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ELOCUTION AND DECLAMATION.
ANALYSIS OF PRINCIPLES.
"ELOCUTION includes the whole theory and practice of the principles which govern the outward exhibition of the inward workings of the mind."
In standing or sitting, the person should be erect; the shoulders well thrown back, weight resting mainly on either right or left foot, when standing. Be perfectly free and easy in your position, let no part of the body be contracted in any manner.
Daily practice of deep breathing develops the power of the lungs and the volume of the voice. Always breathe through the nose. Place thumbs upon abdomen, throw the shoulders back, inhale long breath, exhale, placing the lips so as to form element "o." Change position and again continue the practice.
It has been decided by physicians that more cases of hoarseness, pulmonary consumption, etc., come from improper breathing than all other causes combined. Too much stress cannot be placed upon the above exercise.
Embarrassment ever presents itself as the first barrier to theung reader. Several causes may produce it; yet the
chief cause is improper use of the breathing apparatus. The moment before a person is about to read or speak, he frequently works himself into a sort of an excitement, and takes short and quick breaths. A few moments after he begins to read, he overcomes this; yet a blunder on the first sentence often causes a total failure. A calm, modest, yet commanding bearing carries with it a world of weight: To overcome embarrassment, keep in mind this simple rule, Inhale and exbale four long breaths just before you allempt to speak or read. Hundreds of my students will attest its value; the causes are cited above.
Stammering may result from several causes. be some defect in the organs of speech; such being the case, physicans have pronounced it incurable. It generally results from embarrassment and haste. We would follow the same principle as in embarrassment, simply: Divide the attention, and the stammerer is cured. Those that stammer sing with ease. Take a person that stammers, request him to strike his hand on table, book, or something, and count with you; next let him speak words instead of counting and he will not stammer. By beating time when he speaks, his attention is divided, and soon stammering, which is habit in nine cases out of ten, will be completely cured.
Much has been said and written on the culture of the human voice, and in a brief treatise like this we do not propose to enter into a full consideration of the breathing and vocal apparatus. We would refer the student to Rush on the Human Voice." We will confine our remarks mainly to the exposition of principles that will work results.
Voice comes to us like other of God's gifts, not perfect. We lisp before we speak; yet men in this practical world ofttimes regard this gift as perfect and complete in itself, not a talent to be cultivated and developed by proper study.