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81. Flowers for the Heart,....
82. The First Mild Day of Spring,.
83. Evening in Italy,
84. Approach of Age,..
Chambers's Miscellany, 403
122. Last Days of Herculaneum,.
123. Description of Pompeii,
Dr. W. Beattie,
124. The Holy Land,
.F. W. P. GREENWOOD, 420
125. Columbus at Barcelona,
WASHINGTON IRVING, 426
THE VOICE. ALL that articulate language and tones can effect to influence the understanding, is dependent upon the power of the voice addressed to the ear. A just and graceful management of it is, therefore, of the highest importance to the reader.
ARTICULATION. An accurate and distinct articulation forms the basis of good reading. It consists in giving every letter in a syllable its due proportion of sound, according to the most approved custom of pronouncing it. Words should be “ delivered out from the lips, as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, sharp, in due succession, and of due weight.”
To accomplish this, the voice should be frequently exercised upon the elementary sounds of the language, both simple and combined; and classes of words, containing sounds liable to be perverted or suppressed in utterance, should be forcibly and accurately pronounced.
The elementary sound or power of a vowel may be ascer
* Austin's Chironomia.
tained by pronouncing a word containing it in a slow, drawling
Notice the sound of the vowel as it issues from the mouth, and then utter it by itself with great suddenness and force.
The following table is designed as an exercise upon the vowel elements. The word is placed opposite the letters merely to indicate its sound.
One of the principal difficulties in articulation arises from a tendency of the voice to slide over unaccented vowels, either perverting or suppressing their sounds; and the difficulty is increased by the hurried manner in which most persons are accustomed to speak or read. Thus we hear reb’l for rebel; pashunt for patient; prcede for precede; ev'ry for every ; cuncern for concern; advucate for advocate ; folluh for follow ; pop'lar for popular; awfle for awful ; nachur for nature, &c. This improper pronunciation is heard not only in the schoolroom, but in the pulpit, at the bar, and in our legislative halls; and so general is the fault, that the ear is accustomed to the improper sounds from infancy : hence arises the difficulty in remedying the defect; for the habit of indistinct utterance is thus early acquired and firmly established.
The best method to be adopted for avoiding or correcting these errors, is to exercise the voice upon the correct sounds of the language. The sounds of the voice are wholly dependent upon muscular action. The organs of speech are, therefore, as susceptible of improvement, and as much strengthened by proper exercise, as the limbs of the body,
Gymnastic exercises are conducive to an erect form and a grcefulness of motion. The organs of speech are governed by the same law; and if we would secure a perfect enunciation, they must be exercised in the same manner. If the learner habitually mispronounce words in reading, if important sounds be perverted or suppressed, -as prudunt for prudent, fawm for form, boundin for bounding, &c., - his attention should be directed to a list of words containing sounds similar to those mispronounced, and the voice should be exercised upon them until the defect is remedied, and the habit of cor. rect utterance is established.
The following words are designed as an exercise upon unaccented vowels. It should be remembered that if children are required to utter correct sounds at an age when the organs of speech are most flexible, the habit of uttering words distinctly, and pronouncing them correctly, will soon be formed. The vowel liable to be perverted or suppressed in utterance is printed in Italics.
WORDS CONTAINING UNACCENTED VOWELS.
Abjure, (not ubjure,) accept, account, admit, address, affect, affix, allay, allure, annex, apply, appear, arrive, assail, attempt, attune, attend.
Husband, (not husbund,) combat, dormant, infant, adjutant, consonant, defiance, temperance, countenance, continuance, continual, verbal, musical, gradual, special, beneficial, credential, prudential, instantly, penalty, valiantly.
Belief, (not b'lief,) believe, become, delight, deny, desire, precede, precise, predict, prefer, prefix, preface, pretend, geog. raphy, geology, geometry.
Rebel, (not reb'l,) travel, chapel, gravel, parcel, counsel, novel, model, vessel, jewel, marvel, sudden, kitchen, chicken, aspen, hyphen, sloven. Goodness, (not goodniss,) boundless, endless, matchless,