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feelings; every different contraction of these muscles involving, as it does, a different adjustment of the vocal organs; every different adjustment of the vocal organs causing a change in the sound emitted ;-it follows that variations of voice are the physiological results of variation of feeling; it follows that each inflection or modulation is the natural outcome of some passing emotion or sensation; and it follows that the explanation of all kinds of vocal expression must be sought in this general relation between mental and muscular excitements.” Thus the philosophy of evolution confirms in a general way the conclusions, with reference to the developments of verbal sounds, that have been drawn here. The emotive element, representing the “relation between mental and muscular excitements," or, to put it in our own language, between the reflective and instinctive tendencies, using and blending the results of the former as manifested in imitative words, and of the latter as manifested in words formed from ejaculations, gives us the intonations of consecutive speech. On the representative character of these, aside from that of verbal significance, are based the principles of elocution, and on these last, as we shall find, are based the principles of poetry, so far as this is dependent on elements of sound.
stinctive, while the latter is a more full and complex development of that "reflex action,” to use the words of Spencer, “in which we see the incipient differentiation of the psychical (or reflective) from the physical life." He also says that “the same progress which gives origin to memory and reason simultaneously gives origin to feeling," by which he must mean that the emotive nature has that in it which corresponds to the lowest as well as the highest states of conscious intelligence. He adds, too, that “ so long as the actions are perfectly automatic, feeling does not exist," by which he seems to indicate that, in his opinion, will and feeling are related, as has been intimated here. Notice also in the main text the quotations from Spencer with reference to the subject immediately before us.
CONVERSATION, DISCOURSE, ELOCUTION, AND VERSIFI
Representative Character of Intonations-Every Man has a Rhythm and a
Tune of his Own-Physiological Reason for this-Cultivated by Public Speaking-Recitative, and the Origin of Poetic and Musical Melody, Poetry, Song, Dance, all connected; but not developed from each Other -Poetic Pause and Accent are developed only from Speech-Pause the Source of Verse—Breathing and the Line-Hebrew Parallelism; Greek-The Cæsura-Accent, the Source of Rhythm and Tune-Feet: how produced in English ; in the Classic Languages Metrical Possibilities of English.
E all must have noticed that a child too young to
talk, a foreigner using a language unknown to us, a friend speaking at such a distance from us that his words are indistinguishable, can all reveal to us, with a certain degree of definiteness, the general tenor of their thoughts. Their tones, aside from their words, enable us to understand such facts as whether they are hurried or at leisure, elated or depressed, in earnest or indifferent, pleased or angered. This is so because these facts are directly represented by their intonations. Developed with design, these may be made to resemble those of the foremost actors and orators. Hence the art of elocution. Developed without design, they instinctively come to imitate those of the people with whom one most associates. Scotchmen, Irishmen, Englishmen, and Americans can all be distinguished by the different ways in which they utter the same
phrases. No two of them will emphasize precisely alike a simple expression such as “I can't go there to-day.”
Not only men of different nations can be distinguished thus, but even different individuals. Any one well known to us can be recognized in the dark by what we term his voice, by which we mean his method of using his voice; the way, peculiar to himself, of pausing at certain intervals and hurrying at others, of sliding his sounds up and down on certain syllables and phrases, and also, perhaps, of giving in certain places an unusual stress or quality of tone. All these methods impress his individuality on every thing that he has to say. If he becomes a public speaker, his peculiarities in these regards become still more marked. Unconsciously, if not consciously, he develops them so that, in his delivery, similar intonations recur with a certain degree of regularity; in other words, he comes to have what may be termed a rhythm and a tune of his own. The reason why he comes to have these is, undoubtedly, mainly physiological, as is intimated by Herbert Spencer in his “ Essay on Style," and Grant Allen in his “Physiological Æsthetics.” It is owing to a natural tendency to economize labor. Just as the swinging of the hands enables one to walk more easily, so what may be termed the swinging of the tones enables one to talk more easily. So, also, as we shall find by-and-bye, do verse and measure, to which these intonations naturally lead. The two together separate the words and syllables, and make them accord with the natural actions of the lungs and throat.
But let us waive this thought, until we reach it in its proper place. Before the age of books those who prepared literature published it by repeating it in public. Every man who did this had, of course, his own peculiarities of
utterance, which, as he continued to repeat his productions, he would cultivate and render more and more peculiar; just as is the case to-day with the venders who cry in our streets, the clerks who read in our courts, and the priests who intone the services in our churches. These peculiarities, moreover, would be shown not only in the elocution of the reciter, but in the arrangement of his words and sentences, so as to fit them to his elocution. At the outset, every literary man would have his own style of delivery and composition, and confine himself to it. But after a little, just as men of the same districts, and preachers and exhorters of the same religious sectsQuakers, Methodists, or Episcopalians,-imitate one another; so these public reciters would drift into imitation. Before long, too, it would be found that one style of expression, or form of words, was better suited for one set of ideas, and another for another set ; so, in time, the same reciter would come to use different styles or forms for different subjects. Only a slight knowledge of history is needed in order to prove that this is what has actually taken place. Pindaric metre, and possibly Homeric, as also the Alcaic and Sapphic stanzas of the Greeks, were used first by the poets whose names they bear; but to-day they are used by many others who find them the best forms through which to express what they wish to write.
But to return to our line of thought. A further development in the direction already indicated, would cause these reciters after a time to use versification, so that their rhythms and the variations in them might be more clearly marked; and still later, that the precise length of their verses might be apparent, as well as to assist the memory in retaining them, they would use rhymes. Further developments in the direction of rhythm and tune,
introducing greater variety in both, and making the tones more and more sustained, would lead to the singing of songs—that is, to poetry set to musical melody,
Such, crudely outlined, seems to be the most rational explanation of the rise of poetic forms. It is true that some, like Dr. J. H. Heinrich Schmidt, in his “Introduction to the Rhythmic and Metric of the Classic Languages," hold that “poetry and music had their origin in the dance and song," and that "it must be carefully borne in mind that recited poetry was developed from song." But while he maintains this theory, Dr. Schmidt is obliged to admit that it cannot be substantiated by the known facts of history. He says that the march-melodies, dance-melodies, and purely lyric melodies, which, he believes, to have preceded recitative poetry, were so inferior in quality that none of them have come down to us. Of the products which have come down to us, “ recitative poetry, powerfully developed in the great national epics (Homer, Hesiod, Arctinus, Stasinus, etc.), comes first. Then purely lyrical poetry appears with Callinus, Archilochus, etc. The first march-melodies were written by Tyrtæus for the Spartans. And about the same time we hear of the first choric compositions (i. e., dance-melodies), those, namely, of Alcman and Stesichorus."
This order of development, it will be seen, corresponds to that of the theory just presented here. But, while we hold this theory, perhaps we should be going too far, did we carry it to the extreme that Herbert Spencer does in his “Essay on the Origin and Function of Music," in which he seems to argue that every thing that we have in music is merely a development of the forms of speech. It seems more likely that both music and speech, the one instinctive in its nature, and the other reflective, are