« AnteriorContinua »
be received: and that, if admitted, it must be by the total subversion of liberty itself.
You blocks! you stones! you worse than senseless things!
231. When several words in succession are accented and separated by brief emphatic pauses, a kind of general emphasis is formed, called Staccato.
How will you tell me you have done this?
Is done already: heaven and earth will witness,
If Rome must fall that we are innocent.
232. Emphatic prominence may be also extended to a clause or sentence, by increasing the number of Modulative Inflexions.
233. Modulation consists in changing the pitch-note of the voice to a higher or lower degree of elevation. Every change of Modulation is usually accompanied by changes of Force and Time. As a general principle, a change to a low tone requires a slighter degree of Force, and a slower degree of Time: changes to high tones usually require increased degrees of Force and Time.
234. The principal degrees of Modulation may be represented by the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, explained thus
The Natural Tone (marked 3) is that which the student should principally cultivate. The other degrees of Modulation are not fixed, but relative. In energetic or earnest speech, the voice will be most expressive on 4, and in passion it may ascend to 5; but any continued address on a high tone should be avoided. The Modulation marked 2 is frequently employed to diversify the uniformity of the Natural Tone, and to mark the subordination of secondary and explanatory passages. The lowest tone, marked 1, is peculiarly expressive of solemnity and awe. The rules of Inflexion will effectually prevent MONOTONY. The following hints may be of service in acquiring an agreeably MODULATED delivery, and getting the spirit of the sense echoed to the ear.
235. At the commencement of every sentence, and especially of every paragraph, the voice may be relieved by a change of keyGENERALLY TO A LOWER TONE. The primary clauses of sentences should be read always either in a higher and louder tone, or in a lower and stronger tone, than those which are secondary, explanatory,
illustratory, parenthetic, or in any way subordinate. The latter should be pronounced in a lower tone than the primary parts. Energetic passages are best expressed by the higher tones.
3 To hear complaints with patience, even when complaints are vain, is one of the duties of friendship.
3 The man who does not know how to methodize his thoughts, has always, 2 to borrow a phrase from the dispensary, a barren superfluity of words.
Do not insult a poor man; his misery entitles him to protection.
3 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned; and, when they had brought them, they set them before the council.
1O, now you weep; 2 and I perceive you feel
Kind souls! what! weep you, when you but behold
That bright dream 2 was his last;
3 He woke to hear his sentries shriek
"To arms!—they come!-5 the Greek! the Greek!" 8 He woke to die!
Age, in a virtuous person, carries with it authority, 2 which makes it preferable to all the pleasures of youth.
4 If there's a Power above us,
And that there is, all Nature cries aloud
Through all her works, He must delight in Virtue ;
Should you fall in this struggle, should the nation fall, you will have the satisfaction—the purest allotted to man— of having performed your part.
236. Similes are most properly introduced by lowering the voice.
A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seemed heaven itself, till one suggestion rose,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
And glimmering fragments of a broken sun,
237. Important parentheses should be pronounced slowly and forcibly; intervening clauses are, naturally, spoken in a low tone; the unimportant may be read in a higher and lighter tone.
* Pride, 4 in some particular disguise or other,
2 often a secret to the proud man himself, 3 is the most ordinary spring of action.
* Death, 2 which is considered as the greatest evil, 'happens to all.
The greatest good,
4 be it what it will,
3 is the lot of a few.
238. Antithetic portions of sentences, and every modification of sense, should be expressed by an appropriate change of key.
Oh, blindness to the future, kindly given,
2 That each may fill the circle marked by Heaven;
Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,
And now, a bubble burst, and now, a world!
239. When a question is followed by its answer, or by any words that are explanatory, the answer, if subordinate to the question, should be read in a lower degree of modulation; but if the answer is of great consequence to the general meaning, it must be read in a higher tone.
So am I.
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? 2 So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? Are they ministers of Christ? I am more.
3 Must we but weep o'er days more blest?
4 Must we but blush? 5 Our fathers bled. Art thou poor? Show thyself active and industrious, peaceable and contented. Art thou wealthy? * Show thyself beneficent and charitable,
3 Where is to-morrow? "What is time worth? Look upon the tombs. 'No, not at all. Many? thinly-scattered number.
condescending and humane. In another world.
Ask death-beds; they can tell.
240. The Dialogue portion of a composition should be distinguished from the Narrative, by appropriate and characteristic changes of
Modulation. Description and Representation require correspondent and expressive variety.
241. All exclamations should be uttered as brief embodiments of the feeling that dictates them. Every repetition of the interjectional particle should have its appropriate emotion, and receive, from the speaker, the expression of that feeling which prompts it.
MODULATION OF PASSION.
242. The Modulation of Passion depends greatly on its nature and degree, and on the relative positions of the speaker and auditor. As a picture that is to be viewed from a distance must be painted in stronger colours than one that is to be closely scanned, so all dramatic expression must be on a bolder scale than the domestic circle, the bar, the pulpit, or the platform would allow : nevertheless, the relative proportions of the expression must be so retained, that the large outline and warm colouring of Art may not, in either place, "o'erstep the modesty of Nature."
243. As a general principle, equally important for the ease of the speaker and the pleasure of the auditor, all strong passions should have a predominant low degree of Modulation.-Section 22. Proper variety on the Natural Tone-however strongly employed— or an expressive change of force with every change of sentiment, is that which pleases most. When the speaker loses command over himself, he ceases to have any over his auditory. There is no sublimity in shouting.
244. Very frequently in Descriptive and Dramatic Reading, much expressive beauty may be gained by making the "sound seem echo to the sense." The perfection of a picture consists in giving full development to every trait in the original; so the relationship of sounds with the objects expressed by them is an essential requisite for an exact vocal representation. Words should paint, by sound, the objects which they represent, and, in some degree, render them sensible to the auditor. By means of this analogical sympathy between signs and sounds, the speaker can often depict to the ear as successfully as the colourist to the eye.
245. In all passages where noise or motion is described, where sublime or awful objects are alluded to or represented, or where harshness or gentleness, beauty or deformity is portrayed, the voice should adopt that peculiar modulation which approaches nearest to the nature of the objects represented. But this should be sparingly employed, because a tendency to make the ornamental imitation general destroys its beauty.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean!—roll!
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,
Then rose from sea to sky the wild farewell;
And the sea yawned around her like a hell;
And strives to strangle him, before he die.
And first, one universal shriek there rushed,
Of some strong swimmer in bis agony !
246. Imitation, confined to words, would be incomplete. There must, throughout every composition, be also a harmony of tone with the sentiment. If the intention is to convey to the mind important or magnificent ideas, the expression should be full and Sonorous; if violent passion or mental agitation, the wailing of despair, or the eagerness of hope, the voice should superadd, to the artificial language of speech, the inarticulate but more expressive language of sound.
247. The following musical terms may be employed to denote the general character of expression :—
affetuoso (af), with deep feeling.
maestoso (maes.), with majestic expression.
con spirito (con sp.), with spirit, lively.
con fuoco (con fu.), with fire, animated.
con anima (con an.), with soul, with intense feeling.