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A D W E RI I SE M E N T.

1

THE favourable reception of the large Volume of ELEGANT

EXTRACTS in PROSE, has sufficiently expressed the public opinion respecting the utility of such Compilations. It has, however, been suggested to the Proprietors, that the size to which the Work was extended, rendered it inconvenient, to several descriptions of purchasers; and that an abridgement of it, adapted to the pocket, was much wished for by many Conductors of School Education. The same observation was applied to the ELEGANT EXTRACTS in POETRY. On this account the PROSE EPITOME, and the POETICAL EPITOME, bave been published; that it may be in the option of Masters, or Scholars, to provide themselves either with these smaller Works, or with the LARGE OCTAVO Volumes, as shall beft fuit their own convenience.

iv

IN TRODUCTION.

ON

PRONUNCIATION, OR DELIVERY,

FROM DR. BLAIR'S LECTURES.

H ,

1.

end of all public speaking, Persuasion; and OW much stress was laid upon Pro. therefore deserves the study of the most grave eicquent of all orators, Demosthenes, appears whose only aim is to please. from a noted saying of his, related boih by For, let it be considered, whenever we adCicero and Quinctilian; when being alkeci, dress ourselves ta others by words, our inten. What was the first point in oratory? he an- tion certainly. is to make some impression on fwered Delivery; and being asked, What was those to whom we speak; it is to convey the second? and afterwards, What was the to them our own ideas and emotions. Now third? he still answered Delivery. There is the tone of our voice, our looks and gesturcs, no wonder, that he fhould have rated this so interpret our ideas and emotions no less than high, and that for improving himself in it, he words do; nay, the impression they make od 1hould have employed those affiduous and pain- others, is frequently much stronger than any ful labours, which all the ncients take so that words can make. We often see that an much notice of ; for, beyond doubt, nothing expressive look, or a passionate cry, unaccom. js of more importance. To superficial think- panied by words, conveys to others more ers, the management of the voice and gef- forcible ideas, and roufes within them stronger turo, in public ipeaking, may appear to relate pallions, than can be communicated by the to decoration only, and to be one of the in- most eloquent discourse. · The signification ferior arts of catching an audience. But this of our sentiments, made by tones and gel1 far from being the case. It is intimately tures, has this advantage above thx made

Eted with what is, or ought to be, the by words, that it is the language of na

ture.

.

türe. It is that method of interpreting our observations as appear to me most useful to be
mind; which nature has dictated to all, made on this head.
and which is understood by all ; whereas, The great ohjects which every public speak-
words are only arbitrary, conventional sym- er will naturally have in his eye in forming
bols of our ideas; and, by confequence, muft his Delivery, are, first, to speak so as to be
make a more feeble impreffion. So true is fully and easily understood by all who hear
this, that to render words fully significant, him; and next, to speak with grace and force,
they must, almost in every case, receive some so as to please and to move his audience. Let
aid from the manner of Pronunciation and us consider what is most important with re-
Delivery ; and he who, in speaking, fhould spect to each of these *.
employ bare words, without enforcing them : In order to be fully and casily understood,
by proper tones and accents, would leave us the four chief requistes are, A due degree of
with a faint and indistinct impression, often loudness of voice; Distinctness; Slowness;
with a doubtful and ambiguous conception of and Propriery of Pronunciation.
what he had delivered. Nay, so close is the The first attention of every public speaker,
connection between certain sentiments and doubtless, must be, to make himself be heard
the proper manner of pronouncing them, that by all those to whom he speaks. He must
he who does not pronounce them after that endeavour to fill with his voice the space oc-
manner, can never persuade us, that he be- cupied by the assembly. This power of
lieves, or feels, the sentiments themselves. voice, it inay be thought, is wholly a natural
His delivery may be fuch, as to give the lie talent. It is so in a good measure ; but,
to all that he afferts. When Marcus Calli- however, may receive confiderable atiistance
dius accused one of an attempt to poison him, from art. Much depends for this purpose on
but enforced his accusation in a languid man- the proper pitch, and management of the
ner, and without any warmth or carnettness voice. Every man has three pitches in his
of delivery, Cicero, who pleaded for the ac- voice ; the high, the middle, and the low one.
cused person, improved this into an argument The high, is that which he uses in calling
of the falsity of the charge, “ An iu, M. aloud to lome one at a distance. The bou is,
* Callidi nifi fingeres, fic ageres :" In Shake- when he approaches to a whisper. The middle
speare's Richard II. the Duchess of York is, that which he employs in commun conver-
thus impeaches the fincerity of her husband : ration, and which he ihould generally use in

public discourse. For it is a great mitake,
Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face,
His eyes do drop ao tears ; his prayers are jeft;

to imagine that one must take the highest His words come from his mouth; ours, from pitch of his voice, in order to be ivcil heard by our breast :

a great assembly. This is confounding two He pray, but faintly, and would be denied;

things which are different, loudness, or We pray with heart and soul.

* On this whole subject, Mr. Sheridan's LecBut, I believe it is needless to say any cures on Elocution are very worthy of being conmore, in order to thew the high importance of sulted ; and several hints are here taken from a good Delivery. I proceed, therefore to such them.

strength

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Strength of sound, with the key, or note on appearance of one who endeavours to conipes which we speak. A speaker may render his affent, by mere vehemence and force of found. voice louder, without altering the key; and In the next place, to boing well heard, and we shall always be able to give most body, clearly understood, distinctness of articulation most persevering force of found, to that pitch contributes more, than mere loudness of found. of voice, to which in conservation we are ae- The quantity of sound necessary to fill even a customed. Whereas, by setting out on our large space, is smaller than is commonly imahighest pitch or key, we certainly allow our- gined; and with distinct articulation, a man selves lefs compass, and are likely to strain of a weak voice will make it reach farther, our voice before we have done. We shall fa- than the strongest voice can reach without it. tigue ourselves, and speak with pain; and To this, therefore, every public speaker ought whenever a man speaks with pain to himself

, to pay great attention. He must give every he is always heard with pain by his audience found which he utters its due proportion, and Give the voice therefore full strength and inake every fyllable, and even every letter in swell of found; but always pitch it on your the word which he pronounces, be heard disordinary speaking key. Make it a constant tinctly; without furring, tyhispering, or fuprule never to utter a greater quantity of voice, pressing any of the proper sounds. than you can afford without pain to your- In the third place, in order to articulate disselves, and without any extraordinary effort. tin&tly, moderation is requilite with regard to As long as you keep within these bounds, the speed of pronouncing. Precipitancy of the other organs of fpecch will be at liberty to speech confounds all articulation, and all discharge their several offices with ease; and meaning. I need scarcely observe, that there you will always have your voice under com- may be also an extreme on the oppofite fide. mand. But whenever you transgrefs these It is obvious, that a lifeless, drawling probounds you give up the reins, and have no nunciation, which allows the minds of the longer any management of it. It is an ufeful hearers to be always outrunning the speaker, rule too, in order to be well heard, to fix our must render every discourse infipid and fa. eye on some of the most distant persons in the tiguing. But the extreme of speaking toofaft assembly, and to consider ourselves as speak - is much more common, and requires the more ing to them. We naturally and mechanically to be guarded against, because when it has utter our words with luch a degree of strength, grown up into a habit, few errors are more as to make ourselves be heard by one to difficult to be corrected.' To pronounce with whom we address ourfelves, provided he be a proper degree of lowness, and with full and within thc reach of our voice. As this is clear articulation, is the first thing to be ftuthe case in cominon conversation, it will hold died by all who begin to fpeak in public ; and allo in public speaking. But remember, that cannot be too much recommended to them. in public as well as in conversation, it is pof- Such a pronunciation gives weight and dig. tible to offend by speaking too loud. This nity to their discourse. It is a great

atliftance extreme hurts the ear, by making the voice to the voice, by the pauses and reits which it come upon it in rumbling indistinct malles; allows it more easily to make; and it enables besides its giving the speaker the disagrecable the speaker to fweil all his founds, both with

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