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Of rock-built | cities, bidding | nations |
Of lord of thee, | and | arbiter |of| war! |
are thy toys, and as the snowy | flake | |
A like the Armada's | pride, or spoils of | Tra
Thy shores are empires, chang'd in | all | save |
1 Thy | waters | wasted them 77 while they were
The stranger, slave, or savage, their de
Has | dried up | realms to deserts not so thou,
Unchangeable!! save to thy wild | waves' | play:771
Time | writes | no | wrinkle | Mon | thine | azure | brow,
There is one species of force connected with pausing which I have not seen noticed in the treatises of Elocutionists, which consists in conveying the impression to the hearer that what is said is the immediate prompting of the mind. The sudden thought dashing on the mind is indeed expressed by the dash, at which there is a momentary pause, and a suddenness in coming on the succeeding word; but when the ideas flow continuously and in order, the same pause and sudden seizing on the word which express the idea which is labouring in the mind, are equally applicable. The pause indicates that the mind is employed in conceiving, and the sudden apprehen sion of the word shows that the orator is afraid of its escaping him.* This artifice, for it is only as an artifice that it can be regarded in Elocution, is rendered more imposing, if there is a triumphant seizing of the word; for thus the speaker, who seems, as it were, gratified that he has hit on what he wanted, will appear more in the light of one really interested. Besides, this appearance of extemporaneous expression gives the hearer an idea of the power of the speaker's mind, and disposes him to listen with the greater reThis artifice gives reality to the language of passion in the actor, and lends an interest to the orator. It is not meant that an oration should consist of broken words; it is at times only, when the mind seems oppressed with a labouring thought, or entangled in difficulty, that this artifice can be resorted to with safety. At the same time, in all public speaking, to give it this extemporaneous effect, there should be a deliberative timing; without this, the hearer is apt to imagine that the rapidity arises from the fear of the speaker's losing the connection. This connection, too, in
* See page 59
cases of servile reliance on the memory, is frequently dependent not merely on the intimacy of thought, but on verbal associations, as is often seen in the case of schoolboys, who pronounce with extreme rapidity those tasks which they do not understand. This deliberative speaking does not interfere with the rapidity of extreme earnestness; when the mind is excited, the ideas will come rapidly, and the language will be ready; but there must be a visible excitement to account for the rapidity.
Regulates the looks, movements, and attitudes, which are supposed natural in certain passions and emotions. In strong excitement, there is a similarity of gesture among all nations; but the extent and variety of its employment in common conversation, and in formal addresses to the public, are greatly regulated by the temper, taste, and intellectual improvement, of each individual nation. The gesture of the actor is more violent and profuse than that of the orator, who is supposed to be more under the influence of reason, and to address himself to the understanding of his audience. In civilised and polished countries, a profusion of gesture is to be avoided in public discourses; it should neither be minute nor violent. The first is inconsistent with that absorption of thought which is supposed necessary in an intellectual address; the second is an outrage on the taste and feelings of the audience, and is apt to raise indignation and aversion. Many modern speakers offend by the vehemence of their gesticulation; indeed, the instruction which is given on gesture should often be occupied in reducing within the limits of grace, extravagant positions and movements. The ancients were more chaste in their gesture than is commonly imagined. Al though, in seasons of great excitement, they adopted, at times, a bold and striking gesture, they were generally more restrained in their movements than many modern speakers. Gesture regulates the position and movement of the body, the eye, the limbs, and, indeed, the whole deportment. In oratory, the regulation of the hand is of peculiar importance, not only as it serves to express passion, but to mark the dependence of clauses, and to express the emphasis. In the suspension of a sentence, for instance, the hand may take an upward slide; while at the completion, the hand may sink in a line with the breast. In the stroke of emphasis, the hand rests in the same position, but comes down with a combined jerk of the elbow and wrist. The arm in its movements must not be much curved, but come freely from the shoulder.
A volume might be written on the subject of gesture; but as the great proportion of students in Elocution do not require this accomplishment, and as it can be learned more quickly and efficaci ously by a few instructions from the living model, it has been deemed unnecessary to swell this volume by a detail of its numerous laws.
Pieces marked in accordance with the foregoing Rules.
To us, who dwell on its surface', the earth' is by far the most extensive' orb that our eyes' can any' where behold`;* it is also clothed' with verdure', distinguished by trees', and adorned' with a variety of beautiful' decorations'; whereas', to a spectator' placed on one of the planets', it wears a uniform aspect; looks all luminous', and no larger than a spot'. To beings' who still dwell at greater distances, it entirely disappears. That' which we call alternately the morning and the evening' star, as in one' part of the orbit' she rides' foremost in the procession' of night', in the other' ushers in' and anticipates the dawn', is a planetary' world' which', with the four others' that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance', are in themselves dark' bodies, and shine' only by reflection', have fields', and seas', and skies' of their own'; are furnished' with all accommodations for animal subsistence', and are supposed to be the abodes' of intellectual life'; all which, together with our earthly' habitation, are dependent on that grand dispenser' of divine munificence, the sun`; receive' their light' from the distribution of his rays', and derive their comfort' from his benign' agency'.
Health' is so necessary' to all' the duties, as well as pleasures' of life, that the crime' of squandering' it is equal' to the folly; and he', that, for a short gratification', brings weakness' and diseases' upon himself, and for the pleasures' of a few years' passed in the tumults' of diversion and clamours' of merriment', condemns the maturer' and more experienced' part of his life to the chamber' and the couch', may be justly reproached, not only as a spendthrift' of his own happiness', but as a robber' of the public'; as a wretch that has voluntarily disqualified' himself for the business of his station', and refused that part' which Providence` assigns' him in the general' task' of human' nature.
*The slide at "behold" is not so low in its termination as that at the end of the sentence. See "Loose Sentence."
There are perhaps' very few conditions more to be pitied' than that' of an active' and elevated' mind', labouring' under the weight' of a distempered body'; the time' of such a man' is always spent in forming schemes', which a change' of wind' hinders' him from executing'; his powers' fume away in projects' and in hope', and the day of action' never arrives. He lies' down' delighted' with the thoughts' of to-morrow', pleases' his ambition' with the fame' he shall acquire', or his benevolence' with the good' he shall confer. But in the night', the skies' are overcast, the temper of the air' is changed'; he wakes in languor', impatience, and distraction', and has no longer' any wish' but for ease', nor any attention' but to misery. It may be said that disease' generally begins' that equality' which death' completes'; the distinctions which set one' man so much above another' are very little' perceived in the gloom' of a sick'-chamber', where' it will be vain' to expect entertainment from the gay', or instruction' from the wise'; when all human glory is obliterated', the wit is clouded', the reasoner perplexed', and the hero subdued'; where the highest and brightest' of mortal beings finds nothing left' him but the consciousness' of innocence'.
By the use of the tongue', God hath distinguished' us from beasts', and by the well' or ill' using of it, we are distinguished' from one another'; and, therefore, though silence be innocent as death', harmless' as a rose's breath' to a distant passenger', yet it is rather the state' of death' than life'; and, therefore', when the Egyptians sacrificed to Harpocrates', their god of silence', in the midst of their rites they cried out," the tongue' is an angel," good' or bad', that is' as it happens'; silence' was to them a god', but the tongue' is greater'; it is the band' of human intercourse', and makes men apt' to unite in societies' and republics: and I remember what' one' of the ancients' said, that we are better' in the company' of a known dog' than of a man whose speech is not known; for by voices and homilies, by questions' and answers, by narratives' and invectives, by counsel' and reproof, by praises' and