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The article a should have the sound of a in an, thus - He was A man; not à man. When, however, this article is emphatic (which is seldom the case), it should have the sound of a in ale, thus- Did you say a man, or the man?
When the article the precedes a word beginning with a vowel, it should be pronounced the; when it precedes a word beginning with a consonant, it should be pronounced thẻ, thus The arts and the sciences. But, when the precedes a word beginning with a consonant, and is emphatic, it should be pronounced the, thus - Did you say a man or the man?
The pronoun my, when emphatic, is pronounced ml; when not emphatic, it is generally pronounced me. Sometimes the perspicuity of a sentence requires my to be pronounced ml, when this pronoun is not emphatic, as in the following example:
"And the pale stars shall be at night,
The only eyes that watch my rite.”
Should my, in the above example, be pronounced me, by a public speaker, the auditors might suppose the meaning of the passage to be as follows:
And the pale stars shall be at night,
Euphony sometimes requires my, when not emphatic, to be pronounced mi. The following passages are examples:
My brave associates." "Hear me for my cause." shall please my country to need my death."
Mine should always be pronounced mine, not mean; by should always be pronounced bl, not bee; to should be pronounced to, not tů; of should be pronounced ov, not ův; and from should be pronounced from, not frům.
The pronunciation of many other words, liable to be pronounced wrong, is given in the foot-notes under the EXERCISES IN READING AND DECLAMATION.
Before the student attempts to declaim, he should learn to stand erect; to hold his book in a proper manner, and to read correctly. He should then select some short piece, and learn a set of gestures for its illustration by practising them in pantomime, after the teacher. Lastly, he should learn to combine the words and ges tures, by repeating them together, after the teacher.