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Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, O, abide with me.

The prevailing emotion in this selection is reverence, let us say; and to over-inflect at the pauses -to use a 66 wriggling" voice, as Professor Corson says- is to make it overconversational, matter-of-fact. But a large part of speaking has to do with explaining the thought. The inflections at pauses show the relation of the ideas. Acquire the habit of using them. If you are accustomed to speak on a dead level, overdo the inflections until the new habit is fixed. · Limber up!

The well-known lines of Hamlet, given below, will serve as an excellent example for practice in acquiring flexibility. Some of the principal inflections that might be used in the rendering, are indicated; but here again, the mind of the individual reader must be the guide.



Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently: for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious, periwigpated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it.

Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special

observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of Nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to Nature, to show Virtue her own feature, Scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now, this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh, there be players that I have seen play—and heard others praise, and that highly-not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

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2. A Monotony of the Rising Inflection. The effect is a continuous flow of words without any breaks or stops. The audience feels impelled to say "Give us a rest!" It is frequently noticed that this habit is carried to such ridiculous extremes that those speakers who swing into a "ministerial" or "oratorical tone, will close a speech or address with the rising inflection. The hearers are left suspended, as it were, in mid-air, and must come down of their own accord, after they realize that the speaker has concluded. The habit has its origin, no doubt, in the use of the rising inflection for voicing an appeal,-a characteristic of oratory proper. But it is sadly overworked, even by prominent and successful orators. Young would-be orators imitate and perpetuate the fault, just as young preachers imitate the faults of their elders, Avoid it.

3. A Monotony of the Falling Inflection. We have seen the use of the falling inflection in expressing "momentary completeness,❞—in giving added emphasis, strong affirmation, positiveness. For such purposes it is widely service



able in oratory. But the proper use of the falling inflection is a very different matter from its habitual and almost constant use. Many speakers never seem to see farther than the length of a phrase or clause, and at well-nigh every pause the voice goes down, no matter what the phraserelation may be. This habit gives a scrappy, disconnected, heavy and tedious effect to speech. Avoid it.

4. Using a semitone, instead of a complete fall, especially on the last syllable of a word that completes the thought. The speaker with this habit seems to be always feeling bad. The effect is to turn plain discourse to pathos. The fault may be corrected by testing the voice with the piano, and make it descend at least an octave in giving the falling slide or falling inflection.

5. Dropping the voice so suddenly or so low that the last syllable is husky or inaudible. This may arise either from an excessive fall of the voice on the final word or syllable, or from delivering the syllable or word preceding the close in so low a key that there is no room in the compass for a further distinct fall. The fault may be corrected by keeping the voice up-or raising it if need be—on the syllable or word preceding the close, and thus prepare for the complete and normal fall.


Inflection refers to the bends or waves of the voice above and below the Key. The General Law of Inflection is: When the thought is complete, the voice falls; when the thought is incomplete, the voice rises. There are many and various cases that come under this General Law, but the point for remembrance is: The test of the proper use of inflection is not the punctuation marks or rules, but the test is, - What inflection best realizes the speaker's purpose

at the moment of utterance?



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Definition. -Time is the duration of utterance. It relates to the length of vocal sounds, to the rapidity of word-utterance, and to the pauses in speech. The leading phases of Time may be classified as Rate, Phrasing, and Transition.

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Rate. - Rate, also called time or movement, has reference to the rapidity or slowness of utterance. The average rate of delivery in public speaking, allowing for pauses and transitions, is usually placed at one hundred and twenty words per minute. Rate, however, is a matter of relativity. It varies with the individual temperament, the matter, and the circumstances under which an address is given.

The common faults of rate are: (1) speaking too rapidly or (2) too slowly, (3) a fitful, unsteady movement, and (4) lack of adaptation of rate to express the varying thoughts and emotions. We may therefore deduce the following:

Admonitions as to Rate.

1. Avoid speaking too rapidly. With the young speaker, under stress of more or less nervousness, over-rapid utterance is by far the more common fault. So it is well for every beginner to suspect himself of trying to speak too fast. In the first place, he must always speak slowly enough to enunciate clearly. Then he must speak deliberately enough for the hearers to get the thought as he proceeds;

he must not set a faster pace than the audience can easily follow. Especially at the beginning of a speech, when the audience is as yet more or less inattentive, when emotions are quiescent, and the speaker is pulling himself and his thoughts together, he should proceed slowly and deliberately. The same suggestion applies, as we shall see, to the beginning of new lines of thought. Usually begin slowly at the transitions.

By acquiring the power and habit of slow, measured. utterance, by making the words, in the process of utterance, speak all they can speak, a student can increase many fold his power and effectiveness in delivery. When a speaker pauses or lingers on a word, he does so that he and his hearers may have more time in which to think of its meaning. "Dwell upon-expand-these words," is a frequent direction that needs be given the young speaker. Now, rate is affected in two principal ways: by the pause between words, and by the time taken in enunciating a word. The matter of time-taking for pauses we shall consider under Phrasing. But a whirlwind rate is marked by a snappy, jerky vocalization. If you find you speak too fast, practise taking about three times as long to enunciate your words as you have been accustomed to. Take a simple sentence, as, "Most beginners speak too rapidly, but slow down with experience," and give it at your usual rate, then with gradually increasing slowness, drag, if you please, it will seem to be dragging to you, anyway,- only get in the habit of speaking more slowly.


In prolonging the sounds that go to make up a word, it should be noted that certain classes of sounds are capable of almost unlimited prolongation, other sounds of limited prolongation, and still others of little or none. Generally speaking, the vowel sound, which is the body of the word, and not the consonant, is to be prolonged. Especially is

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