Imatges de pÓgina


words, which require an emphasis and distinction of the voice. Pronouns are often of this kind : -This is the man.

And such are many words that denote the circumstances and qualities of things. Such as heighten or magnify the idea of the thing to which they are joined, elevate the voice: as, noble, admirable, m.vjestic, greut. ly, and the like. On the contrary, those which lossen the idea or debase it, depress the voice, or at least protract the tone. Of this sort are the words litlle, mean, poorly, contemptible, with many others. Some tropes, likewise, as metaphora and verbal figures, which consis in the repetition of a single word, should have a particular emphasis. As when Virgil says of the river Araxes, " It disdained a bridge.” And Nisus of himself, in the same poet, “I, I am the man;" where the word repeated is the most forcible. This distinction of word), and the giving them their proper emphasis, does not only render the expression more clear and iatelligible, but very much contributes to the variation of the voice, and the preventing a monotony. And the different pronunciation of these words will also require a peculiar gesture.

2. In sentences, regard should be had to their length, and the number of their parts, in order to distinguish them by proper pauses.

The frame and structure of the period ought likewise to be considered, that the voice may be so managed, as to give it the most musical aca cent. Unless there be some special reason for the contrary, it should end louder than it begins. And the dif. ference of tone between the end of the former sentence, and the beginning of the next, not only helps to distin. guish the sense, but adds to the harmony of the voice. And that the last syllables of a sentence might become more audible and distinct, was doubtless one reason why the ancient, rhetoricians disliked short feet at the end of a period. In an antithesis, or a sentence consisting of opposite parts, one contrary member must be louder than the other. . As - lle is gone, but through an advan. tageous removal-from harrassing. labour to halcyon rest; from turbulent desires to tranquit contentment, from sorrow to joy; and from transitory time to iin. mortality.In a climax or gradation the voice should rise with it. So-" There is no enjoyment of properiy without gorernment, no government without a nugis

trate, no magistrate without obedience, no obedience where every one acts as he pleases.And so in other gradations of a different form : as—“Since concord was lost, friendship was lost, fidelity was lost, liberty was lost, all was lost.” And again, -"You would pardon him whom the senate hath condemned, whom the people of Rome have condemned, whom all mankind have con. demned.” We might mention several other figurative expressions, which require a particular conformation and management of the voice, but these we presume, with some others, which we shall have occasion to name presently, when we come to the passions, may be sufficient to guide us in the rest.

But that it may appear more evident, how necessary a different inflection and variation of the voice is in most sentences, give us leave to shew how Quintilian illustrates it, by a passage which he takes from Cicero. The place is in the beginning of Cicero's defence of Milo, and the words are these, “ Al. though I am apprehensive it may seem base to discover fear when I enter upon the defence of a most courageous main, and it may appear very indecent when Milo discovers more concern for the public safety than for his own, not to shew greatness of mind equal to his cause; yet this new form of the court terrifies my eyes, which cannot discern the ancient manner of the forum, and former custom of trials, whichever way they look, your bench is not surrounded with its usual attendants.This sentence consists of four inembers. And Quintilian supposes, that though these words are the beginning of a speech, and were accordingly expressed in a calm and şubenissive manner; yet that the orator used a great deal of variety in the pronunciation of their several parts. in the first member, as he imagines, his voice was more elevated in expressing the words, a most courageous man, " than in those other parts of it, “I am apprehen. sive it may seem base,” and,“ to discover fear.” In the second member he rose higher in saying,

66 when Milo discovers more concern for the public safety, than for his own;" and then again as it were checked himself in what follows, “not to shew greatness of mind equal to his cause." The beginning of the third member, carrying a reflection in it, was spoke with a different tone of the voice, “ this new form of the court terrifies my



eyes;" and the other part of it more loud and distinctly, s which cannot discern the ancient manner of the forum, and former custom of trials.” And the last member was still more raised and audible, your bench is not surrounded with its usual attendants.” And it must be supposed, that while he was saying this, he cast his eyes round the assembly, and viewed the soldiers, whom Pom. pey had placed there, which r'enders the expression still more grave and solemn. If this were the manner of the ancient orators, and they were so exact and accurate in expressing their periods, and the several parts of them, as we have reason to believe they were, it must have given a great force as well as beauty to their pronun. ciation.

3. That the passions have each of them both a diffe. rent voice and action is evident from hence, that we know in what manner a person is affected, by the tone of his voice, though we do not understand the sense of what he says, or sometimes so much as see him, and we can often make the same judgment of his countenance and gestures. Love and esteem are expressed in a smooth and cheerful tone; but anger and resentment in a rough, harsh, and interrupted voice: for when the spirits are disturbed and ruffled, the organs are moved equally. Joy raises and dilates the voice, as sorrow sinks and contracts it. Cicero takes notice of a passage in an oration of Gracchus, wherein he bewails the death of his brother, who was killed by Scipio, which in his time was thought very moving : “Unhappy man,” says he, “whither shall I betake myself? where shall I go? Into the capitol.? that flows with my brother's blood. Shall I go

home? and behold my unhappy mother, all in tears and des pair ?” Though Gracchus had a very ill đesign in that speech, and his view was to excite the populace against their governors; yet, as Cicero tells us, when he came to this passage, he expressed himself with such moving accents and gestures, that he extorted tears even from his enemies. Fear occasions a tremor and hesitation of the voice, and assurance gives it strength and firmness. Admiration elevates the voice, and should be expressed with pomp and magnificence. “O surprising clemency, wor. thy of the highest praise and greatest encomjums, and tit. to be perpetuated in lasting monuments !”—This is Ci. cero's compliment to Cæsar, when he thought it ťo his purpose. And frequently this passion is accompanied with an elevation both of the eyes and hands. On the contrary, contempt sinks and protracts the voice. In the dispute between Cicero and Cecilius, which of them should accuse Verres, Cicero puts this contemptuous question to him, “How are you qualified, Cecilius, for such an undertaking? I will not ask, when you ever gave a proof of it, but when you so much as attempted it? Do you consider the difficulty of managing a public cause?” With much more to the same purpose. Though such kind of expressions require little gesture, yet sometimes a motion of the hand may not be improper to siga nify disdain or aversion. We may suppose Cicero to have acted thus in his defence of Rabirius. For, to shew his assurance of his client's cause, having used this expression in a very audible manner, “I wish I had it to say, that Rabirius had with his own hand killed Saturni. nus, who was an enemy to the Roman state;” some per. sons in the crowd began to raise a clamour, just as, in latter times, hissing has been practised on the like occa. sions. Upon which Cicero immediately replies, “ This noise does not disturb, but please me, since it shews that though there are some weak persons, yet they are but few.” Then presently after follows the expression we refer to, “Why do you not cease your clamour, since it only discovers your folly, and the smallness of your number.” All exclamations should be violent.

When we address inanimate things the voice should be higher than when to animated beings; and appeals to heaven must be made in a loftier tone, than those to men.

These few hints for expressing the principal passions may, if duly attended to, suffice to direct our practice in others. Though, after all, it is impossible to gain a just and graceful pronunciation, with respect to voice and gesture, merely from rules, without practice and imitation of the best examples. Which shews the wisdom of the ancients, in training up their youth to it with the assistance of masters, to form both their speech and action.

But there is one thing which ought always to be ata

tended to, namely, that persons should well consider their own make and genius, especially with respect to the passions. We seldom find that any actor can excel in all characters; but if he perform one well, he is deficient in another. And, therefore, they are commonly so prudent .as to confine themselves to such as best suit them. The case is the same in an orator, who should therefore keep within those bounds which nature seems to have prescribed for him. Some are better fitted for action than others, and most for some particular kinds of action, rather than others; and what suits well for one, would appear very awkward in another. Every one, therefore, should first endeavour to know himself, and manage accordingly. Though in most cases nature may be much assisted and improved by art and exercise.

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