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of such notes as are given in § 201 ; to declaim other passages of their own selection; to read more selected by the instructor for the purpose of showing them their individual faults and how to correct them; and from this time forward, to copy declamations and original orations on alternate lines of paper ; to mark them with appropriate indications of emphasis and gesture ; to explain the marks ; to receive corrections on the same ; and to declaim the pieces as many times as may be necessary in order to render their performance satisfactory. During these rehearsals, the attention of students will of course be directed to those qualities of delivery in which, as individuals, they are deficient. As for vocal culture, in large institutions, it may be made optional, and comparatively few students will neglect it after they have once fairly entered upon a course of instruction such as has been described.
11. A word now as to the efficacy of such instruction and of such methods of imparting it. Of course some will be skeptical with reference to them. In fact there are many who seem to imagine that the orator, like the poet, is born and not made; that his art, therefore, cannot be learned, and need not be taught; or, at least, that sufficient is done toward cultivating it when young men are merely required to declaim, at stated intervals, before their classmates, or are incited to exert themselves on particular occasions by a system of prizes, public exhibitions or debates. They seem to think that the energy stimulated by emulation or the presence of a crowd is all that is necessary to develop the powers of latent genius -to burst the chrysalis of common-place and reveal the full-fledged orator. Even if they be not mistaken in their general theory, do they suppose that the influence of stimulus of this kind is adapted to reach any very large proportion of the students? Are not the majority of those whom it does reach incited mainly to continue to repeat, and so to confirm, as habits, their own peculiar faults ? Is there no danger that it may induce the members of a college whose oratory is cultivated only by such performances, to mistake mere energy for eloquence and mere declamatory force for impressiveness ? Undoubtedly there are some effective speakers - though their number is much smaller than is usually supposed — who have never studied elocution. But of the majority of these it may be said that if they do not belong to that unfortunate class whose delivery,
because they have never learned to modulate their voices, becomes unpleasantly artificial and bombastic the moment that they become excited, they usually belong to that other class, equally unfortunate, whose delivery becomes dull and lifeless the moment that they lose their excitement; or as is sometimes the case, lose only the spontaneity of their utterance, because they are fettered as they affirm, by being obliged to read from a prepared manuscript. Elocution is the art of speaking or reading naturally when one is excited, impressively when not excited, and in an interesting manner at all times. Its effects are the results of causes, of certain ways of using the voice, which now and then a born orator may manifest under all circumstances, which many manifest when greatly interested or excited, but which the majority of men never manifest at all except after they have been shown what these ways are, and have acquired the art of reproducing them in their own delivery.
12. How much can culture do toward bringing the two latter classes up to the level of the born orator?-toward making them speak and read well under all circumstances, even when there is nothing extraordinary to excite or interest them? It becomes one who is preparing a book to be used where the results of his own instruction are present facts, and who is supposed to be speaking from his own experience, to use some reserve in answering a question such as this-especially so inasmuch as the limitations which condition every college department, render it inevitable that there should be always some students upon whom its methods do not have their perfect work. When one is expected to teach English literature, æsthetics and rhetoric as well as Oratory proper, as during a part of the time the author has done; or when, for other reasons, his time for drill is limited, he cannot fail to be conscious of how much more might be done than has been done. Enough has been done, however, with the nine different college classes that he has met, to make him believe that it is only a question of time and patience, and any person, not physically incapacitated, may be made to become an interesting and attractive speaker. By this is meant that he can be cured of indistinct and defective articulation, of unnatural and false tones, and of awkwardness ; and be trained to have a clear, resonant voice, an unaffected and forcible way of modulating it so as to have it represent the sense, and a dignity and ease of bearing; all of which
together shall enable him to continue to hold the attention of an audience so long as it is possible for any qualities of manner aside from matter to do so. It needs to be emphasized, moreover, that a capacity for the very highest excellence-even for what appears to be the most inborn kind of eloquence and grace is often developed in those who, at the beginning of their training, are the most unpromising.
13. If there be any who read this and doubt these statements, and who have influence among the trustees or faculties of the hundreds of colleges in our country in which no instruction worthy to be called instruction is given in this department, let them not doubt, at least, that in a land like ours where so many avenues of influence are open to those who can speak well in public, no institution is doing its duty by the young men committed to its charge that does not furnish them with such a course of training as to allow them to discover - it can be put stronger than this as to force them to discover their aptitudes for oratory if they have any.
14. Before closing, the author wishes to express his sense of indebtedness for valuable suggestions, with reference to the subjects treated in this book, over and beyond what seems to be common property, to S. M. Cleveland, M.D., of Philadelphia, formerly Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, in the University of Pennsylvania; C. J. Plumptre, author of “ Lectures on Elocution” in King's College, London, and Emilio Belari, Professeur de Chant, Paris ; also to the following, especially, among the many works of merit on elocution that have been written in this country: “The Philosophy of the Human Voice," by James Rush, M.D., The Culture of the Voice," by James E. Murdoch and William Russell ; “ Reasonable Elocution,” by F. Taverner Graham, and the various publications of Professor L. B. Monroe, of the Boston School of Oratory.
It is thought that the black letters, italics, and different kinds of type and “leading” that have been liberally used in the text of this work, will make it more serviceable as a manual, — enabling professional men, who have no time to waste, and younger students who otherwise might overlook important principles, to detect with a single glance of the eye down any given page, what is the main topic of which it treats and what are the chief statements, often greatly condensed, that are made concerning it.
Exercises for Pi ice; Positions, Active and Passive
Chest, Waist, Arm, Neck and Throat Movements S 7;
Melody, Emphatic Slides as related to, $ 79— the Cadence $ 82;
the Climax $ 83; Melody appropriate for different parts of
$ 93; Poetic Monotone § 95 -
pressed, explosive, expulsive and effusive § 117
Chart § 140; Representative Combinations § 141; Regular
Combinations § 142; Irregular Combinations $ 145; Transi-
The Countenance Eye, Forehead, Nose, Lips, etc.; Comic