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language of the passions as an addition, the language of ideas, however correctly delivered, will prove cold and uninteresting. As there are other things which pass in the mind of man besides ideas, and he is not wholly made up of intellect, but, on the contrary, the passions, and the fancy compose a great part of his complicated frame—as the operations of these are attended with an infinite variety of emotions in the mind, both in kind and degree, it is clear, that unless some means be found of manifesting those emotions, all that passes in the mind of one man can not be communicated to another. To feel what another feels, the emotions which are in the mind of one man must be communicated to that of another by sensible marks. These can not be words, which are merely signs of things and ideas, perhaps exciting emotions, but not of emotions themselves. Anger, fear, love, hatred, pity, grief, are terms that will not excite in man the sensation of those passions, and make him angry, afraid, compassionate, or grieved. The true signs of the passions are tones, looks, and gestures. These are understood by all mankind, however differing in language. When the force of these passions is extreme, words give place to inarticulate sounds; sighs, murmurings, in love; sobs, groans, and cries, in grief; half-choked sounds, in rage and shrieks, in terror.
The general precepts which relate to the voice may be classed under the following heads:
2. The Improvement, 3. The Management of the Voice.
1. The Preservation,
The Preservation of the Voice.
1. The first rule for the preservation of the voice is, that the public speaker should be habitually "temperate in all things;" not given to any personal excess.
2. The voice should not be exerted after a full meal.
3. The voice should not be urged beyond its strength, nor strained to its utmost pitch without intermission. Frequent change of pitch is the best preservative.
4. At that period of youth when the voice begins to break, and to assume the manly tone, no violent exertion should be made; neither should the voice, when hoarse, be exerted at any time, if it can be avoided.
5. Certain things are found injurious to the voice, and therefore to be avoided. Butter and nuts are so accounted; also oranges and acid liquors. The use of cold drinks, and dry fruits, was considered injurious by the ancients.
6. In case of hoarseness, warm, mucilaginous, and diluting drinks, sugar candy, barley sugar, and the various sorts of lozenges, which modern ingenuity prepares so elegantly, may be used; a raw egg, beat up, is considered the best substance for clearing the voice. Onions and garlic are excellent, but their offensive odor is apt to injure their use.
Improvement of the Voice.
1. The great means of improving the voice is constant and daily practice.
2. The second rule has been anticipated, which is bodily exercise. Walking about a mile before breakfast is recommended.
3. In order to strengthen the voice, it is advised that a person that has weak utterance should daily practice to read or recite, in the presence of a friend. His friend should be placed at first, at such a distance as he may be able to reach in his usual manner; the distance is then gradually to be increased, till he shall be so far from him that he can not be heard beyond him without straining. Through this practice, he should proceed step by step daily; by which he may be enabled to unfold his organs, and regularly increase the quantity and strength of his voice.
Management of the Voice.
1. The first principles of the proper management of the voice depend on due attention to articulation, pronunciation, accent, emphasis, pauses, and tones. These have already Deen treated of in a former chapter.
2. The actual practice of the various inflections and pauses, of the pitch and tones to be adopted, should take place previous to the public delivery of a written oration. When time or opportunity does not permit this practice, the manner in which the voice should be managed in the different parts of the oration should be considered and determined. This This prac tice has been called the silent preparation of the voice.
3. The speaker should begin rather under the ordinary pitch of his voice than above it.
4. Every speaker should endeavor to deliver the principal part of his discourse in the middle pitch of his voice; or,
using an appellation more intelligible to the inexperienced speaker, the ordinary pitch.
The tones of the speaking voice, ascending from the lowest to the highest, may be considered in the following series.
1. A whisper, audible only by the nearest person.
2. The low speaking tone or murmur, suited to close conversation.
3. The ordinary pitch or middle, suited to general conver
4. The elevated pitch, used only in earnest argument. 5. The extreme, used in violent passion.
The lungs are to be kept always, to a certain degree, inflated, so that the voice shall not, at any time, be run out of breath; and the air which is necessarily expended must be gradually and insensibly recovered, at the proper times and in the proper places.
Estimation of the Powers of the Voice.
1. The speaker discovers that his voice has filled the room by the return of its sound to his own ear.
2. He will judge of the ability of his voice by the degree of exertion necessary to enable him to fill a room of any particular size.
3. And he may form a judgment concerning the opinion of his audience by the degree of their attention.
OF THE COUNTENANCE.
It may be considered as an established point, that a public speaker should attend to the expression of his countenance, as well as to that of his voice. Every public address should bespeak the favor and attention of the audience by due respect; and as the looks of the speaker precede his words, so it should be an established maxim, that an orator should temper, with becoming modesty, that persuasion and confidence, which his countenance should express of the justice and truth of what he recommends.
Every circumstance that can indicate respect for an audience should be studied. The speaker should rise up in his place with modesty, and without bustle or affectation; he should not begin at once abruptly, but delay a short time before he utters a word, as if to collect himself in the presence of those he respects. He should not stare about, but cast down his eyes, and compose his countenance; nor should he at once discharge the whole volume of his voice, but begin at almost the lowest pitch, and issue the smallest quantity, if he desires to silence every murmur, and to arrest all attention. These are precepts long established, and held in respect by the greatest critics of ancient and modern times.
The art of feeling is the true art which leads to a just expression of the features.
"To this one standard make your just appeal,
Here lies the golden secret, learn to feel."
The true expression of the countenance is well described by the poet: