Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Hyperion to a satyr: so loving to my mother,
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; and yet, within a month,-
Let me not think on 't.-Frailty, thy name is woman!
A little month; or ere those shoes were old
With which she followed my poor father's body,-
Like Niobe, all tears ;—why she, even she
(0 God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer)-married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules,—within a month;
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married.—Oh, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets !
It is not, nor it can not come to, good;
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tonguel

Pure whisper is the use of the aspirate-sounds without any mixture of voice. It is usually the language of fear and secrecy.

Macbeth. I have done the deed.–Didst thou not hear a noise ?

Lady Macbeth. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak ?
Macb.

When?
Lady M.

Now.
Macb.

As I ascended ?
Lady M. Ay.
Macb.

Hark!
Who lies i' the second chamber?
Lady M.

Donalbain.
Macb. This is a sorry sight.
Lady M. A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.

Examples of the grave voice falling occasionally in a half whisper:

“ Unseen hands-of spirits—are ringing his knell.

And the death-angel-flapshis broad wing o'er the wave.” " Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, --wondering, -fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whisper'd word, 'Lenore!'
This I whisper'd, and an echo murmur'd back the word, 'Lenore!'

Merely this, and nothing more.”

4

The following words uttered by Lady Macbeth must be given mostly in a prolonged half whisper, with a liberal use of rhetorical pauses :

Physician. How came she by that light?

Gent. Why, it stood by her; she has light by her continually; 't is her command.

Phy. You see, her eyes are open.
Gent. Ay,-but their sense is shut.
Phy. What is it she does now ? Look, how she rubs her hands.

Gent. It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands : I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

Lady M. Yet here's a spot.-
Phy. Hark! she speaks.

Lady M. Out, damned spot !-out, I say! One, two; why, then 't is time to do't! Hellis murky! Fie,-my lord, fiel a soldier and afеard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power—to account? Yet—who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him ?

Phy. Do you mark that?

Lady M. The Thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? What,—will these hands ne'er be clean? No more o' that, my lord, -no more

that; you mar all with this starting.

Phy. Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.

Gent. She has spoken what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows what she has known.

Lady M. Here's the smell of the blood still:-all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh-oh-oh!

Phy. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.

Gent. I would not have such a beart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body."

Lady M. Wash your hands,-put on your night-gown; look not so pale : I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he can not come out of his grave.

Phy. Even so.

Lady M. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate. Come, --come, come,-come, give me your hand: what's done can not be undone. To bed, to bed, -to bed.

Phy. Will she go now to bed ?
Gent. Directly.
Phy. More needs she the divine than the physician.

EXAMPLES OF VARIOUS MOVEMENTS OF VOICE.

FORCIBLE.

“Now storming fury rose, -
And clamor;-such as heard in heaven till noro
Was never; arms on armor clashing, brayed
Horrible discord; and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged.”

STRONG.
Him—the Almighty Power
Hurl'd headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous rui and combustion_down
To bottomless perdition ;-there to dwell
In adamantine chains, and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms."

HARSH, STRONG, AND FORCIBLE.
“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks !-rage! blow !
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till

you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks! You—sulphurous and thought-executing fires, 'Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world !”

LIGHT AND AIRY MOVEMENTS.
“So millions—are smit—with the glare of a toy:
They grasp at a pebbleand call it—a gem,
And tinsel-is gold (if it glitters) to them;
Hence, dazzled with beauty, the lover is smit;
The hero—with honor, the poet—with wit;
The fop—with his feather, his snuff-box and cane,
The nymph with her novel, the merchant with gain:
Each finical priest and polite pulpiteer,
Who dazzles the fancy, and tickles the ear
With exquisite tropes and musical style,
As gay as a tulip,-as polished as oil,
Sells truthat the shrine of polite eloquence,
To please the soft taste and allure the gay sense.

DIGNITY AND QUANTITY.
“High on a throne-of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and—of Ind, -
Or-where the gorgeous East with—richest hand-
Show'rs—on her kings—barbaric-pearl and gold, -
Satan exalted sat,—by merit raised
To that bad eminence,-and, from despair,
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high,-insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven."

SOFT AND SMOOTH.

“How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank,
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music-
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night-
Become the touches of sweet harmony."

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

MODULATION - DELIVERY — EXAMPLES IN VARIOUS STYLES: TENDERNESS;

RAPID, LIGHT, AND BRILLIANT; AWFUL; THREATENING; REVENGE; SCORN; DISGUST AND CONTEMPT; SARCASM; REMORSE AND HUMILIATION; CONTRITION AND Doubt; FEAR; LOVE; SORROW AND GRIEF; HORROR AND AGONY.

Modulation comprises all the qualities of speech heretofore treated, from the division of accent, and all qualities of voice in shades of inflection and varieties of pitch. To have good modulation requires the mastery of every element in the art, with judgment and taste to direct their use. This gives the music of speech and the melody of oratory.

The most delicate shades of sound are those made by human speech. It is through the ear that we learn to imitate sound, as through the eye we learn to imitate motions. Let not persons say they can not learn to sing because they have no ear for music-can not detect sound or learn tunes. If such had not possessed a discriminating ear, they never could have learned to utter those words in which they say they have not the ability to detect sound. They are denying the sounds they use.

'T is true we all have ears, and hear not the wonderful sounds that strike the tympanum; but it is because consciousness is not attentive-does not listen for them; and of course the mouth can not articulate what is unknown to the ear. The dumb are only so because the ear is dead. Therefore those who have eyes and ears need never limit their attainments.

RULES.—To be heard distinctly at a distance requires a full expulsion of the vowel-sounds; to be understood requires a clear and perfect articulation of the aspirates and subvowels ; to be appreciated the voice must be modulated so as to present each new thought or sentiment on a different pitch from the preceding one.

Delivery is word-painting; the speaker sees the subject in his mind distinctly. If it is a picture of a landscape, a battle-scene, a deathscene, it matters not what, it must be first distinctly understood and appreciated by the individual before any attempt should be made to express it. We have words, similes, tropes, analogies—the various tones and movements of voice, which correspond to the pigments of the artist—by which we transfer what we have in our own mind to the minds of others. Therefore let the student get a general outline of the subject of the piece he is about to recite. First comprehend the general situation of affairs, then the various objects in its composition, their relations to each other and to the main subject, and then, by voice and action, endeavor to make it intelligible to others, exactly as it lies in his own mind.

Take the following extract, learn it, analyze it, review it, and then recite it:

(King Henry before the gates of Harfleur; the governor and citizens above, on the walls of the besieged city. The attitude and action those of one speaking to an audience at some elevation—the voice loud and prolonged, to enable it to be heard at a distance; together with the imperious tone of command, to express the matter of the speech, the tenor of which is a threat.)

K. Henry. How yet resolves the governor of the town?
This is the latest parle we will admit:
Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves;
Or, like to men proud of destruction,
Defy us to our worst: for as I am a soldier-
A name that in my thoughts becomes me best-
If I begin the battery once again,
I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur
Till in her ashes she lie buried.
The gates of mercy shall be all shut up;
And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
In liberty of bloody hand shall range
With conscience wide as hell; mowing like grass
Your fresh fair virgins and your flowering infants.
What is it then to me if impious war,
Array'd in flames like the prince of fiends,
Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats
Enlink'd to waste and desolation ?
What is 't 'to me, when you yourselves are cause,
If your pure maidens fall into the hand
Of hot and forcing violation ?
What rein can hold licentious wickedness
When down the bill he holds his fierce career ?
We may as bootless spend our vain command
Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil,
As send precepts to the Leviathan

« AnteriorContinuar »