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For every fugitive; and when thou thus
Shalt stand impleaded at the high tribunal
Of hoodwinked Justice,- who shall tell thy audit?

Then stay the present instant, dear Horatio ; Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings; 'Tis of more worth than kingdoms! far more precious Than all the crimson treasures of life's fount. 0 1 let it not elude thy grasp, But, like the good old pātriarch* upon rec'ord, Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.

NATHANIEL COTTON.

(1707 — 1788.)

CXXIV

SPECIAL EXERCISES IN ELOCUTION.

PART III.

Rap'inE n.,

FI'BER or FIBRE, n., a slender thread. / OM'I-NOUS, a., foreboding ill. SCEP'TER or SCEPÔTRE, n., a short staff PAL'PA-BLE, a., that may be felt; borne by kings.

gross ; evident. SHAM'BLES, n. pl., a flesh-market. EP'I-TAPH (ep'e-taf), n., an inscription act of plundera

on a tomb. EP'I-THET, n., an adjective denoting a COL-LO'QUI-AL, a., pertaining to or quality,

used in conversation. Ex-CHEQ'UER (eks-chěk'er), n., an AU-RO'RA, n., the dawning light; the

English court for revenue cases. morning. PAR'A-SITE, N., one who fawns on the UN-IM-PEACHED', a., not accused. rich.

Pronounce Schiller, Shil'ler ; Wallenstein, Vallen-stine (a as in far.)

Professor. In our last conversation, we considered the obvious fact that the voice may be exercised in three ranges, or pitches, namely, the high, the middle, and the low. It is in the middle range that it has the greatest variety; and this range includes the toneg which we habitually make use of when we speak to a person at a moderate distance from us.

* An allusion to Jacob's wrestling with the angel (Genesis, chap. 32, verses 24, 26.) Jacob says: “I will not let thee go until thòu bless me." See the beautiful lines, page 189.

+ For Part I., see page 91 ; Part II., page 195.

Student. Our present tones, as I understand it, aro in this middle pitch. Walker tells us that the voice naturally slides into a higher key when we want to speak louder, but not so easily into a lower key when we would speak more softly.

Pro. Yes; experience shows us that we can raise our voice to any pitch it is capable of; but the same experience tells us that it requires much art and practice to bring the voice to a lower key when it is once raised too high.

Stu. What am I to understand by the o'ro-tund quality of voice ?

Pro. The word is made up of two Latin words, o're and rotun'do, and literally means with a round mouth. It was first introduced, I believe, by Dr. James Rush, in his work on the Voice; and he simply meant by it that ampler middle tone which one might employ before a large public audience, as distinguished from the more colloquial pitch which we might use in address: ing a friend at the breakfast table. The following passage, from Lord Chatham's speech, of November 18, 1777, on the American war, ought to be delivered with the orotund body and fullness, although, with the exception of the last impassioned sentence, it should be given in the middle pitch. Try it.

Stu. The difficulty will be, I think, to preserve that middle quality of voice. I fear that, in aiming at the orotund, I shall reach the high; but I will do my best:

“ You can not, I venture to say it, you CAN NOT conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may swell every expense, and strain every effort, still more extravagantly; accumulate every assistance you can beg or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German prince, that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign country; your efforts are forever vain and im'potent, doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irri. bates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the sordid sons of rapine and of plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I NEVER would lay down my arms ! never! never! never !

Pro. In order to acquire strength in the middle tones, it is well to practice the voice in passages like the preceding, and some from Cicero's speeches, preserving all the energy of which we are capable in the middle range, but not suffering the voice to rise to a very high pitch. Here is something in a different vein; but, in the delivery, the voice should be in the middle pitch, and have an orotund smoothness and purity of tone:

“I care not, Fortune, what you me deny;

You can not rob me of free Nature's grace ;
You can not shut the windows of the sky,

Through which Auroʻra shows her brightening face ;
You can not bar my constant feet to trace

The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve.
Let Health my nerves and finer fibers brace,

And I their toys to the great children leave : Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave!” Byron's Apostrophe to the Ocean affords a good exercise in orotund delivery. Select, now, a passage to suit your own taste.

Stu. I will read Job's noble description of the war. horse,-taking Noyes's translation:

“ Hast thou given the horse strength ?

Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
Hast thou taught him to bound like the locust?
How majestic his snorting ! how terrible !
He paweth in the valley; he exulteth in his strength,
And rusheth into the midst of arms.
He laugheth at fear; he trembleth not,
And turneth not back from the sword.
Against him rattleth the quiver,

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The flaming spear, and the lance.
With rage and fury he devoureth the ground;
He standeth not still when the trumpet soundeth.
He saith among the trumpets, Aha! aha!
And snuffeth the battle afar off,-

The thunder of the captains, and the war-shout.”
Pro. The reply of Grattan to Corry furnishes the
following impassioned example:

- The right honorable gentleman has called me an unimpeached traitor.' I ask, why not traitor,' unqualified by any epithet? I will tell him : it was because he dare not! It was the act of a coward, who raises his arm to strike, but has not courage to give the blow! I will not call him villain, because it would be unparliamentary, and he is a privy councilor. I will not call him fool, because he happens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I say he is one who has abused the privilege of Parliament, and the freedom of debate, to the uttering language which, if spoken out of this House, I should answer only with a blow! I care not how high his situation, how low his character, how contemptible his speech ; whether a privy councilor or a parasite, - my answer would be a blow !”

Portia's celebrated address, from Shakspeare's Merchant of Venice, 'affords one of the most beautiful exercises in the language for a pure orotund delivery, in middle pitch, unbroken by passion. It can not be too often and carefully practiced:

“ The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed :
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes ;
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronëd monarch better than his crown:
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings ;
But mercy is above the sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's

When mercy seasons justice : therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation : we do

pray

for

mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy.” But we have now to consider the question of low pitch. “There are few voices,” says Walker, “so perfect as to combine the three ranges, or, in other words, a full compass of voice; those which have a good lower range often wanting an upper range, and those which have a good upper range often wanting a lower range. Care should be taken to improve that part of the voice which is most deficient.” The following beautiful passage, from Coleridge's translation of Schiller's “ Wallenstein,” presents an example for practice. It begins in quite a low pitch, in the tone - almost a whisperof tearful anguish and despondency; but at the eighteenth line the voice rises; and the twentieth and twenty-first lines should be delivered in the high pitch of abandonment to an overmastering sentiment, of enthusiasm and regret:

“ He is gone - is dust!
He, the more fortunate! yea, he hath finished !
For him there is no longer any future.
His life is bright- bright without spot it was,
And can not cease to be. No ominous hour
Knocks at his door with tidings of mishap.
Far off is he, above desire and fear;
No more submitted to the change and chance
Of the unsteady planets. 0, 't is well
With him! but who knows what the coming hour,
Veiled in thick darkness, brings for us?

This anguish will be wearied down, I know ;
What pang is permanent with man? From the highest,
As from the vilest thing of every day,
He learns to wean himself; for the strong hours
Conquer him. Yet I feel what I have lost
In him. . The bloom is vanished from my life.

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