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8. Listen To Othebs. 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.
THE tone of voice in ordinary reading should be sweet, musical, and sprightly. Practice the following examples for the cultivation of such a tone. Kead 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 linger. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music. The very stirs are said to make hArmony 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 j6yous, a spirit all sunshine, graceful from very glildness, beautiful because bright.
2. What ho, my jovial mates! come 6n! we'll frolic it Like fairies frisking in the merry moonshine!
3. There is nothing like fun, is there? I haven't any myself, but I do like it in 6thers. O, we need it! We need all the counterweights we can muster to balance the sad relations of life. God has made sunny spots in the heart; why should we exclude the light from them?
Hamelin Town 's in Brunswick,
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;
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 must be to lodge in a lily. Imagine a palace of ivory and pearl, with pillars of silver and capitals of gold, and exhaling such a perfume as never arose from human censer. Fancy again the fun of tucking one's self up for the night in the folds of a rose, rocked to sleep by the gentle sighs of summer air, nothing to do when you awake but to wash yourself in a dew-drop, and fall to eating your bedclothes.
There 's a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming:
Of the good time coming.
But thought's a weapon stronger;
Wait a little longer.
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 P6ace! and lovely are thy children, and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green valleys.
2. Steel clanging sounded on steel. Helmets are cleft on high; blood bursts and smokes around. As the troubled noise of the dcean when roll the waves on high; as the last peal of the thunder of heaven; such is the noise of battle.
3. Like leaves on trees the life of man is found,
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following spring supplies,
They fall successive, and successive rise:
So generations in their course decay;
So nourish these, when those have pass'd away.
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 vacancy until you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at once into the bustle and novelties of another wdrld.
What w&k'st thou, Spring?—Sweet voices in the woods,
Thou bringest back, to fill the solitudes,
The lark's clear pipe, the cuckoo's viewless flute,
Whose tone seems breathing mournfulness or glee,
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 last: if 6ne could be sustained, so can another, and andther.
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. H6! strike the flag-staff deep, Sir Knight—h6! scatter
2. Awake, Sir King, the gates unspar!
8. Ye crags and peaks, I 'm with you once again!
4. O sacred forms, how proud you look!
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
5. Again to the battle, Achaians!
Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance;
For the cross of our faith is replanted,
The pale, dying crescent is daunted,
Their spirits are hovering o'er us,
And the sword shall to glory restore us.
C. It is this accursed American war that has led us, step by step, into all our present misfortunes and national disgraces. 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 French war? The American war! What was it that produced the Spanish manifesto and a Spanish war? The American war! What was it that armed forty-two thousand men in Ireland with the arguments carried on the points of forty thousand bayonets? The American war. For what are we about to incur an additional debt of tweh"? or fourteen millions? This accursed, cruel, diabolical American war!
SLIDES OB INFLECTIONS.
IN 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 Mil?" "No! 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 moves up or down at its close.