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Elocution teaches the effective expression of thought and feeling by voice and gesture.
Oratory (which may be held for the purpose of this statement to include the art of the actor and the reader) presents three requirements, all essential, though contributory in different proportions, to its full perfection.
1. The speaker must be heard. Without this, the rest is useless.
2. He must be understood. The hearer must receive the thought which his propositions are intended to convey. Without this, it can scarcely be said that he is heard.
3. He must be felt. The hearer must be made to recognize the mood of passion, conviction, earnestness, mirth, etc., in which the proposition thús understood is advanced by the speaker. The aim of the orator may be to communicate his own state of mind, and to produce a corresponding belief or purpose. The means of effecting this object, so far as they reside in effective utterance, belong to the art of Elocution.
The mechanical department of this art comprises the culture of the voice, artistic respiration, articulation, pronunciation, gesture, and all the external conditions which conduce to effective expression.
Intellectual elocution is the art of expressing thought and feeling effectively in the use of language. It may
be considered under three fundamental distinctions, viz. :
(1) Of pitch (or high and low), treated under Melody; (2) of force (or loud and soft), treated under Dynamics ; (3) of time (or fast and slow), treated under Rate and Rhythm. To these may be added a fourth consideration, of Tone-Quality, having reference to the various coloring which the voice assumes to express different kinds of emotion.
Melody, to which this manual is confined, comprises inflection and emphasis. The latter, however, will be treated as essentially a branch of the general subject of inflection. They are here mentioned separately, in deference to the popular understanding (See Observation 1, p. 69).
Dynamics treats of stress, and (by the rule of opposites) pauses and punctuation.
Rate and Rhythm refer,—the former, to the positive degree of rapidity in utterance; the latter, to that relation of syllables to each other in respect to time, by which a measured and harmonious flow is given to spoken language.
Tone-Quality includes a consideration of all vocal characteristics as intrinsically adapted to express emotion, and is particularly important in every form of dramatic personation.
The following definitions of rhetorical terms used in this book are given for the practical convenience of students, and not as expressing a complete or peculiar grammatical system:
I. A sentence is a combination of words expressing an idea completely; as, "Truth is eternal."
II. Every sentence consists of a subject and a predicate.