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the sense of the production which he is delivering, and any movement that does not naturally arise out of it is inconsistent and erro
and deliver it with energy, you will be sure to give action which is not very inappropriate, and redundancies and awkward peculiarities are best got rid of by practising before a judicious friend. True purity and dignity of action is a collection of
“ Nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master's hand alone can reach,” and which nothing but a long experience and correct taste can impart.-TYRRELL.
18. Conversational dialogues are among the most effective means of breaking up monotonous and mechanical tones, and are of great service in facilitating the acquisition of an appropriate style of reading.-RUSSELL.
19. Modulation should never be resorted to for the sake of variety, it should always be subservient to the sense; for it is the province of modulation to mark changes of sentiment, changes in the train of strength, and parenthetical clauses.--COMSTOCK.
20. The management of passion in accordance with the character that is represented to labour under it, its natural sentiments, its fluctuations, and its combinations, must be intuitively present to the mind of the dramatic author. The person who acts a character has, in some respects, a minuter and more delicate task to perform, as he must watch over every tone, look, and gesture, and keep them in consistency with the situation of the person represented. There is a smile of benignity, of love, of contempt; there is a smile of innocence and of guilt; of dignity and of silliness; there is the smile of the peasant and that of the king. To vary the expression of passion, so as to preserve it in keeping with the character, to exhibit inferior and incidental passions as modified by a dominant one, are the attainments of a great actor, who, in his delineations, is not always assisted by the composition of the dramatist. For, although in representations of passion, in agreement with the character represented, yet the actor has the difficult task of preserving the consistency of the functions of voice, look, and gesture, in those parts where there is little excitement, and where the familiar
parts of the dialogue are apt to make one forget the idiosyncrasy of the character. This preservation of the consistency of character, in minute and incidental matter, is much more difficult to accomplish than a forcible representation in some highly-wrought scene. Besides, written language is frequently so inexpressive, that different meanings are often attached to the same passages; for this reason, it is highly important to know the nature of passion, its natural sentiments, its combinations and endurance, that we may be enabled to give that reading, as it is called, which a cultivated taste prefers. -GRAHAM.
21. There is a certain mechanical dexterity to be acquired before the beautiful conceptions we possess can be communicated to others. This mechanism is an essential part of all the fine arts. Nothing but habitual practice will give the musician his neatness of execu
on, the painter his force of colouring, and even the poet the happiest choice and arrangement of his words and thoughts. How, then, can we expect that a luminous and elegant expression in reading and speaking can be acquired without a similar attention to habitual practice ? This is the golden key to excellence, but can be purchased only by labour, unremitting labour, and perseverance . -WALKER.
22. MEMORY.—As the great purpose to which this faculty is subservient is to enable us to collect and retain, for the future regulation of our conduct, the results of our past experience, it is evident that the degree of perfection which it attains in the case of different persons must vary; first, with the facility of making the original acquisition; secondly, with the permanence of the acquisition; and thirdly, with the quickness or readiness with which the individual is able, on particular occasions, to apply it to use. The qualities, therefore, of a good memory are, in the first place, to be susceptible; secondly, to be retentive; and thirdly, to be ready.
It is but rarely these three qualities are united in the same person. We often, indeed, meet with a memory which is at once susceptible and ready; but I doubt much if such memories be commonly very retentive; for the same set of habits which are favourable to the two first qualities are adverse to the third. Those individuals, for example, who, with a view to conversation, make a constant business
of informing themselves with respect to the popular topics of the day, or of turning over the ephemeral publications subservient to the amusement or to the politics of the times, are naturally led to cultivate a susceptibility and readiness of memory, but have no inducement to aim at that permanent retention of selected ideas which enables the scientific student to combine the most remote materials, and to concentrate at will, on a particular object, all the scattered lights of his experience and of his reflexions. Such men (as far as my observation has reached) seldom possess a familiar or correct acquaintance even with those classical remains of our own earlier writers which have ceased to furnish topics of discourse to the circles of fashion. A stream of novelties is perpetually passing through their minds, and the faint impression which it leaves will soon vanish to make way for others, like the traces which the ebbing tide leaves upon the sand. Nor is this all. In proportion as the associating principles which lay the foundation of susceptibility and readiness predominate in the memory, those which form the basis of our more solid and lasting acquisitions may be expected to be weakened, as a natural consequence of the general laws of our intellectual frame.-DUGALD STEWART.
23. Pompous spouting, and many other descriptions of unnatural tone and measured cadence, are frequently admired by many as excellent reading, which admiration is itself a proof that it is not deserved; for when the delivery is really good, the hearers (except any one who may deliberately set himself to observe and criticise) never think about it; but are exclusively occupied with the sense it conveys, and the feelings it excites.-ARCHBISHOP WHATELY.
24. FORCE AND EXPRESSION.—Loudness, with its degrees to softness, is signified in elocution, as in music, by the term force. A proper adaptation of its varying degrees to corresponding shades of expression will give that variety which is so pleasing to the ear. These several degrees have been denoted by words borrowed from the language of the Italians. They are generally written abbreviated, as in the following table.
add to this Table, as coming under the head of Force, a few marks of expression, also borrowed from the art of music.
A gradualincrease of loudness is expressed by the word crescendo, or by the sign
A gradual decrease of loudness is expressed by the word diminuendo, or by the sign
An explosive or abrupt utterance is denoted by the word staccato when the expression is spread over a whole clause, or, when limited to a few words, by points or dots (i ir .) placed over the intended syllables.-JOHN MILLARD.
MISCELLANEOUS READINGS IN PROSE.
THOMAS CARLYLE. [Thomas Carlyle was born at Ecclefechan, in Dumfriesshire, in 1795. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, of which college he was installed lordrector, April 2, 1866. Carlyle was intended for the church. On leaving college he adopted, not without hesitation, the scholastic profession; but he gradually drifted into literature, utilizing the results of his studies through the medium of the press. He became a great admirer of the German language and an ardent explorer of its literary treasures. One of his earliest works was a translation of Goethe's “Wilhelm Meister.” His works now comprise his " History of the French Revolution,” “Past and Present,” “Sartor Resartus,” "Latter-day Pamphlets,” “Life of Sterling,” “Life of Frederick the Great," “Life and Correspondence of Cromwell,”" Miscellaneous Essays,” &c. &c. He married about 1827, and resided in Scotland (near Dumfries) until 1830, when he took up his residence in London. He has been an honest worker at his craft, and an inverate exposer of “shams.” His style of composition has been the subject of some difference of opinion, many accusing him of an affected ruggedness. It is clearly not the style approved of by those who hold to the polished diction of Addison and his contemporaries as models for the study of elegant English prose. Still his force and power is undeniable, though his cutting satire has often caused him to be (and very undeservedly so) regarded as a cynic.] Two men I honour, and no third. First, the toil-worn craftsman that with earth-made implement laboriously conquers the earth and makes her man's. Venerable to me is the hand, hard and coarse; wherein notwithstanding lies a cunning virtue, indefeasibly royal, as of this planet. Venerable, too, is the rugged face all weather-tanned, besoiled, with his rude intelligence; for it is the face of a man living man-like. Oh, but the more venerable for thy rudeness, and even because we must pity as well as love thee! Hardly entreated brother! For us was thy back so bent, for us were thy straight limbs and fingers so deformed; thou wert our conscript on whom the lot fell, and fighting our battles wert so marred. For in thee too lay a God-created form, but it was not to be unfolded; encrusted must it stand with the thick adhesions and defacements of labour; and thy body, like thy soul, was not to know freedom. Yet, toil on, toil on: thou art in thy duty, be out of it who may; thou toilest for the altogether indispensable daily bread.
A second man I honour, and still more highly, him who is seen