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ELOCUTION is the art which enables one to deliver written or extemporaneous composition with ease, force, accuracy, and variety, i. e., eloquently.
In this work we purpose to present only the more practical thoughts.
As the voice is the capital of the orator, the means for its development and improvement are first to be considered. Its quality and compass depending upon the condition of the vocal organs, the following exercises are introduced to strengthen, and give to them freedom of action.
Exercise 1. ATTITUDE. The body must be erect, resting upon the ball of the foot; one foot a little in advance of the other, so that all the muscles of the breathing apparatus may be free to perform their functions.
Exercise 2. INHALING AND EXHALING.
Inhale through the nostrils a full breath, and send it forth gently through them.
Exercise 3. INHALING AND EXPELLING. Inhale as before, and expel vigorously in like manner.
Exercise 4. GENTLE BREATHING.—Inflate the lungs through the mouth, and send the breath forth tranquilly, with a prolonged sound of the letter h.
Exercise 5. EXPLOSIVE BREATHING. Following directions already given, emit with violent explosion in the short sound of the letter k.
Exercise 6. RAPID BREATHING. Sigh, sob, gasp, and pant. These last-mentioned efforts, with which all persons are familiar, will excite the organs intensely, and also accustom the student to the expression of emotions which enter into almost every style of composition. Exercise 7. THE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE CHEST. Draw in and send forth the breath, causing all the organs of the chest, to rise and fall freely at each effort. Exercise 8. FOR THE LARYNX. - Utter the hard sounds of b, d, g. This exercise enlarges the larynx and tightens the vocal chords, and thus increases the volume and quality of the voice.
Exercise 9. THE PERCUSSION OF THE CHEST. Expand the chest by a full inhalation, and thump it gently with the fingers, they being open and flexible. Exercise 10. WHISPERING. Whisper the vowels, and consonants, and also forcible passages. Exercise 11. LAUGHING.
Utter rapidly the breathing h. To make the exercise more exhilarating and attractive, prefix the clement h to the vowels a, e, i, o, u, and utter them separately and earnestly.