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considerable pause, where the grammatical con: struclion requires none at all. In doing this, however, it is necessary that in the word immediately preceding the pause, the voice be kept up
in such a manner as to intimate to the hearer that the sense is not compleated. Mr. GARRICK often observed this rule with great success. This particular excellence Mr. Sterne has described in his usual sprightly manner. See the following work, Book VI. Chap. III.
BEFORE a full pause, it has been customary in reading to drop the voice in a uniform manner; and this has been called the cadence. But surely nothing can be more destructive of all propriety and energy than this habit. The tones and heights at the close of a sentence ought to be infinitely diversified, according to the general nature of the discourse, and the particular construction and meaning of the sentence. In plain narrative, and especially in argumentation, the least attention to the manner in which we relate a story, or support an argument in conversation, will show, that it is more frequently proper to raise the voice than to fall it at the end of a sentence. Interrogatives, where the
speaker seems to expect an answer, should almost always be elevated at the close, with a peculiar tone, to indicate that a question is asked. Some sentences are so constructed, that the last word requires a stronger emphasis than any of the preceding; whilst others admit of being closed with a soft and gentle sound. Where there is nothing in the sense which requires the last found to be elevated or emphatical, an easy fall, sufficient to show that the sense is finished, will be proper. And in pathetic pieces, especially those of the plaintive, tender, or solemn kind, the tone of the passion will often require a still lower cadence of the voice. But before a speaker can be able to fall his voice with propriety and judgment at the close of a sentence, he must be able to keep it from falling, and to raise it with all the variation which the sense requires. The best method of correcting a uniforin cadence, is frequently to read seleEt fentences, in which the style is pointed, and frequent antitheses are introduced ; and argumentative pieces, or such as abound with interrogatives.
Accompany the Emotions and Pasions which your
words express, by correspondent tones, looks, and gestures,
HERE is the language of emotions and
passions, as well as of ideas. To express the latter is the peculiar province of words; to express the former, nature teaches us to make use of tones, looks, and gestures. When anger, fear, joy, grief, love, or any other active passion arises in our minds, we naturally discover it by the particular manner in which we utter our words; by the features of the countenance, and by other well known signs. And even when we speak without any of the more violent emotions, fome kind of feeling usually accompanies our words, and this, whatever it be, hath its proper external expression. Expression hath indeed been so little ftudied in public speaking, that we seem almost to have forgotten the language of nature, and are ready to consider every attempt to recover if as the laboured and affected effort of art. But Nature is always the same; and every judicious imitation of it will always be pleasing. Nor
can any one deserve the appellation of a good speaker, much less of a complete orator, till to distinct articulation, a good command of voice, and just emphasis, he is able to add the various expressions of emotion and passion.
To enumerate these expressions, and describe them in all their variations, is impracticable. Attempts have been made with some success to analyse the language of ideas; but the language of sentiment and emotion has never yet been analysed; and perhaps it is not within the reach of human ability, to write a Philosophical Grammar of the Passions. Or, if it were possible in any degree to execute this design, I cannot think, that from such a grammar it would be poslible for any one to instruct himself in the use of the language. All endeavours therefore to make men Orators, by describing to them in words the inanner in which their voice, countenance, and hands are to be employed, in expressing the passions, must, in my apprehenfion, be weak and ineffectual. And, perhaps, the only in, struction which can be given with advantage on this head, is this general one: Observe in what manner the several emotions or passions are expressed in real life, or by those who have with
great labour and taste acquired a power of imi. tating nature; and accustom yourself either to follow the great original itself, or the best copies you meet with ; always, however, “ with this special observance, that you o’ERSTEP NOT THE MODESTY OF NATURE.”
In the application of these rules to practice, in order to acquire a juft and graceful elocution, it will be necessary to go through a regular course of exercises; beginning with such as are most easy, and proceeding by slow steps to such as are more difficult. In the choice of these, the practitioner should pay a particular attention to his prevailing defects, whether they regard articulation, command of voice, emphasis, or cadence: and he should content himself with reading and speaking with an immediate view to the correcting of his fundamental faults, before he aims at any thing higher. This may be irksome and difagreeable ; it may require much patience and resolution; but it is the only way to succeed. For, if a man cannot read simple sentences, or plain narrative or didactic pieces, with distinct articulation, just emphasis, and proper tones, how can he expect to do justice to the sublime descripti