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ELOCUTION AND ORATORY:
A MANUAL OF VOCAL CULTURE BASED UPON SCIENTIFIC
COMMON SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, COLLEGES AND
I. H. BROWN,
Teacher of Elocution and Oratory.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1885, by
I. H. BROWN,
Becktold of Co., Book Manufactnrers.
This book is presented to the public in obedience to that trite commercial maxim, “ The demand will summon the supply.”
The need of better readers and speakers was never more urgent than now.
Deficiency in expressive reading and effective speaking has been observed and deplored for years.
An impression has prevailed that clear, strong sense reading is a natural endowment, and therefore unattainable by those not favored by nature. This impression is strengthened by the fact that the daily study of readers, arithmetics, geographies, grammars, etc., by our youth,- all requiring the exercise of reading, - gives them but little skill in rendering the thoughts contained on the printed page. Let it be remembered, however, that the energy of this daily exercise, from the Primary department upward, is expended upon the mere naming of words, with little or no expression of their related significance; that the teacher, in most cases, is the text-book, and that few text-books go far beyond rules for inflection, emphasis and pauses. A similar idea regarding writing formerly had many advocates. Commercial Colleges have effectually exploded this theory by proving that rapid, easy, graceful writing is the result of skillful instruction, based upon a well defined method, and that it is attainable by all who are capable of receiving rational instruction.
Within the last ten years schools of oratory and many institutions of less pretentious title have demonstrated the assertion that, “ Good reading is attainable by the masses.”
The experience of the author with boys and girls shows that by the same method of instruction employed by professional readers, children are capable of becoming good readers in a shorter time than adults.
The question now arises, “ How can these methods be so presented in text-books that the untrained teacher can secure the desired results.”
In the preparation of the present volume this question has constantly appeared at the head of each page. How far it has been answered will appear from a consideration of the following statements :
1. The act of reading aloud depends, first, upon a copious supply of breath under the control of the will ; and, second, upon a clear, pleasant and decided articulation, the process of which appears to be no part of the reader's concern. To secure these requisites, exercises have been imposed that render progress in pages impossible till principles are mastered. .
2. The exercise of reading is a continued application of the laws of logic; therefore, the first step in securing intelligible reading is to lead the pupil to dis