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tions. Why then are we called on to reject them, and to be content with rising and falling inflections,' words used now to express one meaning, now another, never defined, in fact wholly unintelligible? Till it can be shown that two such terms are in truth sufficient to designate intelligibly and without confusion all the multiplied combinations of radical and concrete pitch in speech, we cannot adopt them. Till the more precise arrangement given here and in the Grammar, is proved actually faulty; till experiment fair and decisive has overthrown, what experiment alone originally discovered, we cannot consent to abandon it, however some may cavil at its refine
The same line of argument holds good on all the other points of the system as on these. The modifications of force and stress, the essential conditions of agreeable long quantity, the rules of accent, the principles of analysis, are all of them to be found in nature. We are not at liberty to reject or pass by any of them.
But it may be asked, Is nothing to be done, then, to render the study of Elocution easy? Are we, on account of the general difficulty of the way, to leave untouched the many stumbling-blocks which the road presents? By no means. All we say is, Let the road go really through the intended country. If the region be hilly, make the road as level as you can; but do not carry it through another district. Any thing that may be done to render easy the way of communicating truth, difficult or not, it will be well
to do. Any departure from the real truths of a science, to something else more specious, is mere trifling; it is worse than trifling; it is deception. Whether or not all that can be done in this respect has really been accomplished, in the Grammar and in this work, is another question, which it is not competent for their author to decide. The utmost he can do, is, to acknowledge the attempt.
But still there may remain a separate objection to the peculiar design of the present work. Is it not impossible to teach young children an art, which, on our own showing, is so far from being the simple, straight-forward affair, contrived in the old books of Elocution? Why not be content with the endeavor to make young men good speakers, without thus forcing the task on the attention of the child? The answer is a simple one. It is in childhood that bad habits of delivery are least deeply rooted, that the voice is found to be most flexible, and best fitted for improvement. As the pupil advances in years, his bad habits are all the while increasing in number and in force; and the effort requisite to overthrow them is consequently becoming in the same proportion Practise the child on a course of exèrcises fitted to prevent him from ever falling into these mistakes, teach him that certain ways of speaking convey always certain meanings, make him read and talk with a constant reference to this knowledge, and you will have gained a most important point. The great source of difficulty will be then removed. You will have the child thus previously trained com
paratively free from faults in his elocution, and therefore ready, as he grows older, to appreciate and attain the highest excellencies of speech. Indeed, till some such means be generally resorted to, we know not how a fair trial can be made of the utility of instruction in Elocution: As long as men are left for twenty years or more, to acquire without restraint any defects of utterance they may chance to pick up, it will continue next to impossible even to reform their faults, by a few months only of study and practice. The earlier the required preparation is begun, the further may the after process be pushed.
And all this can be done, nay, is done, in the kindred art of music. All the mysteries of musical science are now actually in process of communication to large classes of mere children in this very city. These children have nothing of importance left unexplained or unpractised. They are exercised in the most thorough and elementary manner, beginning at the very rudiments, and proceeding regularly through the whole,—no part of the system being left till fully mastered.—The success of this plan, as we need not say to any who have ever attended Mr. Lowell Mason's juvenile classes, is surprising. The performances of the children are correct and tasteful, their acquaintance with the principles of the art they practise, astonishing. And all this is done with no great labor to the pupil, and with no great loss of time to the teacher. The entire secret lies, in attending strictly to one thing at a time. This great principle of the Pestalozzian system, we have en
deavored to extend to the course of exercises directed in this work.
Nor is it in music only, that the application of this principle has been found of such signal benefit to the young. All the superiority of the modern improvements in education, over the old plans which they have superseded, may be traced to their adoption of it. The system of mental arithmetic, for example, contained in the very valuable arithmetical works of Mr. Colburn, is based entirely on it. The unprecedented success which has followed their introduction into almost the earliest schools in the country, is an unanswerable argument in its favor.
So much then for the objections which may be brought against the utility of the early course of practice which we recommend in Elocution. Wel may now ask in return, Is not the study of the last importance? We have shown already, that it is only by beginning our instruction in this department early, that we can hope ever to reap its full advantages. It may now be added, that the department itself is not by any means a merely optional one. Music and the other fine arts, however pleasing, and even sometimes useful, are yet far from being essential to a man's success in life. They are accomplishments, elegant indeed, and well worth considerable trouble in attaining, but still nothing but accomplishments. But with Elocution every man must have to do. It is an essential part of every body's business. To some it may no doubt be of more consequence than to others; but to all it must be, one day or other,
an object of some consequence.—And if every one must on occasion be repeatedly called to read and speak, under circumstances which may render it to their interest to do it well, is it not advisable that every one should take that course, by which alone they can reasonably hope to insure the power, whenever it may be wanted?
There are two circumstances connected with this mode of teaching Elocution, which, as they are very commonly lost sight of, it may be well to notice. The first is, we do not profess to have invented a way, by studying which a man may speak well when he tries. tries. Our object is to show the pupil the way, the only way, in which he or any body else can speak effectively.—The modes of expressing feeling, which we have enumerated, are all natural, the very same which every one has to use, in order naturally to express them. How then can a knowledge of them make a man's delivery artificial ?
The second point is, that we do not direct the pupil to be thinking of his Elocution, at the time when he may be really engaged in public speaking. It is a point on which we insist, as strenuously as the opposers of our system can, that any one who does so give attention to delivery, will be formal and artificial. A man's whole soul must, all the time he is speaking, be devoted to his subject, in order that he may perfectly understand and thoroughly feel what he has to say. If for a single sentence his attention wander from the matter to the manner, his ability to do it justice will be materially diminished. But what