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depends on the exercise of the living voice, and cannot, therefore, be indicated with exactness in any written explanations on the subject. It may be spoken of, in general, as a middle point between extremes. But, with the aid of an instructor, the learner will not find it difficult to be ascertained.

The error in the inflection of the common metre stanzas, is to be rectified by referring to the lesson on inflections and that on tones.

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RUDIMENTS OF GESTURE.

INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS,

ADDRESS, as a combination of speech and action, directs itself to the mind, through the ear and the eye. Regarded as an art, it consists, accordingly, of two parts, -elocution, or the regulated functions of the voice,--and gesture, or the proper management of the body.

The subject of elocution has been discussed in the preceding pages. Gesture derives its existence from the necessary sympathy of mind and body. It is by no means a mere product of art. A sympathetic action of the outward frame, in correspondence with the activity of the mind, is necessarily exerted in the communication of thought and feeling, and results from a law of man's constitution. The repression of such action may, it is true, become an habitual trait in the character of individuals and of nations; so may the opposite characteristic of redundancy in gesture. Examples of these extremes are furnished in the rigid stillness of body, which is customary in the elocution of Scotland, or of New England, and in the ceaseless movement and gesture of the French.

Education, too, has a powerful influence on delivery. The exclusive application of the understanding, a too passive continuance of attention, or a nativé sluggishness of habit, indulged, has a tendency to quell or prevent emotion, and to keep back its corporeal indications; while the habitual and unrestrained play of imagination, or of feeling, impels to vivid expression in tone, and to the visible manifestations of attitude and action. Hence the contrasts of manner exhibited in the delivery of the studious and sedentary, or the phlegmatic, and that of the active, the gay, or the imaginative;both of which usually run to excess, producing the morbid style of lifelessness and inaction, or the puerile manner of mere animal vivacity.

Education, as the great agent in human improvement, aims not at a local, or particular, but an ideal and general excellence in man. Early culture, therefore, should be so directed as to free the mental habits, and their external traces, from the injurious influences of imperfect or erroneous example, and to give the youthful powers that free and generous scope, which their full development requires. The standard of perfection in address should be formed on no views limited merely by the arbitrary customs of a community, perhaps by the corrupting influence of neglect or perversion, as regards the discipline of imagination and taste. The genuine style of eloquence is that, surely, which gives the strongest, freest, and truest expression to the natural blending of thought and emotion within the human breast;-breaking through all arbitrary restraint, and submitting only to the guidance of reason,–or, rather, listening intuitively to its suggestions.

The common errors of judgment and taste, on this subject, seem to lie in the supposition that thought and feeling may be separated in their expression. Every day furnishes examples of speakers, who, from the coldness of their manner, seem to think that they can succeed in imparting sentiment without emotion,-and of those, whose rhetorical and mechanical warmth appears to aim at eloquence by emotion not founded on thought.

The tendency of deep interest, and of earnest, cordial emphasis, is always to impart impulse to the arm, as well as to the voice. The instruction, therefore, or the example, which inculcates the suppression of gesture, is defective and injurious; as it checks the free action both of body and mind. The unlimited indulgence of fancy, or the ungoverned expression of feeling, on the other hand, leads either to a puerile or merely passionate manner, and loses the influence of intellect, in a false excitement of emotion.

A good address is that which, in the first place, may be briefly characterized by the epithet manly. It possesses force,-consequently exemption from all forms of weakness;-freedom, (a natural consequence of force,) implying exemption from constraint and embarrassment. These are the first and indispensable rudiments of action. Next in importance, is an appropriate or discriminating style,--the result of genius, or of successful discipline, which adapts itself to different occasions, subjects, and sentiments; varying as circumstances require, and avoiding every impropriety of manner, whether arising from personal habit, or temporary inadvertency and error. Last in order, and as a negative quality, chiefly, may be mentioned grace, or those modes of action which obey nature's laws of symmetry and motion, from the intuitive perception of beauty, and the disciplined or natural subjection of the muscular system to the ascendancy of mind and taste.

These elementary principles are all that have been deemed important in the instruction attempted in the following pages. All else, it is thought, may best be left to the mind and manner of the individual, which, if not perverted or neglected, would, perhaps, render direct instruction, in any case, comparatively unimportant.

The effects of accomplished oratory are to be looked for from no single source: they are the fruits of the whole course of mental culture embraced in education. The end of this manual will have been fully accomplished, if teachers are enabled, by the use of it, to lay, in season, the foundation of habit; so as to preserve the style of their pupils from the prominent faults of uncultivated or perverted taste.*

The rules and principles illustrated in the following pages, are chiefly drawn from that rich and copious volume, Austin's Chironomia,—but modified as experience has suggested, and adapted to the details of practical instruction.

The above work on Gesture, and that of Dr. Rush on the Voice, afford the fullest instruction in Oratory, that has yet been presented in the English, if not in any other language.

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