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to himself, he is always heard with pain by his audience. Give the voice therefore full strength and swell of sound; but always pitch it on your ordinary speaking key; a greater quantity of voice should never be uttered than can be afforded without pain, and without any extraor dinary effort. To be well heard, it is useful for a speaker to fix his eye on some of the most distant persons in the assembly, and consider himself as speaking to them. We naturally and mechanically utter our, Words with such strength as to be heard by one to whom we address ourselves, provided he be within the reach of our voice. This is the case in public speaking, as well as in common conversation! But it must be remembered, that speaking too loudly is peculiarly offensive. The ear is wounded when the voice comes upon it in rumbling, indistinct masses; beside, it ap pears as if assent were demanded by mere vehemence and force of sound.. 197


To being well heard and clearly understood, distinctness of articulation is more conducive, perhaps, than mere loudness of sound. The quantity of sound requi site to fill even a large space, is less than is commonly supposed; with distinct articulation a man of a weak voice will make it extend farther than the strongest voice can reach without it. This therefore demands peculiar attention. The speaker must give every sound its due proportion, and make every syllable, and even every letter, be heard distinctly. To succeed in this,

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rapidity of pronunciation must be avoided. A lifeless, drawling method however is not to be indulged. To pronounce with a proper degree of slowness and with full and clear articulation cannot be too industriously studied, nor too earnestly recommended. Such pronunciation gives weight and dignity to a discourse. It assists the voice by the pauses and rests which it allows it more easily to make; and it enables the speaker to swell all his sounds with more energy and more music. It assists him also in preserving a due command of himself; whereas a rapid and hurried manner excites that flutter of spirits, which is the greatest enemy to all right execution in oratory.



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To propriety of pronunciation nothing is more conducive than giving to every word which we uttes, that sound which the most polite usage appropriates to it in opposition to broad, volgar, or provincial pronunciation. On this subject, however, written instructions avail nothing. But, there is one observation which it may be useful to make. In our language every word of more syllables than one, has one accented syllable. The genius of the language requires the voice to mark that syllable by a stronger percussion, and to pass more slightly over the rest. The same accent should be giv



en to every word in public speaking and in common dis


course. Many persons er in this respect. er in this respect. When they speak in public and with solemnity, they pronounce differently from what they do at other times They dwell

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upon syllables, and protract them; they multiply ac cents on the same word from a false idea that it gives gravity and force to their discourse; and increases the pomp of public declamationsBut this is one of the greatesti faults which can be committed in pronuncia tion; it constitutes what is termed a theatrical or mouthing manner, and gives an artificial, affected air to speech, which detract greatly from its agreeableness, and its impression. 2:

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We shall now treat of those higher parts of delivery, by studying which a speaker endeavours not merely to render himself intelligible, but to give grace and force to what he utters. These may be comprehended under four heads, emphasis, pauses, tones, and gestures.« ? bo's By emphasis is meant a fuller and stronger sound of voice, by which ave distinguish the accented syllable of some word, on which we intend to lay particular stress, and to show how it affects the rest of the sentence. To acquire the proper management of emphasis, the only rule is, study to acquire a just conception of the force and spirit of those sentiments which you are to deliver! In all prepared discourses it would be extremely useful if they were read over or rehearsed in private, with a view of asertaining the proper emphasis, before they were pronounced in public; marking at the same time the emphatical words in every sentence, or at least in the most important parts of the discourse, and fixing them well in memory, A caution, however, must be



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given arainst multiplying emphatical words too much. They become striking, only when used witle prudent reserve. If they recur too frequently; if a speaker attempt to render every thing which he says of high importance, by a multitude of strong emphasis, they will soon fail to excite the attention of his bearers.

Next to emphasis, pauses demand attention. They are of two kinds; first, emphatical' pauses; and secondly, such as mark the distinctions of sense. Añ emphatical pause is made after something has been said of peculiar moment, on which we wish to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes a matter of importance is preceded by a pause of this nature. Such pauses have the same effect with strong emphasis, and are subject to the same rules; especially to the caution just now given, of not repeating them too frequently. For, as they excite uncommon attention, and consequently raise expectation, if this be not fully answered, they occasion disappointment and disgust.

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But the most frequent and the principal use of pauses is, to mark the divisions of the sense, and at the same time to permit the speaker to draw his breath; and the proper management of such pauses is one of the most nice and difficult articles in delivery. A proper command of the breath is peculiarly requisite. To ob tain this, every speaker should be very careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to utter.



It is a great mistake to suppose that the breath must

be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at the intervals of a period, when the voice suffers only a momentary suspension. By this management a sufficient supply may be obtained for carrying on the longest period without improper interruptions.


Pauses in public discourse must be formed upon the manner in which we express ourselves in sensible conversation, and not upon the stiff, artificial manner, which we acquire from perusing books according to common punctuation. Punctuation in general is very arbitrary; often capricious and false; dictating a uni formity of tone in the pauses, which is extremely unpleasing. For it must be observed, that, to render pauses graceful and expressive, they must not only bế made in the right places, but also be accompanied by proper tones of voice; by which the nature of these pauses is intimated much more then by their length, which can never be exactly measured. Sometimes only a slight and simple suspension of the voice is proper; sometimes a degree of cadence is requisite; and sometimes that peculiar tone and cadence which mark thẻ conclusion of a period. In all these cases, a speaker is to regulate himself by the manner in which he speaks, when engaged in earnest discourse with others.

In reading or reciting verse, there is a peculiar diffi. culty in making the pauses with propriety. There are two kinds of pauses, which belong to the music of


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