Page images

exercises, the voice rises at the first column, and falls at the second. The corresponding marks are given.



Stan'd. What'?

Read. Shall I si't ?

No, 'Sir. Is it trule?

Perfectly true. Was he rigʻht ?

Quite right.
Were they attentiv'e ?

Very much so'.
Do we leave immediate'ly? Yes, immediate'ly.

Does he write correctly or incorrec'tly?
Does he pronounce distinctly or indistinctly?
Did they act honoura’bly or dishonoura'bly ?
Did they proceed willingly or unwilling'ly?
Were they agreeab'le? They were agreea'ble.
Were they interestin'g? They were interestin'g.
Must we surrender'? We must surrend'er.
Must we suffer deat'h ? We must suffer death.

Rules for inflection are only, in a few cases, to be regarded as absolute. Individual taste and judgment must decide, in general, where the voice is to rise or fall. Some of the leading canons may be noticed.

I. Let the voice fall at the semicolon and colon, but more decidedly at the end of a sentence.

II. Raise the voice (1.) between subject and predicate; (2.) between subordinate and principal sentences ; (3.) between the parts of an antithesis or contrast ; (4.) at the end of an interrogative sentence beginning with a verb; (5.) at exclamations and echoes ; (6.) on the last of a series of words or subordinate sentences when it precedes the main statement, but on the second-last when it follows the main state. ment.

II. MONOTONE. The pupil should next practise the sustaining of the voice at the same note. In some parts of the country, children read almost entirely upon the falling inflection ; in other places the rising prevails. In the following exercises, let the voice be sustained throughout each sentence, falling only at the end.

EXERCISES. (1.) He who is self existent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, is likewise infinitely holy, just, and good. (2.) When we cast our eye over the broad sea, and look at the country on the other side, we see nothing but the blue land stretching obscurely over 'the distant horizon. (3.) Were he ever so benighted or forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works. (4.) The lofty vessel, as it retires from the coast, shrinks into littleness, and at last disappears in the form of a small speck on the verge of the horizon. (5.) I shall never forget the delightful sensation with which I exchanged the dark, smoky, smothering atmosphere of the Highland hut, in which we aad passed the night so uncomfortably, for the refreshing fragrance of the morning air.

As a general rule, sustain the voice at the comma, allowing, of course, for the exceptions referred to under Infection.

The Monotone is peculiar to poetry, and is very effective in sublime and solemn passages. We think the following reads better with the Monotone than with Inflection:

“ Of man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe
With loss of Eden till one greater man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat
Sing heavenly Muse that on the secret top
Of Oreb or of Sinai didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of chaos." Let the pupils be accustomed to repeat the Lord's Prayer, and other solemn passages, in the Monotone.

III. EMPHASIS. This element in Modulation is often absolutely necessary to bring out the sense of a statement,

EXERCISES. Place emphasis on the word in italics in each of the following sentences :

Did you give him that book ?

you give him that book ?
Did you give him that book ?
Did you give him that book ?
Did you give him that book ?
Did you give him that book ?
I gave him that book.
I gave him that book.

gave him that book.
I gave him that book.

I gave him that book. Emphasis implies opposition. When I say, “They will come,” the emphatic will is given in opposition to the statement or opinion that they will not come. It follows, therefore, that words opposed to other ords expressed or understuod, should be pronounced with emphasis.


The regulation of the tone of the voice in reading or recitation is as difficult as it is important. Some passages require a low tone of voice; others a high tone. In many sentences the voice should be soft at the commencement, and swell gradually towards the conclusion. Then there are all the varieties of tone necessary to express the different shades of passion and emotion. A few of the simpler exercises are all that we purpose to give here.

Under a spreading chestnut tree

The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,

With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms

Are strong as iron bands.

Bird of the wilderness,

Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea !

Emblem of happiness,

Blest is thy dwelling-place-
Oh to abide in the desert with thee!

What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,

Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main ?
Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,

Bright things which gleam unreck'd of, and in vain. Keep, keep thy riches, Melancholy Sea !

We ask not such from thee.

THE HIGH TONE OF DELIGHT. An Orpheus ! an Orpheus ! he works on the crowd, He sways them with harmony merry and loud ; He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim, Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him ?


Then out spake brave Horatius,

The captain of the gate :
To every man upon this earth

Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers

And the temples of his gods?

“ Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,

With all the speed ye may ;
I, with two more to help me,

Will hold the foe in play.

yon strait path a thousand
May well be stopp'd by three.
Now, who will stand on either hand,

And keep the bridge with me?"


Ye crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
To show they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again! O sacred forms, how proud you look !
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
How huge you are, how mighty, and how free!
Ye are the things that tower, that shine—whose smile
Makes glad—whose frown is terrible—whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine! Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I call to you
With all my voice! I hold my hands to you,
To show they still are free! I rush to you,
As though I could embrace you!

THE LOW TONE OF SORROW FOR THE DEAD. Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,

As his corse to the rampart we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot

O’er the grave where our hero was buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,

The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,

And the lantern dimly burning.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down

From the field of his fame, fresh and gory, We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,

But we left him alone with his glory.

TAE Low TONE OF MYSTERIOUS WARNING. Lochiel ! Lochiel ! beware of the day When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array! For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, And the clans of Culloden are scatter'd in fight!

« PreviousContinue »