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EXAMPLES FOR PRACTICE IN BREATHING.
Down with the tyrants of England ! we never have sworn them
allegiance! Death to these foreign soldiers, who seize on our homes and our
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye ever
lasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the
Lord mighty in battle.—Bible.
By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary of this great world.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho, ho, he, he, he, he, he!
Alas! Ah me!
Old Simon doth chuckle and crow, “Ho, ho,
Ay, de mi! Like echoes falling,
Sweet, and sad, and low,
Years and years ago.—Waller.
It was the butcher's daughter, then,
So slender and so fair,
And tore her yellow hair;
Fast fell the tear-drops big:
The pig! the pig! the pig!”-Holmes.
“Yo ho, my boys!” said Fezziwig, “no more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick! Christmas, Ebenezer! Let's have the shutters up before a man can say Jack Robinson. Clear away, my lads, and let's have lots of room here!”—Dickens.
“Will they do it?" “Dare they do it ?”
What's the news ?”
“O God, grant they won't refuse!”
“I am stifling!” “Stifle, then;
—“ The Independence Bell.”
I am the God Thor, I am the War God,
Jove is my brother; mine eyes are the lightning;
Thick-sprinkled bunting! flag of stars! Long yet your road, fateful flag-long yet your road, and lined
with bloody death; For the prize I see at issue at last is the world. All its ships and shores I see interwoven with your threads,
greedy banner; Dream'd again the flags of kings, highest borne, to flaunt un
rivall’d? O hasten, flag of man!—0 with sure and steady step, passing
highest flags of kings, Walk supreme to the heavens, mighty symbol-run up above
The Language of the Body.
The body, as well as the voice, is a means of expression; and its language, which we call pantomime, is even more effective than speech. “ Actions speak louder than words,” says the proverb. You cannot say "I love you,” and persuade anybody that you mean it, if your face wears an ugly scowl or your fist threatens mischief. The body is the outward manifestation of the soul within and faithfully indicates every emotion, however slight. Nor do these manifestations entirely disappear with the emotion that causes them.
Every disagreeable or evil passion is registered upon the organism, until the frequent scowl or sneer becomes a permanent disfigurement of the face, or the slouchy, careless carriage of the body becomes a habit and, finally, a bearing, which is a true index of the lazy or careless spirit within. On the other hand, a happy disposition or a truly brave spirit shows itself in the open countenance or manly bearing. The attitude or action of the body has a marked effect upon the voice. If you sing the syllable ah with an open, relaxed face and easy position and then with a frown and the fists clinched, you will notice a decided difference in the quality of the tone. Not only does the mind help to form the body, but pantomimic expression affects the mind or soul. If you remain for a little time in an attitude expressive of deep dejection, you will feel, in a
will feel, in a greater or less degree, a corresponding mental condition; while a buoyant, strong attitude will often act as a tonic to mind as well as to body.
The speaker should have at his command a wide range of attitudes and actions and a thorough knowledge of the meaning of what he does, as well as of what he says. Every action of the body has a definite meaning, and when we are not embarrassed we express ourselves naturally by means of these actions ; but on coming before an audience, or even when rehearsing in private, we become self-conscious and constrained. The practice of exercises in pantomimic expression, however, enables us to feel that sense of repose and freedom that always comes with knowledge of our resources and perfect command of them.
We cannot take up in this little book all the actions and attitudes, but will endeavor to select those most useful for our present needs.
We will consider the body, for convenience, in four divisions : The trunk or torso, as artists call it, the head, the legs, and the arms.
The TORSO is the centre from which all gestures or actions proceed. It must maintain the dignity of the body, and does not condescend to great variety of action.
The CHEST, which is its upper part, sympathizes with the condition of the mind to a great extent, however, expanding with strong conditions and noble emotions, and contracting or becoming passive in weak or ignoble conditions.
The SHOULDERS rise more or less under the influence of emotion, according to the degree of its strength. In joy, for instance, the shoulders are elevated considerably, while in great fear or terror they rise to an extreme height and come forward as if to shield the head, which, at the same time, is drawn down between them. In despair or sorrow, the shoulders, like the chest, relax. In defiance or anger, they are drawn back, while the chest expands as if to resist a blow. The shrug of the shoulders, if made slowly, indicates resignation_“Still have I borne it with a patient shrug," says old Shylock. When made quickly it carries the opposite meaning, impatience or contempt. Avoid shrugging the shoulders, except when the expression absolutely requires it. Among refined people the shrug is considered vulgar and often impertinent.
The HIPS pushed out in front express pomposity, vulgar pride, or self-assertion ; drawn back they indicate timidity, deference, humility. The proper and normal attitude of the hips is just midway between these extremes.