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At first sight the work will be observed to possess some novelties in the form of illustrative marks and figures, and the acquiring of a knowledge of these may be supposed to be attended with some degree of difficulty. But it will be found, in the course of the definitions, that explanations of every apparent difficulty are so amply given, that no Teacher or Pupil of ordinary intelligence can fail to acquire a complete knowledge of the subject.
In using the book, the Teacher may proceed at onee, first, to the Inflexion of the Vowels, page 24; and afterwards to the table of Inflected Words, page 25. Along with the inflexion in this table, is exemplified the variety of Vowel Sounds and their quantities—and the Teacher, in the Inflexion Exercise, may unite it with Articulation and Pronunciation, guiding his Pupil on the principles laid down in the first part. In practising the long sounds, the voice may be made to vanish—in doing which, the voice will be perceived in a and o to die away, as it were, into another sound—thus a in fame dies away in e, o in note dies away in oo. These sounds are often given coarsely—the vanish and the approximation to another sound give a more delicate pronunciation. The short sounds in the table are to be given with that explosive effect which is described in page 60. After acquiring the slide, the vanish, and the explosive power, the Pupil may go on through the rules of Inflexion as laid down, concluding with the Intervals of Inflexion, which is a nice and refining exercise. Modulation follows. The word is used here with reference to the assumption of various keys. This exercise should be much insisted on, and there are a good many rules and examples on this subject. The examples on the Rhythmus of Speech should be much practised, as securing the timing of sounds, and providing for the ease and health of the speaker.
The Extracts may be read at various stages of the Pupil's progress. They may be introduced at an early period of the course, beginning with those which require vehemence and slowness of articulation.
Edinburgh, September ], 1837.
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