HIGH SCHOOL READER
A. E. MARTY, M.A.
COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE, OTTAWA
Authorized by the Minister of Education for Ontario For Use In Continuation and High Schools and Collegiate Institutes
THE CANADA PUBLISHING COMPANY, LIMITED TORONTO
Copyright, Canada, 1911, by
The Canada Publishing Company, Limited.
- Transcriber's note: Words with bold font style are enclosed in equal to (=) signs. UTF-8 characters: x = x with a tilde x = x with two dots below (diaresis, umlaut) x = x with x with breve (u-shaped symbol) x = x with macron (straight line) ẋ = x with a dot above x = x with a dot below -
After communication with many of the teachers who have been using the Principles and Practice of Oral Reading in their classes, the author has made a number of important additions and changes. In its amended form the book is published under the title of the "Ontario High School Reader."
As the book is intended for the teaching of oral reading it contains an introductory chapter on the Principles of Reading, and selections for practice, with appended notes. An effort has also been made to grade the selections in the order of their difficulty. Accordingly, a number of selections, each illustrating in a marked degree only one, or at most two, of the various elements of Vocal Expression, have been placed at the beginning; these should, of course, be taught before the more complex selections are attempted.
It is not intended that the pupil shall master the chapter on the principles before beginning to read the selections; he should become familiar with each topic as it is illustrated in the lesson. In dealing with each lesson the teacher should first ascertain the elements of vocal expression that it best exemplifies. He should then discuss these elements with the pupils, using the necessary paragraphs of the Introduction, and such black-board exercises as he may deem necessary, until he is satisfied that the pupils are ready to undertake the study of the selection. At the oral reading the pupils should be able to show their mastery of the principles thus taught. Toward the close of the course, they will naturally read connectedly the various sections of the Introduction, in order to obtain a comprehensive and systematic view of the principles.
To secure good reading, systematic drill on the exercises in Vowel Sounds and in Articulation is also necessary.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRINCIPLES OF READING 1-35
Importance of Oral Reading 1
Mechanical Side of Oral Reading 2 Correct Pronunciation, Distinct Articulation.
Expression 3 Concrete Thinking, Abstract Thinking, Emotion.
Elements of Vocal Expression 7 Pause, Grouping, Time, Inflection, Pitch, Force, Stress, Emphasis, Shading, Perspective, Quality.
The Banner of St. George Shapcott Wensley 36
Jean Valjean and the Bishop Victor Hugo 38
The Well of St. Keyne Robert Southey 43
Faith, Hope and Charity Bible 46
The Legend Beautiful Henry W. Longfellow 47
The Vicar's Family Use Art Oliver Goldsmith 52
The Soldier's Dream Thomas Campbell 58
Van Elsen Frederick George Scott 60
Pibroch of Donuil Dhu Sir Walter Scott 61
The Day is Done Henry W. Longfellow 63
The Schoolmaster and the Boys Charles Dickens 65
The Knights' Chorus Alfred, Lord Tennyson 70
The Northern Star Unknown 71
The Indigo Bird Ethelwyn Wetherald 72
The Pasture Field Ethelwyn Wetherald 73
Shipwrecked Robert Louis Stevenson 75
On His Blindness John Milton 80
Briggs in Luck William M. Thackeray 81
The Laughing Sally Charles G. D. Roberts 84
The Prodigal Son Bible 88
Christmas at Sea Robert Louis Stevenson 90
The Evening Wind William Cullen Bryant 93
Paradise and the Peri Thomas Moore 95
The Lady of Shalott Alfred, Lord Tennyson 100
Home they brought her Warrior dead Alfred, Lord Tennyson 107
The Sky John Ruskin 108
The Return of the Swallows Edmund W. Gosse 111
Barbara Frietchie John Greenleaf Whittier 113
Bless the Lord, O My Soul Bible 116
The Eternal Goodness John Greenleaf Whittier 118
The King of Glory Bible 119
The Four-Horse Race "Ralph Connor" 121
Mrs. Malaprop's Views Richard B. Sheridan 126
The Glove and the Lions Leigh Hunt 131
The Fickleness of a Roman Mob William Shakespeare 133
Sir Peter and Lady Teazle Richard B. Sheridan 136
The Parting of Marmion and Douglas Sir Walter Scott 140
Columbus Joaquin Miller 143
From the "Apology" of Socrates Benjamin Jowett 145
Highland Hospitality Sir Walter Scott 151
The Outlaw Sir Walter Scott 154
Of Studies Francis, Lord Bacon 157
The Influence of Athens Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay 159
National Morality John Bright 161
Hamlet's Advice to the Players William Shakespeare 164
Rosabelle Sir Walter Scott 166
The Island of the Scots William E. Aytoun 168
Cranford Society Mrs. Gaskell 178
Sir Galahad Alfred, Lord Tennyson 182
Song for Saint Cecilia's Day John Dryden 186
The Day was Lingering Charles Heavysege 189
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer John Keats 189
Great Things Were Ne'er Begotten in an Hour Sir Daniel Wilson 190
A Wood Lyric William Wilfred Campbell 191
To Night Percy Bysshe Shelley 193
The Opening Scene at the Trial Thomas Babington, Lord of Warren Hastings Macaulay 194
Peroration of Opening Speech against Edmund Burke Warren Hastings 201
The Song My Paddle Sings E. Pauline Johnson 203
The Defence of the Bridge Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay 206
On the Death of King Edward VII Sir Herbert Henry Asquith 217
The Heroes of Magersfontein The London Daily News 221
Funeral of Julius Caesar William Shakespeare 225
The Revenge Alfred, Lord Tennyson 234
Herve Riel Robert Browning 241
The Handwriting on the Wall Bible 248
Paul's Defence before King Agrippa Bible 251
The Stranded Ship Charles G. D. Roberts 254
Sir Patrick Spens Old Ballad 258
King John and the Abbot of Canterbury Old Ballad 262
The Key to Human Happiness George Eliot 266
The Vision of Sir Launfal James Russell Lowell 271
On the Death of Gladstone Sir Wilfrid Laurier 278
The Downfall of Wolsey William Shakespeare 286
The Italian in England Robert Browning 290
Advantages of Imperial Federation George Monro Grant 296
Collect for Dominion Day Charles G. D. Roberts 305
* * * * *
APPENDIX A. Exercises in Vocalization and Articulation 306
B. Physical Exercises 312
C. List of Reference Books 314
* * * * *
PRINCIPLES OF READING
Importance of Oral Reading
There are several reasons why every boy or girl should strive to become a good reader. In the first place, good oral reading is an accomplishment in itself. It affords a great deal of pleasure to others as well as to ourselves. In the second place, it improves our everyday speech and is also a preparation for public speaking; for the one who reads with distinctness and an accent of refinement is likely to speak in the same way, whether in private conversation or on the public platform. Moreover, it is only one step from reading aloud before the class to recitation, and another step from recitation to public speaking. Lastly, oral reading is the best method of bringing out and conveying to others and to oneself all that a piece of literature expresses. For example, the voice is needed to bring out the musical effects of poetry. The following lines will illustrate this point:
But the sea-caves rung, and the wild winds sung The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.
Here the music of the rhythm and the harmony between sound and sense would be almost entirely lost in silent reading.
The voice, too, is often the surest and most effective means of conveying differences of meaning and feeling in both prose and poetry. The following words from Herve Riel (pp. 241-247) may be made to convey different meanings according to the intonation of the voice:
Burn the fleet and ruin France?
This may be read to express hesitation and deliberation, or, as is the evident intention, shewn by the context as well as by the punctuation, to express Herve Riel's surprise and indignation that such a thought should be entertained.
Mechanical Side of Oral Reading
Now in what does oral reading consist? It consists, first of all, in recognizing the words, pronouncing them correctly, and articulating them distinctly. The pupil in the First Book, who is learning to read, is trying to master this side of reading, which is the mechanical side. He cannot be too careful as to the habits of speech he forms; for correct position of the organs of speech and proper control of the breath make for correct pronunciation and distinct articulation, which are two of the foundation stones of good reading.
By Correct Pronunciation, we mean the pronunciation approved by a standard dictionary. Elegance and refinement of speech depend largely on the correct pronunciation of the vowel sounds. The vowel a, which is sounded in seven different ways in the English language, presents the greatest difficulty. Many people recognize at most, only the sound of a in at, ate, all, far, and mortal respectively. They ignore the sound as in air, and the shorter quantity of the Italian a in ask, giving the sound of a in ate to the former and of a in at or a in all or a in far to the latter. Another difficulty is that of distinguishing the sound of oo in roof, food, etc., from the sound of oo in book and good, and from the sound of u in such words as pure and duke.
Pronunciation, when perfectly pure, should be free from what we call provincialisms; that is, from any peculiarity of tone, accent, or vowel sound, which would mark the speaker as coming from any particular locality. If our pronunciation is perfectly pure, it does not indicate, in the slightest degree, the part of the country in which we have lived.
Distinct articulation requires that each syllable should receive its full value, and that the end of a word should be enunciated as distinctly as the beginning. It depends largely on the way in which we utter the consonants, just as correct pronunciation depends on the enunciation of the vowels. Final consonants are easily slurred, especially in the case of words ending in two or more consonants, which present special difficulties of articulation. Such words are mends, seethes, thirsteth, breathed, etc. Sometimes, too, the careless reader fails to articulate two consonants separately when the first word ends with the consonant or consonant sound with which the second begins; for example, Sir Richard Grenville lay, Spanish ships; or when the first word ends with a consonant and the second begins with a vowel, as in eats apples, not at all, an ox, etc. On the other hand, too evident an effort to secure the proper enunciation of the sound elements should be avoided, since a stilted mode of utterance is thus produced.
Exercises for drill in the vowel sounds and in articulation are provided in Appendix A.
Oral reading, however, even in its earliest stages, consists in more than recognizing words, pronouncing them correctly, and articulating them distinctly. It includes thinking thoughts, seeing mental pictures, (which is only another form of thinking) and feeling varied emotions—all while the mechanical act of reading is going on. To illustrate, let us take a line from The Island of the Scots:
High flew the spray above their heads, yet onward still they bore.
If we wish to read this line well, what must we do besides pronouncing the words correctly and articulating them distinctly? We must think about the meaning of what we read. This includes two kinds of thinking. In the example we first think the picture presented by the words; that is, we make a mental image of the little band of Scots, hand in hand, trying to ford the swiftly flowing waters of the swollen river. This is called concrete thinking. At the same time we form some judgment based on the picture. We think of the great determination and courage these men showed in struggling forward in spite of the danger. This is called abstract thinking. But, as we have said, a reader does more than think in these two ways—he feels; and feeling, or emotion, comes of itself, if the reader thinks in the two ways described, for emotion is the result of thinking. Especially is it the result of concrete thinking; for what we see, even if only with the mind's eye, stirs our emotions more than that of which we think in the abstract.
While reading the line just quoted, there are three emotions which spring from the thinking. As we see these men struggling against the strong current we have an emotion of fear for them; then as we think of their determination and courage in the face of such great danger, an emotion of determination comes to us, for we identify ourselves with their fortunes; and lastly we are filled with admiration for their heroism. Thus we experience the three emotions of fear, determination, and admiration, while performing the mechanical act of reading the words. These emotions, together with the two kinds of thinking mentioned, affect the voice and the manner of reading, and determine what we call expression. If the words were simply repeated mechanically there would be no expression. Since expression involves the employment of so many different powers at one time, a mastery of the art of expression is much harder to acquire, than a mastery of merely the mechanical side of reading.
Accordingly, good vocal expression springs primarily from something within ourselves—that is, from our mental and emotional state. It cannot be acquired by mechanical imitation, whether of the reading of another, or of the movements, sounds, and gestures indicated in the subject matter of what we read. Nevertheless it is very stimulating to hear a selection well read, not because a model is thus supplied for our imitation, but because we get a grasp of the selection as a whole, and because the voice, which possesses great power in stirring the imagination and the feelings, thus prepares within us the mental and emotional state necessary for the correct expression.
In the same way, imitation of the movements, sounds, and gestures, suggested by the subject matter may be a stimulus to thought and feeling when preparing a selection, since what we have actually reproduced is more real to us than what we have only imagined. After such preparation, imitation, if it enters into the reading at all, will be spontaneous, and not intentional and forced. In reading The Charge of the Light Brigade or The Ride from Ghent to Aix, we do not designedly hurry along to imitate rapidity of movement; but, rather, the imagination having been kindled by the picture, our pulse is quickened, and the voice moves rapidly in sympathy with the feelings aroused.
In the following extract (p. 216) the atmosphere is one of joy. The reader is moved through sympathy with Horatius, and his voice indicates the joy of the Romans, but he does not attempt to imitate vocally, or by gesture, the "shouts," "clapping," and "weeping":
Now round him throng the Fathers To press his gory hands; And now, with shouts and clapping, And noise of weeping loud, He enters through the River-Gate, Borne by the joyous crowd.
Sometimes, as already stated, we imitate spontaneously:
Back darted Spurius Lartius; Herminius darted back: And, as they passed, beneath their feet They felt the timbers crack.
Here we imitate spontaneously the movement expressive of sudden fear. Our action is prompted by our own fears for their safety.
Sometimes the feeling is still more complex. In reading the following we spontaneously reproduce Sextus' alternate hate and fear which, moreover, we tinge with our own contempt:
Thrice looked he at the city; Thrice looked he at the dead; And thrice came on in fury, And thrice turned back in dread: And, white with fear and hatred, Scowled at the narrow way Where, wallowing in a pool of blood, The bravest Tuscans lay.
In reading the little poem from The Princess, (page 107) note how we are influenced by the tense emotion of the attendants who speak. We do not try to imitate them; but having made the scene stand out before us, we speak as we in imagination hear them, in an aspirated tone of voice:
She must weep or she will die.
In the last line it would savour of melodrama to try to impersonate the lady as she says:
Sweet my child, I live for thee.
The important point is to show intelligent sympathy with her speech, not to imitate her manner of uttering it.
On the other hand we must not make the mistake of supposing that if we get the thought and the emotion, the true vocal expression will follow. One who has a fine appreciation of a piece of literature may, notwithstanding, read it very indifferently. Even in conversation where we are interpreting vocally our own thoughts and feelings, we sometimes misplace emphasis or employ the wrong inflection. How much more likely we are to fall into such errors when we attempt to interpret vocally from a book the thoughts of another.
Elements Of Vocal Expression
In order to criticise ourselves or understand intelligent criticism, we must have a knowledge of the laws that govern speech—that is, we must know what properties of tone or what acts of the voice correspond to certain mental and emotional states. For example, the amount and character of thinking done while we read determines the rate of utterance; the purpose or motive of the thought and its completeness or incompleteness are indicated by an upward or downward slide of the voice; the nervous tension expresses itself in a certain key; the physical and mental energy, in a certain power or volume of the voice; and the character of the emotion is reflected in the quality. These principles of vocal expression are known technically as the elements of time, inflection, pitch, force, and quality. Closely connected with these elements are pause, grouping, stress, emphasis, shading, and perspective.
Pause. It must be quite clear that when we are reading silently, for the purpose of getting the thought for ourselves, our minds are at work as has been described. We shall now examine how this work done by the mind affects the voice and produces what we call good expression when we are reading aloud for the purpose of conveying thought to others. As an illustration we shall take an example from The Glove and the Lions:
The nobles fill'd the benches round, the ladies by their side, And 'mongst them Count de Lorge, with one he hoped to make his bride.
In these lines there are certain words or phrases which stand out prominently, since they call up mental pictures, namely: "nobles," "benches round," "Count de Lorge," and "one." In order to give time to make these mental pictures, we naturally pause after each one. At the end of the first line we combine the details, making a larger mental image, with the result that we make a long pause after "side." In reading the second line, the eye and the mind run ahead of the voice, and the reader, wishing to impress the listener with the new and important idea "Count de Lorge," pauses before it as well as after it. In the same way he pauses before the phrase, "he hoped to make his bride," to prepare the mind of the listener to receive the impression. Thus we see that, if the mind is working, a pause occurs after a word while we are making a mental image or trying to realize the idea more fully, and also often before we express an important idea, in order to prepare the mind of the listener for what is to come.
A very useful exercise in the study of pause is to image the pictures in selections such as the following:
Come from deep glen (picture) and From mountain so rocky; (picture) The war pipe and pennon (picture) Are at Inverlocky. Come every hill-plaid, and True heart that wears one; (picture) Come every steel blade, (picture) and Strong hand that bears one. (picture)
Leave untended the herd, (picture) The flock without shelter; (picture) Leave the corpse uninterred, (picture) The bride at the altar; (picture) Leave the deer, (picture) leave the steer, (picture) Leave nets and barges: (picture) Come with your fighting gear, Broadswords and targes, (picture)
Then, too, in passing from one idea or thought to another, the mind requires time to make the transition:
Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus Into the stream beneath: Herminius struck at Seius, And clove him to the teeth: At Picus brave Horatius Darted one fiery thrust; And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms Clashed in the bloody dust.
Here the mind passes in succession from the action of Lartius to that of Herminius and that of Horatius. A long pause is required after "beneath," "teeth," and "dust," with a shorter pause after "Seius" and after "thrust." Further, if the thoughts concern actions far apart, more time is required to make the transition, and hence a longer pause:
All day long that free flag toss'd Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps, sunset light Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er, And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.
Note the transition in thought from the day on which these stirring events are supposed to have taken place to the present time. This is indicated by a long pause after "warm good-night."
Sometimes the mind requires time to fill in ideas suggested but not expressed:
Forty flags with their crimson bars, Flapped in the morning wind: the sun Of noon look'd down and saw not one.
Here, the tearing down of the flags between the morning and noon, is suggested to the mind; hence a long pause after "wind."
Where an ellipsis occurs and the meaning is not obvious, there is a pause to give time to realize the logical connection:
I'd rather rove with Edmund there Than reign our English queen.
Here's the English can and will!
Note the pauses after "reign," and "English" (second example).
In such examples as the following where the meaning is obvious, the pauses after "them," "one," "weary," and "wounded," make prominent the important idea following:
And 'mongst them Count de Lorge, with one he hoped to make his bride.
The weary to sleep and the wounded to die.
When preparing to read a selection, it is of great importance to make the leading thoughts stand out clearly in the mind so that we may be able to present them one by one. The poem Barbara Frietchie (p. 113) could be divided into paragraphs with some such titles as the following: (1) the town of Frederick and its surroundings, (2) the approach of the army, (3) the tearing down of the flags, (4) the raising of Barbara Frietchie's flag, (5) Stonewall Jackson and his men, and so on. Each of the paragraphs is a complete section of the poem, and requires a well-marked pause before passing on to the next one.
Grouping. In the extract from The Glove and the Lions, used above to illustrate pause, the mental pictures and important ideas are suggested in nearly every ease by a single word. Ideas are, however, suggested as often by groups of words as by single words. These groups are treated as single words, and may take pauses before or after them as the case may be. The reader, who is thinking as he reads, will group together words that express one idea, or symbolize one picture, presenting these ideas and pictures to himself and to the listener one by one, and separating by a pause, of greater or less length, those not closely connected.
A slouched leather cap half hid his face bronzed by the sun and wind and dripping with sweat. He wore a cravat twisted like a rope coarse blue trousers worn and shabby white on one knee and with holes in the other; an old ragged gray blouse patched on one side with a piece of green cloth sewed with twine; upon his back was a well-filled knapsack, in his hand he carried an enormous knotted stick; his stockingless feet were in hobnailed shoes; his hair was cropped and his beard long.
Here the double vertical lines mark off groups of words which express one idea or symbolize one picture, and which are therefore each separated from the other by a well-marked pause. The single vertical lines indicate a shorter pause between the subdivisions of each group. The phrase "an old ragged gray blouse patched on one side with a piece of green cloth sewed with twine" presents one picture by itself, and is separated from the context by a long pause, but each detail in this picture is presented in turn to the mind's eye, hence the shorter pauses after "blouse," "cloth," and "twine."
The reader should be careful not to allow pause and grouping to produce a jerky effect, thus interfering with the rhythm. This applies especially to poetry, which demands, in order to preserve the rhythm, that the caesural pause should not be slighted, and that there should be a more or less marked pause at the end of each line:
And they had trod the Pass once more, and stoop'd on either side To pluck the heather from the spot where he had dropped and died.
In the second line, the caesural pause occurs after "spot," but the phrase "from the spot where he had dropped and died" expresses one idea and must be given as a whole. The rhythm and the grouping appear to be at variance; but the difficulty is easily overcome by making the caesural pause shorter than the pause after "heather" which introduces the group, and at the same time, by not allowing the voice to fall on the word "spot."
The following affords another instance where the grouping appears to interfere with the rhythm:
If the husband of this gifted well Shall drink before his wife, A happy man thenceforth is he, For he shall be master for life.
"Of this gifted well" is evidently not connected in thought with "husband." It must be separated from "husband" by a pause and attached to "shall drink" at the beginning of the next line. To do this, it is not, however, necessary to omit the pause at the end of the line; for this would mar the effect of the rhythm. The difficulty is again overcome by making the pause at the end of the line shorter than the pauses which mark the grouping, and by not allowing the voice to fall on "well."
Time is the rate at which we read. It is fast or slow according to the number and the length of the pauses between words and phrases, and also according to the length of time the reader dwells on the words themselves. There is perhaps no more frequent criticism made on reading than that it is too fast. What does this mean? It means that the reader is not doing enough thinking as he repeats the words. Consequently, he does not dwell on words that are full of meaning, nor pause before and after words and phrases to make the mental picture and to grasp the thought more fully. Moreover, for the benefit of the listener, the reading should be slower than is required by the reader for himself. The reader, with his eye on the page, can allow his eye and mind to run ahead of his voice, and can thus realize the thought in less time than the listener. The following line calls for a comparatively small amount of thinking:
High flew the spray above their heads, yet onward still they bore.
Here, there is little except what is on the surface, and the thoughts suggested by the words are of the kind to make the mind think rapidly. Hence the line is read in faster time than the average rate. Reading may, accordingly, be fast from one or both of two causes. First, when there is no background of thought for the mind to dwell upon, and second when the nature of the thoughts themselves, such as the narration of the rapid succession of events, impels to quick mental action. The following lines from Pibroch of Donuil Dhu (p. 61) will serve as an illustration:
Faster come, faster come, Faster and faster, Chief, vassal, page and groom, Tenant and master. Fast they come, fast they come; See how they gather! etc.
So, too, reading may be slow from the exact opposite of these two reasons. First, when there is a great back-ground of thought suggested by the words, and second, when the reflective and meditative nature of the thought leads to slow action on the part of the mind. In some selections both of these conditions are present; in others only one of them. In The Day is Done (p. 63) there is little thought below the surface; but the reading is slow because the quiet, meditative nature of the thought tends to slow mental action:
And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.
Both conditions, however, exist in the lines from Barbara Frietchie which describe the effect produced on Stonewall Jackson by Barbara Frietchie's heroic action and daring speech:
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came.
A great many thoughts are suggested by these two lines. The heart of the gallant Southerner is touched at the sight of this weak, decrepit old woman with the courage and boldness of youth, ready to die for her principles. His stern features relax and a look of sadness passes over his face. The taunting words "spare your country's flag" have struck home. The tragic side of civil war is forced upon him—father fighting against son, and brother against brother, the sons of freedom firing at their own star-spangled banner. The sorrow and the shame of it all rise before him, and the crimson flush mounts to his brow. With this undercurrent of thought in the mind, it is impossible to read rapidly. Besides, the reflective nature of the thoughts themselves tends to make one repeat the words slowly.
Sometimes, again, reading is faster than the moderate rate because of the unimportance of the events or facts:
He spoke of the grass, the flowers and the trees, Of the singing birds and the humming bees; Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.
Note the lightness with which the unimportant details of conversation are skimmed over.
Inflection. If we listen to the speech of the people around us, we can easily detect an upward slide of the voice on some words, a downward slide on others, and on others again a combination of the two. This slide of the voice on words—generally on the accented syllable of an emphatic word—is called inflection, and the various inflections are known as rising (/), falling (), rising circumflex (/), and falling circumflex (/).
Each inflection has a definite and fixed meaning recognized by every one, and it is because of the laws of inflection that we can tell what meaning a speaker intends to convey when he uses certain words; for often the same words may carry two or three different meanings according to the inflection. The simple word "Yes," with an abrupt downward slide, expresses decided affirmation. When spoken with an upward slide, it expresses interrogation and is equivalent to "Is that really so?" When it has a combination of the downward and upward slide or a rising circumflex inflection, the meaning is no longer simple but complex. There is an assertion combined with doubt. It is equivalent to saying: "I think so but I am not really sure." In such a sentence as: "Do not say 'yes,'" where the idea "but say 'no,'" is merely implied, but not formally expressed, the word "yes" has a combination of the upward and downward slide or a falling circumflex inflection.
If we take an idea for its own sake, if it is independent and complete in itself, the voice has the downward slide or falling inflection on the words which stand for the central idea:
My good blade carves the casques of men, My tough lance thrusteth sure, My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure. The shattering trumpet shrilleth high, The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly, The horse and rider reel.
Each statement is complete in itself and has the falling inflection.
Sometimes there is a slight downward slide before the statement is completed, because the mind feels that the ideas already expressed are of sufficient force to give them the value of completeness:
My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure.
And the sick men down in the hold were most of them stark and cold, And the pikes were all broken or bent, and the powder was all of it spent; And the masts and the rigging were lying over the side.
Note the momentary completeness on "ten," "cold," "bent," and "spent," requiring the falling inflection.
If on the other hand an idea is incomplete, either pointing forward to some other idea or being subordinate, the voice has the upward slide or rising inflection. The rising inflection, like the falling, may be long or short, more or less abrupt, according to the importance of the thought:
She, with all a monarch's pride, Felt them in her bosom glow.
"She" points forward to the predicate "felt" and because of the importance of the idea it takes a long rising inflection; "with all a monarch's pride" being subordinate and incomplete also requires the voice to be kept up, but takes a shorter rising inflection.
It is of the greatest importance to know the exact purpose of the thought, so that the voice may, of itself, give the corresponding inflection:
And you may gather garlands there Would grace a summer queen.
The sense is evidently not complete in the first line, the intention being to emphasize the beauty of the garlands to be gathered, and not merely to state that they may be gathered there. When the reader understands the exact meaning he will convey it by keeping the rising inflection on "garlands."
Similar to the foregoing is the following:
There is not a wife in the west country But has heard of the Well of St. Keyne.
The sense is not complete until we read the second line. The rising inflection on "country" indicates this and connects the first line with the second, bringing out the meaning, that every wife in the west country has heard of the Well of St. Keyne.
Sometimes we have a series of rising inflections, all pointing forward to the leading statement which is to follow and which is necessary to complete the sense, for example:
Of man's first disobedience and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing, heavenly Muse.
Incompleteness may be suggested by a negative statement or its equivalent:
Not from the grand old masters, Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.
I do not know what I was playing, Or what I was dreaming then, But I struck one chord of music Like the sound of a great Amen.
Note the rising inflection on these negative clauses.
On the same principle the rising inflection is used on the negative statements of persuasive argument as in the Apology of Socrates (p. 145).
But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean, in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence.
For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death.
Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of words—certainly not.
Doubt and hesitation also imply incompleteness:
He surely would do desperate things to show his love of me! King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the chance is wondrous fine; I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory will be mine!
Note the rising inflection on the first two lines where the lady is still in doubt as to what shall be the test of De Lorge's love, and the falling inflection on the last one when she has reached a decision.
Pleading and entreaty also convey a sense of incompleteness and take the rising inflection:
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
Good Sir Richard, tell us now, For to fight is but to die!
A direct interrogation, that is, one that can be answered by "Yes" or "No", implies incompleteness in the mind of the questioner and requires a decided rising inflection:
Is your name Shylock?
May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?
Questions that require an explanatory answer and cannot be answered by "Yes" or "No," do not convey an idea of incompleteness, being merely equivalent to the statement of a desire for certain information. Consequently they take the falling inflection:
Flav. Speak, what trade art thou? 1st Cit. Why, sir, a carpenter. Mar. Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule? What dost thou with thy best apparel on?— You, sir, what trade are you?
The purpose or motive of a question must be considered. We must know whether the question is asked for information, or whether its purpose is to give information; that is, whether it is only another way of making an assertion—what is sometimes called a question of appeal. When Shylock asks Portia: "Shall I not have barely my principal?" he does so with the direct purpose of learning his sentence. His question can be answered by "Yes" or "No" and the rising inflection is used. But when he asks: "On what compulsion must I?" he means simply to give the information that there is no power on earth to compel him. This is a complete thought, hence the falling inflection. Other examples are:
Have you e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?
What conquest brings he home? What tributaries follow him to Rome, To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
The opposite inflections on antithetical words or phrases are also due to this law of completeness and incompleteness. The first part of the antithesis usually has the rising inflection marking incompleteness, and the second, the falling, marking completeness.
His blast is heard at merry morn, And mine at dead of night.
For this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Similarly, in a series of words or phrases parallel in construction, all have the rising inflection but the last:
As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him! There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition.
Crafty men contemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them.
If one part of the antithesis is a negation, it takes the rising inflection, whether it comes first or second. This is owing to the fact that, as illustrated above, a negation implies incompleteness. The other part then takes the falling inflection:
Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of Spain.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Often only one part of the antithesis is expressed, the contrast being implied. In such a case, the voice brings out the contrast by placing a combination of the two inflections of the regularly expressed antithesis on the one word which does duty for both parts: Cassius says: "I said an elder soldier, not a better" in reply to Brutus' speech—"You say you are a better soldier." The antithesis is fully expressed, and the voice places the falling inflection on "elder" and the rising inflection on "better." If Cassius had omitted the words "not a better," the very same meaning could have been conveyed by placing a combination of the rising and the falling inflection or a falling circumflex on the word "elder," thus—"I said an elder soldier." In the next line he goes on to say "Did I say bĕtter?" Here, there is an implied contrast with "elder," which is expressed by a combination of the falling and the rising inflection or a rising circumflex. From these two examples, we can see that the law of completeness and incompleteness holds good with the compound or circumflex inflection, just as it does with the simple inflection, and determines whether the circumflex shall be rising or falling.
A very common mistake in reading is to use the circumflex inflection in emphasizing a word, thus making a contrast where none is intended. "Ramped and roared the lions" with a falling circumflex inflection on "lions," instead of a simple falling inflection, suggests that the tigers or some other animals did not ramp and roar. For similar reasons, avoid the circumflex when emphasizing "hand" and "feet" in "put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet."
As has already been stated, it is necessary to know the motive behind the words. When Shylock says: "O wise and upright judge," his intention is evidently to bestow sincere praise. The reader, knowing this, instinctively gives a straight slide. Later, when Gratiano says: "O upright judge, O learned judge!" his intention is to taunt and hold up to ridicule; there is a double meaning conveyed, which finds its natural expression in a curved inflection.
Compare the curved inflections in the cobbler's speeches in Act I. Scene I, of Julius Caesar (p. 133) when he is fencing with Marullus, with the straight inflections of his final speech when he has thrown aside his raillery and speaks with sincerity:
~ ~ ~ ~ Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself ~ ~ in more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday to
see C'aesar, and to rejoice in his triumph.
One writer has said: "Where there is simple and genuine thought, deep and sincere feeling, wherever the eye is single, the inflections of the voice are straight; a crook in the mind however is indicated by a crook in the voice."
Pitch is the key of the voice. A change of pitch is a leap from one key to another during silence. Inflection, as we have seen, is a gradual change in the key while the voice is speaking. The pitch or key depends upon the muscular tension of the vocal chords, which act like the strings of a musical instrument: the greater the tension, the higher the key. Muscular tension implies nervous tension and this is dependent upon the mental state. If the mind is calm, the nervous and muscular tension is normal, and the speaker uses the key habitual to him in his ordinary speech. If the mental state is one of excitement, the key is higher because of greater nervous and muscular tension. If, on the other hand, the mental state is one of depression, the key is lower because of relaxed muscular tension.
In The Defence of the Bridge (p. 206) the Romans, seeing the danger of the heroes, are wrought up to a high state of nervous tension which finds its natural expression in the high-pitched voice:
"Come back, come back Horatius!" Loud cried the Fathers all. "Back, Lartius! back Herminius! Back, ere the ruin fall!"
Contrast with this the lower key of Horatius, who is calm and self-controlled:
"O Tiber! Father Tiber! To whom the Romans pray, A Roman's life, a Roman's arms, Take thou in charge this day!"
Observe the gradual rise in pitch with the increase of tension or excitement in the following:
And now he feels the bottom; Now on dry earth he stands; Now round him throng the Fathers To press his gory hands; And now, with shouts and clapping, And noise of weeping loud, He enters through the River-Gate, Borne by the joyous crowd.
In the following lines, where the Douglas holds communion with himself, the tension is low chiefly because of his great mental depression, and, consequently, he speaks in a low key:
Yes! all is true my fears could frame; A prisoner lies the noble Graeme, And fiery Roderick soon will feel The vengeance of the royal steel. I, only I, can ward their fate,— God grant the ransom come not late. The abbess hath her promise given. My child shall be the bride of Heaven:— Be pardoned one repining tear! For he, who gave her, knows how dear, How excellent! but that is by, And now my business is—to die.
The low pitch is also partly due to the fact that the Douglas is speaking to himself, and has no desire to communicate his thoughts to another; for the effort to communicate thought causes increased tension.
Again, it requires greater effort to address a person who is at a distance than one close at hand, or to address a large audience than a small one. Observe the comparatively high pitch in which Antony (p. 225) begins his oration:
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
If the reader wishes to give prominence to a thought, the effort put forth causes muscular tension, resulting in a higher pitch. On the other hand, a thought, which the reader regards as not of special importance to the listener, finds expression in lower pitch, more as if he were addressing himself:
Bold words!—but, though the beast of game The privilege of chase may claim, Though space and law the stag we lend, Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend, Who ever recked, where, how, or when, The prowling fox was trapped or slain?
Observe the lower pitch of the subordinate clauses in the first four lines, and the higher pitch in the last two lines which project the leading thought.
"I think, boys," said the schoolmaster, when the clock struck twelve, "that I shall give an extra half-holiday this afternoon."
Similarly, the narrative clause "said the schoolmaster" which interrupts the direct speech is read in lower pitch and is separated by a marked pause before and after.
Parenthetical expressions, also for the same reason, are read in lower pitch.
She had not perceived—how could she until she had lived longer?—the inmost truth of the old monk's outpourings, that renunciation remains sorrow, though a sorrow borne willingly.
He (Mr. Pickwick) would not deny that he was influenced by human passions, and human feelings, (cheers)—possibly by human weaknesses—(loud cries of "No"); but this he would say, that if ever the fire of self-importance broke out in his bosom, the desire to benefit the human race in preference, effectually quenched it.
Passages which are collateral or co-ordinate in construction, and equally balanced, will find their natural vocal expression in the same pitch and, of course, the pitch varies as the attitude of the mind changes:
Forty flags with their silver stars, Forty flags with their crimson bars, Flapped in the morning wind: the sun Of noon looked down and saw not one.
The first two lines have the same pitch, because there is no difference in intensity of feeling or in the mental conception. There is, however, an entire change of thought beginning with "the sun." This is accompanied by a change of pitch.
Force. Force is vocal energy; in other words, it is the power or volume of the voice, and is determined by the amount of physical and mental energy exerted by the speaker.
The language of everyday conversation, when not marked by intensity of feeling or purpose, requires only a moderate amount of physical and mental energy and is expressed by moderate force. Intensity of feeling or purpose, on the other hand, is accompanied by a great expenditure of energy, and finds its natural outlet in strong force. In the following lines, (p. 132) the king's emphatic approval of De Lorge's action and his vehement condemnation of the lady's vanity find expression in strong force:
"In truth!" cried Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat: "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that!"
Compare the moderate amount of energy expended in uttering the narrative clauses "cried Francis," "and he rose from where he sat," and "quoth he," which should be read with moderate force.
More physical energy is expended in making one's self understood at a distance than near at hand, and in addressing a large audience than a small one; hence strong force is used in the following where it is accompanied by a loud tone of voice:
"Come back, come back Horatius!" Loud cried the Fathers all.
But strong force does not necessarily imply a loud tone of voice:
"Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus; "Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day We should have sacked the town!"
Here Sextus gives vent to his concentrated hate for Horatius and speaks with strong force, but not in a loud tone of voice.
The effort to influence the mind and action of others draws on a great fund of mental energy; hence commands, persuasion, and argument, all find their vocal expression in strong force. Herve Riel, urging the captains to allow him to pilot the ships, speaks with strong force:
Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there's a way! Only let me lead the line,
When the mental or physical energy is at a low ebb we speak with weak force:
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold, Was just that I was leaving home, and my folks were growing old.
Take me out, sink me deep in the green profound, To sway with the long-weed, swing with the drowned, Where the change of the soft tide makes no sound, Far below the keels of the outward bound.
For the same reason such poems as The Day is Done, (p. 63) and Part IV, of The Lady of Shalott, (p. 200) are read with gentle force.
A change in force often accompanies a change in pitch. The lower pitch of parenthetical expressions, and narrative clauses which interrupt direct discourse, is accompanied by weaker force, and the higher pitch resulting from the efforts to make one's self heard at a distance is accompanied by stronger force.
Stress is force applied to the vowel sound. When we are taken by surprise and give expression to it by means of the one word "Oh," we apply the force or volume of the voice to the beginning of the vowel sound. This is called initial or radical stress (>). When we wish to give a very emphatic denial to a statement, or to insist on a refusal to some persistent request we say "No," gradually increasing the force of the voice to the last part of the vowel sound. This is called final or vanishing stress (<). Again, if our minds are uplifted with wonder and delight at something we have heard or seen, we exclaim "Oh" applying the force to the middle of the vowel sound. This swell of the vowel sound is called median stress ().
It has already been pointed out that force depends upon the amount of energy. The above examples show that stress or the location of force depends upon the kind of mental energy, or the attitude of mind, whether it be that of abruptness, of insistence, or of uplift.
All speech has a slight tendency toward initial stress, because the effort made by the vocal chords to articulate sound is characterized by abruptness. If, in addition, the mental energy of the speaker possesses abruptness through sudden impulse or emotion, or through unconscious imitation of sound or movement, the initial stress is very prominent:
Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule? What dost thou with thy best apparel on?— You, sir, what trade are you?
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.
She leaned far out on the window-sill, And shook it forth with a royal will.
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
If the speaker desires to impress on others his own feelings or convictions, the final stress is the result. Such insistence is found in the expression of anger, scorn, indignation, and determination:
Burn the fleet and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues! Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me, there's a way!
In the first two lines Herve Riel wishes to make others feel his own indignation at the thought of burning the fleet. In the last two, he tries to impress them with his conviction that there is a way out of the difficulty. Hence the final stress in each case.
Sometimes the speaker tries to enforce his own opinion by peevishness, whining, or complaining, with the result that he uses the final stress:
Lady Teazle. Then why will you endeavour to make yourself so disagreeable to me, and thwart me in every little elegant expense?
Sir Peter. Madam, I say, had you any of these little elegant expenses when you married me?
Lady Teazle. Sir Peter! would you have me be out of the fashion?
If the mental energy or mental attitude is one of uplift or exaltation, expressing itself in adoration of the Deity, or in admiration and love of the beautiful, or in sympathy and tenderness toward mankind, the median stress is used:
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean—roll!
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art, Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes, Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart, Ye died amidst your dying country's cries.
Determination and settled conviction in the speaker's mind, especially when accompanied by a marked degree of dignity, calmness, and self-control, cause equal stress on every part of the vowel sound. This is called thorough stress:
If every ducat in six thousand ducats Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them; I would have my bond.
It is the stress of quiet strength and great reserve force:
Though the water flashed around them, Not an eye was seen to quiver; Though the shot flew sharp and deadly, Not a man relax'd his hold.
In a more marked degree, it is also the stress used in calling:
Then rose a warning cry behind, a joyous shout before: "The current's strong,—the way is long,—they'll never reach the shore! See, see! they stagger in the midst, they waver in their line! Fire on the madmen! break their ranks, and whelm them in the Rhine!"
If the speaker's attitude of mind is not straightforward and sincere, if he speaks with a double meaning, in irony or sarcasm, the stress is a combination of the radical and final, known as compound stress (><). This is analogous to the compound inflection. See page 21.
Now welcome, welcome, Sextus! Now welcome to thy home! Why dost thou stay, and turn away? Here lies the road to Rome.
Accordingly, the compound stress is used when the intention is to taunt or to ridicule:
Sir Peter. Ay—there again—taste! Zounds! Madam, you had no taste when you married me!
Lady Teazle. That's very true, indeed, Sir Peter! and after having married you, I should never pretend to taste again, I allow.
Emphasis—The importance of an idea, whether this idea is expressed by a single word, or by a phrase or clause, is indicated by a variation of pitch, force, or time. This change in pitch, force, or time, by attracting attention to that idea, is a means of emphasis. It is the new idea, or the idea which is important through contrast either expressed or implied, which will attract the reader's attention and which he will make prominent in this way:
Brutus. You say you are a better soldier: Let it appear so; make your vaunting true, And it shall please me well: for mine own part, I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
Cassius. You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus; I said, an elder soldier, not a better:
"better soldier," "appear," and "true" are central ideas; they express important ideas not mentioned before. When Cassius replies he at once throws the idea of "soldier" in the back-ground and emphasizes "better" by contrasting it with "elder." He also introduces the new idea "wrong" which he makes still more emphatic by repetition. Brutus also introduces the new idea "please me well" which he makes emphatic by repeating it in the word "glad." Other examples of words and phrases becoming more emphatic through repetition are:
Faster come, faster come; Faster and faster, * * * * * Fast they come, fast they come;
"Jump—far—out boy into the wave, JUMP, or I fire," he said, "This chance alone your life can save: JUMP, JUMP."
In the case of a climax, the emphasis grows stronger on each member of the series:
"Take the helm, lead the line, save the squadron!" cried its chief.
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings, It is an attribute to God himself.
When a wind from the lands they had ruin'd awoke from sleep, And the water began to heave and the weather to moan, And or ever that evening ended a great gale blew, And a wave like the wave that is raised by an earthquake grew, Till it smote on their hulls and their sails and their masts and their flags.
However, if a word is repeated, it is not necessarily emphatic each time:
The German heart is stout and true, the German arm is strong; The German foot goes seldom back where armed foemen throng.
In the phrase "The German heart" the chief emphasis is on "heart," with a slighter emphasis on German. The emphasis is then transferred to "arm" and "foot" through contrast with "heart." To emphasize "German" again would weaken the effect.
Compare the repetition, in the following, of the syllable "un," also of the phrase "this year":
Unwatched along Clitumnus Grazes the milk-white steer; Unharmed the water-fowl may dip In the Volsinian mere.
The harvests of Arretium, This year, old men shall reap, This year young boys in Umbro Shall plunge the struggling sheep; And in the vats of Luna, This year, the must shall foam Round the white feet of laughing girls Whose sires have marched to Rome.
Words and phrases are emphatic quite as often through contrast implied as through contrast expressed. It is evident that such a sentence as: "Will you ride to town to-day?" may have a number of different meanings according to the words emphasized. This difference of meaning is due to an implied contrast. If "you" is emphatic, it is because there is a mental contrast between "you" and some other person. If "ride" is emphatic, it is because riding is being contrasted with walking or driving and so on. The following contain examples of emphasis through implied contrast:
Great things were ne'er begotten in an hour.
But now no sound of laughter was heard among the foes.
As already shown on page 21, the emphasis, in the case of implied contrast, is brought out by the circumflex inflection.
Shading and Perspective. These deal with the relative importance of words, phrases, or clauses. According as an idea suggested by a word or group of words is regarded as principal or subordinate, the voice either projects it or holds it in the back-ground as an artist shades his picture:
And, though the legend does not live,—for legends lightly die— The peasant, as he sees the stream in winter rolling by, And foaming o'er its channel-bed between him and the spot Won by the warriors of the sword, still calls that deep and dangerous ford The Passage of the Scot.
The principal statement, "The peasant still calls that deep and dangerous ford the Passage of the Scot," is projected or emphasized by higher pitch and stronger force, the thought being sustained, and the connection made between "The peasant" and "still calls" by means of the rising inflection. The subordinate statements, "though the legend does not live" and "as he sees the stream in winter rolling by ... sword," are kept in the back-ground by slightly lower pitch and moderate force. The parenthetical clause, "for legends lightly die," is subordinate to the subordinate statement and is thrown still more into the back-ground in the same way as the preceding.
Strictly speaking, the term "shading" is used to indicate the value of individual phrases or clauses; "perspective," to indicate the values of several phrases or clauses viewed relatively.
The quality, or timbre, of the voice reveals the speaker's emotions, their character, number, and intensity. The voice is affected by the muscular texture of the throat, just as the tone of an instrument is affected by the texture of the material of which it is made. This muscular texture is affected by nerve and muscular vibrations which are caused by emotion, the result of mental impressions. Whatever be the quality of voice peculiar to the individual, it is greatly modified by his emotions. The man of few emotions has few vocal vibrations; hence his monotonous voice. The man whose emotions are habitually cruel, has a harsh, hard muscular texture through contraction of the muscles; hence the hard voice. It is plain that the natural voice is an index to the character. If the imagination and soul are cultivated, the voice will gain in richness and fulness. If, in reading that which expresses the sublime, noble, and grand, the imagination is kindled, the voice will express by its vibrations the largeness of our conception. This full, rich voice is called the orotund:
These are the gardens of the Desert, these The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, For which the speech of England has no name— The prairies.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
In thinking of what is stern, severe, harsh, cruel, or base, the muscles of the throat contract and produce the rigid, throaty tone known as the guttural:
On what compulsion must I? Tell me that.
"Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus "Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day, We should have sacked the town!"
Certain states of mind, such as awe, caution, secrecy, fear, etc., produce in greater or less degree an aspirated or "breathy" quality, called the whisper or aspirate:
When Jubal struck the chorded shell, His listening brethren stood around, And, wondering, on their faces fell To worship that celestial sound.
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;" And the white rose weeps, "She is late;" The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;" And the lily whispers, "I wait."
The atmosphere of hush and repose expresses itself by a partial whisper:
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still!
It must not be supposed that the whisper is always associated with moderate or with weak force as in the preceding examples. Strong force is used with the whisper to express intensity of feeling or vehemence:
Whispering with white lips: the foe! they come! they come!
Hush, I say, hush!
Other emotional states have their corresponding qualities of voice, such, for example, as the quality of oppressed feeling and the quality expressing agitation.
To conclude: it must be carefully borne in mind that the reader should never strive to produce a certain quality apart from the emotion which should precede. By force alone, for example, he will succeed in producing mere sound without the quality. Nor are any of the examples given above, in dealing with the various elements of vocal expression, intended for practice in voice gymnastics apart from the preliminary state of which they are the vocal expression. They are intended merely as illustrations of the laws which govern correct speech.
* * * * *
THE HIGH SCHOOL READER
THE BANNER OF ST. GEORGE
Words by Shapcott Wensley: music by Sir Edward Elgar
It comes from the misty ages, The banner of England's might, The blood-red cross of the brave St. George, That burns on a field of white! It speaks of the deathless heroes 5 On fame's bright page inscrolled, And bids great England ne'er forget The glorious deeds of old!
O'er many a cloud of battle The banner has floated wide; 10 It shone like a star o'er the valiant hearts That dashed the Armada's pride! For ever amid the thunders The sailor could do or die, While tongues of flame leaped forth below, 15 And the flag of St. George was high!
O ne'er may the flag beloved Unfurl in a strife unblest, But ever give strength to the righteous arm, And hope to the hearts oppressed! 20 It says to the passing ages: "Be brave if your cause be right, Like the soldier saint whose cross of red Still burns on your banner white!"
Great race, whose empire of splendour 25 Has dazzled the wondering world! May the flag that floats o'er thy wide domains Be long to all winds unfurled! Three crosses in concord blended, The banner of Britain's might! 30 But the central gem of the ensign fair Is the cross of the dauntless Knight!
—By permission of the publishers, Novello & Co.
PREPARATORY—Divide the poem into two parts, giving to each part a descriptive title.
What feelings are aroused by this poem?
What lines in stanzas i and iv call up a mental picture of the flag?
What three phrases in stanza i suggest the important ideas to be associated with the flag? How does the voice indicate the importance of these ideas? (Introduction, p. 8.)
Of what phrases in stanza i is stanza ii only an elaboration?
What wish is contained in stanza iii? What sentences express it?
What additional idea does stanza iv add to this wish?
STAR, VALIANT, ARMADA, CENTRAL. Make a distinction in the sound of the letter a in these words, and elsewhere in the poem. (Appendix A, 1.)
GEORGE, CROSS, FORGET, FORTH, CONCORD. What sound has the letter o in each word? (Appendix A, 1.)
Articulate with energy the final consonantal combinations of all such words as: ENGLAND'S, BURNS, SPEAKS, INSCROLLED, FLOATED, HEARTS, DASHED, LEAPED, UNBLEST, STRENGTH, DAZZLED, UNFURLED, BLENDED. (Appendix A, 3.)
* * * * *
JEAN VALJEAN AND THE BISHOP
From "Les Miserables"
At the bishop's house, his housekeeper, Mme. Magloire was saying:
"We say that this house is not safe at all; and, if Monseigneur will permit me, I will go on and tell the locksmith to come and put the old bolts in the door again. I say, than a door which opens by a latch on the outside to the first comer, nothing could be more horrible; and then Monseigneur has the habit of always saying: 'Come in,' even at midnight. But, my goodness, there is no need to even ask leave——"
At this moment there was a violent knock on the door.
"Come in!" said the bishop.
The door opened.
It opened quickly, quite wide, as if pushed by some one boldly and with energy.
A man entered.
That man we know already; it was the traveller we have seen wandering about in search of a lodging.
He came in, took one step, and paused, leaving the door open behind him. He had his knapsack on his back, his stick in his hand, and a rough, hard, and fierce look in his eyes. He was hideous.
The bishop looked upon the man with a tranquil eye. As he was opening his mouth to speak, doubtless to ask the stranger what he wanted, the man, leaning with both hands on his club, glanced from one to another in turn, and, without waiting for the bishop to speak, said, in a loud voice:
"See here! my name is Jean Valjean. I am a convict; I have been nineteen years in the galleys. Four days ago I was set free, and started for Pontarlier; during these four days I have walked from Toulon. To-day I have walked twelve leagues. When I reached this place this evening I went to an inn, and they sent me away on account of my yellow passport, which I had shown at the Mayor's office, as was necessary. I went to another inn; they said, 'Get out!' It was the same with one as with another; nobody would have me. I went to the prison and the turnkey would not let me in. I crept into a dog kennel, the dog bit me, and drove me away as if he had been a man; you would have said that he knew who I was. I went into the fields to sleep beneath the stars, there were no stars. I thought it would rain, and there was no good God to stop the drops, so I came back to the town to get the shelter of some doorway. There in the square I laid down upon a stone; a good woman showed me your house, and said: 'Knock there!' I have knocked. What is this place? Are you an inn? I have money; my savings, one hundred and nine francs and fifteen sous, which I have earned in the galleys by my work for nineteen years. I will pay. What do I care? I have money, I am very tired—twelve leagues on foot—and I am so hungry. Can I stay?"
"Mme. Magloire," said the bishop, "put on another plate."
The man took three steps and came near the lamp which stood on the table. "Stop," he exclaimed; as if he had not been understood; "not that, did you understand me? I am a galley slave—a convict—I am just from the galleys." He drew from his pocket a large sheet of yellow paper, which he unfolded. "There is my passport, yellow, as you see. That is enough to have me kicked out wherever I go. Will you read it? See, here is what they have put on my passport: Jean Valjean, a liberated convict; has been nineteen years in the galleys; five years for burglary; fourteen years for having attempted four times to escape. This man is very dangerous. There you have it! Everybody has thrust me out; will you receive me? Is this an inn? Can you give me something to eat and a place to sleep? Have you a stable?"
"Mme. Magloire," said the bishop, "put some sheets on the bed in the alcove."
The bishop turned to the man:
"Monsieur, sit down and warm yourself; we are going to take supper presently, and your bed will be made ready while you sup."
At last the man quite understood; his face, the expression of which till then had been gloomy, and hard, now expressed stupefaction, doubt and joy, and became absolutely wonderful. He began to stutter like a madman.
"True? What? You will keep me? you won't drive me away—a convict? You call me monsieur and don't say, 'Get out, dog!' as everybody else does. I shall have a supper! a bed like other people, with mattress and sheets—a bed! It is nineteen years that I have not slept on a bed. You are good people! Besides, I have money; I will pay well. I beg your pardon, M. Innkeeper, what is your name? I will pay all you say. You are a fine man. You are an innkeeper, is it not so?"
"I am a priest who lives here," said the bishop.
"A priest," said the man. "Oh, noble priest! Then you do not ask any money?"
"No," said the bishop, "keep your money. How much have you?"
"One hundred and nine francs and fifteen sous," said the man.
"One hundred and nine francs and fifteen sous. And how long did it take you to earn that?"
The bishop sighed deeply, and shut the door, which had been left wide open.
Mme. Magloire brought in a plate and set it on the table.
"Mme Magloire," said the bishop, "put this plate as near the fire as you can." Then turning toward his guest he added: "The night wind is raw in the Alps; you must be cold, monsieur."
Every time he said the word monsieur with his gentle, solemn and heartily hospitable voice, the man's countenance lighted up. Monsieur to a convict is a glass of water to a man dying of thirst at sea.
"The lamp," said the bishop, "gives a very poor light."
Mme. Magloire understood him, and, going to his bedchamber, took from the mantel the two silver candlesticks, lighted the candles and placed them on the table.
"M. le Cure," said the man, you are good; "you don't despise me. You take me into your house; you light your candles for me, and I haven't hid from you where I come from, and how miserable I am."
The bishop touched his hand gently and said: "You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house; it is the house of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty; be welcome. And do not thank me; do not tell me that I take you into my house. This is the home of no man except him who needs an asylum. I tell you, who are a traveller, that you are more at home here than I; whatever is here is yours. What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me, I knew it."
The man opened his eyes in astonishment.
"Really? You knew my name?"
"Yes," answered the bishop, "your name is my brother."
"Stop, stop, M. le Cure," exclaimed the man, "I was famished when I came in, but you are so kind that now I don't know what I am; that is all gone."
The bishop looked at him again and said:
"You have seen much suffering?"
"Oh, the red blouse, the ball and chain, the plank you sleep on, the heat, the cold, the galley's screw, the lash, the double chain for nothing, the dungeon for a word—even when sick in bed, the chain. The dogs, the dogs are happier! nineteen years! and I am forty-six, and now a yellow passport. That is all."
"Yes," answered the bishop, "you have left a place of suffering. But listen, there will be more joy in heaven over the tears of a repentant sinner than over the white robes of a hundred good men. If you are leaving that sorrowful place with hate and anger against men, you are worthy of compassion; if you leave it with good-will, gentleness, and peace, you are better than any of us."
This lesson can be used as an exercise on Pause springing from (1) Visualization and Grouping, (Introduction, pp. 7 and 8); (2) Narrative which breaks in upon the direct discourse. (Introduction, p. 24.)
THAT MAN WE KNOW ALREADY. (Introduction, p. 11.)
"SEE HERE ... CAN I STAY?" This paragraph is an exercise on Emphasis. Make a list of the words which are emphatic (1) because they express new and important ideas, (2) because of contrast. Why is GALLEYS not emphatic? Where is the emphasis placed in that sentence?
* * * * *
THE WELL OF ST. KEYNE
A well there is in the west country, And a clearer one never was seen; There is not a wife in the west country But has heard of the well of St. Keyne.
An oak and an elm-tree stand beside, 5 And behind doth an ash-tree grow, And a willow from the bank above Droops to the water below.
A traveller came to the well of St. Keyne; Joyfully he drew nigh, 10 For from cock-crow he had been travelling, And there was not a cloud in the sky.
He drank of the water so cool and clear, For thirsty and hot was he; And he sat down upon the bank, 15 Under the willow-tree.
There came a man from the house hard by, At the well to fill his pail; On the well-side he rested it, And he bade the stranger hail. 20
"Now, art thou a bachelor, stranger?" quoth he; "For, an if thou hast a wife, The happiest draught thou hast drank this day That ever thou didst in thy life.
"Or has thy good woman, if one thou hast, 25 Ever here in Cornwall been? For, an if she have, I'll venture my life She has drank of the well of St. Keyne."
"I have left a good woman who never was here," The stranger he made reply; 30 "But that my draught should be the better for that, I pray you answer me why."
"St. Keyne," quoth the Cornish-man, many a time Drank of this crystal well; And before the angel summoned her, 35 She laid on the water a spell,—
"If the husband of this gifted well Shall drink before his wife, A happy man thenceforth is he, For he shall be master for life; 40
"But, if the wife should drink of it first, God help the husband then!"— The stranger stooped to the well of St. Keyne, And drank of the water again.
"You drank of the well, I warrant, betimes?" 45 He to the Cornish-man said; But the Cornish-man smiled as the stranger spake, And sheepishly shook his head:—
"I hastened, as soon as the wedding was done, And left my wife in the porch; 50 But i' faith she had been wiser than me, For she took a bottle to church."
PREPARATORY.—Select the lines that (a) describe the scene, (b) indicate the action, (c) give the dialogue.
Show by recasting this ballad into dramatic form that it is a miniature drama.
Give examples of Pause springing from (a) Visualization, in ll. 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, 17, 19, (b) narrative which interrupts direct discourse, in ll. 21, 29, 33, 45.
Which are the emphatic words in ll. 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 14, 21, 29, 31, 38, 45, 46? Give your reasons and show how they are made emphatic. (Introduction, p. 30.)
l. 3. What is the Inflection on 'country,' l. 3? (Introduction, p. 17.)
ll. 37-38. Note the Grouping and Pause. (Introduction, p. 12.)
* * * * *
FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY
1 Corinthians xiii
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
CHARITY, SUFFERETH, PROFITETH. (Appendix A, 8 and 3.)
Show by examples from this selection how completeness and incompleteness of thought affect the Inflection. (Introduction, pp. 15 and 16.)
What Inflection does a negative statement usually require? Give examples from the second paragraph. (Introduction, p. 17.)
Give examples, from the second paragraph, of momentary completeness. (Introduction, pp. 15 and 16.)
Select the words which are emphatic because they express (a) new and important ideas. (b) contrast.
BEARETH ALL THINGS, ETC. How may the repetition of a word or phrase affect the Emphasis? (Introduction, pp. 31 and 32.)
How are the principal clauses in the first three sentences made prominent? (Introduction, p. 33.)
* * * * *
THE LEGEND BEAUTIFUL
From "Tales of a Wayside Inn"
"Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!" That is what the Vision said.
In his chamber all alone, Kneeling on the floor of stone, Prayed the Monk in deep contrition 5 For his sins of indecision, Prayed for greater self-denial In temptation and in trial; It was noonday by the dial, And the Monk was all alone. 10
Suddenly, as if it lightened, An unwonted splendour brightened All within him and without him In that narrow cell of stone; And he saw the Blessed Vision 15 Of our Lord, with light Elysian Like a vesture wrapped about Him, Like a garment round Him thrown. Not as crucified and slain, Not in agonies of pain, 20 Not with bleeding hands and feet, Did the Monk his Master see; But as in the village street, In the house or harvest-field, Halt and lame and blind He healed, 25 When He walked in Galilee.
In an attitude imploring, Hands upon his bosom crossed, Wondering, worshipping, adoring, Knelt the Monk in rapture lost. 30 Lord, he thought, in heaven that reignest, Who am I, that thus Thou deignest To reveal Thyself to me? Who am I, that from the centre Of Thy glory Thou shouldst enter 35 This poor cell, my guest to be?
Then amid his exaltation, Loud the convent bell appalling, From its belfry calling, calling, Rang through court and corridor 40 With persistent iteration He had never heard before. It was now the appointed hour When alike in shine or shower, Winter's cold or summer's heat, 45 To the convent portals came All the blind and halt and lame, All the beggars of the street, For their daily dole of food Dealt them by the brotherhood; 50 And their almoner was he Who upon his bended knee, Rapt in silent ecstasy Of divinest self-surrender, Saw the Vision and the Splendour. 55
Deep distress and hesitation Mingled with his adoration; Should he go or should he stay? Should he leave the poor to wait Hungry at the convent gate, 60 Till the Vision passed away? Should he slight his radiant guest, Slight this visitant celestial, For a crowd of ragged, bestial Beggars at the convent gate? 65 Would the Vision there remain? Would the Vision come again? Then a voice within his breast Whispered, audible and clear As if to the outward ear: 70 "Do thy duty; that is best; Leave unto thy Lord the rest!"
Straightway to his feet he started, And with longing look intent On the Blessed Vision bent, 75 Slowly from his cell departed, Slowly on his errand went.
At the gate the poor were waiting, Looking through the iron grating, With that terror in the eye 80 That is only seen in those Who amid their wants and woes Hear the sound of doors that close, And of feet that pass them by; Grown familiar with disfavour, 85 Grown familiar with the savour Of the bread by which men die! But to-day, they knew not why, Like the gate of Paradise Seemed the convent gate to rise, 90 Like a sacrament divine Seemed to them the bread and wine. In his heart the Monk was praying, Thinking of the homeless poor, What they suffer and endure; 95 What we see not, what we see; And the inward voice was saying: "Whatsoever thing thou doest To the least of Mine and lowest, That thou doest unto Me!" 100
Unto Me! but had the Vision Come to him in beggar's clothing, Come a mendicant imploring, Would he then have knelt adoring, Or have listened with derision, 105 And have turned away with loathing? Thus his conscience put the question, Full of troublesome suggestion, As at length, with hurried pace, Toward his cell he turned his face, 110 And beheld the convent bright With a supernatural light, Like a luminous cloud expanding Over floor and wall and ceiling. But he paused with awestruck feeling 115 At the threshold of his door, For the Vision still was standing As he left it there before, When the convent bell appalling, From its belfry calling, calling, 120 Summoned him to feed the poor. Through the long hour intervening It had waited his return, And he felt his bosom burn, Comprehending all the meaning, 125 When the Blessed Vision said, "Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!"
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
HADST, LIGHTENED, BRIGHTENED, REIGNEST, DEIGNEST, DIVINEST (Appendix, A, 3.)
ll. 29, 38-39, 78-79. (Appendix, A, 4.)
How can the reader show that the first two lines are merely introductory?
Divide the poem proper into five parts, giving to each part a suggestive title. How can the reader make each part stand out by itself? (Introduction, p. 10.)
Select the principal statement in each stanza and show how the voice may make it prominent. (Introduction, p. 33.)
What Inflection is placed on the principal statement? What Inflection on the subordinate phrases and clauses? (Introduction, p. 15.)
Select examples of momentary completeness from the poem.
ll. 19-22. What is the Inflection on these negative phrases? (Introduction, pp. 17 and 18.)
What is the Inflection on the various questions throughout the poem? (Introduction, p. 18.)
* * * * *
THE VICAR'S FAMILY USE ART
From "The Vicar of Wakefield"
1. Whatever might have been Sophia's sensations, the rest of the family was easily consoled for Mr. Burchell's absence by the company of our landlord, whose visits now became more frequent, and longer. Though he had been disappointed in procuring my daughters the amusements of the town, as he designed, he took every opportunity of supplying them with those little recreations which our retirement would admit of. He usually came in the morning; and while my son and I followed our occupations abroad, he sat with the family at home, and amused them by describing the town, with every part of which he was particularly acquainted. He could repeat all the observations that were retailed in the atmosphere of the play-houses, and had all the good things of the high wits by rote, long before they made their way into the jest-books. The intervals between conversation were employed in teaching my daughters piquet, or sometimes in setting my two little ones to box, to make them sharp, as he called it; but the hopes of having him for a son-in-law, in some measure blinded us to all his imperfections. It must be owned, that my wife laid a thousand schemes to entrap him; or, to speak it more tenderly, used every art to magnify the merit of her daughter. If the cakes at tea ate short and crisp, they were made by Olivia; if the gooseberry wine was well knit, the gooseberries were of her gathering; it was her fingers that gave the pickles their peculiar green; and in the composition of a pudding, it was her judgment that mixed the ingredients. Then the poor woman would sometimes tell the Squire that she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, and would bid both stand up to see which was tallest. These instances of cunning, which she thought impenetrable, yet which everybody saw through, were very pleasing to our benefactor, who gave every day some new proofs of his passion, which, though they had not risen to proposals of marriage, yet we thought fell but little short of it; and his slowness was attributed sometimes to native bashfulness, and sometimes to his fear of offending his uncle. An occurrence, however, which happened soon after, put it beyond a doubt that he designed to become one of our family; my wife even regarded it as an absolute promise.