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different clime, and in every season of the year,
universal nature is before him, and invites to a banquet richly replenished with whatever can invigorate his understanding, or gratify his mental taste. The earth on which he treads, the air in which he moves, the sea along the margin of which he walks, all teem with objects that keep his attention perpetually awake, excite him to healthful activity, and charm him with an ever-varying succession of the beautiful, the wonderful, the useful, and the new."
3. Animated Style.* (The approach to poetic description renders the “swell ” still more forcible and full, but also allows the voice to dwell comparatively longer upon it.)
“He who rises early, is met by the domestic animals, with peculiar pleasure: one winds and purs about him, another frisks and capers, and does everything but speak. The stern mastiff, the plodding ox, the noble horse, the harmless sheep, the prating poultry, each in its own way expresses joy when he first appears. Then how incomparably fine is the dawning of the day, when the soft light comes stealing on, at first glimmers with the stars, but gradually outshines them all! How beautiful are the folding and parting of the gray clouds, drawn back like a curtain, to give us a sight of the most magnificent of all appearances, the rising of the sun! How rich is the dew, decking every spire of grass with colored spangles of endless variety, and of inexpressible beauty! Larks mount, and fill the air with a cheap and perfect music; and every tree, every steeple, and every hovel, emits a cooing or a twittering, a warbling, or a chirping, - a hailing of the returning day.”
4. Declamatory Force. “Shall we be told that the exasperated feelings of a whole people, goaded and spurred on to clamor and resistance, were excited by the poor and feeble influence of these secluded princesses? or that they could inspire this enthusiasm and this despair into the breasts of a people who felt no grievance, and had suffered no torture ? — What motive, then, could have such influence in their bosoms? What motive ! - That which Nature, the common parent, plants in the bosom of man, and which is congenial with, and makes part of his being, - that feeling which tells him that man was never made to be the property of man; but that, when through pride and insolence of power, one human creature dares to tyrannize over another, it is a power usurped, and resistance is a duty, – that principle which tells him, that resistance to power usurped is not merely a duty which he owes to himself and to his neighbor, but a duty which he owes to his God, in asserting and maintaining the rank which He gave him in the creation ! — to that common God, who, where he gives the form of man, whatever may be the complexion, gives also the feelings and the rights of man, — that principle which neither the rudeness of ignorance can stifle, nor the enervation of refinement extinguish, - that principle which makes it base for a man to suffer when he ought to act; which, tending to preserve to the species the original designations of Providence, spurns at the arrogant distinctions of man, and vindicates the independent quality of his race.”
* See last foot note on preceding page.
5. Impassioned Force.
Antony, [before the conspirators.]
Weeping as fast as they stream forth thy blood,
6. Shouting and Calling. (The strongest “ swell” of which the voice is capable, the
note prolonged.) Cinna, [after the assassination of Cæsar.] “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence! proclaim, cry it about the streets !” Cassius. “ Some to the common pulpits ! and cry out,
Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement !"
The word "vanishing," in this use of it, is divested entirely of its usual meaning. It has no reference whatever to an effect corresponding to the gradual disappearing of a visible object, withdrawing from the eye. It refers, as a technical term, merely to the last audible moment of a vocal sound,
as the word “ vanish” was technically used in speaking of the “ vanishing movement” in the utterance of a sound or the enunciation of a letter. The terms “radical ” and “ vanish,” used in elocution, with reference to the property of“ stress," are always to be understood as exactly synonymous, the former, with the word initial, and the latter, with the word final.
We have observed, thus far, that some emotions, in their
utterance, throw the “
stress or force of vocal sound upon the first portion of an element, as in the "explosive radical” of anger, of fear, of scorn, and similar passions; while others retain the “ stress ” for the effect of a “swell,” or expulsive force, on the middle of a note, as in the “median" style of the shout of triumph, or the gentle, but full-swelling tone of reverence, or adoration. We proceed now to those emotions which express themselves by a jerking force,
stress," thrown out at the “vanish" or close of a sound.
The force of utterance in the expression of emotions marked by “vanishing stress," begins with a light and gentle, and ends with a heavy and violent sound, which leaves off instantly and abruptly. But although the sound, in such cases, is obviously slight at its commencement, and powerful at its close, it is by no means a gradual formation and increase of force, easily followed by the ear analyzed by the mind. On the contrary, the whole duration of such sounds is very brief and transient, and their effect on the ear excessively abrupt, as well as violent.
This form of “stress," being the natural expression of extreme emotion, does not admit of the gradations which may not unfrequently be traced in the “radical” and “ median” modes. It exists only in the shape of a protracted or deferred "explosion." Its nature is incompatible with “expulsion," or any inferior force.
A pretty accurate impression of the character of the vanishing stress, may be obtained by listening to the sound of a musket, when, through negligent loading, or from damp powder, it " hangs fire," and a partially bissing, but growing sound precedes the final explosion. It is exhibited in the mechanical functions of the human organs of respiration and of voice, when the workman who is using a heavy sledge-hammer brings it down in coincidence with a groaning expiration, terminating, at the moment of the blow, in the form familiarly termed a grunt. It is exemplified, in its moral effect, in the language of a child stung to a high pitch of impatient or peevish feeling, and uttering, in the tone of the most violent ill temper, its appropriate “I
won't!” or YOU SHAN'T !” In such circumstances the
explosion " of passion is deferred, or hangs, for a moment, on the ear, till the “vanish ” or final part of the sound bursts out from the chest, throat, and mouth with furious vehemence; leaving, in its abrupt termination, an effect directly contrary to the dying wail of grief, or the gentle vanish of the tone of love.
The obvious preparation of the organs for the vocal effect, in the expression of “vanishing stress," implies its comparative dependence on volition. Hence it is the natural utterance of determined purpose, of earnest resolve, of stern rebuke, of contempt, of astonishment and horror, of fierce and obstinate will, of dogged sullenness of temper, of stubborn passion, and all similar moods. It is the language, also, of peevishness and impatience, and, sometimes, of ercessive grief.
Like all other forms of impassioned utterance which are strongly marked in the usages of natural habit, this property of voice is indispensable to appropriate elocution, whether in speaking or reading. Without “ vanishing stress," declamation will sometimes lose its manly energy of determined will, and become feeble song to the ear. Highwrought resolution can never be expressed without it. Even the language of protest, though respectful in its form, needs the aid of the right degree of " vanishing stress," to intimate its sincerity and its firmness of determination, as well as its depth of conviction.
But when we extend our view to the demands of lyric and dramatic poetry, in which high-wrought emotion is so abundant an element of effect, the full command of this property of voice, as the natural utterance of extreme passion, becomes indispensable to true, natural, and appropriate style.
Determined Purpose and Earnest Resolve.
Example 1. [Webster on Freedom of Debate.] (“Pectoral Quality": Declamatory” force: Bold stress.")
“On such occasions, I will place myself on the extreme