prangly pear trees. If 'then Peter Prickle Prandle, the pear picker, picked three pecks of prickly pears from three prickly prangly pear trees, where are the three pecks of prickly pears that Peter Prickle Prandle picked from three prickly prangly pear trees ?

9. There are a large class of words which a vicious taste has warped from their sanctioned pronunciation. For instance, govermunt for government; the elementary sound of n being rarely heard, and, when given, ment usually

slides into munt. Differunt, (ent) complemunt, (ment) amusemunt, monumunt, ardunt, excellunt, for ent. Again, residunce, evidunce, cadunce, influunce, silunce, competunce, residunce, &c. for ence. Inhabitunt, gentlemun, dormunt, infunt, amusemunt, alimunt, elemunt, accidunt, impertinunt, impudunt, experimunt, sentirnunt, supplemunt, implemunt, continunt, prominunt, elegunt, incumbunt, developemunt, studunt, sciunce, indifferunce, endowmunt, impotunt, garmunt, permanunt, deportmunt, presidunt. A host of similar words are thus caricatured by the community with perfect impunity, and if the correctness of the pronunciation is questioned, the offender very gravely refers you to those around him, as if numbers sanctioning it as good usage would alter the unbending philosophy of the language.

10. The e is often obscured or entirely omitted in such words as benevolent, decay, delicious, belief, delight, deliberate, denial, denote, denounce, denominate, &c. pronounced bnevolent, dcay, and so on. Again, precise, prepare, prejudice, predominate, prevent, predict, precede, and a large class of similar words, are called prcise, prdict, &c. We have already spoken of e being changed into u in such words as the following: residence, influence, silence, impertinence, confluence, evidence, read as evidunce, &c.

11. Another prominent fault is the omission of o, as collision, content, contain, consult, consume, construct, console, constrain, consign, consent, consider, conjecture, connect, confide, concur, condemn, conclude, conceal, compress, compute, compare, compete, commemorate, companion; the o being omitted or changed into u, thus : cumpose, cumply, cunscience, &c.

12. The letter u is often entirely suppressed ; strenuous, ridiculous, conspicuous, angular, particular, regular, singular, popular, secular, articulate, accuracy, masculine, pronounced poplar, reglar, ridicerlous, &c.

13. I omitted, as certain, fountain, latin, satin, curtain, mountain; given sat-n, lat-n, &c.

Kirkham thus humorously complains of the abuse of " and.” There is no word in the language more frequently and unjustly trampled on, than the poor conjunctive drudge

No slave was ever more grossly abused ; and yet, its efforts are so very laudable and friendly in its ever active exertions to bring together and UNITE its erratic and less sociable brethren, that it would be extremely difficult


for its enemies to hatch up the shadow of an apology for bestowing upon it such a succession of ill usages. Three times out of four, perhaps, when it appears at its post in the path of the speaker, it is passed by with merely an imperfect and uncourteous nasal salute, as if it were some obtrusive menial, unworthy of the least regard. Although it is as lawfully entitled to three distinct elementary sounds as ever was an honest pronoun to its case, or a princely verb to its tense, yet such is the ingratitude of poor, frail, claybuilt readers and speakers, that they think nothing of robbing this most faithful and respectable servant of at least one, if not two, or even two and a half of its legitimate elements.

14. Foreigners complain that when they have acquired our language, they find it almost impossible to understand us in conversation. This doubtless arises from our colloquial habits. In reading a letter or document obscurely written, we are frequently enabled to decipher the meaning from the connection ; but when we come to proper names, who has not experienced the difficulty and perplexity arising from an obscure or illegible letter ? Hence the necessity of a fair, round hand in writing lists of names for the press. Such is the case in our colloquial habits; the imperfections are not noticed, and we hurry over words, hurl syllable on syllable, blend element into element, and slur, mouth and mince with impunity. The hearer can anticipate almost what will be said from the nature of the subject under discussion, and catch the half-formed syllables as they fall ; but to those not perfectly acquainted with the language all these imperfect sounds are lost.

15. Articulation is all-important in the science of Music. I know of no reason why a stanza should not be understood when sung as well as when read ; and yet how often do we hear such ludicrous mistakes as the following:

16. “ All hail the Grea-timanual's name,” for “Immanual,” the element t being suppressed on great and thrown on the succeeding syllable. Again: “Let tall men praise the Lord,” for “Let all men praise the Lord.”

17. One of the most philosophical divisions of articulate sounds that we have ever seen, is something like the following: There are three divisions, called Tonics, Sub-Tonics, and Atonics.

18. The first division embraces those sounds which display the properties of the radical, and vanish in the most

perfect manner. They are 12 in number, and are heard in the usual sounds of the separate italics, in the words A-ll, a-rt, a-n, a-le, o-ur, i-dle, o-ld, ee-l, 00-ze, e-rr, e-nd, i-n.

From their forming the purest and most plastic materials of intonation, they are called Tonic SOUNDS.

The Tonic Sounds are more musical than the other clements of the English language, are susceptible of time to any extent, and have a beautiful vanishing movement highly grateful to the ear.

19. The Sub-Tonic Sounds have similar qualities with the Tonic, differing only in time. They are 14 in number: B-ow, d-are, g-ive, v-ile, z-one, y-e, w-o, th-en, a-z-ure, si-ng, l-ove, m-an, m-o, T-un.

If the student will try any of these elements, he will find they admit of prolongation, though not to the same extent as the vowel sounds.

They are all vocal and some are aspirate. B, ng, l, m, n, r, g, are entirely vocal ; the remainder have an aspiration mixed with their vocality.

20. The Atonic Sounds are 9 in number, and are heard in the following words: Ti-p, ra-t, har-k, f-ive, hi-ss, h-at, w!-at, th-istle, ru-sh. They are destitute of vocality, do not admit of quantity, and are executed by the whispering current. They are the poorest materials of speech, but may be used in aspiration, as we shall hereafter show, with great effect.

We shall treat of the nature of the tonic, sub-tonic, and atonic sounds, more fully, under the head of Quantity.

SECTION 3.-EXPLOSION. 1. Explosion, an important function of voice, is heard in its perfection on the tonic or vowel sounds. The breath should be barred up, as it accumulates in the throat, and then suffered to burst suddenly out from behind the occluded part, with the highest degree of force and abruptness possible. The various stresses, more particularly the radical, which give so much brilliancy and energy to the voice, are the direct result of resolute practice on the explosive sounds. Coughing is an example, although the indistinctness and aspiration accompanying it, should be carefully avoided. Vowel sounds are the principal materials of most syllables, and the distinctness and fulness of all short elements, either in public reading or speaking, depend upon the degree and power of their explosion.

[ocr errors]

2. When the student has obtained complete command over the explosion of the vowel and consonant sounds, he has acquired one of the most important stresses. We shall speak of this form of emphasis, in connection with Force of Voice and in the consideration of the other stresses. All must be familiar with the fact, that many public speakers fail in their vocation, for the want of Force of Voice. With a very few exceptions, this prevalent evil may be avoided. Let the student practise on the table of tonic sounds, by loud vociferation, in declamation and reading; the former method is, however, recommended. This practice is an excellent preparative for the orotund,—a function we shall describe hereafter.

3. It is not always requisite that the public speaker should exercise a loud tone. It is more in the quality, than in the coarse, boisterous

energy, exhibited by those who manifest a prurient desire to be thought great orators. The practice here recommended gives that depth, firmness and ringing character to intonation, which render some voices so powerful and fascinating. It changes it from that meagre, mincing manner, incident to a voice originating about the lips, to a sonorous depth and agreeable fulness, which apparently originate from the chest and back part of the mouth. We have said the tonics afforded the best examples, yet the atonic and sub-tonic elements are by no means to be neglected ; indeed, from the nature of the former, (being entirely destitute of quantity,) it is the only method of giving them emphasis.

4. If any one is desirous of obtaining a strong, powerful voice, that can be made audible in any assembly, he will find the method here recommended effectual Voices that are naturally feeble, by long and determined practice may become impressive and forcible. Dr. Barber, a celebrated elocutionist, tells us, that Dr. Rush convinced him of his want of the explosive stress, and that by the practice here proposed he found himself completely successful. It only remains to warn the pupil, that by excess of exercise, at the first trial, he may feel a dizzy sensation, which will disappear after repeated experiments. We give below a Table for elementary exercise, upon which it is expected the student will practise according to the following directions.

5. “ They are to be uttered with the suddenness of the report of fire-arms, without any apparent effort preceding

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »