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RULES AND OBSERVATIONS ON READING.
To become a good reader is a valuable attainment. To ensure success, the first step is decision on the part of the scholar. The second is effort, and the third perseverance. The purpose of mind must be as firmly fixed to break up and abandon bad habits, as to establish and confirm good
Therefore, 1. Avoid a dull and drawling manner. 2. Avoid too rapid an utterance of words. 3. Avoid a thick and cluttered pronunciation. 4. Avoid clipping words by imperfect utterance.
5. Avoid a mechanical variety-sliding the voice up and down in a kind of sing-song tone.
6. Avoid beginning a sentence on a high and strained key, and gradually sinking the tone till it tapers off in apparent faintness. 7. Avoid careless blunders in the pauses of punctuation. 8. Avoid reading every character of style alike.
GENERAL HEADS. All the essential requisites in order to become a good reader or speaker, are comprised under three general heads,
3. Modulation of tones. 1. Concerning good articulation. DEFINITION. Good articulation consists in giving every letter its appropriate sound, and every syllable and word a proper and distinctive utterance.
Rule 1. Take special care to give clearness of expression in the utterance of such consonant sounds as mark the distinction of words.
EXERCISES. . Times and Seasons. Wastes and deserts. For Christ's sake. His sister hates study. The beasts straggled ceed” or
through the wastes and forests. The winds strike the · ship’s sails. It was the severest storm of the season, but the masts stood through the gale. The steadfast stranger grasps the thistle's stalk. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw.
RULE. 2. Give each vowel under accent that distinctive elementary sound the word requires, and avoid such a half-suppressed utterance of the unaccented vowels as leaves the letter unknown, or assimilates the sound to some other.
EXAMPLES. I mean to say government,” but seem to say “gove ermunt.”
I mean to say "proceed," but nothing is heard but “prcede ;" leaving it uncertain whether it was "pro
precede.” I mean to say “wholly," but actually do say “hully."
RULE 3. Pronounce each word so as not to transfer the sound of its last letter to the succeeding word.
"this is an ice house ;' but from an indistinct articulation I am understood to say, “this is a nice house." I mean to say,
That lasts till night.
Such an ocean exists.
Such a notion exists. RULE 4. Each syllable on which the several accents fall must be marked by its proper distinctive stress of voice.
Note. The figure i denotes the full accent, and 2 the half accent.
I wish to say
Note. Clear and distinct articulation are indispensable in forming a good reader.
2. Of inflections of voice. DEFINITION. Inflections of voice are modifications in the slides of sound, rising above or falling below that key tone on which we commence reading or speaking a sentence.
The several inflections of the voice are indicated by the following characters, viz:
The upward slide of the voice. \ The downward slide of the voice. - The monotone or continued sameness of sound.
u The circumflex, or undulated ione. Note 1. Although each of the above characters indicates an inflection of voice the same in kind, yet in degree, intensity, and significant expressiveness, there is a great variety of shades.
Note 2. Whoever wishes for the most perfect specimen of all the natural inflections of voice, will find it by conversing with children of sprightliness and vivacity, from three to five years of age, or by listening to animated conversation between two intelligent individuals.
RULE 1. The rising inflection is always used in such direct questions as may be answered by yes or no; while the answer to such questions requires the falling inflection.
Will he come to dáy ? No, but to mòrrow. Rule 2. Words and clauses connected by the disjunctive or, require the rising slide before it, and the falling slide after it.
Rule 3. When a negative clause precedes an affirmative, the two being in opposition to each other, the former has the rising, and the latter the falling slide.
Rule 4. The pause of suspension between members of the same sentence, requires the rising slide.
EXAMPLES. The beauty of a pláin, the greatness of a mountain, the ornaments of a building, the expression of a picture, and the composition of a discourse, are to some persons matters of little or no interest.
RULE 5. The expression of tender emotions inclines the voice to a gentle upward slide.
My mother! when I learn’d that thou wast déad,
Rule 6. The last pause but one in a sentence closed by a falling inflection, usually has a very slight upward slide, by way of contrast with the closing cadence.
EXAMPLES. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estàte, then to arrive at honors, then to retire.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.
RULE 7. The indirect question, not answered by yes or no, together with its answer, has the falling slide.