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PRACTICAL EXERCISES IN TIME
The aim of practice in the time elements should be: 1. To gain a feeling for the quantity values of speech. 2. To become proficient in the use of pause.
3. To be able to employ effectively the principles of rate and rhythm.
EXERCISE I. Read the following passages with careful discrimination as to quantity values of individual sounds and syllables. Observe the mellow, easy-flowing sounds of Tennyson's lines and compare them with the harsh, abrupt sounds of the lines from Shakespeare. Note how exactly suited the lines are in each case to the poet's purpose.
Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea!
Blow him again to me;
my pretty one, sleeps. TENNYSON
The raging rocks
Of prison gates;
And make and mar
The foolish Fates.
SHAKESPEARE, "A Midsummer Night's Dream,” I, ii
EXERCISE II. Read the following passages with definite attention to the principles of pause :
1. To be, or not to be: that is the question:
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
SHAKESPEARE, "Hamlet," III, i
2. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,
As I do live by food, I met a fool;
Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
In good set terms and yet a motley fool.
"Good morrow, fool," quoth I. "No, sir," quoth he,
And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Thus we may see,” quoth he, "how the world wags:
And after one hour more 't will be eleven;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
SHAKESPEARE, "As You Like It," II, vii
EXERCISE III. Discriminate carefully as to the rate
of the following passages:
1. So live, that when thy summons comes to join
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
The rhythm of poetry
2. I catch another vision. The crisis of battle. a soldier struck, staggering, fallen. I see a slave scuffling through the smoke, winding his black arms about the fallen form, reckless of the hurtling death, bending his trusty face to catch the words that tremble on the stricken lips, so wrestling meantime with agony that he would lay down his life in his master's stead. HENRY W. GRADY
1. God of our fathers, known of old
EXERCISE IV. Try to sense fully the rhythmic elements of the following passages, the first illustrating the rhythm of poetry, the second the rhythm of prose :
Dominion over palm and pine —
The tumult and the shouting dies-
Still stands Thine ancient Sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lest we forget — lest we forget! — KIPLING
2. Boot, saddle, to horse, and away!
Ride past the suburbs, asleep as you'd say;
The rhythm of prose
1. Women's colleges are in a very different position from men's colleges. Almost all large fortunes are in the hands of men, and very few men realize as yet the necessity of giving girls a thorough college education. Wealthy men are continually giving large sums to men's colleges. Wealthy women give to men's education in memory of their fathers, husbands, or sons more frequently and in larger amounts than wealthy men give to women's education. Men's colleges also receive large gifts from their alumni. Unlike men's colleges, it is impossible for women's colleges to appeal for funds to their wealthy graduates. Women, especially young women, have not the disposal of much money. They are not engaged in business. Each dollar raised by a college for women represents many times the effort of a dollar raised by a college for men. Women's colleges are one and all inadequately endowed. Extract from an address in the interest of Goucher College by President M. Cary Thomas of Bryn Mawr
2. When public bodies are to be addressed on momentous occasions, when great interests are at stake and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech further than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness are the qualities that produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but they will toil in vain. Words and phrases may be marshaled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. Affected passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire to it; they cannot reach it. It comes, ome at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, native, original force. The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, hang on the decision of the hour. Then words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities.
Then patriotism is eloquent; then self-devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, outrunning deductions of logic, the high purpose, the firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, — this, this is eloquence; or rather it is something greater and higher than all eloquence, it is action, noble, sublime, god-like action. WEBSTER
NOTE. The literary excerpts used as illustrations throughout this chapter will be found of much value for reading and practice along with the exercises given above.