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SOLEMNITY is usually of slight or moderate force, slow movement, low pitch, median stress, pure quality, moderate or large volume, short slides, mostly falling. Thus :
By Nebo's lonely mountain,
On this side Jordan's wave,
There lies a lonely grave.
And no man saw it e'er;
MRS. CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER. SERIOUSNESS is usually of moderate force, but sometimes loud, sometimes soft ; rather slow movement; low pitch; slightly median stress, sometimes initial; pure quality; moderate volume ; moderate slides, mostly falling. Thus :
Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who have given their lives that that nation might live. — LINCOLN.
REVERENCE unites fear, respect, and esteem. It differs but little from solemnity in its expression. The pitch may be a little higher, the volume a little larger, the movement faster, and the slides oftener rising. Thus :
Venerable men! You have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives that you might behold this joyous day. — WEBSTER.
HORROR chills and paralyzes. It is usually of soft force, very low pitch, very slow movement, slight median stress, sometimes tremulous ; impure, guttural quality ; usually large volume; short falling slides, or none. This combination of clements tends to the monotone. Thus the ghost of the murdered king in “Hamlet”:
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
SHAKESPEARE. REMORSE, when great, is usually of loud convulsive force, but sometimes suppressed ; quick movement, with irregular intervals; high pitch, sometimes moderate or low; impure quality, guttural, with sobbing or sighing; small volume, sometimes moderate ; final stress, with tremor; moderate slides, mostly falling. Thus:
Oh, my offence is rank; it smells to heaven !
O, wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
SHAKESPEARE. DESPAIR is usually of slight force, slow movement, low pitch ; moderately pure quality, slightly aspirated ; small volume; tremulous stress ; short slides, mostly falling. Thus :
MAN. I am now a man of despair, and am shut up in it, as in this iron cage. I cannot get out; 0, now I cannot.
CHRISTIAN. But how camest thou into this condition ?
Man. I left off to watch and be sober ; I laid the reins upon the neck of my lusts ; I sinned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone ; I tempted the Devil, and he is come to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me; I have so hardened my heart that I cannot repent.
Then said Christian to the Interpreter, “But are there no hopes for such a man as this?” “Ask him," said the Interpreter. Then said Christian, “Is there no hope, but you must be kept in the iron cage of despair ?"
MAN. No, none at all.
MAN. I have crucified him to myself afresh; I have despised his person ; I have despised his righteousness; I have counted his blood an unholy thing ; I have done despite to the spirit of grace : there. fore I shut myself out of all the promises, and there now remains to me nothing but threatenings, dreadful threatenings, fearful threatenings, of certain judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour me as an adversary.
CHRISTIAN. For what did you bring yourself into this condition ?
Man. For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world, in the enjoyment of which I did then promise myself much delight; but now every one of those things also bites me and gnaws me like a burning worm.
CHRISTIAN. But canst thou not now repent and turn ?
MAN. God hath denied me repentance. His word gives me no encouragement to believe ; yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage, nor can all the men in the world let me out! 0 Eternity ! Eternity! How shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity?
Then said the Interpreter to Christian, “Let this man's misery be remembered by thee, and be an everlasting caution to thee."
“Well,” said Christian, “this is fearful ! God help me to watch and be sober, and to pray that I may shun the cause of this man's misery.”
BUNYAN. SURPRISE is usually loud, high, quick and slow alternately, aspirated, of expulsive initial stress, small volume, long slides. Thus Horatio tells Hamlet of the apparition of the latter's deceased father :
HOR. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
HOR. My lord, upon the platform where we watched.
My lord, I did.
HAM. 'Tis very strange.
HOR. As I do live, my honored lord, 't is true ;
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
the watch to-night?
SHAKESPEARE. WONDER is usually of moderate force, sometimes loud ; moderate pitch; irregular movement, slow and sometimes quick; aspirated quality, sometimes nearly pure ; expulsive initial stress ; long slides ; small volume, sometimes moderate or large, it being more or less proportioned to the supposed magnitude of the thing wondered at. Thus Alonzo, Gonzalo, Sebastian, Antonio, and others, hearing supernatural music and seeing unearthly shapes, express their amazement :
Alon. What harmony is this? My good friends, hark !
SEBAS. A living drollery! Now I will believe
I'll believe both;
SHAKESPEARE. The foregoing quotations afford tolerable illustrations of the different emotions considered separately. Oftener, however, the feelings are more or less mingled. In such cases the resulting vocal expression may partake of the leading characteristics of all. Usually one ingredient predominates, and this will give the chief tone or color to the compound. (See on this subject Professor Mark Bailey's remarks in his introductory treatise in Hillard's Sixth Reader, pages lxxiv, lxxv; also his admirable analysis on pages lxxv-lxxix of the same.)
From the foregoing we deduce the following directions for elocutionary analysis :
1. Ascertain the prevailing tone or spirit of the piece, and adhere to it, adapting the elements of vocal expression to it wherever you perceive no cause for deviation.
2. Ascertain the deviations from the general character of the piece, and adapt the elements of vocal expression to the spirit of the individual sentences and words. Be careful, where mental states or acts are blended, to give each its due representation.
We subjoin for illustration the following commencement of an examination of the stanzas preliminary to Milton's “Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity," as showing a method of elocutionary analysis. (See “Masterpieces in English Literature,” lst volume, pp. 192, 193.)
This is the month, and this the happy morn,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
That glorious form, that light insufferable,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
Say, heavenly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
Hath took no print of the approaching light,