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who claim that "language is a life," and not mechanically fixed, are likely, it seems to me, to exercise too great freedom in matters of pronunciation.
No student must conclude, however, that pronunciation is a matter of indifference. Many now in the schools must guard against the faulty pronunciation of their early surroundings; elementary defects and narrow provincialisms are inexcusable. The pronunciation of any important dictionary, in all likelihood, represents some considerable number of persons, and for practical purposes is entitled to be regarded as authority. To the student, then, any leading dictionary is a sufficient guide. He may
feel reasonably secure, also, if he be sure he follows the
of considerable number of the educated people of his section in any tendency to a changed pronunciation, whether it has found the way into a dictionary or not; and as usage, and not a priori principles, governs, consistency does not require the student to conform to any one book exclusively.
SEC. III. Agreeable Voice. - Voices that are rich and resonant give pleasure to the listener. This is due to the musical qualities already discussed. Such a voice is not only pleasing to the ear, but suggests refinement and culture, and hence is an element of elegance.
Sec. IV. Strong and Graceful Movements. - As the advantages of strong and easy bearing and movement have already been shown, but slight reference to them is necessary at this point. Strong and graceful movements, also, suggest strength, character, culture, and at once please the eye, as an agreeable voice does the ear.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT. At this point, not for one only, but for all the purposes of Public Speaking, Physical Development may properly receive consideration. It is not our intention, however, to present an elaborate system of gymnastics, but to briefly
treat the leading principles, and to give a sufficient number and variety of exercises adapted to classes where only limited attention can be given to the subject. They will be found adequate for ordinary practical purposes.
Principles and Aims of Physical Development. The ends of exercise are the development of vital capacity and strength, and the acquisition of correct habit. The former is hygienic, and the latter educational.
Dr. E. M. Hartwell, of Johns Hopkins University, distinguishes between the Fundamental and the Accessory mechanism of the body. In the former class, is the mechanism of respiration, of the heart, of locomotion, etc. In the latter, is the muscular mechanism for maintaining the erect position, for the action of the hand, for the vocal organs, etc.
The development of the Fundamental mechanism means increased vitality and strength, while the development of the Accessory mechanism means skill and grace.
Dr. J. Enebuske, representing the Swedish system, states the object of educational gymnastics to be “the harmonious relation of mind and body."
These principles and aims of physical exercises are nowhere more serviceable than in exercises taken for purposes of Public Speaking.
The aims of exercises, that is, exercises for increased strength and vitality, and for the development of right habit, depend for their realization upon the following conditions:
1. The accuracy with which any given exercise is taken.
2. The alternate tension and relaxation of the muscles; momentary rest alternating with action.
3. The repetition or frequency of the exercise. Two hours of vigorous exercise taken once a month may do more harm than good.
4. The rhythmical character or ease of the movements. Rigid restraint, constant tension, make hard work, and
prevent the development desired. Count during the movement. Be deliberate.
Cultivate the sense of control in all movements.
The vigorous and rapid movements, breaking down old tissue and renewing it more rapidly, should alternate with slower movements for the purpose of gesticular control.
It seems to me that the free-hand movements of the Swedish system, especially promotive of grace and control, may well alternate with the exercise with weights, as advocated by Dr. Sargent of Harvard. Free-hand movements are, moreover, more practicable under ordinary circumstances.
Avoid exercise immediately before or after a full meal. Exercise in
After long periods of rest, approach the exercise gradually, so as to prevent unnecessary lameness. Stop before becoming fatigued.
EXERCISES. First Series. — 1. Stand, inhale, hands on chest, elbows level with the shoulder; tap chest with light percussive blows.
2. Stand, both hands in front of face, palm to face, separate, pull back and down; count two.
3. Stand, toss both hands front, palm down, turn over, clasp fists, draw in, elbows at sides, fists below the waist level, slightly out; count three.
4. Stand, arms extended stiff by the sides, fists, bring straight up, stretch, rotate.
5. Hands extended over head, bend forward, reach with tips of fingers, drop the hands, erect, bend back, flex to right, to left, arms dangling.
6. Hands on hips, bend forward, rotate clear around, now in opposite direction.
7. Clasp hands back of head, rotate as in Exercise 6. 8. Drop the head forward, rotate clear around.
9. Bend back, face to ceiling, arms stretched up, palm to palm, separate, extended sidewise, level with shoulders, fist.
10. Stand, fingers of open hand on each shoulder, suddenly thrust the hands straight up.
II. Stand, suddenly thrust both hands down by the sides, extended fingers, then straight up over head.
12. Stand, arms extended in front, clasp hands, rotate body to left, to right.
13. Stand firm on right foot, swing the free leg; change to opposite
14. Stand, rise on tiptoe.
under the armpits as possible, and then squeezing the chest. This loosens the articulations at the sternum and vertebræ, allowing the ribs at the same time to elevate themselves more at a right angle, thus giving greater chest capacity.
16. Diaphragmatic resistance.
(1) Place the hands circling the region just below the floating ribs, thumbs toward the back, deep breath, make a continuous muscular effort, hold breath, resisting the hands, hold sides firm.
(2) Place the hands in front, the fingers pressing on the region of the diaphgram, make muscular resistance.
(3.) Place the half-fist on the region midway; muscular resistance as above. Practise 1, 2, and 3 with continuous breathing, also with sudden breathing.
17. Left fist well up on the chest, half back, right hand fingers on right clavical, breathe, pressing against each hand.
Additional special exercises for "setting up," or for the erect attitude.
1. Stand, both arms level with shoulder, extended side wise, palms up, turn head to right, look in palm. To left, etc.
Hold spinal column straight, stoop, hands on the thigh, turn head slowly, looking right, left, etc.
3. Hold spinal column straight, stoop, hands on knees, turn bead looking right, left, slowly.
4. Standing and walking make the back of the neck touch the collar.
Second Series. — With this series, light dumb-bells, say of one pound each, are to be used. Lifted chest.
Repeat each exercise according to circumstances.
1. Arms extended from the sides, level with the shoulder, rotate slightly
2. Over head, in a similar way.
3. Beginning with a bell on each shoulder, thrust up over head.
4. Beginning the same as in 3, open the arms out sidewise.
5. (a) Both feet together, weight on left, step forward with right; bring both arms up, bent back, closing with forearm vertical; bring back to starting-point.
(b) Change to right. (c) Same movement, stepping back. (d) Change. 6. Pull bell up to each armpit; rise on toes. 7. Bend right and left, hands hanging down. 8. Stand on right foot, swing the left; change. 9. Rise on toes, stoop, strike end of bell on floor. 10. Feet firm, stoop, strike bells together under the legs.
11. Grasp both bells together, arms extended front, rotate right, left.
12. Both feet together, grasp bells together with both hands, swing over head, bend back, swing between legs, bending forward.
13. Right foot advanced, swing as in 12, oblique ; change, left advanced.
14. Bend back, face to ceiling, bells in front, bring down level with shoulder.
The exercises given in Series I. and II. are all that classes generally, and persons primarily interested in delivery, will care to use,