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pitch. The variety of loudness, softness, energy, and feebleness, requisite for good delivery, falls within the compass of each key. A speaker may, therefore, render his voice loud or soft without altering his key: and by observing a distinct articulation, he will always be able to give the most body—the most volume of sound-to that pitch of voice to which he is accustomed in ordinary conversation. Whereas, by setting out on a higher key, he will allow himself less compass, and be likely to strain his voice before he closes his discourse; and thus, by fatiguing himself, he will speak with pain: and “whenever a person speaks with pain to himself, he is heard with pain by his audience.”
In the exercise of the voice, great economy should be observ. ed in regard to the volume or amount of sound exploded, par. ticularly by those whose vocal organs are impaired or enfeebled. One ought, therefore, never to utter a greater quantity of sound (if it is scientifick so to speak) than he can afford without any extraordinary effort. By keeping within these bounds, the or. gans of speech will be able to discharge their various offices with ease and energy,
Attention to the following direction, will likewise be highly serviceable. If, before we pronounce a word or phrase which we wish to express in a very forcible manner, we make a pause, (generally a rhetorical pause,) and during the pause, draw into the lungs, a full inspiration, it will enable us to accomplish our object with great ease and effect.
Our enunciation should be loud or soft, energetick, forcible, or feeble, according to the nature and design of the word, phrase, or passage delivered.
Soft-Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows.
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
Him the Almighty Power
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
But I am not now
ANALYSIS OF FORCE.
The Force or Stress of the voice displayed in the utterance of syllables, consists of various qualities or characteristicks. It may be manifested at the commencement of a syllable, by an abrupt percussion, violently impressing the ear with a sudden loudness of sound; or it may commence with moderation, and advance with an increased swell of the voice to the middle of the sound or syllable, and then diminish to its close; or the sound may be particularly marked with force at its termination, or at both ends, or equally throughout its whole length. To the suddenness with which a vowel element may be exploded, to the gradually diminishing volume of voice that may take place in pronouncing a vowel with extended quantity, and to the final termination of its sound in a delicate vanish, the attention of the reader has already been called. In order to a clear understanding of the various kinds of force or stress, some knowl. edge of these elements is indispensably necessary.
RADICAL STRESS. The term Radical Stress, is given by Dr. Rush to that stress or sudden force that is frequently applied to the opening or commencing portion of sound given forth in pronouncing a syllable.
Please to read again the illustration of radical and vanishing movement, and so forth, given on pages 31, 61, and 75.
This kind of stress is much employed in expressing the angry passions, and all others associated with them; and, also, the emotions of hope, joy, exultation, positiveness, and so forth.
Force, when appropriately and effectively employed, is a symbol of energetick feeling. It gives life and animation to
discourse; and, on many occasions, becomes a powerful agent of oratory.
The following words of Edward to Warwick, require a high degree of
Radical Stress.-Guards, seize
VANISHING FORCE OR STRESS. As force is often applied at the beginning of a sound, so it is sometimes given at, or near, the termination of the sliding vanish: and when thus applied, it is styled by Dr. Rush, a Vanishing Stress.
A striking exhibition of this kind of stress, will be made, if the student pronounce a vowel, or a consonant that admits of quantity, with moderate force, and protract the sound through the interval of a rising third or fifth, by observing, just at the termination of the vanishing movement, to give the sound, as it were, a strong and sudden jerk.
This stress is frequently employed to make the concrete in. tervals of thirds and fifths in interrogation, more conspicuous, and is expressive of impatient ardour, surprise, complaint, fretfulness, and the like. Hence it is often heard in the complaints of children, and of peevish persons. It is also distinctly marked in hiccough, as well as in that peculiarity of the Irish pronunciation of the English language, vulgarly called “Irish accent."
COMPOUND FORCE OR STRESS. When force is applied at both ends of a sound or syllable, it is called Compound Stress.
When the sound of a long syllable, swells from its opening to the middle of it, and then diminishes to its close, the force applied, is styled by Dr. Rush, Median Stress.
This kind of stress may be illustrated on the words hail,
sole, name, heel, or on y, o, or I, and so forth, in the following - manner:—let the voice open upon these syllables with moderate
force, and gradually swell in volume as it proceeds till it becomes full and conspicuous, and then let it diminish in the same gradual manner until it dies away in the ordinary vanish.
This kind of stress may advantageously be practised on the direct wave of a second. Words emphasised with it, acquire an agreeable smoothness of sound. It is the appropriate emphasis for syllables of long quantity, and, consequently, is much employed in all subjects of a dignified character. In the
management of this element, great delicacy is required, for, s when naturally displayed, it is but slightly marked.
is Some of the consonants, such as s, sh, sts, f, h, th, ch, wh,
are denominated Aspirate elements, because they are uttered
by a sort of whispering explosion of the breath, and with little 1) or no sound in the throat.
Some of the consonants, as well as the vowel elements, are is commonly exploded without any aspiration. It is possible, - however, to mingle aspiration, in various degrees, with all the
vowel sounds; and, indeed, to aspirate them completely by i whispering them. e Aspiration is much employed in expressing scorn, contempt,
excessive anger, earnestness, and the like. What could be
Then first, with amazement, fair Imogine found,
- ACCENT. ACCENT implies that peculiar force or stress of the voice which is given to a particular letter or syllable of a word, in order to distinguish it from the other syllables, and render its articulation more distinct and audible; as in the word promote, the stress must be laid on the letter o, which gives to the second syllable, mote, the accent.
Every word of more syllables than one, has one of them ac. cented. With few exceptions, the placing of the accent on one syllable in preference to another, is determined entirely by custom.
To promote euphony and distinctness in the utterance of a long word, a secondary accent is frequently given to one or two other syllables besides that which takes the principal accent. The acute accent- (the character employed in this work to denote the rising inflection of the voice) generally points to the vowel or syllable which takes the primary or principal accent; and the grave accent—' (which is employed to denote the falling inflection) points to the vowel or syllable which takes the secondary accent: thus, as ton' ish 'ment, tes ti mo' ni 'al.
Mere force or stress gives accent to short syllables; as in the words tem'-pest, crim'-inal, hat-tery.
But the accent given to long syllables, includes not only the effect of force, but also, the idea of time; as in the words hope-ful, stran'-ger, fee-lingly.
As accent relates to the pronunciation of words, or parts of words, taken singly and separately, it does not legitimately come within the province of elocution, which has been defined to relate chiefly to the pronunciation of words taken successively and collectively, and considered according to their relative dependance on each other for sense. The study of elocution presupposes, on the part of the student, a knowledge of accent, as well as of orthography, and so forth. This subject, therefore, will be closed, by noticing two or three circumstances under which the accent of words is controlled by secondary causes, and thereby transposed.
First, a change in the meaning of a word, sometimes changes the place of its accent; as, con'jure, to practice enchantments;
effect ful, stran wates to the pharately, it