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Teacher. A marked change indeed, and much for the better; but why do you give an emphasis to life?
B. Because it means their whole life in contrast with what it might have been, if taken at the flood. Teacher. The next give his example.
C.-Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest mé to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also âll | that hear me this day, were both almost | and altogether | such as I am, except these bonds.-Here the first period is separated into five divisions,-two by punctuation, and three by half bars: all have the rising slide or rising curve but the last, and that has the falling, because there the sense is formed; and the third has the rising curve to give it emphasis. The second period has nine divisions; six by punctuation, and three by bars. Thou has the rising circumflex, and all, the falling; almost, the rising, and altogether, the falling; and am has the falling slide because sense is formed; and bonds has the rising circumflex, because it is a negative clause. The last two divisions were read as if the construction were thus :
and, except these bonds, were altogether | such as I àm." The words marked by circumflexes, and that with a curve, are under emphasis.
T.-Does emphasis always attend these inflections ? C.-Not of necessity: the circumflex and curve may be used without producing emphasis, as well as the slides; but when brought out prominently, I think they always produce it.
T.—Who can give a reason for laying emphasis upon thou and all ?
D. Because they are put in strong contrast, or opposition to each other. Words so placed generally require emphasis by different slides, curves or circumflexes: the same reason also applies to almost and altogether.
T.-And what reason for emphasizing bonds?
D.-Because of its significancy: plainly suggesting by it that he greatly desired that all might be such as he was: not, of course, in bonds such as he wore in prison; but in those of Christian love and fellowship: and because it is a clause of exception or negation.-Where sentences terminate with an exception, or a clause negative, or conditional, they generally require a rising curve, circumflex, or slide: as, I said fàme, not bláme. I shall ride dut, unless it ráin.
E.—I should read that passage from the 26th chapter of Acts in this manner: Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuadest mè | to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this dày, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
C.-Such, I think, with slight variations, is the general mode but it has little force compared with the other, and it is still worse in regard to meaning. By putting emphasis on me with the falling slide, we make it imply, "almost thou persuadest mè," as well as others but we have not heard that any wère persuaded. If we emphasize day with the falling slide, we give a wrong meaning: for that was the only time through the day, I suppose, that any body heard him: of course it means simply to-dày, or on this occàsion.—An emphasis by the falling slide on I, is not called for; as all knew
Paul to be a Christian; and for that very thing he was in bonds. The falling slide on bonds is equally objectional with the rest. So this manner of reading robs the passage of all its strong points of sense, and most of its vivacity.
T.-Your remarks, Master C., are sensible and pertinent; and I did not see how your manner of reading the passage could well be improved, except in two particulars. I would put a bar instead of a half bar after Agrippa, and a half bar after said, thus; "Then Agrippa said unto Pául." As this breaks up the monotony, and gives less prominence to the word Paul: for since the name had been spoken before, it should be repeated as if it were the pronoun: "said to him." I
G.-Sir, I cannot see but that the principles and the illustrations are all correct; yet my father thinks my reading is far from being natural. He thinks it is not even so good as it was before I began these exercises.
T.-Master Gordon, please to give us your example. G.-Prospérity gains friends and advérsity | triès them. I have marked this sentence into four divisions by three bars; each ending with the rising slide except the last; and to this I have given the falling slide, because it completes the sense.
T. I am not surprised, Master Gordon, that your father thought your reading far from being natural; if you read to him as you have just read: nor that you should think you were following out the principles taught in the book. Many have deceived themselves in the same way, and then charged the system as false because of their misapprehension. Who will point out the places where Master G. was wrong?
B. He did not make the inflections he named. He read prosperity, gains and adversity with rising circumflexes not rising slides as he supposed and tries with a falling circumflex, for the falling slide. The divisions. were bad. He made a full bar at prosperity, and a jog, or hiatus in his voice; instead of which, it should be a half bar and the stream of sound should be kept up till lost in gains. The same might be said of adversity, the last syllable of which should be swelled into tries. I should read it in this way. Prospérity gains friends | and adversity trìes thèm.
G.-I see very well where the fault lay, and how I happened to make it. By aiming at great distinctness, I made circumflexes when I intended to make slides.
T.-Yes, Sir, and your case is by no means a singular one in changing old habits, while guarding against one error, we are liable to run into another in an opposite direction. Whatever the change may be in utterance or manner, time is needed to prepare us to exhibit either with ease and grace. A person who has been well educated, and brought into correct and well settled habits, never thinks of his tones, inflections or other things connected with a good utterance while reading; nor of his manners, his grammar and rhetoric, while conversing: nor of his attitudes and gestures in public speaking: if he does he is very likely to be constrained and unnatural.
H.-And it appears to me, when a person has overcome all his bad habits, and has become settled in good ones, he is so intent, all the time, upon the matter he is uttering, that it is his mind that talks, that reads and speaks.
T.-An excellent idea! Yes, all other things spontaneously adjust themselves to his thoughts and feelings. And so will it soon be with Master Gordon; and his father then will not think his performance so "far from being natural."
MODULATION.-TONE-PITCH-QUANTITY-QUALITY OF VOICE.
THAT agreeable variety of changes through which the voice passes in reading and speaking, is called modulation: a term derived from the word modulor, which signified among the Romans, to measure sounds, to sing, to warble, to trill, to play on an instrument.
While listening to a good speaker, we perceive the syllables and words constantly on the change upward and downward, in some respects like the notes in music, and no two succeeding exactly in the same line of sound. Sometimes the voice sweeps through the scale like the rise and fall of the eight notes: sometimes it skips through an interval of several notes from low to high, from high to low, and rarely approaches monotony, and never to what is called sing-song. Of course, modulation is inseparably connected with pause and inflection, accent, emphasis and cadence; and all the modifications arising from tone, pitch, quantity, rate of utterance, and quality of voice. It adapts its changes to every succeeding sentiment and emotion, and adjusts them to the laws of an ever varying harmony.