We give another selection from the same author, which contains variety of voice and expression. The student will complete the analysis.


a I remember once riding from Buffalo to the Niagara Falls, and said to s gentleman, by " What river is that, sir?"

That,” said he, “is the Niagara River." d“Well, it is a beautiful stream,” said I; “bright, and fair, and glassy; how far off are the rapids ?”

Only a mile or two," was the reply. “Is it possible that only a mile from us we shall find the water in the turbulence which it must show when near the Falls ? "

“ You will find it so, sir." e And so I found it; and the first sight of Niagara I shall never forget. . Now, launch your bark on that Niagara river ; it is bright, smooth, beautiful, and glassy. There is a ripple at the bow; the silver wake you leave behind adds to your enjoyment. Down the stream you glide, oars, sails, and helm in proper trim, and you set out on your pleasure excursion. Suddenly some one cries out from tho bank, of “Young men, ahoy ! "

66 What is it?
" The rapids are below you.”

“Ha! ha! we have heard of the rapids, but we are not such fools as to get there.

If we go too fast, then we shall up with the helm and steer to the shore; we will set the mast in the socket, hoist the sail, and speed to the land. Then on, boys; don't be alarmed; there is no danger."

“Young men, ahoy there!”.
66 What is it?"
“ The rapids are below you !”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

NOTE. - It is difficult to give illustrations of the several qualities of voice separately. In the expression of mixed emotions the voices shade into cach other so frequently that success in reading or speaking is only gained by a thorough acquaintance with the meaning of the author, and the power over the vocal instrument to change the tone and pitch at pleasure. We know that writers upon this subject have given illustrations of these voices separately. But unless the teacher or elocutionist gives the model quality, the student reads them with but little variety, or neglects them altogether; but as they follow each other in a varied selection, if the student enters at all into the spirit of the author, he sees the necessity of them, and is eager for the practice that will enable him to give them.

a Pure, narrative voice. b Pure, high pitch. c Low; pure; "said he," in very low pitch.

d High; pure. e Pure; narrative; animated. f Orotund; very loud. The reply will be given with low pitch, and with impatience at the interior**?; then with laughter and an expression of fearlessness.


66 Ha! ha! we will laugh and quaff; all things delight us. What care we for the future! No man ever saw it. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. We will enjoy life while we may; will catch pleasure as it flies. This is enjoyment; time enough to steer out of danger when we are sailing swiftly with the current."

“Young men, ahoy !" 66 What is it?"

“Beware! Beware! The rapids are below you !" g Now you see the water foaming all around. See how fast you pass that point! Up with the helm ! Now turn! Pull hard ! quick! quick ! quick! pull for your lives! pull till the blood starts from your nostrils, and the veins stand like whip-cords upon your brow! Set the mast in the socket! hoist the sail! ah! ah! it is too late! Shrieking, cursing, howling, blaspheming; over they go.

Thousands go over the rapids every year, through the power of habit, crying all the while, “when I find out that it is injuring me I will give it up!"

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

To him who trusts in Hoaven?

g Very quick; aspirate.

a One voice, (which?) b Another voice, (which?) c Another voice, (which?) d Change the voice; increase. e Change; diminish.

3. f Borne by the winds, the vessel flies

Up to the thundering cloud.
Now tottering low, the spray-winged seas

Conceal the topmast shroud.
" Pilot, the waves break o'er us fast,

Vainly our bark has striven!”
} "Stranger, the Lord can rule the blast,

Go, put thy trust in Heaven!"

4. Good hope! good hope! one little star

Gleams o'er the waste of waters;
'Tis like the light reflected far

Of Beauty's loveliest daughters;
“Stranger, good hope He giveth thee,

As He has often given;
Then learn this truth-whate'er may be,


Et 1. I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view, the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebied for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues, in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit. Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life.

Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness. C 2. I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precis pice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him, as a safe counsellor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the union should be preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people, when it shall be broken up and destroyed. d 3. While the union lasts we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. . God grant that in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise. God grant that on my vision may never be opened what lies behind. e When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may

of Pure, g Orotund; high. h Orotund; low. i Pure and tremor, (the tremor is giver only on certain words,) with animation. j Orotund; full; joyous. k Diminish; slow

a Pure voice; unemotional.

o Orotund ; increase.

c Pure, deepened; more boldly,

I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious union; on states dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched; it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance, rather, behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, f still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, not a single star obscured, bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as- g What is all this worth? Nor those other words I of delusion and folly -- Liberty first and union afterward; I but everywhere, spread all over, in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart,-Liberty AND Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!

[blocks in formation]

The voices depend, for expression, upon Pitch, which refers to the key note, Force, which refers to the degree of loudness or volume, and Time, which refers to the rate of utterance or degree of rapidity with which words are uttered. We have anticipated these variations in the examples under voice.

We mark three divisions of Pitch : High, as in shouting, or calling to persons at a distance, or giving commands; Low, as in solemn utterances, or emotions requiring the aspirate voice; and Middle, as in ordinary address and unimpassioned expressions.

d Pure, deepened; high pitch; joyous. e Pure, deepened; low pitch; grave. f Positivo; higher. g Bold; orotund; harsh.

h Slightly guttural. i Full, orotund; long quality slide. j Much animation and dignified expression with the close.

The degrees of Force are almost without limit, but we make three general divisions : Loud and full Force, as in bold declamation and impassioned address; Medium Force for unemotional utterances; and Soft or gentle Force in pathetic or subdued emotions.

The time or movement of utterance depends upon the sentiments delivered, and the kinds are as numerous as the styles of thought, but we make three general divisions: Quick, Moderate and Slow, or we might have quick, and very quick, moderate and slow, and very slow.

We may remark that we cannot read or speak a line or paragraph, correctly, without applying all the principles of elocution. We analyze different selections, with some one or more of ihese principles.

The following poem, by Longfellow, contains examples in almost every variety of Pitch, Force, and Time. Let it be carefully studied.


1. & The shades of night were falling fast,

As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,


2. 6 His brow was sad; his eye beneath,

Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
c And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,


3. d In happy homes he saw the light

Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

e Excelsior.

4. f. "Try not the Pass ! " g the old man said;

66 Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,

To Excelsior!

a Moderate pitch; pure; narrative; low.

7 Moderate; pure.

c High pitch; increase; orotund on " Excelsior." d Moderate pitch; slow. e Low pitch; prolonged quality. f High pitch; personation. y Low; narrative, It High ; loud.

« ElőzőTovább »