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Your consul's merciful. For this all thanks.
Traitor! I go-but I return. This trial!
Or make the infant's sinews strong as steel."
139. Every one must perceive that there is but one prevailing sentiment which runs through the whole of the above extract. The drift of the voice must accommodate itself to this reigning sentiment, and be identical during its preva lence. Almost every word is shaded, in a greater or less degree, by suppressed force; but there are some phrases which require an intensive application of this element; such as the following; "Banished from Rome!"-"Tried and convicted traitor!" But what movement, drift, or force of the voice, will best express the sentiments in the line "Traitor! I but I return. goThis trial!" presents a question which perhaps cannot be satisfactorily decided, even at the tribunal where criticism, judgment, and good taste preside. It may not, however, be amiss to observe, in regard to the words and phrases in this line, that such abrupt exclamations, such incoherent hints, such vehement sallies, are the natural expressions of a mind in a state of violent perturbation, and overwhelmed with conflicting emotions; emotions struggling for utterance at the same moment; it being a principle founded in nature, that whatever most strongly operates on the passions will first seek utterance by the lips. In conformity to this state of things, the writer has so arranged the words as to occasion some obscurity, or a species of darkness. But it may be said with truth, that this darkness was necessary to paint the character as it was; and to one skilled in reading nature, there will arise a light out of this darkness, which will enable him to penetrate much farther into the condition of a mind thus agitated than he could possibly do by the most just, perspicuous, and elaborate description.
140. "Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
141. The term transition implies those variations of expression, and sudden changes of the voice, which occur in impressive delivery.
142. It is one of the stated laws of delivery, that the vocal tones shall correspond in variety to the sentiments, and accommodate themselves to the varying character of the language, by giving to every shade of thought, and to every kind and degree of emotion, its appropriate utterance.
143. When a passage abounds in varied emotion and figurative expression, the tones of the voice must become assimilated to them by frequent, vivid, and sudden transitions, or a continually varying rate of utterance through all the stages of delivery.
144. In accommodating the voice to each successive emotion, it will require, in some cases, a sudden variation of pitch, a greater or less degree of force, a difference in the rate of movement, a corresponding change in quantity, a forcible application of some one of the forms of stress, with an occasional addition of tremor or aspiration; all modified and combined as the drift of the sentiment may demand.
145. When a new thought presents itself, notice should
be given to the ear, by the application, increase, abatement, or combination of such of the preceding principles as criticism shall define, good taste approve, and circumstances may require.
146. The following extract will serve to illustrate the subject of transition: —
147. "Poor Indians! Where are they now? Indeed, this is a truly afflicting consideration. The people here may say what they please; but, on the principles of eternal truth and justice, they have no right to this country. They say that they have bought it. Bought it! Yes. Of whom? Of the poor trembling natives, who knew that refusal would be vain; and who strove to make a merit of necessity, by seeming to yield with grace what they knew that they had not the power to retain."
148. In the above extract, the phrase "They say that they have bought it," indicates a degree of complacency slightly bordering on boasting; and this will require elevation of pitch, extended quantity, and a delicate application of tremor on the word "bought." The transition from this word to the next phrase, "Bought it," must be marked by low pitch, suppressed force, and strong aspiration-elements which must always blend in uttering the feelings of indignant reproach. The phrase "Yes. Of whom?" is to be uttered on the tone of a strong, triumphant appeal; and this requires extended quantity, and an intensive downward inflection. The phrase Of the poor trembling natives," must be uttered on the semitonic movement, with slow rate, feeble voice, elevated pitch, and upward inflection, because the first four of the last-named elements must blend in expressing the feelings of sympathy, pity, or commiseration; and the lastnamed element-" upward inflection" is always used when we would express what is weak, feeble, or helpless; as may be clearly seen by a reference to the rules and illustrations numbered from 44 to 46, also from 264 to 270, in the PRINCIPLES OF ELOCUTION, explained in the PRACTICAL READER.
149. The above remarks have been made with a view of
explaining more fully what is meant by transition. It is a subject of considerable moment, and might be much further illustrated by examples; but the teacher will readily find examples on every page in the following selections. His better judgment and good taste will be exercised in deciding where, and to what extent, it may be applicable. His pupils will, of course, be made to understand the reasons of his decisions, and how far they coincide with the standard of good taste In truth, transition may be considered as the complete finish of expression, without which there can be no such thing as impressive reading. It is an element which must be temperately employed, and is much less called for in prose than in dramatic compositions. Indeed, great transitions are to be avoided, as unnatural, except in cases of intense mental excitement.
150. It is the part of an elevated intellect to act and to think for itself, to become the master instead of the slave of opinion. Its prominent characteristic is the power of lighting its own fire, and intensely sympathizing with the passions it creates. It possesses the power of self-excitation and selfcontrol; and the emotions, like well-trained troops, move by rule, and become impetuous at its call. Such an intellect can address the understanding alone, or the passions, or the sensibility, or the fancy; or, if need be, it can blend them all in one glowing mass, and boldly direct them at the very springs of volition.
151. In the full belief that much can be done towards the formation of such an intellect, and that some system should be in the hands of both teacher and pupil, which will serve as a guide to point out the course to be pursued, to give directions for successful progress, and define the objects which are to be kept steadily in view, the preceding principles, illustrations, remarks, and references, have been arranged
1. Moral and Literary Studies.
THE deep sympathy with which we must always regard our own race, invests moral and literary studies with a peculiar interest. Nor are they deficient in practical utility.
We are all charged with the duty of self-improvement, and, to the proper performance of that duty, nothing is more essential than an acquaintance with ourselves — such acquaintance as can be gained only by comparing our personal characters with the original constitution of our nature, and by being fully apprized of the deceitfulness and infirmity of our hearts. We shall be called, too, to operate on the minds of others.
As parents, we shall have occasion to guide and influence the minds of our children. As men of business, we shall succeed, or fail of success, very much as we can inspire the community with confidence in our judgment and principles, and give direction to the taste and opinions of those with whom we deal.
So, also, in our professional pursuits, in our course as citizens, as neighbors, and as men. There are few occasions, indeed, on which we can act wisely and efficiently without having some regard to the principles of human nature; and he, whose views in this respect are unsettled or narrow, will find in such views a most fruitful source of error and disappointment.
Whence is it that some men seem to move with an unerring sagacity towards their object, foreseeing and obviating difficulties, enlisting friends, converting even opposition into aid, and impressing on all a conviction of their power and skill? It is no superhuman or original instinct with