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If the training of the pupil has so far been in harmony with the teaching of the first three numbers of this series of Readers, little additional direction will be necessary here; if it has not, the application of those principles while teaching from this book will best insure satisfactory results. Specific rules can not make good readers. Expression is (or ought to be) the outward development of internal emotion - nature's method of telling secrets. Rules may be useful as helps, but they can not bind the earnest soul. Its pent-up fires will burst forth uncontrolled by them, seeking only to burn its own thoughts into the souls of others. Any conscious attempt to follow rules necessarily subordinates thought to form and weakens the effect. We can not look at the glass and at the same time distinctly see the view beyond.
A clear understanding of the matter to be read, a full appreciation of the thoughts to be expressed, a strong, earnest desire that the hearer should have a like appreciation of them, will naturally guide the voice and manner aright in giving the thoughts utterance. The Rule, then, which outranks, which embraces, all other rules, and without which all other rules are worthless, may be stated in these words:
COMPREHEND AND APPRECIATE THE THOUGHTS TO BE UTTERED — FEEL A NECES
SITY THAT THE HEARERS SHALL AS COMPLETELY COMPREHEND AND APPRE
Add this, clear and correct ronunciation, and you have the secret of the “beginning and end" of true eloquence.
Of necessity it follows that to secure improvement in the art of reading, the lessons must be carefully studied,- studied so as to become familiar with the forms of the words, with the meaning of the words, with the construction of the sentences, with the meaning of the sentences, and with the methods employed by the author to develop or embody his thoughts.
The analysis of the thought, by means of questions, is important as an aid to securing this understanding and appreciation of the subject matter. Preparing abstracts of the thoughts and incidents narrated, or writing them out more fully, are also important aids to the same end, while, in addition, they train to other results of no less importance.*
Let these things not be neglected. Let every lesson be subjected to one, at least, of these modes of treatment.
To aid the teacher in familiarizing the pupils with the words, those words not found in the first three Readers are placed in the back part of this book, where the new words of each lesson are placed by themselves, in the order of the para. graphs in which they occur, syllabicated, and pronunciation indicated by accent and diacritical marks. The marking is mostly confined to the accented syllable, The italic letters are silent; so are the unmarked vowels when two or more come together (one being marked), and the final e.
* See suggestions in introductions of Model Second and Third Readers.
KEY TO THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE WORD LESSONS.*
pēk pek pek
ate eight peak peek pique height rhyme note known mule knew
hit rim not non mal na
fåst (nearly like o in on.) sâ fare
fâr Tê there thâr ē earth ērth 1
bird bērd û surd sērd O do
do 00 boom bom !!
rule rol ự full
ful wolf 18
gud oi and oy in oil, boy ou and ow in out, now
an end in sylph on what
ăn ěnd în silf on whot ŭs dūv
* See also last paragraph on page 9.
It will be seen, by the above Table of Sounds, that in several instances the same sound is represented by more than one character, as is the case with the sounds represented by ā, ē, i, o, a; i, o, ŭ, a, â, ē, , ụ, oi, ow, and j, 2, ng, k and s.
It will also be noticed that every vowel has several sounds assigned to it. A has 7; e, 5; i, 4; 0, 6; u, 5; y, 2. The consonants are more uniform, but several of these,–g, s, c, x, z, th, ch and some others, – also represent more than one sound. This variableness renders spelling unnecessarily complex and the pronunciation of written words very uncertain. To remedy this confusion I would assign to each sound a character or letter (one always representing the other), and use no silent or unnecessary letters. Spelling words would then be simply translating them into their sound-marks (letters), and pronouncing them, simply reversing the operation.
ARTICULATION. Distinctness and accuracy in enunciation and pronunciation are the first essentials to good oral reading. To draw well the hand must be skillfully trained in the use of the pencil. To articulate distinctly the organs which form the voice must, in most persons, should in all, have special training to this end. Distinct, forcible utterance of the elementary sounds, both vocally and in whisper, separately and combined, in forming complete words and in pronouncing sentences, are some of the means within the reach of every teacher for securing distinct articulation. Utter the vowel sounds thus:
ā, ä, 4, ă; ē, ē; 1,1; 0, 9,0; a, ŭ, y; oi, ow. To give the voice greater flexibility and control, sometimes utter the sounds with the rising slide, and sometimes with the falling slide; also above and below the natural key or pitch of the voice. Give the voice great range in volume and key. In whatever tone or key the utterance is given, let it be severely distinct and correct.
Unite the consonants with the vowels, first singly, thus: bā, bä, bą, bă; bē, bě; bī, bì; bo, bo, bą; bū, bũ, bụ; boy, bow.
Alternate the subvocal and aspirate correlatives, thus: ba pā, bå på, bą pa, bă pă; bē pē, bě pě; bi pi, bi pi; bo po,
bo pa, bo po; ba pa, bů pů, bụ pụ; boy poy; bow pow: etc.
Sometimes place the vowels before the consonants, thus:
al, al, al, al; el, el ; il, il; ol, el, ol; al, ål, yl: etc. Use two or more consonants, sometimes before and sometimes after the vowel sounds, and sometimes before and after, at same time, thus: bla, blä, etc.; ask, äsk, etc.; blask, bläsk, bląsk, blásk; etc.
PRONUNCIATION. Be careful in pronouncing words not to suppress a sound, as ev'ry for every; nor add a sound, as lawr for law; nor to substitute sounds, as holler for hollow; and do not fail to give the proper accent which is necessary not only to correct but to easy pronunciation. If the pupil habituates himself to distinctness and correctness in the pronunciation of separate words, when translating thoughts into words he need have no care for either — they will take care of themselves; or, rather, the trained organs of speech will take care of them.
EMPHASIS. The reading of some children reminds one of boys walking on stilts. There is no play, no graceful movement of the voice, but a monotonous sameness, regardless of the relative importance of the words. To correct this habit, neither specific directions for laying the emphasis, nor imitation, can be relied upon for a radical cure. The true corrective is elementary training in first principles — in developing in the child's mind the thought and securing oral expression unprompted by the written page. (See first three numbers of this series.) Similar ideas, clothed in identical words, would naturally take similar expression. Nearly every one would read the following sentences as marked:
I am charged with ambition. The charge is true, and I GLORY in its truth. Whoever achieved any thing great who was not ambitious? ALL greatness is born of ambition. What is done can not be undone. I did not say that he lied, but that he was mistaken.
INFLECTION. Direct questions, which can be answered by yes or no, take the rising inflection; while the answers take the falling. Other questions and positive statements take the falling. Ex.: Are you sick'? Yes! Are you desirous that your talents and abilities may procure you respect'? Display them not ostentatiously to public views Who has a good family horse to sell'? How old is he'? . . I will return to-morrow! I must see the man I will see him!!
OPPOSITE ideas require unlike inflections. Ex.: We do not call for justice', but for mercy' 'Tis industry', not idleness', intelligence', not ignorance that insures success. By honor' and dishonor', by evil report and good report'; as deceivers' and yet true'; as unknown' and yet known' Homer was the greater genius',–Virgil, the better artist'; in the one we most admire the man', in the other the work!
Or used disjunctively is preceded by the rising and followed by the falling inflection. Ex.: Is it lawful to do good', or to do evil.? to save life'? or to destroy it?
Or used conjunctively has the same inflection after as before it. Ex.: To believe the Bible true', what harm could follow'? Would it render princes more tyrannical', or subjects more ungovernable',- the rich more insolent', or the poor more disorderly'? Would it make worse parents' or children', husbands' or wives', masters' or servants', friends' or neighbors'? Or would it not make men more virtuvus', and consequently more happy in every situation's
MODEL FOURTH READER.
1.—THE TWO RULES.
1. “Here are two rules for you,” said Irving, looking up from the paper he was reading. Irving was speaking to a younger brother, who was sitting by the fire, playing with his dog.
Well, what are they?” asked Howard, stopping in his play and looking up into Irving's face.
3. “The first rule is, “NEVER GET VEXED WITH ANY THING YOU CAN PREVENT.'
“ The second rule is, “NEVER GET VEXED WITH ANY THING YOU CAN NOT PREVENT.""
4. “Those are pretty good rules, Irving, and I should not wonder if they would be as useful to you as to me,” said Howard, archly.
5. “May be they would,” replied Irving, “and I think it would do us both good to follow them. Suppose we try? What say you, Howard ?”
6. “I think they take a pretty wide sweep. They leave no chance for one to get vexed at all,” said Howard.
7. “That might be an objection to them, if people were wiser, or better, or happier for getting vexed; but as they are not, I do not think it is."