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To the Characters Employed in this work.

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The Falling Inflection of the voice is indicated by the grave accent:


The Rising Inflection, by the acute accent:
The Circumflex or Wave, by the circumflex:
A tonick or vowel sound that is to be prolonged, by this charac-
ter – placed over the vowel : thus,

āzi ū
A short vowel sound, by this placed over the vowel : thus, à 18
The shortest Rhetorical Pause, by two dots: (..)
A longer Rhetorical Pause, by three : (...)
A longer still, by four : (.....)
Words italicised, are to receive a moderate degree of emphatick

force; as,
Words in SMALL CAPITALS, a higher degree of the same :
Words in CAPITALS, a degree still higher :



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The Figured Vowels employed in pronouncing words at the bottom of the
pages, are used in accordance with Mr. Walkers Key, as adopted in Cobb's
Dictionary: thus,

Fate, får, fåll, fåt,-mè, mét,-pine, pin,-nd, move, nôr, nôt,
-tube, tůb, båll—011-pňůnd-thin, THIS.



On a preceding page, the author has intimated, that most instructers are lamentably deficient in their knowledge of elocution. The reproach contained in this allusion, was not levelled solely at teachers. That they are both guilty and amenable for all their pedagogical siņs of omission, the author can hardly bę so uncharitable as to believe. In their laudable and laborious calling, he is aware that they have many difficulties to contend with, many obstacles to surmount, many evils to encounter. Among these might be mentioned, bad books, perverse children, ignorant parents, and lean salaries. It is not, therefore, reasonable to expect, that, while their means and opportą. nities are thus utterly inadequate to such a task, teachers can accomplish every thing which the enlightened and liberally-minded desire to see gained by the noble business of instructing;

But notwithstanding all that may be said in extenuation of the defects and negligences of teachers, the dignity and usefulness of their high calling, mainly depend upon themselves. If they choose to elevate their profession, by acting in concert, they have the power to do it. It behooves all, then, who are thus devoted to the best interests of their fellow-beings, to look well to their qualifications and their doings, and to see if there is not yet left room for improvement.

It is not the author's object either to dogmatize, or to sermonize, to a class of men in which many are to be found with whose names he would deem it a high honour to be permitted to associate his own as an equal; but he is anxious, if possible, to point a remark that will excite a spirit of emulation among the spiritless, of ambition in the unambitious, and awaken all to a sense of the high responsibilities of their calling, and of the undying honours which will hallow the fame of those who excel in it. In accordance with this object, he begs leave to call the attention of teachers to the small work which he now presents to the publick, and to themselves in particular; and, at the same time, without arrogance or fawning sycophancy, to express a hope, that it will be found worthy to occupy a place as a class-book in schools, and travel the rounds of usefulness as the relative and fellow-companion of "English Grammar in familiar Lectures"-in reference to the ex: traordinary and unexpected success of which work, he may doubtless be permitted emphatically to say with Prospero, "Your breath has filled my sails."

** All necessary directions in regard to the method of teaching from this manual, will be found where they ought to be dispersed through the pages of the work. It may be added, that the selected portion of this

work, will be found a suitable accompaniment of his Grammas, as a set of convenient and useful EXERCISES IN PARSING. In order to adapt them to this purpose, the author has taken much pains to correct them, and render them grammatical.

It is to be hoped that no teacher among those who have not hitherto paid attention to the principles of reading, will be afraid to adopt this treatise as a text-book. Most of the principles may be easily understood and applied in practice. Hence, an enterprising instructer may very readily qualify himself to teach elocution, by the very efforts he must employ in communicating a knowledge of it to his pupils. It will be far better for the learner to understand one-half of the principles of the science, than none of them. Let no one, then, be afraid to undertake.

8. KIRKHAM. Baltimore, July 26, 1833.




ELOCUTION treats of the just pronunciation of words arranged into sentences, and forming a discourse, and is here employed as synonymous with enunciation, or delivery.

Pronunciation may be considered in a twofold light. When applied to the correct sounds given to single letters or single words without reference to their mutual dependance on each other, it is styled Orthoepy; but when extended to the just enunciation of words arranged into sentences, and depending on each other for sense, it is called Elocution.

Elocution, in its most extensive sense, develops a set of principles, and lays down a system of rules, which teach us to pronounce, either extemporaneous thoughts, or written composition, with justness, energy, variety, and ease.

It tends to di. rect the judgment and improve the taste of the reader or the speaker, not only in delivering his own sentiments, but also in ascertaining the most delicate shades and graces of thought in. tended to be expressed in a piece of composition enunciated, so as to present to the mind of the hearer, the full meaning of the author, in the most lively, impressive, and glowing, and forcible

It contemplates the development and cultivation of those powers of the human voice employed in speech, and directs them to such an adaptation and application in their move. ments, as will enable them to perform the high functions of their office with all that energy, beauty, variety, and effect, with which, under such cultivation only, they are capable.


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The first object of elocution is, to make a good reader; its second object is, to make a good reader; its third object, to make a good reader; its last and grand object is, to make an accomplished and a powerful SPEAKER.

That the study of this science is capable of making great orators of the generality of men, no one has the folly to contend; but to suppose, that a legitimate argument against the general utility of the science may hence be drawn, would be equally unreasonable. To the auditor, the force and beauty of every sentence uttered, and not unfrequently its meaning, depend upon the manner in which it is pronounced. Not only the stronger passions and emotions, such as love, joy, grief, pity, sorrow, envy, anger, and remorse, admiration, approbation, commendation, vexation, and reproof, courage, terrour, reproach, and the like, require each its peculiar intonation, but, likewise, all the less prominent affections and feelings.

In uttering our own thoughts we are not so liable to depart from the simplicity of nature, as we are in expressing the sentiments of others. By a misconception of the spirit and design of the author, readers and speakers often mar, and sometimes totally pervert, his meaning. Hence the importance of attention to rules, by the observance of which, misconceptions and erroneous modes of utterance may generally be avoided, and the sentiments of the author be expressed in a manner, at once, agreeable and impressive.

It is not, perhaps, possible to lay down rules for the management of the voice in reading and speaking, by which all the necessary tones, pauses, emphases, modulations, and inflections, may be discovered and put in practice. To accomplish this, much depends on the judgment and natural taste of the learner; and much more, on the example and instructions of the living teacher. Yet it will not be denied by those who are competent to decide, that strict attention to a set of judicious rules, grounded in the nature of language and the philosophy of the human voice, will prove highly serviceable to such as are attempting to form a chaste and an accurate enunciation. If it be admitted, that principles and rules are useful in the attainment of any art or science, it cannot be denied that they are equally so to the votary of the science of reading and speaking.

But in order to approach perfection in any art or science, attention to rules alone will be found insufficient. The student in elocution should remember, that the vocal powers, like those of the mind or the other powers of the body, are strengthened and matured, and brought under subjection, only by a long and

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persevering exercise of them. For his encouragement, also, he ought to bear in mind, that those functions of voice exerted in speech, are as susceptible of improvement by cultivation and practice, as those, for example, which are employed in singing. Who would expect to attain a high degree of excellence in playing upon a wind instrument, without frequently blowing upon it? or to become a skilful mechanist, without learning the names and use of the tools of that art to which he was devoted ? or to become a clear and sound reasoner, without carefully and frequently exercising his thinking and reasoning faculties upon different subjects and in various methods ? Let no one, then, cherish the thought, that he can excel in elocution, without a careful attention to the nature, and character, and application of the principles of the science: but, at the same time, let the ambitious student bear in mind, that, as by strict attention to principles and rules, and by long practice, with native endowments by no means extraordinary, the vocalist attains a perfection in harmony which awakes the soul to the enjoyment of the most delightful emotions; the musician is enabled to produce those thrilling and spirit-stirring sounds which affect the feelings and the senses as if drawn out by the voice of a heavenly enchanter; the mechanist, to rear a monument of skill and in. genuity, which calls forth the plaudits of an admiring world, and carries down his name to posterity; the mariner, to traverse the vast wilderness of unknown waters, and reveal to his fellow men their distant islands and boundaries; the logician, to penetrate the dark depths of errour and chaos, and bring up from among the rubbish the precious pearls and gems of truth; the philosopher, to pierce the veil of ignorance and speculation, and ascertain and establish the true system of the universe; the geologist, to disclose the treasures buried in the bowels of the earth; the painter, to make the russet canvass glow with life; and the sculptor, to make the inanimate marble breathe; so, by similar attention and exertions, he may learn to make that which is dull in composition, appear interesting; that which is commonplace, novel; that which is plain, elegant; and what is tame, eloquent; and in short, to bring out of that which is truly excellent, all those latent beauties and rich graces of thought, in such a manner as to excite the deepest interest, and elicit the highest admiration, of his auditors.

A good reader has always at his command, not only a vast field of the most refined and rational enjoyment-even the whole field of literature and science-over which he himself may revel, but, also, the ability to conduct others into it, by a

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