Sivut kuvina

regular, singular, educate, &c. spoken pop-e-lous, reg-e-lar, ed-e-cate. A smart percussion of the tongue, with a little rest on the consonant before u, so as to make it quite distinct, would remove the difficulty.

The same sort of defect, it may be added, often appears in the indistinct utterance of consonants ending syllables; thus in at-tempt, at-tention, ef-fect, of-fence, the consonant of the first syllable is suppressed.

To the foregoing remarks, it may be proper to add three cautions.

The first is, in aiming to acquire a distinct articulation, take care not to form one that is measured and mechanical. The child, in passing from his spelling manner, is ambitious to become a swift reader, and thus falls into a confusion of organs, that is to be cured only by retracing the steps which produced it. The remedy, however, is no better than the fault, if it runs into a scan-ning, pe-dan-tic for-mal-i-ty, giving undue stress to particles and unaccented syllables; thus, “ He is the man of all the world whom I rejoice to meet.” In some parts of our country,

there is a prevalent habit of sinking the sound of e or i, in words where English usage preserves it, as in rebel, chapel, Latin,-spoken reb'l, chap'l, Lat’n. In other cases, where Engglish usage suppresses the vowel, the same persons speak it with marked distinctness, or turn it into u; as ev’n, op'n, head'n, pronounced ed-un, op-un, heav-un.

It should be remarked that vowels not under the accent, are often uttered slightly by good speakers, where affectation, by trying to give them prominence, runs into a very faulty pronunciation. Thus in attempting to distinguish e from i in such words as wicked, gospel, many pronounce them wickud, gospul, wickudnuss, &c. Unaccented vowels are often necessarily indistinct, e in wicked, having the same sound as i in it. So all the vowels, a, e, i,0, u, y, must often be spoken so as to have the sound of short' u; as in scholar, master, satirist, doctor, martyr, pronounced scholur, mastur, &c,

The second caution is,-let the close of sentences be spoken clearly, with sufficient strength, and on the proper pitch, to bring out the meaning completely. No part of a sentence is so important as the close, both in respect to sense and harmony.

The third caution is,-ascertain your own defects of articulation, by the aid of some friend, and then devote a short time statedly and daily, to correct them. Let the reader make a list of such words and combinations as he has found most difficult to his organs, and repeat them as a set exercise. If he has been accustomed to say om-nip-etent, Poplous, pr-mote, pr-vent, let him learn to speak the unaccented vowels properly.*

* On stammering and impediments, which fall under the head of articulation, the reader may find my views in the Analysis of Rhetorical Delivery.



Description of Inflections. The absolute modifications of the voice in speaking are four; namely, monotone, rising inflection, falling inflection, and circumflex. The first may be marked to the eye by a horizontal line, thus, (-) the second thus, (*) the third thus, () the fourth thus, ().

The 'monotone is a sameness of sound on successive syllables, which resembles that produced by repeated strokes on a bell. Unseemly as this is, where varied inflections are required, it more or less belongs to grave delivery, especially in elevated description, or where emotions of sublimity or reverence are expressed; as ;

He rõde upon a chērūb and dīd flý.-I sāw a great white throne, and him that sāt on it.

The rising inflection turns the voice upward, or ends higher than it begins. It is heard invariably in the direct question; as, Will you go todáy?

The falling inflection turns the voice downwards, ends lower than it begins.

It is heard in the answer to a question; as, No; I shall go tomorrow.

As the whole doctrine of inflections depends on these two simple slides of the voice, one more explanation seems necessary, as to the degree in which each is applied, under different circumstances. In most cases where the rising slide is used, it is only a gentle turn of the voice upward, one or two notes. In cases of emotion, as in the spirited, direct question, the slide may pass through five or eight

The former may be called the common rising inflection, the latter the intensive. Just the same distinction exists in the falling inflection. In the question, uttered with surprise, Are you going to-dáy ?" the slide is intensive. But in the following case, it is common, as fame is but breath, as riches are transitory, and life itself is uncertain, so we should seek a better portion.To carry the rising slide in the latter case, as far as in the former, is a great fault, though not an



uncommon one.

The circumflex is a union of the two inflections, sometimes on one syllable, and sometimes on several.

It begins with the falling, and ends with the rising slide; as, I may go to-morrow, though I cannot go today. They tell ŭs to be moderate; but thěy, thěy, are to revel in profusion.” On the words marked in these examples, there is a significant twisting of the voice downwards, and then upwards, without which the sense is not expressed.

Besides these absolute modifications of voice, there are others which may be called relative, and which may be classed under the four heads of pitch, quantity, rate, and quality.

These may be presented thus; Pitch. high;


slow; As these relative modifications of voice assume almost an endless variety, according to sentiment and emotion in a speaker, they belong to the chapter on modulation.

Rute. E quest Quality. { pathétic


{ soft ;

Classification of Inflections. In order to render the new classification which I have given intelligible, I have chosen examples chiefly from colloquial language; because the tones of conversation ought to be the basis of delivery, and because these only are at once recognised by the ear. Being conformed to nature, they are instinctively right; so that scarcely a man in a million uses artificial tones in conversation. And this one fact, I remark in passing, furnishes a standing canon to the learner in elocution. In contending with any bad habit of voice, let him break up the sentence on which the difficulty occurs, and throw it, if possible, into the colloquial form. Let him observe in himself and others, the turns of voice which occur in speaking, familiarly and earnestly, on common occasions.

As the difficulty of the learner at first, is to distinguish the two chief inflections, and as the best method of doing this, is by compar. ing them together, the following classification begins with cases in which the two are statedly found in the same connexion; and then extends to cases in which they are used separately; the whole being marked in a continued series of rules, for convenient reference.

Both Inflections together. RULE I. When the disjunctive or connects words or clauses, it has the rising inflection before, and the falling after it.


Shall I come to you with a ród—or in love?
The baptism of John, was it from heaven,-or of mèn?
Will you gó—or stay?
Will you ride-or walk ?
Will you go today—or tomorrow?
Did he travel for health,—or pleasure ?
Did he resemble his fáther,-or his mother?

Is this book yours,—or mine ? Rule II. The direct question, or that which admits the answer of yes or no, has the rising inflection, and the answer has the falling.


So am

Are they Hébrews?
Are they Ísraelites?
Are they the seed of Abraham?
Are they ministers of Christ?
Did you not speak to it?
Hold you the watch to-night?
Árm'd, say you?
From top to toe ?
Then saw you not his fáce?
What, look'd he frówningly?

So am ).
So am Ì.
I am mòre.

My lord, I did.
We dò, my lord.
Àrmed, my lord.
My lord, from head to foot.
O yès, my lord.
A countenance more in sòrrow

than in anger.


Này, very pale.Shak. Hamlet. Note 1. If I wish to know whether my friend will go on a journey within two days, I say perhaps, “ Will you go today, or tomorrow? He may answer, yes, -because my rising inflection on both words implies that I used the or between them conjunctively: But if I had used it disjunctively, it must have had the rising slide before it, and the falling after; and then the question is, not whether he will go within two days, but on which of the two;-thus, “Will you go todayor tomòrrow? The whole question, in this case, cannot admit the answer yes or no, and of course cannot end with the rising slide.

Note 2. When Exclamation becomes a question, it demands the rise ing slide; as, How, you say, are we to accomplish it? How accómo plish it! Certainly not by fearing to attempt it.'


Rule III. When negation is opposed to affirmation, the former has the rising, and the latter the falling inflection.


I did not say a better soldier,—but an elder.
Study not for amusement,—but for improvement.
He was esteemed, not for wealth,-but for wisdom.
He will not come today,-but tomorrow
He did not act wisely, but unwisely.
He did not call mé,-but you.
He did not say pride,—but pride.

Note 1. Negation alone, not opposed to affirmation, generally inclines the voice to the rising slide, but not always, as some respectable Teachers have maintained. - Thou shalt not kill; " 4 Thou shalt not steal;" —are negative precepts, in which the falling slide must be used; and

simple particle no, with the intensive falling slide, is one of the strongest monosyllables in the language.

Note 2. The reader should be apprised here, that the falling slide, being often connected with strong emphasis, and beginning on a high and spirited note, is liable to be mistaken, by those little acquainted with the subject, for the rising slide. If one is in doubt which of the two he has employed, on a particular word, let him repeat both together, by forming a question, thus, “ Did I say , or ?or a question and answer, thus,“ Will you go,

,-or stay? I shall go.”

" Will you ride, or walk? I'shall ride." This will give the contrary slides on the same word.

But as some may be unable still to distinguish the falling, confounding it, as just mentioned, with the rising inflection, or, on the other hand, with the cadence; I observe that the difficulty lies in two things. One is, that the slide is not begun so high, and the other, that it is not carried through so many notes, as it ought to be. I explain this by a diagram, thus :

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It is sufficiently exact to say, that in reading this properly, the syllables without slide may be spoken on one key or monotone. From this key go slides upwards to its highest note, and from the same high note stay slides downwards to the key; and go does the same, in the answer to the question. In the second example, the case is entirely similar. But the difficulty with the inexpert reader is, that he strikes the downward slide, not above the key, but on it,

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