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The first attention of every public fpeaker, doubtless, must be, to make himself be heard by all thofe to whom he speaks. He mut endeavour to fill with his voice the fpace occupied by the affembly. This power of voice, it may be thought, is wholly a natural talent. It is fo in a good

measure; but, however, may receive conderable affistance from art. Much depends for this purpose on the proper pitch, and management of the voice. Every man has three pitches in his voice; the high, the middle, and the low one. The high, is that which he ufes in calling aloud to fome one at a diftance. The low is, when he approaches to a whifper. The middle is, that which he employs in common converfation, and which he fhould generally fe in public difcourfe. For it is a great milake, to imagine that one must take the highest pitch of his voice, in order to be well heard by a great affembly. This is confounding two things which are different, loudness, or ftrength of found, with the key, or note on which we speak. A

On this whole fubject, Mr. Sheridan's Lectares on Elocution are very worthy of being confulted; and feveral hints are here taken from

fpeaker may render his voice louder, without altering the key; and we fhall always be able to give moft body, most perfevering force of found, to that pitch of voice, to which in converfation we are accustomed. Whereas, by fetting out on our higheft pitch or key, we certainly allow ourfelves lefs compafs, and are likely to train our voice before we have done. We fhall

fatigue ourselves, and fpeak with pain; and whenever a man fpeaks with pain to himfelf, he is always heard with pain by his audience. Give the voice therefore full ftrength and fwell of found; but always pitch it on your ordinary fpeaking key.

Make it a conftant rule never to utter a

greater quantity of voice, than you can afford without pain to yourselves, and without any extraordinary effort. As long as you keep within thefe bounds, the other organs of fpeech will be at liberty to difcharge their feveral offices with eafe; and you will always have your voice under command. But whenever you tranfgrefs these bounds, you give up the reins, and have no longer any management of it. It is an ufeful rule too, in order to be well heard, to fix our eye on fome of the most diflant perfons in the affembly, and to confider rally and mechanically utter our words ourfelves as fpeaking to them. We natuwith fuch a degree of ftrength, as to make curfelves be heard by one to whom we addrefs ourselves, provided he be within the reach of our voice. As this is the case in common converfation, it will hold alfo in

public fpeaking. But remember, that in public as well as in converfation, it is pofextreme hurts the ear, by making the fible to offend by fpeaking too loud. This maffes; befides its giving the fpeaker the voice come upon it in rumbling indistinct difagreeable appearance of one who endeavours to compel affent, by mere vehemence and force of found.

In the next place, to being well heard, culation contributes more, than mere loudand clearly underficod, diftinctnefs of artinefs of found. The quantity of found neceffury to fill even a large space, is smaller than is commonly imagined; and with diftinct articulation, a man of a weak voice will make it reach farther, than the strongeft voice can reach without it. therefore, every public speaker ought to pay great attention. He muft give every found which he utters its due proportion, and make every fyllable, and even every letter in the word which he pronounces,

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be heard distinctly; without flurring, whifpering, or fupprefling any of the proper founds.

In the third place, in order to articulate diftinctly, moderation is requifite with regard to the speed of pronouncing. Precipitancy of fpeech confounds all articulation, and all meaning. I need fcarcely observe, that there may be alfo an extreme on the oppofite fide. It is obvious, that a lifelefs, drawling pronunciation, which allows the minds of the hearers to be always outrunning the fpeaker, muft render every difcourfe infipid and fatiguing. But the extreme of fpeaking too faft is much more common, and requires the more to be guarded against, becaufe, when it has grown up into a habit, few errors are more difficult to be corrected. To pronounce with a proper degree of flownefs, and with full and clear articulation, is the first thing to be studied by all who begin to speak in public; and cannot be too much recommended to them. Such a pronunciation gives weight and dignity to their difcourfe. It is a great affiftance to the voice, by the paufes and refts which it allows it more cafily to make; and it enables the fpeaker to fwell all his founds, both with more force and more mufic. It affifts him alfo in preferving a due command of himself; whereas a rapid and hurried manner, is apt to excite that flutter of fpirits, which is the greatest enemy to all right execution in the way of oratory. “ Promptum fit os," fays Quinctilian, "non præceps, moderatum, non lentum."

After thefe fundamental attentions to the pitch and management of the voice, to diftinct articulation, and to a proper degree of flownefs of fpeech, what a public Speaker muft, in the fourth place, ftudy, is Propriety of Pronunciation; or the giving to every word, which he utters, that found, which the most polite ufage of the language appropriates to it; in oppofition to broad, vulgar, or provincial pronunciation. This is requifite, both for speaking intelligibly, and for speaking with grace or beauty. Inftructions concerning this article, can be given by the living voice only. But there is one obfervation, which it may not be improper here to make. In the English language, every word which confifts of more fyllables than one, has one accented fyllable. The accent reits fometimes on the vowel, fometimes on the confonant. Seldom, or never, is there more than one accented fyllable in any English word, how

ever long; and the genius of the language requires the voice to mark that fyllable by a itronger percuffion, and to pafs more flightly over the reft. Now, after we have learned the proper feats of these accents, it is an important rule, to give every word juft the fame accent in public speaking, as in common discourse. Many perfons err in this refpect. When they speak in public, and with folemnity, they pronounce the fyllables in a different manner from what they do at other times. They dwell upon them, and protract them; they multiply accents on the fame word; from a mistaken notion, that it gives gravity and force to their difcourfe, and adds to the pomp of public declamation. Whereas, this is one of the greatest faults that can be committed in pronunciation; it makes what is called a theatrical or mouthing manner; and gives an artificial affected air to fpeech, which detracts greatly both from its agreeableness, and its impression.

I proceed to treat next of thofe higher parts of Delivery, by studying which, a speaker has fomething farther in view than merely to render himself intelligible, and feeks to give grace and force to what he utters. These may be comprised under four heads, Emphasis, Pauses, Tones, and Geftures. Let me only premife in general, to what I am to fay concerning them, that attention to these articles of Delivery, is by no means to be confined, as fome might be apt to imagine, to the more elaborate and pathetic parts of a difcourfe; there is, perhaps, as great attention requifite, and as much skill difplayed, in adapting emphafes, paufes, tones, and geftures, properly, to calm and plain speaking: and the effect of a juft and graceful delivery will, in every part of a subject, be found of high importance for commanding attention, and enforcing what is spoken.


First, let us confider Emphafis; by this meant a ftronger and fuller found of voice, by which we diftinguish the accented fyllable of fome word, on which we defign to lay particular ftrefs, and to show how it affects the rest of the fentence. Sometimes the emphatic word must be diftinguifhed by a particular tone of voice, as well as by a stronger accent. On the right management of the emphafis, depends the whole life and fpirit of every discourse. If no emphafis be placed on any words, not only is difcourfe rendered heavy and lifeless, but the meaning left often ambiguous. If the emphafis be placed wrong,


we pervert and confound the meaning wholly. To give a common instance; fuch a fimple queftion as this: "Do you ride to town to-day?" is capable of no fewer than four different acceptations, according as the emphafis is differently placed on the words. If it be pronounced thus: Do you ride to town to-day? the answer may naturally be, No; I send my fervant in my ftead. If thus; Do you ride to town to-day? Answer, No; I intend to walk. Do you ride to town to-day? No; I ride out into the fields. Do you ride to town te-day? No; but I shall to-morrow. In like manner, in folemn discourse, the whole force and beauty of an expreffion often depend on the accented word; and we may present to the hearers quite different views of the fame fentiment, by placing the emphafis differently. In the following words of our Saviour, obferve in what different lights the thought is placed, according as the words are pronounced. "Judas, betrayeft thou the Son of Man with a kifs ?" Betrayeft thou-makes the reproach turn, on the infamy of treachery. -Betrayeft thou-makes it reft, upon Judas's connection with his master. Betrayeft thou the Son of Man-refts it, upon our Saviour's perfonal character and eminence. Betrayeft thou the Son of Man with a kifs? turns it upon his proftituting the fignal of peace and friendship, to the purpofe of a mark of deftruction.

In order to acquire the proper management of the emphafis, the great rule, and indeed the only rule poffible to be given, is, that the speaker study to attain a juft conception of the force and fpirit of those fentiments which he is to pronounce. For to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a conftant exercise of good sense and attention. It is far from being an inconfiderable attainment. It is one of the greatest trials of a true and just tafte; and muft arife from feeling delicately ourfelves, and from judging accurately of what is fitteft to ftrike the feelings of others. There is as great a difference between a chapter of the Bible, or any other piece of plain profe, read by one who places the feveral emphafes every where with tafte and judgment, and by one who neglects or mistakes them, as there is between the fame tune played by the most mafterly hand, or by the moft bungling performer.

In all prepared difcourfes, it would be of great ufe, if they were read over or

rehearsed in private, with this particular view, to fearch for the proper emphafes before they were pronounced in public; marking, at the fame time, with a pen, the emphatical words in every sentence, or at least the moft weighty and affecting parts of the difcourfe, and fixing them well in memory. Were this attention oftener bestowed, were this part of pronunciation ftudied with more exactness, and not left to the moment of delivery, as is commonly done, public fpeakers would find their care abundantly repaid, by the remarkable effects which it would produce upon their audience. Let me caution, at the fame time, against one error, that of multiplying emphatical words too much. It is only by a prudent referve in the use of them, that we can give them any weight. If they recur too often; if a fpeaker attempts to render every thing which he fays of high importance, by a multitude of ftrong emphases, we foon learn to pay little regard to them. To crowd every fentence with emphatical words, is like crowding all the pages of a book with italic characters, which, as to the effect, is juft the fame with using no fuch distinctions at all.

Next to emphafis, the Paufes in fpeaking demand attention. These are of two kinds; firft, emphatical paufes; and next, fuch as mark the diftinctions of fenfe. An emphatical paufe is made, after fomething has been faid of peculiar moment, and on which we want to fix the hearer's attention. Sometimes, before fuch a thing is faid, we usher it in with a paufe of this nature. Such paufes have the fame effect as a strong emphafis, and are fubject to the fame rules; efpecially to the caution juft now given, of not repeating them too frequently. For, as they excite uncommon attention, and of course raise expectation, if the importance of the matter be not fully anfwerable to fuch expectation, they occafion difappointment and difguft.

But the most frequent and the principal ufe of paufes, is to mark the divifions of the fenfe, and at the fame time to allow the fpeaker to draw his breath; and the proper and graceful adjustment of fuch paules, is one of the moft nice and difficult articles in delivery. In all public fpeaking, the management of the breath requires a good deal of care, fo as not to be obliged to divide words from one another, which have fo intimate a connection, that they ought to be pronounced with the


fame breath, and without the leaft feparation. Many a fentence is miferably mangled, and the force of the emphasis totally loft, by divifions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while he is fpeaking, thould be very careful to provide a full fupply of breath for what he is to utter. It is a great mistake to imagine, that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at the intervals of the period, when the voice is only fufpended for a moment; and, by this management, one may have always a fufficient stock for carrying on the longest fentence, without improper interruptions.

If any one, in public fpeaking, fhall have formed to himfelf a certain melody or tune, which requires reft and paufes of its own, diftinct from those of the fenfe, he has, undoubtedly, contracted one of the worst habits into which a public fpeaker can fall. It is the fenfe which fhould always rule the paufes of the voice; for wherever there is any fenfible fufpenfion of the voice, the hearer is always led to expect fomething correfponding in the meaning. Paufes in public difcourfe, muft be formed upon the manner in which we utter ourselves in ordinary, fenfible converfation; and not upon the ftiff, artificial manner which we acquire from reading books according to the common punctuation. The general run of punctuation is very arbitrary; often capricious and falfe; and dictates an uniformity of tone in the paufes, which is extremely difagreeable: for we are to observe, that to render paufes graceful and expreffive, they must not only be made in the right place, but also be accompanied with a proper tone of voice, by which the nature of thefe paufes is intimated; much more than by the length of them, which can never be exactly meafured. Sometimes it is only a flight and fimple fufpenfion of voice that is proper; fometimes a degree of cadence in the voice is required; and fometimes that peculiar tone and cadence, which denotes the fentence finished. In all thefe cafes, we are to regulate ourselves, by attending to the manner in which nature teaches us to speak when engaged in real and earneft dif

courfe with others.

When we are reading or reciting verfe, there is a peculiar difficulty in making the paufes juftly. The difficulty arifes from the melody of verfe, which dictates to the

ear paufes or refts of its own; and to adjuft and compound thefe properly with the paufes of the fenfe, fo as neither to hurt the ear, nor offend the understanding, is fo very nice a matter, that it is no wonder we fo feldom meet with good readers of poetry. There are two kinds of pautes that belong to the mufic of verfe; one is, the paufe at the end of the line; and the other, the cæfural paufe in the middle of it. With regard to the paufe at the end of the line, which marks that ftrain or verse to be finished, ryhme renders this always fenfible, and in fome measure compels us to obferve it in our pronunciation. In blank verfe, where there is a greater liberty permitted of running the lines into one another, fometimes without any fufpenfion in the fenfe, it has been made a question, Whether, in reading fuch verfe with propriety, any regard at all should be paid to the close of a line? On the stage, where the appearance of 1peaking in verfe fhould always be avoided, there can, I think, be no doubt, that the close of such lines as make no paufe in the fenfe, fhould not be rendered perceptible to the ear. But on other occafions, this were improper: for what is the ufe of melody, or for what end has the poet compofed in verfe, if, in reading his lines, we fupprefs his numbers; and degrade them, by our pronunciation, into mere profe? We ought, therefore, certainly to read blank verfe fo as to make every line fenfible to the ear. At the fame time, in doing fo, every appearance of fing-fong and tone must be carefully guarded againft. The clofe of the line, where it makes no paufe in the meaning, ought to be marked, not by fuch a tone as is ufed in finifhing a fentence. but without either letting the voice fall or elevating it, it fhould be marked only by fuch a flight fufpenfion of found, as may diftinguish the paffage from one line to another, without injuring the meaning.

The other kind of mufical paufe, is that which falls fomewhere about the middle of the verfe, and divides it into two hemiftichs; a paufe, not fo great as that which belongs to the clofe of the line, but ftill fenfible to an ordinary ear. This, which is called the cæfural paufe, in the French heroic verfe falls uniformly in the middle of the line, in the English, it may fall after the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th fyllables in the line, and no other. Where the verfe is fo conflructed that this cæfural paufe coincides with the flightest pause or divifion in


the fenfe, the line can be read eafily; as in the two first verfes of Mr. Pope's Meffian,

Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong;

To heavenly themes, fublimer ftrains belong; But if it fhall happen that words, which have fuch a ftrift and intimate connection, as not to bear even a momentary feparation, are divided from one another by this cafural paufe, we then feel a fort of rug gle between the fenfe and the found, which renders it difficult to read fuch lines gracefully. The rule of proper pronunciation in fuch cafes is, to regard only the paufe which the fenfe forms; and to read the line accordingly. The neglect of the cafural paufe may make the line found fomewhat unharmonioufly; but the effect would be much worse, if the fenfe were facrificed to the found. For instance, in the following line of Milton,

-What in me is dark, Blumine; what is low, raife and fupport. The fenfe clearly dictates the paufe after « illumine," at the end of the third fyllable, which, in reading, ought to be made accordingly; though, if the melody only were to be regarded, "illumine" fhould be connected with what follows, and the paufe not made till the 4th or 6th fyllable. So in the following line of Mr. Pope's (Epille to Dr. Arbuthnot):

I fit, with fad civility I read :

The ear plainly points out the cæfural paufe as falling after "fad," the 4th fyllable. But it would be very bad reading to make any pause there, fo as to feparate " fad " and civility." The fenfe admits of no other paufe than after the fecond fyllable fit," which therefore must be the only paufe made in the reading.

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be laughed at. Sympathy is one of the molt powerful principles by which perfuafive difcourfe works its effect. The speaker endeavours to transfufe into his hearers his own fentiments and emotions; which he can never be fuccefsful in doing, unless he utters them in fuch a manner as to convince the hearers that he feels them. The proper expreffion of tones, therefore, deferves to be attentively studied by every one who would be a fuccefsful orator.

The greatest and molt material inftruction which can be given for this purpofe is, to form the tones of public fpeaking upon the tones of fentible and animated converfation. We may obferve that every man, when he is much in earnest in common difcourfe, when he is engaged in fpeaking on fome fubject which interests him nearly, has an eloquent or perfuafive tone and manner. What is the reafon of our being often fo frigid and unperfuafive in public difcourfe, bat our departing from the natural tone of fpeaking, and delivering ourfelves in an affected, artificial manner? Nothing can be more abfurd than to imagine, that as foon as one mounts a pulpit, or rifes in a public affembly, he is inftantly to lay afide the voice with which he expreffes himfelf in private; to affume a new, ftudied tone, and a cadence altogether foreign to his natural manner. This has vitiated all delivery; this has given rife to cant and tedious monotony, in the different kinds of modern public speaking, efpecially in the pulpit. Men departed from nature; and fought to give a beauty or force, as they imagined, to their difcourfe, by fubftituting certain ftudied mufical tones, in the room of the genuine expreflions of fentiment, which the voice carries in natural difcourfe. Let every

"All that paffes in the mind of man may be "reduced to two claffes, which I call, Ideas, and "Emotions. By Ideas, I mean all thoughts "which rife and pafs in fucceffion in the mind: "By Emotions, all exertions of the mind in ar"ranging, combining, and feparating its ideas; "as well as all the effects produced on the mind "itfelf by thofe ideas, from the more violent "agitation of the pailious, to the calmer feelings "produced by the operation of the intellect and "the fancy. In short, thought is the object of "the one, internal feeling of the other. That "which ferves to exprefs the former, I call the "Language of Ideas; and the latter, the Lan

I proceed to treat next of Tones in pronunciation, which are different both from emphafis and paufes; confifling in the modulation of the voice, the notes or variations of found which we employ in public fpeaking. How much of the propriety, the force and grace of discourse, muft depend on thefe, will appear from this fingle confideration; that to almoft every fentiment we utter, more especially to every ftrong emotion, nature hath adapted fome peculiar tone of voice; infomuch, that he who should tell another that he was very angry, or much grieved, in a tone which did not fuit fuch" in the mind of man.” emotions, instead of being believed, would

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guage of Emotions. Words are the figns of the one, tones of the other. Without the ufe "of thefe two forts of language, it is impoffible ❝to communicate through the car all that paties

SHERIDAN on the Art of Reading.

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