Vengeance! death! plague!
Fiery! what quality?—–Why, Gloster, Gloster!
I’d speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife:
The King would speak with Cornwall—–the dear father
Would with his daughter speak; commands her service.
Are they inform’d of this?—–My breath and blood!
Fiery! the fiery Duke! Tell the hot Duke—
No’ but not yet: may be he is not well:
I beg his pardon: and I’ll chide my rashness,
That took the indisposed and sickly fit.
For the sound man,—–But wherefore sits he there?—
Death on my state! this act convinces me,
That this retiredness of the Duke and her
Is plain contempt—Give me my servant forth—
Go tell the Duke and’s wife I’d speak with ’em:
Now: instantly—Bid ’em come forth and hear me;
Or, at their chamber-door, I’ll beat the drum—
’Till it cry—Sleep to death.
Elements of Gesture.
On the Speaking of Speeches at Schools.
Elocution has, for some years past, been an object of attention in the most respectable schools in this country. A laudable ambition of instructing youth in the pronunciation and delivery of their native language, has made English speeches a very conspicuous part of those exhibitions of oratory which do them so much credit.
This attention to English pronunciation has induced several ingenious men to compile Exercises in Elocution for the use of schools, which have answered very useful purposes; but none, so far as I have seen, have attempted to give us a regular system of gesture suited to the wants and capacities of school-boys. Mr. Burgh, in his Art of Speaking, has given us a system of the passions, and has shewn us how they appear in the countenance, and operate on the body; but this system, however useful to people of riper years, is too delicate and complicated to be taught in schools. Indeed, the exact adaptation of the action to the word, and the word to the action, as Shakespear calls it, is the most difficult part of delivery, and therefore can never be taught perfectly to children; to say nothing of distracting their attention with two difficult things at the same time. But that boys should stand motionless, while they are pronouncing the most impassioned language, is extremely absurd and unnatural; and that they should sprawl into an aukward, ungain, and desultory action, is still more offensive and disgusting. What then remains, but that such a general style of action be adopted, as shall be easily conceived and easily executed, which, though not expressive of any particular passion, shall not be inconsistent with the expression of any passion; which shall always keep the body in a graceful position, and shall so vary its motions; at proper intervals, as to seem the subject operating on the speaker, and not the speaker on the subject. This, it will be confessed, is a great desideratum; and an attempt to do this, is the principal object of the present publication.