« ПретходнаНастави »
more than once, provided for the widow friends who furnished her with constant employment; and her sons, when they arrived at the proper age, were placed in respectable situations, where they were able to support themselves, and render the remainder of their mother's life comfortable and happy.
34. Let the children who read this story remember, when they think of the great and good Washington, that he was not above entering the dwelling of poverty, and carrying joy and gladness to the hearts of its inmates. This is no fictitious tale, but is only one of the thousand incidents which might be related of him, and which stamp him as one of the best of men.
OXII.A GOOD LIFE.
1. He liveth long who liveth well;
All else is life but flung away:
Of true things truly done each day.
Buy up the moments as they go:
Is the ripe fruit of life below.
Sow peace, and reap its harvest bright;
And find a harvest home of light.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shanie
1. To read with propriety is a pleasing and important attainment, and is productive of improvement both to the understanding and the heart. It is essential to a correct reader that he minutely perceives the ideas, and that he enters into the feelings of the author whose sentiments he professes to repeat; for how is it possible to represent clearly to others what we have but faint or inaccurate conceptions of ourselves?
2. If there were no other benefits resulting from the art of reading well, than the necessity it lays us under of precisely ascertaining the meaning of what we read, and the habit thence acquired of doing this with facility (both when reading silently and aloud), they would constitute a sufficient compensation for all the labor we can bestow upon the subject.
3. But the pleasure derived to ourselves and others, from a clear communication of ideas and feelings, and the strong and durable impressions made thereby on the minds of the reader and the audience, are considerations which give additional importance to the study of this necessary
and useful art. 4. The perfect attainment of it doubtless requires great attention and practice, joined to extraordinary natural powers; but as there are many degrees of excellence in the art, the student whose aims fall short of perfection will find himself amply rewarded for every exertion he may think proper to make.
5. To give rules for the management of the voice in reading, by which the necessary pauses, emphasis and tones may be discovered and put in practice, is not possible. After all the directions that can be offered on these points, much will remain to be taught by the living instructor; much will be attainable by no other means than the force of example influencing the imitative powers of the learner.
II.-EMPHASIS IN READING.
1. In order to read with proper emphasis, the reader must study to attain a just conception of the force and spirit of the sentiments which he is to pronounce; for to lay the emphasis with exact propriety, is a constant exercise of good sense and attention.
2. It is far from being an inconsiderable attainment. It is one of the most decisive trials of a true and just taste, and must arise from feeling delicately, ourselves, and from judging accurately of what is fittest to strike the feelings of others.
3. There is one error, against which it is particularly proper to caution the learner, namely, that of making too many emphatic words, and using the emphasis indiscriminately
4. It is only by a prudent reserve and distinction in their use that we can give them proper weight. If they occur too often,- if the reader attempts to render every thing he expresses of high importance by a multitude of strong emphases,— we soon learn to pay little regard to them.
5. To crowd every sentence with emphatical words is like crowding all the pages of a book with italic characters; which, as to the effect, is just the same as to use no such distinction at all.
III.-POSITION IN READING.
1. However well the reader may comprehend his subject, and lay his emphasis, a graceful manner and position must be added to produce the best effect.
B-Right position. 2. The manner of delivery is quite as important an agent in producing the desired result as the matter delivered. So important is it, that it has always been considered, by the greatest orators, as the essential element in oratory, and it is equally essential in reading, for reading is speaking at sight.
3. The position of the reader is quite as important as his manner. The above cuts will sufficiently illustrate this. A represents a position often seen. It is wrong for several reasons.
It is awkward, offensive, obstructive and unhealthy.
4. That it is awkward, any one can see. That it is offensive, our feelings bear witness whenever we are compelled to behold it. That it is obstructive, the ear ever will declare, as long as it is treated to half-stifled guttural sounds. That it is unhealthy, the experience of old practitioners, physical laws, and common sense alike assert.
5. B represents the correct position. It is in every respect the reverse of A. It is a commanding position, and never fails to secure the attention and create pleasing emotions. It allows free exercise of the muscles of the chest ; a full and natural inflation of the lungs; easy modification of the voice by the organs of speech; and, of course, a full, distinct articulation and modulation. This position (B) should always be taken in reading at school. The right hand hangs gracefully at the side, and is free to gesticulate, and turn pages, if necessary.
IV.-SHORT EXTRACTS TO ILLUSTRATE
VARIETY OF EXPRESSION.
1. Few and short were the prayers we said,
We spoke not a word of sorrow;
And bitterly thought of the morrow. 2.
What is't ? - a spirit?