« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
III. Fullness and Power. Fullness and power of voice are required for many purposes of expressive reading, and are also indispensable when speaking in a large space or addressing persons at a distance. The tone of ordinary conversation lacks the requisite strength and dignity.
The following examples are given for practice in a full free tone. Such exercises are very beneficial not only to the voice but to the health, as they bring into action most of the muscles of the trunk and give a wholesome stimulus to the vital organs.
Observe the following directions in the order named:
1. Take a good standing position. 2. Inhale a deep breath quietly and promptly through the nostrils. 3. Control the breath by a slight effort of the muscles of the waist and abdomen, somewhat as in lifting. 4. Open the mouth and project the lips. 5. Fix the eye and the mind on some distant point, and aim the tone at that point. 6. Do not spend too much breath.
1. Hò! strike the flag-staff deep, Sir Knight— hò! scatter
flowers, fair maids : Hò! gunners, fire a loud salùte—hò! gallants, draw your
2. Awake, Sir King, the gates unspàr!
Rise up, and ride both fast and får!
3. Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
O sacred forms, how pròud you look !
Again to the battle, Achaians !
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance;
For the cross of our faith is replànted,
The pale, dying crescent is dàunted,
Their spirits are hovering ò'er us,
6. It is this accursed American wàr that has led us, step by step, into all our present misfortunes and national disgràces. What was the cause of our wasting forty millions of money, and sixty thousand lives? The American wàr! What was it that produced the French rescript and a Frènch war? The American wàr! What was it that produced the Spanish manifesto and a Spànish war? The American wàr! What was it that armed forty-two thousand men in Ireland with the arguments carried on the points of forty thousand bàyonets? The American wår. For what are we about to incur an additional debt of twelve or fourteen millions ? This accursed, cruel, diabolical American war!
SLIDES OR INFLECTIONS. I asking a direct question the voice glides
from low to high, the other at a distance what he wants,—“The ball ?” “Nò! the knife.” The movement of the voice on the word “ball” is a rising slide or inflection; that upon “no” and “knife” is falling. The more intense the question and reply, the further up and down would the voice run.
In sad or plaintive utterance the slide becomes semitonic or minor. In irony or in double-meaning the voice waves upward and downward on the same sound, producing the circumflex slide, named rising or falling, according as the voice moves up or down at its close.
In the expression of awe and sublimity the voice usually h 18 a level movement from note to note, “like the repeated sounds of a deep-toned bell.” This intonation in speaking is termed the monotone.
Slides occur on the most important words, thus determining the sense; and they also serve to give the proper melody to a sentence.
Words contrasted in meaning are contrasted in inflection.
I. Falling Inflections.
Grasp the shield and draw the sword;
Lead us to Philippi's lòrd;
2. If it be Arthur-Hò! what, hò!
Up spèar! out àrrow! Bend the bow!
3. Who's here so base that would be a bòndman? If any, speak; for him have I offènded. Who's here so rude that would not be a Ròman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who's here so vile that will not love his country? If any, spèak; for hìm have I offended. I pause for a replý.
4. “Hènce! hòme, you idle creatures, get you hòme.
You blocks, you stònes, you wòrse than senseless things!
5. Where are we? What city do we inhabit ? Under what government do we live? Hère, hère, Conscript Fathers, mixed and mingled with us all-in the center of this most grave and venerable assembly—are men sitting, quietly plotting against my life, against all your lives; the life of every virtuous senator and citizen.
II. Rising Inflections.
And do you now cull out a hóliday?
2. Must I búdge? Must I observe you? Must
I stand and crouch under your testy húmor?
Wouldst thou have that
4. Ashamed to tóil, art thou? Ashamed of thy dingy works shop and dusty lábor-field; of thy hard hánd, scarred with service more honorable than that of wár; of thy soiled and weatherstained garments, on which mother Nature has embroidered, 'mid sun and rain, 'mid fire and steam, her own heraldic hónors ? Ashamed of these tokens and titles, and envious of the flaunting robes of imbecile idleness and vánity ?
III. Rising and Falling Inflections. 1. Can honor set a lég? Nò. Or an árm? Nò. Or take away the grief of a wound? Nò. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? Nò. What is honor? A wòrd. What is that word, honor? Aìr. Who hàth it? He that died on Wednesday. Doth he féel it? NÒ. Doth he heàr it? Nò. Is it insénsible, then? Yes, to the deắd. But will it not live with the líving? Nò. Why? Detraction will not suffer it.
2. What would contènt you? Tálent? No! Énterprise? No! Courage? Nò! Reputátion ? Nò! Vírtue? Nò! The men whom you would select should possess, not one, but all of these.
3. What is time?—the shadow on the díal,—the striking of the clóck,--the running of the sánd, -day and night,--summer and winter,-months, yéars, centuries? These are but arbitrary and outward signs,—the measure of time, nòt time itself. Time is the life of the soul. If not this,—then tell me what is time?
5. Prince Henry. What's the matter?
Falstaff. What's the matter? Here be four of us have taken a thousand pounds this morning.
Prince Henry. Where is it, Jack, where is it?
6. They tell us, sir, that we are weak,—unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be strònger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and ináction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemy shall have bound us hand and foot ?-Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
IV. Minor Rising Inflections.
Only three grains of côrn.
2. Oh! párdon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and géntle with these—bútchers.
O my lord,