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Behold how they toss their torches on high !
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods !
Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey ;
And like another Helen, fired another Troy. Give the whole stanza with force. Vary the pitch to suit the sentiment. In the first two lines, rise from the beginning in pitch; in the next two, rise still more. In compound verbs, like break asunder (third line), emphasize the last part. Stress falls on “rouse,” in the fourth line. The first "hark” (fifth line) is lower, the second
still lower in pitch. The fifth to the eighth lines should be given very fast. In the ninth line, emphasize alike the first and the second “revenge.” In the tenth line, “arise” is slightly emphasized. Stress falls on “hiss,” in the twelfth, and on sparkles,” in the thirteenth line. Prolong the double s in “hiss ;' defer the emphasis from “sparkles” to “eyes.” End the sixteenth line with either the partial or the perfect close; the first is easier here. As a rule, except in loose sentences, use one or the other, according to the variety needed in the sentence. In the twenty sixth line, “Thais" is slightly, in the twenty-eighth,“ Helen” is strongly emphasized.
Thus long ago,
And sounding lyre,
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame.
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
Let old Timothens yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown;
She drew an angel down.
In the first line, as is understood before “long ago,” and so then before “ Timotheus " in the fourth, the first six lines forming a compact sentence. In the thirteenth line, either is understood before “let old Timotheus,” the last four lines forming also a compact sentence. In the seventh line “ Cecilia,” and in the eighth," vocal frame,” are strongly emphasized. In the twelfth line, defer emphasis from “mother-wit” to “unknown before.” In the thirte, nth line, emphasize either “yield” or “prize.” In the fourteenth line, “ both” is slightly, “divide” is strongly emphasized. In the fifteenth line, “skies” may be emphasized or not, as preferred. At the end of the last line, to the earth is understood. There should be a slight pause after“she” and after “angel,” and also after“ He" in the preceding line.
BY ROBERT BROWNING.
On the sea and at the Hogue, sixteen hundred ninety-two,
Did the English fight the French-woe to France!
With the English fleet in view. Browning's verse lends itself generally to strong, but not much to soft effects; it often jars on the ear. In the first line,"sea" and "Hogue" are strongly emphasized. In the second line, woe to France” is lower in pitch; prolong “woe.” Give the last part of the third line very fast. In this line, “ blue," and in the next,“ pursue,” are given with the bend; only independent clauses beginning with like are given with the falling slide. If this is preferred here instead of the bend, make the clause " Like a crowd,” etc., independent. Do not read it like a parenthesis. After“ porpoises,” which is understood. There being a strong comparison, both “porpoises” and “sharks” should be strongly emphasized. In the last line, " in view” should be lower in pitch. 'Twas the squadron that escaped, with the victor in full chase, First and foremost of the drove, in his great ship, Damfreville ;
Close on him fled (great and small),
And they signaled to the place,
“ Help the winners of a race! Get us guidance, give us harbor, take us quick-or quicker still,
Here's the English can and will !” The first two lines mean that Damfreville, in his great ship, was first and foremost of the sqnadron that had escaped so far. In the last three lines, sing out as from a distance. Begin with the tone back in the mouth, letting it come forward as they draw near. In reality, they no doubt used flags as signals, but it is proper, for dramatic effect, to represent them as calling out. “Or quicker still,” in the seventh line, and the whole of the last line are lower in pitch. Then the pilots of the place put out brisk and leapt on board; “Why, what hope or chance have ships like these to pass ?”
laughed they ; “Rocks to starboard, rocks to port, all the passage scarred and scored,
Shall the Formidable here with her twelve and eighty guns Think to make the river-mouth by the single narrow way, Trust to enter where 'tis ticklish for a craft of twenty tons,
And with flow at full beside ?
Now 'tis slackest ebb of tide. Reach the mooring! Rather, say,
While rock stands or water runs, Not a ship will leave the bay !"
In the first line, “and leapt on board,” and “laughed they,” in the second line, are low in pitch. Before “Rocks to starboard (third line) with is understood. Make the pilots' tone very gruff. In each of the fourth, fisth and sixth lines, rise a little in pitch. Shall she is understood before “Trust to enter” (sixth line). The seventh line is lower, the eighth is higher in pitch ; in the ninth line, “Reach the mooring” is lower. Suggest in the tone: Why we never heard of such a thing. In the tenth line either rise or fall as preferred. In the fourth line, “twelve and eighty guns,” means probably that there were twelve large and eighty small ones.
Then was called a council straight;
Brief and bitter the debate; " Here's the English at our heels; would you have them take in tow All that's left us of the fleet, linked together stern and bow,
For a prize to Plymouth Sound?
Better run the ships aground !” (Ended Damfreville his speech.)
“Not a minute more to wait!
Let the captains all and each
France must undergo her fate.”
Let the tone be animated but conversational. Give the first line fast. The second should be lower in pitch. “ Bow” in the fourth line should be pronounced as if rhyming with now. The fifth line should descend in pitch. In the eighth, ninth and tenth lines, the tone should be louder, as if giving a command. The last line should be lower in pitch, with the tone of I can't help it, intense, but simple and conversational. The tenth line means go ashore, blow the vessels up and burn them. “Ashore ” and “blow up,” are given with the bend, "beach,” with the partial close. This is the correct way, but if a climax is intended, or, for the sake of variety, the partial close may come on “ashore” and “blow up.” In the last line, a short pause should follow “ France.”
“Give the word !" Put no such word
Was ever spoke or heard;
No such man of mark, and meet
With his betters to compete!
“Give the word,” in a tone of command. The second line and the last part of the first, are lower in pitch,“ heard” in the second line, still lower. In the third line “up stood,” etc., form a series. Give the fourth line with the tone of: Well, what was it? “ A Lieutenant” is higher in pitch, “first, second, third,” are climateric, as if asking a person to guess which it was. Do not give them deliberately, as if they were the heads of a sermon. “ Betters” in the sixth line is slightly emphasized. And “What mockery or malice have we here ?” cries Hervé Riel;
Are you mad, you Malouins ? Are you cowards, fools or rogues ? Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell
On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every swell, *Twixt the offing here and Grève, where the river disembogues ? Are you bought by English gold ? Is it love the lying's for ?
Morn and eve, night and day,
Have I piloted your bay, Entered free and anchored fast at the foo Solidor. Burn the flect and ruin France ! That were worse than fifty Hogues ! Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there's a way!
Give this stanza with the natural changes of the voice, not square and hard. “Shoals” in the third line is given with the partial close or else with the bend; the last part of the line rises in pitch.
What mockery or malice,” etc. (first line), is the same as stuff and nonsense. “Talk to me of rocks and shoals,” etc. (third line), expresses I know the whole way minutely. The first part of the sixth line forms an antithesis with the last part. In the ninth line the emphasis may be deferred from “fast” to “Solidor.” The tenth line is lower in pitch, the first part of the eleventh is louder and higher, the last part, a little lower in pitch. Avoid deep, hard inflection. Give “Sirs, believe me there's a way" in the tone of: They say there's no way. I say there is !
'Only let me lead the line,
Make the others follow mine,
Right to Solidor, past Grère,
And if one ship misbehave,
Keel so much as grate the ground, Why, I've nothing but my life; here my head !” cries Herré Riel.
Line" in the first, “steer” in the second, and “clear in the third line, are given with the partial close; "mine" in the fourth, “well” in the fifth, and “Solidor” in the sixth, with the bend. “Grève” in the sixth, and "life" and "head” in the last line, are given with the partial close. Say, “Why, I've nothing but my life,” etc., in an indifferent, careless tone.