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STEPS TO ORATORY
A SCHOOL SPEAKER
F. TOWNSEND SOUTHWICK
PRINCIPAL OF THE NEW YORK SCHOOL OF EXPRESSION
AUTHOR OF ELOCUTION AND ACTION," ETC.
NEW YORK .:. CINCINNATI .:: CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
THIS collection includes representative selections from the best literature, arranged and condensed for effective use in school declamation.
Part First gives a sufficient outline of the technique to guide the student, but presupposes some knowledge and training on the part of the teacher.1
Part Second consists entirely of selections, arranged as closely as practicable on a historical plan, but interspersed with examples of colloquial and humorous styles, the study of which will help to counteract the tendency toward a stilted and declamatory manner.
The criticism has been justly made that the so-called old elocution did not take sufficient account of fundamental psychological processes. On the other hand, certain recent methods erred quite as greatly in ignoring the technique of voice and action. If the old school often fostered a mechanical and "elocutionary” delivery, the tendency to rely exclusively on thought and impulse has resulted quite as often in either cold self-conscious intellectualism, or impassioned rant, according to the idiosyncrasy of teacher or pupil. A truly philosophical method will be coördinative from the outset, and a considerable
1 The author's primer of Elocution and Action (New York: Edgar S. Werner) is recommended as a supplementary text-book for students who wish a more complete knowledge of the subject, as well as for teachers who are unfamiliar with the technical problems of the art. An advanced treatise is in preparation.
experience with professional students, representing both new and old methods, has convinced me that some such combination of psychic and physical training as is illustrated herein is the only one which can produce satisfactory results. The order of study is that which I have used with suc
It will be noticed that each step is exemplified by a number of selections. While it may be necessary to anticipate occasionally, the best plan is to dwell upon each step until it is mastered. For instance, in the study of phrasing, while the teacher might correct some obvious fault of emphasis, the pupil's attention should not be distracted from phrase grouping and pause.
The teacher should note, however, that though the imaginative and emotional processes are more fully considered in later chapters, they are touched upon in the introductory chapter, and that expression presupposes from the outset the fullest possible coördination of all the psychic processes.
Rightly studied, as the art of interpretation, elocution is a key to the spiritual meaning of all great literature. No man was ever yet truly eloquent in an ignoble cause, and no boy or girl can live in communion with eloquence without being helped to a nobler ideal of personal conduct.
Acknowledgment is due to Messrs. Harper & Brothers and the Century Company for permission to use copyrighted selections. I wish especially to thank Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Company for permission to use the copyrighted selections from the works of Bryant, Hay, Higginson, Holmes, and Whipple, of which they are the authorized publishers.
F. TOWNSEND SOUTHWICK.
The New York School of Expression,
318 W. 57th Street.