SLIDES. Slides are inflections of the voice, used to prevent monotony and to give better expression to the idea. They are Ascending and Descending ; both are united in the Circumflex.

In music, the ascent or dcscent is made by distinct steps; but, in speech, the voice is bent more or less upward or downward. These changes are continually taking place, except in the monotone, and they give expression to the voice.

Ascending Slides denote uncertainty, doubt, interrogation, and incompleteness of idea.

Hast thou ever known the feeling

I have felt, when I have seen,
'Mid the tombs of aged heroes,

Memories of what hath been
What it is to view the present

In the light of by-gone days;
From an eminence to ponder

Human histories and ways ?


Was it the chime of a tiny bell,

That came so sweet to my dreaming ear,
Like the silvery tones of a fairy's shell,

That he winds on the beach, so mellow and clear,
When the winds and the waves lie together asleep,
And the moon and the fairy are watching the deep,
She dispensing her silvery light,
And he his notes as silvery quite,
While the boatman listens and ships his oar,
To catch the music that comes from the shore ?

Descending Slides indicate positiveness, determination, or a completion of the thought.


Come one, come all, this rock shall fly
From its firm base as soon as I!

Knave, stand aside!
I'll have my freedom, or I'll dies

The Circumflex (Rising or Falling - ), is used to denote surprise or to express a secondary meaning, which may be in harmony with or directly opposite to that con. zeyed by the words.

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My father's trade ! now really, that's too bad !

My father's trade! Why, blockhead, are you mad?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low-
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know.”

Cadence is the tone with which a sentence terminates. According to the sentiment, it may have the ascending or the descending slide, the rising or the falling circumflex; or it may vanish with no slide whatever. A sentence expressing a complete thought, having no modifying phrase or clause, and not affected by anything preceding or following it, should always terminate with a downward inflection ; but, when so modified, it should close with a tone adapted to the connection of meaning.

The reader should study variety, and avoid uniformity in closing sentences. Practice the following with (1) the vanish, or absence of slide; (2) slight rising inflection; (3) full rising inflection; (4) slight falling inflection ; (5) full falling slide; (6) rising circumflex ; (7) falling circumflex:

For weeks the clouds had raked the hills."

NOTE.—It will be remembered that there are infinite variations in Pitch, Force, Time and Slides. For instance, in Pitch we have Natural, Low and High, but one word may require a tone much higher than another, though the lower may be above the Natural. All varieties of Pitch that vary from the Natural are designated as High or Low; the degree must be determined by the judgment of the reader.


Form of voice may be Natural, Effusive, Expulsive, or Explosive.

The Natural is that ordinarily used in conversation.



'Twas the eve before Christmas, “Good-night” had been said,
And Annie and Willie had crept into bed;
There were tears on their pillows and tears in their eyes,
And each little bosom was heaving with sighs,
For to-night their stern father's command had been given
That they should retire precisely at seven
Instead of at eight-for they troubled him more
With questions unheard-of than ever before,


I sometimes have thought in my loneliest hours,
That lie on my heart like the dew on the flowers,
Of a ramble I took one bright afterooon,
When my heart was as light as a blossom in June;
The green earth was moist with the new-fallen showers,
The breeze fluttered down and blew open the flowers ;
While a single white cloud to its haven of rest,
On the white wing of peace floated off in the west.

The Effusive is a very light, gentle form, usually characterized by the swell (<>). It is used in expressing that which is beautiful, tranquil or pathetic. It is characteristic of lofty sentiment not requiring vigorous expression.



How beautiful she is ! how fair
She lies within those arms that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care.

Over the river they beckon to me,

Loved ones who crossed to the other side;
The gleam of their snowy robes I see,

But their voices are drowned by the rushing tide.
There's one with ringlets of sunny gold,

And eyes the reflection of heaven's own blue.
He crossed in the twilight gray and cold,

And the pale mist hid him from mortal view.
We saw not the angels who met him there-

The gate of the city we could not see;
Over the river, oyer the river,

My brother stands, waiting to welcome me.

The Expulsive (<) is a forcible utterance expressive of determination and intensity of feeling.

Up all, and shout for Rudiger-



Why not reform ? That's easily said;

But I've gone through such wretched treatment,
Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,

And scarce remembering what meat meant,
That my poor stomach's past reform;

And there are times when, mad with thinking,
I'd sell out heaven for something warm

To prop a horrible inward sinking.

The Explosive (>) is used in vehement language and in powerful description. It usually manifests itself in the bursting of the voice on a single word.


Men, at some time, are masters of their fates,


Halt !!—the dust-brown rank stood fast;
Fire /-out blazed the rifle blast.


Force, or power of the voice, is of three kinds-Natural, Heavy and Gentle.

Natural Force is that most commonly used in speaking or reading


We are two travellers, Roger and I.

Roger's my dog-come here, you scamp!
Jump for the gentleman-mind your eye!

Over the table-look-out for the lamp!
The rogue is growing a little old;

Five years we've tramped through wind and weather,
And slept out doors when nights were cold,

And ate and drank-and starved together.


'Tis easy to stand on a vessel's deck,

On a vessel snug and trim,
And watch the foam from her flashing wake,

And the rainbow bubbles swim;
'Tis easy enough to climb the mast
When hushed the billow's war,

And zephyrs play

With the pennon gay
That floats with the highest spar.

Heavy Force is used in grand description and in conveying any idea of power.



The storm o'er the ocean flew furious and fast,
And the waves rose in foam at the voice of the blast,
And heavily labored the gale-beaten ship,
Like a stout-hearted swimmer, the spray at his lip;
and dark was the sky o'er the mariner's path,
Save when the wild lightning illumined in wrath.

Bell never yet was hung,
Between whose lips there swung

So grand a tongue.


As the bleak Atlantic currents

Lash the wild Newfoundland shore,
So they beat against the State-house,

So they surged against the door.

Gentle Force is used in tender and pathetic description. and in all cases where a subdued form is necessary to correctly express the sentiment.


Noiselessly as the daylight

Comes when the night is done,
and the crimson streak on ocean's check

Grows into the great sun,

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