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toral quality." Joy and grief, too, become “ aspirated" when highly characterized. Ardor and intense earnestness of emotion, are always" aspirated.” The fervent expression of love, and even of devotion, admits, accordingly, of " aspirated” utterance. “ Aspiration," like “tremor," thus becomes a natural sign of extremes in feeling; and these two properties united, form the acmé or highest point of “expression.”
The "aspirated quality,” in the "guttural” form, belongs, in various degrees, to all malignant emotions. In its stronger expression, it gives a harsh, animal, and, sometimes, even fiend-like character to human utterance, as in the malice and revenge of Shylock. In a reduced, though still highly impassioned degree, it gives its peculiar choking effect to the utterance of
anger. In the yell of rage and fury, “aspiration” is displaced by perfectly pure tone" of the loudest sound, — by a law of man's organization, which it is unnecessary here to analyze, but which seems to make all the extremes, or utmost reaches of human feeling, musical in their effect. Joy, and the extremes of both grief and anger, may be mentioned as illustrations.
Aversion, disgust, displeasure, impatience, dissatisfaction, and discontent, all, in various degrees, combine “ pirated” utterance and “ guttural quality.”
The due “aspiration ” of the voice, in all the emotions which have been enumerated as requiring that property, is a point indispensable to the natural and appropriate pression" of emotion, and consequently an important accomplishment of good elocution, whether in reading or speaking.
To learners who have practised the exercises in whispering, which is the extreme of “ aspiration,” this quality will not prove difficult of acquisition. It will be of great service, however, to power of " expression,” to render the command of “ aspiration ” easy by frequent repetition on elements, syllables, and words, selected for the purpose, and on the following examples.
EXERCISES IN "ASPIRATED" QUALITY.
1. Awe, [in its gentle form, with moderate“ aspiration."]
("Pectoral Quality.") Note. The effect intended here is but the slightest approach to a whisper, - a barely perceptible breathing sound accompanying the utterance, - not unlike, in its effect, to a slight hoarseness.
“ How awful is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and the gate of Heaven!”
2. The same emotion deepened. “Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; yea all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same; and Thy years shall have no end.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
“ Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, ‘Return, ye children of men.' For a thousand years, in Thy sight, are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
“Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning, they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning, it flourisheth and groweth up : in thç evening, it is cut down, and withereth.”
3. Awe, [deepened by poetic expression.]
“ Behold the world Rests; and her tired inhabitants have paused From trouble and turmoil.
Silence and deep repose
4. Awe, (still deeper in "expression," and stronger in
aspiration.”] “ Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh, ' It is a dread and awful thing to die !'Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun, Where 'Time's far-wandering tide has never run, From your unfathomed shades, and viewless spheres, A warning comes, unheard by other ears. 'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud, Like Sinai's thunder pealing from the cloud ! While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust, The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust; And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod The roaring waves, and called upon his God, With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss, And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss !
5. Awe, [extending to Fear, with still stronger “aspi
ration.”] “It thunders! Sons of dust, in reverence bow! Ancient of days! Thou speakest from above: Thy right hand wields the bolt of terror now; That hand which scatters peace and joy and love.
Almighty ! trembling like a timid child,
6. Awe, [bordering on Horror ; — the effect still deepening.]
“ 'Tis night, dead night; and weary nature lies
7. Horror, and Fear, [the effect transcending that of
Awe; the “ aspiration" nearly a whisper.]
“ Now o'er the one half world
1. Horror and Amazement ; [“ aspiration" increased by
(" Pectoral Quality.”)
2. Horror and Terror ; [effect still farther increased.]
Clarence, [relating his dream.]
My dream was lengthened after life :-
3. Fear. (Whispering Voice : “ Guttural Quality.”) Caliban, [conducting Stephano and Trinculo to the cell of Prospero.] tread softly,
-- that the blind mole may not Hear a foot fall: we are now near his cell.