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impressively represented. The elocutionist may explain how the work is to be done, but it is the speaker's own conception and pervading earnestness that enable him successfully to do it. The passenger may direct the traveller to the right path, but he himself must walk the distance; and the more resolute he is, the sooner he will reach it.

In the following preparatory exercise on the modulations, the acute accent (') denotes the rising inflection, the grave accent (') the falling, and the horizontal line (-) the monotone. It will greatly conduce to the student's future progress if he can enunciate these several clauses with precision before proceeding to the study of the subsequent principles. He will remember that each important modulation, in order to preserve its due force and distinctness, requires to be followed with a considerable


of greater or less duration is also required wherever an abruptness occurs in the progress of thought, wherever the uniform construction of the sentence is interrupted, as in the case of the dash, the exclamation, parenthesis, &c., in which instances the mind is supposed to be arrested by the sudden change of passion or sentiment.


pause. A


Was the tàsk finished or lēft unfinished ? It was finished, not lēft únfinished.
Was his progress quick or slow?

It was slow, very slow.
Did he pítch his voice bígh or ldw?

He pitched it high, never hìgher.
Do you read Greek or Látin?

I have long reād Latin, néver Grèek.
Did they confess or dený?

They confèssed, and wēre mérely rebuked.
Hów does your friend look ? well or ill ?


Well; he never looked better.
Hów did he move? gracefully?

Grácefully! Yès-ás he always dões.
Was the prize mérited or not?

It was-āt leāst all thought so.
Whò delivered thē mèssage ? hé or his brother? Hè; his brother is from hòme.
Is the stream wíde or narrow ?

Very nārrow—espécially neār its source.
Straight or circùitous ?

Partly straight and partly circuitous.
And its banks—rúgged ?

Yès; but quite accessible, and highly picturesque.
His speech was not réad—it was delívered ? It wās well delīvered.
And well received ?

Wīth ēnthusiasm-If the applause it obtàined is the tést.
The subject was interesting ?

Yès, and is ráther popular āt prēsent.
Did he speak lóng ? An hóur pörhaps ? Lònger—twò hours-three hours.
And was well received, you sāy?

Enthusiastically-applauded throughout.
He made an impression thēn?

I should think somāt least upon sóme.
Thèn he is líkely to succeed ?

Succeed! Yès—if hē chooses to exért hīmsēlf.
Are the dùties líght or onerous ?

Móst dnerous—if dischārged conscientiously. And thē emoluments ?

Respèctable-and likely to be increased.


There is one general principle on which the system of modulation is constructed that should never be lost sight of, for it has its origin in nature, consequently any departure from it involves a violation of propriety. It is this,—that the introductory part of a sentence necessarily requires the low monotone and rising modulation, whereas the concluding portion naturally takes the high monotone and falling inflection. That division of a sentence which is purely introductory can never receive the falling modulation on its own account as being introductory. It may occasionally require the falling from its emphatic relation to other members, as in the case of the antithesis, but not otherwise. The rising modulation is required, as there the sense is suspended; whereas the concluding part, on the principle of the voice being the echo of the sense, requires the falling, as with it the sense is completed.

There seem to be Seven General Principles to which the Art of Reading may be reduced, as there seem to be seven distinct forms of sense or of expression. Into one or other of these forms, we apprehend, may be resolved every possible construction of sentence to which the system of modulation can legitimately be applied.



RULE.—An Affirmative or Final member takes the falling modulation on its accented or emphatic word, but the accented word of the Penultimate member takes the rising modulation, in order to prepare a cadence for the close of the sentence.

An affirmative member is that whose affirmation is altogether independent of other clauses—a final or ultimate member is that which completes the sense of other mem

bers—the penultimate is that which precedes the ultimate. When the ultimate is particularly long, it may be subdivided into a penultimate and ultimate for the purpose of modulation.

EXAMPLE.—“Exèrcise strengthens the constitution”-an affirmative member, embracing only one idea, and taking the falling inflection on its accented word “ constitution.”

Again.—“Exèrcise strengthens éven an indifferent constitūtion"_“ indifferent" now taking the inflection, being a more important word as antithetical to a good constitution, and therefore emphatic.*

Again.—“Exércise, howevēr little it māy be regarded, strengthens ēven an indifferent constitūtion.” Here a new member is introduced, forming a penultimate, and taking the rising inflection on its accented word “regarded,” th term “indifferent” still retaining the falling inflection as a final or ultimate member.

It will be observed that the words exercise, strengthen, little, are also inflected. This is upon the principle of what some elocutionists call the harmonic inflection, or general emphasis, and which is intended to introduce an agreeable variety of tone, at once pleasing to the ear and illustrative of the sense.

For this, however, no rule is necessary, nor indeed can be offered, farther than that all similarly important words should be so modulated. Even, however, moy, are denoted by the monotone as requiring to be enunciated upon the level at which the voice has arrived by the previous inflection.

Simple and obvious as Principle First is, there is not probably in the whole science of elocution one more frequently violated, and, consequently, that serves as a better test of the reader. The practice generally is, like the old “s wont” of the monotonous school-boy, to assign the fall* See page 59 on the distinction betwixt accented and emphatic words.

use and


ing modulation to that member only which concludes a sentence; whereas


member affirmative in its character, be it in the beginning, middle, or close of a sentence, and whatever be its punctuation, should take the same falling slide. When passages occur in which the affirmative member prevails, each succeeding clause being complete in itself, and altogether detached both in sense and construction from those that precede and follow, the reader must not be tempted, by any apparent sameness of delivery, to introduce an occasional false modulation for the sake of variety. No such deviation from rule is necessary. The beauty and variety of the delivery are sufficiently sustained by an occasional shifting of the voice from a lower to a higher monotone, as the sense may admit. The principle of the affirmative member is the surest protection against false intonation, and the only cure for that extremely pernicious vice in delivery known by the epithet sing-song. All the provincialisms that exist—and nearly every province has its own—consist in a peculiarly disagreeable modulation of the final member. The order of nature is to fall at the close—the sense being finished, no suspension of voice should take place; but it happens that, either in ignorance or disregard of this principle, the natives of certain localities practise an unnatural rising or falling tone, most offensive to the cultivated

A firm unyielding slide downwards would effectually prevent this in such as have not yet been seduced into the evil habit, and might shortly cure it in such as have.

The reader may exercise himself on the following Extracts as exemplifying Principle First—in the former, the inflections of the affirmative member and its penultimate are given, as also those of the harmonic inflection. He is requested to observe, in all examples of Rules, that the harmonic inflection is to be given more lightly and trippingly than that of the Rule itself.



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