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exercise on force will give strength and fullness to it; exercise on rate will improve the organs of articulation; and all combined will secure to the pupil that controlling influence over his voice which is indispensable to a good reader.

QUESTIONS.—What is rate? How divided? What is said of very slow rate? Slow rate? Medium rate ? Rapid rate ? Very rapid rate :


Under this head will be considered the kinds of voice which are generally employed in reading and speaking. They are the pure voice, the orotund, the aspirated, the guttural, and the tremor.

The pure voice is distinguished for the clearness and smoothness of its tones; and is appropriately used in ordinary declamation, in calm reasoning, in common and didactic discourse, in reading simple narration or description, and in uttering language denoting joy, cheerfulness, sorrow, and other gentle emotions.

Let appropriate passages be selected and delivered with special reference to the cultivation of a pure voice. In such practice, let no harsh, nasal, or other impure qualities be heard, but let the sounds come forth, clear, smooth, perfect.


King David's limbs were weary. He had filed
From far Jerusalem; and now he stood,
With his faint people, for a little rest,
Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind
Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow
To its refreshing breath; for he had worn
The mourner's covering, and ne had not felt
That he could see his people until now.
They gather'd round him on the fresh green bank
And spoke their kindly words; and, as the sun
Rose up in heaven, he knelt among them there,
And bow'd his head upon his hands to pray.

The orotund voice is smooth, clear, full, deep, round, strong, and musical; and may be effectively employed in earnest declamation, and in expressing sentiments of sublimity, grandeur, dignity, solemnity and reverence.

The orotund possesses all the qualities of the pure voice intensified, and is a powerful auxiliary in almost every description of public speaking. It is rarely a gift of nature; and he who would possess it must generally acquire it by practice. It therefore seems necessary to adopt such a course of exercises in our primary instruction as will be most likely to develop this kind of voice. Dr. Rush, an eminent writer on the human voice, recommends continued practice on the vocals as one of the best preliminary steps to secure this desirable result; and experience confirms the wisdom of his recommendation. Exercises on vocals, however, need not be introduced in this place, for they occur on preceding pages, under the head of articulation. When the following examples can be read in the orotund voice, let other appropriate pieces be selected and read in the same manner.



Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form

Glasses itself in tempests; in all time,
Calm or convulsed, in breeze, or gale, or storm,

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime

Dark heaving; boundless, endless, and sublime;
The image of eternity; the throne

Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

2. O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers ! Whence are thy beams, 0 sun! thy everlasting light? Thou comest forth in thy awful beauty; the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave; but thou thyself movest alone. When the world is dark with tempests, when thunder rolls and lightning flies, thou lookest in thy beauty from the clouds, and laughest at the storm.

The aspirated voice consists of forcibly-emitted breath united with a slight portion of pure tone; and is used to express horror, terror, wonder, amazement, fear and rage.


Lady M. Alack! I am afraid, they have awaked,
And ’tis not done:-the attempt and not the deed
Confounds us ;-Hark!—I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss them.-Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't. My husband ?


Macb. I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise ?

Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak ?

Macb. When ?
Lady M. Now.
Macb. As I descended ?
Lady M. Ay.
Macb. Hark!-Who lies in the second chamber?
Lady M. Donalbain.
Macb. This is a sorry sight. [Looking at his hands.
Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, and one cried murder!
That they did wake each other; I stood and heard them:
But they did say their prayers, and addressed them
Again to sleep.

The guttural is formed in the throat, and consists of a harsh sound united with aspiration. It is used to express reproach, malice, hatred, scorn, contempt, and loathing.


1. Thou worm! thou viper! to thy native earth

Return! Away! Thou art too base for man
To tread upon! Thou scum! Thou reptile !

2. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward,

Thou little valiant, great in villany!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool! to brag, and stamp, and swear.

Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
Thou wear a lion's hide! Doff it for shame,

And hang a calf's skin on those recreant limbs.
3. How like a fawning publican he looks!

I hate him, for he is a Christian.
But more for that, in low simplicity,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.

The tremor is a tremulous movement of the voice, and may be divided into the joyous tremor and the plaintive tremor: the former may be used to express mirth and excessive joy, and the latter to express sorrow, lamentation, tenderness, pity, and earnest supplication. This tremulous movement of the voice is heard in crying and laughing. In the former the voice moves through semitones, which produces the plaintive tremor; in the latter it moves through whole toues, producing the joyous tremor.' When the plaintive tremor is governed by taste, it becomes an expressive element in speech.


1. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,

A motley fool; a miserable world !
As I do live by food, I met a fool,
Who laid him down, and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on lady Fortune in good terms,

In good set terms,—and yet a motley fool. 2.

Onward! onward to the sea !

Oh, the ocean wild for me!
3. Oh! 'tis sweet balm to our despair,

Fond, fairest boy,
That heaven is God's, and thou art there

With him in joy.
Joy, joy forever! my task is done !
The gates are pass’d, and heavea is won!
Oh! am I not happy? I am, I am!


1. Had he not one kind word for me?

2. I feel thy breath upon my cheek;

I see thee smile, I hear thee speak;
Till, oh, my heart is like to break,

Casa Wappy.
3. Cold is thy brow, my son; and I am chill

As to my bosom I have tried to press thee.
How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,

Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee,
And hear thy sweet "my father” from these dumb

And cold lips, Absalom! NOTE.—Let other passages be selected and read in the appropriate voice. The pure voice and the orotund should receive the most attention, though the others should not be neglected.

QUESTIONS.--Will you define pure voice? The orotund? The aspirated? The guttural? The tremor? Give an example of each.



The pauses made in reading are of three kinds, grammatical, rhetorical, and harmonic.

Grammatical pauses are those that are made at commas, semicolons, periods, &c. But the student who is qualified to use this book is supposed to be so familiar with the character and office of these pauses that it will be unnecessary to discuss them here.

Rhetorical pauses are the stops which are made before or after the utterance of a striking thought. They are sometimes indicated to the eye by the dash, but commonly there is no visible sign to determine their place. If the rhetorical pause occur before the important word or phrase, it excites the attention and expectation of the hearer, and thus prepares his mind to be more

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