Page images
PDF
EPUB

To:it this collection may also serve the purpose of promntin; piety 21.10. soldier, slice compiler has introduced bani postracis, which place Parigione in the most amiabli litlit, sind wirst recommend a girat rily of moral duties, is the relience of their nature, and the happy ellrait-t!ory porond scr. 1!. :!ejezels arrodilsiteit into - Viro and initii her which are calculate of to arrest the it101-mtion of youths; and make strong and durable impressions on their minds."

The compiler has bee'si caretut to avoid every sporession and son tinent, that might yratify a corrupit enim, or, in tir least degree, atfe ung the eye or ear of innocence. This he conceives to be peuliarly in CUI:Vall on puery person why writes for the benefit of youl. It wouls indierodd be a greai and happ's improvement in education, if no writing Wore allowed 10 coins under their vorice, but such it: Jika pertec:ly i nocent; and it, on all proper ocasions, thry vpre scouraged 10 pe rise those whicl:end to inspire a due reverence for virtive, and an al burrence of vice, as well as to animale them with saltimorts of piety and zoitorss Surli in uires ions deeply engraves on their minds, all connected with all their attainments, could searerly tail of attending thein toronth litru, and of producing it solid.ty of priori, le and choras trr, That would be able to resist the danger arising from future inie, (Olssp with the world.

"The Author has endeavoured to relieve the grave od serious part of his collection, by the occasionu! admission of poirces which amniso #s well as instruçt. If, however, any of his readers should think i contains too great a proportion of the fornier, it may be some apology to observe that, in the existing publications designed for the perusal o yuing persons, the preponderance is greatly on the side of gay hind joninsing productions. Too much attention may be paid to this medi uin of improvement. When the imagination, of youth especially, is euch entertained, the sober i'ctates of the indórstanding are regariled with indiferente; and the influence of yood atti ctionis is either feeble, ..po transient. A tenperate use of such ontemairmes. seems therefore i qui:ill, to afford proper scope for the operations of the understanding, nd the heart.

The reader will percrive, that the Compiler has been solicitous to ! :: omend 10 young pursons, the prerusal ist ihe sacre Scriptures, by 11.00-8:spersing Hongli liis work some of the most beautiful and interest ing prasenyes of those invaluable writings. To excite an early taste and veleration for this great rule of life, is a point of so high importance, www.tarrant the attempt to promote it on every proper occasion.

- • .f.4*ic the young mind, and to afford some assistance to lutors, in the vidijous and important work of education, were the mutives which: ie. this production. If the Author should be so successful as to acwu wilish these ends, even in a small degree, he will think that his time in pains !ave been well employed, and will deem himself am ply ren sided.

• In s stue of the pieces the Compiler lias rade a fouw alterations, chiefly verbal, no ular ibt. the butter tu the desigu of dus work.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE PRINCIPLES OF GOOD

READING.

TO read with propriety is a pleasing and important attainment , productive of improvement both to the understanding and the heart. It is essentiai to a complete reader, that he minutely perceive the ideas, and enter into the feelings of the author, whose sentiments he professes to reptat : for how is it possible to represent clearly to others, what we have but taint or inaccurate conceptions of ourselves? If there were no other benefits resulting from the art of reading well, than the necessity it lays us under, of precisely ascertaining the meaning of what we read; and the habit thence acquired, of doing this with facility, both when reading silently and aloud, they would constitute a sufficient compensation for all the labour we can bestow upon the subject. But the pleasure derived to ourselves and others, from a clear commu

ication of ideas and feelings; and the strong and durable impressions nade thereby on the minds of the reader and the audience, are considerations, which give additional importance to the study of this necessary and useful art. The perfect attainment of it doubtless requires great attention and practice, joined to extraordinary natural powers : but as there are many degrees of excellence in the art, the student whose aims fall short of perfection will find himself aroply rewarded for every exertion be may think proper to make.

To give rules for the management of the voice in reading, by which be necessary pauses, emphases, and tones, may be discuvered and put in practice, is not possible. After all the directions that can be offer. ed on these points, much will remain to be taught by the living instructer: much will be attainable by no other means, than the force of ex. ample influencing the imitative powers of the learner. Some rules and principles on these heads will, however, be tound useful, to preventerroneous and vicious modes of utterance; to give the young reader some taste of the subject; and to assist him in acquiring a just and accurate mode of delivery. The observations which we have to make, for these purposes, may be comprised under the following heads : PROPER LOUDNESS OF VOICE ; DISTINCTNESS; SLOWNESS; PROPRIETY OF RRONUNCIATION; EMPHASIS; TONES ; PAUSES; and MODE OF READING VERSE.

NOTE. For many of the observations contained in this preliminary trach, the Author to 10 debted to the writings of Dr. Blair, and to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

A 2

SECTION I.

Proper loudness of Voire. The fir e attention of every person who reads to others, donbtest, must be, 10 make liimself lie hearilliy all those to whom he reads. Ile must endeavour to fill with his voice the space occupied by the company. This power of voice, it may be thought, is wholly a natural the loui. liis, in a good measure, the gift of nature ; ut ii may receive considerable assistance from art. Much depends, for this purpose, on the proporre pirch and inaungement of the voice. Every person has three pitches in his voice: the High, the nipote, and the Low one. '10 higli, is that which he nises inl.calling aloud 19 some person at a distance, The low is. when he approaches to a whisper. The middle is, that which he employs in common conversation, and which he should ge

rolly use in peading to others. For it is a great mistake, 10 iinagine ...' vle must take the brighest pitch out his voice, in order to top well neared in a lary company. This is confounding turo things which are Hifferent, loudness or strength of ind, with the key or noie on which

speak. There is a varits ont souvisl.in the compass of each kry. A speaker may therritisra t'mr.ver his voice louder, without allering lie hoy: and up shall always lo alilo to give most bundy, Ose foorsiering torce of sound, to that purch of voice to whicho in conrrsation we are Hop/stomedl. Whereas hy selling out on our highest pitch or key, w'a certainly allow ourselves less compass, and are likely to strain our voice bortiore si'e have done to shallthtigue ourses, and read witin paints and when per a person speaks with pain to him if, he is always hard with pain luy liis audience. Let us therefore yis the voice full strength and is roll ist sound; but always priech it on our Ordinary speaking key. It should be at constant rule never to utter a greater quantity of voice than we can aitoral without pain to ourselves, and without any extraordinary rtfort. As long as wir keppwithin these bounds, the other organs of speech will be at liberty 10 discharge their several offices .ith ease; and urshall always love our voice under command. But whenevap Hip transgress the lounds, we give ujo thor reins, and have no longerany management of it. It is a useful rulotom, in order to be well inearil, 10 cast 11 ya Wil Some of the most distant persons in the company, and to considej uur. galves as ypadin 10 iheus. We madurally and echanically hiller our Words with such a degree of strength, as to make ourselves be heard by the preopson whom he address, provided he is within the reach of our over. As this is the case in conversation, it will bold also in reading to others. But let us remember, that is reading, as lipoll n- in conversation, it is possible to ottend by speaking 190 loud. This extreme hurts tlır. ear, lystaking the voice come upon it in rumbling, indistinct masses.

By the haliit of reading, when young, in a loud and vellement unes. the voice becom- fised in a strained anduunatural key; and is rendered incapable of that variety of elevation and depression which constituites ile truse harmony of utterance, and affords rase to the reader, and plea Ille 10 llie omience. Iliis limatural pitch of the voice, and disa greable monotony, are most observabli ini persons who 11rre langht to "point in large inoins; wiw Wroppo aces:11.1 ) :111 at 10:00 pm distance, she'si trading s tlorir rrachers: whese 118-11001013 Wronto irry wjavil a their incomisty i Urubu were wali boy persona, tül wska

sidered lond espression ns the chief requisite in forming a good reader. These are circumstances which deinand the serious allen innere ery une to vihom the education of youth is commille.

SECTION II.

receita

pose, al jas three

distana geat attention.

[ocr errors]

onbeles

Distincines:. cads the

In the next place, to being well heard and clearly understood, disle cue

tinctness of articulation contributes more than were loudriess of sound. The quantity of sound necessary to fill even a large space, is smaller th:an is commonly imagined; and, with distinct articulation, a person

witis a weak voice will make it reach farther, than the strongesi voice e 10 can reach without it. To this, therefore, every reader onght to quy

He must give every sound which die lifters, its due js, the proportion; and make every syllable, and even every letter in the wide word which he pronounces, be heard distinctly; without slurring, imagine whispering, or suppressing any of the proper suunds.

As accurate knowledge of the siinple, eiementary sounds of the lan. ich anguage, and a tacility in expressing tb!, are so necessary to distinct.

he ness of expression, that is the learner's attainments are in this respect, chokep imperfect, (and many there are in this situation) it will be incumbent

ring the potopine Il' ale

on his teacher, to carry him back to these primary articulations; and 10 suspend his progress, til! he become pertecily master of them. ! will be in vain io press him forwarıl, with the hope of forming a good reader, it' he camot completely articolate every elementary sound of the language.

SECTION III.

Due degre, of slowness.
In order to express ourselves distinctly, moderation is requisite with

regard to the speed of pronouncing. Precipitancy of speech contounds dina all'articulation, and all meaning. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that sprk there may be also an extreme ou the opposite side. li is obvivus that a pas shen lifeless, drawling manwer of reading, which allows the minds of the

hearers to low always outrinnin' the speaker, iniisi rendor (l'ery serolo preterm ince insipid and fatiguing. Bitt live estreme of reading ion last is much more coinino!), and requires the more in le guarded araiisl, loe cause, when it has grown into a habit, few crrors are more ditficult wolie

corrected. To pronounce with a proper degree of slowness, and with rilby full and clear articulation, is necessary to be studied loyall, who wishi 10 foil brcome good readers; and it cannot bi tvo much recommended wikiem. ng! Such a gironunciation gives weicht and digni!y 'o the subject. It is a

great assistance to the voice, by the pauses and rests which it allows ear, the reader more easily to inake; and it enables the reader to swell all

bis sounds, both with more force and more harmony.

11:26

d will th and

PJ:

:P than

***

Tour

on.it

pred

SECTION IV.

olea lisa

Propriely of Pronunciation. AFTER the fundamental attentions to the pitch and management of the voice, to distinct articulation, and to a proper degrer- of slow wess of speech, what the young reader must, in the next place, study, is pro priety of prowaviation ; or, giving w every word which is uiters illise

sound which the best usage of the language appropriates to it; in opposition to broad, vulgar, or provincial pronunciation. This is requisite both for reading intelligibly, and for reading with correctness and easy Ins* uctions concerning this article may be best given by the living teacher. But there is one observation, which it may not be improper here to make. In the English language, every word which consists of more sy ables than one, has one arcented syllable. The accents resi sometimes on the vowel, sometimes on the consonant. The genius of the language requires the voice to mark that syllable by a stronger per cussion, and to pass inore slightly over the rest. Now, after we have learned the proper seats of these accents, it is an important rule, to give every word just the ame accent in reading, as in common discourse. Mi.jy persons err in this respect. When they read to others, and with solemnity, they pronounce the syllables in a different manner irom what they do al other times. They dwell upon thein and protract them; they multiply accents on the same word ; from a mistaken notion, that it gives gravity and importance to their subject, and adds to the energy of their delivery. Whereas this is one of the greatest faults that can be committed in pronunciation : it makes what is called a pompouls o mouthing manner; and gives an artificial, affected air to reading, which detracts greatly both from its agreeableness and its impression

Sheridan und Walker have published Dictionaries, for ascertaining the true and best pronunciation of the words of our language. By attentively consulting them, particularly “Walker's Pronouncing Dic. tionary," the young reader will be much assisted, in his endeavours to attain a correct pronunciation of the words belonging to the English language.

SECTION V

Emphasis. By Emphasis is meant a stronger and fuller sound of voice, by which we distinguish some word or words, on which we design to lay particu: lar stress, and to show low they affect the rest of the sentence. Some times the emphatic words must be distinguished by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a particular stress. On the right management of the emphasis depends ihe life of pronunciation If no emphasis be placed on any words, not only is discourse rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning left often ambiguous. If the emphasis be placed wrong, we pervert and confound the meaning wholly.

Einphasis may be divided into the superior and the Inferior emphy. sis. The superior emphasis ołetermines the meaning of a sentence, with reference to something said before, presupposed by the author as gene. ral knowledge, or removes an ambiguity, where a passage may have more senses than one. The inferior emphasis en forces, graues, and enlirens, but does not fir, the ineaning of any passage. The words to which this latter emphasis is given, are, in general, such as seem the most important in the sentence, or, on other accounts, to merit this distinction. The following passage will serve to exemplify the super or emphasis.

« Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
u Of that forbidden tree, wbose mortal taste
“ Brought death into the world, and all our wo,"
* Sing heavenly. Muse!"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »