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The Author's remarks on literary composition, with the readiest
means for its acquisition.......
The suggestive faculty, with brief hints for its exercise
Command of the thoughts
Variety in forms of expression
Transposition, by altering the order and arrangement
Style.-The verbose expression
The modified expression
Description and narration
ELOQUENCE AND ITS RELATIVE ADJUNCTS.
ELOCUTION is the fluent and forcible utterance of speech,
chiefly in public discourses and arguments. COMPOSITION is that mental process, by which we arrange and
combine our ideas by the reasoning power of thought, and
then commit them to writing, or to the memory. RHETORIC attracts, persuades, and charms, by combining the
ornaments of Tropes and Figures, giving vigour and animation to discourse, by adding the embellishments
of language to the force of argument. ELOQUENCE is the art of speaking with grace and effect, while
combining elegance of language, vigour, and animation,
with purity and perspicuity. ELOQUENT is having the power so to express our feelings and
passions, as to produce corresponding emotions in others.
If we combine the above definitions, we at once see the express connection between them, by the blending of speech and thought. Loquor, with its significant prefix, e, out of, viz., uttered from within, being alike the root of elocution as of eloquence, establishes the close relationship between composition and utterance, as the result of one and the same effort; hence we infer, that in practice they should progress together, and assuming this to be correct, elocution properly implies the utterance of “ our own thoughts in our own words." If it be not so, any clever reciter may be termed eloquent. The actor, how well soever he may speak and act, merely declaims; for he is indebted to the dramatist for all that he utters, and when the writer stays his pen, the latter is silent, and ceases to speak.
THE ORDER OF STUDY.
The author having stated his reasons in favour of the simultaneous study and practice of Elocution and Composition, and that exercises in each should progress together, as being equally and essentially the components of rhetorical skill, it might fairly be expected that he should propose some plan expressly for the purpose; but, if duly considered, the difficulty of precisely carrying out any formal rules will appear from the fact, that in every individual case they must be adapted to the capacity and attainments of the pupil; and for this it will be requisite for the preceptor to exercise his own judgmentand we may be well assured he will do so; and with respect to the adult student, the case will be much the same. One suggestion, however, it may be well to offer here; as for instance,-if a youth be so far advanced as to be capable of composing a simple theme, let him carefully work it out; and having perfected it to the best of his ability, commit it to memory, so as to be able to recite it with ease.
To have once succeeded in such an effort will be the strongest encouragement to future exertion; and with every renewed attempt he will gain strength. With respect to the ornaments of figurative language, they should at first be few and well-selected. A preceptor here will guide his pupil's taste, and avail himself of favourable opportunities for rectifying and cultivating it. Such exercises, though difficult at first, i should never be regarded by the student as irksome, but as what, in fact, they
really are, as among the noblest occupations of the mind, equally enriching and adorning it, and no less delightful than improving
With respect to elocutional practice, there is no reason why the student, if competent, may not be left free to make his selection at pleasure. So manifold are the specimens of excellence of every kind, in our standard literature, that it might seem partial and unfair to select a few names, to the exclusion of others of equal merit. Besides, a variety in the choice and use of authors is highly pleasing and profitable; with this reservation, that the student commence with those of an easier and more familiar style before taking up the masterpieces of finished eloquence. In this, as in other things, a certain order and method tends much to facilitate improvement. As in youthful minds there often exists a great diversity of taste and genius; and as in many cases there is also a direct professional object in view, it is obvious that plans and exercises should be shaped and varied accordingly,
RULES AND PRINCIPLES.
ACCENT is the laying that significant stress on letters and
syllables which the rules of correct pronunciation require. QUANTITY is the time occupied in pronouncing long or short
syllables, and is measured by the rules of Prosody, but admits of exceptions in poetic compositions ; but even in these a false accent, even if licensed, is a breach of good taste. A finished correctness is best acquired by the familiar use of our standard dictionaries.