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Another great defect in modulation arises from an unskillful effort to avoid the monotone. It consists in a periodical elevation of the voice, both in pitch and volume, on one or more words in every sentence; while it gently undulates upon the rest, varying but little from the monotone. Let the words in small capitals in the following example, be pronounced with a fuller voice, and on a higher key than the rest, and this manner of reading will be exhibited.
"Our sight is the most perfect, and most delightful of all our senses. It illa the mind with the largest VARIETY of ideas, converses with its objects at GREATEST distance, and continues the longest in action without being TIRED OF satiated with its proper enjoyments."
There is one other manner of reading deserving of notice. It is sometimes adopted in the pulpit, from the mistaken notion that it adds solemnity to the subject matter. It consists in adopting two tones of voice, generally two or four notes distant from each other, and pronouncing every word upon these notes, changing alternately from one to the other. The difference between this manner, and that exhibited in the last example, is, that in this, several words are often sounded upon the higher note in succession, and on the remaining words there is no variation from the monotone. This manner may be exhibited by reading the words in Roman letters, in the example follow. ing, in a strictly monotonous manner, and the words in Italic a minor third, or tone and semitone above them :
"I tell you though you, though all the world, though an angel from heaven, should declare the truth of it, I would not believe it."
The learner will find much benefit in practicing upon examples like the foregoing: by doing it understandingly, he will be led to the discovery of his own peculiarity of manner, if he have any, and be able to apply the corrective.
VII. The reading of Verse. The same rules may in general be observed in the reading of verse, that apply to prose. There is, however, a peculiar charm in poetry, which entitles it to a few additional remarks.
First-Although the beauty of poetry consists in the smoothness and harmony of its numbers, the poetic measure should not be permitted to destroy the sense by usurping the proper emphasis or accent. We sometimes hear sentences like the following, read thus :
“False elo-quence, like the prismatic glass,
An exile from Ameri-ca."
when the metrical and the customary accent do not unite upon one syllable, they can both be indulged, as in the following:
"Our su-preme fơe in time may much relent.” It is a general rule, however, that neither the rights of the customary accent, nor the emphasis, should be infringed.
There are two kinds of pauses which belong to poetry: the cæsural pause, which falls about the middle of the line, and the pause at the end of it. In poetry in which the cæsural pause unites with a division made by the sense, the line is harmonious, as in the following:
"Warms in the sun, I refreshes in the breeze,
Spreads undivided, Il operates unspent." But when the cæsural pause requires a place which the sense de nies to it, a difficulty occurs. The only alternative in such cases is to regard the sense, and let the poet be answerable for the consequence. The following presents a case of this kind :
"I sit, with sad civility I read.” Here the sense requires the pause after sit, and it would do it violence not to observe it, although the melody would require it after sad, where the sense denies the least suspension of the voice.
In reading blank verse, the sense often requires no pause at the end of the line; but the best writers on this subject agree, that however intimately connected one line may be with the next following, in sense, there should be a sufficient suspension of the voice at the end, to enable a hearer to distinguish one line from another. The following will illustrate it:
"O! blest of Heaven, whom not the languid songs
To charm the enlivened soul.” Walker, in speaking of this pause, says,—"The affectation which most writers of blank verse have of extending the sense beyond the line, is followed by a similar affectation in the printer, who will often omit a pause at the end of a line in verse, when he would have inserted one in prose; and this affectation is carried still farthet by the reader, who will run the sense of one line into another where there is the least opportunity for doing it, in order to show that he is too sagacious to suppose that there is any conclusion in the sense, be cause the line concludes."
When the vowels e and o in poetry are apostrophized, their sound should not be entirely omitted; but should be spoken in a manner so light, as easily to unite with the following syllable. The following is an example:
“But of the two less dangʻrous is th' offense,
NEW ENGLISH READER.
PIECES IN PROSE.
The great business of man, is, to improve his mind and govern his manners.
The whole universe is his library; conversation living studies; and remarks upon them are his best tutors.
Learning is the temperance of youth, the comfort of old age, and the only sure guide to honor and preferment.a
Aristotleb says, that to become an able man in any profession whatever, three things are necessary,—which are, nature, study, and practice.
To endure present evils with patience, and wait for expected good with long suffering, is equally the part of the christian and the hero.
Adversityo overcome, is the highest glory; and willingly undergone, the greatest virtue: sufferings are but the trials of gallant spirits.
It is a Spanish maximd_he who loses wealth, loseth much; he who loseth a friend, loseth more; but he who loseth his spirits, loseth all.
There is no man so contemptible, but who, in distress, re quires pity. It is inhuman to be altogether insensible to another's misery.
Envyf is fixed only on merit; and, like a sore-eye, is offended with every thing that is bright.
Never employ yourself to discern the faults of others; but be careful to amend and prevent your own. a Prefer'ment, advancement to office. d Max'-im, an established principle. 6 Ar-is-to-tle, a wise man of Greece e In-sens'-i-ble, destitute of feeling. C Ad-vers'-i-ty, affliction, calamity. J'En'-vy, pain 'excited by another's pros
There is an odiousa spirit in many persons, who are better pleased to detect a fault, than commend a virtue.
The worthiest people are most injured by slanderers; as we usually find that to be the best fruit, which the birds have been picking at.
If some are refined, like gold, in the furnace of affliction, there are many more, who, like chaff, are consumed in it. Sorrow, when it is excessive, b takes away fervor from piety, vigor from action, health from the body, light from reason, and repose from the conscience.
The expectation of future happiness, is the best relief of anxious thoughts, the most perfect cure of melancholy, the guide of life, and the comfort of death.
Fear unruly passions more than the arrows of an enemy; and the slavery of them more than the fetters of a conqueror.
It is more prudent to pass by trivial“, offenses, than to quarrel for them: by the last you are even with your adver.. sary, but by the first above him.
Restrain yourself from being too fiery and flaming in matters of argument. Truth often suffers more from the heat of its defenders, than from the argument of its opposers. Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those who offer it.
When a man loses his integrity, he loses the foundation of his virtue.
A contented mind is a continual feast; and the pleasure of the banquet is greatly augmented, by knowing that each man may become his own entertainer.
Senecad says, there is no difference between possessing a thing, and not desiring it.
Be very cautious of speaking or believing any ill of your neighbors ; but be much more cautious of making hasty reports of them to their disadvantage.
Upon whatsoever foundation happiness is built, when that foundation fails, happiness must be destroyed; for which reason, it is wisdom to choose such a foundation for it, as is not liablee to destructive accidents.
We must never undervalue any person. The workman loves not that his work should be despised in his presence. God is present every where, and every person is his work.
What good is it to the blind, that his parents could see? What benefit is it to the dumb, that his grandfather was elo quent ?! Even so, what is it to the mean, that their predecessors were noble ? a O'-di-ous, hateful, very offensive. d Sen'e-ca, a Roman philosopher. • Ex-cess-ive, exceeding just limits. e Li'-a-ble, subject, responsible. cTrial, small, trifling.
J El-o-quent, speaking with elegance.
Man is born for society; without which, virtue would have no followers; the world would be without allurements, and life without pleasures.
It is natural for us to contract the passions as well as the habits of those with whom we are familiar; to follow their vices as well as to imitate their virtues.
Be sincere in all your words, prudent in all your actions, and obliging in all your manners.
He who begins an affair without judgment, ought not to be surprised if it end without success.
If justice direct you in the pursuit of gain, tranquillity will attend you in the enjoyment of it.
He who looks upon the misfortunes of others with indifference, ought not to be surprised if they behold his own without compassion.
Seriousness is the greatest wisdom, temperance the best medicine, and a good conscience the best estate.
The two great ornaments of virtue, which exhibit her in fairest colors, are cheerfulness and good nature.
He is truly wise, who can patiently endure evil, and rationally enjoy good.
We are more indebted to our parents than to all the world besides. To other persons we may owe much, but to them weowe ourselves. Ifingratitude to others, therefore, be hateful, that which is shown to parents is most horrid and de testable.
The human soul is too noble in itself to be confined to the contemplation of earth, or the enjoyment of vanity.
Make a proper use of your time; and remember that when it is once gone it can never be recalled.
Attend diligently to thy business; it will keep thee from wickedness, from poverty, and from shame.
He who harbors malice in his heart, will find to his sorrow, that a viper has been nourished in his bosom.
Men make themselves ridiculous, not so much by the qualities they have, as by the affectation of those they havenot.
To say little and perform much, is the characteristic of a great mind.
No preacher is so successful as time. It gives a turn to thought to the aged, which it was impossible to inspire while they were young.
The injuries we do, and those we suffer, are seldom weighed in the same balance.
Men generally put a greater value upon the favors they bestow, than upon those they receive.
a In-grat'-i-tude, want of a due sense of 6 Af-fect-a'tion, conceit, formality, favor