Obrázky stránek

II. “Young man, ahoy!”

“What is it?”
"Beware! beware! The rapids are below you!"


III. What ho, my jovial mates! come on! we'll frolic it
Like fairies frisking in the merry moonshine.


IV. Meanwhile the criers were calling the defendant at the four corners of the lists. “Oyes! Oyes! O.yes! Richard Drayton, duke of Nottingham, come to this combat in which ye

be enterprised to discharge your sureties this day before your liege, the King, and to encounter in your defense Henry Mansfield, knight, the challenger. Oyes! Oyes! Oyes! Let the defendant come.”-Scott.

VOLUME. Technically, volume refers to the relative quantity of breath used in the vocalization of a given word or phrase. It expresses the quantity, fullness or roundness of the tone. A voice of great volume will have an open throat, and as the sound rolls out, it must seem to fill the room.

The volume natural to individual voices differs greatly, but one should learn to use discrimination in this regard, as in other elements of expression. When a word or phrase indicates wide extent or large dimensions, or stands for solidity or weight, we should express this concept of largeness in the delivery. The small, delicate, or trivial is expressed with less volume than the large, ponderous, or expansive. We would, therefore, speak of a mountain daisy in a lighter, thinner tone than in speaking of a mountain.

Increased volume requires a lower key and the chest tone. A pure, clear, full tone is a desirable attribute to a good voice. Practice the following exercises in a loud, clear tone. Be sure that the voice rolls out easily and that the throat is not cramped. Avoid having a breathy tone; vocalize all the breath.


Small Volume:

I. I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. My Shadow.


II. “It's time for me to go to that there buryin'-ground, sir,” he returned with a wild look.

“Lie down and tell me. What burying-ground, Jo?"

“Where they laid him that was good to me; very good indeed, he wos. It's time for me to go down to that buryin'-ground, sir, ·and ask to be put along with him. I wants to go there and be buried. He used fur to say to me, 'I am as poor as you to-day, Jo,' he ses. I wants to tell him that I am as poor as him, now, and have come there to be laid along with him.”—DICKENS.

Great Volume:
I. Holy! holy! holy ! Lord God of hosts.
II. Roll on, thou dark and deep blue ocean, roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain.


III. Thou, too, sail on, O ship of State;.

Sail on, O Union, strong and great.
Humanity with all its fears,
With all its hopes of future years,

Is hanging breathless on thy fate.
The Building of the Ship.


IV. Lift up your heads, O ye

and be


up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. He is the King of Glory.


INTENSITY. Force and intensity sometimes are used interchangeably. Intensity may be said to be that division of force which manifests the degree of energy with which we read and speak. Intensity is not limited physically to the

amplitude of the vibration of the vocal cords, but it is the manifestation of the thought and emotional life as expressed by the entire body. Intensity of tone is not dependent on mere loudness. One may speak with the greatest of intensity and not speak above a whisper.

Intensity denotes strength-a reserve power. Too often the student speaks as though he spoke from the "teeth out.” This does not indicate strength. There seems to be nothing back of the voice. It appears all on the surface. It may

be a loud tone, and perchance, have a great volume, but it is like a drum—all hollow within.

While under great emotional excitement of anger, or sorrow, the muscles of the body become tense; so do the muscles governing the vocal cords. These cords may be so tightly drawn together that they scarcely vibrate at all.

Intensity is audible earnestness. The student should never confuse mere loudness or volume of voice with intensity of tone. Guard against restricting the throat when expressing great earnestness. This will cause your voice to “break.” A pure, clear tone is far more forceful and powerful and effective than a sharp, squeaky one. Read and speak as though you meant every word you said. Show by your degree of force the tenderness, pity, love, admiration, indignation within you. Get some "pep,” as the boys say; wake up; get busy—do not read as though it were a task or as though you were hired to read, or speak. Show animation, life, interest.

The first thing essential is thoroughly to understand the selection read. You must grasp the author's ideas as well as you can, and permit yourself to be moved to sympathy, or hate, joy, or sorrow, as the case may be. To do this it is essential that you know the circumstances under which the poem was written or the speech was made.

A teacher can often, through suggestion, make more definite the purpose of the writer, and throw such side-lights on the selection as will stimulate the pupil's imagination and

feeling. For example, the following words were uttered by Henry W. Grady in 1886, in the course of a speech at Boston. Mr. Grady was speaking, if not to a hostile audience, at least to a critical one. There was at that time before Congress a bill that proposed to have the Federal Government take charge of national elections, as was done during the Reconstruction period. The opening quotation in the following selection was taken from a special message to Congress by President Harrison. With all these facts and attendant circumstances in mind, the following becomes charged with more force in the utterance than might otherwise appear:

The question is asked repeatedly: "When will the black man in the South cast a free ballot? When will he have the civil rights that are his?”

When will the black man cast a free ballot? When ignorance anywhere is not dominated by the will of the intelligent; when the laborer anywhere casts a ballot unhindered by his boss; when the strong and the steadfast do not everywhere control the suffrage of the weak and the shiftless. Then, but not till then, will the ballot be free.

The negro can never control in the South, and it would be well if partisans in the North would understand this. You may pass your force bills, but they will not avail; for never again will a single state, North or South, be delivered to the control of an ignorant and inferior race. We wrested our state government from negro supremacy when the Federal drum-beat rolled closer to the ballot-box and when Federal bayonets hedged it about closer than will ever again be permitted in a free community. But if Federal cannon thundered in every voting district of the South, we would still find, in the mercy of God, the means and the courage to prevent its re-establishment.

Again, force should change with the varied emotions. All force is no force, for herein, as in other elements of expression, a hearer is impressed through contrasts. It is easy for one to acquire the habit of reading everything, regardless of the content, in a general monotone,-a habit that is not uncommon even with experienced readers in reading their

[ocr errors]

own productions: some prevailing though indefinite and inappropriate emotion dominates the whole delivery. Sometimes this is due to non-appreciation of the varying emotions of a discourse, and again it is simply a habit. A reader must learn to appreciate and give free expression to the play and interplay of emotions. Of course, the emotions that come during the rendition of a given selection will rarely, if ever, be exactly the same for different individuals. This, however, cannot excuse patent incongruities between the thought and its expression, such as being loud and harsh, rather than soft and tender, expressing anger where pathos is required, or failing to express the transition from one emotion to another. If we remember that emotions come and go, as the ideas march forward; that now one emotion becomes predominant, now another; that at times, in almost any selection, occurs the purely intellectual, where little force is required,,we may know that one can rarely render a selection with a single, continuous emotion and read “naturally.”

Degrees of Intensity. For convenience, four degrees of intensity are suggested: Subdued, Moderate, Energetic, and Strong

In the exercises that follow, remember that only the general "atmosphere” is suggested. This does not mean that every word should be expressed in that degree. Again, remember that strong intensity may be expressed best in a loud tone in some selections, but in others, a very low tone should be used.


Subdued degree:
I. Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the

dying moon, and blow,

[ocr errors]
« PředchozíPokračovat »