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4. Toby Tosspot,.
Different Methods by which the Principles and Lessons may be successfully taught.
BEFORE attempting to read the examples on inflections, a thorough knowledge of the two slides, or inflections of voice, (page 17), must be obtained. Without a very accurate knowledge of these two slides of the voice, no graceful progress in reading can possibly be made.
The Table of inflections contains thirty lines. After being able to exemplify the slides in the first column, proceed to acquire a like knowledge of the second. This being done, endeavour to read the table backwards; that is, read the 16th line, and then the 1st; the 17th, and then the 2d; the 18th, and then the 3d, &c.; in the last place, read the table across; that is, read the 1st line and then the 16th; the 2d, and then the 17th; the 3d, and then the 18th, &c.
Under the heads of Inflections, Accent, Emphasis, and Pauses, the Rules are printed in italics: these, it is understood, will be either attentively studied, or committed to memory by the Pupil, according to circumstances. A single rule may be given out each day as an exercise; the examples under which being read the day following.
The notes and examples under them may be read by the Student immediately after the rules to which they belong; but, by those less advanced, they may be entirely passed over, and not read till a perfect knowledge has been attained of what is of more importance.
In reading the Lessons, the principles should be gradually reduced to practice. Words that require the rising inflection, may, by the Pupil, be marked with a pencil with the acute accent; and such as require the falling inflection, with the grave accent. Emphatical words may be marked by drawing a straight line over them; and where a rhetorical pause is admissible, a mark, such as a comma, may be inserted after the word.
If this process should be thought too tedious, the Pupil may be requested to mark (while the Teacher is reading the Lesson) only the principal inflections: it being always understood, however, that the Pupil has acquired a knowledge of the different slides, and degrees of force of the voice.
The following Rule, to which, though there are many exceptions, may perhaps be of some advantage; the knowledge of it, at least, is easily acquired.
The falling inflection almost always takes place at a period, very often at a colon, and frequently at a semicolon; at the comma immediately preceding either of these points, the rising inflection commonly takes place. When this rule does not hold good, the Teacher can easily point out the exceptions to it.
It must be carefully observed, that every falling, or every rising inflection, does not necessarily terminate upon the same key, or on the same note of that key; neither is every emphatic word pronounced with the same degree of force: for, as various as inflections and emphases are in number, almost as varied should be the manner of pronouncing them
In these, however, and in many other circumstances, whereon the beauty of reading and speaking chiefly depends, the import of the subject, the nature of the audience, and the place the speaker occupies, must all be judiciously considered, in order properly to regulate his pronunciation and delivery.
General Rules and Observations on Reading and Recitation.
1. GIVE the letters their proper sounds.
2. Pronounce the vowels a, e, i, o, u, clearly, giving to each its proper quantity.
3. The liquids l, m, n, should be pronounced with a considerable degree of force.
4. Distinguish every accented letter or syllable by a peculiar stress of the voice.
5. Read audibly and distinctly, with a degree of deliberation suited to the subject.
6. Pause at the points a sufficient length of time; but not so long as to break that connexion which one part of a sentence has with another.
7. The meaning of a sentence is often considerably elucidated by pausing
where none of the usual marks could properly be inserted.
8. Give every sentence, and member of a sentence, that inflection of voice, which tends to improve either the sound or the sense.
9. Monotones, judiciously introduced, have a wonderful effect in diversifying delivery.
10. Every emphatical word must be marked with a force corresponding with the importance of the subject.
11. At the beginning of a subject or discourse, the pitch of the voice should, in general, be low :-to this rule, however, there are some exceptions in poetry, and even in prose.
12. As the speaker proceeds, the tones of his voice should swell, and his animation increase with the increasing importance of his subject.
13. At the commencement of a new paragraph, division, or subdivision of a discourse, the voice may be lowered, and again allowed gradually
14. The tones of the voice must, in every instance, be regulated entirely by the nature of the subject.
15. In recitation, the speaker must adopt those tones, looks, and gestures, which are most agreeable to the nature of whatever he delivers: he must "suit the action to the word, and the word to the action;" always remembering, that "rightly to seem, is transiently to be."
TABLE of the Two SLIDES or INFLECTIONS of the VOICE.
1. Did they act prop'erly, or im'properly?
2. Did he speak distinct'ly, or in`distinctly?
4. Did he go wil'lingly, or un'willingly?
7. Did he say wise'ly, or wisely?
14. You must not say o'pen, but o`pen.
16. They acted prop'erly, not im'properly.
19. He went willingly, not un'willingly.
26. You must say fa`tal, not fa'tal.
29. You must say o`pen, not o'pen.
The acute accent (') denotes the rising, and the grave accent (') the falling inflection.