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To adapt the above exercise to the Contralto and Bass voice, it must be transposed a third or fourth lower. This mark PP
is designed to indicate the swelling tone; the double comma before each note, the place for breathing
PIECES FOR PRACTICE.
Exercise I. – A SEA VOYAGE. — Irving.
[This extract exemplifies, in its diction, the forms of narrative, descriptive, and didactic style. The emotions arising from the subject and the language, are those of tranquillity, wonder, admiration, pathos, and awe.
The first of these emotions prevails through the first two paragraphs, and produces, in the vocal “ expression," pure tone,' decreasing gradually from gentle “expulsion
expulsion " to " effusion : " the “ force" is " moderate :" the stress, at first, unimpassioned radical,” gradually changing to a soft “median: "the “ pitch" is on
6 middle notes,” - the “ melody," diatonic,” in prevalent “ intervals of the second," varying from the "simple concrete
to the " wave : the “ movement” is “slow, the pauses moderately long, — the " rhythm requires an attentive but delicate marking.
Wonder is the predominating emotion expressed in the third paragraph. It produces a slight deviation from perfect“ purity of tone” towards “ aspiration”: the “force” increases gently, after the first sentence : a slight tinge of " vanishing stress pervades the first sentence; an ample “median” prevails in the first two clauses of the second, and a vivid “ radical” in the third clause; and, in the third sentence, a stronger - vanishing stress than before, becomes distinctly audible, in proportion to the increasing emphasis : the “ pitch” of this paragraph is moderately " low,” at first, and gradually descends, throughout, as far as to the last semicolon of the paragraph ; - the " slides ”
are principally downward " seconds and thirds”: the " ment” is “slow,” excepting in the last clause of the second sentence, in which it is “lively"; the pauses are long; and the “ rhythm” still requires perceptible marking.
Admiration, is the prompting emotion in the “expression " of the fourth paragraph. — After the first sentence, which is neutral in effect, the voice passes from “ pure tone orotund," as the “ quality" required in the union of beauty and grandeur : the force passes from “ moderate declamatory the
stress” becomes bold “median expulsion”: the “middle pitch,” inclining to “ low,” for dignity of effect; and downward * thirds” in emphasis : the “movement” is “moderate ; pauses correspondent; and the “rhythm somewhat strongly marked.
The fifth and sixth paragraphs are characterized, in " expression,” by pathos and awe. The first two sentences of the fifth paragraph, are in the neutral or unimpassioned utterance of common narrative and remark; the next three sentences introduce an increasing effect of the “pure tone” of pathos; the last three of the paragraph are characterized by the expression of awe carried to its deepest effect; and the preceding pure tone, therefore, gives way to " aspiration,” progressively, to the end of the paragraph. The “force,” in the first part of the paragraph, is "subdued”;- in the latter, it is “ suppressed”: the " stress is median," throughout, — gently marked in the pathetic part, and fully, in that expressive of awe. The piteh” is on "middle"
notes, inclining high, in the pathetic expression, and “ low," descending to “ lowest,” in the utterance of awe; the “ melody contains a few slight effects of “ semitone,” on the emphatic words in the pathetic strain, and full downward“ slides ” of is third ” and “fifth,” in the language of awe.
The ment” is “ slow,” in the pathetic part, and “ very slow” in the utterance of awe; the pauses correspond ; and the “ rhythm” is to be exactly kept in the pauses of the latter, as they are the chief source of effect.
The first two sentences of the sixth paragraph, are characterized by the expression of deep pathos, differing from that of the first part of the preceding paragraph, by greater force, lower notes, fuller ** stress, " slower 66 movement, " and longer pauses. The “ pression” of the third sentence passes through the successive stages of apprehension, or fear, awe and horror, - marked by increasing aspiration ” and force, deepening notes, slower movement,'
,” and longer pause, so as, at last, to reach the extreme of these elements of effect. The fourth sentence expresses still deeper pathos than before, and by the increased effect of the same modes of utterance. In the last sentence, in which awe combines with pathos, the “ expression ” becomes yet deeper and slower, but without increase of " force.”
A similar analysis should be performed on all the following pieces previous to the exercise of reading them. The analogy of
emotion, exemplified in the numerous examples contained in the body of the book, will be found a sufficiently definite guide for this purpose.]
To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has to make is an excellent preparative. From the moment you lose sight of the land you have left, all is vacancy until you step on the opposite shore, and are launched at once into the bustle and novelties of another world.
I have said that at sea all is vacancy. I should correct the expression. To one given up to day-dreaming, and fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea-voyage is full of subjects for meditation ; but then they are the wonders of the deep, and of the air, and rather tend to abstract the mind from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter-railing, or climb to the main-top on a calm day, and muse for hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea; or to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peering above the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms, and people them with a creation of my own, or to watch the gentle undulating billows rolling their silver volumes, as if to die away on those happy shores.
There was a delicious sensation of mingled security and awe, with which I looked down from my giddy height on the monsters of the deep at their uncouth gambols. Shoals of porpoises tumbling about the bow of the ship ; the grampus slowly heaving his huge form above the surface ; or the ravenous shark, darting like a spectre, through the blue waters. My imagination would conjure up all that I had heard or read of the watery world beneath me; of the finny herds that roam its fathomless valleys; of shapeless monsters that lurk among the very foundations of the earth; and those wild phantasms that swell the tales of fishermen and sailors.
Sometimes a distant sail gliding along the edge of the ocean would be another theme of idle speculation. How interesting this fragment of a world hastening to rejoin the great mass of existence !
What a glorious monument of human invention, that has thus triumphed over wind and wave; has brought the ends of the earth in communion ; has established an interchange of blessings, pouring into the sterile regions of the north all the luxuries of the south; diffused the light of knowledge and the charities of cultivated life; and has thus bound together those scattered portions of the human race, between which nature seemed to have thrown an insurmountable barrier !
We one day descried some shapeless object drifting at a distance. At sea, everything that breaks the monotony of the surrounding expanse attracts attention. It proved to be the mast of a ship that must have been completely wrecked; for there were the remains of handkerchiefs, by which some of the crew had fastened themselves to this spar, to prevent their being washed off by the waves. There was no trace by which the name of the ship could be ascertained. The wreck had evidently drifted about for many months; clusters of shell-fish had fastened about it, and long sea-weeds flaunted at its sides. But where, thought I, is the crew? Their struggle has long been over; — they have gone down amidst the roar of the tempest ;
their bones lie whitening in the caverns of the deep. Silence
like the waves, have closed over them; and no one can tell the story of their end.
What sighs have been wafted after that ship! what prayers offered up at the deserted fire-side of home! How often has the mistress, the wife, and the mother, pored over the daily news, to catch some casual intelligence of this rover of the deep! How has expectation darkened into anxiety — anxiety into dread and dread into despair! Alas! not one memento shall ever return for love to cherish. All that shall ever be known is, that she sailed from her port, “ and was never heard of more.”
Ex. II. — DEATH OF MORRIS.
(Vivid Narrative, exemplifying, after the introductory sentence,
Sympathetic Horror, then successively, Terror, Scorn, Revenge, Horror, Awe)
It was under the burning influence of revenge that the wife of MacGregor commanded that the hostage, exchanged for her husband's safety, should be brought into her presence. I believe her sons had kept this unfortunate wretch out of her sight, for fear of the consequences; but if it was so, their humane precaution only postponed his fate. They dragged forward, at her summons, wretch, already half dead with terror, in whose agonized features, I recognized, to my horror and astonishment, my old acquaintance Morris.
He fell prostrate before the female chief with an effort to clasp her knees, from which she drew back, as if his touch had been pollution, so that all he could do in token of the extremity of his humiliation, was to kiss the hem of her plaid. I never heard entreaties for life poured forth with such agony of spirit. The ecstasy of fear was such, that, instead of paralyzing his tongue, as on ordinary occasions, it even rendered him eloquent; and, with cheeks as pale as ashes, hands compressed in agony, eyes that seemed to be taking their last look of all mortal objects, he protested, with the deepest oaths, his total ignorance of any design on the life of Rob Roy, whom he swore he loved and honored as his own soul. — In the inconsistency of his terror, he said, he was but the agent of others, and he muttered the name of Rashleigh. —He prayed but for life for life he would give all he had in the world ; - it was but life he asked — life, if it were to be prolonged under tortures and privations ; — he asked only breath, though it should be drawn in the damps of the lowest caverns of their hills.
It is impossible to describe the scorn, the loathing, and contempt, with which the wife of MacGregor regarded this wretched petitioner for the poor boon of existence.
“I could have bid you live,” she said, "had life been to you the same weary and wasting burden that it is to me that it is to every noble and generous mind. — But you
wretch! you could creep through the world unaffected by its various disgraces, its ineffable miseries, its constantly accumulating masses of crime and sorrow,
you could live and enjoy yourself, while the nobleminded are betrayed, while nameless and birthless villains tread on the neck of the brave and long-descended, — you could enjoy yourself, like a butcher's dog in the shambles, battening on garbage, while the slaughter of the brave went on around you ! This enjoyment you shall not live to partake of; you shall die, base dog, and that before yon cloud has passed over the sun."
She gave a brief command, in Gaelick, to her attendants, two of whom seized upon the prostrate suppliant, and hurried him to the brink of a cliff which overhung the flood. He set up the most piercing and dreadful cries that fear ever uttered -I
well term them dreadful; for they haunted my sleep for years afterwards. As the murderers, or executioners, call them as you will, dragged him along, he recognized me even in that moment