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8. LISTEN TO OTHERS. Give strict attention while others are reading, and try particularly to see wherein they do well. You will thus gradually make their merits your own.
9. STUDY THE READING LESSON. Prepare your reading exercise as carefully as you would for a recitation in history or geography. It is a mistake to suppose that the productions of the great masters of thought and expression can be read properly without such study.
ESSENTIAL POINTS IN PRACTICE.
I. Pleasant Quality of Tone. HE tone of voice in ordinary reading should be sweet,
musical, and sprightly. Practice the following examples for the cultivation of such a tone. Read as a person naturally speaks when in a happy, buoyant state of mind.
1. Give us, O give us, the man who sings at his work! He will do more in the same time,-he will do it better,-he will persevere lònger. One is scarcely sènsible of fatigue whilst he marches to músic. The very stars are said to make hårmony as they revolve in their spheres. Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance. Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous, a spirit all sùnshine, graceful from very gladness, beautiful because brìght.
2. What hò, my jovial mates! come on! we'll frolic it
Like fairies frisking in the merry moònshine!
3. There is nothing like fùn, is there? I have n't any myself, but I do like it in others. O, we need it! We need all the counterweights we can muster to balance the sàd relations of life. God has made sunny spots in the heart; why should we exclude the light from them?
4. Hamelin Town 's in Brunswick,
The river Wèser, deep and wide,
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
5. Insects generally must lead a jovial life. Think what it inust be to lodge in a lily. Imagine a palace of ivory and pearl, with pillars of silver and capitals of gòld, and exhaling such a perfume as never arose from human cènser. Fancy again the fun of tucking one's self up for the night in the folds of a ròse, rocked to sleep by the gentle sighs of summer àir, nothing to do when you awake but to wash yourself in a déw-drop, and fall to eating your bedclothes.
6. There's a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming:
Of the good time coming.
But thought 's a weapon strònger;
Wait a little longer.
II. Articulation. Having made sure of a pleasant quality of voice, the pupil may next give his attention to cutting out his words with neatness and precision. Open the mouth sufficiently, and put life into the action of the jaw, tongue, and lips. Pupils who have a tendency to mumbling indistinctness-and it is a good exercise for all—should exaggerate the movement of the organs of articulation, working the muscles of the mouth with extreme but elastic motions. The words may be practiced one at a time; then in phrases; then in complete sentences, -slowly at first, afterwards with increasing rapidity. When perfection is attained there will be no excessive movements,—nothing to interfere with a becoming expression of the features.
1. Lovely art thou, O Péace! and lovely are thy children, and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green valleys.
2. Steel clanging sounded on steel. Hèlmets are cleft on hìgh; blood bursts and smokes around. As the troubled noise of the ocean when roll the waves on high; as the last peal of the thunder of heaven; such is the noise of båttle.
3. Like leaves on trèes the life of man is found,
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
4. To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has to make is an excellent preparative. From the moment you lose sight of the land you have left, all is vàcancy until you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at once into the bustle and novelties of another world.
5. What wak'st thou, Spring ?–Sweet voices in the woods,
And reed-like echoes, that have long been mùte;
The làrk's clear pipe, the cùckoo's viewless flute,
Even as our hèarts may be.
6. In looking forward to future life, let us recollect that we have not to sustain all its toil, to endure all its sufferings, or encounter all its crosses, at once. One moment comes laden with its own little burden, then flies, and is succeeded by another no heavier than the làst: if one could be sustained, so can another, and another.
III. Fullness and Power. Fullness and power of voice are required for many purposes of expressive reading, and are also indispensable when speaking in a large space or addressing persons at a distance. The tone of ordinary conversation lacks the requisite strength and dignity.
The following examples are given for practice in a full free tone. Such exercises are very beneficial not only to the voice but to the health, as they bring into action most of the muscles of the trunk and give a wholesome stimulus to the vital organs.
Observe the following directions in the order named :
1. Take a good standing position. 2. Inhale a deep breath quietly and promptly through the nostrils. 3. Control the breath by a slight effort of the muscles of the waist and abdomen, somewhat as in lifting. 4. Open the mouth and project the lips. 5. Fix the eye and the mind on some distant point, and aim the tone at that point. 6. Do not spend too much breath.
1. Hò! strike the flag-staff deep, Sir Knight-hò! scatter
flowers, fair maids : Hò! gunners, fire a loud salùte—hò! gallants, draw your
2. Awake, Sir King, the gates unspàr!
Rise up, and ride both fast and fàr!
3. Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first behèld,
O sacred forms, how pròud you look!
Again to the battle, Achaians !
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance;
For the cross of our faith is replànted,
The pale, dying crescent is dàunted,
Their spirits are hovering ò'er us,
6. It is this accursed American wàr that has led us, step by step, into all our present misfortunes and national disgràces. What was the cause of our wasting forty millions of money, and sixty thousand lives? The American war! What was it that produced the French rescript and a Frènch war? The American wàr! What was it that produced the Spanish manifesto and a Spanish war? The American wàr! What was it that armed forty-two thousand men in Ireland with the arguments carried on the points of forty thousand bàyonets? The American wàr. For what are we about to incur an additional debt of twelve or fourteen millions ? This accursed, cruel, diabolical American war!
SLIDES OR INFLECTIONS. N asking a direct question the voice glides from low to high,
and in the answer it slides downward. Thus, one asks another at a distance what he wants,—“The ball ?” “Nò! the knife.” The movement of the voice on the word “ball” is a rising slide or inflection; that upon “no” and “knife” is falling. The more intense the question and reply, the further up and down would the voice run.
In sad or plaintive utterance the slide becomes semitonic or minor. In irony or in double-meaning the voice waves upward and downward on the same sound, producing the circumflex slide, named rising or falling, according as the voice inoves up or down at its close.