Изображения страниц


The author of this little volume has, for years, felt that there was a want of a good elementary work on Elocution, that could be used by Teachers in the classroom, and by students in their individual efforts to acquire the art of Reading and Speaking.

While inuch that is really valuable, perhaps, has been published on the subject, yet it has been in a form either too diffuse and cumbrous, or else, too meagre and unsatisfactory to be of practical use.

To emedy these evils, as far as possible, the tor, in his teachings, has been in the habit of correcting the instructions given in the Readers, and of adding supplemental notes thereto, until he finds that his own system bears but slight resemblance to the works in general use.

In fact, he deems many of the instructions given in some of our popular Readers decidedly erroneous, because unnatural, and hence unreasonable.

He believes, from his own experience, with these “Outlines” in the class-room, that if published in a convenient form, they will supply this want daily felt by himself and others, now laboring under similar disadvantages.

His design has been.tu present concise, and yet comprehensive and valuable hints, that should be of practical value to both teacher and student, in laying the foundation for natural, graceful, and efficient oratory. He has sought to present Elocution as “an art grounded on recognized principles," that have their origin and expression in Nature.

He claims not to have given a full and exhaustive treatise on the important subject. On the contrary, he has felt compelled to omit much matter, which a larger and more pretentious volume should contain.

While the author alone is responsible for the positions assumed in this work, and for the instructions given, yet he does not pretend to affirm its unconditional originality.

It will be found, however, that it is not a mere compilation of the work of others.

Much of its contents has been drawn from sources the author is unable to nanie ; and some of its contents, at least, he feels confident now appear in print for the first time.

He cheerfully acknowledges his indebtedness to the valuable works of Prof. Wm. Russell, and James Rush, M. D., and especially to the personal instructions of Prof. J. Newton Voorbees, a former pupil of Prof. Russell, and a Teacher of Elocution, who understands his business, and successfully performs it.

The author would here add, too, his expression of thanks to his associate teachers of Hudson Academy: for their kindly hints and encouragement in the prosecution of his work of preparing this little manual for the

press. Shall it but aid any in becoming more efficient teachers, or stimulate any to greater effort as students of Elocation, the results designed in its preparation will have been attained.

H. R. S. Hudson, N. Y., October, 1870.

Note to the TEACHER.

In teaching Reading and Oratory, nothing can be more essential than systematic, and thorough drill.

See that the principles are not only understood but learned. Then see that the student can intelligently apply them.

Let him not only be drilled on the examples given, (or referred to) in the “Outlines." but encourage him to find others, that will illustrate the various Principles and Rules.

Require his reasons for reading as he does. That is, as regards pitch, quality, emphasis, inflections, etc.

This will demand a careful study, and analysis of the piece under consideration, which in all cases should be insisted upon as a primal requisite.

Show him that he cannot correctly read, that which he does not fully understand.

He must more than merely understand an author's meaning ; the sentiments, for the time being, must be his own.

Do not let Orthoepy be neglected. This lies at the foundation of all future progress.

Finally, if the Teacher would succeed in developing his students into good, independent Readers and Speakers, he must himself constantly study the Science, and practice the Art of Elocution.

As soon as he concludes he is fully posted in this Science, he will assuredly fail in teaching it.

[blocks in formation]

The term Elocution literally signifies “speaking out."

We define it to be—The vocal delivery of thought with elegance and power.

Elocution is both a Science and an Art.

As a Science it investigates the principles by which the human voice is produced, and also its power to affect the hearer ; as an Art it seeks to apply those principles to practice.

Elocution, as we understand it. does not lay down arbitrary Rules, but finding certain principles already existent, it classifies those principles and adopts them.

The speaker or reader should endeavor to interest, as well as to instruct or persuade his hearers.

The latter cannot be successfully accomplished without the former.

No Elocution can be truly effective unless it pleases.

But the orator must not be satisfied with simply giving pleasure to his hearers.

He must instruct and convince.
He must influence.

This must be done, and indeed can only be done, in accordance with scientific principles, based upon a knowledge of natural phenomena.

Mental action, as well as physical, is governed by natural laws.

If then we are to move mind to action, we must know what causes will produce the desired effects. We must constantly study nature.

All true Elocution will be natural rather than affected.

We acquire knowledge by-1. Observation. 2. Conversation. 3. Reading 4. Formal Addresses.

We impart knowledge by the last three named methods.

This is done by the use of–1. The Eye. 2. The Voice. 3. Gesture. 4. Writing.

The last belongs to the science of Rhetoric, the others appertain to the study of Elocution.

The speaker addresses his hearer through the media of the hearer's eye and ear. These organs of sense are his only avenues to the minds of those whom he would affect. With his eye and gesture he addresses the eye, and with his voice the ear of the hearer.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »