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HE first and most natural use of the voice is in common conversation; and the ability to read as a cultivated person talks is the foremost accomplishment of a reader.

The test to be applied in reading the conversational style is this: Would a listener know whether you were reading or talking?

The narrative and descriptive styles are next in regard to fluency, and should be read as a person would tell a story with the design to make it interesting to his auditors.

The didactic style is more difficult, as there is constant danger of falling into dullness and monotony of manner. It must be read as if earnestly and sympathetically teaching truth to the hearers.

The style of public address varies with the nature of the occasion which gives rise to it, from a familiar and colloquial manner to a more formal and dignified utterance. It must be free from all mannerisms; and if circumstances demand loudness of voice, it must not be at the sacrifice of a sweet and agreeable quality.

The declamatory style is that of the orator on great public occasions. All the vocal effects are, so to speak, magnified. The tones are more full and powerful, the inflections more decisive, the manner more imposing than in ordinary utterance.

Dramatic and emotional expression require all the varied resources of which the voice is capable;-" with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature."

I. Conversational.

1. "A fine mòrning, Mr. Linkinwater," said Nicholas, entering the office. "Ah!" replied Tim, "talk of the country, indeed! What do you think of this now for a day,- -a Lòndon day,-éh?""It's a little clearer out of town,” said Nicholas. “Clearer?” echoed Tim Linkinwater, "you shall see it from my bed-room window." "You shall see it from mine," replied Nicholas, with a smile. "Pooh! pooh!" said Tim Linkinwater, "don't tell me. Country! Nonsense. What can you get in the country but new-laid èggs and flowers? I can buy new-laid eggs in Leadenhall market any morning before breakfast; and as to flowers, it's worth a run up

stairs to smell my mignonette, or to see the double wallflower in the back-attic window, at No. 6, in the court."

2. "But hark! I hear him còming,
And mother's drawing the tèa;
His step is on the scraper,
Run to the door and sèe."

The outside latch was lifted,

A draft blew in the room;
They heard him calling, “Mòther,"
And "Ábner, fetch a bròcm."

He stamped his feet in the entry,

And brushed his homespun clòthes. "Well, bóys." "Good-èvening, Reuben, What news to-night?" "It snows!"

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3. “He has been very extràvagant.”—“ Ah, sir, he has been very unfortunate, not extravagant."-" Unfortunate! Ah, it's the same thing. Little odds, I fancy. For my part, I wonder how folks can be unfortunate. I was never unfortunate. Nobody nèed be unfortunate, if they look after the main chance. I always looked after the main chance."- He has had a large fàmily to maintain.”—“Àh! màrried foolishly; no offence to you, ma'am. But when poor folks marry poor folks, what are they to look for? you know. Besides, he was so foolishly fond of assisting others. If a friend was sick, or in jail, out came his purse, and then his creditors might go whistle. Now if he had married a woman with money, you know, why then...

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4. Bingo, why, Bingo! hey, hèy-hère, sir, hère..
He's gone and off, but he'll be home before us;
'Tis the most wayward cur e'er mumbled bòne,
Or dogged a master's footstep. Bingo loves me
Better than ever beggar loved his àlms.

II. Light Narrative.

1. When I was still a boy and mother's pride,
A bigger boy spoke up to me so kind-like,
"If you do like, I'll treat you with a ride

In this wheelbarrow." So then I was blind-like
To what he had a-working in his mind-like,
And mounted for a passenger inside;
And coming to a puddle, pretty wide,

He tipped me in, a-grinning back behind-like.
So when a màn may come to me so thick-like,
And shake my hand where once he passed me by,
And tell me he would do me this or that,

I can't help thinking of the big boy's trìck-like,
And then, for all I can but wag my hat

And thank him, I do feel a little shy.

2. I had a piece of rich, sweet pùdding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for part of a pìgeon that stood near me. In my haste, scarce knowing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth, hot as a burning còal! It was impossible to conceal my àgony; my eyes were starting from their sockets! At last, in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to drop the cause of my torment on my plàte.


The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,

And the former called the latter "Little prìg;"

Bun replied,

"You are doubtless very big,

But all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together

To make up a year,

And a sphére;

And I think it no disgrace,

To occupy mỳ place.

If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:

I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track!

Talents differ; all is well and wisely pùt;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nût."

III. Narrative and Descriptive.


1. A friend called on Michael Àngelo, who was finishing a stàtue; some time afterwards he called again; the sculptor was still at his work; his friend, looking at the figure, exclaimed, "You have been idle since I saw you last." 'By nò means," replied the sculptor; "I have retouched this part and polished that; I have softened this féature and brought out this mùscle; I have given more expression to this líp and more energy to this limb." "Well, well," said his friend, "but all these are trifles." "It may be so,” replied Angelo, "but recollect that trifles make perfection, and that perfection is nò trifle."

2. At the conclusion of the American Revolution, Dr. Franklin, the English ambassador, and the French minister, Vergennes, dining together at Versailles, a toast from each was called for and agreed to.

The British minister began with: "George III.—who, like the sun in his meridian, spreads a luster throughout and enlightens the world."

The French minister followed with: "The illustrious Louis XVI.—who, like the moon, sheds his mild and benignant rays on and influences the globe."

Our American Franklin then gave: "George Washington, Commander of the American Army-who, like Joshua of old, commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they obèyed him.”

3. Patrick Henry, who gave the first impulse to the ball of the Revolution, introduced his celebrated resolution on the Stamp Act, in the Virginia House of Burgesses, in 1765. As he descanted on the tyranny of that obnoxious act, he exclaimed: "Cæsar had his Brùtus; Charles the First his Cròmwell; and George the Third "Trèason!” cried the Speaker; “Trèason! Trèason! Trèason!" re-echoed from every part of the house. It was one of those trying moments which are decisive of character; but Henry faltered not for an instant; and rising to a loftier attitude, and fixing on the Speaker an eye flashing with fire, continued,—“ may profit by these examples: if this be treason, make the most of it."

4. We walked along the road and saw a white and hospitablelooking house. The door stood open, and a young mòther sat and wept over her dying child. A small boy was standing by

her side. The little one looked with cunning eyes at his mother, and opened the small hands in which he hid a little butterfly he had caught and brought with him; and the butterfly waved over the little corpse. The mother looked at it and smiled. She understood certainly the pòetry of the incident.

5. Not even the magnificent harbor of Constantinople, in which security, depth, and expanse are combined, can rival the peerless, land-locked Bay of San Francisco. How shall we describe it? You are sailing along the high coast of California, when suddenly a gàp is seen, as if the rocks had been rent asùnder: you leave the open ocean, and enter the stràit. The mountains tower so high on either hand that it seems but a stone's throw from your vessel to the shòre, though, in reality, it is a mìle. Slowly advancing, an hour's sail brings you to where the strait grows still narrower; and lo! before you, rising from the very middle of the waters, a steep rock towers aloft like a giant warder of the strait.

6. I remember seeing, through Lord Rosse's telescope, one of those nebula which have hitherto appeared like small masses of vapor floating about in space. I saw it composed of thousands upon thousands of brilliant stars; and the effect to the eye-to mine at least-was as if I had had my hand full of diamonds, and suddenly unclosing it and flinging them forth, they were dispersed as from a cènter, in a kind of partly irrégular, partly fànlike form. And I had a strange feeling of suspense and amazement while I looked, because they did not change their relative position, did not fall-though in the act to fall-but seemed fixed in the very attitude of being flung forth into space. It was most wondrous and beautiful to see.

7. “Having in my youth notions of severe piety," says a celeorated Persian writer, "I used to rise in the night to watch, pray, and read the Kòran. One night, as I was engaged in these exercises, my father, a man of practical virtue, awoke while I was reading. 'Behold,' said I to him, 'thy other children are lost in irreligious slùmber, while I alone wake to praise God!' 'Son of my soul,' he answered, 'it is better to sleep than to wake to remark the faults of thy brethren.'"

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