McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader
by William Holmes McGuffey
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[Transcriber's Notes: Welcome to the schoolroom of 1900. The moral tone is plain. "She is kind to the old blind man."

The exercises are still suitable, and perhaps more helpful than some contemporary alternatives. Much is left to the teacher. Explanations given in the text are enough to get started teaching a child to read and write. Counting in Roman numerals is included as a bonus in the form of lesson numbers.

The form of contractions includes a space. The contemporary word "don't" was rendered as "do n't".

The author, not listed in the text, is William Holmes McGuffey.

Passages using non-ASCI characters are approximately rendered in this text version. See the PDF or DOC versions for the original images.

The section numbers are decimal in the Table of Contents but are in Roman Numerals in the body.

Page headings are removed, but section titles are followed by the page on which they appear.

Many items include a preceding biography of the author. This is ended with three pound symbols. #

Don Kostuch end transcriber's notes]

She sits, inclining forward as to speak, Her lips half-open, and her finger up, As though she said, "Beware!"

(Item XCV. Ginevra)




McGuffey Editions and Colophon are Trademarks of




Arnold's (Matthew) Sohrab and Rustum Burke's Conciliation with the American Colonies Carlyle's Essay on Burns Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner Defoe's History of the Plague in London De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars Emerson's The American Scholar, Self-Reliance and Compensation Franklin's Autobiography "George Eliot's" Silas Marner Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield Irving's Sketch Book (Ten Selections) Irving's Tales of a Traveler Macaulay's Second Essay on Chatham Macaulay's Essay on Milton Macaulay's Essay on Addison Macaulay's Life of Johnson Milton's L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus Lycidas, Milton's Paradise Lost, Books I and. II Pope's Homer's Iliad, Books I, VI, XXII, XXIV, Scott's Ivanhoe Scott's Marmion Scott's Lady of the Lake Scott's The Abbot Scott's Woodstock. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice Shakespeare's Midsummer-Night's Dream Shakespeare's As You Like It Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare's Hamlet, Sir Roger de Coverley Papers (The Spectator), Southey's Life of Nelson Tennyson's The Princess, Webster's (Daniel) Bunker Hill Orations, ——- Sent, postpaid on receipt of price.


M'G REV. 6TH EC. EP 118

Preface (3)

In the SIXTH READER, the general plan of the revision of McGUFFEY'S SERIES has been carefully carried out to completion.

That plan has been to retain, throughout, those characteristic features of McGUFFEY'S READERS, which have made the series so popular, and caused their widespread use throughout the schools of the country. At the same time, the books have been enlarged; old pieces have been exchanged for new wherever the advantage was manifest; and several new features have been incorporated, which it is thought will add largely to the value of the series.

In the revision of the SIXTH READER, the introductory matter has been retained with but little change, and it will he found very valuable for elocutionary drill. In the preparation of this portion of the work, free use was made of the writings of standard authors upon Elocution, such as Walker, McCulloch, Sheridan Knowles, Ewing, Pinnock, Scott, Bell, Graham, Mylins, Wood, Rush, and many others.

In making up the Selections for Reading, great care and deliberation have been exercised. The best pieces of the old book are retained in the REVISED SIXTH, and to the these been added a long list of selections from the best English and American literature. Upwards of one hundred leading authors are represented (see "Alphabetical List. of Authors," page ix), and thus a wide range of specimens of the best style has been secured. Close scrutiny revealed the fact that many popular selections common to several series of Readers, had been largely adapted, but in McGUFFEY'S REVISED READERS, wherever it was possible to do so, the selections have been compared, and made to conform strictly with the originals as they appear in the latest editions authorized by the several writers.

The character of the selections, aside from their elocutionary value, has also been duly considered. It will be found, upon examination, that they present the same instructive merit and healthful moral tone which gave the preceding edition its high reputation.

Two new features of the REVISED SIXTH deserve especial attention—the explanatory notes, and the biographical notices of authors. The first, in the absence of a large number of books of reference, are absolutely necessary, in some cases, for the intelligent reading of the piece; and it is believed that in all cases they will add largely to the interest and usefulness of the lessons.

The biographical notices, if properly used, are hardly of less value than the lessons themselves. They have been carefully prepared, and are intended not only to add to the interest of the pieces, but to supply information usually obtained only by the separate study of English and American literature.

The illustrations of the REVISED SIXTH READER are presented as specimens of fine art. They are the work of the best artists and engravers that could be secured for the purpose in this country. The names of these gentlemen may be found on page ten.

The publishers would here repeat their acknowledgments to the numerous friends and critics who have kindly assisted in the work of revision, and would mention particularly President EDWIN C. HEWETT, of the State Normal University, Normal, Illinois, and the HON. THOMAS W. HARVEY, of Painesville, Ohio, who have had the revision of the SIXTH READER under their direct advice.

Especial acknowledgment is due to Messrs. Houghton, Osgood & Co., for their permission to make liberal selections from their copyright editions of many of the foremost American authors whose works they publish. January, 1880.





TITLE. AUTHOR. PAGE. 1. Anecdote of the Duke of Newcastle Blackwood's Magazine. 63 2. The Needle Samuel Woodworth. 67 3. Dawn Edward Everett. 68 4. Description of a Storm Benjamin Disraeli. 70 5. After the Thunderstorm James Thomson. 72 6. House Cleaning Francis Hopkinson. 73 7. Schemes of Life often Illusory Samuel Johnson. 78 8. The Brave Old Oak Henry Fothergill Chorley. 81 9. The Artist Surprised 82 10. Pictures of Memory Alice Cary. 88 11. The Morning Oratorio Wilson Flagg. 90 12. Short Selections in Poetry:

I. The Cloud John Wilson. 94 II. My Mind William Byrd. 94 III. A Good Name William Shakespeare. 95 V. Sunrise James Thomson. 95 V. Old Age and Death Edmund Waller. 95 VI. Milton John Dryden. 96

13. Death of Little Nell Charles Dickens. 96 14. Vanity of Life Johann Gottfried von Herder. 100 15. A Political Pause Charles James Fox 102 16. My Experience in Elocution John Neal. 104 17. Elegy in a Country Churchyard Thomas Gray. 108 18. Tact and Talent 113 19. Speech before the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry. 115 20. The American Flag Joseph Rodman Drake. 119 21. Ironical Eulogy on Debt 121 22. The Three Warnings Hester Lynch Thrale. 124 23. The Memory of Our Fathers Lyman Beecher. 128 24. Short Selections in Prose: I. Dryden and Pope Samuel Johnson. 130 II. Las Casas Dissuading from Battle R.B. Sheridan. 130 III. Action and Repose John Ruskin. 131 IV. Time and Change Sir Humphry Davy. 131 V. The Poet William Ellery Channing. 132 VI. Mountains William Howitt. 132 25. The Jolly Old Pedagogue George Arnold. 133 26. The Teacher and Sick Scholar. Charles Dickens. 135 27. The Snow Shower William Cullen Bryant. 141 28. Character of Napoleon Bonaparte Charles Phillips. 143 29. Napoleon at Rest John Pierpont. 146 30. War Charles Sumner. 148 31. Speech of Walpole in Reproof of Mr. Pitt Sir R. Walpole. 151 32. Pitt's Reply to Sir Robert Walpole William Pitt. 152 33. Character of Mr. Pitt Henry Grattan. 154 34. The Soldier's Rest Sir Walter Scott. 156 35. Henry V. to his Troops William Shakespeare. 158 36. Speech of Paul on Mars' Hill Bible. 160 37. God is Everywhere Joseph Hutton. 161 38. Lafayette and Robert Raikes Thomas S. Grimke'. 163 39. Fall of Cardinal Wolsey William Shakespeare. 167 40. The Philosopher John P. Kennedy. 171 41. Marmion and Douglas Sir Walter Scott. 176 42. The Present Adelaide Anne Procter. 178 43. The Baptism John Wilson. 180 44. Sparrows Adeline D. Train Whitney. 185 45. Observance of the Sabbath Gardiner Spring. 186 46. God's Goodness to Such as Fear Him Bible. 189 47. Character of Columbus Washington Irving. 192 48. "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep." Elizabeth B. Browning. 195 49. Description of a Siege Sir Walter Scott 197 50. Marco Bozzaris Fitz-Greene Halleck. 202 51. Song of the Greek Bard Lord George Gordon Byron. 205 52. North American Indians Charles Sprague. 209 53. Lochiel's Warning Thomas Campbell. 211 54. On Happiness of Temper Oliver Goldsmith. 215 55. The Fortune Teller Henry Mackenzie. 218 56. Renzi's Address to the Romans Mary Russell Mitford. 221 57. The Puritan Fathers of New England F. W. P. Greenwood. 223 58. Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers Felicia Dorothea Hemans. 226 59. Necessity of Education Lyman Beecher. 228 60. Riding on a Snowplow Benjamin Franklin Taylor. 231 61. The Quarrel of Brutus and Cassius William Shakespeare. 284 62. The Quack John Tobin. 238 63. Rip Van Winkle Washington Irving. 242 64. Bill and Joe Oliver Wendell Holmes. 240 65. Sorrow for the Dead Washington Irving. 249 66. The Eagle James Gates Percival. 251 67. Political Toleration Thomas Jefferson. 253 68. What Constitutes a State? Sir William Jones. 255 69. The Brave at Home Thomas Buchanan Read. 256 70. South Carolina Robert Young Hayne. 257 71. Massachusetts and South Carolina Daniel Webster. 259 72. The Church Scene from Evangeline H. W. Longfellow. 262 73. Song of the Shirt Thomas Hood. 266 74. Diamond cut Diamond. E'douard Rene' Lefebvre-Laboulaye. 269 75. Thanatopsis William Cullen Bryant. 275 76. Indian Jugglers William Hazlitt. 278 77. Antony over Caesar's Dead Body William Shakespeare. 281 78. The English Character William Hickling Prescott. 286 79. The Song of the Potter. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.290 80. A Hot Day in New York William Dean Howells. 292 81. Discontent.—An Allegory Joseph Addison. 295 82. Jupiter and Ten. James T. Fields. 301 83. Scene from "The Poor Gentleman" George Colman. 303 84. My Mother's Picture William Cowper. 310 85. Death of Samson John Milton. 312 86. An Evening Adventure 315 87. The Barefoot Boy John Greenleaf Wittier. 317 88. The Glove and the Lions James Henry Leigh Hunt. 321 89. The Folly of Intoxication William Shakespeare. 322 90. Starved Rock Francis Parkman. 325 91. Prince Henry and Falstaff. William Shakespeare. 327 92. Studies. Sir Francis Bacon. 332 93. Surrender of Granada. Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. 334 94. Hamlet's Soliloquy. William Shakespeare. 339 95. Ginevra Samuel Rogers. 340 96. Inventions and Discoveries John Caldwell Calhoun. 344 97. Enoch Arden at the Window Alfred Tennyson. 347 98. Lochinvar Sir Walter Scott. 350 99. Speech on the Trial of a Murderer Daniel Webster. 352 100. The Closing Year George Denison Prentice. 355 101. A New City in Colorado Helen Hunt Jackson. 358 102. Importance of the Union Daniel Webster. 362 103. The Influences of the Sun John Tyndall. 364 104. Colloquial Powers of Franklin William Wirt. 366 105. The Dream of Clarence William Shakespeare. 368 106. Homeward Bound Richard H. Dana, Jr. 371 107. Impeachment of Warren Hastings T. B. Macaulay. 375 108. Destruction of the Carnatic Edmund Burke. 379 109. The Raven Edgar Allan Poe. 382 110. A View of the Colosseum Orville Dewey. 389 111. The Bridge Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.392 112. Objects and Limits of Science Robert Charles Winthrop. 394 113. The Downfall of Poland. Thomas Campbell. 396 114. Labor Horace Greeley. 398 115. The Last Days of Herculaneum Edwin Atherstone. 401 116. How Men Reason Oliver Wendell Holmes. 405 117. Thunderstorm on the Alps Lord Byron. 408 118. Origin of Property Sir William Blackstone. 410 119. Battle of Waterloo Lord Byron. 415 120. "With Brains, Sir" John Brown. 417 121. The New England Pastor Timothy Dwight. 410 122. Death of Absalom Bible. 420 123. Abraham Davenport John Greenleaf Whittier. 424 124. The Falls of the Yosemite Thomas Starr King. 426 125. A Psalm of Life Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.429 126. Franklin's Entry into Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin. 431 127. Lines to a Waterfowl William Cullen Bryant. 434 128. Goldsmith and Addison William Makepeace Thackeray. 435 129. Immortality of the Soul Joseph Addison. 438 130. Character of Washington Jared Sparks. 440 131. Eulogy on Washington Henry Lee. 444 132. The Solitary Reaper William Wordsworth. 446 133. Value of the Present Ralph Waldo Emerson. 447 134. Happiness Alexander Pope. 451 135. Marion William Gilmore Simms. 453 136. A Common Thought Henry Timrod. 456 137. A Definite Aim in Reading Noah Porter. 457 138. Ode to Mt. Blanc Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 462



NAME PAGE NAME PAGE 75. PITT 152 93. TAYLOR, B. F, 231 76. POE, EDGAR ALLAN 382 94. TENNYSON 347 77. POPE 451 95. THACKERAY 435 78, PORTER, NOAH 457 96. THOMSON, JAMES 72, 95 79. PRENTICE, GEO. D. 355 97. THRALE. HESTER LYNCH 124 80. PRESCOTT 286 98. TIMROD, HENRY 456 81. PROCTER, ADELAIDE ANNE l78 99. TOBIN, JOHN 238 82. READ, T. B. 256 100. TYNDALL 364 83. ROGERS, SAMUEL 340 101. VON HERDER. J. G. 100 84. RUSKIN, JOHN 131 102. WALLER, EDMUND 95 85. SCOTT 156,176,197,350 103. WALPOLE 151 86. SHAKESPEARE. 95, 158, 167 104. WEBSTER 259, 352, 362 234, 281, 322, 327, 339, 368 105. WHITNEY, ADELINE D. T. 185 87. SHERMAN, R. B. 130 106. WHITTIER 317, 424 88. SIMMS, WILLIAM GILMORE 453 107. WILSON, JOHN 94, 180 89. SPARKS, JARED 440 108. WINTHROP, R.C. 394 90. SPRAGUE, CHARLES 209 109. WIRT, WILLIAM 366 91. SPRING, GARDINER 186 110. WOODWORTH, SAMUEL 67 92. SUMNER 148 111. WORDSWORTH 440

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. (10) Page Drawn by Engraved by

GINEVRA Frontspiece H. F. Farney. Timothy Cole.

DUKE OF NEWCASTLE 65 H. F. Farney. F.Juengling

GRAY'S ELEGY 112 Thomas Moran. Henry Bogert.

MARMION 177 C. S. Reinhart. J. G. Smithwick.

THE QUACK 240 Howard Pyle. J. P. Davis.

DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND 272 Alfred Kappes. Timothy Cole.

THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS 321 H. F. Farney. Smithwick and French.

HERCULANEUM 401 Charles D. Sauerwein. Francis S. King.


The subject of Elocution, so far as it is deemed applicable to a work of this kind, will be considered under the following heads, viz:



Articulation is the utterance of the elementary sounds of a language, and of their combinations.

As words consist of one or more elementary sounds, the first object of the student should he to acquire the power of uttering those sounds with distinctness, smoothness, and force. This result can be secured only by careful practice, which must be persevered in until the learner has acquired a perfect control of his organs of speech.


An Elementary Sound is a simple, distinct sound made by the organs of speech.

The Elementary Sounds of the English language are divided into Vocals, Subvocals, and Aspirates.

VOCALS. (12)

Vocals are sounds which consist of pure tone only. They are the most prominent elements of all words, and it is proper that they should first receive attention. A vocal may be represented by one letter, as in the word hat, or by two or more letters, as in heat, beauty. A diphthong is a union of two vocals, commencing with one and ending with the other. It is usually represented by two letters, as in the words oil, boy, out, now.

Each of these can he uttered with great force, so as to give a distinct expression of its sound, although the voice be suddenly suspended, the moment the sound is produced. This is done by putting the lips, teeth, tongue, and palate in their proper position, and then expelling each sound from the throat in the same manner that the syllable "ah!" is uttered in endeavoring to deter a child from something it is about to do; thus, a'—a'—a'—.

Let the pupil he required to utter every one of the elements in the Table with all possible suddenness and percussive force, until he is able to do it with ease and accuracy. This must not he considered as accomplished until he can give each sound with entire clearness, and with all the suddenness of the crack of a rifle. Care must be taken that the vocal alone be heard; there must be no consonantal sound, and no vocal sound other than the one intended.

At first, the elementary sounds may be repeated by the class in concert; then separately.


Long Sounds.

Sound as in

a hate e err a hare i pine a pass o no a far oo cool a fall u tube e eve u burn

Short Sounds.

Sound as in

a mat o hot e met oo book i it u us

Diphthongs. oi, oy, as in oil, boy. ou, ow, as in out, now.

REMARK I.—In this table, the short sounds are nearly or quite the same, in quantity, as the long sounds. The difference consists chiefly in quality. Let the pupil determine this fact by experiment.

REMARK II.—The vocals are often represented by other letters or combinations of letters than those used in the table: for instance, a is represented by ai as in hail, by ea as in steak, etc.

REMARK III.—As a general rule, the long vocals and the diphthongs should be articulated with full, clear utterance; but the short vocals have a sharp, distinct, and almost explosive utterance. Weakness of speech follows a failure to observe the first point, while drawling results from carelessness with respect to the second.


Subvocals are those sounds in which the vocalized breath is more or less obstructed.

Aspirates consist of breath only, modified by the vocal organs.

Words ending with subvocal sounds may be selected for practice on the subvocals; words beginning or ending with aspirate sounds may be used for practice on aspirates. Pronounce these words forcibly and distinctly, several times in succession; then drop the other sounds, and repeat the subvocals and aspirates alone. Let the class repeat the words and elements, at first, in concert; then separately.


Subvocals. as in

b babe d bad g nag j judge v move th with z buzz z azure (azh-) w wine

Aspirates. as in

p rap t at k book ch rich f life th smith s hiss sh rush wh what

REMARK.—These eighteen sounds make nine pairs of cognates. In articulating the aspirates, the vocal organs are put in the position required in the articulation of the corresponding subvocals; but the breath is expelled with some force, without the utterance of any vocal sound. The pupil should first verify this by experiment, and then practice on these cognates.

The following subvocals and aspirate have no cognates:


l mill ng sing m rim r rule n run y yet


h, as in hat.


Substitutes are characters used to represent sounds ordinarily represented by other characters.


a o what y i hymn e a there c s cite e a freight c k cap i e police ch sh machine i e sir ch k chord o u son g j cage o oo to n ng rink o oo would s z rose o a corn s sh sugar o u worm x gz examine u oo pull gh f laugh u oo rude ph f sylph y i my qu k pique qu kw quick


The most common faults of articulation are dropping an unaccented vowel, sounding incorrectly an unaccented vowel, suppressing final consonants, omitting or mispronouncing syllables, and blending words.

1. Dropping an unaccented vocal.



gran'a-ry gran'ry a-ban'don a-ban-d'n im-mor'tal im-mor-t'l reg'u-lar reg'lar in-clem'ent in-clem'nt par-tic'u-lar par-tic'lar des'ti-ny des-t'ny cal-cu-la'tian cal-cl'a-sh'n un-cer'tain un-cer-t'n oc-ca'sion oc-ca-sh'n em'i-nent em'nent ef'i-gy ef'gy ag'o-ny ag'ny man'i-fold man'fold rev'er-ent rev'rent cul'ti-vate cult'vate

2. Sounding incorrectly an unaccented vowel.



lam-en-ta'-tion lam-un-ta-tion ter'ri-ble ter-rub-ble e-ter'nal e-ter-nul fel'on-y fel-er-ny ob'sti-nate ob-stun-it fel'low-ship fel-ler-ship e-vent' uv-ent cal'cu-late cal-ker-late ef'fort uf-fort reg'u-lar reg-gy-lur


The vocals most likely to be dropped or incorrectly sounded are italicized.

He attended divine service regularly. This is my particular request. She is universally esteemed. George is sensible of his fault. This calculation is incorrect. What a terrible calamity. His eye through vast immensity can pierce. Observe these nice dependencies. He is a formidable adversary. He is generous to his friends. A tempest desolated the land. He preferred death to servitude. God is the author of all things visible and invisible.

3. Suppressing the final subvocals or aspirates.


John an' James are frien's o' my father. Gi' me some bread. The want o' men is occasioned by the want o' money. We seldom fine' men o' principle to ac' thus. Beas' an' creepin' things were foun' there.


He learned to write. The masts of the ship were cast down. He entered the lists at the head of his troops. He is the merriest fellow in existence. I regard not the world's opinion. He has three assistants. The depths of the sea. She trusts too much to servants. His attempts were fruitless. He chanced to see a bee hovering over a flower.

4. Omitting or mispronouncing whole syllables.


Correct is improperly pronounced

Lit'er-ar-ry lit-rer-ry co-tem'po-ra-ry co-tem-po-ry het-er-o-ge'ne-ous het-ro-ge-nous in-quis-i-to'ri-al in-quis-i-to-ral mis'er-a-ble mis-rer-ble ac-com'pa-ni-ment ac-comp-ner-ment


He devoted his attention chiefly to literary pursuits. He is a miserable creature. His faults were owing to the degeneracy of the times. The manuscript was undecipherable. His spirit was unconquerable. Great industry was necessary for the performance of the task.

5. Blending the end of one word with the beginning of the next.


I court thy gif sno more. The grove swere God sfir stemples. My hear twas a mirror, that show' devery treasure. It reflecte deach beautiful blosso mof pleasure. Han d'me the slate. This worl dis all a fleeting show, For man' sillusion given.


The magistrates ought to arrest the rogues speedily. The whirlwinds sweep the plain. Linked to thy side, through every chance I go. But had he seen an actor in our days enacting Shakespeare. What awful sounds assail my ears? We caught a glimpse of her. Old age has on their temples shed her silver frost. Our eagle shall rise mid the whirlwinds of war, And dart through the dun cloud of battle his eye. Then honor shall weave of the laurel a crown, That beauty shall bind on the brow of the brave.


Inflection is a bending or sliding of the voice either upward or downward.

The upward or rising inflection is an upward slide of the voice, and is marked by the acute accent, thus, ('); as,

Did you call'? Is he sick'?

The downward or falling inflection is a downward slide of the voice, and is marked by the grave accent, thus, ('); as,

Where is London'? Where have you been'?

Sometimes both the rising and falling inflections are given to the same sound. Such sounds are designated by the circumflex, thus, (v) or thus, (^). The former is called the rising circumflex; the latter, the falling circumflex; as,

But nobody can bear the death of Clodius.

When several successive syllables are uttered without either the upward or downward slide, they are said to be uttered in a monotone, which is marked thus, (—); as,

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll


Does he read correctly' or incorrectly'?

In reading this sentence, the voice should slide somewhat as represented in the following diagram:

Does he read cor-rectly or incorrect-ly?

If you said vinegar, I said sugar,

To be read thus:

If you said vinegar, I said sugar,

If you said yes, I said no.

To be read thus:

If you said yes, I said no.

What! did he say no?

To be read thus:

What! did he say no?

He did'; he said no',

To be read thus;

He did; he said no.

Did he do it voluntarily', or involuntarily'?

To be read thus:

Did he do it voluntarily, or involuntarily?

He did it voluntarily', not involuntarily',

To be read thus:

He did it voluntarily, not involuntarily.


Do they act prudently', or imprudently'?

Are they at home', or abroad'?

Did you say Europe', or Asia'?

Is he rich', or poor'?

He said pain', not pain'.

Are you engaged', or at leisure'?

Shall I say plain', or pain'?

He went home' not abroad'.

Does he say able', or table'?

He said hazy' not lazy'?

Must I say flat', or flat'?

You should say flat' not flat'.

My father', must I stay'?

Oh! but he paused upon the brink.

It shall go hard with me, but I shall use the weapon.

Heard ye those loud contending waves, That shook Cecropia's pillar'd state'? Saw ye the mighty from their graves Look up', and tremble at your fate'?

First' Fear', his hand, its skill to try', Amid the chords bewildered laid'; And back recoiled', he knew not why' E'en at the sound himself had made'.

Where be your gibes' now? your gambols'? your songs'? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar'?

Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; "I dwell in the high and holy place."


RULE I.—Sentences, and parts of sentences which make complete sense in themselves, require the falling inflection.


1. By virtue we secure happiness'.

2. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven': I will exalt my throne above the stars of God': I will sit, also, upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north'.

3. The wind and the rain are over'; calm is the noon of the day: the clouds are divided in heaven'; over the green hills flies the inconstant sun'; red through the stormy vale comes down the stream'.

4. This proposition was, however, rejected,' and not merely rejected, but rejected with insult'.

Exception.—Emphasis sometimes reverses this rule, and requires the rising inflection, apparently for the purpose of calling attention to the idea of an unusual manner of expressing it.


1. I should not like to ride in that car'. 2. Look out! A man was drowned there yesterday'. 3. Presumptuous man! the gods' take care of Cato',

RULE II.—The language of emphasis generally requires the falling inflection.


1. Charge', Chester, charge'; on', Stanley, on'.

2. Were I an American, as I am an Englishman, while a single' foreign troop' remained' in my country, I would never' lay down my arms'—never', never', never.'

3. Does anyone suppose that the payment of twenty shillings, would have ruined Mr. Hampden's fortune? No'. But the payment of half twenty shillings, on the principle' it was demanded, would have made him a slave'.

4. I insist' upon this point': I urge' you to it; I press' it, demand' it.

5. All that I have', all that I am', and all that I hope' in this life, I am now ready', here, to stake' upon it.

RULE III.—Interrogative sentences and members of sentences, which can not be answered by yes or no, generally require the falling inflection.


1. How many books did he purchase'?

2. Why reason ye these things in your hearts'?

3. What see' you, that you frown so heavily to-day'?

4. Ah! what is that flame which now bursts on his eye'?

5. Whence this pleasing hope', this fond desire', This longing after immortality'?

Exception.—When questions usually requiring the falling inflection are emphatic or repeated, they take the rising inflection.


1. Where did you say he had gone'?

2. To whom did you say the blame was to be imputed'?

3. What is' he? A knave. What' is he? A knave, I say.


RULE IV.—The rising inflection is generally used where the sense is dependent or incomplete.

REMARK.—This inflection is generally very slight, requiring an acute and educated ear to discern it, and it is difficult to teach pupils to distinguish it, though they constantly use it. Care should be taken not to exaggerate it.


1. Nature being exhausted', he quietly resigned himself to his fate.

2. A chieftain to the Highlands bound', Cries', "Boatman, do not tarry!"

3. As he spoke without fear of consequences', so his actions were marked with the most unbending resolution,

4. Speaking in the open air', at the top of the voice', is an admirable exercise.

5. If then, his Providence' out of our evil, seek to bring forth good', our labor must be to prevent that end.

6. He', born for the universe', narrowed his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.

REMARK.—The names of persons or things addressed, when not used emphatically, are included in this rule.

7. Brother', give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick!, Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.

8. O Lancaster', I fear thy overthrow.

9. Ye crags' and peaks', I'm with you once again.

Exception 1.—Relative emphasis often reverses this and the first rule, because emphasis is here expressed in part by changing the usual inflections.


1. If you care not for your property', you surely value your life'.

2. If you will not labor for your own' advancement, you should regard that of your children'.

3. It is your place to obey', not to command'.

4. Though by that course he should not destroy his reputation', he will lose all self-respect'.

Exception 2.—The names of persons addressed in a formal speech, or when used emphatically, have the falling inflection.


1. Romans, countrymen, and lovers', hear me for my cause, etc.

2. Gentlemen of the jury', I solicit your attention, etc.

3. O Hubert', Hubert', save me from these men.

RULE V.—Negative sentences and parts of sentences, usually require the rising inflection.


1. It is not by starts of application that eminence can be attained'.

2. It was not an eclipse that caused the darkness at the crucifixion of our Lord'; for the sun and moon were not relatively in a position' to produce an eclipse'.

3. They are not fighting': do not disturb' them: this man is not expiring with agony': that man is not dead': they are only pausing'.

4. My Lord, we could not have had such designs'.

5. You are not left alone to climb the steep ascent': God is with you, who never suffers the spirit that rests on him to fail.

Exception 1.—Emphasis may reverse this rule.


We repeat it, we do not' desire to produce discord; we do not' wish to kindle the flames of a civil war.

Exception 2.—General propositions and commands usually have the falling inflection.


God is not the author of sin'. Thou shalt not kill.

RULE VI.—Interrogative sentences, and members of sentences which can be answered by yes or no generally require the rising inflection.


1. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation'?

2. Does the gentleman suppose it is in his power', to exhibit in Carolina a name so bright' as to produce envy' in my bosom?

3. If it be admitted, that strict integrity is not the shortest way to success, is it not the surest', the happiest', the best'?

4. Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens, To wash this crimson hand as white as snow'?

Exception.—Emphasis may reverse this rule.


1, Can' you be so blind to your interest? Will' you rush headlong to destruction?

2. I ask again, is' there no hope of reconciliation? Must' we abandon all our fond anticipations?

3. Will you deny' it? Will you deny' it?

4. Am I Dromio'? Am I your man'? Am I myself'?

RULE VII.—Interrogative exclamations, and words repeated as a kind of echo to the thought, require the rising inflection.


1. Where grows', where grows it not'?

2. What'! Might Rome have been taken'? Rome taken when I was consul'?

3. Banished from Rome'! Tried and convicted traitor'!

4. Prince Henry. What's the matter'?

Falstaff. What's the matter'? Here be four of us have taken a thousand pounds this morning.

Prince H. Where is' it, Jack, where is' it?

Fal. Where is' it? Taken from us, it is.

5. Ha'! laughest thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?

6. And this man is called a statesman. A statesman'? Why, he never invented a decent humbug.

7. I can not say, sir, which of these motives influence the advocates of the bill before us; a bill', in which such cruelties are proposed as are yet unknown among the most savage nations.


RULE VIII.—Words and members of a sentence expressing antithesis or contrast, require opposite inflections.


1. By honor' and dishonor'; by evil' report and good' report; as deceivers' and yet true'.

2. What they know by reading', I know by experience'.

3. I could honor thy courage', but I detest thy crimes'.

4. It is easier to forgive the weak', who have injured us', than the powerful' whom we' have injured.

5. Homer was the greater genius', Virgil the better artist'.

6. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied'; that of Pope is cautious and uniform'. Dryden obeys the emotions of his own mind'; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition.' Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid'; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle'. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, varied by exuberant vegetation'; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe and leveled by the roller'.

7. If the flights of Dryden are higher', Pope continues longer on the wing'. If the blaze of Dryden's fire is brighter', the heat of Pope's is more regular and constant'. Dryden often surpasses' expectation, and Pope never falls below' it.

REMARK l.—Words and members connected by or used disjunctively, generally express contrast or antithesis, and always receive opposite inflection.


1. Shall we advance', or retreat'?

2. Do you seek wealth', or power'?

3. Is the great chain upheld by God', or thee'?

4. Shall we return to our allegiance while we may do so with safety and honor', or shall we wait until the ax of the executioner is at our throats'?

5. Shall we crown' the author of these public calamities with garlands', or shall we wrest' from him his ill-deserved authority' ?

REMARK 2.—When the antithesis is between affirmation and negation, the latter usually has the rising inflection, according to Rule V.


1. You were paid to fight' against Philip, not to rail' at him.

2. I said rationally', not irrationally'.

3. I did not say rationally', but irrationally'.

4. I said an elder' soldier, not a better'.

5. Let us retract while we can', not when we must'.

REMARK 3.—The more emphatic member generally receives the falling inflection.


1. A countenance more in sorrow', than anger'.

2. A countenance less in anger', than sorrow'.

3. You should show your courage by deeds', rather than by words.

4. If we can not remove' pain, we may alleviate' it.


A series is a number of particulars immediately following one another in the same grammatical construction.

A commencing series is one which commences a sentence or clause.


Faith, hope, love, joy, are the fruits of the spirit.

A concluding series is one which concludes a sentence or a clause.


The fruits of the spirit are faith, hope, love, and joy.

RULE IX.—All the members of a commencing series, when not emphatic, usually require the rising inflection.


1. War', famine', pestilence', storm', and fire' besiege mankind.

2. The knowledge', the power', the wisdom', the goodness' of God, must all be unbounded.

3. To advise the ignorant', to relieve the needy', and to comfort the afflicted' are the duties that fall in our way almost every day of our lives.

4. No state chicanery', no narrow system of vicious politics', no idle contest for ministerial victories', sank him to the vulgar level of the great.

5. For solidity of reasoning', force of sagacity', and wisdom of conclusion', no nation or body of men can compare with the Congress at Philadelphia.

6. The wise and the foolish', the virtuous and the evil', the learned and the ignorant', the temperate and the profligate', must often be blended together.

7. Absalom's beauty', Jonathan's love', David's valor', Solomon's wisdom', the patience of Job, the prudence of Augustus', and the eloquence of Cicero' are found in perfection in the Creator.

REMARK.—Some elocutionists prefer to give the falling inflection to the last member of a commencing series.

Exception.—In a commencing series, forming a climax, the last term usually requires the falling inflection.


1. Days', months', years', and ages', shall circle away, And still the vast waters above thee shall roll.

2. Property', character', reputation', everything', was sacrificed.

3. Toils', sufferings', wounds', and death' was the price of our liberty.

RULE X.—All the members of a concluding series, when not at all emphatic, usually require the falling inflection.


1. It is our duty to pity', to support', to defend', and to relieve' the oppressed.

2. At the sacred call of country, they sacrifice property', ease', health', applause' and even life'.

3. I protest against this measure as cruel', oppressive', tyrannous', and vindictive'.

4. God was manifest in the flesh', justified in the Spirit', seen of angels', preached unto the Gentiles', believed on in the world', received up into glory'.

5. Charity vaunteth not itself', is not puffed up', doth not behave itself unseemly', seeketh not her own', is not easily provoked', thinketh no evil'; beareth' all things, believeth' all things, hopeth' all things, endureth' all things.

REMARK.—Some authors give the following rule for the reading of a concluding series: "All the particulars of a concluding series, except the last but one, require the falling inflection." Exception l.—When the particulars enumerated in a concluding series are not at all emphatic, all except the last require the rising inflection.


He was esteemed for his kindness', his intelligence', his self-denial', and his active benevolence'.

Exception 2.—When all the terms of a concluding series are strongly emphatic, they all receive the falling inflection.


1. They saw not one man', not one woman', not one child', not one four-footed beast'.

2. His hopes', his happiness', his life', hung upon the words that fell from those lips,

3. They fought', they bled', they died', for freedom.


RULE XI.—A parenthesis should be read more rapidly and in a lower key than the rest of the sentence, and should terminate with the same inflection that next precedes it. If, however, it is complicated, or emphatic, or disconnected from the main subject, the inflections must be governed by the same rules as in the other cases.

REMARK.—A smooth and expressive reading of a parenthesis is difficult of acquisition, and can be secured only by careful and persistent training.


1. God is my witness' (whom I serve with my spirit, in the gospel of his Son'), that, without ceasing, I make mention of you always in my prayers; making request' (if, by any means, now at length, I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God'), to come unto you.

2. When he had entered the room three paces, he stood still; and laying his left hand upon his breast' (a slender, white staff with which he journeyed being in his right'), he introduced himself with a little story of his convent.

3. If you, AEschines, in particular, were persuaded' (and it was no particular affection for me, that prompted you to give up the hopes, the appliances, the honors, which attended the course I then advised; but the superior force of truth, and your utter inability to point any course more eligible') if this was the case, I say, is it not highly cruel and unjust to arraign these measures now, when you could not then propose a better?

4. As the hour of conflict drew near' (and this was a conflict to be dreaded even by him'), he began to waver, and to abate much of his boasting.


RULE XII.—The circumflex is used to express irony, sarcasm, hypothesis, or contrast.

NOTE.—For the reason that the circumflex always suggests a double or doubtful meaning, it is appropriate for the purposes expressed in the rule. It is, also, frequently used in sportive language; jokes and puns are commonly given with this inflection.


1. Man never is, but always to be, blest.

2. They follow an adventurer whom they fear; we serve a monarch whom we love. They boast, they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error. Yes, they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride. They offer us their protection: yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs, covering and devouring them.


RULE XIII.—The use of the monotone is confined chiefly to grave and solemn subjects. When carefully and properly employed, it gives great dignity to delivery.


1. The unbeliever! one who can gaze upon the sun, and moon, and stars, and upon the unfading and imperishable sky, spread out so magnificently above him, and say, "All this is the work of chance!"

2. God walketh upon the ocean. Brilliantly The glassy waters mirror back his smiles; The surging billows, and the gamboling storms Come crouching to his feet.

3. I hail thee, as in gorgeous robes, Blooming thou leav'st the chambers of the east, Crowned with a gemmed tiara thick embossed With studs of living light.

4. High on a throne of royal state, which far Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous east, with richest hand Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, Satan exalted sat.

5. His broad expanded wings Lay calm and motionless upon the air, As if he floated there without their aid, By the sole act of his unlorded will.

6. In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs.



That syllable in a word which is uttered more forcibly than the others, is said to be accented, and is marked thus, ('); as the italicized syllables in the following words:

morn'ing. pos'si-ble. ty'rant. re-cum'bent. pro-cure'. ex-or'bi-tant, de-bate'. com-pre-hen'sive.

Common usage alone determines upon what syllable the accent should be placed, and to the lexicographer it belongs, to ascertain and record its decision on this point.

In some few cases, we can trace the reasons for common usage in this respect. In words which are used as different parts of speech, or which have different meanings, the distinction is sometimes denoted by changing the accent.


sub'ject sub-ject' pres'ent pre-sent' ab'sent ab-sent' cem'ent ce-ment' con'jure con-jure'

There is another case, in which we discover the reason for changing the accent, and that is, when it is required by emphasis, as in the following:


1. His abil'ity or in'ability to perform the act materially varies the case. 2. This corrup'tion must put on in'corruption.


In words of more than two syllables, there is often a second accent given, but more slight than the principal one, and this is called the secondary accent; as, em"igra'tion, rep"artee', where the principal accent is marked ('), and the secondary, ("); so, also, this accent is obvious, in nav"iga'tion, com"prehen'sion, plau"sibil'ity, etc. The whole subject, however, properly belongs to dictionaries and spelling books.


Emphasis consists in uttering a word or phrase in such a manner as to give it force and energy, and to draw the attention of the hearer particularly to the idea expressed.

This is most frequently accomplished by an increased stress of voice laid upon the word or phrase. Sometimes, though more rarely, the same object is effected by an unusual lowering of the voice, even to a whisper, and not unfrequently by a pause before the emphatic word.

The inflections are often made subsidiary to this object. To give emphasis to a word, the inflection is changed or increased in force or extent. When the rising inflection is ordinarily used, the word, when emphatic, frequently takes the falling inflection; and sometimes, also, the falling inflection is changed into the rising inflection, for the same purpose.

Emphatic words are often denoted by being written in italics, in SMALL CAPITALS, or in CAPITALS.

Much care is necessary to train the pupil to give clear and expressive emphasis, and at the same time to avoid an unpleasant "jerky" movement of the voice.


Where the emphasis is independent of any contrast or comparison with other words or ideas, it is called absolute emphasis.


1. We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

2. Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!

3. Arm, warriors, arm!

4. You know that you are Brutus, that speak this, Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

5. Hamlet. Saw, who? Horatio. The king, your father. Hamlet. The king, my father?

6. Strike—till the last armed foe expires; Strike—for your altars and your fires; Strike—for the green graves of your sites; God, and your native land!


Where there is antithesis, either expressed or implied, the emphasis is called relative.


1. We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

2. But I am describing your condition, rather than my own.

3. I fear not death, and shall I then fear thee?

4. Hunting men, and not beasts, shall be his game.

5. He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.

6. It may moderate and restrain, but it was not designed to banish gladness from the heart of man.

In the following examples, there are two sets of antitheses in the same sentence.

7. To err is human, to forgive, divine.

8. John was punished; William, rewarded.

9. Without were fightings, within were fears.

10. Business sweetens pleasure, as labor sweetens rest.

11. Justice appropriates rewards to merit, and punishments to crime.

12. On the one side, all was alacrity and courage; on the other, all was timidity and indecision.

13. The wise man is happy when he gains his own approbation; the fool, when he gains the applause of others.

14. His care was to polish the country by art, as he had protected it by arms.

In the following examples, the relative emphasis is applied to three sets of antithetic words.

15. The difference between a madman and a fool is, that the former reasons justly from false data; and the latter, erroneously from just data.

16. He raised a mortal to the skies, She drew an angel down.

Sometimes the antithesis is implied, as in the following instances.

17. The spirit of the white man's heaven, Forbids not thee to weep.

18. I shall enter on no encomiums upon Massachusetts.


When words, which are the same in part of their formation, are contrasted, the emphasis is expressed by accenting the syllables in which they differ. See Accent, page 33.


1. What is the difference between probability and possibility?

2. Learn to unlearn what you have learned amiss.

3. John attends regularly. William, irregularly.

4. There is a great difference between giving and forgiving.

5. The conduct of Antoninus was characterized by justice and humanity; that of Nero, by injustice and inhumanity.

6. The conduct of the former is deserving of approbation, while that of the latter merits the severest reprobation.


Emphasis sometimes changes the inflection from the rising to the falling, or from the falling to the rising. For instances of the former change, see Rule II, and Exception 1 to Rule IV. In the first three following examples, the inflection is changed from the rising to the falling inflection; in the last three, it is changed from the falling to the rising, by the influence of emphasis.


1. If we have no regard for religion in youth', we ought to have respect for it in age.

2. If we have no regard for our own' character, we ought to regard the character of others.

3. If content can not remove' the disquietudes of life, it will, at least, alleviate them.

4. The sweetest melody and the most perfect harmony fall powerless upon the ear of one who is deaf',

5. It is useless to expatiate upon the beauties of nature to one who is blind',

6. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren'; but rather let them do them service.


When it is desired to give to a phrase great force of expression, each word, and even the parts of a compound word, are independently emphasized.


1. Cassius. Must I endure all this? Brutus. All this!—Ay,—more. Fret, till your proud—heart—break.

2. What! weep you when you but behold Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look ye here, Here is himself, marred, as you see, by traitors.

3. There was a time, my fellow-citizens, when the Lacedaemonians were sovereign masters, both by sea and by land; while this state had not one ship—no, NOT—ONE—WALL.

4. Shall I, the conqueror of Spain and Gaul; and not only of the Alpine nations, but of the Alps themselves; shall I compare myself with this HALF—YEAR—CAPTAIN?

5. You call me misbeliever—cutthroat—dog. Hath a dog—money? Is it possible— A cur can lend three—thousand—ducats?


A short pause is often made before or after, and sometimes both before and after, an emphatic word or phrase,—thus very much increasing the emphatic expression of the thought.


1. May one be pardoned, and retain—the offense? In the corrupted currents of this world, Offense's gilded hand may shove by—justice; And oft 'tis seen, the wicked prize itself Buys out the law: but 't is not so—above: There—is no shuffling: there—the action lies In its true nature.

2. He woke to hear his sentries shriek, "To arms! they come! the Greek! the Greek! He woke—to die—midst flame and smoke."

3. This—is no flattery: These—are counselors That feelingly persuade me what I am.

4. And this—our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues—in tree, books—in the running brooks, Sermons—in stones, and—good in everything.

5. Heaven gave this Lyre, and thus decreed, Be thou a bruised—but not a broken—reed.



In reading verse, the inflections should be nearly the same as in reading prose; the chief difference is, that in poetry, the monotone and rising inflection are more frequently used than in prose. The greatest difficulty in reading this species of composition, consists in giving it that measured flow which distinguishes it from prose, without falling into a chanting pronunciation.

If, at any time, the reader is in doubt as to the proper inflection, let him reduce the passage to earnest conversation, and pronounce it in the most familiar and prosaic manner, and thus he will generally use the proper inflection.


1. Meanwhile the south wind rose, and with black wings Wide hovering', all the clouds together drove From under heaven': the hills to their supply', Vapor and exhalation dusk and moist Sent up amain': and now, the thickened sky Like a dark ceiling stood': down rushed the rain Impetuous', and continued till the earth No more was seen': the floating vessel swam Uplifted', and, secure with beake'd prow', Rode tilting o'er the waves'.

2. My friend', adown life's valley', hand in hand', With grateful change of grave and merry speech Or song', our hearts unlocking each to each', We'll journey onward to the silent land'; And when stern death shall loose that loving band, Taking in his cold hand, a hand of ours', The one shall strew the other's grave with flowers', Nor shall his heart a moment be unmanned'. My friend and brother'! if thou goest first', Wilt thou no more revisit me below'? Yea, when my heart seems happy causelessly', And swells', not dreaming why', my soul shall know That thou', unseen', art bending over me'.

3. Here rests his head upon the lap of earth', A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown'; Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth', And Melancholy marked him for her own'.

4. Large was his bounty', and his soul sincere', Heaven did a recompense as largely send'; He gave to misery (all he had) a tear', He gained from heaven' ('t was all he wished') a friend'.

5. No further seek his merits to disclose', Or draw his frailties from their dread abode'; (There they alike' in trembling hope repose',) The bosom of his Father, and his God'.


In reading verse, every syllable must have the same accent, and every word the same emphasis as in prose; and whenever the melody or music of the verse would lead to an incorrect accent or emphasis, this must be disregarded.

If a poet has made his verse deficient in melody, this must not be remedied by the reader, at the expense of sense or the established rules of accent and quantity. Take the following:


O'er shields, and helms, and helme'd heads he rode, Of thrones, and mighty Seraphim prostrate

According to the metrical accent, the last word must be pronounced "pros-trate'." But according to the authorized pronunciation it is "pros'trate. Which shall yield, the poet or established usage? Certainly not the latter.

Some writers advise a compromise of the matter, and that the word should he pronounced without accenting either syllable. Sometimes this may be done, but where it is not practiced, the prosaic reading should be preserved.

In the following examples, the words and syllables which are improperly accented or emphasized in the poetry, are marked in italics. According to the principle stated above, the reader should avoid giving them that pronunciation which the correct rending of the poetry would require, but should read them as prose, except where he can throw off all accent and thus compromise the conflict between the poetic reading and the correct reading. That is, he must read the poetry wrong, in order to read the language right.


1. Ask of thy mother earth why oaks are made Taller and stronger than the weeds they shade.

2. Their praise is still, "the style is excellent," The sense they humbly take upon content.

3. False eloquence, like the prismatic glass, Its fairy colors spreads on every place.

4. To do aught good, never will be our task, But ever to do ill is our sole delight.

5. Of all the causes which combine to blind Man's erring judgment, and mislead the mind, What the weak head with strongest bias rules Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

6. Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise.

7. To whom then, first incensed, Adam replied, "Is this thy love, is this the recompense Of mine to thee, ungrateful Eve?"

8. We may, with more successful hope, resolve To wage, by force or guile, successful war, Irreconcilable to our grand foe, Who now triumphs, and in excess of joy Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.

9. Which, when Beelzebub perceived (than whom, Satan except, none higher sat), with grave Aspect, he rose, and in his rising seemed A pillar of state.

10. Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow, Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget, Those other two equaled with me in fate.

NOTE.—Although it would be necessary, in these examples, to violate the laws of accent or emphasis, to give perfect rhythm, yet a careful and well-trained reader will be able to observe these laws and still give the rhythm in such a manner that the defect will scarcely be noticed.


In order to make the measure of poetry perceptible to the ear, there should generally be a slight pause at the end of each line, even where the sense does not require it.

There is, also, in almost every line of poetry, a pause at or near its middle, which is called the caesura.

This should, however, never be so placed as to injure the sense of the passage. It is indeed reckoned a great beauty, where it naturally coincides with the pause required by the sense. The caesura, though generally placed near the middle, may be placed at other intervals.

There are sometimes, also, two additional pauses in each line, called demi-caesuras.

The caesura is marked ( ), and the demi-caesura thus, ( ), in the examples given.

There should be a marked accent upon the long syllable next preceding the caesura, and a slighter one upon that next before each of the demi-caesuras. When made too prominent, these pauses lead to a singsong style, which should be carefully avoided.

In the following examples, the caesura is marked in each line; the demi-caesura is not marked in every case.


1. Nature to all things fixed the limits fit, And wisely curbed proud man's pretending wit.

2. Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart.

3. Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees.

4. There is a land of every land the pride, Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside, Where brighter suns dispense serener light, And milder moons imparadise the night; Oh, thou shalt find, howe'er thy footsteps roam, That land thy country, and that spot thy home.

5. In slumbers of midnight the sailor boy lay; His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind; But, watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away, And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind.

6. She said, and struck; deep entered in her side The piercing steel, with reeking purple dyed: Clogged in the wound the cruel weapon stands, The spouting blood came streaming o'er her hands. Her sad attendants saw the deadly stroke, And with loud cries the sounding palace shook.

SIMILE. (44)

Simile is the likening of anything to another object of a different class; it is a poetical or imaginative comparison.

A simile, in poetry, should usually he read in a lower key and more rapidly than other parts of the passage—somewhat as a parenthesis is read.


1. Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form. As when, to warn proud cities, war appears, Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush To battle in the clouds. Others with vast Typhoean rage more fell, Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air In whirlwind. Hell scarce holds the wild uproar. As when Alcides felt the envenomed robe, and tore, Through pain, up by the roots, Thessialian pines, And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw Into the Euboic sea.

2. Each at the head, Leveled his deadly aim; their fatal hands No second stroke intend; and such a frown Each cast at th' other, as when two black clouds, With heaven's artillery fraught, came rolling on Over the Caspian, there stand front to front, Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow To join the dark encounter, in mid-air: So frowned the mighty combatants.

3. Then pleased and thankful from the porch they go And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe: His cup was vanished; for, in secret guise, The younger guest purloined the glittering prize. As one who spies a serpent in his way, Glistening and basking in the summer ray, Disordered, stops to shun the danger near, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear,— So seemed the sire, when, far upon the road, The shining spoil his wily partner showed.

V. THE VOICE. (46)


The natural pitch of the voice is its keynote, or governing note. It is that on which the voice usually dwells, and to which it most frequently returns when wearied. It is also the pitch used in conversation, and the one which a reader or speaker naturally adopts—when he reads or speaks— most easily and agreeably.

The compass of the voice is its range above and below this pitch. To avoid monotony in reading or speaking, the voice should rise above or fall below this keynote, but always with reference to the sense or character of that which is read or spoken. The proper natural pitch is that above and below which there is most room for variation.

To strengthen the voice and increase its compass, select a short sentence, repeat it several times in succession in as low a key as the voice can sound naturally; then rise one note higher, and practice on that key, then another, and so on, until the highest pitch of the voice has been reached. Next, reverse the process, until the lowest pitch has been reached.


High Pitch.

NOTE.—Be careful to distinguish pitch from power in the following exercise. Speaking in the open air, at the very top of the voice, is an exercise admirably adapted to strengthen the voice and give it compass, and should be frequently practiced.

1. Charge'! Chester" charge'! On'! Stanley, on'!

2. A horse'! a horse'! my kingdom' for a horse'!

3. Jump far out', boy' into the wave'! Jump', or I fire'!

4. Run'! run'! run for your lives!

5. Fire'! fire'! fire'! Ring the bell'!

6. Gentlemen may cry peace'! peace'! but there is no peace!

7. Rouse' ye Romans! rouse' ye slaves'! Have ye brave sons'? Look in the next fierce brawl To see them die'. Have ye fair daughters'? Look To see them live, torn from your arms', distained', Dishonored', and if ye dare call for justice', Be answered by the lash'!

Medium Pitch. (47)

NOTE.—This is the pitch in which we converse. To strengthen it, we should read or speak in it as loud as possible, without rising to a higher key. To do this requires long-continued practice.

1. Under a spreading chestnut tree, The village smithy stands'; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands'; And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands.

2. There is something in the thunder's voice that makes me tremble like a child. I have tried to conquer' this unmanly weakness'. I have called pride' to my aid'; I have sought for moral courage in the lessons of philosophy', but it avails me nothing'. At the first moaning of the distant cloud, my heart shrinks and dies within me.

3. He taught the scholars the Rule of Three', Reading, and writing, and history', too'; He took the little ones on his knee', For a kind old heart in his breast had he', And the wants of the littlest child he knew'. "Learn while you're young'," he often said', "There is much to enjoy down here below'; Life for the living', and rest for the dead'," Said the jolly old pedagogue' long ago'.

Low Pitch. (48)

1. O, proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear: This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said, Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts, Impostors to true fear, would well become A woman's story at a winter's fire. Authorized by her grandam.

2. Thou slave! thou wretch! thou coward! Thou little valiant, great in villainy! Thou ever strong upon the stronger side! Thou fortune's champion, thou dost never fight But when her humorous ladyship is by To teach thee safety! Thou art perjured too, And sooth'st up greatness. What a fool art thou, A ramping fool; to brag, and stamp, and sweat, Upon my party! thou cold-blooded slave!

3. God! thou art mighty! At thy footstool bound, Lie, gazing to thee, Chance, and Life, and Death; Nor in the angel circle flaming round, Nor in the million worlds that blaze beneath, Is one that can withstand thy wrath's hot breath. Woe, in thy frown: in thy smile, victory: Hear my last prayer! I ask no mortal wreath; Let but these eyes my rescued country see, Then take my spirit, all Omnipotent, to thee.

4. O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright All space doth occupy, all motion guide, Unchanged through time's all-devastating blight! Thou only God, there is no god beside! Being above all things, mighty One, Whom none can comprehend and none explore; Who fill'st existence with thyself alone,— Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er,— Being whom we call God, and know no more!


Quantity, in reading and speaking, means the length of time occupied in uttering a syllable or a word. Sounds and syllables vary greatly in quantity. Some are long, some short, and others intermediate between those which are long or short. Some sounds, also, may be prolonged or shortened in utterance to any desired extent. Quantity may be classified as Long, Medium, or Short.

DIRECTIONS FOR PRACTICE ON LONG QUANTITY.—Select some word of one syllable ending with a long vocal or a subvocal sound; pronounce it many times in succession, increasing the quantity at each repetition, until you can dwell upon it any desired length of time, without drawling, and in a natural tone.

REMARK.—Practice in accordance with this direction will enable the pupil to secure that fullness and roundness of voice which is exemplified in the hailing of a ship, "ship aho—y;" in the reply of the sailor, when, in the roar of the storm, he answers his captain, "ay—e. ay—e;" and in the command of the officer to his troops, when, amid the thunder of artillery, he gives the order, "ma—rch," or "ha—lt."

This fullness or roundness of tone is secured, by dwelling on the vocal sound, and indefinitely protracting it, The mouth should be opened wide, the tongue kept down, and the aperture left as round and as free for the voice as possible.

It is this artificial rotundity which, in connection with a distinct articulation, enables one who speaks in the open air, or in a very large apartment, to send his voice to the most distant point. It is a certain degree of this quality, which distinguishes declamatory or public speaking or reading from private conversation, and no one can accomplish much, as a public speaker, without cultivating it. It must be carefully distinguished from the "high tone," which is an elevation of pitch, and from "loudness." or "strength" of voice.

It will be observed that clearness and distinctness of utterance are secured by a proper use of the subvocals and aspirates—these sounds giving to words their shape, as it were; but a clear, full, and well-modulated utterance of the vocals gives to words their fullness.


1. Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!

2. Woe, woe, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem!

3. O righteous Heaven! ere Freedom found a grave, Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save? Where was thine arm, O Vengeance! where thy rod, That smote the foes of Zion and of God?

4. O sailor boy! sailor boy! never again Shall home, love, or kindred thy wishes repay; Unblessed and unhonored, down deep in the main, Full many a fathom, thy frame shall decay.

5. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens! When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers; the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the work of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!


1. Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose; The spectacles set them, unhappily, wrong; The point in dispute was, as all the world knows, To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

2. Bird of the broad and sweeping wing! Thy home is high in heaven, Where the wide storms their banners fling, And the tempest clouds are driven.

3. At midnight, in his guarded tent, The Turk lay dreaming of the hour When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent, Should tremble at his power.

4. On New Year's night, an old man stood at his window, and looked, with a glance of fearful despair, up the immovable, unfading heaven, and down upon the still, pure, white earth, on which no one was now so joyless and sleepless as he.


1. Quick! or he faints! stand with the cordial near!

2. Back to thy punishment, false fugitive!

3. Fret till your proud heart breaks! Must I observe you? Must I crouch beneath your testy humor?

4. Up drawbridge, grooms! what, warder, ho! Let the portcullis fall!

5. Quick, man the lifeboat! see yon bark, That drives before the blast! There's a rock ahead, the fog is dark, And the storm comes thick and fast.

6. I am at liberty, like every other man, to use my own language; and though, perhaps, I may have some ambition to please this gentleman, I shall not by myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his diction, or his mien, however matured by age or modeled by experience.


Movement is the rapidity with which the voice moves in reading and speaking. It varies with the nature of the thought or sentiment to be expressed, and should be increased or diminished as good taste may determine. With pupils generally, the tendency is to read too fast. The result is, reading or speaking in too high a key and an unnatural style of delivery—both of which faults are difficult to be corrected when once formed. The kinds of movement are Slow, Moderate, and Quick.

DIRECTIONS.—Read a selection as slowly us possible, without drawling. Read it again and again, increasing the rate of movement at each reading, until it can be read no faster without the utterance becoming indistinct. Reverse this process, reading more and more slowly at each repetition, until the slowest movement is obtained.


1. Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed With me but roughly, since I heard them last.

2. A tremulous sigh from the gentle night wind Through the forest leaves slowly is creeping, While stars up above, with their glittering eyes, Keep guard; for the army is sleeping.

3. O Lord'! have mercy upon us, miserable offenders'!

4. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan that moves To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.


1. The good', the brave', the beautiful', How dreamless' is their sleep, Where rolls the dirge-like music' Of the over-tossing deep'! Or where the surging night winds Pale Winter's robes have spread Above the narrow palaces, In the cities of the dead'!

2. Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time.

3. Cast your eyes over this extensive country. Observe the salubrity of your climate, the variety and fertility of your soil; and see that soil intersected in every quarter by bold, navigable streams, flowing to the east and to the west, as if the finger of heaven were marking out the course of your settlements, inviting you to enterprise, and pointing the way to wealth.


1. Awake'! arise'! or be forever fallen.

2. Merrily swinging on brier and weed, Near to the nest of his little dame, Over the mountain side or mead, Robert of Lincoln is telling his name.

3. Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace— Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place; I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight, Then shortened each stirrup and set the pique right, Rebuckled the check strap, chained slacker the bit, Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.

4. Oh my dear uncle, you don't know the effect of a fine spring morning upon a fellow just arrived from Russia. The day looked bright, trees budding, birds singing, the park so gay, that I took a leap out of your balcony, made your deer fly before me like the wind, and chased them all around the park to get an appetite for breakfast, while you were snoring in bed, uncle.

Quality.—We notice a difference between the soft, insinuating tones of persuasion; the full, strong voice of command and decision; the harsh, irregular, and sometimes grating explosion of the sounds of passion; the plaintive notes of sorrow and pity; and the equable and unimpassioned flow of words in argumentative style. This difference consists in a variation in the quality of the voice by which it is adapted to the character of the thought or sentiment read or spoken. In our attempts to imitate nature, however, it is important that all affectation be avoided, for perfect monotony is preferable to this fault. The tones of the voice should be made to correspond with the nature of the subject, without apparent effort.


Passion and Grief

"Come back! come back!" he cried, in grief, "Across this stormy water; And I'll forgive your Highland chief, My daughter! O, my daughter!"


I have lived long enough: my way of life Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf: And that which should accompany old age, As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have.


A very great portion of this globe is covered with water, which is called sea, and is very distinct from rivers and lakes.

Fierce Anger

Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, And shook his very frame for ire; And—"This to me!" he said,— "An 't were not for thy hoary beard, Such hand as Marmion's had not spared To cleave the Douglas' head!

Loud and Explosive

"Even in thy pitch of pride, Here, in thy hold, thy vassals near, I tell thee, thou 'rt defied! And if thou said'st I am not peer To any lord in Scotland here, Lowland or Highland, far or near, Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"


Gesture is that part of the speaker's manner which pertains to his attitude, to the use and carriage of his person, and the movement of his limbs in delivery.

Every person, in beginning to speak, feels the natural embarrassment resulting from his new position. The novelty of the situation destroys his self-possession, and, with the loss of that, he becomes awkward, his arms and hands hang clumsily, and now, for the first time, seem to him worse than superfluous members. This embarrassment will be overcome gradually, as the speaker becomes familiar with his position; and it is sometimes overcome at once, by a powerful exercise of the attention upon the matter of the speech. When that fills and possesses the mind, the orator is likely to take the attitude which is becoming, and, at least, easy and natural, if not graceful.

1st. The first general direction that should be given to the speaker is, that he should stand erect and firm, and in that posture which gives an expanded chest and full play to the organs of respiration and utterance.

2d. Let the attitude be such that it can be shifted easily and gracefully. The student will find, by trial, that no attitude is so favorable to this end as that in which the weight of the body is thrown upon one leg, leaving the other free to be advanced or thrown back, as fatigue or the proper action of delivery may require.

The student who has any regard to grace or elegance, will of course avoid all the gross faults which are so common among public speakers, such as resting one foot upon a stool or bench, or throwing the body forward upon the support of the rostrum.

3d. Next to attitude, come the movements of the person and limbs. In these, two objects are to be observed, and, if possible, combined, viz., propriety and grace. There is expression in the extended arm, the clinched hand, the open palm, and the smiting of the breast. But let no gesture be made that is not in harmony with the thought or sentiment uttered; for it is this harmony which constitutes propriety. As far as possible, let there be a correspondence between the style of action and the train of thought. Where the thought flows on calmly, let there be grace and ease in gesture and action. Where the style is sharp and abrupt, there is propriety in quick, short, and abrupt gesticulation. Especially avoid that ungraceful sawing of the air with the arms, into which all ill-regulated fervor betrays many young speakers.

What is called graceful manner, can only be attained by those who have some natural advantages of person. So far as it is in the reach of study or practice, it seems to depend chiefly upon the general cultivation of manners, implying freedom from all embarrassments, and entire self-possession. The secret of acquiring a graceful style of gesture, we apprehend, lies in the habitual practice, not only when speaking but at all times, of free and graceful movements of the limbs.

There is no limb nor feature which the accomplished speaker will not employ with effect, in the course of a various and animated delivery. The arms, however, are the chief reliance of the orator in gesture; and it will not be amiss to give a hint or two in reference to their proper use.

First—It is not an uncommon fault to use one arm exclusively, and to give that a uniform movement. Such movement may, sometimes, have become habitual from one's profession or employment; but in learners, also, there is often a predisposition to this fault.

Second—It is not unusual to see a speaker use only the lower half of his arm. This always gives a stiff and constrained manner to delivery. Let the whole arm move, and let the movement be free and flowing.

Third—As a general rule, let the hand be open, with the fingers slightly curved. It then seems liberal, communicative, and candid; and, in some degree, gives that expression to the style of delivery. Of course there are passages which require the clinched hand, the pointed finger, etc., etc.; but these are used to give a particular expression.

Fourth—In the movements of the arm, study variety and the grace of curved lines.

When a gesture is made with one arm only, the eye should be cast in the direction of that arm; not at it, but over it.

All speakers employ, more or less, the motions of the head. In reference to that member, we make but one observation. Avoid the continuous shaking and bobbing of the head, which is so conspicuous in the action of many ambitious public speakers.

The beauty and force of all gesture consist in its timely, judicious, and natural employment, when it can serve to illustrate the meaning or give emphasis to the force of an important passage. The usual fault of young speakers is too much action. To emphasize all parts alike, is equivalent to no emphasis; and by employing forcible gestures on unimportant passages, we diminish our power to render other parts impressive.


The business of training youth in elocution, must be commenced in childhood. The first school is the nursery. There, at least, may be formed a distinct articulation, which is the first requisite for good speaking. How rarely is it found in perfection among our orators.

"Words," says one, referring to articulation, should "be delivered out from the lips, as beautiful coins, newly issued from the mint; deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished; neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, in due succession, and of due weight." How rarely do we hear a speaker whose tongue, teeth, and lips, do their office so perfectly as to answer to this beautiful description! And the common faults in articulation, it should be remembered, take their rise from the very nursery.

Grace in eloquence, in the pulpit, at the bar, can not be separated from grace in the ordinary manners, in private life, in the social circle, in the family. It can not well be superinduced upon all the other acquisitions of youth, any more than that nameless, but invaluable, quality called good breeding. Begin, therefore, the work of forming the orator with the child; not merely by teaching him to declaim, but what is of more consequence, by observing and correcting his daily manners, motions, and attitudes. You can say, when he comes into your apartment, or presents you with something, a book or letter, in an awkward and blundering manner, "Return, and enter this room again," or, "Present me that book in a different manner," or, "Put yourself in a different attitude." You can explain to him the difference between thrusting or pushing out his hand and arm, in straight lines and at acute angles, and moving them in flowing circular lines, and easy graceful action. He will readily understand you. Nothing is more true than that the motions of children are originally graceful; it is by suffering them to be perverted, that we lay the foundation of invincible awkwardness in later life.

In schools for children, it ought to be a leading object to teach the art of reading. It ought to occupy threefold more time than it does. The teachers of these schools should labor to improve themselves. They should feel that to them, for a time, are committed the future orators of the land.

It is better that a girl should return from school a first-rate reader, than a first-rate performer on the pianoforte. The accomplishment, in its perfection, would give more pleasure. The voice of song is not sweeter than the voice of eloquence; and there may be eloquent readers, as well as eloquent speakers. We speak of perfection in this art: and it is something, we must say in defense of our preference, which we have never yet seen. Let the same pains be devoted to reading, as are required to form an accomplished performer on an instrument; let us have, as the ancients had, the formers of the voice, the music masters of the reading voice; let us see years devoted to this accomplishment, and then we should be prepared to stand the comparison.

Reading is indeed, a most intellectual accomplishment. So is music, too, in its perfection. We do by no means undervalue this noble and most delightful art, to which Socrates applied himself even in his old age. But one recommendation of the art of reading is, that it requires a constant exercise of mind. It involves, in its perfection, the whole art of criticism on language. A man may possess a fine genius without being a perfect reader; but he can not be a perfect reader without genius.



'T is not enough the voice' be sound and clear', 'T is modulation' that must charm the ear. When desperate heroes grieve with tedious moan, And whine their sorrows in a seesaw tone, The same soft sounds of unimpassioned woes, Can only make the yawning hearers doze.

The voice all modes of passion can express That marks the proper word with proper stress: But none emphatic can that speaker call, Who lays an equal emphasis on all.

Some o'er the tongue the labored measure roll, Slow and deliberate as the parting toll; Point every stop, mark every pause so strong, Their words like stage processions stalk along.

All affectation but creates disgust; And e'en in speaking, we may seem too just. In vain for them' the pleasing measure flows, Whose recitation runs it all to prose: Repeating what the poet sets not down, The verb disjointing from its favorite noun, While pause, and break, and repetition join To make it discord in each tuneful line'.

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