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QUANTITY AND QUALITY.
Quantity, in reading and speaking, means the length of time occupied in uttering a syllable or a word. Sounds and syllables vary greatly in quantity. Some are long, some short, and others intermediate between those which are long or short. Some sounds, also, may be prolonged or shortened in utterance to any desired extent. Quantity may be classified as Long, Medium, or Short.
DIRECTIONS FOR PRACTICE ON LONG QUANTITY.-Select some word of one syllable ending with a long vocal or a subvocal sound; pronounce it many times in succession, increasing the quantity at each repetition, until you can dwell upon it any desired length of time, without drawling, and in a natural tone.
REMARK.-Practice in accordance with this direction will enable the pupil to secure that fullness and roundness of voice which is exemplified in the hailing of a ship, “ship aho-y;" in the reply of the sailor, when, in the roar of the storm, he answers his captain, “ay- -e, ay -e;" and in the command of the officer to his troops, when, amid the thunder of artillery, he gives the order, “march,” or “ha-lt.”
This fullness or roundness of tone is secured, by dwelling on the vocal sound, and indefinitely protracting it. The mouth should be opened wide, the tongue kept down, and the aperture left as round and as free for the voice as possible.
It is this artificial rotundity which, in connection with a distinct articulation, enables one who speaks in the open air, or in a very large apartment, to send his voice to the most distant point. It is a certain degree of this quality, which distinguishes declamatory or public speaking or reading from private conversation, and no one can accomplish much, as a public speaker, without cultivating it. It must be carefully distinguished from the “high tone,” which is an elevation of pitch, and from “loudness,” or “strength" of voice.
It will be observed that clearness and distinctness of utterance are secured by a proper use of the subvocals and aspirates-these sounds giving to words their shape, as it were; but a clear, full, and well-modulated utterance of the vocals gives to words their fullness.
1. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead !
3. O righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave,
Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save?
That smote the foes of Zion and of God? 4. O sailor boy! sailor boy! never again
Shall home, love, or kindred thy wishes repay;
Full many a fathom, thy frame shall decay. 5. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens! When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers; the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him ? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the work of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
1. Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose;
The spectacles set them, unhappily, wrong;
To which the said spectacles ought to belong. 2. Bird of the broad and sweeping wing!
Thy home is high in heaven,
And the tempest clouds are driven. 3. At midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk lay dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power.
4. On New Year's night, an old man stood at his window, and looked, with a glance of fearful despair, up the immovable, unfading heaven, and down upon the still, pure, white earth, on which no one was now so joyless and sleepless as he,
1. Quick! or he faints! stand with the cordial near! 2. Back to thy punishment, false fugitive!
3. Fret till your proud heart breaks! Must I observe you? Must I crouch beneath your testy humor? 4. Up drawbridge, grooms! what, warder, ho!
Let the portcullis fall!
That drives before the blast!
And the storm comes thick and fast. 6. I am at liberty, like every other man, to use my own language; and though, perhaps, I may have some ambition to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his diction, or his mien, however matured by age or modeled by experience.
Movement is the rapidity with which the voice moves in reading and speaking. It varies with the nature of the thought or sentiment to be expressed, and should be increased or diminished as good taste may determine. With pupils generally, the tendency is to read too fast. The result is, reading or speaking in too high a key and an unnatural style of delivery—both of which faults are difficult to be corrected when once formed. The kinds of movement are Slow, Moderate, and Quick.
DIRECTIONS.-Read a selection as slowly as possible, without drawling. Read it again and again, increasing the rate of movement at each reading, until it can be read no faster without the utterance becoming indistinct. Reverse this process, reading more and more slowly at each repetition, until the slowest movement is obtained.
1. Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly, since I heard them last. 2. A tremulous sigh from the gentle night wind
Through the forest leaves slowly is creeping,
Keep guard; for the army is sleeping
The innumerable caravan that moves
1. The good', the brave', the beautiful',
How dreamless' is their sleep,
Of the ever-tossing deep'!
Pale Winter's robes have spread
In the cities of the dead'!
2. Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time.
3. Cast your eyes over this extensive country. Observe the salubrity of your climate, the variety and fertility of your soil; and see that soil intersected in every quarter by bold, navigable streams, flowing to the east and to the west, as if the finger of heaven were marking out the course of your settlements, inviting you to enterprise, and pointing the way to wealth.
1. Awake!! arise!! or be forever fallen.
Near to the nest of his little dame,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name. 3. Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit. 4. Oh my dear uncle, you don't know the effect of a fine spring morning upon a fellow just arrived from Russia. The day looked bright, trees budding, birds singing, the park so gay, that I took a leap out of your balcony, made your deer fly before me like the wind, and chased them all around the park to get an appetite for breakfast, while you were snoring in bed, uncle.
Quality.-We notice a difference between the soft, insinuating tones of persuasion; the full, strong voice of command and decision; the harsh, irregular, and sometimes grating explosion of the sounds of passion; the plaintive notes of sorrow and pity; and the equable and unimpassioned flow of words in argumentative style. This difference consists in a variation in the quality of the voice by which it is adapted to the character of the thought or sentiment read or spoken. In our attempts to imitate