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it signifies life and action. It shows decision. Final stress is used in expressing determination and impatience. Sometimes it characterizes a drawling delivery.
Again, this emphasis may be placed in the middle and characterizes the pathetic voice, and the whine. The radical and final may be united into a compound stress which is used to express irony and sarcasm.
Care should be used against overdeveloping this abruptness. This causes a jerky, dogmatic delivery. Practice the following exercises with a view of developing the ability to express the thought appropriately:
I. Sound "ah" with a Radical stress; with a Final stress. II. Say "no" so that it expresses an emphatic negative; so that it shows impatience; so that it shows sorrow. III. Use the word "yes" in the same way.
I. The charge is utterly, totally, and meanly false!
II. "Now, upon the rebels, charge!" shouts the red-coat officer. They spring forward at the same bound. Look! their bayonets almost touch the muzzles of their rifles. At this moment the voice of the unknown rider was heard: "Now let them have it! Fire!" -CHARLES SHEPPARD.
Freedom calls you! Quick, be ready,-
On, and let the watchword be,
The Polish War Song.
J. G. PERCIVAL.
IV. Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote! Sir, before God I believe the My judgment approves this measure, and my whole All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I
hour is come. heart is in it.
hope in this life, I am now ready to stake upon it; and I leave off as I began, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and, by the blessing of God, it shall be my dying sentiment:—Independence now, and Independence forever.-WEBSTER.
Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!
Will ye look for greener graves?
Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy despots feel?
Hear it in that battle-peal!
Read it on your bristling steel!
Ask it,-ye who will.
I. King Henry. Once more unto the breach, dear friends,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Let it pry through the portage of the head,
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide;
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
II. You've set me talking, sir; I'm sorry;
It makes me wild to think of the change!
'Twas well she died before-Do you know
The ruin and wretchedness here below?
JOHN T. TRowbridge.
III. It is often said that time is wanted for the duties of religion. The calls of business, the press of occupation, the cares of life, will not suffer me, says one, to give that time to the duties of piety which otherwise I would gladly bestow. Say you this without a blush? You have no time, then, for the special service of that great Being whose goodness alone has drawn out to its present length your cobweb thread of life, whose care alone has continued you in possession of that unseen property which you call your time.
One great element in reading as well as speaking is movement. The two general divisions are Time and Rhythm.
Time, as an element in expression, refers to the duration of utterance. The principal phases are: Rate, Pause, Transition, and Quantity.
Rate. Rate refers to the general rapidity of reading and speaking. Within certain limits this is a matter of relativity. It varies with the individual temperament, and with the subject matter. As to the nature of the selection, three divisions of rate are generally recognized: Slow, Medium, and Rapid.
Hear the tolling of the bells—
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
The slow tolling of the bells is in unison with the slow march of the funeral procession. Deliberate movement pervades the entire stanza. To show haste and impatience in such a selection would be very much out of place. Sorrow, gloom, reverence, sublimity, command, calling, usually are indicative of a slow rate.
On the other hand, the lines,
Hear the loud alarum bells-
What a tale of terror now their turbulency tells!
suggest a rapid rate. They recall to our minds the burning of a building, and every one is running and moving rapidly. The lines,
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
require a medium rate.
Everything is as it should be.
Everybody is joyous and carefree.
Thus we see that the thought and emotional content of a selection determines the general rate that should be used in reading and speaking.
Haste can frequently be shown without actually reading rapidly. A quick decisive attack on a word and a quick accent will do much to suggest the element of rapidity.
Again, when you have a word picture to present to the audience, do not go too rapidly. Give them time to picture it out in their minds. Do not make the transitions rapidly. CAUTIONS. I. Over-rapid utterance-usually the more common fault-should be avoided. In the first place, one should read slowly enough to enunciate clearly. Furthermore, reading must be sufficiently deliberate to enable a hearer to get the thought as the reader proceeds. By acquiring the habit of a deliberate, measured utterance, one can often increase many fold his power and effectiveness in oral expression. Time-taking on significant words and phrases is absolutely necessary and essential in order, first, that the reader may express adequately their meaning and emotional content, and also in order that a hearer may comprehend fully and feel the thought and emotion the words are intended to convey.
II. On the other hand, a dragging or drawling utterance should be avoided. Sometimes the expression may be so slow and labored that a hearer must needs wait on the reader and he feels like saying, "Move along." Such a reader must acquire more energy and movement in his rendering.