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of secondary importance. These faults are strongly characterized in Churchill's censure of Mossop :
With studied improprieties of speech
He, She, IT, AND, WE, YE, THEY, fright the soul. Emphasis is often destroyed by an injudicious attempt to read melodiously. Agretable inflesions and casy variations of the voice, as far as they arise from, or are consistent with, just speaking, are deserving of attention. But to substitute one unmeaning tune, in the room of all the proprieties and graces of good elocution, and then 10 applaud this manner, under the appellarion of musical speaking, can only be the effect of great ignorance and inattention, or of a depraved taste. If public speaking . must be musical, let the words bę set 10 music in recitatative, that these melodious speakers may no longer lie open to the sarcasm : 'Do you read or sing? if you sing, you sing very ill. Seriously, it is much to be wondered at, that a kind of reading, which has so little merit considered as music, and none at all considered as speaking, should be so studiously practised by many speakers, and so much : admired by many bearers. Can a method of reading, which is so entirely different from the usual manner of cocin versation, be natural or right? Is it possible, ibat all the varieties of sentiment, which a public speaker has occasion : to introduce, should be properly expressed in one melodious tone and cadence, employed alike on all occasions,» and for all purposes?
ACQUFRE A JUST VARIETY OF PAU LAVO CADENCE.
One of the worst faults a speaker can have, is to making 09 other pauses than what he finds barely necessary futer breathing. I know of nothing that such a speaker can so properly be compared to, as an alarum-bell, which, when once set a going, clatters on till the weight tḥat moves it is run down. Without pauses, the sense must always appear confused and obscure, and often be misunderstood; and the spirit and energy of the pièce must be
; wholly lost.
In executing this part of the office of a speaker, it will by no means be sufficient to attend to the points used in printing; for these are far from marking all the pauses which ought to be made in speaking. A mechanical attention to these resting-places has perhaps been one chief cause of monotony, by leading the reader to an uniform sound at every imperfect break, and an uniform cadence at every full period. The use of points is to assist the reader in discerning the grammatical construction, not to direct his pronunciation. In reading, it may often be proper to make a pause where the printer has made none. Nay, it is very allowable for the sake of pointing out the sense more strongly, preparing the audience for what is to follow, or enabling the speaker to alter the tone or height of the voice, sometimes to make a very considerable pause, where the grammatical construction requires none at all. In doing this, however, it is necessary that in the word im. mediately preceding the pause, the voice be kept up in such a manner as to intimate to the hearer that the sense is not completed. Mr. GARRICK often observed this rule with great success. This particular excellence Mr. STERNE has described in his usual sprightly manner. See the fole lowing work, Book VI. Chap. III.
Before a full pause, it has been customary in reading to drop the voice in an uniform manner; and this has been called the cadence. But surely nothing can be more destructive of all propriety and energy than this habit. The tones and heights at the close of a sentence ought to be infinitely diversified, according to the general nature of the discourse, and the particular construction and meaning of the sentence. In plain narrative, and especially in argumentation, the least attention to the manner in which we relate a story, or support an argument in conversation, will show, that it is more frequently proper to raise the voice than to fall it at the end of a sentence. Interrogatives where the speaker seems to expect an answer, should almost always be elevated at the close, with a peculiar tone, to indicate that a question is asked. Some sentences are so constructed, that the last words require a stronger emphasis than any of the preceding; whilst others admit of being closed with a soft and gentle sound. Where there is nothing in the sense which requires the last sound to be elevated or emphatical, an easy fall, sufficient to show that the sense is finished, will be proper. And in pathetic pieces, especially those of the plaintive, tender, or solemn kind, the tone of the passion will often require a still lower cadence of the voice. But before a speaker can be able to fall his voice with propriety and judgment at ihe close of a sentence, he must be able to keep it from falling, and to raise it with all the variation which the sense requires. The best method of correcting an uniform cadence, is frequently to read select sentences, in which the style is pointed, and frequent antitheses are introduced; and argumentative pieces, or such as abound with interrogalives.
ACCOMPANY THE EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS WHICH YOUR
WORDS EXPRESS, BY CORRESPONDENT TONES, LOOKS,
Twere is the larguage of emotions and passions, as well as of ideas. To express the latter is the peruliar province of words; to express the former, nature teaches us to make use of tones, looks, and gestures. When anger, fear, joy, grief, love, or any other active passion arises in our minds, we naturally discover it by the particular manner in which we utter our words; by the features of the countenance, and by other well-known signs. And even when we speak without any of the niore violent emotions, some kind of feeling usually accompanies our words, and this, whatever it be, hath its proper esternal expression. Expression hath indeed been so little studied in public speaking, than
we seem almost to have forgotten the language of nature, and are ready to consider every attempt to recover it as the labourer and affected effort of art. But Nature is always the same; and every judicious imitation of it will always be pleasing. Nor can any one deserve the appellation of a good speaker, much less of a complete orator, till to distinct articulation, a good command of voice, and just em. phasis, he is able to add the various expressions of emotions and passion.
To enumerate these expressions, and describe them in all their variations, is impracticable. Attempts have been made with some success to analyze the language of ideas; but the language of sentiment and emotion has never yet been analyzed; and perhaps it is not within the reach of human ability, to write a Philosophical Grammar of the Passions. Or, if it were possible in any degree to execute this design, I cannot think, that from such a grammar it would be possible for any one to instruct himself in the use of the language. All endeavours therefore to make men Orators by describing to them in words the manner in which their voice, countenance, and hands are to be employed, in: expressing the passions, must, id my appreitension, beweak and ineffectual. And, perhaps, the only insti uction which can be given with advantage on this head, is this general one; Observe in what manner the several ernotions or passions are expressed in real life, or by those who have with great labour and taste acquired a power of imitating nalure; and accustom yourself either to follow the great original itself, or the best copies you meet with ;atways, however, with this special observance, that you ** O’ERSTEP NOT THE MODESTY OF NATURE.”
In the application of these rules to practice, in crder to acquire a just and graceful elocution, it will be necessary to go through a regular course of exercises; beginning with such as are more casy, and proceeding by slow steps to such as are more difficult. In the choice of these, tbe practitioner should pay a particular attention to his prevailing defects, whether they regard articulation, command. of voice, emphasis, or cadtrice: and he should content hintself with reading and speaking with an immediate view to the correcting of his fundamental faults, before he aims at
any thing higher. This may be irksome and disagreeable; it may require much patience and resolution ; but it is the only way to succeed. For, if a man cannot read simple sentences, or plain narrative, or didactic pieces, with dislinct articulation, just emphasis, and proper tones, how can he expect to do justice to the sublime descriptions of poetry, or the animated language of the passions:
In performing these exercises the learner should daily read aloud by himself
, and, as often as he has opportunity, under the correction of an Instructer, or Friend. He should also frequently recite compositions memoriter. This method has several advantages. It obliges the speaker to dwell upon the ideas which he is to express, and hereby enables hiin to discern their particular nieaning and force, and gives him a previous knowledge of the several inflections, emphuses, and tones, which the words require. And by taking off his eye from the book, it in part relieves bim from the influence of the school-boy habit of reading in a different key and lone from that of conversation, and gives him greater liberty to attempt the expression of the countenance and gesture.
It were much to be wished, that all public speakers. would deliver their thoughts and sentiments cither from memory or immediate conceprion; for, besides that there is an artificial uniformity, which almost always distin. guishes reading froin speaking, the fixed posture, and the bending of the head, which reading requires are inconsistent with the freedom, ease, and variety of just elocution. But if this is too much to be expected, especially from Preachers, who have so much to compose, and are so vften called upon to speak in public;.it is, however, extremely desirable, that they should make themselves so well acquainted with their discourse, as to be able, with a single glance of the eye, to take in several clausts; or the whole of a sentence*.
I have only to adid, that after the utmost pains have been taken to acquire a just elocution, and this with the greatest success, there is some difficulty in carrying the art of Speaking out of the school, or chamber, to the bar, the
* See Dean Swift's advice on tbis bead in his Letter to a young Clergymnan.