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the delicate turning of the voice on a word in a sentence and the full falling cadence of a closing period.

OR. When or in its disjunctive sense connects words and clauses of an interrogatory character, the rising inflection occurs before it and the falling after it. “Will you speak—or be silent?” “What prompted you, love-or hate?” This implies that the question can not be answered by yes or no, but demands an explanation.

When or is used in a conjunctive form, and can be replied to by yes or no, it is usually followed by the rising inflection. “Shall you go next week—or this?”

Few examples are given here because it is desired that the learner furnish specimens under all the rules, and point them, for the criticism of the class or teacher. It is only by such close analysis that proper attention can be directed to this most important branch of reading. The following exercises may be rendered under the rules above given:

EXTRACT FROM " AS YOU LIKE IT." Will. And good even to you, sir.

Touch. Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, prithee,-be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five and twenty, sir.
Touch. A ripe age. Is thy name Wil am?
Will. William, sir.
Touch. A fair name. Wast born i' the forest here?
Will. Ay, sir, I thank God.
Touch. Thank God! a good answer. Art rich?
Will. Faith, sir, so so.

Touch. So so is good, very good, -very excellent good: and yet it is not; it is but so so.

Art thou wise?
Will. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

Touch. Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying, “The fool doth think he is wise; but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open. You do love this maid ?

Will. I do, sir.
Touch. Give me your hand. Art thou learned ?
Will. No, sir.

Touch. Then learn this of me: to have is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric that drink,-being poured out of a cup into a glass, — by filling one doth empty the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

Will. Which he, sir?

Touch. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you clown, abandon—which is in the vulgar leave-the society-which in the boorish is


company-of this female—which in the common is woman; which together is abandon the society of this female, or, clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, -make thee away,-translate thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble and depart.

Aud. Do, good William.
Will. God rest you merry, sir.

The importance of rendering the inflections correctly will be apparent by reading the following exercise with the rising inflection:

“The man who is in the daily use of ardent spirits, if he does not become a drunkard, is in danger of losing his health and character.

It will be seen that using the rising inflection on the words marked for emphasis implies that the man must become a drunkard in order to preserve his health and happiness. If rendered with the downward inflection, the true idea will be conveyed.

RULE.- When two words are connected, expressing an alternative, the first one takes the rising, the second the falling inflection. Swiftor slow; rough-or smooth; smooth-or rough. Live-or die; survive- or perish. But when spoken in an interrogative manner the inflection is changed, the first word taking the falling and the second the rising inflection; as, “Swift-or slow! Good or bad?” etc.

The monotone or intense forward inflection indicates that the voice is kept nearly on the same pitch or tone for several successive words. This sometimes occurs in rapid expression, and sometimes gives marked effect in grave and solemn passages. “But hark! through the fast flashing lightning of war;” “But that I am forbid to tell the secrets of my prison-house;” “Haste me to know it, that I, with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love, may sweep to my revenge.”

There is much abuse of this inflection, many persons trying to render whole paragraphs without the least regard to emphasis or the sentiment of the piece, taking for granted that a low continuous tone expresses all of gravity.

all of gravity. A greater mistake could not be made. Many actors, indeed almost without exception, in playing the part of the ghost in “Hamlet,” assume what they probably consider a sepulchral tone of voice. For what reason they take this liberty it is hard to imagine. Is it a style peculiar to ghosts? Who can tell us? Or did the senior Hamlet talk in that way.




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The circumflex, or wave, is a union of the rising and falling inflections, sometimes on one syllable and sometimes on several. Sneers, taunts, gibes, and reproachful expressions have an accentuation peculiarly their own, and partake largely of circumflections.

What we mean does not depend so much on what we say as on the manner in which we say it. The modifying influences of accentuation, inflection, and emphasis change the intention or whole idea, making it something else. Whether we will or not, whatever is uttered under the pressure of strong feeling expresses itself exactly. If the same words are uttered under different circumstances, with reversed or changed inflection, indicating a different state of mind, they will mean something else. Therefore we must bear in mind that nature, true to herself, stamps her meaning in all outward expression.

The question arises here then, of what use is the study of elocution if nature is the best and only reliable teacher? As our education in letters is obtained from books, and we become fixed in the habit of using the letter without the spirit, we neglect giving such attention to the manner as nature, the great master, prompts. The true elocutionist, like the teacher of any art, can not go beyond the expression of nature and give any degree of satisfaction. All that he can do is to gather facts by close and critical study, and embody them in such rules and distinctions as will place the pupil on the right road to knowledge. If we take the following examples and simply read them without taking into consideration the spirit in which they are uttered, we will not convey their meaning.

If we were to say candidly to some persons, “You are very wise men, deeply learned in the truth; we, weak, contemptible, mean persons;" it would indicate an appreciation of merits in them far superior to our own. But if we use the waves of voice that express sarcasm we give just the reverse of what the simple definition of the words

implies: that they are self-conceited, and entertain a poor opinion of us; *as, “ You are very wise men, deeply learned in the truth; we, weak, contemptible, mean persons.” The Queen of Denmark, in reproving her son Hamlet for his conduct toward his stepfather, whom she married shortly after the murder of the king, her husband, says to him emphatically, Hamlet, you have your father much offended." He replies, with the circumflex that indicates a taunt, “Madam--you-have

my father much offended.” While she meant that he had offended her second husband, he, using the same words, flings the reproach upon her that she had proven untrue to his own father; thus endeavoring to give expression to his suspicions and plant the dagger of remorse in her bosom.

Art, studied appreciatively, adds beauty, ease, and gracefulness to the promptings of nature, giving greater power for good or evil. Yet there is a distinction that must be made when art is studied and applied to evil purposes or to deceive; then it is leveled to trickery. But when it is sought for ennobling objects, for higher achievements, it becomes the handmaid of progress. Study it always in behalf of the latter, and you will help to bless the world.

Close and critical attention to these delicate slides of voice is allimportant. In speech, the right or wrong rendering of these gives a pervading character to the whole delivery, and the grace and refined ease of polished society is much indebted to the correct expression of inflections. Do not fear that time will be lost in the study and practice of these essential elements in good reading and speaking. The following examples may now be rendered:

" Moneysis your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money ?—is it possible
A cur can lend-three thousand ducats ?''
“ What says that fool of a Hagar's offspring ? "
"What!-can so young a thorn begin to prick?”

“ How like a fawning publican he looks ? " They tell us to be moderate; but they—THEY are to revel in profusion!”

" Then Satananswered the Lord, and said, Doth Job-fear God-for naught? And Job answered—and said, No doubt—but YE-are the people, and wisdom-shall DIE with you."

In strongly impassioned sentences it frequently requires the slur of several notes on one word to express the intensity of scorn. The following reply of Death to Satan gives a striking example of this

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length of circumflex. The scorn and contempt exhibited is so intense there is little danger of overdoing :

« And reckon’st thou thyself with spirits of HEAVEN, HELL-DOOMED, and breath'st defiance here and scorn, where I reign king, and to enrage thee more,—thy king, and Tord."

The circumflex is also used in grand and impressive passages. In the following example from Isaiah, so simple, yet so grand and comprehensive, is a fine illustration of the pitch of dignified descent or cadence of the slur, and of the intense monotone: 4

is the Lord God of Hosts.

The whole earthis full-

of his GLORY. 1 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or-who-shall-stand—in his holy place?

The following words which Shakespeare put into the mouth of the untamed Hotspur most perfectly expresses his opinion of an effeminate dandy. The recitationist should endeavor to look through the eyes of a blunt, straightforward, honest, earnest soldier, defending himself from an unjust accusation. It will be found that only a free use of the slender qualities of voice, made up largely of inflections and waves, can express the utter contempt and insignificance with which he regards the subject.

" Hotspur. My liege,- I did deny no prisoners.
But I remember when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage, and extreme toil,
Breathless, and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord; neat, trimly dress'd;
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd,
Showed like stubble-land-at harvest home.
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose. And still he smil'd and talk'd;
And as the soldiers—bore dead bodies by,
He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly, un handsome corse
Betwixt the windand his nobility.
With many holidayand lady terms
He question'd me; among the rest, demanded
My prisoners in her majesty's behalf.
I then, all smarting with my wounds, being gall’d


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