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The Drift of the Downward Slides.-The downward movements of the voice, though not limited to any particular interval, are sufficient to give a peculiar character to the expression. The interval of the downward octave however is never employed but for emphasis.
The Drifts of the Wave of the Semitone, and of the Wave of the Second, are distinguished by the prevalence of their respective elements, and are always connected with Quantity.
The Drift of Force.--Like the temporal drift and the drift of pitch, this may be characterized by difference in de gree. Loudness and Softness constitute styles of utterance, as well marked as almost any other elements of speech.
The Drift of Quality.--Of the kinds of voice enumerated, perhaps none are adapted to produce drifts but the Natural voice and the Orotund.
Those elements of speech which are suited only to phrases, or very short portions of discourse, but which are employed for purposes more extended than mere emphasis, give rise to what Dr. Rush has called Partial Drifts of Speech. They are as follows:
The Partial Drift of the Rising Slides. This is employed in Interrogation.
The Partial Drift of Quality, as heard in the Tremor, the Aspiration, the Guttural, and the Falsette.
The Partial Drift of the Phrases of Melody.—Of these nope perhaps are appropriated to purposes of expression, but the Monotone, and the Alternate Phrase.
The following are never heard as Drifts of Speech, nor used but for the mere purpose of emphasis on single words, except as a fault of delivery:— The Vocule, the Compound
Stress, the Downward Octave, and the Waves of the Third, Fifth, and Eighth. The use of these elements, then, has been sufficiently set forth in the last section. It remains to show how the Drifts of Speech may be further employed for the purpose of Expression.
As a further suggestion preparatory to the application of the principles here developed, it may be remarked, that these drifts, or styles of speech, are often found united in the same melody, though they have been treated thus separately, and as distinct elements. There are few of them that are incongruous the one with the other, and no one of them but admits of a combination with some other. As examples of such combination, it will be found that DigNITY requires the union of the Drifts of Quantity, of the Median Stress, of the Wave of the Second, and of the Orotund, together with the Partial Drift of the Monotone; and that ANGER combines the Drifts of Quick Time, the Radical Stress, the Downward Slides, and of Force, with the Partial Drifts of the Guttural voice and the Aspiration.
The ease with which the learner will make these combinations will depend on his familiarity with these elements in their uncombined state. In the examples, however, which will be given for practice in the next section, it will not be best to attempt the employment of all the symbols at the first reading. For illustration, in a passage containing angry sentiment, let the learner first read it with Force and in Quick time, then repeat it in connection with the Radical Stress and the Downward Slides. And when this can be done with ease, as he becomes imbued with the sentiment of the passage, let him add the Guttural harshness and the Aspiration on such words and clauses
as will best bear their application. Indeed the effective employment of the higher elements of speech, whether single or in combination, will depend essentially on the susceptibility of the reader or speaker to feel the sentiments he utters. This exercise will do much to prevent any misapplication of the functions of the voice, and thus to protect him who might otherwise be guilty of such misapplication from the charge of affectation.
INTONATION has much to do with the expression of sentiment and passion. Some of the sensibilities, it is true, can be expressed only by words; while others, on the contrary, can receive a full expression only by the tones of the voice. These are often sufficient, even without any aid from articulate words. Thus the tones expressive of want and distress in the domestic animals are instinctively understood, and have a wonderful power over the human heart. The sigh and the groan produce in the hearer an emotion of pain, which the substitution of words however full of grief or an. guish tends to relieve. These tones, so expressive in themselves, cannot fail to be impressive when united with words.
The “Expression of the Passions” has been a favorite subject with all writers on Elocution. Little has been done however in the real development of the subject,-formerly for the want of terms to express the various functions of the voice. This defect having been supplied by Dr. Rush, we see no reason why the learner may not now successfully be tanght the application of the principles set forth in the first chapter, to the expression of sentiment and feeling. We do not here propose a full exposition of this subject, because we do not deem it necessary. He who acquires the full command of the elements already described, who is free from bad habits, and possesses the power of feeling deeply what he utters, will, we admit, need little instruction in the application of these elements to his purpose. So, on the contrary, he who is destitute of the susceptibility of emotion, in view of the sentiments which he reads, or of the thoughts which fill his mind in extemporaneous utterance, will make but a poor piece of work in the attempt to counterfeit this emotion, even after studying all that can be said as to the modes of express
Frequently, however, the susceptibility of feeling is not wanting ; but yet has been suppressed, either by habits of dull and monotonous delivery, or by a natural diffidence which has refused a full expression of the language of emotion. In such cases, it is believed the exercises of this section will prove sufficient to put the learner upon the right course of practice, while it is as confidently believed, that nothing short of this would meet his wants. The ready use of the natural language of emotion secures two objects; first, to bring into active operation the susceptibility of emotion which may exist in the speaker; and second, to enable him to awaken in others what he himself feels. The first of these objects—the reaction of eloquent expression upon the mind of the speaker-is ofter overlooked.
Before entering formally upon this part of our work, the learner should be reminded, that while the voice alone does much in the expression of feeling, much is also left for language to do. The same element of vocal expression is often used for sentiments widely different from each other; he, then, who expects to find a vocal element peculiarly adapted to every different sentiment, expects too much. It will not be our object here fully to develop this subject; nor in the development we shall give to it, shall we have any reference to a scientific classification of the passions. Our view will be strictly practical. Most of the points will be illustrated by examples, which it is believed will prove sufficient for all the preliminary practice of the learner. When these can be perfectly executed, then further examples may be sought for and everywhere found.
NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTION. Common discourse or colloquial dialogue, which has for its object the expression of thought without any admixture of feeling, calls into use- The Natural Voice, and the Diatonic Melody; and admits the Wave of the Second on syllables susceptible of long quantity. These are the simplest elements used in speech, and their combination scarcely deserves a place under the head of Expression. Even emphasis or interrogation breaks in on this simple melody of speech.
DIGNITY, SOLEMNITY, Gravity, &c. Dignified, solemn, and grave subjects are most naturally and fully expressed by the Orotund voice, the Partial Drift of the Monotone, Slow Time, and Long Quantity combined with the Single Equal Wave of the Second, both Direct and Inverted, and with the Median Stress.
The same symbols are also employed to express Respect, Reverence, Veneration, and Adoration, as also Solemn