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ALPHABETICAL LIST OF AUTHORS.
Scott, W., 20, 211, 288, 362, 395.
39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51, 55,
1. ELOCUTION is that pronunciation which is given to words when they are arranged into sentences, and form discourse. It includes the tones of voice, the utterance, and enunciation of the speaker, with the proper accompaniments of countenance and gesture.
The art of elocution may therefore be defined to be that system of rules which teaches us to pronounce written or extemporaneous composition with justness, energy, variety, and ease; and, agreeably to this definition, good reading or speaking may be considered as that species of delivery which not only expresses the sense of the words so as to be barely understood, but at the same time gives them all the force, beauty, and variety of which they are susceptible.
§ 2. Vocality. In Vocality we consider the power of expression by the voice. In order to read and speak well, it is necessary to have all the vocal elements under complete command so that they may be duly applied when required. The student, therefore, should first exercise his voice on the elementary sounds; for, when pronounced singly, these will receive a concentration of the organic effort, the habit of which will insure distinctness and force in the compounds of speech.
In all reading and public speaking, the management of the breath requires great care, so the speaker may not be obliged to divide words from one another which have so intimate a connection that they ought to be pronounced in the same breath, and without the least separation. Many sentences are marred, and the force of the emphasis totally lost, by divisions being made in the wrong place. To avoid this, every one, while he is reading or speaking, should be careful to provide a full supply of breath for what he is to utter.
It is a great mistake to imagine that the breath must be drawn only at the end of a period, when the voice is allowed to fall. It may easily be gathered at intervals of the period, when the voice is only suspended for a moment; and, by this management, we may have always a sufficient stock for carrying on the longest sentence, without improper interruptions.
The importance of a skillful management of the breath in utterance will be made apparent by a little practice. It is a good exercise for the pupil to repeat the cardinal numbers rapidly up to twenty, inhaling a full breath at the commencement. He may, by practice, make his breath hold out till he reaches forty and more, enunciating every syllable distinctly.
It must always be part of a healthful physiological regimen to exercise