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would seem the appropriate language of all emotions which, in poetic phraseology, are said to "fill the soul," "swelí the bosom," "fire the heart," or " delight and charm the fancy."
Thorough stress," is, accordingly, the characteristic mode of " expression" in the utterance of rapture, joy, triumph, and exultation, lofty command, indignant emotion, disdain, excessive grief, or whatever high-wrought feeling seems for the time to wreak itself on expressive sound. It is obviously the language of extreme or impassioned feeling only. It abounds, accordingly, in lyric and dramatic poetry. It is found, however, in all vehement declamation in which the emotion is sustained by reflective sentiment, as in the excitement of virtuous indignation and high-souled contempt.
“ Thorough stress" is one of the most powerful weapons of oratory, as well as one of the most vivid effects of natural feeling. "If indiscriminately used, it becomes ineffective, as savoring of the habit and mannerism of the individual, rather than of just and appropriate energy. In such circumstances, it becomes rant; and when joined, as it sometimes is, to the habit of "mouthing," it can excite nothing but disgust in a hearer of well-regulated taste.
Juvenile readers, however, in some instances, from diffidence, and students, from their enfeebling mode of life, are apt to fall far short of the requisite degree of this expressive function of voice. To obtain the full command of it in all its applications, and to preserve it always from excess, much careful practice on appropriate examples, and on letters, syllables, and words, becomes indispensable, as a preparatory discipline in elocution.
Rapture, Joy, Triumph, Exultation. ("Expulsive orotund": "Impassioned” force : Powerful “stress.”)
O Death! where is thy sting !”
("Expulsive orotund : " Force of shouting: Vehement “stress.”')
Shout, Tyranny, shout Through your dungeons and palaces, ‘Freedom is o'er ! ' »
(" Expulsive orotund,” and “sustained” force of calling, com
bined : Powerful and prolonged “stress.”)
“ Princes! potentates!
Vehement Indignation. (“ Expulsive orotund”:
“ Declamatory " force: Vehement
stress.") “These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call upon
that right reverend and this most learned Bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to defend and support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn, upon the judges to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character."
Disdain. Satan, (to Ithuriel and Zephon.] (" Expulsive orotund”: Impassioned” force : Powerful
“ Know ye not me? Ye knew me once no mate For
you; there sitting where ye durst not soar : Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, The lowest of your throng."
Violent Grief. Lady Capulet, Con the apparent death of Juliet.] (" Aspirated pectoral and oral Quality”: “Explosive ” utter
“Impassioned” force : Violent “ stress.”) “ Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day! Most miserable hour that ere time saw, In lasting labor of his pilgrimage !"
When, by the hysterical or excessive force of impassioned feeling, the breath is agitated into brief successive jets, instead of gushing forth in a continuous stream of unbroken sound, a tremor, or tremulous effect of voice, is produced, which breaks its stress into tittles or points; much in the same way that a row of dots may be substituted to the eye, for one continuous line. The human voice, in the case now in view, is as appropriately said to “tremble,” as when we apply the term to the shivering motion of the muscular frame.
The “tremor" of the voice is the natural expression of all emotions, which, from their peculiar nature, are attended with a weakened condition of the bodily organs ; such as extreme feebleness from age, exhaustion, sickness, fatigue, grief, and even joy, and other feelings, in which ardor or extreme tenderness predominates.
In the reading or the recitation of lyric and dramatic poetry, this function of voice is often required for full, vivid, and touching expression. Without its appeals to sympathy, and its peculiar power over the heart, many of the most beautiful and touching passages of Shakspeare and Milton, become dry and cold. Like the tremolo of the accomplished vocalist, in operatic music, it has a charm for the absence of which nothing can atone; since nature suggests it as the genuine utterance of the most delicate and thrilling emotion.
The perfect command of " tremor," requires often-repeated practice on elements, syllables, and words, as well as on appropriate passages of impassioned language.
1. The Tremor of Age and Feebleness. (" Pure Tone" : “Subdued ” force of Pathos : Tremulous utter
throughout.) “Pity the
poor Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span ;
Oh! give relief; and Heaven will bless your store!”
2. Exhaustion and Fatigue. (" Aspirated pectoral and oral Quality": " Suppressed” force :
" Tremor," throughout.) Adam, [to Orlando.] “ Dear master, I can go no farther : Oh! I die for food! Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell ! kind master."
(“Pure Tone" “ Subdued” force of Pathos : Oceasional
tremor of Tenderness.) Orlando, [to Adam.] “Why, how now, Adam ! - no greater heart in thee? Live a little ; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little. For my sake be comfortable; hold death awhile at the arm's end : I will here be with thee presently. Well said ! thou look’st cheerily: and I'll be with thee quickly. — Yet thou liest in the bleak air : Come, I will bear thee to some shelter. Cheerly, good Adam!”
3. Sickness. King John, (on the eve of his death, to Faulconbridge.] (" Aspirated pectoral Quality”: “Suppressed” force : Gasping
and tremulous utterance.) “O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye: My heart hath one poor string to stay it by, Which holds but till thy news be uttered ; And then all this thou seest, is but a clod And module of confounded royalty."
4. Excessive Grief. Eve, [to Adam, after their fall and doom.] (" Aspirated pectoral and oral Quality" : "Impassioned" force :
Weeping utterance : Tremor,” throughout.)
5. Extreme Pity. (“Pure Tone”: “Impassioned ” force : Weeping and tremu
power, I would