Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of

[ocr errors]

66

ings which tempt us to cast the memory solicit

throw remembrance winter,

or the fear

of its recurrence out the winter months,

dread

their return of our minds. The air

is mild and balmy, thoughts.

atmosphere

" bland fragrant, with, now and then, a cool gush by no means unoccasionally, " fresh rush

not

displeasant, but on the contrary, contributing towards agreeable, rather conducive

to that peculiar and cheering feeling

which we special exhilarating sensation experience only in spring.' feel

" the opening season of the year.*

66

66

[ocr errors]

(X.) ANALYSIS OF COMPOSITION. - In this department, the study of words is carried into the elementary part of rhetoric, as a step essential to the completing of a course of exercises on words. The perfect fitness of a word for the purpose of expression, requires, in many cases, attention to something more than merely its etymological signification, or a strictly logical definition of its import. Regard must be paid to its suggestive power to prompt the imagination and touch the heart. Its influence exerted on the mind by the laws of association, must be considered. This relation of language becomes an important object of attention in the discipline which prepares the student for the appreciation not only of the higher strains of eloquence and of poetry, but for the perception of truth, force, or beauty, of expression, in any form of composition.

The appropriateness, therefore, of even a single * The design of the above form of exercise, is, as in translating from a foreign language, to give the nearest synonyms to the words of the text, without regard, for the moment, to the comparative inferiority of style necessarily attending the secondary language of translation, when contrasted with that of the original. Substitution of terms, and approximation of sense, are all that we require.

word, becomes justly a subject of study, and a theme for practice, in connection with the requisitions of rhetorical criticism, in that department of the science which treats of the different characteristics of style, as prescribed by the nature of different subjects. This inseparable connection between subject, thought, and expression, suggests the necessity of a course of critical training in the analysis of composition, by which the character of the subject, and the train of thought, suggested by it, are ascertained and defined, with a view to determine the fitness not only of a given style of diction, or form of phraseology, but of a single word to give expression to an idea.

The practical exercise in this department, consists in the careful analysis of a composition, for the purpose of placing clearly before the mind, the subject of the piece; the train of thought followed by the author; the character of his ideas, as to their adaptation, in detail, to his subject, and to its developement in expression; his rhetorical traits of style, as harmonising with his theme and his ideas; and his consequent choice of words, in the details of expression. — This part of a word-exercise will be found more fully stated in the Section headed “ Exercise X."

EXERCISE I.

ORTHOËPY.

Introductory Explanations.* — The design of the following exercises, is to secure the benefits of a thorough course of study and practice, in their respective branches. The first object, therefore, presented for attention, in the analysis of words, is their orthoëpy, or correct pronunciation. This order is adopted not merely because, in actual experience, from infancy onward, the learner has his attention attracted to spoken language before written, but from the fact that, in dictating a word to be spelled, whether orally or in writing, by the pupil, the teacher necessarily gives it out orally, and, in the practice of careful instructors, the pupil is directed to repeat

the word orally, before spelling it. The learner's attention is thus, whether consciously or unconsciously, directed to the pronunciation of the word, before he can determine its orthography.

Form of Exercise. — A convenient mode of prescribing the orthoëpical part of an exercise on words, is as follows. The teacher directs the pupils of a class to prepare themselves carefully, beforehand, for the exact pronunciation of every

* The explanatory observations intended for the student, and the practical suggestions addressed to the teacher, are, throughout this volume, presented in smaller type, and are meant to be read, merely. The exercise to be prescribed, or performed, is uniformly distinguished by larger type.

word in their reading lesson for the day; so that he may call on any individual for any word selected from it, to be discussed in the following manner: (1.) pronouncing the whole word, with the true, full, and exact sound of every syllable, and of every letter which is not a silent one, in the manner in which the word is properly uttered in public reading or speaking; (2.) enunciating separately, and with perfect distinctness, every syllable of the word, as a group of sounds; (3.) articulating, with perfect exactness, the sound not the name — of every letter which is not a silent one, in every syllable, successively; (4.) after this analysis, repeating the proper pronunciation of the whole word, in a full, clear, distinct, but easy

and fluent manner. Suggestions to Teachers. In the “3d” part of this exercise, the names of letters are superseded by their sounds, and are therefore dropped as unneces: sary in an advanced lesson in orthoëpy; although, in primer and spelling-book lessons, the naming of every letter, and the repetition of every syllable, are equally important, as securities for close attention to details, and for consequent accuracy in pronunciation.

Teachers to whom the subject of phonography is familiar, will find the application of that method of indicating orthoëpy a useful means of securing definite and exact attention to the true sound of every letter and syllable of a word. The phonographic writing, on the blackboard, of every word of the lesson, selected for practice in orthoëpy, may advantageously follow the “4th” part of the oral lesson described above. Teachers who prefer, for the purpose of such an exercise, the use of the orthoëpical notation adopted in the dictionaries of Worcester

and Webster, will find it serviceable, though not so precise as that employed in the phonographic method.

Three classes of words, in lessons on orthoëpy, require particular attention: (1.) the frequently recurring monosyllables, to, of, and, with, the, etc., which, owing to their comparative unimportance, are so liable to be slighted or corrupted, through negligence; (2.) words which are commonly mispronounced in popular and juvenile usage; and in regard to which the ear is prone to be misled, through the prevalence of false habit; (3.) rare and difficult words, particularly proper names. All such words should be brought up more frequently for discussion, and should be more carefully practised, than others,—sometimes in simultaneous utterance by the whole class.

In assigning the daily lesson in orthoëpy, the teacher may properly dwell, in anticipation, on such words as are liable to diversity of pronunciation, and prescribe the style which, in his own judgment, is to be preferred. When conducting the exercise, at the time appropriated for recitation, the teacher may, as a. security for careful previous study, on the part of the pupils, write, in customary orthographical form, selected words, on the blackboard, and require of the class, or of an individual, to give successively, as mentioned before, the pronunciation of the words, the enunciation of their syllables, and the articulation of the sounds of their letters. It will be a useful variation of method to invert the process, and, instead of the analytic form, to adopt the constructive one, and commence with the sounds of the letters, proceed to the enunciation of the syllables, and thence to the pronunciation of the words, successively.

It will be found a very useful, as well as highly interesting, form of exercise, to have the pupils themselves, in turn, take, for the time, the place of teacher, and conduct such a lesson as has been de

« AnteriorContinuar »