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RULES FOR AUDIBLE AND CORRECT PRONUNCIATION IN
"Whose end both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold as 'twere the mirror
GLASGOW: PORTEOUS BROTHERS.
WITH respect to the position which the words of the Compiler of this Treatise holds in relation to the Extracts which are to follow, it is conceived that "only in such a world he fills up a place which may be better supplied when he has made it empty: "-that the more room he leaves for the language of others, the more gratifying it will be to the reader. Briefly, then, he would introduce his book as one whose nature, end, and aim may be recognized by its title:-A NEW Hand-book of Elocution. The Novelty to which it lays claim is confined chiefly to the selections, most of which are now introduced into an Elocutionary Manual for the first time. They have been chosen after due deliberation, assisted by an experience gleaned from many years' acquaintance with the class-room and public platform. They are presented therefore with the pleasing confidence of knowing that they will not alone instruct and interest the Private Student, but will be found correspondingly suggestive and EFFECTIVE to the Professional Reader and Reciter.
The Work embraces whatever belongs to the domain of reading or oratory. It sets out with TWELVE SIMPLE RULES, which are conceived to be sufficient to enable any Tyro to read audibly, distinctly, and with intelligence. Speaking from experience, the Compiler can affirm that however useful certain Elocutionary Problems (with Phrases no less Problematical) may have been and are to some, they have never in one single instance helped him or any one of his pupils. In all cases SIMPLICITY has been found to be the secret of success. The pupil should carefully avoid a slavish copy of the master, but he can no more hope to attain to eminence without a Living Example, than a blind man could hope correctly to imitate nature. Sight and sound are indispensable to attain proficiency in the Art; and without an INSTRUCTOR who can shew his disciples reasons for alteration of tone, and practically demonstrate changes of gesture, the concentrated essence of all that has been written on the Theory of Elocution is comparatively USELESS. With regard to Rules, there are certain principles that can never fail to afford help in respect to reading at sight; but when the scholar has attained to a clear and vigorous delivery, with a just appreciation of the Meaning of the respective pieces, the best rules will be found to have grown obsolete, and as cumbersome as the iron frame-work is to the well-set limbs of an active child.
Careful attention has been paid to selections of what are called "Elocutionary Extracts;" and accordingly, in the DRAMATIC SCENES,
SHAKESPERIAN SOLILOQUIES, and extracts from Paradise Lost, there are ample subjects for exercise in the more graceful, elaborate and impassioned style of ORATORY OF THE PAST: but the transition apparent in the tone, words, and manner of Modern Eloquence has rendered it necessary to glean from the Field of more RECENT AUTHORS; and a choice has been made of those Extracts best calculated to cultivate a colloquial style of delivery, and impart an Elocution that shall be as gracefully apparent in Drawing-Room conversation as in declamation from Pulpit, Platform or Bar. For this purpose there are introduced not merely the usual tripologues and dialogues, but the Compiler has appended Scenes which, in more than one instance, embrace seven or eight characters, and also a Debate containing eleven.
Weighing the fact that the book will be used principally by the YOUNG, whatever has been thought dull, feeble, prolix, or common-place, has been carefully excluded, and nothing is now offered which is not bound up with that never-failing charm-A STORY.
TO YOUNG LADIES it is believed the NEW HAND-BOOK will be very acceptable. Many complaints have not unreasonably been made at finding that pieces adapted for the fairer sex have, from some unexplained causes, been omitted in other Treatises. In the present Work not a few have been selected from those which appeal almost exclusively to the softer sympathies and feminine interests. With the knowledge of the importance of rivetting the attention of the VERY YOUNG, by keeping within the limits of their comprehension, the latter portion is devoted almost exclusively to Selections from those authors most adapted to Interest, Amuse, and Instruct the tender intellect.
The embarrassment which must beset compilers will be perhaps apparent in the present case. Some standard pieces which many Elocutionists have been privileged to insert in Full, have here from their length and other circumstances been compressed, and in some cases most reluctantly altogether omitted. In expressing the obligations which he is under to Messrs. Carlyle, Browning, C. Dickens, and other living celebrities, as well as to the various Publishers, some apology is offered for the liberties which it has been found necessary to take in abridging, simplifying, and otherwise slightly altering the words of their productions.
GLASGOW, 25th June, 1873.
RULES FOR READING.
For the Rules in Detail and Distinctive Exercises see "Twelve Simple Rules and Exercises," by the same Author, price Sixpence.
FINISH each word, and sound Prefixes and Terminations, in most cases, as they are spelt.
Begin in a low tone, and let the voice increase.
Sustain the voice at commas. Lower it at colons and semi-colons. Change it at breaks and paragraphs. Raise it at points of exclamation. Pause and count one at a comma, two at a colon and semi-colon, one at a point of exclamation and dash, and four at a period.
Sound the definite article FULL before each word beginning with a vowel or silent H, and short only before consonants.
Direct questions (or those which may be answered by yes or no) usually take the Rising Inflection; indirect questions take the Falling. A pause must be made after each question.
Pause and change the voice between asking a question and returning
The SENSE of the passage must govern the Emphasis and Accent, and where the reader or speaker wishes to be more particularly emphatic, a PAUSE both before and after must accompany the word emphasized.