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The vowel elements of speech are the soul of language; the consonants, the intellect. The former are the vehicles of emotion; the latter, of thought.

"Raftered by firm-laid consonants; windowed by opening vowels."

Upon the vowels depend the musical and carrying qualities of the voice; upon the consonants, distinct


The voice should be allowed to "play around the middle pitch," modulating with freedom above and below this line as a common level.

Form the tone well forward in the mouth, giving a generous separation of the teeth and lips.

Control that unruly member, the tongue, by letting it lie flat in the lower jaw when not in use.

Do not "mouth" the words, "as many of our players" and other speakers do, but let them drop from the tongue and lips like new coin from the mint, each worth the amount stamped on the face. And, when the language or occasion calls for it, let the words roll from the tongue, like the waters down the rocky gorge, in a torrent terrible and strong, or burst from the mouth like shot from the cannon, thundering and crashing their way into the mind and heart of the hearer.

Do not practice before an audience. The practice should precede the public effort.

Be the master of details, not their slave. the art of taking great pains."

"Genius is

Have the mind occupied by the matter, not the manHe who labors for words, either in recitation or in oratory, speaks at a disadvantage. Facile thought,


facile speech. Goethe says,-He only is master of his art who can do it playfully.

From mental poise or self-possession, come vocal poise and physical freedom. Natural respiration, an easy and free attitude, grace of movement, and a calm, clear, and well-balanced mind, are some of the conditions essential to success in oratory.

The province of elocution, is to clear away the obstructions and open up the channels through which thought and feeling, by means of Voice and Action, seek to express themselves.

Let your aim be to create-not to imitate.

"One good thought,

But known to be thine own,

Is better than a thousand, gleaned

From fields by others sown."

Do not speak the lungs empty, but keep them comfortably filled. Acquire the habit of taking in a little breath at the short pauses, as well as at the long.

Quintilian says, " It is useful to get by heart, what is designed for the exercise of the voice." Thorough memorization facilitates fluency of speech.

Daily physical and vocal exercises are essential to the best and quickest results in the study of elocution. More fail from lack of study than from lack of talent. The student of ordinary ability, with industry, will succeed where the indolent genius (and geniuses are proverbially lazy) will fail. Even serious impediments in speech are not serious impediments to success where there is indomitable will and perseverance. Demosthenes, Jack Curran, Canon Kingsley, and a host of others could be mentioned, who were not more dis

tinguished for their attainments in oratory, than they were remarkable for the physical and vocal defects they were required to overcome.

For strengthening the lungs, the following is a good exercise: Let one person whisper a sentence in abrupt stress to another person a short distance away. If heard, let the person so addressed whisper it back. From day to day, increase the distance. If the exercise rasps the throat or causes much fatigue, stop and rest. No exercise should be carried to excess.

Do not use the voice soon after eating.

Avoid vigorous vocal exercises when suffering from a cold.

Hot and very cold drinks are injurious.

Tobacco and alcoholic liquors are also detrimental to the voice.

Let your motto be, Temperance in all things.

Never force the voice beyond its normal strength.

A frequent change of pitch and force in speaking is restful,-to speaker and hearer alike.

Avoid the more vigorous exercises of the gymnasium.

Any physical exercise that puts you "out of breath" is bad. Practice, mostly, those movements that are accompanied with grace. Such exercises, if given with energy, will develop strength as well.

Avoid over-heated, damp, and dusty rooms. Bad ventilation is as ruinous to the voice as to the health. Seek fresh air, but not draughts.

Take plenty of outdoor exercise,-look upon the bright side of things-practice the "Laughing Exer

cise," in earnest-be not annoyed at trifles- work, not worry-wait not for opportunity, but make it-what you understand, endeavor to do well; if you fail, "forget the Past in the reformation of the Future,”—shun shams and charlatans-encourage modesty and worth -be self-reliant, but not conceited, remembering that others know something as well as yourself, and that none know it all,—climb to position on Merit's ladder, that no adverse storms may shake you from your place and purpose-pay heed to these, and many other things that were better said than printed in an "elocutionary work of dignity" (as is honestly, but facetiously suggested by a friend and critic), and you will be more successful as a student of elocution, and will thank the author for “making the opportunity" for giving these few homely hints, which the strait-jacket of textual composition would not permit.

In conclusion, I would commend to the student, as a fitting climax of all elocutionary instruction, the study of


Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus: but use all gently for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise: I

would have such a fellow whipped for o'er doing Termagant it out-herods Herod : pray you avoid it.

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.

Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theater of others. O, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.


Be brief, be pointed; let your matter stand
Lucid, in order, solid, and at hand:

Spend not your words on trifles, but condense ;
Strike with mass of thoughts, not drops of sense;

Press to the close with vigor, once begun.

And leave (how hard the task !) leave off when done.
Who draws a labored length of reasoning out,
Puts straw in lines for winds to whirl about;
Who draws a tedious tale of learning o'er,

Counts but the sands on ocean's boundless shore.

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