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A D = s E
A D & Ε R TI S Ε Μ Ε Ν Τ.
THE favourable reception of the large Volume of ELEGANT
EXTRACTS in PROSE, has sufficiently expressed the public opinion respecting the utility of such Compilations. It has, however, been suggested to the Proprietors, that the size to which the work was extended, rendered it inconvenient, to several descriptions of purchasers; and ibat an abridgement of it, adapted to the pocket, was much wished for by many Condutors of School Education. The same observation was applied to the ELEGANT EXTRACTS in POETRY. On this account the PROSE EPITOME, and the POETICAL EPITOME, have been published ; that it may be in the option of Masters, or Scholars, to previde themselves either with these smaller Works, or with the LARGE OCTAVO Volumes, as shall best suit their own convenience.
IN TRO DU C TI O N.
PRONUNCIATION, OR DELIVERY,
FROM DR. BLAIR'S LECTURES.
H e ,
end of all public speaking, Persuasion; and nunciation, or Delivery, by the most and serious speakers, as much as of thore, el quent of all orators, Demosthenes, appears whose only aim is to please. from a noted saying of his, related both by For, let it be considered, wlienever we adCicero and Quinctilian; when being asked, dress ourselves to others by words, our intenWhat was the firft point in oratory ? he an- tion certainly is to make some imprellion ou fwered Delivery; and being asked, What was those to whom we speak; it is to convey the ficond? and afterwards, What was the to them our own ideas and emotions. Now third: he still answered Delivery. There is the tone of our voice, our looks and gestures, no wonder, that he fhould have rated this so interpret our ideas and emotions no less than high, and that for improving himself in it, he words do; nay, the impression they make on 1hould have employed those assiduous and pain- others, is frequently much stronger than any ful labours, which all the Ancients take so that words can make. We often see that an much notice of; for, beyond doubt, nothing expressive look, or a passionate cry, unaccomis of more importance. To superficial think- panied by words, conveys to others more ers, the management of the voice and gef- forcible ideas, and rouses within them stronger turo, in public speaking, may appear to relate pallions, than can be communicated by the to decoration only, and to be one of the in- most eloquent discourse. · The signification ferior arts of catching an audience. But this of our sentiments, made by tones and ger. is far from being the case. It is intimately tures, has this advantage above thx made conncited with what is, or ought to be, the by words, that it is the language of na
türe: It is that method of interpreting our observations as appear to me most useful to be mind; which nature has dictated to all, made on this head. and which is understood by all ; whereas, The great objects which every public speakwords are only arbitrary, conventional sym- er will naturally have in his eye in forming bols of our ideas; and, by confcquence, muft his Delivery, are, first, to speak fo as to be make a more feeble impreffiun. So true is fully and easily understood by all who hear this, that to render words fully significant, him; and next, to speak with grace and force, they must, almost in every case, receive some so as to please and to move his audience. Let aid from the manner of Pronunciation and us consider what is most important with reDelivery; and he who, in 1peaking, fhould spect to each of these *. employ bare words, without enforcing them. In order to be fully and easily understood, by proper tones and accents, would leave us the four chief requisites are, A due degree of with a faint and indistinct impression, often loudness of voice; Distinctness; Slowness; with a doubtful and ambiguous conception of and Propriety of Pronunciation. what he had delivered. Nay, so close is the The first attention of every public speaker, connection between certain sentiments and doubtless, must be, to make himself be heard the proper manner of pronouncing them, that by all those to whom he speaks. He must he who does not pronounce them after that endeavour to fill with his voice the space ocmanner, can never persuade us, that he be- cupied by the assembly. This power of lieves, or feels, the sentiments themselves. voice, it inay be thought, is wholly a natural His delivery may be fuch, as to give the lie talent. It is fo in a good measure ; but, to all that he asserts. When Marcus Calli- however, may receive confiderable atiistance dius accused one of an attempt to poison him, from art. Much depends for this purpose on but enforced his accusation in a languid man the proper pitch, and management of the net, and without any warmth or carnettness voice. Every man has three pitches in his of delivery, Cicero, who pleaded for the ac- voice; the high, the middle, and the low one. cused person, improved this into an argument The high, is that which he uses in calling of the falsity of the charge, “ An iu, M. aloud to some one at a distance. The low is, "Callidi nifi fingeres, sic ageres ?” In Shake- when he approaches to a whisper. The middle speare's Richard II. the Duchess of York is, that which he employs in common conyerthus impeaches the fincerity of her husband : fation, and which he should generally ule in
public discourse. For it is a great mitake, Pleads he in carneft? Look upon his face, His eyes do drop ao tears; his prayers are jeft;
to imagine that one must take the highest His words come from his mouth; ours, from pitch of his voice, in order to be ici! heard by our breast :
a great assembly. This is confounding two He pray. but faintly, and would be denied ;
things which are different, loudness, or We pray with heart and soul.
* On this whole subject, Mr. Sheridan's LecBut, I believe it is needless to say any tures on Elocution are very worthy of being conmore, in order to thew the high importance of sulted; and several hints are here taken from a good Delivery. I proceed, therefore to such them.
strength of sound, with the key, or note on | appearance of one who endeavours to compel which we speak. A speaker may render his affent, by mere vchemence and force of found. voice louder, without altering the key; and In the next place, to boing well heard, and we fhall always be able to give most body, clearly understood, diftinctnets of articulation most persevering force of sound, to that pitch contributes more, than mere loudness of found. of voice, to which in conservation we are ac- The quantity of found necessary to fill even a customed. Whereas, by setting out on our large space, is smaller than is commonly imahighest pitch or key, we certainly allow our- gined; and with distinct articulation, a man felves less compass, and are likely to ftrain of a weak voice will make it reach farther, our voice before we have done. We shall fa- than the strongest voice can reach without it. tigue ourselves, and speak with pain; and To this, therefore, every public fpeaker ought whenever a man speaks with pain to himself, to pay great attention. He must give every
he is always heard with pain by his audience. found which he utters its due proportion, and · Give the voice therefore full strength and make every syllable, and even every letter in
swell of found; but always pitch it on your the word which he pronounces, be heard disordinary speaking key. Make it a constant tinctly; without furring, whispering, or fup-. rule never to utter a greater quantity of voice, preffing any of the proper founds. than you can afford without pain to your In the third place, in order to articulate disfelves, and without any extraordinary effort. tinctly, moderation is requilite with regard to As long as you keep witlun these bounds, the speed of pronouncing. Precipitancy of the other organs of fpeech will be at liberty to speech confounds all articulation, and all discharge their several offices with ease; and meaning. I need scarcely observe, that there you will always have your voice under com- may be also an extreme on the opposite side. mand. But whenever you transgress these It is obvious, that a lifeless, drawling probounds you give up the reins, and have no nunciation, which allows the minds of the longer any management of it. It is an ufeful hearers to be always outrunning the speaker, rule too, in order to be well heard, to fix our must render cvery discourse infipid and fa. eye on some of the most diftant persons in the tiguing. But the extreme of speaking too faft assembly, and to consider ourselves as speak is much more common, and requires the more ing to them. We naturally and mechanically to be guarded against, because when it has utter our words with tuch a degree of strength, grown up into a habit, few errors are more as to make ourselves be heard by one to difficult to be corrected. To pronounce with whom we address ourselves, provided he be a proper degree of nowness, and with full and within the reach of our voice. As this is clear articulation, is the first thing to be ftu. the case in cominon conversation, it will hold died by all who begin to fpeak in public ; and allo in public speaking. But remember, that cannot be too much recommended to them. in public as well as in conversation, it is pof- Such a pronunciation gives weight and dig. tible to offend by speaking too loud. This nity to their discourse. It is a great assistance extreme hurts the ear, by making the voice to the voice, by the pauses and refits which it come upon it in rumbling indistinèt masses; allows it more eahly to make ; and it enables belides its giving the speaker the disagreeable the speaker to lwell all his founds, both with