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structs us to relate a story, to support an argument, to command a servant, to utter exclamations of anger or rage, and to pour forth lamen. tations and sorrows, not only with different tones, but different elevations of voice. Men at different ages of life, and in different sitations, speak in very different keys. The vagrant, when he begs ; the soldier, when he gives the word of command ; the watchman, when he announces the hour of the night ; the sovereign, when he issues his edict ; the senator, when he harrangues ; the lover, when he whispers his tender tale, do not differ more in the tones which they use, than in the key in which they speak. Reading and speaking, therefore, in which all the variations of expression in real life are copied, must have continual variations in the height of the voice.
To acquire the power of changing the key on which you speak at pleasure, accustom yourself to pitch your voice in different keys, from the lowest to the highest notes you can command. Many of these would neither be proper nor agreeable in speaking ; but the exercise will give you such a command of voice, as is scarcety to be acquired by any other method. Hav. ing repeated this experiment till you can speak with ease at several heights of the voice ; read, as exercises on this rule such compositions as have a variety of speakers, or such as relate dialogues ; observing the height of voice which is proper to each, and endeavoring to change them as nature directs.
In the same composition there may be frequent occasion to alter the height of the voice, in passing from one part to another, without any. change of person. Shakspeare's « All the
66 world's a stage,” &c. and his deseription of the Queen of the Fairies, rafford examples of this
, Indeed every sentence which is read or spoken, will admit of different elevations of the voice in different parts of it; and on this chiefly, perhaps entirely, depends the melody of pronunciation. 19921 13 901
Pronounce your words with propriety and
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IT is not easy to fix upon any standard, iby which the propriety of promunciation may be determined. Mere men of learning, in attempting to make the etymology of words the rule of pronunciation, often pronounce words in a man-s ner, which brings upon them the charge of affectation and pedantry. Mere men of the world notwithstanding all their politeness, often retain so much of their provincial dialect, or commit such errors both in speaking and writing, as to exclude them from the honon of being the standard of accurate pronunciation. We should perhaps look for this standard only among those » who unite these two characters, and with the
correctness and precision of true learning, combine the ease and elegance of genteel life. An attention to such models, and a free intercourse with the polite world, are the best guards against the peculiarities and vulgarisms of provincial dialects. Those which respect the pronunciation of words are innumerable. Some of the princi: pal of them are: omitting the aspirate h where it ought to be used, and inserting it where there should be none; confounding and interchanging the vand w; pronouncing the diphthong ou like au or like oo, and the vowel zlike oi or e; and cluttering many consonants together without regarding the vowels. These faults, and all others of the same nature, must be corrected in the pronunciation of a gentleman who is supposed to have seen too much of the world, to retain the peculiarities of the district in which he was born.
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Pronounce every word consisting of more than one syllable with its proper ACCENT. 55+ dels
How THERE is a necessity for this direction, be". cause inany speakers have affected an unusual and pedantic mode of accenting words, laying it down as a rule, that the accenting should be cast as far backwards as possible i a rule which has
no foundation in the construction of the English language, or in the laws of harmony. In accenting words, the general custom and a good ear are the best guides i only it may be observan ed that accent should be regulated, not by any arbitrary rules or quantity, but by the number and nature of the simple sounds.
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, 3: juditi O 11.00 In every sentence distinguished the more signifie cant words by a natural, forcible, and varied.
02 EMPHASIS points out the precise meaning of a sentence, shews in what manner one idea is connected with, and rises out of another, marks the several clauses of a sentence, gives to every part its proper sound, and thus conveys to the mind of the reader the full import of the whole. It is in the power of emphasis to make long and complex sentences appear intelligible and perspicuous. But for this purpose it is necessary, that the reader should be perfectly acquainted with the exact construction and full meaning of every sentence which he recites. Without this it is impossible to give those inflections and variations to the voice, which nature requires : änd it is for want of this previous study more pérhaps than from any other cause, that we'so oft.**
en hear persons read with an improper emphasis, or with no emphasis at all, that is with a stupid monotony. Much study and pains are necessary in acquiring the habit of just and forcibler
, . nunciation; and it can only be the effect of close attention and long practice, to be able, with a mere glance of the eye, to read any piece with good emphasis and good discretion.
. It is another office of Emphasis to express they opposition between the several parts of a sentence, where the style is pointed and antitheti. cal. Pope's Essay on Man, and his Moral Essays, and the Proverbs of Solomon, will furnish many proper exercises in this species of speaking. In some sentences the antithesis is double, and even treble; these must be expressed in reading, by a very distinct emphasis on each part of the opposition. The following instances are of this kind :
Anger may glance into the breast of a wise män; but rests on only in the bolom of fools.
An angry man who fuppresses his paffion, thinks worfe chan he speaks: and an angry man that will chide, speaks worse than he thinks.
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in heaven.
He rail'd a mortal to the skies ; :
Emphasis likewise serves to express some par. ticular meaning not immediately, arising from