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A VARIETY OF EXERCISES, FROM THE SIMPLEST ARTICULATION
TO THE UTMOST EXTENT OF VOCAL EXPRESSION :
WITH A SYSTEM OF
ILLUSTRATED BY DIAGRAMS AND A PLAN OF NOTATION.
DAVID CHARLES BELL,
MCGLASHAN AND GILL, 50, UPPER SACKVILLE-ST.
W. S. ORR AND CO., 2, AMEN CORNER, LONDON.
JOHN MENZIES, EDINBURGH.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The Extracts in this volume embody a series of Exercises peculiarly adapted to facilitate Improvement in the Arts of Reading and Speaking. The Compiler has endeavoured to make a Selection in which elegance and propriety of thought are combined with eloquence of expression.
The Readings in Prose and Poetry, as well as the specimens of Pulpit and Secular Eloquence, although selected chiefly from modern authors, include many of those passages from the principal writers of past ages, which are generally acknowledged to be fitted for Elocutionary exercise. Every sentiment of a political or sectarian character has been carefully excluded.
The “Extracts for Recitation are more numerous than in any Collection of a similar kind. In many instances, considerable alterations, omissions, &c., have been made, to adapt the Extracts for effective Recitation : all improper expressions and irreverent appeals, have been either expunged, or replaced by words of an unobjectionable nature. The same care has been taken in the preparation of the Dramatic and Comic Selections.
To render “The Modern Reader and Speaker” more useful, Outlines of the Art of Elocution,-abridged from the Compiler's work on the same subject-have been prefixed.
So many changes have been made in this Edition, that it may in a great measure, be considered a new work. The Introduction has been re-written; and so copious an explanation is now given of the Physiology of Speech, as well as of the Principles of Elocution, that the Student may advance to their practice with a distinct understanding of the various theories.
A chapter on Gesture, including Attitude and the principles of Motion, has been introduced. This division of the book (compiled from the best authorities) is elucidated by many diagrams, and reduced to practical utility by a brief plan of Notation.
The Extracts have been revised and enlarged with the greatest care : many of inferior merit, as exercises in rhetorical delivery, have been replaced by others of undoubted excellence, selected from the writings of the most popular authors in British, Irish, and American literature.
The prosaic mode of printing many of the Poetical Selections for Reading and Recitation, as well as the Comic Extracts. (which especially depend for effect on an easy, conversational, unrhythmical delivery,) will be found effectual in destroying the sing-song utterance of Verse when presented to the unskilful reader in the common form. The true rhythmus of poetry does not depend either on the periodic recurrence of a rhyme, on a uniformly repeated pause, or the regular syllabic admeasurement of a line; such tinkling and typographical arrangements are often different from that division which the sentiment requires. The abandonment of the ordinary arrangement will be productive of, at least, one good effect :-it will throw the student on his own resources to form an intellectual rhythmus, wholly dependent on sense, and subservient to the various kinds and degrees of emotion.
The Compiler has to acknowledge his obligations to his father, ALEXANDER BELL, Esq., Professor of Elocution, London, and his brother, Mr. A. MELVILLE BELL, Professor of Elocution, Edinburgh, for many judicious suggestions.
On the whole, it is hoped that these improvements on the original publication will secure for this Edition an extended circulation; as one of the most copious and comprehensive Class-books yet published, on a subject the importance of which is again recognised as an indispensable requisite in polite education, 33, LOWER ABBEY-STREET, DUBLIN,
Ist July, 1850.
General Exercise in Pause. Extract from Burke,