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For he is like the accursed and crafty snake !
("Guttural and Pectoral Quality.") Shylock, [referring to the pound of flesh, the penalty attached to Antonio's bond.] “If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million ; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated my enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew! Hath not a Jew eyes ? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions ? Is he not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter, as a Christian is? If you stab us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge ? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility ? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.”
5. Hatred, Rage, Horror. (“Guttural and Pectoral Quality : fierce " aspiration.”')
Satan, [in soliloquy.]
6. Horror, Terror, and Alarm.
(“Pectoral Quality.”) Macbeth, [to the ghost of Banquo.] “ 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 Which thou dost glare with!
“ Hence horrible shadow ! Unreal mockery, hence !"
7. Fervor. (" Pectoral Quality : extremely earnest, rapid, and agitated
utterance.) King Henry V, Con the eve of the battle of Agincourt.]
“O God of battles ! steel my soldiers' hearts ! Possess them not with fear: take from them now The sense of reckoning, if the opposed numbers Pluck their hearts from them !- Not to-day, O Lord, Oh! not to-day, think not upon the fault My father made in compassing the crown!
A PRIMARY characteristic of utterance, as expressive of emotion, is the degree of its energy, or force. The effect of any feeling on sympathy, is naturally inferred from the degree of force with which the sound of the voice, in the utterance of that feeling, falls upon the ear of the hearer. The cause of this impression upon the mind, is, obviously, the law of organic sympathy, by which one part of the human frame naturally responds to another. A powerful emotion not only affects the heart and the lungs, and the other involuntary agents of life and of expression, but starts the expulsory muscles into voluntary action, and produces voice, the natural indication and language of feeling. The degree of force, therefore, in a vocal sound, is intuitively taken as the measure of the emotion which causes it. Except, only, those cases in which the force of feeling paralyzes, as it were, the organs of voice, and suggests the opposite measure of inference, by which a choked and struggling utterance, a suppressed or inarticulate voice, or even absolute silence, becomes the index to the heart.
The command of all degrees of force of voice, must evidently be essential to true and natural expression, whether in reading or speaking. Appropriate utterance ranges through all stages of vocal sound, from the whisper of fear and the murmur of repose, to the boldest swell of vehement declamation, and the shout of triumphant courage. But to give forth any one of these or the intermediate tones, with just and impressive effect, the organs must be disciplined by appropriate exercise and frequent practice. For every day's observation proves to us, that mere natural instinct and animal health, with all the aids of informing intellect, and inspiring emotion, and exciting circumstances, are not sufficient to produce the effects of eloquence, or even of adequate utterance.
The overwhelming power of undisciplined feeling, may not only impede but actually prevent the right action of the instruments of speech; and the novice who has fondly dreamed, in his closet, that nothing more is required for effective expression, than a gonpine feeling, finds, to his dis
comfiture, that it is, perhaps, the very intensity of his feeling that hinders his utterance; and it is not till experience and practice have done their work, that he learns the primary lesson, that force of emotion needs a practised force of will, to balance and regulate it, and a disciplined control over the organs, to give it appropriate utterance.
The want of due training for the exercise of public reading or speaking, is evinced in the habitual undue loudness of some speakers, and the inadequate force of others; the former subjecting their hearers to unnecessary pain, and the latter to disappointment and uneasiness.
Force of utterance, however, has other claims on the attention of students of elocution, besides those which are involved in correct expression. It is, in its various gradations, the chief means of imparting strength to the vocal organs, and power to the voice itself. The due practice of exercises in force of utterance, does for the voice what athletic exercise does for the muscles of the body: it im
wo great conditions of power, pliancy.
“Vocal gymnastics" afford no discipline more useful than that which accompanies the daily practice of the various gradations of force. Exercises of this description, enable the public speaker to retain perpetually at command the main element of vivid and impressive utterance; and they furnish to
oung persons of studious and sedentary habit the means of thorough invigoration for the energetic use of the voice, required in professional exertions.
Vocal exercises of the kind now suggested, are also invaluable aids to health, and cheerfulness, and mental activity, in all who practise them, and are not less useful in training the voice for the gentle utterance required in the practice of reading in the domestic or the social circle, than in invigorating it for public performances.
The effect of vocal training in the department of force, is greatly augmented, when the bolder exercises are performed in the open air or in a large hall. A voice trained on this scale of practice, easily accommodates itself to a more limited space; while it is equally true, that a voice habituated to parlor reading only, usually fails in the attempt to practise in a room more spacious. Farther, the fact is familiar to instructors in elocution, that persons commencing practice with a very weak and inadequate voice, attain, in a few weeks, a perfect command of the utmost degrees of force, by performing their exercises out of doors, or in a hall of ample dimensions.
It is a matter of great moment, in practising the exercises in force, to observe, at first, with the utmost strictness, the rule of commencing with the slightest and advancing to the most energetic forms of utterance. When practice has imparted due vigor and facility, it will be a useful variation of order, to commence with the more powerful exertions of the voice, and descend to the more gentle. It is a valuable attainment, also, to be able to strike at once, and with perfect ease and precision, into any degree of force, from whispering to shouting.
As the exercises in the various “ qualities” of the voice, have already led us over the ground of “force,” in all its gradations, it will be sufficient to present them once in succession, without farther explanation.
The very shadow of thy waving hair, Wakes in my soul a feeling too profound, Too strong for aught that lives and dies, to bear:
Oh! bid the conflict cease!
(“ Expulsive" utterance.)
Sister spirit ! come away!'" *" Suppressed force is not limited exclusively to the forms of the whisper or the half-whisper. Still, it is usually found in one or other of these ; and, on this account, although sometimes intensely earnest and energetic in the expression of feeling, it is a gradation of utierance which, in point of“ vocality,” ranks below even the moderate ” and “subdued » forms of "pure tone." We regard, at present, its value in vocal force, not in “expression."