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Another excellent exercise is to separate words into their elements, and then put them together again.
From what has been said, we may derive the following rules in regard to articulation:
I. Every sound in a word, whether vowel or consonant, should be pronounced.
II. Each syllable of a word should be pronounced distinctly.
III. The words in a sentence should be separated from one another.
The careless habit of running words together in reading is very easily corrected by reading the words of a sentence backward. By the latter method each word is separated rather more widely from its successor than is necessary in direct reading.
Expression includes in its treatment the consideration of Tone of Voice, Rate or Movement, Force, Pitch, Emphasis, Pauses, Inflection, and Modulation.
Tone, or Quality, of Voice is the kind of sound, used in reading or speaking; as, a full tone, a quiet tone, or a loud tone.
The Tone should be in harmony with the thoughts expressed. In other words, Tone is regulated by sentiment.
If the feelings to be expressed are quiet in their nature, the tone of voice will be quiet; if the sentiment is joyous, the tone will be full and clear. Horror requires a harsh, unnatural tone; fear, a suppressed tone, scarcely above a whisper.
The Conversational Tone of Voice is that used in expressing quiet or unemotional thoughts.
In speaking of a lesson as requiring to be read in a conversational tone, we mean that the conversational tone is the prevailing tone to be used. A change of tone for a few lines may occur in any reading lesson; but need not be taken into account in speaking of the general tone of the piece.
It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air,
From “ Lady Clare," by TENNYSON.
To read with attention, exactly to define the expressions of our author, never to admit a conclusion without comprehending its reason, often to pause, reflect, and interrogate ourselves,-these are so many advices which it is easy to give, but difficult to follow.
"Sit down, Mr. Nickleby," said Squeers. “Here we a-breakfasting, you see !”
Nicholas did not see that any body was breakfasting, except Mr. Squeers; but he bowed with all becoming reverence, and looked as cheerful as he could.
From “ Nicholas Niokleby," by DICKENS.
Suggestion. - Each member of the class should be required to furnish one or more short examples under each topic of Expression. Independent work will insure substantial progress.
A Full Tone of Voice is used to express such sentiments as great joy, sublimity, lofty courage, reverential fear, exultation, and others of a similar nature.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
From “Death of the Old Year," by TENNYSON.
When the world is dark with tempests,
From “ Ossian," by MACPHERSON.
Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still
From “Paradise Lost," by MILTON.
Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt, – there is nothing thou canst contrive, propose, attempt, which I shall not promptly be made aware of. Thou shalt soon be convinced that more active in providing for the preservation of the state, than thou in plotting its destruction.
From “Oration I. against Catiline," by CICERO.
The Middle Tone of Voice is adapted to the expression of sentiments not conversational, and yet too moderate in their nature to require a full tone.
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
From “ The Cloud," by SHELLEY.
Between the dark and the daylight,
When night is beginning to lower,
From The Children's Hour," by LONG FELLOW.
The easy chair, all patched with care,
Is placed by the cold hearth-stone,
The evergreens are strewn;
Remark, - Almost any quiet sentiment may find utterance in a middle tone of voice. Meditation, soliloquy, quiet pleasure, and happiness, are expressed incorrectly if given with a full tone they are exaggerated and appear unnatural; again, if given in a conversational tone, they are lacking in fullness of expression.
The size of a room affects in a measure the tone of voice used. A large room requires more volume of voice than a small room ; and for this reason, the conversational tone in a large room should be discarded for the middle or even the full tone,
The Calling Tone of Voice is used in loud exclamations, in addressing persons at a distance, and in unbridled passion.
Properly speaking, the Calling Tone is only a Full Tone used spasmodically. The name is used in this book simply for the sake of convenience. A pleasing substitute for the Calling Tone in a small room is a quiet utterance in imitation of an echo,calling tones as they would sound a long distance away.
He shook the fragment of his blade,
And shouted “Victory!
From "Marmion," by Scott.
RATE OR MOVEMENT.
The Rate of reading may be moderate, fast, or slow.
No two persons in a class will read a lesson with the same rate, although every one in the class may accord to the lesson the same sentiment, and call the rate slow, or fast, or moderate. The difference will be only in practice, and not at all in theory.
Suggestion.- Reading in concert will do more to correct the faults of individuals in regard to time than any amount of admonition. A sluggish or a rapid reader will realize his defect as soon as he reads with others, and is obliged to regulate his time according to theirs.
A Moderate Rate is suitable for all kinds of quiet discourse, whether conversational, narrative, or descriptive.
Conversational subjects should be treated neither too slowly nor too rapidly. Even if the articulation of a speaker is clear and distinct, he will weary his hearers by speaking too rapidly, and the effect of what is said will be in part lost.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,-
From the “ Inchcape Rock," by SOUTHEY.
In Columbus were singularly combined the practical and the poetical His mind had grasped all kinds of knowledge, whether procured by study or observation, which bore upon his theories.
From “History of Columbus," by IRVING.