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poetry the rhythm always harmonizes with the sense and spirit, so that the rhythmical accent falls naturally just where emphatic force is needed to give the author's true meaning. The relative degree of force which should mark the rhythm, agrees with the relative or emphatic force with which the ideas should be read.
It is better, therefore, to study and read poetry as emotional prose,
without any thought of poetical measure, than to fall into the greater fault of marking the metre too prominently and mechanically, with an offensive “ sing-song," or "scanning."
The aim should be to mark the poetical measure but delicately, so that we may perceive, if we choose to think of it, that the reader is giving it happily, but not so that we must think of its mechanical structure instead of the worth and beauty of the ideas. Poetical rhythm and quantity belong not so much to the form as to the spirit of poetry, for they are essential elements in the natural expression of all beautiful and tender and noble sentiments, whether in verse or prose.
To make the exercises in reading as conducive to health as to elocutionary improvement, let teachers see that the following necessary physical conditions of healthful vocal expression be carefully observed, viz:
1. Position. Pupils must stand or sit uprightly and easily, so that the larger organs of speech may act with perfect freedom.
2. BREATHING. Pupils must inhale fully at the outset, and as frequently as the natural pauses will allow, so as to keep the lungs at all times well supplied with fresh air.
3. EXPULSION. Pupils must learn, if they would read with force and ease, to expel the emphatic tones from the throat, by contracting the expulsory muscles of the waist, so as to lift up and throw out the vocalized breath with the utmost required force, without unnaturally exercising and irritating the throat
The organic divisions of quality of voice, such as headtone,' “chest-tone,” and “orotund,” we have not given in this manual for schools, for the practical reason that there are so few, even among professional vocalists, who have naturally both the tenor and bass qualities, or the “head' and 'chest' tones, so few who can ever learn to use both expressively. Instead of trying, -in most cases in vain, — to make the reader, whose natural quality of voice is head-tone' or tenor, cultivate the chest-tone' or bass, and vice versa,' let the lower natural tones of the high pitched voices, and the upper natural tones of the low pitched voices, be cultivated and rounded into the full, noble, orotund quality on the tones of the middle pitch. This has the advantage of being practicable and of preserving, amid all the manifold improvements of vocal culture, the natural quality of each voice, which is always the most expressive and pleasing.
The many examples we have given for daily exercise in the different kinds of vocal expression, if thoroughly practiced, furnish the most natural means and method of vocal culture. Exercise in the right way and earnestly what voice the pupil has, and he will soon acquire additional force, volume, com. pass, flexibility, and expression of voice.
Let pupils practice carefully and thoroughly the examples for the right use of each one of the elements' of expression, and the examples for rightly blending all these elements in the natural expression of each kind' of sentiment, till the appropriate force,' time,''slides,' &c., for reading any given • kind' become inseparably associated in the reader's mind with the sentiment itself. Then the idea, the FEELING, will spontaneously inspire its own best expresssion; and so, at last, IMPERFECT ART may ripen into PERFECT NATURE.
HILLARD'S SIXTH READER.
I - THE CONTRAST: OR PEACE AND WAR.
LOVELY art thou, O Peace ! and lovely are thy children, and lovely are the prints of thy footsteps in the green valleys.
Blue wreaths of smoke ascend through the trees, and 5 betray the half-hidden cottage; the eye contemplates well
thatched ricks, and barns bursting with plenty: the peasant laughs at the approach of winter. Y White houses peep through the trees; cattle stand cool.
ing in the pool; the casement of the farm-house is covered 10 with jessamine and honeysuckle; the stately greenhouse
exhales the perfume of summer climates. »
* Children+climb the green mound+of+the “rampart,+ and . ivy holds together the half-demolished buttress.
The old men sit at their doors; the gossip leans over 15 her counter; the children shout and frolic in the streets.
The housewife's stores of bleached linen, whiter than snow, are laid up with fragrant herbs; they are the pride of the matron, the toil of many a winter's night.
The wares of the merchant are spread abroad in the 20 shops, or stored in the high-piled warehouses; the labor
of each profits all; the inhabitant of the north drinks the fragrant herb of China; the peasant's child wears the webs of Hindostan.
The lame, the blind, and the aged repose in hospitals ;
the rich, softened by prosperity, pity the poor; the poor, disciplined into order, respect the rich.
Justice is dispensed to all. Law sits steady on her throne, and the sword is her servant.
5 They have rushed through like a hurricane; like an
army of locusts they have devoured the earth; the 'war has fallen like a water-spout, and deluged the land with blood.
The smoke rises not through the trees, for the honors 10 of the grove are fallen, and the hearth of the cottager is
cold; but it rises from villages burned with fire, and from warm ruins spread over the now naked plain.
The ear is filled with the confused bellowing of oxen, and sad bleating of overdriven sheep; they are swept from 15 their peaceful plains; with shouting and goading are they
driven away: the peasant folds his arms, and resigns his faithful fellow-laborers.
The farmer weeps over his barns consumed by fire, and his demolished roof, and anticipates the driving of the 20 winter snows.
On that rising ground, where the green turf looks black with fire, yesterday stood a noble mansion; the owner had said in his heart: “ Here will I spend the evening of my
days, and enjoy the fruit of my years of toil; my name 25 shail descend with mine inheritance, and my children's
children shall sport under the trees which I have planted.” The fruit of his years of toil is swept away in a moment; wasted, not enjoyed; and the evening of his days is left
desolate. 30 The temples are profaned; the soldier's curse resounds
in the house of God; the marble pavement is trampled by iron hoofs; horses neigh beside the altar.
Law and order are forgotten; violence and rapine aro abroad; the golden cords of society are loosed.
Here are the shriek of woe and the cry of anguish; and there is suppressed indignation bursting the heart with silent despair.
The groans of the wounded are in the hospitals, and by 5 the roadside, and in every thicket; and the housewife's
web, whiter than snow, is scarcely sufficient to stanch the blood of her husband and children. Look at that youth, the first-born of her strength; yesterday he bounded as
the roebuck; was glowing as the summer-fruits; active in 10 sports, strong to labor; he has passed in one moment from
youth to age; his comcliness is departed; helplessness is his portion for the days of future years. He is more decrepit than his grandsire, on whose head are the snows of
eighty winters; but those were the snows of nature; this 15 is the desolation of man.
Everything unholy and unclean comes abroad from its lurking-place, and deeds of darkness are done beneath the eye of day. The villagers no longer start at horrible
sights; the soothing rites of burial are denied, and hu 20 man bones are tossed by human hands.
No one careth for another; every one, hardened by misery, careth for himself alone.
Lo these are what God has set before thee, child of reason! son of woman! unto which does thine heart incline ?
II. - GRACE DARLING. [This account of Grace Darling is mainly an abridgment of a sketch in “Chambers's Miscellany of Useful and Entertaining Tracts." Northumberland a county in the north-easterly corner of England, bordering on Scotland.)
OPPOSITE the northern part of the coast of the county of Northumberland, in England, at a short distance from the shore, is a group of small islands, twenty-five in number at low tide, called the Farne Islands. Their aspect is wild and desolate in the extreme. Composed of rock, with