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emphasis or slide, but give the reason for its selection. Never allow any stereotyped form to interfere with mental freedom and spontaneity. In preparing a selection, provide for growth. This involves change. The objective treatment will be especially valuable in difficult places. Try a certain kind of voice, inflection, pause, or other element, and then judge of it. In every instance apply the committed “Scheme."
PRAXIS IN DELIVERY.
The leading types of Composition — DESCRIPTIVE and NARRATIVE, ORATORICAL and DRAMATIC — combine elements peculiar to each, and afford opportunity for concentrated effort in practice. For practical purposes, HIGHLY IMAGINATIVE and METRICAL SELECTIONS may also be regarded as types affording distinct opportunities.
While carrying into practice all of the sources and elements according to the “Scheme," the student will find it advantageous to recognize the leading feature or features of any selection, and practise at first with special reference to these features.
I. DESCRIPTION AND NARRATION.
Descriptive and narrative selections emphasize the conversational. As the conversational is the basis of all effective speaking, and as it is naturally the least difficult type, it may well be selected for beginning elocutionary discipline. The purpose of description and narration is to give information in an interesting way. Its essential feature is movement.
Descriptive and narrative delivery, while drawing upon all of the sources, and employing all of the elements of effective speaking, is simple, direct, and distinctly clear. Variety with its differentiation is a marked feature.
The two following selections will serve to indicate the type :
I. WHITE HORSE HILL.
This selection is taken from“ Tom Brown's School Days," Chapter 1. This and
other selections may best be studied in connection with the chapter or whole of which it is a part.
And then what a hill is the White Horse Hill! There it stands right up above all the rest, nine hundred feet above the sea, and the boldest, bravest shape for a chalk hill that you ever saw. Let us go up to the top of him, and see what is to be found there. Ay, you may well wonder and think it odd you never heard of this before; but wonder or not, as you please, there are hundreds of such things lying about England, which wiser folk than you know nothing of, and care nothing for. Yes, it's a magnificent Roman camp, and no mistake, with gates, and ditch, and mounds, all as complete as it was twenty years after the strong old rogues left it. Here, right up on the highest point, from which they say you can see eleven counties, they trenched round all the tableland, some twelve or fourteen acres, as was their custom, for they couldn't bear any. body to overlook them, and made their eyrie. The ground falls away rapidly on all sides. Was there ever such turf in the whole world ? You sink up to your ankles at every step,
and spring of it is delicious. There is always a breeze in the “camp," as it is called ; and here it lies just as the Romans left it, except that cairn on the east side left by her Majesty's corps
and miners the other day, when they and the engineer officer had finished their sojourn there, and their surveys for the ordnance map of Berkshire. It is altogether a place that you won't forget place to open a man's soul and make him prophesy, as he looks down on the great vale spread out as the garden of the Lord before him, and wave on wave of the mysterious downs behind; and to the right and left the chalk hills running away into the distance, along which he can trace for miles the old Roman road, “the Ridgeway” (“ the Rudge,” as the country folk call it) keeping straight along the highest back of the hills; such a place as Balak
brought Balaam to, and told him to prophesy against the people in the valley beneath. And he would not; neither shall you, for they are a people of the Lord who abide there.
And now we leave the camp, and descend toward the west, and are on the Ashdown. , We are treading on heroes. It is sacred ground for Englishmen, more sacred than all but one or two fields where their bones lie whitening. For this is the actual place where our Alfred won his great battle, the battle of Ashdown (“ Æscendum” in the chroniclers), which broke the Danish power, and made England a Christian land. The Danes hed the camp and the slope where we are standing the whole crown of the hill, in fact. “ The heathen had beforehand seized the higher ground,” as old Asser says, “ having wasted everything behind them from London, and being just ready to burst down on the fair vale, Alfred's own birthplace and heritage. And up the heights came the Saxons, as they did at the Alma. The Christians led up their line from the lower ground. There stood also on that same spot a single thorn-tree, marvellous stumpy (which we ourselves with our very own eyes have seen).” Bless the old chronicler! Does he think nobody ever saw a “single thorn-tree" but himself? Why, there it stands to this very day, just on the edge of the slope, and I saw it not three weeks since; an old single thorn-tree, vellous stumpy.” At least, if it isn't the same tree, it ought to have been, for it's just in the place where the battle must have been won or lost — “ around which, as I was saying, the two lines of foemen came together in battle with a huge shout.” And in this place, one of the two kings of the heathen and five of his earls fell down and died, and many thousands of the heathen side in the same place. After which crowning mercy, the pious king, that there might never be wanting a sign and a memorial to the country-side, carved out on the northern side of the chalk hill under the camp, where it is almost precipitous, the great Saxon white horse, which he who will may see from the railway, and which gives its name to the vale, over which it has looked these thousand years and more.
II. THE MAYPOLE OF MERRY MOUNT.
This selection is taken from "Twice Told Tales."
Bright were the days at Merry Mount, when the Maypole was the banner staff of that gay colony. They who reared it, should their banner be triumphant, were to pour sunshine over New England's rugged hills, and scatter flower-seeds throughout the soil. Jollity and gloom were contending for an empire. Midsummer eve had come, bringing deep verdure to the forest, and roses in her lap of a more vivid hue than the tender buds of spring. But May, or her mirthful spirit, dwelt all the year round at Merry Mount, sporting with the summer months, and revelling with autumn, and basking in the glow of winter's fireside. Through a world of toil and care she fitted with a dream-like smile, and came hither to find a home among the lightsome hearts of Merry Mount.
Never had the Maypole been so gayly decked as at sunset on Midsummer Eve. This venerated emblem was a pine-tree, which had preserved the slender grace of youth, while it equalled the loftiest height of the old wood monarchs. From its top streamed a silken banner, colored like the rainbow. Down nearly to the ground, the pole was dressed with birchen boughs, and others of the liveliest green, and some with silvery leaves, fastened by ribbons that fluttered in fantastic knots of twenty different colors, but no sad ones. Garden flowers and blossoms of the wilderness laughed gladly forth amid the verdure, so fresh and dewy, that they must have grown by magic on that happy pine-tree. Where this green and flowery splendor terminated, the shaft of the Maypole was stained with the seven brilliant hues of the banner at its top. On the lowest green bough, hung an abundant wreath of roses, some that had been gathered in the sunniest spots of its forest, and others, of still richer Aush, which the colonists had reared from English seed. Oh, people of the Golden Age, the chief of your husbandry was to raise flowers.
But what was the wild throng that stood hand in hand about the Maypole ? It could not be that the fairies and nymphs, when driven from their classic groves and homes of ancient fable, had sought refuge, as all the persecuted did, in the fresh woods of the
West. These were Gothic monsters, though perhaps of Grecian ancestry. On the shoulders of a comely youth, up rose the head and branching antlers of a stag; a second, human in all other points, had the grim visage of a wolf; a third, still with the trunk and limbs of a mortal man, showed the beard and horns of a venerable he-goat. There was a likeness of a bear erect, brute in all but his hind legs, which were adorned with pink silk stockings. And here again, almost as wondrous, stood a real bear of the dark forest, lending each of his forepaws to the grasp of a human hand, and as ready for the dance as any in that circle. His inferior nature rose half-way to meet his companions as they stooped. Other faces wore the similitude of man or woman, but distorted or extravagant, with red noses, pendulous before their mouths, which seemed of awful depth, and stretched from ear to ear in an eternal fit of laughter. Here might be seen the Salvage Man, well known in heraldry, hairy as a baboon, and girdled with green leaves. By his side, a nobler figure, but still a counterfeit, appeared an Indian hunter, with feathery crest and wampum belt. Many of this strange company wore foolscaps, and had little bells appended to their garments, tinkling with a silvery sound, responsive to the inaudible music of their gleesome spirits. Some youths and maidens were of soberer garb, yet well maintained their places in the irregular throng, by the expression of wild revelry upon their features. Such were the colonists of Merry Mount, as they stood in the broad smile of sunset, round their venerated Maypole.
Had a wanderer, bewildered in the melancholy forest, heard their mirth, and stolen a half-affrighted glance, he might have fancied them the crew of Comus, some already transformed to brutes, some midway between man and beast, and the others rioting in the flow of tipsy jollity, that foreran the change. But a band of Puritans, who watched the scene, invisible themselves, compared the masques to those devils and ruined souls with whom their superstition peopled the black wilderness.
II. ORATORIC (HORTATORY). The purely Oratoric is distinctly dynamic, especially in its hortatory form, and is characterized by great energy. It affords excellent opportunity to practise the more forceful