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Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
Night, — sable goddess, — from her ebon throne,
23. “A sense of duty pursues us ever. It is omnipresent like the Deity. If we take to ourselves the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, duty performed or duty violated is still with us, for our happiness or our misery. If we say the darkness shall cover us, in the darkness as in the light our obligations are yet with us.
We cannot escape their power, nor fly from their presence. They are with us in life, will be with us at its close; and in that scene of inconceivable solemnity, which lies yet farther onward, we shall find ourselves surrounded by the consciousness of duty to pain us wherever it has been violated, and to console us so far as God may have given us grace to perform it."
Deep Solemnity, Awe, Consternation.
24. “In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face. The hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof. An image was before mine eyes. There was silence, and I heard a voice - Shall mortal man be more just than God?'
25. “But, O thou mighty Mind! whose powerful word
Said, “Thus let all things be,' and thus they were,
mung vs It thunders! Sons of dust, in reverence bow'
Ancient of Days! thou speakest from above !
see the flashes of thy lightning wild,
.66 Thou sure and firm-set earth,
28. Besides practising the examples as they are arranged sn the preceding pages, they should be so varied as to require a sudden transition of the voice from one extreme of the intervals to another. By this practice, the pupil may at any time, by determining the depth and grade of feeling, strike the appropriate note with as much precision as the vocalist can, when executing any note of the scale.
29. The elements of impassioned utterance are many and various; and although each one must be considered in an insulated light, yet no one of them is ever heard alone; no one ever exists separately in correct and varied speech. They are always applied in combination, and several are sometimes combined in a single act of utterance. We may have, under one syllabic impulse, a long quantity, a wide interval, aspiration, and some one of the modes of stress, all simultaneous in effecting a particular purpose of expression.
30. As the sister Graces produce the most pleasing effect when arranged in one family group, so an impassioned sentiment may be most deeply and vividly impressed by the combination of several vocal elements. This might be clearly illustrated in cases of deep and overwhelming emotions, where the monotone will be found one of the essential constituents, combined with long quantity, the lowest and deepest notes, slow movement, and partially suppressed force, in expressing this condition of the soul.
31. The monotone may be defined as that inflexible movement of the voice which is heard when fear, vastness of thought, force, majesty, power, or the intensity of feeling, is such as partially to obstruct the powers of utterance.
32. This movement of the voice may be accounted for by the fact, that, when the excitement is so powerful, and the kind and degree of feeling are such, as to agitate the whole frame, the vocal organs will be so affected, and their natural functions so controlled, that they can give utterance to the thought or sentiment only on one note, iterated on the same unvarying line of pitch.
33. Grandeur of thought and sublimity of feeling are always expressed by this movement.
The effect produced by it is deep and impressive. When its use is known, and the rule for its application is clearly understood, the reading will be characterized by a solemnity of manner, a grandeur of refinement, and a beauty of execution, which all will acknowledge to be in exact accordance with the dictates of Nature, and strictly within the pale of her laws.
34. This will be clearly exemplified in reading the following extracts :
35. “ Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, o, quit this mortal frame.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
37. If the reader utter the thoughts and sentiments, in the iast stanza of the above extract, with a just degree of impressiveness, he will appear as if he actually heard, saw, and felt, what the poet described the Christian as hearing, seeing, and feeling. What constituent in vocal intonation, or what element in expression, enables the reader to give force and true coloring to the thoughts and sentiments in the passage just cited ? In what way can it be explained, and made clear to the understanding ?
38. The above extract, it will be seen, is descriptive of a scene of inconceivable solemnity, and expressive of the deepest feelings, the most solemn thoughts, and the most profound emotions; and the natural expression of such feelings, thoughts, and emotions, requires the monotone.
39. Why not, then, lay it down as a principle, that passages expressive of similar sentiments are to be read in a similar manner ?
40. If any one fail to see and acknowledge the effect of the monotone in reading the above extract, let him read it again in the key of the monotone, and then without it; and if the difference in the effect be not very perceptible, let it be read to him, first on the key of the monotone, and then with the same stress, tone, quantity, inflection, and rate of movement that would be appropriate in reading the following exract from Prior ::
41. " Interred beneath this marble stone
Lie sauntering Jack and idle Joan.
Nor good, nor bad, nor fools, nor wise,
42. If this measure leave him in doubt, if he then do not see when and how the monotone may be employed with effect, further efforts will be of no avail. He
may sidered as belonging to that “kind of — as it were class of individuals, who have not the ability either to note faults, detect blemishes, or to define beauties and enumerate graces.
43. The beauty and force of the monotone may be further exemplified in the reading of some portions of the fol. lowing extracts : 44. “The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
45. “ Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought !
Through what variety of untried being,
46. “ Departed spirits of the mighty dead !
Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra bled !
47. “In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof. An image was before mine eyes. There was silence, and I heard a voice, • Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly; how much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth!'"