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PRINCIPLES OF ELOCUTION.
The subject of Elocution, so far as it is deemed applicable to a work of this kind, will be considered under the following heads, viz. :
4. READING VERSE; 2. INFLECTION;
5. THE VOICE; 3. ACCENT AND EMPHASIS; 6. GESTURE.
FAULTS TO BE REMEDIED.
The most common faults of articulation are the following, viz. :
1. Dropping an unaccented vowel.
fem'ral. man'fold. cult'vate.
The vowels most likely to be dropped or incorrectly sounded are italicized.
He attended divine service regularly.
3. Suppressing the final consonants.
He learned to write.
4. Omitting or mispronouncing whole syllables.
ne-ces-ry or nes-ry. co-tem'po-ra-ry
het-ro-ge-nous. in quis-i-to'ri-al
Great industry was necessary for the performance of the task. 5. Blending the end of one word with the beginning of the next.
For man' sillusion given.
And dart through the dun cloud of battle his eye.
That beauty shall bind on the brow of the brave. QUESTIONS.—Under what heads is the subject of Elocution considered ? What is the first source of defective articulation that is named? Give examples. What the second ? Give examples. Name the third, and give examples. What the fourth ? Give examples. Describe the fifth fault, and illustrate by examples.
DIRECTIONS FOR ACQUIRING A GOOD ARTICULATION. WORDS being made up of one or more elementary sounds, the first object of the student should be, to acquire the power of uttering those elements with distinctness and force; for if the elementary sounds are but imperfectly formed, the entire word must be indistinct.
Practice upon these sounds should be persevered in, until the learner has acquired a perfect control of his organs of speech. This exercise is one of great importance, as, in addition to the habit of correct articulation thus formed, it imparts a strength to the voice which can not be acquired in any other way.
As the vowels are the most prominent elements of all words, as well as the most easily uttered, it is proper that they should constitute the first lesson.
Each of these can be uttered with great force, so as to give a distinct expression of its sound, although the voice is suddenly suspended, the moment the sound is produced. This is done by expelling each sound from the throat in the same manner that the syllable “ah!” is uttered in endeavoring to deter a child from something it is about to do; thus, a'-a'-a'
Let the pupil be required to explode from the throat, in this manner, every one of the elements, in the following table, with all possible suddenness and percussive force, until he is able to do it with ease and accuracy. This must not be considered as accomplished, until he can give each sound with entire clearness, and with all the suddenness of the "crack" of a rifle. Care must be taken that the sound of the vowel alone be heard.
EXERCISE ON VOWEL ELEMENTS.
mat, hat, partial, &c.