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“The easiest way to learn to speak is to learn to read. ... Tolerable readers are few; good readers are extremely rare.”—E. W. Cox.
“Till he has fairly tried it, I suspect a reader does not know how much he would gain from committing to memory passages of real excellence; precisely because he does not know how much he overlooks in merely reading. Learn one true poem by heart, and see if you do not find it so. Beauty after beauty will reveal itself, in chosen phrase, or happy music, or noble suggestion, otherwise undreamt of. It is like looking at one of Nature's wonders through a microscope. ... To immortal verse the memory gives a willing, a joyous, and a lasting home...There may, perhaps, be a fragment of truth in what Charles Lamb has said, that any spouting 'withers and blows upon a fine passage.' But surely there is a reasonable habit of recitation as well as an unreason. able one."- VERNON LUSHINGTON.
“Take time.”-MRS. SIDDONS.
“Modulation should always be subservient to the sense.”-COMSTOCK.
“When the delivery is really good, the hearers never think about it; but are exClusively occupied with the sense it conveys, and the feelings it excites.”-ARCHBISHOP WHATELY.
“Constant thinking about rules destroys the appreciation of the sense.”—BELL.
“Viel Rettungsmittel bietest du, was heisst's ?
Die beste Rettung, Gegenwart des Geists!”
But thought and feeling guide us to our end."-GOETHE.
“ Speak, that I may see thee!”-GREEK PROVERB.
Butler & Tanner, The Selwool Printing Works, Frome, and London.
This book is intended to teach the art, and to train to the power, of EXPRESSIVE READING—that is, of reading with an adequate amount of feeling and intelligence.
The problem of Reading, shortly and broadly stated, is simply this: How can a reader deliver the sense of another, so as to give it to the hearers with the fullest adequacy ?
It was long supposed, by teachers of Elocution and others, that this could be done by attention to certain rules. But, as the sense and feeling of different writers vary infinitely, it is plain that in many instances rules must be quite insufficient, not to mention the fatal preliminary objection, that these “rules" leave the reader himself uninstructed, and do not increase his comprehension of what he is reading, or his sympathy with it. Good Reading is simply the outcome of the pupil's whole culture and intelligence, combined with an attention to certain points which are intimately connected with these.
These points are only two: Pause and EMPHASIS. The proper pause throws each sentence into its proper groups; and the emphasis puts the weight of meaning on the right word. These two “natural” expedients do for the hearer what punctuation