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Disastrous conflagration. The fire spread.
The conflagration extended its devasta
ting career. House burned.
Edifice consumed. The fire was got under.
The progress of the devouring element
was arrested. Man fell.
Individual was precipitated. A horse and wagon ran against. A valuable horse attached to a vehicle
driven by J. S., in the employment of
J. B., collided with. The frightened horse.
The infuriated animal. Sent for the doctor.
Called into requisition the services of
the family physician. The mayor of the city in a short sprech The chief magistrate of the metropolis, welcomed.
in well-chosen and eloquent language, frequently interrupted by the plaudits of the surging multitude, officially ten
dered the hospitalities. I shall say a few words.
I shall, with your permission, beg leave
to offer some brief observations. Began his answer.
Commenced his rejoinder. A bystander advised.
One of those omnipresent characters
who, as if in pursuance of some previous arrangement, are certain to be encountered in the vicinity when an accident occurs, ventured the sugges
tion. He died.
He deceased, he passed out of existence,
his spirit quitted its earthly babitation, winged its way to eternity, shook off its burden, etc.
ELOCUTION. — [ The following excellent remarks are from the New York Round Table. We are happy to believe that a class of teachers is appearing among us to whom the objections so justly urged will not apply; who look upon the training of the voice and the development of the vocal organs as their main business, and with whom the imparting of a simple and tasteful style of reading is the object aimed at, and not the teaching of a bad style of acting.)
There is great need of elocutionary instruction everywhere in our country. One can hardly go to the church, the court-room, or the public meeting without feeling the need. But, after lamenting most keenly the lack of vocal culture which our public speakers.
often exhibit, we never attend the readings of any elocutionist without a feeling of thankfulness that we are not obliged to hear one read the liturgy on Sundays. The fault of inefficient reading is a bad one, but the elocutionists invariably make us feel that it is better for us to bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.
We well remember years ago listening to two readings of the same piece, “ The Bridge of Sighs," on consecutive evenings. The first time, it was read by Mr. G. W. Curtis in one of his lectures on the English novelists, and the second evening, by a noted“ professor" of elocution. The first reading was the quiet and simple rendering of the thought by a gentleman who evidently felt every word that he uttered, and wlto so thoroughly gave the whole spirit of the poem that it never occurred to us to inquire whether he was reading it well or ill. The poem, and the poem alone, occupied our thoughts. The next evening we were so tormented by the vocal effects and the dramatic gestures of the actor, that all idea of the poem was banished from our minds; and yet the piece was, theoretically speaking, very finely declaimed, and the gesticulation did not offend by inappropriateness, but rather by too close imitation of the various motions spoken of in the poem. It offended us because our imagination could supply the features of the scene described far more satisfactorily than any actor could represent them to us.
The orator or reader, whether public or private, should never forget that it is his duty to convey the idea as faithfully as he can by voice and gesture, but that his gestures should, in almost all cases, be suggestive rather than imitative, and that this law in many cases applies to voice as well as to gesture. If this is forgotten the orator gives place to the actor, and should show his ability in its appropriate place behind the footlights of the theatre.
It is natural that the elocutionists should desire to magnify their calling, and to crowd the manner of delivery into a higher place than that occupied by the matter delivered. But they attempt this at the risk of disgusting all sensible men. Elocution, like rhetoric, should always be made subordinate to thought. If a man has somewhat to say, he must, of course, call in rhetoric to teach him how to express his ideas, and elocution to inform him how to utter his sentences. But when either his rhetoric or his elocution is such as to attract attention to itself the oration is a failure just in proportion to the prominence of these. To use an old illustration, elocution, and rhetoric too, may be compared to a window which is excellent just in proportion as the glass by its very purity hides itself from sight. And as windows are made to look through rather than to look at, so elocution is the medium through which ideas are to be seen, and it answers its end just in inverse ratio to the degree of attention it draws to itself.
We have spoken strongly because we feel strongly the evil that must result from the education of children into such false views of reading and speaking. The majority of the pupils in our schools will never need to read to a larger audience than the family circle, and there any of these tricks of voice or manner would be abominable. As for the others, the worst thing we can do with them is to make them declaimers. The country is already overrun with men who delight in the sound of their own voices. The thing to be done is to give to the young thoughts, ideas, and to make them in earnest about these. Then if they have a little simple training in the management of the voice, we need not fear that they will fail in the expression of their ideas. Men who are endowed by nature with a good voice, and who really have some thoughts which ought to be uttered, will find a way to make them heard, and they will not need an elocutionist to secure attention to what they have to say. Earnestness gives us action, and is a vital power. Declamation is mere acting, and is weak, and worse than useless.
“ I slept, and dreamed that Life was Beauty;
I woke and found that Life was Duty:
THE MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION. Want of space compelled us to omit many things from the report of this meeting in our last number. We here print the remarks with which Alderman Gaffield, as the representative of the City Government, welcomed the Convention to the hospitalities of Boston. Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen :
I deeply regret the absence of His Honor the Mayor, which makes it devolve upon me, as Chairman of the Committee on Public Instruction, to welcome you on this most interesting occasion. Himself a graduate of our Boston Public Schools, His Honor, by virtue of his position as Mayor, which he has filled with such ability and popularity for nearly seven years, is Chairman of the School Board, and has most faithfully and devotedly guarded the welfare and fostered the best interests of our schools.
He has always greeted with a warm band and a cheering word such assemblies as these. And I am happy to inform you to-day that he has seconded most cordially the action of the Board of Aldermen and the Common Council, which, without a dissenting voice in either branch, passed a vote authorizing bim to extend the courtesies of the city to your Association. In accordance with this vote, and in behalf of the Mayor and the City Council, I extend to you a most cordial welcome to our city, to its Schools, and its Public Institutions.
I know, Mr. President, how earnestly you have labored to prepare the intellectual feast which awaits all the members who will attend your
eetings. You will have the pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, of listening to the teachings of •matured minds on the best methods of instruction, and the means of improving them. You will witness the results of some of these methods in the exercises of the pupils of our Boston schools in reading, in gymnastics and military drill. You will also see what has been done for a quarter of a century, and what is now being done, for music in our Public Schools ; and we bave arranged for your special entertainment a Social Gathering and Promenade Concert at Music Hall for this evening, where you may listen to the singing of the pupils of the Girls' High and Normal School, the performances of a choice orchestra, and the voice of the great organ.
Mr. President, this is emphatically an age, and ours is a country of great Conventions; and there is an inspiration going forth always from gatherings of large numbers, assembled together for one common object, and for the promotion of the common weal. We have seen conventions of soldiers, of merchants, of manufacturers, of mechanics, of the loyal men of the South, and of the lovers of liberty and country from all parts of the land; and we have rejoiced in all of good which they have accomplished. But side by side with the noble soldiers and the lovers of liberty in our land stand these annual Conventions of County, State, and National Associations of humble, but noble, Teachers, who are laboring so modestly, but so efficiently, in instilling knowledge into the minds of the children of the rising generation, and in filling their hearts with those eternal principles of liberty, righteousness, and truth, by which alone our Constitution can be preserved and amended, our institutions of government can endure, and on which alone every man in our land, whether rich or poor, high or low, President or humble and honest laborer at his toil, can stand.
Go on, Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen, in your noble labors. The eyes of the Commonwealth and of all good men and good angels are upon you. God's blessing will go with you, and the generations that are, and the generations to come, will rise up and call you blessed.
We thank you for honoring our city with a visit, and we trust that your stay will be pleasant and profitable to you all. And when, in any future years, you shall find it your duty or your pleasure to visit us again, come, and we will always meet you and greet you with warm hands and warm hearts.
MEETING AT THE EDUCATIONAL ROOM.
SEPTEMBER 15. Mr. HUTCHINS of Boston in the Chair. Mr. LELAND of Newton was chosen chairman of the next meeting.
The following was the subject for discussion :- Miscellaneous information its importance — when and how to impart it.
The discussion was opened by the Chairman. He thought there was too strong a tendency at the present time to devote all our energies to the special object of fitting scholars for examination. Much that is really useful, and that the scholars should know, was therefore necessarily left out. The theory is that they will get it afterwards in the High School or College. The truth is, however, that but a small proportion of them ever attend the High School. The information is therefore lost to them. He thought that in country schools, where more branches are taught, and the course of study is less definitely marked out, the pupils receive more general information, and are thus on the whole better developed than in the city, where a teacher must spend all his time in drilling them within the required limits. The country scholars are thus able to read more intelligently and to view more understandingly the course of current events.
There are many facts not found in the school books which it is highly important that all should know, in order to be fitted to act well their part in life, or even to read the newspapers intelligently. We should be astonished, for instance, to find how few of our scholars knew how members of Congress are