Imatges de pÓgina
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Fair (fai') Greece, sad relic of departed (depa’ted) worth (wo’th).

Immortal (immo'tal) though no more (mo').

Easing their steps over (ove') the burning (bu’ning) marl (ma'l).

The vessel (vess'l) was built as a model (mod’l).

We travelled (trav’lled) on a level (lev'l) road of gravel (grav'l).

His musical (music'l) tone had a comical (comic'l) effect.

A specimen of the metal (met'l) was sent to the capital (capit’l).

In a moment of imprudent confidence, he declared himself independent of their assistance (momunt, &c.)

Looking (lookin') out of the window on the willows in the meadow (windů, &c.)

Dancing, drawing, and singing, being only graceful accomplishments, are much less important than the useful ones of reading and writing (dancin', &c.)

And the smooth stream in smoother (smoothe') numbers (numbě’s) flows.

Rarely does poverty overtake the diligent (as above).

Faults of local usage exemplified. Inadvertent compliance with negligent and erroneous custom, is a great source of the defective articulation which prevails in reading. The extent to which faults of this class are sometimes carried, even in circumstances otherwise favourable to good education, may be inferred from the following specimen of the actual style of articulation, current in many schools, which are certainly well taught in other respects. Exercises similar to the following, should be occasionally performed by the student, for his own use, with a view to the detection of current errors, which might otherwise escape his notice, and influence his own articulation.

The following extract is printed, it will be observed, with a notation of the incorrect articulation, throughout. The design of this arrangement is to arrest the attention, and produce, if possible, an adequate impression of the consequences of hasty and careless utterance.

Extract. “The young Incorrect articulation. of all animals appear to re- The young of all animuls ceive pleasure, simply from (anim'ls or animal's) apthe exercise of their limbs pear to receive playzhů, and bodily faculties, with- simply from the exe'cise out reference to any end to of their limbs an' bod’ly be attained, or any use to facilties, without ref'rence be answered by the exer to any end tū be attained, tion. A child, without or any use tủ be answered knowing anything of the by the exŭ'sh'n. A child, use of language, is in a without knowin' anything high degree delighted with ŭ th' use of language, is being able to speak. Its in a high d'gree d’lighted incessant repetition of a with bein' able tŭ speak. few articulate sounds, or Its incess'nt rep'tishn of a perhaps of a single word, few artic'late sounds, or which it has learned to pro- praps of a single word, nounce, proves this point which it has lunn'd tủ průclearly Nor is it" less nounce, proves this point pleased with its first suc- clea’ly. Nor is it less cessful endeavours to walk, pleased with its füst sucor rather to run, which pre- cessful endeavŭs tŭ walk, cedes walking, although or rather từ run, which entirely ignorant of the prắcedes (or pre-cedes) importance of the attain- walkin', although entirely ment to its future life, and ignŭrŭnt ŭ th' impo'tence even without applying it ŭ th' attainmũnt to its to any present purpose. fută' (or futshủ) life, and A child is delighted with even without applyin' it speaking, without having to any pres’nt pu’pose. anything to say, and with A child is d'lighted with walking, without knowing speakin' without havin' whither to go. And pre- anything tủ say, and with viously to both these, it is walkin', without knowin' reasonable to believe, that whither tŭ go. An' prethe waking hours of in- viously tủ both these, it is

fancy, are agreeably taken reasonabúl tủ b'lieve, that up with the exercise of the wakin' hours of invision, or perhaps, more funcy, are agree'bly taken properly speaking, with up with the exe'cise of learning to see."' *

vizhn, or p'raps, more prope’ly speakin', with

lunnin' tŭ see. Errors of the above description, vary, of course, with the places, and even the schools, in which they exist; and the above, or any similar example, must be considered as thus limited, and not as meant to be of universal application. It should farther be observed, that, in exhibiting a specimen of prevailing faults, it becomes necessary to the usefulness of the exercise, to include in the notation of a passage, all the errors usually made by a class, although the number might be much smaller for an individual.

Every person who fails of articulating distinctly, has an habitual fault, in the pronunciation of one or more classes of words or syllables, and sometimes, perhaps, of letters. These should be selected and thrown into the form of sentential exercises, for daily practice, in the manner exemplified in this lesson.

Natural impediments,' or,—as they should rather be called,-faults of early habit, must be removed by means adapted to particular cases. But there are few students who do not need, in one form or other, the full benefit of careful practice in this department of elocution. The very general neglect of this branch of elementary instruction, leaves much to be done, in the way of correction and reformation, at later stages. The faults acquired through carly negligence, and confirmed into habit by subsequent practice, need rigorous and thorough measures of cure; and the student who is desirous of cultivating a classical accuracy of taste, in the enunciation of his native language, must be willing to go back to the careful study and practice of its elementary sounds, and discipline his organs

* The above extract should be read aloud, from the incorrect articulation; the errors being rectified, when necessary, by reference to the extract as correctly given.

upon these, in all their various combinations, till an accurate and easy articulation is perfectly acquired. The exercises in articulation and pronunciation,' are arranged with a view to this object.

PRONUNCIATION.

This department of elocution is sometimes termed orthoepy (correct speech.). It is properly but an extension and application of the subject of the preceding lesson. Articulation regards the functions of the organs of speech; and pronunciation, the sound produced by these functions, as conforming to, or deviating from, the modes of good usage. Speech being merely a collection of arbitrary sounds, used as signs of thought or feeling, it is indispensable to intelligible communication, that there be a general agreement about the signification assigned to given sounds; as otherwise 'there could be no common language. It is equally important that there be a common consent and established custom, to regulate and fix the sounds used in speech, that these may have a definite character and signification, and become the current expression of thought. Hence the necessity that individuals conform, in their habits of speech, to the rules prescribed by general usage,-or, more properly speaking, to the custom of the educated and intellectual classes of society, which is, by courtesy, generally acknowledged as the law of pronunciation. Individual opinion, when it is at variance with this important and useful principle of accommodation, gives rise to eccentricities, which neither the authority of profound learning, nor that of strict accuracy and system, can redeem from the charge of pedantry.

It is a matter of great importance, to recognise the rule of authorized custom, and neither yield to the influence of those errors which, through inadvertency,

will

creep into occasional or local use, nor, on the other hand, be induced to follow innovations, or changes adopted without sufficient sanction. A cultivated taste is always perceptible in pronunciation, as in every other expression of mind, and errors in pronouncing are unavoidably associated with a deficiency in the rudiments of good education.

To obtain an undeviating standard of spoken language is impossible. The continual progress of refinement, and, perhaps, sometimes, an affectation of refinement,--and at all events irresistible custom,-are perpetually producing changes in speech, which no individual and no body of men can completely check. Neither Walker, therefore, nor any other orthoepist, can be held up as permanent authority in every case. Still, there is seldom or never an individual so happily situated, as to be necessarily exempt from local peculiarities which are at variance with general use. An occasional appeal to the dictionary, must therefore be useful to the majority of persons; and, of the various dictionaries in common use, Walker's may be taken as, on the whole, the safest guide to good usage in pronunciation. A few allowances must, of course, be made for those cases in which a sound is noted, that cannot be exactly expressed to the eye, by any combination of English letters. The chief of these instances are explained in the exercises in articulation and pronunciation.

Persons who are desirous of perfecting their pronunciation would do well to read aloud, daily, a few columns of Walker's* dictionary, and mark with a pencil those words which they find they have been accustomed to mispronounce, themselves, or to hear mispronounced by others. This exercise, however, must be

* The author would refer to Mr. J. E. Worcester's edition of Todd's combination of Johnson and Walker's Dictionaries, as, perhaps, the fullest and most accurate work of its kind. Mr. W.'s Comprehensive Dictionary presents the same matter, in a form adapted to schools. The same author's edition of Dr. Webster's Dictionary, is a book of great practical value, in the department of orthoepy, from the distinct and satisfactory manner in which it indicates those words which are liable to various modes of pronunciation, and those in which Dr. Webster's style is peculiar.

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