The design of this book is twofold,--to meet the present demand for new selections suited to the spirit of the hour, and also to furnish a choice collection of standard pieces for elocutionary exercises on which time has set its lasting seal. In the execution of this design no pains have been spared in selecting and preparing the best pieces, both new and old.
FORCE. The principal degrees of force requiring attention, are three: the moderate, the declamatory, and the impassioned. The degrees lower than moderate are, the suppressed and the subdued; and those higher than impassioned are, shouting and calling. But these are not very important in practical delivery.
RATE has reference to the kinds of movement in delivery, including the rapid, the moderate, and the slow. Mrs. Siddon's primary rule for good reading was, "Take Time." Excessive rapidity of utterance is, undoubtedly, a very prevalent fault, both in speaking and in conversation. Deliberate speech is usually a characteristic of culture and good-breeding. This excellence is greatly promoted by giving due quantity, or prolongation of sound, to the vowels.
PAUSES. Besides the pauses required by the syntactical structure of the sentence, and denoted by grammatical punctuation, there are the pauses of passion, and the pauses at the termination of the clusters into which words are grouped in good speaking.
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