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on the pianoforte. We should feel that we had a far better pledge for the intelligence and talent of our child. The accomplishment, in its perfection, would give more pleasure. The voice of song is not sweeter than the voice of eloquence. And there may be eloquent readers, as well as eloquent speakers. We speak of perfection in this art: and it is something, we must say—in defence of our preference—which we have never seen. It is, indeed, a most intellectual accomplishment. So is music, too, in its perfection. We do by no means undervalue this noble and delightful art; to which Socrates applied himself, even in his old age. But one recommendation of the art of reading is, that it requires a constant exercise of mind. It demands continual and close reflection and thought, and the finest discrimination of thought. It involves, in its perfection, the whole art of criticism on language.”—NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.

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HINTS ON ELOCUTION.

CHAPTER

I.

INTRODUCTION.

This Work is designed to comprise the most valuable and practically - useful observations of the best writers on Elocution, together with the Author's own experience. It contains the essence of upwards of ten thousand pages; the wheat winnowed from the chaff; directions which can be put into practice, separated from merely scientific or speculative observations.

Many works are exceedingly diffuse, and mechanical in their rules, while on various points authors differ materially. Several devote many pages to rules for the inflections of the voice, while Dr. Comstock observes that, “ most of these rules are better calculated to make bad readers than good ones. Those founded on the construction of sentences might, perhaps, do credit to a mechanic, but they certainly do none to an elocutionist.The subject is of such a nature that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to give rules for the regulation of all the inflections of the voice in reading and speaking. Even Walker, speaking of inflection, says, “ The sanguine expectations I had once entertained, that this analysis of the human voice would be received by the learned with avidity and applause,

are now over.

I have almost worn out a long life in laborious exertions; and, though I have succeeded beyond expectation in forming readers and speakers in the most respectable circles in the three kingdoms, yet I have had the mortification to find few of my pupils listen to anything but my pronunciation. When I have explained to them the five modifications of the voice, they have assented and admired ; but so difficult did it appear to adopt them—especially to those advanced

in life that I was generally obliged to follow the old method (if it may be called so), read as I read,' without any reason for it."

The “Chironomia" of the Rev. Gilbert Austin, containing 600 quarto pages, gives the most minute directions for action, and Dr. Comstock devotes many pages to that branch ; while G. Vandenhoff says, “It is next to impossible to teach gesture by written instructions. Three practical lessons, with a good and experienced professor, will do more towards giving the pupil ease, grace, and force of action, than all the books and plates in the world.”

Several writers give copious exercises on the elemental sounds, but differ as to the number of such sounds ; Sheridan giving 51; Herries, 29; Smart, 39; Cull, 40; Dr. Rush, 35; and Dr. Comstock, 38. Attempts have even been made to direct the delivery by a kind of musical notes. The author of " An Essay on the Art of Delivering Written Language" justly observes, “The essential and chief difference between the tones used in speaking and singing lies in the latter being carried on by distinct intervals of some continuance, that will harmonise with other accompanying sounds; while the former is, in general, made up of such minute and evanescent variations and inflections of voice as could not possibly have a place in any scale of practical music whatever. That the ancients had marks for their gesture in reciting and declamation of the theatre is notorious; but, like their modulation, it was greatly heightened above nature, full of instituted signs, and even so violent as to require a man's whole strength. Hence it might be taught in a manner similar to the steps and movements of dancing; while ours, from being very little varied, seldom marked with anything violent, and copied chiefly after nature, does not seem either to require or admit of being reduced to the formal rules of science;” and that, “in the application of such delicate transitions of voice, and slightly characterised formulas, as those marks must represent, it is probable there would arise a stiffness and want of address, which would more than counterbalance any of their good effects.”

Some idea of the difficulty or impossibility of realising such a scheme may be formed from the simple fact, that Dr. Rush has actually enumerated 180 out of probably several hundreds, of what he styles the

is of the voice. The greatest orators and actors have availed themselves of the observations of the judicious, and studied and practised much; but no great speaker was ever formed by the study of any artificial system of elocution.

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CHAPTER II.

THE VOICE, BREATH, AND PAUSING. A FINE Speaking Voice is a natural gift, but requires cultivation as well as a fine Singing voice, to develop its good qualities, correct its faults, and bring it under control. There is as great a difference between a cultivated Speaking Voice and one in its natural state, as between the uncultivated Singer and the Rubini or Jenny Lind; yet few of our greatest orators or tragedians have given due attention to this subject, and

this negligence has frequently marred their best efforts.

The Speaking Voice differs materially from the Singing voice. The compass of the Speaking Voice is considerably less; the tone is more lasting. There is as much music in the Speaking Voice as in the Singing Voice, but of a different character. A celebrated tragedian declared that the richest musical treat in London was to hear the Rev. Edward Irving repeat the Lord's Prayer.

A musical ear is not necessary to the elocutionist. "A natural genius for delivery supposes an ear, though it does not always suppose a musical ear. I have never heard poetry, particularly that of Milton, better spoken than by a gentleman, who yet had so little discernment in music that he has often told me, the grinding of knives entertained him as much as Handel's organ.”—BURGH.

“The tone of the voice in speaking, and the tone of the voice in singing, bear not the least resemblance to each other ; they are formed upon principles directly opposite; the different inflections of the voice in speaking are not musical intervals-in

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